ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [444] -- To Insanity And Beyond!

[ Posted Friday, July 7th, 2017 – 16:52 PDT ]

Sometimes, even when reading professional journalism, you have to connect the dots on your own. This week both the president and the vice-president interacted with NASA, and the results were... well... kind of spacey.

Donald Trump gave a speech at NASA and signed an executive order. While doing so, he praised the "three astronauts" in the room, which was rather strange since there were actually four astronauts in the room. The one not acknowledged was female, and the three who did get a presidential nod were all male. But the truly bizarre thing was when Buzz Aldrin actually quoted Buzz Lightyear (from Toy Story), while Trump signed the paper. Trump began, with: "I know what this is -- space!" Aldrin joined in with: "Infinity and beyond!" Trump, who has apparently never seen any of the Toy Story movies, responded:

This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don't really don't know [sic]. But it could be. It has to be something -- but it could be infinity, right?

Ummm... OK. Sure. Later in the week, Mike Pence toured a NASA facility and was photographed touching a piece of hardware intended for space -- right under the prominent sign reading: "DO NOT TOUCH."

Then I saw an apparently-unrelated headline in the Washington Post which read: "It's Summer And Washington Smells Like Weed Everywhere, All The Time." Aha! Mystery solved -- the entire city is floating on a contact high! Infinity... like, wow, man. It's so dang infinite, y'know?

So maybe it's a good thing that Trump is out of town. He's off on his second big foreign trip, and just wrapped up a meeting with Vladimir Putin. But before he did so, Trump once again caused an epidemic of head-scratching within the Beltway with his bizarre tweet on John Podesta: "Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!"

Of course, this is laughable on its face, because "everyone" obviously means "that White House staffer guy I just talked to" (and not, you know, "the leaders of the G-20 I'm meeting with"). There are several other major flaws in Trump's tweet, as well. Podesta helpfully pointed them out, both on Twitter and in a hastily-penned rebuttal in the Washington Post.

Maybe we need a new feature in these Friday columns: "Trump's most outrageous tweet of the week" or something? Sigh. By our reckoning, the Podesta tweet is even more bizarre than that CNN wrestling video Trump tweeted out last weekend.

Whenever Trump's tweeting, you've always got to wonder what he's trying to deflect attention from, of course. The Putin meeting is the obvious answer, but there's another one as well -- how Trump hasn't seemed to cut a single deal since he became president. If you'll remember, Trump styles himself as a dealmaking king, but after almost six months in office, he has nothing to show for it other than pulling out of previous deals (T.P.P., the Paris accords, etc.). Where are all the fantastic new trade deals he promised? Where is all the "winning"?

Meanwhile, Europe and Japan are about to cut a rather large free-trade deal, as Europe now realizes that they're essentially on their own with such a stunning lack of American leadership on the world stage. Trump reportedly tried to get them all to sign on to a new trade war with China on steel, but they don't seem in the least interested. "If you want a trade war, by all means," you can almost hear them saying, "but please, leave us out of it."

A trade war with China would certainly impact the American economy, which so far has been chugging right along in the exact same fashion as it did for the past seven years under President Obama. Due to Trump's complete lack of deals, the economy has not really changed much for better or worse. But a protectionist battle with China certainly might end this period of coasting.

Turns out Obama wasn't just doing a good job on the economy, but also in the fight against the Islamic State. Hopefully, with the way things are going in Raqqa and Mosul, this will all become a moot point before Trump has a chance to mess things up, at least. The Daily Beast had this scoop last week:

Trump's changes to the campaign [against the Islamic State, or ISIS] so far have been tactical -- namely, giving the military more autonomy to strike, including special operators. But the effectiveness of the current Obama-era strategy of attacking ISIS via local forces together with allies calls into question whether there's a need for more dramatic revision.

That's presented a dilemma for those working on the Trump anti-ISIS strategy and slowed its public unveiling, U.S. officials tell The Daily Beast. The White House has asked defense officials to come up with new ideas to help brand the Trump campaign as different from its predecessor, according to two U.S. officials and one senior administration official. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive debates.

The senior administration official described Trump's plan as "relying even more" on special operations working together with local partner forces. "But that's nuanced, like most of the suggested changes" and doesn't easily translate to a talking point, he said. That could help explain why Trump has twice missed his own deadline for unveiling the new anti-ISIS strategy.

That emphasis was added, we should mention, to point out the shocking core of the story: Trump wants to change his Islamic State battle plan not to improve it or to achieve any military objective, but rather to play politics with the war effort. It's not about defeating the enemy, it's all about Trump's "brand." Just imagine what Republicans would say if a Democratic president had done such a thing!

Speaking of what Republicans would say, that's a pretty open question right now. Has anyone seen any Republican politicians recently? They sure don't seem to be eager to talk to the American people who elect them, that's for sure. While Democrats have scheduled more than 50 town hall meetings over this week's extended congressional holiday, Republicans have held fewer than 10 -- that's from all Republicans, mind you. It's almost like they know what the public is going to say about their healthcare bill disaster.

Quantitatively, it was revealed this week that the GOP "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill is the least popular legislation of the last 30 years. It's less popular than the original Obamacare bill, it's less popular than TARP, and it's less popular than the Clinton healthcare bill (which failed, back in the 1990s). Usually, when a bill is this massively unpopular, it is killed -- like George W. Bush's plan to privatize Social Security, for instance. So we'll see what happens when they all come back to town.

Cracks in the GOP's facade are already beginning to appear. Senator Pat Toomey openly admitted that Republicans had no plan ready to go because nobody really expected Trump to win. One brave Republican actually held a townhall meeting, and for the entire 90 minutes a woman stood right behind him with a sign warning: "When you lose your healthcare remember who took it away," with images of several Republican leaders on it.

But the most ironic item of the week came when the Republican Party of Indiana attempted to collect stories from the public on Obamacare. They posted:

Did you lose a doctor that you liked? Have your premiums increased? Did your insurer leave the exchange? Are burdensome regulations hurting your small business?" the post says. "We were promised Obamacare would make health care cheaper, better, and more available, but in reality it's turned out to be the opposite. What's your Obamacare horror story? Let us know.

What they got, instead, was a flood of over 9,000 messages, overwhelmingly in favor of Obamacare. Here are just a few of these responses:

"Obamacare arrived just in time to cover my sister, who had recently lost her job, and who need unexpected emergency heart surgery. Thanks for asking!"

"ACA saves live and Trumpcare will be the #1 killer of Americans makinging Cancer #2."

"The horror of O'Care is that selfish, hateful pricks like you keep wanting to yank it from people that need it to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans are the only Obamacare Horror."

By week's end, Mitch McConnell was desperately trying to convince his fellow Republicans to march off the cliff with him, warning that if they didn't, he would actually (gasp!) have to work with Democrats on some easy fixes for Obamacare. Oh, the horror!

North Korea celebrated the Fourth of July by launching their first successful intercontinental ballistic missile. I guess they didn't get Trump's earlier tweet: "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!" Or maybe being president means more than just randomly tweeting your thoughts to the world? Who knew! Obviously not Trump. After meeting with China's leader in April, Trump got a quick education on the history of Korea, and then admitted: "After listening for 10 minutes, I realized that it's not so easy." There were some pretty scary headlines this week on the North Korean issue, but none scarier than: "How President Trump Could Tweet His Way Into Nuclear War With North Korea." That kind of says it all, really.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was looking for some sympathy during the North Korean missile crisis, but instead got nothing but shaming and ridicule from the internet, after Haley complained via tweet: "Spending my 4th in meetings all day. #ThanksNorthKorea". Oh, boo hoo -- poor Nikki had to work on a holiday!

And we'll close with the other holiday news from outside Washington. Trump's big "find some election fraud, dammit!" committee tried to corral voter identification data from all the states this week, and the pushback was eye-opening. Even Republican-led states rebelled against the sweeping nature of the request:

The bluntest statement of all came from Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R). Setting the tone for his counterparts, he announced before the commission's letter even arrived at his office that he wouldn't comply. "They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico," he said of Trump's panel. "Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our State's right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes."

Ouch.

Two Republican governors in particular were also in the news, and it's hard not to be a little bit sorry for both of them. They both, in their own unique way, tried to be Donald Trump. They were both doing a pretty good job of the whole schtick, right up until Trump himself swept them aside with his own bar-raising antics.

Chris Christie, for instance, was supposed to ride the wave of "tough-talking, take-no-crap, New York City kind of guy" all the way to the White House, only to see Trump beat him at his own game. Over the holiday, Christie saw his already-dismal approval sink lower in New Jersey, after he first shut down the government and then spent the day on a state beach that nobody else was allowed on (due to the shutdown). So now in addition to "Bridgegate," Christie's now also coined another scandal moniker: "Beachgate."

Up in Maine, Governor Paul LePage has been competing in the "craziest governor in America" contest for years, but he barely raises an eyebrow in the Age of Trump. LePage also shut his government down in a budget battle, and during the week also remarked that he loved lying to reporters just to see them write "stupid stories." In other words, creating fake news. But even this barely registered, because DID YOU SEE WHAT TRUMP JUST TWEETED...?!?

Like I said, it's a little hard not to feel sorry for these guys desperately trying to be Trump, to no real avail. Their antics would fill the airwaves for days in normal times, but these are anything but. In fact, Buzz Aldrin should have just gone ahead and changed the quote, to more accurately reflect the times we now live in: "To insanity and beyond!"

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

It was a pretty quiet week, since all the congresscritters had fled Washington. John Podesta's response to Trump's early-morning tweet was actually written while he was on a cross-country road trip, because everyone who could do so made tracks out of town.

But there was one particular tweet this week that we thought rose to the level of the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week, and it came from none other than Hillary Clinton.

Republicans seem to be in the midst of a shift in strategy on their massively-unpopular healthcare bill. They are now defending it with "at least we've got something," and are openly trolling Democrats for "not having a plan of their own." They've dug up quotes from prominent Democrats arguing that the Affordable Care Act needs some fixes, and are trying to score political points by claiming "at least we have a plan." This is essentially throwing in the towel on even pretending to defend their own plan on its merits (which is tough to do, because it doesn't have any), and are instead trying to claim some sort of virtue for coming up with a plan everyone hates. Or, in other words: "Yeah, our plan sucks, but at least we put it on paper."

How effective this will be remains to be seen, of course. To us, it sounds like a pretty hard concept to sell, but who knows? However, when they tweeted out: "Where's your plan @HillaryClinton?" it backfired badly. Here's what Clinton tweeted back, together with a link to her detailed healthcare plan from her campaign:

Right here. Includes radical provisions like how not to kick 23 mil ppl off their coverage. Feel free to run w/it

Now, Clinton obviously won this little Twitter battle, hands down. But it does bring up a good point. Up until now, Democrats have decided not to introduce their own plan to improve Obamacare, because it would just be a distraction from the trainwreck that is the Republican "repeal and replace" effort. But if Democrats get their way, eventually this effort will collapse of its own weight in Congress.

Which means that Democrats in the House and Senate really should be working diligently on their own plan right now, so that it is ready to publicly release when the political timing is right. It makes political sense not to distract from the GOP mess right now, but once that mess collapses, Democrats need to immediately start pushing their own solution. No time should be wasted, which means they'd better have something already drafted and ready to go when we get to that point. This needs to be a targeted and detailed plan, which doesn't overreach. Single-payer may be the ultimate goal, but we are just not going to get there with Republicans in charge of Congress -- what we need at this point is a short-term adjustment, not a sweeping change, in other words.

Democrats probably could just begin with Clinton's plan and tweak it here and there, in fact. She certainly gave it a lot of thought during her campaign, so while some details might need updating, it'd probably be a good place for Democrats to start from.

Which is the biggest reason why we're awarding Clinton this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week -- because she proved Republicans wrong, and because she showed Democrats that having a plan is a lot better in these political fights than not having a plan.

[Hillary Clinton is a private citizen, so you'll have to look up her contact info on your own to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

There was some disappointment on the state level this week, as California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon effectively punted on the single-payer healthcare bill that the state senate had sent him.

However, we covered all of this last week, and we haven't changed our minds on the subject. There's plenty of blame to go around here, but we still believe that the lion's share of the blame needs to go to the senate Democrats who left out the most important parts of the bill. There was nothing in it on how it would be paid for. That is not an honest attempt at lawmaking, that is mere political grandstanding. Which is what we pointed out, last week.

This week, our award goes to the messaging shop at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. This is the group in the House of Representatives with the goal of electing more Democrats to the House next year. And they pretty much shot themselves in the foot with a messaging exercise this week, coming up with such catchy slogans as (and this is sadly not a joke): "Democrats 2018 -- I mean, have you seen the other guys?"

We already had quite a few things to say about this yesterday, and we're going to address the messaging problem even further in the talking points, so there really isn't much that needs saying here, other than the person or persons responsible for such a laughable attempt at sloganeering now have their own Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. "We're not as bad as those guys" isn't going to win Democrats many elections, just to state the obvious.

[Contact the D.C.C.C. on their contact webpage, to let them know what you think of their weak attempts at crafting a winning Democratic message.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 444 (7/7/17)

Democrats are, in a rather unorganized fashion, attempting to put together a platform they can all run on in the 2018 midterm elections. Some of these efforts are better than others, as we just mentioned above. Of course, there are worse things than missing the mark on messaging -- such as, for instance, listening to any advice from Mark Penn (shudder).

Because the effort is still all over the map, though, we feel there is still a chance to help shape the message Democrats will use next year. The best effort so far (as, again, we wrote about yesterday) has been a brilliant rebranding of a very old (and very successful) political slogan. Democrats should indeed consider constructing a platform under the banner of "A Better Deal."

Being anti-Trump isn't going to do it. Being anti-Republican isn't going to do it. "Resist!" is a good street slogan, but to run for office means actually having better ideas for how to fix societal problems. Obstructionism is fine while in the minority, but to convince voters to give you back the majority in Congress again means coming up with a better deal for as many Americans as possible.

So far, there is no flesh on these bones, though. It's a great slogan if-and-only-if Democrats come up with a fully-formed better deal to brag about. Thankfully, there are all sorts of things they could attach to this slogan.

What follows are our ideas for how to flesh out a Democratic platform for 2018. It's not that tough, because it is similar to other Democratic ideas which have long been goals for the party. But these ideas need to be bold, and they need to be promises. Nancy Pelosi has already reportedly promised that if Democrats get the House back, she'll pass a $15-an-hour minimum wage bill within the first 100 days. That's the type of commitment we need right now. So, in no particular order, here are our top seven ideas for planks in the 2018 Democratic platform.

 

1
   Raise it now!

Not every Democrat is going to get on board with $15-an-hour, but it should at the very least be a target worth attempting.

"The first thing Democrats will do if we win Congress back is to raise the minimum wage. Everyone deserves a wage they can live on. No one with a full-time job should have to rely on food stamps or take a second job just to survive. They deserve a better deal. With the dignity of work comes the responsibility to compensate such work at a reasonable level. The minimum wage has not risen for eight years, and we think it's time everyone gets a raise. Throughout the recovery, the stock market has boomed and corporations have done quite well, but wages have not gone up. By raising the lowest wage, this will put upward pressure on the mid-level wages as well, as the rising tide lifts all the boats. The biggest single thing we can do to improve the fairness of the American economy is to raise the minimum wage now!

 

2
   Reopen factories

This will be especially relevant if all of Trump's promises on this front turn out to be largely false (like the one at the Carrier plant).

"Democrats want not just good education and worker training in hard-hit areas, we want to see actual, good jobs return to small-town America. There are plenty of opportunities for this to happen, in booming industries such as solar, wind, and other renewable power. We want to offer a big tax break to any company that reopens a plant in small-town America, so that people who used to assemble refrigerators can learn how to assemble giant wind turbines and solar panels. People in towns that have declined after a major factory closure should get not just more education, but actual jobs right where they live. They need a better deal, and they need it right away. High-tech jobs cannot only be offered in Silicon Valley and coastal metropolises. We need to get those left behind in the new economy up and working again, with generous enticements for companies to revitalize towns by reopening factories and development centers."

 

3
   Two weeks' paid vacation for all

This seems obvious, even if we've personally never heard anyone (not even Bernie Sanders) champion this issue.

"There are two things Democrats can offer to the hardest-working Americans: money and time. We'll raise the minimum wage which will have a beneficial ripple effect on all wages, and we will also pass a bill mandating two weeks of paid vacation for all full-time workers. Just like with healthcare, the entire rest of the industrialized world is far ahead of us in what workers are guaranteed, and we think American workers deserve a better deal. Two vacation weeks is even far behind what workers in other countries are guaranteed, in fact. Some European countries guarantee five or six weeks off for all their workers -- even the ones working at the bottom of the economic ladder. So we don't feel it's too much to ask of American businesses to give workers two weeks off -- with pay -- every year. Part-time workers would accrue vacation time as well, on a pro-rated basis. Anyone willing to work 49 weeks out of the year deserves the other two weeks off, without taking a hit in the paycheck. Period."

 

4
   Medicare for all (who want it)

We've written on this recently as well, because we think bringing back "the public option" is a dandy idea.

"Rather than destroy tens of millions of American lives to give the ultra-wealthy a tax cut they don't need, Democrats want to bring back the public option. We want everyone to have the choice of signing up for Medicare, along with their other health insurance options. We're not going to force anyone onto the system that doesn't want to be there, but we will fight hard to make this choice available for everyone. It's 'Medicare for all -- who want it,' in other words. If Republicans are truly upset about health care exchanges with limited or no choices, then they should join us in actually giving Americans a better deal."

 

5
   Tuition-free college

Bernie was right on this one. It's a very big deal for millions of families.

"Democrats have the goal of offering state college to all, tuition-free. In today's world, a high school education just isn't enough, and we don't want to see one young adult being denied the opportunity for a higher education through lack of money to pay the tuition. They deserve a better deal than that. It will be a Democratic priority to provide funding for every state to offer their community and state colleges to all, tuition-free. It won't happen overnight, but we need to begin this process as soon as possible. Graduating with a mountain of debt is holding an entire generation back, and we want to make sure the next generation doesn't have this weight put upon them in the first place. How many more families could send their kids to college if they knew it was tuition-free?"

 

6
   Comprehensive immigration reform

Democrats might be inclined to shy away from this issue next year, but that would be a mistake.

"America's immigration system is pathetically inadequate to do its job. Democrats want to see comprehensive immigration reform to fix all parts of the system, instead of just obsessing over our southern border. Republicans blithely tell immigrants: 'if you follow the rules, we will welcome you,' but few Republicans are actually aware of what this truly means. They see becoming a legal resident as something akin to a trip to the D.M.V. to get a driver's license. It is about 10,000 times worse than that, though. Some people waiting to become legal residents have to wait twenty years to even get an interview. Backlogs are so enormous that the system has all but ground to a halt. Democrats will give Republicans some more money for border security if they'll agree to devote enough money to fix the backlog once and for all. If the process actually worked, and if both temporary workers and permanent immigrants could have their paperwork processed in a reasonable amount of time, then people would follow the system like they're supposed to. Offering them a better deal than waiting decades needs to be a priority. Until Republicans even admit the scope of the problem, this will remain impossible. Democrats want to fix the whole system, which is why we need comprehensive immigration reform."

 

7
   Repeal prohibition!

When, oh when are Democrats going to realize this is now a winning issue for them?

"Democrats will repeal the federal prohibition rules on marijuana. Period. We will move enforcement of marijuana regulations to the department that already deals with tobacco and alcohol, where it belongs. Pot is now legal on the streets of Washington D.C., and more and more states are deliberately ignoring federal laws by legalizing medical and even recreational use of marijuana. The federal War On Weed is perhaps the biggest waste of federal money in our entire history, and it has utterly, utterly failed. Taxpayers deserve a better deal than throwing more billions of dollars at this unsolvable problem. With our new attorney general making noises that he's ready to return to the days of Nancy Reagan, it becomes imperative to remove all temptation to revive a stupid and pointless 'war' on people for possessing a plant. Leave it to the states! Treat weed like alcohol! When Prohibition ended, each state created their own laws on alcohol's sale and use. Most American states are now already doing this with marijuana. The federal government needs to completely get out of the way of these states' efforts and experiments. Democrats will repeal the prohibition on marijuana. Democrats will end the federal War On Weed, once and for all."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

95 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [444] -- To Insanity And Beyond!”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Which is the biggest reason why we're awarding Clinton this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week -- because she proved Republicans wrong, and because she showed Democrats that having a plan is a lot better in these political fights than not having a plan.

    Which is actually why Trump may be in the oval office for seven and a half more years.

    Because the Democrats have nothing to offer on anything beyond a inane tweet about having some sort of mysterious plan.

    God help the idea of America ...

  2. [2] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Because the Democrats have nothing to offer on anything beyond a inane tweet about having some sort of mysterious plan.

    It's an actual plan, Liz, not a mysterious one. And it has a lot of good ideas, like a public option, and curbing direct-to-consumer prescription advertising by ending the tax deduction that drug companies get for doing it.

    I'm well aware that you're not a Hillary fan Liz, but a knee-jerk reaction like that betrays your otherwise pragmatic reputation.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, Balthasar, I am well aware of that.

    But, how many Americans are aware of that? Hmmm?

    I would advise Hillary (and Obama for that matter) to do more that tweet about their ideas for healthcare, for Pete's sake!!!

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    that=than

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks for missing the point.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Tell me, Balthasar, what have President Obama and Secretary Clinton done in the past 5+ months to put forward their ideas Re. Obamacare and what changes need to be made to make that system work better?

    What have either of them done - or any Democrat, for that matter - to outline a pragmatic and effective alternative to what the congressional Republicans are trying to do?

    Collectively, they have done NOTHING!!!

    And, THAT is why I am so frustrated and why I now believe that we are all in for another seven and a half years of Trump.

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If Hillary and Obama and the rest of Team Democrat actually cared about healthcare and how to fix the problematic areas of Obamacare and how to pave the road for single payer, then they would be doing more than publishing inane tweets.

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Balthasar,

    I believe Hillary Clinton would have made a fine president. Her congressional testimony Re. Benghazi was quite impressive as were her talks at various think tanks (one she did at Brookings stands out for me).

    My complaint is not with Hillary - it's with the absolute ineptitude with which she ran her last campaign for president and how she handled her email situation from the get-go.

    This is hardly a knee-jerk reaction on my part. All through the 2016 campaign I was advocating for any number of changes in the way she was running her campaign because I could see where it was going and it wasn't a pretty picture.

  9. [9] 
    neilm wrote:

    what have President Obama and Secretary Clinton done in the past 5+ months to put forward their ideas Re. Obamacare

    Thankfully none. We need a new generation of thinkers and leaders and Obama and Hillary hanging around will suck even more air out of the room.

    There is a gaping opportunity for a new Democratic leader to emerge - and he or she needs to be in their 40's not their 70's. I'm not being agist because I'm well past my 40's, however there are two generations of Americans who have not seen a politician of their age group play a leadership role in the Democratic Party.

  10. [10] 
    neilm wrote:

    How about getting somebody like Mhairi Black who was elected to the U.K. parliament before she would have been served a drink in the U.S.?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mhairi_Black

    She is quite the firebrand.

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, Neil, any thoughts about what Jerry Brown in up to ... ??

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, Neil, any thoughts about what Jerry Brown is up to ... ??

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's not about age, it's about vision and the courage to carry out that vision.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    BTW, Hillary had neither of those.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, if she had them, she kept them to herself.

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    FBI arrests Omaha man accused of threatening U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst

    The Omaha office of the FBI has arrested a man accused of making threats against U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.

    The 64-year-old Omaha man was apprehended by the FBI on Friday after he was accused of threatening to assault Ernst.

    The man is in custody and will be transported to Council Bluffs for an initial court appearance, the FBI said.

    A U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman said, “We don’t comment on ongoing investigations.”
    http://www.omaha.com/news/crime/fbi-arrests-omaha-man-accused-of-threatening-u-s-sen/article_3d24352a-6334-11e7-8aa5-174a1c4866a5.html

    Democrats.. :^/

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    Balthy,

    It's an actual plan, Liz, not a mysterious one. And it has a lot of good ideas, like a public option, and curbing direct-to-consumer prescription advertising by ending the tax deduction that drug companies get for doing it.

    And, apparently (except for the loons in California) the American people resoundingly and DEVASTATINGLY rejected NOT-45's so-called alleged "plan"....

    THAT'S the part you simply don't get and can't... WON'T accept...

  18. [18] 
    michale wrote:

    JM,

    If All those Republicans in Congress who were conducting so many multiple investigations of Hillary over Benghazi, were really concerned about diplomatic security, WHY were they CUTTING funding for security for State Department diplomatic missions AFTER Benghazi??? Care to explain that HYPOCRISY to me???

    So, let me get this straight..

    You CAN'T address the original point about the difference between military ops vs NOT-45's totally massive frak-up so you go off on some non-sequitor bender about how it was Ambassador Steven's fault he got himself and 3 other Americans killed..

    When I prove THAT to be complete and utter felgercarb, you try and deflect by blaming the GOP because they cut State Dept funding..

    Do I have that right???

  19. [19] 
    michale wrote:

    And, apparently (except for the loons in California)

    Present company excepted, of course.. :D

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Thankfully none. We need a new generation of thinkers and leaders and Obama and Hillary hanging around will suck even more air out of the room.

    There is a gaping opportunity for a new Democratic leader to emerge - and he or she needs to be in their 40's not their 70's. I'm not being agist because I'm well past my 40's, however there are two generations of Americans who have not seen a politician of their age group play a leadership role in the Democratic Party.

    Yer in for a rude awakening, my friend..

    That group you are talking about is going to vote GOP...

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    my reading of the tea leaves (ahem, polls) for 2018:

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/2018_generic_congressional_vote-6185.html

    generic ballot has dems up 7.2%

    the partisan gerrymander from 2010 redistricting gives the gop approximately a 9% advantage in seats.

    conservative leaning scotus will uphold the gerrymander, not necessarily for political advantage, but because the constitution doesn't say anything about it.

    therefore, dems pick up around 15 seats but gop holds the house by a margin of around 10 seats.

    JL

  22. [22] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    my overall 2018 prediction:

    (R)223 - 212(D)

  23. [23] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Democrats promising a better deal or coming up with a re-branding will be nothing more than the empty promises that their promises have always been and re-branding is not the rebuilding that Democrats need to do. The rebuilding would require removing all the Clinton/Pelosi Big Money Democrats from the party.

    1. Raising the minimum wage won't hurt, but it won't help much either. It is a solution for the past, not the future.
    The reality of the future is that we have reached the point where automation and globalization have made it so there are just not enough jobs for all the people all the time. Instead of getting the benefit of the automation that we were promised it has been used against us to keep wages low.
    The future that is now requires that everyone get a basic income and those that want to earn more can work for more. The old way does not work in the new economy.

    2.Tax breaks for reopening a factory? Again, a plan from the past that never really worked in the old economy and that will not work in the present or future.

    3.Two weeks paid vacation. See my comment on point one. This proposal is 50 weeks short.

    4. Public option is the goal, not the stepping stone to single payer.

    5. Bernie was WRONG!!!!!!!!!
    The problem is that we are sending too many people to college. The reason for sending everyone to college is based on the recruiting tool that people that go to college earn more over the course of their work life than high school graduates. Somehow this became dogma without asking WHY people that went to college made more and morphed into the unspoken axiom that somehow people with only a high school degree do not deserve to earn a living for their work.
    People made more because they went to college to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. These jobs required more skills and there were a limited number of these jobs that needed to be filled.
    The theory was sending everyone to college would mean everyone would get higher paying jobs ignoring the basic rules of supply and demand.
    If you send 1500 people to college for the 1000 jobs available and end up with 1200 or so graduates, those jobs will be high paying jobs and most of those 1200 graduates will be able to pay their loans.
    If you send 10,000 people, 20,000 people etc. to college for those 1000 jobs the jobs will not be high paying jobs and the majority of the people that went to college will not be able to pay off their loans.
    Free college does not solve the problem of sending too many people to college or not enough jobs for everybody- it just makes it worse.
    This is again a solution for the past that will not work in the present or future.

    6. As long as we have only two Big Money bad choices these kind of issues will never be solved. They like having workers with no rights they can use to help keep wages lower.

    7. Democrats can make all the promises they want- but why should anyone believe them? That is their problem and why they need to get rid of the Big Money Democrats and their empty promises.

    Maybe it's time to update the Friday Talking Points. After all, talking points are a means of selling the Democratic Party and the Big Money Democrats are not worth selling because they are really only good at selling the rest of us out.
    Or at least balance the farce of FTP with Thursday Action Points (TAP) on things like One Demand, Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, etc that are trying to get the Big Money out of our political process.
    These groups may not be perfect in their approaches or ideas or have all the answers to every problem- but they do offer "A Better Deal" than either the Big Money Democrats or Republicans.
    Try this slogan on for size:
    "Let's TAP the potential of American citizens and democracy."

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    Thankfully none. We need a new generation of thinkers and leaders and Obama and Hillary hanging around will suck even more air out of the room.

    Thankfully?

    Where is this new generation of thinkers and leaders and what have they done in the past 5+ months to put forward their ideas about healthcare and how the problematic Obamacare can be fixed?

    Btw, Obama and Clinton aren't sucking any air out of the room these days ...

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... and, until that new generation you speak of steps up to the plate, that's a problem.

  26. [26] 
    michale wrote:

    Btw, Obama and Clinton aren't sucking any air out of the room these days ...

    Maybe you missed Obama's Indonesian speech where he claimed that patriotism is a bad thing.. On the 4th Of July, no less..

    Or this little gem about NOT-45..

    Waaaa!!! Waaaa!!!!! I wanna play too!!!!
    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/341052-hillary-clinton-looks-for-her-role-in-midterms

    No, the idea that Obama and NOT-45 are going to fade away, as they should, is just wishful thinking on the part of the Left...

  27. [27] 
    Bclancy wrote:

    "It's not about age, it's about vision and the courage to carry out that vision."

    Exactly. Look at some of the younger Democrats like Corey Booker. Is he more innovative and courageous than Brown? I remember the primaries when for a while a lot of folks in the mainstream media though Marco Rubio was the "face of the future of the Republican Party". But Rubio couldn't be more conventional and blah. Media types just assumed he was "the future" because he was young(for a politician) and good looking(for a politician. Let's face it, not a high bar). But love him or hate him, it was Trump who was the future of the party. Point is, being young doesn't necessarily correlate to having an innovative or modern approach to politics or policy ideas. And being older doesn't necessarily correlate with being staid or establishment.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Maybe you missed Obama's Indonesian speech where he claimed that patriotism is a bad thing.. On the 4th Of July, no less..

    Well, it was actually on July 1st and I'm pretty sure he didn't say that because it simply doesn't ring true.

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    Well, it was actually on July 1st

    4th of July holiday weekend...

    and I'm pretty sure he didn't say that because it simply doesn't ring true.

    It IS what he said.. And of course it doesn't ring true...

    But it's to be expected from Barack GOD-DAMN-AMERICA Obama...

  30. [30] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Maybe you missed Obama's Indonesian speech where he claimed that patriotism is a bad thing.. On the 4th Of July, no less..

    I can never figure out if you are just wrong or if you are a trying to be a dishonest sack of dicks when you make comments like this. If you read what was actually said instead of just trusting what your alt.right sites claim Obama "meant" by what he said, you'd see that there is a big difference

    Obama warned of “an aggressive kind of nationalism” and “increased resentment of minority groups” that is occurring in some countries. He never said that patriotism was a bad thing.

  31. [31] 
    michale wrote:

    claim Obama "meant" by what he said, you'd see that there is a big difference

    You always have SPIN that puts Odumbo in the most perfect light possible..

    Just like with his YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT and IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR YOU CAN KEEP YOUR DOCTOR...

    You can *NEVER* concede when Odumbo screws up...

    You're like a religious fanatic who claims god is perfect...

    If, in YOUR mind, Odumbo is perfect in every way, how can you POSSIBLY claim to have a firm grasp of reality??

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    I mean, seriously.. Take a step outside yer Party bigotry and look at things with the cool cold eye of logic and objectivity..

    Either Democrats are *ALWAYS* right about everything and the GOP is *ALWAYS* wrong about everything... An impossibility...

    OR....

    You are simply incapable of being objective about ANYTHING to do with Democrats or Republicans...

    When one employs Occam's Razor, the answer is quite clear...

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    I can never figure out if you are just wrong or if you are a trying to be a dishonest sack of dicks when you make comments like this.

    That's because you START with the concept that Odumbo is PERFECT in every way and THEN go from there...

    That's why you are so confused...

    Because if Odumbo *WAS* the leader you THINK he is, we would be dealing with President NOT-45...

    Since we're not, you are obviously wrong about Odumbo specifically and the Dumbocrat Party in general...

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's because you START with the concept that Odumbo is PERFECT in every way and THEN go from there...

    No, Michale.

    I start from the concept that President Obama is a decent human being with a lot of common sense.

    I also start from the concept that the assertions you make about him come from fake news reports, that you only read the headlines, and that you refuse to think critically when it comes to the former president or to many issues.

    Btw, the fake news reports you rely on so often are geared to the ill-informed and gullible. Which should offend you. :)

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This has nothing to do with spin, Michale.

    It has to do with being able to think critically and understand the meaning of words and sentences.

    I tried for a half hour to find anything remotely resembling a transcript or video of his holiday weekend Indonesian speech and could not. Did you have better luck?

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not only did Obama not say that patriotism was a bad thing, according to reliable news outlets such as the Guardian, he advocated for respecting others and tolerance and for Muslim nations working with the West in the struggle against terrorism.

    Did any of your news sources indicate that, Michale?

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale[33],

    You can't possibly be serious!

    Are you okay? Seriously?

  38. [38] 
    michale wrote:

    "OK, let's brass some tacks here.."
    -Metatron, SUPERNATURAL

    Does anyone here see any similarity with the actions of the Left Wingery vis a vis President Trump and the actions of the Right Wingery vis a vis Obama??

    Of course, the Right didn't go on a shooting spree specifically trying to assassinate Democrats...

    But beyond that..

    Is there any similarity at all between the Right's ODS and the Left PTDS??

  39. [39] 
    michale wrote:

    I start from the concept that President Obama is a decent human being with a lot of common sense.

    I wasn't talking about you... :D

    But even THAT position is whacked..

    Where was the "common sense" when he blatantly lied to millions of Americans about being able to keep their health insurance???

    I also start from the concept that the assertions you make about him come from fake news reports

    For example....????

    he advocated for respecting others and tolerance

    Where is the respect and tolerance for President Trump??

    Let's face reality.. When Obama advocates for "respect" and "tolerance" what he is REALLY saying is respect and tolerance for ONLY those who thinks as he does...

    If Obama had ANY respect, he would take a lesson from President Bush on how a FORMER President is supposed to act...

    But with Obama, it's ALL about Obama and to hell with the country...

  40. [40] 
    michale wrote:

    I also note that there was no condemnation from Obama of the assassination attempt by Bernie Supporter James Hodgkison..

    If Obama wants to preach tolerance and respect, maybe Obama should point out to Democrats that it's not nice to go on a shooting rampage and specifically target Republicans...

    Or maybe Obama is just too busy having fun on his whirlwind celebrity vacations to even care....

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    It appears you have an Obama obsession.

  42. [42] 
    michale wrote:

    It appears you have an Obama obsession.

    No more than ya'all have a Trump obsession..

    No more than the entirety of the Left had a Bush obsession during the Obama years...

    Ya'all set the rules...

    I just play by them....

    But honestly, don't you consider it odd that Obama didn't voice any condemnation for the mass shooting by a Democrat Bernie Bro...

    It's almost as if Obama didn't care...

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If Obama had made a public statement about another mass shooting in the US I know precisely what you would be saying about it.

    The same thing you have always said every single time Obama says something about a shooting.

    You're not fooling anyone, Michale.

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Btw, you didn't say whether you had found a clip showing Obama's speech and what he actually said, or a transcript or anything ... I haven't been able to find one ... ??

  45. [45] 
    michale wrote:

    If Obama had made a public statement about another mass shooting in the US I know precisely what you would be saying about it.

    Probably because Obama can't say ANYTHING about a mass shooting, other than to push an Anti-American and Anti-gun political agenda that has NOTHING to do with saving lives from gun violence...

  46. [46] 
    michale wrote:

    Btw, you didn't say whether you had found a clip showing Obama's speech and what he actually said, or a transcript or anything ... I haven't been able to find one ... ??

    I didn't have any problem...

    https://www.google.com/#q=Obama+knocks+patriotism+on+4th+of+july

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks for assuming I'm an idiot. I'm done here.

  48. [48] 
    michale wrote:

    Thanks for assuming I'm an idiot.

    I would NEVER!!! :^*

  49. [49] 
    michale wrote:

    Maxine Waters: ‘I’m taking the gloves off’ on Trump
    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/341098-maxine-waters-im-taking-the-gloves-off-on-trump

    As long as she ain't taking her shoes and socks off!!! :D

  50. [50] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Just like with his YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT and IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR YOU CAN KEEP YOUR DOCTOR...

    You can *NEVER* concede when Odumbo screws up...

    I have no problem conceding that Obama screwed up at times, and neither did Obama. He admitted that he was wrong to claim that if you liked your doctor that you'd get to keep them -- mainly because he had no control over that. The ACA was written in a way that specifically prevented insurance providers from HAVING to drop plans people were already on, and that is why he made the claim. However, he never considered that the insurance companies might choose to drop pre-existing plans in favor of new ones that made them more money. Obama was wrong, and he admitted to that mistake and apologized for it.

    You are wrong once again.

  51. [51] 
    michale wrote:

    I have no problem conceding that Obama screwed up at times, and neither did Obama. He admitted that he was wrong to claim that if you liked your doctor that you'd get to keep them -- mainly because he had no control over that. The ACA was written in a way that specifically prevented insurance providers from HAVING to drop plans people were already on, and that is why he made the claim. However, he never considered that the insurance companies might choose to drop pre-existing plans in favor of new ones that made them more money. Obama was wrong, and he admitted to that mistake and apologized for it.

    You are wrong once again.

    Like I said..

    You always spin it so Odumbo is right and everyone else is wrong.. :D

    The sure sign of a Party zealot....

  52. [52] 
    michale wrote:

    A NON zealot would have said..

    "Obama screwed up... Obama lied" and left it at that...

    But you have to mitigate, extenuate and spin everything...

  53. [53] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Don [23],

    The problem is that we are sending too many people to college.

    How can this be a problem? You aren't suggesting that jobs are going unfilled because the people who would fill it are in school, so I am not sure why it is a problem for people to seek a higher education. The medical profession is going to need a large number of workers to take care of our growing number of elderly that are living longer lives. Teachers are needed in lots of communities. While I realize that there are plenty of majors that are crap and don't offer much hope for finding a good paying job after graduation -- Art History & Philosophy are two that come to mind -- getting a good paying job tends to be easier to find with a degree than without one.

    Are you a college graduate? I'm just curious because I have an uncle that is always making this argument. He is also the only one of my father's siblings that did not go to college.

  54. [54] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Obama was wrong. How did I spin anything? You are wrong, again.

    But thanks for answering that question I was wondering about... It's clear you've chosen the dishonest sack of dicks route.

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed.

  56. [56] 
    John M wrote:

    Don Harris wrote:

    "5. Bernie was WRONG!!!!!!!!!
    The problem is that we are sending too many people to college."

    What if it was not ONLY college? What if you got a stipend or a voucher from the government, that you could then use to go back to college and get another degree, or get your first degree, whether you are 18 years old or 50 years old. Or medical school. Become a doctor if you agree to go into say family practice in a small rural town for a minimum of two years afterward. You'd be required to sign a contract to do so before getting your voucher. Or, why doesn't it even have to be college? It could be a vocational school. Learn how to be a welder or a hairdresser if you want and you think that's your passion. Same thing.

  57. [57] 
    michale wrote:

    Obama was wrong. How did I spin anything?

    First off, Obama WASN'T wrong.. He lied. He was briefed MANY times that upwards of 15-20 million Americans would LOSE their health insurance.. But he kept on spewing the lies..

    Secondly, you DIDN'T just say "Obama was wrong".. If you had, even though it's bullshit, that would have been SOMEWHAT redeeming..

    What you DID say was "Obama was wrong, but it wasn't really his fault because everyone knows that Obama is perfect"...

    In other words, you excused the fact that Odumbo lied and tried to make it like he was the hero..

    EXACTLY like a Party zealot does...

    You are wrong, again.

    That's your claim.. But it's the claim of a Party zealot who has absolutely NO FACTS to back it up..

    But thanks for answering that question I was wondering about... It's clear you've chosen the dishonest sack of dicks route.

    Just as you have chosen the Party Bigot/Zealot route..

    I would rather be a sack of dicks than a Party slave and bigot...

  58. [58] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "You CAN'T address the original point about the difference between military ops vs NOT-45's totally massive frak-up so you go off on some non-sequitor bender about how it was Ambassador Steven's fault he got himself and 3 other Americans killed..

    When I prove THAT to be complete and utter felgercarb, you try and deflect by blaming the GOP because they cut State Dept funding.."

    I ALREADY DID address the original point. But as usual, you either fail or refuse to see it, because it totally refutes and contradicts your fun of just bashing everyone with a "D" after their names.

    MULTIPLE investigations cleared Clinton and Obama of being directly at fault for what happened in Benghazi. But for whatever reason you can't see to either accept that or to let it go.

    You really can't say that Ambassador Stevens bears no personal responsibility for breaking protocol and ignoring standard operating procedures? Is that what YOU are really trying to say?

    You did't PROVE anything. And regarding the ops in Yemen, which is a total non sequitor vs Benghazi, all you did was mouth a bunch of empty platitudes about how great a commander Trump is, as usual, when Trump couldn't even figure out how to use a latrine on his own without having some poor slob hold his hand and help him find things in the dark.

  59. [59] 
    michale wrote:

    This is, incidentally, why the Democrat Party has found itself in the WORST position it has been in in over a hundred years..

    Because people like ya'all refuse to hold ya'all's Party leaders accountable when the screw up..

    Ya'all DEFEND their screw-ups and continue to elect them and then wonder why ya'all can't get quality leaders...

    Ya'all get the leaders you deserve....

  60. [60] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Need a plank that addresses the special issues that veterans and their families have. Several come to mind.

    Point #2 looks at a problem that is fix-able, but the fix offered doesn't do it. Bringing factories back to small-town America is a pipe dream akin to bringing back coal jobs.

    Point #1 needs to be two parts. You've outlined the first part well, but the second part needs to be legislating a middle-class overtime fix b/c Obama was too slow in implementing one and it's now on hold.

  61. [61] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    I have to agree (in part) w Michale (59). Someone recently said (I'm paraphrasing) in response to the Osloff campaign: When a GOP consultant loses, we take them out and shoot them (metaphorically, of course). When a Dem consultant loses, they rehire them.

    IMHO the best thing the GOP did when they took the House was to institute term limits on Committee Chairs. This really enabled the next gen to move up. Dems have no mechanism to allow that. Seniority is everything to the Dems, much to the our detriment.

  62. [62] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    "best" = "smartest"

  63. [63] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Some of my thoughts relate to DH [23], but I think he's mistaken in places.

    #1: Don't think that UBI is the way to go and am pretty sure it's not politically feasible at the moment. Something akin to WPA is much more do-able and serves a similar purpose. At some point, this was CW's point and I agree with him.

    #5: Santorum ('12) also spoke about College not being necessary for all. He was wrong, as is DH. University may not be right for all, but some college (i.e. 2-Yr) is necessary in today's world. I teach at a CC and we have auto programs and a welding program and other programs like that. The truth is that in today's world, you can't do auto repair without some College (e.g. we now plug a car into a computer to do diagnostics); you can't do Manufacturing without some College, even if it is dedicated career-tech ed. We used to do that in HS's, but we don't any more. Therefore, people need at least some post-HS edu.

  64. [64] 
    neilm wrote:

    The truth is that in today's world, you can't do auto repair without some College

    This is why our current policy of importing graduates is short sighted.

    I want to be careful with my words here, so give me some latitude. Asians' income is higher than Whites, which is higher than Blacks and Latinos (see http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/06/27/1-demographic-trends-and-economic-well-being/). I work with a lot of top quality engineers who immigrated from India, China, Taiwan, etc. and I'd speculate that part of the difference between White and Asian income is due to this group (note: I'm a post grad immigrant from the U.K.).

    We cannot blame companies for bringing in talent if they cannot find it here. There are claims that companies undercut American graduates with cheaper Asian immigrants, but that is only at the most junior levels and a simple minimum salary for H-1s would fix this if it is a problem, however the demand in the Bay Area alone for well educated talent far outstrips the H-1 visa program numbers.

    We are creating the next generation of the "left behind" because the cost for tertiary education is beyond most people. It cost me about $100,000 to put each of my kids thru 4 years of state school in California and I saved for 15 years to be able to afford it, and all of them worked while at school and are either through in less than 4 years or on target to do so.

    We need to invest in the health and education of America. Not because we are "liberals" but because we are Americans who want American capitalism to win - you know, like Republicans used to want before the Church took them over.

  65. [65] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    neilm, you make good points. The cost of educating your kids was a conscious decision. As gov of CA, Reagan debated with Clark Kerr (Chancellor of UC, I think) in the '60s. He wanted to shift the cost of higher education away from the State and more onto students. As Prez, he made that happen (with loads of help from the "protect NE schools" sellout Ted Kennedy).

    Now, the gov't (local, states, feds) cover less of the cost and we all have student loan debt and good higher edu is prohibitively expensive.

    Lower corp taxes help ensure a lower-quality talent pool requiring H-1s. Perhaps the answer is those businesses pay the taxes necessary to educate a US workforce. Just saying.

  66. [66] 
    neilm wrote:
  67. [67] 
    michale wrote:

    Jacques: When liberal policies flop

    Here’s what $15 an hour actually looks like in practice. In 2014, Seattle passed a measure to raise its minimum wage to $15 (gradually), and it has provided researchers with excellent data of what each pay jump means for area employers and workers.

    It doesn’t look good. Researchers from the University of Washington have found that although employees are indeed making more an hour, they have also seen a 9 percent loss in hours worked. For workers in Seattle, that amounts to $125 a month. The research team also estimates a loss of 5,000 low-wage jobs (a 6.8 percent decline) because of the wage mandate.

    In addition to the burden on employers, especially small businesses, these high wages are also harming low-skilled workers who need experience, as employers will aim to hire someone “worth” $15.
    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/ingrid-jacques/2017/07/08/jacques-liberal-policies-flop/103531694/

    As I have always said and the FACTS bear out..

    Democrat policies ALWAYS sound good in theory.. That's why they most always poll so well...

    But, in reality, they are simply non-workable, unsustainable and, more often then not, have the OPPOSITE effect, hurting the very people they are proposed to help...

  68. [68] 
    michale wrote:

    Neil and S2 re: 64 & 65

    How do ya'all reconcile ya'all's great and dead on ballz accurate comments with ya'all's support for illegal immigrants and illegal immigration??

    Those two positions are diametrically opposite and I am sincerely curious how you reconcile those two positions..

  69. [69] 
    michale wrote:

    JM,

    I ALREADY DID address the original point. But as usual, you either fail or refuse to see it, because it totally refutes and contradicts your fun of just bashing everyone with a "D" after their names.

    No you did not...

    You said NOTHING re: the differences between military operations and civilians being brutally murdered due to lack of security arrangements..

    MULTIPLE investigations cleared Clinton and Obama of being directly at fault for what happened in Benghazi. But for whatever reason you can't see to either accept that or to let it go.

    And, once again, you ignore my point.

    Odumbo and Clinton *LIED* about what caused Benghazi..

    Can you address that??? No, you cannot..

    You really can't say that Ambassador Stevens bears no personal responsibility for breaking protocol and ignoring standard operating procedures? Is that what YOU are really trying to say?

    I am asking you for FACTS to support that claim...

    But you have none, so you simply go off on a tangent and blame the victim...

    You did't PROVE anything. And regarding the ops in Yemen, which is a total non sequitor vs Benghazi,

    I completely agree that it's totally NON-SEQUITOR.. *I* am not the one who brought it up.. It was either Balthy or Listen who brought up that comparison..

    The fact that it's completely non-sequitor *WAS* my original point and I am glad we agree on that...

    Thank you for FINALLY addressing my point and double thank you for agreeing with it.. :D

  70. [70] 
    michale wrote:

    College law professor is found guilty of sexual harassment because he gave students a question about a bikini wax
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4679476/Professor-guilty-sexual-harassment-test-question.html

    This is the kind of world that Odumbo and the Dumbocrats have given us..

    It's no wonder President Trump won the election!

  71. [71] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen (53)-
    No, I did not go to college. When I grajudated high school in the 70s it was still possible to earn a living without a college degree.
    But if you went to college, why can't you understand the basic concept of supply and demand?
    The fact that so many college graduates can't find jobs that pay enough to pay off their loans that free college is being considered disproves the theory that college is a good investment- which is the selling point you keep repeating. It may work for some in some circumstances, but it does not translate to everybody.
    It's like saying let's teach everyone to play football and then everyone will get a job in the NFL and make 10 million dollars a year. We actually do that and yet most of the college players never play in the NFL at all and many of those few that do don't make 10 million a year.

  72. [72] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    you're partially right. however, supply and demand operate differently in factor markets than they do in product markets. the demand for natural resources, tools for production and human labor depends on whether those factors can be used to produce a wanted good or service. at the moment our country has a massive surplus of unskilled or semi-skilled labor, and a shortage of highly skilled labor. labor that is skilled but not specialized is still in demand, but market forces make it cost too much to pay for enough labor to safely meet production demand.

    thus, the problem is not a surplus of university education, it's high cost of education combined with the low cost of goods and services. not enough citizens can afford to continue their education to levels of quality that are sufficient for factor markets, so people with more limited college education are saddled with more debt than their value on factor markets can sustain. firms end up having to import or outsource their skilled labor in order to afford to produce their goods and services.

    JL

  73. [73] 
    Paula wrote:

    Charles Pierce: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a56218/trump-junior-russian-meeting/

    Let us pause for a moment and consider the Magnitsky Act. Sergei Magnitsky was an auditor from a Russian law firm who uncovered the biggest case of tax fraud in the history of Russian kleptocratic corruption, which is something. In response, Magnitsky was arrested and put on trial for tax evasion in front of a bunch of crooks in lovely kangaroo suits. He died in prison of untreated medical problems and (probably) from being beaten to death by the good people from the Interior Ministry. In 2012, the Congress passed a law that froze the assets and effectively rendered non-persons 18 Russian officials who were tied in some way to the persecution and murder of Sergei Magnitsky. This got up the nose of Vladimir Putin, who responded by suspending the adoption of Russian children by American families. He also launched a PR blitz headed by a well-connected hack lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya. Which is where Junior comes in.

    Yep, Putin is such a cool guy -- Trumpers love him! Because their leader (Orange-man) can do no wrong even when he kisses up to a killer.

    Further:

    What I believe I see here is an incredibly corrupt American family doing business with criminal gangs that are way, way out of their league, and that are in league with the institutions of government, and the formidable security apparatus, of an authoritarian state. Talk about punching out of your weight class. This isn't cheating some poor subcontractor. These people throw you out windows. And the Trumps have being doing business in this financial abattoir for years. This doesn't make them sharp. This makes them compliant minnows in a shark tank.

  74. [74] 
    michale wrote:

    Sorry, Paula...

    It's STILL not enough to nullify the election and make NOT-45 POTUS....

    President Trump is STILL your president...

  75. [75] 
    michale wrote:

    And I am also constrained to point out that NOT-45 has a LOT more connections to Russia than President Trump has.. And they are a LOT more nefarious...

    But THOSE connections don't seem to bother you at all..

    "Gee!!! I wonder why that is!!???"
    -Kevin Spacey, THE NEGOTIATOR

  76. [76] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [78]: Following the 'Booman' link leads you to the actual quid pro quo:

    The key figure in the whole thing, Denis Katsyv, was represented by Natalia Veselnitskaya who was in the meeting with Trump’s inner circle..

    Preet Bharara was of course fired while conducting [a case against Katsyv] and it was recently settled for about 6 million dollars without Katsyv or his companies having to acknowledge any guilt.

    I would like to know who exactly was involved in setting up the plea deal with Katsyv. That could be interesting.

    The hilarious part of this sordid affair is that Don Jr. seems to be as guileless as his father, when it comes to denials - he's managed instead to have confirmed many of the most damning details from the press reports.

  77. [77] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    M [75]: And I am also constrained to point out that NOT-45 has a LOT more connections to Russia than President Trump has.. And they are a LOT more nefarious...

    C'mon M. It's mid-summer - could you restrain yourself from blowing so much hot air? That sort of vague "you too-ism" might hold some water over in the jungle swamp of the right, but out here in the real world, Hillary isn't even an issue, and Trump is neck-deep in in Russian mobsters, and promoting Putin's nonsensical 'cyber-coordination' idea.

  78. [78] 
    michale wrote:
  79. [79] 
    michale wrote:

    C'mon M. It's mid-summer - could you restrain yourself from blowing so much hot air? That sort of vague "you too-ism" might hold some water over in the jungle swamp of the right, but out here in the real world, Hillary isn't even an issue, and Trump is neck-deep in in Russian mobsters, and promoting Putin's nonsensical 'cyber-coordination' idea.

    Trump's Russia connections are not an issue either...

    Ya'all don't CARE about ANY connections to Russia. If you did, you would condemn NOT-45 MORE than Trump because she has MORE connections..

    So, the issue isn't Russia..

    For ya'all and the entirety of the Left, the *ONLY* issue at work here is obstructing President Trump and making him a one term, if not impeached, POTUS..

    So, spare the BS about Russia...

    The facts CLEARLY prove beyond any doubt that ya'all don't care about Russia..

  80. [80] 
    michale wrote:

    For ya'all and the entirety of the Left, the *ONLY* issue at work here is obstructing President Trump and making him a one term, if not impeached, POTUS..

    Back when the GOP did it, ya'all screamed hysterically about ODS...

    Now that ya'all are doing it, it's perfectly acceptable..

    Hypocrisy much??

    MUCH too much....

  81. [81] 
    michale wrote:

    but out here in the real world, Hillary isn't even an issue, and Trump is neck-deep in in Russian mobsters, and promoting Putin's nonsensical 'cyber-coordination' idea.

    And there is a 98% chance that NOT-45 will win the election!!!! :D

    Howd' THAT work out for ya'all?? :D

  82. [82] 
    michale wrote:

    And ya know what's even MORE hilarious??

    If the election were held today...

    NOT-45 WOULD STILL LOSE!!!!!

    OUCH!!! That's GOTTA hurt!!!! :D

  83. [83] 
    michale wrote:

    But hay....

    If ya'all *REALLY* want to talk about Russian collusion....

    Obama’s former national security adviser, Thomas Donilon, says as much in a new interview for The Global Politico, telling me there’s “no doubt about it” that Obama should have publicly pinned the blame on the Russians much sooner and taken more aggressive steps to retaliate.
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/10/tom-donilon-global-politico-215356

    Obama colluded with Russians and gave them a pass on "hacking" the election....

    So, let's talk about Russia if ya'all really want to...

    Why would Odumbo let the Russians "hack" the election???

  84. [84] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Trump brought up Russia first, and the novel idea that their virtue lies in the fact that they praise him.

    Democrats weren't even thinking about them before that, much, and didn't even make much of Trump's odd praise for Putin until the DNC was hacked, and the fingerprints on that hack turned out to be Russian. I can't, in fact, remember a week prior to Trump's announcement that he was running for the presidency that Russia was a major story. Then Trump hired a bunch of guys who were also known for their ties to Russians - Carter page, for instance, whose name had already popped up in a NY Russian espionage case (as a dupe, no less), was the first person Trump introduced to the press as his 'National Security advisor', followed by Manafort, the lounge singer lookalike who had last been seen propping up the former would-be dictator of the Ukraine. Then Flynn. And Flynn's disproved denials of Russian contacts led to revelations that other members of Trump's inner circle had also failed to reveal meetings with Russians, including his Attorney General, his Son in Law, and now his son.

    None of any of this was the work of Democrats. The Spotlight on the Russians was put on them by Trump himself, and by those around him.

  85. [85] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump brought up Russia first, and the novel idea that their virtue lies in the fact that they praise him.

    Cite??

    None of any of this was the work of Democrats. The Spotlight on the Russians was put on them by Trump himself, and by those around him.

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night.. :D

  86. [86] 
    michale wrote:

    Don't get me wrong..

    I am ALL FOR the Dumbocrats talking about NOTHING but Russia until the 2018 mid-terms..

    NOTHING will guarantee a solid majority for the GOP in the HOUSE and SENATE than the Dumbocrats talking about Russia 24/7..... :D

    By all means.... Continue.. :D

  87. [87] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Obama should have publicly pinned the blame on the Russians much sooner and taken more aggressive steps to retaliate.

    How would that have moved the needle, exactly? You saw what happened when the heads of our intelligence community released a statement about the Russians. Trump was ready with his 'rigged election' argument, and the press was far more interested in pussy, anyway.

    I understand, however, that Obama moved aggressively behind the scenes, moves that have almost certainly been undone by now by the Russiaphiles in the White House. Obama also famously seized two compounds used by the Russians, and slapped more sanctions on them publicly. That was the action that Flynn told the Russians they shouldn't retaliate for, remember? He assured them that all that would be undone, eventually.

    But who needs fancy listening posts when you can just ask the President for whatever you need to know? I'm sure the Russians aren't worried about it.

  88. [88] 
    michale wrote:

    How would that have moved the needle, exactly?

    Why you asking me!?

    It was Odumbo's National Security Adviser who made the statement..

    Ask him!

    I understand, however, that Obama moved aggressively behind the scenes,

    Cite???

  89. [89] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I am ALL FOR the Dumbocrats talking about NOTHING but Russia until the 2018 mid-terms..

    Oh, don't worry, we won't have to. The Republicans are going to try again to shoot themselves in the head with a healthcare bill.

  90. [90] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    It was Odumbo's National Security Adviser who made the statement..Ask him!

    Yeah, I never even heard of him. I guess we disagree.

  91. [91] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    michale:

    In some other thread last week you asked about generality in my opinion that the person could legitimately have been identified in that instance.

    I'm posting here just to write that I'm not ducking the question; it's an important one. I was under the weather for a couple days, and now I'm a little swamped.

    But, spoiler alert: The partisan content of this or some mirroring hypothetical doesn't matter to me. That has inviolable aspects of protected speech; it can be placed in the arena of political cartoons. An umbrella of protection of that speech may well entail anonymity.

    However, once it was re-tweeted offically - whether potus meant it as anything but good Queens-style fun, or something more serious-- it necessarily expanded. At that point it co-joins with and absorbs aspects of a political message presented to the public. In that, it would be of a species with PAC-based tv ads, such as were threatened against Heller. HanAssholeSolo likely has not filed disclosure forms.

    Hmm. Pretty big spoiler. And I have a conference call in three minutes now. Good thing those damned things never start on time, especially on a Monday.

    The whole assertion of "extortion" by CNN is another part of this, but I should go.

    I was going fast above, and reserve the right to extend and revise my comments.

  92. [92] 
    michale wrote:

    LB,

    Sorry ta hear you weren't feeling well..

    I am also going to have to forgo any response to this or any future comment for the next couple days...

    I am taking the grandkids camping into the great unknown wilderness... May the gods have mercy on my soul...

    If I'm not back in 2 days......

    Just wait longer! :D

    "If I'm not back in 5 minutes.... Just wait longer!!"
    -Jim Carrey, ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE

    :D

  93. [93] 
    Paula wrote:

    Balthasar [76]: Also of interest, Jared Kushner was at the meeting and it is yet another meeting he didn't disclose for his security clearance. Gee, did he have so many meetings with Russians he just can't remember them all?

    Of course those security-minded pubbies have yet to do squat about Kushner's previous failures-to-disclose. But then since republicans have already sold us out to Russia what would be the point?

  94. [94] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Don,

    If there aren't jobs for those graduating from college, then why would there be jobs for those that aren't going to college? I understand the concept of "supply & demand", but as nypoet22 pointed out, it's the high cost of an education that is the problem, not having an education!

  95. [95] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [93]: Although everyone's moved on to the new thread, wanted to add something to our conversation here. Regarding Don Jr's meeting with the exotic Russian lawyer Natalya V, I imagine it went something like this:

    V: Ve have emails between ze Clintons and [REDACTED] regarding beeg donations to ze Clinton foundation. Could you use zat?

    Don Jr: Sure! That sounds nifty!

    Manafort: Actually, that's probably too specific. She could say that she solicits lots of billionaires, and that he's just one of dozens.

    Kushner: Did she contact dozens of Russians?

    V: Nyet. Only zis one, and anozer got a form latter. Democrats not wery popular vit Russian olygarchs zis days.

    Manafort: We need something that paints with a broader brush, something she can't shrug off with a quip.

    Kush: If only we could get into the DNC. Lots that we could use there.

    V: Ve hacked zem last year. Beeg snooz. Wery boring.

    (stunned silence)

    Manafort: Jesus. You have a back door to the DNC?

    V: Da. Zince last yeer. Eff-bee-aye caught hack, nobody care. Door steel vide open.

    Kushner: Anything about Bernie Sanders in there?

    V: Ve can luke for zat. I zink German voman zere not like Zanders mush. He ees Juvish, I zink, no?

    Kush: If you mean Debbie Shultz, she's a jew, too.

    V: Vell, she hits him. How you say - 'no luf lost' zere.

    Manafort: Hmm. If you could dump a bunch of emails like that onto the internet, we could make a lot of hay out of that.

    V: Okay, I tell zem: dump emails, you make hay.

    Kush: And keep us out of it. We don't want this to look like it's our doing. Try to get something from Hillary or her close advisors too.

    Manafort: Yeah, someone like Podesta, he's a bastard. Probably cursing a blue streak at Bernie right now.

    V: Hillary ees too careful. Podesta mebbe. Okay, I do. Ve dump emails, you geet Magnitsky sanctions leefted.

    Kush: We have to get into office first.

    V: Okay, but a deal ees a deal, right?

    Manafort: A deal's a deal. Don't worry. You do your part, we'll do ours.

    Don Jr.: Nifty!

    -------end scene---

    Of course, the Russians did go back into the DNC server and hacked Podesta too. The Russians dumped the first batch on a site set up by a cut-out 'Guccifer', but the press decided that combing through it was too much work, and the story almost died. Then Roger Stone gave that same material to Nigel Farage, who gave it to Julian Assange, who made it world-famous by doling it out a little at a time on Wikileaks. The rest ees heeztory.

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