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Busy December Ahead For Congress

[ Posted Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 – 18:19 PST ]

Congress is currently tightly focused on the Republican tax-cutting bill, which is likely to consume most of their time when they return from the Thanksgiving break. But what is remarkable is how many other pressing issues they are currently all but ignoring which will have to be resolved before the end of the year. It's looking like a busy legislative December, in other words.

Both Congress and the political media always seem to have somewhat of a problem focusing on more than one issue at a time. Consider how much time was wasted on the GOP "repeal and replace Obamacare" failure earlier this year, when nothing much of anything got done outside the boundaries of that one issue. They had months and months where they could have been preparing other bills for votes, but didn't.

This has resulted in quite a few things getting shoved up against end-of-the-year deadlines. Next month, in addition to whatever happens on the tax bill, Congress will be required to: pass an omnibus budget deal, raise the debt ceiling, pass a DACA immigration fix, and pass a bipartisan bill to tweak the Obamacare subsidy programs. Each one of those would normally result in weeks of debate and lots of jockeying for position and dealmaking, but they may all have to happen at once. The budget will be the big fight, and may just subsume all the rest of the issues into one giant bill (if the past is any indication of how these things eventually happen). And the so-far-unfought budget battles are going to be fierce, even within the Republican caucus. Congress hasn't moved before now because there simply hasn't been any consensus, even among the majority Republicans. So all the spending fights are going to kick off the rest of the unfinished issues, most likely.

The debt ceiling is always a tricky vote for Congress to take, but it is the easiest to join up with the budget bill, since they both deal with spending federal money. But this will also complicate the budget fight, since there are a number of Republicans who always balk at voting for any debt ceiling rise without at least attempting to extract Draconian spending cuts in return. What usually happens in this sort of showdown is that Paul Ryan will be unable to pass a bill with just GOP votes. This gives Nancy Pelosi's Democrats a lot of leverage.

Some Democrats are already drawing a line in the sand over the "Dreamer" kids who will be severely affected by the end of the DACA program. Donald Trump and "Chuck and Nancy" were reportedly close to a deal over the issue earlier, but that deal never took the form of actual legislation. Republicans are already stating that they'd prefer to kick the issue to the new year, where they'll have a few months to pass a fix before the deadline is actually reached. But Democrats, so far, are calling that unacceptable.

Democrats want a "clean" DACA bill, which would essentially just reauthorize the program begun under President Barack Obama. Some Republicans, however, are attempting to radically redesign all of America's immigration policies by using the leverage of passing the DACA fix. Among other changes they're considering (such as money for Trump's wall), they also want to change the way family immigration happens, end diversity immigration programs, and substantially lower the amount of legal immigration permitted each year. Pretty much all of these are non-starters for the Democrats. This may lead to an impasse. If Pelosi plays hardball on the issue, then Democrats will withhold their support for any budget bill that doesn't include a clean DACA fix, and we could be headed towards a Yuletide government shutdown.

The Obamacare subsidy fix may prove to be just as contentious, for similar reasons. Democrats want a clean bill that just fixes the obvious problem, and Patty Murray has worked out draft legislation with one Republican senator which would accomplish this. But other Republicans are indicating that they're going to try loading this effort up with all kinds of legislative poison pills, which would (obviously) cause Democrats to walk away from the deal. This whole effort is going to also depend on whether the Republicans actually do pass their tax bill, and whether the Senate provision ending the tax penalty for the individual mandate is included or not.

Again, each of these issues would normally take weeks and weeks (if not months) of haggling and posturing before any sort of deal could be reached -- either within the Republican caucus alone, or between Republicans and Democrats. But all of them may be joined into one battle royale that could wind up threatening to deny Congress their year-end vacations. That's a powerful motivating factor, one that Harry Reid used to use to great effect, so it remains to be seen whether Congress will be voting right up to New Year's Eve.

One last thing to consider when looking at how much Congress has on its plate is that the calendar is finite. Which means every day they spend squabbling over the tax bill is one day less to spend on all the other issues they've got to address. The longer the tax debate goes on, the tighter the schedule gets for everything else.

Now, if this were a competent Congress -- a smooth-running and well-oiled legislative machine -- then this wouldn't be that big a problem. But it simply isn't. This Congress has spent eleven whole months of 2017 doing very little at all. The Senate confirmed a Supreme Court justice, but since then nothing of note has really taken place.

Which sets up a December with a Congress which has so far been unable to act upon anything having to address multiple major issues all at once. While all of Washington and the media world have been solely focused on the GOP's tax bill, nobody's been paying much attention to the backlog waiting in the wings. And, unlike the tax bill, there are hard deadlines attached to many of these issues. So after eleven months of inaction, we may be in for an absolute frenzy of political battles being fought in the final month of the year. The issues are all large, complex, and have clear partisan battle lines already drawn. It's impossible to say how successful Congress will be at addressing any of these (they could always punt and pass yet another short-term extension to all the deadlines on the budget questions), but no matter what happens it seems sure that December is going to be a very busy month on Capitol Hill.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

59 Comments on “Busy December Ahead For Congress”

  1. [1] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    This is a Republican Congress that has no experience in creating legislation. For the previous eight years, the only pieces of legislation that any of them worked on were the failed attempts to repeal Obamacare — which (SURPRISE, SURPRISE) is why the only legislation they have focused on this year has been the one they are most comfortable working on.

    They have NO IDEA how to work with the Democrats to get the details hashed out so that a bill is acceptable by both sides. Many of those that came into Congress as Tea Party candidates were elected thanks to their commitment to NOT work with Democrats (or with any Republican that doesn’t completely agree with every position they hold!) They were elected to prevent bill’s from passing, and they got really good at doing that job.

    What is being asked of these Republicans is similar to if you asked a Major League Baseball pitcher who was a lefty to start pitching using their right arm: You might find one who is able to adapt, but most people cannot make that dramatic of a change in how they do their job!

  2. [2] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Dems were remiss in doing more than one thing at a time, as well. Given much larger legislative majorities (60 in the Senate, for a bit), the couldn't do a real MinWage hike or Card Check for Union elections or anything while debating the health care bill.

    One has to wonder what the rest of the hundred Senators not directly involved in whatever is the topic du jour do with their time.

    Oh, right, they're across the street on phone lines raising funds.

    Go for it, DonH! I'm all in this time.

  3. [3] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I agree that the Dems weren’t superstars at getting legislation passed, but this Republican Congress is largely made up of the 2008 Republican Congress that took partisan politics to new dysfunctional heights! They were possibly the first to ever kill legislation that they, themselves, had introduced solely because the president had signaled he would sign it into law if it made it to his desk!

    Think about how truly crazy that is! A party puts forth legislation that it believes will benefit their constituents, they make sure that they dotted all of their “i”’s and crossed their “t”’s, and then they get word that the president is in full support of the bill and plans on signing it into law as soon as they get it to him... so they tank it!!!

    The Republican Party demonstrated that they were not concerned with political philosophies; they were not using this bill as leverage to get something else they wanted, they simply did not want Obama to get credit for signing a good piece of legislation into law! More than anything, they demonstrated that they do not give a damn about doing what was best for their constituents or this country.

    The Republicans couldn’t allow Obama to sign legislation that would contradict their mantra that he was trying to destroy our country.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Donald Trump and "Chuck and Nancy" were reportedly close to a deal over the issue earlier, but that deal never took the form of actual legislation

    According to who???

    Chuck and Nancy... Not the most reliable of sources...

    If Pelosi plays hardball on the issue, then Democrats will withhold their support for any budget bill that doesn't include a clean DACA fix, and we could be headed towards a Yuletide government shutdown.

    And, of course, ya'all will support that government shutdown, right?? :D

    One thing is for sure..

    We do live in interesting times.. :D

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dems were remiss in doing more than one thing at a time, as well. Given much larger legislative majorities (60 in the Senate, for a bit), the couldn't do a real MinWage hike or Card Check for Union elections or anything while debating the health care bill.

    Yep.. yep.. yep...

    But, this isn't the time to point out FACTS, S2...

    This is ONLY the time to bash Republicans and ignore the FACT that the Democrat Party is no better...

    Get with the program, dood!!! :D

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Republicans couldn’t allow Obama to sign legislation that would contradict their mantra that he was trying to destroy our country.

    And Democrats obstruct everything Trump does for the same reason..

    What's yer point??

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Speak2-
    "Go for it, DonH! I'm all in this time."

    If you really mean that, thank you. If not, at least the idea entered your thoughts and it's a start.

  8. [8] 
    John M wrote:

    [6] Michale

    "And Democrats obstruct everything Trump does for the same reason..

    What's yer point??"

    What's your point?

    What has Trump done exactly? Other than sign some meaningless Executive orders.

    You can't obstruct something that not even the other party (Republicans) can get their act together on. Why should Democrats obstruct something when Republicans are doing it for them to themselves and their own legislation?

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Speak2-
    And if you did mean it or were even just considering it, if you haven't signed the Nader petition yet please consider signing.

    http://www.change.org/p/ralph-nader-address-one-demand-campaign-financing-approach

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    John M
    8

    What has Trump done exactly? Other than sign some meaningless Executive orders.

    Literally nothing in the way of major legislation.

    You can't obstruct something that not even the other party (Republicans) can get their act together on.

    Exactly right. There's literally been no major legislation to obstruct. Republicans agreeing with Democrats that taking away health care from millions of their constituents is bad legislating is not exactly an exercise in obstructing just to obstruct. Donald Trump made a lot of campaign promises regarding health care and failed to deliver legislation that came anywhere near matching his rhetoric; in fact, it wasn't even anywhere close. The main obstruction to enacting Trump's agenda is Trump himself and a handful of Senate Republicans not willing to allow Trump to screw their constituents.

    Why should Democrats obstruct something when Republicans are doing it for them to themselves and their own legislation?

    Exactly. Tune in next week when Trump repeats his claim that "the rich will not be gaining at all with this plan." *LOL*

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    What has Trump done exactly? Other than sign some meaningless Executive orders

    I am REALLY glad you asked that.. :D

    NUMBER ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT
    Kept Hillary Clinton from being elected POTUS..
    2.Broke the stranglehold of Political Partys on DC
    3.He took us out of TPP
    4.Illegal immigration is now down 70% (the lowest in 17 years)
    5.Consumer confidence highest since 2000 at index125.6
    6.Mortgage applications for new homes rise to a 7 year high.
    7.Arranged 20% Tariff on soft lumber from Canada.
    8.Bids for border wall are well underway.
    9.Pulled out of the lopsided Paris accord.
    10.Keystone pipeline approved.
    11.NATO allies boost spending by 4.3%
    12.Allowing VA to terminate bad employees.
    13.Allowing private healthcare choices for veterans.
    14.More than 600,000. Jobs created
    15. Median household income at a 7 year high.
    16. The Stock Market is at the highest ever In its history.
    17. China agreed to American import of beef.
    18. $89 Billion saved in regulation rollbacks.
    19. Rollback of A Regulation to boost coal mining.
    20. MOAB for ISIS
    21. Travel ban reinstated.
    22. Executive order for religious freedom.
    23. Jump started NASA
    24. $600 million cut from UN peacekeeping budget.
    25. Targeting of MS13 gangs
    26. Deporting violent illegal immigrants.
    27. Signed 41 bills to date
    28. Created a commission on child trafficking
    29. Created a commission on voter fraud
    30. Created a commission for opioids addiction.
    31. Giving power to states to drug test unemployment recipients.
    32. Unemployment lowest since may 2007.
    33. Historic Black College University initiative
    34. Women In Entrepreneurship Act
    35. Created an office or illegal immigrant crime victims.
    36. Reversed Dodd-Frank
    37. Repealed DOT ruling which would have taken power away from local governments for infrastructure planning
    38. Order to stop crime against law enforcement.
    39. End of DAPA program.
    40. Stopped companies from moving out of America.
    41. Promoted businesses to create American Jobs.
    42. Encouraged country to once again
    43. ‘Buy American and hire American
    44. Cutting regulations 2 for every one created.
    45. Review of all trade agreements to make sure they are America first.
    46. Apprentice program
    47. Highest manufacturing surge in 3 years.
    48 $78 Billion promised reinvestment from major businesses like Exxon, Bayer, Apple, SoftBank, Toyota…
    49. Denied FBI a new building.
    50. $700 million saved with F-35 renegotiation.
    51. Saves $22 million by reducing white house payroll.
    52. Dept of treasury reports a $182 billion surplus for April 2017
    (2nd largest in history.
    53. Negotiated the release of 6 US humanitarian workers held captive in egypt.
    54. Gas prices lowest in more than 12 years.
    55. Signed An Executive Order To Promote Energy Independence And Economic Growth
    56. Has already accomplished more to stop government interference into people’s lives than any President in the history of America.
    57. President Trump has worked with Congress to pass more legislation in his first 100 days than any President since Truman.
    58. Has given head executive of each branches 6 month time Frame dated march 15 2017, tortured trim the fat. restructure and improve efficacy of there branch.

    It's time for you to face reality, people...

    Despite all your predictions and fear-mongering, President Donald Trump is on track to a major landslide re-election in 2020....

    The sooner you accept this reality, the better you will feel....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Trump......

    US jobless claims fall as record run persists
    AFP AFP•November 22, 2017
    Washington (AFP) - New claims for US jobless benefits fell in mid-November, confirming the strength of American labor markets and continuing a record streak of low levels, official data showed Wednesday.

    The result suggested November could see continued strong job creation as employment recovers from hurricane-related disruptions at the end of the summer.

    Data were collected during the survey week for the Labor Department's monthly jobs report.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-jobless-claims-fall-record-run-persists-140437347.html

    Making America Great Again

  13. [13] 
    Drowbert101 wrote:

    I'm not sure I see why congress would need to tackle DACA. It's clear that nothing shy of obstruction by a legislative minority could press the issue. DACA is not a law, and never was; it was an executive action with doubtful legal standing.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    While congress is being busy ...

    Here is a piece made especially for John M but, everyone should find it of interest:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-transition-un-climate-summit-donald-trump-jerry_us_5a110297e4b0e6450602ebc9

  15. [15] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Michale

    We tend to give the incumbent pres. credit for all the good things that occur during his administration, and blame for all the bad things, and truth be known, he mostly has damn little to do with either.

    U.S. presidents actually have virtually no control of most things, particularly economy-related things. For instance, the congress has sole control over spending money, but we always blame the pres. for deficits.

  16. [16] 
    John M wrote:

    [11] Michale

    1.) That is the only one I will give you.
    2.) How so? Since Republicans control all 3 branches.
    3.) Hillary would have took us out too. The TPP is going ahead without the USA, and China is now dominant in the region.
    4.) Illegal immigration was falling anyway under Obama. Trump had nothing to do with it.
    5.) Consumer confidence was rising under Obama.
    6.) The economy was improving under Obama. Trump simply hasn't screwed it up yet.
    7.) The lumber issue only complicated NAFTA negotiations, and Canad can appeal to the WTO, where it has always won.
    8.) Bids is not the same as actually being built or funded by Congress,
    9.) Assuming it even goes through and is not reversed, the USA will not actually pull out of the Paris accords until 2020 and after Trump leaves office.
    10.) Keystone pipeline is still held up in the courts.
    11.) Only 5 out of the 28 NATO nations have boosted spending, and they were doing so without Trump.
    12.) VA was already being reformed. Trump did nothing new.
    13.) Allowing private health care choices for Veterans has only passed the House, not Congress as a whole.
    14.) Jobs were being created under Obama, the recovery has simply continued under Trump.
    15.) Again, household income recovery started under Obama.
    16.) Stock market started rising under Obama.
    17.) China is also importing Australian beef. And only lifted the mad cow ban on USA beef after the USA agreed to import Chinese chicken. Funny how you don't mention that.
    18.) Regulation rollbacks were on health and safety measures, which will end up costing more in the long run than what they save.
    19.) Coal mining is still declining because it is being replaced by cheaper natural gas.
    20.) Trump only continued Obama's military strategy against ISIS. He did not know better than the generals or have a secret plan like he boasted.
    21.) Travel ban is still permanently blocked by the Federal Courts.
    22.) Executive order for religious freedom everyone agrees was only a re-statement of already existing policy that had been in place for several years.
    23.) Trump had done nothing for NASA, except appoint someone to head NASA who is not qualified to do so.
    24.) Trump has only proposed to cut UN budget. Congress has not approved doing so.
    25.) The FBI started targeting the gangs in 2004, long before Trump became President.
    26.) Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any President before him. Trump still has to match Obama's record.
    27.) Trump has not signed any major piece of legislation to date. He has signed many Executive orders, which is the same thing Obama did.
    28.) I will give you that one.
    29.) The commission on voter fraud has yet to issue a report, has not met in months, and appears to be dead in the water, as it has not even done anything active in months.
    30.) But has yet to declare a nation emergency or free up enough money to actually do anything substantial on addiction.
    31.) All state drug testing of the unemployed has been declared unconstitutional wherever it has been tried.
    32.) Unemployment started falling under Obama and has simply continued.
    33.) Historic Black Colleges called Trump tone deaf and found his initiative to be laughable.
    34.) I will give you this one.
    35.) I will give you this one as well.
    36.) Reversal of Dodd-Frank passed the House but not the Senate yet. Doing so would allow another Lehman Brothers collapse fiasco.
    37.) I will give you this one.
    38.) Statement with no practical effect.
    39.) End of DAPA results in making orphans of American citizen children.
    40.) Companies are still moving out of America. No significant consequences enacted yet for doing so.
    41.) and 42.) and 43.) Not anything different that other President's have been saying since Ronald Reagan urged companies to buy American.
    44.) Remains to be seen.
    45.) Remains to be negotiated. No changes yet to any existing trade agreements. So nothing accomplished.
    46.) Repeat
    47.) Again, economic recovery started under Obama continues regardless of what Trump has or has not done.
    48.) Promised not the same as actually doing.
    49.) I will give you this one. Minor potatoes.
    50.) Proposed hug military budget increase will wipe out that savings many times over.
    51.) Leaving many critical Federal government posts still vacant hampers American ability to operate effectively, especially in diplomatic realm.
    52.) Trump tax cut proposal will wipe out any temporary budget surplus and plunge USA deeper into debt.
    53.) I will give you that one.
    54.) President has no effect on gas prices. Was true of Obama and is true of Trump.
    55.) Another meaningless statement.
    56.) Pure Bull shit.
    57.) Outright Lie and falsehood.
    58.) More bullshit

    It's time you face reality Michale. Trump has the lowest approval rating of any President in history since measuring began. He is on track for the worst mid-term electoral defeat and will not win re-election.

    The sooner you accept this reality fanboy, the better off you will feel....

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's time you face reality Michale. Trump has the lowest approval rating of any President in history since measuring began. He is on track for the worst mid-term electoral defeat and will not win re-election.

    As the 2016 election proved beyond ANY doubt, Trump supporters ONLY do the poll at the ballot box...

    Given that FACT, all the polls you love to quote are exclusively from hysterical NeverTrumpers being polled..

    Given THAT fact, it's amazing President Trump has done so well....

  18. [18] 
    John M wrote:

    [13] Elizabeth Miller

    Interesting article. It doesn't say anything I did not already know, and doesn't say anything I disagree with. In fact, it ends by asking the same question I was, "But will it be enough?" I.E. without formal U.S. government agreement and participation, and also of course, in a general sense, are we as a planet doing too little too late?

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    CRS,

    We haven't been formerly introduced..

    Hi, I'm Michale..

    "We haven't met yet.. I'm Clint.."
    "I don't care..."

    CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

    :D

    U.S. presidents actually have virtually no control of most things, particularly economy-related things. For instance, the congress has sole control over spending money, but we always blame the pres. for deficits.

    That's true, of course...

    But around here, these people like to blame President Trump for EVERYTHING...

    So it's only fair that he get the credit when the good things happen.. :D

  20. [20] 
    John M wrote:

    [16] Michale

    And in the 2017 Virginia election, Trump supporters got creamed at the polls and were nowhere to be seen, replaced by an energized and outraged Democratic base who outnumbered them.

    Given THAT fact, it's amazing Trump hasn't been impeached yet.... But then, Mueller is only just getting started.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    You missed the point of the piece, completely.

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... but you already know that, don't you.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in the 2017 Virginia election, Trump supporters got creamed at the polls and were nowhere to be seen, replaced by an energized and outraged Democratic base who outnumbered them.

    "Creamed"?? Considering all the BLUE facts of Virginia, the mere fact it was so close is a testament to how bad the Democrat Party is losing ground..

    Given THAT fact, it's amazing Trump hasn't been impeached yet.... But then, Mueller is only just getting started.

    {{yyyaaawwwwwnnnnnnn}}

    There is not a SINGLE SOLITARY FACT that even slightly indicates that a SINGLE Hillary vote was changed to a Trump vote...

    Not a SINGLE SOLITARY SMIDGEN of a fact...

    Keep dreaming sunshine.. Trump is going to be POTUS for 7+ more years..

    And if there is even the slightest attempt of nullifying a free, fair and legal election by trumped up BS, there will be consequences...

    And they won't be pleasant...

  24. [24] 
    Drowbert101 wrote:

    John M
    It's time you face reality Michale. Trump has the lowest approval rating of any President in history since measuring began. He is on track for the worst mid-term electoral defeat and will not win re-election.
    Have you seen approval ratings for other world leaders, lately? Macron, Merkel, Theresa May? Worse than Trump. It's not a great year to be a politician.

  25. [25] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale

    Reviewed your list of Trump "accomplishments" at [11], which I sincerely hope you pulled off of some rightie website, because I don't think your own spelling and formatting is really that atrocious (item 43 is a continuation of item 42, for instance).

    To save space, I'll refer only to the item numbers, and let you cross-check back to it:

    A. Originated or already underway during Obama Administration:

    5, 6, 12, 14, 15, 16, 20, 25, 26, 32, 33, 34, 47, 52, 54

    B. Purely aspirational:

    22, 28, 29, 30, 35, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 55

    C. Especially Dubious claims

    18, 23, 44, 48, 56, 57

    D. Just Bad Ideas

    3, 8, 9, 10, 19, 21, 24, 31, 36, 39

    D. Actually Funny, when you think about it:

    2, 27, 51, especially 46

    E. DUH!

    4, 11

    F. HUH?

    49

    G. Credit where credit is due:

    1, 7, 13, 17, 37, 50, 53, 58

    This must be an older list because it doesn't include Trump SOLELY AND ON HIS OWN getting three college basketball players released from a Chinese jail!

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    John's list at [15] is actually better than mine, in regards to my part 'G', but I still think listing "apprentice program" is hilarious.

  27. [27] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And if there is even the slightest attempt of nullifying a free, fair and legal election by trumped up BS, there will be consequences...And they won't be pleasant..

    What? Brownshirts? Storm troopers? What do Herr Drumpf's drones have in mind?

    Mueller knows better than to try to sell some BS to the public. Whatever he comes up with will be air-tight. He's already landed some indictments, and at least one guilty plea. More to come.

  28. [28] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    CW: McConnell knows that, despite the economy, the world, and the future of the GOP being at stake, the worst thing that he could threaten his caucus with is a (gasp!) shortened Christmas vacation.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    What? Brownshirts? Storm troopers? What do Herr Drumpf's drones have in mind?

    Put it another way...

    Of the two groups.. Left Wingers and Trump supporters...

    Which are the more heavily armed and trained??

  30. [30] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    25

    Mueller knows better than to try to sell some BS to the public. Whatever he comes up with will be air-tight.

    Yes, sir. There are tapes, intercepts from allies, etc.

    He's already landed some indictments, and at least one guilty plea. More to come.

    Yep... indictments sealed and waiting as Mueller now moves into the inner circle of the White House armed with the answers. :)

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller knows better than to try to sell some BS to the public. Whatever he comes up with will be air-tight.

    That's what ya'all said about Comey...

    Right up to the point that you blamed him for costing Clinton the election.. :D

    And, when Mueller won't indict Trump for anything because nothing is there, ya'all will turn on Mueller JUST like you turned on Comey..

    Ya'all are nothing if not consistent...

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller knows better than to try to sell some BS to the public. Whatever he comes up with will be air-tight.

    That's what ya'all said about Comey...

    Right up to the point that you blamed him for costing Clinton the election.. :D

    And, when Mueller won't indict Trump for anything because nothing is there, ya'all will turn on Mueller JUST like you turned on Comey..

    Ya'all are nothing if not consistent...

  33. [33] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    While grasping at Mueller straws in their desperation to find something that will get rid of Trump, the liberals seem to have overlooked the fact that it is NOT illegal to consult with Russians (or indeed, anybody else for that matter) to get dirt on your political opponents.

    If Trump admitted publicly that he consulted with Russians, or Wikileaks, or anybody, Mueller couldn't do anything about it!

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    While grasping at Mueller straws in their desperation to find something that will get rid of Trump, the liberals seem to have overlooked the fact that...

    The liberals ... such a tired phrase you - and others, of course - are still using. It sounds so ... you know, yesterday.

    The old political spectrums of right/left and conservative/liberal have little resonance these days.

    The savvy among us have moved on to the past/future orientation where the up-side is enlightened and favours future-oriented policies that put and keep a nation on the cutting edge and moving forward.

    Know any pols who fit that bill?

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CR Stucki,

    While grasping at Mueller straws in their desperation to find something that will get rid of Trump, the liberals seem to have overlooked the fact that it is NOT illegal to consult with Russians (or indeed, anybody else for that matter) to get dirt on your political opponents.

    What are you overlooking?

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It doesn't say anything I did not already know...

    Really, John? You knew that William Bradley trekked up Africa's tallest peak?

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    31

    While grasping at Mueller straws in their desperation to find something that will get rid of Trump, the liberals seem to have overlooked the fact that it is NOT illegal to consult with Russians (or indeed, anybody else for that matter) to get dirt on your political opponents.

    I'm not a liberal, but I'm still pointing and laughing. A prime example of what they mean when they say: "Your Brain on Fox News." I can't stop laughing. Keep these nuggets coming. :)

    If Trump admitted publicly that he consulted with Russians, or Wikileaks, or anybody, Mueller couldn't do anything about it!

    That's what Julius Rosenberg said. He had a code name too, just like "General Misha" Flynn. Say, whatever happened to General Misha's "Flynn Intel Group"? ;)

  38. [38] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    Yeah, I get that "Fox News" thing a lot, but weirdly enough, I have no idea what it means. Where I live, Fox News is delivered over some sort of cable operation, and I only get TV by means of an old-fashioned antenna mounted atop the power pole behind my farmstead house.

    I am familiar with Julius Rosenberg, but any allusion to what he has to do with consulting with Russians for political advice sailed right over my head.

    If you wish to disagree with me about the legality/illegality of getting political mud from the
    Ruskies on your opponent, specifics on that that would be far more interesting.

  39. [39] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    the liberals seem to have overlooked the fact that it is NOT illegal to consult with Russians (or indeed, anybody else for that matter) to get dirt on your political opponents.

    Democrats are familiar with the law. Hell, Congress is pretty much a room full of lawyers. There has been a ban on contributions and donations from foreign governments or foreign nationals in federal elections since the 1970s. It is, however, possible to do opposition research overseas - it just matters how you do it. The Clinton campaign hired a contractor, Fusion GPS, who hired James Bond. That was legal. Then there's the way the Trump Campaign decided to do it.

    Or as conservative Eli Lake of Bloomberg News puts it:"..when Russian hackers distributed stolen emails on the internet, they came from only one party: the Democrats. If Mueller finds evidence that this was coordinated with Trump or his associates, it would be like finding out G. Gordon Liddy subcontracted the Watergate burglary to the KGB."

    And continue:"..consider the meeting in the summer of 2016 between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian nationals who reportedly offered to hand over dirt on Clinton. Noti said that if the Trump officials solicited the information, "the act itself was unlawful."

    And that's not counting possible charges of money laundering, influence peddling, bribery, perjury, lying to Congress, lying to Federal Investigators, failure to disclose, making false statements, and of course, the classic original, Obstruction of Justice, all of which are options for Mueller's prosecutorial Dream Team.

  40. [40] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    39

    I like your "potential crimes list," but you seemed to have inadvertently omitted RICO and espionage. :)

    Am I making myself clear here?

  41. [41] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthazar

    Do you really think the founders had seeking advice, news, info, etc. in mind when they banned "contributions and donations"?? I'm betting they had MONEY in mind.

    It'd be a real stretch to contend that their ban negated free speech rights.

  42. [42] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    C.R.S.

    Can you imagine if the King’s carrier pigeons were captured mid-flight and had their messages copied and then re-released to finish their route by peasant hackers? I read on wiki that this exact scenario was what motivated Gutenberg to invent the printing press - so they could threaten to publish the stolen correspondences for the 1% of the population that could read to gawk at if the King didn’t give in to their demands.

    Face it, the Founding Fathers could never have imagined the broad expansion that the definitions of their words would undergo when they wrote the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment is proof of that! But while the definitions may have broadened, the concepts behind their meanings remained the same. Any commodity that can be used to corrupt our democratic processes is illegal if it comes from a foreign power — whether it be gold bars or the mass release of fake news sites to millions of voters on Facebook.

  43. [43] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    LWYH

    Yeah, that's sounds superficially reasonable, except if you look up the definition of 'commodity', it all falls apart, right? Pretty tough to try to include information under that definition.

  44. [44] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    LWYH Also, don't forget that first amendment thing. Pretty hard to define speech as a 'commodity'.

  45. [45] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Drowbert101 [13] -

    First off, welcome to the site! My apologies for the delay in posting your comment, as first-time commenters are automatically held for moderation.

    From now on, you should be able to post to the site instantly, as long as you don't post more than one link per comment. Multilink comments are also automatically held for moderation, which can take a while.

    As for your comment, yes, DACA was always an executive order. Trump overturned this policy with his own EO. So it leaves it up to Congress to act, or else the whole thing will turn into a pumpkin. You're also right about the dubious legal standing of Obama's EO, which is also why congressional action is necessary. If it is a bill signed into law, that removes a lot of the dubiousness (even though it probably will be challenged in court).

    Anyway, thanks for commenting, and sorry again for the delay.

    -CW

  46. [46] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Drowbert101 [24] -

    This one also got caught in the automatic filter, and has now been posted. Again, sorry for the delay...

    -CW

  47. [47] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Stucki [41] You're fooling yourself if you think that being involved with the product of a russian military hack on the Democratic National Committee - coordinating the opposition campaign, no less, with the release of stolen material - would in any way, shape or form be considered a form of free speech.

    Repeating what the Bloomberg writer said: it's as if G.Gordon Liddy had subcontracted the Watergate break-in to the KGB.

    I can draw the line with just one co-conspirator, Roger Stone:

    Roger Stone cut his political teeth as a dirty-tricks operative for Richard Nixon, and has been a successful political operative ever since, specializing in opposition research. Stone and Trump have a long association, dating back to 2000, when he was Trump's campaign chairman for an abortive run for the nomination of the Reform Party. Stone's former business partner was Paul Manafort, later Trump's Campaign Chairman. Stone is also personal friends with Julian Assange, and claims to have communicated directly with the GRU hacker(s) in the guise of "Guccifer". It was Stone who hinted just before the hacked Podesta emails were leaked that it was "Podesta's turn in the barrel", a phrase he repeated just hours before Al Franken's first accuser went public.

    So is this about free speech, or trafficking in stolen information? I'm guessing the courts would say the latter. Kick is right, parts of this run into counter-espionage and RICO statutes.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Two More Women Accuse Sen. Al Franken Of Inappropriate Touching
    One woman told HuffPost that Franken had grabbed her backside at an event honoring women.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/al-franken-two-more-women-groping_us_5a15a455e4b09650540ec295

    Who here wants to continue to defend Fraken???

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm not a liberal, but I'm still pointing and laughing. A prime example of what they mean when they say: "Your Brain on Fox News." I can't stop laughing. Keep these nuggets coming. :)

    Do you have ANY facts to refute Stucki's claim??

    Any facts at all??

    No???

    Didn't think so...

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you wish to disagree with me about the legality/illegality of getting political mud from the
    Ruskies on your opponent, specifics on that that would be far more interesting.

    She has no facts.. That's why she made childish personal attacks..

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Drowbert101

    As I am wont to do..

    "WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL!!!"
    -John McClane, DIE HARD

    :D

    Have you seen approval ratings for other world leaders, lately? Macron, Merkel, Theresa May? Worse than Trump. It's not a great year to be a politician.

    Ach, good point!!

    I seem to recall that Weigantians were claiming that Merkel was the leader of the free world.. She can't even form a government! :D

    Trump has higher approval numbers than ALL of them!! :D

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    She has no facts..

    "She has no point. She often has no point. It's part of her charm."
    -Tom Cruise, A FEW GOOD MEN

    :D

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats are convinced they’re headed to victory because of Trump’s unpopularity. But they’re going to need a politician with the sort of historic appeal of a Barack Obama in order to win without relearning the lessons Bill Clinton taught them in the ’90s.

    Since no such magical candidate is available, unless they begin acting, as Clinton did, as a party of the center rather than of the hard left, they could be setting themselves up for another astonishing defeat in 2020.
    https://nypost.com/2017/11/20/dems-denounce-bill-clinton-but-need-to-recapture-his-working-class-appeal/

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Two More Women Accuse Sen. Al Franken Of Inappropriate Touching
    One woman told HuffPost that Franken had grabbed her backside at an event honoring women.
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/al-franken-two-more-women-groping_us_5a15a455e4b09650540ec295

    Who here wants to continue to defend Fraken???

    Balthasar,

    This is why it's not a good idea to jump on the LET'S DEFEND SOnSO bandwagon...

    You just HAVE to know that there are more accusations waiting in the wings...

  55. [55] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    conservatives have no trouble calling it "redistribution" when the tax benefits shift from the rich to the poor and middle class. this is just redistribution from the poor and middle class to the rich.

    JL

  56. [56] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    nypoet

    Goods for redistribution always of necessity have to originate with the productive, kinda by definition, right? Therefore, the process of "redistributing from the poor and middle class to the rich" would need to properly be described or characterized as 're-redistribution', right?

  57. [57] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthazar

    Re "Mueller's prosecutorial Dream Team", you got that right. They definitely are dreaming if they think they can declare getting dirt on your political opponent as being illegal, regardless of the source.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Re "Mueller's prosecutorial Dream Team", you got that right. They definitely are dreaming if they think they can declare getting dirt on your political opponent as being illegal, regardless of the source.

    Yep.. That's what these people simply do not get..

    Even when confronted with the FACT that Hillary did the EXACT same thing...

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    49

    Do you have ANY facts to refute Stucki's claim??

    Yes.

    Didn't think so...

    Michale, you needn't keep reminding anyone on this site that you "don't think." The fact is, anyone who repeatedly and continually claims to have knowledge regarding what facts multiple persons on a blog might have is clearly and unequivocally someone who doesn't think. :)

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