ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [468] -- Shutdown Showdown!

[ Posted Friday, January 19th, 2018 – 18:46 PST ]

Where we find ourselves as a nation: this week, the not-at-all-liberal Wall Street Journal broke the story that Donald Trump paid off a porn star mere days before the 2016 election, to the tune of $130,000, to keep her silence about an affair they had right after he had married his third wife. It was later revealed by In Touch Weekly magazine that Trump had compared the porn star (stage name: Stormy Daniels) favorably with his daughter. And yet this news didn't even really break onto the front pages. After one year of President Trump, such a revelation is considered minor news, in other words. That's where we find ourselves as a nation, folks.

The beginning of the week was largely devoted to the fallout from Trump's "shithole" meeting last Thursday, with the head of the Department of Homeland Security committing perjury under oath to a Senate committee, claiming rather unbelievably that she just for the life of her could not recall "rough language" used days earlier by her commander in chief. This begs the question of whether someone with such a bad memory should really be in charge of the largest cabinet department in America, or else (as Occam's razor would have it) she was lying her face off to protect her boss from political fallout.

There was even a hilarious debate about the semantic difference between whether the president had said "shithole" or (somehow supposed to be less offensive) "shithouse" countries. Right-wing pundit Erick Erickson shot this down by tweeting out how Trump was actually proud of what he said:

It's weird that people in the room don't remember Trump using that word when Trump himself was calling friends to brag about it afterwards. I spoke to one of those friends. The President thought it would play well with the base.

In other racist news this week, the president was obviously playing to his base when he appointed Karl Higbie to be the public face of AmeriCorps. Higbie had to hastily step down this week after public revelation of vile and racist comments he made about African-Americans. Also, vile anti-Muslim comments, and vile anti-gay comments. He also stated that as far as he was concerned, "75 percent" of soldiers claiming to have P.T.S.D. were faking it. Here's what this charming Trump appointee had to say about how to solve the problem of Mexican immigrants:

What's so wrong with wanting to put up a fence and saying: "Hey, everybody with a gun, if you want to go shoot people coming across our border illegally, you can do it for free. And you can do it on your own, and you'll be under the command of the, you know, National Guard unit or a Border Patrol." I think, stick a fence six feet high with signs on it in both English and Spanish and it says: "If you cross this border, this is the American border, you cross it, we're going to shoot you." You cross my border, I will shoot you in the face. I will go down there. I'll volunteer to go down there and stand on that border for, I don't know, a week or so at a time and that'll be my civil duty. I'll volunteer to do it.

Because "what's so wrong" with wanting that? In possibly-related news, according to the Anti-Defamation League, American white supremacists killed "more than twice as many people" in 2017 as they did in 2016. They were responsible for "far more deaths" than Islamic extremists in this country. But none of that made any big headlines this week, of course.

Also not making the front pages this week, a Republican senator gave a long speech on the Senate floor this week comparing a president of his own party to Josef Stalin. Here is just some of what Jeff Flake had to say about Donald Trump:

It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase "enemy of the people," that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of "annihilating such individuals" who disagreed with the supreme leader.

This alone should be a source of great shame for us in this body, especially for those of us in the president's party. For they are shameful, repulsive statements. And, of course, the president has it precisely backward -- despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot's enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him "fake news," it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.

But even such a denunciation (complete with Stalin comparison) didn't really crack the front pages this week, because the media was having such fun with the shutdown showdown in Congress. As we type this, we have no idea whether the government will shut down in a short number of hours or not. Our apologies if the outcome is certain by the time this is published, but that's the danger of writing about ongoing crises on Friday afternoons.

As things stand now, Chuck Schumer went up to the White House for a face-to-face meeting with President Trump, but this resulted in no breakthrough deal on DACA legislation or the budget. The Senate will be voting in a few hours on the House budget extension bill, but it does not appear to have the votes to pass. It doesn't even appear to have a simple majority of Republican votes, in fact, if reports are to be believed. So, one way or another, the one-month extension bill will likely fail tonight.

Oh, and there is no Plan B in sight. The only possible way to avoid a government shutdown if the House bill fails would be an extremely short-term bill which would extend the budget by only a few days, to allow a final DACA deal to be worked out. But so far, it doesn't really seem like this is even a possibility, since Trump and the Republicans show no sign of being willing to address DACA in a bipartisan manner.

During the week, the evangelical advisors to the president made a statement of their own on DACA, by meeting with Nancy Pelosi in support of the Dreamers. They're not alone. Depending on the poll, somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of the public agrees that the Dreamers kids should be allowed to stay in America. Which is probably the biggest reason why the public is already blaming the Republicans and Trump for the shutdown showdown more than the Democrats. The blame game hasn't even officially begun, and yet Democrats already appear to be winning it, hands down. More on this in the talking points section, where we'll give our own rant on who is really to blame.

Of course, Trump hasn't been very successful with the public all year long. He ends his first term in office with the lowest job approval polling numbers that pollsters have ever seen (back to the advent of public polling in F.D.R.'s time). Trump continues to play to his rabid base, ignoring all others, to his detriment. The Resistance to Trump continues to build among the public, as fewer and fewer people respond that they "strongly approve" of the president, while more and more people answer that they "strongly disapprove" -- by a factor of roughly 2-to-1.

This bodes well for Democrats in the midterms, of course. Trump had to travel to a district in Pennsylvania he won by 19 points this week, in fear of losing a House special election to a Democrat. The wave is building.

And finally, a comforting bit of trivia to end on, as we move along to the weekly awards: if the government does shut down tonight, Bob Mueller's office will keep working. Talk about your "essential governmental personnel," eh?

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We've got a few Honorable Mention awards to give out before we move on to the main Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. First up is Dr. Maurice Watson, a pastor in Prince George's County, Maryland, who gave a fiery sermon condemning Trump's vulgar comments about immigrants. What was notable wasn't that he called Trump's remarks "hurtful" and "dehumanizing," but that Mike Pence was sitting in the audience, becoming "visibly red-faced" at times during the sermon. Now that's speaking truth to power!

Even more amusingly, the projection artist in D.C. struck again, beaming the giant word "SHITHOLE" over the entrance to the Trump Hotel in Washington. Also projected were the phrase "This place is a shithole" and smiley-faced poop emojis. So Robin Bell (of Bell Visuals) deserves mention for his neverending efforts to move the concept of graffiti into the twenty-first century.

Chris Christie is no longer governor of New Jersey, for which we can all be thankful. Democrat Phil Murphy was sworn in this week, and seems to want to hit the ground running:

Murphy is ready to end his obscurity. On Tuesday, when he is sworn in, New Jersey will become one of just eight states where Democrats run every branch of government. If Murphy has his way, New Jersey will become a proving ground for every liberal policy idea coming into fashion, from legalized marijuana to a $15 minimum wage, from a "millionaire's tax" to a virtual bill of rights for undocumented immigrants.

But this week we have two Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week awards to hand out. The first goes to Senator Cory Booker, whose statement to the head of the Department of Homeland Security has gone viral. Kirstjen Nielsen was present in the room for the "shithole" meeting, but somehow conveniently forgot everything the president said in the meeting, if her sworn testimony was to be believed. She also stated under oath that she had no idea that Norway was a country that could be described as overwhelmingly white (this led to a late-night comic's joke that Nielsen "should ask her own name" about the whiteness of Scandinavia). But it was her convenient forgetfulness that Booker slammed during his statement, which is well worth watching in full:

Your silence and your amnesia is complicity. I've got a president of the United States whose office I respect, who talks about the country's origins of my fellow citizens in the most despicable manner. You don't remember?! You can't remember the words of your commander in chief?! ... I find that unacceptable.

For (if you'll excuse the language) calling "bullshit" on Nielsen 's "shithole" memory lapses, Cory Booker well deserves a MIDOTW.

Also deserving of the MIDOTW award this week was Patty Schachtner, who won a special election for a state senate seat in Wisconsin this week. Her 11-point victory was pretty astounding when you consider that Donald Trump won the same district by 17 points. This has sent shockwaves through the Republican Party, from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (who is up for re-election this year, and is already trailing a generic Democrat by 5 points in the polls) on down. Walker tweeted numerous times to warn his fellow Republicans that this was a "wake-up call." One other prominent Wisconsin Republican reportedly reacted by lamenting: "We are losing independent and educated women in droves."

Schachtner's win was the 34th such state legislative seat to be flipped since the 2016 election. In the same period, Republicans have managed to flip just four such seats, for a net gain of 30 to the Democrats.

In reaction, Donald Trump traveled to Pennsylvania this week to support a candidate in a special House election, in a district that Trump won by 19 points. This shows the depth of Republican fears over what could happen to them in the 2018 midterms. Normally, a seat like PA-18 would be considered so safe that no attention would be necessary from party bigwigs, but before the special election is held in March, Mike Pence is slated to visit the district twice, as well as half a dozen cabinet secretaries. In a district that Trump won by almost 20 points, mind you.

That big blue swell on the horizon is looking more and more like a Democratic tsunami, in other words. This week, credit for continuing the big blue wave has to go to state senator-elect Patty Schachtner of Wisconsin. Congratulations on your victory, and here's hoping Democrats see many more such victories in November!

[Congratulate Senator Cory Booker on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts. Wisconsin state Senator-Elect Patty Schachtner has not been sworn in yet, so she has no official political page (we do not, as a rule, link to campaign websites, sorry), so you'll have to either look her contact info up yourselves or wait until her official Wisconsin senate page appears.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We're just going to have to give this award out generically, since as we write this no vote has yet been held in the Senate on the budget bill.

The Most Disappointing Democrats Of The Week are all those in both the House and Senate who wind up voting for the Republican can-kicking budget extension bill rather than standing shoulder to shoulder with the Dreamer children. When the bill passed the House, six Democrats crossed the aisle and voted for it. There are rumors about how many Democrats in the Senate will do likewise, but whatever number it turns out to be, we'd like to award in advance a MDDOTW to each and every one of them.

The only way to force Republicans to the table is to stand united. This is only possible, of course, because Republicans cannot manage to unite on their side of the aisle. So a strong showing on the Democratic side is absolutely essential.

Now, we do understand that senators from red states that voted for Trump are a wee bit nervous about the vote, but they're not even the only ones on the list of those rumored to be voting with the Republicans. Even Dianne Feinstein, senator from the state with the most Dreamers of any in the Union, is being very equivocal about her own vote. That's inexplicable, especially considering she's already facing a primary opponent this year. If DiFi votes with the Republicans, that may be the final straw for a lot of California voters, to put this another way. Almost ninety percent of the public favors letting the Dreamers stay, and that number's got to be even higher in blue-state California.

But we shouldn't single DiFi out, since we will have individual Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards for each and every Democrat who votes with the Republicans and against the Dreamers' future.

[If you'd like to let your representative or senator know what you think of his or her actions, you'll have to look them up after the vote on either the official House contact page or the official Senate contact page.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 468 (1/19/18)

This is one of those weeks where we just decided to go off on an extended rant rather than offer up individual talking points. Because the spin for next week is obvious for Democrats -- explaining why the government shutting down is, once again, the Republicans' fault. They may even be helped in this effort by the fact that pretty much all the other government shutdowns going back to Bill Clinton's time were also seen by majorities of the public as the Republicans' fault. So the public may have a built-in response by now.

This blame game happens every time, of course. This time, Democrats are already winning the P.R. battle. Polling in the last few days has shown that while around a third of the public blames Democrats for the shutdown drama, over half blame either Donald Trump or the Republicans in general. So this is all a pretty easy sell, but we still felt the need to put it all down in a rant.

 

How to play the shutdown blame game

President Donald Trump is getting worried that his one-year anniversary party might get spoiled. He's holding the shindig at his own Florida golf resort, and charging couples a mere $100,000 to attend, but right now it's looking like he might have to stay in Washington to cope with a government shutdown instead. Wouldn't be seemly to be shown partying to celebrate all your successes when Washington has hit a brick wall, now, would it?

Perhaps the fear of missing his big party will actually cause Trump to chart some sort of rational course in the next few hours. Hey, it's always a possibility, right? He did meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer this afternoon, so maybe a last-minute deal can be struck after all. But even if this turns out to be true, there really is only one man responsible for the shutdown drama, and that is Trump himself.

Trump is beyond erratic on DACA (as indeed he is on many issues). Nobody has any real clue what Trump wants, other than "whatever the last guy he talked to believes." This has frustrated not just Democrats, but his own Republicans in Congress, who often wake up the morning of a day they are supposed to vote on an important bill (that the White House is supposed to be supporting), only to find a Trump tweet ripping into that very bill. This has happened twice now in the past two weeks alone, making Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell's jobs that much harder. Nobody -- not even Republican leaders in Congress -- really has any idea what Trump will say next on any particular issue.

As for the impending shutdown, it is important to take a moment to review how we got where we are today. The federal budget is supposed to be passed by Congress and signed into law before the first of October. Republicans ignored the budget for the last four months of 2017 in order to pass a massive tax giveaway to the ultra-wealthy and Wall Street. All of the months they really should have been working on the budget were completely consumed by this effort, even though it had no deadline. This is also when Republicans shamefully let the CHIP funding lapse, in order to play politics with the issue later on. Don't believe for a second all their crocodile tears over children's health insurance, because they are the ones who have been totally ignoring those kids for months and months.

The last time Congress had to punt the budget down the road, at the end of December, Democrats laid down a marker and let it be known that this would be the last continuing resolution they would support if the DACA problem that Trump had created was not permanently fixed. That was almost a month ago.

A bipartisan group of senators worked on a deal that not only provided eventual citizenship for the Dreamer kids, but also addressed three other immigration issues that the Trump White House was insisting upon. Last Tuesday, Trump held a meeting at the White House where he allowed television cameras to film the first hour. Trump seemed to agree with everyone in the room, meaning it was impossible to figure out what he supported and what he couldn't accept. In this meeting, he even fully admitted that he would agree with any bipartisan agreement that was presented to him:

I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with. I am very much reliant on the people in this room. I know most of the people on both sides, I have a lot of respect for the people on both sides, and what I approve is going to be very much reliant on what the people in this room come to me with. I have great confidence. If they come to me with things that I'm not in love with, I'm going to do it, because I respect them.

That was Tuesday. By last Thursday, a bipartisan deal had been hammered out. It addressed (to varying degrees) all four points agreed to in the Tuesday meeting. The authors of the deal were optimistic that Trump would agree to their plan and back it in Congress, which would have given McConnell and Ryan a green light to put it on the floor and hold a vote.

Instead, what happened was someone in the White House (quite probably John Kelly) brought in the hardest of the hardliners on immigration from the House to meet with Trump before his noon meeting with the bipartisan group which had hammered out a deal. These hardliners whipped Trump into a frenzy, so much so that when the meeting happened, the president began spewing out profanity to describe black and brown immigrants, while expressing the wish that more people from Norway come to America instead.

The "shithole" meeting stunned Washington, and completely obliterated all that goodwill shown in the Tuesday meeting. The bipartisan group returned to the Capitol, and since that point have been unable to even get a counteroffer from the White House on fixing DACA. If Trump's position had changed, they inquired, what would be necessary to create a bill he would sign? The White House reportedly had no answer. If Trump had one burning issue or even a short list of sticking points, something may have been worked out, but this never happened because nobody -- including Trump, it seems -- really has any idea of what Trump actually wants.

In fact, the biggest thing Trump was asking for in the DACA deal was a complete contradiction of his numerous campaign promises that "Mexico will pay for the wall." Trump now wants $20 billion up front to build the wall, which is to come out of the pockets of U.S. taxpayers, not Mexico. That's what he was bargaining hard for, Trump fans -- to break his big promise to you that Mexico would pay for the wall. Trump is supposed to be some sort of great dealmaker, but he can't get this deal with Mexico and all he can do when Congress reaches a DACA deal is to blow it up. Some dealmaker.

Even today, nobody has any clue what Trump would accept in order to avoid a shutdown (and allow him to go to his high-priced party this weekend). The entire blame for the shutdown belongs on his shoulders and his shoulders alone. He created this problem in the first place by announcing he was ending the DACA program, he bargained in bad faith over what a DACA fix would have to have in it, and then when he blew up a deal he swore he could sign two days earlier, he had no idea what to do next. One day he says one thing, the next he has completely changed direction. Out of all the players in this drama, Trump is the only one who has ever spoken favorably about a government shutdown (when he tweeted that the country could use "a good shutdown"). This entire episode is nothing more than his first year in office in a nutshell, really.

If you need to look further than Trump in assigning blame for the shutdown showdown, the Republican Congress certainly has been proving that they can't govern to save their lives. What should the public really expect when they run so many elections on the slogan: "Government doesn't work -- put us in charge and we'll prove it!"?

Consider this -- the fight in Washington today is not over a budget that would cover the entire rest of the year. Far from it. If the Republicans get their way, they will only be passing a budget that kicks the can down the road for the fourth time in four months so that we can have all this drama all over again in February. That's the GOP's idea of responsible governing, folks. This time around, Democrats made it be known that they had drawn a line in the sand over DACA. Republicans had plenty of time to deal with this, so their complaints that it took them by surprise should not be believed in the slightest. After drawing this line in the sand in late December, Congress has had a month to work it out. They have not. So who really thinks taking another month would bring any different result? We would just return to where we are today, in one month's time.

The most extraordinary thing about the drama playing out in the Senate is that Republicans cannot even get a simple majority from their own caucus to pass a short-term budget extension. John McCain is absent, but an additional 3-to-5 Republicans are indicating they may just vote "no" on the House bill. If true, that means the Republican budget extension could only get between 45 and 47 GOP votes in the Senate. Even if Democrats didn't require 60 votes the bill could not pass with just Republican support. Even if just a simple majority were necessary, they'd need the same 3-5 votes (plus Mike Pence) to even pass this bill.

So please explain to me how Democrats are at fault over this shutdown showdown. Republicans, despite holding the House, the Senate, and the White House cannot pass a bill -- even with just majority support in the Senate -- on their own. They knew they'd need Democratic votes, but they have done absolutely nothing to woo Democrats with the exception of finally agreeing to stop holding children's health insurance hostage politically. This is what Nancy Pelosi called "a cherry on top of a bowl of doggie doo." Democrats let it be known a month ago what it would require for them to vote on another budget extension, a bipartisan bill was worked out, and then this effort was torpedoed by Donald Trump and the hardliners in the Republican Party.

Consider also the fact that a government shutdown has never happened when the same party has controlled both the White House and both houses of Congress. Never. It's always been a power struggle of some kind between competing majorities, but this time around -- for the first time -- it is happening when one party controls everything. That's pretty astonishing.

When you consider how we got here, it's actually pretty easy to lay the blame where it belongs. Which is why the public already overwhelmingly puts the blame on the Republicans in Congress and on President Trump. If the shutdown actually happens, my guess is those numbers are only going to get worse for them. After all, something like 9 out of 10 members of the public also overwhelmingly support the goal Democrats are working for -- allowing the Dreamers to stay. Republicans may not have realized it quite yet, but the blame game is already largely over, and they have already lost it.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

144 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [468] -- Shutdown Showdown!”

  1. [1] 
    rjrap wrote:

    One day he says one thing, the next he has completely changed direction..

    I don't understand why this is such a mystery. If you want to know what Trump will say on any given day just watch "Fox and Friends" like he does every day.

  2. [2] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: It doesn't even appear to have a simple majority of Republican votes, in fact, if reports are to be believed. So, one way or another, the one-month extension bill will likely fail tonight.

    The CR vote goes down in the Senate, and indeed it does NOT even have a simple majority of Republican votes. Oh where is John McCain's dramatic thumbs down when you need it for full effect?

    So the Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the presidency, and they can pass a tax cut that primarily favors corporations and the 1%, and they expect y'all to believe that they couldn't pass a bill to keep the government open. Is there anybody out there that stupid?

  3. [3] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Chris appears to be counting heavily on the hope that people actually care enough to bother to assign blame for the 'shutdown', and I fear there may be more than a small chance that he will be disappointed.

    But maybe I'm wrong, perhaps I'm underestimating how many of those New Yorkers and Californians have their SUV's all loaded eager to head for Yellowstone Park this weekend. I can understand why both groups would love to leave home to avoid the hellish weather and the mudslides and all, but actually, I kinda doubt it.

    Previous 'shutdowns' never amounted to anything, and likely this one wont either, but all of you Dems/Libs gotta keep hopin', cause that's all you've got, right?

  4. [4] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    You keep bringing up that "Tax cuts for the rich" thing.

    As we've discussed before, It's damn tough for the Reps to pass a (income) tax cut that doesn't favor only "the rich and the corporations" when we have a tax system crafted by the Dems, where only the rich and the corporations actually PAY income taxes. Smart as they are, even Reps can't figure out how to reduce the taxes of people who DON'T PAY TAXES, right?

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    rjrap [1] -

    OK, now that was funny!

    Heh.

    C. R. Stucki [3] -

    Forecast for tomorrow here: low 60s, sunny, clear. I'll be out doing yardwork, and although it may be too cool for shorts I will be wearing a T-shirt. Oh, and no mudslides in the forecast where I live, either...

    Heh.

    [4] -

    You keep on saying this, but it doesn't make it any more true or anything.

    Off the top of my head, here are 5 ways taxes could be cut without giving everything away to the wealthiest:

    (1) Double the std. deduction, but DON'T get rid of current Schedule A deductions (for those who itemize) and DON'T get rid of personal exemption (for those who don't).

    (2) Lower the rates for the bottom three tax brackets, but keep the others the same.

    (3) Double what you can get in the Earned Income Credit (refundable).

    (4) Move charitable giving to the main 1040 form from Schedule A, so everyone could write off their charity.

    (5) Allow ALL medical expenses to be written off, instead of just those over 10% of your income.

    That took me like 45 seconds. All are targeted to middle class, average taxpayers. NONE are targeted to the wealthy. Perhaps the wealthy could benefit in small ways from some of them, but that could easily be fixed by caps on income for any of them ("if you make more than $150K per year, you can't use this writeoff"), or by adjusting the AMT.

    Contrary to your constant claims, this ain't exactly rocket science. All you have to do is begin with the goal of cutting taxes for those making less than six figures. Instead of starting from "we're going to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit, now let's make sure 85% of the benefits go to those making the most money." It's all a question of priorities, but when you start with different goals cutting taxes without giving away the store to the wealthy is quite easy. I bet if I took another 45 seconds or so, I could easily come up with 5 more ways to do the exact thing, in fact.

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    this week, the not-at-all-liberal Wall Street Journal broke the story that Donald Trump paid off a porn star mere days before the 2016 election, to the tune of $130,000,

    Funny how you say that the Wall Street Journal broke the story, yet you link the WaPoop report... :D

    I guess the WSJ report wasn't ANTI-TRUMP enough for ya, eh?? :D

    Once again, NO FACTS to support the claim..

    I thought we were REALITY based here, eh?? :D

    It's weird that people in the room don't remember Trump using that word when Trump himself was calling friends to brag about it afterwards. I spoke to one of those friends.

    FACTS TO SUPPORT?? :D

    The blame game hasn't even officially begun, and yet Democrats already appear to be winning it, hands down.

    Of course they are.... :D

    This time, Democrats are already winning the P.R. battle.

    Wow.. THAT was quick.. We went from APPEARS to be winning it to ALREADY winning it.. Just in a few paragraphs. :D

    Nothing about Lie-awatha???

    WASHINGTON — There’s a ghost haunting Elizabeth Warren as she ramps up for a possible 2020 presidential bid and a reelection campaign in Massachusetts this year: her enduring and undocumented claims of Native American ancestry.

    But that self-awareness may not be enough, as her political ambitions blossom. She’s taken flak from the right for years as a “fake Indian,” including taunts from President Trump, who derisively calls her “Pocahontas.’’ That clamor from the right will only grow with her increasing prominence.

    And, more telling, there’s also discomfort on the left and among some tribal leaders and activists that Warren has a political blind spot when it comes to the murkiness surrounding her story of her heritage, which blew up as an issue in her victorious 2012 Massachusetts Senate race. In recent months, Daily Show host Trevor Noah mocked her for claiming Native American ancestry and the liberal website ThinkProgress published a scathing criticism of her by a Cherokee activist who said she should apologize.
    https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2018/01/19/elizabeth-warren-native-american-problem-goes-beyond-politics/uK9pGOl4JBmqmRUcxTNj3H/story.html

    :D

    Oh.. It's only a problem when President lies or the Republicans lie...

    Democrats can lie all the time and no one says boo.. :D

    All in all, it's as I have always said..

    No matter WHAT happens that's bad, it's ALWAYS the fault of President Trump or the Republicans..

    Democrats are as pure as the driven snow.. :^/

  7. [7] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Chris

    OK, all true, especially the "Earned Income Credit" which is actually a 'negative tax' (aka subsidy), but the bottom line is, when the bottom 50% of the earners pay only 2.8% of all the tax collected, about your only hope is to get that down to 0%, which ain't much of a 'cut', right?

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Off the top of my head, here are 5 ways taxes could be cut without giving everything away to the wealthiest:

    "Everything" *WASN'T* given to the wealthy..

    No matter how many times you say it, 80+% of Americans are benefiting from the tax cuts..

    Even more are benefiting from the raises and such that were PROMPTED by the tax cuts..

    This is one of those times (happening more and more often) where reality is ignored, SOLELY to blame President Trump...

    I get it.. I really do.. Ya'all are in a panic because you KNOW the vast majority of Americans are going to love President Trump's tax cuts...

    :D

  9. [9] 
    neilm wrote:

    Chris appears to be counting heavily on the hope that people actually care enough to bother to assign blame for the 'shutdown'

    Most people pat peripheral attention to politics outside of the couple of months before a Presidential election, in my experience.

    But they have a general understanding of what is going on. The big message is the one that is accepted be the larger, more apathetic audience.

    The keen people on the left and the right - and let's face it, that means just about everybody reading CW's blog and even more so, this comment, already have rock solid reasons why it is with the Republican's or Democrat's fault.

    Opinion polls are really the only reliable method (and they have their problems) of giving us insight into the two key questions:

    1. Who do most people blame?
    2. Will they act on that at the next election?

    We'll see.

    My guess is that the Republicans, holding all three branches of government, are going to have to explain why they are innocent bunnies oppressed by the evil Democrats.

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    4

    As we've discussed before, It's damn tough for the Reps to pass a (income) tax cut that doesn't favor only "the rich and the corporations" when we have a tax system crafted by the Dems, where only the rich and the corporations actually PAY income taxes. Smart as they are, even Reps can't figure out how to reduce the taxes of people who DON'T PAY TAXES, right?

    Okay, I'll just cut to the chase on your comment that "only the rich and the corporations actually PAY income taxes" because that is patently false and utterly nonsensical bullshit.

    My statement was that the Trump tax cut "primarily favors corporations and the 1%." That is what I said. If you'd like to actually argue that statement, feel free to make yourself look ridiculous. Otherwise, reframing my statements and spinning them to fit your agenda proves nothing more than your ability to move the goalposts and spin the football.

    Donald Trump campaigned on a platform where he said he was going to cut taxes for the middle class and rich people would not receive any benefit. This promise could have actually been accomplished had Trump chose to do that, as CW outlined beautifully, but Trump chose otherwise while continuing to insist that rich people did not benefit under his tax plan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHMdrcyISI0

    Anyway, my point was that it takes a special kind of stupid to believe that the GOP that controls the House, the Senate, and the presidency, who passed a tax cut that primarily benefited corporations and the 1% couldn't have kept the government open if they had chosen to do so.

    Governing is compromise, and if you won't or can't compromise, then you cannot govern. The GOP has been unable to govern for quite a number of years now because they can't agree amongst themselves on a large number of things with the exception of tax cuts. It is incumbent upon the Party that is tasked with governing to secure the votes it needs in order to govern [keep the government open]. The GOP failed to do that, and it's on them.

    I will say, though, that Trump's inability to make a decision and keep his word was the catalyst that torpedoed their efforts. :)

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Dems did try to block much of Trump’s legislation from passing, and that was because it was horrible legislation!

    Of course.. And the Odumbo legislation was perfect and beyond reproach..

    Once again, your Party slavery and bigotry kicks in..

    As to the rest, blaa blaaa blaaa blaaaa...

    NONE of it changes the FACT that you said that the Republicans "BRAGGED" about obstructing Odumbo...

    And I responded that the Democrats did the exact same thing with Trump..

    Is that or is that NOT a factual statement..

    It is...

    "END TRANS"
    -Whoopie Goldberg, JUMPIN' JACK FLASH

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, let me get this straight..

    Because Republicans couldn't muster support within their own Party, THEY are to blame for the CR legislation not passing....

    Hmmmmmmmm

    And when the Democrats couldn't muster support within their own Party to pass "assault gun" legislation in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, it was the GOP who was at fault for that legislation not passing....

    Do you not see the inherent hypocrisy and *TOTALLY* ***NON*** reality-based outlook ya'all have here???

    Yunno, it would save a LOT of space and electrons if ya just posted daily:

    "Everything bad that happened today is the fault of President Trump AKA Hitler/Stalin/Genghis Khan/Lucifer and the evil Republicans..

    Everything good that happened today is by virtue of the Pure-As-The-Driven-Snow All-Goodness-And-Light Everything-That-Is-Good-And-Decent Democrat Party.."

    You see how much simpler that is???

    I mean, ya'all are pretty much saying that anyways...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting to note..

    The Child Health Insurance was part and parcel to the legislation that Democrats voted against..

    So, OBVIOUSLY, Democrats hate children and want them all to die..

    You see how SPIN works??

    That is *EXACTLY* what ya'all have..

    NOTHING but spin...

  14. [14] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The world's greatest negotiator just proved that he has no negotiating skills. That's a relief to all those who worried that he'd have us over a barrel.

    Tonight the WH issued a statement saying that they wouldn't negotiate anything until the Democrats agree to reopen the government.

    Staring Contest!

  15. [15] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So, OBVIOUSLY, Democrats hate children and want them all to die.. You see how SPIN works??

    Fail. For spin to work, it has to be plausible. For instance:

    Trump will keep the government closed exactly as long as Fox News believes it should be kept closed. The moment that Hannity decides that enough is enough, and Fox and Friends repeats it, a deal will be struck, but not a moment sooner. That is the true state of the Union: we're being led by a second-rate talk radio host.

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fail. For spin to work, it has to be plausible.

    For normal, rational people, that IS possible...

    For people like you???

    "Everything bad that happened today is the fault of President Trump AKA Hitler/Stalin/Genghis Khan/Lucifer and the evil Republicans..

    Everything good that happened today is by virtue of the Pure-As-The-Driven-Snow All-Goodness-And-Light Everything-That-Is-Good-And-Decent Democrat Party.."

    Face the facts, dood.. Yer a Party drone. You NEVER disagree with your Party.. Your Party dictates your life...

    THAT is reality-based....

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump will keep the government closed exactly as long as Fox News believes it should be kept closed.

    Any facts to support your bullshit claim??

    The *ONLY* FACT that supports your claim is your Party slavery and your HHPTDS...

    Because you have been on record as quoting FNC when they ATTACKED President Trump...

    So, once again... We see that all you have to say is:

    "Everything bad that happened today is the fault of President Trump AKA Hitler/Stalin/Genghis Khan/Lucifer and the evil Republicans..

    Everything good that happened today is by virtue of the Pure-As-The-Driven-Snow All-Goodness-And-Light Everything-That-Is-Good-And-Decent Democrat Party.."

    Yer covered for the rest of the day, Balthy... :D

    Go out and have a life.. :D

  18. [18] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Yer covered for the rest of the day, Balthy...

    If you think that covers it, your imagination is as limited as your responses.

    Trump will blink first. This is his show, after all.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you think that covers it, your imagination is as limited as your responses.

    Says the guy who all he has is:

    "Everything bad that happened today is the fault of President Trump AKA Hitler/Stalin/Genghis Khan/Lucifer and the evil Republicans..

    Everything good that happened today is by virtue of the Pure-As-The-Driven-Snow All-Goodness-And-Light Everything-That-Is-Good-And-Decent Democrat Party.."

    :D

    Trump will blink first. This is his show, after all.

    TRANSLATION:

    "Everything bad that happened today is the fault of President Trump AKA Hitler/Stalin/Genghis Khan/Lucifer and the evil Republicans..

    Everything good that happened today is by virtue of the Pure-As-The-Driven-Snow All-Goodness-And-Light Everything-That-Is-Good-And-Decent Democrat Party.."

    Gotcha {wink, wink} :D

    The Left has become a caricature of everything they claim to despise..

    Hate.. Intolerance.. Violence...

  20. [20] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    12

    Because Republicans couldn't muster support within their own Party, THEY are to blame for the CR legislation not passing....

    Republicans have the majority in the Senate, and they failed to garner enough support to pass the legislation and keep the government open because Trump refused to compromise. They had a bipartisan compromise that Trump refused, and Trump also refused to outline what he'd accept in compromise. This is not all that complicated.

    And when the Democrats couldn't muster support within their own Party to pass "assault gun" legislation in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, it was the GOP who was at fault for that legislation not passing....

    No. The Democrats proposed the legislation and failed to secure the votes to pass it; however, it had nothing whatsoever to do with keeping the government open. It's not complicated.

    Do you not see the inherent hypocrisy and *TOTALLY* ***NON*** reality-based outlook ya'all have here???

    No. I just see you putting words in people's mouths that they never said in order to prove your standard bullshit argument that has long since died from a combination of loneliness and overuse.

    "Everything bad that happened today is the fault of President Trump AKA Hitler/Stalin/Genghis Khan/Lucifer and the evil Republicans..

    No. That actually sounds more like GOP bullshit and permeates the craniums of those who consume too much right-wing talking points/propaganda and then projects it onto others.

    You should allow yourself to entertain the idea that Trump isn't exactly the populist that he claimed to be since Trump is planning to be in the country of Switzerland at Davos hobnobbing it up with his ilk while you're still living in the right-wing bubble floating in the alternate reality in the state of denial. :)

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    blaa blaa blaa blaa

    TRANSLATION: "Everything bad that happened today is the fault of President Trump AKA Hitler/Stalin/Genghis Khan/Lucifer and the evil Republicans..

    Everything good that happened today is by virtue of the Pure-As-The-Driven-Snow All-Goodness-And-Light Everything-That-Is-Good-And-Decent Democrat Party.."

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wonder where xanax-girl is this morning...

    Can't wait to hear her rendition of :

    "Everything bad that happened today is the fault of President Trump AKA Hitler/Stalin/Genghis Khan/Lucifer and the evil Republicans..

    Everything good that happened today is by virtue of the Pure-As-The-Driven-Snow All-Goodness-And-Light Everything-That-Is-Good-And-Decent Democrat Party.."

    :D

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Donald Trump is getting worried that his one-year anniversary party might get spoiled. He's holding the shindig at his own Florida golf resort, and charging couples a mere $100,000 to attend, but right now it's looking like he might have to stay in Washington to cope with a government shutdown instead. Wouldn't be seemly to be shown partying to celebrate all your successes when Washington has hit a brick wall, now, would it?

    So, do you give President Trump credit for NOT going?? I mean, ya'all would pound him mercilessly if he DID go.. And ya'all pound him mercilessly when he decides NOT to go...

    Do ya'all see how totally and unequivocally in the throes of HHPTDS ya'all are...

    NO MATTER WHAT President Trump does, ya'all will attack him for it.

    That says a LOT more about ya'all than it does about President Trump...

    Once upon a time such irrational and hysterical hatred would be cause for concern amongst ya'all..

    Now it's just another day in Weigantia...

    Sad.......

  24. [24] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    I am nicely asking that you refrain from commenting/ridiculing people on the medications that they may/may not be prescribed. No one refers to you as “Mr. Viagra + Defibrillator” (“Mr. VD” for short), so let’s not start making attacking people for their medical/psychiatric meds acceptable on here!

    As someone who used to take Xanax, I can tell you that it can cause people to do things/say things that they will have no memory of doing. It almost killed me. I had taken Xanax and gone to bed, but my roommate said that 30 minutes later, I can back downstairs where he was watching TV and said that I couldn’t sleep. We talked for over an hour before I said I was hungry and wanted to go to IHOP for some breakfast. My roommate says he was too tired to go, but that I was determined to go to IHOP, so I got in my friend’s car and headed to Seattle. I made it about 15 miles before I slammed the car into the wall just before the start of the 520 floating bridge.

    I awoke on the floorboard of the front passenger side of the car, I had no idea where I was or how I got there. I only remember crawling into bed. My roommate had no clue that I was not actually awake when we were talking. He felt terrible that he let me leave. I cannot begin to tell you how lucky I was that no one was injured by my actions. At 5 am on a Sunday morning, there was almost no traffic out. Had it been a weekday, I don’t want to think about how different the outcome could have been.

    Even though I had no way of controlling what happened, I still feel ashamed of my actions that night. So, again, I ask that you don’t mock people because of the meds that they take.

    Thanks -

    R

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "The Resistance to Trump continues to grow among the public...."

    Don't know if that was done on purpose, but either way- Thank You!

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And thank you for admitting that assigning blame for the shutdown will be spin.

    The reason shutdowns and the spin that follows it happens is that there are only two choices. Hence the term/spin "FLIPPING" a seat. It implies there are only two choices.

    It is like a coin flip where the Big Money interests always get heads and the coin has Washington on one side and Lincoln on the other. And the rest of us get it in the tail.

    It's time for a little Kismet instead of the same old predestined coin flip. The odds of rolling a kismet with one roll are slim- but they are still better than the coin flip. And if we choose to play a different game than the guaranteed loser we are playing now we get more than one roll of the dice.

  27. [27] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    A mighty fine rant indeed! Better still, you sustained it into the comments section!!

    The President is a Republican, Republicans hold majorites in both houses of Congress...yeah they are going to feel the most heat from the electorate. Only the
    Presdent doesn't seem to grasp this....or possibly he just doesn't much care.

  28. [28] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick [10]

    Sorry man, but that "patently false and utterly nonsensical bullshit" comes from the IRS website, not from this illiterate uneducated Rep/Con.

    Take your dispute of who pays what up with those guys, I'm pretty sure they'll straighten you out.

    And note, I did NOT "argue", dispute, nor even "spin" your claim that the tax cut "primarily favors corporations and the 1% ". Far from it, I totally AGREED with that statement, and then proceeded to explain WHY your statement was true, with IRS statistics, the accuracy of which you evidently dispute.

    Your (our) problem is NOT in any disagreement, only in your lack of reading comprehension skills, right?

    And yeah, Trump "lied in his "campaign promises" (about who would benefit). Also, the sun rises in the east, water is wet, and CW is a political liberal. See, we actually have areas of agreement, if you can just keep them straight for a change.

  29. [29] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    CW,

    Consider this -- the fight in Washington today is not over a budget that would cover the entire rest of the year. Far from it. If the Republicans get their way, they will only be passing a budget that kicks the can down the road for the fourth time in four months so that we can have all this drama all over again in February. That's the GOP's idea of responsible governing, folks.

    It has nothing to do with the idea of responsible governing; it’s about providing a distraction for Trump’s legal problems.
    I don’t think that the Republicans are going to push anything but short term solutions until Mueller’s investigation is completed. They want the masses to have something else to distract them from whatever charges are brought against Trump and friends.

    Better to have the government shutting down be the distraction than Trump starting a war to distract from his legal problems!

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen-
    "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends."
    -ELP

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    I am nicely asking that you refrain from commenting/ridiculing people

    I would kindly ask that ya'all refrain from ridiculing people..

    What are the chances that has any effect??

    But since I am a reasonable and rational person (apparently the only one) and, given your personal experience, I will honor your request...

    Prozac-girl OK??? :D

    Kookydooks-girl??

    BatshitCrazy-girl??

    LooneyTunes-girl??

    FewFriesShortOfAHappyMeal-girl??

    Pick one.. :D

    "Where am I supposed to go!!??"
    "I don't know!!!"
    "You don't know or you don't care!!??"
    "PICK ONE!!"

    -XMEN

    :D

    I don’t think that the Republicans are going to push anything but short term solutions until Mueller’s investigation is completed.

    Mueller's investigation is already gone..

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/65-lawmakers-urge-devin-nunes-to-allow-release-of-memo-on-fisa-abuses/article/2646531

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry man, but that "patently false and utterly nonsensical bullshit" comes from the IRS website, not from this illiterate uneducated Rep/Con.

    Oh snap!!!

    Victoria is slapped down once again!!! :D

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, again, I ask that you don’t mock people because of the meds that they take.

    For the record, I wasn't mocking Paula because of the medications she is taking..

    I was mocking her because she has to take medications to cope with the FACT that President Trump totally devastated the luser Hillary Clinton...

    Just so we're clear...

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    And if anyone has a problem with me mocking people for their personal failings??

    It's how ya'all roll here....

  35. [35] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    ... that "patently false and utterly nonsensical bullshit" comes from the IRS website ...

    As long as this continues, we won't be having any more of that being updated to their website.

    That's related to why this one is different than, say, one where a combustible Speaker joked it was because of the seat he had on AF-1. Lots of conservatives like it, (using stereotypic shorthand here) as long as they can still go hunting and the mail get delivered.

    The next looming deadline is Davos. A cynic might suspect the Democrats want to pin the President to the annual convention of the Illuminati like a butterfly specimen. If, by wheels-up, there's no deal on opening the gates of Yellowstone for the guys who have the tires and chains and winches and balls to go there in January, that would just spread the wings a little wider in the display case.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    A cynic might suspect the Democrats want to pin the President to the annual convention of the Illuminati like a butterfly specimen.

    A realist knows that Democrats want to pin ANYTHING to the President, regardless of how outlandish and made up the accusations are....

  37. [37] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    You can’t make this sh*t up!

    President Donald Trump flubbed a key word in his address to the March for Life rally on Friday, mistakenly telling anti-abortion protesters that it’s wrong for babies to be “born” in the ninth month of a pregnancy.

    “Right now, a number of state laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change,” he said.

    Build a wall!

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Donald Trump flubbed a key word in his address to the March for Life rally on Friday, mistakenly telling anti-abortion protesters that it’s wrong for babies to be “born” in the ninth month of a pregnancy.

    ANd Odumbo said there were 57 states in the US...

    "YOU CAN'T MAKES THIS SHIT UP!!!"

    Jeezus H Christ!!!

    I know you suffer from HHPTDS but ya, fer christ's sake, don't have the flaunt it!!

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Donald Trump flubbed a key word in his address to the March for Life rally on Friday, mistakenly telling anti-abortion protesters that it’s wrong for babies to be “born” in the ninth month of a pregnancy.

    And Odumbo said there were 57 states in the US...

    "YOU CAN'T MAKES THIS SHIT UP!!!"

    Jeezus H Christ!!!

    I know you suffer from HHPTDS but ya, fer christ's sake, don't have the flaunt it!!

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    And Clinton said that he really didn't smoke pot because he didn't inhale...

    Why is it when a Dumbocrat says something stoopid, it's no big deal, but when a GOP'er says something stoopid it's "YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP!!!"

  41. [41] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Michael

    Actually there is at least a semi-legitimate difference between those two - Clinton was simply lying, Trump was simply stupid.

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    "The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system."
    -Barack Obama, 20 JUL 2009

    YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP!!!!!

    "What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith..."
    -Barack Obama, 7 SEP 2008

    YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP!!!!!

    "One such translator was an American of Haitian descent, representative of the extraordinary work that our men and women in uniform do all around the world -- Navy Corpse-Man Christian Brossard."
    -Barack Obama, 5 FEB 2010

    YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP!!!!!

    And my personal favorite...

    "A Jedi Mind Meld is not an option during sequester negotiations.."
    -Barack Obama, 1 MAR 2013

    OH MY FRAKIN' GOD, YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You people really need to pace yerselves...

    Ya'all are NEVER going to be able to last until 20 Jan 2025 if you lose yer frakin' minds over the slightest lil bit....

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually there is at least a semi-legitimate difference between those two - Clinton was simply lying, Trump was simply stupid.

    No, Trump SAID something stoopid... As Odumbo has done time and time and time again..

    You are 80 years old.. I am sure YOU have said something stoopid at least ONCE in your long life..

    That hardly MAKES you stoopid, now does it??

    Imagine how YOU would look if your every move, your every utterance was broadcasted for ALL to see???

    I am SURE there would be people out there who would say, "Jeezus, that CRS is simply stoopid..."

    Can we, for ONCE, forgo the Party/Ideological slavery and be RATIONAL about something???

    Is that too much to ask??

    Around here, it apparently is... :^/

  44. [44] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    28

    Kick: Okay, I'll just cut to the chase on your comment that "only the rich and the corporations actually PAY income taxes" because that is patently false and utterly nonsensical bullshit.

    Stucki: Sorry man, but that "patently false and utterly nonsensical bullshit" comes from the IRS website, not from this illiterate uneducated Rep/Con.

    Old man Stucki insists that "only the rich and the corporations actually PAY income taxes," which is obviously a false statement on its face. I guess he forgot that he agreed with CW's five ways to cut taxes for "middle class, average taxpayers" because that was yesterday and today is a new day where he is insisting that it "comes from the IRS website."

    While you are certainly free to keep clinging to your "bottom 50% of the earners pay only 2.8% of the taxes," it doesn't change the fact that many of those in the "top 50% of earners" are indeed "middle class."

    Now bugger off. :)

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    You are 80 years old.. I am sure YOU have said something stoopid at least ONCE in your long life..

    That hardly MAKES you stoopid, now does it??

    Imagine how YOU would look if your every move, your every utterance was broadcasted for ALL to see???

    I am SURE there would be people out there who would say, "Jeezus, that CRS is simply stoopid..."

    For the record, CRS, I am not singling you out..

    I would imagine anyone here, myself included, would look and/or appear stoopid at one time or another if our every utterance, our every moment was an open book broadcast to the world..

    ESPECIALLY when you consider that 90% of the Leftist Media reports of President Trump are negative...

  46. [46] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Michael

    Yeah, maybe even more than one "stoopid" thing in my life, but all stoopids are not created equal. Being stoopid enough to think that a bazillion dollar wall will stop illegal immigration is even several orders of magnitude stoopider than not knowing how long the human gestation period is.

  47. [47] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS:

    when the bottom 50% of the earners pay only 2.8% of all the tax collected

    I assume you are using the IRS's 2016 update of 2014 taxes as your source.

    If so, are you aware that this only focused on income taxes (about 25% of the total taxes collected) and does not include the far less progressive payroll taxes (20% of the total)?

    Or are you using another source, and if so, can you list it please?

  48. [48] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    As with most persons of the female persuasion, you appear to be mathematically challenged.

    When you divide earners/taxpayers 50 - 50, as does the IRS with the statistic I quoted, you do not HAVE a "middle class", you have an 'upper and a lower', or maybe a 'rich' and a 'poor', but no "middle"

    In order to get a middle class, you have to divide your group THREE ways, not two ways.

    If you do decide to divide three ways, then indeed, not just "many" of those in the IRS system (50% of earners)" are in the middle class, in actuality MOST of the top 50% are in the middle class, simply because there are so many of them.

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS [48] I grew up in Britain where there was a working class (about 60% of people), a middle class (about 30%) and an upper class (10%). This has shifted and now Brits, like Americans, mostly consider themselves middle class.

    In fact, just about everybody I know considers themselves middle class in the U.S. and always seems to have, as far as I can determine.

    I have a friend who earns close to a seven figure salary who is convinced he is solidly middle class and a relative who, while wealthy today, grew up in what I would call poverty in the 1960s on the East Coast, and also considers herself
    middle class and always has.

    It is a mystery to me what class is in the U.S. - it was far easier in the U.K., you just listened to their accent and word usage.

    It is also a mystery why somebody could be so dumb as to attribute an ability in basic math to genetics - sadly I'll put it down to ignorant bigotry with a dash of trolling.

  50. [50] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm

    Of COURSE I'm focused on income taxes, and even on only FED income taxes, because that's the only thing the bill we're arguing about is concerned with. Far as I'm aware, congress is not even discussing modifying the SS taxes, or any other payroll taxes.

    You are absolutely correct about payroll taxes, and if you wish to expand the discussion to TOTAL taxation, you would need to throw in state income taxes, state and local sales taxes, property taxes, etc, most all of which are disproportionately paid by lower income earners, but that's not the bill we've been arguing the merits of for these many weeks, right? Far as I know, the IRS doesn't even concern itself with all those other taxes, so their stats naturally only reference the fed INCOME TAX.

  51. [51] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [49]

    Yeah, you've nailed the weird habit of all Americans to consider themselves 'middle class'. I think the Brit thing obviously has its roots in the 'lords, ladies, common folks', etc. heritage from the days of nobility, royalty, etc. (We actually fought a war to keep from having to deal with that kind of thing, remember?)

    Re Me and Kick, You've got the right idea, but the wrong proportions - light on the ignorant bigotry, and HEAVY on the trolling!!

  52. [52] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [49] again

    Re Math ability and genetics.

    How can you possibly deny that genetics isn't close to 100% in math talent? Obviously I'm mostly just yanking Kicks chain over the "female persuasion" thing. The single most talented or maybe 'gifted' mathematician I ever met was the women professor why taught my Trig class in college. But I doubt there's ever been a real mathematician in all of history who wasn't born with the talent or at least the aptitude.

    And in spite of the fact that it's seriously politically incorrect to mention the fact, it's still undeniably true that math talent is far more common in men than in women, and that's gotta be genetics, right?

    PS I am NOT gifted in math. I muddled clear through a math minor in college, (B's and C's) but it was not because I had any special talent for it.

  53. [53] 
    neilm wrote:

    And in spite of the fact that it's seriously politically incorrect to mention the fact, it's still undeniably true that math talent is far more common in men than in women, and that's gotta be genetics, right?

    This is a long discussion. The average for women could be higher than for men, however the standard deviation could be larger for men, and thus there are more extremes in men than in women - I'm not saying this is the case, although I've seen some preliminary work that supports this (I'll need to dig out some research).

    I've got to be social tonight - I'll come back to this.

  54. [54] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    C. R. Stucki [7] -

    Once again, if you start with different goals you see different paths to get there. I could care less about "all the taxes collected." Period. It's a meaningless statistic for the goal I would set: reduce taxes on the middle class (which I would define as making less than $150K per year, personally). Whether that reduced the overall taxes paid to the government much or not is immaterial to achieving that goal. Which, as I pointed out, isn't all that hard to accomplish.

    Or I could even start from a different place. How about "since SCOTUS says corporations are people, then let's equalize their treatment by the tax code." So let's let workers write off all interest and bank charges they pay (credit cards, checking, whatever), for example. And when they buy lunch in the middle of a workday, allow them to write off that cost as well. If they commute to work, allow them to write off a cost-per-mile (not sure what the official rate is up to, 50 cents a mile?) of doing so with their own car. How's that for providing tax relief without giving any of it (any more than is currently given, I should say) to Wall Street?

    It ain't rocket science. But you have to start from a different place, have a different goal, and take a different path, that's all. I mean, I'm not disputing your view (or your facts) at all, but I am saying there are different ways to "cut taxes" that don't give away the store, that's all.

    -CW

  55. [55] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [13] -

    That is pretty close to the argument I've been hearing from Repubilcans all day. OK, yours was a little more direct, but the same sentiment. So where is your denunciation of this spin? Hmmm?

    Heh. Two can play at this game.

    Oh, see also your comment [16]. Shoe's on the other foot... anything the GOP does is sweetness and light, right?

    [23] -

    OK, I will give credit for Trump not going. He realized (or had it explained to him) that hobnobbing with $50K-per-plate crowd would be bad optics when the government is shut down. Heck, I'll even give him credit if he cancels his trip to Davos, to hobnob with the world's 1%, for the same reason (bad optics).

    Happy?

    TheStig [27] -

    Well, thank you for the kind words!

    :-)

    Don Harris [30] -

    Nice! Here's a trip down memory lane for you (way back to FTP [85]) --

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2009/07/10/friday-talking-points-85-roll-up-see-the-show/

    :-)

    neilm [47] -

    Thank you for reminding me -- there's another dandy way to cut taxes at the bottom. Cut the payroll tax rate, and at the same time (to pay for it) scrap the cap on earnings, so that every earner pays the same flat tax rate. Forgot that one!

    C. R. Stucki [48] -

    Don't most people looking at stats on income cut things into quintiles? So you get "the top fifth" and "the bottom fifth," etc.? That's how I usually see things presented....

    C. R. Stucki [52] -

    In last week's "Victora" (think that's what it's called -- the PBS/British series), Albert met with Charles Babbage and a woman mathemetician named "Lady Lovelace". She's considered the "first computer programmer" in fact:

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

    I'm not entering the gender argument, here, just wanted to toss a factoid on the pile that I just recently learned of, that's all...

    OK, that's it for now. Gotta go watch SNL...

    Be nice, everyone...

    Heh.

    -CW

  56. [56] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Chris

    That's all good and I know where you're coming from. We just come at the question of taxation from different ideological positions. I don't actually intentionally advocate for any specific level of taxation for any particular group, I just get tired of hearing the liberal shibboleth "Tax cuts for the rich" invariably used to condemn ALL tax cuts.

    If you can tolerate a little bit of knit-picking, avoid that trite phrase "I could care less . . ", which terminology actually conveys the exact opposite of what you're intending to convey.

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    At least President Trump is not adopting a MAKE IT HURT campaign like Odumbo did in HIS shutdown...

    Point to President Trump...

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    CRS,

    Being stoopid enough to think that a bazillion dollar wall will stop illegal immigration is even several orders of magnitude stoopider than not knowing how long the human gestation period is.

    And yet, when California put up it's border wall, illegal immigration was cut by 92% in California..

    So, on the one hand, we have your opinion...

    And on the other hand, we have FACTs that prove your opinion is wrong...

    Hmmmmm... Tough call. :D

    As with most persons of the female persuasion, you appear to be mathematically challenged.

    Ooooooo yer gonna burn for that one!!! :D hehehehehehe

    In Victoria's case, it's not because she's a girl.. It's because she's...well... Victoria... :D

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Oh, see also your comment [16]. Shoe's on the other foot... anything the GOP does is sweetness and light, right?

    You know me well enough to know that I really don't believe that..

    As far as I am concerned, both Party's suck.. But the GOP sucks while still caring about their country. Democrats suck AND hate their country...

    OK, I will give credit for Trump not going. He realized (or had it explained to him) that hobnobbing with $50K-per-plate crowd would be bad optics when the government is shut down. Heck, I'll even give him credit if he cancels his trip to Davos, to hobnob with the world's 1%, for the same reason (bad optics).

    Happy?

    Of course.. But it doesn't change my opinion much. You are the exception that emphasizes the rule.. :D

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay Neil,

    Merkel, often dubbed the world's most powerful woman, has been largely absent from the global stage as the domestic drama has played out, and she is increasingly described by commentators as entering the twilight of her rule.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/germanys-spd-nothing-vote-merkel-alliance-022534739.html

    Looks like your new "leader of the free world" is on her way out! :D

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    A month before the 2016 election, Obama mocked Trump’s campaign on “Jimmy Kimmel.” Obama read a tweet from Trump saying that Obama “will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States,” before turning Trump into a punchline. “Really? Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president,” Obama said, dropping his phone on the floor for dramatic effect.

    He who laughs last laughs best..

    A year into the Trump presidency, Obama’s legacy is taking a beating.
    http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/20/donald-trump-undoing-barack-obama-legacy/

    That's the BEST accomplishment of President Trump to date..

    Erasing the stain of Odumbo's administration on this country...

  62. [62] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [52] Obviously I'm mostly just yanking Kicks chain over the "female persuasion" thing.

    Sure. Being a sexist asshole - it's funny to you! Obviously! Got it.

    The single most talented or maybe 'gifted' mathematician I ever met was the women professor why taught my Trig class in college.

    Cool story, bro. And was the single most talented or maybe 'gifted' automotive engineer you ever met the person who taught you how to pump gas for your car?

    (No doubt she was a good teacher. But here's an example of the sort of thing actual mathematicians think about. It ain't "Trig".)

    PS I am NOT gifted in math.

    Well, by all means, don't let that stop you from blathering on as usual about topics you don't actually know much about. Your uninformed gut feelings are really important, and we need to listen to them!

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sure. Being a sexist asshole - it's funny to you! Obviously! Got it.

    Apparently, being an asshole is funny to everyone else.. :D

    "Lighten up, Francis"
    -Sgt Hulka, STRIPES

    :D

    Well, by all means, don't let that stop you from blathering on as usual about topics you don't actually know much about.

    Come now.. The entire comment section is made up of "blather" from people who don't know what they are talking about..

    Why shouldn't CRS be allowed to partake???

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all want to slam President Trump for attending Davos even though he hasn't yet..

    Funny... I am trying to find all ya'all's comments about VP Biden attending Davos... Can't seem to locate a single comment condemning that...

    OK, OK, lemme help ya out..

    "Well... That's different..."
    -Lame Weigantian Response

    "Yer Welcome"
    -Maui, MOANA

    :D

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    This one's for you.. :D

    https://youtu.be/l59ItK6d-wQ

  66. [66] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    48

    In order to get a middle class, you have to divide your group THREE ways, not two ways.

    *LOL* "Mongolese" math.

    Troll harder. :)

  67. [67] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The arc of the moron universe is long and lleaving muddy boot marks in the comments section yet again.

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    The arc of the moron universe is long and lleaving muddy boot marks in the comments section yet again.

    Says the guy who backed the luser Hillary Clinton.. :D

  69. [69] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Michael [58]

    I seriously question any statistic that says immigration (across the Mex- U.S border) is "Down 92% in CA". And if in the unlikely case that it happens to actually BE true, the only possible explanation would have to be that the place is already wall-to-wall Hispanics, and there simply ain't room to cram another single one in, right?

  70. [70] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    chaszzz

    Prior to hearing your blather, I never even knew it was possible to eject flatulence orally. Most people fart out their asses, but it appears you have developed a unique talent in that regard.

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    I seriously question any statistic that says immigration (across the Mex- U.S border) is "Down 92% in CA".

    It WAS down 92% in the aftermath of the California Border Wall..

    Then the morons in the California (so-called) leadership issued a "YA'ALL COME" to thieves and murderers and drug dealers and rapists and now California is a shithole...

    Or shithouse.. Whichever you prefer..

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Then the morons in the California (so-called) leadership issued a "YA'ALL COME" to thieves and murderers and drug dealers and rapists and now California is a shithole...

    Or shithouse.. Whichever you prefer..

    And that's speaking *AS* a native Californian...

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    JAGS ARE GONNA WIN!!!! :D

  74. [74] 
    neilm wrote:

    Hey Michale:

    Just as I predicted - recent Gallup poll on World leadership - U.S. plummets under 45's lack of leadership ability:

    "Germany is now seen as a global leader by many more people (41% of the sample), with China in second place on 31%. Russia has 27% approval for its global role according to the poll."

    “This year marks a significant change in our trends,” wrote Gallup’s managing partner, Jon Clifton. “Only 30% of the world, on average, approves of the job performance of the US’s leadership, down from 48% in 2016. In fact, more people now disapprove of US leadership than approve. This historic low puts the US’s leadership approval rating on par with China’s and sets a new bar for disapproval.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/18/us-leadership-world-confidence-poll

    Sad.

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CRS,

    This site needs no more of your constant vulgarity and endless disrespect toward your fellow commenters.

    Please cease and desist or seek another platform more conducive to your style.

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    JAGS ARE GONNA WIN!!!! :D

    Excellent!

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why shouldn't CRS be allowed to partake???

    Because CRS crosses the line, of course.

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And so do you, at times, come to think of it.

  79. [79] 
    Kick wrote:

    Am I the only Patriot here? :)

    *ROTFLMAO*

  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Better luck, next year, Michale.

    It will be almost as much fun watching the Patriots lose the big one ...

  81. [81] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Liz M [75]

    Beg pardon, I NEVER initiate "vulgarity and endless disrespect", but I do sometimes respond in kind.

    Go read Chaszzz's [62], (the first time I ever heard of or from him/her/it) where he/she/it called me a "sexist asshole".

    Am I note entitled to respond in kind???

  82. [82] 
    John M wrote:

    [31] Michale

    "Mueller's investigation is already gone.."

    To put it in your vernacular... Yet another Trump is toast statement. Mueller's investigation was supposed to be gone by Thanksgiving, then by the end of the year... and guess what, it will still be going come this summer.

    Oh and that memo you cited? I would not count too heavily on Republicans being able to make something out of something made up by their own Republican staffers....

  83. [83] 
    John M wrote:

    [49] neilm

    "It is a mystery to me what class is in the U.S. - it was far easier in the U.K., you just listened to their accent and word usage."

    Actually it is really pretty easy if you just keep this in mind... Unless you KNOW you live:

    A.) In a trailer park or

    B.) In a housing project or neighborhood war zone or

    C.) like one of the ladies on "Real Housewives" then

    You ARE Middle Class in America.

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Responding in kind is juvenile.

  85. [85] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [74]

    Re the negative worldwide opinion of U.S. leadership, etc.

    If foreigners were allowed to vote, NO Rep/Con would EVER be elected pres of the U.S. Admittedly, Trump, by his very nature and personality, will never gain the approval of a single foreigner, but that bothers me not in the least.

    If the U.S. were to pursue whatever course of international conduct might be required to gain the love or even the approval of foreigners, it would be disaster for Americans. I couldn't care less if they love us, but I would like them to respect us, and unfortunately, with Trump as pres, we ain't even gonna get that, but he wont last long, so there's hope for the future.

  86. [86] 
    Kick wrote:

    John M
    82

    To put it in your vernacular... Yet another Trump is toast statement. Mueller's investigation was supposed to be gone by Thanksgiving, then by the end of the year... and guess what, it will still be going come this summer.

    It will be going for years to come; there are hundreds to prosecute. Buckle up. :)

  87. [87] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Liz M [84]

    Yeah, OK, I suppose responding in kind IS "juvenile", but I'm just a kid (at heart, anyway).

    And what is it to criticize me for only responding in kind, without a mention of the other blogger having initiated the insults? Is that "juvenile", or just simply unfair/unreasonable?

  88. [88] 
    neilm wrote:

    Re: Middle Class

    So Pew Research define middle class which is two-thirds to two times the national median income for your household size.

    For a 4 person household that would be $47k to $141k.

    This definition is going to shatter some illusions in Happy Valley, CA.

  89. [89] 
    neilm wrote:

    (Note: I call my neighborhood Happy Valley, CA as a joke - it turns out there are five real towns called Happy Valley, CA. Suffice to say, I'm being satirical - if you've seen Weeds, you can picture my community.)

  90. [90] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS [85]

    I've found a contempt for people who lean right in the U.S. to denigrate "soft power", however if you look at the international issues that the U.S. wants to exert leverage, the vast, vast majority require soft power. It is useful to have a "big stick" however one of the problems with a "big stick" is that it is more valuable as an unspoken threat than in actual usage.

    For example, when we went into Iraq, after openly signaling that we identified N. Korea and Iran as equal partners in the "Axis of Evil" the use of "hard power" was a double disaster.

    Firstly, Iran and N. Korea came to the conclusion that the U.S. would arbitrarily invade, overturn, and ultimately kill the leaders of those countries. Thus they needed a deterrent, and there is a fairly simple deterrent (from a scientific and engineering perspective) in nuclear weapons, thus they fired up aggressive nuclear programs.

    Secondly we demonstrated that we had no long term plan to win the long war and got bogged down in nation building, with disastrous results. This had the effect of souring a lot of the U.S. public on major military adventures, in effect diminishing the size of the "big stick".

    We needed a couple of decades to build up the concern in the rest of the World that the US MIC would need another war to get the money flowing again, coupled with the American public forgetting how badly the last adventure went. In the interim, we also needed to build up a sophisticated, intelligent, effective diplomatic corps.

    The current clown in the White House has decimated American power for decades with his antics - the survey I quoted reflects that - nobody thinks we are an effective player any longer, and a new resident in the White House in 2020 won't be able to turn things around for a long time.

    The impact of this is mostly hidden, as the value of soft power is necessarily something that you don't brag about, otherwise it evaporates.

    This seems like a lesson that most of America cannot grasp because most Americans have little understanding of international interactions and as the "big boy on the block" they have never had to thread the soft power needle that small countries such as Holland, Colombia, Vietnam or Botswana need to as that is all they have.

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    All of which is why, Neil, the next president needs to be an internationalist who not only understands the US global leadership role and how it keeps America great but can also communicate that idea to the American people.

    Joe Biden would be the perfect antidote to the Trump era.

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the record, I am in mourning..

    OK, done...

    Neil,

    Just as I predicted - recent Gallup poll on World leadership - U.S. plummets under 45's lack of leadership ability:

    It's SO cute that you still listen to polls.. But it's very telling that you only listen to polls that say what you want to hear.. :D

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Schumer said further negotiations were needed and spurned McConnell's request, pushing a vote until Monday, when hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed.
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/21/government-shutdown-2018-trump-senate-354113

    #SchumerShutdown

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    To put it in your vernacular... Yet another Trump is toast statement. Mueller's investigation was supposed to be gone by Thanksgiving, then by the end of the year... and guess what, it will still be going come this summer.

    Ahhhh, but *I* was never making any Mueller's Toast statements, now was I?? :D

    Unlike ya'll, with ya'all HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS Trump Is Toast statements, eh? :D

    Oh and that memo you cited? I would not count too heavily on Republicans being able to make something out of something made up by their own Republican staffers....

    Of course, you would say that. And, of course, you will be wrong just like ALL of the other times you have been wrong with ALL things President Trump.. :D

    The hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo, created after outraged Republican lawmakers exposed the existence of a top secret memo detailing serious surveillance abuse by top officials in the Obama administration, has paid off.

    Republican lawmakers who have read the memo said it is something all Americans need to see, saying this is “bigger than Watergate” and even worse than a government shutdown. Specifically, the memo reportedly details FISA abuse committed by some of the top officials in Obama’s Justice Department and FBI.

    Saturday afternoon, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) announced on Twitter that the process has now begun to release the memo to the American public. He tweeted, “Great news! Our efforts to #ReleaseTheMemo have been effective and the HPSIC plans to begin the process to release the FBI/FISA/Russia memo. This may take up to 19+ Congressional work days but Americans deserve to know the truth.”
    https://dmlnews.com/breaking-house-intel-committee-begins-process-release-fisa-abuse-memo/

    Ya'all are starting to sweat, I can tell. :D

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    This site needs no more of your constant vulgarity and endless disrespect toward your fellow commenters..

    When will you address the constant vulgarity and endless disrespect that our "fellow commenters" towards us???

    Until you can address that equally, yer just spittin' into the wind... :D

    Better luck, next year, Michale.

    It will be almost as much fun watching the Patriots lose the big one ...

    Yea, that was thoroughly depressing... Going into the half, I really thought we had it sewn up...

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is an easy way to end the shutdown..

    End all filibusters...

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    And what is it to criticize me for only responding in kind, without a mention of the other blogger having initiated the insults? Is that "juvenile", or just simply unfair/unreasonable?

    Yep.. yep... Yep...

    Until one can address the problem (and make no mistake, it IS a problem) equally, said one is PART of the problem and not part of the solution...

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since ya'all LOVE polls so much.. :D

    GOP bouncing back in 2018 polls after tax cuts

    Congressional Republicans have seen a bounce in generic polling against Democrats after passing tax cuts last month. A new CNN poll tightened the margin to 5 points — with Democrats at 49% and Republicans at 44%. The same poll showed Democrats leading by 18 points last month.
    https://www.axios.com/after-tax-cut-congressional-gop-bouncing-back-1516546707-5e6390d5-9467-4c05-859c-47397258d412.html

    Ya'all have complete faith in THAT poll, right?? :D

    You guys are so funny.. :D

  99. [99] 
    Michale wrote:

    When is a spending deal not a spending deal? When it's a DACA deal.

    It's pretty simple: funding bills should be about appropriations, not immigration. Unfortunately, Democrats let politics take priority over policy, thus paralyzing any compromise, ultimately shutting down the government.

    It's irrelevant whether you call it a #SchumerShutdown, #ShitholeShowdown, or #SwampShutown. Washington will point fingers and look to place blame, while the American people will suffer.

    Democrats were so hell-bent on settling the fate of unlawful immigrants that they were willing to punish lawful residents who serve in our military, rely on children's health insurance and rely on valuable government services.

    President Trump blames Democrats, tweeting that they "are holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration."

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, "this is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators."
    http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/21/opinions/government-shutdown-opinion-stewart/index.html

    From CNN of all places.. :D

    Who would have thunked it...

  100. [100] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Democrats' strategy backfires again. They put illegal aliens above American citizens. That's a dangerous move pissing off centrist working class Democrats who already voted for President Trump. Nothing like betting all your identity politics on one group of voters.
    -Akwekwe

  101. [101] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Republicans demanding the release of the memo that they created... gee, it seems odd to me that a partisan investigation so damning would be kept from the proper departments that are supposed to oversee the accused agencies. This doesn’t seem like a bad attempt to discredit those investigating Trump prior to Mueller completing the investigation and bringing charges against those involved....not at all!

  102. [102] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Republicans demanding the release of the memo that they created... gee, it seems odd to me that a partisan investigation so damning would be kept from the proper departments that are supposed to oversee the accused agencies. This doesn’t seem like a bad attempt to discredit those investigating Trump prior to Mueller completing the investigation and bringing charges against those involved....not at all!

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republicans demanding the release of the memo that they created...

    Factually not accurate..

    But since when have ya'all let FACTS get in the way of a good hysterical rant???

    If releasing the House Intelligence Committee memo is not any big deal, why are Democrats fighting tooth and nail to prevent it's release???

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    Polls taken after the shutdowns in 1995 and 2013 showed that the presidents won these political battles. ABC News found that in 1995, by a 2-to-1 margin, the country blamed congressional Republicans more than Clinton. And a Fox News poll in 2013 found that 42 percent of Americans blamed Republicans for the shutdown, while 24 percent blamed Obama. And, I would argue, support for deficit reduction and the repeal of Obamacare, the two issues that so animated Republicans in these fights, both lost a little momentum after the shutdown defeats. Could the same happen to Democrats on the issue of the dreamers?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/01/19/in-shutdown-showdown-democrats-should-blink/?utm_term=.a3d3bd978799

    The day for Leftist MSM ironies.. :D

  105. [105] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale: It's SO cute that you still listen to polls.. But it's very telling that you only listen to polls that say what you want to hear.

    Michale 3 hours later: Polls taken ... [show something Michale wanted to hear]

    I'd give you a recipe for Humble Pie Michale, but since a key ingredient is "self-awareness" there isn't any point.

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'd give you a recipe for Humble Pie Michale, but since a key ingredient is "self-awareness" there isn't any point.

    Just pointing out once again, how ya'all dispute or ignore the polls that don't say what you want to hear..

  107. [107] 
    neilm wrote:

    Republicans demanding the release of the memo that they created...

    Factually not accurate..

    Wrong.

    "The full House can now see classified intelligence usually reserved for only the handful of lawmakers with the highest security clearance. That access comes after the intelligence panel voted along party lines to let all members read in a classified setting the four-page summary of the Nunes investigation into the FBI and Justice Department's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA."

    They call it the "Nunes memo" because it was written by Nunes.

    Source: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/19/politics/devin-nunes-memo-conservatives-demand-release/index.html

  108. [108] 
    neilm wrote:

    Just pointing out once again, how ya'all dispute or ignore the polls that don't say what you want to hear.

    And we have a winner for the "Republican with Least Self Awareness of the Day" award - congrats Michale, you've broken 45's 365-day winning streak!

  109. [109] 
    neilm wrote:

    The Nunes Memo is a hatchet job on our top cop agency ... but don't I remember Michale saying the only policy he wanted from 45's Presidency was to be nice to cops (including bad ones)?

  110. [110] 
    Michale wrote:

    They call it the "Nunes memo" because it was written by Nunes.

    Exactly.. It wasn't created by "the Republicans"...

    Thank you for proving my point..

    The Nunes Memo is a hatchet job on our top cop agency

    How do YOU know??

    You see my point??

    If it's against the Democrats, it's automatically a "hatchet job"...

    You have NO facts... Just hysterical Bigotry.. :D

  111. [111] 
    Michale wrote:

    Face it, Neil..

    Ya'all are shitting yer pants that the memo will be released and the American People will learn how bad Odumbo and the Dumbocrats have scrooed the pooch...

    Ya'all are PETRIFIED... :D

  112. [112] 
    Michale wrote:

    The latest news that five months’ worth of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and DOJ attorney Lisa Page is sure to make supporters of President Donald Trump continue to claim that the Russia investigation is a politically-motivated scheme. More importantly, however, Trump’s lawyers will now be able to do the same.

    Strzok has already been outed as anti-Trump, leading to his dismissal from the probe, and his past communications with Page showed a potential Justice Department bias towards Hillary Clinton. The fact that now nearly half a year’s worth of text messages between Strzok and Page during the time leading up to Robert Mueller‘s appointment as Special Counsel weren’t preserved by the Justice Department will surely fuel motions from Team Trump’s lawyers against the investigation.
    https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/lost-fbi-texts-could-form-basis-for-motion-to-dismiss-in-trump-team-fight-against-russia-probe/

    One way or another, Mueller is gonna be shut down. :D

  113. [113] 
    neilm wrote:

    One way or another, Mueller is gonna be shut down. :D

    Mueller is toast prediction #10559 ... and counting.

  114. [114] 
    John M wrote:

    [85] C. R. Stucki

    "Re the negative worldwide opinion of U.S. leadership, etc.

    Admittedly, Trump, by his very nature and personality, will never gain the approval of a single foreigner, but that bothers me not in the least."

    Actually it should bother both you and every American a great deal. The U.S. Can NEVER get anything done effectively in the world on a unilateral basis, including ANY military operations. We NEED ALLIES. The more and the more diverse, the better. It will take years, it not decades, to undo the damage Trump is doing diplomatically. Some of it will we probably never get back.

    You speak of being respected, not loved. The problem you are failing to see is twofold. 1) Respect is much more than JUST military power, its foundation is a deep reservoir of goodwill, based on years of built up trust, admiration for your culture and behavior, and the principles you articulate and follow, how you conduct and present yourself to the world, etc. and 2) America is losing respect under Trump. The only two nations that we currently have a good relationship with under Trump right now are Israel and Japan. He has insulted or lost the confidence of the American ability to lead and be a force for good in the world of other longtime allies like Australia, Britain, Germany South Korea and Turkey.

    When America offends its allies, that has real world consequences. Like when Turkey refused to let the United States use the major military base there during the second Iraq war because of Bush's poor ratings among the domestic Turkish populace.

    Australia is already starting to cozy up to China. Heaven help us if Germany starts to look to Russia as an alternative partner to America.

    Allies need to be both constantly cultivated and reassured, that America will act not only in America's best interest, but in their's as well, in terms of both security, and PEACE, or they are lost. And it's the PEACE component that a lot of those who push the SECURITY aspect tend to forget.

    Our allies get upset when America acts against what seems to be its nature, like if we were to wage in their eyes a war of conquest and not a war for justice. Put another way, it would be the difference between fighting a "good" or "just" war, to preserve freedom or independence, like WWII or the liberation of Kuwait, where we had tons of allies and broad coalitions, or a war that is seen as illegal or immoral, selfish, to grab resources or effect regime change just for change's sake. Vietnam and the second Gulf war might be seen in this light.

  115. [115] 
    neilm wrote:

    John M [144]

    A more articulate way of what I was trying to say in [90].

    Thanks.

  116. [116] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M

    WHOLEHEARTED 100% AGREEMENT! Well said!

    (Perhaps you should frame that response and hang it on your wall, because it ain't something ever likely to be seen again on a left-of-center forum.)

    I probably should not have said that thing about it "not bothering me". The "America first" is what doesn't bother me, but Trump is such an incompetent ass, he can't even enunciate something with which I do agree, without letting his utter incompetence overwhelm it.

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller is toast prediction #10559 ... and counting.

    Actually, that Mueller Is Toast prediction #2..

    By why bother with FACTS, eh :D

  118. [118] 
    Michale wrote:

    When America offends its allies, that has real world consequences.

    Funny how you didn't have a problem with Odumbo offending Israel..

    You see, THIS is why it's IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to take what you say seriously..

    It's ALL solely based on Party bigotry..

    You have a problem with Trump allegedly offending allies..

    Yet, you have NO PROBLEM with Odumbo offending allies..

    You DON'T CARE about offending allies..

    You just don't like it when President Trump does it, but you LOVE it when Odumbo did it..

    Hypocrisy...

  119. [119] 
    goode trickle wrote:
  120. [120] 
    John M wrote:

    [118] Michale

    "Funny how you didn't have a problem with Odumbo offending Israel.."

    Who said I didn't? But way to go to cherry pick once again. You pick out the ONE ally Obama had trouble with, while ignoring the good relations with ALL the other allies.

    "You see, THIS is why it's IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to take what you say seriously.."

    Really Michale, you need to stop talking about YOURSELF.

    "You have a problem with Trump allegedly offending allies..

    Yet, you have NO PROBLEM with Odumbo offending allies.."

    NOT TRUE. I have a problem with BOTH of them offending allies. It's just that Trump has been so much BETTER at offending so many MORE allies than Obama EVER DID.

    "You DON'T CARE about offending allies.."

    NOT TRUE. READ 114 ABOVE.

    "You just don't like it when President Trump does it, but you LOVE it when Odumbo did it..

    Hypocrisy..."

    Again, please stop talking about YOURSELF. :-)

  121. [121] 
    John M wrote:

    Thank you neilm and C.R. Stucki. I too do not have a problem putting America first. America First only becomes a detriment to ourselves when it becomes America EXCLUSIVE.

  122. [122] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    So, I hear the shutdown has shutdown, and it didn't amount to a blip on the political screen, just as I warned Chris.

  123. [123] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    91

    Joe Biden would be the perfect antidote to the Trump era.

    I agree 100%. In fact, I cannot think of a person alive who is more qualified than Joe Biden to lead this nation; he has no equal in that regard. :)

  124. [124] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Biden blew it not running against Hillary. Now he can only just keep 'Biden his time'.

  125. [125] 
    Kick wrote:

    LWYH
    101

    Republicans demanding the release of the memo that they created...

    Yep. Devin Nunes found yet another something shocking I tell you... Episode 4. How many times does Nunes have to come up with something shocking that's going to bring it all to a screeching halt that actually doesn't before the sheeple come to the realization that Devin Nunes is an ignorant tool? :)

    Mueller
    Ain't
    Going
    Anywhere

  126. [126] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Who said I didn't?

    YOU did when you never condemned Odumbo for his slights against Israel..

    NOT TRUE. I have a problem with BOTH of them offending allies.

    Bullshit... PROVE it..

    Show me where you condemned Odumbo as you condemn Trump..

    You can't because you are full of shit..

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:

    DUMBOCRATS CAVE!!!!! :D

    As the third day of the shutdown dawned, liberal advocates and immigration groups fired off a joint statement blasting as "unacceptable" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) offer to merely hold a vote on immigration — with no promises for action from the House or White House — in exchange for Democratic votes to reopen the government. But three hours later, Democratic senators agreed to just those terms — sparking anger on the left.

    BBBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

    Dumbocrats cave!!!!!

  128. [128] 
    Michale wrote:
  129. [129] 
    Michale wrote:

    #SchumerSellout

    This ALMOST erases the disappointment of the Jaguars loss...

    :D

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dems give up shutdown fight

    Senate Democrats relinquished on the government shutdown Monday, agreeing to vote to reopen the government but insisting they’ll keep fighting for illegal immigrant “Dreamers” over the next weeks, with another shutdown deadline looming Feb. 8.

    “I’m glad we’ve gotten past that,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said just ahead of a vote.

    The vote to end the filibuster was 81-18, clearing the way for passage of the stopgap spending bill.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/22/dems-give-shutdown-fight/

    Not only do Dems concede they were at fault for the shutdown, they can't even hold it together..

    They fold like a cheap chair.. :D

  131. [131] 
    Kick wrote:

    The fact that the "White House" has Devin Nunes trying everything he can to "shut down" the investigation should be a giant clue as to who is sweating it. This ain't rocket science.

    Comey hasn't gone away; he was ready for Trump, and if anyone thinks that firing Mueller is going to make the investigation go away, they're simply deluding themselves like Dumb Donald did when he fired Comey. Duh. :)

  132. [132] 
    Michale wrote:

    The fact that the "White House" has Devin Nunes trying everything he can to "shut down" the investigation should be a giant clue as to who is sweating it. This ain't rocket science.

    Whatever you got to say to distract yerselves from the fact that the DUMBOCRATS CAVED!!!!

    Score another point for President Trump!! :D

  133. [133] 
    Kick wrote:

    Whatever you got to say to distract yerselves from the fact that the DUMBOCRATS CAVED!!!!

    Bullshit... PROVE it..

    You can't because you are full of shit..

  134. [134] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once upon on a time this would have led to a democrat political victory. But Trump is the best PR man a party can have. He's changing all the rules. Trump pits our soldiers against illegals helping themselves to our benefits and... presto... another political coup de grace.
    -Windsor Knot

    Yep.. yep... yep... :D

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whatever you got to say to distract yerselves from the fact that the DUMBOCRATS CAVED!!!!

    Bullshit... PROVE it..

    I did..

    Dems give up shutdown fight

    Senate Democrats relinquished on the government shutdown Monday, agreeing to vote to reopen the government but insisting they’ll keep fighting for illegal immigrant “Dreamers” over the next weeks, with another shutdown deadline looming Feb. 8.

    BBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Dumbocrats caved!!!! :D

  136. [136] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Donald Trump is meeting with a pair of moderate Democratic senators at the White House Monday afternoon to discuss immigration.

    Press secretary Sarah Sanders says West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Alabama Sen. Doug Jones are meeting with the president to discuss the legislative path forward after the three-day government shutdown is ended.

    Looks like Senator Doug Jones is a Trumper!!! :D

    This just keeps getting better and better.. :D

  137. [137] 
    Michale wrote:

    On the STAR TREK scene....

    NOW we know why Captain Lorca is such a bad ass!!!!

    :D

  138. [138] 
    Kick wrote:

    Whatever you got to say to distract yerselves from the fact that the JAGUARS from the "shithole" state had their asses handed to them; of course, they had to pry your head out of yours first.

  139. [139] 
    neilm wrote:

    I guess we are about to discover what McConnell's definition of an "open debate" on DACA is.

    He's got three weeks to try to convince enough of his people to give in over DACA or he's facing another #trumpshutdown.

    Let the games begin.

  140. [140] 
    neilm wrote:

    How's the great negotiator doing with getting Mexico to pay for his dumb wall?

    Or is he just going to try to stiff the American tax payer?

  141. [141] 
    neilm wrote:

    At least McConnell stopped actively trying to kill American kids since he gave up using them as pawns in the bill passed today - for six years at any rate.

  142. [142] 
    neilm wrote:

    If the Democrats are smart they will spend the next 3 weeks asking what progress McConnell, Ryan and 45 are making on the Dreamers - you know, the issue that the vast majority of the country, including a majority of Republicans, want them to solve in the Dreamers' favor.

    They should offer a clean bill in both Houses and send it to the White House using registered mail every single week day to remind them what they need to do.

    McConnell must have been desperate to give up the Chip kids he was holding hostage and put his neck in the DACA noose.

  143. [143] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    139

    He's got three weeks to try to convince enough of his people to give in over DACA or he's facing another #trumpshutdown.

    Let the games begin.

    Yes, sir... and while the sheeple are yucking it up:

    * Voters just saw that Washington controlled by Republicans is totally dysfunctional.

    * CHIP is no longer a bargaining tool and now extended for 6 years.

    * Trump and many Republicans claim to support the Dreamers while others emphatically do not, and they have "promises" to bring a bill to the Senate floor in 3...2...1. Hold McConnell accountable and let the votes fly.

    * The ball then lands in Orange Jell-O's court where he can no longer sit shaking on the sidelines on the third floor of the White House mumbling about a "bill of love" while President Kelly and/or Miller overrule him.

    Schumer is playing the long game.

  144. [144] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all can spin it all you want until the cows come home.. You can spew irrelevant crap to mask yer pain..

    But the FACTS are clear..

    Dumbocrats caved....

    That's all their is too it...

    Even CW concedes I am factually accurate.. :D

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