ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [481] -- Dazed And Confused

[ Posted Friday, April 20th, 2018 – 17:23 PDT ]

We don't know why that headline sounded like such a good idea on today, of all days. [Ahem.] But it somehow seemed appropriate when the week began with the Trump White House casually tossing Nikki Haley under the bus. Except, unlike most of the folks now residing down there with her, Haley pushed back on the cover story that she had just somehow "gotten confused."

Haley, appearing on last week's Face The Nation, answered very directly when asked if Russia would be facing further sanctions: "Absolutely. So you will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down. Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn't already." Now, Haley is one of the more competent members of Trump's team, so you can bet your bottom dollar she had cleared such a statement in advance before publicly making it. The specific nature of her comment -- that Mnuchin would be announcing new sanctions within a day -- also go to show she had obviously discussed the subject beforehand with the White House.

On Monday, the White House announced there would be no new sanctions on Russia, and tried in various ways to walk back or otherwise explain Haley's comment. Most of these excuses relied upon some version of Haley getting ahead of where Trump actually was, or that she must have been "confused" about the subject. But Haley, rather than back Trump up in what was plainly a reversal of a major policy on a whim, responded tersely: "With all due respect, I don't get confused."

The "dazed" part of today's title might refer to how the rest of the world sees what is going on. President Trump continuously undercut his first secretary of State, directly contradicting him (sometimes within hours). Now Trump is doing exactly the same thing to Nikki Haley, who (up until now) has managed to stay on the same page as Trump with remarkable consistency. If Trump is going to undercut her, then who should other world leaders now believe actually speaks for the president? The more this sort of thing goes on, the more it becomes obvious that Trump creates his foreign policy on the fly, announcing sweeping policy changes without even warning his own advisors, and that no one -- not even Haley -- can ever be trusted in anything they say is U.S. policy, because it can always be overturned or reversed at the speed of a tweet.

One thing's for sure, it certainly is getting crowded under the Trump bus. Haley wasn't the only one tossed down there this week: "A new national security aide to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stepped down on Sunday, only two days after being officially named to the job, after a behind-the-scenes White House argument hit the headlines, a White House official said." Coincidentally enough, the guy was (and will remain) a top aide to Nikki Haley. Trump pitched a fit about Pence's hire because Trump -- mistakenly -- was told the guy was a "never-Trumper." Just another day in Trumpland, folks.

Are we all getting a bit dazed and confused these days? We saw two articles this week that made us wonder if we all haven't hit some plateau of "scandal fatigue." The scandals have been coming so fast and thick that it's hard not to get numb to it all after a while. What initially got me thinking about this was a Washington Post article titled: "Here's A GOP Scandal That Should Be Huge National News. Why Isn't It?" Here's how the article starts:

Eric Greitens, the married Republican governor of Missouri, allegedly tied his mistress to a piece of exercise equipment, blindfolded her and took a picture without asking her permission, informing her that if she went public about their affair, he would make sure the photo went public, too.

Then last week further allegations came to light, contained in a 24-page report commissioned by the state's legislature. The details were damning and explicit. Greitens, his now-former paramour claimed, had variously hit, kissed and coerced her into giving oral sex without her permission.

Greitens, who only last summer was heralded as a "rising star" in the Republican Party, is now under indictment on a charge of invasion of privacy, with a trial set to begin in mid-May. He's declared his innocence, claiming all that happened was a consensual affair between adults prior to his election as governor that he now -- shockingly -- regrets. As for all the rest? It’s all "lies" and "fake charges."

And I am betting that unless you live in Missouri or a nearby state that shares a media market, you know nothing about this.

Later in the week this political battle royale got even more fierce:

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) is seeking a temporary restraining order against state Attorney General Josh Hawley, a fellow Republican, to block him from investigating the increasingly embattled governor.

The request for a restraining order was filed on Monday, according to Missouri court records, the day before Hawley announced that his office had uncovered evidence of a possible felony committed by the governor. In an apparently unrelated case, Hawley has called for Greitens to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Make all the "Show-Me State" jokes you want, in any normal year this would be enormous news. Remember Rod Blagojevich? That was big news, and there's no reason this shouldn't be as well. But, these days it is a mere drop in the bucket -- or, perhaps, ocean -- of scandals we learn about on an almost daily basis.

Want another example? Three domestic terrorists were found guilty this week of plotting to slaughter as many people as they could. Part of their crime involved "weapons of mass destruction." They face possible life sentences, and the jury took less than a day to convict them. Jeff Sessions even took a victory lap:

The Justice Department's national press office sent out a press release on the case featuring a quote from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling the jury verdict a "significant victory against domestic terrorism and hate crimes" and touting D.O.J.'s commitment to fighting both foreign and domestic terrorist threats.

"The defendants in this case acted with clear premeditation in an attempt to kill people on the basis of their religion and national origin. That's not just illegal -- it's immoral and unacceptable, and we're not going to stand for it," Sessions said. "Law enforcement saved lives in this case."

Why wasn't this big news? Perhaps because the intended targets were Muslim refugees, and they were targeted by right-wing militia members? So much for the so-called "liberal media" making this a big deal -- even though:

The men were enthusiastic supporters of Donald Trump, who vilified Muslims during his presidential campaign and has continued to do so while in office. During the plotting, [one of the domestic terrorists, Patrick] Stein reportedly referred to then-candidate Trump as "the Man." The men had planned their attack for after the 2016 election, so as not to hurt Trump's chances of winning. Delaying the attack until then would avoid giving "any ammunition" to their political opponents, Stein said.

Normally, this would have been headline news for days, if not weeks. Now? The story barely caused a ripple. Call it scandal fatigue. Or the dazed and confused nature of the Trump Era, we suppose.

Of course, while those are two big stories, they have to compete with everything else that is going on for media (and public) attention. There's so much of this, in fact, that we're just going to run it down in lightning "dazed and confused" fashion. So hold onto your hats, here we go....

Just announced today: the Democratic National Committee is suing the Trump campaign, Russia, and WikiLeaks for hacking them during the 2016 election. This may sound bizarre, but back in the days of Watergate, the Democrats sued Richard Nixon's re-election campaign (known as "CREEP") and won a $750,000 judgment against them, so it's not as crazy as it may sound.

Rudy Giuliani joined Trump's legal team this week, and it sure looks like he's going to have a lot to do. Trump's personal lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen is now so busy with the investigation against him that he's dropped his defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed for the leaked Russian dossier. When a Trump lawyer is too busy to follow through on a frivolous lawsuit, you know he's a busy man!

Meanwhile, Cohen and Trump are fighting in court to be the ones to vet all the evidence seized in the F.B.I. raid. So far, they haven't had much notable success, and the judge seems highly skeptical of their case. But it was revealed that Sean Hannity is the mysterious "third client" of Cohen, the other two being Republican heavyweights that used Cohen to pay hush money to mistresses. Make of that what you will.

The House Republicans are once again proving to be the gang who couldn't shoot straight. They had a Machiavellian plan to get rid of Rod Rosenstein, but it backfired spectacularly. They subpoenaed the memos James Comey wrote after speaking with President Trump (because he was justifiably worried Trump would lie about them later), thinking that Rosenstein would refuse to provide them. It's incredibly rare that such evidence is released by prosecutors in the middle of making a case, after all. If Rosenstein refused, then Congress could find him in contempt, which would give Trump just the excuse he's been looking for to fire Rosenstein. That was the plan, at any rate. But Rosenstein surprised them by releasing all the memos (although some secret information was redacted, like world leaders' names). The memos backed up everything Comey's been saying all along, and indeed provided further embarrassing stories about Trump's unhinged behavior (such as expressing joy over the prospect of jailing journalists to get them to name their sources: "They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, they are ready to talk."). So much for the House GOP's grand strategy.

Trump lost two court rulings this week on his immigration policy, so it hasn't been a great week for him all around. A three-judge panel (all Republican appointees, by the way) ruled against Trump's plan to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities. The ruling was a pretty strong one, warning of "tyranny" several times. And Trump's own hand-picked Supreme Court justice just joined with the liberals to void an immigration law for deporting criminals as being too unconstitutionally vague.

Trump began the week last Friday by launching some missiles at Syria, which actually went pretty well (as these things go), but it seems like he's been heading downhill since then. When Barbara Bush died, the White House condolence statement went out with the wrong date on it (the original was dated 2017, not 2018), which is about par for the course for this White House.

Outside of Washington, Kentucky's Republican governor had to apologize for his own bit of fearmongering last week. Speaking against the teachers' strike in his state, Governor Matt Bevin said "I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.... Children were harmed -- some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time -- because they were vulnerable and left alone." He had zero evidence for these claims, of course.

And, finally, Cuba's government is now being run by a man whose last name is not "Castro." Since this is the first time since we've been alive that this is true, it is a very big deal.

OK, with all of that out of the way, let's move right along to the awards, shall we?

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We have a four-way tie this week for the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, because we couldn't see any of these four senators being awarded a mere Honorable Mention for their efforts.

To begin with, Senators Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy just introduced the "Choose Medicare Act" which would bring back the concept of the "public option." Under their plan, anyone could choose to buy in to Medicare rather than obtain private health insurance. Nobody would be forced to do so, but the option would exist for all. Also, it would improve Medicare generally, by adding a cap on out-of-pocket expenses for current seniors. It's a great idea and seems very well-thought-out. Of course, it doesn't have a prayer of passing any time soon, but that shouldn't stop anyone in Congress from putting a good idea on the table. We wrote about this in greater detail yesterday, if anyone's interested.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also wins his 17th MIDOTW award this week, for introducing a bill that would end the federal War On Weed forever. Schumer's bill would turn the decision about how to handle marijuana over to state law (rather than federal), remove all federal laws which make marijuana illegal, and turn over enforcement of the marijuana market (such as banning advertising to minors, for instance) to the federal department who really should be doing this -- the same department that does the same thing for alcohol and tobacco. And Schumer waited until 4/20 to introduce the bill, much to everyone's amusement.

Schumer released a statement saying: "The time has come to decriminalize marijuana. My thinking -- as well as the general population's views -- on the issue has evolved, and so I believe there's no better time than the present to get this done. It's simply the right thing to do." He becomes the highest-ranking official of either party to call for the War On Weed's end, and he should be saluted for doing so. Especially in the same week that an F.D.A. advisory panel voted unanimously to recommend approving the first marijuana-derived medicine, which helps stop seizures caused by rare forms of epilepsy.

As impressive as all of that is, the first name that came to mind for Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week was Tammy Duckworth, who got a unanimous vote from the Senate to allow babies younger than a year old on the floor of the Senate while they conduct votes. This passed in lightspeed fashion (for the Senate), and the very next day Duckworth appeared carrying Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, her newborn baby, on the floor while casting her vote.

The baby, adorably, was dressed in a duckling-print onesie, which was accessorized by a baby "jacket" -- which was necessary under a Senate rule that everyone appear wearing a "blazer." At 10 days old, Maile is quite likely the youngest person ever to be present for a Senate floor vote in all of American history. That's pretty impressive!

A funny footnote (or, more properly: "foot-in-mouth-note"): Senator Orrin Hatch grumpily asked during the rule change debate: "What if there are ten babies on the floor of the Senate?" This led to much hilarity online and over at the Washington Post. Reporter Karen Tumulty tweeted in response: "It would be fewer than usual," while Alexandra Petri wrote a whole spoof column on the new Senate baby rules, which contained the classic line: "If babies throw tantrums on the floor, they will be removed, instead of returned by the people of the state of Texas to serve another term." Heh. Maybe read him Green Eggs And Ham and he'll fall quietly to sleep?

In any case, it isn't often we get so sentimental in our awards, but Tammy Duckworth definitely deserves a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week for getting the Senate to move so fast to change their arcane rules to accommodate her growing family. Well done, Senator Duckworth!

[Congratulate Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on his Senate contact page, Senator Jeff Merkley on his Senate contact page, Senator Chris Murphy on his Senate contact page, and Senator Tammy Duckworth on her Senate contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We have two Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards to hand out this week, both for red-state Democrats who are obviously worried about facing their voters this year, and wishing to "put some distance" between them and their party to "show independence" instead.

The first goes to Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who announced she would be supporting Mike Pompeo's nomination to be secretary of State. Currently, Republicans are in very shaky position on confirmation votes, because they effectively only have 50 votes (due to John McCain's continued absence). This means if Democrats hold together, only a single Republican senator flipping his vote means the confirmation does not happen. Which is why Heitkamp announcing her support in advance of the actual vote takes a whole lot of pressure off Mitch McConnell, and will likely assure Pompeo's confirmation.

Our second Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week goes to Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He voted with the Republicans this week on a bill to roll back an Obama-era rule designed to prohibit auto dealers and lenders from discriminating against minorities. It's rare that an issue is so clear-cut, but this was one of them: the Senate essentially voted to legally allow racial discrimination in auto loans. And Joe Manchin voted for it.

Now, we understand the inclination of a red-state Democrat who wants to distance themselves in some way from the party's leadership, but were these really the best vehicles to show such independence? For picking these particular battles to make a stand on, we hereby award the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to both Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin.

[Contact Senator Heidi Heitkamp on her Senate contact page, and Senator Joe Manchin on his Senate contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 481 (4/20/18)

For a change, our talking points section has a single theme this week: how Democrats are doing really well heading into the midterm election cycle. Democrats are up, Republicans are down, and it's time to start rubbing it in. Republicans have been all but robbed of the central theme they were teeing up for this year's election (the tax cuts for billionaires and Wall Street), and they are being denied the use of the theme from their past few elections (as more and more of the public trusts Democrats to handle healthcare).

There's another special House election next Tuesday to watch for, in Arizona, and once again the Democrat has a solid shot of winning in a district no Democrat should even have a chance in. Sound familiar? Whether Democrats pick up this seat or not, the fact that Republicans are even having to actively defend it is yet another sign of the blue wave that is building. So it's a pretty positive week for talking points!

 

1
   Tax cuts getting less popular

Back to the drawing board, GOP.....

"The Republicans have spent the past year proving that they cannot govern their way out of a paper bag. They've passed virtually none of their agenda, and the one lonely bill that they did manage to ram through -- without anyone having read it, of course -- was a gigantic tax cut which is going to blow a trillion-dollar-plus hole in the deficit. Over 80 percent of these tax cuts go to businesses and the ultra-wealthy. Republicans were counting on their base voters just not noticing this, which has indeed worked for them in the past. But this time seems different. The tax cuts were not popular when they were passed, and over time they are getting less popular with the public. In a recent poll, only 27 percent of the public said the tax cuts were a good idea -- down three points from last month. Republicans were counting on the tax cuts being the central theme of their midterm campaigns, but the more people learn about their tax cuts, the less they like them. Their entire campaign was going to be how wonderful the tax cuts were (since they have no other achievements to talk about), so this really leaves them with nothing at all to run on."

 

2
   While Obamacare gets more popular

As if things weren't bad enough for the GOP....

"Since the Republicans have lost their central campaign theme, they might be expected to fall back on their previous campaign's theme, but that's not going to work, either. Because since Donald Trump took office and since the Republican Congress seriously tried to dismantle it, Obamacare's popularity has substantially grown. In fact, now the public is looking for more ideas for healthcare, and the Democrats have many proposals on the table -- most of which would revive the public option and allow anyone to buy in to Medicare. A funny thing has been happening among Republicans, meanwhile. They have taken down all those calls to repeal and replace Obamacare from their websites. They have stopped running ads attacking Obamacare. They have realized that it is no longer a winning issue for them and has even flipped so totally that it is now a winning issue for Democrats. So it looks like the Republicans won't be able to recycle their previous campaign themes this fall, either."

 

3
   Progressive agenda wildly popular

Even more good news for Democratic candidates for office!

"A new study is out showing that a progressive economic message polls incredibly well across all demographics. It really doesn't matter whether people make a whole lot of money or very little at all; it likewise doesn't matter whether they are highly educated or not -- among all groups support for measures like raising the minimum wage is very high. This means that all of the handwringing about whether Democrats should support a progressive economic agenda or not wasn't even necessary, because virtually all segments of the population agree with this agenda -- sometimes by overwhelming margins. Democrats who run on a progressive economic agenda are going to be wildly popular this year, to put it another way."

 

4
   Another longshot possible?

These next three deal with another special election where Democrats really shouldn't even have a chance, but which is expected to be quite close.

"There's another House special election next Tuesday in Arizona, to replace yet another Republican congressman who had to step down in disgrace for sexually harassing his staff. I mean, it's hard to keep all their names straight, at this point. This is in a district that Trump won by 21 percent -- a district Republicans should be running away with. It's so red that Democrats didn't even bother to field candidates in the past two elections. This time around the Democrats have a strong candidate in Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, who is centering her campaign around making healthcare more affordable and more accessible. The latest poll shows her up by one point over the Republican, so it's likely going to be a close race. Even if she loses, the very fact that this race is even competitive should be another loud warning to the Republican Party that they are in serious trouble heading into the midterms. And if she wins, the number of House seats Democrats will have to flip in November will go down to only 22."

 

5
   Panic and fearmongering

Republicans are scrambling to save the seat, of course.

"Panic over the Arizona special election has set in among Republicans, in the same way they panicked over the Pennsylvania district they just lost to Conor Lamb. Outside money is pouring in on the Republican side, to counter the fact that the Democratic candidate has actually raised a lot more money than the Republican. And now Donald Trump has chimed in, with a robocall that can only be described as the rankest naked fearmongering you've ever heard. Here is what Trump says in the call, showing how desperate Republicans have now become:"

Nancy Pelosi wants to send a liberal Democrat to Congress to represent you. We can't have that. If that happens, illegal immigrants will pour right over your border, bringing their drugs and their crime with them, right into your neighborhood, right into your back yard.

 

6
   More Arizona panic

Republicans in Arizona have a lot to worry about, these days.

"Republicans in the Arizona state legislature are apparently afraid that John McCain will die at an inconvenient time on the calendar. They introduced an emergency measure which would ensure that, should McCain die any time soon, the Republican governor will be allowed to appoint a replacement who will not have to run in this November's election. To protect a Senate seat from possibly going Democratic, they have to change state law to rig the process in their favor, rather than letting the voters decide. Because if there's one thing Republicans fear, it is a fair election, obviously. A few years back, they wouldn't have even bothered, since they would have been confident of retaining the seat in an election, but now they're terrified of losing John McCain's seat to a Democrat. That should tell you something, right there."

 

7
   Republican-on-Republican violence

As if things weren't bad enough in Republicanland....

"The national Republican Party is getting scared that Senate candidates might emerge in the upcoming primaries in multiple states who are so crazy or otherwise flawed that solid-red states might just elect a Democrat instead. They are desperately trying to avoid a repeat of all the laughable Senate candidates from the Tea Party era -- people like Todd 'Legitimate Rape' Aiken and Christine 'I Am Not A Witch' O'Donnell. So the GOP establishment is having to spend money campaigning against candidates like the one in West Virginia who is a convicted felon responsible for a coal mine disaster that killed 29 miners. It seems the Republicans can't even trust their own voters not to nominate ridiculous candidates. As a Democrat, I heartily encourage the R.N.C. to spend many, many millions of dollars against Republican candidates in primary races. Every dollar they spend now is a dollar less they'll have to spend in the general election cycle, after all."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

40 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [481] -- Dazed And Confused”

  1. [1] 
    Kick wrote:

    If I recall correctly, the DNC filed the suit for $1 million immediately after the break-in at their headquarters in DC at the Watergate offices because they wanted to ensure that some kind of investigation would take place. Rather than a judgment, the DNC reached a settlement agreement for $750,000 from the Nixon campaign on the day Nixon left office.

    Link?! From 1972!? Oh, give me a break... be right back.

    https://tinyurl.com/yd3jo79o

    It was one of the very first articles regarding the Watergate issue that was written by a young reporter by the name of Bob Woodward [where are they now?], but I digress.

    As fate would have it, the DNC's case against the Trump "creeps" landed in the court of John G. Koeltl, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. His notable past includes the fact that he spent two years on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force at the DOJ... a Watergate prosecutor... seriously... and you'll never guess who appointed him. :)

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    [1]Kick:
    His notable past includes the fact that he spent two years on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force at the DOJ... a Watergate prosecutor

    That sounds promising!

    CW: agree on the most disappointing Dems. No excuse for either - bad votes.

  3. [3] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I'm loathed to hang with the ''talking points'' because they are for others to swing and hit at...However, number four has me at a loss, I'm reminded by the Night Court episode where Dan, the DA, loses to a dead man. How is democracy served by apathy? ''Ok, fuck it folks, we've got a snowballs chance at winning here, let's cut our fears in half and our chances down to zero'' Democracy at its finest...it's almost like a ceramic disc could banish a long-shot(google Greek democracy)...

    la la & pft

  4. [4] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Kick...I believe the Judge in question was appointed by Willy Clinton. This might be a specious or vague attempt to cash in, but I suspect it's all about the price of gas and the size of the fire...

    LL&P

  5. [5] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    The bar for Most Impressive Democrat is way too low.

    One for two legislators for once again proposing something when it has no chance of passing (this is not the first time this award has been handed out for this on this issue and it is still bullshit not worthy of an award), another for someone coming around on an issue way too late after the issue has changed rather than being a leader on the issue and one for bringing a 10 day old baby to work.

    Perhaps a third award, the Least Disappointing Democrat could be added for times like this when no Democrats are worthy of the Most Impressive award or even an honorable mention, which is more often than just this one time.

    Leave the Most Impressive category blank unless a Democrat actually does something that is actually impressive.

  6. [6] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    why don't YOU try bringing a ten day old baby to work! speaking presently as the dad of a three-month old, i guarantee you'd find it a lot more impressive if you tried to do so yourself.

    JL

  7. [7] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Best PR job of the week has to go to Honda, who have managed to minimize an incident that happened on Apr. 10, wherein a Cincinnati teen was crushed to death by a minivan seat. Part of the reason that Honda has so far been able to avoid tricky questions like "your minivans can kill kids?" is that the police response to two 911 calls from the kid was so hapless that blame for the kid's death has fallen on them. And the shoes keep dropping: it turns out that bodycam footage shows that an officer sent to the scene never even left his cruiser to investigate, and testimony offered at a City council meeting revealed that employees at the chronically understaffed 911 center were staring at blank computer screens. When Councilman Wendell Young, a former Cincinnati cop, tried to summarize by saying, "there's no amount of blame that's going to make the situation better," and added, speaking to the family of the victim, who were sitting in the front row, "there's no amount of money that's going to make you happy", the boy's father erupted, yelling "this isn't about money!" and "This is the most insensitive thing I've ever heard!" before storming from the room. (Young later apologized, but you know..)

    After decades in which the Cincinnati police became known mostly for attempts to rid their city of pornography (bolstered by support from rich suburban activists), the City's current police force is becoming known mostly for their tendency to shoot unarmed black men, and for their ineffectiveness: the city has a higher murder rate, per capita, than Chicago. But this time, the victim of their incompetence was a white suburban teen, so (finally), problems with the police force are being addressed.

    And we'll see if anything changes. In the meantime, Honda isn't being asked to answer any uncomfortable questions.

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet (6)-
    Because a 10 day old baby belongs at home and not in the workplace.

    I am sure it is difficult to bring one to work, but it doesn't impress me because it's not appropriate.

  9. [9] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    a 10 day old baby belongs at home and not in the workplace

    And a woman who wishes to nurse said baby should stay home and not report to work until it's weaned?

    I'm guessing that you've never had either a baby or a modern wife.

  10. [10] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    maybe I'm just thick today: I have no idea why the coding on that last post didn't work.

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    congress may be a cushy job with extensive vacation time, but one benefit with which it does not come is maternity leave.

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @cw,

    the first line of this column was so subtle and un-followed-up-on that i didn't even notice it the first time through.

    JL

  13. [13] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I get a sense of symbolism where the 10 day old baby is concerned. I think we all know she'll not make a habit of it. Exposing a swaddling child to a room full of reprobates isn't cricket.
    Obviously, it depends on the workplace, ''Bring Your Baby To The Foundry, Day...'' What could go wrong?
    Three times I've taken one or both of my kids to work, the last two times I ignored my own advice to never again bring my kids to work. It doesn't instill confidence in the chef if he's unplugging two toilets overseen by an audience of diners.

    LL&P

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    maybe I'm just thick today: I have no idea why the coding on that last post didn't work.

    You used brackets [ ] and you should use greater than/less than signs...

  15. [15] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthy (9)-
    Staying home is one option.

    Perhaps you never heard of breast pumps and bottles to store the breast milk that modern mothers can use to leave the baby and the milk home if they have to go to work.

    The case in question will most likely not be a recurring occurrence so it's really not a problem, but to me it just doesn't meet the level of impressive.

    When my children were old enough I would occasionally bring one of them out for a few hours in my Ice Cream truck which they seemed to enjoy, but that was not a typical job and lent itself to bringing the kid.

    Another driver once told me of someone driving an I.C. truck that actually put his small son IN the freezer (for a short amount of time) and if someone ordered a toasted almond he would open the freezer and say toasted almond and the kid would pop up out of the freezer with the ice cream. Probably not a true story, but it is entertaining to consider.

  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    ah, child abuse for fun and profit

  17. [17] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    You used brackets [ ] and you should use greater than/less than signs...

    Ah yes. Thanks, Michale. I was more tired than usual when I did that.

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    James T Canuck
    4

    Kick...I believe the Judge in question was appointed by Willy Clinton.

    Yes, indeed.

    This might be a specious or vague attempt to cash in, but I suspect it's all about the price of gas and the size of the fire...

    Just as the case in 1972, I think it's about keeping feet to the fire. We are a nation of laws which no one is above. BLOTUS and his ilk whine about criminals while they and their ilk break law after law as if it's somehow their privilege. It isn't. As Flynn, Manafort, Gates, et al. (and those to be named later) can/will attest.

    Not sure this particular case will survive "standing," though, but there's more than one way to get where they're going.

  19. [19] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    They have standing. This isn't the first time this tune has been played, as you point out. There's precedent, lots of precedent.

  20. [20] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    The bar for Most Impressive Democrat is way too low.

    So are your credentials... according to your own website.

    Perhaps you never heard of breast pumps and bottles to store the breast milk that modern mothers can use to leave the baby and the milk home if they have to go to work.

    Perhaps you're unaware that breast pumps and bottles aren't remotely new by decades and that "modern mothers" at many businesses are allowed to breastfeed their babies at their places of employment in order to carry out their duties. Senators have never been allowed to vote by proxy, and by unanimous consent Ms. Duckworth too will be allowed to represent her constituents while taking care of her child.

    The case in question will most likely not be a recurring occurrence so it's really not a problem, but to me it just doesn't meet the level of impressive.

    A longstanding rule change in the Senate by unanimous consent doesn't happen every day, and the Democratic Senator who got the "boys club" who profess to be to the party of "family values" to bend to her will and make a move into the 21st century deserves a mention whether you agree with it or not.

    Perhaps a third award, the Least Disappointing Democrat could be added for times like this when no Democrats are worthy of the Most Impressive award or even an honorable mention, which is more often than just this one time.

    Remember that time Neil joked about the new name of your failed venture being "One Dollar"? Neil was so right about that, just as CW was so right when he said that if somebody wanted to dictate the terms of a political blog, they should get their own. You really should get your own blog and include it on your failed website. You could call it: I Scream for Ice Cream... One Dollar.

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @kick,

    ouch! living up to your moniker there.

    like the fella once said,
    ain't that a kick in the head
    ~dean martin

    JL

  22. [22] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    As long as we are delving into personal attacks, I suspect you were the little girl that threw a temper tantrum if the ice cream truck didn't have the ice cream that you wanted. It seems you still are.

    You should consider yourself lucky that you never got a golden ticket for Willie Wonka's chocolate factory or you would have probably turned into a giant blueberry.

  23. [23] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I heard Dean Martin wanted to be a lawyer, but he couldn't pass the bar.

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    19

    They have standing.

    Oh, I agree... just not sure the entire case will survive, particularly those claims concerning a foreign nation, foreign ambassador, etc.

  25. [25] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    while we're on the subject, why on earth must every ice cream truck blast turkey in the straw at a gazillion decibels? when i lived on the second floor, the truck parked outside my building with the sound blasting, and trying to grade papers was practically impossible.

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I always hated the musical ice cream trucks.

    I made my own trucks and only put a bell on them. Though I was told that one of the drivers working for me played the radio so loud that they heard the radio and not the bell, but he had to turn it down while he was stopped so he could hear what the kids wanted.

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    22

    As long as we are delving into personal attacks, I suspect you were the little girl that threw a temper tantrum if the ice cream truck didn't have the ice cream that you wanted. It seems you still are.

    Says the asshat who whines like a little bitch near daily because the author of this blog doesn't carry his "I Scream for Ice Cream... One Dollar" idea that he so desperately wants. You quite obviously didn't take a second to think that one through and how it matched you perfectly. *LOL*

    You should consider yourself lucky that you never got a golden ticket for Willie Wonka's chocolate factory or you would have probably turned into a giant blueberry.

    Wrong again, ice cream man... I did get a "golden ticket." I'm the little shit that inherited the chocolate factory. :)

  28. [28] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    Of course, I knew that you would attempt to turn that on me. But it doesn't fit (except in your view), because I am not whining or throwing a tantrum- I am asking and being persistent in pointing out when something CW writes about one issue should also be applied to One Demand.

    There is a difference, but obviously a self-admitted little shit is not capable of comprehending that, among so many other things that escape your understanding.

    But at least we now know why you are a Big Money Democrat- to match your blueberry complexion.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Such illuminating discussion, D and K.

    There must be countless blogs out there where this sort of non-serious back and forth would be more appropriate ...

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    but none of them would have ice cream trucks.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You can't have everything.

  32. [32] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I gather Toronto Tourism, Parks and Rec. have a new marketing slogan...''Come to Toronto, we won't shoot you'' It was refreshing to see politicians and the media alike not leap to conclusions about this incident. Even Agent Orange read his brief about not referring to prayers and god when consoling Canada. We stamped out antidisestablishmentarianism and all it's odious apparatus a long time ago.

    LL&P

  33. [33] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    29

    Such illuminating discussion, D and K.
    There must be countless blogs out there where this sort of non-serious back and forth would be more appropriate ...

    JL is right about the ice cream trucks, EM, and I sure hope the author of the blog never stops our "non-serious back-and-forth" about the Simpsons. Hey... ice cream trucks and the Simpsons:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IY2OHbZYRc

    This is a serious clip because Homer teaches Bart about how to escape jury duty in a politically correct manner. :)

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    28

    Of course, I knew that you would attempt to turn that on me.

    Nobody needed to turn anything on you, Don, because you are an admitted troll who by your own admission won't cease your trolling of the author.

    As for turning troll, when I have asked CW nice many times since 2015 and not got an answer it seemed to be time try another approach. ~ Don Harris
    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2017/11/10/ftp461/#comment-110353

    But it doesn't fit (except in your view), because I am not whining or throwing a tantrum- I am asking and being persistent in pointing out when something CW writes about one issue should also be applied to One Demand.

    Wrong again. Don Harris agrees with my view and admits he's a troll. See above.

    There is a difference, but obviously a self-admitted little shit is not capable of comprehending that, among so many other things that escape your understanding.

    *LOL* Admitted trolls like you are not complicated, Don. You should read your website and find out how underwhelming Don Harris claims you are. I understand you just fine, as does Don Harris and anyone else who reads the comments section of this blog. You said it yourself, Don; you're a troll.

    But at least we now know why you are a Big Money Democrat- to match your blueberry complexion.

    Nope... still not a Democrat no matter how many times the trolls claim I am, and poor pathetic admitted troll, the bullshit terms you created in your failed attempt at political activism are as meaningless as they ever were and shall remain ever thus.

    Keep trolling this blog and the author, and I will continue to echo what the author has already told you.

    Look, you've got something to say. You want the focus solely to be on it. More power to you. So as I suggested, perhaps you should set up a blog and write about precisely what you want to? ~ CW

  35. [35] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick [1] -

    Weren't the Dems in charge of Congress at the time? Shouldn't that have assured that it would be investigated? Or was this before the nefarious connections to the hapless burglars came to light?

    I was pretty little when Watergate happened, so I don't remember the play-by-play that much, I must admit...

    James T. Canuck [3] -

    Not sure exactly what you're driving at. The AZ-08 election is important because while Trump won the district by 20+ points, he only won AZ by 3 points. So a shift in this district could presage a statewide shift in November. And they could very well have two open Senate seats, which almost never happens. With the GOP margin in the Senate razor-thin, AZ could wind up being the deciding state.

    Don Harris [5] -

    Sigh. OK, who would you have nominated for this week's MIDOTW award? Nobody? And because your standards are so stratospheric, nobody would probably win most weeks out of the year.

    I, on the other hand, like to give out a weekly award. Some winners are more impressive than others, sure, but I also tend to want to encourage good behavior whether or not it leads to real change, because you've got to start somewhere.

    When there truly are no impressive Dems during the week, I don't hand out the award. This has happened 25 times out of 481. Just FYI.

    nypoet22 [6] -

    Especially since it was brought to a workplace where no baby had ever boldly gone before. Being first is always impressive, in my eyes...

    Balthasar [7] -

    I have to admit, I hadn't heard the details of what happened until just a few days ago. All the attention was on the sensationalism of a dying teen's last words and (as you said) the cops. But when I heard the back seat flipped over and pinned him, I too wondered about why this wasn't a bigger deal.

    Don Harris [8] -

    The baby's mom is a US Senator. She must be present to vote -- "working from home" doesn't cut it. The rules were specifically changed so that babies less than 1 year old would be allowed on the floor during votes. If her vote was a crucial one on a bill you supported, would you feel differently? Or would you be happy with her at home, not voting?

    Balthasar [10] -

    Use angle brackets <> instead of square []. I'll fix it for you...

    ...there, should be fixed now.

    More in a bit, gotta go back and check election results...

    -CW

  36. [36] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 [12] -

    Some years I lay it on thick, some years I go for subtlety. This is the first legal year out in CA for 4/20, and yet the local campus cops still seem to think it's illegal -- go figure.

    Did you see the Cheech and Chong routine on Colbert's show last night? It was pretty funny... weed's so mainstream even John Boehner's into it now.

    Kick [20] -

    I'm glad someone else thought Duckworth was impressive. As you said, it was the rule change (and the lightning speed) that was truly impressive. But I did like the fact that she picked amusing clothes -- duckling onesie (for Tammy DUCKworth!) and "blazer" to comply with Senate rules. She's obviously got a sense of humor...

    :-)

    Don Harris [23] -

    Heh. OK, that was funny!

    Reminds me of what the cool guys used to boast about their muscle cars: "The only thing this car can't pass is a gas station..."

    nypoet22 [25] -

    We had Good Humor, who didn't blast music, just rang a row of bells over the windshield. Ah, simpler times...

    Don Harris and Kick -

    Let's tone down the name-calling a bit, shall we? Rag on each other's position all you want, but keep the profane nicknames out of the comments, please.

    Or there will be no ice cream for EITHER of you!

    Kick [33] -

    OK, that was funny. I always just wear my brightest tye-dye to court. Works every time!

    Heh.

    And speaking of politically correct, did you catch the name of the ice cream truck in that clip? Heh.

    OK, that's it for now.

    -CW

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    36

    And speaking of politically correct, did you catch the name of the ice cream truck in that clip? Heh.

    Exactly right! :)

  38. [38] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I suppose it is just as exhausting for you to hear how I am not impressed by what you find impressive as it is for me to hear how impressed you are by what does not impress me.

    And while Tammy Duckworth does have to be there to vote, she can be there while the baby stays home.

    That is why God created "ducktape". :D

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    38

    And while Tammy Duckworth does have to be there to vote, she can be there while the baby stays home.

    Wrong again, Don. Tammy Duckworth brought the baby on the floor and now can be there to vote along with her child if she so wishes. :p

    She bent the "boys club" to her will and got exactly what she wanted. Some people like Tammy Duckworth are movers and shakers. :)

  40. [40] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    CW...I think I reading an article about how in some congressional districts, depending on which way they have traditionally trended politically, a party will simply not field a candidate. Political apathy grinds my gears, I was stunned to see whole districts being either red or blue by default because of the hopeless nature of an election. Even Gerrymandered districts should field opposition candidates, if nothing else but to gauge the mood of the people.
    I still play people in WWF who are unabashed 'word finder' users, it makes beating them all the sweeter.

    LL&P

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