ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [485] -- "If You Change Your Mind..."

[ Posted Friday, May 25th, 2018 – 17:22 PDT ]

We've always been planning a meeting with Eastasia. What's that? Oh, wait... we've never been planning a meeting with Eastasia. Any suggestion of such a meeting has been tossed down the memory hole -- along with the commemorative coins we prematurely minted to celebrate it.

If ever there was a week to begin with a Nineteen Eighty-Four metaphor, this was the week. President Donald Trump, reportedly fearful that Kim Jong Un was on the brink of pulling out of the proposed Singapore summit meeting, decided to pre-emptively pull out of the meeting himself. It had all the flavor of a teenage girl insisting: "You can't break up with me -- I'm breaking up with you!"

Think that's hyperbole? You decide. Trump's letter to Kim was three paragraphs long. The first was full of bluster, and ended with Trump (once again) bragging about how big America's nuclear weapons stockpile is. This was immediately followed by what can only be characterized as wistful regrets:

I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.

If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.

Oh, and we're no longer going to prom together, and I will be returning your letter jacket and class ring. Unless, you know, you still want to be my boyfriend... or something. Let me know... please.

However, unlike a jilted prom date, this move has already had serious repercussions, none of them particularly good for Trump or America. North Korea has scored a propaganda victory, since they now seems like the reasonable ones on the world stage. Kim Jong Un made concession after concession, and all Team Trump could do was talk about Libya. As a result of this, both China and South Korea now view Trump with much more suspicion, and are likely to move diplomatically away from America as a result. South Korea in particular was blindsided by the announcement, since Trump didn't want to tell their leader (whom he had just personally met with at the White House) in advance, for fear that the news would leak. So much for building trust, eh? A South Korean spokesman had said, earlier in the week, that there was a "99.9 percent chance" that the summit was going to happen, which was completely undercut by Trump's surprise announcement. Looks like the 0.1 percent won out, in the end.

Both South Korea and China are also now reportedly losing their appetite for Trump's "maximum pressure" sanctions on the North Koreans. If China backs away from sanctions then they will mean a whole lot less to North Korea, to put it mildly. Meaning North Korea will have even less inclination to deal than they did before Trump decided to pull the plug.

In a related story, Europe and Iran are now negotiating on how to possibly sideline America completely and avoid U.S. sanctions from destroying the nuclear agreement. Because when Trump said "America First!" what he apparently meant was "America Alone!" -- receding from leadership in the world's eyes on almost a daily basis. That's certainly the way it is playing out, at any rate.

There were two items of note from Congress this week, as the Senate finally passed a much-needed update to the rules governing sexual harassment within the Capitol. No longer will victims have to wait a ridiculous 30 days (a "waiting period") before making an accusation, and more importantly no longer will taxpayer money be used to pay off sexual harassment victims. Still, the Senate version didn't go as far as the version the House passed months ago, but there's still a conference committee to hammer out the details yet to happen, so perhaps the Senate version can be improved. This is a change that is long overdue, and there was even a question whether the Senate would take the issue up at all before the midterms, so their action this week was a welcome surprise.

Over in the House, the moderate Republican revolt is growing against Paul Ryan on immigration. Last week, the Tea Partiers flexed their legislative muscles by killing Ryan's pet farm bill because they wanted a Draconian immigration bill voted on. The moderates, however, want a bipartisan solution Democrats can support, complete with a pathway to citizenship for the DREAMer/DACA kids -- and no funding for Trump's wall.

A discharge petition has been filed, and it needs 218 signatures to force Paul Ryan to bring such a bill up on the floor for a vote. Currently, this petition has 213 signatures, and only needs five more. Almost two dozen Republicans have signed on, together with almost all the Democrats -- although three Democrats from the border region in Texas are still holding out their support. Still, this is a rare and extraordinary bipartisan move to force Ryan to break the "Child Molester's Rule" (formerly known as the Hastert Rule) by bringing up legislation that doesn't have the support of a majority of the majority. Five more signatures are needed to pull this off, and there are still moderate Republicans who haven't signed on yet, but ultimately might. So that's something to keep an eye on. If Ryan's hand is forced, it would be a huge embarrassment for him, to put it mildly.

OK, we have to admit that we're not even going to attempt to cover all of the past two weeks (there was no Friday Talking Points column last week, sorry) of political news here, because of the sheer volume (as always, in the age of Trump). But there is one issue that is worth mentioning, which is happening entirely outside of American politics.

Today, the Republic of Ireland is voting whether to "Repeal The Eighth" amendment to their constitution. This, if successful, would legalize abortion in the country for the first time since the amendment was initially passed in the 1980s. Ireland is one of the most Catholic countries in Europe, but in recent years it has been swiftly moving from being nothing short of a theocracy to becoming a much more progressive state. Ireland, astonishingly, became the first country in the entire world to legalize gay marriage through a direct voter referendum, not too long ago. Today, the exit polls seem to point to a big victory for legalizing abortion (although the official results won't be known until tomorrow). #RepealThe8th!

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Before we get to the main award, a quick Honorable Mention goes to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for issuing a new policy to his police department to stop arresting people for smoking marijuana on the street. Instead, cops will now just issue a summons (much like a traffic ticket is issued). From the article, an eye-opening fact: "About 17,880 people were arrested in the city last year for low-level marijuana possession, including smoking in public. A startling 86 percent of those arrested were people of color."

OK, with that out of the way, let's move on to the main event.

The Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week hails from Georgia. Stacey Abrams won a decisive primary victory in the state's gubernatorial race this week, easily defeating her opponent in what had been billed as a close race not too long ago. Abrams was the more progressive of the two, and if she wins in November, she will become the first African-American woman to win a governor's office in all of American history, so that's something to look forward to.

Of course, she's still got a pretty steep hill to climb. Georgia is a deep red state, although there are signs that it's beginning to turn at least a little bit purple. Abrams, as we wrote earlier in the week, has been spearheading a monumental effort to register African-Americans who have recently moved into the state, and these efforts seem to be paying off -- turnout on the Democratic side in the primary was up 50 percent from four years ago. That's a pretty stark improvement. And, as Alabama showed us all (in the defeat of Roy Moore), when African-American women voters get energized, they can indeed be the deciding factor in a close race even in the deep South.

This will be one of the marquee races this fall. So far, Abrams has a leg up on the competition, since the top two Republican candidates have to spend the next month attacking each other in advance of a runoff election. Abrams won such a decisive victory that she faces no runoff, freeing her up to begin her general election campaign.

We have no idea what her chances of victory will be in November, but we have to say she has the best chance of any Democrat trying to win a statewide office in Georgia in quite some time. For now, her easy victory on Tuesday night wins her the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

[We have a blanket policy of not linking to candidates' websites, so you'll have to look up Stacey Abrams's contact information on your own, if you'd like to congratulate her.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Sooner or later, we just knew that Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez was going to disappoint us. This week, he did.

Up until now, the D.N.C. had tried to stay out of primary battles, unlike the House committee charged with electing House Democrats (the D.C.C.C.). Perez previously swore the D.N.C. would stay neutral in such fights:

After the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee published opposition research on Laura Moser, a candidate in Texas's 7th congressional district, Perez said that his committee would stay neutral.

"What we do at the D.N.C. is we don't get involved in heavily contested primaries, and the D.C.C.C. does," Perez said in March on CNN.

The D.N.C. chairman stuck to that line for months, telling reporters at a May meeting of the D.N.C.'s rules committee that the party would stay "studiously neutral" in primaries.

This Wednesday, Keith Ellison, who lost the race to Perez for D.N.C. chair, and has been serving as a Perez deputy since then, reiterated this stance in an interview with Democracy Now: "The Democratic Party should stay out of all primaries [and] let the voters decide."

Less than 24 hours later, Perez surprised everyone (and completely blindsided Ellison) by walking on stage at the New York Democratic state convention to announce he was endorsing Governor Andrew Cuomo over challenger Cynthia Nixon:

Perez's speech, coming two weeks before a key D.N.C. committee meets to finalize its 2020 primary rules, has roiled party activists and reopened old wounds. When the Buffalo-born Perez said that Cuomo represented the "accomplishment wing" of the party, he angered Democrats who backed Nixon and worried Democrats who are trying to use the D.N.C. reform process to open up New York's restrictive voter-registration laws.

Cuomo has been far from progressive while in office, although (like a lot of Democrats these days), he is attempting to tack much further left now that he is running for re-election. Progressive ideas which he previously scoffed at, he now says he supports. Nixon has driven him into these positions by her authentically progressive stances, but will he actually support them if re-elected, or will he revert to his much-less-progressive history? Cuomo also picked up the endorsement of Hillary Clinton this week, which just reinforced the doubts of progressives, really.

Perez may have broken D.N.C. rules with his surprise endorsement, but then again he may not have. Either way, he definitely broke his own pledge to stay "studiously neutral" during primary season.

The D.N.C. lost a lot of respect from rank-and-file Democrats in the 2016 election, for very obvious reasons. It has been struggling to regain that respect, with a heavy concentration on "unifying the party." During this period, it has also seen a lot of its funding stream dry up, as Democratic donors have been choosing to donate directly to candidates they like rather than launder their money through the party's national apparatus. Perez was supposed to be working to fix this problem, and staying neutral in the primaries was supposed to be a big part of that.

That's all over now, apparently. With his Cuomo endorsement, Perez has lost any pretense of trying to bring the party back together for the midterms. He is precisely the establishment creature progressives always feared he was. That "accomplishment wing" putdown was especially jarring, hearkening back to Hillary's presidential campaign language.

Tom Perez was trying to build trust in the party's central committee, and bring disaffected progressives back into the fold. All that lies in ruins now. These days, it is pathetically easy to direct donations to individual candidates, thus circumventing the party's bigwigs. And progressives are taking note.

For exposing all that talk of neutrality in the primaries as nothing short of sheer hypocrisy, and for thus destroying all the efforts to regain party unity, Tom Perez is easily our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week. In one fell swoop, Perez made all the suspicions the progressives have had about him all along come true. These days, that is a pretty bad week for a Democrat to have.

[Contact Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez via his official D.N.C. page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 485 (5/25/18)

The only real thread this week's talking points have is humor. We don't quite know why we're in such a funny mood, but then it's been a ridiculous couple of weeks in politics.

We say "couple of weeks" because of course we failed to write a column last week, due to outside life intervening. Once again, our apologies for the interruption in service.

Again, though, we don't know why when collecting talking points this week we found ourselves not with just a single funny item to save for the end, or even two or three. It seems all this week's talking points have some element of humor about them. In fact, there were so many possibilities, the news that West Hollywood proclaimed "Stormy Daniels Day" and gave her a key to the city didn't even make the cut. So hold onto your hats and let's begin.

 

1
   Don't mention Libya!

Here's the link, for those unaware.

"Watching the Trump administration's bungling of the North Korean summit preparations was much like watching that old Fawlty Towers episode 'The Germans' -- which most fans know as the 'Don't mention the war!' episode. All Team Trump had to do was keep away from the subject of Muammar Ghaddafi's untimely demise, a few years after he had agreed to quickly and completely get rid of his nuclear weapons program. But first Mike Pompeo and then Vice President Pence apparently just couldn't help themselves, speaking in muddled fashion about following the 'Libya model.' You could almost hear Basil Fawlty in the background screaming: 'Don't mention Libya!' The North Koreans have long held what happened in Libya up as their own model for why nations should never give up their nuclear weapons programs, which anyone with the slightest knowledge of the country would have known. All they had to do was 'don't mention Libya,' but the two of them couldn't help but blurt it out anyway. At least Basil had been hit in the head by a frying pan before he started ranting about the Nazis, but Pence and Pompeo didn't even have that excuse."

 

2
   Pot, meet kettle

Maybe Melania could help with all the bullying? We're just saying....

"Trump's letter to Kim Jong Un was pretty hilarious, resembling nothing so much as a teenage girl breaking up with the captain of the football team. But one line in particular was so downright laughable, it's hard to believe Trump wrote it. As to why he was backing out of the summit meeting, Trump wrote: 'Sadly based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate....' This is as amusing as his wife trying to champion an online anti-bullying effort, when you get right down to it. I mean, Donald Trump is complaining about 'tremendous anger and open hostility' in a communication? Has he read his own Twitter feed? Trump simply has no leg to stand on, in this regard. Pot, meet kettle."

 

3
   Remember that time?

Kim Jong Un has won the propaganda war already.

"How did it come to the point that the leader of North Korea looks to the rest of the world like the reasonable actor, and the president of the United States looks like a petulant child? This propaganda victory was complete, when North Korea refused to take Trump's bait and instead issued a very polite statement in response to Trump walking away from the summit in a snit. North Korea can now reasonably claim that it was offering up concession after concession while Trump offered none, and was ready and willing to enter negotiations while Trump took his bat and ball and went home. One comment I read on a Washington Post article stuck with me: Remember that time we had a president who didn't make Kim Jong Un look sane?"

 

4
   Another Nunes nothingburger

The White House once again assumed the role of the Keystone Kops this week.

"The Trump White House stepped in it once again when it tried to aid and abet Devin Nunes in his quest to reveal the name of a confidential F.B.I. source, against the entire national security apparatus's advice. A meeting was going to be held at the White House where the Justice Department offered up a classified briefing to two fervent GOP Trump supporters in the House. Democrats complained, so at the last minute two meetings were held to brief two groups on exactly the same information. Then, bizarrely, Trump's lawyer showed up to the supposedly-classified meetings. Trump has laughingly labeled this 'spygate' -- only the latest in the long string of conspiracy theories he's been promoting to feed his own paranoia. But, once again, the Nunes meeting turned out to be a big wet firecracker. The meeting fizzled. This was pretty obvious by Nunes's silence immediately afterwards. If the information was anywhere near what Nunes and Trump were insisting it was, they would have now been shouting it from the mountaintops. This shouting has been conspicuous in its absence."

 

5
   Lie-gate

Democrat Adam Schiff, who attended the second classified briefing, did the best job of summarizing, by coining an all-purpose term in response:

The president said there was wiretapping at Trump Tower. That was false. He said there was an unmasking conspiracy. That was false. He said there were political spies embedded in his campaign. That's false. This isn't "spygate," but it's a form of "lie-gate."

 

6
   Ryan tries his hand at comedy

That's the only explanation we can think of, personally.

"Paul Ryan spoke this week at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. In his speech, he tried out a few jokes. Or at least that's what it seemed like. Ryan said, and I quote: 'There is a deeply serious problem we see right now within our society. We see moral relativism becoming more and more pervasive in our culture. Identity politics and tribalism have grown on top of this.' Unquote. Seriously -- how did Ryan not burst into flames or get hit by a lightning bolt when he uttered this false concern at a prayer breakfast? I mean, I know that moral relativism used to be a big bugaboo among Republicans a few decades ago, but haven't they completely lost all right to take such a moral-high-road stance with their daily refusal to hold Donald Trump to any sort of moral code whatsoever? To say nothing of Trump's identity politics and tribalism, in a week where Trump suggested kicking NFL players out of the country if they use their constitutional right of protest. As with Melania Trump's anti-cyberbullying campaign, the question that immediately springs to mind for Paul Ryan is: Have you actually met Donald Trump?"

 

7
   Groundbreaking!

Speaking of lightning bolts and divine intervention in general....

"This week, a sinkhole opened up on the White House lawn, right in front of the press briefing room. Exactly one year ago to the day, a bigger sinkhole opened up in front of Mar-A-Lago, Trump's resort down in Florida. The Earth, it seems, is contemplating just swallowing Trump's administration whole. However, there was no word on whether brimstone odors were detected or not. Whether you're a fan of reading portents and omens or not, this seems somehow significant. By week's end, the sinkhole had been covered up, which provided an easy punchline. But the funniest thing written about the sinkhole this week came from HuffPost's Ariel Edwards-Levy: 'A sinkhole near the White House? That's groundbreaking news!'"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

27 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [485] -- "If You Change Your Mind..."”

  1. [1] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    I agree with Perez as MDDOTW. However, I think you overstate your case. You make a big thing of it, but this is small ball.

    1. Only the reasonably well-informed know this happened (and outside of NY, it's almost wonk-ish to know this).

    2. No one, but the most committed, is going to remember this in November. And those "most committed" were going to find one excuse or another to rationalize why they didn't support (read: come out and vote for) the "most progressive" candidate in the November election anyway, even if that candidate were reasonably progressive (but apparently, not progressive enough).

  2. [2] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    I hate cliches, but the real problem is the "fall in line" vs "fall in love" cliche.

    In the end, those Teabaggers and Freedom Caucus supporters always fall in line, even when they lose a primary. They still come out and vote for (R-whatever). The left? Yeah, we suck at that.

    We have to learn that some newbie or even some oldie who is awful will still do a caucus vote for leadership (leading to Chairs, Agenda, etc), whether at the Federal or more local level. That really is the only power most have (especially something like a newbie House rep).

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Looks like the 0.1 percent won out, in the end."

    Who knows, maybe even the 0.001 percent can also win out. :D

  4. [4] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Three weeks in a row not complaining about MIDOTW.

    Is that a new personal record?

  5. [5] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Good news that donors are donating directly to candidates instead of through the party's national apparatus.

    I understand why Perez would see that as a problem, but not why you would think it's a problem. Perhaps it just came across wrong to me.

    If you do think donating directly to candidates rather than through a national apparatus is a good thing, just a reminder that One Demand employs that strategy.

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I does seem clear that you are in favor of NFL players being able to protest.

    Did you see my petition to the NY Giants in yesterday's comments?

    Maybe we could start one for each team (except the Jets that already support the players and provide a good example for the rest of the teams).

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Speak2 [1] -

    I might have overstated the case. It likely won't lead to much in the way of an effect on November's turnout, you are right. But it will lead to repercussions within the party heirarchy, and the party's donors -- not just the megadonors, but the upper-middle-class donors who are beginning to realize that they can donate direct and ignore DNC pleas for money. It also might have repercussions on the 2020 race -- both in the rules the DNC lays down for primaries and in the intraparty fights within the field. All very inside-baseball, admittedly, but also not small potatoes by any stretch.

    Speak2 [2] -

    I don't know if I'd go that pessimistic. Dems have fallen in line pretty well, as evidenced by Hillary's 3+ million vote win in the popular vote. For all the talk of how Bernie supporters stayed home, a whole lot of them turned out to vote for Hillary. But then again, midterms are another story, so we'll see what happens....

    Don Harris [4] -

    You like Stacey? Well, have to admit, so do I. She seems to be the real deal...

    [5] -

    Nope, I don't see it as a problem at all. In fact, I think it's quite healthy and would even encourage it. I was writing from the perspective of the DNC, who should indeed see it as a problem -- a big one. Sorry if it wasn't clear enough, but that was my intention.

    I support the NFL players, personally. My answer would be to just get rid of the anthem entirely at sports events. I'm going to try working my way back through this week's comments, so I'll check yesterday out, promise...

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    ---And now for something completely different---

    TP 1:

    Bolton..." I mentioned Libya once, but I think I got away with it"

    TP 2: Pol Pot, meet Keitel.

    TP 3: Waving a piece of paper..."We have peace in our time'' Piece of what?

    TP 4: Nunesburg's law of making a mockery of the law of average continues it's march toward perfection. To be completely wrong all the time is indeed a feat to be recognized.

    TP 5: "Tale-gate'' the next usurpation of the first amendment.

    TP: 6&7: "...burst into flames or get hit by a lightening bolt." or even have the ground swallow you up. The Lord moves in mysterious ways, his disco days were quite embarrassing.

    Well done, my little Irish brothers, seems it wasn't 'Beyond The Pale' to vote with your heads instead of your bibles.

    LL&P

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i didn't know about the NYC enforcement thing, that's really neat. my wife often doesn't call the police about kids smoking marijuana in the park because she doesn't want to be responsible for kids getting arrested, but it would be great if they saw some consequences for polluting the baby's playground with secondhand ganja smoke.

  10. [10] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Have to disagree, Chris, with your MDDotW award. Perez is on firm ground in this case, as the candidacy of Cynthia Nixon is ludicrous and divisive, being as how her celebrity seems to be the only qualification she has for the job.

    While I'd love to see the Dems put more competent progressives on ballots, Nixon isn't one of them.

    Shouldn't the Democrats be the party that doesn't nominate unqualified celebrities for executive positions? In the age of Trump, this might be one way for Joe Sixpack to distinguish the parties from one another, as in, "Our candidates know what what the fuck they're doing when they get there."

    Stacey Abrams, for instance, is an entirely matter, having served her state for many years as an elected official, including being a former Speaker of the Georgia Legislature, so she's eminently qualified for the job of Governor. That's the sort of progressive we need to back, not another Celeb banking on name recognition. Whether Abrams can cobble together enough votes to pull the whole thing off is a different matter...

  11. [11] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Trump appears desperate for something, anything, he can sell as a diplomatic triumph. As far as I have heard, the proposed meeting is just one-on-one. This seems pointless from a realpolitik perspective because Un's options are highly constrained by his Chinese neighbor, and to a lessor extent by his Russian neighbor. Other parties with appreciable skin in the game are South Korea and Japan. A one-on-0ne between two primadonnas looking for headlines seems to me at least 4 bricks short of a full load.

  12. [12] 
    TheStig wrote:

    - "My answer would be to just get rid of the anthem entirely at sports events."

    Right. Since when do you need a half-assed loyalty oath to entertain or be entertained. Should I salute when I watch a movie?

    I am personally very uncomfortable with idol worship. This a deep cultural value among my extended family.

    The flag was originally intended to designate a U.S. Government object and or organization. That is a practical thing. I have no problem with serving military saluting the flag because they have taken an oath of service and it doesn't hurt to reaffirm it now and again on the parade ground. Football players take no government oath to play professionally, and I can't see why spectators who fork over money for tickets, beer and nachos should be pressured pay homage either.

    My father, USN officer, always felt displaying the flag in a civilian context was a cheesy co-opting of government and military prerogatives. * Same with civilians saluting. He didn't like the President saluting either, POTUS may be commander in chief, but he doesn't wear the uniform. That's a gray area, but I see my father's point.

    Get rid the cheap politics and play ball.

    * Growing up, we draped red white and blue bunting around our property each 4th of July and never a flag because "we are not a post office, a warship, a tank or a warplane."

  13. [13] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Poor Donald. Can't quite seem to finish anything. Can't get a historic summit, will probably settle for a photo-op. Can't quite get a wall built (and he's a builder). Never got around to infrastructure. Couldn't get Obamacare fully repealed. The allies stayed in the Climate Change Treaty, the TPP and the Iran Deal despite his disapproval and photo-op withdrawals from each. He was supposed to have 'better' deals lined up to replace them, but hasn't actually gotten anything on paper yet. Can't get out of NAFTA - booted it over to a study group.

    All of the activity that has happened in the legislature amounts to Republicans taking advantage of their temporary majority to hit a to-do list that's been more or less the same since the '70's: bigger tax breaks for the wealthy, kneecapping family planning, reducing government benefit payments to the needy, and reducing oversight of business by regulators. Slowly but surely they've been working on that list (except for the tax bill, which was done quickly and secretly). That's the thing we should keep our eyes on, since it will take the longest to clean up.

  14. [14] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Stig [12]: I'm with you Stig. My dad was also a Vietnam vet, with views similar to those of your father. Hated compulsory patriotism. He was actually pleased to see the Supreme Court uphold the right to desecrate the flag, but also got teary when the National Anthem was played. He knew the difference between 'heartfelt' and 'mandatory'.

    There is a strain of American Protestantism that equates this sort of cheesy patriotism with Christianity. Support for Trump is at an all time high among Evangelicals, for instance, who have told pollsters recently that by two-to-one margins they believe that American shouldn't accept any refugees, and support harsh immigration policies.

    WWJD? Shake his head in disbelief, undoubtedly.

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @balthasar [13],

    agreed on pretty much everything - except what disaster will take the longest to clean up. that award goes to the seat currently occupied by justice gorsuch.

    JL

  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  17. [17] 
    John M wrote:

    How much more bizarre can Trump world get?

    In a tweet on Saturday President Donald Trump attacked The New York Times, claiming the paper made up a “senior White House official” for its story about the canceled North Korea summit. The official, a member of Trump’s National Security Council, actually does exist and led a briefing at the White House on Thursday for reporters.

    In essence, the president of the United States claimed that his own White House briefings are fake news and that an official his White House put in the briefing room "doesn't exist."

    POTUS either has no idea what his own administration is doing, has lost his mind, doesn't care, or all of the above and is such a liar he can't remember the last lie he told.

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    John M -17

    The descriptive you are looking for is "truths unencumbered by facts."

  19. [19] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    nypoet [16] it happened under obama....

    Well no one said that everything was perfect under Obama, and we didn't have rainbows shooting out of our asses. The main difference between now and then is that back then the President wasn't an oblivious jerk. Obama and Holder at least knew that the system was awful and were trying to fix it. Trump and Sessions seem to be on a mission to ensure that it's actually worse.

    My mother called me last night in tears, having just seen a CNN report on Sessions' new policy of separating infants from their mothers at the border. It's been 58 years since she had her last child, and yet the story affected her viscerally. Politicians that support Trump and Sessions ought to be asked to defend this policy publicly and often.

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    WWJD? Shake his head in disbelief, undoubtedly.

    jesus would become a radical socialist, accuse the church of corruption and misquoting him, then get defamed and assassinated by the state. again.

    The second coming barely noticed the glint in the tree.
    He turned to face God.
    It was like slow motion--
    the bullet coming towards him.
    He spread his arms,
    looked toward Home.
    "Insanity," he thought, "is doing the same thing over and over
    and expecting different results."
    "God, my God," he said. "why does this keep happening to me?"
    ~ken siegmann

  21. [21] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    jesus would become a radical socialist, accuse the church of corruption and misquoting him, then get defamed and assassinated by the state. again.

    And think: "Hey, deja vu!"

  22. [22] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    except what disaster will take the longest to clean up - that award goes to the seat currently occupied by justice gorsuch.

    Ackk! Too true. That travesty should have never been allowed to happen in the first place.

  23. [23] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Why isn’t anyone making more out of the fact that the Republicans, who had demanded the meeting with the DOJ and FBI regarding Mueller’s investigation claiming they believed the investigation was illegitimate, have not said ANYTHING since the meeting??? I do not mean that they are being less vocal in attacking it, they are suddenly silent regarding the investigation!

    What were they told that they couldn’t spin it somehow to defend Trump? Were they shown so much evidence the investigation has collected against Trump that they were left in a stunned silence? Or maybe their silence is out of fear of having any ties to Trump when the information they saw becomes public knowledge?

    SOMETHING shut them up and shut them down! It’s easy to ignore moments of silence from the GOP with the constant ass-hat comments that Trump and friends produce on a daily basis, but it can be far more informative than anything that spews from their mouths!

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    Testing. My comments getting eaten!?! Chomp, chomp. :p

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    For those who actually celebrate Memorial Day....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWrMeBR8W-c

    If you do nothing else today... Thank an American Soldier

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    LWYH - You make a very good point. I think we knew already that Chris Steele didn't infiltrate Trump Tower on behalf of the FBI posing as a Russian or a Saudi - those were actual Russians and Saudis!

    It's interesting that while this tit-for-tat was going on regarding the informant, a few new leaks emerged about Donald Jr's activities. Maybe those were a brush-back pitch from DOJ? Apparently now Trump's lawyers would like their own top-secret briefing.

    Uh-huh. That's gonna happen. Which Tolkien book do you suppose that comes from?

    I don't think we're done with the Duplicitous Duo, Nunes and Gowdy, just yet. Beady Bear and Pointy will either assert that they heard something in the briefing that can't be revealed, or find some new stunningly false accusation to make red meat out of: DOJ BUGGED TRUMP'S HAIR!

    Stay tuned.

  27. [27] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Have a conversation with a combat veteran. If you haven't got one handy, I highly recommend Mary Gauthier's latest album of 10 songs all co-written with combat veterans. Gauhtier just passed through town the other day, so I just found out about her worthy little project.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We4vcg2p0L8&list=PLk5l8bUEpopLLXU7dRFIOKwx71h9gVhjW

    No music industry claptrap here, just hard lessons of life. Not a bad song in the lot.

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