ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [487] -- Trump Hands Democrats Enormous Midterm Gift

[ Posted Friday, June 8th, 2018 – 18:08 PDT ]

As usual, there was a whole lot of political news this week, as President Trump continues to flail his way around the world in multiple unhinged ways. But this week, our eye was caught by the story that the Trump Justice Department has announced it is now conspiring to hand Democrats the midterm elections. Maybe Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to look into or something?

Snark aside, here's what is going on. Traditionally, the Justice Department is charged with defending federal laws in court. Whether the current administration agrees with the laws on the books or not, it's a rule of thumb that they defend them to the hilt in court. Otherwise they'd just be cherry-picking which laws should be followed and which should not.

Which is exactly what the Trump administration is now trying to do. They are refusing to defend specific provisions of Obamacare in court, because they hate it so very, very much. The problem for Republicans is that the two provisions that will now no longer be legally defended are that insurance companies have to offer health insurance to everyone without regard to pre-existing conditions, and that they cannot take pre-existing conditions into account when setting their prices for any individual.

In other words, two of the most popular parts of Obamacare. Even during the whole "repeal and replace" fiasco in Congress last year, Republicans would desperately claim (from the president on down) that the part of Obamacare that dealt with pre-existing conditions would remain for everyone (even when they knew they were flat-out lying). This was because they all knew first-hand that these provisions were wildly popular with the public. And now, five months before the midterm elections, the Trump administration is trying to destroy the pre-existing condition guarantees.

This is an astonishing gift to the Democrats, as one Washington Post columnist pointed out:

[If the lawsuit against Obamacare was successful, it] would mean insurers would no longer be subject to "guaranteed issue" (a requirement that they sell policies to anybody, regardless of medical status) or "community rating" (a prohibition on charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions).

Most legal scholars seem to think this suit is unlikely to succeed. But take a moment to marvel at the position the administration has taken: They think insurance companies should once again be able to deny you coverage or charge you outrageous premiums because you have a pre-existing condition.

If Democrats don't repeat that sentence a thousand times a day between now and November, they're nuts.

Indeed, polls have shown over and over again that the policy issue most on voters' minds right now is health care. In Virginia’s 2017 elections, for instance, exit polls showed health care far and away the most important issue for voters, and those who said it was their top issue picked Democrat Ralph Northam over Republican Ed Gillespie in the governor's race by a margin of 77-22 percent. A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll also found that health care is voters' top issue. As much as president Trump may dominate the headlines, the increasing cost of care is weighing heavily on voters.

. . .

Republicans seem determined not only to make American health care more inefficient and cruel in every way they can think of, but to do it while making themselves as unpopular as possible. That could both bring about the political victory of their enemies the Democrats, and create the conditions for those Democrats to pass a universal coverage program. It's quite an extraordinary strategy.

Which is why we began by wondering if this could be considering a massive gift-in-kind to the Democratic Party, because it will certainly dramatically boost their chances in the midterms. Every Democratic candidate everywhere should, in fact, send Jeff Sessions a thank-you card for such an incredibly generous gift. And, as noted, they should also immediately begin campaigning on the issue of pre-existing condition protections.

OK, let's get back to the Trump flailing, as promised. During the past week, Trump accused Canada of burning down the White House over 200 years ago (they didn't, the British did). Also, in his own mind, him pulling out of the Iran deal has not only made things better but actually already brought about regime change (Trump claimed: "Iran is not the same country that it was a few months ago. They're a much, much different group of leaders."). None of this is true -- America is incredibly isolated as a result of Trump's action, Europe is negotiating with Iran without U.S. involvement, and not only are the exact same guys running Iran, but they're now talking about ramping up their uranium enrichment once again. But in the world Trump carries around inside his own head, everything's going swimmingly.

In advance of the G7 meeting in Canada, Trump got into a war of words with the leaders of not only Canada, but also France. Looks like the bromance with Macron is fading, eh? The other leaders are now considering putting out a "G6" statement and completely ignoring the United States. Trump not only announced he'd be leaving the summit early, but also that he wished Russia could join.

Oh, and the trade wars are heating up as Mexico just announced retaliatory tariffs against products like pork and bourbon which come from Republican areas of the country. This was after the Trump administration used the flimsy excuse of "national security" to levy steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and Europe last week. This week, Republican Senator Bob Corker introduced legislation (over Trump's personal objection) which would give Congress the ultimate say whenever the national security clause is invoked to levy tariffs -- a remarkable break by a Republican from a Republican president. Oh, and the Trump administration just struck a deal to save Chinese jobs at ZTE even though they were demonstrably proven to be an actual threat to U.S. national security -- which GOP congressmen are also considering trying to block legislatively. Nancy Pelosi reacted to the news with a pithy statement: "China is eating our lunch, and this president is serving it up to them."

Trump will travel from the G7 meeting directly to the upcoming summit meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. When asked, Trump expressed confidence that he was ready for the negotiations:

I think I'm very well prepared. I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about the attitude. It's about willingness to get things done. I think I've been preparing for the summit for a long time, as has the other side. They've been preparing for a long time, also. So this isn't a question of preparation -- it's a question of whether or not people want it to happen. And we'll know that very quickly.

In other words, he's just going to wing it because all those long briefings on dull and uninteresting facts are such a snooze. What could possibly go wrong with this plan, after all?

In other parts of the world, Rudy Giuliani is still dropping verbal bombshells on a regular basis. Rudy was invited (for some inexplicable reason) to a "capital market" conference in Israel whose agenda was supposed to be about: "forecasts for the US market, the hottest real estate investment trends, and how the political changes will affect the markets." Still not sure why Rudy was invited, but he ranged far beyond the stated subject matter, weighing in on such varied subjects as what Melania Trump thought about Stormy Daniels (after which a Melania spokesperson replied: "I don't believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani"), what Rudy personally thought about how not-hot and un-classy Stormy Daniels was, Stormy's chosen profession, and (most jaw-dropping of all) how the North Korean summit came about after Trump wrote a letter cancelling it: "Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in." So far, there's be no reaction from North Korea, so hopefully they didn't notice President Trump's lawyer demeaning their leader in such humiliating fashion, right before the big summit.

OK, one last Trump bit of news and then we have to move along. The president sat down this week for what was supposed to be a meeting so he and his cabinet could get briefed by FEMA on hurricane preparedness, since hurricane season is now officially underway for the year. Trump barely mentioned Puerto Rico at all, and avoided all mention of the new death toll estimate that is both 70 times what the official estimate is and more than twice as big as the death toll from Hurricane Katrina. In fact, the meeting so obviously bored Trump that he decided to turn it into a partisan pep rally for how wonderful he and his cabinet were doing. Instead of all that boring stuff on life-or-death hurricane preparedness, here's what Trump wanted to talk about instead:

But President Trump had a lot else on his mind, turning the closed-door discussion into soliloquies on his prowess in negotiating airplane deals, his popularity, the effectiveness of his political endorsements, the Republican Party's fortunes, the vagaries of Defense Department purchasing guidelines, his dislike of magnetized launch equipment on aircraft carriers, his unending love of coal and his breezy optimism about his planned Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Someone surreptitiously made a recording of the meeting, and promptly leaked it to the press. Probably out of sheer disgust at Trump's inability to concentrate on anything that doesn't have his name on it for more than 10 seconds at a time.

In election news, eight states held primaries this week, and California Democrats managed to avoid the disaster of being completely shut out of some key House races, but more on that in a moment. Maine will vote in its primary this coming Tuesday, and will be trying out their new "ranked-choice voting" scheme for the first time, so that should interest the election wonks among us.

Mitch McConnell announced that he was largely cancelling the traditional four-week August recess for the Senate, and that they will work through all but one week of the month instead. This is probably designed to do two things: hustle through some more judicial confirmations and make things tougher for Democratic senators who are defending their seats this election cycle. There are more Democrats than Republicans in this position, and this will allow their Republican challengers a free field all month long. But if the Senate winds up not getting much done, the scheme could backfire on McConnell, so we'll have to wait and see.

We're sorry to hear that Keith Ellison will be leaving his House seat, as he announced (at the last minute) that he's now running for the Minnesota attorney general's office. We hope he'll stay on as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, for reasons we'll also get to in a moment. Of course, statewide office could launch him on a path to bigger and better things, but we have enjoyed watching him in the House, so he will be missed there.

And finally, to close on an amusing note, a retired teacher sent a letter to Donald Trump on gun policy and actually got a personal response. But after reading it she became so miffed with the glaring grammatical mistakes that she picked up her correction pen and graded it like she's graded countless thousands of papers and tests. She then sent it back to the president, in the hopes he will learn from his mistakes.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We're going to start off today by handing out a few Honorable Mention awards. The first of these goes to women candidates for office, in a general way. This Tuesday's primaries only continued the trend of women making great strides in campaigning for office in both nationwide races as well as in local and state contests. We noted earlier this week that this year is shaping up to be the "Year Of The Woman 2.0," because the influence of women is going to be felt in November both in the voting booth and in the candidates that win their races.

Our second Honorable Mention goes to Lauren Arthur, who this week won a special election in Missouri for a state senate seat. By doing so, she flipped the district from red to blue for the first time in over a decade. And she did so in decisive fashion, beating her Republican opponent by a whopping 20 points. In her victory speech, Arthur explains a strategy more and more Democrats are openly embracing to flip such red districts:

For too long the priorities and pet projects of billionaires and corporations have been put ahead of investing in Missourians. We sent a message loud and clear that we demand great public schools... and a transparent and responsive state government.

Lauren Arthur has now become the 42nd Democrat to flip a state-level legislative seat since Donald Trump got elected, and for that she is to be congratulated.

Senator Elizabeth Warren deserves at least an Honorable Mention for joining with Republican Senator Cory Gardner to introduce the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (the "STATES Act"), which would amend the Controlled Substance Act so that people in states that have legalized marijuana use would not be prosecuted under federal law. It would also allow marijuana businesses access to the banking system. These would be two important steps, but this particular solution doesn't go as far as other bills already introduced. Perhaps, though, the STATES Act might get more bipartisan support for that very reason, so it might become an acceptable compromise which would achieve the goal of completely tying the hands of the attorney general (and staunch drug warrior), Jeff Sessions.

We have three Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week awards to hand out this week, to: Gil Cisneros, either Hans Keirstead or Harley Rouda, and Mike Levin. These Democrats managed to win second place in three House districts in California (respectively, CA-39, CA-48, and CA-49), which moves them on to a one-on-one showdown with three Republican candidates this November (note: the final count for CA-48 isn't in yet, but the battle for second is between two Democrats, Keirstead and Rouda, so one of them will wind up facing Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher in November). California's bizarre "top-two" primary meant that if a Republican candidate had won second place in any of these three districts, Democrats would have been shut out of the November ballot -- in three districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. These are prime pickup opportunities for Democrats, in other words, so getting shut out of the ballot would have been a real blow to the chances of retaking the House in the midterms.

Of course, the larger problem of that top-two primary system still remains, and could eventually bite Democrats in the rear end, but we wrote at length about this earlier in the week, so we'll just mention it in passing, here.

With the second-place showing of Cisneros, Levin, and either Keirstead or Rouda, Democrats now have a clear shot at flipping up to seven House districts in California this year. That is almost one-third the total necessary to regain control of the House, so it's a big deal. For preserving Democrats' chances of doing so, all three are hereby awarded the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Our policy is not to provide contact information for candidate websites, so you'll have to look up the Democratic winners in those three California House districts on your own, to show your support.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We have two Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards this week, but before we get to them we have to hand Senator Bernie Sanders a (Dis-)Honorable Mention award of his own. Sanders has inexplicably refused to endorse his own son Levi, in a House race in New Hampshire. He did have some kind words for his son's candidacy, but stopped short of an endorsement, even though his son's policies closely resemble his own:

Levi has spent his life in service to low income and working families, and I am very proud of all that he has done. In our family, however, we do not believe in dynastic politics. Levi is running his own campaign in his own way.

We guess this could be an honorable position to take, and his son is a longshot candidate so he'll probably lose anyway, plus there's that whole Vermont/New Hampshire rivalry to contend with... but c'mon... it's his own son.

With that out of the way, we have two winners for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week, because we couldn't decide which disgusted us more. The first is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the folks in the House who try to get more Democrats elected to bolster their ranks.

In an astounding turn of events (due, once again, to that crazy top-two system), the D.C.C.C. -- an organization which, again, is supposed to take donations from Democrats and use the money to support Democratic candidates -- spent over $100,000 to run ads and robocalls for a Republican candidate in one of those close races in California. In a scheme which can only be described as "Machiavellian," the D.C.C.C. wanted to boost the chances of the third-ranked Republican in the race in the hopes of drawing GOP voters to him rather than to the second-ranked Republican. By doing so, this would allow a Democratic candidate to place second overall.

Another phrase which springs to mind is: "too cute by half." Earlier this year, if you'll remember, the D.C.C.C. released opposition research on a Democratic candidate in the hopes of destroying their chances. This is in the same vein. If we were even modest donors to the Democratic Party, we would immediately demand some major changes in the D.C.C.C., because this sort of manipulation is downright unethical and usually only backfires. Get a grip, D.C.C.C., and put an end to these nth-dimensional chess games.

Our second MDDOTW award goes to Bob Mulholland, who is a former chair of the California Democratic Party, and has a disgustingly swelled sense of his own entitlement in party politics.

The Democratic National Committee is nearing the end of a very long process of re-examining how they nominate presidential candidates, as a direct result of the bad feelings left over from what happened the last time around. They have examined the issue of superdelegates carefully, and they're now ready to propose changes for the whole D.N.C. to vote upon. The main contender was recently announced, and it seems like a fairly good compromise between "leave things as they are" and "get rid of the superdelegates entirely." The new plan would allow the elected officials and other party bigwigs to attend the convention and it would allow them to endorse any candidate of their choice, but it would bar them from voting in the first round of balloting. So if no candidate won an outright majority of delegates on the first round (if there were three candidates splitting the delegates, say), then the superdelegates could weigh in on the second and subsequent rounds -- but not in the initial vote.

Superdelegates aren't some hoary tradition in American party history, it bears mentioning, since Republicans don't see the need for such a system at all and the Democrats have only had it since the 1980s. So easing them out in such a fashion after they overwhelmingly backed one candidate over the other last time around (no matter how the people in their own states had voted) seems fairly reasonable. At least it wouldn't bar them from the convention or try to keep them from personally endorsing the candidate of their choice. But some superdelegates are not happy campers with the idea, to put it mildly.

Now, there's a way to respectfully disagree with this proposal, and then there are other ways. Here's an example of the first way, from Representative David Price, one of the people who sat on the 1980s commission which created superdelegates: "I think there was a good deal of incredulity and some pretty severe criticism [of the new proposal]. For a lot of people, this was the first they'd seen of these things." Price went on to explain that he thought the term "superdelegates" itself might be part of the problem: "We're delegates. Party leaders are delegates. They may or may not be unpledged, but there's nothing wrong with that. [Calling them superdelegates] doesn't help at all." He suggested returning to what they were initially called, "PLEL delegates" (for "Party Leader / Elected Leader"). It's a shame that "PLELegates" never caught on, in other words.

That is the respectful way to disagree. And then there was Bob Mulholland. He's a current member of the D.N.C., and his criticism was absolutely dripping with elitism and entitlement. Even that wouldn't have won him the MDDOTW award, though, but he crossed a very ugly line as he did so. Here was his response to the D.N.C. chair and vice chair, which he also mailed to reporters:

The two of you are conspiring with Bernie Sanders to block Congress members John Lewis, Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee and the rest of the congressional delegation, Governors, State Party Chairs and the rest of us DNC Members from entering our Convention floor in 2020 as voters. I don't know if you will have paid thugs at the doorways to beat up Congressman Lewis and the rest of us or not.

As the news article added: "To emphasize his point, Mulholland attached a photo of police beating Lewis at the 1965 march for voting rights in Selma, Ala."

Now, first off, Representatives Lewis, Waters, and Lee are fully capable of speaking for themselves, and it's a pretty safe bet they wouldn't be using the same comparison to do so. In the second place, Mulholland is white, so this comparison was downright inexplicable, coming from him. But mainly, getting beat up by police for marching for voting rights for African-Americans is in no way, shape, or form equivalent to the Democratic Party going back to the rules it had in place before the 1980s for how it chooses its presidential candidate. Period.

Under the proposed plan, superdelegates would still be allowed on the convention floor and be allowed to publicly support the candidate of their choice. Nobody is being politically gagged, and nobody is being disinvited from the big party. So there would indeed be no reason for "paid thugs at the doorways to beat up" superdelegates trying to enter. And attaching the photo was just inexcusable.

Mulholland is guilty not just of cultural appropriation (in the worst way possible), but also of an incredibly outsized view of his own importance to the Democratic Party. The sense of entitlement he is showing is precisely what Bernie Sanders was complaining about, in fact. Let the voters decide! The party elites can weigh in if the voters have no clear choice for their candidate, and they can certainly come to the convention and wear funny hats, but they should not have an outsized thumb on the scale for any candidate at all. Even if you disagree, there's certainly no reason to bring up the Civil Rights movement, or issue dire warnings about "paid thugs" issuing beatings willy-nilly. Which is all why Mulholland wins his very own Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week.

[You can try contacting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee via their official webpage, and Bob Mulholland through the official California Democratic Party's contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 487 (6/8/18)

A mixed bag again this week, although the last three really fall into the category of "How to effectively troll Donald Trump," just because we're in that sort of a mood this week. Enjoy, and as always, use responsibly.

 

1
   Thanks, Jeff!

Not sure where to send the thank-you card, to Sessions or to the White House....

"I'd like to join every Democratic candidate today in thanking Jeff Sessions for so vividly pointing out the differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party on healthcare. You'd think that after their 'repeal and replace' effort crashed and burned so badly that Republicans would want to shy away from the issue in the midterm campaigns, in the hopes that the voters would forget how many millions of people would have lost their insurance under the GOP plan. But Sessions just put the issue front and center in the campaign, by stating that the Justice Department would cease defending the pre-existing condition guarantees in court. That's right -- the Trump administration wants to take us all back to the days of insurance companies turning people away or charging sky-high prices because of pre-existing conditions. The voters already routinely place healthcare at the top of the list of issues they'll be voting on this year, and Jeff Sessions has just provided the biggest, ugliest reason yet for people to trust Democrats on the subject more than Republicans. So I'd like to say thank-you, Jeff, for making it so obvious."

 

2
   Pruitt going for some kind of record

At this point, that seems to be the only explanation.

"Scott Pruitt seems to be going for some sort of record of the number of scandals he can immerse himself in and still remain a member of Trump's cabinet. Before this week, he already was under ten or more active investigations into his flagrant corruption and elitism, but that simply wasn't enough for Scott! Added to all the others, we now have Pruitt illegally using government employees to fetch and carry his personal exotic hand lotion, to pick up his dry cleaning, and to try to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise. Sometimes this involved not just his underlings at the E.P.A., but his outrageously large security detail. Oh, and there was also the thousands of dollars he spent on pens embossed with his own personal signature, as well. I think I'm going to have to look up the all-time record for 'most active investigations of any sitting cabinet member,' because if Pruitt hasn't already broken the record, he certainly does seem to be trying."

 

3
   Paul off to jail?

Continuing the theme of corruption...

"Today, Bob Mueller's investigation filed indictments against Paul Manafort and one of his Russian buddies, charging the two with conspiracy and obstruction of justice for their attempts at witness tampering. So add those to the growing list of Mueller indictments handed down so far. In Manafort's case, this could lead to his bail being revoked and him having to wait for his upcoming two trials in jail rather than at home, so watch for that possibility next week."

 

4
   Republicans about to force Paul Ryan's hand?

This story could get a whole lot bigger next week.

"Moderate House Republicans are in open revolt against their own leadership, and things could come to a head next Tuesday. That's the deadline Paul Ryan has been given to come up with some sort of immigration bill that can satisfy both the moderates and the hardliners within the GOP. The moderates want the DREAMers to get a path to citizenship, and the hardliners are going to scream 'Amnesty!' at anything even hinting at that. Interestingly enough, both sides are making the claim that either acting or refusing to act could cost them control of the House this November. The moderates are all from districts with a high percentage of voters who are demanding positive action on immigration, and the hardliners argue that any immigration bill now would depress Republican base voter turnout across the country in the midterms. In fact, they might both be right -- a classic example of 'damned if you do, damned if you don't.' Right now, the moderates are three signatures away from being able to force the House to vote on multiple immigration bills, including one that they and the Democrats favor. They have given Ryan until Tuesday to come up with an alternative, and then they will force such a vote. Democrats, of course, would love to vote on a reasonable bill to solve the plight of the DACA kids without allowing Trump to build his wall or drastically cut back legal immigration. So we'll see whether they get this chance, next Tuesday."

 

5
   China First!

Senator Bob Menendez, fresh off a rather unimpressive primary victory, expressed his views of Trump working extra-hard to save Chinese jobs at a company that is a threat to U.S. national security (for dealing with North Korea and Iran, among other things), in two rather sharp tweets. We've combined them into one talking point:

The Trump #ChinaFirst policy strikes again. Cuts a deal with ZTE to save Chinese jobs and gets nothing for our economy or New Jersey. He's tougher on Canada than he is on Chinese currency manipulation & billions of dollars of intellectual property theft. Makes you wonder why... Meanwhile, China keeps granting trademarks to Trump and Ivanka Trump. Who is our President negotiating for? The United States or the Trump Organization?

 

6
   Newsom trolls Trump

If he's looking to step into Jerry Brown's "I can get under Trump's skin better than anyone!" shoes, he's doing a good job so far....

"Gavin Newsom will be facing a Republican candidate for governor in November. Donald Trump is convinced he boosted the Republican's chances so stratospherically high that the GOP has a chance of winning this race. Trump is, not to put too fine a point on it, absolutely deluded in this belief. Trump's approval rating in the Golden State is hovering around 30 percent, to add some perspective. So when Trump bragged in a tweet how his chosen guy 'could win,' Newsome tweeted back a direct challenge: 'Please come campaign for him as much as possible.' California Democrats would indeed be delighted to see Trump campaigning for Republicans all over the state, for obvious reasons."

 

7
   Philly trolls Trump

And finally, we have the Eagles fiasco.

"Donald Trump this week disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles from a celebration of their Super Bowl win at the White House, when it was reported that only two or three of the players (along with the owners and the mascot) were planning on showing up for the shindig. Trump then flew off the handle, insisting that the players were part of the whole 'taking a knee' conspiracy against him, the flag, and apple pie. However, no Eagle either kneeled or stayed in the locker room at all last season -- they just didn't want to meet Trump. So Trump tried to make it all about the flag and patriotism. He tried to loudly sing both the National Anthem and 'God Bless America,' except that he obviously didn't know the words. Here's a hint, Mister President: if you're going to attempt to wear your patriotism on your sleeve, take ten minutes and learn the words to 'God Bless America,' fer cryin' out loud! The final insult to Trump was given by the chief of staff of the Philadelphia mayor, who tweeted: 'Our party was bigger than yours,' complete with side-by-side photos of Trump's inauguration crowd and the (much, much bigger) Eagles Super Bowl celebration crowd. Hey, the truth hurts...."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

83 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [487] -- Trump Hands Democrats Enormous Midterm Gift”

  1. [1] 
    rjrap wrote:

    Re: Philly Trolls Trump

    It made me sick to see Trump standing in front of the Marine band and Army chorus at his patriotism event with his hand over his heart during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America.

    It also takes a lot of gall to call NFL players unpatriotic.

    This is a coward with 5 draft deferments.

    I earned my skin in this game in ’67 and ’68. The only skin he has is covering his bone spurs.

  2. [2] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Ranked-choice voting seems a very good idea to me. Still, voting is a complicated business and there may be unrecognized flaws. I hope the State of Maine decides to become a "state laboratory" and gives the new system a trial run. Let the politicians and their political consultants game the new system for a few election cycles. Applied political science needs to conduct more well-crafted experiments. (Certain frequent commentators to CW.com should note the well-crafted caveat).

  3. [3] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: The other leaders are now considering putting out a "G6" statement and completely ignoring the United States.

    Winning!

    Trump not only announced he'd be leaving the summit early, but also that he wished Russia could join.

    Trump was there so what's the difference?

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whether the current administration agrees with the laws on the books or not, it's a rule of thumb that they defend them to the hilt in court.

    You mean, like Obama DIDN'T due with the Defense Of Marriage Act???

    The Thing President Obama Didn’t Do That Helped Bring About Marriage Equality
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/07/01/supreme_court_gay_marriage_obama_s_decision_not_to_defend_doma_was_key.html

    "oh... well... THAT'S different..."

    :^/

    Once again.. I pop in here to see if President Trump can get a fair shake.. Yunno...

    REALITY....

    Once again, I am disappointed...

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    rjrap,

    It also takes a lot of gall to call NFL players unpatriotic.

    It takes absolutely NO GALL whatsoever to label scumbag players who shit on this country as "unpatriotic"...

    This is a coward with 5 draft deferments.

    I earned my skin in this game in ’67 and ’68. The only skin he has is covering his bone spurs.

    Bill Clinton...

    'nuff said...

  6. [6] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    It goes without saying, the Washington Capitals will have a decent turnout for their elbow rubbing with Trump at the 'Whack Shack'...A fair number of the Caps are Russian, and therefore have standing invites to the oval office.

    I'm ashamed to report this, Ontario just gave the keys to asylum to its own demagogic populist wretch, Doug 'the plug' Ford...Duggy is the slightly less scandalous brother of Rob Ford, the man who put the :O in Toronto a few years and tears ago. So, we all know from where Canada's soon to be announced 'reprisal tariffs,' will be launched.

    LL&P

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    JTC,

    Total decimation of the ruling elite... :D

    https://youtu.be/m14NGrtUXS8

    See what happens when you get a bunch of moronic social justice warriors who are big Political Correctness and non-existent of fiscal responsibility??

    Of course, it's everyone ELSE'S fault... :^/

    This is what happens when you run out of other people's money.. They get pissed and throw the bums outta office...

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    What the fuck happened to reality around here?

    What makes you think that Trump saying or doing anything will change anyone's mind about Trump or the Big Money Democrats?

    The Trump supporters will continue to support Trump and the suckers that support the Big Money Democrats will continue to support the Big Money Democrats.

    And those of us that actually understand the true dynamics of our political system will continue to oppose both.

    It's way past time for you to return (or begin) actually covering reality instead of promoting the false choice of the Big Money Democrats.

    A few months ago you suggested that I only comment once per article about One Demand unless responding to other commenters. I was already doing that and have continued to do that.

    It has not worked. You have brought this o0n your self by not addressing One Demand.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Address One Demand and the 20-30& of presidential election voters that don't vote in off year elections NOW!

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8 and 9.

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8, 9 and 10.

  12. [12] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8,9,10 and 11.

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8,9,10, 11 and 12.

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8,9,10,11, 12 and 13.

  15. [15] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8,9,10,11,12,13 and 14.

  16. [16] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8,9,10,11,12,13,14 and 15.

  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 and 16.

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 and 17.

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8.9.10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 and 18.

  20. [20] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 87,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 and 19.

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    stop ignoring reality.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's easy to point out the hate and intolerance and bigotry of the hysterical NeverTrumpers...

    Just ask a simple question...

    How many people would vote for President Trump in 2020 if it meant, 1000% guaranteed, a peaceful de-nuclearized united Korea and a true just and lasting peace in the Middle East??

    I can count on 2, possibly 3 fingers, those here who would put aside bigotry, hatred and intolerance and vote for President Trump for the good of the country and the world..

    The rest would rather see the world burn than vote for President Trump...

    Because they hate Trump more than ANYTHING else in the world...

  23. [23] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Address One Demand.

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Again, stop ignoring reality.

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Again, address One Demand.

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    see 8 thru 25.

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Is this what it will take to get you to meet the responsibility of a reality based blogger to actually address reality?

    Stop wimping out and address One Demand and the 20-30% of voters that vote in presidential elections but do not vote in off year elections.

    The only reality based conclusion that can be drawn from your refusal to address this is that the only hope the Big Money Democrats have is if there is no other choice than Republicans so you will not address this because it could give citizens another choice.

    Is the survival of the Big Money Democrats more important to you than the survival of democracy and addressing reality?

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    DH

    As someone who wrote the book on BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS IN WEIGANTIA, I have to say..

    Yer going about it ALL wrong...

    But it IS ballsy....

    "Stoopid... But ballsy..."
    -Tom Arnold, TRUE LIES

  29. [29] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    correction(26): see 8 thru 25 with the exception of 22.

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (28)-

    I think over two and a half years of being patient and nice is long enough. When you get no response (other than two feeble attempts to paint One Demand as something it is not to fit the arguments CW wanted to make) to being nice and patient then you have to try something else.

    If CW wanted to encourage nice and patient then he should have addressed this instead of ignoring it.

    I am not trying to be a pain in the ass. I am trying to get legitimate answers to legitimate questions.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    I really don't want to get in the middle of it..

    I just wanted to say "THANX"...

    For making me look reasonable, rational and sane by comparison.. :D

    Peace Out...

  32. [32] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    4

    You mean, like Obama DIDN'T due with the Defense Of Marriage Act???

    I see you've received your GOP right-wing talking points, if only they weren't as wrong as they so frequently are.

    You may recall that during the Bush 43 Administration, Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage under Governor Mitt Romney, and then several other Northern States and Iowa followed suit. The Obama Administration actually did defend DOMA in the lower courts and only stopped defending it in the appellate courts because a constitutional question arose involving rights of American citizens who were legally married same-sex couples in multiple states.

    The Department of Justice headed by the Attorney General under the Trump Administration is siding with several states who are actively trying to abolish the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. "Obamacare" in order to deny citizens their rights under law, and that is exactly the opposite of refusing to defend a law where there is a huge question of whether or not the constitutional rights of American citizens' equal protection under the law were being violated, although it's puzzling from the outset why a self-admitted "player" who doesn't believe in God would get his knickers in a twist about whether or not the federal government continued to defend an ecclesiastical definition of marriage that was signed into law by "Bubba" Clinton.

    "oh... well... THAT'S different..."

    You're absolutely right this time; it is very different. The Obama Administration was attempting to protect the rights of citizens under constitutional law while the Trump Administration is attempting to take away the rights of citizens and to undermine the law under the Affordable Care Act... yet again... because of a policy decision not to defend the law by the GOP who have failed 50+ times in their efforts to dismantle the ACA/Obamacare.

    The Government of the United States is now on record siding against "We the People" based on politics. The People's rights under law are supposed to be protected by the Department of Justice, but our laws are under attack by the State... very different. It ain't rocket science.

  33. [33] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    How many people would vote for President Trump in 2020 if it meant, 1000% guaranteed, a peaceful de-nuclearized united Korea and a true just and lasting peace in the Middle East??

    "Who here wants to be a fire engine?"
    - Crazy People (1990)

  34. [34] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Re TP 1 (Insurance for "pre-existing conditions")

    The very utterance (or writing) of that phrase manifests an abysmal ignorance of the basic principle of insurance.

    The fundamental principle of insurance involves the assumption of risk, risk being defined as "The chance of future exposure to danger or harm."

    The instant any disease or physical damage becomes "pre-existing", the risk is eliminated. It then becomes transformed from "risk" to "fait accompli" (a done deal).

    Bottom line, there is not nor can there ever be, "insurance" against "pre-existing conditions".

    When you Dems/Libs demand that insurance companies, cover "pre-existing conditions", you're not asking for protection against risk, you're asking for free health care, and that can only be provided by taxpayers (government), it CANNOT be provided by for-profit businesses. No business can exist by providing its products/services to the public for free - simple law of economics.

    Expecting health insurance companies to cover pre-existing illnesses is equivalent to asking fire insurance companies to cover the replacement of your house after it has already burned down!!!

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Who here wants to be a fire engine?"
    - Crazy People (1990)

    Yep.. Balthy is one of the ones I figured would avoid answering, thereby giving his answer.. :D

  36. [36] 
    neilm wrote:

    (Insurance for "pre-existing conditions")

    The very utterance (or writing) of that phrase manifests an abysmal ignorance of the basic principle of insurance.

    No, it doesn't. It just restricts the use of certain granular information to set rates. It is a common practice, and it is core to socially functional insurance markets.

    The impact of the restriction on the use of this information in this case needs to be balanced by a requirement of everybody to be in the insurance pool; thus the right wing think tanks that invented Obamacare as a counter to Clinton's proposals in the 1990's added the compulsory aspect. The Republican candidate in 2012 used this model in Massachusetts before it became adopted by the centrists.

    Just because it offends Libertarian laissez-faire principals, and so the kiddies get their knickers in a twist, does not make it some sort of natural law.

  37. [37] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Balthy is one of the ones I figured would avoid answering

    Too subtle, eh? I did answer: the premise of the question is absurd, ill-defined, and in my opinion, impossible to do anyway.

    So, no. Besides, I think that any diplomatic 'deal' that Trump cut anywhere would be riddled with holes, fleeting, and likely to end badly.

    It's the Republican way.

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’ snags another witch.

    Twenty charged individuals; three charged companies; 75 criminal charges.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/08/muellers-witch-hunt-snags-another-witch

    The more Trump screams the better it gets.

  39. [39] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm

    It wasn't my intent to convey the idea that it is not possible to tinker with the system (in the form of mandatory coverage and/or rate-setting) to accomplish what seems to be for-profit ins. companies appearing to cover "pre-existing conditions".

    My point was that cosmetic tinkering can disguise but cannot obviate the fact/principle that the bottom line is and will always be, that the pre-existing conditions will always be covered by the general public, whether you call them 'taxpayers', 'rate-payers', or just simply 'government', and not by for-profit private businesses.

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Too subtle, eh? I did answer: the premise of the question is absurd, ill-defined, and in my opinion, impossible to do anyway.

    TRANSLATION: I refuse to answer because my honest answer would show what a hysterical fanatical NeverTrumper I am..

    Gotcha, wink... wink... :D

    OK, let's sweeten the pot.. Looking at YOU, CW...

    Trump legalizes marijuana across the board totally and completely.. Further, he issues a Presidential Pardon to EVERYONE charged with a marijuana-related crime..

    So??

    Vote for Trump???

    :D

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’ snags another witch.

    Twenty charged individuals; three charged companies; 75 criminal charges.

    **ALL** of which either has nothing to do with Russia, nothing to do with Trump or nothing to do with the election...

    Ergo... An irrelevant witch hunt designed solely and unequivocally to do one thing and one thing only..

    Negate a legal, fair and free election of a POTUS that ya'all don't like...

    In other words, it's the biggest and longest whine-fest of all time...

    Fortunately, it's all going to be over and ya'all are going to have egg all over your faces within 90 days..

    Boy oh boy am I going to have a fun time around here.. :D

  42. [42] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [38]

    If you Dems/Libs want to keep telling yourselves that you're getting your jollies by hearing that small-fry of every description, includidng foreigners beyond the reach of U.S. prosecution, are being caught in Mueller's net, more power to you.

    But you're not fooling me. Until you catch the 'big fish', you're having sex sans orgasm, and that can never be truly satisfying.

  43. [43] 
    neilm wrote:

    Don:

    I patiently read your web site. I decided that the personal voting restrictions you demand are too rigorous, so while I agree that money in politics is a problem, I think the proposed solution is too extreme for myself.

    I don't know why you think hounding CW is a productive use of your time. Why don't you write an editorial for the Washington Post or the NY Times and submit it - or dive deep into this and put together a pol sci paper that has some rigorous research and submit it to a respected journal for peer review and publication?

    These are steps that would move the dial.

    So do you believe enough in One Demand to do the hard work to deliver content that is cutting edge thought leadership, or do you just like to press "Submit Comment" on an stream of childish missives?

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    or do you just like to press "Submit Comment" on an stream of childish missives?

    Because that job is already take by Michale ;)

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS [42] - Mueller is building up the pressure - his investigation is well ahead of the schedule of a typical investigation of this sort.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-muellers-first-year-compares-to-watergate-iran-contra-and-whitewater/

    As the charges accumulate, you can see the panic in Trump, Giuliani, and the right wing punditry. You and Michale are right to try to convince yourselves this is nothing - it can't be fun having the leader of your party looking like a cheap thug.

    Pass the popcorn, this is getting fun.

  46. [46] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neim [45]

    I think the man looks like an asshole-cum-idiot incarnate - you really think I'd be bothered by him also looking like a "cheap thug" (or even a 'high-priced' thug?????

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    But you're not fooling me. Until you catch the 'big fish', you're having sex sans orgasm, and that can never be truly satisfying.

    Basically, they are masturbating with sandpaper and trying to convince everyone how good it feels.. :D

    You would think that, given how BAD the Democrats have totally turned the Mid Term Blue Tsunami into a Probable Small Red Wave, SOMEONE would stop with the sandpaper and remark, "Ya know, guys?? This really DOESN'T feel all that good..."

    You and Michale are right to try to convince yourselves this is nothing -

    It *IS* nothing..

    As I pointed out and you simply can't refute..

    ALL of the indictments and charges have nothing to do with Trump, the election or Russia...

    Hell, Mueller was so incompetent that he actually charged CORPORATIONS that can appear to answer the charges without a SINGLE RUSSIAN stepping on US soil..

    SO, RUSSIA is going to have ALL of Mueller's evidence and documents of the ENTIRE case...

    OR Mueller is going to have to dismiss ALL of the charges against ALL of the Russian defendants...

    What kind of incompetent MORON files an indictment if they are not prepared to go to trial!!??

    THIS is what you are banking on???

    "Oh Johnny... Johnny, did you back the wrong horse"
    -Dr Peter Venkmen, GHOSTBUSTERS II

  48. [48] 
    neilm wrote:

    Piggy Bank That Everybody’s Robbing’

    Can somebody explain to the right wingers that international economics isn't in any way equivalent to "piggy banks" being "robbed"?

    This is why the Democrats need to come in and fix the mess after some other dumb financial policy is promoted as wisdom to the weak minded (e.g "trickle down" or "let's have a tax cut when there is already an asset bubble building" or "taxing the rich isn't fair, boo hoo").

    And it isn't like the Democrats are very good at economics, but in comparison to the Libertarian-infested policies of the right wing at the moment they look like bloody geniuses.

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    It *IS* nothing..

    Then you have nothing to worry about Michale. Just sit back and you'll get to gloat.

    But you can't let it go, can you?

    Sit back, eat the popcorn and wait to see the end of the movie - but it looks pretty funny from my seat at the moment and that isn't good for you right wingers.

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    “You know, the way they say you know if you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds. Did you ever hear that one? Well, I think that very quickly I’ll know whether or not something good is going to happen.”

    Says the man on his third marriage, that can hardly be going well as he has been caught having unprotected sex with a porn star and boasting about grabbing women.

  51. [51] 
    neilm wrote:

    BTW, this is his preparation for nuclear disarmament talks.

    CRS and Michale must be so proud of their leadership at this point, it almost brings tears to my eyes.

    MAGA!

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Then you have nothing to worry about Michale. Just sit back and you'll get to gloat.

    But you can't let it go, can you?

    I think I have proven by my long absences that I *CAN* let it go..

    Ya'all, on the other hand, are in here day in and day out, whining and crying that your favorite bitch had her ass handed to her by a total political rank amateur... :D

    Ya'all lost and ya'all JUST CAN'T ACCEPT IT... So you put your faith in a REPUBLICAN whose gross incompetence is well documented and on-going...

    It's comical to watch...

    And yes.. Come the mid-terms with President Trump fully exonerated and a minor Red Wave increases majorities in the House *AND* the Senate... You bet I'll be back in here to gloat..

    And ya'all will be here whining and crying that, once again, your Democrats let you down.. :D

  53. [53] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    neilm-
    Trying to get CW to address One Demand is not all I do or have done. I have submitted many articles to many publications. I have written to many journalists.

    And after over two and half years of not getting a real answer from CW I vented some frustration in the earlier comments.

    Not all this frustration is from CW not answering, so perhaps he got a bit more than his share.

    After recently sending Ralph Nader several questions through the Ralph Nader Radio Hour about the same issue that CW has recently been ignoring of mobilizing some of the voters that vote in presidential elections but don't vote in off year elections to participate in One Demand in 2018 to inspire more of those voters and some of the 40% that don't vote at all to participate in 2020, Ralph just recently wrote an article where he mentioned mobilizing the 100 million non-voters, but didn't provide a way to do it.

    There was also an interesting article at Commondreams by Will Bunch titled "Voters wanted a revolution, how'd they get stuck with corrupt Bob Menendez?"

    It provides 157,983 reasons from New Jersey alone on why CW, Ralph and the media in general should provide citizens with the option of One Demand rather than staying home in the general election as many of the 157,983 and millions more across the country may end up doing when there are no suitable candidates on their ballot.

    Not giving citizens this option is one of the reasons we get stuck with corrupt candidates and gerrymandered districts that re-enforce the corruption.

    While the restrictions of One Demand may not be your cup of tea, the lack of restrictions of the Big Money Democrats are not mine and likely not the cup of tea of a significant portion of the 157,983 voters that voted against Bob Menendez and the millions more that may find the One Demand restrictions completely reasonable and necessary.

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    47

    ALL of the indictments and charges have nothing to do with Trump, the election or Russia...

    So you obviously haven't read "ALL of the indictments" or you'd obviously know you are incorrect.

    Hell, Mueller was so incompetent that he actually charged CORPORATIONS that can appear to answer the charges without a SINGLE RUSSIAN stepping on US soil..

    SO, RUSSIA is going to have ALL of Mueller's evidence and documents of the ENTIRE case...

    It takes a special kind of stupid to insist ad nauseam that Hillary Clinton "got dirt" on Donald Trump from the Russians and then turn around and claim that "RUSSIA is going to have ALL of Mueller's evidence and documents." Congratulations, Michale, you have now become your own best argument. :)

    FYI: We have allies worldwide with evidence that has been turned over to Mueller, and we have several members of the Mueller "Snitch Hunt" Choir who are singing like canaries after having flipped like pancakes... with maple syrup from Canada.

    What kind of incompetent MORON files an indictment if they are not prepared to go to trial!!??

    You might want to find yourself another piece of "sandpaper" since the one you're working with doesn't seem to have two "grain cells" to rub together. :)

  55. [55] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It should also be noted that according to Will Bunch Lisa McCormick raised less than 5000 dollars in small contributions to get those 157,983 votes (38% of the vote).

    And she didn't even get an honorable mention for MIDOTW during the Year of the Woman 2.0!

  56. [56] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-

    You are not a pain in the ass. You are simply behaving like a self centered ass. You have a web site of your own. Work it.

  57. [57] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    ya'all JUST CAN'T ACCEPT IT... So you put your faith in a REPUBLICAN whose gross incompetence is well documented and on-going...

    Wow, just caught that bit of epic projection.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    TRUMP APPROVAL RATING Better than Obama and Reagan at Same Point in their Presidencies
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/06/trump-approval-rating-better-than-obama-and-reagan-at-same-point-in-their-presidencies/

    Since ya'all LOVE polls, ya HAVE to accept the poll that PROVES President Trump is more popular than Obama AND Reagan!! :D

    BBBWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Hoisted by your own polls!! :D

  59. [59] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    TRUMP APPROVAL RATING Better than Obama and Reagan at Same Point in their Presidencies

    At this point in their Presidencies, Reagan and Obama were both promoting aggressive legislative agendas and battling recessions (self-inflicted to some extent, in Reagan's case). So far, despite a roaring Obama economy to buoy him, and having done almost nothing legislatively, Trump has managed to remain at or near those dismal numbers, which were the worst for both men. I wouldn't be too happy with that.

    He's still making his bed.

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    He's still making his bed.

    And, even "just doing that" Trump's approval ratings are BETTER than Odumbo's!!!!

    Oh my how that just *GOTS* to chap ya'all's asses, eh!!??

    :D

    BBBWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    In yet another episode of "Trump's policies not winning at all" {sic}, China's communication giant ZTE just paid a fine of (pinky finger) one BILLION dollars and put $400 million into escrow for future fines. Wow. What an amazing result right there. Tell 'em what else they won, Bob!

    ZTE also has to replace its entire board of directors and senior leadership and retain a team of special compliance coordinators selected by and answerable to the US Department of Commerce for 10 years. Now how much would you pay?

    These humiliating penalties in addition to the $892 million in fines they already paid last year. But wait, that's not all!

    Chinese media actually published a criticism of ZTE. You heard right, Bob! Xinhua referred to ZTE as a “giant infant” which “used its own business interest to coerce the government” into helping the company. They pointed out without any lube that ZTE failed to honor the spirit of a contract and despised foreign laws, and that ZTE deserved all the consequences now.

    What kind of news do you watch? Is it going to report this BIGLY win for America with one of the worst offenders, a company that freely did business with Iran and North Korea on Obama's watch? Or do you watch fake news that's going to mumble about this and fail to note how huge it is and how unprecedented China meekly accepting a disgracing punishment like this is? Note that ZTE is basically an arm of the Chinese government.

    Event 3 – The Chinese discover they have no clothes (May 18)

    The threat of American secondary sanctions threatens the stability of more than just Iran and Europe, it also is a mortal threat to the world’s largest oil importer: China. And it isn’t like the Chinese were not already under some fairly stupendous pressure.

    Two weeks ago U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer led an all-star team to Beijing to list out the Trump administration’s trade demands. Lighthizer is an old hand when it comes to brutal trade talks. He is the trade lawyer who in essence wrote the legal backbone of what is now the World Trade Organization, and during the Reagan administration he (repeatedly) brought the Japanese to heel on a raft of trade and financial issues that the Japanese blame for many of their subsequent economic troubles.

    Lighthizer brought a small army of officials with him: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow, and America’s ambassador to China Terry Branstad. Of them, the only face that the Chinese consider even remotely friendly was Branstad – Xi’s first trip to the United States back in 1985 was to Iowa, and he and Branstad have a warm personal relationship. It was a classic bad-cop bad-cop bad-cop bad-cop and-this-guy-will-help-you-to-the-hospital-afterword set up.

    Lighthizer and Co didn’t negotiate. They simply delivered some ultimatums.

    China will unilaterally increase its imports of U.S. goods by at least $100 billion.

    China will immediately cease protections and subsidies for any sectors related to its Made in China 2025 central economic plan, as well as eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers on those sectors.

    China will accept that it is a non-market economy under WTO rules (which would allow the United States to apply protective tariffs against Chinese exports).

    China will accept American restrictions on Chinese investment-led acquisitions in the United States.

    China will cease all technological/cyber theft as well as cease any and all policies which aim to force American firms to share technologies with China.

    China will accept American quarterly reviews on all trade policies, and pre-commit to cooperation with American findings.

    China will submit rosters of goods shipped to third countries so that China may not do end-runs around American import restrictions.

    China will abandon all WTO cases it has prosecuted against the United States as regards any of the above issues and preemptively agree to launch no new ones.

    http://zeihan.com/this-is-how-the-world-ends-part-iii/

    Once again, I must concede that President Trump was wrong.. 1000% completely and unequivocally wrong...

    I am **NOT** getting tired of winning.. :D

  62. [62] 
    neilm wrote:

    I am **NOT** getting tired of winning.. :D

    No wonder, you haven't started yet.

    The only thing Trump is winning is "saying stupid things that upset the educated and intelligent". The fact that you count that as winning should be sending you to the mirror for a long look at yourself.

  63. [63] 
    Steedo wrote:

    Is there a betting line for when Comrade Donnie calls for a 3000-mile wall on the Canadian border?

  64. [64] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    57

    Wow, just caught that bit of epic projection.

    GMTA, Balthy… you literally posted exactly what I was thinking. :)

    It is always a hoot to watch "Law Occifer Michale" flailing in his attempts to explain anything whatsoever to do with law, inevitably falling flat on his face, and in so doing exposing his tenuous grasp of knowledge regarding CI, ELINT, HUMINT, SIGINT, and FININT. #FVEY

    As if that bit of revelation wasn't enough, "Occifer" further reveals the depths of the level of his general "knowledge" by posting URLs to right-wing rags like Gateway Pundit that link to websites located in the conspiracy-theory-lunatic corner of the Internet. :)

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    No wonder, you haven't started yet.

    The only thing Trump is winning is "saying stupid things that upset the educated and intelligent". The fact that you count that as winning should be sending you to the mirror for a long look at yourself.

    Neil,

    Would you like some cheeze to go with your whine and sour grapes?? :D

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    I would much rather be an "occifer" (which is funny because that's what a drunk sounds like) than a lying cunt (isn't that the word that moronic NeverTrumpers like to hear??) who's sole debate strategy is to extort commenters who constantly kick their asses and threaten said commenters' family members...

    What kind of lowlife cunt does that??

    Oh, that's right.. You...

    Moron...

  67. [67] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The phrase, Michale, was 'feckless cunt', originally applied to a woman who claims to have the ear of the President with regards to 'women's issues', but apparently only gets the finger. What sort of woman (or women, if you include Melania in the inner circle of Trump) can sit at the very center of power, and not say a word about the tragedy of seeing infants being ripped from their mothers at the border under this President's orders? As Nicholle Wallace asked, "are they dead inside?"

    I want to know what Republican women think about this. They have a say. Are they going to be feckless too?

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    I want to know what Republican women think about this. They have a say. Are they going to be feckless too?

    And what does that have to do with Victoria being a cunt who threatens to dox commenters and COMMENTERS' FAMILY if said commenter doesn't quit intellectually kicking her fat ass all over the place..

    Nothing at all...

    So why don't you just shut the fuck up unless you have something *RELEVANT* to add.

    "mmmmm kay, pumkin??"
    -Will Smith, HITCH

  69. [69] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    stig (56)-
    If being nice and patient for an extended period of time while being ignored and then registering a protest (think of it as taking a knee during the National Anthem) is being a self-centered asshole, then I am guilty as charged.

    While I have chosen not to say it until this response to you and am only saying it to you now to demonstrate a difference of opinion on what an asshole is, I would say that someone that asks for certain behavior and then continues to ignore the person that is complying with that request may not be self-centered- but is acting more like an asshole than the person complying with the requested behavior and registering a protest.

    Whatever else I may do has nothing to do with whether or not CW should address One Demand and/or the 20-30% of presidential election voters that do not vote in off year elections.

    How would you describe a person that keeps trying to pass off excuses like get your own blog/work your own website as a reason for CW to continue to ignore reality?

  70. [70] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Another point on Lisa McCormick and the under 5000 dollars raised in small contributions achieving 38% of the vote.

    What if there were a national organization that could have brought in many small contributions from individuals all over the country and she had raised 500,000 dollars or even a million or two?

    This is why the organization should be started first by taking advantage of the opportunity in 2018 so that candidates like McCormick in 2020 and future elections can be more successful and could inspire more candidates like McCormick to run in 2020 and future elections.

  71. [71] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    66

    You mad bro?

    I would much rather be an "occifer"

    It simply does not matter what you'd rather be. Facts matter; your bullshit doesn't.

    than a lying cunt (isn't that the word that moronic NeverTrumpers like to hear??) who's sole debate strategy is to extort commenters who constantly kick their asses and threaten said commenters' family members...

    Grammar and spelling atrocities galore... what will Stucki say?

    Lying? No, sir. Lies are not the reason you've run off multiple times whining with your tail between your legs and making up bullshit about your family members being threatened. Exactly the opposite. :)

    The only ass you kick on these boards is your own, and you're really good at it too for multiple reasons:

    * You are demonstrably woefully lacking in intelligence and either employ deflection, fabrication, or name calling.

    * You are extremely easily conned.

    * You genuinely believe the utter nonsensical bullshit you are spoon-fed from right-wing propaganda media and spew it back here regularly.

    * Your ass is a really big target and hard for your foot to miss since it's located in your mouth which is conveniently planted firmly up your backside.

    Would like you like any more cheese with your whine? Better get it now. Prices going up. :)

  72. [72] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    67

    What sort of woman (or women, if you include Melania in the inner circle of Trump) can sit at the very center of power, and not say a word about the tragedy of seeing infants being ripped from their mothers at the border under this President's orders?

    Now, now, Balthy… according to Rudy and Don, porn stars like Melania are not to be respected; although, would we call her a star? It seems Rudolph and Donald have conveniently forgotten how Ms. Knauss made a living before and even after she married the Mafia Don. :)

  73. [73] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    68

    And what does that have to do with Victoria being a cunt who threatens to dox commenters and COMMENTERS' FAMILY if said commenter doesn't quit intellectually kicking her fat ass all over the place..

    Translation: Occifer Michale posted his own information on this blog multiple times and regularly complains about being doxed, which simply is not and would never be necessary under the facts and circumstances such as they exist.

    Question: What kind of self-respecting so-called "intellectual" police officer would post a cornucopia and plethora of his own personal information and that of his family on a blog numerous and multiple times and then whine on a regular basis that someone is threatening to dox him? Ho hum... that's already been done.

    That's using your "intellect," Occifer. :)

    Your bullying, name calling, and fabrication very much resembles that of The Orange Blowhole. You create a false narrative and keep building on it exponentially until the facts are obscured. I will even provide an example.

    It takes a special kind of stupid to buy into the utter nonsensical fantasy that Donald Trump's zeal for whining about the NFL players' taking a knee in silent protest of something else has anything whatsoever to do with respect for the American flag or those who served in the military. If that's truly what Trump cared about, he would have told his staff to apologize for insulting Senator John McCain, and he wouldn't have trashed those service members "who got captured," just to list very few of the many ways that Trump has dissed our military and men and women who serve this country.

    Need more examples of this type bullshit?

    * Don't blame Putin for invading Crimea; blame Obama for not stopping him.

    * Don't blame Russia for interfering in our election, blame Robert Mueller for the investigation into what no one including the Trump Administration disputes Russia did.

    * Don't blame your staffer for disrespecting a war hero or __________, <--- [fill in blank with fact], blame the news media for reporting it.

    Enough examples.

    The problem for you and Benedict Donald is that this type of con artistry and whiny "somebody did me wrong, blame somebody else" perpetual whiny victimhood is transparent and only works on those intellectually challenged persons such as yourselves. Bully, name call, fabricate and obfuscate the facts all you wish, but know this: While you may be fooling yourself and the similarly situated intellectually challenged, it would be a mistake to believe you're fooling anyone else who doesn't dwell on your mental level in the depths of the Mariana's Trench. :)

  74. [74] 
    neilm wrote:

    Would you like some cheeze to go with your whine and sour grapes??

    :)

    One day you might discover "reality" and we can all have a laugh together at how deluded you are about your orange conman.

  75. [75] 
    Kick wrote:

    Steedo
    63

    Is there a betting line for when Comrade Donnie calls for a 3000-mile wall on the Canadian border?

    Props for posting this pertinent question before Comrade Donnie got his knickers in a twist and berated our "allies and friends" to the North, the Canadians.

    Trump's Economic Adviser, Larry Kudlow, said it was a "betrayal" by the Prime Minister of Canada that had "forced" Trump regarding the US G-7 pullout.

    Hmmmmm. They're accusing Justin Trudeau of making Trump "look weak" before the meeting of the two dictators. Trump being the ever whiny victim seems to be under the mistaken impression that it is the Canadian Prime Minister's job to make him "look strong" before the world.

    So... yet another Trumpertantrum is being blamed on our allies, but who on Earth could have predicted they would react negatively to tariffs and being referred to as a threat to the national security of the United States? Somebody should inform our mentally challenged POTUS that while his top concerns are those of his fragile ego and championing the interests of Russia, the fact remains that it is Trudeau's duty to protect Canada, Macron's duty to protect France, Merkel's duty to protect Germany, etc.

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    One day you might discover "reality" and we can all have a laugh together at how deluded you are about your orange conman.

    You mean, YOUR "reality" that Hillary was going to be President??

    Your "reality" that a Trump presidency would cause the stock market to blow up??

    Your "reality" that a Trump presidency would cause the economy to tank??

    Your "reality" that a President Trump would ignite WWIII within 6 months of attaining office??

    Is that the "reality" you are referring to Neil?? :D

    Your reality sucks.. And is also only in your mind.. :D

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your reality sucks.. And is also only in your mind.. :D

    "I don't like your god. Your god scares me!!"
    -Adam Sandler, BULLETPROOF

    :D

  78. [78] 
    Paula wrote:

    Blotus' antics at G7 couldn't have made more clear his treachery and traitor-dom.

    Meanwhile - no surprise, no surprise, no surprise - we learn more about the NRA's working with Russia.

    A Justice Department investigation into whether Russians illegally funneled donations to the Trump campaign through the National Rifle Association (NRA) has uncovered a web of contacts between the gun group and allies of Vladimir Putin.

    And the NRA still isn’t willing to provide any answers.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/mcclatchy-nra-executives-met-rogozin-rudov-2016-election

    GOP/NRA/Blotus: trifecta a traitors.

  79. [79] 
    Paula wrote:

    trifecta OF traitors

  80. [80] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula, Kick, et. al.:

    I'd say this Photo perfectly sums up the G7:

    https://www.livemint.com/rf/Image-621x414/LiveMint/Period2/2018/06/12/Photos/Processed/donald-trump-angela-merkel-kotD--621x414@LiveMint.JPG

    You see? You can't stop Republicans (and especially Trump) from being assholes any more than you can stop a February breeze from being chilly. It's baked-in to their philosophy. There's John Bolton standing right next to the president, and we KNOW he's always been an asshole.

    Trump is still in his pre-humility stage - think "King Ralph" or "Bruce Almighty" about a quarter of the way into each of those movies. We're still in the 'hubris' stage where the protagonist struts around thinking he's King or God, and is oblivious to the chaos he's invoking. If this plotline plays out, things will get much worse before they get better.

    One White House advisor, pressed to sum up the Trump doctrine expressed it thusly: "We're America, BITCH."

    There it is, HUBRIS in all it's ugly glory. This is the pompous, vainglorious, ultra-macho swagger that Trump's zombie followers had been hoping for. It goes along with their desire to tell the rest of the world and Democrats in particular to STFU and piss off.

    We're pissed off, alright. Trump is reducing American prestige to a punchline, and using immigrant children as human shields. It's disgusting.

    But take heart, ye Democrats, the cavalry's on the way, because boy, are we ever ready to vote these assholes and their enablers out of office.

    Then, two yeas from now, after we've forced Trump's retirement, we'll have clean up the fetid, steaming mess left behind by a Republican. Again.

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    But take heart, ye Democrats, the cavalry's on the way, because boy, are we ever ready to vote these assholes and their enablers out of office.

    Yea...

    That is EXACTLY what ya'all said in Sep of 2016..

    You were wrong then, you'll be wrong again..

    Face the facts, sunshine..

    Your Blue Wave has collapsed.. :D

    Like in 2016, I can't WAIT til November...

    I'll be laughing my ass off at ya'all.. :D

  82. [82] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Face the facts, sunshine..Your Blue Wave has collapsed..

    Face it sunshine, that's all you've got to hope for, since it's not your side that's riding a string of recent election successes - being 'the year of the woman' and all that. Hey, how d'ya like the new Democratic Senator from Alabama?

    It appears that more than a few moderate Republicans are feeling uninspired by some of Trump's recent antics like trading insults with Canada(?), and separating infants from their families at the border. It's as if Trump and his people are saying, 'screw them too', about anyone with brain cells, or concern about corruption. It's absurdland, it's stupidville. So, no, it's not working for them.

  83. [83] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    "So, what about the truth? What does the truth even mean today? I mean, if you’re Donald Trump, it doesn’t mean anything. Our country is led by a president who believes he can make up his own truth. And we have a word for that: bullshit."
    - Robert De Niro

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