ChrisWeigant.com

Elizabeth Warren's Swamp-Draining Bill

[ Posted Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 – 16:26 PDT ]

What with all the guilty pleas and verdicts for felony corruption in the news, it's hard for any other story to break through -- even one about a senator valiantly trying to end some of the most egregious forms of corruption in the nation's capital. Which is a shame, because Senator Elizabeth Warren's new bill deserves more attention than it has been getting -- maybe now more than ever.

Warren introduced the "Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act" this week, which contains a six-part effort to reform the way Washington currently works. She focused most of her attention on lobbyists and the pay-to-play atmosphere surrounding them. She also takes a big swipe at Donald Trump, because another thing the legislation would do would be to require any candidate for Congress or the White House to publicly release at least eight years of tax returns in order to be an eligible candidate for office. HuffPost had a pretty good rundown of what the bill aims to accomplish:


[Senator Elizabeth] Warren's bill would institute a lifetime ban on lobbying jobs for former federal elected or appointed officials. It also would require corporate lobbyists or criminally convicted CEOs to wait six years before taking a government job of any kind.

Given the current narrow definition of a registered lobbyist, however, the ban she proposes could be relatively easy to circumvent. So Warren's legislation would expand who must register with the government as a lobbyist. It would also require lobbyists and lawmakers to disclose every meeting they have with one another, and tax companies' lobbying efforts beyond a certain level of spending.

The bill would also prohibit lobbyists from contributing to federal campaigns and bar Americans from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.

In a not-so-subtle dig at President Donald Trump, who has failed to make his tax returns public, Warren's measure would require all candidates for Congress or the White House to disclose such information.

And to prevent insider trading, she would prohibit the president, members of Congress and senior federal agency heads from trading any stocks during their public service. All federal judges, including U.S. Supreme Court justices, would likewise be forbidden from trading stocks or accepting various gifts from wealthy individuals, corporations or ideological interest groups.

The bill also would require that think tanks and industry front groups that try to influence policy-making reveal their funding sources and the editorial standards they use for research they disseminate. Offering demonstrably faulty information would become a criminal offense.

Finally, Warren's bill would create a new federal agency that she calls an "independent sheriff" to police all of these rules and "shine floodlights on government actions" through enforcement of public transparency.

Most of that sounds pretty good, and I'd bet it would sound equally as good to most voters out there -- many of whom are completely unaware of how lobbyists operate on a day-to-day basis. Even just the general concept of lessening the influence of money on politicians and judges is something that the public overwhelmingly supports, so the bill might be an easy sell politically for both Warren and her fellow Democrats. Anyone opposing the bill could easily be painted as supporting naked corruption, which is a tough thing for a politician to defend.

The bill isn't perfect, but it should be seen as a good first effort. There are several things which could be constitutionally dicey contained within the bill which would either have to be amended (even to get through a Democratically-controlled Congress), or they would inevitably be challenged in court. The entire paragraph on think tanks and industry front groups would likely be the first thing challenged (on free speech grounds and on freedom of the press). But again, this is just the opening bid by Warren, so if her bill ever got a fair hearing in committee and on the floor of the Senate, it's likely it would be refined during the process.

Warren, as usual, is forcefully speaking out about the need for her new bill. In a speech given this week to the National Press Club, Warren laid out what she wanted to do, and why: "Padlock the revolving door between big business and government. It's insane that we have to beg the president of the United States to put the American people ahead of his own business interests. Insane."

While she had plenty to say about Trump, she was also careful to note that this problem didn't originate with him: "There's no real question that the Trump era has given us the most nakedly corrupt leadership this nation has seen in our lifetimes. But they are not the cause of the rot."

Ethics reform efforts usually only succeed when the public is reeling from news about gross ethical lapses in Washington. The biggest reforms in modern times were enacted in the wake of Watergate, for historical perspective. Warren's bill is not going to pass overnight. It may take years to enact, in fact. It may take a different leader in the White House and it will definitely take different leadership in Congress for it to even have a chance.

But the rot Warren speaks of goes deep -- right down to the foundation. Sooner or later, that is going to spell disaster for those living above. Trump's (and his minions') legal problems aside, more and more congressmen are being caught in ethical lapses right now. Anti-corruption could be a big deal in the midterm elections (at least, if Democrats have anything to say about the matter). By introducing her bill now, Warren has given Democratic candidates across the country something solid to get behind. "I'm for Warren's anti-corruption bill" is all a candidate now needs to say to define their anti-corruption stance.

The political concept of "draining the swamp" wasn't invented by Trump, after all. It has long been a potent argument for the "out" party to make against the "in" party. "Look how corrupt they've gotten since they took power!" is, in fact, almost always an effective campaign slogan, given the fact that corruption is so regularly uncovered, no matter which party is in power. That speaks not to the corruptibility of either party, but to that rotten foundation the whole structure is built upon. Elizabeth Warren is proposing to attack that rot directly, which deserves a lot more attention than it so far has gotten.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

75 Comments on “Elizabeth Warren's Swamp-Draining Bill”

  1. [1] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Well...I'm sure FOX viewers will never hear word one about it, perhaps they'll air a gripping focus piece about Santa Claus and how his production is up, thanks to Trump's economic initiatives.

    https://www.msn.com/en-ca/entertainment/tv/news/fox-news-slammed-for-covering-tooth-fairy-over-paul-manafort-michael-cohen-convictions/ar-BBMi60j?ocid=spartandhp

    I'm starting to think the viewership of FOX aren't quite getting the full picture.

    LL&P

  2. [2] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Wow, a genuinely good and timely idea out of D.C. That's rare. Though this will be dismissed as typically Warrenesque legislation, I'm most impressed by the thoroughness of the proposal. It's clear that she's thought this through, and that lends it credibility from the start. Good for her!

    I can already hear in my head some of the objections that will be raised to this in addition to those you've already raised. I'll wait until Michale (or someone else) inevitably makes those points before I add my two cents.

    But my biggest endorsement goes to this statement:

    By introducing her bill now, Warren has given Democratic candidates across the country something solid to get behind. "I'm for Warren's anti-corruption bill" is all a candidate now needs to say to define their anti-corruption stance.

    Couldn't agree more. You've done a great service by shining a spotlight on this, CW.

  3. [3] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    JTC [1]: have to admit that I got distracted halfway through that article by the insert:

    Also read:Kathy Griffin Dances Topless to Celebrate Paul Manafort Verdict (Video)

    Though I'm not usually a fan, I have to admit that I chuckled at that video.

    As for the Tooth fairy story - I wonder whether they presented the Tooth fairy's existence as fact or fantasy? Do they have anyone on staff who knows the difference? Did they address the hottest issue surrounding this question: are children being taught the wrong lesson by being rewarded by their Republican parents the Tooth Fairy for such an effortless achievement?

  4. [4] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    CW,

    Since you didn’t reply to my comment [35] in the previous article, I am guessing that you were in the middle of creating your comment [36] when I posted it.

    Just wondered if one of my messages got snagged for some reason?

    Great article on Warren’s proposal! I hope more people will report on this.

    -Russ

  5. [5] 
    neilm wrote:

    If there is anybody smart anywhere near Trump they should be screaming at him to co-brand Warren's Bill. The Trump-Warren Drain the Swamp Bill.

    Talk about throwing the cat amongst the pigeons. Democrats would suddenly need him around to sign the bill, and he could tell his groupies that he is draining the swamp, cos' you know how Native Americans know nature and all that inadvertent racism stuff he is full of (as well as the deliberate racism).

    As CW says, if Trump were to put this at the top of his agenda, what politician is going to be against the anti-corruption bill?

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Even just the general concept of lessening the influence of money on politicians and judges is something the public overwhelmingly supports."

    "Anyone opposing the bill could easily be painted as supporting naked corruption,..."

    "The bill isn't perfect, but it should be seen as a good first effort."

    "Warren's bill is not going to pass overnight. It may take years to enact, in fact."

    "It may take a new leader in the White House and it will definitely take new leadership in Congress."

    ""I'm all for Warren's anti-corruption bill" is all a candidate needs to say to define their anti-corruption stance."

    "That speaks not to the corruptibility of either party, but to that rotten foundation the whole structure is built upon."

    And yet, you choose to write about an anti-corruption bill that has no chance of happening anytime soon and attempts to address the symptoms rather than the cause instead of informing citizens aboot One Demand and the current opportunity to mobilize some of the 20-30& of voters that don't vote in off year elections to take positive concrete action now.

    After all, the general public overwhelmingly supports lessening the influence money on politicians.

    If you oppose this approach (or suppress information aboot it), then you can easily be painted as supporting naked corruption.

    Of course, One Demand isn't perfect, but it should be seen as a good first effort.

    And while One Demand will not be effective overnight, if started now it could begin being effective in 2020 and even influence legislators elected in 2018 during their time in office leading up to 2020.

    And it could give us REAL new leadership instead of the illusion of change we get switching control between the Big Money Republicans and Big Money Democrats.

    If all a candidate does aboot corruption is say they support Warren's anti-corruption it does say all that is needed to define a candidate's stance on corruption. It says they are promising once again to do something in the future rather than address the problem directly now by running their campaigns only with small contributions. And it says they should not be believed.

    So come on, CW. It's time to inform citizens aboot a real anti-corruption idea. Let's make candidates be clear aboot where they stand on corruption with their actions and not empty promises.

    And also make it clear where you stand on corruption. Are you with the citizens that want the Big Money out of politics or with the rotten foundation the whole structure is built upon?

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nice to see you back responding to comments!

    But is a joke aboot aboot all you are going to address?

    Are you sure that you want to make it that clear where you stand on corruption?

    BTW- The aboot was originally a typo in a comment to Liz. But I left it in promising Liz I would stop using it if she would encourage you to write aboot One Demand. She hasn't so I haven't. I am also practicing in case Trump sees one of my Trumpface videos and I have to leave the country to avoid being sent to Guantanamo.

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And while I'm sure Elizabeth Warren is sincere, the reality is that her Anti-corruption bill is nothing more than anti-corruption BULL.

  9. [9] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [3] Balty...I let out a chuckle on that vid too, also not a fan of hers I find her humourless, tedious and hopelessly derivative, unlike FOX NEWS, which I find desperately funny. For instance, FOX's rebuttal was a real knee-slapper...
    "Last time we checked, TheWrap is not our assignment editor and we don't program the network for media bloggers," a rep for Fox News said in a statement. "We've been the number one cable news network for more than 16 years and are reliably the number one network in cable, so we must be doing something right with our editorial decisions."
    Pure gold. I love how FOX NEWS kid themselves they are news...That's like calling a sit down with Trump, "An Interview With The President" unless 'Interview' has an alternate meaning I've previously not encountered.

    LL&P

  10. [10] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    DH [6]:

    Suppress? Seriously?
    sup·press
    s??pres/
    verb
    forcibly put an end to.
    "the uprising was savagely suppressed"
    synonyms: subdue, repress, crush, quell, quash, squash, stamp out
    · prevent the development, action, or expression of (a feeling, impulse, idea, etc.); restrain.
    "she could not suppress a rising panic"
    synonyms: conceal, restrain, stifle, smother, bottle up, hold back, control, check, curb, contain, bridle, inhibit, keep a rein on, put a lid on
    "she suppressed her irritation"
    · prevent the dissemination of (information).
    "the report had been suppressed"
    synonyms: censor, keep secret, conceal, hide, hush up, gag, withhold, cover up, stifle

  11. [11] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Reading about Elizabeth Warren and her bill reminded me of the funniest cartoon I ever saw. It depicted general Custer just prior to the battle of the Little Bighorn. He was having a conference with one of Warren's fellow Indians, and the Indian was saying "I'm a Native American Scout - quit calling me a 'search injun'!

  12. [12] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act. ACPIA. That's a homophone of a-sepia. The first Merriam-Webster definition of sepia is an "inky secretion of a cuttlefish." Maybe the bill could be referred to as the Anti-CPIA. Either way, it's a pretty great name for a bill to legislate transparency.

  13. [13] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [11] CRS...'Warren's' fellow Indians. A curious redundancy, were you trying to introduce humour to an otherwise flat joke? If so, it's too soon to quit your day job :)

    LL&P

  14. [14] 
    James T Canuck wrote:
  15. [15] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [11]Reading about Elizabeth Warren and her bill reminded me of the funniest cartoon I ever saw. It depicted [blah blah blah...] injun!!"

    Whatever. Still, 'What is the funniest cartoon I ever saw" is an interesting question.

    For me I'd say it's Gahan Wilson's "Is nothing sacred?" but there are so many others...

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    ZANESVILLE, OH — Last week, a woman in her mid-40s who lives in a tidy suburban enclave just outside of Columbus, Ohio, summed up her continued support for President Donald Trump despite his morals, values and behavior not matching hers nor matching her expectations she had for any president of the United States.

    “For decades I have been inspired by aspiring politicians and elected officials who took to the podium or the camera and delivered poetic speeches to earn my trust and my support. They would sway me with expressive words and artfully delivered promises,” she said.

    While the words were beautiful, they never manifested into anything tangible in her community.

    “It took me a while to realize those words weren’t theirs, but skillfully crafted sentences that had been massaged and focus-group tested by a full staff of speechwriters and strategists.”

    Along comes Trump in 2016. She cannot abide anything he tweets, finds his speeches a stream of consciousness that is hard to unscramble and considers his morals in the gutter. She reluctantly voted for him and knows she will vote for him again, something she admits even surprises her.

    Why does he hold her support?

    He delivers results.

    “It’s just that simple.”

    She mentions the tax reform bill, the remaking of the judiciary, how he has repealed regulations that have improved the economic conditions in the state, both of his picks for the Supreme Court and his unflinching manner in taking on the establishment wings of both political parties as her reasons.

    The woman shudders as she imagines what kind of problems she would encounter if she gave her name, so she declines.
    https://nypost.com/2018/08/22/why-trumps-supporters-wont-care-about-cohen-and-manaforts-convictions/

    This article is doubly illuminating insofar how it illustrates perfectly how the Democrat Party has become NOTHING but a group of terrorists and thugs...

    Frankly, anyone associated with the Democrat Party should well and truly be ashamed...

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    WHY HOLLYWOOD’S SILENCE ON FREE SPEECH MATTERS
    https://www.hollywoodintoto.com/hollywood-silence-free-speech/

    Another reason why those who claim to be Democrats should be ashamed and aren't patriotic Americans...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW

    Michale [14] -

    Technically, it would be: "Paul Manafort, at the present time, is legally innocent of the 10 charges, but he is still in legal jeopardy over them, because he was not acquitted or declared innocent by a jury." The key phrase? "at the present time."

    Yes, if you want to SPIN it, that would be technically accurate...

    But if you just want to go with FACTS without any political/partisan spin.....

    Because an American is innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law, Paul Manafort is INNOCENT of those 10 charges..

    No Spin, Just Facts.. :D

    He is facing up to 80 years in prison because of this.

    Which is rather ironic, in a sad and pathetic sort of way. Mueller agreed to a plea deal that gave a voracious child pornographer 6 months house arrest and NO forfeiture of anything..

    Yet, Mueller is persecuting a white-collar criminal for crimes that Democrats are HIP DEEP in SOLELY for the purposes of nullifying a free, fair and legal election....

    Sad and pathetic doesn't even come CLOSE to describing such actions..

    Boy, you're really having fun beating this dead horse, aren't you?

    Of course I am having fun!!! :D I always do when I have ya'all by the short and curlies with FACTS.. :D

    The fact you refuse to face: Manafort HAS NOT been found innocent of the 10 charges by a jury.

    NO AMERICAN has to be "found innocent" on ANY charges.. They are INNOCENT by default.. :D

    It's like when ya'all wanted to send George Zimmerman to trial so he could PROVE he was innocent..

    We don't do that in America.. Well, we USUALLY don't do it, but... yunno..... Demcorats.... :^/

    THAT's the point that ya'all refuse to acknowledge.. Ya'all are willing to throw out ***THE*** FOUNDATION of American jurisprudence because they guy in question has a -R after his name..

    What's gotten into Demcorats!!??? Free Speech... Innocent Til Proven Guilty??

    What other foundations of the American Way are ya'all willing to throw on the trash heap, what other bedrocks of American principle are ya'all willing to burn to the ground in what can ONLY be described as the ultimate expression of being sore losers???

    Just curious....

    Now you're just getting silly. Look up the phrase "presumption of innocence" -- Kick didn't coin it on the fly, here.

    Of course Vicki didn't coin it. But it's completely irrelevant to the point..

    The word "Presumption" doesn't appear in the phrase ANYWHERE...

    FACT
    An American is INNOCENT until proven guilty in a court of law..

    FACT
    Paul Manafort has NOT been proven guilty on those 10 charges in a court of law..

    Given these FACTS the **ONLY** conclusion one can come to is that Paul Manafort is INNOCENT of those 10 charges..

    Once again...

    *I* have FACTS..

    Ya'all have nothing but partisan spin.

    "These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN..

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    NO AMERICAN has to be "found innocent" on ANY charges.. They are INNOCENT by default.. :D

    It's like when ya'all wanted to send George Zimmerman to trial so he could PROVE he was innocent..

    We don't do that in America.. Well, we USUALLY don't do it, but... yunno..... Demcorats.... :^/

    THAT's the point that ya'all refuse to acknowledge.. Ya'all are willing to throw out ***THE*** FOUNDATION of American jurisprudence because they guy in question has a -R after his name..

    Let me make it easy for ya'all...

    HILLARY CLINTON IS INNOCENT OF ALL CHARGES AGAINST HER

    Would ya'all agree with that statement?? Of course ya'all would.. It's a factual statement..

    PAUL MANAFORT IS INNOCENT OF THOSE 10 CHARGES AGAINST HIM

    That is JUST as much of a factual statement as the first one..

    But ya'all WON'T agree with that statement...

    And why??

    Because Paul Manafort has a -R after his name and/or was once associated with President Trump..

    Two statements.. One as completely and utterly and unequivocally factual as the other..

    Yet, ya'all agree with one and WON'T agree with the other.... **SOLELY** based on a partisan agenda...

    Thereby, once again, proving beyond ANY doubt that the only thing that motivates ya'all's recognition of facts???

    Party/Ideological agenda...

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, lest I be accused of never being on topic.. :D

    President Trump offered to donate 1 million dollars to ANY charity that Warren wanted if she would take a DNA test to PROVE her claims that she is Native American...

    She refused..

    How heartless she is that she would deny a worthy charity of A MILLION dollars...

    So, she is able to perpetuate her lies..

    Lies.. Something ya'all CLAIM to be against when it's a -R who is lying..

    But lies from those with a -D after their names???

    Perfectly acceptable..

    Thereby once again proving beyond ANY doubt that the ONLY motivation is a Party/Ideological agenda..

  21. [21] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    JTC Your [13]

    No, the cartoonist introduced the "humour". Evidently you're a mite slow on the uptake.

  22. [22] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    One of The funniest cartoons I've seen (not including mine because mine are so much better) that also happens to be Indian related:

    The Lone Ranger as a very old man looking at a Indian to English dictionary with the caption (maybe not an exact quote): So that's what Kemosabee means. Son of a bitch.

  23. [23] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    [15] chaszzzbrown wrote: For me I'd say it's Gahan Wilson's "Is nothing sacred?"

    For me, I'd have to point to a number of Gary Larson cartoons so funny that I'd have trouble breathing for several minutes.

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    One of my personal favorites of my own cartoons was drawn in December of 2000. The Supreme Court halted the recounts in Florida on Friday and said they would issue a ruling on Monday. They also said that the recounts had to be done by Tuesday if it was ruled that the recounts could continue, making the ruling a moot point because without being able to recount over the weekend there would not be enough time to get the recounts finished by Tuesday.

    So I drew a cartoon with a truck pumping out a septic tank that said on the side of the truck "U-Stall Septic Pumping" and the guy pumping out the septic tank saying "This is what we like to call a Republican septic. It keeps pumping out- but it always stays full."

  25. [25] 
    TheStig wrote:

    "I never trust a man till I have his pecker in my pocket." - President Lyndon B. Johnson

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    MyVoice-
    You would have preferred I used one of the many equally appropriate synonyms you provided?

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, the cartoonist introduced the "humour". Evidently you're a mite slow on the uptake.

    Congrats..

    You win the Internet for a day for the understatement of the year award... :D

  28. [28] 
    Balthasar wrote:
  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Balthy,

    Yer problem is you define "jerks" or "trolls" as anyone who doesn't toe your ideological line..

    Another example of how far and how low Democrats have sunk.. Democrats USED to believe that everyone is entitled their own opinions and beliefs...

    NOW ya'all believe that anyone who doesn't toe your ideological line must be intimidated or eliminated..

    I don't intimidate and I ain't going anywhere.. :D

  30. [30] 
    Balthasar wrote:
  31. [31] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale [29]: Yer problem is you define "jerks" or "trolls" as anyone who doesn't toe your ideological line..I don't intimidate and I ain't going anywhere..

    A Gary Larson cartoon is an attempt at intimidation?
    Good thing I didn't go with the Gahan Wilson.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't play dumb... It doesn't suit you...

  33. [33] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Don't play dumb... It doesn't suit you...

    Honestly? You need a 'liberal' dose of skin-thickener. I never mentioned you, but if you insist that I meant you, wear the shoe if it fits.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    I never mentioned you

    Like I said, don't play dumb...

    Ya'all have called me "troll" since the first day I kicked yer asses all over Weigantia over a decade ago...

    You DID mean me.. But, as usual, your assessment is based on NOTHING but Party slavery..

    To pretend you DIDN'T mean me is the epitome of 3rd grade behavior...

    Which is par for the course around here, I guess..

  35. [35] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [16] So we finally agree, Michale...Ya'll plug your noses, abandon what little morality you cling to, so long as the economy chugs along?

    You folks like to pray, try Caishen...living on the tip of a spear, ya'll need all the help a deity can promise.

    LL&P

  36. [36] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [21] CRS...I prefer my humour a little more cerebral, and certainly not teed up by slack-jawed bigotry.

    This is how the real world sees your ingrained bigotry, try fixing that perception before you judge others on their level of sophistication... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k4pMTsa1Kw

    LL&P

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    [16] So we finally agree, Michale...Ya'll plug your noses, abandon what little morality you cling to, so long as the economy chugs along?

    You are on the side of terrorists and thugs, yet you try to lecture ME on "morality"...

    Obviously, you are in a place that has legalized some really hard drugs..

    You folks like to pray,

    Says who??

    If you had more than 2 brain cells to rub together, you would know that I am as athiest as they come..

    But ignorance is your default setting...

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is how the real world sees your ingrained bigotry,

    Once again, the guy who is an admitted bigot against anyone who doesn't toe his ideological line wants to lecture someone else on bigotry..

    "That's about as funny as a screen door in a battleship.."
    -Biff Tannen, BACK TO THE FUTURE II

  39. [39] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Back to Trump's day at the racists..

    Trump's tweet was prompted by an incendiary segment of Tucker Carlson's show on Wednesday night, which suggested that land was being 'violently' seized from white farmers by the Government in South Africa "solely because of the color of their skin".

    The show was riddled with half-truths, and Carlson repeatedly referred to "the racist South African regime", and noted that Barack Obama had recently lauded South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (sort of, the occasion was a memorial for Nelson Mandela, and Obama's speech was so good that CW mentioned it in a column).

    Some history: in 1913, white-ruled South Africa passed the Native Lands Act which "prohibited the establishment of new farming operations, sharecropping or cash rentals by blacks outside of the reserves" where they were forced to live.

    When the apartheid regime was finally overthrown in 1994, it was generally accepted that land reform was a necessary step to re-balancing the historical scales. According to a 2017 government audit, 72 percent of the nation's private farmland is owned by white people, who make up just 9 percent of the population. Land reform efforts have been attempted, but experienced a series of setbacks in the nation's courts. The government tried at first to simply buy-back land from farmers, but they responded by either refusing to sell, or by hyper-inflating their asking price beyond what the government was willing to pay. Of the property that was purchased, failures became common as new farmers struggled to contend with a combination of a lack of agricultural knowledge and nonexistent support structure.

    Ramaphosa was elected on the pledge to finally sort out the land reform issue. His current proposal is to extend the country's power of eminent domain by constitutional amendment.

    But as CBS pointed out in an article yesterday, contrary to talk on the right about imminent white genocide, "no land has been seized yet, and in order to change the constitution, Ramaphosa would need a two-thirds majority in parliament, which the ANC does not have. They could potentially join forces with another party to get the votes they need, but even if they managed that, there would most likely be a number of legal challenges, and the issue would be tied up in constitutional court for some time."

    So why is Tucker Carlson leading his newscasts with this faraway issue today? Because it has become a favorite issue of white supremacists, presumably because it allows them to pepper conversations about it with references to 'white genocide', which they do by conflating the current South African effort with Robert Mugabe's previous brutal takeover of white farms in Zimbabwe.

    Since the issue is neither timely nor imminently newsworthy, the only conclusion that one could reach is that Carlson's undisguised appeal to racism is an effort to activate Trump's racist voters (and sympathetic Fox viewers) ahead of the midterms by making common cause with their worst element.

    I can only quote Daffy Duck: that's dethpicable.

  40. [40] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthy

    I'm not following the situation in S. Africa at all, but I'm well aware of the history of colonialism in Africa. White Europeans pretty much took over many of the countries, and while they ran those places to their own advantage without necessarily going out of their way to improve the lot of the natives, most of the native populations experienced at least some benefits by default.

    Once colonialism ended, and the locals took over, it's only natural that they will demand to now run their countries for their OWN benefit.

    However, if you look at the example of the place that started the reversion to home rule (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe), there is legitimate concern as to whether the reversion can be described as 'progress' or not.

    Rhodesia was known as the "Breadbasket of Africa", exporting foodstuffs all over the continent. Now, there is hunger and poverty where there was once prosperity, if only prosperity for the white folks. Currently, under black rule, there is no prosperity for anybody.

    People are worried, not without cause, that S. Africa is headed down that same path.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    The show was riddled with half-truths, and Carlson repeatedly referred to "the racist South African regime",

    How would you characterize a regime who is confiscating land and killing it's citizens TOTALLY based on race???

    When it was white scumbags doing it to black people, ya'all screamed RACISM!!!

    But when it's black scumbags doing it to white people, that is NOT racism???

    How does that work, exactly??

    But as CBS pointed out in an article yesterday, contrary to talk on the right about imminent white genocide, "no land has been seized yet,

    You mean, according to Left Wing propaganda sources....

    The FACTS are quite different..

    The owner of the first South African farm lined up to have his land seized without payment or fair compensation blasted the government today saying: 'Whichever way they dress it up it is theft'.

    Johan Steenkamp who co-owns a £10million hunting farm in Limpopo province, has been ordered to hand over his land, following a ten-year battle to stop the government buying it for a tenth of its value.

    Mr Steenkamp says Prime Minister Cyril Ramaphosa's plans of redistribution of white-owned land to South Africa's black poor is just a cover so that the government can get their hands on valuable coal deposits found under his farm land.

    While the actual theft hasn't taken place yet, the order is there...

    Since the issue is neither timely nor imminently newsworthy, the only conclusion that one could reach is that Carlson's undisguised appeal to racism is an effort to activate Trump's racist voters (and sympathetic Fox viewers) ahead of the midterms by making common cause with their worst element.

    You Democrats have been playing the race card for decades...

    NOW you whine and cry when others do it??

    Yer right..

    That IS dethpicable...

    Yer just trying to cover the fact that black Americans are #walkingaway from the Demcorat Party by the millions...

    Black American support of President has almost TRIPLED since his election..

    That's a simple FACT that you can't spin away... :D

    Sucks to be you, don't it? :D

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Small Business Ownership Among Black Americans Jumps 400% Since Trump's Election
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-22/small-business-ownership-among-black-americans-jumps-400-one-year

    Oh yea...

    President Trump is SOOOO racist.. :^/

    Once again... I have FACTS...

    And you have Hyper Hysterical President Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  43. [43] 
    neilm wrote:

    Here is the source study used in the 400% claim:

    https://www.guidantfinancial.com/small-business-trends/

    Notice anything (hint: the 400% claim is nonsense, of course).

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    President Trump is SOOOO racist.

    Yup.

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    So much for "I'll know in the first five minutes" if N. Korea's Kim is serious.

    June 13: "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."

    August 24: Trump calls off Pompeo’s North Korea visit.

    Tired of winning yet?

  46. [46] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    DH [26]:

    There were no appropriate synonyms there. Suppression and its synonyms are active verbs. Your implication is that CW is actively working to bury your idea. To quote from the About This Blog page:

    This blog's purpose

    This blog's purpose is to present to the public one man's view of politics.

    My main focus will be on the hypocrisy and foibles which emanate so regularly from Washington, D.C., but which are largely ignored by the mainstream media.

    There is more to the abovementioned section, but that is enough for me to infer that he is the man who picks the topics he wishes to discuss and delve into. Personally, I think that's appropriate, since it is his blog.

    So far as I can tell, attempts at bullying, browbeating, shaming, cajoling, hectoring, badgering, heckling, or whatever other active verb you employ to try to get your item on the agenda, do not factor into what he writes about. I, for one, am glad to see that CW runs the blog as though it were his own business; it is.

    As with any other blog, one may choose to follow the blogger and, if desired, participate actively in the comments section. There is no reasonable expectation, however, that the blogger will ever touch on your specific interest or share your opinion on it if he ever does. If it's any consolation, he hasn't hit on my burning issue, either. I figure my thing is my job to further.

  47. [47] 
    Paula wrote:

    As Josh Marshall notes, Blotus has it coming at him from multiple directions: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trumps-widening-gyre-of-investigations

    Ends:

    The relevant immediate point is that, as we noted, almost none of it stands up to the most cursory legal scrutiny. Trump and members of his family have routinely broken the law – certainly with respect to money laundering, tax evasion and various financial crimes. They attract people who routinely violate the law. They rely upon and get favors from people who routinely break the law – often extending well outside the class of financial crimes. He has brought that culture to the presidency, routinely treating the government as something comparable to his own personal business, something that brings you potentially into a whole new class of criminal activity.

    There’s no reason to expect this will not continue to expand, with new investigations, new jurisdictions and new connections between different investigations and jurisdictions.

    Blotus - and apparently this opinion is shared by many ignorant Americans - thought that, as president, he could just wave away laws on a whim. He thought he could make criminal actions un-criminal and that he could pardon himself and anyone he wanted to for anything at any point. He really seemed to think the presidency is the same as a monarchy and/or the papacy. He seems to have swallowed and internalized rightwing media misinformation whole, and on the basis of flawed information, misread the level of risk he faced by running for office. He compounded his risk by breaking laws while running and after the election, in addition to all his years of business-law-breaking.

    And now, not only is his entire history under scrutiny, his families' business activities are as well.

  48. [48] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [37] 'You are on the side of terrorists and thugs, yet you try to lecture ME on "morality"...' Yes, who better. 50 plus dead Yemini kids, 'permanently taken from their parents' in the last 10 days with US arms sold to Saudi criminals and I'm on the side of terrorists? Last time I looked, Canada chose the moral high-ground over cash to reprimand one of the worst human rights abusers on the planet in the Saudi's...you remember them, surely? The folks who primarily funded the 9/11 attacks...yup. I side with the terrorists. Morality is up for grabs and cash where you guys are concerned, why won't you simply own it and move on, it's nothing personal, but have the courage of your convictions if you want to be taken seriously.

    "The lord hates a coward, but despises a fool" why be both when you can cut your losses.

    LL&P

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    Allen Weisselberg, Longtime Trump Organization CFO, Is Granted Immunity in Cohen Probe

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/allen-weisselberg-longtime-trump-organization-cfo-is-granted-immunity-by-federal-prosecutors-in-michael-cohen-investigation-1535121992

    This may be old news that is only getting out now, since Mueller's team are almost 100% leak free, and this guy probably doesn't want to mouth off.

    Of course, if there are no criminal actions in decades of dealing with dodgy Russian money launderers, then the Trump family have nothing to worry about (har har).

    Let's face it, they have a lot to worry about, and if the traitor already knew because whispers about Weisselber "flipping" got out, then you know why he is tweeting at 3am - he can't sleep any more.

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    Oops - overdid the bold there - sorry folks.

  51. [51] 
    neilm wrote:

    Mueller is closing in. And the real nightmare for the treasonous family that duped the rubes is that he is going to take a public announcement hiatus for two months starting September 6th so as not to "pull a Comey" and interfere with the election (Manafort's second trial date was set out of Mueller's control). This means the traitors will be sitting around, calling each other to see if anybody has heard anything, looking at each other and all the henchmen to see if any are showing signs of secretly having flipped.

    I think we should have a "GoFundMe" account for fresh hourly underwear for the whole treasonous family.

    This is fun.

  52. [52] 
    neilm wrote:

    Which family member is going to flip first?

    My guess would be the Don himself, but he can't because he is the ultimate target.

    Don Jr. looks slimy enough. Eric seems too stupid. Ivanka assumes Daddy will pardon her, and probably would take the weaselly Jared's lifetime in prison as sad, but there are probably cuter, younger catches for her now.

    I'm going for Don Jr. He is probably in the deepest except for the traitor himself, and after reading about his childhood, he probably feels less secure than the others.

  53. [53] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    MyVoice-
    Actually there were plenty that are in my opinion appropriate.

    Yes, we all agree that CW gets to decide what he writes aboot.

    And we all get to comment with our opinion on what he writes aboot and doesn't write aboot.

    And in my opinion One Demand and the current opportunity to mobilize the off year non-voters addresses the hypocrisy and foibles that emanate so regularly from Washington, DC, and is ignored not only by the MSM, but is also ignored by the many outlets that claim to cover what is ignored by the MSM.

    And in my opinion pointing out to CW that he is not living up to his claims is appropriate.

    If I don't ask, encourage, point out that to remain consistent with what he writes aboot other topics that he should also apply the same standards to One Demand that he used on other topics the odds are he will never write aboot or address One Demand.

    He still may never write aboot or address One Demand, but continuing to ask, encourage, point out, etc. stands a better chance than never.

    CW has changed his mind aboot things before, it is possible that he might again.

  54. [54] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    As each day passes, I'm finding Little Beauregard Sessons is growing on me. The feisty little runt is doggedly hanging in there, against the odds and withering abuse from his organ grinder.
    It's obvious, to even a casual observer, that Trump wants him to quit, then he can slide some unscrupulous lackey into his stead, and dismiss Mueller.
    Can it be that ole Jeff has a backbone after all and decided not to check his bollocks at the cabinet room door? My money is on his wife, whom he takes wherever he goes, is the lead in his pencil and the one who is keeping him on the strait-ish and narrow. Nothing wrong with that, I doubt anyone cares how he's mustering the hitherto displayed chutzpah, just that he's chosen his battle wisely.

    LL&P

  55. [55] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Why does he hold her support?

    He delivers results.

    “It’s just that simple.”

    She mentions the tax reform bill, the remaking of the judiciary, how he has repealed regulations that have improved the economic conditions in the state, both of his picks for the Supreme Court and his unflinching manner in taking on the establishment wings of both political parties as her reasons.

    So many people that I have questioned as to their continued support of Trump have given these exact same reasons for sticking by Trump.

    What a shame it is that they have been deceived by the GOP’s propaganda machine that repeats these lies constantly!

    My response to these people has been to ask the following:

    By “remaking of the judiciary”, don’t you mean that Congress has filled vacancies like they always have in the past (except for when Obama was president and the Republicans refused to do their jobs and let the positions go unfilled, backing up the system)? The judiciary hasn’t been “remade”, they have just filled the vacancies, finally.

    How much more money are you seeing in your paycheck thanks to the new tax laws?

    Then I have to point out that the tax laws haven’t been implemented yet, as they do not go into effect the day the legislation is signed! But that didn’t stop FoxNews from running stories days after the tax law was passed asking people if they appreciated the extra money they were seeing in their paychecks that was thanks to this law!

    Please tell me specifically which regulations that were repealed have been the most responsible for improving the economy and how they achieved that goal? You can’t imagine how quiet it gets as I wait for this one to be answered.

    I then ask them why do they believe that the government would want regulations that serve only to hurt businesses? How does allowing businesses to include toxins that have shown to cause birth defects in their products improve the economy?

    When Obama was president, all these people were told was how horrible the economy was. Now all they hear is how incredible Trump has made it. Republican policies screw over all but the upper 1% in this country, yet Republican supporters think they are better off when the GOP is in charge. FoxNews is proof of how successful propaganda can be at controlling the masses exposed to it constantly!

  56. [56] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Don Harris,

    Do you not think that if you stopped constantly nagging CW to address 1Demand and took a year to work on it — improve it, maybe consider some of the issues mentioned by folks here why they wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole, find people to get on board with you — then resubmit your request to CW that maybe you’d get a better result?

    Your daily nagging just confirms that you haven’t bothered to fix any of the issues pointed out to you. Let people have time to forget about 1Demand. Even if you do nothing to improve it over that year, we won’t know that! Just imagine what all you can do with the time usually spent on here beating the same dead horse! Time heals all wounds, and people might be more willing to give it a fresh review if enough time is allowed to pass.

  57. [57] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Paula,

    Meant to say this a few days ago, but welcome back! I’ve missed your posts and insights and was glad to see you return.

    -Russ

  58. [58] 
    neilm wrote:

    Sad news about John McCain. I hope his time left is peaceful.

    Best wishes for his health are coming in from all sides ... with one exception.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/gop-event-trump-silent-dying-mccain-n903796

  59. [59] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    James [54]

    As each day passes, I'm finding Little Beauregard Sessons is growing on me.

    Fungus has a way of doing that if allowed to go untreated.

    I’m waiting for Sessions to turn on Trump in an attempt to save his reputation, but I’d rather that he go down with the ship! He flat out lied to Congress about his meetings with the Russians in order to get approved to be Attorney General, but that no longer matters to Republicans.

  60. [60] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Stumbled across this today...Pure comedic gold.

    http://cartoonistgroup.com/properties/template_recent.php?id=71

    LL&P

  61. [61] 
    Paula wrote:

    [57] Russ: thanks! I've been busy as hell with both work and resistance activities. (Vive la résistance!)

    I am so proud of how so many Americans have stood strong against this administration, in so many places and so many ways. (I have met a bunch of really cool people.) We may have crested the hill - I think a lot of stuff is going to start snowballing now.

    Midterms are looking promising although everyone I know is braced for dirty tricks - we're taking nothing for granted.

    It's always been about critical mass -- when would enough people fully internalize the level of threat this administration represents? Once enough people "get it" momentum for redress builds and eventually becomes irreversible and unstoppable.

    With every new revelation, more people "get it" and this last week has been hugely revealing. And yet we know there's a whole lot more still to come!

    The drip drip drip is turning into a torrent.

    Yay!

  62. [62] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale [41]: You Democrats have been playing the race card for decades...NOW you whine and cry when others do it?

    Well, you've saved me alot of typing by admitting that Tucker Carlson is flat-out appealing to American racists by promoting the false and misleading South African story.

    That's a start.

  63. [63] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen (56)-
    The thought never entered my mind. Comment 53 covers why.

    When legitimate issues were raised I answered them. Just because you or anyone else says something needs to "fixed" to your liking doesn't mean it has to be done the way you or anyone else wants.

    I have made many suggestions on how to "fix" the Democratic Party including but not limited to One Demand and it has not yet been fixed to a point worthy of supporting.

    Perhaps you should take some time off from supporting the Democrats so you can get a fresh and objective perspective of the Democratic Party from outside the bubble.

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    hey ya hoser, it's not aboot, it's aboat, eh?

    https://youtu.be/o34VzENNPic

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    When Obama was president, all these people were told was how horrible the economy was.

    And that's because it was... It's a case of the media actually getting something factually correct for once..

    Now all they hear is how incredible Trump has made it.

    But we're NOT hearing it from the Leftist MSM.. But, because it's factually accurate, word is still getting out..

    And THAT just kills ya'all, don't it.. Ya'all predicted that a Trump presidency would DESTROY, utterly DECIMATE the economy..

    And ya'all were 1000% **WRONG**

    And ya'all can't handle the facts..

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, you've saved me alot of typing by admitting that Tucker Carlson is flat-out appealing to American racists by promoting the false and misleading South African story.

    I actually said no such thing but why let FACTS bother you now??

    All I have is YOUR claim that Carlson played the race card and, let's face the facts buddy.. Yer credibility is in the toilet..

    But *IF*, as you claim, Carlson played the race card, then yer being a hypocrite for complaining about it because your Dumbocrats have been playing the race card for decades and you actively supported that..

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since ya'all apparently missed this, allow me to repeat it..

    Black American support of President has almost TRIPLED since his election..

    That's a simple FACT that you can't spin away... :D

  68. [68] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale,

    so... who were the other two people?

    ;)

    JL

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    so... who were the other two people?

    Heh... :D

    President Trump's Approval rating amongst black Americans was 8% at election..

    It's now 21%... If it hits 30%, then the Democrat Party is history.. They can't afford to lose THAT much support from black Americans...

    It makes sense.. Obama was a HUGE disappointment to black Americans..

    They are now seeing that President Trump is delivering for them..

  70. [70] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    NYpoet-
    Very entertaining. And finding out that using aboot instead of aboat annoys Canadians which will cause them to apologize makes it even better to use aboot!

  71. [71] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    25

    "I never trust a man till I have his pecker in my pocket." - President Lyndon B. Johnson

    Interesting thing for a Johnson to say. :)

  72. [72] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    52

    Which family member is going to flip first?

    Remember, Neil: "The daughter will bring down the father."

    Are we completely sure that Jarvanka isn't "wired"? :)

  73. [73] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: The fact you refuse to face: Manafort HAS NOT been found innocent of the 10 charges by a jury.

    Michale: NO AMERICAN has to be "found innocent" on ANY charges.. They are INNOCENT by default.. :D

    The word "Presumption" doesn't appear in the phrase ANYWHERE...

    FACT: Michale, you're still embarrassing yourself. Please keep it up. Like I said: I never heard of a "law enforcement officer" who didn't understand the basic concept of "presumption of innocence."

    FACT
    An American is INNOCENT until proven guilty in a court of law..

    No, NOT a fact. An American is, however, "presumed innocent" until proven guilty in a court of law. The plea entered in court by the accused does not change the facts of the case in any way, shape, or fashion, but it does necessitate that the accuser prove the charges against the accused. It's not at all a hard concept to grasp for those with brain cells.

    If you underreport your income on multiple tax returns and get charged with multiple crimes, you are allowed to plead guilty, innocent, no contest, or work out a plea deal with your accuser. Your plea obviously doesn't change the fact that you underreported your income, but it does force your accuser to prove your guilt to a judge or jury. You are presumed innocent by the judge or jury until your accuser proves otherwise. Presumption of innocence in a court of law and being innocent are two wholly different things.

    Remember also that you are allowed to present your case to the judge or jury and prove your innocence, and if you do so, the judge or jury can obviously make a determination to acquit based on your presented evidence.

    ac·quit
    free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty.

    Manafort wasn't acquitted or found innocent of a single charge... likely due to the fact that he didn't call a single witness in his defense. This ain't exactly complicated. He could have been found innocent if he could prove he didn't underreport his income, but he didn't.

    Want it even more simpler?
    A person runs a stop sign.
    That person gets a ticket and is charged.
    That person is guilty as charged.
    That person pleads "innocent" to the Court.
    That person asks the Court for a trial.
    That person is no less guilty as charged but will be "presumed innocent" by the Court or jury until proven guilty by the accuser.

    FACT
    Paul Manafort has NOT been proven guilty on those 10 charges in a court of law..

    Yes, that one is a fact.

    Given these FACTS the **ONLY** conclusion one can come to is that Paul Manafort is INNOCENT of those 10 charges..

    Wrong. The first one isn't a fact, and the jury had the option to acquit Manafort but did not do that. Had the jury acquitted Manafort, then you could say he is "INNOCENT of those 10 charges."

    Once again...

    *I* have FACTS..

    Once again, you are embarrassing yourself because you can't grasp the simple concept of "presumption of innocence." It's comical to watch you flailing in your inability to grasp a simple legal concept... so your oft repeated "I am an LEO who has been there and done that" is looking rather idiotic.

    I see stupid people; they don't know they're stupid.
    ~ The Six Cents <--- See what I did there?

  74. [74] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    Russ
    57

    Paula,

    Meant to say this a few days ago, but welcome back! I’ve missed your posts and insights and was glad to see you return.

    This! 100% :)

  75. [75] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    69

    President Trump's Approval rating amongst black Americans was 8% at election..

    It's now 21%... If it hits 30%, then the Democrat Party is history.. They can't afford to lose THAT much support from black Americans...

    Question: Might you be confusing percentage of vote share with percentage of overall approval ratings?

    Answer: Yes. Again, Michale conflates one thing with a wholly different other thing. Shocker! *shakes head*

    Assuming your approval numbers aren't cherry picked (huge assumption), the fact is that overall approval ratings and voter share on election day are two wholly different things.

    It's comical to watch you fall for the utter asinine con that Trump's overall approval ratings among black Americans is the equivalent of his future share of votes. If you believe that a 30% overall approval rating among black Americans would equate to Trump receiving almost 1/3 of black votes on election day, then there is definitely a job for you as the poster boy for the right-wing easily conned gullible minions. :)

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