ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [500] -- Manafort Flips!

[ Posted Friday, September 14th, 2018 – 17:50 PDT ]

A new warning has just been issued, because the hurricane-force bluster emanating from the White House is projected to reach Category 5 this weekend.

Heh. Sorry, but we couldn't resist.

Convicted felon Paul Manafort pleaded guilty today to two additional serious federal felonies, one of which was conspiracy to defraud the United States government. He also had to pony up tens of millions of dollars' worth of real estate, because one of the frauds he perpetrated was avoiding paying $15 million in federal taxes by money laundering. The biggest news, however, wasn't Manafort pleading guilty to his ninth and tenth felonies, but the fact that to get a plea deal he had to agree to cooperate with Bob Mueller's investigation. This is what he's been fighting against doing all along, so it is big news.

Manafort becomes the fifth Trump aide to plead guilty to federal charges as a direct result of the Mueller investigation. The others: Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos. Two more peripheral figures have also entered guilty pleas, as well. That "witch hunt" excuse is (as they say in Washington) no longer operative.

In fact, when they add up all the property and bank accounts Manafort was forced to hand over, the Mueller investigation might now have already paid for itself -- bringing in more to federal coffers than the investigation has cost. Which, incidentally, blows another Trump complaint out of the water.

Trump's paranoia has been noticeably increasing, of late. What with the Bob Woodward book and that anonymous New York Times article, President Trump had already started seeing enemies everywhere he looked. And now the only guy who was willing to fight Mueller's charges has caved. Trump must now be shivering in his boots wondering what Manafort will be telling Mueller in the coming weeks. It's reportedly gotten so bad in the White House that Trump only trusts his own immediate family, and (for some reason) Stephen Miller. From a Vanity Fair article:

Sources told me [President Donald] Trump is "obsessed," "lathered," and "freaked out" that the leaker is still in his midst. His son Don Jr. has told people he's worried Trump isn't sleeping because of it, a source said. Meetings have been derailed by Trump's suspicion. "If you look at him the wrong way, he'll spend the next hour thinking you wrote it," a Republican close to the White House said.

Now Trump also has to deal with Manafort flipping, which is only going to make the problem worse. We suppose that Manafort can now kiss goodbye any hope of ever getting pardoned by Trump, since Trump views disloyalty pretty harshly. Now that Manafort's going to be singing like a little birdie to Mueller, Trump will likely never forgive him. America awaits with bated breath what Trump will tweet out about this new development.

Of course, we began our column with that Category 5 metaphor because there is an actual hurricane devastating the Carolina coast even as we write this. In normal times, we wouldn't have used such a metaphor in order to not even suggest trivializing such a devastating disaster, but at this point such distinctions don't seem to apply in the political world. We say this because of what's been going on all week on the edges of the current storm.

Trump began the week insisting that his handling of Hurricane Maria was an "unsung success" story. This flew in the face of the new official death count, which now stands at almost 3,000 -- far more than Hurricane Katrina. Trump also warned that Hurricane Florence was "tremendously big and tremendously wet," which was kind of odd (but, for Trump, really just par for the course). But then Trump took to Twitter to complain about a conspiracy against him that does not actually exist. He disavowed the official Maria death count and insisted -- without a shred of evidence, as usual -- that "Democrats" inflated the figures because they were out to get him politically.

These two tweets were resoundingly denounced by all. Democrats excoriated the president's self-obsession and insensitivity, and Trump had even gone too far for some Republicans. The governor of Puerto Rico (a big Trump supporter, so far) gently admonished Trump, while Puerto Rico's only representative in Congress had to "respectfully disagree" with Trump's refusal to accept the death toll number, "because that's not the reality." Two prominent Republicans in Florida (which has lots of Puerto Rican voters) also spoke out against Trump. Rick Scott, who is running for Senate, disagreed with Trump on Twitter: "I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand." The harshest intraparty criticism, though, came from Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring from Congress (and so doesn't have to worry about the voters anymore). She ripped into Trump in an interview:

What kind of mind twists that statistic into: "Oh, fake news is trying to hurt my image"? How can you be so self-centered and try to distort the truth so much? It's mind boggling.

Yes, it is -- much like everything else Trump tweets. Earlier in the week, in fact, Trump marked the anniversary of 9/11 in truly bizarre fashion on Twitter: "17 years since September 11th!" Really? Exclamation point? That's just... wow. This was after Trump started the day by tweeting more complaints about the Russia investigation against him. Because even on 9/11, everything is always all about him.

Meanwhile, there seems to be a power struggle happening at FEMA. First it was reported that FEMA had transferred $10 million to ICE, because they needed some more money to hold children in captivity. Nothing like setting spending priorities, eh? Then the head of FEMA came under direct attack, as a Department of Homeland Security inspector general's report was disclosed which revealed an internal investigation into Brock Long's travel expenses. The report also disclosed that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recently tried to force him to resign as the head of FEMA. This report has apparently been around for months, which makes the leak's timing all the more bizarre. A former top FEMA official was quoted saying: "The fact that someone within the administration is taking shots at FEMA in the middle of a hurricane is insane. Lives are at stake. People are working around the clock to get resources and assets in place.... Why would you do that?"

Is it time for Trump to tweet "Heckuva job!" yet? We're just wondering....

To close the week out, Trump tweeted out some information on the hurricane that was already dangerously outdated (he tweeted for residents to evacuate now, when the storm had already hit -- then after being informed how idiotic that was, told everyone to stay in their homes instead). And then Trump proved once again that he has no idea what irony is, by warning people not to spread falsehoods about hurricanes (after his whopper about Hurricane Maria conspiracy theories, which started this whole chain of events).

In other news, the Senate is preparing to vote next week on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and a bombshell revelation appeared today -- Kavanaugh now stands accused of attempted rape when he was in high school. He has denied the accusation, but it will be interesting to see how this influences the fence-sitters on the vote.

Let's see, what else? The big stories of the week really pushed just about everything else to the side, but there was one story that is worth mentioning. The Trump administration recently moved to close down the Palestinian Liberation Organization's office in Washington, which (like all their other current moves) is a stinging insult to the Palestinians. This, mind you, is just before Jared Kushner is reportedly set to unveil his Middle East peace plan. Speaking on the 25th anniversary of the Oslo peace accords, Kushner astonishingly claimed that President Trump had improved the chances for peace. Such thinking is obviously nothing short of delusional, so it will certainly be interesting to see what Kushner's long-awaited peace plan actually contains. And, of course, how the Palestinians and the Arab world react to it. My guess is that Kushner is in for a very rude awakening.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

This week saw the end (finally!) of the 2018 primary election season. The final three states (New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York) voted this week, and Establishment Democrats scored several important key victories over Progressive challengers. But somehow we just can't bring ourselves to award a MIDOTW to Andrew Cuomo. More on him in a moment, actually.

Instead, we're going to hand out an Honorable Mention to Cynthia Nixon, who was soundly defeated at the polls (by a 2-1 margin, in fact). But her impact on the race was bigger than the number of votes she got (or, more to the point, didn't get). Nixon ran on a strong liberal platform, and hit current Governor Cuomo hard on his anti-Democratic record. Since she entered the race, Cuomo has tacked hard left on a whole range of issues -- marijuana reform, upping the minimum wage, free college tuition, etc. -- which he simply would not have done without Nixon in the race. There's even a name for it now: the "Cynthia Effect." Nixon's candidacy has made Cuomo a better Democrat, plain and simple.

Nixon also had one other effect on the New York primary -- her campaign drew a lot of attention to a very fishy situation which Cuomo has allowed to continue for years. Even though the Democrats were nominally the majority in the state senate, a cabal of nine of them decided to sell out their loyalty to the Republicans. For committee assignments and cash for their districts, they turned their coats and decided to caucus with the GOP. This allowed Republicans to continue to control the chamber -- even though they were in the minority.

Thursday night, seven out of nine of these turncoats were successfully primaried out of office. Progressives picked up almost all of these nominations, and have thus broken the back of the cabal. All of these candidates deserve their own Honorable Mention awards, this week, for providing Progressives with at least a minor (but still important) victory in the primaries.

California Democrats also deserve their own Honorable Mention, for continuing to follow Jerry Brown's lead in fighting climate change. The legislature passed a bill that Brown just signed into law which will move the state to an electric grid powered by 100-percent renewable, carbon-free power by the year 2045. That's real leadership, and it stands in stark contrast to the Republican position.

Barack Obama also gets an Honorable Mention, for jumping back into politics in the midst of one of the most important midterm elections of our lives. It's good to see him back on the campaign trail again. In fact, it's just good to see him again, period.

But this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes to a group up in Maine which is pioneering a new political tactic. A coalition between the Maine People's Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, and activist Ady Barkanis is very concerned about how Senator Susan Collins is going to vote on the Kavanaugh confirmation. So they decided to do something about it. They launched a crowdfunding page to raise money that is pledged to be used against Collins in her next re-election battle (in 2020) -- but only if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh. If she votes against his confirmation, then all the money will stay in the donors' accounts and not be collected at all.

As we said, this is a novel and innovative tactic. Collins reacted angrily, stating that it was bribery and extortion, and that she wouldn't be influenced by such low-down tactics. That might hold some water, if you had absolutely no idea of how things work in Washington.

For the rest of us, however, it is downright laughable, because this is the way the lobbyist game is routinely played in Congress. Is it bribery? Probably, but it is also how things currently happen on a regular basis. Bribery can work both ways, of course -- a lobbyist might show up in a senator's office to offer big wads of campaign cash if the senator will only vote a certain way. Or they -- again, routinely -- will threaten to spend another mountain of cash against the senator in their next election. According to the Supreme Court, such money is "free speech" and not legalized bribery. When such money comes from deep-pocket lobbyists, that is.

Why should a crowdfunding effort be treated any differently? Because it is right out in the open for all to see rather than being hidden in a secret meeting with a lobbyist? That's preposterous! Transparency might just shine a spotlight on a tactic that is used everyday, but if you've got a problem with that, then better campaign finance laws are the answer. Attacking the crowdfunding effort is merely shooting the messenger, not addressing the underlying problem.

So, yes, it's crass and might fall under the heading of bribery or extortion. But this bribery or extortion is so widespread and institutionalized that the complaint rings hollow when only brought against a group of citizens banding together to have more clout against lobbying organizations that do the same thing in private, all the time.

Oh, the best news? This crowdfunding effort has already raised over 1.3 million dollars, one small donation at a time. That is beyond impressive. Which is why the Maine People's Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, and activist Ady Barkanis are our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week winners this week, by far.

[We rarely endorse donation efforts, but if you'd like to contribute to this movement, please do so at the official Crowdpac donation page to put the pressure on Senator Susan Collins.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Cynthia Nixon certainly disappointed a whole lot of Progressives this week by falling short in the primary, but since we've already cited her positively we're going to give her a pass. Zephyr Teachout also disappointed many by falling short in her race to become New York's next attorney general as well. But we're not in a rubbing-salt-in-the-wounds type of mood.

Instead, we've got to hand the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week to Andrew Cuomo's campaign. We can't quite bring ourselves to award it to him directly, because he may not have been culpable. But someone within the New York Democratic Party machine certainly deserves a heaping portion of scorn.

Here's the whole ugly story:

The New York Democratic Party has sent out a campaign mailer arguing that Jewish voters "can't take a chance" on Cynthia Nixon, a progressive candidate challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo in Thursday's Democratic gubernatorial primary, because she can't be trusted to stand up to anti-Semitism.

"With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise," Jews shouldn't back "inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who won't stand strong for our Jewish communities," the mailer says.

The New York State Democratic Committee, as the state party is known, supports Cuomo's bid for a third term. But the committee's executive director disavowed the mailer following a backlash against it, including by some Jewish leaders.

The party mailer lists alleged stances Nixon has taken against the interests of the Jewish community. Nixon, the state party alleges, is "against funding yeshivas;" supportive of B.D.S. -- the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel; and "silent on the rise of anti-Semitism."

This is beyond disgusting, it is also downright ridiculous, as the article goes on to explain:

Nixon, an actress whose ex-husband is Jewish, is raising her two children from that marriage as Jews.

Like many other New York Democrats, Nixon supports greater oversight of the curricula in Orthodox Jewish schools known as yeshivas. Critics, including some within the Jewish community, maintain that the secular education provided at yeshivas is often inadequate.

Cuomo reportedly promised Hasidic leaders in a meeting in Brooklyn earlier this month that he would not increase regulation of yeshivas.

Nixon told HuffPost on Sunday that she does not support the B.D.S. movement and never has.

"Anti-Semitism is on the rise, not just across the country but across the globe. My children are Jewish. I fear for them," Nixon said in an interview after delivering a speech at a Harlem church. "And to have me accused in such a blatant way of something that is so completely untrue is deeply, deeply offensive to me."

Cuomo, to his credit, also disavowed the mailer and said it was a mistake. Still, he is the head of the Democratic machine, which means a whole lot in New York state. While he may not have personally approved the mailer being sent out, it still never should have happened in the first place.

In fact, we'd like to take the opportunity to make another plea for donations, this time to a worthy cause in New York -- the Museum Of Political Corruption. New York is home to so much political corruption (much of it still occurring under Cuomo's watch) that a non-profit has been formed to create a museum of the whole sordid history -- right back to Boss Tweed, in fact -- in Albany, where it belongs. This is a worthy cause, and one that we've written about before, but somehow this week's news spurred us to give them a plug today. So check their site out and donate to their cause if you wish.

But back to our award. Until an actual culprit is identified, we are awarding this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to Andrew Cuomo's campaign and the New York State Democratic Committee. For shame!

[Contact the New York State Democratic Committee on their official contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 500 (9/14/18)

This column celebrates two milestones today. As noted immediately above, this is the 500th Friday Talking Point column to be published. In a strange coincidence (the numbers usually don't work out this evenly), it is also 11 years to the day since the first Friday Talking Points column appeared ("Memo To Democrats: Talking Points," which ran on 9/14/07).

birthday cake

It took a few months for the column's format to really gel, as evidenced by the fact that we didn't give out Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards until the fourth column, and it wasn't until the sixth column that the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award appeared. This was also the first column where we settled on the series title "Friday Talking Points."

To mark the occasion, we are going to announce a minor change to the format today. The fourth FTP column was the first to begin our volume numbering system (the first three were not numerated). This system, it should be noted, is actually an incorrect periodical use of the term, since we should really count "issues" all year long, and then change "volumes" each year. By such a system, this article would properly be: "Volume 12, Issue 1." But we always felt that was too snooty, so we're not going to switch over to such a system now.

Instead, we're still going to count each week as a new volume, beginning with "Volume 501" next week. Maybe we'll make some Levi's jeans jokes, who knows? But what we will no longer be doing is including the volume number in the actual title of the article itself. With the numbers getting so high, we feel it has become too distracting. We'll still note the volume number as always, right above the actual talking points section, but today is the last time it will appear in the headline. A minor change, to be sure, but we wanted to warn everyone in advance.

Since this is such an auspicious occasion, we should take the time to give credit where credit is due. This column series was inspired by another column series: "The Top 10 Conservative Idiots Of The Week," which used to run at DemocraticUnderground.com. The original column ran for over 300 episodes (although the archives seems to be having some problems, you can still see some of the old ones here), and we were sorry to see it go. But there's good news -- the column series has recently been revived! You can see new postings (in a different format) here. [And, yes, those "here" links were provided in a fit of nostalgia for the style of the early days of blogging.] We began posting our FTP columns at DU years ago, and still do so every Friday.

It's been a wild ride these past 11 years, and things certainly don't seem to be slowing down any. Which means we'll probably be here for another 500 columns, so you've all got that to look forward to. But enough celebratory nonsense, let's instead just get on with this week's show, shall we?

 

1
   The death of Tinkerbell

OK, admittedly, that's a pretty grim image. But we felt it appropriate for the subject matter.

"Republicans sell the public over and over and over again on a myth -- that cutting taxes, particularly cutting corporate taxes, will cause the economy to grow so fast and furiously that federal revenues will actually rise. 'Tax cuts pay for themselves!' they fervently tell all who will listen. This has been proven not to be the actual case over and over again, but that doesn't stop them from selling the same old snake oil. In fact, that's what they've been telling us since they passed their massive tax cuts -- a gigantic giveaway to the one percent and Wall Street -- last year. The deficit would actually shrink, they insisted. Well, the numbers are starting to come out, and they tell a different story. In the last 11 months, the deficit has skyrocketed to $895 billion. And that's with one month left to go, so it might even approach one trillion dollars this year. That's up a full third over last year. The last time the unemployment rate was so low, the government was running a surplus, to put it in some context. Remember when Republicans used to care about the deficit? That only seems to happen when Democrats are in the White House, though. Their myth has been busted once again. They clapped as hard as they could, but Tinkerbell still died."

 

2
   More cowbell!

The answer, obviously (to drastically switch metaphors on a whim), is: More cowbell!

"Republicans are so bereft of new ideas and so frightened by the fact that they haven't been able to pass just about their entire agenda even though they hold both houses of Congress that they're desperately grasping at the only straw they have left -- even staring into the face of trillion-dollar yearly deficits. The House of Representatives is about to attempt to pass what they're calling 'tax reform 2.0' -- yet another round of tax cuts that will overwhelmingly go to the richest Americans. Their first round of tax cuts for fatcats blew a $1.9 trillion hole in the deficit over the next decade, and the second round is projected to cost a whopping $3.2 trillion. Nothing like that good old-fashioned Republican fiscal responsibility, folks! Talk about banging the same note over and over again even when it's an awfully sour note to be playing."

 

3
   Pre-existing condition

Too, too funny.

"Out on the campaign trail, there is what might be called 'a pre-existing condition' worth noting. Since Obamacare was signed into law, Republicans have been using it as a political bludgeon in pretty much every election cycle. Then America got a look at what they really meant by 'repeal and replace' and the public recoiled in horror. In fact, the popularity of Obamacare shot upward during the entire debate and now stands higher than ever. Democrats across the country -- even in such deep-red states as West Virginia -- are now strongly defending Obamacare and all of its benefits. The strongest case they have to make is that Republicans want to end the protections people with pre-existing conditions now have. This is a very personal issue that touches just about every American family out there in some way or another. Republicans, not surprisingly, have -- for the first time since 2010 -- all but stopped running political ads on Obamacare. Instead, Democrats are now running ads touting their support of healthcare reform. This tide has now turned. If Democrats do manage a big blue wave in November, their most effective issue is going to turn out to be Obamacare. How times have changed!"

 

4
   Beto gains traction

The irony of this one is just too, too delicious, considering what they think of him.

"Republicans are now being forced to spend millions of dollars on advertising in states that they normally would win in a cakewalk. Case in point? Texas, where Ted Cruz may be in serious trouble. Top Republicans in Washington have been saying -- both privately and publicly -- that they now are in danger of losing control of the Senate. Part of their problem is Cruz, because if they lose in Texas then the GOP could lose anywhere, really. Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic challenger, has been running an exemplary campaign, and has captured the attention of national Democrats. Beto just appeared on Stephen Colbert's late-night show, which so worried Team Cruz that they decided they had to buy ad time on the program in desperation. Even Willie Nelson is now in Beto's corner. Meanwhile, top Republicans from Trump on down have had to pour money into the Cruz campaign, which is pretty ironic since they all so obviously detest Cruz. And every million dollars spent in Texas is a million that could have been spent elsewhere on other GOP candidates. Democrats have been dreaming of turning Texas blue for years and years, but 2018 might just be the year they accomplish it. No wonder Republicans are so worried!"

 

5
   5,000 and counting

This column wasn't the only one to hit a milestone beginning with a "5" this week.

"Donald Trump has now, according to the tireless efforts of the Washington Post, publicly told over 5,000 lies while he's been in office. That works out to over eight lies a day, a rate which has been increasing of late. In fact, they noted that in a single two-hour stretch just last week, Trump told a whopping 125 lies -- a new record! Unfortunately for Trump, people are beginning to notice. And it's not just some plaid-shirted guy behind Trump at a rally, either. Trump's job approval rating has taken a serious turn for the worse, dropping a full three points in just over two weeks. His disapproval is as high as 60 percent, while he's posting approval ratings of less than 40 percent. Just what the Republicans wanted to see, heading into the midterm season!"

 

6
   Good riddance to bad rubbish

But Trump's not just massively unpopular at home, of course....

"Donald Trump wanted to visit his golf courses in Ireland in November, when he flies over to see the French military parade on the centennial of Armistice Day. But now this visit has been indefinitely 'postponed,' according to the Irish government. Which is probably a good thing all around, because there were massive protests planned for every stage of Trump's visit to the Emerald Isle. The Irish, who are normally the most friendly and welcoming population in Europe (especially when it comes to Americans in general and American presidents in particular), were going to make sure Trump knew how unpopular his visit was. In actual fact, the Irish have hated Trump since long before he entered politics, over his golf course's management and construction. Now that Trump's announced he won't be visiting, the Irish are filled with glee and are doing everything but dance in the streets. As they say in Ireland: Good riddance to bad rubbish."

 

7
   Sounds qualified to me

And finally, a highly amusing campaign footnote, to close on.

"Juli Briskman is running for a county supervisor's seat in Loudoun County, Virginia. You may not know her name, but you might have seen a picture of her before. She's the woman who was riding her bike in Virginia while Trump's presidential motorcade drove by on its way out of one of Trump's golf courses. She flipped Trump the bird, which was caught in a photo that really deserves a Pulitzer Prize. As a result, she was fired from her job. Since she needs a new one, why not run for office? As far as I'm concerned, she's fully qualified. That photo is certainly worth a thousand words on a Democrat's political résumé."

-- Chris Weigant

 

All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

255 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [500] -- Manafort Flips!”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Personal message for poster Patrick:

    I am very sorry you've been locked out all week. I haven't been paying attention to the messages, so I just missed them.

    I've revived all the comments from the filter you've been making, and you should be good to go from now on.

    Mea culpa maxima.

    Note to other commenters:

    If you change your screen name, you are treated as a new user, so your first subsequent comment will get held for moderation. I'm supposed to clear them fairly quickly, but sometimes I get behind (obviously).

    Again, my apologies to Patrick.

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Patrick wrote:

    Thanks Chris.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who were you before you were Patrick?

  4. [4] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Maybe it's Kick who has changed gender previously.

  5. [5] 
    Patrick wrote:

    "rjrap" I thought using my real name tells more about who I really am. I know that does not make much sense but it does to me.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Congratulations, Chris, on your 500th FTP column!

    I can't believe I've been around here almost as long as the FTP columns.

    Time flies when you're having fun, mostly. :)

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks, Patrick.

    I'm all about using real names in places like this.

  8. [8] 
    Patrick wrote:

    Damn I got caught. Ok I'm really a guy.

  9. [9] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Happy 500th CW! Doesn't look a day over 420.

  10. [10] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Damn I got caught. Ok I'm really a guy.

    I've seen this plot. You turn out to be somebody's brother.

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Just in case you didn't see it, I'll repeat my comment on the MIDOTW winners from comment 16 on "Trump Polling Turns South" (with a little extra added).

    Interesting idea. Citizens raising small contributions to influence a candidate/legislator on a particular issue.

    It seems that citizens can respond and respond quickly when given an opportunity.

    If someone were to find a way for citizens to use this basic idea to demand before an election that candidates finance their campaigns only with small contributions and the citizens commit to vote against the candidates if they take Big Money contributions and citizens were informed aboot this opportunity they just might decide to participate.

    Even some of the 125 million people that are not likely to vote in 2018 might decide to participate instead of not voting.

    Or are new political tactics only worthy if they are pioneered by and designed to benefit Democrats?

    And can this effort in Maine really be considered a new political tactic when it is basically similar to One Demand which you have been aware of for nearly three years and existed before that?

    But I'm glad that at least you have finally accepted that the basic idea behind One Demand is sound and can work.

    There really are no more excuses for not informing citizens aboot One Demand.

    After all, Obama said apathy is the biggest threat to our democracy and people not voting keeps change from happening.

    Pretty sure he was talking aboot the same 125 million people that Ralph Nader mentioned in a recent article and that I have been commenting aboot for much longer than I should have had to to get you to address One Demand and the current opportunity to mobilize some of these citizens in 2018.

    Better late than never. And it is still not too late as demonstrated by the speed of the effort in Maine.

  12. [12] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Happy 500th CW! Doesn't look a day over 420.

    Hee-heeee-heee-hee-he!

  13. [13] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    You know when you think about Susan Collins, you think: it must burn her ass that all year long Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse and Rand Paul are supposed to be Trump's foils in the Senate, but when the chips are down, it's up to the party's women stand up to the bully in the White House. Go figure.

  14. [14] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Happy 500th, you don't look an FTP column over 499, CW.

    Most of my comment handle is genuine, my mother decided an Emperor's name was bound to come in handy, hence the T...it was '68 and copious amounts of hash were rumoured to be in play.

    Manafort...Well, what more is there to be said. The sole martyr to the Trump campaign, decides that he doesn't want to be without a chair when the music stops. Perhaps he caught a re-run of the Python "parrot" Sketch and vowed never to pine for the Fjords. Either or, Trump's paranoia will be steroidal from here on in... Like it wasn't ratcheting up with each passing day as the bad news kept apace of the midterm prognostications.

    LL&P

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    A new warning has just been issued, because the hurricane-force bluster emanating from the White House is projected to reach Category 5 this weekend.

    Yaaaawwwwwwnnnnnnnnnn

    Didn't ya'all get this excited when Cohen "flipped"???

    Or did he flop??? :D

    Seriously...

    Convicted felon Paul Manafort pleaded guilty today to two additional serious federal felonies, one of which was conspiracy to defraud the United States government.

    Wow!! TWO WHOLE charges???

    Out of all the charges, ONLY two??

    And, despite the claims of some, Manafort is STILL completely and utterly innocent of the majority of the charges from the LAST trial.. :D

    Mueller saw the writing on the wall and had to give Manafort the deal of a lifetime...

    Manafort becomes the fifth Trump aide to plead guilty to federal charges as a direct result of the Mueller investigation. The others: Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos. Two more peripheral figures have also entered guilty pleas, as well. That "witch hunt" excuse is (as they say in Washington) no longer operative.

    The hell it ain't. NONE of those have ANYTHING to do with Russia OR the Election..

    And, even after all those guilty pleas, not a SINGLE fact that shows Trump and Russia worked together to win the election..

    Not a witch my arse.. :D

    Sources told me [President Donald] Trump is "obsessed," "lathered," and "freaked out" that the leaker is still in his midst. His son Don Jr. has told people he's worried Trump isn't sleeping because of it, a source said. Meetings have been derailed by Trump's suspicion. "If you look at him the wrong way, he'll spend the next hour thinking you wrote it," a Republican close to the White House said.

    Oh.. "SOURCES" say that??

    Translation: Utter bullshit..

    Trump began the week insisting that his handling of Hurricane Maria was an "unsung success" story. This flew in the face of the new official death count, which now stands at almost 3,000

    Utter bullshit..

    That number was arrived at by computer model.

    And we KNOW {{cough}} {{cough}} Global Warming Con {{cough}} {{cough}} how accurate Left Winger Computer Models are.. :^/

    The ACTUAL body count stands, I believe, at 64...

    Considering the crappy infrastructure of PR (thanx Democrat Party style governing) that *IS* a success story..

    In other news, the Senate is preparing to vote next week on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and a bombshell revelation appeared today -- Kavanaugh now stands accused of attempted rape when he was in high school.

    Based on 4th level hearsay from a "source" who will not testify and does not want to pursue..

    "Fishy" doesn't EVEN begin to describe this 11th hour desperation...

    But somehow we just can't bring ourselves to award a MIDOTW to Andrew Cuomo.

    "GOOD CALL!!"
    -Jim Carrey, LIAR LIAR

    Barack Obama also gets an Honorable Mention, for jumping back into politics in the midst of one of the most important midterm elections of our lives. It's good to see him back on the campaign trail again. In fact, it's just good to see him again, period.

    Yea... It's great for him to go all over the country showing WHY we have President Trump.. :D

    But this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes to a group up in Maine which is pioneering a new political tactic. A coalition between the Maine People's Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, and activist Ady Barkanis is very concerned about how Senator Susan Collins is going to vote on the Kavanaugh confirmation. So they decided to do something about it. They launched a crowdfunding page to raise money that is pledged to be used against Collins in her next re-election battle (in 2020) -- but only if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh. If she votes against his confirmation, then all the money will stay in the donors' accounts and not be collected at all.

    As we said, this is a novel and innovative tactic. Collins reacted angrily, stating that it was bribery and extortion, and that she wouldn't be influenced by such low-down tactics. That might hold some water, if you had absolutely no idea of how things work in Washington.

    So, let me get this straight..

    All that money that has been taken in will go to Collin's opponent in a future election.. A candidate no one knows??

    Isn't that JUST like a Democrat.. Giving millions of dollars to an unknown candidate...

    NO THOUGHT to qualifications or competence..

    So typically Democrat.. :^/

    As far as I'm concerned, she's fully qualified. That photo is certainly worth a thousand words on a Democrat's political résumé."

    Flipping off the President makes her "qualified"???

    Like I said.. Only a Democrat... :D

    hehehehehe

    Happy 500th..

    With Liz, we have been here for each and every one of them.. :D

    And it HAS been a fun ride... :D

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    LB,

    The FBI-referred letter was a really stupid move, almost Trump-level cringe worthy.

    I know, right!!??

    "DICK MOVE, BANNER!!"
    -Tony Stark, AVENGERS-AGE OF ULTRON

    What a totally asinine desperate move by Democrats.. Forcing this alleged victim's accusation into the open when she made it clear she did not want this..

    "And when they did that, they were saying that the individual's rights will be protected only so long as they don't conflict with the state. Nothing is so dangerous to a society."
    -Quinn, STAR TREK VOYAGER, DeathWish

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news, the Senate is preparing to vote next week on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and a bombshell revelation appeared today -- Kavanaugh now stands accused of attempted rape when he was in high school.

    You wanna make a wager that this alleged "victim" will disappear once Kavanaugh is confirmed??

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    As we said, this is a novel and innovative tactic.

    And VERY successful....

    If the goal was to GUARANTEE that Collins would vote to confirm... :D

    It looks like ALL of the GOP are on board to confirm Kavanaugh.... My guess is 4 Dems will join the GOP in confirming Kavanaugh...

    What's ya'all's prediction??

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Manafort’s pro-Ukraine lobbying campaign reached Obama, Biden

    Paul Manafort’s pro-Ukraine campaign reached the top of the White House, with one of the members of his lobbying effort meeting President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in 2013, according to new court documents released Friday.

    A member of the so-called Hapsburg Group, which comprised former European politicians Manafort convened as part of his lobbying effort in support of Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych, came with a foreign prime minister on May 16, 2013, to meet with Obama and Biden, “as well as senior United States officials in the executive and legislative branches,” according to the court documents.
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/14/manafort-ukraine-obama-biden-824747

    Well, iddn't this interesting...

    Not only were the Podestas(D) hip deep in Manafort's activities, it seems Manafort's actions even reach up to Obama and Biden...

    It's funny..

    I don't here Democrats screaming about "JUSTICE!!!" in indicting Obama and Biden, eh??

    Which simply proves this is NOT about justice, but rather just a Democrat witch hunt to pursue a partisan agenda...

    Can't wait for the October Surprise when President Trump declassifies a buttload of documents that prove all sorts of illegalities and malfeasance on the part of the Democrats.. :D

    It's gonna be grand!! :D

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news, the Senate is preparing to vote next week on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and a bombshell revelation appeared today -- Kavanaugh now stands accused of attempted rape when he was in high school.

    It's funny how old rape allegations are no big deal when they are against a Democrat POTUS... And in THAT case, the victim WANTED to pursue the case....

    But when an allegation is made 4th hand hearsay against a GOP SCOTUS nominee???

    ALL OF THE SUDDEN, it's a horrendous "FACT" that *MUST* be investigated..

    Yea.. NO PARTISAN AGENDA there, eh? :^/

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:
    We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the Committee at this time.

    Brett attended Georgetown Prep, an all-boys high school in Rockville, Maryland. He was an outstanding student and athlete with a wide circle of friends. Almost all of us attended allgirls high schools in the area. We knew Brett well through social events, sports, church, and
    various other activities. Many of us have remained close friends with him and his family over the years. Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day.

    The signers of this letter hold a broad range of political views. Many of us are not lawyers, but we know Brett Kavanaugh as a person. And he has always been a good person.
    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-09-14%2065%20Women%20who%20know%20Kavanaugh%20from%20High%20School%20-%20Kavanaugh%20Nomination.pdf

    *65* women who knew Judge Kavanaugh when he was in high school and PUT THEIR NAMES on a testament to Kavanaugh's sterling character while in high school...

    Only in a Democrat partisan witch hunt would these FACTS be ignored in favor of an 4th hand hearsay, anonymous accusation from an alleged victim who, herself, doesn't think the incident merits any pursuit...

    Democrats :eyeroll:

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:
  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz/patrick,

    i would also prefer to use my real name, but when one teaches teenagers a touch of anonymity is sort-of necessary for safety's sake. that's why i don't do social media practically at all.

    @don,

    kick did not change genders, as far as i know she's always been a she. even michale hasn't managed to continue making that mistake (or extremely tasteless joke, as the case may be). anyhow, julie andrews already went there.

    as for crowd-funding, the maine PAC is highly specific, targeted at one particular vote taken by one particular politician. i believe it was russ who initially pointed out that one of the key flaws of OD is that it isn't specific enough about which particular politicians your "small money" criterion might accidentally include or exclude. another advantage ms. barkanis has over you is a highly up-to-date webpage. it may seem insignificant to you, but these and other small steps put together make a big difference.

    @michale,

    good morning! as of the time i started writing this post you'd written seven straight. i'm curious how many will be there when i click submit. agree that the confirmation is a done deal, but maybe that gives collins cover to vote no and take the money.

    JL

  24. [24] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [6] -

    Well, you've always been our favorite commenter, so there's that... especially when I say nice things about Joe Biden...

    :-)

    Balthasar [9] -

    We're going to take that comment in the spirit in which it was given. Heh. To quote Fat Freddy: "No sense wasting a match... I'll just use it to light up this joint!"

    Heh.

    Seriously, though, (to everyone) -- how coincidental is it that 11 years matches up so perfectly with 500 columns? That means I've blown off precisely 72 columns in that time period. Take two per year for the year-end awards shows, and that still leaves a total of 50 columns unaccounted for -- around 4 or 5 a year. But in that random swirl, who could have predicted such a numerical alignment?

    Balthasar [10] -

    "...somebody's twin brother..."

    There. I fixed it for you. Heh.

    ListenWhenYouHear [12] -

    Thanks for the kind... um... words?

    Heh.

    Balthasar [13] -

    Yeah, no shit. Good point. For all their talk, they almost always vote with Trump. So much for the new "mavericks," eh? Even on their way out of Dodge....

    James T Canuck [14] -

    Lemme offer a wild guess... Tiberius?

    Heh. Heck, even US stamps now proudly show Kirk on them...

    Michale [15] -

    Sigh.

    Dude, didn't you used to be a law enforcement officer?

    Back then, would you have scoffed at 10 felony convictions so cavalierly? 8 from a jury, and 2 from guilty pleas? I mean, seriously....

    To say nothing of what you'd be crowing about if the affected individual had been a close confidant of Barack Obama (to state the obvious).

    I can hear you now, inspiring your troops: "Gosh, we got him on ten felonies, but he wriggled free on the other fifteen counts against him, so we have simply failed at doing our jobs.

    Um, yeah. Right. In an alternate universe, maybe. I mean, get real, dude. Your credibility is on the line, here.

    In a former life, you KNEW that the charges a criminal escapes are less than nothing compared to the charges he was convicted of or plead guilty to, right?

    And allow me to correct this:

    The hell it ain't. NONE of those have ANYTHING to do with Russia OR the Election..

    Because you should have added that key word: "yet."

    'Nuff said.

    As for Hurricane Maria, you are just flat-out wrong.

    The ACTUAL body count stands, I believe, at 64...

    In actual fact, the government of PR, led by a Trump supporter, were the ones who commissioned that study, and this govenrment has now officially accepted the 2,975 figure as accurate. That is the ACTUAL bodycount, from a Trump-supporting governor.

    But thanks for playing....

    Happy 500th..

    With Liz, we have been here for each and every one of them.. :D

    And it HAS been a fun ride... :D

    That we can agree upon. It has indeed been a fun ride!

    [16] -

    Yeah, DiFi is not exactly coming out of this smelling like a rose, that we can also agree upon.

    As for the rest of your bluster, I can only respond:

    Worried yet?

    Well, why not?!?

    Heh. Looking forward to November...

    -CW

    P.S. to Michale -- DO check out that stamp link, you'll love it!

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    good morning!

    Hidee ho good neighboreeno.. :D

    as of the time i started writing this post you'd written seven straight.

    Only 7?? I must be slowing down in my old age.. :D

    agree that the confirmation is a done deal,

    Yep...

    What's yer opinion of this 11th hour accusation??

    but maybe that gives collins cover to vote no and take the money.

    That would imply that Collins WANTS to vote 'no'.. I see no evidence of that..

    Even if she were so inclined, this offer of a "bribe" makes it impossible for her to do so without raising a buttload of eyebrows...

    As I said.. These people will bring about the VERY thing they hoped to avoid..

    Totally ISMAEL...

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    That would imply that Collins WANTS to vote 'no'

    Collins is a seasoned politician, and can manufacture any pretext she deems prudent.

    [subtext: taking 1.3 million in campaign money out of your opponent's pockets and putting it in your own pockets is highly prudent]

    JL

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Back then, would you have scoffed at 10 felony convictions so cavalierly? 8 from a jury, and 2 from guilty pleas? I mean, seriously....

    And if any of those convictions had ANYTHING to do with law enforcement, yunno PROTECT AND SERVE, JUSTICE.. Quaint notions like that, then you would have an argument..

    But you and I *BOTH* know that this is NOT about JUSTICE.. It's about nullifying a free, fair and legal election..

    If it were about JUSTICE then the Podestas(D) would be right there along Manafort and Obama/Biden would be investigated as well...

    This is NOTHING about JUSTICE and EVERYTHING about a partisan agenda..

    Further, these "crimes" were TEN YEARS AGO... Why pursue them NOW!??

    Because NOW we have President Trump and his election must be nullified at any cost..

    Because you should have added that key word: "yet."

    AH yes... 2 years running and ya still cling to "YET"....

    I believe many on the Right (myself included) said "YET" to the Benghazi fiasco....

    And we know that nothing came from that.... Well, other than 4 brave Americans died.. :^/

    In actual fact, the government of PR, led by a Trump supporter,

    Oh what a load of malarky.. There are no Trump supporters in the government of Puerto Rico.. :D

    were the ones who commissioned that study, and this govenrment has now officially accepted the 2,975 figure as accurate. That is the ACTUAL bodycount, from a Trump-supporting governor.

    No, it is not..

    That’s right: a damn computer estimates there were 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico. It’s not a body count. It’s a computer algorithm.

    The GW study, to put it simply, compares expected deaths with actual deaths. Using a statistic called “excess morality estimation,” they used a specific formula to measures deaths from the storm. Here’s how that statistic is created, in part:

    We estimate that in mid-September 2017 there were 3,327,917 inhabitants and in mid-February 2018 there were 3,048,173 inhabitants of Puerto Rico, representing a population reduction by approximately 8%. We factored this into the migration “displacement scenario” and compared it with a “census scenario,” which assumed no displacement from migration in the hurricane’s aftermath. We found that, historically, mortality slowly decreased until August 2017, and that rates increased for the period of September 2017 through February 2018, with the most dramatic increase shown in the displacement scenario accounting for post-hurricane migration.

    Um, I’m not a data scientist, but that seems like a pretty broad way of measuring deaths from one specific event. Basically, the researchers are guessing that x number of people died from the storm by comparing how many people “normally” die and how many people “should have” died as a result of Maria.

    Sorry, that’s not a death count. That’s a computer estimation that can’t be verified. In other words, it’s fake news.

    Even Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello admits the number is only an estimate. Prior to the study’s release, only 64 deaths were attributed to Maria.
    https://thepoliticalinsider.com/puerto-rico-death-toll-hurricane/

    It's a computer model..

    You show me 3000 bodies and I'll believe there were 3000 deaths..

    It was a model.. A crude estimation based on NOTHING but algorithms and statistics.. Nothing more..

    Further, the government of Puerto Rico HAD to have a higher death count so they could get more money to repair their pathetic infrastructure..

    It's all about money and attacking President Trump..

    That's all...

    And, for the record, there are no facts to support the claim that Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello is a Trump supporter..

    At least none that GOOGLE will show.. But since GOOGLE is biased against Trump, it might be that...

    Worried yet?

    Not even a little bit.. Actually I LESS worried now.. :D

    Well, why not?!?

    Because this latest 11th hour BS by the Democrats prove how desperate they are and how low they will sink..

    And Americans will take note and vote accordingly... :D

    Heh. Looking forward to November...

    You have no idea.. :D It's going to be 2016 all over again around here.. :D

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    [subtext: taking 1.3 million in campaign money out of your opponent's pockets and putting it in your own pockets is highly prudent]

    And, in the context that it is being offered, highly illegal as well..

    Try this experiment.. Walk into your local politicians office or city/county/state leader or official and say, "I'll give you 1.3 million dollars if you vote this way or do this that way.."

    :D

    Actually, don't do that. I like you and it would be bad for you to do that.. :D

    But you get my point..

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's really REALLY easy to show how ALL of these cases are not about JUSTICE....

    Would ANY of these cases had been pursued or prosecuted if President Trump hadn't been elected??

    Anyone who says "YES" is ignorant or knowingly full of kaa-kaa...

    So, please.. Don't try and pretend this is about justice.. It's not.. It has NOTHING to do with justice and everything to do with nullifying a free, fair and legal election..

    "I know about the whole supposed black mark in Afghanistan. He was trying to save the lives of three servicemen."
    "Disobeying a direct order in the process."
    "I have read your own file, General. Please."

    -STARGATE SG1-Rising PT1

    :D

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    It has NOTHING to do with justice and everything to do with nullifying a free, fair and legal election..

    It's funny..

    Every time I post that, I always expect sputtering denials and weak-kneed justifications..

    But there never is ANY denials at all..

    And, since Democrats have established the "Charlottesville Rule" that Silence does, indeed, give assent....

    Well, the ONLY conclusion is ya'all concede the fact..

    Which is fascinating to me.. :D

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    You have no idea.. :D It's going to be 2016 all over again around here..

    And you remember how much fun it was in November of 2016, eh? :D

    Well, fun for me anyways.. :D

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW

    This is why I am not worried about November...

    Deroy Murdock: This key question could keep Congress Republican

    “ARE YOU BETTER OFF now than you were two years ago?”

    Republicans should ask voters this key question during the 2018 midterms. This would shift the debate from the childish and shrill Resistance to the mature and optimistic topic of results. By nearly any measure, Washington’s unified Republican government has improved things for every American.

    The economy is roaring, thanks to Republican public policy. Obama’s “You didn’t build that,” anti-business hectoring has been replaced by gratitude. For each new federal regulation, 22 asphyxiating rules have been scrapped. And $1.5 trillion in GOP tax cuts have supplied widespread relief and concrete incentives to work and produce — despite unanimous Democratic opposition.

    Two years ago, the economy was gasping. GDP growth for the second quarter of 2016 was 2.3 percent and a 1.9 percent average for that year’s first half. For 2018, the analogous figures are 4.2 percent and 3.2 percent. This quarter’s expansion is exactly twice Obama’s eight-year, 2.1 percent average. Democrats urged Americans to resign themselves to Obama’s sluggish “new normal.” Two years later, Democrats’ surrender to stagnation has succumbed to Republicans’ restoration of robustness. 4/14
    http://www.unionleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20180914/OPINION02/180919720

    Are you better off now than you were 2 years ago...???

    If Americans AND Weigantians answer that question honestly, then the answer is YES...

    So, we're better off now than we were under Democrats..

    WHY on gods green earth would anyone WANT to go back to the days of over regulation and stagnant growth or any of that???

    That's why I am not worried..

    Because no one in their right minds, meaning those NOT suffering from HHPTDS, would WANT to go back to the way things were before President Trump..

    Whaa?? Me Worry?? :D

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    On 12 Sep 2016, the stock market was at 18,328.

    On 12 Sep 2018, the stock market closed at 25,998!!!

    This huge increase, despite the fact that everyone here claimed (by omission or commission) that the market would tank if Trump were elected..

    Aug 2016.. The National Federation of Independent Business’s Index of Small Business Optimism was 94.4.

    Aug 2018, the index hit a record 108.8!!

    Which topped it's previous peak of 108 in Jul 1983. Thank you Saint Ronald Reagan...

    No matter WHAT economic litmus test you want to use, things are GOOD...

    And it's NOT because of Odumbo because Odumbo hisself said "{I} didn't build that".....

    If Democrats get back in control of the House, I am willing to wager the markets will fall.. Considerably...

    Just like the markets fell when Odumbo was elected...

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Report: Michael Bloomberg Plans to Run in 2020 as a Democrat
    http://www.realclearlife.com/daily-brief/michael-bloomberg-plans-run-2020-democrat/

    Comments?? Thoughts???

  35. [35] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [24] Ya, well... ok it's not so subtle. It wasn't until I read The Twelve Caesars by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus in grade 12 that I realised I was, in part, named after a particularly obnoxious Emperor. The remnants of his villa on Rhodes is worth a look see, if anyone finds themselves in that corner of the Med.

    LL&P

  36. [36] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: But then Trump took to Twitter to complain about a conspiracy against him that does not actually exist. He disavowed the official Maria death count and insisted -- without a shred of evidence, as usual -- that "Democrats" inflated the figures because they were out to get him politically.

    Strange 2-part tweet to be sure, but Donald Trump is ever the whiny little victim ad nauseam. Although I've heard quite a lot of comments shaming Trump for disputing the number deaths due to the hurricane, why is it that no one is commenting about his grandiose claim that he was "successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico."

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    .....This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!

    7:49 AM - 13 Sep 2018

    So can somebody/anybody please tell me exactly how Trump can claim to have raised "Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico"? Seriously.

    I am sure the governor of Puerto Rico would be happy to receive that check from Trump for "Billions"... double check those zeroes, BLOTUS: $2,000,000,000. :)

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m,

    yes, it's de-facto bribery/extortion. however, according to the SCOTUS in citizens united, it's also protected 1st amendment speech and therefore legal. whether it SHOULD be legal is a different question, but what's good for the billionaire CEO is good for the gander.

    JL

  38. [38] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    regarding puerto rico, it's impossible to attribute most deaths 100% to just the hurricane, because most deaths aren't people who got drowned by floods or collapsing buildings. who's to say that each of the individuals who died without clean water, power, transportation and medical care wouldn't have died anyway? especially with the sick and elderly who might merely have lived a few months or a few days longer, an estimate is really all that's possible. death certificates and other public records have been available to researchers, and within a 95% confidence interval, a mean of 1,427 deaths can be attributed to the hurricane. depending on the size of the standard measurement error, the likelihood that the death toll is under a thousand is pretty darn close to zero.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    And the likelyhood that the death toll is as high as 9/11 IS zero..

    Regardless, it's a STATISTICAL MODEL..

    It is NOT a body count...

    That's all I am saying..

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    yes, it's de-facto bribery/extortion. however, according to the SCOTUS in citizens united, it's also protected 1st amendment speech and therefore legal.

    Sorry, JL... You'll NEVER convince me that CU allows a group to approach a politician and say, "I'll give you 1 million dollars if you vote this way"

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny that the body count was sufficient for a year.. RIGHT up to the point that PR needed more money... :^/

  42. [42] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Liz is your favorite?!?

    And all this time I thought you were not responding to my comments because I was your favorite and you didn't want to appear to be giving extra attention to your favorite.

    Well, even though I'm not your favorite it would be nice to know what the real reason you keep ignoring my posts and won't discuss One Demand as the reason above has been exposed as false and there are no obvious valid reasons for you to not address One Demand.

    Unless, of course, you are now busily working on an article aboot One Demand for next week as your response.

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz is your favorite?!?

    I believe CW said that Liz is "our" favorite...

    "Captain Kirk is speaking figuratively however, with due allowance for this, what he says IS logical and I do, in fact, agree.."
    -Spock, STAR TREK, Whom Gods Destroy

    :D

  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Sorry, JL... You'll NEVER convince me that CU allows a group to approach a politician and say, "I'll give you 1 million dollars if you vote this way"

    and yet, that is precisely what it does. the only substantive difference between bribery/extortion and lobbying is that contributions based on lobbying need to be officially documented in some form or another - and after CU, barely even that.

    JL

  45. [45] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Here's copy of Manafort's plea agreement...

    Hardly a cushy agreement for Pauli. In fact it's withering detail looks more like they said 'Jump' and Manafort said, 'How hi'.

    LL&P

  46. [46] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    Let's see. Any candidate that takes only contributions from individuals in the aggregate amount of 200 dollars or less qualifies as a One Demand candidate. Any candidate that doesn't does not qualify.

    That seems pretty specific to me. Just because Russ (or whoever said it) said it doen't make it true.

    One more time on the website issue for the mentally challenged:
    The idea is there and people can sign up. The outdated website excuse does not explain why the idea was ignored when the website was new and when it was updated.

    As for the Maine effort being aboot a specific candidate and issue- so what?

    Hasn't there been many here that have said that One Demand is no good because it is only aboot one issue?

    And what specific candidate are they going to give the money they are raising to? Does it have to be a Democrat? Could it be a Green Party candidate?

    What if Collins votes to confirm? How unified will the contributors be if there is a Berniecrat running against an establishment Democrat in the primaries- or is the money they are raising for the general election only?

    If it doesn't solve every problem right away and is not perfect (according to your definition) right from the start then it is not worth discussion or support. That is the standard around here for One Demand- why should the Maine effort be any different?

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    and yet, that is precisely what it does.

    So, bribery laws have been stricken from the books??

    the only substantive difference between bribery/extortion and lobbying is that contributions based on lobbying need to be officially documented in some form or another -

    Ahhhh So it's not exactly the same..

    So, tell me.. Has this bribe... er... lobbying done by this group vis a vis Collins been "officially documented"??

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    'Nuck

    Here's copy of Manafort's plea agreement...

    I don't have time to read the whole thing..

    Can you point to the sections where the 2 counts that Manafort plead'ed to were "rewritten" to specify that Manafort was ALSO pleading guilty to the 10 charges from a completely different trial in a completely different jurisdiction??

    I would REALLY like to read those re-writes.. :D

    Thanx ever so much... :D

    By the by... Watch MANHATTAN PROJECT yet?? :D

  49. [49] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    In this case "our" means "my".
    As in "...we are awarding this weeks MIDOTW award to...."

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, tell me.. Has this bribe... er... lobbying done by this group vis a vis Collins been "officially documented"??

    And tell me..

    How would you feel about a GOP group that offers a Democrat 10 million dollars to vote for Kavanaugh..

    You would be OK with that??

    And how would you feel about that Democrat if they took it??

  51. [51] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I'm finding the 'Pike men of Maine' Gofund a bit fishy. While I'm sure someone is keeping track(apparently the dosh remains in the hands of the donors until the vote), my hang up is lobbying in general, barely skirting bribery laws. Now all of a sudden, Micro-packs of likeminded people can take a whip round and dangle bushels of cabbage under the nose of a politician to vote on their side. It reeks of a bribe and alternately stinks of blackmail if the politician refuses to bend to the will of the Gofund-feral-pack.

    No no...It sets a slippery slope, if these people feel like they have the moral imperative, inundate her with emails and calls, if it comes to naught, vote her out of office.

    LL&P

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    It reeks of a bribe and alternately stinks of blackmail if the politician refuses to bend to the will of the Gofund-feral-pack.

    Mark this day on the calendar,people..

    'Nuck and I are in COMPLETE agreement..

  53. [53] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    [15] - And, despite the claims of some, Manafort is STILL completely and utterly innocent of the majority of the charges from the LAST trial.. :D

    Mueller saw the writing on the wall and had to give Manafort the deal of a lifetime...

    Ah, no. From the filing yesterday AM:

    The defendant also agrees not to appeal any trial or pre-trial issue in the
    Eastern District of Virginia, or to challenge in the district court any such issue, and admits in the attached "Statement of the Offense" his guilt of the remaining counts against him in United States V. Paul J. Manafort Jr., ... (hereafter "Eastern District of Virginia.)

    You should read the pleading. It might be a little discouraging for you, but, then, facts are facts, right?

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4883336-Paul-Manafort-plea-agreement.html

  54. [54] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    No line break in the quote above. Phamton ascii from PDF, I reckon... Bolding was added for emphasis.

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    LB,

    You should read the pleading. It might be a little discouraging for you, but, then, facts are facts, right?

    Facts are facts, exactly..

    I stand corrected re: my previous claim..

    Thank you for providing FACTS instead of vague "I heard somewhere"s....

  56. [56] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    There is a fine line between love and hate.

    There is also a fine line between democracy and bribery/blackmail.

    Citizens working together, contributing money and voting for or against a candidate is democracy.

    Bribery/blackmail is when money is used to circumvent democracy. Some of it may be legal, but that doesn't make it ethical.

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Beto gains traction. The irony of this one is just too, too delicious, considering what they think of him.

    I know, right!? Everybody hates Ted Cruz, and Beto is making them spend money to defend a really, really bigly amount of territory that they usually just take for granted. Trump only won Texas by single digits -- 9 points -- and being that we're hearing about double digit swings all across America in areas where Trump won in 2016 -- and the fact that beet-red Alabama elected a Democratic Senator -- I'd say they are quite right to be concerned.

    The debate over the debates is finally over, and they have agreed to three 1-hour debates:

    Sept. 21 in Dallas -- domestic policy, moderated
    Sept. 30 in Houston -- domestic policy, town hall
    Oct. 16 in San Antonio -- 1/2 domestic, 1/2 foreign policy; moderated

    Beto had actually challenged Cruz to six debates -- 4 in English, 2 in Spanish -- but Cruz shot down that idea quickly because he barely knows any Spanish, whereas Beto is fluent, born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Cruz truly is the "poser" in this race; why, he's not even a Texan -- he's a Canadian! ;)

    Oh, Beto will most likely lose -- sure hope I am wrong -- but I do know several of my Republican friends who are actually voting for Beto since they too hate Ted Cruz, and I'm hearing the same story echoed regularly by others. So I'd say that's not nothing. :)

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's all so pointless, really..

    Manafort and these charges have nothing to do with President Trump, Russia, the election or collusion...

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    23

    kick did not change genders, as far as i know she's always been a she.

    That's the rumor. ;)

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    After several days of showboating and judicial hazing, Democrats pulled out their biggest weapon against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh: a letter from an anonymous woman claiming sexual misconduct in high school.

    There are no words — except, perhaps, desperate, scurrilous and embarrassing to anyone with a conscience and a grown-up brain.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/an-11-th-hour-attempt-to-slander-brett-kavanaugh/2018/09/14/07186878-b85d-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html?utm_term=.c8ffc496f7f3

  61. [61] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale (Tue Sep 11, 2018):

    Haven't heard a peep from Mueller OR the Russian/Election/Collusion investigation since 1 Sep..

    Guess me and Rudy called it dead on ballz accurate.. :D

    Man, it must hurt being so wrong so often, especially when you are so sure you are "ballz accurate".

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/09/10/could-trump-and-pelosi-actually-get-some-things-done/#comment-126603

  62. [62] 
    neilm wrote:

    You should read the pleading. It might be a little discouraging for you, but, then, facts are facts, right?

    Some people can't handle facts and reality. That is why they believe a reality TV actor can play being President.

    Gullibility runs deep in the right wing at the moment.

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Man, it must hurt being so wrong so often, especially when you are so sure you are "ballz accurate".

    Wrong??

    There hasn't been a PEEP about Russia, Trump or the election..

    So, I would say I called it dead on ballz accurate.. :D

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:
  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    http://www.tmz.com/2018/09/15/justin-bieber-us-citizenship-apply-canadian-dual/

    If we give up Trump, will you take back Bieber???

  66. [66] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    45

    Here's copy of Manafort's plea agreement...
    Hardly a cushy agreement for Pauli. In fact it's withering detail looks more like they said 'Jump' and Manafort said, 'How hi'.

    Very nice, JTC. Thank you for posting this. I had not seen it go public before my Internet connection went down yesterday after I had already posted the Superseding Criminal Information. Exactly like we stated, Manafort was required to plead guilty to all charges in DC and Virginia, and yes it is absolutely the "jump -- how high" scenario to be sure.

    Your client agrees to plead guilty in the above-captioned case to all elements of all objects of all the charges in a Superseding Criminal Information...

    So like I said, Manafort pleaded guilty to all charges in the DC case which were rewritten and contained in two (2) charges so that Paulie could receive more lenient sentencing under the mandatory sentencing guidelines. He additionally had to plead guilty to all 10 of the mistrial counts from the EDVA case, and pleading guilty to all charges means never having to say you were "COMPLETELY innocent."

    For the readers whining about this -- actually only one reader -- Michale -- this was clearly shown in the Superseding Criminal Information which I posted yesterday the moment it went public on the Internet.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/09/13/the-punditocracy-is-missing-democrats-real-campaign-focus/#comment-126946

    All one needed to do was open it, read it, and comprehend it. :)

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, Vicki.. I have already conceded that I was wrong.. :D

    It's what people with integrity do.. :D

    But thanx for pointing it out again.. You never know.. Someone might have missed it the first time. :D

  68. [68] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    67

    Yes, Vicki.. I have already conceded that I was wrong.. :D

    Did you? Good for you. I confess that I don't read all of your posts since I've been using Neil's very well thought out and useful system. Thank you, Neil! :)

    But thanx for pointing it out again.. You never know.. Someone might have missed it the first time. :D

    You're certainly welcome. The fact is, you could have posted it four or five times, and a whole bunch of us probably would have missed it under Neil's excellent system. :)

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're certainly welcome. The fact is, you could have posted it four or five times, and a whole bunch of us probably would have missed it under Neil's excellent system. :)

    That's great :D

    I guess Neil got tired of pushing my buttons because he got bitch slapped to the ground so much..

    So, he decided that he will just not push my buttons anymore..

    Everyone wins.. :D

    Yer right. It IS a great system.. :D

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why Patriots should be concerned with Jaguars in Week 2
    https://patriotswire.usatoday.com/2018/09/15/why-patriots-should-be-concerned-with-jaguars-in-week-2/

    Gonna be an awesome game!!! :D

  71. [71] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    If we give up Trump, will you take back Bieber?

    Yes. Take that deal. Get Chrystia Freeland on the phone, and tell her "We've got a deal."

    She'll know what we mean.

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes. Take that deal. Get Chrystia Freeland on the phone, and tell her "We've got a deal."

    Heh :D

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    The big question is... Does Canada WANT Bieber back??

  74. [74] 
    Patrick wrote:

    100+ animals escape flooded North Carolina animal shelter

    This can’t be right because I heard Mr. Tangerine Man say the actual number was only 64 animals.

    Apparently he doesn’t believe the statistical algorithm used by the dog pound.

    A quote from The Byrds:

    "Hey! Mr. Tangerine Man, tell a lie for me
    I'm not sleepy and I need a laugh or two
    Hey! Mr. Tangerine Man, tell a lie for me
    In the jingle jangle morning we’ll be impeaching you"

  75. [75] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [66]Kick... what stuck out of the Manafort doc is the guilty plea for "Crimes Against The United States of America" which with all Trump's pardoning power, he could never erase. That and the trove of info on Russian oligarchs and politicians, whose names keep cropping up in connection with Dingleberry Don.

    It's crunch time for Trump, he's got make the Mueller thing go away, and soon...We all know if/when the Dems take the house, they'll make sure nothing gets swept under the rug...If indeed there's anything to sweep, Manafort is the lynchpin to anything nefarious, he's been thick as thieves with all sorts of dubious Ruskies...and he owes a chunk of cash to some seedy Putin acolyte.

    "Popcorn, peanuts, get your popcorn here..."

    LL&P

  76. [76] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Bieber hasn't been Canadian for years, he noticed early on his dismal 'musak', precocious frivolity and vapidity was better camouflage south of the border.

    Consider him a gift to the US from Canada, in return for all the nice things Trump has lied about us...

    LL&P

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's crunch time for Trump,

    It's ALWAYS been "crunch time" for Trump for the last 2 years..

    And yet, there is STILL not a single solitary case for President Trump colluding with the Russians to win the election..

    Funny how that is, eh?

    Within 48 hours in the aftermath of Watergate, Americans knew a crime was committed, what crime and who was responsible..

    It's been TWO YEARS and ya'all can't point to a SINGLE fact that proves a crime has even been committed!!

    This is nothing but Democrats with an extreme case of sore luserism...

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Popcorn, peanuts, get your popcorn here..."

    Ya'all have been gorging on popcorn for TWO YEARS now..

    Doesn't it get old???

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bieber hasn't been Canadian for years, he noticed early on his dismal 'musak', precocious frivolity and vapidity was better camouflage south of the border.

    Uh... Bieber has been Canadian since the day he was born..

    Sorry, 'nuck.. Ya'all are stuck with him.. :D

    Consider him a gift to the US from Canada, in return for all the nice things Trump has lied about us...

    What I tell ya... Canada doesn't want Bieber back.. :D

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    Florence has claimed 6 lives to date..

    I am sure the Leftist MSM could run some "models" and get that number up to 6000... :^/

    Maybe the guy who pretended he was struggling against massive winds could help... :^/

  81. [81] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    [80] - I am sure the Leftist MSM could run some "models" and get that number up to 6000... :^/

    No. Nobody, certainly not the P.R. governor, ever believed that 16 or 64 of whatever the bullshit number was, reflected reality. It was part of the PR government's Trump handling protocol, and finally, when there was nothing more they were going to get, the offical number could be brought into line with the truth.

    It's possible that the original death toll was expressed in WEVE (White Eligible Voter Equivalent) measure by the administration. See, in that case, the actual count of brown cadavers could have been known to have been much higher, but that wouldn't directly matter.

    There would have been no reason to change the WEVE value of a Puerto Rican citizen until it became important that one who went to live in Florida now has equal weight of a White voter.

    For the Carolinas, everyone at risk is a voter, and both the good ones (R) and bad ones (D) have to be kept alive, lest the administration were to be caught trying to pick and choose.

  82. [82] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    By the way, I hope that it's not necessary to put anything like a [sarc] tag on some of the things written.

    I know that there is little sense of sarcasm on the far right, rolling right to indignation and anger. Some Lefties, though, don't broach any sarcasm, either, seeing it as dissing their sincere demand that wrongs be made right, or at least that wrongs deserve respectful wailing.

    If it is a problem for anyone, say so, and I'll refrain from it. I'll be indignant and angry, but can live with it.

  83. [83] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    69

    That's great :D

    Yes, it is. Props to Neil.

    I guess Neil got tired of pushing my buttons because he got bitch slapped to the ground so much..

    No. You must be thinking about a whole other system. This particular system of Neil's isn't about pushing anyone's buttons or anything at all about violence toward anyone.

    So, he decided that he will just not push my buttons anymore..

    No. This is the system where the buttons are already pushed so there are mass produced comments and a litany of regularly repeated insults posted toward the group as a whole.

    Everyone wins.. :D

    No. Only those readers who ignore the regular repertoire as per Neil's system.

    Yer right. It IS a great system.. :D

    Neil is right; it is a most excellent system. :)

  84. [84] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    75

    What stuck out of the Manafort doc is the guilty plea for "Crimes Against The United States of America" which with all Trump's pardoning power, he could never erase. That and the trove of info on Russian oligarchs and politicians, whose names keep cropping up in connection with Dingleberry Don.

    You're right because Mueller had plenty more indictments where those came from; he's simply holding his cards close to the vest and not playing them all at one time.

    It's crunch time for Trump, he's got make the Mueller thing go away, and soon.

    That ship has sailed, JTC. Even if Mueller were to be fired at this point, there are the "spinoff" cases that wouldn't be affected at all for Mikey Cohen and President Unindicted Co-Conspirator... not to mention all the sealed indictments and state charges waiting in the wings.

    "Popcorn, peanuts, get your popcorn here..."

    I already ordered all the popcorn, and they cancelled the trial! ;)

  85. [85] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    76

    Consider him a gift to the US from Canada, in return for all the nice things Trump has lied about us...

    Okay, then. While we're negotiating people trades: What will you give Texas for the return of Ted Cruz? ;)

  86. [86] 
    Kick wrote:

    LeaningBlue
    82

    If it is a problem for anyone, say so, and I'll refrain from it. I'll be indignant and angry, but can live with it.

    Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but since you brought it up yourself: I have a problem with your sarcasm, LB.

    At the risk of suffering your wrath and exasperation: You are not doing the sarcasm nearly enough to suit me. ;)

  87. [87] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Okay, then. While we're negotiating people trades: What will you give Texas for the return of Ted Cruz? ;)

    Looks to me like the good people of Texas don't want him back. The Harvard educated D.C. lawyer with the Arkansas twang, Cuban roots, and Joe McCarthy haircut was always an odd fit for Texas anyway.

    Beto's neck and neck with him. That's extraordinary.

  88. [88] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    By the way, I hope that it's not necessary to put anything like a [sarc] tag on some of the things written.

    No, the preferred method is to try to be gently snarky, subtly sarcastic, brutally honest and brilliantly insightful, all while jumping up and down on one foot and singing "The Whiffinpoof Song".

  89. [89] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yer right. It IS a great system.. :D

    Neil is right; it is a most excellent system. :)

    Thanks Kick!

    I'm sure you never really believed anybody reads all the cut/paste nonsense you post Michale - even if you insist on putting some of it in bold.

    :)

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why can't people just ignore what they don't want to read here by people they don't like without always making a big issue out of it.

    If you (generic you) can't do that, then you are part of the problem (general disrespect) that plagues this site.

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LB

    By the way, I hope that it's not necessary to put anything like a [sarc] tag on some of the things written.

    Absolutely not. If you have to use a tag like that, you are at the wrong place.

  92. [92] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [85]….Oh no you don't, Kick. Ted Cruz is a vile, malodourous swamp dweller. A sniveling toady if ever there was one... He stays put. Keep the bellend, we've got enough on our plate with Doug Fraud.

    :D

    LL&P

  93. [93] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Any candidate that [does some stuff] qualifies... Any candidate that doesn't does not qualify.

    That seems pretty specific to me.

    @don,

    that's not even a logical fallacy, it's a logical impossibility. the words "any" and "specific" are mutually exclusive in that context. if A then not B, if B then not A; "A = B" does not compute.

    @michale,

    yes, crowdpac is a form of political action committee. as for your hypothetical, i'd feel resigned. that's exactly what dems have already been doing for decades.

    @liz [90],

    agreed.

    @kick,

    be excellent to each other.

    JL

  94. [94] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and, party on dudes!

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm sure you never really believed anybody reads all the cut/paste nonsense you post Michale - even if you insist on putting some of it in bold.

    Whatever you have to believe to make it thru yer day, Neil..

    :D

    I understand that FACTS that destroy your HHPTDS world you created is a hard pill to swallow...

    But here's the thing and there is just NO getting around it..

    What are you going to do when the Democrats are shellacked again in a couple months??

    You won't be able to deny reality any longer..

    What ya gonna do?? :D

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why can't people just ignore what they don't want to read here by people they don't like without always making a big issue out of it.

    If you (generic you) can't do that, then you are part of the problem (general disrespect) that plagues this site.

    People have to get their digs in..

    As long as it's pseudo-civil, I'll gladly live with the little digs.. The plan we're putting into place behind the scenes seems to be bearing fruit.. :D

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    yes, crowdpac is a form of political action committee. as for your hypothetical, i'd feel resigned. that's exactly what dems have already been doing for decades.

    Fair enough.. At least yer honest about it.. :D

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fair enough.. At least yer honest about it.. :D

    Not that I would have expected otherwise...

  99. [99] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    87

    Looks to me like the good people of Texas don't want him back. The Harvard educated D.C. lawyer with the Arkansas twang, Cuban roots, and Joe McCarthy haircut was always an odd fit for Texas anyway.

    Exactly right, sir. I was negotiating with JTC for his return to his birthplace in Canada. :)

    Beto's neck and neck with him. That's extraordinary.

    I know, right!? Still, we're talking Texas here so don't get too excited that he'll win. It's not likely to happen, but it is not altogether out of the question this time either. :)

  100. [100] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    88

    No, the preferred method is to try to be gently snarky, subtly sarcastic, brutally honest and brilliantly insightful, all while jumping up and down on one foot and singing "The Whiffinpoof Song".

    With your glass raised on high, of course. It is the much preferred method that produces results time and time again. ;)

  101. [101] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    89

    Thanks Kick!

    Oh, no... thank you, Neil. :)

  102. [102] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    90

    Why can't people just ignore what they don't want to read here by people they don't like without always making a big issue out of it.

    Wait, what!? This is awesome, Liz! |bookmark|

    After years of general board policing and particularly the hounding Paula and others unabated, I'm sure they'll be so glad to see you've posted this.

    If you (generic you) can't do that, then you are part of the problem (general disrespect) that plagues this site.

    Plague? Isn't that being a bit hard on ya'all?

    If you (generic you) can't see how this admonishment applies equally if not more so to the person who felt the need to post it, then you simply haven't yet discovered the dynamic on this board wherein certain posters have a neediness to "police" others regarding "rules" without seemingly a clue regarding how it applies to themselves, while feeling free to post without restriction in whatever manner they choose. :)

  103. [103] 
    Kick wrote:

    JTC
    92

    Oh no you don't, Kick. Ted Cruz is a vile, malodourous swamp dweller. A sniveling toady if ever there was one...

    Now, now, JTC... is that really fair to swamp dwellers?

    He stays put. Keep the bellend, we've got enough on our plate with Doug Fraud.

    So you're saying there's a chance?! ;)

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    then you simply haven't yet discovered the dynamic on this board

    Liz was here from the very start and worked very hard with CW and JL to *CREATE* the dynamic on this board..

    "A modicum of {respect and} gratitude would not be outta line here."
    -Joe Pesci, MY COUSIN VINNY

  105. [105] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Congratulations on this momentous milestone. If nothing else, you have made me feel better over the past year and a half. I've laughed, I've cried, I've been angry, because of your delightful FTPs.
    And I am hopeful that at least some Democrats read these columns as 'religiously' as I and incorporate your insights into their thinking and doing.

  106. [106] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    And thank you for pointing out what perhaps should have been obvious about the crowdfunding campaign against Sen Collins' affirmative vote for Kavanaugh. Until reading your column, I was not sure I liked the idea of publicly swaying Ms Collins with lucre (though I was in no way convinced by HER arguments).
    Thank you for providing perspective to this important initiative; now that you've convinced me, I look forward to other people-powered lobbying efforts.

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    Until reading your column, I was not sure I liked the idea of publicly swaying Ms Collins with lucre (though I was in no way convinced by HER arguments).

    One's first instincts are usually the correct ones as they are not influenced by political considerations..

    In other words, if you feel something is morally questionable but are then convinced by a political argument that they are not, your first assessment was likely the valid one...

  108. [108] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    I usually don't get to FTP until Sunday morning and 500 was no exception. Your column is well researched, well reasoned, well written and you suffer fools well too. An amazing achievement in an Age of Big Everything.

  109. [109] 
    Michale wrote:

    and you suffer fools well too.

    AKA not being afraid of dissenting opinions...

    You would do well to use CW as a role-model...

    I'm just sayin' :D

  110. [110] 
    Michale wrote:

    DH,

    Not as confident re: Jags/Pats as I was yesterday.. :( Rumor is Fournette is being kept out of the game due to last weeks injury...

    It's likely that Yeldon can pick up the slack as he did in the 2nd half against the Giants..

    But Yeldon is no Fournette...

    So, I am still thinking it will be the JAGS over the PATS, due to strictly revenge motivation..

    But I am not as sure as I was...

  111. [111] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    Why are any and specific mutually exclusive in this context?

    The statement in question is which particular politicians would the small money criteria include and exclude.

    Unless you are expecting me to name actual politicians in a specific election.

    Unless I could know which politicians would be running in every election from now until eternity that seems quite an impossible standard.

    If I could do that I would have won the lottery a long time ago.

  112. [112] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "And I am hopeful that at least some Democrats read these columns as 'religiously' as I and incorporate your insights into their thinking and doing."

    Sorry to burst your bubble but many here have pointed out how CW is an insignificant part of the media that no one pays attention to as a "reason" it wouldn't make any difference if CW wrote aboot One Demand.

    And when has CW changed anyone's mind aboot anything? :D

  113. [113] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And speaking aboot people changing their minds aboot something....

    Italyrusty is looking forward to other people-powered lobbying efforts.

    That could certainly include One Demand, CW, if you could change your mind aboot ignoring it and/or avoiding explaining why you are ignoring it.

  114. [114] 
    TheStig wrote:

    RE FTP 4

    Beto! Beto! Beto!

    Sounds like something a Minion might shout....but makes sense. Beto better represents the real world minions-the 98%. Unlike Ted Gruze with his blazing fart guns.

  115. [115] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    It's one thing to think a team can win when playing the Patriots, but it is unrealistic to think you will win.

  116. [116] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's one thing to think a team can win when playing the Patriots, but it is unrealistic to think you will win.

    You got to remember, DH...

    The Patriots playing today are NOT the same Patriots that played in the AFC Championship game..

    They've lost Amendola (any relation to Master Bratac, I wonder??) and 4 of their starters are not playing for various reasons..

    Compare and contrast THAT to the fact that the Jags have the same exact team (only better) than they had back in Jan in Foxborough..

    Jags defense will absolutely CRUSH Brady and the Pats offense.. Bortles can play so-so (as he is wont to do) and, as long as the defense bottles up and rattles Brady, it's going to be the Jags...

    Jags 17 Pats 7

    That's my prediction...

  117. [117] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Yep. Those are all reasons you can win.

    But they are the same Patriots that for twenty years or so have somehow managed to win most of the time despite the obstacles of the moment.

  118. [118] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I'll just note that Beto O'Rourke does not meet OD's $200 standard. Would DH prefer Cruze in the Senate? Political change is incremental..or it is bloody. I prefer incremental.

  119. [119] 
    Michale wrote:

    But they are the same Patriots that for twenty years or so have somehow managed to win most of the time despite the obstacles of the moment.

    Yep.. That's what makes it such an exciting event.. :D

  120. [120] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    i have no expectations of you whatsoever.

    my hope is that you and others who share your passion will eventually be successful in your campaigns against big money. many of us here have suggested changes that we think might help you be more successful. one or two you've made, and the rest you seem to view as "excuses" for not supporting your project as-is. the two suggestions i made today are not new, but they're relevant to CW's post.

    the maine group is lobbying a single politician on a single vote. that is what "specific" means. your plan is to support "any" politician that meets your demand, essentially lobbying the entire country on all votes, which is the exact opposite of specific.

    i referred to russ's comment merely as an explanation of how a slightly narrower focus (e.g. requiring that candidates support the overturn of citizens united v. fec), could make it easier to win support.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/06/28/program-notes-2/#comment-121653

    regards,
    JL

  121. [121] 
    Michale wrote:

    DH,

    For the record, the JAGs would have won the AFC Championship if the officials were not in the bag for the Pats..

    https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/01/22/jaguars-myles-jack-fumble-return-afc-championship

  122. [122] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnKf_u_U8AAj9ie.jpg

    Hay.... People should give these Democrats a break....

    They are simply redistributing the wealth, after all.. :^/

  123. [123] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    All this ballyhoo about eggball… meh. My druthers involves a puck, some skatey-punch, toothless grins and the grizzled countenance only Hockey can supply.

    Factoid; It was Teddy Roosevelt who lobbied for, and won, the rule change of the forward pass. After a string of injuries, Roosevelt stepped in, summoned coaches from Ivy League institutions to the White House and upbraided all in attendance about the state of the game. As far as I can see, that was the first and last time a President insinuated himself into a sport with any lasting positive result.

    Enjoy your Sunday eggball, do what most normal people do during the anthem, reach for a beer, pack a bowl, take a slash or finish that niggle-some bit of embroidery you've been avoiding... Whatever your pre-game ritual involves is yours and yours alone. If Trump wants to practice mumbling and fumbling his way through the anthem in the mirror to bolster his new-found patriotism, that's his thing. He can tell you how to go about your thing when he elects himself dictator, until then, he can fuck right off.

    LL&P

  124. [124] 
    Michale wrote:

    'Nuck...

    Newsflash for ya...

    Not EVERYTHING is about Trump.. :D

  125. [125] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Michale...you might try telling him that, he won't believe you though.

    LL&P

  126. [126] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale...you might try telling him that, he won't believe you though.

    touche' :D

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:
  128. [128] 
    Michale wrote:
  129. [129] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale [127] Aw, how sweet! The right is jumping to defend Trump's narcissism by using a heavily edited video.

    Pro tip: narcissism is about more than the incessant use of the word "I" in a speech. There are plenty of instances where self-references are entirely appropriate to the situation.

    Trump's narcissism, on the other hand, manifests as a subtext to everything he says or does. An edit reel of Trump saying the word "I" alot wouldn't begin to do justice to the deep need he apparently has to be the center of his own universe.

  130. [130] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You would do well to use CW as a role-model...

    Well said, Michale.

    I hope everyone here will take that advice to heart when it comes to their contributions to Chris's consistently thoughtful and thought-provoking pieces.

    Clearly, Weigantians - whether they are fairly new to the party or have been here from the beginning - are quite capable of putting forth valid arguments to support their points of view on any given issue without being petty or nasty or otherwise disrespectful toward each other.

    We also know, however deep down, that thoughtful arguments made from a disposition of good will and reciprocal respect can be persuasive and lead to better understanding.

  131. [131] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pro tip: narcissism is about more than the incessant use of the word "I" in a speech. There are plenty of instances where self-references are entirely appropriate to the situation.

    And then there is Odumbo where the use of the I/ME/MINE etc is incessant, unnecessary and narcissistic...

    Trump's narcissism, on the other hand, manifests as a subtext to everything he says or does.

    In other words..

    Odumbo Narcissism = GOOD and JUSTIFIED

    Trump Narcissism = BAD

    Well.. I am glad we cleared THAT up.. :D

    Check out COUNTERPART yet?? :D

  132. [132] 
    Michale wrote:

    I hope everyone here will take that advice to heart when it comes to their contributions to Chris's consistently thoughtful and thought-provoking pieces.

    Word.....

    Clearly, Weigantians - whether they are fairly new to the party or have been here from the beginning - are quite capable of putting forth valid arguments to support their points of view on any given issue without being petty or nasty or otherwise disrespectful toward each other.

    ... X2

    We also know, however deep down, that thoughtful arguments made from a disposition of good will and reciprocal respect can be persuasive and lead to better understanding.

    And she HITS the tri-fecta!!!! :D

  133. [133] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  134. [134] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Check out COUNTERPART yet?

    Nope, too tired last night. Went back and caught "Real Time" instead, which I recorded while I was out Friday night.

    It included a good quote from John Kerry, who said that Trump manages to combine "the maturity of an eight year old boy with the insecurity of a 14 year old girl".

    heh.

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    It included a good quote from John Kerry, who said that Trump manages to combine "the maturity of an eight year old boy with the insecurity of a 14 year old girl".

    And yet, could such a person have built the massive business empire that Trump has built??

    Of course not..

    I have to always laugh at people like Kerry who let their bigotry and hatred get in the way of their common sense and logic..

    It's like an ignorant racist who claims Martin Luther King Jr never amounted to anything and talked stoopid...

    You just have to shake your head and marvel that THAT bigoted and sorry excuse for intellect can actually walk upright..

  136. [136] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nope, too tired last night. Went back and caught "Real Time" instead, which I recorded while I was out Friday night.

    We just finished season 2 of TIMELESS.. SO bummed it's canceled as it ended on a great cliffhanger...

    There is talk of doing a TIMELESS movie to wrap up loose ends.. Ala STARGATE SG1: ARK OF TRUTH

    Hope they do...

  137. [137] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    @Don

    So, walk me through this. Suppose I'm in your demographic and I have somehow heard about One Demand. Hey, this might be just enough to get me to vote this time. I'm registered, so we're over that hurdle, but I don't follow politics very closely, because it is mostly disgusting and depressing.

    I know the name one of one of my senators for sure and I'd recognize the other if it were mentioned. I have no idea who my representative is, nor do I know what districts I'm in for state and local elections. Trust me, it's way too time-consuming to find out all that stuff. I don't like the way things are, but I've never really felt my vote counts anyway, so no big deal.

    OK, but this time I'm going to do something. What? Please don't tell me I need to get a ballot and go though the entire list of names to see who qualifies and who doesn't. I'm not up for that at all. Is there a website I can plug my address into and get a list of candidates who qualify and would be on my ballot? Then, wouldn't I have to look at each to determine if the candidate had some palatable opinions and, perhaps, viable ideas about implementing them?

    Are you thinking that One Demand will single-handedly bring the "I don't really pay attention" folks into the informed voter camp? What's the vision here?

  138. [138] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And yet, could such a person have built the massive business empire that Trump has built??

    I had a pretty good answer to that caught in the filter.

    Shorter, better version: yeah, sure. That's why he's so anxious for us to see his tax returns.

  139. [139] 
    Michale wrote:

    Shorter, better version: yeah, sure. That's why he's so anxious for us to see his tax returns.

    Oh puulleeesse...

    Ask any billionaire to see their tax returns, they are going to tell you to go pound sand...

    If you are telling me that Trump's tax returns are going to negate DECADES of business success, then you MUST concede that Odumbo's school records are going to negate 8 years of claims of intelligence..

  140. [140] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Oh puulleeesse...Ask any billionaire to see their tax returns, they are going to tell you to go pound sand...

    "Now I've got news for [Trump], I'm under audit too. And I would be delighted to meet him any place, any time between now and the election. I'll bring my tax return, he can bring his tax return. Nobody's going to arrest us, there are no rules against showing your tax returns. And just let people ask us questions about the times that are on there. You're only afraid if you've got something to be afraid about." - Warren Buffet

  141. [141] 
    Michale wrote:

    " You're only afraid if you've got something to be afraid about."

    Which also explains why Odumbo wouldn't release his school records and Hillary wouldn't release her medical records, right???

    Or is there a different standard for Democrats???

  142. [142] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'll bring my tax return, he can bring his tax return.

    OK, if Buffett has "nothing to worry about" why won't he release ALL of his tax returns to the general public now??

    Why don't you??

  143. [143] 
    Michale wrote:

    “So far, it’s pretty much been an intergalactic freak show. Most Americans are looking at this – most mainstream Americans – and they’re thinking that Congress has hit rock bottom and started to dig.
    I have been embarrassed by the whole process and, frankly, I’m – no disrespect to Senator Feinstein or to Stanford Law School – but I’m a little bit offended. I sit on Judiciary Committee. They’ve had this stuff for three months. If they were serious about it, they should’ve told us about it.”

    -Senator John Kennedy

    Word...

  144. [144] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Trumps tax returns have already been "released", though not to the public, have they not?

  145. [145] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's obvious what happened..

    Dumbocrats had this info 3 months ago.. They figured they would protect the so-called "victims" privacy and see if their other bullshit actions could derail Judge Kavanaugh..

    When they failed at EVERY TURN, Dumbocrats said "Frak the so-called victim!! Our agenda is MORE IMPORTANT!!!"

    The so-called victim's story is full of holes, you could drive a starship thru...

    This is a pathetic attempt by the Democrats and it will cost them in November...

  146. [146] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Trumps tax returns have already been "released", though not to the public, have they not?

    Beats me.. They are not relevant to ANYTHING other than Democrats wanting another blunt object to beat President Trump over the head with..

  147. [147] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, I think Mueller is the best judge at this point as to whether Trump's tax returns are relevant to his inquiry.

  148. [148] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [139]

    "If you are telling me that Trump's tax returns are going to negate DECADES of business success, then you MUST concede that Odumbo's(sic) school records are going to negate 8 years of claims of intelligence.." More unabashed sophistry.

    The facts speak for themselves, Trump has shown an abysmal business acumen over the year. His balking over his tax returns is more about how he dug himself out of financial ruin, than how he speculated his wealth.

    LL&P

  149. [149] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    They are not relevant to ANYTHING other than Democrats wanting another blunt object to beat President Trump over the head with..

    Bill Clinton, used to say that constant criticism was just a part of the job description. Trump and his followers need to stop whining about it.

  150. [150] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [146] "Beats me.. They are not relevant to ANYTHING other than Democrats wanting another blunt object to beat President Trump over the head with.."

    Is that supposed to be a joke? Of course the tax returns of the individual overseeing tax reform are relevant... to people who actually pay tax. Are American's supposed to take this serial liar at his word that he in no way benefits from any and all restructuring of the IRS?

    No one is that stupid.

    I've seen some idiotic posts on many sites, but that has to be the most wistfully egregious I've seen here.

    LL&P

  151. [151] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    In other news, we can drop the anonymous from the Kavanaugh storyline...

    thehill.com/homenews/senate/406925-kavanaugh-accuser-breaks-silence-about-sexual-misconduct-allegations-detailed

    Buckle up.

    LL&P

  152. [152] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-24, responding to Michael -15

    I just finished reading:

    Ascertainment of the Estimated Excess Mortality From Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

    conducted by the:

    Milken Institute School of Public Health

    M -"The ACTUAL body count stands, I believe, at 64..."

    CW- "In actual fact, the government of PR, led by a Trump supporter, were the ones who commissioned that study, and this govenrment has now officially accepted the 2,975 figure as accurate. That is the ACTUAL bodycount, from a Trump-supporting governor."

    Counting bodies is fairly easy, documenting cause of death is complicated, especially during a massive natural disaster where much of the medical infrastructure is dysfunctional, and what's left is doing extreme triage. (The report notes that most physicians don't know how to fill out a death certificate properly, or don't bother). The 2975 figure is the number of excess deaths compared to expected deaths had there been no hurricane, based upon historical seasonal death rates adjusted for immigration. (Puerto Rico lost 8% of its population through post hurricane immigration). This is standard demographic modeling.

    The 2975 figure is the most probable estimate of excess deaths attributable to the hurricane, but the 95% confidence interval is 2658-3290. Uncertainty is part of life - people have to accept that.

    There are no imaginary dead in the Milken accounting (I expect a few dead were not, and never will be, found). A hurricane can kill you quickly, and it can kill you slowly due to lack of essential services.

  153. [153] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Under the category of it was nice while it lasted:

    Looks like the Jets are back to those Darn old Jets again.

  154. [154] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    My Voice-
    At this point in 2018 there are few if any small contribution candidates on anyone's ballot, so all a citizens would have to do is register on the website and write in their own name in November to register a vote against the Big Money candidates and create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates in 2020.

    When candidates respond to this demand in 2020 they will be listed on the One Demand website. At this point citizens will have to research the candidates on their other positions.

    One Demand does not and does not have to solve every problem or fully solve any problem immediately, but it can be a good first step toward reducing the influence of Big Money in our political process in 2018 for those that would not vote otherwise.

    And there are 20-30% of citizens that vote in presidential elections that do not vote in off year elections. These citizens are more engaged than those that don't vote at all and some could be mobilized in 2018 to make prospects better for when they will vote in 2020 which could inspire more non-voters (and even some regular voters) to participate in 2020.

    Basic democracy.

  155. [155] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [152] Stig…, so it's reasonable to assume that someone whose death occurred as a result, whether by a tree falling on them or, because the power grid was woefully mismanaged after a hurricane and they couldn't receive dialysis are both effects of the same cause?

    So why is Trump making this an issue? He might think he can divert a falling tree or obtain the expertise to fix infrastructure with a wave of a small hand, but no one can.

    Who is making it personal? (there are some that say it's the Democrats, but they've pretty much let this one go)

    Great factual post, btw.

    LL&P

  156. [156] 
    Michale wrote:

    JAGS stuff Pats then score!!! :D

    Bortles is on fire!!!

  157. [157] 
    Michale wrote:

    And JAGS defense stuff Brady again!!!

    THAT is what Jags need to do!!!

    DUUUUUUVVAAAAAALLLLLL

  158. [158] 
    Michale wrote:

    Holy shit, BORTLES is CRUSHING the Pats...

    And Brady is totally out of his league!!! :D

    14-0 JAGS!!!!

  159. [159] 
    Michale wrote:

    Did ya'all see that one-handed Willie Mays catch!!!!

    :D

  160. [160] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    TS,

    When was the last time that anyone, anywhere had a discussion about how many people actually or estimated to have died as a result of a hurricane which prompted arguments with someone else about the accuracy of that figure?

    I think hurricane Maria may be the first. Let's hope she's the last.

  161. [161] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JTC,

    Is that supposed to be a joke?

    I think so … but, Michale just forgot to add the :D after it. Heh.

  162. [162] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [154] Don HarrisWhoa. So all I have to do is put my name and identifying information on a non-secured, public-facing website and then write in my own name one or more times on my otherwise secret ballot? Hmmm. Maybe I should think about that a bit.Speaking as your One Demand demographic, I might just stay home for 2018 and remain pledged to Nun of the Above as necessary for 2020. Just feels safer somehow.

  163. [163] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, there is only one word to describe the first half..

    "DOMINATION!!!!"
    Mortal Kombat

    :D

  164. [164] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Are American's supposed to take this serial liar at his word that he in no way benefits from any and all restructuring of the IRS?

    Okay, JTC … I have to call incorrect use of an apostrophe!

    Sorry … but, I couldn't resist … mostly because you're going to confuse Michale. :)

  165. [165] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sounds like a good game Michale - but too late to start watching now ...

  166. [166] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [161]Yuppers, a typical omission.

    To end the week, I offer an addendum in the form of aCartoon I knew would include Paul Manafort.

    No need to 'watch that space' any longer.

    LL&P

  167. [167] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    My Voice,

    What Don doesn’t tell you is how, exactly, writing your own name in on a ballot is going to send the message that you are wanting to see candidates that only accept small donations and not the message that they think that they should be elected in whatever category it is in. People already write in names on ballots; are they all sending the same message as OneDemand?

    Where candidates get bought are with SuperPACs that can take unlimited amounts of money from donors. Campaign donations directly to the candidate have specific limits. I don’t see anyone being bought by $10,000 donation to a campaign, but $10 million to a candidate’s SuperPAC might get that politician in your pocket! As long as PACs and SuperPACs are allowed to exist as they currently stand, limiting the size of a candidates campaign contributions is just a superficial act that doesn’t do much to stop the corruption.

  168. [168] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Russ makes a good point.

    Does the solution require that the Citizens United decision be overturned?

    If so, that will take a very, very, very concerted effort - the kind of effort that is close to impossible to mount, especially considering the devolutionary state of American politics.

    Which is one of Don's arguments for One Demand (I still don't like that name) because it replaces that monumental effort with many individual ripples that can form a current strong enough to break down the mightiest walls of campaign finance resistance, to paragraph RFK.

  169. [169] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, you know, to PARAPHRASE Senator Robert Kennedy. Ahem.

    But, that was one heck of a quotable paragraph, forever etched in stone ...

  170. [170] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, did you just see that running TD!!!

  171. [171] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you know what is almost as good as seeing the Jaguars 2-0??

    Seeing the Patriots at 1-1!!

    LIGHTNING IN A BORTLE!!!

    :D

  172. [172] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    Citizens United may be a big windmill to tilt at, but at least it's a tangible goal. one of the problems with money in politics is that it's hard to say just how we'll know if and when things get better. good comments by russ and "my voice"

    JL

    "this is don karnage speaking to you with my voice."
    ~talespin

  173. [173] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    After watching Cam Newton run all over the Cowboys last week I'm sure Pat Schurmer has incorporated several quarterback draws and designed runs for Eli Manning into the game plan for tonight's game. :D

  174. [174] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Myvoice-
    What makes you think the One Demand website is any less secure than this site that you provided your personal information to sign up on?

    If you are concerned with writing in your own name (which is most cases makes a person eligible to hold the office to eliminate the risk of having the vote not officially counted in some places), you can write in any name.

    Even if it is not part of the official vote total in places where such a write in vote would be disallowed it can still be effective as in most places there will be a total of disallowed votes available or can be accessed through the freedom of information act.

  175. [175] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    My voice-
    What listen doesn't tell you is that the statement that I don't tell you how people will know why citizens cast a write in vote is an outright lie that keeps being repeated despite being proven untrue.

    One more time for the learning impaired (if you're LISTENing):

    Signing up on the website before the election not only makes it clear why you are voting with a write in vote it lets other citizens know that you are so they will be more likely to participate because they won't feel as if they are acting alone.

    While there may be some, very few of the participants are likely to be fooled by a candidate taking small contributions for their campaigns while operating a Superpac that takes Big Money.

    When enough citizens are only voting for small contribution candidates (candidates without Superpacs) which could be much sooner than any legislation or amendment then Superpacs will be much less effective.

  176. [176] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    Thank you.

    I do an imitation of RFK (which I have been told is pretty good) where I paraphrase him with:

    "Some people look at things the way they are and they ask why. I look at things the way they are and I ask- why me?"

  177. [177] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Liz-160

    Arguments of this sort will be with us forever. Blatant fudging of the facts to support a political agenda is a common occurance. If people don't call out the lie - in detail- it has a tendency to persist for decades or longer. The Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide are good examples of how a hard it is to quash a lie.....it's like house cleaning, the chore is no fun and never goes away

  178. [178] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I'm with Don H. on this one, with a few tweaks. Two party systems are inherently non-productive, the 'frick and fracture' makes for diametrically opposing positions, the extreme of which becomes built-in intractability.

    With a third party, or even some law that 'entices' people to speak with their vote, breaks a deadlock and dissolves political inertia.

    Obviously, looking at some European political systems, Multi-party systems seem bizarre when they have 10+ organizations all vying for your vote...But consider this, within a ten party system, only society's 'fringe' element go for the seven obscure party platforms.

    LL&P

  179. [179] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    TS,

    Arguments of this sort will be with us forever. Blatant fudging of the facts to support a political agenda is a common occurrence.

    Not about the number of deaths as a result of a hurricane in America. Which was the precise point I was making.

    Before President Trump began his very late questioning of the official death count in Puerto Rico as a result of hurricane Maria, I have NEVER heard of any American questioning such a thing.

    And, hopefully, this and other sorts of nonsense emanating from the WH will end with Trump's presidency.

  180. [180] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JTC,

    I don't think the problem is with the number of political parties in any given democracy. Rather it is the quality of the people who make up those parties and their ability to communicate with and persuade voters with cogent arguments and ideas.

    Based on this, the democratic system in America is in deep trouble.

    It didn't start with Trump but, he could be the impetus that underlines a need for positive change.

    "Progress is a nice word. But, change is its motivator. And, change has its enemies." … RFK

  181. [181] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [164] LM... I'm cool with correction. I rarely, if ever, re-read my blah-blah. To my mind, if red dots appear under some word or other, I right-click, blur and left click. Fiddling around with the spoken word on computers isn't my thing.
    Delivery only becomes an issue when it involves pizza and the covenant, "30 minutes or it's free"

    … So there/their/they're (')

    :P

    LL&P

  182. [182] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Fiddling around with the spoken word on computers isn't my thing.

    No problemo … that's what I'm here for. :)

  183. [183] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LIGHTNING IN A BORTLE!!!

    Very nice, Michale … and, great game!

  184. [184] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [174,175] Don Harris

    I'm pretty darn sure I provided neither my address nor age to register here, both of which are required at your site. That makes your site a much richer target than the email bonanza that might be hackable here.

    It's not clear who the people are that you refer to in your attempted refutation of ListenWhenYouHear's point. The people who count ballots would see the write-in(s); the candidate and the public get aggregate counts. I don't believe I have read election reports that itemized the name(s) and vote counts for write-ins who weren't actively running a write-in campaign. I see an 'Other' category sometimes, which generally doesn't amass a measurable percentage of votes.

    As ListenWhenYouHear notes, no one knows whether there is a singular message coming out of the 'Other' category and what, therefore, can be inferred. Same goes for disallowed votes. What's the reason a given vote was disallowed? Who, exactly, is going to put in a FOIA request to every precinct in the country or even to every precinct in a state or Congressional district? Will the brave souls that do be able to come to your site and check names against the FOIA? That's certainly scary. No doubt you are aware that whether or not one has voted in a given election is a matter of public record, but for whom is not.

    In short, it appears that the dots don't connect. Candidates would have to know about and come to your site to see, well, a nationwide count of registrants. You aren't at the point yet where you are displaying a national total, state total and a total for each congressional district. Until you do and figure out how to get the word out to all candidates for the national level offices you are targeting, you don't have meaningful data.

    Let's not even get started on the privacy issues.

  185. [185] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    nypoet, (not sure if you're okay with me using your first name …)

    Citizens United may be a big windmill to tilt at, but at least it's a tangible goal.

    And a worthy and worthwhile goal.

    There doesn't seem to be any sort of real effort underway to do that. I'm not even sure what such an effort would look like. Could Congress pass legislation that would remedy this problem - or would citizens united prevent that?

  186. [186] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [180] I agree. People who enter the political fray for their own gain, and not for civil duty, they are the scuffers of the line we call quality. Cogent or otherwise, the message will resonate somewhere, with someone.

    My point was only that, a two party system gives no quarter to diversity in either camp. In the US of now, the Republicans bay to their supporters that the Democrats are just ultra-socialists in drag and want to tax the pennies on the eyes of the dead, the Democrats decry the Republicans as an old boys network of upper-middle class religious gunslingers, hell-bent on mandating racial purity. If you throw a few more choices in, the radicals splinter into ineffectuality and the moderates see their goals to be achievable.

    The two party system gets flogged from within by its extreme elements. John and Jane Doe don't stand a chance of navigating the platform of either party with all the white noise.

    Unlike the Golgafrinchans (HGTTG), we can't jettison the vestigial fringe... better to have them hurl abuse at each other, under the umbrella of choice, while the day to day business of political life is undertaken by individuals that enjoy some common ground.

    LL&P

  187. [187] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    you can use my name - first, last, middle or title. it's on a few guest columns here anyhow.

    JL

  188. [188] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @jtc,

    anyone who doesn't believe in vogons has probably never been to a department of motor vehicles, and certainly hasn't been to one in new jersey.

    JL

  189. [189] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks Joshua, that's what I thought. I just didn't want to get you into any trouble with the teenagers. :)

  190. [190] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [188] NYP... Try as I might, and frequently, I should add, I throw myself at the ground, I never seem to miss.

    I'm doomed where 'knacks' are a prerequisite for success.

    LL&DON'T PANIC!

  191. [191] 
    Michale wrote:
  192. [192] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Kavanaugh Misled the Senate. I Can't Support Him"
    -Senator Patrick Lehay

    Well, here's the thing, Senator..

    Your mind was made up even before the nominee was named..

    So, it's nothing but a lack of integrity on your part...

  193. [193] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    LIGHTNING IN A BORTLE!!!

    Very nice, Michale … and, great game!

    Yea, it was.. You'll notice I got a little quieter in the second half. Was having January flashbacks... :D

    Bortle critics are eating LOTS of crow today... He was unstoppable...

    I say EVERY year that the Jags are going to the Super Bowl..

    This year, I actually may be factually accurate!! :D

  194. [194] 
    Michale wrote:

    'nuck

    Are American's supposed to take this serial liar at his word that he in no way benefits from any and all restructuring of the IRS?

    Oh yea.. We should probably trust the liar who used the IRS to go after political opponents, eh?? :^/

  195. [195] 
    Michale wrote:

    The growing positive attitude of black voters towards President Trump is the wildcard in the coming midterm elections. It is real and it is expanding. Polls are showing anywhere from 20 percent to 36 percent of blacks approve of President Trump.

    Trump’s economic policies have improved the lives of black Americans, just as he promised they would during the election. Unlike Obama’s media hype, Trump’s progress is as real and as solid as his buildings. Black unemployment continues to fall. Good manufacturing jobs are coming back. Paychecks are rising, too.

    The roots of this political watershed in the black community are more complex than job figures and will last beyond Trump’s tenure. I have been listening for hours to ordinary black Americans on the #Walkaway movement’s YouTube channel. This is a movement of former Democrats explaining why they are leaving their party. While each face, voice, and story is unique and fascinating, there are some striking recurring themes.

    A thoughtful young man explains his thinking in a video well worth your time:

    All [Democrats] want to do is monetize white guilt . . . it’s not really productive, man, because we never address the core issues . . . . [Democrat] policies do not work . . . enough is enough. It is time to break the cycle. Me, I made a decision, man, I can no longer support the Democrat Party. Because they are not the party for black people, they’re not even the party of America. They are such a far-Left socialist party . . . I don’t know who they’re working for—it ain’t us. In every state they run . . . opportunities diminish . . . their policies are failed. . . . I can’t do it anymore. I’m conservative. 4/46
    https://amgreatness.com/2018/09/14/why-black-voters-are-turning-to-trump/

    Time to acknowledge the FACTS... :D

  196. [196] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    104

    Liz was here from the very start and worked very hard with CW and JL to *CREATE* the dynamic on this board..

    If I was discussing CW and JL, you might have a point, but I wasn't... so you don't. But seriously, your need to invoke CW and JL and longevity into the comment is fairly indicative of your regular modus operandi where others are informed ad nauseam by you that they are perceived as subordinate posters... in more ways than one... whether adjective, verb, or noun.

    "A modicum of {respect and} gratitude would not be outta line here."
    -Joe Pesci, MY COUSIN VINNY

    A commenter like yourself who presumes to be owed "a modicum of respect and gratitude" for whatever reason just might want to perform a whole lot less of the "preaching about what you're practicing" and at least a "modicum" more of the "practicing what you preach."

    The humorous thing about Liz requesting "people just ignore what they don't want to read here by people they don't like without always making a big issue out of it" is that she's generally the poster not doing that... while I have repeatedly requested she do that! Expecting to post freely from a perch of privilege in a manner for which you regularly admonish others speaks volumes, and the "I couldn't resist" punchline is the ever-present reminder of that perceived sense of entitlement and the "do as we say, not as we do" dynamic that exists on this board.

    We teach others how to treat us. If there are posters who aren't receiving the "respect and gratitude" to which you clearly believe they're entitled, perhaps you're requesting receipts for something that they're not willing to proffer. As far as deference, nobody owes us a thing: The respect we bestow is the respect we'll know... each of us reaps what we sow.

    So... I've upped my standards; now, up yours! :)

  197. [197] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    114

    Beto! Beto! Beto!

    Sounds like something a Minion might shout....but makes sense. Beto better represents the real world minions-the 98%. Unlike Ted Gruze with his blazing fart guns.

    Oh, you're right... Ted Gruze… and he looks like Gru too! *laughs*
    And now I got this going through my head:

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

  198. [198] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    193

    I say EVERY year that the Jags are going to the Super Bowl..

    This year, I actually may be factually accurate!! :D

    I think Michale is dead on balls accurate here too... barring any unforeseen multitude of injuries, of course. The Jags are on fire!

    I just calls them the way I sees them. :)

  199. [199] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    152

    I'm still waiting for the bigly check for $2,000,000,000+ where Trump made the claim he was "successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico."

    Nice post... nice research, TS. Thanks for taking the time to post this. :)

  200. [200] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    Renewed my license last month at the NJDMV. Was in and out in under 15 minutes. Took longer to drive there one way.

  201. [201] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Oh boy!
    Giants get the first pick in next years draft!!!!!

  202. [202] 
    John M wrote:

    [185] Elizabeth Miller

    "There doesn't seem to be any sort of real effort underway to do that. I'm not even sure what such an effort would look like. Could Congress pass legislation that would remedy this problem - or would citizens united prevent that?"

    Since Citizens United was a Supreme Court ruling it would take more than just Congress passing legislation.

    It would take either:

    1) Another Supreme Court Ruling OR

    2) A Constitutional Amendment

    As an example. Congress could pass as many laws as it wanted to making abortion illegal nationwide, but they would have no effect at all unless:

    1) The Supreme Court itself changed its own ruling regarding the legality of abortion OR

    2) A Constitutional Amendment was passed to force the Supreme Court to change its ruling.

  203. [203] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    How quickly it goes from hope for the Superbowl to life in the toilet bowl. :(

  204. [204] 
    Michale wrote:

    LB,

    Curious if your opinion has changed regarding Kavanaugh and the alleged sexual assault in light of the so-called "victim" coming forward..

    To me, it smacks of a carefully orchestrated smear campaign against Kavanaugh...

    Every step is simply too "perfect" and contrived to be a natural flow...

  205. [205] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Myvoice-
    What are talking aboot?
    All we need is a total of write in votes, not an itemized list of who cast them and who they cast them for. If the total is near the total number registered on the website it verifies that the participant total on the website is as close to accurate as is needed to make it clear why the people cast the write in votes.

    As for the your website doesn't do this yet and you have this yet nonsense- nothing starts out perfect and with everything that they hope to achieve at the end.

    Using your logic applied to the Democratic Party would mean that people shouldn't vote for Democrats until they are perfect.

  206. [206] 
    Michale wrote:

    How quickly it goes from hope for the Superbowl to life in the toilet bowl. :(

    Yea, Brady was visibly frustrated...

    As I mentioned before, the defense could carry the game.. All Bortles had to be was 'eh'....

    But holy testicle tuesday, it was lightning in a Bortle!!! :D

  207. [207] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    There are many efforts underway for an amendment to overturn CU. Ralph Nader just had one on his Radio Hour last week and has had a few others on previous shows.

    But there are several problems with these proposed amendments.

    They require the Big Money legislators to create and pass the amendment.

    The problem with money in politics existed before CU.

    They usually state that money is not speech which is a valuable protection for small contributors that would be unwise to eliminate.

    They also usually state that artificial entities have no rights under the constitution and that Congress has the power to control contributions and spending for these entities.

    This would result in Congress being able to craft laws that benefit some entities and hurt other entities.

    For example, one organization working towards an amendment is called "Move to Amend". It is an artificial entity, as are Move On, Our Revolution, the Democratic Party, etc.

    If the amendment Move to Amend is supporting is passed and ratified and they realize they made a mistake and want to overturn the Amendment, Congress could put contribution and spending limits on their organization and not on the organizations that want to keep it.

    They would have no standing in court because artificial entities would have no rights so their rights can't be violated.

    Congress could also pass laws that limit the number of contributions or contributors an organization can have but not how much they can take from any individual person. This would make it difficult to be competitive with small contribution campaigns.

    The organizations would not be able to challenge as above and the individuals that make up the organization would have no standing because their contributions are no longer protected free speech.

    All these amendments do is play into the hands of the Big Money interests and will not solve the problem but make it worse.

    And it keeps people busy working on the amendments and/or legislation to allegedly fix the problem some time in the future instead of taking direct action now by not voting for Big Money candidates and registering votes against them to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates.

    The basic tools of democracy provided by the founding fathers.

  208. [208] 
    TheStig wrote:

    JTC-155

    "so it's reasonable to assume that someone whose death occurred as a result, whether by a tree falling on them or, because the power grid was woefully mismanaged after a hurricane and they couldn't receive dialysis are both effects of the same cause?"

    Yup, follow (reconstruct) the chain of causality leading to earlier than expected deaths.

    Kick-197

    One more thing. The Milken Report is a high level summary. It is by far the most credible analysis of the Hurricane Maria mortality I've seen, but it does not give details about the generalized linear models used, the statistical software used to analyze the models, or if there has been any independent peer review of methods and inferences up to the point of publication. Big Science grinds slowly.

  209. [209] 
    Michale wrote:

    'SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH HER': CHRISTINE FORD'S STUDENTS SAVAGE HER IN REVIEWS
    'Many dislike Professor Ford due to her dark personality'

    news.grabien.com/story-somethings-wrong-her-christine-fords-students-savage-her-rev

    Kavanaugh accuser...

    Brett Kavanaugh’s Mother Presided Over Foreclosure Hearing Involving Accuser’s Parents
    mediaite.com/online/brett-kavanaughs-mother-presided-over-foreclosure-hearing-involving-accusers-parents/

    Ahhhhhh Payback...

    This so-called "victim" is also a NeverTrumper activist who lawyer'ed up with a NeverTrump activist..

    Yea... The partisan machinations in this are blatant and obvious

  210. [210] 
    Paula wrote:

    CW: Congrats on the 500!

  211. [211] 
    Paula wrote:

    Question: curious how many people who think Brett Kavanaugh's attempted rape shouldn't be held against him since he was only 17 also think Tamir Rice should have known better than to play with a toy gun at age 12?

    The fact that BK was drunk while he allegedly did the deed is another interesting point of contention - does it make it worse or less bad?

    Also of note: how young white men at prep schools who drink til they pass out are portrayed differently than young black men who hang out in pick-your-stereotype areas and drink. The former are just "being teenagers" etc., the latter are "thugs" and worse.

    Blotus famously demanded the death penalty for the Central Park Five who were erroneously accused of rape. Now he'll back Kavanaugh all the way to the Supreme Court. He will also do his level best to destroy Kavanaugh's accuser.

    Meanwhile, there's that list of 65 women offering support to Kavanaugh. I'm reading that only 2 are continuing full-throated support now. Many are refusing to comment and several have withdrawn their support. Given the GOP presented this thing in an effort to clear their candidate's name, we, the public, really deserve to know all there is to know about the entire production. Clearly the possibility of accusations of this nature coming out was anticipated by someone. Why?

  212. [212] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's also interesting that this so-called "victim" tried to scrub her social media history and erase all evidence of her left wing activism...

  213. [213] 
    Michale wrote:

    The fact that BK was drunk

    Of course that's NOT a fact...

    But, according to this so-called "victim", she WAS drunk.. And she was 15... So, right there, her credibility is shot to hell..

    Meanwhile, there's that list of 65 women offering support to Kavanaugh. I'm reading that only 2 are continuing full-throated support now. Many are refusing to comment and several have withdrawn their support.

    FACTS to support???

  214. [214] 
    Paula wrote:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/christine-blasey-ford-holton-arms-brett-kavanaugh_us_5b9fb3c2e4b04d32ebfabbc6?ite

    Alumnae Of Christine Blasey Ford’s High School Circulate Letter Of Support

    Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh are “all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton,” they wrote.

    Do 200 signers of letter-of-support for Dr. Ford trump 65 - many of whom are back-pedaling?

    In the realm of Karma and unintended consequences - Mitch McConnell said Kavanaugh was a bad choice - Blotus overruled. Now dirty laundry keeps overflowing GOP baskets and BK's reputation is significantly damaged. Blotus's reverse-midas-touch is still operative.

  215. [215] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    But, according to this so-called "victim", she WAS drunk.. And she was 15... So, right there, her credibility is shot to hell..

    Wow. Not twenty four hours after castigating Democrats for 'abusing' the accuser by 'forcing' her to testify, you've flopped completely over to this.

    Not exactly consistent, but hardly surprising.

    So you see, all along it wasn't 'abuse' from the Democrats that she was worried about - it was the right wing "abuse the witness" machine. Of course.

    She surely saw the slurs and arrows directed toward FBI agents Strzok and Page and thought: do I dare to try to tell the truth, with this character assassination as my reward?

    You've gotta admit, it's a brave, brave woman who opts to enter such shark-infested waters in order to tell her story.

  216. [216] 
    Michale wrote:

    Balthy,

    Wow. Not twenty four hours after castigating Democrats for 'abusing' the accuser by 'forcing' her to testify, you've flopped completely over to this.

    Not exactly consistent, but hardly surprising.

    What's inconsistent about it??

    Both claims are factually accurate..

    So you see, all along it wasn't 'abuse' from the Democrats that she was worried about - it was the right wing "abuse the witness" machine. Of course.

    I never claimed she was worried about the abuse from the Left..

    She surely saw the slurs and arrows directed toward FBI agents Strzok and Page and thought: do I dare to try to tell the truth, with this character assassination as my reward?

    And if her claims are NOT the truth???

    You've gotta admit, it's a brave, brave woman who opts to enter such shark-infested waters in order to tell her story.

    I admit no such thing..

    From all the FACTS, she is a hysterical NeverTrumper activist trying to get back at Kavanaugh for the actions of Kavanaugh's mother..

    It's CLEAR from the facts that her entire spiel was carefully orchestrated from the git go...

  217. [217] 
    Paula wrote:

    We are now in the "will another woman come forward?" phase.

  218. [218] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [205] Don Harris

    Your defensive response to my attempt to understand your concept is very telling. Message received. What you label as my "logic" and take as a put-down was a statement about current status. I read on your site that the intent is to provide counts at the national, state, and congressional district level. How did you derive any prescriptive "logic" from this? As for the privacy issue, it seems clear that I misunderstood your response regarding write-ins and FOIA requests. So, as I now understand your vision:

    1. Encourage the disaffected to send a shot across the bow by voting by write-in until information on small donor candidates is more available, then switch to voting for identified small donor candidates.

    2. Encourage these voters to tell all their friends to join and encourage those friends to tell all their friends.

    3. The above should not only vote as pledged, but are encouraged to support candidates with small donations themselves, whether or not there are such candidates on their ballot.

    4. When 20% of eligible voters nationwide join the effort, election outcomes will start to change.

    5. When losing candidates do a postmortem and discover all the other/disallowed votes and/or votes for small donor candidates that could have made the difference, those candidates will come to One Demand, look at the count of registered voters in their district or state, and determine that accepting only small donations would have resulted in a win.

    6. One Demand will change the narrative to one where a candidate can’t win an election if they do take the large contributions. (source: http://www.onedemand.org/)

    Do I have it right?

  219. [219] 
    Michale wrote:

    We are now in the "will another woman come forward?" phase.

    And, when one doesn't??

    Will you concede how contrived and orchestrated this all is??

    Of course you won't..

  220. [220] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    From all the FACTS, she is a hysterical NeverTrumper activist trying to get back at Kavanaugh for the actions of Kavanaugh's mother..

    Or maybe, Kavanaugh was channeling the animosity his mother had for that family by assaulting the daughter.

    Kavanaugh looks like a mommy's boy. Hell, maybe his mommy told him to do it.

    Makes as much sense as your theory.

  221. [221] 
    Michale wrote:

    Or maybe, Kavanaugh was channeling the animosity his mother had for that family by assaulting the daughter.

    Any facts to support??

    Kavanaugh looks like a mommy's boy. Hell, maybe his mommy told him to do it.

    That's just character assassination based on Party bigotry and is beneath you...

    Makes as much sense as your theory.

    Except I have FACTS that support my theory and you have none..

  222. [222] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Except I have FACTS that support my theory and you have none..

    You have no FACTS either, only snippets culled from conservative press, and presented without context.

    Until the witness is allowed to speak in an open forum and be subjected to cross-examination, you haven't got anything.

  223. [223] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    While there may be some, very few of the participants are likely to be fooled by a candidate taking small contributions for their campaigns while operating a Superpac that takes Big Money.

    When enough citizens are only voting for small contribution candidates (candidates without Superpacs) which could be much sooner than any legislation or amendment then Superpacs will be much less effective.

    Candidates do not have any direct control over the SuperPACs and PACs that support their campaign. Nothing prevents a SuperPAC from buying TV ads on behalf of a candidate, even if the candidate does not want the ads. If small donation campaigns gain popularity, you can bet opposing parties will start SuperPACs that appear to support the small donation campaigns; thus making the candidate look like a hypocrite. Or it could just be gung-ho supporters who want to be able to donate a large amount to help the person win. Bernie had something like this occur during the 2016 Primary.

    The bigger issue is that OneDemand seems to suggest that we should back candidates based on how they run their campaign and not on where they stand on the issues important to us. How can I pledge my support of the OneDemand candidate and then discover that the only OneDemand backed person on my ballot is a Republican who believes gays deserve to be rounded up and executed? Or do I not support the candidate running against someone wanting to kill all the gays simply because they accept $1000 donations?

    On the flip side, why would any candidate believe that the only reason voters refused to vote for them and chose to write in their own name was because they didn’t limit the size of the campaign donations they accepted?

    “I loved everything this guy had to say! He supports everything that I believe in! Oh wait... he accepts campaign donations over $50?!?! Never mind!”

    OneDemand is only concerned with how the candidates run their campaign, not with the quality of the candidates themselves.

  224. [224] 
    Paula wrote:

    [215] Balthasar:

    You've gotta admit, it's a brave, brave woman who opts to enter such shark-infested waters in order to tell her story.

    Yep.

    Meanwhile, a number of conservatives on twitter are trying variations of the "should we hold against him something he did at age 17?" defense -- which, to me, sounds an awful lot like admissions he DID do it. Or, more accurately, that they think he did it.

    Of course they say nothing about him now denying he did it. He's an adult and he's denying something they think he did.

  225. [225] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Excellent points LWYH, but you are arguing with a stopped clock. Most sales people who make no sales eventually conclude there is somehing wrong with their product or with their marketing strategy. DH just gets more huffy...which, ironically enough, was the name of a failed bicycle company.

  226. [226] 
    Michale wrote:

    You have no FACTS either, only snippets culled from conservative press, and presented without context.

    Factually not accurate..

    It's a FACT that Kavanaugh's mother was judge at a trial that didn't go well for the so-called "victim"'s parents..

    It's a FACT that the so-called "victim" is a NeverTrumper activist..

    It's a FACT that the so-called "victim" tried to scrub her online social media postings..

    It's a FACT that the so-called "victim" laywer'ed up with a NeverTrumper activist...

    It's a FACT that the victim told a different story to a therapist than she is telling today..

    All of these are FACTS that support this is nothing but a Democrat created character assassination...

    And what facts do you have???

    :D

  227. [227] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, and it's a FACT that this so called "victim"'s students and people who know her say something is very dark and wrong with her...

    These are **ALL** facts..

    To which you have none..

  228. [228] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    He's an adult and he's denying something they think he did.

    They're stuck. They can't say accusations of sexual abuse from the past don't matter, because, if not, what the hell was Franken about? His alleged waist-grabbing, kiss-stealing behavior was too much for the Senate, but 'mere allegations' of rape are no bar for the Supreme Court? For good reason, Franken still maintains his innocence too.

    Pressure building to delay the confirmation vote, and have a public hearing.

    Republicans are wary. If it becomes a spectacle - and that's a very good possibility - it could divide households by gender, which would play directly into the Democrats' 'year of the woman' motif.

    On the other hand, some might want to bank on using the fight to rally around Kavanaugh. Trouble with that is that conservative dominance on the Court was assured by Gorsuch's appointment. It literally doesn't matter whether this seat is filled by Kavanaugh or by some other conservative.

    Which isn't much to rally around.

  229. [229] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    [204] - Curious if your opinion has changed regarding Kavanaugh and the alleged sexual assault in light of the so-called "victim" coming forward..

    [I wrote the following early this morning, before the announcement of the accuser is willing to testify. There's a lot of intervening news, but nothing here changes my thinking. Collins just called for public under-oath hearings.]

    I don't know. This is not a legal issue in any case. This is not about provable, falsifiable facts. The bells ringing are all politics and perception.

    Now Mitch and Grassley are in a box. If the accuser testifies to JudiComm, there are no R women to cross examine her. If Flake stands firm, they can't get it out to the full Senate.

    That's the first political point: it's now the role of men to listen, and if 11 male Senators on Judiciary were to vote it straight out now with no public hearings, they'll have more chicken feces on them than if they were working cleanup in the Carolina factory farms. No, make that pig feces. Simile holds, and that's how they'll be painted.

    A tone deaf senate right now could be disastrous. While there are many conservatives fully willing to risk losing the Senate to get him seated, McConnell has an entirely different mapping of priorities. There's plenty of commentary about Mitch having been worried about Kavenaugh from the start.

    Right now he's going to keep the senate, maybe even by an additional seat or two. In the next 36 hours, if it looks like the cost of the confirmation is becoming prohibitive, Mitch will pull it, regardless of what the WH wants.* He lives to fight another day.

    If I had to guess, I'd say the confirmation vote right now has about a 7-day half life. If they can't get it done in 7 days, it becomes twice as unlikely.

    *Remember, Anita Hill took an 80-20 vote on Thomas to a final 52-48, and they would have lost it if it hadn't been for Biden, ever the defender of the institution over the politics. He talked the nominee off the ledge and let the Republicans know they could relax. I remember this exchange clearly across 20+ years: "Judge, until the end, the presumption is with you." There's no such statesman left; this is pure blood sport politics.

  230. [230] 
    Paula wrote:

    [228] Balthasar: Yep, they're stuck. I don't see any positive way out for them, it's now a matter of the least-worst.

    I could see Kavanaugh's school buddies not being too thrilled - they could be dragged into this. Dr. Ford claims she escaped because K's friend jumped on top of them and they slid off the bed (something like that) - so she places another person in the room who's going to have to confess or deny and more cans of worms will be opened.

    And Kavanaugh isn't polling well anyway - I suppose the deplorables/evangelicals might rally around but no one else will.

  231. [231] 
    Michale wrote:

    LB

    I don't know. This is not a legal issue in any case. This is not about provable, falsifiable facts. The bells ringing are all politics and perception.

    Well said...

    To all of it..

  232. [232] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    There's another piece the Republicans can move in this chess game. There's concern over turn-out; the base believes all the "blue wave" news is fake news.

    Pull this justice appointment, and let the base know that if they want their 5th vote, they damn well need to get out and vote in November.

  233. [233] 
    Michale wrote:

    - so she places another person in the room who's going to have to confess or deny and more cans of worms will be opened.

    And when the other person supports Kavanaugh's claims??

    What then??

  234. [234] 
    Michale wrote:

    And Kavanaugh isn't polling well anyway

    Facts to support???

    No???

    Of course not..

    It's funny how, if you toe the "proper" ideological line, you can get away with spewing ALL SORTS of bullshit.. :D

  235. [235] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    These are **ALL** facts..

    They sound like bullet points from an oppo research folder to me.

    So Kavanaugh was one of these big jocks who gets drunk before showing up at parties with his buddy, in this case ironically named Judge.

    So they show up at this party one night, hammered as usual, and grab this little chick and pull her into one of the rooms. Kavanaugh throws her onto the bed and starts trying to undress her, but he's too drunk, and both guys can't stop laughing. The girl is trying to scream, but Kavanugh has his hand over her mouth, making his feeble attempt to undo buttons and zippers nearly impossible. Finally, Judge, still laughing, jumps onto the two of them on the bed, releasing the girl, who rushes away. The two boys just collapse laughing.

    But the girl was traumatized.

    The event derailed her for 'four or five years', she said. Her resultant insecurity affected her academically and socially, especially with men.

    It eventually affected her marriage, too, and her husband learned of it eventually in couples' therapy.

    Kavanaugh's buddy made a career out of documenting his experiences from those days, writing two books that describe this time in his life specifically: Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, and God and Man at Georgetown Prep (2005), which describe in both fiction and nonfiction formats nights of debauchery and blackout drunks.

    Mark Judge went on to become a conservative commentator and public scold. He's defended Kavanaugh, saying that he doesn't remember any such incident, but his writings suggest that there isn't any reason why he would. Blackout drunks are like that. It's taking responsibility that's the hard part.

    Detailed enough?

  236. [236] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Just saw this one and it gave me a chuckle...

    What's the difference between Donald J. Trump and the Hindenburg?

    One's a giant Nazi gasbag, while the other's just a dirigible . . .

  237. [237] 
    Michale wrote:

    They sound like bullet points from an oppo research folder to me.

    Of course that's what they SOUND like to you..

    Because you are looking at it from the perspective of a Party ideologe..

    So Kavanaugh was one of these big jocks who gets drunk before showing up at parties with his buddy, in this case ironically named Judge.

    Do you have ANY facts besides the bullshit claim of a hysterical NeverTrumper activist..

    No, you do not...

    But the girl was traumatized.

    So she says...

    Yet she was SOOOOO traumatized that it sat for 35 years.. :^/

    Kavanaugh's buddy made a career out of documenting his experiences from those days, writing two books that describe this time in his life specifically: Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, and God and Man at Georgetown Prep (2005), which describe in both fiction and nonfiction formats nights of debauchery and blackout drunks.

    And the so-called victim was a 15 yr old drunk..

    But THAT doesn't matter to you, right??

    You STILL have NO FACTS that support her version of events..

  238. [238] 
    Michale wrote:

    Kavanaugh wasn't even AT that party where the so-called "victim" got totally wasted...

    Do you have ANY facts that prove Kavanaugh is lying??

    No, you do not...

    You have NOTHING but a partisan agenda..

  239. [239] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    My voice-
    Sorry if I was defensive. (But if you're referring to comment 175, that was really a response to Listen's comment using the format that Listen used)

    Seems like you pretty much have the idea. But it will not just encourage losing candidates to run small contribution campaigns in the next election. It will also encourage many people to run that otherwise would not run as these candidates will see an opportunity to gain the support of participants.

    The 20% is when it begins to be effective as there will be districts above the average. At 25-30% participation in a district that is above average it can be enough to win a primary against a Big Money candidate or for a third party or independent to compete against two Current Major Party Big Money candidates in the general election as the CMP candidates would have to split the remaining 70-75%. Even if the third party doesn't win it could place second over one of the CMPs.

    Any of this could encourage more citizens to participate in subsequent elections and when it reaches 40-50% participation there could many if not a majority of districts where more than 50% are participating so that a small contribution candidate would be the most likely to win in that district.

  240. [240] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen-
    So because candidates have no control (theoretically) of a Superpac, we should not take action now and demand that candidates run small contribution campaigns because someone else might try to discredit and/or help outside of the candidate's control and we should vote for candidates that take Big Money and have Superpacs they do control (even though they don't theoretically) because these candidates promise to do something aboot Big Money at some point in the future?

    "...One Demand seems to suggest that we back candidates on how they run their campaigns and not on where they stand on the issues important to us."

    A candidate that takes Big Money is an issue that is important to me. 80% of citizens want the Big Money out of politics.

    I believe that what a candidate does is more important than what they say or say they will do.

    It is unreasonable not support a small contribution candidate even if they have insane positions like rounding up and executing gays.

    One Demand has always been only aboot the contributions a candidate receives. It has never been a starting point from where the participants then consider the candidate's other positions.

    (Just in case it was not evident the part from "It is unreasonable..." was making fun of the stupid insinuation that One Demand expects people to support such ridiculous candidates.)

    How the candidate runs their campaign tells a lot aboot the character and quality of the candidate.

  241. [241] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    TS-
    Most sales people are selling a product for the purpose of making a profit, that is why they are called sales people.

    I am offering an opportunity for people use an idea to improve our political process for no profit.

    Most political movements that cause real change get nowhere for a long time and then finally catch on when other people finally get sick of the same old bullshit and are ready to consider other ideas.

    It is a completely different dynamic and approach then making sales for profit.

    In actuality, it is the clock of progress that is stopped by the status quo of the Big Money two party system and I am trying to get it moving again.

  242. [242] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    In the last half hour, hearings have gone from WH bidding "tomorrow" to Judiciary bidding "Monday" against the Dems bidding "delay" until FBI investigation, and today Blumenthal was in court with a FOIA suit for 300K Kav docs.

    The problem is, at least as of today, Kav says he wasn't at that party, and Ford says she can't remember where the party was.

    That just about says it all, and is why the FBI really does have to track it all down (which they are fully capable of doing, given even the public details of the accusation) or else it ends up a He/She Lied pick-em outcome, and a fraught vote for some senators on both sides. Nobody in this entire senate class wants that outcome.

  243. [243] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Correction:
    ... Dems bidding "delay" until FBI investigation ...
    should have been
    ... Dems asking "delay" until FBI investigation

  244. [244] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    it's an awful thing for the victim, and probably true, though nearly impossible to prove. but even if it were proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be 100% true, what then? disqualify a judge from the bench based on something he did thirty years ago in high school, and doesn't remember because he was stone drunk? i'm just as concerned about roe as the next feminist, but that outcome seems highly unlikely.

  245. [245] 
    Paula wrote:

    [244] ny22: If it is proven to be true then you disqualify him for his lying about the events in a desperate effort to cover his ass IN ADDITION to disqualifying him for perjuring himself about other matters in hearings prior to these allegations coming out. You also disqualify him because the GOP knew about the allegations and tried to ram him through anyway - refusing to release damaging documents, refusing to do or allow reasonable vetting. You disqualify him because everything about this process has stunk to high heaven.

    Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/16/politics/blasey-ford-kavanaugh-letter-feinstein/index.html

    This is the Supreme Court. No one is entitled to an appointment to it. These accusations aren't occurring in a vacumn - they are just one more reason why this man should not be given a lifetime appointment to a position that has so much power over American lives.

  246. [246] 
    Paula wrote:

    [244] - And it's not just that such attacks are horrible for the victim - they are also a statement about the attacker. Not all 17-year-old drunken males push women into a room, with their friend, and jump on her.

  247. [247] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    223

    Great post! :)

  248. [248] 
    Patrick wrote:

    227, 229 Michale

    Wrong Christine Ford. You've been reading to much Drudge.

  249. [249] 
    Patrick wrote:

    should be 209, 227

    My brain is mush

  250. [250] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    [244] disqualify a judge from the bench based on something he did thirty years ago in high school, and doesn't remember because he was stone drunk?

    Ask Kevin Spacey if either a thirty-year gap or personal level of intoxication at the time of the offense gets a pass anywhere these days.

  251. [251] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    @Don Harris

    Good luck. I think you've got some pretty big leaps of faith there myself, which is not to say that you should give up, but rather try fleshing the concept out further before trying to launch.

    I hope you can listen less defensively to other poster's comments. No one has suggested that doing nothing is a better option, at least in the time I've been lurking here. No one has suggested that big money in politics is not an issue. No one has suggested that the plan won't fix everything and is therefore useless. There are angles you haven't worked through yet, though, and, just like any business plan, you want to have answers when someone asks how we get from point A to point B or makes a comment about a perceived shortcoming.

    Rather than deflecting these comments, maybe you can consider the substance and how you can use it to tighten up the plan and your pitch. You are getting free consulting in the responses to your posts. Maybe you don't like the format, but there's value there, nonetheless.

    Just to lighten things up, I think something you will want to avoid at all costs is a proposal too much like:

    The Underwear Gnomes Profit Plan

  252. [252] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH - 241

    ok, so why aren't salesmen called profitmen?

  253. [253] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    It's a FACT that Kavanaugh's mother was judge at a trial that didn't go well for the so-called "victim"'s parents..

    According to Snopes:

    Martha Kavanaugh did preside for certain parts of a 1996 foreclosure case involving Ralph and Paula Blasey, who are indeed Christine Blasey Ford’s parents. However, Kavanaugh actually ruled favorably toward the Blaseys, who ended up keeping their home. These two facts cause the logic of the conspiracy theory, such as it ever was, to collapse.

    Background

    Maryland state land records show that Ralph and Paula Blasey purchased a house in Potomac, Maryland, in June 1977. According to Montgomery County Circuit Court records, in August 1996 a company called UMLIC-Eight Corporation initiated foreclosure proceedings against the couple.

    However, by December of that year the Blaseys were able to refinance the mortgage, and in January 1997 UMLIC filed a motion to dismiss their earlier petition. Judge Martha Kavanaugh granted that motion on 4 February 1997, thus formally bringing an end to the foreclosure proceedings against the Blaseys.

    The claim that Kavanaugh “ruled against” Ralph and Paul Blasey, central to the conspiracy theory about their daughter’s sexual assault allegations made 21 years later, is therefore false.

  254. [254] 
    TheStig wrote:

    251- myvoice

    The Underpants Gnome analogy to OneDemand/VoucherVendetta never grows old. :)
    Ah...good times.

    Sisyphus, Ron...Ron, Sisyphus. Now push that rock boys!

  255. [255] 
    Michale wrote:

    LB,

    The problem is, at least as of today, Kav says he wasn't at that party, and Ford says she can't remember where the party was.

    Yes, that is EXACTLY the problem..

    And the so-called "victim" first claimed that there were 4 boys in that room, but then the story became 2 boys...

    This is so obviously an orchestrated 11th hour smear campaign...

Leave a Reply

[If you have questions as to how to register or log in, to be able to post comments here, or if you'd like advanced commenting and formatting tips, please visit our "Commenting Tips" page, for further details.]

You must be logged in to post a comment.
If you are a new user, please register so you can post comments here.

[The first time you post a comment (after creating your user name and logging in), it will be held for approval. Please be patient (as it may take awhile). After your first comment has been approved, you will be able to post further comments instantly and automatically.]