ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- Trump Begins Building Stone Wall

[ Posted Friday, March 8th, 2019 – 19:06 UTC ]

President Donald Trump, as we all know, is a big fan of walls. Big, beautiful walls, according to him. But although he's never gotten Mexico to pony up a single peso for his border wall, and is still having trouble convincing Congress that it's the right thing to do, when future historians look back on this week, they might mark it as when Trump began constructing a metaphorical wall between his administration and Congress. Because the first big block of stone was just deposited on the White House lawn -- with 81 more big stone blocks waiting in the wings.

For those too young to understand the political use of the metaphor, the verb "to stonewall" reached its heyday in the administration of a former crooked president, Richard M. Nixon. Throughout the Watergate scandal, the Nixon White House took the position of answering no questions and revealing nothing about what had taken place behind the scenes. It wasn't until Congress, backed with a few court rulings, pried this information out of the White House that he was forced to resign in disgrace.

The stonewall tactic didn't work out so well for Nixon, in other words.

This week, the Trump administration refused a records request on the subject of their non-standard ways of granting security clearances -- most notably, to the presidential son-in-law, Jared Kushner. By doing so, Trump is daring the House Democrats who are demanding the documents to go ahead and subpoena them. But, as mentioned, this is just the first stone in the wall. Because later in the week, another House committee chairman sent out a whopping 81 letters demanding documents from pretty much everyone who might have knowledge of criminal behavior inside the White House and beyond. They've given the recipients two weeks to produce the documents, with the threat of subpoenas if they don't comply.

The Trump administration reaction has not taken place yet, but it's a pretty safe bet that they'll resist these demands as well. So that stone wall is going to grow a lot higher, very soon now.

In other separation-of-powers news, next week the Senate will vote on a resolution terminating Trump's "national emergency" at the southern border. This week, Senator Rand Paul became the fourth Republican to say he will vote for the resolution, meaning if Democrats stick together as expected, the measure will pass with at least 51 votes. It may pick up a handful more, as several other GOP senators have already expressed displeasure with Trump's so-called "emergency" power-grab. But then again, they could join the vast majority of Republicans who will be wallowing in their own hypocrisy by voting against the measure, even though they regularly bemoan executive overreach when a Democrat is in the White House.

Trump has said he'll veto it, and neither house is likely to overturn his veto, but it'll still be a stinging rebuke to the president, which wouldn't have been possible without bipartisan disapproval of his actions. So there's that to look forward to.

One of Trump's normal deflection techniques when things are going badly for him is to tout how well the economy is doing. Except he really can't, at the moment. The monthly jobs report was just released, showing a dismal 20,000 jobs had been created last month (the expectations were over 100,000, and even that was a pretty low number, comparatively). The yearly budget deficit is up a whopping 77 percent over this time last year, proving (once again) that the magic of "trickle-down" tax cuts never works as planned. For the year, the deficit is now in danger of topping $1 billion. And to top it off, the trade deficit just hit its highest number in all of U.S. history, after two years of "Trumponomics" that were supposed to make it disappear.

As for those tax cuts, a new governmental report shows that over 11 million taxpayers lost a total of $323 billion in tax deductions under the new system. But Wall Street is doing just fine under the new tax regime, so thanks for asking.

In Trump-minion incarceration news, Team Trump is celebrating the fact that Trump's former campaign manager will only have to serve four years in jail, instead of the 19-to-24 years the prosecutors wanted. This is what counts for a victory, these days, among Trump henchmen. But this news could get worse within a week, because Paul Manafort faces a second sentencing with a different federal judge, which could add another 10 years to his time behind bars. Oh, and Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, will be joining Manafort in the federal pokey within a few weeks. And even though Cohen was convicted in part for lying to Congress, a new poll shows that far more Americans believe him over what Trump says. Which is no real surprise, because Trump has now hit the dubious milestone of having lied over 9,000 times while in office.

There's no joy for Trump on the international stage, either. Mere days after Trump's failed attempt at reaching a summit agreement with Kim Jong Un, satellite photos showed the North Koreans have now rebuilt a missile testing and launching facility -- one they had promised to dismantle. This, even after Trump announced (with no quid pro quo at all) that the U.S. would permanently end its major military exercises with the South Koreans. So Trump gave Kim something Kim wanted, and Trump got slapped in the face in return.

So much winning. Are you all tired of all the winning yet? Maybe it's time for another "infrastructure week" or something....

Meanwhile, Democrats have already passed a gun safety bill in the House that is supported by roughly nine out of every ten Americans. Today, they also passed the most sweeping elections reform and governmental ethics reform bill since Watergate. This "drain the swamp" effort has been building for the past few years, and Democrats introduced it as their first bill after regaining control of the House. Since it has passed, we can now stop calling it "H. R. 1" and start referring to it by name: the "For The People Act."

That's if anyone's going to talk about it at all, in the media. We read a rather extraordinary article this week which fully admitted an open secret -- the political media is so enthralled with Trump's shiny, shiny tweetstorms that it is incapable of reporting on actual events taking place. Now, sometimes you see "navel-gazing" articles from the media where they examine their own shortcomings and flaws, and at times these can be insightful. At other times, they can miss the point entirely. But this article didn't even bother to glance downwards, and instead just went ahead and blamed Democrats for the media's shallow nature. "Stop us before we do it again," seemed to be the message. So we'll see how much coverage the most sweeping election reform bill since Watergate actually gets in the political media this weekend, but we have to admit, we're not very optimistic.

There was a lot of news from the Democratic presidential campaign trail this week, most of it surprisingly cautious. While one more Democrat jumped in the race (John Hickenlooper of Colorado), the bigger news was who had decided not to run. Hillary Clinton finally put all doubts to rest and definitively said she's not running. But she wasn't the only one to decide not to toss her hat in the ring this week. Michael Bloomberg, Sherrod Brown, and Eric Holder also all took a pass on a 2020 run. So maybe the final field will wind up being smaller than two dozen candidates, who knows?

Bernie Sanders held his first rally this week in New York City, and showed a new campaign strategy by leaning heavily on his own personal story. In his previous run, he avoided talking about his own history much, but it seems this time around he's decided to take a different tack. Bernie also signed a pledge to the Democratic Party to both run as a Democrat and to eventually support whomever becomes the Democratic Party nominee, which should put to rest all the complaints of "Bernie's not even a Democrat!," since he now officially is one.

The D.N.C. announced it was rejecting a bid by Fox News to hold a Democratic presidential debate, much to the delight of Democrats everywhere. The chairman had been under a lot of pressure from rank-and-file Democrats ever since he indicated that he was considering a Fox debate, but the recent story in the New Yorker exposing just how much Fox has become nothing short of a Trump propaganda channel gave him a dandy excuse for not allowing them to have one of the Democratic debates.

What else? Former Trump lawyer Ty Cobb was back in the news this week, with some unexpected praise for Bob Mueller. Here are the highlights:

"I think Bob Mueller's an American hero," Cobb said, referencing Mueller's service in Vietnam as a Marine. "I think Bob Mueller's a guy that, you know, even though he came from an arguably privileged background, you know, has a backbone of steel. He walked into a firefight in Vietnam to pull out one of his injured colleagues and was appropriately honored for that.... He is a very deliberate guy. And he -- but he's also a class act. And a very justice-oriented person."

In recent months, Trump has derided Mueller, a longtime Republican and former FBI director, accusing him of being ethically conflicted and leading a team of "angry Democrats" in an illegitimate investigation.

"You know, I don't feel the same way about Mueller," Cobb said on the ABC podcast. "I don't feel the investigation is a witch hunt."

In other amusing quotes, from the "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" department, we have the following exchange between House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, on the subject of the Trump policy of putting children in cages at the border:

"For the record, Madam Secretary, are we still using cages for children?" Thompson asked.

"Sir, we don't use cages for children," the DHS secretary said. "Yes. I'm being as clear as I can, sir. Respectfully, I'm trying to answer your question."

"Just yes or no. Are we still putting children in cages?" Thompson asked again.

"To my knowledge, [Customs and Border Patrol] never purposely put a child in a cage," Nielsen stated.

"Purposely or whatever. Are we putting children in cages? As of today?" Thompson wanted to know. "I've seen the cages. I just want you to admit that the cages exist."

"Sir, they're not cages," Nielsen remarked.

"We're not going to go through the semantics," Thompson quipped. "I saw the cyclone fences that were made as cages. And you did too. All you have to do is admit it. If it's a bad policy, then change it. But don't mislead the committee. Do not mislead the committee."

Why shouldn't she? After all, her boss has told 9,000 lies, so what's a few more?

And we have one amusing note to end on today, in an exchange reported via tweet by a Washington Post reporter: "@SpeakerPelosi to a male reporter chasing after her in the hall as she tries to quickly walk away: 'No fair! you don't have heels.'"

Speaker Pelosi -- not unlike the comparison originally made between Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire -- has proven that she can do everything Paul Ryan did, except backwards and in high heels. A fitting closing point indeed, this International Women's Day!

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We have to say that we're more than a little impressed by the people who decided this week against making a run for the presidency. Maybe it's just early-onset candidate fatigue or something, but when even city mayors are making a run for it, it takes a lot of self control for a senator such as Sherrod Brown (or a billionaire like Michael Bloomberg, for that matter) to decide that the field is wide enough already.

Kidding aside, however, we have one Honorable Mention to hand out before we get to the main award. For a spectacular display of political theatrics this week, Representative Joe Cunningham of South Carolina more than deserves notice. He was in a hearing over the harm that "seismic air guns" will do to right whales when he made his point in a startling way.

Here's the whole story:

As committee members engaged in a predictable debate along typical party lines -- Republicans in support of testing and President Trump's energy agenda, Democrats against it -- [Representative Joe] Cunningham reached for the air horn, put his finger on the button and turned to [N.O.A.A. administrator Chris] Oliver.

"It's fair to say seismic air gun blasting is extremely loud and disruptive... is that correct?" the congressman asked.

"I don't know exactly how loud it is. I actually never experienced it myself," Oliver replied.

So Cunningham gave Oliver a taste of the 120-decibel horn. An earsplitting sound filled the small committee room. An audience of about 50 gasped and murmured.

"Was that disruptive?" Cunningham asked.

"It was irritating, but I didn't find it too disruptive," Oliver said.

It seemed disruptive to at least one person in the room. Subcommittee Chairman Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) broke into the debate to say an aide, who is pregnant, informed him that when the air horn sounded, her baby kicked.

Cunningham, who represents Charleston and other coastal cities, pressed on. What if it happened every 10 seconds for days, weeks and months, he said. He asked Oliver to guess how much louder commercial air guns are than his store-bought air horn. When Oliver didn't bite, he told him the sound from air guns is 16,000 times that of his air horn.

Seldom have we seen -- or heard, to be accurate -- a more effective use of political theater to make a honkin' loud point.

But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week is House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, for issuing 81 letters to Trump minions and henchmen this week, in an attempt to turn over every stone connected to Donald Trump, just to see what oozes or wriggles out.

The list is breathtaking in scope (the Washington Post has the full list of names, and HuffPost breaks it down further by what information has been requested of each of them). It includes all of Trump's business ties as well as everyone close to him (with the exception, so far, of Melania and Ivanka). Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Jared Kushner were all on the list. Subjects to be investigated include the president's business dealings with Russia, the firing of James Comey, and all those hush payments to porn stars.

Nadler released a statement which said, in part:

We will act quickly to gather this information, assess the evidence, and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people. This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts. That is exactly what we intend to do.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and the uncovering of a thousand crimes begins with one investigation. Nadler's committee is taking the lead, but it certainly won't be the only one to make such document demands of the White House and everyone else in Trump's orbit. So far, subpoenas haven't been issued yet, but that will likely change within the next few weeks.

In other words, buckle up, folks, we're in for a rough ride.

For taking this first monumental step (or, perhaps, the "first 81 steps") down the road to transparency, we think Jerry Nadler has more than earned this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. Democrats were put in power in the House in order to provide some necessary oversight of the president, and if this week was any indication, they're going to keep that promise to the American people.

[Congratulate House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler on his House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

While we're normally pretty appreciative of the hard work California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been doing -- especially when it comes to challenging Donald Trump in the courts -- this week he has more than earned a Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

Here's the whole sad story:

Two California journalists requested and were given data on police officers' arrests and convictions over the past 10 years. What they found was surprising: domestic abuse, child molestation -- even murder. They were given these documents through a public records request, something journalists exercise frequently.

But California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says it was a mistake, and they never should have received it in the first place. Becerra -- whose office was responsible for maintaining the information -- said the center that distributed it was not authorized to do so. He wants the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California at Berkeley, and its two journalists, to destroy the files and refrain from publishing them. Not doing so, Becerra claimed, would be against the law.

But the Berkeley journalists say they're on solid legal footing and are standing their ground.

The journalists filed a public records request with the Commission on Peace Office Standards and Training, which determines qualifications for people to serve as cops. To do so, it tracks crimes committed by current police officers and those applying for the job. The journalists asked for a list of officers who had been convicted of a crime. After a few emails saying their request was being processed, they received a spreadsheet containing 12,000 names. The list included current cops, former cops, and people applying to be cops who got rejected. The journalists tried several times to reach the attorney general's office with questions, but heard nothing from them in response. Weeks later, they got a message which stated that they were breaking the law by possessing this list. They were asked to destroy it, and threatened with legal action if they didn't.

Now, the Pentagon Papers case seems to have set the precedent here -- journalists cannot be threatened with legal action for government papers they have obtained, if the documents are in the public's interest to know. Especially when they hadn't been leaked or stolen -- they had merely been officially requested and officially delivered.

Becerra is on shaky legal ground, in other words, but he shows no signs of backing down. How he can claim that the public does not have a right to know which cops are guilty of serious crimes is a mystery, in fact, but that's the position he's taken.

So while we do applaud his other legal efforts (to hold Trump accountable in federal court), we cannot condone the use of legal threats against journalists, especially when they did absolutely nothing wrong. They followed procedure, they obtained information, and they are now free to publish that information under First Amendment guarantees. Xavier Becerra is wrong to fight so hard against this flow of information, and for his misguided legal stance we have to award him this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[Contact California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on his official contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 521 (3/8/19)

We've gone rather anti-Trump for this week's talking points, because there's never any shortage of hypocrisy or outrage on that front. We did throw one ringer in there -- some sage advice for House Democrats who appear on committees that are about to conduct further hearings into Trump's misdeeds, but then we ended with a talking point that should have everyone reaching (or clicking) for a dictionary, just for fun. We have to admit, we personally learned the root word from The Big Bang Theory ourselves, but this certainly isn't what the title of Sheldon's video series meant -- of that we're pretty certain.

 

1
   Promises not kept

We strongly recommend reading the whole article we took the lead-in line from, because it is an excellent roundup of Trump's broken promises.

"As Eugene Robinson just wrote in the Washington Post, he's got the perfect slogan for Trump's re-election campaign: 'Promises Made, Promises Unkept, But I'm Betting My Voters Are Too Stupid To Notice.' On issue after issue, Trump is either coming up short or just ignoring the promises he previously made to get elected. Remember when Mexico was going to pay for the wall? Haven't heard that one in a while, have you? Now he's saying the wall's already being built, when he has built exactly zero miles of new wall. Trump was going to singlehandedly fix the trade deficit by striking lots of great deals with other countries, but for the second year in a row our trade deficit grew enormously -- to the highest point it has ever been in American history. Remember when he was going to wipe out the deficit? The deficit is running 77 percent higher than last year, and is approaching $1 billion a year once again. Trump was going to personally charm Kim Jong Un out of his nukes, but after his disastrous summit failure North Korea looks like it's getting ready to launch another I.C.B.M. test. Obamacare was supposed to be repealed and replaced with a plan that would be far better, but that obviously never happened and never will. Trump was also going to drain the swamp, but I've personally lost count of how many of his underlings have already gone to federal prison for all the swampy things they've done for Trump. Of course, Robinson may be right -- Trump's voters may just be too stupid to realize how badly they've been conned, and they may buy his snake oil all over again next time."

 

2
   Speaking of broken promises...

Trickle-down is bound to work sooner or later, right?

"When faced with the news that the deficit was skyrocketing rather than coming down -- as he had wrongly predicted -- Donald Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow advised everyone to dig a deep hole, insert head, and then pull down all the sand over it. After saying that the national debt has 'inched up' rather than come down, Kudlow pulled on a pair of rosy glasses and predicted yet again: 'We are making an investment in America's future... and if that means we incur some additional debt in the short run, so be it. Growth solves the problem.... That will solve all of these problems and people will be very prosperous.' What was it Einstein said about doing the same thing and expecting a different result? This has to now be classified as nothing short of 'faith-based economics,' since they've got no reality to point to in order to justify their rosy picture of the future... that never actually arrives."

 

3
   Only the best people!

It's not so much a presidential administration as a White House temp agency.

"Donald Trump has, to date, now had six communications directors, five deputy national security advisors, four national security advisors and four H.H.S. secretaries, three attorneys general and chiefs of staff, and two secretaries of state, defense secretaries, and press secretaries. And that's not even a full list. Trump has had a turnover rate in senior jobs of 65 percent, with 29 percent of the positions turning over multiple times. Six former Trump advisors are serving time, have been convicted, or have been indicted. If you enter the White House these days, you've got to be very careful in doing so or else you'll get slammed by the rapidly-whirling revolving door. Nothing but the best people, as Trump promised!"

 

4
   How about white-collar mandatory minimums?

Now there's an idea whose time may have come!

"Lawyers and prosecutors across the land are incredulous at the extremely lenient sentence just handed down for Paul Manafort's numerous and longstanding crimes. One defense lawyer pointed out that one of his clients just got offered a comparable sentence for the crime of stealing $100 worth of quarters from a laundry room. The same sentence, even though Manafort cheated the I.R.S. out of six million dollars in taxes. Also, there was the case of the woman who just got sent to jail for five whole years for voting while on probation, even though she didn't know it was a crime to do so. The judge in the Manafort case has previously sentenced a man to 40 years for dealing drugs, even though he thought it might be a wee bit too excessive. But there are no mandatory minimum sentences for white-collar crimes. This obviously is not working, so maybe some tough-on-crime law-and-order type Republicans can change this situation. How about a 'three strikes and you're out' law for financial crimes? Any three convictions would merit a life sentence. Think that could change some of the behavior that people like Manafort routinely exhibit? Hey, it's worth a try...."

 

5
   Stop grandstanding and develop a strategy

This, unusually, is not a talking point for Democrats to use, rather it is one that they should take to heart. It comes in the form of two tweets from Walter Dellinger, a former acting solicitor general under Bill Clinton. He's got some sage advice for Democrats who want all the upcoming hearings to be a lot more effective than the Cohen hearing [Editor's note: punctuation and grammar mistakes were left uncorrected]:

1) The Test: If House Dems are serious about oversight of Trump, they will retain counsel to ask the first 2 hours of questions of each witness. Endless, uncoordinated 5 minute showoff rounds are not designed to find the truth.

2) If I said to a client: "My 2 hr. plan for examining the other side's key witness is to have 24 lawyers question her for 5 minutes each." That would be a former client. Even before I said they would not pay any attention to each other's questions or the answers..

 

6
   What's Lil' Donny hiding?

Hypocrisy, once again, thy name is Trump.

"During Michael Cohen's testimony, we learned that he had been directed by Donald Trump during the campaign to threaten all his former schools and colleges with dire consequences if his scholastic record was ever released to the public. Now we find out this effort went back even further. In 2011 -- mere days after Trump had challenged President Barack Obama to show his school records to prove he hadn't been, as Trump called it a 'terrible student' -- the headmaster at the New York Military Academy where Trump went to high school was contacted by friends of Trump, and told to hand over all of Trump's academic records. Seems Trump was worried about his own history proving what a flaming hypocrite he was being, even before he ran for president. The headmaster refused to hand over the records, instead choosing to hide them somewhere on the school's campus so nobody could ever find them. Maybe at some point in the future when the buildings are torn down some contractor will find them stuffed into a wall someplace, and we'll find out what Trump's been trying to hide for the past eight years. Because if he had been the stellar student he claims to have been, he certainly wouldn't have been so worried about hiding the facts."

 

7
   Vexillological harassment

It is so a word -- look it up!

"Was anyone else as revolted as I was to see the president of the United States of America dry-humping a flag at the conservative conference last week? One ex-C.I.A. officer tweeted out a terse response: '4 U.S. Code 8(b): The flag should never touch anything beneath it.' At this point, I can't imagine anything further beneath the glory of the flag than Donald Trump. Remember when Republicans used to absolutely freak out when a Democrat didn't show the proper respect for the flag by wearing a lapel pin? Yeah, those were the days, right? Now they stand up and cheer when a Republican commits what can only properly be called vexillological harassment on stage in front of them. I mean, get a room, you two!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

86 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Trump Begins Building Stone Wall”

  1. [1] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Great FTP-

    I would point out when it comes to Manafort, the judge that sentenced him is a well documented anti-Mueller individual. I am expecting a bit of a stiffer punishment to be handed down in his next hearing.

    TP 3- I would also have pointed out the forced resignations under cloud of impropriety ( what is it, like 4 or 5?) and that it seems like the only ones who got fired were actually not so swampy, still don't agree with the positions they took or supported...

    TP 5- Great idea, one has to wonder if the dems could hold it together long enough to let it play out or would they pull a Kavanaugh and sideline the person they hired?

    TP1- I am sure that any day now a "grab em by the tassels tape" will surface.... You didn't happen to do a drive by of urban dictionary did you?

    Warning NSF and could cause unwanted mental imagery https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=vexillology

  2. [2] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Wait a minute! You say Trump has Minions? That would more than explain the chaos in the White House. Do they include Kevin, Stuart and Bob? I'm disappointed in their change of career paths, but Trump is despicable, work is work, and it probably looks good on the ol' resume. I'm assuming each Minion only gets 1 scoop of Gelato for dessert.

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @cw,

    For the year, the deficit is now in danger of topping $1 billion.

    i think you meant trillion

  4. [4] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Bernie also signed a pledge to the Democratic Party to both run as a Democrat and to eventually support whomever becomes the Democratic Party nominee, which should put to rest all the complaints of "Bernie's not even a Democrat!," since he now officially is one.

    I just signed a pledge to the Australians to hop like a kangaroo, which should put to rest all the complaints that I'm not a marsupial, since I now officially am one. :)

  5. [5] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    The Trump White House is already proving it is as incompetent at 'stonewalling' as it is at almost everything else.
    Is the leaker one of Trump's "only the best people"? Is it too obvious to pun the leak with "a sinking ship"?
    'the House Oversight Committee in early February had already obtained the leaked documents that detail the entire process, from the spring of 2017 to the spring of 2018, on how both Kushner and Trump were ultimately granted their security clearances.'
    https://www.axios.com/jared-kushner-ivanka-trump-security-clearance-leak-0a312b92-4a2d-4a70-a7fa-7fb7980d5305.html

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet (3)-
    It's amazing the difference one letter can make.

    Perhaps Trump (FTP7) thought he was showing how much he loves homosexuals.

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Speaking of misspellings, shouldn't that be the "FOOL the People Act"?

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Let me know when the Democratic Party signs a pledge to not fuck with the primaries.

    If they don't and/or don't live up to it then Bernie should feel free to not live up to his pledge.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And let me know when Bernie signs a pledge to run a small donor campaign instead of the deceptive small contribution campaign.

    Oh. Never mind.

    You don't seem to want to let anyone know aboot that.

  10. [10] 
    Paula wrote:

    So making the rounds today on Twitter:

    in Iowa City, @BernieSanders celebrates "ending the power of superdelegates at the Democratic Convention." When he says that before the caucuses had even started here in Iowa, "my opponent [Hillary Clinton] had 500 superdelegates," the crowd issues a loud round of boos.

    And right then was Bernie's opportunity to show his "leadership" and good faith by explaining to his followers he would not tolerate that and how it hurts us all.

    But he didn't.

  11. [11] 
    Paula wrote:

    Meanwhile, Liz Warren had a rally in Queens last night.

    Here is some analysis of one of her planks: reining in big Tech companies:

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/03/09/liz-warren-lets-break-up-big-tech/

    She provides context and detail, as she does with all of her plans. Unlike the broken record from VT who still hasn't released his taxes.

    Anyway, this, the co-determination bill, the CFPB, are all good examples of what I love about Warren. Her “making capitalism work for everybody” shtick just really resonates with this neoliberal shill.

  12. [12] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Neoliberal Shill

    Your neoliberal hero, aka Fauxcahantas, screamed right along with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, all thru the housing boom build-up, that the banks were shutting out poor folks from the bonanza by "red-lining" and "discriminating".

    Then, when the housing boom crashed, and all those poor folks defaulted on their mortgage loans and got kicked out of the houses they couldn't afford, suddenly the loans she pressured the banks to grant, became "predatory lending", proving we need a CFPB!!

    What those poor folks really needed was an EWPB.

  13. [13] 
    Paula wrote:

    Another nice piece: https://www.axios.com/elizabeth-warren-bets-sweeping-policy-breaking-through-2020-democratic-field-867d086f-d5bb-4547-97dd-97bc2f148fd5.html

    The bottom line: In an ever-crowded primary field where candidates are relying on personalities to break through, Warren's constant flow of policy proposals is a way to show voters she's not just talking the talk.

  14. [14] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    My nomination for most disappointing Democrats: Rep. Eliot Engel and Rep. Nita Lowey for their blue-on-blue public attacks against Rep Ilan Omar. Any Democrat who tweets and blovates about another Democrat is doing the Republicans' dirty work for them.
    As with the Democratic cries for VA governor Northam's resignation, it does not serve 'we the people' and it weakens the Democratic Party, both as an organization and in the public perception.
    Of course, the media loves these stories of internecine conflict, which grab more eyeballs than 'boring' stories of substance, i.e. Democratic legislative successes like the passage of H.R. 1.
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/06/ilhan-omar-israel-democrats-1206740

  15. [15] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Here's my endorsement of Dellinger's talking point 5:

    If House Dems are serious about oversight of Trump, they will retain counsel to ask the first 2 hours of questions of each witness.

    If they're gonna question someone, do it right!

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    The D.N.C. announced it was rejecting a bid by Fox News to hold a Democratic presidential debate, much to the delight of Democrats everywhere.

    Delight? How so?

    Please keep your answer non-brief. :)

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    this will not be a comprehensive answer, but i'll do the best i can off the cuff.

    fox is essentially the propaganda arm of the republican party, and will use any platform available to help republicans win elections. even if there's nothing a democratic primary debate can do to further that goal directly, there are many indirect ways the show-runners there can exert influence on the public.

    the candidates are isolated voices competing with each other for air, while the network is a centralized power with all its cogs working toward a singular goal. from the ticker at the bottom of the screen, the panelists, the commentators, the network promos, the commercial time, the audience, the camera angles - absolutely everything will be tilted and framed as much as they are able, to make the democratic candidates look bad and donald j. trump look good. also, to bring in new viewers to watch more propaganda. also, to bring in sponsorship money from corporate sources to which they don't usually have access, further funding their propaganda efforts. also, to grow their brand among the public and allow future propaganda to reach a wider audience.

    is that non-brief enough?

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    you're afraid of FOX.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    … and half your country.

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Anyone else?

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I am now more convinced than ever that the Democrats need to choose their presidential nominee very, very carefully … or FOX will eat them lunch!

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    4!

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, taking their lunch would be easy, too. :(

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, that goes double for their supporters.

  25. [25] 
    Paula wrote:

    [18] Liz: I'm waiting for you to double-dog-dare Dems to stick their tongue on a frozen flagpole next.

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    i'm not afraid of fox, i just recognize them for what they are, as do most democrats (which is the most likely reason why CW thinks dems are delighted that fox was spurned for the debates). recognizing what fox would likely try to accomplish with the platform isn't saying they'd necessarily succeed, but why take the chance?

    just because half the country votes republican doesn't mean they never change the channel. anyone who wouldn't watch just because it's on some other network is highly unlikely to vote democratic anyway.

    JL

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who among us doesn't recognize the FOX network for what it is. That is all the more reason why Democrats, if they are worth their own salt, should welcome a FOX debate.

    But, apparently, Democrats are too weak, generally speaking and with notable exceptions, to take the chance.

    Good luck to them in 2020.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [25]

    Shocking. Positively shocking.

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    i strongly disagree with your characterization of the decision as weak. i see it as starting to break with a pattern of being monumentally stupid.

    you don't fight an infestation of bed bugs by moving in and trying to stomp on them one at a time. you move out, fumigate, and put everything they've touched in storage.

    JL

  30. [30] 
    Paula wrote:

    [29] JL: PRECISELY.

  31. [31] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P74oHhU5MDk

    @liz,

    i know you don't like links, but just watch the first 54 seconds. big cake is real!

    ;)
    JL

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The lack of faith in Democrats around here is amazing.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If Democrats are afraid of what FOX news can do to them, then I feel fairly certain that they will not win in 2020 with any one of the current crop of candidates.

    You heard it here first.

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    how is fighting propaganda effectively weak and fighting it ineffectively strong?

    trump may well get re-elected, but if so it sure as shit won't be because democrats avoided letting fox produce their debate.

  35. [35] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth:

    Sorry, don't agree with you on this one. If somebody wants to watch the Democrats debates, they know how to use their remote control. Do we care which channel runs the Superbowl each year? Can we even remember? Or the Stanley Cup?

    The Fox News audience is not going to miss anything - this isn't the U.K. in the 1950s when there was only one channel.

    Also, quite frankly, I don't expect a Trump supporter to suddenly develop an interest in the Democrat debates just because it is on "their" channel.

  36. [36] 
    neilm wrote:

    For the year, the deficit is now in danger of topping $1 billion.

    The deficit is running 77 percent higher than last year, and is approaching $1 billion a year once again.

    In both cases, as NYPoet [3] points out, the "billion" should read "trillion".

  37. [37] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    RE: Manafort getting 47 month sentence

    Our news radio station here had just announced Manafort’s sentencing and the next story was that the Surgeon General was in Seattle this week for a town hall on the opioid epidemic and shared that he has a younger brother who is an addict and is in prison on a ten year sentence for stealing $200 million... oh wait, he got ten years for stealing $200, not $200 million! Silly me, he’s black!

  38. [38] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    neilm,

    The Fox News audience is not going to miss anything - this isn't the U.K. in the 1950s when there was only one channel.

    True, but the vast majority of Fox News viewers ONLY get their news from Fox News. In fact, for many it is the only channel that they ever watch. (For my grandfather, he kept the channel on Fox News full time except for when the Univ. of Alabama games were on.)

  39. [39] 
    John M wrote:

    18] Elizabeth Miller
    you're afraid of FOX.

    [19] Elizabeth Miller
    … and half your country.

    [20] Elizabeth Miller wrote:
    Anyone else?

    I have four childhood friends that I grew up with. Mind you I have know known these people for 50 years. They are all rabid right wing Trump supporters. In terms of their politics, they and the 40 percent of the country who are Trump supporters scare the hell out of me. They would all throw away American democracy and freedom and lead us down a rabbit hole of fascism for the simple fact that they respond with a visceral knee jerk hatred to anything that even remotely seems to be "liberal" to them, no matter the actual merits of the case.

  40. [40] 
    John M wrote:

    [33] Elizabeth Miller

    "If Democrats are afraid of what FOX news can do to them, then I feel fairly certain that they will not win in 2020 with any one of the current crop of candidates."

    Again, like everyone else it is not fear. Like my childhood friends and Trump supporters I mentioned. There is no rational logical case you can make to them with however much of supporting facts that you have that will ever make them change their minds. Period. Full stop.

    There simply has got to come a point where you have to realize that beating your head against a brick wall is going to result in nothing more than only giving yourself a severe headache.

  41. [41] 
    John M wrote:

    Even if you expose them to a debate on FOX News, they will just sit there and happily make fun of the stupid idiotic liberals on TV. The result would be the same whether the debate was carried or covered on FOX or not. Anyone even remotely likely open to persuasion will get exposed to the debate by some other means, be it another network or some other platform like Facebook. Lord knows there is enough of them out there now.

  42. [42] 
    John M wrote:

    The only way to reach such people is on a one by one, personal emotional level, and there is no way to predict what key might unlock that lock. Logic and reason never will. It's why the civil rights movement didn't gain traction until searing images of people attacked by police dogs, or little girls killed in a church bombing, started appearing on TV. Or horrific images of war galvanized people against the Vietnam War. Or Republican politicians didn't change their mind on Marriage Equality until their own son or daughter was affected.

    You can't debate a neo-Nazi on an intellectual level and change their mind, as Oprah found out. The world, especially the political world, for most ordinary people, just doesn't work that way.

  43. [43] 
    John M wrote:

    Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Adolf Hitler, Donald Trump, all reach their target audience on an emotional level, for good or for bad.

  44. [44] 
    John M wrote:

    The only protection against emotional demagogues are strong institutions already in place, not factual opposition.

  45. [45] 
    John M wrote:

    Finally, more recent examples. Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. Their supporters are emotionally excited by them. To the degree that Trump had the same effect while Hillary Clinton did not is probably the biggest factor to explain the outcome that we had.

  46. [46] 
    John M wrote:

    Our greatest entertainers too are the ones people emotionally invest in. Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson. What is politics other than theater writ large? A reality TV star as President, how could it not be? FDR was a radio rock star in his day. Ronald Reagan before Trump was a Hollywood movie star. What's old is new again.

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Is the Democratic party a strong institution?

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    nope.

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Care to elaborate?

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    How do you feel about the loss of America's global leadership role and do you think it could regain it in short order if the right Democratic presidential nominee defeats Trump in 2020?

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i feel it was inevitable given the decline of north american cultural and economic hegemony, and would eventually have happened even had donald not won the presidency. it can return, but not in the same way as before, and certainly not in short order, no matter who occupies 1600 pennsylvania avenue. a president biden or o'rourke, or even the second coming of FDR, could only steer the ship of state so far toward a better course, leaving much more still to do.

  52. [52] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz [49],

    the democratic party has been in decline since the 1970's, and hasn't had any institutional power to speak of since 1990 at the latest. obama had a chance to turn it around, but basically just tinkered around the edges. there's enough size and structure for a resurgence, but at the moment it's the proverbial party of will rogers.

    "I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat."

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, I still believe it matters immensely who is chosen to be the Democratic presidential nominee - more than ever before.

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I agree the decline of America was inevitable. The key is its ability to effectively manage that decline.

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, a good debate question would be to have the Democratic candidates to outline a strategy for effectively manage this inevitable American decline.

  56. [56] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    As for the why FOX is wholly unfit to host anything more than a cookout for the Klu Klux Klan, one only has to look to their second highest rated personality...

    https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/tucker-carlson-called-britney-spears-whre-defended-statutory-rape-in-unearthed-radio-show-clips/ar-BBUBunC?ocid=spartandhp

    No doubt Tucker Carlson will be subjected to an 'internal' spanking, he may even be forced to entertain his Evangelical viewers with a 'Swaggartarian' catharsis, but sure as god made little green apples, he'll be bullshitting the flock this time next week.

    FOX isn't in the decency business. Take Hannity, for instance, a year ago he was telling the world that Michael Cohen (his personal lawyer, as we were to find out later) was a decent chap, an excellent lawyer and a close personal friend of both himself and Monkeyman Trump. Last week, Hannity heaped ridicule and scorn on Cohen, claimed he was kith and kin to chaos in his profession, and a complete arsehole. No no no… It would be an insult to the intelligence of the electorate if FOX were to conduct a debate. Sure, they can air it so their flock don't have to re-arm their tv converters with batteries, but allowing these clowns to orchestrate such an event would be like getting a pack of Dingo's to babysit your child.

    I was amused by TP's one through three... Trump's demagoguery knows no bounds, of that there's no doubt. I wonder how many MAGA-maniacs are still waiting patiently for the 10% middle-class tax cut promised them prior to the midterms? Maybe they've assumed it was withheld because they failed to show up in droves on election day? One wonders how much more of this Trumpian gobshitery they can take before it sinks in that he's nothing more than cheap huckster, strategically coiffed, and stuffed into poor-fitting suit.

    LL&P

  57. [57] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    Don't think that a strategy to manage the decline of America will be an inspiring message that will sweep Dems into office.

    Don't think the "right" Dem candidate can beat Trump. Dems ran a candidate from the right in 2016 and lost. :D

    The Dems don't have institutional power- they ARE institutional power.

    The Dems are 50% of the show that the institutional power that is controlled by the Big Money interests puts on every election to fool the rubes.

    America will not assume a positive global leadership role until citizens stand up to and overthrow the Big Money interests that are leading our country and the world in the wrong direction.

    The citizens of America need to lead by example rather than be suckered by the show.

  58. [58] 
    John M wrote:

    [50] Elizabeth Miller

    "How do you feel about the loss of America's global leadership role and do you think it could regain it in short order if the right Democratic presidential nominee defeats Trump in 2020?"

    Even though this question wasn't addressed it to me, I think America could regain its role in a fairly quick short order.

    1) Because our allies are hungry for America to assume that role.

    2) Because current opposition to and loss of American leadership is due to a personal dislike of Trump himself, and not to America itself as a whole.

    Having said that, if Trump were to win a second term in a far more credible fashion than he won the first, it would be no longer seen as a fluke but as a symptom of something far deeper and of more lasting damage to America's image and role.

  59. [59] 
    John M wrote:

    [51] nypoet22

    "i feel it was inevitable given the decline of north american cultural and economic hegemony, and would eventually have happened even had donald not won the presidency. it can return, but not in the same way as before.."

    Very good and well said. But I think I would characterize it a little differently. Not so much as a decline, but more as a readjustment. All declines are relative. I would also say it is pretty much confined to economic, rather than cultural or military.

    Europe and Japan, both recovered from world war economically. China has shaken off the legacy of Mao, and regained the economic number two position it held as nation in the world, exactly the same position it held a couple hundred years ago.

    So while American is no longer alone with no competition, America is still number one economically. Militarily it goes without saying. The USA is the only nation in the world with a global navy in every ocean, for example. Both Russian and Chinese navies are still pretty much limited to staying near and close to their own coastlines.

    Culturally, American movies, Fashion, TV, Music, still rule the world. Youth in Africa, Latin America or the Middle East aren't singing Chinese songs. They are still dancing to American pop stars and wearing T-shirts with American logos on them.

  60. [60] 
    John M wrote:

    [54] Elizabeth Miller

    "I agree the decline of America was inevitable. The key is its ability to effectively manage that decline."

    Management is the key. Especially diplomatically. That is exactly where we have been hurt the most, and where we need to recover. Simply getting rid of the dislike other leaders feel for Trump would go a long way towards that. Reversing the gutting of our diplomatic core, is what is going to take years to undo.

  61. [61] 
    John M wrote:

    [55] Elizabeth Miller

    "Actually, a good debate question would be to have the Democratic candidates to outline a strategy for effectively manage this inevitable American decline."

    No it absolutely would not. At least not couched in those terms, especially for an American audience. Any democratic candidate saying America was in decline would be like throwing red meat to the "Democrats are an America hating bunch" Republican crowd. It would be Jimmy Carter's ridiculed "malasie" speech all over again only 10 times worse. A sure path to electoral defeat.

    Voters need a positive message to counter Trump and the Republicans, not a negative one.

    [57] Don Harris

    "Don't think that a strategy to manage the decline of America will be an inspiring message that will sweep Dems into office."

    Spot on exactly.

  62. [62] 
    John M wrote:

    Think Ronald Reagan's shinning city on a hill.

    Obama's Hope and change, and yes we can.

    Trump's make America great again.

    Voters need inspiration.

    A Kamala Harris or a Bernie Sanders, or a Beto O'Rourke or a Joe Biden etc.

    Not a policy wonk focused in the weeds with endless minute detailed policy on how to reverse America's decline, etc. Now matter how well thought out and good those proposals might be. If people's eyes glaze over, you've lost them and might never get them back.

    Especially if all you hear is how bad America is, without the second part of hearing, here is what America stands for, and how we make her promise even better as a people, all of us united going forward.

    Drop the American bashing, you can't lead with that, and focus on the second.

    The same can be said of those who have a legitimate complaint about some Israeli policies. If the first words out of your mouth are always bashing Israel, no one is going to hear the rest, and will accuse you of being anti-Jewish, and in many cases rightly so.

  63. [63] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Anybody catch the "Round Table" phase of the ABC Sun morning show yesterday? Absolutely nobody (who actually matters) thinks the Mueller report is going to 'bring down' Trump anymore!

    The "girls" around here misinterpret the fact that I've been telling them for over two yrs they were out of their gawdam stupid female minds to think that getting dirt on Hillary from Russians would bring down the idiot-in-chief, means that I support Trump.

    The saddest part of the whole thing is, absolutely NOBODY in all of Weigantia would be happier than this broken-down old "Podunkian" to be rid of Trump. (However, that ain't gonna keep me from gloating about being right.)

  64. [64] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Absolutely nobody (who actually matters) thinks the Mueller report is going to 'bring down' Trump anymore!

    Nice try. There goes one! There are always folks with great expectations, but no one knows what Mueller will say, or how he'll say it. What you're perceiving are a bunch of clueless people.

  65. [65] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    17

    Exactly this! Very well said, sir. :)

  66. [66] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    18|19|20|21|22|23|24

    Perhaps the DNC is simply holding out for the RT Network debate with sponsorship by Stolichnaya... or maybe the Alex Jones "Demon-crat" Debate from Hell brought to you by the InfoWars Vitamin Store.

    How many times must this be explained to you that it's not remotely about being afraid or fearful? Oh, what will it take to convince our seemingly oblivious "friends in the North"?

    Close your eyes and pretend you're walking in a landscape where unicorns fart rainbows and pixies frolic in the meadow (props to CW), but the foxes in the meadow emit pure unadulterated bullshit. Avoiding the foxholes doesn't mean you're afraid of their BS; it's simply indicative of having the good sense to choose not to allow their stench to soil your shoes.

    Are Canadians so lazy they can't change a TV channel or perhaps just too ignorant to work the remote? Oh, I know: They're simply frightened to death at the prospect of changing the channel to another network. *laughs*

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    Yes, you're right about the question not being a good one for the Democratic debates and about it being couched in the right terms(ie. not as a 'decline').

    It's probably a good question for debate around here, though. :)

    I think you're right about the damage done to America's global leadership role can be corrected in large part by just defeating Trump in 2020.

    But, that kind of course correction is going to take a Democratic leader for whom diplomacy and leadership on the world stage is second nature.

    If Trump is re-elected, then all bets are off as to when the promise of America will emerge, if ever.

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    What cable news network is the most watched by American viewers?

    I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    Do you think Democrats are capable of providing the kind of leadership that will be required to begin the task of lessening the extreme polarization in your country and of saving American democracy?

  70. [70] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    68

    What cable news network is the most watched by American viewers?

    Actually, that depends on the time slot. Regardless, you seem blissfully unaware that the majority of Americans don't receive their news from cable networks and there are multiple networks that draw millions more viewers than that of Fox News.

    I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

    I don't need 3 guesses, but I will give you 3 networks that have more viewers than your precious Fox News. You seem rather hung up on the "little picture," EM; however, if viewership is truly your ultimate priority, you should divest yourself of the ridiculous notion that Fox News garners the majority.

    THE MOST-WATCHED NETWORKS OF 2018
    (BY TOTAL VIEWERS)

    NETWORK--VIEWERS--VERSUS 2017

    1. NBC.....…….7,876,000...….+9%
    2. CBS...…..….7,385,000...….-7%
    3. ABC...……...5,423,000...….-3%
    4. Fox...…...….4,401,000...….-6%
    5. Fox News...2,481,000...….+3%
    6. MSNBC...…1,789,000...….+11%
    7. ESPN....…...1,764,000...….-7%
    8. USA...……...1,518,000...….-9%
    9. HGTV...…….1,461,000...….-5%
    10. Univision..1,448,000......-13%

    Any more questions?

  71. [71] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    69

    Do you think Democrats are capable of providing the kind of leadership that will be required to begin the task of lessening the extreme polarization in your country and of saving American democracy?

    Of course they are, as are many Republicans, and they are on the job as we speak protecting our democracy as always... but they're not politicians. :)

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have finally given up on you, Kick. Please, in future, don't respond to my comments.

  73. [73] 
    Kick wrote:

    Well, fiddle dee dee. I will just say, like our friend to the North has reiterated repeatedly in multiple different ways over the course of several days:

    Who among us doesn't recognize the FOX network for what it is. That is all the more reason why Democrats, if they are worth their own salt, should welcome a FOX debate. ~ Elizabeth Miller

    Elizabeth Miller is obviously afraid to debate on the Kick Network. Anyone else? ;)

  74. [74] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    64

    There are always folks with great expectations, but no one knows what Mueller will say, or how he'll say it.

    Mueller has to date been using what is referred to as "speaking indictments" and "spin-offs" in order to make his case against multiple perps. Would it be a giant leap to expect this modus operandi of Bobby Three Sticks to continue in the future? Um... nope. :)

  75. [75] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i'm also afraid to debate on the kick network. but i might be convinced were i offered some pie.

  76. [76] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    There's debate on the Kick network?

    Not unless you define debate as making stuff up aboot the opposing argument to fit your argument and avoiding the issue at hand as debate.

  77. [77] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    75

    i'm also afraid to debate on the kick network. but i might be convinced were i offered some pie.

    My good man, be not afraid... for kicks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. *grins*

    I am prepared to bestow upon thee a nice pecan tart and dub thee "queen for a day" and proffer thee the entirety of Thursday 3.14, but on this day you had better bring the receipts or off to the dungeon you'll go without any dessert. ;)

  78. [78] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    76

    There's debate on the Kick network?

    Not unless you define debate as making stuff up aboot the opposing argument to fit your argument and avoiding the issue at hand as debate.

    You are the opposing argument, DH, and no one need make up a single thing on your behalf because you've done that quite properly already:

    I have none of the credentials normally listed in a bio. No degrees, no years of running a successful business and no experience in political campaigns or activism. I am simply an average person that has been working and living at survival mode. But I have the only credentials that I believe really matters. I am a citizen and I have an idea that may improve our political system. ~ Don Harris

    Have I mentioned lately that you could "cut down" your bio even further and simply say: "I have no education, no experience, no success, and absolutely no idea what I'm talking about." Oh, right... I just did. :)

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I would only hope that those who participate here with extreme mean-spiritedness will realize that this excellent blog is not the place for it and, therefore, will endeavour to interact with good will and respect and in a thoughtful manner.

  80. [80] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    "Having no idea what one is talking about" is not exactly a virtue, but it beats the HELL out of your system of claiming you actually DO when in reality you do NOT, right???

  81. [81] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Liz

    So who's this "Good Will" guy? Ain't no such person in this place!

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Damn.

  83. [83] 
    Kick wrote:

    If I was answering posts by Elizabeth Miller, I would simply offer her the advice my Daddy would give me in such a situation:

    Wish in one hand and shit in the other, and see which one gets full first. ~ Daddy

    Can somebody please pass that along to her since she is... her terms... "afraid" and not "worth her own salt."

    Thanking y'all in advance. :)

  84. [84] 
    Kick wrote:

    Language, people!

    Obviously, this post is absolutely not directed at the poster of the expletive in [82] since I am not responding to her posts out of respect for her... her term... being "afraid." :)

  85. [85] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "So who is this Good Will guy? Ain't no such person in this place."

    He's not here because he went hunting.

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very funny.

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