ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- Another Fun Week In Trumpland

[ Posted Friday, April 12th, 2019 – 17:20 UTC ]

Welcome back! Our Friday Talking Points column has been on a forced hiatus for the past month, due to a rather severe bout with the flu. But while we're up and running once again, we're still not at 100 percent, so we're going to foreshorten our usual weekly roundup introduction this week. Instead of attempting the monumental task of getting back up to date with a month's worth of craziness from Washington, we're going to just write a generic introduction that should be able to stand in for just about any week in the Donald Trump era. Call it a "Mad Lib" fill-in-the-blank do-it-yourself rundown. Everyone ready? Then here we go....

 

Generic Weekly News Roundup

President Donald Trump embarrassed himself today by claiming [TOTAL LIE], and then following up on Twitter with [INSANE CONSPIRACY THEORY]. Both were immediately disproven by [WIDELY AVAILABLE AND INDISPUTABLE FACTS]. When asked for comment, the White House merely stated that "the president's words speak for themselves." Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway was quoted blaming [ANYONE BUT TRUMP] for the whole fracas.

Earlier, Trump had fanned the political flames by tweeting [HATE-FILLED RANT], which once again clearly violates the Twitter rules of conduct; but when contacted about it, the head of Twitter stated: "We're going to interpret his tweet as [TOTAL HORSE MANURE RATIONALIZATION] rather than being savagely directed at [VULNERABLE MINORITY]."

Trump was also in the news this week for firing [HIGH-RANKING ADVISOR], which he claimed was due to [TOTALLY MADE-UP AND CAPRICIOUS REASON]. Multiple White House sources report, however, that the real reason was that [HIGH-RANKING ADVISOR] refused to violate numerous federal laws when directed to by Trump, which sent him into a rage.

The Trump administration made some foreign policy news as well, by insulting the leader of [FORMER CLOSE U.S. ALLY] and declaring America would be pulling out of [LONG-STANDING INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT] because, as Trump put it, "We don't need all these dirty foreigners telling us what to do. America First!"

Senate Republicans reacted to all of these crises by [HIDING THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND], after Mitch McConnell further distanced himself from Trump's actions by claiming: "Trump? Trump who? I hardly know the guy...."

House Democrats, meanwhile, have launched their [VERY HIGH ORDINAL NUMBER] investigation into Trump administration wrongdoing, issuing subpoenas to [ALL AND SUNDRY]. "We're going to get to the bottom of the [BLATANT LAWBREAKING BY TRUMP AND HIS MINIONS] scandal," promised Adam Schiff.

In the 2020 Democratic nomination race, [LIST OF THREE MORE DEMOCRATS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF] are all jumping into the race, bringing the new total number of candidates to an all-time high of [NUMBER NORTH OF 20]. The new hopefuls declared that they definitely saw a path to the nomination, as long as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have heart attacks sometime real soon now.

In the current field, Senator Elizabeth Warren released [WILDLY POPULAR AND DETAILED POLICY IDEA], but the media completely ignored it because it was so intently focused on [LATEST SHINY-OBJECT NON-STORY FROM CAMPAIGN TRAIL]. And also because they had to have time to run the [LATEST ADORABLE CAMPAIGN VIDEO] from [CURRENT MEDIA DARLING CANDIDATE], thirty or forty times each hour. "[CURRENT MEDIA DARLING CANDIDATE] has really locked up the [CAT-LOVERS / DOG-LOVERS / ROCK FANS / STAR WARS FANS / YOUTH ACTIVIST / SENIOR CITIZENS] vote, with this new video clip," said every cable news anchor, simultaneously.

 

Sigh. When you write it all out like that, you really have to wonder whether to laugh or cry, don't you?

But that'll have to mostly do for this week's rundown, since covering the entire month of our untimely absence is a hill too steep for us to climb right now. But as always, we do have a smattering of news that didn't really fit anywhere else but seems worthy enough to mention before we get on with the awards.

First a few random notes from the campaign trail. Bernie Sanders has committed to releasing ten years of his tax returns by Monday (tax day), so his detractors will have to latch on to something else to complain about, we suppose.

Michael Avenatti, who at one point considered running for president, got hit with three dozen federal charges this week, which is on top of the other state charges he's already facing. He apparently played pretty fast and loose with his clients' money, and it's now coming back to bite him on the hindquarters. This is a tangential story, since he declined to run, but imagine if he was actively campaigning right now -- it would be a whole different matter then.

Since Avenatti isn't running, the "most bizarre Democratic candidate" award has to go to Mike Gravel, who recently jumped into the race. Or, more accurately, his Twitter account is what appears to be running, after being taken over (with Gravel's permission) by some snarky youngsters who seem bent on tearing down all the other Democrats in the race. Here's just one example of what Mike Gravel's Twitter account has been up to of late:

if you want a vision of the future under Cory Booker, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. and every once in a while it stops for an inspirational lecture on how we should never stop dreaming

But that's not even the weirdest Twitter story this week. Julian Assange was unceremoniously hauled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and will now begin a very long process of fighting extradition to the United States. This came after the Ecuadorians had just had enough of Assange treating their embassy badly, from all reports. But the question on some reporters' minds was what would happen to Assange's cat? He had his own Twitter following (as "Embassy Cat") and has reportedly been transferred to an Assange family member for the duration -- "until they can be reunited in freedom." So everyone can rest assured that the "Wee Kitty Leaks" cat is doing fine.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

From the campaign trail, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is moving up significantly in the early polling, after receiving a wave of media attention over the past few weeks. But on substance alone, we have to award both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Honorable Mention awards this week, for making solid policy proposals in the midst of the campaign.

Sanders filed this year's version of his Medicare For All bill, which four other Democratic senators running for president signed onto. That's an impressive achievement, and shows the growing appeal of the idea in the Democratic caucus. Warren announced a new tax idea which would institute an alternative minimum tax for corporations who make over $100 million a year. She announced this plan the same week it was revealed that 60 of America's largest corporations -- including Amazon, Netflix, Chevron, Eli Lilly, Delta Airlines, General Motors, IBM, and Goodyear -- all paid zero taxes under the new Trump tax code. Some even got huge rebates. This is precisely what people mean when they say the tax system is rigged, and it is precisely what Warren's new idea would address.

The Democratic National Committee deserves an Honorable Mention award as well, for launching a nuts-and-bolts effort to defeat Donald Trump. Trump is planning on running on the slogan: "Promises made, promises kept," so it is important to push back on this rather faulty argument. From the story:

Responding to criticism that Democrats were too focused on Trump's temperament and personal attributes during Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, the party's main organizing arm says it's making a major expansion of its opposition research team that will be "hyper-focused" on the impact of Trump's policies on local communities. A team of several dozen staffers have compiled an archive of thousands of documents obtained through local news and Freedom of Information Act requests that will be used to spotlight promises Trump made during visits to specific communities -- and to "put a human face" on what's happened since then.

Trump's lies during his 2016 campaign can only come back to haunt him if Democrats bother to point them out, so this should hopefully pay some solid dividends in next year's general election.

But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week is none other than Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Here's why, in a nutshell:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award at a ceremony next month, the Kennedy Library Foundation announced Sunday.

The California Democrat is being recognized for leading "with strength, integrity and grace under pressure -- using her power to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens," former ambassador Caroline Kennedy, the foundation's honorary president, said in a statement.

"She is the most important woman in American political history and is a true Profile in Courage," Kennedy said.

. . .

Pelosi called the award "a powerful testament to the extraordinary legacy and leadership of President Kennedy."

"At President Kennedy's inauguration, I was blessed to hear him speak of ‘the energy, the faith, the devotion... that will light our country and all who serve it -- and the glow from that fire can truly light the world,'" Pelosi said in a statement. "It is inspiring that the award itself is a lantern, a manifestation of that light."

While it may cause Hillary Clinton to gnash her teeth in envy, Nancy Pelosi is indeed now "the most important woman in American political history." She is more than deserving of the Kennedy Profile In Courage award, to which we're going to add our own humble Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, as well.

[Congratulate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on her House contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We have two news items from the upcoming Maine Senate race to take on Susan Collins this week, one of which rises to the level of a (Dis-)Honorable Mention award.

Senator Joe Manchin for some reason decided to weigh in on the race, even though no Democratic opponent has even emerged yet. The West Virginia senator stated unequivocal support for his Republican colleague, saying: "If she wanted me to, I would campaign for Susan Collins. For America to lose somebody like Susan Collins would an absolute shame. I feel that strongly about her."

In other news from the race, Susan Rice disappointed many by announcing that after consideration and consultation with her family, she was going to take a pass on challenging Collins next year. Even though she and her family have strong Maine roots, she would have had to fight off the image of being a carpetbagger, something that matters a whole lot to Mainers. But many national Democrats had been excited at the prospect of Rice running.

Former White House Counsel to Barack Obama Greg Craig faced a federal indictment this week, but it had nothing to do with his tenure at the White House (unlike, say, Michael Flynn). Craig had joined a lobbying operation with Paul Manafort years after leaving the White House, which is what got him into so much trouble (this is a continuation of the fallout from Manafort's illegal lobbying and fraud). Nevertheless, Craig certainly deserves at least a (Dis-)Honorable Mention for joining up with Manafort in the first place.

But our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week is Representative John Lewis, who spearheaded the effort to pass a bill this week which will make it illegal for the I.R.S. to develop its own free tax-filing software so that millions of American taxpayers could easily and quickly do their taxes each year.

Now, this story is a somewhat convoluted one, but at its heart it represents the worst of Washington -- special-interest money trumping any concern for average Americans. Software companies who already have tax-preparation software lobbied hard to bar the I.R.S. from competing with them, and House Democrats rolled over and let them, plain and simple.

The underlying bill is actually full of good ideas to reform the I.R.S., including limiting the use of private debt collectors, which made the choice of whether to vote for it or not a tough one. Progressive Democrats led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez initially fought against the bill, though, because of the provision which protects services like TurboTax from competition from a free I.R.S. filing service. Eventually, the progressives were talked into supporting the bill, but they're still not happy about it. Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Katie Hill were both reportedly convinced by John Lewis:

[Representative John] Lewis, one of the authors of the sweeping IRS bill, worked quickly to tamp down the revolt. He met with two progressives who seemed ready to try to sink the legislation -- [Representative Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), both first elected last November. And he not only persuaded them to let the bill pass on a voice vote, he actually got them to speak in support of it.

"We talked, and explained the bill, and in the end, they supported it," Lewis told HuffPost Wednesday.

"Sometimes you just have to talk to people," he said.

Lewis said he told them that the Senate could work on the free-filing issue, though he stopped short of making a firm commitment on the matter.

"It's going to be left up to the Senate to do it," Lewis said. "We're not going to dictate what to do or not to do."

Lewis, in his conversations with Ocasio-Cortez and Hill, stressed aspects of the bill that Democrats like. It contains language preventing the IRS from referring debts from some lower-income taxpayers to debt collectors. And it includes provisions to improve IRS customer service, address identity theft and authorize grants for nonprofits to provide free tax-filing assistance to low-income people.

The progressives aren't going to let this bill become the final word, though:

Ocasio-Cortez said Wednesday that Lewis took seriously the concerns she and Hill raised, and she anticipates working with him on separate legislation addressing the electronic filing issue.

She and Hill "are certainly planning to draft that legislation," Ocasio-Cortez told HuffPost.

Floor speeches by the two new lawmakers made clear that, while they were supporting the legislation, they took issue with the electronic tax-filing provisions.

"Long-term, we should be looking at a solution where everyday people do not necessarily have to spend hours every year preparing tax returns when the majority of Americans have relatively simple and straightforward returns," Ocasio-Cortez said in her speech.

Hill noted some of the bill's positives before calling out the language prohibiting the IRS from making available electronic tax filing software of its own.

"In this freshman class, I and many of my colleagues were sent to reject corporate influence and stand up for people," Hill said. "This puts us in a difficult spot."

But she added that "the rest of this bill is too important" to try to block its passage over the electronic filing issue.

Another freshman, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), said she is planning to work with her colleagues on that legislation.

"This is not a done deal," she said of the dispute over electronic filing.

However, in an ideal world, they wouldn't have to go back and fix this odious corporate giveaway. The argument Lewis made was, in effect, a complete abdication of his own responsibility: "Don't worry, maybe the Senate will fix it." Obviously, the Senate wouldn't have to fix it if the House did their job correctly in the first place.

Again, this is precisely what voters hate about Washington and the way lobbyists continue to rig the system against the average person. For being at the forefront of such a disgraceful capitulation to lobbyists, John Lewis is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week.

[Contact Representative John Lewis on his House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 523 (4/12/19)

OK, we admit we're a little rusty in the talking points creation game, but we're going to do our best. They kind of range all over the map, but they end with one bit of Democratic trolling which should put a smile on everyone's face, so there's that. Without further ado, let's just get right to it, shall we?

 

1
   Making out like bandits

Just business as usual, really.

"It was revealed this week that 60 of America's top corporations paid absolutely nothing in taxes this year, after the Trump tax cuts showered them with goodies. That's right -- a long list of companies including Amazon, Netflix, Chevron, Eli Lilly, Delta Airlines, General Motors, IBM, and Goodyear all paid exactly zero dollars in taxes, after making billions of dollars in profits. Some even got money back, meaning their tax rate was below zero. Remember when the Republicans swore up and down that their tax cuts were designed to help the average guy and not the fatcats? Well, it turns out they were lying, just like they always do on this subject. In actual fact, their tax cuts hit average Americans hard while at the same time allowing corporate giants to rake in billions while paying nothing at all to the U.S. Treasury. Because that's what Republicans really care about -- allowing Wall Street to make out like bandits while sticking it to everyone else."

 

2
   Show us your taxes!

This needs to be a constant refrain throughout the entire presidential campaign.

"Donald Trump needs to show us his taxes, and he needs to do so right now. The I.R.S. is currently defying federal law by not releasing Trump's tax returns even though a House committee has demanded them in accordance with federal law. When will we finally get to see what Trump is so desperately hiding? He's obviously terrified of something contained within his taxes becoming public, and he'll go to any length to conceal whatever it is from the voters before the election. But federal law is clear and unequivocal. So let the court fight begin, because the sooner we all get to see Trump's taxes, the sooner we'll find out just what sort of con he's been running on the American people."

 

3
   A Trump resigns

This didn't get nearly enough notice in the media.

"Donald Trump's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, had to resign her federal judgeship this year because an investigation had been launched into the Trump family's rampant tax fraud going back decades. Barry herself appears to have benefited from these schemes, first reported by the New York Times. When she found out an investigation had been opened into the affair by a judicial conduct council, she dodged the scrutiny by just resigning her seat as a federal appellate judge. So while she probably won't be the last, Maryanne Trump Barry has become the first Trump family member to resign a federal post in disgrace after her past tax avoidance came to light."

 

4
   Full? Then why hire immigrants?

Another Trump slogan that needs to get smacked down.

"Donald Trump has a new slogan he's been using in the discussions about what to do about the border -- he says 'our country is full,' and therefore can't take any more immigrants, period. But he's never explained why, if the country is so full, his own businesses rely so heavily on an immigrant workforce. He abuses the visa system to get maids for his hotels, and he outright looks the other way to hire plenty of illegal immigrants on his golf courses, so I guess the country isn't all that full at all. If he still needs to use lots of immigrant laborers then you'd think he'd realize that there are some jobs that Americans just won't do."

 

5
   Maybe Attila The Hun?

Trump continues to purge one of his own cabinet departments, apparently because they kept insisting on following federal law rather than follow Trump's instructions to the contrary.

"Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to walk the plank this week, after the former head of the Department of Homeland Security apparently refused to be even more cruel to immigrants than she has been during her whole tenure. Nielsen is not exactly a profile in courage, and will be remembered for putting small children in cages and ripping them from their parents' arms at the direction of Trump. And then lying about it all to Congress, of course. But not even tear-gassing mothers and children was enough for Trump, who finally followed the advice of his senior aide Stephen 'Darth' Miller. Trump then fired a whole bunch of others who had been annoying Miller, leaving no one in charge right at the height of what he calls a 'national emergency' at the border. One has to wonder who exactly will meet Miller's high standards for cruelty to be offered Nielsen's former job now -- perhaps we'll see Homeland Security Secretary Attila The Hun next?"

 

6
   Cain wasn't able

There's all sorts of amusing ways to make fun of this one.

"It's heartening to see that at least four Republican senators still have enough backbone to realize that Herman Cain wasn't exactly the most qualified guy to be named to the Federal Reserve this week. With their opposition, it now seems likely that Cain will withdraw from consideration rather than face an embarrassing spectacle of Senate hearings. Maybe he'll go back to 'Ubecki-becki-becki-becki-stan-stan' or something. Or, to get biblical, one might say that Cain wasn't able, and leave it at that."

 

7
   George Conway trolls again

This last one isn't so much of a talking point as it is just downright funny Trump trolling from a master at the game. George Conway, husband of Kellyanne, has changed his Twitter mini-bio. It used to just say "Lawyer." But he's updated it to the following:

George Conway

Lawyer. Windmill cancer survivor.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

76 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Another Fun Week In Trumpland”

  1. [1] 
    Kick wrote:

    OMG... is this an effing eff tee pee?

    An FTP!

    Someone must have been drinking his fluids... the ones with the little umbrellas.

    I am entirely too stoked to read it *just kidding*

    Thank you! :)

  2. [2] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Sigh. When you write it all out like that, you really have to wonder whether to laugh or cry, don't you?

    Well, I laughed so hard I cried so...

    Bit of both! ~ Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, Guardians of the Galaxy

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Whew...

    Yep, the finale to a full week of columns!

    Well, OK, I kind of cheated a little bit (see first section), but it's certainly better than nothing, right?

    :-)

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The Mad Libs were a hoot. Awards and Talking Points hit home. Good as ever!

  5. [5] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Great FTP

    Love the Mad Libs, it provides the foundation for a trump cards against the rule of law game.

    As for TP Number 4 you forgot to include the Trump winery which has been increasing it's numbers for visa's for seasonal migrant labor for the last 4 years.... Surely there are qualified Americans who will take those jobs, right?

    In any case glad to see you back at the keyboard.

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Gee, the Kennedy Library Foundation has a name that would seem to imply respectability.

    But awarding Pelosi anything can only mean the Kennedy Library Foundation is less respectable than the ridiculously named Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.*

    *Inducting Donna Summers and the Beastie Boys, just to mention two of a long list, before finally inducting Yes makes them ineligible to be called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Did they ever induct Pink Floyd?)

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "...you'd think he would realize there are some jobs Americans just won't do."

    No there aren't any jobs that Americans just won't do.

    There are only jobs that employers won't pay Americans enough to do.

  8. [8] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Good, even great FTP. Welcome back!

    Of course, you know that the IRS bill couldn't move on the floor unless Pelosi approved of it? So somehow she's both most impressive and most disappointing?

    Did I miss something?

  9. [9] 
    neilm wrote:

    Very specifically, I am a fan of George Conway's sense of humor. I may not agree with him on many things, but, like Lindsay Graham, he can be very funny.

    Please tell me this is his signature when he emails Kelly-Anne in the White House.

    ...........

    from: George
    to: Kelly-babes

    Hi Hon:

    Can you remember to get the carrots?

    Smootches,

    George Conway

    Lawyer. Windmill cancer survivor.

  10. [10] 
    neilm wrote:

    Great FTP CW. Way to come back!

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not a SINGLE comment about how Mueller totally, completely and utterly exonerated President Trump on Russia Collusion???

    If I didn't know better, I would think you were making an effort to avoid the painful and decimating and utterly demoralizing topic?? :D

    Especially when one considers how many commentaries ya devoted to Mueller in the last 2 years.. :D

  12. [12] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Sorry to hear you were struck down with the flu and glad to hear you're on the upside of recuperating. May you be feeling 100% by this time next week.

    Loved the generic weekly news roundup - very funny!

    I really like Elizabeth Warren's tax proposal for corporations but won't be supporting anyone who signs onto the non-Democrat Sanders' Lazy Person's Healthcare Bill. I personally think American deserve a healthcare program specifically designed for them from the ground up instead of taking Medicare - which was not designed to be a universal program - and just stretching it, warts and all, to sort of fit as best it can. Wht a con that is!

    But most Americans have very little idea of how good a universal healthcare program can be so you're easily persuaded to embrace anything that sounds even slightly better than what you currently have. Unfortunately, you might just get what you're asking for instead of what you really deserve, gravel instead of diamonds. I hope wiser heads prevail in time.

    Re trump's tax returns... TP2 isn't entirely accurate. The relevant law - in this case federal tax code section 6103(f)(1) - states that:

    any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure.

    In other words, Trump's tax returns cannot be released publicly without Trump's written consent - and that's not going to happen! I think what will be public is whatever legal action is taken because of what they find in those tax returns.

    Also, Ways and Means are not the only ones requesting Trump's tax return. From Washington Post:

    The chairman of the House oversight committee said Friday he intends to subpoena President Donald Trump’s accountant for his financial records.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told committee members in a letter that Mazars USA wouldn’t turn over records for Trump, his company and related entities without a subpoena.

    Cummings said he expected to issue the subpoena Monday for statements of financial condition, independent auditor’s reports, annual statements and other documents spanning from 2011 to 2018.

    I don't know if there's any law preventing those from being made public. Hopefully we'll find out one way or another by the end of this month.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Donald Trump needs to show us his taxes, and he needs to do so right now. The I.R.S. is currently defying federal law by not releasing Trump's tax returns even though a House committee has demanded them in accordance with federal law. When will we finally get to see what Trump is so desperately hiding? He's obviously terrified of something contained within his taxes becoming public, and he'll go to any length to conceal whatever it is from the voters before the election. But federal law is clear and unequivocal. So let the court fight begin, because the sooner we all get to see Trump's taxes, the sooner we'll find out just what sort of con he's been running on the American people."

    Whaaa???

    Democrats are gin'ing up for ANOTHER witch hunt???

    One would think they would be a little gun shy about their witch hunts, what with the LAST one totally and utterly blowing up in their faces, eh??

    I guess trying the same thing over and over hoping for a different result is the Democrats' MO these days... :D

  14. [14] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [6] -

    I know this will shock you, but I fully agree with you. On the RNRHOF thing. They should have let Yes in on the first ballot, and there are FAR too many people in there who don't really qualify as "rock and roll."

    So on one thing, at least, we do see eye-to-eye.

    Balthasar [8] -

    Good point about Pelosi...

    Michale [11] -

    To answer your ongoing query, I'm waiting for at least the redacted version of the Mueller report before commenting on it. I considered Barr's summary to be nothing more than spin, personally. So maybe sometime next week, how's that?

    :-)

    Mopshell [12] -

    OK, we can all quibble about MFA, but you're right -- anything is better than what we've got. France and other places (Japan?) merged private health insurance in with their state-based plan -- there are lots of examples out there, but the main hurdle is getting Americans to realize that they DON'T have the best system in the world. I think once that's achieved, a serious discussion about relative merits of different systems can begin.

    As for Trump's tax returns, I've been meaning to get around to delving into the Teapot Dome scandal, which is where the relevant federal law came from. It would certainly answer some questions as to the intent of the law, that's for sure... maybe next week...

    Michale [13] -

    Trump promised you he'd release his tax returns. Don't his promises mean anything to you? I guess not...

    Heh.

    -CW

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    To answer your ongoing query, I'm waiting for at least the redacted version of the Mueller report before commenting on it. I considered Barr's summary to be nothing more than spin, personally. So maybe sometime next week, how's that?

    Fair enough.. Although I am constrained to remind you that Mueller has a history of correcting the record when his actions are mis-characterized in the slightest.. Given this fact, it's unlikely that Mueller would have stood by silently if Barr said something that the report didn't say... The fact that Mueller is assisting Barr gives weight to this conclusion..

    It's unlikely that the redacted report will change the fact that President Trump has been wholly and completely exonerated when it comes to Russia Collusion..

    AT BEST, the redacted report will provide a plethora of 'whataboutism' for the Left...

    So, your desire to wait for the report is understandable.. But it's unlikely to change the facts..

    Trump promised you he'd release his tax returns. Don't his promises mean anything to you? I guess not...

    Obama promised to close down Gitmo. Don't his promises mean anything to you?? I guess not.... Heh

    See how easy it is to put the shoe on the other foot?? :D

    Having said that, promises Trump makes to shut up the Trump/America haters mean very little to me, you are correct...

    It's the IMPORTANT promises that mean everything to me.. Like putting Justices on the SCOTUS that will protect my 2nd Amendment rights.. Making America great again..

    Promises made (and KEPT) like that are all that matters to me..

    On another note, what's yer take on President Trump's idea to send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities.. A stroke of genius!!! :D

    On a final note...

    Glad to see you up and around.. I wouldn't wish a heavy dose of the flu on anyone...

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, your desire to wait for the report is understandable.. But it's unlikely to change the facts..

    In other words, I think ya'all have to acknowledge that this was a huge win for President Trump and the Left will have to settle a participation trophy in that Mueller caught President Trump dotting a 't' and crossing an 'i'....

  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As for the generic weekly news round-up, that's what I see when I read aboot 98% of articles available from "news" sources.

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Glad we agree on something.

    But you don't have to agree with me in order to address the issues raised by One Demand.

    You often write aboot things or people that you don't agree with. You lay out their argument and then make your argument against it.

    You also do speculation articles where you speculate aboot what might happen if some seemingly impossible thing were to actually happen.

    So why not an article speculating on what might happen if a candidate like Bernie were to make the One Demand commitment for 2020?

    I was right aboot taking on the establishment candidates in the primaries long before there was a Tea Party. I was right aboot small contributions long before Bernie changed the public perception on small contributions.

    That should be enough to warrant consideration of the rest of One Demand, even if it's not enough to stop covering all the people that were wrong aboot those things as if they knew what they are talking/writing aboot.

    There are people that comment in other places where I have commented that like the idea of One Demand or at least want to hear more aboot it.

    For example, a comment on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour generated four more signatures on my Nader petition and one person I don't know even commented:

    "Ralph, as a long time listener please get this guy on your show ASAP."

    But perhaps this is what you fear. If people find out aboot One Demand they might like the idea and then you wouldn't be able to keep running the pull and plug articles that use the generic weekly news round-up as a template for the article of the day.

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And let's not forget the Anti-Collins Fund in Maine that you awarded the idea of the year to in 2018.

    This was based on the same basic principle as citizens pledging to support small donor candidates on the One Demand website.

    So we actually agree on the basic principle. We just disagree on whether it's only a good idea in the cheap imitation Anti-Collins Fund form that was designed to benefit only Democrats (possibly even Big Money Democrats)or the real thing One Demand form that all citizens can use to influence all parties and candidates to reject big money.

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-19

    There is a critical difference between the Anti-Collins Maine Fund and OneDemand.

    The Main Fund raises real money, puts the money in a box, and will only release the money to a candidate if predetermined conditions are adhered to.

    OneDemand raises pledges from people who promise to vote a certain way if the candidate only takes contributions less than $200 dollars.

    Dollars carry a lot more clout than pledges. Try buying groceries with just a pledge.

    The Maine Fund has teeth.

    OneDemand offers up bleeding gums.

  21. [21] 
    neilm wrote:

    Hey Don, here is an idea for OneDemand - but it means you have to do some work and clean up your web site.

    Why don't you track your local politicians' contributions (you can go nationwide once you get the model working).

    You can track several factors and display them in an easy to read way: total contributions; average contribution; median contribution; top 5 contributors; etc.

    You can then create some purity scale from 0-100 based on your own criteria.

    Keep the page updated once per week and let the top candidates know they are "winning" in the scale. They will then be motivated to refer to it and do your outreach for you.

    You could give it a name, like the "People Not Money Scale".

    Remember, most people here support your motivation, even if your delivery and execution (you have got re remove the 2015 Billy Joel competition) don't resonate.

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    neilm-21

    That is a good idea! Opensecrets.org does something like it at the Federal level, but not at state and local levels. Reporting of campaign contributions is slow, so there is a "tombstone mentality" aspect to the concept, but you have to work with what you can get. Holding incumbents feet the fire is a useful thing.

    Dark money is not reported. That is a real challenge facing any purity index. Advertising and web traffic may allow some insights into dark money, but dark money is designed to be murky.

  23. [23] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    Mike Gravel ran this "Ode to John Cage" ad during his 2008 presidential run:

    https://youtu.be/0rZdAB4V_j8

    I can hardly wait for his 2020 ad!

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    There are many differences between the Anti-Collins Fund and One Demand. That doesn't change the fact that they are based on the same principle in regard to pledging/contributing money based on a candidate's actions.

    One key difference is that One Demand is designed for everyone to use to influence all parties and candidates while the Anti-Collins fund is designed to benefit only Democrats.

    Another difference is that the participants in One Demand control the money they contribute when they make good on their pledges by contributing directly to the candidates and not through the organization.

    The odds are more citizens making these pledges will make good on their pledge than the big money politicians will make good on their campaign promises.

    The contributors to the Anti-Collins Fund have no control over who the organization decides to give the money to.

    One Demand addresses the problem of big money in politics while the Anti-Collins could decide to give the money to big money candidates.

    And One Demand is more than just aboot the contributions. One Demand is also aboot the votes.

    Try getting elected without getting votes.

    The only thing citizens will get from the teeth the Anti-Collins fund has is getting bit in the ass.

    But if you think One Demand is only bleeding gums with no teeth then you must believe that democracy has no teeth because One Demand is nothing more than applying basic democracy.

    If you think One Demand can't work then you think democracy can't work.

    You can whine and cry aboot it, but that is the reality no matter how much it shatters your world of illusion.

    And the Anti-Collins Fund got lots of publicity because it was designed to perpetuate the status quo and the media has sold out to the big money interests so they will not provide publicity to anything like One Demand that challenges the status quo.

    There is no guarantee that citizens will participate in One Demand if they learn aboot it or if it will work if they do.

    There is also only one way to find out.

    Put the idea into the public discourse.

    There is plenty of evidence as mentioned earlier that show that it could work and people might be interested.

    I am willing to find out if I'm right or wrong aboot whether One Demand can catch on or work.

    The question is why CW is afraid to find out if I'm right or wrong.

    It's certainly easier for CW to not write aboot the idea and not find out.

    It's easy to occasionally throw out a comment that purposely misrepresents what One Demand is and argue against that than to actually address what One Demand is(not limited to CW).

    If it works it has the potential to make real progress in reducing the influence of big money in our political process.

    What possible downside could there be, CW, that makes it so dangerous to even discuss an idea that would make the possible upside not worthy of discussion?

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Neilm-
    I already have a scale that runs from 1-200 dollars.

    But it is not a purity scale it is a minimum adequacy scale.

    I would rather work on getting citizens to take action nationally now than waste my time keeping track of local politicians.

    But I do appreciate all suggestions on ways I can get distracted from the job at hand.

    They remind me what not to do.

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i have a pie scale. it tells how much the pie weighs. this is much more useful than any other scale, and the pie usually costs under 20 dollars, never mind 200.

  27. [27] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-

    Putting your idea up for public discourse doesn't prove your idea can work. Putting your idea into practice is the only way to prove if your idea can work. Doing it multiple times is the only way of estimating how likely your idea will work for any given election. Do it: Prove it. Talking/Doing is as Pledging/Donating.

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @stig,

    disagree. the standard for proof depends on the idea. for example, you don't need to prove that pie tastes good, because it's self-evident. pie tastes good. the main problem with OD is DH.

    JL

  29. [29] 
    TheStig wrote:

    JL

    I can't quite decide what kind of pie we are being served. I'm leaning towards cow, but can' rule out half baked, completely baked or even pot.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Only a heckler can improve an evening with the money-grabbing Clintons
    https://nypost.com/2019/04/12/only-a-heckler-can-improve-an-evening-with-the-money-grabbing-clintons/

    Oh how the mighty have fallen..

    As goes the Clintons, so goes the Democrat Party...

    Both are being left behind on the march to the future...

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    As Trump soars higher, Dems reach their lowest point yet

    Predicting what history will decide was significant is always dicey. But in the context of our fractured nation and the nonstop Washington tumult since 2016, events in the last three weeks have been nothing short of ­remarkable.

    Against an enormous army of antagonists, political and cultural, academic and judicial, Donald Trump is enjoying some of the best days of his presidency. His power and popularity are expanding.

    The worm began turning on the ­afternoon of Sunday, March 24, when Attorney General William Barr released his letter summarizing the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller. There was no collusion with Russia, Mueller found, and no obstruction of justice, Barr determined.

    The momentous victory for Trump vindicated his claims of innocence. The fog of accusations that he was an illegitimate president was destroyed by a news flash that left no room for ambiguity.

    To grasp the significance, imagine the consequences if the report found he was probably guilty of one or both charges.

    The left would have erupted in ­orgasmic joy. We would be discussing articles of impeachment and Republicans would have fallen in line. There would have been worldwide implications as America turned inward to face its crisis.

    The bookend, at least so far, came last week with Barr’s stunning comment that “spying did occur” on Trump’s 2016 campaign and that Barr was obligated to review “the conduct of the investigation.”

    “Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said matter-of-factly.

    Even at this early stage, Trump looks stronger than ever and Dems are mad with frustration.

    James Clapper and John Brennan, the intelligence chiefs under Obama who came out of the closet as naked partisans, added their two cents of shock. “Stunning and scary,” Clapper said of Barr’s plans, and Brennan accused Barr of sounding like a “personal lawyer” for Trump.

    Translation: we better lawyer up.

    Trump was also a winner in the Israeli election, with his support of Bibi Netanyahu helping to lift the prime minister to victory.

    Finally, Rep. Ilhan Omar is proving to be a one-woman wrecking crew for the party as well as for the image of all American Muslims. On top of her anti-Semitism, Omar’s dismissive description of 9/11 as “some people did something” marks her as a heartless ingrate to the nation that rescued her family from civil war and possibly death at the hands of other Muslims.
    https://nypost.com/2019/04/13/as-trump-soars-higher-dems-reach-their-lowest-point-yet/

    No matter how ya'all wanna spin things, the clear fact remains that President Trump is enjoying a huge series of wins and Democrats are left in the mire and muck of their own hysterical bullshit...

    2020 is President Trump's for the taking..

  32. [32] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Welcome back, Chris!

    The 'Generic Weekly News Roundup' is comedy gold, the snarky fill-in-the-blank items especially delightful.

    I join the chorus to applaud your recovery.

    In an earlier column, you advocated rest and lots of liquids, but I missed any mention of 'get a flu shot'. I hope you've remedied that in some subsequent column.

  33. [33] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    I wholeheartedly disagree with the 'Most Disappointing' award this week, and especially this remark:
    'The argument Lewis made was, in effect, a complete abdication of his own responsibility: "Don't worry, maybe the Senate will fix it." Obviously, the Senate wouldn't have to fix it if the House did their job correctly in the first place.'

    On the contrary, Mr Lewis is demonstrating the wisdom of his past experience with divided government. As you well know, (too) many of the bills that have passed, and will pass, the Democratically-controlled House are 'dead on arrival' in the McConnell-controlled Senate.

    The bill 'contains language preventing the IRS from referring debts from some lower-income taxpayers to debt collectors. And it includes provisions to improve IRS customer service, address identity theft and authorize grants for nonprofits to provide free tax-filing assistance to low-income people'. I can't believe that you are advocating that this bill should have been loaded up with additional progressive ideas - no matter how worthy - to doom it to a quiet death, too!

    In this instance, 'the perfect is the enemy of the good'.

  34. [34] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    And I hope the medicine you're taking temporarily fogged your judgement when you wrote this heartless sentence:
    'While it may cause Hillary Clinton to gnash her teeth in envy, Nancy Pelosi is indeed now "the most important woman in American political history."'

    Surely you don't think Hillary is so immature.

    This also reeks of misogyny. Replacing 'Hillary' with 'Kerry' and 'Nancy Pelosi' with 'Barack Obama', does it have the same zing?

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Surely you don't think Hillary is so immature.

    Have you been on another planet since Dec of 2016????

    This also reeks of misogyny. Replacing 'Hillary' with 'Kerry' and 'Nancy Pelosi' with 'Barack Obama', does it have the same zing?

    Abso-frakin'-loutly!! :D

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Surely you don't think Hillary is so immature.

    Have you been on another planet since Dec of 2016????

    I mean, look at the facts..

    Hillary demonized and castigated Candidate Trump during the campaign when he said he may or may not accept the election results..

    Such blatant stamp your feet and whine and cry because you lost hypocrisy is the epitome of immaturity...

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Patriotic patrol-car lettering sparks backlash in California city

    A Southern California police department is drawing both praise and ire for the new star-spangled logo on the sides of its patrol vehicles, according to reports.

    The Laguna Beach Police Department in Orange County recently added American-flag-style lettering for the word "police" on the sides of the vehicles, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

    But local artist Carrie Woodburn told the Times the design was too “aggressive,” saying she felt it didn’t represent the community. Laguna Beach is a city of about 23,000 residents, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/southern-california-police-departments-new-patriotic-patrol-car-design-sparks-backlash

    Get that?? An American Flag symbol "doesn't represent the community"...

    I have caught some grief for using the term "Trump/America Haters" to describe Left Wingers..

    Apparently the term is apt...

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    These people — chiefly Democrats and journalists these days — claiming there is no crisis on the border and encouraging this disaster to continue are on the wrong side of what is turning into a massive humanitarian crisis.

    All so they can feel good about themselves. They think of themselves as “welcoming” and are encouraging so many people to make such a treacherous journey — guided by mercenary merchants of misery and death — that should end with them getting sent right back to where they came from. If they don’t get raped and killed along the way.

    All of this, of course, is underwritten by the murderous drug cartels who use their human packages as diversions at the border to tie up U.S. border patrol agents so they can get the product they actually care about — deadly opiates and other drugs — into the country undetected.

    The president’s proposal: If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other open-border, Sanctuary City Democrats love this crisis so much, let them take in all the illegals while the courts catch up with all the cases.

    I mean, really, how is that anything other than allowing Mrs. Pelosi and her Democrats to demonstrate the “love” they have for these illegals? Allow them into their cities, where they are already given “sanctuary” from federal agents trying hopelessly to enforce federal immigration laws that were duly enacted by Congress.

    Why should border states and border cities have to bear the entire brunt of a national crisis? Why shouldn’t that massive burden be shared at least by all the people who think it is such a terrific situation?

    Why not open a pipeline of illegals straight into San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, Chicago and New York City? Let them deal with the humanitarian crisis that they are encouraging. Or, how about Denver, the pothead campground of America?

    The reaction from the press and Democrats to Mr. Trump’s proposal tells you all you need to know about just how dishonest these people are about the debacle at the border.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/12/oh-work-nancy-pelosis-vineyard/

    The genius of President Trump is astounding!!

    Ship all the Illegal immigrant criminals to the cities who have professed their love and protection of said illegal immigrant criminals..

    The beauty is in it's simplicity..

    The Democrats want open borders and bridges?? Then build bridges directly from the border crossings to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City...

    Let those city leaders house and feed millions and millions of illegal immigrant criminals.. Let those Democrats deal with MS-13 and the cartels...

    Works for me...

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrat 2020 Candidate for President...

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D4Ew2c3WsAYfqxA.jpg

    Howdy Doody....

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    When you're right you're right.

    And you are right that putting the idea into the public discourse will not prove the idea will work. (though I didn't say putting in the public discourse would prove it works- I said it was the way to find out if it works).

    And you are right that putting the idea into practice is the only way to prove if it can work.

    You are also right that it will take more than one election cycle to see if it works.

    That is why I want CW, Ralph Nader, etc. to address this idea.

    It certainly can't be "put into practice" if people don't know aboot it. And people won't know aboot it until people like CW and Ralph Nader inform people aboot it.

    But thank you for agreeing with me and proving my points even if you didn't understand that you agreed with me and were proving my points.

  41. [41] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As for what kind of pie you are being served- if it's being served by the big money Democrats or Republicans it's Soylent Green Pie.

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michael Avenatti Is Winning the 2020 Democratic Primary

    He won’t be the nominee. But he’s setting the terms of the debate—and that could damage the rest of the field, and the country.
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/09/14/michael-avenatti-2020-democratic-primary-219910

    How sad is it that Democrats, at ANY point in time, would let someone like Porn Lawyer Avenatti "set the terms" of the Democrat Party debate???

    The Democrat Party is well and truly in decline...

    Best news for this country to date....

  43. [43] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    Fair enough.. Although I am constrained to remind you that Mueller has a history of correcting the record when his actions are mis-characterized in the slightest.. Given this fact, it's unlikely that Mueller would have stood by silently if Barr said something that the report didn't say... The fact that Mueller is assisting Barr gives weight to this conclusion..

    Mueller has a history... of doing it ONCE! You seem to think he must always correct the record when someone misquotes or misinterprets his words. If that were true, then Mueller would have been correcting Trump’s lies and slandering of his team’s reputations on a daily basis. No, Mueller corrected a story that was based on a misinterpretation of the facts one time.

    Just like Mueller did not correct Trump’s lies, he won’t correct Barr’s either because they are both his superiors. Mueller’s got class.

  44. [44] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    On another note, what's yer take on President Trump's idea to send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities.. A stroke of genius!!! :D

    Yeah. Dumping asylum seekers in cities hundreds of miles from where their hearings will take place seems like a brilliant idea! This idea proves that Trump is NOT concerned with there being illegals in our country.

    Do you think the administration plans on keeping tabs of where people are sent? Nope! This administration was not smart enough to keep records on the children they ripped from their parents and then lost in the system....why would you expect anything less from them with these adults? The plan was literally to DUMP them out on the streets of sanctuary cities and telling them they are on their own!

    Trump promised you he'd release his tax returns. Don't his promises mean anything to you? I guess not...

    Obama promised to close down Gitmo. Don't his promises mean anything to you?? I guess not.... Heh

    See how easy it is to put the shoe on the other foot?? :D

    You’d have a point if Obama had the power to close down Gitmo on his own, but chose not to. Nor was Congress trying to close Gitmo and Obama vetoed it. Obama could not close it without assistance. Meanwhile, Trump doesn’t need anyone’s assistance in releasing his tax returns. He is a crook, a con man, and a traitor.

    Sarah Sanders claims that Congress isn’t smart enough to understand his tax returns. Just because they don’t speak Russian doesn’t mean they cannot figure it out!

  45. [45] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    How sad is it that Democrats, at ANY point in time, would let someone like Porn Lawyer Avenatti "set the terms" of the Democrat Party debate???

    How sad is it that the GOP allowed someone trying to land a multimillion dollar real estate deal with Russia change the party’s platform without an explanation as to why they believe the party should no longer be opposed to Russia invading the Ukraine??? Why did Trump insist on this? Why was it the only thing he wanted added to the party platform?

  46. [46] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Welcome back to FTP, CW. Glad you'e well on the mend.

  47. [47] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    You made an awesome comment earlier in the week that wants a bit more context. It was the Medicare for All post.

    The forecast you mention is for the US to spend $50 Trillion in health care over the next decade (includes Feds, States, Employers, Personal Expenditures, Etc).

    That was the forecast in 2009, when we were debating the ACA in the first place (yeah, one trillion, over a decade, was actually small potatoes, in fact).

    Talk about bending the cost curve! We're talking about the same forecast a decade later, rather than the $65 T that was forecast for the this decade prior to the ACA.

    WOW!

  48. [48] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Ralph Nader is 85 years old. I'm pretty sure that at this point, I don't want him informing people about much. Get with 2019.

  49. [49] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i agree with those who have said the FTP this week are outstanding overall, from the madlib to george conway's windmill cancer.

    maybe not FTP#3, judge barry is in her eighties, was semi-retired already, and the tax violation in question was by FRED trump, which is to say, WAY past its statute of limitations. if i were in my eighties and semi-retired, i'd also very much want to be rid of a tax fraud investigation of my long-dead father.

    maybe he had windmill cancer.

    JL

  50. [50] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @speak,

    if not ralph nader, how about ralph malph?

    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/EFA464/don-most-happy-days-1974-EFA464.jpg

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    49

    Judge Trump Barry and the other Trump siblings and their financial advisors became criminally liable for said tax fraud upon Fred Trump's death when it became easily discoverable upon the filing of his estate taxes, but you're absolutely correct that the statutes of limitations for any criminal liability would have run long ago.

    However, civil penalties and bills for back taxes, to include interest and penalties of up to 25 percent added to any unpaid taxes might still be warranted if fraud is found. Considering that the same accountant who handled taxes for Fred continues to handle them for Donald, I would wager that's not an issue that NY is going to let go of all too easily.

    Donald is in for a world of hurt in New York, New York. Maybe they'll even share his taxes with Congress. :)

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller has a history... of doing it ONCE!

    Yes, that's right.. He has a history..

    Just like Mueller did not correct Trump’s lies, he won’t correct Barr’s either because they are both his superiors. Mueller’s got class.

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to make it thru your day.. :D

    OK, so it's YOUR belief that Barr is lying and that Mueller recommended that President Trump be impeached and then indicted for Russia Collusion..

    "Aww right... Aww right...."
    -Lane Smith, MY COUSIN VINNY

    When Barr and Mueller release Mueller's redacted report, let's get together and compare notes, eh??

    It'll be a hoot!! :D

    Yeah. Dumping asylum seekers in cities hundreds of miles from where their hearings will take place seems like a brilliant idea!

    It's a simple matter to transfer the illegal immigrant cases to the courts they are relocated to..

    This idea proves that Trump is NOT concerned with there being illegals in our country.

    Apparently, President Trump has come around to the Democrat's way of thinking... He wants to place the illegal immigrant criminals in an area where they will get maximum coddling.. :D

    OR....

    Or President Trump has determined that Democrats should learn FIRST HAND the consequences of their actions..

    You’d have a point if Obama had the power to close down Gitmo on his own, but chose not to. Nor was Congress trying to close Gitmo and Obama vetoed it. Obama could not close it without assistance.

    Oh com'on...

    Odumbo could have issued an executive order.. Hell, he didn't even have to do that.. As Commander In Chief, Odumbo could have simply ordered the military to close Gitmo and that would have been that..

    Odumbo CHOSE not to...

    There is no difference between Odumbo's campaign promise and Trump's campaign promise.

    You just give Odumbo a pass because he has a -D after his name..

    Sarah Sanders claims that Congress isn’t smart enough to understand his tax returns. Just because they don’t speak Russian doesn’t mean they cannot figure it out!

    So, you STILL believe that President Trump colluded with the Russians.. :D Boy oh boy, your social construct delusion is STRONG, I'll give you that... :D

    How sad is it that the GOP allowed someone trying to land a multimillion dollar real estate deal with Russia change the party’s platform without an explanation as to why they believe the party should no longer be opposed to Russia invading the Ukraine??? Why did Trump insist on this? Why was it the only thing he wanted added to the party platform?

    So, all you have is whataboutism.. No real argument.. Gotcha...

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pelosi rips AOC, says her posse in Congress is ‘like five people’

    WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just sent some more shade to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    In a “60 Minutes” interview, correspondent Lesley Stahl pointed out the different groups within the House Democratic caucus. “You have these wings — AOC and her group on one side,” Stahl said.

    “That’s like five people,” Pelosi interrupted.

    Stahl corrected the snarky remark, saying that the “progressive group is more than five.”

    “Well, I’m progressive — I’m a progressive, yeah,” Pelosi responded.

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus has 98 members and is the second largest group of Democrats in the Congress. Ocasio-Cortez is one of the group’s most recognizable freshmen members.

    Seven Democratic House members, including Ocasio-Cortez, are supported by the progressive political action the Justice Democrats, which Pelosi could also have been referring to.
    https://nypost.com/2019/04/14/pelosi-rips-aoc-says-her-posse-in-congress-is-like-five-people/

    Oh wow! Pelosi diss'es Occasional Cortex!! :D

    Blue on Blue attacks.. :D It's a wonderful thing..

    President Trump is sure for re-election in 2020 by a landslide...

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    END OF WATCH

    Deputy Sheriff Justin DeRosier
    Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, Washington
    End of Watch: Sunday, April 14, 2019

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13839e8d10b9303c8d9aee50576e15b15f4844be91d15073a21097a85b780c50.jpg

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    Yeah. Dumping asylum seekers in cities hundreds of miles from where their hearings will take place seems like a brilliant idea!

    So, you DON'T support President Trump's idea to place illegal immigrant criminals where they can get the BEST care and coddling possible??

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm

    So, Democrats are ALL about "caring" and "compassion" for illegal immigrant criminals...

    But NOT if they have to be the ones who have to do the "caring' and the "compassion"...

    Is THAT what you are saying???

    I would have thought **EVERYONE** here would support President Trump's idea..

    I guess it's only lip service... :^/

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    The surprise constituency that may reelect Trump

    President Trump’s reelection effort will hinge on many elements, some of which he will be able to control (his message, strategy, first-term record) and some of which he will not be able to control (congressional investigations, an unforeseen jolt to the economy, external events). This time, his appeal will be directed both to and beyond the 63 million people who voted for him in 2016 as he seeks to expand his margins of victory.

    One group that may unexpectedly aid his reelection? Women.

    With the first female candidate at the top of a major-party ticket, expectations were high that Hillary Clinton would sail to the presidency on the wings of women voters, who tend to vote Democratic in significant numbers anyway. The conventional wisdom is that just as black voters came out in record numbers to elect Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, women would do the same for Mrs. Clinton.

    They did not.

    While Mrs. Clinton won 54 percent of all women (versus 42 percent who voted for Mr. Trump), the majority of non-college educated white women (64 percent) and a solid 45 percent of college-educated white women voted for Mr. Trump, helping to carry him to victory.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/10/in-2020-donald-trump-can-expect-women-to-vote-for-/

    Every constituency that Democrats MUST HAVE to win any election is turning from them..

    Black, hispanic, women.. All are flocking to President Trump in droves...

    It's so cute that ya'all think Democrats actually have a chance to win the White House in 2020... :D

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    maybe not FTP#3, judge barry is in her eighties, was semi-retired already, and the tax violation in question was by FRED trump, which is to say, WAY past its statute of limitations. if i were in my eighties and semi-retired, i'd also very much want to be rid of a tax fraud investigation of my long-dead father.

    Awwwwww, com'on Joshua...

    Don't pee on their parade...

    Don'tcha know EVERYTHING bad that happens in the world is the fault of Donald Trump....

    Get with the program or get re-programmed.. :D

    It's the Democrat Party way...

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Conrad Black: A good day for Israel — with many more to come

    Netanyahu’s victory, along with the emergence of a strong and coherent opposition under a compelling leader, marks several milestones in Israel’s progress
    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-a-good-day-for-israel-with-many-more-to-come

    As things go great for the USA, so things go really great for Israel... :D

    Remember when ya'all cried hysterically that the world will end if the US actually moved it's embassy to Jerusalem??

    Trump did what NO U.S. President had the balls to do and... viola'... Nothing happened..

    US and Israel.. Joined at the hip.. NO daylight between us...

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ilhan Omar, Con Artist

    She's got a feel for her dupes.

    Rep. Ilhan Omar’s dismissal of the 9/11 attacks as “some people did something” is getting all the opprobrium it deserves. But there’s an aspect of her speech at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet on March 23 that’s not received appropriate attention. And it’s emblematic of the sinister duplicity of Omar’s activism: She issues calls for compassion out of one side of her mouth and appeals for contempt out of the other. Omar is, among other things, a run-of-the-mill flimflam artist. And the left eats it up.

    Whenever Omar gets called out for her anti-Semitism or anti-Americanism, she makes a steady retreat back to the faux-compassion and understanding, simultaneously vowing to “learn” from her actions and claiming innocent victimhood. It’s then that her liberal supporters seize on her sunny rhetoric and denounce all the criticism that’s come her way. That’s precisely what’s been happening since she was caught describing 9/11 as a null event.

    The con artist will thrive as long her marks are willing to be conned. Which is to say, Ilhan Omar has a bright future in the Democratic Party.
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/ilhan-omar-con-artist/

    Typical Democrat..

    Talks out both sides of her ass...

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    TUCKER CARLSON: What if someone you hated offered to pay off your mortgage? Put your kids through college? Or delivered a tractor-trailer full of Snickers bars to your house? You would be confused at first, and suspicious. Why is an enemy giving you the gift of a lifetime? In the end, if you were smart you would take the gift. It would be too good to pass up. Something like that happened in Washington last night. The "Washington Post" reported that the Trump administration has been debating moving some of the thousands of migrants amassing on our southern border into various self-proclaimed sanctuary cities across the U.S. The president confirmed that as true in a tweet. As of tonight that, that policy remains under consideration. Talk about great news for blue America. The left loves impoverished immigrants from the developing world. And why wouldn't they? They make our cities safer, they tell us, they improve our schools, provide the backbone of the economy, they do the work that we won't do, they are diverse, they are our strength, they're the best of America even though technically they're not Americans. Sanctuary cities love them best of all, why they've become sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. Every Democrat now running for president has affirmed this repeatedly...
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/04/13/tucker_carlson_nobody_hates_diversity_more_than_rich_liberals.html

    Again, I have to ask.. WHY are ya'all fighting President Trump's plan to create bridges directly from the Southern Border to Democrat Sanctuary Cities??

    This is EVERYTHING ya'all have ever wanted when it comes to illegal immigrant criminals!!

    Why are ya'all not jumping on President Trump's bandwagon and enthusiastically supporting this plan to the hilt!!???

    Hyper Hysterical President Trump Derangement Syndrome indeed...

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump sanctuary city idea could help migrants stay in US

    PHOENIX (AP) — An idea floated by President Donald Trump to send immigrants from the border to “sanctuary cities” to exact revenge on Democratic foes could end up doing the migrants a favor by placing them in locations that make it easier to put down roots and stay in the country.

    The plan would put thousands of immigrants in cities that are not only welcoming to them, but also more likely to rebuff federal officials carrying out deportation orders. Many of these locations have more resources to help immigrants make their legal cases to stay in the United States than smaller cities, with some of the nation’s biggest immigration advocacy groups based in places like San Francisco, New York City and Chicago. The downside for the immigrants would be a high cost of living in the cities.
    https://apnews.com/e991a0409f7c475ba48e827e232b6cfe

    You see!!?? President Trump's awesome idea is pure genius!! It will actually HELP illegal immigrant criminals to stay in the US..

    President Trump's idea to build bridges instead of walls is **EVERYTHING** that Democrats have been asking for..

    So, WHY do Democrats oppose it???

    Because their hatred of President Trump far FAR outweighs their compassion for illegal immigrant criminals..

    President Trump is giving Democrats EVERYTHING they want and laughing as Democrats fall all over themselves to denigrate and attack the VERY plan they have wanted all along...

    It's so classic Trump and so typical Democrat...

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here’s a message to President Trump: Seattle is not afraid of immigrants and refugees. In fact, we have always welcomed people who have faced tremendous hardships around the world. Immigrants and refugees are part of Seattle’s heritage, and they will continue to make us the city of the future.

    What does scare us? A president and federal government that would seek to weaponize a law enforcement agency to punish perceived political enemies. A would-be despot who thinks the rule of law does not apply to him.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/seattle-isnt-afraid-of-immigrants-mr-trump/2019/04/12/f26c370e-5d5e-11e9-9625-01d48d50ef75_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.21d46fb6935a

    Here's another Democrat who is speaking out both sides of her ass..

    On the one hand, she is saying how much Seattle loves illegal immigrant criminals..

    And then she is saying President Trump is "weaponizing" the very illegal immigrant criminals that she says Seattle loves??

    If Seattle welcomes illegal immigrant criminals, then how can they be a "weapon"???

    President Trump is giving Seattle what Seattle loves..

    How does that make President Trump, the bad guy??

    Because Hyper Hysterical President Trump Derangement Syndrome (HHPTDS) knows no depth of depravity...

    President Trump is building bridges as requested by the Democrat Party..

    And yet, they STILL attack President Trump for it..

    Democrat "logic"....

  63. [63] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Speak2-
    Is there a cut-off age for when someone should not be participating anymore?

    While you are free to use whatever criteria you want to decide whether or not you want to listen to someone, I prefer to use different criteria than age.

    For example, Nancy Pelosi has not been worth listening to for decades no matter what her age.

    Get with 2019?

    I have been talking for many years aboot where we are now in 2019 on the viability of small contributions and am talking now and for many years previusly aboot where we could/should be in 2020 and beyond.

    I doesn't make any sense to tell someone that has been and is ahead of the curve to get caught up.

    Get with reality.

  64. [64] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Nancy Pelosi has not been worth listening to for decades no matter what her age.

    Nope, we still listen to Pelosi, and don't listen to you. She's got the second most important job in the government. You ain't got squat.

    Oh look! Michale has a new talking point, which he's already trying to run into the ground. Yeah, we get it.

    Hey, too bad that Trump doesn't really surprise people - like name someone with cred to a post that deserves it.

    Eh, but that'd fuck him up with Fox News, which never heard a Trump statement they didn't like.

    Why ruin a great thing?

  65. [65] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    63

    For example, Nancy Pelosi has not been worth listening to for decades no matter what her age.

    Yet another of the desperately obsessed with Nancy Pelosi explaining her insignificance. She has "not been worth listening to for decades," now hold their beers while they whine and moan ad nauseam in their encompassing preoccupation with Nancy Pelosi.

    Hey, DH, if you and your failed attempt at political activism got 1/1,000,000th of the attention that you give to Nancy Pelosi, you might register a 0.0001 on the "Matter Meter," but alas... you don't even make a blip.

    I doesn't make any sense to tell someone that has been and is ahead of the curve to get caught up.

    And if you don't believe him, just check out his pathetic website that hasn't been updated since its inception. *laughs*

  66. [66] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthy-
    Just because some people are stupid enough to listen to Pelosi doesn't mean she is worth listening to.

    Pelosi is in her position because she lacks one thing I do have- integrity.

  67. [67] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    I was using Pelosi as an example of as someone to not listen to in response to Speak2 saying Ralph Nader was not worth listening to.

    But true to form you create as mountain out of a mole hill and turn it into an obsession.

    At least your world only exists in your head where there is plenty of extra room.

    And checking out my website will show that I was ahead of the curve as it was written before Bernie ran in 2015.

    How stupid does someone have to be to think they are being funny/sarcastic using the very proof that shows they are wrong?

  68. [68] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And I will listen to Nader over Pelosi 8 days a week.

  69. [69] 
    Kick wrote:

    DH
    67

    I was using Pelosi as an example of as someone to not listen to in response to Speak2 saying Ralph Nader was not worth listening to.

    No shit, Don! But if you are under the mistaken impression that it's the first time you've dissed Nancy Pelosi in a pathetic attempt at deflection, then you should go back and pay attention to your own bullshit.

    But true to form you create as mountain out of a mole hill and turn it into an obsession.

    Like I said, your whining deflection has a regular theme on par with many in the GOP who frequently choose to ignore the issue being discussed in favor of their obsession with Nancy Pelosi.

    At least your world only exists in your head where there is plenty of extra room.

    In point of fact, you don't know anything about my world or my head, Don, in the exact same way that you admittedly don't know a damn thing about anything in general:

    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

    You demonstrate regularly that you are indeed simply an average person, although I would wager I could get more than a few arguments from other posters who believe you may have overestimated your unexceptional abilities. As I have stated many times, you could shorten up that whole pathetic bio of yours and say: "I have no education, no experience, no success, and absolutely no idea what I'm talking about."

    And checking out my website will show that I was ahead of the curve as it was written before Bernie ran in 2015.

    How stupid does someone have to be to think they are being funny/sarcastic using the very proof that shows they are wrong?

    Read your bio, Don; it explains everything you apparently still haven't figured out about how stupid you have to be. Also, it's your failed website, Don, and you've made a multitude of comments on CW.com where you are begging/insisting that the author of this blog bears some kind of inherent responsibility to shill for your failed shit... where not a single one of those posts of yours would have been necessary if you hadn't failed miserably at "being ahead of the curve."

    Lastly, I got really bad news for you, Don: Neither you nor your precious Saint Bernard Sanders invented small contributions, and it's side splitting comedy that you're under the ridiculous and nonsensical impression that either of you did. :)

  70. [70] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    apropos to nothing in particular, did anyone here already know the origins of the terms upper and lower case? just learned today.

  71. [71] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    70

    apropos to nothing in particular, did anyone here already know the origins of the terms upper and lower case? just learned today.

    Not for nothing, but I actually did... and this type of question begs yet another: Has somebody made off with your upper case of characters or are your arms so short you can't reach the top shelf? Do tell. ;)

  72. [72] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    44

    Yeah. Dumping asylum seekers in cities hundreds of miles from where their hearings will take place seems like a brilliant idea! This idea proves that Trump is NOT concerned with there being illegals in our country.

    I know, right!? Announcing to potential illegal immigrants all over South America that United States law enforcement will be happily sending them all to a sanctuary city is basically the equivalent of notifying illegal drug users across America that police departments nationwide will henceforth be distributing to them all the illegal drugs seized at the border.

    This type of "stroke of genius" means Donald Trump never having to explain to even the slowest of intellects in the MAGA universe why there is suddenly an exponentially larger number of immigrants seeking asylum in America. Not content to deal with the Dreamers and those seeking asylum already here in America, Donald Trump encourages flooding of the zone. That'll show 'em. :)

  73. [73] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @kick,

    you didn't know i was a hobbit? hmm...

    JL

  74. [74] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    73

    I was thinking more "habit" than "hobbit"! ;)

    We like goblinses, batses and fishes. But we hasn't tried Hobbitses before. Is it soft? Is it juicy? ~ Gollum

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    She's got the second most important job in the government.

    Then she should DEFINTELY show us her tax returns, right???

    Funny how you don't demand them.. That's because she has a -D after her name and gets a pass..

    Oh look! Michale has a new talking point, which he's already trying to run into the ground. Yeah, we get it.

    Apparently, not.. Since you can't address the facts...

  76. [76] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Chris,
    An interesting coincidence.
    'Nancy Pelosi
    By Hillary Rodham Clinton'
    http://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2019/5567750/nancy-pelosi/

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