Friday Talking Points -- Cavuto Dumps On Trump!

[ Posted Friday, August 30th, 2019 – 19:02 UTC ]

You know things are getting bad in Trumpland when Our Dear Leader is openly attacking Fox News for not being servile enough.

In a series of angry tweets, Trump this week called Fox News "HOPELESS & CLUELESS" and ended his rant with:

The New @FoxNews is letting millions of GREAT people down! We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn't working for us anymore!

What set him off, apparently, was the fact that a Democratic party official was interviewed on Fox, and the host didn't immediately drive her from the stage with a pitchfork or burning torch. Or something -- with Trump, it's always hard to guess what he's thinking.

But the most astounding thing was that a Fox News host then actually pushed back against Trump on the air, and he minced no words in doing so. Here is Neil Cavuto, trying to explain journalism in a monologue to Trump (presented uncut and in full, because the whole thing is so extraordinary):

All right, well, I think the president watches Fox.

I also think he is getting sick of Fox, which is weird because I think he gets pretty fair coverage at Fox. But the president making clear to fact-check him is to be all but dead to him and his legion of supporters, who let me know in no uncertain terms I am either with him totally, or I am a never-Trumper fully.

There are no grays, no middle ground. You're either all-in or you're just out; loyal on everything or not to be trusted on anything.

Which could explain the president himself this week bashing Fox News yet again, urging his supporters to stop watching the channel, to quote his tweet: "Fox isn't working for us anymore."

Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you. I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you -- just report on you, to call balls and strikes on you.

My job, Mr. President -- our job -- here is to keep the score. It's not settle scores. Now, in my case, to report the economic numbers when they're good and when they're bad, when the markets are soaring and when they're tumbling, when trade talks look like they're coming together and when they look like they're falling apart. It is called being fair and balanced, Mr. President.

Yet it is fair to say you're not a fan when that balance includes stuff you don't like to hear or facts you don't like to have questioned.

You're only human. I get that. Who likes to be corrected? But you are the president. It comes with the job, just like checking what you say and do comes with my job.

After all, I'm not the one who said tariffs are a wonderful thing; you are.

Just like I'm not the one who said Mexico would pay for the wall; you did.

Just like I'm not the one who claimed that Russia didn't meddle in the 2016 election; you did.

Now, I'm sorry you don't like these facts being brought up, but they are not fake because I did. What would be fake is if I never did, if I ignored all the times you said you loved your old Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, until you didn't, had no plans to dump your homeland security secretary, until you did, called Chinese President Xi Jinping an "enemy" just last week and a great leader this week.

Sometimes, you don't even wait that long. Last week, you expressed an appetite for background checks, before arguing just hours later our background checks are already strong.

These aren't fake items. They're real items, and you really said them, just like you never paid to silence a porn star, until it turns out you did, never ordered your former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Bob Mueller, until we learn you tried.

Fake is when it's wrong, Mr. President, not when it's unpleasant, just like it isn't and wasn't fake when you said the "Access Hollywood" tape wasn't real, when it was, or that you inherited a depression from Barack Obama, when you didn't, or that you ripped quantitative easing when he was president, but are furious the Federal Reserve isn't doing the same for you now that you're president.

You're entitled to your point of view, Mr. President, but you're not entitled to your own set of facts.

Now, we can argue over whether you ever wanted to buy Greenland or disrupt hurricanes with nuclear weapons, but where seeds are planted, doubts are sown.

You're right to say the media isn't fair to you, that they're more inclined to report the bad than anything good about you. So it is no surprise you're frustrated that more aren't in line with you and that everyone at Fox might not be in lockstep with you. You might even think that those who are work for you.

They don't. I don't.

Hard as it is to fathom, Mr. President, just because you're the leader of the free world doesn't entitle you to a free pass, unfortunately, just a free press.

Good night.

We don't think we've ever heard a journalist tongue-lash a president in such a fashion. Ever. Maybe during Watergate, we're not really old enough to remember that coverage. Cavuto was scathing in his denunciation of the idea that he "works for Trump," and his outrage is entirely justified. Or, at least, it would be if he worked anywhere other than Fox, which has virtually become state-run propaganda under Trump.

Of course, it's been a tough week for Trump all around. Last weekend, he had to endure being the laughingstock of the world once again, at the G-7 meeting in France. True to form, Trump got absolutely zero accomplished while the other world leaders walked on eggshells all weekend to avoid sending Trump into a temper tantrum. President Man-Baby on the world stage, for all to see. Even his own staff joined in, after Trump admitted to "having second thoughts" not only just on the China trade war, but also "about everything." White House staff, in a lightning move that Kim Jong Un and the old Soviet commissars would have been impressed by, immediately issued a "correction" that what Our Dear Leader really meant was that he had second thoughts about not making the tariffs even harsher. But, weak propaganda attempts aside, it was pretty clear what the president meant.

Trump returned from his trip and announced he was punting on his upcoming trip to Poland. The announced reason was so he could stay at home and closely monitor Hurricane Dorian, but the real reason was likely a combination of his hatred of travel and his hatred of foreigners making fun of him and protesting his visits en masse.

Trump quite obviously doesn't care about hurricanes one whit. He began the week by ripping into Puerto Rico -- as it turned out, even fiercer than the storm did. A story circulated that Trump had -- early on in his term -- tried to get his staff to explore the possibility of disrupting hurricanes by dropping some nuclear weapons over the Atlantic Ocean. And then, in what is perhaps the worst political timing of his entire administration (and that's saying a lot, mind you), it was announced that Trump was raiding various federal coffers for more money he could send down to the southern border with Mexico -- including taking over $150 million from FEMA's disaster preparedness fund.

Right before hurricane season starts. With what could be a category-4 storm on the way to the Florida coastline. What could possibly go wrong with that?

It was also revealed that Trump is so set on getting some wall built before the election rolls around that he's been offering pardons to contractors who break the law in erecting his monument to idiocy. Yes, Trump is giving a green light to people to break the law, for purely political reasons. If this isn't obstruction of justice, we don't know what is.

In an amongst all of this blather, Trump found the time to unveil his new "Space Command," which falls short of his intention to have a "Space Force," but had the benefit of Trump being able to do it without congressional approval.

Turning to the Democratic side of things, the presidential nomination race heated up with the announcement of the 10-person third debate. Because there were only ten who qualified, the debate will take place on a single night. This is just as well, because if it had stretched to two nights the second night would have taken place on Friday the 13th.

In other Democratic Party news, there will be no "virtual caucuses" in Iowa and Nevada, or at least not as they were originally designed. The fear of hacking caused the Democratic National Committee to nix the idea, which could mean that people have to spend hours on a weeknight caucusing, rather than just being able to vote conveniently (as non-caucus states do in their primaries). This might actually signal the end of the whole caucus idea, in fact. Iowa and Nevada are two of a shrinking number of states to hold Democratic caucuses, as many states will be holding primaries next year for the first time rather than use the outdated caucus system. Perhaps by 2024, caucuses will all be a thing of the past. One can only hope.

One disappointing note from the national D.N.C. meeting was that there will be no debate solely focused on climate change. This angered those who had been pushing the idea, but we find the explanation given for why this would be a bad idea fairly convincing -- that if one debate were dedicated to climate change, then dozens of other single-interest groups would clamor for their own debate as well. Given the sheer number of single-interest groups within the Democratic Party, this seems reasonable (unless we all want to sit through dozens upon dozens of debates each cycle).

Right after the debate lineup was announced, Kirsten Gillibrand became the seventh Democratic presidential candidate to drop out of the race, but we're going to address that a little later.

The biggest news from the campaign trail this week was Joe Biden's continuing inability to get things right. We're not sure all of these strictly qualify as "gaffes," but there are two underlying worries to all of them -- that Biden won't be able to make the case against Lyin' Donnie as well as someone else might, and that Biden still shows a propensity to refuse to backtrack or apologize in any way.

The first of these occurred last week. Biden was speaking to a town hall in New Hampshire when he tried to make a point about a formative experience he had had:

I graduated in 1968. Everybody before me was, "Drop out, go to Haight-Ashbury, don't trust anybody over 30, everybody not get involved." No, I'm serious.... But then what happened?

From a different news report, Biden then answered his own question:

Bobby Kennedy and Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] had been assassinated in the '70s, the late '70s, when I got engaged.

Biden then tried to complete the point he was trying to make:

Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, if Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee. What would have happened in America?

There is one big problem with this, and one smaller problem. The smaller one can be called a gaffe, since Biden obviously just misspoke (he had earlier said specifically "1968") when he said the assassinations had happened "in the '70s, the late '70s." That can be excused as just a run-of-the-mill Bidenism.

But we've always had a hard and fast rule, and that rule is that candidates should never, under any circumstances speak of possible assassinations of living politicians. Period. In fact, we raked Hillary Clinton over the coals for suggesting the same thing -- the possibility that Barack Obama would be assassinated before the election -- way back in 2008 while she was campaigning against him. Biden, unlike Hillary, was not using the possibility of such an assassination to further his own election prospects -- he was merely making a historical point about what happened when he grew up and what would have happened in more modern times.

But even so, he should not have gone there. Period.

Next up was a war story Biden's been telling that some enterprising journalists at the Washington Post fact-checked. Their conclusion was pretty brutal:

Except almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect. Based on interviews with more than a dozen U.S. troops, their commanders and Biden campaign officials, it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.

. . .

The upshot: In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony.

This, again, wasn't done through outright malice aforethought. Instead, Biden has just glossed over the actual details because he's told this story so many times he's forgotten exactly what happened. But then again, Brian Williams was demoted for doing roughly the same thing with his own war story.

Biden's response was defiant, and it was telling that he hadn't even bothered to read the actual Post article before defending himself:

I was making the point how courageous these people are. I don't know what the problem is. What is it that I said wrong?

Well... the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch, and the rank of the recipient. Which he would have known if he had read the article.

Again, fudging or misstating the details wasn't that important to the emotional impact of the story, which Biden was quite right in pointing out was in fact true. However, it does again raise the question of Biden's ability to take on Trump on the issue of being honest.

Moving on, though, Democrats did get a piece of good news this week as Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson announced he'll be retiring at the end of this year. This will mean an open Senate seat Democrats can now run for, and it will further mean there will be two Senate races in Georgia next year, which increases the chances that Democrats will be able to pick one of them up. However, Stacey Abrams immediately said she wasn't interested in running, which may have been Democrats' best chance of flipping the seat, so the news was decidedly mixed.

In other fun Republican news, Joe Walsh jumped in the Republican primary race with a vengeance last weekend. He sure has a lot more entertainment value than the other Republican running against Trump (William Weld). And he has no qualms about ripping into Trump with visible glee, so he should be fun to watch. Of course, he's a racist ignoramus (sample tweet, which wasn't even the worst of them -- because the worst of them were so bad we could not bring ourselves to reprint them here: "I have a right to say blacks are lazy and the Irish are drunks"), so nobody's hoping he'll actually win the nomination or anything, but he sure will be a fun thorn in Trump's side to watch for months to come!

And finally, a few amusing notes to end on for this week. Donald Trump Junior held a rally with Kentucky's very unpopular governor, and it was so small they had to beg the tiny crowd to move to the front of the stage so it wasn't so downright pathetic. Sad! Best Twitter response came from Bryan Tyler Cohen: "Don Jr. might need to call Sean Spicer in for some damage control on crowd size here." Heh.

Ilhan Omar also got in a great tweet this week, after the Alabama Republican Party issued a call for the House of Representatives to eject her on moral grounds. Omar fired back:

Sorry, @ALGOPHQ, but this is a representative democracy. I was elected with 78% of the vote by the people of Minnesota's 5th District, not the Alabama Republican Party. If you want to clean up politics, maybe don't nominate an accused child molester as your Senate candidate?

And finally, a blast from the past link we noticed in a comments board this week. [Note: We couldn't find the entire episode, but there is an edited version with all the relevant dialog up on YouTube, so check it out if you wish.]

In 1958, the Western-themed television show "Trackdown" (which we fully admit we'd never heard of before) aired an episode where a con man comes to a Western town and tries to scare the bejeezus out of everyone by prophesying that the town would be utterly destroyed that very night -- unless he personally intervened, because "only he" could do so. His solution was to "build a wall" around the town to protect them.

His name? Trump.

You just can't make this stuff up, folks.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

This may sound tongue-in-cheek, but it really isn't.

We're giving the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week to Kirsten Gillibrand, for gracefully (and immediately) bowing out of the Democratic presidential nomination race after finding out she wasn't going to make it to the third debate.

In another election cycle, Gillibrand might have had a much better chance. She's a woman, she's a United States senator, and she's a champion of women's rights. But it just wasn't enough, this time around.

Part of her problem is why we're giving her the coveted MIDOTW -- because the field was just so jam-packed with other candidates that Gillibrand never had a chance. To put this another way, we're hoping that roughly 10 or 12 other Democratic candidates take note, and also offer up their swansong.

There's a saying in marketing that carries over to politics, even with the negative metaphor: "No matter how well you market the dog food, it will fail if the dogs don't eat it." In other words, the most brilliant ad campaign in history won't be able to sell a product that the consumers don't like. As I mentioned, this is kind of harsh, but the concept is valid. We're not suggesting Gillibrand or any of the other Democrats are terrible dog food, just to be completely clear.

But if the voters don't react to your candidacy, at some point you've got to realize that this is just not your year. And that applies to everyone who didn't make the third debate, really. Tom Steyer spent a reported $15 million trying to boost his poll ratings above two percent, but only managed to do so in three out of the four necessary polls. That's a lot of money for a very small result, to state the obvious.

Steyer and a few others (Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard) still have a shot at getting into the fourth debate, because the criteria are the same as the third, and they've got another month to hit the necessary poll numbers. Gillibrand was also part of this group, so she could have soldiered on for another month, but she chose not to.

Her withdrawal video was heartfelt and upbeat. She left the race with class. She realized that 2020 was not her time, and she fully admitted this to her supporters. And she did so before the absolute last minute.

Gillibrand became the seventh Democrat to exit the field, but that still leaves 20 more in the nomination race. At this point, that's just too many. Any candidate who is still struggling to hit a single percent in polls is just not viable at this point in the race. If one-in-one-hundred Democratic voters don't support you by now, then they almost certainly never will.

Gillibrand's announcement this week should be seen as a model way to take the exit ramp and gracefully bow out of the election. Here's hoping that other candidates take note, and follow her example in the next few weeks. For showing the rest of the field how it should be done, Kirsten Gillibrand is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on her Senate contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

The Democratic Party, behind the scenes, is getting more and more authoritarian by the week. The party's apparatus is scared of losing power -- any power -- and are therefore resorting to what could only be described as strongarm tactics to hold onto that power, in this age of decentralization of politics.

The first example comes from the Association of State Democratic Committees, whom we had never even heard of before now. They are still angry about Barack Obama creating his own political action group (Organizing For America) after becoming president. So they put out a "loyalty oath" sort of pledge not to do what Obama did, and most of the biggest presidential candidates have signed it. This could mean trouble if Bernie Sanders becomes president, because he's already got his own (Our Revolution) group that would seem to fit the bill.

But we've saved the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award for a different arm of the party machine: the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Sadly, we have two reasons for this award.

The first is that the D.S.C.C. is endorsing Democratic Senate primary candidates. Rather than let the primaries play out and then offering support to whichever candidate wins the most votes, they are putting their rather large thumb on the scale, far in advance. The most recent case in point was John Hickenlooper, who ended his run for the presidency, announced his bid for a Colorado Senate seat, and then was almost immediately endorsed by the D.S.C.C.

There were already a number of Democrats running for this office, including seven women. So this wasn't a popular move in Colorado:

The D.S.C.C.'s early endorsement in a race with no Democratic incumbent didn't go over well with Colorado party officials, who, in internal emails published by the Denver Post on Tuesday, described the D.S.C.C.'s immediate decision to back Hickenlooper over 11 other candidates as a "slap in the face."

Six of the seven women candidates running in the Colorado primary sent a letter to D.S.C.C. leadership on Monday, Women's Equality Day, urging it to reconsider its endorsement of Hickenlooper. "All of us, like many women in Colorado and across the country, have seen well-qualified women passed over for male candidates in the workplace time and again," they wrote.

This isn't the only race the D.S.C.C. has tried to clear the field in, either. They've also made endorsements in Iowa (Theresa Greenfield), Maine (Sara Gideon), Arizona (Mark Kelly), New Mexico (Ray Luján), and South Carolina (Jaime Harrison). Such endorsements bring in both party resources and fundraising, which is why it's such a heavy thumb on the scale. And it always seems that the progressive candidates are the ones shut out in the cold. In other words, shades of the D.N.C.'s pro-Hillary bias from 2016.

But this isn't the only reason why we're giving the D.S.C.C. the MDDOTW award. Because while the endorsements are the carrots, the D.S.C.C. is also wielding a big stick behind the scenes. Earlier, the House re-election committee (the D.C.C.C.) had used a similar extortionate tactic, when it announced that any political consultant or ad agency who did any business with any Democrat challenging a sitting Democratic incumbent would essentially be blacklisted for all of time. They would never again get any party money and would be shunned in the Democratic community.

That was to protect incumbents, mind you. But the D.S.C.C. has now taken this strongarm tactic a step further, because it is threatening the same sort of blacklist to any political consultants who work with any candidate in a Senate race where the D.S.C.C. has endorsed another candidate.

The Intercept had this scoop. Here's the whole sordid story:

Before the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a 2020 Senate race, it pressured consultants from at least five firms not to work with a leading progressive in the race, the candidate told The Intercept.

Andrew Romanoff, who is one of more than a dozen candidates vying for Republican Sen. Cory Gardner's seat, told The Intercept that multiple consultants turned down jobs with his campaign citing pressure from the D.S.C.C..

"They've made it clear to a number of the firms and individuals we tried to hire that they wouldn't get any business in Washington or with the D.S.C.C. if they worked with me," Romanoff said. "It's been a well-orchestrated operation to blackball ragtag grassroots teams."

At least five firms and 25 prospective staff turned down working with his campaign, said Romanoff, who has raised more than $1 million in individual contributions so far. "I spoke to the firms, my campaign manager spoke to the staff prospects," he said. "Pretty much everyone who checked in with the D.S.C.C. got the same warning: Helping us would cost them."

A consultant who spoke to The Intercept on the condition of anonymity said that their firm had been far along in talks to work for Romanoff when they got word that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the D.S.C.C. weren't happy. The firm was told by a top D.S.C.C. staffer that they "absolutely under no circumstances could work for Andrew Romanoff, so we withdrew our offer to be his consulting firm."

The D.S.C.C. is using an "unquestionably far more heavy-handed approach this year than they have in previous cycles," the consultant said.

. . .

"First they came for the House candidates; now they're gonna come for the Senate candidates," said Heather Brewer, who is managing the Senate campaign of New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a progressive who was snubbed by the D.S.C.C., which made an early endorsement of Ben Ray Luján, a member of House Democratic leadership. "It's not rocket science to see where this is heading."

"They're threatening people's livelihoods, if people dare break with what the insiders in Washington want," Brewer added. "It's extortion."

Strong words, but they seem to be justified. When contacted, the D.S.C.C. responded: "We do not have a policy of preventing firms from working with candidates. In our role as a campaign committee focused on winning Senate seats, we have ongoing conversations with strategists and advisers about battleground races." In other words: "Unlike the D.C.C.C., we didn't actually write it down as a policy, because it's so much more deniable this way, don't you think?"

The Democratic Party should not be engaged in such hardball tactics, period. The three major entities that control campaign cash -- the D.N.C., the D.C.C.C., and the D.S.C.C. should be forced to adopt a non-intervention policy for the primaries. They should not be putting their thumbs on the scale before the Democratic voters have had their say. That's what primaries are supposed to be all about in the first place. They were intended to replace such "smoke-filled back room" tactics by the party machine. But somehow, the tactics are not just sneaking back in but are becoming more and more heavyhanded and blatant.

Blacklists should never be part of the Democratic playbook. That, to us, seems patently obvious. Which is why, for both making way-too-early endorsements in the first place and then for backing them up with threats against any political consultants who dare to disagree with them, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is our winner of Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

We really should be better than this, folks.

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


Friday Talking Points

Volume 540 (8/30/19)

Normally in the talking points, we try to offer up some comic relief at the very end. We know these are long articles for readers to make it through, so we think it's nice to end on a lighter note. This time around, however, we're kind of reversing the order. We're starting off with a fairly amusing takedown of Trump and all his enablers by a fellow Republican, and we're ending on two very serious notes. That's just the way it worked out, this week, but we did want to warn everyone in advance of the change in thematic order.


   Grotesquely fascinating

Michael Gerson, former speechwriter for George W. Bush, had the final say on two of the most idiotic Trump stories of the past two weeks. His commentary hit the nail on the head, while still remaining pretty downright funny. So we thought we'd begin this week's talking points with it.

It is grotesquely fascinating to see President Trump's apologists try to explain his most lunatic ideas and claims.... This process has a number of steps -- the stages of servility. At first, there is stunned silence. (Did he really propose to buy Greenland?) Then the frantic search for hidden wisdom. (Climate change -- which the president sometimes views as fake science -- will melt Arctic ice, open sea lanes and turn Greenland into the Panama Canal of the north.) Then the determined Googling of historical precedents. (Harry S. Truman, it turns out, also contemplated a Greenland grab.) Then growing defiance. (Greenland has loads of zinc! Doesn't America deserve zinc?!)

Trump's idea of disrupting hurricanes with nuclear weapons -- a suggestion he has denied making but almost certainly made -- has duplicated some of these stages. According to Axios, one briefer who received Trump's proposal was "knocked back on his heels." "You could hear a gnat fart in that meeting," a source recalled. An administration source tried to defuse the matter by pointing to Trump's good intentions: "His goal -- to keep a catastrophic hurricane from hitting the mainland -- is not bad. His objective is not bad." Which would be cold comfort to those with nuclear fallout in their backyard.


   What could possibly go wrong?

Stunning but true.

"Right before hurricane season gets underway -- indeed, with the first hurricane almost literally on Florida's horizon -- President Donald Trump decided that the Federal Emergency Management Agency simply had too much money in their disaster preparedness fund. He swiped over $150 million of it so he could send it to the Mexican border instead. What ever happened to Mexico paying for his beloved wall? Remember that broken promise? With a category-4 hurricane barrelling down on the Florida coast, Trump decided the time was ripe to raid FEMA's fund for responding to disasters. Maybe Trump believes he can turn the storm away with a few nuclear bombs or something? I hope he was kidding about that particular idiocy, but that simply doesn't excuse the idiocy of stealing congressionally-appropriated money for hurricane relief with the first big storm on the horizon. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that idea?"


   Farmers have had enough

A big Trump constituency has been pushed about as far as they can go.

"Trump's trade war is hurting farmers across this country, and Trump just doesn't understand what they're going through. One corn farmer in Iowa summed this up as: 'Agriculture is in one hell of a bad situation right now.' The president of the National Farmers Union has been warning Trump in plain language that farmers have just about had enough, as well: '[Farmers] are in a lot of financial stress right now; net farm income is half of what it was six years ago.' He went on to warn that America will suffer 'reputational damage... for literally decades' from Trump's trade war with China, which he called: 'very harmful to agriculture; all the trade disruption has been enormously damaging.' He called China a 'lost market' for American farmers now, and predicted: 'It's going to take much different behavior from future presidents in order to repair this damage.' Farmers themselves are beginning to realize this, he went on to say: 'You're increasingly going to find people who sort of say, "This was just a mistake. This isn't the way you solve a real problem. It's just making things worse."' Democrats need to make this point explicitly out in farm country -- a vote for Donald Trump is a vote against your own economic interests. Would you still vote for Trump if it meant losing your farm in his second term? Because that's the choice you might just be making."


   Some bad polls for Trump

Let the schadenfreude commence.

"Let's take a look at some recent polling, shall we? Quinnipiac just released a nationwide head-to-head poll, which showed that the top five Democratic candidates -- Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and even Pete Buttigieg -- all beat Trump by a minimum of nine points. Buttigieg only beats Trump by 49 percent to 40 percent, but everyone else beats him by double digits. Biden leads these matchups by trumping Trump 54 percent to 38 percent -- a gap of sixteen points. In a separate poll conducted in Michigan, Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Harris all beat Trump as well -- Biden by ten points, 51 to 41. No wonder Trump can't even watch Fox News anymore, with the hard cold reality of poll numbers like this!"


   Will the last Republican to leave...

Speaking of bad numbers...

"CNN contributor John Avalon recently pointed out an interesting statistic. Since Donald Trump took office, there has been an absolute exodus of Republicans from the Senate. In the 2018 midterms, 34 of them didn't even seek re-election. Add in resignations and those seats Democrats flipped, and the total is pretty stunning: 93 House Republicans out of 241 -- the number they started with -- have left the House during Trump's term. That is an attrition rate of over 38 percent -- and we will likely see several more of them announce that they are retiring rather than running for re-election in 2020. As the old saying goes, will the last Republican to leave the House please turn out the lights...."


   Election security goes beyond stopping Russia

This is downright disturbing. What's even more disturbing is the media silence on these stories.

"In a recent runoff election in Mississippi, people were taking videos with their cellphones of how the voting machines refused to register a vote for their chosen candidate, and instead kept flipping their vote to someone they didn't want to vote for. Meanwhile a report out of Georgia found 'massive irregularities' with the 2018 election -- specifically, differences between the voting patterns of those who used electronic voting machines and those who cast their votes on a paper ballot. What is it going to take to force every precinct in every state in America to get rid of electronic voting for good? These machines can be hacked, they can register the wrong results, and without a paper trail there simply is no way a recount can even happen. This affects everyone, of every party. While the Georgia results might have been heavily skewed against black voters and Democrats, the Mississippi errors happened during a Republican-only runoff election. We need paper ballots everywhere so that everyone in America can be sure that their vote is going to count, and their vote is going to be counted for the person they voted for. Anything less is unacceptable."


   Nothing but crickets....

Call this out, since Republicans certainly aren't going to....

"In the past week, two incidents within the Republican Party have shown that both anti-Semitism and blatant white-supremacist racism are still alive and well in the GOP today. In Michigan, a woman running for city council in Marysville finally was forced out of the race, after spouting virulent white-supremacist garbage in public. First she stated to a public audience that her platform was to 'Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible. White. Seriously. In other words, no foreign-born. No foreign people.' She then followed up in a radio interview with a black reporter, stating that she actually didn't have a problem with non-white people in her town, as long as they 'keep up their homes' and weren't in an interracial marriage. The reporter asked if the reporter's own mixed marriage would be considered wrong, and the racist candidate answered: 'I would say so. According to the Bible, yes.' Meanwhile, up in Rockland County, New York, the Republican Party released a campaign video targeting a county legislator who happens to be an Orthodox Jew. The ad darkly warns that he is 'plotting a takeover' that threatens 'our way of life.' While headlines about Hasidic Jews are shown, the ad goes on to say: 'IF THEY WIN, WE LOSE. TAKE BACK CONTROL.' Now remember all the outrage certain Republicans vented when they thought a Democrat had crossed the line into anti-Semitism? It was pretty loud, as I recall. So with these two examples of Republican behavior on the campaign trail -- one white-supremacist, one anti-Semitic, both racist -- I have to ask: where is the outrage? Because all I hear from the national Republican Party is crickets chirping in the distance."

-- Chris Weigant


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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


25 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Cavuto Dumps On Trump!”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    great article CW, but wouldn't it be better with pie?

  2. [2] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    all I hear from the national Republican Party is crickets chirping in the distance

    ..And that's all you're gonna hear. Pretty obvious by now that the party is all toadies. Some rumbling by Fox, now that the president isn't on their side so much, but really, where're they gonna go? Jeb? Ted?

    gimme a break.

  3. [3] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    However, it does again raise the question of Biden's ability to take on Trump on the issue of being honest.

    REALLY??? Do you really believe that Biden’s gaffe raises this question? Biden could begin every morning from now until Election Day tweeting out that he can fly like Superman and Biden would still easily be able to take on Trump on the issue of being honest! He’d also still be able to claim that he is in better mental condition than Trump is!

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Please help me understand why you have concerns about Biden's ability to take on Trump in a debate/campaign in light of Bidenisms.

    I mean, seriously … how fun it will be after a Trump/Biden debate when the media types count and compare the gaffes with the lies. Oh, right, they won't compare and contrast, they'll just count. I think American voters understand the difference and know which one defines the promise of America.

    Reporters must be hanging on every syllable, all the time. I doubt they do the same for anyone else.

    Did you see the clip of the female soldier - in uniform - who spoke with Biden at an event and hoped out loud that he is the next president.

    A former general speaking on CNN said that was a big problem, especially since she was in uniform. He said with a very slight semi-grin that he was sure that there were some in the military who would not support Biden. What's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander.

    I have noticed over the years, particularly remembering General McCrystal's insulting comments about Biden, while acting under the Obama administration. Where does this sentiment in the military come from, I would like to understand.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I couldn't agree more.

    And, before he even gets to Trump's lies, he can obliterate Trump's policies, one by one.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Furthermore, Biden is the candidate best positioned to take on Trump's China policy/tactics.

  7. [7] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Chris, please tell me this was intended as humor, and you omitted the usual 'Heh': 'This is just as well, because if it had stretched to two nights the second night would have taken place on Friday the 13th.' I know most Americans identify as religious, but should the debate schedule be determined by medieval superstition?

    More seriously, I've read more than one article crowing that the single debate means "candidate 1" will finally go 'head to head' with "candidate 2". While this may be good for the network, who will be able to promote the debate like a sporting event or reality show episode, this is not good for the voters. If the debates were held over 2 nights, each candidate would have more time to explain proposals and positions.

  8. [8] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Speaking of Gillibrand, Karma bites her in the ass.
    '“Franken was definitely a problem in terms of fundraising,” the person familiar with the Gillibrand campaign said. “He just kept coming up, over and over again.”

    Jen Palmieri, Clinton’s former communications director, said there was “no question” that the Franken ordeal had a “huge, outsized impact on her.” '

  9. [9] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    And I'll exit the stage by commending you on this week's talking points. You cast a wide net, but each one hit its mark(to mix metaphors).
    Re #3 and #7, the Republicans in Congress, elected to represent their constituents' interests, continue to remain silent in the face of the Trump's destruction. Republicans are mute about the damage the tariffs are inflicting on farmers and consumers. They have nothing to say about his use of the justice department and the courts as his own personal law firm. They make no move to pass legislation when he uses 'national emergency' to sell weapons to Saudia Arabia and usurp Congress' own constitutionally-defined funding authority. There is nothing but 'crickets' from GOP Senators and Representatives when he publicly justifies Russia rejoining the G7 - despite the fact that Russia hasn't withdrawn from Ukraine, Britain has compelling evidence that they poisoned people in the UK, and our own intelligence services scream from the roof about Eussian interference in the last two elections (to name just a few objections).

  10. [10] 
    dsws wrote:

    I was going to say that few if any Biden supporters would be swayed by the gaffes mentioned in the column. But it looks as though the Biden supporters sort of beat me to it.

    Biden is the nominee. Trump is reelected.

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    maybe donald would win re-election with biden as an opponent. maybe some other candidate could defeat donald. however, currently all top tier candidates poll ahead of donald in a general election match-up, with biden performing the best. fallible as the polls may be, i think it's highly unlikely that they've managed to rank the candidates entirely backwards. why would donald win against biden, and why would any other candidate defeat donald if biden could not?


  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    why would donald win against biden, and why would any other candidate defeat donald if biden could not?


  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: It was also revealed that Trump is so set on getting some wall built before the election rolls around that he's been offering pardons to contractors who break the law in erecting his monument to idiocy. Yes, Trump is giving a green light to people to break the law, for purely political reasons.

    Did no one tell the Moron-In-Chief that his pardon power is limited to federal crimes? There is absolutely nothing on Earth Trump could do for those who would undoubtedly be facing criminal prosecution for their violation of numerous municipal and state crimes that would also have to be committed to illegally build that wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.

    Also, anyone contemplating breaking the law for the Criminal-in-Chief might want to check the whereabouts and legal issues facing Paulie Manafort, Roger Stone, Mikey Cohen, Mikey Flynn and numerous other of Trump's associates to find out how that following Trump's illegal orders is working out for them.

    If this isn't obstruction of justice, we don't know what is.

    Yes, sir... bribery... or if you want to get technical, it's conspiracy to defraud the government and obstruction of justice, violation of 18 United States Code 371... and another violation of Trump's oath of office and impeachable.

  14. [14] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Unbephuqueinglievable how much trouble the Orange Moron can cause weeks after we were promised that the Mueller Report would take him down for good!

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: And finally, a blast from the past link we noticed in a comments board this week. [Note: We couldn't find the entire episode, but there is an edited version with all the relevant dialog up on YouTube, so check it out if you wish.]

    "Trackdown" starring Robert Culp as a Texas Ranger, and that episode was titled "The End of the World"... presented without commercials in its entirety (~ 23 minutes) at the link below.

    When the state lawman asks the Sheriff of Talpa how long he is going to let the "con man walk around town," Trump threatens the Texas Ranger: "Be careful, son, I can sue you."

    Trump tries to bribe the Texas Ranger.

    **Spoiler Alert**

    It doesn't end well for Trump. :)

  16. [16] 
    dsws wrote:

    why would donald win against biden, and why would any other candidate defeat donald if biden could not?

    Because Biden only two things going for him: (1) everyone recognizes his name and associates it with Obama, and (2) the vast majority of the population knows nothing else about him. No one actually wants him to be president -- him in particular, rather than any Democrat, or for that matter, anyone but the current ra*ist-in-chief. Once it gets to the general campaign, everyone will see him as a senile white guy who has been on the wrong side of a bunch of race questions and who has a habit of putting his hands on women who don't want his hands on them. There are plenty of people who are ok with that, but they're voting for Trump.

  17. [17] 
    dsws wrote:

    fallible as the polls may be, i think it's highly unlikely that they've managed to rank the candidates entirely backwards

    Polls don't measure the future. They measure what people will say in response to particular questions, now. In this case, the polls are perfectly accurate in their ranking of what they do measure. But what they measure is mostly about name recognition, which is perfectly irrelevant. By the end of a presidential campaign, everyone will recognize the names of both major-party candidates.

  18. [18] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    Citizens can register at that they will only vote for small donor candidates and pledge to contribute small contributions directly to candidates.

    Why, again, do I need to register with you? Why am I handing you my personal info? What purpose will it serve? I can vote for only small donor candidates without telling you my intentions or giving you my address!

    Then the candidates won't need the DNC, DCCC, DSCCC, political consultants or ad agencies.

    I’m sorry, but how will One Demand remove a candidate’s need for political consultants or ad agencies? If there are no ads to tell me which candidates are accepting only small donations, where am I supposed to get this information to know who is a small donor candidate and who isn’t? You are too busy whining about CW not telling the world all of the reasons One Demand is the next big movement to provide any real services to candidates or to voters!

    If candidates are not putting out mass mailings or running ads letting us know what their political leanings are, how are we to make wise choices on who we want to represent us? You’ve made it clear that you don’t care about anything but supporting small donor candidates.... no, no that’s not right. What you have made clear is that you think CW should promote an idea you had that doesn’t do what you claim it idea that you don’t want to put any real time into... so please tell me HOW ONE DEMAND will replace the need for political consultants and ad agencies?

  19. [19] 
    TheStig wrote:

    How does DH propose to verify that Names and Addresses in the OneDemand data base are a valid match ...AND if they are a valid match, were they sent in by said persons, or by an imposter gleaning them from public records such as phone books?

    Any pledges made to OneDemand are unenforceable at the ballot box. This reduces OneDemand to yet another nonscientific internet poll, of which there are already plenty - and all of which are worthless except for collecting suckers personal info for marketing or worse.

    "Don"s URL does not indicate it has a web secure certificate. Another red flag.

    As for personal info Don, you first. Real name, real face, real address.

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The Trump Fox News marriage is clearly on the rocks. Separate bedrooms. We all saw it coming. The President has a roving eye, and likes 'em young. He does not appreciate back talk.

    In the wake of Trump:Fox strife, One America News Network (OANN) was flouncing her goods around on You Tube feed last week trying to attract the attention of Trump and Trump Supporters. OANN talking heads are younger and Foxier than the current Fox stable, and all of these eager unknowns are more than willing to pimp a conspiracy theory to within an inch of its credibility.

    OANN is the child of doting father Charles ("Pickled") Herring. A man who evidently likes to remain beneath the in not much bubbles up from a Google search.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Some things never change.

    Those who know little to nothing about Senator Biden tap out the most asinine comments about him.

    It has always been that way and it will always be thus.

  22. [22] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    do you really believe that joe biden right now has greater name recognition in the general public than bernie sanders and liz warren? maybe six months ago warren might have been a bit less conspicuous in the public view, but all three have had a fairly high profile at least for the last four years. i would argue that sanders due to his presidential run in 2016 has even higher name recognition with the general public than biden. i'm open to other hypotheses, but why is it so hard to fathom that perhaps biden's poll numbers might be due to people liking him or thinking he'd be a good president?


    the word "idea" is very broad. the reason scientific journals require authors to put their goals, background, hypotheses, methodology and conclusions in different sections is so it will be easier for readers to tell which aspect of an idea is which. that way they can decide whether or not something makes sense as a whole, and the journal can decide whether or not to publish it. based on your repeated requests to CW, i'm going to intuit that your intermediate goal here is to be published.

    what everybody here (apologies to any dissenters) has tried unsuccessfully to communicate to you is that your proposal is missing some crucial components that cw (or anyone else) would require in order to consider publication. most of us agree that your goal (limiting the influence of money in politics) is a good one. your hypothesis is indeed untried, as you claim. however, your methodology and conclusions don't seem to have any concrete relationship to that hypothesis - even less so since you began to act belligerently toward our host. not only does a submission for publication have to make sense, it also has to fit the goals of the journal in which it's being published, and the editor has to trust you as a reliable author. just because someone reports "news" doesn't mean that it's their job to report on those events that they don't find interesting or meaningful.

    CW mentioned that creating your own blog would allow you to express your idea more fully. russ mentioned that he has experience running a national nonprofit, and you are up-front with the fact that you don't. instead of dismissing these expert criticisms as "twisting" the idea you have in your head (but which nobody else seems to understand), why not benefit from them by changing your methodology?


  23. [23] 
    dsws wrote:

    do you really believe that joe biden right now has greater name recognition in the general public than bernie sanders and liz warren?

    Yes, by a very large margin. He was VP for eight years, and his name was on the campaign signs for two general-election campaigns.

    You are not normal. I am not normal. Normal people pay as much attention to primaries as you or I do to professional lacrosse.

  24. [24] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    The address is needed to place the voter in the correct congressional district. When enough citizens are registered the website will be expanded to provide information on how many citizens are participating in each congressional district.

    To place them in the correct congressional district? For what?


    NO WHERE!!!

    From the One Demand site:

    You may have noticed that the basic plan does not mention you contributing money other than stating that you can participate for free. This is because with One Demand your vote is more important than your money.

    20% of the approximately 130 million national voters investing 100 dollars in political contributions would total over 2.5 billion dollars.

    You say that people do not have to donate $100 to a campaign to sign up, yet all of the financial stats that you post are based on the assumption that every single person who signs up is in fact donating the maximum $200. These are 20% of the registered voters who have not voted been active voters in the past. You can safely assume that they also have not donated to campaigns in the past, but you believe that not only can you convince them to start voting, but to also donate the maximum $200.

    Of course, since there are no candidates that meet your criteria, that means no money will actually be raised.

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:


    If there are no ads to tell me which candidates are accepting only small donations, where am I supposed to get this information to know who is a small donor candidate and who isn't?

    FEC records, but don't waste your time. There are no candidates that meet the Don Harris purity "demand" where voters pledge to self-disenfranchise unless a "messiah" candidate that doesn't exist runs for political office.

    The fatal flaw in the theory is that a group of people promising to not vote would force politicians to appease them. *laughs* Meanwhile, politicians are looking for voters. If everybody in Texas were stupid enough to join Don's idiot crusade, I would be the electorate because I'm participating in democracy whether Jesus is on the ballot or not. No one would need very much money to campaign because they could just focus on those actually voting -- me. I'm never not voting. :)

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