ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- GOP Defunded The Tax Police

[ Posted Friday, July 16th, 2021 – 17:00 UTC ]

There were two interesting developments in the congressional sausage-making process this week, both of which Democrats should immediately adopt as their main messages for the next week or so.

The first was that Senators Bernie Sanders and Mark Warner announced they had come to a compromise on the reconciliation bill which will fund the lion's share of President Joe Biden's economic agenda. They settled on a total figure of $3.5 trillion in new spending, which is far less than Bernie's original goal of $6 trillion (just for this bill alone), but also far more than the opening bid of the fiscally-conservative Democrats, which was in the $1.5 to $2 trillion range. It also will mean that Biden got the exact total he asked for in his "three-legged stool" of economic legislation. His first big legislative achievement (the American Rescue Plan) spent $1.9 trillion, and the bipartisan infrastructure deal represents $0.6 trillion more, which will mean a grand total of $6 trillion for all three -- which is exactly what Biden asked for in the first place.

But as we said, there were two interesting developments in the progress of both the reconciliation bill and the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Sanders managed to get one of his highest priorities included in the bill he will now write, and it's a doozy. Medicare coverage will expand to include dental, vision, and hearing insurance. There is no real logical reason why these three items are not considered part of standard American medical insurance in the first place -- they are medical problems which require a visit to the doctor and, sometimes, expensive accessories or treatment -- but for some strange reason in this country they are considered separate from regular health insurance. This means some older Americans haven't been able to afford things like new glasses or a hearing aid. Which is tragic. Bernie aims to fix that problem in one fell swoop. By doing so, he (and by extension all the Democrats who vote to make it happen) will earn the thanks of tens of millions of elderly Americans. This is a monumental and fundamental change that will improve the kitchen-table lives of a whole lot of people, in other words.

That's the positive message Democrats should start using: "We made this happen. Democrats made it so your grandmother can afford a hearing aid, or getting her teeth cleaned. We did this without Republican help -- this was not bipartisan, this was Democrats helping you while Republicans fought against it."

That's a pretty easy case to make, obviously.

And then there's the negative messaging. Because the bipartisan deal seems to have hit a rather large snag. Republicans are balking at one of the main ways their bill will be funded. They've already balked at plenty of other rational suggestions for how to raise the money, and the GOP negotiators thought they had an answer because it wouldn't have "raised taxes" on anyone and because it really wouldn't require any legal change or new program or even a rewrite of the tax laws. Democrats proposed a rather novel money-making idea: give the I.R.S. more money to hire people to conduct audits, and then direct them to audit high-income individuals and corporations. Investing in such enforcement against tax cheats would have paid for itself many times over (in the tax money recovered, which otherwise would have been lost), so the increase in revenue could be applied to all the infrastructure projects in the new bill.

Not such a bad idea, right? It wouldn't go against any of the Republican anti-tax orthodoxy, and would really just reverse the trend (over the past decade or so) of starving the I.R.S. of funding to punish it for some misperceived sins.

But the Republicans pushed back, for some unfathomable reason. This means they are now openly defending the indefensible. The ball is teed up and just waiting for the Democrats to drive it as far down the fairway as possible. Again, this is pathetically easy to do:

"Republicans like to brag about how they support law enforcement, bending over backwards to appear 'pro-cop' to the public. But you know what? This just is not true anymore, if it ever was. First Republicans in Congress voted against awarding the highest honor Congress can bestow to the police officers who bravely protected Congress with their lives this January. That was disgraceful -- how could anyone vote against such an honor for those who protected us all on that dark day? But now it's gotten even worse, folks. Because for all their sloganeering over the issue, for the past 10 years or more, the Republican Party has systematically defunded the tax police. Yes, you heard that right -- they have defunded the agents whose job it is to go after tax cheats. And when Democrats suggested boosting this budget back up so the I.R.S. could catch more high-income tax cheats, Republicans said they couldn't support the idea. Republicans like to say they're pro-police, but they dishonored the very officers who physically protect them every day, they defunded the tax police, and they are now pro-tax-cheaters. That is the reality, plain and simple, no matter what they tell you to the contrary."

This is Politics 101, really. What are Democrats for? Making sure everyone pays their fair share of taxes, making sure cheaters get caught and pay the price, and giving old people dental, vision, and hearing insurance through Medicare. What are Republicans for? Making grandma pay for her own glasses and hearing aids, because Republicans will to fight to the death to defund the tax police while standing up for the rights of the ultra-wealthy to cheat on their taxes, scot-free. Rarely in politics do you get given two such gifts in a single week, so let's hope Democrats actually realize it and utilize it to the fullest.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has set a deadline of next Wednesday for the first vote on the bipartisan bill, and for Bernie Sanders to finalize his drafting as well, so this should also be big news next week, too.

There was one other major development this week that is going to help Biden and the Democrats out, and that was the appearance in millions of bank accounts of a tax credit for most parents. Part of the American Rescue Plan Biden passed earlier this year has finally been implemented, and checks and direct deposits went out this week for the first time. Here's a quick rundown on how important this could prove to be:

The Biden administration on Thursday began the biggest anti-poverty program undertaken by the federal government in more than half a century, delivering monthly payments to the overwhelming majority of American parents for the first time.

The Treasury Department said it has sent checks to households representing about 60 million children under a provision in a stimulus package Democrats passed in March. The payments can be withdrawn Thursday but appeared in many bank accounts as early as Wednesday. The benefit, expected to cost about $120 billion per year, provides $300 per child younger than 6, as well as $250 per child age 6 and older. The administration previously said that about 88 percent of all children nationwide would receive the aid.

At an event at the White House on Thursday afternoon with Vice President [Kamala] Harris, [President Joe] Biden extolled the benefit as representing a "historic" achievement and said it would be one of the administration's proudest accomplishments. The president, urging Congress to extend the program beyond this year, emphasized that it amounts to a "middle-class tax cut" that will help working-class families make ends meet.

"It's our effort to take another giant step toward ending child poverty in America," said Biden, who was joined by nine families, including young children, that will receive the tax credit.

. . .

"This is the biggest anti-poverty effort since Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty," said Joshua McCabe, a historian of U.S. welfare policy at Endicott College. "This is a once-in-a-longtime chance to significantly reduce child poverty."

Democrats need to toot their own horn about this, starting immediately, because like all the other good things in the American Rescue Plan, they can take all the political credit (since Republicans refused to vote for it).

Shifting gears a bit, there was news this week about the former president, all of it bad (as usual). A new book on the final days of Donald Trump's term in office had one particularly chilling quote, from the highest-ranking military officer in the country, as he was watching his commander-in-chief give a speech on January 6:

At the Pentagon, Gen. Mark A. Milley was watching on television from his office as well, deeply disturbed by the rhetoric.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff already had been on edge. A student of history, Milley saw [President Donald] Trump as a classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose. He had earlier described to aides that he kept having a stomach-churning feeling that some of the worrisome early stages of 20th-century fascism in Germany were replaying in 21st-century America. He saw parallels between Trump’s rhetoric about election fraud and Adolf Hitler's insistence to his followers at the Nuremberg rallies that he was both a victim and their savior.

"This is a Reichstag moment," Milley told aides. "The gospel of the Führer."

Think this is overstating the matter? We don't. Especially when Trump himself confirmed (once again) the depths of his depravity, in a Fox News interview. Trump actually praised the insurrectionists, by flat-out lying about what happened that day in the boldest terms, starting with his own rally at the Ellipse:

The crowd was unbelievable and I mentioned the word "love," the love in the air, I've never seen anything like it.... Too much spirit and faith and love, there was such love at that rally, you had over a million people.

Um, no, not even close. The crowd was under (probably way under) 50,000 people. Pretty much everything else he had to say about the day was just as fat a lie, too.

On the people storming the Capitol in the attempted insurrection, Trump had all kinds of glowing things to say:

[The insurrectionists were] tremendous -- in many cases, tremendous people, tremendous people.

[They had] no guns... no nothing.

[They were] military people, and they're police officers, and they're construction workers.

He also denied all the violence we all saw on our television screens, calling what happened a "lovefest."

An interesting footnote to Trump kissing up to violent right-wing extremists -- when White supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest plans to remove a Confederate statue, he called them "very fine people."

This week, both that statue and another Confederate statue came down in Charlottesville, and the company that did the removal threw in for free the removal of two other statues which portrayed Native Americans in a demeaning light. Which is a satisfying ending, you'll have to admit.

And finally, a humorous note. When the Democrats in the Texas state legislature flew to Washington, D.C. to deny the Republicans the quorum they needed to pass a voter-suppression bill, Senator Ted Cruz felt the need to weigh in, calling the whole thing "a political stunt." The internet had a field day, pointing out how Cruz fled the state during a winter storm crisis that left much of the state without power for days on end. So we finish with the most amusing retort of the bunch, from Julián Castro, who tweeted:

Texas Democrats left the state to fight for voting rights.

Ted Cruz left the state to sip drinks on a Cancun beach.

I'd sit this one out, Ted.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We have three Honorable Mention awards to hand out before we get to the main event. The first goes to Senator Bernie Sanders, for striking a $3.5 trillion deal on the reconciliation deal with the fiscally-conservative Democrats. This will be a monumental achievement if it happens, and Bernie should be proud. But at the same time, nothing is actually drafted on paper yet, so we're going to hold off giving him the MIDOTW award until next week, at the earliest.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also deserves an Honorable Mention award for promising a vote on a bill to end the federal War On Weed once and for all (we wrote about this at length yesterday, in case anyone's interested).

And the Texas Democratic state legislators more than earned recognition this week, by flying out of Texas to deny the Republicans a quorum (to pass a Draconian voter-suppression bill), and instead of just holing up somewhere they all flew to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress to pass the two bills which would fix the problem at the national level. So far, they haven't had much success in convincing Senate Democrats (Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema in particular) to change the filibuster rule enough so these two crucial bills can pass with only a simple majority vote, but they are certainly doing all they can in this regard, and our thanks go out to them for their effort. One in particular, state representative James Talarico, deserves particular acclaim, for going on Fox News and baldly asking the host: "Did Donald Trump lose the election in 2020? Can you answer the question? Did Donald Trump lose the election in 2020?" The host, of course, didn't answer. But it was certainly fun to see him squirm.

But we have a rather interesting pair of main awards this week, starting with the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week going to President Joe Biden, for the speech he gave in Philadelphia on the importance of voting rights.

This was a soaring speech and, at times, it correctly identified both how voting rights are under attack from Republicans and the urgent need for action.

Apologies for the extended excerpts, but this really was a speech worth reading in full:. Parts of it were downright historic. Here are just a few highlights:

They voted early. They voted absentee. They voted in person. They voted by mail. They voted by drop box. And then they got their families and friends to go out and vote.

Election officials, the entire electoral system, withstood unrelenting political attacks, physical threats, intimidation, and pressure. They did so with unyielding courage and faith in our democracy.

With recount after recount after recount, court case after court case, the 2020 election was the most scrutinized election ever in American history. Challenge after challenge brought to local, state, and election officials; state legislatures; state and federal courts -- even to the United States Supreme Court not once, but twice.

. . .

It's clear. For those who challenge the results and question the integrity of the election: No other election has ever been held under such scrutiny and such high standards.

The Big Lie is just that: a big lie.

The 2020 election -- it's not hyperbole to suggest -- the most examined and the fullest expression of the will of the people in the history of this nation. This should be celebrated -- the example of America at its best. But instead, we continue to see an example of human nature at its worst -- something darker and more sinister.

In America, if you lose, you accept the results. You follow the Constitution. You try again. You don't call facts "fake" and then try to bring down the American experiment just because you're unhappy. That's not statesmanship.

That's not statesmanship; that's selfishness. That's not democracy; it's the denial of the right to vote. It suppresses. It subjugates.

The denial of full and free and fair elections is the most un-American thing that any of us can imagine, the most undemocratic, the most unpatriotic, and yet, sadly, not unprecedented.

. . .

While this broad assault against voting rights is not unprecedented, it's taking on a new and, literally, pernicious forms.

It's no longer just about who gets to vote or making it easier for eligible voters to vote. It's about who gets to count the vote -- who gets to count whether or not your vote counted at all. It's about moving from independent election administrators who work for the people to polarized state legislatures and partisan actors who work for political parties.

To me, this is simple: This is election subversion. It's the most dangerous threat to voting and the integrity of free and fair elections in our history. Never before have they decided who gets to count what votes count.

Some state legislatures want to make it harder for you to vote. And if you vote, they want to be able to tell you your vote doesn't count for any reason they make up.

They want the ability to reject the final count and ignore the will of the people if their preferred candidate loses.

And they're trying -- not only targeting people of color, they're targeting voters of all races and backgrounds. It's with a simple target: who did not vote for them. That's the target.

It's unconscionable. I mean, really, I... it's hard to declare just how critical this is. It's simply unconscionable.

. . .

We must ask those who represent us at the federal, state, and local levels: Will you deny the will of the people? Will you ignore their voices?

We have to ask: Are you on the side of truth or lies; fact or fiction; justice or injustice; democracy or autocracy? That's what it's coming down to.

. . .

Because as much as people know they're screwing around with the election process, I don't think that most people think this is about who gets to count what vote counts -- literally, not figuratively. You vote for certain electors to vote for somebody for President. State legislator comes along -- under their proposal -- and they say, "No, we don't like those electors. We're going to appoint other electors who are going to vote for the other guy or other woman."

Because here's the deal: In 2020, democracy was put to a test -- first by the pandemic; then by a desperate attempt to deny the reality and the results of the election; and then by a violent and deadly insurrection on the Capitol, the citadel of our democracy.

I've been around a long time in public life. I thought I've seen it all or most of it all. But I never thought I'd see that, for real.

And in spite of what you see on television -- and you saw it -- you have senators saying it was just a day at the Capitol, just people visiting the Capitol.

. . .

Look how close it came. I mean, for real, how close it came. We're going to face another test in 2022: a new wave of unprecedented voter suppression, and raw and sustained election subversion. We have to prepare now.

. . .

So hear me clearly: There is an unfolding assault taking place in America today -- an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections, an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are -- who we are as Americans.

For, make no mistake, bullies and merchants of fear and peddlers of lies are threatening the very foundation of our country.

. . .

The assault on free and fair elections is just such a threat, literally. I've said it before: We're are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That's not hyperbole. Since the Civil War. The Confederates back then never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on January the 6th.

I'm not saying this to alarm you; I'm saying this because you should be alarmed.

So for giving such a passionate and breathtaking speech about how the right to vote is precious and should be defended at all costs, President Joe Biden is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate President Joe Biden on his White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Sadly, we are also going to award President Biden the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week as well, for the very same speech.

Biden's speech was a real call to action. He even ended on this precise note:

Just remember, our late friend John Lewis said, "Freedom is not a state; it is an act." "Freedom is not a state; it is an act." And we must act, and we will act. For our cause is just, our vision is clear, and our hearts are full.

For "We the People," for our democracy, for America itself, we must act.

Strong words indeed.

However, they weren't actually backed up by much, in Biden's speech. Here is the strongest passage (and that's not saying much) about what Biden intends to do about it all:

But we also have to clear-eyed about the obstruction we face. Legislation is one tool, but not the only tool. And it's not the only measure of our obligation to defend democracy today.

For example, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the United States Department of Justice is going to be using its authorities to challenge the onslaught of state laws undermining voting rights in old and new ways.

The focus -- the focus will be on dismantling racially discriminatory laws, like the recent challenge to Georgia's vicious anti-voting law.

The Department of Justice will do so with a voting rights division that -- at my request -- is doubling its size in enforcement staff.

Biden also called on the public to get engaged, as well:

That's why, just like we did in 2020, we have to prepare for 2022. We'll engage in an all-out effort to educate voters about the changing laws, register them to vote, and then get the vote out.

All fine and good, but what was truly disappointing was what Biden didn't say. He didn't once utter the word "filibuster," for instance. He never once admitted that if Democrats are going to fix any of this legislatively, they are going to have to do so on their own. Biden blithely talked about what Congress should be doing, at one point:

As soon as Congress passes the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, I will sign it and let the whole world see it. That will be an important moment.

And the world is wondering -- the world is wondering -- and Dwight knows what I'm talking about, for real. You know, the world is wondering, "What is America going to do?"

But Biden never admitted what everyone already knows -- neither one of those bills is going to survive Mitch McConnell filibustering them in the Senate. They have zero chance of passing in any sort of bipartisan fashion.

Perhaps the most naïve segment of the entire speech was the following:

We will be asking my Republican friends -- in Congress, in states, in cities, in counties -- to stand up, for God's sake, and help prevent this concerted effort to undermine our elections and the sacred right to vote. Have you no shame?

This got a big hand from the crowd, but the real answer is: "No, Joe -- no they don't. They have no shame left at all. They are the ones passing all these voter-suppression laws. They're not going to 'stand up, for God's sake.' They're not going to help prevent what they are actively accomplishing. They don't care. They are heading in exactly the opposite direction, en masse."

The only way voting rights will be defended by Democrats in Congress is if Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema can be convinced to allow a new "constitutional rights" carveout of the filibuster rules.

That is the only way it is going to happen. That is the action John Lewis would be demanding, if he were still alive today.

So while the rest of the speech was uplifting and soared, at times, it was the political equivalent of a "strongly-worded letter" that can easily be ignored. No Republican is going to hear that speech and suddenly have an epiphany and start voting with the Democrats to defend the right to vote for all. It just isn't going to happen, and the sooner Biden, Manchin, and Sinema realize it, the better.

Which is why Joe Biden gets both this week's awards, for a single speech. Because his own speech didn't live up to the masterful rhetoric deployed in the same speech.

Actions speak louder than words, Joe, sorry.

[Contact President Joe Biden on his White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 626 (7/16/21)

Back after last week's hiatus, here are seven fresh talking points for Democrats everywhere to consider using this week, from politicians being interviewed on television to average voters around the water cooler.

Before we dive in, we have two milestones that merit a mention (that didn't seem to fit anyplace else). The first was good news, as Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter celebrated an astounding 75 years of being married to each other. Congratulations to the happy couple!

And secondly, we have to mark the passing of one of the most colorful politicians of our lifetime, as Edwin Edwards just passed away. The Louisiana politician (later turned jailbird) was certainly never at a loss for a snappy talking point, whether you agreed with or supported him or not. Two in particular have long been quoted in these pages over the years, which is how we're going to mark his passing. When he was running against an infamous K.K.K. leader, the Edwards campaign capitalized on Edwards's own checkered past with a bumpersticker for the ages: "Vote For The Crook -- It's Important!" But his most amusing political quote of all time came earlier, when he predicted that they only way he could lose an upcoming election was "if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."

Again, no matter what you thought of him, his corruption, or his time in office, Edwin Edwards is definitely in the "Talking Points Hall Of Fame" for such pithy remarks.

OK, with that out of the way, let's dig in, shall we?

 

1
   Biden Bucks

We certainly can't claim originality for this one. It started trending as a Twitter hashtag the day parents started seeing automatic deposits in their bank accounts. But so far we haven't seen it being widely adopted by Democrats, which we feel is a missed opportunity.

"Parents across this country got a welcome surprise in their bank accounts this week -- a payment of up to $300 for each child in the family. A middle-class family of four would have seen $600 appear in their bank account, from the federal government. Others will receive paper checks in the mail in the coming days. And all of them will get these payments every month from now on. Some have started calling these 'Biden Bucks,' which I think is a great way to put it. President Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress expanded the Child Tax Credit and reimagined the delivery method, in order to put this money in parents' pockets on a regular basis. This could dramatically reduce child poverty in an enormous way, which is why it is such a great idea. Republicans, for the most part, opposed this measure. This is why it seems completely appropriate to call them Biden Bucks. So ask any parents you know with children still at home -- did they got their Biden Bucks yet? -- just to give credit where it's due."

 

2
   Berniecare

Since we're in the mood for some political branding, let's also give credit where it is due for this monumental change as well.

"Bernie Sanders pretty much singlehandedly argued for and won the inclusion of a fundamental shift in Medicare that -- if it passes and becomes law -- will ease the lives of countless older Americans for the rest of their lives. No longer will they have to save up enough money to buy a pair of new glasses or a hearing aid or even a visit to the dentist, because through the new Berniecare expansion of Medicare, all of these things will be covered. No more supplemental plans to cover this stuff will be necessary. This is going to be a dramatic and welcome change, and Bernie Sanders deserves all the credit for fighting for it so hard. So when your parents and grandparents don't have to worry about glasses and hearing aids and teeth cleaning costs any more, you can all thank Bernie Sanders, for creating Berniecare."

 

3
   GOP stands strong for rich tax cheats

This is just jaw-dropping. And so easy to use as a talking point.

"The Republican Party has now shown us its true colors. People like the former president hoodwinked a lot of folks into believing that the GOP was somehow now a 'populist' party, but in reality their the same old plutocratic party they've always been. They just usually don't show it this nakedly, that's all. Republicans are refusing to support a bipartisan plan their own negotiators came up with because it would target tax cheaters with beefed-up enforcement. And you know who cheats the most at their taxes? Rich people and corporate America. The GOP is standing strong for people and giant businesses to blatantly cheat on their taxes and get away with it. According to the GOP, there must be no tax cop on the beat, because that might mean the cheaters would get caught and have to pay what they owe. Oh, the horrors! This is just astounding, from a party that used to pride itself on being strongly for law and order. But now they're for lawlessness and for crime paying handsomely to the privileged few. Yes folks, by standing up for tax cheats, the Republican Party is showing us its true colors indeed -- and it's about as far from populism as you can get."

 

4
   GOP defunded the tax police

Hammer this one home.

"Since 2010, Republicans have cut the I.R.S. budget with a vengeance. The number of auditors at the agency dropped by one-third between 2010 and 2017, when it dropped to fewer than 10,000 revenue agents for the first time since 1953. Yes, you read that right -- since the dawn of the Cold War. In 2010, the I.R.S. conducted 675,000 more audits than it did in 2017. This was all by design, brought to you by Republicans in Congress. For all the noise they make accusing Democrats of 'defunding the police,' all you have to do is look at how they themselves have slashed funding for the federal agents who are responsible for enforcing the nation's tax laws. Fewer audits means more tax cheats got away without paying what they legally owe. Millionaires and billionaires love this, obviously. There just isn't a great chance they'll get caught committing tax fraud anymore. But when Democrats proposed restoring the budget for the tax police -- which would have brought in an enormous amount of revenue -- Republicans balked. They are so fiercely on the side of tax cheats that they refuse to even consider reversing their own policy of defunding the tax police. So the next time some Republican accuses a Democrat of 'defunding the police,' please ask them why they defunded the tax police so more rich people can cheat on their taxes with impunity."

 

5
   GOP anti-police in general

Again, they really need to be hit hard on this stuff.

"The Republican Party used to pride itself on how pro-police they were. They took the side of law enforcement and portrayed themselves as being on the side of law and order. But that just isn't true anymore. Some of what Republicans have been doing recently is just disgraceful, in fact. Some Republicans in Congress voted against awarding the highest civilian honor possible to the Capitol Police who put their lives on the line on the sixth of January to physically protect all of Congress from a mob that was screaming they were going to hang the vice president of the United States. Republicans refused to vote for funding for cops across the country in Joe Biden's first budget bill. Thankfully, Democrats had enough votes on their own to get the money out so strapped police departments wouldn't have to fire officers because they couldn't pay them anymore. Donald Trump is out there praising the rioters in that mob, and blatantly lying about the horrific violence we all witnessed on television that ugly day. Some of the officers from the siege of the Capitol will be testifying later this month, and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they got rude and dismissive questions from the Republicans on the 1/6 select committee -- if Kevin McCarthy even bothers to appoint any, that is. Law and order? Hardly. Republicans are now for tax cheats, denying medals to law enforcement officers who risked life and limb to protect Congress, refusing emergency funding to cops across the country, defunding the tax police, lying about a murderous mob and saying warm things about people who beat cops bloody with metal poles. This is today's Republican Party -- and they're about as anti-police as you can get."

 

6
   The Republican death cult

This used to be hyperbole or exaggeration, but sadly now it has become literal.

"The Republican Party has morphed into nothing short of a death cult, before our very eyes. That's what happens when your Dear Leader politicizes a health emergency because he's afraid it will somehow make him look bad. This craziness is just spinning further and further out of control, too. Tennessee just fired its top immunization official and halted all outreach to children to get them vaccinated -- and not just for COVID, but for measles and everything else, too. The governor of Florida is selling campaign merchandise with the inane slogan 'Don't Fauci My Florida' on it. People at a conservative conference enthusiastically applaud the fact that not enough people have been vaccinated to get to herd immunity. Republican governors are openly bragging about taking steps to maximize the deaths in their states. What's next? An all-out war on all childhood vaccinations? Republicans cheering when children die of easily-preventable diseases like the measles? Would they cheer the return of polio? At this point, I'd believe anything. Over 99 percent of the people dying of COVID now are unvaccinated. People have made their choice, and they are not just living with it, they are also dying because of it. And the Republicans cheer them on. Can anyone tell me the difference between this and Jim Jones? Or the Heaven's Gate/Hale-Bopp cult? Because from where I sit, the Republican Party is now nothing short of a death cult, plain and simple."

 

7
   No change in the filibuster, no voting reform

This is a talking point between Democrats, really. But it's an important one.

"The president gave a wonderful speech this week on how critical it now is to protect the right to vote. The right to vote is under attack, from Republicans trying to make it so difficult to vote that poor people without resources just give up, to the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act, to state laws that might allow a presidential election to actually be stolen in the future. It is a dire situation indeed, but Joe Biden is delusional if he thinks that any reform bill is going to pass with the filibuster rules that are in place. An exception has to be carved out for bills that protect constitutional rights, because that is now the only way the right to vote is going to be protected in either 2022 or 2024. History is calling on all Democrats to act, and to act decisively. If we fail this calling, what happens next will be our own fault. Bipartisanship on the issue is impossible -- just ask any Republican. It is as plain as the nose on your face -- if we don't reform the filibuster, then we are just not going to be able to reform voting rights laws, period. It's a hard truth, but the sooner all Democrats face it the better."

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

111 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- GOP Defunded The Tax Police”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Shocking. Positively shocking.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris, do you know this history of Biden's thinking on the filibuster?

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    (scratch 'this' and substitute 'the')

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    A time-sensitive edit function would look better. Ahem.

  5. [5] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [FTP #6]

    This anti-vax fever will not break anytime soon (God forgive me for that pun) so my question is, will this science-denialism ultimately kill enough Repug voters to tip the scale in any meaningful way?

    What would you call this, "Political Darwinism," maybe?

  6. [6] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    OK, but as always be on the lookout for talking points that, in an effort to portray the opposition as hypocritical, concedes that the earlier position - the one now being hypocritically contradicted - had some validity.

    Specifically, to accuse the GOP of being soft on law enforcement in the tax area, contrary to their claims of being in favor of law enforcement in other areas, implicitly agrees that they were, in fact, in favor of conventional law enforcement. And so, we (our average Talking Points listener) recognize that their opponents the Democrats must indeed have been against conventional law enforcement, as the Republicans have long maintained. Party politics being what it is, to agree that the GOP has always, up to now, been against 'defunding the police' is an admission that the Dems have been *for* it. And that's not where the Dems, starting with President Biden, actually want to be; 'defunding the police' is probably the most toxic and harmful slogan the left has come up with since Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh. It's not the kind of slogan you want to use to mock the Repubs' position on tax law enforcement, because it's going to bounce back on you, hard.

  7. [7] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [6]

    LEFTIST young fools say stupid stuff like "Defund the police!"

    RIGHTY young fools say stupid stuff like, "The News will not replace us!"

    Just saying.

  8. [8] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ..."The JEWS will not replace us!"

    Goddamned auto correct.

  9. [9] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    MtnCaddy

    I, being pretty liberal, understand the instinct of giving the "leftist young fools" the benefit of the doubt about youth and idealism, while condemning the fascist antisemitism of the "righty young fools".

    But. In fact, the leftist young fools are equally dangerous, to the degree that they imagine that police are somehow an inherently bad thing, which could be replaced by ... what?

    So, "just saying" as you will, I'll quickly condemn both extremes even if the latter (righty) group seems to have more support in our society just now and so seem to be the greater immediate danger. The left is just as capable as the right of committing enormous crimes in the name of justice, freedom, order, identity, etc. as we should know by now.

  10. [10] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Aww shit man....

    Not Biz Markie... RIP.

    Giving my age away.

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    yeah that's a great track. and the fact that i call it a track tells you when i'm from.

  12. [12] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    For those in the know,<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMK4cfXj5c0" title= another fun classic.

  13. [13] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [9]

    I don't believe that Lefty foolishness is dangerous in that it really impeeds forwarded progress. "Defund the Police" and "Socialism" hurt down-ballot Dems last November.

    HOWEVER I would say between slavery, Jim Crow and all this current madness, the Right has historically IN AMERICA been far more toxic. I'm not talking about Stalinism or Maoism, now -- different countries and different results.

  14. [14] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Whoops, I DO believe that Lefty foolishness is dangerous.

  15. [15] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    [12]awww. crap...

    I hate the preview function on this site.for those in the know...

  16. [16] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    There that's better.

  17. [17] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Welcome back, Chris. I hope you had a wonderful vacation.

    The rest seems to have "done you good": this week's FTP has a solid list of talking points.

  18. [18] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Reviewing the previous FTP (July 2), I don't see that he got an honorable mention, so I want to belatedly nominate Cyrus Vance, Jr., the Attorney General of New York county. His dogged pursuit of Trump's tax returns, all the way to the Supreme Court, resulted in the indictment of the Trump Corp and Allen Wesselberg. The latter, for anyone who's been asleep for a few weeks, is the CFO of Trump Corp and, according to the New York Times, the key to proving intent in President 'Art of the Deal' in the various tax-evasion schemes.

  19. [19] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Another honorable mention MUST go to Nancy Pelosi. She once more proves that she's one of the most masterful players of political chess.
    At the beginning of 2021, who could have imagined that Rep. Pelosi would convince Rep. Liz Cheney to serve on a select committee whose primary purpose is to investigate Republicans?!?!
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/01/politics/nancy-pelosi-announces-members-of-january-6-committee/index.html

  20. [20] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Chris, what were you (not) smoking during your vacation?!?!
    You passed up a golden opportunity to award MIDOW to someone who says or does something positive about pot! :)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-14/schumer-vows-action-on-cannabis-bill-but-major-hurdles-in-way

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    TP7-
    The filibuster is not the reason we won't get proper action on voting rights reform.

    The Big Lie you are promoting is the reason.

    The best we will get is voting rights reform that will benefit people that will vote for big money Deathocrats.

    Removing the filibuster will not change that.

    The only way to change that is to remove the big money Deathocrats and Republikillers from office.

    The inescapable fact that you ignore is that the big money politicians only pass legislation that benefits the big money interests.

    The big money interests have no interests in voting rights legislation that would threaten their stranglehold on our political process.

    If you want real voting rights legislation the big money politicians have to be replaced first.

    History is calling on you, CW, to act and act decisively. If you fail this calling what happens next will be your own fault.

    BUYpartisanship producing real voting rights legislation is not possible. Just ask any big money politician and they will lie to you and tell that it can.

    It's as plain as the nose on your face. If we don't replace the big money politicians with small donor politicians we will not get voting rights or any other legislation that will will benefit ordinary citizens equally, much less more than, the big money interests.

    It's a hard truth (especially for people that are drinking the koolaid), but the sooner you face it the better.

    This is assuming you have been duped and are not purposely lying about the Big Lie you promote with your pretzel punditry propaganda.

  22. [22] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Re TP 1

    Regarding "Biden Bucks", it's worth mentioning that they are not coming from taxes on "The rich and the corporations" as we are usually led to believe, they are actually coming from the Federal Reserve Bank, which creates them by the billions out of thin air, at the expense of reducing the value (purchasing power) of all the dollars we already have.

    For the economics-savvy among us (if indeed there are any such), it's officially known as "monetary inflation".

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    pretzel punditry propaganda.

    Pretzels? Egads!!! Something must be done right away to limit the insidious influence of these pretzels, and make politics safe for pie again!

  24. [24] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @crs,

    Twenty-one years ago when the national debt was less than six trillion and FALLING (thanks bill Clinton), six trillion of new inflation would have been catastrophic. Which is precisely what president Bush did with his tax cuts on the ultra wealthy. As awful as that was, we survived.

  25. [25] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [22]

    I earned three years of Accounting/Business Admin at the toughest B-school in two counties.

    Yeah, I get the whole inflationary blah blah blah.


    THEN am I to gather that you fought tooth and nail against the three budget busting tax cuts for the rich (under Reagan, George W and Trump?) "Oh, they'll pay for themselves."

    And what about W's $4T invasion of Iraq? "Oh, it'll pay for itself."


    Fact is, you Repugs don't care about deficits when you're cutting taxes.
    Not a peep out of you guys the last four years, right?

    Republicans suddenly care ONLY when it's not a tax cut for the rich. Like when Dems are doing something for the 90%.

  26. [26] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [23]

    I'm telling you, these days cake really should be pie's biggest concern.

  27. [27] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [22]

    FYI, Stuck, all governments, for hundreds of years at least, inflate their currencies. If done in moderation (e.g. USA) it is not a bad thing.

  28. [28] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    poet [24]

    Sorry, I don't follow. Monetary inflation (as in Biden Bucks), and for that matter its progeny, price inflation, have no direct relation to "national debt".

    Cuddy [27]

    Whether currency inflation is good, bad or otherwise, represents a personal value judgement. Basically, a case of 'whose ox is being gored'.

    Also, "in moderation" depends on 'compared to what'.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    goode trickle,

    So, what are ya doin' Sunday night(s)?

  30. [30] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [29]

    Besides being a benevolent hegemon for the West, America rigged it up so the dollar is the premier currency. This has blunted inflation which has been 2% for decades now.

    It's NOT a "personal value judgement" in that all inflation is not equal & neither are the resulting effects. America's 20 years of 2-2½% inflation has been decent.

    In contrast, inflation in Weimar Germany or sometimes in South American countries had catastrophic effects on the people.

  31. [31] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I posit that "decent" being better than "catastrophic" is closer to "fact" than "personal value judgement."

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @crs,

    the more money our government owes, the more sense it makes to reduce the value of that debt. i know there's a fear of weimar level hyperinflation, but i haven't read anything that suggests a big stimulus package would do that. we're a much too big economy, as well as too important to the global economy, for that level of bubble to pop. see below.

    JL

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/danrunkevicius/2021/03/31/will-stimulus-spark-inflation-two-shocking-theories-you-should-know/?sh=2fde8d4c21db

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, everyone! Let's do our favourite cover songs tonight!?

  34. [34] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    poet

    It's obviously true that depreciating the currency in which our national debt is denominated renders the burden of the debt (on U.S. taxpayers) less onerous, but it also essentially cheats the creditors, right?

  35. [35] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [34]

    No, it doesn't "cheat" the creditors because they factor in this inflation in making investment decisions. No secrets, no surprises, no worries.

  36. [36] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    [35]

    The smart ones maybe, how about the dumb ones?

  37. [37] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yes, I suppose the dumb ones get fooled. Kinda like Trump supporters, in fact. Both dumb investors & dumb voters gain some inadequate understanding of what they're getting into, consider the alternatives (e.g. Enron bonds & Hillary) and roll the dice.

    The freedom to so choose is bestowed upon We the People by way of the Most Holy Capitalism, right, Stucki?

  38. [38] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    So. Is there a problem here?

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    No problem here!

    It's time for the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party where we leave political debate aside for a while and rock out! Of course, the songs we play may be as political as we wish. In fact, we may be due for a night of political songs real soon ...

    But, tonight, lets do our favourite cover songs!

    Just to get things started, a cover song that I like better than the original ... Under My Thumb by the Rolling Stones and covered by a great Canadian band, Streetheart.

    First up, the Stones' version

    And, then, Streetheart's cover!

  40. [40] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Oh yeah?

    "Dancing in the Streets"

    Martha and the Vandellas version.

    Grateful Dead version.

  41. [41] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    "Black Hole Sun,"

    First, the Soundgarden version.

    Thence,
    Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence lounge lizard version.

  42. [42] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Voodoo Child -- Slight Return,

    A live Jimi Hendrix version.

    And a live Stevie Ray Vaughn cover.</a

  43. [43] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Not bad for doing all this on a cracked cell phone, eh?

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't know how you do it on that ... ??

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  47. [47] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I know, I skipped over that David and Mick vid on the way to the versions that I had in mind.

  48. [48] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Marijuana, my Dear. It's why us Californians are so mellow and patient.

    Why do you think CW never carded the former troll known as Michale and only yellow carded Don Harris?

    Plus, I'm an Army Vet and I still lock in to the "mission requirements" concept when I choose to, and power through all the obstacles.

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I never thought anyone would attempt to cover PRiSM's Armageddon (founding member Lindsay Mitchell's tune) but Toque does a fantastic job ... on the original, drummer Rocket Norton's (of Rocket Norton...Lost in Space fame, heh) girlfriend's father was a pilot and provided one of the two voices and the genuine script for the pilot overtalk during a bombing mission ... Toque used a script for that, too!

    Armageddon - PRiSM

    Toque's version

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [48],

    Excellent! I'm doing pretty good, myself, ahem.

  51. [51] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  52. [52] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Which reminds me ... Toque did another cover that was even better ...

    When I'm With You is a song by Canadian band Sheriff from 1982. It went nowhere until 1989, when a Las Vegas dj played it from time to time and one day he played it and it received a lot of attention - from listeners and from a record label ... it soon shot up to number one on Billboard!

    It's a great story of the cream rising to the top, eventually!

    When I'm With You - Sheriff original

    Toque's phenomenal cover

    I think Todd Kearns may hold that last note even longer than Freddie Curci!!!

  54. [54] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  55. [55] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One of my new favourite bands, Parallel 49 - United We Rock has done many phenomenal covers, including this fine Bryan Adams tune (written by original PRiSM drummer, Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams, songwriting super duo) ...

    Lonely Nights

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, JFC! That Fever video isn't available - got another link?

  59. [59] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here is the latest from Parallel 49, covering a Montrose classic ...

    Rock the Nation

    Say, are there any Montrose fans out there!?

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, JFC, that is much better - very nice cover!

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, everyone!

    Here is a real treat that I hope you'll enjoy ... its from a virtual concert last year, right from the home of Lawrence Gowan (Gowan and Styx) as he teams up with the fabulous StringKatz in Montreal (more about these ladies later)

    Eleanor Rigby

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    StringKatz - a Montreal quartet consisting of a cellist, two violinists and a pianist - an instrumental group that performs classic rock tunes.

    I have their cd Dream Out with tunes by Gowan, Pink Floyd, Dread ..er Led Zeppelin, Emmerson Lake and Palmer, Beatles, Aerosmith, The Scorpians, Queen, the Moody Blues, Kansas, Sting and a StringKatz original.

    Stairway to Heaven

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here is a StringKatz tune, especially for our Kick!

    Bohemian Rhapsody

  65. [65] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    well, that is just sad, sad, sad, sad

  66. [66] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [50]

    Ha ha! Happy to hear that you're on board. BTW I sure like being able to go back and pick out some of the songs you post. Monday mornings over coffee and such.

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    K.D. Lang sings Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

  68. [68] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    (Full disclosure: I grew up right across the river from Windsor. And most of my DNA here in North America lives in Canadia. So please accept the following suggestion as sincere.)

    I think we should rename our Sunday night shindig,

    Sunday Night Canadian (and other countries) Music Festival.

  69. [69] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I mean, it'd be cool!

    For an itty bitty population-wise country you guys have cranked out a ton of talent.

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here is another phenomenal Parallel 49 - United We Rock cover of a 1977 PRiSM tune, written by original drummer and songwriter extraordinaire, Jim Vallance, the first climate apocalypse song!

    Take Me To The Kaptin

  71. [71] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Here, I like this better,

    Sunday Night Canadian* Music Festival

    *and other countries

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yeah, Caddy, everytime I think about it, we have so very much to be proud of in this country. And, I have't even scratched the surface of all the talent!

    Say, for next week, how's about we take CRS's suggestion and do a night of politically inspired tunes ... maybe even economically inspired tunes, too!

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Naw, we're too modest for that! Heh.

  74. [74] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    "SNiCkeM FAh OhC" for short, eh?

  75. [75] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [72]

    Yep, Canadia is my second choice, in a Toronto minute!

    Yeah, politically, economically and perhaps even historically themed music for next Sunday gets my vote.

  76. [76] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [73]

    Er, it's not a matter of modesty, my Dear.

    It's a matter of truth in advertising.

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Great! Somebody let CRS know about it, maybe he'll show up!

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [74],

    Right. I think ...

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

    Gotta say g'nite all!

    See ya next week!!!

  80. [80] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I just didn't expect that with each passing weekend I found myself feeling closer...and closer to Oh Canada! that's all. ;D

  81. [81] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    G'night, Elizabeth!

    G'night, nypoet22!

    G'night, John-Boy!

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    G'nite JFC ... and Kick, wherever you are!

  83. [83] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You'll have to make a trip up to Vancouver one of these day, Caddy! I need to make another trip there, too! Well, so to speak ... :)

  84. [84] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yeah, I'd love to drive my husky Betty up to visit Vancouver/the Pacific Northwest for the first time. Maybe meet you for coffee at some sidewalk cafe. I'm pretty bleeping charming when I wanna be, and if you know the town you might show me around.

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Now, THAT sounds like fun!

  86. [86] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Night elvis

  87. [87] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy (48)-
    Because Michale bought into the Deathocrat/Republikiller deception and was not a threat.

    I expose with rational arguments the moosepoop pretzel punditry propaganda that CW spews and CW cannot rationally respond to my arguments and that makes me a threat.

    If the yellow card was only for misbehavior, then it would have been issued to Kick and Listen for their misbehavior before my response and not for my response as my response would not have happened if Kick and Listen had been properly warned or yellow carded.

    You seem to have chosen not to lock in to the mission requirements of recognizing the true protagonists and CW's inappropriate actions on the yellow card incident which he still has not apologized for doing wrong.

    Mellow and patience were not involved in that incident, other than my patience with Kick and Listen in the weeks leading up to that incident until it finally ran out.

  88. [88] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,
    If cw really believed you to be a threat of any sort, I think he'd probably have banned you from the site long ago. I'd guess he found your particular delusion pretty harmless until you developed a severe case of potty mouth.
    JL

  89. [89] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    I am certainly more of a threat than Michale was.

    You must have a pretty low opinion of CW's integrity to think he would ban someone that would expose the pretzel punditry propaganda. :D

    "My particular delusion" happens to be accurate and factual as it exposes the delusion of believing the propaganda of the Deathocrats and Republikillers being opposition parties.

    What you continue to ignore is my potty mouth was a response to the trolling, harassment and potty mouths of Kick and Listen which did not seem to bother anyone.

    Perhaps your low opinion on CW's integrity is well founded as it could seem to some observers that CW may have been basing his action on that incident on the opinions and not the actions of the commenters involved.

  90. [90] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i'm not ignoring the fact that others needled you about your delusions. they did the same to michale, and yet somehow he managed to figure out that there are a few basic rules of net etiquette to which even CW, mellowest of the mellow, holds firm.

    one of these is don't direct profane slurs at other posters. kick called you an idiot, you called her a cunt. if you can't figure out the difference between those two comments, then she's right.

    JL

  91. [91] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I am certainly more of a threat than Michale was.

    A true legend in your own mind. Though Michale was loosing it toward the end, in his prime he could argue circles around you. But of course, a retarded hamster has a better chance of coming up with a rational argument backed by researched and posted facts than you, so arguing circles around you is not a particularly spectacular achievement.

    "My particular delusion" happens to be accurate and factual as it exposes the delusion of believing the propaganda of the Deathocrats and Republikillers being opposition parties.

    It is "accurate and factual" that you suffer from delusion, that for sure...

    I put it to you again: if it's one party controls the government and is just putting on a show, why would you think voting matters?

  92. [92] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-21

    "History is calling on you, CW, to act and act decisively. If you fail this calling what happens next will be your own fault."

    OOH OOH! That sounds like a threat! What-choo gonna do Dawny boy? Repeat yerself again?

  93. [93] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Good God.

  94. [94] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Now, now, everyone take it easy on Don Qui.

    The guy is under a lot of stress that comes with leading a movement of four, managing a website so complex no one can perform a simple search and replace to fix the year in his copy, and the daily news articles he has to write, edit, and fact check that present a reality based take on his world view.

    We just need to come to grips with the fact that is Don Qui is the smartest guy in the comments section.

    Don Qui is right we all just need to get onboard with the brilliant idea of One Demand. Perhaps one day he will explain to us exactly how he will overcome the fact that people not following the OD way will still be electing officials in the government since they cast a ballot that will be counted.

    The last time I checked if you did something to your ballot that caused not to be counted it really is the same as not voting. Some thing could have changed and non counted ballots are tallied and publicly published and it somehow sends a message to politicians. I just don't posses the same level of brilliance as Don Qui so I will probably never get it.

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If it were just Don's comments to skim through, that would be one thing. But, all the rest of it!? Good God.

  96. [96] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    I know the difference between an idiot and a cunt.

    You do not know the difference between reality and what you want to believe.

    I was not acting like an idiot. Kick was acting like a cunt and did much more than just call me an idiot or needling for several weeks before I responded after warning Kick that would respond if she did not stop.

    Kick then "warned" me and kept trolling and attacking.

    CW then said that Kick had warned me and said that he did not have to look any farther back than Kick's warning.

    That was wrong to allow weeks of trolling, attacks and harassment and ignore that while punishing me for my response after weeks of not responding in kind.

    When you have to lie about Kick "only" calling me an idiot you actually prove yourself wrong rather than prove your point.

  97. [97] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Good Trickle-
    While some write-in votes may not counted in some places, the purpose of those votes is not to elect a candidate in that election.

    It is a multi-election strategy to create and demonstrate demand for small donor candidates in subsequent elections.

    Even if those votes are not counted to elect a candidate we will still be able to (even if the freedom of information act is needed) get a total of votes cast that were not counted to elect candidates in that election so they will be counted for the purpose they are cast.

  98. [98] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    Voting matters because it is a better option than violent revolution.

    Voting for one of the two divisions of the big money party doesn't matter as it will result in big money legislators.

    Voting against those big money politicians does matter when it is part of a multi-election strategy to build support for small donor politicians so that they can win in future elections.

  99. [99] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    More of your repetitive moosepoop.

    CW repeats his propaganda so I repeat pointing out how it is moosepoop.

    Good Trickle repeats the write-in votes don't count lie and I repeat an explanation of why that is wrong.

    But somehow it is only me that is being repetitive.

  100. [100] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    You have woven a conspiracy theory that there is one party putting on a show. If one party controls the government then why do you think votes that vary from the "show" would be counted? You seem to be accusing the country of being controlled by a single party like China or Russia. If that is so, why would voting be treated different than those two countries where the outcome is predetermined?

  101. [101] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    It's not a conspiracy theory.

    The Deathocrats and Republikillers both work for the big money interests. The big money interests would not keep giving them money if they didn't.

    It is different here than Russia or China as it pretends to present a choice.

    As it is not the same as Russia or China that is why it will be different here.

  102. [102] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    It's not a conspiracy theory.

    It is until you can demonstrate the truth of your conspiracy. If what you say is true, you should be able to connect the dots between any random congress critter of donations to votes as both non-dark money donations above $200 and their votes are of public record. Now I personally think you are FOS. The problem with the country is just the opposite, with the de-facto two party system, if one side is for it, the other side must be against it and vice versa. A current example: the Democrats are pushing vaccines, so the other side is embracing anti-vax to the detriment of everyone. Can you explain how "big money" profits from dichotomy of vax/anti-vax?

    It is different here than Russia or China as it pretends to present a choice.

    Uh...no. Pretending to present a choice is exactly like Russia and China, hence the initial questioning of your conspiracy...

  103. [103] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Don Qui.

    Good Trickle repeats the write-in votes don't count lie and I repeat an explanation of why that is wrong

    It is not a lie, declarative statements will never make it so. Election laws in 33 states will only allow the write in votes to be counted if the person has filed paperwork with the state and paid the filing fees, nine states dot not allow write in voting whatsoever and invalidate your ballot if you do. There are only 8 states that allow the write in of any person on the ballot.

    Even if those votes are not counted to elect a candidate we will still be able to (even if the freedom of information act is needed) get a total of votes cast that were not counted to elect candidates in that election so they will be counted for the purpose they are cast.

    Okay, so your telling me that you will take the number of uncounted votes and claim those as "OD"votes or are you going to file FOIA in all 43 states that either prohibit or regulate write in voting to secure copies of the ballots or the tally sheets on a county by count level? You do realize FOIA's are not free or quick and information is often redacted, right?

    So let's just say that you pull off the above and actually get all of that, great, and then you get them "counted" and we take at face value the whole "multi-election strategy".

    You still have yet to explain how OD stops the people who cast ballots to elect people from continuing to elect people and how uncounted ballots send a message.

  104. [104] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    The fact that the big money interests keep giving them money connects the dots. It has convinced 80% of citizens that it is a problem or they wouldn't want the big money out of politics.

    The one side is for it and the other against it is how the show works. It is offering a limited debate framed within the parameters allowed by the big money interests.

    Russia and china have one choice on their ballots. There is no fake opposition party.

  105. [105] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Good trickle-
    In the multi-election strategy citizens in states that can cast the write-in vote do so. Citizens in other states work on changing their laws so they can participate.

    In states where people can only vote for write-in candidates that have filed paper work, participants can file paper work for themselves so a vote for themselves would count. Thousands of people doing this would inspire a change and open up all sorts of court challenges to any excessive fees/signature requirements that make this impractical for some citizens.

    I will again explain how this works to send a message.

    People have declared how they will vote on the website and then they do so.

    If the number of write-in votes is near the number of votes in a district making the declaration on the website it verifies why those those were cast.

    This demonstrates a base of support for small donor candidates which inspires more citizens to participate in subsequent elections and inspires candidates to run small donor campaigns to get those votes.

  106. [106] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    A little bit more on sending a message.

    If in 2022 10% of voters in a district cast a write-in vote or vote for small donor candidate that doesn't win and the election is decided by less than 10% it is likely that many of the 10% will be those swing voters that decide the election.

    This could make it possible for the token candidate running in a district gerrymandered for the other party to win or come really close in 2022. That would send a message.

    It could also inspire a candidate in 2024 to become a small donor candidate to get that 10% of the vote to try to flip a gerrymandered district in 2024.

  107. [107] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    The fact that the big money interests keep giving them money connects the dots. It has convinced 80% of citizens that it is a problem or they wouldn't want the big money out of politics.

    Trotting out this old chestnut? Is this like your only fact? You do realize that just because 80% think it is a problem, far fewer think it is the problem to rule them all. Actually, the problem to rule them all group is probably just you...

    Russia and china have one choice on their ballots. There is no fake opposition party.

    Completely wrong. China has a complex hierarchical system where only the lowest level of government has direct elections, then each level votes on the representative of the next level up. At the lowest level there are multiple candidates and different parties but the communist candidate is the only one who wins. Russia has multiple candidates on it's presidential ballot. In 2018 it was Zhirinovsky, Yavlinsky, and Putin.

    Either it's a "show" and therefore voting does not matter or you are wrong about there being a show in the first place. Unless you can back up your conspiracy with some facts and/or proof beyond that old 80% chestnut that is starting to get a nice carpet of mold growing on it...

  108. [108] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    That chestnut is a response to your trotting out the ridiculous demand to show some sort of smoking gun that connects a campaign contribution to a specific vote or legislation. That is not how the system works.

    You never seem to have complained when CW uses the same exact argument, such as when he says 60% 0f citizens support legalizing marijuana.

    Yes, China may put on a shoe, but it is a different show.

    You even pointed out the difference- that only the communist party wins.

  109. [109] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    A bit more on my chestnut.

    When a group like End Citizens United proposes a constitutional amendment or HR1 provides public financing because big money is a problem do you oppose those things because the proponents have not provided anything to connect the dots on big money corrupting our political process?

  110. [110] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    That chestnut is a response to your trotting out the ridiculous demand to show some sort of smoking gun that connects a campaign contribution to a specific vote or legislation. That is not how the system works.

    If you can't back it up, you're making it up. And that is by definition a conspiracy theory.

    Yes, China may put on a shoe, but it is a different show.

    You even pointed out the difference- that only the communist party wins.

    You got caught talking completely out of your ass when a minute or two of google would have prevented such a bad case of foot in mouth disease. Stop weaseling Take it like a man.

    I don't doubt the accuracy of the chestnut. I doubt the relevancy of your chestnut to OD. And yes, I would prefer some proof or at least a coherent argument before supporting wide ranging legislation.

  111. [111] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    Pointing out the ridiculousness of your demand for the smoking gun is not me not backing it up.

    You are the one that is weaseling.

    Decades of legislation that primarily benefits the big money interests has led 80% of citizens to reach the conclusion that big money is a problem.

    One Demand is one possible way for citizens to do something about it. Just like public financing or a constitutional amendment.

    Does your yes to wanting proof before supporting wide ranging legislation mean your oppose public financing or the constitutional amendment for the same ridiculous "reason" you seem to oppose One Demand?

    It's not a rational coherent argument against either the legislation, the amendment or One Demand.

    You are the one that got caught with your foot in your mouth on China.

    But go ahead. Keep digging. The way out of the hole you dug yourself into has to be down there somewhere.

Comments for this article are closed.