ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- A Disservice To Actual Working Clowns

[ Posted Friday, February 9th, 2024 – 19:29 UTC ]

This was a very bad week for Republicans in Congress, pretty much all around. The Speaker of the House proved incapable of counting votes and thus saw two big defeats on the floor, and over in the Senate the Republicans cut off their noses (elephant trunks?) to spite their faces in a spectacular turnaround from their own basic bargaining position. GOP incompetence was on display on both sides of the Capitol, to put it bluntly.

Donald Trump wasn't responsible for the flawed whip counting by Speaker Mike Johnson, but he was definitely the force behind the rejection in the Senate of a border security and immigration reform bill that the Republicans had demanded as their price for voting for military aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. HuffPost summed this up nicely in a headline: "Republicans Agonize Over Supporting Bipartisan Border Bill They'd Insisted On." That was written before it went down in flames on the Senate floor.

For those who haven't been paying close attention, here's the essence of what happened. Democrats, led by President Joe Biden, proposed a bill to provide aid to Ukraine and Israel and Republicans balked. Because Democrats so obviously badly wanted the bill to pass, they had political leverage and they decided to use it. They insisted on major rewrites to America's immigration laws as well as a boatload of money for the people who actually patrol the border. It took four long months to hash out a compromise that Democrats could live with, but make no mistake, this was a Republican-written plan. It had a whole lot of policy things they'd been demanding for years (even while Trump was president, notably) and virtually zero of the things Democrats had typically insisted on in any immigration reform bill (like a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, for example). It would have been a very big win for the GOP's basic agenda, without giving Democrats any political win at all.

The situation at the border, Republicans have been insisting, is a "crisis." As such (by definition, almost), it demands immediate action. For the Senate, "immediate" turned into "four months of negotiations," which is about par for the course in the upper chamber of Congress. But whatever -- the problem was so acute it absolutely demanded solutions be implemented as soon as possible. So the GOP-written deal provided some solutions which would kick in immediately. Biden even got on board, promising he would follow the deal's provision that he "shut the border down" when too many people were coming in at once -- an extraordinary promise for a Democratic president to make.

But Donald Trump wants to use the border issue for his campaign. In fact, it is one of the central things he is running on. So the last thing he wants to see is the situation at the border actually improve, because that would simultaneously rob him of a potent campaign issue (it really wouldn't have, Trump would still be blustering about the "crisis" no matter how much things had improved) and it would have given Biden a big political win (because he could rightfully state that he had brought bipartisanship back to Washington). Neither of these things would help Trump, so he came out forcefully against the deal before he even knew what was in it. And he wasn't subtle about it either -- he pretty much admitted that the reason he wanted the deal killed was due to politics and wanting an advantage in the campaign, plain and simple.

So almost all the Republicans in the Senate fell into line. They promptly tanked a Republican-written deal that would have given their party more than they've managed to get in the past two decades on immigration reform and may have seriously improved the situation at the southern border. All because their Dear Leader wants it to be an issue in the campaign -- which means "for the next entire year" since that's the earliest Trump could effect any changes, no matter how well the Republicans do in the election. The cynicism and hypocrisy was on full display.

And nothing could counter Trump's call to kill the bill. Not Mitch McConnell supporting it, not even the support of the National Border Patrol Council, the border patrol's own Union (a Union that has heavily supported Donald Trump, it bears mentioning) -- nothing could counteract Trump's wrathful displeasure.

Of course, as HuffPost pointed out, this is still pretty much par for the Republican course:

Lawmakers reached bipartisan agreements on immigration in 2006, 2013 and 2018, pairing pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants -- the thing Democrats wanted -- with border security for Republicans. Each time, Republicans walked away decrying "amnesty" for people who had entered the country illegally.

This time, the deal changed. Republicans would get tougher border security, including provisions Democrats had criticized during the Trump administration as unacceptable, without agreeing to a pathway to citizenship. Instead, they would agree to a package of military aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Again, Republicans negotiated the deal -- and then sprinted away from it.

The truly ridiculous part of this fiasco came after the Senate had voted the deal down. Democrats, led by Majority Leader Schumer, then took out the entire border security deal and held a vote just on the foreign aid portions of it. The outcome of this move is uncertain -- the Senate is still in session and will likely remain so throughout Super Bowl weekend, as they attempt to pass this bill -- but the first procedural vote was encouraging, as the standalone foreign aid bill advanced with a vote of 67-32. That is far more than "filibuster-proof" it actually would be "veto-proof," but this was merely a procedural vote -- we'll have to see what happens on the real votes for the bill later. Some Republicans are desperately trying to put together some amendments which do at least something on the border problem, but so far they are in disarray.

Speaking of Republicans in disarray, over in the GOP House the new speaker had a very bad week of his own. The House tried to impeach a cabinet member for the first time in almost 150 years, and also tried their own gambit on the foreign aid bill -- passing only the military aid for Israel as a standalone bill. Both failed, in embarrassing fashion. How embarrassing? Here is Representative Jim McGovern, speaking about the impeachment vote on the House floor: "I would say it's a clown show, but that would be a disservice to actual working clowns."

During the debate over the articles of impeachment (which mistakenly charged Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas with a policy implemented by the State Department, just for starters), Republicans threatened to "deport" Mayorkas "from his position," and one Republican called him a "reptile with no balls" for not immediately resigning when faced with Republican disapproval. Mayorkas was born in Cuba and emigrated when he was a one-year-old, and he is Jewish. Calling him a "reptile" was nothing short of antisemitism and threatening to "deport" him was nothing short of racism -- again, about par for the House Republicans' course.

The entire process -- complete with Republicans screaming at one of their holdout votes on the chamber floor -- was likened to the Fyre Festival by one political reporter. And it failed, in the end. Republicans fell one vote short of impeaching the first cabinet member in almost 150 years, not over "high crimes and misdemeanors" but rather for implementing Joe Biden's agenda rather than a Republican one. Unfortunately, though, this may not be the final word, as Republicans may try again next week and (due to Steve Scalise returning to the chamber) they may actually have to votes to succeed next time around.

One thing worth noting while counting votes, though, is that next week there will be a special election for the House seat previously held by George Santos, and if the Democrats win the seat back they will boost their own numbers by one -- but that wouldn't happen immediately after the Tuesday vote even if the Democrat wins, so there may be a window the Republicans will use to succeed in their ill-conceived impeachment attempt.

Compounding his embarrassment, Speaker Johnson then immediately tried to pass an "Israel-only" bill to use as leverage with the Senate -- a bill that not only stripped out the border deal but also Ukraine and Taiwan military aid from what the Senate is considering. But Johnson again couldn't count right and the measure failed. So not a very good week for him, all around.

There was significant news on the Trump legal front this week, from two separate courtrooms. In the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments on the case from Colorado dealing with whether states have the right to exclude Donald Trump from the ballot after determining that the Fourteenth Amendment barred him from serving as president again. It didn't go well for people who believe that the Constitution plainly states that Trump shouldn't be allowed into office again, as virtually all the justices seemed to be looking for the best way to agree on why Trump should be allowed on the ballots in every state. The big question now is not how they'll rule, but whether it will be unanimous and when such a ruling will appear. Court-watchers all seemed optimistic that a ruling would appear with lightning speed (say, before Super Tuesday), so it could really happen at any time.

If the court is politically smart, they will pair handing down a ruling for Trump with a flat-out refusal to take up his appeal in the second case that made news this week. The three-judge panel that heard Trump's appeal on whether he had sweeping presidential immunity from being charged with any crime he may have committed while president finally (after a month of waiting) issued its own unanimous ruling. And this one did not go in Trump's favor. In a blistering and comprehensive fashion, the judges ruled that Trump had no such immunity and was now (in their own words) merely "Citizen Trump," not "former President Trump." From the text of this ruling, a few choice quotes:

At bottom, former President Trump's stance would collapse our system of separated powers by placing the President beyond the reach of all three Branches.... it would be a striking paradox if the President, who alone is vested with the constitutional duty to 'take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,' were the sole officer capable of defying those laws with impunity.

In other words, Trump's appeal was resoundingly laughed out of court. In fact, the ruling was so comprehensively and exhaustively dismissive of Trump's claims that it the easiest thing for the Supreme Court to now do would be just to refuse to hear Trump's appeal of this ruling. The appellate court is forcing Trump to act quickly, as the clock on Trump's original January 6th trial will start ticking again if he doesn't appeal to the Supreme Court by Monday. So we've all got that to look forward to, at the start of next week.

If the Supreme Court does refuse to take up Trump's appeal, it could do so by a short and unsigned order without taking up a bunch of unnecessary time. And as we said, if they are politically savvy, they will issue such a dismissal on the same day that their ruling on the ballot access case drops. This would give one win and one loss to Trump at the same time, and would thus tend to damp down talk of the court acting to put their thumb on the scale for one side or the other.

Let's see, what else... Peter Navarro was ordered to jail before his appeals are heard, although the appellate court could overrule the trial judge in the matter. Still, it sure would be nice to see him start his stint in the pokey, wouldn't it?

The Florida supreme court heard a challenge to a ballot measure this week, but even though it is packed with conservatives it didn't seem especially inclined to toss out the abortion-rights initiative for all the specious reasons Republicans brought up, so perhaps we'll hear some good news on this front soon. Even if it makes the ballot, however, it has a very steep hill to climb, as in Florida such measures require a 60-percent supermajority to be enacted.

Of course, there was also some major legal news on the other side of the political aisle this week, as the special counsel who had been charged with investigating President Joe Biden over his retention of classified documents in his home finally made his report public. The upshot is that Biden won't be charged with any crimes, but that's not the part that everyone is talking about.

The special counsel is a holdover Trump guy at the Justice Department, and he took it upon himself to toss in all sorts of negative editorializing over Biden's age and mental state. The most-quoted line from this was calling Biden: "a well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory," although it did even go into specific instances from Biden's interviews, including accusing him of forgetting when his son Beau died.

Biden went ballistic and immediately called a press conference (with only 20 minutes' warning to the reporters). He strongly disputed the accusations ("I know what the hell I'm doing"), but the political damage is already done. In fact, some are already calling this Biden's "Comey moment," in reference to the F.B.I. director coming out just before the 2016 election with a blistering criticism of Hillary Clinton. We'll have to see how much damage this does in the coming weeks, but we fully expect to see some of the reports' quotes showing up in pro-Trump ads, that's for sure.

Other campaign news -- Marianne Williamson has officially ended her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Dean Phillips is still running, but at least he made it back to Washington for the important House votes this week.

Both Biden and Trump won their respective contests in Nevada with ease, however due to the bizarre split nature of the Republican contest (with a non-binding primary and a delegate-choosing caucus), Nikki Haley suffered some humiliation. She was on the GOP primary's ballot while Trump was on the caucus ballot (you couldn't be on both, by the Nevada GOP's rules), but Haley actually lost the primary -- by a margin of 2-to-1 -- to "None Of These Candidates." Ouch!

Today, Larry Hogan announced he's running for Senate in Maryland, which will make what was going to be an easy race for Democrats a whole lot harder now (Hogan is an anti-Trump Republican who left the Maryland governor's office with a ton of public support over his handling of the COVID crisis, so he'll be a real contender even in this blue state).

And finally, to close on an amusing note, a Republican state legislator in Florida has filed a bill to allow Florida residents to shoot "[bears] that are on crack," because, y'know... Florida. No, really! Here is Republican Jason Shoaf, defending his bill in committee:

Bears are cute and cuddly and an amazing creature -- those aren't the bears we're talking about in this bill. We're talking about the ones that are on crack, and they break your door down and they're standing in your living room growling and tearing your house apart. So when you run into one of these crack bears, you should be able to shoot it. Period.

This one is so easy, we will leave it to the reader to make up their own "Florida man" jokes about it.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

There was a Democratic hero in the midst of the Republican clown show in the House this week. To be absolutely fair to Speaker Johnson, he almost had the votes to pass the impeachment articles. When he counted up the votes on his side and the votes on the other side, he made a perfectly understandable assumption. He assumed that representatives on both sides of the aisle who were recovering from serious medical procedures would not be present for the vote. On his side of the aisle, this meant that Steve Scalise would not be there, and on the Democratic side it meant Representative Al Green would also not be able to make it to the House chamber for a floor vote (Republicans got rid of "proxy voting" when they took control of the House, so members must be physically present to cast a vote).

If both members had indeed been absent, the vote for impeachment would have wound up as 215 for and 214 against, even with the three Republican defectors. So in all honesty, Johnson's math would have worked.

Here's what happened instead:

The original tie vote nearly had not happened, thanks to minor drama involving another lawmaker named Green: Rep. Al Green (Tex.) was the lone Democrat to miss a less-consequential vote to extend commissions for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park that had taken place before the Mayorkas impeachment vote. His absence, coupled with that of Majority Leader Steve Scalise (La.) on the GOP side, allowed Republicans to lose three members and still be able to greenlight impeaching [D.H.S. Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas.

One of Green's closest friends, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), told The Washington Post in an interview that he realized Green had been gone for the first vote and might be the difference in the margin. He called the Texan -- twice -- at 6:13 p.m., according to his phone's call logs.

"I panicked," Cleaver said.

But Green showed up in the chamber at the last minute -- in a wheelchair following a medical procedure -- and cast his vote, tying it at 215 and sending Republicans into a full scramble. The measure to impeach Mayorkas failed on a 214-216 vote, a stunning rebuke of a months-long investigation into Mayorkas that had raised concerns among legal experts and even some Republicans.

For those wondering, one Republican switched their vote in a parliamentary move to allow them to bring up the impeachment articles again -- the real vote was 215-215, and ties don't win in the House.

But here are more details about Green's mad dash to the Capitol, from the New York Times:

Mr. [Al] Green was still in the hospital on Tuesday recovering from [emergency abdominal] surgery when he learned the House would vote on the impeachment charges against Mr. [Alejandro] Mayorkas that night. He spoke to his doctors and phoned Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, to let him know that he would take an Uber to the Capitol. Mr. Jeffries did not insist he make the vote, Mr. Green said, but arranged transportation for him.

"I had to cast this vote because this is a good, decent man whose reputation should not be besmirched," Mr. Green said of Mr. Mayorkas.

He went straight to the attending physician's office on the first floor of the Capitol, where his blood pressure and temperature were monitored. He insisted on being brought up for the impeachment vote -- "not to make a dramatic entrance," he said, but because "this was a vote that was important to me."

And his vote made all the difference. So it was a pretty easy call this week for the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award....

For going above and beyond the call of duty, for making an amazing effort to be present for a key vote, and for protecting the Constitution against Republican abuse of impeachment, Representative Al Green is easily the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. We wish him a full recovery.

[Congratulate Representative Al Green via his official House page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We did consider giving the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week to President Biden, but we decided not to. Seems like everyone else is piling on the guy right now, so we didn't want to add to that.

Biden did respond forcefully to the special counsel's report, by giving an actual press conference (something he doesn't do enough of, in our opinion), but he also ended it with yet another trademark Biden gaffe (mixing up world leaders), which was kind of disappointing, but we didn't feel it rose (sank?) to the level of the MDDOTW award.

And since no other Democrats disappointed us in a big way this week, we're going to put the award back on the shelf until next week, unless anyone's got an alternate suggestion....

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 739 (2/9/24)

We've got a single theme this week. Joe Biden indicated that he's going to make this a central argument in his re-election campaign, and we sincerely hope he follow through on that promise (rather than it just fading into the background). According to polling, Biden and the Democrats are indeed seen as weaker on the whole border/immigration issue than Trump and the Republicans, and this is the way to undercut that support.

But the case has to be made. Repeatedly. Over and over again. Maybe not (as Biden promises in our first talking point) "every day between now and November," but at least "every week," or (even better) "multiple times every week," and (at the very least) "every time the subject comes up."

Democrats aren't especially good at pounding a political message like this home, so here's hoping Team Biden surprises us all with a solid follow-through on Biden's pledge.

 

1
   And his MAGA Republican friends

Joe Biden, earlier this week, was trying to boost support for the border deal in the Senate. Obviously, he failed to do so, but he did issue an interesting promise about how he's going to be speaking about the issue from now on (which we are sorely hoping he makes good on):

If the bill fails, I'm going to be absolutely sure about something: The American people are going to be aware of why it failed.... Every day between now and November the American people are going to know the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends.

 

2
   Billions in emergency funding

Lean on this one the hardest, because it is the hardest one for Republicans to deal with.

"By voting down the deal that Republicans insisted on in the Senate, every single Republican who voted against the package is now on record voting against providing billions of dollars in funding for the Border Patrol, and billions more for the immigration service. This money is desperately needed, according to the Border Patrol itself, and Republicans just refused to give it to them. Republicans are slamming the door in the face of the brave men and women at the border. So each and every time they try to use the border as a political issue, every single reporter should ask them in return: 'Then why did you vote down billions more for border security?' because they are now going to have to answer for that."

 

3
   The Border Patrol agrees

If this statement had come out earlier, or if the Senate debate had been a little more extended, it might have carried more weight. But it's still useful after the defeat, for Democrats.

"The National Border Patrol Council -- the Union of Border Patrol agents who has heavily supported Donald Trump for years -- came out in strong support of the border deal. From public statements they made, here are a few things they had to say about it:"

While not perfect, the Border Act of 2024 is a step in the right direction and is far better than the current status quo. This is why the National Border Patrol Council endorses this bill and hopes for its quick passage.... [The bill would] codify into law authorities that U.S. Border Patrol agents never had in the past... drop illegal border crossings nationwide and will allow our agents to get back to detecting and apprehending those who want to cross our border illegally and evade apprehension.

"That is what Republicans voted against. Even though the men and women on the border whose job it is to secure it were strongly for the deal, Republicans couldn't take 'yes' for an answer. Which is why they are now responsible for the situation on the border, not Democrats and not Joe Biden."

 

4
   2,000 Border Patrol agents

These next two are taken directly from a one-page strategy memo from Team Biden, on how to talk about the issue. [And because these are professionally-written talking points, they're a lot shorter and to the point than our humble efforts!]

Last year, Republicans voted for a bill that would have eliminated over 2,000 Border Patrol agents and slashed D.E.A. resources while supporting tax giveaways for the rich.

 

5
   GOP stands with fentanyl traffickers

Again, this one comes from Biden's strategy memo. Hammer this point hard!

Congressional Republicans are saying "no." They are choosing Donald Trump, smugglers, and fentanyl traffickers over law enforcement at the border.

 

6
   Haley: Irresponsible to sacrifice national security

Nikki Haley (obviously) has nothing much to lose, at this point, so she actually weighed in and condemned Trump and her fellow Republicans. So use it! Here's what she had to say:

It's irresponsible to say that Congress has to wait until a general election because Trump is worried that he's going to lose. There's a lot of reasons we've got to worry that Trump is going to lose, but you don't sacrifice national security to do it.

 

7
   Playing politics with photo ops

This one is a rewording of something Senator Chris Coons had to say on what Biden should do about the situation.

"Every time a Republican goes down to the border for a photo op to bash Joe Biden, Biden should respond by saying: 'I can't fix this by executive order -- I need new legal powers to do that. But when Republicans wrote a bill to do exactly that -- give me the authority to shut down the border -- Donald Trump killed it because he wants to campaign on the issue rather than do anything to solve it.' By their action -- by their refusal to take 'yes' for an answer -- nothing is going to change in immigration law for an entire year. Just so Trump can campaign on the issue. So obviously, playing politics with these people's lives is far more important to Republicans than border security, no matter how many photo ops they stage."

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

87 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- A Disservice To Actual Working Clowns”

  1. [1] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    If the court is politically smart, they will pair handing down a ruling for Trump with a flat-out refusal to take up his appeal in the second case that made news this week.

    Our billionaire-owned SCOTUS knows that they are held in contempt by arguable the majority of Americans (see Citizens United and Dobbs and Ginny Thomas) so I doubt they’d do anything with the immunity issue via declining to accept the case.

  2. [2] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    nypoet22

    Our power went out for a couple of days — it happens when we get three feet of snow all at once. Fortunately I downloaded that Jewish history thing you kindly provided and I’m well into it.

    While it puts a positive spin on almost everything the Israelis have done (e.g. Deir Yassin) I’ve researched the history and am far more sympathetic than I was before towards Israel.

    Would you agree that (as throughout history across the world) blaming the Jews is in order to distract the rubes from seeing that their shitty and corrupt rulers are their real problem? I’ve never understood anti-Semitism except as a product of jealousy more than anything else. But as with anti-trans Republicans in America I think it’s easier to get the rubes to hate than to get them to think.

    The other Arab countries** clearly don’t give a fuck about the Palestinians or else they’d accept Palestinian refugees, no? And repeatedly attacking Israel and repeatedly turning down a two-state solution leads me to believe that Israeli security HAS to be paramount. As such, I no longer see a two-state solution as being in Israel’s interests.

    **Funny how almost all of them no longer have any Jews to speak of.

  3. [3] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Although he may not be a registered Democrat he was appointed by Joe Biden so I nominate Merrick Garland for MDDOTW.

    Not only did he allow Trumpanzie Special Prosecutor Hur to do a Comey on Joe but he didn’t even begin to consider investigating January 6 for over a year! Special Council Jack Smith wasn’t appointed until December of 2022.

    It appears that (like Comey and Hillary) his top priority is to protect the DoJ, not do his job.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It appears that (like Comey and Hillary) [Garland's] top priority is to protect the DoJ, not do his job.

    Comey was in a tight spot made so by the candidate's husband's not so secret meeting with the AG.

    Hur, on the other hand, had no reason whatsoever to editorialize the way he did, especially by bringing up the death of the president's son. Now, if Dr. Biden had made a surprise visit to Garland's office ...er, plane, then Hur would have been in the same precarious position of Comey and in a definite damned if you do and damned if you don't kind of situation.

    Of course, Dr. Biden wouldn't have done what Bill Clinton did and president Biden certainly didn't do what Hillary did. Heh.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This was an occasion where Biden really deserved the MDDOTW award - mostly because his reaction to the report ... and to reporters may turn out to be depressingly consequential.

    He's going to have to work very, very, very hard to overcome it and that effort better start tomorrow and continue on every single bloody day until the election in November.

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    Bears are cute and cuddly and an amazing creature -- those aren't the bears we're talking about in this bill. We're talking about the ones that are on crack, and they break your door down and they're standing in your living room growling and tearing your house apart. So when you run into one of these crack bears, you should be able to shoot it. Period.

    ~ Jason Shoaf, Republican

    Florida man on crack unaware Second Amendment well regulates right of the people of a free State to arm against bears.

    Duh.

  7. [7] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    4

    Comey was in a tight spot made so by the candidate's husband's not so secret meeting with the AG.

    Nope... still nope. No matter how many times you repeat this BS, it will never magically become reality. Comey was an investigator who overstepped his role (myriad times) during an election year and broke Department of Justice regulations when he interjected his opinion regarding an investigation where the subject was not being charged.

    Hur, on the other hand, had no reason whatsoever to editorialize the way he did, especially by bringing up the death of the president's son.

    Yes, that was tacky, but honestly, actually, Hur was a special counsel required to give his reasons in a report to the DOJ as to his findings and recommendations. Was he also a Republican who knew exactly how to hurt President Biden during a political year while doing that? Yes, he obviously did.

    Now, if Dr. Biden had made a surprise visit to Garland's office ...er, plane, then Hur would have been in the same precarious position of Comey and in a definite damned if you do and damned if you don't kind of situation.

    Dr. Biden could have crawled up Merrick Garland's backside and taken an 8-hour nap; it wouldn't have changed the DOJ rules regarding the role of a special prosecutor one iota. Same with Clinton and Lynch. Comey violated department regulations. Period.

    Of course, Dr. Biden wouldn't have done what Bill Clinton did and president Biden certainly didn't do what Hillary did.

    Actually, Biden had a plethora of loose classified documents found at multiple locations, including stored in his residence garage. Hillary had evidence of emails stored on a server that contained classified information, some that were actually "up-classified" by other departments only after it was sent to her.

    As for Comey and his investigators, they also did not follow standard DOJ procedures in their handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server. Comey himself used a personal Gmail to send himself work communications to his private residence:

    https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download

    In a lengthy investigation, the Office of Inspector General found that Comey's July 5, 2016, announcement violated DOJ's media policy and may have violated regulations regarding the public release of information and also that Comey's October 28, 2016, correspondence only days before the election was a serious error in judgment.

    You obviously are free to continue to idolize this man and make excuses for him, just thought you should know how ridiculous you sound when you constantly keep doing it when the FBI itself accepted the conclusions of the IG... even if you (after all these years) seemingly cannot. :)

  8. [8] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @caddy,

    thanks for reading. that's one thing i really appreciate about you, your ability to accommodate new information and re-assess your opinions. that doesn't mean we'll always agree, but it makes forming consensus a heck of a lot easier. not very many people on this planet are capable of that kind of self-reflection.

    JL

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    antisemitism is a very long and complicated tradition, but here it is in a nutshell:

    The real story isn’t half as pretty as the one you’ve heard. The real story is, the miller’s daughter with her long golden hair wants to catch a lord, a prince, a rich man’s son, so she goes to the moneylender and borrows for a ring and a necklace and decks herself out for the festival. And she’s beautiful enough, so the lord, the prince, the rich man’s son notices her, and dances with her, and tumbles her in a quiet hayloft when the dancing is over, and afterwards he goes home and marries the rich woman his family has picked out for him. Then the miller’s despoiled daughter tells everyone that the moneylender’s in league with the devil, and the village runs him out or maybe even stones him, so at least she gets to keep the jewels for a dowry, and the blacksmith marries her before that firstborn child comes along a little early.
    ~Naomi Novik

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    Hillary's thumb drive disappeared during that infamous presidential campaign in which the Russians hacked the DNC after her office sent it through the regular mail and hasn't been seen since! On occasion I will wonder where it is and, more importantly, in whose hands it may be. Ahem.

    What she did in the overall was far more reckless than merely keeping some classified documents at home.

    Besides, she is no Joe Biden and never will be. Not by a long shot. Which is why she couldn't even beat Trump. ;)

  11. [11] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [5]

    What happened, Elizabeth? When I arrived here on the shores of Weigantia in 2019 I recall you as the staunchest of Biden fans. Overboard even, IMO, but it was kinda cute.

    So Joe paddles Trump and proves to be the most transformative President since LBJ and FDR before him. Rallies and unified Europe(!) against Putin’s escalated war against Ukraine (which started in 2014, hello) fixes America’s economy better than any other country and has a list of substantial accomplishments longer than my arm.

    Nowadays you are the Weigantian hardest on Joe and for apparently emotional and not research based reasons. This is why Kick and I continually need to edify you — you don’t appear to read up (your silly William Bradley who’s so proud of his work that he doesn’t post it online — doesn’t count) you just blurt out emotional blurtings and a lot like the douchebag formerly known as michale you do not engage with us. No give and take.

    It’ll be Trump v. Biden and Joe and the Democrats are going to tsunami the Repugs — have you noticed our election results since 2018? After which the GOP will likely break apart.

    Whaddup, Girlfriend? Are you okay?

  12. [12] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [8]

    Thanks Brother, this is the best compliment that I’ve received in years and it warms the cockles of my Libtard heart. As well you know, examining information that challenges my thinking is hard and unpleasant.

    But I’m better at it than I used to be and not as good as I sim to end up.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy,

    I recently re-watched the extremely powerful and unforgettable French documentary Shoah, first and second era, which aired on TCM to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    No living and breathing human being who knows the history of the Jewish people and of Israel can fail to support the existence of the state of Israel and the safety and security of Israeli citizens.

    But, that can't mean that constructive criticism of the current Israeli government is off limits when it acts in ways that are detrimental to its future. When it refuses to give hope to a Palestinian population who is stateless and may remain that way forever.

    Maybe a two-state solution is not the answer. I don't know. But, what I do know is that so long as Israel continues on the current path - war to depopulate the Gaza Strip, building new settlements in the West Bank and offering no hope whatsoever to the Palestinian people - and is supported in those efforts unconditionally by the US, the Jewish state won't find the peace and security it needs and the US and its military personnel may not fare much better.

    So, if not a two-state solution, then what? Whatever it will be will definitely require some very astute political leadership from all corners of the planet and a level of imagination rarely seen, if ever.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy,

    Point number one ... I don't get emotional talking politics or take anything personally in that regard, not even with you and Kick!

    My displeasure with Joe Biden is that he and his crack foreign policy team try to spin one failure after another into success. That is a very dangerous thing for a big nation to do and the very last thing I would ever have expected from Biden.

    My support for Biden always came primarily from a foreign policy perspective but I never realized just how aligned with the NeoCons he has been over the years - a blindspot of mine, I suppose. So that realization has also been a big part of my disappointment.

    Whaddup, Girlfriend? Are you okay?

    I'd start directing that sort of sentiment toward Biden, if I were you. He's on a downward electoral spiral and he needs to do something about it ... yesterday!

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    If the Supreme Court does refuse to take up Trump's appeal, it could do so by a short and unsigned order without taking up a bunch of unnecessary time. And as we said, if they are politically savvy, they will issue such a dismissal on the same day that their ruling on the ballot access case drops.

    Hopefully, that is precisely what will happen.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bears are cute and cuddly and an amazing creature -- those aren't the bears we're talking about in this bill. We're talking about the ones that are on crack, and they break your door down and they're standing in your living room growling and tearing your house apart. So when you run into one of these crack bears, you should be able to shoot it. Period.

    I agree, wholeheartedly!

  17. [17] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [13]

    For the record, criticizing fucking Bibi and criticizing not fucking Israel is NOT anti-semitism. But Israel has been offering more than hope to the Palestinians since 1948! The Palestinians never lost an opportunity to lose an opportunity. After all this time I’m of the opinion that fuck ‘em — no more! It’s clear they don’t want to live in peace with the Jews, so how can Israel live along side of them?

    I say bribe Jordan and resettle the whole lot of them there.

    I

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Biden did respond forcefully to the special counsel's report, by giving an actual press conference (something he doesn't do enough of, in our opinion), but he also ended it with yet another trademark Biden gaffe (mixing up world leaders), which was kind of disappointing, but we didn't feel it rose (sank?) to the level of the MDDOTW award.

    To suggest that Biden doesn't know who the respective presidents of Mexico and Egypt are is ridiculous. Of course, this wasn't the first time Biden made this same slip of the tongue but, still.

    Here's what I would like to see over the course of the next several months ...

    Biden making an address from the WH to the American people on a monthly basis, if not weekly, giving them a run down on what he is doing for them and what Republicans are trying to take away from them. Then entertain a few unscripted questions from reporters who are actually able to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Unlike the unruly mob the other day, especially that one CNN 'reporter' in particular. Lay some ground rules, in other words.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I say bribe Jordan and resettle the whole lot of them there.

    I've heard that before ... that there is a Palestinian state and its name is Jordan.

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It’s clear they don’t want to live in peace with the Jews, so how can Israel live along side of them?

    That is certainly true of Hamas. What is also true is that Israelis and Palestinians are losing the capacity to see each other as fellow human beings. When that is completely lost, then there will be no answer to the problem but fight to the death.

  21. [21] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [21]

    So…ethnic cleansing it is! Clear out Gaza and the entire West Bank and that’s solves a lot of problems!

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That is a disgusting thought.

  23. [23] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I’m all ears for YOUR better solution, Liz! :D

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You want me to repeat it again!

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Alrighty, then ... from the last FTP column ...

    The problem with Israel's 'over the top' response to the October 7 attacks is that it seems to have at its core the complete depopulation of Gaza, pushing the Palestinians out and offering no hope for ever recognizing their rights or aspirations for statehood, seemingly with little interest in saving the lives of the hostages, none of whom have been rescued by the IDF.

    Between militaristic encroachment and unilateral compromise, there should be enough ground to find a way out of this war that neutralizes Hamas and formalizes a process that can work toward solving the puzzle of two peoples living together on one small parcel of land.

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, then there was this, from THIS column:

    Maybe a two-state solution is not the answer. I don't know. But, what I do know is that so long as Israel continues on the current path - war to depopulate the Gaza Strip, building new settlements in the West Bank and offering no hope whatsoever to the Palestinian people - and is supported in those efforts unconditionally by the US, the Jewish state won't find the peace and security it needs and the US and its military personnel may not fare much better.

    So, if not a two-state solution, then what? Whatever it will be will definitely require some very astute political leadership from all corners of the planet and a level of imagination rarely seen, if ever.

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You got any plans for Sunday, Caddy? I think I'm done for the day. Cheers!

  28. [28] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Poet, I’d like to hear your take on a possible solution.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But, first, let me revise my idea of a solution for right now. There must be a ceasefire, in my estimation.

    Rafah is s city of children. It should not be a city of bloodshed.

    Rafah's Children Need Life-saving Support

  30. [30] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Um, Sunday is one of Murica’s top three drinking holidays aka the Super Bowl. It joins the pantheon that includes New Years Eve, Saint Paddy’s Day and Cinco de Mayo.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I was afraid of that. And, I'll be watching, of course, and rooting for San Fran.

    But, this Sunday my new favourite radio station is bucking the football trend and celebrating 60 years since the Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on Feb 9, 1964 and their facebook page promises to be a lot of fun. I'll be dipping in and out of it all on Sunday.

  32. [32] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [29]

    Of course! Especially because there is NO military solution to this Hamas problem. Even if they killed every Hamas member in Gaza there are plenty abroad and this conflict just created another generation of radicalized Arab youth.

    Poet I’m starting to suspect that Israel is held to a far higher standard than any other country.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Israel does have a record of over-reacting, militarily.

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The US has some lessons to offer in this regard. Can we say 2003 invasion of Iraq that led to the nation being run by a Shi'a government that is closely aligned with Iran? ;)

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @caddy,

    A lot would have to happen between where we are now and a potential solution. However, an endgame I would suggest is confederation. Two mostly independent states, one military and one economic system.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That was similar to Biden's plan for Iraq. Which the Iraqi people could have made work if it wasn't for the plan being sabotaged by Bush/CHENEY/Rumsfeld and the rest of the NeoCon players.

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    A lot would have to happen between where we are now and a potential solution.

    Just as long as 'a lot' doesn't mean more death and destruction of Gaza. The question is is there a path to any solution if Gaza is destroyed and all of its citizens permanently displaced or under the rubble or dead of starvation and disease.

  38. [38] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    If someone else reacted as Israel tends to, it would most likely be considered excessive. However, 4 out of 5 Israelis consider the current operation warranted. That is because of hard learned lessons over the last 76 years since independence. The Palestinians do not respond to proportional action; The only way to prevent mass murder at least temporarily is to make it so prohibitively costly that they simply cannot.

  39. [39] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Every other strategy anyone could come up with has been tried and failed spectacularly.

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm talking less about proportional military action than I am about implementing a smart strategy that will actually render positive results and end, at long last, the cycle of violence.

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Do you think someone hasn't already thought of that?

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The only way to prevent mass murder at least temporarily is to make it so prohibitively costly that they simply cannot.

    Well, there aren't any easier ways to go about that than by indiscriminate bombing of an entire population. I still think that there are smarter ways to prevent mass murder but they take a lot more effort and involve extensive coalition-building and strategic targeting of Hamas and other terrorist groups.

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Do you think someone hasn't already thought of that?

    For the purposes of our little discussion here on Chris's blog, I think there needs to be more action and less thought.

    Because, you know what thought did - it only thought it did. Heh.

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Every other strategy anyone could come up with has been tried and failed spectacularly.

    Really?

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I mean, are you saying something along the lines of we can't get there from here?

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I really have to go ... back later, everyone!

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    No, we can't get there directly. Most Israelis do not want armed conflict. Almost half of Palestinians still do, no matter how badly they lose. And THAT is a dramatic improvement over twenty years ago.

    As awful as Bibi and his policies have been, maybe that's what some Palestinian leaders need to see themselves in a mirror.

  48. [48] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    TP4 "Tax cuts for the rich".

    According to the IRS website, the top half of American earners pay 96% of all the money they collect, and the bottom 50% of earners pays the other 4%.

    If "the rich" are paying all the income taxes, how exactly could any and all tax cuts NOT be "for the rich"???

  49. [49] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @stucki,
    The "top half" of American earners includes pretty much everyone who's middle class. If most of the tax cut went to that segment of the work force rather than the top 0.01% I doubt there'd be so much objection here.
    JL

  50. [50] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Elizabeth
    43

    I think there needs to be more action and less thought.

    I hope you’re kidding here, for what I hope are obvious reasons.

    Also, phrases like “there ought to be a way” and “smart policy making” without the details are simply useless. The devil is in the details yada yada

  51. [51] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    CRS
    48

    If you count ALL taxes like payroll taxes, sales taxes etc the bottom 90% pay a HIGHER percentage of their income than do your betters in the top 10%. YOUR betters, not mine.

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    Almost half of Palestinians still [want armed conflict], no matter how badly they lose. And THAT is a dramatic improvement over twenty years ago.

    I see. So, let me get this straight ... if Gaza is razed to the ground and a high enough percentage of the population killed and what's left of them displaced elsewhere, there might be improvement enough to uncover a path to a real and just peace?

    I don't see how ...

    every other strategy anyone could come up with has been tried and failed spectacularly.

    I think the current Israeli strategy will, too...again. And, worse still, if left to its own volition, there may not be any hope left for peaceful coexistence for anyone, Israelis or Palestinians.

    Or, maybe you're right and after enough death and destruction, Palestinians will see the light and denounce the obviously failed leadership and misguided sponsorship they have had for 76 years and demand a better future for themselves and their children.

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It seems counterintuitive to me too, but statistically speaking that is exactly what has happened.

  54. [54] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Caddy

    That is absolutely true, but Sales taxes and the rest of the non-income taxes are NEVER the subject of complaints about "Tax Cuts for the Rich". When Dems/Libs are complaining about 'tax cuts for the rich', its ALWAYS about income taxes.

  55. [55] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Although he may not be a registered Democrat he was appointed by Joe Biden so I nominate Merrick Garland for MDDOTW.

    Not only did he allow Trumpanzie Special Prosecutor Hur to do a Comey on Joe but he didn’t even begin to consider investigating January 6 for over a year! Special Council Jack Smith wasn’t appointed until December of 2022.

    While I am not exactly thrilled with the speed with which Garland’s DOJ has gone after Trump, I'm afraid you might be mistaken in your statement that the DOJ didn't start investigating January 6 for over a year. The DOJ did not officially announce they had opened an investigation until a year after the attempted insurrection, but law enforcement only announces they are investigating someone when that person is going to be served papers and they will need an attorney. They were investigating January 6 as soon as the Capitol was secured on January 6! Law enforcement doesn't alert criminals they are being investigated until they have much of the investigation well on its way.

    Jack Smith was only able to move as quickly as he could because much of the grunt work necessary to indict on criminal charges had already been done. He stepped into running the largest DOJ investigation in our nation’s history because the evidence the investigations had collected warranted his being brought in. The public believes that we should be aware of everything our government does — as it is being done — but that is not how things work.

  56. [56] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Caddy,

    [55] was in response to your [3]. Sorry for not addressing you by name.

    R

  57. [57] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    There was a movie out a year or so ago called Cocaine Bearabout a bear that ingests a kilo of coke that fell from a plane smuggling drugs that crashed nearby. I thought it was strange that this Florida Republican chose to use the term “crack bears” instead of just “cocaine bears”, until I remembered that Florida is home to only one type of bear— BLACK bears! Black bears would not use cocaine; they would use crack. It's one more racist trope by Republicans.

  58. [58] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    CRS
    54

    Yes you’re right. Throughout the 50s and 60s the top marginal rate was 91% - that one for you and ten for me!

    Oddly enough our GDP, public services, the middle class and especially the deficit were in far better shape than today, no?

    Reagan came along and started cutting taxes on the rich — the folks who least need a tax cut. Add Dubya’s and then Trump’s additional tax cuts and Americas has kinda gone to shit.

  59. [59] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    55
    Listen

    Good point. I thought I read an article that said it was a year but I may be wrong. I’ll see if I can dig it up.

  60. [60] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Caddy [58]

    Yes, the 91% top marginal rate was a carryover from the economics of WWII, but by the time Reagan came along such rates were no longer justifiable by any means other than pure socialism.

    Dubya's and Trump's rate cuts made far less sense and were probably a mistake, especially in view of the magnitude of the gov't deficits we consistently run these days.

  61. [61] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Caddy,

    I am sure the article said a year…because Garland did not announce that they were officially investigating them for January 6 until a year after it occurred. Official announcements just mean they have enough evidence against the person to prepare for charging them with the crimes. The FBI will have been investigating members of the mafia for decades before they may get to “officially” announce an investigation is being started. My point is that Garland is too good at his job to drag his feet on investigating criminal acts. He just doesn't feel the need to brag about it.

  62. [62] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    10

    Hillary's thumb drive disappeared during that infamous presidential campaign in which the Russians hacked the DNC after her office sent it through the regular mail and hasn't been seen since!

    You're combining separate server events as if they're related. The Russians hacking of the DNC servers in 2016 had absolutely nothing to do with Clinton's aide, Monica Hanley, who mailed a thumb drive in 2014 that went missing. Hillary Clinton's emails weren't stored on the DNC server.

    I'm also curious whether or not you read my response carefully or maybe just failed to comprehend its actual contents because your takeaway seems to be that I'm defending Clinton (not remotely) when my comment was clearly and obviously questioning your ever-present and incessant unwarranted defense of James Comey and your new defense of Biden by actual deflection to Clinton, and I included a 500+ page report containing facts of which I'm already obviously aware.

    Allow me to reiterate my main points since I'm not sure what you read or managed to comprehend:

    (1) Your deflection to Hillary in defense of Biden is comparing apples to oranges. I'm defending neither of them, just stating it's a pointless exercise. If you had wanted to defend Biden by making comparisons, Trump is your huckleberry [correct person for the job]... which becomes immediately obvious to anyone who's actually read Hur's report.

    (2) Your defense of Comey ad nauseam when the Office of Inspector General has already made clear (in that 500+ page report at the link I provided) that Comey's July 5, 2016, announcement violated DOJ's media policy and may have violated regulations regarding the public release of information and also that Comey's October 28, 2016, correspondence only days before the election was a serious error in judgment.

    On occasion I will wonder where it is and, more importantly, in whose hands it may be. Ahem.

    You certainly do still seem abnormally obsessed about it; no doubt about that, but her staff mailed it in 2014 so you can divest yourself of the prattling BS right-wingnut rhetoric you keep spewing about it.

    What she did in the overall was far more reckless than merely keeping some classified documents at home.

    Biden also did not merely keep some classified documents at home, and I reiterate that your deflection to Clinton in defense of Biden and Comey is laughable in addition to the fact that it makes you sound like a cringeworthy right-wingnut propagandist in the attempt.

    Besides, she is no Joe Biden and never will be.

    Thank you for making my point.

    Not by a long shot.

    No need to piss all over your own drivel any further; the rest of us here obviously already understand that.

    Which is why she couldn't even beat Trump. ;)

    I already said your rhetoric sounded like a right-wingnut propagandist; there's seriously no need to keep proving it. :)

  63. [63] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    48

    According to the IRS website, the top half of American earners pay 96% of all the money they collect, and the bottom 50% of earners pays the other 4%.

    So obviously you will then supply that link?

    Fact check: False

    The IRS collects a whole lot more than just Federal Income Tax (FIT). "All the money they collect" also includes payroll taxes like OASDI, Medicare, FICA, FUTA and FIT (but obviously not just FIT).

    Here let me help you:

    https://taxfoundation.org/data/all/federal/summary-latest-federal-income-tax-data-2023-update/

    The "Income Split Point" of the top 50% of all earners is $42,184.

    If "the rich" are paying all the income taxes, how exactly could any and all tax cuts NOT be "for the rich"???

    Because only a misinformed or moronic or a disingenuous right-wingnut bullshit artist would make the asinine claim that a person making $42,184 is "the rich paying all the taxes."

  64. [64] 
    Kick wrote:

    nypoet22
    49

    Exactly this! Also, as you know, "middle class" is a relative term:

    https://247wallst.com/special-report/2023/07/12/what-you-need-to-actually-earn-to-be-middle-class-in-your-state/

    Stucki should take that drivel of his and travel to New York where middle class is estimated to begin around $60,000... better yet, travel to Mississippi and explain to them how they're actually "all rich."


    Mississippi

    * Middle household-income range $47,786 – $76,397
    * Median household income: $48,716 (the lowest)
    * Share of income earned by middle class (middle 20%): 14.4% (13th lowest)
    * Share of income earned by wealthiest 5% of households: 22.1% (21st lowest)
    * Cost of living: 12.2% less than U.S. avg. (the lowest)

    *
    Better take a firearm, Stucki. :)

  65. [65] 
    Kick wrote:

    MtnCaddy
    51

    Exactly!

    We all schooled him... again. He's spewed this "all the rich" crap before. :)

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks, Kick! I always look forward to your put downs. They get my day started off on the right foot.

  67. [67] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick [63]

    Re "So obviously you will provide that link".

    Sorry, like a lot of 88 yr-old fogies, I'm of the generation that has to call for a grandkid to help turn the gawdam computer on in the morning. I don't even know how to "provide a link". However, interestingly enough, the link that YOU PROVIDED ME 'https//taxfoundation . . ." etc. appears to be the very place where I found the "top half vs bottom half" statistic. And also interesting is the fact that the old statistic I quoted (the slightly over 4% for the bottom half) is no longer current. The most recent figure ( I think it was for 2020) for the bottom half is 2.3%, down by over 50% from the earlier year I had researched.

  68. [68] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    CRS

    So you don’t believe that the rich pay a smaller percentage of their income than the 90%, the rest of us?

  69. [69] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Caddy

    If the rich are abiding by the law, I suppose you have to say they're paying a higher percentage, do you not? Otherwise, your tax system is not 'progressive'!!

  70. [70] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    A big “if”.

    The Republicans are trying to defund the IRS to give their masters a better chance to avoid paying their fair share.

  71. [71] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    nypoet22
    4

    Just finished that 276 page Israeli tome that you provided. You advised me that it had elements of pro-Israeli propaganda (yep) but that it explains Israeli public opinion and I found this to be spot on! But it largely agrees with things I know to be true.

    Along with other things that I’ve learned since October I am now considerably more pro Israel than before. In fact, radicalized even in that I now believe that it’s too late for the “two state solution” and considering that Jordan aka Trans-Jordan was part of Palestine the Palestinians should be resettled there. Both Gazans and perhaps some of the West Bankers.

    I know, I know — ethnic cleansing! But Arabs have fought against the Jews over this matter for a hundred years now and Israel has to prioritize its security.

  72. [72] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Poet I’d like your opinion of Bibi and also if you believe that Israel is held to a far higher standard than any other country.

  73. [73] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    31

    Remember that time the Chiefs came from behind and beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl? And then-president Dotard Donald tweeted to congratulate the "Great State of Kansas" instead of the Great State of Missouri where the Kansas City Chiefs are actually 100% located? Moron!

    Full disclosure: I'm a Texan but actually born in Missouri. The Chiefs -- and Patrick Mahomes, for that matter -- were born in Texas and moved to Missouri.

    So why were you rooting against our Patrick this season!? You used to love us. ;)

    https://www.chrisweigant.com/2021/02/05/friday-talking-points-republicans-in-disarray-2/#comment-174902

    * Sorry -- not sorry - Moron MAGAts cheering for the 49ers because you fell for the absolutely asinine right-wingnut Swift-Kelce "psyop" conspiracy theory nonsense, but it was unforgettable good times to watch the Righty Rubes do a complete 180 and actually cheer on the team of Nancy Pelosi -- and Kamala Harris, for that matter -- from the deep Blue Democratic Great State of California that they very recently demonstrably hated because of their kneeling as a peaceful protest to bring attention to racial inequality just because their Orange Cult Leader (idiot) insisted it was a protest against the flag and anti-American. If the MAGA moron conspiracy-theory wingnuts ever wonder why people call them "sheeple," they need look no further than their laughable pathetic regurgitation of the conspiracy propaganda fed to them by their media handlers and the breathtaking speed at which they performed a complete 180 to support the 49ers in a hysterical performance of political whiplash! But I digress.

    * Sorry -- not sorry -- 49ers!

    * Yassssssssss Chiefs! :)

  74. [74] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @caddy,

    He's corrupt and a horrible human being, as well as a subpar leader. But yes, much higher standard.

  75. [75] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    67

    Sorry, like a lot of 88 yr-old fogies, I'm of the generation that has to call for a grandkid to help turn the gawdam computer on in the morning. I don't even know how to "provide a link".

    I would never blame anyone's age for computer illiteracy, particularly when I'm quite familiar with a plethora of people of your "generation" who absolutely suffer no similar affliction and can run circles around the youngsters. If you were female, you'd get your ass chewed out by the board mother for your language, so you've got that going for you, and I would definitely say I like your form were your spelling not so demonstrably atrocious. ;)

    However, interestingly enough, the link that YOU PROVIDED ME 'https//taxfoundation . . ." etc. appears to be the very place where I found the "top half vs bottom half" statistic.

    Of course, and (not surprisingly) it's regularly updated to reflect current data. Math and science!

    And also interesting is the fact that the old statistic I quoted (the slightly over 4% for the bottom half) is no longer current.

    Yes, the demonstrable evidence of ever-changing income inequality. The data clearly shows how lower income households (that you describe as rich) benefitted from the added benefit of COVID relief measures in 2020. Math and science!

    The most recent figure ( I think it was for 2020) for the bottom half is 2.3%, down by over 50% from the earlier year I had researched.

    Which begs the question, why would anyone use old data in a post attempting to refute CW's very recent claim? Rhetorical question, though.

    According to the IRS website, the top half of American earners pay 96% of all the money they collect, and the bottom 50% of earners pays the other 4%.

    ~ Stucki

    *
    Explain your math; specifically, how is 2.3% less than 50% of the 4% you claimed? Maybe one of us sucks at math. Maybe I'm (still) tipsy from fighting for my right to parrrrrrrrrrrty yesterday.

    Lastly, based on the updated data you've acknowledged, do you still maintain that the top 50% of all earners being anyone making above $42,184 meets your description of "the rich paying all the income taxes"?

    Don't answer that. :)

  76. [76] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    66

    Thanks, Kick! I always look forward to your put downs.

    That's an underwhelming (but not wholly unexpected) attempt at a response but a huge improvement over your standard "sigh," but to MtnCaddy's very valid points is also far easier than actually addressing anyone else's very valid points.

    They get my day started off on the right foot.

    Sigh. We're all just here for your pleasure, Elizabeth. :) *laughs* *shakes head*

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy,

    In fact, radicalized even in that I now believe that it’s too late for the “two state solution”...

    I came to that conclusion years ago, having witnessed many half-hearted attempts.

    But, now, I think there may be more hope for a two-state solution than ever before as interests from many quarters are aligning since the horrific October 7 attacks and war in Gaza.

    Of course, it will take a huge effort and enlightened political leadership all around, as per usual, which haven't always been present and may still not be.

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The trick is in how to sideline the current Israeli prime minister.

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, though it should go without saying, Hamas must be neutralized, too. Speaking of which, it sure would be nice if the UN would actually say this, out loud, at every opportunity.

  80. [80] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [79]

    (1) It is impossible to win this militarily! Even if Israel could nuke Gaza there’s still Hamas outside of Gaza, in Qatar for example.

    (2) For every Hamas militant killed there is a Palestinian civilian that is radicalized and will take the place of that dead militant.

    (3) I think Netanyahu will keep the military campaign going as long as he can to avoid getting kicked out of office.

  81. [81] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Delaying the inevitable, I think. BB will be held to account for failure to protect Israel from terrorism.

  82. [82] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Pardon, that's Bibi. Voice to text strikes again.

  83. [83] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We knew who you were talking about. :)

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy[80],

    Okay, here goes ...

    It is impossible to win this militarily!

    No kidding!

    For every Hamas militant killed there is a Palestinian civilian that is radicalized and will take the place of that dead militant.

    And, for every Palestinian child killed there are many civilians that are radicalized...

    I think Netanyahu will keep the military campaign going as long as he can to avoid getting kicked out of office.

    I wouldn't be surprised if that is the only reason he keeps the military campaign going. But, there is an opportunity for him to leave the world stage as a statesman instead of a dangerously incompetent leader. The trouble is he always seems to keep coming back. You know what they say about a bad weed.

    And, since I'm feeling the need to be abused, ahem, there is no way for Ukraine to win militarily, either. Check that ... Ukraine already did win, militarily, when the Russians were prevented early on from taking Kyiv. THAT was the Ukrainian victory!

    After that, Zelensky would have been wise to follow Israeli advice and negotiate for a Russian withdrawal. But, instead, Z listened to the Americans.

    After I have something to eat, I might expand upon how I think that negotiation might have gone and what the future after that might have held ... if, that is, you show some mercy on a poor girl's soul and promise not to be too unkind. :)

  85. [85] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    84

    After that, Zelensky would have been wise to follow Israeli advice and negotiate for a Russian withdrawal. But, instead, Z listened to the Americans.

    This misinformation is patently false yet still being boosted by Russia and various assorted other right-wing useful idiots. Anyone informing you or who actually believes that Russia was interested in negotiating with Ukraine is either uninformed or seeking to misinform and/or totally missing the point of Putin's invasion (not his first invasion of Ukraine... not by a long shot).

    Please don't confuse Putin's pretext for Russian military aggression with the actual facts: Putin does not recognize the very existence of Ukraine. Period.

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    i suppose you believe an actual NATO country is next on the chopping block. Heh.

    Oh, and let me know when Ukraine wins this war and regains all of its sovereign territory.

    You can be so amusing, at times ...

  87. [87] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    86

    i suppose you believe an actual NATO country is next on the chopping block. Heh.

    Do you also suppose a "chopping block" is comical? But yes, you do -- in point of fact -- do a whole lot of assuming and supposing on this forum on behalf of other posters and quite obviously an inordinate amount of sighing, which are all obviously infinitely easier than addressing the actual points other posters have made. Fast forward to your rinsing and repeating of your misinformation and discussions of appeasement on and endless loop.

    I reiterate that the information you posted is patently false. Your supposition and assumption on my behalf as well as others on this commentary says a lot more about you than it does about me or anyone else.

    Oh, and let me know when Ukraine wins this war and regains all of its sovereign territory.

    I can definitely keep you informed regarding the facts, and I commend you for seeking out a more reliable source than the propagandists feeding you the asinine drivel you've been regurgitating on loop in these commentaries.

    You can be so amusing, at times ...

    You put words in my mouth and then find it amusing? So then, you can imagine the laughs the comrades have when witnessing the regurgitation of their dezinformatsia.

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