A Union in Disarray

I am not watching Donald Trump's speech tonight. I don't need to -- we are a nation in disarray. Every day he occupies a desk in the oval office, pretending to know what he is doing, our nation is in greater peril.

He has less credibility than anyone who has ever sat at a desk in the White House. So why would anyone believe a word of what he says tonight?

If you are watching, or just want to vent on the sad state of affairs and the damage he has done to our global standing in the world, here's a place.

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    I like Joe Kennedy (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 09:34:56 PM EST
    Wasn't sure about the choice but I like it.

    He hates walls (1.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 04:48:14 PM EST
    seriously? (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by CST on Mon Feb 05, 2018 at 10:11:01 AM EST
    First of all, that's a seawall.  Second of all - it's not Joe Kennedy's house, it was sold by his father back in 1995.

    A bit of honest concise trolling (none / 0) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 04, 2018 at 08:44:09 AM EST
    Is almost a breath of fresh air compared to the tedious needy psychological drama.

    He did pretty good (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 10:05:07 PM EST
    in a notoriously perilous environment.

    Joe Kennedy (none / 0) (#40)
    by CST on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 06:26:24 AM EST
    Is someone with essentially nothing to lose or gain really - which IMO is sometimes needed.  He'll always have a political career in MA, people generally like him and he does his job well.  But I think his last name basically assures that in this day and age he probably won't seek office outside of Massachusetts.   And that gives him a certain amount of freedom and lack of pressure in these situations.

    He just spoke truth (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 07:27:30 AM EST
    As Harry said, they just thought it was hell.  

    I thought I liked it but based on the resident trolls response it was clearly a home run.


    Well, this is interesting... (4.75 / 4) (#64)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 12:21:23 PM EST
    The Justice Department will not pursue its case against Sen. Bob Menendez and has filed a motion seeking the dismissal of the indictment against the New Jersey Democrat.


    I'm hoping (4.67 / 3) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 07:52:24 PM EST
    The ratings are in the toilet

    Doing my part.

    Ditto (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 07:59:36 PM EST
    But I'm hearing a rumor on Twitter that sniffle Trump has returned.

    Oh, yeah...he's sniffing... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:01:52 PM EST
    but will he need two hands to hold the glass of water?

    And I think he's starting to tell lies.


    Anne's watching us (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:03:55 PM EST
    You're on point Anne!

    Hey Captain is that You?



    Dems might as well have just put (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:10:51 PM EST
    life-sized color cut outs of themselves in the seats.  They aren't clapping, and most look like they are posing for a new American Gothic painting.

    Really looking forward to Joe Kennedy's response.  He has killed it on a number of issues, and I expect nothing less tonight.

    And as Nicolle Wallace pointed out, it doesn't matter if Trump gives a "good" speech tonight, because by tomorrow he will be losing his mind again and tweeting like Captain Ahab on crack.

    [the captain ahab part was me]


    Ha (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:10:59 PM EST
    I'm watching KING KONG on TCM

    so, yeah


    Why can I faintly hear my husband yelling (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:20:58 PM EST
    "Beautiful? Have you seen an oilfield worker?"

    Now Spouse and Child are hollering (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:22:36 PM EST
    Drugs! Drugs!

    I'm recording it (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:30:41 PM EST
    Just in case he snaps and does something worth seeing.

    Silver lining (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:32:33 PM EST
    Or (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:33:14 PM EST
    Golden thong

    The Twitter is going off! (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:38:21 PM EST
    Exploiting pain? I think somethings on the end of your line.

    I smell urban myth. God cures heroin addiction (none / 0) (#24)
    by Peter G on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:51:24 PM EST
    And now we know the secret way out of the opioid crisis.

    Is that what (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:54:49 PM EST
    That smell is

    What??? (none / 0) (#59)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:57:59 AM EST
    Why, Peter, don't you know it's all part of the Prosperity Gospel belief?  All you have to do is believe hard enough, give lots of money to scam evangelists, pray like heck, and all your ills will be cured, your misfortunes will disappear, and you will become wealthy beyond belief.

    And the laying on of hands (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:23:02 PM EST
    Zorba Extra special magic

    All day I've been watching (4.67 / 3) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:15:04 PM EST
    Elected persons asked, "why do you think Trump is refusing to impose sanctions on Russia"


    WHO CARES "why" they "think" he's doing it.

    I want some one to ask them what they are going to DO about it.

    Congressional Apathy (none / 0) (#68)
    by Steve13209 on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 02:03:37 PM EST
    First they abdicate their authority to declare war. Now they will allow a President to decide not to implement a law. But all those signing statements have watered down laws the President doesn't agree with anyway.



    Trump is delivering his speech to only (4.67 / 3) (#13)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:20:49 PM EST
    the GOP side of the chamber.  He's essentially turning his back on the Democratic side.

    "Beautiful clean coal."  Has Trump ever been in a coal mine?

    OMG! What a child! (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:27:55 PM EST
    How did they figure out which (4.67 / 3) (#57)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:50:50 AM EST
    was the garbage and which were the Republicans?

    Train carrying congressional Republicans to retreat collides with garbage truck

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Trey (none / 0) (#60)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 11:24:46 AM EST
    Gowdy, apparently took it as an omen  
    Trey Gowdy (R-SC) announced his retirement from Congress shortly after some of his Republican colleagues were in a train wreck involving a garbage truck.

    He is going to spend more time.. (none / 0) (#62)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 11:31:12 AM EST
    with his family...  in Alpha Centauri.

    That made my day. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 05:12:22 PM EST
    I'm sure he'll be replaced with someone just as awful but the fact that I won't be seeing banjo boy anymore on any stupid committees is very sweet to me.

    Someone post when he's gone (4.50 / 2) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:29:54 PM EST
    So I'll know to go inside and what sanity

    Watch sanity (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:30:14 PM EST
    Draco Malfoy to retire from Congress (4.50 / 2) (#65)
    by Towanda on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 12:37:29 PM EST
    Trey Gowdy is gonna be gone.

    Does Jim Jordan, next in line, really want the job of chairing the House Oversight Committee that, these days, is usurped?

    Are any Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 12:49:10 PM EST
    still going to run for re-election?   Trey will probably work on that Benghazi stuff out of his basement. Suppose we will always have Louie Gohmert (R.TX) for comic relief to "cast aspersions on my asparagus."

    That totally makes sense (none / 0) (#75)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 06:23:36 PM EST
    A day or so after telling his fellow GOPers to lay off of Mueller, Gowdy quits.

    So, if a GOPer starts to show some tiny, baby steps to independence and common sense, you gotta know they are a goner.


    then there is this: (none / 0) (#76)
    by leap on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 08:04:53 PM EST
    "Because there are no coincidences in politics......a seat on the Fourth Circuit (covers South Carolina) became vacant just yesterday"

    BENGALS? (2.00 / 5) (#36)
    by linea on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 10:46:57 PM EST
    President Trump delivered a good speech. I based that evaluation on the fact that I cried several times. Joe Kennedy didn't really offer much of a rebuttal and in my opinion the Democratic Party is recklessly positioning itself to be portrayed as open-border extremists. I would prefer that Donald Trump not win a second term but it's seeming more likely. Hopefully, the Democratic Party will gain seats at the mid-term and can block the Republicans from destroying programs such as Social Security and Medicare during Trump's second term.

    "To all the Dreamers watching tonight, let me be clear: Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar," the Representative from Massachusetts said.

    Spare (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 05:37:26 AM EST
    us the crocodile tears, how many families will be brutally broken up by ICE today?

    Pro tip: If you want to troll skip the obvious right wing rhetoric. Open-border extremists indeed.


    No kidding (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 07:48:23 AM EST
    That NEVER happened

    A good speech? (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 06:24:53 AM EST
    Guess that just shows how low the bar is for this man.

    So, he can read.  Woo-fking-hoo.  Not too good on those pesky little things called "facts."

    I'm sure his base liked it - well, except for the part where he wants to offer a path to citizenship to the undocumented.  Gitmo?  Check.  Hints about enhanced interrogation?  Check.  Potshots at Obama?  Wouldn't be a Trump speech without them.  Threats about ridding the government of workers not doing their jobs in the best interests of the people?  That was for Rosenstein and Mueller, for sure.

    And explain to me, if you can, how "good" a speech can be when most of it is delivered with his back to the Democratic side of the chamber.  

    As for Joe Kennedy, his response was a reminder of what kind of country we can be, and want to be.  After a year of name-calling, minority-punching, mean-spirited, juvenile, petty, confused, oblivious, threatening, bellicose, narcissistic, grandstanding, pandering and divisive actions and words, how refreshing to hear a speech about us, reminding us that we don't have to choose who deserves to get and who doesn't.

    Open border extremists?  Only in the fevered imaginations of the Fox News crowd.

    Crocodile tears, indeed.


    Joe was a bit of fresh air (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 07:23:15 AM EST
    It's been so long since I heard idealism I almost didn't recognize it.

    It was such an unusual decision in a way.  I would have at the very least expected one of the "candidates".

    I wonder if they all passed because or the history of response train wrecks.  

    In any case I  like Joe.


    I'd like to think that someone (none / 0) (#45)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 07:39:45 AM EST
    with more vision and understanding of where the Democratic electorate is was able to convince the more conventional, old-school contingent that the people needed to see not the party of the past but the party of the future.  Not saying Joe Kennedy is in the destined-for-bigger-things pipeline, just that he represents the younger demographic the party needs.

    I also think he was a way to steal some thunder - and messaging - from Bernie Sanders, who gave a Facebook Live response to the SOTU last night.  

    I had understood that Maxine Waters was supposed to give a speech, but I haven't seen anything on it.

    I will say that I liked this, from Elizabeth Warren:

    I went to the State of the Union tonight. I wanted it burned into my eyes.

    Because if there's ever a moment when I think I'm too tired to keep fighting, all I'll have to do is close my eyes for just a moment - and picture Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan patting each other's backs for punching working families in the gut - and I'll jump back in this fight.

    Let's be clear:

    America isn't stronger when Donald Trump tries to rip health care away from millions of Americans. Our future isn't stronger when he gives away gigantic tax breaks to billionaires and giant corporations so there's no money for education, infrastructure, and the tools we need to succeed. And our moral fabric isn't stronger when he breaks our promise to 800,000 Dreamers.

    America isn't safer when Donald Trump alienates our allies, plays a stupid, reckless game of chicken with a dangerous foreign power, and threatens nuclear war. Our economy isn't safer when he rolls back the rules on Wall Street to let the big banks gamble with our economy again.

    And America isn't prouder when Donald Trump embraces bigotry, hatred and fear - and calls that patriotism.

    The character of our country - and the state of our union - isn't determined by our President. It's determined by our people. So if you're angry, frustrated, or worried - and you want something to do about it other than throwing your TV out the window - chip in right now and join our team to fight back.

    Now more than ever, we're in this fight all the way. We need you.

    I go back and forth (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 08:06:15 AM EST
    On the subject of 5 separate democratic responses.

    I understand the idea of projecting unity on the other hand that was so sweepingly horrible on so many levels from economics to immigration to gitmo that maybe it needed 5 separate responses.  After all it was not like they were not united in their feeling about what they were responding to.

    As bad as things are, as bad as things look, I find it hard to not be optimistic.  The main reason being Trump and his flying monkeys simply don't understand the institutions they are dismantling.  Since they have no personal connection to them they are simply unable to understand how deeply they are rooted.  Or how important things like the rule of law is to most people.

    One story in the last few days really got my attention.

    The story of how, after firing Comey while he was on a trip, Trump became furious that Comey was allowed to take a govt jet home.  So furious he called McCabe screaming about it.  The conversation was related to go something like this, Trump screams about the flight.
    McCabe says he was not consulted but if he had been he would have approved the flight.
    Trump sputtered a bit and screams "HEY, ASK YOUR WIFE HOW IT FEELS TO BE A LOSER!"
    To which McCabe replies "ok, sir."
    Trump hangs up.

    Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part but I took that "ok, sir"  as something that might be said by the Komodo dragon sitting quietly by and waiting for the water buffalo to die from the small poisonous bite he has just given him.


    Oh yeah. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 08:24:50 AM EST
    We really need to build up our nuclear arsenal. And that wall. Both will make us so much safer.

    linea, for you (5.00 / 7) (#52)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:57:35 AM EST
    to parrot the canard about open borders shows you have swallowed the GOP bigotry whole.

    Trump made it seem like Latino immigrants are all members of gangs.

    It was disgusting.

    Did you cry over the individual people Trump singled out?  Okay, but they were not connected to anything real in Trump's policies. Bottom line you got worked.

    Open Borders? Good Lord. Actually, God help us all, as it clear many people are so fooled.


    linea, you are offended (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:14:33 AM EST
    that Joe Kennedy said Dreamers are part of our history and we won't leave them behind?

    Or, maybe you were offended because he said it in Spanish?

    Well, here in California I guess we should call our cities St. Francis, the City of Angels, St. James, etc.  Would that make you feel better?

    You do understand that Latinos have been in California for a long, long time?  If we are going to rely on who got here first, then Latinos were here well before Anglos.   Ever hear of the 49ers football team?  That refers to the Gold Rush of 1849, when Anglos came to California in large numbers.    



    Don't forget Fresno, for which ... (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 08:55:22 PM EST
    MKS: "Well, here in California I guess we should call our cities St. Francis, the City of Angels, St. James, etc.  Would that make you feel better?"

    ...  the English translation is "Ash," as in tree or wood. ;-D

    And FYI, and because I'm full of otherwise useless trivia like this, L.A.'s given Spanish name is La Puebla de Nuestra Dama, La Reina de Los Angeles - "The Town of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels." Very Catholic.



    MKS (1.75 / 4) (#77)
    by linea on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 08:24:59 PM EST
    Where did I write that I was offended? How is your post not dishonesty spurious and intended to misrepresent me?

    My review of the SOTU adreess is valid because I actually watched the presentation and because, unlike many people here, I am able to disspationately evaluate whether the presentation will resonate across the electorate.  

    I stand by my assertion that the Democrat Party is `recklessly positioning itself to be portrayed as open-border extremists' in the context of a national election. I apologize that this statement requires some level of reading comprehension.

    There shouldn't be SOTU analysis threads if it is prohibited or impossible to have a political science discussion on whether the presentation may be influential with voters incuding independent voters and the working class in the Middle America.


    linea, I strongly dispute your comment (4.43 / 7) (#79)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 08:46:09 PM EST
    First, there is no such thing as the "Democrat Party."   Using that phrase is a dead give away that the person using it is a conservative-or in your case accepting whole and undigested conservative dogma.

    The name of the party is "Democratic Party."  The GOP in order to childishly needle Democrats, have used the shortened phrase because it rhymes with "rat."  So, you have used a taunt used by childish conservatives.  

    Second, I watched the speech.  So, you were wrong in that implied assertion as it relates to me.

    Third, I do not agree that you are able to dispassionately gauge what will resonate across America. You have admitted and betrayed a lack of knowledge of this country and American English.

    Fourth, can you not set aside your opinion on the optics and look at the merits?    


    Fifth, linea (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:03:16 PM EST
    In terms of how things are going to be perceived, do you know why California is a deep Blue State?

    What happened in 1994 that changed California from being often a Red State, and at best a Toss-Up, to perhaps the most Blue State of them all?

    And, the singular event in 1994, which Latino GOPers admit is the reason California is a deep Blue State, was very popular--in 1994.  Google it and see.

    The Democrats are only 3 points away from winning Arizona, and down only 9 in Texas. The Dems are closer to winning Texas than Ohio--given the trends in each.   Half of the children enrolled in public school in Texas are Latino.  Half.  Read that again.  Half.

    So, you can try to pander to your vaunted Ohio, etc. on racial issues, or you can do the right thing, which will also be good politics.  Look up the population stats of Youngstown, Ohio.   I used to live there for many years.  Do you really know the "heartland?"  I do.  Are people moving there?

    You are grossly misinformed and have absorbed some "heartland" arguments from a source that does not like the "Democrat" Party.  You have been ill served.

    Do you own research about 1994.


    Nevada and Colorado (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:13:07 PM EST
    used to be Red States--not that long ago.  New Mexico used to be swing state.

    Not anymore.   Why?

    And why all this exorbitant attention on the racially motivated voters in the heartland at the expense of the Latino voters who have flipped many states already--with more on the horizon?


    I have researched this (1.00 / 1) (#88)
    by linea on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:28:40 PM EST
    I have been reading about American-Populist issues. I'm telling you that `illegal immigration'  is one of the three main American-Populist issues going back 26 years to Ross Perot. This is one of the issues that flipped districts that voted twice for Obama to vote for a blustering TV personally. I'm telling you that the Democratic Party is handling this issue poorly.

    Democratic Party politicians need to start every rebuttal with something like this:

    `We need common sense, comprehensive immigration reform. We must uphold existing laws, protect our borders from terrorists and criminal gangs like MS13. We must enforce our laws against recruiting, hiring, and exploiting undocumented workers. Comprehension reform must be fair to all taxpayers and to legal immigrants. There should be a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but one that would require them to pay taxes and go to the back of the line... `

    ...and then explain why President Trump's proposals are wrong and voice a reasonable alternative.

    Instead they are doubling-down on `Trump is racist' and leaving themselves open to being portrayed as fighting for foreign nationals over American citizens.

    My analysis. My opinion.


    Apparently, your research failed to (5.00 / 5) (#90)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:04:29 AM EST
    turn up the fact that undocumented immigrants are already paying taxes - and paying them into a system from which they can derive little to no benefit.

    Just my opinion, but your failure to do this most basic research calls into question the rest of your so-called research.  It supports the impression many of us have that you are using conservative framing  - which cannot be relied on - as the basis for your criticism.

    I don't think you understand Democrats on this issue, or in general. I think you are attempting to analyze Dems through a lens that is woefully out of focus, or pointed in the wrong direction, and fails to take into account their evolution on this and other issues.

    I, for one, am pleased that Dems are finally stepping up and defining issues from the Democratic point of view, instead of trying to do so from the GOP point of view.


    Anne (1.00 / 3) (#119)
    by linea on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 07:49:07 PM EST
    Your post is pointlessly argumentative.

    IF YOU DON'T LIKE `require them to pay taxes...' TAKE IT UP WITH ELIZABETH WARREN



    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 07:57:26 PM EST
    Anne has such a penchant for being pointlessly argumentative.

    So unlike yesterday yourself


    SO UNLIKE YOURSELF that iz (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 07:58:57 PM EST
    Not sure how yesterday got in the but it's everyday

    Why is this something (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 08:04:59 PM EST
    that applies to Anne?

    Because she has nothing else, that's why. (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 08:20:51 PM EST
    We've all gotten sucked into the linea vortex of incomplete facts, endless definitions, bold-faced fonts and explosions of exclamation points.

    Not sure where it ever gets us but cranky.


    True (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 10:17:26 PM EST
    The subject, however, is important:  whether we chase racially motivated WWC, or support our own principles and fight for new votes among Latinos and white college-educated voters.

    It is, or has, been an ongoing discussion:  Do we pander to the WWC on racial issues or not?

    What is the future direction of the Democratic Party?

    So, the vehicle of the standard linea drama is quite flawed, but the issue was raised.  


    Maybe because (2.00 / 1) (#130)
    by linea on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 09:54:56 PM EST
    Why is this something (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 08:04:59 PM EST
    that applies to Anne?

    I was replying directly to Anne.
    If you click the Parent button on my post you would see that.


    Linea, you are the one arguing for (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 08:14:31 PM EST
    Dems' position on immigration to include requiring the undocumented to pay taxes, but the point you missed is that they are already doing this.  I said nothing about not "liking" that they were paying taxes, only pointing out that they are paying in to a system without being able to benefit.  Seems to me that if you pay, you should benefit.

    Seems to me the very definition of a pointless argument is one that misses the point but is argued  anyway.


    No, learn to read. (1.00 / 5) (#129)
    by linea on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 09:45:05 PM EST

    Linea, you are the one arguing for (#124)
    by Anne
    Dems' position on immigration to include requiring the undocumented to pay taxes,

    I'm the one arguing that the Dems are placing themselves in a position to be portrayed as extremists and that they should counter that by prefacing their arguments when rebutting Trump policy proposals.. and I used the keys points of Elizabeth Warren's policy statement as an EXAMPLE.

    Are people here really this deficient in reading comprehension? Or are you so rushed to reflexively spit criticism at me that you aren't bothering to read my post?


    You are making an argument that (5.00 / 6) (#134)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 06:08:23 AM EST
    people don't agree with - and you have been provided with reasons why people don't agree with you, so I think it's you - again - who is having difficulty comprehending what people are saying.  

    So, to be clear, it isn't that we don't understand what you're saying, it's that we don't agree with what you're saying.  And I guess you don't understand why waving Elizabeth Warren's name around isn't working like the magic wand you mistakenly thought it was.

    I find your logic quite often faulty.  I think you rely too much on conservative framing.  You research some things to death, but fail to confirm facts that take seconds to find.

    I think you believe you are better equipped to analyze and diagnose what Dems need to do than perhaps is really the case.  I think you believe you understand Democrats better than you really do.  There are quite a few of us who've been around for a lot longer than you have, who don't have to research the evolution of the party or look to others to explain the strategy because we've lived it or we've worked within it.

    Here's a little nugget of advice I will offer free of charge: if you are constantly telling people they aren't reading your comments correctly, you might want to consider that it isn't them, it's you.

    And one more tidbit: telling people to learn to read isn't going to help get them to agree with you.


    I'll try explaining again (1.00 / 6) (#131)
    by linea on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 10:03:55 PM EST

    Democratic Party politicians need to start every rebuttal with something like this:

    [Insert example sourced from Elizabeth Warren's policy statement on immigration]

    ...and then explain why President Trump's proposals are wrong and voice a reasonable alternative.

    Keep trying (none / 0) (#179)
    by Yman on Fri Feb 09, 2018 at 06:06:24 PM EST
    The problem isn't on the reading/comprehension end.

    Linea, if you have to (none / 0) (#180)
    by Zorba on Sat Feb 10, 2018 at 11:00:29 AM EST
    engage in yelling (using all caps is considered Internet yelling), then you have already lost the argument.
    Calm down and present your arguments in a rational manner.  Don't get all discombobulated if people disagree with you, because that will happen on any blog you comment on.
    Don't act like people who do disagree with you are stupid.  
    We really don't need "definitions" from the Internet; we can Google as well as you can.
    Try these things, and you might have more success.

    undocumented immigrants are already paying taxes

    A more factual statement would be: "some undocumented immigrants are already paying taxes."

    The best estimates from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington, DC, think tank, suggest about half of undocumented workers in the United States pay income taxes.

    They all would pay income (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 11:28:43 AM EST
    taxes if they were allowed to stay legally.

    The argument used to be that it was only illegal immigration that concerned the conservatives, and they were not otherwise anti-immigrant.  Well, that mask has dropped.

    And, no, Sarcastic, the statement was correct.  Undocumented immigrants pay sales taxes, property taxes, etc.  So they do pay taxes period.

    Immigrants add more than they take...contrary to all the complaints of those who are anti-immigrant.


    cmon, the full statement was (none / 0) (#146)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 11:51:28 AM EST
    undocumented immigrants are already paying taxes - and paying them into a system from which they can derive little to no benefit.

    Clearly the comment was about income taxes.

    If, as you say, the comment was about sales and property taxes, then it's further misleading because sales and property taxes fund state and local gvts and the undocumented do of course benefit from them.

    And, you throw down the exact same style of misleading comment as Anne did.

    This would be more accurate:

     "The argument used to be that it was only illegal immigration that concerned the conservatives. Well, for some, that mask has dropped."


    This all began with linea's "advice" (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 12:40:25 PM EST
    about Dems needing to couch their messaging on immigration in terms more familiar to conservatives, because otherwise, she believes Dems are setting themselves up to be portrayed as pro-immigration extremists.

    She offered an example of a message Dems should be using, which included the thing about the undocumented needing to pay taxes.

    To me, making this kind of statement perpetuates the myth that undocumented workers are not contributing to the tax base and are just feeding off the system.  That's Trump's message: these people are coming here so they can get welfare and food stamps.

    My opinion is that Dems do not need to take up any message that echoes or mirrors what the hard-line anti-immigration conservatives are saying.

    The truth is that undocumented immigrants are paying taxes.  Whether it's half or more, I'd venture to guess that many who aren't paying in don't pay because their employers don't report them as employees and aren't paying in what they are required to.

    The minutiae of this particular issue is not the point.  The point is that I disagree with linea on what the Dems' messaging on immigration needs to be, and I don't think Dems' perpetuating conservative myths on the subject helps Dems.


    Fair enough, however (2.00 / 1) (#150)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 01:10:37 PM EST
    your comment, as I pointed out, is misleading. Regardless of whether it is in response to similarly misleading comment.  

    And, imo, perpetuating such misleading progressive memes does not help you or Dems.

    In part, because you'll rightly get called out on it, whether publicly or just privately in people's heads as they read these types of comments, and as a result your message is negatively impacted.

    I realize that getting called out publicly on TL for misleading progressive comments has been a pretty rare event here on the "preaching to the choir" club that TL has morphed into lately, but, still...


    "Getting called out" (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 08:46:02 PM EST
    You fancy you did that?

    I don't think so.


    then I guess we are going to have to (none / 0) (#152)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 01:25:24 PM EST
    disagree on what "misleading" means - but not to worry: the human dictionary will probably be along any moment to give us a definition.

    Seriously, it is not misleading to say that undocumented immigrants are paying taxes, because they are - whether that's all of them, half of them, or some other number, the reality is that taxes are being paid by people who are not documented.

    To take up a message that implies they are not is to echo the conservatives.

    My real mistake was going down the rabbit hole with linea in the first place.


    "Seriously, women have access to the top levels of corporate management, because they do - whether that's all of them, half of them, or some other number, the reality is that women are in the top levels of corporate management."

    I know I wouldn't...


    I get what you're saying, but I don't think (none / 0) (#156)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 02:21:24 PM EST
    that you get that I wasn't doing a treatise on the level of undocumented immigrants' participation in the tax system, I was rendering an opinion on the messaging that linea thought Dems needed to be using so they didn't look like extremists.

    If not being specific about the participation rate renders invalid my overall opinion on what Dems' messaging should be  - i.e., not some watered-down version of what the hard-liners are saying - then I erred by not doing so - but I think others reading what I wrote - with the exception of linea, and I guess, you - were able to see the forest for the trees on this, and understood what I wrote.


    "I get what you're saying" (2.00 / 1) (#157)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 02:44:50 PM EST
    I thought you might with the right example. The relevance I already addressed. Moving on!

    Sarcastic, (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 12:03:37 AM EST
    very few GOPers are opposed to Trump's plan to limit legal immigration, etc.  As you surely know, they will all vote for such a restrictive plan.

    So, perhaps there exist conservatives who still support legal immigration in the sense we have known it, and has been legal for many decades now, but there are few of them left.  Most want severe restrictions on immigration.



    No, don't see it (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 12:13:33 AM EST
    The comment about state and property taxes applies.  The undocumented pay them. Not so different than paying income taxes....

    Whatever your implied arguments about state property taxes would apply to income taxes.  Sure, the undocumented benefit from the overall public goods purchased with property taxes, such as roads and schools.  But you can say the same about Federal Income Taxes:  everyone benefits from the military and federal highways and National Parks too.

    The nasty canard is the suggestion that the undocumented are freeloaders, takers.  No, that applies to red state whites on the whole.  See West Virginia.

    And, you missed my comment about the undocumented paying income taxes if they achieved legal status.  Just waive a wand and make them legal and they all, or mostly all, would pay income taxes....

    Your picayune policing is not accurate, helpful or clarifying.


    Further, the argument about (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 12:19:32 AM EST
    Federal Income Taxes is further eroded by the fact that many low income earners don't pay "income taxes" at all, if you want to get technical. Payroll taxes maybe.  But you are being so very precise here, right?  

    It has been a solid argument that immigrants pay property taxes and sales taxes....it is valid because the undocumented add significant economic activity to our communities just through their consumer purchases.

    I have run out of patience with the arguments made against the undocumented.


    I too have run out of patience. (2.00 / 1) (#164)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 12:56:51 PM EST
    Maybe if you read the OP's (Anne') responses you will realize that she meant income tax.

    Obviously undocumented immigrants pay sales tax. Only a fool would think UI have a magic wand that they use at the checkout counter that removes the sales tax from their bill. And just as obviously if they own or rent a place to live, they directly or indirectly pay property taxes.

    Please do not promote the conceit that someone who says "X does not pay taxes" means that "X" buys stuff but doesn't pay sales tax, or that "X" lives in a house/apt but doesn't pay property tax.

    Even the poster, Anne, implies that she was talking about income tax in her response regarding what percentage of UI actually do pay income tax.

    wtf dude?


    You hijacked (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 08:37:47 PM EST
    the discussion to highlight what was at best a trivial point.

     You did seem to like criticizing "progressives."  Given the stakes of the Dreamers and the undocumented, you accused me and Anne of being misleading.  But you had to really reach to get there.

    I still think I was literally correct that the undocumented do pay taxes.  Moreover, in terms of the "spirit" or big picture, my point also prevails: the undocumented are not moochers or takers.  Your criticism implies a framing that accepts the notion that they are.  So, you have joined linea in that regard.  I find that offensive.   As well as the smug, self-congratulatory assertion that I (and Anne) was misleading. Not incorrect but dishonest, in effect a liar.  

    Well, I will reiterate (sorta) something about where the sun shines (or doesn't) and where to "place" things.  


    Seriously. (2.00 / 1) (#170)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Feb 04, 2018 at 11:07:17 AM EST
    You can both accept the fact that around 1/2 of the undocumented don't pay income tax and still conclude that they are not "moochers or takers." Then you don't have to twist your logic into pretzels.

    I am going to respond (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 04, 2018 at 02:20:36 PM EST
    again because the substance here is important.

    But your comments were a game of gotcha so that you could chastise progressives and this blog.  That appears to be the design here.

    So, you raise the issue, as you now frame it, that undocumented workers do not all pay income taxes.  Why is that relevant?   I'm sure half of low income whites who are citizens here do not pay income taxes.  So why do you, or anyone else, raise this issue?

    Not really a mystery.  The point is about the undocumented being takers and moochers. A standard anti-immigrant position.  

    And, it really is a faux issue.  If you want the undocumented to pay income tax, then let them achieve legal status so that they are not paid under the table with cash, etc., assuming that they would have such an obligation.  (Not that many who scrub toilets, I submit, will have to pay federal income tax.)

    So, you chased an anti-immigrant canard--in order to say "gotcha," I caught a progressive.   That was your whole (supposed) contribution to this conversation.  

    It is the underlying assumptions that drove you down this path that need to be rebutted.  


    Well, if you ask someone a question, (none / 0) (#176)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 05, 2018 at 11:02:54 AM EST
    and then answer it yourself, you end up with your erroneous conclusion.

    So, you raise the issue, as you now frame it, that undocumented workers do not all pay income taxes.

    As I now frame it???

    This was my very first comment fcs.

    Well, to be fair, this is a misleading statement: (none / 0) (#142)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 08:16:59 AM PST

        undocumented immigrants are already paying taxes

    A more factual statement would be: "some undocumented immigrants are already paying taxes."

        The best estimates from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington, DC, think tank, suggest about half of undocumented workers in the United States pay income taxes.

    Why is it relevant?

    Already answered, days ago:

    And, imo, perpetuating such misleading progressive memes does not help you or Dems.

    In part, because you'll rightly get called out on it, whether publicly or just privately in people's heads as they read these types of comments, and as a result your message is negatively impacted.

    Sorry, but you absolutely did hijack (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Anne on Sun Feb 04, 2018 at 03:36:03 PM EST
    the thread, making it about how many undocumented were or weren't paying taxes, instead of whether or if Dems should be taking up conservative themes in order not to be portrayed as extremists.

    Linea decided to advise Dems what their message should be, and a number of us disagreed.  I most particularly disagreed with the idea that Dems should be perpetuating the myth that the undocumented don't pay taxes.  That is a trope the GOP trots out at every opportunity to make the argument that because they are not here legally, they aren't contributing - that all they are doing is taking.  Taking jobs, taking services, putting a drain on the system.

    That is false.

    I found Joe Kennedy's messaging more powerful and honest than the warmed-over crap linea thinks Dems need to be dishing up again to appeal to the kinds of people who think ICE is doing a super job, and who wish they could get more of "those" people out of the country ASAP.

    So, perhaps instead of getting lost in the weeds of who does and doesn't pay taxes, perhaps you could offer your opinion on what Dems' messaging on immigration should be.  

    Do you agree with linea or not?


    I generally don't read linea's comments. (none / 0) (#177)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 05, 2018 at 11:48:17 AM EST
    I read yours more often. My only point to you was intended to be simply what I wrote in my first comment, that that part of your comment was was misleading.

    I quoted the actual facts because it appeared that you were not aware of them. I assumed, I believe correctly, you would not knowingly present something that was misleading. And, if you weren't aware of the facts, perhaps others here were not as well.

    Seriously, if your response to my first comment had been something along the lines of "OK, whatever, I stand by the rest of what I wrote." I would have simply responded "Fair enough." and that would have been that.


    Of course, you can (none / 0) (#172)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 04, 2018 at 02:05:37 PM EST
    But that was not your point.  

    If a worker is on payroll (none / 0) (#166)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 08:03:45 PM EST
    they have income taxes taken from their checks if they are here legally or not. With little prospect of filing a return and getting any kind of refund. And it is a fair point that the argument is moot because low income workers pay little if any federal income taxes anyway. No matter the pigmentation of their skin or country of origin. Or an actual US citizen. The undocumented pay plenty of taxes. Federal highway taxes every time they purchase gasoline. They pay highway and bridge tolls, auto registration fees (taxes). Sales tax is just one small part of it.

    Sales tax doesn't care if you are an immigrant (none / 0) (#151)
    by vicndabx on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 01:19:05 PM EST
    Most states in the US have it, thus illegal immigrants are surely paying it.

    I don't think it was as "clear" as you claim which taxes ere being discussed.


    The choice boils (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 09:41:23 AM EST
    down to this: either you can chase the WWC of the "Heartland" who voted for Trump based on racial insecurity; or, you can support the Dreamers and others who reject Trump's racial politics.

    And, I see you have accepted the theory that the WWC who voted for Trump did so out of racial insecurity, not economic insecurity.  Armando has been harping on that since the election.

    You have not responded to my point that supporting the Dreamers, etc., is not only the right thing to do, it is good politics.  The racially motivated WWC who voted for Trump are a declining demographic.  Why chase them?

    For every racially motived WWC vote lost, another can be made up by the votes of Latinos and educated whites.

    Orange County, California known nationwide as a bastion of conservative politics voted for Hillary--and by 9 points.  Obama couldn't do that.

    Virginia is now becoming close to a solid Democratic state.

    Why won't you respond to my point about the growing Latino vote and vote of those who support them?  This is not just speculative.  California, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Virginia have already been turned. Arizona and Texas will come next. Why do you not even respond to this point?

    I would find it repulsive to chase racially motivated voters by pandering to them--on issues of race and ethnicity, which is what you basically propose.  (The Dems have been for common sense border security for a while now.)  And, such voters would smell the pander. Why settle for a fake version when they have the real version in Cheeto?


    McBain, why don't (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:57:21 PM EST
    explain your "1"?

    I must have hit pay dirt for you to react so.


    Portrayed as extremists.. (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:47:00 AM EST
    the key word in that formulation being "portrayed."

    Actually some of the most extreme open border supporters are Libertarians, who tend, when the chips are down, to vote Republican.

    I feel you were somewhat taken in by Trump and GOP's simplistic cartoon portrayal of reality last night.


    As an open border extremist myself... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:56:39 AM EST
    I take offense at being smeared as a Democrat;)

    I'm reminded of the Obama years, when I often thought if Obama was merely half the things the Republicans accused him of being, I would have f*cking voted for him!


    You don't have to be (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 12:41:37 PM EST
    a Democrat.  Just vote Democratic.  (good to hear from you, you have been missed).

    Thanks KD... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 03:37:23 PM EST
    tumultuous month or so has left little free space of mind to ponder the political...but I've been reading yas and missed shooting the sh*t with yas.  And things are settling down, so hold on tight for appearances of my brand of knuckleheadism...to the delight of few, dismay of many, and ambivalence of most!

    Good (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 03:42:39 PM EST
    we all need some knuckleheaded nihilism to keep us centered.

    kdog, my dear friend (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 06:19:53 PM EST
    you have the potential to be really good Democrat.  Any day now, you will see the light.

    That will never happen my friend... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 09:48:49 AM EST
    but when your party selects quality candidates that advocate strongly for policies and positions I care about, I will support them with my vote and words.  When they don't, I won't.  I am looking forward to the new crop/new wave of Democratic Party candidates though...there is promise there. The sooner Schumer & Pelosi are no longer the face of the party, the better for everybody.  The final death-blow to the "third way" style may be at hand...I hope.

    But you can rest assured that there are no circumstances under which I could ever fathom voting for a Republican in the remaining years of my life and/or this country.


    Jondee (none / 0) (#82)
    by linea on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:23:24 PM EST
    Did you think I accidentally included the word portrayed or that it somehow inadvertently fell in to my sentence?

    How was I `somewhat taken in by Trump' for acknowledging that the SOTU speech was effective? My personal views have not changed.


    `No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA! Trump is racist! Oprah for President!'

    There. I fixed everything. Donald Trump can't possibly win the 2020 election now. The Democrats are assured of mid-term victories too.


    What you haven't managed to figure out (5.00 / 4) (#83)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:50:12 PM EST
    in spite of a vast amount of source material, is that it pretty much doesn't matter what position the Dems take: Republicans will portray them in whatever way works best for them at the moment.  And they will do it even as whatever house of cards they have constructed is collapsing around them.

    Trump's speech was 80 minutes of half-truths, lies, dog-whistles and nationalistic garbage.  Which probably was effective for the small slice of the electorate that's into that sort of thing, but it can't have escaped your notice that Dems weren't buying what he was selling.

    I guess you've decided that emphasizing that you are merely expressing your opinion is like a shield against criticism, but when you base your opinions on flawed and faulty and false information, your opinions are going to be rejected.

    Finally, does every exchange with you have to end with some sort of high drama?  It doesn't help.


    Dear GAWD (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 05, 2018 at 09:33:40 PM EST
    President Trump delivered a good speech. I based that evaluation on the fact that I cried several times.

    Of course you do and of course you did.  I'm surprised it wasn't based on Melania's outfit.


    I did not watch the speech. (none / 0) (#44)
    by vml68 on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 07:34:14 AM EST
    Had I done so, I am pretty sure I would have cried, too. I would have cried looking at that face, hearing that horrible voice and the ugly words spewed and wondering yet again, how he is POTUS.

    Everyday the rule of law (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 07:45:30 PM EST
    Is hacked into more and more pieces in order for Trump accountability to be inaccessible.

    I guess Melania couldn't very well (none / 0) (#3)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 07:53:10 PM EST
    have worn black tonight...

    She was so trolling Trump (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 10:16:38 PM EST
    as the white pantsuit became iconc when Clinton wore it to accept the nomination.

    And then he -- well, Stephen Miller -- plagiarized Clinton's "new American moment" line.  Of course, Miller stole far more of the speech from the KKK.


    I hear Stephen Miller was involved with (none / 0) (#4)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 07:54:10 PM EST
    the speech, which could be interesting.

    Oh, yes. MS-13! MS-13! Chain migration (none / 0) (#23)
    by Peter G on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:48:03 PM EST
    and terrorism! We will build the wall, and the Dreamers will pay for it.

    I'm sort of following (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:53:35 PM EST
    On POLITICO.  They are doing a live fact checking thing so I can see what he is saying without having to hear him say it.

    I thought this was interesting

    The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration.

    What am I missing there?


    Perhaps by "the nuclear family" he means (none / 0) (#27)
    by Peter G on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 08:58:21 PM EST
    immigration only for spouses and their offspring, and not for any other relatives.

    Doesn't really make much sense (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 10:06:12 PM EST
    Because it doesn't protect that sort of nuclear family. We are healthier and more capable when supported by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

    I found it more than a little ironic (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:44:15 AM EST
    that even as Trump was railing about the scourge of chain migration, he hailed the Korean defector and said:

    Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.


    Seong-ho's story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.

    So, it was a heroic thing for this young man to seek freedom with such great peril, ending up in South Korea, where he as joined by "most of his family," but if he had managed to get to America, the America Trump envisions, "most of his family" would still be languishing in a repressive regime.

    Somehow, this testament to the yearning to be free doesn't mean as much if someone is fleeing Central America and the death squads, or seeking asylum from places like Syria.

    I guess the problem is that Trump is fine with people seeking freedom in other countries, but, hey, in America, we have higher standards, right?


    Makes no sense (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 11:50:45 AM EST
    America wants those who travel thousands of miles on crutches. We are supposed to be a nation of heroes. It's what we were all told as children, we were built of the DNA that overcame. But no more. We will no longer be those people.

    Crazy talk! You must be either (none / 0) (#32)
    by Peter G on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 10:13:02 PM EST
    an MS-13 gang member or a terrorist-sympathizer.

    does he even (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 10:15:22 PM EST
    have a clue about MS-13?

    At the June 21, 2017 Senate hearing on Immigration and Gang Membership, Customs and Border Protection Acting Chief Carla Provost said that of the 250,000 unaccompanied minors apprehended since 2011, only 56 were suspected or confirmed of being affiliated with MS-13.

    How did Melania's parents and sister get here if not for chain migration?


    The 13 in the name MS-13 (none / 0) (#35)
    by fishcamp on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 10:45:41 PM EST
    stands for the 13th letter in the alphabet which is M for marijuana.  Most Hells Angels have a 13 on their patches.  There are a few ex MS-13 members here in Islamorada that work as busboys and dishwashers.  I practice my Spanish with them.  Like the HA's they're ok individually but not when a batch of them get together.

    I guess he's not going to mention (none / 0) (#5)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 07:55:44 PM EST
    that thousands still have no power in Puerto Rico.

    Watching Trump leave (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 09:24:11 PM EST
    It's obvious that bald spot is growing beyond his elaborate efforts to conceal.

    A new plan is definitely needed   perhaps Mexico will pay for it.  

    Oh no... (none / 0) (#37)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 30, 2018 at 11:13:43 PM EST
    Guess I missed the big important speech.

    Thanks Drunk History.

    Thank you (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 07:07:25 AM EST
    I cried several times

    I didn't watch it (none / 0) (#49)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:44:05 AM EST
    Although I did see some "highlights."
    What kind of President claps for himself?  He obviously thinks he's still running a reality show on TV.
    He's an immature buffoon, albeit a dangerous one.  It will take years  to undo what he and the GOP have done.  (Assuming the Democrats take charge and are given enough time to do so.)
    Meanwhile, I made pulled pork, baked beans, and potato salad, which we enjoyed with some beer.  Mr. Zorba has a cold, but he managed to enjoy dinner, anyway.

    I'm convinced that whoever put the (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:48:11 AM EST
    speech on the teleprompter added the word "Applause" where it was anticipated it would happen, and he took that as a direction to actually clap.

    Although I have noticed he does tend to do that, clap for himself - he was doing it even as he approached the podium, and I've seen him do it as he was taking the stage at his various appearances.

    I guess we can be somewhat glad that he didn't actually read the word, right?


    for having such tiny hands, he (5.00 / 6) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:42:31 AM EST
    sure clapped loud. His claps were the loudest, they became like scratching on a chalkboard to my ears.

    How absurd that he applauded himself all night rather than just when he was congratulating his guests.


    LOL! (none / 0) (#54)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:40:15 AM EST
    It may well be as you suggest.
    But I do think a lot of this is that he claps for himself to encourage the audience to clap for him.
    He craves, nay he almost demands, his ego to be stroked by applause, compliments, handshakes, etc.

    "It will take years to undo.. (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 11:30:16 AM EST
    ..what he and the GOP have done."

    Generations, I believe.


    Bipartisanship? (none / 0) (#69)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 02:05:30 PM EST
    I don't think Trump is capable of bipartisanship, the task is very big and he is so small.  A foundation to democracy is compromise--a trait that he lacks in his narcissistic quest to be the winner.  

    When he, on the rare occasion, is faithfully tethered to the teleprompter by his handlers so as to masquerade as president, he is boring.

    Whatever appeal ascribed to him seems to be related to  his cartoonish entertainment value...in the Republican primaries, he took control of the stage with his insults and bluster.

     His anomalous campaign similarly offered something to notice and laugh about.  And, then, tragically, came his presidency. More of the same, but the antics were not so entertaining--hope continues to spring eternal for that always elusive pivot to sane leadership.  But, it seems that even the media has caught on.

     It seems, that as in the case of the charmless Chris Christie, the initial unorthodoxy is running its course, save for the true believers.

      Yes, the Republican Congress is still head over heals with Trump, but it is a fickle, if not a necessary, love affair.  After all, we know that the Russians hacked both the DNC and the RNC, the DNC emails were released to cause damage during the campaign, and, my speculation is that the RNC emails were held back to be used..later.

    But, then, wonders never cease.  Perhaps, Trump can get "Sneaky Diane Feinstein", "Cry'n Chuck Schumer", "Pocahontas", "Too Old Nancy," "Crazy Bernie", and "bad wig Maxine", to sit down in mutual respect and work with him.

    Have you ever tried to negotiate with (none / 0) (#70)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 02:21:02 PM EST
    a 3-year old?  Because that's what Democrats need to learn how to do - and trust me when I tell you it's not an easy thing to do.

    Because what it really comes down to is that Trump wants what he wants, but what he wants can change in the blink of an eye.  Schumer and Durbin thought they had a deal, but the mistake they made was not sticking to Trump's side like glue until Trump himself nailed that deal down.  

    Give a child too many choices and he won't be able to make one.  Same with Trump.

    Sometimes you can get things to go your way if you manage to make the child think it was all his idea.  But again, you can't leave too much time or space between the decision and the execution, or something's going to get in the way.

    And because Trump is the president, there are only a very few people who can actually just tell him what he's going to do, and then make sure he does it.

    Someone like this should not be in charge of anything important, and yet, here we are, with a man who's functioning at the emotional level of a toddler - a toddler who is pretty much ALL emotion.

    It's not going to get any better, but the one suggestion I have is for Dems to do some serious study of how to deal with little children - it might actually make a difference.


    The strategy we devised, when living with (none / 0) (#78)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 08:45:19 PM EST
    a succession of three-year-olds, was to offer the toddler a choice between two options, each of which was equally acceptable to us. Hence, would you like to wear your blue coat or your red coat? Not, would you please put on a coat?

    What do we do with a toddler (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 10:16:42 PM EST
    Who will only wear quarter pounders?

    Yes, we used that method, too! And now (none / 0) (#85)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 09:59:52 PM EST
    that I have grandkids, I am getting to use it again...it works in all kinds of ways:

    Do you want to brush your teeth first or put on your pajamas?

    Do you want to clean up the Play-doh first or put the books away?

    It works to a point - the 5 yr old has been known to tell me that "actually" he doesn't really want to do either of the things I've suggested.  So, i usually tell him that if he doesn't want to choose, then I will choose and he'll just have to be okay with that.  Usually results in him deciding which order to do the two things he needs to do.

    Of course, the other thing important to remember: pick your battles.  Some things just aren't worth a steel-cage death match with a 4 year old, lol.

    Because the 4 year old is going to win.


    I've never seen Trump retweet others like (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 31, 2018 at 11:31:21 PM EST
    He did after his SOTU

    He just started his West Virginia speech (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 11:59:31 AM EST
    By talking about how big Steve Scalise's hands are. He really did. I haven't said much about this Trump "hand thing". It didn't seem relevant, but HE'S making it relevant.

    All I can say is he must have the tiniest little wank ever :)

    Oh, god, I just can't even... (5.00 / 6) (#94)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 12:20:17 PM EST
    what is wrong with this man?  It's like his obsessions are on steroids (which may explain the tiny wank).

    He is now strengthening a case for obstruction of justice:

       President Donald Trump continues to tell his associates he believes the highly controversial Republican memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools could help discredit the Russia investigation, multiple sources familiar with White House discussions said.

        In recent phone calls, Trump has told friends he believes the memo would expose bias within the agency's top ranks and make it easier for him to argue the Russia investigations are prejudiced against him, according to two sources.

    The mind - it is boggling.  The gob - it is smacked.

    Meanwhile, he has stripped the CFPB of its enforcement powers in lending discrimination cases.

    I can't take any more.


    At this point, "the memo," (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by KeysDan on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 12:46:00 PM EST
    has to be released....just allow Trump to let it go.  It should be not only readily dismissed, but also, easily debunked because Nunes. And, the White House.

    The energy now should be spent on turning Trump's goal of using the memo as a cause to fire Rosenstein and Mueller into another piece in the pattern of, and corrupt intent for, obstruction...not only of Trump (which is shooting fish in the barrel) but, also, Nunes and Ryan.


    Yes, there won't be mileage (none / 0) (#97)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 12:58:04 PM EST
    But the 35% and the Russian bots will have some talking points to repeat 4 or 5 million times.

    like i said yesterday (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 04:06:23 PM EST
    the coyote lighting the fuse on the acme rocket



    You (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 04:30:02 PM EST
    too easily forget that the rocket is pointed directly down our throats and unlike the Road Runner our institutions can not effortlessly zip out of the blast zone.

    Even if in the end justice is served, the damage already done immense and I fear the worst is yet come.


    Oh (none / 0) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 04:58:36 PM EST
    I am not so very sure justice, in any recognizable form, will be served.

    These people just seem so completely overmatched and March so confidently over the cliff it's just hard to not be amused.   It's my nature.

    As I read yesterday, never a good idea to get into a leak war with the FBI.


    Well, things (none / 0) (#115)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:49:50 PM EST
    look pretty dark for sure. The best tweet I saw on the subject is apparently Republicans need to be reminded that Deep Throat was the Associate Director of the FBI. It seems every day Trump and his cronies get closer to exploding. He would have been gone long ago if the entire GOP was not covering for him.  

    There has been a few (none / 0) (#116)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:58:04 PM EST
    Someone should remind the Trump administration and their enablers in the House GOP that Deep Throat was basically a pissed-off senior official at the FBI.

    "Deep Throat", the @FBI agent who exposed President Nixon's corruption and lies, was actually Associate Director William Felt, the second-in-command of the FBI.

    Now President Trump fires McCabe, the second-in-command of the FBI? It's as if Trump isn't a scholar of history.

    This will end (none / 0) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 07:03:48 PM EST
    And there will be some 'splianin' to do.

    Paul Ryan is securing his infamy in history.   Well done.  Ayn would be proud.


    Jennifer Rubin (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 07:21:36 PM EST
    in the WaPo has been on his case about all this. None of this nonsense would be going on if Ryan put the kabosh on it. However since apparently Paul Ryan was in receipt of stolen emails and Russian money it is in his best interest to not do anything about all this.

    the chances seem much greater (none / 0) (#102)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 04:14:22 PM EST
    its going to blow up in their faces.

    these people couldnt run a 2 car funeral


    The (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 05:26:28 PM EST
    constant self immolation is a feature, not a bug. As long as America is suffering collateral damage Putin is happy.

    Putin has reason to be happy (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 05:46:04 PM EST
    With what has happened so far.

    I don't think he will be so happy ultimately.


    This is turning into (none / 0) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 05:50:09 PM EST
    Such a circus it wouldn't surprise  me if the release was "revisited"

    It's becoming more clear by the minute it's going to be a debacle.

    Of course it will be cheered by the 30%.  Maybe that will be mission accomplished.

    Pretty sure they are not trying to change any minds at this point.


    People like Brennan and Hayden (none / 0) (#108)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 05:55:34 PM EST
    Have just been torching house republicans and Trump.

    And (none / 0) (#109)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:08:39 PM EST
    that will put the fear of God into them? I don't think so.

    No (none / 0) (#111)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:18:37 PM EST
    Of course it won't.

    But chickens have a way of coming home to roost.

    This is not sustainable.   This country will not be taken over by a bunch of idiots who represent >30% of the country.

    There may be lots of pain before we get there but we will get there.


    That is what gets me through (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:21:58 PM EST
    That this isn't sustainable.

    I believe (none / 0) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 08:09:52 PM EST
    That it is not sustainable is the good news.

    So rumor that the White House now thinks (none / 0) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:16:55 PM EST
    The memo is a dud for them must be true because they have passed it back to the House committee to be released on their schedule. Passing the dud.

    Well (none / 0) (#113)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:23:02 PM EST
    The way THAT works is by that Trump can release the information without declassifying it.  Which means it will be harder to counter with facts, because it's still classified, and then Nunez can read it into the record protected by the "speech and debate" clause from things like treason and obstruction.

    That's the plan.

    Raise your hand if you think it will work.

    Also it means the House has to be in session so it won't happen immediately.


    I read yesterday (none / 0) (#114)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 06:28:51 PM EST
    There are three ways it can happen.  Trump can declassify and release the information.  He can declassify it and give it back to congress and what I described.

    Which seems to be the expected way for obvious reasons


    It (none / 0) (#133)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 05:40:39 AM EST
    doesn't matter any more, tRump read the bullet points and made up his mind, just tweeting
    The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans - something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!

    He just publicly declared war on the JD and the FBI. This is a live, existential constitutional crisis, this is NOT a drill. Repeat, this NOT a drill.


    The memo has been (none / 0) (#141)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 11:10:28 AM EST
    Declassified by Trump

    So release is coming.  No third way.


    It's frightening how unknown the rule of law (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 12:52:58 PM EST
    Is to him and those around him.

    I was surrounded by family that was mortified during Watergate. The evenings with the news on became very quiet, everyone in a usually noisy house silenced. I just assumed the whole nation was like that. So I'm pretty shocked right now when anyone tells me to stop witnessing it, that it's not that bad and it's not that important. Were those sorts around during Watergate?

    Kelly has gone full scumbag too. He will never recover his reputation but he doesn't even seem able to know he's in any sort of jeopardy.


    Yes, the entire country was (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by caseyOR on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 01:49:11 PM EST
    Immersed in Watergate. And Nixon had his diehard defenders that ranged from those who insisted Nixon did nothing wrong to those who proclaimed that all presidents acted as Nixon had, and poor Dick just happened to be the one who got caught. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    Still, we all watched and listened to the committee hearings, the testimony, the tapes, everything. It was all carried live on TV and radio. You could pull off to a parking lot and see people sitting in their cars, radios on, catching a bit more of the hearing before heading to work, school, shopping, etc.


    Kelly has slipped a few times and (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 02:14:55 PM EST
    made himself out to be the decider before correcting himself and saying "the president."

    I hope Lady Karma comes for him, because he really needs a lesson or seven and an ego-ectomy.  A lot of them do.

    Sad, though, that they will all find high-paying jobs somewhere, assuming they aren't in prison; there's just no shame anymore.


    If Kelly gets fired by Trump he may (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 02:55:37 PM EST
    Have few takers. Libs are done with him, Indies are done with him. It might be like Steve Bannon believing he was taking this 35% with him and then...nada

    That Kelly is okay with releasing the memo (none / 0) (#127)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 09:03:36 PM EST
    that endangers our national security must make the former  military man quite unwelcome amid most miltary types today, I hope?  Or are many of thrm as anti-Constitution as Kelly and Flynn?

    Where is McMaster in all this? (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by caseyOR on Thu Feb 01, 2018 at 09:44:01 PM EST
    Is the National Security Advisor out of the loop on this national security issue?

    I have to say, the generals working for Trump are a pretty unimpressive lot. How did they become generals ?


    McMaster hides now (none / 0) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 10:01:29 AM EST
    There is a rumor he wants out, but he's in uniform, he doesn't get to choose that for himself. He had submitted his retirement because he had been passed over for promotion and then he rescinded his submitted retirement when Trump tapped him.

    He damaged himself once defending Trump, he hides now as much as he can.


    Yes, he says he supports releasing the memo (none / 0) (#138)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 09:56:42 AM EST
    I know McMaster got phone calls (none / 0) (#171)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 04, 2018 at 12:51:42 PM EST
    From concerned peers and friends after he threw himself in front of this President,

    Kelly doesn't seem to be taking calls? There are no rumors that any friend or peer of Kelly's is worried either. Is it a Marine thing?


    Is Gates switching his plea? (none / 0) (#135)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 07:42:47 AM EST
    It seems to me this might be one source of the desperation and hysteria

    Gates's attorneys, Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy, requested permission from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to resign from their roles in a two-page filing on Thursday. It's still unclear why the three lawyers have asked to step down.

    However, Gates has reportedly hired Washington criminal defense attorney Tom Green, who represented former Assistant Attorney General Robert Mardian in the Nixon-era Watergate case and who helped former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert negotiate a plea deal.

    The development has prompted speculation that Gates could be looking at negotiating a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office.

    On Thursday, attorneys from Green's firm were also seen entering the building where Mueller works, CNN reported.

    Gates knows all there is to know about Manafort.   If he flips it will exponentially increase the pressure on Manafort to do the same.


    I understand (none / 0) (#136)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 08:36:26 AM EST
    that Green specializes in cutting deals with the feds.

    Gates (none / 0) (#137)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 09:51:21 AM EST
    also remained with the campaign after Manafort was forced out and reportedly was heavily involved with day to operations even after Manafort was gone so it is likely he has some tales to tell on tRump.

    Like I been sayin (none / 0) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 10:11:15 AM EST
    Memo's out - (none / 0) (#144)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 11:31:19 AM EST
    Here's the full text.

    Reading it now.

    One Trumpian lie already exposed (none / 0) (#145)
    by Towanda on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 11:40:23 AM EST
    in the Nunes memo, apparently unwittingly exposed, is that the Steele memo caused the investigation to be opened in mid-2016. The memo states that the cause was a statement by Papadopoulos.

    And, of course, the investigation of Page preceded the Trump campaign by years, dating to 2013.


    How Sure Do You Have to Be to Get a FISA Warrant? (none / 0) (#147)
    by RickyJim on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 12:27:28 PM EST
    Apparently the biggest complaint of the memo is that the FBI used questionable information to ask for a continuation of its ongoing surveillance of Carter Page. Granting the truth of that, so what?  Did they have to be sure, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he was up to no good to get the warrant renewed?

    That argument is dead now, too (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by Towanda on Sat Feb 03, 2018 at 08:58:53 AM EST
    as it turns out that, despite rightwing claims to the contrary, the judges were informed of potential political bias of the sources of the evidence.  But the evidence was found to be so compelling, the probable cause so clear,  that the judges approved the extensions of surveillance -- four times.

    Gosh, it would have helped you if Nunes actually had read the evidence, the FISA applications, huh? He said that Trey Gowdy did so for him -- and even Gowdy stated that he strongly defends investigation.  So, tell us what the new Fox News talking point is today.


    Probable cause to issue a search warrant (none / 0) (#154)
    by Peter G on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 02:04:22 PM EST
    under the Fourth Amendment or under FISA requires a sworn showing of reliable information sufficient to persuade a judge that a reasonable person would conclude that evidence of criminal activity will be found in the place to be searched (or through the surveillance to be conducted) at the time the warrant is to be executed. Not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    My Question Is (none / 0) (#155)
    by RickyJim on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 02:13:49 PM EST
    How sure does the judge have to be that evidence of criminality will be found if he grants the warrant?  Does it just have to be a reasonable possibility?

    The legal test is more or less what I wrote (none / 0) (#158)
    by Peter G on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 04:53:20 PM EST
    Make of that what you want. It is not a mere "reasonable possibility." Probable, in a non-mathematical sense.

    If That is the Criterion (none / 0) (#159)
    by RickyJim on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 05:18:39 PM EST
    the Republican case is that the Steele dossier could not have made a case that Page was probably involved in criminal activity and there was no other evidence that he was.  That seems to be a pretty thin case for official misconduct.

    I kept looking (none / 0) (#149)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 02, 2018 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    for more..that I missed a page (no pun intended) or something.  I need a primer on probable cause protocol for FISA warrants, and examples of other cases. However,  I assume most information/ informants, for example, have a bias or ax to grind... and, judges take that into account. It is , after all, a very serious procedure to obtain information about a particular American/national security/expionage on the basis of probable cause, not a trial, conviction and sentencing.   It does not appear that there is anything there there.   And, that is putting the best White House/Nunes feets forward.   I find myself agreeing with the White House:  it is a dud.