44 thoughts on “News/Politics 9-9-17

  1. Trump needs to explain why his entrenched politician AG is protecting entrenched bureaucrats. And if the decision was Trump’s, he needs to explain himself.

    If it’s because Sessions and the DoJ isn’t up to doing the right thing, maybe Trump should look for someone to lead it who will.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/09/doj-standing-by-decision-not-to-prosecute-lois-lerner/#more-226446

    “Republicans in the House requested that the DOJ reopen its investigation into Lerner and reconsider whether to prosecute. In a letter delivered today, DOJ stated that it stood by it’s decision not to prosecute.

    Fox News reports:

    The Trump administration has no plans to charge former IRS official Lois Lerner over her role in the Tea Party targeting scandal, the Justice Department said Friday in response to calls by Republican lawmakers to revisit the case.

    In a letter to the lawmakers, the Justice Department said that “reopening the criminal investigation would not be appropriate based on the available evidence.”

    This past April, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., had asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take a “fresh look” at the case….

    “This is a terrible decision,” Brady said. “It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees.” …

    Brady said appointees “will now have the green light to target Americans for their political beliefs and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness.””

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  2. rickyweaver @ 1:18
    “…it is true that she lost to the most unpopular candidate in the nation’s history.”

    I would like to think SHE was less popular.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You would like to think that, but it was never the case in any of the polls or as measured in the popular vote in the general election as she wound up getting 3 million more votes than he did. The number of people who viewed Trump unfavorably was higher in every poll at every point of the campaign (including Election Day) than any other candidate who ever received the nomination of a major party. Sanders was right. It was truly an amazing demonstration of incompetence to lose to the most unpopular candidate ever.

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  4. Hmmm. Well, I’d say he was popular with enough voters to win the election. Polls area only accurate to an extent, especially those “feelings” polls. People often give what they think is the “right” or most popular answers.

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  5. Sanders is as ignorant about economics as Trump himself. However, unlike Trump, he has a grasp of the English language and the meaning of English words. Unpopularity is traditionally measured by favorable/unfavorable responses in polls. Trump’s numbers were amazingly and historically bad throughout the campaign. Hillary’s were always the second worst in history, but were significantly better than Trump’s. If you want to argue that actual votes are a better measure of unpopularity than polls, she beat him by 2.5%

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  6. UC Berkeley is offering counseling services to those upset with Ben Shapiro’s speech. The last few articles I have read by Shapiro have been anti-Trump. I wonder if Trumpkins are eligible for this counseling.

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  7. An article on Eboni Williams:

    If Fox is going to promote her, they would probably need to pair her with either a conservative or a Trumpkin like Laura Ingraham. That might work. Hannity and Colmes was always much better than just Hannity.

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  8. Meanwhile, the war on statues continues:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/09/statue-mania-comes-to-minnesota.php
    __________________________________

    The petition, which has now been signed by 5,000 people, is here:

    Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of Black people. Here in Minnesota, communities are reigniting the demand to bring down state’s monument to Christopher Columbus, a man who murdered, raped and enslaved Black and Native peoples in the Americas. Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not….
    _________________________________

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  9. DJ @ 5:15 I wonder if every state has two famous dope addicts who can represent the state in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol.

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  10. This Tweet will stir some controversy. Just as black comedians will sometimes use the “n” word, people from Lubbock (or the small towns that surround it) will sometimes use the “d” and “h” words.

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  11. I am less and less interested in this thread. It is too venomous to take much of. I didn’t like Trump I voted for him because HILLARY. Is he better than having her? Has Trump done some things I like? Do I like Trump now? Do I like the opposition?

    It is all relative… It relates to Trump or the other side. I see nothing on the other side that I like or agree with. Trump is not what I want but compared to the other side, Trump is fine with me!

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  12. Bob, You do a good job of stating the comparative argument. I would agree that even with his constant dishonesty and buffoonery and the recent betrayals Trump is slightly better than Hillary in the short run. The argument against voting for Trump was always that he would do permanent damage to the conservative movement and the Republican Party in the long run. It was a real dilemma. Post election, my hope was that at least there would be a remnant of Republicans and conservatives who would not follow Trump down the path to degradation.

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  13. Debra, The problem with the Times article is that it still assumes Trump has an ideology. As Tobin and Shapiro demonstrated, Trump has no set of principles to which he is committed.

    http://www.dailywire.com/news/20727/wednesday-was-trumps-first-day-democratic-ben-shapiro

    I have always agreed with Shapiro that ultimately Trump will lean left because he is an amoral, irreligious New Yorker who wants to be liked by the New York Times. However, he will do that because he wants to be liked by those liberals, not because he actually holds those views or any views.

    As both Tobin and Shapiro argue, it is a Cult of Personality, not a movement based on any set of ideas or principles. Have you noticed any decrease in international adventurism? Letting Pelosi dictate his position on DACA this week was the ultimate example that Trump’s positions change with the wind. The Trump cultists are dedicated solely to Trump the man and are happy to defend his every statement, every lie, and every bit of buffoonery. The ideological Trumpkins like you are always going to be disappointed.

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  14. I don’t think Trump has an ideology; he has agenda items. He’s trying to get the best deal he can, and he’s not too picky about who he has to work with to do it. I don’t know that his supporters agree on a particular ideology anyway, but that could be a new normal for presidents. And it might not be a bad thing. Perhaps we would do better with presidents who don’t pretend to cleave to one half of the population, and write off the other half during elections—and after they’re elected, write off most everyone except political insiders and international lobbyists.

    I don’t know if all of that equates to a 3rd party, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Never Trumpers and their Democratic counterparts form a more open alliance if Trump gets a second term: Republicrats. They probably have more in common with each other than they have with Trump or Trump supporters.

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  15. And no conversation about amoral New Yorkers would be complete without a mention of the conservative heroes and heroines of FoxNews. Since you brought it up, I’ve seen your gal Eboni Williams on a couple of news videos, sitting primly on that big white sofa….plunging neckline, thighs exposed, crossing and uncrossing those long oily legs—while the camera angle directs the eye where it can get the best view of those movements. You’re right that she would be a great addition to the news team, if what you mean by ‘news’ is eye-candy for Republican indoctrination. Consumers of FoxNews have been painstakingly conditioned to accept the amoral. And to like it.

    I do not view Trump as a highly moral man, but I don’t think he’s a hypocrite. If his detractors could rise to even that shallow standard, it would be an improvement.

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  16. dj @4:51pm: The first thing that comes to mind is that maybe Eric Bolling didn’t send those pictures. It could have been a prank done by a teenager, but I guess we might never know for sure.

    Prayers for the whole family.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Debra,
    1. Trump is the one who just formed an open alliance with Democrats, not Trump opponents.
    2. Trump and Trumpkins are the ones who have much in common with Democrats. These items include:
    A. Economic illiteracy.
    B. Desire to spend a trillion dollars on “infrastructure”.
    C. Opposition to free trade.
    D. Dislike for Reagan.
    E. Sloth.
    F. Opposition to entitlement reform.
    G. Love for Pelosi and Schumer.
    H. Hatred of Ryan and McConnell.
    I. Love for sexual predators and those who commit sexual assault.
    J. A view that the House healthcare bill was “mean”.
    K. Open support for perversion.
    L. Complete ignorance regarding Christianity.
    3. Eboni Williams is not MY gal. As I indicated, I didn’t even know who she was until yesterday.
    You know all about her because she appears on the Trump News Network. The same network that features scantily-clad women was the leading supporter of your scantily-brained President. 4. Trumpkins (and Trump himself) watch Fox News! They are the hypocrites! NeverTrumpers like to read. Milton Friedman’s books and National Review articles don’t feature scantily-clad women.

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  18. Ricky, my point was that until now the fans of Friedman have been very content to have Fox provide them with loyal voters. For good or ill, Fox politically feeds and educates much of the Republican voting base. I can think of no other reason working people would allow themselves to be pawns of international interests by electing politicians and policy makers who care more about their own theories and pocketbooks than about this country’s citizens, infrastructure and manufacturing capacities.

    I haven’t had cable in years, so Fox is not part of my regular diet—hasn’t been since Gretchen hosted the Victoria Secret lingerie race as part of her show . Professionals like Greta Van Susteren or Catherine Herridge got relatively little play when I was a regular viewer. If I want to see a show, I’ll go to Vegas or Nashville where I can see professional entertainers who don’t claim to be providing truth and accuracy about economics and national policy through deceptive, manipulative and seductive means.

    Trump is not so much a politician as a businessman and entertainer, and his interest in the beauty pageants dovetails with his interest in FoxNews. I think that’s very unfortunate, but not hypocritical.

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  19. This puts a different complexion on the recent deal Trump made with Democrats. And the tax reform sounds like it might be very good for the self-employed and small businesses everywhere. Not bad!

    Trump’s deal with Schumer and Pelosi should make it easier to focus on tax reform. The good news is that the president has been stumping for tax reduction and tax simplification, from Springfield, Mo., to Bismarck, N.D.

    “We’re going to be switching from a worldwide tax system that encourages companies to keep their funds offshore to a territorial system that encourages companies to bring their profits back home to America, where that money belongs,” Trump said Wednesday, before several oil-storage tanks, at Bismarck’s Andeavor Refinery. (Take that, global warmists!) “But we’ll also dramatically reduce the tax rate for America’s small businesses, which have created more than 60 percent of new private-sector jobs in the recent past.” Trump also said: “Tax relief is on the way for millions of sole proprietors, LLCs, and partnerships who report their income on their personal tax returns.”

    Trump said this soon after bringing to the stage several officeholders, including Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.). With the feckless McConnell unable to control his admittedly narrow majority, Trump only can benefit from finding Democrats who will vote for any part of the conservative agenda on which he ran. (And, yes, despite the moans of Never Trumpniks, aside from free trade, Trump campaigned and won on the most conservative platform that Americans have seen since Ronald Reagan. And Trump is implementing it, far more than anyone credits him.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/451223/donald-trump-democrats-deal-conservative-win

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  20. Debra, Many years ago I was horrified to learn that a friend from church was getting his news from Rush Limbaugh. I discussed this with my wife and she told me the guy was never going to read National Review or the editorial pages of The Dallas Morning News or The Wall Street Journal. We concluded that it might me helpful to have a “dumbed-down” version of conservatism available for those who don’t like to read.

    Generally the only Fox News I watch is the last 20 minutes of Special Report if I manage to get home early. It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I learned that Fox, Rush, Hannity on the radio, Breitbart, etc weren’t just dumbing down conservatism; they were perverting it by engaging in demagoguery, lying, idiocy, sensationalism, etc (all of the nonsense we now get from Trump).

    Fox didn’t just give Trump a place to spout his demagoguery. For years it has been miseducating its viewers (mainly the elderly). I’ve had conversations with many of my conservative friends from work and business who have been shocked to learn that their parents now believe in all sorts of Trumpian garbage (Obama the Kenyan, Seth Rich killed by Hillary, the pizza pedophiles, the tapp Tweets, jobs have been stolen by Chinese, Mexicans are criminals) because some Fox nitwit or the beautiful girl sitting next to him said it was so.

    Fox News is as big a problem for conservatives as is Trump, even as Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland and Paula White are all problems for the Church.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Debra, On tax reform, remember what I have been telling you for months and what Goldberg said above. Complex legislation doesn’t get passed without strong Presidential leadership. So far, that has not occurred.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/trumps-fill-in-the-blanks-tax-reform-plan/538509/

    Personal and corporate income taxes are two issues (along with bankruptcies, divorces, pre-nuptial agreements, lawsuits, casinos, fake universities, sexual harassment and reality TV shows) where Trump has some personal knowledge. Perhaps he will engage.

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  22. And this, from the link above, is precisely why we need some Democrats who represent workers to participate in this process, as well as Republicans.

    Trump is not a detail-oriented president. That much is clear. But while he may be able to stick to broad strokes in rally-the-public speeches and leave the rest to Congress, his party will eventually have to make the tough decisions about who’s going to pay more, who gets to pay less, and by how much. Until that happens, tax reform isn’t going anywhere.

    I’m not sure I would trust a tax code passed by only Republicans. We’ve got to come to some agreements across the aisle on some very basic things. Making the distinction between self-employed and small businesses vs. publicly traded multinational businesses and our tax policy would be a huge improvement. I’m still waiting for that distinction to be part of the public debate.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Debra, For as long as I can remember, the overwhelming majority of people who actually pay income taxes have been Republicans.

    Nearly all of the self-employed and small businesses (I have owned one for decades and represent dozens of others) are taxed once at individual rates as they elect to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnerships or S corps. Nearly all of the big corporations are C corporations. This means their earnings are taxed twice: a. first at the corporate rate when the company earns the profit; and b. again at the shareholder level when profits are distributed.

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  24. Trump and Congress are familiar with tax breaks on capital gains that really help the Wall Street crowd. Reagan leveled the playing field by doing away with such distinctions in 1986. I would be completely surprised if any person had the courage to propose such a real reform in 2017.

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  25. Yeah. Well, many workers who were downsized from their jobs were forced to work on a contract basis and are ‘self-employed’. Some of those were able to build small businesses. And to equate their tax situation with businesses such as Amazon (who has been in business for 20+ years but has logged a profit for only a handful of quarters) is not wise or just. Big businesses have a different dynamic and should be treated differently. I want politicians to acknowledge that fact. Adding Democrats to the mix could make that more likely to happen.

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  26. Debra @ 7:28, Big businesses are treated differently. They are subject to double taxation.

    Most of the special breaks for industries and businesses which have muddied up the tax code since Reagan reformed it in 1986 were made at the instigation of Democrats.

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  27. When the 5% go back to paying 90% on everything over $250,000, I’ll thank them. Until then, most likely, they’re part of the problem. The DOJ should prevent companies from getting so big and monopolizing. Instead, a blind eye is turned as the big gobble up each other and become ‘too big to fail’ with entrenched corruption that’s ‘too big to jail’ or police. Big businesses need to be broken up. Period. Ways need to be found to encourage small businesses, which are the real engines of growth and sustainability.

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  28. Debra, Most of the 5% are small business people. With their income taxes and Medicare taxes and their state and local taxes, each of them are paying for the healthcare of 5 to 6 Trumpkins and Democrats. Yeah, they are really part of “the problem”. You’re welcome.

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  29. Thinking of people who actually are part of “the problem”, this is a golden opportunity for non-working Trumpkins and Democrats to return to the workforce. I had mentioned that we had a Mexican shortage before Harvey and Irma. Now, tens of thousands more workers will be needed to clean up and rebuild. Our Mexicans can train the Trumpkins and Democrats how to work.

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  30. Ha. That would be fine Ricky. But you’ll need Trumpkins and Democrats to give your Mexicans the money….or are ya’ll offering to rebuild Houston in Mexico. Good luck with that. :–)

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  31. The Mexicans will come to us and they will rebuild Houston and Florida and conservative (Non-Trumpkin) Republicans will pay for it all while still paying for the healthcare of the Trumpkins and the Democrats, the food, housing and cellphones of the Democrats and the opioids of the Trumpkins. Quite a feat!

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  32. 10% tax on everyone. 1% extra to buy back social Security. 1% extra taken off when Social Security is paid off. 2% extra to pay off national debt, taken off when debt paid off.
    No deductions.
    No government borrowing.
    Buy back Social Security.
    No income tax on businesses.
    Business income taxed on people who own the companies and get the dividends.
    Federal Government can only spend the taxes it collect.
    Only income taxes for the federal government.
    Business money income sent out of country taxed at 10%.

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