32 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-14-18

  1. It is still very close, but it appears that a young Democrat has beaten an old Trumpkin in a special election in a Republican area of Pennsylvania. Trump was supposed to praise the poor Trumpkin at a cult rally on Saturday night, but spent most of the time in buffoonery including ranting and cursing.

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  2. China’s star has been rising for several years. Now they are at the stage of solidifying their power over foreign companies located internally, with over 70% already having Communist party representatives forced on their boards to guide internal decision making. This is perfectly predictable to anyone who takes Communism seriously—as we apparently have not done for decades. From the Bloomberg article I linked yesterday:

    Xi’s push flies in the face of China’s post-Mao history. Former leader Deng Xiaoping warned against “replacing the government with the party,” and in the 1980s the architects of China’s economic opening sought to separate party and government functions following the catastrophic policy failures of the 1950s and 1960s.

    Such changes fed hopes in the West that China would continue to liberalize as it grew richer. Now, as Xi reestablishes the central role of the 89-million member party, he’s upending those expectations.

    “The party was always a little bit of an Oz behind the curtain. You knew it was there, but you didn’t have many manifestations of its power and role,” said Jude Blanchette, senior adviser and China practice lead at the Crumpton Group, a Washington-based advisory firm. “After the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union, it was in China’s interests to put the sickle and hammer away and instead re-brand the party as technocrats in business suits. That feeling has clearly been completely destroyed.”

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  3. I say we give them what they want. Gulen is a wolf in sheep’s clothing whom the state of PA and the USA would be better off without.

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  4. Don’t get too excited Ricky. These are new, Dem gerrymandered districts benefiting Dems, thanks to the Dem majority PA Supreme Court. Come November, whoever wins will have to win again in a new district. This is just a place holder election.

    Plus, with less than 700 votes separating them, and absentees still being counted, and a mandatory recount if requested, (and it will be) because whoever wins will be by less than 1%, and it’s far from over.

    Just because Dems claimed victory, doesn’t mean they’ve achieved it.

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  6. AJ, The new districts are going to be more favorable to the Dems.

    Then in 2022, Texas will get one of your Congressional districts along with districts from 3 other Yankee states: One for Dallas/Fort Worth, one for Houston, one for Central Texas and one for the Mexicans in the Valley.

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  7. The No Lose Election.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/03/the-no-lose-midterm-election.php

    “With all the votes (apparently—you never know) counted in Pennsylvania, Conor Lamb appears to have squeaked out a 579-vote win in the special election for 18th District U.S. House seat. Lamb ran essentially as a Republican in sheep’s clothing—pro-life, against gun control, etc.—though of course if his win survives a recount he will become a reliable vote for Nancy Pelosi, except perhaps for Speaker in November if Democrats take the House. But that won’t matter: Nancy will allow him a free No vote.

    There’s going to be a lot of analysis about this special election, which will say either that the Lamb win in a district that went for Trump in 2016 by 20 points shows that Trump is doomed—doomed I say!—or that Democrats can only win in deplorable country through deception, by running as de facto Republicans as Lamb did, and many Democrats back in 2006. (Most of them didn’t survive 2010 and 2014.)

    Both lines of analysis are too short sighted. I view the November mid-term as a near no-lose election for Republicans. In fact, I suspect that smart Democrats hope they don’t take either the House or the Senate.

    Prediction: if Democrats take the House, it virtually assures Trump’s re-election in 2020. The logic is simple. The Democratic House either will, or won’t, vote to impeach Trump. Trump will never be convicted in the Senate, unless Mueller actually turns up something, which seems unlikely right now. The public won’t like this any better than they did with Clinton in 1999. But if Democrats don’t impeach Trump, the left grassroots (and Tom Steyer) will go out of their mind, and the 2020 nominee will likely be someone crazy—McGovern 2.0.”

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  8. The collusion and the cover-up.

    First the collusion, between Obama, Clinton, the DNC, the FBI, and the media…..

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/russia-collusion-real-story-hillary-clinton-dnc-fbi-media/

    “In the 2,500-year life of the alphabet, this was a first: a list that started with the third letter and contained but a single item. The explanation was laughable, but any sensible answer would have constituted an acknowledgement of malicious intent. Her only out was the “well-intentioned but careless” script that Obama had written for her. In other words, she lied to the FBI — a felony offense.

    Before she ever told this howler, however, Comey had already prepared a draft of his statement exonerating her. The FBI let Hillary Clinton skate.

    But give Comey his due. If he had followed the letter of the law, the trail of guilt may have led all the way to Obama himself. As Andrew C. McCarthy has demonstrated at National Review Online, Obama used a dummy email account to communicate with Clinton via her private server. Did this make Obama complicit in Clinton’s malfeasance? Anyone in Comey’s position would have thought twice before moving to prosecute her — and not only because the case might have ensnared the president himself. The FBI must enforce the law, but it must also be seen to be enforcing it. As a rule, these two imperatives buttress each other. During the 2016 election, Comey faced extraordinary circumstances. If he had followed the law to the letter, he would have toppled the leading candidate for president and decapitated the Democratic party. Clinton’s supporters, more than 50 percent of the electorate, would have erupted in outrage, screaming that a politicized FBI had thrown the election to Donald Trump.”

    ——————————

    And the cover-up of their illegal activities…. by Mueller.

    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/257335/robert-muellers-beltway-cover-up

    “News that special counselor Robert Mueller has turned his attention to Erik Prince’s January 11, 2017 meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker, a Lebanese-American political fixer, and officials from the United Arab Emirates, helps clarify the nature of Mueller’s work. It’s not an investigation that the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading—rather, it’s a cover-up.

    After all, Mueller took his job not at the behest of the man who by all accounts he is likely to professionally and personally disdain, Donald Trump, but of the blue-chip Beltway elite of which he is a charter member. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed him nearly a year ago to lead an investigation without parameters. That’s because Mueller’s job is to obscure the abuses of the US surveillance apparatus that occurred under the Obama administration.

    The fact that someone at the level of former FBI director was called in to sweep up the mess left by bad actors in the bureau and Central Intelligence Agency and other parts of the intelligence bureaucracy suggests that the problems are even worse than previously thought. And that means the constituency for Mueller’s political intervention is enormous.

    Mueller is said to believe that the Prince meeting was to set up a back channel with the Kremlin. But that makes no sense. According to the foundational text of the collusion narrative, the dossier allegedly written by former British spy Christopher Steele, the Kremlin had cultivated Trump himself for years. So what’s the purpose of a back channel, when Vladimir Putin already had a key to the front door of Mar-a-Lago?

    Further, the collusion thesis holds that the Trump circle teamed with high-level Russian officials for the purpose of winning the 2016 election. How does a meeting that Erik Prince had a week before Trump’s inauguration advance the crooked election victory plot? It doesn’t—it contradicts it.”

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  9. Ricky, I’m with you on not liking Trump. I will never vote for him. But IMO that Douthat piece, which I assume you agree with, illustrates hysteria more than an ability to analyze stuff realistically. We all know Trump is a madman with the Tweets, that there’s something neurotic with his ego, and that he’s not the sharpest government scholar to have held office. But I’m convinced Douthat and critics are 1) overblowing the idea that Trump is all that worse, on the whole, than a number of other presidents, most especially his immediate predecessor, and 2) can’t seem to recognize that the Trump admin has accomplished a number of things that are really truly significantly positive, to the point that they assume the admin cannot EVER doing anything positive from here out. I do think there’s a ‘derangement’ aspect to it that only reads the Trump admin thru the lens of those thousands of ridiculous tweets, as if there’s nothing more to it.

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  10. A win for US citizens.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/03/14/texas-sanctuary-city-law-upheld-appeal-federal-court/

    “We’ve been watching the progress of Senate Bill 4 (SB-4) ever since it passed in Texas and was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. That’s the sanctuary city law which seeks to bolster cooperation between immigration enforcement and state and local law enforcement. It also provides provisions to punish noncompliant jurisdictions in so-called sanctuary cities. As soon as it was passed, the law was challenged in court by several cities, along with the ACLU and other groups. In August, a U.S. District Judge placed a hold on several provisions of the legislation.

    The state appealed and now the next round of legal battles has ended. A panel of judges from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction on all but one of the provisions of the law and said that it could go into effect while the appeals play out. (Texas Tribune)

    A panel of three U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled Tuesday that most of the state’s immigration enforcement legislation, Senate Bill 4, can remain in effect while the case plays out, handing a victory to Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican supporters of the law.

    As passed, Senate Bill 4 allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and punishes local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers” — requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation — in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.

    While not expressly mandating that every LEO in the state cooperate with all immigration enforcement action, the law stops any locale from forbidding such cooperation. Even more aggressively, it contains provisions for punishment of elected officials and municipal officers who attempt to thwart the efforts of ICE and other immigration enforcement agencies. This decision leaves all of those provisions in place and allows them to be enforced immediately.”

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  11. Interesting. First time his name has come up in this. But not surprising. Once again this foreigner meddles and colludes to affect US elections.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/03/13/back-channel-to-christopher-steele-talks-senate-testimony/

    “An American lawyer who served as a back channel between dossier author Christopher Steele and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is opening up about explosive testimony he gave to a Senate committee late last year.

    Adam Waldman said that during an appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) on Nov. 3, he relayed information about possible links between billionaire activist George Soros and Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier.

    Waldman said he received the information in a March 16 meeting he had with Daniel J. Jones, a consultant and former staffer to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

    Waldman told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Jones asserted that he was working with Fusion GPS and that the research firm was being funded by a “group of Silicon Valley billionaires and George Soros.” Jones also described Fusion as a “shadow media organization helping the government.”

    “He was there as Fusion GPS. He brought up Fusion GPS,” Waldman told TheDCNF of his interaction with Jones. “It was very, very clear.”

    Waldman, 49, also said that Jones mentioned Glenn Simpson, one of Fusion’s co-founders and Steele’s main partner on the dossier project.

    Waldman’s testimony about the meeting was first revealed in a Daily Caller op-ed published last week by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who is a client of Waldman’s.

    In the op-ed, Deripaska, a former business partner of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s, largely criticized the so-called “Deep State,” which he alleges has pushed a false narrative about the Russia investigation. But the piece also broke news about his lawyer’s Senate testimony and the claims about Fusion GPS and Soros funding.”

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  12. SolarP What things has the Trump Administration done that are “really truly significantly positive”?

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  13. Anon is hrw

    I’m a bit of a map nerd. Comparing district maps of Penn or many other states to the crisp clean lines of Ontario’s lines is a bit amusing. However, gerymandered districts are bad for democracy. Some districts are so one sided not only do people not bother to vote, the other party doesn’t bother to put up a candidate.

    The current Penn districts are gerrymandered by Republicans. The court is imposing a more fair district map for the fall. Looking at the court map, its crisp and clean using mostly county boundaries.

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  14. Oh make no mistake Kizzie, Republicans do it here too. In fact the reason the SC stepped in and gerrymandered themselves was a response to already R gerrymandered districts. Both sides do it.

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  15. That it is Ma’am… that it is.

    It could also be avoided by using grid type mapping districts, but that makes sense, so we don’t do that here.

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  16. SolarP, The Trump Cult list of accomplishments was humorous. I assume that you probably don’t agree that 1) traveling to the Middle East; 2) traveling to Poland and Germany; 3) “calling for a plan to reorganize the Executive Branch”, etc are not “really truly significantly positive”.

    Much of the regulatory action has been positive, but it is not significant since a Democrat will likely be able to reverse the regulations in January, 2021.

    There are two major accomplishments: passage of a flawed tax bill and appointment of Gorsuch and other conservative judges. Those must be balanced against many significant missteps.

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  17. In the words of Ronald Reagan…..

    “There you go again….”
    —————————-

    You just can’t give the man credit where it’s due.

    Just off the top….

    “Passage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate.

    Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of environmental regulations.

    Made good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    Opened up the North American Free Trade Agreement for talks to better the deal for the U.S.

    The Department of Interior, which has led the way in cutting regulations, opened plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.

    Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.

    Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama.

    Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

    Homeland rounded up nearly 800 MS-13 members, an 83 percent one-year increase.

    Trump has nominated 73 federal judges and won his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    In his first week, Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy that blocks some $9 billion in foreign aid being used for abortions.

    Worked with Congress on a bill overturning an Obama regulation that blocked states from defunding abortion providers.

    Published guidance to block Obamacare money from supporting abortion.

    Withdrew from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration, which Trump saw as a threat to borders.

    Imposed a travel ban on nations that lack border and anti-terrorism security.

    Saw ISIS lose virtually all of its territory.

    Trump won the release of Americans held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders.”

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  18. More evidence…..

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_richard_baris/trump_s_first_year_accomplishments_compiled_in_shockingly_long_list

    “Looking back on President Donald Trump’s first year in office, he has compiled a shockingly strong record and long list of accomplishments. As was also the case with his rise to the presidency, President Trump has broken several records for a first-year commander-in-chief and fulfilled many of his key campaign promises.

    Now, that’s not to say he hasn’t had failures and it’s not to mask the fact that many of these accomplishments were unilateral. But it is also true that President Trump has faced an unprecedented level of never-ending obstruction throughout the year. He was the first president in memory to be deprived of the “honeymoon” period after Inauguration Day and, frankly, opposition at times has risen to levels that could arguably constitute downright treason.

    Sure, his presidency, much like his campaign, has been unconventional and his governing style appears to pundits and mediates to be rather messy.

    And that’s exactly what America should’ve expected.

    America didn’t elect Donald J. Trump to get more of the same and D.C. wouldn’t have had such a vial backlash had he not been trying to keep the promises he made to the American people. Had it been business as usual this year, then we would have grown suspect.

    Here’s a long but still incomplete list of accomplishments during his first year in office. For those who believe the list isn’t at all long, we challenge you to read the whole article in one sitting. Some you will recognize and some you will not. But these are just some of the actions we believe will impact Americans’ lives and, in some cases, the human race.”
    ————————–

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  19. “Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.”

    Who knew? I mainly remember him shoving the leader of Montenegro and orchestrating Junior’s false statement on the Trump Tower/Russian meeting on those foreign trips.

    Here are the big items, pro and con:

    Pro:
    1 Gorsuch and other judges.
    2 Flawed tax bill.
    3 Pulled out of Paris Accord.

    Con:
    1. Fired first shots in dangerous Trade War
    2 Pulled out of TPP, strengthening China.
    3. Sided with Russia against US intelligence agencies on election interference.
    4 Degraded Presidency with constant lying and idiotic Tweets.
    5 Fought with cabinet, staff and ex-staff, making White House a circus.
    6. Killed chances to reform healthcare by refusing to learn anything about the issue and ignorantly attacking conservative proposals.
    7 Supported and defended a child molester and sexual predators (including himself).
    8 Worked with stooges and dunces to undermine all investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    9. Constantly behaving as if Putin had real leverage over him, giving secrets to Russia, refusing to impose sanctions on Russia, refusing to criticize Russia.
    10 Undermined the rule of law by constantly attacking law enforcement personnel and leading his gullible cult to various bizarre conspiratorial theories: “soft coup”, “deep state”, etc.

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  20. Speaking of the Trump Cult and its official press organ, this is ugly:

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  21. It’s an impressive list, AJ, I think one of the more important accomplishments is the upcoming meeting with North Korea . We still don’t know how it will turn out, however, we do know that the last 2 presidents have only succeeded in making the problem much worse by coddling China.

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