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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#13221 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-July-21, 18:03

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-July-20, 21:40, said:

I find it telling that you keep conflating racism with skin color...


Interesting. I find exactly the same thing about you.

#13222 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-July-21, 18:47

View Postbarmar, on 2019-July-21, 10:06, said:

And Mussolini made the trains run on time (yes, I know this isn't actually true, but it's the same attitude).

I'm an investor, so I've made lots of money during the Trump administration. But is all the damage he's doing to society really worth this? Are "things" really better when hundreds of immigrant children are being held in squalid conditions in detention centers? Are "things" really better when we're increasing water and air pollution, instead of taking steps to halt climate change? Are "things" really better when we're walking back universal health care?

It's easy to say that things are just better when you cherry-pick the "things" that matter. And most of these things only matter to rich white guys.


This is a really interesting post. First you say

Quote

I'm an investor, so I've made lots of money during the Trump administration.


Then you say

Quote

And most of these things only matter to rich white guys.


So are you saying that you've now become one of the "rich white guys" and therefore apologizing for your success? I'm not looking for a fight. I just want to understand your reasoning.

#13223 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-July-22, 03:47

View Postldrews, on 2019-July-21, 17:46, said:

So I looked up the EPA report on air pollution trends https://www.epa.gov/air-trends

All of the trends are down except one, and that is still lower than it was in 1980. Don't you think this is good progress?


Drews, Drews, Drews...

Too stupid to be able to read and understand a chart.

No one disputes that things have gotten better since 2010 / 1980. The question at hand is what impact the Trump administration's policies have had on this trend.
If you compare the most recent numbers with the ones from the close of the Obama administration, you'll see that things are now moving in the opposite direction.
Alderaan delenda est
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#13224 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-July-22, 05:01

View PostChas_P, on 2019-July-21, 18:47, said:

This is a really interesting post. First you say

Then you say

So are you saying that you've now become one of the "rich white guys" and therefore apologizing for your success? I'm not looking for a fight. I just want to understand your reasoning.


I'll take a crack at it. I am not an investor in any active sense, buying and selling, reading the various financial pages, etc. and I did not make a lot of money. But saying that I did not make a lot of money is not the same as saying that I am a poor white guy. I am pretty sure I understood Barry's statement just as he intended. He made a lot of money over the past couple of years, not that he is now rich but his investments paid off, but he hopes for better from a presidency than a rising stock market. I have some stocks, I honestly couldn't name exactly what I have, I am pretty sure that they are worth more now than they were two years ago, but they were also worth more two years ago than they were four years ago. But that's not the essence, not for me. I don't want our president telling people of color, or people of no color if that's the phrase for me, that they or I should go back to where we came from. I don't want a president who, if for some reason we were out on the town together, I would have to pretend that he is not with me, that I don't know him. The man is repulsive. He embarrasses the country. Money is not an adequate compensation for that.

On Trump and money, here is something I have been wondering about. I really see Trump as a scam artist, the type who knows how to get out and leave someone else holding the bag. But I, and I guess others, have not yet acted on this.The DJIA is higher, quite a bit higher, than it was a couple of years back. Yes, but that's short term. I am far from convinced that Trump really knows what he is doing. I see him as a know it all who doesn't know all that much and who is good at taking the money and running when things go bad. He brags about it like he brags about, well, lots of things. I don't have the patience for detailed study of financial markets but I am very uneasy about who is in charge. But I have not yet acted on this. Wisdom or lethargy, I am not sure.
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#13225 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-July-22, 07:44

From The Squad and the Speaker by Norm Ornstein at The Atlantic:

Quote

Rambunctious freshmen come into the House in a wave election, shake things up, challenge the leaders, divide the party. That is a pretty good capsule description of “the squad,” the four freshman congresswomen whose squabble with Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now been overshadowed by the astonishingly racist attacks on them by the president of the United States, and by the defense of those attacks by nearly all congressional Republicans. For now, the tensions between the squad and the leaders has been submerged, as Democrats, starting with the speaker, have come to their defense and closed ranks to condemn Trump’s racist and ignorant remarks. But the tensions over tactics, strategies, and outcomes are still there, and will inevitably reemerge.

In some respects, there is nothing new about tensions between freshman members of the House and its leadership. The wave classes of 1958, 1964, and 1974 for the Democrats, and 1994 and 2010 for the Republicans, brought similar struggles. Looking closely at them helps reveal both what they share with today’s tensions and what’s genuinely distinctive about this moment.

Democrats gained 48 seats in 1958, the second midterm election of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency, including seats won by a substantial number of non-southern liberals that added to their large majority in the House. The 63 freshmen included a number of notables who played a big role in the House in subsequent decades—including Bob Giaimo of Connecticut, John Brademas of Indiana, Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois, Jim O’Hara of Michigan, Ken Hechler of West Virginia, and Bob Kastenmeier of Wisconsin. But in many ways, the biggest influence came from a House member who left for the Senate that year, Minnesota’s Eugene McCarthy.

McCarthy was a liberal agitator who had bristled at the continuing oversize role of southern conservative Democrats, known then as Boll Weevils, after the insect that infects cotton. He organized a group of like-minded members into McCarthy’s Marauders, including George McGovern, Stewart Udall, Frank Thompson, and Lee Metcalf, all of whom went on to long and significant political careers. They held a weekly Friday luncheon to plot strategy. McCarthy focused liberals on trying to capture influence commensurate with their numbers; after the new class of ’58 came in, they masterminded the creation the next year of the Democratic Study Group, which had an outsize influence on the House. The DSG crafted the major reforms of the early 1970s that were implemented with the votes of the huge freshman class of 1974—reforms that persisted until Newt Gingrich, in one of his first acts as speaker in 1995, found a way to kill them.

The Democratic Study Group became the strategic base for House liberals, but also had a broader reach. Powerful committee chairs used their near-monopoly on information to maintain control over votes in committee and on the floor. The new group became a major information outlet on legislation, challenging that monopoly. Speaker Sam Rayburn was a master at balancing power centers in the House, and was not thrilled at the audacity of these junior members, although they gave him no public or frontal challenge. But Rayburn was also not happy with the arrogance of right-wing committee chairs such as Howard “Judge” Smith, who used the House Rules Committee to kill any bills he did not like—and did not limit his antipathy to civil-rights legislation. So Rayburn used the impetus of the new members to thwart Smith and open up opportunities for liberal legislation. That enabled passage of much of the progressive Kennedy program, and the Great Society that followed in 1965–66.

That program, including landmark civil-rights and voting-rights bills, federal education reform, Medicare, and Medicaid, among others, was facilitated by the arrival of 71 Democratic freshmen in the 1964 elections. The net gain of 36 seats gave Democrats a two-thirds majority. Significantly, despite these gains, Democrats lost a number of once-safe seats in the South to Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction, heralding the coming regional realignment and the weakening power of the Boll Weevils. The new freshman class brought a number of important liberal members to Washington, including John Tunney, Sid Yates, Lee Hamilton, Andy Jacobs, John Culver, John Conyers, Bill Ford, John Gilligan, and Tom Foley. They bristled at the efforts of committee chairs to limit their role, and experienced tension with Speaker John McCormack, who was not a strong leader and did not champion their desire for a larger impact. But given that there was a president elected in a landslide who promoted their substantive agenda, their main role was to provide the votes for the bills that Lyndon Johnson backed.
...

Quote

Now comes the Democratic class of 2018, 60 new Democrats from a net gain of 40 seats. The most striking thing about the class, as many have noted, is its remarkable diversity: More than half are women, and 40 percent are Hispanic, Native American, or other people of color. By contrast, the huge Democratic Watergate class had two women and one lone African American. But the class also boasts ideological diversity, with a large number of the freshmen joining both the Progressive Caucus and the more center-left New Democratic Coalition (with some overlap, and several joining the more conservative Blue Dog Coalition). Watching them, and spending time with many of them, I have also been struck by their enormous talent—including from some with no previous political or governmental experience, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; others who have been in the military or in intelligence, such as Abigail Spanberger and Elissa Slotkin; some, such as Dean Phillips, with a business background; and the most experienced of all, former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.

Given that the net gain of 40 seats came mainly from districts Donald Trump had won in 2016, or where he came relatively close to winning, the Democrats’ most vulnerable seats today are largely occupied by more pragmatic and moderate members. That itself makes the class of 2018 different from the others: In 1974, even though many of the gains came from districts Nixon had won in 1972, the Democrats who made up the class were generally far more liberal than their districts, and driven to change the status quo in Congress. The Republican classes of 1994 and 2010 included a few moderates, but mostly, whether the districts were ones previously held by Republicans or taken from Democrats in blue areas, the new members were far more conservative, and far more radical in their approaches to politics, than previous freshman groups.

There is a commonality, of course, in the dynamic generated by each of these classes that come to Congress in wave elections. There is no doubt that, like the challenges faced by Speakers Rayburn, McCormack, Albert, Gingrich, and Boehner, Pelosi has to deal with divisions in her caucus, and faces pressure to put aside pragmatism and respond to the more insistent base that has been elevated by the influx of new members.

But there are differences as well. The story, focused as it is on the squad versus the speaker, is about four remarkable, different, and outspoken freshmen out of 60. While they have allies in their desire to be more confrontational with the Trump administration, to move more radical legislation and to head straight to impeachment without passing Go, there is nowhere near the larger center of gravity for upending the status quo that we saw with the classes of ’74, ’94, or ’10. And that is true of the Democratic caucus at large.

Pelosi is intent on protecting those members who won in the wave but have to respond to constituents who are not naturally inclined to vote for Democrats. Keeping the House from getting too far out over its skis is a constant challenge for her. Of course, the difficulty is heightened by the breadth and reach of social media and the 24-hour news cycle; if we had had a small group like the squad in 1974, for example, with the other members of the class arrayed ideologically like this one, I do not think that group would have been the dominant story.

But the ability of an individual with some celebrity to reach a huge audience via Twitter, and to use the leverage of social media to amplify a message that includes criticism of leaders, makes the story bigger. It is made greater yet by two other realities: a Republican tribal media and leadership that reinforce the narrative in order to make the squad the face of the Democratic Party and to divert attention from the Trump scandals and malfeasance, and a media that loves the narrative that Democrats are in disarray because it wants to show that it is not biased and can criticize both sides.

The diversity of the Democratic coalition in Congress is not just ideological; accommodating the massive changes that have taken place requires a set of skills that previous speakers did not have to employ. House Democrats reflect the diversity of the country, while Republicans move even more to be a congressional party of middle-aged and older white Christian males, with barely trace elements of women or people of color. And Pelosi also has to deal with a bombastic and narcissistic president who has no ability to make legislative deals or find coalitions; a dominant White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who came from the radical class of 2010, helped found the Freedom Caucus, and has no interest in compromise; and a Senate counterpart, Mitch McConnell, who has shown little regard for the long-standing norms of governance.

No one is better equipped to deal with these challenges than Nancy Pelosi. But no one should envy her task.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13226 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2019-July-22, 07:58

Zel, it was unnecessary to send me a private message and anyway you couldn't be more wrong. One can still be overtly racist even if they never explicitly say "I hate black people." But anyway, since you asked:

"I understand all that. But my original question remains: How will the lives of black Americans be improved by tearing down Confederate monuments...or any other monument for that matter? I've read that The Reverend Al Sharpton considers the Jefferson Memorial "an insult to my family". If we take them all down will blacks instantaneously be free to stop murdering each other in Chicago? Will they be free to stop making babies they can't support? Will they be free to have households that include both a mother and a father? Will they be free to graduate from high school or trade school and find a decent job? Or will they just be free to start another hysterical "movement" and raise hell about that? And please note.......I am not condemning just blacks here. There are plenty of whites with the same shortcomings. I don't have much use for them either."
OK
bed
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#13227 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-July-22, 08:02

John McCain responds to lies about Obama:

Trump responds to "Send her back" chants from crowd:


1) It is not difficult to see which of the two was the American soldier.
2) It is not difficult to see which of the two was a lying POS: “I was not happy with it. I disagreed with it. ... I think I did [try to stop the chant]. I started speaking very quickly.”
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#13228 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-July-22, 19:18

View Postjjbrr, on 2019-July-15, 19:08, said:


I guess I'm just not cultured enough to rub elbows with a bunch of racist pieces of *****. You need to talk to Chas about that kind of stuff.


It was Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Democrat, who founded the Ku Klux Clan. Woodrow Wilson, also a Democrat, segregated federal buildings and jobs after 50 years of integration under largely Republican administrations .
It was the Democrat party in the South that instituted Jim Crow laws.
It was the Democrat party in the South that instituted “separate but equal”.
It was the Democrat party in the South that supported the Ku Klux Klan.
It was George Wallace and the Democratic party in the South that said, “Segregation forever”.
It was Orval Faubus and the Democrat Party that wanted the Arkansas National Guard to enforce segregation and Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican President, that sent the 101st Airborne to integrate the schools.
It was Bull Conner, a member of the Democrat National Committee, who turned the hoses on marchers in Birmingham and it was the Republicans who made up the majority that passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act over such Democrat paragons as William Fulbright, Al Gore, Sr., and Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
It was the Democrats who kept Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd in the party.
It was Democrats who called General Colin Powell “a house nigger”.
It was Democrats, or at least Obama supporters, who called Stacey Dash a hundred different racist names for daring to leave the Democrat plantation. It’s the Democrats who hold annual dinners honoring Andrew Jackson who owned slaves and who orchestrated The Trail of Tears, the near genocide of several of the Indian Nations.

Add your own examples. There are many. That’s how Democrats really think.

#13229 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-July-23, 01:40

View PostChas_P, on 2019-July-22, 19:18, said:

It was Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Democrat, who founded the Ku Klux Clan. Woodrow Wilson, also a Democrat, segregated federal buildings and jobs after 50 years of integration under largely Republican administrations .
It was the Democrat party in the South that instituted Jim Crow laws.
It was the Democrat party in the South that instituted “separate but equal”.
It was the Democrat party in the South that supported the Ku Klux Klan.
It was George Wallace and the Democratic party in the South that said, “Segregation forever”.
It was Orval Faubus and the Democrat Party that wanted the Arkansas National Guard to enforce segregation and Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican President, that sent the 101st Airborne to integrate the schools.
It was Bull Conner, a member of the Democrat National Committee, who turned the hoses on marchers in Birmingham and it was the Republicans who made up the majority that passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act over such Democrat paragons as William Fulbright, Al Gore, Sr., and Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
It was the Democrats who kept Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd in the party.
It was Democrats who called General Colin Powell “a house nigger”.
It was Democrats, or at least Obama supporters, who called Stacey Dash a hundred different racist names for daring to leave the Democrat plantation. It’s the Democrats who hold annual dinners honoring Andrew Jackson who owned slaves and who orchestrated The Trail of Tears, the near genocide of several of the Indian Nations.

Add your own examples. There are many. That’s how Democrats really think.



It was how much of white America thought 60+ years ago, but the Democrats have moved on, many Republicans haven't
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#13230 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-July-23, 03:51

View PostChas_P, on 2019-July-22, 19:18, said:

It was Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Democrat, who founded the Ku Klux Clan. Woodrow Wilson, also a Democrat, segregated federal buildings and jobs after 50 years of integration under largely Republican administrations .
It was the Democrat party in the South that instituted Jim Crow laws.
It was the Democrat party in the South that instituted “separate but equal”.
It was the Democrat party in the South that supported the Ku Klux Klan.
It was George Wallace and the Democratic party in the South that said, “Segregation forever”.
It was Orval Faubus and the Democrat Party that wanted the Arkansas National Guard to enforce segregation and Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican President, that sent the 101st Airborne to integrate the schools.
It was Bull Conner, a member of the Democrat National Committee, who turned the hoses on marchers in Birmingham and it was the Republicans who made up the majority that passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act over such Democrat paragons as William Fulbright, Al Gore, Sr., and Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
It was the Democrats who kept Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd in the party.
It was Democrats who called General Colin Powell “a house nigger”.
It was Democrats, or at least Obama supporters, who called Stacey Dash a hundred different racist names for daring to leave the Democrat plantation. It’s the Democrats who hold annual dinners honoring Andrew Jackson who owned slaves and who orchestrated The Trail of Tears, the near genocide of several of the Indian Nations.

Add your own examples. There are many. That’s how Democrats really think.


Oh Chas...

You stupid stupid *****khead.

No one, least of all myself disputes that Democrats and particular Southern Democrats had members who were deeply deeply racist in years past. Indeed, there are such members today.

Here's the rub... The racist Southern Democrats of whom you speak bolted from the party when the Democratic Party passed the Civil Rights Act and started to support policies like school desegregation. Claiming that Forrest or Byrd are representative of the modern Democratic party is as ridiculous as the modern day Confederates that comprise the Republican party still trying to claim the mantle of the party of Lincoln.

Nearly everyone has managed to figure this out aside from brain addled idiots like yourself. Seriously, this whole transformation happened 50 years ago.

What's the point of advancing such a ludicrous, easy to disprove claim? Seriously, do you actually believe that posting such a ludicrous trope is at all convincing?

FWIW, there's a new book out called "American Carnage"... Well worth taking a look at. I'd be interested to know what you think.
Alderaan delenda est
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#13231 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-July-23, 07:41

Phrasing this my way: It's true that Cain killed Abel. Bringing this up to defend a current murderer is not apt to convince anyone. There will always be someone else one can point to and say "But look what he did". At some point, such a defense not only does not work, the desperation of it becomes apparent. When something really cannot be defended, it is best to stop defending it.
Ken
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#13232 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-July-23, 10:41

But it's still illuminating that Chas_P thinks it is a defense. It's all about us vs them, never about what's the right thing to do.
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#13233 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-July-23, 18:01

I'm going to leave it with you boys for awhile. I think I'll head up into the mountains and enjoy the cooler air for awhile, then maybe over to Bermuda in the early Fall for awhile to enjoy the beauty of the ocean and the friendliness of the Bermudian people. But you guys, please do keep up your good work. With your superior intellect, dogged determination, and leadership from mental giants Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, and "The Squad" I am confident you will have "the motherf***er" out of the White House no later than January 14, 2025.

Fare thee well.

#13234 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-July-23, 18:29

Who'd take the over for three weeks?
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#13235 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-July-23, 18:55

It is hurricane season so there is hope.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13236 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-July-23, 21:53

via Jake Sperling via Matt Yglesias:

Posted Image
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13237 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-July-24, 04:16

View PostChas_P, on 2019-July-21, 18:47, said:

This is a really interesting post. First you say

Then you say

So are you saying that you've now become one of the "rich white guys" and therefore apologizing for your success? I'm not looking for a fight. I just want to understand your reasoning.

I don't consider myself rich, just middle class. I make around $130K/year, but have no family to support and I live in a 1-bedroom condo.

But since I have investments, I guess I benefited from Trump's fiscal policies. I'm able to separate my personal benefits from what I think is best for society. I regularly vote in favor of property tax increases in my town when they come up, because I believe in the public works projects that they fund (we just had a vote this month to fund rebuilding our high school).

I would much prefer that we do something about climate change and worker safety even if it means my investments don't do as well. Money isn't everything.

I suppose I have the luxury of not caring about money since I have no heirs and expect to die with a sizeable estate, and I can't take it with me. I took a pay cut to start working for BBO 8 years ago, and I give 20% of my wages to charity.

I have great admiration for the billionaires who signed the Giving Pledge. Trump and his cohorts aren't among them, of course.

#13238 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-July-24, 04:29

When Trump was campaigning, he promised to make life better for average people. He was going to bring jobs back to America, he was going to revoke Obamacare and replace it with something far better. He was going to reduce their taxes, too.

He didn't do any of that. Most factory repatriations that have taken place since he took office were already planned long before he was elected. His tax reform mainly benefited the wealthy, not the middle class -- there's very little trickling down. Even though his party had control of both houses of Congress, he couldn't get the ACA revoked -- his proposed replacement (which was just a 1-page summary, not really a "plan") was clearly not acceptable.

You regularly post lists of Trump's accomplishments, but few of them benefit all the lower and middle class people who cheer for him at his rallies. The only way he's making life better for these people is by propping up "white privilege". They feel better about themselves because he shares their views about how people of color are ruining the country.

#13239 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-July-24, 07:01

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

Quote

Don’t expect new revelations. The former special counsel merely needs to illustrate the malfeasance he’s already uncovered.

Quote

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post makes a good point about Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress today: There’s a real danger that media coverage will simply focus on whether anything new is revealed, beyond what the former special counsel has already made public about his investigation. That would be a serious mistake.

We’ve seen this tendency before – the “LOL nothing matters” cynicism of some in the media about President Donald Trump. The idea seems to be that because Trump always survives bad news, there’s little point in aggressively covering additional bad news, as would happen with any other politician. The very worst example has been Trump’s long record of alleged sexual misbehavior; after all, it was just a few weeks ago that the president was accused of rape, and the media largely shrugged it off. But really, it’s one thing after another with Trump, and the press has never quite figured out how to explain it all.

As for today’s hearings, I agree with Sargent: Mueller’s testimony is important because he’ll be explaining exactly what his investigation found, and that’s newsworthy in itself. The president has been saying that the probe exonerated him; we’ll find out now whether that’s correct, or whether – as most people who’ve read Mueller’s report have concluded – it was actually devastating for Trump. It’s up to committee Democrats to make that story compelling enough that the media will portray it accurately.

There’s one other thing I worry about here. It’s a post-Watergate habit – in the press and in the wider political world – of treating presidential misbehavior as either worthy of impeachment or not. It leads to an irrational situation where stories that uncover considerable malfeasance aren’t treated as a big deal unless they’re likely to end in the president’s ouster. I think that happened with Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, and it’s happening on multiple levels with Trump – whether it’s Russia, emoluments, abuses of power, or obstruction of justice. That is, the paradigmatic story of a Washington scandal is one that ends with the president getting into the helicopter and leaving the White House, and without that ending the political world doesn’t know quite how to tell the story. That’s an advantage for presidents that we shouldn’t be giving them – and one that Trump, deliberately or not, is exploiting.

So I do think it’s the media’s responsibility to move beyond that. But right now, for House Democrats, it’s time to tell the story of Trump’s misconduct in a way that people can understand.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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Posted 2019-July-24, 07:09

From David Leonhardt at NYT:

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Congressional Democrats haven’t done an especially good job of investigating President Trump’s misdeeds over the past few months. They have held no hearings of significance since Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, appeared in February, and they’ve had a confusing public message that probably hasn’t persuaded anyone who didn’t already think that Trump was unfit for office.

Today, the Democrats get a new chance to clarify their message, when Robert Mueller appears before the House. Here’s what members of Congress should try to accomplish during the hearing:

Keep it simple. “The televised hearing will be the first chance most Americans have to hear what’s really in the report, right from the man who wrote it,” Garrett Graff, the author of a book about Mueller’s leadership of the F.B.I., writes in Wired.

For that reason — and because Mueller has said he would not talk about issues beyond his report — members of Congress should use the hearing as a tutorial for the American people on all of the alarming information in the report. “Even if Mr. Mueller refuses to say anything beyond the contents of his report — as is expected — his televised testimony can serve as a valuable explainer and a much-needed corrective,” The Times’s editorial board points out.

Rebut the president’s spin. Trump has described Mueller’s report as concluding that there was “No collusion, no obstruction.” Members of the House should ask Mueller if that’s true. “In an era when our leaders have lied about it in the hope that Americans won’t read it, we need simple connect-the-dots questions clearly posed that will correct the record,” Neal Katyal, the law professor who helped draft the special counsel regulations, writes in The Times.

Rebut the lieutenants’ spin. William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, distorted the findings of Mueller’s investigation — so much so that Mueller wrote Barr a letter disputing his characterization. In the Daily Beast, Barbara McQuade, a former United States attorney, suggests the House members ask Mueller, “What did you have in mind when you wrote the letter to Barr?”

Clarify Mueller’s tortured language. The report contains a strange double negative: “If we had had confidence … that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” it says. “However, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

Stuart Gerson, a former Justice Department official under George Bush, thinks Congress should push Mueller to make his meaning clearer. “Did he and his staff conclude that if the person under investigation were someone other than the president, an indictment would have been in order?” Gerson asks in The Atlantic. Mueller may not answer, but people should hear the question.

Highlight the questions Mueller declined to pursue. Jed Shugerman, a law professor writing in Politico, believes Mueller erred by not charging members of the Trump campaign with coordinating with Russia. Asking about that decision will help show how out of bounds the campaign’s behavior was. “It was a historic error to overlook such crimes, effectively inviting the same suggestions and winks-and-nods in 2020,” Shugerman writes.

Harry Litman writes in The Washington Post that Mueller erred by not seeking interviews with key witnesses, including Donald Trump Jr. and the president: “Mueller, while no doubt methodical, energetic and wholly impartial, looks also to have been an overly restrained prosecutor who stayed his hand when he could have and should have pressed forward,” Litman writes.

Shut down conspiracy theories. Republican lawmakers and right-wing media have focused on the infamous Steele dossier’s salacious allegations, arguing — contrary to the evidence — that those allegations were the improper basis for Mueller’s investigation. Members of Congress should ask Mueller directly what role the dossier played.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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