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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:20 am
by Big Magilla

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:45 pm
by Mister Tee
Sabin wrote:So... that’s a key.


Respectfully but firmly disagree. I can understand reacting to the media's initial willingness to swoon for the pageantry, but I think it's analogous to the response after Trump's first address to Congress -- remember "He BECAME president tonight"? That conventional wisdom lasted about 36 hours. There are too many in the media looking to give Trump participation trophies. And, of course, there's also his amen corner, who could literally watch him crap in the oval office and proclaim it some achievement. They'll be out pretending this is some great accomplishment.

But anyone who knows anything about international diplomacy thinks Trump has given massive unearned deference to a brutal dictator -- even putting his flags in a row alongside U.S. flags! -- and made unnecessary concessions (not only cancelling U.S. military maneuvers in South Korea, but using the phrase "war games" that comes straight from North Korea propaganda mills), all for the vaguest of promises...promises that were made decades ago by North Korea and have yet to be acted upon.

I think GOP strategist Mike Murphy is right: if Barack Obama, Bill or Hillary Clinton had staged this "summit", the right-wing echo chamber would be screaming Neville Chamberlain at the top of its lungs and would already have set impeachment hearings in motion. I think "Trump got played" will be the dominant response to this before we get to the weekend.

Do agree with you on the scariness of the Court's Ohio ruling, however.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:08 am
by Sabin
So... that’s a key.

UPDATE: between that and the Supreme Court ruling about Ohio's voter purge, I'm scared.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:40 pm
by Big Magilla
Apparently not. Robert Costa (Washington Post) spoke with his wife who says he's doing fine. The Wikipedia page no longer says he died.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:58 pm
by Big Magilla
While waiting to meet Kim, Treat tweeted that Kudlow had a heart attack and is at Walter Reed Hospital.

His Wikipedia page says he died! Wishful thinking, or do they know something we don't?

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:09 pm
by Okri
Yeah, this was a uniquely bad weekend on this side of the border. We got our Tinpot Trump in the Ontario Election (analogy: population wise,
Ontario is to Canada what California + New York + Texas + Florida + Pennsylvania are to the USA). The G7 meeting seemed like it was headed south before it started. And the Trump+Navarro+Kudlow vomit afterwards was insane. Canadians seemed, according to polls, behind Trudeau's response pretty well (despite his decreasing popularity, he and Freeland score quite well on trade) and the uniformity of this response across the spectrum gives heart.

I know many of my friends, including myself, are at the point where we scrutinize everything to minimize buying American products thanks to this affront of a human being.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:09 pm
by Mister Tee
I recently found out that my wife's brother-in-law -- a lifelong, deep-dyed Republican -- voted (kicking and screaming) for Hillary in 2016, for the blunt reason that Trump was "dangerous." Anyone who doesn't see that after the past two days will never see it.

As someone wrote today, the man's specialty is coming up with "solutions" to problems that don't exist: a massive crime wave by immigrants, a trade environment that supposedly screws "good Americans" (read: older white guys). To deal with the former, he's thrown our immigration system into vindictive chaos. And for the latter, he's doing his best to blow up NATO -- the framework that has kept Europe (previously all too prone to periodic punishing wars) stable for 70 years. Much of the world is in the heretofore-unthinkable position of relying on the German chancellor to keep the world from blowing up.

I know we're supposed to be "civil" in our interpersonal relationships -- not take politics too seriously. And over the years I've had no problem co-existing with acquaintances/relatives whose ideological positions were far from mine. But this is a crisis of a whole other order. If you're fine with this imbecilic moral monster being our president because it gave your already-affluent lifestyle an even bigger tax break, you're an enemy of civilization, and I think history will not look kindly on you.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:33 pm
by Greg
The big Donald-Trump-potential-pardoning-marathon surprise for me is Martha Stewart. At this point, with her being out of jail for years and back to her career, it could not make any impact on her life. She even publicly supported Hilary Clinton. The only thing I can think of is to thumb his nose at James Comey, who prosecuted her for insider trading.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:40 am
by Big Magilla
I'd like to see them all go to jail. Aside from Manafort, however, I don't think any of the high profile jackasses will spend more than a day behind bars.

Speaking of Manafort, I hope they have enough on Trump without his help. I don't want to see him getting out of jail free.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:51 am
by flipp525
In yesterday’s news was also Guiliani openly musing that Trump could literally murder James Comey in the Oval Office and nothing would happen to him. Can you imagine some mafioso type who is under a criminal investigation saying such a thing about a witness in his case? I thought that was just an astonishing, despicable moment. There is no bottom when it comes to Trump and his gang. None whatsoever.

The addition of Guiliani to this circus (after he had gone dark for so long) has really upped the outrage factor in their frenetic messaging. I honestly thought he had made himself scarce because of his own potential liability in this case. If you’ll recall, he somehow knew about the damaging emails coming out against Hillary before it happened and announced it on Fox News. It’s a fact that is easy to forget.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:41 pm
by Mister Tee
flipp525 wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:GULP, every day just takes us further and further into uncharted territory.

Assume this is related to him tweeting out today that he can pardon himself?

It's to the point where people need to specify what outrage they're referencing; it's the rare day there's only one absurdity floating in the media ether.

Kudos, BJ, for getting out there and actively working for what we all know is our best chance. I'm of course hoping tomorrow night's primaries yield the right results (though it's annoying the main risk seems to be that California's debatable system of choosing candidates could cost Dems even a shot at vulnerable seats).

To answer Sabin's question about Mueller, how much impact do I think he'll have?: it depends on how strong a case he presents. Each week/month, our sense of the size of the investigation has grown. Not too long a while back, pundits were confidently saying collusion was off the table, obstruction was the only real jeopardy for Trump. Subsequent revelations have rendered that thesis laughable: it's clear Mueller is going way deep into collusion. But we still don't know how far it goes, how many people it covers, how many crimes are involved, how extensive the evidence is. It may turn out that the percentage Mueller is still sitting on, compared to what's already been revealed, is similar to the ratio between what's in plain sight now compared to the amount we knew a year ago (NOTE: I EDITED THIS SENTENCE AFTER THE FACT TO TRY AND GIVE MORE CLARITY; FOR SOME REASON, I HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE PHRASING IT SUCCINCTLY). Given how things have gone up till now -- and based on what numerous anonymous sources have been buzzing over (not to mention what non-partisans like Brennan, Clapper and Hayden have been warning) -- I tend to take the "over": I think there's a lot more to come.

Which doesn't fully answer your question, of course, because what you're really asking is, even if we have streaming video of Trump paying Putin to flip vote totals across the Midwest, would that rouse elected Republicans to do anything? Based on their unforgivable behavior to date, it's easy to take the super-cynical view and assume they'll stay where they are and (in BJ's metaphor) go down with the ship. But I take Nate Silver's position: baked into that view is an assumption that there's nothing that crosses the line enough to change public opinion in a way even Republicans can't ignore. Not every Republican, of course. There's probably an irreducible 25-35% of the country for whom the talk radio/Fox News bubble has served as the equivalent of Radio Rwanda over the past two decades; these are the people Trump rightly said would forgive him killing someone on Fifth Avenue. But there are other Republicans (I know some) who are capable of shame, whose tribal loyalty can be shaken if the revelations are stark enough. This is also true of elected Republicans. A good percentage -- those in gerrymandered districts, or super-red states -- will stay true to Trump even if the country's on fire. But there are Republican Senators in swing states who have to face voters before long -- too few of them this year, unhappily, but many in 2020, which isn't so far off as they'd like it to be. If Mueller comes up with a persuasive case -- Capital T treason, to do a variant on BJ's phrase -- these people can be gettable votes for removal.

As for what Democrats should be doing now, in the teeth of the shameless (and ludicrous) propaganda campaign from the Trump camp...I understand it can be frustrating to hear lies spouted daily without instant rebuttal. It would help if the press did a better job of labelling these lies as such immediately, and repeated the characterization every time the lie was repeated; the fact that they're finding that too exhausting, and slacking on the job, is one way in which the mendacious Trump folk do seem to be winning. But I'm not sure it's doing any irreparable damage. In the end, Mueller's presentation is going to be persuasive or it isn't, and most of these temporal rhetorical victories could end up meaningless.

As for how Dems should be campaigning -- I'll say more on this as we get deeper into the season, but, in brief: 1) Dems should of course campaign on the issues where people hugely support them (heath care above all); 2) at a certain point, "Repubicans won't hold Trump accountable; we will" should be a strong additional selling point; and 3) the pundit certainty that "Democrats can't get elected simply being anti-Trump" is ahistorical -- presidential unpopularity was pretty much the whole shebang in both 2006 and 2010, massive anti-incumbent party wave elections.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:57 am
by flipp525
The Original BJ wrote:GULP, every day just takes us further and further into uncharted territory.

Assume this is related to him tweeting out today that he can pardon himself? I feel like he’s floating this as a possibility to get people used to the idea. No one is above the law. This is completely anti-thetical to the very idea of democracy. I’m appalled.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:28 am
by Sabin
What if instead of a constitutional crisis we just learn that we don't live in a democracy anymore?

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:15 am
by The Original BJ
GULP, every day just takes us further and further into uncharted territory.

Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:04 pm
by The Original BJ
Sabin, I DEFINITELY think the MAGA base is a cult. But I do think if the Republican party leadership had taken a different approach in the 2016 election -- honestly, if they took a different approach NOW -- they would be able to persuade a decent amount of Republican voters that bad faith/conspiracy theories is not the way for the party to go. But I think they signed up for the Trump train too, and dragged along a lot of marginal supporters too. I think there was a period when the leadership didn't have to go full Fox News -- maybe not THAT recently, but recently enough -- but the die has been cast completely at this point.