Schadenfreude Open Thread: “Gliding Towards Nowhere”

From the NYTimes, “G.O.P.’s Grand Visions for Congress Now Look Like a Mirage“:

After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code.

The large infrastructure bill that both Democrats and Mr. Trump were eager to pursue has barely been mentioned, other than a very general hearing to discuss well-documented needs for infrastructure improvements. Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago — which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border — has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter…

At this point in Barack Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled Washington, Congress had passed a stimulus bill totaling nearly $1 trillion to address the financial crisis, approved a measure preventing pay discrimination, expanded a children’s health insurance program, and begun laying the groundwork for major health care and financial regulation bills. President George W. Bush came into office with a congressional blueprint for his signature education act, No Child Left Behind…

The inactivity stems from a lack of clear policy guidance — and, just as often, contradictory messages — from the Trump administration, which does not appear to have spent the campaign and transition periods forming a legislative wish list. Democrats have also led efforts to slow the confirmation of nominees to Mr. Trump’s cabinet who might otherwise be leading the charge.

“When you spend a lot of time talking about policy and debating policy in the presidential campaign, it is far easier to be specific about legislation when you get into office,” said Austan Goolsbee, who served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration. “President Trump spent the campaign fleshing out nothing in detail, so it’s not really a surprise that they can’t even agree on priorities, much less on actual legislative detail.”….

Nobody loves a loser, ya luzers!

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209 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    If absolutely nothing happens in the world in the next four years, we just might be OK.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    At this point in Barack Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled Washington, Congress had passed a stimulus bill totaling nearly $1 trillion to address the financial crisis, approved a measure preventing pay discrimination, expanded a children’s health insurance program, and begun laying the groundwork for major health care and financial regulation bills.

    But other than that, what have the Romans Obama and the Democrats done for us?

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @dmsilev: Sold us out, man. Sold. Us. Out..

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Multiple reports that Adm Harward has declined the NSC job because he wanted to clean house and bring in his own people, and the WH didn’t want that.

    How deeply compromised are they?

    I saw another report that a half-dozen prospective employees were walked out today because they couldn’t pass their security clearance. I hope Adam comes by later with a better explanation of the process.

    So much winning, I’m tired of all this winning already.

  5. 5

    Vichy Times, says what?

  6. 6

    BTW when is an enterprising reporter going to delve into the hiring and labor practices of Mr. T’s enterprises?

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    And since this is an open thread, I received some pretty impressive proof the other day that stuff posted on the Internet can live forever. Got an email from someone who had seen a post I had made somewhere and was wondering if I had any corroborating evidence. The post in question was from 1992.

    (They were trying to track down evidence of a printing error in one edition of a book, and apparently I had posted something to Usenet about seeing that, so the question was did I still have the book and if so could I scan a couple of pages. Sadly, book was long gone)

  8. 8
    trollhattan says:

    My fellow peasants, am newly alerted to the existence of “Billionaire” magazine. Not only a reading destination for the aspirational, it humanizes the poor misunderstood dears with articles like Superyachts Partner Up To Fight Ocean Plastic. Now I know what to do on spring break!

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    @Baud: I WANT MY PONY!

  10. 10
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    Heh, you must not have heard about the plans for the GOP tax overhaul. So much for caring about small businesses.

  11. 11
    jl says:

    I don’t think there is anything much in the way of Congress passing whatever legislation they wants right now. They could get big shot 45 to sign most of it. Just have a telegenic bitter old white guy with a beautiful announcer’s voice dressed up in a suit and a tie tell him some reasons why it was great winner, and terrific and top legislation.

    GOP Congress if full of incompetent grifters who have no clue what they are doing, and so infantile they have to squabble and fight over every little thing. If Trump admin keeps acting like a finely tuned machine that keeps blowing up and catching on fire, maybe their corporate or billionaire paymasters will step in and write something for them and tell them to vote for it.

    They’ve had 7 years to agree to an ACA replacement. That supposedly was a dire emergency since the ACA was a total disaster that was killing people and killing the economy. And they continue to have nothing, other than vague understanding that whatever it is, will be very unpopular with the ordinary voter (maybe they are very slowly facing up to the fact that may be a problem).

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Gin & Tonic: How long until Trump just appoints either Steve Bannon or one of his kids to the post? Or his horse. Does he have a horse? I feel like he probably does somewhere.

  13. 13
    MazeDancer says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Multiple reports that Adm Harward has declined the NSC job because he wanted to clean house and bring in his own people, and the WH didn’t want that.

    Specifically mentioned that Harward wanted to replace K.T. McFarland and Trump said no.

    Adam made Harward sound so nicely qualified in the first post about him. No Flynn and some sane, vastly educated guy that apparently even Obama folks liked was going to let me sleep a bit more at night.

    Knowing Trump won’t let a new person run their own show means only kooks will say yes. Not good.

  14. 14

    Re-shared from downstairs:

    CNN alert informs me the FBI is not expected to pursue charges against Flynn and believe he was not intentionally misleading them. That was quick.

    I presume Comey will now drag it out for years and then give a big press conference laying out the case against Flynn while he announces this.

  15. 15
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    From a purely theoretical standpoint, AQ and ISIL clearly have no one on hand who innately understands the squealing fears and irrational biases of Americans. A couple of us wargamed a few frighteningly possible scenarios over lunch (I won’t share those online – if those guys have planners with sense, they’ll stumble on it soon enough). Suffice it to say, idiot REALLY needs to divest.

    When Obama whacked OBL, he deprived them of their best intuitive planning mind, and he simply ripped out a chunk of a Clancy book.

  16. 16
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Oh, God – I had a thought.

    Frank Gaffney.

  17. 17
    bemused says:

    @debbie:

    Wait, wait, Paul Ryan said with concern that it would help small businesses. Guess it depends on his definition of a small business….

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m amused by the tweet about Russian TV. I guess Putin finally figured out that he made a bad hire.

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    BTW when is an enterprising reporter going to delve into the hiring and labor practices of Mr. T’s enterprises?

    I pity da fool!!

  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Too qualified. Go with Pam Gellar instead.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Vichy Times, says what?

    How do you say meow in French?

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dmsilev:

    He’s a city boy. There’s no horse. At least not until he decides to take his Reagan worship up a notch.

  23. 23

    This is what happens when the dog catches the car.

  24. 24
    joel hanes says:

    While Trump distracted by appearing in bells and motley, the Rs in Congress took steps to gut the Endangered Species Act and to dismantle the EPA.

  25. 25
    Brachiator says:

    Some great political cartoons on Trump

    ETA: Loved the one showing a reporter: “In other disturbing news… President Trump is doing what he promised in his campaign.” No one should be surprised at the Crazy Run Loose.

  26. 26
    debbie says:

    @bemused:

    According to the head of the National Retail Federation, it will destroy new and small businesses. I don’t know this guy other than to be confident he knows more about this than Ryan.

  27. 27

    @Major Major Major Major: Don’t be insane, it’s not like Flynn used the wrong email server.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    A couple of us wargamed a few frighteningly possible scenarios over lunch

    Oh no. It looks like it’s time for some game theory, y’all.

  29. 29

    @Mnemosyne: Dolt45 doesn’t like animals. He’s never had a pet that anyone knows about.

  30. 30
    bemused says:

    @debbie:

    Oh Ryan knows. He be lyin’.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    ” This is what happens when the dog catches the car. ”

    Dog usually can’t do much damage to the car, is the unfortunate difference.

  32. 32
    Mike J says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It looks like it’s time for some game theory, y’all.

    I’ve tried subtlety.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @debbie:

    Gotta link?

  34. 34

    I am watching the YouTube channel, Great War. All these palace intrigues sound distinctly Romanov. Are we all Russians, now?

  35. 35
  36. 36

    @Corner Stone: Prisoner’s dilemma played by Boris and Natasha? Or by robots?

    Not a huge fan of game theory, I suggest Monte Carlo simulations.

  37. 37
    WereBear says:

    Our rep, Ryan’s best girl buddy Stephanik, has headlines in the local paper “pushing back on Facebook.” Apparently she’s been flooded with calls.

    Good. Some of them are mine. And in all the offices I’ve called, her staff is the rudest, indifferent, and unprofessional.

    Color me unsurprised.

  38. 38
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Corner Stone: miaou! – dit la chatte de Schrodinger.

  39. 39
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Vichy Times, says what?

    How do you say meow in French?

    Miaou

  40. 40
    Felonius Monk says:

    It is now clear that the White House is not impenetrable by terrorists. An Orange Buffoon and his band of miscreants occupy the Oval Office and more than half of the citizens of this country are terrified. Mockery and laughter seem to be the weapons of choice to oppose this internal threat to our democracy.

    @Major Major Major Major:

    the FBI is not expected to pursue charges against Flynn and believe he was not intentionally misleading them. That was quick.

    The Army is investigating Flynn according to reports that I read. If they can make a case, they can recall him to active duty and then court martial him. IMO, the Army will do a better job than the FBI in the current political climate.

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That was the scariest thing I read all day.
    Those on the right, although the never trumpers, who still defend him, are delusional. I don’t know what the Russians have on Comey, but it must be big.
    Marthat Stewart is SAD.

    Sessions is the Atty. Gen. and Comey is the head of the FBI. We are so f..ked. just sayin

  42. 42
    Chip Daniels says:

    So if Putin has soured on his puppet, what are the odds we will see a dribble then flood of damning stuff about 45 on Wikileaks?

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    This is what I was listening to. Sorry they don’t do transcripts, but the first couple segments will tell you all you need to know.

  44. 44
    bemused says:

    Questions:

    Did Christie ever have a meeting with Twittler?

    Were Ivanka and Jared front row at pres FUBAR’s fubar presser? If they were I would have seen the expressions on their faces.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m wondering at what point a journalist is willing to burn that source at the FBI since they’re so obviously political.

    Okay, I realize it’s going to be “never,” but fuck those fucking FBI assholes.

  46. 46
    lollipopguild says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: The only way to win the game is to not play it.

  47. 47
    Keith P. says:

    In more news from the smooth-running machine, the Flynn replacement search continues…

  48. 48
  49. 49

    @Mnemosyne: Why would you burn a source that gives you accurate information?

  50. 50
    jeffreyw says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    BTW when is an enterprising reporter going to delve into the hiring and labor practices of Mr. T’s enterprises?
    I pity the fool.

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: A source gave the Washington Post info that Flynn lied to the Bureau, before CNN had their news. Someone wants the truth out, and it’s not Comey.

  52. 52

    @joel hanes:
    Is that one of the bills the House passed that the Senate is ignoring? Because damned little has gotten passed there. Trump is not a distraction being used to pass horrible legislation, because the horrible legislation isn’t getting through the system. By now, we should be drowning in it. This is the most productive period of an administration and congress, usually.

  53. 53

    @lollipopguild: Already tired of winning, I see.

  54. 54
    jeffreyw says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Damn you! Damn you to hell!

  55. 55
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Are we all Russians, now?

    Да, товарищ.

  56. 56

    @JPL: So we have leaks in the NYC office going one way and the DC office going the other way?

  57. 57
    Just one more canuck says:

    @dmsilev: why not a horse? Trump is already surrounded by horse’s asses

  58. 58
    Keith P. says:

    @Gin & Tonic: In Soviet America, Trump plays *you*.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Someone was saying in an earlier thread that the Army’s investigation of Flynn is in regards to his 2015 trip to Russia, so it pre-dates all of his recent shenanigans.

    If Trump does try to pre-pardon Flynn for stuff Flynn did in Russia before the campaign started, that will be a very interesting tell.

  60. 60
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Follow the money, and I’d bet that leads to the New York office. Someone must have great pics of Comey though.

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @jeffreyw: To be honest, when I came to this thread I inherited a mess, a mess. Both before my comment and after, just a mess. Just so you know.

  62. 62

    @JPL:

    Follow the money

    I’ve heard that before, maybe it was in a porno.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Like JPL said, there are two different FBI sources giving contradictory information. So WTF is going on here? It would be nice if the people speaking to those sources — aka journalists — would let us know.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Multiple reports that Adm Harward has declined the NSC job because he wanted to clean house and bring in his own people, and the WH didn’t want that.

    Haven’t read those but my guess is he said Bannon exits from NSC and that got nixed ipso facto qui haste.

  65. 65

    @Corner Stone: Yes, but how big was your win?

  66. 66
    chris says:

    @Mnemosyne: There’s a horse show at Mar-a-Lago every year (except last year) and another in Central Park that he’s connected to. These ain’t rodeos but rather the big money showing off their million dollar jumpers and dancers. But no, he doesn’t own any horses. He doesn’t seem to do any of the things that rich people do, come to think of it. Too busy looking in the mirror I guess.

  67. 67
    Yarrow says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    So if Putin has soured on his puppet, what are the odds we will see a dribble then flood of damning stuff about 45 on Wikileaks?

    I’m afraid Wikileaks may not be 45’s worst problem. Does the American president have food tasters?

  68. 68

    @Mnemosyne:

    It would be nice if the people speaking to those sources — aka journalists — would let us know.

    Now you want them to do their jobs, you’re rather demanding.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @Mnemosyne: When I read that CNN said that Flynn was not going to be charged, it scared me. I voted for McGovern and remember those days. Even though I didn’t vote for Nixon, at least he did not work with a foreign government in order to insure his win.

  70. 70
    Yarrow says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    So we have leaks in the NYC office going one way and the DC office going the other way?

    Wasn’t that what was happening during the campaign? Nothing has changed, if so.

  71. 71
    Mike J says:

    Six White House staffers were removed from the administration on Thursday for failing an FBI background check, according to Politico.

    Sources told the publication that the staffers were escorted from the building on Wednesday after they didn’t pass Form SF86, the “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.” A successful response to the form is required for a security clearance.

    One of the dismissed staffers includes Caroline Wiles, director of scheduling, the daughter of President Trump’s Florida campaign manager. She will instead get a job at the Treasury Department, sources told Politico.

  72. 72
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @bemused:

    Idiot grins? Are they bright enough to recognize staggering incompetence when it’s biting them on the pampered buttocks?

  73. 73
    tobie says:

    @JPL: Christ on a cross! When will we see the back of Comey. Up till now I’ve been sure he’s full of himself and was out to get the Clintons. Now I believe he’s in bed with the Trump administration/Trump campaign. There are so many desperate reasons the Dems need to retake the House in 2018. Nailing this fucker to the wall is one of them.

  74. 74
    WereBear says:

    @chris: He almost owned a horse, once.

    He got interested and showed up one day demanding to see the horse run before he bought it. They said the horse wasn’t up to it that day, recovering, but he bullied someone into doing it and the horse turned up permanently lame and he just dropped the whole thing.

    No one is safe with this guy.

  75. 75
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Je Suis Russkie.

  76. 76
    JPL says:

    @Mike J:

    One of the dismissed staffers includes Caroline Wiles, director of scheduling, the daughter of President Trump’s Florida campaign manager. She will instead get a job at the Treasury Department, sources told Politico.

    Why not..

  77. 77
    Yarrow says:

    @Mike J: Oh, that sounds good. Fail a background check and get a job working with money. What could go wrong?

  78. 78
    Brachiator says:

    @JPL:

    When I read that CNN said that Flynn was not going to be charged, it scared me. I voted for McGovern and remember those days. Even though I didn’t vote for Nixon, at least he did not work with a foreign government in order to insure his win.

    Well, Nixon supposedly worked with N Vietnam to stall peace negotiations so that the Democrats would not benefit.

  79. 79
    jl says:

    @Yarrow: Well, the economy was roaring in ’05 and ’06! They just might have the touch to bring back that good old market magic.

  80. 80

    @WereBear: Obviously the horse was just tired of WINNING.

  81. 81
    JPL says:

    @Brachiator: True.. I was thinking about Watergate, but you are correct that was far more harmful.

  82. 82
    Aleta says:

    @MazeDancer:

    only kooks will say yes

    It’s a catch-22. If they won’t work for him, they’ve passed the first test. If they’re cool with him, they’re either deformed souls or delusional.

  83. 83
    Feebog says:

    FBI: General Flynn, we would like to ask you a few questions about your phone calls to the Russian Ambassador on December 29.
    Flynn: OK, fire away.
    FBI: Did you discuss the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration with the Ambassador?
    Flynn: No.
    FBI: Let me rephrase that question, did you discuss the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration with the Ambassador, and if you don’t remember, that’s perfectly ok.
    Flynn: I don’t remember.
    FBI: Well that wraps things up, thanks General.

  84. 84
    Mister Forkbeard says:

    @JPL: I have an acquaintance on facebook who’s a republican. He was bemoaning today that he was forced to vote Republican and is sad that he voted for Trump. Not that he would change his mind if given the chance, apparently.

    After I told him that was nice, but that he absolutely had a choice between Trump and Hillary he flat-out stated that Hillary stole the primary and was incredibly corrupt and lied constantly, the press had gone all-in for her and he couldn’t possibly vote for someone so awful who’s broken so many rules. And then said he would have voted for Sanders if Hillary hadn’t cheated.

    Examples were given. All the usual claptrap about “DNC gave Hillary all the debate questions” (Just two, in fact. And about remarkably obvious things that the Hillary campaign had already planned for), “DWS fixed the election and had to leave” (Leaked emails showed she didn’t like Bernie but actively shot down attempts to sabotage his candidacy), “The Podesta Emails” (which didn’t show any such thing), etc.

    I’m rebutting all of this. But these people chose to believe ridiculous russian propaganda against Hillary, refused to acknowledge any of the real, factual reporting about Trump and then blame Hillary and the Democrats for forcing him, FORCING him to vote Trump.

    If he tries to defend this further I’m telling him to get bent and acknowledge he’s a goddamned fool, and then shut off all notifications.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    jl says:

    @Brachiator: GOP foreign intrigue designed to influence domestic elections has been a habit since Nixon. For some reason, perhaps because the GOP has become so incompetent outside of a protected environment, perhaps due to the sheer out in the open outrageousness of the flim flam, it is being noticed and pursued.

    Might even come back to haunt Trump and the GOP electorally, since chances are high they will produce nothing but bad governance with a pronounced stench. Reagan, even Nixon, could do much better on that front.

  87. 87
    jl says:

    @Mister Forkbeard: There will so many people very tired from all the winning.

  88. 88
    Turgidson says:

    @dmsilev:

    I think “the Left” was so pissed off about Rahm and Geithner’s continued existence that no one noticed any of that stuff. Until he was leaving office, anyway.

  89. 89
    lollipopguild says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: It’s the old joke about either i am on too much medicine or not enough. The whole country(the sane part) can say the same thing. What was the color of the LSD tab that trump took before he gave the press conference?

  90. 90
    D58826 says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Well at least there is no pet to write a tell all memoir!

  91. 91
    raven says:

    @lollipopguild: Orange Barrel

  92. 92

    @jl: Remember Nixon went to Jyna.

  93. 93
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @raven: That was a quick response.

  94. 94
    JPL says:

    @Mister Forkbeard: That’s all you can do. I am so tired of saying that I don’t know that, because what I want to say is are you f.king kidding me.

  95. 95
    Turgidson says:

    @dmsilev:

    Speaking of which, has Orly Taitz been offered a DOJ job yet?

  96. 96
    chris says:

    @WereBear: Figures, horses are smarter than people think.

  97. 97
    Mike J says:

    @Turgidson: They were pissed off that the stimulus bill wasn’t exactly the way they wanted it written, therefore Obama was a sellout traitor.

  98. 98
  99. 99
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Ya had to be there. . .

  100. 100

    @Mister Forkbeard: We must have the same friend, only difference she voted for JS. When she made excuses for the travel ban, I told her to fuck off. Now she is trying to make peace by sending me cute kitteh pics.

  101. 101
    JPL says:

    @raven: My brothers were, so that’s enough.

  102. 102
    jl says:

    @Mike J: The fiscal stimulus and the financial sector bailout were two different and very distinct things. I don’t remember ‘lefities’ complaining about the stimulus bill, other than it was too small.

  103. 103
    waysel says:

    OT, but John Cole said ‘young pope sucks’. On twitter.

  104. 104
    lollipopguild says:

    @Turgidson: They are holding her in reserve. I have a brother-in-law who constantly talked about the underground rail tunnels that go from east coast to the west coast. The ones built by the reptile people from outer space. I think he has a job lined up with the Transportation Dept.

  105. 105

    @waysel: Did he mean it literally or metaphorically?

    BTW I have no idea what or who Young Pope is.

  106. 106

    @jl: no, obama was letting those nasty Wall Street people whisper in his ear that the stimulus shouldn’t be any bigger instead of the other non-nasty Wall Street people who happened to agree with those on the left. Therefore obama was a sellout.

    Now, the stimulus should have been bigger, but this doesn’t make obama a sellout.

  107. 107
    Chip Daniels says:

    I’m thinking of how in the 60’s the CIA tried to defeat Castro by slipping him LSD hoping he would go on TV and make rambling crazed speeches, and the people would lose faith in him…

  108. 108
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: “The Young Pope” is a TV show. I think it’s on HBO but not sure. Maybe a miniseries type of show. Starring Jude Law. I ran across it by accident and did the Info thing on the remote to find out what was on. Haven’t watched it but the minute I saw looked boring.

  109. 109
    Turgidson says:

    @JPL:

    Comey is the head of the FBI.

    Possibly Obama’s single biggest mistake, in 20/20 hindsight. When he was nominated, I was bummed that Obama picked a Republican, but based on his track record and defiance of at least some of the Bush Administration’s more egregious bullshit, I at least thought Comey would be a straight shooter and not call attention to himself unnecessarily. Uh, oops.

  110. 110
    Mike J says:

    @jl:

    I don’t remember ‘lefities’ complaining about the stimulus bill, other than it was too small.

    Yes, they complained non stop about it. Yes that it was too small, and that too much of it was in tax cuts rather than simply dumping barrels of cash off the roof of a local tall building. Krugman was telling us daily about how Obama obviously knew absolutely nothing about politics.

  111. 111
    neldob says:

    Let’s see the tax returns.

  112. 112
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: On the financial bailout, I’ve never thought Obama was a sellout. I think he was very mistaken though.

    Edit: always important to remember that even the miserable economists learned something from the Great Recession. Opinions then are becoming consensus now, even among types like Larry Summers and Neil Kashkari, who have given some ‘lefty’ ideas spouted by the likes of Bernie Wilmer positive reviews. Like break up big banks, change organizational structure of the Fed to reduce financial industry influence.

  113. 113
    lollipopguild says:

    @Chip Daniels: They also tried to poison his cigars. Now if we could find someone who could have access to trumps fast food runs?

  114. 114
    chris says:

    @lollipopguild: Interesting! Does he have a subreddit? Most of them do.

  115. 115
    jl says:

    ‘reluctant’ and ‘seems so chaotic’ and ‘shit sandwich’. Interesting mix or very polite euphemism and blunt expression of truth (or maybe the offer was actually much worse than a shit sandwich, and that is a euphemism too?)

    A friend of Harward’s says he was reluctant to take NSA job bc the WH seems so chaotic; says Harward called the offer a “shit sandwich.”
    https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/832384718624665600

  116. 116
    Jay S says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Like JPL said, there are two different FBI sources giving contradictory information. So WTF is going on here?

    They may not be contradictory. Caught in a lie, he may be cooperating for immunity.

  117. 117
    Baud says:

    @Mike J: Yep. It was nonstop bitching at GOS from 2009-10. Probably after that too, but I left and never went back.

  118. 118
    Wapiti says:

    I looked through the SF86 online. I’d guess to fail it you could have major psych problems, or major illegal drug use in the last 7 years, or really close personal contacts with foreign nationals. Or the be-all, catch-all: fail to disclose minor problems, or otherwise be dishonest. Not disclosing stuff gives someone a hook to blackmail you.

  119. 119
    Aleta says:

    @lollipopguild: (Borrowing/distorting Hunter S Thompson) His reality is too twisted for psychedelic drugs.

  120. 120
  121. 121
    aimai says:

    @jl: I’m already tired of all the whining.

  122. 122
    Mike J says:

    @jl: The financial bailout turned a profit. Worked out pretty well, what with the keeping the world’s economy from collapsing and all.

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @Turgidson:

    Possibly Obama’s single biggest mistake, in 20/20 hindsight.

    And somewhere Arne Duncan shed a single tear.

  124. 124
    lollipopguild says:

    @chris: Do not think so. Before the election he told my wife(his sister) that no one in his family was allowed to vote for a Democrat. My wife told him where to shove his suggestion.

  125. 125
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: My personal opinion is that Geithner confused saving the financial sector with saving the hides of some of the big banks in the financial sector. Details of specific programs are of secondary importance, when designed to serve that misguided policy.

  126. 126
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @chris:

    My prediction is he’ll never step foot at Camp David – every other president (whether we liked them or not) has lived the place. Quintessentially American, it provides a retreat from the pressure of the bustle of the office, and they all wind up refreshed.

    Not that asshole – no spirit of peace, no spirit of adventure, no hobbies, no moral core.

  127. 127
    waysel says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It is an HBO mini series- 10 part, nearly concluded- about a 47 year old Pope,that I find highly entertaining. I figured everybody knew about it. I just happened to see Coles tweet from 20 hours ago, and thought it might stir a controversy here. Just for fun. Anyway, Cole is wrong about it.

  128. 128
    Corner Stone says:

    @jl:

    Opinions then are becoming consensus now, even among types like Larry Summers and Neil Kashkari,

    Larry Fuckface Summers has been on a years long CYA image rebuild tour so I’ve got nothing for that POS. Neil Kash N Kari got mega rich during the time lots of people got broke. The media tried their best to rehabilitate his bullshit image too, but poor bastard, he just couldn’t quite get there.

  129. 129
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @Mike J:
    The purity ponies, most easily recognized by the way they tell you what ‘the base’ wants, share with the Right a belief that good policy is defined by who it hurts. If you are not jailing bankers, destroying the banks, or removing the insurance industry entirely, your policy cannot work in their eyes.

  130. 130
    JPL says:

    @Jay S: Why? Trump would pardon him before he served jail time.

  131. 131
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @jl:

    GOP Congress if full of incompetent grifters who have no clue what they are doing, and so infantile they have to squabble and fight over every little thing.

    This is actually a good thing. Let them squabble for the next four years so that they don’t have time to pass legislation which devastates less fortunate Americans. Too bad, they’ve already been able to inflict Sessions and DeVos on us.

  132. 132

    @lollipopguild: Dolt45 should be happy there’s a McDonalds right across the street from the New Executive Office Building.

  133. 133
    jl says:

    @Mike J:

    ” The financial bailout turned a profit. Worked out pretty well, what with the keeping the world’s economy from collapsing and all. ”

    I don’t have time to argue Great Recession recovery policy. Accounting money profit from financial bailout trivial compared to real economic costs. Financial panic did not threaten the world economy, the recession in the real economy that triggered the financial crisis threatened the world economy.

    Financially, you pump bucks back into the overseas dollar denominated financial markets. Done.
    Edit: though one place both GOP reactionaries and Bernie Wilmer, or whatever code name we use these days, were dangerously wrong is that they opposed the overseas dollar denominated financial market bailout. Which kinda had to be done under the table.

  134. 134
    gene108 says:

    Got back from work today. My mom is staying with me for a few days. She had Fox News on to see what they had to say about the news conference (she’s not a FoxBot).

    They said Trump had the greatest press conferences evah, it was super inspired and he totally pwned the media and totally reconnected with the American people.

    It is an alternate reality.

  135. 135

    @Baud: GOS’s loss, I left about the same time(I also quit drinking then too).

  136. 136
    chris says:

    @lollipopguild: Keep an eye on him, he might be a reptoid! ;-)

  137. 137
    Chip Daniels says:

    So serious question:
    Given that 45 is one of the oldest men to inhabit the office, and is not in good shape, and doesn’t appear to eat right, exercise, and has, shall we say, emotional problems;
    And given how the stress of the office ages even young healthy Presidents, the odds of him not living out the term are pretty good.

    But gaming this out, how scary would it be, what sort of panic and chaos would there be in the White House when he is found slumped over?

    I just hope the Joint Chiefs have their shit together and can fend off Bannon.

  138. 138
    Davebo says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Any links to these multiple reports?

  139. 139
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mike J:

    One of the dismissed staffers includes Caroline Wiles, director of scheduling, the daughter of President Trump’s Florida campaign manager. She will instead get a job at the Treasury Department, sources told Politico.

    I feel so much better.

  140. 140
    chris says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Yep, someone who can’t stand being alone because there’s nothing there.

  141. 141

    @Chip Daniels: You think Bannon will have an Al Haig moment?

  142. 142
    efgoldman says:

    @tobie:

    When will we see the back of Comey

    Comey had a new official portrait done.

  143. 143
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone:
    The American public disagree, they believe that you are the problem. The guy you claim left a mess had a 59% approval rating the day he left office, you on the other hand have only 39% of them approving of you while 56% disapprove and of those, 46% strongly disapprove. I know that Rassussen says that your approval number is actually 55%, but every one know they are full of it. You sir must own the mess you have created.

  144. 144

    @jl: A fair point. The important thing is, these are all honest mistakes, IMO, not Obama selling out. These were presented to him as the best people, and high finance isn’t exactly his beat. What was he supposed to do? No president can be right about all of the things that come up over the course of their tenure.

    I’d recommend using the normal terms for things, btw, like TARP and ‘Fed Bailout’, instead of …whatever the hell you said in your other comment.

    @Frankensteinbeck: Interesting observation.

  145. 145
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Turgidson:

    Oh, now there’s a name from the past.

  146. 146
    Jay S says:

    @JPL:

    Trump would pardon him before he served jail time.

    I wouldn’t expect Trump to pardon any loser that falls from grace.
    OTOH CNN is now reporting that they gave him the “I didn’t remember talking about that” out. He isn’t denying talking just remembering.

  147. 147
    efgoldman says:

    @jl:

    There will so many people very tired from all the winning.

    FSM knows I am.

  148. 148
    Yarrow says:

    @gene108: Shep Smith wasn’t a fan of this press conference so they’re not all in lockstep at Fox.

  149. 149
    waysel says:

    @Chip Daniels: I honestly don’t think he will suffer any stress of office ills. It’s only stressful if you give a shit and take it seriously. He does neither.

  150. 150
    ThresherK says:

    @lollipopguild: I think “Trump’s fast food runs” should be private and only shared with his gastroenterologist.

    Oh, wait…

  151. 151
    Mike in NC says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Trump prefers the Concrete Canyons of midtown Manhattan. Maybe even get to kick a homeless person once in a while.

  152. 152
    JPL says:

    @Jay S: According to reports, the entire conversation was about the sanctions.
    Marthat Stewart cries.

  153. 153
  154. 154
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I wonder what it’s like to enter a job on day one as damaged goods, a crony or nepotism hire. DeVos will have a few Devos-tees, probably (suck up opportunists), but that other person will get some serious side-eye.

  155. 155
    Elie says:

    @MazeDancer:
    Doesn’t it make you wonder about Mattis and Kelly and why they signed on without a quibble? Who throws a distinguished career on this kind of pyre?

  156. 156
    Chip Daniels says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    You think Bannon will have an Al Haig moment?

    A self-described Leninist who wants to burn the world down, with a seat on the National Security Council, and the POTUS is found dead?

    That fucker would sprint to the Situation Room before the Android phone fell from the short little fingers.

  157. 157
    Yarrow says:

    In regards to the FBI not charging Flynn, this seems about right:

    We've got 3 choices here:
    1: CNN is wrong.
    2. WaPo is wrong.
    3. Trump DoJ/FBI is totally compromised.https://t.co/5oPO6xIh0A— John Schindler (@20committee) February 16, 2017

  158. 158
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    But gaming this out, how scary would it be, what sort of panic and chaos would there be in the White House when he is found slumped over?

    Ding, Dong, the Son of a Bitch is dead?

  159. 159
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @waysel:

    OT, but John Cole said ‘young pope sucks’. On twitter.

    I don’t know what that means. What does that mean?

  160. 160
    Yarrow says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Read further in the thread. People answered. It’s a TV show. Cole doesn’t like it.

  161. 161
    MazeDancer says:

    @Elie:

    Doesn’t it make you wonder about Mattis and Kelly and why they signed on without a quibble? Who throws a distinguished career on this kind of pyre?

    Possibly when they signed on, pre-inauguration, they were thinking it was their patriotic duty to help guide and control Trump. But likely they were told they could choose their own staffs.

    Harward being told he couldn’t choose his own staff is absurd. No one would agree to that. And after today’s press conference, it would be clear that no kind of save the nation call to duty would be possible without your own staff.

    OTOH, Mattis gave that “pay-up or no NATO for you” speech, so maybe he’s more “Mad Dog” than not.

  162. 162
    Mike in NC says:

    @Elie: It ain’t easy for retired three and four star generals to survive on those six-figure pensions.

  163. 163
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Yarrow: Fuck Comey. Not that it needed to be said again. Goddammit, Obama…and by the time he nominated Comey, he should have known better than to put a Republican in charge of anything important.

    Today’s presser was a total fucking trainwreck. Trump ain’t going out for another presser in a long time, unless he gets wind that ratings picked up – then he will be out there stat.

  164. 164
    amk says:

    how pathetically weak and corrupt is gopee that it couldn’t take down this lil fingered, thin skinned nutjob over a period of 1 year?

  165. 165
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Answering my own question, it’s apparently a new TV program. I don’t own a TV, so that lets me out. And since John says it sucks, I don’t really mind all that much.

  166. 166
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow: And of course, Option 3 is the literally unthinkable one for 99% of the country. You’d be considered a lunatic to even contemplate the repercussions of that.

  167. 167
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Yarrow: It definitely has its moments, and Jude Law is great in it, but my main gripe about the show is that it does not have a consistent theme. In some episodes, Pius XIII comes off as incredibly unlikable, but then there are others (especially 9th episode) where everything comes together perfectly.

    It’s certainly fascinating – I think the Vatican lends itself well to a show about the inner workings of the Vatican – but I really don’t know where it is headed from here, and if another season makes sense unless it is more tightly scripted.

  168. 168
    Yarrow says:

    @PsiFighter37: I did like the Congressional Black Caucus’s response to the Republican president.

    Hi, @realDonaldTrump. We’re the CBC. We sent you a letter on January 19, but you never wrote us back. Sad! Letter: https://t.co/58KiuHmITF— The CBC (@OfficialCBC) February 16, 2017

    Heh.

  169. 169
    Elie says:

    @MazeDancer:
    I remember reading that Mattis was pissed off cause they kept rejecting his choices. Obviously it was resolved or he wouldn’t be there. Still, Trump was a known entity and surely they had lots of sources to verify his instability. They also had to hear him talk openly about his anti international anti immigrant and racist allusions. What kind of person wants that association?

  170. 170
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    You think that was unhinged? Wait till SOTU on 2/28. He’ll have zero control over that room.

  171. 171
    waysel says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Answered at #127

  172. 172
    Yarrow says:

    @TenguPhule: I think the 99% of the country finding that unthinkable isn’t true. A lot of Democrats think the FBI is compromised, certainly after the recent election. And Sessions as AG has given a lot of people concerns.

    @PsiFighter37: I hadn’t heard of it. Ran across it while changing channels. Did the Info thing to figure out what I was watching and then a quick Google search to see if I was interested in it. Meanwhile it was running in the background. I was bored with what I saw–Jude law in a robe sitting a chair talking to people. I decided I didn’t want to invest any time in it. I agree, the Vatican certainly lends itself to show.

  173. 173
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Or when Americans elect an idiot to the highest position in the land after he keeps showing that he’s inept and narcissistic. We’re still waiting for that oft promised pivot.

  174. 174

    @Major Major Major Major:
    They were super pissed that the stimulus contained anything Republicans might approve of, or which even sounded like something Republicans might approve of. Damn, we heard a lot of bitching about that. It’s very much about who The Enemy is.

  175. 175
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Come join my paranoid conspiracy theory: what if Robert Hanssen was just the easy-to-catch Russian mole at the FBI and he was sacrificed to protect the mole who was higher up?

  176. 176
    Turgidson says:

    @Mike J:

    Krugman got pretty obnoxious with his whiny back seat driving during that phase, but he had a point about the politics that turned out to be spot on – the stimulus, while historically large, was too small to plug the hole in demand. The political problem with that soon became apparent – even though the stimulus did exactly what it was designed to do, the economy still felt really shitty even after the money got spent. So the GOP could lie their asses off about the “failed” stimulus without looking like morons to the general public, who only knew that the economy still sucked. And they did that to great effect.

    And you had Bernstein and Romer (I think) releasing that report predicting that the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8%, because the data at the time was underestimating the severity of the downturn bigly.

  177. 177
    Corner Stone says:

    @hovercraft: Fake news, fake. Fake media, so dishonest. Nobody believes you people anymore.

  178. 178
    Chip Daniels says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    I seriously, SERIOUSLY, want some Dem Rep to shout “LIAR!” during the SOTU.

    The meltdown would be epic.

  179. 179
    Yarrow says:

    @Elie: That same sort of thing is also why I have limited sympathy for Melania. It’s not like she didn’t know his track record when she married him. She may essentially be held hostage at this point, especially since she wants to shield and care for Barron, but if she didn’t know what she was getting into by marrying him, she has no one to blame but herself. It was all out there in the news. Any woman who did five minutes of research would know what a bad person he is.

    So people like Mattis and Kelly–if they didn’t know he was a sociopathic narcissist, they didn’t do their due diligence.

  180. 180

    @Yarrow: I saw that over at LGF. Though Dolt45 seem to think that April can hook them up.

  181. 181
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Hopefully many Democrats will skip the SOTU like they skipped his inauguration. There is zero reason to treat him like a normal President.

  182. 182
    amk says:

    @MazeDancer: yup, he was more of a lap dog following his master’s voice.

  183. 183
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @amk: And how did they fool themselves into thinking that he was organized and competent enough to get anything productive done.

  184. 184
    jl says:

    @Mike J: Well, in my opinion they were correct on the economics of the stimulus. We apparently disagree about that. Fact remains, a distinct issue from the financial bailout. I don’t remember any lefties complaining that the overarching policy goal of the stimulus was wrong, just that it was too little of a good thing.

  185. 185
    Mike in NC says:

    @PsiFighter37: We like HBO’s “The New Pope” mainly because Jude Law plays such a wonderfully devious bastard who loves to mess with people’s heads. But for an hour-long drama it does tend to drag at times.

  186. 186
    hovercraft says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    I enjoyed it, so I guess we must agree to disagree.
    P.S.I haven’t watched the last episode yet, so there may be a major letdown I’m not aware of yet.

  187. 187
    Mike in NC says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Hopefully members of Congress will come armed with eggs and rotten tomatoes.

  188. 188
    jl says:

    @Turgidson: GOP was going to say the fiscal stimulus failed in some catastrophic way, no matter what happened. Fact that it did not appear to do enough for average person is the issue.

    Way back in those days, so many years ago, there was still considerable doubt about the size of fiscal multipliers in different economic environments. People like Krugman and DeLong could produce no precise estimates that they would defend strongly. IIRC, they argued for larger stimulus as an insurance policy.Like, just in case, the initial downturn was much worse than people thought at the time.

    (Edit: we have much better estimates of fiscal multipliers now, due to the fact that we lived through that mess. And fact that they contradict orthodoxy of equilibrium free market based macro is one cause of the discipline’s current intellectual Great Depression)

    The real economic downturn (as opposed to the financial crisis) was worse than people knew. Initial downturn in real terms faster and deeper than Great Depression. So, on the economics, Krugman was correct. About the politics, I don’t know. Krugman often whiffs on the politics, as far as I can see.

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yarrow: No sympathy. She bought in for the full ride.

  190. 190
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    DeVos will have a few Devos-tees

    You didn’t.

  191. 191
    Debbie1 says:

    @dmsilev: While it’s true that Pres. O & the Dems. took these actions on behalf of the country after the 2008 elections, I distinctly remember that they did so while wearing beige suits (sans flagpins, no less), and dining on arugula. Therefore, their actions were inadequate, insufficient and impure. So, there.

  192. 192
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    I seriously, SERIOUSLY, want some Dem Rep to shout “LIAR!” during the SOTU.

    I want them to shout it out in a series of catcalls. All Dem elected officials of color. Latino/a, AA, Asian, all peoples. One after another.

  193. 193
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yarrow:
    @waysel:

    Thanks, yeah, I went ahead and looked it up, and subsequently saw several of the explanatory comments.

  194. 194

    @Chip Daniels: can’t you just hear trump whining? “If somebody had said that to obama, the media would have been 24/7 ‘ohhh the republicans are soooo meaaannn to obama’!”

  195. 195
    Bex says:

    @waysel: @Yarrow: It’s a great show and I’m glad to see there will be a second season. After that last scene I realized how much I would miss my Lenny fix. We’ll be seeing more of Pius XIII.

  196. 196
    Svensker says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Multiple reports that Adm Harward has declined the NSC job because he wanted to clean house and bring in his own people, and the WH didn’t want that.

    Got links?

  197. 197
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yarrow: That was a nice burn.

  198. 198
    danielx says:

    Was driving today and caught one line from Trump presser; I couldn’t stand more than that…”There’s no chaos, this administration is running like a finely tuned machine”……

    If I was in any way inclined towards sympathy towards lord shortfingers (I’m not), I could almost feel sorry for him. He is in so far over his head he’s standing on the bottom of the Challenger Deep, and doesn’t even seem to know it. But – besides my utter detestation of Donald Trump and all his works – there’s the business about how his cluelessness is likely to get a lot of people killed, including many who are not getting paid to go in harm’s way.

  199. 199
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker: Not sure where G&T was getting it but this is at least one:
    Vice Admiral Robert Harward turns down national security adviser job
    CBSNews

  200. 200
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @hovercraft:

    I enjoyed it, so I guess we must agree to disagree.

    Since I have not seen it, and in fact had never heard of it until half an hour or so ago, I can neither agree to agree to disagree, nor disagree to agree to disagree. It might be wonderful, but I’ll likely never know. Not saying anything negative about it, just that I won’t go out of my way to acquire it when there’s so much else out there.

  201. 201
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Chip Daniels:
    @Corner Stone:

    I want them to blow out their candles and walk out, quietly, one at a time, like the orchestral musicians in the finale of Haydn’s “Farewell Symphony.”

    At that time, Haydn’s patron Prince Nikolaus Esterházy was resident, together with all his musicians and retinue, at his favorite summer palace at Eszterháza in rural Hungary. The stay there had been longer than expected, and most of the musicians had been forced to leave their wives back at home in Eisenstadt, about a day’s journey away. Longing to return, the musicians appealed to their Kapellmeister for help. The diplomatic Haydn, instead of making a direct appeal, put his request into the music of the symphony: during the final adagio each musician stops playing, snuffs out the candle on his music stand, and leaves in turn, so that at the end, there are just two muted violins left (played by Haydn himself and his concertmaster, Luigi Tomasini). Esterházy seems to have understood the message: the court returned to Eisenstadt the day following the performance.

  202. 202
    Elie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    While I understand your desire (and have some of that myself), this man has already desecrated enough of our customs, basic civility as well as our institutions. Joining him in deepening that — making us like HIM — is not what I want at all. Sure — lets rock twitter, outside demonstrations or whatever — BUT — let our leaders be what they should be — leaders with honor and respect for the office if not the man. Because their peckerwoods don’t know better, we should not be imitating THEM.

  203. 203

    @Elie: while that’s a reasonable point, I’m also down with the idea of trying to make him stroke out at the podium.

  204. 204
    Elie says:

    @Yarrow:

    I agree but take it a step further: there had to be some resonance for them or it doesn’t work. Nobody aligns with a message and person like that unless their is a pull towards it. In other words, these men while respected, may not be such good people after all. What that means is that their formidable skills and knowledge may be used to further a very noxious agenda without any resistance on their part. Indeed, they may be advocates wrapping the warped vision and message into palatable packaging to fool the more sophisticated rubes.

  205. 205
    Elie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Naw — man, I am having a dream of seeing him in perp orange laying on his cot in a jail cell. I would love for him to die in PRISON. (I know, not likely, but that would make me smile for a long long time)

  206. 206
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Thanks

  207. 207
    Ruckus says:

    @lollipopguild:

    What was the color of the LSD tab that trump took before he gave the press conference?

    Given the person that supposedly took the acid, I’d say white. OTOH considering the results I’d say All of them Katie.

  208. 208
    Aleta says:

    WTF Vol. 26

    Two members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) were asked to leave a meeting between lawmakers and the country’s top immigration enforcement official Thursday.

    Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.) were asked to leave the room, while several other members of the CHC were not allowed into the meeting with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acting Director Tom Homan.

    The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but ICE canceled, saying too many attendants had signed up. ICE then coordinated with House leadership, setting up a bipartisan meeting with a limited guest list. Several Democrats, including House and CHC leadership, did attend the meeting.

    Gutiérrez was the first to be asked to leave. Outside the room, he met Reps. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) and Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), who had not been allowed in.

    “I was expecting to get let in. We’re the ones who were asking for this meeting, now we’ve been barred from the meeting,” said Vargas. “I want to know what they’re doing, and now we’ve been barred from this meeting that we called for.” Vargas, a former member of the Jesuit order, then led a prayer with Gutiérrez and Napolitano. Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) arrived and joined the prayer circle.

    Gutiérrez said Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) spokeswoman had asked him to leave the room. Ryan was not at the meeting. “It was the Speaker’s staff that came to me, and I know her very, very well, and she said she was speaking on behalf of the Speaker, that there were a limited number of seats,” Gutiérrez said.

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) asked Torres to leave after Gutiérrez had been ejected. She asked him to reconsider given the importance of immigration issues to her community, but he declined. She left visibly upset, a Democratic aide said. “I was asked to leave, and I was told that if we would like to have a meeting with ICE, that we need to go with the leadership of the majority party here and ask them to schedule a meeting and ask them to schedule a meeting for us with ICE,” Torres told her colleagues waiting outside the room, who were also joined by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

    Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) said later: “Oh my God! That room is big enough. They have not filled it to capacity.”

  209. 209
    Ruckus says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    He pivoted.
    He got worse.

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