Reclamation

There was a lot of coverage of Pelosi’s comments on impeachment a few days ago, and if you read the quotes by Nadler and Schiff in this piece, they sure aren’t ruling it out. I’ve not been too hot on impeachment either, since there’s almost no chance that the Senate would convict and, unlike Nixon, Trump has no shame, so he won’t resign. But impeachment is just one of the institutions that Democrats need to reclaim, slowly but surely. Here are some others:

  • A functioning appropriations process, where bills funding the different departments are generated by committee and work their way through Congress. The current habit of funding the government by hostage taking and continuing resolution does not move the country forward.
  • Meaningful Congressional oversight of departments like the FAA, who need to be called to answer for the 737 MAX debacle.
  • Reforming the elections process, and rooting out voter suppression.

This list could be endless, so you can add on in the comments. Republicans have plundered this country’s institutions, and when Democrats control Congress and the Presidency, we can’t go slow or shy away from moving from the current broken status quo back to working institutions. Impeaching Trump, with a transparent process detailing just what a crook he is, would go a long way to reclaiming impeachment after it was weakened by the Clinton blowup. Hearings on Trump’s many different criminal schemes that are held without grandstanding, using committee counsel and well-briefed members (think AOC with Cohen as a model), whether or not they lead to impeachment, will go some distance to reclaiming Congressional oversight after the Benghazi horseshit crusade.

This post is boring, and a lot of the solution is somewhat technical and also boring. So we can’t count on the press – certainly not the DC press – to have the slightest interest in it. It’s going to be a long, tedious slog to make things right, but our survival as a country depends on it.






157 replies
  1. 1
    stinger says:

    High on my institution-reclaiming checklist: Putting some teeth back into the FCC.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    MattF says:

    Since you mentioned the 737 Max catastrophe, may I rant for a moment? Here, fwiw, is a knowledgeable summary.

    The problem I have is that Boeing didn’t ground the aircraft immediately after the Lion Air disaster. Well, you see, maybe that one piece of aircraft machinery had lots of problems and wasn’t airworthy, and those problems overshadowed everything else. But any expert systems engineer would have noted that the crash revealed a failure mode in the aircraft’s control and stabilization system. This is an extremely big problem, given, e.g., Murphy’s Law. I’d put serious money on the proposition that engineers (and, one assumes, pilots) saw this and protested. And that Boeing managers ignored them– since, you know, brown people can’t be trusted to fly aircraft. Grrr.

    Rant over.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    JimV says:

    I am sorry to nitpick one thing, but the notion of Nixon (“if the President does it, it’s not illegal”) having shame floors me. Goldwater told him he was going to lose the vote in the Senate. That is the only reason he resigned. (Probably after telling Ford that if he wasn’t pardoned a lot of skeletons were going to found in a lot of closets.)

    I think the better statement would be that some of the Senate Republicans in that time had some shame.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Plato says:

    Look at the ways the rethugs constantly weaponize congress and senate for their own ugly partisan ends. Dems can and should learn a few tricks from them.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    DCrefugee says:

    Restore the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and increase Library of Congress and Congressional Research Service staff back to pre-wingnut levels.

    And for the love of goddess, would someone do something about junk phone calls and emails?

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    Brickley Paiste says:

    Yeah, impeachment is just such a hassle. Why bother?

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    DCrefugee says:

    @MattF: Yes, Boeing should have grounded the airplane as a show of goodwill and responsibility, and even paid some compensation to inconvenienced passengers and carriers, but we don’t live in that world. Until the additional data yesterday from the Ethiopian crash, they really didn’t have evidence of any similarity with the Lion Air Crash. It wouldn’t do to think you’ve solved both tragedies when you really haven’t.

    Next, we’ll chat about the advances in turbojet and turbofan powerplants, and how ever-greater engine diameter was indirectly responsible for the Lion Air crash, at least.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    sherparick says:

    Being a good citizen is often boring. It needs persistence, perseverance, and discipline to pay attention and not let the media distract you with the next shiny object for click bait.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    --bd (@Mark1964LFC) says:

    @Brickley Paiste: Because cholesterol seems to be taking its sweet time here.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    raven says:

    @MattF:

    The pilot’s mother Sangeeta Suneja, herself a senior commercial manager with Air India, told CNN after a family briefing Tuesday that her son was “a sunny boy. He was loved by everybody in his company.”
    She says her son, Capt. Bhavye Suneja told her there was no updated training simulation session when Lion Air started using the new aircraft.
    “They said it was not required… When the transition happened, he said, ‘Mama, I’m going to fly the MAX.’ I said, ‘How can you do that (when) you don’t have (a) simulator session?’ He said, ‘We don’t need to.'”
    Coming from an aviation family, she said that Suneja’s sister wanted to follow in his footsteps, but that the fatal accident had shaken her faith in the technology.
    “Even my daughter wants to be a pilot. She was so inspired by him she also wants to be a pilot,” she said.
    “Now I have apprehensions. I don’t know. How safe it is. The trust in the machine is shaky now.”
    She added that air safety regulation across the world needed to be re-established to reaffirm people’s trust in air travel.
    “Whenever they (present new aircraft) to the market, where the life of the people is at stake, the regulators must re-establish three, or five, levels of crosscheck… Someone should have questioned this.”

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    joel hanes says:

    Rebuild the Office of Technology Assessment.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    raven says:

    @JimV: I was gonna say! That murderin motherfucker knew none.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The GOP needs to go the way of the NSDAP and the CPSU.

    Oblivion.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    Hermann Fegelein says:

    Pence

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
  16. 16
    Baud says:

    I would like to see a thorough review of laws that delegate authority to the Executive Branch, like the National Emergencies Act and War Powers. Congress needs to take its job as the legislative branch more seriously. That has to go in hand with reform of congressional processes, especially given McConnell’s antics in the Senate.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @DCrefugee:

    And for the love of goddess, would someone do something about junk phone calls and emails?

    The root cause of both is greed. Technical solutions go only so far for social dysfunctions.

    Greed is why our media is so fucked up, too. It’s all about clicks and ratings and revenue. Smash it to atoms and rebuild it along different lines where revenue isn’t the only thing that actually matters.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    NeenerNeener says:

    @DCrefugee: A friend told me how to handle scam calls. Tell the scammer that the number they called was your work phone that isn’t supposed to have personal calls, then give them the phone number for the FBI as your personal number.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    MattF says:

    @NeenerNeener: Not bad, but I still think that just not answering phone calls from people you don’t know is the right approach for most people. Also, use Nomorobo on any VoIP landline. Works for me.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @stinger: Once Agit Pai is exiled to an ice floe. Not a moment before. He’s a vile shill for telecom CEOs.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Brickley Paiste:
    I would like to explain to you that nothing is gained if the Democratic House were to vote to impeach Trump on the basis of exhaustive and damning evidence, and the Republican Senate then voted for partisan reasons to acquit him. The House leadership is definitely looking for some way to deal with the criminal in the Oval Office that won’t be as easily stymied. Maybe the Special Counsel’s investigation will yield an overwhelming volume of evdence that finally compels even Trump’s own DoJ to prosecute him, or Mitch McConnell to abandon him. Maybe Nancy Pelosi has a trick up her sleeve that she is not yet ready to use. The method and the timing need to be effective: if you come at the king, as the saying goes, you’d better not miss.

    But I don’t think you really want to understand all that. Heckling is so much more fun.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    NeenerNeener says:

    Mattf: I don’t have a VoIP landline so nomorobo is not an option. Plus, I’m taking a somewhat perverse pleasure in messing with the scammers.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Yes, please.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    MattF says:

    @NeenerNeener: Are you sure? If you get your phone service from an ISP as part of a package multi-play deal, then it’s VoIP. And then your ISP has to cooperate with Nomorobo, but most do.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    NeenerNeener says:

    @MattF: Nope, landline is straight from Frontier. No VoIP. I don’t trust my ISP in an emergency so I don’t use them for phone service.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    kindness says:

    We Democrats are kind of stuck with the Republican Party we face now. Republicans are no longer bound by what they used to stand for. Now it’s simply tribal & power plays. The biggest problem we are going to face going forward is our MSM insists the Republican Party hasn’t changed and will howl at every step forward Democrats try to make and hold their tongue (endlessly) with every Republican monstrosity. We have to overcome our media more than the Republican Party itself.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Mike in DC says:

    @Amir Khalid: I like the idea of indicting him shortly after he leaves office.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    David Evans says:

    @MattF: Thanks for the link. It was informative, in a horrible way. The Lion Air plane took off with its two Angle of Attack indicators giving
    significantly different readings, and the light which would have warned the crew of that fact was an optional extra? Seriously, WTF?

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    J R in WV says:

    @NeenerNeener:

    I too take pleasure in talking to the scammers. I especially like the “We have detected that your computer is infected with a dangerous virus!” calls, and the “You paid us for some work on your computer months ago, and we are changing our business plan and need to refund your money, so give me your banking information so we can refund your money!”

    I managed to keep one of the “virus detected” guys on the line for more than half an hour, he finally “transferred me to a manager” who detected that I was pulling his leg, hard.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    DA PHUQ?
    DA PHUQ?

    WHAT THE PHUCK IS WRONG WITH THEM?

    UK’s Labour says will not support second Brexit referendum proposal on Thursday

    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party will not support a proposal for a second Brexit referendum due to be voted on in parliament later on Thursday, the party’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said.

    Parliament will later vote on a government proposal for a three-month delay to the Article 50 Brexit negotiation period if a deal is approved by March 20, and a longer delay if it is not.

    Lawmakers have proposed changes to that including one, amendment H, which says a delay should be used to hold a second referendum.

    “We will not be supporting H tonight,” Starmer told parliament. “Today is about the question of whether Article 50 should be extended.”

    Starmer said Labour would support holding a public vote on any Brexit deal which is approved by parliament.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: It looks to me like they want to burn it all down.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Talk about “both sides.”

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    stinger says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: No question — the FCC must be reformed starting from the top.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    VOR says:

    We don’t currently have an FAA Administrator. It is yet another of the posts which has gone un-filled during the Trump mal-administration. I recall Trump had floated the idea of nominating his personal pilot as head of the FAA. Must not be enough pilots on Fox News, since that is where he looks for talent.

    Somewhat off topic, I watched the Trump episode of the documentary series “Dirty Money”. The interview segments with the former producers from The Apprentice were fairly eye-opening.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Baud says:

    Boeing has “a severe situation” in an assembly-line culture that allowed tools and parts to be left inside tankers delivered to the U.S. Air Force, the service’s acquisition chief said Wednesday.

    Will Roper recently met with executives at Boeing’s plant in Everett, Washington, where the company builds commercial widebody aircraft — and the KC-46 tanker, a version of the 767 jetliner.

    “I left concerned,” Roper said Wednesday after speaking at a McAleese & Associates/Credit Suisse conference in Washington. “I also left thinking Boeing understands they’ve got a severe situation that’s going to take top-level engagement from their company. They are committed to doing that.”

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Baud:

    They are committed to doing that.

    Are they now?

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @DCrefugee:

    And for the love of goddess, would someone do something about junk phone calls and emails?

    How about this as a basis for discussion:

    Put some teeth into the Do Not Call list – significant fines for violators & significant tightening of exemptions.

    Implement nationwide Caller ID as a service bundled with telephone service (landlines & cell phones both). At the same time, require that any caller display the number of the originating phone, accurately & unambiguously: No more “out of area”, no more “unknown caller”, and (most importantly) no more spoofing of an incorrect number to con people into answering. (They spoof your own area code & prefix these days to make you think it’s one of your neighbors calling to tell you something like your car windows are down & it’s starting to rain. I’ve gotten calls to my landline that caller ID says are from my landline!) Severe penalties for anyone caught doing this – say 6-digit fines per deceptive call.

    Implement a government “hot line” (similar to the “Robocall Text Line” Andrew Yang has already proposed) where call recipients can report telemarketing calls, along with the source of the call. Any entity with some threshold number of complaints within any specified time period gets identified as a “commercial entity” for purposes of Do Not Call & other restrictions on activity. Maybe implement Do Not Call as opt-out rather than opt-in: No commercial calls without the specific permission of the recipient & a “sunset provision” that permission must be renewed every X months or else it lapses.

    Implement the EU policy on calls to cell phones: The caller bears the ENTIRE cost of the call – recipients pay zilch. No one intent on making a profit will shoot out 1,000,000 robocalls to snag maybe 100 suckers if each call costs 10 cents. Charge “commercial entities” with the maximum cell phone cost per call for landlines & cell phones both – with the excess over what the phone companies are allowed to charge going to the US Treasury to fund these provisions.

    How you adjust this to e-mail isn’t completely clear. Maybe if we implemented an “e-mail fee” (analogous to a transaction tax for stocks) of $0.001 per recipient & then went from there…?

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    stinger says:

    @Mike in DC: That moment in the air when Air Force One transforms into a plain commercial jet — and the Secret Service agents step forward with handcuffs. They can call him “Sir” one last time, that’ll give him an anecdote he can endlessly repeat.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    rikyrah says:

    Whitaker discussed case involving Trump with Trump: Nadler
    Rachel Maddow reports on House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler’s summary of a closed door meeting with former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker in which Nadler says Whitaker did not deny that Donald Trump called to discuss Michael Cohen’s case and the campaign finance charges in which Donald Trump is implicated.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Mike in DC: I like the idea of arresting officers cuffing & frogmarching Cheetoh Benito off the west front of the United States Capitol on 20 Jahuary 2021 within 60 seconds of the Democratic winner of the 2020 Presidential election completing the oath of office.

    I also like the idea of arresting officers with handcuffs positioned at all exits from the White House in case the former Emperor Tang chooses not to attend the swearing-in. And helicopter gunships circling the Executive Mansion prepared to force any escape helicopter to land at Andrews AFB, where more officers & more physical restraints & a paddy wagon await.

    (Don’t give me that stink-eye – what’s wrong with bloodless revenge p.0.rn?)

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Zinsky says:

    It’s really important that Democrats keep reminding voters that we have a serial sexual predator in the White House! Ask Alva Johnson, who this geriatric degenerate sexually assaulted just in 2016. I think the Democrats on the House and Senate Ethics Committee should establish a Donald J. Trump Sex Crimes Commission. It’s clear this old pervert cannot control his sexual impulses and needs either long-term incarceration and/or chemical castration.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    jeffreyw says:

    @Amir Khalid: @Brickley Paiste:
    I would like to explain to you that nothing is gained if the Democratic House were to vote to impeach Trump on the basis of exhaustive and damning evidence, and the Republican Senate then voted for partisan reasons to acquit him. The House leadership is definitely looking for some way to deal with the criminal in the Oval Office that won’t be as easily stymied. Maybe the Special Counsel’s investigation will yield an overwhelming volume of evdence that finally compels even Trump’s own DoJ to prosecute him, or Mitch McConnell to abandon him. Maybe Nancy Pelosi has a trick up her sleeve that she is not yet ready to use. The method and the timing need to be effective: if you come at the king, as the saying goes, you’d better not miss.
    But I don’t think you really want to understand all that. Heckling is so much more fun.

    Just gonna quote the whole comment because it’s so good and Amir really needs to be quoted often.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Amir Khalid: Directing a thoughtful comment to that worthless arsehole of a troll is a Prickly Waste.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    Kent says:

    Rebuilding the EPA and other environmental agencies that have been gutted and outsourced. It will take a long time as they have lost so much talent and institutional memory.

    As for Boeing. I’ve known people who have worked there. It is an extremely bureaucratic culture. Kind of the opposite of say Tesla. You can bet your bottom dollar there are going to be shipping container loads worth of documents on this aircraft and whatever issues Boeing found and executives papered over to get it into production. Every engineer who had issues or concerns will have had that documented somewhere. We will eventually get the whole story.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well said. The House should investigate the Trump administration and hold hearings, just don’t call them impeachment hearings. Unless the Senate is likely to convict, impeachment in the House will likely mean the Election in 2020 will be a landslide for the Rethuglicans. I support Pelosi’s statement on impeachment. A failed impeachment process (failure to convict) will demoralize Democrats and energize the Rethuglicans.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Sab says:

    Possibly wrong thread here, but I want to write to EFGoldman.

    I have four lovely cards from our local national park ( I live in Ohio. I can’t believe I can say that we have a park but it is true.)

    So which should I send: frosty lake, frosty stone ledges ( Ohio ain’t all flat), summer deer, fall leaf color?

    Also any messages I should forward? He’s intensely musical. I am only sort of interested. Anybody better than me got comments for him? I will forward with attribution.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Yutsano says:

    Okay so this one is personal, but start funding the IRS at levels commensurate to the populace. This whole running on a 1995 budget in 2019 has gotten ridiculous. If you want us to start going after the big fish, that requires funding enforcement and getting bodies in the door. Not to mention we’ll need teeth after this maladministration. I’m certain lack of compliance has gone way up especially after the new tax law mishegas.

    Oh and end the preferential treatment of dividend income. Or else someone give me a damn good justification of why that exists.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jeffreyw:
    *Blush*

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    arrieve says:

    Rebuilding the government isn’t sexy and dramatic and entertaining like impeachment (okay, clearly I spend too much time thinking about politics.) I want Trump gone as much as anyone (and his whole disgusting family in leg irons) but he’s a symptom, not the disease. Admittedly, this particular symptom is an oozing, stinking, giant pustule on the face of this country, but removing it won’t solve the problem if we don’t also remove the cancer underneath. The problem with impeachment is that it gives the R’s an opportunity to pretend that Trump was the problem and now it’s solved so it’s back to business as usual.

    The Boeing mess is just one more example of the deep corruption. Would any Republican president have acted any faster than the Dolt? Not likely. They all need to go, every last stinking one of them. Then we can start to rebuild the agencies and have a functioning government again. It’s going to take decades to undo this nightmare.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    Sab says:

    @Yutsano: I am a tax accountant and I totally agree. It would be a hell of a lot easier to keep our clients on the straight and narrow (our professional responsibility) if the IRS had the manpower to actually do enforcement against anyone in addition to waitresses.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    gene108 says:

    shy away from moving from the current broken status quo back to working institutions

    This will make government boring again. A budget and appropriations bill will just quietly happen in the background, which will leave the media to pursue important stories like the 21st century equivalent of the OJ trial.

    @Plato:

    Look at the ways the rethugs constantly weaponize congress and senate for their own ugly partisan ends. Dems can and should learn a few tricks from them.

    I don’t think we can have good, efficient, functional government and politicizing every damn thing, and holding partisan investigations trying to make the opposition party look bad.

    Part of the reason Trump and Republicans are able to cry “FBI or Congressional witch hunt” is because Republicans have been so openly partisan in all their investigations a good chunk of people just figure that’s what Congressional investigations are for.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Tony Jay says:

    @rikyrah:

    It’s pretty simple. Sort of. Okay it’s not, but here goes.

    1) It won’t pass. Even if Labour whipped all of its MPs to vote for it the Tories and their DUP allies would vote against it and it would fail.

    2) It’s being put forward as an amendment to a proposal that would either delay Brexit by 3 months if a Withdrawal Agreement is passed or delay it for a lot longer if the Withdrawal Agreement doesn’t pass. All it does is give wavering Tories more of an incentive to vote against the main proposal, which drives us closer to a No-Deal crash-out in two weeks.

    3) It’s been proposed by one of the Independent Group celebrities purely as a publicity stunt, against the clearly stated wishes of the actual People’s Vote movement who came out straight away to say that now is definitely not the time to ask for a vote on a Final Referendum and all it will do is give the Government grounds to claim that a new Referendum has been debated and rejected.

    4) The actual Labour plan is to get the extension agreed and then, since it looks like the Brexiteer loons and their theocratic allies in the DUP are starting to make noises about supporting May’s crap Withdrawal Deal as the only Brexit they’re going to get, put all their support behind a much more popular amendment that would tie passage of May’s deal to a public vote on whether to accept it or remain in the EU. That one has a very good chance of gaining a majority, but it can’t be put forward until May brings her shit-sandwich back for a 3rd vote.

    Basically, this isn’t the longed for ‘vote for sanity’. This is a politically inept spanner in the works that they know won’t pass but they hope will make Labour look bad. Because that’s all the ‘Independent Group’ is about. Bunch of wankers.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    trollhattan says:

    @arrieve:
    “It takes months to build a barn, minutes to burn it down.”

    The damage they’re doing is incalculable and to be frank, some is permanent. Much of it is occurring utterly parallel to the disaster that is the presidency and removing Trump, while the necessary beginning, doesn’t actually fix anything.

    The Obama Administration discovered this firsthand and as much as I dread saying it, this time will be worse.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    rikyrah says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I hear you Amir, but here’s the thing…I believe a majority, if not 3/4 of the Republican Senators are totally compromised. I’m interested in them being indicted along with Cheeto Benito

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    laura says:

    @Yutsano: I’ll see you an IRS, and raise you and entire functioning government. We need the opposite of what Grover Norquist has been demanding- and getting, government shrunk to bathtub drowning size made all this grifting possible. We need a big, juicy, robust and responsive government, not more contractors, actual government employees with a good salary, benefits, defined benefit pension. We can pay for it with confiscatory tax rates that wring the idle capital out of the hands of the wealthiest, a massive estate tax, a corporate rate that IS the effective rate. Lots of work to do, and lots of workers to do it.
    Oversight, accountability, for the common good.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    nasruddin says:

    @Amir Khalid: The idea seems to be, to chip away at the edges and let the scandals keep floating thru the news, but leave the core alone. The Democrats can run against the disastrous incompetence of this administration. Fewer and fewer people will work for this administration, certainly fewer people with any reputation or savvy.

    I don’t like it but it seems politically the best we can do.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    nasruddin says:

    @Tony Jay: Is there any option that parliament is likely to agree on at all? Or is it “no” all the way down?

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Kent says:

    @rikyrah:

    I hear you Amir, but here’s the thing…I believe a majority, if not 3/4 of the Republican Senators are totally compromised. I’m interested in them being indicted along with Cheeto Benito

    If that’s what you want then you had better elect a Dem Attorney General. Cause it ain’t going to happen as long as the GOP holds the executive branch. In any event, 98% of what you are calling “compromised” is legal. Because of course they make the rules.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Yutsano: End carried interest, the loophole for hedge fund “managers.” Restore deduction of state and local taxes. Those taxes help us support our infrastructure and fellow citizens without relying on federal dollars as much as red states. Rethuglicans capped SALT deductions as revenge for not voting for Rethuglicans in 2016. Political revenge is now national policy?

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    tobie says:

    OT: here’s a link to a TPM post with Beto’s announcement video. He’s good–like JFK good. The only other possible contender I can think of who is able to present the big picture of the perils and promise of the moment is Stacey Abrams. Crazy though it is, I would be ecstatic about a Beto/Stacey or Stacey/Beto ticket. Both of them have “it”–the ability to inspire.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Amir Khalid: I am so tempted to take this post of yours, put it in toto on FB where I am in a stupid spat with one of my oldest friends who is fuming about Pelosi and the “old guard”, and say, “This. Why you can’t grasp *this* aspect of our current political situation is beyond me.”

    But, sigh…don’t have the heart for the fight right now.

    Oh, btw…every time I try to link to it, my comment vanishes into the ether, so now I am reduced to saying, “that version of ‘Thunderstruck’ you posted a while back? Go to YouTube and look up Steve’n’Seagulls – their version is *hilarious*.” MOAR ANVIL!

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    germy says:

    Theater Critic In Chief

    President Trump with an oddly specific critique of Beto: "He has a lot of hand movements. Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts? …And I actually never seen anything quite like it. Study it, I'm sure you'll agree."— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) March 14, 2019

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  63. 63
    germy says:

    Trump to Breitbart on how the left plays tough: "I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point and then it would be very bad, very bad."— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 14, 2019

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  64. 64
    tobie says:

    @Yutsano: George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress introduced “qualified” dividends, taxed max at 15%, and from everything I’ve read this one change to the tax code made it much easier (as in more lucrative) for corporations to funnel profits to shareholders. There was no longer a tax incentive for companies to invest in their workforce. Dividends should go back to being taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. This one change would likely yield extraordinary benefits for workers.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    germy says:

    New — @JulianCastro rolls out 30 Texas endorsements on @BetoORourke’s launch morning: pic.twitter.com/fHiZgJhlK6— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) March 14, 2019

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Miss Bianca says:

    @laura: Obligatory comment about interesting ideas and newsletter sign-up inserted here.
    : )

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    rumpole says:

    Hillary wasn’t damaged by the DOJ. She was damaged by the incessant bad-faith investigations and the right-wing echo chamber. The Rs knew that they had a megaphone, and they used it effectively. There should be a constant drumbeat that the president is a cheat, holds his base in contempt, etc.

    I am really looking forward to someone who will make government “boring” again (except when prosecuting white collar crime–mine is an angry god). Mueller riding in to save the day (only he can save us, etc) is a cop out. The struggle is to repair and rebuild institutions, which requires a belief in the concept of the commonwealth writ large, subject matter fluency, empathy, and the ability to compromise. The Rs have been very effective in destroying both the institution’s and the public’s faith in them.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    hueyplong says:

    @germy: Not sure it is in Trump’s self interest to encourage the fly-specking of mannerisms for signs of psychological issues.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Nah. He’s just not worth it.

    I trust Nancy SMASH!

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Tony Jay says:

    @nasruddin:

    That’s the big question, isn’t it?

    Look, the problem is that there was a (stupid, badly conceived, ineptly run and deeply corrupted) Referendum held in 2016 that led to Parliament passing legislation that WILL take the UK out of the EU on March 29th unless the Government revokes Article 50 or the EU allows an extension so we can have a General Election/People’s Vote. That’s where we’ve been ever since June 2016 and all the unicorn stroking fantasies about Just Doing Something won’t change that simple fact. The Tories have a wafer thin majority. They form the Government. Some of them need to do the right thing or nothing good – can – happen.

    The Tories are split between raving Quitters who want to turn the UK into a White Free State and just plain evil Tory bastards who plan to become wealthy by making rich people want to give them things. There are enough non-Quitters to get a People’s Vote through, but they are so terrified of their lunatic Base (sound familiar?) and frothing Right-Wing Media (deja vu?) that they won’t do it unless they absolutely have to. Getting to a point where enough Tories feel able to vote for a new Referendum is hard, frustrating and, yes, dangerous. It could all go wrong and we could crash out of the EU, but there is no other way to go about. There are hoops to be jumped through and procedural labyrinths to be navigated but, slowly, it’s getting there.

    Hopefully. Maybe. I’ll let you know when it’s happened. Either that or you’ll hear the last fuck I have left to give snap from an ocean away.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @rumpole:

    Hillary wasn’t damaged by the DOJ.

    Technically, the FBI and Comey damaged her.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72

    @MattF: Years ago, I wrote an IEEE article about the Challenger disaster, and how hard it was for engineers to communicate bad news upward. It turns out bad news in organizations is like hydraulics. It flows down easily and quickly, but you have to pump and pump to get it to move up.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    I’ve seen Steve’n’Seagulls on YouTube before, and you are absolutely right about them.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Rachel Maddow brought this up the other night. Seems to warrant headlines and sirens and breaking news and shit

    @ rebeccaballhaus
    A software fix to the Boeing 737 MAX was delayed for months as discussions between regulators and Boeing dragged on—and U.S. officials said the government shutdown halted work on the fix for five weeks.

    all because of an Ann Coulter tweet

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I remember being in a technical writing class in college and having the instructor go on and on about Three Mile Island (or “TMI”, as he kept coyly referring to it), and how if only the engineers had been able to write better memos, the whole disaster could have been avoided!

    As an undergraduate I found that notion so fatuous that I quit the class in disgust, convinced as I was then that anyone who could reduce the cluster fuck of “TMI” to a simple failure to communicate obviously had nothing to teach me.

    Of course, I was wrong, but try telling that to my 21-year-old self!

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    brantl says:

    unlike Nixon, Trump has no shame, so he won’t resign.

    Nixon had no shame, though his party still did. They told him, resign, or face impeachment. It was nothing about Nixon’s shame

    ReplyReply
  77. 77

    @Miss Bianca: You were right though that a failure of communication is more complicated than a poorly worded report.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Ellen R says:

    @Miss Bianca: My father was an engineer on designing that plant, and tried really hard to prevent the money guys from reducing building costs by using smaller bolts in critical places. They wouldn’t listen, and that’s part of what failed.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Brachiator says:

    @Tony Jay:

    Look, the problem is that there was a (stupid, badly conceived, ineptly run and deeply corrupted) Referendum held in 2016 that led to Parliament passing legislation that WILL take the UK out of the EU on March 29th unless the Government revokes Article 50 or the EU allows an extension so we can have a General Election/People’s Vote. That’s where we’ve been ever since June 2016 and all the unicorn stroking fantasies about Just Doing Something won’t change that simple fact.

    I get the impression that almost no one in the government is willing to deal honestly with the people. Instead, various factions are desperately trying to keep themselves in play, trying to exploit BREXIT for their own interests.

    Few in government are honest about the damage to the economy that might come from BREXIT, despite warnings from business leaders, even the craven capitalists. And there is a Tory lunatic fringe who believe that a “no deal” BREXIT will not be a disaster. A Labour faction wants their own version of BREXIT, and think that they can keep the UK in a customs union, despite clear signals from the EU that this is not an option. None of these factions want a referendum that might keep the UK in the EU. Also strangely, these fools seem to care less about Northern Ireland and maintaining the peace than does the EU, which is just freaking crazy.

    It’s wild to see the US and UK both thinking that they have to luxury of being stupid and fucking up their own economies to please the nationalist fantasies of a narrow fringe of self-deluded morons.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    @tobie:

    Adept2U Feed:
    How can you get your ass handed to you by Ted the motherfucking Cruz and think you’re the baller America needs?
    How Sway? How?

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    JoyceH says:

    Whenever I hear someone say that the best way to get Trump out of office is by voting him out, my response is, “Okay, then – what actions have been taken to ensure that the actual votes cast are the votes that are recorded and not subjected to tinkering by a hostile foreign power?” Because two and a half years on from the worst foreign election meddling in our nation’s history, I don’t know of ANY actions taken, really, to secure our voting process. Whatever else you can say about an impeachment vote in the Senate, it’s live on television with each Senator’s name attached to his vote, so that we know for a fact that the votes cast are the votes recorded.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    Barbara says:

    @Tony Jay: I see on the live thread I follow that Trump seems to be tweeting out deranged thoughts on Brexit this morning, such as, a second referendum would be unfair, which, wouldn’t you know is also Vladimir Putin’s position. Just the fact that they are chiming in kind of tells you what you need to know about how much that first referendum was influenced by outsiders.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    NEW: An appeals court in New York rules that Trump can face civil claims in state court while he’s in office, and that the Supremacy Clause does not give him immunity: “…the President is still a person, and he is not above the law” https://t.co/ve2cpl7b1B pic.twitter.com/PGgmHIEf7r

    — Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 14, 2019

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Ellen R: Yow. Trying to remember if that was one of the problems he cited!

    ReplyReply
  85. 85

    @Amir Khalid: Thank you, Amir. You are far more thoughtful and deliberative than I, and I am grateful for your words. That they are likely for naught is attributed to the subject, alas. Your statement is useful for other parties who may share our passion for righting these wrongs.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
  87. 87
    Matt McIrvin says:

    It’s going to be hard to hire people to rebuild the government when everyone knows the next Republican administration will just burn everything to the ground again and probably go after them personally. It’s a lot like the problem with international agreements.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88

    @Matt McIrvin: Anthrax and tire rims.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Procopius says:

    The oversight of appropriations for the Department of Defense of Defense is probably the second most urgent thing to be done, after restoring a sane level of funding for the IRS. Perhaps a separate subcommittee needs to be set up to make sure the DoD stops fudging their books and moving funds from one program to another. There is no excuse for DoD to be unable to keep track of where its money goes every year. There are already rules and statutes concerning procurement that should prevent 90% of the no-bid contracts every year. One of the roots of the problem is the inter-service agreement in 1947 that the budget would be divided equally between the Army, Navy, and Air Force.There are so many entrenched power centers in the Pentagon that we need something like the Spanish Inquisition to go in and administer summary punishment. Of course that would be utterly unlawful and unconstitutional.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    gene108 says:

    @Mike in Pasadena:

    A failed impeachment process (failure to convict) will demoralize Democrats and energize the Rethuglicans.

    Basic reason House Republicans didn’t impeach Obama, in 2014. There was talk floating around they would try to impeach him over Solyndra or Fast ‘n’ Furious or some such, but House Republicans settled for suing over the ACA.

    They didn’t want to make Democratic voters energized.

    For impeachment to be politically viable, the public has to turn so hard on Trump that he has no support, even within the Republican Party. And I don’t see that happening with Republican voters.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: Do you have a link to that twitter feed? I couldn’t find it on a quick google search. As for how one can lose to Ted Cruz: I’d say Texas is Texas, and O’Rourke came pretty darn close, and he also had coattails. The TX House delegation has more Democrats now than it has in some time because of an energized base in that state. We’ll see how things pan out in the campaign. I would like to be inspired. I want someone who can address what’s decisive about this moment of history, when the very fabric of our democracy is in question and the economic order is uncertain and the climate is about to reach the perilous tipping point. For me Beto is able to frame the big picture in which policy minutiae make sense. It goes without saying that this is my opinion and I appreciate that others differ. That’s really quite alright in my book.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    I’m certain lack of compliance has gone way up especially after the new tax law mishegas.

    Yep. A lot of the public didn’t even know how many common deductions were eliminated by the new tax law, and I’ve heard about preparers trying to appease angry clients by trying to sneak the deductions back in clearly fraudulent ways.

    Oh and end the preferential treatment of dividend income. Or else someone give me a damn good justification of why that exists.

    Well… No, can’t do it. I would also like to see bonus depreciation eliminated and the Section 179 deduction clawed back to something more reasonable. But this is getting deeper into the weeds of tax law.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    Baud says:

    @Marcopolo: The primary so far has largely been attack ad free, so this is kind of interesting.

    ETA: Ah, it’s a parody. Never mind.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    tobie says:

    @Marcopolo: Cute.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    BretH says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: @Dorothy A. Winsor: Examined in another way by Edgar Tufte pointing out how the powerpoint charts with the pretty pictures were the worst way possible to try and illustrate the correlation of low temperature with o-ring failures.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Kelly says:

    @Brachiator:

    fantasies of a narrow fringe of self-deluded morons

    Oh man this problem is a common denominator. Vaccines, climate, economics, war, racism. I think self deluded morons have always been a problem but our current civilization has given them ways to focus their craziness and seize control. Humanity has so much more power to do harm now the craziness matters more.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    zhena gogolia says:

    OT,

    In times of difficulty, people often invoke Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s declaration, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

    Today we witnessed just that. In a momentous ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court cleared the way for the lawsuit brought by Sandy Hook families against gun manufacturers to move forward. The ruling will force the companies to reveal internal communications that they have fought to keep out of the public eye. You may recall that it was the opening of cigarette company internal records that led to the sweeping multi-billion dollar settlement against that industry.

    CT Against Gun Violence applauds the courage and tenacity of the Sandy Hook families, and their expert representation by our friend and lead attorney, Josh Koskoff, of Koskoff, Koskoff & Beider, the Connecticut law firm representing the families.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    trnc says:

    @Mike in Pasadena:

    The House should investigate the Trump administration and hold hearings, just don’t call them impeachment hearings.

    They’re doing that, now that the adults are in charge.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    rikyrah says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Marcopolo:

    That’s cute!

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    rikyrah says:

    @tobie:

    Sepia Mod 42 minutes ago
    Funny that Abrams and Gillum were the closest in their races (and would’ve won if not for voter suppression) but they’re not being deemed The Next Big Thing.

    uh huh
    uh huh

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    rikyrah says:

    😒😒😒

    Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) Tweeted:
    Hannity: “Just for the record, we don’t know if AOC ever smoked weed although a lot of liberals now who care about late-term abortion, during birth abortion, even after birth abortion and yes they want to legalize weed” https://t.co/Wp8o48PP9O https://twitter.com/ndrew_lawrence/status/1106010964967739396?s=17

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    Marcopolo says:

    @Baud: In all honesty, you will never see me post any kind of real attack ad vs a D candidate. I’d rather hear about what they are for, what they have already accomplished, why someone supports a candidate than promoting attacks.

    All that being said, I don’t think the skateboarder/voter demographic is all that large so I don’t think Beto has much to worry about there.

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  104. 104
    David Fud says:

    Since I live in a state the now allows the politicians to simply void elections with the keystroke of a hacked voting machine, I would like to see federal standards for inexpensive, hacker resistant voting equipment. Like this one that DARPA is building. I would like to see the about-to-be-passed abortion post-6-weeks ban removed via some national mechanism since GA legislators would rather rail at Big Brother than actually do something constructive (other than stealing Atlanta’s airport). Have some time for reconstructing the state government of Georgia while we are reconstructing the United States federal government? Help, please?

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: My first comment on this thread was:

    Crazy though it is, I would be ecstatic about a Beto/Stacey or Stacey/Beto ticket.

    I agree that Abrams is fantastic and inspires.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    Amir Khalid says:

    @rikyrah:

    during birth abortion, even after birth abortion

    WTF is Hannity talking about?

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    karen marie says:

    Kill me now, please.

    A top US official told a group of fossil fuel industry leaders that the Trump administration will soon issue a proposal making large portions of the Atlantic available for oil and gas development, and said that it is easier to work on such priorities because Donald Trump is skilled at sowing “absolutely thrilling” distractions, according to records of a meeting obtained by the Guardian.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    karen marie says:

    @Amir Khalid: Words no longer have meaning.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Sab: I would send the summer with deer because I don’t like the metaphor of being in the autumn or the winter of your life. Although I personally have a thing for winter scenes.

    I don’t have any musical suggestions because I am not at all a musical person.

    You remind me I have to get going on my efg card. I have it written in my head but my card stash is thin these days. I don’t think a Dr. Suede birthday card will do it.

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  110. 110
    Kelly says:

    When you have foxes eating hens, kumbaya is a recipe for slaughter.

    https://twitter.com/AnandWrites/status/1106162224345899008

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @karen marie:

    “One of the things that I have found absolutely thrilling in working for this administration,” said Balash, “is the president has a knack for keeping the attention of the media and the public focused somewhere else while we do all the work that needs to be done on behalf of the American people.”

    Words fail me. He actually thinks that distracting the American people from what they’re doing is for their own good.

    My god, the brazenness. The arrogance. The authoritarian mindset that this embodies… is sadly not surprising given the type of person willing to work for this cesspool of an administration

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  112. 112
    joel hanes says:

    @David Fud:

    federal standards for inexpensive, hacker resistant voting equipment.

    They’re called paper ballots.
    Remarkably inexpensive, superb audit trail, proven technology, quite tamper-resistant.

    I’m a computer engineer, and I tell you that there is no legitmate reason at all to use a computer to record votes, and many reasons why it’s a very very bad idea.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    karen marie says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: We all know who he means by “the American people,” and it doesn’t include anyone but the people in that room.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    catclub says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    what’s wrong with bloodless revenge p.0.rn?

    why does it have to be bloodless?

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    karen marie says:

    @joel hanes: Thank you.

    It would cost a fraction of what is spent on fancy equipment to hire a fuck ton of people for a day or two to sort and count handwritten paper ballots. The argument against is “people want instant results.” My response is, no, TV networks want instant results to grab viewers. There is simply no reason not to use transparent, guaranteed accurate methods to run elections.

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    What say you, Bernie?

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    Kelly says:

    @joel hanes:

    I’m a computer engineer, and I tell you that there is no legitimate reason at all to use a computer to record votes, and many reasons why it’s a very very bad idea.

    Seconded! I’m a retired corporate IT guy that has been using paper mail in ballots in Oregon for quite a long time.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    Ohio Mom says:

    @tobie: I’ll watch the video later. I like watching Beto, loved the air drumming in the car video.

    BUT — big but — I finally figured out what is bothering me about so many of our contenders, Beto included.

    I remember Jimmy Carter’s presidency. He is an extremely smart, far-sighted (he put solar panels on the White House before most of the rest of us had any inkling of why that was a good and important thing to do), and decent, beyond decent, man. He represented so much promise after the disastrous Nixon/nothingburger placeholder Ford combined presidencies.

    He was completely beyond his depth in Washington. I’ll remind you that he lasted one term and the backlash was Regan.

    I really, really, really don’t want another great guy/gal who isn’t ready for Washington. It’s going to take a lot of convincing to get me excited about anyone who has only been a Congressman for a relatively short amount of time, or only a mayor, or a Lone Ranger of a Senator (well, lots of other reasons to dislike him), or fill in the blank.

    If I could wave a magic wand, I probably would put Pelosi in the Oval Office. I want somebody at that level of experience and that strategic.

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  119. 119
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Awesome!

    @rikyrah:

    “Uh….billyonaires!! Banks! I woulda won in 2016!”

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    Wapiti says:

    @Yutsano: I think that congress needs to ask the IRS commissioner and Sec Treasury how the hell Manafort committed his crimes for years without being detected. It’s no longer a hypothetical.

    I once stopped in the middle of Kansas to pump gas. Used my debit card. Realized I lifted the diesel nozzle so I replaced it, resulting in a $0.01 charge. Swipe my debit card again and lift the proper nozzle. My phone buzzes with a text – someone is using my card in the middle of Kansas – is that me? The IRS should likewise know when someone tries to wire money from a tax haven like Cyprus.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    MattF says:

    OT. According to this WaPo report, Republican votes against the emergency declaration are piling up. The article buries the lede, but mentions en passant that three more R senators are going to vote against.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    Wapiti says:

    @Ohio Mom: I agree with all of this. I like Harris, but think she’s a little timid, offering something like $6000 tax credit as her big proposal. Warren is a little older than I would prefer, but she understands that the people of the country are facing real big problems that need real big solutions. I think too many of the candidates are comfortable themselves and just don’t get how bleak it is for many.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Marcopolo: Well that was relevant. Not.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @BretH: Edward Tufte is a god. Near the end of my career at the Smithsonian, I was involved in a museum exhibition design where we had to convey information difficult to understand via words, photographs, illustrations, or objects. I asked my management for the $500 to attend his course to learn the Tufte way to convey information via graphs and images. The answer I received was “no,” we might consider administrative leave for you. No way was I paying my own money to attend a course to benefit the organization. Between multiple incidents like that one and Trump’s election, once I had the 30 years needed to retire, I was outta there.

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  125. 125
    WaterGirl says:

    I just watched Beto’s announcement video, and I have to say I got goosebumps.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/beto-officially-announces-2020-run

    I also listened to Pete B’s CNN town hall last night and I was really impressed with him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRRjQdRUuHs

    I also like Kamala a lot, but I haven’t seen any video yet that gets me truly excited. If anybody has one, I would appreciate a link.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    tobie says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    If I could wave a magic wand, I probably would put Pelosi in the Oval Office

    I second this. I take your point. Carter has a rough time dealing with DC. But Trump has upended all that and at this point I think our only chance of survival is if we retake the White House and the Senate and hold the House. We need a clean sweep.

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    MattF says:

    @Cheryl from Maryland: I always used to make viewgraphs that followed Tufte’s mandate to maximize the data-to-ink ratio. No borders around tables, no fleurs de lis, no depictions of Mickey Mouse pointing to an equation.

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  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    Maybe once a week we could have a 2020 thread where everybody could post POSITIVE stuff about the candidates they like. That would help us do our part to keep things positive and turn all those threads into resources for good information about candidates – instead of squabbling.

    Maybe we could emulate what we want to see from the candidates instead of pointing out *Democratic candidate flaws.

    *exceptions: people running who are not really democrats, like Wilmer and possibly Tulsi.

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  129. 129
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Amir Khalid: “After birth abortion” is the new code name for babies who are “born to die” — that is, infants with severe birth defects (missing internal organs like no liver or kidneys; cyclops with no nose or mouth; missing most of their brains; and other conditions incompatible with life) — who are made comfortable and allowed to die.

    Sometimes parents insist these poor souls are hooked up to machines, and some infants actually do last years in limbo. It’s a pointless, expensive and cruel exercise but consistent with the rest of the right wing’s sadism.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brickley Paiste:

    Yeah, impeachment is just such a hassle. Why bother?

    I’ve always suspected that counting to 67 was beyond your capabilities. Thanks for the confirmation.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    dimmsdale says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Anecdote: my late uncle, right out of the Army after WWII, got a job with the IRS. While at the IRS, he got himself a CPA in his non-work time. He rose gradually in the IRS, and became quite an expert on a tiny, almost insignificant portion of tax law, involving something known as “mergers & acquisitions.” At some point (this was the mid-1960s) he was approached by one of the Top Five accounting firms and recruited away with a vastly improved salary. But his moral and spiritual crisis surrounding leaving the public agency that had given him a career in the first place for mere money and position was epic enough to remain part of family lore. THAT is how most public servants felt about federal service, and perhaps most still do. It was somewhat true as well for the political appointees of those agencies. There was an affirmative obligation, widely subscribed to, to NOT profit from your public service. I’d like those days back, please: and a bevy of regulations, WITH TEETH, to ensure that it happens.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    Lapassionara says:

    @rikyrah: Yes, and I think they referenced the Paula Jones case against Bill Clinton. Sweet!

    In other news, Trump’s budget evidently makes cuts to Social Security. Hmmmmm, third rail Time?

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    gwangung says:

    @WaterGirl: If we WERE to discuss flaws, I would wish they’d be a) in a separate thread, and b) be discussed in relative terms with others’ flaws….e.g., X’a less than progressive behavior as at a certain job is not nearly as serious as Y’s lack of management ability.

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  134. 134
    Ohio Mom says:

    @tobie: Well, yeah if we take the Senate and keep the House, maybe that would balance out a wet-behind-the-ears chief executive.

    ReplyReply
  135. 135
    MattF says:

    @Lapassionara: And Medicare! And Medicaid! So, it’s fourth and fifth rail time as well.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    Ohio Mom says:

    @dimmsdale: Wow, your uncle’s story is a modern day Greek tragedy.

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    Kelly says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    “After birth abortion” is the new code name for babies who are “born to die”

    My oldest boy and his wife aborted a fetus with fatal defects. They told her wingnut family it was a miscarriage. It was hard enough without dealing with doctrinaire denunciations.

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    BretH says:

    @Cheryl from Maryland: I did attend one of his workshops, and it was wonderful. A full day of total brain engagement, and he was a charming, witty, devastatingly clear lecturer.

    Don’t remember any more who I had to kil…er, extor…er, convince to pay for it.

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  139. 139
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Kelly: Good for you son and DIL for protecting themselves that way.

    When you consider how complicated embryonic and fetal development are, it’s a wonder that any of us are born with all our parts where they belong.

    Really horrific things can go wrong and sometimes I think our side is too discrete in not publicizing these cases. Then maybe it would be more widely understood that nothing can that can be done for some fetuses and newborns.

    Instead we are shown stories about heoric efforts for one pound premies and told they turned out “great.” Oh yeah, get back to me after they are finished growing up. A good number of developmental disabilities don’t make themselves known until childhood and beyond.

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  140. 140
    burnspbesq says:

    So apparently Our Progressive Betters are threatening to primary Dick Neal next year, for the heinous crime of trying to get the Ways and Means Committee’s legal and procedural ducks in a row before formally requesting Trump’s returns from the IRS, so as to maximize the likelihood of actually getting them.

    It seems obvious that said Betters have nary a clue about the statutory limitations on the use of returns made available to the taxwriting committees—although doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons seems to be irresistible to them.

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    rikyrah says:

    Beto endorsed Tim Ryan in 2016 over Nancy “My Skills Are Ridiculous” Pelosi for the Dem leadership position.

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    geg6 says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    This is wonderful news. Just wonderful.

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  143. 143
    geg6 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The nutso right is all hyped up that liberals want to kill babies who were just born. IRL, it’s about allowing parents of a terminally ill newborn to have a DNR instruction.

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  144. 144
    dimmsdale says:

    @Ohio Mom: My ‘snark detector’ isn’t working today, but the point of posting the anecdote is: “there USED to be standards, dammit!!” Also, perhaps not as clear, that public service was taken as a responsibility and a privilege. (I believe it still is, among career civil servants, but the generation I’m thinking of here, who were hyper-aware of their responsibilities as public servants, died out years ago.) After so many decades of focused civil-servant-bashing on the part of RWNJs, I would love to see a renewal of a sense of respect for people who serve the public.

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  145. 145
    Brachiator says:

    OT test. Comments not updating

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  146. 146
    geg6 says:

    @joel hanes:

    Yep. Our governor has mandated voting mechanisms with a paper record for the commonwealth. Our county has decided paper ballots are the only completely safe method, so paper ballots it is.

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  147. 147
    Zinsky says:

    A panel of judges are allowing Zervos Summers’ sexual harassment lawsuit to move forward:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/politics/new-york-appellate-court-allows-summer-zervos-defamation-suit-against-trump-to-proceed/2019/03/14/aee8b8c6-4671-11e9-90f0-0ccfeec87a61_story.html

    I know many liberals disagree with me but I think we should relentlessly bombard the American people with reminders that we have a degenerate, serial sexual molester in the White House. The Republicans did it to Bill Clinton and it forever left an impression on the American people and tainted Hillary’s candidacy in 2016.

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  148. 148
    geg6 says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    a wet-behind-the-ears chief executive

    I’m not shilling for Beto (or anyone at this point), but this is bullshit. We’ve had good presidents with loads of experience and terrible ones with same. We’ve had good presidents with little experience and terrible ones with same. The guy I consider the best president of all time had almost no government experience. It’s not about experience. It’s about temperament, intelligence, ability to communicate and ability to choose good subordinates, among other characteristics. I do not believe this trope that you have to have had years and years and years of experience at the federal level to be a good president. If that was true, Nixon would have been one of the best of all time.

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  149. 149
    zhena gogolia says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Beto’s wife looks nice.

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  150. 150
    Ohio Mom says:

    @dimmsdale: I wasn’t being snarky. Your uncle’s story was a gut punch. I imagine he wanted the extra money to take care of his family but there was a big price.

    That’s why those Greek stories live on. They are universal, and because they are universal, we or people we know get to relive them.

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  151. 151
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I’d love a link if you have one.

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  152. 152
    Gravenstone says:

    @laura:

    getting, government shrunk to bathtub drowning size made all this grifting possible

    And thus you lay their entire plan bare. This was all about making it easier for the rich to further enrich themselves, while immiserating the masses.

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  153. 153
    David Fud says:

    @joel hanes: couldn’t agree more. Please tell that to the Republicans in GA.

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  154. 154
    Ohio Mom says:

    @geg6: Beto is hardly the only one I was referring to, and Nixon, crook that he was, got a lot done, both good (EPA for one example) and very bad (screwing up the Vietnam peace process for his own ends). Because he knew the ropes.

    I don’t know who our best bet is yet.

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  155. 155
    WaterGirl says:

    @zhena gogolia: I was thinking the same thing as I watched the video. Whenever I have had occasion to see her in a video, she comes across as a genuinely nice person.

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David Fud: Just follow the Oregon voting system. Paper ballots read by machines.

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  157. 157
    Procopius says:

    @David Fud: Paper ballots, marked by hand, counted by hand in public. Not all that inexpensive, but absolutely hacker-proof. They’ll never accept it for that reason, but the excuse thay always give is, “We can’t afford it.”

    ReplyReply

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