Friday, February 24, 2017

Overreach Can Be A Two-Way Street


Two things are likely to kill the House Republicans in the 2018 midterms: Trump and overreach by Ryan and his team. And the worst possible GOP overreach will be-- as you've probably been noticing of you've watched the news on the town halls around the country-- health care. If the far right fringe of the House Rep[ublicans-- and by far right fringe, we mean something between 65% to 80% at this point-- pushes the party to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a satisfactory replacement and tampers with Medicaid and Medicare in the directions Paul Ryan has been pushing for years, they will lose their majority no matter how lame and incompetent-- something everyone takes for granted-- the DCCC is this cycle.

It's already apparent in the grassroots resistance movement. And polling, even in deep red states like South Carolina and Texas looks bad for Trump. This new poll of GA-06 special election voters augers well for Jon Ossoff:

And The Economist/YouGov poll released yesterday is more catastrophric news for the Regime. People don't like the direction Trump and his team are moving the country:
- on the wrong track- 51%
it's everyone for themselves- 60%
US will be less respected internationally after 4 years of Trump- 42%
US will be less safe from terrorism after 4 years of Trump- 31%
uneasy about Trump's ability to handle Russia- 49%
Trump White House in chaos- 49%
Trump is dishonest & untrustworthy- 49%
Trump is unqualified to be president- 50%
Trump will get us into a war- 51%
The same poll also shows that a plurality of Americans are ready to blame the Republicans for whatever Congress does wrong. And the Trump regime's whole "Russia thing" ain't health care but it is something Americans are concerned about. Voters don't like or trust Putin and are concerned with Trump and Trump's team's coziness with him. Democrats have been attempting to get a non-partisan investigation of Trump's ties to Russia, including his business conflicts of interest. Ryan plans to have his Judiciary Committee stooge, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), kill that next week. I wonder what voters in Kenosha and Racine would think of that if they ever found out, which is very unlikely.
Seeking to avoid a full House vote on the so-called “resolution of inquiry”-- a roll call that would be particularly embarrassing and divisive for the right-- Republicans will send proposal by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to the House Judiciary Committee for a panel vote on Tuesday, two Democratic sources said. The GOP-controlled committee is expected to kill the resolution... [T]he Tuesday vote will come just a few hours before Trump will give his first address to Congress. Indeed, Democrats are fuming that Republicans are trying to bury the panel vote by scheduling it on a busy news day.

Resolutions of inquiry are rare in Congress and privileged, meaning lawmakers can circumvent leadership and force action on the floor if they’re ignored for 14 legislative days.

The resolutions can force presidents and agencies to give Congress private records. Nadler’s, for example, demands that Attorney General Jeff Sessions hand over to the Hill “any document, record, memo, correspondence or other communication” pertaining to “criminal or counterintelligence investigations” related to Trump, White House staff or his business.

Democrats have blasted Trump for failing to make a clean break from his real estate empire, accusing him of being vulnerable to conflicts of interest. They also are suspicious of his campaign’s relationship with Russia. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that top Russian officials orchestrated interference into the 2016 presidential election on Trump’s behalf.

The mark-up will likely prove awkward for Judiciary Committee Republicans who will have to block the resolution. Judiciary member and Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) just last week, for instance, faced sharp questions from constituents who accused him of steering the Oversight panel's agenda to protect Trump.

Though Chaffetz pointed to a letter he wrote around that time, calling out Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway for pitching Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during a televised interview at the White House, there’s little doubt Democrats would use the Judiciary vote against him.

Richard Eskow had some very, very cautious advice for progressives dealing with Putin-Gate and the Trump-Russia ties. Acknowledging that Putin and Trump are oligarchs who favor kleptocracy as a form of government and that both Trump and Tillerson have done business in Russia, he sets forth 11 principles about how to talk about the ugliness effectively. Some of it is incontrovertible-- "Whatever you call it, recognize that the 'deep state' is not your friend-- and some of it, alas, is less so. Here's a summary:
1. Don’t get ahead of the facts.

I don’t know yet whether Russia’s government interfered in the U.S. presidential election or not. Neither do you.

2. Don’t Putin-bait.

3. Don’t spread inaccurate or poorly sourced news.

A Clinton campaign official incorrectly said that some of the WikiLeaks emails were forged. That claim was repeated by Reid and several other prominent figures. Another inaccurate story in the Washington Post claimed that Russians had hacked into the U.S. power grid through a Vermont utility’s computer system. (The Post later retracted the report.) And a post-election poll showed that 50 percent of Hillary Clinton voters wrongly believed that Russians had hacked American voting machines.

MTV News correspondent Jamil Smith tweeted that one of Trump’s compliments for Vladimir Putin was “borderline treasonous.” But Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution defines treason quite clearly. It requires a state of war. Was Trump’s comment disturbing? Yes. Treasonous? No.

Do Democrats really want to start charging their political opponents with treason?

4. Don’t believe everything you’re told.

There are a number of unanswered questions, challenges and technical flaws regarding reports that Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee.

5. Be wary of labels slapped on media outlets.

That wouldn’t matter if the report itself was solid, but it isn’t. It’s a surprisingly slipshod piece of work that devolves in places into a thinly disguised attack on the American left, using Russia’s RT network as a springboard for condemning coverage of the Occupy movement, fracking, and “Wall Street greed.”

Those claims are undercut by the fact that RT has been heavily critical of the Republican Party for years. Its most visible political commentators are personalities like Ed Schultz and Thom Hartmann who have worked for progressive media outlets.

6. Don’t be hyperpartisan-- or hypocritical-- regarding national security.

Recently, Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign after a series of well-timed leaks showed that he had apparently concealed a conversation with the Russian Ambassador from Vice President Mike Pence.

Flynn was a horrible person, and his bigotry toward Islam would have made us less safe. But unanswered questions remain: Did Flynn break the law? If so, shouldn’t he be prosecuted? Have the leakers held back any information that might have helped him? Why, as Bloomberg national security columnist Eli Lake notes, were so many national security precedents broken in Flynn’s case? You can’t celebrate the leaks that brought Flynn down without also supporting Edward Snowden, who also performed an important public service.

7. Whatever you call it, recognize that the “deep state” is not your friend.

8. Don’t trade long-term harm for short-term political gain.

That’s why it’s shortsighted for Democratic commentators to make comments like this one, from Talking Points Memo founder and blogger Josh Marshall: “Let’s hope there’s a deep state, and if there is that they have their shit together.”

9. Remember, you could be next.

The current leak campaign against Trump offers a glimpse into the playbook that might be used against a future progressive president, if she or he dares to move against the military-industrial complex.

Recent Democratic presidents, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, supported many of the national security state’s ambitious military and budgetary ventures. But a new wave of progressives lacks that enthusiasm.

10. Keep in mind that we need to work with Russia.

Nobody benefits from escalating tensions with Russia (except the aforementioned financial interests). Russia continues to wield considerable influence in the Middle East, and it still commands the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons outside the United States. We will need to keep talking to Russia, come what may.

We can condemn Putin’s tactics and still understand that we need to negotiate with him.

11. Fight oligarchy, not each other.

These Russia claims may turn out to be true or they may turn on the ones who are peddling them. It’s like the saying goes: sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.

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At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... no... overreach is and always has been a one-way street. It goes from left to right through the horizon and it runs over 99.99% of the citizens' interests, rights and privileges. At the end is a monochromatic (white, natch) rainbow under which is the YOOOOGE pot of gold for the plut-archs to dive into and swim around.

And it's more like 95% of all of government that is driving the bus down the street over all of us on its way to the treasure.

American voters don't give a crap about Russia or putin or the fact that our elections are a sham. They don't care if Medicare and Medicaid are gashed or eliminated cuz they think those things are only for the blacks anyway. They hate obamneycare because... Obama. If Hillary had cured cancer, they'd support a law that made her cure illegal because... Hillary. -not that Hillary would cure cancer without gouging victims for her own obscene wealth-

Nazi voters have never punished anyone for being too cruel or evil or greedy or fearful of "others". They only punish for raising taxes.

Non-Nazi voters have never punished anyone for being too corrupt, neoliberal, warmongering, misogynistic, homophobic nor for too many betrayals.

And the DNC won't support anyone remotely like Pramila Jayapal when it can find some paul ryans willing to sport their blue D.

So... I'm wondering where all these voters are coming from that will flip the house? And if the house flips, so what? The senate will be R probably well after the state of florida loses 60% of its land to rising seas.

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody should doubt that the Deep State would have done at least this much to sabotage a President Sanders to deter or prevent him from implementing his agenda -- at least any part of it that posed any threat to the military-industrial-intelligence-complex?

Trump is a national nightmare, but a potential silver lining is that, if we get a Sanders (or Sanders-inspired) President in 4 or 8 years, then we will probably be lucky that the Deep State's attempts to use their anti-Trump playbook to sabotage Sanders won't surprise anybody.

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the deep state should be quite pleased with drumpf with only the exception of his butt-lust for putin.

They'll still get their war(s) in iran and probably Syria and der fuhrer has already stated we should have stolen all the oil from Iraq. They'll get their cmic buildup and the big tax cuts and dereg. They're getting their big crackdown on immigrants and their border wall. They're a little uneasy about the spying... but they like the new DNI. They'll steer the fool in the oval their way.

The deep state is indifferent to education, health and the environment. So they really don't care about overreaching oppression there. They are agnostic about prifitized prisons and, probably, legalized pot. They could not care less about the "Christian hate" issues (LGBTQ, abortion, womens' health...).
The deep state also seems indifferent to the other hate issues (racism, misogyny, islamophobia, anti-Semitism).
I doubt whether they care if Jamie dimon is in prison or not.

Don't look for the deep state to try to do away with der fuhrer. So far, he's doing just fine for them.

After Bernie so summarily turtled and then betrayed his campaign rhetoric, I have serious doubts that he'd have resisted them either. But he could have made progress in all areas about which the deep state is agnostic.

At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want a better definition of overreach? Try eight years of Obama trying to reach rational human beings on the Republican side of the Congressional aisles. No matter how many times he bashed his head against that wall and failing, he kept trying it again and again as if something was going to cause a change in results without utilizing a change in his actions.

Democrats need to stop trying to fight this political war on ground of GOP choice using GOP tactics against them.


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