Open Thread for Thursday, August 22, 2019

Hardee

We’re overdue for one of these:

  1. Trump now thinks he’s God. Or at least the Chosen One — There are news stories about his embracing the idea of being the Second Coming, but you might enjoy reading Alexandra Petri on the subject instead. Or Gail Collins… Actually, I feel sorry for these satirists. How can you exaggerate this guy for comic effect? They try, but it’s not easy. He’s always determined to outdo any joke anyone can make about him.
  2. … and he is wroth, very sore, at his Chosen People — The way our first Transactional President thinks, he has done things to pander to supporters of Israel, so Jews should be slavishly loyal to him. You know, like the evangelicals. Every day, we learn more about the depths of this man’s ignorance. As one pro-Israel Jew put it, “In reality, what matters most to us are the exact values that the president is spending his term trashing. We care about equality and justice, and we embrace the notion that this is a nation of immigrants and opportunity for all.”
  3. Ransomware Attacks Are Testing Resolve of Cities Across America — I thought I’d throw in a piece about something real happening in the world, since Doug will dismiss my first two items as “just words.” But wait. This is happening in cyberspace, right? So it’s only happening virtually
  4. What Rep. Abigail Spanberger learned after clashing with progressives — She learned they were a bunch of vindictive loonies, basically. Remember my piece about Mikie Sherrill the other day? Well, Rep. Spanberger is a fellow moderate Democrat who also served her country before running for office (in her case, in the CIA). The two women have D.C. apartments on the same floor, and walk to work together. Anyway, I urge you to read about her and the other Democrats who matter, and stop doing Donald Trump’s bidding by focusing on the Squad, who are not representative of the Democratic Party. (If they were, the Dems would not now hold the House.)
  5. Sanders to unveil $16tn climate plan, far more aggressive than rivals’ proposals — Translated from The Guardian‘s own special dialect of headlinese, “$16tn” means 16 trillion dollars. (It took me a moment to suss that out.) But Bernie’s not worried a bit, because he has an economist advising him who tells him we can just keep printing more money.
  6. The road to ignominy is paved by John Hardee — Does this guy get up in the morning thinking, I’m not in enough trouble yet. I should do something else? Meanwhile, Katrina Shealy wants to end the practice of naming roads after living people. Good luck. I’ve been advocating that for almost three decades.

55 thoughts on “Open Thread for Thursday, August 22, 2019

  1. Doug Ross

    Something Trump did versus said:

    “President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that forgives all student loan debt for any permanently disabled U.S. military veterans.

    The order, which Trump signed following a speech at the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Ky., also clears those eligible veterans from having to pay any federal income tax on the loans. Trump added that he is pressuring individual states to follow suit.”

    Good thing or bad thing?

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “Good thing or bad thing?”

      I dunno. I don’t know enough about the issue. Mark just explained a LOT more about it than I knew.

      I’m not one of these “let’s have free tuition” people. But am I for showing appreciation to veterans. But does that translate to making them a special class of privilege on this point? To some extent. To this extent? I don’t know.

      My first thought, when you bring it up, is to wonder, “What do veterans already get in terms of help with college?” I know there are existing programs, but I don’t know any details. Before anything else, I’d want to know if this changes anything.

      I think the GI Bill, back in ’44, was a great idea. Not so much because of touchy-feeling reasons, as in, let’s do something for the veterans! I mean, there’s some of that, but a better reason is that it was a very smart way, I think, of kick-starting the postwar economic expansion.

      Anyway, if I were going into an editorial board meeting and this was one of the kinds of issues we were going to discuss, those are the kinds of things I’d want to kick around, and get some answers on, before we took a position.

      All of that said, I don’t think Trump goes through a lot of stuff like that. I think this is a case of, someone brought this to him, and he thought he could make himself seem like a good guy who cares about veterans. Which doesn’t make him alone among politicians, of course. But I think that’s probably as deep as it goes.

      Which means it’s almost certainly more about the optics than the relative merits of the policy. Which is kinda like being about the words, only on an emotional rather than intellectual level…

      Reply
  2. Mark Stewart

    It’s a non-issue, but a better reframing of the system. All it is is a change from an opt-in to an opt-out approach. That’s a very good thing, as severally diasabled people have much to deal with without yet more red tape. But I’m sure anyone elligable had already availed themselves of the program, so this is mostly just about optics. Absolutely it is a better way to handle it.

    It’s just so typical the way everyone rants about Executive Orders from one side of the political spectrum, and then goes for high-fives from the other side.

    Most Importantly: Trumps’s presss gaggle yesterday was straight out of Looney Tunes. Words matter.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, and speaking of words, I liked this part of the Gail Collins piece to which I referred above:

      He does seem to think of himself as something super-special. And if you listen to him answering questions without the help of a teleprompter, there is a tendency to wonder if he’s speaking in tongues.

      Take his interchange with reporters Wednesday. There were, naturally, questions about gun laws — particularly background checks. Trump had wanted to tackle that issue in a big way until he sorta didn’t. Now he’s decided the current system is already “very strong.”

      And then he elaborated. Follow along:

      “But we are going to be filling in some of the loopholes, as we call them, at the border and will be speaking about it at the border. It would be really nice if the Democrats would indeed fix the loopholes because it would be really nice. But despite that, I want to thank Mexico. They have 26,000 soldiers at our border and they’re really stopping people from coming in. So what happens is with background checks, we’re dealing with Democrats, we’re dealing with Republicans. …”

      You will notice that he seems to be mixing up the Mexican border with gun regulation. This may be because he has a godlike ability to see things that no one else can see. In his getting-on-the-helicopter Q&A with the media, he referred twice to the way his great wall has been growing by leaps and bounds. (“The wall is being built — we’re building tremendous numbers of miles of wall right now.”) Mere mortals might wonder where the heck he gets the idea that this is actually happening, but that’s because they lack his miraculous vision….

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Of course, that just makes Gail Collins seem like an intellectual snob to Trump, the kind who got good grades in school and knew the difference between lie and lay and other stupid snobby stuff.

        And it does make her that. For that matter, I know that I’m a word snob. Butcher the language the way he does, and you lose me for good — if you’re presuming to be president of the United States. The inability to put words together clearly indicates an inability to think clearly, and in this job, that’s inexcusable.

        But be assured I’m just as rough on myself. I just gave myself a good talking-to because I had initially written, “the Gail Collins piece I referenced above.”

        Turning the noun “reference” into a verb doesn’t offend my ear the way doing the same thing with “impact” does. But it’s the same sort of sin against the language, so I quickly changed it to “the Gail Collins piece to which I referred above…”

        I hope you can all forgive me my momentary lapse…

        Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Of course it doesn’t. That’s because nothing in human history has ever been “impacted” by anything else.

            :)

            I add the smiley face so that y’all think I’m good-natured about this. You might see through this charade if you’d ever heard me yelling it at my radio when driving alone.

            NPR provides its platform to a lot of people who think “impact” can be a verb…

            Reply
      2. Doug Ross

        Do you realize how many words are written about every single sentence that comes out of Trump’s mouth? One word recently (airport) generated literally millions of words and thousands of tweets.

        Who are you trying to convince at this point that Trump makes dumb statements? What’s the point?

        Reply
      3. Scout

        I don’t know how to insert a picture or I would but there is a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where they discuss this. In the final panel Calvin says, “verbing weirds language” and Hobbes replies, “Maybe we can make language a complete impediment to understanding. ” Calvin appears to be a fan of verbing.

        Reply
  3. bud

    1-2. I’m getting pretty weary of all these Trump said something kooky stories. Is Trump a dangerous, bizarre, maybe crazy nincompoop? Absolutely. That is WELL established. Do additional examples of his nincompoopery change anything? Not as long as there are at least 40 Republican senators. Instead let’s talk more about the economy. That is what will decide Trump’s fate.

    4. Spanberger and Sherill are both welcome additions to the big Democratic tent. So are AOC and Omar. These factions will clash on occasion. But to suggest we should pay attention to one end of the political spectrum and not the other is folly. Both are important. Democrats should not pay any attention to the hapless false equivalency crowd.

    5. If $trillions is what is needed then we just need to find that money. The fate of the planet is at stake. We absolutely must be good stewards of this planet if it is to survive. A good start would be to halve the bloated military budget. The $trillion annual outlay for that is not necessary for our security. If we continue to mess around with the looming catastrophe of global warming will it really matter if we have good infrastructure or health care?

    6. I think Hardee must be having some type of dementia issues. These articles just don’t reflect the man I know.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “Is Trump a dangerous, bizarre, maybe crazy nincompoop? Absolutely.”

      Yes, and what you miss is that there still some Americans who don’t get that, and until they do, reporters have a profound responsibility to keep reporting the things he says.

      It’s gotta sink in sometime, right? I said, RIGHT?…

      Reply
    2. Doug Ross

      Did you know him during the years when he was ALLEGEDLY taking bribes? It was a long period.

      If it’s dementia, that explains why he was able to serve in a government job for so long.

      Reply
  4. Doug Ross

    A Guardian op-ed nails the current state of the Biden campaign.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/23/joe-biden-inspires-no-one-not-even-his-own-wife?__twitter_impression=true

    Much like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.

    That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      The Guardian? I enjoy reading The Guardian sometimes — I read it pretty much every day when I visited England — but it has a worldview that makes me think the writers live on Pluto or something. It doesn’t have a very Earthbound feel.

      And as for this: “You might not like Joe Biden.” How can anyone not LIKE Joe? Disagree with him maybe, quibble with him about this or that, but how do you not LIKE him?…

      Anyway, the point is absolutely correct. “your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.” Absolutely. So stop fantasizing about electing this week’s most popular socialist or whatever. Nominate Joe, and let’s beat Trump…

      Reply
      1. bud

        For the millionth (or is it billionth) time Joe Biden may NOT, repeat NOT be the best candidate to beat Trump. You accept that as an article of a faith. It just is NOT the case. There are many, many liberal Democrats who will NOT vote for Biden. Biden is chock full of negatives. You don’t or won’t see them but remove that neo-con filter for a second and you’ll see the risks. Let’s sort out the polling before we go down this rathole.

        Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          Any of the top 10 Democrats would be within + or – 3% nationally of Trump. The question really is who has the least chance of blowing it Hillary style? Biden has the highest potential to screw this up out of all of them.

          And it comes down to the basic question – is America going to rally around a “safe” pick with nothing to offer substantially to Democrats besides “Not Trump”? Are Democrats on board with 4 or 8 more years of “At Least It’s Not Trump?” Trump won’t have any problem with voter turnout in HIS base. Whether it is enough to win remains to be seen. But I can see a lot of Democrats assuming someone else will make the effort to get out and vote for Joe… and we’ll see a repeat of 2016.

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            You’re making Joe sound awfully good to me.

            You have to understand, I’m one of these people in the middle. Unlike people on the left and right, I don’t have these ideologically ambitious things that I want the government to do. I don’t want the government to be mean to immigrants, the way Trump’s fans do, and I don’t want it to provide free college tuition.

            I just want everything to calm down, for the government to tick along doing the things it’s supposed to do, without making a fuss about it, and for a return to normal relations with the rest of the world. To use Obama’s phrase, I want a White House that doesn’t do stupid stuff. That would be such a huge improvement over the current situation that it would seem heavenly to me.

            I want dignity. I want calm.

            There’s a post I’ve been meaning to write, based on a story that was in the Post some days ago. The headline was, “A goal for Democrats: Make the White House boring again.”

            That sounds great to me…

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Riffing on what I just said (“I want dignity. I want calm.”)…

              As I type those words, I picture Obama, who embodies those traits.

              The fact that we had one of the most dignified presidents in our history just before the current horror makes it all seem so much worse. I’m thinking back, and who can compare to Obama in that department? Ike? FDR? Lincoln, definitely (although a lot of his contemporaries didn’t think so — his Secretary of War, Stanton, couldn’t STAND the way he was always cracking jokes). As much as anything else, Washington was all ABOUT dignity.

              But Obama’s right up there…

              Reply
              1. Doug Ross

                Obama had dignity and nothing else. You need dignity combined with action. Mayor Pete and Tulsi Gabbard each come across as very calm, rational people. But they also bring new ideas and new energy to the table. I’d love to see one of them win. You’d get Not Trump but also have a chance to see real change that Democrats are asking for.

                Reply
                1. bud

                  Obama was both a good steward of the environment and he pulled us out of the great recession. He got us mostly out of Iraq. And got us off to a good start bringing health insurance to all. Plus he was dignified and there were zero scandals during his tenure. I rate his presidency an A. The drone thing and failure to close Gitmo keeps him from getting an A+.

                2. Brad Warthen Post author

                  This is patently untrue:

                  “Obama had dignity and nothing else.”

                  But of course, even if it WERE true that he had nothing else, I’d jump at the chance to have him back, just for the dignity…

            2. bud

              You have to understand, I’m one of these people in the middle.
              -Brad

              LOLOLOLOL
              Seriously, is that how you see yourself? What you are is an extremist on some liberal issues AND some conservative issues. I guess you could say the two average out to “middle”. You were about as extreme as anyone I know on the whole Iraq war debacle even suggesting it was a good idea even if we had known WMD were NOT in Iraq. Then you pushed for single payer health insurance years ago. And you oppose the death penalty. You support zero exceptions except life of the mother in banning abortion. You supported blue laws long past the time they were tenable. Heck you even suggested a return to prohibition!! Sorry Brad you are in no way shape or form someone in the middle. But it gave me a good laugh so good for you.

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                That’s what people call it, bud. It’s an imperfect term, but when people are comfortable with neither the left nor the right, they are referred to as being in the “middle.”

                Another way to look at it is that I’m a REAL conservative, an instinctive Tory. What I’m saying above is that I’m not trying to change the world, either the way the left or the right wants to do it. I just want things to calm down and have our government do its job, as normally and calmly as possible: Keep the national parks open. Look to our national security. Track hurricanes. Build and maintain roads. And so forth.

                By the way, there was absolutely nothing extreme about my position on Iraq. I was right there with other center-left (Tom Friedman, The New Republic, The Washington Post) and center-right (the neocons) people. And yes, Bud, the neocons are centrists, properly understood. They are liberals who became alienated from the Democratic Party over Vietnam and other matters bearing on national security. (They didn’t so much leave the left as the left left them. Their views tended to be consistent with those of FDR, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson.)

                You say, “even suggesting it was a good idea even if we had known WMD were NOT in Iraq” as though there’s something strange about having a motive other than WMD. It wasn’t. The WMD were NOT the reason for going into Iraq. We needed to remove Saddam. He was unfinished business. We had kept him in his bottle for 12 years, but he continued to be a problem.

                I was always open about that. Not finding the WMD was a problem, and a BIG one, because too many advocates of the invasion talked it up as though it was the reason. That was a mistake, although no one knew it at the time, since everyone knew Saddam had in recent history not only possessed but USED WMD, and it wasn’t reasonable to think he wouldn’t have them anymore.

                But for me, and I think for the neocons, it wasn’t THE reason to take action against Saddam. So no, not finding WMD did not negate the rationale for the invasion. But it DID cause public support to evaporate, and that made it a huge problem…

                Reply
                1. Mr. Smith

                  “I just want things to calm down and have our government do its job, as normally and calmly as possible: Keep the national parks open. Look to our national security. Track hurricanes. Build and maintain roads. And so forth.”

                  I expect 99% of the voting public would agree. But those demands aren’t adequate. Because the underlying meanings that hold society together, allow government to operate and democracy to function properly are being challenged and undermined. As described in a recent article, the media landscape offers one example of how this is happening:

                  “The once-powerful platforms of the old media helped hold together the old associations between images, words, feelings, meanings. They were able to govern a consensus of acceptability and normality based on their domination over the means of information production—or, to put it more simply, they acted as gatekeeper to what people talked about and how they did so. If these paternalistic old media bastions still stood, then one would most likely see a new normal settle eventually after this period of crisis and contest. But the new modes of instant, constant digital connection have abolished their authority; there is no barrier to entry policed by a gatekeeper, and anyone can jump into the fray at any moment. There were always battles of ideas, especially at times when anciens régimes collapsed. Today, though, the battle is not a structured affair with common rules and clear victories, but an all-out war of all against all with no discernible end-point.”

                  The little regard the current US president has for the truth is another example and symptomatic of the broader destabilization of meaning that results in an increased inability to make sense of things, pursue reasoned argument – and ensure that government does its job.

                2. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Yep, that’s the situation. And it can sound pretty hopeless: “Today, though, the battle is not a structured affair with common rules and clear victories, but an all-out war of all against all with no discernible end-point.”

                  So, with that to look forward to… just calming down awhile looks pretty good…

                3. Mark Stewart

                  I’ve been reading about England in the late 1500s and through the 17th century. Instructive is probably a better word than comparable to our current times.

                  Did you know that “Tory” was a derisive term for a Royalist, one which supplanted the earlier “Cavalier” – a noble dandy?

                  The problem with conservatism is it presumes a past perfect state. But there never was such an acadia outside of rearview ideas, thoughts and visions. Life has always been messy and evolving. We have, as a species, found this progress to be more beneficial then not; we (as a mass) tend to forget that it is more likely, and more fruitful, to work toward a better future. Conservative seems better cast as the idea that progress should be evermore equitable and liberty and freedom more justly distributed across humanity.

                  Sometimes socieity’s entropy veers towards chaos, and this lunacy can be birthed from either end of the spectrum – and usually when both ends spin out of control at the same time. England experienced the crash of two different forms of conservatism, and they got Oliver Cromwell for a while. We would be well served to learn from the past and rethink our conception of what conservatism entails. Personally, I would rather see an openness to continual improvement vs. the Tory/Conservative cry for Brexit.

                4. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Tory, High Tory, Jacobite — all those have very specific historical meanings that are a bit hard to apply to the present day. As you say, those times are more instructive than comparable.

                  The usual way I put it is that I have a sort of “Tory sensibility.” I have an instinctive affinity for tradition. I’m very fond of the character Jack Aubrey in those books I’m always talking about. Jack has that sort of sensibility, a huge respect for such things as “the immemorial custom of the service.” O’Brian often says of Jack’s sailors that “It was what they were used to, and they liked what they were used to.” At the same time, my political views probably hover somewhere between his and Stephen Maturin’s, the former Irish revolutionary.

                  I don’t “presume a past perfect state.” But I see what’s good in the present (or the just-now-past, as in “pre-2016”) and want to stop it from slipping away from us.

                  My whole life, we’ve had a good consensus among our political leaders about what IS (not WAS) good about America, and a dedication to preserving it and passing it on to future generations. I grew up in an America that was the greatest hope of humanity, especially in the postwar world, and that at the same time was eager to confront and fix anything that failed to live up to our highest ideals. An America that had a definite, dynamic culture that was welcoming to the alien, and willing to enfold elements of other cultures as well (which was seen as a good thing before it started getting attacked as “appropriation”).

                  It was (and is) a country that cares about people beyond its own, welcoming strangers at home and willing to fight for the rights of others anywhere in the world. THAT is something that I see melting away, and in need of shoring up. It’s not a “past perfect state,” it’s a recent past state that was never fully satisfied, that was always ready to struggle to make things better.

                  It was a country that cared more about the ideals we shared than the things that divide us.

                  Maybe it was too good to last. But I don’t think so…

              2. Harry Harris

                “Conservative” is another of those adjectives I wish had not morphed into nouns in common usage. I sometimes ask my self-described conservative friends just what it is they want to conserve. I like it much better as an adjective, describing the person rather than defining him or her. I’m the same way about Baptist and Methodist and Catholic. As Carlyle Marney put it, I’m a Baptist Christian. Baptist describes me, but doesn’t define me. It doesn’t limit my tendencies to see myth or fable as such or to extend full brotherhood to my not-dunked Christian friends, or rail against the exclusion of women from any position in the church where they are needed.

                Reply
                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Absolutely. These adjectives should NOT be used as nouns. They redefine us, from three-dimensional human beings to flat, limited caricatures.

                  A person can be both “liberal” and “conservative.” They are fine words that describe good qualities. But when one becomes A conservative, or A liberal, he is diminished…

      1. Bill

        An album-length collaboration between Jack Logan and Weird Summer frontman Bob Kimbell, Little Private Angel heralds a creative breakthrough for both participants, with each seemingly inspiring the other on to new musical heights. The joint venture proves so ideal because it plays to the strengths of both, with Kimbell contributing the tunes and Logan adding the lead vocals and lyrics; the latter’s boozy croon and somber lyrics have never before been couched in such fully fleshed pop melodies, while the former’s songs have never supported the kind of vocal and verbal gravity that are Logan’s stock in trade. Even the right emotional balance is struck, navigating deftly between the lighthearted (“Frozen Rope” is an evocative baseball narrative, while a musical quote from “Leader of the Pack” distinguishes the title track) and the downcast (the pathos of the opening “Four Men in a Car” cuts with vivid intensity, and the desperation of “Nerves of Steel” is similarly palpable); equally noteworthy are Logan and Kimbell’s harmonies, which make even the record’s grittiest moments easy to swallow. Here’s hoping their paths cross again soon.
        4.5 stars AMG

        Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          Huh.. my impression was poor man’s Simon and Garfunkel without the vocal or lyrical ability. Repetitive, whiny acoustic bleating about nothing… 0.5 stars (.5 for at least only being 2 minutes instead of 4).

          Reply
          1. Bill

            Jack Logan has never been very commercially successful,but is a highly respected songwriter’s
            songwriter and has been for many years…

            Reply
  5. bud

    In an attempt to start a semi-civil conversation I’d just like to ask a pretty basic question. Article 1 Section 8 reads in part as follows:

    The Congress shall have power
    To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
    To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    I’d really love to hear Bryans take on this. How is it that our current president is imposing tariffs (essentially the same as Duties) on Chinese goods? What if Walmart or whoever does the collecting simply refuses to collect the tariff? Just don’t see how this is constitutional? I guess it has something to do with some type of emergency power but seriously what IS the emergency that essentially removes congress from it’s article 1 power?

    Reply
    1. bud

      Just to stay ahead of the “Obama or Clinton did it” responses I include instances of them doing stuff like this as questionable also. Just seems like a very clear cut and straight forward wording.

      Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        “Legality
        U.S. Trade Balance and Trade Policy (1895–2015)
        Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States of America states, that “Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises”. But Congress has repeatedly shifted its powers regarding tariffs to the president.[50] Beginning in 1917 with the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 the president can impose any tariff while the nation is at war. The affected trade does not have to be connected to the ongoing war. Since 1974 the Trade Act of 1974 allows the president to impose a 15% tariff for 150 days if there is “an adverse impact on national security from imports.” After 150 days the tariff expires unless extended by Congress. In 1977 the International Emergency Economic Powers Act shifted powers even more towards the White House. The Trump administration claims that it gives the President the authority to raise tariffs without any limits during a national emergency of any kind. Legal scholars disagree because the IEEPA does not mention tariffs at all and transfers no authority of tariffs towards the President.[51]”

        Reply
        1. bud

          The key word here is “emergency”. Seems like if POTUS wants to raise tariff’s he should go to congress. Even IF it is a bona-fide emergency.

          Reply
  6. Doug Ross

    Monmouth National Poll for Democrats:

    The question that was asked:
    I know the 2020 election is far away, but who would you support for the Democratic nomination for president if the candidates were the following? [INCLUDES LEANERS] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

    Results:

    Aug19 Jun19 May19
    ———————————-
    Bernie Sanders 20% 14% 15%
    Elizabeth Warren 20% 15% 10%
    Joe Biden 19% 32% 33%

    Biden lost 13 points in two months… which appears to have split between Warren and Sanders.

    There is no indication that he has any momentum or floor for his support.

    Reply
    1. Bob Amundson

      I suggest taking this poll as seriously as the polls that had Hillary Clinton winning in 2016. The sample size is 800, the margin of error is 6%. I do agree Biden needs to campaign better, to do more than promote himself as the candidate who can beat Trump. The trend seems to show him slipping, but only time (and more polling and meta-analysis of the polls) will tell.

      Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          Has there been ANY good sign for Biden this summer? Any indication that he is solidifying his support? I know he’s done a lot of fundraisers with rich Democrats in the Hamptons.. but does he have any interest in a ground game or media blitz?

          Trump vs. Warren or Sanders is probably Trump’s best hope. But I don’t think he’s too worried about Biden.

          Reply
          1. Doug Ross

            Looks like Joe will be holding 4 town halls in the next two days in SC – Rock Hill, Gaffney, Spartanburg, Greenville. Will be interesting to see how much enthusiasm he gets.

            Reply
          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            I don’t know about good signs or bad signs. I just know that Biden’s it — he’s the choice before us. I can’t see going any other way.

            People say, but what if it’s not Biden? And I turn and look at the rest of the field, and shake my head and turn back and say, “It’s gotta be Biden. That’s it.”

            If he lost or dropped out, that would be it. I guess at that point I’d be hunkering down to try to ignore politics entirely until Trump’s second term is over….

            Reply
            1. Doug Ross

              So apparently we have a second Chosen One.

              You should probably get your head around Joe not being the nominee. There is very little evidence to suggest he will be there next November. If he finishes 3rd or worse in Iowa and NH, then he’ll have to win SC or be done. His Joe-mentum will be about as strong as Lieberman’s was back in the day/

              Reply
  7. Doug Ross

    Another day, another senior moment for Joe Biden.

    A false story about pinning a medal on a soldier in Afghanistan.

    According to the Washington Post article:

    “This is the God’s truth,” Biden had said as he told the story. “My word as a Biden.”

    Except almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect. Based on interviews with more than a dozen U.S. troops, their commanders and Biden campaign officials, it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-he-campaigns-for-president-joe-biden-tells-a-moving-but-false-war-story/2019/08/29/b5159676-c9aa-11e9-a1fe-ca46e8d573c0_story.html

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