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December 14, 2018

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i can't wait to send several hundreds of dollars to McCready, the second the do-over election starts.

The first question for me will be: does Harris get re-nominated? If, as I understand North Carolina has just mandated, a new election has to include a new primary as well. He's pretty obviously damaged goods -- that's why the new law to force a primary was passed, after all.

But certainly the DCCC, with only one race to look at rather than 400+, ought to be ready to wade in big time on GOTV efforts. After all, it's pretty clear than what we are looking at here is a swing district.

does Harris get re-nominated?

If the good (R) folks of NC-9 want to give him another go, far be it from me to stand in their way.

A re-do is admittedly better than rubber-stamping fraudulent results, but still better would be disqualifying the cheater and awarding the seat to his opponent by default. "No harm, no foul, let's just do it over" is like taking the money back from an embezzler and leaving it at that.

Now about "evangelicals". Like "conservatives", I'm sure they come in many flavors. I doubt there's a law restricting who can call himself an "evangelical". Still, all evangelicals must have some precepts in common -- precepts that differentiate them from other Christians. I always thought their defining precept is that they must evangelize: they must not content themselves with their own salvation but must also undertake to save everybody else. If you're not going to bug your friends and neighbors to hear The Good News, what kind of an evangelical are you?

--TP

Pastor Harris (on his knees): O Lord, shall I hire this crook to fix the election?
God (who answers prayers): Yes, obvs
Pastor Harris: Lord, you know that if elected I'll have more power to bring lost souls to you
God: Yes, I'm omniscient. And it's ok to flout election law if you're an evangelical Republican.
Pastor Harris: Blessed be the name of the Lord

cause clearly an omnipotent deity needs to hire an ex-felon ratfncker to get the job done, amirite?

The Republican party is full of stupid crooks. Who keep getting elected. Stupid crooks. NOt smart ones. Stupid ones. And they keep getting elected and even poll well with R base voters.

Re: a different Republican crook. I've been thinking a bout the values and principles a [person has to give up to be a Republican:

fiscal conservatism
respect for the rule of law
respect for the law itself
respect for facts
respect for the Constitution and representative government


Liindsay Grahm just said that there was nothing wrong with Trump lying about the payoffs, so apparently there no longer is a need for respect for truth or truthful behavior.


I'm pretty sure this is only a partial list.

"I find myself repeatedly amazed by what is going on in North Carolina."

Why?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTVuSVG9DKA

Why?

Perhaps because I've never seen Groundhog Day...?

Graham has also recently said, of the testimony of Secs. Mattis and Pompeo on the Khashoggi affair, that "if they were in a Democratic administration, I'd be all over them for being in Saudi Arabia's pocket".

But of course IOKIYAR.

I want every "pro-life" commenter here to tell me who I should blame for the death of the 8-year-old Guatemalan girl:

1) a just and vengeful god;
2) the loathsome reptile in the White House
3) the loathsome reptile's deplorable head of "Homeland Security"
4) her sadistic border agents
5) the father who tried to bring her to this "Christian" country for refuge
6) every voter who lusted after tax cuts and "pro life" judges

That's everybody I can identify in the chain of command. I leave out Satan, because only good Christians believe in him.

--TP

Why, when they are winning the argument, do some Democrats think it acceptable to do stupid shit like this ?
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/new-jersey-gerrymandering-plan-bad.html

Tony, although there are (it seems) many actively evil guys among those border agents, it is sufficient to simply not care for the people given into one's custody for things like that to happen. The effect of gross negligence and active mistreatment can easily be the same. I have no idea whether the victim was actively denied access to water by an individual agent, by order of a superior or whether the one responsible forgot or did just not care to ask, if water was needed.
There should be consequences in any case but more, if malice can be shown.
(Cynic that I am, I do not expect much or, if the maltreatment was encouraged from above, that the fall guy will not be the one really responsible).

So George Pell has been convicted of abusing 2 choirboys, although the news is blocked in most of the world:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/a-top-cardinals-sex-abuse-conviction-is-huge-news-in-australia-but-the-media-cant-report-it-there/2018/12/12/49c0eb68-fe27-11e8-83c0-b06139e540e5_story.html?utm_term=.a08aed7cb549

I credit the wonderful Tim Minchin for alerting me (and millions of others) to this issue. His single "Come Home Cardinal Pell" raised enough money to send 15 abuse survivors to Rome to hear Pell's evidence, after he had successfully argued he was not well enough to go back to Australia to testify about what he knew (not at that stage what he did). Art in the cause of justice - it works sometimes.

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

Tony P.

As a member of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, i'd like to answer. We are a national established church. The reason why there is "evangelical-Lutheran" in the name is that there have been two establisshed churches aince 1809. The other is the Orthodox Church of Finland, with rather small membership.

Because there were two established churches, it was necessary for our church to adopt a name. "Evangelical" means is Germany roughly the same as "Lutheran", and "Lutheran" was added for clarity and to make it clear we are not "reformed" or allied with them, like the Prussian Evangelical church.

So, in Europe, it is quite possible to be "evangelical" without pestering people all the time. In a country with an established church, the custom is to assume that your neighbour is a good, faithful Christian unless he absolutely states otherwise. So, if everyone around you is already a good Christian, there is no reason to go around preaching to the choir.

re: NJ gerrymandering.

Why? Because IOKIYAR means that the only way to reform stuff like this is if DEMS do it.

Similarly, want torture to be really, truly put back in the box of "never ever even THINK of doing this sh!t"? Torture domestic terrorist to find their connections with the their GOP fellow travelers, the follow the connections and wrap up the whole loathsome bunch.

If they didn't want to be tortured to the point of organ failure, they never should have opened that box.

Why, when they are winning the argument, do some Democrats think it acceptable to do stupid shit like this ?

Why? Because there are always some who have little faith that they can win without cheating. Especially if the other guy is cheating. And in some kinds of contests, that may even be true.

Then there are the folks who are motivated strictly by revenge. Not to mention those who, having talked up "turn about is fair play", feel like they have to deliver.

Either one is foolish. But we have watched voters who just want to thumb their noses at "the establishment", while caring nothing about the means to that end, elect Trump and pass Brexit. Just because an action is counterproductive is no guarantee some folks won't jump at the chance.

Speaking of the peril reflected in "Be careful what you wish for; you might get it", we have this out of Texas late Friday night.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/federal-judge-in-texas-rules-obama-health-care-law-unconstitutional/2018/12/14/9e8bb5a2-fd63-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html

Republicans in Congress, not to mention the state AGs pushing for this, must be relieved that they dodged a bullet. Consider if the decision had come down before the election. The blue wave we actually saw would have been a ripple in the sink by comparison.

Of course now Republicans in Congress are faced with actually coming up with the wonderful, marvelous alternative they have been promising for a decade. Good luck with that.

My prediction: we'll see just what we saw with NAFTA -- something with a couple of tiny (microscopic even) tweaks, but a new brand name. Well, at least their base will be ecstatic that it won't be called Obamacare.

And in some kinds of contests, that may even be true.

Right there, wj, you let the cat out of the bag.

The question of 'cheating' and 'political violence' is a fascinating one. When it is 'justified'? There are no clear rules.

What should be done in response to the Wisconsin GOP coup? Just suck it up? Whine and moan about how unfair it is? Have the new governor declare martial law, outlaw the GOP, and round up GOP legislators and detain them?

These lines are usually quite blurry. At what point is the opposition entitled to take up arms? Is violent opposition justified now in Hungary? Poland? Turkey?

I would say, "You know, it could be". My reservations would be based on a practical assessment of the availability of other less disruptive means, and the probability of success, not trotted out moral nostrums.

But, as they say, your mileage may vary.

The question of 'cheating' and 'political violence' is a fascinating one. When it is 'justified'? There are no clear rules.

Just to be clear, I didn't say (certainly I didn't intend to say) that cheating was justified. All I was saying is that sometimes, in the short run, it may "work".

What should be done in response to the Wisconsin GOP coup? Just suck it up? Whine and moan about how unfair it is? Have the new governor declare martial law, outlaw the GOP, and round up GOP legislators and detain them?

I'd say the right approach would be to do exactly what the new Governor is, as I understand it, planning to do. Take them to court and get the new laws voided. And, dare I suggest, get an injunction putting them on hold until the case is decided.

And if the case fails? I confess I haven't worked thru that yet. But I think we're guite a ways from needing to answer that question. If, indeed, we ever need to.

Obviously, taking them to court would be a first step. However, if the laws were passed "legally" (i.e., not traducing the Wisconsin State Constitution) then upon what grounds would they be voided? If the initial laws were passed by previous legislatures, why can they not be reversed?

The problem here is a blatant attack on the spirit of the law and governing norms, not its letter. The creeping (and now accelerating) dismantling of democracy in Hungary offers a lesson here.

It is at this point that things can get dangerous, and "tit for tat" measures become justified, because otherwise you are just telling the other side that you will lay down and take it and hope for a better day...

....which may never come.

I confess I haven't worked thru that yet.

Indeed. That's my point.

what happened in WI, just as it was when it happened in NC, is legal. gerrymandering, too.

don't like it? elect saints.

A thoughtful and civilised interview with a Tory minister defending the Brexit deal.
Whether or not you agree with him, it is a great shame there are not more politicians of similar character...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c5meNt0NRYo

Definitely not. Saints tend to be terrible in positions of authority. Either they are too meek to get anything done or they try to impose their perfection on others, if need be by force.
Not to forget that the list of official saints contains a lot of absolutely horrible guys that the world would have been better off with martyring prenatally (or in the case of the likes of St.Augustine taken away from their mothers at birth to prevent their minds getting poisoned by them).

don't like it? elect saints.

Even if we dismiss Hartmut's point, Republicans are foreclosing that possibility.

elect saints

Allow me to point out that "saints" was the colloquial term for Mormons in the 19th century West. Elect people like Romney? OK. But people like Hatch? Not seeing that as a step forward.

I haven't watched the Rory Stewart interview, but I'm reminded of an FT interview he did a few years ago:

“It’s like they’re coming in and saying to you, ‘I’m going to drive my car off a cliff. Should I or should I not wear a seatbelt?’ And you say, ‘I don’t think you should drive your car off the cliff.’ And they say, ‘No, no, that bit’s already been decided – the question is whether to wear a seatbelt.’ And you say, ‘Well, you might as well wear a seatbelt.’ And then they say, ‘We’ve consulted with policy expert Rory Stewart and he says …’”

The Texas judge's argument seems to be that, since Congress took away the fine which backed up the mandate, then there is no mandate and therefore nothing else including Medicaid expansion. Even for rightwingers that seems to be a pretty flakey ruling. I don't think the SC will uphold it. It could make a difference in some governor's races, though since the lawsuit was brought by governors. I hope it makes a difference..

I haven't noticed much crowing about the ruling except from Trump.

"that seems to be a pretty flakey ruling"
and
"I haven't noticed much crowing about the ruling except from Trump."

two great tastes that go together.

Sounds like that Fed. judge (who, it seems has a *history* of flaky rulings) is angling for Trump's next Supreme Court pick.

It remains to be seen if he's 'rapey' enough for Trump to really get behind.

I don't think the SC will uphold it.

Yeah, CJ Roberts has gone to considerable effort to shepherd the ACA through the various challenges to it, including sending a fairly blunt message down to the Circuit courts to stop trying to kill it. I don't see him changing direction at this point.

A shorter Brexit interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sGH_v1mDEE

https://www.nj.com/politics/2018/12/jersey-democrats-cancel-vote-on-controversial-redistricting-plan.html

Or the folly of trying to do the thing you've already accused others of doing. Of course, the big difference here is that "The Left" actually came out against the effort, even though it was Democrats (i.e. their "side") who were trying to do it.

So any "both sides do it" arguments won't really hold much water, IMO.

If the state legislators in New Jersey (or Wisconsin, or anywhere else) were seriously interested in doing right by voters, they could just take redistricting out of their hands and create an independent, non-partisan redistricting commission. We've tried it, and it can work.

Not quite an indictment. But definitely a precedent leaning in that direction.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2018/12/16/police-officer-who-arrested-president/

Trump: pushing the rest of us to learn little bits of history.

We've tried it, and it can work.

California is still pretty heavily gerrymandered though perhaps not as much as it would otherwise be. And non-partisan redistricting commissions can be subjected to partisan influences.

"'Redistricting Should Be Boring'

In their attempts to prevent partisan redistricting, many states have created "independent commissions" that empower supposedly disinterested members of the general public to craft maps, or at least to give input to the legislature.

Those efforts have had mixed results, with biases often managing to infiltrate a supposedly nonpartisan process. In California, for example, a highly touted "citizens commission" redrew congressional district lines in 2011, but a ProPublica investigation revealed that Democratic activists and labor unions had secretly packed the body to influence the outcome.

​Even when they are not consciously sabotaged, citizens commissions don't do a very good job of un-gerrymandering districts. Researchers from Yale and the University of California, Los Angeles compared a set of 1,473 proposed district maps from 13 states where citizen input is part of the process against a set of maps created by computer simulations. After comparing simulated and actual election results using the different maps, researchers concluded that 77 percent of maps drawn by state lawmakers were less competitive than the computer-drawn alternatives—not very surprising, given the incentives for legislatures to create "safe" districts for incumbents. But the maps drawn by members of the general public were just as bad, with 75 percent of them being less competitive than their simulated counterparts."
Gerrymandering Is Out of Control: Computers could be the key to resolving partisan fights over congressional boundaries.

The Atlas Of Redistricting: California

California is still pretty heavily gerrymandered though perhaps not as much as it would otherwise be.

I'd be interested to know what you think would be a non-gerrymandered map. And what your criteria would be for creating one.

You say (quote): "In California, for example, a highly touted "citizens commission" redrew congressional district lines in 2011, but a ProPublica investigation revealed that Democratic activists and labor unions had secretly packed the body to influence the outcome."

But if that's true, why is it that, according the the 538 article you link to, there is a substantial difference in outcomes between a "Democratic gerrymander" map and the current one? A difference which basically creates a bunch of competitive districts (which wouldn't exist in the Democratic gerrymandered map). Virtually all of which are taken from the total the Democrats could have gotten if they'd actually been in control.

You might also want to look at the mandate that created the Electoral Commission. Just to see what those folks were supposed to do -- as opposed to what you think they should have been told to do.

I thought the goal and purpose of gerrymanderers is to create "competitive" districts by lumping their opponents into as small a number of "safe" districts as possible.

Here in MA we are mostly Democrats, but we have enough Republicans to elect Republican governors often enough. Yet all our Representatives are Democrats. This suggests that our Republicans are fairly spread out around the Commonwealth.

Suppose we wanted (being fair-minded goo-goo libruls and all) to allow our Republicans to win two or three seats so that our congressional delegation better reflects the composition of our electorate. What would we have to do? I suspect we'd have to gerrymander like crazy. I suspect we'd need to draw some absolutely ridiculous district boundaries -- in the name of "fairness" or "competitiveness" or something.

--TP

Yes, the equivalence meme is nonsense - NJ progressives just killed the gerrymander:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/new-jersey-democratic-partisan-gerrymandering-amendment-is-dead-progressive-activists-killed-it.html

Suppose we wanted (being fair-minded goo-goo libruls and all) to allow our Republicans to win two or three seats so that our congressional delegation better reflects the composition of our electorate. What would we have to do?

Tony, check out this
https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/redistricting-maps/massachusetts/
(From Charles' link.) Multiple options for districts, depending on what you are trying to achieve. Including "match partisan breakdown of the electorate".

P.S. I don't think "gerrymander" really applies to cases other than when you are drawing districts to benefit your party at the expense of the other party.

Or send the top two vote-getters in each district to represent that district, splitting a legislative vote between them in proportion to the number of votes they each got. Then it doesn't really matter how you draw your districts, aside from their having (nearly) equal populations.

Thanks wj (and Charles!) for a fascinating link.

To my eye, the MA "Match partisan breakdown of seats to electorate" map is pretty damn "gerrymandered" (as I suspected) in the sense of including some ridiculously shaped districts.

I agree that your definition of "gerrymander" would only apply if the Republicans in MA somehow managed to impose that map on the Commonwealth. But if us lefties imposed it, on "fairness" grounds, it would still look ridiculous.

--TP

I tend to have a philosophical preference for "compact districts" as an approach.

I can see an argument for trying to keep communities, specifically communities of similar interests (however defined) together. I just can see a lot of difficulties for defining that kind of similarity. Compact districts at least assure us that other (i.e. specifically political) considerations were minimized.

The district?, I forget, that elected Barney Frank for a few decades was gerrymandered to do specifically that.
And it looked absurd even to those of us who lived in it. The point of it, however, may have made sense because it is hard to get 600k similar people in a district that includes the Cape.

MA-7 appears to be designed to concentrate the minority vote, and MA-3 looks like our very own rust belt.

I liked the compactness one the best. Besides being sensibly compact, it seems to align pretty well with the political leanings of the various parts of the state.

MA-1 is kinda rust-belty, too, mixed in with a lotta well-groomed Berkshire rural stateliness.

To be honest, you can find a generous amount of rust belt anywhere in New England. Even Connecticut has its share.

Perhaps oddly, other than the simple algorithmic compactness version, the least tortured map was the one 'gerrymandered' for the (D)'s.

"The district?, I forget, that elected Barney Frank for a few decades was gerrymandered to do specifically that. "

Well, MA *invented* the gerrymander, so what do you expect?

'gerrymander' is named for Elbridge Gerry, signer of the Declaration and Articles of Confederation, attendee of the Constitutional Convention, VPOTUS, and MA homeboy. I live in what was part of the original gerrymandered district.

nothing new about this stuff.

meanwhile, another Trumpie wises up.

This is why I no longer get into it with Trump supporters. At all, ever.

When it bites them on their own personal ass, they figure it out. Until then, no point in getting into it with them.

another Trumpie wises up

Not that the thought is original with me, but too bad he didn't give a sh!t until he found out that it wasn't just other people's oxen getting gored.

too bad he didn't give a sh!t until he found out that it wasn't just other people's oxen getting gored.

For some, empathy is limited to those in close proximity.

But I confess I can understand why he assume that Trumps rants about building the wall were othing but hot air. After all, 99%** of what Trump says he will do is unrelated to reality. Nasty surprise to discover that something you care about is part of the 1%.

Sort of like the folks with family members with pre-existing conditions discovering that all those efforts to appeal Obamacare, including that part, were serious. Nobody appears unhappier about Friday's court decision to repeal the whole thing that the Republican members of Congress. Who now have the choice to either leave the members of their base twisting in the wind. Or actually write that wonderful alternative they have been promising for a decade.

** OK, maybe 99.99%. But you take the point.

after we get rid of gerrymandering, we need to get rid of the lame-duck session.

You'll need dame luck for that.

Not that the thought is original with me, but too bad he didn't give a sh!t until he found out that it wasn't just other people's oxen getting gored.

But letting predatory lenders loose on economically vulnerable people is great for everyone! (Feel free to pick any similarly odious Trump-administration policy that works for you.)

I think you could make a pretty good list of some of the best things the Obama administration put into place by looking specifically at the things the Trump administration is rolling back. It would be nice if such a list identified the worst things that a previous administration had done, but we obviously can't have nice things.

I think you could make a pretty good list of some of the best things the Obama administration put into place by looking specifically at the things the Trump administration is rolling back.

Hardly surprising, since one of Trump's major motivators is hatred for Obama. And all his works, which suffer guilt by association.

The actual merits, if any, of the specific law, regulation, policy, etc. are utterly irrelevant. Indeed, you could probably get rid of something bad the Obama did, even if Trump has been embracing it, if you told him (better yet, got someone on Fox & Friends to say) that it was a notable achievement of Obama's.

The President of the United States of America lacks sufficient moral standing to be a member on a board of a non-profit according to the New York State Attorney General.

But the Clinton Foundation!

Obviously the Deep State extends past the Federal government into the state governments. At least in the blue states....

AutoCorrect, trickster god for a modern pantheon...

This seems rather acute in explaining just what is the point of Trump’s behaviour:
https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/12/old-boys-trump-kavanaugh-moonves-epstein-childish-masculinity.html

Perhaps the summary line in that article was this: "[Old Boys are] terribly scared of losing."

They are scared of losing, IMHO, because deep down they actually know that they're losers. All the bluster, all the petty cruelties, all the blaming of others, all the insatiable need for applause and for ever more (supposed) wealth? Those are just ways to help paper over that reality in their own eyes.

It would be sad, and really pathetic (which reaction would drive them to hysteria), if it weren't for the damage they do in their insecurity.

I'm beyond trying to psychoanalyze them, honestly.

three shutdowns in a year.

can we just cancel the GOP already? it's non-functional as a governing party. i get that it fulfills an emotional need for people who live to stick it to liberals, but can't y'all just do that on the TeeVee and let the adults run the goddamn government?

Is there a fund to adopt a federal worker? I saw the head of the California Republican Party insulting federal workers and I wanted to punch her out. We need to have solidarity in this fight. Obviously, with the stock market into Depression-land territory, and oldsters freaking out that we can't pay our mortgages, it's hard to be free and loose with our retirement savings, but WTF, Americans?

We have to do this.

There aren't any adults in charge on the Dem side.

The Republicans funded through normal course 75% of the government. Approve 5b for border security and shut up.

Every picture of Schumer is him smiling, this isn't anything that should be making him happy.

He knows Trump cant get anymore after Jan 3 so they figure they can shut down the government until then.

House passed it, President will sign it, this is on Schumer.

Tick tock, Marty.

three shutdowns in a year.

Not to worry. They never shut down the federal workers authorized to shoot you.

Well tick tock doesn't really matter. Nothing happens from now on anyway for two years.

Nothing happens from now on anyway for two years.

Except mortality.

Approve 5b for border security and shut up.

Explain how this is any kind of fiscally responsible.
"A billion here, and a billion there, and soon you're talking about real money." -- Senator Everett Dirksen

I'm trying to imagine the reaction if some Democrat said "Approve and shut up" about a pet project. Especially one which both lacked definition and still managed to have no chance of achieving its purported objectives with any of them. Actually, I don't have to imagine. Democrats have come up with a few that were that bad and of comparable cost (although they have not, admittedly, come close to shutting down the government over them). Let's just say the reaction did not bear noticable resemblance to "Yeah, OK. Let's just do it."

I would never support shutting down the government over 5b.

Nothing happens from now on anyway for two years.

And yet there have been several significant measures passed with bipartisan support in the past two years. Russia sanctions. Criminal penalties revision. Etc.

Seems entirely possible that something similar will come down over the way our foreign policy is being mismanaged. When you've got highly partisan Senators (from BOTH parties) comparing Trump unfavorably to Obama in public statements, actions tend to follow. That's where we got to at the end of the week.

I would never support shutting down the government over 5b.

And yet, that is what both sides have done. And since, at various times this week, Trump said he was OK with a continuing resolution, it's pretty clear where the problem is.

would never support shutting down the government over 5b.

Good for you. It's not about the money (can you understand other things?). It's about a racist wall. The "design" (although it's not real, of course) is approved by Vladimir Putin. Get it, Marty? No, you probably don't.

You will plod on until you don't. And so will we all.

Tick tock.

There I s nothing racist about the wall.

Every administration in my adult lifetime has had a policy to improve border security, there is nothing racist about a wall to accomplish that.

I question its effectiveness but that puts it on a list that includes lots of things we spend money on.

But thr Democratic leaders need to convince you that its some moral stance is why we have a shutdown.

I question its effectiveness

Hahahahahahaha.

I don't anticipate anything happening until after the new Congress is sworn in.

Then, I'm looking forward to seeing what McConnell does when the House passes and sends him a bill that is word-for-word identical to what the little-changed Senate approved unanimously two weeks earlier.

And yet, that is what both sides have done.

Please provide evidence for this claim.

There Is nothing racist about the wall.

Everything about the wall is racist.

The only reason we have a shutdown is because the GOP refuses to get rid of the filibuster for this issue, as opposed to getting rid of it for SC nominations. Any claim to the contrary is pure unmitigated bullshit.

This is a GOP/Trump shutdown. QED

Please provide evidence for this claim.

Item: The government is shut down.
Item: The difference between the funding bill that successfully passed the Senate earlier in the week, and what the House sent back to die, is $5 billion.
Item: Both sides agree that said $5 billion is the casus belli.

What more do you need? Seriously, what additional evidence would you require in order to link cause and effect?

The difference is $5b for a stupid policy. How on earth do you justify this as "both sides". What is the Dem "side" to do to make you happy? Agree to the $5b? Is that how "bothsiderism" works? How about if the GOP just dropped it?

Maybe that is just asking too much.

Yea, sure. Both sides. That is nuts.

AND AS PUT FORTH ABOVE, THE GOP COULD PASS THIS IF THEY REALLY WANTED TO. BUT YOU IGNORE THIS TO PROMOTE THE SILLY MEME ABOUT 'BOTH SIDES'.

Evidence. Indeed. Seriously.

How 'bout the GOP counters with a rational policy on the Dreamers? How about if the GOP counters with ANY kind of concession?

ANY. ANY. ANY. ANY.

I hope this point is now clear to you.

But both sides. JFC.

Approve 5b for border security and shut up.

Fuck that.

I think 'the wall' is stupid horseshit political theater intended to appeal to bigots and assholes.

So I don't want $5B of public money spent on it.

Build some schools instead. And shut up.

There was a deal on the budget.
And then Trump changed his mind (despite Republican opposition in the Senate).

I’m with Sen. Hirono over this. Blaming the Democrats is bullshit.

You know, maybe if we argue about this long enough, they will all leave.

BOTH SIDES!

Apart from being ineffective and harmful to the environment, the 'wall' is also under suspicion of being a boondoggle/scam to shift money to well-connected companies (although not directly to one owned by Trump).

No doubt that Trump has plans to profit on whatever "policies" he puts forth.

As to the citizens he's supposed to be working for, not so much.

Approve 5b for border security

the wall will cost at least five times that much. everybody knows it.

so, no.

and shut up

40 seats. the Dems won 40 fucking seats. so, um, no.

BOTH SIDES!

the first step needed to make progress as a nation from where we are right now is to turn the president's freaking TV off.

no more fox & friends, no more hannity.

then, take his mobile phone away.

The difference is $5b for a stupid policy. How on earth do you justify this as "both sides". What is the Dem "side" to do to make you happy?

What the Dems are doing IS making me happy. Because the "wall" (quotes because what it actually is keeps changing) is a piece of idiocy and always has been.

Which doesn't change the fact that, regardless of which side's position one favors, the fight is over $5 billion either way. And the government is being shut down as a result. That's all I was saying.

the first step needed to make progress as a nation from where we are right now is to turn the president's freaking TV off.

Somehow there's never a hacker around when you need one. Picture the feed of Fox & Friends replaced** by something educational. Uplifting even.

Do you suppose Sesame Street would be over the audience's head...?

** Don't think small! Don't stop with the East Wing; go nationwide! The need is greater than one man.

• First Step was officially passed
• Government shutdown
• Hemp got legalized
• Pulling troops out of Syria and Afghanistan
• Supreme Court Blocks Trump's Attempt To Change Asylum Law

It's a libertarian Christmas!

It's (kind of) an open thread, so:

RIP Paddy Ashdown, ex-leader of the Liberal Democrats and a real loss in very many ways. Plus, since he had been in the Special Services, he was also the excuse for a bon mot by the equally late, wonderful Charles Kennedy MP, which I know I have posted before, but in memoriaum for both of them:

Paddy Ashdown is the only party leader who’s a trained killer. Although, to be fair, Mrs Thatcher was self-taught.

in memoriam....

Mrs Thatcher was self-taught

She had a black belt in handbagging.

CharlesWT: It's a libertarian Christmas!

Let us rejoice that somebody is happy.

Meanwhile, let us pray for the kind of people whose heads are so far up He, Trump's ass that they can write "There is nothing racist about the wall". May Santa stuff a clue in their stocking tomorrow night.

--TP

"May Santa stuff a clue in their stocking tomorrow night."

Trump is making coal great again, it's true.

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