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Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside (Read 448,448 times)
Joey
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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Probable bullcrap inside
Reply #4025 - Jan 21st, 2019 at 9:14pm
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...&&&&D.J. Jazzy Joe and the Fresh Prince of Boca Raton !™&& *** " VICTORY !!!! " ***...
 
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Reply #4026 - Jan 21st, 2019 at 9:20pm
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<  -------------- Some Guy   ?!   .... !!!!!!!!!!!!!   :







" Michael Barone: Will elites ever respect voters' decisions on Brexit and Trump?   .   "







https://www.omaha.com/opinion/michael-barone-will-elites-ever-respect-voters-dec...






" It was no coincidence that Donald Trump scheduled a trip to Britain to promote one of his golf courses in Scotland on June 23, 2016. That was the day of the Brexit referendum in which 52 percent of the electorate --17.4 million voters, more than any party has ever won in a general election -- voted for the UK to leave the European Union.

Then-candidate Trump's earlier endorsement of Brexit was criticized by elevated opinion as an unfriendly interference in another nation's internal affairs, although few, if any, had similarly criticized then-President Barack Obama for having urged Britons to vote "remain" and threatened that if they were to vote "leave," they would go to "the back of the queue" in seeking a free trade deal with the United States.

Thirteen months before Trump's trip and the British vote, few thought there was any possibility of a Trump candidacy or a Brexit referendum. The shock of Brexit that June and Trump's victory that November has not been fully absorbed by British or American financial, media and political elites since.

As the gifted British political analyst Douglas Murray writes in National Review: "instead of accepting the votes and trying to learn from them, elites have expended almost all their available energies trying to pretend that voters in 2016 were bad or duped. The past two years could have been spent trying to learn something or build something. Instead, the best minds of Left and Right have spent their time making claims of 'racism,' 'Russia,' and 'Cambridge Analytica.'"

The unlearning continues in both nations in these opening weeks of 2019. Here, government (actually, less than one-quarter of the federal government) is shut down over Democrats' resistance to President Trump's demand for funding the border wall -- er, barrier -- which he negligently failed for two years to obtain from the Republican-majority Congress.

Most Democratic politicians and, polls show, many Democratic voters favored border barriers before Trump's victory. Now they insist walls are "immoral" and "ineffective."

The struggle over Brexit is more complex in Britain. One thing is clear: the incompetence of Prime Minister Theresa May, against whom Trump looks like a smooth operator. May voted against Brexit, and her pledge "Brexit means Brexit" has been undermined, purposefully or by blunder, in her negotiations with the European Union.

The EU's unelected leaders are loath to see Britain leave and insisted on terms including a 39-billion pound exit fee and a binding customs union with a backstop preventing Britain from leaving without EU approval -- more like No Exit than Brexit.


May's deal was voted down last week in the House of Commons by an astonishing 432-203 vote, the biggest rebuke of a government for a century, and she survived a vote of no confidence Wednesday by a pathetic 325-306 margin.

Exactly what comes next is unclear. Under 2017 legislation, Britain leaves the EU on March 29 and, if there's no agreement with the EU, will come under the low-tariff rules of the World Trade Organization. Elites predict that this "hard Brexit" will produce dreadful economic woes. Their similar predictions after the 2016 referendum conspicuously failed to occur.

In negotiations with the EU, May squandered the leverage that the WTO alternative could provide. Now preparations are being hurriedly made by civil servants and -- with more success, one suspects -- private businesses. Diehard Brexit opponents seek to delay the March 29 leave date or stage a second referendum. But either would require parliamentary approval. And the votes last week suggest that neither May nor anyone else commands a majority in the Commons.

Diehard resistance by outraged elites, breathtaking incompetence by elected leaders: It seems to be a pattern on both sides of the Atlantic. Another similarity is the danger of a sudden empowerment of the left.

Social democratic parties have been in a prolonged slump for a decade in leading democracies, from Germany, France and Italy to Japan, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. But Britain's Labour Party has moved far to the left under its syndicalist and anti-Semitic leader, Jeremy Corbyn. And America's Democrats, politicians and voters have been moving left, from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Queens.

Perhaps the financial, political and media elites who haven't yet given up on overturning Brexit and ousting Trump might give some thought to the alternatives.

Perhaps they might even practice the acceptance that they preached to Brexit and Trump supporters before they knew the outcomes they themselves still feel no obligation to respect. "



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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Probable bullcrap inside
Reply #4027 - Jan 21st, 2019 at 9:24pm
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<  --------------- Another Friday Evening    ..................  Another Night of  ................ Wait for it !!!!!!!   .......   :







That is right .   THAT IS RIGHT !!!!!!   : 




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*********  " DRINKING WITH Xi :      Another  ' ONE - OFF '  Edition due to continued ,  CONTINUED popular and overwhelming demand  .  Poster's Note  :  Again , this new episode originates from the 1972 Kingston , Jamaica writing demos  .  Yes , Mick Taylor was present at these sessions  !!!!!!!  "   ***********






Hello Me Stonesian Brothers and Sisters    




“ CHIEFS CHAMPS OF WORLD !!!!!  “   …………………..    was the headline forty – nine years ago today   ---- and  , thanks to Tom Brady  ,  the Chiefs’ Faithful
will have to wait for the Big 50 to celebrate THAT caption again . 
     Hello Me Stoneslings  .  Well , another football season shot to sh#t with nothing else to do but watch Brady and his Patriots win one more Super Bowl
in Hot’lanta  .  Thankfully Emperor Xi arrived into town Friday Evening with a special gift     --- That is RIGHT   --- The Lagavulin 37 Year Old  [ ‘ Laga 37 ‘ ] .
Me Stoneslings ,  The Lagavulin 37 Year Old 1976 ( 2013 Special Release ) remains the oldest official Lagavulin Bottling ever emancipated and as soon as you have
the whisky on your tongue  , the experience goes on  [  ………… 37 Years was not enough to reign in THIS smoke ] . But do not take my word  , let Xi speak
for himself as he purred Friday Night at The Brazen Head :  “ One thinks the mouth explodes in a positive sense . Voluminous . The almost extinguished campfire
fills up again and the embers give off their heat more and more  . Warms the mouth  , ashes on the tongue  ; the honey from the aroma drips on the tongue and gives
the full , strong taste a slight sweetness . Now the orange peel from the aroma stimulates the salivation and the malt becomes oily as well as dry . Red Pepper spreads
from the tip of the tongue throughout the mouth . The 51% alcohol is perfect .  “    ……………………. IT IS GOOD TO BE THE EMPEROR !!!!!   
     So Friday Evening Emperor Xi and myself were at the Brazen Head VIP Section Bar  , sipping Laga 37 , pawing Bar Manager Christy and VIP Hostess Erin whilst
discussing the numerous and potential Democratic Presidential 2020 Challengers to the Great Man    --- President Donald J. Trump ( “ PRECIOUS “ Leader ! ) .
Xi remarked that he personally witnessed at least FIVE different Iowa Televised Pocahontas Campaign Advertisements Friday afternoon and asked how my cat
Buster was coping with the ever present Poca ? I remarked to the Emperor that I had to have an electrician install a specialized Pocahontas Alert Kit right next
to his Litter Box . Whenever Pocahontas appears on the television screen , he cracks open a plastic case with his kitty teeth  -- immediately releasing a miniaturized
television remote . Buster can then bite down , pick up and hold the remote in his mouth ; While pointing at the television  , he takes one of his huge paws
and clicks off the T.V.  This cost me over 1K but Buster’s Health is worth the expense   ---- he can not STAND the sight of Pocahontas and many of my neighbors
are having to pony up the same effort and expense for their pets   .    Nasty Woman !   The Emperor remarked that the Democrats ( “ THE DIMS ! “ ) are not stupid
enough to nominate Poca as their Standard Bearer and I concurred    ---- Former Vice President Joe Biden being the only potential democratic candidate who could siphon
off some of President Trump’s precious white male base  …… Indeed ,  Biden is the only individual who gives me the 2020 ‘ Shakes ‘   . 

    With that VIP Hostess Erin stopped by our side of the bar ,  gave Emperor Xi  “ THE LOOK “  , and the two of them promptly disappeared into the Robert Emmet
room for the rest of the evening    ----- with the Laga 37 in tow  , of course   Smiley   











*************************     ……………..  “  I LOVE YOU ALL !!!!!!!!!!!  “   …………….   *************************












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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Probable bullcrap inside
Reply #4028 - Jan 21st, 2019 at 9:30pm
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Reply #4029 - Jan 22nd, 2019 at 9:04pm
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<  ------ Who is THIS Scalding Hot Piece of Ass ?!  ......   She works for the Wall Street Journal  !!!!    ......      Bet she Loves President Trump !!!!   .....   I May have to start watching Morning Joe Again !  :








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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Probable bullcrap inside
Reply #4030 - Jan 23rd, 2019 at 8:41am
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gimmekeef wrote on Jan 17th, 2019 at 12:09pm:
Why would the GOP Senate vote to stop sanctions against the Russian Oligarch that directly tried to influence the 2016 election? Last I heard Russia was planning/testing new super missiles with us in mind.


The most important post in this entire thread!
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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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Reply #4032 - Jan 23rd, 2019 at 9:27pm
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" The most important post in this entire thread !  "



**************************


<  ------------- Some Guy  ,   ..........   Can we Deliver the State of the Union Address Live from the Oval Office  ?!   .......  !!!!!!!!!!!!!  :






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Reply #4033 - Jan 23rd, 2019 at 9:52pm
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<  ----------------- GIMMEKEEF   ?!    ............   !!!!!!    :










https://www.omaha.com/opinion/e-j-dionne-the-shutdown-trap-hating-government-won...




" E.J. Dionne: The Shutdown Trap: Hating government won't improve it .  "








"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.' "

Ronald Reagan's 1986 statement still invokes chuckles on the right and some nostalgia for the general good nature of his gibes.

But the sentiment behind it remains one of the most destructive forces in our politics.

If you bemoan the shutdown of so many federal agencies and regularly ask yourself why our two parties seem to be at sword's point on just about everything, you will not find an adequate explanation for our troubles in vague claims that "both sides" have become "extreme."

Our core problem is a dogmatic anti-government attitude, reflected in Reagan's quip, that arose in the 1970s and '80s. This makes it impossible for us to have a constructive debate about what government is for, what tasks it should take on and what good it actually does.

In truth, the whole anti-government thing is fundamentally fraudulent. So is the conservative claim to believe passionately in states' rights and local authority.

In practice, conservatives regularly vote for lots of government -- so long as it serves the interests they represent. Start with farm subsidies, massive defense spending, regulations that disempower unions and measures that sharply tilt the tax code in favor of corporate interests and the wealthy.

As for the power of states and localities, conservatives regularly propose federal action to override state governments that issue safety and environmental regulations that business regards as too robust. Somehow, they think we need national "consistency" on these matters but not on, say, voting rights. And right-wing state legislatures regularly pre-empt laws passed by more liberal local governments.

Hypocrisy is troubling enough, but the anti-government ideology is the source of even more problematic habits. Recall another famous Reagan line: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

The shutdown reminds us that government is not the problem but the solution, or at least part of it, when it comes to many aspects of our common life.

We can see the damage done to the air transportation system, bureaus that gather useful economic statistics, the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Add in the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, the Forest Service and the Weather Service. And this is a very partial list.

The glee with which President Donald Trump has talked about a shutdown for months reflects an old conservative trope: Government is so bad, plodding and, well, useless, that people won't mind if it disappears for a while. This faith explains why Republicans were equally cheerful when they shut down the government in the mid-1990s during a budget fight with Bill Clinton's administration.

Their assumption was as wrong then as it is now. Underlying the contemporary conservative view is a belief that government is oppressive no matter what form a political system takes.

Dick Armey, the Republican House majority leader during the Clinton-era shutdown, was as candid as anyone in revealing the hidden radicalism that serves a straitjacket on our politics.

"Beneath our New Deals and New Frontiers and Great Societies," Armey wrote in a book published in 1995, "you will find, with only a difference in power and nerve, the same sort of person who gave the world its Five Year Plans and Great Leaps Forward -- the Soviet and Chinese counterparts."

Sorry, but no. FDR, JFK and LBJ were not Stalin or Mao, nowhere close. Only by examining the anti-government view in its unabashed form can we understand why our two parties can't be seen as equivalent and why rational negotiations are so difficult. Trump's utter indifference to the basics of his job makes matters even worse, but the conservative neuroses toward government long predates his rise.

Some on the right are willing to call a halt to an argument that is serving us so badly. The work of both Jerry Taylor and Samuel Hammond at the libertarian-leaning Niskanen Center has aroused great interest because it faces up to what has long been true: Many "big government" countries (in Scandinavia, for example) are also among the freest nations on Earth. It is time, Hammond argues, to blow up the "ideological axis" that runs from "'small government' libertarian'" to "'big government' progressive."

So it is. Sweeping aside misleading ideas won't guarantee us better politics. But abandoning them is a precondition to escaping the trap we're in -- and ending the madness of shutdowns. "

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Reply #4034 - Jan 24th, 2019 at 7:36am
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Edith Grove wrote on Jan 23rd, 2019 at 3:12pm:
*


Isn't that how Joey got to a zillion posts?
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"Runnin Like A Cat In A Thunderstorm"
 
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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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<  ---------------   GIMMEKEEF   ?!   .... !!!!!   :








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<  -----------------    VICTORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!    :





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Reply #4040 - Jan 24th, 2019 at 9:05pm
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<  ------------- Some Guy ?!   ........ Politics is ROUGH STUFF !!!!!    ... OUCH !!!!!!   :








https://www.omaha.com/opinion/eugene-robinson-pelosi-is-trying-to-school-trump/a...







" Eugene Robinson: Pelosi is trying to school Trump . "








" Contrary to legend, Marie Antoinette probably never actually said “let them eat cake.” The Trump administration is saying it loud and clear, though, to government workers who have now gone more than a month without a paycheck.

“I don’t really quite understand why” unpaid employees are resorting to food pantries and other forms of charity, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Thursday. They should just take out loans from banks or credit unions to pay for necessities, he advised. Of course they’d have to pay some interest, but “there’s no reason why some institution wouldn’t be willing to lend.”

Ross, who is a billionaire, should try supporting a family on less than $45,000 a year, like most Transportation Security Administration airport agents do.

He would be shocked to learn that banks do not treat every prospective borrower the same. (“Where is the red carpet? Why are rose petals not being strewn in my path? What do you mean by ‘no’?”)

At least Ross didn’t advise unpaid employees to do what President Donald Trump did whenever his real-estate schemes threatened to collapse in ruin: Borrow millions of dollars from Dad.

Meanwhile, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told a reporter that federal employees who are being forced to work without pay are “volunteering.” The truth is, of course, that if they don’t work, they will lose their jobs.

This is the heartless, clueless worldview with which Republicans in Congress have aligned themselves. They demonstrate no sympathy whatsoever for the 800,000 government employees — plus hundreds of thousands of contract workers — who are being made to suffer because Trump does not understand how the Constitution works.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is teaching the president, but he’s a slow learner. Trump got his latest lesson Wednesday when he sent Pelosi a letter arrogantly demanding that he be allowed to deliver his State of the Union address next Tuesday in the House chamber as originally scheduled. He was, in effect, daring Pelosi to follow through on her threat to postpone the speech until the government was reopened.

Pelosi’s response reminded me of another San Francisco enforcer, the fictional Dirty Harry, who told miscreants: “Make my day.” She gave Trump formal notice that she will not take the formal steps necessary to arrange the speech, period, until the shutdown is over. End of discussion.

Trump grumbled about how Pelosi — “or Nancy, as I call her” — “doesn’t want ... the American people to hear the truth,” and he had made defiant noises about giving the speech in some alternate venue. But finally he crumpled like a cheap suit, accepting Pelosi’s decision that the address will take place after the shutdown ends. That’s “her prerogative,” he acknowledged.

Just as he threatened not to surrender over the speech, Trump insists he will never cave on his demand that Congress give him $5.7 billion for a border wall. As I said, he’s a slow learner. A deal that would let him claim some measure of victory has always been available. The only question is how much more political damage he wants to do to himself and his party before he takes it.

Leading Democrats have strongly indicated that they are willing to give Trump $5.7 billion for “border security.” Some portion of that money could be vaguely earmarked for barriers and fencing — allowing Trump to tell his base that Congress gave him money for his border wall, and Democrats to say they did no such thing.

This would be a great deal for Trump because — and I can’t say this often enough — the “big, beautiful wall” that he ridiculously promised during the campaign is totally unfeasible and will never be built, much less paid for by Mexico. And it would be a great deal for the president because the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to decide how public money is spent.

All Trump is accomplishing with the shutdown is to send his approval numbers lower, even as measured by friendly pollsters such as Rasmussen. And if the government remains closed much longer, he will be hanging millstones around the necks of Republican senators who must run for re-election in 2020.

The fact that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has emerged from hiding tells me that he’s ready to end this farce. He should start by explaining to Trump that the president doesn’t always get his way — and that instead of referring to Pelosi as “Nancy,” he really ought to try “Madam Speaker.”

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Reply #4041 - Jan 25th, 2019 at 9:16am
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Reply #4042 - Jan 25th, 2019 at 9:23am
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Reply #4043 - Jan 25th, 2019 at 10:01pm
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Shouting victory for the righteous!!!! Suck it Trump humpers. How ya like me now? Puke all over me (wait that is BLEED) Waka Jawaka Perverted Mick What the fuck? Kiss my undercover ass
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Reply #4044 - Jan 26th, 2019 at 10:35am
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dude got Pelosi'd.
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Reply #4045 - Jan 26th, 2019 at 10:36am
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Joey wrote on Jan 24th, 2019 at 8:57pm:
<  -----------------    VICTORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!    :





...


what a douche.
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Reply #4046 - Jan 26th, 2019 at 7:27pm
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Barack Obama's Photographer Trolls Roger Stone With Rolling Stones Lyrics

Pete Souza shared some "Sympathy for the Devil" to Instagram

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.mx/entry/barack-obama-pete-souza-roger-stone-roll...
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I only get my rocks off while I'm sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeping with your girlfriend!!
WWW gerardo.liedo rocksoffmessageboard  
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Reply #4047 - Jan 27th, 2019 at 9:56am
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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Probable bullcrap inside
Reply #4048 - Jan 27th, 2019 at 10:11am
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/beyond-maga-hats-11548288238









" Beyond MAGA Hats . "



" Immigrants have become a casualty in a larger, more important argument about American identity. "




By Daniel Henninger






" So long as he is president, Donald Trump will have two things going for him.

The first is the loony left, which diminished the Martin Luther King holiday with dips in the fever swamps.

Bernie Sanders bellowed: “We now have a president of the United States who is a racist.” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, called Mr. Trump “the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” A Hollywood actress said MAGA hats are “the new white hood.” This self-indulgent political narcissism is why average voters can’t warm to progressivism.

The other thing Mr. Trump has going for him is that no one expects much of him. Given a choice, he’ll take the low road. Imagine how electrifying it would be if he ended the government shutdown by unexpectedly taking the high road. It could still happen.

During one of his presidential campaign rallies, Mr. Trump riffed about building a wall at the border, and the crowd roared approval. With a preternatural sense of pay dirt, Mr. Trump has stuck with the wall ever since. His early travel ban was a “wall” issue.

Democrats instantly translated the wall into anti-immigrant sentiment and nativism, and not without reason. Mr. Trump hasn’t made much effort to mitigate this charge.

Until Saturday. Included in the deal the president offered Democrats to end the government shutdown was a three-year extension of the Dreamers’ legal status, but more intriguing, a commitment to hold weekly meetings at the White House on immigration.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed this offer as a “non-starter” before Mr. Trump delivered his talk.

Amid this increasingly bitter standoff, something remarkable also happened Saturday: Mr. Trump held a naturalization ceremony for new American citizens in the Oval Office. You’d have to possess Chuck Schumer’s unshakable impassivity not to have been moved by this ritual passage into American citizenship.

Democrats have made a strategic decision to typecast Mr. Trump and anyone who supports him as hostile to immigration and therefore racist, in the expectation that some voters will recoil. Left unanswered, it might work.

Is some percentage of the Trump base irreconcilably nativist? No doubt some are. But what happened during that Oval Office naturalization ceremony gets us closer to the real immigration issue.

The difficulty and anguish over immigration for Americans across the political spectrum isn’t about keeping people out of the country but what happens to them after they arrive. The issue is assimilation. The issue is the idea of being an American.

That is hardly a new thought. But it is also hard to overstate the intensity of the political challenge the progressive left is making today against widely held assumptions about Americans’ common heritage.

Intellectuals on the left have long argued that the melting pot is a myth, as are beliefs about the settlement of the frontier. Today these debatable ideas have become an insistent claim that the building of America—mostly by European immigrants—was morally flawed and requires constant repudiation.

And repudiate they do. This week, the Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, announced the permanent covering of some famous 19th-century murals depicting encounters between Christopher Columbus’s landing party and Indian tribes. Amid an explanation that is a parody of current atonement declarations, Father Jenkins asserts, “Whatever else Columbus’s arrival brought . . .” Well, that’s that for the last 500 years.

New immigrants to the U.S. have become bystanders and casualties in a larger argument about the nation’s identity, to which the border wall is a long footnote.

Here’s one of the possible questions on the naturalization civics test: “What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?” Answer: “the United States and the flag.”
Put that question to Kamala Harris, Julián Castro, Beto O’Rourke or Elizabeth Warren and what you’ll get is endless qualifying “buts” and guilt-tripping bows. The party’s left would simply delete the Pledge question.

Against this pressure, Donald Trump may be the one person able to make a national argument for a more traditional, less fractured, more optimistic idea of America’s appropriate identity. That’s what most of his base and most of the country really want—the renewal of the melting pot as an aspirational goal; a reassertion of who we are, not a death struggle over deportations, bans and family separations. That’s the real meaning of the MAGA hats, which its wearers would explain if anyone bothered to ask.

Mr. Trump saw what this idea looked like at that naturalization ceremony. He moved to higher ground with Saturday’s three-year DACA extension. With Mrs. Pelosi stuck on “no,” Mr. Trump could take the immigration issue away from the Democrats forever by proposing permanent legal status for the Dreamers, plus a promise to attend their naturalization ceremonies after he retires from office.

The State of the Union is always a good venue for taking the high road. Even from the steps of the U.S. Capitol.  "

Write henninger@wsj.com.
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Re: Politics thread (ssc!!) - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Probable bullcrap inside
Reply #4049 - Jan 27th, 2019 at 10:14am
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https://www.omaha.com/opinion/mona-charen-an-opening-for-a-party-of-reality/arti...



" Mona Charen: An opening for a party of reality .  "







" Here they come, the newly resurgent Democrats, ready to take on “the man” (Rep. Rashida Tlaib); protect America’s middle class from “attack” by big corporations and billionaires (Sen. Elizabeth Warren); provide “Medicare-for-all” (Sen. Kamala Harris); offer universal pre-K (Julian Castro); and fight capitalism in general without any idea of how it works (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).

The Democratic Party is lurching to the left like a confused American driver on a British highway.

As the New York Times’ Thomas Edsall notes, it isn’t just leaders who are stampeding to the port side. Democratic voters are becoming more liberal, too. In the past 17 years, Pew Research has found, the percentage of Democrats who described themselves as liberal jumped from 30 to 50 percent.

This is reflected in issue positions. In 2008, the percentage of Democrats who agreed that immigrants here illegally should be permitted to become citizens was 29 percent. That increased to 51 percent in 2018.

Between 2010 and 2017, the portion who said “racial discrimination is the main reason many blacks can’t get ahead these days” rose from 28 percent to 64 percent. (Notably, among white liberals, 79.2 percent agreed that discrimination was the main thing holding blacks back, whereas among black respondents, the percentage was lower — 59.9 percent identified discrimination as the obstacle to progress. Hmm.)

The liberal nostrums on offer are utterly disconnected from the actual challenges the nation faces. It’s hard to see how the “war on the middle class” theme can get traction in an economy with 3.9 percent unemployment. Poverty has been declining and middle incomes have been increasing since 2013. Jobs are plentiful. Median household income reached $61,372 in 2017, which is higher than comparable countries like Canada, Germany, France, Britain and Denmark, and exceeded only by a handful of tiny rich nations sitting on oil (Norway) or numbered bank accounts (Switzerland and Lichtenstein). U.S. median household size, meanwhile, has declined, so individual wealth has increased even more than the income numbers reflect.

Admittedly, facts need not impede a good political pitch. Republicans have succeeded by offering their own fractured fairy tale about what ails the nation. They’ve insisted that we are being overrun by illegal immigrants, when border apprehensions are at an 18-year low. They assert that immigrants bring crime, which is false. They’ve claimed (along with some progressives like Bernie Sanders) that outsourcing has decimated U.S. manufacturing, when the real story is that automation has been the chief cause of lost manufacturing jobs.

And they’ve claimed that globalization has hollowed out the middle class when, in truth, global trade, while costing some jobs, has created far more and provided middle-income Americans with a bounty of affordable products, thus improving their standard of living.

Republicans and Democrats alike encourage victimhood. We need a party that will address the true problems we face.

As a governing matter, our greatest problem is that we are not behaving like citizens but like consumers. We are gorging on entitlements and washing them down with tax cuts. The bill? What bill? We can always borrow more! Medicare’s trust fund runs out in seven years. Social Security’s, in 15. But oh well, let’s have free college! Bartender, let’s have another tax cut, but this time for the middle class! (By the way, what ever happened to that pre-election pledge?)

Any individual who behaved the way our nation does would be obese and broke.

Also, we are living in a civic cesspool. Our language, our manners and our hatreds are out of control and out of proportion to our problems. We are marinating in mutual contempt and suckers for conspiracy theories. Do you think the Covington High imbroglio was bad? Wait until deep fakes come along. These video impostures can make any politician (or anyone else) appear to say anything. Imagine the kids at the Lincoln Memorial having racial slurs put into their mouths by video manipulation.

It’s not that our problems are so intractable; it’s that our spirits are so sour. We desperately need some uplift, some commitment to the rule of law, more suspicion of centralized power, and a stab at trust. It’s a lot to ask of a political party, and frankly, most of our problems, like the decline of families and churches, are pre-political.

But leadership is important, and the majority of Americans are not at the extremes. A recent survey found that 54 percent of Democrats would like their party to be more moderate. And two of the most popular Republican elected officials are Maryland’s Larry Hogan and Massachusetts’s Charlie Baker.

That’s a start.  "
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« Last Edit: Jan 27th, 2019 at 11:14am by Joey »  

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