The global economy depends on keeping Mulvaney from Trump, who doesn't know what the debt ceiling is

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 10:38

This is normal: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rebuffing a White House demand for $150 billion in spending cuts as debt ceiling deal negotiations continue, according to a Democratic official close to the talks."

Negotiations will continue throughout Friday. Pelosi had set a deadline of Friday night for a deal, to give the House enough time to provide legislative text to members ahead of a vote next week. The House is scheduled to leave for August recess on July 26, the Senate on Aug. 2. According to Bloomberg, the administration has provided a list of programs to cut totaling $574 billion, telling Pelosi to pick from it for the $150 billion in cuts it’s demanding. Of course, there are no tax increases in the mix. Republicans don't do revenue.

This is not normal: "As the federal government inches closer toward a potentially disastrous default on its debts, lawmakers and some Trump administration officials desperate for a budget deal have carefully maneuvered negotiations away from the man who has emerged as the common enemy: Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff." Apparently both inside the White House and in Congress, senior officials tell The New York Times, he’s considered a "problem child" or a "troublemaker" or just "not helpful." Given his penchant as a Freedom Caucus maniac for clamoring for government shutdowns and debt ceiling brinksmanship, they're right to be trying to hustle him out of the way in all of this. Given that he's also the most likely White House staffer to encourage Trump to do whatever the hell he feels like at the moment, it becomes even more urgent.

Because here's the other thing that is really not normal and actually a little bit terrifying: It's not entirely clear that Trump knows what the debt ceiling is. He was asked about the negotiations in a White House press availability Thursday, and said, "We're working on the debt ceiling." Then the word "debt" apparently started rattling around in what's left of his brain, and he launched into a semi-coherent screed about President Obama and the debt. "Don’t forget, you know, the debt under President Obama added more debt than every president put together. So you're talking about a debt ceiling: President Obama added $10 trillion during his eight years. He doubled the debt. He added more debt than every president—every single President put together. President Obama doubled—more than doubled the debt." None of which is true, because of course it's not, because it's Trump. "So we're talking about a debt ceiling," he then wound down. "The previous president doubled the debt. And that’s what we get stuck with. That’s the way it is, folks."

The thing is, they're not the same thing. The debt ceiling is the nation's borrowing limit: how the country pays for current spending but also how it keeps paying on what it owes so that we don't go into default and bring down the global economy with us. The deficit is not that; it's the difference between what the government takes in in revenue and what it spends, and by the way, it's getting a lot bigger thanks to the Trump tax cuts. There's no indication that Trump understands that distinction, that he knows what a default on our debt would mean. Because of course he doesn't, because he's Trump, and in his experience, defaulting on debts is how business is done.

With a mind that weak, it becomes imperative that they keep him separated from Mulvaney right now.

Categories: Politics

Friday News Dump: How Do Racists Respond To Racism? And Other News

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 09:21

Another week of Trump bigotry and the obfuscation of such by Republican officials who are so very afraid of standing up to Trump that they're peeing in their pants. Republicans never were the "strong" party, after all:

Categories: Politics

Here's the line-up for the next round of Democratic presidential debates

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 09:00

The second Democratic presidential primary debates—plural, because there will again be two nights with 10 candidates apiece—are coming up on July 30 and 31, and CNN and the Democratic National Committee have announced the line-ups.

July 30

  • Bernie Sanders
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Beto O'Rourke
  • Steve Bullock
  • John Delaney
  • John Hickenlooper
  • Tim Ryan
  • Marianne Williamson

July 31

  • Joe Biden
  • Kamala Harris
  • Cory Booker
  • Julián Castro
  • Andrew Yang
  • Michael Bennet
  • Bill de Blasio
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Jay Inslee

The first thing that comes to mind looking at these line-ups: Former Vice President Joe Biden is probably not happy. Not only will he be sharing the stage once again with Sen. Kamala Harris, who ate his lunch at the last debate, but Sen. Cory Booker, who has also taken him to task for his fond memories of working with segregationists, will be there too.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, told reporters that she was “delighted” with her draw, saying that “Bernie and I have been friends for a long, long time. We’ve worked a lot of issues together.”

Categories: Politics

That Justice Department rule has saved Trump from indictment—again

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 08:57

On Monday, federal prosecutors informed a judge that their investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to suppress the stories of adult film star Stormy Daniels and nude model Karen McDougal was ending. The hush money scheme, which has already led to the conviction of Trump attorney Michael Cohen on two counts of campaign finance violations, was under investigation because it allegedly happened "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump. All evidence produced showed that allegation to be true. But despite recordings and transcripts showing that Trump was directing every stage of the illegal scheme, it appears that the investigation has ended with no further charges. And the reason seems to be that Department of Justice ruling that a sitting executive cannot be indicted.

As reported by USA Today, that DOJ rule—the same rule that shielded Trump from charges of obstruction in the Mueller report—was “a factor” in ending the investigation without charges against Trump. No one is saying whether that was the only factor, but … it was the only factor. The case against Trump was beyond ironclad. Even Trump attorney Jay Sekulow will not comment except to say that the investigation is over. In the words of Lindsey Graham, case closed, and that’s all you need to know.

But if the attorneys are not talking, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff is. "The inescapable conclusion from all of the public materials available now is that there was ample evidence to charge Donald Trump with the same criminal election law violations for which Michael Cohen pled guilty," said Schiff.

Recordings made by Cohen show that Trump was not only aware of the scheme, but negotiating the details and instructing Cohen on the steps to take. Trump even involved members of his campaign staff, including Hope Hicks, in the scheme, going back and forth with Cohen on details of both how to deceive the women and how to hide the source of the funds.

Now, Cohen has been convicted, Hicks seems likely to be charged with lying to Congress, but the DOJ is letting Trump skate—all based on a rule it created.

Categories: Politics

Donnie Deutsch On Trump Racism: 'This Is A Man With Nazi Tendencies'

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 08:22

This morning, Donnie Deutsch told the 88 million people who watch Morning Joe that Donald Trump is, well, a Nazi.

"The parallels are stunning. The parallels are stunning, oh, it can't happen here, it can happen here. I want to challenge people -- I did this the other day. I want to challenge people of means, I'm not talking about people who need a job and Trump can get it for them. 'You know, he's good for the economy and good for the Israel,' " Deutsch mocked.

"By the way, he would throw Israel overboard if it was bad for him. If you're a person who votes for Donald Trump, you're no different than if you're watching on the subway (as) five white nationalists berate an African-American woman, saying 'Go back to where you came from.' Then you hid and you put your head down. You can't hide behind the economy anymore. you own it. You don't get to do that anymore. And I think that's critical. You know it's interesting. We talk about minorities, it's on white people. You get to say he's good for the economy, and they say stuff, no, they don't.

"This is a man with Nazi tendencies. If reporters asked him, do you think you should stay beyond eight years, he'll give you the honest answers. 'Do you think people in the press should be put in jail?' He'll answer it. By the way, he went into the rant after he got the highest approval ratings, that shows what happens when he believes he has power. No more 'It's good for the economy,' " he said.

read more

Categories: Politics

Looks Like DoJ Policy Once Again Protected Trump From Being Indicted

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 08:21

So once again, the felon in the White House is off the hook -- not because he's innocent, because the evidence made public yesterday clearly indicates otherwise -- but because it's DoJ policy that a sitting president is immune from prosecution. And yes, under some circumstances, I can see where it would be unusually harmful to the presidency and the country to prosecution over something like, oh, I don't know, lying about a BJ -- but not when a president actually breaks the law in order to become president? The policy no longer serves the office or the people. The people serve the policy. Via USAToday:

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors' decision to end an investigation into hush money payments to women claiming affairs with Donald Trump relied at least in part on long-standing Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The Justice Department told a federal judge on Monday that it had "effectively concluded" its investigation into efforts to silence the women in the final months of the 2016 campaign, but did not explain why it had done so. Prosecutors have said the payoffs violated a federal law that restricts campaign donations.

read more

Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 08:01

It's been close to a week since Prznint Stupid showed us EXACTLY who he really is and the newest Ipsos Poll shows us who the rank-and-file Republicans are. I'm shocked. Shocked, I say.

The Rectification of Names says it's not who you are but stuff you do that counts.

The Debate Link directs our attention to the snowflakes in the House. They are Republicans.

The Great Consolidation wants to impeach Bill Barr.

The Psy of Life has started a new series: Important Votes in Congress and who to call. I wish I had seen this earlier this week!

Bonus Track: Ars Technica presents "The Greatest Leap, part 3: The triumph and near-tragedy of the first Moon landing' - make this your lunchtime read; it's really gripping.

Categories: Politics

Morning Digest: Despite presidential race, House Democrats still raising money at astonishing rate

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 08:00

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

Fundraising: Daily Kos Elections is pleased to present our second quarterly fundraising charts of the 2020 election cycle for both the House and the Senate!

Campaign Action

We've included every race we expect to be competitive in next year's general elections as well as open seats in otherwise safe districts that feature primaries. We also list contests where incumbents potentially face a credible primary challenge, members of Congress who might retire or run for higher office, and under-the-radar contests where a candidate raised or self-funded an unexpectedly large sum.

The big takeaway is that, despite some Democratic fears (and GOP hopes) that Team Blue's crowded presidential primary would divert donors from the congressional battlefield, the House class of 2018 is continuing to raise money at a pace that would have been unthinkable little more than two years ago.

Two of the most astonishing hauls, in fact, came from members who unseated GOP incumbents just last fall: California Rep. Katie Porter hauled in just shy of $1 million for the quarter, while New York Rep. Max Rose raised about $800,000. An additional 28 Democrats who flipped seats last year also raised over $500,000 during the quarter.

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: 'R' is for Racist

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:50

x Vimeo Video

Stop the presses! The President is a racist! Okay, I guess we kinda’ sorta’ had a suspicion he might harbor racist feelings in his quieter moments.

Now that it’s official, we can all agree that President Donald J. Trump is racist. Or at very least tweets racist things. (Not that anyone is allowed to say that in the House of Representatives.) In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m worried this might all be a distraction. But it is an unavoidable distraction that we must address. Damn, this guy is good.

I’m not sure whether this is a distraction from Trump being compromised by foreign connections, a distraction from partying with a pedophile or a distraction from torturing 3-year-old children at the border. Unfortunately, they all must be addressed. Sigh. Remember the good ol’ days of meaningless distractions? Enjoy the cartoon, and be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes goodies and other surprises when you help support my cartooning on Patreon!

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated pundit roundup: GOP fails to denounce racist chants and tweets

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:28

We begin today’s roundup with John Harwood’s insight at CNBC on the GOP’s reaction to Trump’s racist tweets:

With their votes this week, House Republicans absolved President Donald Trump of racism in calling for four non-white lawmakers to “go back” to other countries.

But not only Trump.

They also voted to absolve themselves, their party and the voters who elected them – like the ones who chanted “send her back” at a rally Wednesday in North Carolina. It took more than just fealty to the president to unite 187 of 191 Republicans against condemning his words...[T]his week’s furor implicates the character and reputation of many others besides the president. Denouncing Trump’s words as racist, as the House Democratic majority voted to do, means denouncing those chanting rally audiences that all GOP candidates depend on.

Adam Sewer at The Atlantic highlight’s the significance of this moment in American history:

[M]ost of Trump’s predecessors had something he does not yet have: the support of a majority of the electorate. Ilhan Omar’s prominence as a Republican target comes not, as conservatives might argue, simply because her policy views are left-wing. Neither is it because, as some liberals have supposed, she is an unmatched political talent. She has emerged as an Emmanuel Goldstein for the Trumpist right because as a black woman, a Muslim, an immigrant, and a progressive member of Congress, she represents in vivid terms a threat to the nation Trumpists fear they are losing. To attack Omar is to attack a symbol of the demographic change that is eroding white cultural and political hegemony, the defense of which is Trumpism’s only sincere political purpose. Many of the president’s most outrageous comments have been delivered extemporaneously, when he departs from his prepared remarks. Last night, though, his attacks on Omar were carefully scripted, written out by his staff and then read off a teleprompter. To defend the remarks as politically shrewd is to confess that the president is deliberately campaigning on the claim that only white people can truly, irrevocably be American.

Categories: Politics

Scott Walker: Rural Votes Should Count More Than Urban Votes

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:05
 Rural Votes Should Count More Than Urban Votes

Since being finally ousted from the governor's mansion, Scott Walker has been scrambling to find a soft place to land through the conservative welfare system. One of the empty figurehead jobs he got was the chief national fundraiser for a right wing front group, National Republican Redistricting Trust, which goal is to raise money to help the inevitable gerrymandering the Congressional Republicans are going to try to pull. Because of this, Walker will occasionally throw up some lame rationalization for gerrymandering on social media and/or his podcast, ironically names "You Can't Recall Courage."

Media Matters caught an exceptionally gobsmacking moment from Walker's podcast on July 5:

[embed eid="36050" /]

During the July 5 edition of You Can’t Recall Courage, Walker offered further justification of his tweet. Complaining about high voter turnout in liberal-leaning Madison and “unbelievably big” Democratic margins of victory in districts in and around Madison, Walker said it’s a “flawed argument” to say that “a vote in Madison counts the same as a vote in a very rural community or in a suburban community.”

read more

Categories: Politics

Ex-GOP Rep. Goes Off On Republicans For Failing To Stand Up To Trump

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:04
Ex-GOP Rep. Goes Off On Republicans For Failing To Stand Up To Trump

Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh warned his fellow party members on Thursday that they would “get wiped out in 2020” if they failed to denounce the racism seen at Trump rallies.

Walsh told CNN’s Brianna Keilar that Trump voters who chanted “send her back” to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) are full of “hatred.”

“It’s ugly, it’s racist, it’s anti-American, and it ought to be denounced,” Walsh said. “And Brianna, it should have been denounced by the president last night. But he’s not capable of it.

According to Walsh, Republican lawmakers have privately told him that they “can’t stand what the president has unleashed, this big bowl of ugly.”

“I had to crack up, your congressional correspondent earlier, who said that privately these Republicans are uncomfortable with what the president did last night, and uncomfortable with the chant privately, bull crap on being privately uncomfortable,” Walsh added. “I’m sick of the private stuff.”

read more

Categories: Politics

Rand Paul Whines About 'Guttersnipe' Jon Stewart

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:03
Rand Paul Whines About 'Guttersnipe' Jon Stewart

Senator Rand Paul was criticized by Jon Stuart and many others for holding up a vote in the Senate to fully fund the 9/11 responders.

Paul claimed he just wants to have more debate about how the benefits will be paid for and immediately went on Fox News with Neil Cavuto to whine and characterize everybody attacking him as a "mob."

He said the 9/11 responders will get their money and had some choice words for the former Comedy Central host.

"It’s really disgusting," Paul groused. "He pretended for years when he was on his comedy show to be somebody that could be both sides and see through the BS. Now he is the B.S.”

Forgetting all about Donald Trump's historic record of lying to the American people, Rand launched a rant: "People need to wake up and not be so, sort of overwhelmed by celebrity that they take out-and-out falsehoods and ad hominem attacks from — really a guttersnipe like Jon Stewart.”

Boo hoo, Rand Paul. Boo hoo.

h/t Mediaite

Categories: Politics

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:00


The weekend’s not any kind of respite from the horrors of living in Trumpworld. But it is a respite from telling you each morning that there’s no respite from the horrors of living in Trumpworld.

But we do see Fridays as imposing a responsibility on us—by which I mean me—for preparing you—by which I mean you—for figuring out on your own or with friends, family and neighbors that there’s no respite from the horrors of living in Trumpworld.

Wow, is that too dark? How about this, then?

Hey, come on! It’s not that bad! Wacka-wacka-wacka! Did that do the trick? I’m sure I’ll come up with better once we start reading the news.

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!

PODCAST LISTENERS: There’s a new podcast platform in town, and the big news is: this one pays! RadioPublic pays podcast producers at $20 CPM for listens on their native app (available for iPhones & Androids), financed by pre- and post-roll ads they insert. Not a bad way to support the show, with somebody else’s money!

So if you’re a podcast listener, please consider downloading the RadioPublic app on your Android or iOS phone. Yes, you can still download directly from their site, or listen to the player embedded here at Daily Kos. But it’s listens in their app that count toward payment. And get this: listen to just three episodes in their app, and we earn a one-time, $1 “loyal listener” bonus.

Nothing changes on our end. It’s still Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando. Plus also, me. And you! As always, we still want your voice on the air with us. Sit down with your smart phone or other electronic recording device and send us your stories and commentary to share with the audience. There’s no easier way to try your hand at podcasting, without all the hassle!

Of course there’s no substitute for having your support via Patreon, or one-time contributions via Square Cash. (And hey, if you want a cool trick for donating sorta-kinda cost free, get their cash.me app and use this share code to get $5 in your account (plus $5 in mine) when you send your first $5 (to anyone)!

For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did on our last show:

x Embedded Content

RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)

Donald Trump proved last night what he proves every day: He can get worse. David Waldman and Greg Dworkin review yesterday’s events, which will seem a walk in the park by next week: Donald Trump had a signature campaign rally last night in which he goaded his followers into behaving like Trump followers. He needs them to be racist thugs, although a bit more discreet. Mobs can be effective, yet so hard to regulate. Don’t worry, Donald has a plan if things get out of hand. It’s ride or die time for Republicans, with no room for the weak. Susan Collins is deeply concerned. Ivanka Trump considers a name change. Democrats just want to get along. The Squad remains in the limelight, and not one of their couple hundred Democratic Congressional co-workers are one bit envious of that limelight... Several did pull Jake Tapper aside to speak candidly under condition of anonymity about how they were especially rankled by having to address specific concerns in an order that they themselves would not have selected, probably. Also-rogue Representative Al Green introduced articles of impeachment, again. 95 fellow Democrats thought that was a fine idea. But, it was tabled, because of course we should wait to hear the Mueller report testimony before doing something imprudent. In New York, the sun rises. If you think we have it tough, UK’s Trump Boris Johnson lost his first House of Commons vote, and he’s not even Prime Minister yet. Boris attempted to suspend parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more! Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Categories: Politics

Full Frontal's 'Was He Racist?' Telethon Calls GOP Congress

Crooks and Liars - Thu, 07/18/2019 - 23:30

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Honey Radar

Crooks and Liars - Thu, 07/18/2019 - 23:01

It's been a few years now since Philadelphia's Honey Radar last released a full-length album. With a sound that is perfect for a hazy summer day as much as it for watching a torrential downpour of rain, Ruby Puff Of Dust is sure to be welcomed by many who dig things like the Byrds but much more twisted and fractured.

What are your listening to tonight?

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Categories: Politics

We Can See The 2020 Battleground Laid Out Before Us And It Is Trump

Crooks and Liars - Thu, 07/18/2019 - 22:12
We Can See The 2020 Battleground Laid Out Before Us And It Is Trump

A little bit of perspective on the election from Ron Brownstein:

Trump's victory in 2016, and his consistent support in polls from about 40-45% of the population, shows there is a significant audience for his hard-edged message on immigration and demographic change more broadly. But there is also a clear cost. In effect, Trump's bruising racially-infused nationalism is forcing the GOP to trade support among younger voters for older ones; secular voters for the most religiously conservative, especially evangelical Christians; diverse voters for whites; white collar whites for blue-collar whites; and metro areas for non-metro areas. Since Trump's emergence Republicans have consolidated their control of small-town, exurban and rural communities. But that has come with significant losses for the GOP inside metropolitan areas even in red states, like Texas and Georgia.

The trade Trump is imposing on the GOP was apparent in 2016 and enormously intensified in 2018.

read more

Categories: Politics

I’m Tired and I Ate Too Much

Balloon Juice - Thu, 07/18/2019 - 21:40

It was dad’s birthday yesterday (#78), so I went and picked up Tammy and met my parents and my sister and her husband in Pittsburgh at a restaurant called Kaya. I gotta tell you, this is the best new (to me) restaurant I have been to in ages. Everything on it was in my favorite flavor profile, with peppers and lime and cilantro and goodness everywhere. We split a bunch of appetizers (my favorite was the shishitos), and for dinner I had the street corn and fish tacos. For dessert I brought with us a birthday cake called Death by Chocolate. We’re all still living, but if you gotta go, that is a good way.

Trump is awful.

Categories: Politics

The Lineup Is Set for the Hittin’ in the Mitten

Kevin Drum - Thu, 07/18/2019 - 21:04

The bouncing balls have bounced and we now have the lineup for the next two Democratic debates:

On July 31 we get the Joe and Kamala show again. However, Pete and Bernie are moving to the first night to give Liz someone serious to argue with. Should be a barrel of laughs.

Categories: Politics

Ari Melber Shreds Acting CBP Chief In Contentious Interview

Crooks and Liars - Thu, 07/18/2019 - 20:43

One of the best things about watching The Beat with Ari Melber is when his guests come on and assume that because Melber is such a friendly guy that the interview will be similar to other friendly interviews they have on other shows. You know, softball questions, no real follow up, lies allowed to stand and few receipts to refute obvious lies.

Well, if you watch The Beat you know that Melber may be friendly, but his interviews are more akin to a legal cross examination than a softball interview. Tonight's interview Acting CBP Director, Mark Morgan, is a perfect example. Not only did Melber refuse to let him squirm out of answering direct questions, but he had receipts to prove that he was lying when he actually did choose to answer a question (with a lie).

When Ari Melber looks down, sticks up his pen and his smile turns up, wait for the cross exam to start. He knows how to interview.

Here is a bit of the back and forth:

MELBER: Let me start by playing for you some of the emotional testimony we've heard. I know you're familiar with some of this. This is a mother describing the death of her 1-year-old daughter in U.S. custody and she says ICE officials told her "this is a country of Americans and we can take your daughter."


MELBER: Is that death avoidable and is it acceptable?

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Categories: Politics