Weekend Open Thread for December 1-3, 2017

As the Feds get another conviction using one of their two favorite ways to get someone when they cannot get them for the actual crime they committed, it is time for this weekend’s open thread:

(1) What are your predictions regarding AL-Sen?

(2) Are there any foreign leaders who could benefit from being seen as close to President Trump?

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192 Comments

  • Midnight901 December 1, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    1. Moore wins by 4-6 points.

    2. Shinzo Abe advertised his closeness to Trump as part of his national security platform in Japan’s recent election. There are Asian and Arab leaders who would benefit from being seen as close to Trump, but probably no Western European leaders.

  • MikeFL December 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    1) Moore by 3, hut I hope he loses.

    2) Duterte?


    26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    1. Jones wins by 4.

    2. Shinzo Abe, Rodrigo Duterte, Narendra Modi, that Saudi Prince guy, Benjamin Netanyahu, Erdogan (though that won’t be happening), Al-Sisi and really every Sunni leader, whoever’s in charge in Vietnam, most center-right leaders in non-Mexico Latin America (to burnish their pro-business, private investment credentials), and even Xi Jinping (oddly, Chinese nationalists aren’t really raging against Trump). Also every NATO country bordering Russia, so the heads of Georgia, Poland, and the Baltic States.

    Really, everyone outside of Western Europe, whose values and ethos are proving increasingly out of step with the rest of the world. And Iran/Russia, I guess. One of the big stories of the last decade have been the total rejection by India and China of “Western European” liberal values and they’re practically 1/3rd of the world by themselves! Without even mentioning most of the Muslim world, Japan, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, etc.


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • segmentation_fault December 1, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Did you consider that Mueller is going easy on Flynn in exchange for cooperation? I mean, it’s perfectly clear that Flynn was an agent of the Turkish government, and yet Mueller didn’t touch that. There’s no way that Mueller couldn’t have charged Flynn with something worse than lying if he wanted to.


    En Marche!

    • MikeFL December 1, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      It’s definitely a possibility. I don’t think we should be reading into it either way at this point.


      26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

    • HS December 1, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      Yes, I do. Flynn changed his stance on Turkey 180 degrees after he got paid by Turkish agents. It is pretty obvious based on public info; Mueller must have even more evidence.

  • HS December 1, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    https://www.newsmax.com/johngizzi/rex-tillerson-pompeo-secretary-of-state/2017/12/01/id/829254/
    Lt. Gov Tim Griffin is interested in the Arkansas Senate seat.

    • MikeFL December 1, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      I really don’t get why Cotton would take this. Trump is notoriously fickle as it is and is obviously no way guaranteed of winning re-election. Additionally, I think he might have trouble reaching 50 votes in the Senate, and if his nomination is rejected, it would probably hurt his national ambitions.


      26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

      • Midnight901 December 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm

        Trump and Tillerson have both said today that Tillerson’s not leaving.

        • HS December 1, 2017 at 6:08 pm

          Yes, but I don’t believe them.

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 6:09 pm

            I wouldn’t put it above Trump to be okay with people leaking “Trump’s about to fire Tillerson!!!” when he had no intention of doing so, just to further discredit the anti-Trump mainstream media when they parrot it around.


            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • Manhatlibertarian December 1, 2017 at 8:16 pm

              I think it more likely there is a faction in the White House that wants to get rid of Tillerson and leaked a story to the press that Tillerson is on the way out in the hope that he would get annoyed and leave. But Trump seems to have quashed that story for now, although you never know just what he is doing and how long one can trust him.

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 8:22 pm

                I’ve heard from a better connected friend that Trump likes to throw out ideas out-loud like “maybe I should really do xxxx.” And then he reasons “naw, that’s a bad idea.” And a lot of people hear the first part and not the second and OFF TO THE PRESS!

                Really in so many ways, this is the most transparent administration we have ever have. And kind of like the sausage-making of legislation, a lot of good-government types are repulsed when they learn how decision-making actually hppens.


                I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • Vosmyorka December 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      If Cotton still wants to be President at some point, he’d be silly to take the CIA gig instead of staying in the Senate; far more serious presidential candidates have come from the Senate than the executive branch.


      Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

      • Wahoowa December 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm

        Former CIA director George H.W. Bush would like a word with you. The last GOP president who spent time in the Senate could not be reached for comment. Because he’s dead of old age.


        CO-7

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 8:12 pm

          Richard Nixon?

          And before him…..uh….it’s gotta be someone in the late 19th century, like Garfield or McKinley


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • HS December 1, 2017 at 8:14 pm

          Good one! That would be Warren Harding.

          However, I actually think staying in the Senate is better for Cottons career. Bush is the only CIA Director to ever be President. No one else has ever even been considered as a potential candidate. Meanwhile, there have been a lot of Senators who made it, although none on the GOP side since Harding. But this may all be simply bad timing – see McCain and Dole.

          • Wahoowa December 1, 2017 at 10:43 pm

            That’s not entirely true: Petraeus would have been a legitimate candidate prior to his indiscretions.

            It’s also not entirely fair: you’re not only comparing any office occupied by one person at a time to an office occupied by 100 people at a time, but also an office that’s existed for 70 years to an office that’s existed for 230 years.

            But to address your point: I suspect governor and former CIA director Tom Cotton has a better chance at the nomination (or VP) than Senator Tom Cotton does. He’s young. He doesn’t have to run next time around. CIA Director makes sense if you take a longer view.

            I’m also not convinced Tom Cotton WANTS to be president (at least, no more than your average senator). Certain conservative bigwigs are inexplicably got on him for sure, but I’m unconvinced he feels that way. And CIA director IS a common stop before being SecDef, Secretary of State, WH Chief of Staff, etc. To me, SecDef seems much more what Cotton wants.


            CO-7

        • Vosmyorka December 1, 2017 at 10:52 pm

          However, if you take a look at the set of serious candidates, the picture is very different. Starting in 1980, we’ve had four incumbent Senators win primaries (Dole, McCain, Cruz, Rubio) and only one current or former Cabinet-level member (Bush). If you expand the list to candidates who did reasonably — say, hit 5% — in an early primary, you add two more former Cabinet members (Connally, Alexander) but four more incumbent Senators (Baker, Gramm, Lugar, Paul).

          The picture is even more skewed if you add *former* Senators whose main experience was in the Senate (Santorum won primaries outright, and Thompson was also definitely a serious candidate). But I suppose Cotton would still count as a former Senator, though. Incumbents are definitely more common candidates, on the other hand.


          Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

  • Vosmyorka December 1, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    1. Narrow Jones victory, with 8-10% of the vote going to third-parties. If Jones is smart, he won’t focus on a 2020 reelection that’ll be impossible for him anyway and will vote as left as possible angling for VP; because he seems very moderate (just because of his ethnic profile, “white Southern man from Alabama”) but actually isn’t, he’d be ideal for a Democratic nominee who is perceived as far to the left or extreme on identity issues (mostly thinking of Kamala Harris here, but Jones could honestly still work for Booker or some-such). I highly doubt the 2020 Democratic ticket will be two white people, though, so if it’s Biden/Gillibrand/Warren he’ll be a tad screwed. I’m sure he could still seek a Cabinet post or ambassadorship, though. Or a very sweet lobbying gig.

    2. Nobody in Latin America, Western Europe, or the Anglosphere. Trump is also disliked in those sections of eastern Europe that are actively in a standoff with Russia (the Baltics/Ukraine/Georgia). So, in Europe, MAYBE the Visegrad Group. Otherwise, yeah, those Asian countries that tried to have closer relations with the US under the TPP but failed are your best bets, and folks like Abe and Duterte are already trying to do this. Moon is from the less-American influence wing of South Korean politics, so they’re right out. Pew has Trump as decently liked in India, but not as much as Obama was — not sure where that puts Modi.

    No leader of a Muslim Middle East country benefits from being seen as too friendly with the United States. Netanyahu, perhaps (in the sense that, for an Israeli leader, conversely, a close relationship with the US always helps), but he also needs to be mindful of what will happen in America’s post-Trump environment (which he has been — literally met with Kamala Harris on his last US visit).


    Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

    • Vosmyorka December 1, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/06/26/u-s-image-suffers-as-publics-around-world-question-trumps-leadership/

      Here’s an interesting survey about Trump’s image world-wide, with several rather interesting details (his ratings are terrible in Greece/Hungary/Poland, as the perceived alliance with Russia hurts even in places where localized versions of similar ideologies have done well; conversely, non-Muslim Africa seems to actually like him a lot, as he’s over 50% in every country surveyed but 49 in Ghana and 39 in South Africa, both of which are still not really so bad). His ratings in Latin America, West-aligned Europe, and the Muslim world are uniformly shitty in every country. There is an interesting split in East Asia (China was not surveyed), as developed nations like Japan and South Korea look basically Western European in this poll, while developing countries like Vietnam and the Philippines LOVE Trump (he is at 58 and 69, respectively).

      There are four non-African nations where Trump is over 50: Russia (53), Israel (56), Vietnam (58), and the Philippines (69). The first two are the only ones recorded where Trump is more popular than Obama, though in Israel the difference is slight. The Philippines may be the place on Earth where Trump is the most popular.


      Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 6:16 pm

        Honestly, both the positive and negative ratings in a lot of developing countries are not trustworthy. We don’t even have say, Modi approval ratings in India. Because there’s no good way to poll the vast swath of rural poor in isolated parts of the country without telephone lines. So how do we know what Trump’s favorability in India are?


        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 6:20 pm

          As a side note, I’m confident on Modi’s popularity because the BJP just swept another landslide election in Uttar Pradesh, that giant state with 200 million people. It’s something like his 15th landslide election victory in a row over the last 3 and a half years.

          https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bjps-up-sweep-likely-to-bolster-its-gujarat-campaign/articleshow/61887336.cms

          Liberalism in India is dying.


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

          • Vosmyorka December 1, 2017 at 6:29 pm

            The BJP embraced an ESPECIALLY economically liberal agenda under Narendra Modi, and you can find a million Indian sources describing him as a “neoliberal”. He was elected leader because his economic reforms in Gujarat were (at the very least, perceived as) incredibly successful. Congress was seen as the party of corruption and protectionism. (The Modi-era BJP also reversed their previous position against decriminalization of homosexuality).

            Obviously the core of the BJP is nationalist rather than any sort of economic philosophy, but you can still ask the question of why it is that Modi won a landslide while the BJP campaigns of 2004/2009 tanked. I don’t know if you’d like the answer.


            Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

            • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 6:39 pm

              Well, I didn’t mean liberal in the sense of pro-business Milton Friedman liberalism. I mean liberal in the sense of Western European social liberalism. That’s dying off in India. Note that the Economist is a strong opponent of Narendra Modi.

              Also, Modi is probably the most fiercely nationalistic BJP leader in its entire history. The BJP has always been an uneasy alliance between Hindu nationalists and pro-business types. Narendra Modi bridged this gap…by being both an extreme hardcore nationalist and being a pro-business leader. But he isn’t really a neoliberal in the Davos man sense. Sure, he’s a neoliberal compared to the Socialist Left. But so is Trump and Abe Shinzo. Similiarly, the Economist has launched many attacks on BJP economic policy from the “neoliberal” perspective. https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21723815-tax-reform-does-not-go-far-enough-land-and-labour-reforms-have-barely-been-tried-narendra-modi

              Also, the BJP has engaged in some degree of protectionism. For example, it limited the liberalization of e-commerce in India because shopkeepers are such a solid BJP constituency. They’re largely pro-business, but they’re not THAT pro-market.

              http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-bjp-s-ploy-to-safeguard-its-core-constituency-2201457


              I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

              • Vosmyorka December 1, 2017 at 10:59 pm

                That article praises what he’s already done and simply says he should go further, which is sure to be difficult politically. Modi is a politician and still thinks of reelection, after all.

                I don’t know in what sense “Western European social liberalism” has ever really been active in India; Indian social liberalism has its own issues, such as trying to fight the caste system (deeply unsuccessfully) or banning suttee (mostly successfully, though I understand the practice survives in deepest Bihar). At least in one narrow sense — the liberalization of homosexuality laws — pretty big strides have been made in the 2010s, and largely with the blessing of the BJP. Although it was done by the Supreme Court, not the government, it was still in 2017 that talaq, or traditional Islamic divorce, was banned in India, which was generally cheered on by Hindu nationalists and social liberals.

                I would also argue that the existence of the Indian state — which, excepting maybe Papua New Guinea, is the most multiethnic, multilingual, and multi-religious state in the world, along with being strongly federalist and strongly democratic — is in certain ways either a victory of, or is in accordance with the ideals of, Western European social liberalism. Certainly descriptions of what a future federal Eurostate might look like often seem to sound basically along the lines of “richer India”.


                Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

        • Vosmyorka December 1, 2017 at 6:25 pm

          Well, Indian news outlets do conduct polling for federal and state elections in India, and these polls seem decent (ie, they got the federal elections in 2009/2014 pretty much right, though in both cases they underestimated the winner; they completely failed to see the AAP landslide in Delhi at the last state election there, though); in my time observing, they don’t really seem to be any more or less accurate than polls in, say, Canada. How exactly this is achieved I’m not sure, and I don’t know if the methods of non-locals like Pew are any good. (Pretty much all polls have agreed that Modi’s approval, at least for his first two years, has been sky-high; I can find links if you’d like).

          On some level, though, I suppose we really don’t know what Trump’s favorability in India is. Though I’d personally be more suspicious of numbers from unfree countries like Vietnam, Jordan, or Russia.


          Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

    • Indy1975a December 1, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      Jones isn’t *that* liberal, other than on cultural issues like being pro-abortion. Jones would easily be in the right half of the D caucus just because of how far to the left the Ds have moved in the last 5-10 years. He’s very liberal by Alabama standards, not by California standards. The D will have to be someone who is trusted by the hard left in order to pick Jones.


      Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • cer December 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Moore will win by 2-4 % points because this isn’t Virginia.


    Conservative first, Republican second!

    • fzw December 1, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      No, it is very much Alabama, no one is arguing that.


      Currently MO-5. From MO-3.

    • segmentation_fault December 1, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      If it were Virginia, Moore would be losing by 20 or 30 points.


      En Marche!

      • Indy1975a December 1, 2017 at 9:24 pm

        Virginia isn’t that elastic. I doubt Moore would do *that* much worse than Corey Stewart would against Kaine, so I’d guess a 20 point loss at worst. If the D is as left-wing on abortion like Jones is, it will be closer than 20.


        Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • HS December 1, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    1. Moore will win. Possibly by a lot.
    2. Yes, but I really don’t care. The world tends to like Democrat Presidents because they are wimps. Reagan, Bush, Bush, and Trump all tended to be unpopular in foreign lands, especially in Western Europe. Obama was very popular, and that is because every foreign actor knew he could be pushed around very easily.

  • jmconservative December 1, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    1) Moore wins by about 4 to 6 percent. As a Christian (which although I am committed to conservatism is always my number 1 priority) it is discouraging to see so many Evangelical leaders supporting Moore. If I lived in Alabama I would write in Martha Roby
    2) Can’t think of any in G/20 at the very least. Merkel would solve some problems within the right wing community in Germany but on the whole it would be a negative effect for her. Biggest losers would include Justin Trudeau from Canada (I’m a Canadian) and Mexico’s Enrique Nieto

  • andyroo312 December 1, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Moore, by about 50.25-49.75%.


    MA-7

  • dforston December 1, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    http://taxplancalculator.com – tax plan calculator – I come out better with the House plan! $2100 more for the year

    • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      Unfortunately not updated for the new Senate plan including a $10,000 allowance for state/local property tax deductions. I’m apparently paying $2,500ish more under the House plan and $4,500 more under the Senate plan, but the actual Senate plan will probably be closer to $3,000-$3,500. My siblings are saving about $6,000-$7,500 so uh…I guess the extended family comes out ahead? No idea what would happen to my parents since their earnings don’t come from payroll income. Probably no change.


      I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • Jon December 2, 2017 at 9:50 am

        Their 8 AM update now includes that allowance for the senate plan.


        45, M, MO-02

    • Red Oaks December 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      Amusing but extremely rudimentary – It doesn’t include the effects of AMT, the pass-through business reduction, the repeal of many deductions & credits, alimony changes, etc.


      MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

      • Jon December 2, 2017 at 9:40 am

        Their 8 AM update now has AMT at the bottom.
        In any case, they are concentrating on the most common deductions that would be capped or eliminated.


        45, M, MO-02

    • Midnight901 December 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Apparently I’m saving close to $3000.

    • Izengabe December 1, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      I would get a tax hike under the House plan and a cut under the Senate plan.


      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • Left Coast Libertarian December 3, 2017 at 10:38 am

        From your Tweets I expected your taxes to go up by $10,000. Under the House and Senate plans my taxes would go up $659 and $279.

    • Jon December 2, 2017 at 9:49 am

      About what I figured if this had been in effect for last year; House bill would save $129 ; Senate bill would cost $30.

      Sadly, this (of course), does not include interactions with the Missouri tax code. (Missouri’s standard deduction is tied to the Federal standard deduction by law. Missouri’s itemized deduction is also tied to Federal itemized deduction + FICA – Missouri state Income Tax portion if 5a box checked.

      My state income tax would increase by almost 300 either way.


      45, M, MO-02

      • Jon December 2, 2017 at 9:59 am

        Last sentence should be my Missouri income tax would increase by up to almost $300 as while I’ve updated for the new Missouri income tax rate (dropping from 6 %to 5.9%); I’d not updated for the new IL income tax rate and I work across the river.

        It’s complicated because for the past couple of years the Missouri income tax for me was higher than IL income tax for me.


        45, M, MO-02

    • OGGoldy December 2, 2017 at 11:23 am

      I’d pay 300 more for the the House plan and 500 more in the Senate plan. Hurray for fleecing the middle class to give it to the rich!

      • Left Coast Libertarian December 3, 2017 at 10:46 am

        I’m guessing that you pay quite a bit in state and local taxes and property taxes. If you didn’t then you’d be saving money. So it’s not the middle class and give it to the rich. It’s middle class giving to other middle class in other states.

        I find the left wing rhetoric of the middle class giving it to the rich ridiculous. This goes with the assumption that all the income you haven’t earned yet belongs to the government and that if the government lets you keep more than they did yesterday they’re giving you money. Sorry. Right now I owe nothing to the government in 2018 because I haven’t earned anything. When I do I’ll be giving some amount to the government. They’ll spend it programs for middle class and poor people, not on the rich.

    • Kyle98632 December 2, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks for sharing this! $2200 House/$1900 Senate (married, filing separately) better for me ($1700 House/$1800 Senate filing jointly). Considering we generally owe $800-$900 a year the last 4 years, that would be a welcomed break.

      This kind of stuff is of course anecdotal, but it was a relief this Thanksgiving to hear my family talk about how much they are excited for the tax bill rather than how much of a disappointment Republicans in DC have been at our last family event in August.


      29, Born and raised in WA-03 (Represented by the wonderful Jaime Herrera Beutler).

    • rdw72777 December 2, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      I pay about $1,000 more. Meh

      • ike56 December 2, 2017 at 11:15 pm

        House plan gives me $4,400, Senate $3,600; I’ll take either. Thanks for subsidizing me, OG and RD!😉


        38, USN CPO (CA-52, stuck with Scott Peters until a good candidate comes along).

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    An interesting snapshot into an industry considerably more liberal than either journalism, academia, and certainly law: the tech sector, which has become a juggernaut in left-wing fundraising.

    One interesting anecdote – “Military veterans working at Pinterest have played down their background in the armed services because of concerns that colleagues will assume they are conservative”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/silicon-valley-struggles-to-add-conservatives-to-its-ranks-1512136801


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • rayinma December 2, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      I work in tech, which is indeed very liberal, but definitely not as liberal as journalism, academia or law. That’s an absurd statement.

      • Greyhound December 2, 2017 at 11:51 pm

        Yeah, Tech is too close to Republican-leaning Manufacturing to be too Progressive. The most Left-wing professions are the ones completely divorced from the production economy–Entertainment, Journalism, Teaching, etc.


        R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 3, 2017 at 1:08 pm

          As Jon hinted at, I was thinking more the Silicon Valley, which has lost all relationship with manufacturing.

          In fact, this study finds that the Silicon Valley is considerably more liberal than academia and journalism. Which are very liberal. (page 19).

          http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/msen/files/lawyers-ideologies.pdf

          The study actually predicts that I will probably be a Republican!


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • Jon December 3, 2017 at 10:01 am

        I’m in IT myself; there’s a sharp generational divide in the office; with boomers and (most of) generation Xers conservative while millennial’s and very late Xers liberal.
        We don’t have moonbats but we do have a libertarian.

        As to the title of the article: I have no interest in relocating to silicon valley; there’s plenty of jobs in my field that are local.


        45, M, MO-02

        • californianintexas December 3, 2017 at 6:04 pm

          My husband works in IT and like me is an “Xennial” (early 80s) and is liberal. Only because he works for the state government and most of his coworkers are white, male, older, and Mormon is he an exception.


          34, Female, Libertarian, UT-02 (hometown CA-31), theelectionsgeek.com

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 1, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Honduras electoral commission to announce the final Presidential results at 9 PM. Which is in a little under 2 hours.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-honduras-election-result/honduran-presidential-result-due-at-9-pm-electoral-tribunal-idUSKBN1DV5RG?il=0


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • Manhatlibertarian December 1, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    True Jones has a lot more $ than Moore and a really big Black turnout could edge him over the top. But as much as I would like to see Moore lose for multiple reasons, I don’t see that happening and I would say Moore wins by anywhere from 4 to 8 points. Jones is just too liberal for Alabama, Trump more or less endorsed Moore, and with multiple reports of sexual harassment concerning politicians and media figures, the spotlight is not so much just on Moore anymore. And it is deep red Alabama.

    In other news, Syracuse area IDC Dem faction member, State Senator David Valesky, doesn’t seem that excited about the idea of the 2 State Senate Dem factions re-uniting. He points out that the IDC-GOP alliance has helped him get better deals for state funding for his district. He also states that ultimately he is elected to represent his constituents and the independence he gets from being an IDC member allows him to work more easily with State Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help his district (he gets along well with GOP State Senate Deputy Majority Leader DeFrancisco, also from the Syracuse area). He already faces a probable Dem primary challenge from the left, so apparently he doesn’t see too much coming out of this “unity” deal.

    http://www.syracuse.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/12/ny_sen_david_valesky_unfazed_ by_ growing_pressure_to_rejoin_mainstream_democrats.html

  • Indy1975a December 1, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Moore by around 5-7, with Jones’ ceiling around 45 (and a large write-in vote). Really see no path for him to lose, and I continue to offer 10-1 odds for anyone taking Jones.


    Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

    • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 2, 2017 at 4:44 am

      I’ll take those odds.


      I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • segmentation_fault December 2, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Ruben Kihuen news is disappointing, he was one of my favorites. The allegations are mild compared to Franken and Conyers (unwanted verbal flirting and a thigh touch). But, Democratic leadership is going to scapegoat him to make up for their atrocious response to Conyers, and they also just reflexively hate the younger members of their caucus. Kihuen should probably go though, because there are usually others who come out. I hope he doesn’t drag this out.


    En Marche!

    • Son_of_the_South December 2, 2017 at 1:35 am

      Unless some others come out (as you say, it often happens), I kind of feel sorry for the guy. True, it sounds like uncouth behavior, but nothing truly serious. He could have had a long career ahead of him, especially if Nevada ever gained another district and he became wave-proof (or managed to jump up the ladder). It’s interesting that you mention that the Dem leadership doesn’t like the younger members much. I’d never thought of it that way, but thinking about who’s publicly broken ranks over the past few years, I guess that the feeling is mutual.


      24, R, TN-09
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

      • segmentation_fault December 2, 2017 at 1:42 am

        Most of the newer classes of Democrats elected since 2012 want new leadership, while most of the ones who served when she was speaker are still loyal to Pelosi. She has overstayed her welcome, and IMO it is unbecoming of a leader the way she has lashed out to the press at members of her caucus who criticize her.


        En Marche!

      • Mike1965 December 2, 2017 at 6:33 pm

        NV-04 will probably become wave proof even without Nevada gaining another seat in 2022. Since Clark county is growing faster than the rest of the state much of the rural areas f NV-04 will have to move to NV-02 in redistricting.


        #ThanksObama

        • Greyhound December 2, 2017 at 7:23 pm

          The rural areas are actually a pretty insignificant part of this seat, which is like 90% Vegas. The GOP “base” in this seat is actually Vegas’s Conservative NorthWest side, which is almost certainly going to have to go if you want to make NV-4 “Wave-proof”. On top of that, Clark County as a whole is trending Republican. Not sure how long that is going to last, and there’s a pretty good case it’s just regressing to the mean after Obama’s unusually-good 2008 showing there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump wins the current iteration of NV-4 in 2020.


          R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

          • shamlet December 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm

            Yeah, the concentrations of Republicans in the Las Vegas area are (somewhat inconveniently) 180 degrees away from each other on the northwest (NW LV city) and southeast (Henderson) sides of the metro. To make a safely R seat in metro LV you need to make a donut hole, not because of the rurals but to unite those two.


            R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

          • Mike1965 December 2, 2017 at 9:02 pm

            The rural areas cast 11.6% of the total vote for President in NV-04 but 18.1% of the total Trump vote. Trump won the rural areas by 45.5% or 14,654 votes. Hillary won the Clark county portion of NV-04 by 11.6% or 28,344 votes. Without the rural areas NV-04 is not competitive.


            #ThanksObama

            • Son_of_the_South December 2, 2017 at 9:14 pm

              Fair enough


              24, R, TN-09
              Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

  • LtNOWIS December 2, 2017 at 8:59 am

    New AL-SEN poll, Washington Post-Schar School:

    Jones 50
    Moore 47


    28, VA-11

      • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        A couple of thoughts on the WaPo poll:

        The racial breakdown for Moore vs Jones seems to be in the ballpark: Moore takes White voters 63-33 but Jones takes Black voters 93-6. However, the poll indicates 1/4 of voters will be Black, which would be about the same as their share of the Alabama population, which is 26% (2010 census). This would go against the norm for Black turnout in off year elections, although the Jones campaign is going to spend a lot of $ to try and get Black voters to turn out.

        With regard to the question who do you trust more on abortion, the poll has an almost 50/50 split; 47% Moore and 46% Jones. For that to occur at least one of 3 things has to happen:

        -Alabama voters are more liberal on abortion than has been thought

        -Some Alabama voters don’t understand how liberal Jones is on abortion

        -The turnout model is predicting a more Dem leaning electorate than is normally the case in Alabama.

        Of course, the poll shows only a tiny proportion of voters undecided, but like the “shy Trump voter” in some states, is there also a “shy Moore voter” who avoids public opinion polls because they are uncomfortable saying they will vote for Moore in a poll because he is controversial but will in the end do so anyway? Could be a key factor in a close vote.

        By the way the latest RCP average with the WaPo poll included has Moore ahead by 2.5.

        IMO the GOP would be better off without having Moore in the Senate; the Dems will of course try to make him and his idiotic statements the face of the GOP.

        • andyroo312 December 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

          Or, enough pro-lifers are willing to overlook Jones’ stance on the issue to halfheartedly support him over the predator.


          MA-7

          • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 5:32 pm

            Well what you say might be true, but that wasn’t my point. The question in the poll was specific as to who do you trust more on the abortion issue, Moore or Jones, and the poll indicates a 50/50 split. I question that if Alabaman voters knew Jones stance on abortion that half would trust him more on the issue. So to me that indicates that either some voters don’t know what Jones stance on abortion is or the voter sample is distorted in the direction of a more liberal Dem sample that is producing this kind of result. The point is I find it hard to believe that half of Alabama voters agree with Jones on abortion; it could well be that some who don’t agree with him on abortion will still vote for him over controversial Moore, but saying half of voters agree with Jones on abortion just does not seem correct to me.

            • Indy1975a December 3, 2017 at 12:16 am

              My guess is that you have too D a sample, but also a lot of voters don’t know how pro-abortion Doug Jones is. Even if they have seen Moore’s ads, they may dismiss them if they already don’t trust Moore. IMO, the poll should ask whether Doug Jones is “pro-choice” or pro-life and the same for Roy Moore along with the “whom do you trust more” question. I’d bet that at least 20% of the voter sample thinks Jones is pro-life.


              Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • w920us December 2, 2017 at 9:15 am

    One footnote to yesterday’s Senate vote-a-rama (14 votes cast in yesterday’s session).

    Pence cast his 6th tie breaking vote, voting yes on Cruz’s amendment “To allow limited 529 account funds to be used for elementary and secondary education, including homeschool.”

    This moves Pence’s total into a 3-way tie for 15th place.
    Also, “Mike Pence has casted the most tie-breaking votes (6) for a Vice President within their first year in office in history.”

    Wiki https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tie-breaking_votes_cast_by_vice_presidents_of_the_United_States
    Senate Document https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/VPTies.pdf
    Senate vote yesterday by Pence https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&session=1&vote=00298


    R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
    #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

  • Boehnerwasright December 2, 2017 at 10:14 am

    What I will look at in the coming months/years is how the repeal of the individual mandate will play out. We now have the opportunity to see if the big impact econemist and the CBO attribute to the mandate is real or not.

    Hard to tell what happens, but I would guess the impact is not as bad as the CBO thinks but still will destabilize the individual insurance market. Polling and the knowledge that the party in power mostly gets blamed points towards republicans getting the blame.

    Will congress pass a bill that helps with rising premiums like Collins wants? Not hard to see it passing in the senate especially with the assurances McConnel gave to Collins for her vote on the tax bill. But harder to see 218 republicans voting for a bill easily branded as a giveaway to insurance companies and seen as stabilizing obamacare.
    Will Ryan push such a bill through with the help of democratic votes?

    I think the likelyhood of republicans sucessfull repealing obmamacare are really slim especially as they can’t use the money from the mandate repeal anymore and as the midterms come closer vulnerable republicans don’t want to touch such a unpopular topic.

  • krazen1211 December 2, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Sander Levin out.

    https://twitter.com/AP/status/936975684894937088

    • Conservative First December 2, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Likely candidates include Andy Levin and State senator Steve Bieda.
      http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/02/us-rep-sander-levin-michigan-retires/108223266/

      • Republican Michigander December 2, 2017 at 11:26 am

        Seat went 51-44 for Hillary and 57-42 for Obama in 2012.


        MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • Republican Michigander December 2, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Lean D, but worth a fight.


      MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

      • Conservative First December 2, 2017 at 12:03 pm

        The only way this isn’t safe D is if Rs nominate Tory Rocca and Ds nominate a progressive.

        • Jon December 2, 2017 at 1:02 pm

          Agreed Likely D on the border with Safe D; and as currently drawn trending against us.
          This is though the seat I’d abolish considering Detriot’s continued population losses; but the location of the new congressman’s house will determine if he’d end up in one of Detriot’s districts or one further out on a map that I’d draw.


          45, M, MO-02

    • shamlet December 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Please move discussion to the new FP thread.


      R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

    • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Hey I’m starting to wonder if there is anyone left who is running for re-election (well not really but it does seem like an avalanche of not running again)

  • Republican Michigander December 2, 2017 at 10:58 am

    “”””1) What are your predictions regarding AL-Sen?””””

    I think Jones will win. 47-43-10 The big reason being that this is a special election turnout against a polarized candidate in addition to “the resistance.” Lower turnout I think favors Jones. A lot of normal R’s I think will stay home.

    “””””(2) Are there any foreign leaders who could benefit from being seen as close to President Trump?””””

    Outside of Western Europe or Latin America, yes.


    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • Indy1975a December 3, 2017 at 12:20 am

      #resistance barely exists in Alabama. The D vote there is largely black. For Jones to even get to 45%, that’s a lot of white voters who often/always vote R he has to win, probably from the well off suburban areas of Birmingham and Huntsville along with low turnout.


      Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • OGGoldy December 2, 2017 at 11:29 am

    1: Moore by 5. McConnell seats him, and denies him committee seats for the next year, but will get them in 2019 after voting with McConnell the whole time. Works out pretty slick for the GOP ultimately.

    2: Bibi and Duterte come to mind. Trump also carries a lot of weight with the Kurds, so their leaders probably also benefit from the association. Putin probably doesn’t get “helped” so much as he is personally enjoying having his boots licked by the POTUS.

  • HoneyBee December 2, 2017 at 11:37 am

    So ABC News’ big, scary sounding “bombshell” about how “candidate” Trump directed Flynn to contact the Russians has been corrected to be President Elect Trump directing Flynn to cooperate with Russians about how to fight ISIS. A perfectly reasonable thing for a President Elect to do.

    Donald Trump, trying to fight Isis. Lock that guy up. What a criminal.

    The media is actually out to get this guy. Like sure, Trump is not perfect, but how can anyone look at a headline like this and think that’s not the media trying to take him down?


    Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

    • freego December 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      You can’t, because that’s exactly what the media wants to do. Unfortunately for them, unforced errors like this only give credence to his “FAKE NEWS” rants.


      24, M, Rockefeller Republican, VA-08

      • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 3:46 pm

        Actually the ABC News report by Brian Ross (which was then picked up by other networks) claimed Trump had directed Flynn to contact the Russians during the election campaign, then 12 hours later retracted that and said it was a post-election contact, which in itself is not something illegal and is not unusual. Around the same time the MSM was also reporting that Tillerson was out and Pompeo was taking his place in January, “turmoil in the White House.” But Trump denied that is the case, so either Trump is lying or the media got it wrong, probably picking up a false story from a White House faction that was meant to weaken Tillerson. Got to do more due diligence guys if you want to be credible news.

        • MikeFL December 2, 2017 at 4:20 pm

          I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tillerson story is true, but he needs to wait for the year mark to avoid the tax issues.


          26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

          • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 5:49 pm

            Well anything is possible but Tillerson and Trump will look like total liars now if the story comes true next month. The story was specific that Tillerson leaves in January, Pompeo become Sec of State and Sen Cotton becomes CIA Director; sounds to me like a hawkish fantasy planted with the press by a hawkish faction in the White House that wants to undermine Tillerson. I mean Pompeo has only been CIA Director for a few months and does he now want to go through confirmation hearings to be SOS? Does Cotton want to leave a safe senate seat to be CIA Director? I have my doubts but we will see next month.

            • roguemapper December 2, 2017 at 5:54 pm

              Since when did the Donald care if he looked like a total liar? Anyway, he can always claim that he changed his mind between now and then, in the unlikely event that he even bothered to acknowledge it.


              Dem NC-11

              • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 6:22 pm

                Oh Trump will lie when it suits him, no doubt, but the story in its totality just doesn’t sound right to me. But we will see next month.

              • cer December 2, 2017 at 8:19 pm

                It does seem to fit into Trump’s narrative of “fake news.”


                Conservative first, Republican second!

              • Midnight901 December 2, 2017 at 8:41 pm

                Tillerson has called the NYT story “laughable”, so even if Trump’s word can’t be taken for it perhaps you think Tillerson might care if he looked like a total liar.

            • MikeFL December 2, 2017 at 11:23 pm

              Well Trump is a delusional liar, so I don’t think that would stop him. I agree that it seems unlikely though.


              26 | FL-16/27 | FisCon

              • HS December 2, 2017 at 11:36 pm

                I have heard Tillerson is finished, from a prominent journalist. And I heard it before these stories came out. So, I am guessing Trump and Tillerson are lying.

    • w920us December 2, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      Lying about Trump to discredit him just gets you suspended for a weeks with ABC. At least CNN fired its lying journalists.

      ABC News Suspends Brian Ross for 4 Weeks Without Pay: ‘Effective Immediately’
      https://www.thewrap.com/abc-news-suspends-brian-ross-4-weeks-without-pay-effective-immediately/


      R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
      #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

      • cer December 2, 2017 at 8:16 pm

        Ross should have been fired a long time ago imho.


        Conservative first, Republican second!

  • strawdog December 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Moore +5.

  • Carolingian December 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    1. Moore by 3. It’s been disgusting to see the statements by some Alabama Republicans. I have to assume the worst of Alabama voters and hope they prove me wrong.
    2. Very few places, maybe Saudi Arabia, eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary), Duterte.


    21, NC-4, Ex-R

  • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    The NY Times has reported that an FBI agent who was part of the Mueller investigative team has been removed after it was discovered he was exchanging anti-Trump messages with at least one other party. It is not immediately clear what was in the the messages and who the other party or parties are. The agent also took part in the interview with Hillary Clinton over her use of the private email server. The Justice Department Inspector General Office stated it is looking into unspecified allegations about FBI conduct during the Russian probe investigation.

    https://wtop.com/national/2017/12/fbi-removed-agent-from-russia-probe-for-anti-trump-messages/

    • Midnight901 December 2, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Apparently the other party was the bureau lawyer for Andrew McCabe, Comey’s deputy director, and the agent was also having an extramarital affair with the lawyer.

      • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 10:28 pm

        Yes that is my understanding also. The JD Inspector General is looking to see if the anti-Trump comments in the exchanged texts may have caused bias in the the agent’s handling of the Clinton and Trump investigations. I would think if enough bias is found it would invalidate use of any reports, files etc. the FBI agent prepared pertaining to these investigations. The fact that two FBI employees were exchanging anti-Trump texts could lead to charges of anti-Trump bias if the FBI agents’s reports, files etc. were used as part of the investigation.

  • freego December 2, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    I typically enjoy The Hill’s quick and concise format of getting a lot of stories out there, but their click-bait taglines have been really annoying as of late. I just read an article talking about “Legal Experts” being critical of Trump’s tweet and for a second I expected it to be a bipartisan or nonpartisan group of serious players. Instead the article only listed Richard Painter (lol), Walter Shaub (two ex-officials with a know anti-Trump disposition), Matthew Miller (former Obama appointee, MSNBC and DCCC alum) and FREAKING DAN PFEIFFER!

    Like I get it, what Trump tweeted was stupid and may come back to bite him, but the article presented itself as some serious piece about nonpartisan legal experts, and instead was full of know MSNBC/Democratic hacks. I can understand Scaub and Painter, but just calling Dan Pfeiffer a “legal expert” without any more description is crazy. I don’t get why some people say that The Hill is a right-leaning paper, when it clearly feeds off of click-baity anti-Trump articles.


    24, M, Rockefeller Republican, VA-08

    • Midnight901 December 2, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      This happens all the time. Ana Navarro is one of the most favored “top Republican strategists” that the media likes to call upon to say “See, even Republicans are opposed to this latest Trump policy that we’re opposed to”.

      • Republican Michigander December 3, 2017 at 12:37 am

        “”Ana Navarro is one of the most favored “top Republican strategists” “”
        LOL. Yep. That’s how the media works.
        In reality, the actual top Republican strategists are the ones who aren’t on TV all the time.


        MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • HS December 2, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      The Hill isn’t right wing. It is obviously left wing, although not as left wing as Politico.

  • Manhatlibertarian December 2, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    If we are talking about post election contact with the Russians by Trump officials before Trump became president and was President-Elect, then the relevant piece of law would be the Logan Act, if one is looking for a crime. The Logan Act was passed in 1799, in response to an attempt by George Logan, a political opponent of Pres Adams, to persuade the French to improve relations with the US. So the purpose of the law is to prevent unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments having a dispute with the US. No one has ever been convicted under the law and the last attempt at an indictment was over 150 years ago. A US District Court in 1964 in Waldron vs British Petroleum stated that the law was likely unconstitutional because of its vagueness. The right of free speech by citizens is also an issue. So if Mueller is planning on indicting Trump people under the Logan Act for negotiating with Russians he would be on shaky ground legally IMO , particularly when you are dealing with representatives of the President-Elect, not just some unauthorized citizen. But I have no real idea where he is going on this issue; maybe he will just concentrate on people lying to the FBI about Russian contacts.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

    • MaxwellsDemon December 2, 2017 at 11:50 pm

      No one in their right mind is actually concerned about the Logan Act on a Presidental transition team. So Flynn is a) A complete moron b) Hiding a lot more about Russian contacts, especially during the campaign

    • segmentation_fault December 3, 2017 at 1:47 am

      Mueller is not planning on indicting anyone under the Logan Act, or he would have already gotten Flynn who basically plead guilty to violating the Logan Act through his guilty plea on lying.

      I think what Mueller has always been looking for is some form of quid pro quo.


      En Marche!

  • segmentation_fault December 3, 2017 at 1:44 am

    For those still thinking Roy Moore will be expelled by Republicans if he wins, Ted Cruz said when asked if McConnell should do that, “of course not, we have to respect the will of the voters.”


    En Marche!

    • Boehnerwasright December 3, 2017 at 9:07 am

      Seems like a move that would have benefits shortterms as you wouldn’t risk the wrath of the grassroots but damaging longterm as republicans would be seen defending someone that is credible accused of molesting a 14-year old and having inappropriate contact with girls/women way younger then him.
      Any replacement for Moore after him being expelled would be both a republican and a better senator.

    • krazen1211 December 3, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Ted Cruz is a constitutional conservative (as rare as those are), and every state gets equal suffrage in the Senate. Alabama evangelicals are some of the most loyal R voters in this country. They get to pick their own Senator.

      • Boehnerwasright December 3, 2017 at 11:54 am

        The constitution state clearly that the senate can expell one of their members with a 2/3 votes. A new republican senator would be appointed after Moore is out so Alabama is still represented.

        Nothing is stopping Alabama evangelicals from electing another candidate of their choosing.

        • krazen1211 December 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm

          Shrug. There are plenty of Senators over the last 150 years who have been disliked by DC insiders or other random groups of people who think they are special. It’s never been up to them to approve or disapprove of the voters of Alabama or the choice that they made.

          Very few people are going to want to set this banana republic precedent. I don’t know why folks feel otherwise. The Democrats gnashed their teeth a bit when Rod Blago appointed Roland Burris and then left it alone for the subsequent 2 years.

          • Jon December 3, 2017 at 12:31 pm

            That particular case is indeed the closest parallel; they didn’t immediately seat Burris though, but had an investigation for a few months before seating him.

            I doubt there’s even a majority of senators willing to censure Moore; sitting senators aren’t really going to want to set a precedent of censoring members for what happened before they were senators.

            The other problem with expelling Moore even if there’s 2/3rds vote for it is that I’m not even sure it would block him from running again for the same office.


            45, M, MO-02

    • Manhatlibertarian December 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      McConnell seems to be changing his tune somewhat on Moore, lately saying it is up to the people of Alabama to decide and indicating that if Moore gets elected to the Senate, his case should be referred to the Ethics Committee (a la Franken). Expulsion is unlikely if Moore gets elected; it takes 2/3 for “disorderly behavior”(Article I, Section 5), and historically only about 20 people have been expelled from Congress, almost all for corruption or treason (i.e., Confederates). McConnell could (and should!) keep far out Moore out of the GOP caucus and not give him committee slots but I wonder if he will do that now. Maybe he is desperate for Moore’s vote on the tax cut bill and maybe he figures the Dems didn’t kick Franken out of the Dem caucus so why should he keep Moore out of the GOP caucus.

      • segmentation_fault December 3, 2017 at 8:40 pm

        Maybe because Moore is a pedophile and Franken is not. Maybe because Moore’s crimes would have gotten him decades in prison and registration as a sex offender.


        En Marche!

        • Ryan_in_SEPA December 4, 2017 at 8:05 am

          Franken’s antics would be felonies in most states as well (along with requiring him to register as a sex offender).


          31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

          • Jon December 4, 2017 at 6:51 pm

            I was under the impression that the victim had to be a minor to be forced to register as a sex offender.

            If states are expanding such draconian requirements after serving the sentence & probation in its entirety even to cases where the other party was already a legal adult; their days (post serving sentence & probation) are even more limited than I currently think.


            45, M, MO-02

  • Boehnerwasright December 3, 2017 at 9:03 am

    .@SenOrrinHatch talking about children’s health care: “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves – won’t lift a finger – and expect the federal government to do everything.”

    Orrin Hatch is more and more unfiltered and that is not a good thing. The optics of not wanting to spend money on the healthcare of children just after spending 1 trillion on a tax cut that is tilted towards the rich and corporations are just really bad.
    I still strongly believe that this is a fight republicans will lose hard. We just saw how bad a bill polled that took away healhcare from adults. Add children to that mix and I won’t get better.

    I mean does Hatch believe people will say children doesn’t deserve healthcare but corporations deserve a tax cut? Democrats will gladly run on a message of getting children healthcare instead of the rich and corporations getting a tax cut.

    • cer December 3, 2017 at 10:25 am

      What Hatch said was 100% correct. This PC garbage is getting tiresome.

      He still supports the program by the way.


      Conservative first, Republican second!

      • Boehnerwasright December 3, 2017 at 10:35 am

        What does PC have to do with funding of CHIP? However right Hatch might be about unsustainable entitlements as a matter of electoral politics this is the wrong fight and threatens to undermine the whole fight to make entitlements more sustainable.

        In the end it is very likely that CHIP will be renewed with at best minor concessions towards republicans as democrats would love to run on this in 2018. So why give dems such great lines for attack ads and messaging without getting a policy result?

        • cer December 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

          It’s nonsense because the majority of American probably agree with what Hatch said.
          You can support “CHIP” and quite comfortably say what Hatch said.


          Conservative first, Republican second!

          • Boehnerwasright December 3, 2017 at 11:04 am

            You might get a majority to agree to say that entitlements in general are unsustainable and something should be done. I very much doubt that cutting any specific programm or any realistic proposal would get even close to a majority.

            • cer December 3, 2017 at 1:13 pm

              By the way what @joeNBC quoted was taken out of context. He and other members of the MSM who retweeted that are now being shredded to pieces. He wasn’t talking about “CHIP” which was originally implied. Here is another example of what can happen when things are taken out of context. What makes it look even worse is that it looks like Joe did it on purpose.

              So, what he said again about welfare imho was valid.


              Conservative first, Republican second!

            • Greyhound December 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

              Just as a tip, if the Fiscons ever actually want to do serious entitlement reform, they should pair it with tax HIKES, not tax cuts. It astounds me how many people don’t seem to understand the narrative disconnect between “The Government doesn’t have enough money to make these payments moving forward” and “We’re giving the Government too much money right now”. Just saying, it would do wonders to reduce the hard-baked cynicism people have these days about a small-government agenda.


              R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

              • rdw72777 December 3, 2017 at 5:17 pm

                I stopped reading after “if fiscons actually wanted to do serious entitlement reform…” for obvious reasons.

                • Ryan_in_SEPA December 4, 2017 at 8:07 am

                  Fiscal conservatism is a dead ideology. Just like Evangelical Christianity is not a serious religious faith for most so-called evangelicals, but a codeword for working class white identity politics.


                  31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

                  • rdw72777 December 4, 2017 at 12:56 pm

                    My long-standing point exactly.

              • Red Oaks December 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm

                We should just stop using the term “fiscal conservative” altogether. It is used too often and frequently in contradictory ways. Sometimes it means “I’m a supple-sider”, sometimes it’s “I’m cautious about any fiscal change”, other times it’s even “I like balanced budgets so much I’ll vote for tax increases to get them”. When someone says “I’m a fiscal conservative” I really don’t what to make of it. The term “economic conservative” is probably a more helpful phrase as it more clearly conjures up a coherent policy vision (something along the lines of Dick Armey).


                MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

          • andyroo312 December 3, 2017 at 1:28 pm

            That is absolutely not the case. The vast majority of Americans, including lotsa folks who are about to vote for Roy Pedophile Moore, loovvveeee their entitlement programs.


            MA-7

            • cer December 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

              Take a poll on welfare now. 🙂

              In regards to Roy, his voters just don’t buy these news reports. Whatever you may think of Roy Moore, folks like Ross and Joe S. aren’t helping to give much credibility to the so called MSM.


              Conservative first, Republican second!

              • andyroo312 December 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

                Folks may loathe the word ‘welfare’ but touch their entitlement programs and you lose ’em. (And I say this was someone who supports robust entitlement reform.)


                MA-7

                • rdw72777 December 3, 2017 at 4:23 pm

                  This is the Kynect/Obamacare conundrum we see in Kentucky. Marketing has made the term Welfare toxic. Entitlements will be toxic in 20 years, at which point SS/Medicare will probably be called Patriot-AwesomeSauce-Benefit-Fantastapotamus-Stuff.

                  • roguemapper December 3, 2017 at 4:27 pm

                    In 20 years they’ll just call it socialism since a majority of millennials are great with that.


                    Dem NC-11

                    • cer December 3, 2017 at 4:37 pm

                      For those of you who follow @JoeNBC on twitter, he is doubling down on his earlier Hatch comments.

                      He is being a complete jerk!


                      Conservative first, Republican second!

                    • rdw72777 December 3, 2017 at 5:15 pm

                      I like my term better.

                  • GoldenStatesman December 3, 2017 at 7:10 pm

                    +1 solely for usage of the word Fantastapotamus


                    24, R, CA-38, Cubano, Community College Trustee

                  • Ryan_in_SEPA December 4, 2017 at 8:08 am

                    Patriot-AwesomeSauce-Benefit-Fantastapotamus-Stuff is the best term for entitlements ever!


                    31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

      • krazen1211 December 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm

        Basically this whole thing is out of context leftwing fake news.

        https://mobile.twitter.com/StevenTDennis/status/937333443746201600

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 3, 2017 at 1:14 pm

          Leftwing fake news is becoming an increasingly redundant term.


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • RogueBeaver December 3, 2017 at 9:27 am

    NV-4: Ralston says Kihuen’s done once Reid lowers the boom, a special would probably be a Horsford-Hardy rematch if they wanted it. Both are considering but Horsford’s happy in the private sector. Special would be a tossup. Cancela has a private sector job and law school to juggle so she might not be a backup. Chris G unlikely to drop down. https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/the-short-now-unhappy-political-career-of-ruben-kihuen


    QC/Blue Tory/M

  • Midnight901 December 3, 2017 at 10:51 am

    New CBS poll has Moore up 6 points, 49%-43%.

    • cer December 3, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Here is the link to that report.

      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-poll-alabama-republicans-call-allegations-against-moore-false/


      Conservative first, Republican second!

      • Manhatlibertarian December 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm

        I note in this poll, which says Moore is ahead by 6 points, 58% of respondents say abortion should be illegal. Contrast this with the WaPo poll which has Jones ahead by 3 points, where respondents split almost 50/50 on whether they trusted Moore or Jones more on the abortion issue. So unless a number of poll respondents were unfamiliar with Jones strong pro-choice stance, it looks to me that the WaPo sample has a liberal Dem sample bias, what with 58% of poll respondents in the CBS poll opposing abortion being legal. This is reinforced to me by the fact that most recent polls show Moore ahead.

    • andyroo312 December 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      I suspect Moore prevails but not by that wide a margin.


      MA-7

  • Left Coast Libertarian December 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/03/house-2018-democrats-trump-districts-gop-274630

    For months the narrative has been that Republicans in Clinton districts are in trouble, even those who coasted to victory in 2016. Based on 2017 election results this is probably right. Republicans like Mimi Walters should be worried and a wave, which we may be having, should wipe out many of them.

    One thing that has been ignored is that if people vote like they did for President in 2016 everywhere then there are a bunch of Democrats in trouble. Matt Cartwright won by 14 in the 2014 Republican wave but won by 7 against a nobody in 2016. Democrats won 2 Minnesota Trump seats by less than a point. These districts are similar to Issa’s CA-49 this way, not CA-45 where Walters didn’t lose votes.

    Republicans didn’t really do that much in them. Rick Nolan’s voters likely still love Trump. Saying things like, “Trump’s promises were not authentic” is likely to hurt him. If Republicans pick up 5-8 of the Trump seats, Democrats are unlikely to get a majority.

    • fzw December 3, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      Trump got 46% of the PV in 2016 and is currently mired in the 30’s, but if we want to pretend there’s not been much shift against him in districts like these because they love Trumpism or something or that “he had favorables in the 30’s last year and he still won though!”, that’s fine. Let’s check back next year to see what happens since we’ve argued this ad nauseum.

      If you use universal swing (not always good, I know), the swing from his -2 showing in 2016 to the roughly -20 now would make him underwater in all the Trump/D seats except for Collin Peterson’s.


      Currently MO-5. From MO-3.

  • Manhatlibertarian December 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has instructed staff to prepare contempt of congress documents against Deputy AG Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray because they have not provided requested info to the committee on why Supervisory FBI agent Peter Strzok was removed from the Russia investigation probe in July. The committee had been asking for this info for months, and Nunes is angry his committee never got the reason for Strzok’s removal and only found out the reason (anti-Trump texts) when the story got leaked to the press. He says he will issue the contempt of congress citation by the end of the month if the DOJ and the FBI don’t provide all requested info on Strzok’s removal.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-nunes-blows-up-threatens-contempt-after-fbi-stonewalls-house-on-russia-investigator-demoted-for-anti-trump-bias/article/2642387

    • HoneyBee December 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      God, Rod Rosenstein has been a complete disaster. That guy needs to be fired immediately


      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

      • Manhatlibertarian December 3, 2017 at 3:42 pm

        Unlike the case with Comey and Clinton, where the AG recused herself, Mueller in theory has a check over him with Rosenstein, who appointed him, because as I understand it the ultimate decision on whether to prosecute someone is Rosenstein’s, not Mueller’s. So again in theory, if Mueller goes too far afield in his investigation from his original mandate, Rosenstein could act to limit Mueller. But I don’t understand why Rosenstein has been stonewalling Nunes’ demand for info on why Strzok was removed from the investigation and Nunes has to learn about it through a leak to the press. Strzok was apparently a supervisory FBI agent and has not played just a minor role in the investigation, so it is leading me to think there is some explosive stuff about Strzok’s text messages that some people want to keep under wraps. Otherwise why has Rosenstein sat on this info?

  • cer December 3, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    It appears that Steve Bannon is going after Romney.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/steve-bannon-mulls-orrin-hatch-endorsement-to-block-mitt-romney/article/2642424


    Conservative first, Republican second!

    • andyroo312 December 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Loathsome cretin


      MA-7

      • cer December 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

        I have ZERO use for Steve Bannon, and I’m pretty anti establishment around here at times.


        Conservative first, Republican second!

        • Manhatlibertarian December 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm

          Something tells me a lot of conservative people have little love for Steve Bannon, a big ego who like Kasich has an outsized opinion of his own self importance and political skills.

    • Greyhound December 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Because why should the GOP even pretend like its learned something from Romney’s 2012 loss? Seriously, Mitt, just go away. Retire somewhere with all that money you have and don’t become the walking personification of how tin-eared your faction of the party is right now.


      R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

  • rdw72777 December 3, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    30,000 foot view of what will likely form House/Senate tax bill negotiations.

    I honestly don’t see anything close to dealbreaker. I tend to think the Senate gets its way on 9 thru 13, and only 12/13 are debatable. 1 thru 8 seem semantical, if that’s a word.

    • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 3, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      I doubt the Senate gets their way on 10/11. The bill needs more revenue and grad students aren’t a particularly important interest group compared to say…homebuilders/realtors (#7).

      The Senate obviously gets its way on #2. And it gets its way on #8 because Collins specifically negotiated that plank.


      I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • rdw72777 December 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm

        But they’re so insignificant in $$ terms I just don’t expect anyone to dig in their heels.

        • roguemapper December 3, 2017 at 6:04 pm

          This isn’t about $$ though, it’s about GOP antipathy to higher ed. But the real problem is that higher ed advocates don’t know how to effectively make their case to the Donald’s supporters. For instance, they should emphasize how international students are exempt from changes to the US tax code by treaty. Any grad school slots not filled by Americans due to taxing tuition waivers will simply go toward subsidizing more Chinese, Indians, and Saudis. That would be a far more effective lobbying tactic than focusing on how this disadvantages the poor, to say nothing of trying to convey the intrinsic value of higher ed on its own accord.


          Dem NC-11

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 3, 2017 at 6:19 pm

            If we view those countries as economic competitors, inflicting upon their best and brightest an American education seems like a great way to even the score.


            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • HoneyBee December 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Like the House Bill a lot more than the Senate Bill. The house bill is a real tax reform. The Senate Bill is one permanent corporate tax cut plus a few temporary tax cuts paid for SALT and the individual mandate repeal. We have to remember these deductions are distortionary and encourage over consumption of whatever they’re deducting for. Eliminating them is good for the economy.

      Hopefully we basically see something like the House Bill plus individual mandate repeal, and use the money from that to make expensing plus as many individual tax cuts as you can permanent.


      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

    • segmentation_fault December 3, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      I prefer the House bill overall, although I have problems with provisions 10-11 and 13. The House bill is better IMO because it doesn’t repeal the individual mandate, which would effectively gut Obamacare, even with Alexander-Murray and Collins-Nelson. I don’t care about SALT repeal (aka the Orange County Republican Seppuku Act of 2017).

      The obsession with repealing the estate tax is so dumb. If the House bill left the estate tax in place in exchange for not soaking graduate students, I would not really have a problem with it.


      En Marche!

      • cer December 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm

        Well that right there tells me that the Senate Bill just might be slightly better.


        Conservative first, Republican second!

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 3, 2017 at 8:28 pm

          Now before you get your hopes up, I also like the Senate bill more.


          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • Red Oaks December 4, 2017 at 5:18 pm

        Why is repealing the estate tax dumb?
        1. Repeal polls well. Even a modest number of Democrats have voted for repeal in the past because of this.
        2. As of January 1, 2018 only 17 states have an estate or inheritance tax. If keeping it is such a good idea then why have so many states repealed theirs?
        3. Many European countries (including those stingy right-wing bastions of Norway and Sweden) don’t have an estate tax. Why should the US?
        4. It raises very little revenue and is costly to administer relative to the revenue raised.


        MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

  • Manhatlibertarian December 3, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Looks like the GOP Leadership in Congress wants a “double patch” approach to spending legislation, where a temporary spending bill will be passed that expires on Dec 22, and then at that point a second spending bill will be passed to fund the government through January. This will give Congressional leaders time to work out specific funding levels for the rest of FY 2018. There will be a provision that will allow states running low on CHIPs funds to obtain some more $ on a temporary basis. Not clear how all this will go down with Freedom Caucus types as well as the Dems. You need 60 votes in the Senate if the Dems filibuster.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/01/government-shutdown-2017-republicans-democrats-199505

  • Tekzilla December 3, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Trump moving to block Romney from the Senate, urging Hatch to run again privately – Politico

    Priceless


    36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • cer December 3, 2017 at 10:18 pm

      I think Hatch should call it a career. However, Hatch deserves a lot of credit for getting his tax Bill through the Senate.


      Conservative first, Republican second!

    • cer December 3, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      Tek, Welcome to hard nose politics 101. 🙂


      Conservative first, Republican second!

    • Jon December 3, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      All but the first two paragraphs blocked behind a registration wall and/or paywall.


      45, M, MO-02

      • roguemapper December 3, 2017 at 10:35 pm

        You’re not missing much. It basically says 60K Venezuelan voters would transform Florida politics much like 1.2 million Cuban voters did, if they actually voted like Cuban voters used to vote and if there were a lot more of them.


        Dem NC-11

  • Manhatlibertarian December 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    With the CBS poll included Moore has a 3.2 point lead in the RCP poll. A lead for Moore but not a large one. Imagine if the Alabama Dems had put up a Manchin type candidate instead of a guy with a platform that a Dem running in New York could run on.

    • Tekzilla December 3, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      You run with the candidates who run, Would have been great for Maddox to run for Senate but alas.


      36/M/NY-01 (D)

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