Category Archives: GOP War On…

Negotiating with yourself does not constitute a ‘compromise’ (updated)

The White House alerted the media that Trump plans to make ‘major announcement’ on shutdown, and the border on Saturday afternoon.

Trump is given to hyperbole and superlatives, and this speech was no exception. This was an over-hyped PR stunt.

The speech began with Stephen Miller’s highlights of the xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant talking points of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, et. al., heard almost daily on conservative hate talk radio to gin up white anxiety and white grievances among Trump’s white nationalist base.

It then veered into a rehash of previous proposals (which were rejected by the prior Republican Congress) on DACA and TPS beneficiaries: a temporary stay of Trump’s policies for 3 years in exchange for $5.7 billion for Trump’s “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border.

This was something Trump negotiated with his white nationalist racist adviser Stephen Miller, and his son-in-law Secretary of Everything, Jared Kushner. There was no effort to negotiate with the Democratic leadership in good faith. Trump’s attempt to call this a “compromise” rings hollow. Negotiating with yourself does not constitute a “compromise.”

This was another lame attempt to reframe the issue solely as a PR stunt. It was an epic failure.

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Arizona GOP renews its war on public education

Last year Governor Doug Ducey was forced into increasing his offer of a one percent pay increase for public school teachers to an incremental twenty percent pay increase over two years in response to the Red For Ed teacher strike in Arizona. Governor Ducey suggested at the time that this was just a down payment on restoring massive cuts to public education since the Great Recession and subsequent years over the past decade. Governor Ducey went so far as to market himself as the “education governor” in his reelection bid.

Now that the election is past, that down payment on public education funding talk is nowhere to be found. In his State of The State address on Monday, “the governor talked mostly about programs and initiatives he’s rolled out before, such as the Arizona Teacher’s Academy and his school safety plan. He did not propose any new funding plans, sticking to his 20 by 2020 plan and doubling down on his promise for no tax hikes. What Gov. Doug Ducey said (and didn’t say) about education in State of the State address:

Ducey said he would continue to “hold the line” on raising taxes, signaling a lack of support for any education-related tax increases, possibly like the one state Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, proposed before the legislative session even started.

The governor didn’t address the possibility of finding new revenue streams for education.

He did pledge to keep his promise to raise teachers’ salaries by 20 percent by 2020.

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‘Collusion’ in plain sight: a compromised president is a national security threat

This past week we learned from Paul Manafort’s attorneys that their client shared closely guarded campaign polling data with Russian (and Ukrainian) oligarchs who have close ties to Vladimir Putin. Paul Manafort shared 2016 polling data with Russian associate, according to court filing.

David Measer explains The real value of Paul Manafort’s polling data:

[I]t’s a mistake to treat polling data as mere briefing material; it’s actionable information. Those of us in advertising use it to decide who to target; to position the brands we represent as distinctive from other brands; to develop messaging and ads; and to knock competitors out of their positions in consumers’ minds. We’ve known since 2017 that the Russian disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election did the same thing — aiming different posts at people who indicated that they “liked” patriotism or lived in Ferguson, Mo.

Passing on this kind of information gives a partner the ability to reach audiences in a very personalized way. And if that partner is a foreign country intent on influencing voters, exploiting divisions and disrupting elections, the data is priceless. It gives them the tools to get pretty close to the holy grail of marketing: to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right message.

This would be the Russian troll farm run by Russian intelligence agencies whom the Special Counsel has indicted for interference in the 2016 election.

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Trump manufactures a ‘national emergency’ to abuse the power of his office

Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.” – General George S. Patton

Donald Trump has shut down the federal government over his demand for $5 billion (now $5.6 billion) for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border, a monument to the stupidity of this man. The amount of money being fought over is a rounding error in what it would actually cost to build his wall. See the Brookings Institute, The Wall: The real costs of a barrier between the United States and Mexico.

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This is a “crisis” manufactured by the Trump administration in an effort to extort money from Congress, which has routinely rejected his request in appropriations bills. Trump himself has agreed to these appropriations bills until he reneged on the latest deal in December after right-wing propagandists in the conservative media entertainment complex attacked him for agreeing to the appropriations bills. Do we really want right-wing propagandists like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity dictating public policy?

Oh, and Mexico is not paying for this monument to the stupidity of this man, you will.

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The Trump Shutdown: he’s dreaming of a white nationalist Christmas

Just in time for Christmas, our white nationalist racist-in-chief got the government shutdown over his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border that he wanted after calling for it at least 25 times.

This is the third government shutdown in two years under unified Republican control of the government. Republicans are an abject failure at governance.

Someone just give Trump a MAGA building blocks set for Christmas to occupy his infantile mind (yes, this is a real thing) and let’s get on with the serious adult business of running the federal government.

On Wednesday, Senate and House leadership believed they had an agreement with the White House on a spending bill which did not include the$5 billion Trump had demanded for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border — a vanity monument to himself. The Senate went ahead with a vote and passed it nearly unanimously by a voice vote. The House was expected to follow suit, and everyone could then head home for Christmas. Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Bill That Would Avert Shutdown.

But then the white nationalists of the GOP House Freedom Caucus led by Representatives Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said Mr. Trump was doing himself “major” political damage with his political base of “deplorables” by relenting in the wall fight.

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