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Daily Archives: December 25th, 2019


The current politics of America seems to hinge on the whims and desires of a few long-serving Congressional members.these are the people in whom we put our trust at their first foray into politics. We have kept these folks in office based on the initial trust we bestowed upon them. That trust has been violated more times than we know and horribly apparent now with the advent of  TOTUS (aka self-pitying cheater and shameless liar).  The impeachment procedures while disruptive could be handled better if we truly had representatives we could trust. It seems that the only reason for supporting an incompetent leader is the cover provided by his miscreant behavior and boisterous outbursts. The semi-legal (in practical terms) appointing of judges who are clearly conservative to the point of harm to us (the voters) is what we are gaining(?) from this administration and the neer do well Congress that supports him. The current TITULAR head of our country has administrated on twitter and in rallies with no basis in fact on many if not all of his claims and statements. Our European allies have all taken note of his actions and statements while attempting to continue working with the U.S. in the cohesive way they have for 70 plus years. Our long-time foes are silently laughing at his ineptitude and at the same time continuing their nefarious ways again using TOTUS as a cover by sometimes falsely praising or provoking him. There is no additional information required. but surely more will be forthcoming.

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Jeff Flake 12 hrs ago – The Washington Post

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
Jeff Flake, a Republican, represented Arizona in the U.S. Senate from 2013 to 2019. He is a resident fellow at Harvard University and a contributor to CBS News.
To my former Senate Republican colleagues,
I don’t envy you.
It might not be fair, but none of the successes, achievements and triumphs you’ve had in public office — whatever bills you’ve passed, hearings you’ve chaired, constituents you have had the privilege of helping — will matter more than your actions in the coming months.
President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong.
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As we approach the time when you do your constitutional duty and weigh the evidence arrayed against the president, I urge you to remember who we are when we are at our best. And I ask you to remember yourself at your most idealistic.
We are conservatives. The political impulses that compelled us all to enter public life were defined by sturdy pillars anchored deep in the American story. Chief among these is a realistic view of power and of human nature, and a corresponding and healthy mistrust of concentrated and impervious executive power. Mindful of the base human instincts that we all possess, the founders of our constitutional system designed its very architecture to curb excesses of power.
Those curbs are especially important when the power is wielded by a president who denies reality itself and calls his behavior not what it is, but “perfect.”

Personally, I have never met anyone whose behavior can be described as perfect, but so often has the president repeated this obvious untruth that it has become a form of dogma in our party. And sure enough, as dogma demands, there are members of our party denying objective reality by repeating the line that “the president did nothing wrong.” My colleagues, the danger of an untruthful president is compounded when an equal branch follows that president off the cliff, into the abyss of unreality and untruth.
Call it the founders’ blind spot: They simply could not have envisioned the Article I branch abetting and enabling such dangerous behavior in the Article II branch. And when we are complicit, we cede our constitutional responsibilities, we forever redefine the relationship between Congress and the White House, and we set the most dangerous of precedents.
My simple test for all of us: What if President Barack Obama had engaged in precisely the same behavior? I know the answer to that question with certainty, and so do you. You would have understood with striking clarity the threat it posed, and you would have known exactly what to do.
Regarding the articles of impeachment, you could reasonably conclude that the president’s actions warrant his removal. You might also determine that the president’s actions do not rise to the constitutional standard required for removal. There is no small amount of moral hazard with each option, but both positions can be defended.
But what is indefensible is echoing House Republicans who say that the president has not done anything wrong. He has.
The willingness of House Republicans to bend to the president’s will by attempting to shift blame with the promotion of bizarre and debunked conspiracy theories has been an appalling spectacle. It will have long-term ramifications for the country and the party, to say nothing of individual reputations.
Nearly all of you condemned the president’s behavior during the 2016 campaign. Nearly all of you refused to campaign with him. You knew then that doing so would be wrong — would be a stain on your reputation and the standing of the Republican Party, and would do lasting damage to the conservative cause.
Ask yourself today: Has the president changed his behavior? Has he grown in office? Has the mantle of the presidency altered his conduct? The answer is obvious. In fact, if the president’s political rally in Michigan on Wednesday is any measure, his language has only become more vulgar, his performance cruder, his behavior more boorish and unstable.
Next, ask yourself: If the president’s conduct hasn’t changed, has mine? Before President Trump came on the scene, would I have stood at a rally and cheered while supporters shouted “lock her up” or “send them back”? Would I have laughed along while the president demeaned and ridiculed my colleagues? Would I have ever thought to warm up the crowd for the president by saying of the House speaker: “It must suck to be that dumb”?
As I said above, I don’t envy you. You’re on a big stage now. Please don’t accept an alternate reality that would have us believe in things that obviously are not true, in the service of executive behavior that we never would have encouraged and a theory of executive power that we have always found abhorrent.
If there ever was a time to put country over party, it is now. And by putting country over party, you might just save the Grand Old Party before it’s too late.
Jeff Flake: Fellow Republicans, there’s still time to save your souls

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Kevin D. Williamson 18 hrs ago

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

In 2010, the U.S. electorate responded to the overreach of the Obama administration — on health care, but not only on health care — by giving Republicans control of both houses of Congress. The Obama administration had big ideas. So did congressional Republicans. Both sides failed, and not only because of the other.
Republicans vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and Democrats vowed to implement it in full.
Neither of those things happened.
Republicans, hamstrung by the fact that their voters have a healthy appetite for free stuff, just like the Democrats’ voters, struggled to come up with a viable alternative satisfying more or less impossibly contradictory criteria: Keeping the popular, expensive benefits of the ACA, especially the mandate that insurers perform the logically impossible task of “insuring against” things that already have happened, while getting rid of the unpopular bits that support the popular ones, especially the individual mandate, without which the preexisting-conditions mandate is more or less guaranteed to cause the insurance market to fail. Republicans have repealed bits and pieces of the ACA but have done little to advance a health-care agenda of their own.
Democrats, hamstrung by the fact that their voters have a healthy appetite for free stuff, just like the Republicans’ voters, did as much as Republicans to hobble the ACA, mainly by refusing to implement the measures meant to help pay for it. Led by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Democrats put off implementing the tax on medical-device manufacturers, a disproportionate number of which are based in Boston. The so-called Cadillac tax on generous health-care plans, hated by Democratic union bosses, never has been implemented, either; it is formally only delayed, but its repeal is all but certain. Democrats who argued the ACA was the best model for reforming health care immediately moved on to push for a British-style monopoly system.
The Democrats spent a few years complaining about being called “socialists” by conservatives and then rallied behind declared socialists such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Barack Obama, who came to power criticizing the excesses of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism, made his peace with extraordinary war powers and then added to them, expanding the drone war and deciding, with no obvious constitutional or statutory authority, to begin assassinating American citizens. Democrats who had produced a whole Chinese opera of discord and wailing over the risibly named PATRIOT Act and the nightmare scenario that Dick Cheney might peek at somebody’s library records, immediately made their peace with extrajudicial killings of U.S. citizens, as long as it was a Democrat pulling the trigger. By 2019, that was understood to be entirely unremarkable.
The Iraq War supposedly ended in 2010. In reality, the U.S. government has been unable to achieve its ends in Iraq or Afghanistan in spite of the extraordinary powers with which it has been invested since 9/11, and Americans have died in Iraq every single year since the supposed end of combat operations there in 2010, almost 50 during the Trump administration alone. President Obama came into office repudiating the Bush doctrine and Bush administration practices but was never able to articulate a plausible alternative. President Trump, who probably could not lay his finger on Iraq on an unlabeled map, has continued the Obama administration’s tradition of incoherence and adhocracy. Political cowardice and the declining political piquancy of Middle Eastern affairs, and of foreign affairs generally, have ensured that two presidents of two parties have left both our enemies and our allies doubting American resolve.
Total federal debt was $12.8 trillion in the first quarter of 2010; today it is almost twice that, at $22.7 trillion. In GDP terms, it has grown from 87 percent to 105 percent. Entitlements remain unreformed, with both the Obama administration and the Trump administration refusing to take one meaningful step on the issue, with reform being held hostage by a combination of cowardice and ideology. France’s socialist president has been a pillar of fiscal rectitude in comparison.
Earlier in the decade in Atlanta, public-school teachers and administrators were sentenced to prison time for cheating on standardized tests in order to paper over the comprehensive failure of the city’s public schools. (Atlanta’s schools are by no means unique in this.) At the end of the decade, celebrities and their enablers were convicted of crimes (and others still were on trial) for bribery and fraud committed in the process of getting their children into elite (and sometimes only decent) colleges. College tuitions were said to be “skyrocketing” in 2010; in the final days of 2019, they were still soaring. Which is to say, education remained unreformed at both ends, from kindergarten through college.
From health care to education to national security to entitlements to fiscal stability, the past decade has been one of missed opportunities. We have had a great number of tedious, self-aggrandizing speeches and, for the past few years, a flaming presidential Twitter account. We have had memes and cancelations, rage mobs, neo-nationalism, resurgent socialism, and generally ineffective government. On the cultural front, we have had stagnation: The top-grossing film of 2010 was Toy Story 3, while in 2019 it will be Avengers 22. The three best-selling books of 2018 were the Michelle Obama memoir Becoming, Girl Wash Your Face, and The Wonky Donkey, which is not an account of the sorry state of the Democratic party.
It was a wonky decade, indeed. And kind of a dumb one.
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