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Destiny

Trump 39: The Return of the Wall

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fraurosena

Ted Lieu is the best.

 

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GreyhoundFan

From the wonderfully snarky Alexandra Petri: "The State of the Union was deeply weird"

Spoiler

I am on the record as calling the State of the Union, as a concept, “garbage," stating that I strongly objected to it and that I thought we would be better if it were quietly handed to us in writing. Did that mean that I did not watch it? Did I say similar things about “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and then go see it opening night in theaters? Here is approximately what happened, if you were not watching, as I was.

The State of the Union was ... deeply weird. Possibly as a deterrent to ill-wishers, Rick Perry was the Designated Survivor.

Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence sat behind President Trump, who arrived with his red tie slightly askew in a cloud of rumor that he was going to emit a call for bipartisanship — as distinct from what he usually emits: a high, eerie whistle that summons dogs of all sizes from many neighboring counties. A large contingent of female members of Congress (a fun phrase to type!) wore “suffragette white." Tiffany Trump wore the same, for whatever that is worth! (Please, figure that out and tell me! It might be something, but then again, it might also be nothing?) Pelosi also had some papers that appeared to be either a print copy of the president’s speech or just something more interesting to read, which she consulted at intervals, sometimes with an expression of concern.

Anyway, here is — roughly — what the president said:

President Trump: It is the best of times! The union is very strong. It has, perhaps, never been stronger. We have more jobs than the Founding Fathers had people, and we have made great strides with regards to women, who now have jobs and, I am told, mostly sink when placed in water.

Trump: We are entering a new golden age. First, we won World War II (a great thing to do, and especially at that time!) and then we went to the moon, and I have brought Buzz Aldrin and the moon here with me to say “Thanks.” You’re welcome, moon!

Trump: We have more gas than ever. There is no death, everyone has six jobs, and the dollar is now made of affordable medicine! I have spent 60 percent of my days in Executive Time and yet I have achieved more than any president, even Ben Franklin!

That is why I am calling for bipartisanship. Specifically, by bipartisanship, I mean: Stop these investigations. There is nothing more partisan than an investigation. Whether or not someone obeyed the laws of the United States is, as we know, a matter of interest only to Democrats.

“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!” Remember: If it rhymes, there were no crimes! I would hate for the economy to suffer some sort of an accident. Good. Glad we understand each other.

HOWEVER. The state of the union is also bad. It is — do not be upset, but, also, please be AS UPSET AS YOU CAN — the worst that it has ever been. It is the literal worst of times, and we need to be as afraid as we possibly can. No, more afraid than that. Do you see them, coming for you? They are coming, I promise! Anyway, we need a wall or barrier but definitely a wall and we need it right now, and here are some really alarming unsubstantiated claims about Violent, Lawless Monsters of the sort I have been making for my entire presidency and the preceding campaign, so I don’t know why anyone is surprised, but it’s still depressing to hear.

NAFTA was bad. Also, remember infrastructure? I don’t. I forgot completely. Oh well, we’ll cross that collapsing, dangerous bridge when we come to it.

Let’s cure AIDS and cancer! Speaking of which, abortion. Remember abortion? You should. And just a reminder: I oppose it. Let’s talk about it a lot between now and 2020. No particular reason. And that is why I want to provide for the national defense, and I am pulling us out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. Our embassy is in Jerusalem now!

Trump: I think, on the whole, my foreign policy is going well. Venezuela, Afghanistan, other places. If you have questions about it, ask Sarah Sanders, who will not answer, but will get very upset that you inquired.

(At this point, Trump introduces Judah Samet, a concentration camp survivor and survivor of the Tree of Life synagogue attack. It is his birthday. Haltingly and awkwardly, Congress sings “Happy Birthday” to honor this man. They say the less tuneful, the more heartfelt? I am not making this up. Making things up in 2019 is a thankless task.)

Trump: And now that it is past 10 on the clock, it is a good time for me to observe that we have here representatives from all over this great land, from the rocky shores of Maine and the ocean waters of Florida and the redwood forests of California and the green, green bluegrass of Kentucky and the rugged hills of Wisconsin and the red canyons of Arizona and the Alamos of Texas and the Los Alamos of New Mexico and the Lee Greenwoods of Nevada and the various assorted Trump properties of New York and New Jersey and of course Florida, and other places as well — you thought I was going to say all 50 of them, didn’t you, for a second there?

In conclusion, God bless this great flag, one flag under a nation for which we stand, we the people, in order to form a more perfect liberty and justice for auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind (love our miners!) bless the USA, bless us everyone.

CUT TO: A panel, saying that Trump did, indeed, call for bipartisanship, and, in a surprising and hopeful departure from previous speeches, failed to emit a single piercing shriek that caused all who heard it to fall to the ground in agony but instead a series of small, discrete shrieks.

CUT TO: Stacey Abrams. It is a rule that everyone who delivers a response to the State of the Union must do one Strange, Off-Putting Thing, say, drinking water, or wearing ChapStick, and that after doing this, they will be Cursed from public life, never to return, except to Congress. Stacey Abrams had some out-of-focus people (an out-of-focus group?) just behind her, but apart from this, she broke that curse.

Stacey Abrams: Remember what used to make America great? Remember speeches that not only had optimistic messages, but normal transitions from one subject to another? Remember humanizing anecdotes that sounded as though they were delivered by someone who had experienced even a single warm, decent feeling? Remember language deployed to convey meaning? Now you will! This is the kind of speech that people used to give before Donald Trump, who careens from subject to subject, groundless optimism to baseless (but base-inspiring) terror without a moment’s notice, like a cursed Plinko, who delivers all the usual cliches but in a way that makes you feel vaguely nervous. I am here to suggest that we can do better. Voter suppression is bad! So is racism! Remember when this was what you used to hear from the president? Good night.

 

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fraurosena

The presidunce's guest to the SOTU was a young victim of... cyber-bullying. I kid you not. Young Joshua Trump (no relation) gets picked on because of his name, poor little guy. He was very excited to be there.

 

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GreyhoundFan

From Dana Milbank: "Trump calling for ‘comity’? That’s comedy."

Spoiler

President Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway previewed the State of the Union address as a “call for more comity.”

Perhaps she meant “comedy”?

The notion that this president, who governs by insult, leads by division and delights in inflaming grievances, would be associated with comity is, well, funny.

Each year, around Groundhog Day, Trump emerges to give a one-night bipartisan appeal, and Tuesday night’s rendition was, by Trumpian standards, generous. But then he spends the next 12 months throwing shadow.

“Together we can break decades of political stalemate,” Trump inveighed Tuesday. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions.”

Sound familiar? This is what he said last year: “Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people.”

And the year before: “I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength. . . . We must build bridges of cooperation and trust — not drive the wedge of disunity.”

On Tuesday night, Trump said: “The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda. It is the agenda of the American people.”

Here’s his 2018 version: “We came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people.”

And his 2017 version: “Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country and for the good of the American people.”

One more: “Millions of our fellow citizens,” Trump said Tuesday night, are “hoping that we will govern not as two parties but as one nation.”

2018? “So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans.”

Some repetition of themes is inevitable in such addresses. But Americans understand, by now, that unity and comity are not in the president’s skill set, no matter what words his advisers loaded into the TelePrompter. He would be just as convincing if he used his address to announce that he will play first oboe this year in the National Symphony Orchestra.

Trump’s choice of guests for the speech offered some hope of unity: people who had overcome drug addiction or childhood cancer, or survived the Pittsburgh massacre. But here, too, were symbolic provocations: relatives of people killed by an illegal immigrant, even though Trump’s favorite scapegoats don’t commit crimes in greater proportion than others.

Some of Trump’s words, likewise, were unifying, such as his call to eliminate HIV in 10 years (a proposal that would be more convincing if Trump hadn’t proposed cutting AIDS funding). But it was difficult to escape the conclusion that Trump is just reading the words he was given because he’s supposed to.

Last night? “The next major priority for me . . . should be to lower the cost of health-care and prescription drugs.”

Last year? “One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs.”

Last night? “Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure.”

Last year? “It is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. . . . I am asking both parties to come together.”

The year before? “Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced.”

Last night? “I am also proud to be the first president to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave.”

Two years ago? “My administration wants to work with members of both parties to make child-care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave.”

Trump delivered the usual bromides about cooperation: “Victory is winning for our country.” “Now is the time for bipartisan action.” “We must reject the politics of revenge.” “We must go forward together.”

The warmest moment came when Trump celebrated “more women serving in the Congress than ever before.” There were chants of “USA!” and high-fives among Democratic women wearing suffragette white. More good feelings came with a cross-aisle round of “Happy Birthday” for a Holocaust survivor.

Trump was at times lofty — “this is the time to reignite the American imagination” — and, for him, unusually positive — presidential, even. But this is Trump, and nobody should expect the bonhomie to last.

There were groans when Trump alleged that “caravans are on the march to the United States,” and more groans when he called it a “tremendous onslaught.” He renewed his call for a border wall — “I’ll get it built” — and revived campaign lines about “open borders,” MS-13, murderous illegal immigrants and creeping socialism.

But something unexpected happened when Trump blamed his opponents for the current ugliness. Denouncing both “foolish wars” and “ridiculous partisan investigations,” he said, mockingly: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.”

Nobody — not even the Republicans — cheered.

Trump might think people believe his annual appeal for unity. But everybody is onto the joke.

 

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Howl

All the talking heads who are solemnly dissecting Trump's SOTU "message" seem to forget that there's no way in hell that he wrote it.  It's most certainly been pieced together by Kellyanne "STFU George, You're Harshing My Mellow" Conway, that Miller "SEPARATE THEM NOW" boy and that reformed debt hysteric Mulvaney "Nobody Cares about the Debt" fellow. 
Trump couldn't put together a speech if his life depended on it.  His political life does depend on it, so he wasn't allowed too much input. 

A tweeter threatened to do Very Bad Things to talking heads who dared to talk about how Pres. Cheezit was being presidential for grinding along with the teleprompter.  Some guy on Morning Joe this AM was  *very solemn face* talking about the "great nations don't fight wars forever" sentence from the speech and how Trump was so yada yada with that sentence.  It totally set my teeth on edge.  It wasn't a Trump concept, a Trump idea or a Trump sentence.  It was written by his minders, to cover Trump's ass on the precipitous Syria withdrawal, giving ISIS renewed energy and preemptively talking about withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. 

Edited by Howl

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Audrey2
1 hour ago, fraurosena said:

The presidunce's guest to the SOTU was a young victim of... cyber-bullying. I kid you not. Young Joshua Trump (no relation) gets picked on because of his name, poor little guy. He was very excited to be there.

 

In his defense, the speech was on at 9 p.m., which is probably his bedtime or after his bedtime.

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Tired
Audrey2

Donnie are you not getting enough executive time? Did you know that there's a way that you can get as much executive time as you want? It is called retirement! When you are retired, you can go golfing and watch as much POX news as you like (POX because watching FOX is a disease)! POX's favorite viewers are retired because they can watch it all day!

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Howl

Here's something that chafing my damned chaps.  As usual, since Day 1 of Trump's campaign, MSM/cable is breathlessly analysing every word, searching for every nuance, teasing out every meaning (is if there is any) of Trump's blather and giving Stacy Abrams zip.  ZIP!  Nada. Zero. I'm pissed. 

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AmazonGrace

Colbert's response

 

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AmazonGrace

Unity and bipartisanship :

 

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Meh
Dandruff
5 hours ago, fraurosena said:

The presidunce's guest to the SOTU was a young victim of... cyber-bullying. I kid you not. Young Joshua Trump (no relation) gets picked on because of his name, poor little guy. He was very excited to be there.

The child is being bullied because of his name and they thought bringing him to the SOTU was going to help?

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AmazonGrace

They don't give a damn about the child, he was just a prop in their quest to appear like the most bullied persons in the world

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Dandruff
2 hours ago, AmazonGrace said:

They don't give a damn about the child, he was just a prop in their quest to appear like the most bullied persons in the world

I agree, but wonder what motivated the child's parents to go along with it.

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GreyhoundFan

"O.J. Simpson has some advice for President Trump"

Spoiler

When O.J. Simpson was approached in a Las Vegas parking lot on Tuesday, a tabloid reporter asked about President Trump’s imminent address to Congress.

“What do you think about your buddy’s State of the Union tonight?” a TMZ reporter asked.

He demurred at first. Trump was a friend, he explained to TMZ. Simpson was even a guest at Trump’s second wedding in 1993, months before the gruesome double murder that would send Simpson to trial.

But that far in the past, when Simpson the football megastar knew Trump, the brash Manhattan tycoon — before their lives took wildly divergent paths. “I don’t know the president,” Simpson said. “I stay out of politics."

But avoiding politics would be hard to avoid if Trump was impeached. TMZ asked Simpson: did the former NFL star think that could happen?

“If he keeps hanging around with people like that Roger Stone,” Simpson said, referring to Trump’s longest-serving political adviser who was arrested last month and charged with seven counts, including lying to investigators, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

Stone criticized the FBI raid, calling it an overreach with more force used in raids involving Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Guzmán was captured amid deadly urban combat and bin Laden was shot twice in the head by a Navy SEAL before his corpse was dumped into the sea.

Simpson, a man with vast experience in the criminal justice system, pivoted his advice to Stone in a flash of showmanship that never quite left his body, even after the murder charges, the civil suits and felony convictions that sent him to prison for years.

“Let me say this. You know, I got raided by the FBI in Miami,” Simpson said, an apparent reference to a 2001 drug investigation that did not result in charges. "30-something FBI agents, 5 o clock in the morning, and I had more than dogs. I had kids there.”

Simpson added: “The FBI can be wrong, but to try and compare it to ‘El Chapo’ and bin Laden? Hey man, bin Laden was carried out in a bag, not walked out in handcuffs. So man up, stop crying.”

Trump’s connection to Simpson emerged in different ways after Simpson was accused in the 1994 murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in Los Angeles.

In the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “O.J.: Made in America,” one scene shows Simpson’s legal team rearranging his house to make him more appealing to the jurors in his murder trial. Among the changes made was removing photos showing him with wealthy white friends, including Trump.

Trump had also sought Simpson to appear on the “Celebrity Apprentice” television show, he told Howard Stern in 2008.

Simpson was acquitted of the murders, but he was later found to be liable for the deaths of Brown Simpson and Goldman in a civil suit.

He was sentenced to 33 years in prison following charges of armed robbery and kidnapping in a 2007 confrontation involving sports memorabilia. He was paroled in 2017.

 

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GreyhoundFan

"Trump delivered the Eddie Haskell State of the Union"

Spoiler

One of the memorable characters from the old days of television was Eddie Haskell of “Leave It to Beaver.” President Trump no doubt remembers him. Haskell was sycophantically respectful toward parents to their faces but always plotted and schemed when their backs were turned. To a generation, Haskell symbolized hypocrisy of the most annoying kind.

Trump’s address Tuesday was the Eddie Haskell State of the Union — although Haskell’s performances were more artful because he turned nasty only when the elders weren’t looking. In Trump’s case, his two-faced politics was on display in the very same oration that went on and on and on.

At the outset, Trump tried his mightiest to be a bipartisan unifier in the manner of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future,” Trump said in a line released in advance to showcase that he really, truly wanted to bring us together. “The decision is ours to make.”

But the real meaning of Trumpian solidarity emerged as the address continued: Give in to me on everything and there will be no conflict.

For one thing, he could not even refer to his opposition by the name they choose for themselves. He insisted on referring to the Democratic agenda as a “Democrat agenda,” — the most tired of McCarthy-era rhetorical tricks. It’s just not cool to throw gratuitous insults at the people you say you want to work with.

And a large part of his speech, especially the replay of his Chamber-of-Horrors bombast on immigration, was nothing but partisanship. The usual cast was there, the “ruthless coyotes” — Lord, he loves referencing those coyotes — the “cartels, drug dealers and human traffickers,” and, of course, the “caravans.”

He told us that “one in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north” and that “thousands of young girls and women” are sold “into prostitution and modern-day slavery.” But he offered not a single nod to the traditional value of not separating children from their parents when they arrive at our borders.

There was also a mind-boggling moment of perverse Marxism: “Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.” (Never mind that his tax cuts might have helped them pay for those things.) Perhaps Trump’s effort to build great fortifications at the border is an ultra-liberal wall redistribution program.

All this was in the service of his main warning: “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.”

So there you have it in one place: (1) Investigations are as bad as wars; (2) all investigations are “ridiculous partisan investigations”; and (3) if the economy tanks, it’s because Democrats are investigating him. Oh, and between the lines, beware of all the socialist Democrats who are trying to take him down. “America will never be a socialist country,” he promised. Take that, Sweden and Norway!

The Democratic response to Trump from Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia last year, won unusually good reviews for speeches of its genre, partly because it was blessedly compact compared with the president’s sprawling, undisciplined jumble.

Abrams said what she meant and did not pretend that we were about to enter a fantasy land of miraculously dissolving party differences. Rat-a-tat-tat, she catalogued the issues her party wanted to bring to the fore: the foolishness of Trump’s shutdown, gun safety, student loans, voting rights, the GOP’s reactionary tax bill, farmers caught in a trade war, protecting the Affordable Care Act, climate change, LGBTQ rights.

There was also this on-target reply to Trump’s canard that all who oppose his immigration policies favor “open borders.” Abrams’s answer: “Compassionate treatment at the border is not the same as open borders.”

But Abrams’s most powerful contribution to her party’s discourse may have been her open invocation of religious commitment and the virtues it can promote. “These were our family values,” she said of her Methodist home, “faith, service, education and responsibility.”

She spoke of the “uncommon grace of community” and drove the point home by reciting the creed of all who embrace a healthy, measured individualism but reject the narcissistic kind: “We do not succeed alone.”

That Eddie Haskell would never think like that is a measure of who won the night.

 

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47of74
12 hours ago, Audrey2 said:

Donnie are you not getting enough executive time? Did you know that there's a way that you can get as much executive time as you want? It is called retirement! When you are retired, you can go golfing and watch as much POX news as you like (POX because watching FOX is a disease)! POX's favorite viewers are retired because they can watch it all day!

Someone also needs to tell him that if he retired he could do all the golfing he wanted and beat off the toadstool (pologies for the mental images that just caused) all day long.

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Ozlsn
On 2/6/2019 at 6:43 AM, GreyhoundFan said:

Perhaps most incredibly, an extensively documented investigation revealed four months ago that Trump and his family planned and executed an absolutely massive tax fraud scheme during the 1990s that defrauded the federal government of hundreds of millions of dollars. Were it not for the statute of limitations, he would probably be facing prosecution for it.

Colour me very surprised that tax fraud has a statute of limitations. I quite honestly thought they could get you no matter how far back it went.

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AmazonGrace

So, this happened.

No, it really happened.

  • Upvote 1
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  • Haha 6

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onekidanddone
2 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

So, this happened.

No, it really happened.

Well gotta hand it to him for being right for once.  Hobby Lobby, the woman (forgot her name) who refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, the Duggars, the Klan all using their 'religion' to be racist, bigoted and hateful

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AmazonGrace

It's a statistical necessity that somebody who screws up as much as he does, accidentally tells the truth every once in a while.

Edited by AmazonGrace

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Howl

Trump has a mushroom-shaped dick because he steps on it so often. 

 

 

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onekidanddone
7 minutes ago, Howl said:

Trump has a mushroom-shaped dick because he steps on it so often. 

 

 

As if I needed another reason to hate mushrooms. 🤢

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GreyhoundFan

"Trump’s fruitless struggle to stop transparency"

Spoiler

In an increasingly desperate effort to deny transparency to voters and Congress, President Trump has reduced himself to laughable claims.

He whined on Twitter on Thursday morning:

Alas, it was not so long ago that House Republicans spent weeks and months investigating the Internal Revenue Service, Benghazi, “Fast and Furious” and a host of other issues. He continued to complain that Democrats were going “nuts” and that all this is nothing more than “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT” (the all-caps are supposed to signify segment titles for Sean Hannity, perhaps?).

None of this works, of course. The Post reports: “The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Thursday morning to give its chairman the authority to subpoena testimony from [acting attorney general Matt] Whitaker should he fail to show or answer questions during Friday’s hearing.” Meanwhile, lawmakers introduced legislation that would require the report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation to be released directly to Congress, as this ad by Republicans for the Rule of Law explains:

.

Meanwhile, Trump’s outbursts have no perceptible impact on the House’s business.

At her news conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) swatted away his bellyaching complaints. She touted the ongoing congressional hearings on topics such as transportation, guns, health care and more — in addition to congressional oversight hearings. (It’s a reminder how much substantive work is done on Capitol Hill that gets minimal coverage absent a scandal involving the administration.)

Pelosi expressed confidence in the appropriators to devise a border solution to come to a “fair conclusion,” ignoring Trump’s demands and ultimatums. She also voiced support to reclaim congressional authority on trade.

Asked about Trump’s complaints, she said: “I am not commenting on what the president has to say about our work. ... He is projecting his own unruliness.” She added, “We will not surrender our constitutional responsibility for oversight. That would make us delinquent in our duties” and noted that the public wants to see Trump’s tax returns. ("They want the truth,” she remarks.) She said it had to be done “in a careful way,” however. On the Green New Deal, she recalled her own work on climate change during her first speakership and welcomed the “enthusiasm.”

In other words, Trump can rail all he likes, presumably to convince his low-information base that the president of the world’s only superpower is a pitiful victim. The House strategy in response is twofold: Keep moving forward on policy initiatives (which Pelosi tries to highlight with a mention of “jobs, jobs, jobs” while describing any initiative, including on infrastructure or green energy) and let committees do their work. In both cases, Trump’s huffing and puffing become irrelevant.

He has no feasible, specific agenda of his own and the Senate under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) seems in all things to default to inertness. That leaves Pelosi and House Democrats driving the agenda. Her hope — and so far it is working — is to let fact-finding hearings tied to potential legislation and oversight hearings proceed on parallel tracks. Trump can whine all he likes, but whining isn’t governing, and it’s increasingly pathetic.

 

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