Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Jason Chaffetz, the Utah congressman wrapping up his first term atop the powerful House Oversight Committee, unendorsed Donald Trump weeks ago. That freed him up to prepare for something else: spending years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton. "Even before we get to Day One, we've got two years' worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain't good." If Republicans retain control of the House, something that GOP-friendly maps make possible even in the event of a Trump loss, Clinton will become the first president since George H.W. Bush to immediately face a House Oversight Committee controlled by the opposition party. Several Clinton allies recoiled when asked about Chaffetz's plans for 2017. read more

Sunday, October 23, 2016

John Cassidy, The New Yorker: The real value of the WikiLeaks documents is one the hackers may not have intended. The documents, particularly the speech extracts, portray Hillary Clinton as she is: a hard-headed centrist who believes that electoral politics inevitably involve making compromises, dealing with powerful interest groups, and, where necessary, amending unpopular policy positions. Addressing a General Electric Global Leadership Meeting in January, 2014, she said, "I mean, politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be." Answering a question in March, 2014, at an event organized by Xerox, she said that the country needs two "sensible, moderate, pragmatic parties." These sentiments won't win over many [Bernie] Sanders supporters. But they might actually reassure moderate Democrats, independents, and even some Trump-loathing Republicans who are thinking about crossing party lines. read more

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A 13-year-old student at an alternative school had his leg amputated on Tuesday afternoon following an incident with a school employee in Columbus, Georgia, according to the boy's attorney. Lawyers from Forrest B. Johnson and Associates representing the student said that on September 12, the boy was "thrown to the floor" several times by an Edgewood Student Services Center employee. According to his attorney, Renee Tucker, the altercation started after the boy tried to leave the classroom to call his mother from the main office. The school employee physically restrained him to prevent him from leaving the room, slamming him to the floor. "The fact that now it's led to an amputation just signifies the degree of force that was used with regard to our client, particularly [the teacher] body-slamming him three different times," Tucker said. read more

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mindy McGillivray of Palm Springs said she is planning to leave the United States because she fears for her family's safety since she publicly accused Donald Trump earlier this week of groping her in 2003. "We feel the backlash of the Trump supporters. It scares us. It intimidates us. We are in fear of our lives,'' she said in an interview Friday with The Palm Beach Post. McGillivray, 36, has been staying in a hotel in the three days since she told her story to The Palm Beach Post, one of at least four women across the United States who have accused Trump of inappropriately touching them. Trump has denied the accusations, calling them total fabrications. But she said got a scare Thursday night when she returned to the Palm Springs house she shares with her daughter and stepdad to pick up clothes. "I look out the window and there are cars just driving around the house and looking, slowing down right at the house,'' she said. read more

Missileers view their job as deterring our enemies from attacking the United States and its allies. We assume that presidents will grasp the power of the nuclear arsenal at their disposal and show the utmost restraint in using it. Dwight D. Eisenhower recoiled at the concept of nuclear overkill, where far more people are killed than necessary to defeat an enemy. After a nuclear war briefing, John F. Kennedy opined in dismay, "And we call ourselves the human race." Richard M. Nixon (president during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war), in the words of his chief of staff, worried about the way war plans "lightly tossed about millions of deaths." Ronald Reagan, for all his thunder about the Soviet Union being "an evil empire" and joking that "we begin bombing in five minutes," was privately averse to nuclear weapons. He wished to eliminate them, as does President Obama. Donald J. Trump is of a radically different ilk and temperament from past presidents. read more


Not if they refuse to advise OR consent.

Isn't the practical meaning of the word 'advise' really a polite term for 'voting down' a President's nominee? What is 'consent' it not voting affirmatively to seat the nominee? This is what I loathe about the sophistry of legalese. Words only mean what a handful of supposedly-highly-educated white men historically define that they mean by interpreting the laws written by largely lesser-educated legislators. And then we have people trying to interpret what men living hundreds of years ago as it applies to situations they never could have imagined being applied to their now ancient templates.

Only those lacking in simple linear analysis skills can't understand what the language of the Constitution intended to convey as its command: either vote for or against the President's nominee until they forward someone who engenders consent. They didn't see that the Court's need for a full bench would ever become a politically charged issue, and who could blame them?

The Founders weren't trying to anticipate every single political move of political leverage which can be rung out of the Constitution, but such thinking supports arguments from both sides of the aisle. Our Constitution should be viewed with the understanding our laws were codified to establish a federal government of necessity for a growing nation in changing times. While political passions have always run hot, there is still a never-ending need for comity, and the Constitution stands for that ideal even with its flaws and contradictions.

The words already tell us what to do but no one wants to admit the obvious. In no context does the word 'advise' mean 'indefinitely delay without a principled reason other than for politics.'

I know and that's a SERIOUS indictment of today's Republican Party. No legal or ethical principles. Zero-sum ends-justify the means.



"As a matter of constitutional law, the Senate is fully within its powers to let the Supreme Court die out, literally," wrote the Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro in a column Wednesday on The Federalist.

Shapiro is well-versed in constitutional issues, and his argument has a legal, if contorted, basis. Nothing in the Constitution explicitly stands in the way of senators who would be willing to destroy the nation's highest court ― if not an entire branch of the federal government ― to stop Clinton from selecting judges who share her views.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) signaled on Wednesday that he may be a convert to this vision of a new normal -- a Supreme Court not at full steam for a very long time....

I don't see Hillary or Democrats ever standing up to the big media interests and reducing their influence on the population.

Because you don't look past the front of your nose:

Hillary Clinton Seems Very Serious About Thumping Big Business

For months, Hillary Clinton's campaign has been hinting through Beltway back channels that her administration wants to challenge corporate power. Her team has been increasingly attentive to arguments that blockbuster mergers between mega-corporations hamper market competition, force consumers to pay higher prices for lousier service and enhance the political power of big firms.

When asked about whether the administration would support telecom giant AT&T's bid to acquire media conglomerate Time Warner, Kaine didn't close the door on supporting the deal. But he did throw far more shade at the arrangement than political campaigns typically do.

"Some Democrats, including Al Franken, are very skeptical of the merger, including Donald Trump as well," NBC host Chuck Todd said. "But Al Franken said, ‘I'm skeptical of huge media mergers because they can lead to higher costs, fewer choices, and even worse service for consumers.' Are you a skeptic of this merger as well?"

"I share those concerns and questions," Kaine replied. "We've got to get to the bottom of them. [We are] generally pro-competition. And less concentration I think is generally helpful, especially in the media. But this has just been announced, and I haven't had a chance to dig into the details. But those are the kinds of questions that we need to be asking."

Antitrust isn't careening around cable news yet, but in the nation's capital, the migration of the policy wonk herd has been unmistakeable. It's not just a Republican thing. In April, Obama issued an executive order calling for federal agencies to combat anti-competitive behavior. This summer, two liberal think tanks published reports taking aim at corporate monopoly powers. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gave a no-holds-barred speech in June calling out not only big banks, but Google, Apple, Amazon and Walmart by name. In July, antitrust language landed in the Democratic Party's 2016 platform for the first time since 1988.

You can't tell me with a honest face that Hillary was better than Sanders. Her record says otherwise.

No, and I'd never try because it isn't true. But Hillary will be able to get more of Sanders' agenda actually passed because she understands that it takes two to tango. Laura, I wish politics worked as easy as you think it should. Money talks and BS walks. That is why our money can bring about economic changes faster than our votes can. I'm in the Statehouse committees trying to talk sense to largely ignorant representatives who mostly only listen to the concerns of their donors, not their constituents. But they keep getting re-elected time after time, many without competition because their districts are so polarized politically. Bernie isn't moving those types of people nor the representatives they elect.

This is an example of what I'm talking about. As Heliumrat mentioned, manufacturing jobs that currently pay in the $20+hr range in the US are being shipped to Mexico where the workers will make $3 hr. But if US consumers stopped buying the newly-imported goods and bought US-manufactured alternatives, what would that say to other manufacturers looking to head out of the US? Sure it would be fantastic to have the US lead a new paradigm in global trade agreements by establishing global wage standards that make sense and stabilize workforces instead of pit them against one another. But if US consumers decide that we're not going to buy foreign-made products made by slave-wage workers and instead demand products made by fairly compensated employees whenever goods are made and investing in companies who do business the right way by fairly sharing the profits with their employees like so many already do, change can start happening far before the current political climate would ever allow it to.

Clinton's adoption of the language of opportunity and growth, rather than the language of redistribution and class conflict, is indicative of her political vintage. Like most Democrats of her generation, she believes there is a viable middle ground that even some wealthy folk can be persuaded to occupy. At an event organized by J.P. Morgan Chase in April, 2014, she said that people's worries that they, and their children, were no longer getting ahead deserved "thoughtful discussion, not the us-versus-them, finger-pointing, blame-placing, because that's not going to get us anywhere." Then she went on, "But, if we do not address and figure out how we're going to revitalize the middle class and begin the process of once again encouraging more people to rise up, then what I fear is that our politics and our social fabric are going to be dramatically altered."

In April, 2013, addressing the National Multifamily Housing Council, a trade group for landlords and developers, Clinton spoke at some length about her approach to politics in a divided system of government. She recalled how Abraham Lincoln, when he was maneuvering to secure the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, appealed for help to William H. Seward, his former rival for the Republican Presidential nomination. "And Seward called some of his lobbyist friends who knew how to make a deal, and they just kept going at it," Clinton explained. She then brought up the sausage-making analogy, which is often attributed to Bismarck, and went on. "But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back-room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position." Placed in its proper context, the last sentence is far less damning than it appears in isolation.

There is more on her foreign policy viewpoints at the link. I readily admit that these excerpts aren't going to change already rigid minds, but it is her own words if we;re to believe Wilileaks. And they are hardly controversial and more than welcomed by many hoping that rationality - not perfection - returns back to our politics.

So let's examine the actual evidence. One of the most upsetting stories -- because Trump's alleged behavior interfered with a woman's ability to do her job -- is also one of those with the strongest contemporaneous corroboration.

People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff, at Mar-a-Lago in 2005 to report a first-anniversary piece on Donald and Melania Trump, described how Trump pushed her against a wall and tried to kiss her, sticking his tongue down her throat.

Six of Stoynoff's friends and co-workers have corroborated parts of her story. Upset, she called a former journalism professor in tears the night of the incident; he advised her to stay quiet for fear of retaliation. Upset, she called a close friend, Marina Grasic, the next day, to recount the incident. Upset, she told three People colleagues after returning to New York.

Oh, and also, that moment when she bumped into Melania Trump outside Trump Tower, which Melania Trump says didn't happen? Another Stoynoff friend recalls the encounter.

In other words: To discount Stoynoff's story, you would have to believe that she was prescient enough to describe to five friends and colleagues an encounter with Trump that mirrored his own taped account that would emerge 11 years later.

To buy that this story was engineered by the Clinton campaign, well, you would have to believe that in 2005, when the notion of Trump running for president was a punch line at best, Clinton and her minions brilliantly recruited Stoynoff to concoct this story and plant the seeds of corroboration to spring on Trump years later, after the "Access Hollywood" tape leaked. Or that the campaign enlisted six witnesses in a current conspiracy to lie on their behalf.

The evidence in Trump's favor? The butler says he didn't do it. That is, nothing seemed amiss when he walked in on Trump and Stoynoff. This would be the butler who posted on Facebook that President Obama "should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent" and said it was astonishing that "a common murder[er] is even allowed to run (killery clinton)."

Mr. Trump (and Ply), your witness.

Imagining this evidence assessed in court isn't just instructive -- it's tempting. Because while the time has long passed for filing charges over the underlying behavior, Trump's description of Stoynoff as "a liar" and "the dishonest writer from People magazine" opens the door to a defamation suit.

And the prospect of discovery, including Trump being forced to submit to a deposition. Imaging the man who threatens to sue everyone in sight having to answer questions about his conduct toward women, under oath. What a fitting coda for such an ugly campaign, and for such a, pardon the phrase, nasty man.

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