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Member since: Fri May 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
Number of posts: 8,416

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President Obama Should Thank Trump for Sudden Endorsement of Immigration Status Quo...

...but note that while he appreciates Trump's 11th hour embrace of the President's current policies under existing law, that even President Obama thinks that immigration should be reformed in a comprehensive manner.

Hillary, on the other hand, should have some fun with Donald Trump, the self-described agent of change, now being a warrior for defending the status quo. America under President Obama is pretty great after all?


Trump’s new position appears to be an embrace of the status quo, in which those in the U.S. illegally with criminal histories are prioritized for deportation, but no action is taken to push forward with comprehensive reform.

* * *

The apparent shift comes days after Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Trump’s position on mass deportation was “to be determined,” indicating a forthcoming campaign shift. Trump also cancelled a planned immigration speech in Colorado on Wednesday on account of the policy uncertainty. It’s the second such “softening” in recent weeks, as Trump appeared to move away from his proposed ban on Muslim immigration, seeking to replace it with an ideological test for immigrants and a temporary ban on immigration from countries with active Islamic extremist elements. But both Trump’s original policy on immigration and the Muslim ban remain on his campaign website.

Several Trump surrogates spent Tuesday on cable television arguing that Trump’s new position—he said this week that he’d prioritize the removal of those with criminal records—is similar to President Barack Obama’s, who has sought to deprioritize the removal of those in the U.S. illegally but have broken no other laws.

But Obama has called for comprehensive immigration reform legislation to provide a path to citizenship for the majority of those in the U.S. illegally—a position held by many Republicans but repeatedly rejected by Trump over the course of the campaign.

National Review - "Could a President Trump Really Impound All Immigrant Payments to Mexico?"

I think we are now seeing some details about the new kinder and gentler Trump.

Instead of a physical deportation force, Trump is proposing that the U.S. just steal money earned by poor immigrants in the U.S. and sent home to their families and need, and use that money to pay for the Great Wall of Trump. That way, by starving their families back home, Trump could force Mexican immigrants to self-deport.


Donald Trump’s new immigration plan boldly declares that, “Mexico must pay for the border wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages.”

Would that even be possible? A Trump administration could erect a lot of legal, regulatory, and logistical obstacles to transferring money from the U.S. to Mexico. But those moves would enrage the banks and financial institutions that make money off the transfers, and probably spur interest in transfer methods that escape the attention and grasp of law enforcement.

Earlier this year, Mexico’s central bank released data indicating Mexicans abroad sent home $23.6 billion in 2014, almost all of it from the United States. Payments from workers abroad make up just 2 percent of Mexican GDP, but they can play a much bigger role in particular local economies. One study concluded that “the poorest rural areas” of the country derive 19.5 percent of their income from remittances. Whatever their economic impact, the payments are widespread: An estimated 83 percent of Mexicans who enter the country illegally send money home. But so do 73 percent of legal Mexican immigrants — making a blanket restriction on remittances virtually impossible.

* * *
Trump’s pledge to “impound” remittance payments implies seizure, an act that would face a high legal bar to clear. But the government has successfully seized money in the accounts of criminals who smuggle illegal immigrants across the border.

LA Times - "Donald Trump's media obsession led him to hire the head of a far-right news site."

What is Trump does not represent the high water mark of RW racial extremism, but the beginning of the normalization of such rhetoric? If Hillary wins, I think that GOP's lurch to the far right will continue through the 2018 midterms with openly racist Republicans dominating the GOP primaries.


It seemed bizarre. But Donald Trump’s choice this week of a renegade, far-right news executive to lead his campaign was an inevitable culmination of a candidate’s war with the mainstream media and his embrace of his party’s most incendiary voices.

Trump’s obsession with the media has been one of the few constants in his campaign. He rails against “scum” reporters, withholding credentials from major news organizations and lashing out on Twitter this week against the “failing New York Times,” while granting lengthy interviews to those same outlets and basking in their attention. He exploits the divide in conservative media to bash enemies and create safe zones on select television and radio shows. He questions the core tenets of the 1st Amendment and flouts the judgment of fact-checkers with abandon.

The union of conservative media’s edgiest elements with the party’s standard-bearer has been years in the making, fomented by the establishment media’s loss of dominance and credibility. Trump, who has spent years learning how to navigate and dominate the news, has stepped into that credibility void to push once-fringe ideas into mainstream conversation like no other candidate.

“You have all these websites that create this echo chamber — that’s kind of an old term,” said Charlie Sykes, a conservative radio host in Wisconsin. “It’s gone beyond an echo chamber” to competing realities.

Hillary Clinton Twists the Knife in Donald Trump’s Tax Proposals

Source: NY Times

Hillary Clinton leaned into her plans to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans on Wednesday, denouncing Donald J. Trump’s tax proposals as a boondoggle for billionaires.

“We’re going to tax the wealthy who have made all of the income gains in the last 15 years,” Mrs. Clinton told a crowd in Cleveland. “The superwealthy, corporations, Wall Street,” she declared emphatically, “they’re going to have to invest in education, in skills training, in infrastructure.”

For months, Mrs. Clinton has attacked Mr. Trump’s economic agenda in broad terms, portraying him as a follower of the “trickle down” orthodoxy of previous Republican administrations. But Mr. Trump’s release of his tax plans last week in Detroit allowed her to begin to criticize them more specifically.

Just as President Obama attacked his 2012 rival, Mitt Romney, for paying a lower effective tax rate than the vast majority of Americans, Mrs. Clinton said that Mr. Trump’s plan would benefit people in his own income bracket, declaring that he “would pay a lower rate than middle-class families” if it were put into effect. Mr. Trump has recommended cutting the top marginal income tax rate to 33 percent from the current 39.6 percent, and broadening deductions for things like child care.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/us/politics/hillary-clinton-twists-the-knife-in-donald-trumps-tax-proposals.html?_r=0

While most of the news is focused on the latest drama or racism emanating from the Trump campaign, Democrats are actually making some concrete policy proposals.

Sean Hannity called a columnist an asshole. What happened next explains Donald Trump.

Nice article that illustrates the irony of some Republican condemnations of Donald Trump.


What’s interesting here isn’t just how nasty the fight is. It’s what the spat tells us about the core divides within the conservative movement in the age of Trump.

The Hannity-Stephens divide is really a fight over how we got to Trump. Hannity argues that Trump’s rise is a logical response to the inability of feckless conservative elites like Stephens to stop Obama. Stephens thinks that Trump is an outgrowth of an anti-intellectual "echo chamber" inhabited by people like Hannity.

This is one of the major cleavages in the conservative movement today. The way the argument shakes out will have a profound impact on the conservative movement’s future, so it’s worth paying attention to.

But the truth is that the debate is taking place under false pretenses. Hannity and Stephens see themselves as opposed, but the truth is that they’re both part of the same "echo chamber" Stephens ironically decries. It’s this broader conservative worldview, defined by a widespread acceptance of unsupportable ideas, that helped give rise to Trump.

NBC: Trump's Conspiracy Theories Aren't Far Outside GOP Mainstream

One thing the media refuses to acknowledge when it questions why "establishment" Republicans do not abandon Trump is that Trump is actually more conservative and closer to the current GOP party base.


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has caused an uproar by repeatedly associating President Barack Obama with terrorism, raising questions about his citizenship and casting aspersions on his loyalty to the country — but what is often lost in all the outrage is the fact that the real estate mogul's views are not that far outside the mainstream of conservative opinion.

While Trump has differentiated himself as the first presidential candidate to lend credence to conspiracy theories about Obama's motives and background, his views are shared by a majority of Republican voters and have been for some time.

A recent NBC News Survey Monkey poll found that a whopping 72 percent of Republicans have doubts about Obama's citizenship and 41 percent are emphatic that he was foreign born. Meanwhile, 31 percent are unsure if he is an American, leaving 27 percent who acknowledge that their country's president was born in the U.S.

The fact that most rank-and-file Republicans refuse to accept the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate has long been something of an embarrassing open secret which prominent party leaders have chosen to sidestep. The reality is that even after the president begrudgingly released his long-form birth certificate — confirming that was born in Hawaii — to the public in April of 2011 to quash the rumors, it did little to shake conservatives' steadfast belief that he is a fraud.

WaPo - Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine - Coincidence?

The Trump campaign pretty much went along with the RNC's rightward shift when it developed the Republican platform. However, the most notable exception was with respect to the Ukraine:


The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.

Still, Republican delegates at last week’s national security committee platform meeting in Cleveland were surprised when the Trump campaign orchestrated a set of events to make sure that the GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.

Inside the meeting, Diana Denman, a platform committee member from Texas who was a Ted Cruz supporter, proposed a platform amendment that would call for maintaining or increasing sanctions against Russia, increasing aid for Ukraine and “providing lethal defensive weapons” to the Ukrainian military.

Bernie’s Revolution – Will it be a Movement or a Moment?

Watching the DNC convention, I can see that most of those in attendance are excited and ready to get to work to try to realize one of the most progressive platforms to be adopted by a major U.S. party. The Democratic platform was in large part based on input from Bernie Sanders and his supporters. This is as much his platform as hers.

Yet, there is still a loud, but vocal minority of delegates who more interested in expressing anger and disapproval at the results. Think of Cornell West who was asked to participate in the development of the platform, yet he walks away and endorses the Green Party candidate. Or, you have Nina Turner getting 15 minutes of fame and then some in order to dutifully play the role of a Democrat still on the fence as to who she might support for President. However, expressions of anger without direction, purpose and, most importantly, only serve to make those who are yelling a part of the problem they are complaining about.

The question I wonder is whether Bernie’s revolution will ultimately be seen as a movement or a moment? Were Bernie’s supporters invested in his ideals, which have now been incorporated into the party’s platform? Or, was Bernie himself simply being used, yes used, by his supporters as a convenient vehicle for expressing rage irrespective of his policies?

Right now. In the midst of a Presidential election with a would-be demagogue running as the Republican candidate, the underlying issues of the election will get overshadowed. The protests themselves often get muddled and create confusion as to what is being advocates as was the case when you had TPP protestors disrupting speeches by Rep. Cummings and Lewis as they addressed the concerns of BLM activists.

However, when it is all said and done, will Bernie’s movement endure? Will Bernie himself remain engaged and continue to try to work to get progressive Democrats elected? Will Bernie’s supporters remain invested in pressuring Congress to pass bills that incorporate the Democratic party’s platform? Or, will they both retreat, disengage, and complain from the distance in elections to come?

In short, the real measure of whether Bernie’s revolution is a movement or merely a moment is where will Bernie and his supporters be during the 2018 midterms. That could be the pivotal year where a movement emerges from the background of a Presidential campaign and transforms Congress. In 2010, a CNBC/Fox inspired Tea Party halted the progressive trajectory of the Obama presidency fresh off the adoption of the ACA, saving the U.S. auto industry, creating a consumer protection agency, and adopting the Dodd-Frank act. Can Bernie’s movement offer a similar change in 2018 albeit in a progressive direction?

Michelle Obama delivered the winning oratory we Republicans have forgotten: Rick Wilson

Very interesting opinion from a Republican regarding Michelle Obama's speech along with an implicit put-down of Donald Trump's campaign.


As a Republican who pays attention to how the other side wins, I’ve spent a lot of time fighting to drag my party out of the stone-knives and bear-skins era of politics. America is screen-agnostic, and the accelerating future isn’t about destination television with Mom, Dad and 2.25 adorable scamps watching Family Guy in the blue glow of the widescreen. But even now, the power of a great speech can have real political impact.

In the age of Donald Trump and his shoot-from-the-lip, we-don’t-need-no-stinking-consultants campaign, his supporters are embracing what Tom Nichols calls The Death of Expertise. Field operations? Nah. Television and digital ads? Those are for RINOs. Data and voter targeting? They’ve got Trump’s Twitter account for that. Fed on a steady diet of revenge fantasies against the “elites” who won almost 1,000 elected offices for Republicans in the era of Obama, Trump Republicans are proud to be rid of the tools and techniques that won the White House.

As important, the post-Republican Trump party has left the ancient power of rhetoric and speech-writing behind. There was no cohesion or strategic underpinning to the speeches in Cleveland, and with a few exceptions, the Republican convention speakers were a hot rhetorical mess. Closing with a nearly incoherent Castroesque 76-minute shoutfest, delivered with the volume and hate turned up to 11, told viewers that the art of Republican speech-writing is in mortal danger. This was no shining city on a hill but a dumpster fire on a burning tire pile.

Monday night, the first lady reminded this Republican that a passionate speech with heart, poetry and grace is still one of the most powerful and effective tools in the political toolbox. It was the instrument of the speech itself that impressed me, not its politics. Even if you’re not a Michelle Obama fan, it was authentically her voice, beautifully crafted and strategically on point.

Trump doubles down on NATO pullback, slaps at GOP Senate Leader McConnell for second-guessing him

Source: LA Times

Donald Trump reiterated his call for the U.S. to pull back from its commitment to NATO and said the Republican leader of the Senate was wrong to ascribe the proposal to "a rookie mistake."

"He's 100% wrong. OK?" Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "He's 100% wrong if he said that."

Trump shocked many in the country's defense and foreign policy establishment when he said Wednesday in a New York Times story that, as commander in chief, he would not automatically come to the defense of America's NATO allies if they were attacked.

* * *

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who had given a less-than-rousing speech in support of Trump's nomination at the Republican National Convention, responded by suggesting the remark showed the political neophyte's inexperience and the need for guidance from more seasoned lawmakers.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-1469369642-htmlstory.html

Any coincidence that a Russian hack turns into an anti-Dem disclosure?
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