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Fri May 17, 2019, 09:28 PM


Friday Talking Points -- Trump's Immigration Hypocrisy

{Program Note for DemocraticUnderground.com readers:
I've been posting this weekly wrapup column for over ten years here at DU, and always run into the same problem as we get closer to each election. The DU forum categories shift around, with strict rules about where to post. I normally post these under "General Discussion" since it's about as generic as you can get, but now there is a new "Democratic Primaries" forum as well. These weekly columns attempt to cover all of the political world, so the main focus is usually not just on the Democratic primary race. As little as 10 percent of any individual column may address the primary races, while the rest is just generic political news of the week. I've been informed by the moderators to post these in "Democratic Primaries" for now, which I am happy to do, but just wanted to warn folks ahead of time that my "Friday Talking Points" columns (begun years ago as an homage to the great DU "Top Ten Conservative Idiots" column series, I should mention) will not exclusively be about the Democratic Primaries. Just to be clear to everyone, up front, to avoid any objections that most of these posts are "off topic."}

It's been yet another week of life so bizarre it'd be hard to even imagine it as satirical art. Who would best be able to capture the lunacy and doublethink emanating from Trump's White House? Joseph Heller? George Orwell? Douglas Adams? Or perhaps Dr. Seuss? In other words, just another glorious week in Trumpland, folks.

The highlights (or lowlights, really) of this lunacy came during Trump's rollout of his brand-new immigration policy proposal. In the future, Trump announced, the United States should give much greater weight to skilled immigrants and much less weight to family ties in deciding who will be allowed in. Under a normal president -- even a normal Republican president -- this would be par for the course. With Trump, however, we have to consider not the par but the course itself.

Donald Trump owns a bunch of golf courses here in America. He runs these golf courses using various forms of labor. Up until very recently, he relied on workers who were undocumented (or, as Republicans so charmingly call them, "illegals" ). When this practice came to light in the media, all of these folks were hastily fired. But even beyond the illegal labor force, Trump also relies heavily on a visa used specifically for seasonal workers to hire foreigners as maids and other low-skilled labor to run his hotels and golf courses. His organization snaps up as many of these visas as they can each year, so that they can hire temporary summer help from other countries, rather than hire Americans to do the same jobs -- even though these are not high-skilled jobs. So much for all his talk about hiring Americans, eh?

That's a whole lot of hypocrisy, right there. But things got really surreal when he sent out (you can't make this stuff up, folks) his own son-in-law to make the case that people should be rated not on their family connections but rather on their actual skills. Seriously. His own son-in-law made the case that family connections should not be a consideration.

Maybe Jared Kushner is so skilled in his job that he was the best choice available? That would really be the only counterargument to make. Well, let's see how it all played out, shall we?

President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, faced pointed questions about his plan to overhaul the immigration system in a closed-door meeting with Republican senators Tuesday -- and failed to offer solutions to some key concerns, according to GOP officials who cast doubt on the viability of the proposal.

Publicly, senators emerged from their weekly Capitol Hill luncheon applauding the White House senior adviser's pitch to move U.S. immigration toward a merit-based system that prioritizes highly skilled workers, a task he undertook at Trump's behest.

But privately, Republican officials said Kushner did not have clear answers to some questions from the friendly audience, prompting Trump's other senior adviser, Stephen Miller, to interrupt at times and take over the conversation.

. . .

But some GOP senators left the meeting wondering whether Kushner understood the issue, the GOP officials said. Though some appreciated his efforts, they did not think his plan would advance anytime soon. No senator has stepped forward yet to turn Kushner's plan into legislation.

"He's in his own little world," said one individual familiar with the discussion in the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe the session. "He didn't give many details about what was in {his plan}.... And there were a number of instances where people had to step in and answer questions because he couldn't."

. . .

The GOP officials said Kushner also appeared to struggle to answer Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), who asked how the plan would deal with undocumented immigrants already in the country. The administration official said Cornyn instead offered praise for the plan. A spokesman for Cornyn declined to comment on the private meeting.

At times, Miller jumped in to assist Kushner, especially on questions about how the plan would deal with low-skilled workers. "Miller interrupted him a lot," the individual said.

The article also made a tangential point as well:

Kushner also has tried to produce a peace plan for the Middle East after decades of fighting by inserting himself into the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Those talks have broken down, however.

So, nothing to worry about there! But let's get back to Donald Trump's flaming hypocrisy on immigration. Trump has long railed against using family ties as a basis for legal immigration, calling it "chain migration," where one family member makes it in and then sponsors all their other relatives to come in legally as well. But please remember, Trump's own wife is an immigrant. And he certainly didn't seem to object any when she used her new status as his wife to sponsor her own parents to get green cards. That's right -- Trump's own in-laws used the same "chain migration" to get in that Trump's new policy is attacking.

So, to review: Trump used to use undocumented immigrants as workers at his golf courses and hotels. Trump continues to use visas to give unskilled jobs to foreigners rather than hire Americans. Trump's own family has used "chain migration" to get in to America legally. And now he wants to change all that -- for everybody else, assumably. He wants only skilled immigrants not relying on family ties to be allowed in. This is why the whole scenario is worthy of Joseph Heller.

Thankfully, even Republicans are balking at doing anything towards achieving Trump's goals. Nancy Pelosi helpfully categorized his big new proposal as a "dead-on-arrival plan that is not remotely a serious proposal."

But getting back to Republican lunacy (and Joseph Heller), we have to preface this next item with the definitive excerpt from the novel Catch-22.

Yossarian looked at him soberly and tried another approach. "Is Orr crazy?"

"He sure is," Doc Daneeka said.

"Can you ground him?"

"I sure can. But first he has to ask me to. That's part of the rule."

"Then why doesn't he ask you to?"

"Because he's crazy," Doc Daneeka said. "He has to be crazy to keep flying combat missions after all the close calls he's had. Sure, I can ground Orr. But first he has to ask me to."

"That's all he has to do to be grounded?"

"That's all. Let him ask me."

"And then you can ground him?" Yossarian asked.

"No. Then I can't ground him."

"You mean there's a catch?"

"Sure there's a catch," Doc Daneeka replied. "Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy."

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.

This is a necessary reminder, because this week the state of Alabama passed a law which (are you sitting down?) makes all abortion illegal except for an abortion performed on a woman who doesn't know she is pregnant. That is exactly how one of the bill's sponsors explained it:

{Under the new policy} anything that's available today is still available up until that woman knows she's pregnant. So there is a window of time, some say seven days, some say ten. There is a window of time that every option that's on the table now is still available. {...}

So she has to take a pregnancy test, she has to do something to know whether she is pregnant or not. You can't know that immediately. It takes some time for all those chromosomes and all that that you mentioned. It doesn't happen immediately.

Got that? When you ignore the "all those chromosomes" idiocy, it boils down to: if a woman doesn't know she is pregnant, she is free to have an abortion. If, however, she finds out she is pregnant, she cannot have an abortion.

Catch-22. Welcome to Alabama.

Alabama's new law is so extreme -- no exceptions for rape or incest at all -- that even people like Pat Robertson and the Republican leader in the House of Representatives are saying it goes too far. But that didn't deter the governor from signing the new law, which was quite obviously designed to entice the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. And with Justice Fratboy now on the court, anything is possible.

But let's move on to a more cheerful subject concerning the number 22. Or is it 23? Or maybe even 24?

This confusion is rampant in the media, as nobody's really sure what the total should be when discussing the Democratic 2020 presidential field. It all depends on who you count as a "serious" candidate, after all. There are really only three or four candidates who regularly get excluded from the totals, two for being non-politicians and one for running a vanity campaign.

Mike Gravel is running for president, kind of, but he's often the first guy people exclude when they're counting heads. But he may actually qualify for the first debates, which would pretty much argue for his inclusion in the list. The other two are not politicians currently, but then again neither was Donald Trump, right? Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson are often omitted from the totals of all the Democrats running, even though both have either raised enough money from enough sources (Williamson) or done well enough in the national polls (Yang) to also be included in the first debates.

The last guy who sometimes doesn't make the cut is Wayne Messam, who is a mayor from Florida. His fundraising numbers are the lowest of anyone's, and he does not register at all in the polls. So he really should be the first to be dropped from the "serious candidates" list, even though he often is included anyway (probably because Pete Buttigieg, another mayor, is doing so well).

We personally include everyone. This week, we had (hopefully) the last two candidates throw their hats in the increasingly-crowded ring, Steve Bullock and Bill de Blasio. Counting everyone -- Gravel, Yang, Williamson, and Messam -- this gives us 24 candidates currently running. But we are even more inclusive than that, as we set the absolute total Democratic field at 25 candidates. The one everyone else always misses is Richard Ojeda, who was the first candidate to officially drop out. But he was running at one point, so in any total of the whole field, he really should be counted as well. As we wrote earlier in the week, the question that is going to loom the largest over the Democratic race over the next few weeks is who will wind up debating whom in the first round of debates? The draw is going to be crucial.

Let's see, what else is going on? Trump is now apparently going to ask for another $20 billion (on top of the $12 billion already spent) to bail out all the farmers hit hard by his new tariffs -- or, to speak plainly, taxes. So how is that playing with his fellow Republicans? Let's check in with Senator Pat Toomey:

Think about what we're doing. We're inviting this retaliation that denies our farmers... the opportunity to sell their products overseas, and then we say, "Don't worry, we'll have taxpayers send you some checks and make it okay." That's a very bad approach.

Not exactly a rousing endorsement of the new plan, is it? Oh, and this program that is supposed to be helping American farmers apparently sent over $20 million in American taxpayer money to a pair of Brazilian brothers who have confessed their participation in a "massive corruption scandal." Nothing like putting America first!

This week, the first federal court case from Trump's stonewalling and obstructionism went before a judge, as Trump is suing to block the subpoena of his accounting firm. The official White House legal strategy (in this and multiple other court cases) is that because they have determined that Congress "has no legitimate legislative purpose" in investigating the president, then the president is free to ignore all their demands, requests, and subpoenas. The first judge to hear such a case was highly skeptical of such reasoning, and his decision is expected fairly soon, so we've got that to look forward to.

Something that we regularly look forward to is in the process of being completely ruined by Trump, however, as he's apparently now micromanaging what will happen in Washington D.C. on July Fourth, to (naturally) shoehorn himself into the arrangements. Back in February, Trump was roundly ridiculed for tweeting:

HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called "A Salute To America" and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!

Hold the date? Really? Is Trump honestly that stupid? Well, it appears so -- he's now mucking with a celebration that has successfully used essentially the same format for a number of decades, in an attempt to turn it into a campaign rally. Trump was denied his big military parade, so this is apparently his revenge. Or something. One can only hope a whole bunch of protestors show up to his speech!

And we have to end on just as surreal a note as we began, because apparently -- for some unfathomable reason -- Gene Simmons appeared recently at the Pentagon briefing podium. Um, to explain what the Kiss Army is doing these days? We really are at a loss to even begin to explain this one. Maybe Joseph Heller or Douglas Adams could do so, but we find it beyond our humble abilities.

We've got two Honorable Mention awards to hand out this week, as well as two Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week statuettes to boot, so let's just dive right in, shall we?

First some recognition must be given to all the House Democrats who participated in a marathon reading of all 400-plus pages of the Mueller Report on the House floor this week. It was a political stunt, although it didn't draw much media attention, but it certainly took an impressive amount of stamina to produce.

Next, another Honorable Mention goes to Senator Elizabeth Warren, for her scathing takedown of Fox News, as she announced she would not appear for a town hall hosted by the channel. Her entire Twitter thread on the subject is well worth reading, but the one quote that really made a splash was when Warren called Fox News a "hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists." Tell us how you really feel, Liz!

Warren also deserves credit for goading Congress to act on abortion rights. She is entirely right -- Democrats in Congress could have fended off a whole lot of the current legal challenges to Roe if they had acted thirty years ago or so, when the right wing really began this legislative onslaught. But it's still not too late, as Warren points out:

"Court challenges will continue. And the next President can begin to undo some of the damage by appointing neutral and fair judges who actually respect the law and cases like Roe instead of right-wing ideologues bent on rolling back constitutional rights," Warren wrote. "But separate from these judicial fights, Congress has a role to play as well."

. . .

The senator said Congress must create federal, statutory rights that parallel Roe v. Wade's constitutional rights. These rights would include barring states from interfering in a provider's ability to offer medical care or blocking patients' access to such care, including abortions. This would invalidate state laws like those in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio.

Warren also proposed that Congress pass laws to preempt states' efforts to limit reproductive health care in ways that don't necessarily violate Roe v. Wade. Such efforts include restrictions on medication abortion and geographical and procedural requirements that make it nearly impossible for a woman to get an abortion.

These weren't the only specific things Warren proposed Congress fix, she had a whole laundry list of them. She concluded by throwing down a rather large gauntlet:

"This is a dark moment. People are scared and angry. And they are right to be," Warren wrote. "But this isn't a moment to back down -- it's time to fight back."

But we have two Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week awards, both for successfully moving good legislation. First up is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has been busy passing important bills out of her chamber this week. The first addressed a problem that Democrats really should have taken care of a long time ago, say when they held both chambers of Congress and had Barack Obama in the White House. Just because gay people can now get married everywhere, they still face legal persecution in multiple states. The Equality Act would fix this by amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bars such discrimination on the basis of things like race and ethnicity.

The House passed sweeping legislation Friday to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity after an emotional debate that underscored the divide between the two parties.

Democrats cast the decades-in-the-making move to change the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a historic step to extend protections to LGBTQ Americans, with several gay and bisexual lawmakers emphasizing the need for the bill called the Equality Act.

. . .

The bill would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education, jury service and federal financing, protecting people from being fired or harassed for their sexuality or gender identity.

As Democrats cheered and applauded, the bill passed 236-to-173, with eight Republicans breaking ranks and joining all Democrats in backing the measure. It is unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-led Senate, and the White House has signaled President Trump would veto the measure if it ever reached his desk.

The Trump administration has taken several steps to roll back or limit rights for LGBTQ people, most notably Trump's broad restriction on transgender people serving in the military.

Despite a sea change in the past decade in public opinion regarding gay rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage nationally, 30 states have no laws protecting people, and proponents argued that the measure would create a national standard.

Pelosi has also been on a roll on the subject of healthcare. A lot of Democrats in the House got elected on promises to improve healthcare rather than the continued push from Republicans to destroy Obamacare, and this week was the culmination of the legislative efforts to do so.

House Democrats pushed through legislation Thursday to lower prescription drug prices, strengthen the Affordable Care Act and -- most significantly -- position themselves as the party on the side of health-care consumers as the 2020 election approaches.

The 234-to-183 vote, with every Democrat and five Republicans casting ballots in favor, gave a partisan hue even to three strategies to boost the availability of generic drugs that initially attracted GOP support. Those were merged, however, with measures that would block several Trump administration policies that Democrats characterize as "sabotaging" the ACA.

Both Pelosi and her Senate counterpart Minority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated strongly that Democrats would be using this issue against sitting Republican senators in next year's election:

"I have some news for the distinguished leader in the Senate, the Republican leader," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "The support for these bills is alive and well among the American people. He will be hearing from them because these bills are a matter of life and death and certainly quality of life for America's working families."

. . .

"Across the country, Americans are worried about rising costs, declining quality.... Nothing, nothing, nothing bothers people more than that," said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). There has been a relentless campaign of sabotage by the Trump administration to deny people health care.... But the Republican-led Senate -- no movement, nothing, no debate, no legislation, no votes."

While the media is obsessed with impeachment and the 2020 Democratic presidential horserace, Pelosi has very quietly been passing bill after bill, constructing the 2020 Democratic platform for all the party's candidates. Democrats everywhere will be able to run on: "Look at this list of good legislation the House has passed -- the only way these things are going to happen is with a Democratic Senate and a Democrat in the White House!"

Which brings us to our second Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who is also running for president. This week, in his day job, he signed into law the first-in-the-nation "public option" for health insurance. Right there on the Obamacare exchange with all the private insurance plans will soon be (in 2021) a public option plan to compare them all to. Since it is only state-level and not national, it will not be called "Medicare" but that's essentially how it will function -- as "Medicare For All Who Want It." We wrote about this earlier in the week, in case anyone's interested in our further thoughts on the subject, but we have to applaud Jay Inslee for his state's bold and pioneering action with his very own Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. In the very near future, we'll all have some solid data to analyze in this ongoing debate. No matter what the data winds up telling us, the fact that Inslee is making it happen is indeed impressive.

{Congratulate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on her House contact page, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee on his official state contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.}

Our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week isn't on the list because of anything in particular he did this week, it's more of a "just because we heard his name in the news again" award. Because we have to warn mothers and fathers to beware -- and lock up your daughters! -- now that Carlos Danger is on the loose once again.

That's right -- Anthony Weiner is now out of jail. Which means we were reminded once again of what a complete schmuck the guy is:

Weiner was sentenced in September 2017 to 21 months in federal prison over the sexting scandal and began serving his time in November of that year. He was released early in February of this year due to good behavior and transferred from a federal prison in Massachusetts to a halfway house in the Bronx. Altogether, he served 18 months of his sentence.

After serving nearly 12 years in Congress, Weiner resigned from the House of Representatives in 2011 when he was caught exchanging sexually explicit photos with women via social media.

He relaunched his career in 2013 with a run for New York City mayor but was caught sexting a 23-year-old woman under the alias "Carlos Danger" and lost the Democratic primary.

Weiner then became the subject of a federal investigation in 2016 following a report that he was sending sexually explicit photos to an underage girl. In addition to landing him in prison, that investigation led authorities to search his personal computer and find work emails from his then-wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton. The discovery prompted then-FBI Director James Comey to reopen the investigation into Clinton's private email server in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.

This wasn't some stupid scandal that had no real wider fallout, in other words. If Señor Danger had kept his (ahem) wiener in his pants, then Hillary Clinton might just have managed to surpass the whole F.B.I. emails scandal. But when Weiner was arrested, it blew up all over again -- right before the election. Meaning you could conceivably pin most of the blame for President Donald Trump directly on Weiner.

Which is why we're giving him yet another Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week, just because.

{We have no contact information for Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner, but if his past is any prelude, it'd be best if you don't start an email or texting thread with him anyway. We're just sayin'....}

Volume 527 (5/17/19)

The talking points are all over the map this week, since there was so much lunacy and idiocy emanating from Washington (and beyond). So without further ado, let's get right to them.

Alabama getaway

Democrats need to point out idiocy when they see it, as a general rule.

"The state of Alabama has just made pretty much all abortion illegal, with a jail sentence of up to 99 years for a doctor who performs one. This is just the worst example of the ongoing Republican war on women, as they try to roll back women's reproductive rights in state after state. For decades, voters have been fairly confident that Roe v. Wade was secure, but as we can all now see, that just isn't so any more. One Republican sponsor of the Alabama bill helpfully explained that women would be free to get abortions right up to the moment when they realize they are pregnant. Just stop for a moment and think about such idiocy. What is an Alabama woman supposed to do? Walk into an abortion clinic every few weeks and demand to have an abortion because she has no idea whether she's pregnant or not? That is absolute insanity! And yet that's exactly what Republicans think should happen, apparently. Doc Daneeka and Yossarian would be so proud...."

A merit-based son-in-law

Hypocrisy, thy name is Trump. Oh, and Kushner, too.

"Trump announced his new immigration policy proposal this week. Even though he personally profits from hiring undocumented immigrants on his golf courses, and even though he hires maids and other menial workers at his resorts from foreign countries rather than hiring Americans, he is now only for high-skilled immigrants being allowed in to the country. He wants a purely merit-based system, even though his wife is an immigrant who got her citizenship through their marriage. And even though her parents came in after Melania sponsored them, Trump is against what he calls 'chain migration.' And -- the most hilarious hypocrisy of them all -- he sent as his ambassador to Congress, to explain this merit-based system that would no longer take into account family ties, none other than his own son-in-law. Who couldn't even answer basic questions about the new policy from friendly Republican senators. I guess you've got to give Trump points for chutzpah, since he's obviously convinced everyone should just do as he says, not as he himself does."

A Trump-made disaster

They left themselves wide open to this one.

"Last year, Donald Trump had to shovel a whopping $12 billion in U.S. taxpayer money at farmers to bail them out from his disastrous trade war with China. His tariffs -- which are nothing short of one of the largest tax increases on the American public ever instituted -- continue to make life hard for farmers, it seems. Nobody else affected by his new taxes got such welfare from the government, though, and even the farmers weren't treated evenhandedly. Last week, Trump indicated that he would need $15 billion in taxpayer money to hand over for free to farmers desolated by his trade policy. This week, though, that figure had somehow climbed to a jaw-dropping $20 billion. The most ironic aspect of this spiral of idiocy, though, was when the White House tried to get the Republican Senate to add the farmers' bailout money to a disaster relief bill. Think about that for a second -- a bill designed to offer relief to those affected by natural disasters would also be used to offer relief to those affected by an economic disaster of the president's own making. It is nothing short of a Trump-made disaster, folks. By even suggesting that the funding be attached to this bill, Trump is essentially admitting that his China trade war is nothing short of a full-scale disaster. I can't really argue with that, myself."

Turning Michigan blue again

So let's see how it's playing in Peoria. Or, more to the point, Kalamazoo.

"Donald Trump is convinced that his trade war with China is going to somehow win him re-election. Well, let's see... in a state that Trump won by a bare 10,700 votes (out of 5 million cast), how are the new Trump taxes going over? Here is Michigan Agri-Business Association president Jim Byrum, on the new round of tit-for-tat tariffs between Trump and China: 'The noose is getting tighter. The new Chinese tariffs {are} going to hurt even more.' That's from a farm trade organization, representing a whole bunch of people who voted for Trump. Farmers are going bankrupt in record numbers as a direct result of Trump's trade war, so it's really not all that surprising to hear that some of them have had enough. Think Trump has a shot at winning Michigan again? If he's still in a trade war with China, I seriously doubt it...."

Walmart announces bad news for other Trump voters

This was inevitable, and it is now coming to pass.

"So, let's check the business pages to see how Trump's trade war is playing elsewhere, shall we? Reuters reported on two large retailers who just announced that they'll be hiking prices on their customers due to the new Trump tax:

Walmart called out the impact of tariffs on consumers after Macy's Inc delivered a similar warning on Wednesday. The department store chain's Chief Executive Jeff Gennette said tariffs on Chinese imports are hitting its furniture business and warned investors that additional levies would leave its clothing and accessory categories vulnerable.

They certainly won't be the only such stores forced to raise prices. No matter how many times Trump swears that China will be paying all the tariffs, his own economic advisor even had to admit last week that these taxes will instead be paid by you and me -- American consumers."

The Bible says so....

This one was pretty funny, in a "what's good for the goose" kind of way. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted this week in support of the bill that she and Bernie Sanders have introduced in Congress that would cap all credit card interest rates at 15 percent. This is a real winner of an idea, but Ocasio-Cortez took it to a new level by challenging one particular group to get behind the effort, in a pair of tweets:

Usury - aka high interest - happens to be explicitly denounced in the Bible (& in many other religions).

Looking forward to having the religious right uphold their principles + sign onto my bill. ????

Unless of course they're only invoking religion to punish women + queer people.

But if Mitch McConnell wants to actually use religious principles for good + reinstate usury laws, he's more than welcome

Speaking of tweets

This is sort of a reverse-talking point. If I were a Democrat who wanted to speak out against the rising aggressive moves Trump (or Bolton) is taking against Iran, I'd print the following out and keep it handy, just in case the subject came up. All of these are tweets that Donald Trump let fly back in the midst of the 2012 presidential race. And, obviously, it's time to throw them back in his face.

In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran.

Now that Obama's poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.

Don't let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected--be careful Republicans!

Chris Weigant blogs at: ChrisWeigant.com
Follow Chris on Twitter: ChrisWeigant
Full archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.com
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