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The State Department Is Now Hyping Trump's Private Club Mar-a-Lago as the "Winter White House"

Little Green Footballs - 48 min 22 sec ago

In today's episode of "Donald Trump's America - the Banana Republic Edition," the UK State Department website is now promoting Trump's Mar-a-Lago castle, calling it: Mar-a-Lago: The winter White House.

Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s Florida estate, has become well known as the president frequently travels there to work or host foreign leaders.

[...]

Read the full story at ShareAmerica !

I don't even know what to say any more. This just keeps more and more nightmarish.

Categories: Politics

Alex Jones May Finally Get His Comeuppance, Thanks To Chobani!

Crooks and Liars - 1 hour 48 min ago
Alex Jones May Finally Get His Comeuppance, Thanks To Chobani!

Well, well, well. Looks like Alex Jones of Info Wars fame might finally be held responsible for the lies that he spews.

Bloomberg News is reporting that Chobani Yogurt is suing Jones in Idaho District Court for at least $10,000 in damages for defamation.

Jones published a video on his website on April 11th in which he stated that Chobani had been "importing migrant rapists" to work in its yogurt factory. Although there was never any proof to the ridiculous allegations, Jones refused to remove the video even though Chobani had asked him to do so.

According to Bloomberg, Chobani owns and operates the world's largest yogurt factory in Twin Falls, Idaho where the lawsuit was filed today.

This is likely to lead to other victims of Alex Jones right-wing nut job rhetoric to come forward with suits of their own.

What goes around comes around.


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Categories: Politics

US State Department pimping Trump-branded property

Balloon Juice - 1 hour 55 min ago

I would have taken this for an “Airbnb for the Affluent Asshole” listing, except it’s published on the official US Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom page:

The US Ambassador to the Court of St. James didn’t develop this promotional content; it’s from ShareAmerica:

ShareAmerica is the U.S. Department of State’s platform for sharing compelling stories and images that spark discussion and debate on important topics like democracy, freedom of expression, innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and the role of civil society.

The ShareAmerica team is part of the Bureau of International Information Programs, which works with U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 140 countries to engage with people around the globe on U.S. foreign policy and American society.

So, to recap, the US State Department is disseminating content worldwide on behalf of Trump’s for-profit private club, which doubled its annual membership fee to $200K after the election.

These Trump assholes are absolutely shameless. It’ll be a miracle if they don’t cart off the silverware and rip the copper wiring out of the White House walls when compelled to vacate government housing.

Open thread!

Categories: Politics

Mistrial Declared For Bundy Defendants, Even Sniper On Highway Bridge!

Crooks and Liars - 2 hours 26 min ago
Mistrial Declared For Bundy Defendants, Even Sniper On Highway Bridge!

A Nevada jury just deadlocked on all counts for six Bundy defendants brought in the wake of the Bunkerville standoff in 2014.

The sniper pictured above, Eric Parker, was one of the defendants jurors deadlocked on. Apparently a photo of him aiming a rifle from a sniper position was not enough evidence to convict him on any charges. That, to me, is infuriating and can only be viewed as jury nullification.

They did reach a verdict on two defendants, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:

read more

Categories: Politics

Spicer channels Trump's fierce urgency of whenever on vote timing

Daily Kos - 2 hours 29 min ago

A week after Donald Trump told reporters he hoped to "get both" a spending bill and a Trumpcare 2.0 vote—and then pledged an all-caps “TAX REFORM AND TAX REDUCTION" roll out to punctuate his first 100 days in office, press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday was a lot more like, yeah, whenever.

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Of course, this is exactly what Paul Ryan told his GOP colleagues about the health care measure during a weekend conference call: When we have the votes (i.e. who the hell knows).

Trump is so desperate for a legislative win right now, he's taken to downplaying expectations and declaring victory in a single tweet:

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Frankly, we think Trump's tweet volume alone should be counted as a Trump accomplishment. Why not add “most tweets ever” to signing the most executive orders ever (not really, but close enough for Trump’s purposes), dropping the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever, and breaking the biggest Senate rule ever (i.e. the filibuster) to advance a Supreme Court nominee and finally, finally put a “win” on the score board—phew!—by cheating.

Categories: Politics

Trump's 'big, beautiful' wall gets downsized to a couple of 'high priority' areas

Daily Kos - 2 hours 41 min ago

Donald Trump is desperate to get the ball rolling on his precious border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for—but in reality could lead to a government shutdown. So maybe that’s why he wants “to start with a much less ambitious footprint” for that “big, beautiful” wall and focus “only on the most highly trafficked corridors” to start with. The price tag? More than $3 billion:

Identified as “high priority” in the document are the border sectors of the Rio Grande Valley in the southern tip of Texas -- encompassing Rio Grande City, McAllen and Weslaco -- as well as El Paso, Tucson and San Diego.

The areas were selected because of their proximity to urban centers and roads, allowing those who cross to vanish quickly, according to the document, which was made public by congressional committee staffers.

The preliminary plan anticipates adding more than 100 new miles of wall over the next two years, on top of the 700 miles of fencing that already exists, at an initial cost of more than $3.6 billion.

The wall, even on a smaller scope than billed during the campaign, is a sticking point in high-stakes budget negotiations to avert a government shutdown this week.  

Trump himself weighed in Monday, tweeting: "The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)!"

Except most southwest border residents think otherwise, with a poll last year finding that 72 percent of Americans who live in the region opposed building a wall. “The wall might make mid-America feel safer,” one expert said at the time, “but for those of us that live on the border, it’s not making us feel any safer when we know that people can go over it, around it, under it and through it.” Says Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal: “Donald Trump sold a seamless wall as the solution to our immigration problems, but a wall is more symbolic. I don’t believe it’s going to produce statistically significant results.”

Categories: Politics

Four out of five outcomes ain’t bad

Balloon Juice - 2 hours 48 min ago

Last week, Tim Jost raised a very interesting point in comments regarding auto-enrollment. I’ve been wrestling with it for a bit and I’m still trying to organize my thoughts:

I would add yet another group that I am not sure is captured in the four categories listed–people who just don’t want health insurance. They rarely need health care and when they do go to the local community health center or free clinic or work out some arrangement with a local doctor or local hospital. They would be quite upset if they found out that someone had enrolled them in coverage even if they could opt out of it There are a lot of people here in rural Virginia whom I think would fit in this category..

I’m still trying to figure out how meaningful this group would be if we had a fully functional auto-enroll with a straightforward opt-out. I’m hand-waving operational challenges away to think this through. As I see it, most people in this group would not see anything different.

Four out of the five  pathways lead to a status quo outcome.  People with an insurance card in their wallet and no utilization don’t care about that insurance card all that much especially if their premiums are effectively zero as the policy is paid for by non-transferable tax credits.

The one pathway where there is a departure from current status quo is when someone does not opt-out and has utilization.  Here they can either present or not present their insurance card.  If they don’t present, they are back to status quo.  If they do present, they’ll probably be better off if the service is for cancer treatment but they may or may not be better off if the service is for something low level that they could afford to pay for with cash.  Odds are they will stay be paying for that service with cash as there is a large deductible that they need to satisfy.

And yes, I am using a material well being analysis to try to understand psychological anchoring so that might be my problem, but I am struggling with this right now to see how big of an issue it could actually be.

 

 

 

Finally, the appropriate musical response to future conditional reactions to gut-check hypothetical questions is below the fold:

Categories: Politics

Pass The Emoluments, Please: Trump Promotes Mar-a-Lago On Official State Dept. Websites

Crooks and Liars - 3 hours 1 min ago
 Trump Promotes Mar-a-Lago On Official State Dept. Websites

Let's all sing the emoluments song (again) today! We can all sing along with the State Department, who now promotes Mar-a-Lago here and abroad as Trump's Winter White House while conveniently omitting the part where he owns it and runs it as a for-profit concern.

Over on ShareAmerica.gov, a website intended to be forward-facing to foreign countries about issues of mutual concern, there's a big fat promo for Mar-a-Lago. This promo not only appears on the ShareAmerica United States website, but also the sites for other countries.

The text of the promo reads in part, "Trump is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it. By visiting this “winter White House,” Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago’s original owner and designer."

Fulfilling the dream.

But Post had even bigger plans for her Palm Beach home. Upon her death in 1973, she willed the estate to the U.S. government, intending it to be used as a winter White House for the U.S. president to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries.

Her plan didn’t work, however. Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter never used the property. And in 1981 the government returned the estate to the Post Foundation because it was costing too much money to maintain.

read more

Categories: Politics

CNN Reporter: Claim Mexico Would Pay For Wall 'Burned On My Brain' During Campaign

Crooks and Liars - 3 hours 8 min ago

CNN's Jim Acosta sparred with Sean Spicer over a possible government shutdown if Democrats don't give Trump money to build his border wall since Trump repeatedly pledged Mexico would pay for it.

Spicer replied by saying Trump wants to get "the ball rolling" with funds from the U.S., which is the opposite of what he promised during the campaign.

Afterwards, Acosta reminded us why that is such a betrayal of Trump to his avid followers.

CNN Live played his segment with Spicer from the press briefing and host Brooke Baldwin asked Acosta, "It's a great question. Mexico is supposed to pay for it and it is a talking point from the White House about border crossings being down. What did you make of his answer?"

Acosta replied, "As you know Brooke, I covered a great number of those Trump campaign rallies so a few of those moments were burned on my brain and the moment that might be burned the most on my brain is that Mexico is going to pay for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border."

Jim, you're not alone. Trump not only said it at every campaign and televised rally that he made for months on end, he often tweeted about it as well.

Categories: Politics

Lunchtime Photo

Kevin Drum - 3 hours 28 min ago

This is a composite beanbag photo. It's a beanbag photo because I set the camera on my beanbag (see here for explanation), which sat on the concrete ledge of an overpass. This allowed me to aim the camera precisely where I wanted and to keep it nice and stable even with an exposure time of one second. There was no way a tripod could have fit where I needed it to.

It's a composite photo because I took a lot of shots from precisely the same spot (thanks to the beanbag). Then I chose the best freeway shot and used Photoshop to lay it on top of the best sunset shot. If you look very closely, you might be able to tell where the two shots merge, but you have to be pretty eagle-eyed.

Categories: Politics

Shameless promotion, U.S. Embassy website features ‘Mar-A-Lago: the winter White House’ article

Daily Kos - 3 hours 37 min ago

For 12 weekends in a row, Donald Trump has spent time at a Donald Trump-owned or managed property in what has to be a financial boon for the Trump family. Of course, everywhere Donald Trump goes, gaggles of Secret Service agents, staff and pool reporters follow—many or most of them staying at a Trump property, using taxpayer dollars, directly benefiting Donald Trump and his family. Paying members of these clubs regularly take to social media bragging about access to Trump and his offspring. And now, the official website of the U.S. Embassy & Consultants in the United Kingdom is featuring a glowing article on the “winter White House” that is a barely disguised advertisement:

Mar-A-Lago featured on the U.S. Embassy website All aboard the Emoluments Clause Express

Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s Florida estate, has become well known as the president frequently travels there to work or host foreign leaders.

The first meeting between Trump and President Xi Jinping of China will take place April 6–7 at Mar-a-Lago, which is located at the heart of Florida’s Palm Beach community.

Trump is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it. By visiting this “winter White House,” Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago’s original owner and designer.

When socialite and cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post built Mar-a-Lago — Spanish for “Sea to Lake” — in 1927, she spared no expense. The 114-room mansion sits on 8 hectares of land, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and an inland waterway on the other.

Upon her death in 1973, she willed the estate to the U.S. government, intending it to be used as a winter White House for the U.S. president to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries.

Categories: Politics

Midday open thread: French election, Confederate monuments and hate

Daily Kos - 3 hours 47 min ago
govworkslink_%281%29.jpg
  • What you missed on Sunday Kos …
  • Ooh la la. (Note: Major eye-roll at “firebrand” and “global populist wave.”)

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right firebrand Marine Le Pen appeared positioned Sunday to move to the second round of the most tightly contested French presidential election in decades, in the latest test of a global populist wave that led to surprise electoral results in the United States and elsewhere.

New Orleans officials removed the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early Monday, the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation racism and white supremacy.

The first memorial to come down was the Liberty Monument, an 1891 obelisk honoring the Crescent City White League. Workers arrived to begin removing the statue, which commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, around 1:25 a.m. in an attempt to avoid disruption from supporters who want the monuments to stay, some of whom city officials said have made death threats.

The workers inspecting the statue ahead of its removal could be seen wearing flak jackets and helmets.

Harassment, vandalism and other hostile acts against Jewish people and sites in the U.S. increased by 34 percent last year and are up 86 percent through the first three months of 2017, according tdata released on Monday.

President Donald Trump raised more than a few eyebrows during his first visit as president to Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday when he awarded the Purple Heart to Army Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos.

"When I heard about this, I wanted to do it myself," Trump told Barrientos as he placed the Purple Heart on the soldier's lapel. "Congratulations … tremendous." [...]

This isn’t the first time the president has been criticized for remarks he made about the Purple Heart. During the campaign, a veteran gave the then-nominee his Purple heart.

"I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier," Trump said at the time.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds up weekend news, the worst of the gobbledygook AP interview, the science march, and the search for self-reflection on 2016. As sexual harassment suits come in from all quarters, a reminder that the culture at Fox begins with Murdoch.

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Categories: Politics

An American Embarrassment: Gun Guys Crash International Street Fest

Plunderbund - 3 hours 58 min ago

Two open-carry advocates at the Ohio University International Street Fair in Athens.

ATHENS – The timing couldn’t have been worse. A group of open-carry advocates came to Athens last weekend to exercise their rights by sauntering around uptown with firearms slung over their shoulders and strapped to their hips.

OK. So it goes. This is well within the law. If somebody wants to play at Wyatt Earp and walk around with six-shooters on each hip for all the world to see, well, he can.

Personally, I think it’d be fun to do so with bandoliers criss-crossing the chest, Pancho Villa-style, the absurdity of the action thus nicely highlighted.

But here’s the thing: These open-carry advocates decided to make their statement during the Ohio University International Street Fest, a wonderful annual celebration of the cultures of the globe.

The International Street Fest caps off International Week at Ohio University. Celebrated since 1979, the festival brings together OU student organizations and community members to celebrate global diversity on Court Street.

Organizations set up booths with cultural displays, free interactive cultural activities for kids, and food from around the world. Court Street smells amazing, with exotic grilled goods at every turn. Onstage, international dancers celebrate their cultures. Musicians treat attendees to a wide variety of displays of international heritage.

From The Athens NEWS:

A small group of pro-gun Ohioans staged an “open-carry/firearm education walk” through uptown Athens early Saturday afternoon at the same time and general location as the annual International Street Fair.

While news of the planned walk sparked substantial anger and consternation on social media Friday evening and Saturday morning, the visibly armed open-carry group, with five armed participants (and one pulling a wagon containing two children), walked through the crowded Street Fair with minimal incident and no reported disruptions or counter-protests.

As far as it goes, I saw no confrontation and only conversation. But what I felt watching this handful of open-carry advocates meander about at the International Street Fest was embarrassment.

Here we had a wide cross-section of international people celebrating their diversity, showing off their food, showing off their wares, showing off their dancing, showing off their music.

And in what way was America represented? Five middle-age white guys showing off their guns.

In a way, it’s fitting. American culture tends toward an inexplicable fascination with weaponry and militarism, most especially among thick-necked, pot-bellied, red-faced, over-the-hill, suburban dad types. It’s the American version of the Colonel Blimp character – BarcaLounger Blimps, let’s say.

And these guys couldn’t have been more of a cliché if they tried: Cowboy hat, khaki shorts, polo shirt, white tube socks pulled halfway up to their knees, and a bullpup rifle slung over the shoulder, handgun on the hip. They wore orange “Guns Save Lives” stickers. One guy was wearing a bucket hat, suspenders, and a button-down with American flags all over it.

Obviously, this being the case, they don’t cut a particularly intimidating image. They put one in mind of that dorky uncle we all have who also happens to love guns.

It did make me think, though, about how that dorky-suburbanite image saves their lives from death-by-cop.

Ohio is an open-carry state, but that didn’t save the life of John Crawford III when he was carrying a pellet rifle he got from the shelf at Walmart in Beavercreek. It didn’t save Tamir Rice, with his Airsoft BB gun at the Cudell rec. center in Cleveland.

It made me wonder how people might react if Black Lives Matter protestors exercised their Second Amendment rights to open-carry in Ohio during demonstrations. It made me remember that many gun-control laws were put in place because the Black Panthers tried exactly that.

I’m an avid target-shooting enthusiast. And as an American history buff, when I was a kid, I loved to play at Old West. So it’s not lost on me that Dodge City circa 1870 had more stringent open-carry laws than Ohio does in 2017.

But somehow I’ve never much cared for the idea of walking around openly strapped, even with double cross-draw holsters like Doc Holiday.

So as I sat there last weekend, enjoying a döner kebab sandwich, considering the beauty of the Persian folk dance, I watched these open-carry advocates stroll by and I didn’t feel anger and I didn’t object.

I just felt sad and embarrassed, because amongst this wonderful celebration of international diversity these gun advocates truly did represent a certain element of American culture with distressing accuracy.

D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.

Categories: Politics

Such a long way to go, to make it to the border of Mexico

Balloon Juice - 4 hours 7 min ago

The reviews are in: everybody hates Dolt 45’s plan for a wall on the border with Mexico.

If you get a chance, give your reps a call and tell them to vote against funding this wasteful piece of shit.

Categories: Politics

How Many People Actually Oppose Obamacare?

Kevin Drum - 4 hours 13 min ago

Here's some interesting polling news. However, the interesting part isn't immediately obvious. First up is the Kaiser tracking poll, which asks if people have a favorable or unfavorable view of Obamacare:

Got it? Now here is today's PPP poll, which asks if people support or oppose Obamacare:

Kaiser and PPP agree precisely on support for Obamacare: it's at 47 percent. But they produce way different results on opposition: Kaiser has it at 46 percent and PPP has it at 31 percent. The difference is that PPP shows a large number of people who aren't sure.

Why? Is this the difference between "view unfavorably" and "oppose"? Or a difference between Kaiser and PPP? It's too big to be a mere statistical blip.

The most obvious interpretation is that there are lots of people who have unfavorable views of Obamacare but don't outright oppose it. If that's true, it seems like a pretty obvious opportunity for Democrats.

Categories: Politics

Huge majority of Americans demand an independent commission to investigate Trump–Russia connections

Daily Kos - 4 hours 17 min ago

When it comes to investigating the Trump-Russia connection, the House Intelligence Committee has been successfully driven into the weeds by Devin Nunes. The Senate Intelligence Committee has been slowed to a stop by Richard Burr

While an investigation continues within the FBI, there are reasons for people at both ends of the political spectrum to worry about the efficacy of that agency. And besides, the investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s government is easily the most important political issue since Watergate. In fact, this is the most important political issue in a century—including Watergate. The public deserves to feel that this matter has been investigated both thoroughly and openly, in a way that resolves loose ends and doesn’t leave the impression that the outcome was either foregone or arbitrary.

For that to happen, there is only one avenue remaining.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they want an independent, non-partisan commission instead of Congress to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 election, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

A majority of Americans want the congressional investigation to continue, but an overwhelming majority feels that the congressional investigation is not enough on its own. Why an independent commission?

A combined 61 percent of Americans say they have little to no confidence in Congress conducting a fair and impartial investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

Categories: Politics

Trump claims he's 'not after the Dreamers' despite the fact he's gone after Dreamers

Daily Kos - 4 hours 24 min ago

Popular vote loser Donald Trump claimed last week that his mass deportation dragnet is “not after the Dreamers,” but “after the criminals” and those bad hombres. Department of Homeland Security Sec. John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions also tried to offer similar reassurances, but it’s really best to just file every single one of their claims under “bullshit.” Just ask Juan Manuel Montes, a Dreamer who was arrested by immigration officials despite having valid DACA status and deported to Mexico three hours later:

Montes’ situation came to light Tuesday when he sued the Trump administration in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego. The civil suit alleges that he had been wrongly deported to Mexico by officials who refused to tell him why.

The suit claims the government is in violation of the Freedom of Information Act because no records have been released on Montes’ case, despite numerous requests, which is a violation of the statute. It asks the court to order the government to release those records.

“Under Trump, ICE has already arrested several beneficiaries of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,” notes Roque Planas. During his arrest, Juan was not allowed to retrieve his DACA card from a vehicle, with federal officials later trying to save their butts by lying and claiming it had expired. They were forced to walk back the claim after USA Today publicly verified it didn’t expire until 2018. The truth is that immigration officials have been unmercifully targeting Dreamers for arrest, which is why so many are not one bit reassured by Trump’s claim that they are safe from his grasp.

Categories: Politics

Republican candidates weigh sitting out 2018, because Trump

Daily Kos - 4 hours 26 min ago

The struggle is real for prospective 2018 GOP candidates: Should they or shouldn't they jump in?

With a commander in chief who's as predictable as an untethered balloon in a tornado touting a list of legislative accomplishments as short as his stubby thumbs, many would-be GOP candidates are strongly weighing becoming 2018 won't bes.

For instance, former Florida Rep. David Jolly won a 2014 special election, lost in 2016, and is having heartburn over whether to take a stab at reclaiming his seat in 2018. Jolly said watching the GA-06 special election where Democrat Jon Ossoff will be facing Republican Karen Handel in June has been instructive. Alex Isenstadt of Politico writes:

“Ossoff simply has to speak to the president's failure, while Republicans have to wrestle with whether and how to defend Trump's historically low approval ratings and how closely to align with a president who at any moment could undermine Handel's entire messaging strategy with an indefensible tweet or an outright lie.”

Jolly, who lost reelection in 2016 and is considering running again, said he and other would-be GOP midterm contenders are struggling to take measure of what they’d be getting themselves into. The election is bound to be a referendum on Trump’s first two years. Two Republicans, Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy and Indiana Rep. Susan Brooks, recently announced they will be forgoing Senate runs.

"If you're a prospective candidate, boy, it's tough," Jolly said.

That's the exact ambivalence that not only has Paul Ryan but also Mitch McConnell fretting over the upcoming midterms.

Democrats will need about two dozen pickups to retake the House in 2018; they need only three pickups to flip the Senate, though they'll be defending 25 seats (including those of two independents who caucus with them) to only nine seats for the GOP.

On the positive side, Democrats are seeing a surge in interested candidates, small-dollar donations, and voter enthusiasm. That’s a lot of momentum. Godspeed, Trump.

Categories: Politics

Trump's disastrous start is leading to Democrats feeling feisty

Daily Kos - 4 hours 29 min ago

House Democrats have been constrained by being a distinct minority since November 2010. But popular vote loser Donald Trump and his disastrous poll numbers, as well as the total dysfunction in the fractious Republican party is giving them both hope and the drive to follow the lead of the people and resist.

House Democrats are ready to flex their muscles, providing a list of demands Republicans must meet if they want Democratic votes to keep the government running beyond Friday. And they could be key players on tax reform and infrastructure in the coming months, if Trump ends up needing bipartisan buy-in.

“It’s a great time to be a Democrat,” said Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly, warning Republicans that even if they do achieve some of their biggest goals—like dismantling Obamacare—they will pay at the polls.

“We know we’re going to lose some battles between now and 2018, but every one of those losses costs the other side votes,” he said. […]

In the immediate future, House Democrats have significant leverage in ongoing talks to keep the government open beyond the April 28 deadline.

With hard-line conservatives frequently opposed to spending bills, Republican leaders will likely need a number of Democratic votes to avoid a government shutdown. And [Democratic leader Nancy] Pelosi is nothing if not an expert vote counter.

The energy of the people—we saw it again this weekend in the nationwide March for Science—is certainly helping strengthen their backbone. That's not just showing up in the streets in these huge marches and protests, but also in public polling, where there's a massive enthusiasm gap in favor of Democrats, as shown in a survey from Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, Priorities USA conducted at the beginning of April.

Categories: Politics