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    2018 Midterm Afterburn: The Democrats Control the House 
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    Now that all but the upcoming Mississippi Senate seat runoff and a few other races in California have been called, it's time to think about the 2020 Senate map, serious contenders for President in the 2020 election, and what the Democratic House will do. To Trump. And regarding other important things.

    The two articles I'm going to excerpt are about the following topics:

    1. Being part of the executive branch and being under investigation by a hostile party is hellish.

    2. Trump might think he doesn't need lawyers, he doesn't have lawyers, and that's probably not a great strategy.

    Article 1 (written just before the midterm elections)

    It's depressing as hell': Dem win would spell misery for Trump White House aides

    Veterans of past White Houses that faced hostile Congresses call life
    under the oversight microscope 'excruciating.'

    ...Democratic control of even one chamber of Congress would unleash an onslaught of hearings, subpoenas and document demands as lawmakers investigate everything from the president?s personal tax returns to his controversial policies on immigration, health care and the environment.

    Beyond the huge consequences for national politics, the arrival of opposition-party oversight can make daily life in the White House unbearable for senior officials and their aides, according to more than a dozen veterans of the Clinton, Obama and George W. Bush administrations interviewed by POLITICO. Their assessments offer a gut-churning preview of what?s in store for Trump administration officials should Democrats wield gavels come January.

    White House staffers can expect to work past midnight battling congressional committees, wage exhausting fights over redactions to internal documents, suffer through mind-numbing meetings with government lawyers about the nuances of executive privilege and see their memos and emails leaked to the media by freshly empowered Democratic investigators.

    One former Clinton administration official compared the experience to getting dental work without anesthesia, a former Obama administration aide described the period after Republicans regained control of the House in 2010 as ?excruciating.? A former Bush administration official said it was one of the most demoralizing times of his career.

    ?I remember coming out of the White House one day in August and realizing it was the first time I?d been outside when the sun was still up in a long time,? recalled veteran Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, who worked on crisis communications in the Clinton White House as it was grappling with the Whitewater scandal.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller?s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election has given White House aides a crash course in responding to a major investigation. But former administration officials said the Trump White House itself has enjoyed only a taste of the hostile scrutiny to which Democrats would treat it.

    Trump?s White House may have it even worse next year because of a rule change the House GOP approved near the end of the Obama administration granting unilateral subpoena power to all committee chairs, forgoing committee votes. ?I suspect they?re not going to ratchet that back,? former Obama White House counsel Neil Eggleston said of a potential House Democratic majority.

    Former administration officials said losing at least one chamber of Congress ? much as Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did midway through their first terms, and Bush did in his second ? transformed their daily lives.

    ?It?s depressing as hell,? said Leon Panetta, former chief of staff to Clinton. ?That?s the first thing that hit the White House, the fact that the American people didn?t like everything that the president was doing. The president?s morale was pretty down.?

    ?You feel like you?re fighting what is really a political battle,? recalled one Obama White House lawyer. ?You?re operating in a highly, highly partisan, political environment.?

    If Democrats launch investigations, heretofore anonymous Trump officials can look forward to 15 minutes of unwelcome political fame as their private emails and memos are swept up in congressional document requests. During the Obama administration, for example, relatively unknown government workers ? from IRS official Lois Lerner to White House energy aide Heather Zichal ? saw their internal emails become national news as they were dragged before Congress.

    Staffers also fretted that getting pulled into a congressional investigation would mean having to hire a personal lawyer and distractions from their day jobs.

    ?Am I going to be off my game because I have to worry about this?? was a common refrain in the administration, Eggleston said. ?Am I suddenly now going to get sucked into the vortex of this? That?s a very debilitating feeling that hits people, and that?s very real.?

    Another Obama White House lawyer said staffers sometimes spent days prepping nervous colleagues for congressional testimony.

    ?It is an incredibly, incredibly nerve-wracking process to be involved in,? the lawyer said...

    ...People close to Trump privately worry the current White House is not prepared for life with a Democratic House.
    Trump currently lacks a permanent White House counsel. His pick for the job, Pat Cipollone, is still undergoing a background check and is not expected to start in a full-time capacity until mid-November.

    ?I think the new guy has to get into place before they start? hiring new lawyers, said C. Boyden Gray, the former White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush who noted that his entire four-year tenure involved dealing with Democratic oversight from both the House and Senate...

    ...?Most people have never been through this. Many of the staff in the White House have never been through a congressional hearing,? said Harold Ickes, a former deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House. Ickes recalled dealing with more than 30 subpoenas and requests for his testimony.

    Trump?s political team also would have its hands full on the investigative front, Ickes said. Recalling his work in the Clinton White House as it geared up for the 1996 reelection campaign, Ickes cited donors who needed to be reassured the president would make it through the investigations, as well as elected officials and other allies who were concerned the scandals enveloping the president would tar them and their own electoral prospects.

    ?No matter how much you try to wall it off,? Ickes said, ?it?s still very distracting and time consuming.?

    Former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn said his worst day on the job came in 1996 when the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for not turning over documents tied to the firing of White House travel office personnel.

    ?There were more than a few days after that,? Quinn said, ?when I drove to work at the White House wondering why Republicans on Capitol Hill whom I'd never met and who had never heard me out wanted to ruin my life.?
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    Uh doesn't trump have a team of lawyers regarding russiagate at the moment?

    Or are you referring to how he isn't utilizing lawyers when trying to pass legislation? That part shows what a noob he is. Obama sat down with A LOT of lawyers to try to hammer out the ACA, and lo and behold, we have the ACA. Trump didn't care to try to legally get any of his plans in motion, hence NO BORDER WALL, etc.

    I love the travel ban but clearly he couldn't even do that right the first time, again, because Trump is a moron.

    Even though I disagree with Obama, a lot, and call him a closeted Republican, at least he didn't have SHIT FOR BRAINS. I may really disagree/hate some of Obama's decisions, like calling off the Hezbollah investigation, or bailing out corporations... but at least the man wasn't intellectually challenged. FFS we need a non-moron in office.
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    Perfect segue for Article 2. Thank you, CH.

    Short answer: The White House Counsel's office is woefully understaffed (it serves the Office of the President as opposed to being the President's "fixer" ) and very few attorneys want to work for Trump in the capacity of his personal attorney. He's also reportedly too cheap to hire his own and uses White House Counsel as much as possible. Allegedly.

    White House lacks lawyers to deal with empowered Democrats

    The White House counsel?s office is down to a skeletal staff, potentially leaving them unprepared to deal with a flood of subpoenas for documents and witnesses when Democrats take control of the House.

    The office has been without a permanent leader since ex-White House senior attorney Don McGahn left the administration in mid-October. His replacement, Pat Cipollone, is caught up in an extended background check that?s prevented him from starting. And in the coming weeks, deputy counsel Annie Donaldson, who served as McGahn?s most trusted aide and as the office?s chief of staff, is expected to leave the administration, according to two Republicans close to the White House. Donaldson is moving to Alabama with her husband, Brett Talley, whose nomination for a federal judgeship the White House withdrew in December 2017.

    Amid the leadership tumult, the counsel?s office has shrunk to about 25 lawyers, according to a second Republican close to the administration. That?s lower than its recent high point of roughly 35 attorneys and well short of the 40 people that some expect it will need to deal with a reinvigorated Democratic party eager to investigate the president?s tax returns and business dealings in foreign countries, reopen probes into Russian election meddling and explore the behavior of a bevy of Cabinet officials.

    ?They only have roughly 20 dedicated White House lawyers and a bunch of detailees who could leave at any time,? one former White House official told POLITICO. ?I don?t think anyone who is paying attention thinks they are prepared for a Democratic takeover.?


    ?Denuded and shrinking? was how a third Republican in touch with the White House described the office?s current state...


    ...veterans of past White Houses warned that the Trump White House was legally unprepared for the onslaught that lay ahead under a divided government.


    ?The White House Counsel job is more than a full-time commitment even in ordinary times,? said former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn. ?Adding one ? or more ? investigations or an independent counsel inquiry just adds a second job on top, but one that often demands sustained attention and always demands exquisite patience.?
    (see link for full article)
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    Oh yeah, because all of his ideas are legitimately unconstitutional, there's a surplus of lawyers but no one wants the Trump stank on them after the NS regime is kicked out of office because then who the fuck would work with you or hire you, considering there's plenty of people without the Trump stank?

    I love it.

    So many lawyers and not a one to rush to the NS' defense. Like I said guys they put up every white guy in this administration, scraping the bottom of the barrel of national socialists. This is why no one wants to play ball with this brand of Republicans. Trump and pals wants to shrink the Republican party. Effectively centering around alt-right/NS ideology. This is going to be the end of the Republican Party. College and high school kids will be tasked with writing essays of "Why did the Republican Party dissolve?" and a lot of blame's going to be pointed directly at Trump.

    I'm not a Republican or a Democrat but when these establishments start to crumble and disintegrate so quickly you should be alarmed and ask yourself, is this what's best for the country, for the people, for America? It might be, it also might not be.
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    UT seat just got called, with a difference of just 700 votes McAdams won the seat.

    Dems have +38 house seats. Well done, guys. Very well done.
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    It's a huge if, but if Espy (D) wins Mississippi, then the Senate balance would be 49-51. Exactly what it was before.

    Obviously the geography has changed, but still... 2020 will be fascinating politically.

    Notice how much red is losing vs blue in this map:

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    I realized something the other day about trumps tax returns...

    I realized that while it's entirely possible he doesn't want them released because he has something bordering on illegal to hide or doesn't want people to know how much tax he dodges, there's another, possibly even more pathetic reason that could well explain it.

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if the real reason trump doesn't want to see his tax returns released, is simply because it would give us an idea how much money he has. Trump cares dearly about his image, his brand. And part of that brand is that he's super wealthy and entirely self made (he's not).

    And while there's little doubt that he's pretty wealthy by average standards, he probably isn't nearly as wealthy as he likes to pretend. Releasing his tax returns could seriously damage the image of his mega wealth that he likes to have.

    The whole image of trump is something he cares about deeply. The only problem is it's a total fraud made up by the apprentice. He's not self made at all, he hasn't been all that successful in business. It's all a lie spread in large part by the apprentice. Sure, he's pretty wealthy compared to just about any of us, probably more successful too. But that's not enough. He needs to be the best. He wants people to see him as the wealthiest of the wealthy, the most successful of the successful. And by that measure he's VERY lacking.

    No doubt he will be dead against anything that would propagate the notion that he's really not particularly wealthy or successful by the standards he's using.
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    Is everything a conspiracy theory now?

    California Secretary of State Slams Paul Ryan for Casting Doubt on ?Bizarre? California Midterm Results

    Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that the losses for Republicans in California after this year?s midterm elections were illogical and didn?t make sense. California Secretary of State Adam Padilla set the record straight on how the state calls elections.

    ?We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every contested California race,? Ryan said Thursday, referring to the full blue flip of Orange County. ?This election system they have ? I can?t begin to understand what ?ballot harvesting? is.

    ?The GOP took a large hit in the House race this election when Reps. Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher, Jeff Denham, and Steve Knight all lost their re-election bids.

    ?When you have candidates that win the absentee ballot vote, win the day of the vote, and then lose three weeks later because of provisionals, that?s really bizarre,? Ryan added. ?I just think that?s a really strange outcome. When you win the absentee ballots and you win the in-person vote, where I come from, you win the election.?



    California Secretary of State Padilla quickly responded to Ryan?s insinuation that something about the election was off. In a statement released Thursday, Padilla explained that counting every eligible ballot is necessary for a fair election.

    "It is bizarre that Paul Ryan cannot grasp basic voting rights protections. It shouldn?t ?defy logic? that elections officials are meticulous in counting every eligible ballot. California works to ensure every ballot is counted properly and every ballot is accounted for. In the most populous state in the nation ? and the state with the largest number of registered voters ? this takes time.

    ?In California, we believe in an inclusive and accessible democracy. We provide voters as many opportunities as possible to cast their ballots. That is why we have no excuse vote by mail, automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and early voting. These reforms helped drive California?s historic registration and a 30 year high in midterm turnout. I stand with the thousands of elections officials and volunteers throughout the state who continue to work around the clock to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our elections.

    ?The process to call elections did take a long time in the golden state. According to the Los Angeles Times, the last undecided congressional race was called on Wednesday, with Democrat T.J. Cox beating Republican Rep. David Valadao, bringing California?s total flipped districts to seven.
    (Video of bewildered Paul Ryan at link)
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    I have to say, the more I learn about AOC, the more I'm starting to really dislike her. Especially after she went after Central Florida US Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Winter Park) and Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) for withholding support for Nancy Pelosi unless she agreed that Republicans not be rendered completely irrelevant in the new Congress, tweeting that "Nine people are holding the entire party hostage." I didn't like it when Republicans rendered Democrats irrelevant. Just because my team happened to win big this time doesn't mean one bad turn deserves another. Pinning the hopes of the party on her is IMO going to be a recipe for a big loss in the future.

    Ocasio-Cortez borrowing from Trump playbook

    One of the most comforting talking points in politics is to claim that your political opponents are irrationally obsessed. I'm sure this is as old as time, but I first noticed it in the late 1990s. Many of Bill Clinton's most ardent supporters responded to every new criticism by claiming the president's enemies were twisted by hate for the man. During the George W. Bush administration, thanks in part to a phrase coined by my late friend Charles Krauthammer, conservatives deflected criticism of the president by claiming his foes suffered from "Bush derangement syndrome." The term caught on, and Obama supporters hurled charges of "Obama derangement syndrome" (along with charges of racism, a secular term for a kind of derangement) at Obama's opposition. Today, it's not hard to find people claiming that Donald Trump's adversaries are obsessed, deranged, or conspiracy-obsessed witch hunters. A search of Twitter finds an infinitely long stream of references to "Trump derangement syndrome."

    Now, here's the thing: Sometimes it's true. Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump all had, and have, their haters. And some people do lose their bearings and immediately leap to the most outlandish interpretation of the facts (or rumors disguised as facts). The paranoid style is a bipartisan phenomenon in American life. But sometimes the people making the "derangement syndrome" or "hater" charge are the ones who refuse to see the facts, taking comfort in the fallacy that the motives, real or imagined, of a critic automatically disqualify the criticism. Anyway, you get the point.

    What interests me is how this psychological phenomenon has become professionalized, particularly in the digital age. As Emory University political scientists Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster have documented, we live in a moment of extreme negative partisanship: Millions of Americans are driven more by the dislike of the other party than by attachment to their own. In this kind of climate, being hated by the right people is the best way to get not just a big following but an intensely loyal one. I've written about this before, but I think it's worth revisiting in the context of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the "it girl" (sorry, "it person") of the left these days. The head of the DNC not long ago referred to her as "the future of the Democratic Party." She's received fawning, glowing-to-the-point-of-incandescent coverage from the mainstream media and outsized critical attention from Fox News and other right-leaning outlets.

    AOC, as many call her, is attractive, young, Hispanic and almost eloquent in her passion for some ill-defined notion of socialism or social democracy. She also says many untrue and silly things. Just this week she suggested in a tweet that the Pentagon misplaced some $21 trillion in funding that could have paid for most of a $32 trillion Medicare for All scheme. A Defense Department spokesman told the Washington Post's Fact Checker column: "DoD hasn't received $21 trillion in (nominal) appropriated funding across the entirety of American history." In recent months, she said unemployment was low because so many people are working two jobs (that's not how it works), that the "upper-middle class doesn't exist anymore" (it does), and that we'd save money on funeral expenses if we had Medicare for All.

    If you point out the absurdity of these things, the almost instantaneous defense is that her critics are obsessed with an incoming-freshman congresswoman. In some cases, they're right. The fixation some conservatives have with her clothes is over the top (though I did love one wag's phrase, "Neiman Marxist"). But what her defenders leave out is their own obsession with the woman.In other words, AOC is quite brilliantly playing a lot of people for suckers. She already has more Twitter followers than the other 60 incoming freshman Democrats combined.

    Ocasio-Cortez, wittingly or not, has appropriated a technique mastered by President Trump. Trump prefers positive attention, but he'll take negative attention over no attention every time, in part because he knows his supporters will intensify their dedication to him in response to allegedly unfair attacks. AOC is doing the same thing. By forcing partisans to take sides, she generates controversy. Controversy attracts media attention. Media attention generates even more controversy. And so on. As with Trump, sometimes she clearly knows what she's doing, and other times she simply displays her ignorance. But at this stage, it doesn't matter. The more right-wing partisans attack her, the more left-wing partisans rally to her. The more left-wingers rally to her, the more justified the right feels in paying attention to her. I suspect this will be new model for years to come.

    Jonah Goldberg's new book, "Suicide of the West," is now available wherever books are sold. You can write to him in care of this newspaper or by e-mail at [email protected], or via Twitter @JonahNRO.

    Last edited by aihfl; 09-12-2018 at 18:00.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aihfl View Post
    I have to say, the more I learn about AOC, the more I'm starting to really dislike her. Especially after she went after Central Florida US Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Winter Park) and Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) for withholding support for Nancy Pelosi unless she agreed that Republicans not be rendered completely irrelevant in the new Congress, tweeting that "Nine people are holding the entire party hostage." I didn't like it when Republicans rendered Democrats irrelevant. Just because my team happened to win big this time doesn't mean one bad turn deserves another. Pinning the hopes of the party on her is IMO going to be a recipe for a big loss in the future.

    ...

    I'm sure this is as old as time, but I first noticed it in the late 1990s. Many of Bill Clinton's most ardent supporters responded to every new criticism by claiming the president's enemies were twisted by hate for the man. During the George W. Bush administration, thanks in part to a phrase coined by my late friend Charles Krauthammer, conservatives deflected criticism of the president by claiming his foes suffered from "Bush derangement syndrome." The term caught on, and Obama supporters hurled charges of "Obama derangement syndrome" (along with charges of racism, a secular term for a kind of derangement) at Obama's opposition. Today, it's not hard to find people claiming that Donald Trump's adversaries are obsessed, deranged, or conspiracy-obsessed witch hunters. A search of Twitter finds an infinitely long stream of references to "Trump derangement syndrome."

    Now, here's the thing: Sometimes it's true. Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump all had, and have, their haters. And some people do lose their bearings and immediately leap to the most outlandish interpretation of the facts (or rumors disguised as facts). The paranoid style is a bipartisan phenomenon in American life. But sometimes the people making the "derangement syndrome" or "hater" charge are the ones who refuse to see the facts, taking comfort in the fallacy that the motives, real or imagined, of a critic automatically disqualify the criticism.


    I hadn't heard of the "_____ Derangement Syndrome" until recently with Trump. But, full admission, I didn't pay that much attention to politics until recently. The only bit of that which I caught with Bush, Clinton, or Obama was the racist remarks against Obama. Which, quite frankly for me, immediately moves the speaker into the 'do not listen to this idiot' group. If one feels race is the best grounds upon which to make an argument against someone, then you've already lost the conversation in my book.

    OAC lost me early on with her lack of depth, or understanding on basic facts about reality. I have no faith in her, nor any number of handlers she employs, that she can plan and execute any sense of success in the real world. None. The more people who put their faith in her and support her, the larger my group of 'do not listen to this idiot' grows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLoveBandit View Post
    OAC lost me early on with her lack of depth, or understanding on basic facts about reality.
    trump must have lost you real early on

    alasdair
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    ^ solid
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    Quote Originally Posted by alasdairm View Post
    trump must have lost you real early on

    alasdair
    Quite the opposite. I see his new take on things as a refreshing break from status quo, visionary in how reality is merely subjective, and communicating on it is a waste of time when one has ideas, YUGE IDEAS, the biggest ideas ever, and the strength of character to lead the nation into this imagined reality. He is a ground breaker, someone we've needed to shake up the establishment and create new ways of thinking, of doing. Bypassing a partisan fake media to deliver his clear vision direct to America via Twitter (have they banned him yet?), it's awesome to see such drive and strength in a position to make things happen, and not hesitating to do so.

    ..
    ...
    ..
    yeah, I don't get him so much either, tbh.
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    regular abbot and costello, gilbert and lewis, jake and elwood blues we got here.
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