• Tag Archives Congress
  • Insulter-In-Chief Can’t Do Simple Math

    Donald Trump smug smile
    Donald Trump, willfully ignorant.

    Donald Trump flaunts his ignorance.

    In Illinois, state representatives used to say that former-now-disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich governed by press conference. He would rarely speak with legislators as people, rarely talk policy. Instead, he would talk about legislators to the press, in the press.

    He lived for interviews.

    Donald Trump governs — if you could call it– that, by insult.

    His latest, attacking Dems. All Dems, I guess, everywhere. But focusing on Congress this time.

    First, Trump has a penchant to randomly capitalize words. And only he understands why and what he is trying to emphasize.

    Here, he says:

    Democrats in Congress must no longer Obstruct [sic] – vote to fix our terrible Immigration Laws [sic] now. I  am watching what is going on from Europe — it would be soooo simple to fix. Judges run the system and illegals and traffickers know how it works. They are just using children!

    Let’s consider how un-presidential this word salad sounds. The New York Whiner hasn’t a clue — or willfully ignores — the facts. Many, many people trying to enter this country are asking for asylum, these “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

    Kyle Griffin of MSNBC’s @TheLastWord captures a portion of Trump’s willful ignorance:

    Democrats don’t control Congress. The House voted on two immigration bills in June — neither had majority Republican support.

    But, hey, why should math bother this President? Why get bogged down with facts when incendiary charges work so much better.


  • Get To Know Conor Lamb, The Next Dem To Upset A GOP Dark Red District

    Conor Lamb, Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 18th.
    Conor Lamb, Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 18th.

    Conor Lamb has as real shot at upsetting a dark red GOP district that includes Houston, PA.

    Lamb speaks on, wait for it, Jesus, as only a young man of faith who knows the teachings of Jesus can:

    “Jesus always started out by going and being with a certain group of people,” says Conor Lamb as we’re winding down hilly back roads to the Washington County Gun Show.

    Jesus, Lamb tells me, tried to get to know people as people before he tried to win them over with arguments. He “wasn’t asking people where they stood on abortion before they came and sat down with them.”

    Lamb, the Democratic candidate in a neck-and-neck special election on March 13, has to hope the people of Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District will likewise listen to what he has to say before judging him by his party affiliation.

    Described as a “square-jawed 33-year-old Marine Corps officer who resigned from his job as a federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh to run, has a chance to upend the district’s politics—as long as he can avoid being labeled a liberal without discouraging the district’s not inconsiderable Democrat base from turning out. A devout Catholic, Lamb is pro-union and pro-gun, backs bipartisan deals for fixing Obamacare and the nation’s infrastructure, wants more job training and less college debt, and says he’s pro-fracking but pro-environment, too. And he’s betting that this mix of economic populism and moderate social politics can win the predominantly blue collar district.”

    And I couldn’t be happier for him. Or for Pennsylvania’s 18th, which, currently, begins northwest and west of Pittsburgh, south to the state line, and explodes east into Westmoreland County.

    Let’s see what the district looks like after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is done redrawing it.

    Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District
    Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District (Since 2013)


  • The Stimulus Package Will Work

    I’ve heard so many Republicans rail against the proposed stimulus package and none of them have any idea what they’re talking about.

    Why not ask an economist?  A reporter for the Notre Dame Observer, Robert Singer, sat down with some economics professors to get their take.  The bottom line?  The stimulus will help, it will work:

    According to Economics Professor James Sullivan, one of the major reasons why legislators are calling for an economic stimulus – a massive increase in government spending – is that widespread uncertainty has caused a decrease in overall demand. Lacking confidence about their job security, people are less willing to make purchases or investments.

    “People expect the economy not to recover soon and that has a self-fulfilling prophecy to it,” he said. “If you don’t think the stock market will increase, you won’t invest in the stock market.”

    While the economy probably won’t suffer indefinitely without a stimulus, a bill could significantly shorten the downturn, according to Economics Professor Nelson Mark.

    “In the long run, it’s not necessary, but who knows if the long run is going to be 10 years or 20 years,” he said. “So I think the question is if the government is capable of lessening the severity of the recession and if what it can do offsets the long-term costs of doing so, then it should do it.”

    If people are unwilling to spend money, then the government can do it for them by cutting taxes, sending money to states, making investments or hiring workers for public works.

    “The government can jumpstart things and encourage businesses to invest to get out of this sentiment of pessimism,” Sullivan said.

    So much of the economy is a state of mind, but it’s more than that as well.  Republicans have been screaming about spending in the bill, but government spending is actually a good thing, according to the real experts:

    Direct government spending on infrastructure or energy investment would be fail-safe ways to increase overall demand, according to Sullivan, but tax breaks to individuals would allow them to make their own consumption choices.

    “If the government spends it right away, then they spend it right away,” he said. “Consumers might choose to hold onto it, so there’s a little bit of a risk there. Ideally you’d like the consumers to spend it, because they could spend it on what they want.”

    Economics Professor Martin Wolfson focused on aspects of the bill that call for more direct government spending.

    “I think the best parts of the bill are the parts that directly put people to work,” he said. “Infrastructure spending, investing in green technology, those parts of the bill that keep people from losing their jobs and keep people receiving needed public services.”

    I don’t trust the Republican solutions at all any more.  Niether should you.  Their don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts mentality has failed us.  Holding on to a stubborn ideology in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is not brilliance, it’s stupidity incarnate.

    We can bring our economy back.  The stimulus bill will work.

    That makes Karl Rove very nervous, but it should give you hope.


  • The Sun Also Rises: Foster Wins!

    Fighting Donkey of the Young Democrats

    Unofficial results from the Associated Press show Bill Foster defeating Jim Oberweis for Congress. The Chicago Tribune calls it a “stunning upset” — and they’re right:

    In a stunning upset Saturday that could be a harbinger of trouble for the GOP this fall, a little-known Democratic physicist won the special election for a seat drawn to re-elect former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

    Bill Foster defeated Republican Jim Oberweis, who lost his fourth high-profile election in six years, following an expensive and highly negative contest.

    Unbelievable, and yet totally cool.

    Foster told his supporters he gives a lot of credit to the Young Democrats of Illinois for helping him secure this victory. Hats off to the entire YD organization in historically Republican Kendall County, which Foster won by 91 votes. The Young Democrats helped turn a huge page in the 14th Congressional District. Spectacular.

    John Crawford and every Young Democrat in Kendall County deserve credit for this one.

    With 100% of precincts reporting, The Chicago Sun-Times shows Foster beating Oberweis by six points: 53% to 47%. Six whole points send Mr. Foster to Washington.

    Congratulations to all who had a hand in this victory.

    Foster is good stuff, and the residents of the 14th Congressional District deserve solid representation. I have no doubt the good doctor will serve them well.