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November 22, 2018

Hal Brown blog Nov. 2018b

Nov. 30, 2018

On Capitol Hill Blue: A new Twitter hashtag for Trump

I also decided to put a similar story on Daily Kos. 

Nov. 29, 2018

Nov. 28, 2018
 Capitol Hill Blue 

From Vox: A president that is beyond satire.


 They’re (the Fed) making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

“oceans are small”

One of the problems that a lot of people like myself — we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers. You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean.

And when you’re talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over.

It’s on fire and they’re raking it working so hard, and they’re raking all this stuff. If that was raked in the beginning, there’d be nothing to catch on fire.

Nov. 27, 2018

Ed. Comment: Bad for both auto workers and possibly for Trump who like to brag about his genius with trade, but good for his friends who have GM stock. HB: GM Stock Price Shoots Up On Announcement Of Thousands Of Job Cuts

Bad news for Trump

The communities affected by GM’s decision are spread across the nation’s politically vital midsection.

Car plants in Oshawa, Ontario; Detroit-Hamtramck; and Lordstown, Ohio, will stop production of the Chevrolet Impala, Cruze and Volt, the Cadillac CT6, and the Buick LaCrosse next year. Transmission plants in White Marsh, Md., and Warren, Mich., also are halting operations, the company said.

Coming just weeks after Republican candidates lost several congressional seats across the industrial Midwest, GM’s action carries a stark political warning for the president. If voters conclude that Trump failed to deliver on his promise to return lost jobs and prosperity to the region, his reelection hopes could be dealt a blow.

In 2016, he won four states with significant ties to the auto industry: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They provided nearly a quarter of the 270 electoral votes needed for victory.
GM’s bombshell news comes near the end of a year that has seen the auto industry occupy center stage in the Trump’s “America First” campaign to overhaul U.S. trade policy. Raw-material costs have soared as a result of Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, with Ford saying it absorbed a $1 billion hit because of the president’s policies.

The new North American trade deal with Mexico and Canada includes sourcing requirements that will complicate industry supply chains, and the president also is considering imposing 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles, a policy that would increase the cost of imported cars by an estimated $6,000 and eliminate 600,000 industry jobs, according to the American Automotive Policy Council.

Philip Levy, a White House economist in the George W. Bush administration, said the auto industry layoffs could prompt Trump to go ahead with additional trade barriers. “While he should take the GM move as a prompt to reconsider his approach, he seems much more inclined to double down reflexively,” Levy wrote in an email.

Nov. 26, 2018 No posts today

Nov. 25, 2018

 Capitol Hill Blue 

Quote of the day:

“I think the (Mueller) report is going to be devastating to the president and I know that the president's team is already working on a response to the report,” Alan Dershowitz said on "This Week" Sunday.  “When I say devastating, I mean it's going to paint a picture that's going to be politically very devastating. I still don't think it's going to make a criminal case,” Dershowitz said.

Best cartoon of the week (or month) from Tom Toles, Washington Post:

Recommended Dahlia Lithwick story: 

After Years of Taking Up Too Much Space, Trump Is Finally Small

EXCERPTS: The holidays can be tricky when one has begun to reflexively assume the posture of being pinned under the breakfront as the crazy racist grandpa shrieks year round. For many of us, the echo of Donald Trump’s voice, his tweets, his boasts and threats, are what wake us up at 4 a.m. and what makes us afraid to contemplate summer plans or even buy green bananas. But after two deeply destabilizing and in fact traumatic years of soaking in the president’s ugliness and invective, of absorbing the sound and sight of the sneering and the scowling and the fury, there is much to be thankful for this year. Because this year, by dint of miracle or magic or human endeavor, Donald Trump has been reduced to his actual size. He isn’t everything anymore. He is barely anything at all. He becomes smaller every single day, and for that, we have America to thank.
It is no secret that Trump himself is sliding further and further off the rails. The tweets are cruder and materially less coherent, and the public performances are more frightening still. The White House staff is in turmoil, and the president seems to have aligned himself with the Saudi murderers of a Washington Post reporter. None of this offers holiday solace, save for the fact that, as support for the president peels off among members of the militaryconservative lawyers, and women, he finds himself ever more shrilly attacking them all. And as the president finds himself shunned and largely ignored internationally, he is left more and more alone to watch television, tweet hectically, and attempt to rewrite his own story to his satisfaction. At least we can, as Matt Yglesias smartly observes, be grateful that he can’t manage to be effective and pissed off at the same time.
It’s going to be a long-ass haul to restore what’s been dismantled over the past two years. Fear and contempt are contagious and so, apparently, are ugliness and violence. But in so many ways resilience and dignity and pride are pushing through the noise. It’s hard to see it sometimes, but it’s surely rattling under the surface of things. Things will turn around the way you eat an elephant—bite by bite. But recognizing that the elephant was never all that enormous in the first instance makes it easier to do the work. 

Nov. 24, 2018

Portland story: A Winter-Coat Heavyweight Gives Trump’s Trade War the Cold Shoulder in NY Times

Columbia Sportswear has worked around tariffs for decades — and it says the president’s new wave of levies will not bring jobs back to America.

Nearly every large American retailer is in a similar situation: 98 percent of the footwear bought by Americans is made overseas, and 97 percent of clothing sold in the United States is produced in other countries.
This migration to Asia has been happening since the ’60s,” Mr. Boyle (CEO of Columbia) said. “And so everybody who made investments in machines to make fabric or extreme, you know, plastics to make nylon or any kind of textile products — all those investments have been in Asia. All the technology.”
Along with the factories, the manufacturing expertise has moved overseas.
“It’s one thing to design a shirt like you’re wearing,” Mr. Boyle said. “You can sketch that out on a piece of paper. But to make it fit somebody, that’s a technical expertise in tailoring that doesn’t exist here anymore. You could come up with some stuff that nobody could wear.”
Mr. Boyle conceded that if Mr. Trump does hit China with more tariffs — and Columbia is not immediately able to find a way around them — the company will have no choice but to charge more, despite its long expertise in navigating trade winds.

All he needs is love

... excerpt from New  book by Trump advisers alleges that the president has ‘embedded enemies’

Lewandowski and Bossie met with Trump in the Oval Office on Sept. 20 for a friendly interview, an edited transcript of which appears in the new book. Trump told the authors that he considers the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to have helped him politically.
“I think it makes my base stronger,” Trump said in the interview. “I would have never said this to you. But I think the level of love now is far greater than when we won. I don’t know, what do you think, Mike?”

Vice President Pence, who sat in for a portion of the interview, replied, “As strong or stronger.”


This Politcio story Bloomberg’s 'stop-and-frisk' legacy would complicate presidential bid relates to a column I wrote for Capitol Hill Blue a few days ago about whether his marijuana position betrayed Democratic Party values and included arrests for small amounts of pot.

Nov. 22, 2018

Why now, Justice Roberts?
Author's addendum: Trump, at most has six more years in his job, Justice Roberts has his job for life. I have to wonder if this narcisstic president, this emboldened blustering braggart and poseur who believes he has king-like powers, has even thought that he is engaging the 63 year old head-for-life of an equal branch of government in a battle of words that could play out in a battle of consequece in a venue where Roberts has the ultimate power.

Does he think he can body slam John Roberts like he did in a pro-wrestling stunt the way he did with Vince McMahon? Alas, I suspect this is the way the president's disordered mind works. Unbelievablly this man was elected president. Google Trump's greatest Wrestlemania moments if you want to reminded of this.

Another way to look at this is that while Trump can fire an attorney general or any other member of the Executive Branch he appointed, he can't fire a justice on the Supreme Court, or any other member of the federal bench for that matter. Trump may think that because the president nominates people to sit on the Supreme Court he has the power to fire them.

Nov. 21, 2018

Ed note: I began this column as something of a snark, but the more I followed the news since I started writing it yesterday the more I realized that the question "is Trump a chump" deserved a more serious look. This is the column after 12 revisions.

If you watched MSNBC last night this will come as a relief: Interpol elected a South Korean instead of a Russian as head.

If Trump answered the questions on this Dark Triad psychological test truthfully he would score A+, 100% of the questions apply to him, the darkest Dark Triad president in history.

Nov. 20, 2018
Not about Trump for a change:

Nov. 19, 2018 

Quote of the Day from Heather “Digby” Parton in Salon:
Toward the end of their interview, Wallace asked Trump where he ranked himself in the pantheon of great presidents. He said, "There’s Lincoln and Washington, there’s FDR and Reagan, do you make the top 10?" Trump doesn't have the capacity to do such an analysis so he just said he's doing a great job and that we'd be at war with North Korea if Obama were still president. And then he added:
I would give myself, I would – look, I hate to do it, but I will do it, I would give myself an A+, is that enough? Can I go higher than that?
I think he actually believes that, which may be the most alarming thing about him. It's one thing to survive each day, barely balancing on the high-wire act of this crazy presidency. It's quite another to imagine you're actually flying.
Nov. 18, 2018 


No shit, the President of the United States really Tweeted this.

Trump's Mexico-Canada deal hits trouble in Congress because Canada wants LGBT protections which GOP balks at.


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