US Politicking

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jennypenny
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US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:22 am

I'm starting a new thread so I have a place to post any interesting news or analysis I hear. It's not 'my' thread so please chime in, only remember to play nice.

**Remember that Trump is a fickle guy so what I post might be incorrect by the time I post it. Example ... Trump was committed to helping the dreamers, then he threw them under the bus, now I'm told he's close to a deal to let them stay. I'm only posting what I believe was true when I learned of it.


The big news ... Moore won a decisive victory in the Alabama primary. He was Bannon's candidate so this is a blow to Trump. If Moore were to win the Senate seat, he would be another thorn in the side of McConnell. That said, Moore is so far right that it's not inconceivable that the right kind of Democratic candidate could win next year. It would be a huge upset in a state like Alabama, but upsets seems to be the norm right now. I imagine Dems will make a big push there and uncover everything they can on Moore. Who knows what's in his closet. Generally, Republicans in DC are taking Moore's win as bad news.

Related ... Trump said he could get more done with a Democratic Senate and he might get his wish. With Collins desire to run for governor, McCain suffering from what appears to be terminal brain cancer, Corker retiring, and Alabama possibly up for grabs, the Democrats suddenly see some daylight. It's no coincidence that Trump started working with 'Chuck and Nancy' as soon as Bannon was ousted. I'm not going to give Trump too much credit here for anticipating a Democratic win next year. I think he's just interested in getting stuff done and he'll get more done working with Democrats right now. He's also mad at Republicans and is 'punishing' them by working with Democrats.

Republicans are still a mess internally but are starting to coalesce around Cruz/Lee, Bannon, Trump, and McConnell. The Cruz/Lee coalition likes Bannon's focus on culture issues. Cruz is the swing member there who wants the Senate to accomplish something. The most effective coalition would be Trump/McConnell working with the Democrats for things like tax reform and healthcare fixes. McConnell's team is shrinking by the minute though. You don't see Pence, Ryan, et al listed there. Next story ...

Pence is becoming the most quietly hated guy in DC. The ACA repeal was all but done and then Pence made some major missteps with Collins and Murkowski and killed it. McConnell wants him to stay out of Senate business from now on and stick to House dealings with which he's more familiar. The House is more chaotic than the Senate though and Ryan has seen his influence shrink, mostly because of Pence. Both the White House and Senate leaders want Pence's role reduced but Pence has ensconced himself in the House. Very tense right now.


In other news ... if what I'm hearing about the Russian ads on FB is true, it's going to be a fascinating story and probably a blow to Zuck's political ambitions for a while since FB withheld the information. I'm told politicians reviewing the matter don't know whether to be appalled at how effective and well-crafted the political ads are or to take notes for their own future campaigns. Talk of regulating social media is growing.


While the war vs. sanctions debate over NK continues, it may become a test ground for anti-kinetic warfare in the meantime. Think Stuxnet. They might also try old school tools like basic propaganda. Apparently, that kind of stuff really annoys Kim Jong-un. It's risky to provoke him though since the US is not as prepared militarily as it should be. To be more specific, the type of warfare necessary in NK is different than in the ME and much of the technology is untested. The worst thing that could happen (from the US perspective) is to attempt to strike at NK and fail (something like trying to shoot down a test rocket and missing). That could embolden NK and undermine global confidence in the US's ability to handle the NK situation. The word 'blockade' is also being heard more frequently. It's still an act of war but not a direct strike. I suspect talk of a blockade is really aimed at China, not NK.


Sorry this got long. It's been a while.
Last edited by jennypenny on Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

BRUTE
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Re: US Politicking

Post by BRUTE » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:32 am

president zuck is the only thing worse than president orange wig

Riggerjack
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Re: US Politicking

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:16 pm

Hitting a missile in flight, is well nigh impossible. I say this a a former air defence tech, who had friends in the ADATS program, and worked with Patriot techs. I have also worked around the Boeing engineers working on shooting down missiles with lasers.

We "shot down" Scud missiles in desert Storm. Google it, it totally happened. Only the unreported details are a bit more complicated.

Scud missiles are primitive. Their guidance systems are clockwork, with mechanical gyros. When a Scud was launched, we would send a battery of Patriots after it. 16 one million dollar missiles after the single target. Any time a Scud dropped on something other than a civilian or military target, we claimed a kill. Let me say that again. When the wind up rocket didn't hit something of value in a nearly empty desert, after we sent 16 missiles after it, (after having months to set up between Iraq and the target) we called it a kill. The only confirmed hit was the Scud we hit, that the fell on the barracks, killing the guys doing laundry for the Navy, if I remember correctly. All the rest dropped into the middle of nowhere. You can decide for yourself if that was our victory, or their failure.

With plenty of very good reason, I have zero faith in any missile defense system. It's been a PR move by the military industrial complex since Reagan and Star Wars.

That being said, I have no interest in moving, despite being in the number one target area of the west coast. I just wanted to make clear the difference between propaganda, and the reality of the situation.

As for a blockade, the Navy already tested ships vs nukes. Your guidance systems don't have to be too great to sink a fleet in open water. No cover, limited target speed, somewhere close is as good as a direct hit. There's a reason the Navy didn't repeat the experiment.

classical_Liberal
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Re: US Politicking

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:04 pm

After years of actively following "politicking", I've burnt out and actively avoid the news. However, I read some of the political threads here because I value the views of this forum. I've always been particularly impressed with @JP's summation of and insight regarding current events. I'd actually pay for a feed like this (not much, mind you, I'm cheap). Thanks for providing it in one thread...and free! I'll probably never post again because I'll have nothing to contribute, but I'll add plenty of silent views.

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jennypenny
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Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:14 am

Thanks CL.

I made a correction up top because I said the election would be 'next year' (habit with elections, sorry). It's in December, which doesn't give the DNC much time to make the case for Jones. They are dragging their feet which is causing some conflict within the party. The first issue is that it's believed that if Jones took a step towards the middle he could win over moderate Republicans. The Democratic party is trending further to the left so a move to the middle is a hard sell. The other issue is that some inside the party feel the lack of commitment on the part of Perez and others exposes the urban/coastal/elite bias of the party. Perez is arguing that he's only going to throw big money at races they can win. While true, others argue that doing so reinforces the 'coastal elite' characterization the party and that it's important for Democrats to stay engaged and relevant in red states.

It would take the right combination of factors to give Jones a chance ... a deliberate and decisive step towards the middle, some bad press on Moore, an extremely low turnout like in the runoff ... but the possibility is there. They would have to do it in a way that didn't make it look like DC was invading Alabama to try to take over their election because that wouldn't play well. Some think it could be done though.

BRUTE
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Re: US Politicking

Post by BRUTE » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:33 pm

what is jennypenny's verdict on bipartisanship? should the GOP try it, or is it a loser's game with the current democratic party and political climate? brute has heard the case for both sides, and doesn't know what to make of it.

Seppia
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Re: US Politicking

Post by Seppia » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:11 am

Threads like this are why I have fallen in love with this forum
quality over quantity
thanks to JP for all contributions and Riggerjack for the great post on missile defense

IlliniDave
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Re: US Politicking

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:00 am

Regarding missile defense, the Patriot anecdotes from the first gulf war are nearly 30 years old. Much has changed since then. In WWI neither tanks nor airplanes made a whole lot of difference on the battlefield. Less than 30 years later in WWII it was a much different story. If anything, technology probably advances faster now.

Living in Alabama the Roy Moore thing is a head scratcher. Most people I know can't stand the guy--a judge who repeatedly thumbed his nose at law and order. I guess he's a hero to the religiously conservative faction whom I guess only support law and order insofar as it enforces their preferences. I don't think there's any chance Alabama will vote for a democrat though, unless Nick Saban ran as a democrat.

As long as the republicans continue with their epic dysfunction, Trump probably should reach across the aisle to try to get the things done he wants to get done. That's what happens when a bunch of people get elected to be against stuff, rather than for anything.

I'm not familiar at all with the Russia ads on FB story. I'm too lazy to google it and so disgusted with politics and the media coverage of it why ruin my day? I've just got back from a long vacation that included 2+ weeks off the grid. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Tyler9000
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Re: US Politicking

Post by Tyler9000 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:24 pm

jennypenny wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:22 am
That said, Moore is so far right that it's not inconceivable that the right kind of Democratic candidate could win next year.
Moore may be far-right, but his Democratic opponent Doug Jones is so far left (for example, fully supporting abortions up to the day of birth) that I'm pretty confident he's not the right kind of Democratic candidate to win in Alabama. IMHO, the whole process of national parties pushing candidates ever farther away from center helps nobody.

BTW, I love your insider political posts. Interesting stuff.

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TheWanderingScholar
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Re: US Politicking

Post by TheWanderingScholar » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:19 pm

Yeeaaaahhhh insider political post from JP favorite thing on the forum.

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Re: US Politicking

Post by plantingourpennies » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:17 pm

Tyler9000 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:24 pm
Doug Jones is so far left (for example, fully supporting abortions up to the day of birth)
Please provide evidence for this. You appear to be parroting a headline from Breitbart that twists Jones' quote "once a baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child. That’s where I become a right to lifer," into a "I’m Pro-Abortion Up Until ‘Once a Baby Is Born’"

I don't want to politicize this thread, but there is no reason to spread false information either.

Tyler9000
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Re: US Politicking

Post by Tyler9000 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:22 pm

I haven't read the Breitbart article. But yes, I'm referring to that quote and the responses that immediately preceded it where he declined to accept any limits on late term abortions. Listen for yourself and come to your own conclusion.

https://youtu.be/OAQ2L9rVfEI

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jennypenny
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Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:48 pm

Some people like these updates and some contacted me privately to say they thought it was a bad idea to keep stirring the political pot. I'm not sure what to do. :? I'll stick with news-only updates for now and ask again for people to play nice in this thread.

DS has been ill, so this is only a quick recap of what was in my inbox ...


Trump is not happy with Republican leadership in Congress. This goes back to repealing Obamacare because Trump felt (and, I believe, rightly so) that they should have had a bill ready to go as soon as he was inaugurated. Once it became clear that they (congress) couldn’t agree on what to do, he switched to issuing EO’s to prompt Congress to act. It seems to be working. There has been some movement to stabilize Obamacare until they figure out what to replace it with (or more likely, get voted out of office). There has also been movement on a wall-for-dreamers deal.


Congress is not happy with Trump either and they are pushing back. No one wants Trump to campaign for them. He’s been trying to schedule more campaign-type stops because he likes to do them, but he’s not getting the ‘right’ invitations. McConnell is holding tax reform over Trump’s head which is why Trump is suddenly talking about what a great guy McConnell is. McConnell’s comments about being in the ‘personnel business’ were to remind Trump that he can’t appoint anyone without McConnell’s help.


Privately, Trump supports Obamacare and amnesty for Dreamers. He has actually ‘joked’ about having joined the wrong party a couple of times lately. He doesn’t have any loyalty to Republicans and has said he’ll work with whoever gets him the win.


Susan Collins was going to run for governor, supposedly as a step towards running for president. People (I’ve heard McCain) convinced her that her unique position in the Senate right now will give her more national visibility.


Moore is not polling well in Alabama.


Oprah IS polling well. There's talk that she could get some crossover vote in the deep south and northern cities that went for Trump if she ran (I've heard Biden would like her as a running mate). Her stint on 60 Minutes is to gage the public's acceptance of her foray into political issues. FWIW, I thought she did well in her first appearance.


Kelly is keeping Trump on a need to know basis. Briefings are (very!) brief and thin on facts to avoid giving Trump information that he’ll accidentally leak or riff on during a public appearance. Trump also changes his mind suddenly and without warning. He'll sometimes say he's going to say one thing and then say something else in public. He jokes that it's to keep his staff on their toes, but Kelly et al are just about done dealing with it.


Information has gone dark on NK. Not a good sign.


Trump wanted Tillerson out and Haley to replace him, but Pence pushed hard against Haley. As soon as there is some agreement, Tillerson will be out. Deduce what you want from Pence’s position. :x

----

As the Weinstein fallout continues to spread, there are some potential political implications. Most think that returning/keeping Weinstein donations is a non-issue. I agree for the most part since there’s no way for politicians to vet every donor. Besides, he hasn’t even been charged with anything yet (other than being a scumbag).

That said, the ‘everybody knew’ meme could be a problem for people if they worked closely with Weinstein, especially if their companies protected him or hushed victims in any way. Bob Iger probably has the most to lose since he’s considering a run for president in 2020. Up until now, I thought he was a top contender for the nomination.

We’ll see how the Weinstein allegations play out and whether they are resolved quickly. Bannon is going to push hard on this issue and keep it at the forefront as long as he can now that he’s been blackballed in Hollywood. I’ve heard the Weinstein story is only the first of many that Bannon is going to pursue. (Breitbart is luring back some of their better talent from the pre-Trump days with lucrative offers ... Bannon is sparing no expense in his culture war campaign.)

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Re: US Politicking

Post by Tyler9000 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:56 pm

Interesting. Thanks.

Yeah, some of the conservative sites I read have soured a bit on Moore lately and I take that as a poor sign for his chances. Trump may ultimately have his chance to claim he was right.

I have a feeling the Weinstein thing is just the tip of the iceberg and it's only a matter of time before it spills into the political arena. Of course people have already brought up Trump's own quotes on women. But Iger is another great example, and it's also the perfect anti-Clinton wedge on multiple fronts. There are lots of glass houses in DC, and this particular rock has the potential to smash a lot of windows.

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Re: US Politicking

Post by C40 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:36 pm

Keep making these updates jennypenny!!

Sometimes now when I read the news or headlines, I wonder what the real scoop will be from jp.

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Re: US Politicking

Post by ffj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:31 pm

I find it your insider commentary interesting, but do you have a filter for what is water cooler talk and what is verified? I hope you don't take that question the wrong way but I'm truly curious how this works because there are so many agendas out there.

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Re: US Politicking

Post by EMJ » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:29 am

I too find your commentary interesting with a perspective that I don't hear anywhere else. Please keep these up!

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jennypenny
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Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:47 am

@ffj — It’s a fair question and difficult to answer, both because I don’t want to give away my sources and because this WH is … unique, shall we say. My sources come from MSM reporters (local and national), the RNC, ‘inside’, and a couple of partisan outlets. I'll do a post soon on agendas and editorial bias to address that issue and show how it works.


If I state something without qualifications, then it’s ‘fact’ insofar as it is what I’m being told by more than one source. Some of it has already been reported somewhere but isn’t getting much attention because of the barrage of daily news and sound bites. Some of it isn’t newsworthy or no one will go on the record (like the Pence talk), so ‘everyone knows’ but you won’t see anyone report on it until it directly affects something newsworthy.

If it’s something like the Collins news and I say “I heard” that McCain was the one to convince Collins to stay in the Senate, that means that I’ve been told that but can’t confirm it with multiple sources. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s sketchy information. With the Collins story, journalists aren’t going to spend time trying to confirm that McCain was the one to change her mind. If they can confirm it while reporting on the story they will, but it’s a minor detail and they are under time constraints and won’t waste time on those types of details. They also don’t waste calls to sources to confirm frivolous details in stories. OTOH, it may only be a rumor and no one has bothered to confirm it.

My comments on Weinstein were my own take on the situation and I should make that clear. My comments on Bannon were facts though … gah, see how hard this is. :P

The ‘unique’ part of this WH is twofold. First, Trump changes his mind frequently and so what was true when it was told to me may no longer be true when I post. (please remember this!) Some of the uncertainty is deliberate on Trump’s part and some of it comes from his evolving views on issues (he was a noob on a lot of topics and changes his mind often when he receives new information or comes to understand something better).

Some of it is just the inherent instability in the WH. The Tillerson story is a prime example of that. Press gets ‘tipped’ when someone like that is going to be fired because this WH wants coverage of it. It was Friday afternoon and they didn’t want journos leaving town so they told them that Trump was meeting with Tillerson and the results of the meeting would be newsworthy and that journalists wouldn’t want to miss it. Then after a long meeting … nothing. It’s not that the tip was wrong, only that Trump changes his mind quickly and without consulting staff.

Second, his inconsistent behavior with different departments in the WH means that different people will have completely different takes on any given situation. Two sources within the WH will give conflicting information and both may be telling the truth, if that makes sense. It’s hard to convey how erratic this WH has been compared to previous ones. (like on a completely different scale) Clinton’s WH had a rep for being full of noobs and a little frantic at times, but most people in the Clinton WH at least had some political experience at the state level. There has been a noticeable decrease is the craziness however with the appointment of Kelly and the uniformity he’s brought to the WH. The recent stability in the press office is also helping a lot.


@T9000--We'll see if the Weinstein story gains traction. I'm not so sure. Media outlets are so wrapped up with entertainment outlets now (often owned by the same company) that it's difficult to see how they can cover the story objectively. It's not in the parent company's best interest to have their news outlets covering a story that will hurt their production companies. I also wonder how this will affect specific outlets and journalists. Think of someone like Anderson Cooper who is an A-list guy in Hollywood and attends all the best parties. That means he definitely interacted with Weinstein on several occasions and -- if 'everyone knew' about Weinstein -- he also knew. Is someone like Cooper obligated to report on it? Or maybe Gayle King? Or anyone at Vanity Fair magazine? I'm not on the culture war bandwagon, but this goes beyond that if apparent crimes -- crimes with victims that included minors -- went unreported for decades and journalists knew about it. What is the journalistic obligation here? I'm not sure, but I personally find the 'everybody knew' part more troubling than what Weinstein supposedly did, especially when I think about how many journalists must have ignored the story. That's where Iger might be in trouble ... his wife is Dean of USC's Journalism school. Again, what is the obligation to report?
Last edited by jennypenny on Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Seppia
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Re: US Politicking

Post by Seppia » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:04 am

Your reports are phenomenal, please please PLEASE keep them going!

If someone doesn't like it they can avoid this thread, personally I don't see how a mostly unidirectional discussion like this one may be "stirring the pot".
This is mostly you write, we read.

Thanks again!

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Re: US Politicking

Post by GandK » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:39 am

Seppia wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:04 am
If someone doesn't like it they can avoid this thread, personally I don't see how a mostly unidirectional discussion like this one may be "stirring the pot".
+1. This is not a debate thread.

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