Saturday, February 22, 2020

Left & Right -- Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Mark Guerringue sits in the left chair. Our producer's first question asks about AG Barr’s recommendation of a reduced sentence for Roger Stone. Do we think Barr did it at the behest of President Trump?

I say Barr is sharp enough to know the former Mueller prosecutors who recommended the high sentence were out to get Donald Trump and his associates and doubt any collusion between the Barr and the president.

Mark thinks I’m “defending another criminal” and Stone gets what he deserves. He claims I believe in the Deep State which he says doesn’t exist except as “another conspiracy from the right.” He cites a retired FBI agent he spoke with who claims Trump was demoralizing to the FBI by his constant attacks.

I cite another retired FBI agent with whom I’ve spoken who has almost the same background as Mark’s guy but who has the opposite opinion and sees the Deep State for what it is.

Mark asks could Bernie, as an outsider, win the presidency the way Trump the outsider did four years ago? I don’t think he can because he isn’t flexible. His support is based on his unchanging nature, that even people who think him too radical-left trust him because he’s always been that way. Mark’s paper, the Conway Daily Sun, endorsed Bernie.

Mark believes that many of the Bernie supporters out there would vote for Trump if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination because they’re both outsiders. Mark says he voted for Amy Klobuchar in NH primary but wrote the editorial endorsing Bernie because “the job of the paper is to come up with the best candidate for the Democratic Party,” and does the same for the Republican Party.

Mark thinks Bernie will likely lose to Trump, but maybe not. If he gets elected he’ll push Medicare for all, but won’t get it. He’ll just tweak Obamacare. I read a quote from Pete Buttigieg two years ago endorsing Medicare for all, but he’s changed his mind since.

I raise Trump’s new Middle East Peace Plan in which Palestine gets the West Bank in exchange for acknowledging Israel’s right to exist — the old Oslo Plan essentially — but the Palestinians have only four years to accept it. If they don’t, the United States would support Isreal annexing the West Bank. What’s new now is that Saudi Arabia and Egypt won’t object to the plan. It’s a game-changer.

Mark asks what Trump could do to lose support from Republicans. I say he could stop appointing conservative judges and that would do it. Mark says the economy is doing well, and if that changes it could affect the November election, but incumbents usually win anyway.

I bring up the UK out of the EU and mistakenly say “Trump endorsed Jeremy Corbyn.” I meant Bernie endorsed him and I compare Boris Johnson to Trump. I see Brexit as a move toward decentralization of government similar to what conservatives want in the United States. Mark sees the EU as politically stabilizing for a Europe which erupted in wars large and small every generation. 

We take the second question from the producer: “How will Mitt Romney’s vote to convict affect his political career?”  Mark says he’ll make history as the only senator the same party as an impeached president to vote guilty but it won’t hurt his career. I say Romney comes across as a wimp and he’s been that way on the national stage. It’s why he lost to Obama. He lacks spine.

Mark says Iowa and NH should continue as first-in-the-nation caucus and primary because they’re demographically representative of the USA as a whole. I suspect the major parties will likely move away from those states.


Brian said...

You say Bernie can't win as an outsider as Trump did because he isn't flexible. Trump is flexible in the way of almost all squirrelly politicians, no real core beliefs that they will stand strong on if it is not politically convenient. Trump's list of flip-flops is amazing. When it comes to the Russians he is downright pliable towards the best interests of Putin. This is because Trump has no spine. He wouldn't dare be so brave as to stick his neck out for something he feels strongly about like Romney did, which is why Romney will be remembered more like McCain now, a rare courageous Sanders. Bernie is a true straight talker with no BS. How refreshing that would be and how nice it would be to bring back dignity to the White House.

Brian said...

Oh, and in the spirit of the 40th anniversary of the "Miracle on Ice", let's defeat the Russians once again this year at the ballot box in November!!

Tom McLaughlin said...

Virtually the entire Miracle on Ice hockey team was on stage with Donald Trump in Nevada yesterday wearing MAGA hats:

Uber_Fritz said...

This will be fuel for Brian but I do not really care. Bernie will not be the candidate for the Democrats. Why? A socialist has never and will never be the President of the United States. I will willingly recant this statement when the cards are shown. But, Hillary bought out Bernie during the last election and Bernie is not moderate enough to make the showing necessary to beat Trump. He will not be selected. If the Democrats are planning to show up, then the candidate must be, at the very least, somewhat moderate. Just think, Bernie was endorsed by AOC. She fails to understand the phrase being pulled up by one's bootstraps. Hey, it is physically impossible.

Here we go, let's bring back dignity to the White House with Bernie. That's laughable. Romney is merely a fair-weather friend and has ignored the rules of law because God talked to him. Well, I am not an atheist but implying that God directed Romney to vote in a particular way is ludicrous.

Oh yes, Adam Schiff stated that Trump planned to sell Alaska and Pelosi pitched a tantrum and destroyed a legal document. Yes, and she is a Catholic so she cannot possibly hate anyone . . . except Trump.

Despite time and money wasted by the Democrats, Trump continues to "get stuff done." In the face of adversity, he has still thrived for the benefit of the American people.

Expect another four years of the same!

Brian said...

Uber may be right about Bernie and his chances, we'll have to wait and see. The Democratic establishment certainly doesn't want him, which has parallels with Trump last time around.

Hilarious that a Trump supporter dares to cast stones about tantrums! The big pampered baby-in-chief is in a near constant state of tantrum. Calmly and quietly ripping apart pages of lies and bluster in no way qualifies. It was pre-meditated, unlike the baby's out of control tantrums of name-calling and nastiness.

The belief that one's God directs them towards doing what they believe to be right is ludicrous to you? That sounds like a statement from an atheist.

I'm not sure what the point was to Tom's response. Is he suddenly putting worth to the political statements and stands of performers and athletes? It would seem a bit hypocritical from things I've read in previous columns. It is bizarre to me that people are not bothered by the fact that Trump is siding up with the enemy - Russia - trying to silence his own Intelligence Agencies from speaking up about their continued attacks. Believing Putin and Russian Intel over his own American Intel. That is mind-bendingly unpatriotic and perhaps traitorous. But hey, it's worth it to you because this angers liberals....

Yes, I agree with you guys, it will be very difficult to defeat Trump/Putin in 2020. And even if they lose they will fight to stay. Things look tough, but I believe America and its Democracy can rise and shake off this pull towards authoritarianism.

Kafir said...

I’m currently reading a great book and totally expect that Brian and his bandwagon to become “triggered” with this quote on page 24, “ I’m reminded of faulty foundations when I look at the modern Democrat Party. It built a political party on a foundation of Jim Crow-style racism, support of the KKK and slavery, and stark opposition to Abraham Lincoln. Every few decades it added a floor to that foundation. Those floors included a widespread welfare state, hindrance of businesses both big and small and finally political correctness, Soviet-style socialism and Antifa. They are the party of dependence. Without that, they have nothing. It’s a miracle that the party is still standing.”

Brian said...

Why on earth would anyone be triggered by more of the same tired old talking-points, the blathering of soulless spewers of misinformation akin to the rubbish heard everyday on Fox, Hannity, etc? But since you seem interested in sharing passages:

"repairing our broken country requires Republicans in particular to stand up and take their party back from those who are attempting to bastardize their message. Succumbing to the worst tendencies of one’s party isn’t new or unprecedented; we’ve been here before. Moral crises have repeatedly tested the will of our great nation. This country has battled through the dark days of slavery, segregation, McCarthyism and Watergate, and still we stand. Not because of magic pixie dust but thanks to brave patriots, willing to take unpopular yet principled stands because our social contract demands it. Republicans in Congress now not only have to swallow Trump’s erratic narcissism, but also his assaults on the very core principles that supposedly define their politics: fiscal conservatism, free trade, the global world order, our allies, truth and the rule of law. They know that his crude xenophobia, his exploitation of racial divisions, his chronic dishonesty, sexism and fascination with authoritarian thugs pose a long-term danger to the GOP’s ethical and electoral future."

Kafir said...

Blaaah, blaaah, blaaah. MAGA / KAG!

Brian said...

I love it! You are now bleating just like a sheep and chanting your cult leaders mantra!

Now get back to reading the inane musings of a rich, bratty, pampered, privileged son of a rich, pampered , bratty, privileged man. Neither of whom would have been anything without the head start given to them at birth. No bootstraps story here, like that of a Bernie Sanders.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Would that be John F. Kennedy?

Kafir said...

Bernie is a communist. How many books have you read on Trump? Btw, “Brevity is the soul of wit [wisdom].” -Shakespeare (perhaps you’ve heard of him?) Try to get to the point in your diatribes. Maybe someone will actually read them.

Steve said...

If you tell me JFK’s success was paved and financed by his wealthy father, I’ll believe it. I don’t know the finer points of his history. At least he didn’t dodge the draft though.

I don’t recall anything about Romney’s presidential run in 2012 being particularly spineless, and I think he being the lone Republican voice calling for witnesses during the Senate impeachment hearing was the exact opposite of spineless. That was courage in my book. Knowing full well that decision would make him a pariah in the sycophantic cult that is the current Republican party is anything but spineless. Graham, Mulvaney, Pompeo, Sessions, Perry were deeply and dismissively critical of candidate Trump but then completely acquiesced to President Trump. I hope that isn’t what passes for courage and conviction in the Republican party.

Brian said...

Kafir, thank you for the "Bernie is a communist" line. It is great to 100% verify that reality is worthless to you. Your bubble will be echoing that BS until November. Whatever. Hey, to be fair you should really scold that rambling Uber too...and when Tom gets on a talking-points diatribe!

Kafir said...

Let’s see, Bernie was a member of the Young Peoples’ League at the Univ. of Chicago. Campaigned for the Marxist Party during the Reagan era. Became a member of the Liberty Union Party. Backed the Soviet Workers Party candidate Andrew Pulley. Hung a Soviet flag in his Mayor’s office in Burlington. Stayed at the Hashomer Hatzair kibbutz. Praised the Soviet Union and Cuba in the 80’s as well as recently praising Castro. He honeymooned in the USSR in ‘88. Move along folks; nothing to see here.

Need the details, see:

Brian said...

You mention a lot of socialist groups and activities. Socialism and communism are not the same thing (perhaps you have heard this fact before?) The Liberty Union Party (LUP) of Vermont is a democratic socialist political party. Again, not communist. The "Marxist Party" you refer to is the Socialist Workers Party. The college group you mention was the Young Peoples' Socialist League.

This attempt to smear Bernie as being a Soviet loving commie back in the 80s might have more effect if it wasn't Trump right now in the present kissing Putin's butt in thanks for the election help. How crazy that you bring up that Bernie "praised the Soviet Union" decades ago while Trump has nothing but good words for Russia and their intelligence.

Trump has some creepy ties to Russia...a long financial history with them, and his campaign was full of individuals with suspiciously close links to Moscow. Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Putin, including taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials. Trump defends the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and repeats other pro-Russian talking points.

There is a strong, circumstantial case that Trump is, as former acting CIA director Michael Morell and former CIA director Michael V. Hayden warned during the 2016 campaign, “an unwitting agent of the Russian federation” or a “useful fool” who is “manipulated by Moscow”.

If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one.

Kafir said...

The theoretical difference is that under communism, property and economic resources are owned and controlled by the state. Under socialism, all citizens share economic resources equally. The same totalitarians, however, make all the decisions for our lives, not the individual.

“ The goal of socialism is communism.” -Vladimir Lenin

You should really get over the Russian collusion thing. Think about it. Bernie’s (and Hillary’s) ideology is more in line with with Putin’s and Trump is a capitalist. Why would Putin benefit from another Trump election? I’m thinking that “Brian” is actually a pseudonym for Rachel Maddow.

Lastly, and I mean lastly for this comment section, China is our #1 enemy. Russia along with Iran are becoming afterthoughts. Unless, of course, Trump is a Chinese agent, too. Read, Newt Gingrich’s “Trump vs. China”....if you can climb out of your confirmation bias bubble.

Brian said...

Kafir, you are very limited with your knowledge of the forms of socialism, in particular you seem to have no idea what Bernie's Democratic Socialism is all about.

I have seen your Lenin “quote” in many places, but never sourced. You are wrong that socialism leads ineluctably towards communism. There are many examples of successful socialist-like policies in Western democracies over the last 100 years and more, yet these all remain basically capitalist societies with market economies and high standards of living. In fact, they probably have higher standards of living than if these countries relied on purely unregulated markets.

The most obvious example in the United States is Social Security and Medicare. The best examples are the Scandinavian democracies. None are on the track to communism.

And really, you can't seriously be still arguing that Russia did not work towards getting Trump elected in 2016. Even your bubble can't be that thick. It is a proven fact, acknowledged even by Trump himself who tweeted he was not involved in their help, saying he had “nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected,”

How would Putin benefit from having a immoral stooge in office that constantly praises Russia and their policies? Well, I mentioned some reasons in my earlier post. It's quite obvious to people paying attention.

And I see you are pulling a Trump style pivot into, "And so what if it IS true about Russia, China is the main problem."

If you can't see by now that Trump desperately wants to be a despot and is moving in that direction, then you probably never will. He loves his thug friends and is jealous of their unlimited power. He doesn't give a crap about regular people (except their vote, while he needs them).