Qatar have told Reuters that they “accidentally” bailed out Jared Kushner from the $1.8B real estate quagmire that was going to bankrupt his family. They say they plan to pay closer attention to how their soveriegn wealth fund invests billions in the future.
There is decent speculation that this bailout will see Kushner charged at some point. If you recall the blockade of Qatar last year…speculation the bailout was part of the requirement to end the blockade. Money went via Brookfield. Any commercial deal would have seen Kushner’s go bust on 666 and Brookfield or anyone else come in and clean up afterwards.
Hard evidence not clear atm but Trump’s Razor (the most corrupt / stupid solution is likely correct) will hold true again.
(CNN)Donald Trump is, by all measures, going to have a very difficult time winning a second term next November. He lost the popular vote in 2016 by almost 3 million votes. He’s a deeply polarizing figure whose job approval ratings have never crested 50% in his presidency to date. He could face a serious primary challenge.
And yet, in the last two weeks, Democrats have handed Trump two issues on a golden platter – and it’s already clear he is seizing on them. Bigly.
In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, which, among other things, takes the word “abortion” out of the state’s criminal code, ensures that doctors and clinics who provide abortions can’t be charged and codifies that abortions can be performed after 24 weeks if the fetus is not viable or the mother’s health is at serious risk. Conservative critics – in New York and elsewhere – painted the law as overbroad and effectively legalizing abortion not only in the third trimester, but all the way to birth.
Just as that was happening, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) went on a local radio station and tried to explain his support for legislation that would have loosened current strictures on late-term abortions in the commonwealth.
“[Third trimester abortions are] done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s nonviable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Republicans immediately reacted, insisting that Northam sounded like he was advocating for infanticide. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, insisted that what he was describing was only in instances of non-viable pregnancies or “severe fetal abnormalities,” but the damage was done.
“This is going to lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before,” Trump told the Daily Caller in an interview. “The pro-life movement is very much a 50-50, it’s a very 50-50 issue, actually it’s gained a point or two over the years. I think this will very much lift up the issue because people have never thought of it in those terms.”
Trump isn’t wrong. While polls show considerable majority support for keeping abortion legal, people are far more divided when it comes to late-term abortions. Just 13% said abortion should be legal in the third trimester in a 2018 Gallup poll, while 60% wanted it legal in the first three months of a pregnancy in that same survey.
Last week, liberals in Congress – led by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey – introduced the much-talked-about “Green New Deal” – a package of legislation designed to address the economic and environmental threat posed by climate change. According to CNN’s Lydia DePillis, the “Green New Deal” lays out:
“A 10-year ‘economic mobilization’ that would phase out fossil fuel use and overhaul the nation’s infrastructure while building whole new layers into the existing social safety net. … The 14-page resolution envisions a shift to 100% renewable and zero-emission energy sources, and calls for the creation of millions of new high-wage jobs to help wipe out poverty.”
While DePillis notes that Ocasio-Cortez and the other co-sponsors of the “Green New Deal” resist putting any sort of total cost to their plan, one estimate of a plan that resembles it by the conservative American Action Forum contends that there would be $1 trillion in additional regulatory burden – and that doesn’t even factor in the cost of all the new investments.
All you need to do is read a transcript of Trump’s speech in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night – billed as the first campaign speech of his 2020 race since the 2018 election – to understand how much of an opportunity Trump thinks he was handed by Democrats on these two issues. Lucky for you, I did read the Trump transcript – so you don’t have to!
Trump, repeatedly, hammered at the “Green New Deal.”
“I really don’t like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane flights, of, ‘Let’s hop a train to California,’ of … ‘You’re not allowed to own cows anymore,’” he said.
And: “They want to take away your car, reduce the value of your home, and put millions of Americans out of work, spend $100 trillion, which, by the way, there’s no such thing as $100 trillion. You have to spend $100 trillion. And remember this. No other country except us is going to do it. That’s a little problem, too.”
He also went after Democrats on abortion.
Democrats are in favor of “allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb right up until the moment of birth,” Trump said at one point. Talking about Northam in particular, Trump said: “The governor stated that he would even allow a newborn baby to come out into the world and wrap the baby and make the baby comfortable, and then talk to the mother, and talk to the father, and then execute the baby. Execute the baby.”
Just in case you missed the point, Trump drilled it home this way: “They’re becoming the party of socialism, late-term abortion, open borders and crime.”
Here’s the thing: That line, if he keeps to it, could be very, very effective, politically speaking. Obviously, it over-simplifies both the “Green New Deal” and what Democrats have said and done on abortion. (The Washington Post’s Fact Checker says Trump is “misrepresenting the Green New Deal as the plan is currently written.”)
But politics is often won by the simple argument or the easier-to-remember summation.
I can imagine the eventual Democratic nominee trying to explain that the “Green New Deal” represents a radical – and necessary – rethinking of our energy consumption habits and what they mean to the long-term health of the planet.
And Trump responding by saying: “How am I going to get you to Hawaii? By train?” (A line he used to poke at Sen. Mazie Hirono in Monday’s speech.)
And the debate audience erupting in laughter.
For those of you – and I know you are out there – who respond to that hypothetical scenario by yelling “IT’S YOUR JOB TO FACT CHECK THAT,” I would remind you of the 2016 campaign. And of the myriad fact checks that news organizations did on Trump. And how, for lots and lots of people who voted for him, the fact that he quite clearly lied, repeatedly, didn’t matter at all. In fact, the idea that media fact checkers often said Trump didn’t deal in actual facts made some decent chunk of people more likely to vote for him.
Why? Because Trump effectively painted Hillary Clinton, the media and everyone else who didn’t support him as uncaring elites. As the “other” – people who thought it was their right to tell the average person how to live their lives, even if those same people had zero clue about how average people lived.
Sound familiar? It should. Because that exact strategy is what Trump is putting in place right now. He’s painting a picture of Democrats as socialist baby-killers. Or in the words of Alvy Singer from “Annie Hall:”“Don’t you see? The rest of the country looks upon New York like we’re leftwing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers.”
At the root of this strategy is a concession: Trump knows he can’t win if the 2020 election is any sort of referendum on him. A majority of Americans simply do not like him or think he is doing a good job. The one path for him to win is by painting his eventual Democratic opponent as not only deeply out of touch with the average American, but also more than willing to install a value system that makes the US look a whole lot like the less savory parts of Europe.
Cynical? Mightily so. But also Trump’s most plausible path to a second term. And one that Democrats are unwittingly aiding and abetting at the moment.
I’ve read that sort of thing a lot. And frankly, I’m not sure I believe it. It sounds like someone who is so locked into the everyday political battles that the haven’t notice the landscape has shifted under their feet.
The abortion thing - well, from an electoral point of view - so what? The people who will be most motivated to vote for Trump over this are the evangelical christians - and they are Trump’s strongest and most locked-in supporters already. THe merits of the law are cetainly debatable (and I know almost nothing about it), but it won’t change votes.
As for the ‘green new deal’ - the author is falling into the trap of believing that because Republicans are hysterical about it, the voters must be too. The standard political correspondent’s disease - believing politicians are the bold national thought leaders that they say they are, rather than just floundering to keep up like everyone else. According to pretty much all the polling, the ‘Green New Deal’ is enormously, enormously popular. Last I saw it had 56% support among REPUBLICAN voters. Among Dems it’s in the >80% range, and nationally it’s around 70%. That’s quite unbelievable numbers. For perspective, the ACA, which republicans conspicuously failed to repeal in 2017 after years of promising to among a massive public backlash, is much LESS popular than that.
There’s an aspect of Trump’s campaign success among the whole ‘Green New Deal’ thing, and an aspect of the Dem establishment’s failure to deal with Trump in the Republican response.
Both Trump and the new wave of progressive Dems are saying very loudly “the system is broken in serious ways and needs fundamental major changes” and I think that’s what’s getting heard by the voters. I think the modern-day repubs are making the same mistakes that Clinton etc did back in 2016, sort of sitting back in their comfy chairs and scoffing caviar, saying that things are pretty ok and only minor tweaking around the edges is necessary, while declaiming how their opponents’ plan will never work because the position paper their mates at Goldman Sachs did proved it. I don’t think that flies these days. I think there’s a sense of desperation for major change in the electorate, and that voters will be more sympathetic to candidates offering that, than those attacking the very possibility of it.
Beige Democrats will ensure the pendulum keeps swinging to and fro.
The only longterm stability I can see, is if an FDR-type progressive democrat, who will make the necessary systematic changes, comes to power and manages to ‘overthrow’ the establishment Democrats and turn the Dem party into a genuine People’s/worker’s party.
The Democrat base is larger than the Republican base. The difference is Republicans vote, Democrats need to be motivated.
Nothing the Democrats do will greatly increase Republican turnout. It’ll have a minor impact, but I expect that to be counterbalanced by findings from investigations into Trump.
Think about what the green new deal appeals to. The young, because they have to live through the changes. The under employed blue collar class, because it promises significant job growth. The educated, because they know the science. Minorities, because you can sell the increased education and job prospects. Add in healthcare and a backlash against out of touch billionaires and you have a very popular set of talking points.
The Democrat presidential nominee will water down much of this. They will craft something with the broadest market appeal. They will focus group and survey the hell out of this thing.
Those like AOC are moving the boundary of what can be talked about. Shift the left boundary HARD left and suddenly major climate action is a middle ground position. A 55% tax on multi millionaires isn’t 70%, but it’s still popular.
The midterms had the largest ever gop turnout, and they got demolished.
I understand the attitude, but you have to ask what ‘beige’ and ‘competent’ actually mean, in context.
Assume (for the sake of argument) that Obama and Clinton were mostly competent beige Democrat presidents. The boring, middle-of-the-road conventional policies they pursued led both to Trump and the serious structural issues that a) got Trump elected and b) Trump is utterly uncapable of addressing. The massive expansion of corporate power, the backwards slide in living standards for most workers, the instability of employment and withering of the industrial base, the interminable middle-east wars, the inability to address climate change … both Clinton and Obama were better than Bush and Trump, but they - and the policies of beigeness - also both failed in some big spectacular ways.
There this persistent myth that a lot of political commentators subscribe to is that politics would be a lot more sensible if the sensible veteran democrats and the sensible veteran republicans got around a table and sensibly split the difference between their policies to generate a sensible beige bipartisan consensus. Um, no. THe problem is that just because legislators of both parties can find a common ground on something, doesn’t make that something good policy. Both major parties have largely avoided making major policy decisions to address climate change, for instance, because beige-suited coporate lobbyists have made it clear in beige meeting rooms that this would result in campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies etc drying up, and beige little statisticians working on electoral models in beige offices have said that closing coal mines would result in the loss of seats. So the beige decision (or lack of decision) was made that it was all too hard and to do nothing. Rsult - policy failure.
Beige isn’t neutral, or dispassionate. Beige is a policy program that’s caused lots of the problems that Trump and the Green New Deal are responses to.
I’m also not trying to be overly precise with the term beige, but your definition is not quite my fuzzy intent. Obama wasn’t beige enough in his second term, as much as there are light years in difference between him and Trump, and that is part of the problem.
Certainly the problems you highlight need to be addressed. No argument.
Yes definitely Trump and the Green New Deal are responses, but are they answers? We know Trumpism isn’t - it is just an angry vicious scream at the Other that is making things worse.
Again don’t read too much depth into my shallow waters, but by beige I did not mean ignore the nation’s problems or kumbaya bi-partisanship. But do not pick up Trump’s cudgels, convenient as they may be, do the humbling work of defanging them.
The left equivalent of trump is Oprah or the Rock, neither of whom will run. Of the candidates in the Democratic primary there aren’t any who are as empty as Trump is.
Sanders is the furthest left, and he would be their best case scenario, considering his policies, integrity and his broad appeal to most Americans, especially throughout the rust belt.
As HM said, it was the guard rails that led to trump. If Obama had been what he had promised there wouldn’t have been a Trump presidency. There isn’t too much difference between this situation and the situation after W Bush. And if the Dems don’t fix the problems in the US then the cycle of beige democrat, followed by train wreck republican will continue.
I think it was the careless breaking/taking for granted of guard rails/norms that was one/two of many many things that led to or made it easier for Trump. That is on both sides of politics and I am not sure I see that stopping.
The left Trump doesn’t have to be a celebrity. It’s also just fiction at the moment. Of course with some of his tariff and subsidy policies Trump is the left Trump.
If you watch as much USA talk shows as I have done in the past month, it is obvious the anti-Trump movement is huge and relentless. And it is spreading with even Trump voters agreeing that he has little or no moral character; the question of course is do they care.
Bill Maher summed it up last night on his NBC show stating that the American people hold Donald Trump to a different standard to any American President. If Obama had of slated FBI and CIA in favor of a Russian President, Maher suggests he would have been in jail.
Some I met in Texas believe Trump will not stand in 2020 and a moderate and popular Republican like Chris Christie of New Jersey will get the job done.
You must have somehow run into Chris Christie far beyond his normal habitat, if someone was talking about Chris Christie. He can’t even get Trump to tweet angrily about his book, normally a requirement for it to sell well.
Re:Texas: Republicans are concerned that Trump is turning it into a battleground.