January 18, 2019

Trump vs. Pelosi

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On Wednesday, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Donald Trump to postpone his Jan. 29 [State of the Union] address.” AP News

On Thursday, Trump followed up by denying Pelosi and other Democrats the use of military aircraft for a trip to Belgium and Afghanistan. Reuters

Also on Thursday, Trump “canceled the U.S. delegation’s trip later this month to an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.” AP News


Many on both sides are critical of Trump and Pelosi.

“Two weeks in, the relationship between the new House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and President Donald Trump is off to a smashing start… As hundreds of thousands of federal employees continue to work without pay, the two most powerful elected leaders in the country are locked in a duel of personal vengeance.” The Atlantic

“Next thing you know, they’ll both be running to the teacher yelling that the other one started it. American government has now entered the Romper Room. Can’t anybody in Washington remember that they are supposed to be serving over 328 million people, rather than trying to prove who is more adept at breaking the other person’s crayon?” Washington Examiner

Other opinions below.

See past issues

From the Left

The left generally believes this is a strong start to trying to address the student loan debt problem, while some are critical of the plan's scale.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is driving President Trump nuts… by doing something he simply cannot abide: She’s stealing the spotlight. She is also seizing the initiative in the trench warfare over Trump’s government shutdown… Pelosi’s play was a stiletto -sharp reminder of how much power she wields — and an illustration of how deftly she is wielding it.”
Washington Post

If anyone has the chops to manage Mr. Trump’s brattiness, it is Ms. Pelosi… Ms. Pelosi is not overly concerned with personal popularity. Like Mr. McConnell, she has a job to do, and if getting it done requires taking some heat, so be it.”
New York Times

Regarding the canceled congressional trip, it “was to come during a particularly sensitive geopolitical moment… Trump is set to roll back close to half of all U.S. troops in Afghanistan, dealing a significant blow to the progress the U.S. has made over the last six months to help broker peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban…

“Troops on the ground viewed the Pelosi trip as a chance to gain an inroad with someone, especially the highest ranking member of the House, in the U.S. government who could see the need to keep U.S. troops in the country. The announcement of the drawback has significantly lowered morale among officials and soldiers.”
Daily Beast

“Trump’s candidacy and his presidency are largely predicated on being the guy who picks the fights that commentators in conservative media say should be picked. The appeal of ‘owning the libs’ — smacking down liberal political opponents or, more broadly, the elitists with whom the liberal population is believed to overlap — has enormous traction in some circles, including in much of Trump’s base… This is how Trump does politics. He may not do everything that his base would wish, but he at least fights against the people they hate. That’s often good enough.”
Washington Post

Minority View: “The sweeping Mueller investigation ended with zero indictments of zero Americans for conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election. Both Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner – the key participants in the Trump Tower meeting – testified for hours and hours yet were never charged for perjury, lying or obstruction, even though Mueller proved how easily he would indict anyone who lied as part of the investigation…

“As Mueller himself concluded, a reasonable debate can be conducted on whether Trump tried to obstruct his investigation with corrupt intent. But even on the case of obstruction, the central point looms large over all of it: there was no underlying crime established for Trump to cover-up.”
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

From the Right

From the Right

“Pelosi is using her faux security concerns as a pretext to do something unprecedented and outrageous: deny a president of the United States the opportunity to come to Congress and deliver his State of the Union address… Yet all those who constantly decry Trump for shattering of presidential norms seem to be perfectly fine when Pelosi is doing the norm shattering — and lying about why she is doing it.”
Washington Post

“If we’re going to end this tradition [of the State of the Union], we ought to do it for a better reason than the speaker detests the administrationand there’s a government shutdown going on. The security explanation is nonsense, and everyone knows it… The State of the Union has gone on during times of war, deep recession, under threat of terrorism and with Congress contemplating the impeachment of the president… Now we’re going to toss the whole thing out because of the government-shutdown fight?”
National Review

“It is easy to see why she wanted to do this: the State of the Union is a great stage for the president… I would like to see Trump deliver the State of the Union before a cheering throng of 15,000 or 20,000 in an arena. He could invite members of Congress and justices of the Supreme Court to attend, and simultaneously deliver his report on the state of the union to Congress in writing… Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want the president to be seen in a favorable light in the House chamber? Fine. Let’s do it in an arena somewhere in the heartland.”
Power Line Blog

Regarding the canceled congressional trip, many note that “Pelosi tried to pull a power move on the White House. On Thursday, Trump landed a brutally timed counter-punch. His reasoning — that she should be in the nation’s capital to continue negotiating the end of the shutdown — is a scathingly shrewd touch… Like the GOP presidential field in the 2016 primaries, Pelosi may be learning the hard way that you can’t out-troll Trump. This is his bread and butter.”
Washington Examiner

“Colleges hike their tuition ­every year because they can. The feds have been willing to increase loan amounts to match whatever colleges charge. The result? Every dollar lent ­inflates tuition by another 60 cents, according to Federal Reserve ­research. In this heartless scheme, students are mules, carrying dollars from Washington to campuses nationwide. Never mind if they ever graduate or land jobs to pay back their loans…

“It would be fairer to require colleges to ­refund a portion of the loan money to Uncle Sam when a student doesn’t make it to graduation. Colleges need to have skin in the game, so they’ll try harder to get students through the course of study and into the working world.”
Betsy McCaughey, New York Post

A libertarian's take

“As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to put some reasonable limitations on how the United States conducted its post-9/11 wars across the Middle East… But on Tuesday night, Trump unambiguously backed Forever War. He vetoed a congressional resolution that would have ended American military involvement in the Yemeni civil war—a conflict that has killed an estimated 50,000 people (scores more have died in a famine triggered by the conflict) without having any significant bearing on U.S. national security.”
Eric Boehm, Reason

On the bright side...

Dog accidentally runs half-marathon after being let out to pee, finishes 7th.
Sport Bible

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