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Saturday News: Mike Pence Lectured, Booed at Hamilton Performance; Trump U Fraud Case Settled for $25 Million


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, November 19. A couple tweets capture my feelings this morning. First, Norman Ornstein: “Want Exhibit A of moral bankruptcy of mainstream press? See how many front page, above the fold stories on Mike Pence hiding emails.” Second, Rob Reiner: “A president-elect pays 25M for defrauding people of their life savings. MSM yawns. But use an email server legally, now that’s a story.”

  • Video: Weekly WH address – Joe on “Building on a Record of Economic Progress”


    • Elaine Owens

      Now, there’s a positive message…

  • Andy Schmookler

    I’m a fan of Sam Rasoul’s, but I think he’s mistaken when he says (in that piece linked to above at https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/virginia-democrat-urges-party-to-move-away-from-politics-of-fear/2016/11/18/0a166492-addf-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html ), that “Democrats could pledge that ‘I’m never going to say anything about my
    adversary that they wouldn’t agree with if they were in the room.’”

    That idea represents more of the kind of weakness on the liberal side that has enabled the destructive force that’s taken over the right to become as powerful as it has.

    That idea amounts to this: Democrats should pledge not to speak the most important truths about the political crisis of our times.

    • Right, it is not only not WRONG but absolutely ESSENTIAL to call out bigotry, authoritarianism, corruption, and the MANY other things that made Trump completely unfit to be president.

      • Elaine Owens

        I know Sam very well. He’s a centrist’s centrist. I don’t want to act like an armchair psychologist, but here goes: Sam’s family is an immigrant one. His grandparents lost their land in the 1948 war that resulted in the creation of the state of Israel. Sam is a Muslim, though I don’t know how devout. Ever since I have known Sam, dating back to his run against Bob Goodlatte in 2004, he has shown me a personality that appreciates the success America has given his family and a powerful desire to assimilate in every way. He’s probably the most effective legislator Roanoke City has had in a generation because he actually serves his constituents, but I totally disagree with Sam’s approach to how to solve the Democratic Party’s recent losses. That said, I have to agree with Sam that Clinton’s use of the tern “bucketful of deplorables” regarding half of the Trump voters probably lost her independent votes and undecided votes, if those people lived in areas with large numbers of Trump supporters who were their friends or neighbors. I was at the Sunday event where Sam spoke of his problems with that term, an event covered by media. For a strategy session, it was a waste of three hours, I thought, but we had a turnout of several hundred people, and that’s good.Maybe Sam is Roanoke’s version of Jim Webb. Who knows.

    • Andy Schmookler

      Not just Trump. Let’s take Bob Goodlatte.

      Sam Rasoul ran against Goodlatte (2008) before I did. I would assert that the two main things that voters should know about Goodlatte (though of course the majority do not) is that 1) he consistently misleads the people of the 6th District, and 2) he reliably sells out his constituents to serve purely partisan interests (and his own ambition).

      Of course, Goodlatte would never agree to those statements– at least not in front of the voters. But I would wager that he is fully aware that this is precisely his modus operandi.

      Sam’s injunction– never to say “anything about my adversary that they wouldn’t agree with if they were in the room” — would forbid telling the main truths about what it means to the people of the 6th District to be “represented” by Bob Goodlatte.

      Somehow, that does not strike me as a way to improve our democracy. (But it does capture a lot of how Democrats have conducted themselves while this darkness has been gaining in power through lies and the violations of the vital norms of American democracy.)

  • Dan Rather nails it:

    Bullies are often thin-skinned, quick to overreact when challenged, and undone when people are no longer afraid to speak truth to their face. Great presidents are almost always the opposite in all those categories.

    Reflecting on Donald Trump’s complete overreaction to a statement made at the end of a performance of Broadway’s Hamilton: An American Musical, I couldn’t help but think – doesn’t this man have more important things to worry about? Hasn’t the theater long been a stage for political art? And isn’t this a man who broke so many norms as a candidate, insulted so many people – individually and as groups – that he now has the nerve to demand an apology when he never gave one himself?

    I know there are many who say that this incident shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. Yes, when compared to cabinet posts or paying out $25 million in a fraud case against “Trump University,” a Tweet maybe might not seem that important. But being president is to have every word you utter scrutinized. And these words are intimidating and unfitting of the office of the presidency. But more importantly, they show a real weakness of vanity and small-mindedness that our enemies abroad will likely look to exploit. I can also imagine that Trump’s political foes at home are noticing – once again – how easily he can be rattled.

    I imagine this is not the last we will see of these kinds of incidents.