Please, Please More Democratic Debates!

With all the rancor in politics these days, the CNN/New York Times Democratic debate on Tuesday night delivered a rare moment of comity: Twelve Democrats agreed, apparently without compensation, to appear in a Donald Trump ad.

Other points on which the Democrats came together in peace and harmony:

-- Trump should be impeached.

-- Abortion is great.

-- Obamacare sucks.

At least we’re all finally agreed on Obamacare!

Obamacare has given us a system -- to quote Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont -- “which is dysfunctional, which is cruel, 87 million uninsured, 30,000 people dying every single year, 500,000 people going bankrupt for one reason, they came down with cancer.”

None of the Democrats disagreed with Sanders’ description of health care in American today, although they have slightly different solutions.

I don’t mean to be rude, but I thought Obamacare was supposed to fix health care.

Millions of us were thrown off our health insurance plans by Obamacare, and now I find out that it didn’t even make things better for anyone else. The government intervenes, everything goes to hell, then Democrats cite the hell they created to demand another massive government intervention.

The motto of all socialist schemes should be: “This time, it will be different.”

The Democrats' universal answer to the drug problem -- which is actually a “Mexico Is on Our Border” problem -- is to say they’d go after the pharmaceutical companies and then, in the next breath, demand that we legalize drugs.

In the midst of their crusading anger at the pharmaceutical companies, not one Democrat mentioned Purdue Pharma. You know -- the primary culprit in the prescription drug epidemic, at least according to dozens of state attorneys general and hundreds of private lawsuits accusing the company of aggressively marketing OxyContin and hiding its addictive nature.

It would be like vowing to go after “middle-aged men” to stop underage sex trafficking on Orgy Island -- but not mentioning Jeffrey Epstein.

The Democrats are furious with pharmaceutical companies, “wealthy corporations” (Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s phrase) and “the rich” (any guy with an alarm clock). But not with a specific multibillion-dollar company that makes OxyContin, and the kazillionaire family that owns it, the Sacklers.

Speaking of which, last year, Beverly Sackler, the recently deceased matriarch of the company, made political contributions to both Sen. Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Some poor medical researcher working to find a cure for cancer will have to pay -- but the Sacklers get off scot-free.

Another big policy disagreement concerned guns, specifically: Do we allow people to turn in their guns voluntarily or should the government confiscate them?

As with liberals’ comical inability to tell an AK-47 from a semiautomatic, the gun facts flying around Tuesday night were not always well-researched. Beto O’Rourke said, “This is a country that loses 40,000 of our fellow Americans every year to gun violence.”

Wow. Not even close. According to the CDC, the number was less than 15,000 in 2017.

To liven things up, at one point, a smug Pete Buttigieg snapped at O’Rourke, “And I don't need lessons from you on courage, political or personal.” This was in response to remarks not at all about Buttigieg’s courage. That’s gonna get old, fast.

Vice President Joe Biden bragged that he was “the only one on this stage who has taken on the NRA and beat them, and beat them twice. We were able to get assault weapons off the streets ...”

Yes, and in direct response to that assault weapons ban opposed by the NRA, Republicans swept Congress in the very next election, winning control of the House for the first time in nearly half a century.

If you weren’t alive that glorious autumn evening in 1994, it was better than the November 2016 election. All night, there was breaking news, as one powerhouse Democrat after another lost his seat to a Republican. Every 15 minutes the GOP would set some new, jaw-dropping record. Thomas Foley, D-Wash., became the first speaker of the House to lose his election in 134 years. Republicans marched through the South like William Tecumseh Sherman, finishing off the “southern Democrats.” Tennessee went all red, with Republicans replacing the Democratic governor and two Democratic senators -- including the Senate seat previously held by Vice President Al Gore. Not one Republican incumbent lost his seat.

Please, Joe, promise to “beat” the NRA again!

BUTTIGIEG: “No, this is really important, OK? On guns, we are this close to an assault weapons ban.”



Rep. Elijah Cummings Passes at 68

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The veteran Democratic representative chaired the powerful House Oversight Committee investigating President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has died, according to a statement from his office.

The Democratic member of Congress, who chaired the House Oversight Committee, which was among the panels investigating the impeachment of President Donald Trump, was 68. 

Cummings died at Gilchrist Hospice Care, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at approximately 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning “due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” his office confirmed in a statement to HuffPost.

Rep. <a href="" target="_blank">Elijah Cummings</a> (D-Md.) died Thursday
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) died Thursday at the age of 68.

Cummings, the son of a sharecropper, practiced law for almost two decades and served in the Maryland House of Delegates before winning his congressional seat in 1996, where he was renowned for championing civil rights issues.

His House committee’s probes into the Trump administration drew fierce anger from the president. In July, Trump tweeted racist insults about Cummings and his majority-black district, calling it a “rodent-infested mess.”

Cummings earlier this year said he had “no doubt” that Trump is a racist after the president said four Democratic members of Congress ― all women of color ― should “go back” to other countries.

On the only time in 2017 that Cummings talked one-on-one with Trump about lowering drug prices, the Baltimore Sun reported him as telling the president: “Mr. President. You’re now 70-something, I’m 60-something. Very soon you and I will be dancing with the angels. The thing that you and I need to do is figure out what we can do — what present can we bring to generations unborn?”

The Baltimore archdiocese tweeted this tribute to Cummings:

Others also remembered the lawmaker on Twitter:

Democrats say they left White House meeting on Syria after Trump ‘meltdown’

  • Democratic congressional leaders say they walked out of a meeting with President Donald Trump after what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a “meltdown” by the president.
  • Earlier, the House passed a resolution opposing Trump’s move to pull U.S. forces from northern Syria.
  • The bipartisan vote comes amid mounting backlash to the president’s action, which critics say left Kurdish troops allied with the U.S. vulnerable to a Turkish offensive.
RT: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Steny Hoyer 191016
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to reporters with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, October 16, 2019.
Leah Millis | Reuters

Democratic congressional leaders said they walked out of a White House meeting on Syria on Wednesday following what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a “meltdown.”

After top Democrats left the bipartisan meeting with Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that the president appeared “shaken up” by a House vote condemning his decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria. The House approved the resolution in an overwhelming 354-60 vote, as even a majority of Trump’s Republican Party supported it.

“That’s why we couldn’t continue in the meeting because he was just not relating to the reality of it,” Pelosi said outside the White House, in only the latest instance of a gathering between the president and Democrats blowing up.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., described the meeting as more of a “nasty diatribe” than a “dialogue.” He said Trump called Pelosi a “third-rate politician” — though Pelosi later clarified the president used the term “third grade politician.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., added that he had “never” seen a president “treat so disrespectfully a coequal branch” of government.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican who voted for the House measure to oppose pulling troops out of northern Syria, told reporters that Pelosi “stormed out” of the meeting. He called her behavior “unbecoming” and argued Pelosi tried to make the gathering unproductive.

The White House declined to comment on whether Trump called Pelosi a “third-rate politician.”

The vote earlier Wednesday added to the pressure the president faces as Turkey pushes ahead with an offensive in the region. The measure in part opposes the decision to end the military operations, urges Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cease the offensive and calls on the U.S. to support Syrian Kurdish communities.

During the meeting Wednesday, Schumer brought up former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ recent comment that the Islamic State group “will resurge” in Syria following the troop withdrawal, according to NBC News. Trump then called the former United States Marine Corps general “the world’s most overrated general,” saying “he wasn’t tough enough,” NBC reported.

Schumer on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up the resolution.

The vote also came as Trump lashes out at Democrats for their impeachment inquiry into Trump and whether he abused his power by urging Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Pelosi said the issue did not come up during the meeting Wednesday.

Lawmakers who oppose Trump withdrawing troops worry it will lead to the slaughter on the ground of Kurdish forces, U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Trump has repeatedly downplayed the potential for Turkey to harm Kurdish troops, even saying Wednesday that the Kurds are “no angels.”

During a news conference with Italy’s president Wednesday, Trump argued that “I didn’t give [Turkey] the green light” to launch an offensive in Syria.

Amid the backlash, the White House has condemned the Turkish offensive. Trump on Monday announced sanctions on Turkish officials and an increase in tariffs on Turkish steel to 50%.

Trump has said he pulled the troops from northern Syria in order to follow through on his promise to get the U.S. out of “endless wars.” However, the administration announced last week that it would put thousands more forces in Saudi Arabia. Trump contended Wednesday that the U.S. is sending forces to the oil-rich nation because it “agreed to pay for the full cost of that appointment, and much more.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and Trump ally, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., plan to introduce sanctions on Turkey on Thursday. Graham tweeted Wednesday that he fears “this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making” and said he hopes Trump “will adjust his thinking.”

Responding to Graham’s criticism, the president said “Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next 1,000 years.”

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are heading to Turkey on Wednesday, saying they plan to meet with Erdogan. The Turkish leader had earlier said he would not meet with the U.S. officials, but he later changed his mind, according to a government spokesman.




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