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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Blue Dog Democrats meet with top Trump aides on tax reform

Blue Dog Democrats huddled with the leading members of President Trump’s economic team on Tuesday in the Capitol, where the lawmakers pressed the administration to seek bipartisan reforms to the nation’s tortuous tax code.

Just 18-members strong, the centrist Blue Dogs compose a tiny voice in the clamorous House, vastly outnumbered by even the liberals in their own caucus. But with GOP leaders struggling to rally their divided conference around big-ticket legislation, the Blue Dogs see themselves potentially stepping into the mix to broker a bipartisan deal for the sake of getting tax reform to Trump’s desk this year.

“If it’s constructive, if they’re genuinely interested in ideas and making it a bipartisan effort, then the Blue Dogs are certainly willing to participate,” said Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), a member of the group.

“You’ve got the far left, you’ve got the far right, and the Blue Dogs are in the center. And basically, we want a tax code that’s efficient [and] that works for everybody.”



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Why the Hell Does David Brooks Still Have a Job?


As a professional Haver Of Takes, I have a certain morbid admiration for New York Times columnist and human mayonnaise spill David Brooks. I don’t quite know what the secret is to attaining such lofty standing in the Bogus Influencer Economy that you get to spend the bulk of your time appearing on the Sunday morning shows, collecting hefty advances for pamphlet-quality books, racking up monstrous fees on the lecture circuit, and drawing a hefty salary from the Times for columns that don’t even get formally edited. All I know is that I want in. I want the keys to the Fartsniffer Club, where con artists like Brooks and Tom Friedman and George Will and Arianna Huffington and the like can all gather together to address The State Of Things and feast on live human infants.

But until that lovely day when I am granted access to Fraud Shangri-La, I am left perpetually and utterly baffled as to how Brooks is allowed to pump out columns as execrable as the one he posted on Russiagate (or as I prefer to call the scandal: Urineburg) today. Please note that Brooks was already on a remarkable take bender this week when he posted this missive about deadbeat dads (some of them care, you guys!). But that wasn’t nearly enough. Now, he had to double down and offer additional proof that his superiors (maybe he doesn’t have any?) definitely don’t read any of the horrible he shit he puts in print. How else to explain this pile of shit?

I was the op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal at the peak of the Whitewater scandal. We ran a series of investigative pieces “raising serious questions” (as we say in the scandal business) about the nefarious things the Clintons were thought to have done back in Arkansas.
Now I confess I couldn’t follow all the actual allegations made in those essays. They were six jungles deep in the weeds. But I do remember the intense atmosphere that the scandal created. A series of bombshell revelations came out in the media, which seemed monumental at the time. A special prosecutor was appointed and indictments were expected. Speculation became the national sport.
In retrospect Whitewater seems overblown. And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.

I am a truly lazy man. I’m known to openly groan if I sit down only to realize the remote control is out of reach. But even I can’t match the sheer, unbridled, galling laziness of Brooks here, who was apparently too busy to learn the intricacies of a bone-dry real estate investigation his own paper conducted, but has no problem at all declaring that scandal more damning than the current Russia clusterfuck.

Keep in mind that Donald Trump already has proven financial ties to Russia, and openly ASKED Russia to hack the DNC, and let Russian state photographers into the Oval Office, and fired the man investigating him, and openly mused about firing the other guy investigating him, and eased sanctions on Russia almost immediately after taking office. He didn’t even to try hide any of this shit. Oh, and his son-in-law asked to set up a formal backchannel with the Russians to circumvent diplomatic protocol. And yet here’s Brooks being like, “Nah, that Whitewater thing I never bothered to learn about was worse.” I’m in awe of this man’s hustle.


Nothing Tastes the Same

A father and daughter drive the Appalachian trail in search of barbecue, a shared sense of what it means to be black in America, and each other

by Rahawa Haile

My father is not what one might call a discerning eater. He orders his steaks well done, reveres Olive Garden’s pasta, and opts for Starbucks even in New York City; his favorite Chinese restaurant is P.F. Chang’s. After a year of not seeing one another for logistical reasons, we are enjoying a late brunch at Atlanta Breakfast Club, a midtown eatery known for its Southern cooking and long weekend lines. My father orders a cheese omelet and a large orange juice. He avoids drinking local water whenever possible and repeatedly asks me how I can be certain it’s safe. I laugh at first, suspecting his recent travels abroad have gotten to him, but I’m not exactly in a position to promote America’s ability to provide clean water to its blackest cities. As we wait for our meal, fashionable diners snap photographs of their pancakes and an unseen child bangs gleefully on the upright piano near the restaurant’s front door. Sharp laughter and the smell of fried chicken even out the atmosphere, tenderizing the cacophony. This will not be the last time I remind myself to look around and take a mental snapshot of ease.

At our table, my father is nothing but serious. I avert my eyes and tear large, anxious chunks from my biscuits every time he mutters the words “Hillary” and “corporate fascism” in the same breath. After raising me in Florida and then bouncing around [REDACTED], he has settled for the past few years in Central America. He is a secretive man who has been deeply political his entire life, and Trump’s win stands as but one in a long list of bitter disappointments. I don’t have this conversation in me right now. I blow on my coffee and offer anemic platitudes, hollow words along the lines of “we have to keep fighting.” He sucks his teeth in Dismissive African Parent, an underappreciated form of martial arts. The more he talks, the faster I shovel what’s left of the peach cobbler French toast into my mouth. It’s delicious, but honestly it could be anything. I have been stress-eating for months along with the rest of this country. Now is not the time to stop.

My father and I met in Georgia this April to take a road trip from Atlanta to Washington, DC, in an attempt to bond over barbecue and scenic byways after 10 years of growing apart. I’d hoped we would find our way back to each other while crisscrossing the southern half of the Appalachian Trail, which I’d thru-hiked the previous year from Georgia to Maine. The experience had been transformative and filled with the sort of beauty I wanted to share with the man who first instilled a love of the outdoors in me at a young age. The road trip would be our first extended journey together as adults. A long conversation fueled by spectacular backdrops, good food, and a shared sense of dread for the Horn of Africa.

more (good read)


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