“There are too many people who think, ‘What can I say that will get me on the evening news or give me a sound bite or get me on this Twitter account,’ or something else. They don’t care about the country. They care about their political ambitions.”
— Retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) told the AP that too many politicians in Washington “don’t care” about the country.
A new Public Affairs Council/Morning Consult poll examines what outrages people most about Washington politics, whether President Trump’s critical tweets change opinions, and how White House policies have affected American businesses.
Pew Research: “Nearly six-in-ten women (58%) say they are paying increased attention to politics since Trump’s election, compared with 46% of men. Overall, more Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents than Republicans and Republican leaners say they have become more attentive to politics. But there are similarly wide gender gaps in heightened interest to politics among members of both parties.” Also interesting: “Most people (59%) say it is ‘stressful and frustrating’ to talk about politics with people who have a different opinion of Trump than they do; just 35% find such conversations ‘interesting and informative.’”
In the midst of our bountiful October harvest of Trump grotesqueries, the Russians and Julian Assange organized a WikiLeaks dump of private emails from the Clinton campaign. These revealed a shocking and scandalous fact about the former Secretary of State: she is a politician. Indeed, the documents represent one of the most reassuring moments of this calamitous campaign. The overwhelming impression is of the candidate’s and her staff’s competence and sanity–and something more: a refreshing sense of reality about the vagaries of politics.
You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch’.
— Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, who died Feb. 4 at age 85, quoted by Space Flight Insider.
On this all can agree: Strange happenings are afoot in the 2016 presidential cycle, the kind that leave experts scratching their heads. Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, talk of a third-party run—we’ve never seen anything quite like it, right? … Except that we have. It happened in 1968, and if you are seeking precedents for this cycle, that year’s momentous presidential election is a good place to look. Here’s something further to consider: The 1968 race so shook up the political system that we’re still feeling its aftershocks today, more than a generation later. There is at least a chance this year’s race could become a similarly realigning campaign.
Whether it is entertainment, consumer goods or almost anything else that can be purchased, viewed or clicked on, Millennials are the most coveted demographic. There are about 80 million Americans between the ages of 18-34 and next year they are expected to spend $2.45 trillion. But when it comes to politics and national policy they have relatively little clout because most of them don’t reliably vote and aren’t major political contributors. These young adults have voluntarily checked out of a political system they consider corrupt and dysfunctional.
I am who I am. I don’t think my educational history or my age or voter registration has anything to do with what I’m trying to do in this city. … This is my first rodeo, and I’m disappointed that the media are bringing me down.
— Embattled Laguna Beach City Council candidate Jon Madison, claiming he is being “ambushed” over evidence that he falsified his age, educational and work histories on his campaign website, the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot reports.
“Marjorie Taylor Greene is now the face of the Republican Party and it’s a mistake. There are some people who like what she does and that’s why she does it. But the vast majority of people — and especially people who are temperamentally Republicans but have been pushed away by Trump and others — react negatively to that kind of behavior, understandably. It’s a mistake.”
— Former national security adviser John Bolton, quoted by NBC News.
“Capping the annual growth of discretionary spending at 1 percent for the next 10 years would save more than $1 trillion. We can do this without threatening essential programs such as Medicare and Social Security or cutting defense spending at a time when we are grappling with the largest-scale land war in Europe since World War II and an emboldened China that blatantly violates our airspace and dominates global supply chains.”
— Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Ut), greeting Rep. George Santos (R-NY) before the recent State of the Union address. To clear up any doubts about what he REALLY meant later, Romney added, “He should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room.”
“Imagine members strutting around the corridors of Congress in late 2001 with a Boeing 747 lapel pin, or wearing a spiky replica of the coronavirus when New York City’s morgues were overflowing in the spring of 2020. Explain to me how worshiping an AR-15 — when the blood stains are still being scrubbed off a dance studio in Monterey Park, Club Q in Colorado Springs, or a bus in Charlottesville — is any different, really?”
— Will Bunch, commenting on the AR-15 lapel pins being worn by many Republican members of Congress.
The overall U.S. trade deficit rose 12.2 percent last year, nearing $1 trillion as Americans purchased large volumes of foreign machinery, medicines, industrial supplies and car parts, the New York Times reports.
“The employment picture started off 2023 on a stunningly strong note, with nonfarm payrolls posting their strongest gain since July 2022,” CNBC reports. “Nonfarm payrolls increased by 517,000 for January, above the Dow Jones estimate of 187,000. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4% vs. the estimate for 3.6%.”
Just over half of American voters think Ukraine is winning the war against Russia and nearly two-thirds want to keep helping them in their fight, according to a new Fox News survey. Sixty-four percent favor the U.S. continuing to provide weapons to Ukraine and 63% support ongoing financial aid. Those numbers are up a touch compared to six months ago, when approval was 61% for weapons and 59% for money.
“A federal judge sentenced pro-Trump livestreamer Anthime ‘Baked Alaska’ Gionet on Tuesday to 60 days in prison for his actions at the Capitol on Jan. 6, calling his raucous conduct ‘shocking’ amid the chaos of the mob,” Politico reports.
“Donald Trump’s tax returns show he extended sweetheart loans to his three eldest children—Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric—saving them a small fortune while adding to the intrigue surrounding the former president’s tax maneuvers,” Forbes reports. “The younger Trumps owed their father a collective $4.55 million and paid him roughly $50,000 in annual interest from 2015 to 2020… That figure suggests the heirs paid an overall interest rate of about 1.1%.”