January 28, 2018

Sunday School 1/28/18

Just an observation, before we head off down the hall to the classrooms: I thought there were 535 members of Congress - you know, 435 in the House and 100 more in the Senate?

For some reason, it seems like the booking people for our Sunday lectures only know of about 25 or so of them. Maybe we can convince them we'd like to see a little more diversity of opinion on on Sunday mornings?

NBC's Meet the Press had House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III, and intelligence guru Robert Gates. Topics included the report that Trump wanted to fire Robert Mueller; the Nunes memo; immigration, DACA and the wall; and sexual harassment.

On ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Martha Raddatz hosted Senator Lindsey Graham, Ken Starr and ABC correspondent Dan Abrams, talking about immigration, Trump/Mueller, and Steve Wynn. The more interesting part of the show today was the trip from California to Texas along the border.

Here's a woman who, as a DACA qualifier, went to college and law school:
My mom had heard of the American dream, and she wanted us to experience that. And she knew my dreams wouldn't be fulfilled in the - the place where we were because her dreams weren't fulfilled... My family has been here 30 years paying taxes, contributing with our labor. We have created businesses. We are job creators. I understand that we --we broke the law by being here. And I feel there should be a way for us to become lawful immigrants, to become citizens some day.
Or this one, a Trump supporter who lives a few miles from the border and who thinks Dreamers should be allowed to stay, but also supports the wall:
I think it would stop a lot of them from coming over. I mean, I'm sorry, they need to come over here to take care of their families, I understand that. But most of them come over, and a lot of them earn their money and they're sending it back down there, they're not spending it here. Aren't we supposed to be boosting, or taking care of us first?
And there's this gentleman, a visa overstayer, now married to an American woman.
I think there should be more control of who gets into the country and how they get into the country, because -- we do need low-skill workers to do the jobs that most Americans don't want to do.
Finally, two people who were brought here illegally as kids, one of whom is DACA qualified and studying to be a nurse, talking about the potential for citizenship dangled by the president.
I would love to be able to be a citizen, but I think for me, and for what we see in our own community is that it would be a lot more important to be able to keep our families together.
Raddatz also talked to several border area politicians, too.  All in all, some good stuff in there.

The two best parts of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace had to be South Carolina's Trey Benghazi Gowdy - and yes, I actually said best part and Trey Gowdy in the same sentence - talking about the Mueller investigation, the Nunes memo, and the damage the Republicans are doing to themselves, and Juan Williams reminding everyone that lovers talk to each other.

First, Gowdy. On Mueller's investigation, he had this to say.
And by the way, he's got two -- there are two components to his jurisdiction. There is a criminal component. But there's also a counterintelligence component that no one ever talks about because it's not sexy and interesting. But he's also going to tell us definitively what Russia tried to do in 2016. So the last time you and I were together, I told my Republican colleagues, leave him the hell alone and that's still my advice. 
And while he's not convinced there's 'no there there' with the Nunes memo (also a topic of conversation), on Republicans hurting their own credibility with their "secret societies and palace coups," Gowdy was clear.
Yes, Republicans are the best I've ever seen at taking good facts and overstating them and therefore changing the narrative... I don't know what they meant by secret society...  Republicans are better served by letting the texts speak for themselves... Republicans would be well served, let the texts speak for themselves...quit engaging in hyperbole, which we seem to do a lot.
Williams was fun during the discussion about the text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the lovebirds who worked on the Clinton and Trump investigations. Strzok was the one removed from the Trump investigation and demoted to Human Resources immediately upon the text messages coming to Mueller's attention, months ago.

Wallace was trying to get things riled up with the group, but Williams wasn't having it.
JW: Come on Chris, they -- people have personal opinions. You and I have personal opinions. I think we come out here and try to do an honest job. 
CW: Wait, wait, you're not at all troubled by those texts?
JW: Well, first of all - no, be -- remember, they're lovers. So this is like pillow talk between two people who  have personal opinions. I don't know that it has impacted their capacity to lead at investigation. What I see here is a repeated effort coming from the right. They throw spitballs at the wall trying to somehow disparage the FBI, discredit Robert Mueller....
 CW: How about then Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are saying, well, let's not go into that Clinton investigation loaded for bear.
JW: Well, wait a second, they're talking. It's like and and me joking and saying, hey Chris, president Trump, we wish, would come on this show and then --
CW: I'm not joking, I'm serious.
JW:  I know. I know. but I'm saying we wish. But I'm saying -- and I say, Chris, well you know what, if you want him to come back, maybe we shouldn't ravage him this time. That's a joke between Juan and Chris. That's not an indication of how you're actually going to conduct the interview.  But this is, again, discredit the FBI because they're worried that Mueller, in fact, is going to find something. That's what going on...
Hear, hear.

Finally, one quick update from the interview with Maine's Susan Collins on CNN's State of the Union. Asked for her reaction to the story about porn star Stormy Daniels and her $130,000 payout from the Trump camp, Collins had this to say.
Well, I don't know the circumstances of it. In some ways, this sounds like an issue that's between president and Mrs. Trump, because it doesn't seem to be a workplace issue, as far as I know.
On that note, see you around campus.

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