November 25, 2018

Sunday School 11/25/18

I spent some time with the gang on Face the Nation this morning.

Joining Margaret Brennan were lame duck House Benghazi Hunter Troy Gowdy (R-SC), Maine's Independent Senator Angus King, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-D-DS-S-OS). Here's what was on their minds.

Gowdy spoke about the subpoena issued to former FBI Director James Comey inviting him to a closed-door session and Comey's objection to that, due to the selective leaking that occurs. Gowdy himself had previously noted that Congressional investigations "leak like the Gossip Girls" and Brennan wanted to know whether Comey was right to object to the closed-door hearing.
You know, Margaret, I don't get a chance to say this very often, but I do think Jim Comey is right. Leaks are counter productive whether Jim Comey is doing it, the FBI is doing it or Congress is doing it... 
But the remedy is not a public hearing, Gowdy said; it's videotaping closed door hearings and releasing the video and transcript to the public after removing anything classified. He also noted that
...people act differently where there aren't cameras in the room. Trust me when I say that. 
To which I say, by all means, trust him when he says that.  I mean, really - trust him when he says that.

He also talked about Ivanka's emails (we need to ensure the Presidential Records Act is being followed) and about the politicization of the judiciary. I do have to agree with him that politicians, pundits and the media in general label the SCOTUS justices, either on ideology or on who appointed them and that
I wish everyone would stop, including the media, referring to judges based on who put them in office.
King was there to talk about the military being on the border, what they can and can't do because of posse comitatus restrictions on soldiers acting in a law enforcement role, and that the Armed Services Committee would like to get some questions answered. And, he talked about the administration's response to the CIA's report on murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Well, my first response to that is the CIA doesn't do 'feelings.' They do assessments and they do assessments based on intelligence from all sources... I cannot talk about what happened in (the CIA) briefing... And you know we're not going to find an email that says "don't forget the bone saw" but it was pretty clear...
To everyone but the president, I guess.

Sanders was there, ostensibly to talk about his book, but Brennan asked about other things, including the post-Thanksgiving Friday afternoon drop of the administration's dire climate change report. Sanders noted how Americans need to come together and move away from fossil fuels towards sustainable and renewable energy sources That would drive jobs, he says, and show leadership to the world, as well as leaving a healthier planet for future generations.

Brennan also questioned him about his call for Dems "to launch a kind of new contract with America" but with left-leaning provisions. She wondered whether it was a legislative agenda or a platform for his presidential run in 2020.
It's a legislative agenda, Margaret...back in 1994 Newt Gingrich, who I disagree with on everything, really had a bold right wing agenda, and I think we should learn from that. This is what the American people want. And we should do it. 
What we want, he said, is a living wage (he thinks fifteen bucks an hour), pay equity for women; Medicare for all; tuition free public colleges and universities; and dealing with climate change, our broken criminal justice system and immigration reform.
And the question is whether Congress has the guts to stand up to the big money interests who want more tax breaks for the rich, who want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Or we stand up for the shrinking middle class and we demand a government that represents all of us and legislation which represents the working families of this country.
Brennan's pundit panel was unanimous that while Sanders says this is a legislative agenda, he's definitely running in 2020. They also agreed that his path to victory will be difficult, even if they didn't fully agree on the reasons why.

See you around campus.