February 10, 2019

Sunday School 2/10/19

Strolling through the hallways this morning, doing a little eavesdropping on people, including jack-of-all-trades Mick Mulvaney at Fox News Sunday and a couple of voices on  CNN's State of the Union: South Bend mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY).

Take a listen, starting with Buttigieg, the youngest person running for president in 2020, at age 37. He's also openly gay, a Rhodes Scholar, and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Jake Tapper asked about his call for a "new generation" in American leadership, and whether that mean the old folks should get out of the way, and out of the race. Buttigieg mentioned a recent campaign trip he made to Iowa.
The only group that was more interested in generational change than the youngest voters I met were the voters who were about my parents' age...if you're from an older generation, you care about the world you're leaving. If you're from my generation, you're thinking about the world that we're going to continue living in... 
He also mentioned how interesting it was that, from a policy perspective, everyone's talking about something submitted by someone even younger than he is - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of course, and her Green New Deal, which Buttigieg called "the right beginning."
Obviously, the Green New Deal, as we have seen it so far, is more of a plan than it is a fully articulated set of policies. But the idea that we need to race towards that goal and that we should do it in a way that enhances the economic justice and the level of economic opportunity in our country, I believe that is exactly the right direction to be going in... the question of what the world is going to look like in 2054, which is when I'm going to reach the current age of the current president, that's not a rhetorical question - that's a personal question. 
He has an interesting perspective which might be fun to watch.

Let's see what the others were talking about.

Rep. Cheney talked about Elizabeth Warren, who made her 2020 candidacy official, but first she talked about the president's plan to bring the troops home from Syria, noting the issue isn't the land, it's more than that.
...we can't be fooled into thinking, you know, if we just withdraw the troops now and we come home, ISIS won't reconstitute. We have got to ensure that we do everything necessary to prevent them from forming safe havens. We know that there are significant numbers of ISIS fighters still in Syria today. And we don't want to have to go back again. I think that would come at much greater cost of lives and treasure.
Cheney was asked about the language that Trump uses and the "joking references to genocide against Native Americans." Cheney never did answer that question, but she she was happy to answer one that wasn't asked: in her mind, Warren's basically done. Cheney said about Warren's Texas bar application, that "one wonders whether or not that's grounds for disbarment," even going so far to say it was, and adding
So she -- she's made herself a laughingstock. I think the longer that she's out there, the more that people are going to be talking about this. And -- and it's just -- it's clear that, you know, she's somebody who can't be trusted. 
And finally, let's turn to our old friend Mick Mulvaney who checked in with Chris Wallace for an update, starting with the looming deadline to avoid another shutdown, invoke a national emergency, or some combination thereof.
So the government shutdown is still technically still on the table. We do not want it to come to that, but the option is still open to the president and will remain so.
He would prefer legislation because it's the right way to go and is the proper way to spend money in this country. But if that doesn't happen, the president proceeds. His number one priority is national security. He will then look to the National Emergencies Act as a way to do his job. 
On Trump's SOTU comments about"ridiculous investigations" he had a lot to say, including drawing contrasts between now and when he first went to Congress. Noting that Trump "agrees with the concept" of Congressional oversight, Mulvaney says Trump's "not trying to discourage them from doing it."  Rather
What he's saying is, look, you have a choice. We can either work together on legislation or we can spend all our time with you doing investigations, but you can't do both... it's not reasonable to expect the president to work with you on Monday on a big infrastructure bill and then on Tuesday have you punch him in the face over 15 different investigations. 
...when the Tea Party wave, of which I was one, got here in 2011, the last thing we were interested in was giving President Obama legislative successes... The difference between then and now is that so many of these Democrats got here by saying they wanted to reach across the aisle and work with the president.... We're giving them the chance to do that, but we're telling them, you can't do both. You can't go home and tell the voters...that you're going to work for the president and then come to Washington and do nothing but investigate the president. 
Mulvaney's wrong on two things there. First, the concept of "reaching across the aisle" isn't about the president, it's about moderates in both parties who are hoping to work with each other to craft solutions that bring common sense to the process, whether those solutions are what the president wants, or not. And, yes, the president is absolutely trying to discourage investigations. Only a fool would think otherwise.

And finally, on the leaking of the president's schedule showing that 60% or so of his busy day is 'executive time' (Twitter and Fox News, and maybe napping or something), Mulvaney says he's "hoping to have a resolution" on that this week," that the person is "likely going to be a career staffer" and
You're going to learn a lot about how hard it is to fire federal workers.  
My guess is that it's probably as hard as it is to work with the president, but I could be wrong.

See you around campus.

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