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Trump and the debt ceiling

by Greg Krehbiel on 6 March 2017

Whenever there’s a controversy, Republicans always want to fast-forward to the place where they surrender. I’m sure they feel a tremendous sense of relief after they quit pretending they were going to stand for something.

This jelllyfish-like behavior from Republicans is usually on full display when there’s a budget battle, and especially when there’s a battle over shutting down the government. Republicans know they can’t win. Democrats will always outmaneuver them and Republicans will always get the blame.

But that was before Trump, who seems to gain energy from a fight, and who doesn’t have much to lose from one.

The media already hates him. Democrats are inventing controversies that they’re using to attack and undermine him. There seem to be a lot of Obama holdovers in his own administration that are trying to derail him. No matter where he looks, it’s trouble.

What’s one more fight?

Unlike Jellyfish Republicans, Trump has at least a little skill in turning a controversy around on the opposition.

Think of this faux Russian scandal. He’s turned it around so that now the story is whether Obama illegally wiretapped him. If there’s an investigation into the alleged connections between his campaign and the Russians, there will also be an investigation into Obama’s use of surveillance.

Trump’s response to an accusation is to make a bigger accusation. He escalates. So I don’t think he’ll cower before the threat of a government shut-down.

The debt ceiling has to be raised soon. I have a feeling we’re going to see a different sort of fight this time.

2017-03-06  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 28

  1. William
    7 March 2017 @ 1:20 pm

    QUOTE: Think of this faux Russian scandal. He’s turned it around so that now the story is whether Obama illegally wiretapped him. If there’s an investigation into the alleged connections between his campaign and the Russians, there will also be an investigation into Obama’s use of surveillance.

    Although nothing has been “proven” to date, I wouldn’t go as far as to call the Russian scandal false. Things seem rather…how would we say??…”interesting” when it comes to Russia. We have a former Trump campaign manager, Manafort, that had questionable Russian connections (and seems to have had some influence in his sudden resignation). Then you have Trump publicly giving kudos to Putin’s leadership style and asking the Russians to hack Hillary’s emails (illegal activity). Of course, the latter was later dismissed as humor. After that, multiple US intelligence agencies indicated there was evidence there was some sort of Russian influence in the election process. Most recently, we’ve learned of Flynn’s lies concerning his communications with the Russians and the White House’s delay in dealing with this when informed by the Justice department. This resulted in Flynn’s dismissal. Next we learn there was unclear “word-play” concerning Sessions and his comments about the Russians…to the point where he had to recuse himself. Now, out of nowhere we have Trump making an unsubstantiated allegation that Obama had Trump Tower wire-tapped. Then his staff attempts to blame the mass media (fake news) when it turns out that the story links back to Breitbart (an unbiased media outlet???). Seems this would be a masterstroke move to divert attention away from himself and all of these “interesting” Russian issues. Maybe this is all just a matter of coincidence but it’s starting to feel a little Lady McBethish…”thou doth protest too much, me thinks”. It’s rather unusual and the explanations given for these supposedly circumstantial issues seem to somewhat stretch credulity.

    So, of course, the left would use anything of this nature to try to impugn Trump (just as the right has done when Democrats have been in control). Yet, is it ONLY the left playing partisan politics??? It remains to be seen. ISTM, there enough “interesting” circumstantial evidence to warrant an investigation. We already know Trump is a confirmed liar. As well, it seems Trump and team have put energy into trying to quiet this down and divert attention elsewhere. Interesting behavior from a man who actively promulgated the false “birther” allegation LONG after it was disproven.

    Again, none of this “proves” anything. Yet, as the expression goes…there’s something rotten in Denmark. In this case, it could be Russia and DC (where the swamp is supposedly being drained). It’s time to stop all the speculation, conduct a full investigation and put this dead horse to rest once and for all. If it’s just the left playing games…then call them on it by “proving” this is all “fake news”.

  2. Scott Wicker
    7 March 2017 @ 5:36 pm

    I don’t think the currently brewing scandals (Russian intriques, wiretapping allegations, etc.) have any substance to them. They’ll soon be forgotten in the wake of more outrageous reports and national emergencies.

    Trump is a big spender who will have no qualms about raising the debt ceiling. Look, he wants to increase defense spending, shell out a trillion dollars for infrastructure, etc. I haven’t heard that he wants to cut anything.

  3. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    8 March 2017 @ 8:45 am

    @William: I strongly disagree with almost everything you say.

    Regarding your comment that we all know that Trump is a confirmed liar, I disagree. The majority of the American people Disagree with you.

    Whether or not you believe the majority of Americans find Donald trying to be truthful, millions and millions of people do. Including me. Your statement that “we all know he is a confirmed liar” is thereby proven factually inaccurate. Please retract it.

  4. Robin R.
    8 March 2017 @ 9:26 am

    Sometimes people know something and nonetheless choose to “believe” the opposite.

  5. William
    8 March 2017 @ 1:48 pm

    @Dave, BWHAHAHA!!! That was hilarious! Clearly you are jesting. I will NOT retract anything. You are free to disagree and I respect that.

    In case you weren’t aware, many Presidents lie (as well other politicians). Yet, Trump seems to have a special affinity for it. One fact-checking organization indicated 70% of Trump’s statements during his presidential campaign were untrue. In a recent press conference he stated that he had the greatest college electoral win since Reagan. It was IMMEDIATELY refuted as untrue. Yet, he berates the media for “fake news”? Huh??? Let’s bring it a little closer to the topic at hand, in pre-campaign interviews Trump admitted to having a relationship with Putin (seemingly bragging). Yet, when questioned about it later, he said he didn’t. Don’t believe me…look for yourself.

    It’s one thing to have confidence in a leader and hope they have good intentions. I suspect many Americans do relative to Trump. I’ve even stated multiple times that I hope he succeeds. Yet, that doesn’t change the FACT the man has been found to have consistently lied on a number of things. Yet, if you want to carry on this illusion that Trump is not a liar, I invite you to prove that. I’ll be waiting. In the meantime, thanks for the laugh! 😉

  6. William
    8 March 2017 @ 2:10 pm

    P.S. Dave, my statement was actually…”We already know Trump is a confirmed liar.”….not the statements you referenced.

  7. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    8 March 2017 @ 3:06 pm

    @William: I am not jesting.

    I respect your right to express your opinion. Please do not mischaracterize mine. Please do not treat my opinions as a joke.

    According to the studies I have read, tens of millions of Americans disagree with your opinion. Your statement is factually inaccurate.

    I request a retraction, and would appreciate an apology.

  8. Robin R.
    8 March 2017 @ 3:37 pm

    William is completely right on this topic. There are of course millions upon millions of Americans who are in denial about Trump. But so what? The joke’s on them!

  9. William
    8 March 2017 @ 3:39 pm

    @Dave, I respectfully and strongly disagree with you. I will not offer a retraction nor apologize. I honestly would if I felt it was necessary. Yet, in this case, I don’t see the basis it.

    That said, speaking of mischaracterization, you were the one that misquoted me. My statement was…”we already know Trump is a confirmed liar”. The “we” references anyone who examines the FACTS. As well, I’ve given examples of where Trump has not been truthful and there are numerous others. I’m not sure how anyone could miss it. A blind man could see it. Lastly, my point wasn’t about what tens of millions people think…it was a statement of fact….Trump IS a confirmed liar. If you don’t like it or disagree agree you are free to do so. In that case we will have to agree to disagree.

  10. William
    8 March 2017 @ 6:36 pm

    QUOTE: Whether or not you believe the majority of Americans find Donald trying to be truthful, millions and millions of people do.

    Although this wasn’t my focus, since you raised it, I thought it might be interesting to do quick scan to see if there is any poll data relative to your point.

    A Quinnipiac University poll released this week indicated 55% of respondents felt Mr. Trump is dishonest. The poll also indicated that 53% of respondents have more confidence in news organizations than on Trump “telling the truth about important issues”. Of course, that’s only one poll but it is a fact-based data point.

    Since we’re looking at fact-based data, we might as well explore a performance metric approved by Trump. He made quite a to do about his approval rating of 55% during a February press conference based on Rasmussen Reports. Interestingly enough, today’s Rasmussen daily tracking poll shows that 49% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove. This is the first time the president’s overall job approval has fallen below 50% since his inauguration on January 20.

    Hmm…what do you know. I wonder if The Donald still has confidence in this poll given that his ratings have been consistently below 55% since that press conference and now is its lowest since his inauguration. After all he said, and I quote, “any negative polls are fake news…”

  11. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    8 March 2017 @ 7:05 pm

    @William: if, at any point, you are interested in considering perspectives other than your own, let’s continue this privately. You can contact Greg for my email address. Take care.

  12. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    8 March 2017 @ 7:42 pm

    Sorry, I just realized that my quote, “whether or not you believe the majority of Americans find Donald trying to be truthful, millions and millions of people do…” is ambiguous.

    I did not mean to say that millions and millions of people thought that the majority of other people find Donald trying to be truthful. I meant there are millions and millions of people who personally believe the Donald is trying to be truthful (i.e. telling it like it is.) For example, if 5% of Americans feel that he is trying to be truthful, that is over 17 million people. Millions and millions. Sorry for the confusion.

  13. Robin R.
    8 March 2017 @ 7:49 pm

    William, your problem is that you keep overlooking the alternative facts.

  14. Robin R.
    8 March 2017 @ 8:01 pm

    Hell, you can find millions of Americans and often even millions and millions of Americans, not to mention millions and millions and millions of Americans, etc. who believe all kinds of crazy crap.

  15. William
    8 March 2017 @ 10:26 pm

    @Dave, sincerely, no offense, but if we were having an exchange of substance I’d be more than happy to take you up on your offer. Yet, you misquoted me and started making statements that were tangential to my points. As well, you didn’t refute a single thing I stated but merely reiterated your “opinion”. So, are you open to fact-based perspectives, rather than just your opinion?

    That said, it seems you are saying millions of people believe Trump is trying to be truthful. I agree, there are likely many of people who believe that. Yet, that in and of itself doesn’t make it true. Nor, does it negate the fact that Trump is a confirmed liar. He has been fact checked numerous times and found to be consistently untruthful and/or in error. Do you disagree with that? If so, I would greatly appreciate you presenting factual evidence that unequivocally demonstrates that Trump is consistently truthful and all the supposed lies are just “fake news” designed to impugn him.

    @Robin, touché! Indeed, alternative facts have reared their ugly head once more! 😉

  16. smitemouth
    9 March 2017 @ 12:15 am

    That’s funny. I am sure Dave is right that there are millions and millions who believe Trump tells the truth. Factually, let’s reduce this…. A million, is, well, a million, 1×10^6. Millions is, well, more than one million. So millions is 2 million. Millions and millions is 2 million and 2 million, or 4 million. Are there 4 million people who believe Trump tells the truth? Sure. 4 million is a small number–about 1.3% of the population of the US. There are more than 4 million Mormons in the US who believe the myth about Joseph Smith and the golden plates. I’m sure there are that many people who don’t believe Neal Armstrong landed on the moon. I would think there probably are that many people who think vaccinations do more harm than good.

    The weekend of the inauguration I came across some people like that in my parish. Several men who said and agreed that “Trump would never lie.” I’m thinking to myself, Never? He’d Never lie? Hell, he didn’t even make it one day. He has some kind of mental complex and was lying about the size of the inauguration crowd. Worse he had that poor sod Spicer out there having to defend Trump’s obvious lie.

    Have you heard the joke about the abusive husband? His wife comes home early and unexpectedly. She catches the abusive husband in bed with another woman. She says she is going to file for divorce because he has been cheating on her. He says to her, Babe, you know I would never cheat. Who are you going to believe, Me or your lying eyes?

    So, if there are people who believe Trump doesn’t lie, I think that people believe what they want to believe. They have their alternative facts and choose to believe those.

  17. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    9 March 2017 @ 9:13 am

    @William: Regarding being “fact based” …

    I have a question for you. Suppose your car were to break down in Kansas City. You’re out of money, and you have an urgent appointment in Washington DC. Two drivers offered to give you a ride.

    One of the drivers is on his way to San Francisco. He knows precisely how many miles it is, because he has downloaded multiple routes from MapQuest. The news anchors at CNN and MSNBC and ABC and NBC all suggest you get in the car with him. According to national surveys, 58.9% of Americans think you should get in this car.

    The other driver is on his way to Washington DC. When you ask him which route he plans to go, he points to the East and says, “that way”. When you ask him how far it is, he says “it’s 4000 miles away. He has not been recommended by the Washington Post or the New York Times.

    I’m curious, as a “fact-based” person, which car do you get in? Why?

    My offer stands. Take care.

  18. William
    9 March 2017 @ 12:46 pm

    @Dave, it’s simple…either Trump is a confirmed liar or not. Both cannot be true. So, if you believe he is not a habitual liar, then provide evidence to support that as a “fact”. If you can’t, there’s no more to discuss.

    As for your parable…it’s a FACT that DC is East of Kansas City. So, that FACT “drives” the decision…not the “opinions” of the drivers or any potential endorsers. Any questions???

  19. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    9 March 2017 @ 2:35 pm

    The driver driving east is either a liar or he is not. If you drive 4000 miles east from Kansas City, you end up a couple thousand miles into the Atlantic Ocean. He is therefore a confirmed liar, yet you choose to follow him. Your position is inconsistent, even if you don’t understand that.

    Again, if you are interested in trying to understand perspectives other than your own, my offer stands. Take care.

  20. William
    9 March 2017 @ 2:51 pm

    QUOTE: Trump’s response to an accusation is to make a bigger accusation. He escalates.

    So true…

  21. William
    9 March 2017 @ 3:08 pm

    @Dave, it is now obvious that you have no facts to legitimately refute anything I’ve stated. My statements stand as I’ve provide evidence to support them and plenty more is readily available for anyone with an open mind to review them. Furthermore, you don’t even seem to understand my response to your parable.

    Given that, there’s nothing more to discuss. You are free to disagree and carry on with your illusions (if you truly believe Trump is not a habitual liar). Take care.

  22. sm
    14 March 2017 @ 1:03 pm

    So I wonder if DK now believes the unemployment numbers? This has to be the greatest economic miracle in the history of the world–certainly in my lifetime. In one month Trump has taken the unemployment rate from 42% to less than 5%. Why isn’t the press talking more about this miracle?

    When the gov’t published the numbers and Obama was president, Trump said 5% was really probably 42%. Now that it is 4.9 or 4.8 percent, Trump says the number is “real”. I’m glad to know that.

    So when DK says Trump is truthful, what does he mean? I am wondering if he is mentally incompetent, a straight out liar, or ???

  23. William
    14 March 2017 @ 3:01 pm

    @SM, I had similar thoughts yesterday while watching a Kellyanne Conway interview. The newscasters asked her directly how Trump reconciles that he indicated the jobs numbers were “fake” previously and now are “real” (likely due to them being positive). She was clueless to explain and unsuccessfully attempted to pivot to other topics. She looked like a fool. The same went for “Ole Spicy” when trying to explain the Obama wire tapping allegation.

    So, this started me thinking. Are we to believe that “anything” in Trump’s favor is real and that which is negative is fake? Why think any longer? We can just take Trump’s word for it….even if it happens to conflict with objective facts.

    Trump said that all negative polls are fake news. I sincerely wonder what he thinks of Rasmussen Reports now that it indicates his favorability rating has consistently dropped since it was referenced during his February press conference. As of today, it shows that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-three percent (53%) disapprove. The lowest since the inauguration. Is Rasmussen Reports now “fake” too?

  24. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    14 March 2017 @ 3:03 pm

    @sm: You say, “when DK says Trump is truthful, what does he mean?”

    Yes, that’s the question. William has his opinion of what it means to be “truthful”. But are there other perspectives?

    If anyone wants to try to understand what Pres. Trump is trying to say, They might begin by trying to understand the way in which he communicates. If anyone is interested in trying to understand the way Pres. Trump communicates, I will be happy to try to help. Let’s communicate by email. You can contact Greg for my email address. Take care.

  25. Robin R.
    14 March 2017 @ 5:14 pm

    Why can’t he just communicate straightforwardly?

  26. William
    14 March 2017 @ 6:09 pm

    Dave is correct, I indeed have a definition of “truth”. It goes something like this…being in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or standard. While we’re on the subject, I’ll throw in another definition for grins and giggles. The commonly understood opposite of truth is falsehood which can be defined as absence of truth or accuracy, lying, falsification and fabrication. These definitions align with most credible etymological references and held as acceptable by many people. It seems quite clear which of the two definitions Trump’s political and business behavior often aligns with.

    That said, it’s interesting some have a hard time accepting this even when the “truth” is staring them in the face. So, for me, the question isn’t “if he’s a lies…it’s “why” he lies. It’s difficult to tell if he does it maliciously or for strategic purposes. Is he’s so lacking in self-awareness that he can’t even discern when he lies? Could it be a mental illness? IMO, this would be a much more worthwhile question to answer.

  27. smitemouth
    14 March 2017 @ 6:35 pm

    Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia!

    William, I think you are supposed to understand that when Mr. Trump said to his first wife, “I have a late business meeting”, Ivana completely understood that he was saying, “I’m screwing future wife #2.” It was clear to her and anyone not dolts like you and me.

  28. William
    14 March 2017 @ 7:02 pm

    Smitemouth…aaah, that’s it! So, it’s not that he lies…he’s just grossly misunderstood by those who aren’t enlightened. The mystery has finally been solved! This revelation is tantamount to an EST aha moment!!! We MUST get this “truth” into the “fake news”.