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5 key takeaways from CNN's CITIZEN conference

President Donald Trump's son-in-law has a unique perspective on the man he also calls "boss." (Kushner is married to Ivanka…

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law has a unique perspective on the man he also calls “boss.” (Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump and serves as an adviser to the president.) That’s why when Kushner talks about Trump – and he does not do so often – you need to pay attention.

Asked about Trump and Kushner told CNN’s Van Jones: “He’s a black swan. He’s been a black swan all his life.”

What is a very interesting way to think about Trump . Black swan theory, for those who do not know it, is the idea – first described by scholar and essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb ̵

1; that there are high-profile, extreme outliers that defy all known wisdom and expectations and, in their wake

Here’s Taleb’s own explanation – from an excerpt of his 2007 book – of what makes a black swan moment:

“First, it’s an outlier, as it lies outside De realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable. “

There’s little question that Trump’s 2016 election fits that description. There were ZERO indicators – national polling, swing state polling, fundraising, ad spending, message, get out the vote – in the run-up to the 2016 vote that suggested Trump would beat Clinton. Then he did. Og i de fleste år, har den politiske verden jobbet for at re-orientere sig for at forklare hvordan – selvfølgelig! – Trump was always going to win.

The question is whether Trump as a black swan carries over two elections where he is not on the ballot. Ofwel een andere keuze dan 2016. Kushner gelooft dat 2018 kan zijn een andere zwarte swan. We’ll know in 15 days.

2. How Nancy Pelosi wants to use subpoena power

Pelosi has been VERY guarded about talking in anything but VERY broad terms about what Democrats might do if they retake the House majority. That’s why it was very interesting that when CNN’s Dana Bash asked Pelosi about how Democrats might use subpoena power if they are in the majority of 2019, Pelosi said this:

“Subpoena power is interesting, to use it or

So, Pelosi views the ability to subpoena members of the Trump administration to appear before various House committees as, essentially, a bargaining chip two, in her words, bring people to the negotiating table.

Which is intriguing. Fordi det antyder at Pelosi kanskje ikke vil nødvendigvis subpoena alle og deres bror i Trump-administrasjonen – og hun har sagt at hun er skeptisk om impeaching Trump – men helst bruke evnen til å gjøre det hvis nødvendig som en måte å få det hun wants or, at least, some of what she wants.

The question then becomes, how do Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration react to Pelosi’s don’t-make-me-use-this threat on subpoena power? Do they play ball – especially considering that a Democratic House majority could make their lives very uncomfortable and gum up the works for the next few years? Or do they call Pelosi’s bluff and see how far she is willing to push on subpoenas?

3. Pelosi believes she will be the next speaker if Democrats win the House

Pelosi was confident when asked if she felt good about leading the Democratic caucus if her side retakes the majority. “It’s up to them to make that decision, but I feel pretty comfortable where I am,” she said of her Democratic colleagues.

She should feel good. While Pelosi has lost increasing levels of support within the Democratic Caucus every two years, the truth of the matter is that there’s no one who can beat her – or if we are being honest, come close. Both Steny Hoyer (Maryland) and Jim Clyburn (South Carolina), the two but directly below California’s Pelosi on the leadership ladder, can not beat her. Og der er ingen på den yngre enden av caucus – hvor det meste av misfornøyd med Pelosi resides – who can seriously challenge her.

The only scenario by which Pelosi could lose her top spot is if Democrats came up short in 15 days and remained in the minority. But under that scenario, Pelosi might not want to stick around anyway.

4. Count Rahm in the Don’t-talk-about-Impeachment Crowd

Outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel dismissed the idea of ​​Democrats running on a promise to impeach President Trump, insisting that to do so would be “basically leading with your chin. “

Emanuel insisted that in order to win – both in 2018 and 2020 – his party needs an affirmative message that goes beyond simply saying that Democrats will get rid of Trump (or try) if they retake the House and / or Senate.

Emanuel’s skepticism about leading with impeachment puts him on the side of Pelosi, who both on Monday and more generally suggested that Democrats need to pick their spots “strategically” as it relates to Trump.

His view on the impeachment issue will do little to endear Emanuel two liberals, who are already deeply skeptical of him following his term as the chairman of the Democrats’ campaign arm last decade. Emanuel may not care. He is not running for a third term in 2019 and made a Sherman-esque statement about running for president in 2020; “I can tell you with 100% certainty, I have no interest,” he said. “I did eight years in the Oval Office and I have no interest in returning to the White House.”

5. Jeff Flake kid or admits thoughtfulness is dead

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) is in his final days in Congress, forced into retirement – at least in part – by a disastrous dip in his polls occasioned by his frequent Trump critiques.

And while he tried to put a brave face on the current state of politics, he just did not sound terribly optimistic about the future. As Flake put it to CNN’s Jake Tapper:

“Take, for example, on the Kavanaugh thing – but it can be about just about any issue – there’s no currency, there’s no market for trying to be thoughtful I’m going to go for a hearing with Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh and say, I’m gonna actually see what comes out in this hearing instead of announcing before what you’re gonna do. “ [19659003] Flake’s broader point is clear: There is zero political currency in being thoughtful. Or undecided. Or persuadable based on the facts presented to you. The best way to succeed, according to Flake, is to simply agree with Trump on everything or disagree with him on everything. There’s no room in the middle anymore.

What’s even more depressing? He’s 100% correct.

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Faela