The Open Thread for February 12, 2017

Here is who is appearing on the various Talking Head shows this morning.  You will notice that Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer have been benched and now its Stephen Miller’s turn.

ABC’s “This Week” – White House adviser Stephen Miller; Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson; Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. Panel: National Review editor Rich Lowry, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, ABC News’ Cokie Roberts, Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons, and editor and publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” – Miller; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Former Senator Jim Webb (D-VA). NBC National Security Reporter Ken Dilanian. Panel: Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC), Greta Van Susteren.

CBS’ “Face the Nation” – Miller; Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.. CBS News Elections Director Anthony Salvanto. Panel: USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, New York Times White House Correspondent Peter Baker, National Review executive editor Reihan Salam and Ron Brownstein from Atlantic Media.


CNN’s “State of the Union” – Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.; Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. Panel: Rep Andre Carson (D-IN), President of Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) Ken Cuccinelli, President of Center for American Progress Neera Tanden, conservative commentator Alice Stewart.

“Fox News Sunday” – Miller; Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. Panel: CEO, Heritage Action for America Michael Needham, AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace, Laura Ingraham, Juan Williams.

Washington Post: “After previous defeats, the modern Democratic Party typically plunged into a discussion between a moderate wing and a liberal wing. George McGovern’s 1972 loss led to an internal party battle against the New Left. After Walter Mondale’s 1984 defeat, a group of moderate strategists formed the Democratic Leadership Council. After the 2004 defeat of John F. Kerry, a new generation of like-minded strategists launched Third Way, with a focus on lost moderate voters.”

“There is nothing like that in 2017. Democrats, taking cues from their base, have given Trump’s key Cabinet nominees the smallest level of support from an opposition party in history. They have joined and sometimes led protests, organizing more than 70 rallies against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and joining activists at airports to help travelers affected by Trump’s executive orders on immigration and refugees. The scale has even impressed some Republicans.”

New York Times: “While Republicans in Washington appear flummoxed by the complexities of one-party rule, struggling with issues from repealing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, to paying for President Trump’s promised wall on the Mexican border, rising party leaders in the states seem far more at ease and assertive. Republicans have top-to-bottom control in 25 states now, holding both the governorship and the entire legislature, and Republican lawmakers are acting with lightning speed to enact longstanding conservative priorities.”

“In states from New England to the Midwest and across the South, conservative lawmakers have introduced or enacted legislation to erode union powers and abortion rights, loosen gun regulations, expand school-choice programs and slash taxes and spending.”

“When President Trump ordered a vast overhaul of immigration law enforcement during his first week in office, he stripped away most restrictions on who should be deported, opening the door for roundups and detentions on a scale not seen in nearly a decade,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Up to 8 million people in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation.”

“Far from targeting only ‘bad hombres,’ as Trump has said repeatedly, his new order allows immigration agents to detain nearly anyone they come in contact with who has crossed the border illegally. People could be booked into custody for using food stamps or if their child receives free school lunches.”

A new PPP poll shows that 51% of Trump supporters believe that two Iraqis perpetrated the fictitious “Bowling Green Massacre.”

“A top deputy to National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was rejected for a critical security clearance, effectively ending his tenure on the National Security Council and escalating tensions between Flynn and the intelligence community,” Politico reports.

“The move came as Flynn’s already tense relationships with others in the Trump administration and the intelligence community were growing more fraught after reports that Flynn had breached diplomatic protocols in his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.”

Kathleen Parker hasn’t looked at the Senate map yet.  If Democrats win all Senate seats up for election in 2018, we will only have 56 seats.   He will be impeached, sure.  Removal will require Republican help.

Good news: In two years, we’ll have a new president. Bad news: If we make it that long.

My “good” prediction is based on the Law of the Pendulum. Enough Americans, including most independent voters, will be so ready to shed Donald Trump and his little shop of horrors that the 2018 midterm elections are all but certain to be a landslide — no, make that a mudslide — sweep of the House and Senate. If Republicans took both houses in a groundswell of the people’s rejection of Obamacare, Democrats will take them back in a tsunami of protest.

Once ensconced, it would take a Democratic majority approximately 30 seconds to begin impeachment proceedings selecting from an accumulating pile of lies, overreach and just plain sloppiness.

 Brian Beutler says Republicans are off to a horrible start in Congress:

Trump has thus far signed one bill: to exempt his secretary of defense from the law prohibiting commissioned officers from running the Pentagon unless they’ve been retired for seven or more years. As you’d expect of any Republican White House, his aides are drawing up plans to deregulate polluters and financial practices—doing the kinds of things that have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying “there is a high level of satisfaction with the new administration.”

This is another way of saying Republicans on the Hill are getting some things they want.

But they are also getting to cast votes on the worst, most unqualified, and corrupt cabinet in modern history. They are getting to answer for Trump’s broadsides against the judiciary, and to clean up his disastrous ad hoc haranguing of American allies. They are getting to pretend McConnell’s decision to discipline Senator Elizabeth Warren for quoting Coretta Scott King’s criticism of Jeff Sessions—in the middle of black history month—was a stroke of genius. (Corralling nearly every Republican senator to vote for that censure was apparently part of that master plan.) They are getting to make excuses for Trump’s undisguised efforts to enrich himself and his family. And they’re getting to do all this as members of the most important national institution to fully corrupt itself on Trump’s behalf. (Democrats, judges, consumer brands, civil society organizations, and government bureaucrats, have all conducted themselves with enough basic integrity to preserve a glimmer of hope that Trump can’t just shamble Kool-Aid man-style through the entire social fabric.)

A new Gallup survey finds Americans believe the world at large sees the U.S. more unfavorably than favorably, 57% to 42%, their worst assessment of the country’s image in 10 years.  A year ago, Americans’ perceptions were more positive than negative.

“For the first time, US investigators say they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent,” CNN reports.

“None of the newly learned information relates to the salacious allegations in the dossier. Rather it relates to conversations between foreign nationals. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals. Sources would not confirm which specific conversations were intercepted or the content of those discussions due to the classified nature of US intelligence collection programs.”

“But the intercepts do confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier… CNN has not confirmed whether any content relates to then-candidate Trump.”

Ryan Lizza: “To stay on top, being by the President’s side is crucial. Priebus, for example, has a deputy, Katie Walsh, who previously worked with him at the Republican National Committee and who has taken on many of the responsibilities of a traditional White House chief of staff so that Priebus can remain glued to Trump. The situation has irritated the anti-Priebus faction.”

Said one longtime Trump adviser: “Reince is a glorified bodyman. I don’t see how he has time for his responsibilities.”

“Conway’s lack of clearance for high-level national-security discussions was increasingly leaving her out of the inner circle. Trump frequently asked Conway why she wasn’t in meetings, and Conway had to explain that she was waiting for her top-secret clearance. All that was left, for her to gain the access that her male rivals have, was to finish the training yesterday. But her comments about Ivanka pulled her off track.”

Politico: “Since gaveling in this year, legislatures in states that went for Hillary Clinton have proposed a flood of laws or resolutions that mock, challenge or repudiate some of the most controversial aspects of Trump’s presidency. Some are designed for the sole purpose of needling Trump by reminding him that he lost the popular vote, or that his for-profit school “Trump University” has been under legal attack for years or that a state’s own relations with Mexico are strong.”

“And that’s on top of the legal challenges to Trump’s controversial travel ban, a push for protections to state reproductive rights laws and vocal defiance of Trump’s economic threats against immigrant sanctuary cities.”

“Top political advisers to John Kasich have formed a nonprofit organization that will promote themes the Ohio governor pushed during his unsuccessful run for last year’s Republican presidential nomination,” the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“The move will fuel speculation that Kasich is keeping his options open for the 2020 election — perhaps as a GOP alternative to Trump.”

“Sales of Ivanka Trump’s fashion line tumbled 32% at Nordstrom last fiscal year, with the declines deepening in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election,” according to internal Nordstrom data reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

“Amid calls to boycott the brand, Ivanka Trump footwear and apparel sales fell more than 70% in the second, third and fourth weeks of October compared with a year ago, the Nordstrom data show. The declines have moderated somewhat since then, averaging 26% year-over-year in January.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

3 comments on “The Open Thread for February 12, 2017

  1. Steven Newton

    This is significant: conservative/libertarian pundit Glenn Beck (who has always opposed Trump) clearly states that the appointment of Steve Bannon to the White House staff is a racist move.

    • Wow. Still, is… the enemy of my enemy my friend? (I know you aren’t saying that!) The problem I have with Beck is he is one of the main reasons we have Trump. He’s one of the kings of fake news.

      All that said… still, wow.

  2. Did you see the Samantha Bee episode with him? Or did I fist see this clip here on your blog?

    (from Dec, 2016)

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