Open Thread

The Open Thread for July 25, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is growing increasingly frustrated with the Trump administration and could quit before the year is through, Newsweek reports.

“Two sources familiar with Tillerson’s conversations with friends told CNN over the weekend that he has grown so frustrated with President Trump and his administration that there may soon be a ‘Rexit.’”

“Trump publicly assailed one of Tillerson’s fellow Cabinet members, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying he regretted hiring him. Tillerson, the sources said, viewed Trump’s comments as unprofessional.”


President Trump and his advisers “are privately discussing the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and some confidants are floating prospects who could take his place were he to resign or be fired, according to people familiar with the talks,” the Washington Post reports.

“Members of Trump’s circle, including White House officials, have increasingly raised the question among themselves in recent days as the president has continued to vent his frustration with the attorney general.”

Associated Press: “He has speculated aloud to allies in recent days about the potential consequences of firing Sessions, according to three people who have recently spoken to the president. They demanded anonymity to discuss private conversations.”


Remember when GOP lunatics freaked out because President Obama gave non-partisan back-to-school speech in 2009 & they accused him of “indoctrination?”   This was the closest thing to a Hitler Youth speech America has ever seen.


President Donald Trump on Monday night appeared to joke about firing Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price if he does not corral enough votes to get an Obamacare repeal bill through the Senate tomorrow.  “By the way, you’re going to get the votes?” Trump said to Price, who stood beside him onstage at a national Boy Scout event in West Virginia.  “He better get ’em. He better get ’em. Oh, he better,” Trump said, turning back to the crowd. “Otherwise I’ll say, Tom, you’re fired. I’ll get somebody.”

He may be “joking” there (I don’t think he is), Trump again called on Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, adding in a veiled threat that the “repercussions will be far greater” than lawmakers might expect, Politico reports.

Vox: The 7 steps ahead for Senate Republicans in their wild ride to repeal Obamacare.


“Senate Republicans are still hoping John McCain makes it to Tuesday’s crucial Obamacare repeal vote,” Politico reports.  “The absence of the Arizona senator, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last week, has made getting 50 votes to start debate on the bill exceedingly difficult. GOP leaders are hoping he can surprise everyone and return Tuesday.”  Said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “They were trying to get approval [from his doctors] for his travel arrangements. I’ve personally volunteered to rent an RV. But we haven’t heard anything.”


“So why aren’t the committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillary’s crimes and Russia relations?”  — President Trump, on Twitter.

Because she has already been investigated by partisan hacks 11 times over the last three years and they found nothing.  The FBI (also not fans of her) investigated her too and cleared her.


When discussing the stalled GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) told a Texas radio station that he finds it “absolutely repugnant” that “the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do.”

Said Farenhold: “Some of the people that are opposed to this — there are some female senators from the northeast. If it was a guy from south Texas I might ask them to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.”

Alaska is in the Northeast now.  Who knew?


Harry Enten: “Clinton’s unpopularity turned out to be a key factor in 2016 congressional races. Unsurprisingly, people who had a favorable view of Clinton primarily voted for Democrats in House races, while people with a favorable view of Trump primarily voted for Republican candidates. But among the 19 percent of voters who had an unfavorable view of both presidential candidates, House Republican candidates won by a margin of 30 percentage points.”

“Next year, though, Clinton won’t be on the ballot (although Trump continues to tweet about her). That could be a big problem for House Republican candidates, especially if Trump remains unpopular. That’s because realistically, the only way for Democrats to take back the House is to run up huge margins among voters who don’t like Trump.”



A new USA Today/iMediaEthics Poll finds Americans already are split down the middle, 42% to 42%, over whether President Trump should be removed from office.



Former Sen. David Durenberger (R-MN) “A vote in these circumstances will rightly provoke anger and distrust unlikely to abate. Take it from me: A no vote on the Motion to Proceed this week is the only one that will be defensible in the years to come.”

“I have had my arm twisted by the best of them — presidents and Senate leaders and party whips alike. I know how uncomfortable it can be. Usually, they were able to attempt a convincing argument about what is good about the bill for the country or my state. But I never would have voted for something so far reaching without knowing the answer to all the questions above.”

“Never in all my years did I experience the level of bullying we see today. It doesn’t look good in Minnesota, and I suspect it doesn’t look any better in your state.”



Politico: “The Republican Party is more powerful than it’s been in more than a decade — and yet it has never seemed so weak. Continuing chaos in the White House has been punctuated by the failure to deliver on the GOP’s seven-year pledge to overhaul Obamacare, and has many asking whether the party can capitalize on the sweeping victories it has achieved at the federal, state, and local levels.”

“Ahead of this week’s crucial Senate vote on health care, White House aides are already considering how to distance President Donald Trump from Congress and how to go after the Republicans who vote no — an idea the president seems fond of… Several people said he plans to keep up the fight, no matter how this week’s vote goes.”



“Reince Priebus took the punishing job of President Donald Trump’s chief of staff with the idea that he would stick it out for at least one year. Six months in, with one of his top allies in the West Wing — press secretary Sean Spicer — on his way out, Priebus is in defensive mode, his role diminished and an internal rival hogging the limelight,” Politico reports.

“Trump’s decision to bring Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci into the role of communications director shows the rising power of political outsiders and the diminished influence of establishment figures — which Priebus, the former chairman of the RNC, epitomizes.”

“One White House official and two outside advisers said that while Scaramucci was brought into the White House for the communications job, he’s considered an internal candidate to eventually succeed Priebus as chief of staff.”

Jonathan Swan: “President Trump knew that appointing Anthony Scaramucci as communications director would humiliate Reince, who fought hard against it. Scaramucci was smuggled into the meeting with the President on Thursday so Reince wouldn’t know about it. Trump had already taken pains to hide the discussions from his Chief of Staff, knowing Reince would try to foil the move. Trump also knew that inserting a line in the press release saying Scaramucci would report directly to the President — doing an end-run around Reince — was perhaps an unendurable public humiliation.”

“Reince has very few true allies inside the building. At this point, they don’t stretch much further than his personal assistant and the RNC holdovers on the press team. At the senior level, the only WH official who will go to the mat for Reince’s survival is Steve Bannon. They’ve become allies of convenience in a feud against Jared and Ivanka.”



Gallup: “President Trump, who has averaged 40% job approval since his inauguration, received approval ratings of 50% or higher in 17 states in the first half of 2017. Residents in an equal number of states gave him approval ratings below 40%. In 16 states, his ratings ranged between 40% and 49%.”


“Donald Trump Jr., who appeared short of experienced advisers with his email release and multiple statements about the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer, is getting help from Washington stalwart Fred Fielding ahead of this week’s Capitol Hill appearance,” Mike Allen reports.

“The addition of Fred Fielding shows that Trump Jr., who apparently didn’t recognize the seriousness of what he faced, now does.”



“President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said on Monday that he had been unaware that a June 2016 meeting he attended at Trump Tower was set up in the hope that a Russian lawyer would provide the Trump campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton,” the New York Times reports.

“In prepared remarks to congressional investigators released by Mr. Kushner’s representatives, Mr. Kushner said he arrived at the meeting late and had been so uninterested in the discussion that he emailed his assistant to ask for her help escaping.”

In the remarks, Mr. Kushner flatly denied any collusion: “I had no improper contacts. I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government.”

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

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