The Open Thread for July 26, 2017

When John McCain succumbs to his brain cancer in a few months, the Senate will be better off. Not because he will be dead, but because he will no longer be a Senator.  I am sorry I have to say that, but it is the truth.  He may have been a war hero in a past life, but he is a liar in his current one. Yesterday was a distillination of his entire Senate career and his unearned reputation as this supposed independent maverick.  He votes to continue the very dysfunction that he then railed against in the most hypocritical Senate speech ever delivered.  In the same speech, he promised to Not. Vote. For. The.  Senate,Healthcare. Bill.  Specifically the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).   And then six hours later, he votes for the BCRA.

John McCain is a craven hypocrite and liar.  That will be his legacy.   And the Senate will be a better place when he is no longer there.

MOTION TO PROCEED PASSES 51-50, BUT THEN BCRA FAILS 43-57.  Good news, bad news.   Caitlin Owens: “The Senate GOP’s Affordable Care Act replacement plan did a face plant on Tuesday night, with nine Republicans and all Democrats voting against it. But it was only the first vote of what’s sure to be a long process, and its failure wasn’t a surprise.”

“This was the Senate’s best attempt at an ACA replacement, after about two and a half months of closed-door meetings attempting to find something that could bridge the caucus’ deep divides.”

New York Times: “The Tuesday night tally needed to reach 60 votes to overcome a parliamentary objection. Instead, it fell 43-57. The fact that the comprehensive replacement plan came up well short of even 50 votes was an ominous sign for Republican leaders still grappling with a formula to pass final health care legislation later this week.”

SESSIONS WON’T QUIT: Mike Allen: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn’t plan to take the hint. President Trump continues hitting him in all body parts — apparently hoping he’ll resign, which could pave the way for firing special counsel Bob Mueller.”

“But Sessions allies tell us he won’t quit, and will have to be fired: This is his life’s work and dream job. (Yesterday, he took on sanctuary cities.) And in Trumptown, you can be down now, but back in favor after you endure a little humiliation. Ask Steve Bannon.”

Meanwhile, “[c]ongressional Republicans on Tuesday warned President Trump not to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, fearing it could be the first step in an attempt to kill the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections,” the Washington Examiner reports.

Said Sen. Mike Simpson (R-ID): “All hell would break loose. If he fired Mueller, that would be a problem. It wouldn’t pass the smell test. The American people would demand we do something.”

Mike Allen: “In this showdown, there’s the potential for grave collateral damage to Trump. Many establishment/pragmatic Republicans, including lawmakers and administration officials and aides, ‘got there’ on Trump not because they were wild about the man, but out of respect for the office (and self-interest, of course).”

MCAULIFFE AND PELOSI TELL DONORS TO GIVE TO STATE AND LOCAL PARTIES:  USA Today: “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have been quietly courting major party donors during a series of weekend trips that illustrate how the Democratic Party’s road to rebuilding begins with changing the habits of labor unions and traditional donors.”

“The duo has traveled to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and New York to try to convince traditional donor groups and grassroots organizations to channel more funding to local and state elections — with a particular focus on the next generation of governors who will oversee redistricting around the 2020 Census — as well as legal battles and ballot initiatives to challenge gerrymandered congressional districts.”

Said McAuliffe: “I don’t care who the president of the United States is, it doesn’t matter in the sense that, if we don’t have governors to stop these horrible maps, they’re going to pass a lot of this stuff at the state level. Politically, this is what I’m going to do. I’m obsessed.”

TILLERSON IS TIRED. Business Insider: “When asked about the discrepancies between Rex Tillerson’s public schedule and his reported movements, and why the department hadn’t updated the press on his whereabouts, Heather Nauert said Tillerson ‘does have the ability to go away for a few days on his own.’”  Said Nauert: “Just taking a little time off. He’s got a lot of work. He just came back from that mega-trip overseas, as you all well know — many of you were over there with the G-20.”  “Asked why she didn’t just say Tillerson was on vacation, Nauert said she didn’t know the standard protocol for listing private days.”

When she was Secretary of State, Hillary never took a vacation.

MIKE LEE TEXTS.  Politico: “On a Delta flight from Salt Lake City to Washington on Monday afternoon, Lee sat in the middle seat, furiously texting about his latest thinking in the health care debate, according to an eyewitness who sat next to Lee.”

“In one text, Lee told a recipient that he might still vote to proceed to the repeal debate, but that it was ‘still too early to do so in good conscience because we’re not being told anything.’”

“‘This leadership line of pass something, anything, is dangerous and potent,’ Lee typed out in another message, written in a large enough font that fellow passengers could easily read his words, according to the eyewitness. In another text, Lee wrote: ‘This bill is nothing more than bailing out insurance companies with a few minor reforms thrown in for good measure.’”

RUSSIA SANCTIONS PASSED OVERWHELMINGLY: The House approved a raft of new sanctions against Russia Tuesday that included explicit restrictions on President Trump’s ability to modify or lift the sanctions without congressional approval. The 419-3-vote in support of financial sanctions restricting Russia’s ability to do business with American entities, as well as the targeting of key Russian officials for election meddling, sets up what could be the first substantive bipartisan bill out of this congress and puts the Trump White House in the uncomfortable position of swallowing increased penalties on Moscow, after promising warmer relations with the longtime American adversary. The measure also reveals an underlying mistrust, even amongst the president’s own party, for Trump’s decision-making on Russia-related matters.

HOW KUSHNER GAVE THE RUSSIANS ACCESS TO TRUMP.  Ryan Lizza: “If you read Jared Kushner’s statement to congressional committees looking for evidence of a crime, there isn’t much there. But if you read it from the perspective of the Russians trying to gain a toehold—or more—inside the Trump campaign, you realize how easy he made it for them. As the evidence mounted last year that the Russian government launched an unprecedented hacking and influence campaign to affect the 2016 election in Donald Trump’s favor, the Trump team, including Kushner, became increasingly more solicitous to high-level Russians offering information and requesting meetings.”

“As with his accounts of all the other interactions with Russians, Kushner claims he was simply a naïve staffer exchanging benign pleasantries. His professed innocence about the nature of these contacts may be the most troubling part of his testimony. The Russians were running a complex—and seemingly successful—campaign to gain access to Trump’s orbit and the President-elect’s most trusted adviser claims he was clueless about what was actually going on. Kushner’s testimony does not reveal evidence of any crimes, but it does reveal a campaign and Presidential transition that was a remarkably easy target for Russian-intelligence efforts.”

HEALTHCARE CONFUSION WON’T HELP THE GOP.  Nate Silver: “In reading Heller’s statement for why he’d support for the motion to proceed — part of a series of shifting positions that Heller has taken on health care — I was struck by how confusing all of it must be to voters who aren’t following the debate very carefully.”

“In general, confusion is something you want to avoid with voters, especially on matters like health care where voters are inherently nervous about changes from the status quo. If the GOP considers some very severe bills — such as a full repeal of Obamacare — before eventually passing a more moderate one, voters will be further confused, especially given that many members of Congress will have indicated their support for one of the more severe bills at various points in the months-long debate. I wouldn’t expect Republicans to get all that much benefit of the doubt from voters, in other words, given how the process has gone down.”

The Washington Post reports that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) were caught on a hot mic after a committee hearing complaining about President Trump:

COLLINS: “I swear, OMB just went through and whenever there was ‘grant,’ they just X it out. With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It’s just incredibly irresponsible.”

REED: “Yes, I think — I think he’s crazy. I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy.”

COLLINS: “I’m worried.”

REED: “Oof, You know, this thing — if we don’t get a budget deal, we’re going to be paralyzed.”

COLLINS: “I know.”

REED: “Department of Defense is going to be paralyzed, everybody is going to be paralyzed.”

Then they discussed comments made yesterday by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX):

COLLINS: “Did you see the one who challenged me to a duel?”

REED: “I know. Trust me. Do you know why he challenged you to a duel? ‘Cause you could beat the shit out of him.”

COLLINS: “Well, he’s huge. And he — I don’t mean to be unkind, but he’s so unattractive it’s unbelievable.”

REED: “Did you see the picture of him in his pajamas next to this Playboy bunny?”

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

5 comments on “The Open Thread for July 26, 2017

  1. DCDelaware

    Perhaps Drumpf can borrow from President Kennedy and start a series, “Profiles in Disservice.” McCain can be the first subject.

  2. Total agreement on McCain, yesterday was vintage “maverick” behavior. World class hypocrisy coupled with an attempt to appear noble and above the fray. As for Trump vs. Sessions little Jeff ain’t goin’ nowhere, pity as he’s an arrogant little monster. As noted if Trump does can him, alarms will go off as the media parrots start repeating “Saturday Night Massacre” endlessly. As for the Republicans at some point they will “just do something” and pass a god awful bill from hell, suspect the process will be repeated when it’s huge tax cut for the rich time and the usual deficit be damned behavior we’ve seen so many times before.

  3. anonymous redux

    maybe you’re referring to something I missed, but wouldn’t you want the media to talk about the saturday night massacre? doesn’t hurt to remind people of Nixon’s ignominious end; it’s good to tar trump with that brush. or maybe “media parrots” was just a slur you couldn’t resist. we should be glad the media is calling attention to trump’s misdeeds.

  4. “Well, he’s huge. And he — I don’t mean to be unkind, but he’s so unattractive it’s unbelievable.”

    It’s the “I don’t mean to be unkind” that makes it art.

  5. @ Delaware Dem. As always, a heartless, non-caring pig!

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