The Open Thread for September 15, 2017

TRUMP RETURNS TO THE NAZIS ARE GOOD FOLKS POSITION.  “President Trump thrust himself back into the racial storms of Charlottesville, repeating his charge that those resisting the neo-Nazis and white supremacists were as much to blame as the alt-right crowds who marched on the Virginia college town last month,” the New York Times reports.

Said Trump: “You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also, and essentially that’s what I said. Now because of what’s happened since then with Antifa, when you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying, and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’ I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also.”

Well, no that is not what essentially you said.   You said there were good people marching with the Nazis and White Supremacists, and then you said there bad people on our side.

The Washington Post reports that Trump also “alluded to the Obama administration allegedly spying on his campaign, and — after repeatedly pointing to the unprecedented nature of the latest hurricanes in recent weeks — downplayed their size when asked whether climate change was to blame.”

“Shortly after learning in May that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate links between his campaign associates and Russia, President Trump berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an Oval Office meeting and said the attorney general should resign,” the New York Times reports.

“Accusing Mr. Sessions of ‘disloyalty,’ Mr. Trump unleashed a string of insults on his attorney general. Ashen and emotional, Mr. Sessions told the president he would quit and sent a resignation letter to the White House… Mr. Sessions would later tell associates that the demeaning way the president addressed him was the most humiliating experience in decades of public life.”

“The Oval Office meeting, details of which have not previously been reported, shows the intensity of Mr. Trump’s emotions as the Russia investigation gained steam and how he appeared to immediately see Mr. Mueller’s appointment as a looming problem for his administration. It also illustrates the depth of antipathy Mr. Trump has had for Mr. Sessions — one of his earliest campaign supporters — and how the president interprets ‘disloyalty’ within his circle of advisers.”

“Mr. Trump ended up rejecting Mr. Sessions’s May resignation letter after senior members of his administration argued that dismissing the attorney general would only create more problems for a president who had already fired an F.B.I. director and a national security adviser.”

“Want to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally? Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had the right audience for you,” ProPublica reports.

“Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of ‘Jew hater,’ ‘How to burn jews,’ or, ‘History of why jews ruin the world.’”

Josh Marshall on how Trump’s potential DACA immigration deal with the Democrats (which somewhat confirmed and denied at the same time by Trump in confusing tweets yesterday morning following his dinner with Pelosi and Schumer on Wednesday night) is doing immense damage to Trump no matter what happens from here on out:

“If this deal falls apart, it will have done Trump – or more specifically his relationship with his core constituency – immense damage. If it comes to fruition, the damage is even worse. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying his ‘base’ abandons him en masse and suddenly those approval numbers drop to zero.  But this is very, very damaging for Trump, just as it when any politician casually betrays a key agenda item for his or her staunchest supporters.”

CNN: “One week after it told the country that it had sold $100,000 worth of ads to a Russian troll farm during the 2016 election, Facebook is still not sure whether pro-Kremlin groups may have made other ad buys intended to influence American politics that it simply hasn’t discovered yet.”

“These sources said it is entirely possible that unidentified ad buys may still exist on the social media network today. One issue preventing Facebook from making a full accounting of the problem is that ads are purchased through the company’s self-service tool, which allows buyers to independently purchase and target ads, often without human interaction on Facebook’s side of the transaction.

In special election contests this past Tuesday, Democratic candidates flipped two more state legislative seats — in Oklahoma and New Hampshire — from red to blue. That makes a total of six state legislative pickups for Democrats this year.

run down of special congressional and legislative races across the country shows that Democrats have outperformed the party’s 2016 presidential results in 26 of 35 races held since last November.

Carolyn Fiddler writes: “So not only are Democrats winning by flipping seats from Republican to Democratic hands, but even when Republicans manage to hold on to seats in these special elections, they’re scrambling to cling to historically red seats and eking out tiny wins in previously uncompetitive districts. Republicans can’t afford to continue struggling like this if they hope to hold on to majorities in state legislatures and the U.S. House this cycle.”

On average, Democrats have seen a 13% swing from 2016 and a 9% swing from 2012.

Edward Luce: “There was a time when the US had two functioning parties. That is no longer the case. I can now count four. Since Mr Trump has no fixed membership, the tally has risen temporarily to five. In last year’s primaries, the right populist and left populist candidates, Mr Trump and Mr Sanders, took more than half of the votes between them. If that were translated into seats, America’s traditional two parties would be in a minority. The picture would be closer to Emmanuel Macron’s France, where the Gaullists and Socialists are on the sidelines.”

“But American politics is doomed to limp on with the shell of two parties. Their contempt for each other is exceeded only by their antagonisms within. Neither of each party’s warring factions is strong enough to claim the whole. But they have enough clout to stop their rivals from doing so.”

“If Mr Trump were another person, he could orchestrate this chaos to his ends. No president has inherited better conditions to realign US politics. But Mr Trump has the attention span of a goldfish.”

“Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who is awaiting sentencing for a fraud conviction, was sent to jail on Wednesday after a federal judge found that he presented a threat to the community because he had offered money for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Shkreli, who was free on $5 million bail while he awaited sentencing, offered $5,000 on Facebook to anyone who could ‘grab a hair’ from Mrs. Clinton during her book tour.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), “the lone black Republican in the Senate, delivered a pointed lecture on America’s 300-year legacy of racism to President Trump on Wednesday in response to what he called Mr. Trump’s ‘sterile’ response to the riots in Charlottesville last month,” the New York Times reports.

“When a reporter asked the senator if the president had expressed regret, a pained look flashed on Mr. Scott’s face.”

He paused for a few seconds and replied: “He certainly tried to explain what he was trying to convey.”

David Remnick: “For all of Hillary Clinton’s skills of survival, she will have a hard time finding a similar peace or place in public affairs. For one thing, Gore was in his early fifties when he lost. Clinton is sixty-nine. For another, the circumstances surrounding her defeat are immensely more disturbing. Clinton lost a race that few thought possible to lose. Her opponent was not Mitt Romney or John McCain or Marco Rubio but Donald Trump, a demonstrably crooked businessman and reality-television star, an unsavory, if shrewd, demagogue whose rhetoric and policy proposals had long flouted the constitutional norms of the United States.”

“She lost because of the tactical blunders of her campaign. She lost because she could never find a language, a thematic focus, or a campaigning persona that could convince enough struggling working Americans that she, and not a cartoonish plutocrat, was their champion. She lost because of the forces of racism, misogyny, and nativism that Trump expertly aroused. And she lost because of external forces (Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, James Comey) that were beyond her control and are not yet fully understood.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an “inquiry” by the Inspector General, sources tell ABC News.

If this had been any other Presidency at any other time, this would be a massive 6 month scandal that would result in Mnuchin’s resignation in disgrace.

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

2 comments on “The Open Thread for September 15, 2017

  1. May I just point out how creepy this is?

    “Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who is awaiting sentencing for a fraud conviction, was sent to jail on Wednesday after a federal judge found that he presented a threat to the community because he had offered money for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair,” the New York Times reports.”

    It’s also assault.

    • I think that it was the solicitation of assault that the judge threw him in the pokey for. His excuses and the lawyers’ defence of this crap is really appalling. Wingnuts who are threatening people should not get to use the “it was supposed to be funny” defense.

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