The Open Thread for September 16, 2017

There was an apparent terrorist attack in London yesterday morning.  An very improvised explosive device partially blew up in the Parsons Green tube station aboard the train.  Twenty two people were injured with flash burns.  Luckily, no one was killed. Almost instantly, Trump was on Twitter blaming ISIS and criticizing our strongest allies.

Trump advocated for limiting Internet access, making his travel ban on Muslim-majority countries “larger, tougher and more specific” and being “proactive & nasty” against ISIS, though he was presumably speculating that the group was involved in the attack.  He also said Scotland Yard had its sights on these suspects (even though at the time of the tweet they and we don’t know who the suspects are) and weren’t proactive enough to stop the attack. What a fucking prick Donald Trump is.

British Prime Minister Theresa May seemed to indirectly criticize President Donald Trump regarding his speculation. “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” May said, according to interview footage aired by CNN. “As I’ve just said, the police and security services are working to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible.”

According to CNN, a spokesperson for Scotland Yard said directly that Trump’s comments were “pure speculation given we don’t know who is involved.”  ”Any speculation is unhelpful,” the spokesperson said, according to CNN.

Politico: “While GOP leaders were able to brush off the debt pact as no big deal, after Thursday they were reminding the president that they — not the Democrats — run Congress. Though they differed on whether to bill it as a deal, Trump and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi agreed in some fashion that they want to shield so-called Dreamers from deportation and beef up border security, leaving the fight over the border wall for later.”

“That left Republicans grappling with a frightening new potential reality: that Trump will cut controversial deals with Democrats and leave them to pick up the pieces.”

“Young Americans have been moving left and leaving the G.O.P. in recent years, but a successful Democratic coalition built on the backs of liberal youth is far from a sure thing, especially in the short term,” the New York Times reports.

“The party’s problem is straightforward: getting them to actually go to the polls. Politicians know which part of the electorate still butters their bread — and there’s no avocado on it. Those aged 18 to 29 vote at far lower rates than older groups, decreasing their electoral power. But there are at least some signs that their participation levels will improve. And if an increasingly left-leaning voting bloc does become more politically active, there are huge potential gains for the Democratic Party.”

Playbook: “John Boehner and Eric Cantor were thrown to the wolves a few years ago for even toying with some sort of immigration reform package. Paul Ryan promised conservatives when he won the speakership in 2015 that he would not pursue and immigration package unless it had the support of the majority of Republicans. That means whatever deal Trump cut — or will cut — with Schumer and Pelosi needs to have the support of 121 House Republicans.”

“Remember: Paul Ryan is always under the threat of an immediate referendum vote of his speakership. Immigration isn’t like touching the third rail. It’s like hugging an electrified pole while wearing soaking wet clothing.”

“Following a rash of retirements, House Republican leaders are scrambling to get something done legislatively to convince other frustrated members not to toss in the towel in a tough political environment,” TPM reports.

“It’s not much fun to be a House Republican these days. President Trump has repeatedly taken potshots at their conference. Primary challenges burble on the right. Congress has been unable to pass much meaningful legislation in spite of unified control of Washington. Every trip home means an earful both from liberals furious at their support of the president and conservatives irate they’re not doing enough to support his agenda. And members who haven’t seen real competition for years face tough races due to Trump’s deep unpopularity.”

“That weighs heavily on Republicans who are on the fence about returning.”

A new Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics poll finds 31% of Americans strongly or somewhat agreed that the country needs to “protect and preserve its White European heritage.” Another 34% strongly or somewhat disagreed with the statement, and 29% neither agreed nor disagreed.

Notably, 14% of all respondents both agreed that white people are under attack and disagreed with the statement that nonwhites are under attack.

Also interesting is that 16% agreed with the statement that “marriage should only be allowed between two people of the same race” and an additional 14% neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement, while 4% said they didn’t know. In total, about a third failed to express tolerance of interracial marriage.

Politico: “In recent weeks, Trump has complained in private that it’s difficult to have any sort of relationship — or even make small talk — with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He’s told staff that he finds Speaker Paul Ryan, whom he’s dubbed a ‘boy scout,’ dry as well, but the two have some rapport.”

“By contrast, Trump can relate to Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who talk more in non-Washington terms that he understands, according to people familiar with their meetings. Trump wants to keep meeting with them.”

Jonathan Swan: “President Trump got a lot of attention for his Tuesday night dinner with three red-state Democratic senators, where he tried to win their support for tax reform. But here’s the thing: This was not the start of a bipartisan tax reform effort. This was the White House’s attempt to give Republicans a cushion in case they lose a few votes.”

“The White House did learn one lesson from the health care failure: It’s a mistake to rely on Republican votes alone. But the administration’s solution for tax reform is to give itself a little breathing room — not open the door to a broader bipartisan effort that would compromise what it wants to do. “

A new Politico-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll finds the Trump administration’s messaging on health care “is clearly resonating with the party’s base.”

“The poll asked Americans to review and score 10 top priorities for Congress through the end of the year. Fifty-three percent of Republican respondents said taking action to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act should be an ‘extremely important priority,’ while another 26% of Republicans said it should be a ‘very important priority.’ Only 16% of Republicans said ACA repeal should not be a priority for Congress.”

“President Trump made clear Thursday he is determined to get his wall. But his demands, and occasional threats to shut down the government over funding, belie the stark reality facing his administration: Nine months into his presidency, there is no plan for constructing the kind of wall the president promised his voters for two years,” NBC News reports.

“A study Trump ordered in January on how to fully secure the border has not been completed. His transition team focused on immigration enforcement plans with greater chances of success. Proposed wall prototypes — which officials had hoped to deploy this summer — are months behind schedule. Construction firms have stayed away amid the prospect of political retaliation. And new NBC News polling suggests only lukewarm support for a wall the president today said would happen.”

Jonathan Swan: “The dramatically different information Trump receives daily under the leadership of Chief of Staff John Kelly is an under-looked factor in Trump’s decision to double down on his partnership with the Democratic leaders.”

“Trump gets mostly positive feedback for his turn towards bipartisanship. He watches cable news in the morning, and even ‘Fox and Friends’ finds a way to praise his deal with the Democrats. He reads his morning news clips and briefing materials, which are managed by Staff Secretary Rob Porter, under the guidance of Kelly. And during the day it’s not possible for a staff member to sneak a story onto Trump’s desk that might rile him up and turn him in a wildly different direction in an instant.”

“Staff who oppose the moderate immigration turn no longer have unfettered access to Trump, and nor do allies on the outside who, in the first six months of the administration, used to send text messages to Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller, and often receive a snappy callback from the president. Kelly now has real control over the most important input: the flow of human and paper advice into the Oval Office. For a man as obsessed about his self image as Trump, a new flow of inputs can make the world of difference.”

No more than a day since President Trump announced he would nominate James “Trey” Trainor III as a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, the former election lawyer for the Trump presidential campaign is already under fire on multiple fronts, the National Law Journal reports.

“Perhaps to be expected, the nomination of Trainor was almost immediately opposed by advocacy groups such as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)—a nonprofit headed by former ethics czars in the Bush and Obama administrations—who said that Trainor stood for ‘exactly the opposite’ of what the FEC does: Police money in politics.”

“Perhaps less expected, Trainor’s Twitter feed came under the spotlight after users found that he had retweeted posts expressing what appeared to be anti-Protestant views. In one Tweet screenshot before Trainor’s Twitter feed was made private, he wrote ‘There is only one church,’ while linking to a post from a Catholic site,, that said ‘Protestantism is poison.’”

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

5 comments on “The Open Thread for September 16, 2017

  1. “A new Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics poll finds 31% of Americans strongly or somewhat agreed that the country needs to “protect and preserve its White European heritage.”

    What is this White European heritage? Sounds like a makey-up term to me.

    • Exactly. I come from “white European heritage.” Two of my great grandparents were from Poland, one from Ireland and so on. Our Heritage has nothing in common with Norway or Italy for that matter.

    • Oh good, let the mansplaining begin!

      • Just sayin, it doesn,t mean anything as my Irish side has no heritage in common with my Polish side.

    • It seems like White European heritage believers hold that the landmass the USA occupies was uninhabited when the Swedes and the Dutch and the Brits pulled ashore in the 1600s. Ironic that those same “original” white Europeans were the ones who actively introduced the black population to the continent starting almost immediately:
      “Slavery in what became the United States probably began with the arrival of “20 and odd” enslaved Africans to the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. It officially ended with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.”

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