The Open Thread for September 18, 2017

So the President went a little crazy yesterday. “President Trump on Sunday morning retweeted a doctored video showing him hitting Hillary Clinton with a golf ball — from an account that makes racial, anti-semitic, and anti-LGBT comments.  The video complements “Trump’s amazing golf swing” — the President goes to his golf clubs constantly — and the video shows the ball hitting a person who appears to be Clinton, who then trips while boarding an airplane.”  And that was just one tweet.   He included this insane gem:

There were many other retweets that were insane, and you can check them all out below.  Dan Drezner explains why Trump is melting down in real time:

1. Trump is dealing with a series of issues that have no upside for him — such as the debt ceiling and North Korea. Tweeting lets him blow off steam as he must realize he’s accomplished almost nothing in nine months.

2. Trump uses Twitter to soothe his base, which is especially important after he’s tried to cut deals with Democrats without getting much in return.

3. The more White House chief of staff John Kelly controls his information flow, the more Trump will seek out Twitter for information that makes him feel better.

“That’s a false report. The president decided to pull out of the Paris accord because it’s a bad deal for the American people and it’s a bad deal for the environment.”  — National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, quoted by the Washington Post, denying the Trump administration would stay in the Paris climate deal.

“I think under the right conditions, the president said he’s open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue.”  — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, quoted by The Hill, saying Trump could stay in the Paris climate deal under the right conditions.

Stan Collender: “There’s just one thing you really need to know about whether tax reform will happen by the end of this year: It’s about to take a very small group of senior policymakers more than six months to agree on the broadest of principles for what a tax reform plan should do…and the broad principles will be the easy part.”

“In spite of the nuanced optimism you hear from The Gang of Six, it’s very likely to take much longer than it did for those six people — only four of which actually have votes — to agree on the generalities.”

“Every one of the 535 members of Congress has individual and corporate taxpayers in his or her district or state and the nitty gritty, deep-in-the-weeds details will be extremely important to each representative and senator. At the very least they will all want to appear to have had an impact on the final product so there will be multiple time-consuming amendments offered both in committee and on the House and Senate floors.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) is backing a bipartisan bill that would block President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, The Hill reports.

Said McCain: “When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country.”

“Deep-pocketed supporters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other GOP leaders have resolved to fight a protracted battle over the next year for the soul of the party in congressional primaries,” the Washington Post reports.

“But the task will not be easy. Strategists from both sides of the party’s divide say recent focus groups and polling have shown that the frustration within the Republican base has only grown since the 2016 election, stoked by an inability to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health-care law. President Trump, meanwhile, has continued to cast his presidency in opposition to the current ways of Washington, which could encourage primary voters to buck the system in a way that endangers House and Senate incumbents.”

President Trump announced on Twitter that he will hold a rally in Alabama to boost Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) against his anti-establishment challenger Roy Moore.

Jonathan Swan: “If Moore wins, Trump will look like a fool. It’d suggest to members of Congress — whom Trump must occasionally intimidate in legislative fights — that he’s a weakened force in Alabama, a state he carried by nearly 30 points in the 2016 election.”

“If Strange, wins, Trump can do a victory lap. But by supporting him he’s boosting the establishment candidate, backed by Mitch McConnell (with whom Trump is currently at war.) Trump loses points with the most hardcore elements of the Republican base by supporting Strange, and he’s now setting up a direct clash with Breitbart, which has been campaigning hard for Moore.”

The RealClearPolitics average shows Strange trailing Moore by 11 points.

Washington Post: “The state and local tax deduction, or SALT, has long been a target for tax-policy wonks who see it as an unwise federal subsidy that is mainly claimed by the wealthy. But politics have always intervened: Thanks to the opposition of lawmakers in high-tax states, the deduction has survived every effort to clear out loopholes, including the last federal tax overhaul of similar ambition in 1986.”

“Now, Republican leaders have made clear the SALT deduction is on the table, and it has shaken up a number of blue-state GOP legislators who are warning that it could derail the ambitious tax plan Trump is now pushing.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sunday said Donald Trump Jr. will publicly testify before the panel “this fall.”

“It will be this fall. I know that for sure. Things keep changing, not by design, but by just the press of other business on the committee,” Feinstein said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

At the dinner meeting last week between Trump, Schumer and Pelosi over DACA and other issues, Ashley Parker has this little tidbit:

“At one point, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asked, “What exactly does the president get out of this deal?” As Pelosi, the only woman at the table of 11, tried to make her point — that the president gets the cooperation of the Democrats, which he will likely need on a host of issues — the men in the room began talking over her and one another.

“Do the women get to talk around here?” Pelosi interjected, according to two people familiar with the exchange.  There was, at last, silence, and she was not interrupted again.”

Nancy Smash.

Casey Tolan of the Bay Area News Group outlines “Progressive Democrats’ counter-argument to Trump tax plan: a $1.4 trillion tax credit for the working class,” and explains: “As Congress starts to debate President Donald Trump’s plan to overhaul the tax code and cut corporate rates, a Silicon Valley Democrat is putting forward a radically different tax proposal. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Santa Clara, will introduce a bill Wednesday that would give low-income and working-class taxpayers a big tax credit — and have a massive price tag.  …The plan would drastically expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps people at the bottom end of the salary range. Low-income taxpayers without dependent children would see their credit rise from a maximum of $510 to $3,000, and families would see their maximum credit rise from $6,318 to $12,131, depending on their income and number of children. Economists say the increased credit would help compensate for the fact that working-class salaries have stagnated in recent decades even as the U.S. economy has continued to grow. While the proposal isn’t likely to gain traction in the Republican-dominated Congress, Khanna hopes it will become a Democratic rallying cry…“I think it’s going to be our party’s answer to Donald Trump on taxes,” Khanna said. “While he’s proposing tax cuts for the investor class, we’re proposing support for the working and middle class.”Khanna is introducing the bill alongside progressive Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who is widely seen as a potential 2020 presidential candidate.”

At Politico Edward-Isaac Dovere writes, “Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Gerstein Bocian Agne Strategies conducted online polling of 1,000 Democrats and 1,000 swing voters across 52 swing districts for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Their advice to candidates afterward: Drop the talk of free college. Instead, the firms urged Democrats to emphasize making college more affordable and reducing debt, as well as job skills training, according to an internal DCCC memo…“When Democrats go and talk to working-class voters, we think talking to them about how we can help their children go to college, they have a better life, is great,” said Ali Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC, which supports Democratic House candidates. “They are not interested. … It’s a problem when you have a growing bloc in the electorate think that college is not good, and they actually disdain folks that go to college.”

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

19 comments on “The Open Thread for September 18, 2017

  1. “they actually disdain folks that go to college”

    I think it’s a bigger problem than most people recognize. Millennials who went to college can’t find jobs. The working class can’t afford college. And the disadvantage are not prepared for college. Couple that with a pattern of safe space and appropriation nonsense and you can understand why college is losing it’s cachet, except for the wealthy who can afford to go because they don’t have to actually make a living. College has been trying hard to earn their reputation as the home for the elite.

    Maybe we need to rethink education and learning in this country to see if it can work for all its citizens.

    • No, sheesh. Way to work out your own elitist issues here.

      “They are not interested. … It’s a problem when you have a growing bloc in the electorate think that college is not good, and they actually disdain folks that go to college.”

      The payoff that used to be the promise for going to college is no longer a promise. College used to be about upward mobility and this is a signal that folks know that upward mobility is no longer at the end of fulfilling the usual prescription. I’m going to add on to that the fact that there are potentially well-paying jobs going to H1B visa holders, not American graduates. There’s a few things going on here — not the least of which is over-credentialing for some types of employment and not enough focus on getting young people into education paths where degreed people are most needed.

    • Given that I’ve just lived through the college thing (My son has graduated and my daughter is a junior) I can tell you that going to college isn’t losing its cachet. The majority of their High School classes planned on attending some form of college. And most are.

      I will say that a college degree doesn’t guarantee you a job anymore, so that’s changed.

      Another thing I’ve noticed… there seems to be an inordinate amount of business majors. I’m not sure what’s up with that or what sort of job is available with this degree. Can someone explain this?

      • colleges are still pretty safe spaces for rapists.

        Pandora, you mention the single biggest issue IMO.
        I think that the only “promise” of college is the debt. MAYBE you’ll get a job in the field you dedicated all that time in money to, that MIGHT pay you enough to keep up in said debt. I totally understand the choice to just enter the work force.
        Im all for taxpayer funded college (it isnt free, no one actually thinks it’s free, let’s please stop saying “free” so the trolls lose a talking point) But we also need to revisit trades. Stop stigmatizing people who work in shops or production as “couldn’t make it” in college. Those jobs are just as important and require high levels of skill.

        • and some of them pay really well. Most of the home construction companies out here in Arizona are always looking for workers.

      • I should add that while college has not lost its cachet, that is mostly among the middle class and upper middle class folks who are going to college to maintain their status. The slowdown in upward mobility is very real and the folks who see it clearly are many of the working class discussed here.

        • Agreed. I’m also seeing a lot of kids going to community college for the first two years and then transferring to a university. This seems so smart and cost effective.

          • As someone who teaches at a community college with direct transfer to ASU and Uof Arizona, I see a lot of students do the above. It’s smart, cheaper, and you’ll probably get a smaller class size….On occasion, I see the ASU student take my intro to computers class where I teach as it’s cheaper

            • I get there isn’t a one size fits all approach, but the community college path is working for a lot of students.

              My daughter had a scheduling problem with this fall semester (the university scheduled two mandatory courses in her major at the same time), rather than hoping they would fix the problem she took Ordinary Differential Equations at DelTech. The class was small and the cost was affordable. Our experience with DelTech was amazing.

        • I guess the question becomes, who’s responsibility is it to “rehab” the image of college?
          That so-called “disdain for college” or people who went there, is just one facet of the larger war on intellect that the right is waging.
          In order to discredit climate science (or any science that threatens their war on everything non male, white, and cis-het), they must discredit all science.. and education.. and intelligence as something ‘un american”… or if ya REALLY wanna get Breitbarty.. “gay”.

          I personally think the cost of higher education makes it impossible to convince the bulk of the people who feel they cant/shouldnt go. Pandora, you pointed out Community College.. which in some cases is a great alternative, but it still doesn’t guarantee a job… hell, it barely “strongly hints at” a job.
          I knew lots of people at DTCC that had to put classes on hold or drop out alltogether, not because they couldn’t afford tuition, but because they couldn’t afford NOT to work those hours. (the “just better yourself and you’ll get out of your minimum wage job” folks can shove that argument right up their asses)
          This problem is FAR too deep and multi-faceted for one think tank to change some wording around and fix.

    • “they actually disdain folks that go to college”

      Considering that our unprincipled, venal and mediocre(at best) presidents and presidential candidates are all products of the nations most prestigious universities, a “disdain for folks that go to college” is quite understandable.

  2. The Washington Monthly article is very good:
    When Klein heard that as being about white resentment politics, Clinton acknowledged that was part of his appeal, but reminded him that Trump also tapped into things like Islamophobia, homophobia and sexism. She said, “He hit every single area of resentment and grievance that people were feeling.”

    Which is exactly the place that the multiracial democracy coalition of Obama got broken.

  3. Not getting a job with your new degree is a decades old problem if your degree is in the humanities, when it gets scary is when your tech degree isn’t worth much. As for the Pro Ignorance People who disdain education they’ve always been with us as well, believe the media is doing what they always do and obsessing over their new story line and blowing it out of proportion. If you want to make money there is no alternative to education as the union factory jobs are long gone and Trump or not their not coming back.

    • Manufacturing jobs, sure… but the trades are desperate for employees. Welders, plumbers, carpenters, machinists… those are all skilled labor that pay well.
      The problem is, we save those job for, let’s be honest “dumb men who cant get a job in finance” or whatever. You cant outsource that work. More and more Americans dont know how to do ANYTHING technical or mechanical.

      • taking classes in machining and welding in addition to my “real” degree was the smartest thing i ever did. I currently dont use that “real” degree at all and rely entirely on my technical training… same goes for a plurality of the people I know my age. Universal access to higher education MUST include training for occupations that people actually have a prayer of getting in to.

      • This is where Delaware’s lamentable vo-tech schools come into play. They are not training people in the trades; instead they must compete with all schools for good scores on standardized tests. So instead of admitting people who plan to enter the trades, they scoop up the kids — white ones, mostly — who do well on tests. Many of these kids then go to college, defeating the whole purpose of vocational training.

        I’m not saying plumbers shouldn’t go to college. I am saying that a slot in a trade school — where per-student educational costs are 50% higher than traditional high school — shouldn’t go to a person who has no intention of using the training.

        Add to that the fact that the vo-tech system is almost as bad as DelTech as a resting place for political hacks and you have an obvious need to sweep the whole system into the dustbin.

        Other states manage vo-techs not at separate schools but in lieu of some of the academic coursework. There’s no reason not to do this in Delaware, as it would both improve vo-tech training and put political hacks out on the street.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: