The Open Thread for October 7, 2017

POLLING DEVASTATION FOR TRUMP.  Only 32% of Americans approve of Trump’s performance as President, his lowest rating yet.  67% disapprove, the highest number disapproving yet.  More numbers:

  • 64% say Trump does not understand Americans’ problems or needs not very well or not at all.
  • Only 26% view him as a strong leader.
  • Only 23% say he is honest.
  • Only 16% say he is level headed.
  • Only 67% of Republicans approve of Trump.
  • Only 28% of Independents approve of Trump.
  • 5% of Democrats approve of Trump.  Why so high?
  • 24% say things in the country are headed in the right direction.

TILLERSON WATCH. Mike Allen: “Trump advisers and allies are floating the idea of replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, age 53 — someone who’s already around the table in the Situation Room, and could make the switch without chaos.”

“We’re told that Trump is quite comfortable with Pompeo, asking his advice on topics from immigration to the inner workings of Congress. Pompeo personally delivers the President’s Daily Brief, making him one of the few people Trump spends a great deal of time with on a daily basis.”

“Sources tell us Trump recognizes that a Cabinet shuffle would bring bad press. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wants stability, and so is discouraging high-level departures before next year. And yet, insiders say Trump’s relationship with Tillerson is broken beyond repair.”

WaPo: “And as Tillerson has traveled the globe, Trump believes his top diplomat often seems more concerned with what the world thinks of the United States than with tending to the president’s personal image.”

POLLING NEWS. FiveThirtyEight: “Opposition to gun control laws is now a default position of the Republican Party, and guns as an issue has become one of the most polarized topics in modern American politics. More than that, it’s become a defining issue — which party people choose to identify with is inextricably intertwined with their relationship with guns and gun policy.”

“Just 22% of self-identified Democrats chose protecting gun ownership rights over limiting gun access, compared with the 76% of Republicans who did. This 54-point gap is about as wide as you’ll see on any issue.”

According to a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, just 32 percent approve of how Trump is handling disaster relief in the Puerto Rico, while 49 percent disapprove.

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll in Virginia finds Ralph Northam (D) leading Ed Gillespie (R) by double-digits, 53% to 40% among likely voters, with Libertarian Cliff Hyra at 4%.

Key findings: “Confederate monuments and illegal immigration have played prominently during the campaign, but voters say they care more about health care, the economy and education.”

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds Americans are increasingly confident in the news media and less so in President Trump’s administration after a tumultuous year in U.S. politics that tested the public’s trust in both institutions.  The poll found that the percentage of adults who said they had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the press rose to 48% in September from 39% last November. Earlier this year, Trump branded the entire industry as the “enemy of the American people.”

A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll finds that voters’ assessment of the Republican Party has plummeted to 62% unfavorable/23% favorable, significantly changed from the 55% unfavorable/32% favorable registered in a June poll.   Said pollster David Paleologos: “The Republican Party is in freefall. In March the GOP had a 48% unfavorable rating, in June the negative swelled to 55%. Today the GOP unfavorable is 62%. What’s next?”

Finally, a new survey of Americans’ views on their country’s role in the world shows they generally favor a more traditionally activist approach to foreign policy, including strong alliances, rather than the “America first” principles promoted by President Trump.  What’s also interesting from the survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is that on two of Trump’s core issues, Americans have moved away from the president’s views. For instance, for all of Trump’s rhetoric about bad trade deals killing American jobs, Americans are now far more likely than they were last year to see international trade as beneficial:


And on Immigration:


A PUERTO RICAN EXODUS TO FLORIDA.  New York Times: “Every day dozens of Puerto Ricans pour into the Orlando area, fleeing their homes and lives ravaged by Hurricane Maria. In the months to come, officials here said, that number could surge to more than 100,000. And those numbers could remake politics in Florida, a state where the last two presidential and governor’s races were decided by roughly one percentage point or less.”

“There are more than a million Puerto Ricans in Florida, a number that has doubled since 2001, driven largely until now by a faltering economy. But their political powers have evolved slowly in this state, and the wave of potential voters from the island could quickly change that calculus.”

APPRENTICE TO RACISM. Bill Pruitt, a former producer on “The Apprentice,” said President Trump made “unfathomably despicable” racist comments while on the set of the show, Newsweek reports.  Said Pruitt: “We recorded constantly. We went into the boardroom to set up discussions about how and who should get fired without talking and saying directly who got fired, so there was a big, long exchange, all of which was recorded. Out of those exchanges came some really unfathomably despicable words said by this guy who is a TV star. I heard it. I watched it, and those things are somewhere in some warehouse.”

GOP CIVIL WAR, AIDED BY DEMOCRATS.  Former congressman and convicted felon Michael Grimm (R-NY) returned to Washington in a bid to win support for his comeback congressional bid, Politico reports.  “Among the people whose support Grimm has secured is former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. A person close to Bannon said the two met for about 30 minutes, and that the former White House aide had decided to back Grimm.”

Politico: “With Republican Senate primaries from West Virginia to Montana promising to pit Trump-inspired insurgents against more mainstream candidates, Democrats are considering ways to step in and wreak some havoc. The idea: Elevate the GOP’s most extreme option in each race, easing Democrats’ path to victory in a range of states tilted against them.”

“At its most aggressive, the tactic could be a sequel to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s 2012 campaign against then-GOP Rep. Akin in Missouri. She actively intevened in the Republican primary with ads designed to boost the conservative Akin to the front of the pack. Once he became the nominee, a series of gaffes — led by his ‘legitimate rape’ comment — and hard-line positions unraveled his campaign.”

CORRUPTION CONTINUES.  “Energy Secretary Rick Perry took a chartered jet to Ohio last week, according to an airport management company, the day before fellow Cabinet member Tom Price resigned over his use of private charter flights for government business,” Reuters reports.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “has flown on military aircraft seven times since March at a cost of more than $800,000, including a $15,000 round-trip flight to New York to meet with President Trump at Trump Tower,” the New York Times reports.

TRUMP SABOTAGE OF THE ACA.  Caitlin Owens: “For years, Democrats have been on the receiving end of political attacks about rising Affordable Care Act premiums. But the roles are about to be reversed — and it’s not clear whether Republicans will be able to avoid the blame.”

“Not only has the GOP failed to fulfill a key campaign promise, but it’s also going to get slammed for allowing things to get worse for voters.”  Said economist Doug Holtz-Eakin: “As of now, they own the whole issue.”

“Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are ready to roll out a new campaign encouraging people to buy insurance — an effort they hope will make up for at least some of the cuts the Trump administration has made to enrollment outreach,” Axios reports.

“The ACA only works if people sign up, and the Trump administration has canceled or rolled back almost every effort to get people enrolled. Outside groups can’t fill that void entirely, but they’re hoping to at least keep enrollment stable.”

THE DEVIL MAY CARE  CAUCUS.  Politico: “There’s a growing faction inside the Senate Republican Conference, and it looks like bad news for Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump: The devil-may-care caucus.”  “Unbeholden to Republican orthodoxy and freed from the burdens of imminent reelection campaigns, more GOP senators are flexing their independence in the aftermath of the party’s failed effort to repeal Obamacare.”

Charlie Cook: “So why are [Republicans] so upbeat [about passing tax reform]? My theory is that advocates see failure as unfathomable. On Wall Street and in corporate headquarters around the country, proponents have talked themselves (or their clients) into believing that tax reform is possible even though Congress has not passed a significant piece of legislation this year.”

“The truth is that reforming, streamlining, or simplifying the tax code is incredibly difficult under the best of circumstances, and circumstances today are worse than usual. Even passing a big tax cut, which sounds easy (who turns down free candy?), is problematic because it either drives up the deficit or shifts the tax burden to other payers.”

“Democrats are doubling down on their campaign trying to turn House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) into political villain in advance of next year’s midterm election, using themes that could hurt his image with staunch conservatives in addition to liberal activists,” the Washington Post reports.

“House Majority PAC, a super PAC affiliated with the leadership team of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), is launching the new round of digital ads throughout the country highlighting the health-care fight. Additionally, the group is trying to brand Ryan with an elitist tag, through a new website that it is launching called ‘Fancy Paul Ryan.’”

“Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence operative who authored a 35-page dossier alleging that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, has been in talks with the Senate Intelligence Committee about speaking to its leaders,” three sources familiar with the situation told NBC News.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) told Vice that the participants in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August may have been organized by an “Obama sympathizer” and funded by George Soros. Soros.”

Said Gosar: “You know, you know George Soros is one of those people that actually helps back these individuals. Who is he? I think he’s from Hungary. I think he was Jewish. And I think he turned in his own people to the Nazis. Better be careful where we go with those.”

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

7 comments on “The Open Thread for October 7, 2017

  1. I find the Puerto Rican exodus to Florida damn near exciting, it may well turn this vaguely purple state blue or nearly so. Notice that Sessions is now proclaiming the Hobby Lobby Decision shall rule all other state and local anti discrimination laws, and that includes racial discrimination. Bang and straight into court, the real goal is to rally the racists and haters like usual. Is Tillerson toast? Doubt if he cares, Trumps sheds personal at a rapid rate anyway with many looking for the exit. Also easy to paint Paul Ryan as an extremist and a bit of an arrogant monster, if you have your doubts read the proposed budget from the house, it’s vintage Ryan “roadmap” budget rewritten for the tenth time.

    • I hope the Puerto Ricans arriving in Florida have ID. It looks like the only criteria to register is “residence,” but I can’t find any time requirements.

      This is info from the registration form — actually less onerous, with more options, than I expected:
      Identification (ID) Requirements:
      New applicants must provide a current and valid Florida driver’s license number (FL DL#) or Florida identification card number (FL ID#). If you do not have a FL DL# or FL ID#, then you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number (SSN). If you do not have any of these numbers, check “None.” If you leave the field and box blank, your new registration may be denied. See section 97.053(6), Fla.Stat .
      Special ID requirements:
      If you are registering by mail, have never voted in Florida, and have never been issued one of the ID numbers above, include one of the following with your application, or at a later time before you vote:
      1) A copy of an ID that shows your name and photo (acceptable IDs–U.S. Passport, debit or credit card, military ID, student ID, retirement center ID, neighborhood association ID, or public assistance ID);
      2) A copy of an ID that shows your name and current residence address (acceptable documents–utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document)
      The special ID is not required if you are 65 or older, have a temporary or permanent physical disability, are a member of the active uniformed services or merchant marine who is absent from the county for active duty, or a spouse or dependent thereof, or are currently living outside the U.S. but otherwise eligible to vote in Florida.

      • I’m pretty sure you have to get the ID after you move to Florida, not before. So yeah, like anybody else, they’ll have to register before they vote. Duh.

  2. cassandram

    The other reason that the GOP can feel pretty god about “tax reform” is that they are likely confident they can peel off enough D votes to make it happen. Corker is already making noises that he is not a fan of the deficit busting aspects of this deal. I wonder if Schumer can keep his caucus together.

  3. cassandram

    Yes, as a matter of fact, it *is* too early. But I need something to look forward to.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: