Delaware

The Open Thread for October 21, 2017

The White House on Friday stood behind its chief of staff, despite video showing definitively that he lied when he attacked a Democratic congresswoman on Thursday.  Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a journalist who asked about errors chief of staff John Kelly made Thursday that it would be “highly inappropriate” to “get into a debate with a four-star Marine general.”  Ah, fascism.  The last refuge of a lying Trumpian General.   

Though John Kelly originally attacked Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) on Thursday for bragging about securing funding for an FBI building at a dedication ceremony in 2015, video published by the Sun Sentinel Friday of that 2015 event shows that Wilson did no such thing. As video published Friday by the Sun Sentinel showed, the congresswoman, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), never claimed to have secured funding for the building. She did mention during her speech that she had led a congressional effort to name the building after two fallen FBI officials.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was asked whether he agreed with the fascist opinion that it was highly inappropriate to get in a debate with a four-star general.  “No, not in America,” Graham said.

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President Trump “called three Republican senators this week and expressed support for their 2018 re-election bids, aligning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the senator’s intra-party feud with Steve Bannon,” Politico reports.

“Trump dialed GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Roger Wicker of Mississippi … He promised to help the three senators against any insurgent challengers … and said he hoped they would be reelected. The calls are expected to eventually be followed by formal endorsements.”

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Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer is funding a television and social media ad campaign to “demand that elected officials take a stand” on impeaching President Trump.

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President Trump “has personally interviewed at least two potential candidates for U.S. attorney positions in New York, according to two sources familiar with the matter — a move that critics say raises questions about whether they can be sufficiently independent from the president,” Politico reports.

Ed Kilgore on why its inappropriate and unethical: “Donald Trump is taking an unusual, and some would say inappropriate, direct interest in certain candidates for certain U.S. attorney positions, including two in New York and one in Washington. In all three cases, he has personally interviewed prospective chief federal prosecutors who could be dealing with cases involving Trump properties or allegations of misdeeds by the 2016 Trump campaign. And in two cases, Trump has connections with the interviewees or their employers.”

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Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “put the finishing touches on a bicameral budget deal allowing Congress to swiftly move to tax reform, multiple sources in both chambers said. The Senate approved the budget 51-49 Thursday night, clearing the way to cut as much as three weeks out of the process,” Politico reports.

“GOP leaders, as well as House Budget Chairman Diane Black and Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi, have been ironing out their difference and crafted a Senate amendment full of House-requested tweaks. Because the Senate adopt the amendment during its marathon ‘vote-a-rama’ Thursday, the House could clear the fiscal blueprint as soon as next week.”  Said one House GOP aide: “Members know how high of a priority tax reform is, and so that’s how it will be sold.”

New York Times: “The swift pace to complete, release and quickly vote on a tax cut is aimed at leaving little time for the type of dissent that has scuttled previous tax proposals.” “The speed is striking — and strategic — for tax legislation that lobbyists believe could span 1,000 pages. Republicans hope the breakneck pace will help hold their narrow Senate majority together against what will almost certainly be a deluge of lobbying and Democratic criticism.”

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Gallup finds the percentage of U.S. adults lacking health insurance rose in the third quarter of 2017 to 12.3%, up 0.6 percentage points from the previous quarter and 1.4 points since the end of 2016.

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) unleashed some of his strongest criticism of President Trump, saying the exchange the commander-in-chief had with the family of a fallen soldier and the follow-up “was incredibly disgraceful and discouraging and depressing,” the Boston Globe reports.

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“A federal judge shot down former sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bid to sweep his criminal record clean,” the Washington Post reports.  “In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said the pardon only freed Arpaio from possible punishment. In a four-page order offering a check on the president’s executive power, Bolton wrote that a pardon could not erase the facts of the case.”

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President Trump “overrode his own advisers when he promised to deliver an emergency declaration next week to combat the nation’s worsening opioid crisis,” Politico reports.

“Blindsided officials are now scrambling to develop such a plan, but it is unclear when it will be announced, how or if it will be done, and whether the administration has the permanent leadership to execute it.”

“Trump’s off-script statement stunned top agency officials, who said there is no consensus on how to implement an emergency declaration for the drug epidemic.”

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Georgia state Rep. Betty Price (R), the wife of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asked in a hearing this week “what are we legally able to do” to limit the spread of HIV throughout the state, Statreports.

Said Price: “I don’t want to say the quarantine word — but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. … Are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

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“The California Republican Party’s decision to invite right-wing provocateur and former presidential advisor Stephen Bannon to address its convention Friday created an unsettled concoction of excitement, dread and rubbernecking curiosity for GOP loyalists in the state,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Bannon will appear before a California GOP desperate to reverse its deteriorating influence in a state where it has been losing members and where Republican victories in statewide political races have been nonexistent for a decade. His admirers hope his speech will invigorate the GOP base and lure Trump supporters outside of the party into its fold. But Republican critics worry he’ll undercut efforts to rekindle the party in a state where Trump and his policies remain widely unpopular.”

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“If President Trump prevails in shutting down a major Obamacare health insurance subsidy, it would have the unintended consequence of making free basic coverage available to more people, and making upper-tier plans more affordable,” the AP reports.

“The unexpected assessment comes from consultants, policy experts, and state officials, who are trying to discern the potential fallout from a Washington health care debate that’s becoming even more complicated and volatile.”

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

6 comments on “The Open Thread for October 21, 2017

  1. If your on Facebook a lot it’s hard not to notice that trolls, bots and fake news are rampant and that the company has little or no control over them. And if you’ve ever been to “Facebook Jail” you’ll notice that most of the major political sites require a Facebook account to comment. The company now acts like their the victim, nope!, their the people that are asleep at the switch. The Republicans and “Stockholm Syndrome”, this one was easy to predict. If their not marching in lock step lately they can at least worship their new found lord and master, and as we all know endless repetition is what they do best. And how ’bout that “tax reform”? I think everybody knew that at some point the Republicans would say to hell with the deficit ( going on 40 years now) and just give the rich another big pay day via reconciliation. Notice this time they put the attacks on Medicare and Medicaid right up front. The Dems should all sign a pledge to erase everything Trump has done when they take power again. Per Delaware wit and wisdom “what goes around comes around”.

    • cassandram

      The most heartbreaking thing about working for a Dem majority again is that they’ll never reinstate what was lost at the pace that these things got cut. We’ll be treating to a parade of fingers in the wind and plenty of calls for working together before they’ll get their butts in gear.

  2. The Georgia rep is an MD, too. Unbelievable.

  3. cassandram

    The obsession for Clinton on the right is still an obsession for some on the far left too. But misogyny needs to do what misogyny needs to do.

    • Don’t rule out a return to Hilary’s Emails!!!, especially when they don’t have an answer to a tough question.

  4. “Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer is funding a television and social media ad campaign to “demand that elected officials take a stand” on impeaching President Trump.”

    He’s as limp as a Democratic office-holder.

    When Republicans do this, they go directly after their targets. They don’t call for deflected action — “make the people you voted for do what you elected them to.” And people wonder why Democrats lose?

    Take those gazillions, Tom, and mount an ad campaign that goes directly to the people and says the obvious — the Republicans are giving you pennies so you won’t notice they’re giving billionaires millions. Use the money to demonize these people, just as they use theirs to demonize us.

    The battlefield here is not the head, or even the heart. It’s the gut, and until we start punching Republicans in theirs, We. Will. Lose.

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