Open Thread for November 1, 2017

“The release of the Republican tax bill is being delayed until Thursday,” Axios reports.

“The delay of the scheduled release, by the House Ways and Means Committee, reveals the difficulties the team has had in resolving how to raise enough money to pay for the massive corporate tax cuts.”

“House Republicans are racing to finalize their tax reform proposal before its much-anticipated rollout Wednesday morning. But so many key details have yet to be finalized that some congressional sources worry the unveiling may have to be postponed,” Politico reports.

“House Ways and Means Committee members spent all Tuesday holed up in conference rooms trying to iron out last-minute disagreements. Senior committee staff worked through the night Monday and were expected to do the same on Tuesday.”


Washington Post: “Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than what the company previously disclosed about the reach of the disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election.”

“Previously, Facebook had focused its disclosures on Russian ads. The company has said that 470 accounts and pages run by a Russian troll farm had purchased roughly 3,000 ads, which the company said reached an estimated 10 million users. But the troll farm, known as the Internet Research Agency, also published free content. Researchers estimated that the spread of free content was far greater than that of ads and that Facebook has been under pressure to share more about those posts.”



New York Times: “The guilty plea of a 30-year-old campaign aide — so green that he listed Model United Nations in his qualifications — shifted the narrative on Monday of the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia: Court documents revealed that Russian officials alerted the campaign, through an intermediary in April 2016, that they possessed thousands of Democratic emails and other “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.”

“That was two months before the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee was publicly revealed and the stolen emails began to appear online. The new court filings provided the first clear evidence that Trump campaign aides had early knowledge that Russia had stolen confidential documents on Mrs. Clinton and the committee, a tempting trove in a close presidential contest.”


Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is pushing President Trump “to take action against Mueller, urging him in particular to defund the investigation… a move that would defang Mueller without the president formally firing him,” Politico reports.

Playbook: “There’s next to no way this will happen. Bannon can pressure Trump until he’s blue in the face. It is much more likely Congress will shield Mueller from being fired than strip funding from his effort.”



White House chief of staff John Kelly said that the Civil War was “caused by a lack of an ability compromise” and that Confederate general Robert E. Lee was “an honorable man,” Politico reports.

Said Kelly: “I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state which in 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War. And men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had to make their stand.”


“Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, said he might have exchanged emails about Russia with a fellow adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president’s campaign and possible collusion with the Russian government,” Politico reports.

“As he has in the past, Page repeatedly declined to provide direct answer to questions about his role on Trump’s campaign.”


In his New York Times op-ed, “The Silence of the Democrats.” Michael Tomasky, editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and columnist for The Daily Beast, writes “The Democrats are undergoing a historic transformation, from being the party that embraced neoliberalism in the early 1990s to one that is rejecting that centrist posture and moving left. There’s plenty about this to cheer — the neoliberal Democratic Party didn’t do nearly enough to try to arrest growing income inequality, among other shortcomings…There will be necessary internecine fights, and they boil down to loyalty tests on particular positions demanded by the vanguard…Forget about who’s right and wrong in these debates. Time will sort that out. My point is that they tend to consume a party experiencing a shift. The Democratic Party, because it is an amalgam of interest groups in a way the Republican Party is not, has always had a tendency to elevate the candidate who can check the most boxes…When the party’s leaders tussle over this or that policy, they also need to take a step back, to see the direction the country — the West itself — is heading, and take a stand on it.”


John Stoehr says Mueller will not save us from Trump: “I have a sense that liberals—some, anyway—hope the investigation by Special Counselor Robert Mueller is going to save us from President Donald Trump. […]  I will assume that much remains to be revealed, but let’s suppose for a minute that this is correct: that Trump is clean while Manafort and a galaxy of aides and advisers are (or were) in cahoots with Russia. That’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Donald Trump is a lecher of a businessman, has been all his life, and he does not allow morality to encumber his greed. That such a person could find himself surrounded by con men, swindlers and bona fide traitors does not, to me, seem at all implausible. Indeed, it seems dead-on.

So let’s suppose that the president is right: there was no collusion, at least far as he was aware, and in the end, once Mueller’s investigation has concluded, and all the right people have been charged and convicted, it may well be that this president remains untouched.

If that’s the case, and that’s a big if, I’m sure a lot of people, especially liberals, would rend their clothes and gnash their teeth. They would bewail the injustice of it all, seek out corruption, maybe even indulge in a little Deep State conspiracy theory to explain why a superlative prosecutor failed to indict the worst of them all.

While I don’t mind using hard rhetoric to define the boundaries of political debate, liberals should not—in this thought experiment of mine—bewail injustice for its own sake. They should use injustice as a tool of politics. And they should see what’s before them: a president who has surrounded himself, wittingly or not, with con men, swindlers and bona fide traitors.”



Olivia Nuzzi says the Trumpists are rattled: ““Any spin coming from the White House should be discounted,” a former adviser to Trump told me. “This is very, very bad.”  […]

“Trump’s at 33 today in Gallup,” the former adviser said, referring to the president’s approval rating. “He’s gonna be in the twenties soon.” From there, the former adviser began to list a spiraling series of events: “If they don’t pass tax reform, if the indictments keep coming, they get killed in the midterms, or even if they don’t get killed in the midterms? I don’t know. I don’t know.” They paused. “I think we could be looking at a Nixon situation.”



Eric Levitz says the Dems should declare victory in the Russia investigation: “Imagine if Hillary Clinton had campaigned for the presidency on a promise to make superlative hiring decisions – and then, the FBI indicted two of the highest ranking members of her campaign for being undisclosed agents of a hostile foreign regime. Now, imagine that this happened on the same daythat a former Clinton campaign adviser confessed that he had tried to score a meeting with the Russian government last year, in hopes of securing stolen copies of Trump’s tax returns. Finally, imagine that, on Earth 2, John Podesta and Robby Mook’s secret work for the Yanukovych regime – and Philippe Reines’s correspondence with “Putin’s niece” – both came to light months after the Hillary Clinton administration’s first National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, admitted that she had been on the payroll of Turkey’s Islamist government throughout the 2016 campaign.

How would congressional Republicans respond to such a development? Would they reiterate their desire for an independent investigation to explore whether president Clinton had personally colluded with Russian actors? Or would they scream at the top of their lungs that anyone who’d hired undisclosed foreign agents to top positions in her campaign and administration was too incompetent and/or unAmerican to serve as president of the United States?

What if president Hillary had also fired James Comey after he’d refused to honor her request to drop the FBI’s investigation in Susan Rice?

Without question, the GOP would take door No.2. If they had possession of undisputed facts this damning, there’s no way congressional Republicans would encourage the public to focus on an elusive, hypothetical smoking gun connecting Putin and Clinton. That would be doing the Democrats a favor by helping them move the goalposts of what constitutes a ruinous scandal for the Clinton White House all the way back to Siberia.
And yet, at various points Monday, the Democratic leadership did the Trump administration that kindness.”



New York Magazine: “Kasich 2020 is not just a media proposition. Kasich is a sitting governor exploring a run against a president of his own party — a starkly unusual circumstance. He retains a skeletal campaign staff, and they are helping him to think through his options: Should he run as a Republican in the primaries or as an Independent in the general election?”

“A primary run is plausible, strategists say, if Trump’s approval ratings among Republicans fall below the high 70s, where they’ve been, and Democrats prevail during the midterms, signaling a loosening of the stranglehold of the far-right base on the party. A third-party run is optimal if the major-party candidates represent ideological extremes. Kasich has not declared he’s running, and everyone I spoke to preempted their hypotheticals with caveats. In the Trump era, two years is an eternity…. But among the party’s intelligentsia, all agree there is a common wish that the White House be occupied by a different Republican.”

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

39 comments on “Open Thread for November 1, 2017

  1. Kelly shows his true colors (and limited intellect) with this:

    White House chief of staff John Kelly said that the Civil War was “caused by a lack of an ability compromise” and that Confederate general Robert E. Lee was “an honorable man,” Politico reports.

    Said Kelly: “I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state which in 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War. And men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had to make their stand.”

    Just like Trump referring to Nazis as good people.

    Fortunately, Ta-Nehisi Coates sets the historical record straight.

    • Sorry, I’ll take Kelly’s intellect and historical understanding over a second rate victimhood hack like Ta-Nehisi Coates.

      • DCDelaware

        I’m sure you’ll take Drumpf’s honesty too, troll. ‘nough said.

      • Then go ahead and explain Kelly’s claims. Explain “lack of compromise” – what sort of compromise? Use facts, please.

        • The Compromise of 1850 managed to hold the Union together for a decade. However it was never really accepted by Southern (or Northern for that matter) radicals.

          This refusal to accept compromise led directly to the effective repeal of the Missouri Compromise via Stephen Douglas’ Kansas-Nebraska act.

          The Democrat/Whig split caused by this Act led directly to the formation of the Republican party, the election of Lincoln, and the Civil War.

          Condensed for clarity.

          • cassandram

            More like condensed because you are talking out of your ass again. The Compromise of 1850 while making the slave trade (but not slavery) illegal in DC, doubled down on the Fugitive Slave act. Which means that this “compromise” was the compromise of white people looking maintain their crimes against black people while cleaning up a bunch of territorial issues.

            • So you and Ta-Nehisi ride the same victimhood train over events of a century and a half ago. Good to know.

            • “We need to move forward together, instead of letting the divisions of the past continue to force us apart.”

              Agree with that part of Scott’s statement. Would put Coates out of business though, what would he write about then?

          • How does one compromise on owning people? Only half the people are owned? Only certain states can own people?

            Kelly’s and xyz’s statements are appalling. There is no compromise when it comes to slavery.

            • Be an adult for once. There is compromise over everything.

              • You keep talking, but you’re not saying anything. However, please explain what a compromise over slavery looks like.

                • Any basic US history text will show you what a compromise over slavery looks like. Educate yourself a bit and stop being so pedantic. You sound like you are about 12.

            • I didn’t make the compromises. I am just giving you historical facts.

              I agree there is no compromise when it comes to slavery.

              • cassandram

                You are absolutely avoiding describing what a compromise over slavery looks like. Because at its root, you want to say that chattel slavery was really AOK and as long as it is only black people that had to pay the price for that compromise, you are prepared to call that an “adult” compromise. If you need to get your white supremacy on just do it. General Kelly did and that seems to be the signature move for you GRIFTUS supporters.

                • Keep singing that victimhood song if it makes you feel better.

                  And feel free to point out wherever I said that “chattel slavery” was OK.

                  You are arguing like a child.

                  • cassandram

                    So where is the compromise that eliminates slavery? You can’t describe one, because the South still wouldn’t have given it up. All you are doing is revisionist history. The usual white supremacist move.

                    This entire argument goes away if you can articulate a compromise that eliminates chattel slavery. Which you cannot do.

                  • and you’re arguing like a Bannonite. Make a dumb statement, dont back it up, attack when called on your BS.

                    • Cassandra, the compromise to slavery was Jim Crowe. Northerns never had the stomach (were also very racist) to sufficiently punish the south over the war. XYZ and his leader, President Kelly are both wrong. Slavery persisted through Jim Crowe. It persists today in he form of our “justice system”. If these fascists want to fight another civil war over maintaining their superiority, I think they wont be let off so easy this time.

                  • What do you consider victimhood? Or is that the new conservative talking point word?

                    You keep wanting to separate slavery from the civil war and pretend there was a compromise to be had. Up thread you said in reference to Tim Scott’s statement:

                    “We need to move forward together, instead of letting the divisions of the past continue to force us apart.” Agree with that part of Scott’s statement.

                    … which implies you do not agree with this part of his comment: “There was no compromise to make – only a choice between continuing slavery and ending it.”

                    Do you even know what you’re arguing for?

                    • Victimhood is continuing to argue about slavery over 150 years after the last slave was set free. Victimhood is an excuse for everything. Victimhood is about blaming everyone but yourself.

            • Just get over it!! Markell apoligized, drop it.

              • cassandram

                Funny how white supremacy works, right? People talking about the long term effects of slavery and the black codes are somehow victims. Because people knowing about how white supremacy works is Not Allowed according to this Fox Noise crowd.

                He’ll be insisting we scream Sieg Heil every time he posts next.

      • Please elucidate your rating system for “victimhood hacks.”

        • Second rate describes his writing and historical scholarship. He is a top rated victimhood hack.

          • Well there you go then. When you’re flustered you can’t even keep your hack rating system straight.

            Unfortunately for you, Mr. Coates offers deep support for his views. You, not so much, other than calling for everyone to join in supporting a system a system that benefits whites more than blacks.

            I wonder if you can see why that deal doesn’t look so hot from the other side of the table.

          • As for your assessment of Mr. Coates, the MacArthur Foundation people disagree with you assessment, and while many dispute his conclusions, I find nothing from a quick scan of the Google machine that takes any issue with his scholarship. Indeed, most the “scholarship” — if you mean historical documents — that he cites are widely available, no higher education needed.

            The lie that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery is revealed by a simple reading of seceding states’ Constitutions. And so forth. I won’t review Coates’ entire history here — it’s widely available — but you don’t have a reasoned argument to fall back on here.

            You just disagree with him. He knows more than you. Case closed.

            • I’m thinking xyz doesn’t believe the Civil War was about slavery. If you start from there then everything he’s written becomes clearer.

              • Never argued the Civil War was about slavery. But it is possible for great societal change to happen without fighting a war. The South failed to accept compromise and the war was a direct result.

                • cassandram

                  Well, no. There was no compromise available. Which is why you can’t articulate one. Certainly no compromise that would eliminate chattel slavery which is STILL the point.

                  • The problem here is the conservative definition of “compromise.” It means “my way or the highway,” which was the result of every “compromise” the South asked for and received until 1858.

                    It still means the same thing today. That’s why they say Democrats and Obama “wouldn’t compromise” on Obamacare, when every change from its introduction through its passage was toward the conservative side.

                • “great societal change” didnt even happen WITH the civil war. Slavery just got a new name. Ever single slave owner should have been executed and their assets divided among their victims. You, and people like you, are cancer.

                  • OK then. Thanks for the contribution. Now back to your little grad school class to read some more Marx and Engels.

                    • haha. THAT is your come back? Imply that I am in grad school? (might as well just yell “nnneeerrrrd”)
                      To be honest, I read that junk back in middle school, ya friggin philistine.
                      Are you ever going to tell us what part of slavery yo would have kept in order to avoid the civil war? (shhh, no one tell him that the South started the war)

                    • @Ben: They use “Marx” like some kind of conjuring spell. All conservative thought is expressed in language but might be better suited to pictographs, as the ideas behind the thoughts are usually no more than signifiers of “good” and “evil.”

                      That’s why they know the name “George Soros” without knowing anything about him. Same with Saul Alinsky and a bunch of others (Hillary, Nancy Pelosi, etc.) We all know the game. We all know it reveals these people as shallow thinkers prone to following any crowd that tells them their ignorant prejudices are actually signs of intelligence.

                      Even if you explained this to them, they’re too dumb to understand it. If they understood nuance, they wouldn’t be conservatives in the first place.

  2. XYZ’s resort to the ad hominem tells all.

  3. “To get over the past, you first have to accept that the past is over. No matter how many times you revisit it, analyze it, regret it, or sweat it…it’s over. It can hurt you no more.”
    ― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

  4. If I wanted to read the vapid nonsense emanating from unserious people with a Twitter following I’d do it myself, thanks all the same. I have no idea what she’s talking about, but it’s stupid advice from you, a stupid person.

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