Delaware

The Open Thread for November 15, 2017

BuzzFeed News: “On Aug. 3 of last year, just as the U.S. presidential election was entering its final, heated phase, the Russian foreign ministry sent nearly $30,000 to its embassy in Washington. The wire transfer, which came from a Kremlin-backed Russian bank, landed in one of the embassy’s Citibank accounts and contained a remarkable memo line: ‘to finance election campaign of 2016.’”

“That wire transfer is one of more than 60 now being scrutinized by the FBI and other federal agencies investigating Russian involvement in the U.S. election.”

You know, I don’t think anyone thought that proving collusion and Trump’s treason would actually be this easy.

First Read: “Did the Russian government use WikiLeaks to disseminate the hacked DNC and Podesta emails? If the answer is yes – and the U.S. intelligence community say it is…  then Trump Jr.’s correspondence with the organization appears to be one degree of separation from Russia.”   “Remember, the U.S. intel community said Russia intended to discredit the election results if Clinton had won – exactly what WikiLeaks was instructing Trump Jr to do.”

“Also remember that Trump mentioned ‘WikiLeaks’ 145 times during the final month of the 2016 campaign.”

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions “said that he has ‘always told the truth’ in describing his knowledge of Trump campaign contacts with Russians — though he acknowledged he now recalls an interaction with a lower-level Trump adviser who has said he told Sessions about contacts who could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladi­mir Putin,” the Washington Post reports.

When asked previously about whether he believed Trump surrogates had communications with the Russians, Sessions said: “I did not, and I’m not aware of anyone else that did, and I don’t believe it happened.”

“Now, Sessions said he recalled a March 2016 meeting with Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos, in pleading guilty to lying to FBI agents, has admitted he told Trump and a group of other campaign officials, including Sessions, that he had contacts who could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin.”

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Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones (D) is running a television ad about the allegations swirling around challenger Roy Moore (R).  The ad uses Republican voters to explain why they can’t vote with their party in next month’s election: “You read the story and it just shakes you. Just awful.”

David Weigel: “At no point does the ad get into the particulars of the scandal, which have included graphic descriptions of a 32-year old Moore, at the start of a long legal career in Alabama, initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old and dating other teens. It’s a more careful approach than the one Democrats used in 2015, the last time the party won an upset victory in the Deep South, when now-Gov. Jon Bel Edwards loudly remindedvoters of his opponent’s prostitution scandal.”

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Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that Roy Moore (R) should drop out of the Alabama Senate race, CBS News reports.  Said Ryan: “He should step aside,” because the sexual misconduct allegations against him “are credible.”

“The Republican National Committee is withdrawing its support for besieged Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, leaving him increasingly isolated as he confronts charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers,” Politico reports.

“Even before allegations surfaced against Moore, the committee believed he was in trouble. Internal RNC polling conducted around a week ago showed him leading his Democratic opponent by just two percentage points.”

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“Senate Republican leaders have decided to include a major change to their fast-moving tax cut bill that would repeal a key plank of the Affordable Care Act, trying to accomplish two of their top domestic priorities in a single piece of legislation,” the Washington Postreports.

“Republicans had so far resisted making the change, worried that injecting health care politics into the process could imperil the tax bill, but many of their members have supported the idea and they appear on the verge of including it.”

New York Times: “Repealing the so-called individual mandate, as President Trump had urged, would help Republicans with the difficult math problem they face in refining their tax plan. But it also risks reigniting the contentious debate over health care that Republicans found themselves mired in for much of the year.”

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A book is coming in January: Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.  It promises to be one of those tell all books like what Bob Woodward used to write, where the author has unbelievable access and sources.

Mike Allen: “My conversations with the West Wing show there’s already a frenzy inside to figure out who told Wolff what. Wolff tells me key players have been barraging him with calls, trying to figure out what his sources said about them: ‘It’s the fundamental dynamic of this White House — people divided against each other.’”

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Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson: “Much of the debate over the Republican House and Senate tax plans has centered on how they will shift income toward the affluent. But there is a second kind of redistribution in the plans — from Democratic blue states to Republican red states.”

“Call it the Republican two-step: redistribute upward, then sideways. The biggest beneficiaries are corporations and the rich regardless of where they are. But under the Republican plans, half of these big cuts have to be paid for in the first 10 years (the other half will be added to the national debt, increasing it by $1.5 trillion). And these ‘pay-fors,’ as they’re called, are predominantly aimed at blue states.”

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Just how crazy do you have to be to have Jeff Fucking Sessions say you have gone too far?   Facts, Mr. Jordan.  You need a factual basis.  Not Brietbart lies.

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George Will writes about how the Republican base won’t abandon Moore:

“Absentee ballots are already being cast. Assuming that the Republican governor does not shred state law by preventing the election from occurring Dec. 12, Republicans’ Senate majority might soon be gone. It has been 21 years since a Democratic Senate candidate won even 40 percent of Alabama’s vote. It has, however, been even longer — not since the George Wallace era — that the state’s identity has been hostage to a politician who assumes that Alabamians are eager to live down to hostile caricatures of them.

Nothing about Moore’s political, financial or glandular history will shake his base, unless the credible accusations of serial pursuit of underage girls are suddenly overshadowed by something his voters consider serious, such as taking sides in the Alabama-Auburn game. Jones’s hopes rest with traditional white Democrats (scarce), Republicans capable of chagrin (scarcer) and African Americans.”

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A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Trump’s approval rate at 35% to 58%, near his record low.  Also interesting: Just 40% of voters say Trump is fit to serve as president, while 57% say he is not fit.  By a 51% to 38% margin, Americans would like to see Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in 2018. By a 52% to 39% margin, they would like to see Democrats win control of the Senate.

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“Since he assumed office, Donald Trump has sent 480 nominations to the U.S. Senate for positions in the judicial branch and executive branches. Of those, the Daily Beast found, 387 were men—constituting just over 80 of all of Trump’s nominees.”

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“A decades-old presidential authority to use nuclear weapons is suddenly coming into question as US allies and some lawmakers from both parties want the Trump administration to assure them that President Donald Trump cannot rashly launch a nuclear strike,” CNN reports.

“The potential that Trump could use existing law to authorize the deployment of a nuclear weapon on his own is becoming the subject of frequent conversation — and bipartisan anxiety — on Capitol Hill. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker will hold a hearing Tuesday on the authority of the President to maintain sole authority to launch nuclear weapons.”

“A NATO partner country raised concerns about the President’s command of the US launch system.”

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

1 comment on “The Open Thread for November 15, 2017

  1. I would like to give a random shout out to students on UD’s campus.
    There was a “preacher” and his “family” on the green today with Westboro style signs. Your typical misogynist and homophobic screed.
    He was clearly trying to incite violence against his crew (which consisted of young children straped with “whores to hell” signs). and they were BRAVELY behind fences and there were about 12 cops there to keep the peace..
    but.
    The UD students got a sing-along going, totally drowned him out and, in general, just mocked and ridiculed him.
    I’ll tell ya, they may wander out into the street without looking up from their phones, but i’ll be damned if they can shut down a shit head. *tips hat.

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