The Open Thread for December 27, 2017

The Associated Press: reports that the rift between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “still has not healed. Recently, Trump bemoaned the Republicans’ loss in a special election in Alabama and in part blamed Sessions, whose departure from the Senate to head to Justice necessitated the election.”

Uh, Donny, the reason Sessions had to leave the Senate is because you asked him to be Attorney General.  So you are mad at yourself.

There are reports that Prince Harry wants the Obamas to attend his wedding and intends to invite them.  The royal and the Obamas have become friendly over the eight years of the Obama Presidency and with President Obama’s involvement with Harry’s organization, the Invictus Games.   Further, Harry does not want Trump at his wedding and does not intend to invite him.  Therefore, Theresa May’s government is fearful of the tantrum Trump will throw when Obama is invited but Trump is not.

New York Times: “President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement is becoming more like what conservatives despise — government-run health care — thanks in part to Republican efforts that are raising premiums for people without government assistance and allowing them to skirt coverage. By ending the tax penalty for people who do not have coverage, beginning in 2019, Republicans may hasten the flight of customers who now pay the full cost of their insurance. Among those left behind under the umbrella of the Affordable Care Act would be people of modest means who qualify for Medicaid or receive sizable subsidies for private insurance.”

Washington Post: “Before Congress left Washington for the year, Republicans finally made good on their determination to knock big holes in the Affordable Care Act, crippling its requirement that most Americans carry health insurance and leaving insurers without billions of dollars in promised federal payments.”

“At the same time, public support for the perennially controversial law has inched up to around its highest point in a half-dozen years. Nearly 9 million people so far have signed up for ACA health plans for 2018 during a foreshortened enrollment season, far surpassing expectations. This dual reality puts the sprawling ACA — prized domestic legacy of the Obama era, whipping post of the Trump administration — at a new precipice, with its long-term fate hinging on the November midterm elections certain to consume Washington once the new year begins.”

Eugene Robinson: “Grit your teeth. Persevere. Just a few more days and this awful, rotten, no-good, ridiculous, rancorous, sordid, disgraceful year in the civic life of our nation will be over. Here’s hoping that we all — particularly special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — have a better 2018.”

“A race that would tip control of Virginia’s House of Delegates, whose constant and nearly comic pendulums between candidates has attracted national attention, took one more twist on Tuesday when a drawing to break a tie was unexpectedly postponed,” the New York Timesreports.

“The Virginia State Board of Elections announced it would delay a drawing of lots after receiving a letter from lawyers for the Democratic candidate, Shelly Simonds, that she was legally fighting the ruling of a recount court last week.”

“Americans in states that Donald Trump carried in his march to the White House account for more than 4 in 5 of those signed up for coverage under the health care law the president still wants to take down,” ABC News reports.

“An Associated Press analysis of new figures from the government found that 7.3 million of the 8.8 million consumers signed up so far for next year come from states Trump won in the 2016 presidential election. The four states with the highest number of sign-ups — Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia, accounting for nearly 3.9 million customers — were all Trump states.”

“Even before a defiant Roy Moore stood at a lectern this month and refused to concede the Alabama Senate race, one political reality was clear: An extraordinary turnout among black voters had helped push Doug Jones to a rare Democratic victory in this state,” the New York Times reports.  “That turnout, in which registered black voters appeared to cast ballots at a higher rate than white ones, has become the most recent reference point in the complicated picture about race and elections laws.”

“At issue, at a time when minorities are becoming an increasingly powerful slice of the electorate, is how much rules like Alabama’s voter ID law serve as a brake on that happening. The turnout by black voters in Alabama raises a question: Did it come about because voting restrictions were not as powerful as critics claim or because voters showed up in spite of them?”

The latter.  And the latter does not make mean the former is true.   And the latter does not mean we must not destroy all voting restrictions everywhere they are found.

The Salt Lake Tribune slammed Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in an editorial for “his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.”

“The last time the senator was up for re-election, in 2012, he promised that it would be his last campaign. That was enough for many likely successors, of both parties, to stand down, to let the elder statesman have his victory tour and to prepare to run for an open seat in 2018.  Clearly, it was a lie. Over the years, Hatch stared down a generation or two of highly qualified political leaders who were fully qualified to take his place, Hatch is now moving to run for another term — it would be his eighth — in the Senate. Once again, Hatch has moved to freeze the field to make it nigh unto impossible for any number of would-be senators to so much as mount a credible challenge. That’s not only not fair to all of those who were passed over. It is basically a theft from the Utah electorate.”

Politico: “His poll numbers are terrible, he just went through a corruption trial that ended in a hung jury and there might be a retrial in the middle of his reelection campaign.  But it’s difficult to find a New Jersey Republican willing to challenge Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez next year — a testament to the toxicity of Donald Trump in New Jersey and the dismal landscape facing the state’s Republican Party.”

“When you look at some of the audiences cheering for Republicans sometimes, you look out there and you say, ‘Those are the spasms of a dying party.’ By and large, we’re appealing to older white men, and there are just a limited number of them.”

— Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), quoted by the Washington Post.  Yes, that is all the Trump Presidency is about: a racist overreaction to the first black President, a last dying gasp of the racist/sexist white man.

New York Times: “Federal Election Commission filings show that if a wave crashes on the Republican House majority in November, as many have predicted, Democratic surfers will be on their boards to catch it. Nearly a year out from the election, Democratic candidates have filed in all but 20 House districts held by Republicans. By comparison, Democrats in 80 districts do not have a Republican opponent for their seat.”

“The Democrats are not just filing to run in districts where Mrs. Clinton performed well. They are also running for conservative seats that were uncontested in 2016 and where Republicans remain heavy favorites, in states like Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska.”

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

2 comments on “The Open Thread for December 27, 2017

  1. cassandram

    From the annual Pew Poll on government:

    And again, majorities of voters have priorities for the government that sync up (not completely) with a solid Democratic agenda.

  2. cassandram

    2017 Was the Year I Learned About My White Privilege — Max Boot. Worth every word.

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