The New Years Day Open Thread

“According to federal court filing made public today, the FBI has executed a search warranton an e-mail address associated with Trump surrogate and former sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.,” NBC News reports.

The Daily Beast notes it involves “a January incident with a passenger on a plane… Clarke, a vocal Trump surrogate, had a minor disagreement with fellow passenger Dan Black on a Milwaukee-bound plane. Clarke texted one of his officers, asking him to detain Black when the plane landed.”

“It used to be that Bernie Sanders was an ideological lone ranger in the Senate. Now, a whole host of potential presidential hopefuls are racing to represent the liberal grass roots on their issues of the day — and pulling the Democratic Party’s center of gravity further to the left,” Politico reports.

“The trend was apparent throughout the fall among the half-dozen Democratic senators drawing the loudest buzz for 2020 — aside from Sanders (I-VT), the group includes Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).”

“First they flocked to Sanders’ single-payer health care proposal. And then, almost in unison, they adopted two other stands popular among the Democratic base: Refusing to vote for any budget plan that didn’t include help for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, and calling for Donald Trump’s resignation over sexual harassment claims leveled against him last year by multiple women.”

“A jailed Russian hacker claims he can prove he broke into the computers of the Democratic National Committee on behalf of Russian intelligence — because he left a secret calling card inside the system,” Vice News reports.

“The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them. That, in turn, could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent,” ProPublica reports.

“Observers said they feared adding a citizenship question would not only lower response rates, but also make the census more expensive and throw a wrench into the system with just two years to go before the 2020 count. Questions are usually carefully field-tested, a process that can take years.”

The Aspen Times reports that neighbors of the home near Aspen, Colorado where Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Sue, are vacationing posted a sign on a stone pillar that sits at the end of driveways to both homes that read, “Make America Gay Again.”

On the 100-day mark since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told ABC News that the federal response to the storm was inadequate and blamed President Trump.

Said Cruz: “He was disrespectful to the Puerto Rican people, he was disrespectful to the American people who were leaving their homes to come help us here. Where he needed to be a commander-in-chief, he was a disaster-in-chief. President Trump does not embody the values of the good-hearted American people that have make sure that we are not forgotten.”

New York Times: “One year out, this may be Mr. Trump’s greatest trick: His tornado of news-making has scrambled Americans’ grasp of time and memory, producing a sort of sensory overload that can make even seismic events — of his creation or otherwise — disappear from the collective consciousness and public view.”

“He is the magician who swallows a sword no one thought was part of the act, stuffs a dozen rabbits into a hat before the audience can count them — and then merrily tweets about ‘Fox & Friends’ while the crowd strains to remember what show it had paid to attend in the first place.”

Washington Post: “By the end of September, all Cabinet agencies except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office in January — with most shedding many hundreds of employees.”

“The diminishing federal footprint comes after Trump promised in last year’s campaign to ‘cut so much your head will spin,’ and it reverses a boost in hiring during the Obama era. The falloff has been driven by an exodus of civil servants, a diminished corps of political appointees and an effective hiring freeze. Even though Congress did not pass a new budget in his first year, the drastic spending cuts Trump laid out in the spring — which would slash more than 30 percent of funding at some agencies — also has triggered a spending slowdown.”

Dan Balz: “Despite the positive indicators about the midterms, Democrats face questions about their future as a party that now controls nothing in Washington and far less in the states than they did at the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency. Among those questions are such basics as their agenda, their geographic limitations and their leadership.”

“Democrats could assume they can push those vulnerabilities to the sidelines during a midterm election year with a campaign message that is almost exclusively anti-Trump. But as even many Democrats acknowledge, something more than that will be needed to regain widespread trust of voters across the country and begin the process of rebuilding the party in places where it suffered losses over the past decade.”


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

1 comment on “The New Years Day Open Thread

  1. cassandram

    This is a brilliant Twitter thread. The importance of a broad political fairness and inclusiveness is key to an economic policy (or policies) that benefit the greatest number of us. Economic policy that ignores how racism is being used to break the entire government is economic policy that is failing most of us — even the racists.

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