The Open Thread for January 15, 2018

You want to know how we know Trump said the racist things he said, even though he and two integrity-less Senators now deny he said it?  Because conservative radio host Erick Erickson reports Trump himself called friends to brag about it afterwards.  Said Erickson: “I spoke to one of those friends. The President thought it would play well with the base.” He is only denying it now because it did not go over well in any media, including his Fox bubble.

The word “shithole” along with a “poop” emoji was projected onto President Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C. Saturday night.

Politico: “The GOP is forced to defend 13 states that former President Obama won — from Maine to New Mexico to Wisconsin — while Democrats are protecting just one — Pennsylvania — that fell to Trump. Republicans now admit that a handful of once-competitive battlegrounds are nearly out of reach for them in 2018. Meanwhile, Democratic hopes are rising in a handful of conservative strongholds.”

“When the wave comes, it’s always underestimated in the polls. That is the reason that Republicans are ducking for cover.”  — A conservative political strategist, quoted by the Washington Post.

“A raft of retirements, difficulty recruiting candidates and President Trump’s continuing pattern of throwing his party off message have prompted new alarm among Republicans that they could be facing a Democratic electoral wave in November.  The concern has grown so acute that Trump received what one congressional aide described as a ‘sobering’ slide presentation about the difficult midterm landscape at Camp David last weekend, leading the president to pledge a robust schedule of fundraising and campaign travel in the coming months.”

“But the trends have continued, and perhaps worsened, since that briefing, with two more prominent Republican House members announcing plans to retire from vulnerable seats and a would-be recruit begging off a Senate challenge to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota despite pressure from Trump to run.”

NBC News interviewed political scientist Brendan Nyhan about his new study on the spread of fake news.

Said Nyhan: “The group that visited fake news websites the most frequently was the 10% of Americans with the most conservative information diets. These are people who are visiting a lot of websites that are disproportionately consumed and shared by conservatives relative to liberals. It’s not that fake news is a substitute for political news, it’s being added on to a diet of like-minded political news of a more conventional variety.”

He added: “They’re a subset of Americans who follow politics extremely closely. For all the saturation coverage that politics receives, its still a pretty small part of the news diet for most people.”

Also interesting: “Facebook stands out in our data as the site people visited most disproportionately prior to visiting a fake news website. We don’t observe the same pattern with Google, Twitter, or web mail platforms. Journalists love to talk about Twitter, but it just doesn’t compare in reach to Facebook.”

Mike Allen: “Hill sources tell us that a House Democratic takeover is now likely.”

“One strategist close to Republican leaders believes that a loss of the House is ‘baked in,’ and said top Republicans don’t see a way to avoid it.”

“It would take a flip of 24 seats for Dems to take over. The average loss for the president’s party in his first midterm is about 32 seats, and we’re hearing forecasts of 40+ losses.”

President Trump tweeted that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that he terminated last year is “probably dead” because he claims Democrats aren’t negotiating in good faith.

Said Trump: “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our military.”

However, the Wall Street Journal reports the Trump administration said that it would “resume accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, bowing for now to a federal court ruling that blocked an effort to end the Obama-era policy.”

Bret Stephens: “I’m not alone. America is a nation of holers. It is an improbable yet wildly successful experiment in the transformation — by means of hope, opportunity and ambition — of holers into doers, makers, thinkers and givers. Are you of Irish descent? Italian? Polish? Scottish? Chinese? Chances are, your ancestors did not get on a boat because life in the old country was placid and prosperous and grandpa owned a bank. With few exceptions, Americans are the dregs of the wine, the chaff of the wheat. If you don’t know this by now, it makes you the wax in the ear.”

Stan Collender: “McConnell said his plan not to do a fiscal 2019 budget was based on a soulless political calculation that his new 51-49 majority will make it hard, very hard or impossible for the Senate GOP to pass its own budget resolution this year, let alone to adopt one that will be acceptable to the House.”

“But what McConnell didn’t say was that the fiscal 2019 budget resolution will be the first that will show the bottom line impact of all the GOP policies: a $1 trillion or higher annual deficit every year of the Trump administration and beyond. Even if Congress and the Office of Management and Budget again choose to ignore the facts, the Congressional Budget Office, Wall Street and other private sector analyses will project annual trillion dollar deficits. McConnell doesn’t want his Republican members to face the political repercussions of having to vote for that.”

A new Minnesota Poll finds voters are sharply divided on President Trump’s job performance, 45% to 47%, even as a majority believe he lacks the right temperament for the office and is not always truthful.

“Just 36% said he has the right temperament for the presidency while 58% said he does not, slightly higher than what the Minnesota poll found last April. Meanwhile, 53% of voters said they don’t think Trump generally speaks the truth.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) “is planning to slam President Trump’s attacks on the press on the Senate floor this week in a speech that will compare the president’s use of the term ‘enemy of the people’ to describe the media to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin,” NBC News reports.

From excerpts: “When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”

Following the example of the actresses who wore all black at the Golden Globes this weekend, woman Democrats say they will be doing the same at Trump’s State of the Union address on January 30. They will be wearing black in protest of sexual violence’s prevalence and in solidarity with the many victims who have suffered in silence, according to the Huffington Post.

Margaret Hartman on the problems with the GOP strategy of blaming a government shutdown on Democrats wanting to help illegal immigrants: “First, not every Republican is on board. Senator Lindsey Graham seemed to confirm Durbin’s account, saying “following comments by the president, I said my piece directly to him yesterday.” On ABC’s This Week, Senator Jeff Flake said he talked to the lawmakers immediately after the “shithole” incident and, “They said those words were used before those words went public.”  Flake defended his Democratic colleagues even further, denying that they just want a shutdown.

“One thing I do take big issue with the president on is he is saying that the Democrats aren’t moving forward in good faith,” Flake said. “I can tell you I’ve been negotiating and working with the Democrats on immigration for 17 years and on this issue, on DACA or on the DREAM Act for a number of years, and the Democrats are negotiating in good faith.”  […]

Convincing people that Democrats deserve most of the blame might be difficult too. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from mid-December, 62 percent of respondents said Congress should extend protections for DACA recipients, and 19 percent said they should let the program expire. When asked who they would blame if the government shut down, 31 percent said congressional Republicans, 29 percent said congressional Democrats, and 18 percent said Trump. Presumably Trump disparaging “shithole” countries won’t improve those numbers for Republicans.”

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

30 comments on “The Open Thread for January 15, 2018

  1. Surprised that on the remembrance of a great man, this is all you write about, DD.

    “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • Why do white people insist on white-washing and cherry-picking MLK jr’s words. Heh, I answered my own question!

      • @Pandora. WOW, so a white person can’t quote something from a great man, on his day? Yes, Pandora; white people, all people can admire a great person and quote his words.

        Sounds a bit racist to me!

        @Bam Why not write something, about the Person and the Man that we honor today? No, it’s the Same old crap. Martin Luther King was above all this and tried to make a difference. Sometime ago, we were in Memphis and made a point of going to the NCRM. It was chilling and moving, for all of us.
        Of course, I’m wrong and DD is right. That’s because of your narrow minded view point.

        • White people cite the quotes that make them comfortable.

          OMG! #notallwhitepeople If you want to play this game Anono, then we’ll play it across the board. No more comments like “people are upset at gas prices/taxes” or “parents are concerned over the cost of college” because not all people or parents are. See how that works?

    • Once again Anono ups the bar for nerve in a pathetic attack on DD, you would think with Trump being outed as a racist would have curtailed a comment like this.

      • cassandram

        Except that Anny shows that he knows what some white folks need MLK for — the ability to police people they disagree with.

        • “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

          ― Martin Luther King Jr.

        • Love to you too, Cassy. Have a blessed day!

          “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
          Read more at:

  2. Mitch Crane

    I will hazard a comment on Martin Luther King, Jr. on the anniversary of his birth and in the 50th year of his assassination.
    I came home from school one day in 1961 and in my parents’ living room were a man, shorter than my father and a quiet woman wearing white gloves and holding a white purse. He was very polite and she was quiet. I though nothing of it as my progressive parents had all types of people in our home in West Chester, PA. The next Summer my mother took me to hear someone speak at Fellowship Farm, outside of Limerick, PA. It was that same man-Martin Luther King, Jr. I was impressed but remembered my grandmother taking me to a home in West Philadelphia (52nd St?) in 1958 where I met another man equally impressive-Paul Robeson. So, I was used to being impressed.

    It wasn’t until 1963 that I understood what these two men were fighting for, when my grandmother and I were arrested at the site where the Downstate Medical Center was being built in Brooklyn, by whites-only construction unions. I returned home fired up; was connected to Bayard Rustin, a West Chester native, and organized 3 buses to the August 23, 1963 March on Washington. It was King’s methods and Rustin’s advocacy (and mentoring until his death) that got me into politics. It was Robeson’s tragedy of being blacklisted in America for his beliefs and Rustin’s being pushed into the background because he was openly gay that made me realize standing on principle is that right thing to do, but doing so is at your own peril.

    MLK stood for what was right, knowing the peril. He should be honored and remembered by more than a day off.

    • cassandram

      What a great story, Mitch. It feels as though we are relearning that it means to stand for what is right. It takes risk and work, in addition to strong conviction.

  3. RE Vanella

    Since it’s relevant and we’re doing this I’ll do it too.

    “I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic… [Capitalism] started out with a noble and high motive… but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today capitalism has out-lived its usefulness.”

    —-MLK letter to Coretta Scott, July 18, 1952

    • Allow me to add:

      “I contend that the cry of “Black Power” is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.”


      “Why is equality so assiduously avoided? Why does white America delude itself, and how does it rationalize the evil it retains?

      The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity.”

  4. RE Vanella

    “Misguided” translates to “don’t snitch our hustle”. Or, alternatively, “this is our corner”.

    Politicians of which political party administer and oversee this in our State? It’s not a riddle.

  5. RE Vanella

    The situation King describes has only accelerated and become more obvious in the intervening decades. Let’s really fight for things that address it directly.

    First thing. Fight Capitalism as hard as you can.

    • Try Venezuela or North Korea. Enjoy the trip. Please stay.

      • zing! Ya know, teabag, your dear leader’s nation of choice is also Socialist. Hilarious how you shits always fail to mention the majority of socialistic countries that thrive.

        Also, NK is socialist the same way Trump and you Cult45 members are “christian”…. In that only the dumbest mouth breathers actually believe it, but in reality you’re 100% the opposite.

  6. “…“the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government”

    -Riverside Church, New York City. April 4, 1967

    The US government remains “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” because principled Americans, courageously risking prison to expose US war crimes, are slimed with “treason”.

    “No progressive can possibly support her(Chelsea Manning). She conspired to commit treason with the Russian Wikileaks. Just because she is Transgender does not mean she is a hero.” – Delaware Dem Jan 14, 2018

  7. RE Vanella

    I like this commenter.

    • cassandram

      Of course you do. He is as badly read as you as far as MLK goes and is badly yoking together two ideas in an attempt to make himself look more righteous. The good news is that this is one more day in 365 days of them and neither of you will spend the other 364 getting past the quotes and grappling with the ideas.

    • You can’t have an opinion, Cassy says so!

  8. Yea, don’t let “White People”, quote “Black People”. Don’t let “White Artists”, cover/sing
    “Black Artists” songs.
    As I said before, just a bit racist, Pandora and Cassy!

    • No one said white people can’t quote black people. I said that white people use the words of MLK that make them comfortable (cherry-pick) while ignoring words that don’t fit their narrative (white-washing). Yours was the first comment on this thread. You used that comment to go after DD – not to celebrate or honor MLK.

      And this, “Don’t let “White Artists”, cover/sing “Black Artists” songs” has a racist history. White artists were famous for stealing the work of black artists, giving them no credit and no profit off their work.

    • cassandram

      If Anny was at all smarter about reading MLK, he would get this criticism. At this point, he is in the business if accusing people pointing out his lack of knowledge as racism. Which is about as lazy as it gets. But it isn’t as though anyone was expecting better from you, Anny.

  9. RE Vanella

    Hahaha. I love you guys. I think it’s the sanctimonious shit I dig the most.

  10. RE Vanella

    Close 2nd fav… Misplaced earnestness. Very entertaining.

  11. “Anny” you say? Like it! “As I said before, just a bit racist, Pandora and Cassy!”, reminds me of a Trump Tweet but needs “Sad!” at the end.

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