The Open Thread for January 19, 2018

SHUTDOWN. “The House approved on Thursday night a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open past Friday, but Senate Democrats — angered by President Trump’s vulgar aspersions and a lack of progress on a broader budget and immigration deal — appeared ready to block the measure,” the New York Times reports.

“The successful 230-to-197 vote in the House, where the bill’s chances had appeared in question until shortly beforehand, provided only a faint glimmer of hope that a crisis could be averted before much of the government exhausts its funds at midnight on Friday.”

“But in the Senate, at least a dozen Democratic votes will be needed to approve the measure on Friday, and there is little chance those will materialize. Democrats are intent on securing concessions that would, among other things, protect from deportation young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, increase domestic spending, aid Puerto Rico and bolster the government’s response to the opioid crisis.”

Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin says “[t]he Republican gambit to blame Democrats — who control neither the House, Senate nor White House — for failure to keep the government running was always a long shot. They are, as they keep reminding us, in charge and have the majorities to keep the government funded. Nevertheless, they’ve tried to convince dubious voters that Democrats are creating a shutdown because of that party’s desire to protect “dreamers” under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. That’s daft since, once again, a majority of Republicans are available to vote for a spending bill with no DACA fix…What is apparent for all to see is that Democrats have no responsibility to concoct a solution to address the Republicans’ abject incompetence. When a majority party cannot decide what it wants, and cannot find the votes, they are admitting they cannot govern. There is a solution to that: putting the other party in charge.”

Ella Nilsen: “It’s not just some red-state Senate Democrats [who are saying they are not voting for the CR]; others in safer seats who voted for past continuing resolutions said they wouldn’t vote for this one, including Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Tom Carper (DE), Tom Udall (NM), and Martin Heinrich (NM). Maine Independent Sen. Angus King is reportedly leaning “no” because he’s frustrated with the lack of a long-term spending plan.  And Republicans can’t be assured their caucus will all vote in line; Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have voted against previous short-term funding bills. Graham and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) added their names to the list of “no” votes on Wednesday, saying they were fed up with the stalling from the Trump White House.  “We don’t have a reliable partner at the White House to negotiate with,”  as he walked into the Capitol Thursday morning. “This has turned into an s-show for no good reason, and the only way out of this thing is to grow up a little bit — and I think that’s going to happen.” But at least one red-state Democrat is holding firm and voting for a CR on Friday; as reporters surrounded West Virginia’s Joe Manchin on Wednesday, he had one thing to say.

Tara Golshan says Republicans have always punted on Immigration, so the Dems have no reason to believe them.  “Congressional Republicans are asking Democrats to trust them. Vote to keep the government open and an immigration deal will come soon, they say. […] Congress has until midnight on Friday to avert a government shutdown, and Republicans keep pushing Democrats to leave immigration out of this round of government funding talks. Yet they’ve shown no tangible evidence for Democrats to believe them.  “If I were a Democrat,” one GOP lawmaker said on Wednesday, “depending on promises of what will happen tomorrow is not a wise move.”

Playbook: “As of right now, GOP leadership plans to bring the 28-day stopgap funding bill to the floor late today. Reminder: The measure contains a six-year extension of a key children’s health program, and a delay of a host of Obamacare taxes. The idea: attract some support from Democrats, and make it a bit sweeter for Republicans.” Key thing to watch: “If House Democrats jump in and support the bill after it gets across the finish line, it would be hard for Senate Democrats to vote no.”

Jonathan Swan: “Late last night, a few hours after Fox News aired Bret Baier’s interview with John Kelly, a source close to the president told me Trump would explode when he saw what his chief of staff said. The source — who has spent a lot of time with Trump — predicted the president would hate the interview because Kelly came off as the mature professional who patiently educated an uninformed Trump, and helped him see the light and evolve on The Wall.”

“Sure enough, a few hours later Trump tweets his displeasure.”

Said the source: “Kelly has finally ventured into Steve Bannon territory when it comes to trying to create the perception that he’s the ‘great manipulator,’ saving the country from Trump’s ignorance. The difference is, Steve tried to develop that reputation in off-the-record conversations with reporters. Kelly did it openly on the country’s most-watched cable network. It’s the subtle difference between hubris and arrogance.”

THE NRA IS A TREASON TUNNEL CONNECTING TRUMP AND RUSSIA. “The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency,” McClatchy reports. “FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA.”

ANOTHER SPECIAL ELECTION WARNING SIGN.  “Republicans are scrambling to save a heavily conservative House seat in western Pennsylvania, dispatching President Trump to the district on Thursday while preparing a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign to stave off another embarrassing special election defeat in a district that was gerrymandered to stay Republican,” the New York Times reports. “Holding just a 24-seat majority, with retirements of veteran lawmakers piling up, House Republicans can scarcely allow Democrats to snatch a seat they have not even competed for in recent elections.”  “And Mr. Trump is loath to suffer another electoral humiliation, particularly in a district that he carried by 19 percentage points in 2016.”

TRUMP IS A HORRIBLE DEAL-MAKER.  Jill Lawrence wrote an article back in April titled, “Trump is a nightmare negotiating partner.”  “The only constants with Trump are unpredictability and expediency. These are not, suffice it to say, the traditional cornerstones of getting to yes in politics. The real pillars are trust and discretion… Fragmentation in Washington, between Republicans and Democrats but also among Republicans themselves, means we’re in for months of intensive negotiation to get anything done…  But no amount of talking will get anyone anywhere if members of Congress can’t trust Trump to stick to a position, forgo revenge and threats, and demonstrate convincingly that he’s interested in more than his own polling, branding and wealth.”

WAVE STILL ON TRACK. A new Pew Research survey finds that 53% of registered voters say they will vote for or lean toward the Democratic Party’s candidate for Congress in their district, compared with 39% who say they would vote for or lean toward the Republican Party’s candidate.

The educational divide is particularly interesting: “A substantial majority (70%) of registered voters with a postgraduate degree say they would vote for or lean toward the Democratic candidate. A smaller majority (58%) of those with a college degree say the same. By contrast, those with a high school degree or less education are more divided (45% support the Democratic candidate, 48% the Republican candidate).”

“Among whites, the education divide is even wider. By roughly two-to-one, a majority of whites with a postgraduate degree say they support the Democratic candidate over the Republican candidate (65% vs. 29%). Among whites with a high school degree or less education, the reverse is true: 65% support the Republican candidate, compared with just about a quarter (28%) who prefer the Democratic candidate.”

A new Quinnipiac poll finds Democrats leading the generic congressional ballot, 50% to 39%.

OBAMA TO BE ACTIVE IN MIDTERMSPolitico: “Since leaving office, Barack Obama has struggled with how to do what no previous president has: take on his successor. Over the past year, he’s appeared at rallies, done a robocall, made a few endorsements. His office in Washington’s West End neighborhood, about a mile from the White House, has become a destination for Democrats looking to tap the former president for advice.”

“But with the midterms approaching, people close to him say he’ll shift into higher gear: campaigning, focusing his endorsements on down ballot candidates, and headlining fundraisers. He’ll activate his 15,000-member campaign alumni association for causes and candidates he supports — including the 40 who are running for office themselves.”

SIMILAR TO 2006. Amy Walter: “In fact, when you look more closely at the kinds of districts Republicans are defending in 2018, they don’t look much different from those they had to defend in 2006. For example, there are about as many competitive GOP-held seats in play today in districts with a slight GOP lean (PVI of R+1 to R+5) (23) as there were right before the election in 2006 (22). And, while it’s true that there are few “low hanging fruit” type of districts for Democrats to pick-off (just 23 districts held by Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton), there weren’t many easy lay-ups in 2006, either. Back in 2006, Republicans held just 18 seats won by Democrat John Kerry in the previous presidential election. By the election of 2006, just 15 GOP-held seats (or 27 percent of the total number of GOP-held competitive districts), were in districts that had a slight Democratic lean (a PVI of Even to D+8). Today, of the 40 most competitive seats held by Republicans, 10 (or 25 percent), have a slight Democratic lean (Even to D+5).”

“The 2018 map is not easy for Democrats, but it’s not any more challenging than the one Democrats faced in 2006. Midterm elections are a referendum on the party in power, not the party out of power. However, the dislike for the Democratic party among GOP partisans is more intense today than it has ever been. The question is whether that antipathy to Democrats will be enough to match the anger and opposition to Trump among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters.”

TODAY’S EDITION OF INSTANT KARMA. Former Gov. Chris Christie (R) was blocked from a VIP entrance he had used for eight years at Newark International Airport and directed to stand in Transportation Security Administration screening lines like anyone else, Bloomberg reports.

President Trump’s lawyer “used a private Delaware company to pay a former adult-film star $130,000 in return for her agreeing to not publicly discuss an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“To further mask the identities of the people involved in the agreement, the parties used pseudonyms.

“Trump administration appointee Carl Higbie resigned Thursday as chief of external affairs for the federal government’s volunteer service organization after a CNN KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments he made on the radio.”

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

37 comments on “The Open Thread for January 19, 2018


    Everywhere, a Republican smiles.

    After Obomba’s party lost over 1,000 state legislative seats and all three branches of the Federal government during his 8 year tenure, even out of office, he’s still determined to save GOP bacon.

    • Interesting as Obama’s approval rate is nearly double Trump’s, a truly pathetic post, even by your standards. Such as they are.

      • If approval ratings meant anything, Trump would not be President and Clinton would not have been the D-party nominee.

        • cassandram

          So let’s have an experiment. Invite Obama to speak to Delawareans at Rodney Square next Sunday and then get Trump to do the same the following week. We can count who has the better draw then.

          • Obomba actually spoke at Rodney Square during the 2008 prez. campaign.
            But he so botched the prez job for 8 years that his “coattails” cost the dems over 1,000 state seats and all 3 branches of the Federal gov’t.

    • DC, what is Obama’s current favorable/unfavorable? It;s like 32/59 or something right?

      Also, because my memory is bad…. how badly did he depress turnout in 08 and 12? I know it was a lot.. i mean he lost both elections by historic margins, but I forget the numbers.

      • Ben, I assume you just made that Obama number up. Retract your comment and apologize for lying. Obama left office with a RealClear Politics approval average of 57.2 approval to 39.3 disapproval. The latest Obama favorable/unfavorable numbers I have found are 62 favorable and 38 unfavorable. In fucking Alabama last month, Obama had better favorability numbers than Trump: Obama had a 52-45 rating while Trump had a 49-48 rating.

        • Relax, sunshine.
          I was being sarcastic and making fun of Delecrat. Notice i said Obama LOST both elections and mocked my “bad memory”
          example… ” how badly did he depress turnout in 08 and 12? I know it was a lot.. i mean he lost both elections by historic margins, but I forget the numbers.”

          God, you are still so mad that Chelsea Manning is running for senate rather than rotting in solitary that you’re lashing out.

          • But nice chest-thumping. I really felt your power.

          • My apologies then. I misread your comment. And I am not mad about Chelsea Manning. If she gets 15% in the primary I will be shocked. She is not the hero you need her to be. And Cardin is not someone who is unpopular within the base like Carper is.

            • Fair enough. Look man, I know Im a d*ck…. but Im not some idiot BernieBro Dick (who are only marginally better than trumpists).
              Obama will absolutely help push turnout for the mid terms and anyone who (seriously) says otherwise is either a clueless dope, or a repuke trying to do some reverse psychology.
              I DO disagree about Ms Manning not being a hero(ine). She cast a light on some horrific abuses. Remember, Ben Franklin and John Adams were also traitors. I doubt she’ll win the senate race. I hope Dems stay away from transphobia and rabid nationalism, because I think young as she is, she could have a future in politics. (ftr, this IS a serious comment)

              • I think you can be assured that there will be no attacks on her transition, so no transphobia. But there are a lot of Democrats who now view her actions in leaking to Wikileaks in a different light given the whole Russia-Wikileaks conspiracy during the 2016 election. Wikileaks is no longer a positive actor, but a Russian agent intent to destroying democracy. In my opinion, Ms. Manning got off easy with her commutation and she should be happy with that and leave public life forever, as opposed to defending her association with Wikileaks. It is one thing to be for transparency. It is quite another to conspire with America’s enemies.

                • I would say those people need to familiarize themselves with nuance and timelines.
                  Surely YOU dont think exposing murderous American military personnel is AT ALL on par with leaking emails to help elect a fascist, right?
                  I think at one time, wikileaks was an independent organization…. it was AFTER founder (and rapist) Asange became an asset of the Russian Government (well AFTER Ms Manning’s leak) that they turned into an arm of the RNC. Wikileaks has no support from me now, but I am VERY much in favor or exposing corruption… and if members of the US military are going to gun down journalists and unarmed civilians (as Manning helped uncover) i sure freakin hope SOMEONE blows the whistle on it.

    • what’s your problem with this? That we are finding non-pharmaceutical ways to treat mental illness?

      • cassandram

        There’s a bunch of problems with this: 1) city yards are often pretty limited — what is going to be the limit on “farm animals” to be kept in city limits? ; 2) who polices this? L&I is stretched as it is and who decides if the animal is being treated well? We already have issues in cities with work horses with places like NYC and Philly trying to shut them down because they aren’t being cared for properly in the city; 3) along with this, are we keeping animals that are not being stressed by the city noises and lights? I know that there were concerns with horses in Philly on this; 4)sanitation — what is the city planning to do with someone who doesn’t manage this well for their animal?

        I don’t doubt that people can be helped by farm animals, but we live in a 400 year old city, with housing that goes back more than 100 years. There is little here that is spacious and suburban. If we are talking about a chicken, that is one thing, but if we are talking about serious livestock that is something else all together.

        And I think Wilmington has way bigger problems than this to deal with.

        • When oxen run wild in the streets, I’ll be the first to say I was wrong, but small goats, pot-belly pigs, and other non-predators (like dogs and cats) can make fine pets. That article had more hyperbole than a stupid comment comparing how much hyperbole something has.
          I actually think it’s a little ridiculous that the limits on, for example, one single egg-laying hen are what they are (Always looking for an alternative to propping up the the Chicken-factory farms that are killing the Chesapeake… ya know human and environmental health being an item if importance)
          You’re 100% right. we have bigger problems. let people with anxiety have their cute little pig. Who are “we” to assume that people dont know how to care for their animals just because “we” wouldn’t know how to.

          • Ben, you idiot…. it only protect service animal, not emotional support animals… so people with anxiety CANT have a cute goat in a diaper. Looks like this just legalized ducks… DUCKS! When will the horror END?

          • cassandram

            Wilmington residents in need of emotional support can soon seek solace in chickens, goats, horses or even oxen, thanks to legislation passed by the city council on Thursday.

            The ordinance allows Wilmingtonians with a doctor’s note to soothe their psyches by keeping farm animals, fowl, or any animal “suitable for slaughter or for the production of milk.” It passed, 9-3, after a lengthy discussion on the council floor.

            This ordinance is REALLY clear that this includes farm animals. Pot bellied pigs are not farm animals — they are pets. None of my neighbors has enough room to keep a cow or a pig.

            Next time you need to go to the actual ordinance and read it before you decide to display your complete ignorance.

            • Where’s the fun in that? Annoying the easily ruffled is such a great past-time. I keep saying, just “Tom Cotton” me if my puckish (sorry, puck) dumbassery gets to be too much for ya 🙂

              • cassandram

                So I thoroughly demonstrate that your “hyperbole” claim is dead wrong and you come back and pretend it was all for fun. That wasn’t even a well managed pivot. No matter, just keep this post on your list when you want to complain that people do not take you seriously.

                • If i wanted to be taken seriously, I wouldnt get into petty fights with anonymous people. Wait… do YOU do this to be taken seriously?

                  • I eagerly await your next EPIC TAKEDOWN! *grabs more popcorn

                    • cassandram

                      More popcorn? No wonder you’re an airhead. Try reading something about the world you have so many ill-informed opinions on. If, of course, said reading isn’t too much dumbassery for you.

                    • because popcorn is made of AIR! NICE!
                      Keep it comin, buddy. I do love hearing about myself from people who have never met me, nor had an actual conversation with me.

                    • Any btw champ, you’re the one who gleefully jumps down in the mud with me. I do hope this you find this back and forth we enjoy as amusing as I do. Otherwise, you’re just dumping unnecessary negativity on yourself… and that’s just a shame.
                      yours in joviality,

                    • cassandram

                      Absolutely. You jump in here with misguided earnesty and no facts and when people point that out to you, you want to pretend that you are just having fun. You are invited to hang out on the Fox news forums where that play is de rigueur.

  2. Speaking of animals that we can eat, anybody know of a restaurant that serves a good muskrat? Apparently it’s muskrat season in Delaware, and I want to try one….Seriously, and I want to be able to have a glass of wine with it…Anybody?

    • cassandram

      Jason Scott is the only local muskrat connoisseur I know of.

    • Bill’s Meat Center, 215 N. King St., and Sansone’s Seafood Market, 1830 W. Seventh St., both in Wilmington, sell muskrat.

  3. Thanks, I’ll go over and ask him.

  4. nathan arizona

    Life in the big city: chickens clucking at 5 a.m. (or whenever chickens start clucking), loose oxen (oxen!) stomping down the street, goats raiding the trash for tin cans. I’m all for support animals, but why can’t folks get their emotional support from the usual animals, the kind of small ones that already live in houses and back yards?They’ll have to go out back to hug their goats. Are they going scoop the poop in the back yard? (The neighbors will hope so,) I believe oxen make big poop. But, of of course, Wilmington is not like a big city at all if this kind of thing is going to go on. Sounds more like, you know, Rube-ington. But with a high murder rate. Whoever voted for this needs to read Cassandra’s post above.

    • So people with a fear of dogs and cat allergies dont deserve emotional support?
      “Democrats” sure do show their true colors on mental health when they dont understand it… (re. Councilwoman Walsh’s out-of-nowhere attack on Medical MJ patients as a reason we cant own a duck in Wilmington… yes, i read the article… some)

    • cassandram

      And on the day that the Wilmington City Council decides it is OK to have farm animals at your property, Delta Airlines decides on a crackdown on emotional support animals.

  5. nathan arizona

    Won’t anybody think of the allergic! LGBT plus A for allergic? Ben, sometimes I can’t tell if your tongue is in your cheek or not. But usually, I think, not. By the way, I don’t object to a duck if the owner has enough water (although the quacking could be annoying to neigbors). I’ll have to look at Walsh’s comment again.

  6. nathan arizona

    Yes, Walsh’s comment was stupid.

  7. State quietly settles FOIA case with former treasurer, awards Chip Flowers $22,500 OF TAX PAYER MONIES!

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