The Open Thread for February 5, 2018

We depart from our normal political endeavors for a brief moment to celebrate the glorious World Champion Philadelphia Eagles.


Alright, now back to politics.

DEMS ARE OUTRAISING THE GOP INCUMBENTS. Politico: “More than 40 House Republican incumbents were outraised in the final quarter of 2017 by one — or several — of their Democratic opponents, according to the latest round of fundraising numbers. And of that group, more than a dozen had less cash on hand than their Democratic challengers.”

A YEAR EXTENSION ON DACA.  “Congress may just end up punting on its Dreamer dilemma. As lawmakers grasp for a solution for the young undocumented immigrants, one option is a temporary extension — perhaps one year — of their legal protections paired with a little bit of cash for border security,” Politico reports.

“Some senators are already deriding a yearlong patch as ‘misguided,’ a ‘Plan Z’ and a proposal that would keep immigrants ‘in fear.’ But lawmakers have only until March 5 to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program under President Trump’s deadline. And in a Congress that has routinely struggled to keep the lights on, at least some lawmakers say a temporary fix for Dreamers might be all but inevitable.”

Said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “That may be where we’re headed because, you know, Congress is pretty dysfunctional. That’d be a real loss. But that’s probably where we’re headed, OK?”

MILLIONS IF NOT BILLIONS OF DEFENSE FUNDING MISSING. “One of the Pentagon’s largest agencies can’t account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending, a leading accounting firm says in an internal audit obtained by Politico that arrives just as President Donald Trump is proposing a boost in the military budget.”

“Ernst & Young found that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects, just one of a series of examples where it lacks a paper trail for millions of dollars in property and equipment. Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums it’s responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit of the massive Pentagon purchasing agent.”

Yeah, I say no more defense spending until we can figure out what is going on.  Shut down the Defense Department.

ANOTHER GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IS COMING THURSDAY.   Playbook: “The government runs out of money Thursday. There is little expectation that Congress will be able to find a path forward on a long-term budget deal and DACA this week. Once again, look for Republicans to tee up a short-term funding bill as soon as tomorrow. This is getting harder and harder for conservatives to swallow. But senior Republican leaders seem to think they could squeeze a funding bill to keep the government open until the end of the month through the House with only GOP votes.”

“Our best guess: They squeeze the funding bill through the House after a few fits and panics. Maybe they add some defense spending to the bill to sweeten it for conservatives. And then the Senate — which seems hell-bent on avoiding a shutdown scare — clears it without much fanfare.”

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…. Jonathan Swan: “Republicans close to Nunes say there could be as many as five additional memos or reports of ‘wrongdoing.’ But a source on the House Intelligence Committee tells me there’s no current plan to use the same extraordinary and highly controversial process they just went through, with a vote and ultimately a presidential approval to declassify sensitive information.”

“I’m told the Nunes team has discussed producing additional reports or disclosures that don’t require declassification.”

Nunes confirmed as much to Fox News: “Yeah, so this completes just the FISA abuse portion of our investigation. We are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation, which involves other departments, specifically the State Department and some of the involvement that they had in this.”

“Democrats lead by 14 points among likely voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, a result reported previously. But that reflects a vast 38-point Democratic lead in districts already held by Democratic members of Congress. In districts the Republican Party holds, by contrast, it’s a tight 45% to 51% Democratic vs. Republican contest.”

“The Democrats’ lead in their districts, 64% to 26%, marks the extent of potential Democratic overvoting in areas where they’re already in control – which partly reflects a Democratic concentration in urban areas, and possibly also gerrymandering of district lines.”

The same poll finds Democrats “are just about as likely as Republicans to say they plan to vote in this year’s congressional elections, a break from the two previous midterm elections, in which Republicans were significantly more inclined to vote.”

“Sixty-five percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters say they are certain to vote, compared with 63 percent of Republican-leaning voters. Among Republicans, motivation to vote appears to be down from the past two cycles, while Democrats have changed less, although this may reflect the fact that the surveys in previous years were conducted later in those election years.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan accused Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, of selectively releasing information to accuse law enforcement officials of improperly obtaining a warrant to monitor the communications of a former Trump campaign adviser, the Washington Post reports.

Said Brennan: “It’s just appalling and clearly underscores how partisan Mr. Nunes has been. He has abused the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee.”

“I actually don’t think it is has any impact on the Russia probe.”

— Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), in a CBS News interview, rejecting President Trump’s claim that the Nunes memo “totally vindicates” him.

Stan Collender: “The White House and congressional GOP insisted the big tax cut bill would pay for itself so there would be no negative impact on the federal deficit or national debt. They also said the Trump/GOP economic plans would result in a balanced budget within 10 years. The fiscal 2019 budget resolution — the one Congress is supposed to debate and adopt this year — would be the first one considered since the tax bill was enacted and, therefore, the first with projections that should validate and confirm those promises.”

“That means House and Senate Republicans should be rushing to get it done, take another victory lap and prove themselves to be budget seers, sages, oracles and truth tellers. But the GOP is doing the exact opposite.”

“So why isn’t the GOP going to do a budget? Because the vote on the 2019 budget — the last one Congress will consider before the 2018 midterm elections — will reveal that all the Republican promises on the deficit and debt, including its blind belief on dynamic scoring, were completely bogus.”

House Democrats are planning to push for a Monday vote to release their 10-page rebuttal memo, that reportedly counters characterizations Republicans made in their own anti-FBI memo released Friday, TheNew York Times reported Sunday.

The Democratic memo reportedly purports to show that the FBI was more transparent with the surveillance court than Republicans claim they were in their document. The House GOP memo was authored by Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) staffers and claims FBI officials mislead the FISA court when attempting to obtain a warrant to expand surveillance on a Trump campaign aide Carter Page, the Times reported.

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) are planning to introduce bipartisan legislation this week that would include a path to citizenship for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but stops short of offering any funding for President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The proposal would provide eventual legal status for young immigrants who have lived in the U.S. since Dec. 31, 2013. It would also direct the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a study of what border security measures need to be taken, with the goal of having a comprehensive strategy in place by 2020. It would also provide funding for improved coordination between border patrol agents and local police, but no funding for a physical wall, according to The Wall Street Journal’s reporting.

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

22 comments on “The Open Thread for February 5, 2018

  1. “Yeah, I say no more defense spending until we can figure out what is going on. Shut down the Defense Department.” – delaware dem

    A reason we don’t do that is because people, who should know better, keep calling war “defense”.

  2. ” “More than 40 House Republican incumbents were outraised in the final quarter of 2017 by one — or several — of their Democratic opponents, “ – Politico

    Obama outraised McCain by 2:1 and we got “all hope and no change”.

    Obama outraised Romney by 1.1 to 1.0; ….still no change.

    Clinton outraised Trump by 2:1 and look who won.

    • This is how you reveal yourself to be a secret Trumpist.
      1) parroting exact Sarah Palin talking point, 2) diminishing the strides in equality made possible by Obama and trying to focus only on what im a CERTAIN are you white-guy interests 2.5… forgetting.. or intentionally omitting WHY more change wasn’t possible, 3) conveniently forgetting that Clinton got 3m more votes.

  3. Speak for yourself delacrat. I noticed a gigantic change for the better in my family’s lives during the Obama years.

    • What you’re saying is “I’m OK Jack, so to hell with everybody else”.

      Outside your privileged bubble things don’t look so rosy.

      “…94 percent of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in *alternative work arrangements.”

      *defined as temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract workers, and independent
      contractors or freelancers “

      • No sir. I am saying the oppressive thumb of Barack Obama did not come down on all of us like it apparently did you. In fact. I’m willing to wager that the Obama years did more to help people up out of the hell they lived since 2008 than you’d ever be willing to let on.

        What point are you trying to make by citing that Princeton study?

  4. Another good op-ed from the NYT… Upping their game on this issue. Seriously considering subscribing if they continue to run thoughtful analysis like this…

    • Well it would be a nice break from Fox News and Info Wars.

    • No wonder you like it. He’s this guy:

      • So do you find fault with his analysis?

        • I do.

          “Does it really make sense for one entry today to eventually lead to a visa for the immigrant’s sister-in-law’s aunt?”
          Why the hell not?

          “the immigrant’s sister-inlaw’s aunt”.. what a dismissive fucking he his.
          What if that PERSON’S extended family member has something to offer our nation? what if (since he is talking about an aunt) SHE is fleeing an oppressive country?
          The whole article is written under the assumption that our problems are because of who is coming to this country. Any analysis based on that notion is bunk, racist bullshit.

          • cassandram

            Also one more good look at what passes as “Family Values” for this crew.

          • “Racist” – Standard liberal reaction to anything they disagree with.

            Do you think it is racist if a country has immigration policies that are anywhere short of open borders?

            • No, I think it’s racist when the WH Chief of Staff says DACA-eligible immigrants who didn’t sign up for the program may have been “too lazy to get off their asses” and do it.

              Explain how that’s not racist.

        • Yes, quite a few. I wrote them up last night and then lost the comment, but it boils down to the many assumptions he makes without supporting evidence or with poor supporting evidence. If you read his resume, you’ll see many other people have had problems with his work.

          I”m on babysitting duty so I don’t have time to recreate it now, but if you’re interested I will later.

          • Here’s another interview with this guy, who frankly doesn’t strike me as all that worthwhile as an immigration “expert.”


            He makes the same arguments in this article, but he is more honest about it. He acknowledges that he’s just guessing about 500,000 being the right number of immigrants to allow annually, which he justifies by citing the political upheaval over immigrants.

            The absurdity of this should be obvious. First, 11 or 12 million undocumented people are exacerbating that problem greatly, and neither he nor anyone else has tried to tease out the difference. Second, much of the political nonsense has been purposely stirred up to justify just such a policy. So, y’know, basically, fuck that shit.

            He has a lot of opinions that he doesn’t bother supporting with anything — such as the notion that more highly educated immigrants are worth more to the “average” person. Horseshit. Increase the cost of everything immigrants produce — meat, produce, most low-level service jobs — and that’s not going to help the average person.

            So yeah, I have a lot of problems with his unsupported assertions. AS I noted earlier, his work has a lot of problems, too.

            I do find it odd that you write so much about an issue you claim is not among your 10 highest priorities.

  5. The twinkle in your eye gives you away, Chuck.

  6. The stock market closed down 1,175 points, I’m not surprised as I noticed layoffs in the hundreds and then the thousands, that always seems to be how a crash or correction begins. Next question: What happens tomorrow with yet another continuing resolution due on Thursday and all the games it entails? Any missteps may spook the market, and we have a congress of clowns, kooks and criminals as yet uncaught. Gee, what happened to the “miracle economy” that always follows a big tax cut for the rich and the corporations that they own? Will be interesting to say the least.

    • think of what massive retail layoffs are going to do to student loan default rates….. Welcome to the Trump Economy, everyone.

  7. “We depart from our normal political endeavors for a brief moment to celebrate the glorious World Champion Philadelphia Eagles.”

    DD: You should have left the headline just like it was, but then you have to spew you leftist rants on there, typical.


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