The Open Thread for February 27, 2018

“The Supreme Court on Monday delivered a blow to the Trump administration by refusing to hear the government’s challenge to a lower court ruling that has temporarily blocked the administration from winding down the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,” The Hill reports.

Washington Post: “Federal district court judges in California and New York have issued nationwide injunctions against ending the program, siding with states and organizations challenging the administration’s rescission. The court orders effectively block the Trump administration from ending the program on March 5, as planned.”

Axios: “The decision essentially makes the March 5th deadline meaningless, and there will be much less incentive for lawmakers to reach an agreement soon. Until a final decision on the case, which experts say isn’t expected for another year, current DACA recipients will be able to continue to renew their DACA protections.”

A new Harvard CAPS-Harris survey finds that 54% believe that the mainstream media treats President Trump fairly. However, there is a big split bust on political identification. Nearly 80% of Republicans say the media is unfair to Trump, while 84% of Democrats and 55% of independents believe the president gets a fair shake from the press. On the flip side, 59% say Trump treats the mainstream media unfairly.

A new Urban Institute report finds that by 2019, 6.4 million fewer Americans are expected to have health insurance as a result of the GOP’s decision to get rid of the individual health care mandate and other policy changes made by President Trump.

Axios: “The report is the first serious study to analyze the combined effects of several major health policy changes made under the Trump administration. Note that the effect is far off from what we’d see under a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but represents the real-world significance of the pieces they were able to kill.”

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Jason Crow (D) leading Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) in Colorado’s 6th congressional district, 44% to 39%.

Colorado Pols: “Coffman supporters are furiously trying to downplay these numbers based on polling metrics, sample size, yada yada yada. But any complaints about this particular poll should not overshadow one important note: This is the first public poll we can recall showing anyone leading Coffman since he was first elected in 2008.”

Chris McDaniel (R) is expected to announce later this week that he will wage a 2018 primary challenge against Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Politico reports.

“McDaniel’s plans have been the subject of speculation for months. With the 80-year-old Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) health in decline, many believed that McDaniel would run for the seat should it become vacant.”

A new CNN/SRSS poll finds Democrats leading Republicans in the generic congressional ballot by a large margin, 54% to 38%.  Also important: “Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents remain more enthusiastic about voting this fall than Republicans and Republican-leaners. Overall, 51% of that Democratic base say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in November compared with 41% of the Republican base.”

“Republicans are fretting that a front-runner for an Arizona congressional seat — a married minister involved in a sexting scandal — will pull a Roy Moore and hand the seat to Democrats if he wins Tuesday’s special-election primary,” Politico reports.

“The seat vacated by former GOP Rep. Trent Franks — who resigned last December over his own sex scandal — should be an easy hold for Republicans.”

“But a bombshell report of nude photos and text messages exchanged between the candidate, former state Sen. Steve Montenegro, and a legislative staffer — published just a week before the election — has left GOP operatives worried that ‘it could be Alabama all over again,’ said Shiree Verdone, who ran Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 2010 Senate race.”

“A group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sued Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker  (R) over his refusal to call special elections to fill two open legislative seats,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

“Fresh off a victory in a Senate special election last month, Wisconsin Democrats have demanded that Walker call these two additional special elections and give their party an opportunity to notch more wins.”

“With Democrats seeing an opportunity — and Republicans seeing a threat — the controversy over the special election has taken on a strong political cast.”

President Trump has been “telling friends for months” that Singapore’s policy to execute drug traffickers “is the reason its drug consumption rates are so low,” Jonathan Swan reports.

Said a senior administration official: “He often jokes about killing drug dealers… He’ll say, ‘You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.”

“But the president doesn’t just joke about it. According to five sources who’ve spoken with Trump about the subject, he often leaps into a passionate speech about how drug dealers are as bad as serial killers and should all get the death penalty. He tells friends and associates the government has got to teach children that they’ll die if they take drugs and they’ve got to make drug dealers fear for their lives.”

President Trump’s lawyers “are considering ways for him to testify before special counsel Robert Mueller, provided the questions he faces are limited in scope and don’t test his recollections in ways they say could unfairly trap him into perjuring himself,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Trump’s legal team is weighing options that include providing written answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions and having the president give limited face-to-face testimony.”

Euphemism of the day: “Mr. Trump is a freewheeling conversationalist, an instinct that proved advantageous on the campaign trail but could be unsuited to a legal setting.”

In more plain terms: he is a bullshitter.  A con artist salesman.  In legal terms, we call such people liars.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) “surprise address this month on her disputed Native American heritage was just one piece of a concerted campaign by the Massachusetts senator and potential 2020 hopeful to put the controversy behind her,” Politico reports.

“Derisively nicknamed ‘Pocahontas’ by President Donald Trump over allegations that she used claims of Native American heritage to get a head start in her job search — a claim she and former colleagues strongly deny — Warren has met with close to a dozen tribal leaders and prominent activists recently.”

“She has also signed onto at least six bills directly related to Native American policy. It’s clearly an organized effort: Four of those co-sponsorships came within two days of her speech, and Warren endorsed two bills around that time even though they’d been introduced months earlier.”

President Trump’s “decision to punt the issue of whether Jared Kushner can keep his access to sensitive government secrets without a full security clearance to his chief of staff, John Kelly, has put him in a tricky position, stuck between the rules on one side and the president’s family on the other,” Politico reports.

“Trump’s ad hoc decision not to intervene in the clearance process on behalf of his son-in-law and senior adviser in effect left both Kelly and Kushner in limbo, prolonging an uncomfortable situation that White House aides say is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.”

“Kelly does not plan to recommend to the president that he grant Kushner a waiver, but he is unlikely to resign if Trump ultimately decides to do so, according to a person familiar with his thinking.”

New York Times: How long can John Kelly hang on?

Max Boot: “In the past I would have been indignant at such attacks and eager to assert my conservative credentials. I spent years writing for conservative publications such as the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Commentary magazine and working as a foreign policy adviser for three Republican presidential campaigns. Being conservative used to be central to my identity. But now, frankly, I don’t give a damn. I prefer to think of myself as a classical liberal, because ‘conservative’ has become practically synonymous with ‘Trump lackey.’”

“If this is what mainstream conservatism has become — and it is — count me out.”

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

1 comment on “The Open Thread for February 27, 2018

  1. “Until a final decision on the case… current DACA recipients will be able to continue to renew their DACA protections.”

    I would expect the administration and DHS Sec. Nieljsen (sp?) to just as easily grind the renewal process to a halt in retaliation…

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