The Open Thread for April 8, 2018

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly threatened to quit on March 28, Jonathan Swan reports.  “Kelly blew up at Trump in an Oval Office meeting that day, and while walking back to his office muttered he was going to quit. Sources said it was not related to the David Shulkin firing that happened the same day.”

“A senior administration official said that calling it a threat was ‘probably too strong, it was more venting frustration.’ Kelly often says he doesn’t have to be there and didn’t seek the job originally.”

Washington Post: How John Kelly faded as White House disciplinarian.

It could have been about this: the Wall Street Journal reports that Kelly told President Trump last week “that he is convinced EPA chief Scott Pruitt needs to step down after a series of negative reports about his spending habits and management style.  Though Mr. Kelly and other White House aides have concluded Mr. Pruitt should leave, the president is not ready to fire him… Mr. Trump welcomes the deregulatory measures taken by Mr. Pruitt and also values him as a strong advocate for the president’s agenda.”

And Trump doesn’t want to fire Pruitt because he is the replacement for Sessions that does not need to be reconfirmed by the Senate.  And given that he is corrupt and unethical, he is Trump’s idea of a perfect AG.

“Republicans want President Trump to stick to a simple message ahead of the 2018 midterm elections: cutting taxes and slashing regulations,” Politico reports. “But the president, who regards himself as a master communicator, seems to have a different plan. After repeatedly deriding the marketing of the landmark tax reform passed in December — which he wanted to call the ‘Cut Cut Cut Act’ — Trump has shifted gears, instead launching into a tit-for-tat war on trade with China.”

Mike Allen: “We can’t overstate the severity of President Trump’s buyer’s remorse from signing last month’s spending bill. It could even be a turning point in his presidency, on the issue of immigration and his level of cooperation with Republican leaders.”

“Sources who’ve discussed it with Trump say it freaked him out to see the array of usually friendly faces on Fox News’ opinion shows — Pete Hegseth, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, et al. — ripping into him for signing a bill that spent a ton of money, but gave lots away to liberal priorities and did little for his signature promise to build a wall.”

“Truth is that Trump had little clue what was in the largest spending bill ever passed.”


Bloomberg: “The turmoil has damaged Trump’s ranking when it comes to equity returns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 32 percent rally during his first year gave him the third-best start by a president going back more than 100 years. But tack on the turmoil since January and he drops to the middle of the pack, behind former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.”

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti said that he has a “major announcement” about a person who allegedly threatened Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged affair with President Trump, The Hill reports.

“EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s concern with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes,” the AP reports.  “Altogether, the agency spent millions of dollars for a 20-member full-time detail that is three times the size of his predecessor’s part-time security contingent.”

House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) indicated he has begun inquiring into Pruitt’s activities, according to a video shot by activists on Friday, Politico reports.  Said Gowdy: “I don’t have a lot patience for that kind of stuff.”

“Gowdy didn’t say whether his committee has begun a formal investigation of Pruitt or some more preliminary review, but he said that public servants must ‘be a good steward’ of taxpayer money.”

The Intercept: “A Michigan gubernatorial candidate who has branded himself as the Bernie Sanders of the 2018 race privately mused about running as an independent or Republican just weeks before launching his campaign, according to four political consultants and one small business association representative he met with.”

“Shri Thanedar, a millionaire who has poured millions of dollars of his own money into the race, ultimately decided to run as a progressive Democrat. He is now first in some polls, eclipsing former state Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer and former Detroit Public Health chief Abdul El-Sayed, whose campaign is largely staffed by veterans of Sanders’s actual presidential campaign.”

Said one political consultant: “He came to us looking for advice about running for governor, and was obviously in the market for a consultant. We asked him what party he wanted to run from and he said he didn’t care. He said whichever side we thought he had the best chance to win on.”

Pat Robertson said on The 700 Club that homosexuals are drowning out voices like his. Said Robertson: “We have given the ground to a small minority. You figure, lesbians, one percent of the population; homosexuals, two percent of the population. That’s all. That’s statistically all. But they have dominated — dominated the media, they’ve dominated the cultural shift and they have infiltrated the major universities.”

He added: “It’s just unbelievable what’s being done. A tiny, tiny minority makes a huge difference. The majority — it’s time it wakes up.”

LOL. The vast majority of Americans find no problem at all with their gay neighbors, sons, daughters, and friends. Because we all discovered that, guess what, they are just regular people who live and love and cry and smile and laugh, just like everyone else. We figured out that the only hateful evil in this whole situation were the bigoted Christians like Pat Robinson, and not someone who just wants to live their life honestly. Hey Pat, we won. You lost. You have been…. dominated.

“Early in President Trump’s term, when White House officials heard him complain vociferously about Inc. they arranged private briefings in the Oval Office to make sure that he would talk knowledgeably about the company,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Gary Cohn, his top economic adviser, and other officials gave PowerPoint presentations and briefing papers they believed debunked his concerns that Amazon was dodging taxes and exploiting the U.S. Postal Service.”

“It made little difference. Mr. Trump persisted in attacks that ran counter to the material they had showed him.”

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow “was apparently blindsided Thursday night by President Trump’s threat to impose an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports,” Politico reports.

“Asked by reporters Friday when he first learned of the president’s decision to instruct his top trade official to consider the new tariffs, Kudlow took a lengthy pause before responding: ‘Last evening.’ The White House statement announcing the move went out shortly after 6:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.”

“Tens of millions of Americans have joined protests and rallies in the past two years, their activism often driven by admiration or outrage toward President Trump,” according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll showing a new activism that could affect November elections.

“One in five Americans have protested in the streets or participated in political rallies since the beginning of 2016. Of those, 19 percent said they had never before joined a march or a political gathering.”

Michelle Fabio reports that the Department Of Homeland Security is compiling a database of journalists and media influencers.  “In today’s installment of “I’m Not Terrified, You Are,” Bloomberg Law reports on a posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject, “Media Monitoring Services.”

The details of the attached Request for Information, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide.”

Republican gynephobia extends well beyond their decades-long obsession with Hillary Clinton.  Craig Gilbert notes that the GOP’s fear of women leaders is apparently getting worse: “Nancy Pelosi has long been a favorite target of GOP attack ads. But Republicans seem to be taking it to another level in this election cycle…The House Democratic leader has been featured in roughly one-third (34%) of all GOP broadcast ads aired in House races this year, according to data provided to the USA TODAY NETWORK by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), which tracks political advertising…That compares with 9% in all of 2016 and 13% in 2014.”

“Priorities USAa progressive super PAC focused on digital advertising, has been encouraging Democrats to push a strong economic message,” notes Alexi McCammond at Axios. “But now they’re pushing for candidates to refocus that message to include health care: “Democrats need to seal the deal by talking about economic issues, health care being one of those,” said Josh Schwerin, the PAC’s communications director…Be smart: The real challenge for Democrats will be choosing a more moderate or progressive health care message. Voters are split 48-46 on wanting a national health plan and simply wanting improvements to the Affordable Care Act, according to a March Kaiser Family Foundation poll…But the timing of the expected insurance premiums increase could help Democrats; another Kaiser poll found health care costs are the top health care issue voters want candidates to talk about in 2018.”

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

4 comments on “The Open Thread for April 8, 2018

  1. Another apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria? Does this make any sense at all for the Assad regime to take this action against the rebels while Trump urges exit from Syria?
    Wouldn’t Assad want the rebel backing US operations out of Syria? This action would more than likely keep US forces in Syria….There is some serious international shenanigans going on here.

  2. cassandram

    I always thought the media narrative on Kelly was wrong. No doubt that he was the grown-up in the room — at least understanding the kind of management approach that could sell to the media and could cover for the racism, corruption and graft of this Admin. But the whole Honor and General thing was dead wrong. Kelly as a civilian was dead in league with Trump and is people and his failure is in not recognizing that the GRIFTUS is managing himself on a reality TV show, GRIFTUS is not managing a government.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: