The Open Thread for April 30, 2018

JUNIOR IS IN TROUBLE.  “A direct line of communication between the Kremlin-connected Agalarov family and the Trump family was open during the transition after President Trump’s presidential election,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“The ‘first of a series’ of text messages was sent between Emin Agalarov and Donald Trump Jr. two days after the 2016 election… The communications continued through at least mid-December 2016.”

Lawfare: “The recently-released Minority report of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) discloses a copy of an e-mail sent by Donald J. Trump Jr., on September 21, 2016, to a group of top Trump campaign officials.   The e-mail is interesting because Trump may have confessed in it to committing a federal crime… It’s just a misdemeanor based on the facts we know.  But depending on the circumstances, the violation could also be a felony.”

“North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, told President Moon Jae-in of South Korea when they met that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States would agree to formally end the Korean War and promise that it would not invade his country,” the New York Times reports.

“In a faith-building gesture ahead of a summit meeting with President Trump, Mr. Kim also said he would invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States to watch the shutdown next month of his country’s only known underground nuclear test site.”

I really don’t care about this story.  Well, no, if anything I am getting pretty pissed off at everyone getting the vapors over someone being mean to conservatives, because they and Trump tell mean jokes about liberals every day. But whatever, enjoy the show.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) “recently became the latest potential presidential candidate to pledge to no longer accept money from corporate political action committees — a move adopted by an increasing number of progressive Democrats who calculate that they have more to gain than lose by forgoing corporate PAC money,” Politico reports.

“But Harris’ decision also reflected a broader — potentially more significant — effort to fortify her small-donor fundraising strategy ahead of the 2020 election.”

“She’s spending aggressively to bolster her digital campaign infrastructure and cultivate supporters online, creating a template that resembles the one that served Sanders so well against Hillary Clinton.”

Charlotte Observer: “There has been little media attention from other cities that might be bidding, and some prominent convention cities have told the Observer they are not interested.”

“The city of Dallas told the Observer that it was asked by the RNC to bid but declined. Dallas was a finalist for the 2016 RNC, which was awarded to Cleveland. The Observer has reached out to a number of other large cities, many of them in swing states. Orlando; Phoenix; Atlanta; Nashville; Columbus, Ohio; and Pittsburgh said they are not bidding.”

Atlanta and Milwaukee are bidding for the Democratic convention.

Margaret Sullivan: “It never has been a particularly good idea for journalists to don their fanciest clothes and cozy up to the people they cover, alongside Hollywood celebrities who have ventured to wonky Washington to join the fun. But in the current era, it’s become close to suicidal for the press’s credibility.”

“Trust in the mainstream media is low, a new populism has caught fire all over the Western world, and President Trump constantly pounds the news media as a bunch of out-of-touch elites who don’t represent the interests of real Americans.”

“The annual dinner — or at least the optics of the dinner — seem to back him up.”

The New York Times editorial board writes to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy concerning rumors that he might soon retire:

“How can we put this the right way? Please don’t go…

As Justice O’Connor would tell you, legacy isn’t only what you do when you’re on the court; it’s also the circumstances in which you leave it. To put it bluntly, did you spend a lifetime honoring and upholding the Constitution and the values of civility and decency in American public life only to have your replacement chosen by Donald Trump?

Do you want to give your seat to a president whose campaign and administration are under criminal investigation, whose closest aides have been indicted or have pleaded guilty to federal crimes? A president with so little regard for or understanding of the role of the judiciary, the separation of powers and the rule of law? A president who nominated to the federal bench someone who called you a “judicial prostitute”?”

“White House physician Ronny Jackson will not return to his role as the president’s personal physician… after a string of allegations caused the Navy rear admiral to withdraw his nomination last week to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Politico reports. “Sean Conley, a Navy officer who took over Jackson’s role as the president’s personal doctor last month, will continue in the role.”

The Miami Herald on the latest legal blow to Trump’s attempts to deport dreamers.  “On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, of Washington state, ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — DACA — not only must remain in place, but that the administration must also resume accepting new applications. He stayed his decision for 90 days.

It’s the third judicial smackdown to President Trump’s efforts to rescind the program — which President Obama created by executive order in 2012 — and deport those it shields, called DREAMers. One would hope the Trump administration would have gotten the message by now that his efforts are misguided. But don’t bet on it.”

Wendy Sherman encourages everyone to not be too encouraged.  “We should all be glad that Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, and Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, had a positive summit — and that Kim literally took a historic step into the South, as did Moon, briefly, into the North. Dialogue is certainly better than a march to war. That said, we all need to keep our expectations in check. …

Similarly, we should all welcome the Trump-Kim summit expected in May or June. But no summit declaration on that occasion will be meaningful regarding North Korea’s nuclear arsenal if the definition of the term “denuclearization” is left blurry and no robust verification regime is put in place. We need to see concrete steps. That would include, in the first instance, allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency back into North Korea to begin an assessment of Pyongyang’s nuclear program and ensure, if possible, that North Korea is not advancing the program while talks continue.”

David Von Drehle on Trump’s frantic Fox appearance.  ‘It was a Trumpian tour de force. The stammering anchors could scarcely get a word in edgewise as the president bounced from boast to boast, gripe to gripe, non sequitur to non sequitur in a stream of consciousness worthy of James Joyce. But they didn’t need to interrupt him, because he was constantly interrupting himself. When Trump says “by the way” (and he said it seemingly every few seconds with the Fox News team), it means he is about to change topics mid-sentence.  Whether by strategy or intuition, Trump has cultivated a way of talking that puts logical, linear listeners at a great disadvantage. If you pause to analyze anything he’s saying, you may find yourself missing the actual mischief.

Like this: “They’re phony memos,” Trump said of fired FBI director James B. Comey’s memorandums of their meetings.  What does he mean by phony? Don’t ask, you’ll fall behind and miss something.  “He didn’t write those memos accurately,” Trump continued. “He put a lot of phony stuff. For instance, I went to Russia for a day or so — a day or two because I own the Miss Universe pageant.”  How is this germane? You’re falling behind.”



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

8 comments on “The Open Thread for April 30, 2018

  1. So, I guess hawkish Chris Coons is now the Democrat’s version of Lyndsey Graham.

    “We’re urging Pres Trump to sustain a U.S. force presence in Syria & work with Congress to formulate a strategy to prevent the reemergence of ISIS, reduce the presence of Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia in the Levant, and facilitate a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian conflict.”

  2. Coons is an AIPAC Democrat.

  3. delacrat

    “A direct line of communication between the Kremlin-connected Agalarov family and the Trump family….” blah blah blah – Buzzfeed

    To create an urgently needed world, where Tom Carper is a private citizen, there needs to be a focus on Kerri Harris and Delaware instead of on Trump and Russia.

    • You could always try multi-tasking. If you want your issues addressed you could always, you know, start your own blog and address them.

      • delacrat

        I don’t whose issues are addressed by all the Russia hysteria (or your devotion to former Speaker Pelosi). Do you ?

  4. I have no devotion to her. I merely pointed out that she does her job well. You still have not addressed the fact that those proposing to replace her are to her right, not her left.

    Whether I know anyone or not, you are telling volunteers who do this for free that you think they should be doing something else. The standard response to that is the one I give you all the time: If you don’t like it, do it yourself. Who’s stopping you?

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