Open Thread

The Open Thread for May 14, 2018

Jim VandeHei: “Reversing one of the basic assumptions of politics, Trump has shown you can radically change a political party’s core beliefs and brand overnight. Only six years ago, the GOP’s Romney-Ryan ticket was preaching the evils of Russia, the virtue of free trade, the sin of deficits. With no debate and little resistance, Trump has flipped an entire party’s core beliefs. Turns out, voters are far more malleable than we thought — and candidates and presidents can change minds overnight.”

“We always assumed party affiliation was a prerequisite for leading a political party, and some political experience a must. Trump was a liberal Democrat and he hijacked conservatism. The hunger for something different is unmistakable, partly because a big chunk of voters have had it with conventional politics and politicians. No reason another exotic Republican — or third party, or even a surprise Democrat — couldn’t do the same.”

“President Trump’s frustration with Kirstjen Nielsen, which boiled over Wednesday in a Cabinet meeting tirade, has been growing for weeks — stoked by associates who have privately made the case that she’s a closeted ‘never Trumper’ who still doesn’t fully back his agenda,” Politico reports.

“As a result, Trump has come to believe that Nielsen — who considered quitting this week after the president berated her over an uptick in migrant arrests — is not focused enough on carrying out his immigration agenda, one of the people said. The president has told friends that he believes chief of staff John Kelly, with whom he has a strained relationship, foisted his deputy Nielsen upon him, according to two of the people, complaining that he didn’t know what he was getting.”

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a law that says no child-placement agency will be required to put children up for adoption or in foster care in situations that “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies,” CNN reports.

Washington Post: “The man named by President Trump last year to oversee regulation of the nation’s $1.4 trillion credit union industry has taken a novel approach to the agency he leads. Instead of going to his office near Washington every day, J. Mark McWatters works from his home. In Dallas.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders scolded her staff for the derogatory comment about Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) leaked from a closed-door meeting, ABC News reports.

“Sanders called the comment “unacceptable,” but was said to be more upset about the leak than the off-handed comment from White House staffer Kelly Sadler that McCain’s opposition to their CIA director nominee Gina Haspel “doesn’t matter, because he’s dying anyway.”

Jonathan Swan: “The White House communications and press team has been beset by leaks. This last one appears to have crossed a line, and several people in the room on Friday told me they now walk into meetings knowing they can’t trust their own colleagues. In big meetings, they feel inclined, now, to keep their mouths shut.”

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg warned that Americans are facing an “epidemic of dishonesty” in Washington that’s more dangerous than terrorism or communism, the AP reports.

Said Bloomberg: “There is now more tolerance for dishonesty in politics than I have seen in my lifetime. The only thing more dangerous than dishonest politicians who have no respect for the law is a chorus of enablers who defend their every lie.”

“Two candidates for the GOP nomination for Missouri’s U.S. Senate race agreed in writing that one would drop out of the race after a joint poll determined which of the two had the better chance to defeat state Attorney General Josh Hawley in the Aug. 7 primary,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

“One of the candidates, Austin Petersen, said that the other, Tony Monetti, has withdrawn from the agreement. But Monetti told the Post-Dispatch hours later that he still wants to go ahead with it.”

New York Times: ‘At the start of this year, barely a quarter of registered voters in California said they were Republicans, down from more than a third in 1997. At the same time, the number of voters in the state who say they have no party preference has more than doubled, to about 25 percent. This strongly suggests that most people who have left the Republican Party have not become Democrats and would be open to a center-right political party.”

“If a new California-based party can win votes and legislative seats, it could send a signal to politicians around the country that moderation can be a bankable political strategy, helping to break the vise grip of tribal politics that has turned so much of national politics into a blood sport and made it impossible for Congress to pass substantive bipartisan legislation.”

“If a third party has a chance anywhere in the United States, it’s in California. The state allows the two candidates who get the most votes in a so-called open primary, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election.”

Washington Post: “Before the start of a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, at least 25 candidates — mayors, governors, entrepreneurs, members of the House and Senate — have hit the road to workshop their vision, experiment with catchphrases and test policy ideas that could keep President Trump from winning a second term.”

“Many deny that their actions have anything to do with a coming presidential run, but they unmistakably play off the chords of campaigns past, seeking a way to break through a political maw that has been focused more on the latest actions of the president and the coming midterm elections.”

After the Commerce Department last month ordered American companies to stop selling products to the Chinese telecom giant ZTE, President Donald Trump on Sunday appeared to commit to reversing that ban.  ZTE also has contracts with Iran.   It is curious why Trump is pledging to restore Chinese jobs to a company conspiring with the supposedly evil Iran.  When did his attention drift from restoring American jobs?


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

5 comments on “The Open Thread for May 14, 2018

  1. Prop Joe

    “Sanders called the comment ‘unacceptable,’ but was said to be more upset about the leak than the off-handed comment”

    This is one of several reasons why the whole kerfuffle over the Michelle Wolf keynote at the WHCD event was such BS. It was some offensive-to-women routine, replete with body-shaming and the like… It was a stand-up bit that did pretty clear job of highlighting what a total fraud Sanders is… She’s as much of a charlatan as her ‘effed-up father is and is right at home in fetid, dilapidate sewage treatment plant that is the Trump Administration.

  2. cassandram

    Seth Abramson follows the dots of Avenatti’s release of photos as part of his tease that there is more info out there to be had on crimes and misdemeanors and finds more proof that the dossier is right.

  3. cassandram

    And while we are all scratching our heads over the ZTE deal: Trump Indonesia project gets $500M loan from the Chinese

  4. I have to say that I don’t like Trump sending family members to do State business.

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