The Open Thread for May 26, 2018

Paul Waldman: “You may have noticed that today’s news is not dominated by the blockbuster revelations of what members of Congress learned yesterday when they met with Justice Department officials to review information about the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, specifically the bureau’s use of a confidential informant who contacted Trump campaign officials after learning of suspicious links involving Russia.”

“Why is it that the results of that highly unusual meeting (two meetings, actually) are not splashed across every front page and dominating every minute of cable news today? Because the whole thing was a farce, and it didn’t give Republicans what they were hoping for.”

“This reveals the absurd pattern we’ve fallen into. It goes like this: President Trump makes a ridiculous accusation that almost everyone immediately understands to be false. Then we in the media, because it’s the president, treat that accusation as though it’s something that has to be taken seriously. Then governmental resources are mustered to deal with the accusation. Then Republicans try to twist the mobilization of those resources to give them the answer they’re seeking. But because it’s all based on a lie, they fail once Democrats force some measure of truth to be revealed.”

Ireland has voted by a landslide margin to change the constitution so that abortion can be legalized, according to an exit poll conducted for The Irish Times.

Looks like the good Senator read the Open Threads this week.

“Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen,” the New York Times reports.

“In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump… The men also arranged to see one another at the inauguration.”

David Wasserman: “Most analysis has framed this year’s multitude of Democratic primaries as struggles for the soul of the party between moderate, ‘handpicked DC’ candidates and left-wing ‘insurgents’ in the Bernie Sanders mold… But there may be something much simpler and more powerful than ideology at work here: Democratic primary voters’ intense desire to nominate women in 2018.”

“A confluence of factors has led to this Trump-driven political moment: last year’s Women’s March, the societal reckoning in the wake of ‘Me Too,’ and the enormous power of EMILY’s List to shape races by aiding female Democratic candidates’ fundraising efforts. Political scientists could debate just how significant a role each of these has played in this year’s explosion of female candidates. The data, however, is crystal clear.”

“President Trump had canceled the June 12 summit in Singapore on Thursday but now says it is possible that a meeting could take place as originally planned,” the Washington Post reports. Said Trump: “We’ll see what happens. We are talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it. It could even be the 1.2th.”

LOL.  He is such a pathetic little man, afraid to ever take responsibility for any decision.  Remember, he was the one who called off the meeting.  He got negative news coverage because of it, so now he has to tease that the summit for which he is not prepared and may result in embarrassment for him (which is really why he cancelled in the first place) is back on.  I predict that summit will always be a possibility forever, because Trump can never stick to any policy for any length of time.

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates the government will take in $1.9 trillion less in revenue and spend $300 billion more over the next decade than the White House estimated under its latest budget proposal if the plan were enacted,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Deficits would total $9.5 trillion over the coming decade, or $2.3 trillion more than the White House estimates.”

Washington Post: “The president has chastised her on several occasions this spring, including a much-publicized meeting earlier this month when he attacked her in front of the entire Cabinet. He has grown furious because his administration has made little progress building the border wall, and his most ardent supporters have blamed Nielsen for not doing more to halt the caravan of Central American migrants whose advance Trump saw as a personal challenge.”

“He has also seen her as a proxy for Kelly, whose relationship with the president has frayed in recent months. Trump has decided, according to several aides, that Nielsen is a George W. Bush kind of Republican, the worst in his view.”

“Tensions between the two could soon flare again — the Border Patrol’s May arrest numbers are due to be released early next month, and immigration hawks, including the president, now treat them as a kind of barometer for Nielsen’s performance.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told NPR that he continues to support the Mueller Russia investigation — and that nothing in Thursday’s hotly anticipated secret briefing on the Russia probe to congressional leaders changed his mind.

Said McConnell: “The two investigations going on that I think will give us the answers to the questions that you raise — the [inspector general] investigation in the Justice Department and the Mueller investigation. I support both of them, and I don’t really have anything to add to this subject based upon the Gang of Eight briefing that we had today, which was classified.”

“In a Sept. 18, 2016, message, Stone urged an acquaintance who knew Mr. Assange to ask the WikiLeaks founder for emails related to Mrs. Clinton’s alleged role in disrupting a purported Libyan peace deal in 2011 when she was secretary of state, referring to her by her initials,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Wrote Stone: “Please ask Assange for any State or HRC e-mail from August 10 to August 30 — particularly on August 20, 2011.”

The acquaintance responded: “That batch probably coming out in the next drop … I can’t ask them favors every other day. I asked one of his lawyers … they have major legal headaches right now … relax.”

Charlie Cook: “The point of this exercise is to show that the House is likely to be very close no matter what, with neither party likely to have more than the 55 percent of seats the GOP has today, and we’ve seen how difficult it is for the majority to get much done even with that advantage. Only with the best-case scenario for the GOP does either party have anything like a working majority in the Senate, certainly not the 59-41 and 60-40 edges that Democrats had in the first two years of the Obama administration.”

“The bottom line is that with neither party able to act in a decisive or even deliberate manner, it is pretty unlikely that Congress will be in a position to get a heck of a lot done in 2019 and 2020 no matter what the midterm outcome is. We’re just waiting to see the degree of paralysis and which side will have the responsibility for it.”

Of course, paralysis would be a big victory for Democrats in the age of Trump.”

Politico: “As Americans head out for traditional Memorial Day weekend road trips, they’ll confront gas prices of nearly $3 a gallon, the highest since 2014 and a 25 percent spike since last year. The increased cost of fuel is already wiping out a big chunk of the benefit Americans received from the GOP tax cuts. And things could get worse as summer approaches following the administration’s standoff with Iran and a move by oil-producing nations to tighten supplies.”

“The result: The economic and political benefits Trump and the GOP hoped to reap from cutting tax rates could be swamped by higher pump prices that Americans face every time they hit the road.”

“Julian Assange’s nearly six-year refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London is in danger, opening the WikiLeaks founder to arrest by British authorities and potential extradition to the US,” CNN reports.

“While Assange has in the past claimed his position in the embassy was under threat, sources say his current situation is ‘unusually bad’ and that he could leave the embassy ‘any day now,’ either because he will be forced out or made to feel so restricted that he might choose to leave on his own.”

“Since Donald Trump began dominating American politics more than two years ago, Democrats concerned about his policies and behavior have taken solace in a group of influential Republicans who have consistently assailed the president as anathema to the values of their party, and the country more broadly,” the New York Times reports.

“In the past year, however, influential liberal donors and operatives have gone from cheering these so-called Never Trump Republicans to quietly working with — and even funding — them. Through invitation-only emails and private, off-the-record meetings, they have formed a loose network of cross-partisan alliances aimed at helping neutralize President Trump, and preventing others from capitalizing on weaknesses in the political system that they say he has exploited.”

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

2 comments on “The Open Thread for May 26, 2018

  1. cassandram

    He called off this meeting because he did not understand the terms of this meeting. He thought that NK would denuclearize. They won’t. And once it was really clear that he was not going to be a hero here, he rushed to cancel the meeting first, to try to hide the fact he didn’t know he had no chance of being a hero here. So basically he had no chance to work his grift here so tried to get some virtue out of cancelling all of it.

    • The latest round where he tries the “It might happen” game seems like he’s trying to play Kim’s game, albeit it poorly and in a childish sort of way.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: