The Open Thread for May 28, 2018

The Arizona Republic published a series of photos of children being detained in holding cells after being separated from their parents who entered the country illegally.

Jonathan Swan: “Shortly after word leaked that Kelly Sadler had taken a nasty shot at John McCain, President Trump convened a meeting in the Oval Office for a tiny group of communications staffers, according to sources familiar with the gathering. Sadler, Mercedes Schlapp, Raj Shah, and John Kelly all gathered in front of the Resolute Desk for a conversation with Trump about the leaking problem. They were the only people in the room, though the door to the outer Oval was open.”

“The president told Sadler she wouldn’t be fired for her remark. He added, separately in the conversation, that he’s no fan of McCain. Then Trump, who had grown obsessed with the leaking problem, told Sadler he wanted to know who the leakers were. Sadler then stunned the room: To be completely honest, she said, she thought one of the worst leakers was Schlapp, her boss.”

“Schlapp pushed back aggressively and defended herself in the room. And in follow up conversations after the meeting, some of Schlapp’s colleagues also came to her defense…. Sadler went on to name other people she also suspected of being leakers.”

Trump did not like something a White House official said, because it contradicted him.  So he said the White House official did not exist and said the Fake News Media made up the official and the briefing.  So the reporters in the briefing finally revolted and published a recording of the briefing.

Rudy Giuliani essentially admitted in a CNN interview with Dana Bash that special counsel Robert Mueller has likely discovered and will likely report potentially impeachable offenses.  As a result, Giuliani said the White House was waging a campaign against the Mueller probe in an effort to delegitimize the investigation in the eyes of voters and lawmakers in Congress.

“BASH: This is an intentional strategy to undermine the investigation, knowing that they, the investigators, the special counsel, it’s their policy not to talk. But you are very free to and are very aggressive about doing so.

GIULIANI: Well, I mean, they’re — they are giving us the material. I couldn’t do it if I didn’t have the material. They are giving us the material to do it. We are defending — to a large extent, remember, Dana, we are defending here, it is for public opinion, because eventually the decision here is going to be impeach, not impeach. Members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, are going to be informed a lot by their constituents. So, our jury is the American — as it should be — is the American people.”

Giuliani also slammed special counsel Robert Mueller’s in investigation as “illegitimate,” Politico reports.  Saying there’s no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, Giuliani argued of Mueller that “the basis on which he was appointed is illegitimate.”

Said Giuliani: “I know 50 years of investigatory experience tells me they don’t have a darn thing because they would’ve used it already and they wouldn’t be off on collusion, they wouldn’t be off on Manafort, they wouldn’t be off on Cohen. You’ve got a good case, man, you go right to it.”

Dana Millbank: “To peruse the coverage of the Democratic primaries of 2018, you’d think there was a battle royale within the Democratic Party: insurgent vs. establishment, Bernie vs. Hillary, progressive vs. moderate, grass roots vs. party bosses.”

“There’s been mention of a ‘battle between progressives and moderates’ (the Guardian), a Democratic ‘identity crisis’ (The Post), a ‘full-blown Democratic war’ (CNN), a ‘civil war’ (Fox News) and a ‘fight for the future of the Democratic Party; (BuzzFeed).”

“But if a civil war has been declared, somebody forgot to tell Democratic voters. They are stubbornly refusing to view 2018 through the progressive/moderate, insurgent/establishment lens…. Overriding all other considerations this year in Democratic voters’ minds (and candidates’ messages) is stopping President Trump and his congressional enablers.”

A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that 48% of Republicans believe that up to 5 million people voted illegally in the last presidential election ― a claim that President Trump has repeatedly made, even though neither he nor anyone else has produced concrete evidence to show it’s true.  Just 17% said they do not believe that claim and 35% said they were unsure.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told ABC News that he sees “no evidence” to support claims that the FBI used an informant to gather information on the Trump campaign, but that instead the federal probe was focused on “individuals with a history of links to Russia that were concerning.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told NBC News the would not rule out challenging President Trump in the Republican primary in 2020.  Said Flake: “It’s not in my plans but I have not ruled anything out.”  He added: “I do hope that somebody runs on the Republican side other than the president, if nothing else than simply to remind Republicans what conservatism is and what Republicans have traditionally stood for.”

“The Supreme Court is heading into the final month of its term, facing decisions on gerrymandering, unions, gay rights, abortion and President Trump’s travel ban,” the Los Angeles Times reports.  “This term’s best-known case is a culture wars clash that pits equal rights for gay customers against a claim of religious liberty from a Christian store owner. It is one of three major cases that feature a ‘compelled speech’ claim from conservatives who object to liberal state laws. The others involve union fees and California’s required disclosures for crisis pregnancy centers.”

“The justices are expected to announce decisions on the first day of every work week between now and the end of June, and then adjourn for the summer.”

President Trump tweeted that the Russia probe has “devastated and destroyed” the reputations of people, continuing his weekend Twitter assault against the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Politico reports.  Said Trump: “Who’s going to give back the young and beautiful lives (and others) that have been devastated and destroyed by the phony Russia Collusion Witch Hunt? They journeyed down to Washington, D.C., with stars in their eyes and wanting to help our nation. … They went back home in tatters.”

That tends to happen to traitors and criminals when they are caught: their lives are destroyed, and they will have deserved it.

“A team of U.S. officials crossed into North Korea on Sunday for talks to prepare for a summit between President Trump and Kim Un, as both sides press ahead with arrangements despite the question marks hanging over the meeting,” the Washington Post reports.

New York Times: “In a sign of just how important the summit is to Mr. Kim, he held an unexpected meeting on Saturday with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, where he expressed a ‘fixed will’ to try to salvage it.”

“The measured response to the cancellation, and the extraordinary diplomatic scramble that followed, was a strong reminder, analysts said, that Mr. Kim not only wants a diplomatic deal with the United States. He may need one.”

Jonathan Swan: “Trump is getting back on the campaign trail, hitting rallies in the states where he’s still fairly popular, and raising money for select Republican candidates heading into November’s midterm elections. He’s been doing this sporadically since inauguration, but the pace is quickening.”

“This week, Trump hits two states for campaign-style events: He flies to Nashville on Tuesday for a political rally and a fundraiser for Marsha Blackburn, who’s running for the Senate in Tennessee. On Thursday, Trump holds fundraisers in Dallas and Houston.”

However: “Some vulnerable Republican House candidates have told Trump’s advisers that it would be harmful, not helpful, if the president visited their districts.”

Fresno Bee: “Rep. Devin Nunes’ big role in the unfolding drama between Justice Department and the Trump administration has drawn national headlines — and allowed him to collect big money from D.C. area donors. But the California Republican is also being dogged by accusations he’s no longer focused on his constituents.”

“Of the more than $1 million Nunes raised from individual donors, roughly $19,000, or 2 percent, came from people in his district, which includes chunks of Fresno and Tulare Counties. That’s the smallest percentage of any the eight California Republicans in Congress who Democrats are targeting for defeat this fall.”

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

64 comments on “The Open Thread for May 28, 2018

  1. cassandram

    Dana Milbank’s commentary is interesting and aligns with what I have been observing for more than a year. Democrats are engaging on their own terms and I think sending a message that government needs to work for them. That message is not wrapped up in doctrinaire policy prescriptions but in Help Us!. Incumbents who are not paying attention to this are working on their last terms, IMO.

    • delacrat

      What is ‘doctrinaire’ about such policy prescriptions such as Medicare-for-all or ending the wars ?

  2. cassandram

    Tom Perriello from this Vanity Fair article:

    “This is still a mistake that Democrats make. This a party still led largely by people who came of age in the last century rather than this one,” said Perriello. “This old idea was that ‘everyone knows their own district best’ and you can go home and have your own messages. That made sense a generation ago when people got the majority of their news from local sources. Now the vast majority of information comes from national sources and social media. Even local news is full of national-news packages. Even if we wanted to not talk about Trump, that’s not an option. The media is going to talk about Trump, and Trump is going to be the story they talk about whether we want them to or not.”

    Perriello told me that Democrats should absolutely focus on health-care premiums and the fact that the tax bill overwhelming benefits the wealthiest. But they should also be prepared to talk about the Trump investigation in a coherent way, crystallizing the fact that the sitting president of the United States has surrounded himself with grifters and criminals who have been indicted for bank fraud, conspiracy, lying to federal investigators, and whatever other charges may come. “The more it’s about Russia and the 2016 elections, that feels backwards-looking and seems like a partisan lens,” he said. “It works when it’s about corruption and crime and the fact that the president shouldn’t be above the law. . . . Trump has put his narrative out there, and quite frankly, Democrats haven’t put it out there or talked about it in effective ways. When Trump says ‘witch hunt’ or ‘deep state,’ from the Democrats you sort of get nothing. And then Mueller says nothing, so it starts to sound like maybe this is all just silly partisan politics.”

    This s good stuff, even though the writer of this article wants to have it both ways. The GRIFTUS may own the news cycle by virtue of the lies and scandal, but what will the press cover from Democrats? i listen to NPR almost all day and they no longer even pretend to “both sides” they just speak to the GOP except in rare occasions. The CAP Ideas conference was a couple of weeks back and there was little coverage of that — even though most of the assumed 2020 candidates had major speaking roles. I keep hearing this argument that Democrats have to be just as batshit crazy and corrupt to get the kind of coverage that the GRIFTUS gets. And no one wants that.

    • delacrat

      “….they(NPR) just speak to the GOP except in rare occasions.” – cassandram

      There’s your ‘Liberal’ Media

    • RIght…. What does the average person think of when asked about healthcare? Obamacare, owned by the Democrats lock, stock, and barrel. So who are they going to blame high premiums on?

      And please, run on repealing the tax cuts. That will go over well. Crumbs, and all that. From a San Francisco 1%er.

      And by all means keep pounding on that Mueller investigation that has found….. nothing.

      Blue trickle incoming.

      • pandora

        Five guilty pleas and 17 criminal indictments aren’t nothing, but keep spinning.

        • A handful of tax, money laundering, and “failure to report foreign accounts….” which have nothing to do with election interference. And ham-sandwich level indictments of 13 Russian nationals which will never see the inside of a courtroom.

          Yeah, pretty rich haul.

          • As compared to the haul from…how many Benghazi hearings was it again? You know, the ones Kevin McCarthy admitted were about damaging Hillary Clinton.

      • cassandram

        Actually, the average person knows that the GOP are undermining Obamacare which is why the costs are exploding. I’ve had to tap into Obamacare and when you talk to insurance companies (I have) or even just read rate filings, ALL of them blame Trump.

        • “Gruber is quietly telling state governments that the law will significantly increase the cost of insurance.” March 22, 2012 That is Jonathan Gruber, the Architect of the ACA.

          You remember the guy “It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,”

          • Simply proof that you’re not the average person we’re talking about. You’re a dim-witted fool who watches right-wing propaganda as his hobby because it flatters his “intelligence.”

            • Good come back Al! Yup, he actually said it, no right wing propaganda!

          • Yes, he said it a very long time ago. Most people are not still obsessing about a person telling a truth that should be obvious to anyone who can perform simple arithmetic.

        • Well of course we get a biased answer from an organization set up by Democrats strictly to try and prevent the repeal of Obamacare.

          • Please demonstrate evidence of the assertion that the answer is biased. Have you reviewed the methodology?

          • cassandram

            This group reviewed the findings (do you know what they are?) from each application to raise premiums and pointed to the explanation provided for why premiums jumped so fast. Can you provide similarly sourced material?

            Didn’t think so.

        • Huge shocker, an insurance company exec trying to blame someone else for jacking up premiums.

          • This is a Fox News response. If you’re hoping to show evidence of anything other than your shallowness, you’ll have to back up this ad hominem attack with some evidence.

        • Huge shocker, yet another insurance company exec trying to deflect blame for raising premiums.


          “A boost in health exchange marketplace customers and a lower number of medical claims enabled Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C. to boost fiscal 2017 net income nearly fourfold to $734 million.”

          “The nonprofit insurer said it received a $102 million lower tax expense from the federal tax rate reform as it relates to revaluing its deferred tax assets and liabilities.

          Blue Cross plans to pass those savings on to customers in the form of lower premium costs for policies that begin to renew in the fall.”

          • It’s a non-profit, so it has little choice except to give it back to customers or — as the article prominently notes — give it to company execs.

            It’s also an incredibly roundabout way to give customers a break, as $100 million is a pittance compared with the hundreds of billions given to for-profit corporations.

            Someone as lacking in abstract thought as you are should really just shut the fuck up, read, and learn.

          • Try addressing the points I raised, just this once.

            • you dont really think the thing is gonna address your points do you? It’s a bot. A pre-programmed shit-machine that is only able to react with some lazy pre-recorded responses.

            • And, your points are?
              This was supposed to be “Affordable” Health Care, NOT! My point is, of course you fail to see it……..NOW your blaming the GOP. It was going to cost more every year, they knew that from the beginning. they put on all these, performance crap, that DR’s couldn’t focus on the PATIENT! That is the most important issue. They had to purchase new software, which escalated the cost to practice medicine, instead of taking the focus on the patient. Any Dr will tell you that.

              Oh and then there is Ben……..

              • So we’re to blame because you couldn’t figure out that insuring people with pre-existing conditions would cost us more? I think not. As for “it was going to cost more every year,” the point wasn’t your premiums, it was bringing down the rate of increase in health care costs while getting the uninsured — both those who couldn’t afford it and young, healthy people who said “Fuck it, I don’t need it” to help pay the freight. Your insurance cost more every year before the ACA, in case you don’t remember.

                We’re blaming the GOP for purposely trying to allow insurance companies to go back to throwing sick people off the insurance rolls, and for shrinking the pool by repealing the mandate.

                Do try to follow based on the facts in evidence, rather than just making scattershot allegations based on what you heard on TV.

                I have doctors in my family. What you don’t know about this would fill a blog. Stop filling this one.

              • Obamacare has been one of the most self destructive acts ever committed by a political party. The decline in the fortunes of the Democrats over the last 8-10 years can be laid directly at the feet of Obamacare.

                And it was a completely unforced error. Healthcare was probably no higher than 5th or 6th on a list of things that most voters were worried about in 2010. But Obama insisted on his “legacy”.

                What he and the Dems should have done is slowly increment Medicare and Medicaid. These are incredibly popular programs. Just slowly drop the Medicare eligibility age and slowly increase the Medicaid income limits. Watch the uninsured rate come down. And don’t give the Republicans a cudgel to beat them over the head with in the 2010 midterms.

              • cassandram

                There are people who *do* find it affordable. Lost of those folks have pre-existing conditions that wouldn’t have been covered otherwise. Or who can just buy some insurance because they couldn’t before. It’s a PITA here in Delaware because the marketplace is tiny and other reasons. But if you are not getting a subsidy here in DE, you are paying alot of money for what is not too far from catastrophic insurance. Would love to hear Mitch Crane tell us how this can be fixed locally.

                So we’re done here with your talking points Anono. You won’t bother to educate yourself except on whatever the confused GOP talking points of the day are.

  3. cassandram

    David Leonhardt doesn’t see much division, either. Mostly Democrats running on some genuine populism. The potential for real division comes after credible numbers of these folks get voted in. Because they are going to want to work on and deliver some real solutions for regular people and are going to run right up against the mandarin class who are working for the people they spend call time with.

  4. It’s Memorial Day, honor the men and women, who have served their country and sacrificed their lives. For that, we Thank you!

    And on a day that we should be honoring, the fallen, the men and women, who have served to protect our country. I see nothing mentioning Memorial Day on Delaware Blue!

    Very sad!!

    Such hypocrites!

    • pandora

      Oooh! Should we have written something like this?

      Donald J. Trump
      ‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

      Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!

      The dead would be happy that Trump says he’s awesome? Tone-deaf is too kind a description.

      • No. But, we know you just make it political. Trump’s statement was rude. Of course DB, doesn’t even acknowledge the people and the day!

    • Do you know what “hypocrite” even means? There’s nothing hypocritical about not mentioning Memorial Day. It’s jingoism at its finest.

      • OK, Al, whatever you say! It’s called respect.

        • Respect for the dead is not paid to the dead, who after all are dead and can’t speak for themselves. It’s virtue signaling, in the dreadful liberal term for what I call moral preening.

          Most of America’s war dead were unwilling participants pressed into service. “Honoring” them does no such thing, but it does perpetuate America’s always-martial attitude toward the rest of the world.

          This country is going down, as it has deserved to do since its founding.

          • Your very upbeat!

            • Absolutely. I love to see the bad guys get what’s coming to them, and the bad guys are Americans. You, for instance.

              • Your American as well or maybe you finally went to France.
                “and the bad guys are Americans.” Too funny Al, you crack me up.

  5. Jason330

    Fox News is reporting that the picture of the detained children in the dog cage was taken during the Obama administration. Yes – I made the mistake of watching 2 minutes of Fox News this morning. No – I don’t believe the reporting. And yet it is interesting to know what kind of outright lies, rationalizations and excuses they can cook up on a moments notice.

    • Do you ever wonder why these stories end up going nowhere? It’s because they’re “fake news”. Blue Delaware has posted “fake news”.

    • “I made the mistake of watching 2 minutes of Fox News this morning.” – jason330

      That’s not a mistake, it shows that you’re not just a mindless drone, and that you at least have some curiosity.

      If I’m watching news on TV, I’m watching CNN or MSNBC. I like to know how the opposition is spinning the information.

      Maybe Blue Delaware should try this so they don’t keep posting…..”fake news”.

      • Nobody with intellectual curiosity exercises it by watching TV. Any TV.

        • I exercise mine by coming here to see what Al has to say 🙂

      • elizabeth allen

        If your only listening to cable TV, your now permitting corporation owners to INFORM you from their perspective. Throw in some FREE Speech TV. like Democracy Now, Thom Hartman, and other real progressives NOT owned by corporations. Speaking Truth and Telling Truth to power. Cable is total propaganda regardless of the channel you watch,. Get the Nation mag, join Color of purple, and other progressive information and then decide what is true or false.

  6. Mitch Crane

    After reading President Trump’s Memorial Day tweet, I now know what to tell people who do not know what to say to someone who has lost a loved one. “Have a happy funeral” “Congratulations on your loss. I am sure your loved one would be happy and proud that you can afford this funeral.”

    • You should not that this important legislation is one of Dover’s most progressive Democrats, Brian Townsend. You know, one of those Democrats you’re always complaining about.

      • “You should not that this” Apparently, you did not have enough coffee this morning.

        • Should be “note.” Can’t edit on this site. You really don’t want me copy editing your semi-literate droppings.

          So what of the fact that a Democrat is behind this?

          • Well, Al. If it’s good for all, I don’t have a problem with it. I’m very middle of the road, unlike unAmerican’s like yourself!

  7. So, it has been clearly established that the photos of children being “held in cages”, as well as the egg farm bit, is from the Obama-era yet Blue Delaware, unlike other media sources, has not retracted the premise that they were there because of Trump.
    Blue Delaware…Keeping “fake news” alive and well.

    • Your complaint would have validity if you had ever called out Trump on one of his lies. You haven’t, so all this does is highlight your hypocrisy.

      • Outrage when Trump was thought to be the culprit of “children of immigrants cages”, but then silence when the culprit was found to be Obama…Now that’s hypocrisy.

        “#wherearethechildren ” was just another misinformation campaign in a sea of misinformation campaigns launched by the lying leftist who lie.

        I’ve said it before; both sides of the isle piss me off ,but the left side pisses me off more exactly because of this type of shit.

        • I can’t answer for them. But it’s a widely reported, if not widely known, fact that the Obama administration was not “soft on” immigrants. So hypocrisy-wise, right back atcha. The left only pisses you off more because you’re on the other team.

          Oh, and the word is “aisle.”

        • Aisle

  8. Yes, I know it’s “aisle” I put the correction in the reply after my reply to you. I don’t know why it didn’t show. It would be nice to be able to edit though.

  9. I know. Without the ability to edit you can never tell if it’s just a typo or the person doesn’t know the correct spelling. My apologies.

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