Open Thread

The Open Thread for June 23, 2018

TRUMPS TAX SCAM BECOMING MORE UNPOPULAR.  “It’s been six months since President Donald Trump signed into law the Republican tax cuts. During that time, the measure appears to have become less popular — not more. The GOP’s big 2018 midterms sales pitch isn’t working out exactly how party leaders thought it would,” Vox reports.

“According to a Monmouth University poll released this week, just 34 percent of Americans said they approve of the Republican tax reform package, compared to 41 percent who disapprove. That’s down from April, when 40 percent of Americans said they approved of the law and 44 percent did not. In January, respondents were evenly split, with 44 percent saying they approved and another 44 percent voicing disapproval of the plan.”

“Broadly, most polling shows the tax law is more disliked than liked by Americans. A recent Quinnipiac poll found 39 percent of respondents approve of the legislation and 46 percent disapprove of it. An Economist/YouGov poll found a smaller but still negative margin, with 38 percent approving and 40 percent not.”

2018 POLLING.   In Montana, incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester had a 51 percent to 44 percent lead over his GOP challenger, State Auditor Matt Rosendale, according to a Gravis Marketing poll from last week. West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin had a 48-39 lead over state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, according to a Monmouth University survey released this week. And according to a new Marquette University Law School poll, Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin is ahead of her two most likely GOP challengers — Wisconsin’s primaries aren’t until Aug. 14. She had a 49-40 advantage over state Sen. Leah Vukmir, and a 50-39 lead over businessman Kevin Nicholson.

FOX & MONSTERS.  Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade came to the defense of President Trump on Friday for his policy of forced family separation at the border between the U.S. and Mexico, New York magazine reports.

Said Kilmeade: “Like it or not, these aren’t our kids. Show them compassion, but it’s not like he’s doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country.”

BUT HIS EMAILS. “An examination of Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s government email accounts has uncovered only one message he wrote to anyone outside EPA during his first 10 months in office — a number that has watchdogs questioning whether he is communicating in private,” Politico reports.

“EPA says Pruitt mainly holds discussions in person or over the phone, which would explain the meager electronic trail for his external communications. But Pruitt’s critics remain suspicious — especially in light of all the steps the agency has taken to conceal his activities, from refusing to release his meeting calendars to installing a $43,000 soundproof booth in his office.”

BEGUN, THE TRUMP TRADE WAR HAS.  President Trump “threatened to unilaterally impose a 20 percent tariff on all automobile imports from Europe, further breaking from Republicans in Congress and front-running an investigation he had ordered from the Commerce Department into whether these imports harm the U.S.’s national security,” the Washington Post reports.

“It was the first time he had threatened to impose a specific level of tariffs on automobiles from Europe.”

A DEFEAT FOR THE SURVEILLANCE STATE.  “The Supreme Court on Friday put new restraints on law enforcement’s access to the ever-increasing amount of private information about Americans available in the digital age,” the Washington Post reports.

“In the specific case before the court, the justices ruled that authorities generally must obtain a warrant to gain access to cell-tower records that can provide a virtual timeline and map of a person’s whereabouts.”

“Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the 5 to 4 decision, in which he was joined by the court’s liberal members.”

TRUMP UNDERCUTS HIS PARTY ON IMMIGRATION YET AGAIN.  President Trump on Friday told Republican lawmakers to “stop wasting their time” on immigration legislation, even as the House grapples to reach a compromise, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”

Perhaps due to the President’s tweet, Speaker Paul Ryan surprised Capitol Hill by delaying a vote on a “compromise“ immigration package until next week, as GOP leaders search for a way to get 218 votes to pass the measure, Politico reports.  “Ryan told lawmakers that leadership may add an E-Verify mandate — an online system that allows employers to confirm the eligibility of employees to work in the United States — as well as other provisions called for by rural state lawmakers to the package.”

NATIONAL ENQUIRER GAVE MICHAEL COHEN EDITORIAL CONTROL.  “During the presidential campaign, National Enquirer executives sent digital copies of the tabloid’s articles and cover images related to Donald Trump and his political opponents to Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen is in advance of publication, according to three people with knowledge of the matter — an unusual practice that speaks to the close relationship between Trump and David Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s parent company,” the Washington Post reports.

“Although the company strongly denies ever sharing such material before publication, these three individuals say the sharing of material continued after Trump took office.”

CHAOS AT THE BORDER DUE TO REPUBLICAN INCOMPETENCE AND CRUELTY.  “The United States is preparing to shelter as many as 20,000 migrant children on four American military bases, a Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday, as federal officials struggled to carry out President Trump’s order to keep immigrant families together after they are apprehended at the border,” the New York Times reports.

“The immediate fate of more than 2,300 immigrant children remains unclear as government officials and advocates scrambled Thursday to determine their next steps after President Donald Trump suddenly ended his policy of separating families apprehended at the border,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

Said Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission: “It’s chaos. Everything is just moving really fast … I am not convinced they have a plan for reunifying those they have separated.”

New York Times: “Parents said they still did not know how to track down their children, and struggled to find out any information through a 1-800 hotline set up by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. Others who had located their children said they were still separated by thousands of miles and a bureaucratic maze they did not know how to navigate.”

A BAD FRONT MAN.  “Stephen Miller, the architect of President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, was noticeably absent from public view this week as the White House first vociferously defended and then caved on separating migrant children from their parents,” Politico reports.

“That wasn’t an accident. Among White House insiders, there is a sense that the president’s senior adviser for policy is a bad front man for the issue he’s most passionate about. Miller stayed entirely out of the spotlight during days of mounting political pressure, though behind the scenes he visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday night along with Trump to sell House Republicans on immigration legislation.”

“While other White House aides, like national security adviser John Bolton and National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow, are prized by Trump for their smooth defense of his policies on television, Miller is the opposite, valued as a source of ideas that the president believes appeal to his base.”

TRUMP TO MEET WITH HIS MASTER.  Trump is set to meet with Putin in mid-July, CNN reported Thursday.  According to two sources familiar with the matter who spoke to CNN, Trump and Putin will meet around the time that Trump is in the UK and taking part in a NATO summit, despite Trump’s interest in having Putin come to Washington, D.C. Moscow reportedly wanted the meeting to be in a neutral location and the source told CNN it will likely take place in Vienna.  Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton plans to visit Moscow and has taken charge of communications between the two countries, a spokesperson told reporters on Thursday.

NAZIS TO RALLY IN WASHINGTON IN AUGUST.   The Nazi Jason Kessler, who organized last year’s deadly white supremacist rally in Virginia that resulted in the terrorist killing of an innocent woman, has been granted initial approval to host another rally in August, this time on the Mall in Washington, DC.  The National Park Service says it has approved an application for a “Unite the Right” anniversary rally to be held in front of the White House.

The application describes it as a “white civil rights” rally.  Kessler says he wants elected officials in Washington to know that the violence that killed a woman and injured others in Charlottesville was provoked by what he’s calling “civil rights abuse.”  LOL.  So the victim was responsible for her own death by angering the Nazi terrorist.  Got it.  Kessler estimates 400 people will join him in Washington.   Humanity will counter protest with 4,000 people at least.

IMPEACH!  Almost the same proportion of Americans want to impeach President Donald Trump as the percentage who favored impeaching Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate scandal, according to a new CNN/SSRS poll.

The survey found that 42 percent of Americans today think Trump should be impeached, compared with the 43 percent who backed Nixon’s impeachment in March 1974. (When broken down by party, the support for impeachment is quite skewed, however. Seventy-seven percent of Democrats say Trump should be impeached, while just 9 percent of Republicans do.)

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

2 comments on “The Open Thread for June 23, 2018

  1. Trump’s tax scam?? What about the tax scam in NCC. 15% tax hike, sewer tax hike and teachers and state workers the most generous parental leave benefit in the nation and their not even paying for it. Time to get rid of the Delaware Democrat communist Party!!!

    • delacrat

      If these go through, will you be down to your last million?

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