The Open Thread for July 3, 2018

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that American voters agree 63% to 31% with the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision on abortion.  There is almost no gender gap: Men agree 61% to 32%, while women agree 65% to 30%.  However, Republicans disagree with Roe v. Wade 58% to 36%. Every other listed party, gender, education, age and racial group agrees with Roe.

The same poll found Democrats with a 9 point lead on the generic ballot: 50%-41%/

For the first time in Gallup‘s 18-year history asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than a majority say they are “extremely proud.”  Currently, 47% describe themselves this way, down from 51% in 2017 and well below the peak of 70% in 2003.

BuzzFeed News: “When the Department of Justice announced this month that investigators had pieced together records found in a shredder belonging to the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, critics, legal experts, and journalists feverishly speculated about what they might contain.”

“Now, BuzzFeed News has obtained documents reconstructed by the FBI. A close examination shows that the records are a combination of documents that prosecutors already had, handwritten notes about a taxi business, insurance papers, and correspondence from a woman described in court filings as a ‘vexatious litigant’ who claims she is under government surveillance.”

Jeffrey Toobin: “It will overrule Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortions and to criminally prosecute any physicians and nurses who perform them. It will allow shopkeepers, restaurateurs, and hotel owners to refuse service to gay customers on religious grounds. It will guarantee that fewer African-American and Latino students attend élite universities. It will approve laws designed to hinder voting rights. It will sanction execution by grotesque means. It will invoke the Second Amendment to prohibit states from engaging in gun control, including the regulation of machine guns and bump stocks.”

“And these are just the issues that draw the most attention. In many respects, the most important right-wing agenda item for the judiciary is the undermining of the regulatory state.”

Legal experts say it’s likely that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators — who are looking at the NRA’s funding as part of a broader inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections — secretly gained access to the group’s tax returns, McClatchy reports.

“On the returns, the group was required to identify its so-called ‘dark money’ donors — companies and wealthy individuals who financed $21 million of the group’s publicly disclosed pro-Trump spending, as well as its multimillion-dollar efforts to heighten voter turnout. The NRA’s nonprofit status allows it to shield those donors’ names from the public, but not the IRS.”

“Since her husband took office Melania Trump has earned six figures from an unusual deal with a photo agency in which major media organizations have indirectly paid the Trump family despite a requirement that the photos be used only in positive coverage,” NBC News reports.

“President Donald Trump’s most recent financial disclosure reveals that in 2017 the first lady earned at least $100,000 from Getty Images for the use of any of a series of 187 photos of the first family shot between 2010 and 2016 by Belgian photographer Regine Mahaux… More problematic for the many news organizations that have published or broadcast the images, however, is that Getty’s licensing agreement stipulates the pictures can be used in ‘positive stories only.’”

New York Times editorial calls for new House Democratic leadership:  “For too long, this regime has clung to power at the expense of future leaders. Neither of Ms. Pelosi’s two chief deputies, Steny Hoyer, the party whip, and Jim Clyburn, the assistant leader, is a remotely viable successor. Like Ms. Pelosi, both men are just shy of 80 and have occupied top-tier posts for over a decade. At this point, the caucus leadership has gone from stale to downright ossified.”

Playbook: “Don’t underestimate the power of an editorial like that. The Times is frequently called ‘the donor paper’ on Capitol Hill. Calling for wholesale change in Democratic leadership from a megaphone like the Times editorial page is big. Also, ouch: the Times said neither Clyburn and Hoyer are viable successors.”

NBC News: House Democratic leadership may be up for grabs after Crowley’s loss.

Associated Press: “Across the country, a new generation is making its way to Washington. It’s not just that some of the Democrats, like 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are young and progressive. They are. Or that many are women entering politics who want to fight President Donald Trump. They do. Or even that some of them live in Trump country.”

“They also come to politics steeped in an era of resistance and revolt, like the tea party Republicans who rose against President Barack Obama and the so-called Watergate babies elected after President Richard Nixon.”

“If the newcomers provide the numbers to give Democrats control of the House, or even fall short and end up in the ranks of the minority, they will be a force to be reckoned with upon arrival. That holds especially true for Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the longtime House Democratic leader.”

David Weigel: “No hyperbole here: The retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy fulfills a conservative dream and a liberal nightmare. By October, Republican senators fully intend to have replaced Kennedy with one of the conservative judges on President Trump’s list. For the next few months, money will pour into red and purple states, urging Democratic senators to confirm whomever Trump nominates and condemning them if they don’t. It’s the most important story in America, and the most predictable.”

“What’s not predictable is the effect this will have on the midterms. As soon as the Kennedy news broke, the hot takes began cooking, and most of them scored for the Republicans. The most commonly cited data was the 2016 exit poll, which found 21 percent of voters citing the Supreme Court’s open seat — held open, by Republicans, to deny Barack Obama his final appointment — as their top issue. Fifty-six percent of those voters backed Trump over Clinton. There you go: Republicans get excited by Supreme Court fights, and liberals go to sleep.”

“But is that true?”

CBS News “has learned that D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Chicago Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett are currently Mr. Trump’s leading contenders for the appointment to the nation’s highest court.

“Kavanaugh and Barrett both appear on Mr. Trump’s list of 25 possible nominees and he’s said he plans to interview about half a dozen potential candidates before announcing his selection.”

A new Cygnal poll in Georgia shows Casey Cagle (R) just ahead of Brian Kemp (R) in the July 24 runoff for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, 44% to 43%, with 9% still undecided.

“President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies, including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada, taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience with their failure to meet security obligations shared by the alliance,” the New York Times reports.

“The letters, which went out last month, are the latest sign of acrimony between Mr. Trump and American allies as he heads to a NATO summit meeting next week in Brussels that will be a closely watched test of the president’s commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance after he has repeatedly questioned its value and claimed that its members are taking advantage of the United States.”

Axios has obtained a leaked draft of a Trump administration bill — ordered by the president himself — that would declare America’s abandonment of fundamental World Trade Organization rules.”

“The draft legislation is stunning. The bill essentially provides Trump a license to raise U.S. tariffs at will, without congressional consent and international rules be damned.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that there’s no level on the downside in the stock market that would alter the way President Trump approaches trade.

Said Ross: “There’s no bright line level of the stock market that’s going to change policy. The president is trying to fix long-term problems that should have been fixed a long time ago.”

“The U.S. Farm Belt helped deliver Donald Trump to the White House, drawn to his promises to revive rural America and deregulate industry. Now, the president’s global trade offensive is threatening the livelihoods of many farmers,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mounting trade disputes, spurred by U.S. threats to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods from key trading partners, have cut U.S. agricultural exports and sent commodity prices tumbling. Many farmers, who depend on shipments overseas for one-fifth of the goods they produce, say they are anxious, especially because they are already expecting bumper harvests or grappling with a dairy glut.”

“President Trump defiantly stood by his tariffs on Sunday as Canada hit back hard, Mexico elected a new leader who seems prepared to confront him, and the European Union issued a scathing condemnation of his policy as ‘in effect, a tax on the American people,’” the Washington Post reports.

“Instead of backing down, Trump brushed off the mounting pressure from businesses and world leaders to scale back the taxes before they cause additional job losses and slower economic growth.”

Associated Press: “Some U.S. products, mostly steel and iron, face 25% tariffs, the same penalty the United States slapped on imported steel at the end of May. Other U.S. imports, from ketchup to pizza to dishwasher detergent, will face a 10% tariff at the Canadian border, the same as America’s tax on imported aluminum.”

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

25 comments on “The Open Thread for July 3, 2018

  1. It’s actually pretty remarkable just how similar the Resistance is to the Tea Party. The Resistance even has their own version of Christine O’Donnell in election spoiler Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    • Witchypoo failed, bigly. Ocasio-Cortez won and might have even awoken the fossils we call the Dem elite. And as their all near 80 that ain’t easy.

  2. And just as the changing of the seasons bring on different bird calls in the birding world, the all familiar cries of abortion rights comes with every new election season. I don’t remember a time when this wasn’t the case. At this point I think we are entering the world of Chicken Little and the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

    • pandora

      That statement just means you haven’t been paying attention to the laws state republicans have been passing and not listening to what US congressmen, Trump and his cabinet/employees have stated. I’m not surprised.

  3. At this point the abortion debate is so politically useful for both sides I doubt there will be a serious challenge to RvW.

    Smart Repubs and Dems know that most normal people hold the “safe, legal, and rare” position which is about where we are now, and will be for the foreseeable future.

    And smart Repubs and Dems also know that this is a powerful issue to drum up the support of the base on both sides.

    Basically it is a tacit ceasefire on this issue.

    • I don’t think that’s how it will go down. Overturning Roe kicks it back to the states, which means 50 fights over it instead of one federal fight. The ruling can be overturned without threatening the fund-raising — indeed, it should operate to goose the fund-raising for both sides.

      So while I agree with your reasoning, I think it will produce the opposite immediate result but the same long-term result.

      • Good point about turning it into 50 fights…

        So who do you think Trump will nominate for the SC?

        I personally think Trump could care less about RvW, is only interested in how it motivates the base. I think it is a very interesting calculation re: Collins, Murkowski.

        I honestly don’t know if he can peel off Democratic Senators for this one. Manchin looks secure, not sure about Heitkamp, McCaskill. Replacing Scalia was one thing, this is a whole new ballgame.

        • No idea. I have a good friend who’s a federal judge, quite conservative, who lets me know if a candidate is respected by his peers or not, so I don’t even think about it until I hear from him. I’ll make one prediction, though: Another Catholic. For all the conservatism loose on the religious right, when they want someone who can come up with valid reasoning for the decision they go Papist.

        • Also, I agree with you on Trump/Roe. Trump cares about images and messaging, not policy. And abortions will always be available for the well-off.

          • cassandram

            Abortions are always available. The well-off will be able to get safer ones.

            • @Cassandra: I was thinking of Trump, who has paid for who-knows-how-many of them.

              I think the biggest effect on the ground will be an immediate surge in black-market pills in abortion-banning states. It’s a lot easier to get drugs in the mail than a clinic opened.

              I would also expect medical professionals to form a clandestine midwife-type network to help women who can’t use that method. For comparison, consider that midwifery is still illegal in 18 states.

              I also think a return to state-by-state statutes could have the effect of making abortion easier and cheaper in blue states than it is now.

              This also increases the urgency of electing women to office.

    • pandora

      Keep in mind that this goes beyond abortion. This relies on the right to privacy. Get rid of that and what goes on in your bedroom (straight or gay), contraception, in vitro fertilization, terminating life-prolonging medical treatments, etc. becomes fair game.

      • Yeah, that’s gonna get real far in a world in which Ireland just legalized abortion.

        Try to remember that they’re actually in the minority, and they’ve outraged a huge plurality against them. Don’t demoralize yourself with worst-case scenarios.

  4. cassandram

    If you are on Twitter, #SecondCivilWarLetters is the perfect way to count down until the holiday!

  5. delacrat

    Over at:

    Liz Allen says:

    July 3, 2018 at 9:19 am
    “To oppose fascism we have to educate what the term means.”

    Fascism is when commerce regulates the government for the benefit of commerce at the public’s expense.

      • I read it. As a statement, it is rambling and more bluster than content. Something about a dick tatorship by someone, I suppose the ones who best everyone else in a bare knuckle brawl, like the chairman of the Democratic 36th committee. Remember, cognition was not Il Dulce’s strong suit.

        • My point being that government and corporate commerce merged with the state, not commerce, as the senior partner.

          • Ok. By Musso’s standard, Trump is a fascist, albeit a physically cowardly one.

          • delacrat

            Commerce may not have been the senior partner in Mussolini’s day, but it sure as hell is today .

  6. elizabeth allen Wow. Even Senate republicans agree…yup, Russia interfered in our election….could this possibly mean the Senate at least understands that Trump is guilty. When Trump says, “the other side better take it easy”? What the hell kind of a threat is that. Trumps supporters are now at 27%…

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