Fourth of July Open Thread

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that 49% of Americans say they are more motivated to vote in this year’s midterm elections than normal while 46% say they are motivated about the same as always. Just 6% of people say they are less motivated to vote.  But the partisan breakdown is a big danger sign for Republicans.

Among Democrats, 58% say are more motivated than usual to vote in this year’s elections while 38% say they are about as motivated as usual. In contrast, just 41% of Republicans say they are more motivated than usual while 58% say they are about as motivated as usual.  That’s a stunning 17-point enthusiasm gap.  Based on this new poll, Republicans are on their way to getting clobbered.

The same Quinnipiac poll finds that American voters disapprove of the way President Trump is handling immigration, 58% to 39%.    But they’re split on whether he’s a racist, 49% to 47%.  Also interesting: 50% of voters say the main motive for Trump’s immigration policies is “a sincere interest in controlling our borders,” while 44% say the main motive is “racist beliefs.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) “is being accused by former wrestlers he coached more than two decades ago at Ohio State University of failing to stop the team doctor from molesting them and other students,” NBC Newsreports.

“Jordan, who was assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the abuse until former students began speaking out this spring. His denials, however, have been met with skepticism and anger from some former members of the wrestling team.”


At a fundraiser in California last week, Barack Obama re-appeared after months of silence and urged Democrats to focus their energies on the midterm elections this year. The Washington Post quoted him saying that “it is entirely within our power” to solve the political problems of the moment.  Said Obama: “All these people are out here kvetching and wringing their hands and stressed and anxious and, you know, constantly watching cable TV and howling at the moon, ‘What are we going to do?’ Their hair is falling out. The good news is that if you act, if we act, then the majority of the American people prefer a story of hope.”

CNN reports that at one point, Obama turned to the crowd and declared: “Enough moping, this is a mope-free zone!”  But many Democrats wonder if Obama himself should be leading Democrats out of the political wilderness.

In a recent interview, former White House communications Director Dan Pfeiffer shared his thoughts as to whether his old boss should be taking a more active role:  “Only in the sense that would make me feel better, but that’s not a good reason for him to stick out. And I think we have to separate what would make us, as frustrated progressives, feel better on a daily basis and what would actually change the direction of the policies we’re so disturbed by. And I think President Obama is very strategic in his thinking, and he knows that sometimes speaking out can be very good, but sometimes it also can have negative effects. And polarizing some of these debates around Obama versus Trump would have the opposite effect. Particularly around things like the child separation policy where Democrats, where Republicans have been putting pressure on Trump.

I think where Obama knows he can have the most impact to actually help change direction on the country will be on the campaign trail this fall. So I think you can expect to see him out there campaigning for Democrats up and down the ballot. And that’s where he can have the most impact and that’s where you’ll hear his voice.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was publicly confronted by a teacher who urged him to resign in the middle of a dinner at a restaurant in Washington, the Daily Mail reports.

“The number of people receiving visas to move permanently to the United States is on pace to drop 12 percent in President Trump’s first two years in office,” the Washington Post reports.

“Among the most affected are the Muslim-majority countries on the president’s travel ban list — Yemen, Syria, Iran, Libya and Somalia — where the number of new arrivals to the United States is heading toward an 81 percent drop by Sept. 30, the end of the second fiscal year under Trump.”

Associated Press: “According to the most recent filing, 141 staffers who worked for the president at that point last year are gone, with 138 new arrivals. The figures don’t include those who arrived and departed during the year — like short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci — or those who departed before June 30, 2017. Some 61 percent of Trump’s senior-most aides have left the White House. Only Bill Clinton’s 42 percent comes close for the last five administrations.”

Megan McCain made her feelings clear about the way President Trump repeatedly attacks her father, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Time reports.

Said McCain: “Trump’s comments are never going to be OK with me, especially at this moment in my life. I’m never going to forgive it. I’m never going to move on from it.”

“A pair of legal filings suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is almost-but-not-quite ready to set a sentencing date for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn have prompted a federal judge to order Flynn and lawyers for both sides to make an unexpected trip to court next week,” Politicoreports.

“The hearing set for next Tuesday would be the first court appearance for Flynn since last December, when the former Defense Intelligence Agency chief appeared in a packed courtroom to plead guilty to one felony count of making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., about his lobbying during the presidential transition on a United Nations resolution critical of Israel, and about his lobbying work favorable to the Turkish government.”

Voter Study Group: “Views on the investigation’s credibility are deeply divided along partisan lines. An overwhelming majority of Clinton voters say they are ‘very confident’ (62 percent) or ‘somewhat confident’ (21 percent) that the investigation is being conducted fairly. Only 15 percent of Trump voters say the same. In contrast, most of those who voted for Trump in 2016 are either ‘not too confident’ (18 percent) or ‘not at all confident’ (54 percent) in the fairness of the investigation.”

“Every facet of the investigation — from prominent figures to government institutions — reveals a partisan divide. Trump voters are more likely than Clinton voters to have an unfavorable view of special counsel Robert Mueller (66 percent vs. 9 percent) and former F.B.I. Director James Comey (75 percent vs. 27 percent). Trump voters are also less likely to express confidence in the Justice Department (22 percent vs. 43 percent) and the F.B.I. (21 percent vs. 58 percent).”

“Republican senators are at their breaking point with Donald Trump’s protectionist trade blitz,” Politicoreports.

“Not a party meeting goes by these days where multiple Republicans don’t vent that the president isn’t listening to them — and plot how to fight back. The mounting frustration with the Republican president is a warning sign for the party amid what’s been a surprisingly favorable stretch.”

“But Republican senators say they can’t get the president to comprehend that his tariffs offensive could upend all of that progress in short order. Commodity prices in the heartland are sagging, U.S. allies are retaliating with tariffs of their own — and GOP leaders are fretting that the booming economy is about to go into a pre-midterms nosedive.”

“The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses,” the New York Times reports.

“The reversal would restore the policy set during President George W. Bush’s administration, when officials told schools that it ‘strongly encourages the use of race-neutral methods’ for admitting students to college or assigning them to elementary and secondary schools.”

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

1 comment on “Fourth of July Open Thread

  1. Scott Pruitt proves there is no god… Not really, but he does demonstrate that if your backers are big enough you can do what you like and stick around, Trump or not. Pruitt is Big Oil and not so big coals man in the White House, they’ll do what it takes to keep him there. Solid gold golf clubs? Don’t rule it out.

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