Open Thread

The Open Thread for July 10, 2018

THE GUY WHO CALLED HILLARY A BITCH GETS A SUPREME COURT SEAT.  President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, NBC News reports.

“If confirmed, he would make the Supreme Court solidly conservative, joining Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch — providing a five-vote majority. He would be sure to join the conservatives more often than Kennedy, who sometimes voted with the court’s liberals in cases raising hot-button social issues.”

Jonathan Chait: “The media has treated the notion that Russia has personally compromised the president of the United States as something close to a kook theory. A minority of analysts, mostly but not exclusively on the right, have promoted aggressively exculpatory interpretations of the known facts, in which every suspicious piece of evidence turns out to have a surprisingly innocent explanation. And it is possible, though unlikely, that every trail between Trump Tower and the Kremlin extends no farther than its point of current visibility.”

”What is missing from our imagination is the unlikely but possible outcome on the other end: that this is all much worse than we suspect. After all, treating a small probability as if it were nonexistent is the very error much of the news media made in covering the presidential horse race. And while the body of publicly available information about the Russia scandal is already extensive, the way it has been delivered — scoop after scoop of discrete nuggets of information — has been disorienting and difficult to follow. What would it look like if it were reassembled into a single narrative, one that distinguished between fact and speculation but didn’t myopically focus on the most certain conclusions?”

NO PEACE FOR THE GOP.  “A group of Democratic Socialists and other angry protesters pursued Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) through a restaurant parking lot on Saturday, berating him with a mixture of immigration rhetoric and personal insults — and at one point an apparent threat to visit his home,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Louisville encounter was the second time in two weeks that McConnell’s private life has been disrupted by a spontaneous protest — and it was the latest in a weeks-long series of confrontations between powerful Republicans and those eager to shame them on camera, wherever they are found.”

TRUMP HEADS OFF TO EUROPE ANGRY.  “Senior European officials have told Axios they are worried that Trump will spend the entire NATO summit beating up on America’s closest allies — especially Germany — for not spending enough on their defense. They’re worried he’ll make these deficiencies the focus of the summit rather than solidarity in face of the Russian threat. And that he’ll have a friendlier summit with Putin just a few days after a tense NATO gathering.”

“They also fear that Trump will say something that suggests America’s commitment to defend NATO allies against attacks is conditional upon the allies meeting their defense spending targets. They’re stressed about any suggestion from Trump that he’ll draw down U.S. troops stationed in Europe.”

“Another possibility: Trump will side with the populist, Putin-friendly leaders at the expense of America’s closest allies.”

“Donald Trump’s personal driver for more than 25 years says the billionaire real estate developer didn’t pay him overtime and raised his salary twice in 15 years, clawing back the second raise by cutting off his health benefits,” Bloomberg reports.

BEN SASSE – THE LONE NEVER TRUMPER IN THE GOP?  “Ben Sasse has so far been spared the public floggings that Donald Trump inflicted on two since-vanquished GOP critics in the Senate, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker. But that may soon change. As the ‘never Trump’ faction of the Republican Party dwindles to a lonely few, the Nebraska senator has shown little interest in backing down – leaving him vulnerable to a Trump-fueled primary challenge in 2020, when he’s up for reelection,” Politico reports.

“How Sasse responds — he has a book coming out three weeks before the midterm elections and has quietly launched a new political non-profit group, fueling speculation that he might launch a Hail Mary bid for president rather than seek another term in the Senate — promises to be the next intra-GOP drama.”

THE COURT BATTLE COMES.  “In a sparsely decorated ‘war room’ next to the West Wing on the White House grounds, Trump administration officials have been preparing for the president’s Supreme Court pick with an anything-can-happen approach to the historic task. With the knowledge that President Donald Trump could change his mind at the last minute — and with the president’s obsession to keep his final decision tightly held — Trump aides and Republicans familiar with the planning told Politico they initially were prepping for two possible nominees.”

“But as the president continued to talk through his decision over the long weekend at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, officials in Washington were poring over research and crafting media-ready soundbites for at least four potential picks. Ahead of the announcement officials will begin circulating talking points and biographies of a ‘universe of people’ for the court to Capitol Hill and outside allies.”

Mike Allen: “Within seconds of President Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court pick at 9 tonight, the conservative Judicial Crisis Network will begin running digital ads targeted at Democrats in red states who might vote for confirmation. On the left, Demand Justice — a group launched in May to prepare progressives for a Court fight — plans to spend at least $5 million to oppose Trump’s nominee, with a pincer plan that pressures both Republican and Democratic senators in key states.”

THE GENDER CHASM.  “The disconnect between President Trump and female voters is serious and not getting better. That’s a potentially big problem for Republicans in the November elections — but only if the women opposed to the president turn out to vote,” the Washington Post reports.

“Trump’s election divided an already fractured country, deepening the red-blue chasm that has become the defining feature of today’s politics. But the revulsion among many women toward the president adds another layer to the politics of discontent.”

“Trump is doing nothing to mitigate the problem. Just the opposite.”

WHAT’S MITCH LANDRIEU UP TO?  Politico: “After eight years in his dream job and as he nears turning 58 in August, he wants to take a moment by himself to think. But ever since his speech last year about taking down four Confederate monuments — when he launched himself into the center of a national conversation about race and racism, and saw the hate that others see, and confronted what’s inside America and Americans — he hears at every turn people urging him to think about running for president, and telling him that he’s made for the moment to go up against [Trump] and what his presidency has unleashed in the country. And maybe he is, he thinks. But with a 2020 field that could include a dozen or more serious Democrats, he wonders: Is running for president the only way to get anyone to pay attention?”

“For now, Landrieu is more concerned about understanding why Trump happened, and figuring out what he is prepared to do about it. … For now, there’s no wink-wink travel or fundraising. He doesn’t have consultants, other than a rickety breakfast-nook cabinet of Donna Brazile, James Carville and Mary Matalin… What he does have is a loose affiliation of people who watched that speech last year about removing the Confederate monuments, or heard about that speech, and fell in love: a scattering of Obama alums, desperate Democrats convinced that the bald white guy from the South could be the only way to answer Trump, thought leaders and prominent African-Americans who keep pushing him.”

TRUMP’S CLUB MEMBERS GET TO TOUR AIR FORCE ONE. “Some members of President Trump’s exclusive Florida clubs appear to have been invited to an Air Force One tour last year, according to an invitation obtained by BuzzFeed News which was cross-checked with records received through a Freedom of Information Act request.”

“Members would not confirm or deny that they actually attended, but the invitations would raise more questions about the blurry line between Trump’s administration and his family’s private businesses. Although past administrations have given Air Force One tours to friends, family, and even donors, in this case those attending would have paid Trump’s exclusive clubs thousands of dollars annually.”

CHAOS IN THE UK OVER BREXIT.  “Boris Johnson resigned as Britain’s foreign secretary on Monday, becoming the second cabinet minister to quit in less than 24 hours in protest over plans from Prime Minister Theresa May to soften the economic impact of British withdrawal from the European Union,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Johnson’s departure followed that of David Davis, who quit as Brexit secretary late Sunday, and deepens the mood of crisis gripping Mrs. May’s government three days after she thought she had won agreement from her cabinet on a Brexit plan.”

The BBC says Johnson’s exit had turned an “embarrassing and difficult situation for the PM into potentially a full-blown crisis.”

TRUMP INCREASES HIS LPM (LIE PER MINUTE) RATE.  “Until this month, President Trump had not made more than 60 false claims in any single week of his presidency. He has now made 100 false claims in each of the last two weeks,” the Toronto Star reports.

“After shattering his old record by uttering an astonishing 103 false claims two weeks ago, an average of 14.7 per cent, Trump delivered precisely 100 false claims last week, an average of 14.3 per day.”

HEGAR HAUL IN TEXAS. “In the 10 days after long shot Democratic candidate and veteran MJ Hegar published her widely-praised viral video, her campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-TX) raised $750,000,” the Texas Tribune reports.  “It’s only the latest large fundraising figure reported by a Democratic U.S. House candidate from Texas, but it might well be one of the most jaw-dropping in the country.”

YOU WERE THE BEST, BUT YOU ARE THE PAST.  “They come after me because I’m effective. I’ve made some very powerful, rich enemies.”  — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in an interview with Rolling Stone.

True.  You were the best Speaker in 30 years.  Best since Tip O’Neil.   But it’s time to go.   You’ve been Democratic Leader since 2002.  16  years.  Two Presidencies.  Babies born in 2002 are driving now.

GOP SENATORS COMMIT TREASON.  Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), back from a trip to Moscow, said that Congress “went too far in punishing Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Roll Call reports.  Said Johnson: “I’ve been pretty upfront that the election interference — as serious as that was, and unacceptable — is not the greatest threat to our democracy. We’ve blown it way out of proportion.”

“In their Moscow meetings with members of Russia’s parliament last week, an all-Republican delegation of U.S. members of Congress met with at least two individuals currently sanctioned by the United States,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“U.S. law does not prohibit US officials from meeting with individuals who’ve been sanctioned, although it does prohibit providing services to them, and it is perhaps unsurprising that a congressional delegation meeting with high-level Russians would include meetings with sanctioned individuals — the point of the sanctions put in place last April was to target those perceived to be close to the Kremlin.”

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

33 comments on “The Open Thread for July 10, 2018

  1. delacrat


    As if that was the worst thing that could be said about him.

    • OK, so what’s the worst thing that can be said about him?

  2. Bernie’s obviously a little worked up…

    Face of your party, folks.

    • Sorry if free speech and participation in a protest offends you. Sad, as your going to be seeing a whole lot more of it.

      • They should burn down government buildings or take them by armed force… i hear Dumpy is handing out pardons for that.

  3. delacrat

    “Are today’s young, Bernie-inspired leftist intellectuals really just New Deal liberals?”

    “…just New Deal liberals”

    As if the New Deal was a Bad Deal.

  4. cassandram

    The GRIFTUS pardons two ranchers who set fries that almost killed firefighters. Read that again. Tried to kill firefighters and they get a pardon. White Terrorism is apparently going to substitute for the rule of law.

  5. cassandram


    It’s the Intercept, so grain of salt time. But good on Schumer if he is warning Senators about the energy ready to be unleashed on them.

  6. cassandram

    So Joe Manchin sets his marker on whether or not Kavanaugh can provide assurances of not taking away health care from West Virginians.

    Interesting in hat this gives him plenty of wiggle room. But I think that the message to the WH here is that Manchin is running on health care, not a Supreme Court justice.

    • Message to Manchin from WH: We don’t need you. We’ve got Collins and Murkowski, and probably McCaskill, Heitkamp, and Donelly.

      55-45, maybe 54-45 depending on McCain.

    • Not one word from you, ever again, about civility or name-calling. You really are a pathetic, whiny, little man. Even sadder, you were probably titillated writing that.

    • cassandram

      Indeed. Next time you whine about other people’s behavior here or language you are done. Banned. Out.

  7. Truth hurts… seems to hit a little close to home for these two… hmmmmm.

    • dont be coy, you rancid fashy-boi. Say what you mean.

    • cassandram

      Nope, just pretty much done with the hypocrisy. Y’all come up in here wringing your hands about civility and language, but don’t mind being uncivil and throwing around bad language yourselves. You are in no position to comment on anyone else when you are here on specifically uncivil terms.

  8. Cassandram, REALLY. Do you want to discuss this like adults? Go for it. I’ve been called names, curse words and everything under the sun, by Al and others. AND you have never snapped at them! You have never threatened them. I call Hillary a B…….. and you jump all over it.

    You are not upholding the same standards for others, kind of like……discrimination! Look at yourself in the mirror Ma’am!

    • cassandram

      The name calling and curse words aren’t the problem except when you are policing them in other people. If you are policing other people to stop with the name calling, I am expecting that these are the standards you expect to be held to.

      And you will.

      • So, basically it’s a double standard. Now, I know how it rolls.

        • I think they both might have been hall monitors in grade school.

        • Yeah, that’s not a double standard. It’s a standard. One you set. This really isn’t difficult.

      • Go back and read the comments. I didn’t police your language. I called out your hypocrisy for always whining about people calling other people names and your vapid calls for civility. Two things you demonstrated you couldn’t care less about given your first comment. That is, and has always been, the point.

      • So. You didn’t answer my question?

    • “Cassandram, REALLY. Do you want to discuss this like adults?”

      Says the guy who called a woman a bitch while always complaining about name-calling.

      Also, exactly what Cassandra said.

  9. Prop Joe

    This is one of those threads that reminds me of why I stopped visiting the comments over on DL (and eventually visiting the site altogether).

    • I hear ya, Joe! Sometimes the hypocrisy is just too much. We’ve never banned anyone, but we might need to revisit that.

  10. Mitch Crane

    Understood and agreed Prop Joe. I only posted on DL in recent months to correct factual errors and to defend myself and my friends. I have always been civil and not personal, even though all the attacks I defended against were personal and offensive. Last week I responded with polite sarcasm to an attack by one of their main bloggers (El Somnambulo) and I soon discovered I have been blocked.

    I hope this site does not lower itself to the level of DL

    • cassandram

      I get what you and Prop Joe are saying. Still — our resident wingnuts don’t determine the parameters of debate or even speech as these two are wont to do. They are free to parade every bit of their hypocrisy until they want to police someone else’s speech or civility. That itself is uncivil, and not their job, and often a strategy to avoid dealing with the argument at hand. If DelawarePolitics is still alive, that is the exact place for this behavior.

      • Mitch Crane

        I understand and do not disagree Cass. I would love to go back to the days where people can be just told they are wrong on an issue and not have their intelligence, morality, integrity or motives questioned-unless there is evidence to support such an attack. I realize that will not happen, sadly.

    • delacrat

      Banned at DL ?

      Welcome to the club.

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