The Open Thread for August 2, 2018

President Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further.”  He added: “Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”

Meanwhile, in his hatefest in Tampa, in an attempt to defend voter ID laws, President Trump “wrongly claimed that shoppers need to show photo identification to buy groceries,” the AP reports.  Said Trump: “If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.”   Wrong.  Who wants to guess the last time Trump went into any store or market or liquor store to buy anything?  Had to be the early 80’s.  Talk about being an out of touch elitist.

Margaret Sullivan: “Hostility toward the media at Trump rallies is nothing new. It infected the presidential campaign and has marred every raucous gathering of supporters since the election.  But on Tuesday night in Tampa, the extreme aggression dropped the basement floor another level. This was a new low. And a scary one at that.”

Jim Acosta shared this video: “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy.”

A new Monmouth poll in Ohio’s 12th congressional district finds the special election race a toss up: “Different voter models suggest that the race could go either way.”  Tory Balderson (R) edges Danny O’Connor (D) by 44% to 43% among all potential voters – that is voters who have participated in an election since 2010 or have newly registered to vote.

A standard model that looks like a typical midterm voter pool also shows Balderon barely ahead, 46% to 45%. A lower turnout model where only the most reliable voters show up, shows Balderson ahead 49% to 44%. However, in a Democratic “surge” model akin to turnout patterns that have been seen in many special elections held since 2017, O’Connor is just ahead, 46% to 45%.

Meanwhile, in Texas, a new Texas Lyceum Poll finds Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) leading challenger  to O’Rourke (D) by a hair, 41% to 39% among likely voters.  That’s well within the survey’s margin of error of 4.67 percentage points.

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in a possible presidential race, 44% to 37%

“The White House is considering a second sharp reduction in the number of refugees who can be resettled in the United States, picking up where President Trump left off in 2017 in scaling back a program intended to offer protection to the world’s most vulnerable people,” the New York Times reports.

“This time, the effort is meeting with less resistance from inside the Trump administration because of the success that Stephen Miller, the president’s senior policy adviser and an architect of his anti-immigration agenda, has had in installing allies in key positions who are ready to sign off on deep cuts.”

Gabriel Sherman: “The appearances have attracted the wrong kind of notice. ‘Trump thinks he’s saying too much,’ one Republican close to the White House told me. Another Trumpworld figure elucidated: ‘Trump likes that Rudy is a fighter. He knows there’s a give and take. The give is Rudy is going to fight for him. The take is that you’re going to get some crazy, too.’”

”The crazy on show in the last few days has given ammunition to his West Wing critics. Two of his most vocal detractors are Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn. ‘Kelly has been trying to get rid of Rudy for two months,” one outside adviser to the White House told me. ‘And Don McGahn hates Rudy with intensity of 1,000 burning suns.’”

“Members of a president’s party often avoid mentions of the president during a midterm election year, but 2018 is proving to be an exception,” according to an analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.

“President Trump was referenced positively in 14.8% of federal election ads (amounting to over 27,000 ads) in the past two months, whereas President Obama was mentioned positively in less than 1% of federal election ads aired during the same time period in 2010 and 2014. Even George W. Bush in 2002, whose approval ratings were sky high in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, was mentioned positively in a smaller share of federal ads (13.9%).”

“Trump was also referenced negatively in fewer ads than Obama was in 2010 and 2014 during the same summer time period (June 5 through July 29). Trump gets a negative mention in 9.7% of airings, while Obama was mentioned in a disapproving way in 16.1% of ads in 2010 and 26.6 percent of ads in 2014. George W. Bush, however, was mentioned negatively in almost no ads in 2002 and in less than 5% of ads in 2006.”

“Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office wants to ask President Trump about obstruction of justice,” sources close to the White House tell ABC News.  “The president learned within the last day that the special counsel will limit the scope of questioning and would like to ask questions both orally and written for the President to respond to.”

“According to sources familiar with the President’s reaction Wednesday morning, that was the genesis for his early morning tweet storm.”

Wall Street Journal: “Trump administration advisers are debating measures that might bring Chinese negotiators to the table. Some are pushing the president to apply tariffs as high as 25% on $200 billion of Chinese imports, up from an original proposal for 10%.”

“The White House won’t make a final decision until at least late August on those tariffs, which are likely to target consumer goods and food as well as machinery components. Advisers are justifying the steeper tariffs, in part, to make up for the rapid depreciation of the yuan in recent months. Since May 30, the yuan has fallen 6% against the dollar.”

The White House refused to invite Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to the signing ceremony for a bill he sponsored, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reports.  “At least two people close to the matter confirmed that the White House invited all the Republican and Democratic lawmakers who worked on the bill — except for Casey.”

Los Angeles Times: “Harris won’t say whether she’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. But nearly everyone thinks she will.”

“Her first — and perhaps greatest – challenge is introducing herself to American voters outside of California who know little about the 53-year-old beyond early comparisons to President Obama. And Harris needs to move fast. Her political rivals – in the GOP and within her own party – are already trying to put their own, less flattering stamp on Harris.”

”The branding effort portrays her as a Beltway outsider, a progressive with a compelling personal story and a tough former prosecutor who won’t shy from President Trump’s attacks.”

Pew Research: “Over the course of an eventful first 18 months in office, President Trump’s approval ratings have remained remarkably stable. There has also been a wider gap between Republicans’ and Democrats’ views of Trump than for any other U.S. president in the modern era of polling.”

“Four-in-ten Americans approve of Trump’s job performance while 54% say they disapprove, according to a Pew Research Center survey in June. Trump’s approval ratings have hardly moved in surveys conducted by the Center this year, and his current rating is nearly identical to the 39% who said they approved of his performance in February 2017, shortly after his inauguration.”

“Arms control experts confirm to NBC News that both satellite photos and U.S. intelligence show North Korea is continuing to produce ballistic missiles and work on its missile program, even after the historic June summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The experts point specifically to a July 7 satellite photo that shows activity consistent with missile production.

Benjamin Wittes: “It isn’t every day that the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledges formally that the President of the United States lied in a speech to Congress. But that’s how I read a letter I received a few days ago from the department’s Office of Information Policy in connection with one of my Freedom of Information Act suits against the department.”

“No, the Justice Department letter does not come out and say what it clearly means: that President Trump, early in his tenure, was untruthful both about the role of foreigners in terrorism and terrorism-related crimes and about Justice Department data on the subject.”

“But that is what the letter says if you read between the lines.”

“Tom Steyer has set plans to spend at least $110 million in 2018, making the billionaire investor the largest single source of campaign cash on the left and placing him on a path to create a parallel party infrastructure with polling, analytics and staffing capabilities that stand to shape and define the issues the party runs on in November,” Politico reports.

“Steyer is building out an operation that’s bigger than anyone other than the Koch Brothers — and the billionaire and his aides believe the reservoir of non-traditional voters he’s already activated could become the overriding factor in House and other races across the country. Yet Steyer’s oversized role also stands to position him squarely against Democratic Party leadership, which has shown little appetite this fall for pursuing one of his signature causes: impeachment.”

Coming soon: Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward.

Washington Post: “The expected tenor of the book is underscored by its unsettling cover, an extreme close-up of a squinty-eyed Trump depicted through a gauzy red filter. The hush-hush project derives its title from an offhand remark that then-candidate Trump made in an interview with Woodward and Post political reporter Robert Costa in April 2016. Costa asked Trump whether he agreed with a statement by then-President Barack Obama, who had said in an Atlantic magazine interview that ‘real power means you can get what you want without having to exert violence.’”

“At first Trump seemed to agree, saying: ‘Well, I think there’s a certain truth to that. . . . Real power is through respect.’”

“But then he added a personal twist: ‘Real power is, I don’t even want to use the word: Fear.’”

Politico: “According to half a dozen former administration officials and people close to the administration, Woodward was never officially granted access to the White House or to the president, and the communications department did nothing to help him in researching or writing his book.”

“The result is what often happens in Trumpworld: Senior officials acting as lone wolves concerned with preserving their own reputations spoke to Woodward on their own – with some granting him hours of their time out of a fear of being the last person in the room to offer his or her viewpoint.”

Said one former official: “It’s gonna be killer. Everyone talked with Woodward.”

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

21 comments on “The Open Thread for August 2, 2018

  1. delacrat

    “… North Korea is continuing to produce ballistic missiles and work on its missile program,” – NBC News

    Could be the North Koreans don’t feel obliged to stop their missile program when Raytheon has not stopped theirs.

  2. Joe Connor

    The David Anderson story in the NJ is priceless! I won’t spoil it but you will no be able to keep a straight face I promise!

    • Discuss? OK. Seems like the white snowflakes have found another reason to call the wahmbulance.

      Maybe she’s just there to balance out the doctrinaire Catholic and the climate-change denier. But seriously, you watch a full-time propaganda operation and you’re upset because a young Asian woman thinks white people are shit? That’s princess-and-the-pea level oversensitivity.

      You guys will never understand that you’re not the revolutionaries — you’re the Tories.

    • delacrat


      For future reference, “Discuss” is not sufficient to get delacrat to click a link.

  3. Not upset that a young Asian woman thinks white people are shit. It’s a free country.

    Upset that the New York Times is perfectly OK with this person having significant input on their editorial content.

    And you wonder why Trump and his supporters treat the press with such disdain?

    • cassandram

      We don’t wonder why Trump and his supporters treat the press with disdain. You do it because:

      1. He tells you to.
      2. Fox News tells you to.
      3. You don’t think that all of the incompetence, corruption and racism should not be reported on because – hey, white people *should* be allowed to get away with destructive behavior.

      • I’ll second Cassandra and Alby’s comments, and add… it’s noticed how you (xyz) never point out racism, sexism or bigotry on your side. This is why no one takes your endless whining seriously. If this woman upsets you, then explain your silence when it comes to Republican/conservative behavior – which is endless. You can start your reply with, “I’m a hypocrite because…”

      • Cassandra, you are patently wrong but that doesn’t stop you from spouting generalizations to further your inaccurate narrative.
        As a ‘white person’, (who is repeatedly reminded that the bar must be set higher for me than for anyone else because…… well nobody else wants to own their own incompetencies), your comments are rubbish. I despise corruption and racism at every level by anyone but when faced with the obviousness of what democrats have presented as ‘the bar’ for behavior, it is hard to get excited by what liberal media claims is an outrage. Whether white, yellow, brown, or red, INDIVIDUALS need to own their behavior and be accountable. The white hood wearing trash ARE TRASH, just as the ANTIFA terrorist wannabes ARE TRASH, just as the BLM people that espouse killing police officers (‘pigs like bacon) ARE TRASH. But I bet you don’t offer condemnation of all those groups do you?

        Never the less, 90% of news (CNN, CNBC, CBS, ABC, HUFFPOST, etc.) is ANTI conservative. That is fact. Fox is the counterpoint to the other 90%. Fox doesn’t tell me what to do nor does Trump. What they offer is a counterpoint to the overzealous liberal bastions of the other 90 % of news. You’d think the other news agencies would begin to pick up on that most Americans don’t toe the Media’s line, Left or Right but the Media has decided to pick sides. If they ever decide to practice OBJECTIVE news reporting again, Americans will not have disdain for them. You have disdain for Fox because it does not align with your political views. Look in the mirror to recognize my statement. Again, If the news media practiced OBJECTIVE NEWS reporting, the American people would appreciate it. Right now, the polarized news agencies have created the mob, whether the mob is Conservative or Liberal. FACTS matter: Hilliary paid for a report to create a false ‘collusion’ case. Obama knew about it and approved of it. Both of them colluded at different times with the Russians for political favors (not govenmental reasons) POLITICAL reasons, WHILE THEY WERE IN OFFICE. Do you deny that?

        Philadelphia mayor Street was as corrupt as they come, should we ignore that just because he was BLACK? Should we ignore Obama’s corruption with Iran, the IRS, the FBI, Obamacare, etc because he’s BLACK? Based on your rather racist comment #3 we should. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

        • cassandram

          You lost me at ANTIFA. If you are spinning up conspiracy theories to try to avoid owning your own racism and the racism of your party then you can take this crap back to QAnon where it belongs.

        • “Hilliary paid for a report to create a false ‘collusion’ case. Obama knew about it and approved of it. Both of them colluded at different times with the Russians for political favors (not govenmental reasons) POLITICAL reasons, WHILE THEY WERE IN OFFICE. Do you deny that?”

          Yes. The report was opposition research. The collusion case is not false.

          They did not “collude” with the Russians for political favors.

          Yes, I deny all of that. The fact that you consider it the “truth” shows an inability on your part to do even the most basic research. You have to be able to articulate an opponent’s case to refute it. Your sort doesn’t even try — it simply offers an alternate take on what happened.

          This shit might fly in a court of law, because the parties are locked into an adversarial system. (You could look this up, but won’t, of course, because you apparently lack intellectual curiosity) and you only have to convince one person out of 12, who are time-limited in their deliberations. In the real world, you have to do more than string together facts and claim causal relationships that haven’t even been asserted let alone proved.

          You’re a posturing fool whose yoga posture is “man patting self on back.”

        • delacrat

          “The white hood wearing trash ARE TRASH, just as the ANTIFA terrorist wannabes ARE TRASH, just as the BLM people that espouse killing police officers (‘pigs like bacon) ARE TRASH. “ – Csense

          How’s that for…

          “…spouting generalizations to further your inaccurate narrative.” – Csense

  4. Unlike most Democrats, I don’t waste time looking for racism/sexism/bigotry. To me they are mostly just tired excuses.

    She doesn’t upset me, I could care less what some clueless millennial thinks.

    Just pointing out what a joke the NYT editorial pages have become.

    • cassandram

      Not sure why you posted that if you didn’t care about “some clueless Millennial”. Maybe you get Q points for this or something.

      • What I love the most is that Qanon was probably started by trolls.
        It’s gotten out of hand, bc it is a total ypeepo thing to turn everything into murderous rage. But i do think it was started to taunt clueless magas. I cant wait for this shit to crumble.
        Ive been saving comments and screen grabs from magats for 2 years now, ready to throw their own words back into their bacon-greased faces.

  5. And it continues…..Thanks to Smiling Jack and our elected officials, who tried to play Monopoly with our money! WOW, this money could have went to; schools, infrastructure, seniors, persons with disabilities and others.

    Thanks Bloom Energy!

    • Do you hound elected officials with this? Instead of lecturing us about it, why don’t you go to the people who can do something about it?

      • because St Petersburg is pretty far to go show up at someone’s office.

      • Yup, but if another tags on, then, another and so on and so forth. Something might be done!

        • You should hook up with those at the Caesar Rodney Institute. This is one of their hobby horses. I think you’ll find that readers here are not much interested in the topic. Actually, I think you have found that and just won’t accept it.

          You have a valid complaint. It’s just not on my list of concerns, or, apparently, lawmakers’ lists, either. Has anyone in the General Assembly introduced a bill to end the subsidies? Nobody is running for office on the issue.

          You need to join ranks with the CRI folks, because that’s where the push for such legislation will come from. Posting the same thing here month after month only alienates potential allies on the left.

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