The Open Thread for August 6, 2018

“President Trump is concerned about whether his son Donald Trump Jr. might have exposure in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, leading to his increasingly frenzied public agitation over Robert Mueller,” sources close to the White House tell CNN. “Trump has been concerned for months now that the Mueller probe could reach his family, and potentially his son-in-law Jared Kushner, but his focus has turned to his namesake in recent weeks… This is one of several reasons Trump has upped his public attacks on Mueller, because he doesn’t want him touching his family.”

But then Trump denied all that in a tweet, insisting that his son’s actions were “totally legal.”  Said Trump: “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere.”  He added: “I did not know about it!”

Axios: “Trump and his son have repeatedly changed their stance on the purpose of the 2016 meeting. In a statement to The New York Times last July, which investigators now know was dictated by President Trump, Don Jr. said the meeting was primarily about Russian adoptions. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has also claimed that the president approved the meeting ahead of time, contradicting continued denials by Trump and his legal team.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told CBS News that he believes there’s clear evidence that President Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential campaign.  Said Schiff: “I think there’s plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight.”




Indeed, here in bullet point form, is what Trump has admitted to yesterday: President Trump admitted that his son, son-in-law and campaign chairman met at Trump Tower in June 2016 with Russian agents in the hope of obtaining intelligence to win the 2016 presidential election.  And we know that Trump had dictated a statement for his son on Air Force One that claimed the purpose of the meeting was to discuss U.S. law governing adoptions but the president’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, confirmed  that today’s statement was an admission that the prior statement was false.   So, Conspiracy and Coverup.  In Plain Sight.

Further consider that before Trump dictated that cover up and false statement on Air Force One, that Trump sat down in July 2017 for an undisclosed meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit, and Trump said they discussed adoptions, which is Russian code for the lifting of sanctions, and then just hours later Trump uses that, the subject of adoptions, as the reason for the Trump Tower meeting.   So there was collusion in the cover up too.

It is now proven that there was a conspiracy by Russia to help Trump win the election, that the top officials in his campaign took part in it and that Trump himself helped construct a false statement to hide the true purpose of the meeting.  These are all indictable offenses.   The President and his son should both be indicted, and the President should resign immediately.   Failing that, he should be impeached.

No one can argue about those points anymore — Trump admits all of them.

President Trump continued his tirade against what he calls the “fake news” suggesting in a tweet that the media “can also cause war.”

Said Trump: “The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

According to The Hill, Fox News host Chris Wallace asked National Security Adviser John Bolton: “What wars have we started?”

Bolton avoided the substance of the question.



“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro survived an apparent assassination attempt Saturday after several drones armed with explosives flew toward him during a speech at a military parade,” CNN reports.

“Live footage of the event showed him suddenly looking up startled mid-speech, while beside him his wife, Cilia Flores, winces after a loud bang.”

John Cassidy at The New Yorker analyzes the economic numbers:  “Going into the midterm elections, a higher rate of growth is obviously a positive thing for the political party in power, although history suggests that it won’t necessarily be enough to preserve the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Consider what happened in 2014. Despite annualized G.D.P. growth of 5.1 per cent in the second quarter, Republicans took control of the Senate from Democrats and enlarged their majority in the House. A big problem for Republicans this year is that, so far, the pickup in G.D.P. growth hasn’t led to a rise in wages. When you take into account price inflation, hourly and weekly earnings are basically unchanged from this time last year. The biggest beneficiaries of Trump’s and the G.O.P.’s policies have been owners of capital—investors and senior corporate executives who have used the savings from the tax bill to buy back more of their companies’ stocks.”





Paul Krugman says the media needs to need to stop calling Trump a populist:  “[H]is administration has been relentlessly anti-worker on every front. Trump is about as populist as he is godly — that is, not at all. Start with tax policy, where Trump’s major legislative achievement is a tax cut that mainly benefits corporations — whose tax payments have fallen off a cliff — and has done nothing at all to raise wages. The tax plan does so little for ordinary Americans that Republicans have stopped campaigning on it. Yet the administration is floating the (probably illegal) idea of using executive action to cut taxes on the rich by an extra $100 billion.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) told CNN that he is not “ready to be a candidate for 2020 yet.”  Said Patrick: “I’m trying to keep my focus … on these small number of races where I’ve been invited to help and where I think I can be helpful.”


“Voters in five states head to the polls Tuesday, and both parties are looking for signs of strength and unity in their ranks less than three months until the first major U.S. election since the inauguration of President Trump,” ABC News reports.

“Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington State all hold primaries Tuesday, but the special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District is taking on particular significance because it’s the last time Democrats and Republicans will face off directly until November.”

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told ABC News that the president’s legal team’s inclination at this point is not to have the president meet with special counsel Robert Mueller.

“If Mueller were to try to compel the president’s testimony, there would be a legal fight over the constitutionality of requiring such an act of a sitting president.”

Said Sekulow: “A subpoena for live testimony has never been tested in court as to the president of the United States.”

Mike Allen: “A House Republican aide explains that Trump’s approval ratings are like barbells: bulging favorables and unfavorables on each end, and few in the middle who have no opinion or are persuadable.”

Said the aide: “Those unfav folks are coming out. It’s so, so crucial to get those base voters.”

“That, in a nutshell, is why Trump headlined three boisterous ‘Make America Great Again’ rallies in five days Florida on Tuesday, Pennsylvania on Thursday and Ohio last night.”

“The raucous rallies aren’t meant to convert or persuade: They’re about turning Trump voters in 2016 into voters for local and state Republicans in 2018 — a process that President Obama discovered was anything but automatic with Democrats in his midterms.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said Sunday that Republican congressional candidate Troy Balderson claimed he didn’t have anything to do with inviting President Donald Trump to campaign on his behalf.

Kasich, one of a handful of nationally-known Republicans frequently critical of Trump, revealed the news on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I asked [Balderson] the other day, ‘Why are you bringing Trump in?’” Kasich recalled. “He said, ‘Well, I don’t have anything to do with it.’”

Host George Stephanopoulos returned to the point later: “Did he really tell you that he was surprised that President Trump was coming, and didn’t want him to come?”

“I asked him, I said, ‘Troy, why— Did you invite Trump in here? The President?’ He said, ‘No, I didn’t,’” Kasich responded. “So I think Donald Trump decides where he wants to go, and I think they think they’re firing up the base.”

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

5 comments on “The Open Thread for August 6, 2018

  1. Im not saying I’m going to make one. I’m not saying I WANT people to have them.
    What I AM saying is, there is no way in hell you are going to prevent people from printing guns. It isnt even a fight worth having.

    It isn’t gun control at that point. It is information (the file) and material (the filament) control. There are millions of plans out there for 3d printer jobs from guitar pics to car parts….. and even for 3d printers. It’s the fastest growing type of manufacturing out there and best of all… ANYONE can set one up in their home. They are inexpensive, easy to learn, and, in many cases, open source.
    The only way to control 3d-printed ANYTHING is to control 3-d printers and the potential gain from this technology being available to everyone far outweighs keeping some poorly made pistols out of the hands of people who probably have a ton of fire-arms anyway. A *shrug at more guns is pretty rare for me, but I just dont see this bell being un-rung.

    • cassandram

      They may be poorly made now, but that won’t always be the case. The entire point of this argument is to pretty much nullify any attempt at gun control. And to nullify any law enforcement in trying to trace guns and owners involved in criminal activity. If plastic guns are undetectable to TSA, endorsing these things has just made all of the investment we have made in airports and other targets (real or not) useless. While I am not sure what the answer to this is, I am damned sure I am not interested in accepting the anarchy that comes from it.

  2. cassandram

    And a NJ Senatorial race highlights the serious problem with pharmaceutical prices in the US: Jersey GOP Senate candidate’s company slashed price for cancer drug in Russia while raising it here

    Increased US prices by 20%, lowered the Russia price by 45%.

  3. cassandram

    And this is gonna be Democrats’ Ground Hog day: Leggett not ready to endorse Jealous; some other Democrats are tepid

    Ben Jealous won the Democratic primary for Maryland Governor in a walk. The voters actually said that the policies and plans he stands for are what they want. But some Maryland D establishment want Jealous to be more republican. As if D voters didn’t have a chance to vote for more “moderate” candidates. Big problems need big solutions and Jealous stepped up to the plate. From here, it looks like Jealous knows who his constituency is. Other Maryland Dems seem confused.

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