Open Thread

The Open Thread for August 27, 2018

Jonathan Swan: “Congressional Republicans are getting ready for hell. Axios has obtained a spreadsheet that’s circulated through Republican circles on and off Capitol Hill — including at least one leadership office — that meticulously previews the investigations Democrats will likely launch if they flip the House.”

“Publicly, House Republicans are putting on a brave face about the midterms. But privately, they are scrambling to prepare for the worst. This document, which catalogs requests Democrats have already made, is part of that effort.”

“The spreadsheet — which I’m told originated in a senior House Republican office — catalogs more than 100 formal requests from House Democrats this Congress, spanning nearly every committee… These demands would turn the Trump White House into a 24/7 legal defense operation.”

“The death of Sen. John McCain has created an open Senate seat in Arizona that Gov. Doug Ducey has the authority to fill until 2020, when a special election will be held for the right to fill out the remainder of McCain’s term in 2022,” Roll Call reports.

“Among the names meDucey might appoint include McCain’s wife Cindy, the governor’s chief of staff, Kirk Adams, former Sen. Jon Kyl, and state Treasuer Eileen Klein.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he will propose a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building after John McCain.

Said Schumer: “Nothing will overcome the loss of Senator McCain, but so that generations remember him I will be introducing a resolution to rename the Russell building after him.”

The building is currently named for Sen. Richard Russell of Georgia who fiercely opposed civil rights.

Kelli Ward (R) “suggested Saturday that the statement issued Friday by U.S. Sen. John McCain’s family about ending treatment for brain cancer was intended to hurt her U.S. Senate campaign,” USA Today reports.

“McCain died Saturday hours after her remarks.”

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds Democrats leading Republicans in the generic congressional ballot by eight points, 50% to 42%.

Key finding: “Voters were split on what concerns them more — Republicans not providing a check and balance on Trump if they control Congress (46% who say this), or Democrats going too far in obstructing the president if they’re in charge (45%).”

“After a week that saw President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman convicted on eight counts of fraud and his former lawyer plead guilty to felony campaign finance charges, the president’s job approval rating remains virtually unchanged,” according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

“But the stability in Trump’s approval rating also comes as more than half of voters say he has not been honest and truthful regarding the ongoing special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller. And fewer than three-in-ten voters are convinced that Trump himself is not implicated in the wrongdoing of the six of his associates who have now either been convicted of crimes or have pled guilty.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told ABC News that there is not enough evidence yet to bring impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Said Swalwell: “We don’t want to be as reckless with the facts as he is. I think having thorough investigations, putting forth an impenetrable case, doing it in a bipartisan way is the proper way to do this, but we’re not there yet.”

“The former top Vatican diplomat in the United States alleged in a letter published on Sunday that Pope Francis knew about the abuses of a now-disgraced American prelate years before they became public,” the New York Times reports.

“The bombshell accusation, leveled by Carlo Maria Viganò, a staunch critic of Francis, immediately threatened to derail the pope’s difficult mission to demonstrate his commitment to combating the clerical sex abuse scandals that threaten his church on the same day he begged “the Lord’s forgiveness” at a shrine in Ireland.”

Retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, an informal adviser to President Trump, said that the president should be more worried about prosecutors in New York than about the ongoing Russia probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller, the Washington Post reports.

Said Dershowitz: “I think he has constitutional defenses to the investigation being conducted by Mueller. But there are no constitutional defenses to what the Southern District is investigating. So, I think the Southern District is the greatest threat.”

He added: “Look, my advice to the president — I never gave it to him privately because I’m not his lawyer, but on television — is: Don’t fire, don’t pardon, don’t tweet and don’t testify. And if he listened to those four things, he’d be in less trouble than he is today.”

Col. Trần Trọng Duyệt, the man who was in charge of the North Vietnamese prison where John McCain was held as a POW for six years during the Vietnam War, offered his condolences to Việt Nam News upon learning of the senator’s passing.

Said Duyệt:  “At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance. Later on, when he became a U.S. Senator, he and Senator John Kerry greatly contributed to promote Việtnam-U.S. relations so I was very fond of him.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will not announce a replacement for the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) until he is laid to rest, the Washington Post reports.

“State law requires Ducey to appoint someone from McCain’s party to fill the seat. The governor, a Republican who is running for reelection this year, has ruled out naming himself. But he has otherwise remained silent on the decision.”

“The United States’ trade war with China is likely to last much longer than originally thought — extending well into the second half of next year and perhaps beyond,” Axios reports.

“The main reason: Neither side is prepared to appear politically weak at home, and both are ready to absorb economic pain.”

“The winners of a one-year or longer trade war without resolution are not clear, but here are some of the probable losers: In the U.S.: Farmers, users of steel, and consumers… In China: Manufacturers of all types will see business leave to neighbors like Vietnam and Malaysia.”

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

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