Open Thread

The Open Thread for October 4, 2018

Trump managed to piss off the three swing votes he needs to confirm Kavanaugh on the eve of a vote.  Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) criticized President Trump for his mocking comments at a rally about Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, calling Trump’s remarks “kind of appalling,” The Hill reports.  Said Flake: “There’s no time and no place for remarks like that. To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right, it’s just not right. I wish he hadn’t done it. It’s kind of appalling.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) condemned the remarks President Trump made at a Tuesday rally mocking one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford.  “The President’s comments were just plain wrong,” she told reporters Wednesday morning. She did not answer questions as to whether they would affect her vote for Kavanaugh before ducking into a committee hearing.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski: “I am taking everything into account. I think the president’s comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable.”

Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he “didn’t particularly like” President Donald Trump’s mockery of professor Christine Blasey Ford Tuesday night, saying he’d like to tell the President to “knock it off” since “you’re not helping.”

Washington Examiner: “Republicans are in peril as the FBI investigates sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.”

“Both GOP and Democratic strategists believe that voters will punish Republicans if Kavanaugh is not confirmed, blaming them for having little to show for controlling the White House and both houses of Congress for nearly two years.”

President Trump “is gambling that unflinching support for his imperiled Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, will drive Republican voters to the polls in November and save his party’s control of Congress,” Bloomberg reports.

“The president and his political advisers are so convinced that Kavanaugh represents an untapped cultural undercurrent that in Mississippi on Tuesday Trump finally dropped any pretense of sympathy for women who have accused the nominee of sexual misconduct. As a crowd at a political rally chanted ‘we want Kavanaugh,’ Trump lit into the judge’s accusers, picking at inconsistencies and gaps in their allegations.”

These are two conflicting theories.  I sense that McConnell believes the theory espoused in the Examiner article: failure to confirm will doom all GOP candidates everywhere as turnout among conservatives will be depressed.   Trump believes the latter in the Bloomberg piece.   I do believe that confirming Kavanuagh will make GOP voters complacent.  They will think the fight is over.

“The National Rifle Association’s political spending is sharply down heading into the 2018 midterm elections, a shift that could reflect declining fundraising in the wake of a string of mass shootings and an FBI investigation into the group’s Russia ties,” McClatchy reports.

“The politically potent gun advocacy group has this year spent one-tenth of what it had spent politically at this point in 2014.”

“Some Senate Republicans fear their Democratic counterparts will selectively leak parts of the FBI’s final report about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in order to make him look bad just as the Senate prepares to vote on him,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“As of Tuesday, the plan was to only have the report go to senators so they can decide whether to support Kavanaugh, and vote on him sometime this week… But that has some Republicans worried about partial leaks aimed at turning the public against Kavanaugh.”

New York Times: “The details of the president’s strategy for approaching the final five weeks before Nov. 6 elections were laid out in a memo from the White House political director, Bill Stepien, and circulated to West Wing aides.”

“The memo, obtained by The New York Times, essentially lays down a marker for once the dust has settled after Election Day, and it becomes clear which Republicans fared well and which did not. In the White House’s view, according to the memo, those Republicans who are running at a distance from Mr. Trump may come to regret it when the votes are cast.”

“Candidates who are looking for a path to victory need to ‘boldly align’ themselves with a president who is historically popular with Republican voters, Mr. Stepien wrote.”

“President Trump is increasingly fantasizing in public and private about his 2020 campaign, using midterm rallies to talk as excitedly about his own re-election in 2020 as he does about the 2018 races that are just 34 days away,” Axios reports.

“Last night in Mississippi, he even promised ‘we will do a landslide’ in 2020, after a razor-thin electoral victory (and substantial popular vote loss) in 2016. ‘Who the hell’s gonna beat us? Look! Who’s going to beat us?’ Trump asked, after amping up his frequent riff about former Vice President Joe Biden as a lightweight he’d love to crush.”

Said one former aide: “The greatest moment in Donald Trump’s life was when Hillary Clinton called and conceded the 2016 election. Nothing about actually being the president has ever lived up to that.”

Yeah, keep telling your voters that no one will ever beat you.  See how much they turnout for you.

“More than 40 people with potential information into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not been contacted by the FBI,” NBC News reports.

“The bureau is expected to wrap up its expanded background investigation as early as Wednesday into two allegations against Kavanaugh — one from Christine Blasey Ford and the other from Deborah Ramirez.”

“The FBI hasn’t interviewed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford because it doesn’t have clear authority from the White House to do so,” Bloomberg reports.

“Instead, the White House has indicated to the FBI that testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford, who has accused him of attempting to rape her when they were in high school, before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week is sufficient.”

“In an unprecedented move, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday released an explicit statement that purports to describe the sexual preferences of a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of misconduct,” the Washington Post reports.

“The statement, which was circulated to the hundreds of journalists on the Judiciary Committee’s press list, was from Dennis Ketterer, a former Democratic congressional candidate and television meteorologist who said he was involved in a brief relationship with Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick in 1993… In his statement, Ketterer said Swetnick once told him that she sometimes enjoyed group sex with multiple men and had first engaged in it during high school.”

Washington Examiner: “From financially flush super PACs flooding the zone with advertising to grassroots organizations directing money and volunteers to targeted races, around a dozen political groups are fueling the Democratic Party’s campaign to flip 23 seats and capture the House on Nov. 6.”

“In a toxic environment driven by discontent with President Donald Trump, the barrage has become too much to handle for the two groups manning the barricades for House Republicans: the National Republican Congressional Committee, their official campaign arm, and the Congressional Leadership Fund, their designated super PAC.”

Said one GOP consultant: “We are facing a spending tsunami.”

Sharice Davids (D) outraised Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) by more than $1.6 million over the past three months, “a strong sign of Democratic enthusiasm in a race that could determine which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives,” McClatchy reports.

Davids is Kansas’s first openly gay, Native American nominee for Congress.

“Senate Democrats suggested in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman that past FBI background checks on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh include evidence of inappropriate behavior, contrary to Republican claims,” the Washington Post reports.

In the letter, eight of the 10 Democrats on the Judiciary panel challenged the accuracy of a tweet from the majority Republicans that said: “Nowhere in any of these six FBI reports, which the committee has reviewed on a bipartisan basis, was there ever a whiff of ANY issue — at all — related in any way to inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse.”

“The Democrats said the information in the tweet is ‘not accurate,’ and urged the GOP to correct them.”

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

3 comments on “The Open Thread for October 4, 2018

  1. And for some great local news. https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2018/10/03/salesianum-again-set-lease-renovate-baynard-stadium-wilmington/1507493002/

    This will be great for the city, community and youth sports. Finally, the city and Salesianum come together and is making the city a little better!

  2. In other white privilege news:

    “A white guy shot five cops today (killing one) and surrendered to the police and was peacefully arrested and it isn’t even trending on twitter.

    Don’t ever @ me again when a black person gets killed by a cop for blinking too dangerously.”

    (Tweeted yesterday)

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