Open Thread

The Open Thread for October 25, 2018

Yesterday, a terrorist, most likely a conservative, a Republican and/or a Trump supporter, sent improvised explosive devices to the homes and offices of the following people:

1. President Bill Clinton
2. Secretary Hillary Clinton
3. President Barack Obama
4. First Lady Michelle Obama
5. Democratic donor George Soros (package discovered Monday)
6. Congresswoman Maxine Waters
7. Former Attorney General Eric Holder
8. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
9. Former CIA Director John Brennan (sent to CNN)

These IEDs were fully functional bombs.  Therefore, the terrorist fully intended to assassinate the recipients of the bombs.   This was a full fledged terror attack, likely carried out by a supporter of the President, motivated by the President’s attacks describing these individuals as evil, enemies and criminals.

But sure, Republicans, keep talking about that angry mob of Democrats.

New York Times: “When President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening — and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy.”

“Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.”

“American spy agencies, the officials said, had learned that China and Russia were eavesdropping on the president’s cellphone calls from human sources inside foreign governments and intercepting communications between foreign officials.”

“Republican leaders rushed Wednesday to decry the suspected explosive devices sent to three Democrats and a news network that President Trump has repeatedly demonized, saying that such acts cannot be tolerated despite the corrosive tone on the campaign trail,” the Washington Post reports.  The quick and vocal reaction today by GOP leaders to the discovery of mail bombs — less than two weeks until the midterm elections — strongly suggests they sense political fallout from their rhetoric.  And rightly so.  We Americans do blame Republicans for their violent rhetoric and now they see a very tangible consequence to that rhetoric: NINE FUCKING ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS IN ONE DAY.

“On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R) joked that his opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), could share a jail cell with Hillary Clinton and spoke darkly of Democratic mobs,” the Dallas Morning News reports.

“A day later, federal authorities said they’d found seven mail bombs sent to the former secretary of state and others… Stumping in Dallas on Wednesday, Cruz denounced overheated rhetoric and political violence of any kind — and lay the bulk of blame on the left for poisoning the nation’s civic discourse.”

Said Cruz: “Violence is wrong wherever it falls in the political spectrum. This is a deep polarized and divided time. That division, that anger is not good for our country, and it is my hope that everyone can just — calm down a little bit.”

“A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Georgia election officials to stop summarily tossing absentee ballots because of mismatched signatures, delivering a crucial win to voting-rights advocates — and to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams — less than two weeks before Election Day,” the Washington Post reports.

Phillip Klinkner: “Obviously, it depends on the outcome, and even then it may be years or even decades before we will know for sure. On the other hand, this election already appears to be significant in at least one respect. This year has seen a record number of women nominated to run for Congress and, consequently, a record number of women will likely serve in the next Congress.”

Research suggests that women legislators are more results-oriented and more activist in seeking legislative solutions to important problem. Should Democrats regain control of the House, the percentage of women members in the Democratic caucus may be as high as 40 percent. Such a Democratic House majority, energized by a historically large percentage of female members, could catalyze a new era of legislative activism or the rise of a new politics in America.”

Jonathan Bernstein: “What’s really astonishing about the Republican Party, in other words, is the extent to which practically none of its members appear to care about public policy on issue after issue.”

“Of course, there are some individual Republicans who care deeply about health care or foreign policy or trade or various other policy questions. And some Republican-aligned interest groups have been getting what they want in regulatory change. But if they didn’t, would they go shopping to see if Democrats would be more willing to help them? It doesn’t appear that way. For example, on trade, a lot of business interests theoretically oppose Trump-inspired Republican protectionism, but they aren’t remotely open to moving toward a Democratic Party that is more willing to support free trade. The same has been true on health care: Some organized groups that have been traditionally Republican are choosing the party over their self-interest when support for the Affordable Care Act helped them and repeal would have harmed them.”

“So, party loyalty, not ideology or specific policy or even basic self-interest, drives most Republican party actors most of the time. It really is a post-policy party.”


President Trump made 170 false claims in the second week of October, obliterating his previous record of 133, which he set in August, the Toronto Star reports.

“Trump makes more false claims the more he talks, and he has never talked more as president than he did in that record-setting October week. As the November midterm elections came into view, Trump uttered 78,542 words, according to the website, beating his previous record — the week prior — by 22,000 words.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) campaign is trying to persuade Missouri voters that she is not “one of those crazy Democrats,” with a radio ad airing during the final stretch of her heated re-election fight, CNN reports.

“The ad appears designed to win over skeptical Trump voters, whose support McCaskill will need to best Hawley. But the phrase ‘crazy Democrats’ could alienate some voters in McCaskill’s own party at a moment when she is counting on their enthusiasm.”

Washington Post: “Half a decade after leaving elected office, Bloomberg, 76, remains a political aberration — an extremely wealthy activist mogul who refuses definition even as both political parties adopt ever-brighter shades of blue and red. And that makes his political ambitions nearly as difficult to predict as Donald Trump’s 2015 decision to pursue the Republican nod… T]e list of obstacles to Bloomberg’s presidential ambitions includes bullet points that could potentially turn off just about every piece of the traditional Democratic coalition.”

“But if he moves forward, a Bloomberg campaign would not run within the Democratic Party as it exists, exactly. His campaign would effectively be an effort to reshape it, and there is clear recent precedent for electoral success by a billionaire who starts a campaign distant from his party’s precepts.”

“The Trump administration did not tell key government agencies about its ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy before publicly announcing it in April, leaving the officials responsible for carrying it out unprepared to handle the resulting separations of thousands of children from their families,” the New York Times reports.

“Because they did not know about the ‘zero tolerance’ policy in advance, officials at the Department of Homeland Security said, they did not take steps to prepare for the resulting family separations.”

“No president has ever led by fear. Not Lincoln. Not Roosevelt. Not Kennedy. Not Reagan. This president is more like George Wallace than George Washington!”   — Joe Biden, quoted by CNN at a rally in Florida.

Washington Post: “When President Trump abruptly told reporters over the weekend that middle-income Americans would receive a 10 percent tax cut before the midterm elections, neither officials on Capitol Hill nor in his administration knew anything about such a tax cut. The White House released no substantive information. And although cutting taxes requires legislation, Congress is not scheduled to be back in session until after the Nov. 6 elections.”

“Yet Washington’s bureaucratic machinery whirred into action nonetheless — working to produce a policy that could be seen as supporting Trump’s whim.”

“The mystery tax cut is only the latest instance of the federal government scrambling to reverse-engineer policies to meet Trump’s sudden public promises — or to search for evidence buttressing his conspiracy theories and falsehoods.”

“Early voting for the midterm elections has begun in states across the country, and enthusiasm — and voter turnout — both appear to be high, with hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots arriving in Florida and voters lining up around the block in Texas,” the New York Times reports.

“Turnout has surged among Republicans, Democrats and independents, according to poll data. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than seven million people had voted early.”

Said political scientist Michael McDonald: “If these patterns persist, we could see a turnout rate at least equaling the turnout rate in 1966, which was 48 percent, and if we beat that then you have to go all the way back to 1914, when the turnout rate was 51 percent. We could be looking at a turnout rate that virtually no one has ever experienced.”

Washington Post: Who’s voting early? Mostly people who would have voted anyway.

CIA Director Gina Haspel listened to audio purportedly capturing the interrogation and killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, giving a key member of President Trump’s Cabinet access to the evidence used by Turkey to accuse Saudi Arabia of premeditated murder, the Washington Post reports.

A person familiar with the audio said it was “compelling” and could put more pressure on the United States to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the death of Khashoggi.

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

3 comments on “The Open Thread for October 25, 2018

  1. “Democratic Party ups the ante in feud with Sen. Greg Lavelle”
    noun: feud; plural noun: feuds

    a prolonged and bitter quarrel or dispute.

  2. Maybe this is the answer?? Just asking…….

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