Open Thread

The Open Thread for November 18, 2018

MOULTON AND THE CONSERVATIVE #FIVEWHITEGUYS FACE BACKLASH FROM PROGRESSIVES. “Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), the hard-charging Marine who served four tours of duty in Iraq is leading the challenge to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and her bid for speaker — and is suddenly taking incoming fire from all quarters,” the Washington Post reports.

“Prominent liberal activists are openly floating a primary challenge to the two-term Massachusetts congressman, the instigator of the nearly 20 Democratic foes to Pelosi and one who helped recruit several of the incoming freshmen opposing her.”

“Inside the House, Moulton’s ambition and sharp elbows have long been a subject of his colleagues’ grumbling, and his latest fusillade at Pelosi — this time, after a sweeping electoral win — has angered even some of his admirers.”

TIME FOR NELSON TO CONCEDE.   Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) “has run out of time, run out of favorable court rulings and is about to officially run out of votes,” Politico reports.

“After losing to Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Election Day, losing after an automatic recount and appearing to not make up the gap following a manual recount Friday, Nelson’s campaign was dealt a mortal blow later that evening by U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker, who crushed the Democrat’s last major hope by upholding a Florida law that forbids county election offices from counting vote-by-mail ballots received after 7 p.m. Election Day.”

NBC News: “To have a chance at overcoming Gov. Rick Scott’s 12,603-vote lead in their Senate race, incumbent Bill Nelson (D-FL) desperately needed a manual statewide recount to show that tens of thousands of votes here in Democrat-heavy Broward County had been misread by scanners.”

“That didn’t happen. And Nelson’s chances of holding his Senate seat went from very slim to virtually nonexistent.”

CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS DESTROYED.  “In the wake of a near-political annihilation in California that has left even longtime conservative stronghold Orange County bereft of a single Republican in the House of Representatives, a growing chorus of GOP loyalists here say there’s only one hope for reviving the flatlining party: Blow it up and start again from scratch,” Politico reports.

“That harsh assessment comes as Republicans survey the damage from the devastation of a ‘blue tsunami’ in California which wiped out five GOP-held House seats — with more still threatened — while handing every statewide seat and a supermajority to the Democrats in both houses of the state legislature this week.”

14,000 IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN CUSTODY.  “The number of undocumented immigrant children in government custody has topped 14,000 for the first time, a rise that shows no signs of slowing as the Trump administration enforces policies that are keeping them in government facilities longer,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS GO TO THE CLINTON EMAIL WELL ONE MORE TIME.  Before turning power over to Democrats, lame duck House Republicans committee chairs are preparing to subpoena former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, The Associated Press reports.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) reportedly told colleagues he would subpoena Comey for a “closed-door deposition” on Nov. 29, and Lynch for one on Dec. 5.

TRUMP WAS TOO BUSY TO HONOR VETERANS.   President Trump told Fox News that he was simply too “busy” to visit Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran’s Day.  Trump admitted he probably “should have done that,” but claimed he was “extremely busy on calls for the country.”  He added: “I really probably assumed that was fine and I was extremely busy because of affairs of state—doing other things.”

TRUMP SAYS HE IS DONE WITH MUELLER’S QUESTIONS.   President Trump said that he would deliver his written responses to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller next week, The Hill reports.  Said Trump: “They’re all done.”

MICHELLE OBAMA’S BOOK FLIES OFF THE SHELVES.  First day sales for Michelle Obama’s Becoming topped 725,000 copies, making it one of the year’s biggest debuts, the AP reports.  At least one other book this year did start higher: Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House sold around 900,000 copies after one day.

CIA CONCLUDES SAUDI CROWN PRINCE ORDERED KHASHOGGI KILLED.  Washington Post: “The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government’s claims that he was not involved in the killing, according to people familiar with the matter.  The CIA’s assessment, in which officials have said they have high confidence, is the most definitive to date linking Mohammed to the operation and complicates the Trump administration’s efforts to preserve its relationship with a close ally. …  “In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence.

“Khalid told Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, that he should go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so. It is not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he made the call at his brother’s direction, according to the people familiar with the call, which was intercepted by U.S. intelligence.”

RUSSIAN SPY IN PLEA TALKS.  Washington Post: Attorneys for a Russian woman jailed on charges of seeking to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and other American conservative groups for the Russian government are in negotiations with federal prosecutors, both sides said in a court filing Friday. Lawyers for Maria Butina, 29, and the U.S. attorney’s office for the District made the disclosure about talks over a potential plea agreement in a two-page filing that asked U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan to postpone a Dec. 6 court hearing by about two weeks.” WaPo

DID TRUMP LEARN ANYTHING FROM MIDTERM LOSS:  Dan Balz: “All presidents suffer defeats and setbacks, whether through elections, legislative battles, international events or scandals. Most learn from them and adapt. Will President Trump be an exception?”

“That’s the question ahead for the president: Will the second two years of his first term be any different from the first two years? His actions and words in the days following the midterm elections indicate things actually could get worse rather than better. He has never been a gracious winner. In defeat, he has shown worse: ill-tempered, withdrawn, even more unpredictable.”

“It may be premature to draw a conclusion about what lessons he has learned, but rather than moving to mitigate the damage done to his party in the midterms or to assert international leadership, Trump has done the opposite in the days since the elections. He has reinforced what his presidency has wrought, domestically and internationally, and left others to worry about what comes next.”

WOMEN ELECTED IN RECORD NUMBERS. “More than 2,000 women will serve in state legislatures when those chambers convene for their upcoming sessions, representing roughly a quarter of all state lawmakers across the country. That mark will eclipse the record of 1,875 who served this year,” the AP reports.

“The number could rise as ballot-counting concludes in close contests across the country. The Associated Press has not yet called 216 state legislative elections, races that include about 185 female candidates.”

“In another first, women could end up holding the majority in two state legislative chambers at the same time — the Colorado House and Nevada Assembly… The only previous time women comprised the majority in a state legislative chamber was in 2009 and 2010 in New Hampshire’s state Senate.”

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

1 comment on “The Open Thread for November 18, 2018

  1. As vile as the #fivewhiteguys are, delacrat is right to say Pelosi is no prize herself.

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