Open Thread

The Open Thread for November 25, 2018

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is running for House speaker, sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues calling for unity before the vote for Speaker of the House in January, CBS News reports.

Wrote Pelosi: “Respectful of the views of all Members, I request that we all support the nominee of our Caucus for Speaker on the Floor of the House. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.”

“Cindy Hyde-Smith’s embattled bid for another two years in the Senate hit another race-related hurdle this weekend, as a report in a Mississippi newspaper revealed the Republican incumbent graduated high school at a segregation academy,” Politico reports.

“A photograph from the 1975 edition of the Lawrence County Academy yearbook, published Friday by the Jackson Free Press, appears to show Hyde-Smith among a group of cheerleaders — including a mascot holding a Confederate flag who appears to be wearing a costume imitating a Confederate general’s uniform. A sophomore girl in the picture is identified in the caption as Cindy Hyde.”

“The Trump administration has won the support of Mexico’s incoming government for a plan to remake U.S. border policy by requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims move through U.S. courts,” the Washington Post reports.

“The agreement would break with long-standing asylum rules and place a formidable new barrier in the path of Central American migrants attempting to reach the United States and escape poverty and violence. By reaching the accord, the Trump administration has also overcome Mexico’s historic reticence to deepen cooperation with the United States on an issue widely seen here as America’s problem.”

Dan Balz: “When President Trump won the White House in 2016, he did it by hijacking the Republican Party. Now, after what happened in the midterm elections, it’s clearer than ever that the president’s fortunes and his party’s future are at odds.

“If the enthusiasm for Trump in rural and small-town America constituted the story after 2016, the revolt against him in the suburbs, led by female voters, has become the story of the 2018 elections. The more you analyze the House results, the more the GOP’s suburban problem stands out.”

President Trump has expressed dissatisfaction with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Wall Street Journal reports.  Trump reportedly blames Mnuchin for backing Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and for the recent volatility in the stock market.

President Trump quickly fired back, slamming the story as another example of “fake news,” The Hill reports. Said Trump: “I am extremely happy and proud of the job being done by Mnuchin. The FAKE NEWS likes to write stories to the contrary, quoting phony sources or jealous people, but they aren’t true. They never like to ask me for a quote b/c it would kill their story.”

Walter Shapiro: “A rational president, who had just bludgeoned Brett Kavanaugh onto the supreme court, would not jeopardize the long-awaited conservative majority by picking a fight with Chief Justice John Roberts. But rationality has never been Donald Trump’s strong suit when it comes to dealing with the judiciary.”

“According to an estimate by the Washington Post, the Trump administration has been overruled in more than 40 federal court decisions. While correlation does not imply causation, it does suggest that Trump’s constant bleats and tweets about biased judges represent an odd strategy to tilt the scales of justice.”

Al Gore blasted the White House, saying it was trying to “bury” a long-awaited government report on climate change by releasing it on the day after Thanksgiving, CBS News reports.

Said Gore: “Unbelievably deadly and tragic wildfires rage in the west, hurricanes batter our coasts — and the Trump administration chooses the Friday after Thanksgiving to try and bury this critical U.S. assessment of the climate crisis. The President may try to hide the truth, but his own scientists and experts have made it as stark and clear as possible.”

A New York state judge on Friday denied a request by attorneys for President Trump to throw out a lawsuit alleging that Trump and his family violated charity laws with the management of their personal foundation, the Washington Postreports.

CNN: “In her decision, Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled that a sitting president can face a civil lawsuit in state court for actions not taken in his official capacity. That ruling puts Scarpulla in agreement with another recent ruling against Trump, a decision in the defamation lawsuit brought against him by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice.”

“And, Scarpulla said, it is in line with the US Supreme Court’s 1997 ruling concerning President Bill Clinton in response to Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit.

Politico: “Romney… will be no ordinary freshman senator. He is expected to use his national profile and formidable fundraising network to collect chits and help elect Republicans across the country. Believe in America PAC and Team Mitt, a Romney-backed joint fundraising committee, were set up immediately after the Nov. 6 midterm election. Both vehicles can be used to send donations to GOP candidates.”

“Romney has made little secret that he intends to use his outsize profile as senator. Prior to the election, he backed an array of Republican candidates in races up and down the ballot.”

Bloomberg: “Brexit revealed underlying cracks in the European Union. An anti-immigration backlash led to a wave of right-wing populist victories in Europe. And U.S. voters elected President Trump, who has lavished praise on several strongmen leaders. Last week, he sided with Russia President Vladimir Putin over the U.S. intelligence community (he later said he misspoke—and then walked back his walk-back).”

“On the surface, these shifts in governments show precisely what a functioning democracy is capable of—voters dictate what they want at the ballot box.”

“But not all elections are equal. While voters in Hungary, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela went to the polls this year, their votes didn’t count for much. Incumbent leaders in those countries only consolidated power. More elected leaders are starting to take note, implementing their own sweeping changes to weaken checks on executive power.”

“Don’t be shocked when presidential hopefuls’ usual Des Moines–to–Manchester route adds a few stops in Los Angeles, Austin, and Chicago this time around,” New York magazine reports.

“That’s because when next year’s Democratic primary process gets started, it sure looks like the voting, and the all-important delegate counting, won’t actually, technically start in Iowa. Instead, because of early-voting rules, the increasing popularity of early voting, and a reshuffled primary calendar, a handful of huge, diverse states could see troves of ballots returned even before some of the traditional small and largely white early-voting states do — a shift that just might herald real changes to the way Democrats nominate their presidential pick, and quite possibly the nominee’s identity.”

White House communications chief Bill Shine received an $8.4 million severance package upon leaving Fox News in May 2017 and will continue to be paid by the network for two more years, according to the Hollywood Reporter.  The severance agreement expires on May 1, 2019.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told the Washington Post that Democrats will investigate President Trump’s financial ties to Saudi Arabia as part of a “deep dive” on the kingdom when majority control of the House changes hands in January.

Said Schiff: “There are a whole set of potential financial conflicts of interest and emoluments problems that Congress will need to get to the bottom of. Certainly if foreign investment in the Trump businesses is guiding U.S. policy in a way that’s antithetical to the country’s interests, we need to find out about it.”

John Kirby at CNN says that after Trump’s politicized Thanksgiving call, maybe he should not visit the troops.   “Let me be blunt. The United States military is not a voting bloc. It’s not a MAGA rally crowd. It’s not a plaything, and it’s most certainly not an arm of the Republican Party. Our troops, of course, must obey the orders of the commander in chief. They execute the military policy he sets forth. But their loyalty belongs to the American people and to the Constitution.”

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

1 comment on “The Open Thread for November 25, 2018

  1. Cindy Hyde-Smith “I will nervier open my legs to a black man…no matter how wet he makes me…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: