The Open Thread for 12/17/18

A new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom survey in Iowa finds Joe Biden beginning a potential presidential bid at 32%, more than a dozen points ahead of the second-place candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who gets 19%.  I consider this result to be near fatal for Sanders, who has universal name recognition and got 49.59% of the caucus vote in 2016.   You could say the same about Obama’s Vice President, Biden, only getting a third of the Democratic vote.  The name recognition vaults them both above all other contenders, but concerns about both men, and their age, likely limits them from going higher.  This result shows a desire for younger and new leadership, in my humble opinion.

Outgoing Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is in third place, at 11%, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 8% and California Sen. Kamala Harris at 5%.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is at 4%, former NYC Mayor and Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is at 3, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is at 3, a former Maryland Congressman, John Delaney is at 1%, even though he has basically lived in the state the last two years, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is at 1% and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro is at 1%.

Taking into account second choices, Biden was the first or second pick of 50 percent of respondents (32 first, 18 second), while only 8 percent said they could “never” support him for president, the lowest number on the list.

More than half say it is more important that the candidate has a strong chance of defeating Trump than that they share their positions on major issues (40 percent said the reverse).

The families of Sandy Hook Promise have teamed up to unleash one hell of a short filmon the world on the sixth anniversary of the day that changed their lives forever. December 14, 2012 saw 20 children and six teachers murdered in the school shooting that should have ended the gun control debate full stop, but didn’t.

Called “Point of View,” the PSA, produced by top-tier ad agency BBDO New York, and directed by Snow White and the Huntsman’s Rupert Sanders, takes a different approach to showing the dark realities of school shootings, since dead children and sobbing families still hasn’t seemed to have much of an impact on those American legislators who have been bought and sold by the ever-declining NRA.  Please, do find the time to watch it through till the end … then watch it again, and look a little closer.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds a robust 62% majority say President Trump has not been honest about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, up from 56% in August.

A 46% plurality says guilty pleas by Trump associates suggest wrongdoing by the president as well, up from 40% in August and 36% a year ago. Half the public (50%) say the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has given them more doubts about Trump’s presidency.

Also important: Just 38% say they would probably or definitely vote for the president if he seeks a second term, while 52% say they’d probably or definitely vote for the Democratic candidate.

More findings:

  • 55% support oversight investigations of Trump by House Democrats next year; 43% oppose
  • 45% say the Mueller investigation should continue; 34% say end it, 20% are not sure.
  • Trump’s approval is at 43% to 54% disapproval among all adults.   Before the Midterms, it was 46% approve, 52% disapprove among registered voters, although that is not an apples to apples comparison (all adults v. registered voters)
  • Regarding Trump and whether got the Midterm message: 10% say he  got the message for changes to his programs/policies and is making adjustments.   22% say he got the message but isn’t making adjustments.   33% say he hasn’t gotten the message.   31% say there was no message from the election (these are the Trump diehards who live in his reality where Trump won the Midterms).
  • 48% want to see the Democrats in Congress take the lead in setting policy for the country.  19% say Trump.  21% say Republicans.

“Diplomats from nearly 200 countries reached a deal on Saturday to keep the Paris climate agreement alive by adopting a detailed set of rules to implement the pact,” the New York Times reports.

“The United States agreed to the deal despite President Trump’s vow to abandon the Paris Agreement. Diplomats and climate change activists said they hoped that fact would make it easier for the administration to change its mind and stay in the Paris Agreement, or for a future president to embrace the accord once again. The United States cannot formally withdraw from the agreement until late 2020.”

“The White House and a number of federal agencies have started advanced preparations for a partial government shutdown, as President Trump and congressional Democrats appear unlikely to resolve their fight over a border wall before some government funding lapses at week’s end,” the Washington Post reports.

“GOP leaders are scrambling to find a short-term alternative that could stave off a shutdown, which would start on Dec. 22 absent a deal. But White House officials signaled to lawmakers Friday that they would probably not support a one- or two-week stopgap measure. Some congressional Republicans support such a ‘continuing resolution,’ but the White House rejection has dramatically increased the odds of a spending lapse.”

The Hill: GOP set for blame over shutdown.

A federal judge in Texas on Friday said Obamacare was invalid. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday she believed the decision would be overturned.  She better hope so.  Her fate is directly tied to it.

“Theresa May is being urged to give her MPs free rein to vote for a second referendum, with a new group of ministers poised to back another public ballot on Brexit,” the Guardian reports.

“Cabinet ministers are making fresh pleas for a new approach after the prime minister’s bleakest week in office, which has left her authority seriously damaged and led some Tory MPs to fear it will become impossible for her to govern.”

Olivia Nuzzi: “Mulvaney does have one advantage: He has demonstrated his loyalty to the president since the beginning.”

Said one person close to the White House: “It’s cultish. It’s Stockholm syndrome. There’s this thing that’s set in of a bunker mentality. There’s less infighting because of the bunker mentality.”

“Nevertheless, as the incoming Democratic Congress prepares to challenge Trump, and various law enforcement investigations draw ever closer to him, it seems unlikely that Mulvaney will be able to do much to change the place.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told CNN that she welcomed primary challengers to President Trump in 2020, saying that it’s “healthy” for democracy.

Said Collins: “I see nothing wrong with challengers. It’s always interesting when we have primaries because a lot of times it allows different viewpoints to surface. It can help influence public policy down the road and it’s healthy for our democracy.”

Adam Gaffney on why we need Medicare for all. Right now.  “If you can’t undercut a popular proposal as undesirable, make it sound impossible. That, in any event, has been the tack of opponents of single-payer healthcare, also called improved “Medicare-for-all”.

“[W]e got to get away from these falsehoods and start talking about the truth …” opined billionaire Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on CNBC last June, while contending that single-payer healthcare was economically infeasible. “I think a lot of the analysis has shown it’s unaffordable,” claimed Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, last summer, quoted by Kaiser Health News.

Yet casting Medicare-for-all as an economic impossibility is becoming a sisyphean pursuit: a slew of studies – including one released just the other week – are confirming that, yes, we can afford real universal healthcare in America. But if that’s the case, why haven’t we already achieved it? Well, the real stumbling block is not that single-payer advocates’ arithmetic is poor, it’s that American politics are dominated by the rich.”

Dana Milbank on the last days of the Republican House.  “Republicans, in the waning hours of their eight-year reign in the House, are using this precious time to do what they love best: investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The House Oversight Committee had one last item on this year’s calendar — a hearing Thursday on the Clinton Foundation. But it didn’t stop there! Republicans and their witnesses used the hearing to reprise their greatest hits: her email server, Benghazi, George Soros, Sidney Blumenthal, Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, James B. Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, IRS targeting the tea party, Uranium One and a QAnon conspiracy about the Justice Department swooping into Little Rock to seize Clinton documents.

Even the lock-her-up Trump administration had tired of these proceedings. The Justice Department — under the command of Trump loyalist and former hot-tub promoter Matthew G. Whitaker — refused to testify (leading one witness to suggest the administration had joined the cover up), and the IRS also sent regrets.”

Elizabeth Bruenig with the flipside of all those “Democrats need to be careful” advice columns.  “In 2020, Democrats will have a new opportunity to either reach backward for the Obama era, or to lay the foundation for a bolder, progressive future. Deciding which goal to pursue will likely become the chief party fault line as the 2020 primaries approach. My advice to progressives: Don’t back down.

For the party’s center-leaning establishment, a return to the Obama era makes sense. Centrists were happy then — thrilled to witness the passage of health-care reform that did something but not too much (so long, public option !), comfortable with what one might gently label a muscular foreign policy , pleased with the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, though it came at the expense of homeowners in foreclosure while coddling Wall Street . All in all, things seemed stable and sustainable. Only tweaks and patches lay ahead.

But then, history — presumed dead by those who believed, with socialism extinguished, the future held nothing but increasing gains for liberal democracy — happened again. The 2016 election witnessed a swell of populist disenchantment with the status quo and concluded with the election of Trump. With Trump came a queasy uncertainty that still characterizes politics to this day, leaving old norms dissolved and common sense unequal to its task.”

David Ignatius on the opportunity Democrats have to do what Republicans couldn’t — govern.  “To put it bluntly, the Tories under Prime Minister Theresa May and the Republicans under President Trump have failed as governing parties. That’s because they can’t reconcile their inflammatory rhetoric with the practical realities of economic and social policy in the 21st century. The conservatives talked big to aggrieved voters, but they have come up empty.

This past week offered a rare chance to test the propositions on trade, immigration and other issues that have been polarizing British and American politics. Conservatives presented easy solutions — for Britain, a Brexit escape from a meddlesome European Union; and for America, a border wall (and other symbols) to address the real strains caused by immigration.

But the conservative quick fixes didn’t work. They were ill-planned, half-baked, jingoistic responses to serious issues. Rather than remedy the inequities that bothered middle-class Brits and Americans, they instead sought to turn back the clock with proposals that simply didn’t fit today’s globalized world.

President Trump ripped “one sided” and “unfair” media coverage, saying it should be tested in courts, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live.”

He added: “It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?”

Go right ahead.  You’ll lose and we will laugh at you all the while.   He acts like SNL has never before mocked a President.

Rudy Giuliani says collusion is not a crime and in any case the collusion ended before the election.   Conspiracy, Espionage, Treason and Fraud are crimes and it matters not when it was committed.

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

19 comments on “The Open Thread for 12/17/18

  1. RE Vanella

    Setting to one side the idea that a CNN Des Moines Register poll in December 2018 is “near fatal” to Sanders (which is good trolling), I noticed you overlooked this one:

    Wherein Sanders’ 58% beats all other candidates in non-white favorable opinion. Wierd….

    We’ll talk.

    • cassandram

      Don’t bother talking. At least not here, where we understand the differences between asking a Favorability question vs asking a Who Would You Pick for President Question. Even in the Register’s poll, Biden has 8 points over Bernie in the favorability (apples to apples!) question. And that Paste article (surprise!) contains no data. Just more tired arguments about how X white person is really not racist.

      Pro-tip: Click on the links and look at the cross tabs. These pollsters have already done the heavy lifting.

      Pro-tip, part 2: It is way too early to get invested in any of these numbers.

      • RE Vanella

        Might want to check the author of the Paste article.

        • Why would that matter?

        • shocking as it may be, one woman of color doesn’t speak for all people of color. There are better ways to make your point than by “my black friend”ing

          • cassandram

            ^^^THIS. And given that I had no idea who this person is, should tell you what you need to know about that approach too.

          • ^This. A thousand times

      • The poll is not worth arguing about because another poll next week will make this poll out-of-date.

  2. RE Vanella

    A quick Google of CNN / Des Moines Register polls from 2015 is funny.

    Big shakeup in Iowa: Cruz soars to lead. Dec 12 2015.

    Two Iowa polls show Ben Carson ahead. Oct 22 2015

    Poll: Walker holds 7-point lead in Iowa. May 30 2015.

    • Good. This means that neither of the “speaks their mind” old white guys will likely be the nominee, which means there is actually a chance.

      • cassandram

        Indeed. If you ignore the fact that you are looking at polls taken well after these candidates in 2015 had actually declared for 2016, it means that the horserace isn’t a horserace yet. You’ll want to revisit this comparison last *next* year, when you’ll actually have a real apple to compare.

  3. RE Vanella

    Cass. Come on the podcast.

  4. RE Vanella

    We all know politics is a data game. I forgot.

    We can solve homelessness through calculus!

    • cassandram

      If you are here critiquing data, you need to know what you are talking about. And you didn’t. So now you want to pretend that having a snit will coverup your cluelessness here. The belligerence just accentuates what you won’t bother to know.

  5. Is there some half-baked, sketchy Conservative nutjob podcast I’m supposed to be turning to for laughs?

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