What Now?! – 1/30/19

A new Quinnipiac poll finds American voters trust Speaker Nancy Pelosi more than President Trump, 49% to 42% “on issues that are important to you.” Independent voters trust Pelosi more than Trump by 49% to 36%.

Men trust Trump more, 48% to 42%. Women trust Pelosi more 54% to 37%.

White voters trust Trump more 52% to 42%. Black voters go to Pelosi 82% to 2% and Hispanic voters trust her more 62% to 27%.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 56% of all Americans say they would “definitely not vote for him” should President Trump become the Republican nominee, while 14% say they would consider voting for him and 28% would definitely vote for him.

Majorities of independents (59%), women (64%) and suburbanites (56%) rule out supporting Trump for a second term.

Also interesting: While 75% of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents approve of Trump’s performance in office when asked separately, nearly 1 in 3 say they would like to nominate someone other than Trump to be the party’s candidate for president.

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz “may not decide on making a independent run for president until this summer or fall and will only be a candidate if he sees a plausible way to win the White House,” Bloomberg reports.   Said adviser Bill Burton: “He 100 percent will only run if he sees a viable path. There’s no chance he gets in this race if there isn’t a path.”

Burton added it may not be until “summer or fall” when Schultz makes a decision. By that point the frontrunners among the wide field of Democratic contenders may become clearer.   Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner reports that top Democratic groups threaten to unleash arsenal to torpedo Schultz’s third-party bid.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Trump to deliver State of the Union on Feb. 5 in the House chamber, the Washington Post reports.

Stacey Abrams will deliver the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address next week, Politico reports.  Abrams drew national attention last year when she ran for governor of Georgia.

Billionaire former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told CNBC that he can’t run for president as a Democrat because he doesn’t like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) proposal to slap a 70-percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million.  Said Schultz: “I respect the Democratic Party. I no longer feel affiliated because I don’t know their views represent the majority of Americans. I don’t think we want a 70 percent income tax in America.”  He added: “If I ran as a Democrat, I would have to say things that I know in my heart I do not believe, and I would have to be disingenuous.”

First Read: “We get the math why Democrats are worried… But are Democrats right now overreacting to someone who has almost zero name identification — unlike Ross Perot in 1992 or Trump in 2016? Someone who champions deficit reduction and entitlement reform — in this current political environment?”

“Are Democrats worried that their nominating process won’t produce a nominee that can win over both progressives and independents? Is it possible that the threat of Schultz running as an independent makes them nominate someone who’s, well, more pragmatic and able to win over independent voters?”

“Don’t get us wrong: We get the math. We get the ideological argument that Schultz should be running as a Democrat instead of as an independent… But what we don’t get is the panic attack — in January 2019 — about someone who has very little following, very little name ID, and no political experience whatsoever running as an independent.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is urging President Trump “to up the ante in talks over his border wall: To push for an increase in the national debt limit as part of a legislative package to avert another government shutdown in mid-February,” CNN reports.

“Taking such a step would amount to a dramatic move by the President: He could dare Democrats to block funding for the border wall and risk sending the country into default in the process. Graham said agreeing to one big package could clear the decks of the thorny issues facing Congress in the weeks ahead.”

Playbook: “This seems like such an epically bad idea. The debt limit is the most dangerous legislative tool Congress can play with.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that a border security compromise that Congress hopes to produce doesn’t have to include the word “wall,” signaling a rhetorical retreat from a term that President Trump made a keystone of his presidential campaign.

Said McCarthy: “It could be barrier. It doesn’t have to be a wall.”

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) slammed President Trump on Twitter for suggesting he might declare a national emergency to direct construction of a border wall, saying that Trump “can’t claim emergency powers” when Congress doesn’t pass legislation he wants.

Amash was commenting on a tweet from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who said Trump “must” declare a national emergency for construction of a border wall if there’s no deal with lawmakers.

“A new American intelligence assessment of global threats has concluded that North Korea is ‘unlikely to give up’ all of its nuclear stockpiles, and that Iran is not ‘currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activity’ needed to make a bomb, directly contradicting two top tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy,” the New York Times reports.

“Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, also challenged Mr. Trump’s insistence that the Islamic State had been defeated, a key rationale for his decision to exit from Syria. The terror group, the annual ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’ report to Congress concluded, ‘still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria,’ and maintain eight branches and a dozen networks around the world.”

“Russian officials made a secret proposal to North Korea last fall aimed at resolving deadlocked negotiations with the Trump administration over its nuclear weapons program,” the Washington Post reports.

“In exchange for dismantling its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, Moscow offered the country a nuclear power plant.”

Axios: “This marks yet another example of an emboldened Russia intervening publicly and privately in key global hotspots, often times in direct conflict with U.S. interests.”

Jonathan Bernstein: “Sen. Kamala Harris did a CNN Town Hall in Iowa on Monday night. If anyone had doubts about her readiness for the campaign trail, her performance should’ve put them to rest. She knew her stuff, knew how to interact with a big crowd on television and generally seemed as presidential as anyone does in such settings, at least aside from actual presidents.”

“That said, it’s not clear that she can stand out from the crowd. She’s good at this type of campaigning. But I expect Senators Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and a few others will be solid as well. As a group, they’re well-informed on policy (or at least know enough to fake it). They have real proposals that they can talk about in shorter or longer bursts. They know how to deliver an attack line against the president (to which the audience of Iowa Democrats was extremely receptive). They’re going to seem professional and serious.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) hinted to MSNBC that Donald Trump Jr. might have perjured himself in Senate testimony.

Said Blumenthal: “I’m barred from saying whether any testimony has been conveyed to the special counsel.  But I can tell you this much, I was in the room when a great many of these witnesses appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee behind closed doors. I think many of them should be called back to testify in public and I hope that will be true of other congressional committees, as well, because behind closed doors, there were questions, serious issues concerning their truthfulness and that issue pertained particularly to Donald Trump Jr. in a number of contentions before our committee.”

He added: “I think this common thread of lying to Congress and particularly to congressional committees may ensnare a number of others potential targets in this special counsel’s investigation and become a matter of criminal action.”

“Senate Republicans can’t stomach another government shutdown. After weathering 35 days of a partial shuttered government, the Senate GOP is dreading the possibility another one will hit in fewer than three weeks — a sentiment that could prevent President Donald Trump from closing the government again,” Politico reports.

“Though House Republicans aren’t ruling out supporting the president should he choose another confrontation over his border wall, the Republican Senate majority — which actually has governing power — has another view.”

President Trump’s campaign manager “is pushing him to hold firm in his ongoing battle with Democrats over funding for a border wall with Mexico,” CNN reports.

“Brad Parscale is making his pitch as Trump continues to negotiate with Democrats over border wall funding with the possibility of another government shutdown looming in less than three weeks.”

“As part of his pitch, Parscale is presenting the President with internal data that shows voters in key swing areas believe a border wall or fence is needed.”

“A defense attorney for Andrew Miller, who’s fighting a subpoena from Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, learned Monday afternoon that the special counsel still wants witness testimony for a federal grand jury,” CNN reports.

“Paul Kamenar, the defense attorney, says the assertion from Mueller’s team made clear to him that Mueller and the Justice Department are considering an additional indictment of Roger Stone or have plans to charge others.”

CNN’s Town Hall with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was the most watched cable news single candidate election town hall ever, CNN reports.

The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed attorney general nominee William Barr’s confirmation vote amid Democrats’ concerns, the Washington Post reports.

“President Trump’s nominee for attorney general is expected to clear the Senate Judiciary Committee and be confirmed by the full Senate, but Democrats are worried he will limit special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

A new study says that climate change “will impose the greatest economic losses on Republican-leaning areas of the country that are almost uniformly resisting new efforts to combat it,” CNN reports.

“In the study, researchers at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program found that states, counties and congressional districts that voted Republican in 2016 and 2018 will suffer greater economic and environmental damages from a changing climate over the coming decades than places that voted Democratic in the past two elections. As a share of income, rural areas that now break predominantly for the GOP will likewise suffer greater losses than the metropolitan centers that have become the backbone of the Democratic coalition.”

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

5 comments on “What Now?! – 1/30/19

  1. “Men trust Trump more, 48% to 42%”. Who are these idiots?

    • Give it some time, Jason… I’m sure their local representatives will be here on this comment thread any moment now! (paging Anono, Kent, RSE…)

    • Go to a Moose Club or American Legion and you will have your answer. Old, poorly educated and scared of minorities “taking over” these are your Trump voters. They tend to be Boomers but there are leftovers from the Korea era as well.

  2. cassandram

    It’s not quite time to panic about Schultz especially since he seems to be using this Presidential exploratory thing as a way to sell books. I do see some Dems freaking out, but there is a real silver lining in the pushback to Schultz and it is that the clapback against a Late Capitalist. The “I’m a successful businessman and I am here to save you from the leftists who want a government that works for them.” seems to be dying pretty fast on the vine.

    • Indeed the “run the government like a business” was long discredited before I was born and has been a none stop failure since it’s inception. Having said that Trump has elevated the farce to new and stellar heights.

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