What Now?! – 2/2/19

President Trump said he “might declare a national emergency to obtain funding to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico because it did not appear Democrats were moving toward a deal that would provide the money,” Reuters reports.

Said Trump: “We’re not getting anywhere with them… I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have to do that.”

Ann Coulter told Yahoo News that President Trump is “lazy and incompetent” and warned that he might face a challenger for the Republican presidential nomination if he doesn’t build a wall on the Mexican border.  Said Coulter: “We put this lunatic in the White House for one reason.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “could move to block President Trump from invoking a national emergency to build a border wall, forcing Senate Republicans to choose between preserving congressional power and crossing the White House,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“The California Democrat, under a seldom-used statute, could put a binding ‘resolution of disapproval’ on the House floor to counter Trump should he claim constitutional powers to unilaterally build a border wall.”

Key takeaway: “The resolution would almost assuredly pass the Democratic House. Then, in a quirk of the law — the Congressional Review Act — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would essentially be forced to hold a floor vote, with only a simple majority required for passage rather than the customary 60 votes.”

A defiant President Trump told the New York Times that he “has all but given up on negotiations with Congress over his border wall and will proceed without lawmakers even as he dismissed any suggestions of wrongdoing in the investigations that have ensnared his associates.”

Said Trump: “I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what’s she doing and, ultimately, I think I’ve set the table very nicely. I’ve set the table. I’ve set the stage for doing what I’m going to do.”

“Addressing a wide range of subjects, Mr. Trump brushed off the investigations that have consumed so much of his presidency, saying that his lawyers have been reassured by the outgoing deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, that the president himself was not a target. Mr. Trump said he never spoke with Roger Stone, his longtime associate who was indicted last week, about WikiLeaks and the stolen Democratic emails it posted during the 2016 election, nor did he direct anyone to do so.”

This is a good first ad.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who rose to prominence as Newark’s charismatic and ambitious mayor, announced Friday that he is running for president, CNN reports.

“Booker chose the first day of Black History Month to launch his campaign, timing that nods to Booker’s own heritage and suggests he will put it at the center of his pitch to voters.”

Washington Post: “His decision did not come as a surprise. Booker has been traveling to early-voting states for months, teasing his eventual entrance.”

Susan Glasser: “It’s hardly surprising that, in the days since his shutdown humiliation, Trump has retreated into the virtual seclusion of Twitter, holed up watching cable news and tweeting his alternative reality as America struggles with an actual deep freeze. For Trump, the fake world is much better than the real one. There is no extreme weather in his White House; in fact, climate change does not exist inside its walls. Trump’s policy has decreed it.”

“He’s avoiding more than just the frigid air outside; in the cocoon of the Oval Office, there are only invited guests and staff who, while they may be secretly leaking unflattering accounts, at least have the good sense to be nice to Trump’s face. In recent days, the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has compared Trump to a petulant toddler and openly wondered what Russia has on him. Why would Trump want to spend his time negotiating with her?”

“Much better, from Trump’s point of view, to simply announce, as he did to reporters on Thursday, that ‘Nancy Pelosi will be begging for a wall,’ and spend the day with his own press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who this week told an interviewer that God ‘wanted Donald Trump to become President.’”

“The United States is suspending one of the last major nuclear arms control treaties with Russia after heated conversations between the two powers recently failed to resolve a long-running accusation that Moscow is violating the Reagan-era treaty,” the New York Times reports.

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision on Friday as the Trump administration maintained that the Russian government has been unwilling to admit that a missile it has deployed near European borders violates the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Mr. Pompeo and his deputies have insisted that Moscow destroy the missile.”

Washington Post: “The demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty raises fears of a new nuclear arms race, although U.S. officials discount the risk.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “has apologized to the Cherokee Nation for her decision to take a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry, a move that had angered some tribal leaders and ignited a significant political backlash,” the New York Times reports.

“The apology comes as Ms. Warren is set to formally kick off her presidential run this month after recent visits to early nominating states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. It also comes after repeated calls for her to apologize from tribal leaders, political operatives, and her own advisers, who said her October decision to take the DNA test gave undue credence to the controversial claim that race could be determined by blood — and politically, played into President Trump’s hands.”

“The intense nature of the criticism stunned Schultz,” Fox Businessreports.

“While he expected some carping, he did not foresee the ferocity of some of the vitriol, particularly from the party’s top officials and operatives… What people who have spoken with Schultz agree on is that he is now readjusting his message about the likelihood of an independent presidential campaign.”

A senior adviser says “Schultz’s decision is far from final—and he won’t make up his mind until at least the summer.”

Australian diplomats have reportedly visited Julian Assange in Ecuador’s embassy in London to hear firsthand about his health, the Sydney Morning Herald Reports.

Assange’s attorney “said he and his colleagues will now directly appeal to Foreign Minister Marise Payne to petition the UK government to let Assange leave the embassy for urgent medical care without being arrested.”

Tom Moran on Cory Booker: “He’s a rich target in crazy times like this, because he’s not a normal guy. He’s a vegan and a Rhodes Scholar, and he never touches alcohol or tobacco. He meditates daily, and Tweets quotes from Jewish scholars and Buddhist priests. He once supported vouchers for private schools, and he attends prayer meetings with a Republican senator who thinks climate change is a hoax. I like all that, myself. We’ll see how it goes over with factory workers in Toledo.”

“But put that aside. The core criticism of Booker is that he is a showboat with a silver tongue, a man whose real talent is promoting himself, not getting stuff done.”

“That last part — about not getting stuff done — is wildly unfair. He may be famous for that silver tongue, but he carries an iron hammer to work… Showboat? The man likes a camera, granted. But there’s a lot more to him than that.”

The Labor Department said that 304,000 jobs were added last month, as compared to an estimate by economists of about 172,000, the New York Times reports.  The unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent.

“January’s growth means that American employers have added jobs for 100 consecutive months, extending a record run. The unemployment rate is near a multidecade low, and wages — long a weak point — are rising.”

“President Trump’s campaign and affiliated committees raised more than $21 million in the final three months of 2018, entering the presidential election cycle with a massive head start just as a wide-open Democratic field begins to take shape,” the Washington Post reports.

“The latest fundraising disclosures bring the total haul for Trump’s reelection effort to more than $129 million, a record amount for a sitting president at this point in the election cycle. The campaign had more than $19.2 million in cash on hand by the end of 2018, according to new Federal Election Commission filings made public Thursday night.”

“President Trump is telling conservative allies he wants to incorporate firm anti-abortion language into his State of the Union address next Tuesday, and potentially include an anti-abortion figure among his list of invitees,” Politico reports.

“Trump sees an opening to energize his evangelical supporters and capture moderate voters who administration officials believe may be turned off by widespread coverage of New York’s newest abortion law, which allows for termination of some pregnancies after the 24-week mark for health reasons.”

“An undocumented worker who was fired from the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., after she publicly disclosed her immigration status will attend President Trump’s State of the Union address next week,” the Washington Post reports.

“Victorina Morales, who was born in Guatemala, will be a guest of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) when the president speaks to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.”

A new study found that the steady loss of local newspapers and journalists across the country contributes to the nation’s political polarization, the AP reports.

“With fewer opportunities to find out about local politicians, citizens are more likely to turn to national sources like cable news and apply their feelings about national politics to people running for the town council or state legislature.”

“The result is much less ‘split ticket’ voting, or people whose ballot includes votes for people of different parties. In 1992, 37 percent of states with Senate races elected a senator from a different party than the presidential candidate the state supported. In 2016, for the first time in a century, no state did that, the study found.”

Said professor Johanna Dunaway: “The voting behavior was more polarized, less likely to include split ticket voting, if a newspaper had died in the community.”

Pew Research: “While demographic changes unfold slowly, it’s already clear that the 2020 electorate will be unique in several ways. Nonwhites will account for a third of eligible voters – their largest share ever – driven by long-term increases among certain groups, especially Hispanics.”

“At the same time, one-in-ten eligible voters will be members of Generation Z,  the Americans who will be between the ages 18 and 23 next year. That will occur as Millennials and all other older generations account for a smaller share of eligible voters than they did in 2016.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) “formally named the nine Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday, ending a weeks-long delay that may have cost special counsel Robert Mueller valuable time to act on potential leads the panel could offer just as he appears close to wrapping his investigation,” NBC News reports.

“Democrats now in the majority on the Intelligence Committee had vowed that one of their first acts would be to authorize the release of more than 50 witness interview transcripts to Mueller to aid in his probe. At the least, members have said they had reason to believe some witnesses lied to the panel, something that has already led Mueller to bring charges against Trump allies.”

Politico: “The lack of action on picking the full slate of panel members had led some observers to question if Republicans were attempting to hamstring the committee.”

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

14 comments on “What Now?! – 2/2/19

  1. “The United States is suspending one of the last major nuclear arms control treaties with Russia…” – NYT

    Well, that blows the Dems whole “Trump’s-a-Putin-puppet” story sky high.

    That’s why the Dems are silent when Trump pulls one of the most irresponsible moves imaginable.

    • “Well, that blows the Dems whole “Trump’s-a-Putin-puppet” story sky high.”

      Only if you think that this is a bad development for Putin, which it’s not. He’s been touting new ballistic missiles that would be barred by existing treaties.

      Do you really not know the geopolitical situation of Russia? Maybe that’s why you refuse to treat them as a bad actor.

      Do you really not understand that the problem isn’t Hillary losing but rather untraceable foreign money being injected into American elections? How can you be so oblivious?

      • Would suggest constant practice

      • Not endorsing the view, but here’s one that’s the opposite of delacrat’s:

      • alby,

        What is oblivious is you and Trump skipping, hand-in-hand, down the primrose path to armageddon, based on anti-Russia scare-talk that’s as old as the 1917 revolution.

        • cassandram

          Treaties are typically how armageddon gets avoided. And it is not scare talk when the Soviets built an entire identity on destroying the USA.

          • “…the Soviets built an entry identity based on destroying the USA” – Cass

            Don’t believe anything you hear from the John Birch Society.

            • You don’t know what you’re talking about, and on this topic it shows. All you have is your straw-man manufacturing plant.

              Russia is a bad actor running a totalitarian society, and the supposed philosophy of its rulers — communism or kleptocracy — doesn’t seem to make a difference. Their nuclear weapons still point at us, and the treaty doesn’t affect those. It affects the ones pointed at Europe.

              Try to learn something before typing.

              • “Russia is a bad actor running a totalitarian society,…” alby, cassandram

                We said that about Saddam Hussein and WMD’s. Now it’s deja vu all over again and people(who should know better) are lapping it up !

            • cassandram

              Alby is right, you really don’t know much outside of whatever the Russian bots are telling you. But as noted, the Russians are bad actors running a totalitarian society which is currently appealing to the GOP and some of the far left in this country. There’s plenty of credible history written on this — which will, of course, mean you need to stop getting your history from social media.

  2. I repeat here a suggestion I have made about the wall. First, as an American, I am NOT paying for it. But I have a suggestion of who could: American Corporations. Build the longest, highest wall they want. Mountainous. And not to miss ANY messaging opportunity, and in as much as this is a PRIVATE wall, it should be festooned with best ideas our corporate overlords can imagine.

    • The problem isn’t that the wall would cost money. It’s that it would actually be destructive. I’d be against it even if it would work as advertised.

  3. I think it’s unfortunate that Warren apologized for taking the blood test. The blood test was not meant to prove that she’s Naive American or that such an identity can be established genetically. It was meant to prove that she didn’t lie when she said she had a Native American ancestor, contrary to Trump’s claim that she lied. Now the apology negates the intent for taking the test.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: