What Now?! – 7/31/19

The New York Times reports that “Mr. Trump’s determination to intensify the [racist attacks on Cummings, Sharpton, and the City of Baltimore] rather than move on guaranteed that it would continue to dominate the political debate in Washington and force many of the president’s fellow Republicans to choose whether to stand by him, break with him or, in the case of most, find a way to keep out of the discussion.”

“Several White House officials expressed agreement during a senior staff meeting on Monday morning that the president’s attacks were a bad move, according to people informed about the discussion, but they were uncertain who could intervene with him — or if anyone would even dare try.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “is usually impervious to criticism, even celebrating the nasty nicknames that have been bestowed on him by critics,” the New York Times reports.

“But Mr. McConnell is incensed with his new moniker, ‘Moscow Mitch,’ and even more miffed that he has been called a ‘Russian asset’ by critics who accuse him of single-handedly blocking stronger election security measures after Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.”

This pleases me to no end. If McConnell wants to not be called Moscow Mitch he can stop being Putin’s bitch. Pass the election protection bills now, you traitorous piece of shit.

“President Trump’s choice of Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace respected former Sen. Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence in one of the most powerful and sensitive jobs in government, has gotten a tepid response to this point from Republican senators, signaling the Texas Republican, a Trump loyalist who lacks intelligence experience, could face a fight to be confirmed,” CNN reports.

“Of the handful of GOP senators who put out public statements about the change, they all praised the professionalism and integrity of the departing Coats, but not one has mentioned — much less embraced –Ratcliffe.”

In naming Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to be Director of National Intelligence, President Trump ignored a warning from Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the chairman of the intelligence committee, Time reports. “Burr told the White House last week that the move would inject more partisan politics into the work of the intelligence agencies.”

“In a sign of how dysfunctional President Trump’s relationship with the intelligence community has become already, some senior spies and analysts say having a political ally as DNI may not make much of a difference at this point. Trump pays only sporadic attention to his daily briefings, routinely ignores analysis that contradicts his own views, and in many cases pursues policies that analysts have concluded are fruitless or misguided.”

“President Trump’s pick for the next director of national intelligence, Rep. John Ratcliffe has misrepresented his role in an anti-terrorism case that he’s repeatedly cited among his credentials related to national security issues,” ABC News reports. This piece of Republican shit will not get 50 votes in the Senate.

Washington Post: “Analysts said the scale of the roundup — nearly 1,400 demonstrators were swept off the streets in Moscow on Saturday… suggested a change in approach for a Russian elite that is increasingly concerned about political stability.”

“Thousands took to the streets of central Moscow on Saturday to demand that independent candidates be allowed to run in upcoming elections for city parliament. It was the latest demonstration in a protest movement that began two weeks ago after the city election commission rejected the candidacies of several opposition-minded candidates, citing falsified supporter signatures.”

A new study finds more than half of the Trump administration’s trade-war aid for farmers went to just one-tenth of the recipients in the program, Bloomberg reports.

“Trade talks between the United States and China resumed on Monday with prospects dimming for a transformative deal, as both sides appeared more focused on preventing tensions from escalating before the 2020 presidential election than on making concessions,” the New York Timesreports.

“Negotiators from both countries are continuing to press for an agreement, but months of meetings have so failed to yield consensus on the most difficult issues and there is little to suggest that a compromise is within reach.”

“Mr. Trump and his advisers are playing down the likelihood of reaching an agreement in the short term, and the president suggested on Friday that China was trying to drag out the negotiations in the hope that someone else might occupy the Oval Office come January 2021.”

Philip Bump: “As of writing, 109 House Democrats have publicly endorsed impeaching President Trump. That ‘as of writing’ is important, because new converts to the cause have been popping up frequently over the past few days — pushed, it seems, by former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week.”

“For a long time, the pro-impeachment caucus was modest, making up less than a dozen of the members of the Democratic caucus. Since Mueller concluded his work in March, new endorsements have come in bunches, with surges after each time Mueller offered his views to the world: With the release of the report, at his late-May press briefing and with last week’s testimony.”

The Senate lost a bid to override President Trump’s veto and block arms sales to Saudi Arabia to punish the kingdom for the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Bloomberg reports.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is offering to buy Rep. Ilhan Omar a ticket to Somalia so she will “appreciate America more,” echoing President Trump’s racist statement that the Minnesota Democrat and three other congresswomen should “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” the Washington Post reports.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) on Monday introduced a resolution condemning socialism, taking to the Senate floor to blast Democratic policies he said would lead to “complete government control,” The Hill reports.

Said Daines: “A radical, socialist, far-left movement is growing across this country. And it has taken root as the new voice of the Democratic Party … Today we make a choice. Freedom or Socialism. I choose freedom.”

When Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) accused Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) of racism earlier this year, one of his “best friends,” House Oversight Committee chairman and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) immediately jumped to his defense, CNN reports.

“When Cummings was attacked on similar grounds by President Trump over the weekend, it took a bit longer for Meadows to publicly repay the favor… Trump’s comments hung in the air for days.”

“When Meadows finally did issue a reply, it came two days later and second-hand, delivered live on air by CNN contributor and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. The statement was a perfect distillation of the way Republicans have tip-toed around Trump’s inflammatory language about race — and avoided criticizing the President directly.”

“A state lawmaker who is paralyzed isn’t allowed to participate in committee meetings by phone under a legislative rule that he says keeps him from performing his job as well as he should,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Wisconsin state Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D) “said the Assembly rule discriminates against him because he has difficulty getting to some meetings for health reasons… Republicans who control the Legislature have declined to accommodate his request to call into meetings.”

Said Anderson: “It’s the first time I’ve ever had to ask for simple dignities, right? It’s a frustrating thing to have to ask just to be included in the process.”

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

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