What Now?! – 8/12/19

“The fastest-growing segment of the U.S. electorate is seniors. They supported President Trump in 2016 but aren’t squarely in his camp as the 2020 campaign picks up,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“In 2016, despite polling showing an advantage for Democrat Hillary Clinton, voters over 65 backed Mr. Trump in the presidential election by a 52%-45% margin, according to exit polls. With still more than a year before next year’s election, 41% of seniors in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in June said they would prefer to see Mr. Trump re-elected, while 48% favored a generic Democrat to win in 2020. That comes as 46% of seniors said they approve of Mr. Trump’s performance in office, slightly higher than his 44% overall approval rating.”

“It’s not quite ‘’Trump-McConnell 2020,’ but it might as well be,” the Boston Globe reports. “As he runs for reelection, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is positioning himself as the president’s wingman, his trusted right hand in Congress, transformed from a behind-the-scenes player into a prominent if sometimes reviled Republican like none other besides Donald Trump himself.”

President Trump slammed former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci as having been “incapable” of the job, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “Anthony Scaramucci, who was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling, now seems to do nothing but television as the all time expert on ‘President Trump.’” He added that Scaramucci “knows very little about me.” Trump’s tweets came after Scaramucci said Trump’s visit to survivors of a Texas mass shooting was a “catastrophe.”

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci denounced President Trump early Sunday, arguing that he would eventually turn on everyone in his circle, The Hill reports.

Said Scaramucci: “For the last 3 years I have fully supported this President. Recently he has said things that divide the country in a way that is unacceptable. So I didn’t pass the 100% litmus test. Eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country.” 

Graeme Wood: “A really exceptional work of obscenity, like a really exceptional work of beauty, exceeds the ability of its viewers to fathom what they just saw. Did that just happen? But … how? What sorcery created it? Words don’t arrive, and the stammering gives way to silence.”

“The latest publicity photograph of the president in El Paso, Texas, knocked me into silence for a good half hour this morning while I tried to figure out the many layers of obscenity on display. The photo features a baby whose parents were killed in El Paso a few days ago. The baby survived because his parents shielded him with their bodies. In the photo, he is cradled by Melania Trump. The president is next to her; both are smiling broadly, and the president is offering a thumbs-up. The child is expressionless and wearing a cute plaid bow tie.”

Joan Walsh on how Beto O’Rourke asked the question everyone should be asking. “Former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke hasn’t been high on my list of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, but he jumped into the top tier on Sunday night, when after a day spent consoling victims of racist violence in his home town of El Paso, O’Rourke, appropriately, snapped.

A reporter asked him whether there was anything Donald Trump could say in his planned speech on Monday that would make things better in the Mexican border city, where on Saturday 21-year-old Patrick Crusius murdered 20 people and wounded 24 in a jihad against what he called an immigrant “invasion.”

‘What do you think? You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the fuck?’” He went on: “It’s these questions that you know the answers to. I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country. So, you know, I just—I don’t know what kind of question that is.”

Honestly, when I saw news outlets covering Trump descending from Marine One Sunday afternoon—after he essentially golfed through two massacres, including one in Dayton, Ohio, where the shooter’s motive still isn’t clear—as though he’d say something meaningful. At the bottom of the stairway from the helicopter, a marine stood at attention, just as he would for any other president, and so did the media, cameras and notebooks ready. Trump shared his trademark mix of lies, evasions, and word salad—he makes Sarah Palin look articulate—and it went out live to television watchers all over the country. These rituals in which Trump is treated like any other president demean the memories of those who died in El Paso, at the Tree of Life and Poway synagogues, and those who might have died had the bombs that Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc sent to Democrats and the media detonated earlier this year.”

Will Bunch on the contrast between Trump’s teleprompter speech, and his own words: “Donald Trump’s teleprompter: Good morning. My fellow Americans, this morning our nation is overcome with shock, horror, and sorrow…We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror. (August 5, 2019)

Donald Trump in March 2019: “People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is.” (In vetoing legislation meant to stop him from re-routing $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds for building a border wall, on March 15, 2019. It was one of a number of times he and his allies have called the refugee crisis at the border “an invasion”)

Michael Tomasky on how Trump don’t give a damn about the body count: “Well. Okay. First of all, the man looks completely ridiculous when he tries to act like an actual president for 10 minutes. Who does he think he’s fooling? Who does he think takes him seriously? I don’t think anybody does. Those of us who don’t support him sure don’t. And I’d bet even the Trump lovers don’t. They know he has to do this for show once in a great while, be “so presidential that you people will be so bored.” But soon enough, there’ll be another rally, and he’ll be back to calling Hispanic people invaders and rapists. Yee hah!

Secondly. How dare Donald Trump stand up there before us and denounce racism and white supremacism. Seriously? He spends 364 days a year tweeting coarse and demeaning things about every black person he can think of insulting, and then comes before us and wants us to believe that he’s appalled by racism? He’s been championing racism for 45 years, ever since he and Fred made sure that their white tenants wouldn’t have to suffer the indignity of living next door to a non-white person. And hatred? All he does as president is rile up his people to hate the rest of us. “Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul,” Trump read. He should know.”

Sen. Kamala Harris decried recent immigration raids as part of the Trump administration’s “campaign of terror” that will distort the upcoming 2020 census, Politico reports.

Said Harris: “This administration has directed DHS to conduct these raids as part of what I believe is this administration’s campaign of terror, which is to make whole, whole populations of people afraid to go to work.”

Harry Litman on the questions surrounding Epstein’s alleged suicide: “The first: Was Epstein on suicide watch, and if not, why not? Among the reports cascading out in the few hours since Epstein’s body was found are anonymous statements that Epstein had been on suicide watch but was taken off it. If so, the decision to remove him appears to have been a colossal error that must be thoroughly probed.”

“The second: How exactly did Epstein manage to kill himself, and why exactly was it that he had access to the tools?

“Third, is there a video of Epstein’s cell at the crucial time? There should be, and it will reveal exactly how and when Epstein killed himself.”

“And none of this begins to address the royal mess it leaves in the efforts to take stock of Epstein’s crimes and their prior slap-on-the-wrist treatment, nor the shambles in which it leaves Epstein’s victims.”

“Four rapid-fire retirement announcements by Texas Republicans in Congress have prompted fresh soul-searching for a political party that’s seeing its decades-long dominance in the Lone Star State start to teeter,” the Dallas Morning News reports.

“While it’s not that unusual for some lawmakers to hit the exits in any given election cycle, the ‘Texodus’ label proffered these days by opportunistic Democrats may have some warrant.”

‘“The obvious question: Why? No one reason explains it all. But looming large is the fact that Texas’ demographics continue to shift, particularly in the suburbs; that the GOP faces long odds to win back the House; and that President Donald Trump’s reelection bid, for good or ill, is going to set the tone in 2020.”

New York Times: “As Ms. Harris trundles her way across Iowa on a five-day bus tour that is her longest trip yet to any early primary state, the California Democrat’s embrace of Iowa’s quirky political traditions has delivered the unmistakable message that the state’s kickoff caucuses are increasingly central to her 2020 calculations after months of focus on South Carolina.”

“By the end of her tour on Monday, Ms. Harris will have made more stops in Iowa on this trip than she did in the entire first half of 2019, according to the Des Moines Register’s candidate tracker. She did not once venture farther west than the Des Moines suburbs until July, as her one planned trip there was scratched because of Senate votes.”

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

2 comments on “What Now?! – 8/12/19

  1. So being called a racist infuriates Trump, perhaps he can form a support group with Moscow Mitch McConnell who reportedly can’t handle his new nickname. On a lighter note seems McConnell is now trying to weld himself to Trump, perhaps fear of defeat in Kentucky is driving it, perhaps he really is seeking to replace Pence as VP. But McConnell has had low approval for many years in his home state, typically in the mid thirties, perhaps he fears this time the game is over. Hope so, removing Trump and leaving McConnell in office would mean the job is only half done.

  2. Gordon Roth

    What progress is being made on social media to stop outside interference in election politics? I still see nasty posts by probable trolls, probably Russian or similar.

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