Tuesday Open Thread

“Where destruction is the motive, unity is dangerous.”

–Ravi Zacharias

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    The reason the flag is at half mast over the White House is because the Trumpstink corroded the rollers and it can't go any higher.

    Trump stinks.

    Stay upwind, America, and vote Democratic in the midterms.

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Recent humor from a Yahoo News thread:

    What's the difference between a Trump rally and a KKK rally?  

    Answer: the dress code.

  3. Davie says:

    Grumpy Cat Trump hard at work yesterday:

    The reason?  Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times explains:

    One of the unofficial slogans of the Trump era — besides “grab ’em by the you-know-what” and Rudy Giuliani’s recent “truth isn’t truth”— is “nothing matters” (sometimes preceded by a nihilistic “lol”).

    Donald Trump flouts the Constitution, raking in money from supplicants who curry favor with him by patronizing his gaudy hotels. Congress is silent. The president’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, was accused of effectively stealing more than $120 million in various schemes — Forbes described him as possibly one of the “biggest grifters in American history.” It barely registered in the headlines. ProPublica reported that a trio of random Trump cronies with neither military nor government experience is secretly running the Veterans Affairs Department out of Mar-a-Lago. Republicans have made no plans for hearings. The president’s former lawyer testified that Trump directed him to commit felonies to cover up alleged affairs in advance of the election. The shock lasted about 48 hours.

    This culture of impunity is less a result of Trump’s political skill — he’s deeply unpopular — than of one-party rule. The majority of voters want a check on this administration, but the Republican Party doesn’t care; it’s beholden to a minority that delights in the helplessness of fellow citizens. If Democrats take the House in the November midterms — which the model of the statistics website FiveThirtyEight gives them about a 70 percent chance of doing — that helplessness ends. Contrary to Republican claims, there are no Democratic plans for imminent impeachment proceedings. But there will be subpoenas, hearings and investigations. Things that haven’t mattered for the past 19 months suddenly will.

    • allyncooper says:

      Clean desk, work done for the day MAGA, time to hit the links !

      • JohnInDenver says:

        There's rarely anything on the desk. He's handed a document to sign, uses the big Sharpie to do so, and it is sent away. He doesn't read. His briefings are done quickly. He doesn't want to leave some documents around, so he eats them (according to Omarosa). Other papers are torn into tiny shreds and thrown on the floor, where the staff, aware of the records law, retrieves, tapes them back together, and takes them away to file.

      • DENependent says:

        It is so annoying that there is no word that starts with a "G" that expresses what he is doing to America.

        He has Made America Incompetent, Crude, Corrupt, Lawless, Mean, Weak, Inferior, and Ineffective Again.

  4. Genghis says:

    For those who weren't fortunate enough to have tickets for David Byrne at Red Rocks last night, well, here's hoping you have 'em for tonight. What a terrific show.

  5. Davie says:

    Thomas L. Friedman imagines Trump following through with his boast about "shooting someone on Fifth Avenue and getting away with it".  Then he explains why Trump is probably correct.

    America, we all know, won the Cold War. Our values and economic system proved superior to Russia’s. But what is at stake in the 2018 midterms is who is going to win the post-Cold War.

    Yes, that question is back on the table. Because what we are seeing in the behavior of Trump and his toadies in the G.O.P. is the beginnings of the Russification of American politics. Vladimir Putin could still win the post-Cold War.

    “I came here from Russia in ’75,” Gorbis added, “and it was remarkable to me that in this society there were laws and norms and principles, and people abided by them. The idea that people actually paid their taxes was kind of remarkable to me.” In the Russia she grew up in, said Gorbis, “we did not have that; if there was a law, there was always a way to bribe and get around it.”

    …with a moral vacuum at the heart of the Trump White House — and with the president assaulting the media and the judiciary on a regular basis, not unlike Putin — everything goes, so grab what you can, because no one’s looking. The cat’s away.

    “The Russification of America under Trump, it’s not just about collusion, corruption and money laundering,” said Gorbis. “It is about his behavior” — crass language, simplistic slogans reminiscent of the Soviet rhetoric, use of terms such as “enemy of the people,” and his insistence on personal loyalty over loyalty to the Constitution or institutions.

    Unless voters finally act, Friedman concludes

    A few more years of this Russification of America and the rot will be everywhere. Russia will have won the post-Cold War

  6. DENependent says:

    Maybe things will change, but for me I think it telling that after a week that opinion polls show no significant change after the convictions and guilty pleas. Democrats and other patriotic Americans were eager to see the Manafort and Cohen news of last Tuesday as the turning point. It may be part of what causes the dynamics to change, but unless something new comes out it will not. The convictions by themselves are not changing the minds of GOP voters.

    • Davie says:

      I believe there will be several more developments that will impact voter sentiments by November.  Of course, it would take clearly credible evidence of criminal acts on the part of Trump to peel away any significant hardcore support.  But as I read recently, while Trump’s percentages appear to be holding steady in the low 40’s, the number of self-identified Republicans continues to shrink significantly.

      The electoral college isn’t a factor in the midterms, and there is a real chance Dem and Indy turnout could overcome a fair degree of gerrymandering.

      Right now Trump is his own worst enemy, campaigning only within the safety of his bubble.  Good luck with that!

      • DENependent says:

        For the good the nation I hope you are correct and that I am wrong. I think the outcome in November is going to be Democrats with a majority by 1-9 seats in the House, Republicans gain a seat in the Senate, and approval the same as it is now.

        • Davie says:

          If you are correct about the House majority going to the Dems, then the investigations will continue to expose crime, conspiracy and corruption in the Trump administration without fear of being shutdown by Vichy Republicans.

          That will at the very least, lead to Trump's (and the GOP's) popularity declining, but unfortunately, do nothing to heal the current tribal divisions.

          Hardcore partisan shills like Moddy won't suddenly wake up and say, "Hey, Democrats really do have my best interests at heart!"

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            There will also be a great deal of frustration in the Democratic caucus in the House because there will be the hard leftists who will insist on a symbolic vote to impeach Trump, knowing damn well that the House impeachment managers are about as likely to be heard in McConnell's senate as Merrick Garland was.

            Then there will be the other camp which will pragmatically say, "Why bother? We'll investigate and face him in 2020 with the dirt." Besides, is anyone else besides me who is less than enamored with the prospect of elevating President Pence?

            • Davie says:

              Exactly.  We can roast Trump on the spit for two years, as he watches federal and state prosecutions put his family and associates in jail for any number of crimes.  Then after he's out of office, whip out all the accumulated indictments and let the courts handle the rest.

              • DENependent says:

                If the hard left wants a good symbolic vote maybe it should be on a constitutional amendment to take away the power of the president to give pardons to past presidents, his family, business associates, or people who do political favors and instead give that power to Congress or some kind of pardons board appointed by Congress.

                • notaskinnycook says:

                  And to think, the power to pardon has always been known as the "benign prerogative". Obviously, the Founders didn't anticipate anyone as corrupt as the Yam ascending to that high office.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Gallup had Presidential approval down 1, disapproval up 2; and that is a weekly average, with calls Monday through Sunday, so basically 2 days were before events hit for reaction.

      Real Clear Politics average of polls went from a net negative of 8.5 to 9.3 in the past week – a decay of 1% may not seem like much, but pushed out to the voting public, it is 1.3 million voters.


  7. notaskinnycook says:

    Deleting duplicate.

  8. MichaelBowman says:

    Congrats, Florida Dems. We now have the possibility of neighboring southern states being governed by their first African-American governor! 

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