Thursday Open Thread

“It is like living in a wilderness of mirrors. No fact goes unchallenged.”

–Bruce Babbitt

31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. skeptical citizen says:

    Fourteen Senate Republicans joined every Democrat Wednesday in voting for a resolution opposing continued support of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

    Trumpublican Senator Cory Gardner voted against this resolution, another step in what should be his 2020 election demise in now-blue Colorado. Shame on you, Cory.

    • DENependent says:

      "Deep Blue"? I think solidly anti-Trump Colorado might be more accurate.

      Though this puts Gardner in a pickle. If he were a moderate Republican the righties might primary him like happened in SC-01 with Katie Arrington defeating the incumbent in the primary largely on a platform of being pro-Trump. She went on to lose narrowly in what is otherwise a R+18.9% district to a moderate Democrat.

      The problem for the Republican party in Colorado is the plurality of Republican voters who are crazy anti-government, anti-furriner, anti-gay, anti-knowledge zealots.

  2. Early morning Trumpstink:

    Michael Cohen was in court for a plea agreement with Robert Mueller this morning, marking Mueller's return to a guy he had handed off to the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Cohen's offense: lying to Congress. It's important because Cohen has spent some 70 hours talking to the Mueller team, and one fact that's come out is that he continued to negotiate with Russian interests on behalf of Trump as recently as August 2017 over a possible Trump Tower Moscow.

    Also, the President's favorite bank (i.e. the one that will lend him money) — DeutscheBank — was raided by German authorities. Supposedly this is over money laundering, possibly related to the Panama Papers but possibly directly related to Russia, and possibly related to Trump.

  3. Okay, Bennet is blaming himself for the situation we find ourself in with majority-rules SCOTUS nominations…

    I regret my vote to lower the 60 vote threshold for judges. This is doing lasting damage to the Supreme Court. Sign this petition to help me restore the 60 vote rule.

    Michael Bennet

    October 19 at 9:20 AM · 

    Raise your hand if you think Republicans weren't ready to abolish the 60-vote threshold the day they took control of the Senate, after holding up so many of Obama's nominations…

    This is not the fault of Democrats; it's the inevitable result of the Republican obsession with power.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      If Reid & his Democrats had not pushed to eliminate the filibuster on District and Circuit court judges, it wouldn't have happened then. No telling which party would have been more blameworthy in the eyes of voters or what would have happened with the increasing number of judicial emergencies.

      Among Republicans, there was some dissent about the wisdom of totally abandoning the requirement for 60. Hard to argue the hypothetical one way or the other.

      As for Bennet's effort to restore a 60 vote rule — I'd cynically predict it won't happen until there is additional disgust with those judges confirmed with 50+1 VP vote or until there is a 55+ Democratic majority. In other words, not yet.  Starting now might be a good idea, but Bennet should plan on the effort needing to last until after the 2022 election.

      • It was obvious at the time that the strategy was to run out Obama's clock and then rush appointments through a Republican Presidency if it happened. They certainly didn't have any reservations about removing the 60-vote threshold for SCOTUS the moment they had the Presidency.

        Blaming Reid and Democrats for trying to restore some semblance of operational readiness to what was at the time an Executive and Judiciary nearing crisis vacancy levels is short-sighted at best. We're re-enacting Lucy and the football every time we look at this as the fault of Democrats.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Filing this one under “live long enough”: . . .

      I regret my vote to lower the 60 vote threshold for judges.

      . . . finally there’s one thing Thurston and I agree upon.

      • And just what is it preventing Republicans from doing this every time they gain control? The Senate makes its own rules, and those rules are majority-controlled. How can anyone here still be acting on the assumption that Republicans will play nice with others? Maybe sanity will return some day, but I'm still in the camp of the party having to burn itself to the ground first.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          What they need is some type of constitutional amendment at the federal level like GAVEL was for the Colorado legislature.

          And maybe a provision that judges need 60 votes for confirmation since we are stuck with them long after a president leaves office.

      • DENependent says:

        A 60% rule to promote compromise is a fine thing as long as there is not 41% of elected officials committed to breaking the system. Such rules empower the minority to stop everything unless there is some sort of consequence.

        As an independent I would like to see a system that promotes non-partisan appointments to positions like the judiciary, head of NASA, etc. The constitution does not provide for such a system. It has all operated under a gentleman's agreement by tradition. That is a house built of sand unless a significant portion of each party is willing to break with their allies to defend the system.

        Each time such a group has formed they have been defeated, largely by the threat of the right wing primary.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Good luck with putting the genie back in the bottle, Thurston. I think it is just a matter of time before they abolish the 60-vote requirement for legislation. 

  4. notaskinnycook says:

    "I'm still in the camp of the party having to burn itself to the ground first."

    They're getting there fast, PR. The Yam has made it clear that he likes to watch institutions burn and his sheeple in Congress are playing with matches to please him.

  5. Davie says:

    Grumpy Trump's foreign policy is getting even more scatter-brained as the pressure from Mueller's investigation nears the boiling point:

    Trump announced the cancellation of the Putin meeting aboard Air Force One en route to the G-20 conference. He appeared to change his mind quickly about whether to attend. Before departing the White House, he told reporters that he would press on with the huddle.

    Aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Sanders confirmed the decision had just been made "in the last half hour" and said she was "not aware" of a phone call between Trump and Putin to discuss the axing of the get-together.

    The decision to scuttle the meeting comes on the same day that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about, among other things, having conversations with Trump about a Russian real estate project during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump asserted to reporters earlier Thursday that Cohen was lying to get a reduced sentence.

    Cohen struck his plea deal Thursday with special counsel Robert Mueller, marking the second time the special counsel's office has made a major move in its probe just ahead of a planned Trump meeting with Putin. 

  6. Davie says:

    While it's a little early to dance an Irish Jig on the GOP's grave, some interesting analysis just came out regarding the mid-term voter profiles.

    Catalist found that between 2014 and 2018 white voters aged 18 to 44 shifted sharply in favor of the Democrats. In 2014, whites 18 to 29 supported Democrat candidates by one percentage point; in 2018, these young white voters backed Democrats by 26 points, a substantial 25-point swing.

    Whites 30 to 44 went from voting Republican by 21 points in 2014 to backing Democrats by 9 points in 2018, an even larger 30-point shift.

    It goes without saying that the Republican Party depends on overwhelming white support to remain competitive.

    In addition, the Catalist analysis found a 7-point drop in Republican support in rural communities, a key Trump base

    Young voters drove the drop in rural support for Republicans. Ghitza cited findings in the Catalist study showing “that young voters in rural areas voted for Democrats by much larger margins than in the past. Democrats lost 18-29 year olds in rural areas by 17 points in 2016, and that shifted to +8 this year, a 25-point shift.” Among rural voters 30 to 44, support for Republicans fell from 31 points in 2016 to 13 points in 2018.

    The full report is available here

    At this rate, instead of voter suppression, the Republicans will pass legislation allowing the dead to vote, using their former GOP affiliation as an expression of their “intent”, sort of like how Mormons baptize the dead into their church 😉

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