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February 20, 2024 10:58 PM UTC

Wednesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.”

–Charles Dickens


9 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Washington Post is flogging a podcast featuring Jonathan Capehart talking with Mayor Mike Johnston:

    Denver Mayor Mike Johnston on the ‘catastrophe’ of U.S. immigration policy

    In this conversation recorded for Washington Post Live on Feb. 14, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston talks about how the influx of migrants sent to his city has pushed it to “a breaking point,” what the impact of the bipartisan Senate immigration bill would have been and how former president Donald Trump is trying to keep the crisis going.

    Thursday, February 15, 2024

  2. It's Russians, Russians ALL the way down. David Kurtz at TPM.

    The former FBI informant charged with fabricating the Burisma bribery story about President Biden and his son Hunter had “extensive and extremely recent” contacts with foreign intel services, prosecutors alleged Tuesday in a court filing.

    Yes, including Russian intel.

    The revelation came in arguments that Special Counsel David Weiss, who is also prosecuting Hunter Biden, made for detaining Alexander Smirnov pending his trial. (Smirnov was ultimately released under conditions yesterday.)

    The implications of this Russian operation are staggering, especially for the willing Republicans and right-wing media stooges who were the useful idiots propagating the disinformation for years. The James Comers, Chuck Grassleys, Jim Jordans of the world have been trafficking in this stuff as the purported basis for a Biden impeachment, which is itself tightly yoked to Trump’s campaign for re-election. Right-wing outlets, most notably Fox News, have been amplifying the claims not dozens or hundreds but thousands of times over the past several months.

    Everywhere you turn, it Russia either helping Trump directly or indirectly by damaging Trump’s foes. The pattern is clear and persistent but also so sweeping and far-reaching that it really requires taking a step back to grasp the full scope of it all. It has dominated right-wing media, become an accepted “fact” among MAGA adherents, and allowed elected Republicans to play mainstream media like a cheap fiddle. All those breathless Biden impeachment process stories? They’re an outgrowth of this disinformation campaign.

    1. More Russians ALL the way down. From Josh at TPM. Also see Marcy Wheeler at

      Absurd Biden laptop story… but then it all comes down to a Russian Influence operation.

      For years I’ve continued saying, against what seems like the unified thinking of every reporter, editorialist and credentialed smart person, that the fabled “Hunter Biden Laptop” was obviously the product of a Russian influence operation. The story was absurd on its face. Somehow Hunter Biden decided in a drugged-up fugue that he needed to take his laptop to a computer repair shop. He then forgot about it. The legally blind owner of the repair shop decided to crack it open and look at the files (as one does, of course) and then somehow managed to get the contents to Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon.

      Sounds totally legit, as they say!

      In talking with David Kurtz before I started writing this David noted that we can’t really say Republicans and MAGA Republicans were duped. And that’s 100% right. The evolution of U.S. politics, egged along, skid-greased by helpful Russians, created a context in U.S. politics where these folks didn’t really have to be duped. The Russians under Putin are the good guys. If they’re making sure we have the most current information where’s the harm in that?

      The real issue, as I note above, is the reporters, editorialists and commentators, who vouched for and credited this whole edifice of lies and bullshit. Yes, they guffawed when James Comer came forward yet again with more revelations that never quite panned out. But they didn’t give up hope. They were always waiting for the next revelation. Comer and his Republican colleagues hadn’t provided “hard evidence” yet but there sure was a lot of smoke.

      This entire thing has been based on Russian plants and intelligence operations from the start. Every bit of it. It’s been obvious. And yet, well … they’re all dupes. Somehow almost a decade after this whole thing started we’re shocked to see, wow, Weiss’s office was being led around by another cat’s paw of the Russian intelligence services. We’re shocked. But why are we shocked? Every last person among the serious people of the nation’s capital and the sprawling thing called elite received opinion has egg on their face. And it’s not even clear they fully realize it yet.

  3. Well, there's good news and bad news out of Georgia …..

    Georgia 2024 Poll: Trump 48%, Biden 42% – Emerson Polling (

    The good news:  Biden is up 2% from where he was in November 2023 so he's trending in the right direction.

    The bad news:  He's still trailing You-Know-Who by 6%. 

    And as much as I have complained about Biden's age being a problem, he polls better than the relatively young Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris vis-a-vis Trump.

    1. Early Presidential polling is notoriously unreliable. 

      In this case, the added complication is the sample:  "The Emerson College Polling/The Hill Georgia survey was conducted February 14-16, 2024. The sample of registered voters, n=1,000,"

      Sampling all registered voters doesn't account for enthusiasm, and Georgia has now shown a skew between voters registered (early) and actual voters.

  4. One of my MAGA nephews is convinced that Kathy Hochul plans to give $1,000 each month to each immigrant sent to New York State which she will be funding from the sale of Trump Tower once Leticia James forecloses on the judgment lien she's going to record.


      1. Agree Dave. Expedited work permits would help a ton. Many in the new immigrant community in Denver just want to work and settle into society here. Let's let them do it. 

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