Michael Cohen’s House Oversight Committee Testimony Live Stream

Great googly-moogly!

Open thread!

Interesting Read: Iowa Does Not Look Like America the Democratic Party

Nor does New Hampshire. Philip Bump, in the Washington Post:

There’s a pretty obvious reason that white men make up the vast majority of Republicans elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 but only about 4 in 10 Democrats: The Democratic Party has a lot fewer white members than the GOP. Pew Research Center data indicates that, in 2017, about 83 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters were white, compared with 59 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters. In fact, the Republican Party is more heavily white now than the Democratic Party was in 1997 — by a fairly wide margin.

This data about the composition of each party allows us to run an interesting experiment. Which states have a racial composition that’s most like one party or the other? (Below, any non-Hispanic racial group excludes any Hispanic members.) To figure that out, we compare the density of each racial group to the density of each party. The closer the size of each group is to either party, the smaller the bar showing the deviation from that party…

It is February 2019, less than a year until the Iowa caucuses. As is the norm, Iowa will be the first state to weigh in on the Democratic Party’s presidential nominees next year, according to the primary-tracking website Frontloading HQ. It will be followed, as usual, by New Hampshire (barring some weirdness from New York that the link in the preceding sentence explains).

Why is that important? Because Iowa and New Hampshire have populations that look a lot more like the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. Of the 50 states, Iowa is 39th most like the Democratic Party. New Hampshire is the 44th most like the Democrats. New Hampshire is also the 13th most like the Republican Party in terms of racial composition — and Iowa is the third most similar to the GOP in the country, following only Wyoming and North Dakota.

In other words, the first two states to weigh in on who should be the Democratic nominee — undoubtedly helping narrow down the field of contenders — are states that are more likely to resemble the GOP racially…

Full tables at the link. Yet more reasons why the current cavalcade of primaries is harmful to everyone except a handful of hotel / restaurant profiteers — and the GOP.

Bootless Speculation Open Thread: Why So Agitated, Sen. Graham?

Digby, at Salon, has a milder interpretation:

Graham thinks he’s able to manipulate Trump into doing his bidding. Indeed, according to a friend who knew Graham’s thinking, he literally made that cynical calculation… Someone who has the president’s ear is in a powerful position, and today Graham is closer to Trump than any other senator.

Graham has betrayed his alleged principles and maverick reputation across the board, even as he makes half-hearted efforts to present himself to the press as an independent thinker who breaks with the president when he disagrees with him. He often falls back on his traditional conservative hawk credentials on foreign policy, coming before the cameras and sighing deeply when Trump makes one of his impulsive, ill-informed national security decisions which the GOP establishment perceives as a bridge too far. Graham will say he thinks it’s a mistake and promises to talk to the president about it. Once in a while he’ll feel compelled to weakly criticize Trump’s crude behavior or blatant racism.

… Graham is walking a fine line and has to go beyond flattery to stay in the president’s good graces. It appears he’s discovered the best way to do that is to become a vicious, conspiracy-mongering attack dog. Trump will forgive almost anything if someone goes after his enemies with the same fervor he does…

Yeah, Graham has always seemed to be most comfortable as the Man Behind the Man on the Podium — remember his long partnership with ‘Maverick’ McCain — but his antics over the last year or so have become increasingly unglued.

Perhaps he’s just another indicator that the hardcore Suthrun Treason-in-Defense-of-Slavery throwbacks feel like they’re (at long last!) losing the argument?

Five Questions Regarding Governor Northam (D-VA)

I’m not here to pick a fight with BettyC, but I have some questions regarding this breaking news about Governor Northam. This isn’t a defense of him, of the picture in the yearbook, but I have some questions that are concerning me.

1) Is that him in that picture, if not who is it, and/or is it something that was put on his page by the yearbook staff?

2) Why didn’t his own in house oppo team turn this up when doing their own pre candidacy oppo review.

3) Why didn’t Perriello’s or Gardner’s oppo teams turn this up?

4) Is this in any other copies of the yearbook?

5) Who tipped off Big League Politics?

6) If this is him, when is he resigning?

I’m especially interested in questions 2, 3, 4, and 5. Every candidate or, really, potential candidate has their opposition research team (oppo) do as deep a dive as can be done on themselves to ensure there are no gotcha surprises either during the campaign or, should the candidate be successful, once in office. Governor Northam has held elected office for twelve years. So why didn’t his own internal oppo review, let alone the oppo researchers working for Tom Perriello or Corey Gardner, his Democratic primary opponent and Republican general election opponent respectively, find this? Given that Gardner ran on a fusion neo-Confederate/Trumpist platform, you’d think his team would have been looking for anything to help immunize him against the accurate charges being made about his own character. Moreover, why didn’t the oppo researchers of any of Northam’s other opponents ever find this starting with his first run for office in 2007?

I’d also like to know if there are any other copies of this yearbook that have survived until 2019. And, if so, is this picture on his page in these other copies. Or did either the person who tipped off Big League Politics or someone at Big League Politics doctor the copy that The Virginia Pilot and The Washington Post are reporting on? And that leads to the question of who the person was who tipped off Big League Politics?

I’m not in any way suggesting this isn’t bad. Nor that if it turns out that this is, indeed, Northam’s page and that is Northam in the picture, either in black face or in the Klan outfit, he should try to brazen this out. If he’s either of the two men in the picture, he’s got to go. But I find the timing curious, given the past 48 hours where Republican officials, elites and notables within the conservative movement that controls the Republican Party, and conservative news and other conservative media outlets have attempted to paint Northam as a baby killer, proponent and supporter of infanticide. Since that largely hasn’t worked, I find it interesting that this would drop right now. Especially as it isn’t going to bring a Republican into the Virginia governor’s mansion. Rather, Northam would be back filled by Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. Who is more progressive, is African-American, and isn’t having any of the Virginia GOP’s neo-Confederate bullshit.

Updated at 6:30 PM EDT

Here’s Northam’s statement. So that answers question #1 and makes question #4 moot. It’ll be interesting to see if he can survive this or if he eventually resigns.

Update 2 at 11:00 PM EDT

I expect he’ll be resigning tomorrow morning.

Open thread!

But Seriously: Mitch McConnell Is A Monster

And it’s getting more widely noticed…

Charlie Pierce:

There simply is no more loathsome creature walking the political landscape than the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. You have to go back to McCarthy or McCarran to find a Senate leader who did so much damage to democratic norms and principles than this yokel from Kentucky. Trump is bad enough, but he’s just a jumped-up real-estate crook who’s in over his head. McConnell is a career politician who knows full well what he’s doing to democratic government and is doing it anyway because it gives him power, and it gives the rest of us a wingnut federal judiciary for the next 30 years. There is nothing that this president* can do that threatens McConnell’s power as much as it threatens the survival of the republic, and that’s where we are.
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