Thursday Morning Open Thread


Apart from working together to lift everyone up, what’s on the agenda for the day?


Thursday Morning Open Thread: Fighting Back

Progress happens where it happens, not necessarily where it’s expected. From the Guardian, “‘It’s a revolution’: polygamist sect loses power over Utah town for first time”:

A fundamentalist religious sect that commands its women members to wear pioneer-era dresses and that became infamous for mass polygamy and child marriage appears to have had its power over a small town broken for the first time in its history.

Three non-fundamentalist council members are reported to have won against incumbents loyal to the sect “by a landslide” in Hildale, southern Utah, on Tuesday night.

And, in a closer race, an all-but-official majority of voters have chosen a new mayor, who also ran as an “outsider” to challenge the authority of the fringe religion over the isolated community.

Donia Jessop fully expects to be confirmed as the new mayor once a small number of outstanding postal ballots are counted in the next week. Her ascendence will be a potent symbol of a new era in the community.

“It’s a great leap, a revolution,” Jessop told the Guardian on Wednesday morning.

Majority control on the town council of Hildale is now set to transfer away from the outlaw church group known as the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), which has controlled the town since they settled more than 100 years ago…

“The most important thing is that the wider world now understands that Hildale is changing,” said Jessop, who nevertheless lives unofficially but openly as a polygamist. At least one of the three other non-fundamentalist candidates tolerates polygamy, while rejecting the strict theocracy imposed by the FLDS, which dictates that the word of Jeffs is divine law.

Hildale has a population of fewer than 3,000 and just over 365 registered voters. “I’m ahead by 25 votes and I feel really good about the result. I’m pretty confident this will be confirmed,” she said.

It was a mail-in race and the town has until 14 November to count all the ballots. Jessop had expected a mayoral landslide over incumbent Philip Barlow, who is loyal to the FLDS.

“But a lot of ex-FLDS men who said they would vote for me didn’t; they voted for the man. The entire state of Utah is very patriarchal,” said Jessop…

Apart from taking delight in the wins, wherever we find them, what’s on the agenda for the day?

In other news, Brad Paisley co-hosted the Country Music Awards last night, and later perceptive Canadian Journalist Daniel Dale sneakily outed him…

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Hey, Remember That Guy?…



Readership capture:

Former President Barack Obama kicked off the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation here Tuesday, calling it “an experiment in us trying to have a collective conversation.”

Set to be the central focus of his post-presidency, and seeded with Obama’s own ambition to have the rest of his life exceed the impact of his eight years in White House, the foundation launched with programs and goals still taking shape. There have been training sessions for young activists, with plans for more; 20 Obama Foundation fellows will be announced next year out of a 19,000-person applicant pool; and this meeting is meant to be the beginning of creating a hub and network of innovative up-and-coming leaders…

Organizers stressed that the key is to continue sorting out what exactly they will be doing in the decades to come.

“This is the literally the beginning,” said foundation CEO David Simas, who was previously the White House political director. “We are being deliberate over the course of the rest of this year and into next year about testing different approaches and getting it right before we take it to scale.”

Monday Morning Open Thread: #Persistance


Apart from wishing Mr. Mueller true aim and a strong arm, what’s on the agenda as we start the week?

In the Washington Post, a male reporter complains that “Nancy Pelosi isn’t going anywhere”:

“Let me just give you some hope,” the House Democratic leader told campaign donors on Oct. 17 at a private gathering on the patio of the Las Vegas Four Seasons Hotel. “Any time a president in office is below 50 percent in recent history, his party has lost the Congress in the next election.”

Her sample size was a bit small for comfort — in the past half-century, only the three most recent presidents have given up the House. But this was a pep talk, not an academic symposium.

Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat who has raised her party more than $633 million over the past 15 years, was on a seven-city, eight-day tour to show that the 2018 midterm campaign was in full swing. The Democratic effort to retake the House and return from the wilderness would probably rise or fall on the performance of one of the most polarizing figures in modern American politics…

After three decades in Congress, Pelosi, 77, makes an unlikely general to lead the troops into another change election. Her party, deemed elite and out of touch in 2016, is struggling to win back Midwestern working-class voters, and anger at Washington’s entrenched leaders is pretty much the only thing that unites the country.

But rather than shrink from the spotlight, Pelosi is once again in control — her party’s top fundraiser, senior midterm election strategist and top legislative negotiator, in partnership with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

She has for months led a rolling battle with the Trump agenda, setting a disciplined, pugilistic tone for her caucus and casting herself as the official face of the resistance. With substantial help from the opposition, she has been winning more than not, at least as measured by a growing number of competitive seats, her ability to outmaneuver Republican leaders on Capitol Hill and Trump’s low approval ratings.
Read more

Crooked Media

There’s a new web publication that may be of interest to Juicers: Crooked Media.

It grows out of the Pod Save America podcasts and is made up of former Obama communications people and others.

  • Jon Favreau
  • Jon Lovett
  • Tommy Vietor
  • Ana Marie Cox
  • DeRay McKesson
  • Dan Pfeiffer
  • Brian Beutler
  • Corinne Gilliard
  • and others, including two pup mascots.

Here’s an article on Paul Manafort and how Trump has torn down public expectations.

This is not an endorsement, just that it looks like a good team and I like people with a sense of humor. Worth watching.



Monday Morning Open Thread: Look for the Helpers

Unlike the president, Homeland Security or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, José Andrés has no responsibility to respond to natural disasters, and yet the Washington celebrity chef has become a reliable presence in disaster zones, deploying his Chef Network to help feed thousands of displaced people.

Andrés was among the first responders in Haiti and Houston, and now he and his crew from World Central Kitchen are on the ground in Puerto Rico, improvising ways to feed countless residents who are stranded without electricity, drinking water and food in the wake of Hurricane Maria. With little ability to speak with the outside world, Andrés has used his Twitter feed to keep followers updated on his progress in the U.S. territory.

If President Trump has become a target of criticism for the administration’s response in Puerto Rico, Andrés has become a hero. The restaurateur’s social networks are overflowing with words of praise for the native Spaniard who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2013.

The Military Stand Up For Their Principles

It’s been remarkable how the generals have continued to stand up for equality and respect under the torrent of bigotry pouring from Trump’s mouth. Here’s one more, the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy.

Watch the whole thing. This guy really means what he says.

And open thread.