Rooting for Injuries Open Thread: Mitch McConnell vs. Trump

There’s at least one Repub happy about Friday’s news TrumpDump, and that person is the Senate Majority Leader, who has been given a respite to retreat into his shell. At TPM, Josh Marshall says “Trump Is Killing McConnell in Kentucky”:

McConnell is down at 18% approval. But Trump has a 60% approval rating in the state. If voters are upset with McConnell’s dogged efforts to repeal Obamacare, why is Trump doing so well? Or is it that McConnell failed to repeal Obamacare? And Good Lord, how can Mitch McConnell have a 74% disapproval rating?…

… McConnell appears to be getting hit badly on multiple fronts. He’s clearly taking a hit from those who opposed the effort to get rid of Kynect/Obamacare, a group which includes a lot of Republicans. But he’s also taking a big hit as the guy who failed to deliver repeal for Trump and the GOP. He’s getting it from both sides. The latter is intensified greatly by the fact that Trump has been repeatedly attacking McConnell and suggesting he should be replaced.

Remember, this is a very red and a very pro-Trump state. Trump had his 5th highest margin of any state in Kentucky – 62.52%. His ‘brand’ has been able to sail above his support for a bill that Kentuckians strongly opposed. This makes sense in a lot of ways. Trump is more a political brand than a set of policy proposals. And legislative leaders always take more hits for unpopular legislation. But it’s not hard to see an ominous pattern here for Republicans: Trump’s legislative failures end up causing negative responses on both sides of the political spectrum – both for what he was trying to accomplish and for having failed to accomplish it. Meanwhile, Trump’s reaction to these failures is often to attack the legislative leaders who carried the water for him in the first place. That is a rough combination…



Friday Morning Open Thread: A REPRIEVE!


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(If we can keep it… ) From the Washington Post:

Senate Republicans suffered a dramatic failure early Friday in their bid to advance a scaled-back plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, throwing into question whether they can actually repeal the 2010 health law…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had hoped to approve the new, narrower rewrite of the health law at some point Friday, after facing dozens amendments from Democrats. But the GOP defections left McConnell without a clear bill to push.

McCain had been seeking an iron-clad guarantee from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that, if the Senate approved this latest proposal, the House would not move to quickly approve the bill in its current form and instead engage in a broad House-Senate negotiation for a broader rollback of the law. Ryan issued a statement intended to assuage the concerns of McCain and two others, Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.), but the 2008 presidential nominee deemed the speaker’s statement as insufficient…

McConnell’s draft rattled both moderates – Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) were the other Republican votes in opposition – and Republicans who wanted a more robust uprooting of the existing law…

Media Mancrush McCain will be getting 99.9% of the public applause for this, but let’s — as Abigail Adams might say — Remember the Ladies.

It’s been rumored that Susan Collins is thinking of running for governor back in Maine, and her recent hot mic moment certainly sounds like she’s not happy in DC right now.

As for Senator Murkowski…



Still Not Ginger!

The BBC has announced the 13th Doctor:

From The Guardian:

Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who’s new head writer and executive producer, said: “After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.

“I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away.

“Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way.”

Whittaker said: “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

At this moment, if you’re attuned to these things, you can feel the millions of gamergaters, men’s rights activists, and these gorilla mindset schmos crying out in despair. Or tweeting about it…

At the risk of crossing the meme streams:



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Making Amends, Where Possible

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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Margaret Sullivan, at the Washington Post, “The Intercept failed to shield its confidential source. Now it’s making amends.”:

It should have been the last place a news source would have to worry about protection and confidentiality. And indeed, the organization, funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, includes some world-class security experts.

But early last month, the site — founded by the crusading journalists Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras — came under fire for inadvertently failing in that core mission. Now, having taken a deep look at what happened, the Intercept has adopted some reforms, and its parent company is helping a young whistleblower who has been charged under the Espionage Act…

“As the news outlet Winner is accused of leaking to, the Intercept has a unique perspective on her case and a passionate desire to see her receive a fair trial — even though we had no idea who our source was and still have no independent knowledge of the source’s identity,” Reed said in a statement Tuesday.

Helping Winner’s case will take two forms, she said.

First Look’s Press Freedom Defense Fund will pay for a law firm to support her current defense lawyers. And it will give $50,000 in matching funds to Stand With Reality, a grass-roots crowdfunding campaign intended to increase public awareness and support legal work for the young whistleblower…

Reed, who declined for legal reasons to go into detail about what happened, told me the entire staff would be retrained in best practices and that new levels of editorial scrutiny would be put in place. No staffers will be fired.

The Intercept’s founding principles are transparency and accountability, and its mission remains important.

So, it’s heartening to see the site and its parent company doing everything in their power to admit and make good on their own mistakes. And it’s important that they’ll help Winner be treated fairly at the hands of an administration that could hardly be more averse to press rights.

More detail at the link. While I’d prefer the Intercept had not fouled up in the first place, better they should do what they can to support Ms. Winner now than default to a squid-cloud of butthurt excuses. Mine is a religious faith that believes in redemption — after all, our Blogmaster used to be a Republican!

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What’s on the agenda as we gear up for another day?



Open Thread: What’s the Collective Noun for ‘A Whole BUNCH of Lawyers’?

Read more



Trump Fires Comey

On Jeff Sessions’s recommendation.

 



Who Defines the “True Progressives”? (Part I)

Senator Warren, still my idol. Here’s some more excerpts from the MassLive interview:

Q: Who is we? I hear progressives, and politicians in general, talk a lot about the middle class, but not much about people who live in poverty. Why is that?

Warren: One of the things I talk about is the way I divide the world. It’s the top ten percent who do very, very well; and the remaining ninety percent. And I talk about the interests of the ninety percent together, and make the argument that the investments in education, in infrastructure, in a robust economy, and in research are the things that benefit the ninety percent.

Q: So the breakfast waitress, and the dual-income double-professor family?

Warren: That’s right. Who are busting their rear ends but still can’t pull it all together. So that’s really the idea behind it. America once worked to build a lot of opportunity. And they called it the middle class; they filtered things through the middle class. But the truth was, opportunity was there for the middle class, for the working class, for the working poor, and for the poor poor. And you watch from about 1935 to about 1980, income goes up for everyone.

Q: Are you talking about Reagan; the 1980 mark?

Warren: Yes, that’s the 1980 mark. And African Americans talk about this as well. From the time we first started measuring, there was a black-white wealth gap; a big one. But we were hooked on the idea of opportunity. When the Civil Rights movement picks up steam in the 1960s and 70s, the black-white wealth gap shrinks by 30 percent. Then the shift to a trickle-down economy causes the black-white wealth gap to triple. So that’s the point. We can make a set of investments that work for all of us.

Q: You know some African-American political analysts say the progressive movement is tone-deaf when it comes to race. They say economic opportunity is all well and good, but it’s not going to make racism go away.

Warren: I talk about this in the book; about the economics of race. Which is a different point. It’s there in the first part of the story; how we built a middle class, and it’s there in the second part with trickle-down economics. But I also talk about it in terms of the politics of race. And the discussions around the Republicans; the dog-whistles on race, and then Donald Trump’s deliberate efforts to try to stir up bigotry…

That’s really an essential point — the Democratic Party’s problem is not that civil rights and women’s rights are somehow a distraction from “real” economic issues. It’s that, in our two-party system, some people who don’t want to call themselves Republicans are trying to turn the Democratic Party into a platform to talk about their issues (ECONOMIC JUSTICE! SINGLE PAYER NOW!) rather than the messy, open-ended coalition of “special interest groups” (urban activists, local machine politicians, immigrant workers, civil rights and women’s rights supporters) we’ve been at our best and most successful.

In fact, this is another nasty revival from the original Gilded Age, when Finley Peter Dunne mocked the Goo-Goos determined to purge American politics of ‘corrupt’ urban professional politicians (with the help of voter registration!) and replace them with clean-minded properly-educated white ‘native-born’ men. Just as it was more than a century ago, it’s always the people of color, immigrants, women — and working-class — voters who are expected to sacrifice themselves for True Progressivism.

(To be continued)