PA Open Thread: Sow the Windbag, Reap the Fartcloud

Of course, the Repubs prefer to blame… well, anything other than the obvious:

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Tillerson out

Open thread

MAGAts Open Thread: Conor Lamb for Pittsburgh!

Trump isn’t the only top Republican who’s found Saccone underwhelming. The widely-held view from Republican officials: Democrat Conor Lamb is a far superior candidate to Saccone and running a far better campaign. Lamb is running effectively as Republican Lite. He’s pro-gun and says he personally opposes to abortion (though he supports abortion rights).

The thing that most irks senior Republicans involved in the race: Saccone has been a lousy fundraiser. Lamb has outraised Saccone by a staggering margin — nearly 500 percent…

I spoke on Saturday to Corry Bliss, who runs the outside groups linked to Paul Ryan and may have as much as $140 million to spend on the midterm elections.

“The lesson of this race is that campaigns and candidates matter,” Bliss told me. “In this environment, when one campaign out-raises and runs circles around the other, that creates a number of challenges that are tough to overcome.”…

Why this matters: Forecaster Nate Silver tweeted today: “Stating the hopefully-obvious, but the fact that PA-18 is competitive is a really bad sign for Republicans. It voted for Trump by 20 points and Romney by 17. The previous Republican incumbent there (Tim Murphy) didn’t even have a Democratic challenger in 2014 or 2016 & won by 28 points the last time he did, in 2012.”…

Bottom line: Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter emailed me this quick analysis: “My short answer is that one should never read too much into any one race but this is more than Saccone. This is a red congressional district that should go for the generic Republican. But the environment today is much worse than ‘normal’ for Republicans. That’s not because of Saccone or Lamb, but because of Trump.”

Goal Thermometer

Education Open Thread: Not the Best Advertisements for Their Pricey Private Schools

Just a few hours earlier…

DeVos, who rarely gives interviews to journalists, is a longtime school choice advocate who once said that traditional public education is “a dead end” and who has made clear that her top priority as the nation’s education chief is expanding alternatives to traditional public schools. A champion of using public funds for private and religious school education, critics say she is determined to privatize public education. She has denied it…

More than a year after becoming education secretary, DeVos again had trouble answering questions put to her by Stahl and seemed to contradict herself. For example, the two had this conversation about what happens to underperforming traditional public schools when children leave for alternatives and take funding with them:

STAHL: Why take away money from that school that’s not working — to bring them up to a level where they are, that school is working?

DEVOS: Well, we should be funding and investing in students, not in school, school buildings, not in institutions, not in systems.

STAHL: Okay. But what about the kids who are back at the school that’s not working? What about those kids?

DEVOS: Well, in places where there have been, where there is, a lot of choice that’s been introduced, Florida, for example, the studies show that when there’s a large number of students that opt to go to a different school or different schools, the traditional public schools actually, the results get better, as well.

STAHL: Now, has that happened in Michigan? We’re in Michigan. This is your home state.

DEVOS: Yes, well, there’s lots of great options and choices for students here.

STAHL: Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better?

DEVOS: I don’t know. Overall, I, I can’t say overall that they have all gotten better.

STAHL: No, but your argument that if you take funds away that the schools will get better is not working in Michigan where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system here.

DEVOS: I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them.

STAHL: The public schools here are doing worse than they did.

DEVOS: Michigan schools need to do better. There is no doubt about it.

STAHL: Have you seen the really bad schools? Maybe try to figure out what they’re doing?

DEVOS: I have not, I have not, I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.

STAHL: Maybe you should.

DEVOS: Maybe I should. Yes…

DeVos is a billionaire fundamentalist fronting for fellow billionaires who want to make sure that ‘the peasants’ aren’t given enough education to let them escape the fundamentalists’ capitalist baronies. Real education should only be available to those who can pay for it!

Unfortunately, while her parents could certain afford to give Betsy the best education, the soft cocoon of Rich White Mediocrity ensured that she’s never actually have to learn more than an accepted scripture of catchphrases and mantras to “succeed.” Much like her crony Donald Trump… who got shipped off to a private military school when NYC public schools “couldn’t handle” his refusal to meet minimal behavioral standards, like ‘do not physically attack teachers who won’t let you do just what you feel like, when you feel like it.’

That’s our best hope, at the moment — powerful as these people are, they’ve got Death Star-class liabilities due to their blinkered insularity. They’re mean and ruthless, but also lazy, pampered, and not trained to persist rather than walk away from the messes they make.

Open Thread: MAGAts Greatest Hits Tour, Pittsburgh Edition

Fun for that one guy, and of course his most fervent supporters!

Will any of them show up to vote for Saccone on Tuesday? How many of them are eligible to do so? How many of them even know who Saccone is?

Well, at least the stupid putz deserved exactly what he got…

The rally, which had been rescheduled after the deadly Parkland, Fla., shooting last month, capped a frenzied stretch of fund-raising and campaigning on behalf of Mr. Saccone, who is locked in a tight race with the Democratic nominee, Conor Lamb.

“He’s an extraordinary person,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Saccone, dismissing Mr. Lamb as “Lamb the Sham.” “The people of Pittsburgh cannot be conned by this guy Lamb, because he’s not going to vote for us.”…

While the rally was not specifically advertised as one for Mr. Saccone, a loss by him would mark the third time that Mr. Trump had thrown his political might behind a candidate without success. With his low poll numbers, Republican leaders and the White House are trying to determine how to handle his desire to campaign in the midterms…

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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Been *Such* A Long Week, Already…

[Warning: NSFW language]

Racist Authoritarians Open Thread: California Schemin’

I swear, these revanchists share some weird fantasy about a reverse-1860s (un)Civil War, where the bigots and blood profiteers cast out all the less-retrograde states and declare the rump (and the Treasury) their fiefdom. Because STATES RIGHTS!!! doesn’t apply, when the state fails to comply with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s prejudices:

The Justice Department dramatically escalated its war on “sanctuary” jurisdictions Tuesday, alleging in a lawsuit that the state of California has violated the Constitution with laws that are friendly to undocumented immigrants.

In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento just after 9 p.m. Eastern time, the Justice Department alleged that three recently enacted California laws obstruct enforcement of federal immigration law and harm public safety.

The Justice Department asked a federal judge to block the California laws, which restrict how state businesses and law enforcement agencies can cooperate with immigration authorities. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is to address the lawsuit in a speech Wednesday at the California Peace Officers Association’s 26th Annual Law Enforcement Day, saying, in part: “We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America. And I believe we are going to win,” according to an excerpt of his prepared remarks.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) said Tuesday night that while he had yet to examine what the Justice Department filed, he felt the state was abiding by the Constitution and cooperating with its federal partners to foster public safety.

“States and local jurisdictions have the right to determine which policies are best for their communities,” he said…