Late Night ‘Dance of the Seven Unveils’ Open Thread: Speaking of Politicians Who Won’t Release Their Tax Returns…

Sooo… I guess Bernie’s going on Fox News next Monday because he has a book to sell?

If you’re old like me (and I ain’t as old as Bernie!), you’ll remember that back in 1985 (Democratic) Speaker Jim Wright had to step down after he was charged with bulk-selling his own book to lobbyists hoping to influence him.

Sen. Sanders better have all his royalty receipts in good order and ready to go, because I’m quite sure the Repubs will have no qualms about accusing St. Bernie of similar sleight-of-hand. Heck, Newt Gingrich (who was the first to attack Wright, even though he’d done the same thing himself while a state lege) may come back from the Vatican just to lead the charge!

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Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: I’ll Believe It When It Happens


Tenth year of what?...

And why April 15th?…

Swear to Murphy, Sanders believes he can peel off enough Repubs who find Trump distasteful to monkeywrench his way into the Democratic nomination. A Dem we can *work* with! One who *appreciates* the hard-working white salt of the earth!

And given this degraded timeline, bastid could be correct!

Late Night 2020 Election Open Thread: Well, *This* Is Weirdly Interesting…

I’ve been honest about my opinion that Biden would do everyone a favor announcing he’s not gonna run this time. But if it becomes conventional wisdom that the Sandernistas tried to kneecap the other ‘Top Polling Democrat’ by escalating ‘Uncle Joe is a little too hands-on for our era’ into #BadTouchBiden!!!, well… For once, the Media Village Idiots’ two favorite old white male candidates might actually ding each other up badly enough that the more-than-qualified women in the race might actually get some space in the spotlight!

Hiring David Sirota after months of secretly ‘encouraging’ him to ‘impartially’ attack other Democratic candidates has already drawn some serious side-eye from formerly Bernie-romantic political journalists. If they’ve managed to convince the professional political operatives that they’re not to be trusted, the Sanders campaign is about to discover what bare-knuckles politics actually looks like.

The DSA has been a proudly ‘not for the ignorant hoi polloi’ party since at least the HUAC days, which means they’ve had much more experience at niche-market tactics like purity-testing, ratfvcking, and suppressing the enthusiasm of this week’s Emmanuel Goldstein voters than they have with boring unmanly gruntwork like coalition-building or wooing non-voters. The (incidental) GOP / Russian support they received during the 2016 campaign may have caused them to overestimate their broad skills in the general market… or so I hope!

Sad Trombone Open Thread: When Grifters Start to Lose Their Grip

What if Trump threw a tantrum-rally, and nobody paid attention? Even the NYTimes couldn’t work up any real enthusiasm for the Toddler-in-Chief’s latest frantic attempt to salve his wounded ego:

In many ways, the speech was a return to first principles for Mr. Trump, reviving an insurgent theme that had fueled his campaign in 2016. He said the Russia investigation underlined the need to “drain the swamp,” and he celebrated his cheering supporters over what he described as the faithless elites in Washington.

“I’m president and they’re not,” he said.

“I have a better education than them. I’m smarter than them. I went to better schools than them,” he added. “Much more beautiful house. Much more beautiful everything.”…

The mood in the arena, however, was no more intense than at other Trump rallies. If anything, the crowd seemed a bit sedate as he began speaking. Many held up signs that said “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,” reflecting the economic priorities that drive voting in this Rust Belt state.

And for all his indignation at the start of the speech, Mr. Trump lapsed into well-worn themes later in the one hour and 22-minute speech, even delivering a leisurely reminiscence about his election victory…

On the flight to Grand Rapids, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, two former campaign advisers known for riling up Mr. Trump on Air Force One before his rallies, were aboard.

Inside the White House, aides were concerned about the two of them tagging along — and possibly having open access to the president — but ultimately did not take steps to limit their travel, according to a person familiar with the planning.

Mr. Trump has long savored his victory in Michigan. But the state could be more of an uphill struggle in 2020. Democrats made significant gains in the 2018 midterm elections, including winning the governorship…

In Reuters’ two-minute video recap (below the fold), Trump doesn’t look triumphant, or even angry. His eyes keep darting from side to side, like he’s looking for the exit — or for the authorities…
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Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: *What* Is Jane Sanders Being Set Up For?

On the one hand, Bernie Don’t Stand Next to Me Sanders doesn’t have a lot of women on his campaign committee, and this year every campaign has to highlight some kind of feminist sensibility.

On the other, given the increased scrutiny of his (household’s) sources of income… well, I’m a cynic, but ‘my spouse handles all that financial stuff, I had nothing to do with those sketchy investments/deductions/campaign spending outlays’ is a time-honored (if usually ineffective) excuse when the records are finally forced open…

Before Bernie Sanders took the stage to formally launch his 2020 presidential campaign this month, the candidate’s most influential adviser took the mic. To cheers, Jane Sanders introduced herself to the Brooklyn crowd as “Bernie’s wife,” then conceded that wasn’t the most politically correct label.

To be sure, identifying Jane Sanders as “the wife” hardly captures the scope of her influence on her husband’s political career. Across 30 years and a dozen campaigns for federal office, she has served variously as her husband’s media consultant, surrogate, fundraiser, chief of staff, campaign spokeswoman and top strategist.

His political revolution has become her career. And her political and business activities have, at times, become his headache. As the Vermont senator undertakes his second presidential run and scrambles his inner circle, Jane Sanders remains his closest adviser, making her perhaps the most influential woman in the 2020 campaign who isn’t a candidate…

“Bernie Sanders ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016 criticizing her for the vast sums of money she raised and he seems to be following in some of her footsteps,” said Lawrence R. Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “Now he’s raising vast sums of money and it’s being controlled and shaped by his family.”…

Yeah, I remember it being an (undercovered) issue in 2016, too — remember Old Towne Media?

It was to the Repubs’ advantage that Sanders’ sketchy finances not be investigated when he was running against Hillary Clinton. If the Sandernistas think he’ll get the same free pass in 2020, they’re even dumber more optimistic than they appear.