Late Night “Yes, You Were Warned… ” Open Thread

Now CNN’s Dan Merica figures it out…

Many of Hillary Clinton’s top aides sat nervously a year ago this month as their boss stepped up to a podium in Reno, Nevada to decry then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, accuse him of “taking hate groups mainstream” and come close to labeling him a racist…

There was a deep internal debate within the Clinton campaign on whether the former secretary of state should give a speech that directly challenged Trump’s views on race, according to interviews with more than 10 former top Clinton aides, some of whom asked to speak anonymously because of their current roles in Democratic politics. As Trump contentiously defended the alt-right on Tuesday, though, these former aides were left feeling with one overriding sense: Hillary Clinton tried to warn us.

“This is what I want to make clear today,” Clinton said, flanked by American flags at Truckee Meadows Community College. “A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the Internet, should never run our government or command our military.”

She added: “He says he wants to make America great again, but, more and more, it seems his real message is Make America Hate Again.”…

Clinton responded to the violence in Charlottesville by tweeting Saturday that “the incitement of hatred that got us here is as real and condemnable as the white supremacists in our streets,” adding in a later message that “every minute we allow this to persist through tacit encouragement or inaction is a disgrace.” Clinton has yet to respond to Trump’s news conference Tuesday, but to the aides and advisers that helped shape her August 2016 speech, her response was given a year earlier.

There was deep debate between a wide array of aides whether a speech from the candidate on Trump and race would be well received and whether the message could be delivered without it being cast as nothing more than an already subterranean political discourse going lower.

Clinton, according to an aide, said at one meeting about the speech that she was not prepared to call Trump a racist, something reporters would later ask her directly.

“I don’t know what is in his heart,” Clinton told her top aides, “but I want to lay out the facts.”…

Best practice, if you’re trying to persuade people: Not He is a racist — that leads to derailing arguments — but That was a racist thing he said/did/lived. Because it doesn’t matter what Donald Trump ‘believes in his heart’, whatever Ivanka or Sarah Huckabee Sanders might say; what matters is what he says, and does, and enables.



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Stronger Together, Still


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What’s on the agenda for this lovely summer Saturday?



Late Night Open Thread: Is Our Talking Heads Learning?

Of course not! — No profit in “learning” —



Friday Evening Open Thread: Overlooked in the Noise

Yeah, probably just symbolic, but good for Rep. Barbara Lee [warning: autoplay]

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved an amendment that would revoke a 2001 law giving the president authority to undertake war against al Qaeda and its affiliates unless a replacement provision is created.

Lawmakers applauded when the amendment was added by voice vote to the defense spending bill, highlighting the frustration many members of Congress feel about the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was initially approved to authorize the response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

It has since been used to justify the Iraq War and the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Despite the applause, it is unclear whether it will make it past the Senate and be included in a final version of a defense spending bill. The amendment would revoke the 2001 AUMF after 240 days following the passing of the act, forcing Congress to vote on a new AUMF in the interim…

Just in time for Independence Day, too.

What else is on the agenda as we start the (long, for some of us) weekend?



Open Thread: Meanwhile, in A More Intelligent Parallel Universe…


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What’s everybody up to, here in Murphy the Trickster God’s domain?



Open Thread: It’s A Million-to-One Chance, But It Just Might Work!

But srsly, Alex Pareene’s got an eye for the Next Big Trend, which gives me hope:

The American right is awash in money. A huge amount of right-wing donor money—much more than many reputable liberal activist and advocacy groups ever see—goes to grifters solely out to enrich themselves, and the movement still always has more than enough left over to fund campaigns at every level of government. The right has more money to spend on electing conservatives than it can efficiently spend. You don’t raise and spend thousands of dollars on college student government campaigns unless you don’t have a more urgent use for that money…

Here’s a fun question to ask the internet if you want to start an endless argument: What should we want Hillary Clinton to do with herself now, exactly? Regardless of whether you voted for her enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all, we must all acknowledge that she will continue to exist in this world for the foreseeable future, and, hence, will have do do something.

One thing rich people love to do is give the Clintons money. Rich people enjoy giving the Clintons money almost as much as they enjoy eating expensive versions of traditional street foods, and causing measles outbreaks. The liberal donor class and the not-that-liberal-but-likes-to-donate class love writing checks to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and increasingly also Chelsea too. The Clinton Foundation was the ultimate proof of that fact.

The good news is, this seems to be what Hillary Clinton has decided to do. Last month, she launched “Onward Together,” her new political nonprofit that will reportedly act not as a launching pad for a future Clinton campaign but as a group dedicated to aiding existing activist groups. The Politico reported just prior to the group’s launch: “The new organization is not expected to have a large staff, but will instead focus on sending money to other organizations at a time that Democratic donors are largely unsure about how they should be spending their cash.”

If accurate, this is exactly what we (pretty broadly defined) should want from Clinton in the Trump era.

The Clintons are a safe “brand” for wealthy donors who don’t want to get their hands dirty doing liberal politics. Donors who do want to do liberal politics are frequently attracted to big shiny races—the presidency, Virginia governor—and neglect state legislatures, House races in far-flung districts, and groups doing on-the-ground organizing throughout the country. A Clinton organization that can act as a clearinghouse for big donor money, and that distributes that money to organizations doing good work, is an eminently sensible idea. With the exception of a handful of mega-donors who determine the course of the movement, conservatives largely have experienced political operatives steer their donors’ money wherever it’s most needed (while taking a hefty cut for themselves and their friends, obviously). It has been, as we can all see, a successful model…

The nice thing is, letting rich donors give their money to the Clintons, to give away as they see fit, doesn’t have to come with any downside for anyone. It does not preclude other fundraising strategies: There is room for the individual, small donor-funded grassroots campaign as well as the giant hose of dark money aimed at every conceivably winnable race. The Democrats will clearly need both…



Open Thread: You Come At the Queen…

Cue the Somewhat Soiled Lady, a day late and a hot-take short — “Nancy Pelosi Tells Democratic Critics, ‘I Think I’m Worth the Trouble’”:

The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, strolled before the cameras on Thursday with defeat at her back once more, projecting a well-worn swagger — brash, defiant, more than a little off key — as she insisted that her moment had not passed…

With six words, Ms. Pelosi, 77, demonstrated the self-assurance that has powered her as one of the most successful congressional leaders in the modern era. Yet even as Democrats enjoy a surge of grass-roots energy that could resurrect their House majority, some members of Ms. Pelosi’s own party are impatient for her to give up her 15-year grip on power.

She is the Democrat most crucial to determining whether her party can take back the House and torpedo President Trump’s agenda — an avatar of the kind of coastal excess that Republicans abhor and that some progressives have come to view suspiciously in an age of ascendant populism.

“Everybody wants leaders,” she said in an interview in her office at the Capitol, during which she was often as dismissive of critics in her own party as she was of the Republican opposition. “Not a lot of people want to be led.”
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