Monday Morning Open Thread: The Work Goes On

From the Washington Post, “Students begin tour to address gun violence, uniting suburban and urban survivors in Chicago”:

CHICAGO — The nation’s contentious debate about guns came here this weekend, to a small, nondescript South Side park in a city where violence is rampant and the homicide count is escalating. Survivors of a suburban school mass shooting in Florida joined with survivors of an ongoing urban shooting epidemic in an effort to unite the nation’s youth ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

But instead of the walkouts and political speeches and boisterous rallies like one Friday night at a nearby church — which included music stars such as Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson — on Saturday the students got down to work. In an understated effort in the struggling Auburn Gresham neighborhood, about 20 teenagers with the March for Our Lives movement began a 20-state summer bus tour with a drive to register young voters and encourage them to go to the polls.

The students and recent graduates of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of a mass shooting in February that left 17 people dead and created a renewed effort to battle gun violence, said they don’t want a repeal of the Second Amendment or to banish guns. Instead, they want to galvanize the youth vote to make their peers understand how they can play an important role in getting more sensible gun reform laws on the books.

“The only horse we have in this race is living until tomorrow,” said Cameron Kasky, 17.

Volunteers maintained a registration kiosk as a DJ played music and local residents could pick up free fried chicken and ice cream. Partnering with teenagers from Chicago anti-violence groups, packs of young people canvassed surrounding blocks and rang doorbells. The Parkland and Chicago students, some of whom met during a Florida visit in March, walked leisurely as they talked and laughed with a familiarity that obscured the troubling circumstances that brought them together…



To The Surprise of No One Open Thread: Prelim Reviews of The OIG Report

I hope Comey’s enormous self-regard can keep him warm, because from the early reports he showed all of his manly white arse when he decided that FBI norms about “nonpartisanship” didn’t apply to James Comey. Decent people are appalled that he chose to put his thumb on the scales… and Repubs are furious that he didn’t bury the evidence better.


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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Debating ACTUAL Babies on the Senate Floor


 
Feeling the spotlight shift, Richard Cohen heaves a sigh of relief…

Teleworking is not an option in the Senate, which requires members to vote in-person. So Duckworth raised a rare question that split her colleagues more along generational lines than well-worn partisan ones, according to interviews Wednesday. Duckworth proposed changing the rules to allow senators with newborns — not just Duckworth, and not just women — to bring their babies onto the floor of the Senate. This, recalls Sen. Amy Klobuchar, did not go entirely smoothly for the two months she privately took questions about the idea and its potential consequences — diaper changes, fussing and notably, nursing. More than one senator joked that those things happen on the Senate floor now.

The proposal, which could get a vote this week, marks another moment for an institution that, at times, seems to relish its resistance to change. But with 23 women serving in Senate, some 70 percent of mothers working in the United States and a midterm election looming, no senator was willing to publicly declare he or she was a “nay” on babies…

“I’m not going to object to anything like that, not in this day and age,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., father of three and grandfather of six. He then noted that a person can stand in the door of the cloakroom, a lounge just off the chamber, and vote. “I’ve done it,” he said. Allowing babies on the Senate floor, he said, “I don’t think is necessary.”…

Sen. Tom Cotton, father of two, said he has no problem with the rule change. But the Arkansas Republican acknowledged that some of his colleagues do, “so the cloakroom might be a good compromise.”

Klobuchar’s answer to that suggestion noted that Duckworth is a double-amputee who lost both legs and partial use of an arm in Iraq, and mostly gets around by wheelchair.

“Yes, you can vote from the doorway of the cloakroom, but how is she going to get to the cloakroom when it’s not wheelchair accessible?” she asked…

But there still were concerns.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, the father of six, grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of 23, said he had “no problem” with such a rules change. “But what if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate?” he asked.

“We could only wish we had 10 babies on the floor. That would be a delight,” retorted Klobuchar, noting that such a conflagration would probably mean more young senators had been elected in a body where the average age of members tops 60…

It’s about access for women, and for people with disabilities, and for younger would-be legislators. I believe this is what the youths call “intersectionality”.

P.S. The bill has passed — “without dissent”. Wonder if the Toddler-in-Chief will balk at signing it?



Repub Venality Open Thread: Paul Ryan, Still Dangerous



Open Thread: Friday Night Electoral History Fights

“I’m really glad that, you know, Al Gore didn’t stop talking about climate change,” Clinton said of the former Democratic vice president who ran for president in 2000.

She continued, “And I’m really glad John Kerry went to the Senate and became an excellent secretary of state.”

“And I’m really glad John McCain kept speaking out and standing up and saying what he had to say,” Clinton said of the Arizona Republican.

“And for heaven’s sakes, Mitt Romney is running for the Senate,” said Clinton, referring to the 2012 Republican nominee’s campaign for Senate in Utah.

Clinton added that she’s “really committed to speaking out and doing what I can to have a voice in the debate about where our country is going.”…

Aaand, up scurries Erick Erickson (the other white meat), hoping to get in a few kicks on an unconscious victim…

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Friday Morning Open Thread: Break Out the Kevlar News Vests

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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Could’ve been…


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But nooooooo

Even the cheerleaders are losing interest:



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Nancy Pelosi, Warhorse

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*This* bullshit, again. Jonathan Chait, at NYMag, “Nancy Pelosi Is Good at Her Job and She Should Keep It”

Would a different Democratic leader prove less of a liability? Probably for a while, yes. Republicans have spent years building up Pelosi as a hate figure, and a newer and less familiar Democratic leader would take longer for Republicans to promote as a target of fear and loathing. It’s also possible that a Democrat who was either from a less famously progressive locale than San Francisco, or not female, would be less threatening to some socially conservative voters. (The latter point is the most fraught: Do Democrats really want to let irrational fear of powerful women dictate their choice of leaders?) It is true, though, that deposing Pelosi would have at least a temporary messaging benefit in some tough districts this fall.

But the cost of throwing Pelosi over the side would be high. She has been an extraordinarily effective caucus leader. When Democrats last held the majority, she shepherded into law the most aggressive spate of liberal reforms since the Great Society: an $800 billion fiscal stimulus, health-care reform, Dodd-Frank….

Pelosi’s Democratic critics include both the left and right flanks of the party (which is itself a sign that she occupies its center). Attacks on her leadership try to simultaneously attack her as too moderate and too liberal, in an attempt to cobble together both irreconcilable strands. In part to cover up the incoherence of the criticism, the complaint is often expressed in vague generational terms. She is too old, and ought to give way to the new generation. (Whether this new generation will be more moderate or more liberal is a question that can be filled in as one desires.)

Yet there is zero sign Pelosi’s age has impeded her work. She has not lost her persuasive talents: Pelosi effectively rallied the party to unanimously oppose the Trump tax cuts. If some Democrats had supported the measure, Republicans could have touted its bipartisan nature, which would in turn help reduce its unpopularity. Instead the health care and tax cuts have been a millstone around Republican necks. (Republicans initially tried attacking Conor Lamb for opposing the tax cuts, but abandoned that message, a telling concession in a heavily Republican district.) Last month, Pelosi delivered an eight-hour speech defending the Dreamers, standing the entire time, in heels, without a break, a feat of stamina I could not have matched at any point in my life. It may have been a stunt to display her vitality, but it was a convincing one.

Replacing Pelosi as leader would create the ephemeral benefit of forcing Republicans to rotate in a new cast of villains to star in their attack ads — MS-13? hippies? antifa? — until they could build up the name-ID for her successor. It would bring the significant downside of firing an elected official who is extremely good at her extremely important job.