Election 2020 Open Thread: Fundraising in the Hamptons

And more power to her. Harris gets the headline in Bloomberg, but she’s not the only one soliciting money from the prominently well-to-do. A dispatch from the world of ‘normal’ politics:

Teslas and Maseratis lined the street as Kamala Harris greeted guests sipping drinks from plastic cups with her name on them and eating cinnamon sugar donuts from Dreesen’s at a fund-raiser hosted by movie executive Jamie Patricof and his wife Kelly as the summer of Democratic fund-raisers rolled on in East Hampton.

The senator and former California prosecutor assured donors “I believe in capitalism” during a jam-packed weekend of pitching her plan to save the middle class. Harris is looking to raise enough money to keep her campaign fueled through the next debates in September and beyond.

She also had events on Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts island that is a playground for celebrities, including the Obamas, Bill Clinton and David Letterman, on Friday and Saturday. Tickets ranged from $100 to $2,800…

Harris’s event on Sunday night went head to head with one at musician Jon Bon Jovi’s house for Cory Booker. Pete Buttigieg will be in the Hamptons over Labor Day weekend. Joe Biden, who’ll be in the Hamptons next weekend, has already hit up Cape Cod, Aspen and Sun Valley, Idaho…

“I believe in capitalism, but capitalism is not working for most people,” Harris said on the patio steps of the Patricof house, looking out at a peach orchard among flower and herb beds. She said she recognized people who’ve become successful by working hard and following rules, but that the middle class needs help…
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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Vibrant Discussion(s)


Somehow, I can’t see Steve being so kind to Thurston… not that Thurston wouldn’t try...

Elsewhere:


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Department of ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’:








Open Thread: Trump Has No Friends, Just (Temporary) Accomplices

For years they ran parallel grifts, and they got along nicely. Then Don (with a little help from his Russian buddies) got a big promotion, and Tom made the mistake of thinking he could draft in his old buddy’s wake. SAD!

If Trump had been able to grasp the concept of social reciprocity as well as your average kindergartner, he wouldn’t have managed to bankrupt more than one casino. Which is probably related to the fact that nobody in Trump’s circle can be trusted alone with more than fifteen cents in cash…

Trump was “really upset” to read reports about Barrack’s role in allegedly making it easy for some foreigners and others to try to spend money to get access to Trump and his inner circle and whether some of the inauguration money was misspent, according to a senior administration official…

… According to the Mueller report, Barrack recommended that Trump hire his old friend Paul Manafort, who was initially brought onto the campaign to smooth Trump’s path at the Republican convention. Manafort went on to assume a larger role in the campaign after the firing of Corey Lewandowski, only to be ousted himself amid media scrutiny of his business dealings in Ukraine — and later to be indicted for those activities.

And as other prosecutors have dug into Barrack’s handling of the inauguration fund, Trump has privately soured on his mentor…

All the money raised for the convention, a record $107 million, was for the specific purpose of covering inauguration costs, but it came from a number of people and companies Barrack couldn’t convince to give money to the campaign or to outside groups when he was raising money for Trump during the 2016 campaign, according to the senior administration official.

“Trump improbably wins and they’re like, ‘Holy crap, I better send a check.’ They send a check to the inauguration and are like, ‘Look at me, six- or seven-figure check, I’m involved, I support your presidency,’” this person said. “But you didn’t support his candidacy three days ago.”…

The harsh spotlight goes well beyond the inauguration as Barrack, a Lebanese-American who is friendly with several Middle East leaders, has been accused of promoting his own business interests in his dealings with the president.

A report recently released by Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee showed that Barrack worked with well-connected UAE businessman Rashid Al-Malik to make suggestions for an energy speech Trump gave in 2016 to be more favorable toward the Middle East and urged Manafort to get Trump to mention Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed…
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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Yup, We’re Doomed

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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Like earthquakes, wildfires, and floods, recessions are recurring problems. And as with those (other) ‘natural’ catastrophes, it’s easier to prepare for them in advance and survive them afterwards if we’re not dependent on grifters, political cultists, and soggy-brained showboaters…

Catherine Rampell, at the Washington Post“Move over, Illuminati. The conspiracy against Trump’s economy is massive”:

… Trump, aided by his economic brain trust of cranks and sycophants, believes any indicator showing the U.S. economy could be in trouble must be fabricated. It’s all part of an anti-Trump conspiracy, he rants, according to reports in The Post, the Associated Press and the New York Times.

And move over, Illuminati, because this particular conspiracy is massive.

It’s led by the Federal Reserve, Democrats and the media, of course, or so say Trump and his Fox News minions. But it also includes the entire U.S. bond market, which flashed a warning sign last week when the Treasury yield curve inverted (meaning long-term bonds had lower interest rates than short-term ones, which usually predates a downturn).

Also colluding are the many farmers, retailers, manufacturers and economists who have been warning for more than a year that the burden of Trump’s tariffs is mainly borne by Americans, not China or other trading partners, and also that uncertainty over trade tensions can paralyze hiring, investment and purchasing decisions, which we need to keep the economy expanding…

The White House has reportedly declined to develop contingency plans for a downturn because it doesn’t want to validate this “negative narrative.” This is, in a word, idiotic. As others have analogized, it’s like refusing to buy a fire extinguisher because you’re afraid of feeding a “negative narrative” that you might someday face a fire.

Administration officials decided the best way to deal with recession risk, which they of course aren’t personally worried about, was through a show of force on TV. There, Trump’s economic advisers assured Americans they definitely, certainly, cross-their-hearts-and-hope-to-die don’t see reason to worry…

… Kudlow’s call for optimism has a whiff of Peter Pan logic about it: If only we believe in fairies hard enough, we can always save Tinker Bell — even when we’re sending her out into a hailstorm. If you believe, clap your hands; don’t let Tink die!

It’s hard to imagine nervous Americans are really this credulous. Then again, perhaps we were never the intended audience for such performances. Sure, maybe White House aides are trying to fool the public into believing recession warning signs don’t exist. But maybe they’re actually just trying to fool their boss.

A frightening conspiracy theory, indeed.

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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Election 2020 Open Thread: Pete Buttigieg Has A *Lot* of Good Proposals

Whether or not those ideas take him to the Oval Office in 2020, all indications are that Buttigieg will be a positive influence in the Democratic party, and in our national politics, for a long time to come. He’s certainly the best-placed top-tier ‘Heartland’ candidate at the moment, which — given that the front-runners are universally ‘coastal elitists’ — gives him a strong point of leverage…


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