Elections Have Consequences Open Thread: Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King Is Abandoned by His Repub Cronies


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Eighteen years of big-mouth bigotry from his national perch, but now the GOP is shocked, shocked to discover that Pigmuck King is a bigot!


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Saturday Morning Open Thread: Same As It Ever Was


 
Democrats care about people; Republicans care about “winning”, which they mostly define as “money”. (Although if they’re feeling particularly GOP, they’ll throw away money just to keep that “winning” feeling… )



Friday Morning Open Thread: Good Reads

(Signe Wilkinson via GoComics.com)
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Since there’s not much point in talking about yesterday’s MAH WALL I WAAAAHNNIT!!!(tm) Trumpstunting — even Chris ‘Mad Bitcher’ Cillizza panned the performance — figured I’d share a couple of my favorite online political essayists, while we’re waiting for the Friday news dump.

Tom Scocca is currently the editor of Hmm Daily, and producer of a series of brilliant rants under the subtitle “The Worst Thing We Read Yesterday™”. Sample from January 9th, “The Fact-Checkers Are Tools”:

Apparently, the Washington bureau of the New York Times doesn’t know many people who use federal government assistance in their daily lives. Less fraught with class conflict, but still fundamental to its understanding of the entire subject it covers, the Times bureau also seems not to know how much federal spending goes to outside contractors, who use that money to pay their own employees…

If the Times needs more information on the many things the federal government does, and on the millions of people who depend on the government doing them, CBS put together a nice brief roundup of shutdown effects in advance of the speech. It’s never too late to learn!

But it is too late to redeem the whole fact-checking project. The Associated Press made its own contribution, with a tweet fact-checking the notion that the shutdown is Trump’s fault:

AP FACT CHECK: Democrats put the blame for the shutdown on Trump. But it takes two to tango. Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for his border wall is one reason for the budget impasse. The Democrats refusal to approve the money is another.

It was a tremendously stupid argument—the president’s extraordinary demand for a wall and the Democrats’ response to the demand aren’t two opposing reasons, they’re the same reason, which originated with the president—but it was also not a fact-check at all. It was what conventional politics reporting would call a piece of news analysis: Who is to blame for the shutdown? Only it had been reduced to a true-false question, or a true/some-might-say-not-necessarily-true question…

 
Also a reliable source of solace, for us cynics, is Bess Levin’s daily business report for Vanity Fair. Thursday, “Become a Dog Walker, Sell Your Stuff: Helpful Government Offers Furloughed Workers Shutdown Advice”:

At midnight on Thursday, the government shutdown will reach its 20th day; if it continues through Saturday, it’ll be the longest in history. At present, the White House and Congress are not even close to cutting a deal, with Donald Trump rejecting every offer proposed to him, including one from Republican Lindsey Graham who told reporters Thursday, “I have never been more depressed about moving forward than I am right now. I just don’t see a pathway forward.” Happily for Graham, he’s still being paid during the shutdown, while some 800,000 federal employees have either been furloughed or forced to work without pay. For many who live paycheck to paycheck, the prospect of not being able to put food on the table, access crucial medicine, or pay their mortgage or rent, is a very real concern. Luckily, the government has advice!…

… Just knock on doors and ask if anyone has spare dogs or kids lying around, or churn out some scarves for Etsy, and you’ll be back in the black in no time! While we would never suggest that the above is largely unhelpful, tone-deaf advice, a furloughed Forest Service crew member told The New Yorker, “No one wants to hire me because they know once the shutdown is over I’ll have to quit,” adding that temp agencies are “overflowed” with people in the same position. Meanwhile, and apparently this may come as a shock to the government, the employees who are being forced to work without pay—2,100 at the Coast Guard—don’t have time for second jobs… Elsewhere, workers are told that “yes, your credit score may suffer during this time” if you miss payments, but to “keep things in perspective.”…

Also, on the “saddening news” that Lord Smallgloves is “respectfully cancelling [his] very important trip to Davos”

Presumably, this announcement came after the report that the administration was still planning to send a large delegation to the annual billionaire confab at a cost of millions of dollars to taxpayers—money that will still be spent even if the president stays home, owing to “Davos’s tight cancellation policies around the conference.”…



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Sad Trumpone Noises


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Monday Morning Open Thread: Regrets, They Have A Few, But Then Again…

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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I have a feeling that last Friday’s toxic news dump was deferred for today. But then, I’m a devout Cynic; Churchy LaFemme’s despairing Friday the Thirteenth falls on a ***day this month! has resonated with me since I first heard it, sometime before I entered kindergarten. (Hearing me repeat it, on the relevant day every month, confused the heck out of my kindergarten teacher even after she spoke to my father.)

To return to our usual start-of-a-new-day attempt to stay positive, it’s genuinely good news that voters in Iowa are taking their electoral responsibilities with due seriousness this time. Per the Washington Post:

The Iowa caucuses remain 13 months away, but a pent-up demand for change in the White House is tangible among Democrats eager for the 2020 campaign to start in earnest. The throngs of voters bombarding events in Iowa are testament to something fearful for Republicans: The huge tide of Democratic voters who powered the party’s 2018 gains have not lost interest as attention turns to the 2020 presidential race…

Iowans cited a slew of reasons for their eagerness to begin the lengthy nomination process to settle on a leader to go up against President Trump. There were the tax cuts that one voter called “a waste of time and money”; the trade war with China depressing demand for exports and hurting farmers; the hostility toward immigrants, a labor pool heavily used on Iowa farms; the rolling back of environmental regulations that impact Iowa’s rivers; a foreign policy approach changing the country’s status in the world; and the general chaos and lack of civility in the White House…

Helping to channel some of this Democratic enthusiasm are organizations like Siouxland Progressive Women, one of thousands of groups that have cropped up on the left since the 2016 election.

“We’re so ready,” said Susan Leonard, 64, a co-founder of the group. Her 200-member organization campaigned for J.D. Scholten, the Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). Now they’re turning to 2020.

“We’ve got invitations out to several presidential candidates already,” Leonard said. “It’s a big group, and we want to hear their ideas.”

There are plenty of candidates and potential candidates coming to Iowa to meet with Democratic activists. A day after Warren departs Sunday, Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary and San Antonio mayor, is planning stops in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Delaney, who was the first Democrat in the race, will open campaign offices here when he returns to Iowa for events Friday and Saturday…

Even if my inner Eeyore suspects some of this enthusiasm is a parochial defense against California’s new relevance under an early Super Tuesday schedule, any attitude more positive than Here we are now — entertain us should surely be encouraged, yes?



Hustings 2020 Open Thread: Go Home, Joe, You’re High on Your Own Supply

Bless the man for a happy warrior in the best way, but let’s be honest: If he couldn’t win the nomination when ‘affable working-class white guy’ was the standard for potential candidates, he’s not gonna win now that it’s dropped so far out of fashion among the group of Democratic voters currently paying attention to the 2020 race.

Biden’s last best chance is probably repeating his stint under Obama, as The Experienced Older Guy Supporting A Charismatic Young Star. But even if Kamala Harris or Beto O’Rourke were to make him an offer, why would he want to go through that whole circus tour again? Is the “Presidential” spotlight really that addictive?

Or are the Media Village Idiots just that desperate for a candidate they can ‘recognize’?



Saturday Morning Open Thread: True (Truth) Believers

I spent Thursday morning at the swearing in of the new Congressional Black Caucus at the historic Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. If you’ve never been to a CBC swearing in before (I hadn’t) it’s quite a sight to see. Black politicos of every stripe line the halls and crowd into the room dressed in something between “Sunday best” and “Friday night, after work, I’m-heading-to-Happy-Hour” style. However unlike Congressional Black Caucus weekend, which is a party for the politically initiated, the swearing in felt like a mixture between the first day of school and an HBCU graduation…

If you’ve ever been to an HBCU graduation (or heard the reactions of the few scattered black parents when that first generation kid walks across the stage at a predominately white institution) you know how loud and celebratory black folks can get. The CBC swearing in was no different. The cheers when the entire panoply of political talent came across the stage were amazing. Specifically whenever Jahana Hayes name was mentioned a group in the back left of the theater went crazy like she’d just shouted out Waterbury, Conn. in a call-and-response lyric. Maxine Waters came on stage and gave the “Wakanda Forever” salute to her colleagues and the audience roared so loud you’d have thought there was vibranium in the rafters. Clearly picking up on the vibe, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) came in and spoke about the great work that the Congressional Black Caucus has done under the leadership of Cedric Richmond and how the CBC was officially the “nuck” for her Congressional “buck” when it came to dealing with Trump…
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