Friday Morning Open Thread: TGIF (While It Lasts)

The unusual fundraising haul is the latest sign that President Donald Trump is motivating Democrats in extraordinary ways as the party looks to win back the 24 seats it needs to retake the House of Representatives in next year’s midterm elections and put Rep. Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair.

The DCCC raised $20 million in online contributions since the start of the year from contributions averaging just $18, according to the group, beating the $19.7 million the committee raised during 2015, the last off-year ahead of an election year.

The campaign arm of House Democrats said more than 2.2 million people joined the committee’s grassroots email lists since the beginning of January, including 156,00 new donors.

“The DCCC is actively building the largest battleground in a decade, and that’s a testament to the grassroots energy that we’re witnessing every day, in every corner of America,” said DCCC Spokesman Tyler Law. “Our record smashing grassroots, online fundraising haul is further evidence that House Democrats are on offense while Republicans are in a full meltdown.”…

Because, well…

What’s (that we know about) on the agenda as we look forward to wrapping up the week?



Visual Comparison Open Thread: Walk Left / Run Right



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Onward Together (But Never in Lockstep)

On Monday, Clinton described that effort as one to “encourage people to get involved, organize, and even run for office,” while tweeting out the names of several groups that have led anti-Trump or grassroots Democratic efforts this year, like: SwingLeft (which identifies potential districts to turn blue for would-be donors or volunteers), Run for Something, and Color of Change, which does a lot of criminal justice work…

Organized over the last few months with former DNC chair and governor Howard Dean, the group is still in the early development stages…

“We’re not looking to duplicate or replace the DNC or the DCCC or all that stuff,” Dean told BuzzFeed News recently. “We’re looking to give these folks the opportunity to do the building they’re already doing on their terms, but in a more organized way, when the one hand knows what the other hand is doing.”

Dave Weigel, in the Washington Post, “Possible 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls gather for progressive ‘ideas’ conference”:

Don’t call it a “cattle call.” Don’t call it the “CPAC of the left.” On Tuesday morning, the Center for American Progress will host a daylong “Ideas Conference” — its third, as CAP President Neera Tanden points out. It’s just different from the last two in that at least 140 reporters have signed up to cover it, and they’re not shy about calling it a 2020 scouting session.

“We’re focused less on the politics of the moment and more on, ‘What’s the alternative?’ ” Tanden said in an interview. “I expect there’ll be some criticism of Trump, but we expect most of our speakers to provide a positive vision.”…

The conference, which as in the past will take over the St. Regis hotel, will kick off with a speech from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and end with a speech from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), both in their 40s and elected to their high-profile jobs in 2013. About half of the rest of Tuesday’s speakers are considered potential 2020 presidential candidates: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Gov. Terry MacAuliffe (D-Va.). Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), whose 2016 reelection victory gave Democrats one of their few reasons to cheer in a rural state, will also get a set piece speech…

On Wednesday, after most of the media are gone, CAP will host training sessions for “resistance” activists — part of a series that the think tank has organized. One of Tuesday’s panels will bring some of the activists together, as well as Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, whose “Daily Kos” blog has become a major crowdfunding source for Democratic campaigns.

“I LOVE these new resistance groups,” Moulitsas said in an email. “We need to stop chasing after white racists lost to the fake news bubble, and realize that out of the 97 million Americans who didn’t vote last year, the majority is our own liberal-leaning base. We need to get THOSE people registered and active in the franchise.”

Apart from organizing for the future, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Damn, I miss Michelle Obama

I could be wrong, but I always had the feeling Michelle Obama was a little less optimistic about the goodness and decency of the American people than President Obama. Maybe because they grew up in such different places. Perhaps he’s just naturally more idealistic.

Don’t get me wrong — I think they’re both idealistic as hell; people who weren’t wouldn’t have taken the path they took. And both of them experienced an uglier side of America than I ever will, so I’m not saying either was naive. But maybe she always had a more realistic view of this country than he did.

In retrospect, the way they approached the 2016 campaign sort of signaled that; PBO flatly denied Trump could win (as did I). I bet Michelle Obama knew it was possible all along. At least that’s my impression.

Anyhoo, glad to see her speaking out. Open thread!



Calming Interlude Open Thread: President Obama on Profiles in Courage

Hometown paper, the Boston Globe:

Obama received the award, created to honor the country’s 35th president, for his overall contributions to public life, including his achievements on key policy issues and his historic victory as the nation’s first African-American president, according to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which administers the award…

On the red carpet before the event, the state’s US senators, Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, mingled not far from current and former Massachusetts constitutional officers, including Attorney General Maura Healey, Secretary of State William F. Galvin, and former governor Deval Patrick.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh was there. So were Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and Congressman Seth Moulton.

Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, eschewed the red carpet, instead slipping in a side door.

University of Massachusetts president Martin T. Meehan walked down the carpet, as did New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, retired late night TV host David Letterman, Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, local political adviser Will Keyser, and famed historian David McCullough.

Asked about Obama’s legacy, McCullough said, “You have to wait 50 years for the dust to settle, but it looks good.”…

Obama closed his remarks Sunday by saying history does not move in a straight line. He challenged the room to continue to push for progress.

As he often did as president, Obama recalled a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., who said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Obama said that arc does not bend on its own.

“It bends because we bend it,” he said. “Because we put our hand on that arc and we move it in the direction of justice. And freedom. And equality, and kindness, and generosity. It doesn’t happen on its own.”



Sunday Evening Open Thread: Obamaniacs Programming Note


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Apart from that, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the weekend?



Friday Morning Open Thread: TGIF


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And who could blame her, given the last few days?…

And yet…


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What else is on the agenda, as we prepare to wrap up the week?