Excellent Read — “Nancy Pelosi: ‘They Come After Me Because I’m Effective’ “

You come at the queen, you best not miss. Tim Dickinson, in Rolling Stone, interviews “the House Minority Leader on the midterms, impeachment, her own party, sexism and the sexist-in-chief”:

Pelosi is one of the most powerful women in global politics. She gets credit for securing passage of much of the legislation in the Obama legacy, including the Recovery Act, Wall Street reform and especially the Affordable Care Act. “Nancy Pelosi has been one of the most transformational figures in the modern Democratic Party,” says Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez. Pelosi also spearheaded the takeover of the House a dozen years ago in 2006 – an achievement that has become fodder for her critics. “Leader Pelosi has talked about how we need to do what we did in 2006,” says Rep. Seth Moulton, an ambitious Massachusetts Democrat who argues for a “new generation” of House leadership. “I mean, we barely had iPhones in 2006 – it was a different world.”

But for all the talk about Nancy Pelosi, less time has been spent actually listening to her. Rolling Stone sat down with Pelosi for an hour on a May evening in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was raising money for the local Democratic Party. At the fundraiser, standing before a wall-sized American flag, Pelosi sought to flatten the difference between President Trump and GOP candidates. “He’s their guy,” she says of Trump. “Make no mistake: This election, it’s not – well it’s about him in certain respects, we can’t ignore that – but it’s about them.”…

I want to dig in on 2018 and understand how you’re thinking about the election and how the angles break.
When Hillary didn’t win, people said, “Can you win the House?” And I said, “I’ll tell you in a year.” Because it matters where the president is a year out. If he’s under 50 [percent approval rating], we can win it. Just to put in a little historical perspective. In ‘05 and ‘06, [former Democratic Senate leader] Harry Reid and I said, “We’re going to win the Congress.” People said, “No way. It’s going to be a permanent Republican majority.” Bush had just won. In January of ‘05, he was at 58 percent in the polls. The war in Iraq; people in the streets; he’s at 58 percent in the polls. We would have to bring his numbers down. And he gave us a gift: He was going to privatize Social Security. [That] helped take his numbers down, into like the 40s. What other difference did we want to emphasize? It was “Drain the swamp.” That was ours. [Trump] stole it from us. “End the culture of cronyism, incompetence and corruption.” That was our thing. They were getting indicted, subpoenaed all over the place. And then Hurricane Katrina: Cronyism and incompetence. Thirty-eight percent in September.

With Trump, he’s done the heavy lifting for you?
We can’t take credit for taking his numbers down, but for taking advantage of the opportunity it presented. To keep [his numbers] down we had to make sure people understood what Republicans were trying to do with the Affordable Care Act, what they were doing in terms of inequality and the disparity of income. Anyway, he was at 38 to 40 percent a year before the [2018] election. So, they get the retirements. I think it’s 46 today. And we get the A-Team on the field. We would like to say we recruited [our candidates]. Trump recruited them for us. [Laughs.] We’re in a very good place now…

We’ve seen consecutive Republican speakers flame out, essentially, because they couldn’t deal with the insurgency on their right flank. What is your secret to keeping Democrats united?
I’m really good at what I do. I’m a legislative virtuoso. I really love legislating. It takes knowledge, and experience, institutional memory. I was forged in the Intelligence Committee and especially the Appropriations Committee. I know how you can reach agreement…
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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Split Screen

Snarky, Cynical stuff below the fold…
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GOP Treason Leader Open Thread: Lest We Forget

On Monday, in Helsinki, Trump will have his long-awaited summit with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, a meeting he has personally pursued over the cautions of his advisers and despite the long political shadow of alleged Russian influence over his 2016 campaign. Beyond the allure of aggrandizement and President Trump’s affinity for the Russian strongman, why the meeting is taking place now remains a mystery. Is the purpose to discuss arms control? Syria? Ukraine? To rehash the 2016 election? Remarkably, it’s not clear, and that in and of itself marks this as a most unusual summit…
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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Soldier On

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Happy Fourth!

Not that you guys are liable to need it, but handy format for sharing…

(Plenty humans not crazy about ‘spontaneous’ bang-bangs, either. Have a thought for your friends & neighbors with PTSD, as well as the fourfoots among you.)
But at least it’s a day off, mostly…

Do we need or want a separate post for the many amazing #SecondCivilWar tweets? So many great examples have been shared in various comment threads already, not to mention that twitter feed in the right-hand column —->

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Hot, HOT… Cold!

It’s all fun’n’games until the cops start pleading “Ma’am, this is *not* a clothing-optional area… “

… But at least we’re not facing the brutal chill of getting iced out on the Vineyard…

Of course, I too remember the fvcktons of media grief our most recent Democratic presidents took over their MV vacations…

Monday Morning Open Thread: Keep Fighting

If you didn’t get a chance to read Balloon Juice over the weekend, you will want to go back and be inspired by Cheryl’s amazing job collating the pics from so many of your fellow Daydream Believers: start here, then here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

And, of course, many thanks and kudos to you who marched, whether or not you sent photos!

I’m not seeing nationwide crowd estimates yet, but the turnout — given the short notice, and for much of the country the heat of the day — seems to have been a major surprise to our media “betters”. Lisa Ryan, at NYMag‘s ladyblog The Cut, has an excellent aggregation of The Most Powerful Scenes From the Families Belong Together Protests”.

And the Los Angeles Times — no surprise — has the best summary I’ve seen so far:

Galvanized by the images and voices of migrant children separated from their parents by President Trump’s immigration policies, hundreds of thousands took to the streets Saturday in major cities and small towns across America to express outrage that they hope will carry over into the fall election.

From coast to coast, several hundred rallies dubbed Families Belong Together ranged from the large and boisterous — thousands clogging the Brooklyn Bridge in New York — to more modest ones, such as a protest that drew about 200 people to a street corner in West Hartford, Conn.

In Los Angeles, tens of thousands assembled in front of City Hall just before noon in a star- and politician-studded rally that centered on messages of humanity and empathy transcending borders. Organizers said they were not only protesting the separation of families but also Trump policies “criminalizing” migrants and leaving in limbo the fate of those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shielded from deportation young immigrants brought here illegally when they were children…

Many marchers were veterans of protests against other Trump administration policies, including the Women’s March and the March for Science, but some were newly energized to speak up. For Debbie Greenspan, a protest Saturday in Hollywood, Fla., was the first demonstration she ever attended.

“I just can’t bear babies being taken from their parents or even putting the whole family in jail,” Greenspan said. “I mean, what is wrong with these people? It’s beyond comprehension.”…

The midterm elections were on the minds of protesters all over the country. In Dallas, marchers carried signs reading, “November is coming.” In Denver, protesters at the state Capitol chanted: “Vote them out! Vote them out!”…

Marching in Chicago was Margo Chavez-Easley, who immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala with her mother when she was 9.

“To be an immigrant and an American, I feel a mix of pride and shame,” Chavez-Easley said. “… That’s a child’s biggest fear, is to lose their mom and dad.”

Protesting side by side in Denver were Henny Pattirane, 26, an immigrant from Indonesia, and her friend Joseline Umulisa, also 26, an immigrant from Rwanda.

Umulisa said she was moved to tears when she thought about what some immigrants had been through.

“The only reason you were born here is because you were lucky,” she said. “I came out today because I had to do something, and it beats crying in your bed.”

Funny thing, though…