Late Night “Yes, You Were Warned… ” Open Thread

Now CNN’s Dan Merica figures it out…

Many of Hillary Clinton’s top aides sat nervously a year ago this month as their boss stepped up to a podium in Reno, Nevada to decry then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, accuse him of “taking hate groups mainstream” and come close to labeling him a racist…

There was a deep internal debate within the Clinton campaign on whether the former secretary of state should give a speech that directly challenged Trump’s views on race, according to interviews with more than 10 former top Clinton aides, some of whom asked to speak anonymously because of their current roles in Democratic politics. As Trump contentiously defended the alt-right on Tuesday, though, these former aides were left feeling with one overriding sense: Hillary Clinton tried to warn us.

“This is what I want to make clear today,” Clinton said, flanked by American flags at Truckee Meadows Community College. “A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the Internet, should never run our government or command our military.”

She added: “He says he wants to make America great again, but, more and more, it seems his real message is Make America Hate Again.”…

Clinton responded to the violence in Charlottesville by tweeting Saturday that “the incitement of hatred that got us here is as real and condemnable as the white supremacists in our streets,” adding in a later message that “every minute we allow this to persist through tacit encouragement or inaction is a disgrace.” Clinton has yet to respond to Trump’s news conference Tuesday, but to the aides and advisers that helped shape her August 2016 speech, her response was given a year earlier.

There was deep debate between a wide array of aides whether a speech from the candidate on Trump and race would be well received and whether the message could be delivered without it being cast as nothing more than an already subterranean political discourse going lower.

Clinton, according to an aide, said at one meeting about the speech that she was not prepared to call Trump a racist, something reporters would later ask her directly.

“I don’t know what is in his heart,” Clinton told her top aides, “but I want to lay out the facts.”…

Best practice, if you’re trying to persuade people: Not He is a racist — that leads to derailing arguments — but That was a racist thing he said/did/lived. Because it doesn’t matter what Donald Trump ‘believes in his heart’, whatever Ivanka or Sarah Huckabee Sanders might say; what matters is what he says, and does, and enables.



Local Races: Doug Jones* Wins His Senate Primary in Alabama

From the local site AL.com:

Jones, a former U.S. Attorney known for the prosecution of convicted killers Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry for the 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, has picked up several endorsements from Democratic leaders, including Rep. John Lewis of Georgia and Rep. Terri Sewell.

Last week, Jones also received an endorsement from former Vice President Joe Biden.

“All my life I have been trying to work with folks to make sure people have equal opportunities–they’re treated fairly, they’re treated the same under the law, they re treated with dignity and respect,” Jones said when he arrived to his watch party after learning he had won.

“You know, 15 years ago, I actually went up against the Klan. And we won,” Jones said…

Meanwhile, the Repubs get to duke it out, until September 26, over a choice between Roy ‘Ayatollah of Alabama’ Moore and Luther ‘Trump’s Pick’ Strange.

I am well aware that everybody considers the Alabama Democratic Party a mere placeholder for some future Day of Jubilee… but it should interesting (and, I sincerely hope, damaging to the GOP in general) to watch Strange & Stranger battle for the ‘Most Sincere Revanchist’ crown.

Anybody here know enough about Alabama politics to tell whether it’s worth contributing to Doug Jones’ campaign, just for the look of it? Or should we concentrate on rooting for Repub injuries?

*(Nope, not our DougJ)



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Proud to Be A Democrat


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From Politico, “Democrats press GOP to scrutinize rise in white supremacy”:

Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee are asking panel Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) to examine racist fringe groups, including those that organized Saturday’s violent protest against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the University of Virginia campus…

California Rep. Lou Correa, who sits on the Homeland panel, was the first Democrat to call for hearings.

“Yesterday’s horrific acts against innocent Americans were clear acts of terrorism,” he said. “Our country has a homegrown terrorism problem we refuse to address. That ends now. We must hold hearings and finally address that terrorism inflicted by white supremacy extremists is destroying our country.”

A spokesman for Homeland ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) confirmed to POLITICO that committee Democrats were organizing to increase pressure on the panel to schedule hearings on white supremacist terrorism.

Homeland Democrats have already called for such hearings twice this year to no avail. A spokesperson for McCaul did not respond to request for comment.

The issue is going beyond the committee. Top House Democrats will discuss the matter during a leadership call and Democratic caucus conference call scheduled for Tuesday, according to a senior Democratic source. House Judiciary Democrats likewise held a call and are coordinating efforts to ramp up pressure on Republicans to address the growing threat…



Single Payer 2020

Scott Lemieux published an interesting piece in The Week today about Kirsten Gillibrand’s support for a single payer solution as the ultimate goal for healthcare reform: “Kirsten Gillibrand is serious about Medicare for all.” An excerpt:

It would have been easy for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to rest on her laurels at the town hall she held at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, on Wednesday. In the wake of the narrow defeat of the Republican “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, she received two standing ovations from a packed house before she even began to speak… But she had a more ambitious agenda in mind. Before taking questions, she celebrated the defeat of ACA repeal but quickly observed that it was not enough: Too many people still couldn’t afford insurance. And making a point she would return to repeatedly for the next hour, she identified her preferred solution: Medicare for all…

While the audience was generally supportive of her advocacy for Medicare for all — some scattered booing aside — one audience member asked a practical question: What should Congress do if the votes in Congress for Medicare for all aren’t there yet? Gillibrand had a ready answer: “You get to single-payer by letting people buy in [to Medicare] now…”

[W]hat’s politically possible at a given point is a question that can be answered the next time the Democrats take over the White House and Congress. In the meantime, the Democratic Party needs to establish Medicare for all or a comparable universal program as a goal — and whether it’s Gillibrand, Sanders, or another candidate, this is almost certainly the direction the next Democratic nominee will be pushing in.

I’m grateful to Gillibrand for stating outright that a market-driven system will never achieve affordable, universal coverage, so the public aspects of the ACA will have to be expanded to move in that direction. President Obama and the Democrats who worked on healthcare reform during his first term knew that, which is why they built in Medicaid expansion nationwide, a provision the SCOTUS sabotaged.

Anyhoo, the whole thing is worth a read. Love it or hate it, I think Lemieux is correct when he says single payer is becoming a core part of the Democratic Party platform, at least as an objective. The disagreements will arise around how to get there.



Open Thread: NANCY SHADE!


(h/t commentor BethanyAnne)

Speaking of “President” Trump…



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Stronger Together, Still


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What’s on the agenda for this lovely summer Saturday?



Thursday Evening Open Thread: Blasts from the Past

Trumpet call, via the Washington Post:

The moderator lauded Michelle Obama for her achievements over the past eight years and touched on the former first lady’s plans, but Tuesday’s conversation also veered into uncomfortable territory.

It was Obama’s largest public appearance since the 2016 election — speaking in front of more than 8,000 people at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary celebration — and she touched on personal attacks that she faced again and again. Many had the same theme.

“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” Obama said, according to the Denver Post. “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”

She added that she wouldn’t pretend the attacks didn’t hurt, because that would give those inflicting the pain a pass, according to the Post.

“We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up,” she said….

Despite Tuesday’s detour into dark territory, many of Obama’s comments went high.

She told the audience that she is “a strong woman because of other strong woman,” according to statement on WFCO’s website. “You don’t mother alone, you don’t grandparent alone, you don’t struggle alone. You find your community.”…

Butt trumpet [fart noise] — news of our old Hoekstroika punching bag :

Hoekstra’s parents, IIRC, left the Netherlands because it was turning into a “Sodom and Gomorrah”, where the righteous were brutally required to respect other peoples’ opinions — kinda like the Puritans, back in the day.

(Speaking of history… somewhere on the Internet, there’s gotta be a link to the Gore Vidal essay about Ronald Reagan appointing the founder/owner of TV Guide as Ambassador to Great Britain, in case anyone thinks Trump’s people are capable of anything more original than copying 40-year-old insults from brighter administrations.)