Open Thread: “This isn’t Kindergarten”

… If only because kindergarteners are expected to have achieved a higher degree of bladder control than most Congressional Repubs. From Buzzfeed, “Obama Says Republican Concerns About Trump Mean His Supreme Court Pick Should Get A Vote”:

President Obama told BuzzFeed News Monday that the GOP is “looking at a Republican nominee” — Donald Trump — “who many of them say isn’t qualified to be president much less appoint someone” to the Supreme Court. And that, he said, means his nominee should get a vote, which Republicans have vowed not to do.

Obama’s comments came during a live interview with BuzzFeed News Legal Editor Chris Geidner from the White House’s Roosevelt Room.

“it seems to me [Republicans would] be better off going ahead and giving a hearing and a vote to somebody that they themselves in the past have said is well-qualified, is fair, and to treat the Supreme Court with the seriousness and the sense that it’s beyond politics,” Obama said. “Precisely because this election year has been so crazy, precisely because you have a number of Republicans who have said that they’re concerned about their nominee, it shows you why you don’t want to politicize a Supreme Court appointment.”

The issue, Obama said, is that some members of the GOP “are on record saying this is a very well qualified candidate.”

“In that circumstance it is up to them, in terms of their constitutional obligation, to have a hearing and have a vote,” he said. “Now here’s the good news. Originally they said they wouldn’t even meet with the guy. And they heard from a lot of their constituents that said well, this isn’t kindergarten; just because you’re not happy with what’s happened, you don’t do your job.”

“My hope is that the closer we get to the summer, and the more pressure that viewers are putting on senators just to do their job, and to give the guy a hearing, give him a vote, then more and more Republican senators will recognize that the position they’re taking is not tenable,” he said…

When asked why Obama didn’t nominate someone who is not a straight, white man, he said, “I never think about it in terms of ‘this seat is for a Hispanic man, and this seat is for a gay black woman,’ that’s not how I think.” He added he nominated people who are “extremely well qualified.”

“Judge Garland was the perfect candidate for this moment for this seat,” he said. “You’re looking for a judge who will play it straight and apply the law.”…

Seriously, it’s a good interview with a sterling President. Who shows up at approximately the 4min mark on the clip below, if Geidner’s understandable pre-show anxiety is too much for you:

Open Thread: She’s Ours, You Can’t Have Her

Paul Waldman, in the Washington Post, spells out the key reason “Why Elizabeth Warren Isn’t Going to Be Hillary’s Running Mate“:

[R]ight now the governor of Massachusetts is a Republican, Charlie Baker. That means that if Warren stepped down to become vice president, Baker would appoint a temporary successor for her Senate seat. In other years this might have been a relatively minor consideration, but in 2016 it’s absolutely central to the fate of Clinton’s presidency.

Right now Republicans have a 54-46 advantage in the Senate, but they’re defending many more seats up for reelection. Seats in Democratic-leaning states like Illinois, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire may well turn to the Democrats, but it’s likely to be very close. It’s entirely possible that we could have a Senate that’s 51-49 for the Democrats, or even 50-50. One vote could make the difference between Clinton getting her nominees confirmed and having some chance at legislation passing (depending on what happens with the filibuster and the House), or finding herself utterly paralyzed by Congress. Giving up a seat for the sake of a compelling running mate is an enormous risk, one Clinton would be foolish to take. Which, by the way, also rules out a number of other potential vice presidential candidates, including Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Cory Booker of New Jersey…

Senator Warren would indeed be an excellent replacement for Joe Biden, but she’s doing great work in her current job — and a HRClinton presidency can only increase her clout. And she obviously loves what she’s doing, so there’s that as well.

Late Night Weird Kinks Open Thread: But It Worked in St. Ronnie’s Day!

gop imaginary threats sheneman

(Drew Sheneman via

Back in the Morning of America, when the Moral Majority ruled the land (or at least the cable news networks), a Repub pol looking for cheap publicity could count on Newt Gingrich or Jerry Falwell to provide attention-catching scare topics for every election. Alas, the dogs bark but the caravan moves on. The situation has gotten so far out of GOP control that godless sophisticates like Ed Kilgore can ask, “Are Republicans Falling Into a Democratic Trap on Transgender Bathrooms?”:

I first began to suspect Democrats of throwing chum into troubled waters on transgender-bathroom labeling upon reading reports that conservatives were determined to launch a platform fight at the Republican convention to make sure “bathrooms” were an important part of the GOP agenda. Yeah, bathrooms. Ridiculous, right? Not if you are a conservative religious activist who believes LGBT rights opened the gates of hell and are ushering in the End Times. I’m sure more than a few Christian Right folk heard about criticisms of the North Carolina bathroom access law and thought: This is what we’ve been talking about all these years
Read more

Open Thread: Volunteers Wanted!

Remember, organizing skills are transferable. Obama’s Organizing for America had a killer rep, and the Clinton campaign is using their playbook.

Setting one up is beyond my pay grade, but I’m assuming there will another Balloon Juice ActBlue campaign once the primary season finally ends. If there’s a local area candidate you think deserves support, leave a comment below.


VoteRiders is making sure that no eligible citizen is denied his or her right to vote for lack of ID.

VoteRiders focuses on states with government-issued voter ID laws or that require documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote. Our current priority state is Wisconsin, and we are also supporting efforts in AL, AZ, FL, GA, IN, KS, MS, NC, ND, NH, RI, SC, TN, TX, and VA…

Rock the Vote.

go vote or else aaron eiland

And just for fun, #GoVote. (I personally like judge-y John Adams, but 99.995% of the population would identify that image as Bernie Sanders.)

Late Night Cheap Mockery Open Thread: YOOGE Mandate! the CLASSIEST Swag!

Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, she’s willing to learn and to change. Her presumptuous challenger… not so much.

Mr. Trump’s choices reflect an unusual conviction: He said he had a “mandate” from his supporters to run as a fiery populist outsider and to rely on his raucous rallies to build support through “word of mouth,” rather than to embrace a traditional, mellower and more inclusive approach that congressional Republicans will advocate in meetings with him on Thursday.

Mr. Trump’s strategy is replete with risks. Roughly 60 percent of Americans view him negatively, according to pollsters, who say more-of-the-same Trump is not likely to improve those numbers. While a majority of Republican primary voters said they were looking for a political outsider, Mr. Trump will face a majority of voters in November who prefer a candidate with political experience, according to primary exit polls and several national polls. Many Republicans think they will lose the presidency and seats in the House and Senate if he continues using language that offends women and some racial and religious groups…

… Patrick J. Buchanan, the conservative commentator and past presidential candidate, said Mr. Trump was rallying historic numbers of voters with a mix of conservative ideas and anti-establishment populism that evoked, among other politicians, Ross Perot and his magnetic appeal in the 1992 campaign. Mr. Perot lost, of course, but Mr. Buchanan said that Mr. Trump might stand a better chance…

David Winston, a Republican pollster who worked on Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign in 2012, said Mr. Trump was putting himself at a severe disadvantage in the general election.

“At this point, at a minimum, he’s at least 50 million voters short of what he’s going to need,” Mr. Winston said. “He has created an interesting dynamic in that, during the course of the campaign, he was basically calling those individuals names, which didn’t endear him to their supporters.”…

Senator Elizabeth Warren…

…is a noble and poetic land-mermaid:*


Link to Senator Warren’s Twitter feed here. Trump can’t resist replying but is reduced to spluttering recycled Scott Brown talking points. Loser! Sad!

Open thread!

* Paraphrase of a quote by Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope.

Late Night Good News Open Thread