Saturday Morning Open Thread: Truth Is On Our Side

From the Washington Post:

With just eight days to go before Sept. 30, the deadline after which Republicans will lose the ability to pass an ACA replacement with a simple majority, activists working to save the law were markedly cautious. Days of action — Saturday rallies organized by MoveOn, Monday rallies by Indivisible — would continue. So would calls to senators. Having been caught unaware in May and last week, when Republicans revived “Trumpcare,” activists said they would keep pounding until the deadline had passed.

“You don’t want to leave anything to chance,” said Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn. “If more senators come out in opposition to the bill this week, that makes it less likely that they can credibly come back and support another repeal vote. It needs to be totally clear to them that electoral disaster would come from keeping their horrible campaign promise.”…

Apart from cautious optimism, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Late Night Open Thread: Enjoying the Chaos, for Once

Politico is every bit as surprised as the #MAGA-heads! “GOP Feels Betrayed… “

Donald Trump’s latest fling with Democrats has plunged the Republican Party into a state of confusion and outrage that far surpasses the frustration with his debt ceiling deal with the minority last week.

While GOP leaders were able to brush off the debt pact as no big deal, after Thursday they were reminding the president that they — not the Democrats — run Congress. Though they differed on whether to bill it as a deal, Trump and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi agreed in some fashion that they want to shield so-called Dreamers from deportation and beef up border security, leaving the fight over the border wall for later.

That left Republicans grappling with a frightening new potential reality: that Trump will cut controversial deals with Democrats and leave them to pick up the pieces…

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested Trump was duped by Democrats’ rush to declare a deal, and that the president didn’t actually agree to set aside funding for his prized border wall.

“One side runs out and tries to frame what was said in there and then he has to go out and clarify. That’s not healthy,” McCarthy said.

Still, Trump’s exasperation with GOP leadership is boiling over. After watching the Obamacare repeal effort crash and burn after seven months of work, two weeks of talks with Democrats have yielded far more action. Trump has signaled that he wants the talks to continue, and a person familiar with Wednesday night’s meeting described it as “jovial” and far more pleasant than meetings with GOP leaders…

Yeah, it won’t last — as soon as the Repubs start talking tax cuts, they’ll be “President” Manbaby’s best buds once again. But the more bitter memories come between them when that happens, the better it will be for the rest of us.



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Blindsided!

Once again, Nancy and Chuck privately stroke “President” Manbaby’s tender ego, and come away with a public promise he’ll do something which will anger all the noisiest members of his in-every-sense Base. And the dumb fekkers are blaming Paul Ryan! Could not happen to a more deserving Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver, per the Washington Post:

Democratic leaders announced late Wednesday that they agreed with President Trump to pursue a legislative deal that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation and enact border security measures that don’t include building a physical wall.

The president discussed options during a dinner at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that also included talks on tax reform, infrastructure and trade. Trump has showed signs of shifting strategy to cross the aisle and work with Democrats in the wake of the high-profile failures by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act…

In a sign of the potential trouble for the president, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an immigration hard-liner and early Trump supporter, wrote that if reports of a potential immigration deal are accurate, the president’s “base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”…

Congressional aides familiar with the exchange said that Trump and the party leaders agreed to move quickly on legislation to protect dreamers, though aides did not disclose whether they agreed that the goal should be for dreamers to eventually be offered a path to citizenship.

In a statement, Schumer and Pelosi said they had “a very productive meeting at the White House with the President. The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”

In a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the House, Pelosi said she hoped the deal could be done “in a matter of weeks.”…

Pelosi and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) met earlier Wednesday to begin discussing the broad parameters of the forthcoming immigration debate. Ryan’s team signaled that despite the administration’s eagerness to quickly seal the deal, it will take awhile…

Ryan is already facing growing pressure from House conservatives who have begun to question his leadership and have even floated names of possible replacement as speaker. An agreement between Trump and Democrats on a bill to protect dreamers could potentially put Ryan in the position of having to decide whether to bring it for a vote with the prospects that it might pass with more Democratic support than among the GOP…

Of course the sumbitch doesn’t intend to carry through on his promise — he never does — but now the Democrats have a ‘permission slip’ to wave at all the Repub bigots who just wanna make ‘Murkca white again, like they remember it from 1950s sitcoms. And the more the GOP leaders shriek at him, the more Trump will dig in and insist that he did so intend to hang them up by their tiny thumbs, because they are not the boss of him.

And nothing that makes Paul Ryan squirm in public is a total waste of effort!



Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Charlie (Rose) & the Shambling Bannon

Let’s just say, this interview did nothing to dissuade me from the impression that Bannon is an old-fashioned Irish mucker… one who’s measuring the collapse of his liver against the collapse of civilization, and doing his best to make it a photo finish.

Bad news, he’s got the Mercers eating out of his greasy palm, and they’re as nihilistic as Bannon but without the almost-human touches. Slightly less bad news, right now Bannon’s more interested in punishing the not-Trump Repubs than he is in destroying Democrats, and I can’t find it in my heart to feel sorry for anyone in the GOP.
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Saturday Morning Open Thread: More Repub Virtue Signalling

Posers and hypocrites, every one. Per the Washington Post:

While parts of Texas are still submerged from the historic flooding wrought by Hurricane Harvey, four members of Congress who represent the state voted against sending it billions in federal disaster aid.

GOP Reps. Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson and Mac Thornberry all voted no on a $15.25 billion aid package Friday that is on its way to President Trump’s desk. Much of that money will boost federal emergency responders and help small businesses and homeowners rebuild. Some of it could go to victims of Hurricane Irma, which is barreling toward Florida this weekend.

These lawmakers say they didn’t like what the Harvey aid was packaged with: a three-month lift of the debt ceiling to let the U.S. Treasury borrow more money and a short-term budget that basically extends last year’s budget for another three months. As usual in Washington, the hang-up sits at the nexus of money and making a political statement about money.

The four Texas lawmakers who voted no all scrambled to make clear they support the government helping their state recover from rainfall totals so unprecedented that weather forecasters had to invent a new color for their maps. Earlier in the week, the entire Texas delegation voted for an $8 billion package for Harvey victims. After Trump made a deal with Democrats on the debt ceiling and budget, that original package died in the Senate, which instead passed a measure with the additional provisions. The House did the same Friday. Estimates for Harvey cleanup go as high as $150 billion.

The members who opposed the bill had the luxury of being able to prioritize their fiscal conservatism on this vote. None of the Texans who voted no represents a coastal area, and they could safely assume their votes wouldn’t actually put the aid package in danger. It easily passed the House 316-90…

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has become a symbol for the hard choice Republicans must make between helping people they serve recover from an expensive disaster and sticking to their financially conservative principles. Cruz, along with nearly the entire Texas Republican delegation, voted against Hurricane Sandy aid. He misleadingly claimed it was full of unrelated spending. But on Thursday, he and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) swallowed their concerns about what got tacked onto the aid package for their state and vote for it…

Same with Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.), who represents Corpus Christi, where the storm made landfall. He voted against Sandy aid, but before Friday’s Harvey vote, he appealed directly to his colleagues to vote yes…



Open Thread: Defending the DREAMers

This meets my criteria for the epitome of ‘mixed feelings’. Anything involving the Kochs, of course, needs to be critically examined for hidden pitfalls. On the other hand, if even these amoral monsters are standing up in defense of young people whose only crime was being born to the wrong parents… well, it is to be hoped that this indicates Steve Bannon, Steve Miller, and Rep. Steve King represent an extinction burst and not a successful revival of racism as a winning political tactic…

Spokespeople for the Koch network confirmed to The Daily Beast that it will press Congress for a legislative fix to the recently rescinded Obama-era program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that shielded undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children.

The Kochs’ backing could provide a crucial boost to efforts to preserve DACA, which Trump announced this week he will phase out over the course of six months. Congress has scrambled to find a replacement for those legal protections that are set to be removed. And Trump himself signaled early support for the DREAM Act, which would, essentially, codify the DACA protections that Obama had imposed via executive action…

With its formidable political and policy operation, the Koch network could provide more political cover to Republican members of Congress as they consider a replacement to the DACA program. Koch network alumni are sprinkled throughout Trump’s inner circle, and include White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short and Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who now advises a prominent independent political group supporting the president…



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Unreliable Narrator Legislator

At this precise moment, Trump has given the Democrats a major win by agreeing to a three-month government funding bill. Let us enjoy the feeling of triumph while it lasts.

Per Politico:

Donald Trump, who casts himself as a master negotiator, took the first offer Democrats put on the table.

Republicans left the Oval Office Wednesday stunned. Trump had quickly sided with Democrats on a short-term debt ceiling increase, even overruling his own Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to concur with “Chuck and Nancy,” as he later called them on Air Force One.

But Trump defied more than his top aides. He turned on Republican leaders in Congress when he caved to Democrats’ demands to raise the debt limit and fund the government for three months, setting up a brutal year-end fiscal cliff. The move shocked everyone, as top White House officials and GOP leaders had been gearing up to raise the debt ceiling through the 2018 midterm election, looking to pass legislation as soon as Friday.

But even after Mnuchin, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back on the Democratic demands in the meeting, Trump agreed to the three-month deal that will also head off the possibility of a government shutdown until mid-December.

During the meeting, Ryan sharply criticized the Democratic proposal, a source familiar with the exchange said. But Schumer reminded him that Ryan had supported short-term increases in the past intended to help create bipartisan deals in 2013…

Democratic leaders said Wednesday morning that they’d offer Trump their votes for a package delivering aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey and raising the debt ceiling only until mid-December. GOP leaders, eager to avoid multiple contentious votes on the debt ceiling, want to raise the debt ceiling through late 2018…

In other words, the Repubs wanted to put off the nasty ox-goring, nut-cutting fight until after the midterm elections, because such elections seldom favor the party in charge, especially when the Oval Office Occupant at the head of that party is as divisive and unpopular as Lord Smallgloves. Donald Trump may not know much, but he knows very well that the professional Republicans do not love and/or respect him nearly as much as he is convinced they should…


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