Side Note Open Thread: Roger Stone, Less Than Meets the Eye

Kudos to Media Matters for spotting this, which might’ve gotten some traction this morning if Trump hadn’t decided to start calling for his supporters to shoot people:

QUESTIONER: With regard to the October surprise, what would be your forecast on that given what Julian Assange has intimated he’s going to do?

ROGER STONE: Well, it could be any number of things. I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.

Stone was working for Richard Nixon when the original October surprise may or may not have tipped the election to the Repubs (at the cost of many innocent lives, but what does that matter to the GOP?). He’s never stopped using that particular street-cred tidbit to inflate his resume, and his fees. Anybody can say he’s “communicated” with Assange — if you include public comments about the man, half the people on this blog have ‘communicated’ with Assange — but anything beyond posting YAY JULIAN YOU GO GUY on social media implies (a) Roger Stone has access; (b) Julian Assange cares about what Roger Stone wants; (c) Julian Assange can be asked/forced/bargained into compliance with anyone’s agenda other than Julian Assange’s (if that). It’s bullshit, fed to an audience eager to pay for it.

In semi-related news, I still {heart} my senior Senator…

I’m collecting tweets about “Second Amendment solutions” for an aggregation post later tonight, incidentally. Brace yourselves…



Elizabeth Warren & Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati

Let’s see if this CNN clip will work (looks fine on my screen, but who knos the ways of FYWP?). Just in case, here’s the link.

Separate videos (where I saw this first) available at Mother Jones:

Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren took a little trip to Ohio today to see the sights, do some antiquing, and eviscerate Donald Trump…

They have a pretty good buddy cop situation going on here. Maybe Clinton will make her VP after all?

Sigh. Why must y’all keep trying to steal my senior Senator? (Yes, I will most certainly reconcile myself if necessary, but I’d love to see Senator Warren leading the Senate under President Clinton.)

Local news outlet Cleveland.com:

Standing under large art deco murals of workers at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, Clinton and Warren called for regulations on Wall Street, punishing companies that send jobs overseas, making college debt-free and raising taxes on the rich…

“We’ve got to go big and we’ve got to go bold,” Clinton said to a crowd of hundreds, their loud cheers amplified in the cavernous terminal lobby. “We need to take the frustration, the fear, the anxiety and yes, the anger. And after we have vented it, we’ve got to work together.”

Clinton pledged: “I will not raise taxes on the middle class. But we are going to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy.”
Read more



Thursday Evening Open Thread: Be of Good Cheer!

From the hometown paper, the Boston Globe:

Senator Elizabeth Warren is planning to endorse Hillary Clinton tonight in an appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, according to a Warren adviser.

Warren moved up her timeline to endorse Clinton — she had initially planned to do it next week…

Apart from some hard-earned celebration, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Open Thread: Good Work, Senator Warren!

Senator Elizabeth Warren went to the Senate floor on June 8, 2016 to call for unanimous consent votes for 15 federal district court nominees who have moved through the Judiciary Committee but have not been scheduled confirmation votes by the Republican majority. Senator Mitch McConnell objected to the unanimous consent request.

Listen to the whole thing. *This* is why we need to keep Elizabeth Warren in the Senate.

Orrin Hatch gets a cameo, looking like a man who’s just been given a choice between a colonoscopy without anesthesia and a total orchiectomy. And (yes!) in her closing statement, Sen. Warren goes there…



Open Thread: Speak Softly, Punch Hard

As I may have said before, I {heart} my senior Senator! From that NPR interview:

Because Warren is a woman who holds the press at arm’s length, it might have seemed a touch ironic when Democratic Leader Harry Reid chose her to be the messenger for the progressive wing of the party. Warren stepped into that leadership position barely two years into her first term.

Reid said Warren is simply strategic about when to speak.

“She’s an effective messenger because, No. 1, she doesn’t talk very much,” said Reid. “I find — maybe I’m being judgmental — but I think when people talk too much, their message is lost. She doesn’t talk very much. But when she talks, people listen.”

Reid says even during internal caucus meetings, Warren is very quiet. She speaks up with her colleagues only in deliberate moments.

“People think she’s a big talker. She isn’t,” said Reid. “In our caucus, I have some people who raise their hands all the time. They want to be recognized. But not Elizabeth.”

And her supporters say that strategic use of her influence has made her a powerful validator in the caucus — someone who can breathe new life into a cause simply by jumping on, whether it’s Wall Street reform, expanding Social Security or reducing student debt…

She doesn’t just launch issues. Democrats say she can also launch candidates. Warren is one of the top fundraisers in her caucus. During the 2014 midterms, she raked in more than $6 million for Democratic Senate, House and gubernatorial candidates and party committees.

This election cycle, Warren’s Leadership PAC has given away about a quarter-million dollars; her office says that amount represents just a small portion of her overall fundraising efforts so far, which include fundraising events, campaign appearances and — most important — emails…



Monday Evening Open Thread: Don’t Mourn, Organize!

Presumably related, from The Nation:

The gig economy has not been an enormous issue on the campaign trail, and legislators in Congress haven’t attempted to address it in any comprehensive way. But Thursday in Washington, Senator Elizabeth Warren waded into the debate with a lengthy policy speech at the annual New America conference in which she said it’s time to “rethink the basic bargain for workers who produce much of the value in this economy.”

Warren’s essential point is that for all the talk about Uber, ride-sharing apps and their brethren are only part of a larger, destructive trend toward classifying workers as part-time. “Long before anyone ever wrote an article about the ‘gig economy,’ corporations had discovered the higher profits they could wring out of an on-demand workforce made up of independent contractors,” Warren said. Indeed, 53 million Americans—one in three workers—is a freelancer

Warren sees the gig economy as more of a symptom than a cause. “The gig economy has become a stopgap for some workers who can’t make ends meet in a weak labor market,” she said. “For many, the gig economy is simply the next step in a losing effort to build some economic security in a world where all the benefits are floating to the top 10 percent.” …

Her proposals: Improve the safety net (expanded Social Security, a new system of catastrophic insurance coverage), make employee benefits portable, and increase regulation & clarify laws around part-time work. As described at the link, all of these proposals are nicely calculated to make Kochsuckers and other Republicans fall down in foaming fits. Which is a good short-term goal on its own, but they’re also important steps towards stopping the relentless erosion of the middle class for the benefit of the Zero-Point-One Percent.

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Apart from agitating, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



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.