Monday Open Thread

Happy Monday, Everyone

Your Thoughts?

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82 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    The most dangerous man in Washington
    By Catherine Rampell
    Opinion writer July 31 at 7:49 PM

    Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the most dangerous White House official of them all?


    To be sure, all these aides and bureaucrats are doing damage. They are degrading norms, enacting bad policy and putting our country and planet at grave risk.

    But right now the “most dangerous” title belongs — aside from the tweeter in chief, of course — to someone in a much less sexy job, with a much less scandalous background.

    It’s Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

    In terms of both immensity and immediacy, the threat Mulvaney presents is far greater than any of the slow-motion train wrecks happening elsewhere in the administration. That’s because he seems hell-bent on wreaking a global crisis within the next two months.

    Not a century from now. Not a decade from now. In two months.

    That’s when the government will run out of money needed to pay bills Congress has already incurred, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, if Congress does not act to raise the debt limit.

    What would follow? Just a constitutional, political and global financial crisis.

    Arguably, the U.S. government would be in violation of the 14th Amendment (“The validity of the public debt of the United States . . . shall not be questioned”). The government’s ability to continue paying Social Security checks, interest on the debt and other basic obligations would likewise be at risk.

    Most important, this would irrevocably destroy the United States’ sterling reputation as a borrower.

    U.S. debt is considered the safest of safe assets, and as such, Treasury securities are the benchmark of the global financial system. Causing creditors to question whether they’ll receive full and timely payments would trigger panic in markets throughout the world.

    Technically, we already hit the debt ceiling in March. In the months since, Treasury has engaged in extraordinary accounting measures to avoid outright default. But come early fall, those measures will be exhausted. The United States will become a deadbeat.

    Mnuchin has urged Congress to pass a debt-limit hike with no strings attached. The government would thereby dodge default with minimal drama and without spooking markets.

    But Mulvaney has other plans.

    During his six years in Congress, he voted against raising the debt limit four times. One might hope he was merely posturing, since he was able to cast such votes with the knowledge that his colleagues would ultimately pass the bills.

    Unfortunately, as OMB director, Mulvaney has continued to be breathtakingly irresponsible with the creditworthiness of the United States.

    In May, he publicly contradicted Mnuchin by arguing that a debt-ceiling increase should be coupled with divisive spending cuts, which would inevitably complicate an already politically fraught process.

    And on Sunday, he told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Congress must not pass any legislation — not even a debt-ceiling hike — until the notoriously impossible Obamacare repeal is done. President Trump echoed this thinking on Twitter as well.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Joe Arpaio found guilty of criminal contempt of court today. Kris Kobach gave Arpaio unlawful deportation authority
    — Ari Berman (@AriBerman) July 31, 2017

    Kobach blocked 30,000+ Kansans from registering to vote & now wants to take voter suppression plans national
    — Ari Berman (@AriBerman) July 31, 2017

    • majiir says:

      It’s too bad that Arpaio’s “Tent City” has been dismantled. It would have been the perfect place for him to serve his sentence. He would have enjoyed the heat, the bologna sandwiches, the pink underwear, and the thugs who lived there who were permitted to beat up other prisoners and get away with it. LOL.

  3. rikyrah says:

    According to the FCC, 39% of rural Americans — 23 million people — don’t have internet access. via @BrentNYT
    — Arapaho415 (@arapaho415) July 30, 2017

  4. rikyrah says:

    An updated Obamacare map — with new OH entrants, we’re down to 19 counties with zero carriers. Mostly in NV, a few in IN.
    — Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) July 31, 2017

  5. rikyrah says:

    Some good news for Obamacare in Ohio: insurers will fill 19 of the state’s empty 20 counties.
    — Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) July 31, 2017

  6. Michael Flynn: 24 days
    Sean Spicer: 182 days
    Reince Priebus: 189 days
    Anthony Scaramucci: 10 days

    So much winning….

  7. rikyrah says:

    Breaking News: Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor, is dead at 73
    — The New York Times (@nytimes) July 31, 2017

  8. Remember, Trump said do not be nice and take your hand away when you put him in the police car.

    • Liza says:

      The Reality Show Presidency is in full swing.

      • Ametia says:

        Right Turn Opinion
        Trump’s not really president — he just plays one on TV

        President Trump has discovered that the position is less powerful than he imagined. Actually, he has made the presidency less powerful not only because the other branches are pushing back but also because the executive branch itself often seems to be humoring him.

        We’ve seen that courts — on the travel ban and on his attack on so-called sanctuary cities — have robustly checked the president when he has acted against the Constitution. Congress has also been legislatively uncooperative. The Senate (for now) has sunk his grandiose, amorphous plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with “a health care” that Trump promises will be wonderful. Meanwhile, Congress sent him a Russia sanctions bill he plainly did not want. Yes, Congress has rubber-stamped judicial nominees and virtually all Cabinet nominees (several dropped out) and failed to challenge him on conflicts of interest and possible emoluments-clause violations, but the Senate Intelligence Committee presses ahead with the Russia investigation, despite the president’s claim that it is a “witch hunt.” Congress has ignored his ludicrous budget proposals — refusing to fund his wall or to embrace his massive cuts to domestic programs. His threats fall on deaf ears.

        More interesting is the degree to which the executive branch, including the military, has learned to shrug its shoulders, roll its eyes and simply ignore the president.


    GUILTY: Judge rules in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s criminal contempt case

  10. Breaking News!

    Trump’s new communications director Anthony Scaramucci is OUT at the White House.

    Chaos, y’all. Chaos!

  11. Haley and her cousin Taylor at the other Granny’s house ( GREAT GRANNY) celebrating Father’s Day. She’s 12 now & taller than I am. Wow!

    I love the summer breeze and the Spinners music in the background….

    • Ametia says:


      Just have to assume that anyone that hitches their wagon to the Cheetos’ horse ain’t worth shit.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Trump loyalist sees last week’s failures as a great success
    07/31/17 10:42 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Donald Trump hasn’t had many good weeks as president, but by any fair measure, last week seemed especially brutal.

    The president demanded that Senate Republicans pass a health care bill, and they did not. He banned transgender Americans from serving in the military, and the decision immediately faced bipartisan pushback. The drama surrounding the White House staff reached a meltdown stage, culminating in the humiliating departure of the president chief of staff.

    Trump picked a pointless fight with his own attorney general, and congressional Republicans were quick to take Jeff Sessions’ side in the dispute. The president faced pushback from police departments nationwide after he delivered a speech in which he endorsed police abuses.

    And the Boy Scouts felt compelled to issue a public apology after Trump’s antics embarrassed the organization.

    Despite all of these events unfolding over the course of about five days, the Wall Street Journal reports that some of the president’s more sycophantic allies were actually quite impressed with last week’s developments.

    Rep. Chris Collins (R., N.Y.), the first member of Congress to endorse Mr. Trump, said that instead of turbulence, Mr. Trump last week “had one of the best weeks he has ever had.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    The Limits and Dangers of Trump’s Need to Dominate
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    July 31, 2017

    To the extent that we can distance ourselves from the daily indignities of the Trump persona, we have the opportunity to observe an unqualified display of dominance as the foundational principle in relationships, be they personal, political or global. That is essentially what Jeet Heer is talking about when he writes about the rise of the “New York douchbag” persona in the White House.

    In most administrations, Scaramucci’s public badmouthing of his colleagues would be a major liability, likely a fireable offense. But Trump operates from a different set of rules—the same rules, it would seem, that Scaramucci operates from. Reading his rant to The New Yorker, it was hard not to recall the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasts about sexually assaulting women: “You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy.” Indeed, Scaramucci is a sort of mini-Trump: brash, hyper-masculine, bro-loyal, sexually crass, and street smart, perhaps, but not actually smart…

    The New York douchebag thrives throughout the tri-state area, particularly in New Jersey and the outer boroughs of the city proper. Usually white, he is belligerent, garrulous, ruthlessly competitive, and excessively confident in his persuasive abilities. He is also hypersensitive; the smallest perceived slight will trigger a full-scale defense of his pride. He demands to be respected at all times.


    Foer zeros in on the misogyny involved in how Trump treats women, and he is right to do so. But that is part of the overall package of dominance as an approach to every relationship. The big picture is the use of dominance as a way to win, which is all that matters and can only be achieved at someone else’s expense.

    We’ve all been living in a culture that defines dominance as the only real form of power for a very long time. But it finds its purest distillation in men like Trump and Scaramucci. That is why we are in the midst of a lesson on its limits…if we are willing to observe and learn.

    We’ve already witnessed many examples of how an approach based on unqualified dominance fails. I am reminded of the time when the House Freedom Caucus was threatening to not support Obamacare repeal. Mike Allen told the story of Steve Bannon’s failed approach.

  14. Ametia says:
  15. My leg is feeling much better. Lets pray it stays that way.

  16. Bringing this back just because…..

    🎶🎶You can kiss my black ass….. I-M-P-E-A-C-…H-…M.E.N.T. 🎶🎶

  17. Black folks, y’all! Reclaiming My Time Gospel Version

  18. rikyrah says:

    The Real Story Behind a Romney Aide’s Challenge to Elizabeth Warren
    by D.R. Tucker
    July 30, 2017

    So, is this the best the Massachusetts Republican Party can offer?

    Longtime Republican operative Beth Lindstrom, a former senior aide to Mitt Romney and manager of Scott Brown’s victorious Senate campaign, said Wednesday she is considering a challenge to US Senator Elizabeth Warren.

    Lindstrom has held a series of conversations with top state Republicans about the prospect of seeking the party nomination and is leaning toward running, according to several people familiar with her thinking.

    “I am actively exploring a run for US Senate,” Lindstrom wrote in an e-mail. “I’m a wife and mother with three kids who cares deeply about our state and where we are heading as a country. So much of our politics these days is pointless bickering.

    “We need a senator who will work with people of all political stripes to make progress for Massachusetts.”

    Of course, Massachusetts already has a senator “who will work with people of all political stripes to make progress for Massachusetts,” but Lindstrom is a Republican, which means she won’t let inconvenient facts get in the way.

    Of course, there’s a transparent political calculation behind this run–a calculation that involves the Bay State’s Republican Governor, Charlie Baker:

    Like Kingston, Lindstrom would represent the Romney/Baker wing of the party, while [pro-Trump GOP Senate candidates Shiva] Ayyadurai and [Geoff] Diehl have carved out more populist profiles. Republicans acknowledge that Warren, a leading national figure on the left, poses a tough challenge for whomever emerges from the GOP primary in 2018.

    Richard Tisei, a former state Senate minority leader who was Baker’s running mate during an unsuccessful 2010 campaign, called Lindstrom “a formidable candidate.”

    But he said Diehl was “the odds-on favorite” to win the primary, where the party’s more hard-core conservatives generally vote. The more right-leaning grass-roots also wield tremendous influence at the party convention earlier in the year.

  19. rikyrah says:

    If you want to make sure people don’t get kicked off Medicaid needlessly, submit a comment to this link:
    — Emma Sandoe (@emma_sandoe) July 28, 2017

  20. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s respect for military valor is, at best, haphazard
    07/31/17 10:01 AM—UPDATED 07/31/17 10:04 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Donald Trump announced via tweet on Friday that retired Gen. John Kelly, who’s served for months as heads of the Department of Homeland Security, will be taking over as the new White House chief of staff. A Washington Post report noted in passing that the staffing move reflects the president’s appreciation for decorated military service.

    Throughout his life, Trump has venerated military valor, and he recruited several generals into his administration, including Kelly.

    I wish this were true, but the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.

    On the surface, Trump tends to honor military service the way a child might: he seems to think it’s cool to be around those who served. The more impressive the service record, and the higher the military rank, the more Trump wants to be associated with the bravery others have shown.

    But below the surface, the picture turns darker. Far from venerating military valor, Trump is on record mocking prisoners of war, saying he likes those “who weren’t captured.”

    Trump, who avoided military service during the Vietnam War, also said he “felt” like he’d served in the military because his parents sent him to a military-themed boarding school as a teenager. The Republican went so far as to boast that his expensive prep school gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

    Trump was caught lying about his financial support for veterans’ charities. He’s claimed more than once that he understands counter-terrorism better than American generals. He’s one of the few politicians in modern American life to publicly mock a Gold Star family.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Reminder: Trump’s CSR cut-off threat blackmails REPUBLICANS, not DEMOCRATS whether he knows it or not:
    — ☪️ Charles Gaba ✡️ (@charles_gaba) July 31, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    Russians outraged over new US sanctions
    Richard Engel talks with Russian Senator Andrey Klimov about why Russians feels U.S. sanctions are unfair, unjust, and illegal.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Russia quick to cover tracks after 2016 election
    Richard Engel reports on how Russia was quick to arrest people who may have had knowledge of, or involvement in, interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Russian goal of US chaos already accomplished
    Richard Engel reports on how, regardless of whether collusion with the Trump campaign is ever proven, Russia’s goal of sowing chaos and doubt in the American system is already working

  25. rikyrah says:

    Russian Kaspersky Lab faces new scrutiny, suspicion
    Richard Engel talks with Eugene Kaspersky, whose Kaspersky Lab anti-virus software is widely used around the world, including the United States, and who has come under increasing scrutiny and suspicion for his ties to Russian intelligence.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Trump faces pushback after endorsing police abuses
    07/31/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen


    But in a familiar pattern, a variety of police departments responded to Trump’s comments by making clear they disagree with his endorsement of abuses. BuzzFeed noted:

    President Donald Trump’s apparent suggestion that police officers be “rough” with suspects in custody is facing sharp criticism from law enforcement agencies across the country, with police chiefs from California to Florida and New York condemning the president’s remarks as an irresponsible encouragement of excessive force. […]

    Within a few hours, the Suffolk County Police Department was already distancing itself from Trump’s remarks, saying in a statement that the agency would “not tolerate roughing up prisoners.” Other police departments were similarly quick to rebuke the quip, warning that the apparent urging of the use of force could erode already fragile relationships between law enforcement and the public and set back efforts to address problems of police brutality.

    This was an encouraging reaction to a president whose approach to the rule of law is increasingly dangerous. But there’s a larger takeaway for others to keep in mind:

    Stop inviting Donald Trump to your events. Not to put too fine a point on this, but the president has shown he often doesn’t know how to behave himself in public settings. The Boy Scouts, of all organizations, had to apologize for Trump’s antics last week, which came on the heels of a controversial event in which the president tried to recruit active-duty troops into a White House lobbying campaign.

  27. rikyrah says:

    HHS’s Price gives members the wrong advice about health care
    07/31/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump’s far-right secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, was a guest on “Meet the Press” yesterday, and NBC’s Chuck Todd asked the former Georgia congressman to reflect on the state of play after the latest Republican failure on health care.

    CHUCK TODD: Look, you were an elected official. You know how politics works. You know how to count votes. You know where the votes are. It’s pretty clear a full repeal can’t be done. It’s pretty clear somehow rescinding the Medicaid expansion, that the support is not there. So what’s realistic? What are you asking Congress to do now? What is one thing that you want Congress to do right now that’s doable, that’s realistic that can help you implement the affordable care act better?

    SECRETARY TOM PRICE: Well, what we want Congress to do is to go home and talk to their constituents.

    I don’t think that’s what the Trump administration wants at all. In fact, that’s almost certainly what Democrats want – because if members “go home and talk to their constituents,” the GOP’s regressive health care plans almost certainly won’t come back.

    Note, for example, that when Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) flew home on Friday, she was greeted with a round of spontaneous applause at the Bangor airport. She said yesterday, “It was just amazing…. It was very encouraging and affirming, especially arriving back home after a very difficult time.”

    Are these the constituents Tom Price wants the senator to listen to?

    What amazes me is the willingness of Trump and members of his team to pretend there’s meaningful public demand for a far-right Republican health care plan. Price may not realize this, but Americans, including a whole lot of voters on the right, have rejected GOP proposals by overwhelming margins.

    As we noted two weeks ago, it is no exaggeration to say the Republican health care measures are the most unpopular bills considered by Congress in the last three decades.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Anatomy of the Trump presidency

    In an earlier article in this newspaper (“Understanding the Trump phenomenon,” August 5, 2016), I suggested that it was necessary to take Donald Trump’s candidacy and its implications more seriously than many were doing then. Six months into the Trump presidency, the American media remains fascinated with the new “reality show” that has entered the White House.

    As every small skirmish, move and tweet is given inordinate scrutiny and attention, it is easy however to lose sight of the big picture.


    The fourth point is more crucial still, and concerns the projection of American power abroad. Since the end of the Cold War, and the emergence of the unipolar American-dominated system around 1990, speculation has gone on regarding the nature of potential challenges to it. These could come from other state-systems, such as China, or the European Union, or from unclassifiable systems and forms, such as al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. But few could have predicted that the real challenge would come from within the U.S. itself. Yet, this is what has happened. The Trump administration appears singularly unconcerned with, and inept in dealing with, foreign policy, and after all its core internal constituency is firmly ‘isolationist’ in its inclinations. The State Department is today in utter disarray. The Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is from the petroleum industry and seems out of his depth; so that rumours even surface regularly of his imminent resignation.

    Based on the past six months, it seems likely that by 2020, the systematic projection of American power on a global scale would have shrunk considerably.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Mulvaney says the Senate should table everything else, including the debt ceiling, until they go back to healthcare:
    — Conor Sen (@conorsen) July 30, 2017

  30. rikyrah says:

    The Governor of Maryland just signed a bipartisan bill making it easier for people to vote by absentee ballot.
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 31, 2017

  31. rikyrah says:

    #TheResistance is now the largest demographics in America.
    And growing.
    — Jamie #Resistance ❄️ (@JCTheResistance) July 30, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄 😄

  33. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone.

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