Wednesday Open Thread

#45’s KLAN rallies are inciting more racial hate.

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48 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Whoa! The girl put those those hands on her real good and quick. Stay in your lane and you won’t get an ass whupping….

  2. rikyrah says:


    Did you see this?

    Uncounted Kansas ballots fuel fears about Kobach’s proposals
    Associated Press
    AUGUST 23, 2017 7:22 AM

    A conservative firebrand promoting President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud oversees a Kansas election system that threw out at least three times as many ballots as any similarly sized state did, fueling concerns about massive voter suppression should its practices become the national standard.

    Only six states — all among the top 10 in population — discarded more votes during the 2016 election than the 33rd-largest state of Kansas, according to data collected by the bipartisan U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a federal agency that certifies voting systems. Kansas’ 13,717 rejected ballots even topped the 13,461 from Florida, which has about seven times as many residents.

    Critics of Kansas’ election system argue its unusually high number of discarded ballots reflects policies shaped over several elections that have resulted in many legitimate voters being kept off voter rolls in an effort to crack down on a few illegitimate ones.

    There is particular attention on Kansas now because its secretary of state, Kris Kobach, is co-chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The architect of strict election policies requiring voter ID and proof of citizenship, Kobach has suggested Kansas’ rules could become a national panacea for voter fraud, which Trump — without providing proof — blames for Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory.

  3. rikyrah says:

    If you haven’t seen these seven minutes with James Clapper, you MUST… and if you already have, see them again.
    — Fernand R. Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) August 23, 2017

  4. rikyrah says:

    Dr. Frankenstein didn’t like his creation, either
    08/23/17 10:20 AM—UPDATED 08/23/17 10:41 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump has spent a chunk of August publicly feuding with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), with the two Republican leaders trading thinly veiled rebukes. It’s all part of one of the year’s less expected political food fights.

    But privately, it’s reportedly much worse. We talked earlier about this New York Times piece, which raises the prospect of Trump obstructing justice by expecting McConnell to intervene in the investigation into the Russia scandal, but at a more basic level, we’re also learning that the Senate Majority Leader doesn’t appear to have confidence in his party’s president.


    The Times’ article added that McConnell has privately marveled at Trump’s unwillingness “to learn the basics of governing.” The Senate GOP leader has also “expressed a sense of bewilderment about where Mr. Trump’s presidency may be headed.”

    McConnell’s concerns are obviously grounded in fact, and on the surface, it’s tempting to feel some sympathy for him. But it’s important not to lose sight of the senator’s role in making the mess he finds himself in the middle of.

    Like Dr. Frankenstein, McConnell created a monster he thought he could control, only to discover he doesn’t care for the results.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Andy Slavitt lays it out:
    The current plan to hurt Obamacare by taking away money from blue states:

  6. rikyrah says:

    ICYMI about Russia:
    1. Steele revealed his sources
    2. The guy putting the dossier together
    a) gave all kinds of paperwork
    b) did 9 hours of testimony

  7. rikyrah says:

    JUST IN: Trump attacks Flake for being “weak on crime and border” one day after rally in Arizona
    — The Hill (@thehill) August 23, 2017

  8. rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    The Secret Service has agreed to stop erasing White House visitor log data while a lawsuit goes forward.
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 23, 2017

  9. rikyrah says:

    Trump special adviser Carl Icahn mired in self-dealing scandal
    Rachel Maddow explains how Donald Trump’s Special Adviser on Regulator Reform oversaw a part of the market that ultimately benefited him to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Trump risks obstruction charge pressuring McConnell on Russia…
    Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether Donald Trump’s reported pressuring of Mitch McConnell on the Trump Russia investigation constitutes an obstruction of justice.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Trump attacked McConnell on Russia investigation: NYT
    Rachel Maddow shares a new report from the New York Times about the strained relationship between Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell and notes that the intensifying Trump Russia investigation may be wearing on Trump as he risks another obstruction accusation.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Secretary of State suggests US may not win in Afghanistan
    08/23/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    When Donald Trump presented his new vision for U.S. policy in Afghanistan, the president frequently used the word “win.” For example, Trump declared when we dispatch American servicemen and women abroad, “we will always win.” He added, “I’m a problem solver and, in the end, we will win…. Our troops will fight to win. We will fight to win.”

    Subtle, this wasn’t.

    As the Washington Post reported, however, it didn’t take long before a leading voice from the president’s cabinet stepped all over that message.

    President Trump assured us Monday night – repeatedly – that the United States will win the war in Afghanistan. But his secretary of state would apparently like to set the bar considerably lower than that.

    In a classic case of Trump’s big talk running into stubborn realities – almost immediately – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday afternoon played down the idea that the U.S. military would walk away from Afghanistan with a victory.

    He addressed the Taliban directly: “You will not win a battlefield victory. We may not win one, but neither will you.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    On immigration, Trump has an offer Dems can easily refuse
    08/23/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    At a rally in Phoenix that served no real purpose last night, Donald Trump mentioned his idea for a border wall 17 times. In fact, the president appears convinced that this will happen. “We are building a wall on the southern border,” the Republican said, adding, “Believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall…. We’re going to have our wall. We’re going to get our wall…. Believe me, one way or the other, we’re going to get that wall.”

    The unpopular president’s confidence, however, cannot create political will where none exists. But the White House apparently has a plan, which McClatchy reported on yesterday:

    Donald Trump’s top aides are pushing him to protect young people brought into the country illegally as children – and then use the issue as a bargaining chip for a larger immigration deal – despite the president’s campaign vow to deport so-called Dreamers.

    The White House officials want Trump to strike an ambitious deal with Congress that offers Dreamers protection in exchange for legislation that pays for a border wall and more detention facilities, curbs legal immigration and implements E-verify, an online system that allows businesses to check immigration status, according to a half-dozen people familiar with situation, most involved with the negotiations.


    Except, it’s not really a trade-off in any meaningful sense, since Democrats have what they want: the DACA policy for young Dreamers already exists. Instead, it’s more of a hostage strategy: Trump is saying he’ll destroy DACA unless Congress approves all of the other goodies on his immigration wish list.

    Trump’s promises about Mexico paying for the wall are out. Trump looking for ways to force Congress to give him taxpayer dollars is in, even if he has to use hundreds of thousands of kids as leverage.

    Is there any chance Democrats would go along with such a scheme?

  14. rikyrah says:

    Trump wanted McConnell to ‘protect him’ from Russia scandal probe
    08/23/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 08/23/17 08:28 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump has clashed with Attorney General Jeff Sessions because the president expected the nation’s chief law-enforcement official to shield the White House from the investigation into the Russia scandal. Trump also clashed with former FBI Director James Comey – whom Trump ultimately fired – because the president wanted Comey to protect him from the same probe.

    And as Rachel noted on last night’s show, the New York Times reports that Trump has also clashed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for – you guessed it – not doing more to shield him from the investigation that threatens to derail his presidency.

    In a series of tweets this month, Mr. Trump criticized Mr. McConnell publicly, and berated him in a phone call that quickly devolved into a profane shouting match.

    During the call, which Mr. Trump initiated on Aug. 9 from his New Jersey golf club, the president accused Mr. McConnell of bungling the health care issue. He was even more animated about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Republicans briefed on the conversation.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Ryan balks at censuring Trump over racially inflammatory rhetoric
    08/22/17 12:51 PM
    By Steve Benen
    At a town-hall forum on CNN last night, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was willing to say Donald Trump was “wrong” when the president failed to fully condemn racist activists in Charlottesville. But a voter at the event pressed the Republican leader on going a step further.

    “Speaker Ryan, as the leader of the congressional Republicans, I’d like to ask you what concrete steps that you will take to hold the president accountable when his words and executive actions either implicitly or explicitly condone, if not champion, racism and xenophobia,” the Wisconsin voter said. “For example, will you support the resolution for censure?”

    This generated quick applause, though Ryan wouldn’t budge.

    “I will not support that. I think that would be – that would be so counterproductive. If we descend this issue into some partisan hack-fest, into some bickering against each other, and demean it down to some political food fight, what good does that do to unify this country? … So I think that would be the absolutely worst thing we should do.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    The US deportation system is verging on lawlessness
    Denise Gilman

    The deportation system verges on lawlessness. The rule of law requires that functioning tribunals arbitrate disputes fairly, efficiently and accurately. The immigration court system, which decides who will be deported and who may remain in the US, fails this test.

    Take a recent case handled by the immigration clinic at the University of Texas School of Law. Our client was a radio journalist from Honduras, where speaking out against government misdeeds is very likely to get you killed.

    Our client survived several assassination attempts before fleeing to the US and presenting himself at the border to seek asylum under US law. He was detained and eventually released to attend immigration court hearings.

    The government has taken an aggressive stance on immigration enforcement, detaining and seeking to deport in large numbers. Yet it has failed to provide adequate resources for adjudication of the resulting cases by the immigration courts, even though these courts must decide complicated issues, including legitimate claims to legal status.

  17. rikyrah says:

    * Greg Sargent says that Trump’s White House has developed an ugly new strategy.

    Trump must decide whether to continue Barack Obama’s executive action protecting the dreamers (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA)…

    …the Trump White House wants to use this population as a bargaining chip to compel Congress to fund a border wall, stepped-up deportations, cuts to legal immigration and a requirement that all employers use E-Verify. Evaluated solely on its own terms, this would be a truly awful deal for immigration advocates and Democrats: It would constitute giving the restrictionists a whole range of things they covet, in exchange for not removing protections from dreamers that even many Republicans are loath to see removed.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: Republican Cold War Heats Up as Trump Travels to Arizona
    A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

    by Nancy LeTourneau
    August 22, 2017

    * We already knew that the prospect for Trump and Republicans to pass any of their legislative agenda was slim to none. But then this happened…

    The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

    What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Mr. Trump’s cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership. Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him, and Mr. McConnell mobilizing to their defense.

  19. rikyrah says:

    The Only Thing Less Credible Than Trump is Everything Else
    by Martin Longman
    August 22, 2017

    I think Steve Kornacki is on the right track. He’s looking at the polling numbers for Trump and acknowledging that they look bad, but he’s noting that they also looked bad as election day drew near last year. In fact, the numbers then and now don’t really look much different. We all still want to know how Trump managed to win when most people thought he was unfit for the office. But we also need to ask whether he’s as strong today as he was last November when he was elected the president of the United States of America.

    Kornacki speculates that one explanation for Trump’s success and the surprise associated with it is that Hillary Clinton was almost equally unpopular. Kornacki also wonders whether the media is so hated that their relentless moral condemnations of Trump only served to make him more popular. And, likewise, maybe the near unanimity with which our celebrity culture condemned Trump and the contemptuous way they talked about him and his supporters made him look good by comparison. Kornacki doesn’t mention it, but it’s also true that Congress is almost unimaginably unpopular, which makes anyone who picks a fight with them the likely winner.

    I suspect all of this played a part and can help us understand our political culture a little better. People are simply underestimating how much the American people dislike our politicians, our media, and the Democrats’ message and messengers, which makes us wrongly conclude that these groups have more credibility and appeal than they do.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Will Barack Obama Step in to Lead the Resistance?
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    August 23, 2017

    Not many people have been more articulate than Adam Gopnik in describing the particular threat posed by the presidency of Donald Trump. That’s why I feel the need to at least take him seriously when he proscribes something that he thinks would mitigate the damage, as he did in his most recent column.

    Will Obama step forward to help lead the opposition to Trump?…

    What the dissenting, or “resisting,” side needs is exactly what Obama can help supply: principled leadership from as close to a universally respected figure as one could hope to find. At a moment when the leadership of the congressional Democrats is desperately uninspired, and the next generation of liberal voices has yet to emerge or remains uncertain of purpose, the opposition is in need of real leadership, meaning what real leadership always is: a voice of reason lit by passion.

    I thought of that when I read what Martin wrote recently about how the only thing less credible than Trump is everything else. It’s true that there are no elected Democratic leaders that the majority of the country is willing to embrace as the alternative to Trump. But Gopnik is right, Obama fills that bill. Even as Republicans chose to fight him every step of the way, he managed to show what competence in the White House and federal bureaucracy could look like. Few of us have forgotten all that and the temptation to compare the current administration unfavorably to that record is only growing by the day.

    I spent almost the last decade studying Barack Obama. My efforts were not so much about defending him as they were an attempt to try to understand him—something I thought that most pundits failed to do. So when I read what Gopnik wrote, I once again tried to approach it from the standpoint of “what would Obama say in response to that suggestion.” I can’t claim to know, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The President of Blank Sucking Nullity
    David Roth, August 22
    From a-hole to b-hole, Trump explained

    … It is not quite fair to say that Donald Trump lacks core beliefs, but to the extent that we can take apart these beliefs they amount to Give Donald Trump Your Money and Donald Trump Should Really Be on Television More. The only comprehensible throughline to his politics is that everything Trump says is something he’s said previously, with additional very’s and more-and-more’s appended over time; his worldview amounts to the sum of the dumb shit he saw on the cover of the New York Post in 1985, subjected to a few decades of rancid compounding interest and deteriorating mental aptitude. He watches a lot of cable news, but he struggles to follow even stories that have been custom built for people like him—old, uninformed, amorphously if deeply aggrieved.

    There’s a reason for this. Trump doesn’t know anything or really believe anything about any topic beyond himself, because he has no interest in any topic beyond himself; his evident cognitive decline and hyperactive laziness and towering monomania ensure that he will never again learn a new thing in his life. He has no friends and no real allies; his inner circle is divided between ostensibly scandalized cynics and theatrically shameless ones, all of whom hold him in low regard and see him as a potential means to their individuated ends. There is no help on the way; his outer orbit is a rotation of replacement-level rage-grandpas and defective, perpetually clammy operators.…

    To understand Trump is also to understand his appeal as an aspirational brand to the worst people in the United States. What his intransigent admirers like most about him—the thing they aspire to, in their online cosplay sessions and their desperately thirsty performances for a media they loathe and to which they are so helplessly addicted—is his freedom to be unconcerned with anything but himself. This is not because he is rich or brave or astute; it’s because he is an asshole, and so authentically unconcerned. The howling and unreflective void at his core will keep him lonely and stupid until the moment a sufficient number of his vital organs finally resign in disgrace, but it liberates him to devote every bit of his being to his pursuit of himself. Actual hate and actual love, as other people feel them, are too complicated to fit into this world. In their place, for Trump and for the people who see in him a way of being that they are too busy or burdened or humane to pursue, are the versions that exist in a lower orbit, around the self. Instead of hate, there is simple resentment—abject and valueless and recursively self-pitying; instead of love, there is the blank sucking nullity of vanity and appetite…

  22. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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