Open Thread Dec. 15: Public Opinion Be Damned

Filed in National by on December 15, 2017

When it comes to the tax bill, the Republican Party is damned if it does, even its members think they’re damned if they don’t. Michael Tomasky goes to the research, which shows that the GOP’s two big priorities — killing Obamacare and giving an enormous tax cut to the rich — are the two least popular bills of the modern Congressional era.

Delaware Democrats made a big show of introducing a ban on bump stocks on the anniversary of the Connecticut school shootings. This is one of those bills that won’t accomplish a lot if passed, but is sure to generate lots of noise and controversy on its way.

Rather than fix its problem with the state’s school funding formula, the geniuses who helped destroy the Christina school district now want the state to have the authority to boot duly elected school board members for — well, it doesn’t really matter, does it? A state that has no way to recall elected officials incapable of performing their jobs — Karen Weldin Stewart and Karen Hartley-Nagle spring immediately to mind — ought to fix its own wagon first, doncha think?

Senate Republicans seem to have come to their senses about some of Trump’s worst judicial nominees, but the bad news is that a dozen have already been confirmed. That’s not even counting this guy, who couldn’t answer basic legal questions at his hearing yesterday.

The wife of disgraced Kentucky con man/preacher/politician Dan Johnson, who killed himself as the truth closed in, has a true-believing sap in his ex-wife, who claims she will fight this “high-tech lynching” by running for his office. If you didn’t read the story about him from the investigative reporting group that took him down, you’ll know how sad and pathetic this is.

Speaking of sad and pathetic, Donny Deutsch of MSNBC, who has known Trump for years, says the Secret Service has been reduced to warming up the room for the president when he visits his golf courses, warning guests, “When you speak to the president, be positive.”

Finally, the #metoo movement has already cleared a shark or two –Al Franken squeezed a woman’s waist during a photo! — but this heartfelt, empty-headed discussion of how we should look at centuries of art when it’s so obviously the product of the male gaze carries the reader over an entire ocean of them.

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  1. mediawatch says:

    The school board removal bill is an abomination. Paul Baumbach, for whom I have considerable respect, should be ashamed of himself.
    The General Assembly can start considering recall procedures for school board members AFTER it grants citizens the power to recall members of the legislature in the middle of their terms.

  2. Arthur says:

    if they wanted to have a real discussion of art in this time of sexual harassment they need to clear all shelves of superhero comic books.

  3. nathan arizona says:

    RE: the art story — At this rate, anything that has ever been produced in the history of the world that does not follow current (or hoped-for) societal norms will have to go. That’s most of it. I guess it’s not only Stalinists and the like who want to make inconvenient history disappear. That said, I’d move along pretty fast if I came across that Balthus painting in a gallery.

  4. john kowalko says:

    I was recently contacted to sign on to a piece of legislation that purports to set up a system for removal of elected persons from their positions as locally elected school board members. This legislation is a frightening overreach of authority, poorly thought out, and constitutionally questionable. I therefore took it upon myself to raise the public awareness of this proposal and how it could compromise and negate the intentions and wishes of the voters who elected said board members and would place their fates in the hands of an unelected, gubernatorial board that might have no allegiance to the voting public’s wishes. Therefore I am posting this message that I sent to all of my colleagues and the Governor. Please share as you feel appropriate.
    I sent the following inquiry to Representative Baumbach and Senator Sokola. I received a response from Representative Baumbach that he would not discuss the motives nor intentions of this proposed legislation so I am forwarding the same missive to all members of the Delaware General Assembly. It follows:
    “I suspect that this proposed legislation, being circulated for signatures by Representative Baumbach and Senator Sokola, may impose a constitutionally challenged contradiction to decisions made by the voters of Delaware. To suggest that an Executive branch (Governor appointed and unelected) board should have the authority to overturn the decision of the voting public disregards both separation of powers and constitutional rights of those elected. If either of the two sponsors or the promoters of such a piece of legislation have a problem with individual board members (as seems to be the case here) then they should come up with a lawful process attended to by lawful entities. This is the type of overreach that causes the public to doubt the sincerity and legitimacy of the laws we create and pass. I hope the sponsors of this proposed legislation will quickly withdraw this legislation.
    I would also ask the sponsors of this legislation to explain to me and my fellow legislators what has provoked them to solicit sponsors to support such draconian action. Perhaps Rep. Baumbach or Senator Sokola can give us examples of purported or actual wrongdoing by former or current board members. I would also suggest that the sponsors divulge who solicited such legislation/authority. That might allay suspicions that this is simply an effort to coerce and silence board members, specifically board members who have criticized some of this Administration’s plans. I respectfully await a reply from the sponsors before I will consider adding my name and suggest that all my colleagues do the same”.
    I would gladly sit down and have a dialogue about creating a legitimate recall process with a serious due process contingent on the fact that it would apply to “ALL DELAWARE ELECTED OFFICIALS” and not a limited number of office holders who could be intimidated or coerced by this fanciful offering that appears to seek control over the electorates wishes. It has to involve input from the public (e.g., petition signatures), contain due process guarantees, and apply to all elected offices and all appointed school board members (e.g., charters and State Boards).

    Representative John Kowalko

  5. Dave says:

    ISIS spent a lot of time and explosives doing the same thing in the Middle East. I always thought there were very few constraints on the freedom offend, but considering what has taken place in the universities and now the art world, I suppose I was mistaken.

    I always thought that Hirst’s Mother and Child (Divided) and Serrano’s Piss Christ were pretty offensive (and really not even art in my view). But I wouldn’t dream of constraining anyone from producing that crap, nor could I dream of a world where it such “art” became socially unacceptable because it triggered someone. There may be limits to the freedom of expression, but we should be very careful of where that line is drawn.

  6. puck says:

    (Wo)man bites dog:

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A female congressional candidate dropped out of the Kansas race Friday over a 12-year-old lawsuit accusing her of sexually harassing a male subordinate…