Open Thread Jan. 23: How to Fold a Rat

Filed in National, Open Thread by on January 23, 2018

So did Senate Democrats execute a simple, classic, cardboard-suitcase fold, or did Chuck Schumer craft some eleventy-dimensional origami?

Lots of people are lamenting the seeming spinelessness, cursing the Gang of 30 as centrist appeasers. Digging deeper, some pundits claim this shifts the pressure to Trump. Some point out they had no choice because while the public supports the Dreamers, it didn’t support shutting down the government over them, and polling was starting to show it. Some pointed to CHIP funding as a victory, for both moral and strategic reasons. Some pointed to the long game, and the risk to McConnell and the GOP of open debate and votes on amendments.

What do I think? They were getting clobbered on the messaging. I think they turned a weak hand into CHIP funding, which is better than nothing, and I assume Schumer has a plan for three weeks from now.

Reality in Washington is why “Veep” is no longer in production. The story that made the rounds once the shutdown ended involved the “talking stick” Sen. Susan Collins used to control sometimes-heated discussion during negotiations in her office — so heated that one senator, later identified as Republican Lamar Alexander, threw the stick hard toward Democrat Mark Warner but instead struck and damaged a decorative glass elephant. The upshot is that I now see Lamar Alexander as a plaid-shirted Roger Furlong.

Huge news concerning our neighbor to the north: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the state’s congressional district map is gerrymandered in a way that violates the state constitution, and ruled new maps must be put in place before the May primaries. This is, frankly, insane, given that people already are running in the existing districts, but whatever comes out of the chaos is almost guaranteed to help Democrats, who currently hold only 8 of the state’s 21 seats. Republicans hold 12, with a special election scheduled for March for a western Pa. seat vacated by Tim Murphy, the anti-abortion Republican who pressured his mistress to get an abortion. That election will be allowed to proceed.

Josh Marshall has some interesting thoughts about “Fire and Fury,” mainly that the same combination of hubris and incompetence Wolff chronicles is what allowed him access to it all in the first place.

If you need a new washing machine, buy it fast. Trump just slapped new tariffs on washing machines and solar panels.

The steady shrinkage of the industrial-scale brewing industry has led to a strange situation in the beer market: The three best-selling beers in the country are all light beers — Bud, Coors and Miller, in that order. Budweiser, the longtime No. 1 beer in the country, is now down to No. 4.

Oh, in case you really wanted to know, here’s a Youtube tutorial on how to fold an origami rat.

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  1. Superior Court decision on standing went in Delaware citizens favor yesterday. A huge win for the public good.

    Superior Court Judge Diane Clarke Streett on Friday sided with two civic groups seeking to halt the expansion, ruling that a state board erred when it rejected their appeal of a state permit that allowed the project to go forward.

    The Delaware Audubon Society and the Delaware League of Women Voters argue that permit violated the Coastal Zone Act, the state’s landmark environmental law. But their case was dismissed after a state board determined the groups’ members would not be impacted by the project.

    Streett’s ruling means the same state board will have to reconsider whether groups have legal standing to bring the appeal. A new hearing date had not been scheduled as of Monday.

  2. Alby says:

    Thanks for adding that, Nancy.

  3. Liberal Elite says:

    @A “What do I think? They were getting clobbered on the messaging. I think they turned a weak hand into CHIP funding, which is better than nothing, and I assume Schumer has a plan for three weeks from now.”

    I think you sell the Dems a little short.

    This little piece by Jennifer Rubin has ten things that are mostly good for Dems:

    “Ten things that just happened (aside from the government reopening)”

  4. Alby says:

    Thanks. Missed that one.

    My problem is that the Democrats had no messaging ready to counter the onslaught from the goons, and they were losing ground in the PR war. They had polling that showed as much. They better develop some in the next three weeks; to that end it helps that CHIP can no longer be used as a cudgel.

  5. Ben says:

    Im sure Chris Coons already has his Punch left/surrender/present belly to Master strategy all figured out.

  6. Jason330 says:

    Knowing how empty and hollow “thoughts and prayers” are, the boilerplate for “we aren’t doing anything about gun violence” has changed.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the floor of the Senate that “our hearts are with the entire community of Marshall County.”