Aug. 8 Open Thread: Crony Government

Filed in National, Open Thread by on August 8, 2018

Kudos to Pro Publica, where investigative journalists used FOIA laws to find emails showing that the Veterans Administration is in effect being run by three rich guys who belong to Mar-a-Lago. They have no qualifications for this role, but then, neither does Trump. This is the sort of thing political satirists used to make up but no longer have to.

Only a few people know what Trump and Putin talked about at their private confab, and given Trump’s mental decline he might not be one of them. No matter, American intelligence agencies have been able to piece together what was discussed from other sources.

Given the sticky fingers so common in Trump’s cabinet, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has mostly flown under the radar. But he’s in the news today for bilking his business partners out of $120 million. He’s also such a tightwad he steals packets of sweetener from restaurants. Another thing I would have made up but didn’t have to because it’s true.

This article is a deep dive into a long-running longitudinal poll — one that surveys the same group of several thousand respondents repeatedly over time, in this case since 2011. It offers several insights into Obama-to-Trump voters and which ones can be flipped back. The study’s author concludes Democrats are better off trying to win back those voters than turning out new ones, but it also shows a lot of weak-supporters of Trump are likely to stay home in November.

Somebody cue the sad trombone. The New York Times magazine has an interesting article based on several interviews with outgoing House speaker Paul Ryan, and it does a better job than most of illustrating how Trumpism basically destroyed Ryan’s once-promising career. Mark this down as another of those Trumpian silver linings.

Times are tough for candidates on the loonball right. In Arizona, “Chemtrail” Kelli Ward had a twitter meltdown when a newspaper endorsed a closer-to-sane rival.

Joe Biden is in the news for something other than presidential speculation. The Biden Foundation announced an initiative to give support to LGBTQ youth. It also serves as a reminder that Biden helped drag Obama into recognizing same-gender marriage.

Though the administration reunited many of the families it needlessly separated, the family destruction policy at the border continues, as hundreds of children remain apart from their families.

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  1. SussexAnon says:

    There is a vote Tom Carper radio ad playing down here in Sussex County.

    Apparently Carper is now a progressive.

  2. RE Vanella says:

    See our discussion on his new flyer from yesterday’s thread.

    “Q: How worried is Tom Carper? A: Worried enough to put out this crazy lit piece”

    He’s embarrassing himself. I personally love it.

  3. One really good political outcome from yesterday:

    Matt Denn is no Robert McCulloch. But only by fundamentally changing the way Delaware’s criminal justice system operates can we ensure that we will truly have justice for all in Delaware.

    Only Chris Johnson has committed to that fundamental change.

  4. RE Vanella says:

    Also, just a teaser for now. I’ll have a full post on this later this week.

    Mark your calendars for Wednesday 5 September. There’s going to be a Get Out The Vote Happy Hour at Nomad in Wilmington.

    It’s the evening before the primary. A few candidates have committed to appearing.

    Band is booked in and it’s usually a big evening anyway as it is Nomad’s reopening after the standard summer hiatus.

    Stay tuned for details….

  5. RE Vanella says:

    Also. Fuck all police.

    A Cincinnati police officer shot an 11-year-old girl in the back with a Taser after suspecting she was shoplifting from a grocery store.

  6. Paul says:

    Great comments today.

  7. Gigi says:

    In case you missed it, Carper mailed out a magazine-like lit piece. “Progressive values” are what he fights for, apparently. I nearly dropped my monocle in shock. Who now will defend our precious corporations from the socialist left? Lol.

  8. jason330 says:

    Interesting. He knows that his base is not in the habit of putting down the WSJ and caviar on primary day – so he is now looking for a new base.

    I haven’t seen the piece, but i have three Dems in the house so I’m hoping one of us gets it.

  9. Gigi says:

    It’s ridiculous. It belongs in the trash, but I’ll put it in the recycling, because unlike Carper, I actually care about the environment.