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CNN Democratic Debate part 2 Open Thread

I don’t understand the reasoning behind how candidates are assigned to a team. Let’s admit it, the media is setting up some Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4 game plan. But why this particular set up? Are we assuming either Bernie or Warren are going to be eliminated in this round?

It’s irritating because the same people are debating the same people every debate. It seems contrived. I wish the media would restrict itself to telling the news instead of making it.

As for last night, Warren won it, in my humble opinion. She’s fun to watch, she says interesting things, and she doesn’t shut up when she’s told to. Sure, policy is important. But last night’s set up of “The Left” vs “Moderates” did not show the moderates in the best light. They were way too cautious and had a whiff of “government is our enemy” about them. They seemed captured by Republican Wurlitzer conventional wisdom. It was obvious before Warren said her line about presidential candidates who promise not to do anything should question why they’re in it.

The questions were gratuitously provocative, the time to answer them too short. There are just too many candidates on the stage. Let the culling begin. Raise the requirements for continuing. How about a 5% poll number?

Will tonight’s candidates learn anything from the first night?

Will Biden try to destabilize Kamala?

Will Jay Inslee get a word in edgewise?

Will Gillibrand take the fall for the resignation of Al Franken?

Predictions and comments below. This is a debate Open Thread.

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CNN Debate Open Thread

What are the chances that Amy Klobuchar and Lizzie Warren coordinated their clothes today?

No, you’re right, it’s a stupid thing to ask of the two female candidates. But I can’t tell if any looks more or less comfy in the black pants. I know *I’d* be. Ditch that skirt toot sweet.

There I go again.🙄

Nice to see everyone shaking hands, enthusiastically.

On with it. Tell me what you’re seeing.

The “Is it bigger than a Breadbox?” hearing

Media reactions have been pretty consistent in complaining that the Mueller hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees were not “must see TV”. We have to consider the possibility that our TV anchor/pundit class is over represented by psychopaths who are bored when they’re not preying on someone. I listened to a little of the hearings and was riveted.

Yes, the Democrats sounded like they were playing 20 questions. But they managed to extract a ton of damning information and defined the boundaries of the counterintelligence operations.

Yes, the Republicans indulged in pointless, off-topic conspiracy theories. But they also clearly showed the content of their character because the evidence and facts are not in dispute. The thing that seems to animate the Republicans was how those facts were discovered and exposed. (Legally as it turns out) They seem perfectly fine with what happened during the 2016 campaign season.

They really need to drop the flag waving and patriotic jingoistim. There’s not a single patriot with character among the Republicans. They’ve exposed themselves. That is the real story journalists seem to be missing.

Did Democrats do the committees and the Mueller Report volumes in the wrong order? For the average American that insists on being spoon fed, this is a possibility. Why obstruct justice if you have no reason to? What is Trump’s motivation to obstruct? What is he trying to hide? The motive is in the first volume of the report on Russian interference. Mueller was far more animated and clear about Russian meddling and Trump campaign cooperation when he was talking to the House Intel committee.

Now we can see what Mueller is all about. He’s a prosecutor. Obstruction of justice is clearly a crime but probably one that he’s dealt with all of his professional career. It’s what the typical criminal does. There are processes to follow and interviews to conduct. All very routine and not particularly memorable. Trump is just another criminal in Volume 2. The parameters are standard and predictable.

But voluntarily cooperating with a foreign adversary to steal an election? That got his attention. Here was Mueller, decorated war hero whose dedication to his country is beyond question and who appears to derive self-actualization and satisfaction from intrinsic drives and rewards, staring at a guy who is completely deficient in any honorable actions or motivations as he puts his own wants in front of the good of the country. Cadet Bone Spurs looks like a pretty disloyal piece of sh*t who didn’t think twice about swapping business deals and election assistance for dropping sanctions and betraying more than half the voters in this country.

Mueller’s disgust was palpable. Unprompted, he called some actions crimes and and that his problematic reaction was an understatement when listening to Trump’s praise of Wikileaks.

There is plenty here that is revealing. And even more that is damning in Mueller’s second hearing. It’s bigger than a breadbox. He’s warning us to take the threat seriously.

Meanwhile, the Senate continues to vote against the Federal Elections security bills that the House sent them. Mitch and his droogs are naive if they really believe that the Russians are going to help them win in 2020. The point is not to leave the status quo in place no matter how much we may hate it. The point is to reduce the US to a dysfunctional system whose credit and faith is destroyed internationally.

Stabilization no matter how loathsome won’t accomplish that. Even Mitch will do the right thing about the debt ceiling. How does that ensure that Putin and his crime family don’t encounter anymore sanctions or Magnitsky Acts? How can China call the shots on trade? How can “name your self motivated country” take control of the US and direct it as it chooses?

If I were a hostile entity, I’d increase the chaos and internal instability. That might mean the Republicans have to feel the pain and anguish of losing a couple of close presidential or congressional elections to improbable candidates. Like imagine Marianne Williamson getting the nomination and Trump losing to her by 14,325 votes in a reliably red electoral college state like Idaho. You KNOW that something’s messed up but you spend four years trying to prove it. It’s frustrating and destabilizing. Meanwhile, Williamson struggles to govern and instead spends each press briefing trying to spread love.

The above scenario is unlikely but you get my point. Our elections are not secure anymore and we can no longer guarantee that the will of the American people is going to be followed.

These hearings made clear that Republicans don’t care about that. Republicans are more concerned with silly conspiracy theories than actual conspiracies that rob their own constituents of their votes. Go back and watch the second hearing and ask yourself if Republicans care about your vote.

They are calculating that their base will care more about depriving those they hate of their votes than protecting their own votes.

Well, Ok, then. Thank you, Mr. Mueller for showing us who the real flag burners are.

Mueller Open Thread

Today, Special Counsel Robert Mueller explains what his report says, because the rest of us don’t have time to read it, and should set the record straight, cutting through the misdirection that AG Bob Barr set up.

If you want to follow along on twitter, I recommend Susan Simpson @TheViewFromLL2, Preet Bharara @PreetBharara and Seth Abramson @SethAbramson.

Seth has a current thread already. He usually summarizes pretty well.

They’re all Never Trumpers so take it with a grain of salt since they are all against the president who never did anything wrong. 🙄

Have at it, friends. I’ll be checking in later when I have a break.

Money, money, money

Jon Stewart got money for 911 responders after having to shame the Senate into it.

His face yesterday? Priceless.

But as Dan Rather and Chris Hayes tell us, spending money is only problematic when Democrats ask for it.

Pretty much.

I guess you could say that Republicans are just following their convictions that spending increases the deficit and they’re for teeny, tiny deficits.

Except then they give massive trillion dollar tax breaks to their friends and corporations and let the rest of us beg for scraps and inconsequential things like social security.

Anyway, the last president to reduce the deficit was, um, Bill Clinton, who was a Democrat.

And what Republican convictions?

Besides the ones that sent Trump campaign officials to jail?

Pornhub Category: White House

Jason Miller is in the news again. Miller is the chinless goateed bowling ball former Trump aide who knocked up AJ Delgado, another former Trump aide, while he was still married. Well, married and screwing prostitutes. Anyway, there are a lot of women who have reasons to be mad at Miller.

But then I got to thinking, there are so many sleazy men (and women) doing so many edgy disgusting and potentially illegal sex acts that the White House could have its own pornhub category.

Here’s a review of what we know so far:

Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign manager, was exposed by his own daughters in their texts to one another as having allegedly forced their mother into gangbangs with other men.

Roger Stone and his wife are notorious swingers and visited sex clubs regularly.

Jeffrey Epstein, former Trump friend, is apparently a pedophile with stashes of child pornography in his mansion. Epstein is also accused of raping and pimping underage girls to his friends.

Jerry Falwell Jr. was very nice to his pool boy. According to Michael Cohen, there are pictures of Rebecca Falwell doing something “terrible”. He’s seen them.

Rob Porter, who used to date Hope Hicks, was just a sadist.

By the way, according to one of the tell all books, Hope Hicks, who Trump referred to as “a piece of tail”, used to spend a lot of “executive time” with Trump in his locked bedroom. Was she taking dictation? The jokes just write themselves.

Trump himself is a self-confessed pussy grabber and has been accused by 20+ women of various forms of sexual assault.

There are rumors that Trump’s modeling agency was a front for an escort service. Normally, I wouldn’t care how many nude modeling pics of Melania are laying around but now, I have to ask myself if they were leaves from Trump’s own Binders Full Of Women.

Have I missed anyone?

Is there something going on here that’s unique to the Trump orbit or are these all just coincidences?

I haven’t even mentioned the Pee Tape. Ok now I did.

Just sayin’.

****************************

Lordy, there are tapes of Trump with Epstein and Trump getting all handsy while dancing at mar-a-lago. I swear I didn’t know this was coming out today, even though there seems to be a lot of prurient news coming out lately.

And

Jeezus the 90s were a lost hair decade. (For the record: long red spiral curls ala Nicole Kidman. I know, I hang my head in shame.)

Republican Torch Song

Sing it, baby.

They’ll be singing a different tune after the next Tree of Life Synagogue situation.

One thing leads to another…