12 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of March 8

This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

13 comments

  1. spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Jacob Chansley aka the QAnon Shaman aka "guy with the viking helmet" has been denied pretrial release from jail. I love me some judicial shade-throwing: His argument for release is that being in...

    Jacob Chansley aka the QAnon Shaman aka "guy with the viking helmet" has been denied pretrial release from jail.

    I love me some judicial shade-throwing:

    “The Court cannot overstate the gravity of defendant’s conduct on January 6th. Were defendant released pending trial, he would have the opportunity to again attempt to disrupt the United States government or harm members of Congress,” Lamberth wrote. “His flagrant disrespect for law enforcement indicates that he would not adhere to conditions imposed by this Court.”

    “Given defense counsel’s decision to use what could have been a confidential videoconference on a media publicity stunt, that argument is so frivolous as to insult the Court’s intelligence.”

    His argument for release is that being in jail makes it difficult to have private conversations with his lawyer about his defense strategy. The judge correctly points out that he had a videoconference set up with his lawyer, and rather than use that to discuss his case, his lawyer used it to have an interview with 60 Minutes.

    10 votes
  2. [2]
    MonkeyPants
    Link
    Inside the Lincoln Project’s Secrets, Side Deals and Scandals

    Inside the Lincoln Project’s Secrets, Side Deals and Scandals

    The behind-the-scenes moves by the four original founders showed that whatever their political goals, they were also privately taking steps to make money from the earliest stages, and wanted to limit the number of people who would share in the spoils. Over time, the Lincoln Project directed about $27 million — nearly a third of its total fund-raising — to Mr. Galen’s consulting firm, from which the four men were paid, according to people familiar with the arrangement.

    9 votes
    1. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      I am glad that all this is coming out about the Lincoln Project now. It seemed like an obvious grift by the same characters that brought Trump and his politics to prominence within the GOP and I...

      I am glad that all this is coming out about the Lincoln Project now. It seemed like an obvious grift by the same characters that brought Trump and his politics to prominence within the GOP and I doubted their sincerity from the get go. It is nice to confirm that they were all in it just to fleece money some resistance twitter folks who bought into their shtick. I just wish that this had all come out sooner and we could have avoided flushing those millions of dollars in donations down the toilet and instead spent it on competitive Senate races.

      8 votes
  3. Kuromantis
    Link
    After DSA sweep of nevada state elections, entire staff of Nevada Democratic Party quits

    After DSA sweep of nevada state elections, entire staff of Nevada Democratic Party quits

    Not long after Judith Whitmer won her election on Saturday to become chair of the Nevada Democratic Party, she got an email from the party’s executive director, Alana Mounce. The message from Mounce began with a note of congratulations, before getting to her main point.

    She was quitting. So was every other employee. And so were all the consultants. And the staff would be taking severance checks with them, thank you very much.

    A former Nevada Democratic Party staffer, who requested anonymity to speak freely, told The Intercept they quit out of a belief that Whitmer hadn’t built relationships across the party as Clark County chair and was at times unfairly critical of the state Democratic Party. “I knew I couldn’t work with her and watch her destroy the years of hard work so many operatives put into making our state party the best state party in the country.”

    7 votes
  4. NaraVara
    Link
    How Elizabeth Warren's Acolytes Infiltrated the Biden Administration Entryism libs looking pretty good in the wake of that stimulus bill. The article goes over the long-term payoff of Warren's...

    How Elizabeth Warren's Acolytes Infiltrated the Biden Administration

    Entryism libs looking pretty good in the wake of that stimulus bill. The article goes over the long-term payoff of Warren's political strategy over the past decade or so. The idea being it's less about mobilizing around her and more using herself as a foot to wedge the door open so she can get the right people whose ideas and work she admires into positions of influence. It's much more of a model of nurturing talent and seeding conditions to get them in the right places where they can do the most good.

    “She realizes that if you’re going to get a big job, you need to show you have experience in governing and politics,” Sperling says. “She encourages her people to get into positions where they can grow from, where they can get a track record for getting stuff done.”

    During the Obama years, Warren torpedoed NEC Chair Larry Summers’ expected ascent to the Federal Reserve, and, the following year, led the charge against Antonio Weiss, an executive at boutique asset management firm Lazard when Obama nominated him to serve as Treasury’s undersecretary of domestic finance. That veto power hung over Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations, and Warren exercised a quieter pressure on Clinton to avoid similar choices. The way Warren has nurtured her staff is not unrelated to her broader personnel project: It’s one means for preparing a slate of progressive-minded experts to be worthy alternatives.

    Warren has been a private but constant voice to the Biden administration on personnel decisions. “I think she’s an enormous resource for the administration,” Damon Silvers, the policy director for the AFL-CIO and a friend of Warren’s. “She’s both a political power that has to be answered at some level, but she’s also a partner with great insight who offers a lot of help.” In Biden’s transition, Warren found a likeminded ally in Ted Kaufman, Biden’s longtime chief of staff when he was in the Senate. Kaufman is best known for briefly taking over his old boss’s Senate seat when Biden ascended to the vice presidency in 2009. Less known is the fact that he later replaced Warren on the congressional panel overseeing the 2008 bank bailout and inherited her staff.

    5 votes
  5. [2]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Some interesting dueling columns from Jelani Cobb at the New Yorker and Jamelle Bouie with the New York Times on the future of the Republican party. Cobb argues that the GOP is in an existential...

    Some interesting dueling columns from Jelani Cobb at the New Yorker and Jamelle Bouie with the New York Times on the future of the Republican party. Cobb argues that the GOP is in an existential crisis that has torn apart American political parties of the past and Bouie responds that a split is not at all likely.

    I would be very interested in folks thoughts here on the two pieces and what you think the future of the GOP will look like.

    4 votes
    1. Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I personally agree with large points from both articles, but I agree more with the second article. Mainly because, while the Republican party is the only party to have a large part of the base...

      I personally agree with large points from both articles, but I agree more with the second article. Mainly because, while the Republican party is the only party to have a large part of the base fanatic enough to split-ticket itself into destruction via Duverger's law, those Republicans have realized primarying incumbent candidates is better, even if slower and more boring and, given they are the majority among the party, easier too.

      The second problem I have with the first article is that it states the current Republican party is demographically unsustainable, and while that is true in the long term (well, kind of, given many Hispanic/Latino and Black people have voted Republican this election, albeit if/when that happens, young people will still eventually put them in this position), in the short term the Democratic majority in Congress is 10 house seats and a tied Senate (of which 3 senators are in red states, maybe 4 if you consider Angus King and Maine's willingness to split-ticket for Collins) and Harris. IMO, nothing says they're not willing to wait for the next election to split the government and stop this, particularly given most of them are relatively comfortable in life and we don't know how redistricting will turn out, which brings me to my third point, which is that Republican rejection of democracy has been a thing in the GOP for 50-55 years and, if their rejection of democracy is what they're talking about when comparing the GOP to the whigs, then it's a moot point and a direct acknowledgement that they know their demographic position is bad and their solution to that is to stop people from voting, full stop.

      As for the future of the GOP, I personally think they won't change until they either defeat the Democratic party wholesale and begin acting as a state party or until they become a more long-term minority party, in which case I think they will either moderate themselves like they usually did or stay in the minority until progressive leftism becomes a powerful enough force in the Democratic Party to push the Biden-crats to the other side ala Skybrian (I think)'s theory.

      3 votes
  6. [4]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    How much longer can this era of political gridlock last?

    How much longer can this era of political gridlock last?

    Democrats may have a narrow majority in both the House and the Senate for the next two years, but it’s nothing near the margin they hoped for. And the likelihood that Democrats keep both the House and the Senate in 2022 are low, as the president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterm elections.

    That means more divided government is probably imminent, and the electoral pattern we’ve become all too familiar with — a pendulum swinging back and forth between unified control of government and divided government — is doomed to repeat, with increasingly dangerous consequences for our democracy.

    For starters, the period we find ourselves in now is unique in that the national partisan balance of power is extremely close (with control of national government up for grabs in almost every cycle), even as most states and most voters are either solidly Democratic or Republican. [...]

    Since 1984, no party has won by more than 10 points in an election

    States have stuck to the same party for an unprecedented period of time

    Control of the government by any given party has not been as prone to change sinde the 1870s

    The last time these parameters have been somewhat similar was at the gilded age

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      It seems a bit early to start worrying about the next elections? There are a lot of things you could say about how to hedge your bets, but I think it’s still going to add up to substantial...

      It seems a bit early to start worrying about the next elections? There are a lot of things you could say about how to hedge your bets, but I think it’s still going to add up to substantial uncertainty.

      I guess it’s fine that 538 pays attention to these things.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        moocow1452
        Link Parent
        It's never too early to worry about elections when every for years promises either what we have now or a thousand years of darkness.

        It's never too early to worry about elections when every for years promises either what we have now or a thousand years of darkness.

        6 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          I guess that’s true if you want to get involved, like joining a campaign or something? I think we overestimate the value of our political conversations, though, talking in the peanut gallery about...

          I guess that’s true if you want to get involved, like joining a campaign or something? I think we overestimate the value of our political conversations, though, talking in the peanut gallery about what other people are doing.

          3 votes
  7. skybrian
    Link
    Trump makes cash grab in bid to dominate GOP [...]

    Trump makes cash grab in bid to dominate GOP

    Just in the past few weeks, Trump declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the “only” way to give to Trump-aligned candidates was through Save America, his leadership political action committee, circumventing the party campaign arms devoted to electing Republicans. He has criticized the party for how it spends donor money, and his attorneys have sent cease-and-desist letters to GOP committees demanding they stop using his name in fundraising appeals.

    In case his message wasn’t clear enough, Trump followed up this week by proclaiming that “no more money” should be given to “RINOS” — Republicans in Name Only. On Tuesday, he said in another statement that sending cash to his PAC would be "doing it right."

    [...]

    It remains unclear how far-reaching the financial impact will be for Republican groups. The RNC, which has the closest connection to Trump of any official party committee, has rejected the cease-and-desist demand, arguing that since Trump is a public figure it has every right to fundraise off his name.

    2 votes
  8. monarda
    Link
    Senate Advances Interior Secretary Nominee Deb Haaland - Huffpost link)

    Senate Advances Interior Secretary Nominee Deb Haaland - Huffpost link)

    The vote on cloture was 54 to 42. Every Democrat voted to advance Haaland’s nomination. Four Republicans voted with them: Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska). Four senators didn’t vote at all. They were Republican Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), John Kennedy (La.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.).

    1 vote