Monday, July 24, 2017

Last Call For Taking A Swing At 2018

Gallup's state average approval ratings for Trump for the first half of the year show an interesting trend if you divide them into three categories: states where Trump is above 50%, states where Trump is is the 40's, and states where Trump is under 40%.

President Donald Trump, who has averaged 40% job approval since his inauguration, received approval ratings of 50% or higher in 17 states in the first half of 2017. Residents in an equal number of states gave him approval ratings below 40%. In 16 states, his ratings ranged between 40% and 49%.
Consistent with the broader geographic patterns of Republican strengthacross the country, some of Trump's highest approval ratings tend to be in Southern, Plains and Mountain West states. His lowest ratings are primarily in Northeast and West Coast states.
The results are based on Gallup Daily tracking from Jan. 20 through June 30, including interviews with more than 81,000 U.S. adults. Gallup interviewed at least 220 residents in each state during this period, including 500 or more in 39 states. Gallup weighted each state sample to ensure it is demographically representative of the adult population. The full results for each state are included at the end of the article.
During the Jan. 20-June 30 time period, residents in West Virginia (60%), North Dakota (59%) and South Dakota (57%) gave Trump his highest approval ratings. Montana, Wyoming and Alabama all had average approval ratings of 55% or higher.

Looking at Gallup's map for this:


The dark green states where Trump is above 50 are all states Trump carried in 2016.  The yellow states, where Trump is under 40%, are all states Clinton carried in 2016.  No surprise there.

But look at the light green states.  They're all the swing states of 2016: New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada.

But there are some interesting additions to that category, chiefly Maine, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana, Mississippi, Arizona and Texas.  Clinton carried Maine statewide and one district and Nevada, the rest are states that voted for Trump.  Only in Mississippi and Missouri is Trump at a net positive, the rest, Trump has a higher disapproval rating.

In Michigan, North Carolina, Florida and Texas, Trump is at 42% and at least nine points underwater with majority disapproval.

Majority disapproval in Texas, guys.  That's going to help Dems in 2018.

I know it's way far out, but when's the last time that happened to a national Republican in Texas?

Some coattails, huh.

Meanwhile In Bevinstan...

Anti-choice nutjobs are once again laying siege to Kentucky's last abortion clinic in Louisville as GOP Gov. Matt Bevin wants to become the first governor to rid his state of abortion clinics in the Roe v Wade era.

Anti-abortion advocates began a weeklong series of protests Monday in hopes of shutting down Kentucky's last abortion clinic.

Protesters are gathered around the Gene Snyder United States Courthouse, where a hearing is set about a temporary buffer zone outside the clinic.

This week kicks off anti-abortion group Operation Save America's national gathering in Louisville. The gathering runs through July 29 and will feature protests in front of the clinic as well as a mobile electronic billboard depicting graphic images of abortion procedures. 
A federal police officer said he estimated 150-200 people in the area at the intersection of Sixth Street and Broadway.

Enoch Yoder, 26, traveled eight hours from Missouri to protest at the courthouse and clinic. 
"It's murder. Abortion is killing babies," Yoder said. "Plain and simple."

In May, 11 people were arrested in protests led by the anti-abortion group Operation Save America, after they blocked the entrance to the EMW Women's Surgical Center, 136 W. Market St.

As a result of the arrests in May, the U.S. Attorney's office in Louisville filed a motion on last week seeking to enforce the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which bars people from blocking access to reproductive health centers. 
The motion asked Hale to issue an order creating a buffer zone of about 15 by 7.5 feet in front of the clinic and asked that U.S. marshals and law enforcement officials be authorized to arrest anyone who violates the order.

The issue is, as Jessica Mason Pieklo reminded us back in May, that the Trump regime doesn't want to  enforce federal laws that have been on the books for almost 25 years to protect physical access to clinics.  Operation Save America is merely the reboot of Operation Rescue, the religious assholes who precipitated the murder of abortion provider Dr. David Gunn in Florida in 1993.  It's led by Rusty Thomas, who is a real piece of work:

Pay attention to Thomas’ framing here around Saturday’s Louisville siege. “We never go to protest anything,” said Thomas in his interview with the Courier-Journal. “We are ministers of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and we go to proclaim through word and through Godly action, his great truths and his great Salvation and also to confront our national evil and national sin called abortion and … to rescue these children who are being led to slaughter and provide for them a defense and a voice.” 
Thomas and other activists calling themselves ministers is intentional. It is an attempt to invoke legal protections around communications like anti-choice activist Angel Dillard successfully did to protect her jailhouse communications with Scott Roeder—who was associated with Operation Rescue—in her trial for threatening Dr. Mila Means, the abortion provider set to take over Tiller’s practice following his murder by Roeder.
It’s also an attempt to paint their activities as “religious exercise,” to advance their likely claims that attacking clinics is part of their right to full “civic engagement.” 
Saturday’s siege by OSA was a test on several fronts: It was a test of local law enforcement to advance the group’s philosophy of the “lesser magistrate” doctrine. That doctrine, which is rooted in conservative Christianity, argues law enforcement officers are justified in opposing policies or orders they consider unjust or morally wrong. Roeder used a variation of the lesser magistrate doctrine to argue Tiller’s murder was a “justifiable homicide,” because it prevented the doctor from continuing to provide abortions. Robert Lewis Dear, the man who has admitted to holding siege a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood and killing three, suggested in his legal competency hearing last year that heintended to raise a justifiable homicide defense as well if he ever stands trial. And anti-choice activists, including OSA, argue that it supports local officers’ failure to endorse noise ordinances or trespassing laws in situations like Saturday’s and other protests. 
The attack on the Louisville clinic was also a test of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who has made no secret about his goal of closing it. The clinic—the last in the state—currently remains open by federal court order, after the governor helped push regulations designed to close it. Bevin has met with OSA leadership, and they consider him an ally. As a result, the group has focused its efforts in Kentucky
In fact, Thomas told the Courier-Journal the group would be back in July: “That is a tremendous opportunity before you all to become the first surgically abortion-free state in the United States of America and so, we’re praying Kentucky will lead the way out of this blood guiltiness that’s upon the land.”

Kentucky is the test.  If any clinic is going to get shut down, it will be this one, in this state, by this governor.  The Trump regime won't lift a finger to stop it.  Whether the courts will is anyone's guess, but I'm betting that Thomas and his cult think they can get away with it.

Humiliate, Reince, Repeat

Jonathan Swan and the gang over at Politico 2.0 are publicly asking how long White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus will put up with Donald Trump crapping all over his loser ass.

A much-discussed question at the top of the White House: just what magnitude of indignity would it take for Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to resign?
  • President Trump knew that appointing Anthony Scaramucci as communications director would humiliate Reince, who fought hard against it.
  • Scaramucci was smuggled into the meeting with the President on Thursday so Reince wouldn't know about it. Trump had already taken pains to hide the discussions from his Chief of Staff, knowing Reince would try to foil the move.
  • Trump also knew that inserting a line in the press release saying Scaramucci would report directly to the President — doing an end-run around Reince — was perhaps an unendurable public humiliation.

The reality is that the various factions in the White House (Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., etc.) are all fighting for power as the old man's ship spirals down the drain, but Swan admits frankly that as incompetent as Preibus is, there doesn't seem to be anyone else who actually wants the job.

And why would they?  Even Politico 1.0 is hard-pressed to find an answer to why, but the who may already be known.

Reince Priebus took the punishing job of President Donald Trump's chief of staff with the idea that he would stick it out for at least one year.

Six months in, with one of his top allies in the West Wing — press secretary Sean Spicer — on his way out, Priebus is in defensive mode, his role diminished and an internal rival hogging the limelight.

Trump's decision to bring Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci into the role of communications director shows the rising power of political outsiders and the diminished influence of establishment figures — which Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, epitomizes.

One White House official and two outside advisers said that while Scaramucci was brought into the White House for the communications job, he's considered an internal candidate to eventually succeed Priebus as chief of staff. There are also a handful of outside candidates.
The unexpected hire has raised questions of whether more shake-ups are coming, even as the White House has tried to downplay its internal discord. The instability has made it difficult for the administration to fend off questions about ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia and to move forward an embattled legislative agenda.

When the DC news guys are openly speculating on who your replacement is going to be as White House Chief of Staff, odds are pretty good you've already lost the job.


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