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March 09, 2018

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I put this in the other thread, but let's start fresh over here.

http://theweek.com/speedreads/759755/trump-charged-hundreds-thousands-dollars-last-year-campaign-use-virtually-empty-room-trump-tower

It's grift all the way down

hsh. enriching himself at taxpayer expense was one of his campaign promises, right? or, maybe a liberal did something somewhere. either way, i'm sure there's nothing to see.

Instead of "What would Jesus do?" I think "What if Obama had done this?"

Speaking of Qadhafi, I suspect the North Koreans have noticed what can happen when you give up your nuclear weapons program.

Not lost on Iran and a number of other countries I'd imagine.

and if you keep them, you get to dunk on the the world's dumbest leader.

Waah waah waah waah left-tard cry babies still crying; can't understand that reasonable people won't accept their stupid ideas.

Keep doubling down, idiots, please. It keeps good men like Trump in office.

well, i'm convinced.

My feelings are hurt.

"What if Obama had done this?"

He did, and then let Iran keep their nukes and paid them billions in cash. Your point?

He did...

I didn't know he owned any office towers.

And he didn't "pay" Iran. It was Iranian money we had frozen.

What the hell does that have to do with renting nearly empty rooms to your own campaign at donors' expense (thereby neatly turning campaign money into personal money)?

Iran doesn't have any nukes to keep

The name "Mighty Whitey" just screams reasonableness...

So nice when the Russian bots/wannabes show up here. Makes me appreciate the folks who at least bother to use fake facts to back up actual arguments.

Weird hsh, I read it thinkong i was in the other thread so I lost all context. So, to answer your question, it has nothing to do with it.

What the hell does that have to do with renting nearly empty rooms to your own campaign at donors' expense (thereby neatly turning campaign money into personal money)?

It clearly shows that Trump is a canny businessman who knows intimately the needs and desires of his market.

Wow. Gone 3 1/2 years (since October 2014) and "Mighty Whitey" is still the same bigoted twit he was then. That's consistency!

What the hell does that have to do with renting nearly empty rooms to your own campaign at donors' expense (thereby neatly turning campaign money into personal money)?

Well, an extreme cynic** would say that it shows that he views his campaign fund the same as he views the government's money: as an opportunity to enrich himself.

** Which I really do try not to be. But currently it's a challenge.

So, open thread and all.

My Congressman,Tom Garrett, is freedom caucus nazi (notice, GftNC, the small n). Lots of folks have stepped up to challenge him, although with gerrymandering, it's going to be hard.

I would encourage people in safe D districts to watch this race, and if you have extraterritorial money to spend, to consider putting some $$ here in VA's 5th district.

I'm supporting RD Huffstetler in the primary (which is actually, weirdly, a caucus).

His wife just had a baby, and I saw them all today. A beautiful family. Authentic and optimistic. Young and hopeful.

His ad seems a bit much, but it's actually him. His wife is from CA, the Bay Area. Go figure. He's the real thing from the furniture belt.

He's facing, in the primary, other incredibly great D's. I'll be back to voice my support for the one who gets the D nomination, with all my energy. Yes, I'm a partisan. For now, go RD!

We have two shots out here at displacing R congresscritters with real human beings. Neither my district so I support from afar. I am also donating to Beto in Texas. I am kind of confused about Ryan's district in WIsconsin I see FB ads regulary for two different people who seem to be running against Ryan and neither efer mentions the other. A very politie primary race between Dems?

It's a long shot, of course. But it would be so satisfying if Ryan were to get defeated.

The challenge in California is our "top two" primary system. Usually, especially in statewide elections, it ends up with no Republicans on the ballot. But in the several Congressional districts where Republicans are vulnerable, there are so many Democrats on the ballot splitting the vote that those districts could end up choosing between two Republicans in November.

Of course one may hope that the relatively sane Republican will win in those cases. But the prospect of Nunes or Rohrbacher getting reelected, when they are eminently defeatable, is irritating.

Since it's an open thread: I know we don't usually post twitter threads, but this 20-tweet thread (from hilzoy's feed) by David Roberts of Vox seems such an excellent analysis of today's conservatism, and its mouthpieces, that I thought some might like to read it. I was particularly struck by tweets #14 and #15, which seemed to me an exact description of what our house conservatives (Marty and particularly McKinney) so often do, but giving context.

https://twitter.com/drvox/status/972915124032888832

that I thought some might like to read it

yes, indeed. good one.

A good column by Nesrine Malik in the Guardian last week, about the increasing abuse of the word "elite" (mainly about Brexit in the UK, but plenty of applications in the US of course):

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/07/liberal-elite-populism-brexit-elitist?CMP=twt_gu

I really wish that Roberts, in his attempt to recognize reality, had taken the next step. What he describes is not a conservative worldview but a reactionary one.

Granted, the reactionary view has appropriated the label. But realism requires acknowledging that. Granted also that reaction has largely taken over the Republican Party, and the behavior of GOP politicians reflects that reality. But still -- reality.

At that point, there is still a reason for the NYT to recruit a real (as opposed to label) conservative. Conservatism may be mostly relocated to the Democratic Party. But it remains a different view than the liberal one. It's worthy of consideration, and a platform to make its case.

It's worthy of consideration, and a platform to make its case.

sure.

but i think he's right in that the NYT's attempt to give Republicans representation on their opinion page is failing because the old-school conservatives they publish are a minority in the GOP. the actual GOP isn't David Brooks, it's Hannitized Foxy Trumpism. the NYT isn't educating anyone by pretending its conservatives are representative.

Agreed that they should be clear that they are offering a conservative perspective, not GOP one. And, from my perspective, they would be doing a service by publicly making that distinction.

Real conservatives? Scarcer than real communists.

I hear they all fled to Scotland.

Mighty Whitey

Middle name "Tighty".

liberals - not to be confused with elites! or, gasp! neo-liberals!
conservatives - not to be confused with reactionaries!
nazis and/or fascists - hey, some of them are "good people"!
socialists - not be be confused with Communists!
communists - dirty 'effing hippy Stalinists.

I must be one of wj's real conservatives, since he and I seldom disagree.

As a real conservative, BTW, I can't see the point of twitter. At least not of twitter "threads". Dave Barry once dismissed usenet as "just CB radio, but with more typing". Twitter with more (and more) typing seems like usenet with hard breaks inserted every 280 characters. That twitter has become popular with kidz today fills me with resentment.

--TP

conservatives -- TO be confused with "elites". Or at least we like to think so. (But that's one way to easily tell that we're not part of what today's GOP considers its base.)

Yeah, what ever happened to those "Country Club Republicans"? I guess their in some other dimension battling the Dixiecrats.

they're dammit!

I'm sure it ought to be possible to be elite, while have zero interest in country clubs (or golf in general). It really ought to be....

Tony P: apologies on the twitter thread. But I still thought it was a pretty good, concise way to make a good point. FWIW, I rarely disagree with you or wj either, and according to that questionnaire many of us filled in months ago, I am a dyed-in-the-wool liberal!

today's word of the day is: Novichok

Yup. Just watching the current debate in Parliament on developments and next steps. Russia is a gangster state, led by a thug who (probably) owns your POTUS. O brave new world.

I think it is also wrong to describe the US Right as simply reactionary since that would imply a specific state they would want to return to. That is only partially correct in that they want to eliminate certain 'progressive' developments but completely incorrect that they would also restore certain other elements that got lost.
The reactionaries of the past also insisted on certain standards applied to themselves (not just to others). We might not agree with the value system behind that but it was there. The modern Right (and the Nazis were part of that while most other fascist states were not) defines itself to a degree in opposition to the old reactionaries (e.g. the paleoconservatives) and an important part was/is the abandonment of the self-imposed rules for the rulers.
The current GOP differs from its (not even that far) ancestry by its eagerness to scrap standards of behaviour, in some cases for the sake of it.

Similar things can be observed on the extreme Left but this is less relevant here since it lacks the power currently to enact its own 'rules are for suckas' regime.

I think it is also wrong to describe the US Right as simply reactionary since that would imply a specific state they would want to return to.

what they want is to make the US the opposite of whatever they imagine the left wants.

Maybe we need to send Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on a barnstorming tour of the country to advocate for the exact opposite of what sane people should consider to be the best policies. Then we can all feign horror when the GOP becomes hell-bent on enacting the policies we'd secretly like to be put in place.

Mandatory school prayer! Cut taxes even more! End all environmental regulations! Let the banks do whatever they want! Outlaw abortion AND birth control! Double military spending! Abolish Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid! Liberals love this stuff!

GftNC,

My snark about twitter was absolutely NOT aimed at you! In fact I clicked on your link immediately, and enjoyed reading it. My only point was to lament the decline of the essay form in favor of this newfangled tweet thing.

Meanwhile I wish George Smiley was a real person, right about now.

Meanwhile, too: the Austin mail bomber appears to be targeting black people. Can't wait to learn his voting record.

--TP

In mixed news: there are attempts on the Right to accuse Hillary Clinton of being behind the London spy poisonings.
Don't they know that witches use the Evil Eye or at best batrachotoxins not artificial nerve agents?

Obviously "evil eye" was what you called nerve gas poisonings in the days before people knew about nerve gases. Obviously.

there are attempts on the Right to accuse Hillary Clinton of being behind the London spy poisonings

would that be Rick Wiles ?

Not sure even Hillary has access to Novichok agents.

I think we can confidently put this one down to the murderous thug in the Kremlin.

today's word of the day is: Novichok

I guessed as much the day after the attack given they were struggling to identify the chemical - and Porton Down is just up the road.

what's fun is if you google "Hillary Russian poison", you see that people were wondering if Trump and Russia had poisoned Hillary, when she was sick during the campaign.

cleek, that's the first name that comes up but if you ask me it would have been surprising, if that charge had not been made by someone on that end of the spectrum.

Nigel, of course. But the current official talking point is that Hillary is the one always colluding with the Russians and just projecting on Trump. Just like her running a kiddie prawn ring from the basement of that pizzeria (which has no basement btw) while accusing Trump of sekshual miss con duct.

"kiddie prawn ring from the basement of that pizzeria"

I'll take anchovies with that.

I'm going to that very pizzeria today, but will pass on the anchovies

Ugh, are you prejudiced against "the dreaded pizza fish"???

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2018/03/12/why-democrats-would-lose-the-second-civil-war-too-n2459833

Bring it the fuck on.

This makes my day. If only you could hear Alexa
broadcasting gunshots at odd times of the day:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/venessawong/amazon-alexa-devices-are-laughing-creepy?utm_term=.ijjJboYdy&utm_source=Mind%2Bof%2BMeaux%2BNewsletter&utm_campaign=23dcef9bb7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_12&utm_medium=email#.vrQQMpXD1

hat tip Juanita Jean

if you google "Hillary Russian poison", you see that people were wondering if Trump and Russia had poisoned Hillary

She poisoned herself in a clumsy play for sympathy.

Fortunately, we all saw through it.

Bring it the fuck on.

The future for the Onion is looking bleak. In America, we parody ourselves.

Saws don't kill guns, people kill guns:

https://www.newsmax.com/thewire/scott-pappalardo-destroys-ar-15-one/2018/02/20/id/844401/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=idealmedia&utm_campaign=newsmax.com&utm_term=68883&utm_content=2192534

Brought to you by National Saw Association.

Off-topic, but the writing is so good and the subject so interesting that i had to share:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/12/when-twenty-six-thousand-stinkbugs-invade-your-home

I'm pretty sure the stinkbug infestation tracks the republican infestation on the timeline and by severity.

Dupes among us, all around. Your neighbors, your friends, your family members. Towing the Party line. Populating the conservative husk all these decades, while we slept.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/03/12/how-putin-courted-the-groups-that-became-trumps-base/

Senator McCarthy would have his hands full today, far beyond his tiny imagination.

Maybe HE was one of them, like Ayn Rand, one of the first of the stinkbugs.

All was foretold, but America, that dumb shit, misinterpreted the message:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n541A3Q7xFw

It started in Reagan country. Santa Mira, the fake news town.

NRA staff and members, republican politicians and media and the evangelical right placing the alien seed pods in basements and the trunks of cars across the country to infest the population, one by one, night after night.

Show no emotion.

It's the dead giveaway of our humanity and the enemy infestation will destroy you for it, which is what they mean when they warn you that is too soon to talk about it.


From the Count's Town Hall link, we have this threat from some dude named Schlichter:

Remember what two untrained idiots did in Boston with a couple of pistols? They shut a city down.

And where are they now? Wanna trade places with Dzokhar in the Florence Supermax?

I've been listening to jerks like this guy fantasize about the Second Civil War for 15 years now. I never thought I'd see them seize on the Tsarnayev's as role models.

Live and learn.

Bring it the fuck on

I was particularly struck by the line about how the Democrats lost the Civil War, and would lose the next one. Cheerfully ignoring the fact that the Democrats who lost the first one are all Republicans now. So he's half right: the same people who lost the first one would lose another one. Only the labels have changed.

Those who are (determinedly) ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.

TPM has a reporter in federal court where Kobach and Kansas are defending their voter id law. The reporter is doing multiple small updates per day. Kobach's office decided to do their own defense, rather than bring in the state AG or outside counsel. Reads like that decision has bit them in the butt, with the judge dressing them down repeatedly over rules of evidence, federal court procedure, etc.

Trickle down:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/us-posts-biggest-budget-deficit-since-2012-as-tax-income-falls/ar-BBK8U7l

Larry Kudlow, who lied thru his filthy republican pig mouth for the past 40 years about tax cuts raising federal revenues, is first in line to replace Cohn.

I have little sympathy for Californian politics and politicians who seem determined to take a ride with Thelma & Louise. I do like that they're thumbing their noses/giving the finger to the Feds.

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/03/12/gop-groups-are-using-right-wing-troll-dinesh-d-souza-fundraising/219608

Go ahead and fuck with my voting franchise, republicans, and you'll that Civil War in your faces in a trice:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a19408910/trump-voter-suppression/

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are setting bombs off in Austin, Texas:

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/03/12/far-right-media-immediately-float-conspiracy-theories-about-austin-bombings/219610

What are filthy vermin conservative republicans going to do about this?

Surely the arrests of the liberals, millions of them across the country, are in order.

C'mon, patriots, do something with those gunsfor a change, instead of just whacking off to them

EVERY fucking thing from here on out, until violence eclipses pigfucking republican America, will be justified by national security.

Just like Russia.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-blocks-broadcom-bid-to-buy-qualcomm-citing-national-security-2018-03-12?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Kobach's office decided to do their own defense, rather than bring in the state AG or outside counsel. Reads like that decision has bit them in the butt, with the judge dressing them down repeatedly over rules of evidence, federal court procedure, etc.

Well, if it's an article of faith that all expertise is bogus, then of course you can represent yourself! (And be astounded when you lose....)

I admit to being torn on the representing-yourself issue. There's something wrong if defending yourself in court requires that you have to hire $300+/hr professionals just to get the procedures right, so the evidence is "admissible".

Every field has bits of expert knowledge that you need to work effectively in it. So it's no wonder if law does, too.

I would agree that you ought to be able to represent yourself, at least if you are willing to ask for (and take) advice from the judge on process details. Which, it appears, they weren't.

I would also say that, if you are representing the state, you ought to have a clue what you are doing -- which is to say, you've got experts (e.g. that state AG) available (and paid for already), so why the hell aren't you using them?

I admit to being torn on the representing-yourself issue.

What we need is a social grievance procedure that is fair, relatively swift, and inexpensive...you know, just like unions routinely bargain for in the workplace.

But I guess that is a bridge too far for many...you know, union "thugs"(but no!!!!!Never capitalist thugs!!!), Jimmy Hoffa, shady Italian mob bosses, communist organizers, you know, the usual shit.

you've got experts (e.g. that state AG) available (and paid for already), so why the hell aren't you using them?

None of the articles I found on a quick search speaks to this possibility, but at least in Maine the AG can "decline to represent the executive branch on issues that he or she argues do not represent the state’s interests".

Maybe the Kansas AG was just as happy to be relieved of the task.

/pure speculation

I've been listening to jerks like this guy fantasize about the Second Civil War for 15 years now.

but remember, the REAL problem is college kids who don't like listening to professional right wing trolls on their campus.

Maybe the Kansas AG was just as happy to be relieved of the task.

The quotes I've seen from the AG could be summarized as "We were not approached..." I think it's fairly clear that Korbach believes, both for the federal commission and for this court case, that he was told "The fix is in. You don't even have to put up an appearance of being reasonable." As it turns out, someone badly misjudged what the courts would think/do.

The Confederates are counting on help from Putin in Civil War Two.

Listen up, my fellow Americans: if you do not vote for the Democrat in every race, at every level, in which you are eligible to vote, until He, Trump and his enablers are locked up (prison or psycho ward, depending) then you are in some measure a traitor to the United States.

Cry me a river if it makes you feel better. But don't pretend either you or I are too stupid to recognize the Putin-Confederate alliance against the US and its institutions.

And cheer up: not all Democrats are librul do-gooders. Plenty of them even deserve to be replaced by sane Republicans if and when such creatures come back from near-extinction. But the surest way to guarantee the final extinction of sane Republicans is to allow the Putin-Confederate party to continue in power.

We can go back to debating "conservative" versus "liberal" policies on Social Security and environmental regulation, not to mention abortion and taxes, AFTER the US government is back in American hands.

--TP

I dont think that Republican politicians are reactionaries. I think they are authoritarians who would very much like the US to be a kleptocracy like Russia. The base--they are primitives. They are cave people, basically. They think that their tribe is entitled to be at the front of the bus and they think that government exists to serve them (only them) and from that standpoint of entitlement, they perceive everyone else as a threat. Their primary issue is their need to feel that they are the favored ones. Republican politicians play on that. That's how I see it.

That's how I see it.

to be honest, I think it really just comes down to cleeks law.

if the (D)'s were pro-gun, they'd be against 'em.

if the (D)'s wanted to build the wall, they'd swear a solemn vow to tear it down.

if the (D)'s wanted to utterly abolish personal income and corporate taxes, they'd find a way to embrace Eisenhower era tax rates.

He's baak:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/schwarzenegger-planning-to-sue-oil-companies-for-knowingly-killing-people-all-over-the-world%E2%80%99/ar-BBK7EQU

right on arnold.

that is a (R) I find congenial. they do exist.

Tillerson out as Secretary of State, Pompeo in.

Tillerson...
A day after backing the UK over the suspected Russian attack - gives us a nice warm feeling...

I note you now have a torturer in charge of the CIA, too.

And what's with John McEntee being slung out without even his jacket ?

Tillerson was also a voice for caution/relative sanity regarding the North Korea summit. Which, as much as anything, may explain the timing of his departure.

Trump on Tillerson: "I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months." I'm trying to figure out what, other than the hollowing out of the State Department, was accomplished. Anybody got any insights?

Tillerson must have shown unacceptable signs of competence.

I hope the nomination of Haspel as head of the CIA is resisted with everything civilised politicians in the USA have got. She ought to be on trial instead.

I hope the nomination of Haspel as head of the CIA is resisted with everything civilised politicians in the USA have got. She ought to be on trial instead.

With the current majority of GOP lickspittles? She'll not only be confirmed, they'll cover her in rose petals and say she's the very model of a modern spy manager.

I know nothing of Haspel. But being a worse choice than Sen Cotton, who was apparently getting serious consideration, would be difficult.

wj - see my link on haspel in the new post. Also:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-new-c-i-a-deputy-chiefs-black-site-past

I doubt it - she was confirmed as deputy at the CIA despite *vehement protests from some in the Senate. She'll be confirmed.

(*Sheldon Whitehouse:
"I am especially concerned by reports that this individual was involved in the unauthorized destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, which documented the CIA’s use of torture against two CIA detainees. My colleagues Senators Wyden and Heinrich have stated that classified information details why the newly appointed Deputy Director is 'unsuitable' for the position and have requested that this information be declassified. I join their request...")

Meanwhile, Trump leaves us twisting in the wind;
https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/973553670892802050
“As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we’ll condemn Russia.”

I know nothing of Haspel.

it's a safe bet that anyone nominated by the worst President in history will be terrible.

It's a safe bet that anyone nominated by the worst President in history will be terrible.

A safe bet, certainly. But not a sure thing. Even Trump can make mistakes in his quest to surround himself with people more incompetent than he is.

And what's with John McEntee being slung out without even his jacket ?

that's strange. what's not as strange is that he immediately joined Trump re-election campaign.

He's a trick-shot quarterback. That's what they do.

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2018/3/13/17113688/donald-trump-john-mcentee-fired-uconn-qb-youtube-trick-passes

That leaves the chief of staff, McMaster (spelling?)to leave or be relieved. Rumors have been circulating for some time now that he is soon to be replaced by John 'Yosemite Sam' Bolton.

Haspel's background is a feature, not a bug.

I was highly skeptical of Tillerson, but IMO he was a respectable Sec of State. He took the job and his responsibilities seriously. Not much more you can ask. I'm sorry he's out. I expect Pompeo to be a disaster.

Another three years of this to go, y'all.

I was highly skeptical of Tillerson, but IMO he was a respectable Sec of State. He took the job and his responsibilities seriously. Not much more you can ask. I'm sorry he's out.

God knows I hate to disagree with you, russell, but an old friend of mine retired from the senior foreign service of the State Department says the damage done there will take more than a generation to fix. He had no idea what he was dealing with, and a little bit of intelligent listening would have encouraged some (although not all, clearly) who have left to stay. The loss of expertise will cost the US dear for years. IMO Tillerson only looked reasonable when compared to Trump and some of the other bozos.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/03/13/trump-floats-idea-of-space-force/?utm_term=.9b797ab39fa8

Because the war on aliens must have no limits....

"Because the war on aliens must have no limits...."

BUILD THE WALL!

IMO Tillerson only looked reasonable when compared to Trump and some of the other bozos.

That's, unfortunately, all we have.

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