Category Archives: The Darnold

Quote Of The Day: President* Anger Troll

Image by Michael F

There’s a thought-provoking piece at Slate by Lili Loofbourow about political rage, which is all the rage in the age of Trump. Here’s the money quote:

As tactics go, this one is dumb and transparent, but it’s worth describing it because it works. It works a lot. Trump is not a genius. But he instinctively understands the dynamic of provoking and then delegitimizing someone else’s pain. As Adam Serwer wrote, he’s energized by the suffering he causes others and—secondarily—by the bond that ritualized cruelty forges with his base, which has been connected by fear of others. From Trump’s perspective, it’s kind of funthat people feel compassion for the families he separated. It’s delightful that women are worried about rights he has expressly said he wanted to take from them. And, after insulting and belittling people he’s supposed to be governing, he enjoys acting surprised that they mind.

It’s a silly and ugly game, but it’s the only true rule of Trumpism: be the sorest winner imaginable. Aspire to nothing but power and status. Hold no principle sacred. Withhold justice and insult those who object. Yes, the effects of this are predictable. It doesn’t take a genius of social engineering to be the “why are you hitting yourself?” guy. All it takes is a willingness to be him.

Rage trolling and sore winning are the only things he’s good at. That’s why I call him the Insult Comedian.

Of Dictator Coddling

The MSM is fond of calling everything about the Trump administration* unprecedented. In many cases, they’re right: to use the most obvious example, past presidents did not publicly trash the FBI. JFK and LBJ loathed J Edgar Hoover but the latter reappointed him based on the pragmatic Johnsonian notion that he’d “rather have him inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.” Besides, like his hero FDR, Lyndon enjoyed the gossip J Edgar Hee-Haw shared with him.

The notion that Trumpian Saudi coddling is unprecedented is, to use the Insult Comedian’s favorite phrase, fake news. In dealing with the medieval Saudi family dictatorship, oil has always been the decisive factor, not human rights. When he wasn’t coddling the Shah of Iran as president, Jimmy Carter was coddling the Saudis. Despite his sincere commitment to human rights, Carter sold arms to the Saudi family dictatorship. Repeat after me:

The presidents Bush were noted Saudi coddlers as well. Who among us can forget the image of W and holding hands with then crown prince, later King Abdullah?

One might even call that image Abdullah and the dullard. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Back to the whole unprecedented thing. While American dictator coddling goes way back, Trump has taken it to heights unseen since the Cold War. Ronald Reagan’s UN Ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick, drew a distinction between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. According to Jeane and Ron, the former rocked and the latter sucked. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a distinction without a difference, but it was classic Cold Warrior doctrine.

The tragedy of Saudi dissident/WaPo columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, illustrates how far gone the Trump regime is in its “human rights don’t matter” policy. Trump has been dancing around the issue for day, he has even passed on a theory from Saudi King Salman that “rogue killers” are behind the Khashoggi murder instead of Jared’s pal, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, hereinafter MBS.

In part, the Khashoggi affair has captured the world’s attention because of its whodunit aspect. The possibility that his iWatch captured what happened has excited geeks everywhere, but the real importance of this tragedy is that the president’s* “the media is the enemy of the people” rhetoric has given a green light to dictators to kill their journalistic enemies. Heckuva job, Trumpy.

The only upside of the Khashoggi affair is that it has ended MBS’ reign as the IT dictator. There’s always one: even Bashar al-Assad had a brief stint as a Westernized IT dictator before he became the chemical weapons-using Butcher of Damascus.

The best thing I’ve read about MBS as the fallen Prince Charming is by Jim Rutenberg in the Failing New York Times:

The embrace between the American establishment and the leader known as M.B.S. was set to continue in Riyadh later this month at a business conference hosted by Crown Prince Mohammed. The sponsors, partners and participants of the conference — known informally as “Davos In The Desert” — included a number of media companies: CNBC, The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, The Economist, CNN and Fox Business Network.

With the exception of Fox, which is reviewing its participation, all of those organizations pulled out as the Khashoggi story climbed most-viewed article lists and drew cable coverage. The story’s popularity was helped along by its thriller-like qualities, which included the allegation that the journalist’s body was dismembered with the aid of a bone saw before it was removed from the consulate.

And suddenly the “M.B.S.” moniker took on a grim new meaning among the plugged-in set of Washington: Mister Bone Saw.

That sounds like a nickname that could have been used on The Sopranos. I doubt, however, that slain dissident’s corpse will be cut up at the Istanbul equivalent of Satriale’s Pork Store. Life continues to imitate The Sopranos even in the Muslim world.

There’s another worrisome aspect of this story: MBS’ close relationship with the Trumper Princeling, Jared Kushner. There are rumors of bribes in the form of Saudi loans to Slumlord Jared’s teetering real estate empire. Barrels of Saudi oil money can definitely grease the wheels in the most corrupt administration in American history.

These are tough times for those of us who believe in the Wilson/FDR/Carter emphasis on human rights around the world. Those three leaders did not always practice what they preached, but the Current Occupant could care less about human rights. John Bolton’s hobby as National Insecurity Adviser has been bashing and abandoning the UN Human Rights Council, after all.

All of the Insult Comedian’s comments about Saudi Arabia have been tinged with envy. He recently “joked” about America’s having a president for life some day. The idea of a hereditary Trump family dictatorship excites him even more than conning the suckers at his next campaign rally. He’s like a toddler with a new toy. One could say that we’ve gone from dictator coddlers to dictator-envying toddlers. Repeat after me: from coddlers to toddlers.

I eagerly await the next twist in the Khashoggi murder story. I dread the next twist in the Trump dictator coddling story.

Let’s close this post on a lighter note. The last word goes to The Beatles:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

UPDATE: The Saudis have their cover story. It looks as if they’re going to claim that Khasshogi’s died in an unauthorized interrogation gone wrong. Since Team Trump is applying the Russia Rules to the Saudis, the White House will buy whatever they’re selling even if the story is ridiculous.

The President* Of His Base

Hurricane Michael blew up in the last two days before landfall. It became a Category 4 storm and the 3rd most powerful in our nation’s history. The good news is that it was a fast mover. The bad news is that it cut a wide swath of destruction through the Florida panhandle. Michael was such a powerful storm that the NWS will put the name on its inactive list. Climate change? What climate change?

While Hurricane Michael ravaged the panhandle and moved on to Georgia, the president* attended a fund-raiser and rally in Pennsylvania. He tweeted out his pretext for not focusing on the storm.

The rally was in support of GOP Senate candidate Lou Barletta who trails incumbent Bob Casey Jr. by 16 points in the Real Clear Politics poll aggregate. The Insult Comedian’s presence was about ego gratification and his ongoing refusal to take hurricanes seriously. Tweeting out shit is not enough: a real president would be on the job, a lesson George W. Bush learned the hard way. That’s better politics than mocking the #MeToo movement. But Trump is an applause junkie who lives for the roar of the crowd and “lock her up” chants. Asshole.

It’s not original to observe that Trump is the president* of his base. Instead of seeking converts, he attacks anyone who is not already in his camp. It’s how he was elected and he reckons that it worked. Good politicians are nimble and allow their pitch to evolve. What worked in 2016 may not work in 2018. I also firmly believe that people hate a sore winner, which describes GOP behavior after Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Most presidents love the unifying role of head of state. Some of the best presidential speeches in our history have been made at times of national or international mourning. Bill Clinton’s facility as head of state is one reason he made a political comeback after the 1994 midterm disaster. His speeches honoring the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing and the memory of Yitzhak Rabin were classics.

The best head of state in my lifetime was Ronald Reagan with Barack Obama a close second. Reagan loved the ceremonial aspects of the job and reveled in every opportunity to be a unifying figure. I opposed his policies but his speech after the Challenger disaster made me verklempt. If we had a constitutional monarchy, Reagan would have made a fine king. He had an intensely loyal base BUT, like his hero FDR, he loved being the unifier-in-chief. Trump is all about chaos and division. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

Speaking of Reagan, his presidential library has introduced a Ronald Reagan hologram:

A smiling Ronald Reagan waves to a crowd from aboard a rail car during a 1984 campaign stop in a new hologram revealed Wednesday at the late president’s namesake library in Southern California.

“We think we made a good beginning, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” the high-tech digital resurrection of the nation’s 40th president exclaims in his steady voice, with a twinkle in his eye.

Reagan, who died in 2004, also shows up in a suit and tie inside the Oval Office and clutching a lasso alongside his dog, Victory, at his beloved ranch in two other holograms that will open to visitors Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library west of Los Angeles.

Holo-Ronnie should make an appearance at a Trump rally and repeat the memorable line from his 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter when the Current Occupant tells a lie: “There you go again.”

I wonder if the crowd would chant “lock him up” or if that’s reserved for nasty, uppity women.

Repeat after me: there are 26 days until the midterms. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

First Draft Potpourri: Campaign Notes

I thought I’d meme a picture of the happiest Democrat of all for this feature. Besides, as a history buff, the 1948 campaign is among the most interesting ever. It featured something we’re unlikely to see again in our lifetime: a good choice. The Republican ticket of Tom Dewey and Earl Warren were stronger on Civil Rights than Truman-Barkley who weren’t half bad on that issue either thanks to Hubert Humphrey. As I said, it was a good choice.

The only truly good choice in my voting lifetime was 1976: Jimmy Carter and Jerry Ford were both good men as well as genuine moderates. Ford was too conservative for my taste but it’s been forgotten that Carter was the most conservative Democratic nominee since Grover Cleveland. At least he didn’t have Cleveland’s giant walrus mustache:

A side note; I was already a  young Beatles fan when I first saw a picture of President Cleveland. I had perhaps my first earworm: I Am The Walrus.  When encountering Grover’s glowering visage, I remain guilty of saying “Goo goo g’joob” instead of “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House ha, ha, ha,”

That was a manic digression even by my standards but after several weeks of focusing on the Kavanaugh Mess, I need some comic relief. I suspect you do too.

Republicans have spent the last few days exchanging high-fives and spiking the ball over what they’re calling the Brett bounce. I expressed skepticism about this on Monday and a CNN poll conducted during Peak Kav showed Democratic gains in the generic ballot as well as a staggering 30% advantage among women voters. The gender gap has been a reality for years  but has exploded in 2018. I cannot imagine why. That was, of course, a lie: it’s because of the man I call the Insult Comedian, Trumpberius, and the Kaiser of Chaos. I felt like flexing my nickname muscles, what can I tell ya?

If there’s a Brett bounce it’s not happening in House races. Politico’s Steven Shepherd counted so we don’t have to:

The Republican House majority continues to show signs of collapsing, with Democrats steadily gaining ground toward erasing the 23-seat margin and ending eight years of GOP control.

A total of 68 seats currently held by Republicans are firmly in play — rated as “Lean Republican” or worse for the GOP — presenting a stark contrast to the Democratic side, where only a half-dozen Democratic seats are in similar jeopardy.

<SNIP>

With a month to go until Election Day, there are now 209 seats either firmly or leaning in the Democratic column — only nine shy of the 218 the party needs to wrest away control of the chamber — according to the latest update of POLITICO’s race ratings.

I hope the Gret Stet MSM will stop writing pieces about how good it would be for Lousiana if  Metry’s Steve Scalise became Speaker. All he’s going to be is a contestant for Minority Leader.

Admittedly, things aren’t as hunky dory in the Senate where there seems to be a slight shift towards the GOP recently. The Senate was *always* going to be difficult to flip but, as the cliche goes, 27 days is a lifetime in politics. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

In the most entertaining Senate race of the season, Beto O’Rourke is drawing massive crowds, which has convinced some observers that he’s going to win. Crowds, fundraising, and yard signs are great but I’d feel better if Beto ever led in a public poll. Thus far, Cruz has maintained a steady lead. He *is* running scared: Tailgunner Ted pulled out of a joint appearance on CNN. Repeat after me: Ted Cruz is a pussy. He should grab himself.

Texas remains the Democrats’ white whale as far as I’m concerned. I really hope I’m wrong about this but I’m reluctant to be like Captain Ahab:

The Insult Comedian has been out on the hustings whipping his crowds into a frenzy and telling frenetic lies. He’s decided that his pet Justice* was the victim of a hoax perpetrated by the evil Democrats and our puppet master, George Soros who is the star of the 21st Century’s version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Trump is preternaturally fond of urging his crowds to chant “lock her up.” It seems to be reserved for uppity women who have crossed him: Hillary Clinton, Christine Blasey Ford, and the latest, Dianne Feinstein.

In the current GOP take on the Kavanaugh Mess, Senator Feinstein is the scheming, lying harpy whose evil machinations nearly sank their saintly Supreme Court nominee. This is, of course, ludicrous to those of us who’ve followed Feinstein since her days in San Francisco politics. She’s a straight arrow who has often gotten into trouble for being too blunt. If Dianne Feinstein is a trickster, I’m a Kim-n-Kanye idolator.

The most important thing I can say today is GET OUT AND VOTE and get your mom-n-them to the polls as well. It’s time to bring some oversight back to Washington. I’m certain that Elijah Cummings, Jerry Nadler, and Adam Schiff have itchy subpoena fingers.

Repeat after me: there are 27 days until the midterms, Tick tock, motherfuckers.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Freeperstar Galactica edition

A short one this week, folks, but since my back got fixed, I’ve been running around like a chicken with his head cut off, doing stuff I haven’t been able to do for some time.

So – it’s Q-hoo – Featuring a long time Freeper’s “Dear John” letter.

Er – make that a “Dear JIM” letter :

Hey, it’s an FR/Q opus
youtube.com ^ | 4 OCT 18 | 1inchgroup

Posted on 10/4/2018, 10:26:13 PM by 1_Inch_Group

I’ve made some decisions.

We’re abandoning ship Tigh.

I have to Saul. She’s dying…and we both know it.

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

This isn’t the same Free Republic I remember.The FR I knew would have outright rejected these nutjob Q kooks….and the White Nationalists and other creepy critters that support Q’s game.

Instead…..

If you are too effective against the Q drones here, they feel comfortable enough (now) to start sending your phone number to car dealerships, home remodeling places…..and I’m sure, if I looked enough in their little distorted world….my address in it’s entirety. Phone calls have stopped (down from 40+ a day), since I stopped posting. I fully expect them to pick up in the next few days. That’s okay. Call some more. I did nothing at all that would pose any risk to you. #promise/s

I have a very special person to take care of here. If she gets stressed out, that’s my fault.

So you Q people all did it. You stressed her out because you don’t have an argument that stands up to a rational discussion. She’s 99 you a$$holes. Make you feel good? Well, congratulations.

Beat me the only way you could. By attacking my 99 year old grandmother.

Make you feel like a good conservative American? Nah….you’re basement level refuse. Feeding on every little bit of crap just like a goldfish.

FR and Q trash. I never would have suspected it. Put up with it for a bit because you are all screaming crazy nutjobs…..and figured rational people would see that.

I’m done. I’ll meet FRiends in other places that haven’t yet been influenced by this cult.

You keep your Q.

Just so we’re clear. YOU allowed them to come. YOU allowed their disease to creep.

YOU let people in here that support doxxing (Hey, Q prole that published my info……pay close attention to the Dem operative arrested for felony identity theft for doxxing.)

YOU deal with it. I’m done.

No more donations, no more participation. Enjoy who you’ve chosen to sleep with.

She was a grand old Lady.

To Galactica.

Please delete my account. You don’t have to act out the part any more.

Opus, out.

1 posted on 10/4/2018, 10:26:13 PM by 1_Inch_Group
Damn.  I loved that penguin.
To: 1_Inch_Group

 

Not bad.

2 posted on 10/4/2018, 10:28:00 PM by deadrock

To: 1_Inch_Group

I get those calls and no one doxxed me.Shame to see you go, sir. I don’t think you need to do this.

3 posted on 10/4/2018, 10:28:59 PM by ConservativeMind (Trump: Befuddling Democrats, Republicans, and the Media for the benefit of the US and all mankind.)
To: 1_Inch_Group

 

My God,what is happening here?

I don’t know how to react.

5 posted on 10/4/2018, 10:29:54 PM by Mears

Don’t worry – the Qberts will be along in a second to tell you how to.
To: 1_Inch_Group

 

You need a tissue for your issue.

9 posted on 10/4/2018, 10:31:31 PM by Eddie01

See?
To: 1_Inch_Group

 

I agree with his main point, that the Qooks are equivalent to libtards in their illogical, herding, seek and destroy mentality, but apparently the decision has been made (on a financial basis?) to let them not only live, but migrate here, as Q havens continue to get shutdown elsewhere. Since I’m (and many of us) aren’t paying enough in to be involved in those decisons, either you learn to live with them, or you don’t. My guess is Sessions will be fired soon, which will lead to their demise everywhere, but we’re not there yet.

32 posted on 10/4/2018, 10:45:35 PM by Golden Eagle (There is no difference between the Eric Holder Justice Department and Jeff Sessions – DJT)

More discussion on how badly the Qberts have further fucked up Freeperville after the thingy.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Volunteers

Two Flags by Jasper Johns

It’s still stupidly hot in New Orleans; summer hot. And we had the third warmest September in recorded history. There are rumors of a cool front next weekend but the relentless heat is putting a damp damper on the local festival season. It typically starts the first weekend of October because that’s when it cools off. Not this year, apparently. Climate change? What climate change? End of weather related rant.

The Kavanaugh Mess ate my week, so let’s move on to this week’s theme song. Volunteers was written by Marty Balin and Paul Kantner. It was the title track of Jefferson Airplane’s classic 1969 album; you know, the one with the pb&j sammich gatefold. Volunteers has an interesting origin story: Marty was awakened by a truck one morning with Volunteers of America painted on the side. A protest song was born. Marty Balin died last Saturday at the age of 76. There’s an extended tribute to Marty at the end of the post.

We have two versions of Volunteers for your listening pleasure. The original studio track and a live version from Woodstock.

“Look what’s happening out in the streets. Got a revolution.”

Now that we’ve revolted in a revolting way, let’s jump to the break.

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Donald Trump Is A Criminal

I doubt if anyone is surprised that I think Donald Trump is a criminal. I suspect most of you reading this would concur. The post title is still totally beautiful as either a teenybopper or the Current Occupant would say.

The White House has dismissed the epic New York Times story as “boring.” A Trump mouthpiece has threatened them with a defamation law suit. Never gonna happen, my friend. You know the Times’ lawyers went over the story carefully since they proclaimed that Trump had committed fraud to get where he is today. The NYT has better lawyers than Trump; probably because they pay their bills.

We already knew that everything about Donald Trump is phony. The Times story verifies that his origin story as a semi-self made man is a big fat lie. Many of us never believed it but the proof is in the pudding. One might even call this a sticky pudding…

The work done by reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner is likely to win a Pulitzer Prize. Congratulations in advance, y’all.

The story is based on Fred Trump’s tax returns, which proves conclusively that tax forms matter;  as David Corn has put it for the last few years:

A tweet  from former Poppy Bush speechwriter and Commentary Magazine scion, John Podhoretz caught my eye yesterday:

That’s because he was, Poddy. He was a film noir villain who repeatedly bailed his dumbshit son out of trouble.

It’s unclear where this will lead BUT the game is afoot. The New York state authorities seem to be interested in following the money. Happy hunting.

Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a criminal.

The last word goes to David Bowie:

Your President* Speaks: The Boy In The Bubble

I originally planned to write at length about the Kavanaugh mess but it’s still as fluid as hell. I’m not into trying to nail Jello to the wall, so let’s see what our idiot president* has been up to. (For some obscure reason a high school friend of mine nicknamed a classmate, Jellohead. It had nothing to do with Jello shots, which we had never heard of at that point. To paraphrase Brett Kavanaugh, “what happens at San Mateo High, stays at San Mateo High. That’s been a good thing for all of us.” Party on, Brett,)

That may have been a record-breaking parenthetical digression. I constantly outdo myself in that regard.

Let’s take a look at the low light of an interview the Kaiser of Chaos gave to The Hill, which is not connected with his arch-nemesis Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The first quote *may* be the dumbest thing Trump has said yet and that’s saying a lot:

“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries “I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don’t want him there when I get there.”

I know there’s a lot of competition for stupidest Trump comment ever, but he’s never claimed pre-election appointment powers before. Does he think Barack Obama would have listened to him? Perhaps he could borrow the Tardis from the Doctor and do some time traveling. Of course, now that the Doctor is a woman, he’d never ask a skirt. Delusional thy name is Donald.

Let’s move on to an inside the White House piece by Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair’s Hive.  Sherman’s sources informed him that the “First Daughter” has urged daddy to “cut bait” and dump Kavanaugh. I had no idea that Ivanka was an angler. Maybe she should go fishing with former Veep Dick Cheney. It would be entertaining if Cheney’s line got tangled in Ivanka’s blond locks.

Here’s what Trumpberius is reported to have said about his lousy Supreme Court nominee:

“‘He’s a Bush guy, why would I put myself out there defending him?’”

A classic bit of Trump loyalty if I’ve ever seen one. He ignored advice from Senate GOPers to pick a nominee with less baggage so this is his screw-up.

The Buckpasser-in-Chief has come up with his story if the GOP loses the midterms bigly:

Even before the Kavanaugh crisis, Trump has been worried about Republicans’ declining fortunes, and he’s been finding ways to shift the blame. Trump told a friend in the Oval Office last week that it would be Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s fault if Republicans lost the House and the Senate, according to a person familiar with the conversation. “This is the election about Ryan and McConnell—it’s about those guys,” Trump said. Trump referred to his 2020 campaign as “the real election.” “It’s pure Trump. He has to come up with a way he’s not responsible if Republicans lose,” a former West Wing staffer said.

I’ve heard of shape-shifters but Trump is a blame-shifter. It’s a new one on me. It’s what happens when you live in a bubble.

I thought there was going to be a red wave. You mean the president* was lying about that? #sarcasm. His more gullible followers apparently believe the Insult Comedian’s red wave shtick and are as low energy as Jeb Bush about the midterms according to an internal RNC poll obtained by Bloomberg News.

Donald Trump is a past master at creating his own reality. To some extent, all presidents live in a bubble but this president* has always lived in one. The last word goes to Paul Simon:

Porcini Envy?

I’m a bit late to the mushroom dick dance. I had other things to do yesterday so I missed out on most of the zany twitter responses to this quote from Stormy Daniels’ book:

“He knows he has an unusual penis,” Daniels writes. “It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool…

“I lay there, annoyed that I was getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart…

I guess a description of the First Dickhead’s dick was inevitable given the company he keeps. It’s also appropriately inappropriate that the Mario Kart character is named Toad. I’m not a gamer like my pal Dave Gladow so I had to google it along with “Yeti pubes.” Ugh. Stay classy, Stormy.

It’s hard to be witty when writing about the Insult Comedian’s not-so magical mushroom, but somehow my friend Chef James Cullen was able to pull it off:

Now there’s a man who knows from mushrooms. That tweet earned him bragging rights:

While I wish I had written that shroom poem, it did not give me porcini envy.

The last word goes to the Strawberry Alarm Clock, of all people:

I don’t know about you, but strawberries and mushrooms aren’t my idea of an ideal flavor profile. Of course, this tune comes from an album called Incense and Peppermints. That’s almost as disgusting as Stormy’s description of Trump’s game boy.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – book worms edition

First, a little reminder, from last week’s Obsession:

To: kristinn

 

Will be in the $1.00 bargin rack very shortly. Perhaps next week.

26 posted on 9/4/2018, 11:22:02 AM by ncfool (America Reborn 1/20/2017. Lets make sure we don’t screw up,the opportunity to MAGA.)

Ah, memories…..

Woodward book breaks 93-year publishing record
The Hill ^ | September 13, 2018 | Joe Concha

Posted on 9/13/2018, 2:09:31 PM by EveningStar

Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” sold more than 750,000 copies through its first day of release, the most for any title in Simon & Schuster history, according to the 94-year-old publisher.

The investigative book by the veteran Watergate reporter, who has written books about every administration dating back to President Nixon, was powered by excerpts published before the book’s public release Tuesday and President Trump’s public rejection of it. Trump called the book “a con on the public” consisting of quotes that are “made up frauds” designed to boost Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

1 posted on 9/13/2018, 2:09:31 PM by EveningStar

TinfoilHatArmy
4…3…2…1…
To: EveningStar

TOTAL BS!!!

Of course it is.

Unless George Soros bought them all.

Of course he did.

Didn’t the media tell us Hillary was going to win the election, or that Trump colluded with Russia? WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE THEM WHEN THEY LIE TO US ABOUT LEFTY BOOK SALES?

2 posted on 9/13/2018, 2:12:00 PM by CivilWarBrewing (Get off my back for my usage of CAPS, especially you snowflake males! MAN UP!)
GO FUCK YOURSELF.
To: EveningStar

 

Gee, the party of the “little” people…sure has a “lot” of money to burn.

11 posted on 9/13/2018, 2:26:24 PM by RckyRaCoCo (Please Pray For My Brother Ken)

Hmm – I’m living on Social Security, and even *I* can afford $18.
Anyway, back to the Tinfoil Brigade :
To: CivilWarBrewing

#2: “Unless George Soros bought them all.”

Yes, in a way. These books were bought by PACs, think tanks, etc. They will be handed out as freebies and swag at their “events”.

Anyone who has the slightest familiarity with publishing knows that these purchases were not driven by individual sales. Even the lib reviewers say the prose is stiff and wooden, dull, and almost unreadable.

18 posted on 9/13/2018, 2:35:46 PM by Governor Dinwiddie (“Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”)
TinfoilConspiracy
Of course even in Freeperville, reality sometimes rears its ugly head :
To: CivilWarBrewing

 

It’s believable. Subscriptions and sales are off the hook in all categories for the left and trashing President Trump whether we like it or not. The left is a self sustaining entity and nothing the right says or does penetrates it. Hell..the President spends half his time responding to their garbage.

9 posted on 9/13/2018, 2:19:55 PM by ALX

Of course, denial is a helluva drug :

To: ALX

 

CNN, MSNBC, and all the news broadcasts on the alphabet channels are getting dismal ratings yet Woodward’s book sales are going through the roof? The leftist intellectuals read but not their electorate. Looks like mass buying to me. You’ll see copies of the book in Democrat headquarters and precinct offices around the country, and in the Dollar Tree and 99 Cent stores in time for Christmas!

12 posted on 9/13/2018, 2:27:20 PM by dowcaet

I thought that 99 cent thing was supposed to happen by this week?
To: dowcaet

 

CNN and MSNBC combined beat FOX by at least a million every single night. Maddow regularly beats or ties Hannity. New York Times and Washington Post subscriptions are way up.  Those are facts.  FOX is a tiny bubble and half of the (FOX) content is anti-Trump drivel.

16 posted on 9/13/2018, 2:33:05 PM by ALX

BanHimTrump
More book worm bubbles below the fold, with bonus Stormy Daniels book goodness..

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The Three Thousand & Where Power Lies

It doesn’t matter whose fault it is:

He’s a feral animal, of course, who can only see things in terms of how they affect him. You know this and so do I and I think so does he, not that it matters. I’m so tired of spending time in his psyche. Who cares if he’s crazy or evil or crazy-evil; three thousand still died.

And more will, and more. When this was all going down this week I thought of friends who died years after Katrina, after wars, after trauma. Kick and I drove home from a festival Saturday night listening to Springsteen’s concert in New Orleans in ’06, barely seven months after the storm:

And I thought of Ashley, who Adrastos wrote about this week, and Betty, and Morwen, and Greg, and all the people who died later, much later, because their lives got ripped to shreds and never quite got put back together, because everything that happens to you wears you down a little more, because it’s hard to tell when all the threads are woven together which one will unravel you when it’s pulled.

These things have long tails, have a half-life and you can’t just say the waters receded and then everything was all right again. More will die in Puerto Rico. More will die on the Carolina coast. More will die every day and the point isn’t how many, when. The point is we could have stopped it, and helped, and didn’t.

That’s all that matters to the three thousand.

The story in Puerto Rico, it matters less who’s to blame for it than who’s supposed to handle it. Yelling at Trump isn’t about finding someone to blame. It’s about getting someone to DO THINGS. Like okay, the bottled water isn’t getting where it should go, SO FIX IT ALREADY.

Government is, six days of the year, an actual job and not just cutting ribbons on new supermarkets and shit. I thought Trump was supposed to be this colossus. I thought he was this great legendary thing, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and overcome ordinary obstacles with his giant business penis or whatever the hell he was on about during the campaign.

“I alone can fix it” is a promise you’d best be prepared to make real, time comes.

The three thousand people who died in Puerto Rico don’t care if Trump is to blame or not. If he saved them, they’d just be glad to be alive. And we had the capability to save them; this “well, FEMA just drops stuff off, derp derp derp” is horseshit. We can override laws and rules and regulations whenever we feel like it, and there are lots of people at, say, Mar-A-Lago and in Iraq who can attest to those things.

It’s amazing how Trump wants to violate every norm and rule when it’s time to put some money in his bank account, and how Republicans are all WHAT EVEN IS REGULAR ORDER when they want to put the personification of 6-month-old sour cream on the United States Supreme Court, but when there’s bottled water to be distributed in Puerto Rico it’s “well, somebody else was supposed to do this one thing and we were powerless to override that vague convention.” Like just send in the 82nd, you’ve already proved literally nobody is gonna fuck with you.

I mean, even if you grant that we have an imperial presidency and have since around 9/11/01: PUT IT TO USE ALREADY. Unless you just didn’t want to do that, in which case, fucking own it. Admit that you have power where you want to have it, so that we can assess, and make decisions, without somebody throwing a giant tantrum all day long about FAKE NEWS and DEMOCRAT PERFIDY and other shit that doesn’t matter one bit to three thousand dead.

A.

Your President* Speaks: A New Low

I’ve been doing fewer Your President* Speaks posts as the Trump administration slogs along. The stupid fucker wants us obsessing over his tweets and I prefer not to give him what he wants. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule and this is one of them. I woke up mad, now it’s time to get even.

I briefly considered using Rock Bottom instead of A New Low in the title. Unfortunately, there *is* no rock bottom for the Insult Comedian. He thinks he stoops to conquer when instead he shoots himself in the foot every time he pulls a stunt like this:

It goes without saying that none of this is true. Fuck you, Donald.

It goes without saying that this is obscene. Fuck you, Donald.

It goes without saying that Trump thinks Hurricanes Maria and Florence are about him. Fuck you, Donald.

It goes without saying that he is desecrating the memory of those who died in Puerto Rico and those who might die as a result of Florence. Fuck you, Donald.

The real reason this president* never cared about the deaths of some 3,000 Puerto Ricans is that they were never going to vote for him. It’s a horrible thing to say about anyone but it’s true. Fuck you, Donald.

As someone who lived through Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood, I take this very seriously. When a major storm makes landfall, I feel twinges of PTSD and I was one of the lucky ones. You shouldn’t play politics with hurricanes. This is about human suffering, not about a ridiculous man who sits in the White House live tweeting Fox News. Fuck you, Donald.

Having said that, I disagree with those who think Trump should be thrown off twitter. I want to know what the enemy is up to. I believe in turning over rocks and exposing the evil underneath. Besides, the Insult Comedian keeps saying damaging things on twitter. Let the stupid fucker tweet to his heart’s content.

This tweet in response to Trump’s new low is perfect:

In the immortal words of my late and much missed friend Ashley Morris:

FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCKS.

Book Review: Fear by Bob Woodward

When reading a book like this, you usually learn that its subject has some redeeming characteristics. That’s never been the case with any book about Donald Trump; even Hitler liked children and dogs whereas Trump is indifferent to the former and hates the latter. Trump always comes off worse than expected. That’s the case in Fear by Bob Woodward.

The Insult Comedian and his idiotic minions have attacked the book as “fake news” and “fiction” and denounced Woodward as a tool of the Democrats. Woodward is, of course, hawkish and quite conservative: I’m unsure if he’s still a registered Republican but he used to be.

The White House has even strong-armed sources such as Jim Mattis, Rob Porter, and Gary Cohn into issuing non-denial denials. But none of them has disputed the truth of Woodward’s damning narrative. How could they?

I do not understand why Gary Cohn, who is much richer than Trump, issued such a statement. One would hope he would like to recover at least part of his good name after his time as a Trump dignity wraith. He’s also a registered Democrat who should not give a shit how the GOP does in November. Here’s my conclusion: Gary Cohn is a pussy. He should grab himself.

Yeah, I know. I used that line in my Everybody Hates Ted post. It’s too good not to recycle.

I read Fear in two days, which is fast by my standards. When the writing is excellent, I like to luxuriate in the prose. It’s not something I do when reading Woodward: he’s a plodder, not a stylist. That approach tends to *further* his credibility. Even after all the acclaim, he’s the Joe Friday of American journalism:

I guess that makes Carl Bernstein the Bill Gannon of American journalism. I’d rather be Sherman T. Potter myself…

Woodward’s book has caused the Insult Comedian to have his 19th Nervous Breakdown as president*. His frenzied tweeting makes him the book-salesman-in-chief. The book has sold 750,000 copies since its publication: I picked up one of the last copies at my local Costco on publication eve. Woodward is known for his exquisite manners, so I wonder if he plans to write the president* a thank you note. Heckuva job, Trumpy.

Fear is written in the classic Woodward voice: omniscient narration with dialogue based on his recordings. Like Tricky Dick and Omarosa, Woodward records his interviews, which is why Team Trump cannot possibly win its pissing match with the WaPo legend. Hell, they’ve lost to the dread Omaraosa.

The content of the book has been widely discussed. Woodward sticks to important subjects such as trade and national security; eschewing the gossipy approach of Michael Wolff and Omarosa. The most interesting segments involve Trump’s former lawyer John Dowd who may have violated attorney-client privilege by being so garrulous with Woodward. I’m glad he talked: we learn a lot about Dowdy’s view of the Mueller probe. I don’t agree with his take but it gives us insight into how Team Mueller operates. As a prosecutor, Bobby Three Sticks is a helluva poker player. He’s acting like he has an ace in the hole, y’all.

You can tell that Trump has not read the book or he’d understand that Woodward is fair to him. Woodward is something of a Kremlingate skeptic and buys into much of Dowd’s blather. I do not: Dowd assumes that the witnesses whose testimony he’s familiar with have told the truth to the FBI, Congress, and Grand Jury. In many cases, I assume the opposite. Ain’t no way Trump Junior didn’t lie to protect his father. Lying is in the genes.

The Trump White House is full of potty-mouthed officials. I remember when the Nixon White House Transcripts came out. People were shocked over the expletives deleted. Nobody’s shocked by all the cursing in Fear, I fear. Fuckin’ A.

My major takeaway from reading Woodward’s latest is that Trump is every bit as jaw droppingly stupid as we’ve all feared. 63 million Americans voted for a fucking moron who is incapable of admitting error or absorbing new information. I remain appalled that the many Trump officials who know that he is unfit for office have not resigned. Other than Secretary Mattis, whose continued presence may deter a deranged president* from going to war, they have no excuse for putting party and self above country.

The last word goes to Bob Woodward:

Hurricane Season Blues

Florence is a charmingly old-fashioned name. I don’t recall ever knowing a Florence or calling anyone Flo. The name is unlikely to make a comeback: Hurricane Florence is a dangerous system that appears to be the IT storm of the 2018 hurricane season.

It’s natural for people in New Orleans to compare the storm to Hurricane Katrina. I did so myself on the tweeter tube the other day:

There’s another severe past storm whose name is being dropped. Florence’s projected path is eerily reminiscent of 1989’s Hurricane Hugo; another storm with a charmingly old-fashioned name that was anything but charming.

I have a friend who does rescue work who is sounding the alarm about Florence:

Don’t fuck around with this storm, y’all, especially if you’re in a coastal area. The storm surge is potentially horrific. Leave as early as you can so you can Flo with the contra-flow on the interstate.

I posted the picture of the Insult Comedian’s obscene antics in Puerto Rico last fall as a reminder of his administration’s failures after Hurricane Maria. He, of course, thinks they did totally awesome:

“I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success. I actually think it is one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about,”

Nearly 3,000 people perished as a result of Maria. Trump is incapable of thinking everything associated with him isn’t the “biggest” and the “best.” It’s what con men do.

Those brown-people should just STFU and stop being uppity with Trumpberius, especially that lady mayor. #sarcasm

He’s bragging in advance about how the government will do in response to Florence:

Donald Trump has declared that his government is “absolutely, totally prepared” for Hurricane Florence, as officials and forecasters warned that the “staggering” storm is shaping up to be catastrophic and unprecedented.

It would be nice if we had a president* who didn’t sound like a tween girl at a sleepover. Totally.

What strikes me about the revived Maria discussion is that there has been NO Congressional oversight whatsoever. Despite Republican control of Congress after Katrina, there *were* hearings. After Maria, crickets.

The lack of Congressional response is partially because of Puerto Rico’s commonwealth status BUT Republicans are afraid of the Kaiser of Chaos pitching a hissy fit. They seem to think that a nasty tweet will smite them dead. Their political cowardice seems poised to send them into the wilderness after the midterms. They’ll wish they’d risked the online wrath of Trump.

Heckuva job, GOP.

The last word goes to Neil Young and Roxy Music:

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – 19th nervous breakdown edition

Greetings, good people! The Darnold’s Very Bad Week is now extending its tour for a second week, due to high ticket sales :

Bob Woodward’s New Book Reveals a ‘Nervous Breakdown’ of Trump’s Presidency
The Washington Post ^ | Tuesday, September 4, 2018 | Philip Rucker and Robert Costa

Posted on 9/4/2018, 10:52:29 AM by kristinn

John Dowd was convinced that President Trump would commit perjury if he talked to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. So, on Jan. 27, the president’s then-personal attorney staged a practice session to try to make his point.

In the White House residence, Dowd peppered Trump with questions about the Russia investigation, provoking stumbles, contradictions and lies until the president eventually lost his cool.

“This thing’s a goddamn hoax,” Trump erupted at the start of a 30-minute rant that finished with him saying, “I don’t really want to testify.”

The dramatic and previously untold scene is recounted in “Fear,” a forthcoming book by Bob Woodward that paints a harrowing portrait of the Trump presidency, based on in-depth interviews with administration officials and other principals.

Woodward writes that his book is drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses that were conducted on “deep background,” meaning the information could be used but he would not reveal who provided it. His account is also drawn from meeting notes, personal diaries and government documents.

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

The book is a total hit job based on a mix of gossip, purloined documents and betrayals.

A lot of what the Post thinks is damaging to Trump actually makes him look good to his supporters, like the rant about Afghanistan.

So it’s true?

Much more at the source link.

1 posted on 9/4/2018, 10:52:29 AM by kristinn

Freepers are of one mind about this.
Unfortunately for them, that one mind has to be shared between a few thousand Freeperati.
To: kristinn

 

Yeah, and not a single word out of this guy during Obama’s eight years.

He defended Clinton adnausium(sic) too.

He’s a lifelong fraud.

2 posted on 9/4/2018, 10:55:25 AM by DoughtyOne (01/26/18 DJIA 30 stocks $26,616.71 48.794% > open 11/07/16 215.71 from 50% increase 1.2183 yrs)

So it’s NOT true?
To: kristinn

 

the excerpts above reveal that President Trump is doing his job. I fail to see from the two examples where the issue is.

1. He does a mock meeting with Mueller, and he’s convinced in just a few minutes, that he DOESN’T want to testify.

2. He’s upset with the way Afghanistan war that he inherited is conducted. He shows aggravation with the generals. Ok? What’s wrong with that?

6 posted on 9/4/2018, 10:58:59 AM by nikos1121 (Trump w/ Cabinet to the press:”You’re free to stay or to go, as I believe in a free press.” lol)

So it IS true?
To: no-to-illegals
Setting his leftism aside, what should we expect from a guy that wants to sell books?”The Trump White House is a well-oiled machine?”

9 posted on 9/4/2018, 11:01:27 AM by daler
So it’s NOT true?
To: kristinn

 

From the little written here, I like the guy even more.

Trump is not afraid to tell a 4 star general that he’s fook of crap…

10 posted on 9/4/2018, 11:01:51 AM by nikos1121 (Trump w/ Cabinet to the press:”You’re free to stay or to go, as I believe in a free press.” lol)

So it IS true?
To: DoughtyOne

 

Bingo!!!!!!

Woodward is nothing but a partisan shill.

20 posted on 9/4/2018, 11:11:27 AM by Starboard

So it’s NOT true?
To: kristinn

 

I read the article, the portrayal of Trumps temperament seems consistent with others. Is anyone surprised? I like him, voted for him, will again in 2020. I thought he was crazy long before the 2016 campaign, but I’ve come to accept that his brand of loony is what’s needed to shake up DC and the GOP.

18 posted on 9/4/2018, 11:09:42 AM by bethelgrad

So it IS true, The Darnold not only has the nuclear codes but is as crazy as a shithouse rat, and you’re cool with that.
.
Good to know.
To: kristinn

 

Will be in the $1.00 bargin rack very shortly. Perhaps next week.

26 posted on 9/4/2018, 11:22:02 AM by ncfool (America Reborn 1/20/2017. Lets make sure we don’t screw up,the opportunity to MAGA.)

Yeah – about that…

Don’t hold your breath.

On second thought, DO hold your breath. I’ll be back next Monday to check up on you.

More breathless badness at the “Continue reading” link below.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Deep State Throat

I wish I could take credit for Deep State Throat as an epithet for the author of the New York Times op-ed but I saw it first on the twitter feed of Never Trump Republican Rick Wilson. He’s a funny man so I wanted to give him credit before stealing the sobriquet. And if Mr. Wilson picked it up elsewhere, thanks to that person.

I’m under no illusion that the identity of Deep State Throat is the most important thing I could write about. (The performance of Senate Democrats during the Kavanaugh hearings has been most inspiring; special kudos to Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Pat Leahy.) But I’m a Watergate junkie and one of my odder hobbies for many years was speculating as to who Deep Throat was. It’s only natural that I’m drawn to speculating about the identity of Deep State Throat.

One thing I’m trying not to do is to dismiss out of hand specific institutional actors. It was a mistake John Dean made when he investigated the identity of Deep Throat. He ruled out the FBI, which was how he lit on Alexander Haig, Nixon’s second chief-of-staff. Under Dean’s sway, Haig was *my* leading candidate but second on my list was former G-Man W Mark Felt.

I  do not consider Mark Felt a hero. He was an important whistleblower, but he was the ultimate disgruntled employee. He had good reason to believe that he would succeed Hoover, which gave him an axe to grind. His main gripe with Tricky and his henchman was that they violated the norms and procedures of Hoover’s FBI. He had no problem with black bag jobs or illegal surveillance of dissidents. But he did look spiffy with a fedora and a rod:

I love those 1940’s ties. I have several of them and enjoyed wearing them in another lifetime. The Insult Comedian would hate them as they’re on the short side. He prefers long ties that point at his tiny pecker. It’s probably why he had a friend by the name of Pecker until he, too, turned on Donald. Penis envy explains a great deal about Trump.

Back to Deep State Throat. There were ritual denials from many senior Trump administration officials including my two prime suspects. The denials don’t rule any of them out. First, they work in an administration whose motto seems to be “lie early and lie often.” Second, Mark Felt repeatedly denied being Deep Throat until he was elderly. Say no more.

I’ve written off some early contenders such as Mike Pence and Nikki Haley who both have presidential ambitions. Deep State Throat will be as radioactive to vestigial Trumpers as Nelson Rockefeller was to the Republican Right back in the day. Besides, Haley isn’t in Washington enough and Pence’s political viability depends on not wielding the knife himself. Michael Heseltine, who wielded the knife against Margaret Thatcher, had to settle for being John Major’s Deputy Prime Minister. Pence is already playing second fiddle, he wants to conduct.

I have two prime suspects if Deep State Throat is truly a “senior Trump administration official” as described by The Times. Let’s start with Pence’s fellow Hoosier. Dan Coats has been willing to publicly disagree with the president* and holds the sort of sincere Reganite views expressed in the op-ed. He issued what is best described as a non-denial denial.

 “Speculation that The New York Times op-ed was written by me or my Principal Deputy is patently false. We did not. From the beginning of our tenure, we have insisted that the entire IC remain focused on our mission to provide the President and policymaker with the best intelligence possible.”

Note that Coats did not denounce the op-ed or declare its contents to be “patently false.” I’m also struck by the mention of his principal deputy; nobody other than former HRC aide Philippe Reines has mentioned Sue Gordon. Did Gordon and Coats collaborate on the op-ed?

The fact that Coats’ right-hand is a woman feeds into a theory advanced by Deep Blog, a self-described intuitive and smart motherfucker, that Deep State Throat is a woman. Charlie Pierce and his wife, Margaret Doris, have floated the notion that Kellyanne Conway is the mole.

She points out that there is something unmistakably feminine in the tone, that it is written in the kind of English practiced in the realms of advertising and public relations, and that the ensuing guessing game has knocked both Bob Woodward’s book and Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hearings off the top of the news, regardless of what it may be doing the the president*’s evaporating sanity. If, as I speculated on Wednesday, this is a vehicle on which you can ride away from the garbage fire that is this administration*, but you still want to hold onto your conservative Republican street cred, this is exactly the kind of thing you’d concoct.

She thinks it’s Kellyanne Conway.

The op-ed also has a somewhat snide tone at the end when Deep State Throat blames the American people for the Kaiser of Chaos:

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

That sounds more like the snippy Conway than the genial Coats. In his days on the Hill, Coats was known to be nice to the “little people” from cleaners to staff. Of course, other Trump officials have bragged about how they obscure their identity when leaking: 

“To cover my tracks, I usually pay attention to other staffers’ idioms and use that in my background quotes. That throws the scent off me.”

The Trump White House is a viper’s nest of backstabbing bastards. It’s reminiscent of the Courts of the Caesars: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. That’s why I call Donald Trumpberius.

One theory I do not buy is this one: “The op-ed was a plant only designed to distract attention from the Kavanaugh hearings and Woodward book,” In a word: piffle. That is far too slick for the Trumpers who excel only in incompetence. Trump himself has engaged in an epic public temper tantrum and internal witch hunt since the op-ed was published. He wants Deep State Throat’s head on a platter or arm attached to a lie detector by Senator Aqua Buddha.

It will be fascinating to watch this lurid melodrama play out. I suspect Deep State Throat’s secret identity will be revealed sooner as opposed to later but it won’t be Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, or Peter Parker. I fully expect Deep State Throat to go public, since unlike Mark Felt, he/she/it craves attention. They’re relishing the attention but must be aggravated by those, like me, who have called them a coward when Deep State Throat thinks of themselves as a hero. Reveal your identity and resign if you really want to save the Republic from the president* you serve.

The last word goes to Asia with a song with a song about betrayal:

Your President* Speaks: So Much For The Solid South

My favorite bit from the WaPo story on the Woodward book is this beauty:

A near-constant target of withering presidential attacks was Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump told Porter that Sessions was a “traitor” for recusing himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, Woodward writes. Mocking Sessions’s accent, Trump added, “This guy is mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner….He couldn’t even be a one-person country laywer down in Alabama.

He forgot to call him a dumb redneck or a stupid peckerwood. This confirms a story from last week wherein the Insult Comedian insults his AG:

…the President also hates his southern accent and lack of Ivy League background. He apparently tells aides that Sessions “talks like he has marbles in his mouth.”

Nice. The irony of this venom is that the ONLY decent thing Sessions has done at DOJ was to recuse himself from the Russia probe. That was NOT done voluntarily. The president* hasn’t got a clue that the recusal was MANDATORY because of Jeff Beau’s involvement on the campaign. Dumbass.

Trump is oblivious to the fact that most of his Southern supporters have thicker accents than Sessions: white suburban women are running away from him, even in Dixie.  He needs to learn how to hick it up like Gret Stet Senator John Neely Kennedy. Neely could coach him to say y’all instead of youse. Hey, Steve Bannon taught him to say populist instead of popularist. If Bannon can do it, so can Neely.

The last word goes to The Band:

 

Profiles In Anonymous Cowardice

A bombshell went off not long ago via the Failing New York Times. It’s an anonymous op-ed written by a “senior Trump administration official.” The guessing game has already begun but I’ll get to that at the end of this instant analysis post. This is the money quote as far as I’m concerned:

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

I don’t know about you but this is this first I’ve heard that administration insiders explored the possibility of a 25th Amendment solution to the Trump problem. They have opted instead for a silent coup, which is almost as frightening as the president* who scares them shitless.

The title of the piece nearly sent me through the ceiling. (I still may have to pick the odd piece of plaster out of my hair.) It took a lot of nerve to call it I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration. The author is part of the problem. Instead of attempting to maintain their future job prospects or political viability, they should reveal their identity and resign. If there is indeed a cabal within the administration, there should be mass resignations. This is strategic political thinking, not patriotism. We need patriots now more than ever.

As to the writer’s identity. I think it’s more likely than not a politician. The author seems eager to establish their conservative bona fides by stressing free trade and foreign policy hawkishness. A friend of mine thinks the author could be a woman and their guess was Nikki Haley. If she spent more time in Washington, I’d agree but the author is someone with frequent access to the West Wing.

One of the more obvious suspects is Director of National Intelligence and former Indiana Senator, Dan Coats. Coats has been repeatedly been cut-off at the legs by Trump. He should have resigned long ago. If it’s you Mr. Coats, please step forward.

The weirdest possibility is Mike Pence. The op-ed’s author used the word lodestar and expressed admiration for John McCain. A guy named Dan Bloom has done some quick linguistic research and has noted that Pence has frequently used the word lodestar in speeches. He’s an unlikely candidate after spending every day since he was put on the ticket with his head up Trump’s ample rump.

In the end, it does not matter who this cowardly conservative is. If they believe that Donald Trump is mentally unstable and temperamentally incapable of doing the job, they should stand up and say so.

I’m going to give a frequent First Draft reader the last word or is that tweet. Anyway, I concur with my distinguished friend from North Carolina:

The shit is really about to hit the fan. This makes the Woodward book look like pissing in the wind.

 

 

Billboard (Going Mobile)

The Insult Comedian’s twitter timeline is a treasure trove of contradictory statements. He blows with the wind, which is self-generated by his big bazoo. A group in Texas, with the help of Parkland kid David Hogg, is taking advantage of this with the moblie billboard above.

The optimum plan is to trail Tailgunner Ted around the Lone Star state. The mobile billboard will definitely be there when Trumpy rallies with the artist formerly known as Lyin’ Ted at what should be called Jerry Johnson Ego Stadium. FYI, the LSU Tigers opened a can of whoop-ass there yesterday on the Miami Hurricanes. End of Geaux Tigers digression.

I’d like to see signs with some National Enquirer covers waved at Trump-n-Ted as well:

The Texas Senate race gets more interesting every day. Something is happening in Texas. Beto O’Rourke is an exceptional candidate who I think has a pretty good chance to take out Tabloid Ted. It will be perilously close since Texas is politically as ruby red as the delicious grapefruits grown there. I wouldn’t Beto the ranch but I think the non-asshole from El Paso can beat Cruz by somewhere south of 5,000 votes.

The last word goes to (who else?) Pete Townshend and the Who:

Think of the obelisk on the Who’s Next cover as the Cruz campaign. Who among us wouldn’t piss on it?

First Draft Potpourri: Of Violence, Wise Guys & Peckerwoods

I have a dream that some day soon we will have a normal news cycle. Every time I step away from the computer and/or iPhone to focus on personal and/or local news, all hell breaks loose. (It also makes me type and/or twice in one sentence, which is lazy writing.) But that’s life in the Trump era where even a news junkie like me craves a respite of dullness from the dullards running the government.

That was a long-winded of way of introducing a potpourri post. It’s the only way I can keep up with the news of day since, unlike some other bloggers, I decline to do so on the tweeter tube. Truman Capote once said of Jack Kerouac: “That’s not writing, that’s typing.” When I see a 20 part thread, my response is: That’s not writing, that’s tweeting. It’s fine for short bursts but I prefer writing to typing and/or tweeting. Uh oh, another and/or. Next thing I’ll want to fire Bruce Ohr and/or someone else…

Violence: The Insult Comedian loves scaring the shit out of people. He did it the other night during an event with evangelical supporters. Trumpy claimed that violence will ensue if Democrats win the midterms. He’s projecting once again: his supporters are the ones apt to riot. Hell, Rudy’s already promised that as a response to attempts to remove the president* from office. Bullshit: most Trumpers can barely get off the couch to find the remote. Besides they only watch Fox News so why get up at all?

Speaking of Violence,  it’s time for a good old-fashioned punch-up, glam rock style. No guns allowed, just fists.

Unfortunately Trumpberius and company are apt to agree with Ian Hunter’s lyrics:

Violence, violence, it’s the only thing that’ll make you see sense.

Back to the couch and stay there, motherfuckers. It’s time for Michael F’s image from earlier this morning to play a repeat performance:

Life Imitates Billy Bathgate: Very little scares a white-collar criminal more than hearing that their accountant has made a deal with Federal prosecutors. And (but not or) Allen Weisselberg is not just a bookkeeper, he’s the Trump Organization’s CFO. He also happens to be one of the people running the company while the boss is ruining the country.

At first I wondered if Weisselberg would be the token Trump loyalist instead of a snitch and/or rat; there I go again with the and/ors. Then I read this:

Last month, the New York State Attorney General, Barbara Underwood, sued the Trump Foundation. Weisselberg had been deposed and showed a surprising willingness to give answers that put the President in an unflattering light. In January, 2016, during Trump’s Presidential campaign, his foundation made a series of donations to veterans-advocacy organizations in Iowa that were explicitly designed to gain support for his candidacy. Weisselberg filled out the checks. In his deposition, he volunteered that the Trump Foundation had no procedures in place to insure it followed the law and that Trump himself knew of and directed Weisselberg’s participation in the scheme to pay those Iowa veterans groups. Were Weisselberg eager to protect his longtime boss, he could have answered the questions far more narrowly. It was an early hint that Weisselberg, like Cohen, may not jeopardize his own freedom to defend Trump. News that Weisselberg had accepted immunity so that he could share potentially damaging information in the Cohen case provides more support for the view that Weisselberg is ready to share whatever information he has. And he has a lot.

It increasingly appears that Trump’s downfall will be his sleazy business tactics. Holy money laundering, Batman. Allen Weisselberg knows more than the Fixer or the Pecker notwithstanding the latter’s cache of Trump dirt. Why do you think the president* has been melting down even by his own standards?

You’re probably wondering why I titled this segment Life Imitates Billy Bathgate. Here’s why: EL Docotorow’s novel is based on the life and times of Dutch Schultz nee Arthur Flegenheimer. (I’d change my name too if it was Flegenheimer. Who wants a name that sounds like phlegm?) Dutch’s numbers wizard was a guy named Otto Berman who everybody called Abbadabba. Tom Dewey’s “racket busters” considered him the linchpin to unraveling Shultz’s rackets but Lucky Luciano whacked Abbadabba before prosecutors could flip him. End of arcane mob history lesson.

In Billy Bathgate, Abbadabba Berman was the most interesting character. He mentored the title character and protected him from Flegenheimer’s unphlegmatic wrath. The movie version was not as good as the book but the cast was excellent: Dustin Hoffman played Schultz, and Steven Hill played Abbadabba. Ironies abound as Steven Hill also played the Manhattan DA in Law & Order who shares a name with one of Trump’s pursuers, Adam Schiff. I am not making this up. I even posted about the Adams when the Kaiser of Chaos was a mere birther.

In the Trump Organization’s saga, Allen Weisselberg is Abbadabba Berman. And an Abbadabba trumps a Fixer or a Pecker any day.

It was harder than hell to find pictures of either numbers wizard. I skipped the picture of Abbadabba after he was whacked. Abbadabba-doo. You knew that was coming, right?

That concludes the wise guy part of the post, let’s move on to the peckerwoods.

The Senate Building Flap: It hasn’t been a great week for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. His deal with Chinless Mitch to let his members go home and campaign has been roundly criticized.  But he did put some points on the board when he suggested that the Richard Russell Senate office building be renamed for John McCain.

The name change should have been easy: Russell, one of the most powerful Senators of his time, was an avowed racist and white supremacist. Unlike some of his fellow Southerners, Russell never became reconciled to Civil Rights. He was a Lost Causer til the bitter end.

It appeared that the name change would sail through until some Southern GOPers expressed concerns about it. The Turtle punted it to a “bipartisan gang.” It’s unclear if members of the Russian mafia and/or La Cosa Nostra will have any input. It’s a pity that the Fixer flipped because he’d know how to set it up…

Think about it: Southern Republicans were afraid of removing the name of a Southern Democrat from a building. They’re obviously scared of alienating their white nationalist base and/or the Racist-in-Chief. They’ve lost Pecker, so they can’t afford to lose the peckerwoods.

So much for all those GOPers who have bashed reformed segregationists like Robert Byrd, Russell Long and, yes. even Richard Russell’s protegé, Lyndon Johnson.

LBJ didn’t really “threaten” Russell. He presented him with a fait accompli that obliged him to serve on the Warren Commission.

It’s time for me to stop stirring the potpourri and writing and/ors. The last word goes to Randy Newman. Some Southern Republicans are still rednecks and/or peckerwoods who “don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.”