Re: The Clown Show

1

I am genuinely dumbfounded that they can't plug some of the leaks. They're making the guy look like a big Loser, and surely with as small a crew as they have right now, it ought to be easy to figure out who's talking.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 10:47 PM
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Hard to do anything when most of your org chart is empty.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 10:51 PM
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But hey, that's what the F├╝hrerprinzip gets you.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 10:53 PM
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Why is this article written so badly? This shouldn't be part of what bothers me but it is.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 10:58 PM
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It fails to mention that appointing Bannon to the NSC was literally illegal. I sent a link to heebie, who presumably is watching cable and shopping for drapes.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 11:12 PM
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You know who else sucked at implementation, couldn't manage subordinates, obsessed over decor, and watched too much audio-visual material?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 11:12 PM
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Caligula's horse?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 11:15 PM
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Slander. The enemies of Rome were stomped upon in consistent and professional fashion.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 11:17 PM
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I'm an enemy of Rome and all I've got is this stupid cough. I'm not convinced.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 11:19 PM
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Admittedly, his posthumous standards have fallen.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 11:22 PM
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Everyone should read Ron Rosenbaum's article "Against Normalization" right now:

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/normalization-lesson-munich-post/


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 11:29 PM
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Thanks, Barry. That's useful.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-17 11:48 PM
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4: the NYT style is to write in long, stilted run-on sentences and use subtly awkward vocabulary. I don't know why. Maybe they think it confers gravitas. Or they're trying to be Time magazine from the 50s.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 12:09 AM
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Backward ran style guides until despaired the readership.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 3:02 AM
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You know who else sucked at implementation, couldn't manage subordinates, obsessed over decor, and watched too much audio-visual material?

Michael Cimino?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 3:03 AM
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He was New Wave. That stuff was, like, his job, man.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 3:14 AM
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Concentration camp guards use the same excuse.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 3:34 AM
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Did you all see Saturday Night Live's Opening bit with Alec Baldwin and Steve Bannon as the grim reaper? So perfectly captured. Oval Office Cold Open


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 3:34 AM
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I think the leaker is one of Trump's multiple personalities - the one that tweets from an iPhone, perhaps. You wait - the denouement will be the Fight Club-style reveal that The Leader was in The Donald's head all along, as he savagely beats himself up.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 4:02 AM
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The Bill O'Reilly Trump interview was something else. It reminds me of the Micheal Kinsley quote "A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth." Also terrifying generally it was, causing me to write like Yoda.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 4:57 AM
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Per 4, it is difficult to describe incoherence, ignorance and dishonesty if there is a strong norm against using those words.

He will linger on the opulence of the newly hung golden drapes, which he told a recent visitor were once used by Franklin D. Roosevelt but in fact were patterned for Bill Clinton.

That sentence is a mess, but I bet the writer would have needed an explicit sign-off from Baquet or someone else high-up in the organization if the writers had wanted to say something more direct:

He brags about the opulence of the newly hung golden drapes, which he falsely told a recent visitor were used by Franklin D. Roosevelt. In fact, they were first installed for Bill Clinton.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:11 AM
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I think it's a huge problem because if you can't be that direct, you can't persuade the people who might turn against him before he does such huge damage to the country that it becomes impossible to ignore even for the sheltered, suburban white people who backed Trump.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:17 AM
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22: In my more despairing moments (which is to say, in pretty much all of my moments) I think that journalists see the problem as being Trump. And sure, yeah, he's a huge problem.

But the bigger problem is that the media have created a culture where lying pays off. By permitting the kind of dishonesty that, say, led is into Iraq, the media is effectively requiring that level of dishonesty. In that environment, politicians who are constrained by reality are, well, constrained.

If the media manage to solve Trump, they are only going to establish that there is some kind of limit to how dishonest you can be, and Republicans are going to have to go back to being minimally artful liars. That's not much of a constraint.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:34 AM
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Speaking of norms for using words, I think using "whistleblower" instead of "leaker" seems appropriate in this context.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:34 AM
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23 was, of course, me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:34 AM
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On other NYT pieces today: I guess nobody John Yoo back about that job. He as much said that Trump would do better sanitizing his actions like had him do.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:45 AM
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Like Bush had him do, that should be.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:46 AM
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Trump's ability to read has been speculated about for a while (aside from his willingness, which seems very low). Add to that the business with stairs recently, and "where's Rudy?", and I'm now also wondering if his vision is shot.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 8:41 AM
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I am genuinely dumbfounded that they can't plug some of the leaks.

And I am genuinely dumbfounded that they can't figure out how to turn on the lights.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 8:50 AM
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Add to that the business with stairs recently

It wasn't even stairs; it was a very shallow ramp. A wheelchair ramp, and a lot less steep than some. And he still needed help getting down it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 8:51 AM
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30 Was that for real though? And what was the "where's Rudy?" thing?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 8:58 AM
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It wasn't even stairs; it was a very shallow ramp.

The rumor is that he has really bad eyesight, which may also explain that time he didn't see Rudy Giuliani sitting right in front of him.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:00 AM
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He played one play, then they made a movie, then he became insufferable according to my sources at Notre Dame.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:00 AM
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If he has really bad eyesight and raves on about how hot Ivanka is, that whole thing is even creepier.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:02 AM
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He didn't know Giuliani was sitting in front of him: http://elitedaily.com/news/politics/video-of-trump-health/1775280/


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:02 AM
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Maybe the light switches are dated and ergonomically counterintuitive in some way?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:04 AM
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An over-the-shoulder photo of his notes in a huge point size.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:06 AM
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36 makes sense; I can easily believe that either a) they're tucked away somewhere non-obvious to avoid ruining the decor and/or b) they're some complicated setup where you can choose lots of different levels of lighting depending on what you're doing. Both are true in some of the meeting rooms in my office and have occasionally led me to have meetings with the lights off simply because none of us can work out how to turn them on, and we've been here for more than a year.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:07 AM
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The lights thing is perfectly understandable.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:11 AM
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11: Thanks for the link. It's important food for thought, but I'm wary of the comparison. Hitler was a true political animal, with real convictions from an early age, sufficient to volunteer in the German army and dive into serious and dangerous politics afterward. Trump has apparently made consistent (but occasional) noises for decades, but shows nothing at all comparable to Hitler's motivation. AFAIK Hitler also had a more or less coherent (if unattainable) set of goals in mind, where Trump doesn't seem to have any concrete goals, just a collection of attitudes.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:11 AM
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There's nobody who was in the White House eight years ago and remembers where the switch is?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:12 AM
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Maybe the light switches are dated and ergonomically counterintuitive in some way?

Or maybe its one of those practical jokes Biden left behind.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:12 AM
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And of course the age gap is huge, 70 vs 44.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:13 AM
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Biden's joke was rigging the printer so that no matter what is sent to the printer, the output is something from herpy.net.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:14 AM
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29 The light switch thing strikes me as a silly anecdote that got way overblown. It's surely referring to a single episode. I'm not saying it's "fake news" but it's a hook for expectations of the wrong kind from these people.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:15 AM
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41: That could be the root of the problem, that the household staff are not being as proactively helpful as they could be, possibly due to being treated horribly.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:17 AM
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46: The household staff hating them is another thing I wondered about, but 41 was referring to former Bush 2.0 people coming back and that there don't appear to be any significant number of them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:18 AM
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On the ALLCAPS NOTES THING, this reminds me that Gordon Brown used to do this because of his poor eyesight (he lost one eye playing rugby as a young man, and the other suffers due to the effort to compensate). A lot of accounts of Brown's crankiness are down to the fact that he was constantly reviewing documents with seriously impaired eyesight and the civil servants didn't always remember/deliberately forgot when they wanted to annoy him or try to sneak details past him.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:23 AM
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5: I was planning on posting it this morning! But then there were these healthy, robust posts already up. It's coming.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:24 AM
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48: Interesting. Were eyeglasses not an option? I can't find images of Brown in them. At any rate Brown was pretty open about at least the medical aspects of his condition; it's more interesting with someone temperamentally incapable of admitting physical defect.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:32 AM
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48. David Blunkett had to have his private office people read him briefings, which meant that civil servants had to learn to write briefing notes that went on one side of A4. A valuable skill. Blunkett of course has a photographic memory- well, not photographic, but you know what I mean.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:34 AM
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The White House obviously needs those clap on clap off light switched installed.

Sounds like Trump is too vain to wear glasses.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:37 AM
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45 is what i thought. The media should hold off on stuff like that unless there's a pattern. To easy to blow their credibility (I know I know).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:39 AM
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You know who else had poor eyesight but was too vain to wear glasses, so had all his speech notes and briefings typed up in a special large typeface?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:45 AM
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49: Thanks. I'll just post it here, since it'd be a redundant thread:
Looks like appointing Bannon to the NSC is literally illegal.

According to Title 50 of the U.S. Code, Section 3021, which established the National Security Council, it "shall be composed of" the president; the vice president; the secretaries of state, defense, and energy; and "the secretaries and undersecretaries of other executive departments and of the military departments, when appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve at his pleasure."
As the president's chief political strategist, Bannon is not a secretary or undersecretary of any department. Nor, as a member of the White House staff, has he been confirmed by the Senate.
[...]
No such position [like Bannon's] --not even a broad category that includes this position--is listed in the statute governing the NSC. A presidential memorandum doesn't override federal law. Therefore, Bannon should not be given a seat at the table unless Congress amends the law.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:45 AM
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50: I think he uses contacts, but I don't know why I know that.

civil servants had to learn to write briefing notes that went on one side of A4

this used to be the absolute core skill of a good civil servant.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:46 AM
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40 some of those objections are raised and dealt with in the article but YMMV.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 9:46 AM
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There are many similarities between Trump and Hitler, but that article if anything made Trump sound less like Hitler. Trump did not organize a coup, and does not have a long history of leading a paramilitary organization with an extensive track record of murder.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:07 AM
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Cosign what MattD was saying with a couple additional thoughts. The discussion around the treatment of First Nations peoples is a pretty resent development. Obviously issues have come up through time (Oka standoff, residential schools, fishing rights) but the last ~10 years there's been sustained pressure on the government to improve things more broadly (water/housing, missing and murdered Indigenous women, etc.). I'd say some of this is due to Canadians being able to be smug about black racism in Canada compared to the U.S., i.e. we're taught we're the end/savour of the Underground Railroad and not much about current issues.

Also Canadians think they know more about the U.S. than they really do so when they hear about a U.S. issue, they'll assume the situation is the same. Like talking about health care. Canadians love to talk about wait times, the inability to get a GP, and the costs. Which are the same issues as the States. But like there's a difference between it costing $250 per ambulance ride if you really didn't need one and $350/month plus whatever $ for an ambulance ride you actually need. Or, that I can book whatever specialist I want without going through my GP but like again, a lot of money per month, and a lot more unnecessary tests and it's still a multi-month wait for an appointment (that I'm paying $$ for).

Anyway, if you can find Sara Benecasa's twitter thing about trying to complement Canadians, she basically describes this mindset (we're so weirdly pessimistic and unable to take complements (because we don't deserve them, true)).


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:07 AM
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Being a masochist, you won't mind me pointing out that your complements should be compliments.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:15 AM
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Sorry to BSALB, but that's one the things I hate above all others.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:17 AM
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+of


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:18 AM
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If you knew how badly I spell, you'd be as impressed as I am that that's the critique.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:18 AM
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Normally I'd assume that speculating about his ability to read, or untreated myopia, was below the belt. Unrealistically underestimating the opposition. Complacently assuming that he doesn't agree with us, therefore he must be stupid. GWB was a bad person with bad policies but he was competent in some things and he wasn't literally illiterate; same for many of the dumber-seeming current Republicans. But Trump has broken so many rules about politics that maybe he's broken this one as well and he really can't read. Who knows.

I try to be jaded in general, but I recently had my own, "Wait, what the hell?" moment about the administration a few days ago, about the regular Labor Department unemployment rate report. During the campaign, he said with his customary lack of evidence that those numbers are meaningless and the actual number of unemployed are much, much higher. (To be clear I realize there's room for debate about how it works, which could account for several percentage points of difference, but Trump said 42 percent.) The report showed slight improvement, maybe statistical noise, but definitely not getting much worse. If Trump had called it bad news, that would have been relatively reasonable, because it's a holdover from the Obama administration. It's based on 2016 events, and he was only president for a week before it was released.

But Trump didn't. He said it's good news and reflects optimism and stuff. This goes beyond politics. He can't admit that anything tied to him is bad, even if it's definitely not his fault.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:19 AM
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this used to be the absolute core skill of a good civil servant.

True. Now you mention it, I think there was some additional restriction in respect of DB. Three bullets only rings a bell. Something like that.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:21 AM
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I can't find an image macro that points out Milo Yiannopoulos's and Steve Bannon's resemblances to Pete White and Billy Quizboy. Internet, you disappoint me.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 12:15 PM
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You know who else had poor eyesight but was too vain to wear glasses, so had all his speech notes and briefings typed up in a special large typeface?

I think we can rule out Fraktur.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 12:38 PM
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66 That's almost too perfect but it also almost ruins the Venture Bros for me.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 12:39 PM
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I don't even know what you kids are watching on the TV these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 12:44 PM
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Even Kanye West has had it with Trump, so the media must be doing something right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 1:03 PM
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I thought the buried lede was that Bannon and Ryan are now besties, working out the tax code by text.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 1:28 PM
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"Hey, you got your racist nationalism in my pro-wealthy fiscal conservatism!"

"No, you got your pro-wealthy fiscal conservatism in my racist nationalism!"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 1:30 PM
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Trump is doubling-down the Bowling Green Massacre.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 1:42 PM
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Fact-based link.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 1:44 PM
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Bannon and Ryan are now besties

That was my #2!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 1:45 PM
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Your shit is literally destroying America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 1:46 PM
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Trump is doubling-down the Bowling Green Massacre.

I heard the body count also doubled. Such tragedy!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 1:48 PM
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OT: I can't really figure how this is Uber's fault, but maybe if their app was faster?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 2:00 PM
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I heard the body count also doubled. Such tragedy!

Trump-doge.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 2:15 PM
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I heard the body count also doubled. Such tragedy!

Which is absolutely true, and further reason to ban those zero-inventing Babylonians Iraqis who made it so.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 2:34 PM
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74: Jesus H. Christ.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 3:39 PM
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I know. It's very literally "1984," complete with view screens and an anti-sex league.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 4:28 PM
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John Yoo's conscience is all that's stopping the face-cage rat thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 4:36 PM
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And soon we will have always been at war with Eastasia rather than Eurasia.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 4:47 PM
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On other NYT pieces today: I guess nobody John Yoo back about that job.

I think Yoo has been opposed to Trump for a while. I just saw this anecdote in a New Yorker article (that's a couple weeks old).

Goldberg once called Trumpism "a radiation leak threatening to destroy the G.O.P." and compared the candidate to "a cat trained to piss in a human toilet." ("It's amazing! It's remarkable!" he wrote, mocking those impressed by Trump's occasional displays of political poise. "Yes, yes, it is: for a cat.") At the Heritage event, though, Goldberg tried to be magnanimous in defeat. "I am entirely open to giving Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt," he said. "The #NeverTrump thing is over--by definition."

Sitting next to him was John Yoo, who was a prominent Department of Justice official under President George W. Bush, and who had recently likened Trump to Mussolini. Glancing mischievously at Goldberg, Yoo said, "I don't know if it's over for him, though."

"That's true," Goldberg replied, chuckling. "Tell my wife I love her, if I suddenly disappear."

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 4:56 PM
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I advocated on here back in 2009 that the student body should throw Yoo out of a window.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 5:03 PM
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Yeah, it looks like Yoo had very similar objections to Trump last year, including post-nomination.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 5:24 PM
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Can you train a cat to piss in a human toilet without resorting to torture? Asking for a friend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 5:52 PM
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88: some friends of mine did it, though I don't know how.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 6:13 PM
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My son keeps asking for a pet but I don't want to either clean a box of shit or walk a dog. Or yell at him to do it sixteen times.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 6:16 PM
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One of the things that's nice about having the kid off at school is that we just go ahead and do the minor household chores without drama. It flares up a bit when he's home on breaks, but I've taken to telling my wife that our work is done, for better or worse, and further socialization will have to be left to his future significant others.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 6:34 PM
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That's why I can't fold fitted sheets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 6:53 PM
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Friends of my uncle had a cat that had originally been raised by vegans who taught it to eat vegetables. One time they were making shrimp cocktail and the cat walked over the shrimp to get at the lettuce. I believe that if a cat can be so trained, then America can survive Donald Trump. Or something along those lines.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 6:57 PM
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90: A bird. You could sort of ease into it by renting one for a while before deciding if you want to go all-in.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 6:58 PM
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88 Charles Mingus wrote a pamphlet about that.

Has Trump thought about letting Yoo crush a child's testicles? He might come around for that.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:06 PM
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Would a jazz musician lie to you about toilet-training cats?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:07 PM
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I have to get up pretty early in the morning to pwn LB, and I did. It's just past 5 am here.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:09 PM
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That seems useful. I wonder what other pet tips on are musicians' web sites.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 7:23 PM
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On the Bannon NSC EO thing, I heard an interview on the radio today of one of the authors if the piece suggesting that the issue wasn't that Trump didn't read the EO, or can't, but rather that no one had explained to him what the prior history of the NSC and its various committees had been. So he was caught off guard by, for example, Alberto Gonzales talking about how GWB would never have allowed Rove to sit in.

It's his own damn fault, obviously, for eschewing expertise, but you can understand being pissed when the underlings don't tell the whole story.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:48 PM
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Sure, but they're his damn underlings. It's not like he has no control over them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:51 PM
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O, to have been a fly on the wall when Michelle Obama was told today about Melania Trump's lawsuit, which explicitly claims as damages the impairment of her ability to cash in on being first lady.

Actually, I kind of imagine that Laura Bush may have had a thing or two to say about this as well.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:52 PM
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I wonder if they've had discussions about trademarking the phrase "First Lady"?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:56 PM
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100 Bannon probably didn't even look up the history, but just knew he needed to be in on this stuff, to be able to trash talk Mattis, Kelly, and Tillerson to Trump.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:56 PM
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103: Obviously he didn't, or he would've done a better job of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 10:57 PM
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99: Eschewing expertise is one thing, but eschewing basic legal review is a whole different level of stupid. If there's one thing a property developer can bring to public office it should be understanding the importance of legislative details.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 11:04 PM
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If there's one thing a property developer can bring to public office it should be understanding the importance of legislative details.

You'd think, but here we are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 11:07 PM
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And what do we know of Bannon's actual competence? This

a detailed staffing and implementation plan in line with the kickoff strategies of previous Republican presidents [...] was discarded -- a senior Trump aide made a show of tossing it into a garbage can -- for a strategy that prioritized the daily release of dramatic executive orders to put opponents on the defensive
suggests a man who thinks he's still running a clickbait site.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 11:11 PM
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NMM to the World's Foremost Authority, Professor Irwin Corey.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 11:14 PM
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107 Isn't he?

I'm not convinced, by the way, by the Fidell/Kaplan argument. The difference between attendee and member is perfectly clear, and there was no need to have the EO repeat the statute as to who was a member. The difference between attendee and regular attendee doesn't strike me as significant. I'm glad people on knocking them on the head with this -- just this morning, I overheard the wife calling a Senate committee and leaving the message not to confirm Bannon -- but I don't think there's actually any there there.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-17 11:17 PM
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107: I read somewhere that the whole "just sign a bunch of EOs with the big chequebook and pen on day one" thing was originally created on Ronald Reagan for his second inauguration, so it's been spinning around the R-sphere for decades as A Thing.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 2:25 AM
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Wouldn't be half surprised if that were true of GWB too.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 2:56 AM
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105: He was never a good property developer either.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 6:52 AM
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112: I think this ought to have been Clinton's line of attack. He was never going to release his taxes because they prove he's lied repeatedly about how much money he has. Releasing taxes would also give insight into his web of corporations, which may well contain harmful information about him. It would also show that he lied about how much he gives to charity. Clinton should have attacked his apparent strength because it's a big blustery bluff. I'm willing to bet he isn't even a billionaire. Don the Con Artist would have been a good angle. It would make no difference to the base, but I bet that the marginal voters who tipped the election to Cheeto Benito would have cared. His image as a successful man is everything to him, and attacking it would have him in conniption fits 24/7.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 7:09 AM
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113: It wasn't her only line of attack, but it was front and center in debate #1.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 8:50 AM
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I didn't come away with a sense she was pounding him on the subject, but then again I stopped paying attention after a while, so I may have missed something. She mentioned it a few other times but it was in among a bunch of other stuff. Trump on the other hand was relentlessly on-target with "crooked Hillary" and he stuck to the attacks.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 9:09 AM
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113: I've been calling him a huckster--he's famously so, for decades. At this point, I figured people who got scammed by him fall under the "you can't cheat an honest man" rubric. But yes, it would have been great if Hillary had gone further into that. The whole "we're under audit" thing was so brazen.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 9:14 AM
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109: thanks Charley.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 9:30 AM
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I don't think Hillary ever put the word "billionaire" in air quotes, or referred to him as a "so-called billionaire." That's why she lost.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 10:09 AM
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Speaking of losing, according to something I read, Congress has the power to release Trump's tax returns. I wonder if that isn't the issue to run against the GOP members of Congress on in 2018 (assuming they don't release the tax returns).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 10:14 AM
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Latest clown show news: Trump loves him some civil forfeiture, and offers to destroy someone's career to defend it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 10:28 AM
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118 At the Al Smith dinner, she noted the presence of Bloomberg, and said it would be interesting to hear from a real billionaire.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 11:15 AM
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I guess in ads, etc. she put a lot more emphasis on him screwing vendors and students and other little-guys, and it seems at least some people thought "we could use someone that heartless working for us". And yeah, perhaps they would have thought differently if they also realized his success was also a fraud.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 12:10 PM
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Also also.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 12:11 PM
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I had seen those ads and thought they were brutally effective. That they weren't I think goes along with the reminder that it wasn't so much the actual little guys who put him over the top, but so many shitheads without any redeeming qualities.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 12:14 PM
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They do have a virtue. It's one that you lack. They have the courage of their convictions. For example you call them irredeemable shitheads but you don't have the guts to follow through and kill them. I feel confident in saying that if we continue to talk shit about them, they will have the guts to follow through and kill us. The good thing about that is that many of us will totally deserve it.


Posted by: Roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 5:07 PM
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It's a little early in the day for that drunk. But I do know for a fact that they won't follow through a kill me. Or at least many of them had the chance when they were younger.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 5:10 PM
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Also, they aren't going to have the guts to follow through and kill anybody. They're going to vote for somebody to do it for them, but only if they also lie about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 5:15 PM
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Somebody has to guard the death camps.


Posted by: Roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 5:27 PM
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Even the Germans had to import Lithuanians and such for that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 5:34 PM
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I was voted "least likely to be involved in a genocide" in high school. I never considered it a problem before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 5:44 PM
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119: Speaking of losing, according to something I read, Congress has the power to release Trump's tax returns. I wonder if that isn't the issue to run against the GOP members of Congress on in 2018 (assuming they don't release the tax returns).

Congress has the power to release them? Or the power to compel him to release them?

At any rate, I suspect the majority of the electorate doesn't care about the tax returns. I'm less sure about whether they care about his business ties, the fact that he hasn't divested. Still there too I suspect most don't care.

That said, pressuring Congress on its duty to maintain constitutional checks and balances against the executive branch seems ... well, I wish it were a promising approach. As it stands, the Republican Congress is captive to an executive that stands a good chance of signing off on its legislative acts.

Did people see the report that Trump considered ditching the electoral college as recently as a couple of weeks ago, but McConnell talked him out of it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 6:47 PM
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131 last: If true...words fail me.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 7:48 PM
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The 3 am phone call to Flynn (!?!) to ask whether a strong or weak dollar is better for the US economy is just amazing.

And the blowback from the Yemen op. What a fucking clownshow from top to bottom.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 7-17 8:20 PM
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