Post Debate Reaction

That was awful. A visual summation:

lag

Several thoughts I shared elsewhere:

1.) You know how sometimes in a city you see someone disheveled and crazy looking walking along talking to themselves? I think Ben Carson is having the other half of the conversation with them.

2.) I have a secret fantasy that at the final debate, when prompted for his closing remarks, Donald Trump will look directly into the camera and blurt out “The Aristocrats,” drop the mic, and walk off stage.

3.) Ben Carson said this after the debate:

Yesterday, Carson figured out his campaign was little more than an elaborate fundraising grift and tonight he realized how awful the GOP debates are for everyone. It’s like we’re approaching the midway point of Flowers for Algernon.






163 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Not sure if intentional…

  2. 2
    James E Powell says:

    All over the internet, I’m reading that Rubio had a strong performance, really got to Trump, came out looking strong and well along on the his path to the nomination. Okay, I only read that in three or four places.

    I didn’t see or hear it. Did Rubio really rise or is that fluffing by his partisans?

  3. 3
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    @James E Powell: theyre grading on a curve based on his past performances.

  4. 4
    fuckwit says:

    It’s fluffing by the villagers who are desperate for “ANYONE BUT TROLL”

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    Flowers for Algernon. LOL.

  6. 6

    So, what did happen? I couldn’t bring myself to watch the thing. I’m still hoping Cruz finds some way to squeak through, or cheat his way, to the nomination. I think there’s less likelihood of him winning the election than there is of Trump somehow winning…

  7. 7
    gratuitous says:

    Uh oh, who woke up Dr. Carson? He was napping so peacefully, and now he’s all cranky. My visual representation of the Republican debates would be a dumpster fire, but Guernica works pretty good, too.

  8. 8
    300baud says:

    I think I just scared my neighbors because I was laughing so loud. 3 perfect observations, John.

  9. 9
    Joyce H says:

    Can’t SOMEONE, either a rival candidate or a reporter, ask Trump if he never regretted cutting off his nephew’s health insurance when the fellow had a new baby with cerebral palsy?

  10. 10
    seaboogie says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I keep wanting to ask, were you also Dr. Jeffrey H Mashtots, DDS (or whatever that nym was)? I love your nyms…

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    Interesting to me that there was a mass shooting tonight in Kansas, Dorothy, and CNN is not even mentioning it. They’re making their money off Trump and politics.

    Mass murders used to be … news.

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    2.) I have a secret fantasy that at the final debate, when prompted for his closing remarks, Donald Trump will look directly into the camera and blurt out “The Aristocrats,” drop the mic, and walk off stage.

    Jeet Heer says Trump is Max Bialystok of the Producers running for President: “I said the wrong things, about the wrong policies, to the wrong people! Where did I go right?”

  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Elizabelle: hopefully nothing in his search history was about the ME

  14. 14

    @seaboogie: That was Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. Also Otto, Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Píszmőgy. Also, Brisbane Belff, Renfrew Squeevil, Mumphrey O. Yamm, III, and a bunch of others. I’ll have to see if I can dig ’em all up again.

    And I have a host of others I haven’t even used yet…

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    I’d love to see a split screen of Hill and Bill watching the GOP “debates.”

    Would be a great SNL skit.

  16. 16
    Nate Dawg says:

    @efgoldman: yeah he can win back some of the points he lost tonight by claiming he *wouldn’t* let people die in the streets.

  17. 17
    Elizabelle says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Through it all, my biggest question: is the doggie named Mingobat? Love that name. Did your daughter invent it?

  18. 18
    Fair Economist says:

    Guernica is all wrong as a metaphor. Some of the people in that fight were good.

  19. 19
    mike in dc says:

    I do think the hits on Trump University et al have more resonance if they cite specific people who were hurt by something Trump did. In the abstract, not so much.
    The one unforced error of Trump is saying he’s been audited a bunch of times. Uh…what? I’m sure his few supporters in possession of multiple brain cells flinched at that.

  20. 20
    scav says:

    @Nate Dawg: In front of that crowd? I’m assuming your statement is in the usual font.

  21. 21
    hkedi says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I was fortunate on that, I had a real excuse that I was teaching late classes.

  22. 22
    superpredators4hillary says:

    @300baud: Hey, leave some nutella for me, Mister Licky Lickerson.

  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    @Joyce H:
    I trust Hillary to handle that if nobody else does beforehand.

    “But I’m yuuuge with the ladies! ”
    “Uh, Donald…”

  24. 24

    I’m thinking that my next user name might be Coronel Juan Lindo Domingo Pacífica Benedicto Trinidad de las Planetas Zefirino Bonifacio Santiago Vespasiano Zefrádio Sinibaldo Güibellino Septizoño Zerón y Omonita.

  25. 25
    seaboogie says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I thought that was you! Zapruder F – of course – it’s been a while. Thank you for the amuse-bouche of your nyms….

  26. 26
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @mike in dc:

    The one unforced error of Trump is saying he’s been audited a bunch of times. Uh…what? I’m sure his few supporters in possession of multiple brain cells flinched at that.

    Not at all, they know that the IRS just loves to fuck with honest businessmen.

  27. 27

    @Elizabelle: Yes. The dog’s name is Smedley Darlington Mingobat. But we call him Smedley for short. Mingobat was the three year old’s suggestion, and I liked it, so I crammed it onto the end.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joyce H:

    Totally OT, but I finally had a chance to read “A Feather to Fly With” and really enjoyed it. Amazon seemed to indicate that there’s a sequel?

  29. 29
    ChrisH says:

    I think Trump, Cruz, and Rubio have a fantastic 3 Stooges vibe going on at some points in the debate. I’d love to see some parodies of them set up like that.

  30. 30

    @ChrisH: Yeah, but the real hangup here is that the Three Stooges were funny–and likable. However dumb the situation they got themselves into might be, and however much it might have been their own fault, you had to root for them. These three clowns? I mean, yeah, there might be more unlikable creeps slinking upon the earth somewhere, but, damn, it would be work to find any.

    @seaboogie:I always thought I could have been another Dickens–if only I could come up with stories to drop all the names I come up with into…

  31. 31
    seaboogie says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): are you addledlife also too? I googled your possible future nym.

  32. 32
    Nate Dawg says:

    @scav: is there something different about my font?

  33. 33
    Suzanne says:

    I thought Trump ate Rubio for lunch.

    Cruz scares me most because he’s a True Believer. Rubio scares me second-most because he doesn’t truly believe in anything. Trump only scares me third-most, because he only believes in himself.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Does Mingobat mean anything? Or is it just some cool syllables put together.

    Love the creativity of little kids.

  35. 35

    @seaboogie: Yep. The same.
    I don’t think it means anything at all. But it does sound good. When she said it, I couldn’t tell if she had said Mingobat or Mingobag, so I asked, and she told me it was Mingobat. So that’s what we went with…

  36. 36
    hkedi says:

    @ChrisH: Ask and the internets shall provide:

    “The three stooges and the three dark horses”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nty8QQDLdjs

  37. 37
    ruemara says:

    I think it’s more a detail of the bomb in Guernica.

  38. 38
    Nate Dawg says:

    Is anyone else concerned that Trump is possibly a full-blown psychopath and/or Narcissistic Petsonality Disorder. That he wouldn’t mind dressing up in military style…

  39. 39
    Calouste says:

    @Nate Dawg: He runs in the GOP primary, there is no “possibly” about it.

  40. 40
    trollhattan says:

    @Nate Dawg:
    He can resurrected Nixon’s palace guard uniforms for the White House staff. Now that I think of it, Gadaffi’s hawt security staff are looking for a gig.

  41. 41
    Joyce H says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Totally OT, but I finally had a chance to read “A Feather to Fly With” and really enjoyed it. Amazon seemed to indicate that there’s a sequel?

    Yes, indeed! Three sequels to date. First is a novella, Regency Road Trip, with Miss Merryhew and the General. Then a couple more novels – Katherine, When She Smiled features Arthur’s brother Lord Charles, and finally The World’s A Stage deals with the life of Peter, the actor posing as a gentleman. And I’m currently working on A Town And Country Season – twins! Impersonations!

  42. 42
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @trollhattan: I remember those uniforms, I’m not sure they’d go with the late Colonel’s hawt security staff.

  43. 43
    Elizabelle says:

    CNN rebroadcasting the debate in a few minutes. Might have to watch the Rubio attack on Trump.

    Didn’t seem they were beating up on Obama as much as in earlier debates. That’s why I don’t like watching the GOP bloviate; it’s such an alternative universe…. only listened to about 20 minutes on original broadcast.

    It was enough.

  44. 44
    Anne Laurie says:

    @James E Powell:

    Did Rubio really rise or is that fluffing by his partisans?

    At this point, every Very Serious Person is a Rubio ‘partisan’. What other choice to do they have?

    (… “and leave show business?”)

  45. 45
    Elizabelle says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Your daughter inherited some of her dad’s talents!

    And my next pet will have “Mingobat” somewhere in the name.

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    @Anne Laurie: Voting for Democrats, who are actually qualified, and interested in governing?

    Nah …. it’s hard to be a VSP.

  47. 47
    Redshift says:

    @Suzanne: Personally, I don’t think Cruz believes in anything but power. If being a Talibangelical wasn’t working for him, I think he’d be just as much a true believer in something different. I don’t have any proof, but I think he’s just another psychopath.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    CNN voiceover, in best sportscaster fashion: “It’s an epic battle for the soul of the Republican party.”

    Uh, CNN, may we have a word?

  49. 49
    SFAW says:

    @James E Powell:

    Did Rubio really rise or is that fluffing by his partisans?

    The always-impartial MSM is saying “Marco finished in the Top Five tonight, so that’s a win!”

  50. 50
    seaboogie says:

    @Nate Dawg:

    Is anyone else concerned that Trump is possibly a full-blown psychopath and/or Narcissistic Petsonality Disorder.

    Yeah – pretty sure we are all aware of that, possibly even including the MSM. Also one more reason why I want Hillary to get the nom – these would be some interesting debates. As my former therapist (from England) mentioned, America really loves a narcissist. Also, said therapist closely resembles my mother, who is a narcissist. There was plenty to chew on there. All Hillary and her oppo researchers have to do is find the source of his shame, if they can – that’s what fuels this particular personality disorder.

  51. 51
    Mary G says:

    It seems that the Village has decided that Marcobot is the winner, but I didn’t think so. He was talking a mile a minute and when he was attacking Trump all I could see is the little yappy dog that circles the big dog barking furiously, but is too scared to actually get into a fight.

  52. 52
    MomSense says:

    I fell sound asleep before the debate started and woke up after it ended. Yay me? Or did I miss the best one yet? Seems like Rubio had to take on Trump tonight but I have a feeling he wasn’t quite up to the task. Did he look like he had a run in with a super soaker?

  53. 53
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Nah …. it’s hard to be a VSP.

    You do remember the joke to which “leaving show business” is the punchline, right?

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    @MomSense: CNN is rebroadcasting it this very moment. All is not lost!

    National Anthem being twanged now. And we saw GHWBush, looking kind of animatronic.

    ETA: Grab the red wine!

  55. 55
    Elizabelle says:

    @Anne Laurie: No. Never heard that joke re show business.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joyce H:

    Thanks! I have an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocket right now.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It’s about the guy who sweeps up after the elephants, and his response when someone asks him if he thinks he should get a better job.

  58. 58
    superpredators4hillary says:

    @Mnemosyne: Buy a Mingobat!

  59. 59
    rook to queen's 8 says:

    @Nate Dawg @Suzanne: My take (and I believe that these are not all original to me, but I neglected to remember where I first saw them) is that:

    * Trump is a Mussulini personality – he wants to be supreme leader, and his followers are prone to be violently dangerous in supporting him.

    * Cruz is a Torquemada wanna be – he’d love to be the Grand Inquisitor and “purify” the country of the heathens, removing the “bogus” separation between Church and State.

    * Rubio is a King John of England (more famous as Prince John in the Robin Hood stories, but I’m referring to his later reign after his brother Richard died) – trying to punch above his weight and likely to cause great harm to his country due to misplaced overconfidence. At least we got the Magna Carta out of John’s fiascos, but England was just lucky that he didn’t screw up worse.

    Personally, I rate my nighmares as Cruz being worst, then Trump being horrible, then Rubio being awful. I fear the consequences of any of them becoming President.

  60. 60
    Chris T. says:

    @Elizabelle: Mass murders are now too commonplace and boring, like traffic incidents. I expect some news orgs to soon say “and on the lighter side, there were only 47 mass murders today”, etc.

  61. 61
    MomSense says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’m having a JEB style low energy kind of night.

    Just in time for Kasich’s pep talk about being anything I want to be.

  62. 62
    Elizabelle says:

    Trump railing against Mitt Romney.

    Teach him to lecture about tax returns, eh?

    @MomSense: Best not to use too much energy, or brain cells, on these weasels.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Also a royal PITA for those of us who don’t have or don’t/can’t use the Reply feature and type out the nym when responding.

  64. 64
    Elizabelle says:

    @NotMax: Just call him Mumphrey. I do. (And he’s a neat guy, IRL too.)

  65. 65
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @rook to queen’s 8:

    At least we got the Magna Carta out of John’s fiascos, but England was just lucky that he didn’t screw up worse.

    You have noticed there’s never been a King John II? The royal family is still a bit piss off by that whole Magna Carta thing.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    @Chris T.: Isn’t that something?

    I shall be watching from abroad, when we get to that stage.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    rook to queen's 8 says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    You have noticed there’s never been a King John II?

    Indeed. Quite the unpopular fella. As another [citation needed] observation made: history can forgive a little genocide here, a little incest there, but royal (pun intended) incompetence is simply unforgivable.

  70. 70
    Elizabelle says:

    @efgoldman: Guilty.

    I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic administration and make things better in the near term, though.

  71. 71
    fuckwit says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Which royal family? Their current (as of the last 300 years or so) one is actually German. No relation at all to John.

  72. 72
    Marc says:

    @Elizabelle:

    CNN voiceover, in best sportscaster fashion: “It’s an epic battle for the soul of the Republican party.”

    Uh, CNN, may we have a word?

    That sucker was sacrificed on an altar loooong ago…

  73. 73
    MomSense says:

    I just read in Twitter that Sen. McCaskill has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Fuck cancer.

  74. 74
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @fuckwit: True, George I and I believe George II didn’t speak English. However, the fact remains, they won’t name a male child John.

  75. 75
    Calouste says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: There’s also the expectation that Prince Charles won’t go for Charles III should he finally succeed his mother, considering Charles I was beheaded and Charles II became a Catholic. Edward VIII was probably also the last one.

  76. 76
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @MomSense: She went public with her diagnosis yesterday and said the prognosis was good. While I may disagree with Sen. McCaskill on many issues, she’s from a red state and is one hell of a politician. I wish her the best.

  77. 77
    Elizabelle says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Yeah. I hope they caught McCaskill’s cancer early enough, and that it’s not an ambitious one.

    She may very well have a bright prognosis, with good treatment.

  78. 78
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Calouste: I don’t know that being Catholic would be that great a problem being that all kings prior to Henry VIII were Catholic. King Charles III wouldn’t be that much a problem; King Oliver, I don’t think we’ll see.

    ETA: Charles has like 4 or 5 middle names, so I guess he could choose one of them.

  79. 79
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): my favorite was Duncan Dönitz ( that was you, right?)

  80. 80
    trollhattan says:

    @Marc:
    Sacrificed? Nah, it was sold for a buck-fifty to the “Girls Gone Wild” dude. Paid too much.

  81. 81
    mclaren says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Interesting to me that there was a mass shooting tonight in Kansas, Dorothy, and CNN is not even mentioning it.

    There’s a mass shooting every week in America now, Elizabelle. This is not news anymore.

  82. 82
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @efgoldman:

    [too damned late. g’night]

    Coward.

  83. 83
    Radio One says:

    I think we’ve already reached the endpoint when it comes to the Flowers for Algernon analogy

  84. 84
    mclaren says:

    New T-shirt idea:

    I SURVIVED THE LATEST REPUBLICAN DEBATE
    AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY BRAIN ANEURYSM

  85. 85
    Calouste says:

    @fuckwit: They are actually related. George I’s mother, Sophia, was the granddaughter of James I, who was the great-grandson of Henry VII, who was the greatx3 grandson of Edward III, who was the great-great-grandson of John.

  86. 86
    mclaren says:

    This 30-second clip of screaming kindergarteners basically sums up the entire f***ing debate:

    The closed captioning for CNN gave up.

    Listen to the 30-second clusterfuck here.

    These aren’t grown adults, they’re a bunch of 3-year-old grabbing at each other’s toys.

  87. 87
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:

    “1.) You know how sometimes in a city you see someone disheveled and crazy looking walking along talking to themselves? I think Ben Carson is having the other half of the conversation with them.”

    Shame! Stealing from Dana Gould!

  88. 88
    MomSense says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    It is tough just being a liberal person in a red state let alone getting elected to state wide office.

    @efgoldman:

    It is striking how disconnected Republicans are. I’m sure R Senstors will genuinely wish her well and not consider how they work to deny access to medical care for their own constituents.

  89. 89
    Elizabelle says:

    @mclaren: Truly.

    They just got to Obamacare. TV is off. None of these fools have any sentient ideas on improving it. F*ck Rubio and his taxpayer funded healthcare. Cretin.

  90. 90
    Temporarily Max McGee (Soon Enough to Be Andy K Again) says:

    @efgoldman:

    King Pleasure?

  91. 91
    superpredators4hillary says:

    @mclaren: Better t-shirt idea: Make America Yuge Again!

  92. 92
    scav says:

    @Nate Dawg: Besides the traditional invisible snark font we all adopt?

  93. 93
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    The local news just aired a investigative report, they film Pr0n in Pr0n Valley. Shocking, I know.

  94. 94
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    A school cafeteria food fight looks like the Algonquin by comparison.

  95. 95
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Yesterday, Carson figured out his campaign was little more than an elaborate fundraising grift and tonight he realized how awful the GOP debates are for everyone.

    A window of lucidity. They do not last.

  96. 96
    Marc says:

    I saw the clip “Springtime For Hitler” posted elsewhere about the rise of tRump, and we’ve been mining “Blazing Saddles” ever since President Obama was elected. Mel Brooks was on to something…

  97. 97
    mclaren says:

    So when are GOP voters gonna figure out their entire party is nothing but an elaborate fundraising grift…?

  98. 98
    Origuy says:

    @fuckwit:

    No relation at all to John.

    Actually, QEII is a direct descendant of John, her 18th great-grandfather.. Here’s the line back to WIlliam the Conqueror George I, the German, was the great-grandson of James Stuart, First of England and Sixth of Scotland. He was a decendant of Edward IV, skipping all the Tudors. Then the line skips all the Yorks and Lancasters, back to Edward III. From there it’s a straight shot back to the Norman Bastard.

  99. 99
    Aleta says:

    The media seems to think that competitive insult responsiveness is what we’re looking for in a president.

  100. 100
    andy says:

    This is only tangentially on topic but it’s pretty hilarious:

    On a conference call with analysts on Thursday morning, Sturm Ruger Chief Executive Officer Michael Fifer looked beyond the current vacancy to future potential openings should any of the remaining eight justices leave the court.

    “I think we’ll see a step up in demand if a Democrat wins the election, particularly so if they win the Senate,” Fifer said.

    “Despite whether President Obama is successful in appointing a Supreme Court justice, it’s more than likely, based on age and health, that the next president will get several opportunities, and that could drive concerns about gun rights,” Fifer said.

    Over the past five years, Sturm Ruger’s stock has more than tripled, dwarfing the S&P 500’s 45 percent increase.

    Those returns lave led portfolio managers to make gun-related stocks major holdings in mutual funds.

    “The firearms industry enjoys a sweet spot with the American consumer, and we believe shares of (Sturm Ruger) should be bought,” Dougherty & Company analyst Andrea James wrote in a research note following Sturm Ruger’s report.

    What’s a “conservative” to do?

  101. 101
    Aleta says:

    @Origuy: Is it thought that sometimes when no son was born, a king might have secretly obtained one from outside the lineage, just to stay in power ?

  102. 102
    Aleta says:

    I keep thinking that it might be easier to give up and offer Trump a pretend kingship distinct from the 3 branches that would continue on. He would enjoy it more than a presidency, the country would be spared, and it would be over in 15 years at the most.

  103. 103
    Origuy says:

    @Aleta: That sort of rumor swirled around a lot of royal families, but I can’t place one about the English line. The closest would be the suspicion that Edward IV was not actually the son of Henry VI, who had bouts of mental instability. In fact, he had a breakdown before his son was born and was unresponsive for more than a year. In that case, it would have been the queen and the principle advisers who kept the secret.

  104. 104
    benw says:

    @Aleta: won’t King Trump demand that it be a hereditary position so that he can pass it on to his children? I’m not sure I want a Trump royal family! Does Trump know how to do the little wrist wave thing?

    Besides, isn’t a figurehead king/queen what the British royal family has evolved into? Why did our founding fathers bleed the blood of liberty to throw off English oppression if after 250 years we go right back to the same system the British have? :)

  105. 105
    Zinsky says:

    The wife and I went out for dinner in Minneapolis with some dear old friends and had a wonderful Italian meal and had great, quiet, educated thoughtful conversation about the arts, music and philosophy. Then, we got home about 9:30 and I thought I would turn on the GOP debate. My God what an ignorant clusterfuck! Everyone yelling at each other and talking over one another, calling each other liars and worse. Trump smugly mugging and looking straight ahead, like the 8th grade bully. I really, seriously don’t understand how intelligent, thoughtful Republicans (there has to be a few) can’t be just absolutely ashamed of what a disastrous joke their party has become. I turned it off after 10 minutes and thanked God that I am a liberal and a Democrat.

  106. 106
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    You know how sometimes in a city you see someone disheveled and crazy looking walking along talking to themselves?

    It’s funny because if you live in a big city these days, I notice that the long-standing instinctive reaction when seeing a person doing that, “Okay, crazy person, better give a wide berth” or whatever yours may be, is being rendered obsolete because it’s usually followed now by realizing that it’s just someone on the phone wearing ear buds or a mini earpiece of some sort.

    I’m not saying that Ben Carson isn’t who’s on the other end of the line of course, I’m just saying.

  107. 107
    Ecks says:

    @benw: Because they might be a bastard, but they’re OUR bastard.

    (and the US revolution was arguably more about what happened with tax money, and the political philosophy stuff was just nice clothes to make it look a bit more noble)

    (also too, the current UK monarchy situation is actually marginally complicated. As someone put it: “The queen has total absolute power, on the single condition that she never use it.” In theory it’s a backstop against fascism. Hitler had to remove the German royal family, because they could have stopped him. If England (or Canada or Australia, etc) did elect a flat-out murderous government, the Queen is the commander in chief of the armed forces, parliament sits at her pleasure, and bills are only passed into law by receiving royal consent (normally a rubber stamp). So she would actually have the power to stop a government. If she used it, the laws would probably be changed in a hurry though so that she wouldn’t ever get to do it again. And yes, the army does actually take seriously that the Queen is technically where their loyalty lies – it’s baked into their culture.)

    Just FYI.

  108. 108
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    I have never been able to reconcile the content of Ben Carson’s utterances with his delivery. If you read the transcript it’s like Glenn Beck on a bender. But when you listen to it it’s like hearing a crazed battle cry delivered through a NyQuil filter.

  109. 109
    Baud says:

    @Ecks:

    “The queen has total absolute power, on the single condition that she never use it.”

    Yet when God follows those rules, people argue that he doesn’t exist.

  110. 110

    @rook to queen’s 8: All this sound and fury is just about the figurehead. In any case the functionaries will be the same – the usual government can’t work incompetents and those with agendas and knives they want to bloody.

    If any of them win John Bolton becomes Secretary of State That’s what frightens me and gives me nightmares.

  111. 111
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @Aleta:
    I’m not sure there was a lot of ‘secret’ to the deal. A left-to-right stripe in heraldry is called a ‘bastard stripe’ and indicates you were born out of wedlock. The rest of the symbol indicated who your father was and these only went to noblemen.

  112. 112
    moderateindy says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): My favorite dog was 3/4 Chocolate Lab 1/4 Chow, and was named by a 5 year old who said we should call her River Water. When asked why he responded because she looks brown and dirty just like a river. His family spent time the week before near the Mississippi.

    Rubio scares me the most as a President, because after his whole glitch at the one debate reports came out fron his friends that such behavior was not uncommon. That he will freak out, and focus on something often trivial to the exclusion of everything else. It really sounds like he has panic attacks. Beyond his crap policies I really don’t want a pres that regularly freaks out.
    Trump basically has very few core beliefs other than he is the best at everything ever. I see him basically being a windsock. He doesn’t scare me as much as I am embarrassed by the fact that our country might actually have him as a nominee.

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ecks:
    Huh? The German Empire was abolished in 1918, years before Adolf Hitler got anywhere near the levers of power in that country. It wasn’t he who removed the Emperor.

  114. 114
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    Someone posted a clip of Robotio getting a zinger ob tRump and the crowd going wild . . . for waaaayyy too long. Anyone know if the GOP staked the crowd like they did at the last debate?

  115. 115
    Baud says:

    @Schlemazel (parmesan rancor): It seemed that way to me.

  116. 116
    Sherparick says:

    Judy Collins said all that is necessary to be said those many years ago:

    “Don’t you love farce?
    My fault, I fear.
    I thought that you’d want what I want…
    Sorry, my dear!
    And where are the clowns
    Send in the clowns
    Don’t bother, they’re here.”

  117. 117
    Ecks says:

    @Baud: Indeed. The better analogy might be with nuclear weapons and MAD. They both have a whole lot of one-time-use-only power, that is nearly entirely irrelevant to daily life.

  118. 118

    @Sherparick: Actually, that was Stephen Sondheim who wrote it. [/theatre nerd] But Judy sang it hauntingly and that’s how we remember it.

  119. 119
    Ecks says:

    @Amir Khalid: You’re right. I misspoke. There were some movements in Bavaria to fire up the monarchy again as a way to block the Nazi’s, and one of the first things the Nazi’s did when elected in 1933 was to ban all the monarchist organisations.

  120. 120
    Big Picture Pathologist says:

    @andy:

    Ah, ammosexuals…so stupidly predictable and so predictably stupid.

  121. 121
    Germy says:

    Popehat ‎@Popehat on twitter:

    “Cutting from Trump v. Rubio to Kasich is like the hot water suddenly going out during shower sex”

  122. 122
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone.

  123. 123
    JMG says:

    John, “the Aristocrats” made me laugh out loud before 7 a.m. Great way to start the day!

  124. 124
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @rikyrah:

    Good morning. You’re up early.

  125. 125
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Calouste: Word on the street, yo! is that Charlie will take the surname “George” on his accession to the Monarchy (assuming he lives that long). He is widely reported to admire his grandfather George V who was King during the war.

  126. 126
    Amir Khalid says:

    A man proposes a special candidate for FIFA’s upcoming presidential election. From the BBC’s Sportsday blog.

  127. 127
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: :-)

  128. 128
    Ohio Mom says:

    Johns Hopkins: the hospital that brought us
    The mistreatment of Henrietta Lacks,
    That lung doctor who misdiagnosed on purpose all those black lung patients so they couldn’t get financial restitution,
    And Ben Carson.

    Hmm….

  129. 129
    PaulW says:

    @James E Powell:

    Did Rubio really rise or is that fluffing by his partisans?

    Whenever pundits are that cheerful, it’s fluffing.

  130. 130
    PaulW says:

    @mclaren:

    So when are GOP voters gonna figure out their entire party is nothing but an elaborate fundraising grift…?

    Never. That’s the beauty of partisan politics. The suckers will never admit it because their faith and their hate compels them to the same bad decisions.

  131. 131
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    He is widely reported to admire his grandfather George V who was King during the war.

    Eh, George VI, George V was Charles great-granddad.

  132. 132
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Ecks: What this vaguely reminds me of is the end of Francoism in Spain, only that was stranger, since Franco had actually taken over from a short-lived republic, and Juan Carlos walked right into absolute monarchy on the strength of the far right’s monarchist sentiment. He had apparently played this long game in which he pretended to be a worthy successor to a quasi-fascist dictator, then he immediately turned Spain into a democratic constitutional monarchy once he had the power.

  133. 133
    Sherparick says:

    @Origuy: Well the Tudors were also descendants, through the female line, both through Henry VII’s marriage to Elizabeth of York, the surviving daughter of Edward IV and legitimize Beaufort descendants of John of Gaunt (“Time Honored Lancaster”), the third son of Edward III. As the current reign of Elizabeth II demonstrates, the English Monarchy has never had problem with descent going through the female line if the there was no legitimate male heir (which was how the Plantagenets got the crown in the first place, Henry II’s mother being Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I and granddaughter of William the Conqueror, who was the direct descendant of the Viking Rollo, besieger of Paris and first Duke of Normandy (Vikings rule – frankly, if asked to choose between Trump and Ragnar Lothbrok, I would take Ragnar any day.)

  134. 134
    Sherparick says:

    Meanwhile, in Kansas, none of the “good guys” with guns were able to do anything to stop the latest mass shooting in Kansas. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=kansas+open+carry+law&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

    What a surprise, not.

  135. 135
    Princess says:

    @seaboogie: The source of his shame has got to be his incredibly small and ineffectual pen!$. It explains the irrational anxiety over the size of his hands, his penchant for “erecting” tall skyscrapers that thrust into the sky with his name emblazoned on them, etc. etc.

  136. 136
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Nate Dawg: NPD. Textbook, except I’m not aware of him boasting of having ESP-like powers, which can be a feature of NPD.

  137. 137
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Nate Dawg: Check out Altmeyer’s The Authoritarians. Trump is a social dominator by the Altmeyers’ definition. Being a social dominator (or “would-be social dominator”) doesn’t mean you have a personality disorder, but it helps.

    Interestingly, the North American social dominator group expressed vile racist beliefs in private, and seemed to think that everyone thought that way.

  138. 138
    Sherparick says:

    This song could be easily adapted for Trump with just a few change of lyrics.

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/20.....ht_25.html

  139. 139
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Calouste: Assuming nobody had a child by the wrong parent, and some historians think that’s exactly what happened during the Middle Ages.

    Oops.

  140. 140
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @benw:

    Besides, isn’t a figurehead king/queen what the British royal family has evolved into? Why did our founding fathers bleed the blood of liberty to throw off English oppression if after 250 years we go right back to the same system the British have? :)

    An awfully good question.

    Another good question, if America broke away because of the senseless and unfair drawing of Parliament districts (right? that’s what the ‘no taxation’ fight was about), and Britain went ahead and reformed theirs by the end of the 19th century after a lot of drama, why can’t we fix ours for fuck’s sake?? And why doesn’t DC get a US Rep?!?

  141. 141
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Amir Khalid: I seem to recall that the Kaiser bravely ran away, leaving the mess he helped make for the civilian government.

  142. 142

    @Elizabelle:

    “Mass murders used to be … news.”

    A couple of months after Sandy Hook failed to generate enough outrage to even get expanded background checks enacted, I predicted this: that we’d have so many mass shootings that they wouldn’t be news any more.

  143. 143

    @Scamp Dog: Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. I liked that one, too. I guess that’s why I used it…

  144. 144
    SRW1 says:

    @Another Holocene Human

    You remember correctly. In March 1918 His Imperial Highness, Wilhelm II, had moved his Imperial Headquarter to Spa in Belgium. When the discussion of whether he should seek an honorable death at the front heated up at the end of October, the coward ended it by withdrawing form Berlin to Spa. His generous offer to resign from the Imperial throne while remaining King of Prussia arrived in Berlin after the then chancellor had already announced Wilhelm’s abdication from both in a desperate attempt to get the situation in Berlin under control. So, his brave Majesty made his way to the Dutch border and appealed for asylum in Holland.

  145. 145
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Districting reform is starting to happen on a state-by-state basis, though people have been pushing back with court cases (without much success). I expect more of this.

    Any real constitutional change is up against the problem that just under half of the US genuinely is very reactionary, they’re more passionate about it than the anti-reactionaries, and it’s enough for them to have effective veto power. Going by the rulebook, even modifications proposed in a constitutional convention would have to be ratified like regular amendments, so the only way for things to seriously change would be a situation like 1787 where nobody even cares about following the old Constitution any more. And given the interested parties involved, we’d be more likely to end up with the Republic of Gilead than anything good.

  146. 146
    danielx says:

    Another episode of The Trump Show, in which everybody else is a chump for Donald. In the show biz context, the final episode of this particular reality show will be the Republican National Convention, at which (you heard it here first) Trump will at some point indulge himself and blurt out “you’re all fired!” to the rest of the klown kar occupants, then point to the media gallery and scream “and so are all of you!”. The crowd will go insane and carry Donald out of the hall to a waiting white horse.

    Cue the Silvio Berlusconi Express.

  147. 147
    NickM says:

    @rook to queen’s 8: IANAP but pretty clearly, Trump has Narcissistic Personality Disorder or somewhere close to it on that spectrum. He is empathy-deficient, but I don’t think he utterly lacks it.

    I think everyone who listens to him hates Cruz because there’s a protective instinct we have against people like him. It can’t even be articulated clearly, but he strikes people who aren’t besotted with his twisted ideology as dangerous. This meme about him being the Zodiac Killer is really just making a joke out of the feeling we get from seeing him in action; there is virtually nothing sadistic and bizarre that you could tell me he is into that would surprise me because he gives off such a weird vibe.

    Rubio is just a lightweight twit who’s willing to step on anyone to get what he wants. In a way, he worries me the least.

    It’s interesting that the Republican party, which appears to be built on not giving a shit about anyone else (as well as orthodox “Christianity”) is elevating people with obvious personality disorders to their leadership ranks. They are twisted fucks, for sure, and we all are going to have to deal with it.

  148. 148
    Dan Garfinkel says:

    Thanks, John. Most succinct and insightful analysis of the poo flinging I’ve read anywhere. Kudos.

  149. 149
    Shell says:

    I have a secret fantasy that at the final debate,

    Theres gonna be ANOTHER debate? Why does God hate us so?

    Could only watch a few minutes of that clusterfuck last night, but caught the section where Rubio was going on about his hiring Polish workers. Like Trumps rabid base gives a shit about his using illegal workers. They’ll probably say it was a shrewd business move.

  150. 150
    Texas Mike says:

    LMFAO

    Could someone please add “midway point in Flowers for Algernon” to the lexicon.

  151. 151
    Paul in KY says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: He was considered a failure by his Plantagenet descendents and after they were overthrown, the following dynasties didn’t care for any association with his benighted reign.

    King John was known for his cruelty. Not to level of Ramsey Bolton, but along that plane.

  152. 152
    Paul in KY says:

    @Calouste: There won’t be any ‘Richards’ either. I do think he will be crowned as Charles III, if he is crowned at all.

  153. 153
    Paul in KY says:

    @Origuy: Edward IV was not closely related to Henry VI. Henry did have a child named Edward. He was executed at age 17 (by Edward IV) after a battle in the Wars of the Roses.

  154. 154
    Paul in KY says:

    @Sherparick: That Rollo guy was supposedly so large that he couldn’t ride a normal horse, as it couldn’t hold him when he had all his armor on.

  155. 155
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: When Edward IV upped and married a nobody scion of a Lancaster, it completely sent the rest of his family around the bend. His mother actually testified that Edward IV was the result of an adulterous relationship to try & get him & his wife & her family out of the picture.

  156. 156
    phoebes from highland park says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: George V and Queen Mary had a son called John, who was epileptic and died as a teenager.

  157. 157
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    if America broke away because of the senseless and unfair drawing of Parliament districts (right? that’s what the ‘no taxation’ fight was about), and Britain went ahead and reformed theirs by the end of the 19th century after a lot of drama, why can’t we fix ours for fuck’s sake??

    Well, it was a wee bit more complicated than that. (I had a nice conversation at Independence Hall some years back with a NPS ranger about how the Whig ideas for representation weren’t sustainable, simply because the British American colonies had grown used to the autonomy required to function at an ocean’s distance. Steam ships and telegrams made it easier to manage things a century later in Canada.)

    But the problem that the US faces is that it made itself a constitution that was shiny and innovative in the 1790s and got stuck with it, whereas Britain has never been so massively attached to anything constitutional that it can’t be changed.

  158. 158
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Joyce H:

    I can’t wait to give these a try – do I need to beg, borrow or buy a Kindle? Or can other e-readers handle?

  159. 159

    […] comment I’ve seen so far is from John Cole: “You know how sometimes in a city you see someone disheveled and crazy looking walking along […]

  160. 160
    'Niques (frequent visitor; occasional commenter) says:

    @Joyce H: Thank you so much for the lineup . . . I just purchased “A Feather To Fly With” after sampling a taste, and have made a note (in chronological order) of the others for future reading. I feel I know you personally from your comments on Balloon-Juice, so am really excited about your novels!

  161. 161
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    But the problem that the US faces is that it made itself a constitution that was shiny and innovative in the 1790s and got stuck with it, whereas Britain has never been so massively attached to anything constitutional that it can’t be changed.

    Britain doesn’t have a Constitution per se, it has a thousand years of hoary traditions and it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time decisions flying in close formation. Nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out. The monarchy know this and remember Charles 1’s fate. As does Parliament.

  162. 162
    NCSteve says:

    Its too late to say this, but kudos are due. This is a witty blog with witty commenters and I often chuckle and lol. But it’s been a long time since I broke out in a fit of giggles that had me covering trying to stifle office-disrupting guffaws over something I saw on a blog not specifically devoted to humor, like Jenny Lawson’s.

    Then I saw the first line of this post and the illustration. And now I’m doing it again . . .

    I won’t thank you for the laugh, sir, because it’s not the kind of laugh you thank someone for. But laughing, I am.

  163. 163
    mclaren says:

    @NickM:

    It’s interesting that the Republican party, which appears to be built on not giving a shit about anyone else (as well as orthodox “Christianity”) is elevating people with obvious personality disorders to their leadership ranks.

    That’s been gong on for a loooooooooooooong time.

    Richard Nixon?

    Ronald Reagan?

    George W. Bush?

    Diagnosable mental problems in every case, clinically pathological. Fabulation, narcissism, manipulativeness, lack of empathy…the whole Hare sociopathy checklist.

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