Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Rot All the Way Down

Professor Krugman, in the NYTimes, “Why Corruption Matters“:

…[W]e could be talking about a lot of money — think billions, not millions, to Mr. Trump alone (which is why his promise not to take his salary is a sick joke). But America is a very rich country, whose government spends more than $4 trillion a year, so even large-scale looting amounts to rounding error. What’s important is not the money that sticks to the fingers of the inner circle, but what they do to get that money, and the bad policy that results…

… I’ve already written about the Trump infrastructure plan, which for no obvious reason involves widespread privatization of public assets. No obvious reason, that is, except the huge opportunities for cronyism and profiteering that would be opened up.

But what’s truly scary is the potential impact of corruption on foreign policy. Again, foreign governments are already trying to buy influence by adding to Mr. Trump’s personal wealth, and he is welcoming their efforts…

Destruction of democratic norms aside, however, think about the tilt this de facto bribery will give to U.S. policy. What kind of regime can buy influence by enriching the president and his friends? The answer is, only a government that doesn’t adhere to the rule of law.

Think about it: Could Britain or Canada curry favor with the incoming administration by waiving regulations to promote Trump golf courses or directing business to Trump hotels? No — those nations have free presses, independent courts, and rules designed to prevent exactly that kind of improper behavior. On the other hand, someplace like Vladimir Putin’s Russia can easily funnel vast sums to the man at the top in return for, say, the withdrawal of security guarantees for the Baltic States…

As Charlie Pierce reminds us, last time the spoils-seeking got this blatant, then-President Harding was hustled off on a strenuous nationwide publicity tour from which he did not return. I can imagine Mike Pence looking in the mirror and imagining himself the next Calvin Coolidge… if only because the fewer words he can say, the less of an idiot he will look.






53 replies
  1. 1
    Damien says:

    I remember back when Bush 2 got elected, the Onion ran one of their “Man on the Street Views” things and one guy said:
    “They say you get the government you deserve, but I don’t remember knife raping any nuns lately.”

    Who knew we’d be looking back at that guy as the good old days?

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    southpaw @ nycsouthpaw
    Also: Trump owes Goldman Sachs and other lenders $950 million for his building on 6th Ave

    I don’t think Trump, the GOP, or the Joe&Mika media, maybe not even the Democrats, are prepared for how brutal these confirmation hearings are going to get

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Just stop it. The negative shit I see from this site is amazing. How much do we want to give the asshole? Stop wallowing in defeat. Work on fixing shit.

  4. 4
    Suzanne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Why do you think they’re going to be brutal? I think they’ll be a cakewalk.

    Happy things: I got a cute dress from Banana Republic for, like, WAY on sale.

  5. 5
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I’d like them to be brutal; I anticipate poodlesque acquiescence instead. He’s gotten literally everything he’s wanted so far.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Suzanne: they’ll be confirmed, but first they’re gonna have to get past, depending on the committee, Al Franken, Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders (I don’t like him, but he oughta make for some viral whatever, Booker, Harris and a few others looking to build a national following. The HHS douchebag likes to argue about whether birth control is a health issue. This could get interesting for the other side for a change…

  8. 8
    ken says:

    ummm his last name is not Mnuchin, it’s (((Mnuchin))) The Breitbart crowd is going to love that one.

  9. 9
    Keith P. says:

    @Damien: YES! I absolutely LOVE that quote, and I am reminded of it every 2 years. I even tell it to people in hopes that one of them will find it funny…most do not see the humor in it, but I think it’s so over-the-top that I love it.
    BTW: It was “I don’t recall ever knife-raping any *retarded* nuns lately”.

  10. 10
    Suzanne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Eh. I expect much the same as @trollhattan. Minor grandstanding.

    Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    O/T: does anyone have an Apple Pencil? Would love to hear thoughts.

  11. 11
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Jawhol, Herr Commandant.

  12. 12
    Timurid says:

    Everyone’s worried about Trump nuking Iran or committing some other atrocity on foreign soil. That’s not the problem. Trump only cares about Iran, North Korea, Russia, China etc. in as much as it affects his business interests. His real enemies are all inside this country. That’s who he will wage war on. His foreign policy will be passive. If he gets us into a horrible crisis it will be through inaction, not aggression. He’ll set out a picket line of inoffensive traditional Republicans like Romney and Haley to placate allies and enemies. But all of his appointments that face inwards will be bloodthirsty savages like Sessions and Price. They won’t be placating anyone. The scary thing is that he’s making absolutely no attempt to fool anyone in this country. The time for that ended on 11/9. He’s not acting like a man who will ever have to trick Americans into voting for him again.

  13. 13
    Larkspur says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah. I will be working on fixing shit, soon. But I think I’m going to wander away from here for a little while. It’s kind of too much.

  14. 14
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sunlight’s the best disinfectant, in the infowars. If we’re too squeamish to look at where and how the pillaging is being set up, we can’t work together to prevent it from happening.

    Yes, we absolutely need to take positive steps — I try to highlight those, in the morning threads. But we need to have ammunition ready for the battles to come, as well.

  15. 15

    @trollhattan: Democrats are in the hearings, too.

  16. 16
    Mk3873 says:

    Man of the people! Populist! Anti-wall street!

    The NYT just this week ran a story on Bannon still calling him a populist.

  17. 17
    Redshift says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t think one precludes the other, but action is necessary. I’m going to a resistance meeting tomorrow night, and that already has me in a better frame of mind. The unrelenting awfulness of it is smothering, and action is the only cure.

    Site to find a meeting near you.

  18. 18
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    I would like to see Romney as the SOS candidate just for the confirmation hearings. ‘So Governor Romney,do you still think Mr Trump is a con man? A charlatan? Did the settlement on Trump University prove you right about a degree from Trump U being worthless?’

  19. 19
    InternetDragons says:

    I think/hope this is an open thread – I didn’t read the lead post, so I’ll just take a chance and dive in here.

    A few people have mentioned searching for practical things they can DO in response to this nightmare of four years of Trump and his handlers, even if they don’t have large blocks of time for volunteering on a regular basis. Here are a few websites and apps that may help:

    Flippable offers both a website and an app, and provides users with one simple thing they can do every day to help curb Trump’s abuses and/or put progressives into office. Phone numbers, calling scripts and easy-to-follow steps are all there — all you have to do is visit the site or sign up for daily emails. The app was set up “…by organizers, politics junkies, strategists and engineers who met each other working on the Hillary Clinton campaign in Columbus, Ohio, and Brooklyn, New York.”

    Just to provide an example, one recent daily action item was: “Call and demand that Congressman Chaffetz investigate President-elect Trump”. The phone number is provided.

    Link for Flippable:

    For those who prefer to allocate a little more time throughout the week, the website Wall-of-Us (“He promised a wall. He will be stopped by a wall of us”) gives users four “concrete acts of resistance delivered to your inbox each week”.

    This week’s actions are: (1) Support the recount in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan; (2) Support Senator Cardin’s 11/28 resolution to comply with the Constitution; (3) Reject Jeff Sessions – call the Senate Judiciary Committee; (4) Ask your city to become or remain a sanctuary city.

    In each case, links are provided with more detail and necessary info like contact numbers.

    Link for Wall of Us:

    Weekly Actions to Resist Trump is for those of us who are willing to regularly make calls. Calling strangers isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but even if you are new to doing this, please consider giving it a try. Making a phone call can be more effective than an email or even a letter. This site gives users guidance on what types of calls to make, and who to make them to, all while providing the contact information needed.

    Link for Weekly Actions to Resist Trump:

    In a previous post, I mentioned boycotts. I know it seems hard to believe that they can have any real impact, but in the weeks following the start of the the #GrabYourWallet campaign in October, Ivanka Trump’s brand experienced a 54 percent drop in “interest,” (item views) on select online retailers.

    Boycott Trump is a new app from the Democratic Coalition Against Trump that allows users to search a database of businesses to see if they share any connection to Trump.

    Link to Boycott Trump app:

    I hope this is useful for folks. If it is, I’ll share others as I come across them.

  20. 20
    John Revolta says:

    @Timurid:

    Trump only cares about Iran, North Korea, Russia, China etc. in as much as it affects his business interests. His real enemies are all inside this country. That’s who he will wage war on. His foreign policy will be passive

    The REAL scary thing is that the whole rest of the world knows this as well, or will figure it out quickly.

  21. 21
    bjacques says:

    According to Private Eye passim et ad nauseam (as they say), the UK office for hustling international money pays plenty of baksheesh and nothing seems to be done about it. After a notorious case of bribes paid to well-connected Saudi fixers, the al-Yamameh affair, then-PM Tony Blair quashed the investigation as being “against the public interest.”

    The next time my employer has mandatory training on the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA), I’m going to laugh myself sick.

  22. 22
    InternetDragons says:

    Sorry that links got screwed up in the above post. My user name started showing up as ‘undefined’, and things just got wonky after that. As I can no longer edit it, it might be best to just delete it and I’ll try again later.

  23. 23
    Brynlyn Lehmann says:

    Picked up a cute pair of shoes at Nordstrom clearance rack, saw that they were Ivanka and put them back. Saleslady saw and laughed. It felt good.

  24. 24
    Jordan Rules says:

    This is one of the sites I use to kick off my news chase so I always appreciate being informed about what’s going down – the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Lots of ugly out there that we have to know about, now more than ever.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    For people who are interested in reading about a completely different kind of horror show, a strange story of Munchausen’s By Proxy that ended in murder. I remember reading about this case last year when it first broke, and holy crap, if there was ever such a thing as justifiable murder, this is it. I think the judge managed to hit the right balance of justice for a deliberate murder and mercy for someone who was horribly abused and didn’t see any other way to escape.

  26. 26
    fuckwit says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: HAHAHA hearings? You think there will be hearings? Yerkel the Turtle will hold no such things. Up and down vote, along party lines… confirming them all.

  27. 27
    EBT says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am appalled at the use of jail as a substitution for mental health care.

  28. 28
    Mophene says:

    @fuckwit: That’s how the Republicans do it in Michigan.

  29. 29
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Suzanne:

    O/T: does anyone have an Apple Pencil? Would love to hear thoughts.

    I have an Apple Watch and would love to hear what I’m supposed to do with it

  30. 30
    Gretchen says:

    @Brynlyn Lehmann: thanks for that. I laughed too.

  31. 31
    fuckwit says:

    @Mophene: The last remnants of the old republic have been swept away.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EBT:

    Gypsy also needs mental health care, but she did convince her secret boyfriend to stab her mother to death. In a weird way, the fact that she was able to do that shows that she’s not insane, though she obviously now needs a whole lot of post-abuse therapy.

    Hopefully, once her boyfriend’s case is settled, she can be transferred to a secure place where she can get the mental health care she needs to be sure she won’t think this is a great idea a second time. Because it was a planned murder, I wouldn’t feel good about her just being acquitted and released.

  33. 33
    Donut says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Excellent trolling attempt, bruh, but it appears that only a few took the bait. Perhaps a fresh user name is in order.

  34. 34
    EBT says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am simply not sure I have a problem with all the details we have with her having done that. Full disclosure my mother is a physically and sexually abusive monster of a person so I may be biased.

  35. 35
    EBT says:

    @EBT: Let me clarify a touch. I feel she deserves no excess punitive action above and beyond the obviously needed long term in patient care she needs. Not that I think she should just be out walking around.

  36. 36
    TriassicSands says:

    So, a Munchkin for Secretary of the Treasury.

    Follow the gold brick road.

  37. 37
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Why would the confirmation hearings get brutal? Unless Dems filibuster, Trump’s nominees will all get through if Repubs vote together.

  38. 38
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I think the brutality will come when the Democrats question the nominees. You’re right — the Republicans will vote together, so the nominations will likely go through. But IMO, it’s really important for the Democrats to make it clear that Trump’s nominees represent the opposite of “draining the swamp” — that they are elite fat cats who are lining up at the trough, vultures who want to dump seniors into the private insurance market, etc.

    Our only hope for saving Medicare and other social programs is to make Republicans own the effort to dismantle these programs 100%. That’s how we defeated Bush 2’s attempt to privatize Social Security back in 2005 — the Democrats stuck together, and the Republicans backed down when they realized they would have no “bipartisan” cover for tearing down Social Security. It can work again.

  39. 39
    Shalimar says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I hope Democrats make the hearings brutal. I remember 2002-2006 though, when Republicans controlled everything and went to extraordinary means to make sure Democrats in Congress couldn’t say anything in hearings. Not telling them when committees would meet, never allowing them to schedule their own hearings or even call their own witnesses, cutting them off when they asked questions, even shutting off the lights and closing the room when it was Democrats’ turn to ask questions.

    And Republicans are much more petty than they were in 2006. It wouldn’t shock me if Democrats had to hold press conferences outside because they aren’t even allowed into meetings of their own committees.

  40. 40
    Cermet says:

    So the voting wing-tards won via the electoral college – how ironic that the majority of these non-college educated wing-tards that voted dump have something called a college giving them the power to shoot themselves in their own foot. Terrible that so many will suffer who did not vote for the dump but then, via the old southern slavery based ‘democratic’ system, these uneducated, rural wing-tards have given control over most branches of the government to the supper wealthy ultra dick’s called the 0.0001 percenters.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EBT:

    I think we’re pretty much on the same page. It sounds like the state is aware that this is a complicated situation (to say the least) and that they are trying to be proportional. Assuming she is well-behaved, she will probably be released in about 7 years, which is pretty lenient for premeditated murder, even with a murder victim who richly deserved it.

    It sounds like a lot of people in the criminal justice system are willing to give her a chance, which is at least a ray of hope. It sounds like there’s a lot she needs in addition to mental health care, like additional medical care and a GED, just to start with.

  42. 42
    Schlemazel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    and how would you suggest we do that?

  43. 43
    Schlemazel says:

    @InternetDragons:
    Seems to be missing the links

    edit: I see you had problems. Yes, please add the link if you can later

  44. 44
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @InternetDragons: Found info on Flippable and Weekly action, but nothing on Wall of Us, so a link would be especially helpful there. Thanks so much!

  45. 45
    Van Buren says:

    @Timurid: Not sure how passive he will be when a trump property gets bombed.

  46. 46
    Van Buren says:

    @Shalimar: Democrats will need CNN to televise highlights for this plan to work. I would not count on the MSM for any help. Far more likely that they castigate the obstructionism.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Mike S. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    too negative for you? leave and never come back – it’s that simple

    surely your colleagues in the legal profession tell one another (and their clients) that it’s best to be uninformed!

  49. 49
    Matt says:

    Let’s be clear about this: Trump is now proudly announcing just how much he and his friends are going to enjoy raping this country, and the entire GOP is applauding quietly and hoping they get a turn. Deplorable fails to adequately describe how low they are.

  50. 50
    Procopius says:

    @Major Major Major Major: We might, possibly, see some deviation from the usual Democratic roll over and play dead. There is absolutely nobody now who is an obvious candidate for 2020. Bernie is too old, we need Senator Professor Warren where she is too much, and I don’t think she wants it anyway, and the current leadership are horrible (can you imagine voting for Chuck Schumer? Only if Trump is even worse than he looks now). Well, come to think of it I could vote for Pelosi, but I think I’m an outlier there. So we should expect some younger Senators and Congressmen to try to make a name for themselves in any hearings McConnell allows. Bear in mind that committee hearings are not required by the Constitution, so debates in the full Senate might turn out to be the only chance to object to these gombeens.

  51. 51
    InternetDragons says:

    @RedDirtGirl:

    Here is Wall of Us: https://www.wall-of-us.org/

    Once we have another open thread, I will try a re-post with all of the links. I’m glad that you found the links for Flippable and Weekly Actions to Resist Trump. They are both great sites for those of us who want some guidance on regular, direct, simple actions we can take.

  52. 52
    EBT says:

    @Mnemosyne: Jail won’t help her at all, especially not the shitty protestant jail that this shitty protestant country does. She gets a visit once a week with a therapist then in 7.5 to 10 years she just disappears in to the system. Even her case worker in the article you linked said they didn’t know what would happen to her once she got out. The system has her and this is important for you to understand. THE SYSTEM IS NOT GOING TO HELP HER. She is going to spend the rest of her life banging about the system now assuming she isn’t just murdered in jail.

  53. 53
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Procopius: I look forward to any hearings where Senator Franken gets to eviscerate an appointee. Come to think of it, why not President Franken? He doesn’t seem to ever have shown any interest, but damn he’d be a good candidate for our Modern Times — he can play the “celebrity” game while being ultra-solid on smarts and policy.

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