Engulf & Devour, Inc.

As expected, Trump is absorbing the United States government into his family cartel and will install his eldest daughter and her husband in the White House as senior advisors — the latter, at least, on an official basis, according to NBC:

President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner will be named senior adviser to the president, a senior transition official confirms to NBC News.

Kushner was an influential behind the scenes confidant to his father-in-law throughout the 2016 campaign. But a number of legal questions complicate his potential role in the incoming administration.

Don’t worry about those legal complications — Trump will brazen it out. His surrogate Newt Gingrich already dismissed such worries by suggesting that Trump could just issue a blanket pardon to family members who flout any applicable anti-nepotism laws.

Like Trump, Kushner is a real estate developer who will be formulating policies that can enhance his vast wealth. I suspect he’ll enter into a flimsy “half-blind trust” arrangement like the one Trump himself has proposed and call it clean.

Whatever it takes, no matter what heat it generates, Trump is going to find a way to have the kiddies involved, and I don’t think it’s just because the grift opportunities will be so epic. I think he requires their presence because he’s not mentally stable enough to function without them.

Anyhoo, this concludes the latest episode of, “Why Are We in This Handbasket, and Where the Hell Are We Going?” Open thread!

154 replies
  1. 1
    OUR says:

    Why are we in this handbasket? My only answer is that

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    President Obama hired his mother-in-law, just sayin.. both sides and all.

  3. 3
    sophronia says:

    Hmmm. Can’t we call these people “czars” or something? I seem to recall a lot of people getting all hot and bothered about Obama having unelected advisors called czars, way back in the mists of time.

    Or maybe something worse? Crown Prince and Crown Princess, maybe?

  4. 4
    Gravenstone says:

    @JPL: If we want to hire Kushner as Trump’s “babysitter” (which was what Mrs Robinson essentially did with the girls), I’d allow it – grudgingly. Any other official role, fuck no!

  5. 5
    tamiasmin says:

    Why are we in this handbasket? My tentative answer is that Our Founding Fathers™ must have hated us. As our descendants probably will.

  6. 6

    Off topic: I saw this morning that, the other day, Dr. Jill Stein tweeted “How would the world change if we stopped saying ‘per capita’ and started saying ‘per person’? #jobsreport”.

  7. 7
    Jeffro says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Man, that is deep…too deep for me…

  8. 8
    tpherald says:

    Well, at least I’m sure we’ll get some reasoned opinion pieces from both Breitbart & NY Observer now that both Bannon & Kushner are in the WH.

  9. 9
    slag says:

    We’re in this handbasket because, in many ways, evolution has failed us as a species. And we’ll only know where we’re going once the oceans rise up and consume our remains. SATSQ.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    @sophronia: More like ‘Clown Prince’ when referring to a Trump.

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tamiasmin:

    I wouldn’t say they hated us. I would say that they short-sightedly assumed that (a) party politics would never develop (something that ceased to be true by 1800) and (b) one party would never become so power-hungry that they would ignore all of the safeguards set up. Emoluments Clause, anyone?

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I guess they no longer require a knowledge of Latin in medical school.

  13. 13
    Ruckus says:

    Whatever it takes, no matter what heat it generates,

    Drumpf has been under a heat lamp for all of his life, mostly because he is a fuck up extraordinaire. How do you think he got that orange? He probably doesn’t know how to act when the heat isn’t on, not that he knows how to act reasonably when it is. I believe he thinks the heat comes from all the flash bulbs of the press, (he is confused by the concept of a whoring press, he thinks it’s spelled adoring) little does he know that shining a light on vermin is the first step in stopping them.

  14. 14
    LAO says:

    I’m not a facebook person — but this exchange is the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Trump fans — the regular folk I keep hearing about — are idiots.

  15. 15
    slag says:

    @sophronia: That was way back in a Democratic era when old and commonplace were viewed as new and nefarious. It’s easily distinguishable from Republican eras when new and nefarious are viewed as old and commonplace.

  16. 16
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    What would cause the Republicans to impeach Trump? What would cause Trump’s fans to abandon him?

    Public execution of Hillary Clinton would probably make him more popular with his crowd. Same goes for groping his daughter during the inauguration. Wiping his ass with the American flag on live television, maybe. Is there anything that he could do to finally get people to stop defending him?

  17. 17
    Jeffro says:

    I dropped some actual news on some winger acquaintances just a bit ago…

    I see that Trump’s son-in-law is going to be made a special adviser to the president…how exciting! What’s the definition of nepotism again?

    Even more exciting: According to an official within the Department of Energy, this past Friday, the President-elect’s team instructed the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to clean out their desks when Trump takes office on January 20th.

    The NNSA is the $12 billion-a-year agency that “maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.” It’s unclear when the two officials will be replaced.

    Traditionally, all political appointees of an outgoing presidential administration turn in resignation letters effective on noon of inauguration day, January 20. But appointees in key positions—like the people who make sure our nukes work—are often asked to stay on in their roles until a replacement can be found and confirmed by the Senate, helping ensure a smooth transition and allowing our government to continue functioning. In fact, for the entirety of Obama’s first term and into part of his second, the NNSA Administrator remained a Bush appointee.

    Trump, however, appears determined to immediately push out everyone who was appointed by Obama, regardless of whether or not he has anyone in line for the job. Or, as our source put it: “It’s a shocking disregard for process and continuity of government.” Gizmodo article here.

    Legal or not (likely not), I am sure the right wing and their enablers in the media will apply the same scrutiny to this as if Hillary Clinton had named Chelsea’s husband to be one of her top advisers…

    …or if Chelsea had already announced she was going to have an office in the White House (if not actual living quarters)…

    …or if Hillary stayed on with the Clinton Foundation despite being about to be sworn in as president (much less still been running actual Clinton Corp companies all around the world)…

    …or if Hillary was costing taxpayers an extra $1M/day in Secret Service expenses because she was splitting time in Brooklyn instead of preparing to move to the White House…that’ll be over $1.2B across a 4-year-term btw…

    …or if Obama had asked every single US Ambassador to check out effective 1/19, whether a replacement is ready (or even in the works)…regardless of the lurch that might leave us in with foreign countries…

    …or if Obama tried ram his nominees through with either a) incomplete standard disclosure paperwork or b) false info on their disclosures…(this is to say nothing of the sheer corruption like Mnuchin, or incompetence like Carson and DeVos)

    I think you get the idea. There are standards…well, for Dems there are…and then there’s IOKIYAR. So as we go through this adventure together and Don’s Crew O’ Arsonists continues on their merry way, please occasionally ask yourself, “Just how big of a stroke would I be having right now if positions were reversed and Hillary Clinton was trying to pull this shit?” But hey, emails…

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, @Betty up top:

    Whatever it takes, no matter what heat it generates, Trump is going to find a way to have the kiddies involved, and I don’t think it’s just because the grift opportunities will be so epic. I think he requires their presence because he’s not mentally stable enough to function without them.

    Anecdotally, from what I’ve read this seems to be very common with narcissists. They keep their families toxically intertwined with them and constantly emphasize that nobody outside the family can be trusted, because it’s the best way to keep everyone in their orbit. If their kids or other relatives realize they can leave, that triggers the narcissist’s deepest fear, that of being left alone with no one to reflect their glory back to them.

    (Note: IANA psychologist or psychiatrist, just a layperson who’s been trying to figure out how to deal with a narcissistic family member.)

  19. 19
    LAO says:

    @LAO: here’s the link I forgot to post and was unable to edit.

    Not the ACA!.

  20. 20
    Jeffro says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    What would cause the Republicans to impeach Trump? What would cause Trump’s fans to abandon him?

    For the GOP elected officials: evidence that he was getting paid in some fashion by America’s enemies…or possibly that his associates like Page, Manafort, Flynn were and he knew about it

    For his fans: nothing save a video of him mocking them and their sheer stupidity. His “I could shoot someone on 5th avenue and get away with it” comment was just a sentence or two away from derailing his whole campaign. Heck, his “I love the poorly educated” just needs a question or two from some enterprising young reporter – “why, Mr. President-elect?” – and we’d be there.

  21. 21
    jackmac says:

    @JPL: Obama didn’t “hire” his mother-in-law. She accompanied the family to the White House but served in no official capacity. And she’s not receiving a “pension” either. See http://www.factcheck.org/2016/.....a-pension/

  22. 22
    hovercraft says:

    The sad thing is that I’m pretty sure that we aint seen nothing yet. They are still coming to terms with the amount of power they will wield, and every time they push the boundaries, and the media and Congress just shrug it off, they know that they can take more. They are a virulent virus, they are Ebola, left unchecked, they will devour us whole. So far there is no vaccine to combat them, I guess it’s like when Ebola first broke out in West Africa, no one here gave a shit, as soon as it arrived here, it became everyone’s number one priority. Right now he is pissing off liberals and those people, but unfortunately for them, this virus cannot be contained.

  23. 23
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    I’m at the dentist to get a new crown and filling. Abject terror is setting in.

  24. 24
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gravenstone: You kid, but I suspect “babysitter” is actually an accurate description of Kushner’s role.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ivanka married a narcissist who’s a carbon copy of dear ol’ Dad. Another thing that’s very, very common.

    (I did not marry a carbon copy of my dad, but (a) I had five years of therapy before we met and (b) my dad was not a narcissist.)

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    @LAO:

    Saw that earlier today. I hope the stupid mf-er suffers mightily before dying, broke and unloved.

    I so despise these people. I never used to wish such horrors on anyone, even wingnuts. But I just do not give a shit anymore.

  27. 27
    catclub says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I imagine that heads would roll.

  28. 28
    Mike in DC says:

    I think Pere Trump is pre-Alzheimers, and in steadily increasing need of guidance/stabilization. With his short attention span, any kind of cognitive or memory impairment would be really bad.

  29. 29

    @Jeffro:

    His “I could shoot someone on 5th avenue and get away with it” comment was just a sentence or two away from derailing his whole campaign. Heck, his “I love the poorly educated” just needs a question or two from some enterprising young reporter – “why, Mr. President-elect?” – and we’d be there.

    I do not think these things are true.

  30. 30
    geg6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Myself, I would be happy to have a guy like my dad. But then, my dad was pretty much the opposite of the Orange Shitgibbon.

  31. 31
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Mnemosyne: Also that explicit and unambiguous sabotage of the nation wouldn’t go unpunished by the press and voters.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Does your dentist have a signal system? Mine tells me to raise my right hand if I have any kind of pain or even discomfort, and he stops immediately.

    I went in as someone who was verging on dental phobia, so knowing there was a way to stop him if I started freaking out was REALLY helpful. I can tolerate stuff I never could before just because I feel secure that he’ll stop if I ask.

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    @jackmac: Do we know if Kushner is getting paid? lol

    CNN is reporting that according to the Kremlin a meeting will occur soon between Putin and Trump.

  34. 34
    kindness says:

    This sure is beginning to look like Kansas Toto.

  35. 35
    Barbara says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yeah, it wouldn’t. Another shallow thought brought to you by the queen of shallow narcissism.

  36. 36
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @LAO: How ’bout the people who were mad because the son reached 26 and had to get off his mother’s health insurance, not realizing he was allowed to stay on much longer thanks to the ACA. How ’bout the people who want Obamacare repealed but not the ACA. Not making either of those up, saw them tweeted over at LGF.

  37. 37
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    There is no way to take every possible human weakness into account or know what the future might hold. It is our job and the ongoing responsibility of future generations to fix things when they break. Our work is cut out for us I am afraid.

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    1.Ronald Reagan had his kitchen cabinet of gazilionaire advisors – who were not members of the admin but had plenty of influence.
    2. Kushner is quite wealthy, the fed salary will be small compared to his usual income, why is he getting a job there?

  39. 39
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: Ha ha, didn’t see your link.

  40. 40
    hovercraft says:

    @jackmac:
    I’m pretty sure he was being facetious. They whined about him bringing his whole family, and the cost to tax payers, but they now have no problem with the shitgibbon bringing his whole clan and putting them on the taxpayers payroll.

  41. 41
    Gravenstone says:

    @Betty Cracker: As I said a couple of threads down, he’ll be Trump’s Grima Wormtongue, whispering flattery and lies into the old man’s ear. All while shaping Trumps’s actions to suit his own (or his true master’s) agenda.

  42. 42

    @LAO: they’re being awful polite. I wouldn’t have blacked out his name.

  43. 43
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Mnemosyne: I like that approach! This is a new dentist, so I don’t know how well she manages pain yet, which heightens my anxiety.

  44. 44
    Barbara says:

    @Mnemosyne: By all accounts, Kushner is not a narcissist. Rather, he is the kind of self-effacing person who knows how to make himself indispensable to the narcissists around him — a person who sees loyalty as the greatest virtue irrespective of whether the object of the loyalty is good, bad, or even horrendous. My working assumption has been for some time that Trump is very dependent on people like Kushner and Ivanka, in fact, incompetent in different ways without them. It’s creepy.

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    @Gravenstone:

    If we want to hire Kushner as Trump’s “babysitter”

    I think that’s why the kids want in so badly. TO make sure daddy doesn’t fuck up so badly, he ruins them forever.

  46. 46
    hovercraft says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I think he will be our Regent. The titular head of state in not mature or knowlegable to do the job himself, so the Regent will be the puppet master. The problem is that regents are normally people who know the ins and outs of the job, and are fully capable of running the country. In this case we have the blind leading the blind, the only area he is in leagues ahead of other people is in the level of avarice he brings to the table.

  47. 47
    Barbara says:

    @catclub: So he can get security clearance.

  48. 48
    sherparick1 says:

    I think you meant “where in what part of hell are we going?” Definitely the 4th Circle, Greed, but I am sure the next 4 years will touch them all besides Lust and Gluttony, then on our way to Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud (a big one), and finally Treachery (starting with Treachery one could say). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferno_(Dante)

  49. 49
    Miss Bianca says:

    All of this shit – and the normalization of this shit – is starting to make me feel so crazy I just keep murmuring, “of course. of course. of course he’s going to try to destroy the government.Of course nepotism will be OK for him. Of course cronysim and patronage in the civil service is going to come back.” And then I feel so leaden with despair I start to wonder if we, as a country, actually do deserve the democracy we’v got now.

    it’s as if I were a battered wife who’s finally internalized all my batterer’s excuses for why I deserve to be punched repeatedly.

  50. 50
    catclub says:

    @Jeffro:

    For the GOP elected officials: evidence that he was getting paid in some fashion by America’s enemies…or possibly that his associates like Page, Manafort, Flynn were and he knew about it

    you left out … and were not getting a cut.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @Mike in DC:
    I believe this as well. He is in the general age bracket when it starts to become noticeable and given his personality and how that normally interacts with everyone else and how much his family is having to shore him up on a day to day basis………..

  52. 52
    Calouste says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    What would cause the Republicans to impeach Trump? What would cause Trump’s fans to abandon him?

    Advocating abortion.

    And probably video of him wiping his ass with the bible, but I’m not sure on the latter.

  53. 53
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I can tolerate stuff I never could before just because I feel secure that he’ll stop if I ask.

    Are you describing your dentist or your new top? ; )

  54. 54
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Calouste: I have no faith whatsoever in the Evangelicals. They would just say some nonsense about him being an instrument of God’s will.

  55. 55
    catclub says:

    @Barbara: There have been times – like today – that having serious connections to foreign countries was a problem for getting clearances. cough, Israel, cough

    Also, in the foreign visitor escort training, Israel was the top abuser, most likely to be spying.

    third of all, why can’t Kushner start a consulting company and get a private contract? Those people get clearances. For instance, spy satellite makers.

  56. 56
    🌷 Martin says:

    It’s a bit worse than that, unfortunately. Here’s the Chinese company that Jared Kushner has been talking to since the election.

    This is not a normal Chinese company.

    After more than three months of combing through thousands of pages of records, The Times was able to piece together a corporate history for those 39 shareholders. One clear pattern emerged. At least 35 of the companies, collectively owning more than 92 percent of Anbang, can trace all or part of their ownership to relatives of Mr. Wu or to his wife, Zhuo Ran, who is the granddaughter of the former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping; or to Chen Xiaolu, the son of one of China’s most famous marshals, who helped Mao’s Communists to victory in 1949. Those relatives are either current or former owners or directors of those companies, or current or former owners of predecessor firms.

    Effectively, that means that the company is owned by members of China’s Communist Party inner circle – which is why its ownership is so secretive. They’ve been looking to invest in US companies, buying most of Traveller’s Insurance and making a bid on Starwood Hotels. Not quite the group of people that the senior advisor to the President should be making business deals with.

  57. 57
    Aimai says:

    @Calouste: nothing. They know trump gives them cover that pence cant. The policies will be just as awful but pence wont have trumps bewildering super powers.

  58. 58
    sherparick1 says:

    @Jeffro: I would be curious to hear the reply. “Sour grapes, e-mails, Corrupt Hilary, Trump’s a business man, he is unique! and Sour Grapes, ad nauseam” The real reason they are delighted is because “looks, this upsets liberals, this is great!” Really, these people would gladly march over a cliff with a smile as long a they know that a liberal someplace, somewhere would be sad about it (and they would b cackling they went off the cliff dragging a liberal with them). By the way, see Louisiana, where they hate Government and liberals and drink the most polluted water in the country just to spite us.

  59. 59

    Well, the results are in, and the Berniecrats (take down “the corporate democrats that allowed trump to win” 🙄!) got 8/14 seats from my district (AD17, in San Francisco). Votes were very close. They’re just delegates so it’s not actually a governing majority.

    The other six were mostly apparatchiks, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Their spiel was mostly “I’m an apparatchik” and there is something wrong with that.

    So, congratulations, Berniecrats, you narrowly won an insider election in one of the most liberal districts in the country.

  60. 60
    oz29 says:

    I think their presence is something else — they are there to pull the ripcord if he says something that would damage the brand (i.e. says something betraying dementia.) This isn’t unusual in corporations where a particular executive is integral to the business, but is becoming infirm. The difference is that the person doing the babysitting is usually a lawyer whose legal and professional duty is to the board rather than an adult child whose duty lies . . . elsewhere.

  61. 61
    catclub says:

    @Ruckus: The 25th amendment has various clauses:

    Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

    Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

    It sure looks like the VP and enough cabinet secretaries can just decide the president is unable to discharge his powers and duties.

  62. 62
    kindness says:

    @gene108: Already too late for that I fear.

  63. 63
    Gravenstone says:

    @🌷 Martin: Which makes things somewhat ironic, given Trump’s ongoing war of words re. China.

  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I start to wonder if we, as a country, actually do deserve the democracy we’v got now.

    Well not the one we will have in 11 days, that’s for sure. Even the asswipes who voted for him don’t deserve what is coming. I hope they get it bad and hard but they don’t deserve it. Earned it yes. But a government is suppose to help those who can not help themselves and it’s pretty obvious that the drumpf voters can not help themselves from being this fucking stupid.
    And also your battered wife example is spot on.

  65. 65
    tobie says:

    @jackmac: Please folks don’t forget the vitriol HRC was subject to when Bill Clinton tasked her with coming up with a healthcare proposal. They lambasted the Clintons for joking you would get two for the price of one. She at least had the position of FLOTUS. What do we have now…DOTUS (daughter), SILOTUS (son-in-law)?

  66. 66
    geg6 says:

    @Calouste:

    And probably video of him wiping his ass with the bible, but I’m not sure on the latter.

    Nah, they don’t give a damn about the Bible except for its utility in coughing up out of context quotes that they then spout like incantations. I doubt most of those people would recognize a Bible if I broke their noses with one.

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mike in DC: I think Trump has serious cognitive and/or Alzheimer’s symptoms.

    And it is making me furious, again, that the Electoral College majority of this country would not elect a highly qualified and experienced woman, but gave the job to someone who is not qualified and pretty much ran as a vanity candidate/grifter.

    This is such a tragedy. It’s incredible there is no way to stop it, and that the leader in the wings — Mike Pence — is possibly worse than Trump.

    I think people who have been numb ever since the election are going to be angry, very very angry.

  68. 68
    Wapiti says:

    @gene108:

    I think that’s why the kids want in so badly. TO make sure daddy doesn’t fuck up so badly, he ruins them forever.

    If Trump and his associated companies actually owe various banks $1.5 billion, he could fuck things up so that the kids inherit nothing but debt.

  69. 69
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @jackmac:

    Get your snark detector adjusted. I think there’s a coupon in this week’s ValPak.

  70. 70
    bystander says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    I’m at the dentist to get a new crown and filling. Abject terror is setting in.

    Why? Do you have to pay before the procedure? The paying part is the painful part for me.

    I intend to refer to all the spawn as Uday and Qusay, generically and without regard to gender. I’m also abbreviating POTUS for the next 4 years as POS.

  71. 71
    geg6 says:

    @Ruckus:

    Even the asswipes who voted for him don’t deserve what is coming.

    Yes, they do. Actions have consequences. Fuck them. I don’t give a damn what happens to them except that it should be horrible and endless. It’s everyone else I’m worried about. I don’t spend a second of the day worrying about anyone who voted for him. I no longer give a shit at all. Check that. I do give a shit in that I hope they suffer more than anyone else will.

  72. 72
    bystander says:

    @hovercraft: Block that metaphor or you’ll be rewriting The Plague before you know it.

    It is not going to be, “There’s a cancer on the Presidency.” It is instead, “The President is the cancer.”

  73. 73
    PGE says:

    I agree that he’s too unstable to operate without Ivanka and Kushner. This makes me think that the reason they didn’t dissuade him from running is that they want the role of power behind the throne. The more he deteriorates cognitively, the more powerful they become.

  74. 74
    Aimai says:

    @PGE: they didnt dissuade him because they couldnt. And wanted the hard graft.

  75. 75
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Wapiti: I devoutly wish that they are not only left with nothing but debt, but that in 20 years the Trump name is as toxic as the names Hitler and Stalin.

  76. 76
    jackmac says:

    @JPL: Trump will probably stiff Kushner. Just as he did with so many contractors.

  77. 77
    Barbara says:

    @geg6: I mostly feel this way as well. When I visited my mother in December she told me to protect what I have and stop worrying about her generation or the so-called white working class. As she said, they certainly aren’t worried about me.

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    @geg6:
    Notice I said they earned it. Notice I said I hope they get it bad and hard. No one deserves the government we are getting. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get their just rewards for being stupid, racist, fucking morons. That’s what they deserve. That shitty government affects all of us, and most of us didn’t vote for the orange fuckstick. They could have just been stupid fucking racist morons and let the rest of us live our lives. But nooooo, they had to be fucking assholes and fuck things up for all of us.
    Don’t for a second think I’m on their side or think they should get a break because they are stupid fucking morons, I don’t.

  79. 79
    Barbara says:

    @geg6: Just a further thought, I skimmed (could not make myself read it in full) a New Yorker article that interviewed Trump supporters, including some who claimed to appreciate his risks and flaws. What it said was, basically, they all minimize the extent to which conflicts of interest and corruption are likely to influence Trump and derail whatever else he supposedly wants to do. Many see him as a person who will somehow transcend partisanship and bring people together. After reading that, along with the WaPo article on Trump voters in Mayberry, NC, I have decided that these people are divorced from reality and really DO deserve what happens to them.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Barbara:

    I would need to read more about Kushner and, frankly, I don’t know that I’m willing to just so I can make an internet diagnosis that I’m not even qualified to do. ;-) But narcissists are not always as flamboyant as Trump — they can also be very quiet and insidious.

  81. 81
    catclub says:

    A repeated lie. who knew? Not too OT. at Ritholtz blog

    @TBPInvictus here:

    I thought I’d put the “Reagan-created-one-million-jobs-in-one-month” lie to bed a long time ago. I’d like to think I was the first to expose it for the lie that it is. (See here, here, and, most notably, here.) Sadly, not so much.

    Stephen Moore, who apparently may be up for a high profile gig in the incoming Trump administration, went on television very recently – looks like the end of December – to once again repeat this canard:

  82. 82
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    @Elizabelle: I honestly think(not wishful thinking) that all this shit is going to bite the GOP in its ass in the next few years. I am talking about the Trumpkins and Teabaggers mocking the Dems calling them sore losers etc.,the Senate not doing its due diligence as far as background checks , conflicts of interest,no tax returns and Lumpy et al doubling down on the ” Russian hacks are okay and the intelligence services are bad” line. The Russians are not your friends and at some point what they are asking from Lumpy will be too much and Lumpy’s and his GOP pals’ emails and financial info will be leaked. There’s a reason for the conflict of interest,disclosure and anti nepotism laws . Much of this stuff is based on problems encountered in the past.Inevitably shit will come out which will look very bad for these cabinet appointees and the Turtle will have to explain stuff away . The problem with Lumpy is that pretty much all of his appointees have major issues. You could get away with one or two but this is way too many with problems. The reason Obama’s presidency was pretty much scandal free was because he didn’t even put up with Tom Daschle and his fairly minor problem issue.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I do not like pain. At all. I made my dentist give me a half-dose of Novocain just so I could tolerate having my last crown put on. So, yeah, BDSM would not be my cup of tea.

  84. 84
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: It will be interesting to find out how the alt right think about having the presidency run by an orthodox Jew. So far everybody is happy. But I have heard that Trump gets into yelling matches.

  85. 85
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But narcissists are not always as flamboyant as Trump — they can also be very quiet and insidious.

    Sometime off blog you should ask me how I know first hand that this is true.

  86. 86
    Barbara says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have linked to it previously, but this is the article to read: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewis.....ner-shanda

    Jared learned at the feet of his father how to overlook personal corruption in the name of family loyalty.

  87. 87
    Roger Moore says:

    I think he requires their presence because he’s not mentally stable enough to function without them.

    I think he requires their presence because they’re in the very small circle of people he actually trusts. This is typical of authoritarian regimes. The big boss is far more worried about internal enemies than external. Two important ways to deal with that are to surround himself with the few people he actually trusts- often close family- regardless of competence and to set everyone else against each other so they’ll be too busy infighting to cooperate in his downfall.

  88. 88
    GregB says:

    @Mai.naem.mobile:

    We have just found out that Secretary of State of nominee Tillerson was doing business with Iran while they were under sanctions.

    But I am sure it is OK because he seems like a nice guy and probably hosts great parties.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Not only that — the Republican electors voted in lockstep for their candidate. The Democratic electors dicked around on the edges with votes for Colin fucking Powell.

    With “allies” like that, no fucking wonder we lost. Democrats can’t even stop the circular firing squad for Trump.

  90. 90
    gvg says:

    If the non presidential people break the law, various Federal agencies and/or Congress can arrest and charge them. I had overlooked that the President can pardon them. That’s a problem, I don’t think is solvable until both houses face the facts and impeach and remove him. They won’t before the crimes actually happen, probably not even the first time as lets face it, even if they weren’t cowards, that is a pretty serious step. We all expect this but it is still future speculation so it can’t happen yet.

    As for the 25th amendment…it seems to largely depend on the Presidents cabinet. I wonder if Trump has overlooked that because he seems to be allowing Pence to pick most of the people. He approves them but Pence is giving him the list and recruiting the possibles since Trump doesn’t actually know anyone in government type experience and has driven off the few actual political supporters like Christie. Except for Pence…who would get the job if Trump was declared unfit and who could never have won on his own merits. hmm

    A segment of his supporters wanted someone with no government experience. this does not end well. A very different man was elected on an untainted by Washington platform,,,Jimmy Carter. he actually had been Gov. but it still didn’t go well for him, there was a lot of resistance even from other democrats and it did hurt his effectiveness. so did other things to but I recall those events and I don’t recommend sentimental preferences for outsiders.

    If one of his cabinet does something perceived by the public dangerous to our security and Trump just pardons him……..then public pressure might make congress act. Until then, we are pretty powerless I think. I can’t believe he has asked teh guys in charge of nuclear safety to just leave.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    Has anyone done any vetting on the unelected Trump Family members who will be running our new banana republic?

    Criminal background check? Tax returns? Anything?

    We were told repeatedly during the campaign that Trump’s children ran businesses. If that’s true then why don’t any of them ever work? We these like “no show” jobs, or what? Is there any evidence that any of them have been hired by anyone other than a relative?

  92. 92
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @JPL: Grandmother is not a position one is hired for.

  93. 93
    ruemara says:

    @Major Major Major Major: My masseuse is one of those dead ender Bernie or Busters and her facebook page has achieved some level of national following for her solid I hate Hillary, she would be as bad as Trump (said just 4 weeks ago) stances. She’s been celebrating that they’re fighting the “establishment” by taking over our local dem party positions in our super limousine liberal tiny town.

    I cannot wait for the realities of policy & governance to break these twits down. I say this as someone stuck watching it happen day after day for 7 years.

  94. 94
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I would say that they short-sightedly assumed that (a) party politics would never develop (something that ceased to be true by 1800) and (b) one party would never become so power-hungry that they would ignore all of the safeguards set up.

    I don’t think they assumed that at all. If you look at what they said at the time, they were pessimistic about the longevity of the Constitution. They’d probably be surprised that it’s lasted as long as it has. The Constitution is just a piece of paper vellum with no power to act on its own. It requires people both inside and outside of government to support it, or it will be ignored. A well written Constitution can help to ensure its longevity by giving people the power and self-interest to protect it, but ultimately nothing can save it if people hell-bent on ignoring it gain power.

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @ruemara: Why are you still giving her your business?

  96. 96

    @Major Major Major Major: My theory is that this election was a one-two punch by Putin and his cronies. Bernistas destroy Democrats and their ability to present a unified front against the T onslaught. While T and his R minions destroy whatever is left of the sane part of the Republican party. Big victory for P without firing a single shot.

  97. 97
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Gee, sounds like Boris Nikolaevich and Vladimir Vladimirovich.

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    Someone on Trump’s team took a look at basically all presidential level politics and realized that none of it, almost none of it, is subject to actual law. It’s all a mishmash of convention and etiquette.
    There is nothing anyone can do to stop what they are doing, even if they decided they wanted to.

  99. 99

    @ruemara:

    I cannot wait for the realities of policy & governance to break these twits down.

    I think their plan is to vote for Ellison (which is not a fringe position at all, but shhh, don’t tell them), fail at banning lobbyists and corporate donations, and then throw chairs.

  100. 100
    SgrAstar says:

    . I think he requires their presence because he’s not mentally stable enough to function without them.

    Agree wholeheartedly. I’ve thought for months that he can’t function without them. As several posters have observed above, unaccountable unknown cipher Jared is gonna be our preznit-behind-the-scenes. Look out.

  101. 101
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    Ive seen people who think Lumpy will resign/be impeached etc. Not sure how the GOP pulls that off unless they literally kill him. He won’t go off willingly. If they do send him off ,he will rile up his moronic supporters. He already has his idiot fans all over on Twitter saying he didn’t make fun of the disabled reporter when he clearly did. The GOP basically have a suicide pact with this moron. It’s like my sister said to me, if she wasn’t living in this country she would be laughing at the situation.

  102. 102
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t know if anyone else has been linking to this guy, but he is lighting up Trump for his OC and RIS contacts/history and shady dealing. There can be no doubt that Trump is working closely (and has been for decades) with a foreign adversary in an effort to enhance wealth for himself.
    Adam Khan

  103. 103
    ruemara says:

    @Corner Stone: Once I learned, I stopped going. I was debating if I should cut her off altogether, today just sealed it. Sadness, she was a good masseuse. But a shit person, because she doesn’t give a shit about lgbt rights, POC or anything else. Just doctrinal purity.

    @SgrAstar: No. Preznit will be Pence for domestic. Kushner & Ivanka will be guiding foreign policy with an eye towards Trump & their own business deals.

  104. 104

    @schrodingers_cat: While it’s possible that somebody convinced Wilmer to turn his vanity campaign into a party-eating monstrosity, I think it’s much more likely that that part is just an own-goal by the Dems.

  105. 105
    randy khan says:

    @gvg:

    Despite Newt’s stupid comment about this, abusing the pardon power is one thing that could get the attention of the GOP. Even Nixon didn’t do that (although I seem to remember that he mused about doing it).

  106. 106
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    @Kay: no,but I am guessing the various intelligence agencies(not FBI) will as will foreign reporters and foreign Intel agencies. Lumpy and Turtle are going to look mighty stupid when shit starts leaking because ,you know ,they trusted the appointees to be honest patriotic Americans who got rich by being super honest and never doing anything that would even be considered pushing the envelope on legality .

  107. 107

    @Major Major Major Major: I am talking about their current actions. There is strand on the left which still looks to Mother Russia for guidance.

  108. 108
  109. 109
    NeenerNeener says:

    @🌷 Martin: Hmm….I thought Putin didn’t like the Chinese. When is he going to yank on Jared’s leash?

  110. 110
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Both campaigns (Sanders and Trump) were run by people who have been on V.V. Putin’s payroll.

  111. 111
    bystander says:

    @Mai.naem.mobile:

    Ive seen people who think Lumpy will resign/be impeached etc. Not sure how the GOP pulls that off unless they literally kill him.

    You sweet talker!

  112. 112
    Ohio Mom says:

    @tobie: My husband says definitely call the Kesher Israel Hospitality Committee, they often find places for out of town visitors to stay over Shabbat. Who knows, they could end staying where the food is kosher.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    randy khan says:

    Apparently, Chuck Schumer was given a transfusion of Harry Reid’s blood (or maybe a transplant of Reid’s spine, take your pick):

    Back at you, Mitch.

  115. 115

    @Gin & Tonic: Devine also has deep roots in the democratic party, though. His penchant for dictators seems to me like shameless greed more than anything else.

    @schrodingers_cat: Some people are just idiots.

    Incidentally, my news alert says that Wilmer just wrote a column for CNN posing ’23 big questions for America’ and will be having a town hall tonight.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    @schrodingers_cat:

    I vote for both/and. Remember our old friend BiP? He was a lefty who bought into everything Russia Today told him and never saw a Russian propagandist he didn’t like.

    The Russians have been very careful to court the American left with their propaganda machine, and like all of their bets this year, it has paid off handily.

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    There are a lot of Democratic men who let their creepy misogynist hatred for Hillary Clinton blind them to all else. Just sayin’.

  118. 118
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    seems to me like shameless greed more than anything else.

    Block Island real estate is indeed damned expensive, but greed and sedition are not mutually exclusive.

    will be having a town hall tonight.

    Trying to recall: did CNN give HRC a prime-time “town hall” in January of 2009?

  119. 119
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: As you’ve mentioned, there’s no way they had real jobs — Trump either. Actual executives can’t just stop performing their duties for nearly two years without being missed. Nor have any of the Trumps ever been hired by a non-relative. I guess we’ll just have to wait for them to fuck up on such a grand scale that it cannot be covered up to have a discussion about their qualifications. None of the media entities seem interested in that question.

  120. 120
    danielx says:

    @Ruckus:

    He probably doesn’t know how to act when the heat isn’t on, not that he knows how to act reasonably when it is.

    Yes. Exactly. I’ve been brooding today (today and every day!) about what’s going to happen when – inevitably – a crisis occurs where people are involved who do not give a flying fuck about the shitgibbon’s Twitter blustering and threats. People over whom 1) he has no leverage of any sort, and 2) who have a serious interest in pulling his wienie.

  121. 121
    retr2327 says:

    Off-thread, but Chuck Schumer may be showing some signs of promise as Reid’s successor. Check out his response to McConnell’s insistence that Dems “grow up” with respect to the ethics investigation of Trump’s nominees: he dug up McConnell’s letter insisting on a full vetting of Obama’s nominees, crossed out the to and from, and sent it back to McConnell. Priceless!

  122. 122
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I think Trump relies on his family so much because (just a hunch) he has longstanding ADHD and/or a learning disability, so he’s never really sure if he’s understood anything complex he’s been told or read, so he needs someone to tell him what’s important. And the only people he’s sure won’t blab to the press and embarrass him about how uncomprehending he is about everything are his own children. Watch how the first person who resigns from the Trump administration talks about the experience and check it against what I just predicted.

  123. 123
    Ohio Mom says:

    @tobie: In fact, if you go to the Kesher Israel synagogue’s website, there is a tab for a form for visitors to DC who want a place to stay over on Shabbat: When are you visiting? Do you have allergies? etc. Maybe they should add on comments they are Democrats though…

  124. 124
    Miss Bianca says:

    @retr2327: heh heh heh. Right on, Chuck Schumer!

  125. 125
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The equivalent would be Mike Huckabee, I think — the runner up in the losing side’s primaries.

  126. 126
    Timurid says:

    @Gravenstone:

    It makes me wonder if the public feud with China is a decoy…

  127. 127
    cmorenc says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Whatever it takes, no matter what heat it generates, Trump is going to find a way to have the kiddies involved, and I don’t think it’s just because the grift opportunities will be so epic. I think he requires their presence because he’s not mentally stable enough to function without them.

    …and in doing so, they may just be greedily grabbing onto enough rope to hang themselves with, especially transactions their position facilitates that go too conveniently, spectacularly well to hide or else prove to be sinkhole busts they try to use their position to wiggle out of or throw losses onto other sympathetic-to-the-public parties.

  128. 128
    Roger Moore says:

    @gvg:

    If the non presidential people break the law, various Federal agencies and/or Congress can arrest and charge them. I had overlooked that the President can pardon them. That’s a problem, I don’t think is solvable until both houses face the facts and impeach and remove him.

    Pardoning his cronies for obvious wrongdoing is one of the few things that could really hurt him even with diehard Republicans, especially if what they’re accused of would also enrich him. If/when that happens, I expect the Republicans will move to impeach for two reasons:

    1) They won’t want the stink to rub off on them.
    2) They’ll probably be sick and tired of him by then and happy to get Pence instead.

    I think it will take the threat of the former to get them to act, but the security of still having a President who will support their regressive agenda will give them the courage to follow through.

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Read his word salad about basically anything, but specifically Abe Lincoln.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Timurid:

    Or that the Trumpistas think that money fixes everything and they can insult the Chinese government as much as they want as long as they’re in business together.

    I’m not sure which thought is scarier.

  131. 131
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s just so gross to me because it’s so unearned. There are probably hundreds of thousands of people who are better prepared for that job and have worked harder, and the son in law gets it.

    They have been nattering on and on for 3 months about how liberals don’t value WWC. Trump doesn’t value work. This is such a disgusting archaic ethos, the “loyalty” test for appointees. It’s anti-merit.

    This was the whole point of the civil service. It was supposed to be a meritocracy. Objective measures- a resume, a test, the best person for the job. The old system was loyalty tests. It was terrible! Packed with corruption and cronyism and an echo chamber. They’re like some throwback to the bad old days.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    We’ve been mostly emphasizing the NPD lately but, yeah, several of us with ADHD are recognizing Trump as one of us.

    Unfortunately, NPD + ADHD is one of the most toxic combos you can get.

  133. 133
    Kay says:

    Well, just keep in mind. Congress writes laws. We all know no Republicans will break ranks, but they could. They have enormous power to rein in the President. They’re full of it when they say they can’t. Read the Constitution. They have all the power they need in Congress to do just about anything.

    If Trump and his sleazy family harm the public we’ll know exactly who to hold responsible. Congress.

  134. 134
    cmorenc says:

    @tamiasmin:

    Why are we in this handbasket? My tentative answer is that Our Founding Fathers™ must have hated us. As our descendants probably will.

    The founders designed the electoral college with the notion in mind that it would assure that sound, prudent men would win the presidency and rashly unsound candidates whose political skill was rousing the ill-informed rabble to vote for them could be prevented from winning the presidency. And it more or less worked in the intended way for several decades. If Washington, Jefferson, Madison et. al were around today, they’d be horrified at how badly wrong their notions of “republican” government via the electoral college had gone disastrously wrong.

  135. 135
    Roger Moore says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Actual executives can’t just stop performing their duties for nearly two years without being missed.

    I thought a big part of the problem is that they’ve kept their day jobs while working on the campaign. Either they’re sham executives who have no real role in the company, or they’re power players who are going to continue to negotiate deals while serving in the government. You can’t have it both ways.

  136. 136
    Kay says:

    I was told Ivanka would be drawing attention to women’s issues. So far all I;ve seen is Ivanka drawing attention to Ivanka.

    Can we get an actual elected woman in Congress to weigh in? Someone qualified who earned the ability to write federal policy? I don’t really feel like being a socialite’s hobby. I’m not her fucking charity case.

  137. 137
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: At first my hunch was that he wasn’t functionally literate, but then I saw him read from a TelePrompTer. So he can in fact read. I have massive doubt about how much he understands _after_ reading.

  138. 138
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    I’d keep it even more simple: Republicans. The Republicans could rein Trump in, and they choose not to.

    This is the path the Republicans chose.

  139. 139
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mai.naem.mobile: I think this is going to blow bad on the Republicans too, but no idea when. You cannot argue with a straight face they did not put “party before country”, en masse.

    Only problem is, so much collateral damage to all of us, in the meantime. Potential. I hope we are able to stave off the worst of it.

    And fuck the Vichy press. They need to go down hard, too. “Objectivity” does not overtake “accuracy” as their mission. They would have more readers/viewers if they kicked butt and took names.

    Now to catch up with the rest of the thread. Was out on a walk.

  140. 140
    Kay says:

    I could have had a smart woman who worked her whole life on issues involving women and children, someone who was elected to the Senate, someone who knows what she’s doing, and instead I get a real estate developers daughter who thinks “women” are her charity and she’s entitled to weigh in on shit she knows nothing about because of an accident of birth.

    It’s insulting. The little ladies get the daughter, who has no real job and no real power. She’s supposed to wheedle and cajole and beg daddy for a child care law? I don’t want any part of this. I didn’t agree to kiss douchebag’s ass and I’m not begging him for anything. Tell her to find another charity. I don’t want anything from her.

  141. 141
    Kathleen says:

    @Jeffro: You mean a Patricia Neal leaving the mic open as the credits roll and Lonesome mocks his audience Face In the Crowd moment? I wonder if even that would make a difference.

  142. 142
    Roger Moore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    “Objectivity” does not overtake “accuracy” as their mission.

    The problem isn’t objectivity vs. accuracy. They’ve given up on objectivity in the sense of trying to report on objective facts. The problem is stenography vs. investigation. They simply ask for quotes from both sides and repeat them, rather than trying to find out where the truth really lies. It winds up rewarding whomever tells them bigger whoppers, because their fauxjectivity requires them to act as if truth is somewhere in the middle.

  143. 143
    Kathleen says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Destruction of the Democrats was one goal of the coup, and Wilmer played its role quite well. Note how rhetoric has swung back to corrupt Dems in the face of fascist forces from the Right assuming power. It is every bit as bad as Trump, and I’m not “re litigating the primaries”. When you are at war you have to know who all of your true enemies are.

  144. 144
    Kathleen says:

    @retr2327: Didn’t someone on of these threads propose that idea in the last couple of days? Does Schumer read BJ? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  145. 145
    liberal says:

    @schrodingers_cat: yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyone who didn’t think HRC was the Second Coming is a secret agent of Vlad, Uncle Joe, Lenin,…

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @liberal:

    If someone couldn’t be arsed to vote for Hillary despite knowing what Trump was, that’s not Hillary’s problem.

    But I’m sure you’re right and Tad Devine’s connections to Vladimir Putin and Paul Manafort are just a total coincidence.

  147. 147
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kathleen:

    Note how rhetoric has swung back to corrupt Dems in the face of fascist forces from the Right assuming power.

    Yep. We’re not going to be able to fight Trump if supposed Democrats refuse to accept who the actual enemy is. (Hint: it ain’t the DNC.)

  148. 148
    Jack the Second says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: Simple Answer: Republicans hate whatever Democrats like, and vice versa.

    If you want Republicans to turn on Trump, the only only way is for Democrats to start talking loudly about how much they like him, and how hilarious it is that they tricked the rubes in flyover country into voting for an East Coast Crypto-Liberal, who all Democrats secretly love.

    Short of that, nothing. As long as liberals hate Trump conservatives will love him.

  149. 149
    Fr33d0m says:

    I cannot help but feel like worrying about them increasing their wealth will end up being one of those things we groan about when when the press starts guessing about what uniforms the empire’s soldiers would be wearing.

  150. 150
    Jack the Second says:

    @liberal: That expression has always puzzled me. If Christ was crucified the first time around, why would anything think the second time would be any different?

  151. 151
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jack the Second:

    Hmmm. Yes and no. Democrats hated and fought W until the day he left office, and his support was down to something like 30 percent by the time Obama was sworn in.

    Since Trump’s successes are felt to be his voters’ successes, they will also feel his failures to be their failures.

  152. 152
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Since Trump’s successes are felt to be his voters’ successes, they will also feel his failures to be their failures.

    Nope. The ones who get buyer’s remorse will retroactively discover that they didn’t vote for Trump after all, or at least that Trump has betrayed True Conservative Principles® and thus didn’t deserve their vote. Conservatism can never fail, etc.

  153. 153
    sukabi says:

    @GregB: no biggie…so was Cheney and Halliburton….must be nice when the rules don’t apply….

  154. 154

Comments are closed.