Late Night Open Thread: Nazi Pajama Games

The Repubs have soooo much respect for our military, they want to use it as a dumpster for all the fantasists and grifters who aren’t sharp enough for the business grifts:

Mattis was widely embraced on both sides of the aisle when President Donald Trump nominated him. Republicans and Democrats alike expressed hope that the retired four-star general would be a moderating force on the volatile commander in chief.

But Republican lawmakers and senior congressional aides said in recent interviews they’re running out of patience with Mattis’ staffing decisions, which have disappointed Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee hoping to see their ideological allies elevated to senior levels in the Defense Department. Others are grumbling about Mattis’ refusal to advocate a bigger increase in the defense budget, which defense hawks believe was gutted disastrously under President Barack Obama.

“He certainly has got a tough job, but it sometimes feels like he forgets that we won the election,” said one aide to a GOP senator on the Armed Services Committee, who declined to speak on the record for fear of publicly alienating the defense secretary.

“We’ve waited eight years for this, to be able to fill these posts with Republicans,” said another top GOP Hill staffer. “We know Trump isn’t part of the establishment and that it’s going to be a bit different, but it should go without saying that a Republican administration is expected to staff federal agencies with Republicans.”…

Defense Department veterans say the White House has put Mattis in a nearly impossible position given that a large swath of the Republican foreign-policy establishment was openly critical of Trump during the campaign. Some say that has left Mattis with little choice but to turn to Democrats and to those without a political background to fill senior posts.

“In picking Mattis, the president got someone who had bipartisan credibility and was seen as a tough national security official who wasn’t going to toe the White House or the GOP line,” said Jeremy Bash, a former Pentagon spokesman under Secretary Leon Panetta. “Independence is an important attribute in a SecDef. But when you get that, you get frustration from the political folks. When you’re not coming out of the establishment, you have the credibility to do bipartisan things. You’re just going to take incoming from Democrats and from Republicans from time to time.”…

There’s also a longwinded story about Mattis paying insufficient attention to Senators Cotton and Cruz and their Very Serious Military Theorists cosplay, and a sidebar that he’s not sympathetic to re-introducing GOP grifters into Pentagon budget planning.

… Others said it’s crucial that Mattis embrace the reality of navigating the Hill. “Everybody thinks very highly of him, but he doesn’t have any political sense, and he doesn’t think he needs any political sense,” said one former Bush administration Defense Department official. “But it’s quintessentially a political job.”

We don’t want capable people with experience! We want cushy berths for our grifters and ideologues!

Bonus watching, another Trump ‘terrorism expert’ gets Bee-burned..






47 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The problem is that Generals, even if they are now Senate confirmed Cabinet Secretaries do not take orders or cater to the whims of Captains, even if they are now junior Senators. Senator Cotton may think because he’s a Senator and he has oversight that he is important and that the Secretary of Defense should listen to him. To the Secretary of Defense Senator Cotton is a Captain with a fancy new title.

  2. 2
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Glad to know that I didn’t misunderstand the military aspect of this! :)

  3. 3
    amk says:

    After radicalizing legislative, executive and judiciary branches, now they want to fuck up military too? maga, I guess.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anne Laurie: You didn’t, but I think after four posts in one day I am now just randomly capitalizing stuff that doesn’t need to be capitalized. Time for bed.

  5. 5
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sleep well!

  6. 6

    I took a couple pictures today.

    Really just an off day though. Blech.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    Checked into the hotel for my writers conference and I’m impressed to see that Hilton is living in the future. I was not only able to check in online, I got to pick my room (near the elevators and ice machine) and activated my mobile phone to act as my room key so all I had to do was park my car, bring my bags up to the room, and unlock the door with my phone. Pretty cool to live in the future.

  8. 8
    amk says:

    apparently, twitler’s childish truck tantrum is being mocked in the twitterdom.

  9. 9
    jl says:

    Trump is Mattis’ immediate boss, not Congress. So Mattis needs to keep Trump happy. And Mattis looks like a general from central casting, Trump said so himself, and his nickname was Mad Dog (that right, is this the guy called Mad Dog?). Anyway, Trump has no room for complaint.

    Now you want complaints, I got complaints. I read up on Gorsuch today, including the trucker case. This guy is unfit to be a judge and I think has potential to be dangerous. Democrats should have made a much bigger stink about no vote for Garland. If i were a Senator, I’d have to say that Gorsuch was unfit, and his confirmation should be considered illegitimate, and if the Dems ever have a majority in the House and 2/3 in the Senate, that sucker is out of there. Along with Roberts, Alito and Thomas.

    If I were a president with a Democratic Congress, I’d try to make it happen. And if it couldn’t, I would do everything I could to get Congress to start stripping whatever jurisdiction it could, IANAL, abut I understand that Congress can strip a lot of it, mainly appellate cases. But I might be wrong.

    Probably some of the professional sensible centrist Debbie downers here will drone out some lecture, so FU to them in advance.
    We are crossing the fucking Gorsuch line in incompetent and corrupt judiciary, and that is dangerous.

  10. 10
    TriassicSands says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Pretty cool to live in the future.

    Sorry, Mnemosyne, but if you parked your car instead of landing it, you can’t be living in the future.

  11. 11
    mai naem mobile says:

    @jl: Gorsuch gives me the creeps in the sense that he comes across as a total asshOle like in a Dolt 45 kind of way. Completely fake. Will say whatever to get ahead and then fuck you over. Completely ruthless. He looks like he would serve well as a judge for a Nazi administration.
    OT – I just saw the US Marshalls were sent to protect the Hawaiian judge who put the hold on the traveleft ban.

  12. 12
    Bjacques says:

    I’d love to pit Sebastian L. v. Gorka and Jacob Rees-Mogg against each other in a Mansplain-off. Rees-Mogg would school Gorka because he actually knows what he’s talking about, though I disagree with most of it. I’d be rooting for injuries, of course.

  13. 13
    Anne Laurie says:

    @jl: Did you miss my post this afternoon?

    Perhaps the Dems *could* be doing more to keep Gorsuch off the bench, or at least to let low-info voters know how dangerous he is, but they’re not rolling over and playing dead.

  14. 14
    jl says:

    @mai naem mobile: Gorsuch commits absurd contortions of language that has a very plain and simple meaning, to get whatever result he damn well wants, and hides behind the ‘original intent’ and ‘textualist’ BS stupid crapola theory of Constitutional (dishonest) interpretation. He does this over and over again. He is unfit and corrupt. Worse than Scalia, much worse. Completely unfit. And his attitude toward the hearings is disturbing, sliding with smirky non-answers. by because he knows the GOPer scum would confirm a hand puppet that would say whatever they wanted it to, if they could get away with it.

    Edit: If the Democrats ever have the power, need to remove some of the crooks from SCOTUS, and until they can, strip as much jurisdiction as they can. Seriously.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TriassicSands:

    If we were really living in the future, I would have flown here using my personal jet pack. Sadly, since it’s only the fake future, I have to settle for carrying a multifunction communicator in my pocket. 😉

  16. 16
    John Revolta says:

    @Mnemosyne: Dang. I always try to stay far away from the elevators and the ice machine, onaccounta noise and foot traffic.

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    Did I just have an innocuous comment go into the trash bin? I don’t think I used any forbidden words …

  18. 18
    jl says:

    @Anne Laurie: Yes, I missed it, Was busy. Thanks. I’ll read it.

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John Revolta:

    It’s an Embassy Suites, so I have a living room between me and the elevator and ice machine areas. I can’t hear a thing.

  20. 20
    SgrAstar says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It’s Hoo Tow! Gorgeous shot…that Tower is almost as beautiful as the Campanile. Heh.

  21. 21

    @SgrAstar: Shame about what’s inside it.

  22. 22
    SoupCatcher says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Lake Lagunita is looking pretty good.

    I’m sure the Tiger Salamanders are celebrating!

  23. 23
    TriassicSands says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well it’s better than living in the past, that’s for sure.

  24. 24

    @SoupCatcher: you should’ve seen it back when it was raining more!

    Somebody was flying a little plane over it today.

  25. 25
    TriassicSands says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have to settle for carrying a multifunction communicator in my pocket.

    Does your multifunction communicator have a built in Tri-corder or do you carry that separately?

    (Sheesh, my first ever Star Trek reference — I need to check in for a brain scan. I’m embarrassed.)

  26. 26
    SWMBO says:

    @John Revolta: She may still be icing her knee and not want to put extra steps on her knee getting to/from her room. But that’s only a guess.

  27. 27
    SoupCatcher says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I can imagine.

    I take Caltrain from San Jose to Menlo Park, and all of the water crossings were insane a few weeks ago.

  28. 28

    @SoupCatcher: I do Caltrain from SF to Palo Alto myself. I pass through so many different kinds of place, downtown by the ballpark through the landfills then the hills, bay, valley…

  29. 29
    EBT says:

    I was in the bay from sunday to wednesday, sitting with a friend who just got out of surgery for a few days. Felt good to be there again.

  30. 30
    SoupCatcher says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Yeah. It’s a fun rail line. I get on at the south end of San Jose and the stretch from the Capitol Expressway station to Diridon – the line cutting through Dairy Hill (also known as Communications Hill, where deer and coyote live right in the middle of the valley, surrounded by a million people, at least until they finish the latest round of construction), crossing the Guadalupe River flood control plain and then Los Gatos creek, going behind the first Orchard Supply Hardware, and then by the SAP center – is a nice way to start the morning.

  31. 31

    @SoupCatcher: we really do live in a beautiful place.

  32. 32
    Ian says:

    @jl:

    If I were a president with a Democratic Congress, I’d try to make it happen. And if it couldn’t, I would do everything I could to get Congress to start stripping whatever jurisdiction it could, IANAL, abut I understand that Congress can strip a lot of it, mainly appellate cases. But I might be wrong.

    Probably some of the professional sensible centrist Debbie downers here will drone out some lecture, so FU to them in advance

    And when they win the election after that?

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: A lot of great stops on Caltrain route. Anyone who wants to spend a day poking around the peninsula should check Caltrain before driving.

    And SamTrans for western side, down the coast, especially in summer.

  34. 34
    TriassicSands says:

    @jl:

    This guy is unfit to be a judge and I think has potential to be dangerous.

    He’s the son of the late Anne Gorsuch, who was one of Reagan’s EPA heads. She was a nightmare. Possibly the worst EPA head ever — at least until now.

    I expect Neil Gorsuch to be his mother’s equivalent on the SCOTUS. I’ve watched some of the hearings and he may be the biggest phony I’ve ever seen in such a setting. At one point, he’s sitting alone at his table, and someone in the gallery sneezed. His head snapped around and he said, “God bless you!” WTF? He was trying to be all things to all people and show the senators what a great guy he is — see, I’m not heartless, but darn, if the law says I’ve got to screw the little guy, well, then, gosh darnit, I don’t have a choice.

    It’s 2017. Merrick Garland, as qualified to be on the SCOTUS as anyone in history, was denied even the courtesy of a hearing by an out-of-control Senate Majority Leader who happens to be a Republican. He was denied a seat on the high court for purely partisan reasons and Gorsuch actually says, “There are no Democrat* [sic] judges. There are no Republican judges. There are only judges.” Either the dumbest or the most dishonest thing ever uttered in a court nominee hearing. The little guy is in for some trouble.

    * I heard him use “Democratic” several times as an adjective, but that time he slipped and reverted to the usage that the mindless Right uses. I imagine he had to rehearse using “Democratic,” because he’s so accustomed to the mindless Republican norm, but his performance was not perfect and that one time he slipped up. Tsk. Tsk. Neil. You’re letting you radical right side show.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    @Ian: So, we leave corrupt judges in place? Maybe if the Dems made more a stink about it, they wouldn’t lose so many damn elections in the first place. With guys like Gorsuch and the other other crooked cruds in SCOTUS and crooks running everything else in DC, we will have to fight to have honest elections from now on. I think things have gotten too far to worry about the election after the election.

    I’m done with that loser garbage. Go ahead and lose every stinking election if you want. Crooks gotta go. And I sincerely think they are crooks.

  36. 36
    TriassicSands says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    I agree completely with your assessment of Gorsuch.

    I found him to be the phoniest person I’ve ever seen in such hearings.
    And, I think you’re right, he would have done just fine as the commandant of a Nazi death camp.

  37. 37

    @jl: There you go rock throwing again, most definitely not Senate material, SAD!

  38. 38
    gene108 says:

    @jl:

    Maybe if the Dems made more a stink about it, they wouldn’t lose so many damn elections in the first place.

    Until we can break the Republican media advantage, Democrats will never have the megaphone needed to match the right-wing noise machine and get their points across forcefully.

  39. 39
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @gene108: the larger problem is that that to get to the necessary legislative majorities to even think about impeaching judges requires finding a way to either make non-voters votes consistently in all elections and vote liberal; or de-radicalizing moderates that have drunk the Republican flavor aid.

    And I have no idea how to get to either of those points.

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: A Captain with a map and no compass is the most dangerous person in the world.

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    @BlueDWarrior:

    And I have no idea how to get to either of those points

    I could tell you, but you probably wouldn’t like the answer.

  42. 42
    trnc says:

    “Everybody thinks very highly of him, but he doesn’t have any political sense, and he doesn’t think he needs any political sense,” said one former Bush administration Defense Department official.

    Kiss our collective asses, Wolfowitz. Bannon’s boy ran (falsely) on not being political, so no one on your side has any right to complain about someone actually putting qualifications before politics..

  43. 43
    Skippy-san says:

    He looks like Morty from Goodfellas

  44. 44
    AnonPhenom says:

    They want the military and security forces in this nation (and world) to be the exclusive domain of the Right, at the same time they attack Academia for being composed of too many individuals they deem ‘Liberals’.
    It’s always projection with these MoFos!

  45. 45
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    Privatization for the win!

    The Maine Department of Labor outsourced its job bank services in July to Kansas-based America’s JobLink, which suffered a data breach.

    America’s JobLink of Topeka, Kansas, has become the victim of a hacking incident from an outside source in which the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of an unspecified number of job-seekers in up to 10 states were accessed, according to a news release. The states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Vermont and Maine.

  46. 46
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @trnc:

    Kiss our collective asses, Wolfowitz. Bannon’s boy ran (falsely) on not being political, so no one on your side has any right to complain about someone actually putting qualifications before politics..

    Hey, it might be Rummy or Feith! (And fuck ’em all with rusty farm implements.)

    To the extent that the GOP hadn’t already abandoned any reasonable claim to being the ‘daddy party,’ this finishes the job. If they’re going to put military effectiveness as a lower priority than installing their party apparatchiks all over the DoD, nobody on any part of the political spectrum should give them any credence.

    At least when they make a mess of State or EPA or Interior or HHS, it’s because that’s what conservatives have longed to do, and they’re doing it, so it makes sense to conservatives. But if they make a mess of the military, that’s never been what conservatives have longed to do – quite the opposite! – and in a saner world, this should at least cause conservatives to seriously doubt the wisdom of having elected Trump.

  47. 47
    Gretchen says:

    @Mnemosyne: Last time I travelled with my sister, I was delighted to be conveniently near the elevators and ice machine. She demanded a different room so she would be away from the noise of he elevators and ice machine.

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