Wednesday Evening Open Thread: Class Tells, When There Is No Class


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Old Esquire tag line: Why is this man smiling?
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98 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    The face of a pope who has realized that God doesn’t exist.

  2. 2
    Gravenstone says:

    So blaring CNN hed is that Sessions (R-racist scum) failed to note a meeting with Russians on his security clearance application. Oops!

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gravenstone: As did Jared. Isn’t it weird that they keep forgetting to mention meetings with Russian government officials? An oddly specific form of amnesia. 🤔

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @Gravenstone: It won’t matter. Sad but true.

  5. 5
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    does anyone know why people are tweeting about whether or not we should feel sorry for Sean Spicer’s latest humiliation? Is he being humiliated in more than the usual way?

  6. 6
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Why the fuck is Ivanka wearing a little-girl dress-up wedding veil IN BLACK? Is she auditioning for a remake of The Nightmare Before Christmas?

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Betty Cracker: Seems like everybody in the WH was pretty casual about their SF-86.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: I couldn’t tell from the article whether the amnesia in this case was specific to Russia.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He didn’t get to meet the Pope, and he’s an actual Catholic. ☹️

  10. 10
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud: …and that Satan does.

  11. 11
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He didn’t get to meet the Pope, and he’s apparently a practicing Catholic.

  12. 12
    mai naem mobile says:

    I know this is mean but Ivanka looks like the wife in the American Gothic painting and Melanoma looks like a photo of one of those Eastern European women during WWII after their village has been destroyed and they’re starving,waiting in line for food rations.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor: Baud!/Satan! 2020!: Better than Trump/Pence!

  14. 14
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Two-handed Betty types faster than one-handed Gin & Tonic.

  15. 15
    Gelfling 545 says:

    The female contingent in that photo look like the chief mourners at a funeral sometime late in the reign of Queen Victoria. What are they got up as?

  16. 16
    craigie says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:
    Why is she even there?

  17. 17
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud: Certainly more charismatic. So what’s Old Scratch willing to deliver for my vote?

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @mai naem mobile: I know you mean well, but you could only write that about Melania if you haven’t seen the actual photos you’re trying to compare her to.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    Seen on the internet: above photo (unsmiling pope and 3 Trumps) cropped to just Trump and Melania in the black get-up: Caption:

    Dress for the job you want. #Widow.

  20. 20
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I do feel sorry for him. This is just plain petty meanness on Dolt’s part. Really mean. It reflects really poorly on Dolt’s management and parenting style.

  21. 21
    Miss Bianca says:

    OK, starting with that “Aristocrats” crack all the way down the comment thread so far, I have now had to stop eating my dinner at my desk for fear I might choke. THANKS, OBAMA (AND BAUD!)!

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor: Good question. What did the Russian give to Flynn to get him to betray his country?

  24. 24
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gelfling 545: I think the wimmens look like they wanna be in a Goya portrait.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    Melania’s hand, the one close to Trump is not quite clenched, but close enough. haha

  26. 26
  27. 27
    JPL says:

    Where’s Tom Levinson? I want to know about the painting they are posing in front of.

  28. 28
    MisterForkbeard says:

    Off-topic, but: I just got into an argument with an idiot on Reddit over the whole Seth Rich thing. The guy kept trying to prove that the family spokesman actually worked for the DNC, which was supposed to be a slam dunk that the DNC killed Seth Rich. After I showed (using the guy’s own articles) that the spokesman didn’t work for the DNC, he started telling me that the spokesman worked with David Brock on a board for another left-leaning group. And insisted that Media Matters obviously knew this whole thing was a murder and a coverup because otherwise why would they possibly attack Sean Hannity?

    I give up. These people are fucking idiots. After I asked to stop the argument because I didn’t think we’d convince each other of anything, he said “You’re right – you’ll never change your mind because you’ll never take off your Democratic blinders and think about your blind loyalty. Try to do it long enough to be skeptical.”

    If it wasn’t so sad, I’d be laughing hard right now. Instead, it makes me want to drink. >_<

  29. 29
    Emma says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: That’s what most of Catholic Europe is asking itself. Also why Melania couldn’t find a decent mantilla instead of an oversize hankie but that’s really not so bad.

  30. 30
    mouse tolliver says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He didn’t get to meet the Pope, and he’s apparently a practicing Catholic.

    With all that practice, you’d think that he’d be good at it by now. ::bah-dum-bum::

  31. 31
    Teddys Person says:

    Here’s what I don’t get. The Trump women didn’t cover their heads in Saudi Arabia but did in the Vatican. Is there a reason they are will to go along with one “custom” (for lack of a better word) and not the other?

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @JPL: Huh.

    Well, whatever it takes to get dr. bloor’s vote….

  33. 33
    phantomist says:

    What about the boys.

    Lurch and Pugsley didn’t get invited?

  34. 34
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Baud:

    Oh my God, all threads are won forever and forever after.

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Silly, It’s what the Russians gave Flynn to flip.

  36. 36
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    CNN Breaking News‏ @cnnbrk

    First on CNN: AG Jeff Sessions did not disclose Russia meetings in a security clearance form, DOJ tells CNN.

    285 replies 1,003 retweets 1,001 likes

    DOJ openly leaking against Sessions. Tells you what they think of him.

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Yeah, they are immune to information.

  38. 38
    wormtown says:

    @Teddys Person: trying to score points with conservative Catholics?

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @JPL: You think bloor wants more or less than Flynn?

  40. 40
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Joe Scarborough‏ @JoeNBC

    Why are Russian contacts ALWAYS the ones omitted?

    223 replies 654 retweets 1,404 likes

  41. 41
    ms_canadada says:

    The Devil’s Brides

  42. 42
    Emma says:

    @Teddys Person: Yes. It’s been beaten to death but I’ll give it another walk. When you visit a Muslim country, it is a country, and you are expected to behave properly but not necessarily to assume their clothing. For example a woman would be expected to wear a head covering when entering a mosque or religious site but not at other times. When you make an official visit to the Vatican it is traditional that the wives of heads of state wear black and cover their heads. A head of government (Angela Markel), the head of another religion (Queen Elizabeth), and the Queens of non-Christian countries (Queen Rania) please themselves. This Pope is rather less starched than his predecessors so I don’t think he much cares.

  43. 43

    @Baud:

    What did the Russian give to Flynn to get him to betray his country?

    Revenge. Plus some money. But I’m betting his main motivation was a desire to get back at Obama.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    feebog says:

    Everybody in that last picture except Dolt 45 looks like they just ate a bad burrito.

  46. 46
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: To be fair, there’s could be some confirmation bias here. We’re actually looking specifically for more omitted Russian connections. If we started looking for… I don’t know, omitted Chinese connections we might find those too.

    @Baud: I’m serious about how depressing that is. I don’t know what to do about it. Engaging in good faith doesn’t work, so… what else? You can’t really marginalize them because they’ve got their own community and media of crazy people.

  47. 47

    @Teddys Person:

    Is there a reason they are will to go along with one “custom” (for lack of a better word) and not the other?

    Following the custom is a sign of respect. You can work the rest out for yourself.

  48. 48
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Teddys Person:

    The Trump women didn’t cover their heads in Saudi Arabia but did in the Vatican. Is there a reason they are will to go along with one “custom” (for lack of a better word) and not the other?

    Long version: Saudi requirement for women to cover is explicitly tied to their subjugation of women and to notions that women as women are shameful and sexually provocative, while covering at the Vatican is just location-specific respect for a (Christian) holy place, and it’s easier to understand and justify such respect within one’s own cultural and religious context than in a foreign one.

    Short version: “Those nasty old men aren’t going to tell us what to wear” vs. “Ooooh, we get to play dress-up!”

  49. 49
    Shell says:

    The caption that should be under the Pope, “Shoot me now.”

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @MisterForkbeard: You can and must marginalize them. There is no other way. Power is the only thing they can comprehend.

  51. 51
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Baud:

    What did the Russian give to Flynn to get him to betray his country?

    Power, most likely. Russia is like the inverse of Room 101 – they figure out what you most want – power, sex, money, respect, etc. and deliver that in exchange for what they want. Even if we assume the most charitable case for Flynn, that he was nothing other than the greatest of patriots, Russia could have promised him increased support for defeating ISIS in exchange for help lifting sanctions. He could have seen that as a true service to the nation, while gaining little personally from it.

    In the private sector that’s called cutting a good deal. In the public sector it’s called treason if you aren’t authorized to act in that capacity. If you want to know why Trump will continue to fall ass-first into this problem, he not only fails to understand the role of a public servant, he is predisposed to the lure of a good deal and promises it will make him look good. He’s the greatest mark the US has ever offered up to the Russians – by a mile.

  52. 52
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @JPL:

    I want to know about the painting they are posing in front of

    Resurrection of Christ — Pietro Perugino.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    @feebog: Which is ironic, because Trump is the most likely of all of them to have actually done so.

  54. 54
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Baud: I don’t really have a good way to do that other than be completely dismissive, but I’ll work at it.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    Tweety is more than a little incensed this evening. It is kind of amusing.

  56. 56
    Bokonon says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    Off-topic, but: I just got into an argument with an idiot on Reddit over the whole Seth Rich thing. The guy kept trying to prove that the family spokesman actually worked for the DNC, which was supposed to be a slam dunk that the DNC killed Seth Rich. After I showed (using the guy’s own articles) that the spokesman didn’t work for the DNC, he started telling me that the spokesman worked with David Brock on a board for another left-leaning group. And insisted that Media Matters obviously knew this whole thing was a murder and a coverup because otherwise why would they possibly attack Sean Hannity?

    That’s because the right wingers are projecting, and they think that “progressives” are a complex, interlocking, sinister set of individuals and organizations, capable of foisting complicated conspiracies and false flags on the American public through their various tentacles, and that they perpetually on the attack. You know … set up and coordinated like the conservative movement actually is.

    Plus, conspiracy theories are a great way to avoid ever having to admit you were wrong (or say “sorry”).

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Dismissiveness is good. It’s all about dominance.

  58. 58
    sharl says:

    Things are gettin’ rough and weird in Montana:

    Ben @Bencjacobs

    Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses

    Benjy Sarlin @BenjySarlin

    Ben texted me the tweet is serious. Gianforte is the GOP candidate in the House special election in Montana.

    Ben Jacobs‏ @Bencjacobs

    There was a local TV crew there when Gianforte body slammed me. Audio is posting soon at @GuardianUS

  59. 59
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Pity. I bet it would have softened Francis a bit to have an actual Catholic in the group.

  60. 60
    GregB says:

    The fascists are getting really fascisty.

  61. 61
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @JPL: It appears to be in a private papal reception room at the Vatican – I found it in this article but can’t see it clearly enough to identify yet.

    ETA: Bingo. Resurrection of Christ by Perugino.

  62. 62
    debbie says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    Hmm, the tones of the painting are greener in the Trump shot than in the Obama shot. It too must have been sickened by the situation.

  63. 63
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Emma: That oversize hankie is still better than Ivanka’s black wedding veil. I don’t know enough about customs in her homeland to speculate if it’s reasonably close to what one would normally wear in church there.

    @Teddys Person: If it were me deciding whether to wear a head covering or not, I’d say that the difference is the secular vs religious nature of the surroundings. A head covering isn’t expected of foreign women in the secular parts of Saudi Arabia, but if I were meeting a prominent cleric there, I would at least ask about wearing something out of respect.

  64. 64
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @sharl: Wow. But then, I’m unsure if “Republican congressman tries to beat up reporter” is a negative for conservatives.

  65. 65
    different-church-lady says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    …with an idiot on Reddit…

    I thinks I sees the problem…

  66. 66
    SRW1 says:

    Ivanka and Melania look like they are about to be locked away in a nunnery of which they are totally nonplussed. While Trump seems to be mighty relieved about that elegant solution.

  67. 67
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @different-church-lady: Yeah. I got pulled into something on a /r/news thread. Reddit in general is infested with racist/sexist/trumpist assholes, but the more general and useful subreddits get a lot more of them.

  68. 68
    sharl says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    I’m unsure if “Republican congressman tries to beat up reporter” is a negative for conservatives.

    Yep. After posting that, I started wondering whether that would actually help bring out more of certain types of GOP voters for Gianforte.

  69. 69
    weaselone says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    I’m serious about how depressing that is. I don’t know what to do about it. Engaging in good faith doesn’t work, so… what else? You can’t really marginalize them because they’ve got their own community and media of crazy people.

    They’re nutters and there’s no real point in speaking with them about things like this unless you just want to troll them.

    1. Seth Rich was essentially a data analyst, he wasn’t in the position to have access to and leak the contents of DNC emails.
    2. He was about to go work for the Clinton campaign just before his death, something that seems incongruous with the DNC and Clinton campaign deciding to off him.
    3. There’s nothing about his death that is inconsistent with this being a failed robbery attempt.

  70. 70
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The other thing that’s weird about the Vatican photos is not just that the Pope is hardly smiling (which he usually does genuinely and readily), but that Trump is smiling and he almost never smiles! Most photos of him, he is pouting or scowling or grimacing — sometimes he’ll flash a quick phony grin for a second and then revert to frowny-face — but there’s rarely an authentic, happy-looking smile.

    Opposite World, I am in you.

  71. 71
    Immanentize says:

    @mai naem mobile:
    My guess, and perhaps why the Pappa was so solicitous of Melania, is that she was raised Catholic in Slovenia and that this was a VERY big deal for her. What I see in her face is awe and humility.

    I also like to think she is pondering her confession in the afternoon and her re-send of Catholic identity.

  72. 72
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @sm*t cl*de: Yer quick!

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @sharl: I don’t know about MT, but maybe that won’t really play well?

  74. 74
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @weaselone: I’ve cited all of these points to various people on the internet. Basically, you’re ignored.

    #2 especially. “Seth Rich was a HERO who was going to go work for Clinton to get additional damaging information, of course! He didn’t know he’d been made!” and so forth and so on.

  75. 75
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    But then, I’m unsure if “Republican congressman tries to beat up reporter” is a negative for conservatives.

    Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.

  76. 76
    sanjeevs says:

    Not sure if this is getting traction in the US but this is the lead in the Financial Times today

    UK hits out at US over leaks in Manchester attack probe
    British security officials consider holding back sensitive information from America

  77. 77
    Patricia Kayden says:

    The contrast between the Pope and President Obama versus the Pope and Trump is beyond hilarious. But as usual Trump is oblivious to the fact that many people find his very presence revolting. Hence his clueless smile as the Pope’s eyes seek help.

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    @sanjeevs: Betty just put up a thread.

  79. 79

    @sharl: Apparently Jacobs reported the incident to the police, so we’ll see how that all shakes out.

  80. 80
    sharl says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t know about Montana either, and in a non-insane world, it shouldn’t play well.

    I guess we’ll find out, shortly after any available audio or video get local airplay.

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @MisterForkbeard: You remember that aphorism that ends with “…and the pig enjoys it”?

  82. 82
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Elizabelle: So right!! You mean this Goya Portrait? Or perhaps this one?

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    Molly Ball has gotten orders of magnitude worse over the last few weeks. Brutal.

  84. 84
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @sanjeevs: If Trump sharing confidential information with Russia wasn’t a hint, I’m sure this latest leak will convince Europeans as a whole to keep mum while Trump is in office. Not good.

  85. 85
    Gravenstone says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I once got told to “take off my donkey colored glasses” after informing one of our local wingnuts about the tried and true pattern of Republicans in office breaking shit, and Democrats having to come in behind them to clean things up. Lather, rinse, repeat. Those sorts live in their own very special world.

    Same clown in another argument claimed he could show me all sorts of proof to support his idiocy, but I’d never believe it because I’d belittle the sources. I left him with the retort that epistemic closure is one hell of a drug, and cut off communication.

  86. 86
    ruemara says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I woulda said, “That’s great projection. Your last name must be IMAX. Have a good one.” I don’t bother with these fools on the internet. Instead, that energy can be put into destroying their candidates and party via phonebanking or some other work.

    They’re all crazy.

  87. 87
    Bokonon says:

    About Dan Drezner’s “The Aristocrats!” crack about that photo –

    I am proud to say Dan was a friend of mine in college, and his sense of humor hasn’t changed a bit.

  88. 88
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @ruemara: I just finished up with “Right back atcha.” when he told me to start being skeptical and start wondering who was lying to me. I didn’t have the energy for more than that. :/

  89. 89
    Thoughtful David says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I find it hard to imagine that any intelligence agency or diplomat or head of state that has to do with the US hadn’t already figured out that any word they say will end up leaked to the Russians or the public within hours if not minutes. Yet, here the Brits go, saying they passed actual info along to the US. Fools.

  90. 90
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Thoughtful David:

    Do you suppose any of the other heads of government at either the NATO or G7 meetings will take advantage of the private meetings and give him some home truths? Not that he’d be likely to pay attention, but it might make May, Merkel, Macron and the rest feel they had done what they could.

  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    The face of a pope who has realized that God doesn’t exist.

    Thread won.

  92. 92
    TenguPhule says:

    @dr. bloor:

    and that Satan does.

    The Church of Satan has already disclaimed any responsibility for Donald Trump.

  93. 93
    CindyH says:

    @Baud: Thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in … forever

  94. 94
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud:

    The face of a pope who has realized that God doesn’t exist.

    Oh Baud. That’s a greatest hit. Well done, jackal.

  95. 95
    The Pale Scot says:

    @mai naem mobile:
    They decided to watch Godfather prt 2 before the meeting.

    They think they’re in 1950’s Sicily.

  96. 96
    satby says:

    @Baud: @Elizabelle: this is why we all love Baud!

  97. 97
    Anne Laurie says:

    Re: fashion choices — In pre-Vatican-II protocol (i.e., up till about 1963), women were required to wear black and cover their heads when meeting His Holiness. The rules haven’t explicitly changed, that I know of, but most pontiffs — certainly this one — have chosen not to be nitpickers on the topic. So you could assume this was just diplomatic, or you could (like some internet liberal Catholics) assume this was Trump’s entourage being ‘more Catholic than the Pope’ as snark.

    The thing Ivanka’s wearing on her head is technically, I think, a ‘fascinator’; there’s a little beanie under the veil. She probably had it in her wardrobe, because even her extremely-unorthodox version of Orthodox Judaism presumably requires married women to cover their heads for the most formal religious events.

    Melania’s wearing the same kind of tablecloth-lace mantilla women in my mother’s generation used to keep stuffed in their purses, back in the days when women had to cover their heads in church, since one never knew when there’d be a call to pop into St. Dymphna’s for a quick novena. My assumption was that there are probably still street vendors all over Vatican city hawking them as ‘souvenirs’ to tourists overcome with a sudden burst of vintage-y ‘reverence’… and that Melania, who I don’t remember ever seeing in a hat, told some minion Fine, whatevs, just pick me up something cheap that won’t spoil my hairdo. Although she *might*, as more generous souls have speculated, actually been stricken with nostalgia for her Catholic (?) girlhood.

  98. 98
    Captain C says:

    @Bokonon: WUFO?

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