Schadenfreude Open Thread: XXXSCARAMOOCH!

My old man always told me, never trust a man who makes up his own nickname. The new WH Communications Director is proud to announce that he calls himself “The Mooch”.

Of a certain Sicilian-import social club, during my Bronx youth, the saying went: Those who know don’t talk; those who talk don’t know.

New Yorker journalist Ryan Lizza is a happy man today, because Tony ‘the Mooch’ Scaramucci talks a lot:

On Wednesday night, I received a phone call from Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director. He wasn’t happy. Earlier in the night, I’d tweeted, citing a “senior White House official,” that Scaramucci was having dinner at the White House with President Trump, the First Lady, Sean Hannity, and the former Fox News executive Bill Shine. It was an interesting group, and raised some questions. Was Trump getting strategic advice from Hannity? Was he considering hiring Shine? But Scaramucci had his own question—for me.

“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn’t give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said. I laughed, not sure if he really believed that such a threat would convince a journalist to reveal a source. He continued to press me and complain about the staff he’s inherited in his new job. “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” he said. “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”…

I asked him why it was so important for the dinner to be kept a secret. Surely, I said, it would become public at some point. “I’ve asked people not to leak things for a period of time and give me a honeymoon period,” he said. “They won’t do it.” He was getting more and more worked up, and he eventually convinced himself that Priebus was my source.

“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ” (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)…

Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” (Bannon declined to comment.)…

A few hours later, I appeared on CNN to discuss the overnight drama. As I was talking about Scaramucci, he called into the show himself and referenced our conversation. He changed his story about Priebus. Instead of saying that he was trying to expose Priebus as a leaker, he said that the reason he mentioned Priebus in his deleted tweet was because he wanted to work together with Priebus to discover the leakers.

“He’s the chief of staff, he’s responsible for understanding and uncovering and helping me do that inside the White House, which is why I put that tweet out last night,” Scaramucci said, after noting that he had talked to me Wednesday night. He then made an argument that journalists were assuming that he was accusing Priebus because they know Priebus leaks to the press…

Scaramucci then made a plea to viewers. “Let me tell you something about myself,” he said. “I am a straight shooter.”

It’s a class publication, the New Yorker. They take your call, it’s not like trying to pitch column inches from some two-bit putz at the Post, ya know?

(Somewhere in the aether, Jimmy Breslin screams in frustration.)

77 replies
  1. 1
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Lord, the threats are coming fast and furiously tonight!

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    Senate Healthcrap bill has just been released. They’re likely voting on it tonight.

  3. 3
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Also too, Harvard law School seems like an…interesting place. I know some brilliant lawyers from there, but also some real dumbasses. I assume they screen out anyone with common sense?

  4. 4
    TS says:

    Lawrence on top of it – if you thought this administration couldn’t get worse – hahahaha

  5. 5
    Yarrow says:

    JUST OUT: The new Senate bill.👇
    https://t.co/BKeODy8mDH— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) July 28, 2017

  6. 6
    satby says:

    I know we’re not supposed to engage in violence pron, but I’m rooting for casualties, hopefully incapacitating, as the White House WWF rumbles get underway.

  7. 7
    Yarrow says:

    McConnell is introducing the “skinny” bill now— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) July 28, 2017

    The bill that kills.

  8. 8
    Yarrow says:

    FLASH: Senate is to vote on the healthcare bill the GOP just posted IN TWO HOURS.

    (Midnight.)— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) July 28, 2017

  9. 9
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steve in the ATL: threads, not threats, you stupid phone

  10. 10
    TS says:

    @Yarrow: 8 pages

    7 years & the GOP has 8 pages. They could have done it on one sentence – Stay healthy or die.

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I’ll cut you.

  12. 12
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Actually, threats works pretty well.

  13. 13
    eclare says:

    @TS: There was also that t-shirt that said “Repeal and go fuck yourself” – GOP

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @TS:

    7 years & the GOP has 8 pages.

    I know. Did they seriously never consider ….

    Never mind, I can’t even.

  15. 15
    Chris says:

    @Yarrow:

    As if everything else weren’t enough, they’re passing it in the dead of night.

  16. 16
    jacy says:

    Okay, I thought the Parlementarian said they couldn’t defund Planned Parenthood without 60 votes, but this bill defunds Planned Parenthood, and it just needs 50 to go to conference, where it could be signed into law? I feel like I don’t understand anything and I’ve been paying attention.

  17. 17
    Another Scott says:

    @Yarrow: 8 pages. Strikes the individual mandate penalties. Strikes the employer mandate penalties. Extends the moratorium on medical device taxes. Increases the HSA limits. Cuts Planned Parenthood. Cuts some public health funding. Pays $422M for community health for 2017. Gives Price a $2B slush fund to pay to the states if they apply for waivers.

    There’s probably a lot more bad stuff in there, but that’s what I see.

    It’s horrible, and it will get much worse if it goes to Conference. If it doesn’t go to Conference and gets passed by the House, it will do tremendous damage (required policy provisions without a mandate will lead to a death spiral).

    Is David around?

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  18. 18
    jimmiraybob says:

    “…makes up his own nickname.”

    That’s why I’m going with Smoochy Spice. A subtle tribute to Spicey Spice.

    In all fairness to Smoochy Spice, he’s been busy and hasn’t had a chance to view the video from HR: So, Your Leaving the Mob and Joining the White House; Top 10 Dos and Don’ts.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    @Chris:

    "If the people who wrote this bill were proud of it, they wouldn’t be forcing this vote in the dead of night." — Mitch McConnell, 2009— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 28, 2017

  21. 21
    rk says:

    My old man always told me, never trust a man who makes up his own nickname

    To that I’ll add: Never trust a man who says “believe me”. Also never trust a man who talks about how much money he has, or how much he loves god and his country and how much he believes in tradition and family values. If you find a man who says all these things, run far far away as fast as you can.

  22. 22
    dmsilev says:

    @jacy: I think the answer is that McConnell doesn’t give a shit about anything except jamming through something by any means necessary.

  23. 23
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Sweary Spice

  24. 24
    SFAW says:

    @jacy:

    It’s Calvinball. Whatever Turtle wants, he just changes the rules to allow … pretty much anything.

    ETA: I thought I saw on CNN’s front page that Brave Sir Robin Lindsey will vote “yes” on whatever-the-fuck-it-is that they’re voting on. And, of course Brave Sir John of Forrestal is “undecided.” For the next 12 minutes, I’m guessing.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: We all got into Scaramucci’s stash and everyone on the front page is a wee bit wired.//

  26. 26
    Ksmiami says:

    The only good Republican congressman is a dead Republican congressman

  27. 27
    gene108 says:

    I wonder what drugs The Mooch takes. He seems a bit too high energy, to me, for it to be all natural.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: There seem to be some admissions issues at Harvard and Yale. Both undergrad, grad, and professional programs based on some of these folks.

  29. 29
    germy says:

    meanwhile… over at Newsweek:

    William “Bill” Browder, a financier and longtime critic of the Russian government, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday “there is no doubt” the Kremlin was behind the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.

  30. 30
    debbie says:

    @Another Scott:

    Thanks for the summary.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    @gene108:

    I wonder what drugs The Mooch takes.

    All of them, Katie.

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    @rk:

    Generally speaking, the more people wear patriotism and religion on their sleeve, the phonier they are

  33. 33
    TS says:

    And … Sen Graham is going to vote for a bill he has called “a disaster” because Paul Ryan has promised that the house won’t pass it. hahahaha – who believes anything Paul Ryan says. He’ll just love this bill & pass it anyway.

  34. 34
    gene108 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    @jimmiraybob: Scary Spice.

    A Mel B, aka Scary Spice (of the Spice Girls), impersonator then?

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jacy: McConnell may seek a resolution to overrule the Parliamentarian. If he can get 50, Pence will break the tie, and the Parliamentarian will be overruled.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Princeton seems to admit lizard people as undergrads. (e.g. Ted Cruz)

  37. 37
    SFAW says:

    @TS:

    I thought it was that ZEGS said he was “open” to go to conference on it. Did that turn into a “promise”? Or did Lindsey look into ZEGS’s dreamy blue eyes, and forget himself?

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Here’s the link to the transcript of his testimony:
    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/07-26-17%20Browder%20Testimony.pdf

  39. 39
    dmsilev says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ted Cruz was an affirmative action admit? Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.

  40. 40
    dp says:

    T-Bone.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There is that.

  42. 42
    gratuitous says:

    Gotta give props to Lizza, if it was me on the other end of the line, the half-pint goombah’s side of the conversation would have been, “So I’m asking you as an American patriot to–what? Did I say something funny?”

  43. 43
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @35.
    Have you heard from someone in the know that McConnell may seek a resolution to overrule the Parliamentarian or is it conjecture?

    BTW, was wondering if you had any thoughts on germy’s comment @29.

  44. 44
    Jeffro says:

    @Steve in the ATL: @Adam L Silverman: Legacy admissions and/or big-donor admissions will do that to ya…it’s not like those institutions are subject to normal market pressures, either.

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @pamelabrown53: In reverse:
    Here’s the transcript to Browder’s testimony. I apologize for not having a chance to either post the live feed or post the transcript, but I was on and off the phone most of the late morning and into the afternoon with my boss.
    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/07-26-17%20Browder%20Testimony.pdf

    My understanding from the reporting is that the Parliamentarian ruled it violated the Byrd Rule in the BCRA. There will be a ruling on it for the skinny repeal, but I would reckon it still would. If it does then there are only two options. The first is that skinny repeal requires 60 votes to achieve cloture and proceed to the actual vote. The other is that McConnell gets one of his caucus members to make a motion to overrule the Parliamentarian. The former means that the bill is dead before arrival. The latter allows the GOP caucus with VP Pence providing the 51st vote to overrule the Parliamentarian.

  46. 46
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: Browder has also filed an OFAC complaint against Dana Rohrabacher. I posted on that earlier today with the remark that Browder has stones, and he doesn’t give up.

  47. 47
    Mike in NC says:

    So does Hannity deliver a weekly blowjob to Trump or is it the other way around?

  48. 48
    Timurid says:

    @Mike in NC: There is a number between 68 and 70…

  49. 49
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Thanks. I was reading some of the transcript earlier today and found his testimony explosive. He certainly has a POV and his expertise seems to come from investigation and research following the death of his friend/colleague Magnitsky (sp).
    Hope to hear your thoughts about it when you get the chance. So much is happening I fear his testimony will be mainly overlooked. Glad that Newsweek reported it. That’s a start.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in NC: @Timurid: Fuck you both for that thought. Die in hell.

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @Another Scott:

    So… what does this do for Medicaid expansion and subsidized health plans, exactly?

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    It’s funny they think the leaks are the problem because the leaks aren’t lies- they’re revelations of what is actually going on in there. They don’t worry about that- no worries about the actual dysfunction and chaos- instead they worry about it being revealed.

    Donald Trump hires horrible people. Leaks or no leaks that will still be true. Actually, the leakers are probably the best of the bunch- they’re at least connected to reality enough to know this is not normal. They get rid of them and it will be 100% insane people. They’ll have a very secure nuthouse.

  53. 53
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @pamelabrown53: Of course he has a POV. Magnitsky’s torturers used Magnitsky’s phone to call Browder, so he’d recognize the number and answer the call just to hear the screams of Magnitsky being tortured.

    That tends to define a POV.

  54. 54
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” (Bannon declined to comment.)…

    Holy shit! Shots fired

  55. 55
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I didn’t know that. Thanks for the information. How horrifying.

  56. 56

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    Oh, yes. While he’s got Trump’s love, he’s going to start prying all competitors away. Notice how he frames it as a betrayal of Trump.

    When he feels secure enough to go after Kushner, that will be fuuuuuun.

  57. 57
    Sentient AI from the Future says:

    As someone on a different blog commented, scaramucci has the face and bearing of a man who’s been in witness protection for the last decade or so after turning state’s evidence.

    In other words, resting snitch face.

  58. 58
    Another Scott says:

    @Chris: I don’t know enough about the details of the original PPACA, but my quick reading doesn’t see anything about that. Presumably they’ll continue to try to gut it while they can, meaning if this passes the Senate tonight, then they’re going to try to gut as much as they can in the Conference.

    But IANAL and these are just my speculations. See David’s comments upstairs.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    This has been HILARIOUS

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rikyrah: I am glad that you are amused. Why?

  61. 61
    Old Dan and Little Anne says:

    My wife is finally reading the New Yorker article and I’m laughing all over again.

  62. 62
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I can’t answer for rikyrah, but you can either laugh or cry.

  63. 63
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hey! Watch it there!

    ETA: Ok, I’ll grant you Cruz is a squamate reptile, but not all of us. :-P

  64. 64
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    Hey, Bannon, you hear what The Mooch said about you? You gonna take that, big fella?

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): He can’t answer you. He’s got something in his mouth right now…

    Ewww!

  66. 66
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Brain bleach, stat!

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: It is not polite to talk with your mouth full.

  68. 68
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ain’t my mouth that’s full, buddy.

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I wasn’t referring to you.

  70. 70
    Morzer says:

    @Yarrow:

    Reverend Motherfucker McConnell

    “Put your hand to the bill, young Senator. Steady! I warn you not to try jerking away. I am old, but my hand can drive this needle into your neck before you can escape me.”

  71. 71
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    So what do Marilyn Manson and The Mooch have in common? Blergh!

  72. 72
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Got it.

  73. 73
    Chet Murthy says:

    It’s an OT, so I’m gonna bleg. [crosscommented from LGM]

    [I am being completely serious here. Honestly.]

    Once upon a time, homophobic rhetoric was commonly used to ridicule and attack our enemies. On both sides. Today, the Rs use it, but for good reasons (not least that there’s everything right about many of the things depicted therein) Dems cannot and should not use such rhetoric.

    But we are -sorely- lacking in the appropriate level of vicious, brutal, cutting, etc epithets we can use. For myself I can think of only one, that compares to the impact that homophobic (and, to be fair, misogynist) rhetoric used to command, back when “men were men, and sheep were scared”. [yes, hooboy that’s misogynist.]

    Somebody needs to step up and imaginatively and flamboyantly craft a canon of insults, epithets, and slander, for this new age.

    Look: I’m not joking here. Every goddamn time I want to blast that fucker McMaverick, I find (in my mind) one insult. And I can’t use it. Instead, I’m left with

    Necrophiphi felcher.

    And that’s it.

    C’mon, somebody … help a guy out. [and help out all people like me, who need suitably radioactive insults ….]

  74. 74
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Chet Murthy: Betty has a way with colorful insults. Send up the Cracker signal.

  75. 75
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    Pig F*ckers?

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    @Chet Murthy

    Thou mayest espy succor out of Shakespearean times.

  77. 77
    fuckwit says:

    @TS: I think it went: 1) don’t get sick, 2) if that fails, then die quickly.

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