Schadenfreude Open Thread: The McConnell-Trump Marriage of Convenience Has Turned Very, Very Bitter

I, myself, am rooting for painful and potentially disfiguring injuries…

The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Mr. Trump’s cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership. Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him, and Mr. McConnell mobilizing to their defense.

The rupture between Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell comes at a highly perilous moment for Republicans, who face a number of urgent deadlines when they return to Washington next month. Congress must approve new spending measures and raise the statutory limit on government borrowing within weeks of reconvening, and Republicans are hoping to push through an elaborate rewrite of the federal tax code. There is scant room for legislative error on any front…

Mr. McConnell has fumed over Mr. Trump’s regular threats against fellow Republicans and criticism of Senate rules, and questioned Mr. Trump’s understanding of the presidency in a public speech. Mr. McConnell has made sharper comments in private, describing Mr. Trump as entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing.

In offhand remarks, Mr. McConnell has expressed a sense of bewilderment about where Mr. Trump’s presidency may be headed, and has mused about whether Mr. Trump will be in a position to lead the Republican Party into next year’s elections and beyond, according to people who have spoken to him directly…

Others in the party divide blame between Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell. Al Hoffman, a former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee who has been supportive of Mr. McConnell, said Mr. McConnell was culpable because he has failed to deliver legislative victories. “Ultimately, it’s been Mitch’s responsibility, and I don’t think he’s done much,” Mr. Hoffman said…

An all-out clash between Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell would play out between men whose strengths and weaknesses are very different. Mr. Trump is a political amateur, still unschooled in the ways of Washington, but he maintains a viselike grip on the affections of the Republican base. Mr. McConnell is a soft-spoken career politician, with virtuoso mastery of political fund-raising and tactics, but he had no mass following to speak of.

Mr. McConnell, while baffled at Mr. Trump’s penchant for internecine attacks, is a ruthless pragmatist and has given no overt indication that he plans to seek more drastic conflict…

For the moment, Mr. McConnell appears to be far more secure in his position, and perhaps immune to coercion from the White House. Republicans are unlikely to lose control of the Senate in 2018, and Mr. Trump has no allies in the Senate who have shown an appetite for combat with Mr. McConnell…

So, yeah, this is at least 65% McConnell using the Grey Lady to signal that whatever becomes of the Orange Outrage, it is not his fault. And, reciprocally, 15% the NYTimes in preemptive fanny-covering mode. But it’s nice to see that I’m not the only one celebrating how much these two revolting individuals fully deserve to go down with their teeth in each others’ throats…

And why is this so significant, right now?…

155 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    McConnell chose party over country, and now we all have to live with the results.

  2. 2
    condorcet runner-up says:

    That Millhiser tweet. Mitch’s unbounded cynicism is one of those things that sometimes gets lost in the mix with everything else going on.

    That all said, I’m gonna go put some popcorn in the microwave …

  3. 3
    germy says:

    If the tiff between the two is complicating her life, Elaine Chao is not letting it show in public. According to Independent, when she was asked about her views on Trump openly criticizing her husband, she simply said: “I stand by my man – both of them.”

  4. 4
    Tom says:

    Kind of off topic. We have (according to the IRS) about 138 million taxpayers. If the Republicans are so keen on reducing taxes (and thus blowing an elephant sized hole in the deficit), lets do this. Instead of doing some sort of percentage refund, let’s take the total amount money the Republicans want to cut from revenues (let’s call it $100 billion), divide it by the number of tax payers (138 million) and give everybody an equal refund of (in this case), about $725. Better still most people will spend it (I know I would) instead of salting it away in offshore tax havens, like Donald’s friends would, so it will actually do the economy some good.

  5. 5
    jl says:

    Repeating from the last thread, McConnell can easily solve the problem with Trump.

    My solution to Trump’s suggestion last night that he might shut down the fed govt in order to force Congress to fund his Mexico wall.

    Which is to just pass bills that say they do stuff with no implementation or funding mechanisms. So, Congress passes a bill entitled ‘Congressional Act to Fund the Trump Mexico Wall”. It has a page or two of long winded boilerplate saying that it a Congressional act to fund the Trump Mexico wall. And that would be it. Doesn’t actually do anything. Needs to be just long enough so that Trump will quit reading before he gets to the end.

    Trump will have the best signing ceremonies ever!

    They could make up a template, and just plug in the blanks for different stuff Trump wants passed.

    Problem solved. You are welcome.

  6. 6
  7. 7

    I can’t believe these idiots didn’t see this coming. It wasn’t like it was hard to guess what would happen; half the fucking country knew this was going to happen. How is it that ostensibly smart cookies like McConnell and Ryan didn’t? (And, yes, I know they aren’t nearly as smart as people make them out to be; but they aren’t brain dead.) How on earth is this any kind of surprise to these people?

  8. 8
    geg6 says:

    Rooting for injuries on both sides here.

  9. 9

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): McConnell is the person chelonian for who the phrase “You’re not smart, you’re just an asshole” was coined.

  10. 10

    Rooting for injuries on both sides here.

    I know. This is like the 2000 World Series. The only good outcome is for everybody to lose. Happily in this case, that can happen.

  11. 11
    NoraLenderbee says:

    Hahahahaha. Fucking McC*nt just can’t find a president he can work with, can he.

    In offhand remarks, Mr. McConnell has expressed a sense of bewilderment about where Mr. Trump’s presidency may be headed

    You own it, asshole.

  12. 12
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Mnemosyne: unless that country is Russia, of course

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy:

    Elaine Chao is not letting it show in public. According to Independent, when she was asked about her views on Trump openly criticizing her husband, she simply said: “I stand by my man – both of them.”

    Honest whores would be insulted to be compared to Elaine Chao.

  14. 14

    Hahahahahafuck

    OT: got some code review today. In retrospect I hadn’t been doing my best work, but no harm no foul. Still, I feel bad. Ah well.

  15. 15
    Gelfling 545 says:

    At a brief glance, thst pucture makes it appear that McConnell is being led away in handcuffs. Sad disappointment on further inspection.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    @Tom:

    If the Republicans are so keen on reducing taxes (and thus blowing an elephant sized hole in the deficit), lets do this. Instead of doing some sort of percentage refund, let’s take the total amount money the Republicans want to cut from revenues (let’s call it $100 billion), divide it by the number of tax payers (138 million) and give everybody an equal refund of (in this case), about $725.

    Didn’t anyone learn anything about this shit when Bush the Damned did this back in 2002?

    Kills revenue and makes Republicans popular (for a given definition of popular).

  17. 17
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    So if this was still a scene from The Godfather, Trump is Carlo Rizzi and McConnell is Connie.

  18. 18

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): What do you have against the Mets? (Besides being perpetual schmucks).

  19. 19
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    I finally agree with Trump on something: I hate McConnell too.

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    How on earth is this any kind of surprise to these people?

    McConnell never expected the leopard to eat his face.

    Ryan is a fucking Zombie.

  21. 21
    germy says:

    Two of the most loathsome creatures in american politics are at war? Let them fight.

  22. 22
    hitchhiker says:

    Trump yapping at members of Congress about how much he wants the Russia investigation to go away is just more evidence that he’s willing to commit the crime of obstruction.

    Members of Congress spilling that to the press is evidence that they’re happy to throw him an anvil while he drowns.

    Trump seems to believe that everyone in DC is just as corrupt and venal as he is. Some of them are, no doubt — but not all of them, by a long shot.

  23. 23
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): They knew he was an ignorant buffoon, sure, but they believed that Trump would be amenable to being gently but firmly guided by them. Be a figurehead while they worked their evil will. Oops.

  24. 24
    Kristine says:

    That article made me smile so.

    A blazing incompetent over-leveraged to the hilt. A House that couldn’t pass gas after a bean banquet. A Senate with a slim majority and a few GOP senators with no fcks left to give. Yet somehow all the Smartest Guys in the Room–Wall Street, the billionaires–thought that those three jagged-edged pieces could be joined into a smoothly-working whole capable of passing all the tax breaks.

    We’ll be lucky if they raise the debt ceiling in time to keep the sh** from hitting the fan.

  25. 25

    1. Unless he nukes the filibuster, which he probably doesn’t have support for, McConnell’s entire legislative agenda is dead in the water. Especially so-called tax reform. Nothing that isn’t acceptable to Democrats is going to pass. Leaving this out of any discussion of the situation is malpractice.
    2. The Russian sanctions bill’s specific purpose was to tell Trump and Putin to fuck off. Of course Trump is mad. It does add more evidence that Trump is in Putin’s pocket.
    3. Trump does not even have to be guilty of Russian collusion. Trump is guilty of a whole list of financial crimes. That’s already been revealed. Mueller will dig up details other prosecutors can use. Right there, Trump has enough reason to desperately want the investigation shut down.
    4. I think the jokes about ‘in private’ are overblown, since this seems to be people recounting what Trump said to them behind closed doors. On the other hand, I doubt McConnell cares if it becomes public knowledge.
    5. I would give a lot to know the actual balance of power and sentiment on Capitol Hill right now, especially in the Senate. They hate Trump, but I get the impression McConnell’s name is also mud. And since anything they say in public is hogwash, how clearly have McConnell, Ryan, and the other major players faced the fact they can’t achieve anything without playing ball with Democrats?

  26. 26
    jl says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    ” How on earth is this any kind of surprise to these people? ”

    Remember that the GOP establishment didn’t want Trump to win the primary. And I don’t think anyone knew how completely unfit and incompetent Trump would be. I had very low expectations for Trump, but even I was astonished at his self-destructive incapacity and mind boggling dishonesty and ignorance.

    I think the GOP had to reconcile itself to Trump being their candidate. Then they were giddy over out performing expectations in the election and controlling both leg and exec branches, but were also worried about Trump lifting a finger to fulfill his promises to protect social insurance and deliver other populist economic promises.

    In short, they are not operating from a plan. They have been improvising.

    Edit: and comes to my mind now that I don’t think many establishment GOPers thought Trump could win the general. So, what were attempts to limit the disaster before the election look different now. But that is not to excuse what they did, particularly McConnell threatening partisan war if Obama had done more publicly about Russian meddling.

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’m curious what they review the code for. Was the complaint about the end product – what your code actually does? Or how clean or elegant the code is? Either way, that can’t have been fun, but maybe there are no real consequences besides a kick in the behind to do better?

  28. 28
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I can’t see him nuking the filibuster when he can see he’s in some danger of losing his majority if things continue as they are. Now he has the dilemma of deciding whether it’s worse to be seen supporting Trump or opposing him.

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    I can’t see him nuking the filibuster when he can see he’s in some danger of losing his majority if things continue as they are.

    Unless he goes all in to make sure elections are neither free nor fair, of course.

  30. 30
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    The turtle allowed the scorpion to ride on his back and is now getting stung. I hope the both of them drown in each other venom

  31. 31
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kristine:

    We’ll be lucky if they raise the debt ceiling in time to keep the sh** from hitting the fan.

    McConnell insists that the Debt Ceiling is going to be raised, no problem.

    Pretty sure sign that its not going to be raised in time, a big problem.

  32. 32
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I would like to see a war between the Kochs and the Mercers. Trump v. McConnell is the proxy.

  33. 33

    CNN ‘exclusive’ alert: “A Trump aide’s email is under scrutiny after investigators find mention of a proposed meeting between Trump campaign officials and Putin”

  34. 34
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    And Trump has tried to bully two other senators, Bob Corker and Thom Tillis, about sanctions on Russia and the bill to protect Mueller.

    Alienating the Senate takes Trump’s stupid up several more notches. He needs Republican Senators to pass the bills he wants passed. I won’t say “his legislation” because it’s clear that he has no such concept. And, if it comes to that, he needs 34 senators to vote against conviction in an impeachment trial. That means he can alienate 18 of them, I guess.

    Trump also said some stuff last night that should irritate anyone in Congress, like that he’s fine with shutting down the government if his wall isn’t funded. That’s the one that Mexico was going to pay for. Congress has a lot to do in September, and it looks like all of them except the Freedom Caucus want to find a way to get through the budget mess without disaster.

    It could be that they are trying to get a message to Trump via the media, although the New York Times doesn’t seem to be his style. If that’s the case, I wonder how many iterations it will take before they reach a Barry-Goldwater-to-Nixon point.

  35. 35

    @Frankensteinbeck: And Yertle’s preservation of the general filibuster may be to shoot down the GOP’s least popular policies while insulating them from wingnut backlash.

  36. 36

    @WaterGirl: Oh, completely routine, I just had one very embarrassing, ah, inelegance. (Sorting via a data-mutating function.)

    ETA: It was just an integration review, not exactly a grad school class, although by a former teacher who’s quite sharp. There were a couple race conditions I wasn’t aware of and said mutating sort.

  37. 37
    trollhattan says:

    @jl:

    I don’t think anyone knew how completely unfit and incompetent Trump would be.

    Know just enough New Yorkers to have been fully prepared for this clusterf*ck. Not how the wheels would come off, just knowing they were square with no lugnuts keeping them attached to the clowncar.

  38. 38
    germy says:

    If the tiff between the two is complicating her life, Elaine Chao is not letting it show in public. According to Independent, when she was asked about her views on Trump openly criticizing her husband, she simply said: “I stand by my man – both of them.”

    Worst three-way ever.

  39. 39

    @SFBayAreaGal: In this version the turtle would either have to be soft-shelled or being stung in the dick.

  40. 40
    germy says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    “A Trump aide’s email is under scrutiny after investigators find mention of a proposed meeting between Trump campaign officials and Putin”

    Uh oh.

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Alienating the Senate takes Trump’s stupid up several more notches.

    What comes after 11?

  42. 42
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    I would like to see a war between the Kochs and the Mercers. Trump v. McConnell is the proxy.

    When a murder-suicide is the ideal outcome, you know things are bad.

  43. 43
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Washington (CNN)Congressional investigators have unearthed an email from a top Trump aide that referenced a previously unreported effort to arrange a meeting last year between Trump campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

    The aide, Rick Dearborn, who is now President Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff, sent a brief email to campaign officials last year relaying information about an individual who was seeking to connect top Trump officials with Putin, the sources said.

    The person was only identified in the email as being from “WV,” which one source said was a reference to West Virginia. It’s unclear who the individual is, what he or she was seeking, or whether Dearborn even acted on the request. One source said that the individual was believed to have had political connections in West Virginia, but details about the request and who initiated it remain vague.

    I think we need to ask the Blogmeister some questions.

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy:

    Uh oh.

    Remember, IOIYAR.

    Male emails do not count.

  45. 45
    p.a. says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    get a message to Trump

    Boy they are dumb. That’s like giving Voyager’s message disc to Cracker’s squirrel.

  46. 46
    germy says:

    Jeff Sessions' former chief of staff — now in Trump admin — caught on email admitting to direct Trump campaign connections with Putin https://t.co/7GT7RmeQmh— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) August 23, 2017

  47. 47
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gelfling 545: I think they won’t nuke the filibuster because that’s their last stand to stop Trump if Trump tries to do something beyond crazy, and then they can say the dems blocked it. Cowards, all of them.

  48. 48
    TenguPhule says:

    @WaterGirl:

    because that’s their last stand to stop Trump if Trump tries to do something beyond crazy

    Suggests sanity clearly not in evidence.

    ACHA. I rest my case.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @trollhattan: I expected the wheels to come off, but not so quickly. And not almost solely as a result of Trump’s own self-destructive impulses. I expected that they would have to create a few policy messes first with bad consequence. I didn’t expect that withing six months of inauguration, Trump would be down to 35 percent approval and growing concern about his fitness for office from GOP Senators, due to Trump being is own self-created bad consequence.

    Nothing has really happened in the real world that was unexpected since his inauguration. The economy is chugging along in line with Obama economic policies. Maybe North Korean missile tests, but that is more a matter of timing, they happened a little sooner than expected, is all.

  50. 50
    efgoldman says:

    Conspicuous by its absence: Any non-denial denial from either the WH or the senate.

  51. 51

    @TenguPhule: Collectively they didn’t want to pass the AHCA. Individually they didn’t want to be the one who killed it. This was delegated to a dying man.

    @WaterGirl: Agree.

  52. 52
    gene108 says:

    There’s a hurricane heading towards Houston- Galveston. Stay safe guys.

  53. 53
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Sounds like you didn’t get beat up and you learned something, hard to argue with that being a good day.

  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:

    @jl:

    Nothing has really happened in the real world that was unexpected since his inauguration.

    A debt default is not how I want that to start.

  55. 55
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Collectively they didn’t want to pass the AHCA. Individually they didn’t want to be the one who killed it. This was delegated to a dying man.

    Yes.

    Now what happens when Trump proposes something insane that they actually agree with such as Tax cuts?

  56. 56

    @WaterGirl: I’m really just embarrassed by the sort.

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman:

    Conspicuous by its absence: Any non-denial denial from either the WH or the senate.

    In all fairness, none of them are actually working right now.

  58. 58
    Eric S. says:

    Just skipping to the bottom before reading everything.

    Re: McConnell and Trump not speaking. IIRC this is 2 presidents in a row for McConnell. I’m sure it won’t precipitate any self reflection though.

    Please DO NOT read any equivalence into this statement, false or otherwise, between Drumph and Obama. There is none. It just strikes me – once again – the problems McConnell poses.

  59. 59
    efgoldman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    none of them are actually working right now.

    Their press aides are.

  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Perfect summary in ~25 words. bravo!

  61. 61
    TenguPhule says:

    Trump is living proof there is no kind and loving God.

    Trump called for unity in a speech at the American Legion’s 99th National Convention here, just hours after a raucous campaign-style rally in which he lambasted the media and his political rivals and reignited the controversy over his response to a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville this month.

    “It is time to heal the wounds that have divided us, and to seek a new unity based on the common values that unite us,” Trump said, speaking before more than 5,000 members of the largest veterans group. “We are one people, with one home and one flag.”

    “We are not defined by the color of our skin, the figure on our paycheck or the party of our politics,” Trump continued.

    Trump argued that “shared humanity,” “citizenship” and patriotism could heal the nation’s divides political and racial divides, and he heralded the work of the Legion in promoting American values.

    Not a single fucking thunderbolt.

    The cameras transmitting his shit did not melt into molten masses.

    The Truth got its boots stolen by Trump and was just given the worst kicking of its life.

  62. 62
    gene108 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Republicans are in a trap. Working with Democrats is like cutting off your foot to get out, because the right-wing apparatus- voters, media, etc – is so jacked into the idea everything that they do not agree with is evil.

    Sure working with Democrats moves you out of the trap, but the damage Republicans will take from their base could kill them, or at the least force them to limp along.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @TenguPhule: Lack of Obamacare repeal/replace puts a big dent in their tax slash plans. Will be very hard to make it big enough to please the donors. I don’t know whether anyone ever explained to connection to Trump. He showed he didn’t understand it at a meeting with GOP leaders right before the Senate failure on health care.

    So, potential problems there too. Trump will be pissed that the tax cut isn’t as big as he expected, and won’t understand why.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yeah, I completely get that. We’ve all been there, so at least you’re in good company.

  65. 65
    Jim Kakalios says:

    Once again, Mitch McConnell’s number one task is to make sure the President serves only one-term.

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim Kakalios: Let’s hope he gets the result he wants this time around.

  67. 67
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gene108:

    There’s a hurricane heading towards Houston- Galveston. Stay safe guys.

    When I was in 7th-8th grades, my home room teacher (it was long enough ago that we didn’t actually have “middle school”) was an imposing woman named Helen Harvey. For reasons long forgotten, we all referred to her as “Hurricane Harvey.” Haven’t really thought of her in years, but it gave me a start to see news articles today about the prospect of Hurricane Harvey heading for the Texas coast.

    Yes, be safe, everyone in the path.

  68. 68
    efgoldman says:

    @jl:

    He showed he didn’t understand it at a meeting with GOP leaders right before the Senate failure on health care.

    Don’t they have to pass it in regular order (no reconciliation, subject to filibuster) too?

  69. 69
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim Kakalios:

    Once again, Mitch McConnell’s number one task is to make sure the President serves only one-term.

    I can only hope he’s better at that now than he was in 2009-2013.

  70. 70

    @WaterGirl: In my defense we’re talking about a really big array here, so I guess it made sense in my head at the time.

  71. 71

    @Major Major Major Major: Nobody does their best work all the time. I wrote total crap today. The only difference is I don’t have to show it to anybody if I don’t want to.

  72. 72
    Baud says:

    @Jim Kakalios: Or maybe less than one.

  73. 73
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: jinx.

  74. 74

    @Iowa Old Lady: Working on my novel this morning I realized I’d forgotten about the international dateline. Oops!

  75. 75
    debbie says:

    @NoraLenderbee:

    You own it, asshole.

    Now, there’s a bumper sticker for Baud 2020!

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    Mr. McConnell has made sharper comments in private, describing Mr. Trump as entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing.

    The crazy thing is that this is exactly what Trump’s biggest supporters want. They don’t want government, which often involves compromise and solutions which blend the needs of varying groups.

    Trump supporters want what they want and they want Trump to get it for them.

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @debbie:

    I was thinking of maybe going with “Baud! 2020!: Your chance at redemption.”

    I was told I need to be more positive.

  78. 78
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    He needs Republican Senators to pass the bills he wants passed.

    And whatever that desire is based on, it isn’t the content of the legislation, since he’s made it abundantly clear he doesn’t know what’s in any of the bills he’s Tweet-lobbied for.

  79. 79
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: And it’s shorter than the “Get away from me, you fucking creep!” for the bumper sticker for Trump!

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    I was told I need to be more positive.

    Baud 2020: Because you don’t want to be with Stupid.

  81. 81
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @germy:

    Here’s a boner killer – the Elaine Chao spit roast between Turtle and Trump….

  82. 82
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule: Yup. Why are we talking tax cuts when there’s a huuuuge budget deficit, right Republicans?

  83. 83
    Jeffro says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I just saw that (glad I read the thread for once, was about to post a link)…tick tock, tick tock…

  84. 84
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    That didn’t work last year, did it? 🙄

  85. 85
    Baud says:

    @debbie: You’re right.

    Baud! 2020!: Stronger Without You!

  86. 86
    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Come to think of it, “You own it, asshole” would make a great sign for counterprotesters.

  87. 87
  88. 88

    @gene108:
    I’m not sure how much their base pays attention to, though. Only two significant bills have passed the senate. One was a short-term budget continuation. The other was Russian sanctions. Both were Democrat-friendly and had heavy Democrat buy-in. The base did not notice, and did not care. Republican voters are heavily invested in repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a magical world where their insurance costs a dollar a week. There are a few things they’re heavily invested in congress NOT doing. They will throw screaming fits at gun control, or if immigration or abortions are made easier. But raising the debt limit, or passing a same-old-same-old budget? I see no signs they will even be aware it happened, or have strong feelings if it’s pointed out to them.

  89. 89
    jl says:

    @Baud:

    ‘ I was thinking of maybe going with “Baud! 2020!: Your chance at redemption.”
    I was told I need to be more positive. ‘

    You need to tie it into soda pop bottles and beer cans to reach your base.
    And I guess convenience store sales coupons too.

  90. 90
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: Why yes, yes it would!

  91. 91
    tobie says:

    @debbie:

    “You own it, asshole”

    Brilliant!

  92. 92
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Trump’s bullying led to Corker publicly questioning his competence. A smarter person would reconsider his strategy.

  93. 93
    TenguPhule says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    But raising the debt limit, or passing a same-old-same-old budget? I see no signs they will even be aware it happened, or have strong feelings if it’s pointed out to them.

    This may change once they find out their welfare dollars don’t stretch far enough to cover a meal when the economy crashes. But I’m not hopeful in that regard.

  94. 94
    debbie says:

    @tobie:

    I just adapted someone else’s idea upthread.

  95. 95
    WaterGirl says:

    Did everyone see this great 7- minute interview with James Clapper?

    I think that’s Don Lemon who is interviewing him, and I thought he did a good job interviewing. Doesn’t everybody hate him?

  96. 96
    joel hanes says:

    @TenguPhule:

    What comes after 11?

    le deluge

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @efgoldman:

    I’m sure the guy is just one bad apple. 🍎 //

  98. 98
    Redshift says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I think they won’t nuke the filibuster because that’s their last stand to stop Trump if Trump tries to do something beyond crazy, and then they can say the dems blocked it. Cowards, all of them.

    I don’t think that’s their calculation at all. They won’t nuke the filibuster for the same reason the Senate never does – because it gives individual senators power and visibility. The majority leadership may decide it would be more effective to get rid of it, but they won’t get the votes of those senators to actually do it.

  99. 99
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    Rhetorical saltpeter….

    😃

  100. 100

    @Jeffro: Simple, if you cut taxes you raise more revenue; deficit solved. //GOP

  101. 101

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: that’s exactly what they’d tell you if you asked them. People believe that shit too, some of them at least.

  102. 102
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Did everyone see this great 7- minute interview with James Clapper?

    I think that’s Don Lemon who is interviewing him, and I thought he did a good job interviewing. Doesn’t everybody hate him?

    I don’t hate on Don Lemon nearly as much as some people here think I should. I’ll laugh and point when he says stupid stuff about missing Malaysian airplanes, but in general he’s not a bad journalist.

    Clapper was amazing. The very definition of take no prisoners. A joy to watch.

  103. 103
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @germy: Having no backbone or principles really comes in handy at times like these.

  104. 104
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    People believe that shit too, some of them at least.

    And yet, apparently, they all passed grade school arithmetic.

  105. 105
    Davebo says:

    Not sure how much credence I’d put into this.

    But it would be great! If you’ve lost Drudge, all is lost.

  106. 106

    @efgoldman: bad psychology-based handwaving by economists seems to override things like mathematical literacy in a whole lot of people.

  107. 107
    danielx says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    They knew he was an ignorant buffoon, sure, but they believed that Trump would be amenable to being gently but firmly guided by them.

    Clearly they didn’t spend a nanosecond on researching Trump’s personality, business dealings, reputation, bankruptcies, divorces or anything else about him. The idea that Trump was or is ever going to be amenable to being gently but firmly guided by anybody is nothing short of ludicrous.

  108. 108
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The person was only identified in the email as being from “WV,” which one source said was a reference to West Virginia.

    Hm, somebody who just made headlines in WV sold a bunch of coal mines to a Russian firm for half a billion, then bought them back a few years later for a few million.

  109. 109
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Clapper called it like it is. No hedging, no weasel words, he just straight-out said what any thinking person would.

    I’m sure it’s all over the news, right?

  110. 110
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    bad psychology-based handwaving by economists seems to override things like mathematical literacy

    It’s been many, many decades for me, but I really don’t remember any magick asterisks.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    bad psychology-based handwaving by economists seems to override things like mathematical literacy in a whole lot of people.

    The day Laffer’s body is found in a dark alley can’t come soon enough.

  112. 112
    danielx says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    You should be taken out and maimed for coming up with that particular image and phraseology.

    Edit: I am really going to be afraid to go to sleep tonight.

  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman:

    It’s been many, many decades for me, but I really don’t remember any magick asterisks.

    Laffer curve. May he die a thousand times for selling it.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    the Elaine Chao spit roast between Turtle and Trump

    Its not gay as long as their balls don’t touch.

  115. 115

    @efgoldman: #notalleconomists

    It’s my understanding that, and correct me if I’m wrong…
    Laffer isn’t where the magical asterisks come in; the magical asterisks point to Laffer. And he was using bad psychology, not bad math.

  116. 116
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Laffer isn’t where the magical asterisks come in

    Hell, even Bush1 called it voodoo economics. He later recanted the apostasy, of course.

  117. 117
    Jay S says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It could be that they are trying to get a message to Trump via the media, although the New York Times doesn’t seem to be his style.

    I’m pretty sure Donald hate scans it every day.

  118. 118
    gene108 says:

    There is a CGI owl promoting Western Governors University, an on-line non-profit university, another one pimping TripAdvisor, and one promoting America’s Best brand eyeglasses.

    When did someone decide owls make good spokes birds?

    Way too much owl for me.

  119. 119
    WaterGirl says:

    @efgoldman: OT, but since this is kind of a quiet night on kind of a quiet BJ thread, maybe I can ask how you have been feeling lately?

  120. 120
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @efgoldman: During my brief period as a registered Republican, that’s a major reason he got my vote in the primary.

    That was rapidly replaced by disgust at his willingness to pretend to believe in voodoo.

  121. 121
    efgoldman says:

    @Jay S:

    I’m pretty sure Donald hate scans it every day.

    Does he have time, in his oh so busy schedule?

  122. 122

    @efgoldman: I’m thinking specifically of the “lowering tax rates raises revenues” thing which is probably true in certain universes. The bad psychology is the assumption that we inhabit one.

    HW was speaking more generally about the grander Reagan vision, no?

  123. 123
    Shana says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Wasn’t that all over the news last week? How the hell is this “breaking news”?

    ETA, Cheryl’s comment says it’s a different guy from the news from last week.

  124. 124
    TenguPhule says:

    ‘I don’t know how it got this bad’: Trump supporters and protesters meet in Phoenix

    Perhaps this might clear things up.

    Elam, who works in the health-care industry and lives in Tempe, Ariz., said she’s alarmed to see cities remove monuments to Confederate leaders, an action she compared theoretically to conservatives removing the statues of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. “Personally, I like the statues being up. To me, it’s not celebrating racism; it’s remembering the past,” she said. “If you try to erase history, how do you remember the past?” “To me, he loves America — and you can’t fake that,” she said of Trump, as others in line voiced their agreement. “Am I right? You can’t fake it.”

    She struggled to list what Trump has done as president that she likes. For her, success is more of a feeling than a laundry list of actions.

    Or maybe this.

    Austin Knaust, a 24-year-old self-employed trucker, had finally made his way past the screaming protesters and into the rally hall. He’s surprised by the backlash following what happened in Charlottesville — he thought the president’s comments “nailed it right on the head.”

    “I think there’s blame on both sides,” he said, as a song from the musical “Cats” blared in the rally hall. “Just because someone wants to protest doesn’t mean that someone should antagonize them.”

    But what if those people protesting are yelling anti-Semitic things?

    “It’s ridiculous, because they can sit there and call [Trump] a Nazi and call him all this stuff because he didn’t call them white supremacists?” Knaust said. “Well, what did Obama do for eight years? Obama didn’t call Muslim terrorists Muslim terrorists, so does that make him a Muslim terrorist? It doesn’t make sense.”

    Could it be this?

    Knezevic, an IT specialist, said he stood against neo-Nazis and the KKK but that Democrats need to condemn protesters on the left sparking mayhem.

    “They have the communist flag, but none of you guys will denounce them,” Knezevic told Boyle.

    Both sides, AMIRITE?

  125. 125

    @gene108: the owls are not what they seem.

    Cooper. Cooper. Cooper.

  126. 126
    TenguPhule says:

    Fark, triggered a filter in posting, help!

  127. 127
    Shana says:

    @germy: Ewww. Thanks a lot.

  128. 128

    @gene108: Owls look smart, especially when you pair them up with smart person glasses.

  129. 129
    efgoldman says:

    @WaterGirl:

    maybe I can ask how you have been feeling lately?

    Maybe you could, thanks.
    Much better, in small daily increments. Had a blood draw yesterday, I hope some key indicators are up, others are down. Appetite is back. Legs are still not completely well, but I’m starting PT on Monday, when some whippersnapper is going to hurt me, but get me ready to (sort of) keep up with a 4 y o at the end of September.
    Self-dialysis is now a normal part of my life.

  130. 130
    Davebo says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m thinking specifically of the “lowering tax rates raises revenues” thing which is probably true in certain universes.

    It worked for Kennedy, well Johnson really, but those were very different times indeed.

  131. 131

    @Davebo: and since we hard-forked reality several times since, most recently last November, we do not currently inhabit that universe.

  132. 132
    jl says:

    @efgoldman: IiRC that is one of the problems produced by not doing Obamacare repeal/replace. In order to disguise the tax slashes as ‘reforms’, a lot of federal spending had to be eliminated under reconciliation with Trumpcare. They won’t get anything near enough for the big GOP donors (and probably Trump) under regular order.

    Bannon had what he thought were some clever ideas to make smaller more gradual cuts for rich, while throwing some bones to middle and working class for a short term political win for next elections. He might have helped Trumpsters swallow the bitter pill. But he is gone now, and apparently is going to political war with everyone left in the Trump administration.

  133. 133
    efgoldman says:

    @WaterGirl:

    maybe I can ask how you have been feeling lately?

    I replied, and it disappeared….
    Much better in daily increments, thank you, although there’s still a way to go. Had blood drawn yesterday and waiting for the results. Hopefully some key indicators are lower , and some are higher. Started Epogen (Procrit) injections yesterday. Appetite is back (mixed blessing).
    Home self dialysis is now totally routine.

  134. 134
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    HW was speaking more generally about the grander Reagan vision, no?

    Yes and no. Sanctus Ronaldus made very clear that he got his ideas from Laffer.

    ETA: OK, I have replied to @Watergirl about my health TWICE, both eaten by FYWP.

  135. 135
    Davebo says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Well duh! Honestly, I’d have been livid with a 91% marginal rate had I been an earner back then.

  136. 136
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Ryan assumes reactionary GOP estimates of the Laffer curve to be established fact and don’t need magic asterisks. The magic asterisks in Ryan’s fiscal plan relate to unspecified cuts in total federal spending that would eliminate most major federal departments, agencies and departments except for military, but magically, something is still claimed to be performing those functions in his plan.They are unrelated to Laffter Cuve.

    There is actually a Laffer curve, it existed in public finance literature long before Laffer drew his cartoon pic on a napkin for some Reagan minion, It’s just that reactionary GOP estimates of where we are on the curve are ridiculous. All evidence says that the maximum revenue occurs at far higher rates for high income earners than we are at now, not far lower, as the GOPers claim.

  137. 137
    Joey Maloney says:

    @germy:

    “I stand by my man – both of them.”

    Not enough ew on the planet.

  138. 138
    Ruckus says:

    @TenguPhule:
    In drumpf’s case his stupid level is in three digits. That’s 100% BTW.

  139. 139
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It could be that they are trying to get a message to Trump via the media, although the New York Times doesn’t seem to be his style.

    Trump & the NYT have a long, complicated love-hate relationship, going back to the 1980s. He hates them, as representing all the snooty elitists who think they’re so much better / smarter / classier than him… but since they’re the Official Paper of Record for his NYC-centric world, he desperately wants to impress them. The people assigning stories at the NYT loath him for a repulsive bridge’n’tunnel parvenu who doesn’t know how to behave — but he’s always a good story.

    That’s why I find Maggie Haberman useful. She leads Trump on, never breaking the fourth wall, eliciting all sorts of damaging details (remember the infamous WH interview?) by nodding and saying yes, yes, and?… While she’s very protective of her guild, I personally think she doesn’t have much more respect for the people signing her paychecks than she does for Donald Trump, and she’s got no respect for Trump outside of his worth as a column-filling performance artist.

  140. 140

    @Anne Laurie: I don’t mind Haberman (and agree with you about her interviews; it’s not fawning, it’s rope-giving)–EXCEPT when she’s asked about the 2016 coverage, at which point she turns into a squid-ink volcano. I don’t know how she can get through her life maintaining a blind spot that big and close, she’s obviously not stupid so she must be self-insulating.

  141. 141
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I think that’s Don Lemon who is interviewing him, and I thought he did a good job interviewing. Doesn’t everybody hate him?

    Had that keyed up for later.

    Don Lemon, IIRC, is the guy who wondered, on camera, if MH370 could’ve been sucked into a black hole. When a news guy who’s notorious for not being very smart looks at the Oval Office Occupant and says, Uhh, this does not seem like a good idea… then you know just how low Trump (and his remaining defenders) have sunk!

  142. 142
    Elie says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    I dunno — I just saw that as a quick stepped PR response… she knows that Trump and her husband are not on good terms. She is standing next to Trump who is formally her “boss”. What do you expect her to say? She aint as much of a problem as Mnuchim and the other ass kissers.

  143. 143
    Elie says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    Don is not as stupid as he has played it in the past. You can see it in his eyes, that suddenly seem focused and attached to cognitive function and opinion. Dude is UPSET — which is good to me. I want ALL THE MEDIA TO BE AND STAY VERY UPSET. No more normalization. They can’t put Trump’s head on a pike but they can get masses of people to want to. They owe us this from the bullshit they gave us during the election. I want every pound of flesh from their asses to pay this back.

  144. 144
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I don’t know how she can get through her life maintaining a blind spot that big and close, she’s obviously not stupid so she must be self-insulating.

    What I meant by “protective of her guild.” She gets extremely touchy when it’s suggested that ‘the print media’, and especially the NYTimes, put a thumb bearing all the weight of the forearm on the scales during the 2016 campaign; I don’t think it’s a blind spot as much as simple clannishness (or self-protection).

    For me, she’s the ‘liberal’ version of Dave Weigel, who’s great at snarking the weak spots of ‘his’ people (libertarians / centrist Repubs), but who rapidly descends into Both-siderism when it’s the Democrats against those GOP ‘centrists’… or, you know, Wilmer. (Weigel’s continuing enchantment with Wilmer is one of the things that convinced me Wilmer is, at heart, the true Libertarian candidate.)

  145. 145
    Anne Laurie says:

    @efgoldman:

    ETA: OK, I have replied to @Watergirl about my health TWICE, both eaten by FYWP.

    Rescued from the trash. I think FYWP hates allmuch-advertised brand-name drugs, and possibly also the word dialysis — not without reason, if you could see the spam filter.

  146. 146

    @Anne Laurie: I think Weigel is a bro-dem at this point, so…

  147. 147
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Elie:

    Don is not as stupid as he has played it in the past.

    Women & people of color in the media usually get a partial pass from me, because it’s clear they have to play dumb or at least clueless in order to climb the job ladder. You’re right that I should’ve been clearer: I don’t think Don Lemon had to be dumb, just that he was famous for acting dumb on camera. (If he’d been as pearly-complected as Tucker Carlson, now: DUMB!)

  148. 148
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Is he? I know he’s said for the record that he was registered as a Libertarian, but didn’t vote in national elections. He might’ve switched official sides, of course…

  149. 149
    Another Scott says:

    @Davebo: Meh. I can’t tell if you’re snarking or not.

    (No linkies because FYWP). The IRS says median family income (in 1960 dollars) was $5,600 in 1960. The marginal tax rate was 22% for that income. The 91% tax bracket started at $400,000 and over or 71.4x the median.

    Median family income was $56,500 in 2015 and the highest similar tax bracket (married filing jointly) was 39.6% for income above $465,000 (8.2x the median). For the similar ratio as 1960, the 91% rate would kick in at $4.03M so income above that amount would be subject to that tax rate.

    It’s an OMG Scary Number!! that only applied to very, very wealthy people.

    There was a nice post at the AngryBear blog a few years ago saying that growth and marginal rates go together. 70-80% is a good number based on history – it’s correlation not causation, of course.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  150. 150

    @Anne Laurie: just my impression. He isn’t like he used to be. Then again, he did just come out with a book about prog rock.

  151. 151
    Jay S says:

    @Another Scott:

    There was a nice post at the AngryBear blog a few years ago saying that growth and marginal rates go together. 70-80% is a good number based on history – it’s correlation not causation, of course.

    Hey, taking a significant chunk of the income from those high earning job creators might be giving them incentive to work harder to get richer. Makes as much sense as trickle down.

  152. 152
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @danielx:

    I am really going to be afraid to go to sleep tonight

    Hands above the sheets and above the waist!

  153. 153
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Its not gay as long as their balls don’t touch

    And they have to avoid locking their eyes…

  154. 154
    WaterGirl says:

    @efgoldman: Weird – I checked back for a reply long after the 8:41 time stamp on your reply and could swear that there had been no reply from you.

    In any case, all these hours later, I am happy to see your reply. So glad to hear that you are doing better and that the home dialysis is routine. Did I see in a recent comment that you are not in Boston anymore?

  155. 155

    @WaterGirl: you’re not hallucinating; FYWP put it in moderation due to the drug brand names, and Anne took it out.

    Glad you’re doing better, btw, efg.

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