I’m on the hunt, I’m after you

Does this Wolff book everyone’s talking about make any difference politically? Or is the whole thing just a Maggie Haberman-Politico-Axios wankfest, full of sound and fury signifying nothing? I lean towards the latter.

So far, this is my favorite detail:

“Nearby, in a small conference room watching the movie Fargo, were Dina Powell, Gary Cohn, Stephen Miller, and H. R. McMaster, all of whom would later insist that they were, however physically close to the unfolding crisis, removed from it.”

Don’t forget to give to the Balloon Juice Nowhere To Hide fund, which splits money among eventual Democratic nominees in every House seat currently under Republican control.

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169 replies
  1. 1
    dedc79 says:

    I’m guessing nobody is more pissed about this book than Maggie Haberman. Surely her plan was to write/publish her own book full of similar stories that she kept out of her reporting to date. Wolff’s book makes Haberman look even worse than she already did, for coddling/protecting him.

  2. 2
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Does this Wolff book everyone’s talking about make any difference politically? Or is the whole thing just a Maggie Haberman-Politico-Axios wankfest, full of sound and fury signifying nothing? I lean towards the latter.

    I hope not. I want Trump to work himself into a lather and de-compensate until he jumps off the Truman balcony of the WH.

  3. 3
    Mike J says:

    @dedc79: Isn’t she mentioned in the book, disparagingly?

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dedc79:

    And that’s one of the things that makes me so happy about this book. 😈

  5. 5

    Isn’t McMaster the hero who is going to save us from this train wreck, I have been reassured by esteemed commenters on this very blog.

  6. 6
    MJS says:

    With the “fake news” crowd, nothing will ever resonate, but with the 73% of this country capable of independent thought, this book will be a big deal. And Trump attempting to get it squashed will lend it that much more credence.

    ETA – I know 73% is wildly optimistic.

  7. 7
    dedc79 says:

    @Mike J: Yeah. Much deserved insult upon injury.

  8. 8
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @dedc79:
    What I especially like about the book (the excerpts I’ve seen so far) is how much of chump Wolff makes Trump look like. That he fooled He, Trump. Dump has to he seething. That’s why he appeared during the latest press briefing as a “special guest” I’m sure.

    Also, yes Haberman looks like a total fool. She really does disgust me. Her job, as a journalist, is to not only get a good story but serve the public good by reporting the truth. She’s evidently not done so in order to profit in a new book.

  9. 9
    Mike J says:

    @dedc79: By NYT rules, we can’t listen to anything she says. Somebody said something mean about her, so she’s got reason to be biased. We must doubt her every utterance.

  10. 10

    To go with our shitty political situation we have shitty weather to match. As if 5 days with highs of 20 F were not enough now we have a fucking blizzard.
    I am bringing some cheer in my dull day by listening to wedding songs from Hindi movies.
    Kabira

    The woman getting married on screen is a French-Indian actor, Kalki Koechlin, she is pretty awesome. Her Margarita with a Straw is on my must see list.

  11. 11
    Roger Moore says:

    Maybe we can get Trump so wrapped up in political feuds here in the US that he forgets to get us into a nuclear showdown with North Korea.

  12. 12
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Of course he will! Right after cartoons become real.

  13. 13
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Depends on who you are talking to, to us no, we’re about policy. To the Trump’s base, it maybe a big deal because they are about reality tv. I think that’s why Bannon oddly comes across as a sympathetic figure in this; because Bannon is one of the few in involved with the Trump admin who does give a shit about policy. Even if Bannon’s idea’s are screwed to hell and gone, at lest we can understand his urge to implement them.

  14. 14
    Eljai says:

    I hope it opens up a broader conversation about how Trump is dangerously unfit for office. Not overly optimistic on this point, but some pundits and reporters are corroborating stories about Trump’s mental imbalance. Obviously, we who have paid attention already knew this. But why are media people keeping this information under wraps? Major news outlets like NPR and NYT continue to portray him as some sort of mavericky eccentric. They should be doing their job by warning us that we are all in grave danger and pestering Republicans to do something.

  15. 15
    dedc79 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    That’s why he appeared during the latest press briefing as a “special guest” I’m sure.

    The best part was when that ended and Sanders said “thank you, Mr. President” like his appearance was live and not pre-recorded.

  16. 16
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I’m getting a little pissed at the frequent “Hey fellow liberals, Wolff isn’t always reliable” posts and tweets some of our moral betters keep advising us to be aware of. I say, fuck that! These jackasses are spraying themselves with gasoline and now is the time to start flinging lit matches at them.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    That’s why he appeared during the latest press briefing as a “special guest” I’m sure.

    I’m pretty sure his appearance as a videotaped special guest is because there’s too much risk of him showing how bad his dementia has gotten if he meets reporters in person. This is an attempt to get people used to seeing him only on tape.

    ETA: The SOTU is scheduled at the end of the month. Watch for him trying to come up with an excuse for delivering it by video rather than in person.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    Duran Duran?

    Really?

    @Eljai: Ratings. Dolt45 is ratings gold. Clicks, subscriptions, website views, it’s all about dat sweet sweet advertiser cash. The MSM isn’t going to do shit against him unless it somehow increases their numbers.

  20. 20
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @dedc79:
    I didn’t actually watch it. I assumed he appeared live in the press room. Did they use some kind of green screen to make
    pre-recorded!Trump appear on TV? Was there even a live studio audience of reporters?

  21. 21
    efgoldman says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    now we have a fucking blizzard.

    We’re looking a a foot and a half, maybe more. I imagine you, Anne Laurie and MomSense can expect at least two feet.

  22. 22
    Jumbo76 says:

    I vote wankfest.

  23. 23

    @Roger Moore: Now he is tweaking Pakistan. Most Indians are like, if its T vs. Pakistan, I am with Pakistan.

  24. 24
    Amir Khalid says:

    @dedc79:
    In other words, Maggie Haberman is upset because Wolff scooped her? This former journo is not sympathetic.

  25. 25
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Yutsano:

    Duran Duran?

    Really?

    Doug thinks he has a View to a Kill.

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    pre-recorded!Trump appear on TV? Was there even a live studio audience of reporters?

    That did fell like the Trump admin has gone full Max Headroom.

  26. 26
    dedc79 says:

    @Amir Khalid: Neither am I. But I do think it’s even worse for her than being scooped. She’d already been getting criticized for coddling Trump in exchange for access . Wolff ‘s tell-all shows to what extent Haberman’s behind-the-scenes access was itself filtered through a Trump-friendly lens.

  27. 27
    germy says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m pretty sure his appearance as a videotaped special guest is because there’s too much risk of him showing how bad his dementia has gotten if he meets reporters in person. This is an attempt to get people used to seeing him only on tape.

    This reminds me of later Beatle “appearances” on the Ed Sullivan show. Ed would announce them as guests, and then play a video of Strawberry Fields.

    Or the “Sleeper” Woody Allen film, where The Leader is shown briefly now and then waving from a wheelchair.

  28. 28
    germy says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    That did fell like the Trump admin has gone full Max Headroom.

    Videodrome.

  29. 29
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    Just reminded me of an awesome extended remix version of that song. The last minute or so is the best:

    Duran Duran – A View To A Kill (That Fatal Extended Kiss)

  30. 30
    dedc79 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Yeah, Sanders said she was introducing a special guest and then Trump’s face showed up on screens to each side of the podium, and he went on a rant about how the tax cut is already boosting the economy/jobs/etc.. No way it was live.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    I don’t give a shit if Wolff is 100 percent (or even 80 percent) reliable. I want to see the fuckers sputter and deny everything. I want to watch them run around in panic desperately trying to do damage control while I laugh and laugh and laugh.

  32. 32
    different-church-lady says:

    I can’t figure out if we should take comfort that his rage at Bannon will distract Trump from thinking about nuking North Korea, or if we should be worried he’s thinking about using nukes on Bannon.

  33. 33
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @efgoldman: Meanwhile here in Buffalo they are projecting less than 1 inch accumulation but below 0 temps for 2 days followed by mid 30’s. Weather has been strange. Can’t imagine what could be causing that!

  34. 34
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Halp! My comment is in moderation. I linked to a YouTube video.

  35. 35
    MattF says:

    And, btw, everyone should read Wolff’s article at the Hollywood Reporter. And yeah, I agree that the ‘venue’ of the article says a lot.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    Meanwhile, the Hill is pursuing the vital story of whether or not Chelsea Clinton worships Satan. No, it’s not from the Onion.

    (h/t to Quinerly, who posted the link on the previous thread.)

  37. 37
    John Revolta says:

    Nobody ever saw Big Brother live in person either.

  38. 38
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Mnemosyne: Right, after them just making shit up about Democrats for the last 40 years it’s nice to see them squirm.

  39. 39
    germy says:

    @MattF: Wolff calls Ivanka and Jared democrats in that Hollywood magazine article.

    They’re registered democrats? Why?

  40. 40
    Quinerly says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Hill gives good headline.😈

  41. 41
    Peale says:

    @different-church-lady: depends on where you’re living. We probably could stand to lose a city or two.

  42. 42
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @dedc79: Is there a quote for this? I’d love to see it.

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I think it really will make a difference to Meuller, and maybe Schneiderman, getting Bannon in under oath and a few other people who aren’t sure what Bannon said, or what a lot of other people said, they don’t even know who’s talking much less what they might say.

    Electorally, it works around the margins, but among the sort of people whose votes might be shiftable. Not in whatever backwoods Southern town that last voted D for Jimmy Carter or whatever fading Blue Dog or Dixiecrat they voted for cause he taught their Uncle Dub how to fish, but in the affluent suburban districts where people might have voted for him without telling their friends, but now are going to vote D as a check. Again, not a huge number of voters, but I think every vote will count in ’18

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: That’s why he appeared during the latest press briefing as a “special guest” I’m sure.

    That was just fucking amazing. I had the TV on mute, but just the visuals of that, the low-rent Orwellian buffoonery that he, at least, thinks is brilliant stagecraft.

  44. 44
    Quinerly says:

    @germy: I think I recall that they were unable to vote in the closed Repug primary.

  45. 45
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    He does actually lol. Depending on the design, he’s a spitting image of ol’ Lex.

  46. 46
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    …prompting Twitter user named Rhonda Kazmierski…

    Is Rhonda a popular name in Russia?

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    Exactly. Make the pigfuckers deny it.

  48. 48
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, well: He thought the Republican Convention was amazing stagecraft, and that entire thing was just embarrassing. It was even more embarrassing that Republicans were pretending they liked it.

  49. 49
    Doug! says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    I mean more that this all palace intrigue possibly than that Wolff is wrong here.

  50. 50
    MattF says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: People who are undecided are, by definition, on the margin. It’s frustrating that elections are decided by people who can’t make up their minds, but that’s always true.

  51. 51
    Quinerly says:

    @MattF: That article is an attempt to reach Trump’s reality tv, celebrity loving base. Maybe even an attempt to get Trump himself to read it. Just my opinion.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Remember, getting Republican voters to be depressed and stay home is almost as good as getting them to affirmatively vote for the Dems, and easier to do.

  53. 53
    germy says:

    CNN: Two GOP lawmakers: “It’s time for Jeff Sessions to go”

    Mark Meadows, Freedom Caucus chair, and Jim Jordan, a member who sits on the oversight and judiciary committees in the US House of Representatives, wrote the op-ed for the Washington Examiner, and criticized Sessions’ handling of the department’s investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation, but it would appear he has no control at all of the premier law enforcement agency in the world,” they wrote. “It is time for Sessions to start managing in a spirit of transparency to bring all of this improper behavior to light and stop further violations.”

    The Republican congressmen charged that “if Sessions can’t address this issue immediately, then we have one final question needing an answer: When is it time for a new attorney general? Sadly, it seems the answer is now.”

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Non-native English speakers sometimes pick some … interesting names when they pick an English name for themselves. For instance, “Agnes” is very popular in mainland China with women who want a second, English name to use with English speakers.

    I’m just saying, is all.

  55. 55
    Quinerly says:

    I posted the companion piece in Politico earlier: http://www.newsweek.com/trump-.....tal-770250

  56. 56
    MattF says:

    @John Revolta: It’s clear, fwiw, that ‘Big Brother’ is a mythical figure in 1984. On the other hand, strange to say, Donald Trump actually exists.

  57. 57
    Immanentize says:

    @Roger Moore: State of the Union, constitutionally, need only be a letter sent from President to Confess….

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m thinking less of reliable R’s than of upscale tote-bagger types who cloak their low-info ignorance in a delusion of ‘sophisticated’ non-partisan allegiance. Brooks/Friedman readers who use this notion to justify voting for tax cuts instead of the social issues they tell themselves they care about. I don’t have data, but I have a hunch these sorts of people kept Katie McGinty and Russ Feingold out of the Senate.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Quinerly:

    The Hollywood Reporter is more tabloid-y and gossip-driven than Variety, and less reliable for that reason.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @germy:

    Covered in the previous thread. It’s a back-door attempt to get rid of Mueller.

  61. 61
    HeleninEire says:

    On the fence about buying the Wolff book. I’ll probably get enough information from blogs to get it. In fact I don’t really need to get it. As a former NYer I got it 30 years ago.

    Trump’s an idiot and an asshole and stupid. His kids are the same.

    The end. Not buying the book.

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I thought it was already common knowledge among Republicans that the Clintons are Satanists.

    Incidentally, is the Church of Satan an actual religion, or is it a parody of Abrahamic religion? I am not entirely clear about this, even after close perusal of its Wikipedia entry.

  63. 63
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @HeleninEire: That’s my take, anything worth reading will be free on-line somewhere. Besides the NYMag and Hollywood stories, apparently there’s a long extract in (British?) GQ specifically on trump’s relationship with the press

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattF:

    It’s frustrating that elections are decided by people who can’t make up their minds, but that’s always true.

    It isn’t really true anymore. These days, most elections are decided by who shows up. If the Democrats really turn out, they win. Otherwise the Republicans tend to win.

  65. 65
    eclare says:

    @Immanentize: Thank you, I wondered about that, could he just skip the whole thing….

  66. 66
    MattF says:

    @HeleninEire: I’m considering buying it as an e-book, then deleting it when I’m done. I don’t want it taking up space in my apartment that could be occupied by air molecules that have a better claim on the available free space…

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    As I understand it, it’s basically a bunch of atheists who parody Abrahamic religions as a group to piss people off. It is an actual recognized religion here, but US standards are pretty lax.

    Atheists who want some kind of spiritual life and aren’t immature jerks go to Unitarian Universalist churches.

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    The war on drugs didn’t stop drug usage; it just ruined a lot of lives. Jeff Sessions is reviving it because he believes in using the criminal justice system as an instrument of racial and economic control of poor people and brown people. https://t.co/XRd8OldE2N

    — Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 4, 2018

  69. 69
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @germy: I love that their reason for trying to kick out Sessions is that… he’s not able to stop the Mueller investigation. I mean, wow.

    How corrupt can you be? The sky’s the limit!

  70. 70
    Immanentize says:

    @eclare: Yes,. No need for the pageant. The Supreme Court Justices hate it, most Congesscritters hate it. Because they all know it is just a Presidential propaganda venue.

    Which is why Trump will never forgotten it unless physically restrained.

    Also — I meant to type “Congress” in my original comment, but autocorrect helpfully changed that to “Confess.”. Which is what Trump really needs to do.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    The book is important politically because it confirms everything our side has thought of this crowd from the beginning. It fuels our anger, and reminds us of one thing;

    THESE MUTHAPHUCKAS MUST GO.

    ALL OF THEM.

  72. 72
    The Lodger says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Don Headrest?
    (Someone else may have picked this up.)

  73. 73
    ruemara says:

    I think it’s largely a gossipy, 80% real, hackfest where media folks get the hilarious presidency even the liberal ones wanted so things could be interesting. To me, I see it as yet another collection of anecdotes designed to show how delusional the Tyrant is so he escapes actual consequences for his actions.

  74. 74
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: Hard to say. If you asked old Sam Clemens (or Richard Kadrey, nowadays) they’d note that Satan is the supernatural being who is actually worshipped by the most people.

  75. 75
    🌷 Martin says:

    Does this Wolff book everyone’s talking about make any difference politically? Or is the whole thing just a Maggie Haberman-Politico-Axios wankfest, full of sound and fury signifying nothing? I lean towards the latter.

    I’m a little disappointed here. For all the comments about how Democrats need to play hardball, once something arrives which looks like it, we’re quick to dismiss it as a wankfest.

    To be sure, the book is overflowing with the kind of personal cheap shots befitting the National Enquirer, however, that’s the battleground that Trump plays on. He doesn’t fucking care about policy or anything that we would consider substantive, but call his daughter ‘dumb as a brick’ and it’s on motherfuckers. You beat Trump by getting him to go full Howard Beale on the country.

    Trump turned the whole country into his own personal reality show. The Wolff book is a reality TV appropriate response. Watching Trump completely lose his shit is going to be equal parts hilarious and terrifying.

  76. 76
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Even if Bannon’s idea’s are screwed to hell and gone, at lest we can understand his urge to implement them.

    I mean, say what you want about the tenets of Steve Bannon, Dude . . . at least it’s an ethos.

  77. 77
    some guy says:

    watching Maggie Haberman, Stenographer, stew in her own juices and snipe at Wolff, is the kind of popcorn munching fun I like.

  78. 78
    Miss Bianca says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Donald Trump: promoting world peace and cooperation between ancient enemies, one deranged and insulting tweet at a time! Donnie the Dove!

  79. 79
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @rikyrah: I do try to be skeptical of anything that confirms ALL of my suspicions, but the author appears to have some level of proof at hand. So… I’m simultaneously validated and disgusted. I HOPED it wasn’t as bad as I feared it was. >_<

  80. 80
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Doug!: It wasn’t your comment that triggered me – you’re asking a question on a different aspect. I was referring to the tweets and posts I saw around the internets yesterday that were telling folks to pump the breaks – it might now be true, Wolff is making stuff up. My mind says, floor it and make it “true” by getting the stories circulated and in front of eyeballs. HRC lost because this type of shit was flung at her for 25+ years and a lot of it (hell, most) stuck. We need to feed these stories into a political manure spitter and coat the Republicans in it for a generation. Shit needs to be flung in the direction of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. If everything was transposed and Chuck and Nancy reacted to the Russian election tampering in the manner that McConnell and Ryan did there would be endless allegations and investigations into the extent of their involvement and complicity.

  81. 81

    @Miss Bianca: Actually the enmity is not that ancient, Pakistan and India were one country 70 years ago. There is a lot of fondness at the people to people level. Its the politics that is messed up.

    ETA: These people-to-people good vibes have been a subject of many a hit movie, Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhai Jan from 2015, comes to mind. It was a huge hit.

  82. 82
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If the Democrats really turn out, they win.

    well the Democrats need to turn out about 55-45 before they win. GOP needs about 47% and they are good to go.

  83. 83
    MCA1 says:

    @Mnemosyne: 1000% agree. They’d never be able to disprove most of this stuff, even if they tried. And if they want to try or keep it in the news with empty threats of litigation and protestations, great.

    Also, most of it isn’t “x did y.” It’s “y is a moron.” The damage is in the form of impressions, not accusations. And once planted, those accusations just happen to be reinforced every time y opens his or her mouth in this particular case.

    To Doug’s original question, I do think this makes a further dent, for that reason. It’s an emperor’s clothes moment for some people who’ve been blindly coasting along and allowing the normalization of this imbecile, including some in the media. It’s a “he sold us out” and/or “he’s a fraud who actually hates us” and/or “I don’t want to be associated with a loser” moment for some portion of his howling chimpanzee fans. Some of them are fairly well inoculated from receiving the specifics of the information here, but I think everyone’s generally aware that this dropped, even if 99% of their media intake is Fox News.

  84. 84
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Speaking of contributions…
    I know there are hundreds of worthwhile causes that could use your money but one kind of overlooked area in the aftermath of disaster is the legal needs people have. If this is a cause that speaks to you, any small donation would help. https://crowdfunding.buffalo.edu/project/8799?utm_source=scalefunder&utm_campaign=amb_share&utm_name=02686kzgr93lp02jcfqel0e&utm_medium=plain

  85. 85
    HeleninEire says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah and at one of the stupid right wing sites the boys have decided that the fire at the Clinton’s house was them burning evidence. Cuz of course.

  86. 86
    jl says:

    @BC in Illinois: ” I mean, say what you want about the tenets of Steve Bannon, Dude . . . at least it’s an ethos. ”

    Get those shipyards, iron works, boiler works, brickyards, gas plants, telegraph pole factories working again! We want the most excitement in this country since 1939!

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    @MJS:

    ETA – I know 73% is wildly optimistic.

    No. not optimistic.
    We are about at the crazyfication factor.

  88. 88
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @germy:

    Or the “Sleeper” Woody Allen film, where The Leader is shown briefly now and then waving from a wheelchair.

    I keep thinking of the Doonesbury strips from the latter days of Chairman Mao, where comic-strip-Mao could only mumble unintelligibly and everything attributed to him was actually coming from Honey, the recurring character who was originally Uncle Duke’s translator.

    Would that role go to Ivanka?

  89. 89
    Miss Bianca says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I knew that, actually. “Ancient enemies” just sounds so much more compelling than “relatively recent enemies”./

  90. 90
    cain says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I don’t give a shit if Wolff is 100 percent (or even 80 percent) reliable. I want to see the fuckers sputter and deny everything. I want to watch them run around in panic desperately trying to do damage control while I laugh and laugh and laugh.

    LIke anybody is reliably liberal.. that’s part of being liberal, we aren’t reliable on any one subject! :D

  91. 91
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Just spent an hour shoveling snow. Now it’s time for a hot cocoa, a shot of Vitamin B and some Vitamin I. Wind is still howling, but it’s not snowing much. And since I bought myself a present of Bill Evans’ Some Other Time, I think I’ll relax.

  92. 92
    jk says:

    @dedc79: @Mike J:

    Haberman and Wolff deserve each other because they’re both assholes.

    During the campaign, Wolff defended stenography journalism and was a cheerleader for Trump so he can go fuck himself.

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @Immanentize:
    I know that the Constitution only requires that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union”, so it would be constitutional for him to blow it off and say he’ll do it later. But the actual practice has been for the president to give the message in person for a good long time, and Trump has already committed to doing it on January 30th. Backing out now and sending a letter instead would prompt all kinds of speculation and also go against Trump’s grandiosity and desire for public praise and applause. I think a video message would be a compromise he could probably accept if he were really incapable of delivering it in person, especially if he could watch it playing on TV.

  94. 94
    MCA1 says:

    @🌷 Martin: Amen. Astutely put, sir. His teflon all this time has been that he’s playing a different game on a different field, because it’s all he knows. He lizard brain recognized that politics in America had been debased to the level of sports and reality TV melodrama, so he just took it there more explicitly.
    Wolff was just the first one to find him out there, because it’s the kind of turf he’s used to, as well.

  95. 95

    @Miss Bianca: To be sure, Hindu-Muslim tensions in the subcontinent are over a 1000 years old and they tend to flare up periodically. But a Punjabi Hindu will have a lot more in common with a Punjabi Muslim than a Hindu from Tamil Nadu, a south Indian state. If you ask me the real fissures in India are linguistic and regional.

  96. 96
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Doug: Don’t forget to give to the Balloon Juice Nowhere To Hide fund

    I’ve been giving a fairly sizable monthly donation to the similar ActBlue Swing Left fund. Does anybody know anything about how that fund is doing and whether they’re doing effective work?

  97. 97
    gvg says:

    @germy: Trump was a registered Democrat until fairly recently. New York is so majority Democrat that their primary usually decides the election, so people who want their vote to count register Democratic. Trump and family did this. I also read that in the past there were shenanigans with changing party affiliation in order to screw up rival parties primary to pick someone less popular such as some of the right wing pundits proposed in recent campaigns. I think this happened decades ago? Result was NY passed laws saying you had to change parties more than a year before an election to vote in the primary, and thus their was a minor scandal that Jared and Ivanka had not changed their affiliation on time to vote for Trump in the NY primary. In fact it’s never been clarified if they ever changed their registration. I think they would have had to change before he even declared his campaign.

  98. 98
    germy says:

    Trump has banned staffers from using their personal cell phones.

    Interesting response from someone who claims “the book is all lies!”

  99. 99
    bemused says:

    @HeleninEire:

    I was thinking the same thing after reading three different excerpts of the book today.

  100. 100
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:
    Meadows and Jordan have no idea what the word freedom truly means.

  101. 101
    bemused says:

    @germy:

    It’s pretty late in the game to ban personal cell phones now, isn’t it? That barn door was left open long ago when they first moved in.

  102. 102
    Immanentize says:

    @germy: Kelly, not Trump, banned the personal phone use I suspect.

    And this book doesn’t say much for any of the CoSs does it?

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jk:

    During the campaign, Wolff defended stenography journalism and was a cheerleader for Trump so he can go fuck himself.

    There is something deeply satisfying about watching a bad person’s dreams turn to ashes right in front of their eyes.

    That’s why I’m enjoying this book. 😈

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    But the actual practice has been for the president to give the message in person for a good long time, and Trump has already committed to doing it on January 30th.

    Trump could claim that he was simply returning to past practice in sending a written state of the union address. From the Wiki:

    While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson, with the notable exception of Herbert Hoover, has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    I don’t know about other parts of the country, but my local Swing Left group (for CA-25) is super active. They’re already knocking on doors in the district and sending postcards.

  106. 106

    @Immanentize: Another military “hero” who was going to save us. Sad.

  107. 107
    Barbara says:

    @rikyrah: I am totally repeating your comment because it can’t be said enough:

    The war on drugs didn’t stop drug usage; it just ruined a lot of lives. Jeff Sessions is reviving it because he believes in using the criminal justice system as an instrument of racial and economic control of poor people and brown people. https://t.co/XRd8OldE2N

    — Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 4, 2018

    I got into a tiff with someone at TPM who commented that this was nothing more than tilting at windmills because it would not stop anyone from using marijuana. As if that were the point of this action in the least.

  108. 108
    Cookie Monster says:

    @Immanentize: Very freudian. I strongly approve!

  109. 109
    Noskilz says:

    I think it matters in the sense that a whole pile of petty, vindictive, short-sighted, backbiting fools have that much more incentive to make careless moves that could have legally binding consequences as they try to undercut those who have slighted them and make themselves look better. They don’t seem to really need much of an excuse to turn on one another, and a book like this seems like a really good excuse for a lot of people who aren’t known for being careful, thoughtful, or professional.

  110. 110
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: My list of Republicans who need to go from California is long, but Issa will always top that list. Pretty sure Rohrbacher already knows he’s a dead man walking, and Nunes is probably going to get primaried out of a job. But Issa needs to get his lying weasely ass unemployed.

  111. 111
    ruemara says:

    @Barbara: I hate to say it, but the young, white and liberal crowd that’s most pro weed legality, are absolutely the worst at understanding strategy, tactics and logical consequences.

  112. 112
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara: Hence, libertarians are Republicans who like to smoke pot.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    These people-to-people good vibes have been a subject of many a hit movie, Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhai Jan from 2015, comes to mind. It was a huge hit.

    A movie question. I was listening to a podcast featuring two women who described themselves as Desi Geek Girls. In discussing Bollywood movies, they mentioned two as fun examples of the genre: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani , from 2013 and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, from 1995. Do you have an opinion about either film?

  114. 114
    Immanentize says:

    @Barbara: Let’s see, I think Senator Cory Gardner is probably toast in 2020 because of Sessions plans for pot. Anyone else?

  115. 115
    Chip Daniels says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    that’s the battleground that Trump plays on

    Exactly.
    The traditional media wasn’t ready for a reality show, and insists on viewing Trump through the lens of a conventional politician.
    Trump can only be brought down by the same reality show dynamics, where the fickle audience turns on the crazy guy they liked in the first season.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    the young, white and liberal crowd that’s most pro weed legality, are absolutely the worst at understanding strategy, tactics and logical consequences.

    Maybe they need to put down the bong and get outside their damn bubbles for a few minutes. I am fully on the bandwagon that says that if CA legalizes weed, we also need to commute the sentences of every person currently in jail for possession, at a minimum.

  117. 117
    Immanentize says:

    @Cookie Monster: sometimes, no matter how I arrange my skirt, my slip shows….

  118. 118
    Barbara says:

    @🌷 Martin: I second and third this comment. The point of all these collective anecdotes is not whether every catty quote is important, it’s that no one thinks Trump is fit to be president, not even the people sincerely trying to serve him. Not temperamentally, which I think is pretty obvious but easier to dismiss, but also because he has clearly suffered significant cognitive decline. No one is going to save us from him. Ivanka is a twit who is just as shallow and focused on appearance as her father. And to boot, she and Jared are politically incompetent — they wanted Scaramucci because he was good on tv. Oh that turned out well. Priebus and Spicer may be loathsome but they were not amateurs. They are gone. Same for Katie Walsh. Trump is a narcissist with declining mental functioning. His malevolence is still 100% and it is starting to be matched by his inability to control himself even as well as he has in the recent past. Why would we dismiss this book? The White House certainly isn’t dismissing it or they wouldn’t be trying so hard to keep it from coming out.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Mary G and her friends in his district came within striking distance in 2016, so now Issa is running scared.

    Steve Knight in CA-25 isn’t as nationally notorious, but he’s an asswipe and he needs to go.

  120. 120
    randy khan says:

    I say flog this book hard. It confirms the narrative we want people to believe (because it’s true!): Trump is an ignorant, incompetent, lazy, petty person who should be within 5 miles of the Oval Office and who is just plain embarrassing. Maybe some of the specifics aren’t right, but the gist is, and truthiness (thank you, Stephen Colbert) is good enough for now.

    It may not move many votes, but any votes it moves will go our way, and it also may encourage some people who’d vote the wrong way to stay home. I want every tenth of a percent we can get.

  121. 121
    Barbara says:

    @Immanentize: Heller. Maybe one or two more California Republicans of the Mendocino variety.

  122. 122
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @ruemara: Bingo!

  123. 123
    Barbara says:

    @ruemara: It wasn’t a young liberal. It was a middle aged professional woman who has been smoking mary jane since the 60s. No doubt she can continue to do so without worrying about Sessions’ actions. That should make her even angrier but it just made her flippant and her tone really grated on me.

  124. 124
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: Luckily, we have a number of progressive initiatives that are now in progress due to the legalization vote. I haven’t fully read it, but I believe some of the sentence commutation is in there. At the very least, there are efforts to give former convicts for weed possession the right to start businesses based on weed.

    @Barbara: Yeah, they’re even more disappointing. Age should confer some sense.

    Sadly, no.

  125. 125
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Yutsano: sorry dude it’s hard to take you seriously after your perverted sex rant on the other thread

  126. 126

    @Brachiator: First of all I hate the moniker, Bollywood, makes Hindi movies seem like they are a derivative of
    Hollywood.
    I watched DDLJ in India that too in the theater but its not one of my favorites. It was a huge hit and took Shahrukh Khan’s career to stratospheric heights. The gender dynamics are cliched and cringe worthy. I have not watched Jawani, but the wedding number with Kalki, that I have linked above is from it. It does look like a lot of fun.

  127. 127
    Immanentize says:

    @Barbara: potentially potent against Collins in Maine, although no one will exploit it there.

    My guess is that any marijuana federal crackdowns will only happen in blue states.

  128. 128
    Barbara says:

    @Immanentize: The point is that it will be at the discretion of individual U.S. Attorneys to leverage draconian plea bargains. It will be used in red and blue states against powerless people who are mostly black or brown.

  129. 129
    Dmbeaster says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I’m a little disappointed here. For all the comments about how Democrats need to play hardball, once something arrives which looks like it, we’re quick to dismiss it as a wankfest.

    Agree with this. In substance, it is a wankfest, but as a practical matter, it is ideal for poisoning the perception of Trump. You want everyone to be wanking about it, and seeing Trump hereafter through the lens of how accurate was Wolff. You want everyone talking about his mental issues based on Wolff. You want to repeat the Bannon quotes endlessly. There is so much juice here, and you want the zeitgeist hereafter to be about these allegations about Trump.

    Just for starters, the whole “we did not collude with Russians” meme works for Trump because that is not the real issue, and evidence of active collusion will probably be weak (the one big unknown being advice on how to make best use of Russian fake news on social media). I personally think that active collusion is probably minimal since they were too stupid to know what to do. It should be about the vileness of simply accepting help from a hostile foreign power providing oppo research and peddling stolen emails. That is a crime itself without regard to collusion, and dickhead Don Jr. admits it in his emails. Echo Bannon’s observations endlessly that it was criminal, treasonous, unpatriotic, stupid, etc. Echo endlessly the comments that the Trumps are up to their necks in greasy Russian deals, money laundering, etc.

    Who cares if its just wanking when its a gold mine for hurting Trump in the one way he cannot handle. Many people were startled by his unhinged response, and his unhinged behavior is gold.

  130. 130
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Maybe they need to put down the bong and get outside their damn bubbles for a few minutes. I am fully on the bandwagon that says that if CA legalizes weed, we also need to commute the sentences of every person currently in jail for possession, at a minimum.

    There were discussions about this when Colorado began their experiment with legalization. Nothing much happened.

    The United States is one of just 22 countries in the world that does not guarantee “retroactive ameliorative relief,” or relaxation of sentences, for those convicted of a crime for which punishments are later eased. Sentences wouldn’t even be expunged from records.

    According to Amanda Solter, project director of Human Rights and Criminal Sentencing Reform Project for the University of San Francisco School of Law, “The only other countries that do this are places like Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, South Sudan, and a handful of countries in the Caribbean. Even Russia provides this right.”

    For many, there could be workarounds. Various state legal systems have mechanisms for retroactive ameliorative relief that could be ordered by the courts. And it’s not inconcievable that there would be a court decision opening the door for individual appeals or a mass presidential pardon (or gubernatorial ones, for that matter).

    But any of these measures would only bring partial relief to a selection of offenders. If the U.S. legalized possession of less than an ounce, for example, anyone prosecuted for having more than that or dealing the drug would stay in jail. And the countless state prisoners across the country would be at the mercy of 50 different judicial systems, boding poorly for those living in the American South and Southwest:

  131. 131
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @Gelfling 545: \ Sunny day in BUF today. A nice surprise as I worried about the drive home along the lake. Cold enough to freeze brass monkeys and a wind with a a hell of a cutting edge. We broke out the BIG coats for this trip to the theatre.

    Cheers

  132. 132
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Steve Knight in CA-25 isn’t as nationally notorious, but he’s an asswipe and he needs to go.

    Check out Jess Phoenix, volcanologist and candidate for CA-25.

    Or, on Twitter, @jessphoenix2018 :
    Volcano scientist 🌋, (D) Congressional candidate – California 25. Nonprofit founder, natural hazards expert, champion of evidence-based policymaking. 🇺🇸

  133. 133
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Maybe they need to put down the bong and get outside their damn bubbles for a few minutes. I am fully on the bandwagon that says that if CA legalizes weed, we also need to commute the sentences of every person currently in jail for possession, at a minimum.

    I’m not sure this needs to be addressed. My understanding is that what’s legal in the new law is what Arnold dropped down from a misdemeanor to a fine. Anyone who was in for possession prior to that should be out by now, and anyone since then paid their $234 or whatever and went home.

    Anyone in for possession should also fall afoul of the new law – for possessing too much, for dealing, for having an associated crime.

    All that said, I’d be perfectly fine if Brown commuted sentences even beyond that, just as a golden state fuck you to Sessions and whoever that ICE nazi is.

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    First of all I hate the moniker, Bollywood, makes Hindi movies seem like they are a derivative of Hollywood.

    Interesting. I’ve always taken the term as an acknowledgement of India a a huge, vibrant, independent producer of movies. When I first heard the term, I think that more movies were being made in India per year than in Hollywood. Now it’s just short hand (and I’ve seen UK box office reports that list successful non Hindi films), but your point is noted.

  135. 135
    Dmbeaster says:

    @germy: There are serious national security reasons for banning personal cell phone use in the White House, and security experts have been making this point since Trump took office. The White House does not have a competent security official to oversee these things, and has not instituted basic security measures. Obviously, the reason for the ban a year after the fact is likely to be for reasons other than security, but the ban itself was a good idea. The White House can issue secure cell phones utilizing their secure network for use in the White House, and did under Obama (who complained about the stripped down functionality of those phones – they could not play music for example).

  136. 136
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne: Incumbent vs generic polls:
    CA-25 -4
    CA-10 -8
    CA-39 -3
    CA-45 -4
    CA-48 -10
    CA-49 -10

    (I’m in CA-45) I’m guessing Rohrbacher and Issa retire if the Dem field thins out any. But if those polls play out, that’s a pick up of 6 just in CA. The danger for Dems is the top 2 primary. Lots of these races have 5-10 Dems announced. If the vote splits on the Dem side too much, the top 2 could both be Republicans.

    But worth noting that 4 of those races are in Orange County. OC may still be conservative, but we’re not so much white nationalist conservative here.

  137. 137
    gvg says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I had never heard the term Bollywood until you started commenting here and afterwards I have only encountered it a few times in the news when talking about international film earnings. I had sort of formed a picture of some city or area in India where all the films got made. I assumed it involved gossip news about all the doings of the famous actors and actresses. I can sort of see why you wouldn’t like the term, but i doubt I am the only one here that learned it from you and don’t have any other view except what you have taught us.

  138. 138
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @germy: All we want is a half-life beyond the BlunderDumb.

    @Amir Khalid: Brings to mind the dyslexic devil worshiper who sold his soul to Santa…

  139. 139
    KithKanan says:

    @Mnemosyne: Why is this making me think of “the minimal research he had done suggested that the name Ford Prefect would be nicely inconspicuous”?

  140. 140
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    Trump could claim that he was simply returning to past practice in sending a written state of the union address.

    I’m trying to imagine Trump voluntarily giving up on the chance to give a big speech to a fawning audience. Still not succeeding. If he actually does the video speech thing for the SOTU- and honestly I made that up as a tinfoil hat level theory- it will be a major sign of something terribly wrong.

  141. 141
    Roger Moore says:

    @Immanentize:

    I think Senator Cory Gardner is probably toast in 2020 because of Sessions plans for pot. Anyone else?

    Senator Gardner seems to agree. He’s threatening to block any appointments in the DOJ until Sessions reverses course.

  142. 142
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If he actually does the video speech thing for the SOTU . . . it will be a major sign of something terribly wrong.

    If he actually does the video speech thing for the SOTU . . .
    . . . then the Dems should all set up their laptops and liveblog the whole event.

  143. 143

    @gvg: I seldom if ever call it Bollywood. That’s how Hindi movies are referred to in popular culture here. I have been commenting here since President Obama was first elected, I have only commented about Hindi movies since the last two years since I have been rediscovering them. I was completely out of touch for almost 2 decades.
    P.S. You can call the Indian film industry by whatever name you want. I won’t lose sleep over it.

  144. 144
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Roger Moore: We’ll see if he follows through, but it underscores how any individual R Senator, Flake or Corker or Collins or McCain if he comes back, can throw blocks at trump if they really want to

  145. 145
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    If the vote splits on the Dem side too much, the top 2 could both be Republicans.

    Unless the incumbent Republicans don’t run, I don’t see how that happens, honestly. I guess maybe a major ratfucking operation with Republicans deciding among themselves which of their candidates to vote for, but I still don’t see it.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @KithKanan:

    I wasn’t thinking of that, but now I think you’re right. 😂

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to help, but “Bollywood” is often used as an adjective to describe a particular style of movie musical that has been influenced by Hindi films. Moulin Rouge! was probably the first one to acknowledge the stylistic debt.

  147. 147
    rikyrah says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    I’m getting a little pissed at the frequent “Hey fellow liberals, Wolff isn’t always reliable” posts and tweets some of our moral betters keep advising us to be aware of. I say, fuck that! These jackasses are spraying themselves with gasoline and now is the time to start flinging lit matches at them.

    We have heard some variation of Wolff’s stories throughout this nightmare. He’s put them all condensed together in a book – that’s what makes it different.

  148. 148

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, I know. MR was an unwatchable movie as was Slum Dog, which was marginally better. There is more to Hindi movies than song and dance numbers.

  149. 149
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dedc79:

    Wolff’s book makes Haberman look even worse than she already did, for coddling/protecting him.

    Cannot.
    Keep.
    Smile.
    Off.
    Face.

  150. 150
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    It is miserably cold here in the ATL; I can only imagine what it’s like for you in New England. (And I have the alleged advantage of being from frosty climes [Chicagoland]; if I were from a warm country, like you, I’m not sure how I could bear the cold.)

  151. 151
    moops says:

    @randy khan:

    Yes. This book is going to be the super-soaker wet blanket to the raving base. They will read it (those that still read) because it is the kind of thing they like. Reality TV muckraking. A pager-turner that is like a long transcript of a Jerry Springer episode. This coming season the crowd is now primed to turn on Trump, like a WWE superstar being turned out as a villain. There are no issues to pull in the issue voters. It’s all tribal and cult of personality crap.

  152. 152
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    If he actually does the video speech thing for the SOTU . . .
    . . . then the Dems should all set up their laptops and liveblog the whole event.

    Oh yeah.

  153. 153
    moops says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I honestly don’t think Trump can read a prepared speech. In person or on a camera for recording. Not something as long as a SOTU address. Whether because he would not be able to resist going off script, or if he literally cannot read a complete long text. Limited vocabulary, dementia, problems with his vision (or hearing it they earpiece him).

  154. 154
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: we are going ice skating!

  155. 155
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It ain’t cold yet. Saturday it’ll be cold. My son canceled a long-planned weekend ski trip.

  156. 156
    Yutsano says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: The Schaden is Freude to be sure.

  157. 157

    @SiubhanDuinne: I have lived in Maine. And I can withstand cold better than the heat. I have all the winter gear necessary to withstand the cold. Its the lack of sunlight that bothers me more.

  158. 158
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Enjoy.

    I’ll be thinking of you.

    From a warm distance.

  159. 159
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I understand about the absence of light. Took me a long time to figure out the connection between my annual depression and the short days/long nights.

    I would have been a shit Scandinavian.

  160. 160
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Indeed. It’s been getting quite the workout the last few days. OH PLS BABY JEEBUS LET IT CONTINUE.

  161. 161
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m trying to imagine Trump voluntarily giving up on the chance to give a big speech to a fawning audience. Still not succeeding.

    Fair point.

    If he actually does the video speech thing for the SOTU- and honestly I made that up as a tinfoil hat level theory- it will be a major sign of something terribly wrong.

    At least that would be a step up from delivering the SOTU address as a series of Twitter messages.

  162. 162
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Hills or XC? And where are you? A temp of ~25° is bloody cold in metro Atlanta, quite tolerable in a New England or Great Lakes state.

  163. 163
    patrick II says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Trump is not going to back out of the SOU unless aides tie him to a chair. He is a “TV star” who has no idea of the level of his own incompetence. Plus, he has learned (mostly) to read from a teleprompter.

  164. 164
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Hills. He was going to go to VT. The forecast there is for a *high* in the negative teens on Saturday. Me, I’m old now, and I won’t ski if it’s below zero. Just no fun in it at that level.

  165. 165
    JustRuss says:

    @HeleninEire:

    Trump’s an idiot and an asshole and stupid. His kids are the same.

    The end. Not buying the book.

    What, no spoiler alert?

  166. 166
    moops says:

    @patrick II: I don’t think Trump is currently capable of reading a SOTU from a teleprompter. Literally incapable. Degraded faculties-level incapable.

  167. 167
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Roger Moore:
    It will not be a fawning audience that Trump faces at the State of The Union address. Congressional Republicans are not his base, they’re people who must work with him; and like anyone else in that position, they have found the experience less than encouraging.

  168. 168
    J R in WV says:

    @MattF:

    You all need to read the very next to last sentence of the Hollywood Reporter article others have linked to. It is the most important sentence in that article, in the whole book being discussed.

    He is having TIA, or actual strokes, and it is only a matter of a little time before he has a really big one. He won’t take medical advice, because he can’t admit his body is failing him. Who will bet with me that he goes to his scheduled exam? I got money says he won’t.

    Same with the State of the Union, won’t happen live if he can’t read any more. Can’t happen!

  169. 169
    J R in WV says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Who can say what people professing a religion actually believe in their hearts?

    There is an “official” Church of Satan that attempts to use the First Amendment and a few other phrases in the founding documents to place religious monuments anywhere Christians attempt to place their religious monuments in public space.

    Statues of Lord Satan where monuments to the Ten Commandments are placed, for example. Google images could probably provide photos of some pretty good statuary, actually.

    It may be a tiny bit more serious than Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the colanders his worshipers sometimes wear. One guy managed to get a judge to force the Department of Motor Vehicles to take his Driver’s License picture with him wearing the colander of the Holy Pasta. I think these are all mostly agnostics or atheists ranking on theocratic fundamentalist kinda not-really-christians, who show no sign of actually obeying Christ’s recommendations for getting into heaven.

    There are Bibles with all the actual words of Jesus printed in red. Some think that the Holy Prosperity Christian Bibles omit those words, lest someone notice the contradiction between the sermons of holy greed and the statements of the Christ. Thomas Jefferson on the other hand prepared a Bible with only the statements attributable to Christ; it was a slim book.

    I read the other day that Pope Francis eats in a communal dining hall to avoid death by poison, not because he fears his own death but because his reform work isn’t done and he believes people are working to stop that reform.

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