Open Thread: Michael Wolff, Luckiest Fameball of 2018

True, the year is yet young. But Wolff has already made his mark on the calendar highlights reel — in much the same way, his critics would say, as a little dog leaves his mark on the leg of the couch — and that seems to be pretty much what Wolff lives for. A description by Michelle Cottle, for TNR, back in 2004:

It’s difficult for non-New Yorkers to fully grasp the Michael Wolff phenomenon. In the most literal terms, Wolff, from 1998 until he decamped for Vanity Fair this winter, wrote the weekly “This Media Life” column for New York magazine, spinning out stylish, pointed observations on everything from Viacom’s power struggles to Rupert Murdoch’s love life. From the start, Wolff was adamant about being neither a media reporter (working the phones isn’t really his style) nor a media critic (“that dour schoolmarm figure”). Instead, he put himself at the center of the story, giving readers a first-person glimpse of the inner workings of the media biz as it happened to, and all around, him. Uninterested in the working press, Wolff’s special focus (fixation, even) has always been on the power players–the moguls–most of whom he has relentlessly and repeatedly skewered, scraping away the sheen of power and money to reveal the warts, flab, and psychic scars plaguing that rarefied breed of (in Wolff’s view) super-wealthy narcissists who buy, run, and ruin media companies for the gratification of their insatiable egos…

So should Washington’s political chieftains be concerned that the scourge of New York’s mogul class–the man who claims partial credit for Michael Eisner’s current job crisis–has them in his sights? Not really. Whatever his gifts in chronicling the follies and foibles of the Manhattan media elite, Wolff is neither as insightful nor as entertaining when dissecting politics. As New York journalists are the first to acknowledge, Wolff is the quintessential New York creation, fixated on culture, style, buzz, and money, money, money. (For Wolff, nothing is more erotic than a multibillionaire.) Though not of the mogul class, he arguably understands the culture and mindset in which it thrives better than almost anyone. The same cannot be said of politics…

So last decade! A certain ‘Manhattan media elite’ (okay, media elite target) now squats in the Oval Office… and Michael Wolff, presciently, made sure to be there when the occupation started. As it is with Donny Dollhands, it’s not whether the stories in his new book are “true” or “false”; it’s how much attention those stories can draw. Quite a lot!

From Paul Farhi, at the Washington Post, “Michael Wolff tells a juicy tale in his new Trump book. But should we believe it?”:

A provocateur and media polemicist, Wolff has a penchant for stirring up an argument and pushing the facts as far as they’ll go, and sometimes further than they can tolerate, according to his critics. He has been accused of not just re-creating scenes in his books and columns, but of creating them wholesale…

According to an unauthorized report in the Guardian newspaper and a lengthy excerpt in New York magazine, Wolff portrays Trump and his closest aides as astonished by his electoral victory in 2016, and wholly unprepared for office. Trump, he reports, had no idea who former House speaker John A. Boehner was when Roger Ailes, a campaign adviser, recommended him as chief of staff. Top advisers and allies doubted the president’s intelligence and openly mocked him.

But Wolff’s sharpest revelations concern comments attributed to Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s campaign chairman and former White House chief strategist. In on-the-record interviews with Wolff, Bannon called a meeting between the Trump campaign’s top advisers and Russian representatives in mid-2016 “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” — furthering the narrative of Trump’s harshest critics…

Trump isn’t exactly disputing Wolff’s reporting, nor has Bannon backed down from them. In a statement issued Wednesday, Trump blasted his former top adviser, saying in part, “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. . . . Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well.”

The fireworks almost certainly guarantee that the book will become a bestseller…

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED — SUCKERS!

And the timing!… just when Trump and Kim are engaged in (yet another) nuclear dick-waving tweet-contest, and Mueller is said to be ramping up the Russiagate investigations. A veritable gift from the Trickster God, for a guy with a book to sell.

But it’s not as though the White House didn’t know this was coming. Axios clip from Mike ‘Win the Morning’ Allen, back in November:

What we’re hearing: My conversations with the West Wing show there’s already a frenzy inside to figure out who told Wolff what. Wolff tells me key players have been barraging him with calls, trying to figure out what his sources said about them: “It’s the fundamental dynamic of this White House — people divided against each other.”…

The theme: “Many of Trump’s closest advisers were politically inexperienced and untested; from the start, bitter rivalries if not open warfare paralyzed the new presidency. And at the center of the White House was Trump himself: impulsive, fiery, and wholly new to the world of politics.”…

Wolff’s best quote: “Perhaps not since the Tudors has palace intrigue been so corrosive and lethal, nor the king so volatile and so in need of instant gratification.”…

Given almost two months’ lead time, you’d think a semi-competent media team would’ve had something a little more professional than the current screaming-sirens fustercluck, yes?

167 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    bystander says:

    Moanin’ Joe has a full panel flogging Wolff’s new reporting, including hints of the savaging of Wolff’s reportage technique ahead. Panel includes leading nepotistic hack Podhoretz.

    So, tweets are never fully visible on here as tweets, and France Musique’s graphics never fully clarify nor can I use their buttons to hear music. I might as well be a cat when it comes to understanding my iPad.

  3. 3
    opiejeanne says:

    Mornin’ Joe can stuff it; the excerpts are a scream.

    That thing about Trump not knowing who John Boehner is really got me and I can totally believe it.

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    The reactions of Trump and Bannon confirm Wolff’s reporting, IMO.

  5. 5

    @Betty Cracker: I tend to agree, if it were off the mark, Bannon would say so. He’s not known to be shy.

  6. 6
    opiejeanne says:

    I love the image of this guy just letting himself into the White House and making like a fly on the wall. They knew he was there, they just let him hear and see everything.

  7. 7
    bystander says:

    The reported memo of Gary Cohn detailing what a total idiot twitler is and how he’s surrounded by morons is being discussed on Joe. I can’t hear it all because of the guffawing. Here in the tv room, not on the Joe set.

  8. 8
    Aimai says:

    Why wouldn’t it be true? But if its not, as Steve M at No More Mr Nice Blog points out, welcome to our world where the most obvious lies about HRC and the Obamas were peddled every day. The media is about to realize how profitable anti trump coverage is. Maybe we will finally see an end to preferential option gor fawning coverage—you know who is really pissed? Maggie Haberman— who is going to give a fuck, or a buck, for whatever dull hagiography she has produced by interviewing a man whose tweets tell all? She can’t compete with Wolff ‘s racy style.

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    @LauraAJarrett
    WH adviser to @ElizLanders on the cause of the voter fraud commission unwind: “It was a s— show,” adding that the commission went “off the rails.” Another source close to VP admitted, “A member of the commission suing the commission is not ideal.”

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    @opiejeanne: One small example of how Trump’s narcissism can be exploited. Apparently Wolff had written an article Trump considered flattering, so he gave him full access. We can be 100% sure foreign leaders will lay similar traps as long as this loony is in the White House.

  11. 11
    Kay says:

    The anecdote about Trump telling the same stories over and over again makes sense to me. His tweets are either “I’m great…” or “I hate…” – he has nothing else to say.

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Aimai: Oooo, great point about Haberman! Haha!

  13. 13
    Raven says:

    The sore throat and cough have kicked in and our plane doesn’t leave until 9:30 am out here. I’ve been on the edge the entire time we’ve been here but I think I just powered through given the situation. The National championship tickets came and ,after a day of pondering, when I heard that fucking scumbag was going to the game I put them up for sale at $2000 each. We had a nice day visiting with my buddy. We started up on Palos Verdes watching the whale watchers. Then back to Pasadena for so half price Rose Bowl swag and lunch with my brother. Then back to the San Pedro fish market for ceviche and mariachi music as a huge liner pulled past the Iowa. We get back to the ATL at about 6:30 after a 45 minute layover up from Ozark. I managed to repair both the stovetop and oven for my sis so I’m glad I could do something to help out here.

  14. 14

    Every time I hear about the folk in this White House I think of this scene*.

    *It was filmed in front of a building I used to work in.

  15. 15
    Kay says:

    @bystander:

    The reported memo of Gary Cohn

    What heroes all these people are, huh? They all took these jobs and they’re all frantically cashing in and enriching themselves and their friends while bitching about Trump to anyone who wanders in there. They’re all asshole cowards. Every one of them.

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    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    “A member of the commission suing the commission is not ideal.”

    And winning. He’s the real reason the commission was disbanded. Remember when everyone was trashing him for sitting on the commission?

  18. 18
    opiejeanne says:

    @Aimai: Good. I hope it keeps Maggie awake at night.

    I said something similar to my husband when I found the NY Magazine article and we laughed over it, that suddenly reporting on the stupidity in the White House and identifying it as such will be an exciting new thing for the craven media to do. It’s about damned time. WaPo has been pretty good but the NYDN has had the best front pages for more than a year now, skewering the liars in the WH.

  19. 19
    opiejeanne says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m pretty sure a couple of countries have got his number on this already. It will only get worse.

  20. 20
    Peej01 says:

    Omarosa can’t be pleased either. She was also planning on a tell-all book.

  21. 21
    Quinerly says:

    @opiejeanne: Morning Joe is essentially agreeing with everything in the book.

  22. 22
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Bannon looks like someone who is always drunk and according to common wisdom, people tell the unadulterated truth when they’re drunk. I wonder if Bannon is crazy enough to run for President against Trump in 2020. They’re all such bizarre folk that anything could happen.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I trashed him for sitting on the commission. I still don’t think he should have done it. They disbanded because states wouldn’t give them the info they wanted. I think it’s a good example of how federalism can be turned to liberal ends- states wouldn’t turn over election data and “a commission” doesn’t have any authority to force them to do so. We had federal voting rights laws like the VRA because the federal government requires statutory authority to require states to do X or Y regarding voting. They can’t just appoint a commission and start making demands. No state has to follow that. Bannon wouldn’t know any of that:

    White House officials laid blame Wednesday less with Democrats than with the ex-colleague they said was responsible for its creation: former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was slammed in a statement by Trump on Wednesday after accusing Donald Trump Jr. of treason.
    Bannon insisted on the commission’s creation, and pushed hard for it, one White House official said.
    “This was his idea, and it was not a good one,” the official said.
    The commission was a “blundered Bannon rollout” and “should’ve never been in place,” another person familiar with the effort said.
    It was just hours after Trump said in a statement that Bannon had “lost his mind” that the White House announced that the commission would be no more.
    “Steve Bannon was immensely focused on the voter fraud commission,” a person familiar with the commission said. “It struck me as a strong signal to something he was very passionate about when he was in the White House.”
    The pro-Trump website Breitbart News, which was led by Bannon before he joined Trump’s campaign and which he has since rejoined, has been vocal in pushing allegations of mass voter fraud. Kobach, who led the commission, had written paid columns for Breitbart.

  24. 24
    Quinerly says:

    @opiejeanne: Wolff has most, if not all, of the interviews on tape. Axios reporting. Wolff will be a guest on MJ Monday.

  25. 25
    opiejeanne says:

    @Quinerly: Oh, I misunderstood. I thought he had a panel lined up to trash it, so that’s good but the sentiment holds for most of the rest of his commentary.

    I’m trying to decide if we should buy this book and whether hard bound or digital media. .

  26. 26
    Quinerly says:

    @Patricia Kayden:Reportedly he has said Trump won’t run. Bannon said he will run against Pence.

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    Speaking of Haberman:

    Uh, maybe Wolff played you AND the Trumpsters, Maggie? LOL!

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    And I bet Wolff knew their reactions would confirm what he said, which is why he said what he said.

  29. 29
    opiejeanne says:

    @Quinerly: That’s interesting. It.has some info that points to certain people who should be interviewed by Mueller, although I’ve attributed such super-human powers to the man that I figure he’s like the Mikado: he’s got a “little” list that probably covers everyone in the book and more.

  30. 30
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Just heard that commissioner interviewed on NPR (he’s from Maine). He said as far as he knew, the commission had zero findings.

  31. 31
    Quinerly says:

    @opiejeanne: Panel is quite good. Worth a listen when they run the repeat of the first 33 mins. First 33 mins was without commercial break. (Poco’s bladder counted down the minutes because his mom refused to leave the third floor at their usual time 😉)

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @Aimai: This. All of this.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    I can’t believe I’m going to have to buy another book.

  34. 34
    Quinerly says:

    @opiejeanne: Jeremy Bash just implied that Bannon has already been interviewed by Mueller. Says the book revelations will prompt another interview.

  35. 35
    Quinerly says:

    @Baud: And read it.😈

  36. 36
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    I’m sorry, I think you were wrong. He served as the “conscience” of the commission, and as it turns out, he did good. A commission composed solely of partisans is just another Joe McCarthy waiting to happen.

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    @Quinerly: One step at a time.

  38. 38
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    The great thing is the Sunday shows, the morning shows, the cable shows, 60 minutes, etc. are ALL going to invite Michael Wolff on to promote the book. It will drive Twitler nutz.

    The book is already a runaway best seller, hitting No. 1 on Amazon’s best sellers list in a matter of hours. Which means other writers, publishers, outlets will want to cash in, leading to an avalanche of books trashing Drumpf.

    HA!

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    At lease ebook it. Don’t waste a single tree on it.

  40. 40
    JR says:

    @MattF: I forgot Bannon comparing himself to *Thomas* Cromwell.

    He knows what happened to him, right?

    Maybe its about high time for an *Oliver* Cromwell to dispense with the House of Trump.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The commission was chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, but its driving force was Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. It was Kobach who sent a letter to states in June seeking information from their voter rolls. The majority of states refused to comply with the request, according to press reports.
    Kobach told the Topeka Capital-Journal last week that although the commission’s work had been delayed because of the lawsuits, it would meet in January. The group’s last meeting was in September.
    Dunlap’s case was one of eight pending lawsuits against the commission. Shortly after the White House announced that Trump had dissolved the commission on Wednesday, the Justice Department filed notices in each of the cases alerting judges to the development.

    Kobach at one point claimed the information he wanted was publicly available so some states said “then get it yourself”. They don’t have any obligation to follow orders from Mike Pence’s commission. There’s already a law that tells them what they have to turn over – the Help America Vote Act, which Hillary Clinton helped draft and pass after Bush v Gore.

  42. 42
    Quinerly says:

    @Baud: Baby steps….please tell me you don’t have small feet, though.😈

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    Conservatives never do this. They never lend credibility to liberal conspiracy theories. He’s still saying his only problem with the commission was the lack of transparency. The problem with the commission is it’s based on a lie.

  44. 44
    debbie says:

    @Quinerly:

    Kobach at one point claimed the information he wanted was publicly available so some states said “then get it yourself”.

    The Maine AG pointed out that even Kobach couldn’t provide all of the information the commission requested.

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    He didn’t give it any credibility; at the end of the day, he undermined it.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    There were 8 lawsuits pending, 7 from states. There would have been 7 if he hadn’t have accepted the job.

  47. 47
    Quinerly says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I chuckled yesterday when this all hit (and consumed my day). As the tidbits about Bannon and his quotes were dropping, we had a BJ commenter (not a regular commenter) who couldn’t understand who would buy/read the book.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Quinerly: My feet are YUUGE. Definitely bigger than Kim Jong Un’s.

  49. 49
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @debbie: Hell, I’m gonna follow Abby Hoffman’s long ago advice (Cite #1) and steal the book off piratebay.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    Kobach sells an alternate system for cross checking data than the one most states use. When it’s all said and done I bet this comes down to some sleazy grift to profit off that system.

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    I just disagree. The “problem” they are fixing is made up, a lie. Democrats working with them on the fake problem had gotten us to the place where we are now.

  52. 52
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Twitter machine is telling me Haberman threw a fit on cnn over the book.

    Gawd, I love the smell of professional jealousy in the morning…. smells like victory.

  53. 53
    Quinerly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Wolff played everyone…including R. Murdoch. As an aside, interesting observation by Kasie Hunt (Hill reporter for MSNBC)…she says the Trump bashing by Bannon will cause McConnell to circle the wagons around Trump…support him more…..Otherwise known as party before country.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    She’s awful. Other than her book has the exclusive Trump access given the NYTimes anything newsworthy?

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: @Quinerly: Not me. Just living in the same world as trump is more than enough for me. I am not about to immerse myself in his fake presidency.

  56. 56
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Aimai:

    Haberman is already frosty about the level of access Wolff got. I’m sure her book is full of such bombshell insights as to what Trump’s favorite color is, which brand of golf clubs he recommends and the sense of style Melania has delivered…

  57. 57
    germy says:

    In the excerpt I saw, drumpf refers to Maggie H. as a “nutbag”

    I wonder if that will affect her coverage of him. (LOL)

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Re: lawsuits. Yes, there turned out to be lawsuits. But you didn’t know that going in. i bow to your knowing more about these things than I do, but I still think his participation was a positive.

  59. 59
    debbie says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    I bet you’ll have plenty of company!

  60. 60
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @germy: how can a stenographer change coverage? it’s what they do.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: That’s like extra sprinkles on an ice cream sundae.

  62. 62
    germy says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    how can a stenographer change coverage? it’s what they do.

    Surely she’ll be tempted to slip in a few mean asides.

    I mean, look how she acts on twitter.

  63. 63
    debbie says:

    @Quinerly:

    I had to Google the author. I’d assumed he was with the WSJ, but he writes for GQ, USA Today, etc. What kind of reporting did Trump and others expect to come from him?

  64. 64
    Quinerly says:

    @opiejeanne: Everybody keeps talking about how they gave Wolff a sofa. That makes me smile. I can just see him lounging around with his tape recorder. Eat your heart out Maggie H. No sofa for you!

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    Maggie should give up and just write Hillary Clinton: The Emailing and get all Trump’s billionaire friends to use some of their their tax cuts to buy millions of copies.

  66. 66
    Quinerly says:

    @debbie: He wrote a flattering book on Murdoch. Wrote a flattering Trump piece during the campaign. We need to Google!

  67. 67

    @Baud: YUUUGE feet, you’re not a clown, are you?

  68. 68

    I see Trump’s attorney sent a cease and desist letter to Bannon, saying Bannon signed a non-disclosure agreement. That is hilarious.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    This book will become a mini-series

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    @Quinerly:

    Don’t know if I can take all the fawning!

  71. 71
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    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Quite the opposite. Since we now know that hate trumps love, I plan to campaign on clown hate. Lock Them Up!

  73. 73
    bystander says:

    @Quinerly:

    Wolff played everyone…

    If I understood Heileman on Joe this AM, Wollf has consistently to date defended the Trump administration and lionized Bannon. Sounds as if he played Bannon to get these admissions.

    Nooners is on now, so I have to flip between her and Phineas/TCM.

  74. 74
  75. 75
    Quinerly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Poco is scared of clowns.

  76. 76

    @Baud: (Relieved, as I’m sure is Omnes.)

  77. 77
    JGabriel says:

    Patricia Kayden:

    I wonder if Bannon is crazy enough to run for President against Trump in 2020.

    I think Bannon believes Trump won’t run in 2020 – due to impeachment, the 25th Amendment, being forced to resign, or just getting bored/frustrated with the job.

  78. 78
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    Quinerly says:

    @bystander: My take away from MJ is there really are no surprises in the book. The panel knew it all in real time. They just didn’t have anything on the record. Wolff has everything on the record and a shitload of recorded conversations.

  80. 80
    Peale says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): yep. We now are at the stage where everyone winds up in court over these stupid NDAs, which are another Trump addition to government that has to go. I was hoping that it would be someone less despicable than Bannon to take the role as “freedom fighter” but then he’s probably average despicable for anyone involved in this administration.

  81. 81
    MattF says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): I can only imagine what would happen if Trump and Bannon suing each other actually gets off the ground. Sounds like the mother lode.

  82. 82
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @germy: Drumpf has publicly trashed her before and it only made her more servile.

    The Republican nominee then took aim at Times presidential campaign correspondent Maggie Haberman, a former POLITICO reporter who has covered the Trump campaign extensively.

    Donald Trump suggests he may revoke New York Times’ press credentials

    “They don’t write good. They have people over there, like Maggie Haberman and others, they don’t — they don’t write good,” he said. “They don’t know how to write good.”

    Haberman replied on Twitter, “I think he means ‘good about him,’ to be fair.”

    So he repeatedly insults her in broken English, while threatening to ban the entire paper and how does she respond – by groveling.

    Total Disaster!

    Sad!

  83. 83
    bystander says:

    Apropos of nothing, why can’t Marie Osmond play Sarah Chuckleberry Handjob in the movie? She’s got the right nasal twang and flat, lifeless vowel sounds, even if she has a few years on Sorry Sarah.

  84. 84

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): A non-disclosure agreement, hmmm IANAL, but who was paying Bannon’s salary? I don’t believe that Trump was.

  85. 85
    Quinerly says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning from Poco and his tribe!

  86. 86
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    James E. Powell says:

    Among other horrible things, this episode shows again, emphatically, why the press/media absolutely love Trump. Why, if that boring Hillary Clinton had won the election, they’d all have to be writing about some damned policy proposal. Who wants to write that stuff?

  88. 88
    Jeffro says:

    @MattF:

    I am writing this in case anyone else remembers. I could swear he was a significant figure. He was always talking to the media, and other people talked about him, too. Anthony Scaramucci (also a real person, I think) said that he possessed a, er, flexibility and self-regard that most human beings lack. Would I have made that up? That seems like a mental image I wouldn’t choose to have.

    WIN

  89. 89
    Quinerly says:

    Bannon’s statement of continued support for Trump: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/04/.....index.html

  90. 90
    bystander says:

    @Quinerly: Joe always knows everything in advance, but it would be unseemly for him to demonstrate his omniscience so brazenly. Joe has to be subtle by extending a daily platform for twitler to bloviate from unchallenged by either Joe or Meeka for weeks on end. But now Joe has twitler right where he wants him and the truth can finally be told.

  91. 91
    satby says:

    @bystander: Marie Osmond is too good looking to play the face of banal evil that is Huckabee-Sanders.

  92. 92
    Ken says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    We can be 100% sure foreign leaders will lay similar traps as long as this loony is in the White House.

    I’m sure the Russian TV crew only tried to plant bugs in the Oval Office when Trump invited them in, but now I have the wonderful image of them planting physical traps. A bucket of whitewash on the door to the executive washroom, a joy buzzer on the handset of the red phone….

  93. 93

    @MattF: I think for his time in the White House he was on our dime.

  94. 94
    Baud says:

    @James E. Powell: They’d all be breathlessly covering fake scandals and the GOP impeachment effort.

  95. 95

    @James E. Powell: Ah, there were always emails, and what Bill was up to.

  96. 96
    MattF says:

    @Jeffro: So, Scaramucci emerges from the fray smelling like… well, not a rose, exactly, but not all that badly.

  97. 97
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Quinerly: It’s an anti-Trump book and Trump’s popularity is in the dumps. Everyone and their dog will buy that book. It gives Democrats more ammunition for next November. Our side doesn’t have to lie about pizza child predator rings when we attack our opposition. We simply need to repeat facts.

  98. 98
    Ken says:

    @JGabriel: I’m in the club that says a cheeseburger-induced heart attack is more likely than any political mechanism, especially one that requires the other Republicans to act.

  99. 99
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @bystander: That’s how Joe McGinniss (link) would get inside access.

  100. 100

    @Baud: Don’t you be talking about book buying that way.

  101. 101
    bystander says:

    @Quinerly: And greetings to the Poco tribe. It’s a gray, snowy morning in Manhattan. Just glad I do not have to start mentally preparing this morning’s wardrobe for the cold, wet trudge to work.

    Jammies and another cup of coffee!

  102. 102
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    There will be lawsuits on the DHS effort too. Obama started the DHS effort to secure voting systems– the Help America Vote Act is the federal law that enables that- and now Trump says he will turn it to voter fraud, but there will be lawsuits over whether DHS has the authority to enter that realm under HAVA. They need to follow the laws. They can’t just order states to do things without some legal authority. Kobach was “requesting” compliance because he doesn’t have any legal authority to order compliance.

    Maybe you’re right and being “at the table” is worthwhile but there’s an actual phrase for this in activism “at the tablism” and it generally means some sort of awful compromise that no one had to make.

  103. 103
    JPL says:

    @opiejeanne: Trump had tweeted about Boehner previously, so the assumption is that section is wrong. I agree with out, because Trump can easily forget a name.

    It appears that Wolff had praised the new president and that’s how he gained access. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of us.

  104. 104
    Quinerly says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I ordered mine within 15 minutes of the first reports yesterday.😉 $20 on Amazon.

  105. 105
    MattF says:

    @Baud: It’s a good candidate for reading on your Kindle. Read it and then toss it into the bit bucket.

  106. 106
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James E. Powell:

    they’d all have to be writing about some damned policy proposal.

    Why? They never did before.

  107. 107
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Quinerly: He has to do that or the Mercers will cut off his wingnut welfare.

  108. 108
    debbie says:

    @Quinerly:

    Even more unbelievable that Trump would trust him then. Mister “I Trust My Own Instincts” indeed!

  109. 109
    rikyrah says:

    If there hadn’t of been multiple stories saying the same thing, here and there, nobody would believe Wolff. As it is, I believe everything that he wrote. Nothing in Dolt45’s Administration makes me believe otherwise.

  110. 110
    MattF says:

    @James E. Powell: Policy?? Ha ha ha.

  111. 111
    Quinerly says:

    @bystander: And a top of the morning to you. Still unbelievably cold here in St. Louis.

  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    @Quinerly:
    Morning to Poco and the tribe 😄😻

  113. 113
    Kay says:

    @James E. Powell:

    I think it was 100% true when Trump said they all want him to win re-election because he’s good for them. It had that uncomfortable feeling of something everyone knows but no one wants to say. It’s a partnership, a collaboration. Trump doesn’t hate the NYTimes- he loves the NYTimes, and they love him. It’s phony.

    I wish the WaPo would get more traction with their stuff. They had a good piece on the bullshit that is Ivanka’s business. She’s awful “within the industry” which is really saying something when we’re talking about the garment industry. She’s a bad actor even among those employers.

  114. 114
    Quinerly says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Mercers cut him off yesterday.

  115. 115
    MattF says:

    @JPL: Well, remember, we’re talking short-attention-span. It’s possible that someone on Fox mentioned Boehner, and then there was tweet. But five minutes later, nothing.

  116. 116

    @Quinerly: It’s cold here too, 48 outside the cave.

  117. 117
    Jeffro says:

    Hey now that the ‘voter fraud commission’ is kaput, it’d be nice to see national Dems do a victory dance/rally the troops and step up their efforts to
    – get people registered to vote
    – draw attention to Voter ID restrictions where they exist (so that folks can start obtaining the right ID now, or better yet get those restrictions challenged/overturned)
    – also start talking about the Census and how important it is to fully fund/staff that effort

  118. 118
    bystander says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I don’t think that was the plan in McGinnis’s approach to Palin, tho. Wolff has provided plenty for the trumputinites to use against him to try and discredit the book.

    @satby: You’re right about Marie’s looks, but I’m sure without the orthopedic make-up and Spanx Marie and a skilled make-up artist can give Marie that face that says, “I look like I have two faces because I do”.

  119. 119
    MattF says:

    @Jeffro: There’s a specific effort to undercount POCs in the census; should focus on beating that down.

  120. 120
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @JPL:

    It appears that Wolff had praised the new president and that’s how he gained access. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of us.

    That’s why I started praising Baud early – so I can write the first tell-all administration book in 2021.

  121. 121
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Trump did not enjoy his own inauguration. He was angry that A-level stars had snubbed the event, disgruntled with the accommodations at Blair House, and visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears.

    No wonder she doesn’t want to live with him.

  122. 122
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    a presidential couple had maintained separate rooms. In the first days, he ordered two television screens in addition to the one already there, and a lock on the door, precipitating a brief standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room. He ­reprimanded the housekeeping staff for picking up his shirt from the floor: “If my shirt is on the floor, it’s because I want it on the floor.” Then he imposed a set of new rules: Nobody touch anything, especially not his toothbrush. (He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade.) Also, he would let housekeeping know when he wanted his sheets done, and he would strip his own bed.

    If he was not having his 6:30 dinner with Steve Bannon, then, more to his liking, he was in bed by that time with a cheeseburger, watching his three screens and making phone calls
    (link)

    Lawrence O’Donnell says the reason he wont let anyone touch his sheets is because he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s incontinent.

  123. 123
    Baud says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    The Naked Truth about Baud! 2020!

  124. 124
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Such a shame about Maggie. Her dad was a classy writer.

  125. 125
    bystander says:

    @Quinerly: After a lifetime in KC and three years of college in St. Louis, I have a distinct recollection of winter in the Midwest. Snowsuit!

  126. 126
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    I told you Dunlap would come through. He won his suit, too.

  127. 127
    JPL says:

    @MattF: It would be surprising is mr. short attention span, remembered

  128. 128
    satby says:

    @Jeffro: Jason Kander was all over Twitter doing that as soon as the announcement broke yesterday. His organization is doing good work IMO.

  129. 129
    Quinerly says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: LOD said last night the reason Trump strips his own bed in the WH and won’t let the staff do it is because Trump wets the bed at night. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.😈

  130. 130
    Kay says:

    It’s kind of interesting that after 30 years of happily promoting anti-union propaganda so many journalists are themselves organizing:

    Here he discusses why he supports the Los Angeles Times Guild:
    After 47 years of proudly working for this non-union newspaper, I will be voting January 4 in favor of bringing the NewsGuild to the Los Angeles Times.
    It has been a painful emotional journey to reach that decision.
    I’m not casting my vote based on the Guild’s talking points. I think they’re over-optimistic. Also I am sure our euphoria over victory will be overtaken by some degree of factionalism in the ranks. But I know we can deal with one another.
    I’m voting yes because our ownership has eliminated any vestiges of Otis’s glow, and I have concluded that organizing is the only way to deal with our ownership.

    It’s different when it’s your job. You, as opposed to all those other unworthy whiners, should be treated respectfully and decently.

  131. 131
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Trump’s staff reportedly believed him to be semi-literate

    “He didn’t process information in any conventional sense. He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semiliterate.”

    Former Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh reportedly said working with Trump in those instances was “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

    Priebus had his own reservations: He had come out of his first long meeting with Trump thinking it had been a disconcertingly weird experience. Trump talked nonstop and constantly repeated himself.

    “Here’s the deal,” a close Trump associate told Priebus. “In an hour meeting with him, you’re going to hear 54 minutes of stories, and they’re going to be the same stories over and over again.

    The constant repeating of the same stories tells me he’s not semi-illiterate, rather he’s in significant cognitive decline.

  132. 132
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    You did. And that’s true, he himself did come thru.

  133. 133
    bystander says:

    @Baud:

    The Naked Truth about Baud! 2020!

    Bet “Hot Pets of BJ Jackals” still outsells that “sizzler”.

  134. 134
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Quinerly: perhaps he was entertaining some Russian hookers for the evening.

  135. 135
    MattF says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Yeah. It’s called perseveration. It’s normal in children, but in adults it’s a sign of neurological issues.

  136. 136
    Kay says:

    @Jeffro:

    Democrats can also expand voting rights in the states they control, which many of them do. Virginia is the best recent example.

  137. 137
    Quinerly says:

    @bystander: Yep. I gave up growing up on the coast of NC to live in St. Louis (Soulard). But in related news, Poco and I are hitting the road in now less than two weeks. New Mexico bound for 5 weeks! It can be cold…but a dry cold. May I ask where you went to school? Law school at SLU is what brought this beach chick here in 1982.

  138. 138
  139. 139
    Quinerly says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Funny you should mention that…read that there is a passage in THE BOOK that someone had to explain to Trump what golden showers are. He asked when he was briefed on the dossier.

    Found the link: http://www.newsweek.com/top-20.....non-769899

  140. 140
    DSC says:

    @Kay: so succinct and perfectly precise. Thanks for that!
    “I’m great” or “I hate”

  141. 141
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I’m voting yes because our ownership has eliminated any vestiges of Otis’s glow, and I have concluded that organizing is the only way to deal with our ownership.

    My God. The only way to deal with ownership is to submit or resign. Some people have no respect for the creative disruption of the market.

  142. 142
    JMG says:

    The storm has reached my home. Latest forecast 12-18 inches with 40 mph winds followed by below zero temperatures on Fri night and Saturday. Maybe I should buy Raven’s tickets (good move selling, any sports event attended by a President is hell on the other spectators) and just move to Atlanta. I can sell this place when the snow melts in June.

  143. 143
    rikyrah says:

    We have read variations on the theme of incompetence about this White House from the beginning. Easter Egg Roll? Phucked up, if not for Obama holdovers. Event after event, what they put on looks third rate.

  144. 144
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Here it’s 4. Tomorrow it will be 8. See? the same. ;-)

  145. 145
    Quinerly says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Walsh is on tape. At least that’s what MJ guest said. She left the WH a few weeks ago. For what it is worth, the first 33 minutes of MJ is starting its repeat of the first part of the show.

  146. 146
    Kay says:

    @JohnJHarwood
    8m8 minutes ago
    More
    Wolff at the close of year 1: “At Mar-a-Lago, just before the new year, a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends.”

    Eeeww. A heavily made-up Trump.

  147. 147
    bystander says:

    @Quinerly: Soulard conveyed what KC never had: a history dated before 1892.

    Went to WU undergrad, before it was WUSTL. (And before giving Schlafly an honorary degree.). Loved it then, hate what WU has become.

  148. 148
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    It was a disaster from the beginning. And , props to you, Kay, for pointing out that the lawsuits would bog it down.

  149. 149
    Anne Laurie says:

    @debbie:

    I had to Google the author. I’d assumed he was with the WSJ, but he writes for GQ, USA Today, etc. What kind of reporting did Trump and others expect to come from him?

    Wolff was NYC-famous when Trump was obsessive about bein NYC-famous himself. Remember Gail Collins talking about getting copies of her columns mailed from Trump Towers, with his cranky complaints scrawled on them in gold Sharpie?

    There is NO WAY he didn’t know exactly the kind of poison-pen “sketches” Wolff wrote to make a name for himself. Either Donny Dollhands thought he could out-bullshit a master bullshitter (which would be my guess), or he’s even more senile than we’re afraid he might be!

  150. 150
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    Absolute cowards

  151. 151
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: TMI.

  152. 152
    Quinerly says:

    Wolff to be on Today Show Friday: http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/0.....nterviews/

  153. 153
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Yep.

  154. 154
  155. 155
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Quinerly: Ooh, I can’t wait for a hard-hitting interview from Hoda Kotb.

  156. 156
    Jeffro says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    The constant repeating of the same stories tells me he’s not semi-illiterate, rather he’s in significant cognitive decline.

    I’m kind of surprised that Pence, Mnuchin, Ross, etc aren’t working to get Trumpov to ‘declare victory and go home’, i.e., convince him that he’s already delivered on all his campaign promises in the shortest period of time in history, ever, and now he should get out and enjoy himself/monetize his ‘fame’ even further. Then again, the guy’s already golfing 2-3 days a week, lining his own pockets constantly with the golf visits and Mar-a-Lago membership gouging, and doing essentially nothing but eating and tweeting the rest of the time. (When he isn’t changing his own bedsheets, that is).

    Never mind. They’re clearly going to keep riding this tiger and hope – like the rest of us – that a stroke solves all of this.

  157. 157
    germy says:

    @Quinerly: Andy Lack is furiously scribbling questions to feed them…

  158. 158
  159. 159
    Quinerly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ozark, totally OT. Here’s a piece for you. You posted about this gentleman a few weeks back: http://www.stlamerican.com/new.....user-share

  160. 160
    Amir Khalid says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    They don’t write good.

    My primary-school English teachers would have given me hell for a sentence like that.

  161. 161
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay:

    “A member of the commission suing the commission is not ideal.”

    hahahahaha

    Well, that answers the question of how it could be a good thing that there were a couple of democratic lawmakers who were willing to be part of the commission.

  162. 162
    WaterGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Oh yeah, I would have been corrected for that when I was 5. If not before.

  163. 163
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Quinerly:

    Jesus, that is heartbreaking.

  164. 164
    Dmbeaster says:

    @debbie: Its a trade off between giving the fraudulent commission legitimacy because bipartisan, and being on the commission to limits its excesses.

    I tend to think participation in the fraud by serving on it is the greater problem – its mere existence was the problem, and it was premised on a dangerous and pernicious lie. But it turns out they were too stupid to run it with a veneer of bipartisanship, resulting in the lawsuit, which exposed its phony pretense of bipartisanship. I dont think that was enough of a benefit to offset participation in the equivalence of a kangaroo court. You do not respond to setting up phony courts by agreeing to be one of the judges, and the same is true for this fraudulent commission.

  165. 165
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Aimai: My cup of schadenfreude at the prospect of Maggie H’s chagrin runneth over.

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: that is fucking hilarious, what movie is that from??

  166. 166
    jl says:

    If the Tudor king Wolff is talking about is Henry VIII, that all went wrong after the kind fell off his horse and bashed his head in, and may thereby have gone more than a little nuts. So, Henry had an excise.

  167. 167

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