Cleanup on Aisle 1600

Shortly after 7:30 AM ET today, Trump tweeted the following:

As he frequently does, Trump was live-tweeting Fox & Friends, the show featuring the three sofa squatters who have a symbiotic relationship with the White House, wherein the program runs pro-Trump propaganda every morning in exchange for Trump serving as their social media director.

But adult daycare supervisor John Kelly may have to alter the terms of that agreement. The F&F story caused Trump to target a surveillance policy the Trump admin and GOP support. Kelly must’ve received the cleanup notice fairly quickly, because a couple of hours later, Trump walked it back with a self-congratulatory flourish:

Fox News is the Trump state propaganda channel. But like most Trump-branded endeavors, it is staffed by low-quality people and is wildly dysfunctional.

If I were Putin or another evil oligarch who wants to control U.S. policy, I’d find three operatives who resemble the F&F sofa squatters (they’re as interchangeable as light bulbs, so that shouldn’t be difficult), recreate the set and beam a fake F&F show into the White House each morning. It would be a simple matter to lace the program with flowery tributes to Trump and bait it with favored policy tidbits.

Not only would this strategy result in getting my preferred policies championed by the nominal POTUS, it would probably generate all sorts of positive press for Trump by people like Maggie Haberman and Dana Bash, who would be bowled over by Trump’s newfound independence. I wonder how long it would take Kelly to figure out what was going on?

181 replies
  1. 1
    hueyplong says:

    I have a guess how long it would take Maggie to figure it out, but I don’t know how to make the sideways eight infinity sign on my keyboard.

  2. 2
    Jeffro says:

    He’s a walking, talking, breathing (snuffily!) 24/7 Jedi mind-trick victim. Except you don’t even have to be a Jedi to get him babbling…in fact, you can be just as stupid (Doocy, Kilmeade, I’m looking at YOU) as he is.

  3. 3
    Spanky says:

    If I were Putin or another evil oligarch who wants to control U.S. policy, I’d find three operatives

    That was done years ago.

    Prove me wrong.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land.

    Well, I guess this is certainly foreign enough!

    What a doofus….

  6. 6

    If I were Putin or another evil oligarch who wants to control U.S. policy, I’d find three operatives who resemble the F&F sofa squatters (they’re as interchangeable as light bulbs, so that shouldn’t be difficult), recreate the set and beam a fake F&F show into the White House each morning. It would be a simple matter to lace the program with flowery tributes to Trump and bait it with favored policy tidbits.

    Not only would this strategy result in getting my preferred policies championed by the nominal POTUS, it would probably generate all sorts of positive press for Trump by people like Maggie Haberman and Dana Bash, who would be bowled over by Trump’s newfound independence. I wonder how long it would take Kelly to figure out what was going on?

    First he’d have to find a way to distinguish it from the present situation.

  7. 7
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I keep wondering if this administration will be an anomaly, a weird radar blip in history, or if it represents something more dire.

    Could it be the new norm, or is it merely a permanent lowering of the bar going forward? IOW, future administration’s won’t be this bad, but nor will we see anything like Obama, or Clinton or even Bush.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    FlyingToaster says:

    @hueyplong: @Spanky: ∞, as Spanky’s came through on my browser as a square with a question mark inside.

    Unicode U+221E
    UTF-8 E2 88 9E

  10. 10
    James E. Powell says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    If we review what’s happened since Reagan in 1980, we can see a consistent pattern of Republican behavior starting as anomalous – which is one of the many reasons the mainstream press/media prefer Republicans – then that behavior becoming the norm for Republicans.

    This has not worked for Democrats. Almost the opposite seems to be the case. When a Democrat is in the White House, strict adherence to norms – some of which are newly invented – is demanded by the entire press/media. When a Democrat becomes Speaker of the House in an election that is, more than anything else, a rejection of the Republican president, the entire press/media demand that she must “work with” the president, forget any investigations into lies about the war, taxes, Scooter Libby, or any other corruption or misdeeds. But when a new Republican Speaker comes in – 2010 – It’s hey guys, lets shut down the government over the debt ceiling and start up as many investigations as possible. Those papers need copy, those cable shows need programming. Let’s go!

  11. 11
    dr. bloor says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Hey, don’t worry. Oprah will get in there and clean everything up.

  12. 12
    Spanky says:

    @FlyingToaster: Weird, as I see it in Chrome as infinity. I just inserted it as a special character in a word file and copied to the browser. Something got lost in translation, I guess.

    BTW, I did follow the infinity sign with a question mark from the keyboard.

  13. 13
    hueyplong says:

    I am also in chrome and saw both of your symbols as the one I was looking for.

  14. 14
    germy says:

    To infinity and beyond…

  15. 15
  16. 16
    SFAW says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Could it be the new norm, or is it merely a permanent lowering of the bar going forward?

    Unless Republicans are kicked to the curb, as viciously as possible, and made into the objects of scorn they deserve to be, Shitgibbon will be the high-water mark going forward.

    Two years ago, I wouldn’t even consider saying that, even as a joke. But if voter suppression is allowed to stand or increase, all bets are off. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me if Alex Jones got elected.

    I’m just hating on all those motherfuckers today; I’ll be back on a more even keel soon enough.

  17. 17
    catclub says:

    today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!

    They tell him anything and he believes it…. if it is simple enough and identifies who are the good guys and the bad guys.

  18. 18
    ET says:

    tRump really is grandpa shouting at the TV but with a cellphone and Twitter account. And he is currently POTUS. This is all the Republicans fault.

  19. 19
    p.a. says:

    Cleanup on Aisle 1600

    I hope you weren’t a Mean Girl in high school, BC. You would’ve been devastating.

  20. 20
    catclub says:


    I’ll be back on a more even keel soon enough.

    I hope you don’t need that infinity symbol.

  21. 21
    germy says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    Maybe she can buy Fox News

    At the end of the Justice League movie, Clark Kent asks Bruce Wayne how he was able to get Ma Kent’s farm and house out of bank foreclosure. “I bought the bank,” Wayne replies.

  22. 22
    mad citizen says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): In other words, how predictive is the movie Idiocracy?

  23. 23
    tobie says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Almost the opposite seems to be the case. When a Democrat is in the White House, strict adherence to norms – some of which are newly invented – is demanded by the entire press/media.

    You forgot to add the courts. SCOTUS scuttled recess appointments under Obama. It overturned decades of precedent on the commerce clause to declare mandatory medicaid expansion illegal. Either the Republicans work the court system better, or the same unconscious bias toward the Republicans exists in the courts as elsewhere.

  24. 24
    Spanky says:

    Well shit.

    Ecuador grants citizenship to Julian Assange in bid to end London embassy standoff

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Is Kelly receiving his baby-sitting marching orders from ZEGS and Yertel?

  26. 26
    Kay says:

    Everyone should watch F and F for a half hour or so. It’s amazingly dumb.

    I know they’re not that dumb in real life, but what a weird job, huh? It’s not even like actors because actors are playing a role and everyone knows it- that is the point- it’s a ROLE. These people have to pretend they aren’t. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it for the millions of dollars they’re paid because I might but what is that like? “I go to work every day and pretend I’m incredibly stupid- that is IN FACT my job”. Years, they do it.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Spanky: Fuck Ecuador.

  28. 28
    Spanky says:

    @Spanky: OTOH (from the same article):

    But a standoff with British authorities continued, as the Foreign Office rejected an Ecuadoran request that it grant diplomatic status to Assange, insisting instead that the Australian national “leave the embassy to face justice.”

    Note how he’s still called “The Australian”.

  29. 29
    Waldo says:

    Notice how he blames “the previous administration and others” without specifying who the mysterious “others” might be. I assume he picked up that paranoid tic from InfoWars.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    Leto says:

    @mad citizen: From all indications, it’s pretty damn accurate.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @James E. Powell: @SFAW: It’s true. All of these departures from long-held norms, they’ve all been Republican departures, designed to shore up their shrinking popularity/demographics.

    Gerrymander like mad? Check.
    Redistrict in-between census counts? Check.
    Remove consent decrees and other voter protections? Check.
    Promote stringent, and unnecessary, voter ID?
    Blow up campaign finance with Citizens United? Check.
    Allow candidates to not produce their tax returns? Check.
    Promote BS about millions of illegal voters? Check
    Impeach over a consensual affair? Check.
    Promote a candidate with a history of child molesting? Check.
    Insult a former POW and a Gold Star family publicly? Check.
    Promote a candidate with obvious ties to mobsters and a hostile foreign power? Check.
    Direct higher taxes specifically at the other party’s home states and voters? Check.


  33. 33

    Fox News is the Trump state propaganda channel.

    The problem is that everything in Trumpland is backward, so the #1 target of the state propaganda channel is the head of government.

  34. 34
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    I guess one could argue that Reagan was a reality show president, but he had been a governor.

    Palin had (briefly) been a governor also, too, but she really brought the reality show vibe to politics.

    It’s been downhill ever since.

  35. 35
    Steeplejack says:

    @hueyplong, @FlyingToaster:

    HTML has a lot of “mnemonic” codes that are easy to remember and use.

    ∞ = ∞

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS who routinely allow the president of the United States to repeat false claims unchallenged should study the footage of how their Dutch counterparts greeted Donald Trump’s new ambassador to the Netherlands on Wednesday.
    Dutch reporters simply ignored a plea from the new United States ambassador, Pete Hoekstra, to forget all about the fact that there is video of him lying about their country in 2015. In the video, he insisted that parts of the Netherlands have been surrendered to Islamist radicals that supposedly rule over “no-go zones” for non-Muslims, where Dutch politicians have been set on fire.
    After Hoekstra refused to answer one reporter’s direct question — “Are politicians being burned in the Netherlands…? Is that something you believe, yes or no?” — his colleagues immediately followed up.

    There’s this whole backstory with Dutch-ancestry Right wingers in Michigan that complicates this situation. It’s the Betsy DeVos crowd. They’re incredibly snobby about being Dutch, generally, attribute all kinds of things to this ancestry- bootstrappiness, frugality, moral superiority. They can be insufferable. Smug.

    How it’s expressed politically is a kind of harsh intolerance and stern tendency to scold others. Again- DeVos is your poster child.

    It’s great to watch it crash into actual Dutch people who are like “WTF is WITH these American clowns and this LYING?” :)

  37. 37
    Kraux Pas says:

    Since there’s no one available to flip in my Congressional delegation, I just started researching MA candidates for governor.

    I haven’t fully read through their policy proposals, but I’m glad they’ve all honed in to some extent on transportation policy, which has been a big gripe of mine with Republicans generally and Charlie Baker in particular. Cars are expensive and the freeways are congested. It shouldn’t take an hour and a half to drive 25 miles into Boston during virtually all daylight hours. Also, plus I’m learning ways I never even realized Baker has gone after the MBTA, like saddling it with costs from the Big Dig.

    All the Dem candidates put intro videos up front though. Setti Warren had a biography. Jay Gonzales spoke a lot about protecting the state’s interests against Trump. Bob Massie’s gave me a little pause, it mainly discussed his astonishment at campaign organizations not merely being just about the candidate.

  38. 38
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: It’s like Teletubbies for the wingnut geriatric set. Did you see when Jon Stewart “outed” Gretchen Carlson as an Oxford grad and accomplished violinist during the Bush years? Funny stuff.

  39. 39
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Of love to see a comprehensive study of just who America gets its news from really.

    Would it be something like 5% from the CBS/NBC/ABC anchors, 3% from Fox, 1% from NPR, 5% from the dailies, 10% from the intertubes…?

    We are staggeringly under-informed as a populace.

  40. 40
    Betty Cracker says:

    @p.a.: I was a mostly harmless stoner in high school.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Palin had (briefly) been a governor also, too, but she really brought the reality show vibe to politics.

    A crime for which John McCain can never atone.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    One wonders how much Vladimir paid them for that favor. 🤔

  43. 43
    trollhattan says:

    I 99% know them from Stewart-era TDS and Colbert Report and thus know the dudes as Steve Doocy and “guy who isn’t Steve Doocy.” The latter is probably an act but the real Doocy is really that dumb, I’m 99% certain.

    Since Trump name-checks “Get Smart” I’m going to note that’s the second-stupidest Tweet I ever saw.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    When Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands but raised in Michigan as a staunch social conservative, called for another question, two reporters asked him, “Why don’t you answer the question?” Another told the former congressman, “This is the Netherlands; you have to answer questions.”

    Oh, God. See he gets away with this incessant lying among his fellow travelers in Michigan WHILE scolding other people on moral values. This must be an enormous culture shock for the giant baby.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: The DeVos clan is obviously descended from VOC genocide artists.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @trollhattan: “Sorry about that, Chief.”

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Per my sophomore “all the debate kids smoke” so that could be how they holster their big logical-fallacy knowing brains around mere mortals.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:


    IIRC, that crowd tends to belong to straight-up Calvinist churches, not Calvinist-lite like the Baptists are.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I did! That’s when I started to wonder about how they square their work with their lives. It’s just that so much of your life is work. These people have a couple of waking hours a day where they aren’t pretending to be incredibly stupid. What does that do to a person?

  50. 50
    Jeffro says:

    Is it just me, or does it feel like some nice big fat indictments might drop this afternoon or tomorrow? Normally when what I want to happen is what I start to think will happen, I check myself…but…it just feels right. It’s coming.

  51. 51
    MJS says:

    @Kay: There is no evidence that Doocy isn’t that dumb in real life. None.

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @dr. bloor:
    I have decided that I am definitely in favor of Pope-rah running for President of these United States, IF:

    She spends every dime she has backing Democrats and works to — and succeeds at — flipping the Senate in 2018.

    (That is just demand one).

  53. 53
    Kay says:


    I imagine so- I know only the popular culture definition of Calvinism- that it’s stern and unforgiving and Michigan Dutch are that. I’m basically a moron on religions. I can’t keep any of it straight. I remember when I first heard “Church of God” I thought the person was being sarcastic.

  54. 54
    MJS says:

    @Jeffro: Even if it is just you, that will be enough, because I believe you were the poster who predicted something “soon”, and, voila, Flynn’s plea (I think I’m remembering that correctly. Or maybe you just always predict something “soon”, so you’re never wrong).

  55. 55


    One wonders how much Vladimir paid them for that favor.

    I think they’re doing it on their own hook to piss off the US.

  56. 56
    Immanentize says:

    @Jeffro: If anything is going to happen — and I hope your Spidey sense is working — I wouldn’t expect anything until next week because of the MLK holiday. Courts really don’t get swinging after the holidays until after MLK Day.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:


    Since so much of my knowledge base is film-related, I was thinking of writer/director Paul Schrader, who I knew was raised in a very strict Dutch Calvinist church. He was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  58. 58
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Make it so, #1.

  59. 59
    Spanky says:

    @Jeffro: It’s just you.


  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Who in the US government would be pissed off at this point? Trump probably wants to give the guy a medal.

  61. 61
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Reminds me of a Kurt Vonnegut quote: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

    RE: Calvinism — I think it’s poorly understood, maybe even by many who practice it! I’m an atheist, so I don’t have a dog in the hunt, but my sense is the popular culture definition of Calvinism is super-reductive. Marilynne Robinson, a wonderful writer, helped me understand it better.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:


    Every insomniac knows what the Worldwide Church of God is. Sometimes their infomercials were the only things on TV when I couldn’t sleep.

  63. 63
    Jeffro says:


    Or maybe you just always predict something “soon”, so you’re never wrong.

    LOL…like a horoscope writer, right? “Today is a good day for a nap.” When ISN’T it a good day for a nap? “You will go above and beyond today.” Don’t we all, most every day?!? ;)

    But no…this is one of those feelings.

  64. 64
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: Calvanism is a stricter version of Lutheranism which was an orthodox version of Roman Catholicism (originally).

    The two critical things about Calvanists are their belief in Grace as the ticket to heaven versus deeds (this is actually still the bone of contention between Lutherans and Catholics) and predestination (not a Lutheran orthodoxy). Predestination sort of boils down to, if you have God’s Grace, no amount of deeds (good or bad) can upset your path to heaven. As my friend put it so well — “Calvanists believe that the difference between good and evil is the distance between them and you.”

  65. 65
    Kay says:


    Grand Rapids is like the city center- the mecca. If you drive thru there everything is named after the DeVos’. It isn’t all tulips and wooden shoes. There’s a US strain that hard Right.

    My youngest asked me the other day why Jewish people and Muslims don’t eat pork and I realized I was babbling- I ended up at “split hooves” and that pigs have canine teeth…(?) just sort of trailing off after this journey into vaguely remembered animal attributes- NO IDEA what I was talking about. I told him to look it up.

  66. 66
    p.a. says:

    @Kay: Great lines from tv’s Young Sheldon (slight paraphrasing: time constraints on web searching)-
    young Sheldon: “I don’t have any sin.”
    young Catholic friend: “Then you have the sin of pride.”
    Sheldon: “Your religion is making me feel bad.”
    Catholic: “That’s how you know it’s working.”

  67. 67
    Ruviana says:

    @Kay: I was trying to figure out what F and F was. Fast and Furious? Fire and Fury? D’oh! That’s how far off my radar Faux News is!

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:


    FWIW, it’s not necessarily a bad religious idea to say that no one really knows who will be saved and who won’t and all we can do is lead the best lives we can rather than trying to pre-pay our salvation with good deeds we don’t really mean.

    However, humans being humans, people immediately tried to game that.

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    If one spends most of their day acting stupid at some point it’s no longer acting. It just makes them incredibly stupid.

  70. 70


    When ISN’T it a good day for a nap?

    When you’re fighting jet lag!

    @Betty Cracker: that Vonnegut quote is at the beginning of my novel.

  71. 71
    Immanentize says:


    trying to pre-pay our salvation with good deeds we don’t really mean.

    On this, although I see the charm of the cosmic lottery, I gotta disagree. Good deeds have benefits regardless of the motivation. And good deeds tend to lead to better motivations. As a priest friend of mine used to say, good deeds go in more than one direction. So I am sort of a good deeds, Pascal’s gamble kinda guy.

  72. 72
    SenyorDave says:

    After Becoming President, Trump Has Reportedly Sold Millions in Real Estate In Secret Deals

    But remember, he has nothing to do with the business, his kids are running it!

  73. 73
    ruemara says:

    @Spanky: You’ve been proven right.

  74. 74
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @trollhattan: I have met Steve Doocy in real life (many many years ago). He is that dumb.

  75. 75
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Starting on hour 7 of sitting in the ER with my wife. They have already diagnosed pneumonia, now they are also looking for a gall bladder problem. I guess there’s a two for the price of one sale on bacteria today.

    There are few worse places to spend the day.

  76. 76

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Could it be the new norm, or is it merely a permanent lowering of the bar going forward?

    The process is polarization. The Republican Party is built on racism*, and as brown people become increasingly visible, their voters have become increasingly scared and increasingly desperate, which means increasingly insane. There is no end to that in sight. Liberals are much slower to catch up, because we barely notice the things that are driving conservatives nuts, so we react to their reaction. I see signs our side is entering the ‘seriously pissed’ stage, and can only hope that’s true.

    *They have many other bigotries, but I believe the trend that drives the freakout is race.

  77. 77
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jeffro: It’s Thursday, so Preet has a new podcast up. He interviews Anne Milgram related to Muller’s investigation again, and his last interview with her about the Mueller investigation was stellar. Can’t wait to watch it later today. The fact that he has her on again today could possibly support your spidey-sense.

  78. 78

    As I understand it, the Lutheran objection to works wasn’t about trying to prepay with good deeds we don’t really mean. It was the Catholic Church’s interpretation of “good deeds” to mean donating to the Church that really did it. I think they went overboard in the opposite direction, agreeing (to the extent a nonbeliever has the right to an opinion) with James’s contention that faith without works is dead.

  79. 79
    Fair Economist says:

    Sorry, G&T, all the best to you and your wife.

  80. 80
    Calouste says:

    @Kay: The problem for Hoekstra is that his kind of people are well known in the Netherlands, but they are considered nutters well outside the mainstream, not to be taken seriously and not to be trusted.

    And of course,funny how when you tell lies about people they don’t appreciate it and they don’t respect you. I doubt he will last more than a year.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You could take a perfectly well person with perfectly well family and make them sit in the ER for hours and it would still be torture. Add to that the not feeling well and/or the worries about the person you care about who is not well, and it almost seems unbearable. That’s my take on the ER, anyway. My sympathies go out to you and your wife, and if she’s dehydrated, I hope they can turn things around with an IV.

  83. 83


    They have many other bigotries, but I believe the trend that drives the freakout is race.

    Hillary’s candidacy suggests that gender freaks them out at least as much.

  84. 84
    Calouste says:

    @Roger Moore: Funny of course how with a lot of American Protestant churches donating to the pastor, uhm church, is the road to salvation. It’s like we have come full circle.

  85. 85
    germy says:

    WaPo reporter Joel Achenbach once wrote that Hillary Clinton "needs a radio-controlled shock collar so that aides can zap her when she starts to get screechy."
    He was just suspended for 'inappropriate workplace conduct.'
    Noticing a pattern yet…?— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) January 10, 2018

  86. 86
    danielx says:


    The old standby; never fails.

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Calouste: We were at a wedding last year in Canada, where the bride’s father is Dutch. A whole bunch of his relatives came over. I don’t know if Calvinist has an antonym, but that was them. I used to think Slavs could drink…

  88. 88
    J R in WV says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    You’re younger than me. I didn’t turn into a harmless stoner until college. So a could of years later than you. It just wasn’t around yet when I was in HS. Maybe that’s a good thing… let that brain develop (ab)normally until I was eligible for the draft, right!

  89. 89
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @germy: @ #21.

    Is “Justice League” the same movie where Spiderman (Ben Affleck) was asked what is his super power? And he replied: “I’m rich”?! Only saw the trailer!

  90. 90
  91. 91
    ruemara says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Sending healing thoughts. Don’t forget to care for yourself.

    @Roger Moore: Nah. They do freakout about women not knowing their place, but primarily if that woman also defies the privilege of whiteness and masculinity. If McCain had been elected and had an unexpected fall, people were openly hoping for a President Palin. Women gain power by white supremacy too. Defying it is much harder.

  92. 92

    @Gin & Tonic: Sorry to hear that. It does seem that when you fall into the hands of the medics, they find all kinds of possible problems and want tests and more tests.

  93. 93
    Emma says:

    @Gin & Tonic: My sympathies. When my father had his broken-femur surgery recently, my sister and I arrived at the hospital at 8 and sat around until 4:30 waiting. For the admitting process, my sister and her husband arrived at the hospital at 8pm and waited until 3am. It all seems to be predicated on “make haste sowly.”

  94. 94
    Waldo says:

    @pamelabrown53: Close enough.

  95. 95
    Spanky says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Well shit, man. Sorry for the suckage. The best I can do is remind you that it is unlikely to get any worse, and will certainly get better, though probably not today.

  96. 96
    Yutsano says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I have some friends from Holland who come to visit the US once or twice a year. They’ll be coming to Seattle some time in May. They have asked me to go drinking with them before and I have politely demurred. I may be a Coug but I’m not stupid. There is no outdrinking either a European, a Japanese businessman, or an Aussie.

    Also: much love and healing light to your wife. And also agreed on the take care of yourself part.

  97. 97
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That sucks… Hopefully they diagnose her and send her on her way with meds soon. Take care.

  98. 98
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Matt McIrvin: This. I remember many years ago he was the “human interest” reporter for WRC in Washington. You could tell he was a complete dipshit.

  99. 99
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    I was recently contemplating a weird mash-up movie: The Sound and the Furious… a once-proud southern family races across the country in a high-performance Camaro.

  100. 100

    @Roger Moore: I think to a degree people know that racism is bad, even racists, but they don’t have the same instinct about sexism.

  101. 101
    Calouste says:

    @Gin & Tonic: After my then fiancee met my Dutch friends for the first time she commented that we needed to increase the alcohol budget for the wedding.

  102. 102
    trollhattan says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Yessssss, my spider sense works!

  103. 103
    trollhattan says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Jeeez, sorry to hear and best wishes for a quick and complete recovery!

  104. 104
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: It was then. He did a bit on me. It was utterly cringeworthy and would have been worse had I not been too cantankerous to go along with all of his stupid gags.

  105. 105
    Roger Moore says:

    Mammon worship has proven highly resilient.

  106. 106
    glory b says:

    @Kay: I saw that. The reporters seemed to put up a united front, they weren’t asking anything else until he answered the question.

    He turned his back and was looking around as if he was searching for anther way out of the room. The reporters waited patiently.

  107. 107
    woodrowfan says:

    @hueyplong: turn your keyboard sideways and type an 8. ;)

  108. 108
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Betty Cracker: “mostly” a harmless stoner (with notably rare exceptions)

  109. 109
    PST says:

    There is a fun association of the Dutch with Calvinism. The mnemonic device for remembering the tenets if Calvinism is TULIP. From the Calvinist Corner web site:

    Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
    Unconditional Election
    Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
    Irresistible Grace
    Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

    God plays favorites. Bigly. And the real hard core tend to be damn sure they’re among the Elect.

  110. 110
    catclub says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    a once-proud southern family races across the country in a high-performance Camaro.

    Maybe they will run over a family troupe of Austrians, singing.

  111. 111
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Calouste: So long as Hoekstra doesn’t insult the Staten Generaal, the Voorzittern, the King, or the Dowager Queen, he won’t get sent home.

  112. 112
    patrick ii says:


    I think you can remove the word unconcious, particularly for judges appointed by republicans.

  113. 113
    geg6 says:


    Agreed. The idea of some sort of cosmic lottery is a horrible idea and one I find absolutely terrifying.

    Just another reason for me to completely discount religion in my life. Any system of belief that justifies evil acts through an idea of predestination is simply not moral. The idea that Ted Bundy went to heaven because he was predestined to despite his evil acts is not worth believing in. That’s some real sicko shit there.

    The Catholicism I grew up with makes a hell of a lot more sense than that. At least it promises rewards for good behavior. It’s still a crap religion (as I think they all are), but it is marginally moral, even if so many of it’s leaders are evil.

  114. 114
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): I think Moore loss indicates there are limits to the stupidity.

    Also remember Trump didn’t want to be president, he wanted to run for president, lose and collect the money from campaign donations.

  115. 115
    🌷 Martin says:

    @FlyingToaster: I wouldn’t mind if someone there set Hoekstra on fire. He is still a politician after all.

  116. 116
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Immanentize: I and almost everyone I know would be dead if not for some good deed done along the way. Civilization doesn’t function without good deeds.

  117. 117
    SFAW says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Sorry to hear that, I hope you’re all better, soon.

    I blame your proximity to efgoldman Obama or Hitlary.

  118. 118
    Calouste says:

    @FlyingToaster: So two or three weeks then?

  119. 119
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Don’t know whether it’s been mentioned yet, but Wal-Mart is abruptly closing 60-plus Sam’s Club stores and laying of thousands of workers, apparently with little or no notice.

    I make it a point never to set foot in any WM or SC, but my beef is totally with the owners, not the employees.

  120. 120
    Calouste says:

    @🌷 Martin: I’m afraid a Hoekstra fire would violate Dutch emission standards.

  121. 121
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Kay: Calvism believes in predestination; you are ether chosen elect (as in conservative Dutch Americans) or hellbound scum (everyone else) because God created us that way and you can’t go against God’s will. Naturally this means the Chosen Elect should preach to the hellbound scum every chance they can so the hellbound scum and take responsibility for God’s choice for them and chose not to sin anymore. So basically it’s a religion of assholes who just want an excuse to scream at people.

    TULIP or the five points of Calvanism

  122. 122
    Yutsano says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Hmm…an elder Walton is about to die and they want to cash out bigly?

  123. 123
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I am so sorry to hear it. Wishing her a full and speedy recovery, and you some rest and peace of mind.

  124. 124
    trollhattan says:

    “Underperform or die.” It’s the ‘murikan way. I’ll just leave this here.

    The world’s largest family fortune jumped $10 billion on Thursday thanks to a bounce in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Shares of the retailer were up 8 percent as of 10:10 a.m. in New York after reporting the strongest sales gain in more than eight years. The combined net worth of Alice, Jim, Rob, Lukas and Christy Walton is up about a third in 2017 and is now $160 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

  125. 125
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Most employees found out by seeing a notification on the door, which is unfortunate. The AJC said that they will be paid for sixty days, and they will try to relocate them. If they can’t be relocated to another store, they will be given additional severance.
    As much as I hate Walmart, the package seems fair.

  126. 126
    SteveinSC says:

    My mother’s people have attended the same Presbyterian Church here in upstate South Carolina for over 250 years. They only thing they are sure of, vis-a-vis their beliefs, is that they are not Catholic. Hold a gun to the parishioners’ heads and ask them, “well then
    if you claim not to be a Catholic, I will shoot you if you can’t tell me the Calvinist view of the doctrine of transubstantiation.” The whole church membership would be dead.

  127. 127
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    The entire clan is just frightful enough to game it that way.

  128. 128
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Aw man, I hope they can get it addressed .

  129. 129
    raven says:

    @SteveinSC: Kind of a rough metaphor.

  130. 130

    @Gin & Tonic: I hope she feels better soon.

  131. 131
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    Agreed. The idea of some sort of cosmic lottery is a horrible idea and one I find absolutely terrifying.

    To be fair, John Calvin wrote his book during the Wars of Religion after the Reformation were people were doing mass murder over who is worshiping God correctly. In that light Calvin is saying “this up to God, chill” Now, it’s basically a theological dick wagging contest over who is more Holier than Thou.

  132. 132
    gvg says:

    @pamelabrown53: Umm no. People may be having fun with you. I have never seen the trailer but Justice League is the DC Universe, Spiderman is the rival marval Universe, Spiderman/Peter Parker has never been rich and his superpower is based on spiders plus science knowledge (invented his own web shooters). googling implies you saw Afflack as Batman. Batman is rich and invents/buys the things that help him be a superhero.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @JPL: That’s…surprisingly fair for them. Wonder if there’s some bad publicity about to come down the pike besides the closings.

    @SiubhanDuinne: Considering the Waltons have been the epitome of American greed for 20+ years, I put nothing past them.

  134. 134
    JPL says:

    @raven: Are you on the mend? My son was in an emergency clinic for seven hours on Monday for IV’s and bounced back until today.

  135. 135
    bemused says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Michele Bachmann babysat Gretchen Carson. Maybe she read wingnut fairy tales to Gretchen.

  136. 136
    sherparick says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The first name of the other evil oligarch is “Rupert.”

  137. 137
    Ruviana says:

    @Mnemosyne: Dutch Reformed Church. Very conservative.

  138. 138
    FlyingToaster says:

    @🌷 Martin: I’d set the over/under at early June.

    And, regardless of date, I’d expect Hoekstra to insult the leader of the Dutch House for being both a woman and a Muslim. The leader of the Senate is also a woman, and Princess Beatrix (the Dowager) is also in his target zone. He probably won’t insult the current Royal Family.

  139. 139
  140. 140
    Kay says:

    Boy that piece of crap tax law has caused a real boom in businesses bullshitting the public.

    They’re issuing these ridiculous press releases about 1,000 dollar bonuses and hiding the lay-offs that are happening at the same time:

    Walmart is closing 63 Sam’s Club stores across the US, the company told Business Insider.
    Several stores were abruptly closed Thursday. In some cases, employees were not informed of the closures prior to showing up to work on Thursday.
    Instead, they learned that their store would be closing when they found the store’s doors locked and a notice announcing the closure, according to reports.

    We are all Trumpian liars now! The ethical collapse is accelerating. Everyone lies like the President and his low quality team now- constantly, daily. By the end of Trump’s term no one will believe a word they hear or read. It’s ALL bullshit. It’s like some rapidly spreading disease.

  141. 141
    raven says:

    @JPL: It seems better. After talking to people who went to the game I’m glad I bailed. The stood in the rain for over and hush, cheat really fucked up the security aspect. I got an inhaler and hydrocodone cough medicine and that seemed to make me drowsier. The boss lady was gone last night but, with the frequency of me getting up, I think it’s back to the couch tonite.

  142. 142
    bemused says:


    All Sams Clubs? I’ve been hoping Sam’s Club would leave Duluth, MN for years and a Costco come in.

  143. 143
    Brachiator says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Hope everything turns out all right. And yeah, waiting in the ER is no fun.

  144. 144
    Cacti says:

    Breaking: Walmart still scum.

    On the heels of their $1,000 bonus/higher wage announcement, Walmart springs plan to immediately close 63 Sam’s Club stores on unsuspecting employees.

  145. 145
    Jeffro says:


    It’s ALL bullshit. It’s like some rapidly spreading disease.

    Kay, that’s just what Putin wants you to think…

    Anyway, it’s ALL bullshit – on THEIR side. We are rapidly becoming the (sole) party and people of ethics, truth-telling, you know, all that passe’ crap.

  146. 146
    Gravenstone says:

    @Spanky: I’d say Murdoch qualifies for the “evil oligarch” hall of fame for what he’s done to undermine Western media. So yeah, this is just the continuation of work in progress.

  147. 147
    sherparick says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: The usual suspects made a big deal about Walmart raising their regular pay to $11.00 per hour.

    Even before the Internet, U.S. retail was overbuilt and over crowded, with the lowest ratio of retail to consumers in the developed world. Now the Internet and Amazon are leaving dead malls and stores all over the country. I think we probably have hit the bottom on unemployment (we will see unemployment claims start ticking up). There is a lot potential bad debt in the retail sector. In addition, the Republicans are busy shifting income those with a high propensity to spend to those with a high propensity to save with their tax plan and attempts to cut non-defense spending, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is already affecting hospitals.

  148. 148
    Faithful Lurker says:

    @Kay: I spent 30 years in western Michigan among the Dutch who are one of the largest groups there. They left the Netherlands because it was too permissive and lenient. Most of them belong to the Dutch Reformed Church which is headquartered is Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Afrikaners (sp?) of South Africa also by and large belong to the Dutch Reformed mold. That tells you what you need to know about them, intolerant, racist, smug, right wing, close minded, and clannish. I was thrilled to leave western Michigan as beautiful as it is.

  149. 149
    Gravenstone says:

    @Spanky: Yup, Assange will still have to travel through good old (non-Ecuadorian) London in order to reach his asylum in Ecuador. His ass is still going to have a sit down with the authorities before this is through.

  150. 150
    raven says:

    @Faithful Lurker: Used to fish in Muskegon.

  151. 151
    Kay says:

    @Faithful Lurker:

    I was thrilled to leave western Michigan as beautiful as it is.

    Thanks for the info. We have more than a few in NW Ohio- they sometimes hire me to do legal work and I usually get along with them in a purely transactional sense because I know what they want. They really pride themselves on being thrifty and savvy with money.

    Western Michigan is beautiful. We bought property there in 2000 because I just love it. That particular part of the Great Lakes is my favorite, although I like each of the Great Lakes for different reasons. Erie is closer to us but Michigan is prettier so we make the drive.

  152. 152
    Gravenstone says:

    @pamelabrown53: Spiderman? You’re intentionally crossing the streams, aren’t you?

  153. 153
    Faithful Lurker says:

    @raven: In Lake Michigan? Or one of the rivers or lakes nearby.
    I used to have work in a gallery in Muskegon and enjoyed visiting there. Didn’t want to live there.
    I miss the smoked white fish from that area and further north. You didn’t ice fish, did you?

  154. 154
    eclare says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Just saw that, including three stores in Puerto Rico.

  155. 155
    eclare says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Hope your wife feels better soon. I know ER’s suck, but since she has pneumonia, glad you are there rather than toughing it out at home. Tragic story from a few days ago about a 21 yo health nut who tried to “tough out” the flu, he didn’t.

  156. 156
    Faithful Lurker says:

    @Kay: We left Michigan in 2000, probably passed you on your way in. My husband retired and the winters were getting to be too much for us. We lived inbetween Otsego and Allegan and worked in Kalamazoo. I miss cardinals (we don’t have them here) and thunder storms but not zero degrees, and sideways snow.

  157. 157
    woodrowfan says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): you had me at “Camaro”

  158. 158
    Tim in SF says:

    “three sofa squatters”

    I prefer “couch tumors.”

  159. 159
  160. 160
    woodrowfan says:

    @Gin & Tonic: went through the same thing before. it’s worrisome but being in a hospital is the best thing for now. turn into her guard dog and watch over her. It may make you both feel better..

  161. 161
    woodrowfan says:

    is it just me, or do the women at Faux tend to show a lot of leg??? huh

  162. 162
    woodrowfan says:

    @geg6: most of the churches that began as Calvinist have modified predestination to mean that God knows who will chose to be saved but it’s up to each individual. The hardcore like the groups up in Michigan, however, kept the oldtime version.

  163. 163
    Yutsano says:

    @Tim in SF: “It might be a tumour…”
    “IT’S NOT A TUMOUR!!!”

  164. 164
    trollhattan says:

    You can take Ailes out of Fox
    In a box
    But you can’t take the Ailes out of the Fox
    Legs ‘r us forevah
    Burma Shave!

  165. 165
    danielx says:

    Eh, trying to work with (formerly) Baby Boris on the table and demanding attention before going to sleep plus batting at the cursor. Makes things difficult especially when he’s trying to get comfortable.

  166. 166
    Kay says:

    In a recording obtained by News 4, a woman says she had a sexual encounter with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and that he tried to blackmail her to keep the encounter quiet.

    This story is just insane. It’s like a horror movie. He takes her down to the basement and threatens her.

    He’s a Trump supporter. If he were a Clinton supporter the NYTimes would have 5000 words demanding Hillary Clinton apologize.

  167. 167
    joel hanes says:


    backstory with Dutch-ancestry Right wingers in Michigan

    The original disctrict of Rep. Steve King (R, IA hinterlands) is dominated by Dutch Reformed churchgoers.

  168. 168
    eclare says:

    @danielx: He looks very comfortable!

  169. 169


    Since Trump name-checks “Get Smart” I’m going to note that’s the second-stupidest Tweet I ever saw.

    Trump probably thinks “Get Smart” was a documentary on the CIA.

  170. 170
    Kay says:

    @Faithful Lurker:

    I love Kalamazoo too. I may be the only person who loves Muskegon. I once ran off the road near Muskegon because I stupidly tried to pass on a snowy highway and this 3rd shifter who hadn’t been to bed yet stopped and drove 40 miles out of her way to get me to a rental car place. Nice people.

  171. 171
    danielx says:


    He is, but then again I’m pretty sure he could get comfortable lying on a pile of gravel.

  172. 172
    John S. says:


    I met Doocy and Kilmeade in person at a celebrity tennis tournament 10 years ago. They are both just as stupid in person as you would imagine.

    I also interacted with Matt Lauer at that same event, and he was a total jerk. So I was definitely not surprised when revelations came out on him.

    The one thing I learned in my years of interacting with the rich and famous through the work I did is that once they are outside of their bubble and forced to interact with people, their veneer comes right off. Most of them (with some exceptions) are thoroughly unimpressive figures.

  173. 173
    Teddys Person says:

    I want to add my two cents to the Calvinism discussion. Calvinists also look to what’s happening in their lives to try to figure out if they are part of the Elect. They can’t change the outcome but can look for clues as to whether or not they are destined for heaven or hell. If they are wealthy, it must mean they are “saved,” which goes a long way to explain the moral smugness of people like Devos.

  174. 174
    Ruviana says:

    @Kay: Not to joke but Charlie Pierce described the whole situation as a Law & Order episode. He’s right! I think I saw a version of that exact story while binge-watching L&OSVU the other day.

  175. 175
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yikes. I hope Mrs. G&T is well cared for and out of there before much longer. My best to you. Pneumonia can be serious.

    PS: Is it your wife with the medical conditions? I am not sure, looking at your post, but wish you both well …

  176. 176
    Fair Economist says:

    @sherparick: The prediction is that 2018 will be the worst year for retail closings since the Great Depression, considerably surpassing the worst of 2008-2010.

  177. 177
    Roger Moore says:


    He takes her down to the basement and threatens her.

    It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

  178. 178
    catclub says:

    @Ruviana: was 2014 the ’50 Shades’ year?

  179. 179
    jonas says:

    @James E. Powell: The MSM has always graded Republicans on a curve. Can you imagine if someone as far to the left and as ideologically batshit insane as Roy Moore ever ran as a Democrat for a state senate seat? We’d never be hearing the end of how Democrats have completely destroyed any semblance of normalcy and decorum in American politics, yada, yada. But Roy Moore — oh, yeah, just a “strong conservative.”

  180. 180
    Tazj says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Thinking of you and your wife and hoping everything comes out well and you are taken care of quicker. Yes, ERs are horrible places.

    I ‘ve heard that in order to get the 1000 dollar bonus from Walmart you’ve had to have worked there 20 years, so that’s probably for management and very few other people.

  181. 181
    fuckwit says:

    @Mnemosyne: strict religious upbringing? that why he found it necessary to have dana delaney topless in all his movies.

Comments are closed.