Late Night Open Thread: “The Godfather”, But As An Off-Broadway Farce!

Originality is overrated. A touch of Guys & Dolls, some razzle-dazzle from The Music Man — the old standbys always lure the bridge & tunnel crowd. I can remember when it was vaguely scandalous that the GOP was using Vanity Fair as the Reagans’ semi-official promotional organ. Now Gabriel Sherman is one of our better political reporters. “‘He Wants a Killer’: Post-Bannon, Post-Nunes, Post-Kelly Friction, a Frustrated Trump Searches for a West Wing Reset”:

After the much-hyped Nunes memo failed to deliver the narrative reset that the White House hoped for, Donald Trump is discussing a shake-up to his West Wing, three sources familiar with the president’s thinking told me. These people say the president is increasingly frustrated that members of his administration aren’t going to war for him, and he’s being encouraged by his daughter Ivanka to bring in new blood. “The president’s view is that allies on the outside are doing a better job defending him than his political shop,” one Republican close to the White House told me. Another outside adviser who regularly speaks with Trump said that the president is regretting some of his Cabinet choices. “He’s saying he should have put Rudy [Giuliani] at State and Chris Christie at Justice.”

Trump has recently told advisers he wants a “killer” to steer the White House’s response to Robert Mueller’s investigation and craft a midterm election message for him to stump on this fall. For Trump, there’s a growing urgency to fill the role. His efforts to stymie Mueller’s probe have so far failed, and the specter of impeachment looms if Democrats win back the House in November. Ivanka, who’s been frustrated with Chief of Staff John Kelly, has told her father that he needs people around him that will put his interests above their own. “She wants to clean house,” a Trump friend told me. “Her view is J.F.K. had Bobby there to have his back.”

The president’s top choice for the strategist position is Jason Miller, who served as communications director for Trump’s presidential campaign. “He wants a killer, and Jason is a killer,” an outside adviser to the White House told me. Trump had wanted Miller to join the administration during the transition, but Miller withdrew after it was revealed he had an extramarital affair during the campaign with former Trump aide A.J. Delgado…

Without a close confidant on the inside with whom he can plot strategy, Trump has turned to outside advisers for counsel. According to sources, Trump speaks regularly by phone with a braintrust that includes Sean Hannity, Jason Miller, Corey Lewandowski, Reince Priebus, and R.N.C. Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel. According to sources, Miller has advised Trump to push for an immigration deal that shows real progress towards building the Wall, the theory being that getting a win on immigration will mobilize the base in November. Instead, they want him to sign an extension for DACA so that immigration is a midterm election issue (the theory being that putting immigration on the ballot will mobilize the base)…

If Miller doesn’t go to the White House, another scenario being discussed is that Trump could fill the strategist role with Lewandowski and former deputy campaign manager Dave Bossie. Both have the aggressive personality Trump favors. But neither one has anything resembling West Wing experience, and both face stiff opposition from Ivanka and Jared Kushner. “They have blocked Corey at every turn. They kept him from going into [the] family box at the inaugural,” one former campaign staffer told me. “If Corey gets back in, they’re not long for the place…

Open warfare between the Beloved Children and the Fat-Necked White Thugs, with Sean Hannity as The Stage Announcer — there’s a tragicomedy scenario that’s gotta have Pelosi & Schumer quietly chuckling into their lattes…

40 replies
  1. 1
    Ninedragonspot says:

    Who in their right mind would want to jump *onboard* the Trump train at this point in time?

  2. 2
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    I’ve heard Pelosi doesn’t drink alcohol, but I hope Shumer treats himself to a nice armagnac every now and again. He’s earning it these days.

  3. 3
    Mike in NC says:

    Only Trump could assemble a “brain trust” that’s essentially brain dead.

  4. 4
    efgoldman says:

    @Ninedragonspot:

    Who in their right mind would want to jump *onboard* the Trump train

    That’s why the term “true believer” was invented.
    Also the chance for grift is greater the closer one gets to Ferrethead.
    So is the chance for prosecution, but they don’t “think” like that.
    Also Nazimiller knows of he has Shitgibbon’s ear, the easier it is to spread his nazi filth

  5. 5
    Waldo says:

    I’ll be disappointed if we don’t at some point see Alex Jones as WH press secretary. He’s a killer, and a little easier on the eye than SHS.

  6. 6
    ruemara says:

    I propose he do something really different. Hold a GOP retreat with the entire party leadership and cabinet, lock all of them in and set fire to the place, a la masque of the red death. He would go down as a hero.

  7. 7
    sigaba says:

    “Brain Trust” of Sean Hannity, Corey Lewandowski, and Reince Preibus.

  8. 8
    RandomMonster says:

    Trump is sure that a successful counter-offensive through the Ardennes will shatter the fragile alliance of democracies in the west, buying him valuable time to negotiate a truce with the Russians on the eastern front.

  9. 9
    Ruckus says:

    @sigaba:
    Think of this brain trust as a place that could store a brain or two dozen. It is after all rather empty now. As in completely. Empty.

  10. 10
    Ruckus says:

    @ruemara:
    I do like how you think.

  11. 11
    Ruckus says:

    @Ninedragonspot:

    Who in their right mind would want to jump *onboard* the Trump train at this point in time?

    I see an issue with your question.
    1. You made an assumption that is lacking all proof. That of any of these people are in any way of a right mind.
    2. In line with number one, the answer becomes: A complete and utter fucking moron.

  12. 12
    prostratedragon says:

    Favorite line, Eve to Addison: “Why did you call me ‘killer?!’ “

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    When you’ve got nothing but Fredos to choose from, things get, um, Tataglia really fast.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    FWIW, what you’re thinking is a little more like “Hop-Frog,” but the Roger Corman movie version of Masque of the Red Death did combine the two stories.

  15. 15
    Skippy-san says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Another reason I don’t like Pelosi. The two worst Presidents in my lifetime did not drink. Give me a hard drinking politician any day of the week.

  16. 16

    @Skippy-san: Dick Nixon liked to drink.

    ETA: Nancy Pelosi is the best Speaker of the House in my lifetime, with the possible exception of Sam Rayburn.

  17. 17
    J R in WV says:

    Well there are people who are sure they are brilliant – like Carter Page – yet who seem to have odd holes in their reasoning abilities. Page graduated from the Naval Academy in the top 10% of his class, but has since seemed to display qualities quite like a nincompoop. He would return to the White House, and would be safe enough on domestic affairs. Would he help?

    And there are plenty of people like Mr Page they could hire. I don’t think that would help the Administration out, any, though.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    At the end, the sad truth is that we are stuck with this buffoon and his kakistocracy. For a while longer. That “brain trust” is hilarious, though. Dog save us.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Thank you. I have become quite the fan of Speaker Pelosi. Whatever she drinks, she takes it with smart pills. And courage.

  20. 20

    OT: A little tidbit in a segment about the Olympics on the local news. Kim Jong Un’s sister will be at the games, I guess she’s the first member of the family to travel to South Korea.

  21. 21
    JGabriel says:

    Gabriel Sherman (via Anne Laurie @ Top):

    “The president’s view is that allies on the outside are doing a better job defending him than his political shop,” one Republican close to the White House told me.

    So … the people who know Traitor Donald are less willing to defend him than the people who don’t? What a surprise.

    Trump has recently told advisers he wants a “killer” to steer the White House’s response to Robert Mueller’s investigation …

    I can’t be the only one who suspects that Traitor Donald means that literally. Add taking a contract out on Mueller to the obstruction of justice charge.

    According to sources, Trump speaks regularly by phone with a braintrust that includes Sean Hannity, Jason Miller, Corey Lewandowski, Reince Priebus, and R.N.C. Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel.

    It’s funny how Shernan’s use of the word braintrust doesn’t require any scare quotes, italics, or any emphasis at all to convey how heavily it drips with contempt and sarcasm.

  22. 22
    Montanareddog says:

    It is obvious that Mr Blobby suffers from an extreme case of arrested development. Thus, he will never be satisfied until his ‘killer’ is the re-animated corpse of Zombie Roy Cohn

  23. 23
    cosima says:

    As it’s an open thread: Thanks to all for your positive thoughts about our immigration meeting — it worked, and we are now residents, no longer needing visas!

  24. 24
    Sab says:

    @cosima: Such good news! How is you flu?

  25. 25
    NotMax says:

    braintrust

    That word – I do not think it means what you think it means.
      – Inigo Montoya

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    Giuliani?

    (Cue Twilight Zone theme, crank it up to 11.)

  27. 27
    Gvg says:

    Trump’s problem that he is refusing to comprehend, is that he did actual crimes, and when you are President, millions of people care about that shit, and will never quit digging. This is not a propaganda problem solution situation. He shouldn’t have done certain things but since he did, he shouldn’t have run for President and done more things. He might have got away with it if he hadn’t won but given what we know now about the investigation, I am not sure that would have saved him.
    Lacking a moral sense or even good judgement is the problem really.

  28. 28
    Just one more canuck says:

    @sigaba: that’s like the “brain trust” of Pete, Delmar and Everett from O Brother Where Art Thou

  29. 29
    lowtechcyclist says:

    Ivanka, who’s been frustrated with Chief of Staff John Kelly

    It would be sweet to see Kelly’s head on the (metaphorical) chopping block. He’s more or less competent, and he’s a nasty one too. Really the only thing to say for Kelly is that he might keep Trump from starting a war with NK. Then again, he might not.

  30. 30
    cosima says:

    @Sab: Thanks — yes, very good news to be able to stay here, where our home is & our hearts are. The flu is getting better. Naturally Little C came down with it as well, so she’s been out of school, and we’ve been keeping each other company in our misery. It’s a celebratory flu.

  31. 31

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: @Elizabelle: Pelosi is becoming a litmus test for me like Clinton. Neither of them are perfect, but when someone starts devoting a bit too much time to their flaws, I begin to suspect that person won’t have much of value to say about politics, and I’m usually correct.

    @JGabriel: Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who had those thoughts.

  32. 32

    @NotMax: 9iu11ani has been uncharacteristically quiet for a long, long time. Like, since the election. At this rate I half expect to learn he was cooperating with Comey before the firing and has been cooperating with Mueller since May or whenever. Someone certainly convinced him it was in his best interest to shut the fuck up, at any rate.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    NorthLeft12 says:

    There is a part of me that would encourage Deadbeat Donald to go ahead and turf all of these incompetent and “disloyal” sycophants, but honestly, the potential harm to innocent people, not only in the US but around the world, is just not acceptable.
    There is also an argument to be made that how could things get any worse? Dumbass Don answers that question with every tweet he sends.

  35. 35
    Bobbo says:

    Shorter Gabe Sherman: Ivanka is her father’s daughter

  36. 36
    ottercliff says:

    Trump has recently told advisers he wants a “killer” to steer the White House’s response to Robert Mueller’s investigation.” O.J. Simpson is waiting for your call, Mr. President.

  37. 37
    Citizen_X says:

    a braintrust that includes Sean Hannity

    AH HAHAHAHAHA HAAAA…wheeze

  38. 38
    Miss Bianca says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Proving that, whatever his failings in the old brain-pan department, Ghouliani is at least 1000% smarter than El Presidente.

  39. 39
    No One You Know says:

    @Waldo: Now that made me spit coffee! :-)

  40. 40
    stinger says:

    @cosima: Congratulations! Glad it’s working out for you! (And that I’ll have someone to visit when I come to Scotland…)

Comments are closed.