Open Thread: Surprise Plot Twist! (Not)

I started to tag this “Not Normal”, but it’s really the standing Republican “normal”, isn’t it?

It’s the strangest of year-ahead plans for a party that controls the White House and both chambers of Congress: Top Republicans see Job 1 for this year as promoting the tax cut they passed last year…

With the House in danger in November’s midterms, a Republican close to the White House tells me this is a year for pumping Trump’s base on taxes, economic growth and the wall (or the fight for the wall), “while the Dems help with focus on immigrants. For Rs, this is a year to avoid losing.”…

“But what he’s really interested in is storylines revolving around him — driving the conversation with whatever crosses his mind at that moment, and then comes out of his mouth or his fingers.”…

116 replies
  1. 1
    Mike R says:

    It can safely be said that more than a few won’t connect the dots, many from lack of brain power. The rest from willful ignorance and tribalism. There is no gravity republicans suck,

  2. 2
    Mary G says:

    Ryan is also pushing through a bill, H.R. 620, which will gut the Americans with Disabilities Act. People in wheelchairs are being arrested in the halls of Congress outside the Rules Committee room today. Media isn’t being allowed to film. If you refuse to move your wheelchair yourself when they tell you to move, you are considered resisting arrest. I’ve been hoping that this would be front paged sometime today. The ADAPT folks are who really killed the Obamacare repeal, and this time the bad guys were ready and it’s going down in secret.

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    @Mary G: Good explainer here from, of course, Teen Vogue.

  4. 4
    germy says:

    Quinn Norton Named to Editorial Board | The New York Times Company. I did nazi see that coming.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @germy:
    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    I thought the NYT was garbage before it was cool.

  7. 7
    Gravenstone says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): So once again, FTFNYT?

  8. 8
    MisterForkbeard says:

    I hadn’t realized the infrastructure plan was that bad: States pay 90% of the cost to create infrastructure that’s run or owned by private entities? How is that possibly a good idea?

  9. 9
  10. 10
    les says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    How is that possibly a good idea?

    You’re new here, right?

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I wish. Maybe then their subscriptions would go down and they would actually be forced to reform themselves.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @les: I believe he was literally born yesterday.

  13. 13

    @Baud: Newsweek’s suicide-by-trolling was, like, at least 80x more dignified.

    ETA: truly prescient of her

  14. 14
    TenguPhule says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    I hadn’t realized the infrastructure plan was that bad: States pay 90% of the cost to create infrastructure that’s run or owned by private entities? How is that possibly a good idea?

    I’ve been complaining for weeks that its a $200 BILLION BULLSHIT BURGER being dressed up as a $1.5 Trillion Unicorn. Our media refuses to learn. Too stupid to live.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    I hadn’t realized the infrastructure plan was that bad: States pay 90% of the cost to create infrastructure that’s run or owned by private entities? How is that possibly a good idea?

    I’m not sure anything is going to be worse than their plan to “reform” SNAP.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m not sure anything is going to be worse than their plan to “reform” SNAP.

    Paul Ryan: Hold this already washed dish, bitches.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): That’s one weird hire.

  18. 18
    Brachiator says:

    … It’s the strangest of year-ahead plans for a party that controls the White House and both chambers of Congress: Top Republicans see Job 1 for this year as promoting the tax cut they passed last year…

    An odd, somewhat risky play since most people won’t really know the full impact of any tax cut until they file their taxes in 2019, well after the election is over. The GOP will have to rely on lies and exaggerations and guesses. Standard operating procedure.

    “But what he’s really interested in is storylines revolving around him — driving the conversation with whatever crosses his mind at that moment, and then comes out of his mouth or his fingers.”…

    Standard operating procedure for Trump. But in 2016 Trump was running on reputation and promise. People know who he is now. Maybe some don’t care. But the Democrats can hit him hard on his failures, lies, evasions. And they can hit the GOP for eagerly falling in line behind him.

  19. 19

    I know we’ve discussed WaPo’s addition of Megan McArgleBargle to their editorial page, but has anyone mentioned Quinn Norton at the New York Times? Politico’s article on how we all could own an immigrant indentured servant?

    Garbage day for the media. At least garbage day here means it was picked up and taken away.

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    How is that possibly a good idea?

    It’s great if you are the one who owns the new publicly funded infrastructure!

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    So Trump’s plan for 2018 is exactly the same as his plan for 2016?

    Too bad for him that we’ve figured it out. 😈

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Washington Post: You have no idea how much we’re going to beclown ourself today.
    New York Times: Hold our beer.

    https://twitter.com/HeerJeet/status/963546672201519104

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m not sure anything is going to be worse than their plan to “reform” SNAP.

    Can we have a front page post on that? It’s a classic Trump idea: terrible in so many different ways it’s hard to focus your criticism.

  24. 24

    @Cheryl Rofer: Germy & I noted the Norton hire, and I just caught the Posner article.

    We’re all going to die.

  25. 25
    jl says:

    Trump drunk his own koolaid on what a political, and stable, genius he is? OK. Not that surprising. I guess we’ll have to work what fate deals to us.
    Hope he spends lots of time at his rallies frothing at the mouth.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    It’s how most cities build stadiums for sports teams.

    Not Los Angeles, because our city and county supervisors refused to pay that blackmail money, but it’s common.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    At least garbage day here means it was picked up and taken away.

    Instead of picked up and acted on by the Republicans?

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore: I’ve been reading people who have spent their lives in this arena. I can’t believe this can go anywhere.

  29. 29

    @JPL:

  30. 30
    momus says:

    Re: Schooley. Do you know how many attention span timeouts Trump has in 6 weeks time? Its Uge, probably incalculable.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I don’t want to believe it will go anywhere, but it’s important to fight to make sure it dies a painful death.

  32. 32
    Cermet says:

    Hell, six weeks is an eternity for the orange fart cloud’s base of morons. If they are told contradictory statements they just assume it is all true and the ‘fake’ news (aka fox) will tell these worthless brain dead racist what to believe for that minute. Six weeks? Fuck, if those pieces of shit that voted for that orange pile of shit will just scream christ saves (just them) and demand to hang anyone who dares to disagree that both contradictory statements are true – or, these are the true amerikan christians for ya.

  33. 33
    jackmac says:

    My Balloon Juice calendar arrived with today’s mail and it was worth the wait. Nice job!! The graphic designer in me loves the way it looks, two of my critters are in it so that’s even better. But best of all is knowing that proceeds are going to a good cause.

  34. 34

  35. 35
    germy says:

    New York Times statement on Quinn Norton’s use of offensive slurs in old tweets pic.twitter.com/KEaHo5wvns— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) February 14, 2018

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore: Agreed. I was watching videos of white people in MT saying that SNAP was the difference in their lives. We’ll see how they demonize SNAP recipients when they try this.

  37. 37
    germy says:

    Today I realized I'd probably make a lot more money being a racist for @nytimes.— These are Quinn's sexy Spock eyebrows (@quinnnorton) September 19, 2014

  38. 38
    dmsilev says:

    @germy: Taking their HR best-practices from this White House are they?

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @germy: Mighty fine news gathering, Lou.

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Too bad for him that we’ve figured it out.

    The travesty is that it could still get through the Republicans anyway.

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @germy: I love it. “We didn’t even bother asking her about her views on anything. She had short hair and was white. We just figured….”

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    All of a sudden I need to log in to view tweets?

  43. 43
    mai naem mobile says:

    @MisterForkbeard: it’s a feature not bug. Steve Munchkin will probably quit along with Mulvaney, Gary Cohn and Mrs. Mitch McConnell to get a piece of the action. All entities will be LLCs located offshore somewhere because why should they pay any taxes. Gawd,I hate these assholes. And I hate the racist asshole dumbasses who voted for this pig even more.

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Nothing but the finest Big Macs for them.

  45. 45
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I know we’ve discussed WaPo’s addition of Megan McArgleBargle to their editorial page, but has anyone mentioned Quinn Norton at the New York Times? Politico’s article on how we all could own an immigrant indentured servant?

    The NYT also picked up a former LA Times editor who is not as controversial:

    Kim Murphy, the Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor for national and foreign news, is leaving to become a top editor on the national desk at the New York Times. The timing is interesting because Murphy’s name had come up in newsroom speculation as a possible editor in chief at the LAT once Patrick Soon-Shiong takes over the paper….

    Kim won a Pulitzer for international reporting in 2005 for “her eloquent, wide-ranging coverage of Russia’s struggle to cope with terrorism, improve the economy and make democracy work.” Dean, who was at the L.A. Times then, said he still remembers the lede of one of her pieces, which described how Russian militants who took hostages at a primary school allowed one mother to leave but with only one of her two children. “It was breathtaking,” Dean said of her account.

    They seem to be going on a shopping spree for editors and reporters.

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Politico’s article on how we all could own an immigrant indentured servant?

    So Ivanka in a nightie and a smile?

  47. 47
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TenguPhule: I mean, it was obviously bullshit but I’d thought the plan was to shift money from existing projects to ‘pay’ for Trumps Amazing Infrastructure Plan. The fact that they’re doing that AND most of the financial burden is on the states AND the projects will be public-private partnerships is kind of a disaster.

    Like, literally the case in which you can announce a big initiative but ensure that as little as possible actually gets done… and what gets done will enrich your friends.

  48. 48
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    They seem to be going on a shopping spree for editors and reporters.

    ‘Assholes R Us’ must be having a spring clearance.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The NYT has a problem.

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    I mean, it was obviously bullshit but I’d thought the plan was to shift money from existing projects to ‘pay’ for Trumps Amazing Infrastructure Plan. The fact that they’re doing that AND most of the financial burden is on the states AND the projects will be public-private partnerships is kind of a disaster.

    This isn’t new. The story first broke months ago. Obviously not enough people took it seriously.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator:

    to become a top editor on the national desk at the New York Times.

    I wonder how much hated of Hillary she had to express to get the job.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @germy:

    Well, now we see why the NYT couldn’t figure how how to criticize Trump. They don’t know how Twitter works and couldn’t find his old tweets. 🙄

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The NYT has a problem.

    No, our media has a problem. The FYNYT is a symptom, not the disease.

  54. 54
    JR says:

    Are we actually in need of “L’ami du peuples” again? Seems like we’re getting there.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MisterForkbeard: It’s all about looting the Treasury. Every single Donald initiative is about looting the Treasury.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @TenguPhule: Yes, but the Vichy Times has an immediate PR disaster on its hands…worse than the latest idiotic Douchehat or Brooks column.

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I was watching videos of white people in MT saying that SNAP was the difference in their lives. We’ll see how they demonize SNAP recipients when they try this.

    Easy as predicting the sun will rise.

    ‘Black Bucks with T-bone steaks’ ‘Illegal Mexicans with Taco Trucks on every corner’.

  58. 58
    germy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Hire first, then vet.

  59. 59
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    but the Vichy Times has an immediate PR disaster on its hands…worse than the latest idiotic Douchehat or Brooks column.

    All publicity is good publicity for them.

    Gods I wish I was wrong about this.

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy:

    Hire first, then vet.

    Vetting costs money better spent on dividends. Just hire them.

  61. 61

    @Villago Delenda Est: Zero interest in anything other than Cleek’s Law.

    That, or suicide-by-trolling.

  62. 62
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Mnemosyne: Haven’t economic impact studies shown that this is almost always awful for the local state/city that funds the stadium? The municipalities lose TONS of money on stadiums, with a few notable exceptions.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    We’ll see how they demonize SNAP recipients when they try this.

    I’m sure it will be the same story: black people buying luxury foods with their SNAP cards.

  64. 64
    TenguPhule says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    We’re all going to die.

    I need a freaking drink.

  65. 65

    @Brachiator: The Washington Post is expanding its international coverage and picked up a couple of good reporters too. Which decisions make the opinion decisions all the more baffling. Maybe they are just so out of touch that they think that McA and Quinn are somehow representative of the “real people.” Or have “exciting new ideas.”

  66. 66
    Steeplejack says:

    @Baud:

    Max Tani? It’s because of the “suffix” on that particular one. I got that too. Better link.

  67. 67
    TenguPhule says:

    And its only fucking Tuesday.

  68. 68
    efgoldman says:

    @Mary G:

    Ryan is also pushing through a bill, H.R. 620, which will gut the Americans with Disabilities Act. People in wheelchairs are being arrested in the halls of Congress

    He can get the foaming at the mouth breathers in the KKKrazy KKKaukkus to pass the shit.
    Most of it will never reach the senate floor, and will fail if it does.
    Schumer can count votes. Dems will filibuster if they have to.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @Steeplejack: Thank you, sir.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Kim won a Pulitzer for international reporting in 2005 for “her eloquent, wide-ranging coverage of Russia’s struggle to cope with terrorism, improve the economy and make democracy work.”

    Nope, not suspicious at all that the NYT would snap up an editor sympathetic to Russia and Russia’s concerns.

  71. 71
    danielx says:

    “But what he’s really interested in is storylines revolving around him — driving the conversation with whatever crosses his mind at that moment, and then comes out of his mouth or his fingers.”…

    Color me unsurprised. When is ever abut anything but him? Trouble is, nobody who isn’t already a Trumpista is going to be anything but even more irritated by him than they already are. His fans are a lost cause, so no loss there.

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    Joe Kennedy III is not the D answer.

  73. 73

    One more thing in today’s garbage dump: If you want to read Salon with an ad blocker, you have to agree to let them use your computer to mine cryptocurrency. The link goes to The Daily Beast, not Salon.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    Who would want to read Salon?

  75. 75
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone: I’d rather mine cryptocurrency.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    As I was saying earlier, it’s so difficult to find conservative and/or libertarian women writers that they get hired immediately, regardless of quality. Liberal women writers are a dime a dozen.

  77. 77
    Mike J says:

    DLCC @TheDLCC
    BREAKING: @GoodforFlorida has won the special election in HD72 for the Florida House, flipping the seat from red to blue. Congratulations, Margaret!

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    @Mike J: Woo hoo!!!

  79. 79
    JPL says:

    @Corner Stone: My phone rang so missed the interview. What did he say?

  80. 80
    Mike J says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    One more thing in today’s garbage dump: If you want to read Salon with an ad blocker, you have to agree to let them use your computer to mine cryptocurrency.

    Noscript allows you to block all javascript and then only selectively turn it on for things you want to. Salon works fine with an ad blocker and noscript.

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    I’d rather mine cryptocurrency.

    I’d rather Baud mine cryptocurrency then have to read Salon myself too.

  82. 82
    Aleta says:

    “People familiar with the security clearance process in Mr. Trump’s White House” anonymously explain everything to the Times.

    According to the Times, White House staff failed to follow up on Porter’s clearance because they did not want to endanger Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

    People familiar with the security clearance process in Mr. Trump’s White House said it was widely acknowledged among senior aides that raising questions about unresolved vetting issues in a staff member’s background would implicitly reflect on Mr. Kushner’s status, as well — a situation made more awkward because Mr. Kushner is married to the president’s daughter Ivanka.

    Let’s not notice that Jared and Ivanka were fine with Porter’s violence. Distance Ivanka distance.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    dmsilev says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: From Salon’s FAQ on this,

    We intend to use a small percentage of your spare processing power to contribute to the advancement of technological discovery, evolution, and innovation. For our beta program, we’ll start by applying your processing power to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies

    I insist on a higher grade of bullshit. That’s not even trying.

  85. 85
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @MisterForkbeard: “kind of a disaster”? No, my friend with excellent taste in beer, it Is a total effing disaster.

  86. 86
    efgoldman says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    it was obviously bullshit

    Congress has to pass a law, right? Or at least have specific language in a budget resolution? Chances of that? I’m the ghost of Wilt Chaimberlain.
    And if it does pass, law suits (multiple) filed in state and federal courts in 3… 2… 1

  87. 87
    Mary G says:

    @Mike J: @Baud: This
    thread on the FLA state house election is gold:

    1/ It was our party before it was Trump's party. Trump's party gets their asses beat like a rented mule in an R + 5 District. https://t.co/zvmeoC9yib— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 14, 2018

    3/ This area is so reliably Republican it's absurd. The county chairman was one of Trump's earliest endorsers. This was Katherine Harris country.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 14, 2018

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @Mary G: Dedicated thread upstairs.

  89. 89

    @TenguPhule: It improved somewhat after the derp-oblivion days of Daley’s run. But I haven’t read it since Maloy & Legum left last year; I just follow Marcotte on Twitter.

  90. 90
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Mike J: but Generic Dem on ballot have cratered dontchano? Dolt45’s numbers have shot up since the awesome tax bill .

  91. 91
    Mary G says:

    @Baud: Ya, I seem to be a threadkiller.

  92. 92
    efgoldman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And its only fucking Tuesday.

    Is that what Shrove Tuesday means in Anglo-Saxon?

  93. 93
    Steeplejack says:

    @Aleta:

    This begs raises the question: did Ivanka get her top-secret security clearance? I have seen no reporting on that either way. But it would seem weird for one spouse to be a security risk and the other to be A-OK.

  94. 94
    Mike in NC says:

    @Roger Moore: Sadly, they cannot buy Trump steaks or Trump vodka via SNAP.

  95. 95
    Steeplejack says:

    @dmsilev:

    Yeah, I can already see the lights dimming in my apartment as they use “a small percentage of your spare processing power.”

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    “unexpected cultural flashpoints”

    Translated from the Doltish: something beyond the quotifdian done by or associated with a non-white person or persons.

  97. 97
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman:

    Congress has to pass a law, right?

    Who knows anymore? Congress abdicated their war powers and just recently decided “fuck it, Trump can ignore our passage of legal sanctions too” so what’s to stop Trump from doing it by fiat and daring Congress to do something after the fact?

  98. 98
    danielx says:

    3/ This area is so reliably Republican it’s absurd. The county chairman was one of Trump’s earliest endorsers. This was Katherine Harris country.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 14, 2018

    No longer the recommendation it might be. Fucker referenced at link should have gotten life to forever; he’ll be eligible to get out in four years.

  99. 99
    FlyingToaster says:

    @MisterForkbeard: That’s the kicker.

    In MA, the Pat’s stadium is owned by Bob Kraft. The Commonwealth and Foxborough agreed to cover the road improvements and additional police. Not a damn thing more.

    St. Louis and San Diego have been hosed. No governmental entity in their right minds should fund an entertainment venue unless they themselves can use it 50% of the time.

  100. 100
    Roger Moore says:

    @Aleta:
    Maybe it’s time for somebody in Congress to ask the FBI what’s going on with Jared’s security clearance. Force it out into the open.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Aleta:

    According to the Times, White House staff failed to follow up on Porter’s clearance because they did not want to endanger Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

    The weirdest part is that they actually seem to think this is an excuse. 🤯

  102. 102
    dmsilev says:

    @Steeplejack: A writer at Ars Technica tried it and reported that it gobbled up most of the available CPU power on a fairly recent high-end laptop.

  103. 103
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Speaking of which, any idea if you’ll be back in the bay area any time in the next few months? That was a fun enough meetup that we should do one again. You’re a decent enough excuse. :)

    Alternately, if anyone from Balloon Juice is in Makati/Phillippines, I’ll be there for a week or two in March. And there’s some pretty great stuff you can do there.

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    @Mary G:
    Got a post/article to explain what it’s about?
    Would like to spread the word

  105. 105
  106. 106
    chris says:

    IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR EDITORIAL PAGE COMPLETELY BALANCED, WE ARE HIRING MORE DIPSHITS

    McSweeney’s

  107. 107
    zhena gogolia says:

    @jackmac:

    I got mine today too. Really happy!

  108. 108
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    Speaking of which, any idea if you’ll be back in the bay area any time in the next few months? That was a fun enough meetup that we should do one again. You’re a decent enough excuse. :)

    As a matter of fact, I am in the air as I type this, winging my way back to the Bay Area. Not sure yet what free time I will have, however.

    Meet up was great fun and definitely warrants an encore.

  109. 109
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    Cobb County, GA, is losing money hand over fist on the stupid Braves Stadium. In order to make up the shortfall, they propose closing eight of the county’s 17 libraries.

  110. 110
    Jay says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    3P’s are one of the cornerstones of Austerian Economics.

    Austerian Economic’s arn’t a science, they arn’t even a Social Science.

    It’s a religious cult,

    And like Underpant’s Gnomes waiting for profit, or Fundies predicting the Rapture, no mere economic study, or revinue loss, or inpploding program, or even thousands of them, will challenge their religious beliefs.

  111. 111
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @MisterForkbeard: It’s a wonderful idea. For SNCF, or Virgin, or Bechtel.

    For the rest, not so much.

  112. 112
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Corner Stone: Was it really a mistake? I mean why should we give the NYT the benefit of the doubt?

  113. 113
    Corner Stone says:

    @AnotherBruce: I don’t think I said it was a mistake on the NYT’s part. They just don’t give a shit and pay for a presentation. They don’t care what it says.

  114. 114
    SgrAstar says:

    Did anyone note that the NYT has already fired Quinn Norton?

  115. 115
    Elie says:

    Since this is an open thread my sweet 19 yo kitty, Buddy died in my arms yesterday. His kidneys were gone but his little spirit fought. I loved him and miss him a lot. He was my baby

  116. 116
    Steeplejack says:

    @Elie:

    Sorry to hear that. My condolences to you. Nineteen is a good long run. RIP, Buddy.

Comments are closed.