A Few Thoughts On The New National Security Advisor

John Bolton is basically Frank Burns from M*A*S*H* with more offensive facial hair. Bolton’s appointment to be the next Assistant to the President – National Security Advisor (APNSA or National Security Advisor for short) is the most recent dog to catch the car within this administration. He has now finally wormed himself into a key position very close to a US president, but like the dog with his teeth locked firmly onto the car’s bumper he has only two choices: he either has to let go or he has to sink his teeth in, hold on for dear life, and pray he doesn’t get dragged to death and/or run over. He’s an unguided, self directing weapon of mass destruction. He will cause so much chaos and confusion that he will actually wind up defeating himself. He will ultimately self destruct.

What pissed the President off about LTG McMaster is that he actually did the job the right way and took his duties and responsibilities seriously. Bolton couldn’t care less about the Interagency and Interagency process. If Secretary Mattis and Gen (ret) Kelly couldn’t get along with LTG McMaster, which, I think, was partially because they’re 4 stars and he’s only a 3 star, yet he was the national-security and foreign policy gatekeeper, they’re definitely not going to get along with Bolton. He will so degrade and destroy the process that the President won’t be able to achieve anything in terms of national security and foreign policy. Remember, the US economy is about to be overrun by the Chinese in the coming trade war. Do you really think Bolton has any idea how to manage the Interagency process to minimize the damage to the US economy? Not a chance.

Bolton is also a terrible supervisor and manager. The personnel on the National Security staff that are not detailed from the various agencies and departments within the government, as in the people that McMaster hired directly and work for the Executive Office of the President, will begin to leave quickly. Those actual detailed from the various agencies to the National Security Staff will ask for their assignments to be ended early and because of his reputation there won’t be volunteers to replace them. So the National Security Staff will atrophy, which will negatively impact the ability of the President’s national security and foreign policy initiatives. And despite a long history of being wrong on almost every national security and foreign policy issue, Bolton thinks everyone else is stupid and wrong. So he will ignore, if not actively piss off, Secretary Mattis, Gen Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the Joint Chiefs themselves, the Secretary of State, Secretary of Energy, Director of National Intelligence, all of their deputies, etc. It is very difficult to conduct national security and foreign policy after you’ve alienated everyone involved in the national security and foreign policy process. Is is equally difficult to conduct national security and foreign policy without a functioning process, which is why the process we have now was created.

I’m not trying to minimize what is definitely a sub-optimal choice. Bolton’s appointment as AP-NSA will definitely make things more chaotic in the White House, while reinforcing the President’s worse instincts about negotiations as zero-sum exercises and cycling willy nilly from being bellicose and threatening to accommodating. But mark my words, it’s not sub-optimal just because Bolton is an always wrong, belligerent, double A type authoritarian (kiss up, kick down). Rather it is sub-optimal because Bolton is going to self destruct, because that’s who and what Bolton is. He can’t help himself.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.

300 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    But mark my words, it’s not sub-optimal just because Bolton is an always wrong, belligerent, double A type authoritarian (kiss up, kick down). Rather it is sub-optimal because Bolton is going to self destruct, because that’s who and what Bolton is. He can’t help himself.

    So, a kindred spirit to Trump then.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I’m glad you’re not the one giving me my semi-annual review.

  3. 3
    SFAW says:

    Arrogance and stupidity, all in the same package. How efficient of Bolton.

  4. 4
    Crashman says:

    From your keyboard to God’s ears, Adam.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Examples need to be made of these MAGAts.

  6. 6
    VeniceRiley says:

    This cheered me up. That’s how bad things are.

  7. 7
    lollipopguild says:

    @Baud: Did you bring a Blue Book and a number 2 pencil?

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @lollipopguild: Yes, but I forgot my pants.

  9. 9
    VincentN says:

    So John Bolton is basically Ted Cruz in that even people who agree with him hate his guts.

    Now tell us how you really feel.

  10. 10
    MJS says:

    I’m thinking (hoping, praying, wishing?) that he never gets to sit in the chair because of his ties to the Cambridge Analytica mess.

  11. 11
    Jay says:

    But has Putin confirmed Bolton’s appointment yet?

  12. 12
    Spanky says:

    And despite a long history of being wrong on almost every national security and foreign policy issue, Bolton thinks everyone else is stupid and wrong. So he will ignore, if not actively piss off, Secretary Mattis, Gen Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the Joint Chiefs themselves, the Secretary of State, Secretary of Energy, Director of National Intelligence, all of their deputies, etc.

    So, he’s a uniter, you’re saying.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MJS: NSC Chair is not a position that the Senate has a say in. So the guy is in.

  14. 14

    So, can North Korea’s missiles reach the mainland?

  15. 15
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Will he still think everyone is wrong or stupid when he can’t get anybody on his staff? The mind boggles

  16. 16
    Cermet says:

    The worst part is the media will always turn it into a he said, she said and act as if there really are two sides to being utterly wrong; then the talking heads will bring on thugs who will just make shit up as fox spins it as brilliance that no one see’s; and democrats created the problem or are aiding those against the right people. Then when it all falls apart, everyone will act as if there was no way to avoid the failure and besides, he wasn’t really a conservative anyway.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: Yep.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SFAW: Prepared for your convenience…

  19. 19
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    I, for one, hope that Bolton self-detonates that last bomb, when the reality-based SWAT team starts to close in.

    Too soon?

  20. 20
    Culture of Truth says:

    the North Koreans captured Frank Burns but then released him because he was too annoying

  21. 21
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    That should change. Why was this the situation in the first place? Separation of powers?

  22. 22
    MJS says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: No, I know it’s not up to the Senate. I’m just hoping that someone sees it as utterly stupid to bring someone in to the NSA position who may already be caught up in Mueller’s investigation, or could shortly be after he arrives, and prevails on Trump (I know) not to do it.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Crashman: I bought my keyboard from Umin and Tumin, purveyors of fine devices to communicate with the Deity.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cermet: Conservatism cannot fail; it can only be failed.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @VeniceRiley: The only way out is through.

  26. 26
    CaseyL says:

    “He will accomplish nothing and no one will work with him.”

    This is an optimistic take, then.

  27. 27
    Elmo says:

    Adam, I’d be interested in your take on this somewhat contrary opinion over at Lawfare. This guy seems to think that Bolton is at least a canny bureaucratic operator, and one with the skills to get his way.

  28. 28
    HeleninEire says:

    @Baud: Hai!! We didn’t get arrested. Too bad. It would have been an “experience.” But we did go to Kilmainham Gaol (that’s “jail, and pronounced “jail”; an old Irish word). Thats where all the Irish rebels were held. And executed. We learned about torture and executions.

    I cried when I put her on the bus Thursday. But YAY she had such a good time she wants to come back!

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @VincentN: Pretty much.

  30. 30
    andy says:

    So maybe we aren’t all going to die?

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    @Baud:
    Have had that dream, which also includes forgetting being enrolled until the day of the final.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @andy: We’re all going to die…. eventually.

  33. 33
    germy says:

    There’s also this:

    Prediction: This gif (created by @senatorshoshana) is going to be all over Twitter within 48 hours. pic.twitter.com/9QjafUGcNZ— Patrick Nonwhite (@NonWhiteHat) March 22, 2018

  34. 34
  35. 35
    catclub says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Why was this the situation in the first place? Separation of powers?

    Because the NSA manages the administration national security process – but in principle does not set policy. Hence is an employee only of the executive branch.

  36. 36
    Waldo says:

    Sure, some staffers might quit. But once the war(s) begin, Bolton will start shooting them for desertion.

  37. 37
    trollhattan says:

    Is Bolton the first Bushie to return to the WH with Trump? He must really mess the attention.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Nope. The position was created by Executive Order as a result of NSC 68 if I’m recalling correctly, the policy document for how to revise and fix the Interagency. Other than complaining and some oversight, Congress has no say in appointments in th Executive Office of the President.

  39. 39
    Arclite says:

    Does anyone think that when the Dems win in November, that they’ll try to work with Trump (given his malleability) than impeaching him and having to work with the much more ideologically rigid Mike Dence?

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @HeleninEire: That’s great. Glad it all worked out.

  41. 41
    Spanky says:

    And now for something NOT related to our puny existence. Much.

    Some 70,000 years ago, when humans and Neanderthals shared the planet, an alien star streaked through the outer edges of our solar system and jostled its contents, astronomers say. In a study of hundreds of solar system objects with unusual orbits, the scientists also noted eight comets that may have interstellar origins.

  42. 42
    catclub says:

    @Adam L Silverman: ‘mene mene tekel upharsim’ is only a function key away.

  43. 43

    Where are all the BS bros and sistahs crowing, Hillary is the real hawk?

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @CaseyL: That isn’t the take. He will ultimately not be successful. That is not the same thing. I expect he’ll accomplish a number of bad and/ self defeating things. As for no one will work for/with him, I expect they’ll find people, but they won’t be the best and the brightest.

  46. 46
    germy says:

    I remember many Palestinian activists being happy Netanyahu was re-elected because it would more clearly show the world what Israel really is, rather than having a softer but similar alternative prettify it. That's how I feel about having a torturer as CIA chief: it's clarifying: https://t.co/aTCQhnZrM8— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 23, 2018

    Then I suppose he’s happy about Bolton, also.

  47. 47
    andy says:

    @Baud: I mean, like prematurely, in a rapidly expanding cloud of superheated radioactive gas.

  48. 48
    Jay says:

    @Arclite:

    Dence is on Meuller’s shitlist too.

  49. 49

    It’s hard for me to imagine Trump and Bolton sharing the same space. They’re both sure they’re right and eager for the limelight.

  50. 50
    germy says:

    BIRMINGHAM — Days after a woman accused U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual impropriety, two Moore supporters approached her attorney with an unusual request.

    They asked lawyer Eddie Sexton to drop the woman as a client and say publicly that he did not believe her. The damaging statement would be given to Breitbart News, then run by former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

    In exchange, Sexton said in recent interviews, the men offered to pay him $10,000 and promised to introduce him to Bannon and others in the nation’s capital. Parts of Sexton’s account are supported by recorded phone conversations, text messages and people in whom he confided at the time.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/attorney-says-roy-moore-supporters-offered-him-10000-to-drop-client-who-accused-the-senate-candidate-of-sexual-impropriety/2018/03/23/6d875f2c-02e3-11e8-93f5-53a3a47824e8_story.html?utm_term=.ba46c69d38cb

  51. 51
    catclub says:

    @trollhattan: I had a hard time thinking of others, but I bet there are some.
    Bolton is the mostly proudly wrong and unapologetic over Iraq war 2 of the Bush crowd.

  52. 52
    Wild Cat says:

    Mr. Plato’s Retreat hooked onto fellow psychotic Pam Gellar when she ran a hideous Libertarian/Zionist/Islamophobic blog called “Atlas Shrugs” years ago. They were probably an item, and about ten years ago she published a photo of His Manly Boltonness sucking at her bare teats. I’m searching for it—not that the fascists will care what a fellow Chicken Hawk did that may be unseemly to their gods—but it may have been scrubbed.

    Any way to find the original entry via a “Wayback Machine?”

  53. 53

    Also this guy could be a jackal, give how well <a href="

    Given today’s news..I’d like give a special fuck you to these individuals..— Matt (@MattM0720) March 23, 2018

    “>this twitter thread expresses our joint feelings about people who said Hillary would be worse.

    ETA: Oops. My screw up. It’s a good thread anyway

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Rommie says:

    @SFAW: I hope Bolton doesn’t kick the dragon the EA did – that ended badly and it was divine luck it wasn’t the End of Everything.

    And this post is a real insult to Frank Burns – at least HE was a mediocre surgeon!

  56. 56
    andy says:

    @Arclite: Don’t they need a supermajority in the Senate to convict, though? I can’t see that happening.

  57. 57
    CaseyL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: My point was that, considering the enormous damage he could do, “bad and/or self-defeating” and working with mediocre (at best) people IS an optimistic take.

    I do understand that the world doesn’t stand still, and while the US is bumbling around fucking up everything it touches, other nations will be doing their own thing probably to our detriment. I doubt we’ll ever get back what we’ve lost, because electing Trump is a lesson the world will not forget.

    So, to be honest, a Bolton who does damage but is mostly ineffectual is about as good as we’re gonna get.

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @VincentN:

    So John Bolton is basically Ted Cruz in that even people who agree with him hate his guts.

    Except Cruz is almost as (book) smart as he thinks he is.

  59. 59

    My prediction: Bolton is not going to last as long as McMaster, let’s see if he can surpass Flynn’s time in office.

  60. 60
    catclub says:

    @Arclite:

    Does anyone think that when the Dems win in November, that they’ll try to work with Trump (given his malleability) than impeaching him

    Given that impeachment vote by the Senate – which takes 2/3rds is unlikely, they will work with Trump as little as they have to.
    if things are bad enough for Trump that he cannot maintain 34 GOP senators in support – then we are through the looking glass.

  61. 61
    MikeifromArlington says:

    Bolton is the creature from the swampy lagoon.

    Bolton is quintessential swamp

  62. 62
    Chris says:

    @Crashman:

    From your keyboard to God’s ears, Adam.

    He said “Bolton is going to self-destruct.” How much collateral damage occurs in the process is still an open question.

  63. 63
    The Moar You Know says:

    If I wanted to destroy any organization, I’d hire a guy like John Bolton into their middle management. Everyone below leaves, everyone above tears their hair out and goes insane because nothing’s getting done and they don’t know why.

  64. 64
    HeleninEire says:

    In the pub cuz….it’s Friday. They are playing the Hillary song. “This is my life song…” Yeah? Dunno the name or artist. Gonna break out crying.

  65. 65
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Some of them are apparently gnawing on a theory that Bolton and Pompeo were somehow forced upon Trump by the Deep State.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    As for no one will work for/with him, I expect they’ll find people, but they won’t be the best and the brightest.

    The Trump White House was never going to get the best and the brightest no matter who the NSA was.

  67. 67
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Will he still think everyone is wrong or stupid when he can’t get anybody on his staff? The mind boggles

    Probably reinforce Bolton’s sense of personal perfection lol

    Personally, I suspect Bolton really doesn’t matter, Trump is the Philosopher King and needs no minion to tell him anything. Bolton’s job will be to echo Trump’s latest nonsense spew.

  68. 68

    @Matt McIrvin: I don’t even know what that means.

  69. 69
    ElegantFowl says:

    Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to take much competence and managerial skill to start a war, if you don’t actually care about the outcome or consequences. The real danger starts once Trump realizes he has no chance of reelection. He’s not gonna retire and learn to paint while awaiting redemption.

  70. 70
    The Moar You Know says:

    Does anyone think that when the Dems win in November, that they’ll try to work with Trump (given his malleability) than impeaching him and having to work with the much more ideologically rigid Mike Dence?

    @Arclite: Even under the best case scenario, we may have the votes to convict but not remove (Clinton impeachment part 2). We’re going to have to work with the unstable sack of shit until 2020 unless he drops dead from cheeseburgers.

  71. 71
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    My prediction: Bolton is not going to last as long as McMaster, let’s see if he can surpass Flynn’s time in office.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t even last one Moochspan.

  72. 72
    lgerard says:

    The good news is trump doesn’t listen to anyone anyway, and Bolton is sure to say something to upstage trump and piss him off.
    The bad news is this, along with Kudlow and Pompeo represent the return of the Mercer/Bannon axis to influence in the dumpster fire that is the White House.

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @Roger Moore: Getting fired before he starts would be impressive …. And well deserved.

  74. 74
    Roger Moore says:

    @Wild Cat:

    They were probably an item, and about ten years ago she published a photo of His Manly Boltonness sucking at her bare teats. I’m searching for it

    Good God, why? Do you really want to destroy everyone’s will to live?

  75. 75
  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    What pissed the President off about LTG McMaster is that he actually did the job the right way and took his duties and responsibilities seriously.

    The nerve of McMaster!

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elmo: I don’t disagree that Bolton understands how things work or that he’s very knowledgeable. Unlike the author of that piece I fortunately don’t know Bolton, nor have I had to work with him. But there is a difference in the job he’s going into, from the jobs he previously had. Now he’s the gatekeeper. And he’s not in a position to give orders to Mattis, for instance. The same skills that made him effective 1 years ago may do so again. Or they may just get him into trouble. Then he was Cheney’s catspaw. That’s not his job or role anymore.

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    My prediction: Bolton is not going to last as long as McMaster, let’s see if he can surpass Flynn’s time in office.

    The place I’m working at has a pool going on Trump administration members. We have them all ranked in the order in which we think they’re going to leave, and also in terms of how we think they’re going to leave (the three options being “resigned,” “fired,” and “died/disappeared under mysterious circumstances).

    After Tillerson got fired, I was tied for first place. With McMaster, I’ve gone down to the middle of the pack. We’ll see what happens next…

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    @Arclite:

    Does anyone think that when the Dems win in November, that they’ll try to work with Trump (given his malleability) than impeaching him and having to work with the much more ideologically rigid Mike Dence?

    Phuck no. I have absolutely no interest in seeing Democrats try to work with him.
    We win in November, it’s impeachment time, investigation time!

  80. 80
    Chris says:

    @HeleninEire:

    “Fight Song,” Rachel Platten.

  81. 81
    Raoul says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): This is what I think won’t work well. Trump will be upstaged on a number of occasions, and that will not please his fragile, tiny-huge ego.

  82. 82
    The Other Chuck says:

    @The Moar You Know: por que no los dos? No really, the Democratic caucus will send their smoothest-talking flatters to liase with 45 and probably sway him to Dem positions here and there, and meanwhile the caucus as a whole will sharpen its knives.

  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Well bless his heart

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Exactly. The honeymoon will be short.

  86. 86
    germy says:

    Neocon hawk John Bolton is dangerous. He still supports the war in Iraq. He has said numerous times that he wants to bomb Iran. And he does not support the talks with North Korea. Please contact your Senators to oppose his nomination. This is very important. https://t.co/3LaaT8aHYL— Jane O'Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) March 23, 2018

    I wouldn’t bank on there being confirmation hearings, Jane. Advisory roles don’t require them. https://t.co/5eepnKb3bv— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) March 23, 2018

  87. 87
    Old School says:

    @HeleninEire:

    They are playing the Hillary song. “This is my life song…” Yeah? Dunno the name or artist.

    Fight Song by Rachel Platten

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

  88. 88
    Jeffro says:

    @VincentN:

    So John Bolton is basically Ted Cruz in that even people who agree with him hate his guts.

    It’s idiots and assholes and both, all the way down!

  89. 89
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    So basically, he has a job like Eisenhower’s, and a temperament like Patton’s.

  90. 90
    The Other Chuck says:

    1) Bolton was probably already whispering in Trump’s ear.
    2) Trump doesn’t listen to his advisors anyway.

    Might be the best way to prevent Bolton’s policies would be to throw him into the Oval Padded Cell with the rest of the nutjobs for a time.

  91. 91
    Mary G says:

    We already know Twitler hates the mustache, and I am thinking of tweeting to him that whenever Bolton eats or drinks, some of it’s going to get stuck in there and YUGE bacteria will breed and make the whole White House die of plague.

  92. 92
    Porky Pine says:

    I heard Malcolm Nance this morning on the Stephanie Miller Show say that Bolton has been out of government service long enough to have to pass through security clearance [again?]. And Malcolm thought that Bolton would not be able to clear that hurdle, due to business dealings with proscribed entities. Adam, what do you think about this? Or will Twitler have Bolton installed in the West Wing even without the completed SF-86, a la Jared for so many months?

  93. 93
    John Revolta says:

    The North Koreans, in 2003, called Bolton “Human Scum”. So, y’know, I’m sure things are gonna improve on that front.

  94. 94
    ruemara says:

    @Arclite: Yes. They are just awaiting the chance to betray progressive principles and it’s all been for show.

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Well bless her heart too!

  96. 96
    Faithful Lurker says:

    Adam, does Bolton have to have a top level security clearance or does he already have one from years ago?

    edit: I missed the post above but am still really curious. I can’t see how he can pass a review.

  97. 97
    bluehill says:

    Supposedly Bolton has some ties to the Russians through the NRA. Who doesn’t in this admin? Apparently a dem rep sent Ryan a letter explicitly telling him not to use hacked data supplied by the Russians for attack ads. Of course, Ryan did anyways. It seems most of the idiots holding the positions of power within the repub party have been comprised or are working with the Russkies, The others are resigning. Not a good time for our democracy.

    I’ll give Putin some credit. He orchestrated a bloodless coup of the most powerful country on the planet and it probably cost less than one F-35 fighter jet. What’s the saying about always fighting the last war?

  98. 98
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @dmsilev: And this might be what gets him out pdq. He and Trump both are guys who want to have the last word – and most of the preceeding ones as well. He could piss Trump off fairly soon, expecially if some helpful rumors began to spread that he was “controlling” Trump à la Bannon. Trump doesn’t share the spotlight.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chris: I’d have gone with temperament like Stonewall Jackson’s, but pretty much.

  100. 100
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    “The Ransom of Red Chief.”

    M*A*S*H was brilliant at recycling old stories and folktales to plot new episodes. There was one that was taken directly from the Russian legend of Lieutenant Kije, and it was quite wonderful.

  101. 101
    TenguPhule says:

    I’m not trying to minimize what is definitely a sub-optimal choice.

    Calling it merely a sub-optimal choice is pretty much the definition of minimization, Adam.

  102. 102
    BCHS Class of 1980 says:

    @The Other Chuck: I agree that both would happen. Trump is so malleable and if the tsunami does hit, the GOP will be on his shit list. Additionally the investigations that will precede impeachment will take a while.

  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    So, can North Korea’s missiles reach the mainland?

    Given that Trump’s folks are the ones insisting that the intelligence estimates are wrong, I’m gonna go with a Yes on that.

  104. 104
    charon says:

    The blockquote posted at LGM:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....again.html

    Every account of Trump’s decision to replace H.R. McMaster with John Bolton reinforces this narrative. Trump’s main problem with McMaster was that his briefings were not dumbed-down to a low enough level. McMaster “is an intensely focused intellectual whose detailed briefings, by all accounts, drove the president crazy,” reports Politico. “Trump took to mocking him openly in the Oval Office, asking other White House aides why McMaster was so serious.”

    The Post has previously reported that Trump had registered a somewhat similar complaint with his now-fired secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. (“The president has long clashed with Tillerson, who he believes is too ‘establishment’ in his thinking.”) One might think “establishment” would be a positive association for a job like secretary of State. It makes sense to want somebody who’s lax and easygoing to handle jobs like, say, arranging hotel-room dates with porn stars you meet on the golf course, but “establishment” would convey the proper set of attributes for a job involving complex international diplomacy.

    But Trump seems to find normal foreign policy boring, and craves the kind of narrative drama found in the manufactured cartoon moralism found on Fox News, where evil abounds, and the only question is whether it will be faced down by tough guys or by sniveling wimps.

    Bolton was constantly appearing on Trump’s television screen delivering thrilling vows to take on evildoers. Meanwhile, McMaster was in his office every day giving boring lectures. “When the president would receive his morning schedule and see that he was expected to spend 30 minutes or longer with McMaster outside of his intelligence briefing, Trump would complain and ask aides to cut it back,” two sources tell the Washington Post. “At times, Trump would tell McMaster that he understood an issue largely to make him stop talking, these people said. ‘I get it, General, I get it,’ Trump would say, according to two people who were present at the time.” The Post also notes that Trump would tell his staff some days he “did not want to see McMaster at all,” like a child asking to skip school.

  105. 105
    BCHS Class of 1980 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What have you heard of the strife between McMaster and the 4-stars? The stories I’ve read just state it as a fact without explanation.

  106. 106
    Mary G says:

    Wow. Leigh Coffman’s attorney says that people from Breitbart offered to pay him to discredit her (WaPo).

    BIRMINGHAM — Days after a woman accused U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual impropriety, two Moore supporters approached her attorney with an unusual request.

    They asked lawyer Eddie Sexton to drop the woman as a client and say publicly that he did not believe her. The damaging statement would be given to Breitbart News, then run by former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

    In exchange, Sexton said in recent interviews, the men offered to pay him $10,000 and promised to introduce him to Bannon and others in the nation’s capital. Parts of Sexton’s account are supported by recorded phone conversations, text messages and people in whom he confided at the time.

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Porky Pine: @Faithful Lurker: Yep, both his top secret and sensitive compartmented information clearances will need to be redone. The CIA will process his SF 86 and the FBI will do the background check as they do for everyone to be cleared appointee in the White House. The completed check will be sent to the appropriate White House office, which adjudicates the investigation and determines what level of clearance, if any, is awarded. Bolton’s lobbying and speaking activities since leaving the Bush Administration in 2006 will legitimately raise flags as he’s been involved with and paid by a number of extremists (the MEK, UKIP, etc), as well as groups fronting for Russian organized crime (Torshin’s pro gun group). Whether the concerns that arise are deemed to be disqualifying is something I cannot say.

  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: What’s below sub-optimal?

  109. 109
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Baud:

    Yeah, I’d be happy with J-Steel’s “out-of-town stupid.”

  110. 110
    TenguPhule says:

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

    It’s hard for me to imagine Trump and Bolton sharing the same space. They’re both sure they’re right and eager for the limelight.

    Saurumon and Wormtongue.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What’s below sub-optimal?

    SNNCFU.

    Situation Not Normal Completely Fucked Up.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mary G: $10,000 seems like an awfully cheap bribe to risk potential disbarrment.

  113. 113
    charon says:

    Also:

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....presidency

    The nation was briefly spared having a raving maniac as national security adviser because the president based his personnel decisions based on his prejudices about facial hair. In conclusion, I’d say the decision of the nation’s political media that Hillary Clinton’s compliance with email server management best practices was the most important issue facing the country has held up even better than Maureen Dowd’s columns about Trump’s opposition to militarism.

  114. 114
    Chris says:

    @bluehill:

    I’ll give Putin some credit. He orchestrated a bloodless coup of the most powerful country on the planet and it probably cost less than one F-35 fighter jet.

    No joke.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BCHS Class of 1980: All I’ve seen are the same stories. So I have no idea.

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    @lgerard:

    and Bolton is sure to say something to upstage trump and piss him off.

    Sorry no. He kissed up and kicks down, from all accounts.

  117. 117
    Chris says:

    @charon:

    You missed the best part:

    The Times also notes, as does the Post, that Trump’s hesitation to bring on Bolton was “in part because of his negative reaction to Mr. Bolton’s walrus-style mustache.”

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    @bluehill:

    What’s the saying about always fighting the last war?

    The Sith spent the last 40 years preparing for this war by treason while the Jedi order thought we’d be fighting the last war by voting for the best possible candidate.

  119. 119
    eemom says:

    Bolton=Yosemite Sam. I think that started when he was in the Bush admin. Anyway, WB cartoons are comforting, and we certainly need that now.

  120. 120
    Waratah says:

    I thought there were times I liked Frank, he sometimes actually had a heart. I have not seen that in Bolton.

  121. 121
    Another Scott says:

    @Roger Moore: Bobo was on ATC this afternoon telling us that “Bolton is Trumpy”.

    It won’t matter to his Base, though, I’m sure. Either way.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  122. 122
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I mostly agree, I think he’ll last longer than Flynn* but not as long as McMaster.

    *Not a very high bar, let’s face it.

  123. 123
    Calouste says:

    @germy: Maybe Jane could have asked someone which positions require Senate confirmation. Someone she is close to might know.

  124. 124
    magurakurin says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    what’s below sub-optimal

    according to my cousin’s recent review The Justice League movie and Ben Affleck’s Batman

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @eemom:

    Bolton=Yosemite Sam.

    Yosemite Sam was more dangerous to himself then to others.

  126. 126
    TenguPhule says:

    @John Revolta:

    The North Koreans, in 2003, called Bolton “Human Scum”.

    Apparently we have more in common with North Korea then we suspected.

  127. 127
    Chris says:

    @TenguPhule:

    If we had an upvote, I’d give you one for ROTS novelization reference.

  128. 128
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @bluehill:

    I’ll give Putin some credit. He orchestrated a bloodless coup of the most powerful country on the planet and it probably cost less than one F-35 fighter jet.

    I wouldn’t. Putin is an evil, selfish man who doesn’t give one shit about anyone else but himself. His “bloodless coup” here could easily result in a nuclear war which would kill hundreds of millions in the least and set human civilzation back decades if not centuries.

  129. 129

    I hope he self-destructs before he starts World War III.

  130. 130
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Wild Cat:

    about ten years ago she published a photo of His Manly Boltonness sucking at her bare teats.

    The ICK is strong.

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Sure, sure.

  132. 132
    rikyrah says:

    16!!

    WHY does this baby have to fight?

    16-year-old Journey Jamison from the South Side of Chicago won’t be on stage at #MarchForOurLives on Saturday — but she’s fighting tirelessly to save victims of gun violence in her community.

    This is Journey’s incredible story. pic.twitter.com/2fEqCMCSB9

    — Mic (@mic) March 23, 2018

  133. 133
    Doug! says:

    First line of this post is killer.

  134. 134
    Another Scott says:

    @Mary G: rofl. :-)

    “Javanka! Quick! Call ServPro!! Remodel the Oval Office again!! We gotta get Bolton’s infected mustache droppings out of there!!11”

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  135. 135
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy: I’m against torture on principle, but I’m willing to make an exception for GG.

  136. 136
    Brachiator says:

    But mark my words, it’s not sub-optimal just because Bolton is an always wrong, belligerent, double A type authoritarian (kiss up, kick down). Rather it is sub-optimal because Bolton is going to self destruct

    OK, you’re telling me we have to wonder about who may self-destruct first, Bolton or Trump?

    @Another Scott:

    Bobo was on ATC this afternoon telling us that “Bolton is Trumpy”.

    Folks, here’s a story ’bout Donnie the Doocher
    He was a red-hot hoochie-coocher
    He was the roughest, toughest frail
    But Donnie had an ego as big as a whale

    Hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi (hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi)
    Whoa-a-a-a-ah (whoa-a-a-a-ah)
    Hee-dee-hee-dee-hee-dee-hee (hee-dee-hee-dee-hee-dee-hee)
    He-e-e-e-e-e-e-y (he-e-e-e-e-e-e-y)

    He messed around with a bloke named Bolton
    He loved him though was Trumpy
    He took him down to North Koreatown
    And he showed him how to kick the nukes around

  137. 137
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    If I wanted to destroy any organization, I’d hire a guy like John Bolton into their middle management. Everyone below leaves, everyone above tears their hair out and goes insane because nothing’s getting done and they don’t know why.

    So Putin will approve then.

  138. 138
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Well bless his heart

    Question for the (other) Olds: Was it George Gobel who used to say “Bless your little pea-pickin’ heart”?

    Might have been Tennessee Ernie Ford.

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @magurakurin: I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve heard mixed things.

  140. 140
    Mary G says:

    I just read a really interesting article about CambAnal in Mother Jones magazine. There is a chance that the genius data mining might not even exist and it’s really just a scam

    The Cruz campaign believed Ripon might give it an edge in a crowded field of Republican hopefuls. But the software wasn’t ready right away. According to former Cruz staffers, Wilson inquired about Ripon’s status daily. It was almost finished, he was repeatedly told. Weeks passed, then months. Finally, in August 2015, one of the Cambridge consultants in Houston came clean. Ripon “doesn’t exist,” he told Wilson, according to several former Cruz staffers. “It’ll never exist. I’ve just resigned because I can’t stand lying to you every day anymore.” The campaign had hired Cambridge in the belief it could use Ripon to help win Cruz the nomination; instead, it was paying millions of dollars to build the Ripon technology. “It was like an internal Ponzi scheme,” a former Cruz campaign official told me.

    It almost reads as if the Mercers give a big donation to a politician, who then signs a contract with CambAnal. Bolton’s superpac got $5 million in donations from the Mercers and paid CambAnal $1.2 million. Kickback? Money laundering? Inquiring minds want to know.

  141. 141
    Ruckus says:

    @Porky Pine:
    Well if he is there only temporarily anyway, which seems like a real possibility, he’ll probably be out before any temp clearance is null and void. The only thing would be if he is in such trouble that he can’t even get a temp clearance. Seems like a long shot but who knows with these clowns, personally I wouldn’t let them clean out a hog pen with spoons and lunch sized paper bags. They’d fuck it up and make it shittier.

  142. 142
    zhena gogolia says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    “Lieutenant Kizhe” was a story by Yury Tynianov. I suppose it was based on a legend, but Prokofiev was inspired by Tynianov’s story.

    I can’t believe I’ve gotten to plug Dmitri Prigov and Yury Tynianov on successive days on BJ.

  143. 143
    Corner Stone says:

    Well, well, well. CNN:
    The President’s doctor is getting promoted

    “The Pentagon announced on Friday that President Donald Trump nominated Jackson to the position of rear admiral (upper half) from his current position of rear admiral (lower half). The nomination, which secretary of defense Jim Mattis announced, would give Jackson his second star and a bump in pay.”

    I’m sure it’s just routine, though.

  144. 144
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    Okay, it’s 49° outside here in NoVA right now. Supposed to be the same in D.C. tomorrow, maybe a little cloudy. So it will be fine for the march. I went to the store a little while ago, and it was quite pleasant.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mary G:

    whenever Bolton eats or drinks, some of it’s going to get stuck in there and YUGE bacteria will breed and make the whole White House die of plague.

    GERMZZZ!!!

  147. 147
    Jay says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    I would. Putin sucessfully exploited the worst natures of America to pull off his coup.

    The US has always had to use The Generals.

  148. 148
    Another Scott says:

    @Brachiator: :-) Well done! Cab would be proud.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  149. 149
    magurakurin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: me neither. I am more of a Marvel person though. In the airport in Christchurch heading home from two weeks in NZ. what a wonderful country. They sure don’t think much of Trump, though, which is to their credit of course.

  150. 150
    Another Scott says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: The Google Machine says TEF. Well done! :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  151. 151
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Jay:
    I don’t want to give him credit for anything. He’s a monster.

  152. 152
    Another Scott says:

    @zhena gogolia: In Soviet Russia, Balloon Juice plugs you!!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  153. 153
    Ruckus says:

    @Waratah:
    Frank Burns was an act. drumpf and Bolton are the real deal. They are just as bad in every way you think they are. Larry Linville on played an asshole on TV. These two are assholes full time.

  154. 154
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Ruckus:
    They obviously mean the character, not the actor.

  155. 155
    Ruckus says:

    @Calouste:

    Someone she is close to might know.

    Wanna bet?

  156. 156
    ruemara says:

    @Wild Cat: Oh good goddess have mercy on us all.

  157. 157
    John Revolta says:

    @TenguPhule: I do respect their translators’ way of finding le mot juste.

  158. 158
    MomSense says:

    The myriad ways in which trump is a disaster are overwhelming at times. I just came back from a Great Discussions program where we were discussing global health and US support and investment. At some point in the conversation it was noted that there won’t be any progress with this administration. My dad said that has come up in every foreign policy topic they’ve covered this year.

    It’s infuriating that our worst person now holds our most important office. Anyone he chooses is going to be awful. Anyone willing to work for him, let alone someone like Bolton who is enthusiastic about it,is going to be dreadful.

    If I didn’t have people I care about and feel responsible for, it would be very tempting to just escape this bullshit. Then again there is nowhere to go that is outside the reach of the US.

    So we resist and we fight.

  159. 159
    MomSense says:

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

    I think I ❤️ed just about every comment on that thread.

  160. 160
    Gin & Tonic says:

    As a mustache-American myself, I do not find Bolton’s choice of facial hair to be offensive. Everything else about him, maybe, but it’s a good solid mustache.

  161. 161
  162. 162
    lgerard says:

    @Mary G:

    It almost reads as if the Mercers give a big donation to a politician, who then signs a contract with CambAnal. Bolton’s superpac got $5 million in donations from the Mercers and paid CambAnal $1.2 million. Kickback? Money laundering? Inquiring minds want to know.

    This

    A careful reading of this article might cause you to conclude that Nix is nothing more then a bullshit artist of trumpian stature

  163. 163
    magurakurin says:

    @MomSense: take it from a 20-year expat…the pain and horror of this isn’t any better outside the border.

  164. 164
    Jay says:

    @Mary G:

    Anal and SCO have been floating the “excuse”, that “it really doesn’t work”, everytime they have been caught breaking election laws, so for about a decade now.

    Microtargetting works.

  165. 165
    Mike G says:

    I’m trying to think of the equivalent of Colonel Flagg, the pompous CIA guy. Maybe Mike Pence.

  166. 166
    MomSense says:

    @germy:

    God he irritates me.

  167. 167
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Just saw something on twitter that said while Bolton was pro Vietnam War he declined to sign up or be drafted because “I have no desire to die in a rice paddy in Vietnam” How very brave of him and typical of the keyboard commandos out there every single day.

  168. 168
    Jay says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Yup, he’s kinda a monster. I don’t like all the “New Hitler” references that ‘Murkin’s float out everytime they have a Foreign Head of State to hate. It’s not productive to containment, negotiation or neutralization, tends to lead to things like Dubya Dubya Me Too.

  169. 169
    JLowe says:

    Hi Adam – good analysis. Leaves a thread of hope that sheer incompetence will come to our rescue before something really bad happens. However, the analysis raises a different question for me. These guys seem to be real dim-bulbs, as in making the Bushies look smart by comparison dim-bulbs (yeah, I know, Bolton was there too, UN Ambassador. So what, big deal). However, they seem to be winning right now. Not a blowout or anything, but at this moment, things do seem to look a bit grim for the Forces of Light. Why is that? Is it just the matter of “evil will always triumph because good is dumb”? Does evil also triumph against smart? Or is there something else at work here?

  170. 170
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I just read an old dailykos with a letter from 2005 about Bolton. As disturbing as it is, it’s now, not only the “me too” era, of note is his over the top bullying for what are now bosses only noteworthy for being under investigation by Mueller.
    Manafort, Stone, Black …
    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2005/4/15/106909/-

  171. 171
    lgerard says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Sorry no. He kissed up and kicks down, from all accounts.

    I’m sure that Bolton will embrace trump tightly and cover him with soft kisses, but I’m equally sure that Bolton’s giant ego will cause him to say something that will make trump feel that Bolton is taking credit for something that rightly belongs to the great trump. That is always the starting point for his dissatisfaction.

  172. 172
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Donald Trump nominated Jackson to the position of rear admiral (upper half) from his current position of rear admiral (lower half)

    So he graduates from having to look up Trump’s ass to merely observing his hairy back?

  173. 173
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:
    He doesn’t even fucking live here anymore. Not that people who aren’t Americans/don’t live here can’t have opinions about goings on in the US. I just resent GG because He’s such a sanctimonious ass who has no real skin the game.

  174. 174
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Is there some way we can find some angry, enraged loner to send to the Chuck Todd MTP set with his AR15 and bump stock?

  175. 175
    Mle says:

    @HeleninEire:

    It’s Rachel Platton. “Fight Song.” And if you want to feel bad about another thing, listen to her talk about “broken glass” on song exploder. (It’s about the crap she got for letting Hillary use it.)

  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    @lgerard:

    but I’m equally sure that Bolton’s giant ego will cause him to say something that will make trump feel that Bolton is taking credit for something that rightly belongs to the great trump.

    This would be sub-optimal as that would occur after the ballistic missiles are already on final approach to targets.

  177. 177
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Jay:
    I see what you’re saying.

  178. 178
    MomSense says:

    @magurakurin:

    That’s what I figure. It has been nice this past week to carve out short periods of time to look at or give any thought to politics. I’m really just enjoying my dad, going on long walks, and taking bad photos of wildlife. I do find that I have to work at not thinking about it and every afternoon before we turn on the news my dad wonders aloud about what the bad news will be today.

  179. 179
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @The Moar You Know: Jeebus Cripes, here we go again:

    Impeachment =/= conviction!!!!

    It’s analogous to indictment. The Senate is analogous to the jury, with 2/3+1 votes of those present needed to convict & remove from office, (Note the phrase “two thirds of the Members present” from USC Article I Section 3. It would appear to be theoretically possible for enough Senators to absent themselves from the proceedings that there would still be a quorum [51] & Democrats voting as a bloc would satisfy the 2/3 + 1 requirement. E.g., if 30 Thuglicans stayed away from an impeachment vote, the current 49 Senate Democrats would constitute 70% of “Members present”. How to organize that? Damfino – I’m a math/stat type.)

  180. 180
    lgerard says:

    @TenguPhule:

    This would be sub-optimal as that would occur after the ballistic missiles are already on final approach to targets.

    I’m wondering if we are going to see a day when the military leadership flatly refuses to carry out an order from the commander in chief. That will certainly be a turning point in American history.

  181. 181
    kdaug says:

    @SFAW: He von’t listen. Arrogant men never do.

  182. 182
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Yes, but it would be optimal because some of the other guys’ ballistic missiles would be heading towards DC to vaporize Dump. If he somehow survived that in a bunker somewhere he wouldn’t last a week before a Secret Service agent lost it and shot him.

  183. 183
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Honey?moon?? Think saccharinmeteor.

  184. 184
    lgerard says:

    @MomSense:

    I tried to sell my friends on the concept of trumpless tuesdays, a day where baring impeachment, indictment or KFC induced medical event that there be no mention of the orange bastard.

    It’s not working so far

  185. 185

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:
    I resent GG because he’s a liar and a successful ratfucker.

  186. 186
    Yutsano says:

    @magurakurin: I have friends in Auckland bugging the shit out of me to come and visit. I can’t wait except I have a feeling I won’t want to leave. I’m also surprised how reasonable the flights are to Auckland from Seattle are.

  187. 187
    trollhattan says:

    Per NY Mag $31k Ben is next on the Trumpenblok.

  188. 188
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: As I wrote in a comment about this last night, regardless of whether they could do what they said, it appeared Mercer was laundering money by donating to campaigns, PACs, and Super PACs and then requiring them to hire his company to do the data work.

  189. 189
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    That too.

  190. 190
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    If he somehow survived that in a bunker somewhere he wouldn’t last a week before a Secret Service agent lost it and shot him.

    Last I checked, SOP is for him to escape on AF1 and fly somewhere the bombs aren’t hitting.

  191. 191
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @magurakurin: I love the DC characters. I’ll probably watch it now that its out on digital download.

  192. 192
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I love the DC characters.

    Then you’re probably not going to like what they’ve been turned into on screen.

  193. 193
    trollhattan says:

    Really dislike the double-negative in use here.

    Team Bolton: John Never Promised Trump He ‘Wouldn’t Start Any Wars’

    I am so gonna start a war! [stomps off]

    Bolton’s bringing in Paul Wolfowitz, isn’t he.

  194. 194
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    DC can’t seem to make a decent live-action movie adaptation, aside from Wonder Woman, to save their lives atm.

  195. 195
    magurakurin says:

    @Yutsano: I recommend it highly. This has been the most relaxing and stress free travels I have ever done. The people are wonderful.

  196. 196
    TenguPhule says:

    “China would fight to the end to defend its own legitimate interests with all necessary measures,” China’s embassy in Washington said in a statement late Thursday. “China is not afraid of and will not recoil from a trade war.”

    Overseas markets crapping their pants.

    Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

  197. 197
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’d like to hear your opinion after you see it.

    Iconic characters together in one film. Parts of it are great, but many of the scenes I saw in previews are missing.

  198. 198
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It wasn’t just laundering, it was also “donor milking”,

    Anal took in far more from the Campaigns and PAC’s than the Mercer’s donated.

  199. 199
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Superman has too few weaknesses, Batman has too much angst, Aquaman is forgettable and the Flash is hard to take seriously when he’s dressed in red.

  200. 200
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jay:

    It wasn’t just laundering, it was also “donor milking”,

    Is this anything like milking a bull?

  201. 201
    mario says:

    unfortunately, Lawfare blog does not agree that Bolton will be ineffective.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/john-bolton-i-knew

    and the author ain’t no lightweight

  202. 202
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Here’s how much the stock market is still up since Donald Trump took office: Or CNBC is garbage

    President Donald Trump has touted the strong stock market performance since he took office.

    Detractors may point to the Dow Jones industrial average’s recent stumbles, but the benchmark index has much further to fall before Trump’s post-inauguration gains are gone.

    “I think the stock market is gonna be great. The stock market is way up. When I came into office the stock market was from a different planet. It’s way up,” Trump said at a news conference Friday. “China is gonna end up treating us fairly.”

  203. 203
    geg6 says:

    @lgerard:

    Hell, I watched that video when it first hit and knew immediately that he was a total bullshit artist. Any articles spelling it out would only confirm what I already knew. But that doesn’t mean that CambAnal wasn’t involved in nefarious shit with Russia and Trump. I thank the FSM for the CambAnal whistleblower. I have thought for a year now that this is where we’d find the smoking gun, if there is one. And with this Guccifer 2.0 news, I think I may still be right.

  204. 204
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Chris: My god, so Bolton was already on the death watch even before he was offered the job, because of his mustache?ROFL

    Watch it, before the end Trump will be firing people he never hired.

  205. 205
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @VeniceRiley: I’ve seen that letter before. And I can relate. My first job for the Army was as a contractor. I worked for the Prime on the contract. The business development unit leads, as well as their on site lead who would go on to be charged with misuse of government funds (theft) actually pulled a similar type of thing on me before I deployed. The whole thing blew up in their face when the Program Manager had the Chief of Staff bring my team in and ask them questions about whether they were loyal to me or to the program. At that point they got the truth and I was reinstated. Of course the Prime did everything they could to irk me and the Program Manager for the next three years. I got a modicum of revenge when I got AmEx to open a FraudX investigation on how they were setting up and directing their employees to use the corporate credit cards.

  206. 206
    debbie says:

    Oh, come on. You know you want to see a glower-down between Bolton and Gorka. Who will be the first to pee their pants?

  207. 207
    bluehill says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: I hear you. I don’t say it in admiration but out of respect. I think you respect your adversaries, particularly ones that control a large nuclear arsenal.

    It seems like the accepted view was that Russia was in retreat and no longer a threat. It’s territorial influence had shrunk. It’s economy was cratering with falling oil prices and sanctions. I have too little knowledge to know if this ridiculous speculation, but I wonder if a “weakened” Russia made it easier to launch the “war on terror” since we had this great military that now needed a new opponent. We jump into the middle east quagmire which over time consumes more and more of our attention and resources and makes it easier for Russia carry out its plan. Heckuva job, Dick Cheney!

    As for increasing the threat of a nuclear war, if Putin secures his grip on power here, and right now he seems to have sway on two of our branches of government through one of the major political parties, then he obviously has a tremendous amount of influence. I would think it would be easier and more profitable to turn the US into an “ally.” I don’t think too many countries would want a confrontation. Not what I want, but just speculating about Putin’s end game. Again, I don’t have any expertise, just what I remember from HS history and Tom Clancy novels.

  208. 208
    MomSense says:

    @lgerard:

    In my everyday life I fail to ignore the trump drama but I think trumpless Tuesdays is a great idea.

    I almost lost my dad a year ago so this time with him is precious. That apricot asshole will not take it away from me.

  209. 209
    Cacti says:

    Bolton knows only one thing:

    We need to be at war with someone, somewhere.

  210. 210
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: My understanding is that a lot of the problem is that no matter how careful they were, what Whedon was brought in to finish and to then do reshoots created a strange hybrid that wasn’t Snyder’s movie, nor was it Whedon’s movie.

  211. 211
    germy says:

    @Cacti:

    Bolton knows only one thing:

    We need to be at war with someone, somewhere.

    Well not him personally.

  212. 212
    WereBear says:

    I would like to think they would run out of assholes, but as we all know, this is a renewable resource.

    Trump sure is burning through the available supply, though.

  213. 213
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @mario: I’m not saying he’ll be ineffective. I’m saying he will be ultimately self destructive and self defeating. There’s a difference.

  214. 214
    debbie says:

    @Cacti:

    That puts me in mind of the Plan for a New Century put out by Bill Kristol way back in the late 1990s. The plan was to be ready and capable of waging two wars simultaneously at any time.

  215. 215
    M31 says:

    @debbie:

    You know you want to see a glower-down between Bolton and Gorka. Who will be the first to pee their pants?

    another pee pee tape for Trump!

  216. 216
    Brachiator says:

    From CNN

    Bush-era diplomat tweets that you should be scared, very scared

    A high-ranking official from former President George W. Bush’s State Department shared a dire assessment of the current geopolitical state of affairs, calling it “the most perilous moment in modern American history.”

    President Donald Trump “is now set for war on 3 fronts: political vs Bob Mueller, economic vs China/others on trade, and actual vs. Iran and/or North Korea,” Richard Haass tweeted Friday. “This is the most perilous moment in modern American history — and it has been largely brought about by ourselves, not by events.”

    Haass, a pillar of the US foreign policy establishment and longtime president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a premiere foreign policy think tank, previously accused the Trump administration of abdicating US global leadership.

    On a local (Southern California) talk show, callers and Twitter posts are laughing, dismissing all this panic as old fashioned thinking, the kind of deep state swamp gas that Trump promised to get rid of. They are peeing themselves over their happiness with their new sheriff in town, convinced that Trump is going to show friends and enemies alike how a Real White President takes care of business.

    This also includes Republican pundits and strategists who play that game of denying that Trump could ever do wrong.

    These dopes are not just clinging to their delusion, they’re doubling down on it.

  217. 217
    Mary G says:

    The CambAnal whistleblower just tweeted this out, maybe Adam can embed it. It’s a first page of a memo from Rudy Giuliani’s law firm addressed to Rebekah Mercer, Steve Bannon and Alexander Nix on whether foreign companies can work on American elections:

    Bannon knew pic.twitter.com/mJlsD1EJq1— Christopher Wylie (@chrisinsilico) March 23, 2018

  218. 218
    Jay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    More like milking the Deplorables, the Gullabillies and the Wingnut Welfare Ogliarches.

    PAC’s don’t actually have to spend money on “politics”, they can be pure grift and money laundering.

  219. 219
    lgerard says:

    @geg6:

    The article is more then a year old, so the truth was out there for a while. My own guesswork is that CamAn gave trump’s operation the idea and some of the raw materials even if they themselves were not able to deliver on their grandiose promises.

  220. 220
    MomSense says:

    I can’t link on this stupid phone but everyone check out the #veteransforgunreform video.

    I think we are finally going to ban these things.

  221. 221
    debbie says:

    @mario:

    There’s no way to know whether he will be effective or not. For all their shortcomings and all-around wrong-headedness, Bolton had a reliable partner in the Bush administration. No way he has one now.

  222. 222
    Ruckus says:

    @Yutsano:
    I went. I didn’t want to come back. I tried to move there but was a year too old. It is a wonderful place. The south island can be a bit more… weather interesting in the winter but has some of the great natural features that are a small part in making it what it is, all in all it looked like a great place to live.
    When I came back my sister asked me what I liked about it and I started thinking about all the places but realized that far more than that it was all the people that I met that made it great.

  223. 223
    TenguPhule says:

    @WereBear:

    Trump sure is burning through the available supply, though.

    The problem is that they don’t die, they simply get older.

  224. 224
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m not saying he’ll be ineffective. I’m saying he will be ultimately self destructive and self defeating. There’s a difference.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t tell the difference between the two shades of radioactive fallout from here.

  225. 225
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    These dopes are not just clinging to their delusion, they’re doubling down on it.

    I know. I don’t see how this ends without getting rid of 1/3 of Americans.

  226. 226
    Chip Daniels says:

    This article in The Atlantic seems on topic:
    Trump Can’t Get What He Wants And Doesn’t Know Why
    Basically, that Trump has this Green Lantern theory of how things work, and gets frustrated when all of Washington doesn’t simply jump at his orders.
    I get the sense that Bolton has this same mentality.

  227. 227
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Here you go:

  228. 228
  229. 229
    Jeffro says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): we are looking forward to it here!

    My kid are fired UP

  230. 230
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    My understanding is that a lot of the problem is that no matter how careful they were, what Whedon was brought in to finish and to then do reshoots created a strange hybrid that wasn’t Snyder’s movie, nor was it Whedon’s movie.

    This worked fairly well with “Rogue One,” which cobbled together the work of two different directors. Here, the producers had some idea of the overall tone and result that they wanted, even though they still had to make compromises and rough spots show in the final product.

    I don’t know. I’ve pretty much moved on from “Justice League.” But there are comic fans who are convinced that there is a hidden masterpiece in Snyder’s footage. And all kinds of stuff is popping up on comic sites about what Snyder wanted to do with Superman’s black suit, etc. The movie might have been more satisfying had they given the new team more time, but they were committed to their release window. Or maybe it always would have been a bit of a mess.

    The one thing that the studio has going for it is that the audiences liked the heroes. It’s up to the creative team not to squander this bit of goodwill that has been generated.

  231. 231
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mary G:

    I just read a really interesting article about CambAnal in Mother Jones magazine. There is a chance that the genius data mining might not even exist and it’s really just a scam

    Some of the recent revelations have convinced me Cambridge Analytica was never anything but a front for Russian Intelligence. Their technology was never anything more than a cover story, and they never helped Cruz because Russia favored Trump.

  232. 232
    NotMax says:

    Haven’t read through the comments yet so apologies if repetitious of what is above.

    Look to Venezuela first as the place where Bolton will be testing the waters vis a vis his authority versus Mattis, etc..

  233. 233
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Calouste:

    BTW, why is Crooked Jane not in jail for bank fraud yet?

  234. 234
    Mary G says:

    TY. It looks like they said, oh no, it’s against the law, but I’m sure there is a “but” on page 2. Interesting because it’s four years old. Seems like they were planning all these shenanigans for Ted Cruz and switched to Trump when he started winning.

  235. 235
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator: Rogue One was a piss poor movie until the final five minutes of it.

  236. 236
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:

    These dopes are not just clinging to their delusion, they’re doubling down on it.

    We’ll see how long their cocksure attitude lasts when the US economy is in tatters. What fucking idiots. Did they really think that America was destined to always be the center of the universe?

  237. 237
    Jay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/3/23/1751581/-Facebook-Knows-Everything-You-Do-It-s-worse-than-I-thought

    Meta data on emails, text messages, cell phone calls, voice mail, all “captured” outside of Messenger and SMS.

  238. 238
  239. 239
    Jay says:

    @Mary G:

    In one of the Guardian’s Anal stories, they note that Anal took Cruz from 3% to 35% in the Primaries.

  240. 240
    notoriousJRT says:

    My guess is he will have people join his staff. For whatever reason, the draw will succeed with some. This country has proved itself to have a high inventory of arrogant assholes of the far right persuasion. Will they be highly competent? That is a different challenge.

  241. 241
    lgerard says:

    May final thought on Bolton

    The fervent wish that this dynamic works on an accelerated schedule

  242. 242
    laura says:

    My town’s in lockdown. Sunday, an unarmed 22 year old man ran from police into his grandparents back yard where he was shot 22 times. You may have seen it on the am chat showz.
    Darkrose commented on it very early Tuesday morning. Her palpable heartache and anguish was….I still don’t have words.
    Last night a peaceful protest was held that interupted traffic and the start of a basketball game.
    This morning, our Mayor, Darrell Steinberg asked for protest to continue peacefully as the investigation proceeds.
    My neighbor is a local high school teacher and yesterday she told me her black students are reporting feeling terrorized. Literally fearing constantly that they are going to be shot and killed any and everywhere they go.
    Not. Safe. Any. Where.
    As I left for work, my 59th street overpass had a guy standing with a blue lives matter banner. Blue is a job, it is not, in fact a life was my initial thought.
    I just drove home. Traffic through every main freeway is backed up for miles and the downtown is on lockdown. No entrance or exit. Police and cars and helicopters and just massive police presence.
    What the hell have we done to ourselves?
    A significant number of friends, neighbor have justified fears that their fellow neighbors and coworkers and students would just as soon they be dead or would go further and do the killing.
    What can I do to help fix this city, this state, this nation?

  243. 243
    Corner Stone says:

    Man. Tweety really, really hates John Bolton.

  244. 244
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Brachiator:

    The one thing that the studio has going for it is that the audiences liked the heroes. It’s up to the creative team not to squander this bit of goodwill that has been generated.

    Then it was too late from the start because Snyder went out of his way to make both Superman and Batman unlikable. Personally, I think he was trying to do the same thing with all of them (let’s “deconstruct” the heroes by making them awful), but Mamoa, Gadot, and Miller had too much personal charisma and were able to shine through. (Though I was a bit put off by Mamoa’s strange “frat boy” take on Aquaman.) When Superman showed up at the end and smugly said “Is this guy still bothering you?” to Wonder Woman, I nearly started rooting for Steppenwolf.

  245. 245
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I love the DC universe. I grew up reading Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Brave and the Bold, Detective, etc. I find it interesting that television has done a better job with the DC world than the movie studios.

  246. 246
    Mary G says:

    Andrew McCabe is clapping back in the WaPo:

    Despite all the preparation for the worst-case scenario, I still felt disoriented and sick to my stomach. Around 10 p.m., a friend called to tell me that CNN was reporting that I had been fired. She read me the attorney general’s statement.

    So, after two decades of public service, I found out that I had been fired in the most disembodied, impersonal way — third-hand, based on a news account. Shortly after getting word, I noticed an email from a Justice Department official in my work account, telling me that I had been “removed from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the civil service.”

    and

    Not in my worst nightmares did I ever dream my FBI career would end this way.

    The next day I woke to find the president of the United States celebrating my punishment: “Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI — A great day for Democracy.” I was sad, but not surprised, to see that such unhinged public attacks on me would continue into my life after my service to the FBI. President Trump’s cruelty reminded me of the days immediately following the firing of James B. Comey, as the White House desperately tried to push the falsehood that people in the FBI were celebrating the loss of our director. The president’s comments about me were equally hurtful and false, which shows that he has no idea how FBI people feel about their leaders.

    We just lost a valuable public servant for Trump to pretend he’s still the boss of the Apprentice TV show.

  247. 247
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: I think part of the problem is that Snyder doesn’t really understand the characters. He’s locked into a vision that he brought to or created for Watchmen. And WB clearly doesn’t care. They just want to make money. So when you get a director who does get the character – Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman – you get a much better story and film, even if the required CGI additions in the third act didn’t need to be there. It isn’t like Marvel hasn’t had a few stinkers as well. I honestly didn’t think Batman V Superman was that bad. It isn’t the clash of heroes stories I would have made. If I was going that route, I’d have done Kingdom Come. But trying to shoehorn an adaptation of the back half of Dark Knight Returns combined with the last sliver of The Death of Superman into one movie wasn’t the way to go.

    I’ll probably watch it over the next week to ten days and I’ll let you know what I think.

  248. 248
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Rogue One was a piss poor movie until the final five minutes of it.

    Fair point. Most movie goers seemed to like a bit more of it. I’ve even heard a few fans say it was their favorite Star Wars movie.

    I’m participating in a summer movie draft. For some reason, there is a fair amount of pre-hate for the upcoming Han Solo movie. Some fans are easily satisfied, others are never satisfied.

  249. 249
    Corner Stone says:

    Hardball is the worst possible venue that Avenatti could agree to go on. Avenatti has focused, disciplined and thoughtful answers. And Matthews can’t stand that. I predict the over/under of Tweety interrupting him to be 112.

  250. 250
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator: Take away the Death Star blast and 3 minutes of Darth Vader and Rogue One could have been about any sci-fi story no one has ever heard of.

  251. 251
    central texas says:

    My guess it that Mr. Bolton and his master will work overtime to start a war, ASAP. Could be Granada-sized or Panama, could be another Iraq fuck up, or he may go for the gold and start something on the Korean Peninsula or even China. Then anyone who is not 101% behind Fearless Leader is a traitor (just like Vietnam and Iraq) and all the careful interagency routine will be washed away in the wonderful, liberating, chaos where no rules or budgets apply. Naturally those supreme patriots Paul Ryan and the Turtle will be leading the parade. The contractors make out like the thieves they are and the soldiers get to re-litigate Vietnam and Iraq one more time. Then we just have to wait for the victory parade or the smoking craters.

  252. 252
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @laura: I’m going to assume this isn’t rhetorical, so…
    1) Don’t let it completely demoralize you. Keep a cool head and as much perspective as you can.
    2) Reach out and be supportive where and when you can.
    3) Pester everyone you know to register to vote, then get them to pester everyone they know to register to vote, then pester everyone you know to vote, and then get them to pester everyone they know to vote.
    4) Recognize that we’re better than this. That we can either choose to try to live up to our ideals or live down to others’ fears. If we keep our wits about us, stay focused, get organized, we can get through this.

    Your mayor sounds like he is doing and saying the right things. Provided the protests and demonstrations stay peaceful, cooler heads will prevail. And remember, this, as painful as it is, is progress. Because of the technology word and audio and video of these things occurs almost immediately. It is very hard to cover these things up because you can’t stop the signal.

  253. 253
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SFBayAreaGal: It is a puzzlement!

  254. 254
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: We haven’t lost him. The President’s behavior and the AG’s supplication to it have actually freed him up. To talk, to comment, to blow the whistle in a way he couldn’t from within the bureau.

  255. 255
    debbie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Law of the Universe: You get back what you put out. Bolton — like Trump — is attracting the bile he loved visiting upon others. I hope it bothers Bolton as much as it bothers Trump.

  256. 256
    mike in dc says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    We’re growing ever closer to connecting all the dots on this clusterfck, aren’t we?

  257. 257
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Zooks!

    Thanks Adam and Mary G!

    (It seemed kinda obvious to me, after Gore and the Buddhist Temple, Citizens United, etc., etc., but IANAL and it’s always more impressive to see it in B&W with cites to the CFR and USC.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  258. 258
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’ve seen that letter before. And I can relate. My first job for the Army was as a contractor. I worked for the Prime on the contract. The business development unit leads, as well as their on site lead who would go on to be charged with misuse of government funds (theft) actually pulled a similar type of thing on me before I deployed. The whole thing blew up in their face when the Program Manager had the Chief of Staff bring my team in and ask them questions about whether they were loyal to me or to the program. At that point they got the truth and I was reinstated. Of course the Prime did everything they could to irk me and the Program Manager for the next three years. I got a modicum of revenge when I got AmEx to open a FraudX investigation on how they were setting up and directing their employees to use the corporate credit cards.

    Yeow! Had to hurt for a while. Glad you got revenge!
    I just thought it would. hopefully, bring a new level of scrutiny to his background check this time around to see him associated with these known bad actors. Last time, it was well before their current misdeeds.

  259. 259
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Isn’t Bolton meant to be some giant Russia hawk? Surely he’s going to clash with the Great Appeaser before too long and end up out of favour even if Trump lacks the guts to fire him?

  260. 260
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Take away the Death Star blast and 3 minutes of Darth Vader and Rogue One could have been about any sci-fi story no one has ever heard of.

    You take that back.

    For once we see EFFECTIVE Imperial Stormtroopers in action.

  261. 261
    Brachiator says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Then it was too late from the start because Snyder went out of his way to make both Superman and Batman unlikable. Personally, I think he was trying to do the same thing with all of them (let’s “deconstruct” the heroes by making them awful), but Mamoa, Gadot, and Miller had too much personal charisma and were able to shine through. (Though I was a bit put off by Mamoa’s strange “frat boy” take on Aquaman.)

    I agree with everything you said. Also, Mamoa’s frat boy take may have been strange, but at least he was giving Aquaman a personality, instead of being just another interchangeable block of super powered muscles.

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I think part of the problem is that Snyder doesn’t really understand the characters. He’s locked into a vision that he brought to or created for Watchmen. And WB clearly doesn’t care. They just want to make money. So when you get a director who does get the character – Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman – you get a much better story and film

    The strange thing is that the DC animated work is often quite good, and the DC TV universe is cheesy but fun.

    Disney/Marvel is as greedy as WB, and yet they have found a way to surprise and delight fans by not just mechanically sticking to what they think is a winning formula. I agree with you about Snyder. He’s locked into a narrow vision of his superheroes. It’s too bad he didn’t have other people who could push back and maybe help him flesh out his vision.

  262. 262
    TenguPhule says:

    @mike in dc: All paths are coming together.

  263. 263
    TenguPhule says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    Isn’t Bolton meant to be some giant Russia hawk?

    That was before we found out he’s involved with CA.

  264. 264
    Ruckus says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Did they really think that America was destined to always be the center of the universe?

    Yes, yes they did. With them as the leaders and therefore they would be the actual center of the universe with the rest of the exulted rich white folks. Every one else would be spread out from there, with the non-whites far enough out in space to have no oxygen.

  265. 265
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Brachiator: Is anyone watching DC Legends of Tomorrow on TV?
    I am digging the shizznit out of the totally lesbian in your face ship Captain time lord type, and the crossover action with Supergirl … (Supergirl’s sister and her … um, wow, they went at it!) And I’m old enough to “LESBIANS ON TV!!!!” because I remember when we weren’t. Still, this was like some cable on broadcast action.

    Anyhow, DC TV is cheeky cheezy fun.

    As for the movies? I just want to have Gal Gadot’s babies.

  266. 266
    Ryan says:

    Ma@TenguPhule: Maybe he’ll see the contradiction, realize it does not compute, and self destruct.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlMegqgGORY

  267. 267
    laura says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks Adam, it is demoralizing but I’m not demoralized. I cannot be robbed of my hope, or willing to give it up.
    Our Mayor is a good and decent man and has been tested by strife, antisemitism, hate crimes, and has been willing to stand up and provide steadfast leadership and justice for every member of the community.
    Again, thanks for the reminder to breathe.
    Tomorrow’s March will be a good place to be.

  268. 268
    Corner Stone says:

    @TenguPhule: Well, the problem I have with the Stormtroopers i….zzzZZzzZZzz…

  269. 269
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone: Of course you know, this means warcraft.

  270. 270
    Corner Stone says:

    @TenguPhule: I accept your challenge. I choose Minecraft at dawn.

  271. 271
  272. 272
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    Disney/Marvel is as greedy as WB, and yet they have found a way to surprise and delight fans by not just mechanically sticking to what they think is a winning formula.

    I think there are two things going on there:

    1) Marvel does have some formula. As people have pointed out repeatedly, they’ve repeatedly gone with villains who are basically the dark reflection of the hero. It’s not the worst formula, but it has denied them many good villains.

    2) Marvel is smart enough to recognize that they’ll make more money by turning out good movies rather than working on a straight assembly line.

    That said, I think the biggest thing Marvel has done right is to do solo movies before bringing the characters together. It gave them a chance to do some character development before bringing all those big characters together into a clash of egos. Captain America vs. Iron Man works as a conflict because each of them has a character arc outside their shared movies that makes their conflict not just reasonable but inevitable.

  273. 273
    mike in dc says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Marvel let comic book writers and creators have meaningful creative input into the films, so that the characters didn’t diverge too much from their comic book counterparts. Warner/DC, originally anyway, did not.

  274. 274
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone: Dwarf Fortress at 10 pixels.

  275. 275

    @central texas:

    My guess it that Mr. Bolton and his master will work overtime to start a war, ASAP.

    Still don’t buy it. Sure, Bolton will tell Trump he should be bombing and invading every damn thing. It’s not like Trump just suddenly started talking to Bolton. He’s been hearing this already. Trump is just plain too chickenshit. Every time he says he’s going to or has done something warlike, it turns out he was lying. I’m amazed he had the guts to declare a trade war, and I’m waiting to see how long until he backs off of it.

  276. 276
    Arclite says:

    @ruemara:

    Yes. They are just awaiting the chance to betray progressive principles and it’s all been for show.

    Hey, if you can convince Trump to sign a piece of progressive legislation isn’t that a win? The man isn’t ideological.

  277. 277
    Brachiator says:

    @VeniceRiley:

    Is anyone watching DC Legends of Tomorrow on TV?

    I have to catch up on some past episodes, but I’ve been hearing about the fun that some of my favorite characters have been having.

    @Roger Moore:

    Marvel is smart enough to recognize that they’ll make more money by turning out good movies rather than working on a straight assembly line.

    I agree with you here, but this is sometimes rare. Some studios and producers get nervous, or frightened, and simplistically do the same thing all over again until moviegoers rebel.

  278. 278
    Washburn says:

    “Bolton/Trump is going to start a war that will kill 100 million people. Let me post my hot take about it while there is still time!!!”

  279. 279
    sukabi says:

    OT, McCabe has an op-ed on ‘candor’ in the WaPo…Sessions is as much of a coward as Drumpf…but you already knew that…

  280. 280
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    @Brachiator: SYFY series Krypton started this week. The first episode is pretty good.

  281. 281
    mad citizen says:

    I appreciate your post Laura. I knew about the shooting but not what is happening in Sacramento now. My stepson and grandson are there, time to check in… I couldn’t believe how quickly the police opened fire.

  282. 282
    Bill Arnold says:

    Adam, thanks very much for this take. Was hit by this Eric Levitz NYmag piece (and a few others there) today (worst day of DT’s presidency IMO):
    Team Bolton: John Never Promised Trump He ‘Wouldn’t Start Any Wars’
    that ends with this haunting note:

    Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis aren’t walking the Earth today because of the invasion our government launched 15 years ago this week.
    Picture them alive, standing before you in a crowd stretching out past the horizon. Hear the cacophony of their collective conversations, prayers, children’s laughter. Look into their faces. See the weddings they did not celebrate, the babies left unborn. Read the poems they did not write. Rue the apologies left undelivered, unrequited loves left unlamented, parents unmourned, friendships unformed and un-betrayed, amends left unmade, and all the other sorrowful, wondrous gifts of human existence that were incinerated by our cruise missiles, eviscerated by our assault rifles, or snuffed out by the fascistic death cult that both left in their wake.
    Imagine 20,000 South Koreans joining them, each day.

    and then started thinking along your lines but you filled in the details of the dynamics very nicely.

  283. 283
    Jay says:

    @mike in dc:

    The opening credits for Deadpool had us LAFAO,

    and it kept going through out the film

  284. 284
    Bill Arnold says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    …result in a nuclear war which would kill hundreds of millions in the least and set human civilzation back decades if not centuries.

    Hundreds of millions quickly. Several billions more, less quickly. Food production and distribution (and storage and etc) have too many dependencies on civilization to survive intact.

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    Jay says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Yup. As little as 150 20kt nuclear explosions in the Northern Hemisphere, kill us all, some quicker than others. They give South Pole Researcher’s roughly ten years more than the rest of us.

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    Procopius says:

    @Arclite: I think so many Democrat congress critters like what Trump is doing that impeachment is impossible.

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    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jay:

    Yup. As little as 150 20kt nuclear explosions in the Northern Hemisphere, kill us all, some quicker than others. They give South Pole Researcher’s roughly ten years more than the rest of us.

    No, a billion or two humans would survive (I am a congenital optimist) on cobbled-together lower-tech agriculture, fishing and distribution systems. (And food stockpiles, eaten during a dark year or two of crop failures due to particulates blocking some sunlight.)

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    Jay says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Nope. Where I am, even the trees die. Soil bacteria in the Trillions. Soil becomes dirt, cockroaches won’t even survive. Won’t be anything to hunt, gather or fish.

    Science once though, up til the late ’70’s that soot and radionuclieds wouldn’t cross the meridians from north to south, Freon proved them wrong.

    We had a weird wet summer here, about a decade ago. 5 degrees colder than ususal. We lost 98% of the garden, and I had to import hay and alfalfa from Saskatchewan and Manitoba to keep the livestock alive. The Feds and the Province gave me $480 k on $620 k in losses to keep the farm going.

    The 150 20kt nukes forecast for my area, is -15 degrees for 19 years.

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    Mike G says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    I look forward to the Trumpanzees who went all-in on stocks for rah-rah ideological reasons to lose their shirts.
    Just like the morons who bought gold on the word of Glenn Beck and lost over a third of their money.

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    Jay says:

    @Mike G:

    Trumpanzee’s don’t own “stocks”, they have 401K’s worth a fraction of what they paid for them due to “management fees”.

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    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Jay: at this rate, I’m almost relieved that both work and home seem to be within blast radius from the Pentagon according to nukemap for at least my spouse and I will die quickly if/when the Pentagon gets hit.

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    Jay says:

    @Kayla Rudbek:

    Yeah, I know.

    The lucky ones will die in the flash.

    We have some Chilean Pit Green houses we use for winter crops and greens, they will be useful in the Nuclear Summer, and some hoop houses, and things like shultzenburger filters on our water supply, which will cut down the rads,

    But Math say’s the Farm can feed 25 people for a few years in a Nuclear Winter, not the 150,000 it currently feeds.

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    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Jay: I’ve had nightmares where my metro stop is overgrown with trees and the people seeing the metro stop don’t know what it was for;I’ve had nightmares where skulls on pikes line the former interstate from Chicago all the way into Indiana. I’m really tired of having nightmares about the future.

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    Jay says:

    @Kayla Rudbek:

    I have nightmares about the future,

    But I also have hope for the future.

    According to chapter 9 of Pitchforks and Torches for Dummies, a properly prepared Ogliarch can feed a family of 5 for 2 months.

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    Manyakitty says:

    @Baud: 😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 THANK YOU!!!!!

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    Spaniel says:

    Adam,

    When you say the dislike between Mattis and McMaster is because of rank, that may be true, but for some reason I think it goes beyond that and really back to 2004. McMaster was hailed as a liberator and anti-insurgency expert when commanding the 3ACR at Tal Afar in 2003 to 2004. In the spring of 2004, Mattis and his Marines are fighting the first house-to-house battle in Fallujah and trying to clean-up 82nd’s messes in the Fallujah AOR. I would surmise some of the conflict between the two generals is the Dudley Do-Right vs. Chesty Puller mentalities (good, bad, or indifference).

    You had said, “He will cause so much chaos and confusion that he will actually wind up defeating himself. He will ultimately self destruct.” I disagree slightly. I do think he will also shoot himself in the foot eventually, but sadly I think he is going to make a series of decisions that could kill a lot of people in the process of self-destructing. Nuclear war with Korea, another ground war in the Middle East, and only God knows what Trump is doing in Europe as he pulls back the defenses and out of alliances made and kept for nearly 70-years — lots of ways to get America into another war.

    I am dumbfounded to how fast and effectively Trump dismantled post-WW2 alliances — with an arms race likely to begin in the Asia Pacific regions and leaving our European allies in the lurch t

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    ohthatguy says:

    to be fair, if he thinks everyone he is working with is stupid and wrong, he is probably correct. It doesn’t follow that he is correct, just a different type of stupid

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    Denali says:

    For some reason I thought we were already at war. Our soldiers keep dying in places like Afghanistan and Niger. Guess they aren’t dying enough.

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    Sherparick says:

    @germy: I guess Glenn can afford that attitude living in Brazil. He is as morally obtuse as the people he criticizes.

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    Sherparick says:

    @Denali: The fact that the wars we started in October 2001 are still going on you would think should give us pause, but you see these will be Trump’s wars, the best wars, just like everything he does is the best. NOT!!! This last week was 15th anniversary of start of the Iraq war(s). Most of us hear the figure of possibly 1 million dead Iraqis & feel guilt & shame. Bolton thinks that it us a good start & wants to expand Iran into the carnage.

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