The Boltoning Continues (Memo To Self: Start Digging That Shelter)

Not even through his second day on the job and John Bolton is making real progress in his effort to fully crazify the US  national security apparatus:

[Homeland Security advisor] Tom Bossert was an ideal Trump administration official – a man with the résumé of an Establishment Republican, and the capacity for sycophancy of a Trump crony.

…In a West Wing beset by chaos and dysfunction, Bossert was regarded as one of the few competent aides still standing.

And John Bolton just got him fired. As Homeland Security adviser, Bossert would have been a subordinate of the incoming, mustachioed White House national security adviser; and Bolton would prefer to assemble his own team. [links in the original]

Official portrait of that new band of all-stars:

This is really Adam and Cheryl’s turf, of course, so I won’t foist my amateur analysis on the jackals; I hope they’ll weigh in on Bolton early and often.  But I will go so far as to say that so far the new National Security Advisor is behaving exactly as advertised: he’s the boss from hell, and no independent minds or voices will be allowed anywhere near power.  It’s all mustache all the time.  Given his wretched record as anything but a bureaucratic infighter, the US — and the world — should be damn nervous.

Open thread.

Image: Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne, Fools have the most fun1661

126 replies
  1. 1
    eric U. says:

    Mattis not traveling so that Trump doesn’t fire him while he’s on a trip.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Would like a fair assessment of Bossert by someone who knows.
    I thought he was Flynn’s man – which makes him all the way suspect from Day One.

    doesn’t make Bolton any less horrifying, though.

  3. 3
    Mike in NC says:

    The beatings and firings will continue until morale improves. Kelly might be gone before Friday if he has any self-respect.

    This will probably end with Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo barricaded in the War Room poring over the enemies list as the FBI batters down the door to haul them all away.

  4. 4
    efgoldman says:

    This maladministration has nothing that can be construed in English, as “foreign policy” or “defense policy” – or any policy.
    The mustache of anger is inserting chaos into a vacuum.

  5. 5

    @rikyrah:Is Bolton responsible for Anton’s resignation too? Anton being the kind of Nazi that NYT favors, the kind that’s well dressed and well spoken. If so good on him.
    From Brooks’ column

    The economist Tyler Cowen of the Marginal Revolution blog excellently suggested that I include a pro-Trump essay, to give the winning side its due. I’ve picked “The Flight 93 Election,” from The Claremont Review of Books, by the person who writes under the name Publius Decius Mus. The core argument is that modern conservatism has failed at everything except its self-preservation, that a figure like Donald Trump could arise only in deeply corrupt times and that only the radical shift he offers can protect the nation from utter destruction.

    ETA: Yes Bolton is always warmongering and looks ridiculous, but other than that why is he worse than the crew that T has assembled.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Bossert had worked at DHS during the Bush 43 administration. Same as the now DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Nielsen was pushed out at DHS shortly after the Katrina mess. She was part of the “heck of a job Brownie” crew. She then remade herself as a cybersecurity expert without any actual expertise in computers, IT, software, coding, etc.

    My semi-educated guess is that Bossert and Bolton had previous run ins during their time working for President Bush (43) and that Bolton had decided that Bossert wasn’t nearly hawkish enough. Even if this is not the case, Bolton doesn’t want anyone who is actually competent, let alone more competent than he is, occupying a position with access and a center of power.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: Pompeo is going to have significant trouble being confirmed in the Senate. Right now he is not going to be voted out of committee, though McConnell has made it clear he’ll bring the nomination to a floor vote regardless. If Rand Paul still votes against him on the floor, as he’s made clear he will in committee, given that Senator McCain is out for cancer treatment, if Schumer can hold his caucus together, the nomination will fail 49 for, 50 against (47 Dems, 2 Independents caucusing with the Dems, and Rand Paul voting no), 1 absent (McCain).

  8. 8

    @Adam L Silverman: Mnem thinks she (KN) is sleeping with Kelly. Hence her rapid ascension. Plus she can lie without batting an eyelid. Always a plus with this crew.

  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    Trump’s cabinet Secretaries, administrators, and advisers have all been looters and saboteurs at their departments and agencies*. I’m surprised he waited this long to appoint Bolton to something.

    *Except the world-class moron Rick Perry, who has no idea what his Department does.

  10. 10
    low-tech cyclist says:

    It’s all mustache all the time.

    Groucho: “Don’t you think a moustache ever gets lonely, Captain?”
    Monkey Business

  11. 11
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mike in NC: Your entire comment made me laugh. We have madmen in our White House. What could possibly go wrong? And the GOP is playing along with the charade.

  12. 12
    JMG says:

    Marcy Wheeler points out that Bossert was heavily involved in the foreign policy end of the transition, and minus executive branch status is liable to be interviewed by Mueller quite soon. Since he got canned, he’s also more likely to talk.

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    *Except the world-class moron Rick Perry, who has no idea what his Department does.

    Do you know, I had very nearly forgotten that imbecile’s very existence, let alone his status as a member of Cabinet. Give him this, at least he apparently flies coach.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Anton was not in a primary position of influence. He was the National Security Council spokesperson. Once McMaster took over he was given less and less to do as he was a Flynn-stone. He was also unqualified to serve on the National Security Staff.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    I think the other Perry, she who sang about kissing a girl and liking it, would make a better Energy Secretary.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I have no idea. From sources I know and trust who have worked with her, I do know she’s a climber. She’ll say or do anything necessary to get power and to keep it.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    if Schumer can hold his caucus together, the nomination will fail 49 for, 50 against

    Never count out our good Senators Manchin and Heitkamp! They are both too reasonable to vote No in this tumultuous time.

  19. 19
    Ohio Mom says:

    Every now and then —like this morning — I get caught up in the great dichotomy. What is going on in Washington is truly frightening and very threatening.

    It is depressing too, it just gets worse and worse, and exactly how we get out of it, and repair it all, is beyond daunting to consider. A blue wave in November is necessary but it won’t be sufficient.

    But my everyday life is still the same, with its usual pleasant parts as well as its usual manageable annoyances. Spring is all around, the squirrels are gone from the attic, we have a couple of short trips planned for the summer — things are looking up here in Ohio Family land.

    It is a dizzying contrast.

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid: Of course! You’ve just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, just own the night like the Fourth of July. Firework, Energy Sec’y, six of one, half dozen of &c.

  21. 21
    moops says:

    Pompeo is truly odious. I can see him failing to pass. I can also see GOP being ok with sticking their thumb in Trump’s eye over this one perhaps.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Just a quick note here: there shouldn’t actually be a Homeland Security Advisor per se. What there should be is a senior director on the National Security Staff for Homeland Security. That person’s job, and his or her staffs job, should be to work the Homeland Security lane within the Interagency and serving as DHS’s POC on the National Security Staff. In that position of Senior Director for Homeland Security on the National Security Staff he or she should serve as the primary inside the Executive Office of the President advisor on homeland security to the President, while still remaining subordinate too and reporting through the National Security Advisor. When McMaster took over last year this is essentially what he did with Bossert. Bossert fought it, lost, and then made the best of the new reality.

  23. 23
    lollipopguild says:

    “Flynn-stone” I saw what you did there.

  24. 24
    But her emails!!! says:

    My semi-educated guess is that Bossert and Bolton had previous run ins during their time working for President Bush (43) and that Bolton had decided that Bossert wasn’t nearly hawkish enough. Even if this is not the case, Bolton doesn’t want anyone who is actually competent, let alone more competent than he is, occupying a position with access and a center of power.

    So…that means our national security staff is going to consist of Bolton and…..

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Do you know, I had very nearly forgotten that imbecile’s very existence, let alone his status as a member of Cabinet.

    When I was recently ruminating on the level of awfulness contained in this Cabinet I came to conclude Ben Carson was the least of the worst. It was quickly pointed out to me that Sec Perry still existed. Which I also too had forgotten.
    That is the level of awful we contemplate. We went from a SecEnergy with an honest to goodness nuclear physicist background to a man that wanted to terminate Dept Energy and then later admitted he had no idea what that dept actually did.

  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    I wish I had kept that old Far Side poster of the two outer space creatures looking at an exploding earth like it is a pretty shooting star. I thought we had moved past those days.

  27. 27
    lollipopguild says:

    @Amir Khalid: Katy Perry is a lot smarter and much harder working than Perry.

  28. 28
    dmsilev says:

    I wonder whether Bolton’s cartoonishness will ultimately doom him with Trump. Not because of the over the top hawkishness of course, but because Trump doesn’t like anyone upstaging him.

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: That’s why I wrote “if”. I would expect that in this case, if Schumer thinks they can defeat the nomination, he’ll hold the caucus. He’s actually been very good at it so far. You also have to remember that the Senate has no more than two months of working days left this year. It isn’t going to take much to throw that calendar out of whack.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @But her emails!!!: His mustache. Also, his ear hair. And his eyebrows.

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    @Corner Stone: I think Elaine Chao is the best of a really really poor lot. She’s smart enough that whatever skeevy things she’s involved in (and we know there have to be some; nobody with morals would willingly marry Mitch McConnell) have stayed under the radar and nothing she’s done publicly has been all that outrageous.

  32. 32
    rikyrah says:

    Obamacare’s Very Stable Genius
    By Paul Krugman
    April 9, 2018

    Front pages continue, understandably, to be dominated by the roughly 130,000 scandals currently afflicting the Trump administration. But polls suggest that the reek of corruption, intense as it is, isn’t likely to dominate the midterm elections. The biggest issue on voters’ minds appears, instead, to be health care.

    And you know what? Voters are right. If Republicans retain control of both houses of Congress, we can safely predict that they’ll make another try at repealing Obamacare, taking health insurance away from 25 million or 30 million Americans. Why? Because their attempts to sabotage the program keep falling short, and time is running out.

    I’m not saying that sabotage has been a complete failure. The Trump administration has succeeded in driving insurance premiums sharply higher — and yes, I mean “succeeded,” because that was definitely the goal.

    Enrollment on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges has also declined since 2016 — with almost all the decline taking place in Trump administration-run exchanges, rather than those run by states — and the overall number of Americans without health insurance, after declining dramatically under Obama, has risen again.

    But what Republicans were hoping and planning for was a “death spiral” of declining enrollment and soaring costs. And while constant claims that such a death spiral is underway have had their effect — a majority of the public believes that the exchanges are collapsing — it isn’t. In fact, the program has been remarkably stable when you bear in mind that it’s being administered by people trying to make it fail.

    What’s the secret of Obamacare’s stability? The answer, although nobody will believe it, is that the people who designed the program were extremely smart. Political reality forced them to build a Rube Goldberg device, a complex scheme to achieve basically simple goals; every progressive health expert I know would have been happy to extend Medicare to everyone, but that just wasn’t going to happen. But they did manage to create a system that’s pretty robust to shocks, including the shock of a White House that wants to destroy it.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: Yes.

  34. 34
    kindness says:

    A more appropriate pic would have been the 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.

  35. 35
    laura says:

    @lollipopguild: fun fact-both Perry’s look “smart” in their glasses.
    Also, efgoldman to the white courtesy phone; who’s the more odious filth, Cheney or Bolton?

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Same as the now DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Nielsen was pushed out at DHS shortly after the Katrina mess. She was part of the “heck of a job Brownie” crew. She then remade herself as a cybersecurity expert without any actual expertise in computers, IT, software, coding, etc.

    yeah, knew about her Katrina background. Automatically disqualified her to me.

  37. 37
    Chris says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Kelly might be gone before Friday if he has any self-respect.

    Definitely not by Friday, then.

  38. 38
    rikyrah says:

    Middle-Class Families Increasingly Look to Community Colleges
    With college prices in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, more
    middle-class families are looking for ways to spend less for quality education.

    By KYLE SPENCER
    APRIL 5, 2018

    PASADENA, Calif. — When top students from the sun-dappled suburbs that surround Pasadena, Calif., graduate from high school, they are expected to go to colleges that are prestigious, pricey and often far away. Last year, seniors from La Cañada High School, one of the highest rated in the state, fanned across the country to M.I.T., the University of Michigan and Yale.

    But 18-year-old Annie Shahverdian, the daughter of a commercial real estate agent and a nursing administrator, started her higher ed journey closer to home, 15 minutes down the road at the local community college. To save money, she is planning to spend two years at Pasadena City College, a two-year public institution, before heading to what she hopes will be a top four-year university where she will earn her bachelor’s degree.

    “My parents don’t want to just throw money around now,” Ms. Shahverdian said as she walked across Pasadena’s 53-acre campus, heading toward her English class. “I’m getting a great education at a fraction of the cost.”

    Community colleges have long catered to low-income students who dream of becoming the first in their families to earn a college degree. And for many, that remains their central mission. But as middle- and upper-middle-class families like the Shahverdians face college prices in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, more of them are looking for ways to spend less for their children’s quality education.

  39. 39
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I was going to say – when the standout secretary for not wrecking his department is Rick Perry, you know we’re in trouble.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @dmsilev: I remember remarking about Chao that I *knew* she was doing dirty somewhere, and the fact that we didn’t know what it was terrified me. She’s almost definitely the most competent of the crew, excluding SecDef, and the insider game she brings with Sen Turtle is frightening to contemplate.

  41. 41
    sdhays says:

    @Corner Stone: And since Secretary Perry doesn’t “have his wife” redecorate his office for ridiculous sums of taxpayer money, that moron is still one of the least bad appointments… It’s staggering how low the bar is now.

  42. 42
    bjacques says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ll be surprised if Rand Paul doesn’t ultimately vote to confirm. After taking “principled stands” he always votes the party line. To my knowledge, he never lifted a finger to legalize marijuana nor fought against abusive civil asset forfeiture or wiretap laws, to name a few pet Libertarian issues.

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    @rikyrah:

    Yep. And thank God for that. I’ve had health insurance for the last few years solely because of the ACA, and if it survives the Trump era, it’ll be because it was designed for maximum buy-in.

    If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then praise the committee and pass the camel.

  44. 44
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Kinda disappointed the “Official Team Portrait” wasn’t by Bosch.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Yep. The combination of incompetence and sycophancy with her Fox-ready looks just screams “fake job for girlfriend” to me.

    Of course, DHS Secretary is an ACTUAL job with real responsibilities, which makes it even worse and more corrupt.

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    The Charge of the Light brigade, if all of the officers involved were flabby old white men, drunk and stoned off their asses and charging at the wrong army’s cannons.

  47. 47
    🌷 Martin says:

    @rikyrah: California community colleges are quite good. There’s 112 of them, and they have about 3 million students across the system. California has transfer guarantees to the CSU system for most majors, and UC is considering them now.

    I think some of the answer isn’t just financial but that there’s less risk now in California starting at a community college in terms of finding your way to transfer into a 4 year institution. That’s by design, and very welcome.

    Will also note that PCC has an additional draw – in order to be considered to be queen of the rose parade, you need to be enrolled in a pasadena city school, and PCC qualifies. More than a few young women have chosen PCC for that additional perk. (My wife grew up next to Pasadena and it was the first choice school for a few of her friends for that reason.)

  48. 48
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman:

    This maladministration has nothing that can be construed in English, as “foreign policy” or “defense policy” – or any policy.

    Really?

    Pretty sure everything boils down to “I am Trump, fuck you!”

  49. 49
    Chyron HR says:

    @rikyrah:

    “What is COM-YUN-UH-TEE CO-LAGE?! I don’t understand it!”
    – The actual President of the United States of America, literally

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Yes Bolton is always warmongering and looks ridiculous, but other than that why is he worse than the crew that T has assembled.

    Because he’s a more effective form of asshole then Trump’s normal crew when in a position of power.

    And he’s bugfuck insane when it comes to starting wars with other people’s lives on the line.

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @dmsilev:
    Plus, as the result of Infrastructure Week the Interstates and bridges are all fixed!

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    *Except the world-class moron Rick Perry

    Pretty sure Rick Perry is grifting out of the spotlight. He’s been hoovering up oil company favors at the very least.

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    @dmsilev:

    And nothing she’s done publicly has been all that outrageous.

    That we know of. For now.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @KFILE
    Follow Follow @KFILE
    More
    All of the top officials who approved the raid on Michael Cohen were Republicans.

    I know they’re trying to make a point here but all they’re doing is validating the idea that the only people who are credible are Republicans.

    They’ve accepted Trump’s premise. They’re using his measure.

    You don’t accept and then rebut a preposterous standard. You just reject it. Stick to your guns.

    Prosecutors and FBI agents can BE Democrats. That doesn’t disqualify them. Reject the premise or all you’re doing is arguing with Donald Trump on Donald Trump’s terms and that’s not an argument! It’s just bullshit. If the basic premise was false (and it was) it doesn’t get any better if you adopt it but argue against it. Reject. End of story.

  55. 55
    dmsilev says:

    @rikyrah: I know some folks at PCC (both teachers and students) and it’s a pretty good school.

  56. 56
    TenguPhule says:

    @kindness:

    A more appropriate pic would have been the 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.

    Why insult the 4 horsemen?

  57. 57
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The combination of incompetence and sycophancy with her Fox-ready looks just screams “fake job for girlfriend” to me.

    IIRC that’s how it worked for Jim McGreevey.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    PCC is a top-rated community college, so I’m not surprised to read that. California also has a good reciprocity system, so she would be able to transfer to just about any university in CA, public or private, and get full credit for her GEs.

  59. 59
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    Prosecutors and FBI agents can BE Democrats. That doesn’t disqualify them. Reject the premise or all you’re doing is arguing with Donald Trump on Donald Trump’s terms and that’s not an argument! It’s just bullshit. If the basic premise was false (and it was) it doesn’t get any better if you adopt it but argue against it. Reject. End of story.

    The day we find a Democrat willing to go up on national tv and say that, I’d say we’ll have found our presidential candidate.

  60. 60
    Kay says:

    That’s the slide, right there. You start by saying “well, law enforcement can and should be credible no matter if they’re D’s or R’s” – then 6 months later you’re saying “But they’re Republicans, so therefore more credible!”

    Woah! Now it’s a valid measure?

    You’re lost now. You’re down the rabbit hole. Because the next measure is “real Republicans?” or “but how LOYAL are they?”

    Reject! NOT the measure. Reject or you’re lost. Trump won.

  61. 61
    trollhattan says:

    @rikyrah:
    With a sophomore in residence we’re inundated with mail from colleges and universities across this grand nation. Thumbing through those bold enough to estimate the per-year cost I’ve learned the undergrad annual expense ceiling is somewhere around $70k. So, presuming Die Wunderkind is offered, say, a $20k scholarship the parents are still on the hook for a cool $200k over four years. I’m in the process of mining for sofa cushion funds; in the meantime, the CA CC $43/unit sounds really swell.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    You can’t get somewhere true if you adopt the false premise. It just won’t work. The rebuttal proves the false premise. It’s just evidence that you’ve capitulated.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    When I hear about Bolton’s appointments, I’m more worried about these guys than the ones in your painting.

  64. 64
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    But my everyday life is still the same, with its usual pleasant parts as well as its usual manageable annoyances. Spring is all around, the squirrels are gone from the attic, we have a couple of short trips planned for the summer — things are looking up here in Ohio Family land.

    It is a dizzying contrast.

    The calm before the sudden resumption of the artillery barrage.

  65. 65
    dmsilev says:

    @TenguPhule: Which means she clears the low low bar of “more competent than average Trump Cabinet officer”. Granted, I’m sure the average seagull also clears that bar.

  66. 66
    Yutsano says:

    @rikyrah:

    Front pages continue, understandably, to be dominated by the roughly 130,000 scandals currently afflicting the Trump administration.

    What has been accomplished has been witnessed. Good trolling by KThug there.

  67. 67
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    You can’t get somewhere true if you adopt the false premise. It just won’t work. The rebuttal proves the false premise. It’s just evidence that you’ve capitulated.

    The Republicans have invested considerable resources over the last 16+ years to make IOIYAR, the DC standard for investigations. I agree with you that we should not accept this, but the problem is that our Democratic Senators and Representatives are not all on one page about this and their media relations people really suck at this.

  68. 68
    TenguPhule says:

    @dmsilev:

    Granted, I’m sure the average seagull also clears that bar.

    I’m not sure actual seagulls haven’t already been hired by Trump or his minions these days.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I know they’re trying to make a point here but all they’re doing is validating the idea that the only people who are credible are Republicans.

    They’ve accepted Trump’s premise. They’re using his measure.

    You don’t accept and then rebut a preposterous standard. You just reject it. Stick to your guns.

    Prosecutors and FBI agents can BE Democrats. That doesn’t disqualify them. Reject the premise or all you’re doing is arguing with Donald Trump on Donald Trump’s terms and that’s not an argument! It’s just bullshit. If the basic premise was false (and it was) it doesn’t get any better if you adopt it but argue against it. Reject. End of story.

    Bravo, Kay

    Bravo

  70. 70
    Quinerly says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I just read that Pompeo has reached out to HRC and Kerry for advice on prep for his hearing.

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Yes Bolton is always warmongering and looks ridiculous, but other than that why is he worse than the crew that T has assembled.

    Even if Bolton is only just as bad, that will be bad enough.

    Cheryl and Adam should of course weigh in, but I think that Adam’s assessment might be that Bolton’s appointment amplifies the core problem because he is an arrogant and ineffective administrator who will drive away competent people who might otherwise serve. So, he gives bad advice himself, and pushes away potential good advisors.

    Sadly, I keep hearing moderate Republicans ignore or downplay any problems here, and applaud Trump’s “skill” in keeping America’s opponents off balance and guessing what he might do. They insist on reading this as strength and foxy cleverness.

  72. 72
    germy says:

    They call me "fake news" because grandpas love it when I spread on Facebook

    — Megan Amram (@meganamram) March 19, 2018

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    In this instance they could just resist saying it. It’s true but since our position was 6 months ago that it does not matter just let it lay there.

    To bring it up as validation of integrity means you have bought the whole thing.

    I think for media it’s defensive. They need permission to report on Donald Trump’s legal troubles so they’re pointing to Republicans, but why? WTF would happen to them if they didn’t do this ass-covering? There’s no real threat here. They don’t have to defend reporting that the President’s lawyer’s office was searched. That stands by itself – it happened. People can draw their own conclusions as the credibility of law enforcement.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    Unfortunately, it’s the measure we’ve been stuck with since the Clinton years at a minimum. The Republicans worked the refs, and now the media demands to know the party affiliation of every judge and law enforcement employee to apply this weird standard of “fairness.”

    It’s never considered unfair for a Republican politician or appointee to go after a Democrat, but it’s always “unfair” for a Democrat to do it.

    It’s also because the Republicans constantly squeal about “the criminalization of politics,” just as though they weren’t the assholes who impeached a president over a blowjob.

  75. 75

    @Mnemosyne: The media (Beltway and NYC press) is Republican, they are wealthy and mostly white. They are batting for their party here.

  76. 76

    @Kay: Have you noticed how no Punditubbie has exhorted T to be more bipartisan? We would get at least one op-ed per week urging President Obama to make nice with Rs during his presidency.

  77. 77
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Imagine htis taken to its logical end. “The mayor was arrested this morning- we now take you to coverage of whether the arresting officer is a credible and trustworthy human being”

    There’s no NEED for this. If Mueller is some kind of secret raving liberal partisan warrior they have to wait for some factual indication of that and Donald Trump yelling shit doesn’t count. It doesn’t require a presumptive denial. Mueller’s not under investigation. Trump is.

  78. 78
    debit says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s also because the Republicans constantly squeal about “the criminalization of politics,” just as though they weren’t the assholes who impeached a president over a blowjob.

    I laughed when Sam Seder mentioned Marcy Wheeler last night on MSNBC and the host sort of made an abortive warding off motion, as if just the mention of her name would bring back the horror of her saying “blow job” on live tv.

  79. 79
    Fair Economist says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    if Schumer can hold his caucus together, the nomination will fail 49 for, 50 against (47 Dems, 2 Independents caucusing with the Dems, and Rand Paul voting no), 1 absent (McCain).

    If true that will be a first! First time Paul kept a commitment when it made a difference, that is.

  80. 80
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Trump’s cabinet Secretaries, administrators, and advisers have all been looters and saboteurs at their departments and agencies*.

    That’s totally unfair. In addition to Perry, there’s Mattis, who doesn’t seem to have done anything personally corrupt or damaging to his agency and has even stood up to Trump once in a while, and Chao, who has at least been clever enough about any graft to avoid public notice.

  81. 81
    Fair Economist says:

    @Quinerly:

    I just read that Pompeo has reached out to HRC and Kerry for advice on prep for his hearing.

    I hope they give him deliberately bad advice.

  82. 82
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    WTF would happen to them if they didn’t do this ass-covering?

    They wouldn’t be invited to Republican cocktail parties and might have to suffer drinking non-bottled water at a Democratic event.

    Remember, John McCain spoiled the shit out of them in 2008 and compare and contrast his early coverage vs Obama’s refusal to coddle to their feefees.

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    That’s the slide, right there. You start by saying “well, law enforcement can and should be credible no matter if they’re D’s or R’s” – then 6 months later you’re saying “But they’re Republicans, so therefore more credible!”

    This did not just become Trump’s argument. Where do you think FBI Director James Comey came from?

  84. 84
    JPL says:

    A few days ago, I reminded my son that I wanted him to look at a house that had a bomb shelter, but of course, he didn’t listen.
    It sold.

  85. 85
    Fair Economist says:

    @But her emails!!!:

    Bolton doesn’t want anyone who is actually competent, let alone more competent than he is, occupying a position with access and a center of power.

    So…that means our national security staff is going to consist of Bolton and…..

    People who belong in a mental institution. Not all that different from now, I guess.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @debit:

    I laughed when Sam Seder mentioned Marcy Wheeler last night on MSNBC and the host sort of made an abortive warding off motion

    That was *awkward*. And it just kind of hung in the air for a second or two. I was away from the TV but heard that exchange. It sounded really awful, without even seeing their faces. Poor Marcy Wheeler. Going from not even being able to say “blowjob” on TV to having anchors straight faced repeat “shithole countries” and talking about a porn star you had a one night stand with being threatened in a Las Vegas parking lot.

  87. 87
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    In addition to Perry, there’s Mattis, who doesn’t seem to have done anything personally corrupt or damaging to his agency and has even stood up to Trump once in a while, and Chao, who has at least been clever enough about any graft to avoid public notice.

    Perry has been grifting up oil company dollars and possibly getting foreign bribes while trying to peddle bullshit overseas (media coverage has been sparse on him, but at this point guilty until proven otherwise with this crew). Mattis is being a good little german, but again, nobody’s digging to see what his corruption of choice.

    And Chao, my bet is she’s inside trading like crazy through proxies.

  88. 88

    So how many Scarmucchis is MoD going to last?

  89. 89
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What’s the point? I give Trump six months before Trump fires Pompeo for buttering his bread the wrong what at a dinner or some other hot button issue in Spanky’s mind.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore:

    In addition to Perry, there’s Mattis, who doesn’t seem to have done anything personally corrupt or damaging to his agency and has even stood up to Trump once in a while, and Chao,

    A Moron, a Mad Dog and a Moocher. Wizard of Oz updated for the Trump Era.

  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    There’s no NEED for this. If Mueller is some kind of secret raving liberal partisan warrior they have to wait for some factual indication of that and Donald Trump yelling shit doesn’t count. It doesn’t require a presumptive denial. Mueller’s not under investigation. Trump is.

    Republicans have played a long con game since Whitewater and Clinton.

    The need is there now simply because thanks to their FOX messaging, its become “accepted conventional beltway wisdom”.

    It needs a strong rebuttal and asskicking. But we have no impartial intelligent media to deliver that message or even recognize why that message might be important.

    We’re fighting on an increasingly stacked field against us. The enemy is using 1984 as a damn instructions manual.

  92. 92
    Mike in DC says:

    With Anton gone, the Overt White Supremacist faction within Team Trump is down to about 4 people: John Kelly, Kristen Nielson, Stephen Miller and of course Trump himself.

  93. 93
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Kay: I don’t think it does that at all. I take it to mean you can’t call it a Democratic plot – which we all know Trump will do.

  94. 94
    trollhattan says:

    @Fair Economist:
    Rand Paul and the thing on Rand Paul’s head are currently fighting over how to vote.

  95. 95
    Ruviana says:

    @🌷 Martin: Is the UC thing a change? I was a product of the community college system and transferred directly to a UC (Go Bruins!), though this was back in the 70s. I know the UCs are much more competitive now.

  96. 96
    Leto says:

    Did someone mention Rick Perry and corruption?

    A Whistle-Blower Alleges Corruption in Rick Perry’s Department of Energy

    On March 29, 2017, Robert Murray, the founder and owner of one of the country’s largest coal companies, was ushered into a conference room at the Department of Energy’s headquarters, in Washington, D.C., for a meeting with Secretary Rick Perry. When Perry arrived, a few moments later, he immediately gave Murray a hug. To Simon Edelman, the Department’s chief creative officer, who was on hand to photograph the event, the greeting came as a surprise. At the time, Edelman did not know that Murray’s political-action committee and employees had donated more than a hundred thousand dollars to Perry’s Presidential campaign, in 2012, and almost as much to Donald Trump’s, in 2016. Nevertheless, Edelman told me recently, “this Spidey sense went off.” He captured a photo of the embrace, then lingered for fifteen minutes after the men sat down. “Murray did most of the talking,” he said. At one point, the coal magnate handed Perry a document containing his “Action Plan for reliable and low cost electricity in America and to assist in the survival of our Country’s coal industry.” Edelman snapped a closeup. Afterward, he said, he heard Perry tell Murray, “I think we can help you with this.”

    https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/a-whistle-blower-alleges-corruption-in-rick-perrys-department-of-energy

  97. 97
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike in DC:
    Objection, presumes administration supremacists are all identified! And doesn’t the “blow them all up” doctrine qualify Bolton as one?

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    Report from the Trump supporter front: apparently there’s going to be an anti-abortion school “walkout for life.” I’m guessing this is going to be a few Catholic schools, at best.

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    apparently there’s going to be an anti-abortion school “walkout for life.” I’m guessing this is going to be a few Catholic schools, at best.

    Bless their hearts.

  100. 100
    Kelly says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Every now and then —like this morning — I get caught up in the great dichotomy. What is going on in Washington is truly frightening and very threatening.

    But my everyday life is still the same, with its usual pleasant parts as well as its usual manageable annoyances. Spring is all around

    Same. Yesterday we XC Skied in shirt sleeves on quiet mountain slopes under beautiful blue sky. The drives took us thru each stage of spring plants coming to life. And yet I think our government chaos and Republican evil schemes will continue to the 2020 elections.

  101. 101
    japa21 says:

    @Kay: I think the main reason they are making this point is to counter Trump’s claim of political bias. It is not to say that Reps are more credible than Dems, but that Trump is full of it. But I definitely get where you are coming from.

  102. 102
    JPL says:

    @TenguPhule: It’s their choice.

  103. 103
    Leto says:

    @Roger Moore: Except Mattis is linked to one of the largest security frauds in the past couple of decades:

    Secretary of Defense James Mattis is implicated in one of the largest business scandals of the past decades, described by the Securities and Exchange Commission as an “elaborate, years-long fraud” through which Theranos, led by CEO Elizabeth Holmes and president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, “exaggerated or made false statements about the company’s technology, business, and financial performance.”

    Basically, their biotech startup was founded on the promise of faster, cheaper, painless blood tests. But their technology was fake.

    Mattis not only served on Theranos’s board during some of the years it was perpetrating the fraud after he retired from US military service, but he earlier served as a key advocate of putting the company’s technology (technology that was, to be clear, fake) to use inside the military while he was still serving as a general. Holmes is settling the case, paying a $500,000 fee and accepting various other penalties, while Balwani is fighting it out in court.

    James Mattis is linked to a massive corporate fraud and nobody wants to talk about it

  104. 104
    Calouste says:

    @TenguPhule: Mattis was on the board of Theranos, which was a massive scam. Probably done some other grifting with redirecting Defense money to people and companies he is connected to.

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I feel like they missed the point. They’re shot in schools. That was the school hook, right there.

    I suppose they can walk out for anything but schools will probably insist it be (even tangentially) school-related :)

    Conservatives have some problems with compare/contrast. They go a little wide and often miss the thing entirely.

    One of my son’s friends asked if they could have a pro-gun demonstration in school and I said probably not because the only connection between guns and schools is students getting shot. Other than that? No connection.

  106. 106
    TenguPhule says:

    @JPL: Well played.

  107. 107
    opiejeanne says:

    @rikyrah: This article about Junior Colleges was written by someone who does not understand California’s higher education program at all. Unless the mission has changed in the past 8 years it has always been that there is a place for everyone somewhere in the system. If not a UC, then a Cal State, and if you don’t get into either there is still the excellent statewide Junior College program.

    On another note, in 1997 my older daughter was offered a scholarship to NYU, the Tisch Award. She looked at Mills and decided her major was too disorganized, as was the one at Cal but she applied at both places anyway. Mills offered her a scholarship* too and Cal was terribly impacted and accepted her on the condition she spend the first two years of her college at a JC. UC Irvine accepted her and that’s where she went.

    *The scholarships merely brought the cost of the private schools down to the cost of a UC at the time. It’s as if they had worked that out down to the nickel.

  108. 108
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Kay:

    I know they’re trying to make a point here but all they’re doing is validating the idea that the only people who are credible are Republicans.

    They’ve accepted Trump’s premise. They’re using his measure.

    You don’t accept and then rebut a preposterous standard. You just reject it. Stick to your guns.

    Prosecutors and FBI agents can BE Democrats. That doesn’t disqualify them. Reject the premise or all you’re doing is arguing with Donald Trump on Donald Trump’s terms and that’s not an argument! It’s just bullshit. If the basic premise was false (and it was) it doesn’t get any better if you adopt it but argue against it. Reject. End of story.

    I’m stealing this.

  109. 109
    Peale says:

    @Kay: Yep. For all we know, the GOP is signing off on raiding Cohen’s pad because they found out he kept lists records of criminal activities by other GOP office holders that could be used to expose corruption against them and they want those records sealed. Just because you’re GOP doesn’t make you especially honest, or even “Big Daddy Tough”, although fuck if I know how they got that reputation.

  110. 110
    TenguPhule says:

    @Peale:

    or even “Big Daddy Tough”, although fuck if I know how they got that reputation.

    Reagan and Bush Sr. They used Carter’s better nature against him and the first Gulf War. Its been downhill ever since.

  111. 111
    divF says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I’m going to defend Perry (to a very limited extent). He has been making the rounds to the various DOE laboratories, including the three in the Bay Area a couple of weeks ago. From his public statements, at least, he showed that he (or his staff) understands that the importance of the science mission of DOE, including the fact that it is an international mission.

  112. 112
    Peale says:

    @But her emails!!!: I’ll do it. Fuck. Spend two months. Lobby to Bomb Nicaragua for something or other. Take a small bribe of five or six million from some foreign government to get them off a shit list. Retire. I mean, my few million graft is such small potatoes these days I doubt anyone would be remotely interested. Except maybe some survivors of my Nicaraguan adventure, but its not like the media will make a connection.

  113. 113
    Bex says:

    @Quinerly: They both turned him down because they are busy rearranging their sock drawers./

  114. 114
    opiejeanne says:

    @dmsilev: When I was in HS back in the Dark Ages everyone referred to PCC as HS with ashtrays.

  115. 115
    Yutsano says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And Chao, my bet is she’s inside trading like crazy through proxies.

    It’s whatever grifts she was pulling when she was the Sec of Transportation for Dubya. Most likely relating to her family’s shipping company. She’s dirty as hell, always has been. It’s just she’s much better at hiding her tracks.

  116. 116
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: I love it. All of the California people sticking up for the JC system in our fair state. I looked into the JC system in WA and was blown away by what it would cost to take classes. I was taking ceramics at Santa Ana Community College and Drawing/Painting classes at the satellite campus, Santiago Canyon, when we lived in Anaheim and the cost up here is nearly triple per unit, if you can find a campus with an arts program. Santa Ana was looking to close down the pottery unit but waiting until the teacher retired. They had already shut down the glass arts programs.

  117. 117
    opiejeanne says:

    @rikyrah: I look at it from the other end: “See? It’s so bad that even Republicans are outraged.”

  118. 118
    Peale says:

    @Yutsano: Yep. I believe if I recall her family business might involve quite a bit of smuggling.

  119. 119
    Fair Economist says:

    Santa Ana was looking to close down the pottery unit but waiting until the teacher retired. They had already shut down the glass arts programs.

    Wow, that’s sad. It doesn’t mesh with the current image of craft arts being a major focus of urban renovation.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    I suppose they can walk out for anything but schools will probably insist it be (even tangentially) school-related :)

    Her son goes to a Catholic school in Waukesha County (WI), so the school is probably organizing it for the kids.

    I’m honestly not even sure it’s a co-ed school. It may be a bunch of teenage boys walking out to protest abortion. 🙄

  121. 121
    opiejeanne says:

    @Fair Economist: The school is in Santa Ana. The student population is primarily Hispanic and they are all majoring in “more serious” career-oriented majors like business, nursing, poli-sci, most with an eye to transferring to a four-year college. They take the art classes because they’re required a bit of breadth, or for a bit of fun. There was a cadre of older people who repeatedly took an F so they could take the Advanced Class the following semester. I never took the F but my string of A’s were about to get me limited out.
    The kilns for the glass-blowing and pottery classes are extremely expensive to operate, which is why they will go away and not just there. Other schools in the area were losing theirs too. The drawing and painting classes, the photography classes, those will continue because the cost to the school is relatively low.

  122. 122
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: So, an actual group of kids being exploited for political purposes, unlike the survivors of the shooting in Florida.

  123. 123
    burnspbesq says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    in order to be considered to be queen of the rose parade, you need to be enrolled in a pasadena city school, and PCC qualifies.

    Before transferring to USC and pledging Cindy McCain’s sorority (TriDelt).

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    @opiejeanne:

    There was a cadre of older people who repeatedly took an F

    Nightmare fuel!

  125. 125
    Tom Levenson says:

    @opiejeanne: they had.

  126. 126
    J R in WV says:

    @laura:

    …who’s the more odious filth, Cheney or Bolton?

    Ohhhm – that’s a good question. I’m thinking Cheney myself… more fatalities as a result of his war crimes. Bolton was more of a henchmen than a war crime leader like Cheney. But Adam would be more qualified to answer that question, assuming there is an answer. Could be the answer is YES!

Comments are closed.