Why not, indeed?

This is the greatest tweet ever:

I was reminded of it today while reading this NYT account of the botched firing of soon-to-be former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and botched hiring of soon-to-be-former Pence Chief of Staff Nick Ayers, a 36-year-old Republican hack who not only declined to become captain of the Titanic White House chief of staff but quit his current VP gig to “spend more time with family” (seriously — that’s the explanation).

That an ambitious, rich, donor-connected Republican operative ran away from that plum job like a scalded dog tells us all we need to know about the state of this administration. From the NYT piece linked above:

After Nick Ayers, the Georgia political operative who was the president’s top pick, declined the job — something of a plot twist in a presidency notorious for its episodic cliffhangers — Mr. Trump is without a Plan B. Several of his aides expressed frustration that months of intense campaigning to replace John F. Kelly — an effort led by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s elder daughter and son-in-law — resulted in yet another chaotic staffing scramble in a White House splintered by factions and rife with turnover…

Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner’s efforts on behalf of Mr. Ayers were widely seen as a coup attempt, started on behalf of a president who was unhappy with Mr. Kelly but could not bring himself to fire him. Mr. Ayers’s rejection of the offer stunned the couple, who had long resisted Mr. Kelly’s attempt to bend them to a traditional White House hierarchy.

As Kay has observed, low-quality hires never improve; they only get worse. And that vapid, entitled, arrogant pair of clowns started at rock bottom and have been busily tunneling toward the earth’s core ever since. Better and smarter rats won’t jump on this sinking ship.

According to The Times, Trump tried to get Ayers to fire Kelly, and failing that, met with Kelly, Pence and Ayers last Friday and agreed to let Kelly resign the following week (to preserve his non-existent dignity, one assumes). But instead, Trump announced Kelly’s ouster the next day. On Sunday, Trump’s comms shop was prepping the press release to announce Ayers as Kelly’s replacement, and Ayers publicly declined the offer via Twitter, leaving Trump to feebly squawk “FAKE NEWS” about the Ayers speculation and lie about the many quality candidates beating down his door for a shot at the chief of staff job.

Does it matter who rearranges the deck chairs on the Trumptanic? The chief of staff gig seems to be a pretty big fucking deal in normal administrations and even in fictional ones — President Bartlet had Leo McGarry and CJ Cregg!

But in this shit-show of an administration, I suspect it doesn’t matter at all. Trump’s gonna Trump no matter who sits in the adjoining office, so the chaos, stupidity, venality and ruin will continue apace.

ETA: Trump tweeted this while I was composing this post:

Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!

LOL!

198 replies
  1. 1
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Ayers looks just like Rob Porter and John McEntee. And according to Haberman, “With a head of blond hair, Mr. Ayers somewhat resembles Mr. Trump in his younger days, a fact that the president often looks for as a positive signal.” This guy is SO psychosexually fucked up.

  2. 2
    Bruce K says:

    Since it’s an open thread, might as well mention that Time Magazine announced its Person of the Year.

    Well, People of the Year, I suppose: journalists who come under attack for doing their jobs. Jamal Khassogi and the Capital Gazette are among those featured.

    I imagine Twitler won’t be happy about it. Brace for the tweet-tantrum.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    Ayers thought about running for GA governor and I presume he’ll run for state office at some point. He close to the Perdue’s so he’ll probably help David’s reelection campaign. I hope Abrams runs and wins. The democrats would be smart to delve into his finances.

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @Bruce K: Don’t worry he’ll brag about being second. He did beat Mueller who came in third.

  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And that’s one of his better qualities.

  6. 6
    Citizen Alan says:

    At this point, I really want the new COS to be Ivanka, Jar Jar, or both. Mainly because I think that would be the most humiliating outcome for Republicans.

  7. 7
    flanges says:

    When this entire disaster is inevitably immortalized in a blockbuster miniseries, Ivanka’s going to be the one that starts off as a sympathetic villain due to a lifetime of being under the thumb of her pervy papa only to have a definitive transition to soulless monster at the end of the second act. The actress who plays her will probably get an Emmy, and with any luck, the rest of Ivanka’s cell block will get a kick out of her acceptance speech.

  8. 8
    SFAW says:

    @JPL:

    Don’t worry he’ll brag about being second. He did beat Mueller who came in third.

    Well, he may have come in second, but he’s still Number 1 where it really counts. Or, rather, Individual 1.

  9. 9
    geg6 says:

    @JPL:

    I won’t argue with the choice of dead journalists. But no way that Trump, or even the fabulous Bobby Three Sticks, were more of a force this year than the Democratic women, especially women of color, who won the House, whether as candidates or as a force in the campaign.

  10. 10
    SFAW says:

    @geg6:

    And that’s one of his better qualities.

    I realize that for something to be “better,” you really only need something else to be worse. Even with that modest qualifier, I’m having a tough time reconciling “better” with anything the Fuckhead-in-Chief does or is.

  11. 11
    geg6 says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I love the idea of it being Jarvanka. LOL! Chief of Staff is supposed to be the bridge to Congress. LOL! I wanna see that.

  12. 12

    It always amazes me that this weak-ass dude who’s scared to death of firing anybody somehow engineered this reputation as some kind of tough guy. Or that anybody would fall for that shit.

  13. 13
    SFAW says:

    @geg6:

    But their e-mails!!!

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Apparently, young as he is, Barron is also eligible:

    Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!

  15. 15
    SFAW says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    Or that anybody would fall for that shit.

    You do realize that somewhere between 27 and 40 percent of the US electorate would believe Lying Littledick personally penned the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, if he said that he had, right?

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Ha! I just updated the post to reflect that tweet.

  17. 17
    Yarrow says:

    So Ivanka’s in South Korea? Wonder what intel the South Koreans will pick up on her while she’s there. She’s so dumb she probably doesn’t know her treasonous dealings with China are being tracked.

    @JPL: Mueller will probably win next year.

  18. 18
    Cathie from Canada says:

    I wonder if this debacle will FINALLY make the Washington press understand how utterly incompetent and second-rate the Trump administration is. Everything Trump touches dies.

  19. 19
    SFAW says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!

    Name three, you lying motherfucker. Just three, who are really, truly, actually “vying” for the job.

    And, no, I don’t believe Fuckhead-in-Chief would ever use the word “vying” himself.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Barron! LOL. Great catch.

  21. 21
    SFAW says:

    @Cathie from Canada:

    I wonder if this debacle will FINALLY make the Washington press understand how utterly incompetent and second-rate the Trump administration is.

    No.

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    @SFAW: I love the inclusion of vying for and wanting the CoS job.

    Someone has realized a lot of people. Do. Not. Want.

  23. 23
    khead says:

    I will not accept if nominated for WHCoS and will not serve if chosen.

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    Butina takes plea deal, cooperating with investigators: reports

    Rachel Maddow shares reports that accused Russia agent Maria Butina will change her plea to guilty and has been cooperating with investigators in a deal to be explicated in court on Wednesday.

  25. 25
    SFAW says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Someone has realized a lot of people. Do. Not. Want.

    As I said last night, I want the job, if only for the chance to gaslight the motherfucker. And, maybe, as Schlemazel suggested, wear a wire. There are other reasons, but the gaslighting would suffice for now.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): What pisses me off to no end is how many vets buy that shit.

  27. 27
    Ruckus says:

    @Cathie from Canada:

    Everything Trump touches dies.

    Not right away it doesn’t. He gets them to kill everything they touch first. Then they die.

  28. 28
    SFAW says:

    @rikyrah:

    If Wayne LaPierre gets rolled up in Butina-related arrests, I would be OK with that. Actually, if a 16-ton weight fell on LaPierre, I would be OK with that. Or if someone attacked him with a pointed stick.

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @geg6: That is so true!!!!!

  30. 30
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Is there still a White House butler? You know, like the guy Forrest Whitaker played in The Butler? Whoever it is is already dealing with these people on a daily basis, maybe he could take the job.

    This administration has shown us that there is no shortage of highly-paid, evil, incompetent people out there, the three main qualifications to work in any Trump-appointed position in government. So it’s interesting that none of them can be found to take this job. There must be a lot of subterranean fan-shit-hitting that we aren’t aware of. Yet.

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: David Bossie is in the running. I say why not.
    Barron would be better

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    It always amazes me that this weak-ass dude who’s scared to death of firing anybody somehow engineered this reputation as some kind of tough guy.

    In part it was engineered for him. Go have a look at The Apprentice creator Mark Burnett. He hand picked Trump for The Apprentice lead, pulling him out of near bankruptcy and cementing his reputation as a good businessman and tough guy.

    Burnett has ties to Russia and at one point was going to produce a reality show there with Putin as the star. He along with his wife Roma Downey are also big time Christians, have produced several Christian TV shows.

    We know the Christian-Republican-Russia links are all intertwined and exist in every part of our society. Trump was not picked by accident.

  33. 33
    Ruckus says:

    @raven:
    I get it.
    Was at the VA yesterday, talked to a guy who was wearing a cap – special ops. Told me he joined the AF in 70. Also told me he was 7 yrs younger than me. Which would have made him 13 or 14 when he joined. Now I know they would take anyone but 13-14? There are a lot of delusional vets in this world. Don’t know how many were delusional before they were vets or how many are just lost souls. But I understand why some vets would believe individual 1. The are the same delusional people.

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yarrow:

    So Ivanka’s in South Korea? Wonder what intel the South Koreans will pick up on her while she’s there.

    No. Check the date on the tweet.

  35. 35
    eric says:

    @SFAW: sticks dont kill people, people do. Or something

  36. 36
    Yarrow says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Ah, thanks. Didn’t look at the date. The rest still applies, though.

  37. 37
    Tenar Arha says:

    @raven:

    What pisses me off to no end is how many vets buy that shit.

    Why do they buy it, when he’s like a walking cliche of every caricature of a REMF (on steroids) that my father used to grouse about from his brief stint in the Navy? Was that show that cleverly cut that it’s completely invisible?

    I mean I wonder myself, is it mostly the decades of Murdoch’s & Limbaugh’s influence? Or is it deeper than that?

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SFAW:

    Ivanka, Jared, and Don Jr.
    /kiddingnotkidding

    Also, I’m not the only one wondering if Pence’s CoS knows something about Russian ties and is trying to clear the area before the news drops, right? Early cooperators get the best deals.

  39. 39
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @SFAW: What he means is that there are still 10 people on the list who haven’t said “no” yet because they aren’t responding to emails, texts and voice mail from the White House for some reason. That nice maid at Mar-A-Lago who always gave him a “smile” (though most people called it a “grimace” or a “shudder”). That yell-y guy in Lafayette Park who wears three filthy MAGA caps. Some blond he saw on Fox a couple weeks ago.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    Butina’s GOP operative boyfriend eyed on news of cooperation deal

    Erin Banco, national security reporter for The Daily Beast, talks with Rachel Maddow about what is known about the scope and implications of Maria Butina’s plea deal and cooperation with prosecutors.

  41. 41
    SFAW says:

    @eric:

    sticks dont kill people, people do. Or something

    What about bananas or raspberries?

  42. 42
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @SFAW: Somebody has to do this now, might as well be me.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JgbOkLdRaE

  43. 43
    SFAW says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ivanka, Jared, and Don Jr.

    I specifically directed it at the motherfucker in the Oval Office, and you’re not allowed to do his homework for him.

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    Law unsettled on if or how long the presidency can protect Trump

    Joon Kim, former acting-U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether a president’s time in office counts toward the statute of limitations on a crime that president may have committed, and whether a person who isn’t president would expect indictment if they were described the way Donald Trump is in the Michael Cohen court filings.

  45. 45
    SFAW says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Thanks, much appreciated. Although, I confess, I prefer the original (i.e., from TV) to the movie version.

  46. 46
    chopper says:

    bush was right – we can’t have the smocking gun come in the form or a mushroom dick.

  47. 47
    tobie says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve been having trouble with my eyeglasses so I misread your statement

    Trump tweeted this while I was composing this post

    as “while I was composting this post.” Somehow this seemed apt: we labor for years, churning ideas, and Trump just tweets crap.

  48. 48
    The Moar You Know says:

    Was at the VA yesterday, talked to a guy who was wearing a cap – special ops. Told me he joined the AF in 70. Also told me he was 7 yrs younger than me. Which would have made him 13 or 14 when he joined. Now I know they would take anyone but 13-14? There are a lot of delusional vets in this world. Don’t know how many were delusional before they were vets or how many are just lost souls. But I understand why some vets would believe individual 1. The are the same delusional people.

    @Ruckus: My father in law is one for the books. After a dinner out with him, my wife asked me “so how much of that shit he was talking about do you think he’s actually done?”

    I’ve never been in the military direct, but I’ve been working as a contractor now for fifteen years and I know enough to know how this shit works, and I had to tell her that pretty much none of it was true. He’s a classic Walter Mitty. Did gov contracting his whole life just like I have and, y’know, it’s not exciting. “I balanced the books for our project ten years running!” doesn’t get the girls all wide-eyed. So he unloads mountains of provably untrue bullshit on people he thinks won’t know better and made it exciting.

    Feel bad for those dudes because it’s all they have – a lie.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    sounds like Meadows wants it

    Josh Marshall
    Meadows: ‘My Life Changed’ When Ayers Turned Down Chief Of Staff Gig

    Bossie too, from what I’m seeing MSNBC this morning

  50. 50
    The Dangerman says:

    Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position

    Russians don’t count. Try again.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    Trump outreach to Barr for legal defense could force recusal

    Rachel Maddow explains how Donald Trump’s outreach to William Barr to to be his lawyer in the Trump-Russia case could mean that Barr would have to recuse himself from matters related to the Mueller investigation if he is confirmed as attorney general.

  52. 52
    MazeDancer says:

    The legal costs alone will kill you.

    It’s going to be the Mooch, eventually. Or KellyAnne.

    Or some rich, dumb pretender.

    Still, the meeting with Kelly, Ayers, and Pence had to cover Ayers taking the job. And to be followed by “no thanks” by tweet. Some trolling happening there.

  53. 53

    United States is pissing away its scientific reputation by being a global warming denier in Poland but the most important thing to discuss in the media is who is the next CoS. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns for the twenty first century.

    ETA: We are in the esteemed company of Russia, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Well done, Rs, media and T voters for Making America the Laughing Stock of the World.
    Washpost article

  54. 54
    Al Z. says:

    Ice Cube gets serious (warning Lyrics NSFW): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9oUnC8JtXY

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    In major shift, Mitch McConnell announces the Senate will vote on criminal justice reform bill
    Deborah Barfield Berry and Eliza Collins, USA TODAY
    Published 10:30 a.m. ET Dec. 11, 2018

    WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday the Senate would take up a long-awaited bipartisan bill that aims to reduce the number of people in the nation’s crowded prisons.

    “At the request of the president and following improvements to the legislation that has been secured by several members, the Senate will take up the revised Criminal Justice Bill this month,” McConnell said. He added he would turn to it as early as the end of the week.

    An unusual coalition of Republicans and Democrats, conservative and liberals, civil rights groups and the White House have rallied around criminal justice reform pushing for action on the latest effort – a Senate bill called the “First Step Act.

  56. 56
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It’s so pathetic. I can’t wait for the traitors in the media to be made public as well. Get them out of there. Let’s hear about things that matter.

    The fall of Trump (in this case his struggles to find someone to take the COS job) and climate change denial are related, however. If we want to get back on track with climate change we need to get him and most of the Republicans out of there. So I take his struggles to find a COS a good sign to move things forward.

  57. 57
    MattF says:

    Ayers qualified for CoS by having a three-digit IQ. And then went ahead and made use of it.

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    Outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly has been reportedly furious with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump.
    Kelly reportedly took notes about their activities and requests, and kept them on his desk in full view of staffers, a senior White House official said in a New York Times report published on Monday.

    Come on. Isn’t he supposed to be a general or something?

    They’re all such cowards. Notes! He doesn’t even give them to anyone, he just…leaves them out in the hopes someone will read them. “I am writing this down, Ivanka! One more for my list!”

    Ivanka and Jared beat him, too. They won. They are his replacement.

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: Come on. Isn’t he supposed to be a general or something?

    He kept track of all the strawberries they ate
    ETA: Might be interesting if he starts to leak against them, but I see him as going back to Boston to quietly stew in hatred and resentment

  60. 60
    stinger says:

    something of a plot twist in a presidency notorious for its episodic cliffhangers

    My old complaint still stands: The MSM treat this presidency, and governance in general, as a game, a horse race, a movie or novel, something they just observe with one eyebrow raised. Honoring dead journalists is good, but not enough to help get our country back on track.

  61. 61
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Yarrow: Didn’t realize all this. Thanks for info!

  62. 62
    waspuppet says:

    I’m mostly convinced that the “process” of “picking a new CoS” consists of convincing Trump he can’t do it himself. And then, yes, convincing him he can’t give it to Ivanka.

    I’m not convinced they’ll be successful in either of those efforts.

  63. 63

    I’ll have to read the thread later, but…

    Trump tried to get Ayers to fire Kelly, and failing that, met with Kelly, Pence and Ayers last Friday and agreed to let Kelly resign the following week

    Trump is the most incredible chickenshit. He’s been wanting to fire Kelly since shortly after Kelly took over, and has been too scared because Kelly might frown at him. Seriously, imagine the level of cowardice that takes. ALL the people Trump goes to elaborate lengths to not personally fire have zero power to get back at him. All they could do is say angry things at the meeting.

    But anyway, Trump finally managed to get up the guts. I wonder what labyrinthine processes led to that. Jared and Ivanka must have found some way to prop up his courage for five minutes. Or Kelly decided he’s sick of it and wants to quit.

    an effort led by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

    It’s been clear the White House is going through French Monarchy style factional squabbling since Trump got the job. Crap like the op-ed are classics. Jared and Ivanka are the dogs that caught the care, here. Watching them flail will be entertaining.

    I predict a level of administrative paralysis worse than anything we have seen before.

  64. 64
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay:

    Outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly has been reportedly furious with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump.

    What really gets me about this sort of article is it’s all about feelings. He was reportedly furious! Who the hell cares how he felt? Let’s talk about what he did. His feelings are irrelevant to the American public and his job performance. Sad, angry, happy, whatever. I don’t care. Do your damn job and STFU about your precious fee-fees, snowflake.

  65. 65
    MattF says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: There’s a lot of ‘but advisor X might make a frowny-face’ in discussions of Trump’s ‘administration’. It helps to bear in mind that they’re all incompetent assholes.

    ETA: Incompetent lying assholes.

  66. 66
    Yarrow says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: You’re welcome! I like to remind people that the conspiracy around Trump goes farther back and way higher up the chain than people think. Trump wasn’t randomly picked; he was hand-picked because of his long time connections to Russia. Burnett is dirty and his role in this mess needs to be investigated too.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Cracks have emerged in Donald Trump’s hold on his core constituency of white working class voters, new data from the 2018 election reveals.
    Though Republican candidates almost everywhere registered large margins among white voters without a college degree, Democrats ran much more competitively among the roughly half of that group who are not evangelical Christians, according to previously unpublished results from the 2018 exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, a consortium of media organizations including CNN.

    That’s the thing about sporadic voters- they’re sporadic. The truth is people who flipped from Obama to Trump were not overly attached to any set of policies, which is why they easily flip from Obama to Trump. They’ll flip on Trump too, because what they’re angry about won’t be solved by a president.

  68. 68

    @Yarrow: Agreed climate change cannot be dealt with until Rs are in power.

  69. 69
    Fair Economist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!

    Amongst others I’m sure John Barron, John Miller, and David Dennison are angling for the job.

  70. 70
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @stinger: They treat it as a game that has no relationship with or consequences in the real world!

    It’s as if they are above it all observing everything, secure in their conviction it all has nothing to do with them or their families.

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: right, I think it was in MI that they did interviews with Obama to trump voters and their reasoning tended to be that they wanted “change”, IOW they wanted things fixed, somehow, but they don’t want to be inconvenienced by those fixes, or have to think too much about it.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    I think the people themselves leak the “feelings” stuff, and for exactly the reason you discerned- it’s to cover their ass for not doing anything.

    “I was FURIOUS, let there be a record of that!” Some people are really good at it. It’s careerism rather than “work”.

  73. 73
    MattF says:

    @Kay: One thing I’ve noticed among people I know who are Evangelicals– they follow what their pastors say. So, why are Evangelical pastors so pro-Trump? Does the pastors’ politics make any kind of moral sense? Is Trump really an example to follow?

  74. 74
    germy says:

    Boorwitz’s latest humor column: trump names TV remote new Chief of Staff

  75. 75
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Yarrow: Evil Pecker Mark Burnett also made Elisabeth Hasselbeck famous (and sympathetic!), and has a definite racist slant in his editing.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    Leading GOP senator suggests Trump’s misdeeds were rookie mistakes
    12/11/18 09:20 AM—UPDATED 12/11/18 09:23 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Ordinarily, when a modern White House is facing serious scandals, a president’s team will take proactive steps to prepare its allies. Officials in the West Wing realize that the media – and the public at large – will ask questions about ongoing controversies, so the White House will prepare talking points, host messaging calls, and brief lawmakers and like-minded pundits so that everyone is on the same page.

    Except, that’s not what’s happening now. As Donald Trump faces fire on multiple fronts, including being directly implicated by federal prosecutors in a felony, his team isn’t doing much of anything. Officials in the president’s orbit don’t see much of a point.

    “A war room? You serious?” one former White House official told the Washington Post when asked about internal preparations. “They’ve never had one, will never have one. They don’t know how to do one.”

    The result is an awkward dynamic: a bunch of Republicans are running around trying to defend Trump, but they’re not at all sure what they’re supposed to say. The result is a cringe-worthy mess: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), for example, is equating the president’s alleged misdeeds with misfiled paperwork, while Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is arguing that he simply doesn’t care whether Trump broke the law or not.

    This defense wasn’t much better.

    “These guys were all new to this at the time,” Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Senate Republican, said of the Trump campaign team. “Most of us have made mistakes when it comes to campaign finance issues. In many cases, campaigns end up paying fines and penalties.”

  77. 77
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @MattF: evangelical pastors are all in on prosperity gospel, slut shaming, and white supremacy, so Trump is very much on brand.

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think one of the reasons they’re so bitter is they don’t believe they have the political clout they feel they’re entitled to, but why take a big risk on their behalf if you’re a pol? They’re likely to flip on you anyway. I think they’ll find Democrats are LESS responsive to them after Trump, which makes sense from a purely transactional view. I’m there myself- I’m not pouring my time and energy down a hole begging them to allow the Democrat to preserve their Medicaid benefits. They’re going to have to be an actual constituency instead of a band of angry people, lashing our randomly and ineffectively. They’re going to have to figure out this is a group effort.

  79. 79
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: And that’s fine if they want to vent to the media about their feelings. Sure, go ahead. But the media has a responsibility to inform the public. Telling us about John Kelly’s feelings is not doing that. Media outfits are responsible for the garbage they choose to publish. I don’t blame people like Kelly for trying to manipulate the media in that way. It’s worked before! I do blame the media for publishing it. If they cut out the gossip they’d have much more time and space to tell us about things that matter.

  80. 80
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Yarrow: but they don’t have the skills to do anything but repeat gossip. These are not the best and brightest.

  81. 81
    Schlemazel says:

    @MattF:
    Why has the American Council of Bishops for the RCC become a gaggle of wing nuts?

    I have theories but nobody seems to be asking the questions

  82. 82
    gene108 says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    They treat it as a game that has no relationship with or consequences in the real world!

    Funny (sad, really) thing is they get so much of what the game is about wrong. They just bullshit their way to high paying jobs.

    If sports reporters fucked up as much as the political media, with regards to what actual games are about and who did what and who is helping or hurting a team, they would be laughed out of town and looking for work.

  83. 83
    Steeplejack says:

    Rearranging the deck chairs on the Trumptanic?!

    At this point it’s more like this.

  84. 84
    chris says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Don’t forget the homophobia. JFC

    Trump quietly shuts down HIV cure research to appease the religious right https://t.co/LCwjpXLIgY— Technoccult (@techn0ccult) 11 December 2018

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    @MattF:

    they have shown themselves to be frauds. they aren’t Christians in the least.

  86. 86

    @flanges: So you see her as Cersei Lannister. That seems about right to me.

  87. 87
    JMG says:

    @gene108: Speaking as a former sportswriter: This! In fact, one of the pluses of that job was that your audience was much more knowledgable about the subject matter than the audience for political news. They were harder to shuck, so you had to work harder.

  88. 88
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Schlemazel: become?

  89. 89
    Schlemazel says:

    @Bobby Thomson:
    Don’t forget he and his POS wife, Roma Downey, made that horror show about the Bible where Satan just happened to look exactly like Barack Obama

  90. 90
    Yarrow says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Yep. She went from Survivor to The View to Fox and Friends. She left rather abruptly, it seemed to me. And she hasn’t been seen since. I would not at all be surprised if she was one of the people who settled with Ailes for sexual assault.

    I knew she’d thanked Roger Ailes in her farewell note, which has stuck in my head because it seemed so odd, and found this paragraph:

    Hasselbeck gave special thanks Fox News Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes for his guidance and support as she came to this decision.

    “He gave me two gifts. He gave me the opportunity to join you all in this family and two, he gave me an outstanding amount of understanding guidance when I decided to make this decision and go home,” she said.

    Donald Trump, who joined the show on Elisabeth’s first day as co-host, also wished her well on her last day in a phone interview.

    (Fox News article.) Gross.
    Here’s the statement I remembered:

    “Oftentimes, the most difficult decisions are between two great things,” she said Monday in a statement. “Throughout my 14 years working in television, I have never experienced a more positive and thoughtful atmosphere than Fox News Channel, thanks to the strong leadership of [Fox News Chairman and CEO] Roger Ailes, who has created the best working environment a woman and mother could ask for.”

    Link. Really? Who praises Roger Ailes like that unless they’re being paid to do so?

  91. 91
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I propose a duel. ‘Winner’ gets the CoS position. Loser is removed from future consideration, for anything.

  92. 92
    tobie says:

    @chris: Stories like this remind one of just how simultaneously weak and venal this administration is. People will die but the religious right is appeased. Good going.

  93. 93
    Schlemazel says:

    @rikyrah:
    As in “no true Scottsman”

  94. 94
    Kraux Pas says:

    Criminal justice bill getting a vote! Even the mighty villainous Mitch McConnell can be made to bow to political pressure.

  95. 95
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @SFAW: In the immortal words of Sam Diamond, as played by Peter Falk in Murder By Death:

    Ya look more like Number Two to me.

    To which the Miss-Marploid character in the wheelchair (no idea who plays her) says

    What did he mean by that?

    and Dora Charleston, played by Maggie Smith, replies sotto voce

    I’ll tell you later – it’s disgusting.

    (At least that’s how I remember it across many years…)

  96. 96
    Mike in NC says:

    Fat Bastard really obsesses over his fucking ratings. Seems to be the only thing he cares about.

  97. 97

    @Yarrow: How many passes has Kelly got from the media? He has been on T’s immigrant hate agenda from day one. And many in the media and outside kept making excuses for his behavior until he lied about Rep Wilson. Actual suffering of immigrants dying in detention and Kelly’s record as DHS secretary was less important than keeping alive their own illusion of the noble military general whose son was killed in action.

  98. 98

    @rikyrah:
    What the Hell? WHY would McConnell vote on anything with bipartisan support? He’s run the least active Senate in history, and that with a House and President who both would have a rubber stamp ready if he farted. What is it about this bill that he’d be willing to hold a vote?

  99. 99
    Schlemazel says:

    @Bobby Thomson:
    As a child of the 50s and 60s I remember when they were all about social justice and human rights. Maybe not for gays and women but well ahead of society in general.

    A big part of the change happened when Catholics went from being the “third K in KKK” to being on the inside but there must be more to it than that

  100. 100

    @Kraux Pas:

    Mitch McConnell can be made to bow to political pressure.

    I’ve never seen any sign of that. He has the votes for what he wants or doesn’t. What other people want he gives not a rat’s ass about. Unless they’re Democrats, in which case his philosophy is a more eloquently phrased ‘Suck it, libtards!’ What is different with this bill?

  101. 101
    Yarrow says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Must be some kickbacks for him.

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t even need them to discuss how awful he is. Just print the facts. Tell us what he did and that he lied about Rep. Wilson. Just tell us what he’s really doing. Instead they gloss over the actual facts and things he did and focus on the veneer of General. The media is complicit in this whole mess. Who’s up, who’s down, horse race, horse race. That’s all they care about.

  102. 102
    Gravenstone says:

    @Kay:

    among the roughly half of that group who are not evangelical Christians

    Um, buried lede or what? Half of non-degreed white voters identify as evangelical whackjobs? That’s fucking terrifying.

  103. 103
    gene108 says:

    @JMG:

    I think the difference is people, who are really into sports may differ on who the starting QB should be and get into heated debates about it, but in the end they are all pulling for the same team.

    In politics, the die hard junkies know a lot about what’s going on, but they aren’t pulling for the same team. And as partisan as things are now, I think liberals and conservatives are more likely to be enemies. Also, I don’t think there are enough political junkies to sustain the types of revenue the media wants to make, unlike in sports.

    And the political media tries to thread this needle, where they take no sides, even though the two sides are not nearly the same, with regards to who is actually subverting institutions and norms. So this leads to crappy reporting and analysis.

  104. 104
    PPCLI says:

    @rikyrah: A “mistake”? Trump used a false name even in the legal documents. He broke up the repayment to Cohen into pieces small enough to avoid reporting. He lied about what the payments were for. The money was not from Trump himself, but from the Trump organization, which raises other legal issues. When the news first broke, Trump and his minions like Rudy G. claimed that Cohen had made the payments himself, without informing Trump at all. There were other lies along the way, attempting to conceal the details. All this makes it clear that Trump was conscious of his guilt.

  105. 105
    scav says:

    Incitatus been mentioned yet?
    Honestly, whatever the name, they’re really hoping for Incitatus.

  106. 106
    ruemara says:

    I should apply for the job. Let’s be honest, it won’t exactly be a long term gig, but the pay is good.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Schlemazel:

    Because the fundie Protestants promised the bishops they would get their power back. Catholics used to be in charge of censorship. A “B” or forbidden rating of a movie by the Church meant it would fail at the box office because Catholics would not go.

    They lost that power in the 1960s and have been desperately trying to get it back ever since, even if it meant partnering up with heretics.

  108. 108
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: It has substantial, though not majority, support within his party including Speaker Ryan and the President.

    Sidenote: nice to see so many broken clocks being right at once this time

  109. 109
    Yarrow says:

    @ruemara: The lawyer fees will kill you though.

  110. 110
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Sorry, Betty, but the Greatest Tweet Ever is still the one about the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.

  111. 111
    Gravenstone says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: He talked about multiple member driven changes. I read that as poison pills added to make it either easier to kill in the Senate or to make it utterly ineffective if passed and signed.

  112. 112

    @Kraux Pas:

    It has substantial, though not majority, support within his party

    Since when has McConnell ever given a flying fuck about that?

    including Speaker Ryan and the President.

    Now I’m worried about what’s in the bill.

    EDIT -@Gravenstone:
    This makes more sense, although it’s still a departure from his usual “I don’t feel like allowing a vote” policy.

  113. 113
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Well, if there are true problem provisions in the bill, I’m sure the Dems will speak up about it.

  114. 114
    Mel says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Brava!

    It’s very important to have a Chief of Staff who good at the cyber.

  115. 115
    gene108 says:

    @ruemara:

    I should apply for the job. Let’s be honest, it won’t exactly be a long term gig, but the pay is good.

    I was thinking of applying. Just suck up to Trump. Tell him he’s great. Tell him he shouldn’t settle for a 30′ wall, but go from something really bigly like a 100′ wall or go really bigly for a 1000′ wall.

  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    What is it about this bill that he’d be willing to hold a vote?

    Distraction for Dolt45

  117. 117
    The Moar You Know says:

    Now I’m worried about what’s in the bill.

    @Frankensteinbeck: More privatizing prisons. Some of Trump’s friends wanted in on that action, this gives it to them. You’re welcome.

  118. 118
    Raoul says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): The entire GOP cowers in fear of him. Sure he has a ‘base’ but it is far from a majority. What is their 2020 strategy? 37% won’t get them shit. Yeah, I know, gerrymanders, but even that isn’t really enough.

  119. 119
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Feel bad for those dudes because it’s all they have – a lie.

    Same all over, in martial arts (martian arts) the loud mouths are the ones who might have had some intro class at the most, the better they are the less they say. Word is among the flight sim crowd is if some guy tells you he’s a USAF fighter pilot, he is most likely lying, if he says he is a USAF transport pilot, he’s telling the truth, that kind of stuff.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    I’ve always heard that if you ask a non-asshole Harvard student where they go to school, they’ll say, “Near Boston.” 😂

  121. 121
    japa21 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: The reason he is allowing the vote is simple: It allows R Senators in jeopardy in 2020 to say they were not just following Trump and that they could stand up to him. The bill will pass, probably a good thing, but protects the R majority (they think). What will be the tell is to see which R senators vote against it.

  122. 122

    @gene108: And one around the Canadian border too!
    Surprise, surprise William Barr was hating on immigrants before T made it the rage in R party, not an improvement over Sessions at all.
    Vox has a report

  123. 123
    TenguPhule says:

    Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position.

    So Trump is resorting to breaking child labor laws in his attempt to fill the position?

  124. 124
    trollhattan says:

    @SFAW:
    Honoring All Internet Traditions: head on a pike. Those are sharp.

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @flanges:

    The actress who plays her will probably get an Emmy

    No respectable actress will play her role for fear of being forever typecast as the part.

  126. 126
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mnemosyne: Generally the same with the downstream school.

  127. 127
    trollhattan says:

    @Yarrow:
    Ewwww! [imagine that in my kid’s voice]

  128. 128

    over ten

    Did they check the binders full of women?

  129. 129
    trollhattan says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    Same here. Turtle does what Turtle wants and Turtle always wants what’s 1. bestest for Turtle and 2. Worstest for Democrats.

  130. 130
    trollhattan says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    Trump still angry at Mittens for not sharing binders. Sad!

  131. 131
    gene108 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    And one around the Canadian border too!

    Of course. Canadians are a bigger threat than Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans combined. They look like us, they talk close enough like us, it is hard to tell one apart from an American.

    If Russia infiltrated Canada, they would make devastating spies.

    I mean, for goodness sake, William Shatner wasn’t born in Riverside, Iowa, he was born in Montreal, Canada!

  132. 132
    SRW1 says:

    Couldn’t Trump hire one of them newfangled robotic household butler as CoS? They have come a long way and surely are more amenable to the wishes of their masters than humans. He could probably get a personallized version with an extra flattering module.

  133. 133

    @gene108: How have you been feeling after your surgery?

  134. 134
    dmsilev says:

    TPM just now:

    President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security” during a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that grew heated as they discussed Trump’s border wall funding.

    I take that to mean that there will be no shutdown and no wall funding.

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    Trump: “Nancy’s in a situation where it’s not easy for her to talk.”

    Pelosi: “Mr. President, please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats who just won a big victory.”

    — Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) December 11, 2018

  136. 136
    Yarrow says:

    @trollhattan: I know, right! It’s just so gross. It’s worse than I remembered. That was just before all the Ailes sexual harassment stuff broke. She left in late December 2015. Gretchen Carlson filed suit in July 2016. The timing and those weird statements praising Ailes is suspicious to me.

    I think she signed a non-disclosure agreement, took the money and ran. She hasn’t been seen much since then.

  137. 137
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Steeplejack:

    That is still f***ing hilarious! Chaplin was a genius, truly.

  138. 138
    patrick II says:

    @MattF:

    Money. The abortion issue became important to Evangelical leaders only after Carter wanted to tax their whites only schools. White only schools in the South became a huge money maker for the Evangelicals after the Civil Rights Act was passed in the 60’s and Southern whites abandoned public school in droves. So, the Evangelical leaders forwarded the abortion issue for their followers to feel righteous about (you can’t really say out loud “I am racist for Jesus”), and have been even more ardent Republicans than before since … profit.

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    @dmsilev:

    I take that to mean that there will be no shutdown and no wall funding.

    I think Trump is stupid enough to try.

  140. 140
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Dana Bash @ DanaBashCNN
    In the oval @ NancyPelosi warns of a “trump shutdown” and sets realDonaldTrump off. This is must see tv.

    I really hope you’re watching CNN right now. extraordinary

    I am not in fact watching, but twitter suggests he’s putting on quite a show.

  141. 141
    Gin & Tonic says:

    The Nazi who ran down Heather Heyer in Charlottesville got life.

  142. 142
    catclub says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Amongst others I’m sure John Barron, John Miller, and David Dennison are angling for the job.

    I think Steve Bannon would be an excellent choice. A bridge to the Legislative branch.

  143. 143
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @rikyrah: What the hell was Trump actually trying to say there?

  144. 144
    Mandalay says:

    That press conference was a complete shitshow, but despite doing most of the talking Trump got goaded into owning any shutdown.

    Trump will be thinking he showed Pelosi and Schumer a thing or two, but he now has any shutdown hanging around his neck like an anvil.

    And don’t call it a shutdown. Call it the Trump shutdown.

  145. 145
    catclub says:

    @dmsilev:

    I take that to mean that there will be no shutdown and no wall funding.

    NPR was taking his morning tweetstorm to be declaring that defeat was victory, and he didn’t need the money for the wall anyway, so there!

  146. 146
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah:
    LOL:

    Trump: "I'll be the one to shut it down. I will take the mantle. And I will shut it down for border security."

    Republicans in Congress had hoped to pin a shutdown on Democrats. This now looks unlikely.
    — Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) December 11, 2018

    I know he’s kind of dumb but honestly, this is just ridiculous.

  147. 147
    dmsilev says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Don’t try to answer that question. That way madness lies.

  148. 148
    TenguPhule says:

    @ruemara:

    I should apply for the job. Let’s be honest, it won’t exactly be a long term gig, but the pay is good.

    Among the job requirements are “white, male, Republican.”

  149. 149
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Josh Marshall has a bunch of clips posted, Pelosi and Schumer are treating trump like they don’t give a fuck

    Josh Marshall @ joshtpm
    Trump: “If I needed the votes for the wall in the house, I would have them in one session. It would be done.”
    Pelosi: “So go do it.”
    Josh: “Next two years are going to be amazing.”

  150. 150
    patrick II says:

    @Mandalay:

    Did Pelosi say “The Trump Christmas Shutdown”?

  151. 151
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The Nazi who ran down Heather Heyer in Charlottesville got life.

    May his prove unexpectedly short.

  152. 152
    catclub says:

    Among the unfinished bills is the one for DHS, the vehicle for border policy and spending that has been the main hangup; and the general government bill, which will be the vehicle for a decision on whether federal employees will receive a 1.9 percent raise or have their salary rates frozen in January.

    The 1.9% is still up in the air. Trump has chosen to freeze non military fed employees. House and Senate may override his choice.

  153. 153
    James Studer says:

    @MattF:

    So, why are Evangelical pastors so pro-Trump? … Is Trump really an example to follow?

    The pastors receive their marching orders from the central Church and pass them along to the flock. Church dogma is for Trump, and dogma is what is believed without question. The central Church is for Trump because is it composed of grifter millonnaires looking for tax breaks on their investment properties as well as all the Inquisition bs.

  154. 154
    Mandalay says:

    @patrick II:

    Did Pelosi say “The Trump Christmas Shutdown”?

    No, but she said “The Trump Shutdown” to his face. If Trump had any sense he would have wriggled out of that, but he’s so dumb he embraced it as though she was giving him a compliment.

    Trump is so thick.

  155. 155
    Hermann Fegelein says:

    it’s not the best tweet ever. It’s just average for her. I followed the link to her feed and the most recent one was at least as good as that one and maybe better. I read about 10 of them – one bolt of lightning after another.

    She was a writer and producer for “The Break With Michelle Wolf,” so what do you expect?

  156. 156
    dmsilev says:

    @patrick II: She should have said ‘Trump Holiday Shutdown”, just to see if she could trigger him into a War on Christmas rant.

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow:

    Trump: “I’ll be the one to shut it down. I will take the mantle. And I will shut it down for border security.”

    I think he’s gonna do it.

    He doesn’t even have to be proactive about it, all he has to do is not do anything and we go to federal shutdown of a third of the federal government.

  158. 158
    catclub says:

    someone on twitter: Why is this televised?

    I hate that Trump wins simply by getting attention for whatever stupid thing he is doing.

  159. 159
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Man, this press conference is a shitshow. Totally worth watching the clips. Trump keeps explaining to Nancy SMASH he needs ten votes in the Senate to get his wall, like he doesn’t know how government works. Bwahahahaha! She keeps telling him he doesn’t have the votes in the House and he keeps telling her he does. He’s just out of his mind.

  160. 160
    TenguPhule says:

    Congress is not binding the White House on food stamps. The Trump administration has signaled its intention to cut food stamps without approval from Congress, and the farm bill does not bind the White House’s hands, according to congressional aides. The Agriculture Department has already floated weakening the waivers it gives states to temporarily suspend some food stamp work requirements.

    New Farm Bill does not explicitly tell the rulebreakers not to break the rules.

    This will not end well.

  161. 161
    Bruce K says:

    @TenguPhule:

    May his prove unexpectedly short.

    I say let him rot. No martyrdom for that murderous scumbag.

  162. 162
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule: This is your stupid uncle proving he is tough. Trump will shut it down. Other people will note that it throws other people’s lives a curveball. He does not care.

  163. 163
    Mandalay says:

    @catclub:

    I hate that Trump wins simply by getting attention…

    Time will tell, but I think he lost that one. He was doing all the bloviating, but the sound bites won’t be kind to him.

  164. 164
    Yarrow says:

    @Yarrow: I’ll also add that Mike Pence is sitting next to Trump and looks like he’s shitting his pants. He knows Trump is fucked and by extension so is he.

    Nancy reminded them that the legislative branch is the first branch of government. LOL.

  165. 165
    SenyorDave says:

    @TenguPhule: May his prove unexpectedly short.

    I don’t have a problem with him living another 40 years as a lifer in prison. Especially where he’s known as nazi to the other prisoners, a famous nazi at that.A nice 8×6 cell should be quite comfortable (or twice that if he has a roomie)

  166. 166
    Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Because the fundie Protestants

    They really have a lot of power in public schools in conservative areas. This is what national media miss, I think. A recognition that there are majority conservative areas and in those areas conservatives run public institutions.

    My daughter has a whole (very funny) rap about school assemblies where they would “recite incantations” to ward off teen pregnancy.

  167. 167
    catclub says:

    @Mandalay: I should have qualified that as “Trump thinks he wins whenever he is getting attention”

  168. 168
    scav says:

    Oh No! Amzn is out of stock for these potential replacements! Little Mommy Talk with Me Repeating Doll

    (splits the Pence authority figure requirement with the Ivanka fetish and comes with a sippy cup!)

  169. 169
    TenguPhule says:

    @SenyorDave:

    I don’t have a problem with him living another 40 years as a lifer in prison.

    Why do you hate prison medical personnel, security and his fellow prisoners so much? //

  170. 170

    @catclub:

    This is your stupid uncle proving he is tough. Trump will shut it down.

    Except he’s not tough. He’s the weakest, most spinelessly chickenshit human being I have ever seen, and believe me I’ve seen a lot of chickenshits. This is your stupid uncle yelling about how tough he is from the safety of a third story window.

  171. 171
    catclub says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Especially where he’s known as nazi to the other prisoners,

    To the extent that the power in prisons is held by gang factions, one of those is the white supremacists, so he will have natural allies there.
    Also Natural enemies.

  172. 172

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think it was in MI that they did interviews with Obama to trump voters and their reasoning tended to be that they wanted “change”, IOW they wanted things fixed, somehow, but they don’t want to be inconvenienced by those fixes, or have to think too much about it.

    This sounds typical. They know things suck, and they perceive that politics is somehow part of it, but they don’t know enough about what’s going on politically to understand where the problem comes from or how to fix it, and they don’t have the time and energy to find out. So they’ll vote for anyone who credibly claims to promise to fix stuff, even if their plan for how to do so is transparently hopeless. People like that are suckers for demagogues like Trump whose promises are based entirely on what will sell and aren’t constrained by reality.

  173. 173
  174. 174
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    My daughter has a whole (very funny) rap about school assemblies where they would “recite incantations” to ward off teen pregnancy.

    The Rhythm method sure has changed.

  175. 175
    The Lodger says:

    @SFAW: Vy not?

  176. 176
    Yarrow says:

    “I am proud to shut down the country for border security.” I bet the Republicans in Congress are not happy about that.

  177. 177
    Mandalay says:

    @scav:

    Amzn is out of stock for these potential replacements! Little Mommy Talk with Me Repeating Doll

    I’m waiting for someone to market a white “Permit Patty” doll. You push its buttons and it says things like “Why are you here? Do you live here?” and “This is our swimming pool!” and “You don’t belong here. You need to leave right now!”.

  178. 178
    TenguPhule says:

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump
    Despite the large Caravans that WERE forming and heading to our Country, people have not been able to get through our newly built Walls, makeshift Walls & Fences, or Border Patrol Officers & Military. They are now staying in Mexico or going back to their original countries…….

    …..Ice, Border Patrol and our Military have done a FANTASTIC job of securing our Southern Border. A Great Wall would be, however, a far easier & less expensive solution. We have already built large new sections & fully renovated others, making them like new. The Democrats,…..

    …however, for strictly political reasons and because they have been pulled so far left, do NOT want Border Security. They want Open Borders for anyone to come in. This brings large scale crime and disease. Our Southern Border is now Secure and will remain that way…….

    …I look forward to my meeting with Chuck Schumer & Nancy Pelosi. In 2006, Democrats voted for a Wall, and they were right to do so. Today, they no longer want Border Security. They will fight it at all cost, and Nancy must get votes for Speaker. But the Wall will get built…

    ….People do not yet realize how much of the Wall, including really effective renovation, has already been built. If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall. They know how important it is!

    59.4K
    2:42 AM – Dec 11, 2018

    Stark raving bonkers.

  179. 179

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think it was in MI that they did interviews with Obama to trump voters and their reasoning tended to be that they wanted “change”

    What I read about that is that there is a population of voters who are basically random. So, you will always find bizarre ‘Voted for Obama, then Trump’ type voters, and a fair number of them. The thing is, since their votes are random, they cancel each other out.

  180. 180
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: His entire strategy for achieving anything is premised on the idea that grand gestures get results, never mind that it hasn’t happened with tariffs or leaving the climate accords. He is running out of grand gestures and he is pathologic.

  181. 181
    NotMax says:

    Worst. CoSplayers. Ever.

  182. 182
    dmsilev says:

    @TenguPhule:FTNYT summarizes the morning:

    President Trump on Tuesday vowed to block full funding for the government if Democrats refuse to embrace his demand for a border wall, saying he was “proud to shut down the government for border security” in an extraordinarily public altercation with Democratic congressional leaders at the White House. “If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government — this country needs border security,” Mr. Trump declared in the Oval Office.
    […]
    Outside the West Wing after the meeting Mr. Schumer said Mr. Trump had thrown a “temper tantrum” over the wall, saying: “The president made clear that he wants a shutdown.”

  183. 183
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TenguPhule: Anyone who reads that and says “This is a leader!” is certifiable.

    On a related note, my in-laws still think Trumpnis the best president and sole hope of the country, and have been disobeying my wife’s “Don’t-contact-me-for-six-months” rule pretty flagrantly. Today is when we tell them they can’t see their grandkids for Christmas, so this will be fun.

  184. 184
    FelonyGovt says:

    Anyone else annoyed at the disrespect? “Nancy” and “Chuck”, as though they’re his pals or his servants.

  185. 185
    sukabi says:

    The 10’s of candidates vying for the position of CoS include Jon Voight, Piers Morgan, Stephen Colbert, and Bo – Obama’s dog (submitted by Pete Souza), the others more than likely include John Miller, Jon Barron, David Dennison, ….

    So who are the other 3?

  186. 186
    catclub says:

    @Barbara:

    the idea that grand gestures get results, never mind that it hasn’t happened with tariffs or leaving the climate accords.

    I disagree. His climate thing encouraged Mississippi to put extra taxes on electric cars.
    I did not say good results.

  187. 187
    smintheus says:

    ETA: .

  188. 188
    catclub says:

    @sukabi: Ted Nugent, Steve Bannon, Arpaio

  189. 189
    scav says:

    @sukabi: Actually, have we entirely misinterpreted the 10s? Wouldn’t Bo Derek be the more likely exemplar? Especially as his favorite Miss Universe was run out of Russia. Binders full of 10s!

  190. 190
    sukabi says:

    @catclub: filled out perfectly…

  191. 191
    Ruckus says:

    @smintheus:
    The only difference between McCarthy and the vast majority of his cohorts was that he said the quiet parts out loud. Has been pretty much the same up until now.

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    Yarrow says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Oh…hope that doesn’t go terribly. Good luck.

  193. 193
    ruemara says:

    @TenguPhule: Prosthetics

  194. 194
    TenguPhule says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    and have been disobeying my wife’s “Don’t-contact-me-for-six-months” rule pretty flagrantly. Today is when we tell them they can’t see their grandkids for Christmas, so this will be fun.

    Hang tough.

  195. 195
    sukabi says:

    @MisterForkbeard: take a cue from the Portal tv commercial where the mom is cancelling and her son wipes his lice infested head on the couch…

  196. 196
    J R in WV says:

    @Yarrow:

    But the media has a responsibility to inform the public. Telling us about John Kelly’s feelings is not doing that. Media outfits are responsible for the garbage they choose to publish. I don’t blame people like Kelly for trying to manipulate the media in that way. It’s worked before! I do blame the media for publishing it. If they cut out the gossip they’d have much more time and space to tell us about things that matter.

    The media has a responsibility to maximize profitability. Legally. Now, many reporters feel (there’s that word again!) a responsibility to report the truth, as best they can, but they have bosses telling them what stories to go work on, with big old hints about how the story should be reported.

    If you are a star, you can report the actual truth you uncover in your reporting. If you are just another trench soldier, not so much.

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  198. 198
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Schlemazel: You can look to JPII and BXVI for the answer to that, although I imagine you already know that.

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