Poe’s Law Open Thread: Mick Mulvaney to Become “Acting” Chief of Staff

No matter how broad your satire, it’s simply impossible to outdo the Squatter-in-Chief.

Mick Mulvaney is the GOP’s go-to guy when it comes to not doing jobs they don’t want done. He’s put in some busy months doing his best to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, while nominally remaining in charge of the Office of Managment & Budget, so I guess it was decided he’s ready for a fresh challenge: Not-managing access to the Oval Office Occupant.

Only remaining question: Did it simply occur to Donny Dollhands that a guy who loved not-doing important jobs was just the right Repub to not-do this one? Or, given Mulvaney’s known proclivities, was there an actual offer of payment made — either to Trump for the announcement, or to Mulvaney for accepting, or both?

Well, when ya put it that way…

42 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:


  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    “He’d otherwise have too much free time during the shutdown. No budget to manage!”

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    I’ll take eight weeks in the betting pool, and the only reason he lasts that long is that Trump is taking two and a half weeks off starting in the next few days.

  4. 4
    Platonailedit says:

    I haz the best people.

  5. 5
    Another Scott says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: What’s the frequency?, maybe?


    [ETA: Kenneth / Kevin – yeah, not really the same thing. Hmm…]


  6. 6
    Platonailedit says:

    Orwell: I was only kidding… Fuck you, amurka.

  7. 7
    Platonailedit says:

    @dmsilev: I will double that bet. 4 weeks. Ya think the thug will leave xmas unmolested? No way.

  8. 8
    trollhattan says:

    They got hold of a copy of “Lord of the Flies” with “How to Run a Gummint” scrawled across the cover in crayon. I’m down to this theory.

  9. 9
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    Mulvaney: Golum arrives in the Mick of time.

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Oops! (Thinking about Kevin McCarthy, the other Irish-American Trump-humper who’s been in the news this week… )

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    “Okay, Mick, you’re up. Eric’s phone keeps going to voice mail.”

  12. 12

    Everything just has to be a ridiculous farce with these people.

  13. 13
    Bonnie says:

    Mick Mulvaney is about as cold, heartless and inhumane as Donald Trump.

  14. 14
    Mandalay says:

    Mick Mulvaney re his time in Congress “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”

    I feel dirty for defending Mick Mulvaney , but the author of that tweet, Eric Lipert, maliciously cherry picked that quote to completely invert the meaning of what Mulvaney actually said:

    I personally recorded Mulvaney today at #ABASummit and transcribed. Re: lobbyists and access- “We have hierarchy here in my office in Congress. If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money I might talk to you.

    If you came from back home and sat in my lobby I talked to you without exception, regardless if financial contribution. People coming from back home to tell people in Congress what their issues are is one of the fundamental underpinnings of our representative democracy.

    I’ve no time for Mulvaney, but I’m sure there are enough bad things to write about him that scum like Eric Lipert don’t need to make shit up. Not cool at all.

  15. 15
    Mike in NC says:

    Mulvaney is a generic wingnut shitbird, capable of temping in any agency under Fat Bastard, whose goal is to dismantle the federal government because it cuts down on his profits.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @Mandalay: Thanks for pointing that out. I don’t think Mulvaney looks much better with the whole quote than the extract. Why should his DC office work differently than his local office?

    IMHO, the whole quote just shows the crook feels he has to pretty up his business practices for public consumption.
    But, I agree with your specific point about the article.

  17. 17
    randy khan says:

    So the bottom line is that even Mulvaney doesn’t really want the job, but he’s willing to sit in the office for a while until somebody actually agrees to take it.

    It’s pretty telling that somebody is unwilling to give up being head of OMB, which is a 2nd-tier Administration job at best, to move up to Chief of Staff.

  18. 18

    @randy khan: everybody in that town with two brain cells to rub together can tell that the ship is sinking. Everybody else already works for him.

  19. 19
    James E Powell says:

    I’m stunned to learn that Trump’s choice for chief of staff is not just bad & wrong on every policy position, but also an asshole.

    I continue to be appalled at the way the press/media normalize all this.

  20. 20
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: First clear sign that even the GOPers are starting to calculate how they can outlast the vile Trump (a danger to himself and others, both the decent and indecent) And calculating how in the meantime they can avoid being swept up in the legal and political mess without permanent damage.

    But, also in the meantime, they’ll damage themselves by defending this vicious dimwit a-hole in the media.

    Besides all the other bad things, Trump is one sorry stupid fool. If he had two brain cells to rub together, he could have done 90 percent of the damage the GOP wanted, and would have had a good chance to make a second term. (Edit: sorry, I forgot for a moment he wouldn’t be in the WH if he were not willing to break all sorts of laws).

    So, good news he has done his best to help the people who want to get his crooked ass out of the WH asap.

  21. 21

    I’m in the shittiest of moods tonight after learning of the death of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquín. I don’t want to hear any fucking happy talk about this country until we get our shit together. We like to think we’re better than this, only we aren’t. We don’t get some pass because some dude 300 years ago said we were a shining city upon a hill, and then people kept saying it ever since. How good we say we are is meaningless. We’re only as good as we choose to be, and right now, we’re choosing to be as shitty as any corrupt, vicious kleptocracy we rightly condemn. We don’t get any credit for telling the world–and ourselves–that we’re the awesomest of awesome countries. We are what we do. We are what we choose to be. And right now, we’re the country that’s chosen to kill Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquín. That’s what we are. That’s what we’ve chosen to be. And I’m enraged.

  22. 22
    JR says:

    Mulvaney looks a lot like Himmler

  23. 23
    sukabi says:

    @dmsilev: you’re too generous. He’s back to screwing consumers and the budget by January 8th. A little over 2 Scaramoochis.

  24. 24
    jl says:

    @James E Powell: Many of the corporate media people are corporate hacks. Their bosses would have washed them out, or kept them on less glamorous beats as mere assignment reporters if they were not. The ethics of the corporate hack world are not much above what we see in corrupt business as usual DC. The GOP version might smell a little ‘off’, but so did, for one example, what their bosses and more famous colleagues did when harassing and assaulting women, girls and boys.

    They are not all that much above this garbage themselves.

  25. 25
    mvr says:

    He did it for the free trip to Merri-Lago, or whatever they call their resort in the swamp.

  26. 26
    sukabi says:

    @jl: so is he taking a salary for Consumer Protection and OMB and acting CoS?

  27. 27
    delk says:

    Triple Threat:
    Tea Party
    Freedumb Caucus
    Acting CoS for Trump

    What next?

  28. 28
    Lyrebird says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Agree with you, as usual. Apparently Popehat does, too…

    Most of the holiday gifts I still need to get for grownups are gonna be,
    “Enjoy this nice card and knowing that I gave money to the TX Civil Rights Project/ the IRC/ the ACLU in honor of your being a decent person…”

  29. 29
    Ken says:

    Is Jared disappointed or relieved? And will the knives be out either way?

  30. 30
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    So I have a question:

    Was there some law or regulation that prevented him from being director of the OMB, CFPB, AND COS? Other than the absurdity of a single man holding three governmental positions simultaneously of course.

    I haven’t found out any reference to it.

  31. 31
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    He apparently quit the CFPB December 11, 3 days ago. Some Kathleen Kraninger, from Ohio, was nominated by Trump and confirmed as director of the CFPB by the Senate the same day.

    This Kathleen has worked in the federal government previously, and is pretty shady:

    On June 16, 2018, White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters announced that U.S. President Donald Trump had the intention of nominating Kraninger to the office of Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a position then held by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney. The nomination was criticized over a perceived lack of qualifications by consumer groups and conservatives in the Senate. Senator Elizabeth Warren threatened to block the nomination over Kraninger’s alleged role in the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that drew criticism for separating migrant children from their parents at the Southern border of the U.S. Kraninger was confirmed, however, 50-49.

  32. 32
    Yutsano says:

    @sukabi: An acting does not get paid anything more than their salary in their original position. In the normal course of things anyway. With this shitbird being in charge of the agency that governs those rules who really fucking knows anymore?

  33. 33
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @James E Powell:

    I  continue to be appalled at the way the press/media normalize all this.

    If you were to take Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief (viz. denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) and reshuffle them slightly, I expect you’d have a fair taxonomy and approximation of the msm response to rampant *fucking-obvious* GOP criminality and treason:

    MSM arc in covering an emperor w/no clothes:

    1. Acceptance!
    It’s the best of all possible worlds! Woo-hoo! The adult are back in charge! Trump pivots! “Today is the day Trump became preznit!” (after he unleashed some bombs, of course)

    2. Denial!
    Whistling past the graveyard! Nothing to see here! Trump mandate! Anthropological surveys of quaint heartland Trump voters! Are Nazis really so bad?! Where there’s smoke there’s you’re fired!

    3. Depression!
    This is how you got Trump! Why are you always making them hit you! Republicans were the heroes of Watergate!

    4. Both sides are equally bad! Whatabouttism! Never-Trumpers get first seats on the lifeboat.

    5. Anger!
    Trump never was a Republican! Trump was never, ever, ever a conservative! Trump was always a liberal Democrat! Problem-with-pronounsville-passive-voice-shoving-to-get-the-last-seat-on-the-lifeboat: “Mistakes were made! We were lied to! We were betrayed! We never knew!”

    Think we’re in the bargaining stage myself.

  34. 34
    Yarrow says:

    Where is John Kelly in all of this? I thought he was going to stick around until January but now there’s an acting COS? Is Kelly out now?

  35. 35
    randy khan says:


    The official story is that Kelly is still in place until January 1. However, if I were him, I’d be out of there as soon as possible. (Of course, if I were him, I wouldn’t have been given a position in the Trump Administration in the first place.)

  36. 36
    Another Scott says:


    Reacting to the news that Trump made the announcement on Twitter at the end of the news day, the CNN correspondent — who has had a contentious relationship with Trump — said it was nothing more than a “distraction.”

    “The timing is very noteworthy,” Acosta pointed out. “The president appears to be dangling a bright, shiny object on this late Friday evening, selecting his budget director Mick Mulvaney as his acting chief of staff.”

    “We should point out he has only been selected as an ‘acting chief of staff,’” Acosta emphasized. “The president apparently trying to change the newscycle here, but even today with a momentous decision as naming a new chief of staff or an acting chief of staff, it is going to be tough to change the narrative of this news cycle with his former attorney, Michael Cohen speaking out, and not just to the special counsel’s office.”

    Yup, yup.

    And as Tom says in the Tweet above, Kelly will be there until January, so Mick won’t be doing anything until then anyway. And by that time, Donnie may have dug up someone else to take the job.

    It’s all about continually trying to drive the news cycle in a way that always, always tries to paint Donnie in the best possible light.

    Getting Butina’s guilty plea and sworn statements about conspiring for Russia with “US Person 1”, “Russian Official”, “Gun Rights Organization”, “Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, etc. out of the news is the main idea…


  37. 37
    Yarrow says:

    @randy khan: Yeah I wonder if Kelly will just say fuckit and quit.

    @Another Scott: He can try but it isn’t going to work. More news is coming.

  38. 38
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    It seems to be getting much worse for him all the time, but his overall popularity hasn’t taken a hit yet.

    I wonder when, or if, that will happen.

  39. 39
    sdhays says:

    @Another Scott: I don’t think it’s about the Cohen or Russia stories; I think he’s delusional enough to believe that he can survive all that, or at least stupid enough to not really understand his peril. In contrast, I think PP is very sensitive to how pathetic it makes him look that absolutely no one is willing to work for him as Chief of Staff. I think Colbert’s joke about how it’s like the last episode of The Bachelor but none of the women are willing to accept the guy’s rose is exactly how Trump sees this, and he can’t stand it.

    So, he’s found an “acting” CoS so he can put an end to that embarrassment, at least for now.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

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

    Senator Elizabeth Warren threatened to block the nomination over Kraninger’s alleged role in the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that drew criticism for separating migrant children from their parents at the Southern border of the U.S. Kraninger was confirmed, however, 50-49.

    Huh. That’s quite an intriguing connection given that the CBP is now letting migrant kids die in custody. Hopefully Kraninger will find herself in front of a House committee sooner rather than later to explain her role in creating that disaster.

  41. 41
    Raoul says:

    Trump is so bad at this that he doesn’t understand that hiring an “acting” COS does nothing to quell the (very accurate, so beautifully, so amazingly) obvious chatter that no one wants the job.


  42. 42
    m.j. says:

    If you assume that everyone in the Trump administration is working a grift, doesn’t it bother you that Mulvaney is putting himself front and center?
    Despite the patented news coverage that we are supposed to become used to, our media heroes will be taking a closer look at this guy.
    Does he have an ego that needs feeding?
    What’s the angle?

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