Vulgar Snark Open Thread: Jim Webb for Secretary of Defense

It’ll never happen, of course, because Trump has the successful bully’s instinct for avoiding confrontations with anyone who has both the temperament and the capacity to fight back. In fact, I’m pretty sure this rumor was floated by Trump sycophants (possibly in employment with the NYTimes) hoping to flatter Lord Smallgloves by suggesting he was the sort of Manly Leader who could keep Jim Webb on a leash, like a platinum-charting rapper who buys a tiger for a pet.

But I’m nasty and petty, and from the same (bogtrotting “Scotch-Irish”) clan as Mr. Webb. So I can enjoy this fantasy, from the other side of the looking-glass. Because I’m pretty sure that Webb, within a few weeks, would not just “walk out” but lunge across the table to punch out Donald Trump — who might actually have a fear-induced fatal aneurysm before the Secret Service pulled Webb away.

I would watch the hell out of that video when it was leaked to YouTube… even if it didn’t include Mike Pence simultaneously crying out to his God and wetting himself, while the rest of the craven Oval Office cabal scrambled for cover.

… Representatives for Vice President Mike Pence and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, have reached out to Mr. Webb, one of the three officials said. Separately, a senior Defense Department official confirmed that Mr. Webb’s name had been circulating at the White House. Those two and the third official all spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the internal discussions.

Mr. Webb did not respond to a request for comment, and a White House official said the vice president’s staff has had no contact with Mr. Webb. How seriously he is being considered was unclear; Mr. Trump likes to float names as he considers his options for various openings in the government — sometimes to test responses and sometimes to keep the news media guessing…

Mr. Webb, now 72, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 and served in Vietnam as a Marine rifle platoon and company commander. He was wounded twice and awarded the Navy Cross, a prestigious award that ranks just below the Medal of Honor, along with other valor awards…

James Fallows, ever the optimist, points out that Webb’s old-working-class-white-guy misogyny (Fallows does not use those words, but that is what’s described) would probably endear him to Trump.






228 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    I don’t have a high opinion of Webb, but I would be very surprised and disappointed if he agreed to work for Trump.

  2. 2
    Punchy says:

    I’m having a hard time understanding this as anything but a good deal. Mr. Webb is sane and competent. Nuclear devices are extremely dangerous. Having the former look after the latter represents a lower risk of (insert computer voice) “global thermonuclear war”, right?

    Also, the wont-take-shit-from-anyone Webb mixing with will-only-accept-flattery boss (“boss”?) will be a gold mine of chuckles and guffaws.

  3. 3
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I thought I saw on Twitter that he had chosen a 31 year-old Boeing Executive? Did I dream that?

  4. 4
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Yeah, no.

    Jim “I killed a guy in Vietnam LOL” Webb would not be interested in this.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    I know that Webb is kind of a dick, but I don’t see him ever accepting this job even if they offered it to him. He knows it’s a shit job where random assholes who pay dues at Mar-A-Loco will be allowed to overrule him, so why deal with the hassle?

  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I think that person is the acting DefSec. There are a lot of acting cabinet members since Trump’s cabinet has been decimated by corruption scandals (and Mattis’s resignation).

  7. 7
    Schlemazel says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    only as acting – that clown would not survive the confirmation hearings

  8. 8
    Spanky says:

    Thank you for the mental imagery, AL. Since I’m from the same clan, my imagination threw in the facial expressions and obligatory “now fuck off!” as he walks away, having left Drumpf a bloody pulp before anyone in the room could react.

  9. 9
    A Ghost To Most says:

    So, they’ve knocked the bottom out of the barrel, kept going, and are now reduced to resurrecting political corpses. Was Zombie Saint Raygun not available?

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: As a cabinet level administrator he’d actually be someone competent. He’s been an Undersecretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy. He’s also very skeptical about keeping US troops in Afghanistan and fighting, as well as what we’re doing in Syria and Iraq. I’ve seen some of the latter reported as Webb just wants US troops out of the Levant, but based on his history, I think it’s more nuanced. Specifically, he wants to know what the end game is. How does the US led coalition win on the battlefield in a way that secures the post conflict peace so we don’t have to go back again in five years. All of that said, I would be surprised if he were to take the position. He has a temper and can’t stand people he thinks are stupid, which is most people in this administration. He also won’t tolerate, just as Mattis wouldn’t, having a zampolit on his staff. And he’ll want to go in, clean house, and bring in his own team. That also won’t fly with the White House folks who do personnel as it means they won’t be able to apply their loyalty litmus tests and because there is no way that the people that Webb would want to work for him would be willing to do so in this administration. Given that GEN (ret) Keane has taken his name out of consideration, Webb would certainly be an improvement over anyone else who has been rumored for the positions such as Senator Graham or, even worse, Senator Cotton.

  11. 11

    Webb will always have one ineradicable moral plus in my book.

    Back in 1970 my freshman roommate related the story of a nasty piece of work who attended his high school in Palos Verdes, a tony L.A. bedroom community. The guy was an out-and-out racist/Confederate cospalyer who got in trouble after “tagging” some school property, attempting to make it look like the work of vandals from a black high school that the football team (he was on it) was scheduled to play.

    Years later—in 2006—I emailed my old roomie: “Was that the guy?” I referred to the odious George Allen, Senator from Virginia (of “macaca” fame), whom Webb went on to eject that year from The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. (He was indeed the guy.)

    Webb and I probably don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of the pressing issues of the day, but I’ll always be grateful to him for putting paid to Allen’s political career.

  12. 12
    khead says:

    Yet another old white dude succumbs the dark side? I’m all for it. Please proceed, Mr. Webb.

  13. 13
    tobie says:

    I have no idea what to believe. Webb was pretty bitter about the Democratic Party in 2016 and I can’t imagine things have changed. He seems like someone who bears a grudge.

    On the other hand I was happy to see the media make tentative steps to admitting that everything that comes out of this administration needs to be taken with a grain of salt. More salt please:

    Mr. Trump likes to float names as he considers his options for various openings in the government — sometimes to test responses and sometimes to keep the news media guessing…

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: The current Acting Secretary of Defense, who is the Senate confirmed Deputy Secretary of Defense, was an executive at Boeing for 31 years. He’s not 31 years old.

  15. 15
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Thanks for all the responses everyone. Just glad to know I am not completely losing my marbles.

  16. 16
    Gravenstone says:

    Because I’m pretty sure that Webb, within a few weeks, would not just “walk out” but lunge across the table to punch out Donald Trump

    Make it so, Number One.

    /Picard

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    Trump wants to make the guy who wrote MacArthur Park SecDef? Shrug. I suppose that’s as rational a choice as any this President has made.

  18. 18
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @tobie:
    And sometimes because he’s incoherently random and sometimes because his stupidity has led to courtier style maneuvering with factions in his staff releasing rumors they think help their position.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    jimmiraybob says:

    …Mike Pence simultaneously crying out to his God and wetting himself…

    I suspect that he’d immediately call mother to get the decorators geared up and heading to the White House.

  21. 21
    Mary G says:

    I can’t see Jim Webb even making it through the job interview without going off.

  22. 22
    sixthdoctor says:

    At the garage and the special report with him in the Rose Garden. I havent heard him speak for an extended period in a long time because my first instinct is to turn him off. So I’ve listened to him for five minutes.

    I am in physical pain listening to this imbecile.

  23. 23
    stinger says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t think that I could take it.

  24. 24
    Amir Khalid says:

    @khead:
    Ah, Professor Dumbledore’s greatest hit.

  25. 25
    trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    He will not leave the cake out in the rain a second time, I can tell you that. Now then, will his space telescope be converted for deployment by Space Force?

    If I pretzel-logic this, presuming it’s not a random stupid rumor, maybe Webb swallows hard and takes the job simply to put somebody not evil-stupid in the chair. He won’t abide Trump’s guff, however.

  26. 26
    Keith P. says:

    Remember when Republicans took Obama to court over a recess appointment and won? But Trump changes the rules somehow and gets away with acting cabinet secretaries en masse.

  27. 27
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @jimmiraybob:
    I suspect Pence would sit there looking confused until someone explained to him he’s now president. Then he would ask them what to do. The man is astonishingly stupid.

    EDIT – There would also be a delay as someone explained to Kushner that he is not president.

  28. 28

    @Betty Cracker:

    There are a lot of acting cabinet members since Trump’s cabinet has been decimated by corruption scandals (and Mattis’s resignation).

    And Trump’s proven ability to scare away anyone remotely competent.

  29. 29
    Spanky says:

    I will not click on the link, so if someone of a stronger constitution feels obligated …

    LIVE: President Trump speaks following meeting with lawmakers about shutdown

    (WaPo and no doubt other news sites.)

  30. 30
    jimmiraybob says:

    It boggles the mind that Sarah “Champion of the North Country and Leader of the Real Americans” Palin hasn’t been tapped for something yet? Whazzup with that? I can’t think of anyone less qualified for any position and more able to shit on everything. She would easily slobber out a loyalty pledge at every chance. She seems almost too perfect.

  31. 31
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Because I’m pretty sure that Webb, within a few weeks, would not just “walk out” but lunge across the table to punch out Donald Trump

    If you are truly “Scotch-Irish”, why would you think it would take weeks?

  32. 32
    JustRuss says:

    @trollhattan:

    maybe Webb swallows hard and takes the job simply to put somebody not evil-stupid in the chair.

    I could see this. Webb has nothing to lose, why not hang around the Whitehouse for a few months telling Trump “Yeah no, that’s a horrible idea and here’s why…”? Heck, parlaying that into a book deal and speaking tour would be child’s play.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jimmiraybob:

    It boggles the mind that Sarah “Champion of the North Country and Leader of the Real Americans” Palin hasn’t been tapped for something yet?

    Phrasing!!!!! Also, EWWWW!!!!!

  34. 34
    Quinerly says:

    Just turned on MSNBC. Trump ranting incoherently about the 9th Circuit.
    Pence to the podium.
    His serious RWNJ radio voice….

  35. 35

    It’s good to have Daniel Dale back after his three-week vacation.

  36. 36
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Wasn’t there a Webb that was in a presidential debate the last few cycles? Is this the same guy, obsessed with his scots-irish heritage?

  37. 37
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Hey, it’s not their fault if your mind went there.

    I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine. //

  38. 38
    Quinerly says:

    @jimmiraybob: I had thought she would be placed at the Interior Dept.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Raven says:

    Webb is a dick, that is all.

  41. 41
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I thought so. He disappeared off the face of the Earth after he dropped out, because this is the first I’ve heard of him since.

  42. 42

    @jimmiraybob:

    It boggles the mind that Sarah “Champion of the North Country and Leader of the Real Americans” Palin hasn’t been tapped for something yet? Whazzup with that?

    Trump doesn’t want anyone who could effectively compete with him for attention.

  43. 43
    Tim C. says:

    1) Webb would be fine, despite the fact he’s got huge flaws.

    2) Webb will never take the job.

    3) If Webb took the job he’d be out of that job in about half a Mooch-unit for reasons listed above.

  44. 44
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Raven: Second that! I still giggle at the thought of Webb punching Trump though. Tee-hee.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Amid a paen of praise for himself, Trump has just announced a bipartisan committee chaired by Pence to work over the weekend to try to find a solution to the wall impasse.

    McCarthy was there and is currently speaking but no Democrats are present. If this was a real thing you’d think a) Nancy and Chuck wouldn’t have said what they said earlier and, b) would actually be at the announcement.

    Is this the beginning of a face saving cave or an attempt to try to paint the Democrats as the ones keeping the government closed?

    Anyone got any insights on this?

  47. 47
    Spanky says:

    At least I can read the summaries on the WaPo front page.

    BREAKING NEWS: Trump threatened to extend shutdown by ‘months or even years’ to get wall funds, Democrats say

    This is Trump’s strategy to try and stop the investigation, no doubt, but old-tyme Republicans will recognize it as the perfect way to shrink the Federal govt down to a size small enough to drown in a bathtub. And then Trump will get the rap while they skate.

    Look for Republicans to frown seriously and do absolutely nothing, except for Mitch McConnell to chuckle and taunt Democrats in his faux-silky voice.

  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    It would make a great movie scene: the President bawling inconsolably at the head of a conference table, half a dozen Secret Service agents piled on top of SecDef, the other Secretaries looking on in dismay.

  49. 49
    Anne Laurie says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    If you are truly “Scotch-Irish”, why would you think it would take weeks?

    Because we can also be amazingly, stupidly stubborn about resisting What Everybody Knows.

    If I’m reading him correctly, Webb would refuse to give the bastids the satisfaction of seeing him quit, as predicted, until one last indignity caused him to snap. As the impulse flashes through his brain: It’s his aneurysm or mine!

  50. 50
    Booger says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well, in his defense, he also wrote ‘Wichita Lineman’ and hand-crafted that awesome space telescope, so he ain’t all bad. For a Scots-Irish, I mean.

  51. 51
    hueyplong says:

    The net plus for us is probably that the guy who ends up in the position will be perceived by the media establishment to be a step down from Webb, and commenting on that will supplant episode 325 of angry old white people in diners declaring their undiminished support for Trump and their sure and certain hope that after a bit of pain the victorious trade wars will bring the return of good old high-paying jobs in coal mines and blast furnaces.

  52. 52
    Quinerly says:

    Trump seems more incoherent than usual.

  53. 53
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Trump doesn’t want anyone who could effectively compete with him for attention.

    This is certainly true, isn’t it?

    I would, however, love to read transcripts of DT-SP conversations. About policy, about election strategy, about sportsball, about anything. How could they even do it without translators present?

  54. 54

    OMG Scots_Irish Teletubbie for secdef!

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @tobie:

    Webb was pretty bitter about the Democratic Party in 2016

    I love how the Democratic Party owes him something more than a senate seat.

    I’d be horribly bitter, too, really. Obviously they should have also made sure he was the presidential nominee.

    He says he disagrees with many of the positions of the Democratic Party. Why do we owe him anything? It’s not a foster home for displaced conservatives. I don’t care if he fits in and feels comfy and secure.

  56. 56
    Jay says:

    @JustRuss:

    I don’t think that Webb vs. the Orange Bloat would be a very good Childrens Book.

    I’ll stick with the Captain Underpants series.

  57. 57
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That’s probably it. Her inane gibberish would probably be too much competition. Not to mention the threat to kellyanne’s and huckabee’s jealous hold on the crazyland talking platform.

  58. 58
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It would make a great movie scene

    You’ve got my ten bucks!

  59. 59

    @Spanky:
    I have considered that a long shutdown might be a way of clearing out the civil service. It’s hard to fire people with civil service protections, but getting them to quit by failing to pay them for 6 months or a year would leave their positions open.

  60. 60
    Anne Laurie says:

    @jimmiraybob:

    It boggles the mind that Sarah “Champion of the North Country and Leader of the Real Americans” Palin hasn’t been tapped for something yet? Whazzup with that?

    By Trump standards, she’s Too Old and Not Hot Enough.

    Also, no professional grifter like Trump ever fully trusts another grifter… and Palin gave both the RNC and her supposed ‘leader’ McCain no end of grief during her brief moment as a candidate. Remember the family spending spree on the RNC’s credit card even before the convention? Or the fact that she ‘forgot’ to let them know her unmarried daughter had gotten herself knocked up, before the media could run with that story instead of McCain’s prepared speech?

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    but no Democrats are present.

    This is of course the Republican ideal of bipartisanship.

  62. 62
    Fair Economist says:

    @Spanky:

    This is Trump’s strategy to try and stop the investigation, no doubt, but old-tyme Republicans will recognize it as the perfect way to shrink the Federal govt down to a size small enough to drown in a bathtub. And then Trump will get the rap while they skate.

    Yep, and what’s one of the things that will get drowned in the bathtub? ICE! There are already unpaid ICE workers having trouble with their landlords. In a few months they’ll all be getting foreclosure and eviction notices. I expect the ICE kidnapping vans are already nonoperational because they don’t have gas.

    So, Trump is doing AOC’s bidding and abolishing ICE. Spread it around on right-leaning social media.

  63. 63

    @Sloane Ranger:

    Is this the beginning of a face saving cave or an attempt to try to paint the Democrats as the ones keeping the government closed?

    It has seemed to me that, on the one hand, that of strategy for rational actors, a problem with the current situation is that there is no obvious graceful way for Trump to step down. On the other hand, given that Trump is Trump, he could pull a save out of any outcome, simply saying this is what he planned all along, or not saying anything at all and going on to the next crisis.

    He does seem extraordinarily attached to the wall, though, so this may be a way out that Pence has suggested to him. As others have noted, he seems more incoherent than usual, probably because he has painted himself into a corner and the Democrats are keeping him there.

  64. 64

    @trollhattan:

    I would, however, love to read transcripts of DT-SP conversations.

    Better you than me.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sloane Ranger: It won’t get anywhere. Everyone learned two weeks ago, after Pence was designated by the President to negotiate for him with the congressional leadership at the time, that whatever Pence negotiates for the President is automatically dead on arrival because the President won’t be bound by anything the people he designates agree to.

  66. 66
    Quinerly says:

    I had to check. Almost a year ago (1/17/2018) Dr. Ronny Jackson gave us that weird briefing on Trump’s health. Do you think we will get a briefing from the new doctor or will another custom be discarded?

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I share the skepticism in this thread about Webb, but… he stepped up against Allen when it was a long shot, he voted for the ACA which probably went against his political instincts and he gave IIRC a pretty ringing endorsement of Obama in 2012. I can’t see the guy who could barely stand the sight of Champagne Unit Bush cozying up to President Bone-spurs.

    MSNBC muted on my TeeVee and Wheezy is still talking.

  68. 68
    Doug Gardner says:

    @khead: Corollary: Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball (per SNL commercial years ago).

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Spanky: The problem is that a couple of the government functions that the Republicans like the most, such as DHS, are the ones that are currently in shutdown.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    I became curious about who the Democratic freshman class president would be, because previous ones have been up-and-comers like Joaquin Castro and Ted Lieu.

    Interestingly, it’s a pair who ran as a team for the office that you’ve probably never heard of: Colin Allred from Texas and Haley Stevens from Michigan, both of whom appear to be former Obama staffers:

    http://bit.ly/2F9TDGv

  71. 71
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    Is this the beginning of a face saving cave or an attempt to try to paint the Democrats as the ones keeping the government closed?

    Anyone got any insights on this?

    Narcissist-in-Chief demands a full media spray so he can bellow Don’t look at that Pelosi woman and all her bright shiny followers! Look at MEEEEEE!

    Kevin McCarthy, and his fellow Repubs, follow the orange elephant with their brooms, hoping for a little sideline exposure while they’re sweeping up the most odoriferous droppings…

  72. 72
    Gravenstone says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    Trump has just announced a bipartisan committee chaired by Pence to work over the weekend to try to find a solution to the wall impasse.

    Step One propose a ditch instead of a wall
    Step Two: toss a pickaxe and shovel at Pence’s feet
    Step Three: “You best get moving, time’s awastin’ and your boss sure ain’t doing it “

  73. 73
    stinger says:

    @Kay:

    not a foster home for displaced conservatives

    Great phrase!

  74. 74
    Quinerly says:

    “You can’t really see through a concrete wall.”
    “A see through wall made out of steel will be stronger.”
    Trump a few minutes ago

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Quinerly: We’ve replaced the President’s regular Diet Coke with decaffeinated Diet Coke. Let’s see if he notices.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Anyone see Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh in the crowd behind Trump? That’s who Pence would be really negotiating with, right?

    The parts I heard, Trump seems to getting some kind of high by showing off his, self-conceived, vast expertise on construction.

  77. 77
    Doug Gardner says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Damn you for making me re-read that and imagine the meaning of your excellent Archer-ism.

  78. 78

    Then there’s this –

    There is also a good chance the president would face legal challenges.

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    [wiping away the tears] I think I’ll go out and shovel some snow.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/01/04/the-site-is-borked-and-yes-i-know-it/

    Over the past 24 hours, the website has been under attack from a number of DDOS attacks from, of all places, India.

    What did @schrodingers_cat: know and when did she know it?

  80. 80

    @jimmiraybob:
    Cult leaders can’t stand the possibility of rivals.

  81. 81
    Spanky says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    He does seem extraordinarily attached to the wall, though,

    Oh! If only!

  82. 82
    Quinerly says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I still have nightmares about those Ronny Jackson threads. Almost fled the fold.
    😈

  83. 83
    sukabi says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: iirc he went third way and no labels curious after that, although quietly.

  84. 84

    @Adam L Silverman: I am seeing a lot of comments about crushed Adderall on Twitter.

  85. 85

    I still don’t understand why someone hasn’t convinced him that it’s been built of that high-quality material they make F-35s out of.

  86. 86
    jl says:

    @Spanky: Trump is dedicated to national security and sovereignty, which can only be achieved through Concrete Wall, which is already there and saving us, except we need more Wall. Or perhaps Steel Slats, or Curtain of Steel (if they aren’t too old now). Except he can see cost considerations. Get some competitive bids on it and we’ll see.

  87. 87
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: so he’s an evil Chauncey Gardner

  88. 88
    Punchy says:

    I would, however, love to read transcripts of DT-SP conversations. About policy, about election strategy, about sportsball, about anything. How could they even do it without translators present?

    That’s just flat-out fucking hilarious. My monitor is now spittle covered, you bastard.

  89. 89
    Kay says:

    @stinger:

    I’m sick of these people. If you want to be a maverick you don’t get to direct the agenda of an organization. That’s contrary to maverickness anyway.

    He’s a party of one. A leader with no followers.

    This never seems to happen to the Republican Party. People don’t just announce they want the Republican Party to be liberal and Republicans say “oh, okay! If that makes you more comfortable we’ll do it because god forbid we should not make you, alone, comfortable”

  90. 90
    jl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: ” Did I hear that correctly? ”
    With Trump, I don’t think it makes any difference whether you hear it correctly or not.

  91. 91
    ET says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m with Betty. Jim Webb may be many things but I doubt that he is blind to tRump and what would have to his (Webb’s) reputation after working in that cabinet.

  92. 92
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    David Nakamura @ DavidNakamura
    In Rose Garden, Trump casually says former presidents have privately told him they should have built the wall.

    The portraits are talking back to him now.

  93. 93
    sukabi says:

    @Spanky: he’s speeding up the impeachment proceedings by a magnitude of about 10, and stupid shit like this will have republicans who like being in the senate working with dems to get rid of him.

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Quinerly: Marking my beliefs to market, that post was not my best. When I wrote it I had no idea, because no one seemed to because it was being covered up, that Jackson was a toxic leader, has an alcohol problem, and is Dr. Feelgood. Had I had any inkling of those things, I wouldn’t have done that post that way.

  95. 95
    Quinerly says:

    Trump says the “safety net” is a safe border.
    Essentially people not getting government help during the shut down would rather have a wall.
    Trump now lecturing April Ryan on eminent domain and pipelines.
    Trump saying that military and Homeland Security can take land without a court order, he can build the wall without Congress. That eminent domain is for “something long like a road or pipeline.”
    We are going to need an entire thread devoted to what Trump is pushing to do.

  96. 96
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Hunter Walker @ hunterw
    Trump audibly said “Thank you Steve to Kevin McCarthy after he finished speaking.

    Let it be meme’d

  97. 97
    Spanky says:

    @Kay: Hey! It worked for Wilmer.

    Sorta.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Rick Wilson has been busy!

  99. 99
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Well, other than sending women into Sabarimala shrine Balloon Juice has done almost nothing unwelcome in India.

  100. 100
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Show of hands!

    Clinton? No
    Bush 43? No
    Obama? No

    Hrm, good luck with that one Sparky.

  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You weren’t alone. Just about every Obama staffer with a twitter account was defending him.

  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Transparent aluminum!

  103. 103
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Quinerly: Err, that’s a fence (unless there has been a major breakthrough and somebody has developed transparent steel.

  104. 104
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Because we can also be amazingly, stupidly stubborn about resisting What Everybody Knows.

    As a “Scotch-Irish” male, I must adamantly and loudly insist that I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about!

  105. 105
    bemused says:

    I had a short nap and I really hate that I was awakened hearing a rabid, snarling skunk posing as a president on my tv.

  106. 106
    Redshift says:

    I talked to Webb at a fundraiser when he was running, to make my opinion known about something where I disagreed with his position (the Iraq War, maybe?) He only kind of looked like he wanted to punch me.

    Later, I was in line at another Dem event, and happened to be next to a guy who had served with him, and told the story. He said “yeah, he’s pretty tightly wound.”

    So I’m other words, I agree that watching him interact with Trump would be delicious.

  107. 107
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    He really is fond of the “People tell me” rationale for every nutty thing he does and believes. Did he perhaps say “farmer presidents” because then it’s Jimmy’s fault.

  108. 108
    Spanky says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Too bad it wasn’t “Joe”. Or even “Charlie”.

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: I may have dipped some garlic naan into mango chutney the last time I went out for Indian food. So that could be it.

  110. 110
    jl says:

    I’m surprised Trump hasn’t floated the idea of making Wall a great tourist attraction, like Chyyaihannah did. Then Mexico is already paying for it, we’re paying for it, and it will pay for itself, and it already is paying for itself, which produces double profit since it is already there, even though not built completely yet.

    Trump can contract something like that out to Trump Org, which will mean it will be very classy, the top security border wall tourist destination combo in the universe. And we can add another item to bill of impeachment.

    I’ll send it in to WH, and ask if my ideas are good enough to get me one of the job openings there.

  111. 111
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’ve never met him. I just knew his reported reputation based on his service as a trauma surgeon in Iraq.

  112. 112
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: I’ll pay the $14 for the 3-D IMAX screening.
    @Cheryl Rofer: At any rate, it seems Trump was the first to blink, even if he does try to turn it into “I meant that all along”.

    I’m still popping the popcorn and waiting to see how long it takes till McConnell’s spirit is crushed and he is forced to bring a bill, any bill, to a vote that Trump is expected to veto. He’s got the first two budget bills on his desk, and I think this movement from the Orange Idiot less than 24 hours after those bills passed Congress is an indication of one hell of a lot of flop sweat in Republican land.

    Make no mistake, this is all Nancy P pushing the right buttons. I’m telling you people, she knows how to do this shit. Did you see her big smile when the roll call for Speaker had just begun? She already knew exactly how many votes she had, that they were enough, and who had been allowed to symbolically defect and vote for “other”.

    As Randy Newman sings in the Monk theme song: “I could be wrong now… but I don’t think so!!”

  113. 113
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    so the official GOP position these days is: Soviet expansion was a good and necessary things, and the United States needs to build a Steel Curtain around its borders.

  114. 114
    Quinerly says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I know. I probably shouldn’t have brought it up. You (like I) still had faith in the things we always could have faith in in the past. I’m just wondering what’s coming up with this physical. I can make no guesses. I won’t be surprised by anything, anymore.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The look on Congressman Scalise’s face during this presser is basically: “I’m so glad they still have me on the good drugs!”

  116. 116
    catclub says:

    @Gravenstone: I am sure Jimmy Carter is the one demanding walls to keep out all the dark hordes.
    Completely in character. Also, most likely one to be calling up Trump and chatting.

  117. 117
    Redshift says:

    @Gravenstone: I think this is the first time that “there are people who secretly support me” has reached the former president level. Previously we’ve had corporate leaders, the Boy Scouts, Democrats, farmers, and foreign heads of state, but I don’t think he’s made up calls from former presidents before.

  118. 118
    Immanentize says:

    Just keeping the count up to date — Kansas Senator Roberts just announced he is not seeking reelection tion in 2020. Well, he is 83…. But another pick up opportunity for sure.

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Ees a puzzlement!

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Quinerly: No need to apologize. I’m not sensitive about it. I did the post in good faith based on the available information about Jackson and his service. It turns out that material was wrong.

  121. 121
    catclub says:

    You left out all the government employees who are out of work, not getting paid, and still approve. AND they are mostly Democrats!

    @Redshift:

  122. 122
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @Sloane Ranger:
    Bipartisan committee chaired by Pence sounds like a Kushner idea. He has a history of ‘say a buzzword and it magically comes true.’ thinking. Plus, with Kelly gone, I’m pretty sure that Jarvanka solidly have a hold on the King’s Ear. I would go so far as to guess there’s some inane twist Kushner thinks is brilliant, like “And then it’s Pence’s fault!”

  123. 123
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @catclub: I’m thinking it’s a Nixon impersonator.

    Edit to Add: In my Usenet days, the defense “the lurkers support me in email” was so popular that eventually someone set it to song. I would have no idea how to find it but since everything is on the internet now, and most of that is on YouTube, I’m sure it’s out there.

    You know he’d pull that one out if he knew what a “lurker” or “email” was. Maybe a Fox talking head will say it one of these days then we get to see it as a presidential (*) tweet.

  124. 124
    Face says:

    @Gravenstone: Trump just said that Carter voted “yes” with all 3 of his arms.

  125. 125
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Trump said USSR was forced, did the right thing, to invade Afghanistan to fight terrorism, but sadly, the invasion destroyed the USSR. It was very sad, and is very sad. Maybe if Trump’s lousy generals, which he’s fired, had not been such losers, it would have been different for the US. So, we have to get out asap to save ourselves, and make other countries do it for us. Except it’s a great success.

    I think I heard that correctly from Trump’s previous babble fest.

  126. 126
    Gravenstone says:

    @catclub: Gah, apparently HW shuffling off this mortal coil caused me to forget anyone preceding him. Sorry for the slight, Pres. Carter.

  127. 127
  128. 128
    sukabi says:

    @Quinerly: come on, you and I know there isn’t going to be a public release of his physical info, other than “as you can see the president is still alive.” And then Sarah or the other designated liar will run off stage with a frowny face.

  129. 129
    jl says:

    @sukabi: We’ll get notes from Washington that Trump is stronger, from Lincoln that Trump is a better wrestler, from Grant and TR that Trump is a better horseman, from Taft and Eisenhower that Trump is a better golfer, and from Obama that Trump is a better basketball player. Carter will personally testify that Trump will live longer.

    Many people have secretly told him things.

  130. 130

    @sukabi:
    I’m expecting a full release of made-up numbers and a review blatantly dictated by Trump, just like last time. I would not be surprised if he loses a few pounds.

  131. 131
    Quinerly says:

    @sukabi: you mean we aren’t going to be told how much weight he has lost on that new, healthy regime Melania was helping him with?
    As someone once said, “this is my shocked face.” 😈

  132. 132
    Redshift says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    he voted for the ACA which probably went against his political instincts and he gave IIRC a pretty ringing endorsement of Obama in 2012.

    I don’t remember much of Webb’s specific views, but I seem to remember that except for military matters, he wasn’t particularly conservative. He was strongly pro-union, for example, and he created the New GI Bill, big government program.. So I doubt voting for the ACA was particularly against his politics.

  133. 133
    Spanky says:

    Pence called about a half-dozen House Republicans late Thursday to urge them to vote against measures that would reopen the government without new wall funding, amid White House worries that broad GOP defections would give the Democratic effort bipartisan backing.

    Such a hard worker!

  134. 134
    jimmiraybob says:

    On another note (and because I’m looking for a silver lining). If we’re still in government shut down will there be a State of the Union? (Also too, asking for fact-check nation.)

  135. 135
    clay says:

    @Quinerly:

    That eminent domain is for “something long like a road or pipeline.”

    So… he’s proposing a short 3000 mile border wall?

  136. 136
    clay says:

    Adam, help I’m in moderation! (Mis-typed my email)

  137. 137
    Immanentize says:

    @Quinerly:
    HAAAHAHAAHAHAHA!

    Please oh please let Schlapp run in Kansas! These guys have not noticed that they don’t own the frequency anymore. Or is it just a grift with no real campaign involved?

  138. 138
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Gravenstone: Richard Nixon’s head? Jawohl! /futuramalamadingdong

  139. 139
    Spanky says:

    Schumer has sought to involve McConnell more, telling White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in a recent meeting that McConnell needed to be a more active participant. But McConnell has told advisers and other senators that he does not feel the pressure or the heat to get more involved, and that his members are not currently itching for the shutdown to end.

    “He’s the leader of the Senate. Part of this shutdown,” Schumer told The Washington Post in a brief interview Thursday. “When he just tosses the ball over to Trump, he’s somewhat complicit in the shutdown because Trump is organizing it, Trump is the impetus for it and McConnell is going along.”

    Josh Holmes, a McConnell adviser, said he saw his main role as keeping the caucus together.

    “He knows exactly where the leverage points are on negotiations like this. He’s certainly not going to provide Democrats with an opportunity to exploit Republican divisions,” Holmes said. “So he’s going to provide a unified front here to get the president the best deal he can.”

  140. 140
    Immanentize says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: That was probably the best episode ever.

  141. 141
    stinger says:

    @Kay: Agree 100%.

    And the nominee of a party should be A MEMBER OF SAID PARTY IN GOOD STANDING.

  142. 142
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Immanentize: Kobach is definitely running for that.

  143. 143
    sukabi says:

    @Spanky: the blackmail material drumpf has on the turtle must be really good stuff.

  144. 144
    Immanentize says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I agree he will run, but I think maybe Kansas is done with Kobach.

  145. 145
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @jl: Actually, given that both the Great Wall of China and Hadrian’s wall ARE major tourist attractions, I’m surprised he hasn’t already come out with this one.

  146. 146

    @jimmiraybob: Palin hasn’t been tapped

    “Palin” and “tapped” in the same sentence… Well played.

  147. 147
    jl says:

    @sukabi: ‘ the blackmail material drumpf has on the turtle must be really good stuff. ‘
    I don’t think the various foreign countries that own shares in Trump would trust him with their blackmail material on Congressional GOPers.

    Putin, Erdogan and Netanyahu surely too smart. MBS is young, inexperienced, and rash, though. He might have sent something over.

  148. 148
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Adam L Silverman: publicly available information included the ludicrous and obviously false claims of 6’3” and 239 pounds. That told me the guy was a liar and didn’t care who knew it.

  149. 149
    BroD says:

    I would totally buy a ticket to that show!

  150. 150
    Immanentize says:

    @Bobby Thomson:
    Here’s what would be nice (I am not really wishing any bad befall anyone) but it would be great if Roberts could not serve out the rest of his term and a replacement had to be appointed.

    Appointed by Democrat Jeff Colyer.

  151. 151
    Quinerly says:

    Very impressed with Jacob Soboroff (MSNBC). He’s calling out Trump, Sanders, and Nielsen for the liars they are.

  152. 152
    sukabi says:

    @Sloane Ranger: that might be what all his bullshit about eminent domain was about….he’s scoping out the best place for Trump Border Tower, a luxury resort where viewing children in cages is paired with cage matches of their parents fighting each other for scraps of food.

  153. 153

    @Spanky:

    He knows exactly where the leverage points are on negotiations like this. He’s certainly not going to provide Democrats with an opportunity to exploit Republican divisions

    “McConnell can’t control his Senators, hates Nancy Pelosi, and rather than reveal how weak he is will refuse to allow a vote.” Sounds about right. McConnell made his reputation, not by doing difficult things, but by exploiting how easy it is to do nothing. Never forget he barely managed to pass a giant tax cut, and there is literally nothing Republicans want to pass more and consider less controversial.

  154. 154
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So, it’s all your fault. Everyone knows you use your Naan to mop up the sauce and, your poppadoms for the mango chutney

  155. 155

    @jimmiraybob:

    If we’re still in government shut down will there be a State of the Union?

    Yes. Speaker Pelosi has already invited Trump to give the SOTU

  156. 156
    ruemara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This is plasteel. It also doesn’t exist unless Chekhov came back and turned over the information and we missed it.

  157. 157
    jl says:

    @Kenneth Kohl: Michael Palin would be great addition to the Trump administration. He can do great voices.
    Too bad Rickles, Winters and Berle are gone. Williams too, he’d be great, but get fired right away for grabbing too much attention.
    Henny Youngman would have great, except would get fired since Trump wouldn’t be able to follow all the jokes.

    What is Steven Wright doing these days? Maybe he’s available. Trump would understand his logic.

  158. 158

    @sukabi:

    the blackmail material drumpf has on the turtle must be really good stuff.

    You wildly underestimate what an evil, sadistic, racist son-of-a-bitch McConnell is. He started all this by publicly declaring he considered stopping Obama from succeeding at anything was more important than preventing a second Great Depression. He started and led this insanity at every stage. Nobody has ever needed to blackmail him, although I’m sure he happily accepted bribes to do what he wanted to do anyway.

  159. 159
    Punchy says:

    @Immanentize: “Appointed by Democrat Jeff Colyer.” You meant Laura Kelly, right? Colyler was the acolyte of Brownback, and got tossed during the GOP primary.

    Also, can anyone discuss this shutdown on the IRS and tax submissions? I thought I saw a comment this morn w/r/t how the IRS is handicapped in the shutdown….or is that wrong, and they’re considered essential employees? If the IRS cant collect taxes, do we need to send them in?

  160. 160
    jimmiraybob says:

    “Palin” and “tapped” in the same sentence… Well played.

    I’ll be playing at the Pub all month. Please tip the waitstaff generously.

  161. 161
    sukabi says:

    @jl: considering drumpf had a penchant for tapping his own properties and listening in on phone calls, I’m pretty sure he’s been able to gather his own dirt…plus he’s been long time friends with Roger Stone, who is a “dirt collector”.

  162. 162

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I think the president just proposed a see-through steel wall? Did I hear that correctly?

    Perhaps he was thinking of a chain link fence? It’s steel, it’s see-through and it’s wall-ish…

  163. 163
    jl says:

    @Sloane Ranger: Thanks! I forgot that Scotland has, actually, TWO walls. That theme would go great with a Trump golf course.
    Someone has to get this info to Trump right away.

    Wall
    ????
    Profit!
    (just plug golf course into the ???? and our ship has sailed in!)

    I smell a great deal in the air.

  164. 164

    @sukabi:

    the blackmail material drumpf has on the turtle must be really good stuff.

    Being members of the same criminal conspiracy is all the blackmail information he needs. If Trump goes down, he’s taking a whole lot of people with him.

  165. 165
    Quinerly says:

    @Punchy: My friend who works for the IRS here in St. Louis is furloughed with no pay. She has a lot of family obligations (a daughter who is 22, who has two children under the age of 3 1/2 who my friend helps support). Lives pay check to pay check. Dire situation.

  166. 166
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yes. Speaker Pelosi has already invited Trump to give the SOTU

    Oh well, I guess it will give future historians more to marvel at while digging through the rubble of our society. Nero, Caligula, Trump…….

  167. 167
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @sukabi:

    the blackmail material drumpf has on the turtle must be really good stuff.

    Lindsey Graham too!

  168. 168
    sukabi says:

    @Roger Moore: that assumes McConnell was clean prior to drumpf, if that was the case why would a “clean man” jump head first into treason with a guy that’s an obviously unstable incompetent liar?

  169. 169
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    McConnell made his reputation, not by doing difficult things, but by exploiting how easy it is to do nothing. Never forget he barely managed to pass a giant tax cut, and there is literally nothing Republicans want to pass more and consider less controversial.

    It’s funny. People keep talking about the tax cuts as the Republicans signature achievement, and I am sure that Trump and McConnell are happy.

    But here’s the thing. The start of tax season has not been announced and the longer the shutdown continues the longer it may be delayed. And if Trump kept the shutdown going all year, as he claims he might do, then the rich won’t be able to file their returns and cash in on their tax cuts.

    Also, under one scenario, if things continue and the IRS finally gets tax season rolling, then tax payments would be accepted, but refunds deferred.

    Trump is a fool, and thinks that he can command that the tides not wash up on the shore, but McConnell must be a truly special kind of fool if he is willing to back Trump as governmental chaos erupts.

  170. 170
    Immanentize says:

    @Punchy:
    Sorry. I was trying to make a joke about Kansas rejecting republicans this last cycle, but it was a joke, uncompleted and, obviously, only in my own head….

    Kansas also has former Republicans (all women, no?) defecting to the Dem side. I think it will be at least a tough slog for any Republican if the Democrats can get a good candidate.

  171. 171
    lollipopguild says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It’s a National Emergency because his ass is not being properly KISSED! Go to DEFCON 11!

  172. 172
    Millard Filmore says:

    @jl:

    we need more Wall. Or perhaps Steel Slats, or Curtain of Steel

    Maybe, maybe, an Iron Curtain!

  173. 173
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    The Peek-a-boo Doctrine.

  174. 174
    Immanentize says:

    @Punchy: what I heard — The IRS is open to receive submissions, but no refunds can be issued until after the shutdown. Not that I am getting a refund….

  175. 175
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Why does Paul Whelan appear to be a citizen of three (or is it four now?) different countries?

  176. 176
    trollhattan says:

    @Bobby Thomson:
    Keep him the hell away!

  177. 177
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Sloane Ranger:
    I doubt that Trump, son of a Scots woman, has heard of Hadrian’s wall. I also doubt that he has heard of the Great Wall.

  178. 178
    ruemara says:

    @Gin & Tonic: 4 and good question.

  179. 179
    trollhattan says:

    @jimmiraybob:
    I want Nancy filing her nails and texting while Donny delivers his SOTU punchlines. Seeing Ryan’s smug gob in that chair the last two years was two too many.

  180. 180
    Immanentize says:

    @Quinerly: I am truly sorry for your friend, but I’m curious — was she a Trump voter?

    My good friend, from the EPA, is in a similar situation (not a Trumpeter)

  181. 181
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @ruemara: Yeah, and arrested for larceny and drummed out of the USMC, isn’t that a hackneyed plot device? The Dirty Dozen or something? I want better writers.

  182. 182
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Quinerly:

    I’m just wondering what’s coming up with this physical. I can make no guesses.

    Here is my guess: if Trump cannot find a compromised doctor to declare him the most fit president ever, there will not be a physical.

  183. 183
    Redshift says:

    Trump has had this “see-through wall” obsession for quite a while, so we can “see them coming.” As far as I can tell, in his toddler-level concept of a defensive wall, that makes sense, because apparently he’s never seen pictures of a prison with guard towers.

    Since he also believes stealth aircraft are literally invisible, this offers an obvious way out, if everyone would agree to take it. Tell him the wall has already been built with that stuff, take some video with Mexican mimes bumping against it, and voila! The Emperor’s New Wall!

  184. 184
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Immanentize:

  185. 185
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Because he actually is a spook?

  186. 186
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @jl: I smell a great deal in the air.

    sorry, that was my dog. She has a bit of an upset tummy..

  187. 187
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @Immanentize: that tends to be frowned upon.

  188. 188
    Spanky says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’s 4. Born in Canada, lived mostly in US, has recent ancestry in GB and Ireland.

  189. 189
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    What better cover than dishonorable discharge? If it’s the dirty dozen, maybe he’s Archer Maggot?

  190. 190
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Immanentize: Not a very good one, apparently.

  191. 191
    Immanentize says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    Wow, that would be a cool thing, no?

  192. 192
    Brachiator says:

    @Immanentize:

    what I heard — The IRS is open to receive submissions

    Not true. There has been no announcement of when e-file will start. And some software vendors have not finalized forms, so forms cannot even be printed. Also, the IRS does not accept mail-ins yet.

  193. 193
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: He’s not a spook for us. I guarantee he’s an unwitting asset for the Russians. He doesn’t think/know he’s working for them. He probably thinks he’s working for the Brits or the Canadians or the US, but that was part of the op that flipped him. Most likely when he decided to take his 2006 mid deployment leave in Russia.

  194. 194
    tobie says:

    @Anne Laurie: Very gracious on her part. Wonder if she would run for his seat.

    I also thought it was cool that Lauren Underwood got an amendment added to the House Rules on her very first day in office that would get rid of the NDAs used to silence committee staffers who want to file harassment, abuse, or assault complaints against House members. All these women are so talented!

  195. 195
    Spanky says:

    What’s so wrong with motherf—er?

    Actual WaPo headline right now.

  196. 196
    Quinerly says:

    @Immanentize: no. Not a Trump voter. I got rid of the only “friend” in my life who was a Trump voter. My nextdoor neighbor (has now since moved)… I did a longish comment here on her (venting) after we had a blow up after the election. She is a Lt Colonel in the Air Force. A nurse, thrice married, very Catholic. Last two husbands were married when she set her sights on them. Family values et al…. Tried to give me a lecture on “corrupt Hillary” the weekend after the election. She also thought Trump’s “grab them by the
    pu**y” was funny… that women who were upset by “locker room talk” needed to get a sense of humor. We had been friends (not close, but would meet for drinks and music in the neighborhood and next door neighbors for years). I never spoke to her again. My IRS gal pal is in a real mess. I’ll probably just end up helping her with a Chapter 7. She was barely keeping it together before this shutdown shit. 2-4 weeks with no pay will destroy her.

  197. 197
    Immanentize says:

    @Brachiator:
    Here is what I read on IRS Tax Filings.

    Last year, the tax season officially began on January 29, 2018…. Hopefully, this silliness will be done by then.

  198. 198
    sukabi says:

    @Spanky: ha! It depends on the specific motherf—er.

  199. 199
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Quinerly:

    thrice married, very Catholic

    Um….

  200. 200
    Immanentize says:

    @Quinerly:

    I got rid of the only “friend” in my life who was a Trump voter.

    I do remember that, now you mention it….

  201. 201
    Immanentize says:

    @Spanky:
    Father Stabber?

  202. 202
    Gravenstone says:

    @Quinerly:

    that women who were upset by “locker room talk” needed to get a sense of humor.

    So she’d have been totally onboard with Rep. Tlaib and her “impeach the motherfucker” locker room talk, right? Riiiggghhhtttt….

  203. 203
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: OK. So Russia is planning to trade it’s own unwitting asset back to us, in return for their spy Butina? That sounds like a real Art of the Deal, right there?

    May I request a short front post explaining some of this to us. And how can some one be an ‘unwitting asset’? The Rooskies bugged his smart phone and he doesn’t know it. What you typed was pretty mysterious to me.

  204. 204
    Quinerly says:

    @Immanentize: I think my venting took over an entire thread. I was on my laptop. Cocktails were involved. 😈

  205. 205
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    So Russia arrests their own asset to make noise here? They play a rather deep game….

    I still want to know how many of our assets were burned by Trump and Co. in the transition. Some funny deaths occurred in Russia in the few months after the election.

  206. 206
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks, but that comment is mysterious to me. Could you expand on it for those of thus not versed in spy, and spy management, tradecraft? Maybe a post on it soon?

    My previous request for more info got eated up into the blog void, so advance apologies if it pops up sooner or later.

  207. 207
    Quinerly says:

    @Gravenstone: we wouldn’t get that far. I doubt my ex neighbor would get past the whole Muslim thing. The Air Force is mighty Christian, haven’t you heard?

  208. 208
    rikyrah says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The portraits are talking back to him now.

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAH

  209. 209

    @sukabi:
    I don’t necessarily think McConnell was clean before he hooked up with Trump, but that doesn’t mean Trump knows enough about his misdeeds to use them as effective blackmail material. Once they were part of the same conspiracy, though, they have to stick together, since anything that brings one down is likely to take the other down with him.

  210. 210
    jl says:

    @Immanentize: ” So Russia arrests their own asset to make noise here? ”

    That was the gist of my question in my comment that disappeared. Or: Russia will trade their own asset back to us, in order to get one of their assets back in Russia?
    I typed that if so it was a great example of the A*t of the D**l. Maybe the titles of Trump’s books are banned (like the word s h ** pl * s), and the system threw away my comment.

  211. 211
    stinger says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Me too! I read that and was like, Hahahahahaha. Nothing means anything anymore, apparently.

  212. 212
    sukabi says:

    @Roger Moore: unless their family businesses crossed paths…what’s Elaine’s family business again? Shipping?

  213. 213
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:

    I still want to know how many of our assets were burned by Trump and Co. in the transition. Some funny deaths occurred in Russia in the few months after the election.

    Yep…I wanna know too

  214. 214
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @jl: I think Adam is saying he’s delivering info to someone he thinks is “friendly”, e.g. British Intelligence. But they are reporting to Moscow.

  215. 215
    Immanentize says:

    @jl: I figured we were wondering in the same direction. I hope Adam does pop up with more insights later….

  216. 216
    VOR says:

    Webb is a highly decorated Marine veteran of Vietnam who earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. His son served in Iraq as a Marine. His father was Army Air Corps (later Air Force) during WW2. Meanwhile Trump got 5 deferments, finally got out of the draft with a allegedly bogus bone spurs diagnosis, and no member of the Trump family has ever served in the US Military.

    Yeah, Webb is sane, competent, qualified, and as a former Senator would probably sail through confirmation. But I cannot imagine Webb being willing to suck up to Trump enough to get SecDef.

  217. 217
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: @jl: Whelan was born in Canada and is a naturalized US citizen. Because his family – parents or grandparents – had recent citizenship in Ireland and the UK, he also claimed British and Irish citizenship. I haven’t looked at the rules lately, but my grandmother was born in London, so while I may not be able to directly claim English citizenship, my mother might. It is not too uncommon for people to do this even as it is still not a lot of people in total. So that’s the citizenship explanation.

    It has now been reported that Whelan has integrity issues. He’s not just shaded his resume over the years, but completely misrepresented himself in regard to past employment. He was also, based on the reporting, stealing from the Marine Corps while a Marine. And somehow he developed a Russophilia. This, last bit, by itself, isn’t a major issue. Lots of people become Russophiles, just as they become Anglophiles or Francophiles, through reading literature, listening to symphonies and operas, viewing art, liking the cuisine, etc. However, most people I know on 12 to 18 month deployments either went home for their mid deployment leaves or went to interesting third countries and paid to bring their spouses and/or families to vacation with them. Going to Russia for two weeks is a bit odd. I will caveat that, however, with the reality that if he had long time social media friends in Russia who had invited him and given that he was a Russophile, this would be a relatively inexpensive way to do a visit as his airfare would be paid and he’s paid while on leave.

    What I think happened, however, is that Russian intelligence quickly flagged this guy trying to make contacts on Russian social media/social media used by Russians as he was trying to learn the language and explore the parts of Russian history and culture that interested him. They did a full profile on him – criminal background, work history, social media history, military service, operational psych assessment – and they then quickly took control of some of his social media interactions, encouraged his interests, etc. When he got to Russia a human intelligence specialist made contact. One of two things then happened. They either just presented as a friend and kept cultivating him and keeping a tab on him and encouraging his Russophilia in case they needed him or they specifically presented as from one of the countries that he has citizenship in. And most likely not the US, probably someone from Russian intel claiming to work for British intelligence. And they recruited him that way. Either way, they had their hooks into him and could use him if they needed him when it was convenient for them. Right now Putin has a hostage that four different countries have a stake in. That’s a lot of leverage.

  218. 218
    Brachiator says:

    @Immanentize:

    Last year, the tax season officially began on January 29, 2018…. Hopefully, this silliness will be done by then.

    Last year was late because of last minute political games. 2017 filing season began January 23. The 2016 tax season began January 19. Notice a trend?

    The IRS contingency plan presumes that some staffers will work without pay. And if the shutdown is resolved, the IRS will scramble to finalize some forms and testing. And even then, some forms and schedules will not be available until February.

    Bottom line. The IRS has not yet announced the start of tax season. The longer the shutdown continues, the harder it will be for the IRS to get things ramped up.

  219. 219
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You got there first with what I was thinking.

  220. 220
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: @rikyrah: No way to really know. The senior GRU official that got black bagged was probably one.

  221. 221
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl:

    And how can some one be an ‘unwitting asset’?

    Here’s a non Russian example. Almost every synagogue has someone who is a de facto AIPAC rep. In my mom’s its a medical doctor. He goes to all the AIPAC conferences and meetings, is on their teleconferences, etc. He routinely gives talks, pushing AIPAC talking points, at my mom’s synagogue about what is going on in the Middle East. I guarantee that he does not consider himself to be an asset of Israel, but he is. And so are every other individual who does the same thing in their congregation. Does that make sense?

  222. 222
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: OK, thanks.
    As I think about my time in Russia, as tourist who was visiting during long term work stays in Scandinavia and the Baltics, i do recall now that, more than any other country I have been in, people came up to me out of the blue and just started trying to make conversation. As in “how do you like Russia?” “So, what do you think of the Winter Palace”.

    So, maybe these stories you sophisticated people tell about how Russians recruit people make sense. If they were attempts to make a contact with me, probably didn’t work because I’d say stuff like “Dude, Russia is kinda weird” or I wasn’t attracted to the young ladies that did that (actually they were almost always handsome young men…. maybe I looked gay to them?)

    Anyway, that memory suddenly came back to me. Thing about Russia that I remember is that it was harder to meet friendly natives there on my own (versus through Swedish or Estonian friends) than other places, but more people just came up and tried to strike up conversations that seemed odd.

  223. 223
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: I think what you’re describing has two possible sources. The first is that from my understanding, the Russians, socio-culturally, have something of an inferiority complex and want validation from foreigners visiting Russia. Given that dynamic, if I was trying to cultivate human sources from other countries, I’d use that as a way in.

  224. 224
    Barbara says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Webb is also one of the few politicians who was genuinely interested in pursuing criminal justice reform. Total curmudgeon, but with unquestionable integrity. My guess is that Mattis gave panicked Republicans a short list of possible replacements.

  225. 225
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I didn’t say that Russia was kind of weird right off. I complemented (sincerely) their beautiful birch forests and how it reminded me of the the North American Great North first. But, dude, the place was pretty weird, so I’d get around to that sooner or later, couldn’t help myself.

    And I don’t remember any approaches from really smoking hot chicks, and thinking back on it now, that kind of ticks me off, if they were recruitment approaches.

    Edit: but I may have been jaded from meeting smoking hot Estonian women. I guess I am not good Russophile material.

  226. 226
    Another Scott says:

    Some on the one hand / on the other hand comments from lowkell at BlueVirgina. Lowell was one of the people who pushed very hard to recruit Jim to run for Senate and defeat Allen (and as Rand says above, Webb deserves a nice place in history for doing that).

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  227. 227
    Another Scott says:

    Donnie says it’s fake news which means, since he lies about everything, that Webb turned him down.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  228. 228
    Gretchen says:

    @Immanentize: Democrat Laura Kelly.

Comments are closed.