Political Twitter’s Read of the Day: “Inside the Chaotic Early Days of Trump’s Foreign Policy”

Just in time for the weekend, so the ForPol professionals can get down to some serious drinking. I’m sure other front-pagers will have much to say about this, but here’s my quick take: Murphy the Trickster God is *not* a subtle scripter!

The day after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, White House national security adviser Susan Rice gathered her staff for a pep talk…

Rice said the NSC staffers should give Trump a chance, that he and his team deserved the benefit of the doubt. Their duty was to the country, she reminded them, and they should do whatever it took to help America — and Trump — succeed.

What Rice didn’t — couldn’t — tell these government employees was that the dawn of the Trump administration would be a time of extraordinary personal and professional torment for them; that they’d be asked to make ethically, and legally, dubious decisions while ignoring facts and evidence on basic issues to fit the president’s whims; that they would be vilified as “Obama holdovers” and treated like an enemy within, to the point where some of their lives were threatened; that they’d grow so paranoid they would seek “safe spaces” to speak to each other, use encrypted apps to talk to their mothers, and go on documentation sprees to protect themselves and inform history; that at least one career staffer would cry on the way home from work every night; and that another would call Trump a “dumpster fire” in a farewell message…

Now, two years into Trump’s tenure, current and former U.S. officials say they are worried about the long-term damage his administration is still doing to the way such critical decisions are made — with dangerous consequences that are not always easy to perceive. They worry Trump’s presidency has poisoned the relationship between career government staffers and political appointees, threatening the ability of a future president to make decisions based on nonpartisan expertise. Some were relieved after Trump’s first national security adviser, Mike Flynn, was fired; he’s still due for sentencing after getting caught up in the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. And they were heartened that Trump’s second national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, einstituted traditional processes during his year at the helm, even if Trump disliked them. But because Trump’s current national security adviser, John Bolton, has largely scuttled those procedures, the fears have resurfaced over the past year…

Trump often seemed in disbelief that he, of all people, was now occupying such a weighty office. A former staffer recalls being in an informal meeting in Flynn’s office when the president burst into the room. Trump apologized for interrupting but said he wanted to show them something. An aide came in with a framed photo of the 16th president. “Abraham Lincoln. President Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said, according to the ex-staffer. “They’ve got all kinds of cool stuff here.”…

Some Trump defenders dismiss the concerns about process, saying that too often the resulting policy is a mish-mash of milquetoast bureaucratic ideas.

“The purpose of the NSC is not to make the president conform to the NSC, but to make the federal government enhance the way a president gets to good decisions,” argued James Carafano, a foreign policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank friendly to Trump. “The president is a very outcome-focused guy. He is not worried about winning pretty. He’s just worried about winning. Not only do I think he doesn’t care about the process, he sees the process as potentially an impediment.”…

Numerous career staffers decided to document everything they could, what became known as “putting it in the record.” That often meant putting certain ideas and opinions in emails or copying other agencies on communications. Many staffers knew that by including the agencies, the information would more likely be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and could one day see the light of day or even land in history books. Some admit they hoped that people in the agencies would leak the information to reporters. And many acknowledge they wanted a record, somewhere, of themselves objecting to policies they thought could be illegal. One particularly useful tool was the “track changes” feature in shared documents in what is known as the NSC “portal.” Staffers would make sure to use that feature to log in legal or policy concerns they had about language in particular documents, especially if factual errors were involved. Many printed reams of material they could put in their “box” — the package of NSC staffers’ work material that is archived and eventually made available to the public. One person said that although he spent three times longer at the NSC under Obama than under Trump, he had only one “box” for Obama and three for Trump…

It’s not gonna disappear, Trumplodytes. You’ll never be able to run far enough fast enough to escape the reckoning.

165 replies
  1. 1
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    Trump’s first national security adviser, Mike Flynn, was fired; he’s still due for sentencing after getting caught up in the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia

    Fuck Politico with a rusty pitchfork. “…caught up…”??!! As if he wasn’t a MAJOR PLAYER in the Trump/Russia collusion. Judas Priest, what a bunch of assholes.

  2. 2
    Another Scott says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: “Mistakes Were Made”™, don’t ya know…

    :-/

    Seriously, Politico is horrible, but they do manage to break a bunch of stories before others.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    Trump often seemed in disbelief that he, of all people, was now occupying such a weighty office. A former staffer recalls being in an informal meeting in Flynn’s office when the president burst into the room. Trump apologized for interrupting but said he wanted to show them something. An aide came in with a framed photo of the 16th president. “Abraham Lincoln. President Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said, according to the ex-staffer. “They’ve got all kinds of cool stuff here.”…

    President Donald T. Adolescent.

  4. 4
    Lapassionara says:

    I’ve been wondering when we would start seeing stories like these. Thanks, AL

  5. 5

    @Chief Oshkosh: The press keeps giving these T regime apparatchiks a pass. Did you know that Kelly wrote a memo about his objection to giving Kushie a security clearance. As if that somehow exonerates him and makes him a good guy.

  6. 6
    prostratedragon says:

    A grab-your-eyebrows moment:

    Another former NSC official said that, unlike many of his colleagues, he spent a decent amount of time with Trump transition representatives. Something stood out. “There was more focus on people, management and organizational structure than substantive policy issues,” the former official said. “They were not interested in the material we had prepared. It was more like, ‘Why is this staff organized this way? Who are the personalities? Who are the senior staff? Who are the directors?’” It was unusual and concerning, the former official said.

    (Thanks AL, had swung by just to see whether this article had been picked up here.)

  7. 7
    Old School says:

    Trump apologized for interrupting but said he wanted to show them something.

    I’m not sure I can trust the rest of the article when there is a whopper like that in it.

  8. 8
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Another Scott: You’re right, it is good that they are reporting this, but seems like a day late and a dollar short.

  9. 9
    clay says:

    @Lapassionara: As soon as we had a Congress who gives a damn.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    I suspect Trump and his criminal children have been busy stealing everything in the White House that isn’t nailed down and shipping it to Trump Tower and Mar-A-Lago.

  11. 11
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @schrodingers_cat:Well, since they’ve never even admitted to themselves, much less the public, that they had a hand in getting Trump elected, I don’t expect the mainstream press to ever really hold these assholes’ feet to the fire.

  12. 12
    germy says:

    Don’t worry. A shrewd Democratic candidate will save us:

    I know Bernie has a crack new campaign team – but you gotta think going on @TheView on the first day of #WomensHistoryMonth in order to diss the first female nominee in American political history is a pretty bold move. https://t.co/GgBcMS4bJH— Tom Watson (@tomwatson) March 1, 2019

    I mean if you're going to pick a show to go on and diss Hillary Clinton, @TheView is a helluva bold choice. You have to admire the Sanders strategy to win over new voters. 😬— Tom Watson (@tomwatson) March 1, 2019

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    The unravelling, it has begun.

  14. 14
    Plato says:

    Trump’s foreign policy is an oxymoron.

  15. 15
    germy says:

    it is insanely funny that the white house tries to smear michael cohen with the phrase "convicted liar" when the lie he was convicted for telling was "donald trump did nothing wrong"— Sigh Hersh (@Ugarles) February 26, 2019

  16. 16
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    I mean if you’re going to pick a show to go on and diss Hillary Clinton, @TheView is a helluva bold choice. You have to admire the Sanders strategy to win over new voters.

    Bernie Sanders 2.0 very much like Bernie Sanders 1.0.

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    jesus fucking christ

  18. 18
    mrmoshpotato says:

    “Inside the Chaotic Early Days of Trump’s Foreign Policy”

    So it’s no longer a chaotic shitshow? Thank FSM!

    Oh Politico. You’z funny.

  19. 19

    Here’s CNN’s report on The View

    A sample

    He also criticized Clinton’s losing campaign for not reaching out to “working class people the way I think she should’ve.”
    “There were states where she did not campaign as vigorously as she should’ve,” Sanders said, pointing to Wisconsin and Michigan, whose primaries he won over Clinton in 2016.

  20. 20
    Peale says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: IF ONLY SHE’D SPENT MORE TIME IN WISCONSIN INSTEAD OF RUNNING UP THE SCORE IN CALIFORNIA!

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Heaven forbid that you use the precise, accurate, and legal terminology…

  22. 22

    @Plato: That’s because he is a moron, whose brain was deprived of oxygen.

  23. 23
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What about the ideologues? How are they supposed to be represented if people won’t use their slanted and dehumanizing language?

  24. 24
    germy says:

    Just another reminder that MSNBC personalities are not just free but encouraged to accuse people of *being Kremlin agents* based on absolute lies – not dubious claims or debatable opinions, but demonstrable lies. MSNBC is not a news outlet. They reward & sanction lying: pic.twitter.com/irAAWXpxLH— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 28, 2019

    Unlike…. Fox?

  25. 25
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I will never get over how Bernie Sanders is ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that working-class people love Bernie Sanders always and forever. Because of the Democratic primary results. You know who won those Democratic primaries in 2008? Hillary Clinton. I guess their affection was fleeting. But that would never happen to him, right? Because of his holy nimbus of rectitude. He is such a toxic, obnoxious dick. Fuck that arrogant fuckface right in the ear.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Hoping that folloewing a good rest Mattis is ready to begin on a book.

    Also too, Tillerson’s first name being pronounced the same as “wrecks” was far from entirely coincidental.

  27. 27
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @germy: unlike…the Intercept?

  28. 28
    germy says:

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

    New trailer for Ava DuVernay’s Central Park Five

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @prostratedragon: This confirms what was reported during the transition: that the President’s people thought that everyone working at the White House stayed in place from administration to administration.

  30. 30
    dmsilev says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Also, please remember that for both Sanders and a large swath of the political media, ‘working class Americans’ really means ‘white working-class men’.

  31. 31
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Looking forward to your take on the article, sir!

  32. 32
    Ksmiami says:

    @FlipYrWhig: he’s such a fucking train wreck- I just can’t with the Bern at all

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gravenstone: Bless their hearts!

  34. 34
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Martin:

    The unravelling, it has begun.

    Yep. He’ll be lucky to make it to 9 August.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anne Laurie: A train composed of dumpsters on fire that has derailed and wrecked into a burning mountain of shit.

    Happy now?

  36. 36
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    Why am I not surprised that Seborrhea Dorka rears his butt-ugly mug (or butts his mug-ugly rear) into this obscene saga?

    (I continue my efforts to scrounge up sufficient & suitably vile epithets in magyarul to vomit in his general direction…)

  37. 37
    prostratedragon says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It also strikes me that if you want to take an organization down, or make it easier for someone else to do so, this is the kind of thing you’d want to know first.

  38. 38
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @germy: I thought GG would be too busy looking for a new country to hide out in.

  39. 39

    @germy:

    I know Bernie has a crack new campaign team

    Usually when you say somebody has a crack team, it’s not about what they’ve been smoking.

  40. 40

    @Adam L Silverman: What is your read on Imran Khan? For a novice politician, he masterfully beat Nautanki* at his own game.
    *Practitioner of street theater like vaudeville, also PM Modi

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @dmsilev: The kicker is that we don’t even know it’s true OF THEM! Sanders thinks it’s true because his entire theory of politics is something something working class something, even though everyone I’ve ever known who was super into Bernie Sanders was a white dude with a beard, no ass, and an advanced degree.

  42. 42

    @mrmoshpotato:

    So it’s no longer a chaotic shitshow?

    No, just now we’re no longer in the early days.

  43. 43
    Kent says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Clinton won more “working class” voters than either Sanders or Trump. By far. They just weren’t necessarily WHITE MALE working class voters so I guess they don’t really count for Sanders.

  44. 44
    TS (the original) says:

    @Mike in NC: That has to be more than a suspicion – who has the inventory list?

  45. 45
    Sherparick says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Please wake me up when the Democratic presidential primaries are over.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kent: And Hillary Clinton won that very same demographic in the Democratic primaries in 2008. I assume that they might prefer Clinton to Obama but Sanders to Clinton. Fine. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out there who they’d prefer to Sanders. I hope Sanders arrives at that realization as quickly and humiliatingly as possible and gets his face rubbed in it.

  47. 47
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sherparick: Remember when the fiercest battles in the blogosphere (Atrios, DailyKos, Yglesias, etc.) were between the Deanies and the Clarkies?

  48. 48
    The Moar You Know says:

    Now, two years into Trump’s tenure, current and former U.S. officials say they are worried about the long-term damage his administration is still doing to the way such critical decisions are made

    NEWS FLASH: too fucking late. Maybe next time more of them will force themselves to vote for a Democratic candidate.

    I’m not impressed by the caterwauling of a bunch of largely Republican lawmen bitching because their voting choices are going to make them look bad to their grandchildren.

  49. 49
    dmsilev says:

    @mrmoshpotato:

    So it’s no longer a chaotic shitshow?

    No, now the shit is moving smoothly and continuously. So, technically it’s a laminar-flow shitshow.

  50. 50
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Aaaarrrrrgggghhhhhhh!

    He’s making it way too easy for me to decide I’d rather go back to the dentist from 5 hours ago than vote for him in the primaries.

    ETA typo

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I was informed by a very highly placed source in Pakistan on Tuesday night that the Pakistanis were going to deescalate. I wasn’t quite sure given the events on Wednesday, but my source appeared to be spot on. Which given the source is not surprising.

    I know people…

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I sent it to a friend this morning and said how can our allies ever trust us again. I fear that we are broken.

  53. 53
    Chyron HR says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Why did Hillary force Bernie’s glorious white working master race class to vote for the syphilitic nazi rapist?

  54. 54

    @Adam L Silverman: You know Imran Khan? He was one of the great all rounders (batsman and bowler) of cricket when I was growing up in the 80s along with Kapil Dev (India), Richard Hadlee (NZ), and Ian Botham (England).

  55. 55
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @A Ghost To Most: I wish I shared your optimism.

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    @Sherparick:

    Please wake me up when the Democratic presidential primaries are over.

    I assume you are talking about the 2016 primaries, because those don’t seem to be over yet, even as we move into 2020.

  57. 57
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @FlipYrWhig: you can throw in my stepsister from the northern suburbs of Chicago…who now lives off the grid in a yurt in Vermont. And of course voted Jill Stein because her bernista/Russian friends convinced her that Hillary was the devil.

    Steve at Hobby on standby for an earlier flight out of this hellhole

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @Chief Oshkosh:
    More like 700+ days late and billions and billions of disasters short.

  59. 59
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @JPL: You mean like how will Post-Britexit England in the midst of their self inflicted economic depression or Germany “Hey, stop calling us Nazis” and Japan “Let’s not talking about that rape of Asia thing” ever trust us again?

  60. 60
    J R in WV says:

    I’m not a big fan of Politico in any way, but that was a pretty interesting article. No surprise on the one hand, we all knew the Trump folks had no clue how to run a government from day one, but the amount of ignorance was stunning.

    I’m not sure which ignorant assumption was most flagrant, perhaps that everyone who worked for the security establishment was an Obama appointee?

    On the other hand, IIRC Trump expected folks in the Obama White House to show up on his first day in office… so who knows how ignorant the other folks were. No wonder no one knew how to turn on the lights.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @John Cole:
    That’s a bold comment.
    Or is this just an automatic reply to every post these days?

  62. 62
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @dmsilev: It’s the well-oiled shitshow they like to boast about!

  63. 63
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The wheels are turning now. He’s fucked, he knows it, and he is decompensating. It’s just a matter of time before he explodes.

  64. 64
    MomSense says:

    @John Cole:

    🌲 comment.

    Every day all day long Jesus fucking Christ.

  65. 65
    dmsilev says:

    @mrmoshpotato:

    well-oiled shitshow

    I believe modern medicine can usually treat that.

  66. 66
    J R in WV says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Steve at Hobby on standby for an earlier flight out of this hellhole

    So you didn’t manage to find any excellent food in Hellhole, TX? We managed to eat well for the most part, which was a big part of maintaining. Bayou food, Mexican food, Asian food which was the nicest surprise, even in suburban strip malls it was really good.

    Best of luck getting out asap!

  67. 67
    smintheus says:

    The Politico piece gives the misleading impression that the Trump crime syndicate left the national security apparatus in chaos because it doesn’t know what it is doing. But Politico is confusing chaos for KAOS.

  68. 68
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: “Dr” Gorka? We should all put his “Dr.” in quote marks. A bogus doctorate given to him by friends for a dissertation that would barely qualify as a Senior Thesis.

  69. 69
    oldgold says:

    Does it ever effing end? Day after damn day we are gish galloped and gas lighted by this Salvador Dali like painting of a presidency.

    How much more of this can our Constitutional Republic take? In the last week there has been more chaos than Obama’s entire presidency.

  70. 70
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @J R in WV:

    No surprise on the one hand, we all knew the Trump folks had no clue how to run a government from day one, but the amount of ignorance was stunning.

    What is shocking to me is how they view an unwillingness to learn as a virtue and those Trumpsters who do manage to figure it out are immediately fired.

  71. 71
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    “There were states where she did not campaign as vigorously as she should’ve,” Sanders said, pointing to Wisconsin and Michigan, whose primaries he won over Clinton in 2016.

    Well. Since Wilmer won those states’ Democratic Party primaries, perhaps he could have leveraged his popularity among Democratic Party voters in Wisconsin and Michigan, and campaigned enthusiastically for the nominee of the Democratic Pa–

    Oh yeah. Never mind, then.

  72. 72
    jl says:

    Trump excels at cooking up nonsensical, but dangerous, BS solutions to nonsensical, but dangerous, BS emergencies that he himself creates.
    He is terrific at that, the best, the top president. We have to give him that.

  73. 73
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Steve in the ATL: You do draw the “great” places to visit. Get home safe.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    “Inside the Chaotic Early Days of Trump’s Foreign Policy”

    Hillary Clinton was, if anything, over prepared.

  75. 75
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    ETA typo

    You spelled Aaaarrrrrgggghhhhhhh! wrong?

  76. 76
    TS (the original) says:

    @oldgold:

    In the last week there has been more chaos than Obama’s entire presidency

    They passed that goal in the first week – and every week thereafter.

  77. 77
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @J R in WV: got on the earlier flight…and got upgraded! So it’s not all bad in trump’s Amerikkka.

    Lots of good food in Houston, except of course for beef that they dishonestly call barbecue. Unfortunately, I never got out of the hotel.

  78. 78
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Unfortunately, I never got out of the hotel.

    Just like a honeymoon?

  79. 79
    Dan B says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Just the contrast between the images of Khan as a modern and pleasant man vs. Modi. Nautanki (sp?) looked like a raving Islamophobe. It reminded me of the old Civil Rights non-violence method: Don’t attack them or get angry at them. State what you want and what you believe, or demonstrate what you want, and they will show the world what they are. Modi / BJP breathe fear and anger. It’s not what most people want to see on the TV in their living room.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    The wheels are turning now. He’s fucked, he knows it, and he is decompensating. It’s just a matter of time before he explodes.

    I’ve seen several photos of him over the last few days, and he looks terrible. I mean, way more than usual. His face is blotchy and puffy to the point of being almost disfigured. His shuffling gait and stooped posture make him look like an unhealthy nonagenarian.

    If I cared two hoots about his well-being, I’d be quite worried. Happily for my peace of mind, I don’t, so I’m not.

  81. 81
    Dan B says:

    @FlipYrWhig: So true, except the truest devotees I know have bubble butts. Exceptions that prove the rule. Not one Bernie sign in our 10% white neighborhood, except my honey’s…. aieeeee!

  82. 82
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Concise, and yet comprehensive!

  83. 83

    @Dan B:Modi is not helping India’s legitimate case regarding Kashmir. As for IK you should have seen him in his prime, he was handsome, movie star good looks. George Clooney has nothing on the young IK. Good looks don’t hurt at all in politics.

  84. 84

    @SiubhanDuinne: Jet lag alone has to have wiped him out.

  85. 85
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Elections are coming up, right? Think Modi will lose now?

  86. 86

    @Baud: His party lost pretty badly in the assembly (state) elections held recently. And has been doing pretty badly in the by elections. BJP will definitely lose seats from their high five years ago, but whether that will be enough to unseat Modi remains to be seen. Since it depends on the coalitions the other parties can come up with in different states. Indian politics can get way more complicated than ours, because of the many parties and shifting alliances. Partisan identification is not set in stone for most people like it is here.

  87. 87
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @WaterGirl: ha! Someone definitely got fucked, but it was probably the guy who ghosted on his drug test after submitting a cold sample….

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I was informed by a very highly placed source in Pakistan on Tuesday night that the Pakistanis were going to deescalate. I wasn’t quite sure given the events on Wednesday, but my source appeared to be spot on. Which given the source is not surprising.

    I know people…

    Sounds like you know the right people.

    I hope that the two countries continue to back away from doing something stupid.

    And again, I find it odd that the US apparently had no position on this situation. At least nothing that bubbled up in any major news story.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: McMaster (full disclosure: LTG McMaster endorsed a proposal I submitted when he was Deputy Commanding General of TRADOC, has written a letter of reference for me, and who I have provided analytical support for) had instituted a proper Interagency process. I have this from a very reliable source. Flynn had established chaos and, as I wrote when he was appointed, Bolton has established his own version of chaos. The guy from Heritage is nuts if he thinks that the process doesn’t matter for this stuff. We instituted the National Security Council, National Security Staff, and the Interagency precisely because not having them and having no process and no continuity of process from one administration to another brought us close to the brink of ruin on more than one occasion.

  90. 90
    ixnay says:

    @dmsilev:
    As a one time sailplane pilot and A & P mechanic, I (Mr. Ixnay) heartily endorse “Laminar Shit Show.” Wins my intertubes for the day.

  91. 91

    @Brachiator: I am no fan of Orange T but the United States has never been a big player regarding Kashmir. India has always wanted to keep the United States at an arm’s length regarding Kashmir or any other issues with Pakistan. It also seems like the United States has little control over what Pakistan does either. Pakistan is sheltering Dawood Ibrahim the perpetrator of the Mumbai blasts in the 90s for decades now.

  92. 92
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No, I don’t know Imran Khan. Moreover, the last thing I’m going to do in a crisis, if I did know him, is email him asking how he’s doing and telling him we’re keeping good thoughts in the hope he’d email me back in short order telling me everything is fine and would be back to normal soon.

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anne Laurie: You’re welcome.

  94. 94
    Timurid says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    An eerie resemblance to Richard Gere…

  95. 95
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Of course you wouldn’t do that. In this situation, protocol demands a tweet.

  96. 96
    montanareddog says:

    @schrodingers_cat: my wife, a Pakistani Christian, hated Imran Khan. When he made speeches to Western audiences about Pakistani minorities, she said he talked out of one side of his mouth in English, and the other side in Urdu. She now says he has been a far more impressive PM than she expected. AFAWK, Asia Bibi is still not free to leave though

  97. 97
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    As a rule, CEOs like chaos. Apparently, it is believed this will lead to better ideas and policies. I think this is now as discredited as trickle-down economics.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: We are very, very, very fortunate this did not become anything more than it was. Amazingly the President and his team, for lack of a better term for the merry band of misfit toys he’s assembled (and that’s insulting to misfit toys), have yet to actually face a real crisis. Heaven help us if our luck changes over the next two years.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    whatsername says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    Bernie was absolutely the Tonya Harding of presidential candidates in 2016. “Waaah, shoooooelaaace – um, suuuuuuperdelegates!” Sounds like he hasn’t changed.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Harrumph!

  102. 102
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I am no fan of Orange T but the United States has never been a big player regarding Kashmir.

    The US still claims Pakistan as an ally and provides the country military equipment, including its F-16s. I would think that the US and the world would have an interest in nuclear nations playing nice.

    ETA: I am not a big sports person, but cricket has always been particularly odd to me. I have never been able to figure out how the game works.

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: As was the case with trickle down economics – originally doing business as horse and sparrow economics in the late 19th century – it’ll be renamed, rebranded, and marketed anew.

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I know, I just wanted to be clear.

  105. 105
    chopper says:

    @Mike in NC:

    not that this is the biggest issue in this country by a long shot, but i really, really hope that the WH custodial staff made extra sure to write up a good list of everything the place had before these shitbirds tanzed their way in cause yeah, otherwise so much shit is gonna get stole by the end of this administration. it’s gonna be like the looting of the antiquities of iraq.

    “hey, wasn’t there a desk here in the oval office? famous one, right? resolute-something-or-other? where’d it go?”

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: To the Queen!

  107. 107

    @Brachiator: Its has some similarities with base ball.
    Two teams, batters (batsmen), pitchers (bowlers), bases (wickets), catcher (wicket keeper), home run (sixer)
    In cricket, its one strike and you are out. They both have fielders and runs.

  108. 108
    chopper says:

    @germy:

    wilmer is just one of those fucking guys who can’t let shit go. you see them on the internet, they just keep going. the kind of guy who’ll get in an argument at a guy’s funeral cause someone was wrong about something.

    no tact. no awareness. no awareness of where he is. he’s like everybody’s crazy uncle or old father-in-law, we all have em, who is just completely unaware of his surroundings and just says shit.

  109. 109

    @Adam L Silverman: England’s cricket team is not so hot. They seem to lose against almost everyone.

    ETA: Google tells that they recently beat the Indian team pretty badly. So the current Indian team must really suck.

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    @chopper:

    “hey, wasn’t there a desk here in the oval office? famous one, right? resolute-something-or-other? where’d it go?”

    It will look great at Mar-a-Lago. Trump will charge members $1,000 a pop to sit at the desk and have their picture taken. It will be $1,500 if they want to be shown eating a burger.

  111. 111
    Adam L Silverman says:

    It’s been a long time since I taught the New Testament course to undergraduates in Religious Studies, but I’m pretty sure this means someone is going to get crucified by the Romans.

  112. 112
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: They don’t break for tea in baseball.

  113. 113
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @WaterGirl: Did someone say honeymoon?

    The newly married couple settled into the Honeymoon Suite at the hotel. She prepared herself & retired to the king-size bed; he brushed his teeth, gargled, sprayed on cologne, & slid into the king-size bed beside her. As he turned to her she whispered, Be gentle, I’m a virgin.

    He sat up abruptly. Now wait a minute – I know we agreed to wait until we were married, but I also know you’ve been married 3 times before! How can you still be a virgin?!?!

    Let me explain:

    First I married for love, my high-school sweetheart. After we checked in at the hotel he walked across the road to buy a pack of cigarettes, & a car went out of control truck & hit him. He died instantly.

    That’s awful. How about your second husband?

    The second time I married for security, an octogenarian multimillionaire. When he got into bed on the wedding night he was so overcome by the sight of my nude body that he had a massive heart attack, & the paramedics couldn’t revive him.

    How terrible. I guess your third husband also died on your wedding night?

    – Oh no, we were happily married for five years.

    So how come you’re still a virgin?

    My third husband was a senior staffer for Bernie Sanders, & every night when we got into bed I’d fall asleep while he was telling me how great it was going to be…

    …rrrrrrimshot!

  114. 114

    @Baud: They make break for tea. But the cricket ball can break your head. Imran Khan was a good fast bowler when he played for Pakistan.

  115. 115
    chopper says:

    @dmsilev:

    my five year old son had a bit of the ‘well-oiled shit show’ just yesterday.

  116. 116
    TruthOfAngels says:

    @Brachiator: Well, it’s exactly like baseball, only we wear monocles, and if you get hit by the ball you rub the affected area and exclaim reproachfully ‘I say, old chap, that’s not cricket’, at which point you are the winner and get to be Emperor of India and the opposing side get deported to the colonies. So, harsh but fair.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There was a mention of Gorka in this post.

    Isn’t this a good time to repost your Gorka link fest? Some people may have missed it the first time around and I think it should be posted every time Gorka’s name is mentioned.

  119. 119
    montanareddog says:

    @Baud:

    don’t break for tea in baseball.

    they don’t play for 5 days in baseball

  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: That’s some mighty fine formatting! I had never heard that joke before, either.

  121. 121
    rikyrah says:

    @John Cole:
    Say it again, Cole.😒

  122. 122
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @montanareddog: It only feels like 5 days.

  123. 123
    Timurid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They’ve already faced a real crisis.
    Heaven didn’t help Puerto Rico.

  124. 124
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Brachiator:

    It will be $1,500 if they want to be shown eating a burger burder.

    Sorry your Spellcheck is acting up. Happy to FIFY.

  125. 125
    rikyrah says:

    This is a good, informative post. Thank you.

  126. 126
    Brachiator says:

    @TruthOfAngels: The one thing I recall about the popularity of cricket is the cricket-obsessed characters Charters and Caldicott in the classic Hitchcock film “The Lady Vanishes.”

  127. 127
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @WaterGirl: The punch line is modular – traditionally it invokes a salesman or marketing rep for whatever corporation the joketeller is particularly disgusted with at the moment. Alter to suit, wear it in good health, don’t spend it all in one place,….

  128. 128
    rikyrah says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Once again, for the bleachers..
    The number of regular Democratic voters who were denied the franchise due to VOTER SUPPRESSION was 2-3 times the margin of Dolt45’s ” victory” in those questionable states.😠😠😠

  129. 129
    Captain C says:

    @schrodingers_cat: But did he ever play Silly Mid?

  130. 130
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    what’s the state of White House furniture these days?

    Michael Del Moro @ MikeDelMoro
    NBC NEWS: Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal has asked the committee’s attorneys to prepare a request for President Trump’s tax returns

  131. 131
    montanareddog says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: The first time Donald Trump and Melania were intimate, he pulled her into the gold-plated bedroom and threw her on the bed.

    He removed his shoes and socks. She squealed, “my God, what’s wrong with your feet?’. Shamefaced, he said, “It was a childhood disease, Tolio”. “You mean Polio?'” No, Tolio!”

    He removed his trousers. She gasped, “my God, what’s wrong with your legs?”. Shamefaced, he said, “It was a childhood disease, Kneesles”. “You mean Measles?'” No, Kneesles!”

    He then removed his y-fronts. “Don’t tell me”, she said. “Smallcox.”

  132. 132
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Bernie Sanders is asked about reparations on @TheView. “I think that right now our job is to address the crises facing the American people in our communities, and I think there are better ways to do that than just writing out a check,” he says.

    He has no problem “writing out a check” for Trillions when most of it goes to whites. But if some pgm targets people of color, then he goes full Reagoon-welfare-queen mode.

  133. 133
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: and I think there are better ways to do that than just writing out a check,” he says.

    There is. NO REASON. we cannot have single payer health care free college a trillion dollar infrastructure package and I usually switch off his bellowing so I’m sure I’m missing a few big ticket items

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    Bernie Sanders is asked about reparations on @TheView. “I think that right now our job is to address the crises facing the American people in our communities, and I think there are better ways to do that than just writing out a check,” he says

    What a piece of shit.

  135. 135
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Wilmer is in NYC promoting himself on those horrible corporatists, multinational networks.

    I wonder which hotel he’s staying at: The People’s Waldorf-Astoria or the The Worker’s Ritz-Carlton.

  136. 136
    joel hanes says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    originally doing business as horse and sparrow economics in the late 19th century

    The Sparrow in the Zoo

    No bars are set too close, no mesh too fine
    To keep me from the eagle and the lion
    Whom keepers feed that I may freely dine.
    This shows that if you have the wit
    To be small, common, cute, and live on shit,
    Thought the cage fret kings, you may make free with it.

    — Howard Nemerov

  137. 137
    japa21 says:

    Wilmer is still of the belief that if he had been the nominee he would have beaten Trump. In all likelihood he would have been trounced by even more in the electoral college as well as the popular vote. And then he would have blamed it all on Clinton.

  138. 138
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Decades later, there was a brief series (six episodes, maybe?) on either Mystery! or Masterpiece Theatre — PBS, anyhow — about Charters and Caldecott in their twilight years. A totally delightful series.

  139. 139
    Keith P. says:

    @montanareddog: I’d assumed he just jerked off into a cup, handed it to a tech, and then Melanie finished up a few days later. Sexytime!

  140. 140
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @oldgold: Speaking of presidential paintings a commentor posted cartoon on TPM based on Roger Stone and his tattoo. I was hesitant to link to it because once seen it could.cause nightmares and eeewww but, well anyway I found a link to it and view at your own risk. http://caglecartoons.com/viewimage.asp?ID={64644904-49DA-4E59-B051-BCF716F2ABDC}

  141. 141
    TS (the original) says:

    @Brachiator:

    I am not a big sports person, but cricket has always been particularly odd to me. I have never been able to figure out how the game works.

    Have to be born to it. I heard it non stop on the radio at my father’s knee.

  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Decades later, there was a brief series (six episodes, maybe?) on either Mystery! or Masterpiece Theatre — PBS, anyhow — about Charters and Caldecott in their twilight years. A totally delightful series.

    Interesting. I knew they had become popular, so it’s cool to know that they earned their way into their own series.

  143. 143
    TS (the original) says:

    @montanareddog:

    they don’t play for 5 days in baseball

    Each side only gets 2 innings in those five days. Sometimes they only play for 1 day – 1 innings each side.

  144. 144
  145. 145

    @TS (the original): I once had a student from England in a presentation making class. For a first assignment, they were supposed to showing how to do something, and he showed how to…I’d call it pitch. Throw the ball? Bowl? Anyway, it took up the whole front of the classroom. We were all agog by the energy of it.

  146. 146
    FelonyGovt says:

    My sister just texted me that she and her husband are at a restaurant and Bernie Sanders is at the next table. I told her to throw a hard roll at him for me.

  147. 147
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Imran Khan began in politics in the mid-1990s. He’s no novice.
    .

  148. 148
    Steeplejack says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    Fixed your bad link: Roger Stone eww cartoon.

  149. 149
    dexwood says:

    @FelonyGovt:
    Have her tell her server Bernie is picking up the check.

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:

    @TS (the original):

    I am not a big sports person, but cricket has always been particularly odd to me. I have never been able to figure out how the game works.

    Have to be born to it. I heard it non stop on the radio at my father’s knee.

    His knee is a funny place for a radio. :)

  151. 151
    Baud says:

    @FelonyGovt: Or a dead bird.

  152. 152

    Roger Stone is a crazy man, Episode elebenty eleben. He has a book coming out and did not tell the judge. The judge has issued an annoyed sounding order.

    It is FURTHER ORDERED that defendant shall file an additional submission by March 4, 2019 identifying the specific date of the “imminent general rel[e]ase” of the book referred to on page 2 of the motion and explaining why this matter — which was known to the defendant — was not brought to the Court’s attention

  153. 153
    Emma says:

    @Adam L Silverman: uh-oh. Mr. Cumming’s going hunting pasty little white bear…

  154. 154
    randy-khan says:

    @Brachiator:

    “Abraham Lincoln. President Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said, according to the ex-staffer. “They’ve got all kinds of cool stuff here.”…

    The White How staff better check very carefully when Trump leaves to make sure he doesn’t take any cool stuff with him.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    daize says:

    @Baud: Like

  157. 157
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brickley Paiste: You mean this one?
    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/02/23/this-week-in-the-promotion-of-stochastic-domestic-right-wing-terrorism-nra-seb-gorka-and-joe-deginova-edition/

    And that brings us to the Blue Footed Boobie of Budapest, daily carrier of two full size service weapons in two different calibers from two different manufacturers with two different manuals of arms, parallel parking scofflaw, McLovin cosplay aficionado, and NAZI appreciation society legacy inductee member Sebastien “Seb” Gorka. Gorka, who once tried to badger me into paying to take his course on Information Operations and Information Warfare by stating: “So I can presume you do not work IO or IW?”, decided that he’d host DiGenova, as well as four other MAGA-Dopes who wouldn’t know a civil war if it walked up and bit them on his radio show to discuss the matter.

  158. 158
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: You’re right and I’m embarrassed to say I momentarily forgot.

  159. 159
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: It’s called bowling.A run up to the crease with the ball delivered overarm with the elbow straight. The type of delivery usually controlled by the fingers.

    Cricket has been described by an English humourist as a way to get the English, who have no imagination, to understand the concept of eternity.

  160. 160
  161. 161
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @montanareddog: Pawsox say “here, hold my beer…”

  162. 162
    Middlelee says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I’m reading “Ike’s Mystery Man” right now, about Robert Cutler who took over the not very effective NSC when Ike was inaugurated. Cutler turned it into an effective organization. Comparing Cutler’s NSC with what I’m reading about here is terrifying. I recommend the book.

  163. 163
    Keith P. says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I was just joking initially, but I’m starting to think that he really does want to be bound and gagged in court…or get his ass kicked jail.

  164. 164
    Ken says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    Cricket has been described by an English humourist as a way to get the English, who have no imagination, to understand the concept of eternity.

    You have to stand in awe of a game that, by design, lasts five days and can still end in a draw.

  165. 165
    Doug says:

    “Now, two years into Trump’s tenure, current and former U.S. officials say they are worried about the long-term damage his administration is still doing to the way such critical decisions are made — with dangerous consequences that are not always easy to perceive.”

    Reason #847 this administration is increasingly called The Project for a Post-American Century.

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