Speculation Open Thread: Does Trump Think Something BAD Is Coming At Him?

Or is he just appeasing his Deplorables?

There is probably no better way to demonstrate one’s manly strength and control than firing off a tweet in capital letters. So it is that, when a dozen GOP senators defied President Trump’s orders and voted to terminate his declaration of a national emergency, his powerful Twitter thumbs sprang into action: “VETO!”

The thrilling message to his supporters: Trump’s got this. He’s totally in command of the situation.

But we are now learning new details about just how personally involved Trump was in trying to prevent defections among GOP senators. It turns out Trump aggressively sought to make this vote all about himself — frequently warning that he would unleash the cult-like wrath of his voters if the Senate didn’t do his bidding — and raged as that effort failed.

What makes this so odd is that even though the Senate and House have now voted to terminate Trump’s national emergency, he actually can veto the measure, and his emergency will proceed. So why the histrionics? One possible answer is that, for Trump, even this interim loss represented an unacceptable display of weakness — with ominous portents for the future…

The key point here is that Trump’s effort to make this vote all about “border security” failed. Republican senators objected to Trump’s national emergency declaration on separation-of-powers grounds: He used it to gain wall funding that Congress had just denied him. But over and over, Trump commanded them to see this as only about border security, and about him.

Notably, Trump repeatedly threatened them with the idea that his own supporters would see it this way, too, and that this should frighten them very deeply. But it didn’t…

… [A]ll this is a reminder of how deeply entangled the wall is with Trump’s belief that his hold on his followers depends on creating the impression that he’s winning everywhere and that he’s perpetually taking control of events.

Crucial to maintaining this impression throughout has been Trump’s insistence that he has bent his whole party to his will on “border security.” (Please remember: Republicans didn’t fund his wall when they held both houses of Congress.) During the government shutdown, news reports indicated that Republicans were splintering, and Trump raged that “there is GREAT unity” on “Strong Border Security,” despite the “Fake News Media” reporting otherwise. But Trump’s capital-letter tweets couldn’t make that true, and he caved. The declaration of the national emergency after that, similarly, was all about projecting action and control.

Now Trump’s command that Republicans see their national emergency vote as one about border security failed. We’ve learned this came after extensive browbeating, including the threat to unleash the anger of Trump voters. But the national emergency is deeply unpopular, and the legal arguments for it are deeply absurd. In the face of that threat, as frightening as it was, reality proved overwhelming…

92 replies
  1. 1
    Pogonip says:


    Please consider forwarding this to your Rep, and also to any Americans you may know who might like to see how the rest of the industrialized world lives. Thank you!

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    Let it be so!

  3. 3
    Chris Johnson says:

    It’s very simple. His value to Putin is only conditional on him remaining in control of the USA and wrecking it to serve his master.

    That’s fucked.

    Therefore, he’s fucked.

    There’s no reason to assume what he’s reacting to is coming from the United States. It could be from him frantically calling Putin, over and over, and getting ‘*click*’ as Daddy hangs up on him, again. He’s over. He can thrash, but he’s over: there’s nothing he can do to save himself or be the man he wanted to be. This is far from the craziest he can act. We’re not seeing everything that’s going on.

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    And Lindsey Graham’s tepid (if even that) pushback

    Did I miss where a slobbering blowjob was redefined as “pushback”?

  5. 5
    hells littlest angel says:

    Tertiary syphilis is a hell of a drug.

  6. 6
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    By the pricking of my Twitter thumb, something wicked Trump’s way comes.

  7. 7
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Pogonip: The situation is morally obscene, and yet the article is actually incorrect about the price increasing “only” 1000%. The discoverer sold the *patent* for $1, not for “$1 a dose” or anything like that. The high prices come about because regulatory walls are not combined with regulations on prices. A moral obscenity, compounded by the discoverer’s valiant attempt to ensure it never happened.

  8. 8
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Did Graham swallow? No, This is a stern rebuke to a Great White Man(tm) like Trump.

  9. 9
    West of the Rockies says:

    I hope there is news that is importantly bad for Trump. All things Trump have felt like the SNL Lester Holt interview since forever.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Cannot help but speculate that his outrage tweeting about something so petty, so picayune, as TV shows is misdirection to obscure something underway which is orders of magnitude more malevolent.

  11. 11
    Pogonip says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Correct, but at least it’ll give people some idea of how it is everywhere else in the 1st, 2nd, and even many 3rd World countries. We must educate. Many Americans have no idea what life is like elsewhere.

    I feel a shift just beginning. We The People can win. Our longest-range weapon is education. Fire at will. 😉

  12. 12
    chris says:

    He’s plain scared. I’ve noticed some of the danker places on the net celebrating the, um, assumption of Bill Barr to the AG’s office. The nuts are watching the people leaving Mueller’s inquiry and crowing about Barr “cleaning house.” Trump retweeted this about Andrew Weissmann early this morning. Since they are always catastrophically wrong one might guess that the blessed report cometh. Soon.

  13. 13
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Pogonip: No argument: it’s a valuable article. Everybody should read it and understand it. Because we’re creating this torture-rack for poor diabetics.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    plato says:

    Speculating/fussing over the mindset of the narcissist needy amin is a worthless exercise.

  16. 16

    @Chris Johnson:

    Yeah, I think he is fucked. Of course, I’ve thought he was fucked right from the beginning, on election night in 2016. I thought then that winning that election was going to end up being the worst thing that ever happened to him, by far. And while it’s taken longer than I’d have liked, I think everything this shitbag has ever done is going to end up taking him down. If we’re lucky, it’s going to take down half the Republican Party with him. I’ve said it from the beginning. There are more of us than there are of them. They can’t hold off oblivion forever. That’s my hope, at least.

  17. 17
    laura says:

    I miss Schlemazel.

  18. 18
    opiejeanne says:

    @laura: Yes.

  19. 19
    Aleta says:

    @laura: me too. How are you doing?

  20. 20
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @laura: I was thinking about him earlier today too.

  21. 21
    Pogonip says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Spread the word, friend!

  22. 22
    TS (the original) says:

    I hope so – Nothing will recover the horror that so many have gone through in the past 2 years – but yes yes yes for something BAD coming at him – anytime, anyplace

  23. 23
    debbie says:


    They’re leaving because their work is done.

  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
    TS (the original) says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): When the next President is elected, I hope they have enquiry after enquiry into what this ahole & his minions have done. Zero blank pardons.

  27. 27
    satby says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): bad shit will happen to him. Is happening to him. He hates everything about his job, hates that most of us and the rest of the world laugh at him, hates that the people working for him have utter contempt for him, hates that he’ll be exposed as not a billionaire soon. He’s in a hell of his own making every day even before anything from the Special Counsel investigations is revealed.

  28. 28
    opiejeanne says:

    @chris: They’re really dumb if they don’t understand why they’re leaving.

  29. 29
    plato says:

    Value of an independent court.

    Israel’s Supreme Court has disqualified the leader of the far-right Jewish Power party, Michael Ben-Ari, from next month’s elections.

    In doing so, it overturned an earlier decision by the electoral committee.

    Mr Ben-Ari has faced criticism over his comments about Israeli Arabs. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has said they amount to “incitement to racism”.

    The court also reinstated Israeli Arab parties previously banned from contesting the 9 April poll.

    The court’s decision marks the first time that a single candidate – not an entire party – has been banned from running in elections since electoral law changes were adopted in 2002.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @plato: The response to this will be violent and bloody.

  31. 31
    plato says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Is he that powerful with a mass appeal? And, who is he gonna attack, his fellow jews?

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:


    My senator co-sponsored legislation to try and fix the problem along with three other Democrats. Maybe you should be calling Rob Portman’s office instead of pretending that Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame.


  33. 33
    Jay says:

    “A GoFundMe page set up to raise $2000 to pay for Mr Connolly’s “legal fees” and “more eggs” had exceeded $25,000 on Sunday.

    The site says most of the money will go to Christchurch victims.

    “Love the spunk of egg boy who puts his egg where we’d like it to be!” donor Val Lehmann-Monck posted.”


  34. 34
    Jay says:



  35. 35


    Cannot help but speculate that his outrage tweeting about something so petty, so picayune, as TV shows is misdirection to obscure something underway which is orders of magnitude more malevolent.

    Count me as skeptical of this, since it seems like textbook narcissism. Trump obviously cares way more than any sane person ought to about what other people think of him and how he’s being portrayed in the media. Being made fun of by an important TV show is a huge deal to him.

  36. 36
    hitchhiker says:

    OT for a bit of sad personal news.

    In 2012 our old friends Bob and Marcia retired together to Quito, Ecuador. They were 77 and had been together since they did a stint in the Peace Corps in the 60s. I worked with her on several of their many, many projects to move the dial a titch in the direction of justice. He was a jokester and a tireless, warm, hilarious old guy.

    A few weeks ago we heard that an intruder broke into their house, got into some kind of knife scuffle with the two of them, and murdered Bob. Marcia’s hand was slashed, but she was able to get herself into another room and lock the door.

    The intruder was Venezuelan; he was caught a few days later trying to sell Marcia’s cell phone. Meaningless, dumb, horrible, pointless, violent end to a life so fucking well lived! She flew back to Seattle late last week, and is steadfastly refusing to talk about any of that. In the face of all things trump, New Zealand, catastrophic floods, I can only keep trying to remember that no matter what, the point is going to be living so that it matters you were here.

    He did.

  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    A new pair of headphones arrived by courier this morning. I’m playing a burn-in track through them at 80% volume. The track is a 3-hour YouTube video full of LOUD 20Hz-20KHz sweeps. A commenter said there was no need to wear the headphones throughout the burn in. I had not been aware of this, but was relieved to know that I could take them off. The phones are on the tabile and I can still hear the burn-in track very clearly.

  38. 38
    wjs says:

    I have no idea what’s in the Mueller Report, but it will probably disappoint people or shock people, depending on which preconceived notion they already hold.

    We have to save ourselves. Mueller can’t save us, nobody can save us except for the people we elect to represent us. We have already won, in many respects, because we control the House.

    I am starting to think that that’s going to be enough.

  39. 39
    Lyrebird says:

    @Aleta: Thank you for the link to the little rooster meeting his beloved hooman girl at the bus stop. Needed that.

  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    @laura: Agreed.

  41. 41
    plato says:

    @wjs: Getting back the house and the senate is the only way to get back the sanity and for Mueller probe to have any meaning.

  42. 42
    Aleta says:

    (WaPo) A New York appellate court ruled Thursday that President Trump must face a defamation lawsuit filed by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, one of about a dozen women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct shortly before the 2016 election.

    The ruling, which Trump’s lawyers plan to appeal, means that attorneys for Zervos may have the opportunity to question Trump under oath in the coming months.

    The current schedule sets a deadline of June 28 for depositions, with document and electronic discovery expected to be concluded by the end of July.

    Trump called Zervos and the other women who made accusations against him “liars,” prompt­ing Zervos to file the lawsuit in 2017. Trump’s attorneys have tried unsuccessfully to block the suit, arguing that the president is immune from such lawsuits in state court.

    In its ruling Thursday, a panel of New York appellate judges rejected that argument, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Clinton v. Jones, which established that presidents can be sued for unofficial acts while in office. Two of the five judges on the panel dissented in part.

    “Contrary to defendant’s contention, Clinton v Jones did not suggest that its reasoning would not apply to state court actions,” the majority decision said. “It merely identified a potential constitutional concern. Notwithstanding that concern, this Court should not be deterred from holding that a state court can exercise jurisdiction over the President as a defendant in a civil lawsuit.”

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m so sorry. IMO one of the hardest things to mourn is a random, senseless death like that because you’re having to deal with grief and rage at the same time.

    I hope your surviving friend is able to find some peace despite this tragedy.

  44. 44
    Amir Khalid says:

    Der Scheißgibbon seems terrified of what Mueller will eventually report, and he must have some idea of what he did. Der Müller Gottes mahlt langsam, aber mahlt außordentlich fein.

  45. 45
    Mike J says:

    @Amir Khalid: You don’t need to burn them in. It really doesn’t matter.

  46. 46
    Jay says:

    “In Bala Murghab, in the northwestern province of Badghis, more than 100 Afghan soldiers abandoned their posts amid a weeklong battle with the Taliban, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. About 50 Afghans surrendered, while the rest continued into nearby Turkmenistan, though they were forced “back into Taliban hands” by the end of the day, according to The Times.

    The capture of a large number of Afghan soldiers came at the same time as Taliban forces mounted attacks against forces in Faryab, another northern province. And earlier this week, the Taliban attacked an Afghan outpost in Bala Murghab, where they killed or captured an entire company of more than 50 soldiers.”


  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @plato: The answer is that Ben Ari may himself not be all that powerful, but his followers are die hard extremists. They are violent, they are intolerant. They cannot be reasoned with. And every time the Kahanists or Israelis of similar beliefs take matters into their own hands, they are all too often operationally successful. Moreover, they tend to be treated leniently by the Israelis justice system. Largely because of pressure and threats onto that system. That is what happened with the Jewish Israeli terrorists who plotted to blow up the Dome of the Rock and the al Aqsa Mosque to cleanse the Temple Mount. Here is the director of the documentary The Gatekeepers, which dealt with this issue in the documentary, being interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about this issue. His interviews is cut with the thematically appropriate scenes from the documentary. In short, the Kahanists and those that are ideologically similar to them are likely to respond to this setback with violence, which is their default. Some of that will be directed at other Jewish Israelis, a lot of it will be directed at Israeli Arabs, other non-Jewish Israelis, and Palestinians in the West Bank.

  48. 48
    hitchhiker says:


    Thank you. A couple dozen of us met her flight the other night … she was holding her head up.

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hitchhiker: My sincerest condolence for your loss. We’re keeping good thoughts for your friend.

  50. 50
    sukabi says:

    Tomorrow is 81 request letters response to Congressional Oversight Committees day.

    Someone might have his panties in a twist over that.

  51. 51
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike J:
    I have noticed that it takes new headphones a few days to settle in. Besides, the box says these are Professional Studio Monitors, whatever that means, and it couldn’t hurt.

  52. 52
    AThornton says:


    That’s Capitalism: From each according to their ability, to each according to how much they can grab.

  53. 53
    opiejeanne says:

    @hitchhiker: I am glad she has such good friends. I can’t even imagine what that would be like, and I have a pretty morbid imagination. .

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: No, they’ll just be ignored by the White House Counsel’s Office. In fact the White House Counsel has already informed Congressman Cummings that unless the request can be tied to actual legislative requirements, they will not be answered. They will stonewall as long as they can. Then Speaker Pelosi will authorize Congressman Cummings to sue. Then they will try to tie it up in the courts until it no longer matters.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: It means they stand in the hallway outside the studio and ask for ID from people trying to go in.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Gotta go with the procedures you have, not the procedures you wish you had.


  57. 57
    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: they weren’t all to the WH. Thought some inaugural contractors were also sent letters. How can WH prevent them from responding?

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Um, I knew that.

  59. 59
    Jay says:


    I’m so sorry for both your and her sensless loss.

  60. 60
    Millard Filmore says:


    Mueller can’t save us

    Save us? Ok, he won’t do that. My hope is that his report shatters the legitimacy of the GOP.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Jay: IIUC, subpoenas (e.g. Congressional) trump NDAs. OTOH, executive privilege can rebut a subpoena, if the court agrees. So contractors should be outta luck. Also any records requests from before the inauguration ceremony. Though obvs. all of this will be litigated. B/c that’s how Shitler rolls.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid



  64. 64
    NotMax says:


    Mueller can’t save us,

    That isn’t his portfolio.

  65. 65
    Yutsano says:

    @NotMax: Stop it you. :P

  66. 66
    Jay says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    They arn’t subpenas, so until the House puts some legal weight behind it, the Contractors will stall, shred, burn, delete.

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: They can’t. The lawyers for the inaugural committee will do their own stalling for those. If I’m recalling correctly they’ve been making the same argument that Giuliani and Sekulow have made: 1) everything they did is either covered under the president-elect’s executive privilege (which isn’t actually something that exists) and/or 2) they are outside of congressional oversight.

  68. 68
    Chetan Murthy says:


    They arn’t subpenas

    Damn, they aren’t subpoenas? Then yeah, he’s gonna get told to pound sand. Just anpther step in the dance (erm, fistfight) I guess.

  69. 69
    sukabi says:

    @Jay: there are already reports about vendors being paid off book, and folks who questioned Ivanka’s involvement in negotiating the cost of venue at drumpf post office / inflating cost … Melania’s friend the caterer being paid 25million or something ridiculous for catering that wasn’t done…

    Point is people have been talking NDAs or not. Cummings will get some documentation, not all he requested, but some. A starting point.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: We’re not doing that again.

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: This stuff is all being investigated by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Attorney General of the District of Columbia.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:


    Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) Tweeted:
    More Democrats need to learn to make this rhetorical turn, otherwise the risk is that criticism of Trumpian racism comes across as implicitly endorsing the view that Trump is good for white people — who after all comprise a large majority of the electorate.

    https://t.co/h3d0RycnXI https://twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/1107411202567749632?s=17

  73. 73
    rikyrah says:

    Sorry for the loss of your friend😢😢😢

  74. 74
    NotMax says:


    Matt Yglesias, professional pearl clutcher.

  75. 75
    Mike in NC says:

    Impeach this sleazy motherfucker, ASAP.

  76. 76
    Jay says:


    Talking “anonamously” is different from testimony.

    Eventually the Democratic Party controlled Commitee’s will realize that you don’t ask, you have a SWAT Team take.

  77. 77
    Pogonip says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t live in Ohio, but I can certainly call him nonetheless. Thanks for the suggestion!

  78. 78
    Pogonip says:

    @hitchhiker: Condolences.

  79. 79
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Consider it a one-off; too enticing to let pass by untouched. All the more so in light of the other night.


  80. 80
    sukabi says:

    @Jay: well Cummings doesn’t strike me as either stupid or unprepared.

  81. 81
    NotMax says:


    Computers can be so goofy. Downloaded something from Steam earlier today. When the download commenced, initial estimated time was 10 days, 6 hours. Once the download kicked into gear, took a total of 16 minutes to complete. There’s something ineffably both laughable and satisfying about sitting there and watching the times change.

  82. 82
    Jay says:


    Nope, but it’s a dance of request, denial, subpena, lawyers, courts,

    It goes from #1 to #10 and may or may not include Contempt of Court.

    Eventually, the Democratic Party controlled Commitee’s will figure out they can save a lot of time by starting at #10.

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) Tweeted:
    Read @zakcheneyrice on the reason why the New Zealand massacre happened. “The endgame of white supremacy will always be deaths of those who aren’t white,” he writes, “because there is no such thing as an acceptable nonwhite presence under white supremacy.”

    https://t.co/Fh7Di6Gy4h https://twitter.com/JamilSmith/status/1107063273395011584?s=17

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:


    Then call whichever Republican senators represent your godforsaken state so they can laugh in your face. My Senators from California have been working to solve this problem for months while your guys sit around with their thumbs up their asses.

    Take the log out of your own eye before you start demanding that people call Democratic politicians who’ve been working on the problem for months with zero assistance from Republicans.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    I think they call that expectation management. Although I must say that asking you to wait a week and a half for a 16-minute download to finish is a bit cute.

  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Total download was a shade over 71GB, for the record.

  87. 87
    Jay says:

    The “girls” twitter is hearbreaking, AOC, Omar, Tlaib

  88. 88
    Stillwater says:

    This story makes Cory Gardner look like an even bigger d-bag than he is.

  89. 89
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Don’t know if it’s already been mentioned but we’ve had 2 knife incidents here in the UK apparently inspired, if that’s the right word, by the Christchurch massacres.

    One was in Stanwell, Surrey where people were attacked by a man shouting white supremacist slogans and death to Muslims. The other was in Rochdale where a taxi driver was attacked by someone shouting pretty much the same. Police are treating both as terrorist incidents.

    I can pretty much guarantee both these lowlives voted Brexit.

  90. 90
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    What headphones did you get?

  91. 91
    chris says:

    @debbie: Well, yes, I thought that was obvious.

  92. 92
    brantl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Why the hell is there a “burn in track for headphones? The active mechanics of headphones won’t benefit appreciably from “Burn in”.

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