G7 Open Thread: Good News (If We Can Keep Him to It)

More immediately:

If you’re in a paranoid mood (remember, even paranoids have real enemies!): It has been widely assumed that Trump’s ‘special guest nation’ at this G7 would be… Russia. What price a scenario where Putin rejects his puppet’s down-at-heels hotel, and tells him he’d prefer to introduce his own ‘security arrangements’ at Camp David?

Open Thread: The Terrors of Celebrity

Of course it’s an honor, but still — I think Kamala just flashed on what her mom’s expression would’ve been if she did something like this…

You know it’s Democratic because it’s (relatively) discreet. And spelled correctly, too!

Saturday Afternoon Open Thread: Problematic!

Mock, if you must, but admit it. This promo is just about pitch-perfect for Buttigieg’s presumable donor base: College-educated, diversity-friendly midwesterners who read the Arts & Leisure section.

BoJo No Go

So, this is a thing that just happened [The Guardian]:

MPs have inflicted a humiliating defeat on Boris Johnson by passing a backbench amendment withholding their support from his Brexit deal.

Instead of giving Johnson their backing for his Brexit deal in a “meaningful vote”, MPs passed an amendment tabled by a cross-party group of MPs led by Oliver Letwin by 322 votes to 306 – a majority of 16.

The prime minister will be legally obliged to request a Brexit delay at 11pm under the terms of the rebel Benn act, after the government lost the critical vote.

What does it mean? Fuckifino. Maybe a UK-based jackal will be kind enough to explain it to us dumb Yanks.

Open thread!

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Readership Capture


Late Night Open Thread: Ben Shapiro Mode

It was an offer she could, in fact, refuse.”

Ben Shapiro is a professional Wingnut Wurlitzer pest who’s spent the past year whining that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won’t pay him any attention. Of course he never actually intended to ‘debate’ her, but his donors have generously supported his ongoing public grievance.

Guess Tulsi figures that her higher media profile gives her the ‘right’ to ‘challenge’ the OG wingnut boogey-woman her own self. Let’s see how much she scams on this new dogwhistle!


Balloon Juice Testers – Just sent the first batch of emails

I just sent the first batch of email messages to the testers.  If you have received your email message with the login and testing forms, have at it!

If you have not yet received an email message, you will be in the next batch.  It’s 9:30 and I haven’t had dinner yet, so I am going to grab a bite to eat before sending out the next batch.

Big thanks to all who agreed to test!


edit: ~ 11pm

Just sent out batch #2.  So that’s 40 testers.

edit: ~ midnight

Just sent the final batch.  That’s 50 testers.

If you signed up for testing and you haven’t received an email from me, please send email to my nym at balloon-juice.com with your nym in the subject line. thanks.  WG

Friday Evening Open Thread: (Further) Proof Trump Really *Is* A Republican

(Jeff Danziger via GoComics.com)

Just not a professional Repub, like Dick Cheney:

On the Trail of a Fourth Soviet Spy at Los Alamos

Three Soviet spies in the Manhattan Project are well known – Klaus Fuchs, David Greenglass, and Ted Hall. Fuchs and Greenglass were known publicly in the 1950s, but Hall’s story came out only in the 1990s.

Now more documents have been declassified, and Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, who have done much to illuminate Soviet spying during that time, have found a fourth Soviet spy. They have found his path from the United States to East Germany and then Russia in 1952, escaping from possible arrest. Their article in the CIA’s “Studies in Intelligence” lays out what is known about him.

The spy’s name is Oscar Seborer. His story intersects with the FBI’s Project SOLO, in which they turned two members of the Communist Party in the USA. Their communications with Moscow seem to indicate that Seborer furnished information on the atomic bomb project, where he was a technician.

Seborer seems to have operated separately from the other spies, and his reporting seems to have been more to the GRU (Soviet military intelligence) than the civilian KGB. The two intelligence agencies have historically competed.

Klehr and Haynes have uncovered a fair bit of information about Seborer’s family, but not much about what he did at Los Alamos or what information he gave to Moscow. Maybe someone reading this knows something about the Seborer family or, as they called themselves in Russia, the Smiths.

Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner.

Women Spilling the Tea

When asked earlier this week what she was saying to Trump in the photo he posted on Twitter (which she subsequently used as the background photo on her own Twitter page), Pelosi said she was probably asking why “all roads lead to Putin.”

Pelosi isn’t the only woman who’s telling the truth. In a podcast interview, Hillary Clinton spilled more piping hot beverages than a wildly ill-advised first-grade class field trip to the Russian Tea Room:

In a conversation on former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Clinton suggested the Russians are leveraging a number of top U.S. politicians. She suggested Russia had kompromat on Trump. She accused 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein of being a “Russian asset.” And she suggested Russia might back Gabbard as a third-party candidate.

“They’re also going to do third-party again,” Clinton said. “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

“And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton said. “Yeah, she’s a Russian asset — I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”

At another point in the interview, Clinton wagered that Russia does in fact have some compromising material on Trump, suggesting that’s why so many of Trump’s decisions have erred in a pro-Russian direction.

“I don’t know what Putin has on him, whether it’s both personal and financial,” Clinton said. “I assume it is.”

The endless scandal shit-storm that is the Trump administration is numbing. This week, two iconic women — one the most powerful elected official in the Democratic Party and the other the popular vote winner in the last election — accused the president of being under the control of a foreign autocrat, and it wasn’t even the lead story in a major daily.

Open thread.

One Two One Two This is Just a Test

I just wanted to tease you all a little bit with the new website because I am so excited about it and it looks so good and is so functional. Obviously with every rollout there will be things we missed, but Watergirl has spent hundreds of hours on this and it looks pretty good, and I don’t think I am overstating by too much that the fucking invasion of Normandy took less planning.

And if you don’t like it, well, bag, dicks, you know the drill.

Friday Morning Open Thread: Thick Mick Mulvaney Knows What His President Likes

… Pre-sorted Starbursts, free money, and the wholehearted defense of even his dumbest moves.

Problem is, the guy with this kind of single-minded dedication to Lord Smallgloves’ whims is not necessarily an intellectual heavyweight.

Everyone’s free to choose the name by which they’re known, but as I have been pointing out for some time, Mick is generally not the cognomen of someone renowned for his wisdom.

Voiceover: Later, that same day…


Read more

Late Night Open Thread: So Where’s Your Tipping Point, Repubs?

Impeachment Inquiry Open Thread: McConnell Has Reached the Bargaining Stage

If you want to make [Murphy the Trickster] God laugh, tell him your plans. Of course ‘LeaderMcConnell’ will do his chelonian best to squash the whole thing with a quickness, licitly or not. But it’s past the point where he can plausibly deny there’s a case for impeachment, or that a public show of anger at the idea will move either the Democrats or the voters to desist.

Per the Washington Post, “McConnell tells Senate Republicans to be ready for impeachment trial of Trump”:

An air of inevitability has taken hold in Congress, with the expectation Trump will become the third president in history to be impeached — and Republicans believe they need to prepare to defend the president. While McConnell briefed senators on what would happen during a Senate trial, House GOP leaders convened what they expect will be regular impeachment strategy sessions.

In their closed-door weekly luncheon, McConnell gave a PowerPoint presentation about the impeachment process and fielded questions alongside his staff and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who was a manager for the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton…

During the meeting, Graham lobbied his colleagues to consider a public declaration in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), which would describe Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seeking an investigation into a domestic political rival as “unimpeachable.” Some senators, however, pushed back against that idea, arguing that Trump would assume that those who did not sign the document would be persuadable on a vote to oust him…

The GOP’s internal reality check on Trump’s impeachment comes as House Democrats have had success securing damaging testimony from current and former State Department and National Security Council officials, many of whom are voicing long-held concerns about Trump’s actions on Ukraine…

Timing was a looming question in the Senate GOP meeting. McConnell said that he expected Pelosi to hold an impeachment vote by Thanksgiving and that the Senate should try to dispose of the issue by Christmas. But he also noted that motions of dismissal of the charges in an impeachment trial are handled at the discretion of the chief justice, who presides over the trial.

In this case, John G. Roberts Jr. would have the final word on how quickly the Senate could move, potentially complicating the GOP’s effort to short-circuit what could become a lengthy trial…

Nightly Steve Open Thread

Steve is very impressed with the new website and clearly very excited for you all to see it as readers:

I love this cat.