… for, like, three fuggin’ minutes, okay?
(Since it’s set in NYC.)
That being said, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
Anne Laurie has been a Balloon Juice writer since 2009.
He couldn't wait for me to finish setting this up. pic.twitter.com/HDTn9vmJoZ
— Schooley (@Rschooley) December 18, 2016
“Oh, like you’ve never dreamed of going Godzilla on the whole JOYFUL HOLIDAY SPIRITZ schtick.”
Speaking of widespread destruction, the Washington Post gives James Comey an early Xmas gift:
… Justice officials laid out a number of arguments against releasing the letter. It violated two long-standing policies. Never publicly discuss an ongoing investigation. And never take an action affecting a candidate for office close to Election Day. Besides, they said, the FBI did not know yet what was in the emails or if they had anything to do with the Clinton case.
Remarkably, the country’s two top law enforcement officials never spoke. As Comey’s boss, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch could have given the FBI director an order to not send the letter. But Lynch and her advisers feared that Comey would not listen. He seemed to feel strongly about updating Congress on his sworn testimony about the Clinton investigation. Instead, they tried to relay their concerns through the Justice official whom the FBI had called.
Their efforts failed. Within 24 hours of the first FBI call, Comey’s letter was out…
Lynch’s meeting in June with Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix led to a crisis in leadership at the department over how to handle the Clinton email investigation. Rather than formally recuse herself, Lynch left ambiguous who would be making final decisions on issues regarding Hillary Clinton.
Into that vacuum stepped Comey, an FBI director who prides himself on having a finely tuned moral compass that allows him to rise above politics. Weeks before the letter, Comey had advised against the Obama administration public statement admonishing Russia for the Democratic Party hacks, arguing it would make the administration appear partisan too close to the election. But to him, the Clinton email investigation was different…
See, it was all the Black lady’s fault — hers, and Bill Clinton’s. Thank GOP god Cthulhu for that ‘finely tuned moral compass’ in Comey’s back pocket!
What’s on the agenda, apart from prepping for the last winter holiday before Trumpageddon?
— Esquire (@esquire) December 22, 2016
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) December 22, 2016
“Cosplay” (costume play) is a Japanese popcult term for dressing up like one’s favorite fantasy character. President-Asterisk Trump is cosplaying as a celebrity president, and it seems that he wants his cabinet members to cooperate in his role-playing. Per the Washington Post:
… Given Trump’s own background as a master brander and showman who ran beauty pageants as a sideline, it was probably inevitable that he would be looking beyond their résumés for a certain aesthetic in his supporting players.
“Presentation is very important because you’re representing America not only on the national stage but also the international stage, depending on the position,” said Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller.
To lead the Pentagon, Trump chose a rugged combat general, whom he compares to a historic one. At the United Nations, his ambassador will be a poised and elegant Indian American with a compelling immigrant backstory. As secretary of state, Trump tapped a neophyte to international diplomacy, but one whose silvery hair and boardroom bearing project authority.
The parade of potential job-seekers passing a bank of media cameras to board the elevators at Trump Tower has the feel of a casting call. It is no coincidence that a disproportionate share of the names most mentioned for jobs at the upper echelon of the Trump administration are familiar faces to obsessive viewers of cable news — of whom the president-elect is one.
“He likes people who present themselves very well, and he’s very impressed when somebody has a background of being good on television because he thinks it’s a very important medium for public policy,” said Chris Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a longtime friend of Trump. “Don’t forget, he’s a showbiz guy. He was at the pinnacle of showbiz, and he thinks about showbiz. He sees this as a business that relates to the public.”…
“The pinnacle of showbiz.” I can remember when people made fun of Ronald Reagan as a B-level movie actor with aspirations above his station. Thanks for breaking it, GOP!
Small consolation, Trump’s jealousy over Bolton’s luxurious facial adornment at least spares the rest of us lunacy like this…
John Bolton suggests DNC hack was potentially a false flag operation by the Obama administration pic.twitter.com/3rHLwHawR8
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) December 12, 2016
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) December 22, 2016
Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform at inauguration, presumably after going to dinner w/ Trump to apologize for not supporting him more.
— Eric D. Snider! (@EricDSnider) December 22, 2016
… Holiday television “staples” from the days when everyone watched the same three channels, mostly in black & white. For one brief shining moment, they can pretend Vice-President Nixon has succeeded Ike, and that snotty-nosed Papist with the funny accent never showed up to spoil everything.
Trump himself being a big-city sophisticate (for very cheesy values of ‘sophisticate’), it’s chapping his spray-tanned outer-borough arse, per TheWrap:
Donald Trump is so displeased with his team’s inability to lock in A-list talent for his inauguration events next month that he’s ordered a “Hail Mary” shakeup of his recruiters to try to book performers, a person familiar with the situation told TheWrap.
Mark Burnett, who produces “Celebrity Apprentice” with Trump and has been overseeing entertainment for inauguration festivities, has brought in talent recruiter Suzanne Bender, a former “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol” booker, to end an effective freeze-out by Hollywood, the insider said…
The Trump transition has been struggling for weeks to secure A-list talent for the inauguration celebration. The only person confirmed to perform at the event is Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old former “America’s Got Talent” contestant. She is set to sing the national anthem before he takes the oath of office…
Performers who are known to have rejected requests include Elton John, country singer Garth Brooks and opera star Andrea Bocelli. According to the insider, many of those approached have said they do not want to “normalize” Trump’s presidency.
A knowledgeable individual said Bocelli met with the president-elect and agreed to perform, but then bowed out under pressure from fans. The individual also said longtime Trump friend and Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn had promised to deliver Celine Dion, but could not do so.
Wynn also failed to book Brooks, whom he signed in 2009 for a reported multi-million dollar four-year residency at one of his Las Vegas properties…
“If anyone does do it, I hope that the check that they get is in the nine figures. Because it’s probably the last check they’re ever going to get,” Dixie Chicks manager Simon Renshaw told TheWrap on Friday…
And they better be sure that check clears in advance, too.
Final tally: Clinton won popular vote by 2.86 million, with 48.1% of vote to Trump's 46.0%–only slightly better than Dukakis' 45.6% in 1988
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) December 19, 2016
NYT interviews 49 state election authorities: all but Kansas. Finds 1 confirmed case of noncitizen voting, in Oregon https://t.co/O5Kb5cmluO
— David Frum (@davidfrum) December 19, 2016
Apart from continuing to resist the firehose of Trumpdolyte lies and bullshit, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
Trump won the popular vote if you only count the 3/5ths of the votes cast by non-white voters.
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) December 21, 2016
There are more Trump voters in Los Angeles County than West Virginia, more Clinton voters in Texas than Massachusetts.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) December 19, 2016
Situation in NC has convinced me that if an R ever wins the pop vote but loses the Electoral College, the EC will be abolished 10 min later.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 19, 2016
It seems weird at first that Trump can't stop whining but then you remember no one has ever liked him and everything he's ever tried failed. pic.twitter.com/tvyO3jJuav
— Tom Scocca (@tomscocca) December 20, 2016
… The spot aims to say goodbye to 2016 and the air of negativity surrounding this crappy year with a positive note. “Art of Harmony” features a cast of real people with inspiring stories, such as child activist Zianna Oliphant, Florida “basketball cop” Bobby White, transgender youth activist Jazz Jennings, Migrant Offshore Aid Station founder Christopher Catrambone and Muslim American activist Mona Haydar.
The spot touches on each of these individuals’ uplifting stories, and others, before uniting them at a New York event and concluding with the message, “When the world seems divided, coming together can be a beautiful thing” and the tagline “spread harmony.”
Spousal Unit is recovering amazingly well (knock wood), it’s all peaceful around our household, and I’m feeling like I can finally take a deep breath. On the other hand, I think I can safely assert that very few of us will be sad to see 2016 in the rear view mirror…
What’s on the agenda as we gear up for the Big Holiday Weekend?
For those who’d been wondering: The Trump fact-checking extension is now available for Firefox. https://t.co/qY6Qxt0hM3
— Philip Bump (@pbump) December 19, 2016
A little something to share with your Fox-addled relatives this holiday season, thank you so much Washington Post:
… We made a tool that slips a bit more context into Trump’s tweets. It’s still in the early stages, but our goal is to provide additional context where needed for Trump’s tweets moving forward (and a few golden oldies)…
Sometimes, we just add more context, like when Trump announced his pick of Rex Tillerson to serve as secretary of state. Curious for more info? It’s right there in the tweet now.
It takes a little while for the extension to update, so we’ll try to stay up to speed on fact-checking what Trump is tweeting, but it may take a few minutes. This is a work in progress, so don’t hesitate to offer feedback and thoughts.
And don’t hesitate to point to Trump tweets that could use a little explication. That’s the goal, after all.
Apart from helpful tools towards an enlightened citizenry, what’s on the agenda for the evening?