Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Trump and His ‘Base’ Rally Each Other

Dave Roth, at Deadspin:

Donald Trump believes that everything he says is made true by virtue of him having said it, and once he begins believing something he is incapable of not believing it. This is why he says things more than once. The challenge is figuring out how he says things for the first time.

So: Trump got it into his head that he had received a Michigan Man Of The Year Award, and despite some complicating factors—he didn’t, for one, and also such an award does not appear to exist—he has continued to bring it up whenever the mood strikes him. There’s a whole story around it, and as is his custom he tends to retell it with more additions of the words “very” and “sir” as the years go by. “I’ve been fighting for the car industry for years,” Trump said the first time he told the story, in Michigan and two days before the 2016 Presidential election. “I was honored five years ago. Man of the Year in Michigan. That was a great honor for me.” As Trump told and has since re-told the story, he was criticized for giving a speech in which he talked about “what Mexico and these other countries are doing to us. And especially what they’re doing to Michigan.” …

What is useful about this, and what would be beautiful about it if everything around it was not so luridly toxic, is how plain it all is. Trump is a being of pure reaction and grievance and avarice, and as such is never really very difficult to parse. When he lies about money it’s because he wants people to think he has more of it than he does; when he lies about golf it’s because he wants people to think he’s a better golfer than he is. Those lies tell you something about how Trump wants to be seen, but they’re incidental to the bigger questions of who and what he is. Stranger lies like the Michigan Man one reveal more about how he sees the world and understands his relationship to the other people in it, which is fundamentally as someone cleaning up at an endless televised awards show.

Most of the idiocies at the core of Trump’s being were created in the same way that pearls are—an irritant lodges itself in the spongy matter of his mind years ago, actively or passively, and then is worried into something bright and very hard. In this case, though, we can watch this accretive work happening in real time—some dumb speech, long forgotten, grows into a great honor bestowed by strangers who admired him, and then into a controversial stand for which he was criticized but for which he boldly refused to apologize. And now it is something he can bring up, whenever he is feeling under-appreciated or anxious or when nothing else will come. He stalls and sputters and his pale eyelids flutter and suddenly then there it is, glistening on the dais in front of him—that time that Charles Woodson called to concede victory in the Michigan Man Of The Year Award, a few years ago or whenever it was. “Sir,” the Heisman Trophy winner said through his tears to Donald Trump, “you deserve this more than anyone.” What a beautiful memory.

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{Facepalm} Open Thread: Still Racist, After All These Years

There’s an old British joke about advertising understatement: Does what it says on the packet:

President Trump cracked jokes about the Equinox scandal, the old days of rent-controlled New York and his dealings with North and South Korea among deep-pocketed pals in the Hamptons on Friday.

Trump was feted at two big-money fundraisers — first a lunch for 60 hosted by real estate guru Stephen Ross, whose company owns Equinox and Soul Cycle. Then Trump talked for an hour to a crowd of 500 at the sprawling Bridgehampton home of developer Joe Farrell. The two events raised a total of $12 million.

After Equinox members revolted over Ross’ fundraising for the president, with many threatening to cancel memberships, Trump said he had joked with Ross about how divided the nation is.

Noting the relentless attacks on himself by the media, Trump quipped, “Steve Ross got into a little bit of trouble this week, I said, ‘Steve welcome to the world of politics!’ ”

Of his fundraising visit, Trump went on to say, “I love coming to the Hamptons, I know the Hamptons well, everyone here votes for me but they won’t admit it.”

And of his tough stance on trade tariffs and US military aid, Trump told a story of going as a boy to collect rent checks with his father, adding, “It was easier to get a billion dollars from South Korea than to get $114.13 from a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, and believe me, those 13 cents were very important.”…

Even while the Squatter-in-Chief’s minions are frantically trying to repair the damage to his ‘brand’Look, his old man actually marched with the KKK, give our guy some credit here! — Pus-olini* can’t resist a little dominance posturing. Steve Ross is actually losing business since it leaked that he was sponsoring this fundraiser (as Josh Barro points out in NYMag, it’s dangerous to *his* brand), but Trump has to proclaim himself Top Ape among the financial silverbacks, for the first and probably last time in his long history of failures and bankruptcies…

If only they’d written a “very beautiful letter” to His Toxicity:

*thank you, Betty Cracker!








Shameless & Stupid Open Thread: Hadn’t Dayton Suffered Enough?


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Late Night Open Thread: FTFNYTimes

Once the rockets go up, who cares *where* they come down?
That’s not my department, says Wehrner von Braun…








The GOP’s Racism Problem: Nobody Wants to Be Last Off the Sinking Ship (Part 3)

As too many of us know from experience, there’s a feedback loop at failing organizations. Those employees with the best chances, or the best reasons, to escape announce they’re going to ‘pursue other opportunities’. Everybody starts circulating resumes, stockpiling office supplies, and keeping a running tally of who’s taking long lunches or spending time with HR. Every new departure adds to the sneaking conviction that the whole group is irretrievably doomed…

Here’s an announcement that seems to bode particularly ill for the industry reputation of the Republican Party:


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