Friday Evening Open Thread: Cruise Ship of Certified Fools

Fortunately for the crew — and boy howdy do I feel sorry for those poor folk! — Beck’s target audience is almost certainly old enough to be outside the measles-susceptible anti-vaxxer demographic. Unlike the wretched Scientologists on the Seastead earlier this year…








Wag the Dog Open Thread: “Not Saying We Won’t Get Our Hair Mussed… “


No, really. (It was a ‘surprise appearance’ to ‘thank American troops for their service’.

Meanwhile, perpetual war cheerleader Tom Cotton is doing his best General Turgidson imitation:

… because nothing props up a Republican “president”‘s sagging self-esteem poll numbers like a nice photogenic foreign war, amirite?!?

The main firewall against John Bolton and his acolytes right now seems to be that Trump thinks (a)being in charge of a war is too much work; and (b) it would give entirely too much media attention to people who are not Donald Trump. Slender reed.
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Russiagate Open Thread: Don McGahn, Smarter Than the Average Trump Hire

Which, admittedly, not a high bar!

NBC, this afternoon:

The House Judiciary Committee has set May 21 as the date for former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify, although McGahn has not yet confirmed his attendance.

The committee wants McGahn to address the report by special counsel Robert Mueller, in particular, the part of the report that says that President Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller, a request McGahn refused to carry out. Mr. Trump has indicated that he will not allow McGahn to testify before Congress because he already spent about 30 hours speaking to Mueller’s investigators…

House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler also threatened Tuesday to hold McGahn in contempt if he didn’t respond to a congressional subpoena for Mueller’s documents.

CBS News also confirmed last week that the White House asked McGahn to publicly state after the release of the Mueller report that Mr. Trump had not obstructed justice. A source familiar with the matter told CBS News that White House lawyer Emmet Flood made the request, which McGahn did not comply with.

“We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister,” said McGahn’s attorney, William Burck. “It was a request, professionally and cordially made.”…

McGahn and Trump go way ‘back — here’s an early 2016 profile from the Washington Post reporter who broke the Aaron Schock story:

McGahn is one of the top election lawyers in the country, a job so highly specialized that its practitioners are almost unavoidably “Washington insiders” by definition. He is credited as one of the people most responsible for loosening regulations on campaign spending, an enabler of the corporate electioneering against which Trump has defined his candidacy. His wife, Shannon McGahn, is staff director for the House Financial Services Committee, a role that makes her a magnet for the very lobbyists that Trump regularly pillories…

Terris goes on to report that McGahn’s uncle was Trump’s long-time fixer in Atlantic City; that McGahn had worked for Nixon’s old law firm, and spent ten years as counsel for National Republican Convention Committee; that he’s “reported to be a bit of an iconoclast.” And then, also…
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Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Bernie Sanders’ Most Enthusiastic Supporters

As Molly Ivins was wont to say, It’s okay to step on your dick occasionally, but you shouldn’t just *stand* there…

And of course they’re baiting Dems nervous about the phantasm of ‘electability’, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong:

Republicans like their chances of keeping the Senate in 2020. But there’s one thing they think would all but seal the deal: Bernie Sanders as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Some GOP incumbents are practically cheering him on, confident there’s no way a self-described democratic socialist could win a general election against President Donald Trump and that he’d drag other Democrats on the ballot with him.

“It would be good for us to have a nominee like that,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who is up for reelection next year and sounded downright giddy about the prospect of Sanders representing Democrats at the top of the ticket.
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Some Words of Wisdom From President Reagan In Regard to Foreign Interference in Domestic US Politics

In his memoirs, President Reagan wrote the following*:

I don’t like having representatives of a foreign country – any foreign country – trying to interfere in what I regarded as our domestic political process and the setting of our foreign policy.

Wisdom that the Republican Party and conservatives seem to have forgotten.

Open thread!

* These remarks were specifically in regard to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin going behind President Reagan’s back to lobby Congress directly against the Reagan administration’s decision to sell AWACs to Saudi Arabia in 1981. Begin had been specifically warned against doing this by one of President Reagan’s senior advisors.