Plutocrat Sics Thugs on Union Man

Just our future president, putting the “bully” in the bully pulpit:

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Jones’ offense was correctly pointing out that Cheeto Benito’s Carrier deal was less than advertised. So now Jones is getting death threats from unhinged Trump super fans. This asshole may get someone killed before he’s even sworn in.



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Post-Truth!

One of the meager joys of the PEOTUS-Asterisk’s upcoming term will be watching the establishment GOP’s gentleman-amateur liars get steamrolled by an experienced professional. Because once the troglodyte Trump voters realize that their White Man’s America is not actually being Made Great Again, it’s gonna be the “nice” Midwestern Ryan/Pence/Preibus fellas who look out their windows at the pitchfork-and-torch protesters — not the professional conman on the 24th floor of Trump Tower NYC…

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Apart from devoutly hoping the GOP comeupance arrives ASAP, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Après nous le déluge

If you’re looking for an uplifting post, keep scrolling. This one is just a reminder that not only has the Republican president-elect undermined faith in American democracy with an outrageous lie about millions committing voter fraud to award his opponent a record-breaking popular vote victory, but as of this weekend, the four most powerful Republicans beneath Trump on the org chart are on record abetting that lie.

House Majority Leader Paul Ryan says it doesn’t matter to him if Trump is lying or not. Senatortoise Mitch McConnell says the claim is “irrelevant.” Reince Priebus says hey, maybe 2.6 million and counting really DID vote illegally. VP-elect Pence says lies about big, important things are just self-expression, so chill.

A clear pattern is emerging:

1. Trump says or does something outrageous through wounded vanity or rank ignorance.
2. Republican leaders rush to normalize the action or statement, regardless of the danger to the nation.
3. Trump’s business associates and/or the Republican Party capitalize on the fallout.

It’s an astounding combination of political cowardice and opportunism — without precedent in my lifetime, I think. Read more



Open Thread: Masque of the Red(state) Death

Somewhere Jay Gatsby is going, “Ugh, tacky. ” But not Politico! “Trump attends donor’s ‘Villains and Heroes’ party — as himself”:

President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday night attended a lavish costume party on Long Island hosted by his biggest donors, the Mercer family…

According to a Saturday evening pool report, Trump’s motorcade arrived at the party at 8:35 p.m. As Trump entered, dressed in a dark suit, overcoat and tie, he was asked who he was dressed as. Pointing at himself, the president-elect mouthed the word “Me.” Neither his wife, Melania Trump, nor Trump’s children attended. Top aide Steve Bannon and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway attended, with Conway dressed as Super Woman, according to the pool report…

Although Trump during the campaign decried the influence of big donors, the Mercer family played a major role in his campaign and has wielded vast influence in his transition.

The family patriarch, hedge fund tycoon Robert Mercer, donated $2 million to a pro-Trump super PAC that came to be run by his daughter Rebekah Mercer, who controls the family’s political operations.

Rebekah Mercer played a pivotal role in persuading Trump to bring on three close allies of hers to run the campaign — incoming White House senior counselor Bannon and top campaign officials Conway and David Bossie…

The Mercers have hosted the party at their estate on Long Island’s North Shore around the holidays in each of the past several years.

It’s become an increasingly hot ticket as the Mercers have become bigger players in conservative politics.

Robert Mercer and his youngest daughter, Heather Sue Mercer, are competitive poker players, and past years’ parties have featured blackjack and poker tables. The Mercers supply chips — free of charge — that can be redeemed at the end of the night for lavish prizes such as gold Rolexes, according to people who have attended.

Staff and security at the event were dressed as Hell’s Angels and retro Salvation Army members, according to the pool report.

So, I guess this was a sort of coming-out party for Rebekah Mercer, as the new generation of bloated plutocrat parasitizing our commonwealth.

Maybe the best outcome the rest of us can hope for is that Ms. “But She’s the Smart One” comes to blows with “Daddy’s Little Princess” before the Trump Kakistocracy can embed itself too deeply in the national hide. Because I suspect those two have as many issues to work out as their more-famous-for-now daddies…



The Tabloid Era

A lady wearing a hijab was in front of me in line at the grocery store yesterday, unloading her cart with the help of her two tween girls. While waiting my turn, I scanned the racks of magazines, puzzle books, comics and scandal sheets and saw this:

It occurred to me that we’re entering the Tabloid Era. Trump himself or one of his associates could very well be the source for that story. Some of Trump’s minions have advanced the theory that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the US government and that Huma Abedin was an agent of the Brotherhood somehow.

If I recall correctly, the shitgibbon cited the National Enquirer as a credible news source at some point during the campaign. The Enquirer’s publisher, the aptly named David Pecker, claims Trump as a friend and supposedly axed stories that might have reflected negatively on the shitgibbon, while publishing lurid tales claiming that Hillary Clinton was on death’s doorstep throughout the campaign.

Oh well, I was thinking, standing in that line. We’re a cheap, tacky joke of a country now, mirroring the character of our soon-to-be leader, so why not make the National Enquirer the “paper of record”? It’s not like The New York Times has been using that role to any good purpose anyway.

But my heart ached for the mother and two daughters who unloaded their cart while I waited in line behind them. I was hoping maybe they wouldn’t see the headline. But of course, they see it more clearly than I do. Every single day.



Open Thread: Double Standards, The Media Village Idiots Haz Them

Of course, the Asterisk-Elect never claimed he wanted to “reach out” to people who didn’t support him… no doubt a level of firmness that helped endear him to the Dana Bashes and Ed Henrys.



Update on Faces vs. Leopards

This is one of my favorite tweets from the post-election period:

Via TPM, we now have a (metaphorically eaten) face and name to attach to that sentiment:

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington, D.C. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury—Steven Mnuchin—all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

“I just wish that I had not voted,” said Colebrook, 59.

Me too, Ms. Colebrook. Me too.

It’s tempting to wish Ms. Colebrook would just start punching herself in the face now and not stop until 2020, but there is something admirable about her willingness to admit she fucked up.

I suspect that won’t be the case with the lion’s leopard’s share of Trump voters, who will continue to proudly and belligerently proclaim their allegiance to Hair Furor, even when he and his minions are feasting on their noses.

There’s a whole lot of gassing about whether or not Trump voters are reachable by Democrats, and as usual when we’re talking about millions of people, a straight yes-or-no answer is almost certainly too simplistic to be accurate.

I suspect at least some small minority of them are like Colebrook, stupid and/or uninformed enough to be willing to gamble on a terrible person like Trump despite his yawning deficits as a human being rather than voting for the shitgibbon because he’s a racist, sexist, xenophobic bully.

But it doesn’t make any sense to me to remake the party to pursue people like Colebrook, any more than I’d want the party to hand out Corvettes and bottles of Jack to sew up the drunk driver vote.

Anyhoo, open thread.