Open Thread: Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King, Old Man, Yells At (the) Cloud

Post title borrowed from this response:

BUT SERIOUSLY… Per Newsweek:

Republican representative Steve King requested Google CEO Sundar Pichai give the government the names of more than 1,000 employees who oversee the company’s search engine to determine whether its algorithm was biased, The Hill reported. King said he wanted to look at employees’ social media and see if they’re biased.

As Pichai appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, Democrats questioned the tech giant’s privacy regulations, The New York Times reported. Republicans expressed distrust for the company, questioning whether it stifles conservative search results.

“There is a very strong conviction on this side of the aisle that the algorithms are written with a bias against conservatives,” King said, alleging that Google has an inherent ideological tilt because it is located in the Democrat-heavy Silicon Valley. “What we don’t know are who are these thousand people and we don’t know what their social media looks like.”

California Republican Kevin McCarthy voiced similar concerns. “All of these topics — competition, censorship, bias and others — point to one fundamental question that demands the nation’s attention,” he said. “Are America’s technology companies serving as instruments of freedom or instruments of control?”…

Pichai said at the beginning of his testimony, “I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” according to The Guardian. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests. We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions—and we have no shortage of them among our own employees.” He also said that the employees do not choose which news outlets show up in searches, saying the search engine adapts based on what users select…

King’s real butthurt: When you’ve brought up your kids to believe that everyone (who matters) hates immigrants, people of color, and diversity in all its forms…

“Some kinda hand-me-down”, indeed.

Why not, indeed?

This is the greatest tweet ever:

I was reminded of it today while reading this NYT account of the botched firing of soon-to-be former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and botched hiring of soon-to-be-former Pence Chief of Staff Nick Ayers, a 36-year-old Republican hack who not only declined to become captain of the Titanic White House chief of staff but quit his current VP gig to “spend more time with family” (seriously — that’s the explanation).

That an ambitious, rich, donor-connected Republican operative ran away from that plum job like a scalded dog tells us all we need to know about the state of this administration. From the NYT piece linked above:

After Nick Ayers, the Georgia political operative who was the president’s top pick, declined the job — something of a plot twist in a presidency notorious for its episodic cliffhangers — Mr. Trump is without a Plan B. Several of his aides expressed frustration that months of intense campaigning to replace John F. Kelly — an effort led by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s elder daughter and son-in-law — resulted in yet another chaotic staffing scramble in a White House splintered by factions and rife with turnover…

Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner’s efforts on behalf of Mr. Ayers were widely seen as a coup attempt, started on behalf of a president who was unhappy with Mr. Kelly but could not bring himself to fire him. Mr. Ayers’s rejection of the offer stunned the couple, who had long resisted Mr. Kelly’s attempt to bend them to a traditional White House hierarchy.

As Kay has observed, low-quality hires never improve; they only get worse. And that vapid, entitled, arrogant pair of clowns started at rock bottom and have been busily tunneling toward the earth’s core ever since. Better and smarter rats won’t jump on this sinking ship.

According to The Times, Trump tried to get Ayers to fire Kelly, and failing that, met with Kelly, Pence and Ayers last Friday and agreed to let Kelly resign the following week (to preserve his non-existent dignity, one assumes). But instead, Trump announced Kelly’s ouster the next day. On Sunday, Trump’s comms shop was prepping the press release to announce Ayers as Kelly’s replacement, and Ayers publicly declined the offer via Twitter, leaving Trump to feebly squawk “FAKE NEWS” about the Ayers speculation and lie about the many quality candidates beating down his door for a shot at the chief of staff job.

Does it matter who rearranges the deck chairs on the Trumptanic? The chief of staff gig seems to be a pretty big fucking deal in normal administrations and even in fictional ones — President Bartlet had Leo McGarry and CJ Cregg!

But in this shit-show of an administration, I suspect it doesn’t matter at all. Trump’s gonna Trump no matter who sits in the adjoining office, so the chaos, stupidity, venality and ruin will continue apace.

ETA: Trump tweeted this while I was composing this post:

Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!


Clown Car Open Thread: Will No One Sit At the ‘President’s’ Right Hand?

Uhhh… why did this just pop up?

Lying liar necessitates new WaPo fact-checker category

The Post debuted a new fact-check category today in an attempt to capture the unprecedented fire-hose volume of repeat lies coming out of Trump’s lie-hole. They call it the “Bottomless Pinocchio” category:

Trump’s willingness to constantly repeat false claims has posed a unique challenge to fact-checkers. Most politicians quickly drop a Four-Pinocchio claim, either out of a duty to be accurate or concern that spreading false information could be politically damaging.

Not Trump. The president keeps going long after the facts are clear, in what appears to be a deliberate effort to replace the truth with his own, far more favorable, version of it. He is not merely making gaffes or misstating things, he is purposely injecting false information into the national conversation.

To accurately reflect this phenomenon, The Washington Post Fact Checker is introducing a new category — the Bottomless Pinocchio. That dubious distinction will be awarded to politicians who repeat a false claim so many times that they are, in effect, engaging in campaigns of disinformation.

To qualify as a Bottomless Pinocchio, the lie must have been repeated at least 20 times since receiving a 3- or 4-Pinocchio rating from The Post. Glenn Kessler, WaPo’s chief fact-checker, says 14 of Trump’s lies already qualify.

The failure of the mainstream press to adjust the way it covers presidencies in the wake of the election of a pathologically lying stooge of a foreign autocrat has been nothing short of calamitous, IMO. The Bottomless Pinocchio isn’t a serious enough change, but it’s a start since it at least acknowledges the unprecedented nature of this maladministration and its liar-in-chief.

GOP Clown Car Open Thread: Kelly Is Out, But Nobody Wants In

Read more

Late Night Repub Clown Car Open Thread: Floriduh Men

To be fair (to be ecumenically unfair), while the confrontation concerned Florida politics, Lewandowski is a Masshole native who chose to become a Granite Header. And, IMO, further evidence of why New Hampshire should lose its front-runner primary status, because that state just encourages two-bit bullies like Lewandowski…

MIAMI — It was supposed to be a friendly introduction between Republicans at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Wednesday night, when the president’s former campaign manager and the Republican leader of the Florida Senate met.

But, witnesses say, the impromptu meeting between Corey Lewandowski, Florida Senate President Bill Galvano and Florida state Sen. Jeff Brandes unexpectedly morphed into a hostile debate over a question that encapsulates today’s GOP politics: How much credit should Donald Trump get for GOP successes?…

Three others who witnessed the contretemps and two others who had spoken to the senators also confirmed the surprising public disagreement and relayed the events to POLITICO. All described Lewandowski as needlessly confrontational and disrespectful to the senators who were caught off guard by the former campaign manager, now a reliable cable news defender and promoter of his former boss. The witnesses and confidants of the senators spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive moment.

With Trump laser focused on winning his second home state of Florida for the second time, the disagreement may foreshadow debates to come for Republicans in the nation’s largest swing state heading into the 2020 cycle.

“Donald Trump saved Florida, from the top to the bottom of the ticket,” Lewandowski said, according to one witness whose account was confirmed by a second.

Galvano, who was in charge of running GOP campaigns for the Florida Senate in the last election cycle, reportedly agreed that Trump deserved credit but added, said another witness, that the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee he led and the various GOP candidates and committees spent a record $44 million on their campaigns across the state, thereby driving GOP turnout that helped in the top-of-the-ticket races.

“There were lots of efforts put forward,” Galvano said, according to a witness…

Violence solves nothing, she said piously, but I kinda look forward Lewandowski throwing the first punch at the wrong person…

New cartoon from America’s single finest political cartoonist, Jeff Danziger:

(Jeff Danziger via

Real. It’s real.

So, this is a real tweet that the current President of the United States sent a little while ago about a person he hired to represent the United States of America abroad:

Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!

As I’ve mentioned, I’m refraining from embedding the fool’s tweets to spare us all the sight of his hideous orange face, but here’s a link if you want to make sure it’s a 100% real tweet from the POTUS and not a spoof account run by an eight-year-old boy. Help us, Mueller-wan-kenobi; you’re our only hope!

Open thread.