Repubs in Disarray Open Thread: The Chief-of-Staff Searchlight

… casts a harsh and unflattering glow:

The new attention hasn’t been particularly flattering to refusnik Nick Ayers, either…

From Vanity Fair, “A Top Trump Insider Appears to Conclude That the White House Is Doomed”:

In his home state of Georgia, it is no secret that Ayers has been considered a potential candidate for governor. Certainly, he has the resources—in the range of $12 million to $55 million, according to public filings—and the self-regard to step out of the shadows. Back in 2011, at the Republican Governors Association, Ayers famously abandoned his boss, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, to join Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign. Ben Smith, who obtained a copy of Ayers’s long-winded e-mail announcing the move, noted that it read like “he’s the one who will be running for president” instead of Pawlenty. (A classic Ayers line: “Over the past six months, I have prayed deeply about my purpose in life and how best to utilize the talents God has given me . . . As He often does in walks of faith, He has called me to a higher purpose.”) Stepping into the chief of staff role also would have forced Ayers to disclose how, exactly, he made his fortune as a political consultant—sometime West Wing insiders say Ayers wanted to avoid.
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Just another manic Wednesday

Open Thread

Update 1

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.

NC-09 Update

People will be going to jail for this:

Reminder, as Flynn will testify, the first enthusiastic and accurate flipper can get a damn good deal.

Open thread.

Arsonist lied about firefighting activities

Arsonists don’t make the best firefighters — hoocoodanode, amirite?

Valued commenter A Ghost to Most alerted us to this Raw Story piece, which has more details, in the morning thread:

A new note from investment bank JPMorgan advises traders to not buy into the hype that President Donald Trump has ended his own trade war with China.

As reported by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, JPMorgan is telling investors that Trump’s declaration this week that China will immediately drop all tariffs on American cars has no basis in reality.

In particular, the note said that investors should have “valid reason for caution” when it comes to investing on the hopes that Trump is on the verge of a major breakthrough with China.

“It doesn’t seem like anything was actually agreed to at the dinner and White House officials are contorting themselves into pretzels to reconcile Trump’s tweets (which seem if not completely fabricated then grossly exaggerated) with reality,” the note states.

This is new, right — a pathological liar in the White House causing several-hundred-point swings in the stock market by casually tweeting big, fat whoppers, necessitating investment banks to issue cautionary statements because the president is a fucking liar who can’t be trusted to tell the truth about anything?

Someone must’ve clued Trump in, because he tweeted out this garbled dog’s breakfast of moronitude:

The negotiations with China have already started. Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina. Bob Lighthizer will be working closely with Steve Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro…..

……on seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible. If it is, we will get it done. China is supposed to start buying Agricultural product and more immediately. President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will. But if not remember,……

….I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN

I was an English major at a Southern football school, and even I know consumers eat the costs of tariffs, but it doesn’t sound like the Wharton grad with superior genes gets that.

OMFG, Mr. Mueller — please do something before this moron wrecks not only what was once the world’s most stable democracy but brings the entire global financial system to ruin because he needs a “win.”

That October Surprise From The New York Times

Given the new developments in what we know about Donald Trump’s interactions with Russia, some of us have been kicking around that “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia” story that the New York Times served up on October 31, 2016.

Our own Tom Levenson has a theory:

James Fallows agreed.

Hillary Clinton tried to get the story out.

Here’s a more recent story on that connection to Alfa Bank.  Still ambiguous.

After the election, Times public editor Liz Spayd blasted the Times for that story. Editor Dean Baquet has given only short, weak responses like this one.

Here’s Southpaw:



Open Thread: The G20 Tango

(The boss isn’t crazy about performance reviews either, y’know.)
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