Breakin’ the law?

I have close to zero interest in most things Joe-and-Mike related but I’m curious to know if this kind of thing is legal (if true, which it certainly it is). Is it?

“We got a call that, ‘Hey, the National Enquirer is going to run a negative story against you guys…’ And they said, ‘If you call the president up, and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike this story,” Scarborough said.

Scarborough didn’t name names, but he said “three people at the very top of the administration” called him about this.

“The calls kept coming and kept coming, and they were like ‘Call. You need to call. Please call. Come on, Joe. Just pick up the phone and call him.'”

In other words, grovel to the president and he’ll make the mean story disappear.



Good manners and bad breath will get you nowhere

You all know by now that SC-5 ended up being closer than GA-6. You probably also know that SC-5 is full of hopeless rural idiots whereas GA-6 is full of well-educated suburbanites who just need a little non-ideological persuasion to start voting Democrat. David Atkins nails it:

The lesson of the special elections around the country is clear: Democratic House candidates can dramatically outperform Clinton in deep red rural areas by running ideological, populist campaigns rooted in progressive areas. Poorer working class voters who pulled the lever for Trump can be swayed back to the left in surprisingly large numbers—perhaps not enough to win in places like Kansas, Montana and South Carolina, but certainly in other more welcoming climes. Nor is there a need to subvert Democratic principles of social justice in order to accomplish this: none of the Democrats who overperformed Clinton’s numbers in these districts curried favor with bigots in order to accomplish it.

But candidates like Clinton and Ossoff who try to run inoffensive and anti-ideological campaigns in an attempt to win over supposedly sensible, wealthier, bourgeois suburban David-Brooks-reading Republican Romney voters will find that they lose by surprisingly wide margins. There is no Democrat so seemingly non-partisan that Romney Republicans will be tempted to cross the aisle in enough numbers to make a difference.

The way forward for Democrats lies to the left, and with the working classes. It lies with a firm ideological commitment to progressive values, and in winning back the Obama voters Democrats lost to Trump in 2016 without giving ground on commitments to social justice. It does not lie in the wealthy suburbs that voted for Romney over Obama in 2012, or in ideological self-effacement on core economic concerns.

I think it’s quite possible to run different kinds of campaigns in different areas, and I’m not faulting Ossoff for running the campaign he did. But I do think there’s something fucked up about the Democratic party’s idea that it should run civil, non-ideological campaigns. We’re not running to be the president of Fred Hiatt.

No amount of civilitude and centrist common sense is going to get suburban upper-middle class white voters who have spent their entire lives voting Republican to reconsider their obsession with tax cuts and become Democrats en masse (yes, you can pick off a few I’m sure).

The whole non-ideological civilitude thing smacks of class bullshit. We don’t need to fight, we’re all reasonable here, not like the poors! That’s what it sounds like to me, at least. Republicans have gotten lower-income white Americans to vote Republican by feeding them xenophobia and resentment. Xenophobia doesn’t pay your medical bills. Obamacare does. We just can’t cede rural America to Republicans, not when Republicans are offering so little to rural America policy-wise.



All the young dudes

Is “this proves Bernie would have won” the new “this is great news for John McCain”? Discuss.



Things, they do look awful cold

David Brooks won’t be happy about this:

Casual dining is in danger — and millennials are to blame.

Brands such as TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, and Applebee’s have faced sales slumps and dozens of restaurant closures, as casual dining chains have struggled to attract customers and grow sales.



I got a feeling about the future

Some of you will be very annoyed by this post, but some of you will greatly enjoy it, so here goes:

What’s the endgame of the Russia probe? By this I mean:

(1) How many people get indicted?
(2) How many people go to jail?
(3) What’s the overall political effect of the whole thing?
(4) Does Trump end up getting impeached?
(5) Does the pee-pee tape or something like that drop?

Here are my answers:

(1) Two people get indicted. I’m not sure who exactly but Flynn, Page, Manafort, and Kushner are all candidates.

(2) No one goes to jail. Trump pardons everyone.

(3) Trump’s approval rating goes down a bit but not that far, into the low 30s. Fox, Breitbart, Woodward, and Greenwald defend him to the last but not too many others do. Trump remains popular with Republicans who continue to believe it’s all a witch hunt. His lack of popularity with the rest of voters hurts him though and Dems take 30-40 seats in the the House in the midterms.

(4) Not before 2018. If Dems take the House, I still think they not impeach. We might hear a lot of “look forward, not backward” type stuff.

(5) I have no idea but it would be fun if it did!

What are your answers?



I started a joke

I’ve been thinking about fun topics for Friday posts but haven’t come up with anything too brilliant. A friend posted this on twitter and I thought it would make for a good one:

I will specify that while I truly can’t take David Foster Wallace or much of Stanley Kubrick, I only didn’t like Thomas Pynchon as much I hoped to. And I’ll admit there are some Boss songs I can deal with. Just hate his voice and think his songs mostly all sound the same.



Don’t say a word about tomorrow or forever

Reader J asks:

I know we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but is it starting to feel to you like there’s a legitimate outside chance Trump could actually be impeached or that some bombshell revelation will be disclosed that forces him to resign?

Have you considered posting a thread where people offer the date they believe that Trump will be officially removed from office?

It doesn’t seem like Dems are too gung ho impeachment. So far it’s just Maxine Waters and Al Green (hence the title!) who are talking about it. The official line from establishment media is that impeachment is divisive blah blah blah but I wonder if the real reason is that Dems don’t want to see Trump gone because that Pence would just as bad or worse. I know know that’s how I feel. Yes, at least Pence is an ethos, but it’s a big pretty fucking scary ethos.

On the other hand, it sounds like Republicans would be happy to have president Pence. They say so explicitly here, and it seems pretty clear that’s what all the “was Pence in the loop?” stuff is about. I mean, of course he was in the loop, and pretending he wasn’t is just about getting him in as a clean new president that David Gergen can respect.

So what are your thoughts? Will Trump make it through four years? If not, when does he go?

I honestly have no idea. It all sounds like fantasy football, but if he continues like this, I don’t see how he makes it through four years.