Criminal Abuse Open Thread: Ready Player Individual-1

Balloon Juice commentor Waldo:

What prosecutors say: The president was in on it.
What Trump hears: The president was innocent.

Dirty White Boys

The problem-makers caucus sure wants some dumb stuff:

Another major criticism of the Problem Solvers’ proposed changes, coming from both liberal commentators and fellow Democratic representatives, is that they amount to a sort of unilateral disarmament. Republican leadership ran a partisan House of Representatives for eight years, and now, the minute Democrats get control, some of them want to dilute the strength of Democratic leadership and link legislative arms with Republican moderates instead? […]

I wonder why: [warning Intercept link]

The caucus was born out of meetings of congresspeople organized by No Labels, which was founded in 2010 as a bipartisan group, backed by wealthy donors, ostensibly dedicated to civility and good government. Nancy Jacobson, [Mark] Penn’s wife, is the No Labels CEO, and Penn is also closely involved with the group. Gottheimer was elected to Congress in 2016 and co-founded the caucus, with Rep. Tom Reed, D-N.Y., shortly thereafter.

If you want to barf up your breakfast, you can read Penn’s summer emission in the Hill, titled “To the middle, not the mattresses“.

The only audience for this white boy rebellion is corporate money and their shills like Penn.

(For the New Yorkers in the audience, the presence of Tom Reed kinda-sorta explains why otherwise reasonable Brian Higgins signed the letter. Higgins was one of the first to drop out as soon as Pelosi made a couple of nothingburger promises. The other explanation for Higgins acting like a dolt is the death of Louise Slaughter, who would have taken him to the woodshed for even thinking about signing the letter if she were still alive.)

And Short Skirts Cause Rapes

I haven’t been posting because the stupidity is just too much for me to bear, but wanted to pop my head out of my prairie dog hole to post this. My brother and I were texting yesterday about the MAGAbomber, and we were joking that Fox would soon be telling us how he’s the Democrat’s fault. I guess the Times beat them to the punch.

Late Night Open Thread: Fare Thee Well, #Second Civil War… UNTIL…

And we all had such hopes!

There seem to have been multiple competing hashtags. Since I try to stay out of the fever swamps, Rick Wilson and his fellow NeverTrumpers have the nastier takes I’ve seen…

(Note: Don’t miss the kicker at the very end of this string!)

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Monday Morning Open Thread: The Profitable Stigmata of Palmer Comey

After all, he has a book to sell…

Ed Kilgore, at NYMag:

The belief that Clinton couldn’t lose is the only way to make sense of what a lot of people said and did in October 2016. But most of them did not have as much power to derail her campaign as Comey.

Polls are usually blamed for the illusion of Clinton’s invulnerability. But for the most part, they weren’t that far off track, particularly if you recall that she won the popular vote by more than 2 percent, and prescient observers noted before the election that Trump was in striking distance based on the polls.

Perhaps all the pollsters and prognosticators who guessed wrong about 2016 are complicit in fostering the overconfidence of the Clinton campaign, Democratic voters — and yes — even James Comey. Certainly the big national news organizations whose coverage decisions reflected an apparent belief that the victorious Clinton could safely be taken down a few pegs over the email “story” have a lot to answer for. But in the end it was probably the difficulty of envisioning a President Trump that fed the overconfidence about Clinton most of all. It couldn’t happen here, until it did. And Comey is just one of the players in the political game who must now regret their lack of imagination. His mistake, however, had far bigger consequences than most.

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Sunday Evening Open Thread: BET’s SotU Rebuttal

No disrespect to my homeboy Joe Kennedy III, but some people seem to be gleeful that “Auntie Maxine” will give her own response to Trump on Tuesday. Per the Bustle:

While Rep. Joe Kennedy will be giving the official Democratic State of the Union response, frequent Trump critic Waters will be giving her own statement on BET immediately following Trump’s speech. She’ll be joining Angela Rye’s State of the Union, along with several other activists and public officials. BET has announced that the show will air quarterly and will discuss the most important issues facing black people in America.

“Queen Maxine is going to hit the facts quick, she’s going to do it as only she can, but we’re not going to linger over his nonsense,” Rye, a political commentator/analyst and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, told The Root in an interview. Rye said the Tuesday evening show will focus on what Trump’s first year has meant for black Americans…

This assumes, of course, that Lord Smallgloves can be coaxed or intimidated into showing up live, and that he doesn’t cap his “speech” by setting fire to the podium or his own hair.

No matter what you personally think of Rep. Waters’ skills, take heart: She will be less ridiculous than the Tea Party responses to President Obama’s SotU, because more ridiculous than those people one cannot be. And watching the ensuing attacks from both the right and the alt-left should be entertaining, because that lady will brush a dude aside with sufficient force to severely bruise his public status.

Are we gonna live-blog Tuesday’s Big Event? On the one hand, rubbernecking the inevitable disaster; on the other, do we want to run up Donny Dollhand’s viewing stats, which he’ll pay more attention to than he does to even the most positive/negative reviews of his actual performance?

Excellent Read: “Deep in Clinton country, voters stand by their candidate”

The Washington Post is straight-up trolling the NYTimes here, and it is hilarious:

The pilings of long-gone piers still jut out of the murky Hudson River in New York County, N.Y., reminders of a shipping industry that’s all-but-vanished from the region. There’s almost no manufacturing left in the towering buildings at the southern end of the county where it once thrived. Throughout the area, large warehouses once used for trade have been torn down or repurposed.

You’d be forgiven for assuming that this is the sort of place where Donald Trump would have been successful in the 2016 election. Unless, that is, you know that shipping and manufacturing left New York County a very long time ago. New York County is Manhattan; the warehouses are now art galleries and the skyscrapers where piecemeal manufacturing once took place are now offices and expensive apartments.

Far from backing Trump, Manhattan was one of the most heavily pro-Hillary Clinton counties in the country in 2016, supporting her by a 77-point margin. (In his home county, Trump won only 9.7 percent of the vote; for every 2.6 votes he got, a third-party candidate got one.) We don’t hear much about how Manhattanites have responded to the first year of Trump’s presidency, though, despite how much we’ve heard about how regions central to Trump’s candidacy are still home to people who stand by their choice. There are a lot of reasons for not focusing on the views of people in Manhattan, including that the city is not without a voice in the media and that how it voted was not particularly surprising (compared to the fervent support Trump enjoyed in the Rust Belt).

Nonetheless, we decided to see if voters in Clinton country stood by their candidate one year into Trump’s tenure. We know Trump’s supporters are sticking with him, but are Clinton’s sticking with her? Is Trump convincing any opponents to rally to his cause?
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