Late-Night Russiagate Open Thread: California’s Representative to Mother Russia

He’s the twinkly-eyed Zelig of the American Treason Party:

For two decades, Representative Dana Rohrabacher has been of value to the Kremlin, so valuable in recent years that the F.B.I. warned him in 2012 that Russia regarded him as an intelligence source worthy of a Kremlin code name.

The following year, the California Republican became even more valuable, assuming the chairmanship of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee that oversees Russia policy. He sailed to re-election again and again, even as he developed ties to Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia…

As revelations of Russia’s campaign to influence American politics consume Washington, Mr. Rohrabacher, 70, who had no known role in the Trump election campaign, has come under political and investigative scrutiny. The F.B.I. and the Senate Intelligence Committee are each seeking to interview him about an August meeting with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, Mr. Rohrabacher said. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is said to be interested in a meeting he had last year with Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s short-lived national security adviser.

At the same time, fellow Republicans — questioning his judgment and intentions — have moved to curtail his power as chairman of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats. And back home in Southern California, where Democrats and Republicans alike smell blood, the 15-term congressman is facing his toughest re-election contest in decades, with well-funded candidates from both parties lining up to unseat him…

Mr. Rohrabacher has laughed off suggestions that he is a Russian asset, and said in an interview that he did not remember being briefed that the Russians viewed him as a source. The F.B.I. and the senior members of the House Intelligence Committee sat Mr. Rohrabacher down in the Capitol in 2012 to warn him that Russian spies were trying to recruit him, according to two former intelligence officials…
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Saturday Morning Open Thread: Been A Long Week…


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Apart from hoping for a news respite, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Saturday Evening Cheap Shots Open Thread: Further Adventures of Milo Y, Boy Provocateur

Well, that was quick — and on a weekend, too. Turns out that Tucker “Walking Proof That the Best Schools Can’t Fix Stupid” Carlson may not have “standards”, as the term is usually recognized, but he’s getting quicker at spotting a publicity disaster in the making:

The Daily Caller has fired its opinion editor amid controversy over the site’s publishing of a column by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, the editor-in-chief confirmed to a CNN reporter Saturday.

Geoffrey Ingersoll, the right-leaning news site’s top editor, confirmed Saturday to CNN’s Oliver Darcy that opinion editor Rob Mariani was fired. The confirmation came shortly after Yiannopoulos posted about his column ending on Facebook…

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And here I’d been saving this little amuse-bouche for a late-night larf. Points to ThinkProgress and Mr. Legum…

In the letter announcing his resignation, Mercer specifically calls out Milo Yiannopoulos, a popular, controversial former Breitbart senior editor, saying he has only caused “pain and divisiveness.”…

Yiannopoulos served as a key intermediary between white nationalists and Breitbart. He published a lengthy feature piece that served as a guide to so-called “alt-right” that he allowed prominent white nationalists to edit before publication, and was caught on video in the company of known white nationalist Richard Spencer as he signals a “Sieg Heil” salute in front of a crowd — both of which were revealed in a recent Buzzfeed expose.

These revelations and Mercer’s disavowal hasn’t hurt Yiannopoulos’ reputation in some circles, however, as he was just given a new weekly column at The Daily Caller, a conservative publication ran by Fox News host Tucker Carlson…

Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart in February following outrage over past comments he made regarding pedophilia.

And what was Yiannpoulos’ first column for The Daily Caller? An article titled “A Round Of Applause For Kevin Spacey,” a reference to the recent allegations made by men who claimed Spacey preyed on them sexually when they were minors. In it, Yiannopoulos claims that Spacey’s response to come out as gay rather than take responsibility for his actions is the reason why “identity politics” is bad for the country, which Yiannopoulos frequently blames on the left…

And it gets “better”…



Republican Stupidity Open Thread: David Vitter — The Next Generation

Lovely weather at Kent State, Thursday…

“Free” expression of political ideas…

Charlie Kirk founded Turning Point USA in 2012, when he was 18 years old. Mr. Kirk claims that his dream was to attend the US Military Academy but got rejected, and blamed this on affirmative action. He continued to live in his parents’ home until 2015. Charlie Kirk has compared Turning Point USA to the efforts of MoveOn.org, a progressive 501c4 organization.

Turning Point’s allies include Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and billionaire Foster Friess. Friess also serves on the organization’s advisory council, alongside Ginni Thomas, wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas…

Groups that are aligned with Turning Point include Project Veritas, the Heartland Institute, Freedom Works, and the National Rifle Association.

Charlie Kirk has disavowed any relationship with alt right groups. However, he has written for Breitbart News, and has been associated with Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon for several years. Turning Point has also shown support for former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, including when the organization sponsored him at University of Colorado and Miami University…

Friday night:

Still beats getting an honest job, right, Charlie?

(Yeah, yeah, at least they’re not shooting at their classmates. Yet.)



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Not the Onion, edition 3,567

As if Texas needed any more grief right now!…

… Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who has been involved in previous bipartisan immigration reform efforts, said he would support Trump’s plan to end DACA after a six-month delay. In a statement, Graham said the program amounted to “presidential overreach” by President Barack Obama, who created it by executive action in 2012…

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Trump is poised to “break the hearts and offend the morals of all who believe in justice and human dignity.” She called on Republicans to pursue legislation to protect dreamers “from the senseless cruelty of deportation and shield families from separation and heartbreak.”

Trump’s decision to include a six-month delay could be a bid to shift some of the political pressure and consequences over the dreamers onto congressional Republicans. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah) and several other GOP leaders have urged Trump not to end the program and to let Congress pursue its own course of action.

The president and his senior advisers continued to deliberate Monday afternoon, and aides cautioned that Trump could still change his mind ahead of the announcement. Important details such as whether the administration would continue to accept DACA applications and issue renewals for two-year work permits during the six-month delay remained unresolved…

Meanwhile, leading Democrats have said privately that they think Trump has been boxed in politically. His inability to secure funding for the border wall is wearing down support among his base, these Democrats said, while his hard-line immigration rhetoric is hurting him with moderates.

When rumors about Trump’s expected actions on DACA first surfaced nearly two weeks ago, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted that dreamers “are not a bargaining chip for the border wall” funding or to pay for an “inhumane deportation force.” …

Apart from bracing for fresh horrors, what’s on the agenda as we start an abbreviated work week?



Open Thread: “Message: I Don’t Care. Suckas!”

Back in 1992, Bush the Elder had to pretend he empathized with the little people. Trump’s letting the world know that those days are gone, baby, gone!

But the daylong visit, during which President Donald Trump spent far more time in the air than on the ground, gave the optics-obsessed president some of the visuals he wanted, as he checked in on the government apparatus working on relief efforts and was buoyed by a roaring crowd of locals.

And it showed that the president, who often obsesses about crowd size and fame while speaking in hyperbolic superlatives, would not drop those traits even amid hurricane cleanup. He praised his Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, Brock Long, for becoming “famous” during his frequent TV appearances, talked repeatedly about the historic nature of the storm and marveled at adoring Texas residents who greeted him…

The trip was a surreal presidential journey around the edge of a disaster zone in which the waters are still rising. The body of a Houston police officer who drowned trying to get to work was recovered while Trump was on the ground, and thousands continued to pile into shelters across the state, displaced from their homes for months.

Officials predicted years of recovery and billions in damage, and rescue efforts in some areas were barely underway, meaning the death count could quickly rise…

Trump, aides said, was determined to make a visit early. He had even pushed to come before Tuesday, one adviser said, wanting to be on the ground as quickly as possible. From Washington, he began giving administration officials assignments and told his entire Cabinet “that everyone is focused on this,” one senior administration official said.

Advisers saw the storm as a way for Trump to show decisive leadership. While the famed germophobe has never shown a streak of being the consoler-in-chief, these people said the hurricane gives his government a chance to show competency — and him as the chief executive of the response…

There were few interactions with people who hadn’t been screened, and the president spent far more time flying Tuesday — at least eight hours — than on the ground, where he spent about three hours. Reporters traveling with Trump saw little more than he did, often quickly whisked from rooms or away from survivors or volunteers…



Cartman in the Oval Office

Update Thank you to Adam for finding live footage of Trump’s current Cabinet meeting: