Trump Crime Cartel Open Thread: Infinite Klassiness

BUT SERIOUSLY…


Corsi, Klayman, and Stone — like everyone else in Trump’s orbit — are bad people who deserve every unpleasant thing that (I devoutly hope) they are about to experience.



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Happy Thanksgiving!


 
Remember: Stretch waistbands, and nothing that has to be dry-cleaned…



I am so not surprised

Over the summer, there were plenty of headlines declaring major pharmaceutical companies either holding off on price increases or rolling back list prices on some of their drugs.

This news generated Trump positive headlines within the framework that he could convince Pharma to give better deals than anyone else. And Pharma went along as it was a cheap give until the election. And now that the election is over; shocking events have occurred.

This is the same PR play that Fortune 500 companies played last December where they rolled out regular bonus programs and attributed the cause to the tax cuts that were just passed. And then they kept on doing whatever it was that they were going to do without regard to the tax cuts. It was cheap PR and a political favor that they could bank at low cost beyond a press release.



Be A Masshole!

This is without doubt my favorite ad of the cycle.

Backstory:  In 2016, Massachusetts approved a law that adds gender identity to the list of reasons people can’t be discriminated against in public spaces.

This year, bigots opponents managed to place a question on the ballot that would repeal the law. Somewhat confusingly, the question is worded so that it takes a “yes” vote to retain the law — a quirk of drafting (perhaps deliberate) that casts some doubt on the polling that shows a two to one edge here opposed to discriminating against trans people.  I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re all good, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the following is a perfect little slice of campaign art:

Open thread, y’all.



Calling Cheryl and Adam, Impending Nuclear Holocaust Edition

Somehow I missed this kinda important story this weekend:

Donald Trump has confirmed the US will leave an arms control treaty with Russia dating from the cold war that has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades.

“We’ll have to develop those weapons,” the president told reporters in Nevada after a rally. “We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.”

Trump was referring to the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF), which banned ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500km to 5,500km. Signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, it led to nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles being eliminated, and an end to a dangerous standoff between US Pershing and cruise missiles and Soviet SS-20 missiles in Europe.

No prizes for guessing whose fingerprints are all over this measured, well thought out decision:

The Guardian reported on Friday that Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton, a longstanding opponent of arms control treaties, was pushing for US withdrawal.

There are arguments! There always are.  In this case, it’s an allegation that Russia is violating the agreement w. a cruise missile development program, and that China is looming, outside the treaty.  I’m way out of the zone of what passes for my expertise here, so I’ll leave it to Cheryl and/or Adam to weigh in on these claims. Here I’ll just note both claims have the look of assertions that are drummed into service to fill in the gaps marked “pretextual verbiage needed here” on the form providing cover for what one wants to do anyway.

That view is strengthened, I think, by the fact that there isn’t a single arms control treaty these bloody incompetents have ever liked.

Bolton and the top arms control adviser in the National Security Council (NSC), Tim Morrison, are also opposed to the extension of another major pillar of arms control, the 2010 New Start agreement with Russia, which limited the number of deployed strategic warheads on either side to 1,550. That agreement, signed by Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev, then president of Russia, is due to expire in 2021.

The early reviews for this buried, weekend news dump are what you’d expect:

Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia nonproliferation program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, said: “This is a colossal mistake. Russia gets to violate the treaty and Trump takes the blame.

“I doubt very much that the US will deploy much that would have been prohibited by the treaty. Russia, though, will go gangbusters.”

Old friend Mikhail Gorbachev adds:

Gorbachev, 87, wondered aloud: “Is it really that hard to understand that rejecting these agreements is, as the people say, not the work of a great mind.”

Concur

Gorbachev called Trump’s decision “a mistake” and “very strange.”

“Do they really not understand in Washington what this can lead to?” he asked.

Concur.

And doubly, trebly concur with this:

“All agreements aimed at nuclear disarmament and limiting nuclear weapons must be preserved, for the sake of preserving life on earth,” he added, per the Times.

This is the true measure of the GOP betrayal of America.  They knew who Donald Trump was long before he became President. They knew — hell the candidates, Cruz and Graham and the rest said so out loud — that he was the last person you’d want near the nuclear button.  And yet when the choice came down to tax cuts and an anti-abortion SC vs the safety and security of the United States…

They all got in line.  We, and the world, are in ever deeper peril as a result.

Oh — and one more thing? How is this not a huge story? Republican maladministration wants Europe back on a hair trigger?  I’m looking at the New York Times home page and it isn’t there.  Our media iz not lerning.

Image: Simone del Tintore (attr.), Still Life with Mushrooms, Fruit, a Basket of Flowers and a Catbefore 1708.



Friday Morning Open Thread: If We’re Lucky…

BS master-dealer gets high on his own supply. From the NYTimes, “Trump Sees a ‘Red Wave’ Where His Party Sees a Red Alert”:

During a discussion about his party’s legislative high points this year with a small group at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week, Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, expressed a new concern about an old habit of President Trump’s.

The many “distractions” generated by the president, Mr. McConnell said during the dinner, were preventing Republicans from having a coherent message for the midterm elections focused on the booming economy, according to multiple people who were briefed on the remarks.

Representative Paul D. Ryan, the House speaker, who also attended, expressed another concern — that the president’s talk with his supporters of a “red wave” in November was unfounded. All agreed that he should instead be sounding the alarm about the possibility of big Democratic gains…

Voters who are not die-hard Trump supporters may not “believe there’s anything at stake in this election,” Mr. Newhouse wrote. “Put simply, they don’t believe that Democrats will win the House. (Why should they believe the same prognosticators that told them that Hillary was going to be elected president?).”

Mr. Trump has alternately acknowledged to aides and supporters that the climate is troublesome and insisted that the worst will never happen. It is not clear that he actually believes his talk of a “red wave,” or if he is trying to will it into existence, advisers and allies say…

Some of this, of course, is poor-mouthing to gin up donations and scare the local precinct-walkers to up their efforts. But in his own clueless fashion, I think Conor Friedersdorf may have blundered into a salient point:

Consider the Trump voters who strongly gravitated toward him in the 2016 primaries because they felt so alienated by the rest of the GOP establishment; or who voted for him in the general election due to his celebrity, or his status as a political outsider, or faith that he would “drain the swamp” of a corrupt, bipartisan, establishment elite, or confidence that he would be a good “dealmaker” once in Washington, or a desire to “shake things up,” or to stoke and then revel in chaos, or because of an unusually strong or visceral dislike of Hillary Clinton…

…[I]f what you like most about the Trump presidency is watching him drive the media crazy; or reading his steady stream of combative tweets ostensibly “owning the libs”; or having a white man rather than a black man back in the White House; or seeing a president unapologetically attack Muslims, Mexicans, and NFL players; or following along to Sean Hannity’s sycophantic analysis of daily events; or believing that Trump is keeping North Korea or Iran in check? Well, all of that will continue regardless of the 2018 election.

For the subset of Trump supporters mostly in it for the “are you not entertained” spectacle, Democratic victory might even enhance their enjoyment, with their champion stepping daily into an arena filled with new villains. “Here’s the question facing the voters this fall,” talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt, a perennial Republican Party partisan, wrote recently in a Washington Post op-ed. “Do they vote to ratchet up this culture of conflict and chaos, or to return Republican legislative majorities that have figured out how to work with this most unusual of presidents?”

For at least some of the Americans who put Trump into power, revealed preference would seem to suggest their choice is: Ratchet up the conflict! As the reality-TV POTUS preps for a new season, fans want plot twists…

And us sane people have things like this to look forward to (i.e., to encourage us to keep fighting for every vote)…



Horrorshow Open Thread: A Million Little Miniver Cheevys

Hey, look at Manson from Carlson’s point of view: A white guy with nothing but his own charisma and a big dream was able to rise to the top of an internationally known organization, get more cute white chicks than he had time for, make himself a permanent place in the history books.

Okay, maybe some of his publicity ideas were a little… in advance of their time. But you never saw Charles Manson whining about “oppression”, didja? He was a guy who saw a problem and took the initiative to solve it, without waiting around for the Nanny State to rescue him!

Of course, Carlson can’t actually remember Charles Manson’s ‘helter skelter’ — or much of anything about that period, or most of the rest of the history he’s lived through, if his words are any indication.

Why do so many white men, not all of them overprivileged halfwits like Tucker, assume they’d have been any happier in an era where they’d only have been competing against each other for the top slots?

I mean, sure, it would’ve cut the number of potential competitors down considerably, but does Tucker Carlson really assume his natural talents have been insufficiently rewarded even as it is?