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?

Open Thread: This Is the Dumbest Timeline

… At least, it’s not only dumber than I ever imagined, it’s dumber than I could have imagined. And I’m supposed to have a pretty good imagination!

Context for the top pic:

Of course, when its “Dear Leader” is that dumb-stubborn, the Base is going to double down…
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Late Night Eugenics Open Thread: Why Are There So Many Skunks At Every ‘Conservative Intellectual’ Garden Party?

It took just 80 minutes after racially incendiary emails started flying for the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank, to shut down an email Listserv connecting hundreds of high-profile conservatives.

The emails that sparked the controversy began ricocheting midday Tuesday, in response to a plea from Darren Beattie, a recently fired speechwriter for President Donald Trump, for “those on this list with media influence” to come to his defense. The White House over the weekend dismissed Beattie after CNN revealed that he had spoken at a conference alongside a racial provocateur.

Charles Johnson, an alt-right provocateur and Trump loyalist, was first to respond.

“Beattie’s offense is that he spoke at an event where — gasp! — there were white nationalists afoot!” Johnson wrote the group. “Heaven forbid that some thinkers — like the American founders who favored our country be majority white — think that the U.S. of A should stay majority white! Perish the thought. Can’t have that.”

A little more than an hour later, as senior administration officials and white-shoe lawyers asked to be removed from the list, the Claremont Institute had scuttled it entirely.
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Sad, Low Energy Late-Night Open Thread: Rallying the Deplorables, Disappointing the Rest of Us

From early reports, looks like the biggest news from the rally is that it was a bog-standard Trump rally — no epic meltdowns, no mention of the day’s earlier events. SAD!

Biggest takeaway that I can see: Trump *is* still capable of pulling himself together to get through another one of his Greatest Hits Arena Shows, like any other professional performer on auto-pilot. Bad news for the rest of the Repub criminals… it’s gonna be that much harder to convince anyone outside The Base that “we” need to take away Granpa’s car keys & checkbook if the old man can fumble convincingly through a competency performance in front of a sympathetic judge.

Ah, well, we all live with our little disappointments…

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Conspiracy Fantasists Open Thread: War to the Little Death

Hitting ’em where it hurts…


Notice the division here: On one side, those trying (at various degrees of earnestness) to use the Qanon flock to further promote their own celebrity; on the other, those — like Barr and Schilling — who just enjoy the warm bilious glee of being among Those Who Know.

It’s a war between the Profiteers and the Believers. And, IMO, it’s just one facet of the current war of all-against-all that’s currently roiling the whole real, serious Republican party.

The Buzzfeed post Betty linked earlier is actually a pretty good overall explainer, and Ryan Broderick ‘follows the breadcrumbs’:

While it’s almost impossible to prove who started QAnon, there is some evidence that it was meant to be a prank all along. And more importantly, it’s looking more and more likely that QAnon is actually a prank by leftists or anarchists to make the far-right look deranged.
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Late Night Open Thread: Nuisance Beavers

According to people who know these things, castor glands are not anal glands, and castoreum’s “fruity, vanilla scent” means it’s got a long history as a food additive. Right now, I’m just as happy I’m not a drinker.

Speaking of nuisance beavers…