Everyone Loves A Parade!

A self-absorbed autocrat is planning a military parade for his capital. “We’re going to show the people as we build up our military,” he said. Heavy equipment on the streets and aircraft overhead.

 

Oh wait. It is unclear what role he would play, whether he may perhaps serve as a grandmaster or observe the spectacle from a reviewing stand.

 

Moving right along…

It’s – you guessed it – our own American President wanting to do the most American thing ever, show people that his, um, military is bigger than everyone else’s. He’s been stewing about this ever since Emmanuel Macron bested him at the handshake game and then threw THE BEST MILITARY PARADE EVAH for Trump and Melania. And North Korea may be planning one for Thursday, to get their own jump on the Olympics.

 

Open thread!

 



Schadenfreude Read: “Shutdown threat tanks West Wing morale”

They knew he was a scorpion when they took him to their bosoms. Politico sympathizes, even if the rest of us refuse to do so:

The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency is coming to a close with administration officials exhausted and uncertain after two extraordinary weeks of chaos, even by the standards of this White House.

The drama underlines a fundamental truth about Trump’s presidency: The faces may change, but it seems the storyline never does.

Nearly six months after retired Marine Gen. John Kelly took over from former Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as chief of staff, the president is as undisciplined as ever. That’s sent morale in the West Wing plunging to new depths, according to more than half a dozen current and former White House officials and outside advisers.

The current upheaval comes as senior administration officials are weighing whether to leave their jobs or stay in the government…

After ending 2017 with the passage of a sweeping rewrite of the tax code, White House officials had hoped to return from their holiday breaks refreshed and refocused. Instead, they’ve been thrust into yet another real-life game of Whac-A-Mole, forced to deal with an explosive tell-all book; racially charged remarks by the president that upended negotiations over an immigration deal; and now the prospect of a government spending crisis.

Some West Wing staffers are dealing with their frustration by keeping their heads down and focusing on the issues over which they have control. As a result, the White House is becoming increasingly siloed, with policy staffers separated from the top brass in the West Wing…

People close to the Trump administration argue staffers are just feeling the wear and tear of jobs that routinely involve working 12- to 15-hour days.

“This has nothing to do with a particular president, it has more to do with the fact that these are all-encompassing jobs,” said American Conservative Union head Matt Schlapp, whose wife, Mercedes, works in the West Wing and who regularly speaks with the president and other top staffers.

The White House declined to comment…

Anyone check Hair Fuhrer’s tweetstream?

“And in the meantime… “…



The Secret For Comedy Is….

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

Timing:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided to postpone its session on nuclear attack preparedness next week. Much attention had been drawn to the timing of the agency’s session, which was publicized just days after President Trump touted the size of his nuclear button compared with North Korea’s.

That’s via Sheila Kaplan in yesterday’s New York Times.

Scheduled for January 16, the session was to be on “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation”

It was intended, as the Times reported the week before:

for doctors, government officials, emergency responders and others whom, if they survived, would be responsible for overseeing the emergency response to a nuclear attack.

And, certainly, such a meeting was well within the CDC’s purview:

“While a nuclear detonation is unlikely,” the C.D.C. wrote on its website,which included a picture of a mushroom cloud, “it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps. Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness.”

The agenda for the disaster session included “Preparing for the Unthinkable,” “Road Map to Radiation Preparedness” and “Using Data and Decision Aids to Drive Response Efforts.”

In the event, the agency swapped out this session for one on the flu.  CDC staffers made a decent argument for the swap:

“To date, this influenza season is notable for the sheer volume of flu that most of the United States is seeing at the same time, which can stress health systems,” the agency said. “The vast majority of this activity has been caused by influenza A H3N2, associated with severe illness in young children and people 65 years and older.”

But it’s hard to shake the sense, as Kaplan hints in her story on the switch, that der Hair Führer’s fee-fees may have been involved:

The C.D.C.’s announcement that it was holding a nuclear preparation workshop drew widespread media coverage and embarrassed the public health agency. It also gave ammunition to administration critics who believe that the president is bringing the country closer to a nuclear Armageddon.

And now, Hawaii!

Timing.

And with, over to y’all. Open thread, I guess, though here’s a question to get things going:  How’s it all going to end. Fire? Or ice? (Preferably w. several fingers of good bourbon poured over it.)

Image: Jan Fyt, Mushroomsbefore 1650.



Late Night Idiocracy Open Thread: SPRINGTIME FOR ‘SHERIFF’ ARPAIO

If you thought the ‘Oprah for President 2020, or Not’ fooferaw was silly, pardoned felon Joe Arpaio has a bridge candidacy to sell you!


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Open Thread: The 2017 Bitcoin Adventure

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
.

Bitcoin prices climbed back above the $15,000 mark Saturday following a steep decline Friday when the cryptocurrency shed about a third of its value.

Bitcoin, which is known to be extremely volatile, sank below $11,000 at one point Friday, according to data from CoinDesk.com.

Prices had approached $20,000 as recently as a week ago….

I’ll concede that Bitcoin is as “rational” as any other highly speculative investment, but dear trickster god the stories…

Problem is, even if cryptocurrency is the most rational method of storing value, it’s being developed / used by human beings, who (per all historical records) may not be…


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Late Night Russiagate Open Thread: He’s Doing This for Future About-to-Be Indicted Presidents!

Raise your hand if you’re old enough to remember still-nominally-President Nixon, at the height of the Watergate investigation, insisting that he was only stonewalling release of various CREEPster conspiratorial documents and RNC receipts to professional bagmen because he “feared” setting a precedent that would “unduly restrict” the actions of future Oval Office residents. The rest of you can easily infer that the tactic didn’t work — but also, it was widely mocked at the time, even by otherwise sympathetic centrist-right critics.

If the squatting Oval Office Occupant’s legal team is trying the same tactic, I’m convinced that (a) They’re desperate enough to be reading up on Watergate, and (b) They’re not smart enough — or have so few other choices available — that “trying the case in the media” has become their last resort.

Part of a most informative twitter thread from Renato Mariotti, who is a lawyer, and from all reports a damned good prosecutor:


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“Southern Heritage” Open Thread: Roy Moore’s Rebel Yawps

If your social media this morning seems to include an awful lot of rude / despairing comments about Alabama, there are reasons. The resentful Confederate revanchists let their filters take the night off, and the results were… pretty much what you’d expect, all crammed together at one busy rally. Buzzfeed reports, “Roy Moore’s Last And Weirdest Campaign Event“:

Roy Moore’s closing argument was an airing of grievances.

In his first appearance on the campaign trail in nearly a week, the Senate candidate in Alabama complained bitterly about how he’s been treated by the media, by supporters of his Democratic opponent, and by establishment Republicans. And, facing allegations of sexual misconduct that could cost him Tuesday’s special election here, he lashed out again at his accusers.

“I want you to understand this,” said Moore, who’s been accused of making sexual advances on a minor, sexually assaulting a 16-year-old, and pursuing romantic relationships with other teens. “The Washington Post put out this terrible, disgusting article, saying I had done something. I want you to understand something. They said these women … had not come forward for nearly 40 years, but they waited until 30 days before this general election to come forward.”…

The Election Eve rally inside a special events barn in southeast Alabama featured a lineup of right-wing speakers, headlined by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert and Steve Bannon, the Breitbart executive chairman and former chief strategist for President Donald Trump. But Kayla Moore’s comments — and her husband’s outrage — stood out most. Polls are all over the place in the race’s closing days, but the accusations against Moore helped turned what should have been an easy win for Republicans into a battle with Democrat Doug Jones. Moore’s frustration was evident.

At one point, he alluded to Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, a Republican who doesn’t support him and who went on CNN on Sunday to say the “Republican Party can do better.” Moore didn’t mention Shelby’s name, only that he was among the senators opposed to his candidacy. The National Republican Senatorial Committee stopped funding Moore after the accusations…

Remember, Shakedown Shelby’s gonna have to work with this gomer, should Doug Jones not eke out a well-deserved win. To quote that book Moore fans wave around (but don’t read), They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind… “

Will tuck the universally croggled observers’ tweets below the fold, so don’t say I never spared you anything…
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