Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Look, See CPAC 2017 — See CPAC Run!

Yes, the American Conservative Union’s combination trade show and meat market is cheesy and ludicrous when it’s not revolting, but on the other hand, the President-Asterisk and the people actually running his administration are in attendance

Jennifer Jacobs, at Bloomberg, “Bannon Rallies Conservatives for ‘Economic Nationalist Agenda’“:

President Donald Trump’s top advisers girded conservative activists for battle with the nation’s political and media establishments to deliver his campaign agenda of trade protection, immigration limits and a shrinking of government regulation.

“Every day is going to be a fight,” Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, said. “We want you to have our back.” He warned that “the corporatist, globalist media” are “adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has.”…

Vice President Mike Pence reinforced Bannon’s us-against-them rhetoric when he took the stage Thursday evening.

“The media, the elites, the insiders, everybody else who profits off of preserving the status quo, they dismissed our president every step of the way,” Pence said. “And in dismissing him, they also dismissed millions of the hard-working, forgotten men and women who make this country great. And worse yet, they’re still trying to dismiss him. They’re still trying to dismiss all of us.”

Bannon, Priebus and Pence assured the thousands of activists that Trump wouldn’t back down from his campaign promises. Pence said, “We’re in the promise-keeping business these days.” Bannon said he’s proud that Trump has refused to moderate his message or to give any ground on delivering on his campaign commitments…

Although Trump was ridiculed at last year’s CPAC conference by rival presidential candidates and skipped the gathering to campaign elsewhere, prominent members of his administration this year dominate program…

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway also talked to the group Thursday. Other Trump administration officials scheduled to speak include Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency; deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka; and Andrew Bremberg, director of Trump’s Domestic Policy Council. Trump is set to address the gathering on Friday…

Rosie Gray, at the Atlantic, on “The Bannon-Priebus Buddy Act“:

While a suit-clad Priebus offered standard fare about taxes and regulation, Bannon, in khakis and no tie, went in a different direction. His appearance was a reminder of how unusual it is that Bannon, whose career in politics thus far had consisted of aggressive opposition not just to the left but to establishment Republicans in Priebus’s mold, has ascended in such a short period of time to the highest levels of power in the White House.
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Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Ya Think?

Liberal organizers, actually (for the distinction between activists & organizers, see Al Giordano’s twitter feed), who are doing very much what the Tea Party Talibangelicals did in 2009, only without the generous support of the Kochs or the Mercers. More power to them (us)!
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Apart from pissing off the Mango Menace, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Small Ray of Sunshine Open Thread: Is Trump Making Reporting “Sexy” Again?

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Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.”
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During “normal” times, people tend to regard the press as, at best, a bunch of prying busybodies, and at worst a pack of tattle-tales. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) But for a brief shining moment after Watergate (and not, I would add, necessarily to the benefit of the profession), investigative reporters were swashbuckling young rebels who brought down an evil cabal which had threatened the very foundations of our democracy. Since some people mistook the movie version of All the President’s Men for a documentary, earnest suburban youngsters with adequate SATs dreamed of becoming the next Robert Redford Bob Woodward or Dustin Hoffman Carl Bernstein. Journalism became a credential-requiring career, not just a job for oddballs too literate for the factory floor and too stubborn or damaged to climb into the better white-collar ranks.

But if Trump and his handlers, on both sides of the Atlantic, are determined to reenact Watergate (second time as farce!), maybe we’ll at least get an influx of bright young minds interested in actual investigative reporting, as opposed to cocktail-party scrumming to join the ranks of the Media Village Idiots…


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Monday Evening Open Thread: Oh Canada

Today, we are all Justin Trudeau. (Explanation of actual news photo here)
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Apart from remaining extremely skeptical, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
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America’s Food Sourcers: The Common Clay of the New West

Actually, I don’t think the farmers in the following articles are idiots — they’re just ideologues. To the point of religious obsession. Sure, superior people like us are motivated by monetary rewards, but you can’t expect dumb minimum-wage workers to respond to such refined incentives!…

From the NYTimes, another sad story of Trump supporters who took him seriously-not-literally — “California Farmers Backed Trump, but Now Fear Losing Field Workers“:

MERCED, Calif. — Jeff Marchini and others in the Central Valley here bet their farms on the election of Donald J. Trump. His message of reducing regulations and taxes appealed to this Republican stronghold, one of Mr. Trump’s strongest bases of support in the state.

As for his promises about cracking down on illegal immigrants, many assumed Mr. Trump’s pledges were mostly just talk. But two weeks into his administration, Mr. Trump has signed executive orders that have upended the country’s immigration laws. Now farmers here are deeply alarmed about what the new policies could mean for their workers, most of whom are unauthorized, and the businesses that depend on them.

“Everything’s coming so quickly,” Mr. Marchini said. “We’re not loading people into buses or deporting them, that’s not happening yet.” As he looked out over a crew of workers bent over as they rifled through muddy leaves to find purple heads of radicchio, he said that as a businessman, Mr. Trump would know that farmers had invested millions of dollars into produce that is growing right now, and that not being able to pick and sell those crops would represent huge losses for the state economy. “I’m confident that he can grasp the magnitude and the anxiety of what’s happening now.”…

Dude, the old man can barely grasp how to work a light switch. You think he cares about your troubles, now that he’s sitting in the Oval Office (possibly in the dark)?
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Open Thread: Jason Chaffetz – A Putz’s Progress

And then young comer (just ask him!) Jason-in-the-House had a town hall back in Utah, and it… did not go well…

Rep. Jason Chaffetz tried to respond to questions, but many of his answers went unheard. The din of the hostile and harassing audience that filled the 1,000 seats of a high school auditorium Thursday night drowned him out.

“Explain yourself,” they roared over him.

When the congressman did get a chance to speak, the crowd often didn’t like what he had to say. And he knew it.

The town-hall meeting was 75 minutes of tense exchanges between Chaffetz and residents from across the state. They were frustrated by the Utah Republican’s refusal to investigate President Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest. They doggedly pursued him for his initiatives to transfer or sell public lands. They questioned his position on immigration and refugees.

And that’s was only half of the largely liberal crowd.

About 1,500 people stood outside Brighton High School, too far back to make the cut, their signs reading, “Do your job” and “America is better than this.”…

In the auditorium, at least 20 seats were empty. A fire marshal opened the event by noting that those would not be filled “because of the situation outside.” Chaffetz heard the announcement and paced across the bare stage, acknowledging the lack of space and holding the microphone at his side when the noise got to be too much…
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Open Thread: It’s All Fun & Games to the Repubs


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The Repub response, fronted by the “leader of the smart Congressional conservatives”:

Sen. Tom Cotton and Georgia Sen. David Perdue have started taking steps to crack down on legal immigration, a focus shared by the Trump administration, per Politico. They’ll formally propose legislation on the matter as soon as today. The details:

– Eliminates multiple avenues for U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members for green cards.
– Gets rid of the diversity visa lottery, which allots 50k visas per year for citizens of countries with low levels of immigration to the U.S.
– Restricts the number of refugees allowed into the country to 50k annually, similar to rates outlined in Trump’s travel ban.
– If approved, the number of legal immigrants allowed into the U.S. under the bill would plummet by 40% in the first year and by 50% over the next 10 years, according to Cotton’s aides.

Of course, count on Rep. Steve ‘Pig Muck’ King to lunge for the moral sub-sub-basement, just to stay in contention for Worst Congresscritter…

Don’t think you can call this behavior “normal”, but it’s become the Republican standard.