Late Night Respite Open Thread: Hapless


 
So, what happened over the weekend that wasn’t a horror story?



Open Thread: Would That We Could Be So Lucky


 
Nagah haapn, as a Repub tool once said… but here’s Jeb Lund with some red meat for the cheap seats:

Donald Trump is afraid of going to prison. Ordinarily that might seem like a silly statement: Trump is probably the most corrupt president in American history, and some of his closest bag men open the door each morning to see if the sky looks like indictments. But this is America, where the man who drafted memos arguing that torture is legal teaches law at U.C. Berkeley, and Henry “Two Genocides” Kissinger advised the Bush administration but summered with the Clintons.

And yet this might be the second time Donald Trump has gotten something right…

Trump should be and is afraid. He has no real friends in Washington that didn’t ride in on his coattails (and possibly commit a crime to do so). He has no party, save a GOP that let him loose like a bull in a china shop so they could sneak in the back and rob the safe. He has been a Democrat and he has been a Republican and he has alienated the ruling castes of both. He is not one of them, and no part of Trumpworld, post-tax-cuts, is essential to the preservation of their class’ domination of politics.

Meanwhile, for the first time in a long time, both parties have unambiguous incentives to make a show of strident anti-corruption. The Democrats — having dropped the ball on the opportunity to seek restorative justice for any of the plunder of the subprime mortgage market or even to do something as simple as sending Dick Cheney or the other architects of the Bush-era torture policy to The Hague — have a historically unsympathetic antagonist. And Republicans no longer really have the Clinton campaign to point to (though Trump tries) and need to maintain the illusion to their values-voter base that Trump is different from them (other than in his abject tastelessness)…

The moment Trump looks like he’s finished with some part of his fan base, his intraparty constituency plummets to zero. The Democrats will finally have a gimme with which to practice the arcane art of exercising state power to enforce the morals of a community. At the same time, the rump of Republicans who survive 2018 and those seeking to unseat Democrats in borderline seats in 2020 will have good reason to depict Trump as a uniquely toxic aberration that must be burned away to cleanse the rest of the party. There is no greater non-verbal distinction between the GOP and Trump than incarcerating him…

… It is not silly to demand that we realize a dream so unlikely that it clearly daily haunts the dumbest chief executive in American history: After a long list of extraordinarily deserving, very very beautiful, very very talented runners-up — from Jefferson Davis, to Warren Harding, to Richard Nixon, to Ronald Reagan, to George W. Bush — Donald Trump can become the first president from the United States to die in prison…



Late Night Mockery Open Thread: The Young & the Beautiful!!!


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Stupid Watergate Open Thread: The President’s Blame Is Missing (The Most Likely Suspect)

Yeah, let’s be honest even if that’s impossible for Republicans: The person most probably responsible for the worst leaks from this Oval Office Occupancy is named, shall we say, “John Barron”. Or maybe “Meredith McGiver”.

They’ve reached intermediate-stage Watergate levels of paranoia and we’re not even at the first midterms. Nixon is supposed to have wandered around the White House late at night, talking to the portraits of former presidents. Trump doesn’t even drink, and he’s probably already talking to the (newly installed surplus of) gilded mirrors…


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The Nobel Peace Prize Is Hard To Win – Open Thread

Today North Korea broke off a meeting with South Korea because of a military exercise coming up by South Korea, the US, and a cast of thousands. Just now,

I think I said something a few days ago on Twitter if not here, and so did Adam, that “denuclearization” did not mean what Trump and company thought it did. Now North Korea is saying it.

Will tomorrow morning’s executive time bring tweets about the fake news media, Little Rocket Man, or something else? Stay tuned.



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Ignore the Random Noise, Pay Attention to the Through-Line

Meanwhile…



Russiagate Open Thread: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Edition

In this week’s arc, a bunch of the loose threads in the sprawling Russiagate Saga seem to be coming together. Time for the re-emergence of a couple of spearcarriers from the pre-election interval!

First, a guy from the penthouse…

Per PoliticalWire’s source, ABC News:

Those interviewed included longtime Trump friend and confidant Thomas Barrack, who oversaw the fundraising effort, as well as individuals familiar with the massive inaugural fund, according to sources with direct knowledge.

Barrack, a real estate investor, has long been described as a Trump “whisperer” whose close friendship with the president landed him a prime appearance during the GOP convention the night Trump accepted his party’s nomination.

The billionaire runs a fund with hundreds of millions in real estate and private equity holdings in the Middle East. Barrack oversaw the largest inaugural fundraising effort in U.S. history, bringing in $107 million – more than double what President Barack Obama raised for his first swearing-in festivities.

According to a source who has sat with the Mueller team for interviews in recent weeks, the special counsel is examining donors who have either business or personal connections in Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Several donors with those ties contributed large sums to the non-profit fundraising entity – gifts that topped out at $1 million dollars, according to public records…


 
To a reporter-bullying self-styled street brawler…

[AT&T’s] discussions with the lobbying firm took place, shortly after Avenue was founded by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Barry Bennett, a senior adviser on the campaign. Avenue also brought on Ed Brookover, a Republican operative who helped the Trump campaign wrangle delegates at the 2016 convention, and Jason Osborne and Mike Rubino, two other senior Trump campaign hands who later founded their own lobbying firm, Turnberry Solutions.

At the time, Avenue was up-front about the value it could provide in the Trump era. “There are just so few people in Washington who know the president,’’ Lewandowski told The New York Times in February 2017. ‘‘It’s a comparative advantage.’’…