Russiagate Open Thread: Roger Stone, Wonderful Human Being

You look at him, and wonder: That is a human being?

Remember, Roger Stone got his professional start working for Tricky Dick…

Also, per TPM, this happened:

Let’s see if this MSNBC clip will embed for me…

(Well, if not, you’ll have to click on the link.)

Open Thread: #UniteTheRight, A Little Clot of Pishers

Local news in the Washington Post, “White-supremacist rally near White House dwarfed by thousands of anti-hate protesters”:

White supremacists held a rally in Washington on Sunday, and almost no one but their opponents and the police showed up.

Jason Kessler, one of the organizers of last year’s violent and deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, wanted to hold an anniversary demonstration there, but the city wouldn’t let him. So he brought his show to Washington, where he hoped 400 supporters would join him for a rally at Lafayette Square, across from the White House. Fewer than 40 turned out.

The group was met by thousands of protesters who filled their half of the leafy, seven-acre park chanting “Go home, Nazis!” “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” and “Black lives matter!” They drowned out whatever message Kessler and his small band of followers had hoped to deliver — and that was their goal.

For opponents, the day felt like a victory, albeit an often tense and angry one…

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Late-Night Horror-Farce Open Thread: Orange Is the New “Glow”

If there *is* a tanning bed — I’m agnostic on the topic — my bet would be it was a bargaining chip for Melania: I can’t possibly leave New York for exile in D.C. until… It’s the sort of just-this-side-of-reasonable demand common to any diplomatic negotiation between the corteges of a medieval baron and his third royal princess, a delaying tactic to test the sympathies of the new court. (And to make an aging monarch look slightly ridiculous, whether or not he complied.) Wasn’t there a media kerfuffle, right after the inauguration, about “Melania’s people” wanting to install an expensive professional-media-quality hair salon / makeup room in the West Wing?

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Friday Evening Open Thread: Nice ‘Work’, If You Can Get It

Every successful organization must consider the best use of their paid employees. Therefore, some are paid to show up; some are paid to stay home…

… or to go on tv and make fools of themselves…

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Saving NATO From Trump

After Donald Trump blew up the G-20 meeting, it looks like his advisors decided that shouldn’t happen at the NATO meeting.

Senior American national security officials, seeking to prevent President Trump from upending a formal policy agreement at last month’s NATO meeting, pushed the military alliance’s ambassadors to complete it before the forum even began.

The work to preserve the North Atlantic Treaty Organization agreement, which is usually subject to intense 11th-hour negotiations, came just weeks after Mr. Trump refused to sign off on a communiqué from the June meeting of the Group of 7 in Canada. (New York Times)

According to the article, which cites “European diplomats and American officials” as the sources, it was John Bolton who insisted on completing the “communiqué — renamed for the meeting as a declaration.”

All kinds of fascinating things to unpack in this. Could it be that Bolton doesn’t want to burn down the international order? And the diplomats and officials who spoke to the Times reporters know that this could upset Trump, which could lead to any number of untoward results. But most interesting is the continuing split between Trump and the government, in which Trump tries to undermine Western alliances and the government tries to preserve them or Trump cozies up to Putin and the government slams sanctions on him.

On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that now that the spectacle is over, Trump doesn’t care about outcomes, so the sources figure we might as well know what is going on.

I guess we’ll see in tomorrow’s tweet storm.

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: ‘Owning the Libs’ By Shooting Themselves

Let’s be honest — Palin, and her enablers, were the Kaposi’s sarcoma of political rot. If the GOP hadn’t already incurred a deathly infection playing games with the wrong ideologies, the whole Who-Can-Be-the-Loudest-Ignoramus fad would never have taken hold so violently…

Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted anything online to quote unquote own the libs,” President Trump’s Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley recently asked a crowd of high schoolers. Most of the teens in the audience raised their hands, then exploded into uproarious applause. “I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good,” Haley continued, “But step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this — are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading?”

It would be ironic for a Trump official to admonish the youth for inflammatory political tactics if irony hadn’t died in 2016. But with Haley’s utterance of the phrase IRL, the concept of “owning the libs” officially went mainstream…

To own the libs is to partake in the pettiest of culture wars. But moreover, to own the libs is to own yourself, no matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on. As comedian Patrick Monahan, an early adopter of the meme, tells Rolling Stone, owning the libs is “laughing as you post ‘Trump is still your President’ memes in Facebook threads while the bank forecloses on your farm. It comes down to a need for community and some kind of cultural ‘win’ [for the right] since they perceive culture to be against them at all times.”

The actual actions that yield successful lib-ownage vary.

“The funny thing about owning the libs is that it’s textbook performative virtue signaling, from people who say they hate that,” Monahan says…

To be fair, right-wing culture warriors made fools of themselves for the sole purpose of pissing off the left long before the rise of social media. After France declined to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, George W. Bush supporters protested the country by purchasing bottles of French wine and dumping them out in the streets of New York and tried to rebrand French fries as “freedom fries.”
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