Late Night Open Thread: The Price of FREEDUMB!

… or, at least, a nice Medal of Freedom. Per Esquire:

Miriam Adelson won’t be the first billionaire given the nation’s highest civilian honor—most recently, then-president Barack Obama awarded it to Bill and Melinda Gates in 2016. But the Gates family and other wealthy philanthropists who’ve received the award tend to be honored for their charitable giving to the young, sick, or needy. Obama also awarded the honor to Oprah Winfrey, a vocal supporter of his presidential campaign. But supporting Democratic politics isn’t Oprah’s primary contribution to the world; she’s the first black woman to host a national daily talk show, she’s won 16 Emmys and been nominated for two Oscars, and she’s given widely to all kinds of charitable causes. Miriam Adelson, on the other hand, is known for giving big bucks to one primary recipient—the Republican Party…

And, recently, one primary recipient within the Republican Party — namely, Donald J. Trump. I assume the Medal is being awarded to Miriam and not Sheldon because Donny couldn’t be trusted not to fall on his knees in front of a successful casino mogul, and nobody wants to see that in public.

Trump’s tax cut is reported to have saved the Adelsons $700 million already, so those donations were a pretty good investment — about on a par with picking the right cash-back credit card, given the couples’ personal wealth — and the Medal of Freedom is just a shiny bauble decorating that taxpayer-funded gift.



Comic Relief Open Thread: Pwning Yourself in Front of the Whole Internet

On the one hand, I am once again very, very glad that Twitter didn’t exist when I was 20 years old. On the other hand, even then, I had a much better grasp of my own limitations.

Even Jonah ‘Doughy Pantload’ Goldberg got to kick Wohl around — in the National Review, no less!

It’s like Wohl is in his own Choose Your Own Adventure book, and every direction he goes leads him to a room where he has to punch himself in the crotch, while women he never dated point and laugh. No wonder this guy was Gateway Pundit’s ace reporter…



Saturday Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Rotten Apple Off the Poisoned Tree…

Every time you think Trump and the Repubs have hit bottom, they find a new low.

Silver lining — when they’re reduced to attacking Angus King, they’re pretty godsdamned desperate for attention…



Small Victories Open Thread: Bannon Not Doing So Well Right Now

At an unpublicized micro-rally in North Topeka, Bannon told a small gathering that a New York Times poll showing Democrat Paul Davis with a four-point lead over Republican Steve Watkins was the catalyst for his spur-of-the-moment decision to fly to Kansas.

He expects Robert Mueller to deliver a report on President Donald Trump before the end of the year. If Davis wins, Bannon said, Democrats will take control of the House and use the Mueller report as a blueprint to launch impeachment proceedings.

If the Trump base doesn’t show up next Tuesday, he said, “we’re going to lose this.”…

About 25 people attended the rally at the Holiday Inn Express on US-24 highway, including a small contingent of event organizers and individuals following Bannon for a documentary. People were notified midday by unsolicited texts that read: “Support Trump and MAGA! RED TIDE RISING RALLY with STEVE BANNON.”…

Bannon spent the day at similar events in Nevada and planned to provide motivational talks for Kris Kobach’s campaign before leaving for Iowa. Kobach, the Republican nominee for governor, is tied with Democrat Laura Kelly in consistent polling.

“Sometimes,” said Christopher Reeves, a Kansas representative to the Democratic National Committee, “you know your candidates by the people who rally to support them. Steve Bannon was worshiped and publicly praised by the American Nazi Party, David Duke and others. He once said feminism is worse than cancer. He was fired from the Trump administration for being too radical. It is clear what he believes about Steve Watkins and Kris Kobach, and that support is pretty troubling.”…



Thursday Evening: “Cognitive Scientist” Has Bad Take

My first headline was “Fails Turing Test”, but what could be human than Pinker’s assumption that a “vindictive stunt” which doesn’t affect him is just a “minor event”?

In our interconnected age, you don’t need to be a professional journalist to join the Church of the Savvy…



Open Thread: At Least We Still Have Mockery



Late Night Open Thread: Clamor

Gail Collins, in the NYTimes, “A Whole Lot of Babbling Going On”:

Elections are coming and the president is all over the place, holding rallies and talking about his priorities. Like immigration and taxes and reminding people that he won the 2016 election.

“Remember — we won Florida,” he told an audience. … “In Tennessee, I remember a great Congressman Duncan. … He said, sir, they’re coming from the hills, the valleys, people that haven’t voted for a long time because they didn’t want to vote for the people that were running for office. And they’ve got Trump banners and Trump hats and Trump tattoos. …”…

There are several lessons to be gained by watching four or five Trump rally speeches in rapid succession. Well, not enough that you’d actually want to do it. That’s what we’re here for…

Trump always brags about the size of the crowds. He claimed there was an overflow of 44,000 people outside a rally in Missouri, which, a local newspaper noted, would have meant a quarter of the city’s population had gone to the event. In Ohio, he said that if the rally had been for “one of the normal presidents,” the audience would be about “300 people.”

Back when we were normal, Barack Obama got crowds of up to 100,000 and people would get so excited they’d faint. At which point Obama would mildly suggest that someone bring over “a little water and some juice.” Sigh.

But to be fair, that was not during midterm campaigns. It’s tough going from city to city, day after day, trying to rally some excitement for the local congressional candidates. Trump has been super dedicated. And only a deep cynic would believe it’s just because he enjoys standing in front of a huge crowd and making the whole thing about him…

Look on the bright side: The more noise Trump makes right now, the more those low-info voters outside his Deplorable Base remember which party is responsible for his embarrassing shit-shows. We get our blue wave, the man’s probably gonna start trying to claim the credit. Nobody debases the GOP like Donald Trump! Every live rally broadcast encourages more Democratic turnout!