Repub Horrorshow Open Thread: A Clown Car Full of Pennywises

The entire Republican party has devolved into an authoritarian cult where aging white men vow to destroy the world to protect the purity of their essence. And now everybody within earshot of the national news knows it!

Mr. Charles P. Pierce, “I am living in the middle of a pornographic Allen Drury novel—Advise And Lack Of Consent:

Anybody who tells you that they know what happens next is lying. So far, El Caudillo Del Mar-A-Lago is making brave noises. Senator Dianne Feinstein wants all hearings into the nomination postponed until an FBI investigation into this mess is concluded but, at the moment, there’s no stomach for what an FBI investigation might reveal. Senator Mitch McConnell, who warned the White House that Kavanaugh would be a tough sell, knew about the Ramirez allegations a week ago, so it is fair to assume that, whatever else may be out there, he already knows it, and yet he told the Values Voters Summit last week that he was going to “plow on through” with the nomination, which is a very unfortunate metaphor in this context. In addition, McConnell’s response to the news that the latest allegations were going to come up was to try and put the nomination into hyperdrive. However, McConnell is also pragmatist enough to know when to cut bait. If the Republicans decide to pull this nomination, it has to happen early in the week. Waiting until Wednesday—or, worse, until Thursday, when Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee—is completely untenable…

Fox News reporter:

Read more

Our Failed Legacy Media Open Thread: Infinite, Fractal, Recursive Fvckup-ery!

Fortunately, the attempt to defenestrate Rod Rosenstein seems to be going nowhere — for the moment. But what in the name of Murphy the Trickster God could the NYTimesmen responsible for starting this rumor have been thinking?

Read more

Kavanaught the Diligent & His GOP Defenders

(Tom Toles via

When Kavanaugh was first announced as Trump’s personal SCOTUS pick, I assumed he was just another extremely average Repub apparatchik who’d spent his career trying to rise through unswerving allegiance where his natural advantages and top-tier upbringing had failed. What we knew then of his history — writing pornographic searches for Ken Starr, helping orchestrate the Brooks Brothers riot to put Dubya in the White House, assisting the Cheney regency in crafting legalistic justifications for torture — could just have been careerism, not ideology. Of course, those actions still would’ve made him no more eligible for a slot on the Supreme Court than I am, but at least he could’ve passed for A Good Man, under sufficiently relaxed circumstances…

Guess I should’ve trusted professional GOP operative Rick Wilson: Everything Trump touches dies.

And it looks like the Repubs are going all in on sending the remaining shreds of their credibility down the crapper along with Kavanaugh’s reputation.

(Drew Sheneman via

Read more

Every Man His Own Master Open Thread: Crypto-Anarchy Now!

It’s always projection with this guys, isn’t it? Per the Austin Statesman:

Austin police are working with international authorities to bring Cody Wilson, an Austin man at the center of a debate about 3D-printed guns, back to the country from Taiwan to face a sexual assault charge filed in Travis County on Wednesday…

Wilson missed a scheduled flight back to the United States and is thought to have left the country after a friend of the 16-year-old sexual assault victim told him that police were investigating him, Officer said…

The affidavit said a counselor called Austin police on Aug. 22 to report that a girl under the age of 17 told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man on Aug. 15 and was paid $500.

In a forensic interview on Aug. 27, the girl told authorities that she created an account on, and began exchanging messages with a man who used the username “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said…

“During this conversation, ‘Sanjuro’ identified himself as ‘Cody Wilson.’ Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’ ” the affidavit said.

Investigators compared the profile photos used on the account to Wilson’s driver’s license photo, and determined that they were of the same person, the affidavit said…

Of course, there’s an argument to be made that 16-year-olds ought to be able to trade sex for money, and I’m sure that argument is already being shared by Wilson’s defenders. On the other hand, when a man already has a page on the SPLC’s Hatewatch list…

Cody Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of Defense Distributed, a company which operates in the gray area between the gun manufacturing world and the online maker community, and he is the creator of Hatreon, a racist “alt-right” crowdfunding site…

… is performing transactions on really the mark of a Genius Brain?

Extra bonus Captain Obvious points:

Open Thread: Trump Firmly Cements His “Worst President Ever” Status

You better believe, I blame the entire Republican party. And so will Sekhmet, Goddess of Consequences.

Read more

That Op-Ed, Continued

While I take a measure of relief that we now appear to be closer to the beginning of the end than to the end of the beginning, I have some big concerns about that New York Times op-ed by “a senior administration official.”

My concerns are very much like David Frum’s.

Speak in your own name. Resign in a way that will count. Present the evidence that will justify an invocation of the 25th Amendment, or an impeachment, or at the very least, the first necessary step toward either outcome, a Democratic Congress after the November elections.

Clearly this is related to yesterday’s revelations from Bob Woodward’s book. The author of the op-ed may even have contributed to Woodward.

But the author is trying to preserve his/her reputation: I am being a good Republican, helping to execute good Republican policies. I am keeping the country safe from a dangerous president.

That’s a lot of responsibility to take on. The president is elected; the author has been appointed by that president and tells us that he is undermining that president. In the telling, the president is further undermined.

What did the author expect to be the next step? Donald Trump is reported to have freaked out over the Woodward revelations and have started searching for the leakers. This will turbocharge that search. James Jesus Angleton became convinced that there was a Russian mole in the CIA and practically destroyed the agency. Can the author of the op-ed protect us from a storm a couple of categories stronger?

There are a limited number of senior administration officials. We are likely to learn who wrote the op-ed much more quickly than we learned that Deep Throat was Mark Felt. How we will learn is hard to predict.


Republican Misinformation On Bruce Ohr

Note: Adam has already written a post on this New York Times story. I was working on this one, which comes at the issues a little differently, but there’s overlap. I decided not to change it by much. 

This is an amazing story. Amazing for its substance and for how it came to be.

Bruce Ohr is a Justice Department official whom Donald Trump has been tweeting about. Trump has linked Ohr to Hillary Clinton, Christopher Steele, and Russia. Why is Trump so concerned about a mid-level Justice Department official?

The Times story doesn’t directly address that question. But it fills in some things about Bruce Ohr. Additionally, it shows that Congressional Republicans have been using classification to invent a story that they thought couldn’t be refuted.

Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr began discussing turning Oleg Deripaska in November 2014, almost a full year before the Washington Examiner, a conservative newspaper, engaged Fusion GPS to investigate Donald Trump’s background. The dossier that Steele would later pull together for Fusion and its later client, Hillary Clinton, was nine months in the future. Read more