Late Night Oldies with Poor Sleep Hygiene Open Thread: ‘President’ Trump’s Big Vroom-Vroom TeeVee Show!!!

And he wouldn’t be in the White House if not for all those busy little GOP elves (and their Russian ‘assistants’). THANKS EVER SO FECKIN’ MUCH, REPUBS!

The producers of children’s television know the key to holding a distractible audience’s attention: interactivity…

It turns out you can apply the same formula to morning news. “Fox & Friends,” the three-hour wake-up program on Fox News, is an interactive magic mirror for Donald J. Trump.

President Trump is the show’s subject, its programmer, its publicist and its virtual fourth host. The stars offer him flattery, encouragement and advice. When he tweets, his words and image appear on a giant video wall. It’s the illusion of children’s TV — that your favorite show is as aware of you as you are of it — except that for Mr. Trump, it’s real.

In January the hosts, “Romper Room”–style, even pretended to be watching Potus, showing a video feed of the White House and asking him to flash the lights on and off if he was watching. (Producers added an effect of the lights flickering, a “TV trick” the hosts later acknowledged.)…

Suddenly, for no other reason than its No. 1 fan, it is the most powerful TV show in America. (It’s also easily the most-watched cable news morning show, averaging 1.6 million viewers in the year’s second quarter, following a post-Trump ratings boost.) Mr. Doocy and Mr. Kilmeade now offer strategic advice on health care legislation. Politicians use the show as a kind of virtual Oval Office pitch meeting. In turn, Mr. Trump’s live tweets set and reshape the show’s focus…

TV news has covered and worried presidents for decades, but it has never been as central to the mind-set of a president as it is to Mr. Trump: reality star, producer and cable-news junkie. But since his amour fou with CNN and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” has gone bad — he claims not to watch them anymore, yet somehow stays deeply familiar with them — he has favored “Fox & Friends,” which requites his love…

Diagraming the feedback loop between “Fox & Friends” and the president requires a very small bulletin board and maybe six inches of yarn. On July 11, the show aired a segment blaming Democrats for “obstructing” Mr. Trump’s nominees. At 6:42 a.m., it posted the segment on Twitter, and Mr. Trump retweeted it quickly. At 6:59, he tweeted… Ten minutes later, that tweet was on the “Fox & Friends” video wall, prompting the hosts to criticize the Democrats again.

“This is anti-American,” Mr. Kilmeade said.

“Well, it’s anti-Trump, ultimately,” Mr. Doocy said.

“Which is anti-American,” Mr. Kilmeade said…

When George Orwell predicted a 24/7 Big Brother video autocracy, he didn’t know it would be aimed at a four-year-old’s comprehension level. But this is America, land of FreeDUMB!

Late Night Laffs Open Thread: Young Gormless, Jr.

“… and we all thought Eric was the dumb one!”

Fred Trump’s Racehorse Theory of Superior Genes gets slapped upside the head with a dead fish, i.e., his most public grandson. (Not that his own firstborn was any bright light, but as the old saying goes: Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.)

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Monday Evening Open Thread: GOP Leaders Have “Other Priorities”


Apart from keeping in mind that half our nation’s “leadership” cares more about their current perqs than the future of the godsdamned country, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

(Some Of) The Kids Are All Right

Via my 17 y.o., who is my last link to what Da Utes T’ink, I present the winner of a Reddit photoshop competition:


‘Bout right, I’d say.

A little more goodness.  Here’s a true, heartwarming story of a boy raised right in the Levenson household.  I’m walking one day in the neighborhood with my spouse, and as we get to the local library I see an abomination parked in the lot across the street.  My gob is so smacked I have to take a picture.

Flash forward a couple of hours.  My son has just come home from a ramble round the ‘hood.  I asked him if he happened to see this amazingly awful automobile.

“The one parked by the library?” he asked.

“Yeah — I took a picture” say I.

“Me too!”

Good boy — I think.  De gustibus and all that…

…but no.  Some things are simply abominations.  Like this:

For those of us who aren’t car buffs, that’s a Porsche Cayenne.  It starts at around $60,000, and shoots up fast from there.  Which means someone out there woke up one day and thought that his or her life wouldn’t be complete without a more-than-the-US-median-family-income’s worth of pink Porsche truck.

There is a saying in the car business:  “There’s an ass for every seat.”  I rate that statement True.

(I’ll admit that this isn’t the most offensive car I’ve ever seen.  Hell, I rented a Pontiac Aztek once, and last year in LA I saw someone driving around in a fully chromed Mercedes E-class sedan, which went beyond ugly into a rolling public hazard.  But as the son of a mother who once drove twenty miles to the nearest Costco to return a case of dishwashing liquid bought in ignorance of its pink-titude, I reserve the right to loathe the above without any qualification.  I miss you, mom.)

Finally, by popular request (by at least one person here), and so as not to make this a whole post of horrors, here’s Tikka in one of his most echt poses:

And what the heck, one more, just for catness.



Y’all get the message. It’s Sunday.  The weather’s great here in the Athens of America, and low tide hits at around 6 — perfect for an evening at the beach.  For a few hours at least, the pleasures we each enjoy are ours.  The folly and worse will still be here tomorrow; sufficient unto the day and all that.

IOW:  Open thread.

Open Thread: VULGAR! (As in, ‘of the common people’)

To the fainting couches, gentlemen!…


Clutching-pearls and elbow patches at the ready!


Because TONE is more important than FACTS!


(The facts, after all, are almost never on the side of the Republicans.)

Mitch McConnell Will Not Hesitate to Abuse People with Disabilities

Literally. As long as he doesn’t have to show his face on camera, of course.

I doubt McConnell does think he’s a good guy, actually; he figures he’s defending his cushy “leadership” job, and whatever it takes to accomplish that is just fine by him.

Open Thread: “Do You Like Gladiator Movies, Donny?”

Since their domestic agenda is proving as popular as a weeping chancre at a hot-tub party, the Trump BRAINZZZ trust goes back to spinning let’s-kill-us-some-dirty-furriners fanfic…

Beginning with the account of Greek historian Herodotus, the clash, which took place in 480 B.C., has become a kind of foundation myth of Western civilization. The heroic Spartan stand — whose numbers were closer to 7,000 than 300 — in the face of the mongrel, polyglot Persian hordes is cast as a primordial act of sacrifice for the liberty of a people. The historical consensus, both among ancient chroniclers and current scholars, was that Thermopylae was a clear Greek defeat; the Persian invasion would be pushed back in later ground and naval battles. But its legacy still reverberates millennia later…

This is a powerful claim that many in the West intuitively accept: Thermopylae is the Alamo of antiquity, a doomed contest between the brave few and a gargantuan foe that stirred their compatriots to action. Had Xerxes, a Persian emperor, snuffed out all Greek resistance, then the scattered city-states on the western side of the Aegean Sea would have just become one more province of what was a vast, multi-ethnic empire…

“Ancient Sparta is proto-fascist,” Paul Cartledge, a celebrated British classicist and author of “Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World,” among numerous other works on ancient Greece, said in an interview with WorldViews.

Although the clash between Greeks and Persians may be remembered now as the battle that crystallized Western liberty, the ancient Spartans were no model democrats — even in their time. Their society was communal and militarist. It practiced early forms of eugenics and infanticide. It kept a huge slave population in thrall to its warrior elite. Some contemporary scholars even liken conditions in the city-state to a kind of apartheid…

“It’s a clash of political civilizations, it’s not a clash of religions,” Cartledge said, arguing the difference between the two sides was less cultural than it has been made out to be. “Xerxes didn’t conduct his campaign on the basis of a crusade.”

And, ultimately, for all the heroism of the Persian wars, the Greeks would turn against one another. In the wake of the Persian retreat, the rival powers of Sparta and Athens built regional alliances and mini-empires of their own and soon locked horns in three decades of ruinous conflict that spanned the Mediterranean.

“The Greeks fought each other as much they fought others,” Cartledge said…

But they looked so butch while they did!