Late Night Mockery Open Thread: TRUMP v INTEL (the Neverending Battle)


Repub RatFvckery Open Thread: ‘Roger Who?

Read more

Repub Devolution Open Thread: The Loon’s A Harsh Mistress

Late to this, but boy howdy. Under previous administrations — even Ronald Reagan’s! I was paying attention then! — a meeting like this would’ve drawn endless front-page speculation / outrage. But given the Repub’s current Oval Office Squatter? *crickets*:

President Trump met last week with a delegation of hard-right activists led by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, listening quietly as members of the group denounced transgender people and women serving in the military, according to three people with direct knowledge of the events.

For 60 minutes Mr. Trump sat, saying little but appearing taken aback, the three people said, as the group also accused White House aides of blocking Trump supporters from getting jobs in the administration.

It is unusual for the spouse of a sitting Supreme Court justice to have such a meeting with a president, and some close to Mr. Trump said it was inappropriate for Ms. Thomas to have asked to meet with the head of a different branch of government…

A central focus for Ms. Hair and Ms. Thomas was administration appointments that they wanted made and that they accused the president’s aides of blocking. People familiar with the situation indicated that the people Ms. Hair and Ms. Thomas wanted hired were rejected for a range of reasons, and in at least one case someone was offered a job and declined it because the position was not considered senior enough. Another complaint was that Ms. Thomas had not actually shared the full list of people to be hired, said those familiar with the meeting.

Others attending included Frank Gaffney, the founder of the Center for Security Policy who has advocated curtailing immigration and has repeatedly denounced Muslims, and Rosemary Jenks, who works for the anti-immigration group NumbersUSA, according to the people familiar with the events…
Read more

Monday Morning Open Thread: If It Weren’t for Schaden, I’d Have No Freude At All

There are people who don’t pay attention to the news during weekends. Right now I don’t know whether to envy them, or to feel sorry for what they’re about to find out.

From the Washington Post, “Pressure on Senate Republicans to break shutdown impasse grows”:

Twenty-four days into the longest government shutdown in U.S. history and with the White House and House Democrats no closer to a deal, pressure is ramping up on Senate Republicans to craft an exit plan that will get federal employees back to work and pull their party out of a deepening political quagmire.

In a sign that Republicans are increasingly concerned that the standoff over President Trump’s long-promised border wall is hurting their party politically, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) suggested temporarily reopening the government while continuing negotiations. If talks don’t bear fruit, Graham said Sunday, the president could consider following through on his threat to bypass Congress and build the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border by declaring a national emergency…

Remember the old parable about the philosopher who avoided execution by convincing the king he could teach the king’s favorite horse to talk? Shorter Lindsey: Given a few weeks, I might be able to find a better talking point. Or everybody might get distracted by some new crisis. Or maybe the Oval Office Horse’s Arse will finally get a clue!
Read more

Decline & Fall Open Thread: Our Cosplay “President”

Despite frequent praise for the U.S. military and the appointment of military leaders to Cabinet positions, it took Trump almost half of his first term as president to visit U.S. soldiers in a conflict zone.

In contrast, Obama’s trip to Iraq took place less than three months after he was inaugurated. He would go on to visit another conflict zone, Afghanistan, twice in his second year in office. Obama’s own predecessor, President George W. Bush, had also visited Iraq less than a year after the U.S.-led invasion of the country began in March 2003…

Last week, Trump announced that these soldiers would be coming home, as the Islamic State was defeated. “Our boys, our young women, our men, they’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now. We won,” Trump said in a video message on Twitter. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced his resignation soon afterward.

But as he visited Iraq on Wednesday, Trump had a very different message — again, a real contrast to Obama’s message nine years before — for the roughly 5,200 U.S. troops deployed in Iraq. The message was that this time, there was no immediate plan to withdraw U.S. soldiers from Iraq. “In fact, we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria,” the U.S. leader added.

… “Arrogant” and “a violation of national sovereignty” were but a few examples of the disapproval emanating from Baghdad following Trump’s meeting Wednesday with U.S. servicemen and women at the al-Asad Airbase.

Trips by U.S. presidents to conflict zones are typically shrouded in secrecy and subject to strict security measures, and Trump’s was no exception. Few in Iraq or elsewhere knew the U.S. president was in the country until minutes before he left.

But this trip came as curbing foreign influence in Iraqi affairs has become a hot-button political issue in Baghdad, and Trump’s perceived presidential faux-pas was failing to meet with the prime minister in a break with diplomatic custom for any visiting head of state…
Read more