Late Night Open Thread: All Fall Down

Every day, the Republican Party acts less like a political organization and more like a cult…



Chew on This Open Thread: April Ryan Is Not Trump’s African-American

Donald Trump tells us that he is the least racist person ever. I would say ‘Donald Trump believes he is the least racist person’, but I’m chary of putting ‘Trump’ and ‘belief’ in the same sentence.

April Ryan, incidentally, is not Donald Trump’s ‘girl’ either (in the Mad Men ‘my girl will set it up with your girl’ sense)…



Open Thread: Moving the Goalposts on Leaks, or Rearranging the Deckchairs on the Titanic?

There’s a portion of the Republican Party that’s been trying since the mid-1970s to get a “reset” on Watergate — people convinced that if not for one or two bad breaks, the American people would’ve totally understood that President Nixon only treated us like that because he loved us and knew better than we did what America really needed. The Iran-contra scandal didn’t satisfy those GOPers, because the international criminality involved was so brazen that it needed to be swept under whatever Persian rugs were available. The Cheney Regency wasn’t good, because Dubya was such a blatant fvck-up that everybody laughed at him. But time keeps passing, the original keepers of the flame are gone — President-Asterisk Trump is their last hope, dammit!!!


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Open Thread: Things Are Progressing Not Necessarily to the Trump Administration’s Best Advantage

The great blogger Billmon used to remind us, when official sources tried to obfuscate the consequences of their own incompetence, that the Emperor in 1945 is supposed to have announced Japan’s unconditional surrender by saying something like “The situation has progressed not necessarily to our kingdom’s best advantage.”

The GOP, and its handmaidens in the management suites at the Grey Lady, are attempting a similar circumlocution. The NYTimes reporters are starting to edge towards the exits, though:

For days, a frustrated and simmering president fumed inside the West Wing residence about what aides said he saw as his staff’s inadequate defense and the ineffectiveness of his own tweets. Over the objections of some top advisers who wanted to steer him away from confrontation, Mr. Trump demanded to face the media, determined to reject the narrative that his administration is sinking into chaos, scandal and incompetence.

In a rowdy, free-for-all news conference hastily staged in the East Room, Mr. Trump attempted to deflect attention from news coverage about Russian intelligence, the resignation of his national security adviser, the defeat of his labor secretary nominee, and deepening questions about his ability to govern.

“I turn on the T.V., open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos,” Mr. Trump said as he attempted — with little discipline — to read from prepared remarks listing his accomplishments since being inaugurated one month ago. “Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”…

For his supporters, the performance was certain to be energizing. Mr. Trump turned sober questions from journalists into, at times, mesmerizing television. He attempted to reassert his command of “dishonest” journalists at a time when the news media is questioning his capacity to lead. It all made the brooding boss feel better, people close to Mr. Trump said…

Still, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump’s 77-minute performance will divert much long-term attention from questions about his campaign’s relationship with Russia, or reassure wavering Republicans on Capitol Hill that their agenda is on track. Yet Mr. Trump’s close allies said he had met his more immediate goal of soothing himself with a sense of control over his own administration…

Even the NotSoLiberal Fox News!



Schadenfreude Open Thread: “Gliding Towards Nowhere”

From the NYTimes, “G.O.P.’s Grand Visions for Congress Now Look Like a Mirage“:

After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code.

The large infrastructure bill that both Democrats and Mr. Trump were eager to pursue has barely been mentioned, other than a very general hearing to discuss well-documented needs for infrastructure improvements. Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago — which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border — has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter…

At this point in Barack Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled Washington, Congress had passed a stimulus bill totaling nearly $1 trillion to address the financial crisis, approved a measure preventing pay discrimination, expanded a children’s health insurance program, and begun laying the groundwork for major health care and financial regulation bills. President George W. Bush came into office with a congressional blueprint for his signature education act, No Child Left Behind…

The inactivity stems from a lack of clear policy guidance — and, just as often, contradictory messages — from the Trump administration, which does not appear to have spent the campaign and transition periods forming a legislative wish list. Democrats have also led efforts to slow the confirmation of nominees to Mr. Trump’s cabinet who might otherwise be leading the charge.

“When you spend a lot of time talking about policy and debating policy in the presidential campaign, it is far easier to be specific about legislation when you get into office,” said Austan Goolsbee, who served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration. “President Trump spent the campaign fleshing out nothing in detail, so it’s not really a surprise that they can’t even agree on priorities, much less on actual legislative detail.”….

Nobody loves a loser, ya luzers!



Open Thread: Trumpstuntin’ Status, Moving From SNAFU to FUBAR


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Meanwhile, in another part of the galaxy…



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: How It Should Be Done


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What’s on the agenda as we buckle down for another day?