Saturday Morning Easy Layups Open Thread: Three Great American Pastimes, Spoiled

Pizza, football, and arguing about value for money — there is nothing John Schnatter can’t make nastier. Since my life ethos has involved never living where there wasn’t adequate pizza delivery available, my only prior knowledge of “Papa John’s” involved its founder making a public fool of himself over the Affordable Care Act back in 2012…

According to “Papa” John Schnatter, the cost of providing health insurance for all of his pizza chain’s uninsured, full-time employees comes out to about 14 cents on a large pizza. That’s less than adding an extra topping and a third the price of an extra pepperoncini. If you want that piping hot pie delivered, the $2 delivery fee will cost you 14 times as much as that health insurance price hike.

“We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry,” Schnatter said on a conference call with shareholders last week, as reported by Politico. “If Obamacare is in fact not repealed, we will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare costs and core strategies to pass that cost onto consumers in order to protect our shareholders’ best interests.” …

Twitter users were quick to respond to Schnatter’s latest tantrum:

David Roth, at Deadspin, “The NFL’s Stupid Pizza Wars Were Always Coming”:

If Trump has one single accomplishment as President, it is how thoroughly he’s revealed extremely rich people as being not somehow braver or smarter or more disciplined than the rest of us but somehow exactly the opposite—consumed by pettiness, enslaved by vanity, and perfectly willing to fuck important things up in order to make some point to themselves and their rancid peers.

If you understand this, then there was nothing really that surprising about flame-retardant Italianate foodstuff impresario Papa “John” Schnatter blaming his company’s declining profits on the NFL’s inability to successfully quash its nascent protest movement. It was a little startling, of course, because of how ridiculous it was, but it was less startling than it would have been two years ago. That the statement happened to be obviously incorrect should have been taken as a given.

The speculation that Schnatter might have been put up to this gambit by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seems like a bit much at first, until you remember that the phrase “a bit much” no longer applies. So, sure: Schnatter, the boss of the NFL’s Official Pizza Sponsor, took a shot at the leadership of the NFL commissioner at the behest of the vengeful Petro-Creature that owns the Dallas Cowboys, who is of course also Schnatter’s personal friend and an owner of at least 100 Papa John’s franchises, because the aforementioned Petro-Creature is upset about Goodell’s suspension of his star running back. Sure. Absolutely. Everything is this stupid, now…

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AND YET IT GETS EVEN STUPIDER!

Truly, we are living in the dumbest timeline.



The Military Stand Up For Their Principles

It’s been remarkable how the generals have continued to stand up for equality and respect under the torrent of bigotry pouring from Trump’s mouth. Here’s one more, the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy.

Watch the whole thing. This guy really means what he says.

And open thread.



Monday Morning Open Thread: The Toddler Files

As I mentioned Sunday morning, I’ve got an old friend visiting from out of town, so my participation here is liable to be (even more!) spotty and unreliable this week. Think of it as a chance to rack up some TBogg comment units (500+ on a thread), and to read some of the longer projects available:

The point of the [original April 25] tweet was to push back on the occasional impulse by Very Serious People to claim that some speech or act by Donald Trump proved that he was “growing into the presidency.” The hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts has been examining Trump’s words and actions for the 2016 presidential campaign and thought this was nonsense. Hence the tweet.

The thing is, it quickly became clear that the evidence that Trump was not growing into the presidency was hiding in plain sight. Barely a week or even a day could pass without someone with access to Trump telling the news media in no uncertain terms the ways in which he was unfit for office. So I decided to keep adding to the thread…

… While Twitter followers can find the thread when I add to it, the functionality of Twitter is not ideal for finding it. Therefore, I have decided to curate this thread here at Spoiler Alerts as well. Below are all the tweets in this thread, in order. Every week I will update this post to include any additional tweets…

One last point: All I’m doing is curating these stories. The real credit goes to the myriad reporters who have wrested these anecdotes and quotes from individuals who, in all likelihood, genuinely want this president to succeed. Yet, in their heart of hearts, they know that the commander in chief of America’s armed forces has the oppositional nature of a 3-year old…

Most recent, so far:


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Apart from being eternally grateful to the Republican Party for wishing this stunted monster on the rest of us, what’s on the agenda as we begin another (hopefully slow news) week?



Late Night Open Thread: The Higher Climbs the Monkey…

the more he shows his arse. Back when Trump was just another NYC real estate developer, he could make noisy promises of generosity — even muscle his way into a ceremony intended to honor actual donors to a nursery for children with AIDS — and never have to spend a dime of his own ill-gotten loot.

But now that he’s “President”? The Hounds of Media Hell are forever all up in his business, led by the Washington Post‘s fearless David Fahrenthold. Note the extremely legalistic wording —“Trump announces recipients for his $1 million donation for Hurricane Harvey relief”:

President Trump gave $1 million of his own money to charities helping the Houston area recover from Hurricane Harvey, splitting the gift among 12 nonprofits, the White House announced Wednesday.

The gift had been promised late last week. In a statement, the White House said that Trump and first lady Melania Trump had witnessed some of these charities at work firsthand during their two visits to areas of Texas hit by the hurricane, which was the biggest rainstorm recorded in the history of the continental United States.

The White House said other recipients were “recommended, at the invitation of the President, by members of the White House Press Corps,” the White House statement said.

The two biggest individual gifts were given to large, mainstream charities: the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army would get $300,000 each, the White House said.

The next-largest gifts went to charities associated with Christian ministries.

The White House said Trump would give $100,000 to Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian aid agency run by Franklin Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham. Franklin Graham has been a key political supporter of Trump’s

It was not immediately clear, from the White House’s statement whether the charities had received the donations or whether the checks would arrive in the coming days.

Before last summer, Trump had a long record of making pledges to give his personal money to charity but an uneven record of fulfilling them…

Since I can’t have my first wish — that Trump disappear from public purview and is never heard of again, except by the unfortunates who have to guard his cell and/or share his golf outings — I will enjoy every single second as Trump gets prodded to put his money where his mouth is. Solely for (my) entertainment purposes, some timeline-via-tweets below the fold..
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Rooting for Injuries Open Thread: Mitch McConnell vs. Trump

There’s at least one Repub happy about Friday’s news TrumpDump, and that person is the Senate Majority Leader, who has been given a respite to retreat into his shell. At TPM, Josh Marshall says “Trump Is Killing McConnell in Kentucky”:

McConnell is down at 18% approval. But Trump has a 60% approval rating in the state. If voters are upset with McConnell’s dogged efforts to repeal Obamacare, why is Trump doing so well? Or is it that McConnell failed to repeal Obamacare? And Good Lord, how can Mitch McConnell have a 74% disapproval rating?…

… McConnell appears to be getting hit badly on multiple fronts. He’s clearly taking a hit from those who opposed the effort to get rid of Kynect/Obamacare, a group which includes a lot of Republicans. But he’s also taking a big hit as the guy who failed to deliver repeal for Trump and the GOP. He’s getting it from both sides. The latter is intensified greatly by the fact that Trump has been repeatedly attacking McConnell and suggesting he should be replaced.

Remember, this is a very red and a very pro-Trump state. Trump had his 5th highest margin of any state in Kentucky – 62.52%. His ‘brand’ has been able to sail above his support for a bill that Kentuckians strongly opposed. This makes sense in a lot of ways. Trump is more a political brand than a set of policy proposals. And legislative leaders always take more hits for unpopular legislation. But it’s not hard to see an ominous pattern here for Republicans: Trump’s legislative failures end up causing negative responses on both sides of the political spectrum – both for what he was trying to accomplish and for having failed to accomplish it. Meanwhile, Trump’s reaction to these failures is often to attack the legislative leaders who carried the water for him in the first place. That is a rough combination…



Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Oh, Look, the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver Had A Town Hall!

I still haven’t been able to find any info on whether Trump decided to upstage Ryan with his Big Boy Great Game Adventure Speech, but would it be a surprise either way? Per Refinery29:

The Ryan town hall began 30 minutes later than originally planned to accommodate Trump’s nationwide address where he outlined a new strategy for troops in Afghanistan…

CNN extended invitations to people from Ryan’s district and selected the questions that were asked. That has led to criticism from Democrats who say the Republican Ryan has been hiding from Wisconsin voters since he hasn’t held a town hall open to everyone since October 2015.

Ryan’s Democratic challenger, Randy Bryce, said he did not receive a ticket to the event. Instead, he raised money to run a pair of television ads during the broadcast, including one where he poses three questions for Ryan to answer about health insurance, Trump, and equal pay legislation.
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Friday Morning Open Thread: First Trumps Second

Following clashes over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., the civil-rights group also will screen clients more closely for the potential of violence at their rallies, said Anthony Romero, who has been the ACLU’s executive director since 2001.

The ACLU’s Virginia branch defended the right of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other groups under the banner “Unite the Right” to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville park.

The revised policy marries the 97-year-old civil-rights group’s First Amendment work with the organization’s stance on firearms, which aligns with many municipalities and states that bar protesters from carrying weapons…

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Apart from the ongoing #Resistance, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up another exhausting week?
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Meanwhile, the Boston news stations are treating Saturday’s proposed Boston Common rally as they would a potentially dangerous weather event — which seems about right for a cascade of dirty snowflakes. Jersey barriers have been lifted into place, the Swan Boats and Frog Pond will be shut down, protestors on both sides will be kept well apart, and both food and clothing vendors are banned (no snacks for looky-loos, and no giant displays of offensive ‘memorabilia’). And kudos to the goog people doing ‘protest training’, and to WCBV/Ch5 for covering them: