Hardcore Racists Open Thread: Another Lovers’ Spat Between Trump & Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III


Sometimes, when you’re under stress, you snap at the people around you, because you’re confident they’ll understand

“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse?” the U.S. president wrote in a tweet that was also critical of the IG, Michael Horowitz… Horowitz is investigating the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of its 2016 probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email arrangements. Trump fired FBI director James Comey last year in part, he said, because of that investigation.

Trump has repeatedly attacked and mocked Sessions and has said he wouldn’t have nominated him as attorney general if he’d known Sessions would later recuse himself from overseeing the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign…

For Sessions, the public criticism by the president is offset by a job that gives him a chance to pursue his career-long agenda of conservative positions on law enforcement issues, from restrictions on immigration to enforcement of federal laws against marijuana.

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Companies Fleeing The NRA

A number of companies have associated themselves with the NRA. Now they’ve changed their minds about that.

You might want to contact the ones that haven’t dropped out yet.  Full details here.


Update: Oh, and we need an open thread, so here it is!


Late Night [Head*Desk] Open Thread: Kelly’s “War”

Honest to Murphy, I thought Kelly’s anti-immigrant comments yesterday would finally move some dials on the “General Kelly, Strong Man Upon Whom We Depend for Sanity” media meters. But NOOOO! What’s gonna drive Kelly out of the White House — should it happen — will be Javanka’s campaign to poison Daddy’s mind against him, because we’re living in Redneck Versailles World now…

For weeks, Donald Trump has been souring on his Chief of Staff John Kelly because of his controlling ways and rising public profile. And now Kelly is in the midst of a bonafide crisis, one that exacerbates the president’s own #MeToo problems. On Tuesday, Kelly strongly defended White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter against disturbing allegations, first published in the Daily Mail, that he abused his ex-wives. Kelly’s decision to back Porter has left many people inside the White House angry, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. On Wednesday afternoon, Porter resigned. Axios reported Kelly wanted Porter to “stay and fight.”…

Kelly’s decision to go to bat for Porter deeply frustrated White House staffers, sources told me. He was supposed to be the West Wing’s resident grown-up, but staffers are increasingly questioning Kelly’s judgment, four Republicans close to the White House told me. “It’s beyond disbelief. Everyone is trying to figure out why Kelly is leading the charge to save him,” one former West Wing official said. Another Republican said: “How many times has Kelly put out a statement defending Trump?”

Sources said Kelly was so quick to defend Porter because the two have grown very close since Trump appointed Kelly chief of staff last summer. Porter, a Rhodes scholar, has helped Kelly instill discipline in the West Wing. Kelly has told people that Porter has a “calming effect” on White House operations. For instance, it’s Porter who screens all the information that gets to Trump’s desk. Porter also helped Kelly conduct a West Wing organizational study that provided Kelly with a cudgel to sideline Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, two former West Wing officials told me. The officials also said Kelly supported Porter even after the F.B.I. delayed granting Porter’s security clearance because they uncovered his alleged history of spousal abuse.

Until now, Porter has been a low-profile player, publicly absent from the West Wing dramas. But last week, he emerged when the Daily Mail reported he’s dating White House Communications Director Hope Hicks…

Senior aides to President Donald Trump knew for months about allegations of domestic abuse levied against top White House staffer Rob Porter by his ex-wives, even as Porter’s stock in the West Wing continued to rise, multiple sources told CNN on Wednesday…

A scramble ensued inside the West Wing to defend him when the claims became public this week, the sources said. That effort continues even after his resignation.

Trump himself first learned of the allegations this week, two sources familiar with the matter said. He was upset when shown reports of the abuse, which first emerged on Tuesday. His daughter Ivanka Trump, serving as a White House senior adviser, was also deeply disturbed by the allegations, particularly by photographs of the alleged abuse, the sources said…

By early fall, it was widely known among Trump’s top aides — including chief of staff John Kelly — both that Porter was facing troubles in obtaining the clearance and that his ex-wives claimed he had abused them. No action was taken to remove him from the staff.

Instead, Kelly and others oversaw an elevation in Porter’s standing. He was one of a handful of aides who helped draft last week’s State of the Union address. He traveled instead of Kelly to the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. And he was one of a select group of aides who shook Chinese President Xi Jinping’s hand during a state visit to Beijing in November…

Kelly, who has relied on Porter to execute a strict system of information control to the President, insisted that he’d be able to weather the allegations and remain in his job, according to a White House official. But Porter resigned anyway, over Kelly’s objections. Kelly has long insisted that Porter stay in his job, even as he considered approaches from the private sector, including from Uber, according to one administration source…

Of course, we’re told, the King didn’t know about these ‘troubling allegations’ — in Versailles World, the King never knows! (To be fair, Trump ‘not knowing’ is usually a pretty safe bet… )

Open Thread: Oh, Look, Another Reboot!


Yes, my feelings about this are… mixed. [ETA: Nothing against the man, just dreading the media reaction.]

But on the positive side: Young Joe’s no Jodi Ernst, at least!

EATA: Okay, *this* is some quality trolling…

At the quarter post

25% done of this era of errors.

The upside of extraordinary pessimism is that surprise is a positive. I am surprised that the core of the ACA ( Medicaid expansion and guarantee issued/community rated subsidized insurance) is still strong. Medicaid expansion may still expand in Maine and via referandum elsewhere.

I am happy at the counter-reaction that is trying to defend our values from reactionaries.

And I look forward to working my ass off to gain a veto point next November.

What say ye….

Thursday Morning Open Thread


Despite the 22F temperature, the biting wind, the unexpectedly heavy light pollution from passing traffic, and the clouds scudding in at great speed, Spousal Unit & I saw at least half a dozen bright Geminid meteors flash across the sky, so we’re satisfied with our expedition.

Apart from resolutely staying positive, what’s on the agenda for the day?


Strong contender (in a year full of them) for Best Internet Protest of the Year, as reported by David Roth at Deadspin

On Wednesday, a number of prominent Native American activists began tweeting a statement purporting to announce that Washington’s NFL team would, next season, be changing its name to the Washington RedHawks…

If you were scrolling through Twitter with your mind in energy-saver mode, which is really the only safe way to do it, this looked like more than just an attempt to hustle a hashtag. It looked for all the world like news, albeit of the unlikeliest kind. Not just in the sense that it was good news, although there’s obviously that, but in the sense that it was being covered everywhere.

Or, more accurately, it was being “covered” “everywhere.” There were what appeared to be links to what appeared to be stories from what appeared to be major sports publications—the Washington Post, Bleacher Report, ESPN, and Sports Illustrated—that reported, in a rough simulacrum of those venues’ house styles, various angles on the story. The team issued no such statement, and the stories were all fakes that appeared on rather shockingly artful spoofs of each of those publications’ pages. Each of the hoax pages had been registered last month, through the French web registrar Gandi SAS by a registrant named Mark Jones. There is a field for “registrant organization” on Gandi’s form, but Jones left it blank…

The ghoulish bile-baiting tone of most Fake Sports News was nowhere to be found in these stories, each of which told the story of a team belatedly doing the right thing at the end of another lost season and of Native American activists belatedly seeing their advocacy turn into a hard-won reality. More than that, these stories told the story well, with quotes from all the appropriate corners…

It is so easy to admire the technical deftness and general craftsmanship behind the RedHawks hoax that it’s worth taking a moment to consider how slashing the satirical intent is, here. It emerges gradually as you click across the various spoof sites, as the realization builds that all this decency and equanimity just sounds wrong coming from the people it’s coming from. There is no more devastating assessment of how Daniel Snyder has handled his team’s shameful name than imagining him saying, as he’s “quoted” in the Sports Illustrated spoof: “[The RedHawks] is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect—the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans.” It’s all the more so when you realize that this is an exact quote from an actual statement that Snyder made in 2013, in defense of continuing to call his team the Redskins

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Ride, Sally — Rise!


Buzzfeed has a saner take…

“I am so proud” was the subject line on Weissmann’s email to Yates, sent at 9:50 p.m. on Jan. 30. The body of the email read: “And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects, Andrew Weissmann.”

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment on behalf of the office as well as Weissmann. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement that Weissmann’s email was “astonishing and disturbing.”

“How much more evidence do we need that the Mueller operation has been irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump partisans?” Fitton said. “Shut it down.”

Kathleen Clark, a legal ethics expert at Washington University School of Law, told BuzzFeed News that she didn’t think that Weissmann’s email presented a conflict of interest with his work on the special counsel’s team. Weissmann expressing admiration for Yates was not necessarily evidence of bias, Clark said.

“Weissmann wasn’t taking a swipe at Trump,” Clark said…

In the hours after Yates alerted the Justice Department about her position on the first travel ban and after she was fired, messages continued to come in from DOJ attorneys and staff. “I am 100% behind you and your decision today,” an assistant US attorney in California wrote her.

Another attorney in Pennsylvania wrote, “God bless you!”


Apart from applauding all who resist, what’s on the agenda for the day?