Point & Mock Open Thread: “Palace Intrigue”

Ancestral war cry: Confusion to our enemies!

The Trump-minions look pretty confused right now…

Lord of all the flies!


Friday Evening Open Thread: “An Impossible Hand”

Further proof — as if we needed it — that the entire Republican party has abandoned all thought of governing in favor of merely obstructing.

What’s on the agenda as we start the much-needed weekend?

Repub Venality Open Thread: Sessions / Rosenstein — SHIFTY! SHIFTY! SHIFTY!

This part of the NYTimes interview has been getting attention, for good reason. But now I’m curious about the Washington Post‘s report on an interview with the guy who’s taken over that part of Sessions’ job at Justice:

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said in an interview that aired Wednesday that neither the president nor the White House had asked him for an update on the investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election, and that he was “not doing any micromanagement” of that probe.

The comments came during a wide ranging conversation with Fox News’s Martha MacCallum about the Justice Department’s new asset forfeiture policy, his recommendation to fire FBI Director James B. Comey and his appointment of a special counsel to lead the Russia investigation.

Rosenstein sought to assure people that the special counsel, former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III, was operating with some degree of independence from the Justice Department, though he also was getting the cooperation he needed.

But Rosenstein did not go to great pains to defend the special counsel team when pressed about whether he was bothered that several people on it had donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign…

Asked by The Washington Post at an unrelated briefing earlier Wednesday on how he could maintain his authority over Mueller when he might become a witness, Rosenstein declined to say.
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Open Thread: Trumpcare ‘Not Dead Yet’ (But It Smells Kinda Funny)

Who’s got a sturdy cudgel? Yes, the ongoing fight to protect Obamacare is serious, but watching the REPUBS IN DISARRAY! is delicious. Alice Ollstein, at TPM, “Trump’s Ham-Handed, Incoherent Health Care Message Leaves Senate Flailing“:

On Wednesday, [Trump] summoned all 52 Republican senators to the White House to try to browbeat them into passing some form of a health care bill. The president previewed his message for the lawmakers in an interview with televangelist Pat Robertson—saying he’ll be “very angry” if they can’t pass a bill—and in tweets Wednesday morning that made no case for the merits of the legislation or the difficult politics of curtailing the benefits of millions of people.

At the meeting, he threatened bill critic Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), asking as TV cameras rolled if he wants to “remain a senator,” and demanded the Senate stay in session through the summer recess until they “get it done” on health care…

Trump’s tin ear for Washington politics was on full display Monday night—the night Republican defectors drove the final nail into the coffin of the latest Obamacare repeal bill. The president hosted a group of senators at White House ostensibly to discuss health care over an elegant steak dinner, but did not invite any of the on-the-fence lawmakers he needed to convince to support the repeal effort. Instead, he dined with a group that already supported the bill, and according to the Washington Post, spent most of the evening recounting his recent trip to France…

“For seven years, Republicans have told the voters: ‘If you elect us, we’ll repeal Obamacare,’” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), carefully choosing his words as he walked through the Capitol’s underground tunnels surrounded by half a dozen reporters. “I think we will look like fools if we can’t deliver on that promise.”

But that message is unlikely to resonate with the moderate senators opposing the legislation who have repeatedly promised to protect their constituents’ Medicaid benefits and advocate for people with pre-existing conditions.

“Any time you’re over at the White House and the president is talking to you about his opinions, it can provide a pretty strong case,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) acknowledged. “But,” she added with a laugh, “we have our strong opinions too.”

Hmmm… piss off their voters, or Ted Cruz? How tough a choice is that?

Russiagate Open Thread: It’s Corruption, All the Way Down

And here we always assumed ol’ Chuck was too dumb stubborn to be successfully corrupted!:

Grassley announced Tuesday he has sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly asking for additional visa records and immigration information on Akhmetshin, who became a U.S. citizen in 2009…

The Iowa Republican was set to chair a hearing Wednesday on enforcement of FARA, but the session was postponed. Glenn Simpson, co-founder of the firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned a British intelligence officer to compile a now-infamous dossier on President Donald Trump, was originally slated to testify. Grassley had also said he wanted Manafort to appear at Wednesday’s hearing…

Yeah, he’s probably not implicated in this particular scandal — just deeply committed to ensuring 100% Repub rule, laws and regulations be damned. The Hill, last week:

Grassley’s main questions for Simpson involve who hired Fusion GPS to produce opposition research against Trump, and whether the firm shared the document with the FBI.

“When political opposition research becomes the basis for law enforcement or intelligence efforts, it raises substantial questions about the independence of law enforcement and intelligence from politics,” Grassley wrote in March…

“It’s only a crime when a Democrat does it, y’know.”

This was supposed to be a Fox-News-friendly kangaroo court where every aspiring Repub congresscritter could pose for the cameras while hammering on “Democrat venality” in regards to oppo research. Then Don’s idiot kids (by birth and marriage) had to get caught with their hand in the cookie jar and half a dozen Russian “patriots of the state” standing around with recording devices…

Looks like some not-technically-guilty-of-this-particular-crime might just end up involved to their misfortune, and I can’t think of a more deserving bunch of targets.

Open Thread: NOT HIS FAULT! (Nothing Ever Is)

Your “president”, Republicans! Worthy of a Qaddafi or a Mobute…

A disturbing scene unfolded at the White House on Monday afternoon. A hook-and-ladder firetruck and a utility bucket truck pulled up to the South Portico and extended their rescue arms in the vicinity of the Truman Balcony…

… The Trump White House had invited the makers of the trucks — and manufacturers of all stripes — to bring their wares to Washington to show that Trump was making good on his promise to revive manufacturing jobs in America.

The president admired baseball bats and golf clubs, tried on a Stetson, asserted that the representative from an Omaha beef producer “wanted to kiss me so badly,” gave a thumbs-up from the driver’s seat of the firetruck and admired a Sikorsky helicopter. “I have three of them,” this champion of the little guy reported. Trump, whose businesses fill hotel rooms with mostly imported goods and whose daughter manufactures her clothing line entirely overseas, proclaimed this “Made in America” week.

That Trump would attempt to give the impression that he is leading a manufacturing revival makes sense: In the otherwise dismal new Washington Post-ABC poll, Trump’s handling of the economy is the only area in which he is viewed favorably by the public, by a narrow 43 percent to 41 percent.

But if Americans were to discover Trump can’t make good on his promise to lead a resurgence in manufacturing jobs— then, well, it might be time for him to call in a five-alarm blaze and ride that hook-and-ladder into exile at Mar-a-Lago…

Late Night Open Thread: Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?



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