‘Ethics in Gaming’ Open Thread: Another Trumpshow of Farce

The Verge reports:

Today, President Trump brought together top executives of the gaming industry, parents groups and members of Congress for a meeting to discuss violence in video games. Announced last week as part of President Trump’s response to the Parkland shooting, the meeting was hastily assembled and has been criticized as a purposeful distraction from more concrete gun-control measures.

The proceedings were closed to the press, but by all accounts, the meeting was a strange one. The President opened the meeting by showing a supercut of hyperviolent gameplay scenes apparently compiled from online streamers — a compilation that was later posted to the White House’s official YouTube account…

Attendees said there was little serious talk of government restrictions on content (which would present significant legal challenges), and the conversation focused on more robust age restrictions or voluntary measures that could be undertaken by the industry itself. “The president encouraged [game developers] to explore things they can do on their own to make things healthier in society,” said Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, “and that’s where it was left.”

In part, that may be a result of who was in attendance. None of the three conservative critics in attendance have any particular focus on video games, and each is better known for their work in other areas. Parents TV Council member Melissa Henson writes primarily about liberal values in Hollywood, while fellow attendee Lt. Col Dave Grossman specializes in teaching military tactics to police officers. (He was quoted telling officers “It’s your job to put a piece of steel in your fist and kill those sons of bitches when they come to kill our kids,” in a recent profile in Men’s Journal.) Bozell himself has most recently focused on raising awareness about allegedly anti-Christian bigotry on ABC’s The View…

No doubt it will be explained that it is very triggering for wanna-be Nazis to see their idols treated as the bad guys in games like WOLFENSTEIN. Why can’t we think of the poor lil’ Nazi snowflakes!

Now They Tell Us Open Thread: Trump’s “Pure Madness”

CNN, “The Great Unraveling”:

Not since Richard Nixon started talking to the portraits on the walls of the West Wing has a president seemed so alone against the world.

One source — who is a presidential ally — is worried, really worried. The source says this past week is “different,” that advisers are scared the President is spiraling, lashing out, just out of control. For example: Demanding to hold a public session where he made promises on trade tariffs before his staff was ready, not to mention willing. “This has real economic impact,” says the source, as the Dow dropped 420 points after the President’s news Thursday. “Something is very wrong.”

Even by Trumpian standards, the chaos and the unraveling at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are a stunning — and recurring — problem.

But there’s an up-against-the-wall quality to the past couple of weeks that is striking, and the crescendo is loud, clear, unhealthy, even dangerous…

It’s this magisterial Washington Post report that seems to be getting the most attention:

Inside the White House, aides over the past week have described an air of anxiety and volatility — with an uncontrollable commander in chief at its center.

These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much farther President Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: “We haven’t bottomed out.”

Trump is now a president in transition, at times angry and increasingly isolated. He fumes in private that just about every time he looks up at a television screen, the cable news headlines are trumpeting yet another scandal. He voices frustration that son-in-law Jared Kushner has few on-air defenders. He revives old grudges. And he confides to friends that he is uncertain about whom to trust…
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Incompetence or Disloyalty?

That always seems to be the choice with these bozos.

Mr. Tillerson has voiced skepticism that the United States is even capable of doing anything to counter the Russian threat.

“If it’s their intention to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that,” Mr. Tillerson said in an interview last month with Fox News. “And we can take steps we can take, but this is something that once they decide they are going to do it, it’s very difficult to pre-empt it.”

This is a man who was the CEO of Exxon. If he knew that Shell was stealing his top geological talent, would he have said something like that? Presumably he can talk to the NSA about what they would suggest? WTF is wrong with this guy?

Amazingly, there is actually a person in the relevant job of under secretary for public diplomacy, who seems to have a different view from his boss.

“This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation,” Mr. Goldstein said.

I really hate the conclusion that so many folks at the top of our government are disloyal. But they keep pushing me toward it.

It might be worthwhile to frontpage a list of all the Russia-friendly things that they’ve done. There’s this, and, only this week, Trump’s total disinterest in, and active distraction from, Vladimir Putin’s threatening speech.

If you’ll supply them, I’ll write a post in a day or so. My excuse for crowdsourcing is that it’s allergy season, and I’ve got a very busy Monday and Tuesday.

After-Party Open Thread: Would-Be Funnyman Delighted to Find His Audience

Not just golf — he also did a GOP fundraiser: money for him and his cronies, expenses billed to the rest of us schmucks! At heart, in his revanchist daydreams of a vanished America where men were men, women were body parts, ‘colored people’ knew their place, and foreigners were comic props, he’s just the World’s Greatest Tummler…

Happier than you, putz. Sure, there’s the neverending GOP tsuris about imaginary violations for her to bear, but she’s not the one in Robert Mueller’s cross-hairs.


Then it was on to the Gridiron Dinner in DC, where “journalists” traditionally suck up to “poke gentle fun” at the sitting president:

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Point & Mock Open Thread: Devin Nunes, Self-Own Master

Late Night Horrowshow Open Thread: Weirdest Photo of A Very Weird Week

Jokes aside, Trump looks like a little kid grabbing for Daddy’s leg because the sudden booming organ noise scared him. Or like he’s grabbing at Pence the way a potential vampire victim would grab a crucifix — hoping that physical contact with the “holiest” thing in his purview will protect him from the retribution of an angry god (reanimated zombie Graham?)…

Mike Pence looks like the stern daddy torn between benevolent authority and irritation that his pre-service ‘be a man, not a baby’ lecture didn’t take.

Melania looks like she can’t believe her goddamned lawyers forgot to insert a “void in case of the medically documented onset of senile dementia” escape clause into the pre-nup.

On the other hand, I’m thinking that if Mueller’s team needs to get any factual statements out of Trump, they can use the old cop-show routine with the “magic truth detector” (pre-loaded copier) — put his hand in a blinky-light-laden black box and tell him his brain will explode if he doesn’t tell the truth. He’ll be sharing the offshore bank account numbers and Putin’s favorite sex tips before the next commercial break!

Open Thread: On the Lighter (Than Air) Side…

Trump is setting a bad example for the next generation of pampered Republican idiots…

Just this month, the president and campus coordinator for Turning Point USA at Kent State University announced her resignation, claiming the national organisation had lied about the incident to the press and left her to clean up the fallout on her own.

“As of right now, I am in disbelief at how I went from being so upbeat, enthusiastic, and passionate about this organisation to being disgusted, frustrated, and embarrassed to have invested my entire senior year into an organisation founded by a college dropout who hires some of the most incompetent, lazy, and downright dishonest people I have ever encountered,” wrote former president Kaitlin Bennett in her scathing letter of resignation…

According to Ms Bennett, the event itself went swimmingly. Other students thought the person wearing the diaper was “so funny,” she said, that they even stopped to point and laugh. At a speaking engagement the next day, Mr Kirk even congratulated her personally on the chapter’s activism…

Ms Bennett said she tried to defend herself, lashing out at the other groups in Facebook posts. That’s when she got a call from Turning Point’s chief operational officer, Tyler Bowyer.

During their conversation, Ms Bennet says Mr Bowyer told her that the diaper incident was inappropriate because it “gave the left a lot of ammo to take these pictures and make memes out of them”.

“It’s not funny,” Ms Bennet said the COO told her. “Nothing about this is funny. Now every time Charlie [Kirk] tweets they tweet back pictures of him in a diaper.”…


Because Donny Dollhand’s a spoilt 70-year-old baby who probably soils himself whenever a car backfires in his vicinity…