Repub Grifters Gonna Grift… To Infinity, and Beyond!

Should’ve known there was more to Lord Smallgloves’ sudden emotional investment in SPACE! FARCE! than selling a few branded tchotches. Per the LA Times:

The concept had been pushed unsuccessfully since 2016 by a small group of current and former government officials, some with deep financial ties to the aerospace industry, who see creation of the sixth military service as a surefire way to hike Pentagon spending on satellite and other space systems.

Still, when Trump abruptly embraced the idea at Miramar — and began promoting it to wild applause at other rallies — a moribund notion opposed by much of the Pentagon hierarchy and senior members of the Senate became a real possibility.

A few days after the San Diego speech, Trump took a phone call at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida from Rep. Mike D. Rogers, an Alabama Republican who is chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces. He had been promoting the space force to Trump and his advisors for months.

“This is something we have to do,” Rogers said he told Trump. “It’s a national security imperative.”

“I’m all in,” Trump replied, according to Rogers. “We are going to have a space force.”…

Last summer, Rogers and Cooper inserted an amendment in the annual defense policy bill to create a separate service they called the space corps. It would be part of the Air Force, just as the Marine Corps is technically in the Navy.

But Rogers worried that putting it in the Air Force might not fly. The Air Force is dominated by fliers more interested in warplanes than in outer space, he noted in a speech last year, explaining Air Force opposition to a separate service…

Rogers, who was first elected to Congress by a razor-thin margin in 2002, has solidified control of his rural district, with a campaign war chest swelled with money from the aerospace industry. Defense industry firms have contributed $395,000 to his campaign committee and leadership PAC since 2017, becoming by far his largest industry donor, according to Open Secrets, a campaign spending database.
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Late Night Open Thread: Well, That Explains Tuesday…

… but this was Monday:

Dark Hours Open Thread: Is Julian Assange “the Left” Version of Donald Trump?

Were “we” so enamored with our “core virtues” of transparency and populism that a professional narcissist could manage the supreme coup of his serial grifting career? Does Julian Assange have the true Reverse-Midas everything he touches dies… gift?

Gareth Corfield, at The Register (“biting the hand that feeds IT”):

The director of whistleblower support outfit the Courage Foundation has quit after being told to pull support from Barrett Brown following some barbed comments he made about Julian Assange.

Naomi Colvin walked out of the foundation after “three of Courage’s trustees wrote to me demanding that I inform Barrett Brown that he could no longer be a Courage beneficiary, on the basis of ‘nasty adversarial remarks’ about WikiLeaks,” she wrote in a blog post.

Courage works by picking people in legal trouble who it deems worthy of support and then giving them help in a variety of ways, including financially. Those eight “beneficiaries”, as Courage calls them, include Anonymous-linked FBI-baiter Barrett Brown and everyone’s go-to website for Russian-influenced propaganda the embarrassing contents of American governmental messages, Wikileaks.

Nonetheless, Brown’s growing antipathy towards Assange/Wikileaks as the increasingly isolated Wikileaker goes steadily more stir crazy in Ecuador’s London embassy earned him Assange’s ire. So it was that Colvin received missives from Courage trustees ordering her to cut Brown loose, something she would not do…

Courage’s trustees are named on its website as: Assange himself; legal activist Barbara Bukovska; left-wing activist and film-maker John Pilger; Spanish human rights lawyer Renata Avila; Scottish arts organiser Susan Benn; and clothes designer Vivienne Westwood, who modestly bills herself as “co-created punk in the 70s”.

Colvin declined to name the three who demanded she pull the foundation’s support from Brown…

Spencer Ackermann, at the Daily Beast (see tweet at top):

Brown told The Daily Beast: “I’m afraid I cannot agree with the stance, presented by the Courage board to me yesterday via a poorly written email, that I am somehow obligated to not only defend Assange’s rights, as I’m happy to do, but also to refrain from speaking out about the problems facing a movement that I risked a hundred years of prison time in order to defend.”

The short-term result of Assange’s behavior may be to consolidate control over Courage. But it has come at the expense of broken ties with two heavily respected and influential figures within the hacktivist circles from which Assange emerged. At this point, it leaves Assange with more solid support from the extreme right and its media organs than from his original community…

Colvin’s departure from Courage is especially ironic for Assange and speaks to the botched manner in which his allies retaliated against Brown. Colvin led and recently won a fight to prevent the U.K. from extraditing the computer scientist and activist Lauri Love to the United States to face hacking charges. With Assange ostensibly fearing his own prospective extradition, his desire to silence Brown has cost him a key legal asset…

Fascist Cosplay Open Thread: “It’s NOT A ‘Hobby’, It’s A WAY OF LIFE!!!



Today in Portland (the left-coast one)…

(Another twitter wit — Rick Wilson? — called this guy “Bubba Felt”.)

And then, of course, there are the Sercon (serious, constructive) Phascist Phans…

Late Night Open Thread: Readership Capture

Former President Barack Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden, were spotted getting lunch Monday at Dog Tag Bakery in Washington, D.C., where they shook hands and took photos with workers and patrons.

According to its website, the Georgetown neighborhood bakery helps train and employ disabled veterans and also offers to support to military families. The pair, whose close-knit relationship during their White House tenure sparked numerous internet memes, praised the bakery for their work before leaving.

Haven’t been able to load Balloon-Juice on my laptop all day, not on Pale Moon or even on Internet Explorer, although I can read it on my phone (and every other site comes up just fine for me). This happened over the weekend, too; a knowledgeable commenter suggested afterwards that, per the Internet Traffic Report, “a giant router near Boston is having some troubles”, and unfortunately that seems to be the router Fios uses in this area. I had my tech expert (the Spousal Unit) try maximizing the wait period for loading, but it didn’t help, alas…

Here’s hoping the Giant Router gets the assistance it needs, but if I’m not around as much as usual, probably safe to assume that’s the cause.

Friday Evening Open Thread: UNLEASH THE CLOWN CAR!

A light diversion from Olivia Nuzzi, professional sharpshooter, at NYMag, on “A Surreal Week of Excuse-Making at the White House”:

… “The White House” being separate from “the president” in this administration as they’ve never been separate before, with contradictory statements emerging at a machine-gun pace from these two entities that are supposed to be in sync, if nothing else at least spinning the story (i.e. bullshitting) in the same way. Often the White House is cleaning up after Trump, but just as often those attempts to clarify or explain away are what one former official told me was wishful thinking, what his staff wishes the president would say or believe or make policy…

The former White House official was reluctant to blame Trump’s handlers or communications staff for the would/wouldn’t “double negative” excuse, which a second former White House official described to me as “one of the all-time great” messaging mistakes in American politics. It’s important to keep in mind, the first person said, that there’s only so much any member of the staff can do, especially when it comes to how Trump talks about Russia…

The second former official said it was important to remember that “something always goes wrong” with Trump. “There’s always some issue in the White House when it comes to responding to a crisis, and 90 percent of the time, it’s crises that they create themselves, and you have to go in with the understanding that the baseline level for these guys is full retard, basically.”

“When that was their excuse, I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s so ridiculous.”

“The one thing that makes this week so much different is they’re actually trying to fight back. Typically, Trump would say something completely insane and they would just let the media cycle sit. At least they’re trying to fight back. They’re fighting back in the worst possible way, but like, you can see the effort. You know these guys are fucking idiots, but the effort is there.”

The second former official added, “You have a lot of people who are just a bunch of small-timers and clowns, so when they fuck up a response, you almost can’t blame them because you knew what you were getting, you know? When you have people who suck at this and then they fuck up a response, you can’t really be angry. This is what you have. It’s like having a puppy that shits on the floor, you can’t get angry at the puppy. The puppy doesn’t know any better.”

“I guess it’s like the puppy shat on the floor, and then they took the shit and they rubbed it all over the walls.”…

Shorter: Every single GOP underling to the Oval Office Occupant is frantically shopping their resume. And the marketing team is arranging its narrative: This dude is beyond hopeless, a moron, a would-be criminal who couldn’t shoot straight. How could anyone expect us to have reined him in? We’re suffering as much as the rest of you mopes!

Yeah, break out the Tiny Violin Orchestra. Or these guys…

Late Night SCOTUS Scrotes Open Thread: “Baseball Tickets”…

… Is that what the kidz are calling it, these days?