(Zippo) Lighter Side Open Thread: BURN YER NIKES!!!

The tweets Pharyngula posted turned out to be a “hoax” (joke). So are these, but aren’t they glorious?

Plenty of 100% genuine all-‘Murkan stupidity to go around, folks!


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Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Another Bannon Comeback Failure

Up with the rocket and down with the stick, as my Irish granny used to say… but the cycles are getting shorter. This particular publicity attempt was over before most people even knew to complain about it…


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Our Failed Meritocracy / Media: “OMGarosa!!!

(This was scheduled to pop up at 10am this morning, but FYWP… )


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This Is What You Do When You Don’t Have A Real Argument

Two of the key people in the Obama administration for the negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), were investigated by an Israeli private intelligence agency trying to find dirt on them, The Guardian reported today.

The agency talked to reporters in order to find whether Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl, advisors to President Obama, had shared sensitive information. Presumably they found nothing, or we would have heard about it.

This has been the modus operandi of the JCPOA opponents all along. On Twitter, they indulge in ad hominems and personal attacks rather than present a coherent argument. They set up straw men with views that misrepresent the case for the agreement. They all seem to have the same talking points and slogans (“sunset clauses,” “give Iran nuclear weapons”) in what I might have called an echo chamber if they hadn’t seized on that accusation first.

Back in the summer of 2015, they tried to set up a phony controversy about “secret side agreements.” Several of the supporters of the agreement, including me, responded strongly and, I think, managed to squash their propaganda before it fully bloomed. For that, we were attacked again and again on Twitter.

All the opponents have is lies and false accusations. This latest exposure of their dirty tactics is of a piece with the tactics they have used all along. It’s an indication that they have nothing else.

 

In case you were in doubt, Rudy says the quiet part out loud.

 

Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner.

 

 

 

 

 



Late Night Open Thread: (Probably) One Last Nerdprom Review

Keep in mind — Ana Navarro is a professional Republican. Jen Chaney, at NYMag Vulture blog:

It would have been easy for Wolf to take a cheap shot at either of these women for some superficial offense, like the way they dress or talk. As Nussbaum points out, that’s what Trump would have done, and has done on many occasions. But nothing about what Michelle Wolf did on Saturday night was easy. It was hard, harder even than the truthtelling that Stephen Colbert did to President George W. Bush’s face at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. True, Colbert was dressing down the commander in chief in his actual presence, something Wolf didn’t have the opportunity to do since Trump, for the second year in a row, couldn’t muster the courage to show up for this event. But Colbert could at least hide behind his alter ego as the conservative host of The Colbert Report. Wolf had to go out there as only the fourth female comedian to perform solo at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, drop a bunch of truth bombs, then sit back down with no shield to provide cover…

Not surprisingly, though, it’s the jabs that Wolf threw at Sanders and other Trump staffers that are getting criticized today, not just because some of them were funny but because they legitimately stung. To acknowledge what actually made the smoky eye line funny meant that some of the people in that ballroom had to reflect on the fact that they either lie, enable liars, or act nicely to liars because that’s what they sometimes have to do to get the information the public deserves to know. That’s the sort of situation that makes people itchy.

But here’s the thing: If the worst thing that happens to you while you’re working for Trump is that a woman from The Daily Show says a few mean things about you while you’re wearing a nice dress, eating a free meal, and drinking some wine, you are still having a better day than a hell of a lot of people in this country. Also, this is part of the job when you’re a public servant…
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Schadenfreude Open Thread: Nobody Loves A Loser, Donny…


 
… Except for the other losers! Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani represent everything Boston most loathes about NYC. So it’s not surprising the Boston Globe was happy to share:

[T]he lure of representing the most powerful man in the world isn’t appealing to this generation’s cadre of top white-collar criminal defense attorneys: Twelve partners from a total of seven firms have said no to President Trump’s entreaties to help him navigate the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Being turned down time and again led Trump to pick former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani this week, turning to a former presidential candidate and one-time US attorney who was known for his at times imprecise but often effective advocacy of Trump on the campaign trail in 2016. Trump also brought on board a relatively obscure husband-and-wife team of former federal prosecutors with a white-collar criminal defense practice in South Florida.

It’s hard to call it a dream team.

“Rudy Giuliani has always been available,” said Roger Cossack, a former California prosecutor and legal analyst on TV. “Hiring Rudy Giuliani only underlines Trump’s dilemma in finding a lawyer who will work for him.”…

“What we’re seeing with President Trump is really unprecedented,” said Timothy Naftali, a historian and former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. During the depths of Watergate, Nixon had a squadron of high-power lawyers to walk him through the process. “Nixon’s problem was that he wasn’t honest with his lawyers. And he didn’t really allow them to defend him,” he said…

Lawyers who’ve watched firms turn him down say it’s a combination of factors. There’s Trump’s reputation as a very difficult client who will undercut, change his mind, and publicly humiliate. Managing partners at top firms also fear Trump is so polarizing that their practice would lose clients and talent if they’re associated with him.

“Everyone who becomes associated with Trump becomes diminished,” explained one leading white-collar crime expert, who didn’t want to be named for fear of offending the president. “You come out with less of a reputation.”…

Another institutional worry at large firms is that Trump tends to ignore advice, even if it’s the best that money can buy. Some point to the president’s long history of civil litigation as a New York real estate developer and a casino owner, which gives Trump the confidence that he can be his own lawyer…

Firms also are worried that representing Trump could hurt recruitment of the best students coming out of law schools, particularly women, Bennett said…

(Also, he’s a notorious deadbeat.)

Much more, including a list of refuseniks, at the link.



Farewell Ryan Open Thread: Requiem for A Heavyweight Fake


 
Nobody loves a quitter, but dayyum Paul Ryan has a lot of enemies! Of course, he’s taken credit for a budget bill that will explode the deficit while giving still more of our common wealth away to the least deserving plutocrats, while failing to rein in the worst impulses of the leaders of “his” party. And he’s abandoning ship just in time for an actual avowed white supremacist to take the lead in the GOP primary for his replacement, and guaranteeing that we’ll all get to watch at least two of the least appealing Repub congresscritters (Kevin McCarthy & Steve Scalise) fight like crazed weasels to take over his “throne”. Also, he’s the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver. But the Media Village Idiots always seemed to love him — yet the concensus of public comment right now seems to be GOOD RIDDANCE, at best. Of course the NYTimes is still slobbering over his “bravery”, and there may be television pundits still standing up for their Pauly Blue Eyes…


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