Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Gonna Have to Face It

This badly Photoshopped image was inspired by a comment from Corner Stone last night, in which he noted that Trump’s victory speech tableau resembled a Robert Palmer video:


It’s not the fault of Trump’s spouse and female relatives / hangers-on that they seem to form a phalanx of interchangeable backup singers whenever they gather behind the presumptive Republican nominee. But it is funny in an OMG-a-strutting-pageant-maestro-has-a-significantly-lessGREATER-than-zero-chance-of-becoming-POTUS kinda way.

Good Christ, Hillary and Bernie — don’t fuck this up!

We are having a hellacious storm this morning in West Central FL, complete with frequent lightning and sideways rain. One bolt of lightning struck so close that it propelled my hard-sleeping teen from her bed to the hallway before she was even fully awake.

As for me, Imma get more coffee; the adrenaline shot wasn’t sufficient. Open thread!

Hell’s Trapdoor (Open Thread)

In this video, right after Carly Fiorina says, “Your next President of the United States, Ted Cruz,” she disappears:

It is reported that she fell off the stage and was uninjured. Maybe. But who’s to say the devil himself didn’t just open a trapdoor to hell after she told that big fat lie?

Satan is allegedly the “Father of Lies,” so why would a standard bit of campaign mendacity provoke his wrath? Maybe the devil hates that miserable son of a bitch Cruz as much as everyone else does.

Open thread!

From hell’s heart, I stab at thee

I don’t think George Will is ready to jump on the Trump bandwagon, you guys…

Donald Trump’s damage to the Republican Party, although already extensive, has barely begun. Republican quislings will multiply, slinking into support of the most anti-conservative presidential aspirant in their party’s history. These collaborationists will render themselves ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction.

Ted Cruz’s announcement of his preferred running mate has enhanced the nomination process by giving voters pertinent information. They already know the only important thing about Trump’s choice: His running mate will be unqualified for high office because he or she will think Trump is qualified.


Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose 50 states — condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow as many senators, representatives, governors and state legislators as possible.

God, that’s hilarious! Who does the prissy, bow-tied shithead think is reading his column, aside from schadenfreude-huffing Democrats like me? Even Marco Rubio, who called Trump a micro-dicked conman just a few months back, is coming around, perhaps angling for VP.

Threading the Needle (Updated)

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

It’s instructive in a “compare and contrast” sense to read today’s NYT columns from David Brooks and Paul Krugman. Brooks is contemplating the Trumpocalypse and what it all means for professional plutocracy apologists like himself. He warns us to gird ourselves for more Applebees salad bar stories, as Doug points out downstairs, dog help us.

Brooks attributes Trump’s rise — and Sanders’ too — to a broad sense of American decline:

This election — not only the Trump phenomenon but the rise of Bernie Sanders, also — has reminded us how much pain there is in this country. According to a Pew Research poll, 75 percent of Trump voters say that life has gotten worse for people like them over the last half century.

In the morning thread, sharp-eyed commenter Jeffro noticed Brooks’ rhetorical switcheroo there, speaking of Sanders and Trump voters and then citing a poll result exclusive to the Trumpenproletariat, as if Sanders voters share the exact same concerns. And it is a sly form of both-sides-do-it-ism.

Krugman has a different take on why the Trumpites are angry as well as an explanation for why the GOP establishment candidates went down to humiliating defeat while Clinton is prevailing on the Dem side:

Both parties make promises to their bases. But while the Democratic establishment more or less tries to make good on those promises, the Republican establishment has essentially been playing bait-­and-­switch for decades. And voters finally rebelled against the con.

Krugman is right. But Brooks isn’t 100% wrong when he says there is pain on both sides of the political divide, even if he is dishonest in how he frames it. There is real pain out there, and it’s not all attributable to aggrieved white men who are finally getting a taste of the economic insecurity the rest of the world has been swallowing for decades.

Ostensibly middle-class families are one outpatient surgery deductible away from financial catastrophe. Students are graduating with crushing debt. Parents have no idea how they’ll ever retire. The unemployment rate is at a 40-year low, but try finding a decent job if you’re a 50-something woman or a 17-year-old black kid.

These things are real. And what Hillary Clinton is going to have to do is thread that needle – highlighting, protecting and expanding what President Obama and his Democratic predecessors have accomplished on the one hand while at the same time communicating that she understands how much further we have to go. It won’t be an easy task.

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders gave a speech in which he allegedly dialed back the criticism of Hillary Clinton a bit but lambasted the Democratic Party instead:

“The Democratic Party has to reach a fundamental conclusion: Are we on the side of working people or big-­money interests? Do we stand with the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor? Or do we stand with Wall Street speculators and the drug companies and the insurance companies?”

When I heard that, my first thought was, gosh, that’s not particularly helpful. How about at least acknowledging that there’s exactly one party that recently expanded healthcare coverage to 20 million people, passed Medicare, Social Security and CHIP and imposed any regulation at all on Wall Street and Big Pharma? And over the screaming intransigence of the only other party that is relevant in US elections?

But aren’t Sanders’ remarks a perfect segue for Clinton to deliver the message she must communicate? I still think Sanders will come around to endorsing Clinton and urging his supporters to support her and elect the Democratic Congressional majority she’ll need to get shit done. But in the meantime, maybe starting this conversation will do. If Hillary is going to sew it up, it’s time to thread that needle.

ETA: A piping hot new version of Cleek’s pie filter has just come out of the oven. Lay claim to your slice here.

Global Lipstick Inventories Plunge as GOP Seeks Cosmetic Miracle

This past week — as we Democrats were bickering over which of our two presidential candidates has the better strategy for ameliorating wealth inequality, addressing structural bias, reducing student debt and securing world peace — Republican poobahs were hearing a new campaign chief’s presentation on plans to repackage the short-fingered vulgarian for general election purposes. From the NYT:

Addressing about 100 committee members at the spring meeting here, many of them deeply skeptical about Mr. Trump’s candidacy, the campaign chief, Paul Manafort, bluntly suggested the candidate’s incendiary style amounted to an act. “That’s what’s important for you to understand: That he gets it, and that the part he’s been playing is evolving,” Mr. Manafort said, suggesting that Mr. Trump was about to begin a more professional phase of his campaign…

“Fixing personality negatives is a lot easier than fixing character negatives,” said Mr. Manafort, claiming that Hillary Clinton suffered from negative. “You can’t change somebody’s character. But you can change the way somebody presents themselves…”

Sorry, Republicans. There’s just isn’t enough lipstick in the world to beautify the oinker who is your frontrunner. Trump hasn’t merely pretended to be a repulsive pig to appeal to the GOP’s swinish base. He is and always has been an embarrassing, racist, chauvinist pig.

It’s not like we don’t know this person. Thanks to Trump’s insatiable need for attention, we’ve been involuntary witnesses to his tacky spectacle long before he ran for president. As Jim Newell at Slate observed:

Trump believes that a woman’s worth directly correlates with her looks and that a man’s worth directly correlates with the eye candy on his arm.

I was struck by a similar thought the other night while watching Trump’s post-NY primary victory speech, which the Beltway press deemed a magnanimous pivot to a more presidential tone. But it wasn’t anything Trump said that caught my attention — it was the visual image:

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Speaks At New York Election Night Event

Nothing against tall, willowy, blond, white ladies who wear their hair long and part it in the middle: I was one myself before I started going grey. But can you see that photo and NOT imagine a Trump stage manager herding all the short, visibly middle-aged or portly women — if such women there be with power connections at a Trump event — to the rear of the dais, or better yet, backstage? What would it look like if Hillary Clinton tried to pull off a similar power tableau? Maybe something like this?

clinton fabios

Ridiculous. Anyway, the NYT article had more on campaign chief Manafort’s makeover plans:

Mr. Trump intends to deliver a foreign policy address at the National Press Club in Washington next week, Mr. Manafort said, and that he would also hold similar events to address his “gender gap.”

“You’ll start to see more depth to the person, the real person,” Mr. Manafort continued, referring to more Trump appearances in “formal settings.”

I can’t wait to see what type of event these morons come up with to address Trump’s gender gap issue. Maybe a Ronald Reagan Memorial Miss Republican pageant? Doesn’t matter. We’ve seen “the real person” that is Donald Trump. And he’s a pig.

Friday Evening Open Thread

Johnny Depp and wife Amber Heard smuggled their pet Yorkies into Australia, which is a big no-no. They were busted for it. After much legal wrangling, Depp and Heard agreed to do a PSA/apology video about why you really shouldn’t sneak critters into Australia. The pair did not seem happy about it.

Here’s the PSA remixed as a hostage video from YouTuber Natalie Tran:

Well done, Ms. Tran.

In other news, I’m going to be car shopping with my kiddo this weekend. She’s narrowed her list of desired vehicles to Nissans, Mazdas and Hondas. Anyone got good or bad things to say about those makes?

I had a Honda once that was very dependable, but this was ages ago. It may have had a rumble seat!

Got any big plans for the weekend? Open thread!

[H/T: Buzzfeed]

Making It Rain — Plus, Hillary Clinton’s Unforced Error

An example of a failure to think things through?

Sanders supporters shower Clinton motorcade with dollar bills

A group of around 100 Bernie Sanders supporters showered Hillary Clinton’s motorcade in 1,000 single-dollar bills as the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate drove to a fundraiser with George and Amal Clooney on Saturday.

Howard Gold, who lives down the street from Clooney in Los Angeles’ tony Studio City neighborhood, hosted the group of Sanders supporters for a $27-a-person fundraiser. As part of that event, Gold and other organizers handed out $1 bills for attendees to throw at Clinton as she drove by.

This protest method reminds me of when the geniuses at RedState sent bags of rock salt to U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe’s Maine office in October 2009. The rock salt probably came in handy that winter.

I can understand why the Clinton motorcade didn’t stop and hoover up the cash – optics! But did the campaign dispatch a minion to collect the money later? Donations are donations, and every little bit helps!

Hillary Clinton Caps Great Statement with Terrible Closing Line

Hillary Clinton appeared on ABC’s “This Week” this morning. She was asked about Trump’s attacks on her character and made the following statement:

“What I’m concerned about is how he goes after everybody else. He goes after women. He goes after Muslims. He goes after immigrants. He goes after people with disabilities. He is hurting our unity at home,” Clinton said. “He is undermining the values that we stand for in New York and across America. And he’s hurting us around the world. He can say whatever he want to say about me. I really could care less.”

No, no, no, NO! If you COULD care less, that means you care a little, even if it’s only a tiny amount. But you don’t care at all what the hirsute, ambulatory Circus Peanut says about you, Hillary Clinton, so you couldn’t care less.

Oh well. She’s not alone; millions of English speakers make that same annoying error.

Open thread. And fresh sandbox for the indefatigable Hilldo vs. BernBro combatants still scrolling through last night’s loooog comment section!