But It’s Nervous Laughter… (UPDATED)

Trump’s general election outreach to Hispanic voters began yesterday with an address to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference delivered from TrumpForce One:

There’s a distinct student council election vibe to it — the speech is all outlandish promises with nary a clue on how to accomplish them: We’re gonna make the cafeteria serve free pizza and ice cream every day and abolish pop quizzes!

Trump did utter one truth in the speech: “The world is laughing at us right now.”

Yes, I’m quite sure they are.

ETA: BC in Illinois in comments below points out that Hillary Clinton sent a video to the same organization:

She also managed to capture her remarks in landscape!

Discover the Nitwits

Remember that fucking idiot James O’Keefe — the failed conservative prankster who tends to record himself committing felonies when trying to expose liberal wrongdoing? He has attempted another sting operation, and in typical O’Keefe fashion, he pulled off the metaphorical equivalent of stuffing a hornet’s nest down his own pants.

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker has the goods here. To summarize, in March, O’Keefe targeted a woman who works for the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundation, leaving a phone message under a fake name, “Victor Kesh,” to try to set up a meeting so he could worm his way into her confidence and secretly record her (for subsequent deceptive editing, judging from O’Keefe’s usual M.O.).

But after leaving the message, O’Keefe/Kesh didn’t hang up the phone properly, so the intended victim was treated to a recording in which the O’Keefe brain trust laid out the entirety of their plan like the band of bumbling dipshits that they are:

The caller had failed to hang up, and Kesh, unaware that he was still being recorded, seemed to be conducting a meeting about how to perpetrate an elaborate sting on Soros. “What needs to happen,” he said, is for “someone other than me to make a hundred phone calls like that”—to Soros, to his employees, and to the Democracy Alliance, a club of wealthy liberal political donors that Soros helped to found, which is expected to play a large role in financing this year’s campaigns.

Kesh described sending into the Soros offices an “undercover” agent who could “talk the talk” with Open Society executives. Kesh’s goal wasn’t fully spelled out on the recording, but the gist was that an operative posing as a potential donor could penetrate Soros’s operation and make secret videos that exposed embarrassing activities. Soros, he assured the others, has “thousands of organizations” on the left in league with him. Kesh said that the name of his project was Discover the Networks.


The accidental recording reached farcical proportions when Kesh announced that he was opening Geraghty’s LinkedIn page on his computer. He planned to check her résumé and leverage the information to penetrate the Soros “octopus.”

Kesh said, “She’s probably going to call me back, and if she doesn’t I can create other points of entry.” Suddenly, Kesh realized that by opening Geraghty’s LinkedIn page he had accidentally revealed his own LinkedIn identity to her. (LinkedIn can let users see who has looked at their pages.) “Whoa!” an accomplice warned. “Log out!” The men anxiously reassured one another that no one checks their LinkedIn account anyway.

“Log out!” — LOL! Yeah, that’ll work. Jaysus, O’Keefe, you’re obviously no good at this sting business. Get a fucking real job already, preferably one that doesn’t require abstract thought.

Ooooo! Oooo! I know! I know! Call on me! Call on me!

silly sully

Why? Because he’s a hysterical, pants-soiling drama bear? Let’s not forget, this is the same Sully who, after President Obama had a subpar debate performance in 2012, covered himself with beagle shit and ran through the streets of D.C. bellowing doom and woe (okay, only in my imagination, but it’s just a slight exaggeration!).

And Sully likes Obama. He hates Hillary Clinton, with such an irrational intensity that it’s as if he thinks she’s the evil harpy who personally circumcised him with a rusty teaspoon in a squalid NHS clinic. So of course he’s sure she’s going to lose to Trump, though Sully says he’ll vote for Clinton if there’s no palatable third party alternative.

[An aside: before all you puling BernieBabies show up in comments to shriek about how much Hillary sucks, we get it! You hate her! Go read the Sullivan interview — you’ll get a righteous stiffy, and maybe you’ll forget to crap all over the comments section.]

There was also something in the Slate interview that reminded me of Adam’s post last night. If you haven’t read Adam’s post yet, do. You won’t enjoy it as it is a compendium of the slime extruded on Twitter by pro-Trump, anti-Semitic creepy-crawlies who emerged when a journalist turned over a rock. Horrifying.

But anyhoo, the Slate article addressed the incident Adam talks about and also a headline at the Trump-friendly Breitbart site earlier this week that refers to Bill Kristol as a “Renegade Jew.” Now, it’s important to bear three things in mind when considering the Breitbart headline:

1) Kristol is a loathsome piece of shit
2) Breitbart is a flophouse for unemployable wingnut morons rather than a legitimate media organization
3) The person who called Kristol a “Renegade Jew,” David Horowitz, is himself Jewish (and a nasty wingnut hysteric of the WND variety)

But all that said — damn. As Michelle Goldberg notes, “the Trump campaign has been associated with white nationalism and a resurgence of raw, violently threatening anti-Semitism. Breitbart’s headline suggests that the Jew baiting popular on pro-Trump social media feeds is creeping toward the mainstream.”

That’s scary shit. Several weeks ago on a thread here, I expressed a thought I’ve heard many fellow American liberals express since Trump clinched the GOP nomination, something along the lines that the fact that Trump will top a major party ticket makes me ashamed even though I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life.

A commenter (I’ve forgotten who — sorry) replied that one advantage she enjoyed as someone who was raised by African American parents was never having to feel ashamed about something a white fool like Trump does. I don’t think I replied — didn’t know what to say.

Because honestly, it never occurred to me for a second to be ashamed because Trump is a fellow white person; rather, I felt shame as an American, that such a vile, bigoted dunce had captured the nomination of one of only two relevant political parties in my country.

That’s an aspect of white privilege, no doubt — the freedom from feeling any responsibility for what some random white shithead does, the certainty that it doesn’t reflect in any way on me. But as this white nationalist aspect of the Trump campaign asserts itself, I do feel a special responsibility to respond to it, as an American of the WASP variety.

I’m not sure how, aside from doing everything I possibly can to help elect Hillary Clinton. Maybe grab the lapels of fellow Saltine-American friends, relatives and neighbors who say they might vote for Trump and shake some sense into them? I don’t know.

But I do feel responsible. And more determined than ever.

Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

In keeping with our occasional “Keep Thor in Thursday” theme, here’s how my high schooler let me know she’d busted yet another goddamn iPhone screen earlier this week:

thor screen

Clever girl — she knows I’m a sucker for Thor. After tomorrow, I won’t be able to refer to the screen-destroyer as “my high schooler” anymore because she’s about to become “my college student.” Figgety fuck, how’d that happen?!?

Among Floridians, it’s customary for kids who graduate to go to the beach for a week; there’s even a catchy name for it: Beach Week. When I graduated from high school (during the Reagan administration!), some classmate’s very gullible parents rented a posh three-story beach house for their kid’s Beach Week. No one could have predicted that a horde of rowdy teenagers would descend to utterly trash it, but that’s what happened.

I woke up early and surveyed the devastation. There were vomit stains on the carpet and curtains. The sofa had huge cigar holes burned in it. The tile was cracked where someone had knocked a keg off the counter. Pictures were broken. A television had been hurled off a deck and was half buried in the sand. Glassware was obliterated.

I had not personally committed any of these atrocities, but I figured it was time to skedaddle. The parents who had been foolish enough to supply the staging ground for that night of mayhem later contacted all the kids who had been there to try to get money to offset the damage. I told them honestly I didn’t have any money. Still feel kind of bad about that.

Now, in the fullness of time, it’s my turn to watch a kid pack up for Beach Week, and I’m supplying the venue, which is the beachfront condominium of a relative. I am confident that my kid and her friends won’t trash the place. These kids today with their stupid broken phones and their responsible behavior — they aren’t assholes like we were. I blame Obama.

Open thread!

Speaking of Shitty Surrogates…

From the “Silence is Golden, Duct Tape is Silver” file [via TPM]:

An ally to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seemed to suggest Wednesday that women—ugly women, to be specific—wouldn’t tolerate presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s misogynistic rhetoric.

Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and mayor of Philadelphia, surmised to The Washington Post in an article posted Wednesday that Trump would have “some appeal” among working-class Democrats in his state, but that he’d lose out among Republican women.

“For every one he’ll lose 1½, two Republican women,” Rendell told the Post’s Dave Weigel. “Trump’s comments like ‘You can’t be a 10 if you’re flat-chested,’ that’ll come back to haunt him. There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women. People take that stuff personally.”

Sweet A-Cup Jeebus, Rendell. Maybe STFU? Forever?

Open thread!

I was wrong. I’m sorry.

A little more than a year ago, I wrote the following after it was announced that Senator Sanders had raised an impressive $1.5 million in the 24 hours after he announced his candidacy:

The mister and I played a small part in Bernie’s surprisingly successful showing: We made our first political contribution of 2016 to Sanders’ campaign yesterday in the hope that his candidacy would drag Hillary Clinton a few centimeters leftward. Little did we guess we were droplets in a socialist cash tsunami!

Sanders is still surfing that tsunami, but now I am heartily sorry to have been a part of it. Sanders’ arrogant statement yesterday, in which he failed to condemn the appalling behavior of his supporters at the Nevada Democratic Convention and instead engaged in crybaby complaining about the process, was the last fucking straw for me.

For weeks if not months now, whenever someone would suggest that Sanders might screw the pooch by irreversibly ginning up ill-will toward the Democratic Party among his fringier supporters, I insisted that Sanders cared too much about making progress on his issues and preserving his influence in the senate to go down such a damaging path.

Well, the statement linked above suggests that y’all were right, and I was wrong. Sanders seems prepared to Nader us, so (to quote valued commenter Burnsie) fuck him, the horse he rode in on, the farrier who shod the horse and the farmers who grew the wheat and oats.

I still hope and trust that the vast majority of Sanders supporters will come around after Clinton wins the nomination. All the ones I personally know plan to do that — they aren’t morons.

I still suspect that many of the loopier BernieBros were never Democrats in the first place but rather Greenies who voted for Jill Stein in 2012 because Obama wasn’t pure enough for them or Paultroons who are in it for the Fed audit. So if they defect, it won’t much matter.

But I’ve learned my lesson about making political gestures. This is serious shit; it’s too important for playacting. I wish I were confident Senator Sanders understands that.

I deleted my Attytood bookmark today…


No, not really. But one histrionic, illustrated account of a meaningless personal gesture deserves another, and Will Bunch’s “I burned my Democratic voter registration card today” is a dramatic chipmunk of a post:

[A]s a concerned citizen and a progressive independent voter, I’d love to see an open convention and an honest debate about the future of the Democratic Party here in Philadelphia. I have little doubt that a fair and transparent confab, guided by rank-and-file progressives and not by lobbyists, would cast the money changers from the temple and embrace policies — like health care and college opportunity for all — that are favored by the majority of American voters.

I’m not optimistic that will happen, not in the least. So, TTFN, Democratic Party…ta-ta for now. Don’t worry, thanks to Pennsylvania’s closed-primary rule, I have little doubt that I’ll be back again in April 2020…to vote for an honest progressive alternative to President Clinton.

Good riddance, you fucking crybaby. Your preferred candidate couldn’t get enough votes to win the Democratic primary, boo-fucking-hoo. Been there, done that, got the stupid orange hat.

And BTW, that bit about the Democratic Party being “way too corrupt to be a real agent of progressive change”? President Obama is the current head of the Democratic Party, and comparing his progressive accomplishments to Senator Sanders’ is like comparing the mass of the fucking sun to a lentil.

So yeah, nope. You join the snow-white unicorns in the Indy Corral over yonder — we grubby, corrupt Democrats will sack up and take on the Orcs. You’re welcome.

God, I can’t wait until this primary is over. Bunch seems like a good guy and will no doubt go back to being not-stupid soon. But it’s disturbing to see these silly-ass GBCW posts from otherwise sensible people, in the same way it’s disconcerting to learn that someone you previously considered smart and perceptive admired Ayn Rand past puberty.

[H/T: relentless performance art troll srv]