They’re not booing; they’re chanting “Boooooooooo-lton”

Maybe someone in Trump’s entourage has figured out how to stream Fox News so the Trumps can access this comforting spin from a Blonde with Two Boobs on a Couch:

One of the Two Boobs claims the boos are for Bolton, who allegedly “loves it” since he’s a “tough guy.” Does the average Londoner even know who Bolton is? If so, they’re way ahead of the average American. Regrettably, Princess Complicity’s vacant visage is known worldwide. Ask not for whom the Brits boo; they boo for she.

What I want to know is who is paying for this European vacation for Trump’s adult hell-spawn? We taxpayers are almost certainly on the hook for Ivanka and Jared since they are (preposterously) employed by our government. But I hope the newsies will follow up on who’s paying for the trip for Don Jr., Tiffany, and Eric plus his idiot wife.

I remember wingnuts screeching like scalded stoats when Michelle Obama and her daughters toured London — even though the Obamas paid for their own personal expenses. They’ll guard the US Treasury just as jealously now that the vulgar Trump horde is abroad, amirite? [Rhetorical question!]

Open thread!

Give him five in the snot locker, Harry!

Those who believe the British monarchy is an anachronistic absurdity that wastes millions providing a jet-setting lifestyle to upper-class twits who should get real jobs might reconsider that opinion in light of Prince Harry’s odious obligation to meet Donald Trump (and possibly his hell-spawn) this week.

But the ginger prince has an opportunity here to reaffirm the vitality of the institution he represents and become a hero to millions on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond — he could punch Trump in the nose for insulting his wife.

Trump lies about everything, so we can’t draw conclusions such as “Trump’s afraid the Duke of Sussex will punch him in the snoot” from the fact that Trump is lying about calling Meghan Markle “nasty,” but here Trump is lying about it just this morning:

Trump’s official 2020 campaign “war room” Twitter account out-stupided the boss by tweeting the same lie last night, only with an audio recording with subtitles in which Trump clearly calls Markle “nasty” when he learned she had (correctly!) said Trump is divisive and misogynistic in the run-up to the 2016 election:

In the “war room” social media director’s defense, the audience for those tweets would thank the Golden Pig for dispensing lemonade if he pissed in their mouths, so there’s no downside to providing ironclad proof that they’re lying in the tweet containing the lie.

But why Trump thinks it’s a good idea to keep stirring this shit up right before jetting off to inflict himself and his horrible family on the UK is baffling. Maybe because it distracts Americans from impeachment? Nah, there’s no strategy beyond “look at meeeeeee!” There never is.

Open thread!

Hypocritic Oaf

AG Barr appeared on the CBS This Morning program and uttered the following:

“I think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that,” Barr defended.

“From my perspective, the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring,” he added.

Keep in mind that this dishonest shit-whistle slammed then-AG Janet Reno for failing to publicly oppose her boss’s criticism of Ken Starr’s investigation of a consensual blowjob. If hypocrisy were flammable, Barr would become a torch that could be seen from space.

Dead GOP Vote Diddler’s Hard Drives Reveal Huge US Commerce Department Scandal

This is a crazy story, y’all. The Times:

Deceased G.O.P. Strategist’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question

WASHINGTON — Thomas B. Hofeller achieved near-mythic status in the Republican Party as the Michelangelo of gerrymandering, the architect of partisan political maps that cemented the party’s dominance across the country.

But after he died last summer, his estranged daughter discovered hard drives in her father’s home that revealed something else: Mr. Hofeller had played a crucial role in the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Files on those drives showed that he wrote a study in 2015 concluding that adding a citizenship question to the census would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to stymie Democrats. And months after urging President Trump’s transition team to tack the question onto the census, he wrote the key portion of a draft Justice Department letter claiming the question was needed to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act — the rationale the administration later used to justify its decision.

Those documents, cited in a federal court filing Thursday by opponents seeking to block the citizenship question, have emerged only weeks before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of the citizenship question. Critics say adding the question would deter many immigrants from being counted and shift political power to Republican areas.

You can read the filing document from the plaintiffs in the case against the US Department of Commerce here. It reveals that Trump administration officials cribbed from Hofeller’s work and passed it off as their own in documents submitted to the court and lied about the expected effects of including the citizenship question:

[Mark] Neuman [Trump transition team member and close adviser to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross] testified that Mr. Hofeller told him that using citizenship data from the census to enforce the Voting Rights Act would increase Latino political representation — the opposite of what Mr. Hofeller’s study had concluded months earlier.

John Gore, assistant attorney general for civil rights and the DoJ’s chief overseer of voting rights issues, also lied under oath about the intended effects of the census question and the origin of the documents. Ross should obviously resign, and Neuman and Gore should be prosecuted for perjury. As for the citizenship question, it should be stricken from the 2020 census, and if it’s not, the House Democrats shouldn’t provide a cent of funding for it.

The thing that makes this case so nutso is that this evidence came to light by accident. After her father’s death, Hofeller’s daughter was going through his belongings and found a bag of thumb drives. While looking through them for family photos, etc., she found material he’d used to create gerrymandered maps. She gave those drives to Common Cause, saying they might be useful in that organization’s challenge to gerrymandered maps her father had created in North Carolina to give Republicans an advantage. The law firm representing Common Cause is also doing pro bono work on the census question case before the SCOTUS and saw the material pertinent to that case.

After the 2012 election, the Republican Party famously conducted an “autopsy.” The TL;DR version of its conclusion was this: Demographics are changing, so if you want to be competitive in future elections, stop being such rancid bigots. The party chose to double-down on racism, sexism and xenophobia instead, and this explosive revelation is only the latest indication that Republicans would rather lie, cheat, steal, and/or conspire with malignant foreign powers to win elections rather than stop being rancid bigots. That’s the inescapable conclusion.

Changing the Channel

In a recent thread, Anne Laurie expressed a wish that I share: that engaging in blatant hypocrisy was physically painful. In that ideal world, posting these tweets yesterday evening would have caused Mango Mussolini to writhe in agony and bellow like a ruptured wildebeest:

Politico managed to cover that pair of tweets without mentioning that racism is as central to Trump’s brand as the “golden arches” are to McDonald’s. It also neglected to mention that Trump called for the execution of the Central Park 5 and continued to advocate for their lynching even after the men were exonerated in a court of law.

It’s weird how impervious Beltway hacks are to the siren call of “both sides” when there’s a “Dems in Disarray” angle to exploit. The Politico piece notes that some Democrats have problems with Biden’s work on the crime bill, specifically 2020 rivals Harris and de Blasio, who called it “a huge mistake.”

As we now know, Russian trolls operating fake accounts pushed the “super predator” line relentlessly against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and blamed her for the crime bill, even though she wasn’t a senator back then and was thus not eligible to vote on it. Was that line of attack effective? I don’t know.

I’m not making excuses for Biden, but it’s a lot easier to criticize that bill in hindsight, and if Twitter had been a thing in 1994, Trump would have been one of the biggest loudmouths on the platform, blasting the crime bill as weak sauce. That said, Biden will have to account for his advocacy and vote to an electorate that includes many voters who either weren’t alive in 1994 or were too young to remember the prevailing sense at the time that crime was spiraling out of control. Will that matter? I don’t know.

Trump’s astoundingly cynical and hypocritical tweets signal his 2020 “strategy,” which is the same strategy he’s employed every minute of his worthless public life: divide and conquer through a boundless capacity for projection and shamelessness and a willingness to accept help from malignant actors (including foreign autocrats) who want to weaken and destroy the country.

And Politico’s hackery in this instance is yet another signal that the Beltway media will be as worthless and destructive in 2020 as it was four years back. So, we’re on our own, with the stakes even higher.

I’m not sure how we (as a party) address it. At the risk of igniting a salvo of anti-Buttigieg trollery, here’s a clip of a recent interview in which Buttigieg addresses Trump’s “strategy” vis-à-vis opponents and how to push back on it, which he called a “crazy uncle management” approach:

TL;DR summary: call out Trump’s lies and point out when he’s wrong, but don’t let him make everything about himself because attention of any kind feeds Trump’s gigantic ego and media dominance. Maybe that’s the answer, but I’m not so sure. Whether the person Trump is lying about in any given comment punches back or not, the media hacks will broadcast the lies.

Toward the end of the clip, Costa (WaPo interviewer and former NR wingnut) asks Buttigieg if Cadet Bonespurs should have gone to Vietnam, and Buttigieg gives a pretty good answer:

“If he were a conscientious objector? I’d admire that. But this is someone who — I think it’s fairly obvious to most of us — took advantage of the fact that he was the child of a multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place. And I know that that dredges up old wounds from a complicated time during a complicated war, but I’m also old enough to remember when conservatives talked about character as something that mattered in the presidency.”

That’s a response with a point that is larger than Trump. Maybe that’s an effective approach. I honestly don’t know. It seems like a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, as Hillary Clinton found out the hard way. She focused on policy and took on Trump, but people (including Buttigieg!) interpret her loss as a failure to follow their own as-yet untested prescription for defeating the Tang Tyrant.

My guess is there’s no magic formula, and whoever wins the Democratic Party’s nomination will win the general election and be hailed in the media as a genius for their approach to dealing with Trump. But the truth will be that all but the hardcore cultists are just sick and tired of the Ochre Ogre and are ready to change the fucking channel already.