Late Night KKKlown Car Open Thread: The GOP Retreat (But Trump Found Them Anyway)

Even though it meant not live-tweeting during the DNC’s Houston debate, where he was guaranteed a (considerably less flattering) large audience. Per the Washington Post:

With the president speaking here Thursday to a closed-door retreat of House Republicans, scores of protesters gathered to express opposition to White House policies and outrage at Trump’s recent tweets calling Maryland’s largest city “the Worst in the USA.”

The visit by the president — who maligned Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live” — was limited to a dinnertime speech kicking off the GOP retreat at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Harbor East.

House Republicans selected Baltimore as the location for their three-day conference long before the president’s attack on the city, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 10 to 1. Well before the White House announced that Trump would attend the conference, a coalition of advocacy groups calling themselves the Baltimore Welcoming Committee had planned days of rallies to protest GOP policies on immigration, climate change and other topics. There was to be a singalong, a light show and a dance party. Organizer Sharon Black said Trump’s scheduled appearance “upped the ante.”

“This is about the remarks about Baltimore and his policies. You can’t really separate the two,” she said…

Of course, Donny Dollhands goes nowhere without a few of his devoted sycophants…

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Interesting Read: “The Real Donald Trump Is a Character on TV”

Not sure I could bear to read a whole book on this topic, but NYTimes TV critic James Poniewozik makes a good argument here:

Try to understand Donald Trump as a person with psychology and strategy and motivation, and you will inevitably spiral into confusion and covfefe. The key is to remember that Donald Trump is not a person. He’s a TV character.

I mean, O.K., there is an actual person named Donald John Trump, with a human body and a childhood and formative experiences that theoretically a biographer or therapist might usefully delve into someday… But that Donald Trump is of limited significance to America and the world. The “Donald Trump” who got elected president, who has strutted and fretted across the small screen since the 1980s, is a decades-long media performance. To understand him, you need to approach him less like a psychologist and more like a TV critic.

He was born in 1946, at the same time that American broadcast TV was being born. He grew up with it. His father, Fred, had one of the first color TV sets in Jamaica Estates… TV was his soul mate. It was like him. It was packed with the razzle-dazzle and action and violence that captivated him. He dreamed of going to Hollywood, then he shelved those dreams in favor of his father’s business and vowed, according to the book “TrumpNation” by Timothy O’Brien, to “put show business into real estate.”

As TV evolved from the homogeneous three-network mass medium of the mid-20th century to the polarized zillion-channel era of cable-news fisticuffs and reality shocker-tainment, he evolved with it. In the 1980s, he built a media profile as an insouciant, high-living apex predator. In 1990, he described his yacht and gilded buildings to Playboy as “Props for the show … The show is ‘Trump’ and it is sold-out performances everywhere.”

He syndicated that show to Oprah, Letterman, NBC, WrestleMania and Fox News. Everything he achieved, he achieved by using TV as a magnifying glass, to make himself appear bigger than he was.

He was able to do this because he thought like a TV camera. He knew what TV wanted, what stimulated its nerve endings. In his campaign rallies, he would tell The Washington Post, he knew just what to say “to keep the red light on”: that is, the light on a TV camera that showed that it was running, that you mattered. Bomb the [redacted] out of them! I’d like to punch him in the face! The red light radiated its approval. Cable news aired the rallies start to finish. For all practical purposes, he and the camera shared the same brain…

If you want to understand what President Trump will do in any situation, then, it’s more helpful to ask: What would TV do? What does TV want?
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Saturday Morning Open Thread: Democrats Prove Smarter Than Republicans

We had the good sense to reject a blowhard billionaire out of hand…

… While the Repubs aren’t even bright enough to prevent a notorious fake one from taking over their party like all the many other businesses he’s already run into bankruptcy!








Monday Morning Open Thread: Rules Lawyers

Most dogs are rules lawyers:


“You told me not to jump in the pool. You *didn’t* tell me not to paddleboard.”
 
So are most Political Twitter Experts, especially at the ends of the horseshoe…


 
A feel-good story to start the week:

… King has not received a single contribution this year from a political action committee associated with a sitting member of Congress. Corporate PACs and interest groups have also completely shunned him. Through the first six months of the year, King received just two contributions from third party political entities: $2,000 donations from PACs associated with two former members of Congress, Lamar Smith (R-TX) and the infamous Todd Akin (R-MO)…

King is dealing with that lack of resources as he faces very immediate threats to his incumbency. His 2018 Democratic opponent, former professional baseball player J.D. Scholten, lost by fewer than three points last year, and is making another run for the seat. This time around King also has a formidable Republican primary opponent, state senator Randy Feenstra, who has already scored endorsements from influential Iowans such as evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats. At the end of July, Feenstra’s campaign committee reported having $337,314.30 cash on hand, compared to King’s $18,000…

Correction: This piece originally stated that individual donations to King were down considerably. In fact, they are roughly on par with previous cycles. The congressman’s financial troubles are due to a drop in corporate and political donations.

But there are still some sane people left in Iowa…








Foreign Relations Open Thread: President Bizarro in Biarritz

Snippets as of 6am Sunday, EDT:


[And then the economic news turned nasty.]
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