Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Now *We* Have “the Bigger Half”


 
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”


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Open Thread: Trump’s (Anti-) “Social Media (Not-) Summit”

For edutainment purposes / posterity only, since this is one of those social-media sites…

Actually, the invitation list seems to have been curated (as the Youngs say) with a certain level of craft: The real bottomfeeders and genuine crazies didn’t get invited, just those one-foot-in-each-camp opportunists who are too careless for Fox Media and too careful to get banned by the big platforms.

The White House hasn’t released a public list of attendees for the Thursday afternoon event, but a number of pro-Trump personalities have posted invitations on Twitter. They include Ali Alexander, a right-wing operative pushing a smear that Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) isn’t really “an American Black,” a pro-Trump “memesmith” who goes by the screenname “@CarpeDonktum,” and blogger Jim Hoft, whose Gateway Pundit blog frequently promotes hoaxes.

The invitee list also includes more traditional White House visitors, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and representatives from campus conservative group Turning Point USA and conservative YouTube channel PragerU. In an Instagram post, Turning Point executive Benny Johnson promised to use the conference to give Trump “dank meme ideas.”…

Notably, the group so far doesn’t appear to include anyone who has actually been banned from major social platforms, even though those bans have played a significant role in driving accusations on the right that the social giants are biased. Pro-Trump figures like anti-Muslim activist Laura Loomer, InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and Proud Boys men’s group founder Gavin McInnes, for example, don’t appear to have been invited…

Of course, count on Infowars to show up anyway (and not get chased off):

L-R: Ali ‘Kamala’s Not Really Black’ Alexander, James ‘Breitbart’s Bastard Son’ O’Keefe III, TP-USA’s Charlie ‘Diaper Boy’ Kirk, and Gateway Pundit Jim ‘Dumbest Man on the Internet’ Hoft

And one more who couldn’t bear to stay away…


 
Notes from an actual journalist with the ‘nut graf‘ of the proceedings:


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‘American Carnage’ Open Thread: GOP Lifer Shocked, Shocked to Discover…

Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent Tim Alberta finds himself trapped in the nightmare party at the end of Animal Farm, where the faces of men and pigs have become indistinguishable. It’s a heavy lift, but eventually he finds a satisfactory villain to blame for the totally inexplicable triumph of Donald Trump over the Republican party:

As George W. Bush left office with record-low approval ratings and Barack Obama led a Democratic takeover of Washington, Republicans faced a moment of reckoning: They had no vision, no generation of new leaders, and no energy in the party’s base. Yet Obama’s forceful pursuit of his progressive agenda, coupled with the nation’s rapidly changing societal and demographic identity, lit a fire under the right, returning Republicans to power and inviting a bloody struggle for the party’s identity in the post-Bush era. The factions that emerged—one led by absolutists like Jim Jordan and Ted Cruz, the other led by pragmatists like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell—engaged in a series of devastating internecine clashes and attempted coups for control. With the GOP’s internal fissures rendering it legislatively impotent, and that impotence fueling a growing resentment toward the political class and its institutions, the stage was set for an outsider to crash the party. When Trump descended a gilded escalator to announce his run in the summer of 2015, the candidate had met the moment…

And you thought we Democrats had an exaggerated opinion of Number 44. Perhaps once the current Squatter-in-Chief has been replaced by a real (Democratic) President, we’ll be better able to appreciate a scrupulously sourced and painstakingly footnoted version of the current Revanchist Rebellion. It’s pretty clear his Repub comrades don’t intend Mike Pence to inherit the Oval Office, even if his lord and master is removed before 2020 by medical crisis or political impeachment.

From the NYTimes, “American Carnage’ Shows How War Between Republicans Led to Their Peace With Trump”:

Alberta, a political correspondent for the conservative magazine National Review before moving to Politico, brings more than a decade of reporting and a real understanding of the conservative movement to “American Carnage.” He reminds readers of the 2000 presidential election, when George W. Bush campaigned with the promise of “compassionate conservatism,” reflecting an attempt by the Republican Party to present itself as “warm, aspirational, inclusive,” pursuing minority outreach and immigration reform. Republican pollsters had taken a look at the changing demographics of the country, and the numbers spelled doom. The Republican Party simply couldn’t survive by catering primarily to white people.

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Shut Down the Long Weekend Open Thread: There Is Nothing Trump Can’t Fvck Up

… not even a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

Also from the Washington Post (paper of record for the company town whose monopoly industry is national politics), “Evening in America: What it felt like on Trump’s Fourth of July”:

From the president’s vantage point, his supporters looked like they were in cages. Their fingers curled around chain-link. Bellies smushed against butts. When their knees gave out, they sat on ponchos and muddy blankets and squares of wet cardboard. The air, scented by sodden socks and bug spray, sagged with humidity. When the breeze picked up, so did the sensation that everything was surrounded by a battalion of toilets. It was difficult to move, to escape, but then no one was trying to do so. They were grateful to be here, soaked by hours of drizzle, hugged by a lazy heat, waiting hours and hours for him, for the show. The president had invited them to express their love of country in a maze of corrals, on a truly crappy day of weather, but they didn’t feel like prisoners of pomp or slaves to circumstance but jubilant pilgrims thrilled to be counted as citizens of the “most just and virtuous republic ever conceived,” as the president put it…

Trump’s been doing this kind of thing for years, though never with the U.S. military as his production team. In April 1990, when he opened the doomed Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, a 43-year-old Donald Trump arranged 5½ minutes of fireworks that were half-obscured by his own building, insinuated that he had cured a disabled guest of honor and — after his podium spittled theatrical fog — told the crowd to “have a nice life.” (His business would file for bankruptcy the following year.)…


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Open Thread: Murphy the Trickster God Bless America


 
And there are many entertaining tweets under the hashtags #ColonialAirports, but this IMO is the best: