LOSE THE MORNING

The Politico team will be no more after the 2016 Hunger Games as founders Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen are evacuating the smoking remains of the Village by helicopter.

In what can be described only as a cataclysm in Beltway media, CEO Jim VandeHei is leaving Politico, the eight-year-old politics website that shook up Washington journalism, according to sources and reports by Huffington Postand CNNMoney.

And in what can be described only as a mega-cataclysm, Politico Chief White House correspondent Mike Allen is joining VandeHei in rushing toward the exits of Politico’s Rosslyn headquarters. Allen writes the daily franchise newsletter “Politico Playbook.” A bearer of occasional scoops, Allen is the driver of very frequent revenue. Weekly sponsorships for “Playbook” run in the $50,000 to $60,000 range this year, depending on the news cycle. And that’s not even rolling in the big money that comes from “Politico Playbook” conferences/interviews anchored by Allen. His work alone — complete with ethical issues — subsidized a platoon of Politico reporters.

It doesn’t end there: Kim Kingsley, the Chief Operating Officer is leaving as well. Kingsley has provided the glue that bridged Politico’s newsroom and its business side as the site sprinted to revenues approaching $20 million just years after launching. She headed the colonization of radio and cable-news airwaves that helped establish Politico as a preferred Washington source both for readers and advertisers. The company’s successful events business was also an obsession of Kingsley’s. Other departures are Danielle Jones and Chief Revenue Officer Roy Schwartz.

VandeHei, Allen and Schwartz will stay through the 2016 election; the others will leave on earlier timetables. Editor-in-Chief John Harris will say on board and take on the additional title of publisher.

Politico as we’ve come to know it is no longer.

The disintegration appears to be over money issues, as most business problems seem to be, and surely most of these folks will land on their feet.  But Politico’s particularly toxic brand of Beltway both-siderism has surely taken a beating in the era of LOL PMURT NOTHING MATTERS ANYMORE, and I’m thinking since the rules of Beltway “journalism” have been thoroughly napalmed over the last six months, Jim and Mike are getting off the playground where they’ve realized that they’re no longer the guys in charge of giving out all the kickballs.

I can think of a couple hundred Villagers who need to follow those two out the door, too.



Open Thread: Repub-on-Repub Mayhem Tonight

The Guardian, praise goddess & real journalism, is liveblogging both screamfests here.

Per the Washington Post, Fox News streams the undercard (Fiorina/Huckabee/Santorum/Gilmore) starting at 7pm EST; CBSN may livestream the Trump Show warm-up at 8pm; and then the ‘competition’: Fox with the ‘authorized’ debate, and

(Also, Jeb “Wrong Again” Bush seems to be out twenty bucks.)



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Much Ado

Forget about popcorn, there’s been a YOOOGE run on squirting flowers & big floppy shoes.
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Apart from the same sad clowns, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Terrifying Team Trump Tales

CNN decides to take a look at people who support The Donald and discovers that the people who support The Donald are pretty much exactly who you’d suspect of supporting aforementioned Donald.

They are showing up in droves to see Donald Trump: Men and women, overwhelmingly white, frustrated with the country’s first black president, fearful that they are being displaced by minorities and immigrants, and nostalgic for the way America used to be.

And Trump is thriving, tapping into the fears and anxieties that have erupted into the open in an extraordinary presidential campaign.

The voters pledging their allegiance to the Republican front-runner hail from all corners of the country. They work on farms, in nursing homes and run small businesses; they’ve voted for Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and participated in the tea party movement; they are high school students who will vote for the first time this November and retirees and veterans who came of age during World War II.

In Trump, these people see the next president of the United States.

His attitude, one voter said, is that he “seems to just not give a f—.” Trump’s nativist rhetoric and hardline immigration stance is a relief for those who see a segment of the population “getting away” with breaking the law. Post-San Bernardino, the candidate’s promise to “bomb the sh– out of ISIS” exudes an uncomplicated confidence rare in other politicians. His accomplishments in the business world offer reassurance that he’ll “put the economy back where it belongs.”

Perhaps most important is Trump’s imperviousness to the typical boundaries around race. He has made provocative remarks on the subject since the earliest days of his campaign — and his supporters are listening. They are rowdy, and at times, even violent. On more than one occasion, they’ve accosted protesters, lobbing racial slurs and physical abuse.

There is a significant bloc of voters who want payback, folks, for slights real or perceived over the last 8 years, folks who want to punish Obama supporters relentlessly and leave them crushed, broken, and forever powerless, never to dare challenge them.

They want someone to put them back on top to “make American great again.”

They’ve found their guy who they think will do it and to hell with everyone else. The mob is coming and they are pissed.

“I got mine, fuck the rest of you” as a worldview?  Really is that simple.

And they’ll vote.



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: American Schizophrenia

But on the positive side, according to Buzzfeed, “Trump’s Effect On The Latino Vote Has Begun: More Hispanic U.S. Citizens Are Coming”:

Near the Las Vegas strip, five women who share a number of qualities sat down for an interview.

The women are all Latina. They’re foreign-born. They’re members of the 53,000-strong Culinary Workers Union Local 226. They work as housekeepers (four of them at Donald Trump’s Las Vegas hotel).

And they’re all in the process of becoming naturalized U.S. citizens.

These women are just five of what labor and immigration activists say are a few of the thousands of Latinos they hope to help naturalize, in pivotal swing states like Nevada, Florida, and Colorado. The reason, they say? Trump made them do it…

If Trump has tapped into disaffected voters this year with his immigration rhetoric, there is also an unintended consequence — a mix of naturalization efforts, voter registration efforts, and ultimately efforts to mobilize voters off Trump’s rhetoric.

In the last 14 years, the local Culinary Union’s umbrella union, Unite Here, has helped push for 15,000 naturalizations. This year, Unite Here wants to help 2,500 people naturalize by June 1, so they can become U.S. citizens before the election — in addition to registering 10,000 new voters…

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Concerning the other big overnight breaking news, here’s the latest from local news, the Oregonian:

BURNS – Law enforcement officers set up roadblocks Tuesday night around the headquarters of the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge hours after one of the takeover’s top spokesmen was killed and other leaders were arrested on a highway out of town.

FBI officials told those still at the compound, about 30 miles southeast of Burns, that they were free to leave and should do so. By midnight, few people appeared to have taken up the offer and the lights were still on.

Authorities provided no information about the roadblocks, but have scheduled a news conference for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Burns.

That would be 1:30pm EST. I’m sure other front-pagers will be updating as more news emerges.

I’ve been following Oregonian reporter Les Zaitz and JJMacNabb on Twitter (you don’t need an account to read people’s public twitter feeds).
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Apart from bad craziness, amusing and otherwise, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Monday Evening Open Thread: Doomed!


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Because Bill “Sarah Palin, Let Me Show You Her” Kristol is always wrong!…
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Apart from despair snark, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Late Night Open Thread: Trump (Further) Agitates RNC Dinosaurs

The Prolapsed Pig Rectum speaks! Ex-NH Governor & longtime Bush Crime Family associate John Sununu — never my favorite person — is not happy with the possibility that Il Trumpenfuhrer will turn his beloved “Live Free or Die Trying” fiefdom into a(n even bigger) laughing stock / political liability. The Washington Examiner is a far-right platform for loons like Byron York, but in Very Important Media Village Idiot-Persons circles, he’s respected. And here’s his latest — “GOP fear and loathing in New Hampshire”:

… At the [First-in-the-Nation Presidential Town Hall] gathering’s dinner Friday night, I sat next to former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and his wife Nancy. When we talked about the presidential race — a race in a state whose ground-level politics Sununu knows better than almost anyone — Sununu must have said some version of “I don’t know what is going on” about a dozen times.

Sununu has not endorsed a candidate. But in a brief speech before dinner, he seemed to send a message to fellow Granite Staters to stay away from unserious choices.

Sununu’s message was that New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation status is a precious gift, but it might not last forever; state Republicans could lose it if they do something crazy. “We must remember why we are allowed — and I use that word, ‘allowed’ — to be first in the nation,” Sununu said. “We are allowed because we have done a good job historically, and so we must in the next 18 days make sure we continue to do a good job.”

“You have to go out and communicate with our friends and neighbors that a primary is not to settle internal differences within a party and a state,” Sununu continued. “It’s not a get-even process. It’s not a gotcha process. It’s a process that we have a responsibility to pick the next president.” Voting in the primary is more than just voting, Sununu said: “It’s making sure that as a body, those of us who support the Republican Party, those of us who care about this country, make sure that our friends and neighbors do it responsibly.”…

This is buried in a ‘No true Scotsman’ tirade, about how none of the real Republicans, the serious GOP permanent party people, have any idea who might be voting for this parvenu Trump person. Their voters are not his voters! He has no lawn signs! He’s not spending his money on paid local consultants or ‘earned media’ meet’n’greets (with their profitable-to-local-business dining & lodging)! He dissed the Union-Leader — and seems to have gotten away with it!

The Wall Street Journal noticed this #FITN dissatisfaction a couple of weeks ago — “Former N.H. Gov. Sununu: Trump Is Rich but ‘Not Bright’”

“The guy brags that he can’t be bought and yet Putin proved the guy is the cheapest political buy in the game,” Mr. Sununu said… “Ten cents worth of flattery and he’s got Trump sucking up his butt.”

Some context for this fight: Mr. Sununu, who served as President George H.W. Bush’s White House chief of staff and was governor of New Hampshire during the ’80s, last week penned an op-ed in the New Hampshire Union Leader asking people to not “drink the Trump Kool-aid.”…

“Can you believe this guy?” Mr. Trump said about Mr. Sununu, who quit his White House post in 1991 after the president asked for his resignation. “He was fired like a dog and he doesn’t even realize it.”

Mr. Sununu has long been a critic of Trump the politician. In November he predicted the GOP would lose control of the Senate if Mr. Trump wins the party’s nomination. In October he said voters need to “wake up” to stop Mr. Trump’s political momentum.

One of Mitt Romney’s chief attacking surrogates in 2012, Mr. Sununu is unaligned in 2016 because his son Chris is running for governor. The former governor on Monday said Mr. Trump isn’t patient or smart enough to be president.

“You can’t be commander-in-chief with such a thin skin,” Mr. Sununu said. “He may be rich, but he’s not bright. The two don’t necessarily go together.”…

(Those of us who suffered through the first Bush presidency will remember that Sununu is inordinately proud of his ‘one in a million’ IQ scores… )

To be fair, it’s true that a President Donald Trump would be catastrophic for our Repub-weakened nation. On the other hand, there’s a good chance that even a general-election Candidate Trump would be catastrophic for the Republican Party… which I am not at all sure would be a bad thing for those of us not paid by the Republican Party.

And, as a Masshole who spends far too much time clicking away from First-in-the-Nation paid media for at least 18 months out of every two years, it would be a net positive if a Trump win in the NH primary were to destroy the enfeebled “tradition” where a small non-representative very-white state full of angry old tourist-milkers, Free State glibertarians, and social parasites commuting across the border every workday to use Massachusetts resources while avoiding Massachusetts taxes has entirely too much power to winnow presidential choices for the rest of us.