This Will End Well

Via The Washington Post we learn that former Trump aide and Mueller invitee will not go gently into that dark grand jury room:

Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said Monday that he has been subpoenaed to appear in front of a federal grand jury investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 but that he will refuse to go….


This is the subpoena folks have been talking about over the weekend:

Among those the subpoena requests information about are departing White House communications director Hope Hicks, former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and adviser Roger Stone.

Nunberg is deeply offended by the idea (a) that he should comply with a federal subpoena, or that anyone would think Donald Trump and the Russians had anything to do with one another.  On the one hand, he has a point:

“The Russians and Trump did not collude,” Nunberg said. “Putin is too smart to collude with Donald Trump.”

On the other, he’s kinda saying “trust me” when, if I may be so bold, I don’t.

In  any event, Nunberg is in full “Hell No I Won’t Go” mode, and that, I have to believe, won’t end well.

Nunberg said he does not plan to comply with the subpoena, including either testimony or providing documents.

“Let him arrest me,” Nunberg said. “Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday.”

Here’s my question: do you think orange is his color?

Special Snowflakes Are Special open thread.

Image: Francisco de Goya, A Prison Scene, either 1810-14 or 1793-4.

After-Party Open Thread: Would-Be Funnyman Delighted to Find His Audience

Not just golf — he also did a GOP fundraiser: money for him and his cronies, expenses billed to the rest of us schmucks! At heart, in his revanchist daydreams of a vanished America where men were men, women were body parts, ‘colored people’ knew their place, and foreigners were comic props, he’s just the World’s Greatest Tummler…

Happier than you, putz. Sure, there’s the neverending GOP tsuris about imaginary violations for her to bear, but she’s not the one in Robert Mueller’s cross-hairs.


Then it was on to the Gridiron Dinner in DC, where “journalists” traditionally suck up to “poke gentle fun” at the sitting president:

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Late Night Open Thread: Fear Was Trump’s Best Weapon Against the GOP, and He’s Losing That Weapon

Some of the congressional Republicans who last year might have feared a disparaging mention in the president’s Twitter feed are readily pushing back when his populist instincts run counter to long-held Republican stands.

Trump’s announcement Thursday of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum was greeted by cheers from Democrats and wariness or outright criticism from Republicans. Likewise, his attempt to mediate on guns by embracing comprehensive background checks for buyers and raising the age limit for purchasing some rifles.

Earlier this year, his four main immigration proposals — including a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants — got only 39 votes in the Senate, with 14 Republicans voting against it…

That influence will be tested over the next eight months as states hold primaries for congressional elections in November that will decide control of the House and Senate. His approval rating with Republican voters remains strong — 80 percent or higher in most recent polls — even as his overall job approval is stuck below 40 percent.

Trump won the White House with an odds-defying, rule-breaking campaign. There are signs he and the GOP may not be able to replicate that…

Trump’s indecisiveness and shifting views has contributed to his diminished luster within the Republican Party by making GOP lawmakers wary of taking potentially risky votes for fear that the president will pull away political cover.

“On immigration and the gun stuff, sometimes you don’t know where he’s going to end up. You don’t know if it’ll be the Tuesday Trump or the Thursday Trump,” said Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, an occasional critic of the president who is retiring after 2018. “People are concerned about that.”…

“Trump’s influence on Capitol Hill was significant last year, but in an election year the calculation for many members is different,” said Matt Mackowiak, a Texas-based Republican strategist. “His endorsement is still valuable in most places, particularly in Republican primaries. There is a limit to what he can sell on Capitol Hill and he may find that limit on several difficult issues this year.”

Alex Conant, a former spokesman for Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and a veteran campaign aide, said Trump succeeds when he shares goals of Republicans, such as on tax cuts and confirming judges, and fails when they differ.

“Trump and congressional Republicans have a very transactional relationship,” Conant said in an email. “Trump’s low poll numbers significantly weaken his influence on the Hill. A lot of congressional Republicans seeking tough re-elections are seeking to highlight policy disagreements with Trump.”…

As the 2018 midterms progress, we may need to add yet another category: Rooting for Injuries.


Give those crafty Europeans credit for knowing their symbols:

“We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans – Levis,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told German television.”

It is worth noting that not only are these the stereotypical (one might almost say, caricature) emblems of Americana, Harley’s are made in Wisconsin, just north of Paul Ryan’s district and, as we all know, McTurtle is from the great corn-mash state of Kentucky.

Funny how a policy conceived in ignorant petulance has obvious, immediate, and hugely stupid consequences.

You may consider this both a proof-of-life post and an open thread.

(Truly astonishing NSFW the-world-was-sure-different-then image below the fold)

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Late-Night Open Thread: The Lyin’ in Winter

And here Donald thought he’d found himself a “son” who was a competent grifter!

It’s been a truism since at least Jimmy Carter’s presidency that Washington DC is “wired for Republicans”, but it’s a company town and these Trump goniffs are damaging the brand. I suspect the stories Roxanne Roberts shares in the Washington Post hurt Jared, Ivanka, and their socially-insecure old man’s feelings much more than any Democratic accusations of treason / incompetence / general venality — “Washington society and Team Trump: A year in, the fear and loathing is mutual”:

The president and many of his closest advisers are contemptuous and suspicious of the Washington establishment, which they dismiss as the “swamp.” And the city’s social elite, normally quick to embrace a new chief executive and his inner circle, are judgmental, wary and afraid of being, as one Republican put it, “tainted for life.”

“This establishment is trying to reject Trump and his family like white blood cells chasing off an infection,” says conservative anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, who has lived in Washington for 33 years. And Trump loyalists, he says, see little value in rubbing shoulders with people who didn’t want anything to do with them before the election…

The Trumps, for their part, seem to want not just respect and courtesy but personal allegiance. One Republican hostess, eager to introduce Trump family members to some of her friends, was told that they were interested only in people who are “loyal” — a term rarely used to describe social acquaintances…

There was a moment when Ivanka and Jared seemed like the perfect bridge between the White House and social Washington. They were young, glamorous and chic, the ultimate power couple in a city full of them. They had impeccable manners and were eager to engage. They hosted small dinners at their Kalorama home for members of Congress, administration officials and other prominent Washingtonians…

That mutual admiration was short-lived. The couple apparently became increasingly disenchanted with Washington after the Russia scandal broke, surprised by what they considered vicious, unfair attacks. Whatever goodwill they felt toward the establishment has reportedly evaporated, and the two are rarely seen at social events outside the president’s orbit.

Meanwhile, the A-list was surprised by what some describe as the self-importance and humorlessness of Team Trump. “This is the first administration,” one fundraiser says, “where you can’t tease.” …

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GunFondlers Open Thread: PHRASING!


MEANWHILE, the rightwing grievance artists have a new #hashtagactivism grievance…

… needless to say, the snarkier responses to #boycottdicks may be NSFW.

Inside Job Open Thread: Brad Parscale Bobs Up Again

The NYTimes handles the story as delicately as only the Grey Lady can:

With just 980 days to go until the next presidential election, President Trump said Tuesday that he would run again in 2020, an announcement that several White House advisers said simply meant the president would step up his preferred and much-missed activity of performing for an adoring crowd.

In effect, it continues the permanent campaign of a president who, from the time he took office over a year ago, has signaled his interest to run again and has kept holding campaign-style rallies. The president officially filed for re-election with the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration…

But another part of Mr. Trump’s announcement — that Brad Parscale, his 2016 campaign digital director, would be elevated to campaign manager — signaled a more complicated political maneuver on behalf of the president’s family, and specifically Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, according to the president’s advisers.

Mr. Kushner was close to Mr. Parscale during the 2016 campaign, and putting him in an expanded role was widely seen as a power play by the president’s son-in-law. It was first breathlessly reported by the Drudge Report — and billed as both a “historical record” and a “bold move. Matt Drudge, the website’s proprietor, is in frequent contact with Mr. Kushner.

Mr. Parscale, 42, is a frequent presence in Washington. The rare scruffily bearded man in Mr. Trump’s clean-shaven orbit, Mr. Parscale often spends one or two nights a week holding court with vendors and people he describes as “fans” in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel…

Mr. Parscale did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday, but in an interview with The New York Times in June, he described himself as a “blue-collar kid from Kansas who understood what Trump was saying,” and spoke at length about his devotion to the Trump family.

“I was always the family guy on the campaign,” Mr. Parscale said. “If I saw or heard anything that I didn’t think was good for the family, my loyalty was to the family first.”

In another interview, in August, Mr. Parscale described his role on the 2016 campaign.

“I build the plumbing,” he said. “I changed the plumbing of campaigns, from moving it from TV to digital.”…

Last year Mr. Parscale also took a sizable cut from the Trump campaign. The biggest single expenditure of the $17 million it spent in 2017 was the $5.5 million it paid for digital advertising, nearly all of which passed through firms owned by Mr. Parscale…

He does what Mr. Trump wants done, without asking nosy questions about ‘ethics’ or ‘legality’. Of course he’s entitled to his due rewards, a little taste off the top. That’s how family is defined, in Trumpworld!


Trump’s 2016 campaign and the digital operation that Parscale oversaw are under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Earlier this month, Mueller indicted 13 Russians for trying to sabotage the last presidential campaign — helping Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton — through fake social media posts and other measures.

The special counsel in his charging documents said Trump campaign staffers were “unwitting” participants in the Russia effort, but he did not name any aides as co-conspirators.
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