GOP Clown Car Open Thread: Steve King’s Demand & Sulk ‘Diamond & Silk’ Act

Rep. Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King’s saying-the-quiet-parts-out-loud antics have grown sufficiently egregious that even the Racist-in-Chief’s staff decided he couldn’t mooch a ride home on Air Force One (not even in the back, as some twitter wag noted). So King felt called on to break out the big guns…

Per NYMag, “Steve King, Diamond, and Silk Deflect Racism Charges by Unveiling Racist Legislation”:

Iowa Republican and white supremacist U.S. representative Steve King unveiled the “Diamond and Silk Act” on Wednesday. Officially dubbed the End Sanctuaries and Help Our American Homeless and Veterans Act, the legislation seeks to redirect federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities — jurisdictions that decline to help federal authorities arrest and deport undocumented immigrants — to programs that aid homeless people and veterans.

The act’s unofficial title is inspired by its unofficial co-sponsors: Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, better known by their stage names, Diamond and Silk. Together, the pair hosts a conservative video series on YouTube aimed at ridiculing Democrats and boosting Republicans, especially President Donald Trump, for whom they left the Democratic Party to support in 2015.

Diamond and Silk’s appeal to Republicans — the vast majority of whom are white — is that they are black women willing to exonerate the GOP of its racism. They conducted themselves accordingly on Wednesday when they joined King on Capitol Hill to announce their partnership. Reporters asked what they thought of the congressman’s retweeting white supremacists. “I’m tired of you all playing the race card,” Hardaway retorted. “It’s time to start working for Americans. And stop calling everybody a racist.”…

It remains unclear how much longer Republicans will persist in the charade that allegations of racism can be waved away by the contrarianism of any random black person. But King seems willing to see how far it will carry him. The dishonesty underlying this approach is something of a turnaround from the openness with which he broadcast his white supremacism in the Times profile earlier this year. But if nothing else, it suggests that he learned his lesson from the Republican fallout: You can be a white supremacist as long as you lie and claim you are not one.








Late Night Open Thread: Nice “Work” If You Can Get It…

Jon Chait, NYMag, “Why Are Republican Small Donors So Easy to Swindle?”:

Republicans have long complained, usually in private, that their fundraising apparatus is overrun with fraudsters. National Review’s Jim Geraghty has a column, “The Right’s Grifter Problem,” saying what many of them have been whispering. Many of President Trump’s most publicly strident loyalists are in the business of raising money for political projects that spend virtually all their funds on operating expenses…

Grifters go where the marks are:

A former pro football player who serves on the National Rifle Association board was paid $400,000 by the group in recent years for public outreach and firearms training. Another board member, a writer in New Mexico, collected more than $28,000 for articles in NRA publications. Yet another board member sold ammunition from his private company to the NRA for an undisclosed sum.

The NRA, which has been rocked by allegations of exorbitant spending by top executives, also directed money in recent years that went to board members — the very people tasked with overseeing the organization’s finances.

In all, 18 members of the NRA’s 76-member board, who are not paid as directors, collected money from the group during the past three years, according to tax filings, state charitable reports and NRA correspondence reviewed by The Washington Post.

The payments received by about one-quarter of board members, the extent of which has not previously been reported, deepen questions about the rigor of the board’s oversight as it steered the country’s largest and most powerful gun rights group, according to tax experts and some longtime members…

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Late Night Clown Show Open Thread: STR8 PRYDE!!!

That’s not a numeral in the title, it’s an infinity symbol, representing the boundless stupidity / cupidity of these Very Normal Dudes. Our self-styled Hub of the Universe offers a rare opportunity for these “jokers”, since there are significant power blocs of both quasi-intellectual ‘independent thinkers’ and troglodyte pre-VaticanII Catholic revanchists, who occasionally manage to overcome their natural antipathy in the hopes of putting “those people” (everyone not a member of their musty little hate groups) in our place. Believe me, eyes are being rolled. Per the Boston Globe:

A small group of organizers say they’re gearing up to host what they’ve dubbed the “Straight Pride Parade” through Boston this summer, a claim that has set off a visceral reaction nationwide and drawn criticism on social media from the likes of Chris Evans and many others as Pride Month gets underway.

But as reports made the rounds on social media Tuesday, landing the “Straight Pride Parade” among the top trends on Twitter, the city clarified that the proposal isn’t exactly set in stone…

According to the screenshot of the Facebook announcement, the so-called Straight Pride Parade would tentatively take place on Aug. 31 — a prime move-in day for returning students, mind you — and follow the same route of the city’s annual LGBTQ Pride Parade that’s happening in Boston this weekend…

One of the lead organizers pushing for the parade is Mark Sahady. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the same person from the controversial Resist Marxism group, which hosted the Rally for the Republic on Boston Common in 2017 that attracted swarms of counterprotesters.

Sahady posted last week on Facebook that it looks like the proposed parade “will happen,” but his announcement didn’t get much traction on social media until Tuesday.

[Anybody surprised that a NYTimes reporter was the first to fall for this stunt?]

A group called Super Happy Fun America — of which Sahady is apparently the vice president — is taking ownership of the parade plans…
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Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Nobody Loves A Charmless Grifter


The NYTimes withdrew the tweet, but Maggie Haberman’s two-faced encomium remains — “For Trump, London Visit Is a (Royal) Family Affair”:

Whether they had official roles in the visit or not, the extended Trump family seemed to materialize in London overnight — all save the president’s youngest son, Barron, who stayed home. But Monday’s lavish audience with the British royals was the culmination of more than a month of planning by White House officials who have grown accustomed to accommodating President Trump’s children, whether that includes redrawing plans for a state visit or evicting guests from their seats at the State of the Union address.

As Mr. Trump presides over a White House with unprecedented turnover, he has relied on his children the same way he has for decades — asking them for advice or seeing them as surrogates in the fight against his real and perceived enemies.

On this visit, another family opportunity surfaced: The Kennedys have long occupied the American political culture as the unofficial royal family, but this week, the Trumps appeared to present themselves as the 2019 version…

Our British ‘cousins’ have an expansive acquaintance with that class of professional grifters which organize themselves as an Aristocracy, so they have rather higher standards for such gentries’ entertainment value than the gawping rubes of Trump’s loyal (very) Base. Per the Daily Beast, “William, Harry and Kate Deny Trump What He Wanted Most: a Photo Op”:

Prince Harry and his brother Prince William have successfully denied Donald Trump the opportunity of appearing in a photo with either of them or their glamorous and popular wives during his state visit to the U.K., which would have been invaluable PR for his 2020 re-election campaign, after the president used the word “nasty” while discussing Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle…

It was also noticeable that when Trump visited Westminster Abbey on Monday to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, he was not accompanied by William, as might have been expected, but by Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son.

Andrew’s name-recognition in the wider U.S. is minimal, meaning the trip will have little PR value for the 2020 campaign…

[Perhaps the two men had met before: “Randy Andy” was notoriously another Friend of Jeffrey Epstein.]

And yet, President Trump has made it clear to those close to him that he actually does care about his reputation among the British royals. According to several former and current White House officials, Trump will grow visibly more animated or excited when the topic of meeting prominent members of royal families comes up, including the British royals. He makes a point of repeatedly asking aides about what he and others should wear during state visits and high-profile events with foreign countries’ royalty, the sources said, and enthusiastically asks advisers about what kind of pomp and pageantry he should expect…

…[A]Whitehall official told The Times that the queen’s meeting last year with President Trump was “kept to the bare minimum. The Queen will do her duty, but among the wider family, they were not as enthusiastic as they were when [President Barack] Obama came over.”








Late Night Open Thread: It’s Hard Out There for A Grifting ‘Populist’


 
Just as he was looking for a headwind from Michael Wolff’s new book…

Italy’s cultural heritage ministry announced on Friday (May 31) that it would revoke a lease granted to Bannon after reports of fraud in the competitive tender process. The former Breitbart chief and aide to US president Donald Trump was reportedly paying €100,000 ($110,000) per year to rent the 13th Century Carthusian monastery, but now will have to search for another spot.

The Italian state allowed the conservative Catholic organization Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI) to use the building early last year. Bannon happens to be a trustee of the institute, and planned to convert the space into a “gladiator school for cultural warriors,” where students would learn philosophy, theology, history, and economics, and receive political training from the former Trump aide himself.

But earlier this month, Italian newspaper Repubblica reported that a letter used to guarantee the lease was forged. The letter had the signature of an employee of Danish bank Jyske, but the bank said that employee hadn’t worked there for years, and called the letter fraudulent…