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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Late Night Open Thread: Much Ado, Weekend Roundup

Since one of my self-imposed duties around here is finding the positive note… I did not foresee the Squatter-in-Chief and the Cosplay Socialists teaming up to convince wavering (non-‘base’) Republicans and ‘independents’ that Nancy Pelosi is Snake Plissken: A stone-cold killer, and yet their only real defense against the ravening hordes from urban hellholes like the Bronx, Detroit, Roxbury, and Minneapolis…

I personally suspect this slobbery beat-sweetner first originated in the Sanders’ campaign sagging poll numbers. Chakrabarti and his running buddies started the “Justice Dems” when it became obvious that Bernie would release control of “Our Revolution” approximately six weeks after his death (and that’s assuming Jane can’t find a way to continue the grift work as a memorial to the fallen martyr). They’re not Democrats and they’re not interested in actual grubby politics — it’s all about Move Fast, Break Stuff, (personal) Profit!

He got lucky when he ‘discovered’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — she was, as I remember it, the only one of last cycle’s 17 or 18 Democrat-challenging JD candidates who actually won. But if she’s half as smart as she seems to be, she’ll find a quiet way to get this guy out of her staff offices, because a Chief of Staff who considers himself the starmaker / puppeteer for somebody’s kid sister is hardly an asset:

In the spring of 2016 — even before Sanders conceded the primary race — Chakrabarti, Exley and other Sanders organizers, including Alexandra Rojas and Corbin Trent, were thinking of next steps for the movement. To enact change, they reasoned, it was vital to transform Congress. They formed a group called Brand New Congress with the mission to recruit hundreds of community leaders and working-class candidates to run on a vision of getting corporate money out of politics, tackling climate change, transforming the economy, providing health care for all, standing for racial justice and stemming mass incarceration. They sifted through more than 10,000 nominations to find the best recruits. “Our biggest criteria was, basically, find someone who had a chance to sell out and didn’t,” Chakrabarti says.

Ocasio-Cortez, who was then a bartender from the Bronx, was nominated by her brother. It was Isra Allison, another member of Brand New Congress, not Chakrabarti, who had a key initial recruiting interview with her. But Chakrabarti drove the overall effort… Nasim Thompson, who also helped recruit candidates, told me: “It was clear from the very beginning that the ship was moving with his guidance. … He was so focused that it naturally created a gravitational pull. … He was sort of relentless in that, and simultaneously just so pleasant, it was shocking. Almost not human. I used to say, ‘How do you stay so Zen?’ ”…
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Waste of Resources Open Thread: Farewell, Ross Perot; Fvck Off, Tom Steyer

De mortuis nil nisi bonum and all that, but I was paying attention to politics back in 1992. Ross Perot was a billionaire crank who considered Bush the Original a snotty rich kid who’d gotten into the White House on his family’s coattails, and Bill Clinton a dirtbag arriviste with ambitions above his station. Perot’s campaign was basically ‘Given the alternatives, why aren’t you Little People paying more attention to ME!?!

He announced his departure partway through the campaign because, hand to goddess, mysterious military teams aligned with the Bush campaign were threatening to ruin his daughter’s wedding — and then jumped back in again, because (as he more or less admitted, in the most self-flattering terms) he missed the media attention. And even in his failure, he inspired future more-money-than-sense vanity candidates… leading, inevitably, to the current Oval Office Squatter.

It’s Tom Steyer’s money! He’s free to flush it down whatever political-consulting toilets he chooses! But it’s like choosing to fuel a firepit with wood from an endangered species — he’s wasting irreplaceable media attention and funds for his own short-term enjoyment.

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Open Thread: Crown Princess Dunning-Kruger

From the smirk on her face, absolutely. Eighteen months watching Daddy Dearest in the Oval Office, and she’s convinced she can finish off the important bits of the job — yelling at aides about their inadequate PowerPoint presentations, putting the arm on foreign dignitaries and potential celebrity donors — in an hour or two a day. So if she mindfully curates her twitter feed, she’ll be able to accomplish her “real” work (rigorous self-care, supervising the kids’ and Jared’s nannies) and still have plenty of time for celebrity tuft-hunting!

The Washington Post, “‘Surreal’: Ivanka Trump plays a prominent role in her father’s historic Korea trip”:

The first daughter’s prominence in Japan and South Korea appeared to be by design — a sign of her influence with President Trump and the current absence of influential opponents within the administration.

It’s not clear, however, to what end.

Ivanka Trump shuttered her clothing business after joining the administration, although not right away, and has largely stepped away from her old life as an entrepreneur and social mainstay in New York. She and her husband, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, let it be known last year that they would remain in Washington and in the White House indefinitely.

Her ambitions are unknown — she demurs on any desire for public office…

Mostly, her prominence on a major foreign trip sends a message about who other countries should listen to or court, said Christopher R. Hill, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and other nations.

“It looks to the rest of the world like we have a kind of a constitutional monarchy,” said Hill, who oversaw nuclear talks with North Korea at the close of the George W. Bush administration.

“It’s increasingly problematic in terms of our credibility,” Hill said. “It says to our allies, to everyone we do business with, that the only people who matter are Trump and his family members.”…
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Early Morning Sundae Sermons Open Thread

This is true! Spare a single tiny tear for the professional Panglossians, paid by Our Betters to remind all ‘sensible’ readers that well-groomed center-right white men with the correct credentials are obviously the best people to lead us, that’s just science. The Oval Office Occupant has been almost as much a disaster for their quiet careers as he is for the rest of the world… a sloppy, shambling, semi-literate professional faker who continually demonstrates not only his own unfitness, but the general shoddiness of the Panglossians. One tear, maybe a swift kick, and move on without them.

When you’re a privileged white dude, not getting first chair (and right of refusal) feels like a demotion…

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