Open Thread: Preznit Garbage Brain Strikes Again

I just wish I could find the tweet where someone replied “Apparently Trump likes his ‘nuclear’ like he likes his wives.”

Repubs in Disarray!… Open Thread: Trump vs. Pence (Rooting for Injuries)

Tom LoBianco has a book to sell, but it’s nice to contemplate the rats infighting on the Titanic. Yahoo News:

On the surface, Trump and Pence insist they have a great relationship and are working closer than ever to win reelection in 2020. (They’ve consistently beaten back rumors that former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is in the running to replace Pence on the 2020 ticket.)

But behind the scenes, tensions have been mounting among Trump, Pence and their top advisers ever since the GOP’s resounding losses in the 2018 midterms. In the weeks afterward, Trump asked aides about replacing Pence on the ticket, and he asked again for their thoughts on Pence during his August vacation at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., according to Trump advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about private discussions with the president.

Current and former Trump and Pence advisers interviewed for this story, as well as my forthcoming biography of Pence, “Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House,” consistently described a personal relationship between Trump and Pence that is warm but somewhat aloof. Pence has a lane that he sticks to in the White House — conservative social policy — but he is not considered to be as influential as people like Jared Kushner or Stephen Miller.

But the relationship between their political teams has soured greatly in the past year, according to a dozen Trump and Pence aides and Republican advisers familiar with the dynamic. In particular, rumors that Kushner and Ivanka Trump wanted to consider replacements for Pence — specifically trying to find a woman running mate to help win back the suburbs in 2020 — have worried the vice president’s camp, according to Trump and Pence campaign advisers who spoke on background for this story…
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Thursday Morning Open Thread: The “Climate Change Town Hall”

The good news, as far as I’m concerned: None of the candidates seem to have produced any ‘major gaffes’ for the GOP & their media enablers to weaponize — not that they won’t be out there trying, of course. CNN has its own long summary of the whole event here.

Per the AP:

Top Democratic presidential contenders talked tough Wednesday on cutting climate-damaging emissions from oil, gas and coal, turning their focus to global warming in a marathon evening of town halls that gave the candidates a chance to distinguish themselves on a topic of growing importance to their party’s liberal base.

The lengthy climate conversations promised to hand Republicans ammunition for next year’s general election fight by emphasizing one common element in the Democrats’ climate change plans: their overwhelming — and overwhelmingly costly — scope. But the 10 Democrats who participated in the seven-hour series of climate change forums on CNN didn’t shy away from making sweeping promises to reshape the American economy in service of what their party’s grassroots supporters see as the paramount goal of averting global warming’s most devastating effects…

Democrats spent the run-up to the town halls burnishing their environmental credentials, with five candidates releasing in-depth proposals to slash carbon emissions…

David Roberts, professional Climate Nag, livetweeted the whole thing:

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Election 2020 Open Thread: Brad Pascale & His (Nominal) Boss, Dirty Birds of A Feather

Federal Election Commission records indicate that Red State Data and Digital has received  $910,000 from  America First Action,  the super PAC formed in 2017 to support the Trump-Pence agenda and  fellow Republican  candidates.

After CNN initially published a story about Parscale’s wife, Candice, being an owner of Red State, her husband contacted CNN and acknowledged he owns the company even though she is listed on legal paperwork. “I am the owner of Red State,” Parscale told CNN.
Parscale said he hadn’t originally wanted to disclose his ownership publicly because there are no available records connecting him to the company…

In a series of texts with CNN, after initial publication, Parscale said that “so, legally we both own it,” and “she is on the paperwork yes.” He also said that “she is my wife and I allow her to file and be on my companies because I trust her. It depends on how you look at it. But no. It is all my company.” Then later he said, “I own the company solely,” and that his wife “listed it incorrectly” on the incorporation document, speaking of her being named as a “member.” “She just checked the box of what she was. I’m the owner.” …

Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of federal candidates, but they are barred from coordinating spending decisions with those campaigns, among other limitations.

Brad Parscale and his wife both insist their arrangement is legitimate and that there is no coordination.

Still, experts in federal election law consulted by CNN said earlier that the appearance of a connection between the President’s main super PAC and a firm set up by his campaign  manager’s  spouse that handles political ads walks right up to the line.

“It calls into question the independence of the super PAC,” said Larry  Noble, the former general counsel to the Federal Election Commission and a CNN contributor. “One would hope a watchdog agency would investigate allegations of coordination.” 

Noble said the FEC has been “lax” about enforcing coordination rules.  The FEC was further weakened by the resignation of one of its commissioners this week, reducing the number of sitting commissioners to three and thereby stripping it of its power to enforce campaign finance laws. Federal law requires four or more commissioners to approve new rules or take actions to punish those who violate election law…

As Trump’s campaign manager, Parscale has come under scrutiny over the amount of money he’s made off his political companies. According to a source close to the company, Parscale was rattled by recent negative press, particularly criticism among his Republican peers over a $13,500 fee he was paid for a speech to the Republican Party of Seminole County, Florida.

Parscale has returned the money to the campaign, according to a source close to the company. In the wake of the criticism, he has begun downsizing, according to the source, who said he had let three employees go from Parscale Strategy in the past week. A Trump campaign spokesman declined to comment about whether Parscale had returned the money to the campaign.

The America First Action super PAC made its last payment to Parscale Strategy on March 13, 2018, and its first payment to Red State eight days later, on March 21.

In 2018, America First paid Red State a total of $837,000, according to FEC records. That makes it the fifth biggest recipient of money from the group last year, according to Open Secrets

This story and the headline have been updated to include additional information given to CNN by Brad Parscale after publication.

More detail, none of it exculpatory, at the link. That’s the GRU’s problem — it’s easy enough to find glibertarian tech geeks to figurehead your foreign-influence vote-rigging campaigns, but hard to find any with the patience not to grab every coin out of the tip jar… or the experience to lie about their grabbiness with any plausibility. Heck, look at the trouble their high-dollar ‘Occupant’ is giving them, with what should be an easy glide to ‘reelection’!

Late Night Sad Trombone Open Thread: The Boston ‘Straight Pride’ Parade

You know the ‘straight pride’ luzers have themselves an image problem when they choose a parade marshal whose profession is being gay, but right-wing. Sam Bishop’s twitter feed includes shots from the whole sad performance. Per the Boston Globe:

Outdone by numbers and noise from thousands of protesters, a few hundred marchers in a controversial Straight Pride Parade were jeered and heckled Saturday afternoon during a mile-long procession from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza.

“Shame on you!” many of the protesters yelled as the parade, flanked by hundreds of police officers, passed block after block of security barricades on normally busy downtown streets, which had been closed for the event.

After the rally ended at 4 p.m., some of the protesters turned their anger toward the mayor and police, whom they assailed for allowing the parade and then protecting the marchers…

Boston police reported 36 arrests, but spokesman Sergeant John Boyle gave no details. Four police officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, he said.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who was attending a Jump Into Peace event in Roxbury, said the march “is not any representation of who we are as a city.”

About 600 protesters outnumbered an estimated 200 marchers after the parade reached City Hall Plaza, where police kept protesters behind barricades about 200 feet from a concert stage where the Straight Pride rally was held…

Parade organizer Mark Sahady is part of Resist Marxism, a group founded by an alt-right leader that has a history of violence. That group had helped organize a “free speech” rally in Boston in 2017 that critics said attracted white nationalists.

The grand marshal was Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart editor who has been banned from Facebook and Twitter for hate speech, was among several speakers at the rally…

So Sahady and his little buddies succeeded in wasting a ton of the city’s money protecting them from the abuse they were demanding, and ramping up the tension another notch between the cops and the ‘counter-culture’. Which was what they were hoping for, after all, so at least they have *that* consolation.