Friday Evening Open Thread: SPACE FORCE! Forces Space!

Riveted by the sociological significance of it all…

Per the Hill:

VoteVets, an organization that focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on behalf veterans and their families, said on Twitter that it has submitted a Letter of Intent with Washington, D.C., to hold the race around the National Mall next year.

The announcement came the same day Trump canceled his plans for a military parade in the capital, citing its soaring cost estimates.

“So, unless he kicks out a veterans race, [Trump] will not get his ego parade there, on that day next year, either,” the organization added in the tweet, with the hashtag #NoTrumpParade…

In an email asking for signatures to support their request, the organization also said that it decided to make the race five kilometers long to symbolize “each of [Trump’s] deferments.”…

Their statement arrives on the heels of Trump’s Twitter announcement on Friday morning that he was canceling plans for a military parade over the estimated $92 million cost.

The president said in his tweet that “local politicians” in D.C. were to blame.

“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it. When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it. Never let someone hold you up! I will instead attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, & go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th,” Trump wrote…



Late Night Open Thread: ‘Owning the Libs’ By Shooting Themselves

Let’s be honest — Palin, and her enablers, were the Kaposi’s sarcoma of political rot. If the GOP hadn’t already incurred a deathly infection playing games with the wrong ideologies, the whole Who-Can-Be-the-Loudest-Ignoramus fad would never have taken hold so violently…

Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted anything online to quote unquote own the libs,” President Trump’s Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley recently asked a crowd of high schoolers. Most of the teens in the audience raised their hands, then exploded into uproarious applause. “I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good,” Haley continued, “But step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this — are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading?”

It would be ironic for a Trump official to admonish the youth for inflammatory political tactics if irony hadn’t died in 2016. But with Haley’s utterance of the phrase IRL, the concept of “owning the libs” officially went mainstream…

To own the libs is to partake in the pettiest of culture wars. But moreover, to own the libs is to own yourself, no matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on. As comedian Patrick Monahan, an early adopter of the meme, tells Rolling Stone, owning the libs is “laughing as you post ‘Trump is still your President’ memes in Facebook threads while the bank forecloses on your farm. It comes down to a need for community and some kind of cultural ‘win’ [for the right] since they perceive culture to be against them at all times.”

The actual actions that yield successful lib-ownage vary.

“The funny thing about owning the libs is that it’s textbook performative virtue signaling, from people who say they hate that,” Monahan says…

To be fair, right-wing culture warriors made fools of themselves for the sole purpose of pissing off the left long before the rise of social media. After France declined to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, George W. Bush supporters protested the country by purchasing bottles of French wine and dumping them out in the streets of New York and tried to rebrand French fries as “freedom fries.”
Read more



Time-Killer Open Thread: Hey, Jim Jordan’s Gonna Be Looking for A New Job… “


 
… It doesn’t say anywhere that a SCOTUS judge has to be a good lawyer… “



Cosplay Stuntin’ Open Thread: Wolverines!… SKONKS!

High-dollar chew toy has opinions…

Her ‘conservative’ playmates rush in to assist…


(Bruenig, incidentally, is a professional “Christian”.)



Late Night Schadenfreude Open Thread: Confusion & Defeat to Them All

As any libertarian would tell you, taxes are theft, so Al Capone should never have gone to jail!

***********
Much closer to the center axis on the “Evil vs Stupid” chart… Ed Kilgore has a nice (in both senses of the word) dissection of St. Bernie’s latest shenanigans:

There were two big developments on May 21 in the political universe of Bernie Sanders, one upbeat, one not-so-much.

On the positive side, Sanders formally announced he is a candidate for reelection to a third term in the Senate, as was universally expected. The only slight mystery about his bid was resolved when he indicated that he would follow his past procedure by running in the Democratic primary, and then declining the nomination and running as an independent while accepting the “endorsement” of Vermont Democrats. The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake had a sardonic comment about that:

Sanders is going to run in the Democratic primary for no reason except to preclude anybody else from winning it — despite having no intention of running as a Democrat in the general election. Sanders basically wants to ensure he will face no Democratic opponent in November. A cynic might say the guy who complained about the rigging of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary is kinda, sorta rigging the 2018 Vermont Senate race for himself…

… The announcement is also another indication that Sanders thinks he’s good to go in national office until 2024 at least, when he’ll turn 83. Whether that means he’ll run for president in 2020 is another matter, of course.
Read more



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.



Russiagate Open Thread: “Perjury Trap”

Swear to Murphy the Trickster God, Trump’s defenders sound like they have no idea what the concept of “ethics” involves; they seem to think it’s a synonym for “tactics”.

Randall D. Eliason, in the Washington Post:

The word “trap” connotes a snare set by investigators for the innocent and unwary. Should the president end up charged with perjury or false statements, you can expect to hear arguments that the charges are illegitimate because Mueller unfairly caught the president in a trap. Or perhaps the president and his lawyers will use the perjury-trap claim to justify refusing to be interviewed altogether.

But “perjury trap” is a specific legal defense, related to entrapment. A claim of a perjury trap is really a claim of prosecutorial misconduct. It refers to an abuse of the legal process, whereby a prosecutor subpoenas a witness to testify not for a legitimate investigative purpose but to try to catch him in an inconsistency or falsehood — even a relatively minor one — that can then trigger a perjury charge…

Being called to testify and therefore having the opportunity to commit perjury does not make that testimony a perjury trap. If that were the case, every witness could make the same argument. Claiming that Trump’s testimony would be a perjury trap is like saying driving a car is a “speeding trap” because being behind the wheel gives you the opportunity to exceed the speed limit.

Characterizing the president’s interview as a potential perjury trap is simply wrong. But it is of a piece with the broader effort by the president and his political allies to discredit Mueller’s investigation. It suggests — wrongly — that Mueller is treating the president unfairly. If the president commits perjury or false statements, it will be because he chose to lie — not because he was caught in a “trap.”…

Of course, Ken Starr’s freewheeling ‘Whitewater’ investigation hinged on exactly this kind of ‘perjury trap’ — the Repubs couldn’t prove Clinton had committed any of the crimes they were sure he was responsible for, but by GOP Jeebus they could indict him for lying about what he did with Monica Lewinsky. I guess they must still consider that incident a great success, and can’t understand why Democrats wouldn’t pull the same sort of two-bit theatrical shystering, given a chance…


Read more