Sometimes the old ones are the best ones… Open Thread

portrait_of_a_lady,_lina_bilitis,_with_two_pekinese-large

I’m sure I have told this story before, but digging that version up would require me to give a shit, and I don’t, so I won’t.

It may have been 1992, because I think it was the same year that I got on the pull with Jodie Foster at an Oscars party and she kept doing the Clarice Starling voice.

Donald and Ivana’s marriage was on quite the downward spiral. Donald’s mother Bitsy had moved in to the grand granny flat attached to whatever monstrosity of an apartment the Trumps lived in that month, presumably so that she could mediate between them. Why she thought bunging me in the spare room would help, I shall never know. Maybe she just needed someone to verify to the girls at brunch that every single word of her stories was true.

Anyway, things were pretty bad between Donald and Ivana. The previous day, she had locked him in the wine fridge for three hours and then pegged a Lalique paperweight at his head during dinner. His hair protected him from too much damage, but still, things were a bit tense the next morning.

Donald had skipped breakfast and was hiding away in the bathroom – a pink marble horror, an apotheosis of bad taste with a gold bidet, the centerpiece of which was a massive curtain-lined shower with a stone mosaic of Donald as Caesar accepting the homage of the Nereids splayed along one wall.

After a bit of grunting – the walls in Trump buildings are never very well insulated – the shower started, and we could hear him launch into some warbling Andrew Lloyd Webber tat in his creepy falsetto.

Ivana had been in a very chipper mood all morning, playing with her pekinese Frou-Frou in the main lounge, showing it pictures of Donald and teaching it to growl and show its little teeth like Bill O’Reilly. Suddenly, she sprang up, grabbed the dog in her arms, stormed over to the bathroom, flung the door open and launched Frou-Frou over the top of the curtains and into the shower.

There was a yelp from Donald, followed by a doggy growl that, amplified by the peculiar acoustics of the bathroom, sounded like Cerberus discovering he had an extra head, then a scream of terror and pain from the Donald as Frou-Frou latched onto a testicle with his teefuses.

Donald rocketed out of the bathroom, a shower curtain tangled about his neck, his hair all fallen back and flapping behind his head like a miasma of umber doom, his belly jiggling, and Frou-Frou, teeth firmly ensconced in Donald’s left ball, bouncing up and down like a very angry pendulum, and at the top of each arc a tiny jet of wee would come out of the little doggy, like a celebratory fountain.

How we laughed.

Someone should exercise their First Amendment rights and put a doberman into Donald’s shower next.

[Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931), Portrait of a Lady, Lina Bilitis, with Two Pekinese, 1913.]



SATSQ: Conservative wonk edition

Via Vox, an answer to stupid or evil:

This revisionism, according to Roy, points to a much bigger conservative delusion: They cannot admit that their party’s voters are motivated far more by white identity politics than by conservative ideals.

“Conservative intellectuals, and conservative politicians, have been in kind of a bubble,” Roy says. “We’ve had this view that the voters were with us on conservatism — philosophical, economic conservatism. In reality, the gravitational center of the Republican Party is white nationalism.”

No fucking shit.

At least it updates our priors to weight willfully blind if not stupid.

Open thread



Trump Spokesmen Address Fake “Alter Ego” Controversy

New York, N.Y. — May 13, 2016 — A Washington Post story ignited a firestorm Thursday by alleging that presumptive GOP nominee Donald J. Trump impersonated Trump Enterprises public relations officials under false names to paint glowing portraits of himself for reporters. The Post story says that Trump himself called writers from various publications, including People magazine, to extol his own virtues while posing as at least two fictitious Trump Enterprises employees: John Barron and John Miller.

However, emails received by media outlets Friday from Barron and Miller establish that they are in fact actual persons and suggest that the Post story constitutes libel against Trump.

“Donald Trump is a tremendous guy who built a terrific company that employs thousands and thousands of people,” wrote John Barron, who said he is the PR specialist who spoke to the People reporter. “He’s a smart guy who is very rich and went to the very best schools, okay? He will win bigly in November, and then America will win so much you’ll get tired of winning.”

The email from John Barron was sent from a newly created Gmail account registered under the username “bighands1946,” which checks out as legitimate. Seconds after the Barron email was received, media outlets received an email from John Miller, the other publicity specialist mentioned in the Post story.

“Only a low-energy loser would say Donald Trump pretended to be someone else,” Miller said. “Trump is a tremendous person, a self-made man who took a small $1 million loan from his father and built it into a yooodge company. All three of his wives are beauty-full, so forget about it. And his daughter is so hot maybe he’d be banging her if he wasn’t her father, okay?”

The email from Miller emanated from a new Yahoo account registered to user “1946longfingers,” which appears to be a legitimate account.

The communications from Barron and Miller obviously put an end to the controversy The Washington Post article provoked, so responsible news organizations are advised to focus instead on Hillary Clinton’s impending indictment by the FBI and the Obama administration’s ongoing persecution of white people.



Friday Evening Open Thread: Comedy, It’s Not for Amateurs

Sure, lots of people have used a combination of odd physiognomy and quick wit to spark a career in comedy, Ted, but you also need a functional sense of humor and that is a gift God has not granted you. It’s Amateur Day for would-be comedians, but that only makes it more dangerous.
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Apart from the healthful exercise of rolling our eyes, repeatedly, what’s on the agenda as we start the weekend?



Late Night Open Thread: A Work of Modest Genius

Via Dan Drezner’s twitter feed, IIRC. A sample:

… Now we’ve got these people – I don’t like these people, let me tell you, they’re really awful, they said, “Hey Trump, you’ve got small hands,” and so I went after them, I really did, I sued them, and what did they do? They decided they wanted a fight and I said, “Okay, we’ll see who’s still here in a few years,” and see, we’re still here, on this battlefield. It’s a yuge battlefield, and it’s really, really, great, it’s so special. See, we’ve built this cemetery, so how big it is? It’s so special. And these guys – we’ve got the best guys – they tell me, “Hey Donald, give us someone who can lead us and we’ll beat these rebels,” and so I made things happen – it’s what I do – and boom, look, we’ve got this big, big win. These guys died winning, and I’m sure that makes their families just so, so happy, all this winning. It’s really great that we can be here to make this place special because of all the winning they did…

Kudos to the Angry Staff Officer!



Late Night Open Thread: The Rigors of Grammar

Should I have included ‘horrorshow’ in the title?



Late Night Long Read: “At Sea with America’s Largest Floating Gathering of Conspiracy Theorists”

Jezebel‘s Anna Merlan, “Sail (Far) Away”:

… [Sean David] Morton is a radio host, among other things. Here he was one of the lead organizers of Conspira Sea, the first annual sea cruise for conspiracy theorists. While the ship looped from San Pedro to Cabo San Lucas and back, some 100 of its passengers and I would be focused on uncharted waters, where nothing is as it seems. Before we docked again, two of them would end up following me around the ship, convinced I was a CIA plant.

Elsewhere aboard, people’s vacations were already exuberantly underway, the cigarette-browned casino bustling. Those of us in the conspiracy group were crammed into a dim, red-carpeted conference room in the bowels of Deck 6 to hear Morton, a Humpty Dumpty-shaped man with a chinstrap beard and an enormous, winking green ring, explain our mission.

“Conspiracy theorists are always right,” Morton told the room. He spoke with the jokey cadence and booming delivery of his profession; he’s basically Rush Limbaugh, if Rush Limbaugh claimed to have psychic powers (Morton practices a form of ESP known as “remote viewing,” which he says he learned from Nepalese monks). It was a bit of a pander, since the room was filled with conspiracy theorists.

“In 40 years,” Morton added, “as many people will believe a bunch of Arabs knocked down the World Trade Center as will believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.” A lot of people nod…

There was Helen Sewell, a British astrologer, and her husband Andy Thomas, a conspiracy researcher. There was Jeffrey Smith, an anti-GMO activist with no scientific credentials and a previous career in “yogic flying.” There were Sherri Kane and Leonard Horowitz, a team in both research and life, who were there to tell us how the media and the CIA control the gullible populace.

There was Laura Eisenhower, the great-granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a fact that sometimes would seem significant and sometimes would not. She explained she was there to show us how to get beyond “the seven chakra system that’s been implanted within us,” and a bunch of other similar phrases I found hard to follow. There was Nick Begich, the son of the late Alaska congressman John Nicholas Joseph Begich, a low-key, sweet-natured guy who believes the government is controlling both the weather and people’s minds with the use of a research program called HAARP.

Near Begich was Winston Shrout, who runs a staid-sounding financial advice company called Solutions in Commerce, dedicated to the idea that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have us all literally enslaved. A few seats down was Dannion Brinkley, who’s from South Carolina, and who has died and been to Heaven three times. Death, he told us, is not, in fact, real.

Most notably, there was Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who authored the now-infamous 1998 study that suggested there might be a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Jenny McCarthy was breathed into being because of Andrew Wakefield…

Spoiler: These people are (at best) generally unhappy, not to mention very lightly hinged. But, as Douglas Adams would say, mostly harmless.”