Saturday Morning Open Thread


 
And now for something completely different…








Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Trump and His ‘Base’ Rally Each Other

Dave Roth, at Deadspin:

Donald Trump believes that everything he says is made true by virtue of him having said it, and once he begins believing something he is incapable of not believing it. This is why he says things more than once. The challenge is figuring out how he says things for the first time.

So: Trump got it into his head that he had received a Michigan Man Of The Year Award, and despite some complicating factors—he didn’t, for one, and also such an award does not appear to exist—he has continued to bring it up whenever the mood strikes him. There’s a whole story around it, and as is his custom he tends to retell it with more additions of the words “very” and “sir” as the years go by. “I’ve been fighting for the car industry for years,” Trump said the first time he told the story, in Michigan and two days before the 2016 Presidential election. “I was honored five years ago. Man of the Year in Michigan. That was a great honor for me.” As Trump told and has since re-told the story, he was criticized for giving a speech in which he talked about “what Mexico and these other countries are doing to us. And especially what they’re doing to Michigan.” …

What is useful about this, and what would be beautiful about it if everything around it was not so luridly toxic, is how plain it all is. Trump is a being of pure reaction and grievance and avarice, and as such is never really very difficult to parse. When he lies about money it’s because he wants people to think he has more of it than he does; when he lies about golf it’s because he wants people to think he’s a better golfer than he is. Those lies tell you something about how Trump wants to be seen, but they’re incidental to the bigger questions of who and what he is. Stranger lies like the Michigan Man one reveal more about how he sees the world and understands his relationship to the other people in it, which is fundamentally as someone cleaning up at an endless televised awards show.

Most of the idiocies at the core of Trump’s being were created in the same way that pearls are—an irritant lodges itself in the spongy matter of his mind years ago, actively or passively, and then is worried into something bright and very hard. In this case, though, we can watch this accretive work happening in real time—some dumb speech, long forgotten, grows into a great honor bestowed by strangers who admired him, and then into a controversial stand for which he was criticized but for which he boldly refused to apologize. And now it is something he can bring up, whenever he is feeling under-appreciated or anxious or when nothing else will come. He stalls and sputters and his pale eyelids flutter and suddenly then there it is, glistening on the dais in front of him—that time that Charles Woodson called to concede victory in the Michigan Man Of The Year Award, a few years ago or whenever it was. “Sir,” the Heisman Trophy winner said through his tears to Donald Trump, “you deserve this more than anyone.” What a beautiful memory.

Read more








Late Night Open Thread: RIP, Easy Rider








Not Safe For Work Delivery: Floriduh! Man Edition

What did BettyC know and when did she know it?

The Pensacola News Journal has all the details:

Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill is fuming after a box labeled “industrial strength dildos” arrived in the mail at his county office Thursday.

Underhill showed the box to reporters following the County Commission meeting on Thursday, saying it demonstrated how far the level of civility has fallen in Escambia County.

“There’s no way this is even remotely appropriate in the way that we conduct business here in Escambia County,” Underhill said while pointing to the box. “We have staff members, young people, who have to handle the mail here. I’m a sailor, you’re not going to offend me with anything, but this kind of garbage, and this is the kind of garbage put out by the same kinds of people, the same lies, the same hate, the same anger that they bring to every single issue.”

The box itself appeared to be a practical joke box and was only filled with paper and a packing slip billing for the package that included the email address of the sender.

The email address belongs to a Perdido Key resident named Scott Anderson, who told the News Journal he had no idea about the box being sent to Underhill or how his email address ended up on the packing slip.

“I’m totally stunned by all of this,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he’s only interacted with Underhill a few times on the Nextdoor website over what he said was a lack of maintenance at the Perdido Key Dog Park.

“I suppose I could’ve irritated maybe an Underhill supporter,” Anderson said. “That’s the only thing I can think of.”

Despite the box appearing to be a joke, it was no laughing matter for Underhill.

Underhill regularly comments in local Facebook groups and often takes a combative tone with people with whom he disagrees.

Underhill said laughing at the antics of his dedicated critics only makes it worse because the time and energy spent on dealing with his critics is time not spent tackling issues that matter such as funding for public safety.

Underhill pointed to the meeting on Thursday as an example. On Thursday, members of Save Pensacola Beach protesting the county’s move to remove language approved by voters last year in a non-binding referendum.

During the discussion, Underhill said he compared the group and its founder Dianne Krummel to antifa, short for anti-facists, the name given to far-left protestors who often wear masks and engage in violent attacks during protest.

“Dianne, at some point you’re going to have to trade in that yellow shirt for a black mask if you keep this up,” Underhill said.

While speaking to reporters, Underhill blamed the press for feeding what he said was “radical activism” of the group and argued that the County Commission chambers should be a place of civil discussion.

When asked if his own speech, especially online, was uncivil, Underhill rejected the idea.

“I don’t think I’m uncivil online at all,” Underhill said. “I engage the adversary. The adversary is the lies, the untruths. The reality is if we as your — especially as conservative elected officials — do not push back against the spending, if we don’t push back against the corruption, if we don’t push back against the lies that are said here, then who will?”

He seems nice.

No word on when the lube is scheduled to be delivered.

Also, The Industrial Strength Dildos are my New Wave Fem Punk cover band.

Open thread!

 








Ding Dong (Open Thread)

Friends, let us savor (even though the fare is provided by Politico):

‘I’m worried’: Allies fear NRA has lost its power in Washington

The National Rifle Association’s internal turmoil is preventing the once-mighty organization from crafting a plan to blunt the latest gun control push, highlighting the group’s weakness at a crucial political moment.

The disarray at the NRA is alarming allies who say President Donald Trump and Congress appear to have a brief opening to pass legislation while the group is so politically feeble it isn’t able to aggressively lobby lawmakers against proposals or hold them accountable for their votes, according to a half-dozen Republicans familiar with the situation…

Multiple Republican Senate offices said they haven’t heard from the NRA, which touts 5 million members. The NRA has been slow to respond to the litany of scandals. And Trump has told aides the NRA is vulnerable and on the verge of being “bankrupt,” according to a Republican close to the White House.

The article says Republicans are worried that meaningful gun safety legislation will be passed in the short term. They needn’t be. Trump has already moved on to blaming mass shootings on the closure of old-timey insane asylums.

It’s perfectly on-brand for Trump to question the death merchant lobbyist’s fiscal health after they gave him $30 million in 2016, but a Venn diagram of gun nuts and Trump supporters would be damned close to a perfect circle, so he’s unlikely to cross the NRA in any significant way.

Still, it’s glorious to see the blood-gargling sociopaths at the NRA engulfed in cascading corruption scandals like common TV preachers. LaPierre seems determined to cling to power, which is great news for people who wish the organization a messy, protracted demise.

An unfavorable election cycle that sweeps NRA toadies out the door might finally wrest political power from the organization’s cold, bloody hands. It wouldn’t solve our gun nut problem, but it sure would make it harder for gun nuts to impose their will on the majority of Americans. A girl can dream, anyway.

Open thread!