Horrorshow Open Thread: General John Kelly, Starship Trouper


With his amazing ability to reveal the absolute worst about anybody who tries to work with him, “President” Flapjaw has exposed John Kelly as a tinpot militarist willing to sell out his own dead son in support of the GOP’s figurehead. And it’s not gonna get any better.

Johnson’s (and Wilson’s) hometown paper, the Miami Herald, “In attack on Frederica Wilson over Trump’s call to widow, John Kelly gets facts wrong”:

Kelly criticized Democratic U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson for claiming “she got the money” for the new building during the 2015 ceremony while he and others in the audience were focused on the heroism of agents Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove, killed during a 1986 shootout with bank robbers south of Miami…

In 2015, Wilson won praise from Miami Republicans for sponsoring the bill to name the long anticipated federal building after two agents who became legends in local law enforcement.

At the dedication ceremony, James Comey, then director of the FBI, lauded Wilson’s legislation, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama three days before the April 2015 ceremony…

Johnson was a constituent of Wilson’s who participated in a program founded by the longtime legislator called the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, which mentors African-American boys and young men.

“Sgt. Johnson was a member of my community and of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project that I founded to help boys of color build successful futures,” Wilson said in a statement. “He was killed while on a mission to provide training and security assistance to West African armed forces battling vicious insurgents like Boko Haram, the group whose defeat I’ve been fighting for since it abducted nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls more than three years ago.”

Wilson said Thursday that she is intent on finding out why it took 48 hours for Johnson’s body to be located after the ambush, and that the White House is attacking her to distract from an investigation into Johnson’s death.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, also called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Johnson’s death on Thursday

The more he talks, the worse it gets.

No doubt, it’ll play well with The (Very) Base. Our Preznit MAGA made the black beeyotch cry! Doesn’t matter which woman, especially when it’s women of color — they just want that warm feeling in their shorts from watching someone not-them get abused. But the rest of the world can look at “President” Flapjaw and see a lying liar…
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Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: You Can Count on the CIA

… to behave just as it’s always behaved. Tea Party alumni and Saudi Arabian monarchy fan Mike Pompeo showed up at the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies to thrill the #NeverIran activists with his display of America’s Big Stick(tm). But first, he needed to back up his current master’s Big Lie…

His comment suggested — falsely — that a report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January had ruled out any impact that could be attributed to a covert Russian interference campaign that involved leaks of tens of thousands of stolen emails, the flooding of social media sites with false claims and the purchase of ads on Facebook.

A report compiled by the CIA and other agencies described that Russian operation as unprecedented in its scale and concluded that Moscow’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process and help elect Donald Trump.

But the report reached no conclusions about whether that interference had altered the outcome — an issue that U.S. intelligence officials made clear was considered beyond the scope of their inquiry…

Former U.S. intelligence officials voiced concern over Pompeo’s statement.

“This is another example of Pompeo politicizing intelligence,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official said. Pompeo “is the most political CIA director since Bill Casey” during the Reagan administration, the former official said. “This significantly undermines the intelligence community’s credibility.”…

Pompeo also threatened “leakers”:

… Pompeo also criticized former U.S. intelligence officials for their television appearances, implying that they violated their oaths and potentially contributed to the leaks of sensitive information.

“There are an awful lot of former CIA talking heads on TV,” Pompeo said, adding that their obligation to remain quiet about their work “far extends beyond the day you turn in your badge.”

His comment seemed to be aimed mainly at former senior intelligence officials in the Obama administration, including James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence, who said in a recent interview that Russia’s interference had “cast doubt” on Trump’s win.

“Our intelligence community assessment did, I think, serve to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory,” Clapper said in an interview on CNN last month. He added that he worried Trump’s perceived focus on the issue “transcends, unfortunately, the real concern here, which is Russian interference in our political process.”…

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (N.M.), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, rebuked Pompeo for his Russia comments. Wyden said in a posting on Twitter that Pompeo’s views on Moscow had “shifted with those of the president.”
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Russiagate Open Thread: For Trump, There *IS* No Bottom…

THIS DOES NOT LOOK AT ALL SUSPICIOUS (assuming IOKIYAR is your first & only principle… )

President Donald Trump has personally interviewed at least two potential candidates for U.S. attorney positions in New York, according to two sources familiar with the matter — a move that critics say raises questions about whether they can be sufficiently independent from the president.

Trump has interviewed Geoffrey Berman, who is currently at the law firm Greenberg Traurig for the job of U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ed McNally of the firm Kasowitz Benson Torres for the Eastern District post, according to the sources.

It was unclear when the discussions took place. Trump has not announced nominees for those positions. Neither Berman nor McNally responded to calls or emails requesting comment…

The Southern District of New York is an especially notable position since it has jurisdiction over Trump Tower. Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney there, has asserted he was conducting an investigation into the Trump administration when Trump fired him along with all other U.S. attorneys — as is standard when an administration switches — earlier this year.

It is rare for a president to interview candidates for the 93 U.S. attorney jobs. Former President Barack Obama never interviewed a U.S. attorney candidate during his two terms, according to Matthew Miller, who served as Justice Department spokesman under the Obama administration…

“To be very blunt, these three jurisdictions will have authority to bring indictments over the ongoing special counsel investigation into Trump campaign collusion with the Russians and potential obstruction of justice by the president of the United States,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in an interview Thursday. “For him to be interviewing candidates for that prosecutor who may in turn consider whether to bring indictments involving him and his administration seems to smack of political interference.”

Blumenthal asserted during an oversight hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this week that Trump had interviewed candidates in New York, although he did not go into details. During the hearing, the Connecticut senator noted that it would be “quite unusual” for the president to get involved…

U.S. attorneys are also subject to the “blue-slip process,” meaning home-state senators could try to unilaterally block a nominee moving forward. For the New York position, Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand would be the ones giving the green light for the nominee to advance.

Now we know why Mitch ‘Trump’s Bitch” McConnell was trying to kill the blue-slip process last week, I guess. Reducing Senate prerogatives had never previously seemed to be his jam. The entire GOP is letting Trump destroy the last shreds of their credibility, and they’re not even getting any of their legislative wishlist in return!

Once again:

President Obama’s Speech On Behalf of Ralph Northam

Figured it made sense to bookend my blogging day with President Obama’s speech on behalf of Ralph Northam from earlier this evening. The video is all teed up for President Obama’s remarks.

Open thread!

Open Thread: Social Notes from the Wingnut Wurlitzer Incubator

Can’t be a good sign when your dream candidate would rather play footsie with Steve “Chaotic Evil, Only Less Competent” Bannon. Marc Short’s a tool (and not a sharp one); any locals want to tell us more about Tom Ricketts? From the Chicago Tribune:

The Heritage Foundation has narrowed its search for a new president down to a shortlist of finalists, a group that includes Todd Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, and Marc Short, a senior Trump White House official, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The conservative think tank’s trustees, however, remain torn over their decision. Kay Coles James – a Heritage board member who served as the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under former president George W. Bush and is close to Heritage founder Edwin Feulner – has been mentioned by several associates as someone who could serve in a temporary capacity if the board cannot settle on a candidate…

Heritage’s board includes many wealthy right-wing figures, including Steve Forbes, Rebekah Mercer and Thomas Saunders.

The top job at the influential conservative outpost has been open since May, when Jim DeMint, the Republican firebrand and former South Carolina senator, was pushed out, though Fuelner has been serving as the interim president. The search process is still in flux, and it is not clear if the top candidates under consideration have officially been contacted by the Heritage board – or would even accept the position…

Trump selected Ricketts to serve as deputy commerce secretary, but in April he withdrew his nomination from consideration, citing an inability to untangle his financial holdings to the satisfaction of the Office of Government Ethics.

Ricketts’ father helped finance Future45, a super PAC that spent lavishly for Trump in the final weeks of the campaign, giving the group at least $1 million through the end of September, FEC filings show. Joe Ricketts and his wife, Marlene, also contributed nearly $344,000 to support Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party. The Ricketts’ financial support for Trump was a dramatic reversal from the primaries, when Joe and Marlene Ricketts gave more than $5.5 million to Our Principles PAC, a super PAC that ran a slew of hard-hitting ads against Trump.

Short, the director of legislative affairs at the White House, comes with strong conservative credentials, previously leading Freedom Partners, the political operation for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, and before that working for Vice President Mike Pence when was a rising star on the right during his days in the U.S. House.

It is unclear if Short has expressed interest in the job, and he has not met with the Heritage board. But if selected – and if he were to accept – he would represent yet another high-profile departure from Trump’s administration, which has already faced a steady stream of turnover and shake-ups…

So much for General Kelly’s honor…

General Kelly followed the Trump playbook to the letter in a presser this afternoon. Here he is attempting to deflect criticism of his odious boss for the insensitive remarks that upset Sergeant Johnson’s widow to Congresswoman Wilson, the long-time family friend who called Trump out on them:

Kelly’s remarks were carefully considered: He blasts the congresswoman — lord knows the base will lap that up. Not only is Representative Wilson a politician, she’s a black woman: a hate-object trifecta for the Trumpsters. Kelly conveniently neglects to mention the fact that Sergeant Johnson’s wife and mother agreed with Wilson’s assessment.

Kelly pretends to be “stunned” that the congresswoman was “listening in to the sacred call” — as he himself was. Kelly lays the blame for Gold Star families losing their “sacred” status “at the conventions,” either eliding the fact that it was his boss who attacked the Khans or, worse, obliquely attacking the Khans himself. Utterly contemptible.

Everything Trump touches turns to shit. But perhaps General Kelly was shit all along.

Afternoon Open Thread: Now With Ducks

Hey, I pulled the climate change post because it was more of a round table discussion, which you can watch here (you don’t need a FB account) and not VP Gore doing one of his great talks. Also, didn’t seem to be able to pause the auto-play.

So here is a fresh open thread for you.

ETA: Here are some ducks for you.

Tried to get them in the pool, but they would not cooperate.  Below, we get 2 – 3 eggs a day. The blue ones belong to Maddie and the tan ones belong to Mabel.

The dogs enjoy them.