Orangemandias II (Open Thread)

I had to run an errand a while ago and was listening to an interview with Bloomberg’s Josh Green on public radio. Green just released a book on Steve Bannon called “Devil’s Bargain,” and in the segment I heard, Green described Bannon’s worldview, allowed as how only a maroon like Trump would have given Bannon the time of day and detailed how Bannon harnessed Trump’s, uh, unique qualities to win.

I assume most here are familiar with Bannon’s white nationalist views. One insight Green attributes to Bannon is that the GOP could win at the presidential level in 2016 if it focused on concerns (read: prejudices) prevalent in the South. That is the exact opposite of what GOP establishment types were saying after the defeat of Romney. Turns out Bannon was right, with dumb luck and more than a little help from his friends (Russians, voter suppression, media incompetence, Comey, etc.).

I almost switched stations because hearing a rehash of the 2016 election is about as appealing to me these days as a double root canal. But then the interviewer asked Green if he thinks Bannon is pleased with how things are panning out now. Green replied that Bannon is almost certainly frustrated as hell to have overcome huge odds to get a shot at enacting his agenda, only to discover that Trump doesn’t have the focus or discipline to do the job.

That sounds about right. Bannon is a kook, but he is also a true believer, and to have labored mightily to construct the levers and weights necessary to smash the state, only to have the recalcitrant child who must push the buttons lose interest and wander off to watch Fox News and rage-tweet, must be absolutely enraging.

Trump is crooked enough to swallow a nail and shit a corkscrew, but beyond a talent for grift, he just isn’t very bright. He’s a bigot, so Bannon’s views of a glorious Aryan past and future are no doubt appealing. Trump’s a crook, so the possibility of fleecing marks on a global scale is irresistible. But he’s also susceptible to flattery and dependent on family enablers, so he surrounds himself with schemers and hangers-on who can’t coalesce around a coherent approach.

It’s an ongoing outrage and horror that such a person is president of the United States. But in a way, we may have, if not dodged a bullet, at least sustained a wound that is likely survivable. A competent person in Trump’s position almost certainly would have successfully swept the Russia investigation under the rug. A focused and disciplined person would have made the effort to understand and advocate for his own healthcare reform plan.

The best-case scenario in the short term is that Trump keeps stepping on his own dick. The best-case scenario in the long term is that he utterly discredits GOP “populism.” Forever, hopefully, or at least until after I’m dead. Open thread!

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: A Win, If We Can Keep It!

(Jeff Danziger’s website)

Read Dave’s latest post, if you haven’t already.

The Washington Post has some more detail on McConnell’s latest dodge.

One can never underestimate the steely resolve of a gang of GOPers intent on making other people suffer, even if it requires shooting themselves in a sensitive area. But then again, Mitch McConnell is perceived as being responsible for this latest Repub fustercluck — and neither he nor the guy squatting in the Oval Office seem to have a vast stock of either good will or fear built up to bring the defectors back.

Apart from a huge sigh of relief (and a strengthened resolve not to take your eyes off these bastids), what’s on the agenda for the day?

Fox News reporter speaks up, in case you’re wondering:

On The Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

So far, this feature has been about travel, with the occasional “local” picture or two. I think limiting this to just travel is just that – limiting. So I’m changing this up a bit to include neat, colorful, funny, interesting, poignant, etc. pictures that don’t require travel – for you!

As always, if you’re on a trip or have a story to share, you can just pitch in below. Please hold off sending new pictures as we’re in the final testing stages of a submission function to make this feature less error-prone and a bit more automated. I hope to have it live by week’s end, and have plenty of pics until then!

Final maintenance note – in order to best support both desktop and mobile users, and especially those using older systems, I’m launching a new plugin later today to show pictures. It will show one picture at a time, allow you to zoom in to a full-size version, and will work the same on both desktop and mobile sites. Once that’s in, there will be one or more galleries per submitter per day. Should be snaz-zy.

Travel safely everyone, even if it’s just down the hall for that second cup of coffee.


And….I cannot upload pictures. <insert exploding-in-anger-Cartman> >


Have a good day folks, I’ll figure out what still needs resetting during the workday and not now, post-9pm.


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Late Night Open Thread: Shameless (But Stupid — Very Stupid)

It’s gone beyond the usual IOKIYAR clannishness to pure cultism, at this point. But some of the slightly more experienced partisans are beginning to look for an inconspicuous exit…

So all that prosecutorial experience didn’t quite go to waste, eh, Mr. Christie?
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Exclusive Video: Obamacare Repeal

Balloon Juice has obtained exclusive, behind-the-scenes video depicting Obamacare repeal attempts by Donald J. Trump and the Republicans in Congress:

New Repeal-O-Meter should arrive from ACME Corporation later this week. Hope the results are consistent with prior attempts.

Open thread!

Hookers and meth

Usually Balloon Juice is a hookers and blow based blog but this story from the LA Times will create an exception:

During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them, a Los Angeles Times investigation found.

Puliafito, 66, and these much younger acquaintances captured their exploits in photos and videos. The Times reviewed dozens of the images.

Open thread…..

Gratuitous Music Open Thread

Because caipirinhas in Brazil.