The Reichstag fire next time

We’ve all seen this movie before — an unpopular and ill-prepared president takes office after a disputed election — so we know what happens next. There will be some sort of international event, perhaps a terrorist attack, perhaps something else. It doesn’t have to be anything all that large-scale this time around. Although the event will have been caused at least in part by the ineptitude of the sitting president, the media will attempt to blame Democrats and to get the country to rally around its steely-eyed missile man-in-chief

I don’t honestly know if it will get off the ground this time, in terms of getting the public to rally round Dear Leader. The media doesn’t have its tongue as far up Trump’s ass as it did up Bush’s, even before 9/11. But we need to think about what we can do to keep it from getting off the ground.

One more thing

As the American Resistance builds, establishment media (who gave us Donald Trump in the first place) will attack us for being rude, vitriolic, smelly hippies. Rude would be if we sent every last one of them to the guillotines they richly deserve. I’d say a little profanity here and there is pretty fucking polite under the circumstances.

The last thing they’ll ever do is act in your interest

Trump didn’t win because he’s a political genius or because the voters are dumb. He won because our institutions failed:

These same institutions can still stop Trump from destroying our country if they do their jobs? How can we pressure them to do their jobs? That’s what we have to figure out, and of course there isn’t just one answer.

In the meantime, another example of how our media fucked up and gave us a potential Hitler, in this case by deciding not to run stories about connections between Russia and the Trump campaign:

I have spoken privately with several journalists involved in the reporting last fall, and I believe a strong case can be made that The Times was too timid in its decisions not to publish the material it had.


There were disagreements about whether to hold back. There was even an actual draft of a story. But it never saw daylight. The deciding vote was Baquet’s, who was adamant, then and now, that they made the right call.

“We heard about the back-channel communications between the Russians and Trump,” he said. “We reported it, and found no evidence that it was true. We wrote everything we knew — and we wrote a lot. Anybody that thinks we sat on stuff is outrageous. It’s just false.”

I don’t believe anyone suppressed information for ignoble reasons, and indeed The Times produced strong work on former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. But the idea that you only publish once every piece of information is in and fully vetted is a false construct.

Golden Streams

Let’s say, merely for the sake of argument, that Donald Trump didn’t hire Russian prostitutes to urinate on the bed in a suite in a Moscow hotel. Of course, I think he did that and more. Exhibit A for the prosecution being him going out of the way to say that Hillary’s bathroom break in one of the Democratic debates was “too disgusting” to talk about. Classic projection.

Anyway, let’s say that it’s all bullshit, not a word of truth. I seem to remember another bullshit story that contained not one word-not even a phoneme-of truth: the notion that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Remember that steaming pantsload? It occupied years of the media interviewing scores of the mouth breathing rubes who believed it, and all of the carnival barkers who sold it. Every single “credible” media outlet that earned millions of clicks from that story knew it was completely, unquestionably false, yet profitable.

So why didn’t we hear about the Trump’s alleged piss fetish when it made the rounds (apparently) last October? It can’t be economics-Baby Jesus knows that America likes its clickbait warm and yellow. There’s even a real kompromat story here that is kind of a big deal – perhaps not as big as the recipes shared by John Podesta, but it certainly comes close. I don’t think the only reason is that they hated Hillary-certainly, deep in the drafty part of their chests that once housed their eternal souls, their hatred for Trump burns just as bright. Is it some odd species of cowardice? I really don’t understand it.

Late Night Open Thread: After the Speech

Dear Mrs. Crowley

I didn’t think the fact that Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in her recent book “Obama is a Kenyan Communist Muslim”, or whatever it was called, was such a big story, given that we will soon be ruled by the puppet of a Russian dictator, but Jay Rosen makes a good point:

Here’s what I want you to watch for: Harper Collins is going to be asked about this. They refused to reply to Andrew Kaczynski, but when the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal call for comment it becomes harder to just… stonewall. If the normal sequence I just described unfolds — Crowley acknowledges the problem and apologizes, HarperCollins either fixes the reprint or lets the book drift out of print — then it’s a two-day story and everyone forgets about it.

But… The Trump transition team already went from zero to 60 on the politicize-everything dial. And Trump is known for backing his people when they get into scrapes. Monica Crowley may decide she did nothing wrong, or nothing “the other side” wouldn’t do. She may decide to tough it out, or even escalate this until it’s a full-blown controversy, complete with charges of fake news (Kaczynski’s report) and hypocrisy (CNN’s Zakaria problem.)


So keep your eye on this. We may get an early read on how corruptible our cultural institutions actually are.

My sister pointed out to me that this isn’t the first time Monica Crowley’s been caught stealing:

On August 9–the 25th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s presidential resignation–the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page published a Nixon apologia by Crowley headlined “The Day Nixon Said Goodbye.” Four days later, the Journal ran an editor’s note that read as follows: “There are striking similarities in phraseology between “The Day Richard Nixon Said Goodbye,” an editorial feature Monday by Monica Crowley, and a 1988 article by Paul Johnson in Commentary magazine … Had we known of the parallels, we would not have published the article.”

Post Hack, Ergo Flopter Hack: James Hohmann Edition

The Washington Post has better national political coverage than the New York Times. But it still sucks great green gator balls. Today’s Exhibit A — James Hohmann:

THE BIG IDEA: [Is that what we’re calling compressed turds of conventional Beltway wisdom these days?] It took grit and gumption for Donald Trump to call out House Republicans yesterday.

Maybe he did not fully comprehend the risks of criticizing the very lawmakers who he needs most to advance his agenda, but two tweets from the president-elect were pivotal to saving the Office of Congressional Ethics from being declawed and neutered. The bottom line is that there will be more rigorous oversight of lawmakers than there would have been otherwise because he chose to speak up when he could have stayed silent.

Did not “fully comprehend the risks” of criticizing Republican lawmakers? Five minute’s study of baboon dominance displays will be infinitely more instructive in understanding Trump than five years of poring over US legislative history or five millennia spent cataloging all the things Trump doesn’t “fully comprehend.”

And if we’re going to credit Trump with saving the OCE, let’s credit Mrs. O’Leary’s cow for the modern Chicago skyline. Hohmann knows public outrage prompted the GOP walk-back on the OCE, and he even admits Trump didn’t question the propriety of the proposed gutting — only the timing of it.

But you see, the Daily Motherfucking Caller has informed Hohmann that there’s this new disease abroad in the land, Trump Derangement Syndrome, and it threatens Congressional comity:

As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told CNN in an interview that aired last night, “The only way we’re going to work with him is if he moves completely in our direction and abandons his Republican colleagues.”

Think about how Schumer would have responded if Mitch McConnell made that statement about a President-elect Hillary Clinton…

Yes, how awful if McConnell had said something like, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama Clinton to be a one-term president.” Hohmann’s pearls would have been crushed to powder in his sweaty little fist. Good thing that didn’t happen! He goes on:

[Trump] operates so far outside the norms of how business has always been done in Washington, and his manner seems so gauche, that he provokes a visceral, occasionally irrational, reaction in serious, normally sober-minded people.

Sweep, weeping Jeebus take the fucking wheel. Look, we don’t object to Trump because he operates outside the fucking Village parameters; we oppose him because he’s an unprincipled, unqualified, narcissistic buffoon who is a walking, talking affront to every principle we claim to uphold as a nation. And if some of us have a “visceral” reaction to Trump, perhaps it is because he spent the last year and a half demonizing and objectifying us.

Trump could spray liquid gold leaf on the White House and hire the shades of Saddam Hussein and Liberace to decorate the interior with nary a peep from me if he hadn’t run the most sexist, racist, xenophobic campaign since George Wallace.

Trump could wind his several remaining hairs around his bald pate in an intricate pattern without critical comment from this quarter if he weren’t assembling a horde of grifting parasites and plutocrats to loot the Treasury while handing the day-to-day running of the country over to a pack of hypocritical, bible-humping austeritarians.

In other words, the core issue isn’t that Trump is a strutting, loud-mouthed, tacky embarrassment; it’s that he’s an unhinged demagogue who is a danger to the country — indeed, the world. And it is a problem that prominent national correspondent James Hohmann of the Washington Post doesn’t seem to understand that.

Okay, back to Eagle Cam.