Tiny fingers you almost feel

I realize that saying “peak this” has become a joke, but I think Halperin may have a hard time topping this one, where he says Trump is one of the two most talented politicians he’s ever covered (the other being Bill Clinton). The friend who sent this asked: “Halperin believes nothing, what’s in it for him to pretend to believe something so stupid”.

I was going to joke that Trump was paying him, but I guess it’s more likely that the money’s coming in cash payments from the Ukraine.



Capital Idea, Old Chap!

Words fail me:

On Thursday morning, the Daily Beast published an exceedingly gross and bizarre article by a straight, married male writer who lured in gay Olympians through hookup apps for no particular purpose. The entire piece is an astoundingly creepy exercise in Grindr-baiting, which involves a journalist accessing Grindr in an unlikely setting and … seeing what happens. But the Daily Beast piece, penned by Nico Hines, is a uniquely disgusting and irresponsible entry into the tired genre. Hines entices his (often closeted) subjects under false pretenses; effectively outs several closeted athletes who live in repressive countries; then writes about the whole thing in a tone of mocking yet lurid condescension. By 10:30 a.m. ET, the Daily Beast had, in response to criticism, edited out the most identifying details about closeted athletes—but that’s too little, too late. (Update, 9:15 p.m.: On Thursday evening, the Daily Beast took down the piece entirely.)

I’ve been steaming about this all day.



Peak Both Sides was a lie

Zeke Miller making Ron Fournier look like Paul Krugman. Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 6.20.36 PM

These idiots will be screaming “both sides do it” as Trump drags them to the gulag.



Inaugural Semi-Annual Sully Award Recipients

sully award 2

There’s a new awards program in town — The Sully Awards. It is run exclusively by me, and it’s named after Andrew “How Can We Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?” Sullivan of intermittent blogging fame, not Sully Sullenberger, Hero of the Hudson. Therefore, it celebrates politically driven collapses onto inflatable fainting cushions, not feats of airliner piloting skill and courage.

First nominee: avid false equivalency salesman Ron Fournier, who is leaving Atlantic Media to spend more time with his family become associate publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business. Evidently even a both-sides-do-it hack like Fournier realizes there are only so many ways one can write, “Sure, Donald Trump is a dangerous demagogue who lies constantly about everything, all the time, but OMG HILLARY’S EMAILS how-can-we-trust-her?!1!1!?”

Good riddance to bad rubbish. But in recognition of his conspicuous lack of gallantry in the service of Broderism during this most vexing election season, here’s a trinket for Fournier’s new Detroit office: the very 1st Semi-Annual Sully Award. Because when the going gets tough, punk-ass quitters get going…right outta DC.

Regretfully, we must venture into Non-Hack-Land next, where Charlie Pierce disappoints — and scores an elusive Sully Award nomination:

If Hillary Clinton Seeks (or Accepts) an Endorsement from Henry Kissinger, She’s Lost My Vote

…I live in the bluest damn state there is east of Hawaii. My senators are Senator Professor Warren and Edward Markey. Less than a third of my fellow citizens are Republicans. (Granted, one of them is the governor, but let’s move on.) HRC could not lose the Commonwealth (God save it!) even if she drank a polyjuice potion and campaigned here transformed into Alex Rodriguez. So I can say this full in the knowledge that what I say will not have the slightest effect on the outcome of the presidential election. But it is not negotiable.

If Hillary Clinton actively seeks, or publicly accepts, the endorsement of Henry Kissinger, I will vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld on November 8. (Jill Stein, you might’ve been a contender, but going off to Red Square to talk about Vladimir Putin and human rights? Being an honored guest of a Russian propaganda channel? I don’t think so.) Kissinger is a bridge too far.

Oh, FFS. This is the kind of “Game over, man! Game over!” political delirium exemplified by Sullivan after Obama bombed at the first 2012 presidential debate. As should be obvious to any pol-watcher with Pierce’s experience, Clinton is trying to run up the score on He, Trump — she wants to utterly humiliate the shouty jack-o’-lantern by framing him as unacceptable to anyone who has ever played a role in government, regardless of party and ideology, thus giving wavering GOP voters an excuse not to vote for the serially offensive asshole.

Like the Republican president he served and that paranoid wank’s successors, Kissinger left a giant shit-stain on the planet and is therefore considered an elder statesmen by Republican voters old enough to remember him or conversant enough with history to know about his sinister turn in the Nixon White House.

Damn near half our fellow citizens are tragically uninformed assholes, okay? But if Kissinger and less lethal fellow GOP foreign policy fuck-ups like these 50 people plus Condi Rice, George Schultz and James Baker dump Trump for Clinton, that’ll be yet another hit to Trump’s reputation as a serious person within that seriously shitty party.

What it will NOT be is an indication that Clinton co-signs GOP foreign policy disasters past. Is it really necessary to explain this? This non-troversy reminds me of the foofaraw surrounding then-candidate Obama’s statement that he wished to be as consequential a president as Ronald Reagan, which was received in some quarters as “Gawd save us, Black Ronnie Raygun is coming after our Social Security.”

Therefore, I bestow upon Pierce the 2nd Semi-Annual Sully Award for conspicuous timorousness in political reporting. Still love ya, Charlie, but didn’t the 2000 election teach us anything about the futility of casting a vote as a political gesture? I know you’re in Massachusetts, but get a grip, man!

Now, deep, cleansing breaths, everyone. Can we get through the next 90 days without covering ourselves in beagle shit and running through the streets bellowing doom and woe? Yes, we can.



But he can’t be wounded ’cause he’s got no heart

Everyone who’s not an idiot knows that the primary cause for the rise of Trump is right-wing media. I don’t know how different things would have been without Roger Ailes, but he’s certainly had 10 times the influence of any Republican office holders. The stories coming out about him since his fall are amazing:

But with Ailes gone, Fox executives are now looking closely at how Ailes spent Fox money. And what they are discovering is that, beyond the sexual harassment claims, Ailes was also able to use portions of the Fox budget to hire consultants, political operatives, and private detectives that reported only to him, according to a senior Fox source.

….

According to one highly-placed source, Solivan worked out of what Fox insiders called “the Black Room,” an operation Ailes established around 2011 to conduct PR and surveillance campaigns against people he targeted both inside and outside the company.

….

Targets of the campaigns included journalists John Cook and Hamilton Nolan, who have aggressively covered Ailes for Gawker. According to one source, private detectives followed Cook around his Brooklyn neighborhood and Fox operatives prepared a report on him with information they intended to leak to blogs



I had a dream, I had an awesome dream

It looks like the media has decided to resume its regularly scheduled Hillary bashing. Got to have a horse race to cover!Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 3.03.40 PM

In a way, maybe it’s just as well, given that the alternative is two months of Paul Ryan white knight fan fiction:

That basically allows the RNC to come up with any reason to declare the spot vacant. For example, they could, following President Obama, deem him unfit for office – as in, mentally unfit. Or they could hold a vote of no confidence. No doubt, if Trump is fighting them, that would be a bumpy road, possibly involving litigation. It might be easier for leaders to endorse Gary Johnson and move on. But because of that word “otherwise,” it’s likely within the RNC’s power to dump Trump even without his consent. Then they would be able to fill the “vacancy” by majority vote.

Interestingly, that person could be anyone. Mike Pence does not automatically move up the ticket. On the contrary, unless Pence drops out (or is similarly found to be unfit, which seems impossible), he remains the nominee for Vice President, which, after all, is a separate office and a separate nomination. Most likely, the GOP’s knight in shining armor, House Speaker Paul Ryan, would be a leading candidate for a last-minute substitution.



Members of the Media Doing Their Job

Donald Trump is such a disaster of a human being and a candidate that the idea of him serving as President has jolted our complacent “both sides” media enough that it appears that they are actually doing their job:

Donald Trump’s campaign has released a video that falsifies Hillary Clinton’s stance on taxes, the fact-checkers over at Politifact found.

The video, which shows the Clinton rally in Nebraska Monday, was posted to YouTube on an account called “Team Trump” and then was later embedded in a Trump campaign email.

In the video, Clinton says, “Trump wants to cut taxes for the super rich,” to a loud chorus of boos.

Then she says, “Well, we’re not going there, my friends. I’m telling you right now we’re going to write fairer rules for the middle class. And we aren’t going to raise taxes on the middle class.”

But the video included subtitles that said exactly the opposite. It read, “We are going to raise taxes on the middle class.”

The video’s text asks “Wait. What?” before replaying the Clinton clip, modified and slowed down. As Clinton says again “we aren’t going to raise taxes on the middle class,” the subtitles read “we are going to raise taxes on the middle class.”

The video ends with a shot of the Trump-Pence campaign logo, though it doesn’t say that the video was sponsored or approved by the campaign.

It’s getting weird out there folks.

Hey media folks, while you’re feeling frisky, there’s a guy named James O’Keefe you might want to look into.