Are they going to say he was a kind man? He was a wise man?

We heard the same bullshit when Rove did the anti-gay ballot measures in 2004: “W doesn’t want to do this, he has gay friends and he’s a nice guy, but he will because he’s savvy”.

The tongue job the Times is giving Trump over DACA is even worse.

I s’pose it’s so they can keep getting the sweet Javanka leaks.



Antifa Stole My Bike

This unintentional hilarity and lack of meme awareness of this headline has cracked me up all day:

I presume most people are like me in that I’m back and forth on Antifa. On one side, I hate crowds and political violence, and I think what these guys are doing to reporters is infuriating and wrong. I have some people I really trust like Lindsay Beyerstein who have really pointed me to a bunch of articles about some of the truly shitty and criminal things they are doing. I’d wager most of them are cut from the same cloth as the idiots in earlier generations who felt violence was the way to end the Vietnam war, and I guarantee if there were not neonazis for them to fight, a large number of them would be smashing the windows of Starbucks during G7 Summits.

On the other hand, Nazis. So while I certainly don’t condone their misbehavior, which I bet is limited to a few members, well, you know, Nazis. What I do think is weird though, is a corollary to this:

It says a lot that the GOP and many in the modern media are more worked up about antifascists than they are the Klan and Nazis. And while Nazis have never done anything good, here is a report that shows what a lot of antifa did at Charlottesville (and this is Dahlia Lithwick, whose word is as good as Lindsay’s):

It was basically impossible to miss the antifa for the group of us who were on the steps of Emancipation Park in an effort to block the Nazis and alt-righters from entering. Soon after we got to the steps and linked arms, a group of white supremacists—I’m guessing somewhere between 20-45 of them—came up with their shields and batons and bats and shoved through us. We tried not to break the line, but they got through some of us—it was terrifying, to say the least—shoving forcefully with their shields and knocking a few folks over. We strengthened our resolve and committed to not break the line again. Some of the anarchists and anti-fascist folks came up to us and asked why we let them through and asked what they could do to help. Rev. Osagyefo Sekou talked with them for a bit, explaining what we were doing and our stance and asking them to not provoke the Nazis. They agreed quickly and stood right in front of us, offering their help and protection.

Less than 10 minutes later, a much larger group of the Nazi alt-righters come barreling up. My memory is again murky on the details. (I was frankly focused on not bolting from the scene and/or not soiling myself—I know hyperbole is common in recounting stories like these, but I was legitimately very worried for my well-being and safety, so I was trying to remember the training I had acquired as well as, for resolve, to remember why I was standing there.) But it had to have been at least 100 of them this go around. I recall feeling like I was going to pass out and was thankful that I was locked arms with folks so that I wouldn’t fall to the ground before getting beaten. I knew that the five anarchists and antifa in front of us and the 20 or so of us were no match for the 100-plus of them, but at this point I wasn’t letting go.

“Cornel West said that he felt that the antifa saved his life. I didn’t roll my eyes at that statement or see it as an exaggeration.”

At that point, more of the anarchists and antifa milling nearby saw the huge mob of the Nazis approach and stepped in. They were about 200-300 feet away from us and stepped between us (the clergy and faith leaders) and the Nazis. This enraged the Nazis, who indeed quickly responded violently. At this point, Sekou made a call that it was unsafe—it had gotten very violent very fast—and told us to disperse quickly.

While one obviously can’t objectively say what a kind of alternate reality or “sliding doors”–type situation would have been, one can hypothesize or theorize. Based on what was happening all around, the looks on their faces, the sheer number of them, and the weapons they were wielding, my hypothesis or theory is that had the antifa not stepped in, those of us standing on the steps would definitely have been injured, very likely gravely so. On Democracy Now, Cornel West, who was also in the line with us, said that he felt that the antifa saved his life. I didn’t roll my eyes at that statement or see it as an exaggeration—I saw it as a very reasonable hypothesis based on the facts we had.

So yeah, there are bad elements of Antifa, but there are no good nazis. That doesn’t seem like a radical position to hold.



A loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires

Another nothingburger on the Trump-Russia connection:

A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Vladi­mir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress Monday.

Michael Cohen, a Trump attorney and executive vice president for the Trump Organization, sent the email in January 2016 to Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s top press aide.

[….]

The email shows the Trump business official directly seeking Kremlin assistance in advancing Trump’s business interests, in the same months when Trump was distinguishing himself on the campaign trail with his warm rhetoric about Putin.

If a Democratic president’s campaign was involved with this, the debate would now be which form of execution was appropriate. Liberals would be ridiculed for thinking that lethal injection was severe enough.



Wanted by the evil forces

By the time W’s presidency was over, all the centrists and tote-baggers hated him so much that I felt like a W apologist when I talked to them, but now there’s a lot of weird W nostalgia. People say shit like “I’d be so happy to have Bush instead of Trump”.

I’m here to tell you that there’s not that much difference, that “alternative facts” and “fake news” aren’t that different than what went on under Bush. You all know the original “reality-based” quote, but here’s another one, from Mark McKinnon, the faux cowboy “centrist” asshole who now wanks around with Mark Halperin:

And for those who don’t get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. “You think he’s an idiot, don’t you?” I said, no, I didn’t. “No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don’t care. You see, you’re outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don’t read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it’s good for us. Because you know what those folks don’t like? They don’t like you!” In this instance, the final “you,” of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

You may also remember this, from David Broder:

We cannot yet calculate the political fallout from Hurricane Katrina and its devastating human and economic consequences, but one thing seems certain: It makes the previous signs of political weakness for Bush, measured in record-low job approval ratings, instantly irrelevant and opens new opportunities for him to regain his standing with the public.

(To his credit, Broder later said he as appalled that he’d said this.)

The same dark forces are at work again trying to prop Trump up. They changed the headline but Brian Beutler has a screeshot.



All around the world, statues crumble for me

Whenever I bring up the looming constitutional crisis of Trump firing Mueller or pardoning himself, people think I’m either being too flippant or too doom pr0nographic. But I don’t see how we can ignore it.

I think something changed last week after Charlottesville. I don’t think — never thought really — that Trump will be able to turn Confederate statues into a wedge issue that appeals to the NASCAR dads in the I-20 corridor or however Chuck Todd would describe it. And I now think something I never thought before: that the media’s (justifiably strong) reaction to Trump’s repulsive comments is a sign that they won’t go easy on Dolt 45 when he fires Mueller or pardons himself. I still don’t think Republicans will do anything to Trump if/when he does this, but I now think they’ll pay a big political price for refusing to do so.

What do you think? Am I being too optimistic here?



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: The MH370 of Presidential Speeches

Okay, I try to keep this Early Morning Open Thread positive, and yes there are a half-dozen other stories worth discussing. But Murphy take the wheel, the Oval Office Occupant’s televised “rally” last night well and truly broke all previous records — even for this guy.

If Richard Nixon had been given access to Xanax, Ambien, Twitter, and his own personal broadcast network, he couldn’t have put on a more delirious spectacle. Somewhere Hunter S. Thompson is telling himself What an imagination I’ve got
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America First! (Surely we’ve heard that slogan before.)

Like a team of horses under one driver, one whip!
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Late Night Roundup: Statler, Waldorf & Groucho Review Trump’s “Afghanistan” Speech


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“Let’s Get This Over With” edition:


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