Clown Shoes Open Thread: THE GLASSES, THEY DO NOTHING!!!

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry optimistically discussed expanding American coal exports to Ukraine and other energy matters during a lengthy phone call this month with a Russian prankster who Perry thought was Ukraine’s prime minister.

Perry actually was talking with comedians known in Russia for targeting celebrities and politicians with audacious stunts, Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said in a written statement.

Pranksters Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov are sometimes called the “Jerky Boys of Russia,” after an American duo who put out recordings of their prank phone calls in the 1990s. They have made faux calls to British singer Elton John, who thought he was speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and others…

During the 22-minute call on July 19, Perry, whose department oversees the U.S. nuclear weapons program, discussed a range of topics in a business-like tone, including sanctions against Russia and helping Ukraine develop oil and gas.

Perry said the Trump administration opposes Nord Stream 2, a Russian project to bring natural gas to Europe across the Baltic and that U.S. technology could help Ukraine develop gas.

“Giving Ukraine more options with some of our technology is, I think, in everyone’s best interest with the exception of the Russians, but that’s OK,” he said.

Perry also discussed the Paris climate accord and coal exports on the call…

But Moniz looked like some schlubby geek — not the sorta guy Lord Smallgloves wanted to see on his morning Fox News. Bad attitude, too, what with thinkin’ that as a nookalar scientist he might know more about energy and stuff than a real ‘Murican bidniz guy like our Rick!


Open Thread: Sorry, Dude, A Shill’s Gotta Eat

The Washington Post reports:

Rick Perry, whose presidential campaign is struggling to raise money and is no longer paying its staff, lost his Iowa campaign chairman on Monday.

Sam Clovis, one of Iowa’s most prominent conservatives who had been leading Perry’s campaign in the state, confirmed in an interview that he had left the Perry campaign in part because he was no longer being compensated. He said he is in conversations to sign up with another Republican candidate.

“I feel bad for the campaign and I feel bad for Governor Perry because I think he’s a marvelous human being, he’s a great man and it was my honor to be a part of this, but it was just time to move on,” said Clovis, who is a talk radio personality, professor and former U.S. Senate candidate…

Clovis said he has entertained entreaties from “several” rival campaigns in the two and a half weeks since Perry stopped paying his staff. He said he expects to sign on with a new candidate in the next few days. “I’m going to go where there’s the best fit,” he said.

When Clovis signed on with Perry, he said the “finalists” he considered were Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former technology executive Carly Fiorina and businessman Donald Trump. Cruz would be a natural candidate for Clovis to settle on, as would Trump, who has rocketed to the top of polls and is building a costly and aggressive ground campaign in Iowa…

I guess the thumbsucker takeaway is: Does Clovis jump for the easy Trump dollar, or bet on Teddy the Cross for the long-term grift?

(Not that I think Cruz is liable to win the GOP nomination, but his candidacy for God-King in the Republic of Gilead is a safe money bet at least through next year.)

Tuesday Evening Open Thread: LOSERS!!!

Apart from the Crazification Factor, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Open Thread: TROMPED!

The carnival can’t go on forever (can it?) but while it lasts I’m gonna enjoy every pratfall and sad trombone. Gabriel Sherman, in NYMag, on “The Roger Ailes Primary“:

At the start of his career, not long after he helped Richard Nixon win the 1968 election, Roger Ailes boasted to a reporter that television would one day replace the political party as the most powerful force in American politics. If there is any doubt that the Fox News founder has largely made that prediction come true, it should be erased by the panic that next week’s Fox debate is stoking inside the GOP. In a year that features the largest primary field in modern history — not to mention Donald Trump as a front-runner — campaign strategists worry that Ailes’s debate, which is likely to attract the biggest audience in cable-news history, could define the race more than five months before the first votes are cast.

As everyone knows by now, Fox has said that only 10 of the 17 declared candidates will be allowed onstage for the prime-time debate… Contenders for each event will be selected on August 4 from an average of five national polls chosen by Fox. But which polls the network will use remains an open question and a source of controversy.

The candidates with the most on the line are Rick Perry and John Kasich. As things stand now, both are in contention to land the tenth and final prime-time spot, depending on which polls are averaged…

… For the campaigns that do make prime time, there’s another wild card: Trump. Fox told campaigns this week that the candidates will be lined up onstage according to their poll numbers, with the leader in the center and the others to his left and right. That means if current numbers hold, Trump will be in the center flanked by Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. “There’s a lot of nervousness about where he’s going to be placed and who will be next to him,” one adviser said. In any normal debate, candidates would obviously fight to be in the middle, but being center stage next to Trump could be as much of a liability as an advantage. Who knows what he might do? “It’s almost like you don’t want to be too close,” one campaign adviser says, “in case he self-combusts.”…

The NYTimes is visibly torn between its big-money hometown boosterism and its repugnance at the outer-borough guy’s antics — “Stakes for Donald Trump in First G.O.P. Debate (in a Word): Huge“:

The most pressing question that Donald J. Trump could face next week in the first debate of the 2016 presidential race may not be about Iran or immigration, but this: Can he deploy enough adjectives (“huge!”), superlatives (“the worst!”) and invectives (“loser!”) for him to use up his time without being challenged successfully on the substance of policy?… Read more

Rick Perry 2016: He’s Way More Butch Than Lindsey Graham!

Lindsey, as it happens, is the one other gen-u-wine military veteran among this cycle’s GOP candidates. But the only reason Rick Perry is getting more media attention than Lincoln Chafee right now is that Texas is so much bigger than Rhode Island…

We know where Rick Perry would like to lead the country. Back to 1861. He’s the first candidate in over 150 years to run for the presidency of the Confederate States Of America. — Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

Tragically, not a joke; read the ThinkProgress article for an interesting list of all the things Rick Perry is on the record as considering “unConstitutional” — from Social Security and environmental/worker/voter protection laws to the direct election of Senators. (In the good ol’ days, state legislatures appointed senators, which was a real boon to corrupt state legislators.)

The NYTimes and the Washington Post could barely bring themselves even to be dismissive, while the Texas media knows him all too well. Christopher Hooks, at the Texas Observer, “Don’t Laugh… “:

… You didn’t think former Gov. James Richard Perry, of the Paint Creek Perrys, was leaving us for good, did you? It has been 30 years since Perry entered public service, almost half of which he spent as a governor whose level of dominance over the state verged on a personality cult…

Perry was never going to go away quietly, oops or no. If you were to make the case for his presidential ambitions, you could point to his survivor’s instinct and his long history of success as a political chameleon—first a Democrat, then a Republican; first a believer in certain parts of the infrastructure of big government, then a tea partier; a Christian conservative, or a Tenther libertarian. What are his actual beliefs? Does he have any, or is he motivated solely by his love of the performance of power? If the latter, it might be the most presidential thing about him…

Read more

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Point, Mock

I always made one prayer to God, a very short one. Here it is: “O Lord, make our enemies quite ridiculous!” God granted it.” – Voltaire

Everything You Need to Know* About Rick Perry’s Newest Scandal
(*But were afraid to ask)
, from the Texas Observer

Apart from pointing & mocking, what’s on the agenda today?

Open Thread: Perry Pandering

Gosh, I can remember when RSG, aka “Tragic the Gathering” was just a most excellent TBogg pigbladder-target. Where is Perry’s hand reaching? — one hopes it’s just EWE’s wallet he’s after…

Speaking of Perry-tinnitus, Washington Monthly‘s Ed Kilgore is less than charmed by the charm offensive:

This morning in coping with a slow news day I read with interest and with some amusement a long, long, re-assessment of Rick Perry at The Atlantic by veteran reporter Michelle Cottle. She clearly buys, and helps propagate, the idea that we’re seeing a “new” Rick Perry who’s learned the right lessons from the debacle of his 2012 campaign, and is planning a sensible, economics-focused presidential campaign, leaving the fire-breathing to his Texas colleague Ted Cruz. But a major portion of the article reflects Cottle’s complete and admitted surrender to Perry’s “charm.” I don’t know if it’s in compensation for her newfound fondness for ol’ Rick, or just a matter of journalistic honesty, but she ends what was turning into a puff-piece with a brutal assessment of his actual chances in 2016…

If I had to guess, Perry strategy involves becoming the fallback choice for conservatives if the 2016 nomination fight becomes a demolition derby like the last two GOP contests. That means first of all erasing the impression of being a raging yahoo that his last campaign created. Hence the Charm Offensive, and also a few sly efforts to sound a bit less, well, dumb (Cottle reports that “winsome” is a “favorite word of his,” probably not a usage he picked up as Yell Leader at A&M)…

Did someone say… Winsome?