Both Sides Open Thread

The New York Times has some graphics that should kill the “both sides” narrative, but they won’t.

[The] findings are based on data from the Manifesto Project, which reviews and categorizes each line in party manifestos, the documents that lay out a group’s goals and policy ideas. We used the topics that the platforms emphasize, like market regulation and multiculturalism, to put them on a common scale.

The resulting scores capture how the groups represent themselves, not necessarily their actual policies. They are one way to answer a difficult question: If we could put every political party on the same continuum from left to right, where would the American parties fall?

The Democratic Party is leftish, the Republican Party, extreme.

An explanation is easy to see in two parts. Part the first: Tea Party primarying forces moderate candidates to the right or out of the race. Part the second: Reasonable people leave the Republican Party.

It’s also an argument against courting the flyover diner crowd, but none of that will change the media.

 








Unhinged (Open Thread)

Trump did a phone interview with a Fox News friendly this morning. It did not go well.

In the first clip below, Trump accuses Robert Mueller of a “crime,” claiming the special counsel “terminated” texts and/or emails between “stupid lovers” Strzok and Page.* Then he bellows about the content of the “illegally terminated” texts/emails, thus indicating that he somehow read them despite their being allegedly lost to posterity. It’s just incoherent.

The second clip is even worse since it pertains to a real issue rather than a demented fantasy: the Trump concentration camps at the border. Trump indicates he may not sign the funding bill from the House, underscoring yet again his intent to use abused children and their desperate families as pawns to get wall funding.

He also repeats the lie about the family separation policy (100% Trump’s) in short-hand fashion since, on Fox News, it’s an article of faith that President Obama created family separation and Trump is the hero who’s trying to end it. Trump then rants that his administration is doing a “great job” at the border and whines about people focusing on “one little site” (where children have been hideously abused!) instead of the big picture, which is also a heinous fail-parade of cruelty and misery by any objective measure.

The clips are almost worth watching just for Bartiromo’s facial expressions. She’s one of the many amoral sleaze-bags at Fox News who helped propel this raving lunatic to power, so watching her failed struggle to shape the interview so that her subject sounds more like a human being in control of his faculties than a semi-sentient YouTube comments thread is almost comical.

I’m past believing that any unhinged public performance by Trump will move the needle with the media or the public and affect coverage or approval ratings. At this point, such a hope is probably as vain as the pundit yearning for a “pivot” in which the lunatic in the Oval Office suddenly starts acting like a president — even a regular old bad, corrupt and incompetent president. But damn!

Open thread!

*BTW, do Strzok and Page have any avenue of redress for their constant vilification and defamation by a sitting president? Trump is so bizarrely obsessed with those two, never failing to use the word “lover” multiple times (and with maximum creepiness!) when discussing them. He apparently derives some sick, hypocritical satisfaction from emphasizing their alleged infidelity.

Trump routinely and baselessly accuses the two of participating in a conspiracy theory to take him down, and I don’t doubt that each renewal of that accusation prompts Trump’s unhinged fans to threaten the two. Trump’s fans have a history of threatening violence, sending mail bombs and amassing weapons and creating “kill lists,” so “irresponsible” doesn’t begin to cover Trump’s treatment of Page and Strzok. It’s criminal, or at least it should be.








Late Night Open Thread: All the BEST People…

Example 1:

Example #2:








Open Thread: Duncan Hunter, GOP Poster Boy of the Week

And here I thought Rep. Duncan was just a California-gated-community version of Jared Kushner — the entitled scion of a successful grifter who misused campaign funds because he felt he was entitled to a nicer lifestyle than he could afford honestly. Give Jared this much credit: either he has the sense keep his pants zipped, or he picks partners who have as much to lose from exposure as he does. Duncan was using campaign funds to ‘party’ with lobbyists — and using the campaign credit card he knew his ‘campaign manager’ wife would be auditing!

… “I’m saying when I went to Iraq in 2003 the first time I gave her power of attorney and she handled my finances throughout my entire military career and that continued on when I got to Congress since I’m gone five days and home for two,” Hunter said at the time. “She was also the campaign manager.”

“So whatever she did, that will be looked at, too, I’m sure,” he continued. “But I didn’t do it.”…

Bonus ‘Party of Family Value’ points:


Read more








Foreign Policy Open Thread: Jared Kushner Will Bring Peace to the Middle East…

… shortly after I win the Miss America contest. For which, let it be specified, I do not meet the basic requirements. And also, I wouldn’t enter if I *did*. So, context!

The Oval Office squatter and his Repub enablers don’t care about what happens in the Middle East, and even if they did, they haven’t the ability to do anything about it. But if they can skim some cash from the petrostate oligarchs for putting on a heavily PowerPointed dog & pony show — about the money, that, they care.

Long information thread here: