Always Be Grifting Open Thread: #TrumpSharpies Are the New MAGA Hats

Which happens first?

(a) Trump discovers Parscale is ripping off HIS campaign, noisily fires him; or
(b) Trump decides Parscale is getting too much attention from HIS media, ditto.

Fellow Repubs, of course, have already stolen the concept…

An analysis of the circumstances surrounding the aborted Trump-Taliban meeting at Camp David

Here are Trump’s tweets on the matter:

Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday. They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to..

….an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they….

….only made it worse! If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight?

Then, as the body of the “great great soldier”* who was recently killed in a Taliban attack arrived at Dover, Trump tweeted a cat video mocking CNN’s role in SharpieGate and a clip of Fox News personality “Judge Jeanine” braying angrily at a studio camera about “Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey.”

After careful analysis of these events, my response is as follows: What the fucking FUCK?

The end.

*His name was Sergeant 1st Class Elis Barreto Ortiz, and he was 34 years old. He was from Puerto Rico.

Lots more of this, please

I’m not sure exactly why, since Trump has been openly corrupt from day one, but the Pence Doonbeg boondoggle seems to have legs in the media, even while SharpieGate rages on:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding the State Department disclose its role in Vice President Mike Pence’s trip this week to meet with Irish leaders in Dublin, which included a stay at the Trump International Hotel in Doonbeg, some 175 miles away.

“This is only the latest instance in which government officials, companies or special interest groups have patronized the President’s hotels – enriching the President and his family – in numerous cases, with taxpayer funds,” Warren wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, obtained by WBUR.

Warren demanded Pompeo disclose the State Department’s involvement in making travel arrangements, how much more it cost Pence to stay in Doonbeg instead of in Dublin, and whether Trump’s reported suggestion that Pence stay at his property played a role.

Maybe it’s because the story keeps changing?

Nancy Pelosi’s office issued a blistering statement about the Doonbeg boondoggle a couple of days ago. An excerpt:

President Trump is violating the Constitution by making money off of his lavish, ritzy resort properties, ultimately prioritizing his profits over the interests of the American people.

First, Trump suggested holding the G7 Summit at his Doral golf resort in Florida.

Now, the White House is walking back their previous statements that Trump personally suggested Pence stay at his Doonbeg hotel in Ireland, which would be yet another example of the President’s self-dealing.

Vice President Pence promised that their Administration would defend the Constitution and stand by a “strict constructionist” interpretation of the Constitution. Instead the Trump-Pence Administration is ignoring the text itself and selling out the Constitution to line Trump’s pockets.

Trump properties are a cesspool of corruption, a black hole for taxpayers’ money, an exploiter of immigrant labor and a national security threat with a suspected foreign spy walking the halls.

Let’s hope this is all a preview of coming attractions for when Congress is back in session. I’ve stopped complaining about it here because it seems like pointless blog-wanking that generates more heat than light, but we have the House — let’s USE it to expose the most corrupt pack of gilded grift-mavens who ever fleeced a sucker.

Late Night Open Thread: Does Dan Crenshaw Have 30-50 Feral Friends?

So Rep. Crenshaw doubled down, because OF COURSE…

Read more

Open Thread: The Toddler-in-Chief Will *Never* Stop Talking About Alabama

If proof were needed that the conspiracy theories about HAARP are complete bullshite, the fact that Trump hasn’t busted out the weather-altering technology to force Dorian to threaten Alabama would be it. At least it’s great fodder for comic geniuses like David Roth:

It can be difficult to remember given that he routinely appears on television with toilet paper on the soles of both his shoes and at least one of his hands stuck in a big jug of peanut butter, but Donald Trump’s opening position in all things is that he has never been wrong. He has been wronged, and is in fact wronged constantly—by terrible nasty TV actresses and fake cable news anchors and the other antagonists he’s collected over a lifetime of nonstop blowsy public feuding. But that is just the price he pays for always being right and never being afraid to speak out on whatever he has just seen on television. He carries that weight lightly, give or take the fact that he whines about it constantly. There is an entire cable television network devoted to telling this story over and over again, and every day Trump parks his ass in front of it and watches embalmed-looking septuagenarian newsreader types talk about how correct he is and heatedly demand apologies on his behalf, for hours on end. It’s the treatment that he has always believed he deserves…

The issue here is not that Trump doesn’t believe in things like truth and untruth; he absolutely believes that some things are true and other things are false, but what makes them true or false to him is grounded entirely in how he feels about them. Once a belief is lodged in the sodden Nerf of his brain it becomes true to him, and remains that way forever. These things tend, if anything, to become more true over time, or at least become larger. There is probably some latent impulse from his days as a real estate huckster that powers this—in the same way that he once added floors to the oafish towers he developed, he now adds years or billions to the oafish tales he tells from the front of his trade war with China. It also cannot be ruled out that the guy just likes saying large numbers. When Trump authors one of his really avant-garde falsehoods, it’s this impulse that’s generally behind it. He just likes things to be big, if possible “much bigger many say than anything that we’ve ever seen” but always and everywhere as big as he can get away with making them.

And then, eventually, even bigger than that. This was a problem last week, when Trump took one of his favorite parts of the presidency—the constitutionally enumerated power to tell everyone about the weather, and how large it looks like it might be—too far. Hurricane Dorian, which is indeed big and terrible, was moving towards the southeastern United States at the time, and the forecast called for moderate-to-large amounts of destruction in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Trump evidently found this insufficient…