Tuesday Evening Open Thread: The NYTimes “Sh… ugar” Test

In honor of the proverbial gently-reared lady who “wouldn’t say ‘shit’ if she had a mouthful of it.” Because the real social solecism is calling an old white man the R-word!

From Maine’s Portland Press-Herald, “In the morning Gov. LePage says he might resign; by afternoon he discounts the idea”:

In a morning radio interview, LePage said he was totally at fault for leaving a threatening voice mail last week for a Democratic lawmaker whom he believed had called him a racist. He later invited Rep. Drew Gattine to the State House to have a face-to-face meeting on Wednesday, and Gattine accepted.

LePage also raised the possibility more than once on the radio that he may not finish his second term because of the controversy, which has stretched on for a week.

“I’m looking at all options,” the Republican governor said while appearing on WVOM, a Bangor talk radio station, Tuesday morning. “I think some things I’ve been asked to do are beyond my ability. I’m not going to say that I’m not going to finish it. I’m not saying that I am going to finish it.”

He said later in the interview: “If I’ve lost my ability to help Maine people, maybe it’s time to move on.”

Some six hours later, in a tweet posted from his Twitter account, LePage backed away from any suggestion that he was considering resignation…

The uncertainty comes after several days of sustained controversy that began last week when the governor told an audience in North Berwick that he’s been keeping a three-ring binder of drug dealers and that 90 percent of those dealers are black or Hispanic. Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of drug dealers arrested in Maine are white, and critics have said that even if the governor’s numbers were accurate, he is wrong to focus on race….

During his radio interview, LePage did apologize to the people of Maine and to Gattine’s family for leaving a threatening voice mail last week, but didn’t apologize to Gattine directly.

“When I was called a racist I just lost it, and there’s no excuse,” the governor said. “It’s unacceptable. It’s totally my fault.” LePage said being called a racist for him was, “like calling a black man the ‘N’ word or a woman the ‘C’ word. It just absolutely knocked me off my feet.”

Incidentally… and no surprise, given LePage is a Republican…

While LePage has repeatedly emphasized his concern about the impact of drug addiction in Maine, state spending on addiction treatment during his administration has actually declined

He’s unfit for his current position, but maybe the RNC can offer him a replacement job as their national mascot / cheerleader? Because I sense he’d do much better as an opener for Trump ralies than that Reince Priebus guy…

Apart from deploring the Disloyal Opposition, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

More “Both Sides” Juice

Via CNN:

The FBI expects to publicly release as soon as Wednesday the report the bureau sent to the Justice Department in July recommending no charges in the Hillary Clinton email server investigation, according to multiple law enforcement officials.

Perhaps then Director Comey (R-FBI) can go on a book tour to promote the novella-sized email report — he did a smashing job of turning a statement about the decision not to recommend charges into a closing argument for the prosecution last month.

Venues like network TV morning shows and old timey radio screech-a-thons might be a good way to generate buzz for the book tour. To keep the momentum going and appeal to the youngs, maybe the FBI could release a graphic novel edition in mid-September.

With any luck, the movie rights will get picked up in October, and casting decisions (Meryl for Hillz, obvs), etc., will keep this publicity train on track clean through the election.

Sounds like she’s got this…

From an article on debate prep in today’s NYT:

The Clinton camp believes that Mr. Trump is most insecure about his intelligence, his net worth and his image as a successful businessman, and those are the areas they are working with Mrs. Clinton to target.

Bingo. Trump, meanwhile, isn’t doing much prep at all, according to the Times piece. He’s convinced it’s not necessary since he easily vanquished the Republican field.

Do y’all enjoy watching presidential debates? I do in the primaries, but I dread them during the general election season. There’s just too much at stake, and I’ve seen too many debates turn on stupid and meaningless soundbites and media spin, so I watch them much as I’d view a slasher movie — peeking through my fingers and muttering, “Dear God, what are you thinking?!? No! Don’t go into the basement!!!”

Open Thread: Another Brick in the Trump Wall… of BS

Greg Sargeant, in the Washington Post:

The Grand Trumpian Immigration Follies of 2016 are set to take another turn: Donald Trump has now announced that he will give a major speech (does any Trump speech fail to merit that label?) on the issue on Wednesday, in which he is expected to finally clarify his stance on mass deportations.

But it is more likely that instead of clarifying his stance on mass deportations, Trump will instead try to shift the subject away from them entirely. That’s because Trump’s big lie about mass deportations — i.e., that he would carry them out swiftly and humanely, thus Making America Great Again — is falling apart. And he’s now trying to replace that lie by foregrounding another lie.

Trump previewed his speech at a rally over the weekend

“In recent days, the media, as it usually does, has missed the whole point on immigration. They have missed the whole point. All the media wants to talk about is the 11 million people — or more, or less, they have no idea what the number is because we have no control over our country; they have no idea what it is — that are here illegally.

“But my priority, and really, it’s for the well being of everybody, but in particular the 300 million Americans and more, and all of our Hispanic citizens, and all of our African American citizens, legal residents who want a secure border…”

… [L]et’s pause to marvel at the spectacle of Trump blaming the media for this focus on mass deportations. That promise has been key to Trump’s candidacy for over a year. As early as August of 2015 Trump was already saying on national television that all undocumented immigrants in this country “have to go.” … Now Trump insists that the aspect of his plan that really matters is his pledge to secure the border…

The real reason Trump is now shifting away from mass deportations is almost too obvious to restate: It is probably alienating the college educated whites and white women — swing constituencies — that he simply must improve among if he is to have a chance at winning… But in so doing, Trump is still preserving his underlying stance that all the 11 million generally remain targets for removal. He even told CNN that there’s a “very good chance” that all the rest would be deported later. This isn’t as crazy as vowing proactive, immediate mass deportations. But it still is not an actual solution…

It will, however, give the Media Village Idiots a(nother) chance to swoon over the new! improved! “reasonable” Donald Trump, which is the best Trump’s handlers probably hope for at this point. If only they can get all the Trumplodytes on the same page for just one lousy day

Sunday Evening Open Thread: A Man Ahead of His Time

Apart from decrying Millennial Shaming, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the weekend?

A Gaping Void Where “Self-Awareness” and “Human Decency” Are Supposed to Be…

Donald Trump in a speech last week:

“The bigotry of Hillary Clinton is amazing. She sees communities of color only as votes, and not as human beings. It is only votes that she sees.”

Donald Trump on Twitter this morning:

Holy fucking hell.

The Tangerine Turd must not be merely defeated; he must be annihilated at the polls so thoroughly that his family change their names and enter the Witless Protection Program, his campaign staff must find new work selling produce from the back of pickup trucks to generate income, politicians who endorsed him are permanently exiled to the howling political wilderness and the party that put forward an oaf of that caliber collapses utterly.

Only in this way can our national honor be redeemed. I’m chucking an additional $10 each into the tills of the Hillary campaign and the campaigns of Democratic Senate and House candidates. Who’s with me?

Presidential Potty Training

Critics frequently note that Donald Trump acts like an overgrown toddler. That’s because his handlers and enablers treat him like one. Here’s an example in the context of Trump’s current public vacillation on whether to round up and deport an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants:

“He has been listening to a wide range of opinions on that,” said former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has been at Trump’s side nearly constantly over the past week. “As you might imagine, there are different opinions on this, even in his campaign. In a very thoughtful way, he’s trying to figure what the right position is.”

“By the way,” Giuliani added, “that’s what everybody criticized him for in the past: that he’s not able to do that. He actually is able to do that.”

trump pottyAnd we’re supposed to applaud because Trump made a poopy in the big-boy bowl.

As was demonstrated so vividly during the administration of Incurious George, it’s important for presidents to be able to take in new information and adjust their policies accordingly. But that’s not what’s happening here.

The U.S. government has been debating what to do with our undocumented immigrants for decades. It has been a political flashpoint forever, and the underlying facts haven’t changed. Trump has demagogued the issue for more than a year. It’s absurd to claim he’s just now trying to figure out the right policy, let alone praise him for it.

A similar potty-training moment occurred after Trump expressed vague regrets about using “the wrong words” and causing “personal pain” during a speech. That non-specific non-apology was apparently supposed to address every bigoted and racist comment Trump has ever made, from birth to the present day, including his inexcusable and politically damaging broadsides against Judge Curiel and Captain Khan’s family.

Here’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in the role of a preschool teacher awarding a sticker for a well-targeted poopy:

“He was talking about anyone who feels offended by anything he said. He took extra time yesterday going over that speech with a pen so that was a decision he made. Those are his words. I hope America heard him because of all the people, David, who have been saying, ‘Hey, let’s get Trump to pivot, let’s get him to be more presidential.’ That is presidential.”

No, it’s not, Ms. Conway. It’s really, really not.

Great googly-moogly, this election can’t be over soon enough. Open thread!