Open Thread: Killed by Their Own Superbug

The Repubs created the Trump virus, a hardened iteration of every ugly racist misogynist xenophobic trope they’ve been doing their best to mainstream since at least 1965. And now the superbug might actually manage to destroy — or at least seriously weaken — its host incubator.

Could not happen to a more deserving bunch of scheming thugs.

Apart from our daily dose of schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Open Thread: Wrong Kind of Retro



Open Thread: Meanwhile…

So I was reading Josh Barro’s twitter feed, and he retweeted this exchange from “Kasich strategist” John Weaver:

Ruffini seems to be a playa among the professional Repub #NeverTrumps, but if this tweet-string is indicative of that clan’s “thinking”, I’m not sure they are equipped to deal with the combovered cuckoo in their snug little nest…

“There’s our problem, guys — we’ve just been too bloody subtle with our dogwhistle pandering to racists, xenophobes & misogynists! If only we’d had the marketing genius to go full Breitbart before Trump beat us to it!”

Really? You guys think all you needed to win was an “authentic” demagogue? Someone with the “common touch” who could “appeal” to your willfully clueless voters?

And then you accuse Hillary Clinton of despising her own base!



Open Thread: Trump Berates African-American Voters

Apparently it has been discovered that some people, despite Trump’s explicit appeal to “my African-American,” do not realize voting for Deadbeat Don is their last chance at the lottery ticket to a better life. (His new campaign manager, after all, runs a site well known for being not at all hostile to people of color.) The Washington Post dissects Trump’s latest appeal to African-Americans with far more seriousness than it actually deserves — “It’s hard to imagine a much worse pitch Donald Trump could have made for the black vote”:

Consider: Black Americans are not “living in poverty” as a general rule. A quarter of the black population is, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about the same as the percentage of Hispanics. In Michigan, the figure is slightly higher. Most black Americans don’t live in poverty, just as most white Americans don’t.

Consider: The unemployment rate in the black community is higher than that in the white community, as it has been since the Department of Labor started keeping track. Among young blacks, though, the figure is not 59 percent — unless (as PolitiFact noted) you consider not the labor force but every young black American, including high school students…

Consider: Black voters are perfectly able to evaluate candidates on qualities other than their political parties. Black voters began supporting the Democratic Party heavily thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then, they have consistently voted for the party — a party that is one-fifth black and which since 1964 has elected the vast majority of the black members of Congress…. Democrats win the support of black voters consistently because those voters like the work that they do and like the fights that they fight…

Apart from {facepalm} x n, what’s on the agenda for the end of the weekend?



Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread

If Trump doesn’t lose, and resoundingly, we won’t be able to say he didn’t warn us exactly what to expect.

Phillip Bump, in the Washington Post, “After dismissing intelligence experts, Donald Trump heads in for his classified briefing”:

… In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, Trump expressed skepticism of his own: about prominent members of the intelligence community. Asked if he “trusted intelligence,” Trump replied, “Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country.”

“I mean, look what’s happened over the last 10 years,” he said, referring to the war in Iraq. “Look what’s happened over the years. I mean, it’s been catastrophic. In fact, I won’t use some of the people that are standards — you know, just use them, use them, use them, very easy to use them, but I won’t use them because they’ve made such bad decisions.”

This is probably mostly a reference to a letter released earlier this month in which 50 members of the Republican national security establishment warned of a Trump presidency. Many of them were involved in the decision-making process before the Iraq War…

Politico, “Trump makes intel community queasy”:

… Asked about Trump’s criticisms, the CIA deferred comment to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which in turn declined to comment. Such reticence is in line with the agencies’ traditional mandate to stay out of the political realm. And in many ways, most people in the intelligence community’s rank and file will follow that mandate no matter what happens in the campaign or on Election Day, analysts said.

“It’s probably, within the agency, extremely apolitical,” said Soufan Group analyst Patrick Skinner of the CIA, where he used to be a case officer. “You really just don’t talk about it.”

Skinner, added, however, that people at senior levels in the agencies “might be wondering about priorities.” He and others also said a Trump win in November won’t necessarily repel future recruits nor lead to mass retirements, at least not immediately.

“If there is a President Trump — that’s kind of a funny sentence to say — then there will probably be a lot of hope that the directors — all the top appointees — would be very diligent in their duties,” Skinner said. “There has to be some kind of faith that the system works, but he’s running on a no-faith-in-the-system campaign.”…

Within the broader intelligence industry — which includes companies that produce the technology and weaponry used by the various agencies — people are “incredulous,” according to a consultant with extensive contacts in that field. “People can hardly believe that it’s happening.”

“What people like is predictable outcomes,” the consultant said, pointing to Trump’s mercurial policy shifts as especially problematic for an industry that craves certainty. That being said, he added, “If the public indicates or seems to show that they’re going to vote for Trump, I would think that businessmen would revert to their typical behavior and figure out how they can get their share.”…



The Emperor Has No Balls?

I’m just going to leave this here to help you get through the evening:

Naked, life-size statues of Donald Trump were unveiled in cities all over the country on Thursday, depicting the controversial candidate with a minuscule penis without testicles. The political art project was titled “The Emperor Has No Balls.”

NYC Releases statement on Naked Trump

Trump Statement1

The actual statue photo is below the fold…because some people may NEVER want to see this. Be warned, once seen, cannot be unseen.

Read more



Trump’s “Heil Mary” Pass*

I’m going to expand on a comment in an earlier thread and disagree somewhat with distinguished colleague Tim F on what the Trump-Breitbart merger means. Replacing campaign veterans like Manafort (odious, second-rate and disreputable though they may be) with an alt-right circle-jerk might look like Trump giving up on winning the presidency. But it’s just a change in tactics.

What’s happened is that the Trump scampaign has realized that they will never win by making Trump conventionally “presidential.” He can’t pull that off. Instead, they’ll seek victory by trying to drag Hillary Clinton down to Trump’s level in the public’s perception and eke out 270 electoral votes on anti-establishment sentiment alone.

We should pause here and take in the fact that a major party nominee has openly embraced white nationalism, which the Trump-Breitbart merger confirms. We knew that already, of course, but with the Breitbart affiliation, there can now be no doubt, and it will be interesting to see how the Beltway press responds to that phenomenon.

Joy Reid, subbing for Chris Hayes last night, ably grilled a Trump scampaign surrogate on the kooky Breitbart angle, confronting him with that organization’s batshit crazy extremism. Here’s a screen grab of the Breitbart headlines Reid referenced to demonstrate what a pack of pinwheel-eyed kooks they are:

2016-08-18

But Trump’s brain trust is counting on the fact that most Americans don’t know that Breitbart is a white nationalist fever swamp, and indeed, they don’t. The Trump shill on Reid’s show ducked questions about the nature of Breitbart while telegraphing the reason Trump brought Bannon on board: to smear Clinton.

Trump may be hoping that even if he can’t attract more voters to himself, he can slime Clinton enough to drive disaffected Republicans and independents away from her and into the Johnson or Stein camps and squeak out a win that way. I don’t think it will work because Trump is an embarrassing buffoon.

But at this point, he’s pinning all his hopes on making Hillary Clinton as toxic as himself. So get ready for a tsunami of slime that may be unprecedented in our lifetimes. That’s the only play the Trump people have left, and thus the Trump-Breitbart merger is not 100% stupid or self-indulgent. It’s the vast right-wing conspiracy — retooled.

*Stolen from valued commenter GregB.