Target for the Evening Open Thread: David Frum, Immigrant, Wants to Pull Up the Ladder Behind Him

Not The Onion: the subhed is “If Liberals Won’t Enforce Borders, Fascists Will“.

Now that TNR is effectively defunct, perhaps we should change the sarcastic tagline to #EvenTheLibertarianTheAtlantic

Best rebuttal I’ve seen so far:

David Frum is an elitist by both profession and temperament and has been cloistered among America’s tiniest percentiles of rich, blood-drenched scumbags literally for longer than I’ve been alive. He has no fucking clue what “voters” want or will do, beyond what he can glean from election results cherrypicked to support his argument that border enforcement trumps all other political values—and that Donald Trump’s ascension expresses specifically this, rather than a broader systemic breakdown that allowed a minority white-identity party to claim an election it otherwise definitively lost. That’s why last autumn’s kayfabe panic over the migrant caravan gets credulous treatment in his analysis, but the immediately subsequent ass-kicking the nativist Republican party took in the midterm elections, at the hands of the comparably immigration-tolerant Democrats, scores nary a mention.

Which is to restate the obvious: David Frum is not speaking for, cannot speak for, “voters.” He is speaking for himself, and for some fellow members of his small and absurdly overrepresented social class. What he is saying is Rich establishment conservatives like me would rather go fascist than tolerate brown people. He is talking himself into supporting Trump in the 2020 election. He wants you to know that, when it happens, it will be because immigrants gave him no choice. It must be nice to be able to do that in the pages of The Atlantic.

Disgraceland (Open Thread)

Remember when Republicans had an ear-splitting hissy fit about alleged influence peddling at the Clinton Foundation? I’m sure they’ll be even more outraged to learn that wealthy members of Trump’s tacky-ass, for-profit South Florida resort have been openly selling access to Trump and the “Minister of Commerce” to foreigners. (Haha, no they won’t!) Via Mother Jones:

The latest Trump political donor to draw controversy is Li Yang, a 45-year-old Florida entrepreneur from China who founded a chain of spas and massage parlors that included the one where New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft was recently busted for soliciting prostitution. She made the news this week when the Miami Herald reported that last month she had attended a Super Bowl viewing party at Donald Trump’s West Palm Beach golf club and had snapped a selfie with the president during the event. Though Yang no longer owns the spa Kraft allegedly visited, the newspaper noted that other massage parlors her family runs have “gained a reputation for offering sexual services.” (She told the newspaper she has never violated the law.) Beyond this sordid tale, there is another angle to the strange story of Yang: She runs an investment business that has offered to sell Chinese clients access to Trump and his family. And a website for the business—which includes numerous photos of Yang and her purported clients hobnobbing at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club in Palm Beach—suggests she had some success in doing so.

Yang, who goes by Cindy, and her husband, Zubin Gong, started GY US Investments LLC in 2017. The company describes itself on its website, which is mostly in Chinese, as an “international business consulting firm that provides public relations services to assist businesses in America to establish and expand their brand image in the modern Chinese marketplace.” But the firm notes that its services also address clients looking to make high-level connections in the United States. On a page displaying a photo of Mar-a-Lago, Yang’s company says its “activities for clients” have included providing them “the opportunity to interact with the president, the [American] Minister of Commerce and other political figures.” The company boasts it has “arranged taking photos with the President” and suggests it can set up a “White House and Capitol Hill Dinner.” (The same day the Herald story about Yang broke, the website stopped functioning.)

I wonder if Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is the “Minister of Commerce” mentioned on the defunct site? Did he get a “happy ending” at one of the massage parlors? It would be irresponsible not to speculate, as gross as it is.

It’s almost disappointing in a way, that this scandal-ridden, corrupt administration is associated with such petty and garish grift operations. Better a pack of greedy, dumb buffoons than a cabal of smart and sinister villains, I suppose. But I can’t help but think the tawdriness of it all reflects poorly on America’s oligarch class.

GOP Self-Own Open Thread: Repubs Are Officially Anti-Anti-Hate

“Present”?!? Pigmuck King’s a godsdamned gift!

Stupidity Sniffer (Open Thread)

We’re having a new central air/heat unit installed over the next couple of days, and it’s a big, ugly, expensive undertaking. The previous owners smoked in the house for 30 years, so we’re not just replacing the old, crappy A/C unit and ancient handler; we’re having the duct work ripped out and replaced and starting afresh.

My husband chose the HVAC vendor, and he did not screen them for political views. Imagine my horror when a truck covered in Trump stickers and hauling a trailer with a giant MAGA banner rolled into my fucking driveway a while ago.

I was this-close to saying, “Get your goddamned MAGAtmobile off my property, you gormless dupe of the most obvious conman who ever swindled a sucker!” But then I remembered my husband had given the A/C outfit a substantial deposit.

When the driver emerged from the truck, Badger, who has heretofore been a friend to all, barked hysterically, as if the man were a Nazgûl invading our yard instead of a garden-variety fool. Daisy seemed confused by the hub-bub.

The A/C guys are friendly enough. But I eventually had to banish the dogs to the porch because Badger would not chill, and I thought he might bite someone and cause a lawsuit.

Anyhoo, we’ve got no A/C for the next couple of days (luckily the weather is mild) and an infestation of Trumpsters in our attic. And it looks like Badger has hidden talent as a stupidity sniffer.

How’s your Thursday going?

Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: When Does the GOP Stop Defending Stuff Like This?

At first I thought I was just hearing things? Then I thought it might have been part of a trailing sentence like “Thank you Tim… Apple is doing great.” But no, he stops pretty abruptly after saying Apple, and it really sounds like he thinks that’s the last name.

I went through the trouble of transcribing what the president said, just to be sure this is all really happening:

We’re going to be opening up the labor forces because we have to. We have so many companies coming in,” Trump says. “People like Tim — you’re expanding all over and doing things that I really wanted you to do right from the beginning. I used to say, ‘Tim, you gotta start doing it here,’ and you really have you’ve really put a big investment in our country. We really appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.

It’s hard to say why this happened. Did he forget Cook’s name? Does he only associate people with the companies that they run? Was it on purpose, as some kind of psychological domination game? Literally anything seems possible at this point.

Trick question! As long as he’s giving them what they want, the Repubs will never turn on their “King”…