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:

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GOP Venality Open Thread: Kiddie Concentration Camps, Not Polling Well


Small comfort for the children now suffering — or dead — but if Senate Majority House Minority Leader ‘There’s two people Putin is paying’ McCarthy and Erik ‘Voice of the Gated GOP Community’ Erikson are alternately blustering and pantomiming Christianist concern about Trump’s concentration camps… it’s not good news for conservatives.

Clearly the GOP had assumed that enough voters were indifferent to human suffering that they could afford to tickle ‘the Base’ by kicking the untermenschen. Fortunately for the survival of our GOP-battered commonwealth, they seem to have miscalculated. Trump folds when he’s put under pressure, especially the pressure of being publicly shamed… and Trump’s enablers know that the I-was-only-following-orders defense doesn’t work in courts of law.

EvenTheVerySeriouslyBipartisan NYTimes has jumped ship on this…

Dank Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: “Vetting” for What They Considered Important

Axios got their hands on a bunch of the Trump transition team’s “vetting” documents, which they decided to report on a summer Sunday evening because LOL nothing matters — and besides, who can tell what hot topic will be breaking by Monday morning?

Nearly 100 internal Trump transition vetting documents leaked to “Axios on HBO” identify a host of “red flags” about officials who went on to get some of the most powerful jobs in the U.S. government.

Why it matters: The massive trove, and the story behind it, sheds light on the slap-dash way President Trump filled his cabinet and administration, and foreshadowed future scandals that beset his government…

Behind the scenes: In the chaotic weeks after Trump’s surprise election victory, Trump fired Chris Christie as the head of his transition. The team that took over — which V.P. Mike Pence helmed — outsourced the political vetting of would-be top officials to the Republican National Committee…

– President-elect Trump reviewed many of these documents at Trump Tower and Bedminster before his interviews, according to a source who saw him eyeball them.

– Traditionally, any would-be top official faces three types of vetting: an FBI background check, a scrub for financial conflicts of interest from the Office of Government Ethics, and a deep dive from the president-elect’s political team, which veteran Washington lawyers often handle…

– The documents show what Trump’s vetting shop worried about in assessing candidates for the most important jobs in government…

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Confederate Venality Open Thread: Commemorating Juneteenth

(Longer clip here)

The Treason in Defense of Slavery Party, now d/b/a ‘the GOP’, has always been good to Mitch McConnell. McConnell intends for it to last out his time, and if striving for that goal should happen to tear apart the country — or even destroy his nominal party — that would be of small matter to Mitch McConnell. He has working ties with Russia’s oligarchs, and his spousal partner has even stronger ties to the People’s Republic; whatever the damage to America, Mitch McConnell believes himself invulnerable. Has he not spent his long, profitable career acting in bad faith to every oath but that to his revanchist clan?

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Dark Night of the National Soul Open Thread: Trump’s Concentration Camps

Thing is, I don’t think this is a power move — it’s the GOP’s frantic effort to appeal to worst elements of its Base by upping the public cruelty, because Trump’s lost his novelty and the economic impact of the GOP’s smash-and-grab is affecting too many ‘dependable’ GOP voters. It’s like offering fentanyl to a heroin addict in withdrawal… assuming the GOP oligarchs are fentanyl addicts already, and the junkie has the key to the drug safe.

I remember reading that, by the final months of World War II, Hitler’s staff was pulling desperately needed resources away from the production of weapons to keep the trains running to the death camps. We need to fight back, hard, but we shouldn’t let an unwarranted despair over Republican power deter our efforts.

The current “debate” started, AFAICT, because Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez decried the conditions of migrant detention facilities the administration is using to cope with a surge of border crossings and highlighted a decision to hold some children at an Oklahoma Army base that was used as an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.” So Dick Cheney’s favorite daughter Liz — already “the No. 3 Republican in the House” — upheld her family’s proud tradition of inhumanity by pretending the Holocaust meant something more to her and her GOP associates than a rhetorical tool. Every Media Village Idiot (plus some quasi-liberal people who should’ve known better, like Chris Hayes) rushed to wallow in the quicksand…
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