RNC Night Three Open Thread: Let the Knifings Begin!

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Open Thread: Paul Manafort Has / Is A Problem

Conventional Wisdom is that Corey Lewinski Lewandowski was Donald Trump’s favorite political manager, but Paul Manafort was the Trump kids’ choice. (They are, after all, the spoilt spawn of a tinpot autocrat, and Manafort has many years experience dealing with clients who think “but I wanna!should have the weight of law.) Lewandowski’s “firing” was supposed to signal Manafort’s triumph in the struggle. But now Corey is safely embedded in CNN’s hide, somebody’s got to be held responsible for the RNC clusterfvck, and it sure ain’t gonna be The Donald…. or any of his offspring.

Jon Chait, of NYMag, is a man exquisitely attuned to every shift in the prevailing CW currents:

Donald Trump is not a Russian agent in the sense that Philip and Elizabeth from The Americans are Russian agents. There’s no hidden radio in his laundry room where he transmits secrets to the Kremlin. But his relationship with Russia is disturbing and lends itself to frightening interpretations.

Franklin Foer has detailed the connections between the Republican nominee and the Kremlin. In short, it includes a long series of economic and social ties, which fit the pattern Vladimir Putin has used to infiltrate and undermine governments elsewhere — including in Ukraine, a coup Putin pulled off through Paul Manafort, who is now Trump’s campaign manager. Michael Crowley and Julia Ioffe have both described how the Russian propaganda apparatus has thrown itself behind Trump’s campaign. As Foer notes, Trump’s lack of creditworthiness makes him unusually reliant on unconventional sources of financing. This makes him vulnerable to financial leverage by an unscrupulous foreign entity.
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Open Thread: Your Republican Party, America!

Late Night Open Thread: RNC Fustercluck, Night the Second

Don’t worry, even now, the grown-ups are working behind the scenes… Aieeee! Nazgul! Shadow Riders!

Tom Cotton Starts His 2020 Presidential Campaign

As I’ve said before, the reason Ted Cruz couldn’t do the sensible thing and wait to run for president in 2016 2020, after he’d finished at least one term in the Senate, is that there are even younger crazier Ivy-educated Talibangelicals breathing down his neck. On the first day of the 2016 RNC convention, Senator Tom Cotton staked out his claim to 2020. Mr. Charles P. Pierce explicates:

What better way to begin coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention than to give you a preview of the 2020 Republican nominating process?… Senator Tom Cotton, the bobble-throated nuisance from Arkansas and onetime pen-pal of the Iranian mullahs… stopped by for breakfast with the delegation from South Carolina, where we learned what the euphemism du jour is for the candidate that this year’s process produced.

“I’m sure,” Cotton told the crowd, “that we’re all looking forward to a great Republican victory in November.”

The theme of the breakfast was renewing American foreign policy and having the country re-engage with the world, which made it even more inconvenient to mention that the party is preparing to nominate a guy who has mused about chloroforming NATO. This is the territory that Cotton staked out for himself. He is the world’s youngest neocon, a Richard Perle starter kit. He has a reedy, unpracticed public speaking style that he’ll have to work on before he hits the cornfields of Iowa, which ought to be about 11 minutes after the results are announced in November. But he has his theme–namely, that we are all going to die.

“The world has grown more dangerous over the last eight years,” Cotton said. “And the reason for that is that Barack Obama’s foreign policy is…impotent.”

A frisson ran through the applause that greeted this remark–although whether this was because of Cotton’s argument, or because he said “impotent” in public, is hard to say…

TIME has the transcript of Cotton’s thoroughly anodyne-edging-into-dishonest speech, if you must read it. [Warning: autoplay]

Lauren Fox, at TPM:

… “Frankly, I think a lot of political leaders need to stop fanning the flames of racial division,” Cotton said Monday in Cleveland at an event hosted by The Atlantic. “Because there is a police shooting does not mean the police are racist or that police officer did anything wrong. You cannot know that until there is an investigation that takes place.”

But Cotton also hinted that the GOP needs to be doing more than it is to expand its base.
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Open Thread RNC Recap, Day One: “The Weaponization of Fear”

Commentor Raven pointed out that’s the honest tag for the goals of the RNC opening day, aka “Make America Safe Again”. There is so much richness to choose from… like a fishpacking facility catching fire and setting off an explosion in the fertilizer factory next door…

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Open Thread: Chris Hayes Has Apologized for Steve King

sorry about steve king tshirt raygunsite via iowa old lady

(Raygun Products via commentor Iowa Old Lady)

Rep. Steve “The Dumb One” King could not bear to let a whole week of Repub arseholery go on wide broadcast without contributing his own special blend of xenophobia and ignorance to the mix. Per Gawker:

During a discussion of the Republican party’s overwhelmingly white leadership on MSNBC, birther congressman Steve King chimed in on Monday to remind everyone that white people are very good (perhaps even better??) compared to “other sub-groups of people.”

“This whole ‘white people’ business does get a little tired,” said King. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where these contributions that have been made by these categories of people that you’re talking about—where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?”…

I can see Hayes — not a battler by nature — being too dumbfounded to respond to a statement so wrong on so many levels. But he could have let the other panel members point out how wrong King was, in the moment. That’s how the modern GOP has succeeded so far: by screaming out lies faster than the sane people can rebut them.