Open Thread: Interesting Times

Springtime for Donald! If this were a movie script, it’d be rejected as “too blatant — just clownishly over the top.”

Open Thread – RNC Wonders: Is It Over Once the Fat Man Sings?

Look, it is known that Governor Christie likes the finer things in life. Now that he’s endorsed Mr. Trump, he can once again fly first class and stay in the yooogest, most luxurious hotels, with as much fine dining in world-class restaurants as the lap band permits. Not to mention another chance to blow his own horn at the nominating convention, this time in Cleveland — he can make a pilgrimage to The Boss’s exhibit at the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, and he won’t even have to write up an expense account afterwards!

Mr. Charles P. Pierce, at Esquire:

… Christie and He, Trump have been running buddies for a while. They share similar temperaments and speaking styles. They both dislike Ted Cruz, which gives the two of them something in common with the rest of humanity. Christie kamikaze’d himself into Marco Rubio in New Hampshire, a move that benefitted He, Trump more than anyone else. And now, on the day after a debate in which the elite pundit class thought Rubio dinged Trump up worse than he’d been dinged all year, here comes Big Chicken to the rescue as the entire world echoes with the sound of thousands to TV cameras being swiveled back to the entertaining burlesque attraction of a vulgar talking yam…

Jim Newell, at Slate, “Chris Christie Is Marco Rubio’s Kryptonite”:

… We can consider all sorts of reasons for why Chris Christie endorsed Trump on Friday, one day after a Republican debate in which Rubio seemed to knock the billionaire back on his heels: promise of a job in the Trump administration, sidling up to the near-inevitable winner, stylistic similarities or a Tri-State penchant for brawling. Really anything could have motivated him, except for Christie’s stated reason that he believes Donald Trump would make an excellent president.

What seems most likely, on the guttural level that spurs an establishment governor to make a decision to support a figure like Donald Trump for president, is that he despises Marco Rubio and enjoys thrashing him. If he can’t do it through his own campaign anymore, he’ll do it through someone else’s…

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Open Thread: GOP Realizes Its Stalker Is Calling From Inside the House

Hard for us cynical sane people to credit, but it would seem like the Establishment GOP really didn’t understand, until after South Carolina, that the Trump-Monster emerging from fifty years of Repub propaganda about undeserving moochers, atheists, and subhumans was not going away because they ignored / mocked / threatened him. They had a lovely big-budget musical planned… Springtime for Patricians, featuring a third-generation celebrity, a tiny ethnic sidekick, a creepy rival to better highlight the lead, and a backup cast of goofy stereotypes for the audience to mock. Then this yammering BRUTE appeared out of nowhere, tearing up the pretty sets, pissing on the terrified prop crew, tearing some of the cast members limb from limb. Trump is their history made visible, a nightmare from which they are fruitlessly attempting to awaken…

From the Guardian liveblog, last night:

Who is doing best so far? Jeb Lund thinks Marco Rubio is putting on a good performance – but should stop laughing at his own jokes:

Marco Rubio is doing very well. He hit Trump smartly on apt points, and he even had a good punchline. Cruz isn’t doing as well as Rubio, which should probably be alarming for Cruz supporters, because he’s the one who should be tap-dancing around everyone on stage. Kasich seems pleased to talk when people remember him and just as pleased to watch when no one does. Ben Carson was let out by the roadside to run free through a meadow as mom and dad peeled off in the car…


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Open Thread: Ted Cruz Really *Is* A Cartoon Villain

Little children are being poisoned, at the behest of his fellow Repubs, and Ted Cruz decides to grandstand. Per Politico:

Ted Cruz is standing in the way of a bipartisan Senate bill to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Flint, Mich., and other communities that need to upgrade their drinking water infrastructure…

Cruz, who is campaigning ahead of Thursday’s Republican debate, has placed a “soft hold” on the aid package to give him more time to study the details of the proposal, the Texas Republican’s spokeswoman Rachael Slobodien said Thursday. Without naming Cruz, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a lead negotiator on the Flint aid package, acknowledged a hold was preventing it from moving to the floor, but Inhofe said he was hopeful the impasse could be resolved. Slobodien also said she did not expect Cruz to hold up the bill permanently.

Democrats say their members all support the package to provide at least $850 million in aid toward deficient water infrastructure and health programs in Flint and elsewhere, despite deep cuts to an advanced vehicle manufacturing loan program. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), a leader in the negotiations, said those cuts amount to “ending a program that I authored” in a 2007 energy law and that the package meets “every test Republicans gave us.”…

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who chairs the energy panel, and Democrat Dan Kildee, whose district includes Flint, cosponsored H.R. 4470, which the House this month approved 416-2. The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency to notify the public when concentrations of lead in drinking water exceed levels triggering action and improve federal, state and local communication.

The Senate would amend that bill by adding the funding assistance under the approach envisioned by architects of the Flint deal.

Democrats have elevated Flint into a broader narrative on race in their primary with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders agreeing to debate there March 6. Clinton, who has been endorsed by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, in particular, using it to highlight her appeal to black voters, including a new 60-second ad showcasing her recent visit there.

But Republicans have their own electoral factors to consider…

If none of his competitors use the “Ted Cruz is in favor of letting little children be poisoned by their government” attack tonight, they all deserve to lose. (Of course, they deserve to lose anyway… )

Open Thread: Nothing But Bozos, All the Way Down

Not sure I can bear to sit through yet another one of these things. Meanwhile (to quote an old Doonesbury strip during the Watergate trials), out in the street, dancing bears and jugglers have become a common sight…

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