Thursday Morning Open Thread: Not Feeling the GOP

There are dogs who genuinely enjoy wearing clothes — or at least prefer sweaters to being cold — but this guy does not seem to be feeling this fashion choice.

Trumpworld Stupidity Open Thread: Another Trial Balloon Made of the Finest Lead

Her hometown paper says Nikki Haley may be up to a million dollars in debt — being UN Ambassador is an expensive hobby! — and (Murphy the Trickster God willing) it’s not gonna be anywhere near as easy to cash in on Trump ‘contacts’ after the midterm elections. And the CREW people are complaining that she took private flights paid for by SC business executives, which would be unseemly for a government executive but not a professional lobbyist.

But, hey, the Oval Office Occupancy will never let a potential publicity/grifting opportunity go to waste!…

Politico is on it!

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Friday Morning Open Thread: Shrike

Not just Mr. Pierce’s blog, either. Gonna be a long weekend, and not just because the Repub miscreants get to scamper away for an extra Monday…

Everybody buckle in, buckle down…

Michael Lewis on THE FIFTH RISK: “I think [Trump] moves through the world avoiding colliding with information”

Christie volunteered himself for the job: head of the Donald Trump presidential transition team. “It’s the next best thing to being president,” he told friends. “You get to plan the presidency.” He went to see Trump about it. Trump said he didn’t want a presidential transition team. Why did anyone need to plan anything before he actually became president? It’s legally required, said Christie. Trump asked where the money was going to come from to pay for the transition team. Christie explained that Trump could either pay for it himself or take it out of campaign funds. Trump didn’t want to pay for it himself. He didn’t want to take it out of campaign funds, either, but he agreed, grudgingly, that Christie should go ahead and raise a separate fund to pay for his transition team. “But not too much!” he said.

And so Christie set out to prepare for the unlikely event that Donald Trump would one day be elected president of the United States. Not everyone in Trump’s campaign was happy to see him on the job. In June, Christie received a call from Trump adviser Paul Manafort. “The kid is paranoid about you,” Manafort said. The kid was Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law… The Kushners apparently took their grudges seriously, and Christie sensed that Jared still harboured one against him. On the other hand, Trump, whom Christie considered almost a friend, could not have cared less.

Christie viewed Kushner as one of those people who thinks that, because he is rich, he must also be smart. Still, he had a certain cunning about him. And Christie soon found himself reporting everything he did to prepare for a Trump administration to an “executive committee”. The committee consisted of Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Manafort, Steve Mnuchin and Jeff Sessions. “I’m kind of like the church elder who double-counts the collection plate every Sunday for the pastor,” said Sessions, who appeared uncomfortable with the entire situation. The elder’s job became more complicated in July 2016, when Trump was formally named the Republican nominee. The transition team now moved into an office in downtown Washington DC, and went looking for people to occupy the top 500 jobs in the federal government. They needed to fill all the cabinet positions, of course, but also a whole bunch of others that no one in the Trump campaign even knew existed. It is not obvious how you find the next secretary of state, much less the next secretary of transportation – never mind who should sit on the board of trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation…

The first time Trump paid attention to any of this was when he read about it in the newspaper. The story revealed that Trump’s very own transition team had raised several million dollars to pay the staff. The moment he saw it, Trump called Steve Bannon, the chief executive of his campaign, from his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, and told him to come immediately to his residence, many floors above. Bannon stepped off the elevator to find Christie seated on a sofa, being hollered at. Trump was apoplectic, yelling: You’re stealing my money! You’re stealing my fucking money! What the fuck is this?
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GOP Stupid Venality / Venal Stupidity Open Thread: Doing Themselves No Favors

Schmidt’s a professional Republican operative, albeit one who found his bottom with the current Oval Office Occupancy. Just saying.

I was old and politically conscious enough to be furious during the Clarence Thomas SCOTUS hearings. One of the things I remember most from those days was not just the rage of so many women, but the shock among men — decent & otherwise — who’d always assumed that the women in their lives hadn’t complained about stuff we were just beginning to call ‘sexual harrasment’ because such things hadn’t happened to the women they knew personally. Plenty of ordinary guys heard for the first time from their wives / mothers / daughters: I was too ashamed to tell you. I hoped if I never talked about it, I could forget. I needed that job too badly to quit. If I’d told you at the time, I thought you’d have tried to kill the guy, and why make you suffer the way I already was?…

And we didn’t have social media! This entire Kavanaugh shitshow has been Thomas Mk.2 — Revenge of the Unheard.

[Trigger warning: Some of the details in this story made me tear up… and I’m one of the Lucky Ones, the ones who *don’t* have any horror stories to share]

Thursday’s hearing of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee — called to investigate Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee — transfixed Americans like few events in recent history.

People listened on cellphone speakers in subway cars and doctors’ waiting rooms. The New York Stock Exchange got quiet. The Capitol’s hallways emptied. At the Department of Housing and Urban Development, so many people watched Ford’s testimony from their desks that the IT department warned they could overwhelm the network.

What they saw was a drama in two vastly different parts.

The second part — Kavanaugh’s emotional defense of his innocence and his reputation — was highly unusual in the staid history of Supreme Court hearings. It could have helped save his nomination or helped derail it, depending on how a few GOP senators react.

The first part — Ford’s testimony about the alleged assault, and the shadow it cast on her life — had a different resonance. People cried in airplane seats. They called into C-SPAN to tell their own stories of sexual assault…

“16A: Crying. 14B: Crying. 17C: Weeping,” Ron Lieber, a New York Times columnist, wrote on Twitter from a flight headed from New York to Salt Lake City, listing the reactions as passengers watched the hearing on seat-back televisions. “I am one of the criers.”…

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Open Thread: This Is Absolutely One of the Worst Timelines

“Better truth-seeking”, sigh…

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Aux Armes, Citoyens!

Via valued commenter Marco Polo, a reminder:

🚨🚨🚨 The fate of Kavanaugh may well be decided in the next 48-72 hrs. As of now multiple GOP senators are undecided but they’re getting A LOT of pressure from the WH and leadership to fall in line. Your pressure can make the difference. Pls call your senators 202-224-3121
We should all be doing this of course, and those of the jackals who suffer with Republican “representation” are the tip of the spear on this particular campaign.  It just takes two GOP senators to discover a residual memory that women are in fact people, and this nomination goes the way of the Titanic.
Image: J.W.M. Turner, Shipwreck of the Minotaur, 1810s