Post-Racial Open Thread: “Well, He Never Called ME That Name… “

The scramble to (once again) cover up the sorry truth that the Oval Office Occupant is a lifelong racist (BUT IF HE DIDN’T USE THE N-WORD IT DOESN’T COUNT!, goes the ritual incantation) is stirring up even the most sluggis bottom feeders…

Because they can’t be sure there isn’t a tape… and that is a depth to which even the professional Repub Defenders would prefer not to sink. Per the Washington Post:

Asked whether there is a tape anywhere of Donald Trump using the n-word, as former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman has claimed, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointedly and repeatedly declined to rule it out. At one point she even said, “I can’t guarantee anything.”

White House spokespeople have occasionally emphasized that denials were coming from the president and not from them personally — apparently not wanting another false denial to damage their own credibility — but on Tuesday it was crystal-clear exactly what was happening. Sanders, like others in President Trump’s orbit, including Kellyanne Conway, wanted no part of ruling out the president having used such a racial slur, just in case there is actually a tape…


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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: What Has Trump Got Against Dogs?

It would be ridiculous to suggest that this adorable puppy would be a good POTUS. On the other hand, the guy currently squatting in the Oval Office certainly isn’t fit to be there, and he’s not even soothing to look at!

In President Trump’s singular lexicon, there is no more vicious put-down than likening an adversary to a dog…

… Trump, an avowed germaphobe, has long had an aversion to dogs.

“Donald was not a dog fan,” his first wife, Ivana, writes in her memoir, “Raising Trump.” “When I told him I was bringing Chappy with me to New York, he said, ‘No.’ ”

But Ivana persisted, bringing her poodle with her when the couple moved in together.

“It’s me and Chappy or no one,” she recalls telling her husband

Chappy, it turned out, did not much care for Trump, either. Ivana writes that when Trump approached her closet, her poodle would bark at him territorially.

Trump is the first modern president not to have a dog — or any pet — in the White House…

…[P]residential historian Douglas Brinkley suggested that Trump has no pets “because he has no sense of giving and warmth and caring to any other animal but himself. Having no pet is another manifestation of his narcissism.”…

I personally suspect Trump hates dogs because (a) he suspects they’re on to him; and (b) he’s angry that the average dog gets positive attention — even from total strangers! — which Donald very badly wants to believe should be directed at him, Donald Trump. Pretty ladies would let Chappy the poodle jump in their laps, they’d pet his hair, but when Trump tried the same kind of physically affectionate greeting, well…



Open Thread: Omarosa Manigault-Newman & the G(r)ift That Keeps On Giving

Question: Would Trump’s “base” — especially those Media Village Idiots who treat Trump as the Clickbait King of All Time — believe a reality-show star when they didn’t believe the Democrats, the FBI, et al?

Answer: QUICK! RELEASE THE MEDIA-BAIT SQUIRRELS!…

BRING OUT THE SHOW-TRIAL LAWYERS!…

Yeah, you don’t hire Peter Thiel’s defamation lawyer to prove you’re innocent, you hire him to announce you plan on bankrupting your opponent.

Wonder who’s paying Mr. Harder, because he knows as well as the rest of us that Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills…



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: “Well, He’s Trying… “

Extremely trying, sometimes. If this were any outlet but Politico, I’d suspect them of tongue-in-cheek snark:

Several times in the first year of his administration, President Donald Trump wanted to call Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the middle of the afternoon. But there was a problem. Midafternoon in Washington is the middle of the night in Tokyo — when Abe would be fast asleep.

Trump’s aides had to explain the issue, which one diplomatic source said came up on “a constant basis,” but it wasn’t easy.

“He wasn’t great with recognizing that the leader of a country might be 80 or 85 years old and isn’t going to be awake or in the right place at 10:30 or 11 p.m. their time,” said a former Trump NSC official. “When he wants to call someone, he wants to call someone. He’s more impulsive that way. He doesn’t think about what time it is or who it is,” added a person close to Trump…

Trump’s desire to call world leaders at awkward hours is just one of many previously unreported diplomatic faux pas Trump has made since assuming the presidency, which go beyond telephone etiquette to include misconceptions, mispronunciations and awkward meetings. Sometimes the foibles have been contained within the White House. In one case, Trump, while studying a briefer’s map of South Asia ahead of a 2017 meeting with India’s prime minister, mispronounced Nepal as “nipple” and laughingly referred to Bhutan as “button,” according to two sources with knowledge of the meeting…

Another former Trump NSC official said Trump sometimes avoids saying certain words or names when talking to a foreign leader because he’s unsure whether he can pronounce them properly. The White House official said Trump always wants to be respectful and make sure he gets pronunciations right.

At times, he wings it with unfortunate results. Meeting with a group of African countries at the United Nations General Assembly last September, Trump, in public remarks, referred to the country of Namibia as “Nambia.” (Trump did impress some of his own aides in the meeting, however. “He did a very good job of saying Côte d’Ivoire,” said one.)

Trump also raised eyebrows during the same gathering when he announced that “I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. I congratulate you” — prompting cringes among some aides aware how such talk would resonate on a continent that well remembers the exploitations of its colonial era. (Some African entrepreneurs said they appreciated the comment.)…

Trump’s love of talking on the phone has created special problems for his top national security officials, who say that he sometimes places calls that have no clear diplomatic purpose…

Can toddlers still random-dial strangers, now that rotary and pushbutton phones have effectively vanished? Or are they reduced to punching the ‘last dialed’ numbers for mommy’s work colleagues and daddy’s business contacts? Because I remember my three-year-old siblings were really fascinated by the telephone game, back in the day…



Our Failed Meritocracy / Media: “OMGarosa!!!

(This was scheduled to pop up at 10am this morning, but FYWP… )


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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Bad Week for the Repubs

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
.

‘Nothing bodes well’...

Re the Washington Post, “Lackluster election results spark debate over Trump’s midterm role”:

A new round of lackluster showings by Republican candidates reignited a debate Wednesday within the GOP over whether President Trump will be a drag on the party’s chances in November and should stay out of some of the country’s most hotly contested races.

Inside the White House, Trump aides are mapping out plans for the fall that would offer a variety of options to Republican candidates, including visits by the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump to blue states and presidential tweets to bolster red-state allies.

But mounting apprehension about Trump’s political capital lingered in Washington and on the campaign trail.

In a flurry of elections on Tuesday — from the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, to the technology corridor in Washington state — Democrats turned out in droves and significantly overperformed expectations by posing serious challenges to Republicans in staunchly GOP districts.

Many Republican strategists viewed the results as a dark omen three months ahead of Election Day, saying they illustrate the limits of Trump’s ability to boost candidates, particularly in suburban areas where the president’s popularity has suffered.

Even in Republican primaries, securing Trump’s endorsement was not a guarantee of electoral success…

[Ohio’s] Balderson was far from the only Republican who underwhelmed on Tuesday.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, failed to win 50 percent of the vote in a primary and will face Democrat Lisa Brown in November. Washington state has a nonpartisan primary process in which the top two finishers move on to the general election.

All year, McMorris Rodgers has been confronting pointed questions about her support for Trump’s policies…

In Michigan, where Democrats are aiming to take back the governor’s mansion, voter turnout set records, according to state officials, with more than 2 million votes cast — the most in the state since 1978…


 
AND FURTHERMORE…


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Conspiracy Fantasists Open Thread: War to the Little Death

Hitting ’em where it hurts…

BUT SERIOUSLY…


Notice the division here: On one side, those trying (at various degrees of earnestness) to use the Qanon flock to further promote their own celebrity; on the other, those — like Barr and Schilling — who just enjoy the warm bilious glee of being among Those Who Know.

It’s a war between the Profiteers and the Believers. And, IMO, it’s just one facet of the current war of all-against-all that’s currently roiling the whole real, serious Republican party.

The Buzzfeed post Betty linked earlier is actually a pretty good overall explainer, and Ryan Broderick ‘follows the breadcrumbs’:

While it’s almost impossible to prove who started QAnon, there is some evidence that it was meant to be a prank all along. And more importantly, it’s looking more and more likely that QAnon is actually a prank by leftists or anarchists to make the far-right look deranged.
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