‘Repubs in Disarray’ Open Thread: Happy Birthday, Lord Vladimir


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Monday Morning Open Thread

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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Balloon Juice After Dark Open Thread: GO COUGARS, Sen. Warren!

Friday night, presumably the young & impressionable are either in bed or off partying somewhere, let’s indulge in a nice rowdy game of Kick the Wohl-ball!

First off — if Warren isn’t our 2020 candidate, the winner should most definitely hire her social media staff instanter, because they are GOOD:

Backstory / fisking, ICYMI:


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Thursday Morning Open Thread: No-Neck Deep

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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And per CNN, the rest of the Republican party is less than thrilled:

What you most hear from congressional Republicans on impeachment this week is the sound of silence.

GOP sources tell CNN they have a good reason for that fear. They have no idea what else House Democrats’ investigation will uncover or what comes next.

Along with that fear is frustration with President Donald Trump: his ranting in performances full of false claims, like Wednesday in the Oval Office and White House East Room, and stream of consciousness rapid-fire tweets — curse words and all — are not exactly an anti-impeachment road map for his fellow Republicans…

And although phrases like “witch hunt” and “hoax” worked for the President politically during the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, concerned GOP sources — more than half a dozen, including some in leadership who are talking to and hearing from the rank and file — tell CNN that they worry the President isn’t comprehending what they believe to be true, that this is different…

Several congressional Republicans tell CNN that their concern is exacerbated by getting very little guidance from the White House. CNN reported last week that, despite an initial flirtation with setting up an impeachment war room in the mold of Bill Clinton’s White House during his impeachment, the Trump team is not going there now.

“There is no White House war room. Why are we the ones who have to defend him?” asked one congressional GOP source.
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Late Night Open Thread: A Moat, With Snakes & Possibly Alligators

It was funny as a Simpsons gag, but coming from the Oval Office places this squarely in Caligula territory. The NYTimes chooses to file the story under ‘Decision Points’:

The Oval Office meeting this past March began, as so many had, with President Trump fuming about migrants. But this time he had a solution. As White House advisers listened astonished, he ordered them to shut down the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico — by noon the next day…

Mr. Trump’s order to close the border was a decision point that touched off a frenzied week of presidential rages, round-the-clock staff panic and far more White House turmoil than was known at the time. By the end of the week, the seat-of-the-pants president had backed off his threat but had retaliated with the beginning of a purge of the aides who had tried to contain him.

Today, as Mr. Trump is surrounded by advisers less willing to stand up to him, his threat to seal off the country from a flood of immigrants remains active. “I have absolute power to shut down the border,” he said in an interview this summer with The New York Times.

This article is based on interviews with more than a dozen White House and administration officials directly involved in the events of that week in March. They were granted anonymity to describe sensitive conversations with the president and top officials in the government.

In the Oval Office that March afternoon, a 30-minute meeting extended to more than two hours as Mr. Trump’s team tried desperately to placate him.

“You are making me look like an idiot!” Mr. Trump shouted, adding in a profanity, as multiple officials in the room described it. “I ran on this. It’s my issue.”

Among those in the room were Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary at the time; Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state; Kevin K. McAleenan, the Customs and Border Protection chief at the time; and Stephen Miller, the White House aide who, more than anyone, had orchestrated Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda. Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff was also there, along with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and other senior staff…

Mr. Trump had routinely berated Ms. Nielsen as ineffective and, worse — at least in his mind — not tough-looking enough. “Lou Dobbs hates you, Ann Coulter hates you, you’re making me look bad,” Mr. Trump would tell her, referring to the Fox Business Network host and the conservative commentator.

The happiest he had been with Ms. Nielsen was a few months earlier, when American border agents had fired tear gas into Mexico to try to stop migrants from crossing into the United States. Human rights organizations condemned the move, but Mr. Trump loved it. More often, though, she drew the president’s scorn…
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