Open Thread: An Interlude with Willard “Mitt” Romney

Mitt Romney is running for the Senate again, this time from his spiritual home in Utah. (Extra points to Murphy the Trickster God’s lack of discrimination for arranging that his GOP primary opponent will be named Kennedy — no relation to the Masshole clan.) People who know these things agree that Mitt will walk away with the nomination, and therefore in Repub-friendly Utah the election. After which, Mitt says, he will be A Strong Voice against that terrible, lawless RINO now occupying the Oval Office… please do not bring up the unfortunate frog-legs dinner.

So Romney is once again doing interviews, which continue to be… well…

My immediate thought was ‘I prefer things that seem to have been factory-produced, like me’.

Mr. Charles P. Pierce believes this is pandering, done badly. (“Have some respect for the craft, Willard.”)

Me, I believe it is a glimpse at the sad soul of our former Governor, a high-end formed-meat product in a world increasingly divided between those who won’t touch the nasty things, and those who prefer their meat products as cheaply and obviously mass-produced as possible.

Open Thread: Local Races, Utah Edition — High & (Very, Very) Low


The professionals weigh in…

As a fellow Masshole, I concur with Mr. Pierce:


Wanna-be Breitbrat Jacob Wohl chips in with a cunning plan

TBH, since the Fusion GPS / Wolff book news dropped this morning, I suspect Steve Bannon’s got quite enough on his plate without an expensive referendum on how much consistent GOP voters don’t like him. But it’s good to know the hardcore racist/sexist/nativist bigots will be harrassing Romney from the right while the Democrats are pushing our “leftist” (humanist) agenda!

General Repub Malfeasance Open Thread: I’m *Not* Gonna Start Saying Nice Things About Mitt Romney

He *looks* the part of a TV-drama senator, and is not sufficiently interested in human interaction to have committed sexual battery! Yay for our side! Since Navarro is not an idiot, I have to assume this is sarcasm on her part.

It is useful, because a Romney run — and victory — could set an example for other congressional Republicans to follow when it comes to acting as a check on Trump’s many excesses, from his dangerous international bluster, to his self-dealing and corruption, to his contempt for norms and the rule of law. If they don’t follow that example, their enabling of these Trump excesses will be thrown into sharper relief.

That is, this might be the case, if Romney is true to his own past statements about Trump. Let’s not let this get memory-holed: In his big March 2016 speech against Trump, Romney flatly and unequivocally declared Trump unfit to serve as president. Will Romney reiterate this sentiment, when he’s running for Senate?…

Spoiler alert from a Masshole, Mr. Sargent: Nope! Willard will fold like a cheap lawn chair, because that’s his signature legislative tactic. Although he will look very stateman-like as he makes his excuses for letting Trump and the Oval Office Trumplodytes do whatever they damned well choose.

If Corporations Are People…

Uber plays as a shitty, shitty version of the Snidely Whiplash of corporate persons:

The next step:* A letter from a former Uber security employee, accusing the company of secretly surveilling competitors, is expected to be released, in a redacted form, by the court on Friday.

(From The New York Times Dealbook newsletter.)

What’s the crappiest/dumbest thing you’ve ever seen management do where you worked?

And now, for a moment’s amusement and/or devant le revolution tumbrel reservation list, here’s the tea room at Claridges, in the West End, which I had the pleasure of visiting. And that’s it.  I didn’t stay.  Don’t even know where it is.  Really.  Don’t warm up the guillotine…please…

I was actually just across the pond for a quick trip, centered on a memorial trip for a beloved aunt, who is one of my models/mentors in the art of living a life with intention.  But I did get to do some publishing/broadcasting work while I was there (hence, Claridges) and, as always, had a chance to drop in on some old friends.

So, in a post that is intended to offer a little change of pace from our usual chronicling of the end of the American century, I’ll just sign off with a nod to some of my all-time favorite bovines. (Excuse the reproduction — that’s me with an iPhone.)

I should note — these are cattle ever ready for their closeup:

How now, Brown Cow?

And with a mite of randomness thus inserted into the day….

Open Thread.

*That’s the next step in the trade-secrets case being fought between Uber and Alphabet (Google).

Image: Aelbert Cuyp, The Large Dortaka A Distant View of Dordrecht, with a Milkmaid and Four Cows, and Other Figures c. 1650.

It’s in the newly opened (reopened?) Gallery A in the basement level of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.  The room is a hoot.  It’s huge, and it’s populated by a sample of the Nat’s collection across the full range of periods, medieval  to 20th c., one space with hundreds of paintings taking you on a wild journey.  The pictures are all good, and the room, on its own, would make a hell of a regional museum for almost any city around the world — and yet most of the work is stuff that didn’t quite make the cut for inclusion upstairs.  Totally worth a look.

Open Thread: Will Mitt Be Donald’s New Best Friend?

Pathetic. At least there’s a crumb of glee knowing that PEOTUS Gimme-My-KFC probably didn’t enjoy his frog-legs-and-sirloin plutocratic parody dinner. From the Washington Post:

Stephen Pagliuca, who worked with Romney at Bain Capital and has socialized with Trump, urged advisers to the president-elect to press Trump to name Romney for the State Department job…

Pagliuca, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics and a Democrat, said he knew something that others didn’t. When he golfed with Trump at a Boston-area course some years ago, Trump had talked at length about how much he admired Bain Capital, a private equity firm that Romney led until 1999.

Today, as Pagliuca and other Romney backers see it, Trump, 70, and the 69-year-old Romney had far more in common than many realize: Both came to prominence as risk takers and dealmakers, and both have spent much of their lives seeking to emulate and outdo the success of their fathers. Trump’s father, Fred, was a New York City developer, and Romney’s father, George, was a governor of Michigan who unsuccessfully sought the presidency…

One of these things is not quite like the other, though it’s true that Romney has always fretted about not coming up to his sire’s standards. Also, much as it irks me to give him any credit, Romney is an actual billionaire and has prior governing experience — as if that last would mean anything to Accident-Elect Smallgloves. I can certainly see him hungering to demonstrate for the world that he’s more alpha than the Mormon on the White Horse…

And, of course, Romney is willing to debase himself in hopes of becoming the GOP John Kerry. Which may or may not work out for him:

At least Romney, while spineless and untrustworthy as an ally, is neither full-bore crazy (Bolton) nor corrupt to the bone (Giuliani). Cold comfort, eh?

Late Night Open Thread: One Could Almost Feel Sorry for Romney

… Except, y’know, the silly bastid is willfully submitting himself to this shiteshow. Per AP:

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is heading the transition effort, teased “a number of very important announcements tomorrow” as he exited Trump Tower Monday night.

Pence is said to be among those backing Romney for State. Romney was fiercely critical of Trump throughout the campaign but is interested in the Cabinet position, and they discussed it during a lengthy meeting earlier this month.

Other top Trump allies, notably campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, have launched a highly unusual public campaign to warn the president-elect that nominating Romney would be seen as a betrayal by his supporters. Conway’s comments stirred speculation that she is seeking to either force Trump’s hand or give him cover for ultimately passing over Romney.

Three people close to the transition team said Trump had been aware that Conway planned to voice her opinion, both on Twitter and in television interviews. They disputed reports that Trump was furious at her and suggested his decision to consider additional candidates instead highlighted her influence…

Trump was also considering former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for Homeland Security secretary, according to those close to the transition process. Giuliani was initially the front-runner for State and is still in the mix. But questions about his overseas business dealings, as well as the mayor’s public campaigning for the job, have given Trump pause…

Yeah, among the many things I hold against Trump is that he’s made Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney look like the good, sane alternative for a powerful political office. Mitt’s certainly touched some nerves among the Trump Crime Cartel, though…

I kinda like Josh Barro’s theory…

Remember the calculus for the C-listers who signed up with Trump early.

They debased themselves by signing up with a candidate who was widely considered ridiculous and unacceptable by Republican insiders. In exchange, they would line up — in the unlikely event Trump won — for administration jobs for which they would otherwise be considered laughably unsuitable.

This calculus seems to have worked out for Michael Flynn and perhaps Ben Carson. But a Romney appointment would be a severe threat to the dynamic the Trump sycophants depend on.

If a consummate party establishmentarian who did not support Trump — indeed, one who said Trump was “playing the American public for suckers” — can be forgiven and given a top job, what role would be left for Rudy Giuliani or Mike Huckabee?…

Read more

More GOP Debate Open Thread

Fox News livestream here.

Guardian liveblog here.