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Open Thread: The Toddler-in-Chief Will *Never* Stop Talking About Alabama

If proof were needed that the conspiracy theories about HAARP are complete bullshite, the fact that Trump hasn’t busted out the weather-altering technology to force Dorian to threaten Alabama would be it. At least it’s great fodder for comic geniuses like David Roth:

It can be difficult to remember given that he routinely appears on television with toilet paper on the soles of both his shoes and at least one of his hands stuck in a big jug of peanut butter, but Donald Trump’s opening position in all things is that he has never been wrong. He has been wronged, and is in fact wronged constantly—by terrible nasty TV actresses and fake cable news anchors and the other antagonists he’s collected over a lifetime of nonstop blowsy public feuding. But that is just the price he pays for always being right and never being afraid to speak out on whatever he has just seen on television. He carries that weight lightly, give or take the fact that he whines about it constantly. There is an entire cable television network devoted to telling this story over and over again, and every day Trump parks his ass in front of it and watches embalmed-looking septuagenarian newsreader types talk about how correct he is and heatedly demand apologies on his behalf, for hours on end. It’s the treatment that he has always believed he deserves…

The issue here is not that Trump doesn’t believe in things like truth and untruth; he absolutely believes that some things are true and other things are false, but what makes them true or false to him is grounded entirely in how he feels about them. Once a belief is lodged in the sodden Nerf of his brain it becomes true to him, and remains that way forever. These things tend, if anything, to become more true over time, or at least become larger. There is probably some latent impulse from his days as a real estate huckster that powers this—in the same way that he once added floors to the oafish towers he developed, he now adds years or billions to the oafish tales he tells from the front of his trade war with China. It also cannot be ruled out that the guy just likes saying large numbers. When Trump authors one of his really avant-garde falsehoods, it’s this impulse that’s generally behind it. He just likes things to be big, if possible “much bigger many say than anything that we’ve ever seen” but always and everywhere as big as he can get away with making them.

And then, eventually, even bigger than that. This was a problem last week, when Trump took one of his favorite parts of the presidency—the constitutionally enumerated power to tell everyone about the weather, and how large it looks like it might be—too far. Hurricane Dorian, which is indeed big and terrible, was moving towards the southeastern United States at the time, and the forecast called for moderate-to-large amounts of destruction in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Trump evidently found this insufficient…

Late Night Lovers’ Quarrel Open Thread (Rooting for Injuries)

GOP Clown Car Open Thread: The Pence v. Haley Undercard

A point & mock diversion from all the potentially deadly battles. If fighting amongst themselves wasn’t absolutely a feature of every mad autocrat’s court, I’d blame this minor fooferaw on would-be macher Nick Ayers. Politico:

While the two could hardly be more different — Pence is a 60-year-old social conservative, she is a 47-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants — those close to them say they have long had a warm relationship. Haley traveled to Indiana in 2012 to help Pence with his gubernatorial campaign, then returned three years later to headline a state GOP dinner while he was embroiled in a competitive reelection race.

The two also shared an adviser in Nick Ayers, a prominent consultant who spent four years as executive director of the Republican Governors Association. And their offices gave them access to the same pool of powerful donors who fund races for governor.

The recent divisions have been fueled partly by the rumors that Haley could replace Pence on the ticket and the fact she took so long to address them. Some top Pence aides said they think Haley or an ally was behind the Wall Street Journal op-ed, which a representative for the former ambassador denied…

Further complicating the dynamic between Pence and Haley is the role of Ayers, who remains close to both. Senior Republicans want to see whether the 37-year-old operative, who stepped down as Pence’s chief of staff at the end of last year to return to his native Georgia, picks one over the other.

Former colleagues of Ayers, who has deep ties to the donor class, say he hasn’t chosen sides. He speaks with Pence and Haley regularly and was seen with both at the Aspen retreat, which was hosted by the RGA. A few weeks later, Ayers and Pence appeared together onstage before a national group of young conservative leaders.

The skirmish offers a potential preview of what’s in store for the GOP after 2020 — a fight over the direction of the party. Pence has been the president’s most unwavering ally since he joined the ticket in 2016, even when Trump’s policies and personal conduct veered far from the principles Pence had long been known for. Haley, who endorsed Marco Rubio in 2016 and was critical of Trump during the campaign, has shown a willingness to break from the administration. She has urged the GOP to be more inclusive, representing potentially a new direction for the party…

TL, DR — In their hearts, none of these people expect Trump to win reelection, even assuming he makes it to 2020, so they’re already prepping to carve up the remnants of the GOP for their own profit. Good news for us Democrats, as far as I’m concerned.

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Spiraling Decompensation Open Thread

Lackey Lindsey

Another day, another breach of rules in the Senate.

Donald Trump is having another rally tonight, and he needed some material, so Lindsay Graham was only to happy to provide it for him.

Ben Orlebeke (yeah, I don’t know him either, but the thread looks okay and Emptywheel went with it) live-tweeted. Here are the highlights of his thread.

I see that some folks are making hashtags with Russian cities added to Republican names, in the manner of #MoscowMitch. So there seems to be #LeningradLindsey, but that’s anachronistic and not really relevant. I prefer #LackeyLindsey.

Open thread!