Shut Down the Long Weekend Open Thread: There Is Nothing Trump Can’t Fvck Up

… not even a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

Also from the Washington Post (paper of record for the company town whose monopoly industry is national politics), “Evening in America: What it felt like on Trump’s Fourth of July”:

From the president’s vantage point, his supporters looked like they were in cages. Their fingers curled around chain-link. Bellies smushed against butts. When their knees gave out, they sat on ponchos and muddy blankets and squares of wet cardboard. The air, scented by sodden socks and bug spray, sagged with humidity. When the breeze picked up, so did the sensation that everything was surrounded by a battalion of toilets. It was difficult to move, to escape, but then no one was trying to do so. They were grateful to be here, soaked by hours of drizzle, hugged by a lazy heat, waiting hours and hours for him, for the show. The president had invited them to express their love of country in a maze of corrals, on a truly crappy day of weather, but they didn’t feel like prisoners of pomp or slaves to circumstance but jubilant pilgrims thrilled to be counted as citizens of the “most just and virtuous republic ever conceived,” as the president put it…

Trump’s been doing this kind of thing for years, though never with the U.S. military as his production team. In April 1990, when he opened the doomed Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, a 43-year-old Donald Trump arranged 5½ minutes of fireworks that were half-obscured by his own building, insinuated that he had cured a disabled guest of honor and — after his podium spittled theatrical fog — told the crowd to “have a nice life.” (His business would file for bankruptcy the following year.)…


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Thursday Evening Open Thread: ‘Dumb’ vs. ‘Willfully Ignorant’

I first read Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi when I was 9 or 10 (my English-teacher mother gave me a copy when I told her Tom Sawyer was a terrible book, and I was having doubts about Twain’s literary stature). That book made explicit one of the great ‘secrets’ of American life: There’s a considerable percentage of our fellow citizens who genuinely admire con artists, thugs, and those who ‘know how to get what they want, whatever it takes.’

The number of such secret fellow-felons has certainly grown no less, here in our second Gilded Age. It’s not necessarily that all Trump voters are stupid (although many of them *are* plenty stupid; look at the Fox talking heads!), but they choose to insist on being ignorant enough to believe the crap Fox / Trump / the entire GOP ladles into their gaping maws…

As another great American artist once said, You can’t cheat an honest man…


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Muellergate Open Thread: All the President’s Minions

So, as it happens, Dave Roth’s done another fine pigbladdering of a most deserving target…

One of the most common misunderstandings about Dumb Guys is that they are not capable of doing things. This is false. They can and in fact absolutely love to do complicated-sounding things like scheme and intrigue. They may not do those things well, and will generally do them in arbitrary and ineffective ways. But they will attack the work of scheming and maneuvering and infighting with all the vigor of a dog trying to carry a too-big tree branch through a doorway…

… It is a common Dumb Guy trait to stop assimilating new information at some moment of great personal success; there is no reason to think that Jon Gruden believes the NFL is any different than it was when he won a Super Bowl in it during George W. Bush’s first term.

The problem is that all that intrigue creates its own sort of paranoid gravity. The Dumb Guy believes that the moment he stops scheming is the moment that he becomes vulnerable, and so must throw himself into constant counter-intrigue and intrigue-maintenance and general amphetamized vigilance. And that, according to Ian Rapoport, is where the Raiders stand today, after Mayock and Gruden sent home the team’s entire scouting department because they “don’t know who to trust.”…

Yeah, not exactly about Our Political Moment. But it certainly could be!

Because if there is one common denominator to the collection of grifters, racists, willing traitors, overconfident scions and all-purpose villains that compose the Oval Office Squatters Squad, it is that they are every one a Dumb Guy, revolving around the Dumb Guy in Chief.


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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Looking Elsewhere, Deliberately


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Seems like this week has been a month long already. Who’s up for a long weekend?








Post-Racial America Open Thread: The GOP’s Latest Dumb-Show


 
Many, many words were said — but were they ever dumb!

Per the Washington Post:

A tense congressional hearing to explore the spread of white nationalism on social media quickly served to illustrate the problem Silicon Valley faces after anonymous users on YouTube began posting vitriolic attacks that targeted others on the basis of race and religion…

“These Jews want to destroy all white nations,” wrote the user Celtic Pride.

“Anti-hate is a code word for anti-white,” wrote another named Fight White Genocide.

Appearing before the committee, Alexandria Walden, the counsel for free expression and human rights at Google, stressed the tech giant has invested in people and technology to remove content that incites violent or spreads hate. “We know the very platforms that have enabled these societal benefits can be abused,” she said…

“This just illustrates part of the problem we’re dealing with,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the committee, after seeing the Post’s report.

His comment was greeted with skepticism by Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican. “Could that be another hate hoax?” he asked. “Just keep an open mind.”
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