Happy Cleek’s Law Day (Open Thread)

Seven years ago today, legendary blogger, commenter and pie-filter baker Cleek came down from the mountaintop toting a stone tablet inscribed with one short sentence and gave Cleek’s Law to the world:

It has served as a handy Rosetta Stone for interpreting the motivations of so-called “conservatives” ever since. Others have expressed similar concepts with enviable eloquence. Valued commenter Davis X. Machina’s “sparrows and old curtain rods” is a classic of the genre. But for my money, Cleek’s simple, elegant formulation remains without peer as an all-purpose “conservatism” explainer.

The law’s anniversary came to my attention a few days ago when I hunted the quote as a response to someone on Twitter who expressed astonishment at hawkish and jingoistic Republicans’ embrace of Putin and Russian interference in the U.S. election. It all makes sense when seen through the lens of Cleek’s Law — evangelicals’ embrace of a degenerate, Republican women’s support for a misogynist, fiscal hawks’ enthusiasm for a corrupt tax cheat — all of it.

If only there were a way we liberals could convincingly pretend to be in favor of codifying Grover Norquist’s tax policy, Ann Coulter’s immigration views, Falwell Jr.’s interpretation of Christianity, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ notions of white supremacy, Rick Perry’s ignorance of science, Wayne LaPierre’s reverence for firearms, etc. If we could pull that off, we might usher in an age of rationality and sound governance that would put the Enlightenment in the shade.

Oh well. Happy Cleek’s Law Day, everyone, and open thread!

Senate Intel Hearing on Russia Is Interesting

Here’s a former FBI agent and current senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Clinton Watts, saying he doesn’t know what the US stance on Russia is under Trump and isn’t confident the U.S. government has his back if Russian agents come after him for testifying:

That’s kind of astonishing. Before that, Mr. Watts answered a question from Senator Lankford (R-OK): “Why did the Russians think they could get away with [meddling in the U.S. election] this time?” I can’t find embeddable video of the exchange, but you can see it here on CNN. Watts’ answer in a word was: Trump.

Watts said Trump and Manafort repeated fake news from Russia, which we knew, but it’s…surreal to hear this said in a U.S. Senate hearing. He informed the committee that Russian outlets are still pushing conspiracy theories at Trump on social media even now. He also said that until people (Trump!) learn to distinguish fact from fiction, we’re in deep shit (paraphrasing). Wowser!

Sweet Fancy Moses!

Likely from the golden commode at the tackily ostentatious throne room at Disgraceland this morning, Trump dropped the following nuggets on Twitter:

As I’ve done repeatedly in this nightmarish political cycle, I double-checked to make sure it was actually his account rather than one of the many parodies. The news sites are just now picking it up, so it’s apparently legit.

This is a serious charge, and since Trump is a pathological liar, few outside of Cult 45 are going to take his word for it. WTF? Trying and failing to imagine the end game here. What do you think?

Is it just me?

Or does this seem like something a paranoid, unhinged demagogue who doesn’t understand the role of the press in a free society would say?

Sweet fancy Moses!

I showed it to my husband (who doesn’t do the Twitter), and he thought it was a parody account. If only!

ETA: I mean what the actual FUCK? Enemy of the American people? Don’t we go to war with enemies? This is General Franco-level shit.

Talking Point of the Day: “Move Forward” (Updated)

The embattled administration’s talking points have been distributed, with two words underlined in gold Sharpie: MOVE FORWARD. First up, Mouth of Shitgibbon Kellyanne Conway on the Today show:

Next up: GOP back-bencher Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) on CNN:

The tweeted summaries don’t do either segment justice. Lauer points out that Team Shitgibbon was told Flynn was compromised more than a month ago, and yet Flynn was functioning as the highest level adviser right up until yesterday — that’s the part that “makes no sense.” And Conway can’t and doesn’t even attempt to explain it.

Collins’ response is even weirder: After the “hoocoodanode” response didn’t pass the laugh test, Collins asserts an aggressively ignorant “50 First Dates” approach to governance, wherein every day is a new day, and treason that happened last month is treason under the bridge, damn it, so why dwell on such unpleasantness?

Both remain implacably focused on the future — move along, citizens, nothing to see here! Both (but especially Conway) maintain a flat affect when responding to their questioners’ rising incredulity, wearing expressions reminiscent of psychologically traumatized kidnap victims forced to read a denunciation of their captor’s enemy on camera. In this case, the enemy is truth.

Team Shitgibbon had all night to cobble together a media strategy to contain the damage of the Flynn implosion. That this was the best they could do is telling. Popcorn futures will skyrocket at the opening bell, and I hope one particular woman in Chappaqua has an inexhaustible supply of gourmet kettle corn laid aside.

ETA: I am calling my elected officials today — yes, even Lil’ Marco — to urge them to support a comprehensive, independent investigation of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. I encourage y’all to do the same.

ETA II: And David Brooks’ favorite sun-kissed Son of the Prairie weighs in, repeating the MOVE FORWARD mantra:

Honest to dog, it’s like Rubio’s primary programmer installed a loop in their skulls! Spicer will probably seize up upon the 40th repetition and have to be tag-teamed by the Miller Ragebot.

Keep That Feeling Alive: More Photos

The last of my photos. I cannot tell you how much having all your emails and photos in my inbox got me through this week.  Thanks for entrusting your journey with me and I hope I covered everyone and didn’t misplace any, it wasn’t intentional.

The top photo and these are from Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA:

comrade scott’s agenda of rage sent in several from the St. Louis march and I had a hard time choosing:

Read more

A Few More Photos From Saturday

I thought this deserved to be FP:

PhoenixRising says:

And that, ladies and germs, is how we got Democrats to govern in the 20th century. The New Deal, the Voting Rights Act, health insurance that has to cover mammograms, marriage equality…all of those nice things didn’t just happen because Democrats are nicer, smarter and more enlightened. (Though that has since become true, more’s the pity.)

When I first attended a topical protest, 19 states enforced sodomy laws. Don’t try to tell me protest doesn’t work, because I know it does. I also know that no elected Democrats got in front of the tidal wave for marriage equality until the alternative was to lose their seats.

Light up their phones and faxes, one issue at a time, be consistent, and don’t be afraid to mass. Democrats aren’t going to lead us, but they will follow us.

Here are a few more photos…believe it or not, I still have some…so the good feels shall continue until moral improves (or at least until tomorrow).

From the Kansas March:

My niece and her friends. My niece made all the signs herself, Every time I talk with her, she gives me so much damn hope for the future.

We had 4,000 people show up in front of the Kansas Capital. Lots of pink hats. Warm, wonderful crowd. Even great weather. I’m still kinda buzzing about it. Especially here in Kansas, where it’s always wonderful to find fellow lefties. Whenever I stumble across someone like that in the rural area where I live, it’s like meeting a long lost friend.

You know how I love my links, Valerie made a slideshow of all the great DC photos she had, click here

To find out who this handsome fellow is, you’ll have to check below the fold.

Read more