Late Night Whiplash Open Thread: Follow the Dirty Sexy Money?

I’m sure at least one person in the Trump camp repeated the old mantra: You don’t pay a [professional] for the sex; you pay her to go away afterwards. But campaign professional Dana Houle raises a question —

Maybe they should’ve remembered another venerable mantra: It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.



Open Thread: Maybe He’s Gonna Ask the Gnomes of Zurich for Asylum?

More likely, he just wants the real machers, the global Big Swinging Dicks, to finally acknowledge that he, Donald John Trump, is king of the world!!!

And, of course, that is not gonna happen. The tweetstorm tantrums should be epic, though.

President Trump will address the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this month, the White House said Tuesday, a startling decision that will bring the unorthodox U.S. leader face to face with global elites who have been Trump’s fierce critics and frequent foils.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump will use the forum to talk about his “America First” worldview. Trump has described the approach as the sensible prioritizing of American interests over those of other nations. His critics inside the United States and abroad call it a retreat from an American global leadership based on democratic principles…

She said details of the president’s attendance at the Jan. 23-to-26 gathering are being worked out, and it is not yet clear whether he will hold separate meetings with world leaders there. He does not expect to visit any other countries apart from Switzerland, Sanders said…

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the Davos meeting in 2017, a first for a Chinese leader. Xi’s speech was praised as statesmanlike and a counterpoint to Trump’s criticism of international bodies and collective decision-making. Sanders said Xi’s attendance last year was not a factor in Trump’s decision to attend now.

Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn was a frequent Davos attendee when he was a Wall Street banker. He skipped the gathering last year. Sanders said the delegation accompanying Trump is still a work in progress, but that some administration figures would be at the gathering for longer than Trump will stay. Cohn is likely to be among them.

“What the heck is Trump doing at Davos?” said MIT economist David Autor, who has been to Davos many times and is on several panels this year discussing his work on the impact of robots and trade on jobs. “Trump made fun of Davos. This is exactly the crowd he doesn’t want to talk to.”…



The Cyber (Open Thread)

Via The Post:

Mueller adds veteran cyber prosecutor to special-counsel team

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has added a veteran cyber prosecutor to his team, filling what has long been a gap in expertise and potentially signaling a recent focus on computer crimes.

Ryan K. Dickey was assigned to Mueller’s team in early November from the Justice Department’s computer crime and intellectual-property section, said a spokesman for the special counsel’s office…

Legal analysts have said that one charge Mueller might pursue would be a conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, if he can demonstrate that members of Trump’s team conspired in Russia’s hacking effort to influence the election.

“Alexa, order ALL the popcorn.”

UPDATE: Trump indicates he won’t submit to an interview with Mueller in response to a question from a journalist during a press briefing with the Norwegian PM. Via The Hill:

President Trump said Wednesday it is “unlikely” he will have to sit down with special counsel Robert Mueller for an interview, arguing that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia.

Trump repeatedly dodged whether he would submit to an interview with Mueller by citing his claim there was no collusion during the 2016 presidential election.

“We’ll see what happens,” the president said when pressed by a reporter on Wednesday. “When they have no collusion … it seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview.”

Yeah, keep telling yourself that, lumpy.



Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Alas, Babble-On!

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WARNING: Sensitive individuals should not read below the fold, where Stephen Miller is discussed…
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ICYMI: Stephen “Slenderman” Miller Is A Very Weird Entity

Here’s the complete Tapper interview, for those whose weekends are politics-free. Apart from all the peculiar behavior that’s already been noted here, during the interview, Miller rocks back and forth the way Bill Gates did while testifying, which you may remember had observers making remarks about his neurotypical quirks. Miller also keeps jerking his head like a nervous horse — he probably just isn’t comfortable with the earpiece whose cord emerges from the back of his collar, but seriously, that’s why newbies take rehearsals, if their bosses care about appearances.

Word is that Miller is supposed to replace Bannon as the Trump Occupation’s “house intellectual”. If so, he has… not made a good first impression, not even on those Republicans most avid to support Lord Smallgloves as (figure)head of their crusade against the twentieth century…


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“He was supposed to be the house intellectual but was militantly unread.”


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Open Thread: Trump’s Willing Accomplices

NYMag‘s The Cut, December 6, 2017:

When Chris Cuomo questioned [Kellyanne] Conway about Trump’s endorsement of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by eight women, she defended him by saying, “The president has tremendous moral standards.”….

Every unmothered child needs a nanny, or a team of them — none more so than a 70-year-old child who refuses to mature beyond the nursery. Who better to understand this than British GQ, whose authorized Fire and Fury excerpt focuses on two of the Trump campaign’s most high-profile women — “How Donald Trump’s White House team handles his giant ego”:

Not long after the Trump team’s arrival to the White House, the Correspondents’ Dinner became a cause for worry. On a winter afternoon in Kellyanne Conway’s upstairs West Wing office, Conway and director of strategic communications Hope Hicks engaged in a pained discussion about what to do.

The central problem was that the president was neither inclined to make fun of himself, nor particularly funny himself – at least not, in Conway’s description, “in that kind of humorous way”.

George W Bush had famously tried to resist the Correspondents’ Dinner and suffered greatly at it, but he had prepped extensively and every year he pulled out an acceptable performance. But neither woman, confiding their concerns around the table in Conway’s office to a journalist they regarded as sympathetic, thought Trump had a realistic chance of making the dinner anything like a success.

“He doesn’t appreciate cruel humour,” said Conway. “His style is more old-fashioned,” said Hicks.

Both women, clearly seeing the Correspondents’ Dinner as an intractable problem, kept characterising the event as “unfair”, which, more generally, is how they characterised the media’s view of Trump. “He’s unfairly portrayed.” “They don’t give him the benefit of the doubt.” “He’s just not treated the way other presidents have been treated.”

The burden here for Conway and Hicks was their understanding that the president did not see the media’s lack of regard for him as part of a political divide on which he stood on a particular side. Instead, he perceived it as a deep personal attack on him: for ­entirely unfair reasons, ad hominem reasons, the media just did not like him. Ridiculed him. Cruelly. Why?…
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Tapped Out

I’m not Jake Tapper’s biggest fan (I haven’t forgotten his priggish sniffing around President Obama for signs that the last legit POTUS had fallen off the smoking-cessation bandwagon — as if that’s anyone’s business except his family’s). But gott-damn if Tapper doesn’t drop-kick one of the most vile, arrogant Trump treason-weasels in DC right out of the studio here:

Miller tries to deflect questions about President Crazypants’ fitness for the job with a rehearsed monologue attacking CNN for not paying enough attention to the concerns of Trump voters. (As-fucking-if! CNN constantly inflicts Trump voter panels on viewers and runs stories featuring sad old white people gazing listlessly from dilapidated window frames seemingly every fucking day!) But Tapper isn’t playing:

“Stephen, I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now. And you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum in order to please him, okay? And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”

And with that, Tapper moves on to the next segment while the producer cuts Miller’s mic mid-screech. That’s the way to deal with these shit-stains.