Nice Sign Open Thread

It turned out to be a beautiful day, so I went for a walk, and passed this guy:

Don’t worry, I confirmed that I could post it on “a medium-traffic blog.”

Open thread!








Thursday Evening Open Thread: Pretty Much What Voters Expected, Apparently

(Jeff Danziger via GoComics.com)
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Seems like Madame Pelosi has a good sense of what voters are ready for, right now — they think Trump’s a criminal, but there’s not *yet* a consensus on impeachment:

Of course, those numbers include the predictable ‘If the president did it, it is not illegal’ authority-worshippers, not to mention the Repub diehards who actually admire a guy who’ll get out there and commit the crimes they only dream of getting away with. But as the Misadministration’s cack-handed inability to crime with competence gets more attention, the numbers shift…

As Dana Houle (among others) pointed out, Nancy Pelosi is the person who gets to be President once Trump & Pence are removed (please Murphy the Trickster God) — it’s not good ‘optics’ for her to get too far ahead of public sentiment.

And it’s not as though — for all their loud talk — the Squatter-in-Chief’s familia was acting as though they intended to be around for the long term…








Creeping Authoritarianism Watch

Authoritarian kleptocracies typically maintain a democratic facade, but the strongman and his cronies ensure that institutions ostensibly created to represent the people serve the regime instead. I’ve always thought Trump, a Dollar Store-brand Putin wannabe, is too dumb and incompetent to completely subvert our democracy to the extent more capable autocrats have achieved. But recent developments leave me less confident about the saving grace of stupidity and ineptitude.

Barr’s disgraceful handling of the Mueller report and assertions during his audition for the AG gig that the president is above the law are one example of creeping authoritarianism. But Barr’s willingness to abuse his office to eliminate Trump’s enemies is equally alarming because it’s not about covering up past misdeeds; it’s about eliminating political opposition in the future. Read more








Thursday Morning Open Thread: Cash Hues Everything Around Them, Seemingly

C.H.E.A.T.S! While our attention was otherwise engaged…

Bess Levin, at Vanity Fair, Fire Up the Shredders: Trump Family Sues Deutsche Bank to Keep Shady Finances Under Wraps:

The New York Times reports that Trump, Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and the Trump Organization filed a federal lawsuit late Monday against Deutsche Bank and Capital One, in an effort to stop the banks from responding to congressional subpoenas. In the suit, the president’s family and his private business—which he continues to profit from while running the country—argue that the House committees that issued the demands for information are engaging in a political fishing expedition. “This case involves congressional subpoenas that have no legitimate or lawful purpose,” the suit reads. “The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses and the private information of the president and his family, and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage. No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one.”

The subpoenas in question were issued by the House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees roughly two weeks ago, demanding information about the German lender’s famous client, as well as documents related to “possible money-laundering by people in Russia and Eastern Europe.” In a joint statement, Representative Maxine Waters, the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, and Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, called the lawsuit “meritless,” saying it showed “the depths to which President Trump will go to obstruct Congress’s constitutional oversight authority. . . . As a private businessman, Trump routinely used his well-known litigiousness and the threat of lawsuits to intimidate others, but he will find that Congress will not be deterred from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities. This lawsuit is not designed to succeed; it is only designed to put off meaningful accountability as long as possible.”

If the president appears concerned about the prospect of Deutsche Bank telling lawmakers everything it knows about his financial history, it’s probably because he should be. Last month, a lengthy story by reporter David Enrich provided some insight on the relationship between the perennial bankruptcy artist and the German bank; the latter apparently had “a ravenous appetite for risk,” which meant it was happy to lend money to Trump when no one else on Wall Street would get within 200 feet of him, and to go along with his vast financial lies. For instance, in 2004, Trump asked the bank’s commercial real-estate group to lend him more than $500 million to build his 92-story skyscraper in Chicago; it did, but not before employees concluded he was majorly inflating his net worth, and were told he’d “worked with people in the construction industry connected to organized crime.” Ten years later, when Trump was trying to buy the Buffalo Bills and needed to prove to the league he had the funds to pull off a transaction that could exceed $1 billion, the bank agreed to vouch that his worth was $8.7 billion. His former fixer, Michael Cohen, told lawmakers this was an (obvious, extreme) exaggeration back in February…


Read more








Comey Op-Ed

 

I got nothin’. Except this reign of dolt is exhausting.