Convert that Gravy Boat into a Battleship!

As is its wont, Fox News is ginning up outrage among the duct-taped naugahyde recliner set by highlighting godless liberals’ plans to persecute Trump supporters over turkey this year:

The suggestions for how to ruin Trump-supporting relatives’ holiday dinner in the linked GQ article are clearly tongue-in-cheek and purposely silly. But this part is kinda true, IMO:

This year, if you’re headed home to a household that still thinks a sex-offending game show host in rapid cognitive decline was the best choice for a president, it is your civic duty to filibuster Thanksgiving.

Trump has spent the entire year performing one long, clumsy touchdown dance atop the wreckage of America’s former norms and values… Any parents still riding the Trump Train at this point have thereby signaled that nothing is sacred. It is time to follow their example. They can’t stand idly by while President Deals tramples every other American tradition and yet somehow expect that Thanksgiving will be normal too. If every other moment of this year is going to be drastically out of whack, nobody should get to pretend that everything is normal for one meal just because that’s what the pilgrims would have done.

It’s not so much that Trump supporters don’t deserve a normal Thanksgiving (although they don’t); it’s that we who are related to or otherwise entangled with these assholes have a duty to try burst their bubble of complacency.

As it should be, this obligation is borne almost exclusively by my fellow white people — it was our demographic cohort that foisted this treasonous buffoon on the world, and it’s on us Saltine-Americans to try to fix it.

Trump voters should know we feel demeaned every goddamned day that dawns with a self-described sexual predator (and child molester apologist!) representing our country. We should make them aware that we’re appalled that literal Nazis and white nationalist trash are elevated and empowered by this administration.

Trump supporters should understand that we’re repulsed by the Bible-humping hypocrites who flock to support their degenerate president, and that we’re revolted by the arrogant, preening, phony morality of anti-gay creeps like Mike Pence.

We should point out that the huckster-in-chief invited a gaggle of plutocrats to loot the U.S. Treasury while he and his pack of grifting-hyena relatives convert the presidency into a personal branding engine and profit center. That “drain the swamp” thing was 100% bullshit, and if they’re still lapping it up, Trump supporters are a con man’s willing dupes.

And Trump supporters should know we’re repelled by people who wrap themselves in the flag and invoke “the troops” as an excuse to cram their jingoism down our throats while at the same time expressing enthusiasm about a foreign autocrat undermining our democracy or turning a blind eye to it.

I could go on, but the point is, this shit is not normal, and if we’re ever going to get within hailing distance of normal again, we must not only call out Trump and his official minions, we must confront the people who put him where he is. Even if they are our dads, aunties, cousins, etc.

The techniques to confront MAGAts vary. I favor sarcasm. Valued commenter Mnemosyne has described a gambit that I’ve found particularly effective in exposing the stupidity at the core of Trumpian conspiracy theories: Feign ignorance when wingnuts repeat some chain-email lie, politely ask them to elaborate and ask pointed questions until the full lunacy of the premise is exposed, sometimes even to the speaker, who eventually trails off in embarrassment or changes the subject.

Anyhoo, arm yourselves with the rhetorical weapons that suit you best, including sweet reason and loving kindness, if that’s your thing. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m off the hook on Thanksgiving Day since no Trump-supporting relatives will be in attendance. But I will be seeing them over the coming weeks, and I will give no quarter. They don’t deserve it, and these days, silence equals complicity with a white supremacy agenda. Fuck that!

This sounds promising…

Via ABC News:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

In particular, Mueller’s investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel’s first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.

Trump confessed obstruction to Lester Holt, FFS. But this report is encouraging because, if true, it indicates the investigators are going hard after the clown mob boss himself, not just the sideshow lackeys.

The whole fucking bunch needs to go down, and I hope they’re sweating so hard over Thanksgiving that the brigade of imported custodial staff at Disgraceland in Palm Beach has to stand by with mops and buckets.

Disappointment haunted all my dreams…

No, this is not a Doug! post, but I stole his song lyric-post title shtick because it fits my topic so perfectly. Ever since the unthinkable catastrophe of a Trump administration became our waking nightmare, I’ve dreamed of its end, preferably in disgrace and with the Republican Party in smoking ruins in its wake.

But I’ve tried to be a responsible dreamer. I avoid the high-fructose corn syrup confections some enemies of my enemy have been peddling for the last year in the form of promises that this next revelation will bring the entire Jenga treason tower down on the heads of the liars, cheaters, incompetents and thieves in this odious pigpen of an administration.

Well, despite it all, I’m becoming a believer. I understand what we’re up against. I remember the Ghost of Fitzmas past. But formidable obstacles aside, I’m becoming convinced Trump won’t serve out his first term.

The revelation that Don Jr. was colluding with WikiLeaks — and communicating with senior members of the campaign about it — is the latest straw. One of the people Junior emailed with WikiLeaks tidbits was Hope Hicks. I find that significant.

Beltway media types have long been mystified by Hicks’ role in the Trump organization, but I think it’s simple: She primarily functions as a human email interface for Trump. I’ve never believed Junior would take a crap without running it past the old man first, and the fact that Hicks was looped in proves it, as far as I’m concerned.

So, I am officially allowing myself to hope that indictments will roll in, people will flip, and Trump will react with such panic and madness that his presidency will end, one way or another, most likely with a huffy resignation. Sure, I could be wrong. But the staggering stupidity and amateurishness of nearly every actor in the Trump shit-show is an asset for justice.

Anyhoo, IF Trump goes down, that brings us to Mr. Pence, the Man Who Wasn’t There. I apologize for inflicting a Morning Joe clip on you, but this one does address Pence’s lying about the Russia scandal:

Steve Schmidt, from the clip:

“We don’t talk enough about Mike Pence… We don’t talk enough about the vice president’s nonstop lying… I think that over these months, the vice president has exposed himself as a titanic fraud… The truth of the matter is, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, 100% of the time, 100% of the people around this administration, when asked a question about Russia, the Russian involvement in this election, they lie about it. Not 99% of the time, not 99.9% of the time, 100% of the time.”

There’s no mystery about how Pence earned the nickname “Dense Pence” — he’s not a bright guy. But unless Mother rode around on Pence’s shoulders during the entire campaign and transition, with her thighs clamped over his ears, one hand covering his beady eyes and the other stopping his mouth, there’s just no way Pence didn’t know the Trump crew was ass-deep in Russians. He needs to go down too.

I’m guessing 15% or more of the responses to this post will be people telling me I’m an idiot for getting my hopes up. Maybe y’all are right, and feel free to piss on my parade. But I’m feeling more hopeful than I have in months.

He’s already here…

One of Trump’s favorite themes on the stump was complaining that “other countries are laughing at us, believe me” and offering himself as the strong man who could restore American honor. It was an absurd proposal based on a lie; President Obama was widely respected in the world, and Trump is a buffoon.

Still, a significant portion of our fellow citizens lapped it up, and now the buffoon is doing what clowns do for an audience, provoking laughter:

Of course it didn’t come up. Who’s going to bring it up, Trump?

There was a similar “did they or didn’t they” controversy after Trump got his ass in a crack this weekend over his remarks about Russian meddling in the U.S. election. First, Trump spoke to reporters on AF1, leaving the distinct impression that the two men discussed the issue at length and that he, Trump, took Putin’s word that Russia didn’t meddle in the 2016 elections.

Then, when those remarks were received with derision at home — even on Fox News! — Trump walked them back, claiming (absurdly) that what he actually meant was that PUTIN sincerely believes that Russia had nothing to do with the election meddling. As if it’s remotely plausible that Russian agents would undertake a massive coordinated cyberattack on the U.S. without clearing it with Putin.

At first, a Kremlin spokesman said Putin and Trump didn’t even discuss the election. Later, he said the two DID discuss it.

The common thread here is that foreign leaders have no respect for Trump. They don’t fear contradicting him. And why should they? They’re busy running circles around Trump, distracting him with geegaws while the grownups negotiate deals. And he’ll come home tomorrow convinced the trip was a big success because red carpets.

Putin said it, Trump believes it, and that settles it…

From The Washington Post:

HANOI — President Trump said Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin again denied his nation tampered in the U.S. presidential election last year when the two men spoke during brief conversations on the sidelines of an international summit…

“He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump said, answering questions in the press cabin on the Air Force One. “I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. … He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did…”

“This is really an artificial barrier that’s put in front of us for solving problems with Russia,” Trump said. Of Putin, he added: “He says that very strongly, he really seems to be insulted by it and he says he didn’t do it. He is very, very strong in the fact that he didn’t do it. You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently, says he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine…”

“There was no collusion,” Trump said on the plane. “Everybody knows there was no collusion.” The president added that he is determined to enlist Moscow’s help to end the civil war in Syria and to ramp up pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

He said the investigation into his campaign’s ties with Russia could hurt those efforts. “I think it’s a shame that something like that could destroy a very important potential relationship between two countries that are really important countries,” Trump said…

Trump did not answer when asked during the flight to Hanoi whether he believed Putin’s denial of the tampering.

“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,'” Trump said, “but I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. … I think he’s very insulted by it and that’s not a good thing for our country.”

The Russia investigation is an “artificial Democratic hit job” that “gets in the way,” Trump added. “And that’s a shame. Because people will die because of it” in Syria and elsewhere. “It’s artificially induced and that’s shame.”

So, to recap, all U.S. intelligence agencies agree that Russia meddled in our election, but the KGB-trained autocrat accused of masterminding the interference denies it, and that’s good enough for Trump. Nothing more to see here. Move along.

Also, note how Trump raised the stakes on the investigation into his campaign’s collusion with Russia: “people will die because of it.” This tells me Trump will try to shut the Mueller probe down, and he’ll attempt to cast himself as a heroic lifesaver when he does.

Open thread.