In the spirit of letting y’all get your cranky on, a seasonal opinion: I actually like a good fruitcake, once a year. High-quality preserved fruits and nuts, in a rich batter, preferably non-alcoholic since the calories are quite enough of a dietary violation. Just because most of the products made or sold as fruitcakes aren’t any good, impugning the fruitcake has become a folk tradition — mostly, IMO, because it’s a once-a-year foodstuff released during the ‘Joyous Season’, when cooks are too busy to practice and eaters are looking for something they can jointly abuse without being called scrooges.
There’s any amount of truly lousy pizza produced every damned day of the year, but people don’t feel called to denounce the very concept of pizza because school cafeterias and Sbarros have an outsized market share. If you don’t like fruitcake, don’t eat fruitcake. More for those of us who do!
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2018-12-13 04:58:082018-12-13 04:58:08Thursday Morning Open Thread: Tis the Season
But Pelosi (D-Calif.) instead had to listen as President Trump mansplained to her the legislative process and her role in the debate, while Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer talked over her to trade barbs mano a mano with Trump…
Inside the Oval Office, the spectacle that played out in real time offered a window into the gender dynamics at play as the country’s most powerful woman navigates a male-dominated government that is now helmed by the ultimate alpha male. In her bid to be speaker again, Pelosi has argued the importance of having a woman at the “decision-making table” in Trump’s Washington. And Tuesday’s show helped make her point…
Pelosi kept her composure throughout the charade, continually trying to bring the conversation back to a place where actual dialogue could occur. But it was clear from the press presence that Trump had very little interest in finding a compromise and primarily wanted to show off his bravado for the cameras…
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2018-12-12 22:29:042018-12-12 22:17:07Nancy Pelosi Is A Gracious Ruler
One of the things that continues to boggle my mind is how persistent the myth of Trump the supergenius dealmaker is with some people. After Trump was made to look the fool yesterday in the Nancy Pelosi Show, guest starring Chuck Schumer with special guest an animated orange lump of shit, some people I have known for decades and who are not in many regards stupid people, were posting their reactions. They ranged from “Man he cleaned their clocks” to “they clearly have never read the Art of the Deal and don’t know how to deal with him.”
It’s amazing how the image continues to, ahem, trump the reality of the situation. Trump is not particularly smart. He’s not particularly savvy. He’s not a good deal maker. He’s not really a good businessman. He’s not particularly learned, and he is not versed in history, science, mathematics, philosophy, art, music, literature. I honestly don’t think he has read a book since college, if he even did then. Other than the wealth and privilege into which he was born, he basically has a few things “going for him.”
1.) He is a narcissist and overly confident in himself.
2.) He’s a psychopath and has literally no feelings for anyone other than himself.
3.) He, like all grifters, is good at spotting easy marks.
And that’s it, really. If you’re handed a bunch of money and a real estate empire, and you are willing to say anything and ruthlessly screw over everyone whose path you cross, you too could be Donald Trump. Because that’s what he does. It isn’t particularly shrewd negotiating to agree to a deal, and then when you walk away from the table not live up to your end of the bargain. It’s not particularly top-notch dealmaking to agree to pay people to build things for you and then, when they are done, either pay them half what you agreed or don’t pay them at all. It’s not particularly savvy business dealmaking to get yourself leveraged way over your head, borrow money, and then just default on everything but having enough amoral lawyers to make sure none of it can be clawed back.
That’s what Trump does. He’s not a dealmaker, he’s just a fucking crook and he literally does not give one fuck about anyone and just doesn’t care. He can burn someone and turn the corner and on the next block find someone else foolish enough to do listen to his bullshit and too greedy to do due diligence and end up getting hosed by him. And by the time they realize it, Trump will be fucking someone else. It’s not going to bother his conscience because he doesn’t have one- he doesn’t care if your flooring business is going to go under because you spent the entire year working on his hotel and now he’s just not going to pay you. He doesn’t give a fuck.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2018-12-12 21:44:562018-12-12 22:01:14The Myth of Trump the Dealmaker
On the very short list of chiefs of staff who would be worse than Meadows are: Gohmert, Gaetz, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Jordan, Lou Hobbs, Geraldo and Lassie. And of this group, Lassie is by far the best choice.
From Vanity Fair, “A Top Trump Insider Appears to Conclude That the White House Is Doomed”:
… In his home state of Georgia, it is no secret that Ayers has been considered a potential candidate for governor. Certainly, he has the resources—in the range of $12 million to $55 million, according to public filings—and the self-regard to step out of the shadows. Back in 2011, at the Republican Governors Association, Ayers famously abandoned his boss, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, to join Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign. Ben Smith, who obtained a copy of Ayers’s long-winded e-mail announcing the move, noted that it read like “he’s the one who will be running for president” instead of Pawlenty. (A classic Ayers line: “Over the past six months, I have prayed deeply about my purpose in life and how best to utilize the talents God has given me . . . As He often does in walks of faith, He has called me to a higher purpose.”) Stepping into the chief of staff role also would have forced Ayers to disclose how, exactly, he made his fortune as a political consultant—sometime West Wing insiders say Ayers wanted to avoid. Read more
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2018-12-12 20:36:062018-12-12 21:07:58Repubs in Disarray Open Thread: The Chief-of-Staff Searchlight
The rest of us, we’re just drab white-collar players. The Republican Party, an effectively criminal enterprise just waiting for the right enterprising criminal…
CNN put together a montage of Senate Republicans — including Susan Collins, John Thune, Bill Cassidy, and Orrin Hatch — each shrugging off the president being implicated in felonies by federal prosecutors. pic.twitter.com/rrVWgjGQxV
Because I like my violence limited to what I see on television or read about in books, for cathartic reasons I watched the video of Nancy Pelosi bitch slap Donald Trump all around the place yesterday, with even the oft times execrable Chuck Schumer showing traces of a spine. It was, of course, an awful performance for Trump. He came off as hostile, uninformed, and just generally like the ass that he is. His sycophants loved it, but they’re fucking idiots and a small minority of the country.
At the same time, you could see beginning of the bluster and the braggadocio wearing off. With the Cohen sentencing today, the daily bombshells from SDNY and Mueller, and everything else, I think even Trump is beginning to realize he is nearing the end. I hope I am not being too optimistic, but even this sunshining dullard, with his peaks lifted by viewing the musings of his mutual masturbation society at Fox news and a steady stream whatever amphetamines they are feeding him, is beginning to notice. I think yesterday was the first time anyone has EVER stood up to him (and of course it took a fucking woman to do it), and it finally dawned on him that he’s not in charge of his own fate anymore. He’s going to need something beyond money and bluster and white privilege, and he’s never had to go beyond that triumvirate to succeed before.
We’re not quite ready for Sister Helen Prejean to make an appearance, but I think we are to the point where even Trump is starting is starting to realize he is a dead man walking and no longer in control of his density. As they say, the past is yesterday today and tomorrow belongs to the living.
Everyone’s favorite flair aficionado, plagiarist, former Milwaukee County Sheriff, and useless idiot in Vladimir Putin’s active measures campaign against the United States, has once again decided to share his deep and profound thoughts promoting American sedition.
What's happening in France will look like childs play if the deep state tries to undo the 2016 election by MANUFACTURING a way to remove @realDonaldTrump before 2020. They are underestimating the resolve of Trump's supporters. Like in France, people will only put up with so much. pic.twitter.com/6begUZacJm
Last year, the administration of Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele released some eyebrow-raising statistics on the Sheriff’s Department, noting that:
Milwaukee is the state’s only county with no unincorporated area, meaning there are municipal police patrolling every part of the county. Besides Milwaukee, there are 18 suburban police forces in action.
In 2009, the sheriff reported only 19 crimes to the FBI, compared to 41,375 for the Milwaukee police, 3,288 for West Allis police, 1,908 for Wauwatosa and even 242 for the UW-Milwaukee police. That’s right, the UWM campus police handled 12 times more criminals than the Sheriff’s Department.
Just 10 percent of Sheriff David Clarke’s requested property tax levy was for police services. As Abele put it, “the sheriff plays only a limited role as a traditional law enforcement agency.”
The deputy sheriffs staff the Milwaukee County Jail and County Correctional Facility South (formerly House of Correction), handle the courthouse’s system of bailiffs, and patrol the freeways.
Earlier in the day he was complaining about how long it took his NICS check to go through so he could buy a new AR pattern rifle. Insinuating that this is not how law enforcement should be treated (because, you know, they’re not just citizens too or something).
Had INSTANT background check today to pick up new AR-15. ATF delayed 6 days for a cop. Third check this year. Last 2 took 3 days. Nice.
The documents describe Butina’s efforts to build ties with a “gun rights organization,” which has been identified as the NRA, and “Political Party 1,” which the document makes clear is the Republicans.
The documents confirms previous reporting that Butina helped orchestrate a trip by NRA members to Moscow in December 2015.
During the Moscow trip, she helped set up a meeting between prominent NRA members and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
After that meeting, the agreement said, Butina sent Torshin a message, which was translated as saying, “We should let them express their gratitude now, we will put pressure on them quietly later.”
Clarke may want to spend a little less time spouting off on twitter and a little more time consulting with a high calibre attorney who specializes in national security matters.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Adam L Silvermanhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAdam L Silverman2018-12-12 16:31:392018-12-12 16:38:59David Clarke, Useless Idiot for Putin's Active Measures Campaign and Flair Aficionado Extraordinaire, Once Again Decides to Promote American Sedition
To recap: the personal lawyer for the President of the United States has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for conduct including campaign finance violations involving hush money payments to women on behalf of the President.
AMI – the parent company of the National Enquirer – got immunity from prosecution for its role in a conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws with respect to the MacDougal story. They admit they coordinated with Trump’s campaign to influence the election. https://t.co/HAgLBSU4VN
In the morning thread, Kay had a great idea for a conversational hare to set before the baying hounds of Balloon Juice: own your biggest political regret. It doesn’t have to be someone you voted for, though it certainly could be. It could also be someone you used to regard as a credible pundit who you now realize is a blithering idiot, etc.
As I confessed earlier, I was an idiot Nader voter in Florida in 2000, something I’m still kicking myself for 18 years later and will be ashamed of to my last breath. Also, the first time I read something authored by Camille Paglia, I thought she was interesting instead of immediately pegging her as “a crassly egocentric, raving twit,” as the great Molly Ivins did. In my defense, it wasn’t one of her faux-liberal political screeds; it was about literature. But still — stupid, stupid, stupid.
My husband and I dropped $50 on the Bernie Sanders campaign just as the 2016 primary was getting underway. That was mostly my husband’s doing, but I went along, thinking Sanders would drag Clinton to the left — and that she needed dragging. Still metaphorically punching myself in the face for that one (and receiving Our Revolution spam to boot).
How have you brought eternal shame to your family via a political blunder? Or, if you don’t feel like fessing up or haven’t ever made a dumb political choice, feel free to discuss whatever — open thread!
… Journalists around the world have been targeted and assaulted for their work. Some have paid with their freedom; others have paid with their lives.
Even the president of the United States — a country that has prided itself on having freedom of the press since its founding — has repeatedly attacked the media as “the enemy of the people.” Other world leaders have echoed this aggressive stance against the media, cracking down on reporters who have tried to hold them accountable.
We are living through nothing short of a “war on truth” — but it is in such a time that “professional truth seekers” are more important than ever, Time magazine declared in its latest issue… Read more
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2018-12-12 05:56:192018-12-12 05:56:19Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Persons of the Year
On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!
And, for those who use Healthcare.gov or your local state-based Exchange, please ensure that you’re covered for 2019. The Trump fuckheads reduced the sign-up period, so come the 15th, it’s all over, man!
Please, protect yourself and your family by signing up before the 15th. It won’t take much time, and the sooner it’s done, the better.
Ok – back on message – Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/9270034_bj.jpg12801920Alain the site fixerhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAlain the site fixer2018-12-12 05:00:052018-12-11 22:38:51On the Road and In Your Backyard
Also, am told very little of substance took place after the pool cameras were finally ushered out. “Once the president has been aggravated to that level, there’s no coming back from that and re-focusing.“
We could’ve done without the #Pelosi “tinkle contest” phrase in public politics at the highest level in DC, but she’s just adapting to where we are as a country in the Age of @realDonaldTrump. To apply a Leonard Cohen lyric to these times: “You want it darker? I kill the flame.”
A vast percentage of even America’s poorest voters now have access to hand-held social media devices supporting a vibrant national conversation. We also have an an experienced & dedicated nationwide postal distribution service that can deliver, and retrieve, ballots that could be prepared and printed with a speed unimaginable even a few decades ago.
Just as we no longer need to vote on Tuesdays because of Sunday travel bans and the limits of horse-drawn transportation, we no longer need melanin-challenged Iowa corporate welfare farmers and flinty-faced NH tourist harvesters to personally inspect our Presidential candidates as they would any other potential livestock purchase…
A little over a year from now, millions of Californians will be mailed their ballots on the same day that Iowans head to their famous first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. They could start mailing them back before New Hampshire holds its first-in-the-nation primary in 2020.
Meanwhile, Texans will likely have a chance to vote early, too — even before Nevada and South Carolina, which typically round out the earliest portion of the primary calendar.
The explosion of early voting and reshuffling of the primary calendar in 2020 could transform the Democratic presidential nominating contest, potentially diminishing the power of the traditional, tiny and homogeneous early states in favor of much larger and more diverse battlegrounds. That would be a boon to the best-known candidates with warchests sizable enough to compete in big states early.
And it would empower black and Hispanic voters in large, multiracial states like California, which was a virtual afterthought at the back of the primary calendar in 2016. Criticism has mounted for years about the primacy of New Hampshire and Iowa, which are both around 90 percent white…
Across the aisle, VSP confuses ‘credible’ and ‘credulous’:
We have a winner! Earliest public speculation by a (highly) credible analyst about a brokered convention. Breaks the record set by the late WaPo columnist Dave Broder, set in late December, 1986. Should it happen, the accumulated jackpot of $15,000,000,000 willl be his. https://t.co/eX14JVXnZd
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2018-12-11 22:54:212018-12-11 22:54:212020 Daydreams Open Thread: I Approve This Message
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Adam L Silvermanhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAdam L Silverman2018-12-11 21:57:272018-12-11 21:57:27Florida Man or Woman Plans His or Her Escape!