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May 25, 2018 06:51 AM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

–H. G. Wells


41 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

    1. How Trump Got Outplayed on North Korea

      If the past six weeks of diplomatic speed-dating over North Korea have made one thing clear, it’s that all the other people at this dance have a clear strategy and are playing their limited hands to full effect. The Trump administration, meanwhile, has attitude, swagger, and now a breakup letter for the ages. What it doesn’t yet have is a viable strategy. Hopefully, Mr. Trump will seize this chance to find one.

      1. Check out the New York Times Editorial Board's assessment of Trump's administration to date. The country's newspaper of record is leaving our future historians a motherlode of information on how the GOP has become thoroughly corrupt, and is actively seeking to destroy our democracy in the name of greed and power through expediency and cowardice.


      1. Awww…how sweet. You always show up to try to distract us with irrelevancies, whenever Trump is at his weakest. When even the most willfully ignorant deplorables have to be seeing through the lies and asking, “WTF?!!” you are there to point to “Crooked Hillary”.

        How dependable of you.

        1. Wait….next Gerbils will launch into a chant of "Lock her up!" A phrase made famous by Michael Flynn who awaits being locked up himself.

          What a special week this has been. First, Fluffy returns after his Taller Coffman Sulk and now this one. Can Powerful Pear be far behind?

          1. Unfortunately, probably not.  Carnholio is a paid shill for Putin and Moldyanus is just stupid.   The Pear was very conservative but no shill and actually contributed some useful dialogue.  I wish he would come back.

          2. The Russians are signing contracts for the upcoming election season. I'm hoping for some new talent…PissAnt and Fluffy are the Batman and Robin of incompetence and lameness. It would be cool if the Russians would hire a couple of trolls who could actually write.

          1. Did you find out about the Tiki-torch rally in Charlottesville from Brietbart Cornholio?  When you were in jail, who made you their bitch?

      2. Hey Gerbils — Is that all you got?  The New York Times Editorial Board must have really gotten your panties all in a twist this morning:

        Mr. Trump has now been compared to Joseph Stalin by one senior senator from his party, and, yes, he has been pre-emptively disinvited to the prospective funeral of another. But most Republican leaders, usually such vigilant guardians of Oval Office decorum, have remained strangely silent.

        So, for the fourth time in a year, we’ve compiled a list of Mr. Trump’s more egregious transgressions. These items don’t represent disputes about policy, over which reasonable people may disagree. They simply serve to catalog what Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and all the other Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress and across America, through their silence, have now blessed as behavior befitting a president of the United States.

        We find this guide a helpful way to avoid growing numb to what is so abnormal about this presidency, and to remind ourselves that a day may yet come when dignity and decency will matter again, even, perhaps, to Mr. McConnell and his fellow hypocrites.

        U­se your unsecured personal cellphone to call, among others, media personalities who parrot your talking points — and when you’re told this is a security risk, refuse to stop, saying that would be “too inconvenient”

        Fire your veterans affairs secretary by tweet, then pick as his replacement the White House doctor, who turns out to have a disqualifying history of alcohol abuse and handing out strong drugs

        Hold a meeting with top Justice Department officials about a continuing criminal investigation into your campaign, seeking to force them to act in your personal legal interest

        Call politicians of the opposing party “treasonous” and “un-American” for declining to stand and clap during your State of the Union speech

        Be described by your future E.P.A. chief as likely to be “more abusive to the Constitution than Barack Obama”

        Be described by your current chief of staff as “uninformed” on immigration policy

        Suggest that a law enforcement officer who failed to stop the massacre was a “coward,” that sheriff’s deputies who responded to the attack were “disgusting” and a “disgrace” — and later claim, despite dodging the draft because of bone spurs in your heels, that you would have rushed in, even without a weapon

        Say, with regard to mentally ill people who own firearms, “Take the guns first, go through due process second”

        Call your attorney general “DISGRACEFUL” on Twitter and “Mr. Magoo” in private, for following department procedure

        Choose a pastor to lead a prayer at the opening of a new American Embassy in Jerusalem who previously said Jews are going to hell

        Permit the public release of a sensitive memo prepared by your protectors on the House Intelligence Committee, who won’t even show the memo to the F.B.I. or Senate

        When asked why you relentlessly attack the press, say, “I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you”

        Question the authenticity of a recording of you bragging about sexual assault, even though you previously admitted it was real

        Shut down a bogus voter-fraud commission because “Democrat states” refuse to turn over necessary information, even though states with both Democratic and Republican leadership did, and for good reason

        Tell attendees at a rally to be “happy you voted for me,” and that they are “so lucky that I gave you that privilege

        Choose federal judgeships nominees who cannot identify or explain basic legal concepts, and who were rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association

        Falsely claim that you have signed more legislation than any first-year president, when in fact you have signed less than any post-World War II president

        Spend the weekend golfing at your private club while the mayor of an American city wades through sewage-filled water to help citizens after a catastrophic hurricane, then accuse that mayor of “poor leadership” when she criticizes your administration’s slow response to the storm

        Deliver a speech to the Boy Scouts of America that includes mockery of a former president and winking references to sexual orgies, and then lie by claiming that the head of that organization called and told you it was the best speech ever delivered in Boy Scout history

        Promote family businesses on federal government websites

        Collude with members of Congress to try to shut down investigations of you and your associates

        Display complete ignorance about international relations, your own administration’s policiesAmerican history and the basic structure of our system of government

        Share highly classified information with a hostile foreign power without the source’s permission

        Compare the U.S. intelligence community to Nazis

        Make more than 3,000 false or misleading claims in less than 16 months in office

        And I'm sure the one you are most proud of since it's your whole job description:

        Make more than 3,000 false or misleading claims in less than 16 months in office

        I was only able to give you the highlights.  The full list is really eye-opening.

        But as a card-carrying member of the Depraved Political Whore Party, you probably won't.

  1. This is what #Resistance looks like.

    Concerned by Trump, Some Republicans Quietly Align With Democrats

    In the past year, however, influential liberal donors and operatives have gone from cheering these so-called Never Trump Republicans to quietly working with — and even funding — them. Through invitation-only emails and private, off-the-record meetings, they have formed a loose network of cross-partisan alliances aimed at helping neutralize President Trump, and preventing others from capitalizing on weaknesses in the political system that they say he has exploited.

    While this network has mostly eschewed electoral politics, some involved see the potential for it to help form an ideological — and possibly financial — platform to back candidates, including a centrist challenge to Mr. Trump in 2020, possibly from within the G.O.P. or even a third party.

    The network — composed of overlapping groups led by Democrats such as the donor Rachel Pritzker and several veteran Obama administration operatives, as well as leading Never Trump Republicans like Evan McMullin, Mindy Finn and William Kristol — aims to chart a middle path between a Republican base falling in line behind Mr. Trump and a liberal resistance trying to pull the Democratic Party left.

    1. Even better … there are Republican donors who are abandoning the extremes, looking for some sense. From the Daily Caller:

      [John] Rowe has some sway with Republicans, donating in excess of $500,000 to mostly GOP campaigns since 2015.

      “There’s a whole bunch of Republicans like me who simply aren’t going to keep giving money if you don’t get an immigration bill done,” Rowe claimed to have told House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

      And best of all — there are some Republicans who are now going public with their support of Democrats. Mercury News explains:

      Meg Whitman, the former eBay and Hewlett Packard CEO who was the Republican nominee for California governor eight years ago, has crossed the aisle to endorse Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa for the same office.

      Whitman will co-host a fundraiser for Villaraigosa in Silicon Valley Thursday night. She is the highest-profile Republican to back the former Los Angeles mayor.

      1. John,

        Everything is swell.

        Dems control no branch of the Federal Government and about 40% of the Governorships.

        Dem coffers are empty and you can't raise any money.

        Everything is working just fine.

        Keep it up.


        1. Did you shave extra close this morning, Carnholio?  You know trump doesn't like to be tickled when you kiss his butt.

          I hope the rubles are worth it, because the stink must be unbearable.

          Kissee, kissee, Trump butt, Carnholio.

        2. That's what I was talking about, PissAnt. Is that supposed to make me clutch my pearls?

          You will never win. You backed the wrong horse and you know it. Come back in late November and we will see where we stand.

          You may think you have already won, but you haven't even come close. The T***pian party is a fascist party, intent upon eliminating democracy in America…but you will fail. In the meantime, the best you can do is to try to divide and discourage us.

          And you know its not gonna work, don't you Andrei?…we are on to your plan and the end is near. Better think of a new approach, before the Yamster brings down your own dictator, Vlad the Smirker. Never fails…you bad guys always overplay your hand. But I guess that is just what eventually happens to all greedy bastards. 

        3. Andrew —

          Republicans control only the Executive Branch. Paul Ryan is the Speaker of the House, but cannot get anything done — not even pass a gimme Farm Bill. Mitch McConnell is the Majority Leader (by 1 seat) and he can't get anything done except confirm marginally qualified federal judges and incompetent nominations to the Executive Branch.

          State legislative votes: In 2018, as of May, nine seats flipped as a result of state legislative special elections. Eight seats flipped from Republican control to Democratic control. One seat flipped from Democratic control to Republican control.

          re: your idea of money.

          1. I posted that story with all the disdain and venom my tiny leftist heart could muster for the third-wayers selling out the Democratic party to the middle.  But, I did it sarcastically, as is my wont.  "Resistance"  nah nah.  JID responded as though I had posted it sincerely as an example of left-right cooperation, which I think is betrayal, but many centrists think is great.

            We often talk about trolls as folks who post nonsense or disinformation like Moddy and Andrew, but there's a broad range covered by the concept.  One old school way of trolling people is to engage with their conversation sincerely but in a way that the person trolling knows will enrage them.  Classic case: take snide post (mine) and respond with more of the same saying "this is also great."  It's a grand old tradition on the Internet.  It takes some skill, too.  I expect JID was just sincerely agreeing, but if he weren't that would be some next-level trolling.  Thus, my appreciation.

            For a sarcasm-free view of my beliefs, the tweet which led me to the story

            1. Interesting. Tactically, I think it might be smart to ally with some Republicans for short term objectives. These might include:

              Not provoking a war with North Korea.

              Not firing Rosenstein or Mueller, letting the investigation go where it will.

              Not deporting 400,000 Americans who were brought here as children.

              Not modeling ourselves after a fake Putin-style "democracy".

              Letting the Sadministration wallow in its own incompetence and corruption, making great unfulfilled promises.

              Long term strategy? There are a few ways to think about that.

              Outside of the scope of this comment, though. Write a diary about what you think is the best political strategy to save the planet and our democracy.  Or what you think is worth saving.

              Somebody said something like, "Democracy sucks, except compared to every other system of government there is." I know some Polster will have the exact quote.



              1. Hell, even the Coke Brothers are leaning on their stooges to pass DACA legislation.

                Here's hoping they use the threat of a cutoff of $$$ to their flunkies to get them to sign the discharge petition, vote to pass it through the House, and get to 60 in Senate.

                Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows.

              2. I look at the names and ideas I quoted and can only think that this is another mechanism by which corporatist liberals and neoconservatives can get together to push the status quo before Trump and mute or eliminate the influence of the left on the Democratic Party.  But, hey, we'll see.

                1. Churchill rushed to aid the Soviet Union after Hitler attacked.   Challenged by a rival who noted Churchill's long record of anti-communism, Winnie said, "If Hitler invaded Hell, I'd at least make a favorable refetence to the devil in the House of Commons."

                   Likewise, any man, woman, bear or platypus that stands against Trump is my friend for the duration of this struggle.

    2. I saw that yesterday. Some people on both sides have fretted for years about how divisive American politics have become. Along comes the most divisive figure in living memory and slowly, quietly, Dems and Repubs are starting to make common cause for his ouster or defeat. He has united the country–against him. Maybe he'll accomplish something good despite his best efforts. Whodathunk it?

  2. This probably didn't even rise to the front page of any newspaper or TV newscast:

    Today’s School Shooting Reminds Us It Won’t Be Long Before We See Another … and Another

    More than 400 people have been shot, and roughly 150 killed, in more than 240 school shootings nationwide since January 1, 2014, a date most notable here because it came more than a year after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.

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