Thursday Open Thread

“Of all men’s miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing.”

–Herodotus

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  1. Genghis says:

    Further proving that nothing remains of the GOP as it once was, Oregon Republicans have selected a QAnon nut to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

    The Lord tells me He can get me out of this mess, but He's pretty sure you're fooked.

    ~ The Mad Irishman

  2. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    Trump complains about mail-in ballot voter fraud

    The president himself, along with the first lady, Melania Trump, voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary in March.

    Which is ironic because he illegally declared his Florida residency due to Mar-a-Lago not allowed to be a private residence according to the tax laws in Florida.

  3. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    This is a troubling, yet unsurprising read. 

    Coronavirus Bails Out the Oil Patch

    In a separate letter to President Donald Trump, a group of three dozen senators and representatives argued that banks should be punished for “discriminating against America’s energy sector” by denying financing to sinking fossil fuel companies. Conservatives have long demanded that the market should decide such matters. But the oil patch plays by different political rules.

    Funneling taxpayer funds to failing companies in a declining industry that wreaks trillions of dollars in damage on the environment is not an easily justified investment. Yet the Federal Reserve, which sets loan guidelines for some of the rescue package, changed the rules of its “Main Street” lending program to allow companies to use taxpayer loans to pay off existing debt instead of retaining workers.

    The Invisible Hand Fist of Adam Smith is making housecalls. 

    • The realistThe realist says:

      At what point do we decide that corruption in government just can't be solved or even controlled? I think progressives are the last to figure out what the GOP figured out years ago – can't beat 'em so join 'em. Grab some of the loot for yourselves. The idealist side of me still has hope that it can be cleaned up – but it's not much hope. A few more folks need to be thrown in prison and STAY in prison for that to have a deterrent effect.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        At what point do we decide that corruption in government just can’t be solved or even controlled?

        At this point, I starting to entertain the thought that a military coup might not just be our last, best hope? . . .

        . . . Whadaya’ got to lose?

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Hope is getting harder and harder to come by, it’s true. I am following the Pompeo story as it looks to me to be a crack in the T***p/MBS story. El Pompuseo couldn’t resist personal corruption on top of his political malfeasance. The firings of the IG  community are a big deal and it has focused attention right where the SOS didn’t want it. His squirming at the podium when confronted was almost painful to watch. 

         

         

         

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

           

          POLITICO Playbook PM: Congress tightens the screws on Pompeo

           

          MICHAEL R. POMPEO was just three years into his national political career when he was tapped to join the panel to probe the killing of a U.S. ambassador in Benghazi — an investigation that ended up focusing intently on Secretary of State HILLARY CLINTON.

          NOW, POMPEO is in Foggy Bottom, and Congress is beginning to take an intense interest in him.

          TWO KEY HOUSE PANELS — the Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees — have sent a letter requesting documents of POMPEO and the State Department, probing a series of private dinners he hosted at the agency’s headquarters, and the replacement of the inspector general.

          THE LETTER — which the committee chairs sent to POMPEO this morning — asked for any correspondence he has had with the White House on removing the inspector general, all guest lists for his dinners in Foggy Bottom, records of how they were paid for and whether he sought ethics guidance in holding the soirees. THEY ALSO warned POMPEO that he cannot interfere in any State Department IG investigation of himself.

          OF COURSE, there’s a difference between an investigation into a murdered diplomat and one into glitzy dinners and a fired IG. But the tables have turned on POMPEO, and House Democrats are signaling that they believe it’s time for his turn in the ringer.

          https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook-pm/2020/05/21/congress-tightens-the-screws-on-pompeo-489292

  4. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    A great piece from RMI: 

    The Economy We Build Should Not Be the Same Economy We Decarbonize

    As the effects of the COVID-19 crisis ripple across the globe, strategic stimulus and recovery investments can get world economies back on track now and help us build back in a way that ensures greater resilience to the disruptions and crises we will inevitably face in the future. The current pandemic shows many parallels to, and interconnections with, a looming climate crisis. A response that addresses both crises at once will advance a low-carbon economy that is more resilient and helps mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, while improving the economy, the environment, and our health and communities.

     

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    “It’s all your fault that I’m not paying any attention to what you’re telling me.”

     

    For Spy Agencies, Briefing Trump Is a Test of Holding His Attention

     

    But in blaming Ms. Sanner, a C.I.A. analyst with three decades of experience, Mr. Trump ignored a host of warnings he received around that time from higher-ranking officials, epidemiologists, scientists, biodefense officials, other national security aides and the news media about the virus’s growing threat. Mr. Trump’s own health secretary had alerted him five days earlier to the potential seriousness of the virus.

    By the time of the Jan. 23 intelligence briefing, many government officials were already alarmed by the signs of a crisis in China, where the virus first broke out, and of a world on the brink of disaster. Within days, other national security warnings prompted the Trump administration to restrict travel from China. But the United States lost its chance to more effectively mitigate the coronavirus in the following weeks when Mr. Trump balked at further measuresthat might have slowed its spread.

    ———-

    The president veers off on tangents and getting him back on topic is difficult, they said. He has a short attention span and rarely, if ever, reads intelligence reports, relying instead on conservative media and his friends for information. He is unashamed to interrupt intelligence officers and riff based on tips or gossip he hears from the former casino magnate Steve Wynn, the retired golfer Gary Player or Christopher Ruddy, the conservative media executive.

    Mr. Trump rarely absorbs information that he disagrees with or that runs counter to his worldview, the officials said. Briefing him has been so great a challenge compared with his predecessors that the intelligence agencies have hired outside consultants to study how better to present information to him.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/us/politics/presidents-daily-brief-trump.html

    ”Now get out of here, Hannity’s about to start and I want to see all the nice things he’s gonna’ be saying about me. . . .

    . . . Has anyone seen my good mirror?”

  6. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Heard on my way home that the long process of EPA regulations to improve the 30-year-old standards for lead in tap water are emerging … and I'm sure you'll be stunned to find out the approach developed in the Obama Administration was deemed too stringent,  and now the EPA is

    Proposing a new rule that will leave millions of American children exposed to dangerous levels of lead in drinking water.

    A summary of all of the EPA regulations being rolled back is available at Common Dreams: EPA Chief Says Trump's Evisceration of Regulations "Make Things Better"—But Forgets to Add "For Polluters"

  7. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    I think we can see the 3am-sitting-on-the-shitter-Twitterstorm comin’ round the bend:

    Romney counters Trump: 90 percent of ‘very Republican’ Utah votes by mail

     

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