The Wires

Mrs. McCrabbie: This actually seems crazy to me:

New York Times: "A shiny stainless steel sculpture created by Jeff Koons in 1986, inspired by a child’s inflatable toy, sold at Christie’s on Wednesday night for $91.1 million with fees, breaking the record at auction for a work by a living artist, set just last November by David Hockney. Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, made the winning bid for Mr. Koons’s 1986 'Rabbit' from an aisle seat near the front of the salesroom."

Might as well just get this -- it's vintage! it's "authentic"! -- and give it pride-of-place in the front hall. Sure, visitors will think you're tasteless & nuts, but in such a vintage, authentic way.

UPDATE: (May 19): New York Times: Mnuchin would not reveal the identity of his client; i.e., the purchaser of Stainless Bunny is. During an NYT interview, "He was near tears when asked about his son Steve and refused to comment about their relationship. But friends said that he is in an impossible predicament, conflicted over his sense of duty about being a loyal father and his concern as a citizen that President Trump is bad for America."

David McCullough Is a Crap Historian. Rebecca Onion of Slate reviews his book on the history -- okay, make that "hagiographic platitudes" -- about the settlement of the Northwest Territory. "Its success (it is No. 10 on Amazon’s best-seller list for books, as of Friday) shows how big the gap between critical history and the “popular history” that makes it to best-seller lists, Costco, and Target remains.” Mrs. McC: Onion doesn't mention it, but I get the impression all the "settling" was done by men; apparently the women's tasks were of no account. Somehow I don't think most of the "ladies" sat around drinking tea & doing needlepoint in their pretty parlors.

Guardian: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have introduced their newborn son to the world and revealed he is to be called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The name was announced shortly after the Queen met her eighth great-grandchild for the first time at Windsor Castle, where earlier the couple showed him off to the cameras."

Guardian: “The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a baby son, weighing 7lbs 3oz. Mother and child were both doing well, Buckingham Palace announced. The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth, which happened at 5.26am on Monday. The child is seventh in line to the throne, and an eighth great-grandchild for the 93-year-old Queen.”

Washington Post: "Cheap Chinese caviar is flooding the U.S. market, causing prices to plummet, and with it, the product’s cachet. Wholesale prices have fallen more than 50 percent since 2012, down 13 percent just in the past year. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the import price has gone from $850,000 per ton in January 2012 to $350,000 per ton in November 2018." Mrs. McC: This makes me very happy. I love caviar (I've only had the cheaper kind), but I seldom buy it because of the expense. I have some in the pantry now, but I'm going to check the price at the grocery store now in hopes it's something I can enjoy more often. Status symbol? I couldn't care less.

New York Times: "Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on Monday [April 15] to news organizations that uncovered instances of malfeasance and outright fraud in President Trump’s financial past, a nod to journalists’ perseverance in the face of the president’s ever-sharper attacks on a free press. The New York Times received the explanatory reporting prize for an 18-month investigation that revealed how the future president and his relatives avoided paying roughly half a billion dollars’ worth of taxes. The Wall Street Journal won the national reporting prize for disclosing clandestine payoffs by the president’s associates to two women who were said to have had affairs with Mr. Trump in the weeks before the 2016 election. The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the prize for public service, considered the most prestigious of the Pulitzers, for documenting the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The paper’s in-depth articles revealed a series of failures by local officials and law enforcement that, the paper wrote, cost children their lives."

Medlar's Sports Report. New York Times: "Tiger Woods’s comeback from personal and professional adversity is complete: He captured his fifth Masters title and his 15th major tournament on Sunday, snapping a championship drought of nearly 11 years. It was a monumental triumph for Woods, a magical, come-from-behind win for a player who had not won a major championship since his personal life began to unravel on Thanksgiving night in 2009, when a marital dispute led to a car accident and a succession of lurid tabloid headlines. On the golf course, he had a series of back and leg injuries that led to an addiction to painkillers and culminated in pain so searing that, before surgery in 2017, he had questioned whether he could play professionally again." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Oh yeah? Trump can beat Tiger any day.

Tom Jones of Poynter picks the top 25 movies ever about journalism.

New York Times: "For 340 days, Scott Kelly circled the Earth aboard the International Space Station, gathering data about himself." His twin brother Mark Kelly, planted on Earth, did the same. "On Thursday..., NASA researchers reported that [Scott Kelly's] body experienced a vast number of changes while in orbit. DNA mutated in some of his cells. His immune system produced a host of new signals. His microbiome gained new species of bacteria. Many of these biological changes seemed harmless, disappearing after he returned to Earth. But others — including genetic mutations and, after his return, declines in cognitive test scores — did not correct themselves, provoking concern among scientists."

Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times: now does his first drafts of columns as well as other traditional writing tasks by speaking into his phone. "I open RecUp, a cloud-connected voice-recording app on my phone.... Every few days, I load the recordings into Descript, an app that bills itself as a “word processor for audio.” Some of my voice memos are more than an hour long, but Descript quickly (and cheaply) transcribes the text, truncates the silences and renders my speech editable and searchable.... New advances — like smarter and more ubiquitous voice assistants; better text-to-speech synthesis; easy-to-use audio and video production apps like Descript and Anchor; and gadgets that burrow the internet into your ears, like Apple’s AirPods and Amazon’s reported forthcoming AirPod clones — point to a profound shift in computing. Soon it might be possible to conduct a large slice of digital life, including work, without being glued to a screen."

New York Times: "In a cave in the Philippines, scientists have discovered a new branch of the human family tree. At least 50,000 years ago, an extinct human species lived on what is now the island of Luzon, researchers reported on Wednesday. It’s possible that Homo luzonensis, as they’re calling the species, stood less than three feet tall. The discovery adds growing complexity to the story of human evolution. It was not a simple march forward, as it once seemed. Instead, our lineage assumed an exuberant burst of strange forms along the way.Our species, Homo sapiens, now inhabits a comparatively lonely world. 'The more fossils that people pull out of the ground, the more we realize that the variation that was present in the past far exceeds what we see in us today,' said Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist at Lakehead University in Canada, who was not involved in the new discovery."


The Commentariat -- October 10, 2018

Afternoon Update:

... Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post: "President Trump wrote an opinion article for USA Today on Oct. 10 regarding proposals to expand Medicare to all Americans -- known as Medicare-for-All -- in which almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood."

Devlin Barrett & Karoun Demirjian of the Washington Post: "FBI Director Christopher A. Wray defended his agents' handling of a background investigation into then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, saying that it was 'limited in scope' and followed standard procedures. Wray was pressed at a Senate hearing by Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) about how much direction FBI agents received from the White House when they conducted a supplemental background investigation into claims by a California professor that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her when the two were teenagers.... Harris then asked if the FBI examined whether Kavanaugh may have misled Congress in his public testimony. 'That's not something I could discuss here,' Wray said.... He could not answer whether White House counsel Donald McGahn played a role in discussions between the White House and the FBI about the investigation, saying only that he was told the FBI's Security Division coordinated the effort with the White House Office of Security."

Lee Moran of the Huffington Post: "Don't expect to find any flattering biographical information about newly-minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on his namesake website domain. Instead, visitors to are invited to click on links to resources for survivors of sexual assault. Kavanaugh ... failed to secure his name's URL and it was scooped up by Fix The Court, a judicial reform organization. The site also links to the websites of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the End Rape on Campus organization and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)."

Zoe Tillman of BuzzFeed News: "A California man who pleaded guilty to selling fraudulent bank account numbers -- information that special counsel Robert Mueller's office says was used to finance Russian election interference efforts -- was sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison followed by six months of home detention. Richard Pinedo, 28, wasn't accused of knowingly helping Russian companies and individuals accused of orchestrating campaigns to influence the 2016 presidential election. But his fraud scheme nevertheless landed him in the middle of the special counsel's investigation."

Natasha Bertrand of the Atlantic: "In a motion to dismiss a new lawsuit accusing ... Donald Trump's campaign team of illegally conspiring with Russian agents to disseminate stolen emails during the election, Trump campaign lawyers have tried out a new defense: free speech. The lawsuit, filed last month by two donors and one former employee of the Democratic National Committee, alleges that the Trump campaign, along with former Trump adviser Roger Stone, worked with Russia and WikiLeaks to publish hacked DNC emails, thereby violating their privacy. But the Trump campaign -- represented by [attorneys] of the law firm Jones Day -- responded in a brief filed Tuesday that the campaign can't be held legally responsible for WikiLeaks's publication of the DNC emails. Furthermore, the Trump lawyers argued, the First Amendment protects the campaign's 'right to disclose information -- even stolen information -- so long as (1) the speaker did not participate in the theft and (2) the information deals with matters of public concern.' The motion's language seems to further an argument made by Trump and his allies...: namely, that collusion, even if it involved the coordinated release and exploitation of a candidate's emails during the presidential election, is not a crime."

Jesse McKinley & William Rashbaum of the New York Times: "The operator of a limousine company at the center of an investigation of the crash in upstate New York that killed 20 people was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminally negligent homicide, according to the State Police. Nauman Hussain, the son of a Shahed Hussain, the owner of Prestige Limousine, was taken into custody by the State Police during a traffic stop on a highway in the Albany area."

What $25MM in Campaign Donations Will Get You. Justin Elliott of ProPublica: The morning after he dined at the White House with Trump, Kushner & Rex Tillerson, Sheldon Adelson "attended a breakfast in Washington with [Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe and a small group of American CEOs, including two others from the casino industry." Japan has recently legalized casinos, & Adelson wanted a big piece of the action. "Adelson and the other executives raised the casino issue with Abe, according to an attendee.... During a meeting at Mar-a-Lago that weekend, Trump raised Adelson's casino bid to Abe, according to two people briefed on the meeting.... Trump told Abe he should strongly consider Las Vegas Sands for a license.... The president raising a top donor's personal business interests directly with a foreign head of state would violate longstanding norms.... [Adelson's] reputation as an Israel advocate has obscured a through-line in his career: He has used his political access to push his financial self-interest.... Not only has Trump touted Sands' interests in Japan, but his administration also installed an executive from the casino industry in a top position in the U.S. embassy in Tokyo. Adelson's influence reverberates through this administration.... Adelson has spent the Trump era hustling to expand his gambling empire. With Trump occupying the White House, Adelson has found the greatest political ally he's ever had."

Mrs. McCrabbie: I would be a pretty horrible person if I picked on 8-year-olds. But, but what if the 8-year-old grew up to be a guy who saw fit to imprison 8-year-olds and separate them from their parents? So... Nikki Fiske, third-grade teacher, as told to Benjamin Svetkey of the Hollywood Reporter: "Do you remember that character in Peanuts, the one called Pig Pen, with the dust cloud and crumbs flying all around him? That was Stephen Miller at 8. I was always trying to get him to clean up his desk -- he always had stuff mashed up in there. He was a strange dude. I remember he would take a bottle of glue -- we didn't have glue sticks in those days -- and he would pour the glue on his arm, let it dry, peel it off and then eat it.... He had such strange personal habits. He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time."


Stephanie Ebbs of ABC News: "The day after an international panel of scientists issued a stark warning about the short window in which world leaders can act to avoid catastrophic climate change, the president of the United States didn't comment on whether the U.S. accepts or will act on the findings. A panel of more than 90 scientists under the United Nations published a report warning that the world has about 12 years to drastically reduce carbon emissions before the impact of climate change could become irreversible. When asked about the report on the White House lawn..., Donald Trump said he will be looking at it. 'It was given to me. And I want to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it. I can give you reports that are fabulous, and I can give you reports that aren't so good. But I will be looking at it, absolutely,' he told reporters." ...

     ... Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: Of course "looking at it" does not mean "reading it," because Donald Trump never reads anything, and the report has a lot of words in it. Also graphs & charts, which are technically pictures, but they're complicated. Also, too, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which prepared the report, not only has the words "climate" and "change" in its name, it shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. So, you know, not a chance the Trump administration will endorse it. Ebbs' report, BTW, suggests Trump left the report "on the White House lawn," so that's nice it can biodegrade. ...

... Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Kyla Mandel of ThinkProgress: "The majority of the top 50 newspapers across the country did not feature any homepage coverage of a landmark United Nations climate change report after its release. Analysis by nonprofit Media Matters for America looked at the highest-ranked newspapers (according to their Sunday circulation) in the U.S. to see whether the websites' main page linked to coverage [of the report].... But on Monday morning, just 22 out of the 50 papers had a prominent story about the report on their homepage.... Of the 28 newspapers that did not feature coverage of the report, many are published in areas at high risk of suffering some of the worst effects of climate change, Media Matters points out." --s

Jill Colvin & Zeke Miller of the AP: "Chants of 'Lock her up!' rang once again throughout an Iowa arena as ... Donald Trump rallied supporters Tuesday night. But this time, the staple of Trump's 2016 campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton had a new target: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Trump, who was in the state boosting Republican candidates ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, claimed that Feinstein, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had leaked a letter written by California professor Christine Blasey Ford alleging Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Feinstein has denied her office was the source of the leak. 'Can you believe that?' Trump said, as his supporters turned the chant once deployed against the former secretary of state on another Democratic woman. 'Did she leak that? 100 percent,' Trump said, adding: 'I don't want to get sued, so 99 percent.' In a statement, Feinstein called Trump's remarks 'ridiculous and an embarrassment.'" ...

... Matthew Choi of Politico: "... Donald Trump on Tuesday further outlined his conspiracy theory that protesters were hired to oppose Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.... 'The paid D.C. protesters are now ready to REALLY protest because they haven't gotten their checks - in other words, they weren't paid! Screamers in Congress, and outside, were far too obvious - less professional than anticipated by those paying (or not paying) the bills!' Trump tweeted.... Trump has yet to put forth any evidence to back up his claim of widespread paid protesters." (Also linked yesterday.) ...

     ... The POTUS* Really Is Very Stupid. Avi Selk of the Washington Post, upon doing some sleuthing, has figured out where Trump got this bit of nonsense. "The base layer is the false premise that hundreds of protesters who swarmed the Capitol during Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearings were 'paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad,' as Trump put it in another pronouncement last week, in contradiction to all known facts." Trump sent the tweet about a half-hour after "Fox & Friends" held a discussion about the protests. As part of the discussion, in what was clearly a joke, guest Asra Nomani said: "People have sent me lots of messages that they're waiting for their check." Dense Donald took that seriously.

Greg Sargent: "When Trump purports to apologize to Kavanaugh on behalf of the 'nation' while sneeringly dismissing those claims, eve as a majority opposes Kavanaugh and believes those charges, Trump is -- unwittingly or not -- highlighting the degree to which this episode represents the further entrenchment of minority rule. With Kavanaugh now on the court, this could very well get worse. The New York Times reports that Trump's unusual public apology to Kavanaugh is actually part of a broader strategy of using the battle over his confirmation to enrage and galvanize conservative voters in the midterm elections. Trump injected partisan politics into the swearing in of a Justice who is supposed to remain neutral, for the explicit purpose of polarizing the country in ways he thinks will benefit his party. But when Trump uses the term 'nation,' it should be understood in the way that exclusionary populist demagogues (of which Trump is one) generally employ such formulations: Trump is, in effect, defining the nation to exclude the Americans who are deeply troubled by Kavanaugh, the charges against him, and the larger debate it encompasses." (Also linked yesterday.) See also Eric Levitz's post, linked below.

Matt Zapotosky
, et al., of the Washington Post: "Soon after Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein suggested using a wiretap to record President Trump's communications, then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe went to the bureau's top lawyer seeking advice on what he had just heard. Rosenstein, McCabe told the lawyer, wanted to furtively tape the president to help explore whether Trump had obstructed justice. How, McCabe asked, should the FBI respond to the outlandish proposition? The lawyer, James Baker, dismissed the idea, according to people familiar with the episode.... But importantly, Baker told congressional investigators last week that the deputy attorney general's suggestion was presented to him by senior FBI officials as being serious -- raising questions about Rosenstein's assertions to the contrary.... This week, Rosenstein is scheduled to talk to congressional investigators about the 2017 episode that nearly cost him his job after it was revealed in news accounts last month. The high-stakes interview with some of the president's closest Republican allies could again put the deputy attorney general in the hot seat...."

Jonathan Chait: "[T]he scope of possibilities for what Robert Mueller might uncover continues to broaden. Saturday, The Wall Street Journal updated one of the most curious side plots in the investigation: the role of Peter W. Smith, a Republican activist who in 2016 sought Hillary Clinton's emails from the State Department on behalf (according to Smith) of Trump's then-adviser Michael Flynn.... Smith died in 2017, very shortly after being contacted by a reporter, bearing a suicide note.... But it is looking increasingly plausible that somebody in fact killed him. Monday, The New Yorker published an investigation by Dexter Filkins [linked below] into the connection between the Russian Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization.... The final and perhaps most intriguing development is last week's explosive New York Times account of Donald Trump's fraudulent tax schemes.... It shows that Trump is willing not merely to skirt the law but to blatantly violate it. It reveals that he has been able to harbor enormous secrets even in the face of constant media coverage. And, most directly, it raises unanswered questions about his mysterious financial methods." --s ...

... Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker has a long piece on what we know (and don't) about the shady Trump. Org.-based server communicating only with the Russian Alfa Bank and "Spectrum Health ... closely linked to the DeVos family". A highlight: "For some, the most baffling part of the puzzle was the way that the lookups [of the servers] stopped. The Trump domain vanished from the Web on the morning of Friday, September 23rd, two days after the Times presented its data to B.G.R., Alfa Bank's lobbyists in Washington, but before it called Trump or Cendyn. In [an anonymous data specialist] view, this was evidence of direct contact between Alfa Bank and Trump. One researcher ... put it vividly: 'The knee was hit in Moscow, the leg kicked in New York.'... Alfa Bank's servers continued trying to look it up.... Spectrum Health's machine kept trying, too.... Spectrum never succeeded in relocating the Trump server -- but Alfa did. On the night of Tuesday, September 27th... it looked up the domain name -- which was, it turned out, another route to the same Trump server." --s ...

... Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: Rachel Maddow did a segment on the Alfa Bank-Trump server connection that (a) put it in context & (b) should make you even madder at Jim Comey than you already were, even tho Maddow doesn't mention Comey's name. The New York Times, despite its infamous headline "clearing" Trump, knew in October 2016 that the FBI had an open investigation of that connection. However, the FBI asked the Times not to report out what it knew about the investigation because the FBI said it would compromise that investigation. This was at the very same time the FBI director wrote a letter to Congressional Republicans, 100% guaranteed to be leaked immediately, that the FBI was reopening -- for no good reason, BTW -- its investigation of Hillary's server. So one server investigation was a deep, dark secret, & the other one had to be announced to Congress immediately. And thanks, Obama, for appointing a Republican FBI director. ...

Maggie Haberman
of the New York Times: "President Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, said on Tuesday she would resign at the end of the year, marking a high-profile departure of one of the few women in the president's cabinet.... The timing irked some West Wing aides, who saw the announcement as taking attention away from the swearing-in of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and his first day at the Supreme Court." (Also linked yesterday.) The story has been updated with Mark Landler & Edward Wong added to the byline. ...

... Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "President Trump and [Ambassador] Haley held a quickly arranged media availability Tuesday morning in the White House, shortly after Axios's Jonathan Swan broke the news of her impending exit. Haley said her resignation was simply about needing a break after six years as South Carolina governor and two at the United Nations, and Trump said Haley even previewed a desire to leave as long as six months ago. The two were obviously eager to downplay the idea that this was hasty. But if it wasn't, that might make the timing even odder.... Haley's exit is due at the end of the year, which means she'll be around for as many as 12 more weeks. But she and the White House chose to announce this four weeks before the 2018 election?... Update: Haley's resignation letter is dated Oct. 3..., which ... was also a day after Trump mocked Christine Blasey Ford at a rally, though there's no indication this had anything to do with Haley's departure." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Maybe Haley quit because the remote didn't work on the $52K curtains just installed in her NYC residence.

Tierney Sneed of TPM: "An appeals court on Tuesday filed an order allowing the deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross [about his decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census] to proceed, but put the order on hold for 48 hours so that it could be appealed to the Supreme Court." --safari: Quick Kavanaugh, help out your team and stick it to Hillary!!! ...

     ... Update. Andrew Chung of Reuters: "The U.S. Supreme Court late on Tuesday temporarily blocked an order forcing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to be questioned this week by lawyers for states suing over his decision to ask respondents to the 2020 census whether they are citizens. In a brief order issued on Tuesday night, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put the looming depositions of Ross and a top Justice Department official, John Gore, on hold while the high court further considers the government's request to shield the officials from questioning." Newly-seated Justice Bart O'Kavanaugh appended a concurring opinion, which he titled "Let's Toast Notorious RBG," commending Ginsburg for "recognizing that unfettered presidential power extends to Cabinet officials, administration staff and all Fox News personnel except Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto."

Alexander Kaufman of the Huffington Post: "Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, repeatedly engaged with inflammatory content on his personal Facebook and Twitter accounts over the past five years, including some in the past month. The previously-unreported interactions include liking a racist image of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Facebook and retweeting an infamous 'Pizzagate' conspiracy theorist.... The most incendiary interactions occurred before Wheeler, whose past social media activity has drummed up controversy before, became acting administrator.... In an email to HuffPost on Tuesday, Wheeler said he didn't recall liking the image of the Obamas and clicked on tweets from conspiracy theorists without reviewing the source.... American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic political action committee, first uncovered the social media posts...."

** Peter Sullivan of the Hill: "The Trump administration is planning hours-long downtimes for maintenance on during the coming ObamaCare sign-up period. The administration drew criticism for a similar move last year from advocates who said the downtime would hinder efforts to sign people up for coverage.... The maintenance schedule is the same as last year, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday, meaning is scheduled to be offline for maintenance from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. each Sunday during the sign-up period, except for the final Sunday, for a total of 60 hours of downtime."

Strangers in a Strange Land. If the Trump Administration Can Muck up a Process, It Will. Julia Ainsley of NBC News: "Hundreds of migrant families seeking asylum in the U.S. were released from detention in Arizona this week without warning and without instructions on where to go, how to find relatives or travel to their court hearings. A senior Department of Homeland Security official told NBC News the release is 'the start of a dam breaking' as family detention facilities, which now hold thousands of migrants, reach capacity. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are releasing the families from detention en masse without following their usual protocol that ensures immigrants have a means to travel to their court hearing and reunite with potential relatives in the U.S. The adults have ankle monitors to track their whereabouts until their scheduled court date to make their case before a judge for asylum."

Eric Levitz of New York: "The Republican Party is the only thing standing between you and 'the left's angry mob' of ideological zealots (who are all, also, the hired hands of a foreign Jewish billionaire, and thus, aren't genuinely angry, or ideological, or zealous).... On one level, this is just bog-standard, bad-faith Republican messaging.... Republicans know that their best bet is to stoke the paranoid fears and cultural resentments of their base, through demagogic lies if necessary.... But if the GOP's arguments are hypocritical and ever-shifting, their actions are nonetheless consistent with an overriding principle: When conservatives exercise political power it is by definition legitimate [see: Tea Party turds, Bundy fuckups, etc.], when their opponents do, it is not." --s

Josh Israel of ThinkProgress: "As the nation watched the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to consider whether to rush through the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the House Republican majority was quietly passing the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 -- a bill to make the Trump tax cuts for the rich permanent. According to the GOP-controlled Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would add another $545 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next decade.... A ThinkProgress review found that many of the vulnerable Republicans who voted for this latest unfunded legislation are also among those campaigning on their commitment to a balanced budget and/or a constitutional amendment to require one." --s

Elise Viebeck & Gabriel Pogrund of the Washington Post: "Long before Congress was consumed by the wrenching fight over sexual assault allegations against Brett M. Kavanaugh, lawmakers had promised to make the process fairer for those who accuse lawmakers or staffers of sexual misconduct. But nearly a year after the #MeToo era began, lawmakers have failed to deliver on that pledge -- and it is not clear when they will. Aides on Capitol Hill still have no choice but to report abusive behavior through a system that was widely decried last year as favoring lawmakers over employees who allege mistreatment. After lawmakers could not agree on a package of changes, they punted the issue until after the midterm elections -- which are now shaping up as a battle between the #MeTo movement and Republicans who say many accusations have gone too far.... The House and Senate each passed bills to address [staffers'] objections earlier this year, but key differences between them held up the process...."

Election 2018

For What It's Worth. Ella Nelson of Vox: "Nearly two-thirds of registered women voters polled by CNN said they were more likely to vote for Democrats this November: 63 percent voting for the Democratic candidate, compared to 33 percent who said they're more likely to vote for the Republican. Men, on the other hand, are narrowly more likely to vote for Republican candidates -- 50 percent of male voters said they were more likely to vote Republican, compared to 45 percent [for Democrats]." --s

Mitch Could Be in for a Surprise. Philip Bump of the Washington Post: "There are certainly signs that the partisan fight over Brett M. Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court goosed Republican enthusiasm for the midterm elections. 'This has actually produced an incredible surge of interest among these Republican voters going into the fall election,' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said to USA Today after the final vote to confirm Kavanaugh.... A survey by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist released last week indicated that McConnell's excitement might be warranted: After trailing Democrats in enthusiasm during the summer, Republican enthusiasm for voting has caught up. But that is only half the picture. More important is how those energized voters plan to cast their ballots -- and a new CNN-SSRS poll suggests that the most enthusiastic voters are not those Americans most interested in rising to Kavanaugh's defense.... Disapproval of Trump is higher among those who are more enthusiastic to vote, as is opposition to Kavanaugh's confirmation.... Those most enthusiastic about voting are much more negative on Kavanaugh [himself] than those not very enthusiastic about voting next month."

Elizabeth Dias of the New York Times: Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Nasty) may garner support from "an under-the-radar web of white, evangelical women in Texas whose vote in November may be more up for grabs than at any time in the recent past. They are angry with many of Mr. Trump's policies, and frustrated because they feel their faith has been weaponized to support his agenda.... [Some] described Mr. O'Rourke as providing a stark moral contrast to Mr. Trump, whose policies and behavior they see as fundamentally anti-Christian, especially separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, banning many Muslim refugees and disrespecting women."

Lynzy Lab makes an argument for voting. The lyrics are here. Thanks to P.D. Pepe for the link:

Pema Levy
of Mother Jones: "The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a lower-court order requiring voters in North Dakota to present certain forms of identification and proof of their residential address in order to cast a ballot in next month's elections. A case challenging this requirement on behalf of the state's sizable Native American populations alleged that the requirement would disenfranchise tribal residents, many of whom lack the proper identification and do not have residential addresses on their identification cards. The Supreme Court's order will likely make it harder for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, considered the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate, to retain her seat in November.... Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan dissented.... Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was sworn in on Monday, did not partake in the decision...." But he did a war whoop anyway.

Adam Liptak & Noah Weiland of the New York Times: "... Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh joined his new colleagues on the bench for the first time on Tuesday morning, taking a seat on the far right side of the bench, in the spot reserved for the most junior justice.... The court heard two hours of arguments in three cases, all concerning a complicated and ambiguous federal law that has long vexed the justices. The cases did not raise questions of high constitutional moment or involve deeply contested social issues, which may be just as well for a court that has sustained collateral damage from a confirmation fight marked by bitterness, distrust and raw partisanship.... The law under consideration in Tuesday's arguments, the Armed Career Criminal Act, is a kind of three-strikes statute. It requires stiffer sentences for people convicted of possessing firearms in federal court if they have earlier been found guilty of three violent felonies or serious drug charges." Although the subject was firearms, Justice Kavanaugh sat through arguments in all three cases without shooting anyone. ...

... Kelly Virella of the New York Times: "After the Senate's confirmation of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, we asked women across the country to tell us how they were reacting. We heard from 40,000 people. Many of the women -- lawyers, teachers, home-schoolers, military spouses -- expressed anger and bitterness over the nomination fight and those on the other side of the political divide. They also told us what lessons from this confirmation they will pass down to the next generation. Here is a selection of their responses...."

Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic: "The law is magic, and perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in environmental law. Through the consent of the people and the government's monopoly on violence, the mere words of American environmental law have reshaped matter, exerted mastery over nature, and granted an incredible gift -- extra years of healthy life -- to unknown and unknowing souls.... By the government's own accounting, the 1990 Clean Air Act has prevented 160,000 American adults from dying before their time....[Kavanaugh's] appointment will likely rank as President Donald Trump's most effective, longest-lasting, and most profound contribution to environmental law — which is no small feat, as the president has spent most of his time in office trying to dismantle the entire edifice.... On environmental questions ... [retired Justice] Kennedy held the swing vote: The Court only ruled on one environmental case during Kennedy's three-decade tenure, in which he did not vote in the majority.... Kavanaugh, a veteran of Republican party politics, will not prove as persuadable, and ... he favors an extremely strict reading of the laws that empower the EPA." --s

Jordan Robertson of Bloomberg: "A major U.S. telecommunications company discovered manipulated hardware from Super Micro Computer Inc. in its network and removed it in August, fresh evidence of tampering in China of critical technology components bound for the U.S.... The security expert, Yossi Appleboum, provided documents, analysis and other evidence of the discovery following the publication of an investigative report in Bloomberg Businessweek that detailed how China's intelligence services had ordered subcontractors to plant malicious chips in Supermicro server motherboards over a two-year period ending in 2015.... Bloomberg is not identifying the company due to Appleboum's nondisclosure agreement with the client.... Appleboum said his concern is that there are countless points in the supply chain in China where manipulations can be introduced, and deducing them can in many cases be impossible." --s

Beyond the Beltway

Benign Bribery. Todd Richmond of TPM: "A new Kimberly-Clark lobbyist and his wife gave [Wisconsin] Republican legislators and their supporters more than $4,000 in late August, a little more than a month before GOP leaders decided to reconvene to consider tax incentives for the Texas-based papermaker, campaign finance reports show. The donations came just weeks before ... the Legislature [was ordered to] reconvene in a lame-duck session following the Nov. 6 elections to consider a $100 million tax incentive bill for Kimberly-Clark. The company has said if it doesn't get the tax credits it will close a Fox Crossing plant that employs about 500 people." --s

Andy Newman, et al., of the New York Times: Shahed Hussain, the owner of the Upstate New York limo company whose unlicensed chauffeur ran a stop sign in a limo with multiple mechanical problems & killed 20 people (including himself), is an FBI informant with an extremely dodgy past. "An examination of Mr. Hussain's history, based on court records and interviews with those who dealt with him, shows a man who has spent the better part of two decades crossing back and forth from one side of the law to the other." Hussain is currently in Pakistan "dealing with health issues." Mrs. McC: Uh-huh. In case you are of the misimpression that the FBI recruits solid citizens for its sting ops, you will want to read the full article.

"Babysitting While Black." Brittany Miller of CBS 46 News Atlanta: "A white woman called the police on a black man as he babysat two white children. Corey Lewis documented the entire ordeal on Facebook Live.... He told CBS46 that the woman first stopped him in the parking lot of a Cobb county Walmart and asked him if the children were okay. He said she then came back and asked if she could speak with them. Lewis said no and that’s when the police were called. He said the woman continued to follow him.... Lewis said the woman followed him all the way home. Then a Cobb County police officer showed up. The officer questioned the 10-year-old and the 6-year-old before calling their parents. David Parker and Dana Mango were in disbelief.... Parker and Mango said they don’t believe that the woman was trying to protect their children because they never showed any signs of being in danger."

Way Beyond

David Kirkpatrick & Carlotta Gall of the New York Times: "Top Turkish security officials have concluded that the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on orders from the highest levels of the royal court, a senior official said Tuesday. The official described a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate by a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose. 'It is like "Pulp Fiction,"' the official said. Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have denied the allegations, insisting that Mr. Khashoggi left the consulate freely shortly after he arrived. President Recep Tayyib Erdogan of Turkey has demanded that the Saudis provide evidence proving their claim." ...

... Martin Chulov of the Guardian: "Security camera footage was removed from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and Turkish staff were abruptly told to take a holiday on the day the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared while inside the building, Turkish authorities have claimed.... Two corporate jets rented from a company frequently used by the Saudi government arrived in Istanbul on 2 October and left separately the same evening. One jet ... left for Cairo, and the second ... flew to Dubai. Flight tracking records show they both later continued to Riyadh.... There were signs that Turkish officials were unwilling to further incriminate the kingdom, with which Turkey has lucrative trade ties and attempts to maintain a delicate regional relationship.... Yasin Aktay, an adviser to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, claimed 'the Saudi state is not blamed here', a marked shift in rhetoric that had earlier called for the kingdom to explain what had happened. 'We have our own problems with a deep state,' he told al-Araby in an interview. Earlier, Aktay had pointedly claimed that Khashoggi had been murdered by people sent from Riyadh." ...

... Mrs. McCrabbie: So is Donald Trump's no-nothing stance coincidental? It looks suspiciously as if our Dear Leader is colluding with the Saudis, just as the Guardian suggests Turkey is. Autocrats stick together (until they don't). ...

     ... Dana Milbank: "'I know nothing right now [about Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and probably murder],' Trump [said], as if the world's most powerful man, with a vast intelligence apparatus on retainer, were just another passive consumer of Fox News.... At the United Nations just a couple of weeks ago, he called King Salman 'a great guy' and praised the kingdom's 'bold new reforms.' His administration previously cleared the Saudis to buy billions of dollars in U.S. military hardware.... Khashoggi's disappearance puts on display the utter amorality of Trump's foreign policy, a transactional policy befitting a real estate developer, not a superpower.... Trump has already looked the other way as Saudi Arabia effectively kidnapped Lebanon's prime minister, provoked confrontation with Qatar and caused mass carnage in Yemen's civil war. In August, after a Saudi-led missile strike killed dozens of schoolchildren, a U.S. official, asked by reporters about the American role in the strike, replied: 'Well, what difference does that make?'" ...

... Washington Post Editors suggest Trump's embrace of the Saudi leadership has encouraged their lawlessness. Mrs. McC: Yesterday, Nikki Haley called Jared Kushner a "hidden genius" (but misunderstood!). Does that include Jared's being "in the pocket" of Prince-and-then-King Salman?

Isabel Debre of the AP: "In a groundbreaking case, Israel has detained an American graduate student at its international airport for the past week, accusing her of supporting a Palestinian-led boycott campaign against the Jewish state.... The grassroots campaign has made significant inroads in recent years, particularl among university students and millennials. Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen with Palestinian grandparents, landed at Ben-Gurion Airport last Tuesday with a valid student visa. But she was barred from entering the country and ordered deported, based on suspicions she is a boycott supporter. An Israeli court has ordered that she remain in custody while she appeals. The weeklong detention is the longest anyone has been held in a boycott-related case.... In the meantime, she has been spending her days in a closed area with little access to a telephone, no internet and a bed that was infested with bedbugs, according to people who have spoken to her. Alqasem, from the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Southwest Ranches, Florida, is a former president of the University of Florida chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. The group is a branch of the BDS movement, whose name comes from its calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel."

News Ledes

The New York Times is live-updatting Hurricane Michael coverage here. "Hurricane Michael opened its bombardment of the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday morning, with wind and rain beginning to batter the coastline hours before the strengthening Category 4 storm was expected to make landfall with astonishing power. The authorities warned that it was too late to flee the storm, which the National Hurricane Center described as 'potentially catastrophic' with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour." ...

... New York Times: "Hurricane Michael strengthened into a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, packing 130 mile-per-hour winds and on a path to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle as the most powerful hurricane to strike the mainland United States so far this year.Forecasters expect its lashing winds to become more powerful along the coastline on Tuesday, worsening as the storm draws closer and makes landfall on Wednesday. Governors in at least three states have declared emergencies, and the local authorities are urging people to evacuate or to fortify their homes ahead of the storm." ...

... The Washington Post "has removed article limits on coverage of Hurricane Michael to make these stories available without a subscription."

Reader Comments (21)

If the examples provided in the NYTimes (Kelly Virella piece) from the 40,000 women who responded with their reactions to the Kavanaugh hearing are proportional to the opposing thoughts and views among that number of women—then we have bigger problems about issues in this country than one can imagine.

The smiling faces that accompanied the article while expressing their appalling takes on who/how/why to believe were a backward look in time. Evidently, there are alot of women who still haven't '...come a long way, baby."

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

I wonder what it does to our psyche to wade through, day after day, information/news that makes one want to have Trumblestix hauled away––somewhere–-big headlines: WHERE IS THE PRESIDENT?" The disappearance of Jamal K., who was a staff writer at the Wash Po, seems not to bother this president one wit. We can't ruffle the feathers of the Saudi prince, can we––"we are looking into it"–-bullshit!!!

As for the "paid protesters"––HE should know–-HE paid a bunch to rally round him at Trump Tower when he first made his big entrance. And I have often wondered how many people at those rallies–-especially the cuties in the front–-are being paid. For him it makes sense that the Dems would get Soros to pay people to protest––that's what HE would do. This man is so inept and so inimical I shudder every time he opens his trap. To know that we have a usurper as the head of state–-to know that he weaseled his way into this job–-to understand that He is the scum on that swamp is almost beyond–-sometimes––my comprehension. Dexter Filkins' piece that starts to piece together this intricate puzzle is only one part of the bigger one that Mueller will finally reveal––cross fingers–-soon.

But hey! good news: Westmorland Coal Co. is the fourth major one in the U.S. to file for bankruptcy. Are you'all still going to vote for the guy who said he was going to save your companies? "Make Coal Great Again"!!!

And good news for Anthony Weiner who will be released from prison in May for good conduct. Any bets as to what he's going to do?

And any bets at what Trump is going to do about Lara Alqasen who is being detained in an Israeli airport. She's being barred from phoning anyone, has to sleep in a bed infested with bedbugs...better he get on this straightaway–––"I'll look into it" is the pat answer. If Lara could, she'd be better off calling Saul.

It's only the middle of the week and another hurricane is about to destroy coastal land and property once again. Mother nature––she sure takes her revenge, don't she? You warm her waters, she responds in kind. Man against Nature–-one of literature's biggies.


October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Here's another female who doesn't like to be messed with and he's put it to song:


October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

CORRECTION: She's put it to song, not he's––slip of the fingers or slip of the mind that always puts the masculine gender in front of–––nah, say it ain't so!

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Okay class, raise your hands. Who here believes the Saudis, who sent 15 guys into their consulate in Istanbul to "meet" with Jamal Khashoggi, did not kill him? Yeah, what I thought.

They said something like blah, blah, blah, he left by a side entrance. Really? When his fiancée was waiting out front he left by a side entrance and disappeared? What is this, a Shirley Jackson story? Oh wait, I know. He left by that side entrance to meet with the guy who REALLY attacked Christine Blasey Ford. Then they both wrote a letter to Dianne Feinstein who didn't leak it because President* Due Process, Innocent Until Proven, Blah, Blah is ranting about having her locked up for something she says she didn't do.

Seriously though, 15 guys? So they go in, grab him, kick the living shit out of him for 20 or 30 minutes then pile him into a black SUV for a quick trip to the airport and two waiting Saudi jets (were the two so they could put half of Khashoggi in one and half in the other?) after which they flew him back to Riyadh where they could really work him over for a few months before finally sawing his head off and burying him out in the desert. First Amendment, Saudi style. Or should that be First Dismemberment?

And Trump is going to make inquiries? Please. Don't even bother with bullshit like that. First, Trump isn't going to "inquire" very deeply about his pals the Saudis (remember the sword dance and the Orb?). Second, who did Khashoggi work for?

The Amazon Washington Post. I rest my case. Also, Khashoggi was once banned by the Saudis after he criticized their Orb Buddy for taking contradictory stances in the Middle East. Ooooh. A big no-no pointing out the ignorance of president* daft.

If anything, Trumpy'll probably inquire about whether or not he's still alive and if so, suggest they give him a few extra thousand volts of juice to the electrodes attached to the guy's balls, which must be pretty huge, him being a Saudi national dissident.

Secretly, Trump must wish he could do this to journalists he hates. And there are a lot of them. In fact, pretty much anyone who doesn't work for Fox, a Rupert Murdoch rag, or whackjob far right websites.

I hope Khashoggi's fiancée got out okay. They'd probably fry her too if they got the chance. Trump has the Best Friends, doesn't he?

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus


It ain't so. But great song. Thanks for the tip.

As for Trump and the Party of Traitors ignoring this report, I love the part where he sez he'll have to see who wrote it. If it's not written by Sean Hannity or Alex Jones, fuggedaboutit. It must be socialist lies.

Meanwhile, he's full steam ahead to "bring back" the coal industry, cuz we don't have enough CO2 in the atmosphere.

And great point about Trump's paid "supporters" who were "thrilled" to see that he was descending from his golden palace in the sky to MAGA.

He's doing a bang up job. And I'm guessing he didn't actually pay those "supporters". Probably stiffed them too.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

A little tired this AM so won't be rioting in the streets anytime soon, regardless of the check's size. Will just take the money and....sit.

This rioting thing is itself a riot--for any number of reasons.

The warnings of riots to come must assume the intended audience is very easily frightened. Who are these frightened people? Men, cowering in their dens, surrounded by their guns, fingering their loaded clips, fearful of how their wives and daughters will vote? White male heroes, all of them?

So who should be frightened? The policemen with the guns or the black people they shoot? The ICE agents or those they pursue? Guess its the police and ICE....and all those whom the Repugnants don't want to have health insurance or an opportunity to vote?

And speaking of riots, the slavering sycophants that gather in the Pretender's presence and shout "lock 'er up," now that's not demented behavior edging into mob-ery at all, is it?

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Double-barreled birds.

"Forget the bald eagle. The unofficial mascot of Donald Trump’s capital is a very different kind of bird.

At the White House, the nearby Trump International Hotel and wherever the presidential motorcade goes, Washingtonians are greeting this presidency with an extended middle finger."

If I could get my toes to curl independently, I'd use both feet too.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterunwashed

Donny Diapers let the moron show with his response to the UN report. Remember to always follow his really best words...
"I want to know who DREW it. I'll LOOK at it."

The fucking moron gets kindergarten scribbles in bright colors for briefings now because his aides got tired of asking for summarized bullet points.

Kellyanne Conjob & the Nespots probably probably sat down together and drew a red hot circle with some intermittent sky blue and said the climate is heating.

We'll find out post-presidency* that eventually even pictures were too much for his extremely low IQ Wharton brain.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commentersafari

@safari: That "DREW" went right over my head. You're absolutely right. Donnie thinks reports are posters with big bright pictures on them. And why shouldn't he? That's the only kind of reports he gets now. Great catch!

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

The climate change report is a total waste. It is designed to save the human race but that counts for nothing. What is in it for Trump?
Want to save the planet? Figure out a way to get coal miners to vote for Dems.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

We're in the midst of National Hispanic Heritage Month. I don't
recall the present president* acknowledging or praising the
contributions to society of any Hispanics. They exist. They were
here before we were.
Oh, I just remembered. The president* is a racist &#?@$.
But forgive me if he has recognized this and I missed it.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

It's Curtains

Yeah, curtains on a lot of things, but not on stuff Trump wants.

Marie links a Politico piece by a State Department alum from the diplomatic corps in which those $52,000 curtains and special super duper control system are discussed. But this is no sour grapes hit piece. The author started his career under The Decider and continued to work for Obama. After the Times ran a story about the curtains, they were told, by Trumpies, that it was Obama who ordered the drapes. OH! Why didn't you say so? So the Times dutifully runs a correction saying that it's not Trump's doing at all, and those expensive curtains are all Obama's fault.

As the author of this piece points out, this is complete bullshit, and the Times should know better (could say that about a lot of stuff coming out from the Grayed Out Lady). While Trump and Haley were busy little bees slashing hundreds of millions to support diplomatic efforts around the world, they kept her curtains on order. The bid didn't even go out until 2017, and they could have nixed this plan at any time, but it's more fun to keep the swag and blame that horrible nee-groe.

Meanwhile, diplomatic hot spots around the world languish because of funding that's going instead to Trump's new AF1 and his wicked cool new limos and Scott Pruitt's Cone of Silence and special planes for Munchkin and wife...and curtains for Nikki.

But Haley has shown herself to be as slick a politician as you'll see and she's expert at avoiding landmines and blaming others, because if you work for Trump (hell, if you're an R), the first thing you learn is that IT'S NEVER YOUR FAULT.

Pardon me while I close the curtains. The view out there sucks.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus


I haven't heard one way or the other whether the Racist in Chief acknowledged National Hispanic Heritage Month or not, but I will bet you all the gold in El Dorado (if it existed) that he didn't. First, he barely considers these people human, never mind Americans. Second, if the Blight House did acknowledge it, it would be a snippy, half-hearted little six word press release sent out at 4AM from some low-level flunky.

I doubt even Liarbee Sanders would deign to mention it. Besides it would sound funny putting a recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month in with an announcement that Trump is forced to release some Hispanic families he's had imprisoned for the better part of a year because there are too many other Hispanics already locked up.

How's that for heritage?

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

One other thought about Trump's antipathy to diplomacy, or even to anything outside American borders (even the ones without plans for a wall).

While Trump rolls up the welcome mat and kills funding for diplomatic efforts and aid around the world, initiatives that have helped expand America's zone of influence in far flung corners and potential hot spots, China is rushing in to fill the vacuum. They're building airports and hotels and entire cities in other countries in an effort to expand their influence and economic standing. For some reason, they see this as a vital part of maintaining both political influence and economic viability.

I read this morning that young Japanese entrepreneurs and business school grads are all lining up to learn Chinese. Not English. What does that tell you?

Trump can only see what's in it for himself. It doesn't matter what's good for the United States. If Trump does not personally benefit from something, it's gone. He can't even see it.

As China looks to the future, a future now without the United States, Trump and his near-sighted imbeciles look to the past. A past without United States influence and economic opportunities abroad.

Hey, maybe we can bring back the steam boat. I hear the McCormick Reaper was pretty neat-o. And what about the Gold Standard? Trump sure loves golden glitzy things.


October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

MAGAt. I know it's the wrong spelling but it sounds good.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris


Haven't seen any twits with Drumpf and his Trump Taco Bowl lately so I don't think he's mentioned anything yet. If Drumpf happens to head back to Trump Tower however he'll never miss a moment to plug his shitty bowls then, though. Don'tcha no know.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commentersafari

Jared Kushner: HIDDEN GENIUS!

(At movie theaters near you)

Hidden, eh? What's he hiding? The genius part? He's good at it, I'll give him that. Hey, does that mean he really has brought peace to the Middle East, fixed the government, and discovered the cure for cancer, but all those wonderful Kushner accomplishments are hidden too?

I know he goes into hiding whenever shit is hitting the fan at the White House (like, every day), which might not be genius, but it's probably smart. Well, okay. Not smart. More like craven.

Well he got someone to bail him out on his 666 Fifth Ave white elephant clusterfuck. That has to count for something, I guess.

If he's a hidden genius is he also a stable genius, like the little king? Maybe he's hiding his stability too.

Such a talented clan. Kinda like the Katzenjammer Kids, without the yucks.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

We keep being told that on a warming planet that warmer oceans will mean more intense storms/hurricanes. A case in point; at 0400 this morning hurricane Michael became a category 3 with 110 mph winds. Then it hit the shallower, warmer waters of the northern gulf and hit the beach nine hours later as a category 4 with 155 mph winds.

I hope FEMA has a pallet of paper towels ready for Trump and that the capo has warmed up his throwing arm.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Lee

Funny, I was asked by a colleague in my Blood Red Trump state, if I thought Democrats were making up lies about Saudis killing Jamal Khashoggi and whether or not the Glorious Leader would find out the truth. After stifling a snicker, I reminded this person that Trump doesn't give a shit about any investigative journalist who works for the Washington Post. I was told I was a liberal ass, and that, of course, Trump would work hard to find the truth.

....I don't even know what to say to complete shit like that.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Bobby Lee,

I'm sure President Bounty Quicker Picker Upper will be on the panhandle sometime next week (no way he's goin' there during a global warming storm) to toss out some Wet Wipes and maybe a few Mars bars.

And with him will be his pal, the criminal governor of Florida, Rick Scott who has spent most of the last few days on the TV, not doing much to help the residents of his state, other than reminding everyone that he is GOVERNOR and should be SENATOR.

And leave us not mention that neither Ricky nor Trumpy are concerned with the global warming crisis that is bringing more and more powerful storms to our shores. Wingers don't cotton to socialist conspiracy theories, even if they wipe their beach houses off the face of the earth.

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus
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