Open thread Feb. 7, 2020 Dan Crawford | February 7, 2020 8:31 am Tags: open thread Comments (18) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I believe that we are in more trouble than anyone admits. This mentally ill person has the nuclear codes in the worst case scenario; the DOJ in his pocket; and a Congress scared to death to do their jobs.
“”As you undoubtedly know by now, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago’s wounded musk-ox bellowing at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning was only an undercard attraction on the bill of CrazySlam ’20. The main event came later, in the East Room of the White House, where the president* put on a performance that should have had copies of the 25th Amendment inscribed on tablets of gold falling from the sky around him.
His trolley went around the bend and off the tracks. His sanity had expired and met its maker. It has ceased to be. It was a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It’s kicked the bucket, rung down the curtain, and joined the bleeding choir invisible. But, alas, this is not yet an ex-administration*, and it still derives its only energy from the incredibly toxic stew of vengeful rage and inflamed victimhood that is the only sign of sentient life in the brain of its president*. A sample follows:
‘And this is really not a news conference, it’s not a speech, it’s not anything, it’s just we’re sort of — it’s a celebration because we have something that just worked out. It worked out. We went through hell unfairly. Did nothing wrong. Did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit. Not purposely, but I’ve done things wrong. But this is what the end result is. We can take that home, honey, maybe we’ll frame it. It’s the only good headline I’ve had in the Washington Post. Every paper is the same, does anybody have them, because they’re all like that and I appreciate that. Some of the people here have been incredible warriors, they’re warriors. And there’s nothing from a legal standpoint. This is a political thing, and every time I say this is unfair, let’s go to court, they say, sir, you can’t go to court, this is politics. And we were treated unbelievably unfairly, and you have to understand we first went through Russia, Russia, Russia. It was all bullshit.
We had a rough campaign. It was nasty. It was one of the nastiest, they say. Andrew Jackson was the nastiest campaign but we topped it. It was nasty in both the primaries and the election. We thought after the election, it would stop, but it didn’t stop. It just started. Tremendous corruption. Tremendous corruption. So we had a campaign. Little did we know we were running against some very, very bad and evil people with fake dossiers, with all of these horrible, dirty cops that took these dossiers and did bad things. They knew all about it. The FISA courts should be ashamed of themselves. It’s a very tough thing.
So I always say they’re lousy politicians, but they do two things. They’re vicious and mean. Vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. And she wanted to impeach a long time ago when she said, I pray for the president. She doesn’t pray. She may pray but she prays for the opposite. But I doubt she prays at all. These are vicious people.’
And the Republicans, all of them, sitting there like brain-dead fish all schooled in one spot, applauding on cue, accepting the president*’s sourball compliments as though they were being blessed from Above. (There was one particularly weird passage when he congratulated Rep. Steve Scalise for surviving his gunshot wounds and then went into how lousy a second-baseman Scalise is and expressed amazement that Scalise’s wife was upset that Scalise had been shot. “He was not going to make it. I said, she loves you. Why? Because she was devastated. A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn.” Ask the man who knows, I guess.)
I have resisted using the word “cult” to describe where the Republican party is at right now because I think it absolves too many of the people that made something like Trumpism inevitable. But, Lord above, we’re looking at a battalion of drill-thralls now, with no minds of their own and no souls to speak of.”
The photo gallery in this link is beyond scary.
“We all know the deal by now. On Wednesday, republicans in the United States Senate all laid down on the floor and invited President Donald J. Trump to back his Big Boy Tonka Trunk over their already flattened bodies by acquitting him of the charges tied to two articles of impeachment. Obvious abuse of power and obstruction of Congress were no match for the kung-fu grip Donald Trump has on the spines of his congressional pals, which led us to today. On Thursday, Trump dragged himself into the East Room of the White House to show everyone the Washington Post’s front page reading “Trump Acquitted,” and to take his frightening new freedom as an opportunity to talk whatever shit he wanted to. Even when referring to members of his own party, Trump found the creepiest ways to deliver praise. The following photos show what ensued—and folks, it isn’t not batshit. ”
Lt. Colonel Vindman dismissed from the White House Staff as well as his twin brother Lt. Colonel Yevgeny Vindman. It is a good thing the Army has them wear name tags as I am sure trump would have trouble.
Don’t worry you are protected. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said service members who return to the military would be welcomed back. “We protect all of our persons, service members, from retribution or anything like that,” he told reporters. “We’ve already addressed that in policy and other means.” It is good to see Esper take a bullet for Vindman a Purple Heart veteran.
A faux protest came from Maine Senator Susan Collin “Senator Susan Collins; “I obviously am not in favor of any kind of retribution against anyone who came forward with evidence,” according to the Portland Press Herald. Some people just do not know when to shut up.
“Recalled” Trump ordered Gordon D. Sondland, the founder of a hotel chain who donated a million dollars to the president’s inaugural committee, recalled from his post as the ambassador to the European Union on the same day that Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman was let out the back door of the White House. Sondland asked for a refund of his donation to the Inaugural committee stating not enough people showed up and the million should have ben $100 thousand instead.
Laughable: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said that the Pentagon had assured him that whistle-blowers “like LTC Vindman” would be protected. That is kind of dumb since the Pres is the imperial leader of the military. “What did were they thinking” would happen from a mob thug?
Stunned: Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was “stunned” to hear that Colonel Vindman would be pushed out of the White House. “That is such a shame. What a patriotic person. This goes too far.” Come on Nancy, a little more gumption is in order for the White House Bully.
Trump: “I was told by many that Manchin was just a puppet for Schumer & Pelosi referring to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “That’s all he (Manchin) is!” The old sticks and stones.
How patriotic? During the impeachment trial, Senator Marsha Blackburn (former Director of Retail Fashion and Special Events, Castner Knott Division of Mercantile Stores, Inc. and beauty pageant winner) asked “How patriotic is it to bad-mouth and ridicule our great nation in front of Russia, America’s greatest enemy?” Since she never served and does not have a Purple Heart either, we will direct her to the power room to freshen up. Yes I know, I am being a shit here.
The White House Menu has Trump’s Pick of the Day to be tossed which might be Mick Mulvaney . . .
More to come as the child gets perceived revenge.
Good for her, and boy do I hope she is right in 2020.
“What if everything you think you know about politics is wrong? What if there aren’t really American swing voters—or not enough, anyway, to pick the next president? What if it doesn’t matter much who the Democratic nominee is? What if there is no such thing as “the center,” and the party in power can govern however it wants for two years, because the results of that first midterm are going to be bad regardless? What if the Democrats’ big 41-seat midterm victory in 2018 didn’t happen because candidates focused on health care and kitchen-table issues, but simply because they were running against the party in the White House? What if the outcome in 2020 is pretty much foreordained, too?
To the political scientist Rachel Bitecofer, all of that is almost certainly true, and that has made her one of the most intriguing new figures in political forecasting this year.
Bitecofer, a 42-year-old professor at Christopher Newport University in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, was little known in the extremely online, extremely male-dominated world of political forecasting until November 2018. That’s when she nailed almost to the number the nature and size of the Democrats’ win in the House, even as other forecasters went wobbly in the race’s final days. Not only that, but she put out her forecast back in July, and then stuck by it while polling shifted throughout the summer and fall.
And today her model tells her the Democrats are a near lock for the presidency in 2020, and are likely to gain House seats and have a decent shot at retaking the Senate. If she’s right, we are now in a post-economy, post-incumbency, post record-while-in-office era of politics. Her analysis, as Bitecofer puts it with characteristic immodesty, amounts to nothing less than “flipping giant paradigms of electoral theory upside down.”
Bitecofer’s theory, when you boil it down, is that modern American elections are rarely shaped by voters changing their minds, but rather by shifts in who decides to vote in the first place. To her critics, she’s an extreme apostle of the old saw that “turnout explains everything,” taking a long victory lap after getting lucky one time. She sees things slightly differently: That the last few elections show that American politics really has changed, and other experts have been slow to process what it means.
If she’s right, it wouldn’t just blow up the conventional wisdom; it would mean that much of the lucrative cottage industry of political experts—the consultants and pollsters and (ahem) the reporters—is superfluous, an army of bit players with little influence over the outcome. Actually, worse than superfluous: That whole industry of experts is generally wrong.
The classic view is that the pool of American voters is basically fixed: About 55 percent of eligible voters are likely to go to the polls, and the winner is determined by the 15 percent or so of “swing voters” who flit between the parties. So a general election campaign amounts to a long effort to pull those voters in to your side.
Bitecofer has a nickname for this view. She calls it, with disdain, the “Chuck Todd theory of American politics”: “The idea that there is this informed, engaged American population that is watching these political events and watching their elected leaders and assessing their behavior and making a judgment.”
“And it is just not true.”…
But still, the results bore out her theory: For Democrats to win, they need to fire up Democratic-minded voters. The Blue Dogs who tried to narrow the difference between themselves and Trump did worse, overall, than the Stacey Abramses and Beto O’Rourkes, whose progressive ideas and inspirational campaigns drove turnout in their own parties and brought them to the cusp of victory.
If you buy Bitecofer’s view of the 2018 midterms—or even, in its milder form, Sam Wang’s point about predictability—you also need to rethink what American elections actually mean now.
“I am arguing radical shit, OK?” Bitecofer told me over a series of phone calls over the past several weeks in her Virginia office. “What I am saying is that almost all of this shit is set in stone for three years, that almost none of the shit that people are hanging onto, in terms of daily articles, or polls, or the economy or incumbency or ideology is really worth that much.”
When Democrats swept into power in the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms, they did so, they told themselves, because they mostly ignored Donald Trump. Believing that they needed to win over “Obama/Trump voters,” the Democrats ran a bunch of apolitical military veterans, and focused their campaigns on preserving the Affordable Care Act’s protections of people with preexisting health conditions.
Armed with this mandate, they governed accordingly, passing laws (all of which died in the Senate, of course) to lower the price of prescription drugs, raise the minimum wage and curb the power of money in politics.
But the electorate that elected Donald Trump in 2016 and the electorate that gave Democrats control of the House in 2018 might as well have been from two different countries, Bitecofer says. The first was whiter, had less college education and lived in more rural parts of the country than the second, which was more diverse, better educated and more urban than its counterpart from two years prior. That change had nothing to do with Democrats luring swing voters with savvy messaging, and everything to do with a bunch of people, who were appalled by the president, showing up at the polls, wanting to make their feelings known.
Once you know the shape of the electorate, she argues, you can pretty much tell how that electorate is going to vote. And the shape of the electorate in 2018, and 2020, for that matter, was determined on the night of November 8, 2016. The new electorate, as she forecasts it, is made up mostly of people who want a president named anything but Donald Trump, competing with another group that fears ruin should anyone but Donald Trump be president.”
First let me congratulate you on your sarcastic comment. Well worth the read.
US Army Lt. Colonel Alexander S. Vindman had access to highly classified information in the White House.
In my opinion he forgot that any misuse of classified information is a punishable offense. And apparently he also forgot that the US Army frowns on officers who inject themselves into US politics. And especially US Army officers who become so loose-lipped that they come to national attention while criticizing the actions of the Commander-in-Chief. (Or as you call him, the “imperial leader of the military.”)
Stating the obvious, I believe that by his actions the Lt Colonel has called into question whether future Presidents can completely trust their military advisors.
Lt Colonel Vindman’s commanding officer during that period is almost certainly going to write an evaluation which at least slightly criticizes his judgement. He will likely find himself commanding something which is less “challenging”. And in the future, promotion boards will promote other Lt Colonels with sterling evaluations.
And in this process he has also harmed his brother who will now be considered somewhat less than completely trustworthy.
I find it difficult to feel any sympathy for someone so naive as Lt Colonel Vindman.
I have absolutely no idea where your ideas about Vindman come from. He did his job exactly how he was supposed to do it.
And your claim that he got involved in politics is ridiculous. He was there to protect US Security from attacks from anywhere. Just because those attacks came form the President in an unlawful manner does not mean he was doing politics, he was doing security.
This silly comment is priceless: “He was there to protect US Security from attacks from anywhere.”
I have been periodically laughing out loud ever since I read that!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Strange sense of humor.
“The National Security Council (NSC) is the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Since its inception under President Truman, the Council’s function has been to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies. The Council also serves as the President’s principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies.”
Oh, you’ve done it again! Laughing out loud!
You seem to believe that the National Security Council is providing updated information on intelligence leaks from US personnel. LOL
But the National Security Council is not in the counterintelligence business! One FBI agent could easily present that sort of information to the President. It certainly does not require hundreds of highly trained foreign intelligence officers.
You keep this up and I am going to lose all respect for you! LOL
What I think is that Vindman was charged with seeing to the security of US interests. He knew that Congress had ordered that aid to Ukraine by such and such a date. Failing to get that aid put US security interests at stake. He heard a call where that aid was being withheld for personal political gains by the President. He did not go to the press, He did not go to Congress. He was not the whistleblower. He went to his superior in the NSC. He then answered questions truthfully.
I have no idea what you are talking about with counterintelligence.
I have already lost all respect for you.
The man did his job.
You wrote: “I have no idea what you are talking about with counterintelligence.”
Of course you don’t, and you will not take the time to look it up!
This defines you. This is who you are.
I understand what counterintelligence, I do not see the relevance to this matter even a little bit.
You wrote: “I understand what counterintelligence, I do not see the relevance to this matter even a little bit.”
Then you don’t understand counterintelligence at all.
If an FBI agent were to suggest running a counterintelligence operation against the President of the United States, he would be quickly labeled as a dingbat!
The suggestion would go into the agents personnel file and he would be shunted off to do inconsequential work in some inconsequential place.
What you and others like you want is to undo the election of a President.
And you are so dimwitted that you don’t see that once that tool is discovered, it will be used again and again by both political parties!
You’re an idiot.
The idea that Vindman was running a couterintelligence operation against trump is dingbat crazy.
Yeah, his first step would be to tell everyone in the NSC and the closest attorney.
And this overturn the election thing is a trump tweet. He lies everyday. The fact of the matter is that there was never a chance of trump getting kicked out of office (as much as he deserved it), and even that would not overturn the election you walking rwdw talking point.
Y’know, what? Just step off, nut.
Are you off your meds again?
Meanwhile, back to another mentally disturbed idiot.
Truer words were never spoken. We are about to see the cruelest campaign in the history of the US.
“Donald Trump is sui generis—a president* who runs the executive branch like one of the Five Families. The damage he is doing is sui generis, as are his crimes and thievery. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination is going to have to be prepared for a campaign the viciousness of which is likely to be unprecedented; hell, getting re-elected is the only way this president* and a lot of his people are going to stay out of jail. That encourages a certain, ah, vigor in campaigning. And, if the Democratic nominee wins, a lot of wounds are going to have to be harshly cauterized before they begin to heal. We learned that once already this century. This time, the infection is bone-deep and spreading.”
He has to win or go to jail.
Unless Putin gives him a spot.
I am not sure we have someone that vicious. They are too intellectual.
I was talking about incoming not outgoing.
Just telling the truth about what trump has done to our country in his term is vicious even if presented in a non vicious manner.