Statement on Using “Big Dick Toilet Salesman”

In just a few minutes, Matt Whitaker will testify before the House Judiciary Committee. I will be live-tweeting it. Before I do, I want to explain why I use the term Big Dick Toilet Salesman to refer to him, in part because some have rightly pointed out that it is disrespectful.

During the Bush Administration, I used a lot of the common monikers for the President. In retrospect, I regret using some of those phrases. The exceptions are “W” (because it’s an easy way to distinguish him from Poppy) and “PapaDick” and “BabyDick” for Cheney and his daughter (because it emphasizes their continued corruption). I regretted using other derogatory terms because ultimately, the focus on coverage should be about someone’s actions, not their appearance or stupidity.

For that reason I’ve tried to avoid any of the monikers for Trump that similarly focus on his character flaws rather than the actions those flaws lead to.

But the entire point of Matt Whitaker’s appointment, the only reason he is a national figure, is about Trump deliberately choosing a fraudster to lead the Department of Justice in hopes of manipulating the rule of law. Whitaker is not qualified in any normal sense of the word. He is there exclusively because he managed to pitch himself to Trump using the very same skills he used to sell whacky patents for things like Big Dick Toilets. He should not have accepted the position, but did so because he was selling yet another oversold novelty.

That should always be at the forefront of discussions about Whitaker to emphasize how illegitimate his appointment was. And so I use the term.

204 replies
  1. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Out of respect for your tireless devotion to truth, I shall hereby refrain from referring to Donald Trump as the Presindebt for one hour.

  2. Eslinger says:

    Big Dick Toilet Salesman is succinct and technically descriptive (in a historical sense), and serves to separate BDTS from functionally intelligent people who may be named Matthew and/or Whitaker.

    You are performing a public service.

  3. Democritus says:

    You are a treasure.  Thank you for your patriotism and for fighting for our country 😊

    Now, to hit live on the DVR, get my meds lined up, some drinks, and settle in for a day of craziness.

    Would you consider an analysis of Bezos?   One theory I have seen is that it was Sanchez’s brother who told trump or someone in trump world about the affair who then went to a third-party government to ask them to hack into the cloud and get the materials.  I’ve heard Saudi Arabia mentioned, which makes me think Jared.

      • Democritus says:

        Oh of course!!!! I just meant in general and may have wanted to throw my thoughts out there too ;-)

        Also since you replied I have been reading your writing through the entire Shutdown, please let it not happen again(knocks on wood) and also you are an awesome, compassionate person.  If I say more I’ll feel like I’m kissing up, but as someone effected thank you!

        (if I say do anything stupid while here, please let me know.  I want to be a good guest, and have come to rely on this site to see through the weeds)

        ETA, wasn’t sure if the email would work, but glad it did!

  4. pseudonymous in nc says:

    I just hope you have an autocomplete that expands BDTS to Big Dick Toilet Salesman.

    (I stick with “King Idiot” because I swore to myself not to use the man’s name, and because he’s a ‘king idiot.)

    • Trip says:

      I like “Twit in Chief”, because, first, obvious, and second, he does all of his policy directives and official presidential comments on twitter.

  5. dw says:

    Has Whitaker ever gotten together with Paul Erickson, who claimed to be “in the business of developing a wheelchair that allowed people to go to the bathroom without being lifted out of the wheelchair”?  Think of the possible business synergies!

    • Tom says:

      You mean, like a Big Dick Wheelchair?   Hell, there’s a world of possibilities in a whole line of Big Dick household appliances and other items—Big Dick washers & dryers, Big Dick vacuum cleaners, Big Dick blenders, Big Dick microwaves, Big Dick a/c units, etc., etc., etc.,  “Look for the Big Dick logo!  It’s your assurance of quality!” Is it too late to get a patent?

      • Bruce Olsen says:

        Apropos of Two Scoops’ addiction to golf, why not the Big Dick Ball Washer?

        But a serious thank you to everyone on the team here. When I was a kid hawkers in ball parks would yell, “Can’t tell the players without a program!” Marcy is giving us just such a program, helping us keep track of the players and their crimes–and pointing out new connections in this corrupt mess.

        And even getting one’s ass kicked here is both informative and entertaining. Did I hear someone say RICO?

  6. Milton Wiltmellow says:


    Watching Collins wave his arms, verge on shouting, and deploring what he calls “theatrics” is a real treat.

    Now he wants to set up a popcorn machine in the back!!

    Meanwhile his kids give him that “sad dog look.”

    Now he moves to adjourn.


  7. Tom says:

    The point to remember is that “Big Dick” is meant to apply to the toilet, not the salesman.   I mean, let’s be fair!

    • BobCon says:

      That’s the main problem I have with the phrase. To me the meter isn’s simple iambic, and that tends to lead to a reading that the structure is BD – TS, instead of the correct BDT – S.

      • Bruce Olsen says:

        It works nicely over a variety of Latin rhythms, samba or rhumba. The accents don’t align–true to the spirit, they add syncopation.

    • What Constitution? says:

      I think there’s very little chance that Whitaker doesn’t totally presume the term to be a compliment.

  8. Geoff says:

    And there we are, executive privilege MIGHT be invoked, therefore, I’m not saying jack. Let’s begin the march to SCOTUS.

  9. Democritus says:

    Nadler should NOT have added the “that you think might have told the president”

    They need to clean it up and ask if he has told any third party individual, period

    Sorry for typos, I have bad hands :-/

    ETA. I’m usually the end point? I believe?

    Double ETA

    Smaaaart, it also seems like they might think something is coming within weeks, or that could just be how long they think it would take to set up.

    He isn’t answering, dick toilet salesman iddeed

  10. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    why I use the term Big Dick Toilet Salesman to refer to him, in part because some have rightly pointed out that it is disrespectful.

    Indeed, it is highly disrespectful, and I can only say, I wish I had thought of that moniker first… by the time all of this is over, I’m afraid I’m gonna develop a severe case of PTSD from the BDTS…

  11. milton wiltmellow says:

    Did I hear this Freudian slip correctly?

    Whitaker: “I want to AH – LIE (meaning “allay”) any fears …”

    • Rugger9 says:

      He’s not there for his brains but for doing one job.  Unfortunately, he (and Barr) will need to defend the indefensible.  As I noted on another thread, Nadler was expecting the privilege claim and tied the hearing to specific legislation within Congressional ambit, just to make it harder for SCOTUS to write the opinions blocking him.

      I think SCOTUS might block Nadler anyhow given who is currently voting, but groundwork like this makes it easier to overturn later, like Dred Scott was.

      OT, but one wonders how many anti-abortion Bart O’ Kavanaugh votes can Susan Collins survive to remain Maine’s Senator.  She put him there and he tried to overturn a 2016 ruling but lost 4-5 (Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt). I think the number will be small.

      • Trip says:

        Speaking of another Collins:

        Doug Collins is the Lindsey Graham of Kardashian Drama Queens. Could he be any more obvious with the table pounding hysteria?

        • Rayne says:

          I’m watching the replay and Collins is just as wretched the second time as the first. Making my skin crawl with his display bordering on the irrational.

          I can’t imagine the desperation it takes to disregard what this will look like decades from now, how his children may cringe because he invoked them during this hideous playacting.

      • Rayne says:

        I’d put money down that Senator Collins won’t be re-elected. There are already at least two credible Democratic candidates ready to run against her. There will be plenty of money for the winner of the Democratic primary.

        • Rugger9 says:

          I think so, too.  Every time Bart O’K votes like this it reminds Mainers they were had by Susan Collins.  Digby has the best observation: Collins isn’t an idiot, she’s a liar.

        • SomeGuyInMaine says:

          Collins is in touble.  She appears to have lost a lot of ground in southern maine, where most of the people in the state live.

          It will be messy though, she just had her biggest fundraising quarter ever.

        • SomeGuyInMaine says:

          Collins is in touble.  She appears to have lost a lot of ground in southern Maine, where most of the people in the state live.

          It will be messy though, she just had her biggest fundraising quarter ever.

          However, the expected big 2020 turnout will likely work against her.

          I think she’ll lose or possibly retire.

      • Anvil Leucippus says:

        You could tell, when Nadler read from a prepared statement about how he was disappointed that BDTS wasn’t going to co-operate! Ha!

  12. Rugger9 says:

    OT, sort of…

    It appears that Bezos thinks some government input was used to get the pix Pecker was using to blackmail him.  He apparently has emails too.  If I were Kaiser Quisling, I would be more circumspect about taking potshots at someone as rich as Bezos is especially when there is a paper trail now.

    IIRC, wasn’t Pecker supposed to be cooperating with Mueller under some kind of immunity setup?  Would continuing to engage is what appears to be blackmail (Ronan Farrow and others also claim to be victims of this practice by AMI – see Talking Points Memo) invalidate such an agreement?

    Asking for someone buying popcorn futures.

  13. FarmerNed says:

    BDTS: “I would like to answer that question directly, Congressman. And, here is my answer now. My name is M-m-m-m Matt Whitaker.”
    Congressman: “So, your answer is ‘Yes’?”
    BDTS: “Yes. That is correct, Congressman.”

    • Democritus says:

      I would invest heavily in popcorn features.  I skimmed through and watched a lot last night, and Bezos is right.  If not him, who?

      If you haven’t, I recommend a read of Bezos’s medium post.  That everything is so blatant is actually a little.. worrying? Not sure of the right word there :)

  14. Bruce Fuentes says:

    I find the best way to refer to the President is just to call him donnie, Or master donald. He does not deserve uppercase or the respect it implies. When I was youth, boys were referred to as master rather than mister. As he has the intellectual and moral development of a preteen, master fits.

    • e.a.f. says:

      just call him donnie.

      what I do find interesting is the American media more often than not, does not refer to him as President Trump.

  15. Anvil Leucippus says:

    Why did he balk at the questions of did he approve any action related to the special counsel, and again at sharing information about the investigation to a third party?

    He was prepared, practiced in saying how he had not shared that information with Trump, or senior WH officials. But he just tanks it when the possibility of sharing information with Trump’s lawyers comes up. Or maybe it was Buzzfeed.

    Either way, hot damn he is irritating to watch talk!

    • Anvil Leucippus says:

      Crazy how all the Republican questions to BDTS are about how awesome the DOJ has been while BDTS has been in charge, and how BDTS has all the answers to those questions ready to go on paper! Wow, I am really glad we have this level of committee oversight!

  16. BroD says:

    Ok, I have been known to gripe about the prevalence of arcane nicknames for players in extremely complicated expository posts and comments.  It’s like you’re wading in the marsh trying to photograph a rare and elusive bird and a mosquito lands behind you ear.   Still, I’ve come to accept that it’s intrinsic to the landscape here (and, ok, perhaps part of its charm.)  I accept that, in this instance, the moniker is witty and apt.

    • rip says:

      Back in the 80’s (maybe 90’s) the line was: How’re they hanging?

      Maybe your model was too shallow or you are too deep? Old age tends to minimize most aggravations such as these.

  17. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    There is no truth to the rumor that BDTS has hired former Senator “wide stance” Larry Craig as a consultant.

  18. Trip says:

    emptywheel @emptywheel

    emptywheel Retweeted Ross Garber

    This is an important question: Roger Stone was dressed (in his “Roger Stone did nothing wrong” T-Shirt) for arrest and met with allies the night before.

    Did he get a heads up?

    Marcy, he was also wearing his “hair”, I noticed from still pics. Unless that is glued on all of the time?

  19. P J Evans says:

    @BroD February 8, 2019 at 10:33 am
    I have to assume that you’ve heard the nicknames birders have given the critters they’re looking for. (“LBJ” (“little brown job”) is probably the mildest. )

    • Rayne says:

      I’d hope they’d prepared it already, awaiting signature. Like upon learning Whitaker was thinking of resisting appearance before this committee.

          • Trip says:

            Bummer. I thought the agreement was that they weren’t going to serve it in advance of the hearing to compel him.

          • Trip says:

            I thought one purpose of the subpoena was to force answers to questions or to otherwise assert privilege, rather than simply having him physically appear.

            • Rayne says:

              I’m sure I’ll be corrected by somebody who knows more but I thought executive privilege must be claimed by the executive. It’s not like Whitaker didn’t get a list of questions with enough advance notice to let the executive do so.

              • Trip says:

                I know. I think that’s why he didn’t want to show up if there was a subpoena. That Trump would have to assert this privilege in advance. At least that was how some attorneys were explaining it, but I have no expertise, so I defer as well.

                This way, Trump is separated, in the clear, and BDT-S looks like a giant dopey lunkhead, alone.

                On the plus side, he could have a new career as a test proctor being that he is so precise on timing. :)

                • Tom says:

                  Whitaker’s comment about Nadler’s five minutes being up reminded me of Kavanaugh and his “Do you like beer? What do you like to drink?” smartass response during his hearing.

  20. P J Evans says:

    Over at the Great Orange Satan, people keep wondering why AMI tried blackmailing the richest guy in the world. I pointed out t hat they (meaning AMI) weren’t thinking in those terms: they were thinking “the owner of the Washington Post” – and when you look at it that way, it makes a lot more sense. Tr*mp would very much like to get WaPo to be favorable to him. (It also would make sense if they were extorting some other people in DC who were less able to tell AMI where to stick it. Which was also something brought up at the GOS.)

    • Trip says:

      They didn’t blackmail him at first, which seems incredibly stupid (if you are gonna go that route). They just ran dirt with no conditions. It wasn’t until Bezos hired investigators that they tried to reel it back in, losing any leverage they could have possibly had at the start.

  21. Democritus says:

    Maya Wiley just made a good point. Whitaker hasn’t yet been asked, or said, if he talked to Trump about any of the investigations out of SDNY.

    I had to bust out my backup tablet to keep up today, lol

  22. DWoolly says:

    It’s worth mentioning that there’s a google feedback loop going on with Emptywheel. If you google “Big Dick Toilet Salesman”, it leads you right back to emptywheel.
    I found this out early on when I couldn’t figure out who you were referring to.
    FWIW, I have no problem with the nicknames for people, although do get confused by them sometimes. Still not sure who Uday is (Don Jr?). I missed the original context, so I am unsure. Personally, the only nickname type of thing I do is that I refuse to capitalize trump.

  23. P J Evans says:

    @DWoolly February 8, 2019 at 11:18 am
    Yes, Uday is Junior (think of the “D” in both names), and Qusay is the other one.

  24. sand says:

    OT, but with explanation: Ivanka went on GMA this morning. She doesn’t give many interviews, so it’s easy to see this as part of an effort to distract from the BDTS hearing. I’ll take the bait as most here are too sharp to be distracted, but I see a little tie into how people get sucked deeper into their lies. I’ll put that part first and then ramble.

    First, Ivanka said that she new “literally almost nothing” about the Trump Moscow project. I’ll translate: “I knew something.”

    Then, she says, “There was never a binding contract. I never talked to the — with a third party outside of the organization about it.” This sounds like she caught herself about to be too specific considering that she knew “literally almost nothing.”

    While it may not be a crime to lie on national teevee, Ivanka would have to contradict herself if she were asked detailed questions under oath. I don’t think that’s going to be easy for Ivanka, who seems to take great pains to try to manage her image. So, once you tell a lie on national teevee, you’ve got an incentive to maintain the lie, and it sure looks like Ivanka just lied about what she knew about Trump Moscow.

    Here’s a link:

    Ramble starts here:

    Interestingly, both of the quotes above were in the ABC news story on the web but were edited out of the footage that was aired. Considering that the interviewer, Abby Huntsman, is the daughter of the loyalist that her father appointed to be ambassador to Russia, it’s not surprising that some of the juiciest quotes were cut from the footage that aired. GMA is mostly entertainment, but is broadcast as part of “ABC News.” I wonder who supervised editing of the footage.

    Ivanka showed up in white, three days late. She supports women’s issues, just not in front of her father. She noted, “My job as a member of this administration is not to share my viewpoint.” Her official title from the United States of Atrociousness is FIRST DAUGHTER AND ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT. That confirms the role of Trump’s advisers is to stand there and try to look like the “best people.” He makes all the decisions from his gut. The advisers’ job is not to share their opinions. (Note: You can spell “adviser” with an “e” like most of the world if you want one more way to distinguish yourself from the Trump admin. They use the “o” to remind the advisOrs that their advice is worth zero.)

    Lastly, this part–the firm denial of Russian involvement–aired, of course:

    A. Huntsman: “Are you concerned that anyone in your life that you love . . .

    I. Trump: “No.”

    A. Huntsman: ” . . . being involved . . . ”

    I. Trump: “There’s nothing there. No. I have zero concern.”

    Possible Interpretation: While one or more persons that I have known my whole life were almost certainly involved, I would not characterize my relationship with those persons as “love.” In answer to your question, no one that I love was involved.

  25. Trip says:

    Did anyone ask BDT-S, yet, if Trump talked to him about any of the investigations (SDNY or Mueller)? There were some reports, as I recall, that he received a dressing down by Trump.

  26. Rayne says:

    Oversight committee needs to prepare to cite Whitaker for contempt.

    . . .

    Rep. Jim Jordan up asking about SCO’s authorization. Is he providing a prompt for Whitaker to look into the SCO before Barr is approved?

      • Rayne says:

        I can’t help wonder every time I see one of Trump’s handpicked minions talk in public whether they aren’t coordinating activity to further their conspiracy right under our noses.

        Every one of these GOP Freedom Caucus goons is suspect.

  27. Trip says:

    Jim Jordan is the Doug Collins of Lindsey Grahams.

    Why can’t BDT-S answer whether he is overseeing a witch hunt?

    • Anvil Leucippus says:

      I half expected BDTS to reply with something like “Thank you for question. I understand that the subject of paranormal practitioners of the dark arts is an important subject to you. As I have answered previously, the DOJ has not investigated any witches, warlocks, mages, sorcerers, alienists, or wizards.” (but if they were, he would say that he cannot comment on an ongoing paranormal investigation)

  28. pseudonymous in nc says:

    What the committee needs to do is demand a formal invocation of executive privilege, to end two years of pretend-privilege.

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    My, Whitaker is not very good.  He is memorably bad, Alberto Gonzales bad, at fielding questions.  I suppose I should be disappointed at the coordinated Q&A the GOP committee members are engaged in with Whitaker.  Distraction and time wasting 101.  But why, for example, ask a guy with half his ass out the door what his priorities are for the department he’s about to leave?

    If Whitaker had not so actively sought this job, I’d put him in the deer in the headlights category.  But he did seek this out.  That he was chosen, however, is the problem.  Lots of resumes come in over the computer, in the mail, over the transom, from ear-to-ear, and favor-seeker-to-favor-seeker.  Trumps’ whisperers filtered and funneled them into a single piece of cannon fodder.  The cynicism rivals the fundamentalist christians and their prayer breakfast, who sought fit to invite the master of ceremonies and entirely irreligious great sinner Donald Trump.

  30. Trip says:

    If anyone was being truly honest in re the opioid crisis, they would ask about the consideration of criminal charges against individuals at Purdue Pharmaceuticals, instead of suspending disbelief in that the massive addiction just organically happened.

  31. tinao says:

    Wow, sure looks to me that BDTS’s personal plumbing is spewing in reverse from the exit orifice to the intake one.

  32. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Someone must have told BDTS that he can chew up more time saying, “Na na na na na na na,” than saying, Congresswoman, “I don’t remember.”

    No one seems to have told him that route is not productive to self-preservation.

  33. earlofhuntingdon says:

    MSNBC is being too charitable to Whitaker.  His incapacity is the problem, not his inexperience.

    The media is well aware that politics is a contact sport.  Anyone acting in a Cabinet post as senior as Attorney General needs to be able to go into the ring alone with the bull.  Mr. Whitaker, posturing aside, would not qualify as one of the clowns.

    • Elaine says:

      Actually, as someone who watched a bit of rodeo in my time, before the animal welfare issues made me stop, the best athlete in the arena is usually the clown. It takes a lot of skill and determination to deliberately tease a bull away from a downed participant and not get hurt oneself. Likewise, the best riders were usually the pickup riders who were also responsible for getting the participants out safely.

      • Cathy says:

        Like a court jester (@punaise: aren’t those the fellows with the stick and bells?)

        Agreed. Comparison is an insult to clowns. Any and every -where.

  34. Trip says:

    Kind of thin, but anyway…

    National Enquirer’s AMI Scrutinized Over Bezos Story, Sources Say

    Prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office were provided with information about key exchanges concerning Bezos…They are now reviewing whether there was any criminal activity or whether AMI, the National Enquirer’s parent company, violated an earlier agreement not to engage in criminal conduct.

  35. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’m sure bmaz and others can comment, but I believe SWAT team members serve warrants for non-violent offenses every day.  Keeps ’em tuned up for the real thing.  Intimidating the community is sometimes also a goal.  Occasionally, there’s a reasonable likelihood of a violent response.

    I’m also pretty sure that CNN had camped out at Stone’s house in Florida for some time, because Stone bragged about the likelihood of being arrested at any time.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, that is right. Also, you need quite a few to secure the perimeter from the public, and quite a few to secure the property for search. There was nothing shocking whatsoever about this service.

  36. Anvil Leucippus says:

    Did BDTS just say that he believes Trump hired him because BDTS knew all about the Special Counsel investigation information that Sessions could not, because of Sessions’ recusal? Is that not a huge red flag when we are talking about why hire BDTS instead of anyone from the long line of succession of Senate-confirmed individuals?!

  37. bmaz says:

    Actually, if he were a competent attorney (he is not) and had not previously publicly formed negative opinions on the SC investigation (he had), hiring the chief of staff might be fine.

    In answer to your question though, he previously testified that he was NOT read in, and was recused along with Sessions prior to being named.

    • Anvil Leucippus says:

      Forgive me if this is a really stupid question, because I am loathe to piss you off with something that is much more in your wheelhouse than mine, but BDTS was also recused from the subject of the Mueller investigation? Or am I maybe just misunderstanding how recusal works? My confusion stems from how one can be briefed on a subject he should not have been briefed about (nor be making comments about in the first place).

      • bmaz says:

        You are doing fine! His statement was that Sessions was recused from all things Mueller and that as Sessions’ chief of staff, he was recused along with Sessions. Which would be consistent with department policy. He testified he was read in/briefed when named Acting AG. Now, whether that is all accurate or not, I don’t know, but that was his testimony.

  38. foxklub says:

    Thankyou for addressing this topic, Marcy.

    Your defense  “…is about Trump deliberately choosing a fraudster to lead the ____” could readily apply to every member of the cabinet, Scotus, etc. All are frauds so all deserving of nicknames.

    • I find it distracting and puerile. Maybe the first time you wrote about him it was a chuckle, but now its just feeling like 5th grade grafitti.

    • Would you ever refer to someone as “Big Pussy” ? (other than the Soprano’s character)

    • I would never bother to discuss this nickname bit if I didn’t have such high regard for this site. I assume at times it gets tedious plodding thru all the half-baked statements and contradictions this admin. produces; if the nickname gives you a moments satisfaction, then I, loyal reader, will accept it.

    • bmaz says:

      The nomenclature is fine, has been explained, and will stay. Do you have anything of actual substance to add?

    • Rayne says:

      Hey, thanks for dropping into comments for the first time to complain. This site has its own style which it has employed for a dozen years, which if you are loyal reader you already know. Why complain now, I wonder, though I don’t expect an answer.

      • Barry says:

        To BMAZ & Rayne – I’m reading Foxklub’s comment and your replies after writing my own comment below. To you two I say, back off. Foxklub’s comment, like mine, is 100% germane to the topic of this EW post. EW doesn’t need your knee-jerk and heavy-handed defense.

        • bmaz says:

          And I will say this again, for the last time, mind your own business, and how we write posts is most certainly not it.

        • Rayne says:

          I’m going to say this as politely as I can: Fuck. Off.

          You may be commenting on Marcy’s use of her self-developed nickname, but she’s already done more than she owed anybody by explaining herself. She also clearly tells readers in her Twitter profile she’s a “legendary pottymouth.”

          If you and foxklub can’t handle this site’s operating style — including my and bmaz’ moderation — I’m sure there are other blogs who are willing to allow you to comment and police their language. Good luck with that.

  39. Barry says:

    This piece already has a long thread and I haven’t read every comment, so I may or may not be the first EW supporter to say that I think the repeated use of the BDTS nickname, while greatly enjoyable for the choir, does a disservice to the profoundly important journalistic effort that EW is engaged in.

    I ‘ve tried to come up with a thought experiment that might make my criticism better understood by those here who relish this disparaging and ribald name. Let’s go back to the time of the Starr Investigation that was supposed to be about possible political corruption in Arkansas involving the First Family. Do you think it would have furthered the interests of the Anti-Clinton Team if their most rigorous and honest journalist kept referring to the President as the Fellatio-in-Chief? This clever name would have kept the Right in joyous stitches to the present day, I’m sure, but I think Dems and Independents would experience it as a tasteless shot below the belt, so to speak.  I don’t think it would have served the interests of those who wanted to expose any legitimate excesses or crimes of the President.

    I understand the desire to discredit someone as discredible as Whitaker, but I don’t think it works on a larger audience. When you have facts on your side, stick to the facts. Let the other side resort to adolescent name-calling.

      • Barry says:

        Jesus, bmaz, what do you mean “mind my own business”? That is an absurd reply. it sounds downright Rudy-esque. 

    • Trip says:

      That’s a ridiculous comparison. Clinton didn’t get BJs for a living. Whitaker actually sold big dick toilets.

      • Barry says:

        I was not attempting to compare Clinton with Whitaker. I was offering my personal opinion on EW’s public use of toilet humor to discredit Whitaker since she chose to write a post on that very subject.

        • P J Evans says:

          And if you’ve been here for more than three days, you should know why she’s using it.

          With all due respect, you appear to be on the wrong site.

  40. foxklub says:

    Dear Rayne and Bmaz:
    A. I thought my comment had substance
    B. I have commented about this topic about a week ago

    For reasons I don’t know, I can’t reply to your comments in the thread. When I hit reply, nada.

  41. 5corners says:

    My only complaint is that it should be Big-Dick-Toilet Salesman just to be clear that you are not saying he’s a well-endowed toilet monger.

  42. punaise says:

    hey, wait a minute… has anybody ever seen Joe the Plumber and this Whitaker fellow in the same room at the same time?

  43. Anvil Leucippus says:

    I like his incredulous tone at finding out he only gets five minutes for lunch, forgetting his mic was still on.

  44. Trip says:

    Did this really happen? Holy fuck, what an asswipe.

    From Marcy’s live tweets:

    Swalwell: Can you say Bob Mueller is honest and not conflicted?

    BDTS: I’m not here to be a puppet.

    • North Jersey John says:

      BDTS hits another note (not a puppet) in his running audition for Fox News contributor.  Actually a triple word score if you’re playing Hannity Bingo (Swalwell smack down, “not a puppet” Hillary reference, plus a snotty comeback).   I can see all the Breitbart fan boys high-fiving right now.

  45. Anvil Leucippus says:

    Oh apparently BDTS has got thin skin! I always assume these career grifters have some sort of glib tongue. But the moment you point out to them, hey, you have had some sketchy past jobs on your resume — they suddenly just forget the name of the charity organization he ran / was the sole employee of.

  46. P J Evans says:

    @Cathy February 8, 2019 at 1:57 pm
    It isn’t – it’s the old nickname for Daily Kos, from the days when ew was at FireDogLake.

      • Rayne says:

        I may have to come up with a Glossary of Terms Used. I forget we’ve been at this so long now there’s an entirely new generation who haven’t been speaking this language since the early Bush administration.

        • Cathy says:

          Or not. It’s an epistemological branch of archeology. Think of it. One day someone will write an ew-themed Death on the Nile to capitalize on the irresistible romance associated with delving into the site. Collecting the nuggets is half the fun.

        • P J Evans says:


          I put together a glossary for work, back around 1990, from notes others made, and it came in handy much more recently – it was the base on which some of the bright people with whom I worked assembled a really fine hyperlinked Excel file. Part of the fun I had was dealing with the obsolete terms, some of which went back to the 20s and 30s – and it’s necessary to have them available, because some of the docs in the system are that old. Text, graphics, examples, it all went in – and I was able to find some nice pics online.

  47. harpie says:

    Laura Rozen: 10:46 AM – 8 Feb 2019

    Collins with point of order again. He does not seem to want Whitaker to answer questions about who funded FACT / really seems he is trying to protect the donor. / Whitaker, asked by Rep. Swalwell if FACT got foreign money, says he does not know. Says main donor was a group that was a US entity.

    Some info about FACT:

    1] Tax returns reveal one six-figure donor accounts for entirety of “dark money” funding Whitaker’s nonprofit  OpenSecrets, Anna Massoglia November 21, 2018
    2] How one accountant links Whitaker’s nonprofit to network of dark money groups Luppe B. Luppen [NYC Southpaw] News•November 30, 2018

  48. Laura says:

    For anyone who thinks BDTS is an inappropriate moniker, you might want to read about BDTS’s ‘qualifications’ for his nickname (not his quals for for AG, because he doesn’t have any).  Hence I offer this horrifying/hilarious piece from Mother Jones:

    You may think Big Dick Toilet Salesman is raw, and I normally do not like nicknames myself, but the guy is a fraud, bully and liar, and his presence in DOJ genuinely demeans the Office of the Attorney General. For as long as he’s there, which hopefully won’t be long.

    Also, it’s not my blog, our blog, or your blog.  It’s the work of Marcy/bmaz/Rayne et al.  So that’s that.

    • Tommy D Cosmology says:

      Nunes moved his farm to Iowa shortly before Whitaker started a consulting business that dealt with Ag and politics in Iowa, among other things. Betcha they knew each other back then.

  49. Anvil Leucippus says:

    When asked if he was surprised at all to be picked for acting-AG, given the opportunity to say if Sessions was terminated or resigned at the start of his response, why did he take such a pregnant pause and then do the awkward linguistic gymnastics to refer to his appointment as the result of Sessions’ letter of resignation? And is that the same as saying that Sessions resigned? Why not just say resignation?

    Why does BDTS talk so weirdly when he is asked questions he already knows he is going to be asked?!

      • Anvil Leucippus says:

        I am just flabbergasted at how bad he is at this! Can anyone watch this man, sweaty, pink-faced, hand-talking, contort himself in knots at the simplest of questions — really look at that — and nod sagely, saying “Yeah. This guy has got it handled. Nothing shady”

        • Anvil Leucippus says:

          For example, how do you not remember if you first heard about a job offer in a phone call or in a tweet from the President? Or let me phrase the question this way:

          If you saw that tweet first, wouldn’t you wonder, “hey, that’s crazy. This guy is saying I am acting-AG. I wonder if that is true or not”? That strikes me as something you might remember.

  50. Jenny says:

    Congresswoman Scanlon from PA was stellar in my opinion, calling Acting AC of “running out the clock.”  Also Congresswoman Jayapal bringing up the inhumane acts in separating children from their parents at the border.

    He is very skilled at “blah, blah, blah” trying to run out the clock.  Good to know he has only 6 days left.

    Scoring points with Trump by stating, “Mr. Chairman, your five minutes is up.”  With his responses he is smug and disrespectful.

  51. harpie says:

    @P J Evans February 8, 2019 at 3:19 pm
    Right, I had to look at some maps. But Jed Shugerman’s point remains: Ca-22 [Nunes’ district] is within the US Atty for Eastern D. of CA, Greg Scott’s jurisdiction.

    • harpie says:

      Jed Shugerman continued along this line in the thread as well:

      […] Just to be clear: The Eastern District of California is very large geographically. It is based in Sacramento. But any Republican Congressman is going to have close contacts with a Republican US Atty. Here’s a map of EDCA: / 4/ It looks like there are only 4 GOP congressmen in EDCA (Greg Scott’s district): @DevinNunes @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy Doug LaMalfa Tom McClintock. // This doesn’t mean Nunes and McCarthy planted Scott w/ Whitaker. But it would be unusual if Scott didn’t have contacts with them.

      • P J Evans says:

        Jeebus. Three of the four worst congresscritters in the entire state. (I’ve been ticked at McClintock since he was in the state legislature misrepresenting part of Ventura county. ISTR that for a while I was actually in his district, and his “polls” were clearly dishonest from the start.)

    • harpie says:

      Chris Geidner has this about Scott:

      10:57 AM – 8 Feb 2019 Also, a little update on Greg Scott, the US Attorney who was in the Mueller briefing. Per DOJ spokesperson, Scott “has been a senior advisor to A/AG Whitaker during this transition period. Splits his time between Main Justice and Eastern District of CA.”

  52. P J Evans says:

    @harpie February 8, 2019 at 3:36 pm
    CA’s federal court districts are weird, as far as matching names to locations goes.

  53. P J Evans says:

    @Cathy February 8, 2019 at 4:51 pm
    Given that we were doing GIS, starting with actual paper maps and docs…”map key” is exactly correct. (The 1990 bit was an early try at GIS. Neither the hardware nor the software were up to what we wanted to do – but it’s done now. And some of us were in on both. It gave me a lot of satisfaction to see it become real.)

  54. Avattoir says:

    Hoping to see soon a revival of the Tex & Edna Boyle Emporium concept, except this time under a big gleaming white plastic double-dome, and under direction of joint owners BTDS & Joe the Plumber:

    Y’all COM’ON DOWN via South County Maintenance Road 573, past the Can’t Miss It billboard of the Two Big Dude Domes, to

    Joe And Matt’s Supreme Personal Waste Disposal & Plumbing Goods Emporium,

    for your most personal large volume waste disposal needs.

    If you’re one of those folks who so often find yourself completely full of it, backed up with no proper place to put it, COM’ON DOWN and see what 2 actual sorta touched by a sorta president-endorsed experts can do for YOU!

    (Any & installation, maintenance, servicing & warranties excluded, because we don’t know how to do any of that stuff) 


  55. Barry says:

    I don’t think there is any journalist who is contributing anywhere close to what EW is contributing to a public understanding of the inevitably complicated Mueller investigation. Her ability to digest, analyze and synthesize so much information combined with her ability to communicate all this to the public in a concise manner is both amazing and uniquely valuable.

    Similarly, those who monitor this site are performing a necessary and important service by  assuring that the opportunity for comment not be obliterated by trolls – be they American, Russian, or robotic.

    That sincerely said, I ask that those entrusted with the responsibility to monitor this site distinguish between, on the one hand, comments that are relevant to the post and constructively offered even if offered as constructive criticism; and on the other hand, comments that the monitors have rational reason to believe are coming from deceptive trolls bent on undermining EW’s work. Monitors should be weeding out trolls, of course. It gets tricky, though, when a monitor is also a commenter. In this capacity they are of course free to offer their personal opinions. But when someone else takes issue with a monitor’s comment, then he or she should not be threatened with banishment. In my opinion that kind of bullying and inappropriate threat is a result of mixing up of the rolls of commenter and monitor. 

    Or perhaps this is just my old-fashioned liberal views showing.

    • Rayne says:

      Were you not told to stop your policing? If you elaborate on this one more time your comment will be binned.

      The means by which this site deals with trolls, provocateurs, saboteurs, bots and spammers aren’t up for discussion.

    • Cathy says:

      Points to @Barry:  nevertheless [you] persisted

      Points to the @Rayne @bmaz:  evaluating on a comment-by-comment basis & keeping the discussion lively

  56. Richieboy says:

    When I saw the preview slug for this post was:
    “Why I use the term Big Dick Toilet Salesman to refer to Matt Whitaker.”

    … the first response that came to mind was, “Because the term Skeevy McFuckface was taken.”

    But, no, that wasn’t it. Consider me enlightened.

    • Rayne says:

      ~dying~ I went looking in Google Images for Skeevy McFuckface and I didn’t see one image strongly associated.

      But I then checked Big Dick Toilet Salesman and yup, strongly associated with our flop-sweaty acting AG.

      So who do we assign the name Skeevy McFuckface, then? Jared?

  57. J Barker says:

    I missed a lot of the hearing today. The parts I did see were… hmmm… not good for BDTS.

    Did anyone ask him about his communications with SCO regarding the BuzzFeed story a couple weeks ago? That seemed like an important thing to press him on, and something that he couldn’t dodge by appealing to executive privilege.

    Or SDNY? Did he get asked any SDNY questions?

  58. Theresa says:

    “So who do we assign the name Skeevy McFuckface, then? Jared?”

    OMG, this is perfect for Jarad, aka, the “hidden genius” per Nikki Haley.

    • Cathy says:

      Nice. I used this to make a case to younger family members that I’m still relevant – they respect Quizlet. I’m only tangentially still relevant, though. I overlap subject matter in custody xfer metering and leak detection (from a long time ago).

      • P J Evans says:

        I’ve been retired for six years, and there are some things that are deeply engraved in my memory. (I found that by searching on “Monrovia fitting” – I don’t think anyone else would even know that one. It’s multiply-generation obsolete.)

        Sometimes I miss that kind of work. Not the database QC stuff, which I was doing – poorly – without training, but the research and the weird-data stuff, that no one else was really good at. (Like mapping all the power plants and co-generation locations I could find data for. Or all the high-pressure services I could locate – there were like 200 out of 15K that I couldn’t find, for one reason or another.)

  59. Positive Attitude Jones says:

    Grammatically, that moniker has 3 possible meanings.  Only one (the one we are most dubious about) is flattering.

  60. David Caldwell says:

    Well as far as I’m concerned I think BDTS should be given the arse. Sorry! Not one of my greatest moments re sending in a comment.

  61. SomeGuyInMaine says:

    Overheard Later That Evening Near Capitol Hill

    Whitaker: Sir, that’s a very good question, I can see this topic is important to you. I want to be very precise . . .

    Waiter: (interrupting) I just asked ‘what can I get you to drink?’

  62. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What does Big Dick Toilet Salesman do to chill and refill his tank after his grueling session on the Hill? According to Mag Habs, he lifts a few brews at the Trump International Hotel just down Penn. Ave. (I wonder if No. 2 left him a note on his coaster to see him immediately.) I didn’t catch whether Brett Kavanaugh was there ahead of him.

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