Here’s the topic Donald Trump and the Republican Party are doing everything they can to avoid:

It’s also the single biggest reason not to vote for Donald Trump.

I think Drew Gibson put it best in a tweet today:

The White House can put all the spin on their “Zapuder tape” they want. It won’t change the fact we can see they are killing us through police brutality and COVID-19.

It won’t change the fact Joe Biden was welcomed in Kenosha by community leaders, spoke with shooting victim Jacob Blake and met with Blake’s family — none of which insensitive racist Trump could bring himself to do.

It won’t change the fact Trump failed to boost U.S. manufacturing as he promised in 2016. Instead he set off an unnecessary trade war implementing tariffs which not only inflated consumer prices in the U.S., damaged demand for U.S. commodities, but encouraged the burning of Amazon rain forest for farmland in Brazil, which sold more soybeans to China.

It won’t change the fact that the Trump administration still has no effective response to COVID-19, allowing states to continue to fight on their own as more a thousand Americans die each day from the disease. At this rate 300,000 Americans will die of COVID-19 this year.

It won’t change the fact that no one in their right mind sees the Trump administration’s politicized hyper-speed development of a COVID-19 vaccine as anything more than a ploy for re-election purposes.

It won’t change the fact that +30% of college football players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 developed myocarditis which may inhibit their ability to play in college and professionally — and none of this had to happen had Trump done his job.

It won’t change the fact the Trump administration and the GOP senate are allowing children to go hungry, ignoring mounting food insecurity and growing numbers of  unemployed with 1.6 million new claims filed this week.

It won’t change the fact that evictions and foreclosures are creating another crisis surpassing that of 2007-2009.

But keep spinning, Kelly McEnany. Maybe you’ll survive the failed Trump years and earn yourself a gig spinning numbers for a TV game show as your next gig.

This is an open thread.
UPDATE-1 — 6:15 P.M. ET —

Wonder what the White House will do next to hide this?

This is bad. I wonder if they’ll care, though, since they’ve fucked up the U.S. Postal Service so badly overseas military votes may not get counted in a timely fashion.

We should be pounding on Esper to help active duty military to vote.

UPDATE-2 — 8:00 A.M. ET FRIDAY —

Oh, not good. Media have been arguing about sourcing behind Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece in The Atlantic. AP verified some, and Washington Post followed up as well. But WaPo’s team published a piece which is just as blistering as Goldberg’s.

See Trump said U.S. soldiers injured and killed in war were ‘losers,’ magazine reports

We still aren’t told who the sources are but my money is on Jim Mattis being one of them. Goldberg wrote a piece on Mattis in June in which Mattis took a stick to Trump.

See James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution

Twitter was flooded with condemnation of Trump after yesterday’s piece in The Atlantic; Team Trump sent out a horde of proxies like Sarah Huckabee Sanders to swat it down.

Not certain who’ll believe her.

212 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Three things:
    — Call your friends, neighbors, family, acquaintances and ask them to complete the U.S. Census online if they haven’t done it already.

    — Call your senator if they are GOP about the HEROES Act (economic aid) and the Delivering for America Act (post office funding) and ask them to get back to work and support these bills. Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

    — Shout, “Fuck Mark Meadows. Fuck Steve Mnuchin” out your front door. Scumbags both of them, deliberately obstructing aid to the American people for whom they are supposed to work.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    Not enough is being said about Jason Miller’s connection (at 20 k$ per month) to the Build the Wall charity scandal.

    Also, Pelosi has noted that this smelled like a setup, and given how quickly this was blasted into Faux, I think she was right.

    But, to your point Kayleigh needs to be asked every day about what DJT is actually DOING about the 4000+ per day (which will go up as the college totals come in) and the death toll. Follow that up with the studies reported this week on the pediatric effects of COVID-19.

    • P J Evans says:

      The stylist is backing Pelosi. The owner appears to blame Pelosi for state and local rules, and is ignoring them as much as possible.

      I saw one description of the series of events that was (paraphrasing):
      Pelosi (or her assistant) calls to see if it’s okay.
      Stylist checks with owner, who says “yes”.
      Stylist sanitizes place beforehand.
      Pelosi comes in and gets haircut.
      Stylist sanitizes place afterward.

      • Jenny says:

        You have Trump’s fan base behavior celebrating similar to a rock concert or a football game, Trump obsessed with his brand, fans blindly following him. Volatile cocktail in the making.

        Then there are followers making heroes out of shooters and demonizing those who stand up for the silent.

        Now the Trump administration is creating what is most important at the news conference – Hairgate. What will they think of next?

        Just can’t make this poop up.

  3. ThomasH says:

    It hasn’t gotten much traction since it’s a statistical finding, but epidemiologists are measuring “excess deaths” over what they expect to see without SARS-Cov-2 virus. Looking at excess deaths, scientists think the COVID-19 deaths passed the 200,000 mark several weeks ago. If I can find the article to back this up, I’ll post it on a following post.

    • Rugger9 says:

      This is probably a more accurate number, and is standard practice for epidemiological studies. Given the policies in red states to downplay and under-report deaths like DeSantis did in FL (firing his statistician to boot) we aren’t going to get anything official that can be relied upon. That was before the CDC was pulled off for a private contractor (who then fell on their face) and now the Q-theory is that unless it’s only COVID it isn’t COVID.

      I like how Mustang Bobby discussed this:


    • Rayne says:

      Thanks. I think I recall seeing a percentage of additional deaths — something like an additional 25% of the COVID-19 deaths number in excess deaths.

      Financial Times might have something as one of their contributors had been regularly tweeting about excess deaths for a while.

      • Tarkeel says:

        Excess mortality can be a good early warning of an incoming pandemic, but there are some ways to misread it. Most importantly, you have to ask excess to what? Mortality is heavily season dependant, and especially 2018 was a very bad flu season. EuroMoMo, the European excess-mortality monitoring programme, has good data for the last few years. Another issue for covid-19 is that some of the contries that did close down, actually saw a decrease in total mortality when the population was sheltering.

        • ND senior says:

          CDC site for excess deaths shows the seasonal variation as well as the upper bound for excess deaths, and the US has been above that upper bound since the week ending March 28. In the spring we were also above the peaks for the 2018 flu season (which also shows excess deaths). For the people who insist that many of these folks would have died anyway, I suppose there would be partial confirmation if the seasonal death rate dropped well below expected this winter.

          • Tarkeel says:

            I agree with what you say, the point I was trying to make was something along the lines of “just because there is no visible excess doesn’t mean there are no covid-19 deaths”.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Hey, don’t Blue Lives Matter at the WH (snark alert)? This was kind of interesting in comparison to what Faux News would have everyone believe which is that the cops are dying like flies under attack from BLM and ANTIFA.


      Playing football anyway will have consequences, and it is hard to play well when you can’t breathe or the heart goes out. All of those parents looking for their kid’s NFL payday needs to get a dose of reality, and reinforces why the Pac-12 and Mountain West shut down the fall season for everyone based on medical considerations. Maybe Kayleigh or DJT can tell us how many lives lost or ruined athletic careers are acceptable collateral damage, and the press needs to make them cough up a number (100, 200, 186 thousand?). How about their own kids first?


  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Great quote about Pelosi and the Zapruder film. That it was a set-up and shiny object was made clear by how many minutes it took for the story to make it to Faux Noise. An MSM twtr comment I can’t find now suggested that even if the salon thing was fake, it was not a good look for the Democrats. JHC.

  5. Geoguy says:

    Posted today in Wall Street on Parade: “The Fed Provides an Unlimited Money Lifeline to Wall Street; 30 Million Americans Facing Eviction Get a No-Money 4-Month Plan.” Sheldon Wolin wrote an article for The Nation magazine titled “Inverted Totalitarianism, How the Bush Administration is effecting the transformation to a fascist state” dated May 19, 2003. It seems more revelant today than it did when he wrote it.

  6. BobCon says:

    The Atlantic article is chilling — it quotes John Kelly describing Trump’s hamhanded comments at Arlington Cemetery at the graveside of Kelly’s son, who was killed in Afghanistan:

    “Trump can’t imagine anyone else’s pain. That’s why he would say this to the father of a fallen marine on Memorial Day in the cemetery where he’s buried.”

  7. Rugger9 says:

    OT but an example as to why DJT will still lose regardless of the cheating lined up to support him. Oh, and I can’t see a single Semper Fi Marine (there are ones I call “corporate” Marines he’ll still hold) voting for DJT after this on top of the Russian bounties (where DJT still hasn’t done anything). There’s a reason one of the big amphibs is named for the Belleau Wood battle. The Atlantic article covers the lowlights about DJT’s disrespect for “his” military.


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yea, not a great look for the Commander-in-Chief to say, “If they were winners, they wouldn’t have died.” It’s like Trump is trapped in a loop, watching The Rock, at the moment where Sean Connery’s character tells Nicholas Cage’s that “doing your best” is for losers, “winners go home and fuck the prom queen.”

      Imagine how much more disdain Trump would have for Medal of Honor winners. What each did to win their country’s highest award for valor in combat against an armed enemy varied. But one of their common attributes was a willingness to sacrifice themselves for others. Trump must regard them as highly as Enron’s salescritters regarded the California grandmothers they were impoverishing: fuck ’em.

      • P J Evans says:

        He’s a draft dodger and the grandson of a draft dodger. There’s no tradition of service or sacrifice in that family.
        (My mother’s father got three machine gun bullets in his leg, in France, and his cousin took six in his chest and shoulder. They both survived.)

        • Fran of the North says:

          My biological father took a 122 mm rocket in the Central Highlands while advising the Biet Dong Quan and came home in a box. My step father took grenade fragments and a .50 cal bullet in the knee in Korea but made it home.

          Brave American winners have been giving of, and sacrificing themselves so that the rest of us can live in relative freedom. The sad truth is that ‘rest’ includes those who don’t deserve those gifts or sacrifice.

          Thanks to your in-laws and all other vets and their families who have sacrificed for all of us.

          • P J Evans says:

            I think of the grandfather of my niece-by-marriage, who died on Guadalcanal in 1943, in his second week as squadron leader – they were trained on P70 nightfighters, but those planes got sent elsewhere. He’s buried at Arlington – they brought him back after the war.
            What I think of Trmp would melt the screen.

      • bmaz says:

        Yes Earl, but John Patrick Mason in The Rock never really shied from a fight. Also, Connery was great, as was Nic Cage. What a flick.

      • John Lehman says:

        “… a willingness to sacrifice themselves for others.”

        A characteristic that could be easily argued as the very foundation of Christianity as exemplified by Christ Himself in His life and His death.

        So who’s side are these people on that they so loudly and self righteously claim to be good Christians ?

        …”fuck ’em.”

      • Rugger9 says:

        DJT needs to watch the Youtube recording of CMOH winner TSGT John Chapman, USAF until he gets it.

        There is a reason CMOH owners are saluted by flag officers.

        I’m also reminded of the time DJT accepted a Purple Heart from a misguided soul, saying “I’ve always wanted one of these” like it was something to be owned and not earned.

      • Michael says:

        “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” – DJT
        (“them” being casualties interred at Arlington National Cemetery)
        He is indeed a sick person.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I should correct that comment. Trump is a psychopath. He doesn’t disdain those Marine veterans, or their valor, or the war in which they died a hundred years ago. He doesn’t think about them at all. They don’t exist, because they’re not him.

      He is capable, however, of acting out and blaming others – including the dead – for the most heinous of crimes, in order to give himself the lazy pleasure of a few more minutes in bed, so that he can eat and tweet – because that is about him. That’s what’s president. At least for a few more months.

      • BobCon says:

        Trump sees dead Marines the same as he does dead migrants and asylum seekers.

        The Atlantic article describes John Kelly’s dawning realization that Trump is dead inside, and he was right to be angry. I hope, though, that Kelly reevaluates his own time at DHS and asks himself if he also needed more compassion toward people outside of his walk of life.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I corrected my earlier comment because I fell into the same groove the MSM does. Trump is stunningly ignorant and incompetent. It makes him easy to laugh at and to underestimate, because we feel superior correcting him. But as a psychopath, Trump’s ignorance empowers his malevolence and destructiveness.

        Trump is like the Russian spy in Ice Station Zebra. He nearly scuttles the American submarine by sabotaging a torpedo tube. He knew nothing about nuclear power or how to operate a submarine. He didn’t know how to launch a torpedo. But he knew exactly how to jury-rig a small circuit board and gum up the spout of a test cock, so that the crew would do the unthinkable: open both ends of a torpedo tube to the sea at the same time. That’s Trump. It’s all intentional, and it’s all bad.

        • John Lehman says:

          Thanks for the sobering insight but it’s really hard not to make ‘sput’ when the jokes write themselves.

        • skua says:

          I agree. Trump does have areas in which he is highly effective. His behavior when asked at a press conference about all his lies being one example – completely unconcerned and passed on so smoothly to another journalist – it couldn’t have been done better. And he did enough to be the Republican nominee in the 2016 election.
          I think that even with his current level of functioning he is still very capable of exploiting opportunites and, with the opportunities available to POTUS before him, remains a great danger to the republic.

      • vicks says:

        Smerconnish pointed out this am that Trump’s second walk off song at his rally on Thursday was “Fortunate Son” by CCR.

        “Some folks are born made to wave the flag
        Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
        And when the band plays “Hail To The Chief”
        Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord

        It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
        It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no

        Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
        Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh
        But when the taxman comes to the door
        Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes

        It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
        It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no

        Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
        Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
        And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
        Ooh, they only answer, “More! More! More!” Yo

        It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
        It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, one”

          • Vicks says:

            Sorry, thought it was obvious and didn’t want to offend by spelling it out.
            Trump is one of the “fortunate sons” that this song attacks and I found his team’s choice to blast this particular protest song at an important time during his event unsettling.
            Any thoughts?

            • Mitch Neher says:

              The human cholla was in an especially foul mood yesterday.

              Type II diabetes? Or Irritable Male Syndrome?

    • Fran of the North says:

      After I calmed down on this topic last night, I realized that events unfolded in a way that might be too close for coincidence.

      Yesterday afternoon I surfed to Lincoln Project to see what their latest take was, and there was this new video pointed at active service and veterans. In addition, they’ve got a bunch of signatories from vets and family members.

      Am I seeing ghosts if I wonder if Goldberg previewed his article with the team at LP, and they did this as a coordinated effort?


      • BobCon says:

        You may see that accusation by the right wing coming up but I don’t think Goldberg coordinated anything. That’s John Solomon level stuff. That would be a pretty serious problem for a journalist unless it was a case of picking up on an effort already in the works, in which case it ought to be covered in the reporting.

        His sources may have said something without Goldberg knowing about it. Odds are this has been known for a long time in some circles based on how many sources there are and how quickly it has been verified.

        • Rugger9 says:

          An indication about how much of a nerve this touched was when I surfed over to LGM this morning and most of their stories had 40 or so comments and this one was already at 804. As noted above many of us have had relatives come home in a box (i.e. I was named for my uncle massacred at Malmedy) and have family who have served (my grandfather was in the Canadian Black Watch in WW1 and spent the rest of his life picking out metal that would work its way out to the skin of his leg when a shell set off the ammo he was carrying forward) so this kind of disdain for the “help” really cuts to the quick especially in these times when the military is respected. I don’t think this attitude about the cemeteries would play well even after Vietnam when the military was generally shunned.

          It’s an old story, but IIRC DJT threatened to cut off Tiffany if she joined up, so this isn’t a one-off bit of senility, DJT really does think of the troops as riff-raff good for photo ops and nothing else.

          • Village idiot says:

            I thought it was interesting that the Maples prenup conditions weren’t just that Tiffany didn’t join the military; they were “full-time job, enlisted in the military, or joined the Peace Corps.”

            Ya know, losers.

        • Rugger9 says:

          A better example of coordination would be the Faux News poutrage about Pelosi’s salon visit, where SFGate reports that the stylist in question (through their lawyer) backs Pelosi’s version of events and IIRC also notes that the salon owner (who told the stylist to proceed, which makes it the owners fault) was looking to leave SF. Buh-bye.

      • bmaz says:

        Lincoln is lightning fast in getting well produced material out, and my guess is this is just further evidence of that.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Concur, LP may be populated by mostly evil and not-fully-principled conservatives (let’s not forget Max Cleeland) but they are very good at this and very experienced at executing outrage politics. This is a piece of cake for them.

          • Mitch Neher says:

            I have to wonder now whether Kaiser Quisling might have ever said anything like this to Putin or to any other Russian.

            What if that’s the real reason that the translator’s notes were impounded as state secrets?

            What if there are tapes?

            • bmaz says:

              Who is “Kaiser Quisling”? Seriously, what does that even mean?

              Use Trump’s name. If you only intend to talk to yourself, that too cute shit might be understandable. But you make yourself, and us as a whole, look stupid. Is that your goal? If not stop this bizarre and idiotic bunk. Please.

              • Rugger9 says:

                That and KQ were originally my handles because they actually do fit DJT very well as a description, but I’ve switched to DJT. I even had to give up Caesar Disgustus which I saw over on Daily Kos yesterday.

                Note to Mitch, bmaz is right about the name calling distracting from the message. We really don’t have to do anything, DJT is perfectly capable of immolating himself like we are seeing now on the cemetery outrage. As Napoleon said, never interfere with an enemy making a mistake.

                Speaking of which, I have no doubt there are tapes than Putin is going to release when it is time to burn DJT as an agent. Let’s remember how many times we learned of meetings from the Russian press because the US press were kept out.

  8. joel fisher says:

    One is moved to observe that the Trumpers among the 185,000 could be said to have committed suicide. Perhaps 80,000? Fifty-five years ago people took acid and thought they could fly. Turned out they were wrong; didn’t stop them.

  9. Fran of the North says:

    Edit after post: Sorry, somehow I missed the earlier posts on this topic. My anger hasn’t been calmed. Links removed.

    News reports are indicating that Trump refused to visit a WW1 battleground in France to commemorate the war dead in November of 2018 because ‘They were suckers and losers.’

    Oh yeah, and the rain might mess up his hair.

    Fuck him and the horse he rode in on.

    • P J Evans says:

      I wouldn’t be cruel to the horse, which had enough cruelty carrying him.
      But him: sideways, with a cholla segment.

        • P J Evans says:

          Friends had a cholla named “Spike”. Definitely a junkyard-dog type cactus. (Their prickly-pear was “Mickey” – it had three pads when they got it.)

          • bmaz says:

            Yeah we have a prickly pear patch too, and a corner full of Joshua trees. I can report that cholla do not really jump, but it is real smart to give them wide berth. Any inadvertent contact will hurt you bad.

            • Max404 says:

              Cholla do jump. Once hiking around Cave Creek I brushed one – I was sure I was not close but the spines are so fine they are invisible. The little hairs stick out an inch and you don’t see them. One gets you then the whole plant falls into you. Next many hours spent at the emergency room getting the spines pulled out one by one. I was about 10 years old. Marked my life.
              So, I recommend flailing Trump with a live Cholla. Yes.

              • bmaz says:

                Ooof, sorry to hear about that. They do not technically “jump” but that is almost deceptive in a way. ANY brush is quite enough. And, yes, I too have had those experiences. Not taken to hospital, but it was truly hell.

                • P J Evans says:

                  I once got too close to a miniature prickly pear and got hair spines in a hand. It was at a cactus/succulent nursery, sot hey took care of it. (Their recommendation for the teeny stuff is masking tape or rubber cement, which grabs them and can be pulled off without causing too much more damage.) All the opuntia clan are too vicious for my taste, though they can be handsome and the flowers, like all cactuses, are beautiful.

                  • Eureka says:

                    First, I love prickly pear lemonade. Second, I ordered some prickly pear (babies) with some other plants years ago *and they packed them all loose flopping in the same box*. Third, they had taped over the tops, around the plants, to keep the soil and plants from falling out.

                    Guess what happened when I tried to handle even the non-cacti and get that tape off? I had to do the ‘leave the duct tape on for 30 minutes’ thing.

                    Later, a friend (carefully) mailed me some large prickly pear pads but they never did take root, I think they got buried in snow when we had a surprise early storm… no prickly pear lemonade for me.

                    • P J Evans says:

                      I shipped mine to Texas (and back), wrapped in newspaper and in a box just big enough to hold them. They survived both trips. I didn’t worry about bits of paper stuck on the spines, because biodegradable. (They had most of the dirt knocked off before shipping. Water well, let the soil dry out, and then pack and ship.)

                    • P J Evans says:

                      One thing I know about prickly pears is that they grow in ever-expanding clumps. Whacking them in spring is a good idea. (I saw some guys, spring before last, cutting young pads off a clump in the yard they were maintaining.) And they can produce a lot of fruit, too. (The seeds are crunchy, and the fruit is sweet.) Sometimes you can find fresh pads (“nopales”) and fruit (“tunas”) in stores.

    • MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

      Great comments, please count me as somebody who agrees with John Lennon in that it’s not so much a mind “altering” drug as a mind “opening” one.

      My naive ass honestly (swear) thought Dubya (aka Baby Bush the Lesser) would be the intellectual basement for US Presidents in my lifetime. The first time I heard a DJT joke was in 1989 when visiting NYC as a 20 yr old.

      I pray our fading republic survives this mess and learns some valuable lessons.

    • Tom says:

      I wonder if the day will ever come when Trump’s base supporters realize that he considers them to be a bunch of suckers and losers, too. After all, they’ve voted for him and defended him, but what material gain have they ever really got out of his administration? I like to think of Trump getting his comeuppance in front of his public one day, something like what happens to the Lonesome Rhodes character played by Andy Griffith in the 1957 film “A Face in the Crowd”.

      • rip says:

        Or if Il Duce had taken several days to expire. And being video blogged around the world. Along with his beloved daughter, and the trunts.

  10. Nehoa says:

    We should ask the salon owner to take responsibility for preparing the hair of the corpses from Covid-19 that can have proper funerals. She should do the preparations herself.

  11. greengiant says:

    The herd immunity arguments are a lesson in gaslighting to be thrown in the Florida is peaking in April round file. Get called out, walk it back, come out with slightly modified garbage, and then repeat. A lot of people are unexposed even in NYC. The most infected zip codes are testing only 51 percent infected.
    Refer to this post in the future because side effects are the bigger problem and the GOP will be moving goal posts saying there are fewer deaths this week.

    • chum'sfriend says:

      I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the disconnect between letting everyone get infected in a reach for herd immunity, while concurrently fast tracking a vaccine to be ready this November.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The vaccine is a MacGuffin. It will not be ready by November. If anything arrives, It won’t be properly tested, have a known efficacy rating, or have known limited side effects. To queer the pitch further, there are stories about a possible wonder cure, it’s just that it needs to be stored at sub-zero temperatures. That throws blame on states and away from Trump. That’s because there is no existing infrastructure in most clinics, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and general hospitals to handle it.

        Consider also the Ukraine story. Trump didn’t care about a real investigation. He just wanted an announcement about one to come out when he needed it. Standard character assassination. It’s novel only in that it doesn’t use allegations about drugs, fraud, or underage sex. The claim hits the front page; the correction is usually buried on page twelve.

        Think of this as Trump throwing spaghetti at the wall. Something might stick. If it does, Trump will claim he identified that strand before he threw it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      You’re advocating running a 24-hour Le Mans in 4 hours. Besides, neither the Republican Senate’s adamant stance that Trump can do no wrong, nor the Democratic establishment’s resistance to open accountability have changed. Since we’re less than two months from the election, and given the president’s full-court press to suppress, not count, or miscount the vote, I’ll put my efforts elsewhere.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Sure, it’s highly unlikely to happen. But, theoretically, there is something satisfying in thinking it could be done between January 3 and January 20, 2021, when the new Congress takes office. We know it won’t happen. But still, we dream of a dramatic transition from dark to light.

        • bmaz says:

          Not if Pelosi, Hoyer and Jeffries are still the top leadership. If that is the case, as is extremely likely, absolutely nothing will occur.

  12. BobCon says:

    Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman have their take on the Trump “veterans are suckers” story, and it is an embarassing self-own, although it’s questionable whether they realize it.


    The most astounding thing is that they were unable — or unwilling — to confirm it. That speaks volumes about how bad their sources and reporting are.

    The Washington Post was able to confirm it with sources with direct knowledge within hours. It is something that sources are clearly eager to reveal. And yet the top two White House reporters for the Times are left scrounging for denials from Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    It’s not clear whether the failure by the Times is due to its top reporters being out of the loop by cultivating the wrong sources, or because sources don’t trust them after years of writing lopsided stories.

    But I am sure Baker is patting himself on the back for this, as is DC politics editor Patrick Healy. By definition in their minds, if it’s a Times story, it must be a Times story.

    • BobCon says:

      I should add that the AP has confirmed it too — the Times is left in the dust by The Atlantic, Washington Post and AP and *this* is best Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Patrick Healy can come up with.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Thank you, BobCon, for linking to EW’s marvelous deconstruction of that NYT piece. The arc of my day got sent downward upon reading the Baker/Haberman “now you don’t see it” attempt to vanquish what had felt last night like it might leave a mark on DJT. In short, I felt hope-shorn again. Not anymore! Masterfully deployed explication of the text will get us . . . well, at least a step closer to that “light” Joe Biden was talking about.

    • Rugger9 says:

      SHS is looking for relevance since she is not pretty enough for Faux and not honest enough for anyone else. There’s a story floating about her and KJU that exemplifies how much of a “frat boy” DJT is (the word is Ewwwwwww). In the interest of good taste I won’t link to it, but I will note that SHS hasn’t done much over at Faux either in terms of air time.

      As for the NYT, it’s not really a surprise that Haberman, et al would try to downplay the story because that is what DJT wants and therefore that is what Dean wants. The question I would ask is what leverage is DJT or the Russians exerting on the NYT to consistently cover for DJT? It can’t be Hillary-hating any more after 2016 (and the NYT was famous for that) so what is the hook?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Exactly. This is what Baquet and the NYT’s owners want. If it weren’t, Baquet would be history and so would the perspective and flaws of this kind of reporting.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            It’s not a secret that Trump craves few things more than the adulation, or at least respect, of the Times. Like those old-money patricians who refused to admit him to their social circles, the Times represents the ultimate ascension to America’s true elite, the club you can’t buy entrance into. He has little but contempt for the voters who made him president, but seems baffled that the office itself hasn’t sufficed to garner him the acknowledgment of his triumph. He and Baquet are dancing an ironic jitterbug of unearned and unnecessary mutual deference.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            It should not be surprising, but in his many insults to his own armed forces, Donald Trump is flabbergasted at their centuries’ long aspiration to “leave no one behind.” Trump was just as gobsmacked that governments would spend a bent dime trying to recover the bodies of fallen service members, whether they were killed by the French, Apaches, Germans, Japanese, Koreans, of Vietnamese. Why bother?

            In reality, it’s half the equation: you serve, we protect you. The more cynical might say it’s to protect secrets – an idea expressed in Wind Talkers. I believe them. But it’s part of the deal, part of what gets rational people to walk into harm’s way or jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Because what goes around comes around.

            But Donald Trump wouldn’t know anything about that. He’s proven that he would sell his brother, mother, or father to the Devil for a little more money, fame, or longevity.

    • Rugger9 says:

      EW hit the right notes in the twitter feed about the (ahem) gaps in DJT’s obligations, which I am sure Chuck Todd will do as well since he looks at the political angles only (read the end of King Lear, who’s in and who’s out) but the military has noticed. Tom Nichols in a response recalled the CIA wall of stars insult within days after being sworn in so this is not new.

      I posted a link in an earlier thread to the Military Times poll showing the active duty troops don’t like DJT any more (down 4%) after going for him almost 2:1 in 2016. The families really will not like this, and VoteVets already has their ad up pointing that out.

      Has anyone asked TX Congressman Crenshaw for comment?

          • Rugger9 says:

            These three are veterans, that’s why I named them. Crenshaw was the one Pete Davidson of SNL had to apologize for making a joke about Crenshaw’s lost eye.

            Chickenhawks are a whole separate group within the GOP and are plentiful.

  13. The Old Redneck says:

    I have a son in the Marines who went to Bella Wood a few years ago. He participated in ceremonies for the 100th anniversary of that battle. Soldiers and dignitaries from several countries attend.
    It is a huge point of pride for the Marines. French people who live in the region remain grateful to them to this day.
    Given that, it’s hard to overstate how repulsive Trump’s comments are. It’s hard to believe any adult could be that vain, self-centered and mean spirited. The fact that it’s our President – well, I don’t even have words for it.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      My grandmother was a Gold Star mother. She lost 2 sons in WWII. One was 19 and the other, a pilot who earned a Purple Heart, was 28. Their brother(my father) was a Major in the Army. He had severe PTSD after the war ended, which adversely impacted his life and the lives of his family members. He drank himself to death by the age of 54.

      I will never understand how 2 of my own brothers became enthralled with Trump, the Neo-Nazi worshipper. It makes me sick to even think about it. At least the son of one brother has pretty much disowned him. He even officially changed his last name. So, there is still hope for the future.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Esper’s a worm. Trump must think few in the military will vote for him, or he would not go to such petty lengths to piss off officers, enlisted personnel, and veterans. That supports the idea that Trump plans to cheat his way to “victory.” Fighting your own base normally costs votes. But I hope he carries on in that vein, because I don’t think he’s any more competent at cheating than he is at anything else.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I concur on that sentiment, but for me it will be interesting to see whether any of the JCS will join in a DJT demand to impose martial law. Remember that illegal orders can be refused, and our oaths are to the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

        However, we still have ICE and CBP under “Acting DHS Secretary” Chad Wolf who is well past his expiration date even if he was appointed properly (and he wasn’t). I was pleased to see a lawsuit reported today regarding DACA that specifically went after the illegal order arising from an illegally appointed official.

        Law and Order, my tuchus.

    • harpie says:

      Regarding lowering the flags:

      Trump Relents Under Pressure, Offering ‘Respect’ to McCain
      Aug. 27, 2018

      […] President Trump, under enormous public and private pressure, finally issued a proclamation of praise for Mr. McCain on Monday afternoon, two days after the senator’s death, and ordered the flag to be flown at half-staff seemingly in the only place it wasn’t already, the presidential complex. […]

      • harpie says:

        Also during his 1999 run for the WH [via Ryan Goodman]:

        9:20 PM · Aug 6, 2018

        did not realize that Trump brought up McCain being captured in 1999 in an interview w Dan Rather [VIDEO]


        [1999: [5:56]] RATHER: The way Trump looks at it, he’s at least better than everyone else in the race, beginning with John McCain.
        TRUMP: I mean he was captured.
        R: He flew combat missions.
        T: Does being captured make you a hero? I don’t know. I’m not sure. [6:10]

      • harpie says:

        And here he is on January 14, 2000 on The Today Show:

        https://twitter.com/chrisdonovan/status/1026686653589540864 12:29 AM · Aug 7, 2018

        You would say that maybe he wasn’t an actual war hero. He was captured but maybe not a war hero
        But he was captured and that gave the information that they wanted, and according to The New York Times and “60 Minutes”, and he did lots of other things, and yet he seems to be getting very good press. […] But, up until two days ago, the darling of the press was John McCain.”

        Donald Trump is an EXCEEDINGLY SMALL man.

    • harpie says:

      About 20 minutes after those tweets, Trump spoke to reporters:

      10:55 PM · Sep 3, 2020

      Trump rarely speaks to press upon returning to DC. Can’t recall when he ever has. But he did tonight in the dark to vigorously deny the Atlantic story.
      “I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes…What animal would say such a thing?”

      On McCain:
      “He had a first class, triple-A funeral — that lasted for 9 days by the way. I had to approve it. All of that had to be approved. And I approved it without hesitation and without complaint. I felt he deserved it.”

      On canceling the visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery:
      “The reason it couldn’t fly because it was raining about as hard as I’ve ever seen. And on top of that it was very, very foggy…And the Secret Service told me you can’t…There was no way I would have been able to.”

      “Probably it’s a couple of people that have been failures in the administration that I got rid of,” Trump says. “And I couldn’t get rid of them fast enough. Or it was just made up…There’s not much more I can say. All they’re trying to do is influence a presidential election.”

      Aaron Rupar has VIDEO of that last bit here:
      11:04 PM · Sep 3, 2020

      heard about it. They made it up and probably it’s a couple of people that have been failures in the Administration that I got rid of and I couldn’t get rid of them fast enough, but, or it was just made up.

      • harpie says:

        About the visit to the cemetery:

        10:45 PM · Sep 3, 2020

        A reminder: Trump claimed that bad weather prevented him from going to the military cemetery in France, but his then-chief of staff John Kelly and the then-chairman of the joint chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford both still drove to the cemetery be at the service.

        There’s a photo of them here:

        White House chief of staff John Kelly, left, and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, attend a ceremony at the Aisne Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France, on Nov. 10, 2018.

      • harpie says:

        Yes, thanks, Jenny. Here’s FOX News Jen Griffin:

        https://twitter.com/JenGriffinFNC/status/1301975321495973889 4:08 PM · Sep 4, 2020

        Two former sr Trump admin officials confirm [email protected] reporting that President Trump disparaged veterans and did not want to drive to honor American war dead at Aisne-Marne Cemetery outside Paris.

        According to one former senior Trump administration official:
        “When the President spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker’.”

        This former official heard the President say about American veterans: “What’s in it for them? They don’t make any money.”
        Source: “It was a character flaw of the President. He could not understand why someone would die for their country, not worth it.”

        I read the source a few quotes from The Atlantic article. This former Trump admin official said,
        “The President would say things like that. He doesn’t know why people join the military. He would muse, ‘Why do they do it’?”

        Re: trip to mark 100th anniversary of WW I Source:
        “The President was not in a good mood. Macron had said something that made him mad about American reliability and the need perhaps for a European army. He questioned why he had to go to two cemeteries. ‘Why do I have to do two’?”

        President Trump’s staff explained he could cancel (his visit to the cemetery), but he was warned,
        ‘They (the press) are going to kill you for this’.”
        [Source]: The President was mad as a hornet when they did.

        When asked IF the President could have driven to the Aisne-Marne Cemetery, this former official said confidently:
        “The President drives a lot. The other world leaders drove to the cemeteries. He just didn’t want to go.”

        Regarding Trump’s July 4th military parade, during a planning session at the White House after seeing the Bastille Day parade in 2017, the President said regarding the inclusion of “wounded guys” “that’s not a good look” “Americans don’t like that,” source confirms.

        Regarding McCain, “The President just hated John McCain. He always asked, ‘Why do you see him as a hero?”
        Two sources confirmed the President did not want flags lowered but others in the White House ordered them at half mast. There was a stand off and then the President relented.

    • harpie says:

      Daniel Dale with the information:

      11:25 PM · Sep 3, 2020

      [Screenshot Trump’s tweets] Trump’s specific argument against John McCain on veterans issues?
      McCain, he has said, failed to get Veterans Choice passed, while he, Trump, did get it passed.

      It was McCain’s initiative (again, a bill written with Bernie Sanders), signed into law in 2014.

      Trump again tonight in comments to the pool: My way of dealing with vets is “much more successful” than John McCain’s, “with Choice and Accountability and all the things I’ve got.”

      He is taking credit for *McCain’s own bill* to argue that he’s done more than McCain.

      • skua says:

        I’ll be watching the Trump popularity figures at fivethirtyeight.
        If Trump can stay above 40% approval after dissing the fallen then we’ll be seeing his base support him in disrespecting their own family members. This possibility worries me – demanding respect from the President and self-respect go hand-in-hand. And people lacking in self-respect can more easily do terrible and destructive things.
        I would very much like to see a large fall in his popularity over the next fortnight.

  14. harpie says:

    Yesterday’s reporting on Trump/military service reminded some people of Trump’s reactions to health care workers coming home from aiding in Africa during the Ebola crisis:

    1] https://twitter.com/themstems/status/1301730503087853569
    11:55 PM · Sep 3, 2020

    Once again—I can’t ever shake this Ebola tweet. A guy who thinks people who respond or die in a crisis, are disposable, obviously doesn’t care about service members. So his feelings about veterans aren’t in any way revelatory. [link]

    She links to Trump, 2014:
    9:22 PM · Aug 1, 2014

    The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!

  15. Epicurus says:

    I am a former Marine. My uncle was a Marine who fought on Iwo Jima. The motto is semper fidelis. It is not something Trump is capable of understanding. Most have missed the real story – Trump’s ability to corrupt and cower even the military. Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has not resigned. Milley’s father was a Marine that fought at Iwo JIma. Trump essentially pissed on Milley’s father and his father’s grave. What type of man is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that knowingly parades with the President against the civilian population in battle camouflage? More importantly what kind of man lets anyone piss on their father’s memory and his grave? The answer is a thoroughly corrupted one. I could write more about the West Point weasels Esper, Pompeo, Bullatao, and Brechtbuhl for pissing on their honor code but it is just the Trump mafia in action. They are Trump’s Lucca Brasi.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I thought there was no such thing as a “former” Marine. :-) Agree wholeheartedly. Continuing to serve Donald Trump is not preventing harm, it is not preserving something or steering him toward a better course. It is enabling his malevolence.

      • Epicurus says:

        The saying is no such thing as ex-Marines or ex-Catholics, only former Marines and former Catholics :) But you are correct. Once a Marine, always a Marine. I had a very difficult night trying to get to sleep. I honestly don’t understand why all of the SecDef, service secretaries, and Joint Chiefs have not resigned. They want their troops and sailors to think they aren’t going to stand up to the President on their behalf? Maybe Lord Acton is right. Power corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

        • Rugger9 says:

          No kidding about the Marines, it is something they take a lot of pride in and also has kept them together when the ordure hits the rotating air mover (i.e. the retreat from Chosin among many others) and rise above their adversaries. As a former USN officer we also know MARINE is an acronym but we like them anyhow for the job they do. There were the “corporate Marines” who for some reason were more toady-ish (I really don’t know how they made it through Bulldog) but not many of those. The rest take Semper Fi and Ooh Rah seriously and will not like this at all on top of the bounties (which DJT still won’t denounce). Belleau Wood was one of the key battles that built the USMC psyche, and the number of dead were more than all other actions combined to that point, which is saying something. One of the big amphibs (LHA-3) is named for that sacrifice.

          The confirmation by Faux of all networks is not going to go well, but it appears Gutfeld and Watters on The Five did their darndest to squeak “fake news”. Let’s see what Hannity and Ingraham have on their shows.

          I also understand the subject is banned on Free Republic, so whatever will Tommy T have to talk about on Monday over at First Draft?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I was close with a few Vietnam era SEALs and a Marine MP. The Marine was from Kansas City and was “lucky” to serve in Tokyo, paired with TPD foot patrol, dealing with other Marines on R&R. Used to say the job was easy: everyone he arrested was drunk and trained to kill. No problemo. He went into local politics, said it was harder work. None of them would have had kind words for private Bonespurs.

  16. BobCon says:

    With Fox confirming, I’m curious if we see a replay of sorts of the 2016 playbook, where the release Access Hollywood recording was followed up with the frantic outreach to get the Wikileaks dump.

    If Trump has any kind of dirty tricks in store, does this trigger it?

      • BobCon says:

        It’s always possible they don’t have anything close to Wikileaks. It’s known the Russians have been pushing the line that Biden is mentally unfit, which is weak stuff compared to what they did in 2016, and may end hurting Trump.

        The Podesta release in response to Access Hollywood was in October, so it’s possible they are keeping their powder dry too. I’m sort of surprised they would have that kind of discipline, if that’s the case. Maybe someone is keeping Trump in the dark to keep him from blowing things. We’ll see.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It seems that not everyone got the memo about the official story on the attempted arrest near Seattle of the alleged Portland shooter, Michael Forest Reinoehl. The four arresting officers were not members of the US Marshals Service; they were two local sheriff’s deputies, a local police officer, and a state prison guard, who had been locally deputized. “FB video shows overarmed dudes strutting around bullet-casing-strewn scene for at least two minutes before they start ‘CPR.'” Reinoehl was suspected of killing a member of the far-right Patriot Prayer group. Naturally, since his troops were involved, Bill Barr had something to say:

    “Barr said officers shot and killed Reinoehl when he “attempted to escape arrest and produced a firearm.” “The streets of our cities are safer with this violent agitator removed,” Barr said, “and the actions that led to his location are an unmistakable demonstration that the United States will be governed by law, not violent mobs.”

    Barr doesn’t even bother to identify Reinoehl as an “alleged” violent agitator. His snark about the US not being governed by “violent mobs” is palpable. And once upon a time, it used to require more than “producing” a firearm to justify using deadly force.


    • Rugger9 says:

      I tried posting about this earlier but was blocked for some reason.

      However, there does seem to be a pattern here where inconvenient witnesses are unable to testify and in this case the suspect was claiming self defense which is plausible given what we know already of actions by the Proud Boys and their allies in Portland. This guy deserved a trial, but the police said he shot at them so let’s see the body cam video and see if he did. I’m not taking AG Barr’s gracious word on anything.

      • bmaz says:

        Rugger, nobody blocked you in the least. There were two that ended up in moderation, I freed both up. We have been having to filter a lot lately. There is no easy way to describe the full extent of it all.

        I am sorry to one and all. But, by the same token, want to get back to the principle that we wish to have comments as opposed to not. Sometimes there are tradeoffs.

      • harpie says:

        I couldn’t remember where I recently heard Holtz’s name, but Kyle Griffin reminded me: He called Biden a “Catholic in name only” at the RNC:

        7:30 PM · Sep 4, 2020

        Not to be overlooked: Trump announced that Lou Holtz will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom just days after Holtz said a disgusting lie at the RNC that Biden was a “Catholic in name only.” Notre Dame even said, “we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith.”

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            That he would insult Biden’s faith in exchange for a pat behind the ear from Donald Trump proves your point. Same goes for Providence, R.I., bishop Thomas Tobin, who would seem to prefer a congregation of Mel Gibsons to a real one.

            • P J Evans says:

              Tobin misreads the laity all the time. Same for a lot of the other bishops and archbishops, who were chosen to back conservative views. Biden is closer to the norm.

  18. Savage Librarian says:

    Stroke of Genius

    He confers with Putin or his priestess,
    They say it’s best to deceive us,
    So that’s the way that he treats us,
    He does all he can to aggrieve us.

    Trump insists that no now means yes,
    and knows just how to be egregious,
    He relishes his own uniqueness,
    honoring most what is specious.

    Second nature is his meanness,
    and the way he always cheats us,
    At Walter Reed the intravenous
    shored him up so he still bleeds us.

    He calls it his own stroke of genius,
    And laughs at how he misleads us,
    He pouts and puffs, between huffs,
    Now it’s him that misreads us.

    M-I-A, that’s our thesis:
    He’s gone now (but between us,
    we’re not trying to be facetious,
    we just know he’s never seen us.)

  19. Eureka says:

    Captain Sully thread: https://twitter.com/Captsully/status/1301998157404962823

    What a past 24h+. I am back to square one, the first problem: how do you tell your uncle (Marine, Vietnam) all of this, that the president basically said you (too) are a loser? How do you have that conversation, when, if a standard low-life bully had said such things, you’d file it away, keep your eyes out, and not necessarily speak it — so as not to hurt your loved-one — but instead it’s a POTUS (_real_ hard time typing that title here) up for reelection? The details need to be spoken in this case. I feel heartsick.

    The network news was shying away from specifics and mostly rehashing the John McCain stuff — which is another way of covering Trump’s ass by a few miles, and in a few directions: ‘just political rivals’, making it appear to be a more limited and differently-motivated ‘event’ as opposed to a deep and broadly-dangerous suite of character flaws; lays atop the anti-McCain propaganda machine already in existence; etc..

    Anyway … I am borne of and kin with many vets, so Fran, Rugger, others above and lurking… nod.

    I did like that most all of the dinnertime trending topics were shows of human force against Trump’s soullessness (“My Dad” “Vietnam” “Korean War” “Battle of the Bulge” … on and on and on). Great tributes, photos, and pointed words.

    • Eureka says:

      As if I needed any reminder, given current events, of what my grandfather was doing 75 years ago this past spring, some photos from the US Army Center of Military History came up. The Signal Corps documented the end-point atrocities the best they could, to be supplemented by oral and other histories. I am never not awe-struck just glimpsing the magnitude of what they fought, lived, and died through.

      (Fascist) authoritarians given go-ahead momentum are harder to stop.

      And so I’m also reminded of what my spouse was doing zero years ago this past spring, going to work at a place meant to heal and save lives with a refrigerator truck tucked out back.

      Genocide (broad sense) by transnational crime syndicate, I think, arrives a little differently: there’s not really a need to build-out (or capture) much infrastructure when your partners own it, or you can exploit and/or destroy that which is extant, at will. Call it one of the many fluxy shape-shifts of ‘war’ afforded by internet era late-stage capitalism — influence, supply chains, and all.

      By putting it that way, I don’t intend to elide the Miller-and-money-driven recapitulation of internment camps for people seeking asylum, and other of Miller’s — their — kinks (recalling he’d shared an idea to use trains, in an intentionally Nazi-evocative manner, to ship migrants around, per those emails SPLC obtained). Gags aside, that’s the Trump admin’s only “infrastructure week” legacy.

      And yet, they won’t DPA PPE or other COVID-crucial materials. Fluxy shape-shift…

      • P J Evans says:

        My father’s youngest brother was a pharmacist’s mate on a ship in the South Pacific in WW2. After the war, he became an MD, and later an anesthesiologist. He’d have an opinion about Trmp. Next older brother was on a tender, also Navy, and made it to Japan. He worked for General Dynamics when he retired. My father was active-duty naval reserve, at the aircraft development center in PA, and was a development engineer mostly for defense stuff.
        (They didn’t hassle Marines.) Trmp can get f*cked sideways.

        • Eureka says:

          That one’s in the news periodically (along with a former base) for PFOS contamination in the groundwater. There’s businesses and housing on it now. We drove by it once after it had closed, I just remember a LOT of asphalt.

          Trump has no clue. The way he would just repeatedly ask the same (what would you even call it, rude?) questions of everyone (~”Why would they do it?”) reminds me most of a narcissist I knew. Always with the questions that aren’t questions and aren’t socially appropriate.

          He should be tasked with producing the domestic supply of prickly pear lemonade.

          • P J Evans says:

            From what I can find online, it started out as an aircraft factory (Brewster), then got taken over for the air modification people. Not sure what exactly my father did, but I have his (motheaten, because wool ribbing cuffs) flight jacket. With a pencil in the inside pocket still. (That’s my father. Mom had to check his pockets every time she did laundry.)

  20. civil says:

    Trump is such a narcissist that he cannot keep himself from drawing attention to The Atlantic’s reporting and confirmation from reporters at other outlets. He’s now calling for Jen Griffin of Fox News to be fired for confirming the story in The Atlantic:

    Projection on the Trump Hotel in DC last night:
    “Trump disrespected our troops. Our troops deserve better than Trump.”
    Paid for by the DNC and approved by Biden. Images here:

  21. Krisy Gosney says:

    I wonder, if during the last presidential election some people were ashamed to tell pollsters that they were going to vote for Trump then will there be people in this election afraid to tell people they will not vote for Trump? I’m thinking some people would be afraid to admit out loud to anyone they will vote for Biden because Trump-ism seems to be a lifestyle choice, a whole life and body commitment, and their parents, spouse, children, friends and/or coworkers would disown them or at least give them constant grief.

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    About Trump and losers, I’d like to imagine a debate between Cadet Bonespurs and Abe Lincoln. Gettysburg would be a good venue. But something else might really happen there.

    About the reluctance of top military leaders to criticize their commander-in-chief’s losers comments, I value the tradition of deference to civilian leadership. But does it not require some level of reciprocity? At some point, does leadership not demand an articulate response in opposition to such a gross refusal to lead and the crude dismissal of those who gave their last full measure of devotion? Perhaps, in imitation of the celebrity readings of Howard Zinn’s work, a group of retired admirals and generals could jointly read the Gettysburg Address at Gettysburg.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      John Kelly thinks that would be a bad idea. Too political. Possibly, but it seems equally likely that he’s trying to keep his private parts out of a wringer he helped put in motion.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Remind me what is the legislative authority for Donald Trump to stop collecting FICA. He is apparently forcing the Pentagon to stop withholding it, which will mean double withholding for several months in 2021. That will cause a significant drop in income for anyone below the rank of E-5, which is about half the total enlisted service. Many lower ranks are already on public assistance in some months, because their pay won’t get them to the end of the month. https://twitter.com/RepDonBeyer/status/1302018729144967169

    If Trump is re-elected, though, no worries, because he will make the non-payment permanent as part of abolishing Social Security altogether. It’s for losers.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Opening a counterintel case on this president proved extremely complicated. “When you step back and look at it, its fucking huge,” Strzok said, pointing to Trump’s more than 500 LLCs. Rooting through all those records would have been “a massive, massive undertaking.”

    This should not have been news to Strzok, but that it is expensive, time consuming, and a major pain-in-the-ass to audit a guy with 500 or more LLCs is a reason a guy like Trump has 500 or more LLCs.


    • Epicurus says:

      Christian Wolff, Ben Affleck’s character in The Accountant, could audit Trump’s companies overnight. Just give him a lot of sharpies and some windows. There are quite a few like Wolff out there. Strzok just has to look for them.

    • Epicurus says:

      Sorry for being glib and an apologist for Strzok. The IRS would have a permanently assigned team for the Trump organization so they don’t have to re-invent the audit wheel every year with new people on a learning curve. That team would have to know what the Trump organization interrelationships are among the 500 odd companies in order to properly do its job. I don’t know the exclusion and confining factors for the justice department and the IRS sharing information but that is where I would start. The IRS would have to have all the information for the intercompany transactions. I imagine in great part that is why Trump is fighting so hard not to release returns. It’s all accounting with supporting bank and company verifying information in the end. Unless Trump pulled an Enron with night parties creating false documents.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I assume investigators and prosecutors would approach it with and like forensic auditors. Intercompany transactions and massive abuses of transfer pricing rules will be the keystones. That and the DB loans – and any formal or informal guarantees for them. If nobody has done it, it really needs to happen, because almost certainly it’s where X marks the spot.

        • P J Evans says:

          I’m expecting that there were at least three sets of books – one for the lenders, one for the tax people, and an honest set somewhere in a locked container.

  25. madwand says:

    Wonder what’s going on here? From CBSAustin.com

    Multiple 911 calls have been made regarding boats being in distress, some sinking at the ‘Trump Boat Parade’ scheduled for Saturday afternoon on Lake Travis, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

    TCSO confirmed with CBS Austin that multiple boats have been sinking and are in distress.

    The sheriff’s office says calls have been made about boats along the entire route of the parade, some of the locations include: Paradise Cove, Emerald Point and West Beach.

    At this time, there is not a confirmed amount of boats that are experiencing issues on the lake.

      • Tom says:

        One of the ways the Royal Navy planned to thwart any attempted German invasion of the British Isles in 1940 was to send their destroyer flotillas in among the enemy’s invasion barges, swamping and capsizing them with their bow waves. Modern authorities have assessed that it would have been a very effective tactic. See “When Britain Saved the West: The Story of 1940” by Robin Prior.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This one’s for Rayne: “Trump Orders Purge of ‘Critical Race Theory’ From Federal Agencies.” https://twitter.com/yourauntemma/status/1302260160681959425

    Donald Trump and, presumably, Stephen Miller are purging more than a critical theory and an analytical framework. They are assaulting those who hold and advocate it, along with those who hold similar views, and those who advocate for progressive change generally.

    Critical reassessment is necessary to get us to a fairer place. Without it, the best we could hope for would be the status quo. Trump will take that, too, and every other place where we might find firm footing, as he pulls us into his personal abyss.

    • harpie says:

      1] White House directs federal agencies to cancel race-related training sessions it calls ‘un-American propaganda’
      Administration seeks list of contracts for those that refer to ‘white privilege,’ according to memo
      September 5, 2020 at 10:52 a.m. EDT

      President Trump is moving to revamp federal agencies’ racial sensitivity trainings, casting some of them as “divisive” and “un-American,” according to a memo [link] by the White House Office of Management and Budget. […] [OMB Director Russell Vought]: “The President has directed me to ensure that federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions,” the memo states.

      • harpie says:

        1a] [The next shot in the battle]
        Trump says Department of Education will investigate use of 1619 Project in schools
        Kevin Liptak, CNN
        10:01 AM ET, Sun September 6, 2020 (CNN)

        President Donald Trump is continuing to wage battle against interpretations of history which he claims are un-American.

        In a Sunday morning tweet, the President said the US Department of Education would investigate whether California schools are using the New York Times’ “1619 Project” in public school curriculum. The Pulitzer-Prize winning collection reframes American history around the date of August 1619, when the first slave ship arrived on America’s shores.

        “Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!” he wrote on Twitter, citing a message from an unverified account saying it was being taught in schools there. […]
        Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican, has introduced legislation that would prevent schools from teaching the curriculum. The legislation, titled the Saving American History Act of 2020, “would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts. Schools that teach the 1619 Project would also be ineligible for federal professional-development grants.”

        The legislation appears unlikely to gain any significant traction in the Senate but stands as a way for Cotton to send a message. […]

        …hmmmmm…what message might that be?

            • Rugger9 says:

              But not a peep from Senator Cotton so far about DJT disrespect for the dead, wounded and other vets. He would have known several of those “losers” personally from Iraq.


    • harpie says:

      2] https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1301709455743242240
      10:31 PM · Sep 3, 2020

      Turns out Billy Barr, who claims disparities in policing for black people isn’t racism, oversaw an explicitly racist policy in DC. [link]

      Links to:
      2:26 PM · Sep 3, 2020

      This is a map of racial segregation in DC

      A year ago, the local US Attorney [Jessie Liu] adopted a new charging policy that doubled the prison time for 100s of affected defendants. They said the policy applied citywide.

      It didn’t.

      It only ever applied in the Blackest parts of the city […] [link]

    • harpie says:

      3] DHS draft document: White supremacists are greatest terror threat
      The [3] documents are slightly different drafts of the same annual threat assessment, which is not yet published.
      09/04/2020 05:45 PM

      White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States, according to a draft report from the Department of Homeland Security.
      Two later draft versions of the same document — all of which were reviewed by POLITICO — describe the threat from white supremacists in slightly different language. But all three drafts describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups. […]

      Benjamin Wittes, who supplied Politico with these documents, has several twitter threads about these memos. The following is toward the end of his comments:
      6:59 PM · Sep 4, 2020

      […] So what does it all mean? A few things:

      First, I think DHS I&A deserves real credit for—in an administration that openly plays footsie with white nationalists and that refuses to condemn white supremacist violence—identifying this issue as the threat that is is. […]

      Second, you can see—I think—the effects of the political pressure and the political environment in the change of the language. The drafts are not substantively different, but one of them states the matter baldly. The other buries the finding about white supremacy much deeper in the report and much deeper in the section about terrorist threats. It also treats the white supremacist threat merely as the largest component of a broader category, whereas the earlier version singles it out on its own.

      Finally, third, this 8/31/2020 draft is not the final draft. It will be interesting to see whether the document goes through further changes before the document is finalized and made public—if it ever is. […]

    • harpie says:

      Thank you, EoH, for bringing this up. I hope you don’t mind that I added some other related thoughts…
      his personal abyss, indeed!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Not at all. It’s why we’re here, why the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.

        It sounds like Barr might be waging war against part of the DHS, too, getting a head start on criticizing it’s finding before Trump expressed his rage. It’s what a good consigliere would do.

    • P J Evans says:

      Sometimes sources refused to be named for their safety and that of their family and friends. In this case, I can understand it – look at the Vindmans, who are honest and honorable.

  27. harpie says:

    Eureka posted a link to Captain Sully Sullenberger‘s response to the Goldberg article in The Atlantic above, but I’d like to post it again. Read the whole thing, but here is part of it:

    5:38 PM · Sep 4, 2020

    1/9 I am a veteran. I volunteered for military service during wartime. So did my father. His generation saved the world from fascism. [photos] […]

    7/9 He [TRUMP] took an oath of office that is similar to the one that each person takes who enters the U.S. Military. But he has completely failed to uphold his oath.

    Now we know why. He has admitted that he cannot comprehend the concept of service above self.

    8/9 He cannot understand selflessness because he is selfish. He cannot conceive of courage because he is a coward. He cannot feel duty because he is disloyal.

    9/9 We owe it not only to those who have served and sacrificed for our nation, but to ourselves and to succeeding generations to vote him out. […]

  28. harpie says:

    Yevgeny Vindman:

    6:04 PM · Sep 4, 2020

    I’m a loser, my wife is a loser, my twin brother @AVindman is a loser. We are a family of public servant suckers… #losers #HereRightMatters [photos]

    Oh yeah, my older brother… #loser. My step brother… a real #loser (he was/is a Marine). All four of us wore the uniform for the love of this great country. One generation. Five #suckers in uniform.

  29. harpie says:

    Pompeo and the State Department are afraid of the International Criminal Court, and have been attacking some of it’s members [the ones who are NOT white males!].

    Pompeo’s State Department is a national DISGRACE! in very large and very small ways

    1] In a “very large way”: here’s a State Department tweet [video]:

    8:51 PM · Sep 5, 2020

    [email protected] on the @ICC: This is a rogue court with lawyers that are, frankly, corrupt and political, and they are threatening to prosecute Americans who engaged in America’s fight for freedom in Afghanistan. That’s unacceptable. We want nothing to do with it. [VIDEO]

    2] In a “very small way” [the following is via Kate Brannen]:

    5:44 AM · Sep 6, 2020

    The State Department tagged the International Cricket Council instead of the International Criminal Court @IntlCrimCourt

  30. harpie says:


    8:28 AM · Sep 6, 2020

    NEW: On WWI commemoration trip, Trump fancied several pieces art at US ambassador’s historic residence in Paris, where he was staying—and on a whim had a portrait, bust and figurines loaded onto AF1, sources tell @nwadhams and me. Figurines now on mantel in Oval. [photo] Story out soon.

    9:04 AM · Sep 6, 2020
    Scoop: Trump’s art caper was met with mixture of amusement and astonishment at the time, and caused headaches for State and WH. Curators examined the pieces he’d snagged in Paris and found 2 were just copies. Originals were down the street at Smithsonian. [link]

    Trump Ended 2018 France Trip Having Art Loaded on Air Force One
    September 6, 2020, 8:00 AM EDT

    • P J Evans says:

      So he’s a thief in all ways. We’ll have to have his moving crates examined as he leaves. And all the carry-ons and pocketses, too.

      • harpie says:

        According to the story, this happened during the six hours Trump was NOT at the cemetery.

        If you’re a star they let you […] grab ’em […]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The eleventh day of the eleventh month, at the eleventh hour, is etched in European history. It is the Armistice, the end to a very bloody First World War that exhausted treasuries, society, and a generation in equal measure. It is the hundredth anniversary, a time when the leaders of the countries who fought it come together to pay their respects, acknowledge mutual loss, and vow never again.

      Enter Donald Trump. He is bored with work, bored with Paris, and bored with tweeting and bed, but full of Paris’s finest happy meals. He roams the hallways of the renowned American embassy building, assessing how he could Trump it up. He admires a few objets d’art. So, imitating Hermann Goering, he loads them onto his train, er, Air Force One, for safe travel back to Ber…Washington, DC.

      In Paris, Trump was insulting. More often, he’s a serial criminal with the launch codes and an ego more frail than a factory hen’s egg. Let’s make sure his public employment abruptly ends in January. We should also make sure he leaves the artwork: like American democracy, it’s not his.

  31. BobCon says:

    There is a potentially serious article in the Washington Post regarding Louis DeJoy’s GOP campaign contributions.


    The Post reports that DeJoy’s employees said they were pressured to contribute to the GOP and later were made whole by company bonuses.

    DeJoy flatly denied this happened when questioned by Rep. Jim Cooper during the recent oversight hearing.

    Campaign finance law is complicated, so I can’t say whether this crossed the line, and he may be protected by statutes of limitation as far as the dates of the contributions; and I can’t say whether there is a slam dunk regarding his obvious lie to the House. I’ll note, however, that Dinesh D’Souza went to prison for dodging contribution limits by paying straw donors to give money to the Senate campaign of Wendy Long, and on the surface at least it would seem hard to pull an “I forgot” defense for what he said to Rep. Cooper.

    • bmaz says:

      If the facts are as alleged, it is absolutely illegal campaign finance activity. People go to prison for this. Google John Junker. Ah, never mind, here is a link, Google if you want more. Junker was not as high up as DeJoy, but he was a very big shot both in AZ and in the NCAA. He went to prison.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If these facts are true, there’s also the little matter of DeJoy’s lying to Congress, another felony.

        • BobCon says:

          There are a bunch of former employees willing to go on the record in that article. I am guessing he made a lot of enemies there, and they may be the ones who led Rep. Cooper to ask this at the hearing.

          The article says he was advised by the former general counsel at the FEC, so it’s possible he has enough insulation from federal charges, I only know that these can be tough to win in court. Dinesh D’Souza was dumb enough to get crushed by the prosecutors, but maybe DeJoy wasn’t that dumb. It’s hard to be as stupid as D’Souza.

          I thought it was interesting, though, that there’s no statute of limitations for state crimes in NC. DeJoy raised a ton of money for state races, and there is a lot of GOP corruption in NC if the Democratic Governor and AG want to pursue it.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Advised by the general counsel of the FEC? It’s the sort of good old boy defense DeJoy would mount, but it’s hard to imagine how the apparent scheme would remotely pass muster. But it illustrates how much like Trump DeJoy is, and how vital to Trump’s remaining in office now and out of prison later is Billy Barr.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Thom Tillis was already in trouble for re-election (he’s tied with Cunningham) before the NYT linked the DeJoy scandal to him as a principal beneficiary of the alleged finance violations.

    • P J Evans says:

      Sweet effing Ghu, you have to be really sure no one will come after you, if you’re going to do that.
      (FWIW, the companies I’ve worked for never ever talked politics with employees, in any way, even when we were aware of who they were donating to.)

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