So what’s most deeply frightening about this whole story isn’t what Russia did or didn’t do. It’s that Trump’s response and the Republican blessing of it is Trump’s most powerful demonstration that absolutely all bets are off. If he’ll do this, there’s nothing he won’t do, and nothing the GOP won’t let him get away with.
As soon as you realize that the Trump wants to profit from the presidency and that the Republicans are focused and helping him do so, all the questions become easier to answer and the path forward more clear. His threats against the press are the same. He's threatening to take away things the press doesn't truly need in order to instill a relationship of dominance.
A few random thoughts I have wedged in my head.
- OMG that Trump press conference was a disaster. Does anyone really believe that pile of paper and manila folders had anything of substance in them? And if we’re living in Nazi Germany as Donald suggested, what does that make him? And does he always have to have sycophants in the room to applaud him? When he has to make an address from the White House, will he have canned applause? The attempt to intimidate reporters in the room was alarming, but it also strikes me as a sign of extreme weakness.
- I don’t care if the allegations of Donald hiring prostitutes to piss on a bed are unprovable. We know he likes to dominate people, has a thing for young women, and is generally a disgusting human being. That’s enough evidence for me to believe he would do it. I’m pretty sure it’s enough for a lot of other people, too.
- I saw an article (in Salon?) earlier in the week that argued we might quickly find ourselves suffering from scandal fatigue the same way we did during Bill Clinton’s administration. There may be something to that, but I would suggest there is a major difference between the two. In Clinton’s case, the vast majority of the scandals turned out to be much ado about nothing. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what Whitewater was all about, and if memory serves that’s what was behind nearly all the storm und drang. In Trump’s case, he is the driver behind all the scandals and controversy. For Clinton, the frustration was a Congress that led an eight-year crusade against him. For Trump, the frustration could very well be that Congress isn’t doing enough.
- Obamacare, aka the ACA (yes, they are the same thing in case you didn’t know), may very well be screwed, along with large chunks of the population. There have been a few signs of the GOP getting a clue that repeal isn’t the most awesome idea they’ve ever had, but Senate and House votes late in the week to shove through cuts in budget reconciliation don’t bode well.
- One of the things I personally want to see is for norms Trump is violating to take on the force of law. There have been signs of this, but as long as the GOP controls everything, we can’t expect too much beyond Democrats proposing legislation to make a point.
- Two investigations of note: one from the DOJ Inspector General into actions by the FBI and DOJ prior to the 2016 election, and one from the Senate Intelligence Committee into Russia-Trump links. These seem like big deals, and could be the first concrete steps towards nailing down what’s happened, and is happening.
- As a general rule, I don’t like the idea of impeachment talk before someone has even taken office, but the Trump administration is a different beast. Given how he is indifferent at best to ethics and conflict of interest concerns, not to mention being in bed (a phrase I would have used even before the compromat news this past week) with the Russians, it needs to be clear that any and all investigations have impeachment as a potential end state. That’s where the two investigations above strike me as important. They are signs that even as much as the GOP sticks to their own, they at some level recognize the danger Trump poses. If things get bad enough, maybe they’ll actually do something out of a sense of self-preservation if nothing else. In fact, here’s a fun tidbit about impeachment— an Irish bookmaker is offering odds on just that:
Powers was offering 8-to-1 odds that Trump will be impeached, adding “I’d have a sneaky $10 on that one.” After Trump held his press conference, the bookmakers adjusted the line down to 4-to-1. It’s probably still worth the sneaky $1
- There’s also the new FEC investigation. I’m sure the DC Trump hotel will trigger another one, since he’ll be in violation of that lease as soon as he takes office.
- 661 days until the 2018 mid-term elections.
Sometimes, the general public is completely unaware of very important decisions government makes because they are shrouded in technicalities. Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that could crippled the ability of government to regulate private industry.
(Via All TPM News)
Grade-school level politics — systems with proven track records of efficacy — dictate that the best response to a scandal of this magnitude is to do the following: 1) Express outrage at the attack on American sovereignty, 2) demand an independent investigation of the charges and 3) vow to punish those responsible. It’s as simple as the rules to Candy Land. Do these three things, then move on. Political problems solved. Trump and his people appear to be totally unaware of the correct reaction or are cognizant yet foolish enough to ignore it.
Never has a headline been more appropriate. We all got our mind-reading pills, right?
What you’re calling “elitism” is just simply not being ignorant. We don’t have our heads shoved up Jesus’s ass. And when the left gets angry because of how fucking dumb some of the shit coming out of rural and red mouths is, we’re told we need to understand what they believe. No, we’re just gonna say that stupid is stupid.
(Via The Rude Pundit)
This is what evil looks like.
Once again, McDonald's NEVER paid anyone millions for serving coffee that was too hot / Boing Boing