Open Thread: “Peach” in Our Times

Didn’t “peach” used to be thieves’ cant for “incriminate one’s associates to the authorities”?



Open Thread: Now, the Happy Part Is Over…


Okay, the Secretary of Commerce thinks criminalizing protests isn’t such a bad thing, since he got ‘two gigantic bushels of dates’ from his security detail. One look at Wilbur Ross’s face, you can understand why dietary fiber is so valuable to him!



My New T-Shirt Came

I always hate the “Not my President” nonsense because that’s not how it works- yes, he is my President, unfortunately and god damnit. But I made an exception for this t-shirt.

The nice thing about this shirt is that even if Trump is impeached, it works for Pence, too! So its got good shelf life.








Donald of Arabia: A Photo Album


 

(Nice cup of tea, but no accompanying large bowl of individually-wrapped pharmaceuticals)


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(Edgar suit, Men in Black)

Conjure your own images:



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Light Breakfast Reading

Alexandra Petri, at the Washington Post“The president is not a child. He’s something worse:

We were wrong, it turns out. Anyone cannot be president. Anyone can be elected president (any man, that is), but not anyone can be president…

The Trump presidency is the discovery that what you thought was a man in a bear suit is just a bear. Suddenly the fact that he wouldn’t play by the rules makes total sense. It wasn’t that he refused to, that he was playing a long game. It was that he was a wild animal who eats fish and climbs trees, and English words were totally unintelligible to him. In retrospect, you should have suspected that after he just straight-up ate a guy. But at the time everyone cheered. It was good TV. Also, he was your bear.

Okay. So you have spent 200 years building a fragile snow globe, and now you have given it to a bear. The animal doesn’t care. You cannot even explain to him what the thing is. To him, all your words are just sounds. He looks at you when you are making them and he looks away when you are finished. You can only hope the bear becomes bored and sets the snow globe down and wanders off looking for food.

(Again, this is an insult to bears, who have fewer places to live than Trump and do not do so at the taxpayer’s expense.)…

He’s a human Failure to Read the User’s Manual…

Professor Krugman, “What’s the Matter With Republicans?“:

It has become painfully clear… that Republicans have no intention of exercising any real oversight over a president who is obviously emotionally unstable, seems to have cognitive issues and is doing a very good imitation of being an agent of a hostile foreign power.

They may make a few gestures toward accountability in the face of bad poll numbers, but there is not a hint that any important figures in the party care enough about the Constitution or the national interest to take a stand…

The Democratic Party is a coalition of interest groups, with some shared views but also a lot of conflicts, and politicians get ahead through their success in striking compromises and finding acceptable solutions.

The G.O.P., by contrast, is one branch of a monolithic structure, movement conservatism, with a rigid ideology — tax cuts for the rich above all else. Other branches of the structure include a captive media that parrots the party line every step of the way. Compare the coverage of recent political developments on Fox News with almost everywhere else; we’re talking North Korea levels of alternative reality.

And this monolithic structure — lavishly supported by a small number of very, very wealthy families — rewards, indeed insists on, absolute fealty. Furthermore, the structure has been in place for a long time: It has been 36 years since Reagan was elected, 22 years since the Gingrich takeover of Congress. What this means is that nearly all Republicans in today’s Congress are apparatchiks, political creatures with no higher principle beyond party loyalty…

In a perverse way, we should count ourselves lucky that Trump is as terrible as he is. Think of what it has taken to get us to this point — his Twitter addiction, his bizarre loyalty to Flynn and affection for Putin, the raw exploitation of his office to enrich his family, the business dealings, whatever they were, he’s evidently trying to cover up by refusing to release his taxes.

The point is that given the character of the Republican Party, we’d be well on the way to autocracy if the man in the White House had even slightly more self-control. Trump may have done himself in; but it can still happen here.

Apart from waiting for the next shoe(s) to fall, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Friday Night Fights Open Thread: No Such Thing As Slow-News Weekends Any More…

The conversations deeply concerned US intelligence officials, some of whom acted on their own to limit how much sensitive information they shared with Flynn, who was tapped to become Trump’s national security adviser, current and former governments officials said.

“This was a five-alarm fire from early on,” one former Obama administration official said, “the way the Russians were talking about him.” Another former administration official said Flynn was viewed as a potential national security problem.

The conversations picked up by US intelligence officials indicated the Russians regarded Flynn as an ally, sources said. That relationship developed throughout 2016, months before Flynn was caught on an intercepted call in December speaking with Russia’s ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak. That call, and Flynn’s changing story about it, ultimately led to his firing as Trump’s first national security adviser…

Trump angrily denied any collusion with Russia this week and denounced the newest investigation — now in the hands of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — as “a witch hunt.”

And he has remained steadfast in his loyalty to Flynn, even as the scrutiny surrounding his fired aide continues to weigh down his presidency. Trump urged then-FBI Director James Comey in February to drop the bureau’s investigation into Flynn and “let this go,” according to a memo Comey wrote at the time. The conversation, first reported by The New York Times earlier this week, has opened the President up to charges from critics of obstruction of justice.

Trump’s obvious bond with Flynn, like his relationship with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other top advisers, appears rooted in the fact that they supported his then-longshot presidential campaign last year at a time when most Republicans were ostracizing him.

Trump (or his handlers) going for the “too dumb to be in criminal collusion” defense, I guess. YES PUPPET! YOU’RE A PUPPET!

I repeat: Thanks, Republicans!



Go long popcorn, go long butter

The Senate Intelligence Committee will be hearing testimony by fired former FBI Director after Memorial Day.

Remember, the White House is not disputing that they believe that firing Comey would make their lives easier regarding the Russia investigation.

So go long on popcorn, go long on butter… things are getting real