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Monday, May 15, 2017

OTP 15 May 2017: A sport dominated by politics

And that would be … cricket – what were you expecting?

Tanya Alfred draws our attention to the world-threatening problem of climate change — which more than 97 per cent of climate scientists agree on’ — and bemoans the lack of a strategy from the English Cricket Board (ECB) for how cricket is organised today and its lack of preparation for the future.
In 2016, for instance, the Indian Premier League was forced to relocate matches from Maharashtra because of a water shortage. Bangladesh is threatened by extreme river floods, rising sea levels and high temperatures.
Zimbabwe has uncertain precipitation patterns, as does the southern part of Australia, while England is predicted to get more rainfall.

Does MLB have a climate-change contingency plan? I am sure Rob Manfred would consider it.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: May 15, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 2684 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cricket, politics

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   2101. The Good Face Posted: May 19, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5459301)
(That said, I am interested in the legal issues arising out of it such as the potential obstruction issue -- even though the left shrieked about this when it happened to them, i.e., a nothingburger fraud of an investigation leading to something potentially criminal, in that Benghazi led to Hillary being ensnared in the server scandal, and now the nothingburger RussiaRussia stuff leading to Trump having an obstruction problem.)


That was the entire plan and point of RUSSIA RUSSIA. Make up some bullshit based on the most tenuous scenarios and associations, then demand investigations until people get frustrated and slip up. That plan worked on Hillary Clinton, who is a far more experienced hand than Trump, so was it was reasonable to expect it to work on a neophyte like Trump.
   2102. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5459302)
"Hey, we went 97 posts without making a homophobic attack!!!"

Truly the stuff of high comedy.
   2103. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5459303)
Trump supporters are not feeling fatigued. That's what you folks still can't comprehend. Trump supporters know they're in a war and are happy to be in it; it's better than the alternative, which is continuing to submit to the bullying of the left.


And you get this sense from all the Trump supporters you know?

The ones I know - was back in the states for a family thing a few weekends ago and had the occasion to talk with a few - now say they're "tired of politics" and don't want to talk about it. FB feeds that used to be regularly splattered with Trumpkin literature have reverted to all those stupid, pointless "how many of my FB friends will repost this to prove you love" crap and various internet equivalents of those dumb office building posters with cats hanging in there and the joy of dirty hands and whatnot.

I guess nobody told them that "Taking Back AMerica!" would be the easy part -- keeping it would the hard part.

Watergate took 2 years to bring down Nixon -- and he was elected with 60% of the vote and won by what, almost 25 points? This guy doesn't even have that cushion.

More people hated him than loved him - regardless of geographic distribution - to begin with... You think he's improved that ledger?

In a perfect world, some quiet and sober reflection would lead them out of the darkness... if they want to be just pummeled into "I DON'T CARE ABOUT POLITICS ANYMORE!!!" paste while remaining in the darkness, that's their choice.
   2104. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5459304)
TGF, this page was free of that term until you used it in 2074. Looks like you're the one who wants a cookie.


Too bad Sam couldn't go the whole page without making an anti-women attack:

2058. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5459235)

He announced a several-month break a couple of mornings ago.

I'm told from reliable sources he has sand in his hoo-haw.
   2105. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5459305)
SBB, I haven't been following the mechanics of this closely enough but now that Mueller has been appointed will we really be seeing the evidence presented publicly any time soon? When we thought that Comey might testify publicly then I could see his notes being entered into the record (I suppose, not really, but maybe) but now? I don't see why we would.

Maybe I'm wrong and they'll release them -- I'm not familiar with the procedure here -- but I wouldn't expect we'd see them in the normal course of things any time soon. (Is Comey even allowed to release them publicly? Are his communications with the president privileged? I don't know. Maybe someone here does.)


Probably not. The document requests have broadened and will have to go through relevance/privilege reviews by the lawyers, etc.

In theory, Comey could have kept his own copy, gone around the system, and braved whatever privilege and other issues of which he might be running afoul in order to bravely and singlehandedly bring down the huggy, justice obstructor in the Oval Office -- but that is now a highly unlikely outcome. The fact that his people wouldn't even let the Times see the "memo" was the tell.

I doubt he even wants this spotlight on himself now, and records of all his presidential conversations turned over -- as Senate Judiciary has requested. Particularly given his potential involvement in the illegal leaks and even FISA misuse/unmasking.

The Mueller appointment is actually bad for the Democrats. They had a better chance with the press leaks/Congressional investigation/hysteria strategy. Once the whole thing gets normalized and regular deliberative processes obtain, the hysteria they needed dies off. There's now a very good chance that "Comey Obstruction Memo Day" will be the Day 2 at Gettysburg of this particular lost cause.
   2106. The Good Face Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5459306)
TGF, this page was free of that term until you used it in 2074.


You guys almost made it a whole page! That's amazing, and you're a VERY special boy for doing so well!

Do those sorts of nursing homes exist? Because in my limited experience with visiting various relatives, my impression is that they all have pretty high turnover. My wife's grandmother lived in a nursing home for about the last 4 years of her life and it seemed like she had a new roommate every couple of months (and wasn't because she was difficult to deal with).


A decade is an exaggeration, but I had a great aunt who lived for 5+ years in a nursing home with the same roommate.
   2107. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5459307)
Projecting things onto buildings seems to be becoming a thing...


It's certainly a growth sector for dissent. Cheap, easy, very public, and virtually impossible to prosecute.
   2108. Morty Causa Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5459308)
People can't get past the personalities attached to the posts.

Time and time again, I've said you wouldn't have this problem if the posts were anonymous. This message board has become only for unregenerate addicts who comment more as to perceived personalities. To allude to the Nobel Laureate, no one and nothing ever goes nowhere here. It's where discussion and debate go to die (or be killed).
   2109. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5459309)
Well, the truth is that OTP has become a dumpster fire, or much much more of one if you like.


Given the fact that the White House is currently run by a dumpster fire, this is obvious and expected. One does not have civil debate about policy nuance while Donald Trump has the nuclear codes.
   2110. BrianBrianson Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5459310)
A lot of Trumpkins are still full of energy. But at least a few are peeling off. How much is harder to gauge, I guess - as does what they're declining motivation will actually result in. Meanwhile, Democrats seems to have found a wind they haven't had in a decade.

nothingburger RussiaRussia stuff


At this point, it looks like at least one member of Trump's cabinet is going to end up in prison - "nothingburger" is wacky oversell. Trump may escape - he may even be clean - but it's not like there's nothing there.
   2111. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5459311)
Number of OTP comments from Trump’s inauguration to date---Date refers to beginning of weekly thread

1/15 – 2387
1/23 – 2351
1/30 – 2396

2/05 – 2003
2/12 – 2310
2/19 – 2041
2/26 – 2148

3/06 – 1583
3/13 – 1534
3/19 – 2086
3/26 – 1221

4/03 – 1356
4/09 – 1484
4/17 – 1402
4/24 – 972

5/01 – 1799
5/08 – 1817
5/15 – 2111 (so far)




   2112. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5459312)
I don't understand why people are so mad about our newest SJWs joining the fold --

Using a hypnotist trick we learned from Scott Adams called mirroring - we have successfully converted two prominent members of the anti-PC police into snowflake defenders.

Rather than people bemoaning their lateness to the cause, we ought to be applauding them for joining it. I eagerly await reports from the gay rights marches and womyn's bookclubs.
   2113. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5459314)
The Mueller appointment is actually bad for the Democrats. They had a better chance with the press leaks/Congressional investigation strategy.


Sure. Your psychic powers tell you that. Of course they do.

Personally I can't speak for all Democrats, or really anyone but myself, but I am happy with getting what I wanted all along a nonpartisan independent investigation, no matter who it ends up being "good for".
   2114. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5459315)
That was the entire plan and point of RUSSIA RUSSIA. Make up some bullshit based on the most tenuous scenarios and associations, then demand investigations until people get frustrated and slip up. That plan worked on Hillary Clinton, who is a far more experienced hand than Trump, so was it was reasonable to expect it to work on a neophyte like Trump.


It actually was working -- the daily leakfest and hysteria was building momentum and had gotten even people like Susan Collins to say we have to have a normal day sometime soon -- and there was even a potential Nixon smoking gun moment. The Mueller appointment killed the momentum. The TDS is so bad that the afflicted weren't even able to realize that it would be bad for their cause to actually have an IC appointed.
   2115. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:10 PM (#5459316)
No love lost indeed ...


Joementum has a ton of history to create a no-love-lost relationship with his former party already, but again, much like Mike Pence last year, regardless of all the things he's been horrifically wrong about to date, you need find no "excuse" from that list to oppose him. By aligning with Trump, he digs himself a new low.
   2116. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:12 PM (#5459317)
Trump supporters are not feeling fatigued.


Well, except for their jaws. That said, I second David's congratulations with you finally coming to terms with your actual identity.
   2117. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5459319)
Ray replying, #2102:
"Hey, we went 97 posts without making a homophobic attack!!!"

Truly the stuff of high comedy.



At least now you're criticizing the type of comedy "cockholster" is, rather than disputing that mean-spirited comedy can be comedy at all. Wonderful progress. Once you shake free of the pretended "homophobia" indignation, you'll pretty much be there. (Because it wasn't a good joke.)
   2118. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5459320)
Too bad Sam couldn't go the whole page without making an anti-women attack:


I didn't mean to make you feel like you were being attacked, Ray.
   2119. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5459321)
The TDS is so bad

How is replacing Comey with Lieberman "draining the swamp"?
   2120. JL72 Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5459322)
At this point, it looks like at least one member of Trump's cabinet is going to end up in prison - "nothingburger" is wacky oversell.


Flynn has real problems. Not sure if NSA is a cabinet level position, but I would not be surprised if he gets pleads to something.

Trump may escape - he may even be clean - but it's not like there's nothing there.


One of Trump's big problems is that he comes from business, but has no political background. He does not understand that something that he does in business will get him in trouble as President. His discussions with Comey is a big example. As a CEO, I am sure Trump made lots of requests to folks and even made threats. But when you are President, those threats matter a whole lot more. Casual conversations take on a different interpretation when it is the President talking to the guy that is investigating your campaign.

Even the little things show that his running things like his business is messing things up. I am guessing that in his company, Trump delegated a lot of details to a few close advisors, who then went out and made it happen. So Trump did not hire most folks. But in the government, there are a lot of people to appoint, and the President needs to drive that. Trump appears completely uninterested in doing that, thus leaving a lot of agencies rudderless and doing what they always had been doing.

Trump is a great example of the limits of the idea that you can run government like a business.
   2121. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5459324)
Why is it that, for all the roller-coaster events of their Presidencies, and the huge amount of animosity they inspired, neither George W Bush nor Barack Obama was under fire for obstruction of justice in 16 years, and Trump has somehow happened to "have" this problem within 16 weeks?


Because the press has seen fit to publish completely unconfirmed (*) stories leaked by a rogue, undependable, ethically challenged FBI director who never thought he'd actually be fired.

(*) "We didn't actually see the memo, but two people truly really truly did read it to us. Really they did. Really and truly. They did." LOLOL.
   2122. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:19 PM (#5459326)
Well -- even I'll admit that if we've reached the tired cliches trotted out because they're all out of real ideas ("Be careful what you wish for!!!"), that's pretty boring.
   2123. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5459327)

One of Trump's big problems is that he comes from business, but has no political background. He does not understand that something that he does in business will get him in trouble as President. His discussions with Comey is a big example. As a CEO, I am sure Trump made lots of requests to folks and even made threats. But when you are President, those threats matter a whole lot more. Casual conversations take on a different interpretation when it is the President talking to the guy that is investigating your campaign.

"Eh, that's just Trump being Trump. Nothing to see here. You have to take him seriously, not literally, but you can't take him too seriously."
   2124. Hot Wheeling American Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5459328)
The 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' Dodge
But defending what Trump says or does is often impossible. Americans can’t help but know that he didn’t win the popular vote; draw more people to his inauguration than Barack Obama; act wisely in appointing Michael Flynn; execute well in that first executive order on travel; or accomplish more in his first 100 days than any other president.

Americans can’t help but see that he is erratic, and that his domestic agenda has stalled bigly. He can claim that no politician has ever been treated more unfairly. But we can’t help but know that Ronald Reagan was shot and that John F. Kennedy was killed.

That’s why pro-Trump and anti-anti-Trump commentators have adapted.

As the weeks pass, they spend less time making positive arguments for the president and more time hiding behind the talking point that his critics are overwrought. Unhinged. Hysterical. Suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Don’t look here, at the president who shared too much information with Russian diplomats in an Oval Office meeting. Look there at an excessive reaction to it.

...

During the Obama years, the most unhinged voices on the right were often the most popular. Today, the biggest beneficiary of “the resistance” largesse is the ACLU. The biggest drivers of Trump administration news coverage are The New York Times and The Washington Post. Those organizations aren’t perfect. And there is nothing wrong with criticizing their statements or coverage in the fashion of an outlet like National Review, where there is an ongoing, honest effort to assess Trump’s strengths and flaws.

But what newspaper compares unfavorably in accuracy or poisonousness to the Fox News lineup circa 2009 or the Rush Limbaugh show any week during the Obama years?

...

The fact that grave fears about Trump’s fitness for office are commonplace––for example, the fears about giving an erratic, easily baited bully with no foreign policy experience control over nukes—is not evidence that the anxious are deranged. As frightening as it is to ponder, their anxiety about long tail risk is rational. Trump stokes an unusual amount of worry from sober, grounded commentators mostly because he has glaring shortcomings that are unprecedented among modern presidents.

   2125. McCoy Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5459329)
The problem with Trump was that he was a bad conventional businessman/leader. He was a real estate guy which meant he was pretty much a huckster and since it was NYC he had powerful friends. That's it. He wasn't building General Motors or the first Google. His was an empire of one. When he actually tried his hand at conventional businesses he failed miserably. He's entertainment and until The Apprentice came along he was a glorified late night infomercial huckster. Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, Trump University, Trump Shirts, so on and so on.
   2126. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5459330)
--
   2127. BDC Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5459332)
Flynn has real problems

As reported widely, Flynn's late-disclosed Turkish connection (and apparent subsequent influence on policy) is a very real problem.
   2128. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:25 PM (#5459334)
   2129. McCoy Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:25 PM (#5459336)
"he has glaring shortcomings that are unprecedented among modern presidents."

Geez, what are the glaring shortcomings for non-modern presidents. I'm sure they exist. Like, say, Franklin Pierce having no real desire to do much of anything besides drink and sit in a dark room.
   2130. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5459338)
I badly want Ainsley Earhardt from "Fox & Friends" to do my eulogy. Here she is choking up for Roger Ailes:
“Many people out there would say that he saved this country by starting the Fox News Channel... He put food on our table. And you know, he went out in such a sad way. But who doesn’t have sins? We all have our sins and cross to bear. And Roger, I will love you forever.”
   2131. BrianBrianson Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5459339)
Trump is a great example of the limits of the idea that you can run government like a business.


I'm pretty skeptical of that. If he actually surrounded himself with some competent, non-corrupt people, he could rely on their advice to fill the holes. No reason the attorney general couldn't be recommending judicial appointments to him, the secretary of state recommending ambassador appointments, etc. If they were good, hard-working, intelligent people. But they're mostly 0/3 on that count. That's the problem. Alzeimer's Reagan did an acceptable job, because he'd already filled in the hard-working, intelligent people he needed to carry him.
   2132. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5459341)
2126. SBB, Live from the Alt-Center
Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5459330)

--
Now I'll just wonder if you actually attempted to answer the question you keep dodging.
   2133. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:37 PM (#5459342)
More evidence that the Trumpkins are hardly "just fine" --

VP Mike Pence Was Never Informed About Flynn: Source

Noted last page that I agree with Josh Marshall -- this really, really strains credibility. Mike Pence led the transition team. By the time Flynn's alleged crimes were becoming a real problem -- Pence had been hugging Trump (and by proxy Flynn, since he was so ubiquitous and tight with Trump) for 6 months.

Two key points --

First, SOMEBODY obviously ###### up bigly... So if it wasn't the VP who led the transition team...? Clearly, McGahn is being set up to be the fall guy here... but since he's supposed to be a lawyer, I would think he's not so stupid to be left holding the bag.

Second, drip drip drip drip! The drive to try to inoculate Pence is clearly off and running. Will it work? Time will tell!
   2134. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:43 PM (#5459344)
(*) "We didn't actually see the memo, but two people truly really truly did read it to us. Really they did. Really and truly. They did." LOLOL.


You do realize other news organizations have stated they have confirmed the memo's existence, including FOX news?


Ahead of that appointment, The New York Times first reported that Comey in February wrote a memo that Trump had asked him to shut down the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The memo's existence was confirmed by Fox News on Wednesday.


Linkypoo
   2135. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:44 PM (#5459347)
The Mueller appointment is actually bad for the Democrats. They had a better chance with the press leaks/Congressional investigation/hysteria strategy

This isn't an unreasonable point: the appointment of Mueller will almost certainly mean fewer leaks from the FBI, which means fewer major pieces of breaking news that rock the Trump administration. So there may be short-term benefit to Trump.

On the other hand, the pace of major stories that we saw earlier this week was simply unsustainable regardless of what happened. And there was probably a fatigue factor that was going to lessen the impact. So I think that DJT was looking at a less tumultuous stretch for the remainder of May and into June than what immediately followed the Comey firing regardless of whether a special counsel was appointed or not. That is, there was going to be some "regression to the mean" with respect to frequency/intensity of investigative journalism into DJT regardless of whether Mueller was appointed or not.

Whether the Mueller appointment is a good thing for DJT long-term will depend entirely on what the investigation uncovers and if/when those findings are made public. With respect to the latter point, in a lot of ways we're in unchartered territory and I don't think anyone quite knows what Mueller's deliverables are supposed to be (even Rosenstein and Mueller themselves, at this point). Will findings only enter the public domain if there are formal indictments and prosecutions? Will he turnover a comprehensive report to Congress, with a redacted version made available to the public? Or will he testify at some point when the investigation is concluded before Congress (some combination of open and closed hearings, most likely) and his findings will inform some future select committee or independent commission?

If the only things that are ever made public from Mueller's investigation is what enters the public record via indictments and subsequent court proceedings, then the political damage may be minimized (depends of course on who exactly is indicted and what they are alleged to have done).

But if his broader findings enter the public domain, it may be that a comprehensive, thorough report that is made public all at once does much more damage than an ongoing series of a media reports (some of which will invariably be less accurate or less complete than what Mueller will deliver). And timing will also be critical in terms of electoral consequences. Presumably there will be sensitivity to not wanting to impact the 2018 elections and so it's likely that unless Mueller's investigation is concluded in very early 2018, then findings won't be shared (at least officially) until after the midterm election.

If DJT were smart, then he'd dedicate someone in the White House Counsel's office to interface with Mueller's team and minimize all other contact between the investigation and anyone else in the White House. He should also totally refrain from public comment on the matter. And, for the love of god, DJT himself should not contact anyone known to be a target of the investigation (e.g., Flynn).
   2136. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5459348)
Trump is a great example of the limits of the idea that you can run government like a business.


I'm pretty skeptical of that. If he actually surrounded himself with some competent, non-corrupt people, he could rely on their advice to fill the holes. No reason the attorney general couldn't be recommending judicial appointments to him, the secretary of state recommending ambassador appointments, etc.


A couple of points. First, the structure of American late capitalist "business" is essentially neo-feudal. A true "CEO President" will be used to a LOT more deference and ability to dictate than a president in a republic even as compromised as our current system. Trump is the ultimate dictatorial CEO and is having exactly the issues anyone with a frontal cortex foresaw him having, when he declared his candidacy.

Second, your skepticism is based on the idea that government can be run like a GOOD business, and again, Trump is a TERRIBLE businessman. He survives on cronyism, corruption and intimdation; not skill, vision or persuasion.
   2137. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:52 PM (#5459351)
FT on the potential for impeachment, and some potential arguments (emphasis added).
As during Watergate, there is broad agreement that the first article would be the obstruction of justice. By his admission, Mr Trump fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation because of the probe into links between his presidential campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mr Comey contemporaneously documented Mr Trump’s request that he let go the investigation into Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser. Mr Comey’s memos, combined with Mr Trump’s admission, make a strong prima facie case.

A second article of impeachment might revolve around accusations of conflict of interest and corruption. Mr Trump, who has neither released his tax returns nor properly separated himself from his real estate, hotel, and golf businesses, stands to profit enormously from his time in office.

Doubling the membership admission fee at his Mar-a-Lago resort (to $200,000) is a crude and obvious way of selling access while in office. The elevated rates paid by visiting diplomats at his new Trump International Hotel, two blocks from the White House, trigger the “emoluments” clause of the Constitution, a specific prohibition against officials receiving payments from foreign governments.

An historically grounded understanding of what the American founders meant by the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanours” arguably covers a much wider range of presidential abuses. Another Harvard law professor, Noah Feldman, argues that the president’s slanderous accusation that Barack Obama tapped his phones in Trump Tower constitutes an impeachable offence, along with Mr Trump’s bilious defamation of the press.

A president cannot be criminally prosecuted for disclosing classified information, as Mr Trump apparently did when he bragged to Russian officials about his fantastic intelligence on Isis. But gratuitously harming national security by spilling secrets in this way is arguably an impeachable offence too.

The specifics of possible charges are somewhat beside the point. Whether impeachment hearings take place is ultimately a political question much more than a legal one. And so long as Republicans control the House, they remain unlikely. Since Mr Trump became the GOP nominee, people have continually wondered whether this or that catastrophe would finally cause Republican legislators to break with him. Would the Access Hollywood tape, in which Mr Trump bragged about sexual predation, be the straw that broke the camel’s back? Would his bigoted attacks on a Mexican-American judge?

But the camel’s back is the wrong metaphor. Members of Congress are less beasts of accumulating burden than computational machines designed to win re-election. Their sense of their own political interests is acute. Thanks to gerrymandered congressional districts, a large majority of Republican House members hold safe seats, where the risk of losing to a Democrat is minimal. Their greater concern is a well-financed primary challenge from the right.

Only when legislators judge that the risk of continuing to support Mr Trump outweighs the risk of abandoning him will they begin to jump ship.
Link (paywall)
   2138. BrianBrianson Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5459354)
That means the problem is Trump, not the idea of running the government like a business.

Indeed, government is mostly run like a business. Working in government, working in private companies, it's not much difference. (Except as an academic, which is a little different).
   2139. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5459355)
VP Mike Pence Was Never Informed About Flynn: Source


That probably came from someone on the VP's staff, spinning to make sure he doesn't go down with a potential Trump-sinking.
   2140. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:58 PM (#5459356)
Not sure if NSA is a cabinet level position, but I would not be surprised if he gets pleads to something.

The NSA does not serve on the Cabinet. Some political commentators refer to the NSA as a member of the Cabinet, but that is incorrect. He/she is a senior adviser to the POTUS who generally does not require Senate confirmation*. The NSA is also not in the presidential line of succession.

*-Because he is an active lieutenant general, McMaster required a confirmation vote by the Senate (all 3 and 4 star military officers require Senate approval within 60 days of their appointments to new positions). He could have avoided a confirmation hearing by either accepting a demotion to major general or retire, but there was strong bipartisan support for him so the confirmation process was a formality (he was recommended by Senate Armed Services with a 23-2 vote and confirmed by the Senate with a 86-10 vote).
   2141. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5459357)
That means the problem is Trump, not the idea of running the government like a business.


At the highest levels, thinking of the state as a business is flawed. In the weeds, managing day to day resourcing and tasks is similar across platforms. Any problem, great or small, is expanded exponentially by adding the Cheeto Dumpsterfire moron to the equation.
   2142. zenbitz Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5459358)
Hey TGF how is the great war against globalism and multiculturalism going? How's that isolationist policy working out? Swamp drained?


   2143. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5459359)
You do realize other news organizations have stated they have confirmed the memo's existence, including FOX news?


I'm sure there's a memo, but that's beside the point.
   2144. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:03 PM (#5459362)
The specifics of possible charges are somewhat beside the point. Whether impeachment hearings take place is ultimately a political question much more than a legal one.

Exactly the point that I've been making for a week now. Whether DJT could be convicted in a court for obstruction of justice is entirely beside the point.
   2145. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5459365)
The specifics of possible charges are somewhat beside the point.


LOL. I guess this joins the "Well, we're never going to find a smoking gun showing collusion, but we wouldn't expect to" in the stages-of-grief matrix.
   2146. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5459367)
VP Mike Pence Was Never Informed About Flynn: Source


That probably came from someone on the VP's staff, spinning to make sure he doesn't go down with a potential Trump-sinking.


That's what the article claims -- an administration source.... But I'm just not seeing how it's plausible.

Yates' testimony... McGaghn being told in early January... and as I linked last page, Elijah Cummings pointed out that he sent a letter to Pence Nov 18 raising concerns about Flynn's Turkey work. The extent and timing wasn't known - but the letter clearly spells out precisely the now alleged crimes as something to be concerned about.

Remember that Agnew went first :-)
   2147. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:08 PM (#5459369)
And apparently he has company: Trump is totally delusional about what’s happening to him right now
The appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian meddling in the election puts the Trump presidency in substantially greater peril than it was in only 24 hours ago. But, remarkably enough, this did not even have to happen at all — it only happened because the unhinged behavior of President Trump himself made it happen.

...Trump is raging at his staff for failing to mitigate his “stumbles.” Why? Because “Trump largely thinks that his recent mishaps are not substantive but simply errors of branding and public relations, according to people close to him and the White House.”

But, despite Trump’s suggestion that he is being victimized by a witch hunt, and that a more adept PR strategy could minimize the damage, this is a situation entirely of Trump’s own making. And each of Trump’s actions leading up to this moment are rooted deep in Trump’s autocratic and authoritarian impulses; his total contempt for basic institutional processes; and his tendency, when his sense of grievance strikes, to slip into a delusional belief that he can overwhelm the institutional independence of his persecutors the way he might steamroll someone in a business deal.

Let’s trace the basic arc of this whole story. The special counsel might not be happening if Trump had not abruptly fired former FBI director James B. Comey. The reporting indicates that Trump was driven to do this out of grievance-laden rage at Comey for failing to make the Russia probe disappear (Comey isn’t supposed to do that at Trump’s behest, and firing him isn’t going to do it either). So this was rooted in crazy, and didn’t have to happen.

More to the point, the manner in which Trump fired Comey led directly to the special counsel. Trump had made the decision and then instructed Rosenstein to produce the bogus rationale for it (Comey’s botched handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe). Trump then blithely conceded on national television that the real reason was Comey’s handling of the Russia probe. He was either unaware that this might be a problem, or didn’t care, because, well, you can take the rule of law and shove it. All this unleashed a tirade of criticism arguing that Rosenstein, having helped provide a cover story for Trump (which Trump himself then blew up), is too compromised to oversee the continuing FBI probe. This surely helped bring about the special counsel’s appointment — and Trump authored it.

...Trump has created a problem for himself in yet another way, too: He denied asking Comey for a loyalty pledge by vaguely threatening to release alleged tapes of their conversation. Now, if Comey publicly attests to that pledge, the White House will be forced to produce these tapes or admit they don’t exist, and it’s very likely that neither of those outcomes would turn out well for Trump.

The point is not just that Trump’s actions are entirely to blame for the appointment of the special counsel. It’s also that there are no indications that Trump even understands this. And on top of that, these actions themselves — which simply did not have to happen — will now likely be probed by the special counsel, too.
   2148. simon bedford Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:08 PM (#5459370)
Agnew went due to nothing remotely to do with Watergate.
   2149. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5459373)
SBB: #2145:
LOL. I guess this joins the "Well, we're never going to find a smoking gun showing collusion, but we wouldn't expect to" in the stages-of-grief matrix.

SBB, 4 minutes earlier:
I'm sure there's a memo, but that's beside the point.
   2150. PepTech Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5459374)
Remember that Agnew went first :-)
Hey, that's right. And there's no chance in hell another VP gets confirmed any time soon - Kiko had it wrong, this whole setup is actually Paul Ryan's best path to the WH! He's the leaker!!! COUP!!!
   2151. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5459375)
Agnew went due to nothing remotely to do with Watergate.


I know - I'm just commenting on the timing and order of exit :-)
   2152. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5459378)
And apparently he has company: Trump is totally delusional about what’s happening to him right now


Anonymous Sources is a not-bad band name in its own right.
   2153. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:14 PM (#5459379)
Hey, you guys think the Russia story is a nothingburger, you're welcome to bring up Trump's other plans. I've asked about draining the swamp a number of times. Israel's been a bit quiet lately on how much better Trump is than Obama, who didn't want to land a helicopter on a monument. Market's down. Ford's firing people. How's the wall going?

Give us something. I brought up OSHA earlier.

Anyone?
   2154. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5459380)
Reportedly White House press briefings will no longer be done daily after Trump gets back from his junket. David Frum observes in Twitter-barrage fashion:


1. Sorry to crush illusions here, but White Houses do on-camera briefings for selfish reasons: to get their message out in their own words

2. EG: For message, “Our inaugural crowd was bigger than Obama’s” on-camera briefing essential. Tell it to a reporter, she’ll laugh at you

3. For the first weeks of Trump admin, the method worked. Sean Spicer put outrageous lie after outrageous lie into circulation, direct to TV

4. If the Trump White House now ceases on-camera briefings, it’s not to “punish the press.” It’s because the method has ceased to work.

5. The lies are being discredited & disbelieved - and the discrediting process is sinking Trump’s poll numbers even among former supporters

6. If the briefings are ended, it’s because the White House feels it’s losing the messaging war to the forces of truth.

7. It’s shifting from offense to defense, like an exhausted boxer who quits throwing punches and instead just feebly tries to block

8. My guess is that the end, if it comes, won’t last. Trump will hate surrendering the TV war even more than he hates losing it.

9. He’ll want *somebody* to go on air and repeat exactly what he told them. (Somebody other than Hannity, that is.)

10. Whether on-air briefings are suspended, whether they return, make no mistake - neither decision is for the public good. Both are cynical

11. So to the press corps: don’t lament if Trump ends briefing. They weren’t a favor to you or a service to the public. They were a tactic

12. … a tactic in a campaign of deception. If the campaign is shifting terrain now - it’s because its authors are getting jittery.

13. Which is good news, not bad. So stay strong (in the literal sense, not the “if nobody squeals, nobody goes to prison” sense). END.
   2155. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:17 PM (#5459381)
LOL. I guess this joins the "Well, we're never going to find a smoking gun showing collusion, but we wouldn't expect to" in the stages-of-grief matrix.
Try reading.
   2156. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5459384)
This isn't an unreasonable point: the appointment of Mueller will almost certainly mean fewer leaks from the FBI, which means fewer major pieces of breaking news that rock the Trump administration. So there may be short-term benefit to Trump.


Since I am, I guess, the most partisan partisan who ever partisaned I will weigh in and say again that I am still glad there is an independent investigation happening, even if it mysteriously benefits Trump in the short or long run. Of course I don't think much of the day to day hysteria and breathless news that generates. The GOPe President Trump is clearly in serious trouble and the GOP in Congress is beset by divisions to the point it is endangering long held and cherished goals (note the latest budget stuff where the GOP basically gave away the store to the Democrats, because they had to). A lack of minute by minute leaks is not going to change that.
   2157. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5459387)
Hey, that's right. And there's no chance in hell another VP gets confirmed any time soon - Kiko had it wrong, this whole setup is actually Paul Ryan's best path to the WH!


I'm not going to link to it -- and I haven't even read it -- but I'll point out yet again that Louise Mensch (who, at one point - was a go-to girl for the Trumpkins) was claiming last week that it's going to be President Hatch soon.

I'm still as skeptical of her as ever, but she's been crowing all week that she had the Flynn problems and Pence's sticky fingers last week... I'm almost tempted to see where she proposed Ryan fits into it -- but I'm betting she had the goods on the Ryan/McCarthy night at the Improv tape.

BTW - heard that per Hugh Hewitt, they're blaming Evan McMullin as the source...
   2158. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5459389)
Try reading.


I did. Suggesting that the "specifics of possible charges" are "beside the point" is inane. It smacks of, "We just really know there's something there!!"
   2159. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5459390)
Reportedly White House press briefings will no longer be done daily after Trump gets back from his junket.

I'm totally okay with this. They've ceased to serve any useful purpose given that DJT says that his own press secretary doesn't speak for him.

But I think that Frum is right: ultimately DJT will need to engage the mainstream media and so daily briefings will return at some point.
   2160. BrianBrianson Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5459393)
I did. Suggesting that the "specifics of possible charges" are "beside the point" is inane. It smacks of, "We just really know there's something there!!"


You'd only say this if you hadn't read it. The point is pretty clear - since impeachment is a political act, not a legal one, it'll follow a political course, not a legal one.
   2161. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5459394)
...Trump is raging at his staff for failing to mitigate his “stumbles.” Why? Because “Trump largely thinks that his recent mishaps are not substantive but simply errors of branding and public relations, according to people close to him and the White House.”


I doubt he understands that they can't edit the tape to make him look better, like the did on The Apprentice.
   2162. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5459395)
Reportedly White House press briefings will no longer be done daily after Trump gets back from his junket.


Good. The ritual has become anachronistic and therefore entirely optional.

   2163. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5459397)
But I think that Frum is right: ultimately DJT will need to engage the mainstream media and so daily briefings will return at some point.


One of the ways he won the presidency was putting out so much "noise" that he buried any other signal but his. Somehow I doubt he is going to go away from that strategy, but if he does, no skin off of my nose.
   2164. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5459399)
I think stopping them is one more chink in his administration's armor, too. The die-hards will be all THANK GOD NO MORE MEDIA LIES but there are plenty of weary conservative folks who know that they are stopping due to the fact that they're an embarrassment to Trump. An embarrassment because of Trump.
   2165. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5459401)
This isn't an unreasonable point: the appointment of Mueller will almost certainly mean fewer leaks from the FBI, which means fewer major pieces of breaking news that rock the Trump administration. So there may be short-term benefit to Trump.


Meh... we've had special counsels before on a variety of matters -- have they EVER been leak-free? It's not like Mueller is bringing in his own team of FBI agents and investigators -- he'll be leading an investigation using the same people who are apparently already leaking.

Perhaps he's the sort who will crack the whip on leaks - in fact, I have little doubt he will try to do precisely that... but the idea that it's all just gonna go dark now is silly. People will still talk. Reporters will still report.

Besides, one of the key "gossip" pieces that was bubbling around this week is that Trump's staff is pissed at him - as well and as logical they should be. Unlike the Trumpkins here, who apparently like cockholstering Dear Leader just for fun -- these people are getting shellacked... working hard, draining jobs even under a COMPETENT President. When that President keeps creating his own messes, makes their jobs harder, AND apparently screams and yells at them for their incompetence, you think they aren't going to leak themselves?

Remember that -- while he may well be lying and I've got no love for him -- Erick Erickson claims that the Israel-Russia-intel blunder was leaked by someone he knows as a pro-Trump guy.

People so far detached from it all may find it easier to keep ignoring the elephant in the room -- but it's foolish to think that people who may not be complete doe-eyed incompetents are just going to keep falling on their swords.

The Trumpkins here have this laughable assumption that all the "leaks" are coming from the elites and the Obama holdovers and whatever.

Have you ever considered for a moment that maybe it's actually Trumpkins in the White House that are just fed up with the buffoonery, eating their regular servings of ####, AND being blamed/screamed at because THEY'RE not properly fixing the unfixable problems their incompetent boss creates regularly?

   2166. BrianBrianson Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5459405)
Reportedly White House press briefings will no longer be done daily after Trump gets back from his junket.


In terms of cost savings for the government, they could be cheaply replaced by a sign that says

THE WHITE HOUSE DENIES THE FACTS ALLEGATIONS.

DONALD J. TRUMP CONFIRMS THEM, THOUGH
   2167. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5459406)
I'm not going to link to it -- and I haven't even read it -- but I'll point out yet again that Louise Mensch (who, at one point - was a go-to girl for the Trumpkins) was claiming last week that it's going to be President Hatch soon.

Which is utterly ridiculous. Basically the only way Hatch becomes POTUS is if Trump, Pence, and Ryan are simultaneously assassinated. If the vacancies arose because of political proceedings to remove them from office, then the House would have time to put someone other than Ryan in position to become the next POTUS.

That is, in the highly, highly, highly unlikely scenario that there was actually some sort of scandal that could simultaneously bring down DJT, Pence, and Ryan, then the GOP House could preempt Hatch by electing a new speaker prior to Ryan's removal. Worth noting that Ryan could only be removed by the House itself. Moreover, the Speaker of the House doesn't actually need to be a sitting member of the House. So all the House would need is a simple majority vote and they could effectively select the next POTUS from anyone constitutionally eligible to serve as president.

So they could elect Mitt Romney. Or John Kasich. Or whoever. Given the intraparty disunity within the GOP House, it's not at all clear who the consensus pick could be. We're probably looking at some sort of backroom power-sharing deal.
   2168. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:37 PM (#5459408)
I did. Suggesting that the "specifics of possible charges" are "beside the point" is inane. It smacks of, "We just really know there's something there!!"

You'd only say this if you hadn't read it. The point is pretty clear - since impeachment is a political act, not a legal one, it'll follow a political course, not a legal one.

Yeah, I took the point there to be more descriptive than anything else. Impeachment is a political process so whether Trump is impeached depends on political issues rather than legal ones.

I think the political and the legal are related (ie. if you can make a legal argument that an official has committed a crime that makes the political argument much easier)...but politics will be the determining factor.
   2169. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:37 PM (#5459409)
Wait, wait -- don't tell me...

Beating Trump by getting the daily pressers canceled because they've ceased to be anything but the absurd and a daily chance to mock Trump is actually GOOD NEWS for Trump and BAD NEWS! for the elites and lefties.

I'm sure things will go MUCH better for the administration when WH communications amounts just to Trump tweets and the occasional laughable interview with him.

Add me to those who are also sure that Trump is going to be happy - with his endless addiction to cable news - when it's all just people speculating on his stupidness.

   2170. The Good Face Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5459410)
Hey TGF how is the great war against globalism and multiculturalism going?


Somewhat better than President Hillary's administration.

How's that isolationist policy working out?


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Swamp drained?


Oh I never cared about that. Silly campaign slogan to get votes from the rubes. What matters is what the swamp DOES.
   2171. BrianBrianson Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5459415)
@2167 - it's tough to argue that the GOP house could act quickly to pick a new speaker to become president, but also they're a ########### of disunity who probably couldn't agree on pizza toppings. Yeah, they could do a lot of things, but I can't at all see them acting quickly and decisively at the same moment Trump, Pence, and Ryan were crashing.

Not that I think it's likely to be a quick, huge crash. But if it were, there's no way they'd get their act together - if a majority of the GOPers could support a candidate the Dems like better than Hatch? Maybe. But who? Seems farfetched.
   2172. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:47 PM (#5459418)
Meh... we've had special counsels before on a variety of matters -- have they EVER been leak-free? It's not like Mueller is bringing in his own team of FBI agents and investigators -- he'll be leading an investigation using the same people who are apparently already leaking.

Perhaps he's the sort who will crack the whip on leaks - in fact, I have little doubt he will try to do precisely that... but the idea that it's all just gonna go dark now is silly. People will still talk. Reporters will still report.

I said that there will likely be fewer leaks with Mueller, not that there will be no leaks.

Have you ever considered for a moment that maybe it's actually Trumpkins in the White House that are just fed up with the buffoonery, eating their regular servings of ####, AND being blamed/screamed at because THEY'RE not properly fixing the unfixable problems their incompetent boss creates regularly?

Not only have I considered it, but we actually know it to be true. It's widely believed/reported that Katie Walsh was terminated as deputy chief of staff in late March because she was discovered to be a leaker. It's been widely reported that various competing power players within the Trump White House have leaked information to damage their rivals.

Obviously, we'll continue to get embarrassing stories about the inner workings of the Trump White House from leaks. Indeed, there has probably never been a better time to be an investigative journalist in Washington than right now. But we'll see fewer leaks related to Mueller's investigation into the Russia-Trump connection from the FBI, which is where new information will be generated *and* not shared with the White House.
   2173. zenbitz Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5459419)
Somewhat better than President Hillary's administration.


Over it. In the long run Modern Liberalism (TM) is better off without her.

All I am saying is next time you propose a great Conservative Dictator to lead us into a new Monarchy, maybe find someone marginally competent at the job. Man, I can't believe I was *frightened* of this moron.
   2174. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5459421)
Somewhat better than President Hillary's administration.


Really? Maybe in the short term, but honestly Hillary would be getting done even less than Trump has, and if there were President Clinton in office the GOP would be looking at making gains in both the House and Senate as well as in down ballot races, setting themselves up for 2020*.

Especially since Trump really hasn;t struck any blows against either globalism or multiculturalism, even his vaunted immigration initiatives are not having much effect honestly. Sure in the short term I suppose HRC might do some minor stuff, like Trump is dong some minor stuff the other way (unless Gorsuch is a major blow against globalism, which sure tell yourself that).


And yes I know if you respond you will go off on a rant that pretends I am saying something I am not, so you can argue with that straw-man, but whatever. Movements win from the bottom up and not top down. Having a President, especially an incompetent one, is not the way to get the job done. And I am not seeing much evidence of a ground up movement of the sort you seem to pretend exists, else perhaps Trump would be able to accomplish more.

Note: There is no concern in this post. I am glad Trump is turning out to be even more of a joke than many feared and looks likely to take down the GOP with him, especially the GOP that sticks closest to him (that would be your side, BTW). I am glad the racists are not going to get their way over the next few years of darkness and that it looks like the next Democratic President will be able to fix the damage done.

* This is where you pretend you want the GOP to burn or something, ignoring the fact that without the GOP Trump never gets anywhere.

EDIT: and what zenbitz said. I cosign it.
   2175. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:04 PM (#5459426)
@2167 - it's tough to argue that the GOP house could act quickly to pick a new speaker to become president, but also they're a ########### of disunity who probably couldn't agree on pizza toppings. Yeah, they could do a lot of things, but I can't at all see them acting quickly and decisively at the same moment Trump, Pence, and Ryan were crashing.

Not that I think it's likely to be a quick, huge crash. But if it were, there's no way they'd get their act together - if a majority of the GOPers could support a candidate the Dems like better than Hatch? Maybe. But who? Seems farfetched.

Obviously it's farfetched--because it's inconceivable to me that there would be a scandal sufficient to remove Trump, Pence, and Ryan. Should I have added additional "unlikelys" to the preface of my post. :)

In terms of the House acting "quickly"... it would take action by the House to expel Ryan. Under current rules, if Ryan were implicated in some sort of scandal, then it would start with an investigation by the House Ethics Committee and then he could only be expelled with a 2/3rds vote of all House members. In other words, it would be completely separate from impeachment proceedings against Trump and Pence (and probably resolved before the Senate took a vote to remove them from office). And the process would almost certainly take several weeks from the formal introduction of a resolution to expel to when a floor vote were held (assuming it got that far).

In other words, that's assuming that Ryan didn't resign before being formally expelled. It's also inconceivable to me that Ryan would remain as speaker if there was a serious investigation into him by the House Ethics Committee. He would also certainly resign as speaker the moment it became apparent that there was any substance to the allegation (or would be forced out) and he would probably also resign from Congress at that point.

Basically, there's no plausible scenario in which political proceedings simultaneously removed all three from power if you consider the procedural requirements. So the only way Hatch ascends to the presidency is in the event of simultaneous assassinations.
   2176. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:04 PM (#5459427)
I think stopping them is one more chink in his administration's armor, too. The die-hards will be all THANK GOD NO MORE MEDIA LIES but there are plenty of weary conservative folks who know that they are stopping due to the fact that they're an embarrassment to Trump. An embarrassment because of Trump.


He is indeed clownish in his public utterances, but the "prestige" media is hardly blameless in the entire thing devolving to farce. The ritual's unspoken premises were (1) an at least passably-literate president; and (2) an objective media dedicated to objective reporting of news.

Both premises have failed. And with them, the ritual.
   2177. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:06 PM (#5459428)
And by the way, to be clear I still would have preferred that Hillary had won. But Trump has fashioned a better silver lining that I would have believed possible.
   2178. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5459430)
At this point, it looks like at least one member of Trump's cabinet is going to end up in prison - "nothingburger" is wacky oversell.

Flynn has real problems. Not sure if NSA is a cabinet level position, but I would not be surprised if he gets pleads to something.
As Jason and I were discussing yesterday, nobody goes to jail for FARA violations. If he goes to jail, it's going to be because he lied about it to the wrong person. (Or something else -- money laundering or tax evasion or something. Though that's more likely Manafort. Who, as we all know, didn't really have anything to do with the Trump campaign.)
   2179. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5459432)
somewhat better than President Hillary's administration.


Really? Maybe in the short term, but honestly Hillary would be getting done even less than Trump has, and if there were President Clinton in office the GOP would be looking at making gains in both the House and Senate as well as in down ballot races, setting themselves up for 2020*.

Especially since Trump really hasn't struck any blows against either globalism or multiculturalism, even his vaunted immigration initiatives are not having much effect honestly. Sure in the short term I suppose HRC might do some minor stuff, like Trump is dong some minor stuff the other way (unless Gorsuch is a major blow against globalism, which sure tell yourself that).


I agree with your implicit point that in the long run we might be better off with Trump sabotaging the GOP's 2018 and 2020 chances, since if Hillary had won those 3 swing states the Republican based would be triple energized and the Democratic base would probably still be playing holier-than-thou with her and not bothering to vote next year.

But I think you're underestimating the real damage that Trump's various appointments are already doing. The courts may throw out Trump's travel ban(s), but they won't be able to readmit the of non-criminal immigrants that ICE has been deporting, in a reversal of the trend of the past few years. And if Sessions gets his way you'll have more and more people filling our jails----not to mention that many of those jails will be privatized.

And I don't even want to think about the long term damage that Gorsuch might bring to the Supreme Court, no matter how nice a guy and qualified that he is.
   2180. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5459434)
He is indeed clownish in his public utterances

Rather specific undersell you have there. What part of his presidency has NOT been clownish?
   2181. BrianBrianson Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5459437)
Well, I can't speak to it being likely for Trump, but I suspect both Pence and Ryan choose "resign with the pretense of dignity" over "get dragged out kicking and screaming". That could happen fast, under some circumstances. Too fast to select a new speaker, especially if the Dems don't play ball, electing a new speaker could take quite a while.
   2182. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5459446)
Trump is a great example of the limits of the idea that you can run government like a business.
No, he's an example of the limits of the idea that an incompetent businessman can run government. Trump has shown skill at building a brand. Not at running businesses.
   2183. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5459447)
I hope I'm wrong, but as far as likelihood, I'm in the "nothing ending Trump's clownish presidency will occur prior to the next election" camp.
   2184. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:27 PM (#5459449)
in a lot of ways we're in unchartered territory
[Pedantry]"uncharted." You charter airplanes, not territories.[/Pedantry]
   2185. BDC Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5459450)
I'm in the "nothing ending Trump's clownish presidency will occur prior to the next election" camp

Me too. And I don't even see anything remotely on the horizon that would indicate that Pence or Ryan is in danger of being deposed. Scenarios where the Postmaster General or somebody becomes President are fun but even in this weird era just alternative histories.
   2186. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:31 PM (#5459453)
electing a new speaker could take quite a while.

Compared to simultaneously impeaching and removing from office both the president and vice president? That's not something that is going to happen overnight either. Removal of the speaker would happen far faster than impeachment and removal from office of the president and vice president.

This whole discussion is rather silly, since I cannot imagine any scenario in which Pence would be impeached and removed from office. First, because he's smart enough to not cross the sorts of lines that DJT is apparently completely ignorant of. But second, I don't see how the GOP would ever determine that it was in their political interest to not have him replace DJT in the unlikely event that they determine that it is in their interest to remove DJT.

Final thought: it's actually far more likely that Ryan loses his speakership at some point in 2017-18 than DJT losing his presidency in that same period of time. The threshold for removing him from power is far, far lower.
   2187. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5459455)
[Pedantry]"uncharted." You charter airplanes, not territories.[/Pedantry]

Apologies.
   2188. PepTech Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:43 PM (#5459465)
Oh I never cared about that. Silly campaign slogan to get votes from the rubes
Fascinating. By all means, tell us which other Trump utterances are "silly campaign slogans" to get votes from the deplorables rubes (spare me your faux outrage; we all know both terms are shorthand for the same group of voters). Is the Wall in that category? Is it all about the SCOTUS? Tax "reform"?
   2189. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:43 PM (#5459466)
I'm sure there's a memo, but that's beside the point.
Facts always are, with you.
   2190. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:50 PM (#5459473)
Meh... we've had special counsels before on a variety of matters -- have they EVER been leak-free? It's not like Mueller is bringing in his own team of FBI agents and investigators -- he'll be leading an investigation using the same people who are apparently already leaking.

Perhaps he's the sort who will crack the whip on leaks - in fact, I have little doubt he will try to do precisely that... but the idea that it's all just gonna go dark now is silly. People will still talk. Reporters will still report.

Besides, one of the key "gossip" pieces that was bubbling around this week is that Trump's staff is pissed at him - as well and as logical they should be. Unlike the Trumpkins here, who apparently like cockholstering Dear Leader just for fun -- these people are getting shellacked... working hard, draining jobs even under a COMPETENT President. When that President keeps creating his own messes, makes their jobs harder, AND apparently screams and yells at them for their incompetence, you think they aren't going to leak themselves?
Part of the reason they're leaking is because there's no other way to get accountability out of this administration. If they sense that someone is actually taking the goings on seriously, they'll be less motivated to do so. (Other people leak because it makes them feel important to be a journalistic source; that will still continue.)
   2191. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:53 PM (#5459475)
And I don't even see anything remotely on the horizon that would indicate that Pence or Ryan is in danger of being deposed. Scenarios where the Postmaster General or somebody becomes President are fun but even in this weird era just alternative histories.


This is indeed just an incredibly bizarre era. Historically, you have the first president from the non-typical background in history operating at historical levels of clownishness, and then you have the bitter partisanship and the decline of the Times and Post to unabashed partisan hackery and fake news. (I co-sign Matt Taibbi's evaluation of The Life and Times of Roger Ailes.)

When this all blows over -- and it could be 10-15 years from now -- you'll see serious and elongated navel gazing mea culpas from both papers and a realization that this was a dark time in the history of both institutions.
   2192. BrianBrianson Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:56 PM (#5459477)
This whole discussion is rather silly,


Yes, a bit, but real life moves slower than video games, so it can be a bit of a laugh.

Realistically, predictions here are really hard. There hasn't been a Trump-like presidency in our lifetimes, or even living memory. But that uncertainty makes it funner to speculate than if the future was really predictable. I have a friend I like to make seat by seat wagers in Canadian elections because they can be unpredictable. American ones are usually far less fun, because we both make the same predictions and are more or less right. So rarely do we get the opportunity to speculate where we're really, wildly, uncertain.

I could believe a sunk Trump would take the opportunity to pull everyone down with him he could, for instance. That'd be a good while in the future, but might be a real bloodbath.
   2193. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5459479)
But I think you're underestimating the real damage that Trump's various appointments are already doing. The courts may throw out Trump's travel ban(s), but they won't be able to readmit the of non-criminal immigrants that ICE has been deporting, in a reversal of the trend of the past few years. And if Sessions gets his way you'll have more and more people filling our jails----not to mention that many of those jails will be privatized.

And I don't even want to think about the long term damage that Gorsuch might bring to the Supreme Court, no matter how nice a guy and qualified that he is.


I was speaking specifically to TGF about his anti Globalism and multiculturalism fantasy. Most of the terrible things Trump has done, like Gorsuch, have been either GOP standard conservative or easily overturned by the next president. Immigration is perhaps the sole difference, but even there from what I have read the immigration courts were busy before and are now totally overwhelmed. Sure it is bad (good for TGF), but in the larger scheme (not to the people involved though I grant you) it is pretty small potatoes.
   2194. The Good Face Posted: May 19, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5459483)
Over it. In the long run Modern Liberalism (TM) is better off without her.


We didn't want that presidency anyway!

All I am saying is next time you propose a great Conservative Dictator to lead us into a new Monarchy, maybe find someone marginally competent at the job.


I took pains to explain to you guys that Trump WASN'T that guy. But at some point somebody will come along who seizes the issues, concerns and fears that Trump played on. And he won't be a clownish buffoon who wants nothing more than to be liked and praised.

Man, I can't believe I was *frightened* of this moron.


And what have we learned?

Fascinating.


No doubt it is to you, along with shiny objects and bright colors.

By all means, tell us which other Trump utterances are "silly campaign slogans" to get votes


Beats me. I've already gotten way more than I could have hoped for from any other candidate in either party, so it's house money from my perspective. I'm not one to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
   2195. dlf Posted: May 19, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5459485)
Anecdote time.

I've shared here that HOFer Rod Carew and I have something in common: we are both kidney transplant recipients. As part of my follow up care, I have to go to the hospital every four weeks for an IV infusion of an immunosuppressant. So anyway ... today while waiting before they started the drugs, I had the pleasure of listening in on someone talking, apparently to the entire room as no one was responding. He was vociferously complaining that his upcoming liver transplant was being delayed because "all them damned liberals and maybe even some foreign Muslims" were getting treated before him.

Sipping. Last bottle was Cruzan Single Barrel. We had a thread a couple of months back where several folks - you included? - offered other recommendations but I forgot to bookmark the thread.


Yep, I remember. A couple of people gave some love for Appleton 12, which is a good choice. I think I recommended Zacapa 23, Diplomatica Reserva Exclusiva, and gave a "you might like this, but it's pretty strange" to Angostura 1919, and Ron J (who I hope is OK) gave the big thumbs down to it. Eldorado 15 also came up, and that's also a good choice, and the Eldorado 12 is good too. Oh, I also mentioned Flor de Cana 18. All those are good, with the caveat that the Angostura is a love/hate thing.

...

The only Plantation Rum I've had is the Plantation XO 20th Anniversary. Excellent!


Because I'm sure people are dying to know ... on the way back from the clinic, I decided that I deserved a treat. I went by a decent sized chain (Total Wine - the location at North Pointe) to see what they had. There was Flor de Cana, but only the 12 and no 18. I looked longingly at the Zacapa XO, but at $110, I thought it would be better to find a bar to try some first. So in the end, there is a new bottle of the Plantation XO 20th waiting for me at the end of the day. Thanks to both Omenica and .........
   2196. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: May 19, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5459486)
The ones I know - was back in the states for a family thing a few weekends ago


They let you back in?
   2197. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5459491)
I took pains to explain to you guys that Trump WASN'T that guy. But at some point somebody will come along who seizes the issues, concerns and fears that Trump played on. And he won't be a clownish buffoon who wants nothing more than to be liked and praised.
And they'll go nowhere, like they always have.
   2198. Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5459492)
I could believe a sunk Trump would take the opportunity to pull everyone down with him he could, for instance. That'd be a good while in the future, but might be a real bloodbath.

Maybe, but that assumes he has the goods to take people down.

I just can't envision any scenario in which an investigation into the Trump campaign's collusion with Russia leads to Mike Pence being successfully impeached and removed from office. Even if that occurred and evidence exists that ties senior members of the Trump campaign (or even DJT himself) to Russia, I would be shocked if Pence was directly implicated. Also, even if he were implicated, the GOP would have to make the determination that it was in their political interests to remove Pence. I can't imagine it ever getting to that point.

I have absolutely no love for Mike Pence and don't want to see him become president. But he's smart enough to not compromise himself in ways that DJT may have. Also, call me an idealist, but I think he has too much integrity to have knowingly been complicit in any sort of collusion with the Russians.

If Democrats want to try to take down DJT, then part of their calculus has to be that Pence will be the 46th POTUS. And that's actually a good thing, because the scenario of Pence being able to run for re-election in 2020 rather than Trump is going to be a big part of the appeal for the GOP in deciding whether or not to allow Trump to be impeached and removed from office.
   2199. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 19, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5459493)
This all just confirms my "politics is entertainment" and a virtue signaling vehicle for the people obsessed with the hourly ping pong match of it all, such as those here. Effectively nothing has changed. Trump is still in office. Hillary is still out of office. Trump almost certainly will remain in office through his term, and Hillary certainly will remain out of office through his term. The Democrats will.remain.out.of.office. If anything, things have gotten worse for them, e.g., with the Gorsuch appointment.

And yet, here they are, having crawled out of the woodwork because Trump is having a bad inning, and now chest thumping in between homophobic jokes. Sad.
   2200. Lassus Posted: May 19, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5459494)
I've already gotten way more than I could have hoped for from any other candidate in either party

Other than making people feel like shit, I'm at a loss for what exactly you were hoping for that "way more" has been achieved. If that was the goal, well, it's a goal. If it wasn't, what else have you actually gotten?
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