Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Night

Remember how horrible everything was in 2016?

Too Much Too Fast

I think I end up posting about 1/3 of the nightly scoops because they all come at once.

President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

...

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

...


“The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official said of the request to Coats.

To State The Obvious

I tried avoid "what if.." constructions because they are too tempting, but those of us who lived through the 90s know that if Bill Clinton had ever been thought to have done anything like Trump himself has admitted with the Comey firing, the New York Times and Washington Post would have had daily thundering editorials demanding impeachment. CNN, MSNBC, and (of course) a newborn Fox network would have had a some sort of "impeachment countdown clock" and nightly "AMERICA IN CRISIS" shows.

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy

Some Good News

One question about the Trump administration (and the Bush administration before it) is how good/bad they will be on peripheral issues, things which perhaps aren't central to whatever nightmarish agenda is being cooked up in Bannon's dungeons. You know, does anyone there have any sense that they're running a government and not burning it down?



Obviously this is one of my pet issues, but even aside from that it's been in planning forever so canceling it out of spite would have been a big deal beyond that.

Afternoon Thread

Enjoy

Great Moments In Presidenting

This guy is making Jim Hoft look like a fucking genius.


Scotland

While I'm on the UK elections, I do find it bizarre who rarely people mention Scotland, except in passing, when talking about Labour's electoral fortunes. Labour got destroyed there in 2015, likely "forever,"
and Corbyn didn't do that. It isn't the only problem Labour has, but it's a giant piece of it. Of course everyone also-kinda-sorta assumes that an SNP-Labour coalition would form if the numbers were there, but no one actually wants to talk about it, so...

The "Developing World," Too

This is the best line to explain policy advice given from on high both to cities and to "developing countries."

So they can’t give an exact recipe for how to grow, because that wouldn’t work. Instead, they propose ten nebulous items. A city that succeeds will get praised for how it implemented six of them; a city that fails will get criticized for how it only implemented six and did so in the wrong way.

I remember quite clearly (though not clearly enough for an exact quote) that one rather prominent economic adviser to Russia was asked, when Russia had their economic meltdown, how it all went wrong, and his answer really was something like "we told them to do 5 things and they only did 4 of them!"

The Dementia Tax

That the Tories would propose and even implement that kind of bizarrely cruel policy that is pretty much standard in the US (details and mechanisms different, but effectively) does not surprise me, that they would put it in their pre-election Manifesto (platform) was... WTF?

Theresa May has said that a Conservative government would set an “absolute limit” on the amount that people pay for social care, in a U-turn on plans included in her party’s election manifesto last week.

The prime minister claimed that the inclusion of a cap, which comes after even supportive newspapers dubbed the plans a “dementia tax” triggering days of backlash, was simply a clarification.

She's lying, but it's bizarre. No reason to think Labour can win, but polls suggest May managed to destroy a likely Tory landslide. And the climbdown still is a cruel policy. It just won't hurt rich people quite as much! Like an estate tax, but only for poorer people!

...some more context.

Morning Thread

Day 3 of the great presidential rehabilitation. Is it working?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Evening

Do we think low T cuck Trump makes it through the whole scheduled trip or cuts and runs early?

Good Luck With That

I guess he can beg, but...

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on President Donald Trump for federal help at Penn Station, saying the "impact of the state of disrepair" is at "a tipping point."

Cuomo put out a letter to Trump on Sunday. He wants the federal government to help figure out and fund transportation alternatives while repair work is undertaken after a spate of problems including two derailments. He also reiterated a call he has made before, that a private operator should take over operations at Penn Station from Amtrak.

Wacky Foreigners Always Taking Offense

One of my pet peeves is when suddenly everyone becomes on expert on some foreign country's customs (usually Arab or Asian countries) and conclude there is some sort of body language which is Unbelievable Offensive and Thing The Which Must Not Be Done. The latest version of his was that giving a thumb's up sign, which Trump does, was Very Offensive in Saudi Arabia. I have no idea if this even true, but even if it is the kind of thing locals don't do it isn't as if they're going to be mortally wounded if Trump sticks his thumb up. If someone came in my house and promptly flipped me the bird, an offensive bit of body language in our culture, I'd find it weird but I wouldn't actually be offended. How dare you, sir! I have been insulted! I mean, whatever.

Yes of course there are different manners and customs but people generally recognize them for what they are, and if somebody foreign doesn't know the proper silverware etiquette or whatever no one is really going to get too upset.

Sunday, Sunday

I guess I'm ignoring his adventures abroad. What's going on?

Morning Thread

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Evening

Rock on.

Not Dead Yet

It's a miracle!

Triple Five, the operator of the American Dream Meadowlands project, announced late Friday that it has closed on $1.6 billion in construction financing for the long-stalled project.

The deal is expected to set the stage in the coming days or weeks for a billion-dollar bond issuance that would provide the rest of the funding for the 2.9 million square foot first phase of the project.

The White House

I know "White House" is often used as a metonym for "The President" but these sources are mostly COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.

What unnerves Mr. Trump and his staff the most is the eerily familiar tempo of these disclosures. It is as if some unseen adversary has copied Mr. Trump’s own velocity and ferocity in an attempt to destroy him, several people close to the president said. Sources are shuttling all kinds of information about Mr. Trump to reporters at a pace the White House cannot match.

Tuned Out For A Bit

I just had a flip phone for a long time because I knew that if I had one of those fancy smartphone thingies I'd never be able to disconnect. Sure I often carried a netbook with me but I at least had to open that up and turn it on, instead of just pulling the thing out of my pocket and glancing at it. It isn't healthy.

Lunch Thread

Anybody feeling sorry for the staffers who will be left behind when this administration implodes. I'm finding it hard to work up any sympathy.

Morning Thread

Should be a quiet weekend, news wise. There are only so many breaking stories possible. By my figuring, we've use up our quota well into the next administration.