Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Pelosi's Going To Be So Mad

One more thing she's going to have to work to ignore.
The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

When Winter Comes The Gorillas Simply Freeze To Death

What could go wrong.
Leach says scientists are worried that the invaders could alter the ecology of forests, killing off some species. "We're also starting to see early indications of displacement of other insects, and, as a result, displacement of birds as well," she says.

What could stop them? Leach mentions a idea that seems a little crazy at first. Maybe, if the problem came from China, the solution could, too.

You see, in China, the lanternfly has natural enemies that hold it in check. They are tiny wasps, so small you barely see them.

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working with colleagues from China, have brought two of these wasps to the U.S. under tight security. The wasps are under quarantine in a couple of USDA labs.

Happy Hour Thread


America's Worst Pundits

Jon Chait

Communicate True Things Clearly To Readers/Viewers

Really is something that should have priority over the weird conventions of Bothsides and faux-objectivity.

But I've said this, like most things, a million times since I have been blogging and here we still are.

Afternoon Thread


What's It All About Then

I don't imagine a golden age of conservatism - either here or in the UK - but the degree to which the current leaders are completely incurious and incompetent is staggering. They were evil before, but now evil and lazy and dumb.
Boris Johnson expressed surprise to his advisers during lunch with Jean-Claude Juncker as he was informed about the scale of checks still needed on the island of Ireland under his alternative plan for the Irish border, according to EU sources.

The two-hour lunch in Luxembourg was said by both sides to have been “positive” but EU officials conceded the advantage for them had been in being able to spell out the problems directly to the prime minister. “It seems to have helped the penny drop,” said one diplomatic source.

During talks with Juncker and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, the prime minister was shown in detail how allowing Northern Ireland to stick to common EU rules on food and livestock, known as sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), would still fail to avoid checks on the vast majority of goods that cross the Irish border.

Gotta Eat, Drink, and Breathe

I'm always a bit puzzled that rich people don't care much about the food supply (or air or water). I don't care how much you only eat at the fanciest restaurants or get your ribs from artisanal pork resorts, unless you put yourself in a bubble, money doesn't really let you escape contamination. Sure rich people tend not to live next to superfund sites, but they do eat, drink, and breathe.
There are two big changes at the heart of the new regulations.

One is the increasing delegation of inspection responsibilities to local plant employees, who are not obligated to have undergone any particular training in food safety or regulatory compliance.

The other is an increase in “line speeds.” Faster line speeds mean that more pigs can be killed each minute, which increases capacity for the slaughterhouses but also makes some inspection tasks much harder to carry out. In September, the Trump administration approved faster line speeds for poultry. The administration is also looking into reforming the regulations for beef.

Our Failed Media Experiment

Corey Lewandowski:
BARRY BERKE: Did you hear that sir? That was you saying, on MSNBC, you don't ever remember the president ever asking you to get involved with Jeff Sessions or the Department of Justice in any way, shape, or form. That wasn't true, was it sir?


BERKE: And that was not true, was it?

LEWANDOWSKI: I have no obligation to be honest with the media 'cause they're just as dishonest as anybody else.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


I chuckled when people kept saying the post-Trump life of Trumpkins would be difficult due to all the shunning.
The Atlantic Festival will open next Tuesday with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in conversation with The Atlantic’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, kicking off three full days of events from September 24-26, 2019, at the Harman Center for the Arts and venues across Washington, D.C.’s Penn Quarter neighborhood. Also just announced: Kirstjen Nielsen, former Secretary of Homeland Security; and Disney CEO Bob Iger in conversation with Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective, which is the majority owner of The Atlantic.

Tuesday Evening

Tomorrow is...

A Tribute To Cokie Roberts

A great piece at NPR.

Political journalist George Will, who worked with Roberts on ABC's This Week, said Roberts was not just born to the political class but was a natural inhabitant.

"She liked people on both sides of the aisle and had friends on both sides of the aisle," Will told NPR. "If you don't like the game of politics, I don't see how you write about it well," he said. "She liked the game of politics and she understood that it was a game."


Will said that although Washington is a "town of short leases," with people constantly coming and going, Roberts represented the permanent Washington, a kind of figure who was constant through decades of political change: "The Washington not often denounced by people who denounce Washington because they don't know it exists," Will said. "Cokie represented the durable, ongoing Washington that is a custodian of the manners of the city and the sociability of the city that makes it really function."

All Options Are Off The Table

Aside from not actually doing anything to confront the grifter corruption in the White House (or anything else), the leadership keeps loudly announcing that they aren't going to do anything.

What could go wrong?

Why Would You Think That

And why would you say it out loud to Politico.

caveat that these "sources" could be anybody, but.. All signs do point to Democrats wanting to win because Republicans lose, which is basically what every non-presidential election in my lifetime has been like. Hopefully they pants themselves and we can trip over the finish line.


I remember when the press would run detailed discussions about the legal nuances of the concept of Executive Privilege and what would or wouldn't legitimately fall under it. Now Trump just says anyone who talks to me, the executive, ever about anything has to shut their piehole if I tell them to. Congressional subpoenas? hahaha.

And, ok, but what are the Democrats going to do about it? They don't have infinite power, but I keep wondering if they've gamed it out at all? And so far the answer is no.

Mr. Lewandowski, please answer the question.


Thank you for your time and service, Mr. Lewandowski.

The only possible game is that both sides are deliberately running out the clock which is about to run out.

Morning Thread

Monday, September 16, 2019

Monday Night

Rock on.

"Level Of Sophistication"

Our sophisticated reporters eat that one up every time.

Sure They're Incompetent And Evil

But let me go on Fox and suggest they could run a war against a country 4 times the size of California and the population of Germany perfectly well.

Also, love our troops, who have a great leader, Donald Trump.

TeeVee Experts

TV pundit, challenge round:
Name 4 cities in Iran.

They can't do it, my friends.


You can't hype the Trump administration as corrupt and working for Putin and then turn around and say "well we can't risk angering conservative voters by trying to do anything about it."

Why do people think we're wimps? Mystery.

Just Tell Us Who To Shoot

I try to avoid Trump tweets, but this one is special even for him.

One thing I find fascinating is basically everybody who works in DC in any capacity has been dreaming of war with Iran for decades and somehow they can't make it happen. I don't quite understand the desire for war in Iran (I've heard all the explanations and none of them make any sense to me, even from the perspective of the "crazy people want to bomb everybody"), but I admittedly also don't understand how they haven't managed to make it happen.