I’ve been avoiding the topic of The Beast, but I just read about Trump flunkies setting up pro-Trump policy “think tanks,” a development that requires vicious mocking. Via Axios:
Scoop: Former OMB director to set up Pro-Trump think tanks
Russ Vought, who led Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, plans to announce two pro-Trump organizations Tuesday, aiming to provide the ideological ammunition to sustain Trump’s political movement after his departure from the White House.
The Center for American Restoration and an advocacy arm, America Restoration Action, will try to keep cultural issues that animated Trump’s presidency on the public agenda, according to people familiar with the matter.
Seems like people who want to keep Trump’s “cultural issues” on the front burner could just join the fucking Klan — less paperwork that way! But a “nonprofit” and “social welfare group” will provide a megaphone for whining about nonexistent voter fraud and lamentations about cancel culture. Plus prodigious grift opportunities, one assumes.
In other news, only five Republicans voted against Senator Rand “Baby Doc” Paul’s motion to dismiss Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial on bullshit procedural grounds: Senators Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Sasse, and Toomey. So, elected Republicans as a body have made their choice between Trump and democracy, and they chose the former.
My guess is some or possibly all of the five Republican senators who voted to hear the trial will vote to acquit, no matter how damning the evidence, no matter how haunting the memory of the howling mob baying for their own blood. Wouldn’t surprise me if the four not named “Romney” vote to acquit, though Murkowski seemed genuinely angry about the attempted coup. We’ll see.
Anyhoo. Open thread.
We had an anti-nuclear weapons demo in Philadelphia a few days ago. I attached a few stories to the photos.
I guess this oxymoronic – emphasis on moron – ‘think tank’ serves the same purpose as William Buckley’s National Review back in the day. An allegedly ‘intellectual’ veneer for the Klan.
Just Some Fuckhead
Once the polling started coming in showing broad Republican support for insurrection, there was no way there was going to be a Senate conviction. They needed to move a lot faster and even then it was no guarantee. But it should still make for good campaign commercials, assuming we don’t decide to keep our powder dry
ETA: And if they aren’t willing to hold Trump accountable for fomenting an insurrection, they sure as hell ain’t gonna hold Cruz or Hawley accountable.
How much of a think tank is needed to say Trump good, all others bad? Guess we’ll see how many words can be wasted.
think is doing a lot of heavy lifting in the phrase Pro Trump think tank.
hells littlest angel
I imagine a pro-Trump think tank would devote most of its thinking to discovering proofs that Trump was the greatest man ever and lobbying to have our planet renamed Trump.
To say it at all convincingly is nearly impossible, so it may require a lot of effort. Of course the real goal is the grift, not the outcome.
@Just Some Fuckhead: What makes you think Mitch McConnell would have scheduled a Senate trial if Nancy Pelosi had put the articles of impeachment on his desk on 1/7?
@Just Some Fuckhead: Once 100-odd House Republicans voted with the insurrectionists, there was never going to be a vote to convict. Wouldn’t have mattered if articles of impeachment had been introduced right after Biden’s certification. We impeached to make an example out of more than Trump. Time will tell how it goes.
hells littlest angel
@Bluegirlfromwyo: Here’s an exclusive offer from the Trump Brainatorium — the beautiful golden “Trump good, all others bad” commemorative coin!
The term is well established, and calling it the more accurate “grift tank” would be giving away the game.
Just Some Fuckhead
@moonbat: I don’t. But it was more likely sooner than later. McConnell was choked up condemning the insurrection hours after it happened.
Objection: Assumes facts not in evidence
@Just Some Fuckhead: He was also closing up shop and saying “See y’all after the inauguration!”
Enhanced Voting Techniques
“Trump think tank”, that’s a bit of oxymoron, isn’t it? My understanding the essence of Trumpism is run on emotion and not think beyond the next cheeseburger. This has to be some kind of grift.
I suspect the chances of a conviction would have been a lot higher if they had managed to hold the trial immediately while everyone’s blood was still hot. That’s exactly why McConnell wanted to recess until the 19th; it let the Republicans regroup and come up with an excuse for acquitting.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Moscow Mitch ran the Senate calendar until 6 days ago. There wasn’t any way to speed things up until Harris became VP, and her replacement and the Georgia Duo were sworn in.
What are they going to do? Just push endless “Democrats suck and Trump won the election” pieces?
I guess the alternative is stuff like “Why black people are the REAL racists”, “Why Democrats love MS-13”, “Sexual Assault: What all the cool kids are up to” and “Tax Evaders and people who lie to the FBI are the real victims”.
Either way, I’m sure Glenn Greenwald will be ‘reluctantly’ forced to agree with them. As will Jonathan Turley.
Since this is an open thread, credit when credit is due. Congrats to the Biden team for an excellent pick of Ms. Jessica Rosenworcel to lead the FCC.
@moonbat: Honestly, I think he would have just pushed for “we don’t know all the facts yet” and then just left it at that.
I’m hopeful that the Dems just ask the Supreme Court to tell us whether or not impeaching an ex-president is unconstitutional so we can just shut the Republicans up on this, but they might decide to cover Trump’s ass again. So who knows.
Pro-Trump grift operations, lovely.
It will be genuinely interesting to see how the “think tanks” take off, and with who. My guess is people like Hawley and Cruz will be watching closely, to see how many potential voters rush to support it, as they’re the ones most nakedly angling to capture that
As always, the more $$ that RWNJs throw that way, the less $$ they have to support whoever runs on the GOP ticket.
This thought pleases me greatly, so I wish CAR and ARA all the luck hitting their revenue expectations!
OTOH, now Trump is not president, can he simply be indicted by the WDC US Atty for the same charges? All the rules on ‘you cannot indict a sitting president’ are … inoperative.
I am hopeful that during the trial we’re going to get close to a week of testimony and evidence about just how bad the insurrection was, and how many people thought they were doing Trump’s bidding, and just how close we came to having a big chunk of the House and Senate in harm’s way. I want all of that to be aired day after day. Then let the Republicans vote to acquit if they want. But I want the Dems to make clear exactly what happened that day.
and as far as I am concerned…. let them. If they want to continue to ignore the problem (White Supremacy/Racism) by giving a pass to the very guy who likely wouldn’t even have ordered the flags at half mast for their deaths if the coup had succeeded, let them.
We’ve always suspected that the content of their character was nothing more than a patina-thin veneer of civility that acted as a mask to allow them to decide who gets rich, who stays rich and who has and who wields power and present themselves as concerned citizens.
If they acquit him, and from EVERYTHING I read, they’ll wish that they hadn’t. There are shoes to drop at the Pentagon, DOJ and even with the Capitol Police. We’re going to have it confirmed it was planned and paid for by the WH, that there were at best sympathizers within the DOJ, Capitol Police and the Pentagon with those people at the rally and at the riot. We’re going to find out that there were members of Congress and their staff who also loosely coordinated, if not aided and abetted what went down.
and for all of the pointed questions levelled at the Dems asking them what will they do and how will they act… I relish the time when the Dems get to state blithely, why don’t you ask THEM, you know, the folks that tried to overthrow an election and now get to sit in judgement about how fast COVID relief is delivered and if they can sit there with all honesty and weigh in on the qualifications of those people submitted by the duly elected administration… we’ll wait. if their answers don’t satisfy you, the 4th estate and the people who they purport to represent, what do YOU think should be done.
Feel free to offer an opinion, maybe consult with the ghost of Mr. Kashoggi… for guidance.
Censure and expulsion should be the least of their worries. Federal Jail time should be an option.
Can T* be charged by the AG after he is acquitted by the Senate, or is the GOP going to try claim that double jeopardy is attached? Meaning that there is no way of holding a president accountable for anything ( except of course if he/she is a Democrat
Or what catclub said.
Dorothy A. Winsor
I’m so sad he probably won’t be convicted. Condoning insurrection is a bad precedent. And apart from anything else, if he couldn’t run for office again, he couldn’t grift on raising campaign funds.
@MisterForkbeard: There was no way in hell McConnell was going to rush to trial on this. He was playing for time to get his caucus back together and hope that some movement on the idea that “He’s not president anymore. You can’t impeach him!” would get traction. Didn’t happen.
He was also trying to avoid becoming minority leader for as long as he possibly could so no swearing in of Warnock and Ossoff until that couldn’t be avoided.
And, as yesterday demonstrated, McConnell’s never afraid to try the “If I’m really stubborn, maybe the Democrats will fold” strategy. None of the Rs want to be put on the spot to either vote for a treasonous insurrectionist or against their wingnut base’s idol. Hence Rand Paul’s stunt today. This counterfactual, “If only we’d done it sooner” narrative is unrealistic.
Have you heard anything about the Walmart in Fort Meyers Beach being evacuated this morning? I think it was Karoli who tweeted about it several hours ago, but nothing since.
@Baud: That was my take as well. None of the existing think tanks want anything to do with Trump or his minions (some have already lost their jobs).
So the few enterprising amongst them decided to set up their own and try and make some real grift money. It will be interesting to see just how much money is left in the Trump brand.
She’s just acting chair; Biden hasn’t decided on a permanent chair, but apparently she’s still in the running for it. Her term ends at the end of the year so she’ll have to be renominated to stay on past then.
Just another grift posing as a
tax shelternon-profit think tank. I expect them to lose their 501 status within a year for misuse of funds. the con game is never ever going to end. Grifters will be raising money off His Excellencies odious name for as long as the money keeps flowing.
Since these would be Trump-affiliated entities even without his name on them, that’s a given. Naturally, the man himself will have his beak fully immersed in the revenue stream – he does need the money, after all. Mouths to pay and debts to feed, etc……
IANAL, but I think there is no such thing as double jeopardy due to it being a congressional trial, not not an actual criminal or civil trial. For instance, impeachment carries no penalties other than the loss of office (and it’s perks) and the ability to run again. So it’s not the same thing under the law.
But I may be wrong, so the BJ barristers may correct me.
Impeachment is a political process, not a judicial one, so there are no “double jeopardy” issues.
If they decide that holding an impeachment trial after a president leaves office is unconstitutional, then they will be giving instructions to future presidential insurrectionists: wait nearly four years until after you have had time to gather your forces, to corrupt government institutions, and to damage democratic principles, before you illegally attempt to install yourself permanently in office. If it doesn’t work out time will run out with no impeachment or trial. Trials aren’t just about the past but mostly the future.
The Trump presidency has created the need (or opportunity?) to fill in unprotected legal gaps once covered by the norms of a decent man in the presidency. Now we need the emoluments clause written into law, impeachment law asserted by an actual trial, unqualified temporary heads of agencies becoming permanent, and — hell, I don’t know — a bunch of them.
Apparently Big Mac or Quarter Pounder requires a think tank.
Preliminary impeachment trial vote confirms that Republicans at present are 10% conservative (5 votes), 90% fascist/seditionist (45 votes).
But please, Kirsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, please keep giving personal assurances to Mitch McConnell that you won’t gum up his ability to obstruct.
Sasse clearly believes the lifting of the fever is imminent and will benefit his aspirations. I have heard he’s not very bright.
Just Some Fuckhead
The important thing is after two impeachments, Trump will know better now when he’s president again.
They hate democracy. It’s not like that’s anything remotely new. There may be nothing they hate more. It took an attempt to kill them to make them even get hot under the collar enough to briefly consider supporting democracy. They’re a minority-of-the-population party based on racism. Hating democracy is at the core of their being.
Trump tanked, don’t you think?
I just read the cnn piece on the Oregon State Republican Party’s statement condemning the House members who voted for impeachment (called them traitors and compared them to Benedict Arnold) and calling the Capital protests an Antifa false flag operation. Also compared Democrats to Nazis with a Reichstag reference. Am speechless.
True, but then again, way more needlework.
Sick of talking about Repubs. Look at what our great Democratic President is doing.
If you need a smile, this will go a long way.
Great except for the last shot!
Trump claims to have opened his “Office of the Former President” – whatever the fuck that’s supposed to be.
Why can’t the guy find some other fucking hobby?
First time this water year we in California have a series of big-ass storms heading our way, beginning this afternoon and pushing into next week. Locally, we have 1/3 of average rainfall at 2/3 the way through the wet season. Actual wildfires hit the area last week.
@HumboldtBlue: Love it! I’d forgotten how emphatically Pelosi ripped up that damned speech! :)
They’re telling us they’re fine with insurrection and we should believe them.
Mike in NC
@hells littlest angel: Now I’m sorry I didn’t buy one of those “Second Trump Impeachment” challenge coins from the White House gift shop.
Georgia still has a loose end or two to clean up.
I expect a “just kidding” statement soon.
Actually, the last shot made chuckle a bit.
I love that so much! She is hilarious!
Pretty sure I haven’t seen any reluctance on Turley’s part in quite some time.
In a just world Nancy SMASH would have sent Donny to his room to stay, until such time as he learned to “Straighten up and fly right.”
@trollhattan: She already did a prebuttal before the story dropped claiming it was “fake news” and she didn’t personal control her FB page or some such shit. Seriously, even the miserable bastards who voted for her deserve better representation. They need to kick that kook the hell out.
@Betty Cracker: I think that may have been sped up to look more emphatic. :-)
@taumaturgo: So far, it is just an acting position.
“Am I going mad … or did the word “think” escape your lips!? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic land mass!”
Heh, bet it spun her noggin’ right good trying to both deny and agree with the sentiment. “Not that I would ever condone killing Democrats, some say it would improve our nation.”
Folks, never say never when it comes to politics (or anything else). We have no idea what additional evidence is going to come to light during the trial.
Perhaps even more importantly, we are going to make the entire Republican party (the GOP senators especially, obvs) take a stand on whether or not this malicious orange moron is guilty of insurrection against the United States of America (hint: he is)
The contrast between that, and Biden going full steam for the good of the country, could not be better.
@zhena gogolia: Damn it, I’m supposed to be paying attention to a recording of the county Weed Board meeting right now, not Biden talking to Putin! *can’t resist, tho*.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Jeffro: I think the particular letdown here is that we’d been getting signals that McConnell wasn’t opposed to convicting Trump and that perhaps his leadership would bring along more Republicans but with him voting to dismiss impeachment, that little bit of hope appears to have dried up.
I fear we may need to do a full-on Communist style purge to fix things.
Wandered over to the Atlantic to see if there were any interesting articles and was confronted with this gem: Biden Will Lie to You.
Really? Not one week into the new administration and we’re already doing this?
Just Some Fuckhead
@Mallard Filmore: This crazy train ain’t leaving the tracks. Time and the grim reaper are our only hope.
Mini-me think tanks. How cute.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
The phrase “Lucy and the football” is obnoxiously overused these days, but holy shit.
It will only take you 10 seconds to read!
Wouldn’t it be nice if karma was indeed instant? Assholes would be paid back immediately. Most the Republicans in Congress would be in prison cells.
I can dream, can’t I?
@mali muso: WTF?
Sorry, not getting out of the boat to go look for myself.
@Just Some Fuckhead: That motherfucker should never be trusted.
@Miss Bianca: Yeah, that was my reaction. The subhead was “all Presidents Do”. Maybe the article had some kind of nuanced take but I wasn’t going to waste a click to find out.
@zhena gogolia: Indeed! And I feel better for the reading!
@mali muso: actually it doesn’t.
Sister Golden Bear
Speaking of “cultural issues,” Republicans continue their anti-trans vendetta at the state level.
Montana House just passed a bill to ban transgender girls and women from participating in school sports with as their actual gender, and would use genital checks, to “verify” someone’s gender identity. (Yes, that’s right, they want doctors to be able to examine girls’ genitals.) Oklahoma, North Dakota and Tennessee are considering similar versions of the same bill, North Dakota’s bill would also prevent any trans athletes from out-of-state. Tennessee is also considering one.
Montana House also passed a bill to ban trans kids from getting any trans-related health care — and fine doctors who do so. Similar bills are under consideration in multiple states. Alabama and Texas would make it a felony to provide trans health care to kids, and require the doctors out any kid who asks for it. Texas in particular would make it felony child abuse. Mississippi’s bill, which would ban any care until age 21, would also forcibly out trans kids (and adults under 21) who ask for care. The backers of Tennessee’s version explicitly say that trans kids shouldn’t get care “because they’ll grow out of it.” Indiana, Iowa and Utah is considering a similar measures.
This is a concerted effort by the Heritage Foundation, ALEC and the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is why we’re seeing highly similar bills.
Thankfully South Dakota just rejected a bill to ban trans people correct the gendering marked on their birth certificates. But these bills, like zombies, rarely die on the first try. They come back to try to hurt us again.
@Sister Golden Bear: Speaking from ignorance here, but if you are a transgender girl didn’t you give up all your naturally born testosterone to live life with estrogen? Where is the biological advantage in sports?
@HumboldtBlue: Thank you for this. I couldn’t help but smile.
OT: Speaking of mockery, I stopped by LGM yesterday (thanks to Baud I think for the link) and commented that “Science, statistics, and technology are all inherently racist” is an overgeneralization. Another commenter suggested that my disagreement could be due to my racism. I laughed. Wow.
I read them, but I’ve never commented there. I’m a BJ exclusive.
If I didn’t know better, I would almost think “party of personal responsibility” was just cheap-ass sloganeering by a bunch of irresponsible assholes.
Oregonian republicans: “See?!?”
Thinking ahead to 2024, who would we rather face in the general? Scum like Cruz / Hawley? Wannabee Rubio, Cornhusker Sasse, or T* on a bid to return? From an electoral strategy point of view, who is better to run against? Don’t know what is best. Do I want T* to be banned from federal office through impeachment, or do I want him to try again in 4 years and fail miserably?
Odie Hugh Manatee
“… no matter how haunting the memory of the howling mob baying for their own blood.”
They’ve figured out that the mob really only wanted to capture and kill people who were not loyal to Hair Furor, their hides never were in any real danger. Since the mob really only wanted to kill ‘those people’ then there’s no need for the fuss and muss of an impeachment.
That and now they are figuring out that the terrorists they have unleashed can find them and kill them or their families, it’s time for them to support Dear Donnie or suffer the wrath of his batshit crazy base… I mean their constituents. Profiles in Cowardice, all of them.
They built this.
Inquiring minds want to know.
Lately I’ve been browsing other sites, including conservative ones, for perspective. It’s made me realize (not to stroke anyone’s ego) that BJ commenters are quite a knowledgeable, intelligent, literate crew.
@Sister Golden Bear:
@danielx: It’s not what you might think, even if it *is* in Colorado. ; )
J R in WV
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
But it is much worse that condoning insurrection. Trump worked for months BEFORE the election to convince his voters that the election was going to be fraudulent. Afterwards he was much worse, claiming the Chinese worked for Biden, or the Russians, or the Iranians, but mostly the Chinese.
I’m hoping that local USAGs have grand juries working already… calling witnesses against congressional representatives, showing video of heinous crimes to the jurors…
It would be great if 20 or so Republican senators were arrested, indicted for sedition, insurrection, fomenting a riot, etc sometime around Feb 6th. It’s hard to vote against the impeachment from a federal jail cell~!!!~
@Sister Golden Bear: My God, that is sick. Sick, sick behavior.
Because no other hobby is about building up his shitty name and trying to impress, himself.
I used to do that. After a while, the ratio of ideas to words became too low. And you can’t even trust the facts anymore, so what’s the point?
Re, the impeachment trial, conviction requires a 2/3 vote of those present and voting. If we could figure out a way to get the R’s to boycott the vote, then Trump might get convicted.
Another thought, if Trump cannot be tried by the Senate, now that he is out of office, then he can be indicted by the DC US Attorney.
J R in WV
@Miss Bianca: Knapweed, skeletonweed, a different knapweed, yellow starthistle, yet another knapweed, Russian thistle (OH MY GOD THE RUSSIANS ARE HERE TOO!), cheatgrass, bur buttercup.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Glad to see Rob Portman planning to sink to lowest common denominator. Glad to show he is what he is, garden slug. Bob Taft had more spine (I am lifelong Democrat but I respected Bob Taft. He believed in law.) Portman believes in thinktank donor and campaign donor approval.
30 years of wormhood to my eyes, and I voted for Ken Blackwell.
Imagine being a student in one of his classes. Not a bit of a sense of humor to be seen, over generalized haranguing, only presenting things in the binary…as an undergrad, I would have had a hard time keeping myself from baiting him and then laughing at him with my friends over some beers. I don’t read his political posts. I do read stuff he does within his area of expertise, but, Jesus, he’s a boor.
Just in the fact that we know there was a call, and have some idea of what they talked about.
@RSA: No links. Who or what are you talking about?
Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!)
A great rant/comment! I agree completely!
Sister Golden Bear
@sab: It depends whether they’re whether they’re on puberty blockers and/or testosterone blockers, or estrogen.
If they’re not, they would have the same testosterone levels as teenage boys. That said, for the vast majority of trans teens, puberty is really traumatic and it’s likely they’re on one of the above.
Puberty blockers, as the name implies, will block testosterone, so they would have the equivalent muscle mass as a pre-pubescent child, give or take, depending on when they started.
Testosterone blockers are similar drugs, more commonly used for trans girls/women who’ve already undergone puberty. It will cause a loss of muscle mass, especially upper body muscle.
Estrogen causes further muscle mass loss, as well as feminizing effects, e.g. breast growth, soften skin, reduced body, hair etc. After about a year on estrogen/testosterone blocker, a trans girl/woman has the equivalent muscle mass/strength as a women who was assigned female at birth.
Although no trans athletes has of yet qualified for the Olympics, the Olympics do have protocols to allow trans women to compete as long as their testosterone levels are under a specific limit for at least one year.
Sister Golden Bear
@zhena gogolia: @Miss Bianca:
There’s a gallows humor joke among trans women that our voices are women’s voices because men also ignore us when we speak. Our bodies are women’s bodies, because society also polices our bodies as much (if not more) than women who were assigned female at birth.
In On Structural Racism and Science, Erik Loomis quotes a commenter pointing out some of the ways that racism has distorted science, statistics, and technology, in support of his claim that these activities are inherently racist.
I have to wonder if Loomis understands “inherent” the same way I do. Because if something is essentially racist, by its very nature, we shouldn’t be doing it.
@RSA: Wait, he’s saying science *itself* is inherently racist? Even for Loomis, that seems a bit much.
@Miss Bianca: Some of his supporters are saying he had some qualifying phrase in a tweet, which I haven’t gone looking for, and that his meaning is obvious to anyone who isn’t a racist.
I don’t mean to condemn Loomis; I’ve been defensive in situations where I should have just said, “Okay, I was wrong.” I’m just surprised how far things can go.
@Sister Golden Bear: Shorter GOP: “we’re very concerned with the genitalia of children. We must… inspect them”
Check their hard drives, ADF probably has as many pedos as a NAMBLA meeting.
@RSA: Oh, I’ll condemn Loomis plenty for you – just for being a smug little SOB who’s always convinced he’s right, and utterly humorless about it, if for nothing else. He’s most of the reason I’ve stopped even lurking over at LGM, to be honest. In fact, today is the first time in months that I’ve even bothered to stop by there.
@zhena gogolia: I saw the clip. Who says he was joking? :D
@Miss Bianca: Thanks for that—I laughed out loud.
The Fat White Duchess
@Sister Golden Bear: That is atrocious. Much anger and sadness. And my mind goes to the words of punk/folk poet Chris Chandler:
I keep wondering why the Christian Right in this country can’t keep their mind off other people’s genitalia… Isn’t that how we usually define a pervert?