Friday Reads: Weapons of Mass Disruption

Good Morning!febc7f1ac34fde5a93fe1d940de1e0cd

I had a lot of work to do on Wednesday so I spent most of yesterday relaxing which in my world means I’m reading a lot and walking Temple around the hood.  I tried to spent my reading time on things a bit more uplifting than politics but this year is so fascinatingly and abjectly horrid that it’s hard to turn away.   I may actually pick up the Game of Throne books again just as a contrast to these real-life machinations.

I managed to tune in to Rachel Maddow long enough to watch her perform “anti-Trump Republican anguish” as beat-style poetry.  Real quotes from Real Republicans Since Donald Trump was nominated is a total gas to watch.  I laughed so hard that Temple nearly got a red wine shower.  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has withheld his support for Trump.  Mary Matalin has jumped parties and is re-registering down here in the Big Easy as  Libertarian.  The entire krewe of Red State has entered a period of mourning and disgust.  It’s hard to fight back smugness at this point.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s extraordinary statement Thursday that he’s “just not ready” to support Donald Trump highlights a challenge for the real-estate developer and TV personality on the week that he unexpectedly eliminated his rivals and cementedhis status as presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Ryan joined a growing list of Republican elites who have resisted supporting their new standard-bearer and made a variety of vague demands of him, such as proving he’s committed to conservatism and is White House material, before offering their support. Republicans have refrained from handing down straightforward ultimatums, which suggests many will ultimately get behind him. But the dissent from within is highly unusual for a major-party candidate who has locked up the nomination and is shifting into general-election mode.

“I hope to and I want to” support Trump, Ryan said on CNN. But he said the billionaire “needs to do more to unify this party” by demonstrating to conservatives that he “shares our values” and “bears our standards.”

aad79e23ea542c0a825685281db16d76Trump fired back by questioning Ryan’s fitness to be Speaker.

Roughly 90 minutes later, Trump came back with a sharp critique of another comment Ryan made Thursday.

“Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party. Wrong, I didn’t inherit it, I won it with millions of voters!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The subtle difference Trump highlighted was a piercing remark that speaks to the rift between mainstream Republicans and the polarizing, unconventional candidate who has risen to become the face of the party. His proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and refusal to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan led to Ryan’s implicit rebuke of the candidate throughout the primary, but Trump’s rhetoric has resonated with millions of voters, who have come out in droves across the country to support his candidacy.

Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson went a step further than her boss, suggesting that the Wisconsin Republican is unfit for his leadership role if he can’t support the party’s presumptive nominee.

Asked plainly by CNN’s John Berman whether Ryan is fit to be speaker if he can’t come around to supporting Trump, Pierson responded, “No, because this is about the party.”

Ryan suggested the onus was on Trump to show he can unite the different wings of the Republican Party, but Pierson disagreed, noting that since Trump has yet to clinch 1,237 delegates, he’s only the presumptive nominee.

1960s sign (5)This should make all the Republicans crazy go nuts since Ryan is the party’s boy wonder atm.   Trump has announced he will be fundraising a billion dollars to take on Hillary Clinton in the General.  Sheldon Addison has decided to back Trump. I’m not sure if any of his other fellow billionaires will follow suit.  The amount of stunned establishment Republicans Rejecting Trump the last two days is pretty jaw-dropping.

CNN reached out to 16 Republican elected officials, leaders and major fundraisers associated with former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Speaking on background, none of them said they were planning to go to this summer’s Republican convention. They didn’t say they would vote for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. But they said they were not yet supporting Trump.

2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney declared he’d skip the convention, joining at least three prior Republican nominees — John McCain and both Presidents Bush — in declining to attend the event.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake told CNN’s Manu Raju that “some of Trump’s positions” make it “very difficult for me” to support him.

Meanwhile, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse went on a lengthy Facebook diatribe against Trump and conservative blogger Erick Erickson said some members of Congress have joined his effort to recruit a third-party candidate.

BB’s post yesterday had more information on the Bush rejection of Trump.  Certainly, his behavior towards Jeb is a good rationale of the cold shoulder treatment. But so are the continual attacks Dubya for not preventing 9-11 and for the Iraq War. McCain may actually lose his Senate Senate over this. 

The odd assortment of religious freaks, neoconfederates,greedy ass country clubbers, intellectually and emotionally stunted libertarians, and angry working class white men put together by the party to win elections from Nixon forward is coming8ffe46a7de4e2046e6454c25b922bc9c completely unglued. Watching all of this come to this year’s election–which I can only characterize as a bunch of white straight men throwing toddler-like temper tantrums for not getting their way on everything–has been enlightening.

Hillary Clinton is already making hay from Trump quotes and from quotes about Trump by fellow Republicans. 

Talk about putting the opposition to work for you.

Hillary Clinton‘s latest campaign ad is the ultimate #TBT – to the past eight months of the Republican primary campaign and the GOP’s own most biting comments about its freshly minted presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.

The web ad that Clinton tweeted out Wednesday night showcases insults from the likes of Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush to argue that Trump is anything but the party “unifier” he now claims to be.

“Con artist,” “phony” “know-nothing candidate,” “bully” and “the most vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency,” are just a few of the disparaging namesTrump’s Republican critics call him in the clip.

“He would not be the commander-in-chief we need to keep our country safe,” says Bush, pointing to what he calls Trump’s “deep insecurity and weakness.”

149cfd069685011278c02865475556aeSome think this actually helps Trump since it actually quotes mostly the Republican establishment that the Trumpsters hate.   However, I’m not thinking the die hard Trumpsters are the targeted voters right now.  I think it’s the huge huge number of Republican voters that haven’t been paying real attention to what the party’s has been about for years.

More broadly, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is repositioning itself, after a year of staking out liberal positions and focusing largely on minority voters, to appeal to independent and Republican-leaning white voters turned off by Mr. Trump.

With the Democratic nomination in sight, Mrs. Clinton has broadened her economic message, devoted days to apologizing for a comment she previously made that angered working-class whites, and has pledged that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who remains widely popular among the blue-collar voters drawn to Mr. Trump, would “come out of retirement and be in charge” of creating jobs in places that have been particularly hard hit.

The media is full of examples today of talking heads mansplaining to Hillary’s campaign how to deal with the Donald.   I would like to add that they sure didn’t do a great job of dealing with The Donald before he metastasized into the Republican Presidential candidate for 2016 so why should we take any of them very seriously?

Now, with regard to the tough guy stuff. The way to shred that calling card is with the military. This may surprise you at first blush. Surely, you think, military types will prefer Trump to Clinton! He’s a man. He talks tough. He’s not gonna pussyfoot around with ISIS the way those Democrats always do.

If you think this, I implore you to read Trump at War by Andy Kroll. It’s about how military people are terrified at the thought of Trump becoming their commander-in-chief, because they think he knows nothing about their line of work and they fear that someone who talks like he does without understanding the consequences will start World War III. Some people quoted in the article spoke openly of having to disobey President Trump’s orders, which is not only permissible but called for when an officer believes that a president’s orders violate code and law.

“You bet your ass” I’d reinstitute waterboarding, Trump has said. Military and intelligence professionals are the last people in the world who want that. It violated international law, which most of them actually care about. And the controversy over it crushed morale. A former CIA general counsel told Kroll that if President Trump ordered water-boarding and other forms of torture, staff would abandon the agency. “At a minimum,” the lawyer said, “people would refuse to participate in anything resembling the former interrogation program and insist on a transfer to another part of the agency where they wouldn’t be involved in these things.”

Conversely, more military people than you’d expect kind of respect Clinton. No, not because she voted for the Iraq War. Because she sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and got to know their issues. Knows the difference between a brigade and a regiment. Put in ample face time as senator at New York’s military bases. They respect her.

There’s even a more brutal ad that lets Trump be Trump. It’s like a montage of his most sexist, racist, idioticUNDERGROUND027statements.  I think it’s absolutely funny that it came out on Cinco de Mayo given some of the worst quotes in it are about Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.  You can see the ad directly on BB’s post yesterday.

This is just a Web ad, but as Josh Vorhees notes, it’s reasonable to see this as a template for the massive onslaught of paid ads to come. And this ad also highlights a key dynamic in this campaign that continues to go under-appreciated.

As I’ve argued, the general election will differ from the primaries in an important sense: Unlike Republicans, Democrats will not be constrained from brutally unmasking the truly wretched nature of his racial appeals. Trump’s GOP rivals had to treat his xenophobia, bigotry, and demagoguery with kid gloves, because many Republican voters agreed with his vows to ban Muslims and carry out mass deportations. But the broader general electorate does not agree with those things. Indeed, many voters that populate key general election constituencies are likely horrified by them. As a result, Democrats will be able to prosecute Trump mercilessly in ways his GOP rivals simply could not — with a relentless, non-diluted, non-euphemistic focus on his white nationalism.

d3c546dabf49c31dc52c6d44ebc2d066Cook Political Reports just released its first look at the Electoral Vote for the 2016 General and you’ll be surprised at the number of states that are in play that are usually solidly Republican.  This general is shaping up to be an incredible state of affairs in many ways.  Humor me for quoting this Joe Klein piece at Time Magazine that beckons’ with this bit of clickbait: “Hillary Clinton’s ultimate trump card will not be her gender but her relative humanity.”

In some ways, Hillary faces an easier task. Donald Trump is an implausible President of the United States. But she has a problem that Bill never had. He swept to the presidency on a wave of pure energy and enthusiasm–this was something new, the baby boomers were taking over! Hillary is the George H.W. Bush of this campaign, selling stability–which may prove to be a marketable asset, given the craziness on the Republican side–but momentum feeds on excitement. Core polling perceptions like “trustworthiness” can turn, but they need some impetus.

Her vice-presidential choice will be important. A traditional pick would be someone young and Latino and male, but Hillary’s equivalent of an Al Gore would be … Elizabeth Warren. Another woman, but an outsider; a candidate who could rally Bernie’s legions of new voters, and who would be an excellent attack dog (a crucial vice-presidential function). I know, I know: the Clinton camp mistrusts Warren. She’d be a loose cannon, a risk. Her presence on the ticket might limit Hillary’s attempts to woo moderate Republicans and foreign policy hawks, which raises another possibility: Why not pick a moderate Republican woman–Condoleezza Rice, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley–to stem the barbarian tide? That would be unthinkably new.

Inevitably, the vice-presidential selection will take a backseat in the general election. The presidency is won in discrete moments, as the public gauges the humanity of the candidates. Donald Trump is more a brand than a person; given the spray tan and egregious comb-over, he looks more like a panjandrum in The Hunger Games than a regular guy. How many spontaneous, empathetic human interactions has he had with individual voters? None that I can remember. He is all facade.

There is a basic rule of politics in the television age: warm always beats cold (with the exception of Richard Nixon). Hillary Clinton’s ultimate trump card will be not her gender but her relative humanity–an ironic twist given her public awkwardness. Her decision to sit down with West Virginia coal miners and apologize for her harsh, but realistic, prediction that they’ll be losing their jobs is the sort of thing that would be unimaginable for Trump. In the amped intimacy of a presidential campaign, such moments matter.

I’m sure we’re in for quite the bumpy ride so buckle up and buckle down.  Hang in here with us because we’ll be hanging in there with and for Madam President.  There’s bound to be many revoltin’ developments in the near future and we won’t shy from them.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

91 Comments on “Friday Reads: Weapons of Mass Disruption”

  1. Have y’all seen this:

    Oh and this too.

    Former KKK Leader Unironically Calls Trump a ‘White Knight’ | Mediaite

    I’m going back to hiding under the covers.

  2. purplefinn says:

    Meaty post Dak. Lots to think about. I’m trying to prepare myself for an ugly presidential election campaign. I think lots of video cameras would be a good thing.

    • dakinikat says:

      I don’t recall a crazier election year since maybe 72 although the Bush v Gore thing was insane. The wing nuts are especially weird this year.

  3. NW Luna says:

    I have recently been hearing comments from friends who don’t normally pay attention to politics (somehow thinking their lives aren’t affected by it) who are now waking up to realize that a grade-school megalomanic bully is the likely Republican nominee.

    The Republican Party had it coming. This is what all their pandering to the far right has led them to, and their party has been more than infiltrated by the Radical Right. It’s now become the Radical Right.

    No Democratic candidate is going to appeal to the far right, and the insecure white men who want to be lords of their domain (whether that domain is a boardroom or a shack). A woman as POTUS won’t comfort the progbros who are allegedly Democrats, either.

    However, Hillary is very popular, despite the MSM headlines, bias, and innuendos. She’s won more votes this year than Trump. This time the DNC and superdelegates are with her. The majority of people of color are with her. Moderate Republicans already know that Hillary is the only sane choice, when the alternative is Trump.

    In debates Trump will shoot off his mouth, slaver, insult the moderators, and please the bully-boys in the audience while horrifying the rest of the world. Hillary will be calm, fluent, and strong-hearted. She will look, act, and speak like a President — and she will win the majority of voters. I believe this.

    She knows, and we know, that it will be a long season of insults, slander, and hate, but we’ve gotten this far. We’ll endure and rise above it. Stay strong!

    (reaches out hand to JJ under the blankets)

  4. purplefinn says:

    “Hillary Clinton’s ultimate trump card will be not her gender but her relative humanity…”
    I always end my list of Hillary qualities with “goodwill” Ie. Experience, knowledge, ability, accomplishments, goodwill. She has topped all of the candidates in every area.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Joe Klein is such a jerk though. Why does every single reporter have to keep emphasizing Hillary’s “flaws” and what a “poor candidate” she is? I don’t see it. I think she is charming and has greatly improved in her speeches over the past year. The fact that she sits down and talks to voters face-to-face is wonderful. Women are different from men, and yet they want her to campaign like their concept of a politician–a man.

      And Klein’s suggestion that Hillary should appoint Condoleeza Rice or Nikki Haley as VP?! WTF? Elizabeth Warren would be almost as bad, actually. She would upstage Hillary. Fortunately, she wouldn’t want the job anyway.

      • purplefinn says:

        I agree that the VP suggestions were off the wall. Guess no one is hiring him as a political consultant.

      • NW Luna says:

        That irritates me no end also. Hillary obviously enjoys being with people, talks to kitchen workers, laundry & hotel workers, Boeing machinists, and is genuinely caring. And people respond to her. It’s as if all the journalist have an editor who says “Add something negative.”

        Why anyone thinks it’s a good idea for a Democratic candidate to have a Republican VP? WTF! I think they must be secret Republican ratfkers.

      • Fannie says:

        Klein needs to go back to preschool.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    I’m glad you saw something positive on Rachel Maddow’s show. I had to shut it off after she announced she was going to Burlington for a major “sit-down interview” Bernie effing Sanders.

    • dakinikat says:

      I won’t be watching Tonight unless he’s on to throw in the towel

      • purplefinn says:

        Saw a Bernie TV ad presumably targeted toward WV this afternoon.

      • Fannie says:

        I didn’t watch tonight either. I am really not in a good mood after hearing about Hillary being attacked in San Diego, and sure in the hell am not interested in what the macho ashols, including Bernie have to say.

    • NW Luna says:

      Maddow, check yourself into de-tox already. There’s no future for Sanders.

  6. dakinikat says:

    That’s why I apologetically used this bit.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Some examples from a person who was at Hillary’s rally in LA:


    • bostonboomer says:


      • bostonboomer says:


        • bostonboomer says:


          • NW Luna says:

            “What kind of people is Sanders creating?”

            Republican ratfkers.

            I hope that little girl keeps the pieces of her sign with Hillary’s signature. Years later, she will say “This was how bad it was, back in 2016. I can hardly believe that now.”

          • bostonboomer says:

            Bernie owns this. He is responsible for the way these bullies are behaving–even harassing children. He has never called out this behavior and he has never called out their booing and hissing Hillary’s name at his rallies.

            Bernie is nothing but mean, sexist, self-centered, self-righteous, rigid old man. He should be removed from any committee assignments he has in the Senate.

          • Jslat says:

            Watched the last five minutes of Rachel Maddow’s interview with the Bern. When she asked him about the disruptions inside and the protestors outside of Hillary’s rally. He replied that he would discourage any disruptions at her rallies but thought that people had a right to protest outside.

            Fasten your seatbelts, he just gave his holy blessing on his supporters staging protests (whether 100s or 1,000s) at her events.

      • Rosario Dawson set the template and Bernard Sanders said he is OK with the protestors outside doing what they do. He wouldn’t even say it was wrong to throw dollars at Hillary. Sad.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Young boy cries while being yelled at by Bernie bros.


  9. Jslat says:

    Brace yourselves. It will get worse. When Drumf’s angry white male supremacists pile on in the general, it will get even uglier.

  10. Fannie says:

    Oh Lord, wonder what the Trump is going to say about one of allies voting a muslim in as mayor?


  11. Jslat says:

    Watched the last five minutes of Rachel Maddow’s interview with the Bern. When she asked him about the disruptions inside and the protestors outside of Hillary’s rally. He replied that he would discourage any disruptions at her rallies but thought that people had a right to protest outside.
    Fasten your seatbelts, he just gave his holy blessing on his supporters staging protests (whether 100s or 1,000s) at her events.

    (Sorry for repeat.)

  12. dakinikat says:

    Trump is worse than Sarah Palin. There, I said it …

    Donald Trump’s newly installed campaign finance chair tried to walk back Friday Trump’s idea that the U.S. should flirt with defaulting on its debt.

    • NW Luna says:

      Much worse. A bullying, megalomaniac airhead.

    • WOW, have been amazed at lack of reaction from the GOP. So, Trump is morally bankrupt, bankrupt 4X, a draft dodger 5X and his idea of Make America Great Again is BANKRUPTCY.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Trump is much worse than Palin…..He has billions of dollars behind him, Palin had Bullwinkle J. Moose.

      • Delphyne49 says:

        Mouse!!! Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose would NEVER support Palin. Even Boris and Natasha would run from her! Maybe there’s a Fractured Fairy Tales about her, though!

  13. Earlynerd says:

    Sanders’ thugs have shut down BlueNationReview again. Wonder who’ll they target next?

  14. babama says:

    My wife and I are home from the Hillary rally at La Escuelita School in Oakland today. We were in line at 12:40 for the event that started at 4. A good time was had while waiting, meeting other supporters among the genuinely diverse crowd. EVERY woman I spoke to, from 20’s to 70’s, was remarkable and accomplished in her own right. And I met some very nice men too. There was NO enthusiasm gap what so ever! That line is a lie, as if we don’t already know that. In fact, my impression, by the time I’d made it inside and after many conversations, was that I was in a room full of doers and organizers. People who walk the walk and do more than talk a good game. It was like sweet water.

    Hillary was strong, relaxed, relatable, and spoke with gravitas and humor. She looked well and rested. She was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer, who I had never seen in person before, she impressed me as very aware and a treasure. I truly hope she continues to serve somehow. It was obvious she had Hillary’s back. Towards the end of Hillary’s very well delivered stump speech, there was some yelling that broke out. I have no idea what they were yelling. From my vantage point it appeared to be coming from a person on stage behind the podium and it looked like they were ripping their sign in some sort of ‘action’? Others nearby blocked the person with their signs and Barbara Boxer pivoted towards it like a California bear and started leading the crowd in enthusiastic chanting that shut the disruptor(s?) down. I mean she was masterful! It was great to see a woman taking charge and supporting another woman like that. A total “Not In This House” moment.

    It may have caused Hillary to shorten or rush the end of her speech. Or perhaps I just wanted her to talk longer! She stayed with the crowd for a long time, taking selfies with the many young folk who were there. I was close enough to push for a handshake, but I didn’t feel the need. I was happy to be that near, briefly, to see the woman who will be our next President.

    Friends, she is ready and able! I was happy to see her looking so beautiful and well. My takeaway impression is she is holding a lot and bearing it well. And, she is working very hard and she NEEDS us to help shoulder the load. We can not expect one woman to carry it all, even if she is our super prepared realist warrior. We have got to have her back in order for her to have ours!

    Yes, we did have to pass through a gauntlet of BS agitators as we were leaving. They were self righteous, unhappy looking, and pathetic mostly. I didn’t see anything as aggressive or verbally violent as the behavior in So Cal yesterday. I suspect we will see more of them. I will be letting my neighbor who is canvassing for BS, know exactly what I think of those tactics. After my wife and I passed thru their harassment, we both agreed it had been like meeting up with the Bay Area chapter of the Westboro Baptist Church. As if I haven’t been harassed for supporting women since about the age of five!

  15. janicen says:

    As many times as I have come back to this post, I have not until now noticed the title, “Weapons of Mass Disruption”. Brilliant!

    That’s what we’re seeing. I don’t think the Bernie Bros have just gotten surly, this is the Republicans disguised as Bros taking aim at Hillary now. We will see this until November, count on it.

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s how anarchists that confuse themselves with socialists misbehave. We have had a nest of them down here since Katrina. They’re main purpose is to create chaos in what may start out as legitimate protests. You see them a lot in Seattle too. Folks living in public housing were given a role in rebuilding the projects, etc. These mostly young whit male protestors would come to meetings, drown out everyone’s voice and then get the police called in citizens who were following and influencing process too. The FBI had to come help us. They share goals with the Kochs. They don’t want government to exist or function.

      • janicen says:

        I’m guessing somebody is paying their freight and that’s likely the same people whose goals they share, those pesky Kochs! 😀

  16. palhart says:

    For whatever reason, Trump has called Elizabeth Warren a “doofus” and said she has done nothing in the Senate. At this point, the only response is to laugh at him. In her answer to how she will reply to his outrageous comments, she laughed and said she’s had many years if attacks and is ready to take him on.

  17. joanelle says:

    Bernie has been successful at trashing his reputation as a ‘nice guy’ and insuring that he’ll no longer be welcome to caucus with Democrats and no longer hold positions on committees.
    He also, along with the Republicans, challenged the ‘grand experiment’ that our forefathers began in ways that have bruised and battered that experiment as never before, even through a civil war we held fast to certain civilities of human behavior.
    These young men (and I guess young women) clearly have lost all respect for themselves and thus, for those around them. What kind of society are we leaving behind?

  18. Bernie Sanders Hints He’s Open to VP Talk via @SFGate
    Can you believe Bernard Sanders? He wants to set conditions, contest convention, attacks Hillary, attacks supporters (even children) and want to be VP or else? WTheck

  19. ANonOMouse says:

    • Jslat says:

      Also won American Samoa & the Marianas. Slow the Bern…..😊

    • Jslat says:

      Guam doesn’t have many delegates but at least there won’t be a Sanders sweep in May. The math will hold no matter what WV and OR do.