Just A Normal Thursday Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kylopod says:

    As I scan articles over the past day, I keep running across four words, the loveliest words in the English language right now, making me loath to pay attention to anything else in the article. Those words are:

    Former President Donald Trump

    20
  2. Kathy says:

    Word from the White House is that the Resolute desk is happy, after four long years, to have a real president again.

    5
  3. PJ says:

    This is all boring. So boring.

    I’m going to set up a change.org petition to give tRump his twitter back.

    4
  4. sam says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Normal? Normal???

    This will take some getting used to.

    6
  6. Teve says:
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Rex Chapman@RexChapman

    “Where is Scott Baio? Where is Sarah Palin? Where is Kid Rock?”

    George Hahn
    @georgehahn

    In honor of those who are losing their shit (and foaming at the mouth). #FerMee

    2
  8. Jen says:

    The feeling of relief is physical. I’m less tensed-up already.

    The Q-Anon meltdown is just a bonus at this point.

    8
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This is a real tear jerker.

    Seriously, I can’t tell if it’s parody or real.

    2
  10. Paine says:

    @Kylopod: I had the *exact* same thought this morning while perusing CNN in bed.

  11. Scott says:

    Let’s hope kindly Uncle Joe continues with the steel underneath the exterior:

    Biden Has Already Fired Three of Trump’s Worst Appointees

    Hours into his presidency, Biden has already ousted three of his predecessors’ most unqualified and corrupt appointees. This clean break sends a clear message that Biden will not tolerate hostile Trump holdovers in his administration, including those with time remaining in their terms.

    Besides Michael Pack (U.S. Agency for Global Media (VOA)) and Peter Robb (National Labor Relations Board), there is Kathleen Kranninger, Director of the Consumer Financial Protections Board.

    The latter is in the category of You Get What You Ask For and is most satisfying:

    Through the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress gave the CFPB’s director significant independence by barring the president from firing her over political disagreements. In 2020, though, the Supreme Court found this protection unconstitutional. Kraninger supported that decision, which paved the way for her termination on Wednesday. Had the court upheld the agency’s independence, Kraninger could have remained in office through the end of 2023.

    16
  12. MarkedMan says:

    For four years there has been a monkey driving the bus and I found myself endlessly shouting, “THERE’S A MONKEY DRIVING THE BUS!!!”, “Don’t let that monkey drive the bus!”, “Oh my god, look at where the monkey is steering the bus!” I was fixated on the monkey, all I could think about was that monkey. But now the monkey is no longer driving the bus I’m not so interested in him. Now he’s just a monkey.

    Let’s make sure we now focus on the ones who hired the monkey as a bus driver.

    26
  13. Scott says:

    A non-political complaint.

    What good is a Spam folder for your email if you have to check your Spam folder in case real email gets shunted there by mistake?

    5
  14. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I think it’s real.
    @Jen:
    My sister said she woke up yesterday morning with a feeling of peace.

  15. CSK says:

    Just a reminder: If you miss Trump’s Tweets, you can find them here:

    http://www.trumptwitterarchive.com

    2
  16. To add to everyone’s good mood, some funnies: click.

    11
  17. Scott says:

    BTW, I like these virtual Inaugural celebrations. Along with the virtual Conventions, I think far more people feel they are included. It was really well done. Except Tom Hanks looked miserable.

    4
  18. JohnMcC says:

    @Scott: Are you an advertiser?

    1
  19. PJ says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I liked this one that I saw earlier:
    https://i.redd.it/niv8zruclkc61.jpg

    2
  20. Scott says:

    @JohnMcC: Lol. No. Just a little obsessive about my email.

    2
  21. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Normal? Normal???

    This will take some getting used to.

    We are far from Normal.

    We have all the Q folks, not sure what they are doing with their so called lives now.

    We have all these radicalized Trumpists who have been watching Newsmax and continue to be told that the election has been stolen. Sadly, after 4 years of continued lies, they can no longer accept a differing view.

    We have the police and military that have a culture of right-wing thought. And why, I can’t understand as the GOP tends to give them more lip service than actual benefits. If we want to see change in the streets, we have to have change in the barracks.

    Do you even think any of the folks mentioned above are going to voluntarily start wearing masks because Biden said that we should all do this for 100 days? So… our 400,000 dead will continue to rise.

    I could go on, but I feel that I have already ruined my morning just thinking about this.

    “Asymmetrical polarization”. It’s not a “both sides have become radicalized and drifted from the center”, it is when one side has singshot way the f’ out there, and the other is pretty well where it’s always been.

    The big challenge: how to convince those folks that they are really not “centrist” and do not represent the country.

    I had a talk with my direct manager (resident of Metro Dallas & an avid Newsmax fan of truth, not that fake news crap)… and he was livid that the election was stolen. Everyone he knows voted for Trump, so it was impossible that Biden could win.

    I tried an analogy: You love Pistachio ice cream. You get together with folks just to have pistachio ice cream, and all these events have pistachio lovers so it is unseemly that all these people wearing green and talking about their love for a nutty frozen confection could possibly be wrong. Pistachio is THE BEST! (Be Best – Pistachio!)

    Except when a national poll is taken, the most popular ice cream in the USA is Vanilla. To you, that is just unacceptable. And then to be told that it is not even in the top 10… well, boy howdy, thems fightin’ words! I mean, they don’t fly a vanilla flag, or wear vanilla hats, do they??!!1???

    Nope. a long, long, long way from normal.

    We are at the point in the battle where the shells that have been dropping around us for days have suddenly stopped… the stillness is otherworldly. but no one can get out of the foxholes.

    We need, our contry needs, those folks that have been mislead, but I don’t know if it will be possible to bring them back.

    5
  22. Scott says:

    A sign of normality. The President’s Daily Schedule:

    The president, first lady Jill Biden, VP Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will watch the virtual presidential inaugural prayer service at 10 a.m. in the Blue Room. Biden and Harris will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 12:45 p.m. At 2 p.m., Biden will speak about pandemic response and sign executive orders and other actions in the State Dining Room, with Harris attending. They’ll be briefed at 2:25 p.m. by members of their Covid-19 team.

    A little more specific than: He’ll have many meetings and make many calls.

    6
  23. Kathy says:

    @Scott:

    True story:

    I sent an email to a hotel regarding a reservation. They replied, and requested additional info. I replied. They replied with the reservation details, but that last one went to the spam folder.

    WTF, right?

    2
  24. CSK says:
  25. MarkedMan says:

    Here’s a surprise. The administration that insisted they had a detailed plan on vaccine distribution but never revealed it to anyone outside the administration turns out not to have any plan whatsoever. Whowuddathunkit?

    5
  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: Hmmm. I’m wondering if Harris being in attendance has been the norm (since Clinton/Gore, at least), or is that unusual. Anyone know?

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: America, the more it changes, the more it stays just as whacked out as it ever was.

    1
  28. Kathy says:

    I finished the first and only season of Tron: Uprising yesterday. As predicted, it feels incomplete. In what has become standard practice, it ends with a setup for major developments to come, which won’t come.

    1
  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: It has been the norm for the VP to be in attendance for, at the very least, specific occasions. Often enough I never took much note of it. Can’t say as to how often tho.

  30. Kathy says:

    I want to mention how good it was that everyone wore masks during the inauguration ceremony, and that Biden wore a mask when he was photographed signing executive orders on day one.

    Had trump done something that simple, we’d be tallying far fewer deaths today. If nothing else, he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison for that,

    5
  31. Owen says:

    Was Lt Gen Charles Flynn (Mikey’s brother) involved in the decision making on 6 Jan to send in the National Guard or not? I’m hoping this is a “nothing burger”. At the very least its bad optics.

    1
  32. Blue Galangal says:

    Thank you, Dr. Joyner.

  33. Owen says:

    @Scott: Tom Hanks needed to be wearing a coat, he looked hypothermic, especially in the later parts of the presentation. What is wrong with these old people?

    2
  34. Jen says:

    This list of anti-immigration regulations that were submitted by the Trump Administration that got stopped cold is astonishing, but I’m trying to figure out what the point was. Clearly, many of these are flat-out illegal (e.g., requiring US citizens to submit biometric data), and would have been stopped. So was the idea to…tangle up the Biden Administration in lawsuits and red tape?

    2
  35. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Scott:
    Our system sends a notice once a day of what has been “quarantined”.
    It’s quick and easy to scan the list to check for anything that should have come thru, rather than having to delete dozens of messages from your inbox.

    1
  36. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Owen:
    And his suit coat didn’t look right…wrinkled, or it didn’t fit. It was uncomfortable to look at.

  37. Neil J Hudelson says:

    Watching a bit of Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing while scrolling twitter, and one can start to see how politics will take shape in the coming months:
    -Indiana’s junior Senator, Mike Braun, has gone even more MA, GA since the capitol hill riots, voting against Biden’s NSA director, whereas
    -Indiana’s senior Senator, Todd Young, perhaps still pissed at being threatened by MAGAts during the capitol hill riot, asked to be the one to introduce Buttigieg at his hearing.
    -Meanwhile Bernie Sander’s campaign advisor and jacobin David Sirota is pushing an article that claims Buttigieg is the “head of a secretive, shadowy dark money group”‘ That shadowy dark money group? Buttigieg’s presidential campaign PAC.

    3
  38. Kylopod says:

    @Paine: I just listened to clips of some of the late-night hosts and had a GMTA moment. Seth Meyers in his monologue said “‘Former President Trump.’ It’s the new ‘cellar door'”–which, I’ve gotta admit, is an impressively literate, intellectual reference I would not have had the guts to use myself.

  39. Moosebreath says:

    @Scott:

    “Except Tom Hanks looked miserable.”

    I thought Hanks’ role as host was a deliberate slap at QAnon. As in, Hanks has been one of your targets forever, and he’s still alive and free.

    1
  40. dmichael says:

    @Owen: We have gotten old. May you get there.

    1
  41. Jen says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    Meanwhile Bernie Sander’s campaign advisor and jacobin David Sirota is pushing an article that claims Buttigieg is the “head of a secretive, shadowy dark money group”

    I must be getting unaccustomed to tin-foil-hat logic…how is this in any way a thing? Why would Sanders’ campaign advisor being going down this rabbit hole? It’s loony.

    3
  42. CSK says:

    Yesterday a tearful Trumpkin reported that Air Force One took off from Andrews “more gracefully than it ever did before.”

    I mean, what? Trump’s mere presence onboard somehow imbued the plane with…gracefulness?

    2
  43. inhumans99 says:

    To piggyback on Teve’s link to KDs Fox News is not right wing enough post, KD has a post up this morning talking about Tucker Carlson and how he only focused on one line from Biden’s speech and now says that Biden wants to lock up well, basically all Fox News viewers over the next four years. Before I move on, I will say that it is quite fascinating what goes through the mind of someone like TC.

    I feel that Tucker is sad that he will no longer have the means to set the agenda for the President of the U.S.. I am well aware that Trump would see things on Hannity or TCs shows and then tweet them out and let what Hannity and TC said influence his actions as President. Tucker and Hannity lost a friend that was always willing to hang out with them (Trump calling into Fox News on a fairly regular basis) and they are going through some grieving right now.

    Despite the claims that people would make saying Trump had turned on Fox News that is not quite true, rather Trump was disappointed when his words and desires did not always sync up with the words coming out of many of Fox News’s personalities mouths. When Fox deviated from what Trump felt was the message they should be sending their viewers Trump was not shy about calling them out on twitter and other places.

    It was a bfd that Fox could occasionally act as Donald Trump’s puppet master and this outsize power that Trump and by extension the GOP gave Fox News has pretty much dissipated and they are back to the hoary old proclamations that Biden is going activate things like FEMA camps and round them (them being conservatives, not just Fox viewers) all up.

    It really cannot be understated when one says that Fox lost an extraordinary amount of influence to set the countries agenda yesterday. It also explains why it was not just Trump that fought like hell to remain in the White House, Fox also saw their future when they looked in a mirror the day after the election and they were horrified at their future.

    That being said, I am still trying to figure out how going full right wing crazy recaptures Fox News’s glory days.

    I have referenced the Apple TV show Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet in the past on this site, but when the game developers on the show decide the best course of action to keep the Nazi players cash flowing into their coffers but not alienate the rest of their game base is to place the Nazi’s into their own partitioned server so they are none the wiser that that their racist rants are just being directed towards fellow racists, well that is what Fox just did to their news division.

    The amazing thing is that Liberals did not have to lift a finger to make this happen. OAN/Newsmax/Infowars/Breitbart/Fox News are all joined in a circle and now for the most part their embrace of crazy conspiracy theories will mostly be like-minded souls trying to convince each other that their kooky theory is what explains why they are no longer in power.

    Sure, some of what is said at these sites or Fox News shows will leak into the mainstream press but as long as Twitter/FB/Amazon keep their resolve and do not let folks like Trump back onto their platforms any ramblings from Hannity, TC, etc., will not be the only thing discussed during an average news cycle.

    Pardon me if I end up misusing the word, but the irony of folks believing that Trump made Fox much more relevant the past four years than they ever were pre-Trump is that it is actually Trump that has ultimately set Fox News on a path towards irrelevancy. Everyone forgets that we all say everything Trump touches dies and yet we conveniently forget that this is something that had not happened to Fox News in all their years of embracing Trump, but their time has come.

    It was always inevitable, like water always finding its way to the ocean, but it just took Trump a bit longer than usual to apply his anti-Midas touch to Fox News, and it could not happen to a more deserving group of individuals.

    To end on a slightly more positive note that has nothing to do with the above, Amanda Gorman is the bees knees and she represents Los Angeles! Yet more evidence that CA’s star will start to rise again now that Trump is no longer going on national TV to declare his intentions to punish CA.

    She really is an extremely impressive human being and yet more evidence that we can still hold out hope that our future is in good hands as more folks like Amanda will start to get their chance to be noticed over the next four years.

    2
  44. CSK says:

    Biden is keeping Christopher Wray on as FBI director.

  45. Gustopher says:

    @Jen:

    I must be getting unaccustomed to tin-foil-hat logic…how is this in any way a thing? Why would Sanders’ campaign advisor being going down this rabbit hole? It’s loony.

    The problem with Bernie has always been that he surrounds himself with loons. When you look at his campaign staff, and then think about how he would staff the government… you can almost see the “Bernie would be the Trump of the left!” arguments. He wouldn’t, if nothing else because Democrats love infighting, but it wouldn’t be a calm, tranquil, quietly competent organization.

    9
  46. Kathy says:

    Continuing on yesterday’s thread that rare correlation in small statistical universes do not determine causation, there are a number of rare events which have a small probability of taking lace to begin with, and then a smaller one of producing a specific outcome.

    Consider this one: no starting QB has won the Super Bowl for two different teams.

    This hasn’t been true since Peyton Manning won with the Broncos a few years ago, but the point is the odds of winning the Super Bowl are small to begin with, and the odds of a QB playing starter at a high level for more than one team are very small. naturally this doesn’t happen often.

    About the only generalizations one can make are the painfully obvious ones. that is, those that describe actual impossibilities like: No team that fails to qualify for the playoffs has ever won a super bowl (it can’t), and likewise no team eliminated in the playoffs.

    This brings up something else. there’s a hypothesis, with much backing, that the Moon was formed when a body around the size of Mars impacted the proto-Earth, ejecting a very large amount of rock which coalesced to form the Moon. Incidentally, this body has been named Theia.

    Now, one might ask whether the odds of such a collision are too small for the hypothesis to be worthy of serious consideration.

    Fair enough. But it turns out Uranus’ axis is tilted nearly 90 degrees, which is a great deal more of a tilt than most planets, satellites, and even asteroids and comets exhibit. The hypothesis, less supported, is that a massive body impacted the planet long ago and tilted it on its side.

    If you see, or can strongly suspect, two collisions of massive bodies on planets, then one such collision is far more likely, right?

  47. Owen says:

    @dmichael: Haha, I thought that might get a response. I’m not that much younger than Hanks.

  48. inhumans99 says:

    Not trying to spam this thread, but holy heck I just noticed my post above is crazy long. Sorry about that folks! I will try to embrace the less is more philosophy when it comes laying down my thoughts in a comment on this site but it will clearly be a struggle for me to tighten things up.

    Heck, even this post apologizing for a long post runs the risk of turning into an obnoxiously long post. Lol.

    3
  49. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    said “‘Former President Trump.’ It’s the new ‘cellar door’”

    Can you clue this illiterate in?

    1
  50. Terri says:

    Saw this at Politico:

    Several members of the QAnon community scrambled to suggest that Biden was now going to execute the conspiracy theory’s underlying beliefs, or even that the incoming president had switched faces with Donald Trump. (emphasis mine)

  51. Terri says:

    @Terri:

    Link didn’t show:

  52. CSK says:

    @Terri:
    They’d have had to have switched bodies as well. Trump is obese.

    1
  53. Kathy says:

    @Terri:

    Those people watch too many movies, and don’t understand they’re just make-believe.

  54. Terri says:
  55. Mike in Arlington says:

    @MarkedMan: I was about to ask the same question.

  56. Kathy says:

    @Terri:

    Back in the 20th century, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden under the direction of Ernest Rutherford, performed an experiment that involved shooting alpha particles at a gold leaf foil. Some particles drifted, but others bounced back. To that last, Rutherford said “It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.”

    I figue that’s how these pitiable fantasist feel now.

    But with less justification. Can you imagine an artillery shell bouncing off a piece of tissue paper?

  57. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: @Mike in Arlington: No one knows where it started or who first came up with it, but the word “cellar door” has been cited by various writers through the ages as supposedly the most beautiful-sounding word in English, regardless of its meaning. It’s mentioned in the movie Donnie Darko, so I suppose that qualifies it as a pop-culture reference. Of course, calling “Former President Trump” the most beautiful phrase in the language would be kind of the opposite principle, no?

    3
  58. JohnMcC says:

    @Kylopod: Kowabunga, Buffalo Bob! I thought I understood the ‘Cellar Door’ reference and now I’ve learned that for — what, 60yrs! — I had it backwards and upside down.

    Back in the late 50s and early 60s there was a sort of ‘thing’ for coffee houses. Poets, musicians, snacks and what were considered exotic teas and coffees. One was the Hungry Eye in I think San Francisco. Well, in D.C. it was The Cellar Door.

    Ever since whenever I bumped into the phrase my assumption was that it referred to that particular business or to the coffee house phenomenon. Now I see that the business named itself after the phrase.

    I keep coming here because of shit like this.

    6
  59. Paine says:

    This is encouraging. Via TPM:

    Yesterday on his first day in office President Biden requested the resignation of Peter Robb, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. Robb is a staunch union buster. The General Counsel has no right to the job under custom or law. But Robb refused, protesting fairness, precedent, propriety.

    Biden summarily fired him a few hours later.

    Done and done.

    12
  60. dazedandconfused says:
  61. gVOR08 says:

    In conservative comments I’m seeing a lot of ‘OMG we’re all gonna die of the socialism.’ Kevin Drum revisited the classic of the genre, Michael Anton’s 2016 The Flight 93 Election. Anton had a litany of ills he said doomed the country. For sure if Hillary was elected, and probably with Trump anyway, but maybe not. Se we all had to rush the cockpit to elect Trump, even though we were probably doomed anyway.

    Drum listed out Anton’s ten specific fears and, being Drum, plotted trendlines for the last many years. The result,

    The first is something I’ve mentioned before: the reason conservatives fight so hard is that they really, truly believe that liberals are bringing about the collapse of the country. The second is that they’re completely wrong.

    They’re all sure Biden will oppress them. The way Obama, Clinton, and Carter oppressed them?

    Fifty years ago you could argue GOPs and Ds were not much different, one side wanted a little more defense spending and one a little less. Both favored environmental regs, but with different degrees of enthusiasm. I’m not sure that was ever true, but it sure isn’t now. There’s a lot of talk lately, now that they’ve lost the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, about compromise. But they’re wrong, just wrong, and on many issues plain nuts. Where is the proper point of compromise between good policy and bad? Between rational and not?

    9
  62. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Terri: Honestly, there is an opportunity to co-opt these people if for no other reason than to fracture them. A few phrases dropped in a Biden Speech. 17 of something in a picture with Biden and you’re off to the races with a branch theory of Q among Q-sters that Biden had taken the torch of executing a modified plan. Combine that with amplifying a few FBI child-trafficking busts and you can keep these people with their tin foil hats on.

    This is Info War 101: no better way to control a movement–than by leading it. Elimination of movements is a “Chinese” Finger Trap and further entrenches it. They must be Co-opted and diverted

    8
  63. Gustopher says:

    Finally relaxing enough from the expected horrors of yesterday enough to actually look at the events and see it as it was rather than simply “nope, no bombs have gone off, and no rampaging right wing freaks… yet” and bracing myself for the worst.

    I found J-Lo’s rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” trite.

    Sharon Jones’ is better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ78uDio_ao

    Where J Lo produces a weak tea version, palatable and inoffensive to every palate and not long enough to risk boring people, Sharon Jones gave it a very distinctive style and used the private property verses.

    Granted, Jones is dead and could not be there, but even the Pete Seeger / Bruce Springsteen version from the Obama inauguration had more going on than J Lo’s. Granted Pete Seeger is dead, but Bruce Springsteen is still around.

    Anyway, J Lo whiffed it. That is all.

    1
  64. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    Both favored environmental regs, but with different degrees of enthusiasm. I’m not sure that was ever true, but it sure isn’t now.

    Nixon did set up the EPA. But that might be a case of appearing to do something while doing nothing. Or it might have been legitimate.

    There’s a lot of talk lately, now that they’ve lost the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, about compromise.

    It will depend in part what they mean by compromise. Does it mean “giving up some of what we want to get the rest through, and accepting some of what the other side wants and stop the worst of it,” or does it mean “make outrageous demands we don’t really want, in order to get in all that we actually want, while stopping all of what the other side wants as well”?

    Ok. Making excessive demands is a time-honored bargaining tactic. but it’s so time-honored that everyone is wise to it. So it would be just as well to bargain honestly.

    1
  65. Nightcrawler says:

    Today I woke up feeling better than I have all week. For the past year, I’ve been having frequent headaches and stomach issues, and I’d been nauseous again this week. I’m convinced it’s stress from this whole apocalypse thing, especially since adults haven’t been in charge.

    Nausea and headache-free, I ran five miles, and I just felt so good.

    I’m not under any illusions. The apocalypse is far from over, but I feel like the end of it has finally commenced. Adults are in charge of the country again. They’re putting real doctors, scientists, and public health experts in charge of response, not unqualified family members, cronies, snake oil salesmen, and witch doctors. The Defense Production Act is going to be used for PPE and vaccines, not to keep infectious slaughterhouses open.

    My expectations for this administration are simple. I wanted adults in charge of the country again, and that’s what I got.

    3
  66. EddieInCA says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    Meanwhile Bernie Sander’s campaign advisor and jacobin David Sirota is pushing an article that claims Buttigieg is the “head of a secretive, shadowy dark money group”‘ That shadowy dark money group? Buttigieg’s presidential campaign PAC.

    David Sirota is the left’s equivalent to Ann Coulter. His positions are way far outside the mainstream, yet he believes (in his own mind) that anyone on the left who doesn’t believe as he does is a heretic, and evil, not just wrong. He’s harder in many ways on center-left people than those on the right.

    6
  67. flat earth luddite says:

    In today’s You Can’t Make This S*** Up Column:

    Lindsey Graham calls on Mitch McConnell to denounce second impeachment

    ‘As to the Republican Party, if we throw in the towel, or are perceived to having thrown in the towel, and not fighting against this impeachment, the Republican Party, as Rand Paul said, will ‘crack up,’ Graham said, referring to a comment made by the junior US Senator from Kentucky.

    Graham’s comments came as Trump prepared to leave office early on Wednesday ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden this afternoon.

    BWA HA HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA…

    I could almost feel sorry for Mitchy-boy for being stuck in a party with those two morons. But on second thought, I could laugh at the idea of them being stuck together in a car in a beltway traffic jam… for eternity.

    4
  68. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Hey, it’s a business. It’s got to move in the direction of it’s target market.

  69. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher: I felt the same way about J Lo’s “This Land is Our Land”. But given the theme of unity, I decided I was OK with a bland version that left out the more radical verses. On the other hand I’ve been aware of J Lo only to the extent of hearing her name a lot and I saw no reason for deeper acquaintance.

  70. wr says:

    @CSK: “I mean, what? Trump’s mere presence onboard somehow imbued the plane with…gracefulness?”

    I did love the reporter at Jen Psaki’s first briefing asking if Biden was going to keep Trump’s hideous design scheme for the new Airforce One…

    2
  71. Terri says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I had to laugh after reading your comment and then seeing this. Co-opt away…

    Biden signs 17 executive orders to immediately reverse Trump policies

    5
  72. Terri says:
  73. gVOR08 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Hey, it’s a business. It’s got to move in the direction of it’s target market.

    I’ve observed before that it’s a positive feedback loop. The RW Entertainment Complex drives the base further right, the base then drives the RWEC further right, and they both drag the pols further right. Positive feedback loops continue to push further and further until something breaks. Hopefully it’s FOX “News”.

    2
  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: I’m not sure that the ice cream analogy is quite as good as people think it is. Vanilla be the most widely sold ice cream–indeed it probably is–just based on commercial and institutional sales alone. Widely sold=/= favorite flavor or preferred flavor. Significant quantities of vanilla ice cream are sold based on having the highest utility–restaurants usually only have vanilla, sometimes chocolate, but less often. They pick vanilla because it is least likely to go stale before it’s sold and because it’s the safest choice to go in restaurant menus pairing ice cream with other desert items–apple pie, various flavored syrups, cakes or brownies, sliced fruit, and so on.

    Your pistachio fans may be right about it being the actual favorite flavor. I doubt it, mostly because I like pistachio more than other flavors and my tastes in nearly everything are outre. Still, I don’t eat ice cream with cake or pie (at least at home) don’t make sundaes or milkshakes (which I had left out of the prior discussion, my bad 🙁 ), and I never, ever buy vanilla ice cream to eat at home. And I doubt that I’m much of an outlier. Just looking at the selection in my supermarket tells me I’m not.

    Vanilla is most marketable. Most popular? Meh…

    1
  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: “Why would Sanders’ campaign advisor being going down this rabbit hole? It’s loony.”

    Certainly is. As to why, how about because he is more unilaterally partisan than we might have hoped a Sanders supporter would have been. His move may be of a piece with the Sanders’ supporters who austensibly voted third party in 2o16 because rejection of Sanders meant that America deserved Trump.

    1
  76. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I don’t eat ice cream with cake or pie

    That’s because everyone knows that apple pie gets served hot, with a slice of sharp (or aged!) cheddar on top.

    Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.

    2
  77. Jen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: This is where I get to plug a TED talk by a friend of mine. 🙂

    The first few minutes is about pies…and makes your point.

    1
  78. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    Nixon did set up the EPA. But that might be a case of appearing to do something while doing nothing. Or it might have been legitimate.

    He created the EPA by pulling together the limited environmental activities scattered across the federal government. Nixon is reputed to have said, “I don’t trust environmentalists one bit. Better to have them all in one place where we can keep an eye on them.” Nixon’s EPA was largely toothless. The ability to make and enforce regulations — that is, the EPA as people think of it today — was later added by Congress by veto-proof majorities.

    3
  79. CSK says:

    @wr:
    I’m surprised Trump didn’t immediately have his own name plastered all over the airframe. As in “TRUMP: United States of America”

  80. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Color me not surprised (I think that’s pink, I love pink).

  81. JohnSF says:

    @EddieInCA:

    …harder … on center-left people than those on the right…

    Just like our lovely cuddly Corbynites hatred for the centrists.
    Or Bolsheviks love of slaughtering Mensheviks.

    Inquisition syndrome (also Calvinist): heretics are worse than pagans.

  82. MarkedMan says:

    @Paine:

    Yesterday on his first day in office President Biden requested the resignation of Peter Robb, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. Robb is a staunch union buster.

    This is why I call Shenanigans whenever someone brings up “preserving our sacred norms”. Republicans treat norms as a joke. Progressives fought hard against overwhelming odds to raise Labor to a cabinet level position. 100 years ago the federal government was literally sending in armed soldiers at the request of factory owners to shoot striking workers in the street, so this elevation of labor rights was literally advanced by the blood of innocent workers. Yet when Republicans get into power it’s not enough that they deemphasize Labor. They have to put actively anti-labor hacks into every f*cking position they can and then crow about it night and day. How do you have norms with jackasses like this? They have no respect for anyone. F*ck ’em, and f*ck the horse they rode in on.

    3
  83. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: Rick Wilson coined ETTD (Everything Trump Touches Dies). To that, I’ve added two other closely interlinked concepts: ETSIP (Everything Trump Says Is Projection) and ERADOIP (Everything Republicans Accuse Democrats Of Is Projection).

    For instance, how many times over the past four years did we hear Trumpists mocking Dems for supposedly “never accepting Trump as your president”?

    4
  84. CSK says:

    Even the Federalist Society says Trump can be convicted by the senate.

    2
  85. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..F*ck ’em…

    Spare the horse…

    Fvck ’em.
    Fvck ’em and feed ’em beans.
    And if they don’t like that…take away the beans!

    1
  86. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Whowuddathunkit?

    It’s hiding under their detailed healthcare plan for replacing ObamaCare.

    1
  87. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08:

    Fifty years ago you could argue GOPs and Ds were not much different… But they’re wrong, just wrong, and on many issues plain nuts.

    I hate to sound like an extremist, but sometimes the truth is extreme: It is not only that they are wrong. Much of their leadership is actively evil.

    Take for example the revelation that the Trump administration had no plan whatsoever to distribute the vaccine. It’s not really a surprise, it was all but spelled out by the monkeys running that show.* But what about the rest of the Republican leadership? Mitch and the the committee chairs blocked all oversight in the Senate. They never so much as asked to see the plan, and prevented the Democrats from subpoenaing any documentation whatsoever. The house side made attempts, but the administration stonewalled, simply refusing to hand over any documents to any Democrat. The Dems brought this stonewalling to the Republican Supreme Court, who refused to speed up the cases as would be normal in a time-critical emergency. The Republicans on the court did what was necessary to guarantee they wouldn’t have to hear the cases until well after the election. And it goes without saying that the Republican Senate did not stand with the Democratic House and demand that Congress be treated with the respect demanded by our Constitution and two and a half centuries of precedent. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died and hundreds of thousands more will die before this is over and the Republican Leadership just does not give a shit.

    To vote for a Republican in any office is to help ensure the power of the Republican Leadership. It is, quite simply, a vote to harm the country.

    *Despite all their insistences they had a plan, they never showed it to anyone. And they always were “on plan” no matter how the results differed from what they said mere days before. I could go on but those two were more than enough to tell you there was no plan.

    7
  88. DrDaveT says:

    @Kylopod:

    the word “cellar door” has been cited by various writers through the ages as supposedly the most beautiful-sounding word in English

    That’s extra weird, given that the writers cited did not pronounce “cellar door” the same. In particular, rhotic (Mencken) and non-rhotic (Tolkien, Lewis) speakers would produce very different phonations. I’d lay odds that the non-rhotic speakers would not have found Mencken’s pronunciation attractive at all…

    2
  89. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    I found J-Lo’s rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” trite.

    I found any performance of a Woody Guthrie song at a Presidential inauguration to be jaw-droppingly shocking. On the one hand, yay! On the other, what a tone deaf (as it were) thing to do when the opposition is trying to paint you as a Socialist.

    3
  90. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT:

    That’s extra weird, given that the writers cited did not pronounce “cellar door” the same. In particular, rhotic (Mencken) and non-rhotic (Tolkien, Lewis) speakers would produce very different phonations. I’d lay odds that the non-rhotic speakers would not have found Mencken’s pronunciation attractive at all…

    Even if Mencken used rhotic pronunciation in speech, he lived at a time when non-rhoticity was considered more elegant and proper even in America.

  91. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    Even the Federalist Society says Trump can be convicted by the senate.

    The Federalist Society is Koch, and Koch isn’t big on Trump. Koch’s people (largely Mike Pence) seeded Koch apparatchiks throughout the admin, but Trump hadn’t had to come to Koch hat-in-hand to start his campaign and Trump went a bit too far with the faux populism. Strengthen Social Security? OK, Trump lied but the Kochtivists didn’t like the sound of it. Koch was willing to live with Trump, but probably not too sad to see him go, as long as they still own McConnell et al. And they may think they can buy Pence a charisma implant.

  92. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Non-rhotic pronunciation is still common in New England, though not as much as it used to be. “Cellar door” would, to an old timer, be “cellah doah.” And there’s always “pahk the car in Hahvahd Yahd.”

    Jack, Bobby, and Teddy Kennedy spoke that way, which always puzzled me, since they all went to private schools and Teddy was basically raised in New York, where the “r” is dropped, but in a different way.

  93. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Terri: So its True! Bwahahahaha!

    Joking aside. Slighty better than 50/50 chance that numbered headline wasn’t a coincidence. We’ll have to watch as the doctrine of Q unfolds.

  94. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I live in New York, and many people here still speak in a partially non-rhotic way. For example, a few years I was talking to a fellow who was 47 at the time, and he told me about the show Pawn Stars. At first I thought he was going to be describing a show about the lives of porn stars–because in his accent, the two words sound alike.

    Bernie Sanders of course speaks in a very non-rhotic way, though I think there’s a New England influence on his accent even though he’s originally from Brooklyn. Even old New Yorkers don’t usually say “clee-uh” (at least not that I’ve noticed).

    A while back I listened to a 1987 interview with Trump by Larry King, and he had more non-rhotic pronunciations than he does now: for instance, he said “apawtments.”

    Out of curiosity, I went to Youtube and listened to portions of an interview with Mencken. His voice and accent were strange; it reminded me a little of Jimmy Stewart, and didn’t really sound like what I think of as Baltimore (which is where I grew up and I usually can detect it–for instance I guessed correctly that Dwight Schultz on The A-Team is from there even though his character is supposed to be from Texas), though obviously the accent could have changed quite a bit over the past century. In any case, his accent was rhotic.

  95. MarkedMan says:

    @DrDaveT: I loved the Woody Guthrie song, especially since we now know that Guthrie lived in one of Trump senior’s slums for a bit, and wrote a song calling out Trump by name for being the POS he was. “Old Man Trump

    2
  96. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: Was it the Mid-Atlantic Accent?

    1
  97. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Was it the Mid-Atlantic Accent?

    Very similar, although (hilariously) Mencken wasn’t consistent. In particular, the pronunciation of “Baltimore” that he grew up with (/BAHLamurr/) stands out as not quite fitting with the rest.

  98. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Very similar, although (hilariously) Mencken wasn’t consistent. In particular, the pronunciation of “Baltimore” that he grew up with (/BAHLamurr/) stands out as not quite fitting with the rest.

    While I’m from the mid-west, I know someone’s not from Baltimore if they say “Bal ti moor”. 🙂

    It’s the same way that, when watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I knew that Coleson wasn’t really from Manitowoc (“Man twok”), and Daisy wasn’t from Milwaukee (“Mwau kee”).

    And… it was blatantly obvious that a college classmate was from Hawaii, not Wisconsin when she got excited about being able to pronounce a city name: Kaukauna (“k’ kaw nah”). She pronounced it “kah kah ooh nah”. 😀

    And I learned a new word today: Rhotic. Thanks! 🙂

    1
  99. Michael Cain says:

    @Kylopod: I spent the part of my life from when I started talking to when I finished my undergraduate time in the small area in the southwest Midwest that was (at least at that time) considered free of any regional accent. It was a disturbingly long time before I realized that the regional accents on TV or in the movies reflected the way actual people spoke. On the positive side, since I’ve always been a pseudo-academic, I grew up speaking with the “accent” that US higher education strives for.

  100. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    From last night: Thanks for the recommendations on news.

    WaPo and NYT are paywalled, so I can’t see them.
    I used to have NPR on my RSS feed, but it kept linking to audio, and I prefer to read.

    The Atlantic actually has full stories on their RSS! That’s great.

    I’ll check out the Talking Points Memo to see what it’s like.

    Thanks again.

    1
  101. Kylopod says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    While I’m from the mid-west, I know someone’s not from Baltimore if they say “Bal ti moor”.

    I’m from Baltimore and I say “Bal tuh more.” A lot Baltimoreans say “Baldimer,” but that’s not something you’ll typically read about in most popular descriptions of the accent.

  102. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Cain:

    American Standard is the accent from Des Moines, IA 🙂

  103. Mikey says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    WaPo and NYT are paywalled, so I can’t see them.

    WaPo is so inexpensive though. I get full digital access to the WaPo, plus a paper on the weekends (I’m local to DC), for $12 a month. It’s definitely well worth that. I think it’s even less for solely digital access.

  104. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Despite all their insistences they had a plan, they never showed it to anyone.

    Just like that Fantastic! Incredible! Best ever! GOP health care plan that was always just two short weeks away.

    2
  105. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I know lots of people who do that, but I pass on both warm and a scoop of sharp cheddar. (But as I said in the other post, my tastes tend to be outre. 😀 )

  106. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: If it can hide under the details for replacing Obamacare, it’s really, reeeeaallllly small.

    2
  107. DrDaveT says:

    @Kylopod:

    A lot Baltimoreans say “Baldimer,” but that’s not something you’ll typically read about in most popular descriptions of the accent.

    At least in 1980, the book that Johns Hopkins handed out at freshman orientation was titled Bawlamer. I can distinctly recall Amtrak conductors (who had no doubt been yelled at repeatedly) hyperpronouncing the name of the station, sort of:
    “Now arriving in BAWL-tee-more! BAWL-tee-more Merlin!”

  108. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: “*Despite all their insistences they had a plan, they never showed it to anyone.”

    That’s how you know there’s no plan. It’s the same “yeah, I have a girlfriend, and she’s really hot, too; you never see her because she goes to a high school across town” line they were peddling years ago. Not only didn’t they ever get used to losing the election for homeroom representative, they also never got beyond the other lame a$$ crap they tried to sell as teenagers.

    3
  109. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @inhumans99: No need to apologize. Those who want to, can read. Those who TLDR? can skip it. It’s all good.

    1
  110. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: The thing that’s most interesting to me about it is that it often relies on adding a schwa to the end of the word (as in the examples I found in Wikipedia, near is [nɪə] and poor is [pʊə]). It strikes me as ironic because a schwa sound is what you get from an unaccented vowel normally, but adding it makes an accent/emphasis (to distinguish from accent as in French accent).

  111. Kylopod says:

    At 9:21 today (which may have passed for some of you depending on where you live), it will be the 21st second of the 21st minute of the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century.

    2
  112. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT: One thing I noticed in the 2007 remake of Hairspray compared with the original was the absence of B-more accents. John Travolta does the “Ahm arnin in here!” line but otherwise doesn’t bother; Divine in the original was actually from Baltimore and that was her natural accent.

    1
  113. Michael Cain says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yep. An oval with the long axis running from somewhere east of Des Moines to somewhere west of Lincoln, NE. I learned to talk in Ames, went to kindergarten in Des Moines, grade school and junior high in Storm Lake, high school in Papillion, and undergraduate time in Lincoln. All of them in that American Standard oval.

  114. Gustopher says:

    @DrDaveT: “This Land Is Your Land” is folk music, it’s meant to be adapted. Skip the Private Property verse if you want to avoid cries of “Socialism!”, rearrange the relief office verse to be about stimulus checks and lines waiting for the vaccine, but don’t make it boring.

    Give it a beat. Make it awesome.

  115. Grewgills says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    And… it was blatantly obvious that a college classmate was from Hawaii, not Wisconsin when she got excited about being able to pronounce a city name: Kaukauna (“k’ kaw nah”). She pronounced it “kah kah ooh nah”.

    The Hawai’ian pronunciation of the first two syllables would be somewhere between “kah” and “kow”. The A and U would both be pronounced, though the U would have a soft pronunciation.