Long Overdue 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. de stijl says:

    I had not realized how clenched I was until yesterday. How anxious. Thank you Pennsylvania.

    Good riddance. I relaxed for the first time since Tuesday morning. Weight lifted.

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  2. de stijl says:

    I grew up in an inconstant household. Untreated bi-polar cycling in the primary “caregiver”.

    The last 4 years of Trump were triggering.

    I hate chaos. I crave normalcy.

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  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    All seems lighter and more pleasant this morning.

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  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Speaking Friday with a Trump supporting friend, who recognized that Trump was going down, he admitted that there will be much less manufactured drama coming out of Washington and that this was a good thing.

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  5. de stijl says:

    I really like Joyner’s new pic / avatar.

    Dude looks bad-ass.

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  6. charon says:

    It just occurred to me that, of the various Dems running this year, Biden was the most un-Trumpy.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    How Georgia, built on legacy of a civil rights titan, finally tilted blue

    If any one person can be credited with delivering the blow against Trump it is Stacey Abrams, the former candidate for state governor who took her revenge on the Republican establishment for, as many in Georgia see it, stealing that election. In response, she mobilised a cadre of voters to make sure it couldn’t happen again, and that has paid off for Biden.

    Abrams would have become the first black female governor in the US had she been elected two years ago. She lost by just 55,000 votes and has never conceded that race, saying an “erosion of our democracy” deprived supporters of their right to vote.

    Her opponent, Brian Kemp, used his position as Georgia’s secretary of state to remove more than 300,000 people from the voters roll, many on the grounds that they had not voted in three years in the kind of voter suppression that has become a hallmark of some Republican-run states. Kemp also refused to recuse himself from overseeing the election he was running in.

    “More than 200 years into Georgia’s democratic experiment, the state failed its voters,” Abrams said after the election. “Eight years of systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment and incompetence had its desired effect on the electoral process in Georgia.”
    ……………………………………
    Supporters credit Abrams with generating hundreds of thousands of new voter registrations, particularly among minorities and those who rarely went to the polls – plenty more than the few thousand Biden now leads by in Georgia.

    One of Abrams’ groups, Fair Fight Action, sued in a federal court to stop Republicans purging voters, winning the reinstatement of 22,000 people to the rolls.

    “I, for one, feel she would be our governor if it were not for the rampant voter suppression tactics,” Nikema Williams, the state’s Democratic party chair, told the New York Times. “The work that she did in organising people on the ground, in coalition with other progressive organisations, was critical to building the infrastructure in this state.”

    On Tuesday, that organising helped elect Williams to the Congressional seat previously held by Lewis. It also paid off for Biden.

    Stacey Abrams
    @staceyabrams

    So many deserve credit for 10yrs to new Georgia: @gwlauren @fairfightaction @nseufot @NewGAProject @AAAJ_Atlanta @GALEOorg @BlackVotersMtr Helen Butler @GeorgiaDemocrat @RebeccaDeHart DuBose Porter @DPGChair. Always John Lewis. Charge any omissions to my head. My heart is full.

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  8. de stijl says:

    @charon:

    There were I believe 20 running at one point.

    Biden was not my guy this time. (I have the luxury of the first input based on geography.)

    I was torn between Warren and some of the others. I agonized.

    In retrospect, I was foolish.

    Joe (my 4th choice then) was the right sort of person and persona to take on Trump.

    Not with belligerence or aggressiveness, but with decency and normalcy. And a kick-ass VP.

    I still want Warren as Treasury Sec and Buttigieg at HHS. Klobuchar is such a menschette – find a role.

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  9. charon says:

    There was some discussion yesterday of vote margins.

    538:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-pretty-convincing-win-for-biden-and-a-mediocre-performance-for-down-ballot-democrats/

    Extrapolating out from current vote totals, I project Biden winning the popular vote by 4.3 percentage points and getting 81.8 million votes to President Trump’s 74.9 million, with a turnout of around 160 million. This is significant because no candidate has ever received 70 million votes in an election — former President Barack Obama came the closest in 2008, with 69.5 million votes — let alone 80 million. That may also be a slightly conservative projection, given the blue shift we’ve seen so far and the fact that late-counted votes such as provisional ballots often lean Democratic. I’d probably bet on Biden’s popular vote margin winding up at closer to 5 points than to 4, and 6 points isn’t entirely out of the question either.

    The margin is also a bit more impressive in the context of our highly polarized political era, which has tended to produce close elections. If I’m right about the popular vote margin, Biden’s win would come via the second-largest popular vote margin since 2000, exceeding Obama’s 3.9-point margin against Mitt Romney in 2012 but lagging behind Obama’s 7.3-point win over John McCain in 2008.

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  10. JohnSF says:

    Well this puts the comedy cherry on the incompetence cake.

    Rudy Giuliani holds a presser on behalf of the Trump Campaign in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a suburban business situated between a crematorium and an adult book store

    Apparently they meant to book the Four Seasons Hotel but screwed up.
    ROFLMAO.

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  11. Kathy says:

    His serene Royal Lowness, King Manuel Andres the Last, has proclaimed he will congratulate the winner of the US election, as soon as all the legal issues are settled and a winner is known.

    What is it about this current crop of would-be authoritarians that requires ass-kissing a bigger autocrat?

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  12. a country lawyer says:

    Trump will shortly abandon the White House for his Florida retreat to sulk for the next seventy two days. He may not even show up on January 20th. He’s never actually governed. It was Mitch McConnell in Senate and a few presidential aides who actually made the the decisions which steered the ship of state on its hard right course. Trump just tweeted, played golf and telephoned Fox News. His aides are already jumping ship and McConnell will be spending his time between now and January 20th trying to preserve the Republican majority with the Georgia run off. McConnell no longer has any use for Trump so he’ll simply ignore him .Twitter is restricting his tweets. Trump will spend the last days of his presidency holed up in Florida ignored by the power brokers who used him and raging at anyone unfortunate enough to have to be around him.

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  13. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Were it me I would have just gone with it. Done it. Set up the podium. Secret Service guys fanned – those you can identify that is.

    The G man did not do that presser there – you can poke fun, but it did not happen. It was an address screw up. This is funny shit that logistics folks fucked up. Somebody screwed up the address in an amusing way.

    Landscapers, crematorians, and adult bookstore workers are entitled to competent political representation.

    Cancelling the Four Seasons scheduling debacle was a missed opportunity to not look like a whiny and pouty cry baby loser.

    I woulda just gone for it just to eff with people. Why not? Trump already lost. Embrace the madness. Show up. It would’ve been a funny footnote for historians.

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  14. CSK says:

    @a country lawyer:
    How long before Melania serves him with divorce papers?

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  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    January, 21

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  16. charon says:

    @CSK:

    What would be her motivation? She must know he has a short life expectancy, probably with senile dementia and obvious incompetence to manage his affairs.

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  17. charon says:

    @charon:

    Whatever is in the prenup must be relevant also, she may be best to stay.

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  18. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    Depends on how much publishers will offer.

    Were it me I would hang on through the messy and chaos filled transition because Trump is gonna be rage daddy volatile and that inside information will sell a lot of books.

    Jan 22 is my bet. Maximizes exposure.

    Take that back. Better yet, 1/21 – that would be the boss move. Kick him when he’s most down. I am a genius at PR! Eviction day would be so fucking boss move.

    Have some mercenary lawyers contest the NDA on eviction day and announce a book deal.

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  19. charon says:
  20. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog: @charon: @charon: @de stijl:

    It’s hard to say, isn’t it? She may be best served by temporarily preserving the appearance of a marriage, i.e., divorced in all ways but legally. She could return to Trump Tower with Barron and her parents and Donny could hole up in Mar-a-Lago.

    I’d think that Melania holds all the cards at this point; I can see Trump pleading with her not to dump him, and agreeing to almost anything to avoid that–not because he loves her, but because her abandonment of him after he’s been kicked out of office would make him an even bigger loser in the eyes of the world. Of course, this would increase her value to the publisher of a tell-all.

    And…she could resume her affair with that security person (or whatever he was) in Trump Tower that’s supposed to have gone on for years.

    She never wanted to be First Lady, anyway. For her, this is a win-win.

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  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @charon:

    There is a credible suggestion that she used the period between Trump’s election and her eventual decampment to Washington in part to renegotiate the terms of that prenup.

    I hope it’s accurate. She’d have been a fool not to grab that opportunity.

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  22. sam says:

    ‘It’s going to be very, very scary’: Before Biden takes office, a precarious 10 weeks for escalating Covid-19 crisis

    I think the situation described in the link will redound to the extreme discredit of the Republican senators trying to hold onto their seats in Georgia come January.

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  23. Kylopod says:

    @JohnSF: At the presser Rudy said, “Networks don’t get to decide elections. Courts do.”

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  24. Kingdaddy says:
  25. wr says:

    @Kylopod: FYI I’m being offered the opportunity to edit or request deletion of Kylopod’s post. I’m certainly not taking advantage of it — but don’t tempt me like this when JKB starts ranting again!

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  26. Jax says:

    @wr: It shows up a lot with this new plug-in James is trying out, so far it hasn’t let me actually edit anyone else’s post. Pretty happy to be able to edit my own, though!

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  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    @charon:

    LoL

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  28. Sleeping Dog says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    She strikes me a pretty cold blooded and let’s face it, she didn’t marry him for his charm and good looks.

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  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @sam:

    Undoubtedly, Neither Trump nor his minions will do anything but sulk for the next couple of months, which may free the bureaucracy to do its job w/o interference.

    Word is that Biden is going to announce his Covid team tomorrow and while he has no power yet, he does have moral suasion and given how horrible parts of the country are, they may listen.

    Friday’s Times article on Sturgis is an example of how attitudes are changing now that Trump-land is ground zero for illness and death.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/06/us/sturgis-coronavirus-cases.html

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  30. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    She’s a golddigger. That’s why she never raised any objection to Trump’s fling with Stormy Daniels nor his affair with Karen McDougal, both of which took place after she married him. I’m sure those weren’t his only, ah, indiscretions.

    Melania admitted as much when she was asked if she’d have married Trump if he hadn’t been rich. She replied with a question of her own: “Would he have married me if I hadn’t been beautiful?” It was a transaction, not a relationship. He got the arm candy–he said he wanted to marry a woman who, when they walked into a restaurant together, would cause all the men present to die of envy–and she got the bucks.

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  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @a country lawyer: Trump will spend the last days of his presidency holed up in Florida ignored by the power brokers who used him and raging at anyone unfortunate enough to have to be around him.

    That’ll be the staff as I see a rather precipitous decline coming in the Marred a Lago membership.

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  32. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog: From Dave Barry’s Money Secrets (2006):

    “Why is money valuable? Why are people willing to work so hard for it, lie for it, cheat for it, go to prison for it, fight for it, kill for it, give up their children for it…even marry Donald Trump for it?”

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  33. de stijl says:

    I do feel for Barron.

    Lil dude did not ask for any of this.

    Hope he has a good life.

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  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I’ll wait to see how far this acorn falls from the tree before I do any hoping.

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  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:
    @Kylopod:

    Absolutely. Years ago the NYTimes Mag Fashion issue, had a photo spread of lovely 20 something models paired with old, sort of ugly guys, who obviously from the suits they were wearing an and the big sparkling watches, were meant to be perceived as (very) ‘wealthy.’ The title of the article, The Indispensable Accessory.

    Yeah, Melania fits.

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  36. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    It’s interesting that she couldn’t do better than Trump. The world is full of rich men seeking a second, third, or forth trophy wife.

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  37. CSK says:

    Sleeping Dog and Jen:
    Did you feel the quake this morning? I didn’t.

    P.S. I’m talking about an actual earthquake, not a metaphorical one.

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  38. grumpy realist says:

    @Sleeping Dog: There was a wonderful interpretation in John Fowles’s book “Wormholes” about the equivalent arm candy which was paired with wrinkly old directors at Cannes. He analysed the habit as a “nymphlet talisman against death”. It’s a way of pretending to yourself that you’re not getting older and that at some point will die: “See? I have a young and beautiful woman on my arm! I’ll always be like this! I’ll live forever!”

    I think we females aren’t quite so prone to this because a) not having similar amounts of money/power to exchange for similar boy-toy access, and b) it’s AMAZING how one’s mental state changes after menopause.

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  39. Mister Bluster says:

    Mr. and Mrs. Saint Louis wish y’all a Merry Christmas

    McCloskeys sue UPI, photographer over iconic image confronting protesters
    Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the gun-toting couple who gained recognition after confronting protesters passing by their home in the Central West End, have sued a United Press International photographer and the wire service, alleging a photo that has risen to international prominence was taken on their property.
    The lawsuit follows UPI’s consideration of its own copyright actions against the couple. The news service said recently it was considering whether to send a “cease and desist” order to the couple because of their use of the UPI photo as part of a personal greeting card.

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  40. Mikey says:

    Today my Facebook feed is full of my conservative friends’ Parler handles. Apparently there’s some big online “event” this Friday where all the right-wingers flee to Parler because Facebook is too liberal and “censoring” them.

    I want to point and laugh, but really, this isn’t great. If you thought Facebook was an echo-chamber of wingnut hatred, Parler is that to the tenth power. The last thing we need is something worse for rational thought than Facebook.

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  41. Mikey says:

    Alex Trebek has died. Sad, sad news.

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  42. CSK says:

    Well, http://www.dailymail.co.uk is reporting that Melania is “counting the minutes” till she can divorce Trump, so it must be true that she’s going to dump him. 😀

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  43. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:
    I’ve heard that rich older women who acquire gigolos are looking for someone to pay attention to them, not for sex.

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  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: Well, that and the fact that us men grow “distinguished” while you ladies grow old.

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  45. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Barron’s future is his to make. I do not go with this blood debt at all. Dude is pure and blameless.

    Junior and Ivanka and Eric are adults and made a choice. Explicitly so and acted upon it. Screw em. Hound them forever.

    If he decides to be a saint or to be a shitty person when he hits 18 that is his choice. Barron is yet to be.

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  46. de stijl says:

    @Mikey:

    That is a bummer. He seemed like a solid decent guy.

    I will hoist a “Potent Potable” in his honor tonight.

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  47. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: When I was promoted to “Distinguished Member of Technical Staff” many years ago, and let my family know at dinner, my daughter asked what distinguished meant and my son told her, “It means he looks pretty good for an old guy.”

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  48. de stijl says:

    @Mikey:

    You can choose to disengage. Or to limit your exposure to just family and close friends.

    I dropped or abandoned all social media accounts and it was good move for me. I do not need friend of friend bullshit in my life.

    Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Or at least ignorance of random bullshit that does not affect you meaningfully.

    Group chats are invariably horrible.

    Just Don’t is my motto.

    If the icon is not there you never click on it.

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  49. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    I can never remember which tabloid is which so I ignore em all. British press is bizarre.

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  50. Teve says:

    Her opponent, Brian Kemp, used his position as Georgia’s secretary of state to remove more than 300,000 people from the voters roll, many on the grounds that they had not voted in three years in the kind of voter suppression that has become a hallmark of some Republican-run states.

    “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.“

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  51. de stijl says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Tell me if I am probing to hard.

    I am very curious as to what “Distinguished Member…” means.

    I used to work in banking and those folks handed out AVP and VP titles like candy on Halloween. Even EVPs were common as dirt. I was VP and I am a moron.

    Are you a big shot?

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  52. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:
    @grumpy realist:

    Better than Donald :). Do you remember at the beginning of his term that she sued a writer and a magazine that did an article claiming that she once worked as an escort and there was an out of court settlement for a relatively small amount of money? After the settlement I came across a couple of articles where a writer sought comment from several, shall we say, professional women. As I remember the consensus went something like this, she was known as a party girl and had been arm candy prior to Donald and whatever arrangement she had with those men and DJT, was between them. In that rarefied social structure, all know who has been dancing with who and no guy will marry a woman who has had too many dance partners.

    “nymphlet talisman against death”

    I love it and it makes sense.

    20 or so years ago, I found myself in the middle of a conversation between 3-4 mid-20’s woman complaining about their relationships with older men. Far too much to go into here, but very interesting.

    @CSK

    No didn’t feel a thing.

    @CSK:

    The Daily Mail is about as reliable as the Inquirer.

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  53. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I am now well into my “rugged” years. “Rugged” is code for …

    Women are given less descriptors as they age compared to men.

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  54. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: I suspect my Facebook friends will go back to showing pictures of hand-made quilts, baked goods, and the results of DIY projects “fixing up” the house. Oh, and pix of dogs. Lotsa and lotsa dogs….

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  55. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Dog pics are the best! Sleepy dog pics. Happy dog pics. Bring it. My friend has the cutest photogenic Corgi.

    How dogs and humans became bffs in 12,000 years is really fascinating. That is a fraction of a blink of the eye in the deep time scale of vertebrates.

    We are co-evolving now.

    Kitties too.

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  56. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    NOVA did a two part series on dogs and how they became to be in 2019. Also, a one parter on cats.

    Free VOD on YouTube. Dog Tales and Cat Tales.

    Highly recommend both.

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  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: Well as long as normalcy consists of 4 years of government doing dysfunctional family cosplay, you’re in luck…

    …I guess…

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  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: he looks angry/stressed and his shoulders are hunched up like he has asthma or COPD from holding the phone at face level to take a selfie.

    Different people see different things I guess.

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: When I was about your age (little younger), I used to say that my real life was busy to the point of not having the time for a virtual one. The truth was probably more a combination of what I’d said and never having been a guy interested much in networking. Narcissistic antisocial tendencies have their role in life, too.

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  60. dazedandconfused says:

    Re the discussion about Melonia.

    Her White House Christmas decor:
    https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/uLrSGYzQefuSzxyw8ez7uqG40Uk=/0x0:1581×747/920×613/filters:focal(449×128:701×380):format(webp)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/62410244/wh.0.jpg

    Predicting her thoughts seems unwise. That family should be named “Addams”.

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  61. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    Link doesn’t work for me.

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  62. Teve says:

    @daveweigel

    I’ve traveled a lot this year and seen a whole bunch of “TRUMP 2020: FUCK YOUR FEELINGS” and “TRUMP 2020: NO MORE BULLSHIT” flags. The gloatiest liberal takes pale before the meanness and mockery that got piled on libs since 2016.

    My favorite 2016 stickers said TRUMP THAT BITCH. But now it’s very important for us to be sensitive about their feelings.

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  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Barron’s future is his to make. I do not go with this blood debt at all. Dude is pure and blameless.

    All I can say is you never had to deal with some of the dickless motherfuckers who thought they were the epitome of human evolution just by being born, because I swear to god, I have yet to meet a born and bred rich mf’er who was worth a fuck. I know they exist because I have read of them, but if you really and truly expect the spawn of “I don’t care. Do you?” Melania and donald “cage them all” trump to be an actual human being….

    I hope he is a human being as well, but I don’t expect much else. You have to admit that is a pretty low bar.

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  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: I have a story about my old man I will relate tomorrow. Assuming I remember. If I don’t, give me a goose.

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  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Heh, my wife still thinks I have those Marlboro Man looks. Just as long as you can ignore my swelling belly.

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  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: But now it’s very important for us to be sensitive about their feelings.

    Because DEMs and only DEMs are supposed to make everything OK.

    ReplyReply
  67. Mister Bluster says:

    Arkansas police chief resigns after calling for violence against Democrats
    “Death to all Marxist Democrats,” Holland posted on Parler, a new social media site popular with conservatives and used as an alternative to Twitter. “Take no prisoners leave no survivors!!”
    One image he shared depicted a group of Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, wearing prison jumpsuits. Under the image he wrote: “I pray all those in that picture hang on the gallows and are drawn and quartered!!!! Anything less is not acceptable.”

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  68. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:
    Turns out one can not link to photos in VOX. Learn something new every day!
    Here’s a link to the article.

    https://www.vox.com/2018/11/27/18113451/melania-trump-white-house-christmas-decorations-meme-2018

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  69. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    Were it me I would have just gone with it. Done it. Set up the podium.

    Sometimes I have trouble getting the gist of your riffing. Do you not know? The absolutely went with it.

    And if you somehow haven’t seen the result, it’s so worthwhile.

    From Trump tweeting the presser at the four season in Philly, to then tweeting the presser at the four seasons total landscaping in philly, to it actually happening.

    It is so amazing. And stupid. And Giuliani learns during it that the networks are calling the election. And the guy running the adult bookstore next door live blogging it on Facebook. I am still laughing.

    “It saddens us that we have received such harsh judgement. Our team at Four Seasons would have proudly hosted any presidential candidate’s campaign at our business,” stated the landscapers

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  70. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    I realized too late. Thought it was a botched scheduling they’d baled on.

    I would rescind that comment if I could. Research before committing is what I strive to do. I failed to do it then.

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