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Brace for impact by @BloggersRUs

Brace for impact

by Tom Sullivan

Progressive groups across the country are prepared to mount "rapid response" protests should the president oust Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Not one year into this presidency, we are all losing a little sleep over how it will end. As the administration's enablers and propagandists direct fire at Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI, at Eclectablog LOLGOP wonders whether Wall Street – the country's Owner class – might not have the final say on how it ends. It won't be "tidy," he suggests, quoting CNBC contributor Josh Brown:

The only defense the President has is the fact that he is the President. And his pardon power – which is literally the last thing he will give up. There will be no impeachment process in Congress because the GOP already handed this guy the ability to do whatever he wants in exchange for tax cuts and the rollback of all social progress that occurred under his predecessor. Liberals dreaming of some other outcome where Republican pols come to their senses will be sorely disappointed. Republicans don’t win elections by tacking toward the center and becoming Rupert Murdoch targets, so why would they?
In its effort to undermine the Russia investigation and Mueller's team, the right wing is pulling out all the stops on the Mighty Wurlitzer:

Should the sitting president oust Mueller, LOLGOP writes, "Americans will either rise up and win some check on Trump’s power or the right will crush the uprising and send America stumbling into authoritarianism." Unless the markets sag and Wall Street demands stability, he adds. But don't count on it:

My nightmare is the markets jolt at first but quickly shake their worries off in favor of the next massive tribute to the Kochs that Paul Ryan has been dreaming of since college. The enabling of Trump that has made all of this possible would continue as Trump and his followers decide how far they will go to crack down on dissent. At that point, it will be up to the people to decide what they can risk for justice.
Brown reminds his readers that MoveOn, Indivisible and other groups are readying their members for direct action should Trump fire Mueller:
Our response in the minutes and hours following a power grab will dictate what happens next, and whether Congress—the only body with the constitutional power and obligation to rein Trump in from his rampage—will do anything to stand up to him.

That's why we're preparing to hold emergency "Nobody is Above the Law" rallies around the country in the event they are needed. Rallies will begin hours after news breaks of a Mueller firing:

  • If Mueller is fired BEFORE 2 P.M. local time —> events will begin @ 5 P.M. local time
  • If Mueller is fired AFTER 2 P.M. local time —> events will begin @ noon local time the following day
This is the general plan—please confirm details on your event page, as individual hosts may tailor their events to their local plan.
Odds are the new "Saturday Night Massacre" will come at a day and time most inconvenient for mounting protests. I suggest keeping a pot and a wooden spoon in the car.

* * * * * * * *

Request a copy of For The Win, my county-level election mechanics primer, at tom.bluecentury at gmail.


Top 12 Web-Based Color Tools for Web Designers

Picking the perfect color scheme shouldn’t be a miserable task. All you need are the right tools for the job and an eye for design.

I can’t help develop your eye for picking colors, but I can share a bunch of handy color tools that’ll likely improve your eye as you use them.

These tools are all 100% free, so they’re easy to bookmark and reuse time & time again. They can also work for web, mobile, print, or any other medium that needs incredible colors.

1. ColorHexa

colorhexa webapp

Recently I was browsing the web and stumbled onto ColorHexa. It’s by far one of the coolest color tools I’ve ever seen.

This isn’t technically a color generator or a scheme design tool. Instead, it’s an information library on all colors with suggested gradient ideas, related shades, and dozens of color codes(ex: hex, RGB, CMYK, CIE-LAB, HSL and more).

You’ll never find a more complete list of information on color. This is super useful for all designers, including web designers, and it’s a great place to start researching colors for your projects.

2. Colors.css


If you do some research into color psychology you’ll learn how different colors stack together & what sort of mood they give. This plays into contrast for certain types of colors and how they work together.

Every browser comes with default colors that are often too harsh. Colors.css fixes that.

It’s a free CSS library that restyles the default color palette. This means you can use color names like “blue” and “red” with totally different values.

They even have an entire accessibility page full of ideas for matching color schemes that’ll improve readability on your site.

3. ColorPick Eyedropper Extension

colorpick chrome addon

How often do you find a site with a beautiful color scheme? I find amazing sites all the time and it’s difficult to export those colors from the stylesheet.

You can use Chrome DevTools but this requires digging around in the code to pick out the hex colors. Instead you can use the ColorPick Eyedropper extension made exclusively for Google Chrome.

You just click the toggle window in the extensions panel, then hover any color you want to study. This gives you the full hex code along with a “copy” link to copy the exact color to your clipboard.

Pretty cool right? And it’s a free plugin, so there’s nothing to lose by trying it out.

4. Coolors

coolors webapp

The Coolors site is a large color scheme generator. You can find dozens of generators on the web, but this one’s a little different since it supports Adobe programs with its own add-on.

You can also get this as a Chrome extension or even as a custom iOS app for your phone.

Really the true value is in the browser webapp that auto-generates color schemes on the fly. You can then mix & match colors, change settings, adjust for color blindness, and randomize your own schemes based on certain criteria.

It’s a great application, but it comes with a small learning curve. Shouldn’t take you more than 15-20 minutes to figure out how it all works.

5. Ambiance

ambiance color webapp

Ambiance is another color scheme site but it works a little differently. This one pulls color palettes from ColourLovers and displays them in an easy-to-consume style.

This means you’ll need to check the original link on Color Lovers to find more data about any particular scheme.

I still think Ambiance is a handy site to bookmark only because of its usability. This app is way more straightforward to use than Colour Lovers so it’s easier to pair colors together and get them working.

6. Material UI Colors

material ui colors

With a quick Google search you’ll find a bunch of sweet material design tools on the web. They seem never-ending and many of them rely on the color styles typically found in Android apps.

With the Material UI Colors webapp you can find perfect color schemes that match with Google’s material guidelines.

Easily change the tint of all colors with the slider in the top-left corner of the screen. Or randomize your selections to match an existing site’s color choices.

You can also switch between hex and RGB depending on whatever format you want. A great app for material design lovers.

7. Color Supply

color supply webapp

The Color Supply website is pretty unique but also very strange. It gives you a bunch of interesting color tools for matching color schemes, picking the foregrounds & backgrounds, plus different ways to compare how those colors would look on a page.

But this doesn’t have any guide or specific purpose. It acts like a color scheme generator that you have to just kind of learn as you go.

It will output different colors with hex codes near the bottom of the page to copy. Plus it’ll show you how those colors work in a gradient, in icons, and with text. Nice tool but it comes with an awkward learning curve.

8. Color Safe

color safe wcag app

The WCAG works hard towards a more accessible web. Color is one of the easiest ways to build your accessibility without losing time testing.

Color Safe is a free webapp that can test your color choices. You pick from a small set of fonts & sizes, then pick whatever colors you want for your foreground & background.

From there you’ll get an accessibility rating along with suggestions on how to improve your color choices(if needed).

Really great tool for anyone concerned about accessibility on the web.

9. Color Hunt

color hunt webapp

For a user-curated gallery of color schemes take a look at Color Hunt.

This free project was launched a couple of years back and continues to be a source of design inspiration. People submit their own color schemes into the site, then others vote on those color schemes.

You can sort by newest or by most popular and even vote on your favorites. Pretty cool right?

It’s an extremely simple web app so don’t expect too many features. It’s just a neat way to visually browse through many different color patterns at once.

10. Open Color

open colors webapp

Looking for something a little more web-friendly? Then check out the Open Color library.

This is a massive open source collection of color choices built around accessibility and browser support. Each color has been optimized for easy matching regardless of your layout’s design.

Check out the GitHub repo for more info and to download a copy of the styles.

11. HTML Color Codes

html color codes generator

HTML Color Codes is another info-focused color webapp.

This lets you pull all forms of HTML/CSS code for your color choices right from the app. You can search for any color you want, or go by their recommendations. Plus this even has a tool for generating color palettes that you can download as Adobe Swatch files.

Don’t let the name fool you: this app is for more than just HTML color.

It’s a brilliant tool for digital designers of all types who want easy access to color codes and reusable palettes.

12. Adobe Color CC

adobe color cc webapp

I can’t pass over the incredible Adobe Color CC webapp.

This free tool used to be called Adobe Kuler but it’s gone through a few iterations over the years. It’s still a free color picker but the interface has changed to make it easier for designers to build & save color schemes.

If you’re an Adobe user this tool is worth bookmarking. It supports up to 5 different colors in one scheme, and you can even upload images to pull dynamic color schemes automatically.


Who’s Happy About The Tax Bill ? @spockosbrain

Who's Happy About The Tax Bill?

by Spocko

I'm depressed. Watching a video of a conservative focus group making excuses why they are voting for Roy Moore pushed me, an emotionless Vulcan, to the edge. I needed help something to cheer me up.

So I went looking for videos of people who were happy about the future. Somebody must be, right?

So I went looking for videos of the the people who wrote the Republican bill that restructures taxes.  Surely those people are happy.

I figured I would find videos of lobbyists talking about how happy they are with the part of the bill they wrote and got inserted into the bill.

But which ones? I had over 6,200 to chose from.

"In all, 6,243 lobbyists have been listed on lobbying disclosure forms as working on issues involving the word 'tax' through the first three quarters of 2017, according to Public Citizen's analysis of a massive data download provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (
Vox says the big four corporate lobbyists were, Comcast, Microsoft, Altria Group (formerly Philip Morris), and NextEra Energy. Maybe NBC has video of Comcast lobbyists popping champagne and explaining how the tax bill is good news for the network. But I couldn't find any.

Maybe someone identified the lobbyist who hand wrote the page that Elizabeth Warren talked about in this video.

I couldn't find even find the name of the person let alone a video of them. My Google fu had failed me.

Maybe it would help me to find out who these people are, why they are doing what they are doing and what they believe. Out of those thousands of lobbyist I'll bet there are a bunch that are working for the people. Environmental lobbyists. Lobbyists working to make sure the tax code doesn't hurt widows and orphans.

The Vox story points out NextEra Energy doesn't want to lose solar energy credits. That seems like a good thing to fight for. If I looked hard I could probably find a story about lobbyists who helps the people other than the super rich.  What if we found out that 20% percent of them are lobbying for good causes?

What if I found out that the good lobbyists messed up the bill on purpose, causing it to be delayed, so the truth of the bill comes out scuttling it. Wouldn't that be great?

But I couldn't find that. So instead here is a video of happy women singing. Merry Christmas!


Where did Roy Moore learn to speak Russian?

Where did Roy Moore learn to speak Russian?

by digby

Watch this all the way through to the end. It's short.

There's nothing wrong with fluently speaking a foreign language of course. Maybe he's one of those people who just picks them up easily. But it seems unlikely, don't you think? The only time he spent overseas was in Vietnam and a year in Australia.

It's just ... surprising.


Was the terrorism fever breaking?

Was the terrorism fever breaking?

by digby

Fareed Zakaria mentioned the following report from a few months back on his show today:

Terrorist attacks and deaths were on the decline worldwide for the second year in a row in 2016, according to a report issued by the U.S. State Department on Wednesday.

However, ISIS was the largest perpetrator of attacks in the world last year, the report added.

The Country Reports on Terrorism is a congressionally mandated analysis released annually by the State Department.

The newest report shows that year-over-year terror attacks were down nine 9 percent and deaths caused by terrorist attacks decreased 13 percent.

The cause for the overall decrease stems from fewer attacks being carried out in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen, although an uptick was noted in some countries including Iraq, Somalia and Turkey.

Still, the majority of attacks — 55 percent — took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and the Philippines, and 75 percent of the deaths took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Maybe you already knew this but I didn't. The number of attacks had decreased by similar numbers in the year before.

It may not mean much. After all, terrorism doesn't require big numbers to have its desired effect. Still, you do wonder if maybe this fever is starting to burn itself out a little bit. Or was, until the idiot Trump decided this was the time to move the embassy to Jerusalem:

Within the administration,key voices of support came from Pence, Kushner and Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador at the United Nations.

Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, had supported the move from early in Trump’s candidacy, and Pence, who is to visit Israel this month, told Trump that his base would love the decision, something the president liked to hear.

An important outside voice advising Trump to make the leap was Adelson’s, according to several people familiar with the two men’s conversations. At a White House dinner earlier this year, Adelson made the issue a main topic, one person said. In the months that followed, Adelson periodically asked others close to Trump what was causing the delay and expressed frustration, these people said.

At the same time, other Trump advisers were making their case against the move. Most prominent among them were Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Tillerson, mindful of the death of four Americans in militant attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, “pushed back vocally,” one White House official said. Already at odds with Trump over other aspects of the president’s approach to the Middle East, Tillerson argued that the move could unleash a dangerous chain reaction across the region.

R.C. Hammond, a Tillerson adviser, said Tillerson and Mattis requested time to evaluate U.S. outposts and fortify them if necessary.

Some outside confidants, including billionaire Tom Barrack, urged Trump to hold off, worried that the move would deepen regional tensions caused by Saudi Arabia’s political shake-up and Iran’s growing reach.

“It’s insane. We’re all resistant,” said one Trump confidant who recently spoke to the president about it. “He doesn’t realize what all he could trigger by doing this.”

While Trump appeared to have made up his mind, he continued to solicit input, two White House officials said, even asking random acquaintances about the Middle East in recent months.

Several advisers said he did not seem to have a full understanding of the issue and instead appeared to be focused on “seeming pro-Israel,” in the words of one, and “making a deal,” in the words of another.

F-ing moron strikes again. Fire and fury ...

Yes, they’re still convinced Obama is a Muslim

Yes, they're still convinced Obama is a Muslim
by digby

Party identification determines many beliefs. One that remains a bright line between Republicans and the rest of the country is the one championed by President Trump in the years before he ran for office: Where was President Obama born? Most American adults disbelieve the claim that the former President was born in Kenya, but nearly one in three American adults say that it is definitely or probably true that he was. More Republicans – 51% – believe that to be the case.

Their leader agrees:

In recent months, they say, Mr. Trump has used closed-door conversations to question the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. He has also repeatedly claimed that he lost the popular vote last year because of widespread voter fraud, according to advisers and lawmakers.

One senator who listened as the president revived his doubts about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate chuckled on Tuesday as he recalled the conversation. The president, he said, has had a hard time letting go of his claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States. The senator asked not to be named to discuss private conversations.

This is crazy. 50% of Republicans believe it's either possible or it's true. I don't know how we survive as a nation with that many people being brainwashed. That represents tens of millions, not just a little handful.

David Brooks Got a Song That Ain’t Got No Melody

He's gonna sing it to his friends.
Will it go round in circles?
Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

David Brooks pooped out a long, sad column on Friday entitled "The G.O.P. Is Rotting".  It caught many people's attention -- so much so that many people who are not America's leading Brooksologist had many things to say about it --
-- which I'm sure I will get to in greater depth sooner or later, unless this post veers into the tall grass, as happens every now and then.*

But the long and short of Mr. Brooks' particular genre of New York Times'-underwritten fiction (and as I have pointed out countless times already, it is fiction) is that, like Camleot, once there was a Republican party which, for, one brief shining moment was fucking awesome.
The Republican Party I grew up with admired excellence.
And that unbeknownst to anyone, somewhere along the way something went wrong.
A lot of good, honorable Republicans used to believe there was a safe middle ground. You didn’t have to tie yourself hip to hip with Donald Trump, but you didn’t have to go all the way to the other extreme and commit political suicide like the dissident Jeff Flake, either. You could sort of float along in the middle, and keep your head down until this whole Trump thing passed.

Now it’s clear that middle ground doesn’t exist. That’s because Donald Trump never stops asking...
Something which slipped right by men like Mr. David Brooks, whose only fucking job for the past 20 years has been to be paid exorbitant sums of American money to speak with sweeping, insider authority about what was going on inside the Conservative movement and the Republican party.  Something which men like Mr. David Brooks have confidently asserted for decades was just a figment to the fevered imagination of stupid, deranged, Bush-hating Liberals who, I'm sure, were on stilts the whole time.

This whole being-completely-fucking-wrong-about-everything-having-to-do-with-his-own-party has left Mr. David  Brooks groping for an explanation, which he delivers in a manner best appreciated if you imagine it coming out of his bland moon face in same baby-talk tone as President Merkin Muffley explaining to Soviet Premier Dimitri Kissoff that one of his base commanders has gone "a little funny in the head":

This is the moment when the enforcement of the Beltway Iron Rule of David Brooks --

-- becomes most important, because this is the moment where the time-line of Mr. Brooks' political theology -- that his Republican party was humming along great until, completely without warning, it was suddenly taken over by hobgoblins and madmen -- goes into the ditch.

For example, on Friday, December 8, 2017, Mr. Brooks would like you to believe that the downfall of his party began with the arrival of Sarah Palin and Fox News:
The reason, I guess, is that the rot that has brought us to the brink of Senator Roy Moore began long ago. Starting with Sarah Palin and the spread of Fox News, the G.O.P. traded an ethos of excellence for an ethos of hucksterism.
But immediately there's a problem.

Fox News began its reign of bullshit in 1996.  That is a definite point on a verifiable timeline.

But here is Mr. David Brooks in 1999 telling his readers that his Republican party is being rebuilt into something awesome:
How George W. Bush and John McCain -- without quite realizing it -- are creating a new Republican philosophy
SEP 13, 1999

...together, Bush's Compassionate Conservatism and McCain's New Patriotic Challenge are steps toward a fresh vision for the Republican party. Indeed, if you meld the core messages of the two campaigns, you get a coherent governing philosophy for the post-Clinton age.
Here is Mr. David Brooks in 2000 telling his readers that his Republican party is on the mend!
Pabulum with a Purpose
Beneath the much-mocked superficiality of the Philadelphia convention is a serious effort to transform the GOP
AUG 14, 2000

The GOP is not intolerant...
Here is Mr. David Brooks in 2001 telling his readers that his Republican party is hale and hearty and doing just fine and it's the Libtards like me who are wacky and foolish:
Competent Conservatives, Reactionary Liberals
JAN 15, 2001

...We seem to be entering a period of competent conservatism and reactionary liberalism. George W. Bush has put together a cabinet long on management experience and practical skills. But liberal commentators and activists, their imaginations aflame, seem to be caught in a time warp, back in the days when Norman Lear still had hair. 
Here is Mr. David Brooks in 2002 telling his readers that there is no such thing as Corporate America -- that it's all a dirty, pinko Libtard myth invented to win elections:
Why Republicans Should Be Afraid 
A lot can go wrong for them this fall.
JUL 29, 2002

...the Democrats seem to think that there is this organized entity called Corporate America, made up of senior executives, Republicans, white country clubbers, and people who were cheerleaders and prom kings in high school. If they can get the rest of the country to hate these people as much as they do, then they will win elections. Because they have this category in their heads, Democrats see the corporate scandals as tainting the whole Republican party.

But Americans who have not been suckled on the "Marx-Engels Reader" do not carry these categories around in their heads. They perceive no one organized entity, Corporate America, that ruthlessly exploits another, Ordinary Americans.
At this point along the time-line of Mr. Brooks' political theology we enter the period of the Great Iraqi Clusterfuck during which he unlimbers his most venomous prose to praise George W. Bush and the Republican party unstintingly and flog dirty, Libtard traitors like me unsparingly.

So yadda yadda, yadda...We Won!

Something something...Libtards are dolts and liars who will never admit they were wrong, wrong about Dubya.

And then oopsie! It all falls apart, and Mr. David Brooks (and the rest of the Beltway media) suddenly and aggressively shift away from praising George W. Bush without ceasing...

...and begin a Brand New Era of blaming every problem under the Sun on Both Sides.

Now being a clever reader you see that I have palmed a card.  OK, the "Fox News" part of David Brooks' time-line might be fucked, but what about Sarah Palin?
 Starting with Sarah Palin and the spread of Fox News, the G.O.P. traded an ethos of excellence for an ethos of hucksterism
Huh?  What about that?

Fair point.

Sarah Palin showed up on the American political scene when John McCain named her as his running mate in late September of 2008.

Here is Mr. David Brooks six years later in November of 2014, just seven months before Donald J. Trump rode his Escalator of Doom into history.
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 
You see, for University of Chicago history baccalaureate David Brooks, modern Republican political history cannot be allowed to exist as it does for little nobodies like you and me -- as a series of events and decisions which lead one to the next, to the next, until we arrive at the Administration of President Stupid.  A history in which nature and trajectory of the modern Republican party were so the fundamental and directly observable that the accelerating devolution of the Right from depravity to depravity to where we are now was clearly and easily predictable (and predicted) even by stupid Libtard traitors like me.

Because if history does exist in the way you and I perceive it -- a linear progression through time occasionally spiced up with Giant Screaming Neon Signs that tell us what will probably come next if we continue  down a particular road -- then it would appear that Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times must either be a complete idiot or a pathological liar, neither one of which looks good on the Times' masthead.

But Mr. Brooks is neither a historian nor a journalist:  he is an amateur Conservative political theologian, who plies his trade at the intersection of both folly and fraud.

For him, the past and present are one big bag of unrelated, atemporal baubles to be ransacked in order to craft little political morality fables.  Or, rather, slight variations of exactly the same, extremely profitable self-exonerating political morality fable -- Both Sides Are To Blame And Men Like David Brooks Had Nothing To Do With Any Of It -- over and over again.

With the Rise of Trump, Mr. Brooks makes it very clear that he believed his Republican Party is faced with the unique threat of an unprincipled, unrepentant thug leading a legion of craven elected officials into dark and terrible places (from The New York Times on Friday):
“What shall it profit a man,” Jesus asked, “if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” The current Republican Party seems to not understand that question. Donald Trump seems to have made gaining the world at the cost of his soul his entire life’s motto.

It’s amazing that there haven’t been more Republicans like Mitt Romney who have said: “Enough is enough! I can go no further!”
And in his Intelligence Squared debate performance on same day he wrote this column**, Mr. Brooks also makes it clear that he believes the reason so many Republican voters have thrown in with such craven and reprehensible people is that we Libtards are smug, judgmental assholes (this my rush transcript which begins at around the 15:30 mark, so all typos are my own):
And the fourth thing..biggest thing I found as far as the resolution is that you could tell somebody based on a label.  ...  The claim of this resolution is that Liberals as people are superior to Robbie and me.  And the rest of those who go by the label "conservatism".  I fundamentally believe that is a bit of a pernicious way to think.  If you think you're superior to me and you come from a moral high ground it's pretty hard for us to have a conversation.  
If you think you come from a moral high ground superior to me I can't compromise with your because to do that would be to surrender my honor.  If you think you're morally superior to Conservatives well then Conservatives will act with angry resentment and a lot of people voted for Donald Trump  because they though a bunch of tenured radicals along the coasts thought they were morally superior to them.  And so if you want the kind of politics you have today, think you're morally superior to the other side.
During this "debate" Mr. Brooks and his partner goes all-in on his despicable Both Siderist dogma by dismissing the whole idea that anyone can be morally superior to anyone else as a "pernicious concept".  In fact, as Mr. Brooks elaborated, anyone who dares to think they are morally superior to anyone else is probably a sign that they are not.

Got that?  In Mr. Brooks' universe, John Lewis is not morally superior to Roy Moore and Barack Obama is not morally superior to Donald Trump.  Like some half-drunk sophomore philosophy major trying to bullshit their way out of a DUI, Mr. Brooks wants you to believe that the people who presume to judges his actions are the ones who are truly morally suspect. 

In doing so, Mr. Brooks not only takes his French leave from any responsibility for anything his party has ever done, and not only destroys the possibility of any public conversation on this subject by insisting as a precondition for participation that no one should be allowed to draw a distinction between apple juice and rat poison, but he also removes all agency from those who want to feed us the rat poison.  According to Mr. Brooks, the base voters of his Republican party who showed up last November in their tens of millions to elect an unhinged, openly racist, serial liar and sexual predator in order to take my family's health insurance away did not do so because they are racists or Dominionists or because letting Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity take a dump in their skulls for 20 years had turned them into reprogammable meatbags.  No, according to Mr. Brooks they queued up to proudly vote for a deranged monster because "a bunch of tenured radicals along the coasts thought they were morally superior to them."

Thanks a lot, Libtards!

But just for fun and to beat this dead horse just a bit more, let's go back in time a little ways.  Before Donald Trump.  Before Sarah Palin.  Before the Fake Tea Party and Death Panels and Birthers.

Back to an era which has been cordoned off  as "Danger: Do Not Enter!" by most of the mainstream media, the entire Republican party.

Back to 2005 when Mr. Brooks' Republican party was -- surprise! -- facing the unique threat of an unprincipled, unrepentant thug leading a legion of craven elected officials into dark and terrible places.  Note Mr. Brooks' completely hilarious read on who the "American people" are (spoiler: they're conservative!) and up with what kind of mischief these Conservative voters definitely will not put:
Then there is the Tom DeLay situation. Conversations with House Republicans in the past week leave me with one clear impression: If DeLay falls, it will not be because he took questionable trips or put family members on the payroll. It will be because he is anxiety-producing and may become a political liability.

Being conservative, the American people don't want leaders who perpetually play it close to the ethical edge. They don't want leaders who, under threat, lash out wildly at beloved institutions like the judiciary. They don't want leaders whose instinct is always to go out wildly on the attack. They don't want leaders so reckless that even when they know they are living under a microscope, they continue to act in ways that invite controversy.

House Republicans like what DeLay has done, and few have any personal animus toward him, but his aggressiveness makes them -- and his own constituents -- nervous. Only 39 percent of DeLay's Texas constituents said they would stick with him if he were up for re-election today, a Houston Chronicle survey found.
Twelve years ago, Libtard nobodies like me were warning that conservative voters were plunging down a long, dark road that would swiftly lead to the election of monsters and the ruin of the nation, while highly-paid Conservative brain wizards like David Brooks asserting with absolute confidence that Conservative voters could never in a million years nominate and elect someone who sabotaged the judiciary and other "beloved institutions", attacked chimp-with-a-machine-gun-fashion in all directions, lurched from controversy to controversy, and played it "close to the ethical edge".  

And twelve years ago, who did Mr. David Brooks blame for driving to poor, noble Conservative voters into the arms of such the Party of Tom DeLay?  Well if you guessed those same "tenured radicals along the coasts" who, twelve years later, are apparently still driving those poor, noble Conservative voters (who somehow have managed to avoid learning a single fucking thing in the intervening years except to turn Fox up louder) into the arms of monsters, you are correct!
This does not mean good news for Democrats. That party is at risk of going into a death spiral. The Democrats lost white working-class voters by 23 percentage points in the last election, and now the party is being led by people who are guaranteed to alienate those voters even more: the highly educated and secular university-town elites who follow Howard Dean and believe Bush hatred and stridency are the outward signs of righteousness.
Twelve years later, history has proven that the base voters of Mr. Brooks' Republican party absolutely adore literally everything that Mr. Brooks told his readers that they loath, and yet the fairy tale which The New York Times continues to pay him a princely sum to spin about what the Republican party really is why they do what they do has remained virtually unchanged.

After the debate, Melissa Harris-Perry tweeted this, which echoed her plea during the debate that those who sat by and let the Republican party (my words, not hers) devolve into a freakshow of lunatics and bigots and imbeciles must stop pretending that this all just happened out-of-the-blue 18 months ago when Trump showed up and take some god damn responsibility for the disaster they helped to author.
But sadly, that is never going to happen.

And it is never going to happen specifically because of men like Mr. David Brooks who, as I mentioned above, is neither historian nor journalist.  Mr. Brooks is an amateur Conservative political theologian -- a cardinal in the Beltway's one true religion, the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism. A cult built on cherry-picking random facts and observations from here and there and extrapolating wildly and wrongly from them in order to generate variations of exactly the same, Beltway-comforting and self-exonerating political morality fable over and over again:
Both Sides Are To Blame And Men Like David Brooks Had Nothing To Do With Any Of It
*Look like this post veered into the tall grass after all grin

Behold, a Tip Jar!

**The Intelligence Squared debate I referenced was stupid for a lot of reasons, but mostly it was stupid because while the topic was "Liberals Hold the Moral High Ground", neither the moderator (John Donvan) nor Team Conservative (David Brooks and Robert George) were remotely interested in letting the debate stray into any discussion about what was happening in the here-and-now with real political parties and real issues.

Mr. Donvan appeared to realize almost immediately how stupidly the proposition for this debate had been framed, but nonetheless kept aggressively cutting off Team Good Guys (Melissa Harris-Perry and Howard Dean) when they introduced facts and figures and insisted that they stick to debating whether a completely abstract and theoretical concept of "Liberal" (whatever the fuck that means) is morally superior to a completely abstract and theoretical concept of "Conservative" across all time, space and dimensions.

Which suited Team Conservative just fine, because it let them off the hook for explaining the death-spiral depravity of the Republican Party and the Conservatives Movement as they have existed during their entire adult lifetime and instead permitted them to wander the aisles of an Imaginary GOP and Idealized Conservatism, picking and choosing whatever fairy tales suited their immediate need.

Thus armored and with the floor slanted mightily in their direction, all Team Conservative had to do was play defense.

Example (slightly fictionalized):
Team Good Guys say "Roy Moore".
Team Conservative responds: Well what about Bill Clinton?  What about Woodrow Wilson?  What about Maximilien fucking Robespierre?
Example (slightly fictionalized):
Team Good Guys say "Donald Trump".
Team Conservative responds: Trump is not a Republican.  He is a reactionary outlier that showed up 18 months ago and ensorcelled the GOP using some magical power we don't understand.  Before that everything was fucking awesome!  Trump is the enemy of both Republicans and Democrats, and both Republicans and Democrats are equally responsible for his rise.


“I would never kill reporters”

"I would never kill reporters"

by digby

Remember this?

Aaaand this:

Hitting the Sunday morning shows, Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway sought to downplay the fracas while highlighting what she called the president’s “unfair” treatment.

“I don’t think, ultimately, presidents are judged by crowd sizes at their inauguration. I think they’re judged by their accomplishments,” Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” before going on to say, “I think it is a symbol for the unfair and incomplete treatment that this president often receives.”

She also tried to defend press secretary Sean Spicer, who called reporters to the White House briefing room on Saturday night to accuse the media of "deliberately false reporting," while delivering a statement on crowd size that was riddled with inaccuracies.

When asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" why Spicer used falsehoods during the statement, Conway offered an explanation that quickly went viral.

"You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that," she said.

Yes. The "alternative facts" comment was about crowd size.

Spicer has taken heat for his main claim that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe," while offering other inaccurate statements including that Trump's was the first inauguration in which white floor coverings were used on the mall. White floor coverings were used during Obama's second inauguration in 2013.

Spicer also used misleading numbers to highlight Metro ridership, comparing essentially half-day statistics for Obama’s last inauguration to longer-day statistics for Trump’s...

Trump even hijacked a speech in front of the Langley Memorial wall at the CIA headquarters that was intended to patch up his relationship with the intelligence community. Instead, he delivered a strongly political speech that exaggerated the inaugural crowd size and blasted the “dishonest media.”

Yesterday, this happened:

President Donald Trump called for a Washington Post journalist to be fired Saturday over an erroneous tweet about his crowd size. The reporter quickly apologized for the mix-up and had deleted the tweet, because that’s generally what you do when you make mistakes. Except when you’re Trump, who has throughout his tenure has refused to back down from even the most obvious falsities. 
Trump fired off a pair of tweets attacking Post reporter Dave Weigel over a “phony photo” of an empty arena ahead of his Friday rally in Pensacola, Florida. “Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!” he wrote
In a separate tweet, he asserted Weigel should be fired.
Yes, the man who has lied repeatedly about his (crowd) size wants a reporter fired for a quickly corrected tweet on his personal account. But then Trump is all about getting reporters fired.

Someone on twitter reminded me of this:

Putin to Bush: You Fired Dan Rather

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Monday, February 28, 2005; 11:43 AM

President Bush may try to manipulate, work around and undermine the American press -- but he certainly doesn't have as much control over the media as Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently thinks he does.] 

In an odd exchange during the private meeting that preceded their joint news conference on Thursday, a defensive Putin reportedly expressed his belief that Bush fired CBS News anchor Dan Rather.

Richard Wolffe writes in Newsweek: "It was meant to be a heart-to-heart: just the two presidents and their translators, sitting alone inside the historic castle that overlooks the Slovak capital of Bratislava. Four years earlier, in another castle in Central Europe, George W. Bush looked Vladimir Putin in the eye and saw his trustworthy soul. But what he saw inside Putin last week was far less comforting. When Bush confronted his Russian counterpart about the freedom of the press in Russia, Putin shot back with an attack of his own: 'We didn't criticize you when you fired those reporters at CBS.' 

"It's not clear how well Putin understands the controversy that led to the dismissal of four CBS journalists over the discredited report on Bush's National Guard service. Yet it's all too clear how Putin sees the relationship between Bush and the American media -- just like his own. Bush's aides have long feared that former KGB officers in Putin's inner circle are painting a twisted picture of U.S. policy. So Bush explained how he had no power to fire American journalists. It made little difference. When the two presidents emerged for their joint press conference, one Russian reporter repeated Putin's language about journalists getting fired. Bush (already hot after an earlier question about his spying on U.S. citizens) asked the reporter if he felt free. 'They obviously planted the question,' said one of Bush's senior aides." 
John F. Dickerson writes in Time: "George Bush knew Vladimir Putin would be defensive when Bush brought up the pace of democratic reform in Russia in their private meeting at the end of Bush's four-day, three-city tour of Europe. But when Bush talked about the Kremlin's crackdown on the media and explained that democracies require a free press, the Russian leader gave a rebuttal that left the President nonplussed. If the press was so free in the U.S., Putin asked, then why had those reporters at CBS lost their jobs? Bush was openmouthed. 'Putin thought we'd fired Dan Rather,' says a senior Administration official. 'It was like something out of 1984.' "

Yeah well, we've moved way past "1984". We're in "Brave New World "territory now.


Make Armageddon Great Again

Make Armageddon Great Again

by digby

Trump's rally last Friday in Pensacola was pretty typical: creepy, stupid and frightening. But I want to highlight one of the people who introduced him. I think this was a telling moment:

A conservative politician at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida suggested that the president’s controversial decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may usher in the biblical end times.

Republican state Senator Doug Broxson represents the Florida Panhandle in the legislature and gave an introductory speech welcoming President Trump to Florida.

“Now, I don’t know about you, but when I heard about Jerusalem — where the King of Kings [applause] where our soon coming King is coming back to Jerusalem, it is because President Trump declared Jerusalem to be capitol of Israel,” Sen. Broxson predicted.

Go to 33:00 to see how he said it and hear the audience reaction.

This guy is saying out lous that Trump declaring Jerusalem the capitol of Israel will bring on Armageddon and the Second Coming. And this audience of Trump loving Real Americans cheers wildly.

Now, if this were an audience of secular people you might just think they're cheering for tax cuts or "the wall" or "lock her up." But this is one issue Trump's conservative evangelical base knows more about than Trump or the rest of us. They read the Bible, they hear about it in church.

They are cheering for the end of the world.

I think a good many of those Trump voters see him as the hand of God.

I'm surprised nobody has pointed out that Satan is a master of deception.


The most chilling question you will hear all day

The most chilling question you will hear all day

by digby

From Amy Davidson in the New Yorker:

The Republicans have a fifty-two-seat majority, meaning that Moore’s presence would be helpful but, in terms of control of the chamber, not decisive. What would they tolerate in order to secure the fifty-first vote?

I hadn't thought about it quite like that before. They don't actually need him. But they are all whoring themselves out for a batshit crazy molester who makes Louis Gohmert look like Eisenhower by comparison anyway. How low would they go if they really needed that vote?

I know. There is no bottom. But their embrace of him despite the fact that his presence won't make or break their majority is really telling. They'll back Trumpists no matter what. He won't be the last.


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