Reason Roundup

Trump Cries 'Treason!' Over Anonymous Times Op-Ed: Reason Roundup

Plus: tech stocks fall as government gets grabby and Brett Kavanaugh's weird exchange with Kamala Harris.



Welcome to the #Resistance, Mike Pence? The vice president is one of many White House higher-ups who have been floated as the likely author of an anonymous op-ed challenging President Trump's competency and authority. Published by The New York Times yesterday, "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" has politics-watchers speculating. The op-ed's use of one of Pence's signature words ("lodestar") could be an unintended tell, or an intentional misdirection. Pence is now the leading candidate for "White House mole behind the anonymous bombshell" on betting site MyBookie (markets in everything!).

Within a few hours of the piece's publication, Trump responded, telling a sheriff's conference "someday when I'm not president… The New York Times and CNN and all of these phony media outlets will be out of business. … They don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them because they're very dishonest people." He tweeted a clip from the speech with the caption "The Failing New York Times!" and followed it up with, simply:

A bit later, Trump was back, asking "Does the so-called 'Senior Administration Official' really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

This morning, Trump blamed the "Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media," for slandering him out of anger because he was doing so awesome at being president ("The economy is booming… soon TWO Supreme Court Justices & maybe Declassification to find Additional Corruption. Wow!). This seems, like so many of the president's tweets, to have been inspired by him watching Fox News. Trump's next weet cited Fox host Maria Bartiromo staing that the amazing "economic success" story of the Trump administration was "unnerving his detractors."

Outside Trump's safe space, the anonymous op-ed helped those making the case for his impeachment. "If the president's closest advisers believe that he is morally and intellectually unfit for his high office, they have a duty to do their utmost to remove him from it, by the lawful means at hand," writes David Frum at The Atlantic.

Others kept cooler heads. "It's becoming hard to get excited about every anonymous White House official who regales a reporter with tales of how they're nobly fighting to keep President Trump from destroying the country," writes Margaret Hartmann at New York. But at least the latest one had spawned "a new parlor game not unlike the decades-long quest to identify Deep Throat." Alas, "working in the Trump administration is an unrelenting nightmare, so everyone is a suspect."

(Or, as Jesse Walker quipped: "It's cool that the rest of us get to play our own who-is-Q game too.")

Other speculation has focused on the motive: Is the person about to be ousted, and thus looking to put some ideological distance between them and their odious boss? Pleading with Congressional Republicans for more serious impeachment considerations? A double-cross designed to confirm pro-Trump tales of a Deep State conspiracy against him?

Read Nick Gillespie's take here. In short: "The anonymity of the author will only work to harden Trump loyalists and members of the so-called resistance."

We did like the anonymous author's invocation of free minds and free markets, however…

But the classical-liberal-saving-democracy pose is a little questionable in light of the author's stated position. "The irony in the op-ed from the NYT's anonymous WH coward is glaring and massive," tweeted Glenn Greenwald. The writer "accuses Trump of being 'anti-democratic' while boasting of membership in an unelected cabal that covertly imposes their own ideology with zero democratic accountability, mandate or transparency."

And as writers such as Michael Tracey and Rania Khalek have pointed out, the more "grown-up" conservatism championed in this op-ed and by other traditional Republicans is very often wrapped up in a desire for more interventionist foreign policy.


Kavanaugh confirmation hearings enter day three. An exchange between Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) became one of the biggest moments from day two of Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings yesterday. Harris asked whether Kavanaugh, while a judge, had ever talked about the Mueller investigation with a lawyer from the law firm that has long represented President Trump. From Politico:

"Be sure about your answer, sir," Harris asked Kavanaugh. Trump's high court pick appeared nonplussed, responding that "I'm not sure I know everyone who works at that law firm," but the California Democrat…would not let up.

"How can you not remember whether you've had a conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that law firm?" Harris asked, suggesting that Kavanaugh was "thinking of someone and you don't want to tell us."…

Harris offered no further context for her line of questioning with Kavanaugh, which suggested that he may have discussed an investigation affecting Trump with Trump-connected lawyers but lacked any solid proof.

The exchange went on for nearly eight minutes, notes Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed. "Is there a person you're talking about?" Kavanaugh asked. Harris demanded a yes or no answer.

"I'm not sure I know everyone who works at that law firm," Kavanaugh replied, later adding "I'm not remembering, but I'm happy to be refreshed, or if you want to tell me who you're thinking about." Harris asked him how that was possible, since Mueller's "investigation has only been going on for so long." From Buzzfeed:

At one point, Sen. Mike Lee objected, saying that "there are a lot of people who work at a law office" and questioning whether Kavanaugh could be presumed to know everyone who works at a given law firm.

During his objection—as has happened throughout the proceedings—a pair of protesters stood up in the audience to object to the Senate's consideration of Kavanaugh's nomination until they were arrested and removed from the room by US Capitol Police.

After the hearing concluded for the night, a Democratic aide said that they "have reason to believe" that a conversation happened and they "are continuing to pursue it."



  • "In some ways, social media platforms have become a victim of their own claimed ability to find and remove speech," writes Faiza Patel.

"Normally, democratic governments that wish to prevent speech must publicly identify the speech and speaker they wish to censor and convince a neutral decision-maker that they have met the applicable legal standard — a tough sell under free speech principles. But governments are now incentivizing tech companies to remove certain speech, either directly through regulation or indirectly through political bullying. Government attempts to influence the information the public sees are being moved into mostly secret corporate processes. Equally important, the check provided by judicial review is eliminated. These moves exacerbate already serious concerns about the control that social media platforms and search engines already exercise over information and communication."

NEXT: The Senate's Driverless Car Bill Is Broadly Deregulatory and Promisingly Bipartisan. Naturally, It's Going Nowhere.

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  1. Cry treason and let slip the tweets of war.

    1. Hello.

      Resistance from the comfort of their BMW.

      These aren’t resisters. These are shitheads.

    2. Nicely done.

    3. There are pics of the ‘protesters’ getting paid in cash outside after being thrown out.

      1. I thought they were arrested and charged.

  2. Published by The New York Times yesterday, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” has politics-watchers speculating.

    I expect a “I am Spartacus” moment at some point in the Oval Office.

  3. Alex Jones was right, the frogs are becoming gay. Getting pissed out female hormonal birth control out of the drinking water:

    So I created an original research project on designing polymers to filter synthetic estrogen (i.e. Birth control) out of the water supply.

  4. Oh Caaaatttthhhyyyyyyy…

    Want to see how the legal system is rigged?

    Bill De Blasio’s aide Jacob Schwartz was arrested for having videos of newborn babies being raped.

    He was released on $7,500 bail.

    Over a year ago.

    1. Not surprising. If he were a Trump aide we’d hear about this non-stop.

    2. Lol, I actually looked into this and calling him a DeBlasio “aide” is a joke, plus he was fired as soon as he was charged.

      Also, the “newborn” part is a lie. The youngest child was allegedly around 6 months. Was 6 months not sensational enough for you?

      1. Cathy, you never fail to disappoint. I actually am beginning to admire your willingness to defend baby rape with any technicality you can come up with. I hear the Catholic Church is hiring.

        1. That was gross, yeah.

        2. You’re the one who lied because he didn’t think raping a 6-month-old sounded bad enough.

      2. …really Cathy?

        BABIES being RAPED and you quibble about them not being newborns?

        WTF lady?

        KoRn wrote a fucking song about a two-year-old dead from babyrape and that’s some sick shit, and then you’re like “well, ya know, two years old…”

  5. I’m draining the Swamp, and the Swamp is trying to fight back. Don’t worry, we will win!
    ? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2018

    More like the swamp is rejecting the other swamp being poured into it, but yes.

    1. Many Lefties have mental defects and their ideology demands ACTION!

    2. They tried to shoot a lot of congressmen only a few years back.

      I feel a little silly for still being shocked at how quickly that story died out. I think we talked about Sarah Palins’ crosshairs for years, and I can’t remember the attempted assassination of a leftist politican for right wing ideology.

      Oh well.

      1. One also broke a few of Rand Paul’s ribs.

      2. Leftists literally only care about tragedies that advance their agenda

      3. People still bring up Sarah’s Crosshairs as though it’s a thing that hasn’t been completely debunked.

        1. Hell, the New York Times blamed the Gifford shooter on Palin, almost a decade after when, shockingly, lots of us remembered that he was so psycho he lacked the ability to communicate a coherent ideology. They had to print a retraction.

          And you have to remind people that someone shot several congressman in an ideologically motivated assassination attempt a few years ago.

          Funny how that works.

          But Chuck Todd assures me that the media have the best intentions and are just trying to get every fact right, so it must be true.

      4. It was fascinating how little pearl clutching there was with the attempted assassination of multiple representives for overtly political reasons compared with an apolitical lunatic shooting Giffords.

  6. Anyone who uses “lodestar” in a speech or commentary is a fucking loser.

    1. Consequently, LoadStar was my nickname in Bukkake School.

      1. I knew someone would come and make a joke about that.

        1. Much like my job in Bukkake School, I occasionally have to clean up other people’s messes in these comments.

          1. I heard you were at the head of the class.

    2. Why do you hate Texans? Besides the Dallas Cowboys, of course, what has anybody from the Lode Star State done to you?

      1. What you don’t realize, Lewis, is that everything is bigger in Texas.

        ESPECIALLY the fists.

      2. I like Texans, my cousin used to live in Grapevine. Except for Tom Cotton, but I guess each State probably has an insufferable prick in their population.

  7. Outside Trump’s safe space, the anonymous op-ed lends more heft to the case for his impeachment. “If the president’s closest advisers believe that he is morally and intellectually unfit for his high office, they have a duty to do their utmost to remove him from it, by the lawful means at hand,” writes David Frum at The Atlantic.

    Please let open palace intrigue leading to threats of dethronement be the new normal for all administrations going forward.

    1. If you didn’t want a reality show you shouldn’t have elected a reality star.

      1. I think Trump prefers the term “Drama Queen”.

        1. He is aw-reety aw-righty with gay peeps.

          1. Going back to your roots?

            1. What do you mean?

  8. I’ve gotta say, if you were really concerned about protecting the country from an erratic Trump?rather than, say, trying to pre-salvage your post-administration reputation?you probably wouldn’t write something like this given its predictable consequences.
    ? Julian Sanchez (@normative) September 5, 2018

    On the other hand, if you’re looking to be the hero in your own story inside the Trump Administration, this op-ed and your inevitable unmasking and more inevitabler book deal would be very enticing.

  9. Are Feminists Aiding Muslim Domination?
    But “after the nation’s parliament decided to transform Sweden with mass immigration into a multicultural society, violent crime has increased by 300 per cent and rapes by 1,472 per cent. Now, Sweden has the worst rates of physical and sexual violence committed against women in the European Union (EU), according to a survey by the EU’s rights agency.”

    1. The dont call them FemNazis for nothing.

    2. The problem is that anybody takes what feminists say seriously.

      They don’t buy their own bullshit.

      Did anybody doubt #MeToo would die out the moment it started to impact too many progressive guys?

      1. Or perhaps it faded when women were getting called out.

  10. The media is clearly taking this more seriously than Americans are.

    Trump is trying to distract the media from Kavanaugh hearings and its working.

    1. The Kavanaugh hearings and this stupid NYT op-ed have helped remind Americans of how much they hate Washington.

      All this Media Sturm und Drang will end up helping Trump.

      1. Sturm und Drang goes well with his Blut und Boden.

  11. Kavanaugh confirmation hearings enter day three.

    Who cares about Kavanaugh? We just found out Trump has late-term Reaganitis!

  12. Early results from a first-of-its-kind trial suggest that “a therapy that edits genes directly in the human body might be safe.”

    The later results will be a race of supermen who offer the world order but then have to be overthrown and launched into space in cryogenic freeze.

    1. I want to glow in the dark and have a prehensile tail. Get on it, science.

      1. I just want joints that work properly. :-/

        I mean, if it didn’t hurt to just sleep, I could probably accomplish anything!


  13. The deep state put Pence up to it. They have a picture of him in a meeting with a woman and his wife isn’t present.

  14. Kavanaugh confirmation hearings enter day three

    The Lefties are really going to shit themselves when Trump gets to pick replacements for RBG, Breyer, and Thomas during the next 6.5 years.

    1. I have to admit, it’s going to be a beautiful thing.

      1. He should replace RBG with that Barrett woman. It’d be an equal swap, right? Woman for woman? No way to complain.

        1. That seems perfectly correct to me. 🙂

  15. Pretty much everything is treason now. Here: let me see:

    Treason is giving our enemies aid and comfort. Trump said a nice thing about Russia once, so that’s treason.

    Treason is also trying to overthrow the government, so a secret traitor working to undermine our president is treason.

    Similarly, Hillary Clinton’s behavior in Benghazi helped our enemies, and her email server undermined federal record keeping and security regulations. That’s treason.

    It’s treason all the way down! This is fun!

  16. I’m just gonna leave this here:

    Epic robbery fail.

    What a dumbass.

    1. Yup. That robber is a Fucking moron.

  17. In the past 12 months, 44 percent of young adults (ages 18 to 29) deleted the Facebook app from their phones…

    No more Russian plants in their White House!

    1. Hey, I did that! But it had nothing to do with Russia….I just felt like I was spending too much time on the phone.

    1. I first read that as Jimmy Buffet.

      Rumor has it he asked her to go for a Pencil Thin Mustache ride.

    2. She might get away with it, too. In the New Woke America racial/sexual hierarchy, XX > XY, even if the XY is underage.


    4. “I didn’t assault him. He….did it to me. It’s why we paid him hush money instead of, you know, going public with a media who believes anything a woman says if she claims to have been raped and isn’t accusing a progressive”.

      …any ideas why the press and Dems ignoring Ellison’s domestic abuse allegations is, apparently, NOT making it harder for victims to come forward? If questioning them does so, how does ignoring them not do the same?

      1. Whatever happen to the silence is consent crowd?

  18. People seem to have missed that implicit in the NYT Oped is that Trump’s presidency isn’t a disaster. The OPed claims that this brave group of dissenters is saving America from Trump. That is nice but it shows a real shift in the lines of attack against Trump. Reality has finally caught up to his opponents enough that they can no longer claim the world is going to end. So, now the story will be “sure things worked out but that was in spite of Trump”.

    1. Scott Adams called it. First evil, then stupid, then “yea, he’s competent, but…”

    2. They could claim that it was a disaster and would have been worse had they not acted.

      1. But that is hard if it isn’t. Thus far, it isn’t.

        1. That’s a matter of perspective and personal values.

          1. What objectively is going on that can be described as a “disaster”? The economy is booming. employment is at record highs, we are still at war in the middle east but have been so for 17 years and things haven’t gotten any worse there, there is no more danger of there being a big war than there usually is, the government is functioning. We will have an election this fall that will result in the peaceful transition to a new Congress whoever that is.

            There is nothing that I can see that could reasonably be described as a “disaster”. Are things perfect? No but they never are. Is it reasonable to disagree about the state of things? Sure. But I don’t see how anyone could reasonably describe the current state of the nation as a “disaster”.

            1. For some people, 2016 was a disaster in and of itself, for all it stands for, regardless of what comes after.

              It’s hard to tell what drama of the moment doesn’t boil down to that.

              1. Yes. They are complete narcissists who could care less that things have gotten better for millions of people. All that matters is them and the morality play going on in their heads.

            2. I think there are people who look at the haphazard roll out of the immigration ban and its fall out (I personally know perfectly upstanding people who now can’t travel to the US as a result), the zero-tolerance border policy and resulting family separations, the failure to get Obamacare repeal passed, the soured relations with many Western allies, and the tariffs and the pain they’ve caused in specific sectors all as being pretty bad and, when taken together, disastrous. That doesn’t even get in to less specific things like the degradation of civil discourse or hypotheticals like legal violations or collusion.

              I’m not saying I agree with them on all those things. I’m not saying those are all judged on objective measures. I’m not saying all those things are specific to Trump. All I’m saying is that a case an be made the Trump administration has been bad to disastrous, but that judgement does rely in part on personal values.

              1. Many things can appear disastrous when you only look at the failures.

                Thomas Edison was one of the most disastrous inventors ever.

            3. But I don’t see how anyone could reasonably describe the current state of the nation as a “disaster”.

              But he’s reversing executive orders made by the light bringer! That’s like punching Jesus in the face! That’s why it’s important for the judiciary to say that the current President can’t reverse executive orders by the prior President! There’s no downside to that!


    3. note the article does not describe any of trumps actions that they thwarted. I want to know what he did that needed to be thwarted and the President asking a simple question about assassinating someone, which Obama did with drones quite often, is not a constitutional crisis

      1. That’s one of the concerning things about this op-ed. The writer is claiming that Trump represents a constitutional crisis while also saying that he/she and several others are taking actions that are much more likely to be a constitutional crisis. The devil is in the details and none are provided. If we don’t know who this person is, then how can we even have a general idea of what administrative goals they have? Let’s start by either naming this person and those in the resistance or air out what Trump has been trying to do and what they have done to thwart it. If we’re not going to do any of that, then this is worthless political intrigue.

  19. I Really Don’t Feel Like Submitting To Socialist Tyranny. Do You?
    That’s a lot to unpack, so let’s seize on just one aspect. “Seizing,” are we? Now, these sorry cheese weasels do look exactly like you would expect: Stupid beards, skinny jeans, soft hands, and dull eyes. But they don’t look much like dudes who are likely to seize anything besides the nearest locally-sourced muffin. Who, exactly, do they expect to do all the seizing that will facilitate “handing the keys of production over to workers?” Now, I use to specialize in commanding hundreds of guys with guns who actually could seize stuff, and I have to say that I don’t think my troopers would be down with doing the dangerous bidding of a bunch of geebos who look like they’d be blathering about their fourth-level elf warrior with a +1 sword Dungeons & Dragons character if they weren’t quoting selections from Marxism 4 Dummies.

    1. Locally sourced muffins are often of superior quality to alternative muffins. And if you are generally against muffins you can GTFO

    2. If they’re going to kill us and seize our stuff, they’ll have to get off their mom’s couch and go farther than the kitchen, and that’s a fridge too far.

      Bwa ha ha. 😀

    3. Shame this guy doesn’t have a newsletter I could subscribe to.

    4. They expect the mayor and AG of their city and governor and AG of their state to be on their side and order the police to seize stuff or haul employers into court etc. etc. Then we will see if LEOs line up with their handlers or with the people who resist. History has all sorts of examples for each scenario.

      1. The people who want the cops to seize stuff also chant that they want the cops dead.

  20. Nick Gillespie
    Verified account

    Follow Follow @nickgillespie
    Just got slagged as “the world’s oldest millennial” (I’m 55) in comments to this and now i want to get the dean of internal speech codes to step in so I guess it’s true…


    1. *high five*

    2. Gillespie is certainly no Millennial — at 55 he’s at the tail-end of the Baby Boom — but the way he panders to them and fetishizes their supposed wisdom and political power it’s an honest mistake.

      It reminds me of those old, balding 50-something middle class husbands during the ’70s who dumped their wives, grew out their hair, and dressed in silk paisley shirts and gold chains while hanging out at the disco.

      1. Just more proof that the 70s sucked.

          1. Way to make Red Tony’s case.

  21. http://www.realclearinvestigat…..idiot.html

    The FBI omitted from its application to spy on Carter Page the fact that Russian spies had dismissed the former Trump campaign adviser as unreliable ? or as one put it, an “idiot” ? and therefore unworthy of recruiting, according to congressional sources who have seen the unredacted document.

    The potentially exculpatory detail was also withheld from three renewals of the wiretap warrant before a special government surveillance court. The warrants issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court allowed the FBI to spy on Page and others he was in contact with for almost a year, the sources also confirmed.

    If the FBI is willing to lie on a FISA application as politically explosive as the one on Page, then what application won’t they lie on? I bet if you looked lying on FISA applications is the SOP.

    1. Most bureaucrats will do whatever it takes.

      ‘That’s their job’.

  22. “Trump voters-turned-doubters probably will sink the GOP this fall. But if they need a reason to vote in November, try this: There may be 20 ways to describe Donald Trump, but just one will do for the outpourings during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing from Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse, Mazie Hirono, Cory Booker and Dick Durbin. Unbearable.

    If the blue wave breaks in November, we will spend the next two years engulfed in the Democrats’ moral condescension. Anything but that.”


    I think they’re on to something there.

    1. IF IF IF and when the Republicans lose the House, it won’t be because of anything Trump said or did. I’ve shown that, over and over again, where the president’s party almost always suffers big losses in the House after his first Midterm. If Hillary Clinton had won the election in 2016, the Democrats would be staring at big losses in the House; i.e., it ain’t about anything Trump has said or done.

      That being said, if the Democrats fail to take the House in November, it will be because of the stupid shit the Democratic leadership and potential nominees are doing and saying. Strategically, their problem is that they’re already playing to their own progressive constituency because they’re running against each other for the nomination. That’s no way to win the votes of disaffected swing voters in the primaries. Maybe their victory in the midterms is a foregone conclusion–they’re certainly treating it that way.

      Beware hubris!

      Trump is still playing to disaffected Democrats.

      1. Eh, there is another counterfactual in which another, more mainstream but less unpopular Republican is president and Republicans lose seats, but not as many with Trump. Just saying.

        1. Below is the first midterm after a new president takes office going back to 1910.

          First column is House seats won/lost.

          The last column is what I see as the dominant issue(s) of that midterm.

          +9 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt Great Depression
          +8 2002 George W. Bush 9/11
          -4 1962 John F. Kennedy Cuban Missile Crisis
          -8 1990 George H. W. Bush USSR Falls, Operation Desert Shield
          -9 1926 Calvin Coolidge 1st Midterm in 2nd Term (Death of Harding)
          -12 1970 Richard Nixon Vietnam, Kent State
          -15 1978 Jimmy Carter Energy Crisis, Inflation
          -18 1954 Dwight D Eisenhower McCarthyism
          -22 1918 Woodrow Wilson Broken Promise not to Enter WWI
          -26 1982 Ronald Reagan Recession
          -47 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson Great Society, Civil Rights Act
          -48 1974 Gerald Ford Nixon Pardoned
          -52 1930 Herbert Hoover Smoot?Hawley Tariff, Great Depression
          -54 1946 Harry S Truman Labor Unrest, End of Wartime Price Controls
          -54 1994 Bill Clinton Gun Control, HillaryCare
          -57 1910 William Taft Strife within the Republcian Party (Progressives)
          -63 2010 Barack Obama TARP, ObamaCare
          -77 1922 Warren Harding Strife within the Republican Party (Progressives)

          1. OK….

          2. If the Republicans lose 23 seats in the House, they lose control.

            Do you think of Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama as more or less controversial than Trump?

            Even if Trump were–just as controversial–as each of them (-26, -54, -63 respectively), the Republicans would still lose control of the House.

            1. OK, I may have misunderstood you, so I’ll amend my statement. There is a counterfactual in which Republicans lose control of the house even with someone else in office besides Trump, but not as badly as with Trump in office.

              1. True, and someone will probably bring that up.

                My response is that there’s a counterfactual where Madonna keeps up her end of the bargain and goes around the country sucking off/cunnilingusing approximately 70 million people.

                1. “I was going to vote for Hillary, but then Madonna threatened to molest me, and I pulled the lever for Trump.”

                2. Hey, she’s been working on that since she was in high school.

                  1. Jr high?

          3. So, Ken, doesn’t this list seem to say that it WAS something the president did in his first two years that caused his party to lose seats? It looks like voters who voted for X decided he wasn’t doing what he promised or they don’t like what he did, and took revenge on X’s House candidates. I see this mid-term as a referendum on Trump with non-base voters deciding the only way to rein him in is to elect a Democrat in their House district. Can anyone name even one House district, now held by a Democrat, that will flip GOP in November? And how many majority Clinton districts, that still voted for a GOP congressman, are now in play? When the Dems retake the House in Nov., it will be because of Trump and not because of some unexplainable trend that the president’s party always loses the mid-terms.

            1. The data is deeply skewed to the negative end of the spectrum. The exceptions are pretty much always about things that had nothing to do with what the president did. If George W. Bush, for instance, had fucked a pig on national television a la Black Mirror, House Republicans might still have done well in November of 2002–after 9/11 and before we invaded Iraq.

              For the rest of those midterms, while it’s true that the president doing one thing or another might improve his negative numbers–say from -26 to -18–the negative skew of the data set isn’t about anything they do or don’t do. The median is -24. The mean is even worse. If Hillary Clinton were president, and she’d done everything the opposite of Trump, the House Democrats would still be staring at a center of gravity of -24 seats lost in the House.

            2. If the center of gravity were a median of zero seats won or lost, we might credit or blame the president’s positions on the issues for him gaining or losing seats in the House. The fact is that a decent performance means losing 24 seats. That burden of having to roll the ball uphill 24 seats in order to maintain the status quo isn’t about his efforts or positions. Him having to roll the ball up such a steep hill is just shape of the landscape or the game board on which he’s playing.

              Whether he gets -18 or -24 seats might be a function of where he is on the issues.

              The fact that he’s handicapped with -24 seat weight around his neck (more than enough to lose the House) isn’t about where he is on the issues at all. The dice are loaded against him regardless.

              It’s especially important to understand this in the wake of a Democrat victory in the midterms. They’ll claim it as a repudiation of Trump’s policies. It’ll be no such thing–not even on the issues I don’t like.

              1. “If Hillary Clinton were president, and she’d done everything the opposite of Trump, the House Democrats would still be staring at a center of gravity of -24 seats lost in the House.”

                The simplest explanation is that the American people vote for the opposition in congress to put a check on new presidents–especially after they change things early in their first term.

                1. IMO. People vote thinking they are getting a super president that can do the things they promised on the campaign trail on their own, when in reality Congress has the authority not the president. The president can’t deliver, people are unhappy with that party and then move to vote them out.

  23. “Outside Trump’s safe space, the anonymous op-ed helped those making the case for his impeachment.”

    You must be joking.

    1. Well, just last week, she told us that “some say…” some bullshit or other. Isn’t that enough “evidence” for the brain-damaged?

      1. She linked to Gillespie’s piece from yesterday, but if she read it, I’m not sure she understood what she read.

        The case for impeachment is this: If Speaker Pelosi doesn’t impeach Trump, the Democrats will replace her as Speaker with someone who will.

        Who needs to be persuaded?

        Trump supporters?

        The media?

        The Democrats in the House?

        I’m trying to understand who she thinks needs to be impressed by the case for impeachment. I suspect it’s a fictional group of people who haven’t been convinced either way about whether Trump needs to be impeached. And the persuasive case for impeachment, now, isn’t about Russia or groping or immigration or Hillary losing the election–it’s about something somebody wrote in an anonymous Op Ed at the NYT?!

        Maybe I’m misunderstanding something. Maybe I understand it all too well.

        1. “And the persuasive case for impeachment, now, isn’t about Russia or groping or immigration or Hillary losing the election–it’s about something somebody wrote in an anonymous Op Ed at the NYT?!”

          You know better than that. The want to impeach Trump for being Trump.

          1. They want to impeach because it’s not Hillary.

  24. The “adults in the room” have been consistently guiding Trump toward more aggressive foreign policy, and when they’re successful at this the media cheers
    ? Michael Tracey (@mtracey) September 5, 2018

    Because that’s when you know you have a president. When he expends ordnance.

    1. It’s spending hundreds of billions of dollars that makes you an adult. The ordinance is a just a necessary step before the nation building program, and it’s nation building (both overseas and at home) that costs the big bucks.

      It takes a village of experts to raise a nation and a whole lotta money.

  25. I don’t think it’s treason, but it should be concerning to even Trump’s harshest critics that there are people potentially actively subverting the democratic process, up to the point of stealing documents before the president can sign them. I loathe most things about Trump from both a policy and personal perspective and I can still appreciate the danger of that. As bad as I think Trump is, I don’t think he’s an existential threat to democracy or our civil institutions. But if people feel like their democratic voice is being actively subverted, it’s a concerning step in that direction.

    Better to resign and publicly voice your concerns. Or if you *really* think Trump is *that* unfit for office, use constitutional mechanisms to remove him from office.

    1. Treason is defined in the constitution.
      This particular occurrence does not fall under that definition.
      Trump and the wafflers are both wrong. This is not treason in the technical, and only relevant, meaning of the term.
      This ought to matter to constitutionalists.

    2. If there are document disappearing without his notice, doesn’t that imply they were generated by a different unelected group?

  26. “How can you not remember whether you’ve had a conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that law firm?” Harris asked, suggesting that Kavanaugh was “thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us.”…

    “Cunt, you clearly have someone in mind, so just fucking spit it out.”

    1. (My confirmation hearings for SCOTUS are going to go poorly, but probably be comedy gold. 😉 )

      1. I would pay good money to see it. And who knows, if you were outrageous enough, you might be able to sway the electoral college …

    1. OMG, it procreated. Via budding I assume.

      1. I like how the original tweet is vanished into the aether.

  27. In terms of the Pence theory: can anyone explain exactly how a VP would interfere with the president’s administration?

    Other than waiting around, I wasn’t aware they did very much outside the senate.

  28. If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!

    The only reason no one really takes this threat seriously anymore, rather than taking it as a chilling threat on the press, is because we all now realize Trump is just a buffoon and not some proto-Hitler.

    1. In fairness, if a cabinet member is secretly, but publically, announcing that they plan to subvert the administration that hired them there is actually a pretty good argument for exposing who this individual is. They should, in fact, be fired regardless of how I feel about Trump or government in general.

      You’re not supposed to take the job if you hate the person in office. This person, whomever they are, wants to have their cake and eat it too. That isn’t admirable, or brave.

    2. “”Trump is just a buffoon and not some proto-Hitler.”‘

      But buffoon doesn’t sound as scary so you can’t use fear to motivate the masses.


    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signaled he wanted to “achieve denuclearization” during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term during meetings with South Korean officials but America’s top diplomat indicated more work may need to be done.

    Kim told visiting South Korean envoys Wednesday he was ready to accept “stronger measures” to restrict his nuclear program and wanted a declaration with the U.S. to formally end the Korean War, the officials said. A separate account by North Korean state media said Kim told the delegation that he wanted progress on denuclearization, without mentioning the U.S. or Trump.

    “Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!” Trump responded Thursday in a posting on Twitter.

    Maybe so.

    1. Well, that would be great! The Norks are definitely in the running for “Most Evil Dictatorship on the Planet”.

  30. >>> (“lodestar”) could be an unintended tell, or an intentional misdirection

    so totally not on the edge of my seat.

    1. Not quite PB/Weigel’s “ratfucker” level of tell.

      1. no.

        also i don’t know *how* to care about this – people are fucking w/government so yay, but I don’t like the WAY they’re fucking w/government or something … like they *know* T isn’t going to drag them out back and shoot them like Saddam, so their subversiveness isn’t cool it’s stupid … i choose apathy

  31. Was Harris just fishing based on rumor or was that the most ineffective purjery trap ever?

    1. The latter?

      She was definitely trying to setup a gotcha moment.

  32. This anonymous letter supposedly from a high-ranking official in the administration feels like all the world to me like the new version of the Steele dossier.

    1. Agreed. Seems like a set-up to me.

  33. With anonymity in a newspaper you can say anything you want and get away with it. I think this op-ed was written by a Times staffer with no access to the Trump administration. Trump should treat it as such until the author is identified.

    1. That would actually be the less concerning explanation. NYT has been a corrupt left wing outlet for a while and this would really not be that surprising from them. If the characterization of the op-ed and content of it are true, then we have much bigger issues. If we take the side of the writer, then Trump is a danger to our country and the Constitutional foundation thereof. To do that, I have to either have faith in this anonymous person’s principles or be convinced that Trump is uniquely horrible (neither of which is substantiated in the article.) The other way to look at it is that unelected officials are undermining our elected president. Call it a coup, mutiny, treason, or whatever you like but this is very concerning to me. These people need to come out and make their case for why they should be the ones trusted with controlling policy. I might be on their side if they were to do so, but the way it is presented here all I see is the swamp and shadow governance.

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