Quote of the Day postsSaturday May 20, 2017
Ailes Obit I
“I would distill Ailes's genius down to the following formula: There is a person at a great distance from you who, simply by existing, insults your existence; therefore, that person does not have a right to exist. Ailes did more to degrade the tone of public life in America than anyone since Joseph McCarthy, and, even the day after his death, it is a struggle to write about him without borrowing from that tone.”
-- Stephen Metcalf, “How Rogers Ailes Degraded the Tone of Public Life in America,” The New Yorker
This Is Not a Drill
“An attempt to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense. And Trump has just openly admitted to such a thing. When, one wonders, will the patriots in the Republican Party stand up and confront this? If Clinton had done such a thing, the House would be drawing up articles of impeachment right now. We saw their pusillanimity last spring as this malign buffoon manhandled his way to the nomination. It has not abated. Comey may have made mistakes; he may have had a Messiah complex; he may go down in history as a self-righteous prick who interfered in an election. But he is obviously and transparently independent — the key criterion for any FBI director. He has angered both Democrats and Republicans over the years — and this very ability to stand up to the Bush administration and the Clinton campaign at critical moments made him someone you could count on to get to the bottom of the Russia affair. ...
”If this is swept under the rug, we take one giant step toward the authoritarianism Trump has always threatened. When a democracy believes its own president can put his finger on the scales of justice whenever his own interests are at stake, and get away with it, it is on its way to disintegration. I hope the Senate understands that this is not a drill. There needs now to be an independent prosecutor to take charge of the FBI case. If there isn't, the checks in our system will have failed.“
-- Andrew Sullivan, ”Trump Just Incriminated Himself," New York Magazine
'Ineptitude So Surreal'
Americans were treated to yet another portrait of ineptitude so surreal as to qualify as a kind of performance art, or maybe slapstick. What other White House would schedule a visit by the Russian foreign minister and ambassador on the day after Mr. Trump fired the man in charge of investigating his campaign's ties to Russia? What other White House would bar the American media while admitting a Russian state photographer? What other White House would be astonished that the Russians would then distribute photos of their officials backslapping the grinning Mr. Trump inside the Oval Office?
It was a potent demonstration that Moscow has this president's measure. Let's hope that's all it's got on him.
Earlier, the editorial quotes Time magazine's cover story on Trump watching and rewatching moments of the James Clapper/Sally Yates testimony earlier this week, and reveling in what he interpretted as vindication for him—even as it was no such thing—as, the Times adds, “Vice President Mike Pence and several aides stood by silently.” That's what Pence has been this entire time: complicit in his silence. Never forget.
Tweet of the Day
Kinda crazy to think that if Anthony Weiner wasn't a compulsive masturbator we might not be on the brink a nuclear war with North Korea.— Greg Saunders (@waltisfrozen) May 2, 2017
I liked the doc about Weiner that came out last year well enough, but in the wake of the Weiner/Comey/Trump circle jerk last October, and the awfulness of November, I couldn't bear to think about it again. It was touted as an Oscar nominee for best doc and I was like: No. Enough. Fuck that guy. Can't bear to even think about it.