…12 o’clock high [DOT 20/1/21]

no drugs required...

…well…technically it’ll be a few hours yet

But here in the United States we come now to the end of a four-year experiment to answer the question: What would happen if we were led by the worst of us? What if we searched the land and plucked out literally the most repugnant human being we could find, a walking collection of character flaws, and put him in charge? What damage would he do, and what version of America would be left in his wake?

Goodbye, Donald Trump. You were the worst of us. [WaPo]


Here are the biggest headlines from the Trump administration. They constitute a first draft of Mr. Trump’s legacy [NYT]


…today’s the day

[…although I’m pretty sure there’ll be a thread going up hearabouts if any of you fine folks want to camp out & bask in the whole “thank fuck he’s gone” thing…so you that might be all you really need to know?]

…admittedly there may be some shit to deal with still


…which could take a while


…& we’re all waiting on that one verdict…while hoping it’s the first among many



…while the best part of 150 people are presumably celebrating that they’ve avoided (or at least curtailed) the consequences of the ones that went against them

The last-minute clemency extended to Bannon underscores how Trump has used his presidential power to benefit allies and political backers. He had previously pardoned or commuted the sentences of his former campaign chairman, former national security adviser and a former campaign foreign policy adviser.

On Tuesday, Trump also granted a pardon to GOP megadonor Elliott Broidy, 64, who pleaded guilty in October to acting as an unregistered foreign agent and lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of Malaysian and Chinese interests. A Los Angeles-based investor, Broidy helped raise millions for Trump’s campaign before serving as the Republican National Committee’s national deputy finance chairman.

“Even Nixon didn’t pardon his cronies on the way out,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement. “Amazingly, in his final 24 hours in office, Donald Trump found one more way to fail to live up to the ethical standard of Richard Nixon.”
Advocates for criminal justice reform lamented that many deserving people were overlooked in the clemency process because the president appeared focused on handing out political favors.
Trump has repeatedly used the power to reward loyal allies, rather than reserving acts of clemency for ordinary people wronged by the justice system or who demonstrated they have been rehabilitated after committing crimes.

“Donald Trump conducted his presidency for his profit, making virtually every policy decision on a transactional basis — not what the Constitution required, not what benefited our country and our people, but only what increased his power, wealth and status,” said Larry Kupers, who served as acting pardon attorney and deputy pardon attorney during Trump’s first two years in office but quit in 2019 over how Trump was using the power.

“That approach was most evident in how he employed the pardon power, likely because that power is not subject to checks and balances.”
Trump has largely eschewed the Justice Department process that allows convicted criminals to apply for pardons, a system that was designed to impose some fairness on otherwise potentially arbitrary decisions. About 14,000 people have pardon applications pending with the Justice Department.

Instead, he has taken recommendations from his personal orbit of friends, consultants, lawyers and lobbyists, some of whom have been paid to promote pardons. Many of his pardons and commutations went to people who had not even applied through the Justice Department or met its guidelines.

Trump grants clemency to 143 people in late-night pardon blast [WaPo]


The wave of clemency grants, hours before Mr. Trump’s departure from the White House, underscored how many of his close associates and supporters became ensnared in corruption cases and other legal troubles, and highlighted again his willingness to use his power to help them and others with connections to him.

The president continued using his power to help his supporters, including his former chief strategist and one of his top 2016 fund-raisers. [NYT]

He will relinquish power against his will, in a cloud of disgrace uncommon to presidents, having failed to deliver on his most oft-repeated and loudly pronounced promises, and in an ongoing state of denial about the nature of the pandemic and about his legitimate defeat at the ballot box.

“He, in every respect, was unworthy to be president,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told MSNBC’s Joy Reid in an interview broadcast Tuesday. “It’s not ‘lessons learned,'” Pelosi said of Trump, “because it was so evident all along what a disgrace he was.”

Impeached twice and still no wall, Mr. Trump goes from Washington [NBC]

…but at least it’s nearly over

‘He Was Just Everywhere’: A Tired Country After Four Years of Trump [NYT]

[F]our years of a president without shame, backed by a party without spine, amplified by a network without integrity, each pumping out conspiracy theories without truth, brought directly to our brains by social networks without ethics — all heated up by a pandemic without mercy.

It’s amazing that our whole system didn’t blow, because the country really had become like a giant overheated steam engine. What we saw in the Capitol last week were the bolts and hinges starting to come loose. The departure of Donald J. Trump from the White House and the depletion of his enablers’ power in the Senate aren’t happening a second too soon.

President Donald J. Trump: The End [NYT]

…so we still have a few hours to suffer through before he gets shown the door…still…at least there’s a fair chance that he’s having a worse time with that than we are?

President Trump spent his final full day in office Tuesday the same way he spent many of his 1,460 prior days as president: brooding over imagined injustices, plotting retribution against perceived enemies and seeking ways to maximize his power.

But the same pathologies that abetted Trump’s political rise, animated his followers and became hallmarks of his turbulent single term have now, in the twilight of his presidency, left him a man diminished.

In an indication of his wounded state, the president who took office determined to be omnipresent in American life, with daily and at times hourly appearances before the press corps, was almost entirely absent from public view as he prepared to vacate the White House on Wednesday morning.

Trump has spent the past seven days effectively in hiding, apart from delivering a scripted farewell address that his staff recorded and released Tuesday afternoon.

Trump’s final day: A diminished and aggrieved president stays out of public view before exit [WaPo]

…but it sure seems like the verdict of history is a foregone conclusion

I believe Donald Trump is an enemy of truth. I believe he’s a con man, a pathological liar — now the most prodigiously documented liar in American history, if not the history of the world. I believe he doesn’t care about, and may not even fully comprehend, the difference between truth and lies, between honesty and mendacity. I believe he has always said what he wants to believe, what he wants others to believe, and what he thinks he can get away with, and always will.

I believe that, as president, Trump was a danger to democracy and the rule of law, precisely because he was a danger to truth. But I believe his lies weren’t necessarily the most damaging ones to our country. Equally harmful, if not more so, were the lies that allowed him to flourish — not just others’ repetition of his lies, but also lies that many told themselves and others to justify not contradicting him — that you can’t take him literally, that you need to look at what he does or that his policies justified it all.
I came to believe Trump was mentally, psychologically and morally unfit for the high office he held, and, indeed, any position of public (or even private) trust. I came to believe he will go down in history as the worst president America ever had. I came to believe that his pathologies fostered division and hatred, and potentially violence, and rendered him incapable of achieving persuasion and consensus, and therefore incapable of successful governance.

And I came to believe he was a grave threat to democracy and the rule of law, and that he cared about neither.


Donald Trump’s tenure was characterized by colossal incompetence and mind-numbing indifference to the public good. His coronavirus management has resulted in more than 24.1 million cases in the United States and almost 400,000 deaths — projected to exceed 500,000 deaths by May. While overseeing arguably the worst loss of life since the great influenza of 1918, Trump also presided over the worst unemployment since the Great Depression. He is the first president in modern history to see a net loss of jobs during his time in office.

Those bare figures — catastrophic as they are — barely begin to plumb the depths of Trump’s failures, which were moral as much as managerial.

He was the most dishonest president ever: He produced more than 30,000 documented falsehoods.

He was the most corrupt president ever. He used his office to enrich his businesses, interfered in Justice Department investigations, engaged in obstruction of justice, stonewalled Congress, refused to release his tax returns, purged inspectors-general and pardoned his cronies and co-conspirators.


Leon Panetta, a former defence secretary and CIA director, said: “Future historians will say that it was perhaps the worst presidency the United States has had because of the person Trump is and because he had little respect for the values associated with the presidency, did not believe that there were any rules that constrained him and generally undermined the strength of the United States at a very critical time, both at home and abroad.”

But on Wednesday the lights will go out on the reality TV presidency as Trump exits the White House in defeat and disgrace, facing another impeachment trial in the Senate. A Pew Research Center poll found that his approval rating has collapsed to 29%, the lowest of his presidency. He has even been banned from social media, depriving him of the Twitter megaphone that gave diplomats and journalists sleepless nights.

Biden will be inaugurated in a city resembling a fortress and begin clearing up four years of carnage. Former president Gerald Ford’s proclamation after the departure of Richard Nixon – “our long national nightmare is over” – will be widely quoted. Many will hope that Trump was a mere heartbeat in historical terms, a blip as the baton passed from Obama to Biden, and a warning to the future: let’s not do that again.

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said: “If history is honest, it will remember Donald Trump as by far the worst president ever. No one else even comes close. Not Warren Harding, not James Buchanan, not Richard Nixon. Nobody comes close.

“And beyond that he is, in my view, the most horrible human being who has ever sat in the Oval Office. In addition to being the worst president, he’s a terrible person. What a combination. I hope we’ve learned this lesson. This ought to remind all Americans what happens when you make a mistake with your vote.”


…so congratulations folks

…we did it…we survived the reign of the least qualified leadership of the free world it will (hopefully) ever see…mind you…the nightmares of some of those people that have been costing the rest of us sleep are just now starting to really kick into high gear

Five-hundred American authors and literary professionals have signed a letter calling on US publishers not to sign book deals with members of the Trump administration, saying “those who enabled, promulgated, and covered up crimes against the American people should not be enriched through the coffers of publishing”.


…I mean…I wouldn’t limit it to publishing if it were up to me

Lawmakers who objected to election results have been cut off from 20 of their 30 biggest corporate PAC donors [WaPo]

…all in all it’s probably a good thing it isn’t


…but seriously…even mitch isn’t pretending he can’t see this shit

…even if he’s still somehow blind to the part he played in it…because…well…let’s just say mitch rhymes with bitch for a reason


So tell me, Mitch, in these, your final hours as Senate majority leader: Were the judges and the tax cuts worth it?

Were they worth the sacking of the Capitol? The annexation of the Republican Party by the paranoiacs and the delusional? The degradation, possibly irremediable, of democracy itself?

Those close to him say that Mitch McConnell has his eye on his legacy, now more than ever. But I wonder whether he already understands, in some back bay of his brain where the gears haven’t been ground to nubs, that history will not treat him well.
McConnell, now on his seventh term, has been cynical and power-hungry enough to keep up with his party’s rightward lurch at every step.
It was only a matter of time before members of McConnell’s own caucus began to align themselves with — and inflame — the insurrectionist hordes. They were just doing what McConnell has done his whole political career: lunging at opportunities to serve their own political ends.

“They saw all of this behavior in McConnell,” the political scientist Norman J. Ornstein told me. “The ends-justify-the-means philosophy, the focus on winning over governing, the willingness to blow up every norm in the Senate and the political process.”
And power is really all the old-school G.O.P. has to cling to. Its philosophy of sharply limited government and free enterprise has never had enough appeal to win over a true majority. Staying in power required voter suppression, gerrymandering, the Electoral College, oceans of money.

McConnell has worked indefatigably to defend them all — and to make sure the Democratic agenda never succeeds. His dirtiest maneuver was to let a Supreme Court seat sit empty for a year, rather than allow Barack Obama to fill it. But his obstructionist warfare stretches back much further than that. While minority leader, he either threatened or made use of the filibuster at every turn; once he got control of the chamber, he still brought very little legislation to the floor.
McConnell is not an enabler. He’s a ringleader, as responsible for the politics of destruction — which has morphed from a metaphorical to a literal description in the last two weeks — as Trump himself.


…meanwhile…the hits just keep coming

There’s a pretty simple reason Bruce Wayne never fires up Twitter and writes “Off 2 do sum cool Batman stuff” before donning his bat suit: Because then everyone would know he’s Batman.

The rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 dressed in costumes of their own already have very little in common with the Dark Knight, but here is yet another example: Many of them bragged about their attempted insurrection on social media, making them pretty darn easy to identify.

As The Washington Post’s Dave Jorgenson asked in a TikTok, did this confederacy of dunces want to get caught?

That certainly seems to be the case.


…& if we’re talking about rolling the tape on the lies that stoked that bunch of idiot insurrectionists…there’s some names that spring to mind



Five prominent anti-vaccine organizations that have been known to spread misleading information about the coronavirus received more than $850,000 in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, raising questions about why the government is giving money to groups actively opposing its agenda and seeking to undermine public health during a critical period.

The Trump administration bailed out prominent anti-vaccine groups during a pandemic [WaPo]

…oh, yeah…& then there’s this asshole

The violent assault on the Capitol broke a four-year spell on the Republican Party leadership’s refusal to criticize President Trump.

But not for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The president’s most loyal Cabinet member has spent the past several days heaping praise on Trump and his presidency, saying it has made the United States “so much safer today than four years ago” and has served as a role model to other nations because of the “values we project out into the world.”
To independent observers, the remarks are wildly tone-deaf and reinforce Pompeo’s status as one of the most partisan secretaries of state in modern U.S. history. While Pompeo claims Americans have been “safer” under Trump’s watch, the coronavirus death toll in the United States is fast approaching 400,000, with more than 3,000 Americans dying daily. Pompeo’s promotion of “founding ideals” and the projection of U.S. “values” abroad came as the president attempted to subvert results of a democratic election, a bedrock of the United States’ global image.

To Republican political observers, Pompeo’s unflinching promotion of a twice-impeached president is part of a careful balancing act designed to lay future claim to Trump’s large and loyal political base while retaining credibility among the GOP establishment.
To some observers of Pompeo’s attempts at retail politics, his presidential ambitions are borderline delusional. The former Kansas congressman styles himself as an anti-elitist Midwesterner despite hailing from California with a law degree from Harvard. He is known to charm small gatherings of political donors with his quick wit and pithy rhetoric, but when he delivers speeches to large audiences, he speeds through prepared remarks awkwardly, often swallowing words and lacking cadence or gravitas.
“His struggle will be that national security issues don’t really resonate,” […] “If you’re speaking at a local bar in rural West Virginia and you say, ‘We upped sanctions on Iran and helped derail the terrible JCPOA,’ that’s not going to get anybody’s beer up in the air cheering you.”

Pompeo clings to Trump’s legacy with an eye toward inheriting the MAGA base [WaPo]


…& sure we could all stand to never hear another word either from or about the unpresidented ex-president…unless it’s to hear that the senate developed the intestinal fortitude to convict the asshole


…but you know what I’m looking forward to?

On the other side of Donald Trump’s turbulent presidency, the lawyers are waiting.

Leaving aside his Senate impeachment trial, mounting government investigations include a civil probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a criminal probe by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and a federal probe by acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. Michael Sherwin that may include Trump’s role in the catastrophic storming of the U.S. Capitol this month.

But already pending for the soon-to-be South Florida retiree is a trio of lawsuits that allege defamation, fraud and more fraud — all of which are helmed by one attorney.

Roberta Kaplan’s clients include writer E. Jean Carroll, who filed a defamation case after Trump claimed she was “totally lying” about her allegation that he raped her a quarter-century ago in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room, and niece Mary L. Trump, who claims that Trump and two of his siblings deprived her of an inheritance worth millions.

“I became the go-to person to sue the president,” says Kaplan, 54, with considerable relish.

Attorney Roberta Kaplan is about to make Trump’s life extremely difficult [WaPo]

Not long after he strides across the White House grounds Wednesday morning for the last time as president, Donald J. Trump will step into a financial minefield that appears to be unlike anything he has faced since his earlier brushes with collapse.

The tax records that he has long fought to keep hidden, revealed in a New York Times investigation last September, detailed his financial challenges:

Many of his resorts were losing millions of dollars a year even before the pandemic struck. Hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, which he personally guaranteed, must be repaid within a few years. He has burned through much of his cash and easy-to-sell assets. And a decade-old I.R.S. audit threatens to cost him more than $100 million to resolve.

In his earlier dark moments, Mr. Trump was able to rescue businesses he runs with multimillion-dollar infusions from his father or licensing deals borne of his television celebrity. Those lifelines are gone. And his divisive presidency has steadily eroded the mainstream marketability of the brand that is at the heart of his business.

That trend has only accelerated with his evidence-free campaign to subvert the outcome of the presidential election, which culminated in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. In its wake, his last-ditch lender vowed to cut him off. The P.G.A. canceled an upcoming championship at a Trump golf course, and New York City moved to strip him of contracts to run several venues.
Even in defeat, Mr. Trump has raised more than $250 million in political donations since the election. Yet while some of that money could be spent in ways that artfully, or aggressively, intermingle expenses on political work with personal and business costs, campaign finance laws would not allow Mr. Trump to use the entire amount to buttress his businesses.
He received the last multimillion-dollar share of his inheritance about two years ago. And the wellspring of entertainment riches had nearly dried up by the time he entered politics, falling from profits in excess of $50 million during peak years to below $3 million in 2018. (Of course, not paying his debts also played a significant role in both turnarounds.)

The Times obtained tax-return data for Mr. Trump spanning more than two decades, including information from his personal returns through 2017, and from his business returns through 2018. The records show that many of his businesses have rarely, if ever, stood on their own.
But now he faces loans coming due: $100 million on Trump Tower next year; $125 million on his Doral golf resort in Florida in 2023; and $170 million on the Washington hotel in 2024. Mr. Trump personally guaranteed most of that debt, which means the lenders could pursue his other assets if he cannot pay or refinance.
The decade old I.R.S. audit poses an additional risk. According to records obtained by The Times, it appears to have begun after Mr. Trump claimed that giving up his stake in his casino business for nothing entitled him to a refund of the $72.9 million in federal income taxes he had paid for 2005 through 2008, when his television celebrity exposed him to large income tax bills for the first time in years.

The refund automatically set off an audit, which remained active at least into last spring. Records suggest that the matter was put on hold while he was in office, but it may resume after he leaves. An unfavorable ruling could cost Mr. Trump more than $100 million, with interest and penalties.

Mr. Trump also faces legal threats that could deepen any financial hardship, including investigations into potential tax fraud being pursued by the Manhattan district attorney and the New York attorney general, as well as civil suits for his role in promoting a multilevel marketing scheme.

The Financial Minefield Awaiting an Ex-President Trump [NYT]

…so as you make sure you have your party supplies lined up ready for that midday milestone…maybe while away a little of that waiting time with something like this

…it runs to a little over 20…but it seemed worth getting all the way through to me?

…credit where credit’s due (& we can be pretty sure the asshole in question isn’t due any & will be paying extortionate rates for any he can lay claim to…oh, the irony) I found that thread in this piece


…oh, yeah…speaking of toxic brands…fuck this shit…& the shit that wrote the shitty book they’re willing to publish


…I know we’ve been over this in the comments a time or two now…but for the sake of clarity

…but that’s enough about that…after all, aside from the fact it’ll get remaindered soon enough…well

…but today at least we do know one thing



  1. Before we drown in the tsunami of joy and commentary surrounding the Biden Inauguration) can I just squeeze in a word about the book publishing business? Regnery does publish a lot of dreck, so how do they stay in business? Because the books sell. A disproportionate share via bulk purchases, no doubt, to be given away at campaign fundraisers or when the author goes on a speaking tour before conservative groups, but it matters not to them. The fact that S&S is their distributor really doesn’t matter; that means that S&S will warehouse the books for them, take the orders, and handle the shipping. PenguinRandomHouse has vast warehousing capabilities and tracking systems that are best-in-class, up there with Amazon, so that’s a service others will pay for.
    Regnery is not the only place that publishes these authors. I just did a quick check and it looks like Ann Couleter’s and Jonah Goldberg’s latest were both published by imprints of PenguinRandomHouse. There are only the Big Five publishers (used to be Big 6, but Random House acquired merged with the 6th, Penguin.) How this was allowed to go through I don’t know. PRH does not have an equal 20% share of the book business; it must be more like 50% at least. PRH has imprints now numbering in the many dozens. Presumably they compete against each other to acquire titles and I’m sure on paper they do but…
    I was going to say something else about the book publishing business but I forget what. Oh, I know. At least at PRH taking on Ann Coulter and Jonah Goldberg isn’t driven by ideology, and I doubt no PRH employee enjoyed working on these titles, even the marketing and publicity folks, who tend to be a fairly agnostic lot. The salespeople probably love them, because they sell themselves. But still they do it because publishing is a business, not a non-profit social betterment society.
    And to sum up: The New York Times Bestseller list. The WSJ pretty much goes by Bookscan numbers (they track about 80% I think of all books sold, from Amazon and the chains, but not from wholesale clubs or self-publishing sources.) The NYT, though, uses a very different metric for obvious reasons. The NYT Bestseller List used to be straightforward: Fiction & Non-Fiction, Hardcover and Paperback. The grandees got frustrated at some point with the non-fiction side, and sliced and diced it, so books that would have dominated overall for weeks now get “Advice, How-To, and Miscellaneous.” That’s where the popular books by life lifestyle gurus and diet faddists go. I think cookbooks go there too but unless you’re someone like Nigella lawson or Ina Garten or Rachael Ray I don’t think you’d be a contender. 
    On the fiction side, they divided that into “trade” and “mass market.” Trade = what NYT employees would read and think everyone else you should be reading, although I think people like John Grisham, Danielle Steel, and James Patterson show up here. Mass market = what the unwashed masses pick up in airports. They also created a “Children’s” list once Harry Potter started dominating fiction. This was a deeply cynical move because I know plenty of adults who have happily read and reread from the Harry Potter series. In its heyday, imagine the sales of the latest Harry Potter versus the latest from Ian McEwan. 400X? 4,000X?
    Anyway, that’s it. Happy Inauguration Day everybody! Let us hope all goes smoothly.

      • And because I can’t let this go, one final thing. The NYT does not rely solely on bookscan, with is the only real way to track sales in the famously opaque book business. No, they also consult with a super-secret collection of independent booksellers. The super-secret collection of independent booksellers does not run its own printing presses, so where they get their stock from would be captured otherwise. But suppose there is “buzz” about an experimental work of fiction that no one’s ever heard of, or people can’t get enough of a climate change polemic? You can imagine where these booksellers are located and who their clientele might be. Why, the same type of folks who read the NYT faithfully and share their world view, so it is a reinforcing feedback loop.

      • …if I can remember where I saw it there was quite an interesting breakdown of the viable routes to publishing a book as a sort of infographic…at least I guess you’d call it that since it was basically text but the thing was an image file…so it may take me a while to append it to this

        …it certainly (iirc) supports what you’re saying there…to be fair I was (& still am) just generally pissed that hawley’s screed will see print & that there’s money in it for him after what he’s been up to lately…it seems somewhere between cynical & opportunistic on the part of the others that stand to profit from it & (predictably) an ideological effort to keep pushing the bullshit narratives that we’d all be better off without

        …so I guess I’m not done being bitter about that kind of thing?

        • …turns out it was the same lady that started that thread who produced the thing I meant so I’m hoping this is an easy way to add it without messing about with the image itself?

        • Remember, my friend, this is America–where money comes before literally everything else.  Letter of protest from authors and other literary people aside, I have zero doubts that, in addition to Hawley’s bullshit, there will be a flood of tell-alls coming out of the Trump Admin bootlickers in the coming years.

        • There’s no money in conservative books, RIP. I’ve posted this before, but the publishers typically game the NYT Bestseller List by using bulk purchases. These books are more for campaign props and resume entries, that’s all. I’ve mentioned before that they don’t check out at my wife’s library. Obama books do, but not conservative trash. And we live in a red state. 
          In addition, very few authors are millionaires, even best-selling ones. We’ve had a number of NYT bestselling authors do book signings at the library, and they will typically tell you they aren’t millionaires. Patterson, Rowling, King, yes, but mid-list authors,  not so much. Movie and other rights are where you find the big money. and nobody’s making a movie about Hawley.
          On the other end, the median income from authors is approximately $20,300 (2018) annually. Here’s a blog post about it from John Scalzi, who actually has been awarded a contract for several million from his publisher, Tor, and who frequently tries to provide accurate information about the profession. 
          As an professional writer who has been paid to write for most of my career (the definition of “professional”), I can tell you it’s MUCH more profitable to focus on commercial work than novels or fiction. My first copywriting job right out of grad school in 1995 paid more than the 2018 author median salary noted above. I’ve actually had novelists at the library pumping ME for information on writing jobs. They tend to balk at the lack of creative control, but again, I get a paycheck. Or did. I don’t do that any more. 
          So no, Hawley will not make money. But I’m pretty sure that’s not the point. The point is propaganda. Hawley can line his pockets from other sources. 

          • …I do (& have) paid attention to that stuff when you’ve said it…& I have at least some familiarity with the extent to which authors are hard pressed to make a living

            …I just…kinda hate josh hawley…so it pissed me off that they un-cancelled his book on the basis that it didn’t deserve to see print

            …still, as you say, it’s more a means to an end than an end in itself…although I guess that’s arguably more of a reason for it to piss me off?

            • I desperately want Josh Hawley to be found in a meth shack in rural Missouri. So, so, badly. 

              Fucking Josh Hawley. Claire McCaskill wasn’t even a lefty democrat, she’d be republican in a blue state. But she lost to fucking Hawley because he glommed onto how much fucking stupid Missourians love Trump.

    • I seem to recall that one of the reasons why the NY Times went to such a complicated method for the bestseller list was Scien*t*l*gsts were sending brainwashees into bookstores with orders to buy armloads of ElRon’s books and babble about how great they were to try to drive up his numbers and create word of mouth.

  2. Trump was just so, I don’t know, vulgar? Aside from all of his truly despicable actions and inaction, the bullying and thuggery, the callousness and cruelty, the ignorance, entitlement, misogyny, and narcissism, he was simply a vulgar, rude person. The type of person whom I would pointedly avoid proximity to or association with at any public or private event. As president, he was foisted upon the world, pervasive and inescapable. I look forward to the blessed relief of knowing that he will soon be comparatively powerless, and hopefully as financially bankrupt as he is morally bankrupt.

    • I remember a guy at work dismissing my fears in 2016 by saying that the president was just a figure head and everything would be fine, turns out having a bad example for a figure head sets a bad example. who’d a thunk it?

      • No president runs all of details — Trump sure didn’t. But they make the rules and choose the people, and Trump was as deeply involved as any president ever in that part of running the show.

    • One of the most obvious things that I should have known but the Trump era really drove home: Assholes respond to assholes. 

      The upside is that his superpower is shamelessness and that’s going to be really difficult for other assholes to replicate.

  3. Madison Cawthorn – keeping hypocrisy alive in the GOP
    17 House GOP freshmen sent a letter to Biden committing to work with him
    From CNN’s Daniella Diaz and Annie Grayer
    Republican Rep. Beth Van Duyne, who represents a Texas district where Democrats were competitive, led a letter to Joe Biden signed joined by 16 GOP House freshmen, saying they look forward to working with him.

    “We firmly believe that what unites us as Americans is far greater than anything that may ever divide us,” they wrote. “In that spirit, we hope that we can rise above the partisan fray to negotiate meaningful change for Americans across the nation and maintain the United States’ standing as the best country in the world.”

    Some of the representatives who signed onto the letter include Madison Cawthorn, Barry Moore, Burgess Owens, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Peter Meijer, Ashley Hinson and Carlos A. Gimenez.
    “The constituencies we represent showcase the variety of thought across our great nation,” the letter said. “Americans are tired of the partisan gridlock and simply want to see leaders from both sides of the aisle work on issues important to American families, workers, and businesses,” it added.

  4. Wouldn’t it be great if the NY Times ran a slideshow of their inexcusably screwed up headlines of the Trump era? All of the times the rotten values of their DC reporters and editors led them to ignore what was right in front of their eyes?
    The “No links to Russia” headline? The headlines for all of many articles they ran bemoaning Alan Dershowitz not getting invited to cocktail parties on Martha’s Vinyard? The headlines of the diner safaris articles that misled the country about the demographics of his base (it’s NOT the working class)? The hook/line/sinker swallowing of Bill Barr’s lies on Mueller’s report?
    It’s been years of bad reporting, apologies, double standards, false equivalencies, evasions, fact-free opinion pretending to be analysis, prewritten narrative over facts, and petty patronizing moralizing.
    Headlines are the purest expression of editorial priorities — what they say, how big they are, where they are placed. And the failure of their headlines to capture the Trump years is a top indicator of how badly their editors have failed.

  5. Another thing cheeto ruined, the NYT became intolerable during the last 4 years, we’re they actually so butt hurt by being labelled ‘failing’ that they actually failed in their mission? Ugh, and I so loved doing the crossword, too.

    • They just had a headline complaining Biden’s Peleton bike “raises issues” and snarking that it undercuts his regular guy image.
      What the hell is wrong with their editors? Besides the fact that their top political editor’s main prior experience was DRAMA CRITIC??????
      The Times is literally a paper by and for snotty upper class theater teens, and Trump played up to their crooked delight in slumming.

      • Can we stop treating politicians as people we want to have a beer with and elect them based on whether they’re competent for the job??? FFS. The man exercises? YAY, THE POLAR FUCKING OPPOSITE OF THE PREVIOUS GUY.

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