open thread traitor in chief trump

Leaving on a jet plane: Another Trump open thread because holy crap what a week

Live shot from Air Force One

If you still have energy after this rather exhausting week in Trump news, here’s an open thread for you! No trolls or Trump fans.

141 replies on “Leaving on a jet plane: Another Trump open thread because holy crap what a week”

2 questions

1. Did anyone play Paper Mario: Color Splash? Nintendo gifted it to me when my Pokémon Shuffle account disappeared. I just started playing it today and I’ve been giggling through the whole thing. It’s so creative and genuinely funny.

2. Doesn’t this vegan meal look amazing?

My Otter made it last night. The rice part is basically Jamaican rice & peas but without the scotch bonnet and with a little bit of lime juice. The other stuff is Jerusalem artichokes that have been brushed, boiled, mashed, fried, coated with a rum based sauce, and finally baked. Sweeeeeeet.

IP, that looks amazing!

…and now I’m hungry.


I don’t necessarily expect it to be logical as such, but it should at least make sense.

Depends on what you mean by “make sense”.

Bread, threat, pleasure v. treat, heap, seal;
young, country, southern, couple v. mouth, found, about, county ;
some, one, oven, brother, honey, love, tongue v. cod, topple, sorry v. move, do, to v. go, hope, so, comb;
England, pretty v. length, penny.

Scone, gone – done, one, – bone, tone.

There are good explanations behind all these apparent oddities. Even then, not all words are pronounced the same in every region of the world … remember that the largest single group of English speakers/writers in the world is in India. (Though I find the biggest difference making South Asian English speakers hard to understand is their entirely different emphasis on syllables.)

There are always local dialects or simple variations in the uses, pronunciations and meanings of English words. And there always will be.

@ mildlymagnificent

All very true. Watching Don’t Ask Me, Ask Britain (a show where people vote for the answers to questions with an app) the other day I saw that people in Scotland and Wales overwhelmingly use ‘con’ while people in England use ‘cone.’

I find that personally that when talking to South Asian speakers issues I have with understanding them are less to do with emphasis but rather on the pitch and tone of their voice.

Some people of course pronounce cone ‘c-oown’ and so they would logically pronounce scone ‘scoown’ but no one talks about that…

I was in the audience for BBC Question Time last week, and something really puzzled me about it.

The audience is supposedly chosen to reflect a demographic spread approximately like that of the place where it’s filmed – a different place every week – and it soon became pretty obvious where the UKIP supporters in the audience were (I was sitting in front of 3 of them).

Before the show starts, the panel take a question from the audience which isn’t broadcast, so the technicians can make the final checks on light and sound. The question was about Trump, and quickly became about how humiliating and awful it was when our Prime Minister dashed over the Atlantic and held his hand.

Someone in the audience commented “He’s a businessman” (like that means a genius). The compere said “He’s a businessman who has been bankrupt”. And behind me the 3 UKIP supporters chipped in “No he hasn’t.” “Not bankrupt: no,” and “No,” – and I could hear similar voices echoing around the auditorium. In fact, it was a handy way to identify where the UKIP supporters were sitting.

It’s puzzled me ever since. Is it that they don’t understand that “Filing for Chapter Seven” is USian for “gone bankrupt” or is there some kind of meme they’ve all shared about how it’s Fake News?

All enlightenment welcomed!

@ bluecat

All enlightenment welcomed!

Technically Trump himself has never gone bankrupt.

A number of companies he’s been involved with have filed for ‘chapter 11’ bankruptcy. In UK terms that’s like appointing an administrator. So it’s one step short of ‘chapter 7’ bankruptcy which is like our equivalent of winding up a company.

Companies can of course have insolvency difficulties for valid no fault reasons. But to paraphrase Oscar Wilde:

“To lose one company may be unfortunate, but to lose four smacks of carelessness.”


Thanks Alan. I realise I’m woefully ill-informed.

So – how about “technically not a bankrupt” as a slogan for the 2020 Trump campaign?

@ bluecat

how about “technically not a bankrupt” as a slogan for the 2020 Trump campaign?

I think the 2020 Republican candidate will be the reanimated corpse of Richard Nixon running with the slogan:

“Don’t look so bad now, do I?”

Yeah, I could see Trump not resigning before the whole process completes and he can’t be President any more.

Right now though, Trump is in no real danger of impeachment unless the Special Counsel manages to reveal something more damning than lying to Congress. Bill Clinton being the example of what happens if there’s enough support in the House for impeachment, but the Senate is still almost 50/50. An earlier President, Johnson actually faced a Senate that had 2/3s “Radical Republicans” (who were against slavery, and more like Democrats these days), and still didn’t get kicked out of office.

Counting on Repubs to suddenly change the worldview they’re so invested in now isn’t a good bet.

I’m saying he should not be President, but politics right now means it’s unlikely to happen unless either he gets rational and resigns, or he does something really extra terrible.

So a wild white male Alt-Right Pepe Kekistani stabbed a young black man to death, it would see.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — The FBI is investigating whether the stabbing of a visiting black student by a white student at the University of Maryland was a hate crime, officials said Sunday.

Sean Christopher Urbanski has been charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as first-degree assault in the early Saturday morning attack that killed Richard Collins III, police said.

University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said he asked the FBI to assist in the investigation after learning that Urbanski, 22, belonged to a Facebook group called “Alt-Reich: Nation,” where members post disparaging material about African Americans and others.

This was always going to happen.


That’s exactly what I don’t get: basically that is exactly what is wrong. I’m not snooty or posh or whatever, I’m simply a person who pronounces it in a certain way that everyone around me does. That’s kind of the problem I’m referring to. I joke about it being silly to not pronounce it the way it is spelt, but it isn’t the same as people announcing that pronouncing it how it is spelt is for people who are lower than oneself because they are ‘posh.’ That seems to engender less humour and more indignancy

Ah, you never met my parents. It was all humour, and no indignancy, which is not a word.

Anyway, that’s not important right now, because glowing fucking orb. Jesus, does Trump now have the power of Grayskull or something? There will be so many memes!

@ Moggie

Ah, you never met my parents. It was all humour, and no indignancy, which is not a word.

Glad to hear it.

Dictionary says indignancy is a word.


It’s puzzled me ever since. Is it that they don’t understand that “Filing for Chapter Seven” is USian for “gone bankrupt” or is there some kind of meme they’ve all shared about how it’s Fake News?

I have heard the same from my brother (an American Trump supporter, hypothetically – he skipped out on voting day and didn’t vote for anyone…)

The line of reasoning from him is that Trump’s businesses have declared bankruptcy, but he as an individual has not, and that filing for bankruptcy is a valid business strategy for a high-stakes entrepreneur.

Which it (arguably) is – but that’s the problem. The United States can’t file for bankruptcy. Public and private sector money management are not the same at all. What about a history of risky business investments has prepared Trump in any way to run a country?

I need to whine about something.

Thursdays are Game Nights for me. I drive a couple miles to the FLGS to play board games. Kemet, Pandemic, Avalon… A couple of us were into Android: Netrunner for awhile. So there’s this guy Tom. Tom congratulaged me on Hitler’s birthday about a month back when everyone else was making the slightly-in-better-taste jokes about 420 Day. He’s occasionally tried to convince me The International Jew secretly controlled the Soviet Union, or sell me on Dolchstosselegende.

So, last Thursday, I came in and sat by him, he mentioned the “Russia stuff” was bullshit, and we talked politics. Somewhere along the line, I reprised my theory about Trump being a literal joke: I told Tom that he voted for “President Boaty McBoatface” and that he voted for Trump because of, not in spite of, his incompetence. That he wanted to watch people like Newt Gingrich humiliate themselves by kowtowing to him.

And when he denied it, I called him a liar, and that really fucking pissed him off. He literally shook with rage and invited me to step outside for a fist fight. And it’s been the whole weekend and I can’t stop feeling guilty–both for Tom, and for all our friends who had to watch uncomfortably while we argued. And I can’t stop worrying about having burned my bridges with the store–it’s a lovely little store. What if the shopkeeper kicks both of us out over this?

Really sorry to hear that. That’s not a nice situation at all.

What about Trump supporters makes them think other people want to hear their wild conspiracy theories when trying to have fun in a recreational setting?

When you go back, perhaps try and go earlier than whenever you arranged to meet the others, and explain the situation. You say they are a nice shop, so they should understand, but if they do ban you then they might not really be so nice.

I find it helpful to think about the worst case scenario- the worst case scenario sounds like you being banned from the store and you having the opportunity to contact the people who aren’t ‘Tom’ and ask if they want to meet up to play individually. The other possible outcomes are much better and it sound like more likely to happen.

I don’t know if this advice helps at all, but perhaps it might

@banned –

That is an unfortunate situation. It sounds like he’s been antagonizing you for a while – maybe out of obliviousness rather than intentionally, but I think your reaction is understandable. (He wished you happy hitler’s birthday?? Gross)

Maybe you could write up an apology to your friends – and a separate one for him if you feel like he deserves one. Remember you don’t have to apologize for how you feel about his remarks – if you just want to apologize for anything you feel was misbehavior on your part, you can absolutely do that without having to take the position that you were 100% in the wrong. It’s about keeping things right with yourself – since you say you feel guilty.

If you do get kicked out, that will be too bad. But maybe you can see it as an opportunity to find a new crowd without a Tom? I know that’s easier said than done, but sometimes there are other great options out there that we don’t see until we’re forced out of our comfort zone.

I hope this didn’t come off as preachy. I’ve found myself in similar situations before because I tend to try and be easy to get along with, so I’ll wave off ignorant remarks until they build up and I snap at the other person. So I’m working on trying to speak up before it gets to that point, but it’s not always easy.

Oh hey, I got around to reading the comments, and it looks like ChimericMind made the same kind of cock-up I did. My condolences. And thanks for everyone else’s.

Also, Fran Torpedo: Mark Twain once told someone, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead.” Maybe it’s idealistic, but if you’re forced to post on Twitter, you can hope that the other people there are taking the effort to condense complex thoughts into 140 characters, rather than just saying whatever whatever they can within that span.


Good one!

Also, liars always get angry when pinned down. The fact that Tom shit his pants with rage when you said that is all I need to know about that guy.

Well, that and the fucking Hitler jokes.

I’m officially done with people who think Hitler is Le Funnay, unless they are genuinely making fun OF Hitler and not making fun WITH Hitler.


You look pretty sharp in that new photo.

Also, that is the only tweet I want Drump to tweet.

“Puihal Nit”? Bloody hell, and I thought my signature was bad…

@ fran

Alan should like this

I did indeed! Of course, like all attempted satires of the North it’s disturbingly close to the reality. Basically we’re Poe’s Law writ large. Every cliché is true; but we’re actually quite proud about that.


Splendiferous. What I know of the chap whose brainchild that is: he is also from Oop North as well, and is intimately familiar with the atmosphere of the area.

When I get a chance I’d like to link you to the Best Of that blog, in my opinion.

I have a very fuzzy understanding of the things Dr. Littler is poking fun at: for example, the Real British Crime article is a riff of the Campaign For Real British Ale, which is something most Colony folk don’t know of off the tops of their heads.

Course, I never experienced Northern life first hand, so I defer to your experience on the matter.

Complete OT but I have to get this off my chest.

I just watched a 3 part documentary on one of Sweden’s most famous murder cases, in which two brothers aged 5 and 7 were declared guilty of killing a 4 year old boy. The events happened in 1998, and this documentary series has dominated domestic news here recently. The film maker managed to access previously unreleased video recordings of police questioning the brothers. Most of the people involved with the investigation are featured in interviews, as well as the brothers, who are now in their mid 20s, and their parents.

It’s been an absolutely infuriating experience to watch. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shaken by a documentary before. I cried many times, despite being on meds that make me almost unable to cry. I hope it gets subtitled in English, or I might try to put a translation together myself. I knew it would be an intense ride, but it was a lot worse than I expected. I can’t even.

*internet hugs*
Reminds me of the recent Central Park 5 documentary. Not an easy watch. Now that the main, public agitator lives in the goddamn White House, I’m not likely to be able to sit thru it again for some time…

@ fran

the Real British Crime article is a riff of the Campaign For Real British Ale,

Like some of the best comedy it works on multiple levels. So there’s the obvious parody of CAMRA (oh, and they’re so parochial they just assume the ‘British’ as read). But it’s also a reinterpretation of Orwell’s essay ‘Decline of the English Murder’.

Satire works best when it could just as easily be taken at face value. I think the Starship Troopers film is a good example of that. And this does the same thing. But as mentioned that’s pretty easy with Northerners. I found myself nodding along reading the kids are all potential criminals article (well, it’s not wrong is it?)



Oh, and to return to The Cleopatras: yes, the show is amazingly historically accurate. I consider this one of its really noteworthy points and love that.

I thought they were having some snarky British fun by calling King Potbelly ‘potbelly’, then I went on Wikipedia and found out that was what they actually called him back then.

Of course, wacky names were kinda common for the Ptolemaic Pharaohs. The one I know about from reading books about them as a nipper was Neos Dionysos Auletes; I see that in the show they called him Fluter, and he is exactly as silly as I imagined him to be as a child.

Splendid stuff. I am forever grateful to you for introducing me to thi.

@ fran

Oh, and to return to The Cleopatras:

I’m glad you’re enjoying it. It is a fantastic series. It’s that combination of witty script and amazing actors. It’s that clever ability to have larger than life characters yet keep them plausible and avoid pantomime caricature. It’s unfortunate it suffers inevitable Claudius comparisons. I think it’s equally good (and I *love* Claudius) but, whilst there are some similarities it’s a very different beast.

Speaking of Claudius you may also enjoy another forgotten series. It’s called The Caesars. Six (B&W) episodes. Came out shortly before Claudius which may have overshadowed it since. But it’s again equally excellent. Covers same ground as Claudius but some interesting differences in characterisation. Funnily enough it reflects a central theme that crops up in Claudius, should historical tales go for entertaining or accuracy?

Claudius is basically a funny Mafia family saga, Caesars is a more sober account. I especially like the interpretation of Tiberius. Much less petulant although equally frustrated. Reminds me a bit of Prince Charles. Hankering for years after a job then when it finally comes you’re too old and you’ll always pale in comparison to your adored and acclaimed forebear.

Imaginary Petal:

I have no idea what case you’re referring to, but I assume it has something to do with how difficult it is to question children that young, and how easy it is to accidentally coax them into saying things?


how easy it is to accidentally coax them into saying things

Well, aren’t we optimistic? It’s called ‘the Kevin case’, and, no, it don’t seem very accidental. An, admittedly short, exploration on Google makes blatantly incompetent out to be the most generous framing for the police 🙁


Mark Twain once told someone, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead.”

He was quoting Pascal:

Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.

Les Provinciales (1862), Blaise Pascal, éd. Monmerqué, 1656, Seizième lettre aux révérends pères jésuites, p. 191

@banned & Axe

Yeah. After watching the documentary, I believe that some of the investigators were just incompetent, and others were actively malicious. Here’s a short summary of what happened (I guess there will be spoilers, if that word can be used in this context – oh, and also TW for various things).

Kevin was found on a wooden pallet, floating in shallow water in a lake very close to his home and to a school. He had been assaulted, likely kicked, in the crotch area, and finally strangled to death, likely by having a twig pressed against his throat.

When the news got out, one of the brothers told his stepmom that he had seen Kevin that day possibly with another person. The stepmother contacted the police, in case the boy might actually have some information, even though it seems likely he was just making things up, as kids do. Both brothers were brought in as possible witnesses.

They were subsequently interrogated upwards of 20 times each, for hours at a time, without legal representation and mostly without any parent present. The boys seemed to give positive or negative answers basically at random, constantly contradicting themselves and each other. They were asked to identify other kids in school photos, but it led nowhere.

Eventually the interrogators started asking whether the boys themselves were present when Kevin was killed. They both went back and forth between confirming and denying, but the interrogators quickly jumped to the conclusion that the brothers were the perpetrators. They then moved on trying to get the children to give an account of the murder that was consistent with the physical evidence, blatantly nudging them in the right direction. When the boys didn’t give the correct answers, they were simply given the facts and asked to repeat them.

While all this went on, the stepmother had a mental breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The police interrogated her at the hospital, while she was clearly in a confused state, and got her to agree with various suggestions about the day of Kevin’s death. They came away with “confirmation” that the older brother had come home with wet clothes on the day in question.

As it became clear that the brothers were the main suspects, their father was also admitted into psychiatric care and questioned while on heavy medication.

The boys never did give a remotely correct account of the murder, and they never once admitted to having killed Kevin. Even so, the police claimed to have received admissions of guilt. They also claimed that the boys had been extremely accurate and consistent in describing the events that led to Kevin’s death. This was clearly a lie.

The police worked with a “recovered memories expert” who was very well respected at this time, since he had previously worked with the super high profile Thomas Quick serial killer case. Quick confessed to more than 30 murders and was convicted of 8, in a series of trials between 1994 and 2001. During this time, Quick was on heavy psychiatric medication. After being taken off medication, Quick retracted all of his confessions and was subsequently acquitted from all 8 murders in a series of decisions between 2010 and 2013.

One of the most harrowing moments from the videotaped interrogations with the brothers in the Kevin case, was seeing the older boy crying and asking to see his mother, while the lead interrogator demanded that he admit dragging the dead body through the woods to the spot where Kevin was found. Eventually, the boy was told he could see his mother if he would point to the spot on the map where Kevin was found. When he couldn’t, the interrogator identified the spot for him. The boy was then happy to point at that spot, in exchange for getting to see his mother. This was the 18th time the boy was questioned, and the session had at this point gone on for 3 hours with no break.

In the aftermath, social services tried to place the boys with a foster family as the father and stepmother were in terrible mental states. As it happens, they couldn’t find any family willing to take in two allegedly murderous demon-children, so in the end the whole family was put in psychiatric care together. The situation was described by the family as “a prison”. They had never spoken publically about these events until being contacted by this documentary film maker.


Oop North

One of my favourite bits from the first episode with Christopher Eccleston as Dr. Who:
“If you’re from another planet, why do you sound like you’re from Up North?”
“Lots of planets have a North!”

That’s sounding a lot like the sort of thing that happened over here with the ‘Satanic Panic’. Even here in Canada, we have lots of evidence that once the police decide that catching someone to look like they’re doing something is more important than being sure they’re catching the right person, things can go badly very quickly.


Exactly. The interrogators even admitted on camera that they pushed the kids down a specific route because they needed to show some progress in the investigation. So gross and wrong.

The WM3 case was one of the worst cases of railroading I’ve ever seen…if the Kevin doc is anything like that, I can relate to the fury at the incompetence of the investigators.

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