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A study in contrasts, via CrookedMedia'sJon Favreau


The big political topic on Twitter Monday is a pretty simple question: Is this any way to run National Security? You might remember this vignette from our earlier story about how the intelligence community is a bit reluctant to share all the info with the current Commander in Chief, who may or may not have pals in Russia listening in: After North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile into the ocean this weekend, Trump and his staff had a quick strategy session right there in the dining room of Mar-a-Lago:

As Mar-a-Lago's wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background, Trump and Abe's evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN [...]

Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon left their seats to huddle closer to Trump as documents were produced and phone calls were placed to officials in Washington and Tokyo.

The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents.

Even as a flurry of advisers and translators descended upon the table carrying papers and phones for their bosses to consult, dinner itself proceeded apace. Waiters cleared the wedge salads and brought along the main course as Trump and Abe continued consulting with aides.

Huh! So if you want to be on hand for some top-secret intelligence chat, all you need is a Mar-a-Lago membership, still a bargain even though the price just doubled to $200K, and you don't even need a security clearance. Just make sure you're dressed appropriately, and try not to be too obvious about lifting up your wristwatch every few minutes to snap pictures of the documents on the president's table, Mr. Bond.

And about those aides using the flashlights on their phones to illuminate the classified documents "President" Trump was "reading"? It seems, if you are the paranoid type, that phones are quite easily hacked to turn into listening and video-ing devices -- so much so, that Edward Snowden had his guests keep theirs in the refrigerator to "block any radio signals that might be used to silently activate the devices’ microphones or cameras."

So pointing your phone at those documents might be frowned upon!

Heck, while you're wandering around the dining room, you can also get a snapshot with the guy who carries the nuclear "football" and post it to Facebook! (The Facebook post has since been taken down, but screenshots are forever.)

The guy who took the photos, Richard DeAgazio, was awfully impressed by Trump's grace under pressure. Oh, sure, he could have gotten up and gone sometwhere more secure, but why?

“He chooses to be out on the terrace, with the members. It just shows that he’s a man of the people,” DeAgazio said.

And any paying members of foreign intelligence services. It's not like many countries can afford $200,000 anyway.

Looks like the security situation is pretty much top-notch, huh? And while all the National Security-ing was going on, there was also a wedding reception right next door. Cozy! But of course, a bunch of Negative Nellies in the press seem to think maybe it's not such a great idea to move the Situation Room to your club's dining room. We don't see the big deal. It's members only, for heaven's sake.

Thanks god we avoided electing the candidate who had a private email server and treated secured information so casually that it threatened our safety. As Donald Trump knows, to really keep things secure, you have to handle that sort of thing at dinner. And then tweet about it on your unsecured Android phone.

OK, sure, so there's that -- a whole different category of insecure server to worry about.

You know, it sure is a good thing Republicans care so much about security. Here's Paul Ryan giving the president hell about his careless handling of classified information:

Oh, wait, that's from July 2016. Talk about prescient!

[WaPo / CNN / WaPo]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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