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Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

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West Virginia governor Jim Justice, once a Republican, then an opportunistic “Democrat,” and now a Trumpist Republican, can go do anatomically impossible things to himself.

Mr. Justice said he would officially change his voter registration on Friday. “I will tell you with lots of prayers and lots of thinking, today I will tell you as West Virginians that I can’t help you anymore being a Democrat governor,” he said. He imagined his mother, who has passed away, saying, “Jimmy, it’s about damn time you came to your senses.”

The governor initially received some boos from members of the crowd who seemed uncertain why he was there. But they applauded his announcement, and he quickly wrapped his arms around the president. “This man is a good man. He’s got a backbone, he’s got real ideas. He cares about us in West Virginia,” Mr. Justice said of Mr. Trump. He defended the president over the Russia investigation, saying, “Have we not heard enough about the Russians?”

After the announcement, Mr. Trump praised the governor: “Having Big Jim as a Republican is such an honor,” he said. “Fantastic man, fantastic guy.”

Say this for Joe Manchin–he will never, ever, ever do this. Moreover, for all that Manchin can suck on some issues, not only is he as good as it gets in the West Virginia cesspool of racism, but has he ever provided the critical vote that defeated a potentially good bill or passed a bad one?

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  • Gwai Lo, MD

    This is the first time I’ve seen a rat jump on a sinking ship.

    • busker type

      nice.

    • JdLaverty

      What pisses me off the most is how consistent the mainstream media tends to be in their fawning over guys like this. Lieberman, Spector, every other supposed democrat/left-of-center independent that does this ridiculous Registered Bipartisan act to cover up for their craven oppurtunism and lack of anything resembling a system of values and beliefs; journalists get on their knees for these guys every. Damn. Time. Hell, if “no labels” wasn’t such a pitifully inconsequential organizational failure the group and its ‘members’ would get followed around capital hill by hordes of adoring reporters with puppy-dog eyes. Look at the deep, abiding love the MSM has for the massive web of union-hating, buckraking privatizers that make up the “education reform” movement and claim to be progressive (DFER being the best example) for political expediency. I’ve never been fond of the obnoxious obsession with ideological purity that many of my fellow leftists are so consumed with but they aren’t entirely wrong about there being a scourge of politicians who are essentially republicans dicking up the democratic party brand by claiming to be Part of the Gang. These people need to go, or at least stop pretending to be progressive.

      • cpinva

        “to cover up for their craven oppurtunism and lack of anything resembling a system of values and beliefs”

        hey, craven opportunism is a value and belief system. Crappy ones I’ll grant you, but ones nonetheless.

        • Hypersphrericalcow

          “Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos!”

          • fearandloathing

            He’s a Lebowskian nihilist. He purports to believe in nothing, value nothing, but he still wants the money. And if you don’t give him the money, he’ll drop a marmot in your bathtub and threaten you with castration.

        • JdLaverty

          I suppose you’re correct, the American right does have some real beliefs. Like the idea that some voters are more worthy than others and therefore should get a s#!t ton of extra voting power, because letting the dirty masses choose our leaders would endanger the sacred property rights of rich peop- ahem I mean Job Creators. There’s the belief that “Truth” is disconnected from reality and is whatever the Party says it is to further their noble goals. The belief that lessers should know their place (anything that enables Lessers to get all uppity and talk back to their Betters, like labor unions or the popular vote, is dangerous to societal order and must be crushed). The belief that certain racial groups have defective, anti-American “culture” and “beliefs” that make them prone to shifty, idle behavior and violent crime. That Muslims are a threat to the very existence of the country because they want to Do the Sharia all over America and are super-likely to be terrorists (white Christians who shoot and blow stuff up are mentally ill, not terrorists). That poverty can be solved by whipping lazy poor people into shape with firm-handed discipline and the threat of starvation or death (created by doing away with food stamps and the dread ObamaCare). That rich people are rich because they are simply better, smarter, more deserving than the poor and therefore should be free from pesky rules and regulations (damn minimum wage) and should be able to bribe as many poli-…. pardon me I mean able to Freely Speak as much Free Speech as they can afford. Basically, all the beliefs amount to “there is a group of Americans who are more virtuous, hard-working and worthy than others (determined by wealth) who should be trusted to run the country without having to worry about lessers using Democracy to confisticate their wealth and take their power. Everyone has a set place in society, people must stay in their place and respect their Betters to maintain order. Certain persons (Latino immigrants, Muslim refugees) are harmful to society and should be kept away if possible”
          You’re right the GOP does have a belief system. Sounds kind of like that old-timey ideology that was big in Europe back in the 1930’s, don’t remember the exact name

          • cpinva

            you’ve just described Calvinism in a nutshell. Bear in mind, Calvin knew who was both giving him the bread, and providing the butter for it too. Hence, wealth, regardless of how it was obtained, was a sign of god’s favor, and you were “pre-destined” to go to heaven, regardless of how much of an asshole you were.

            while Calvin has long since left this mortal coil, the idea he created, that the wealthy are obviously morally superior, has been beaten into us, and the GOP has run with it, at least since the Gilded Age. they fan the flames of racism/xenophobia/etc., to keep the peons fighting amongst themselves, instead of banding together, and actually taking their country back.

            I lived through Nixon-Watergate. the country didn’t collapse then, and Nixon was a hell of a lot smarter than Trump. We’ll survive this too.

            • rm

              1. Obligatory objection that this is unfair to the actual theological doctrine of Calvinism, which was friendlier to the view that you accept the class God had you born into than the “rich saved, poor bad” idea.

              2. Obligatory counter-objection that Vulgar Calvinism has always been “rich saved, poor bad,” because that’s how class justifies itself.

              3. Perhaps irrelevant tangent: my son the Anthropology major likes to remind me, when I rant about politics, that most societies through most of history have been oppressive oligarchies.

              • BiloSagdiyev

                My inner Moe Syzlak says, “Yeah, and most societies have had trial by comba, what’s it to ya?”, and wields a board with a nail through it.

          • BigHank53

            Listen, conservatives have always pined for the ancien regime, and they always will. I just can’t figure out how they all think they’re going to be part of the aristocracy instead of assistant banister polishers.

            • rm

              Sounds hot.

            • JdLaverty

              Maybe they’re good with being banister polishers. I mean money and power doesn’t seem to be the entire motivation: anyone can see that there really is a twisted, class-warfare-style loathing of the lower middle class and the working poor. Generally guided by the type of ridiculous fantasies about the safety net (poor people are living the high life on the Welfare, WSJ’s “lucky duckies” op-ed, etc.) that can only be believed by people whose only contact with their lower-income brethren are when they stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way to a posh office building. I mean you have to either be a complete sociopath (Like McConnell) or really, really despise the working poor to try and enact the kind of legislation that made up GOP’s ACA repeal efforts. Unless you have a clinically significant lack of empathy or a deep, misguided loathing people like for poor retail workers who benefited from the Medicaid expansion, you wouldn’t be able to sleep at night or look your kids in the eye after voting Yea on those GOPCare abominations.

              • BiloSagdiyev

                The elites haven’t a clue, on both sides of the aisle.
                But the middle-middle class and blue collar Trumpites? I think they know the poorer all to well- coworkers, troubled family members – and go overboard with their resentment. All based on the bitching of, “I work so hard everyday and look at goofball over there!”

            • fearandloathing

              Harumph…proud Trump voter clears throat and insists..Head banister polisher, junior management. The average Trump voter will be happy to polish banisters as long as they can make the rest of us wear French maid costumes and redefine rape out of existence. We are talking about people here who’s highest aspiration in life is to be a prison guard. They remind me of the doltish prison guard at the Aerie in season one of Game of Thrones where Tyrion is trying desperately to figure out how to bribe someone too incapable of abstract thought to be bribed without actually having a bag of gold in hand and pointing and saying “Look …gold (points to gold)…give to you (points to guard)…if you let me (points to himself) go”

      • fearandloathing

        This works better for the Liebermans that are “social moderates” (that is, not overt racists). Media is more comfortable with them. As opposed to bipartisans who occassionally have outbursts about the Mexicans, Black Lives Matter, and the Jewish media. They want to fawn over them (mainly due to their own low self esteem and desire to be kicked in the nuts-which is all the media’s cult of objectivity is-not so much a belief in disinterested pursuit of the truth, but a hatred of your own opinions merely because they are your own) but it’s like trying to be friends with someone who has uncontrollable flatulence and extreme BO.

    • King Goat

      A sinking ship? It’s interesting that no one here seems to mention that we’re down to 15 governorships now. We’re in need of some serious introspection and change as a party.

      • sibusisodan

        While I wouldn’t want to disturb the sterling work you’re doing in worrying without providing solutions, a cursory glance at recent history of governorship indicates the following:

        – the nonPresidential party gains governorship.
        – nothing is static

        I would expect states to go D for governor without any changes required. Why is this time different?

        (See https://www.statista.com/statistics/198486/number-of-governors-in-the-us-by-political-party-affiliation/ and https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/the-fix/wp/2015/02/28/the-history-of-every-governors-seat-in-every-state-in-1-chart/)

        • King Goat

          Since you’re into stats and patterns perhaps you’re aware this is a record high number of governorships for the GOP and a record low for Democrats. But yes, by all means ignore that and assume this is all quite normal, let’s keep doing what we’re doing how we’re doing it.

          • Marduk Kur

            As the Democratic Party has been moving rapidly to the left since at least 2006, are you arguing we should return to “third way” centrist posturing?

            • sibusisodan

              He’s carefully not suggesting anything as far as solutions go. He’s asking us to panic along with him.

              • Hogan

                To be fair, he’s also saying it’s time for women and minorities to get to the back of the bus.

                • King Goat

                  Yeah, under the current political reality women and minorities are driving the bus!

                  More like getting run over under.

                  I guess Hogan’s ok with that, so no changes please!

            • King Goat

              Yes, I think we should return to a ‘DLC’ approach.

              The Obama model of a more progressive, ‘identity politics’ embracing approach behind a very charismatic candidate and based on changing the usual voting demographics did well at the Presidential level but has worked out terrible for us at the state level. The result is when that model doesn’t work at the Presidential level it leaves us with more nothing than usual.

              • wjts

                It is a curious sort of person indeed who thinks the lesson of Jim Justice’s defection is that we need more governors like Jim Justice.

                • King Goat

                  It’s indeed curious, though that’s not what I said.

                  Moderating the message nationally does not equal running R’s as D’s.

                • If anything, that Justice got elected with the scarlett D next to his name in WV shows the national brand is not toxic to anywhere near the degree you’re assuming.

                  Localizing candidates will be enough to claw back, there’s no need to abandon social justice messaging at national level.

                • King Goat

                  That seems like saying the fact that Bloomberg won NYC with an R by his name shows the R brand nationally hasn’t become pretty toxic in NYC.

                • So… You just gave an example of a national party’s standing not mattering in a local election to refute my claim that a national party’s standing does not necessarily matter in a local election…thats an… interesting approach.

                  “Judge, I couldn’t have committed the murder! Where’s the motivation? Not only was she cheating on me with my best friend as the prosecution says, I also just took out a $100,000 life insurance policy on her!”

                • wjts

                  It’s indeed curious, though that’s not what I said.

                  Yes, I think we should return to a ‘DLC’ approach.

                  The DLC approach, famously, was to try to win elections by running conservative candidates and adopting conservative positions.

                • King Goat

                  You think Bill Clinton was a conservative? I guess you can tell because of how Breyer and Ginsburg =Alito and Gotsuch.

                  But I’m not surprised there is no ‘moderate’ in your worldview, everyone to the right of you is Jesse Helms it seems.

                • fearandloathing

                  Moderates wouldn’t be so bad if they actually had some independent ideas of their own. The problem is that it so often turns out to be a political strategy that means “If GOP offers a crap burger, then we should offer half a crap burger, because the GOP crap burger is too large and what the public wants is half a crap burger. With pickles. Because portion size and pickles make all the difference.” To put it another way, for all it’s flaws, Obamacare was actually an authentic one small step forward, even if a small step. A modest victory for centrism. As opposed to say, arguing with GOP over Medicaid cuts and then saying “But we’re sensible moderates, we only want to throw ten million people off Medicaid, not 20 million!!” I’m glad to see, at least for now, that sort of centrism is dead.

                • Domino

                  I mean, isn’t one of the defining quotes about the DLC approach Howard Dean stating how he didn’t mind getting the votes of the guys who have Confederate flags on the back of their pickups?

                • King Goat

                  That arch conservative Howard Dean! We need less but more pure votes!

                • fearandloathing

                  That’s not what he said. Jim Justice flipped parties. He wants more candidates like Jim Justice to win and then not flip parties but still be Jim Justice. All of the Justice, none of the justice. Just without the awful GOP label that makes people feel bad. Because that’s what the real problem is.

              • spencer_e9876

                Yes, I think we should return to a ‘DLC’ approach.

                So, “GOP Lite” then?

          • sibusisodan

            And? After 8 years of a D President, you expect R to have the lions share of governance. In addition, R dominance over rural states means that the deck is stacked against D.

            This is a new low. But why don’t you expect the normal pattern to assert itself and get D towards parity in governance just naturally in the coming cycle (because they’re the out party)?

            For the second time of asking, why is this time different?

            • humanoidpanda

              The extent of the veer is indeed unusual (in 2008, Dems had 28 governorships). But that’s a bit of a misleading datum, because GOP heavily dominates the smallest states.

              • King Goat

                Why does that matter? We have to try to do well in the system we have.

                • Do you have a constructive suggestion for doing That? Justice was one type of option, see how that turned out.

                • King Goat

                  The party nationally has to moderate its message on a lot of issues. We’ve got to be wary of approaches that fire up some part of the base-like yelling ‘racist’ or ‘homophobe’ immediately at every situation and learn to package policy that will take care of vulnerable groups in ways that won’t result in us getting 37% of the white vote and absolutely buried in rural areas.

                • fearandloathing

                  I think the flaw in your thinking is that somehow the national party moderating it’s message will actually result in more local wins. It’s the belief that Ossoff lost because of Nancy Pelosi. If Democratic Party got rid of Nancy Pelosi, then GOP would run against Ossoff like candidates on the grounds that there once was a Nancy Pelosi. If there had never been a Nancy Pelosi, the Ossoffs would lose because GOP would insist that if Ossoff wins, Democratic Party has plans to construct a Nancy Pelosi in a lab somewhere. The mere fact that there is a hippy or a feminist somewhere in a university somewhere anywhere on the planet will be plenty enough reason for people in red states to reject centrist Democrats no matter how much local Democrats run campaigns rejecting all that.

                  It’s sort of like thinking that if we got rid off affirmative action, then all those racist GOP voters would come back to the Democratic Party. Those people will always find a reason why the Democratic Party has made them “unwelcome” in much the same that several decades of Democratic spinelessness on gun control hasn’t won them back any NRA voters.

                • Yestobesure

                  Generally speaking, governors of large states have more power than those of small states… because they affect the lives of more people. On a national level, why care so much about a tally of governorships, unless you’re expecting a spate of senators to resign.

            • King Goat

              I told you why it’s different the first time, as you yourself concede this is a ‘new low’ in the cycle.

              • A low which seems to be pretty expicable in terms of increased geographic sorting on top of the normal cycle.

              • sibusisodan

                And the question is: ‘why don’t you expect the previous pattern of the out party naturally gaining seats to happen this time?’

                ‘Because this is a new low’ doesn’t answer this question.

                • King Goat

                  1. You’re relying on a pattern while conceding we’re currently in a place the pattern has never taken us.

                  2. You’re assuming the pattern doesn’t happen because the losing party quite reasonably changes some things when they’re losing badly.

                  3. Going from 20 to 25 is a nice rebound, from 15 to 20 still leaves us in quite the hole.

                • sibusisodan

                  ‘Re 1: um…yes? But neither of us has any more knowledge than the other as to what is going to happen. I’m asking you why I should prefer your take over mine. I at least have the advantage of a pattern which has repeated – for both sides! – over a generation or more.

                  Go look at the graph in that second link. You’re standing at the top of the peak of Democratic governorships under FDR. In a place the pattern had never gone to date. Was it reasonable to expect things not to swung back?

                  2. This is an excellent point. So, what did the Democrats change at the last low in the cycle, and what should Democrats change now?

                  3. This is also a v important point. Which governorship are next up for grabs? How do those races look?

                  A wise soul once said “We have to try to do well in the system we have.” That means: recognising heightened partisanship and the distribution of rural states favouring the opposing party. ‘Doing well’ should be calibrated appropriately.

                • King Goat

                  If you think 2 and 3 are good points I’d think you’d agree that 1 is probably caused, at least in part, by the losing party’s changes in response to the losing. And that’s all I’m saying: we need to change now. I’ve said how I think we need to change, I’m open to other ideas. But ‘hey we’re at a record low, let’s keep doing what we have been and just hope the pendulum swings back regardless of what we do’ isn’t very appealing.

                • sibusisodan

                  In my not be very appealing, it just has the virtue of being consonant with generations of recent history. It’s not just blind ‘hope’, it’s ‘reasonable expectation’.

                  My mental model is that _at least_ two-thirds of political factors are not easily controlled by political parties. Pendulums, and populations, swing. Structural, long term, generational shifts are real and not easy to grapple with.

                  So there are certainly actions which can be taken in the short term to move the needle, but we should not expect there to be some kind of magic bullet. Most of the change will come from factors outside of D control (they could be harnessed though).

                  You shouldn’t characterise this – as you’ve been doing – as ‘everything is fine’. It’s not the same thing.

                • King Goat

                  Ok then, let’s change the 1/3 that does matter that we have control over then.

                • Manny Kant

                  2 governorships are up this year: Virginia and New Jersey. Democrats look in good shape to win both (we’ll almost certainly win New Jersey)

                  36 are up next year. My understanding is that most of these aren’t terribly clear yet, but a good chance for some significant Dem gains. New Mexico, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Maine all look like significant Dem pick-up opportunities.

          • Is it a record just in terms or population under Rd, or just states? Lots of empty acarage with a R governor.

            • King Goat

              This is like saying “sure, we’re losing a record number of games, but our points per game is still really good!’

              • In a long baseball season, that’s a perfectly good reason not to fire the manager.

                • King Goat

                  You do get that you win pennants and WS based on games, right?

                • You do get that cutting a starting pitcher with a 2.5 ERA but no wins in a month should get the GM fired, right?

                • King Goat

                  We’re not in that situation, we’re closer to one where we have a decent, average number of runs and hits per game but are giving up considerably more. That’s not sustainable if you want to have a winning record,win playoff games etc.

                • I’m waiting to see the results in NJ and VA this year before I pass judgement. But looking at the specials this year, both kinds of triangulation in GA-6 and MT underperformed generic D with Trump tailwinds in SC-5

                • King Goat

                  If we don’t win NJ I’ll be devastated. That really needs to be a pick up.

                • Manny Kant

                  Dems are winning by a mile in New Jersey.

                • Manny Kant

                  You do get that number of governorships held does not result in winning a pennant, right?

            • EliHawk

              “OMG Worst Dem Performance Ever” also gets skewed by the fact that for about a hundred years there were twelve states (the Confederacy + Oklahoma) that only elected Democrats. So after 1928’s elections, Dems only had Governorships outside of the South in Colorado, Maryland, South Dakota, Utah, Montana, and New York. Just FDR (Elected by the skin of his teeth), pseudo-Southern Maryland, and the Rocky Mountains (where nobody lived) do go with a bunch of conservative Dixiecrats. All of New England, the Rust Belt, and the West Coast an ocean of Red.

              That seems far worse to me than one where we have 39% of the population with Dem Governors. It seems abundantly clear that this is not a record; in 1997 you had CA/TX/NY/IL/PA/OH/MI all with Republican governors. The most populous states you had that year with Dem Governors were Florida, Georgia, and then North Carolina, followed by either Maryland or Washington. 17 Governorships, so two more than now, but a lot fewer people.

              • Manny Kant

                After the 1920 elections, outside those 12 states where there was no Republican Party to speak of, Dems had governorships in: Maryland, Nevada, and New Jersey. That’s it. Republicans had the other 33

            • Manny Kant

              Republicans are also doing pretty well in population, as well. Several of the Dem governor states are quite small (Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Montana, Hawaii, Louisiana). The others are mostly quite large (California, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota), but ends up with a strong Republican advantage.

              • I look at the numbers and you’re right, it’s only slight better in pop terms that in # of states. But I have my doubts that Mass and NJ and Illinois will stay in R hands with Dems as out party.

                • Manny Kant

                  NJ and Illinois I think are very likely to flip. Baker looks to be in pretty strong position, though.

      • efgoldman

        Nice to see King Goat here. It means i can ignore the thread.

        • Ahuitzotl

          exactement

      • fearandloathing

        Meh…we’ve been winning a majority of the popular vote for over a decade now. What we need is actual democracy. “Introspection” and internal party change aren’t going to get us there. The problem isn’t the Democratic Party (for all it’s serious flaws), the problem is we have a right wing in this country that is determined to hang on to power by rigging the system. The system can either be reformed or in 20 years we can become Syria as people finally realize that we are being run by American Baathists who couldn’t care less about democracy and there is only one to get rid of dictators if they won’t let you get rid of them with the ballot box.

  • ToddTheVP

    “Fantastic man, fantastic guy.”

    Cosmic rays could certainly explain his ability to twist whichever way the wind blows and would make it pretty easy for him to do what you suggest.

    • sigaba

      It makes most other people turn invisible. Occasionally it makes people burst into flame at will.

    • Megalovanian

      Well, Trump does has have the same skin tone as Mr. Grimm

      • wjts

        It’s markedly thinner, though.

      • N__B

        DJT has never set foot on Yancey Street.

        • Damon Poeter

          IT’S SLOBBERIN’ TIME!

      • rm

        Ben Grimm would never appoint Annihilus to the White House staff or let Victor von Doom run a vote-suppression operation.

    • Dr. Acula

      Reed Richards has a spine.

  • efgoldman

    Velveeta Voldemort and this guy Justice, together don’t have the politcal instincts of a one-eyed newt. Not the ex-congressional kind.

    • busker type

      Justice is 100x smarter than Trump. I mean, he’s a piece of shit, but he’s no dummy.

      • BigHank53

        Yeah. Please show me where Trump made $495 million and got his original property back into the bargain.

  • David Allan Poe

    What is it with these douchebags and their ill-fitting suits?

    • N__B

      The human skins never fit quite right over the lizard bodies. Makes it difficult for a tailor, you know?

      • randykhan

        I’m thinking more Vincent D’Onofrio in Men in Black, actually.

        • wjts

          More charitably, David Byrne in Stop Making Sense.

          • BigHank53

            Byrne’s Big Suit actually fit pretty well, but it was constructed with the proper padding and spacers. On the other hand, Byrne was a full-time entertainer at that point, spending three hours a night on stage, and I’m sure he wanted things to look right.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Twenty pounds of shit in a 30 lb. sack makes a 20 lb. shitpile not seem so bad?

    • Sly

      They’re self-conscious about their obesity and they think baggier clothes will hide it. A lot of overweight people operate under this assumption. I did for a while when I was >50lbs heavier.

      That these guys all wear tailored suits makes it worse. Ideally you want to get a suit that fits properly around the largest part of your body and have it taken in at the baggier parts so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing an over-sized smock. In the case of Trump and Justice, they’re fitting for their waists but not having the suit tailored to fit their shoulders and legs, so those parts always look baggy and crumpled. It’s worse for Trump when he’s sitting because he rarely, if ever, unbuttons the jacket like you’re supposed to while seated, so the jacket bunches up.

      The “absurdly long tie” phenomena is related to this. Trump likely thinks it has the slimming effect of stripes, but it just ends up hanging over his belly and having the exact opposite effect.

      • Thlayli

        Usually people who have the kind of money Cheeto claims to have will get suits custom-made, so they fit correctly in the first place.

        Mr. “buy it off the rack and don’t have it altered” is showing off his nouveau riche hick-ness yet again.

      • The “absurdly long tie” phenomena is related to this.

        Maybe. I prefer the neo-Freudian explanation that it’s “displacement upwards”.

      • cpinva

        “The “absurdly long tie” phenomena is related to this.”

        apparently, no one ever taught him the “Double Windsor Knot” for tying a tie, and that a button-down Oxford collar is the best shirt for wearing a tie with, both keep the tie from getting sloppy looking during the day. His tie always looks like it’s going to fly off at any moment, or slide around to his back.

        • Drew

          Many would tell you that it is inappropriate to wear a button down with a tie. The JFK look was controversial back in the day. If you’re among conservative dressers you should go with a point collar or semi spread lest ye be judged. Also the collar rolling on a button down looks a little sloppy.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          a button-down Oxford collar is the best shirt for wearing a tie with

          You may want to inform the rest of the world that — wearing button-down collars as business apparel is usually considered to be a particularly American affectation.

      • so-in-so

        Interestingly, there was a post on this list last year featuring Orange Julius and Ted (spit) Cruz shaking hands. Much commentary followed that Turnip’s collar showed he knew how to buy and wear a suit, while Cruz did not. Maybe that is another notch in Manhatten Mugabe’s mental decline? Or that photo was better posed.

  • busker type

    UUUUGGGGHH. I voted for this asshole. Not in the primary though.

    • Me too. Ugh.

    • rm

      What else could you do?

    • spencer_e9876

      I’m sure your other option was way worse.

  • If I made half a billion dollars off the Russians, I wouldn’t want to talk about them either.

    • how_bout_never

      I’m sure that coal mine sale, which was completely above board and was totally not a money laundering scheme, had nothing to do with it at all.

  • Leisure Suit Lawyer

    “a Democrat governor”. Nice touch.

  • Joe Paulson

    Joy Reid‏Verified account @JoyAnnReid

    Fun fact: Jim Justice sold his coal mines to Russians for $600 million in 2012-recently bought them back for $5 mil.

    • sigaba

      Nice link to that – https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2016/11/02/billionaire-coal-magnate-shunned-by-coal-industry-in-gubernatorial-bid/#29c3f3565bba

      Anybody involved in energy is a gettable personage as far as the Kremlin is concerned. We can indict Trump and send him to Florence, Putin is just going to keep trying to buy these people off and, let’s face it, most of them are happy to admit they’re bought.

      • Cheap Wino

        Putin is worth well over $200 billion dollars. Puppets like Trump and this fool are vain and stupid enough to play with that kind of fire. The world suffers.

      • humanoidpanda

        Yeah, Russia urgently needed to buy off a random coal magnate who they knew might become the the governor of West Virginia for very important reasons like?

        Seriously guys: there is a point where the Tussia talk beers into tinfoil land.

        • sibusisodan

          You can shay that againain!

        • ericblair

          I assume that we’re going to find out that he has subsequently made some odd money losing investments to some other coincidentally Russian people and only left a couple of millions for all his pains.

        • sigaba

          I never said they did pay him off, it’s a strange history though.

    • Hypersphrericalcow

      That’s got to be money-laundering, right? Even the decline of the coal industry in the last couple years doesn’t justify a 99% discount.

      • JUICY_JOEL

        I’m no money laundering expert but I assume 99% isn’t the going rate.

        • humanoidpanda

          Except that… a whole bunch of coal companies in the Appalachian area went bankrupt..

        • It’s a bribe. Wonder what the quo is for that chunk of quid.

    • busker type

      I live in WV and keep tabs on politics generally, and I don’t ever recall hearing about the Russian coal mine deal until yesterday… weird.

  • How broken do you have to be to do this?

    • sigaba

      I remember that fine day when Norm Coleman, with a heavy heart, then a mere whippersnapper of a mayor of Minneapolis, declared himself a Republican on account of the fetuses. He then ran for the senate and one plane crash later, found himself warming Al Franken’s seat.

      • majeff

        I remember him going full anti-lgbtq at that point, too. One year, he was handing out water at the AIDS walk, and due to his hard right turn, I just walked past him after asking, “What the fuck are YOU doing HERE?!”

      • Elizabeth

        Pedant point: he was mayor of St. Paul. Minneapolis has standards.

    • Captain Oblivious

      It’s about getting a presidential pardon when the Russian thing blows up. Justice is up to his eyeballs in Russian money.

      • bw

        It seems like that’s a rather…weird gambit. If the Russian thing really blows up, I don’t see how it matters much (in terms of maximizing his chance at a pardon) whether Jim Justice is a Republican or a Democrat. It won’t matter to Trump because Trump doesn’t really care about loyalty to party in the first place. I have a hard time seeing how it’ll matter to the chattering classes in all but the weirdest edge cases, since, given that we’ve posited the Russia affair “blowing up,” the evidence is likely to be overwhelming that Trump is a crooked Russian stooge even apart from “um, why the hell is Trump pardoning this random Democratic WV governor who happens to also be involved with the Russians?”

        Seems to me that if anything the smarter play (for all of the pro-Russian players) would be for Justice to stay a Democrat and try and have him damage Democrats as much as possible on his way down.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Obnoxious boorish rich dude kindred spirits?

          • bw

            Sure, I have no trouble accepting that Trump and Justice are two of a kind, both in personal and political terms. I just don’t really follow the specific theory that Justice needed to convert to R to get a pardon from Trump.

            • FlipYrWhig

              Right, agreed, I mostly meant that Trump and Justice might be simpatico already and keen on scratching each other’s backs just one bro to another, rather than being both part of a complicated partisan gambit.

        • so-in-so

          I expect the embrace of Dump is for the pardon. The change of party is thinking that WV is totally under Dumpist GOP spell and the way of the future – at least in that state. Plus he doesn’t have to attend Dem events and get stink eye as a new GOP re-convert.

          Logical to me, but what do I know. I don’t think I’ve ever been in WV.

          • bw

            That makes more sense, although I also note that Justice is not up for re-election until 2020. If you’re the opportunist type, it seems a little weird to jump off the fence this quickly rather than hedge your bets for a couple more years.

    • Jon Hendry

      Do you mean Justice or West Virginia?

  • stepped pyramids

    I would love for someone to ask him what exactly about being a registered Democrat versus a Republican makes it impossible for him to “serve” the people of West Virginia.

    • Leisure Suit Lawyer

      You obviously aren’t a registered Democrat or you’d know about the blood oath.

      • Aaron Morrow

        Wait … you can JOIN the Democratic Party?

        • BiloSagdiyev

          I think you need to be able to prove you’re being persecuted by Freddie Boners, then they’ll extend you their protection. (Neoliberally, with a private sector Wackenhut guard.)

        • Philip

          Out here in San Francisco they actually induct you automatically after you eat your third baby

          • Sentient AI From The Future

            Or if you’re vegan, your second gay abortion

        • You must shed purity. At least 87%.

    • how_bout_never

      How to serve the people of West Virginia (blows dust of book cover) FOR DINNER.

    • so-in-so

      Can’t “serve” if he isn’t re-elected. WaPo’s article dives into Drumpf voters again, but this time slightly more interesting Dem -> Dump voter dynamic.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/04/west-virginia-gov-jim-justice-isnt-the-only-democrat-trump-won-over

  • wherewhich the werewitch

    I’m hearing rumors that Big Jim could be heavily implicated in “the Russian thing” financially, and supporting Trump firing Mueller might be his best hope of, uh, steering clear.

    Do actual rats that find themselves on an actual sinking ship huddle together, perhaps taking turns gnawing at the floorboards? It would be a shame to waste a good metaphor.

    • kvs

      Is choosing which party you’re aligned with when you go to prison like choosing which hat you have on your Hall of Fame plaque?

      • No, it’s more like hanky codes. Democrat==bottom, Republican==top; there are of course refinements but this is a family blog.

        • humanoidpanda

          “I’m hearing rumors that Big Jim could be heavily implicated in “the Russian thing” financially, and supporting Trump firing Mueller might be his best hope of, uh, steering clear.

          Jesus fucking Christ, this is stupid. First off, what you are hearing is probably tweets from Joy Ann Reid, and that lady is a cable news moron.
          Second, what the fuck does the governor of West Virginia, the poorest state in the nation, has with firing Mueller? What kind of cover it gives to Trump? How does having Justice as Republican help Trump fire Mueller? Like, where is the bono in the cui bono,here?

  • Brian J.

    Well, here were the candidates for Governor of West Virginia available in 2016’s Democratic primary:

    1st: Justice, with 51% of the vote.
    2nd: Booth Goodwin, former US Attorney for Southern WV, with 25% of the vote. Ballotpedia notes that “Goodwin’s campaign website emphasized his successes as a prosecutor,” and that he was probably the most liberal candidate.
    3rd: Jeff Kessler, former minority leader of the WV Senate, with 23% of the vote. His platform included “a bill that eliminated the requirement for a permit and training before a person can carry a concealed weapon. He refers to himself as a ‘second amendment advocate.'”

    And that’s it. No other candidates, not even ballot mice. So if we want a pure leftist party as most here do, they’re conceding that they’ll have no serious candidates, and maybe none at all, in states like West Virginia. And yet they bleat for a fifty-state strategy…

    • sigaba

      You could have a Pure Leftist if you only would define leftism as simply everything Trump promises except it’s a college professor instead of an billionaire. Think Rafael Correa.

      It goes without saying the women, transnormals and undesirables would have to meet the bus underside too.

    • Joe Paulson

      “pure leftist party as most here do”

      Not shown.

      • IS

        Missing [code]code tag[/code]?

        • wjts

          Nope. Remember, Brian J. assured us that Bernie Sanders was going to vote for the AHCA/BCRA to blow up the perfidious neoliberal Obamacare as Step 1 in his diabolical quest for Stalincare.

          • Leisure Suit Lawyer

            Fucking neoliberal Stalincare is just a warmed over version of the Heritage plan. True Leftists support PolPotCare.

            • ToddTheVP

              Hard work with a gun in your back = zero unemployment and the bowl of rice a day means no one’s starving. Sounds great to me!

            • Bri2k

              Suffocating plastic bags for everyone!

          • spencer_e9876

            Oh jeebus, I missed that one.

        • stepped pyramids

          No, this guy lives in an alternate universe where LGM is a nest of purity leftists and Bernie dead-enders. He doesn’t ever respond to anyone challenging him on this hilarious claim, which makes me pretty sure he’s a troll. My personal theory is that he’s that old “alt center” guy trying on the opposite persona.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            the opposite persona fits him about as well as one of trump’s suits. He’ll probably end up tripping over his tie

          • JMP

            Wait, what? So the regular purity leftist trolls are actually the front pagers?

          • Rob in CT

            Yup. I blocked him weeks ago. Dude posts from an alternate universe.

    • stepped pyramids

      This gimmick is getting boring.

      • Philip

        He’s very confusing. Like, as my last couple accidental mini-threadjacks can attest, even staking out a democratic socialist position is…hardly uncontroversial here. LGM is not exactly a den of secret Bolsheviks.

      • rm

        The “block user” function is nice.

      • Brian J.

        The gimmick of exposing foolishness by the left? I imagine it is, if your ideology is to spout contradictory bumper-sticker slogans as most of the Left does. They want a 50-state strategy without candidates who can win or even plausibly compete in many of those states.

        • stepped pyramids

          No, the gimmick where you pretend you’re posting at a site that’s swarming with Chapo-listening brocialists and Sanders dead-enders as opposed to a site where those people are regularly the subject of criticism and mockery.

          Hey, while you’re here, why did Sanders not switch his vote to save the Obamacare repeal the other night? All it took was one vote.

  • hohandy

    Last time I’ve seen a supplicant Governor with his hands all over a President singing his high praises was Christie and Obama. It wasn’t pretty then, either.

    • Jon Hendry

      Trump clearly has a type.

  • Aaron Morrow

    Loomis found photographic evidence of Trump’s ties to Russian oligarchs, I see.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    “Aren’t you sick of hearing about Russia?”, say the people who never tired of screeching at us about Russia from 1917 to 1990.

    • JMP

      But that was different; then Russia was rules by an autocratic government which crushed personal liberties, brutally repressed minority populations and regularly murdered dissidents and even members of the controlling party who personally pissed off the leader while trying to expand its brand of authoritarianism abroad – and which nominally supported an egalitarian economic ideology which it never lived up to in practice, and was officially atheist. Apparently conservatives only have a problem with the latter two, but are fine and dandy with an evil empire that is capitalist and Christian.

    • While they conduct the 47th Bengazi! investigation.

  • gwen

    Gov. Jim Justice of West “By God” Virginia has had some unusually profitable business dealings with Russian energy companies — sold some mines to the Russians for $500+ million a few years ago and then bought them back for $5 million.

    He also has a bunch of fines and debts he won’t pay.

    How do I know this? It was on the Republican Governors Association’s website until a few hours ago, when they scrubbed it.

    (I have coped and pasted this a few times on FB, but I promise I’m not spamming).

    https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3AV6zmXCMHQJQJ%3Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.rga.org%2Fjim-justice-owned-company-in-contempt-of-u-s-court-over-unpaid-debt-failure-to-show-up%2F+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    • busker type

      nice catch!

    • Rob in CT

      Goddamn.

    • spencer_e9876

      Sounds like he’ll fit right in with his new friends then.

  • weirdnoise

    Maybe it’s the death-grip handshake but Justice looks like he’s losing consciousness in that photo.

    Or perhaps that’s his O-face.

    • busker type

      I’ve seen Justice in person… he’s about 6’8″ and well over 300 pounds. I doubt Trump’s handshake trick would work

  • JMP

    The fact that he incorrectly says ‘Democrat governor’ kind of gives away that he was never a genuine member of the Democratic party.

  • TimJ

    He prayed over it and heard a voice in his head that told him to switch political parties. We usually call that “mental illness”.

  • Paul Thomas

    If it’s any consolation, the governorship of West Virginia is largely useless, because as we found out during their passage of a right-to-freeload law, the governor’s “veto” can be overridden by a simple majority, making it not so much a veto as a “do you really mean it?” stamp.

  • nomoremister

    Manchin might not change parties, but would he take a Cabinet position if Trump offered him one, so Justice could flip the seat? Mike Allen thinks it’s possible.

    https://www.axios.com/trumps-missing-vote-2468238754.html

    • Drew

      I’m sure Manchin would be stupid enough to take it. A cabinet position under an unstable idiot president who every time he saw Manchin would do nothing but take the piss out of him for not voting to repeal Obamacare. Now that we’ve seen the kind of humiliation that working for Trump entails? I can only snort at the suggestion. For the time being I am more worried about Menendez.

      • humanoidpanda

        Manchin already said it’s a hard no.

      • NeonTrotsky

        I think Manchin is smarter than this. He’s like two or three election cycles away from a strong bargaining position with a Democratic majority.

        • Drew

          My first sentence was sarcasm but yes I agree with you

    • andrekenji

      Manchin is staying where he is. Every Liberal complaining about him allows him to be reelected in West Virginia, and if he were a Republican he would be the typical powerless Republican Senator that has to vote with this party 100% of the time. He is a relatively junior Senator that has the attention of the Minority Leader and from lots of people from both parties.

      • EliHawk

        He’s also smart enough to know that he votes against the Dem Party in conspicuous ways that raise hackles from outsiders without ever really affecting the outcome of a vote. There’s a tendency on the left to think “Doesn’t think how I think” = dumb, and Manchin is most assuredly not that.

        • andrekenji

          Manchin is probably one of the smartest politicians from either party right now. I sincerely thought that her daughter would end his career, but we are not even talking about that.

  • Having grown up in northeastern Kentucky, I used to go to Huntington and Ceredo-Kenova all the time. I even attended Marshall University for a year before I went into the nuclear Navy. There’s a lot of good people there. But there’s also a much higher than average concentration of dinwits and trolls that deserve every fucking thing that’s coming to them.

  • Rob in CT

    I’m sure the Democrat (sic) Party left him…

    http://ritholtz.com/2017/08/asymmetric-polarization/

  • Michael Cain

    Maybe it’s just me, but I worry every time I see a change that makes it look like the Dems are struggling to win statewide offices in states outside of the NE urban corridor and the West. The media is going to run wild with such maps in 2020 because of the “us vs them” narrative possibilities.

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