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Memo to Donald Trump Allegedly, Donald Trump, and Joe Manchin: YOU ARE DUMB.

One step forward, two steps back. If, as possibly indicated by this week's IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS, that becomes the pattern for Trump's first term, that's actually a vast improvement over the five steps back, then five more steps back -- oh, and all the steps are goosesteps -- future that it usually seems like we're headed for. Who knows, maybe CNN will stop uncritically presenting the controversy over whether or not Jews count as people so their viewers can decide.

"We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong." - Donald Trump, as reported by an anonymous source from his off-the-record browbeating of around 30 media anchors and executives.

If accounts are accurate, and there's no real reason they wouldn't be since Kellyanne Conway said the meeting was cordial, and she's paid to lie for a pathological liar), Donald Trump may have made a horrible mistake. How fatal or even wounding that mistake may be is anyone's guess, but he violated the tacit agreement between the powerful and the press without even realizing how much he benefited from it.

See, the press is happiest when it can live in a state of deferential symbiosis with politicians. For the perfect example, google yourself some "McCain Tire Swing". Reporters want to feel important and close to power, so politicians give them access. In return, reporters tend to, shall we say, be overly generous with benefit of the doubt. It's a dance, a play they put on for the public to varying degrees. Individual reporters and politicians may play the game less than others, but the aggregate effect is what we've seen play out over the years. And Donald Trump just shit in the punch bowl and made everyone drink out of it. There may be... consequences. And if the media needs petty revenge to finally do their fucking jobs, I'll take it.

"In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. There's never been a case like this. I'd assumed that you'd have to set up some type of trust or whatever and you don’t." - Donald Trump, admitting, among other things, that he still has no idea how presidenting works.

It's true that there's never been a case like this, for a few reasons. Most of those reasons involve never before electing someone who gives zero shits about maintaining the appearance of not being in it for the money while they're in office, so they can continue the the tradition of cashing in big the instant they leave public service.

But this is Donald Trump, who never met a loophole he didn't try to stick his dick in. And soon, he'll have a White House counsel, whose job, now firmly established by the precedents of the Bush and Obama administrations, is to come up with reasons why what they're doing isn't illegal so that the president can point to them and say, "See? It's not illegal!" So you know he's gonna push the limits as far as they can go and beyond, and you know the Congress won't investigate, so the only hope is if he, say, really antagonized the press in some clumsy and humiliating way.

"Never seen that from Jeff, so I can only judge Jeff on what I know about him, Now they’re telling me that 30 years ago this and that. I’m sure he will have to answer to that. But the bottom line is that I’m going to support Jeff Sessions and I will vote for Jeff Sessions and I think that President-Elect Donald Trump should have the opportunity to put his team together. He’ll be judged on their performance." - "Democrat" Joe Manchin, Exhibit A in why we can't have nice things.

See, you CAN judge Jeff Sessions by more than what you know about him, which, for Manchin, means never having heard him be prejudiced, which, for Joe Manchin, means never hearing Jeff Sessions use the N-word after 2003, when it became unacceptable. Let's face it. Manchin is 69 and from West Virginia and wouldn't recognize institutional racism if it bit him on the ass, which it never will, because he's a 69-year-old white politician from West Virginia.

And what good is Jeff Sessions having to "answer to" his past alleged racial indiscretions if Manchin's vote isn't conditional on those answers? He's already made up his mind. Which is why yesterday's dreams of a true opposition party will likely die on the vine. Joe Manchin is perfectly happy to let Jeff Sessions go after minority voting rights for four years, trusting in the voters to judge Trump harshly if that happens. And does not see the inherent flaw in that logic. EXCEPTIONALISM!