Delegate decision day: does Dudley Dudley derail Donald's dystopia?
December 16, 2016 10:00 AM   Subscribe

In yet another week of "surely this...", Russia is accused of helping him win the US election to a Senator's dismay and possible retaliation, Mitt loses out to Tillerson, Rick Perry is nominated for can't remember oops, other people are nominated, and librarians and science come under attack, with net neutrality possibly next. The Electoral College is but a few days away, with lobbying, labels, opinions and angry celebrities. However, the chances of a shock are low. Elsewhere, the public vote gives Hillary a large lead with comparisons to previous elections, Louisiana voted, the 2018 midterms are underway, Barack is interviewed, contemporary capitalism, Putin's revenge, un-democracy in North Carolina, latest odds, and piñata.

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For legacy content see the many posts tagged with election2016. Despite the election fast receeding, the reference wiki explains some of the terminology used in comments on these threads.

MetaFilter
* Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.
* Thank (insert suitable gif) we are here.
* From Russia, with love.
* Donald Trump is Time's 2016 Person of the Year.
* What your social-media news feed could look like if things go wrong.

Elsewhere, the New EPA Chief Proposes 30% Cut In All Carbon-Based Organisms, Tillerson is relieved, Biden donates, intelligence briefings news and food news, and will MeFites do a Flavortown on this Grill?

AskMeFi
* Should I respond when I see postings like this?
* He likes money, right?
* Books about morals & civics to give to civic-minded moral Trump voters.
* How do I call my super-far-right congressperson?
* Poetry for the Apocalypse.

Post title because political activist and politician Dudley Dudley is an Electoral College delegate and one of those demanding an intelligence briefing on foreign interference in the presidential election.
posted by Wordshore (2772 comments total) 96 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks for your excellent work in composing these threads, Wordshore.
posted by lalex at 10:04 AM on December 16, 2016 [83 favorites]


Clinton breaks her silence:
Hillary Clinton on Thursday night attributed her defeat to a convergence of two “unprecedented” events: the release of a letter by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, shortly before the election, and what she called an “attack against our country” by the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:04 AM on December 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


will MeFites do a Flavortown on this Grill?

I've eaten there. Got very sick afterwards. Learn from my experience and try eating food from someplace less likely to poison you, such as sucking clean stray McDonald's wrappers that have fallen onto the subway tracks.
posted by zarq at 10:06 AM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


Here's a link for watching Obama's presser, about an hour from now. Very curious about what he will say, how it will be spun by the media, and how His Tweetness will respond. Could be a fairly benign sort of "I'm out for the holidays, see you next year" event, but I kind of doubt it. The buzz is that he's going to talk about Russia in a direct and probably quotable fashion.
posted by Well I Was In The Neighbourhood at 10:09 AM on December 16, 2016


Despite my lack of optimism, I'm still going to go and watch the Texan Electoral College cast their votes on Monday. I want them to look me in the face before they cast their ballot, and I want them to acknowledge the weight of their actions as they go. I want to bear witness and be present.

I'm still thinking about the sign I'll be making this weekend. I've done "NOT HOW I EXPECTED TO LOSE THE COLD WAR" and "QUEER SCIENTIST ASKING WHY MY COUNTRY ABANDONED ME," and if need be I can grab that sign again--but I'd like to try a new one this time. "Please. Please. Please." is about the level of eloquence I can muster right now, though. I wrote a public letter because although I expect it to be unread I needed to say things, and you never know when words might strike a chord somewhere.

I don't know yet. Either way... well. I will bear witness.
posted by sciatrix at 10:10 AM on December 16, 2016 [91 favorites]


Well this really cuts through it quite simply: Why do Republicans want to repeal Obamacare so much? Because it would be a big tax cut for the rich.

Forget everything else for a second, forget about health care and the New Deal and big government programs; it's about a tax break for the top 1%. Look at it that way and it's super simple.
posted by zachlipton at 10:11 AM on December 16, 2016 [42 favorites]


CBC radio - maybe it was this morning - pointed out the irony of the CIA complaining about outside meddling in an election.

It's bad whether the CIA or anybody else does it, but it is ironic that they're the ones bringing it up.
posted by clawsoon at 10:12 AM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


My fantasy: Obama declares the election an existential crisis for America and a fundamental assault on our democratic institutions, declares a state of emergency, and appoints himself interim president and commander and chief (because the election hack was an act of war) until we can pull together a do over on the election.

That won't happen, but man wouldn't it be a shocker and a brave thing to do, if potentially anti-democratic if mishandled.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:14 AM on December 16, 2016 [19 favorites]


I hate to say this, but even if the electoral college goes into a deadlock and this is thrown to the house, Trump will win. He's the most popular Republican in the country right now. The Freedom Caucus would never allow anyone but Trump to become president. It would take Trump admitting to being to the left of Bernie to cause him to lose in the House. He could even walk in, shoot Paul Ryan and still be elected by the House. The Republicans don't need to do any horse trading if the college deadlocks. He's going to give them all what they want - huge tax breaks for the rich, privatization of as much of the federal government as they can get away with and gutting as many regulations as they can find. This is their chance, especially since if these measures cause as much misery and destruction as intended, he won't be reelected.
posted by Hactar at 10:15 AM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


[laughs ruefully at the memory of Nov 7th, when I thought I only had one more day of obsessively following election threads]
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:16 AM on December 16, 2016 [123 favorites]


It's bad whether the CIA or anybody else does it, but it is ironic that they're the ones bringing it up.

Jesus H. Christ, once again, for posterity, it isn't just the CIA. It's all 17 domestic intelligence agencies.
posted by diogenes at 10:17 AM on December 16, 2016 [94 favorites]


The key to understanding the Trumpian response to anything that comes out of Obama's presser today is to realize that they have gone hard hard hard again on Birtherism, with ousted neo-fascist no-longer-sheriff Joe Arpaio coming out with "proof" that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery and is being eaten up as the nectar of pure truth by /r/the_donald (which has also taken to declaring everything it disagrees with as fake news, while gobbling up actual fake news, transforming itself into a complete inversion of reality, some kind of Lewis-Carrollean nightmare made flesh).
posted by dis_integration at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Sure. But to my mind, anything that shakes his legitimacy as the nation's ruler is better than nothing. These are dangerous times. I'm not letting pessimism stop me from doing anything I can to draw lines in the sand. Even if I am driven back, well, at least we can see the opposition.

I have lost patience with "it probably won't do anything." I won't know that until I try. And I'm so much more afraid of the results of not doing anything than I am trying and failing.
posted by sciatrix at 10:20 AM on December 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


Monday, CNN reported about a "lack of agreement between intelligence agencies and the FBI about the conclusiveness of the evidence" regarding Russian involvement. Also Reuters.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 10:21 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


(Light Relief) Was Trump born in Germany? Russia? I don't know.
posted by adamvasco at 10:21 AM on December 16, 2016


What could Obama possibly have to announce? That charges are being filed against Donald for something?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:21 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Never concede his legitimacy. Every time he is mentioned for the next four years, remind people that he was not chosen by the American people, Clinton was.
posted by praemunire at 10:21 AM on December 16, 2016 [22 favorites]


eaten up as the nectar of pure truth by /r/the_donald (which has also taken to declaring everything it disagrees with as fake news, while gobbling up actual fake news, transforming itself into a complete inversion of reality, some kind of Lewis-Carrollea nightmare made flesh).

ya know, if i've learned anything during this last 18 months, it's that cognitive dissonance implies the presence of cognition. i now see the fallacy of my thinking.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:22 AM on December 16, 2016 [29 favorites]


Jesus H. Christ, once again, for posterity, it isn't just the CIA. It's all 17 domestic intelligence agencies

but it's still ironic that the CIA is one of them, and to my mind, one of the reasons I'm taking it seriously. Because they're as much as admitting that they got beaten at their own game.

And as somebody else said recently, history is full of ironies. Doesn't mean they didn't happen.
posted by philip-random at 10:22 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


I hate to say this, but even if the electoral college goes into a deadlock and this is thrown to the house, Trump will win.

And every single house member who votes for him will have to answer for that vote in 2018. I don't think the EC deadlocking is at all likely - or even anything but fantastical - but it would be very politically useful for the Democrats.
posted by incessant at 10:22 AM on December 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


Yeah, there is no way the House wants to be held responsible. I imagine they're putting great pressure on the College to just choose Trump for that reason -- that way the "blame" is on non-politicians for the most part, who are not in the public eye or up for reelection.
posted by rokusan at 10:24 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


And every single house member who votes for him will have to answer for that vote in 2018.

The House is horrifically gerrymandered for the GOP. It would be much, much worse for House Republicans' reelection prospects to vote against Trump.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:24 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


"lack of agreement between intelligence agencies and the FBI about the conclusiveness of the evidence" regarding Russian involvement.

That makes it sound like there's a debate about Russian involvement. There isn't. The debate is about proof of motive and whether or not Putin personally orchestrated the release of information.
posted by diogenes at 10:25 AM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


Yes. Make him and all his supporters fight for and justify every single piece of ground granted to him for his stolen victory.

We gotta make an all-out stand.
posted by sciatrix at 10:26 AM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


This Jeet Heer article on the CIA, its history, and the lack of trust for it among some conservatives is an interesting read. I'm not up enough on it all to judge the veracity of some of its claims, so take it as you will.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:26 AM on December 16, 2016


See, I have zero qualms about protesting Russian interference in the election, because I cut my teeth on opposition to US interference in other countries. I don't like it in Guatemala, I don't like it in Honduras, I don't like it in Russia (and whoo-boy, did that ever come back to bite us) and I have to admit, I particularly don't like it here, because here is where I keep my stuff.

I doubt that any of this will keep Trump from becoming president but I think it will have a substantially de-normalizing effect, and that's important. It really will shadow his presidency. There's a huge pull for the middle/upper middle class to just let everything go as close to "normal" as possible and hope that it all comes out in the wash, and they can do that because for the most part they are not at immediate risk (their financial security, their children's security, etc - those are all at risk, but they can pretend that Trump is normal at least until the cuts bite them, which will take longer than for working class people).

Showing that Trump really has unsavory ties to Putin and that Putin is dangerous - that's important because it will keep the political classes from going back to sleep.
posted by Frowner at 10:27 AM on December 16, 2016 [57 favorites]


Monday, CNN reported about a "lack of agreement between intelligence agencies and the FBI about the conclusiveness of the evidence" regarding Russian involvement. Also Reuters.

The disagreement isn't on if Russia hacked, but if their intent was specifically to elect Trump or just to disrupt our democracy. Electing Trump is probably the best disruption of our democracy possible and given that every bit of released hacked information was against Democrats and Clinton, the difference in effect is so negligible as to be meaningless. Again, while we get pedantic about semantics, Trump is dismantling democracy.
posted by chris24 at 10:28 AM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Monday, CNN reported about a "lack of agreement between intelligence agencies and the FBI about the conclusiveness of the evidence" regarding Russian involvement. Also Reuters.

A lack of conclusiveness regarding Russian's intentions, not Russia's involvement (per that Reuters link):
While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.
ODNI agrees that Russian state actors were involved. The only substantive point of disagreement is that:
"ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can't prove intent," said one of the three U.S. officials. "Of course they can't, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow."
posted by cjelli at 10:28 AM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


[laughs ruefully at the memory of Nov 7th, when I thought I only had one more day of obsessively following election threads

Actually I think my math is way off, we're looking at more like 140-150 more of these, instead of 70ish

I am not, like, a numbers person
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:28 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


but it's still ironic that the CIA is one of them

Fine, it's ironic. But framing this as a story of of the CIA versus Trump is negligent.
posted by diogenes at 10:29 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


I am having a hard time imagining that Obama will say anything that might throw the markets into turmoil, as he's been very measured and careful to avoid doing that for his whole time in office.

But the popcorn-munching side of me has... is it hope? Can we call it hope?
posted by rokusan at 10:29 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


And every single house member who votes for him will have to answer for that vote in 2018

Answer to whom? Their constituents? The number of unsafe (i.e. competitive) GOP House seats is 8 percent. Swinging those would not be enough to bring the House back to Democratic control.
posted by blucevalo at 10:30 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


The House is horrifically gerrymandered for the GOP. It would be much, much worse for House Republicans' reelection prospects to vote against Trump.

Now, maybe. Two years from now?

The number of unsafe (i.e. competitive) GOP House seats is 8 percent. Swinging those would not be enough to bring the House back to Democratic control.

Primaries, though.
posted by Etrigan at 10:32 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


laughs ruefully at the memory of Nov 7th, when I thought I only had one more day of obsessively following election threads

Yup, I'm right back to being completely unable to concentrate on anything else.
posted by diogenes at 10:32 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Hillary Clinton on Thursday night attributed her defeat to a convergence of two “unprecedented” events: the release of a letter by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, shortly before the election, and what she called an “attack against our country” by the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.

See...I kind of wish she hadn't said anything about this. It makes it too easy for the Republicans to dismiss it all as some kind of "sour grapes" operation on her part. I mean, they blame her for everything that they don't blame Obama for, anyway.

I think she should have taken the high road and simply responded as this being an issue for the government to sort out. Blaming this for her loss just serves to draw the spotlight back to her.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:33 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Conway: Obama could shut down Trump feud if he loved 'the country enough'
"If you want to shut this down and you actually love the country enough to have the peaceful transition in our great democracy between the Obama administration and the Trump administration, there are a couple people in pretty prominent positions, one is named Obama, one is named Hillary Clinton, since his people are trying to fight over her election still, they could shut this down," Conway told Fox News.
She's the worst. Her argument is basically ignore the hacking, do it for the good of the country.
posted by zachlipton at 10:33 AM on December 16, 2016 [35 favorites]


Jesus H. Christ, once again, for posterity, it isn't just the CIA. It's all 17 domestic intelligence agencies

That's just some hyperbole though, just counting all the formally defined intelligence agencies because the report came from the umbrella office. Like, were these hackers nautical that Coast Guard Intelligence was involved? Were they really high that the DEA needed to have some input on the case?

I frankly prefer "Trump" over "CIA Coup".
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:33 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


hopeyness
posted by murphy slaw at 10:33 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am having a hard time imagining that Obama will say anything that might throw the markets into turmoil, as he's been very measured and careful to avoid doing that for his whole time in office.

"Thanks to an executive order and the cooperation of our friends at the IRS, president-elect Trump's tax returns from the last 30 years are now posted on whitehouse.gov as a public service."
posted by zarq at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2016 [22 favorites]


"ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can't prove intent," said one of the three U.S. officials. "Of course they can't, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow."

Maybe Putin is their agent!
posted by dng at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2016


See...I kind of wish she hadn't said anything about this. It makes it too easy for the Republicans to dismiss it all as some kind of "sour grapes" operation on her part.

We don't need to worry about giving them ammunition. They're quite capable of making it all the fuck up already. Might as well get something out there.
posted by Etrigan at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2016 [37 favorites]


Maybe Putin is their agent!

The long con is very long.
posted by lydhre at 10:36 AM on December 16, 2016


That's just some hyperbole though, just counting all the formally defined intelligence agencies because the report came from the umbrella office.

So your theory is that all of the agencies are in on the conspiracy?
posted by diogenes at 10:36 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's a difference between "soft on Russia" and "collaborating".
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Democratic Party and its allied media outlets have rooted their opposition to Trump not on the basis of his losing the popular vote by nearly three million ballots, or that he is appointing a cabinet dominated by right-wing, reactionary billionaires, bankers, business executives and generals, but on the charge that he is “soft” on Russia.

Oh, come the fuck on. Both of those things have been all over "The Democratic Party and its allied media outlets" and the roots of their opposition.
posted by Etrigan at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]


Look, man, until last June I had a GOP House rep*, and I still have two GOP senators. I'm fully prepared to tell everyone I know that those men are traitors who hate democracy and American freedom; that they ought to support the League of American Voters and ask what they have to say; that if they don't vote, they have only themselves to blame for electing people supported by literal Nazis; that the Republican Party is the party of unprincipaled evil and corruption.

I will show up to my senators' rallies with signs and ask at their town halls why John Cornyn didn't help me when I begged for help with my partner's immigration case. (Cruz did, god help him; Mike McCaul fucked me over nearly as badly, and I've never forgotten either Cornyn's or McCaul's responses when I asked.) I will wail and shout and tell my extended family that if they love me, if they love my country, they will vote for representatives who will protect me and my family.

I will call those goddamn reps and leave their voicemails overflowing; I have made calls since the election, and now that someone told me about VoteSpotter, well, I've already left one enraged voicemail on John Cornyn's line about my wife and the way he treats immigrants and I will damn well do more. I will talk to strangers about gerrymandering, what it is, and how it strangles democracy; and I will remind them that the only thing they can do about it is to get out there and support candidates who advocate for reform, and hey! they ain't Republicans.

50% of Americans voted? Fine. Let's see what we can get it to if we can push the Overton Window some more. I have a friend who has disowned her parents over this. I publically promised to, myself, and was faintly relieved and nearly fell apart with relief to find that they had supported me in this. I swear to god, if they're my representatives, I'm making a habit of holding their feet to the fire as hard as I damn well can, and what's more I'm agitating among my friends, colleagues, and local allies to make damned sure that I'm not the only one.

*only changed because I moved; that slimesucker is still in office, gods help us
posted by sciatrix at 10:40 AM on December 16, 2016 [64 favorites]


I don't know if this has been previously posted in any of the election megathreads but Trump and Putin have been known about since July when Josh Marshall had one of his greatest viewed posts on TPM
Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing
To my mind it just goes further to show how completely in the bubble and out of touch the leadership of your Democratic party is. You can blame whoever you like if it makes you feel better but the the sad and horrible truth is that you have been screwed over badly by your own blind arrogant and corrupt political leadership.
posted by adamvasco at 10:40 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Both of those things have been all over "The Democratic Party and its allied media outlets" and the roots of their opposition.

We need to throw everything at Trump, and keep doing it for the next four years, how are there people out there who don't understand that? Unless a person is planning on just lying down and dying, the only choice is to contest every inch of ground with any tactic that has any utility.
posted by praemunire at 10:41 AM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


> Forget everything else for a second, forget about health care and the New Deal and big government programs; it's about a tax break for the top 1%. Look at it that way and it's super simple.

Looking at it this way has certainly clarified American politics for me. Does it over-simplify it? Well, try to make some predictions by it. I think you'll find them fairly reliable.

What white-collar voters want more than anything else is the redistribution of wealth. But that phrase has been deliberately and systematically stigmatized by right-wing media in conjunction with conservative think-tank operators like Frank Lutz. That's why white working class voting behavior seems so incoherent. The thing they want more than anything, they dare not speak its name.

They've also been conned into believing that the respectable middle-class incomes they used to make as high-school educated blue-collar workers was redistributed from their wages to illegal immigrants and welfare queens and liberal college professors when in reality Trump's cabinet alone probably received more of it than everyone in those groups combined. Maybe progressives should try the phrase "the undistribution of wealth". From the Superrich back to the Twinkie bakers and eaters.

I've also been thinking a lot about California's recent political history, going back to the recall of Gray Davis. That was a Republican-orchestrated coup (Davis refused to stop the safety mechanism implemented as part of a cut in Vehicle Registration Fees that his predecessor Pete Wilson had passed) that led to, or extended, an unnecessary financial crises sustained by Republican obstructionism in the legislature. It bestowed upon us an action-hero celebrity as governor, who made a bunch of pie-in-the-sky promises he couldn't keep and ended up departing much unbeloved.

As soon as Jerry Brown regained the governorship and Democrats obtained an obstructionist-proof majority in the legislature, they were able right the ship financially. But at what cost to education and public services in that decade of totally avoidable mismanagement? I've always wanted to write up a People's History of the recall but that Wikipedia article does a pretty good job of telling the story. I think it provides some hopes for progressives looking for a future when Republican obstructionism on behalf of the Superrich doesn't reign supreme. (No predictions on when that might be.)
posted by bunbury at 10:44 AM on December 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


but on the charge that he is “soft” on Russia. That is, the Democratic Party has managed to attack Trump from the right.

"Soft" is a euphenism. I think the charge is that a foreign government has used underhanded methods to influence and sabotage our elections and politics. I don't really understand why something this unusual should not be at least properly and carefully looked at.
posted by FJT at 10:44 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


And by gods, like I said in the other thread, I will privately contact every Republican member of my family--including my grandmother--and make them justify the people they support in office to me. I already have contacted the family member best placed to do something about this and begged her to tell me what is going on, explained why I am terrified, asked what the Republican Party wants itself to be seen as. I am young, and I will leverage every weapon to hand to build lasting change in both public sentiment and political change, and I know how these things do change: in aggregate, as a result of thousands of small people doing small things.

Like the Whelk said on twitter back in November: I'm the angry grandpa now, and by god, will I make my Thanksgiving dinners uncomfortable. Explain to me why my career is worth throwing away, family members. Go on. Explain why you made the choices you did. And god help you if the trade-offs you tot up don't stack up against the reality of what we have lost.
posted by sciatrix at 10:45 AM on December 16, 2016 [41 favorites]


Re Krugman's take on the MSM's culpability in the Comey letter - the question is, what choices did they have?

The Comey letter existed. Trump had not let up about emails, emails, emails all campaign, ignoring the fact that the FBI had said earlier 'nope, nothing there', because he didn't and doesn't care about any sort of fact that doesn't serve him. It was still a live issue, no matter what the media said, and the electorate was responding to it. They had bought into the Trump shtick.

The MSM couldn't ignore that, because they hadn't found a modus operandi of dealing with Trump's shameless lies as a whole. It simply didn't matter what they said. (Remember that nigh on 500 newspapers endorsed Hillary, ten times those who endorsed Trump? What value was that?). Traditional media is structured to deliver news and opinion as two separate things - the news reports on what's happening, opinion gives analysis of what it means according to what a title thinks. The opinion side of much of the media was very anti-Trump and did call out his lies, but you can't do that in the news section - the rightwing media does, of course, but look at their rep for being good news sources.

You can blame the media for not defusing Trump and thus not doing its job. That's easy and obvious. What isn't easy or obvious is saying what they should have done, and believe me that a lot of responsible people gave this a lot of very serious thought, each and every day they covered the campaign and beforehand.

Once one side, and its media, decide to give up on pretending to play the game, and it takes its people with it, what do you do that can does any good whatsoever without abandoning the game yourself? And if you did that, how would it help the principles on which you operate?

Comey was and is a very serious attack on democracy, a filthy and shameless trick. But it's of a part with the rest of the systematic problem for the non-bonkers media of finding a viable strategy that doesn't just make things worse.
posted by Devonian at 10:45 AM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


but on the charge that he is “soft” on Russia. That is, the Democratic Party has managed to attack Trump from the right.

Only if you're so profoundly shit-brained as to think that there's anything "left" about Russia in the modern day.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:46 AM on December 16, 2016 [23 favorites]


The number of unsafe (i.e. competitive) GOP House seats is 8 percent. Swinging those would not be enough to bring the House back to Democratic control.

But don't those metrics of safe/unsafe seats come from traditional polling and LV filters based on normal, feeble mid-term turnout? I think part of acknowledging that this is not a normal situation is recognizing that the ways we have predicted these things in the past are not nearly as reliable as they used to be. Maybe our chances of getting the turnout to unseat more than 8 Republican congressfolk would be impossibly slim under a President Rubio or Cruz or Romney, but after two years of Trump? I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that his shitshow of a presidency combined with our sustained rabble-rousing efforts will result in a lot of pissed off people ready to switch their votes, or more importantly to show up where they might not have otherwise. It would be an upset, sure, but this whole fucking thing is an upset. I don't think we should concede the midterms before the bastard even takes office just because the same sort of polling that told us he was gonna lose catastrophically is now telling us we can't win.
posted by contraption at 10:46 AM on December 16, 2016 [17 favorites]


The Magic-8-ball election thread was fun because every time you got to the end, the next post over was about orgasms and butt plugs. Now we got flying dildos? Metafilter, dear.
posted by stonepharisee at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


[A few comments removed. Coda Tronca, this has gotten to be a dead-horse situation with you, please cut it out.]
posted by cortex at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


Her argument is basically ignore the hacking, do it for the good of the country.

Times have changed, because that's pretty much what the country decided to do after Bush II's hacked/stolen election(s) and popular vote loss.

"Get behind the President for the good of the country." and "Healing" and all that.

I hated it then, because that was fraud. Now, I guess I'm jaded.
posted by rokusan at 10:49 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Obama has already stated in the Trevor Noah interview that they've known that Russia has been involved for months. Obama did not order a review of the intelligence to see if Russia was involved in the email hacks, he ordered a review to see if Trump was involved.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:50 AM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


what choices did they have?

As I recall, the emails were an "above the fold" story for the NYT (website) for the entire period between Comey's two communications. Every day. All for a law enforcement official saying "hey, turns out there are some documents we have access to but haven't looked at" and then "yeah, nothing there, actually." The coverage was absurdly overblown. The actual news there for them to cover was very little at the time of Comey's first announcement and then none at the end. The NYT abdicated its judgment on the importance of a particular news item to the Trump campaign.
posted by praemunire at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


Obama did not order a review of the intelligence to see if Russia was involved in the email hacks, he ordered a review to see if Trump was involved.

Presenting proof positive of Trump's knowing involvement would actually be something worth holding a press conference over. Let me dream.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


President: My fellow Americans, approximately 15 minutes ago, at precisely 2pm EST agents from the Treasury Dept and IRS placed President-elect Donald J. Trump under arrest on charges of tax fraud and conspiracy to commit tax fraud. I'll take your questions now.
[utter fantasy]
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2016 [41 favorites]


Never concede his legitimacy. Every time he is mentioned for the next four years, remind people that he was not chosen by the American people, Clinton was.

And if somebody tries to give you that "Popular vote doesn't matter, we don't live in a popular vote system" shit, remind them that he didn't actually win the electoral vote either.

In my home state of Michigan, before the recount was (illegally) stopped, we found evidence of massive election fraud. Seriously, a huge number of the Trump votes physically do not exist. Yeah, it's possible that this is the only place in the country where this happened, but it's... unlikely, to put it nicely.

And, given that, we can't really trust the Congressional elections either. It is probably the case that a huge a number of the election results from this year are illegitimate.
posted by IAmUnaware at 10:52 AM on December 16, 2016 [46 favorites]


Obama's Final Push to Adapt to Climate Change. Yes, that headline says "adapt," not "fight":
With little more than a month left in office, the Barack Obama administration is quietly trying to accomplish one last big thing on climate change: creating a policy for relocating entire towns threatened by extreme weather and rising seas.

The White House has asked 11 federal agencies to sign a memorandum of understanding establishing what it calls "an interagency working group on community-led managed retreat and voluntary relocation." The group's goal would be to "develop a framework for managed retreat" -- including deciding which agency should be in charge, identifying obstacles to relocation and how to remove them, and coordinating with communities that already want to move. The group is supposed to develop an "action plan" within nine months of the agencies signing on.
.
posted by zachlipton at 10:52 AM on December 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


Unless the National Guard in fifty states starts mobilizing an hour ahead of the press conference, I can't imagine it'll be anything too earth shaking.
posted by rokusan at 10:52 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


"U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told journalists there was no precedent for it in recent memory."

China Seizes Unmanned US Underwater Vehicle
posted by staggering termagant at 10:54 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Magic-8-ball election thread was fun because every time you got to the end, the next post over was about orgasms and butt plugs. Now we got flying dildos? Metafilter, dear.

Clearly, the next phase of election thread planning should be trying to make the threads before and after the election thread as ridiculous as possible.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:54 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


> The group's goal would be to "develop a framework for managed retreat"

This is what it looks like when adults are in charge.
posted by stonepharisee at 10:54 AM on December 16, 2016


"Soft" is a euphenism. I think the charge is that a foreign government has used underhanded methods to influence and sabotage our elections and politics. I don't really understand why something this unusual should not be at least properly and carefully looked at.
South and Latin America is laughing it's socks off at that remark.
posted by adamvasco at 10:58 AM on December 16, 2016


In my home state of Michigan, before the recount was (illegally) stopped, we found evidence of massive election fraud. Seriously, a huge number of the Trump votes physically do not exist. Yeah, it's possible that this is the only place in the country where this happened, but it's... unlikely, to put it nicely.

I realize there are federalism concerns, but why can't we do the same thing with election boards we do when police departments or school districts utterly fail at civil rights and place them under supervision? I mean, at some point some group of grown-ups should be able to come in and get a court order saying "you clearly cannot run an election properly, so these people who know what they're doing are going to monitor everything and you're going to make sure you budget at least this much for elections so the job can be done right."
posted by zachlipton at 10:58 AM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


GOP congressman on Russian hacking: 'Terrific' that voters got more truthful information
Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said Thursday that it was "terrific" that voters got more truthful information about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, regardless of whether the hackers were Russian.

"The hackers, whether or not they're Russian hackers, I don't know," the California congressman said. "I know the CIA and the FBI disagree as to who the hackers are. But whether they're Russian hackers or any other hackers, the only information that we were getting from hackers was accurate information, was truthful. And that's not gonna turn the tide. If the American people have been given more truthful information, that's terrific."

Contrary to what Rohrabacher said, US intelligence agencies have near uniform consensus blaming Russia for hacks during the presidential campaign into the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. As CNN has reported, the disagreement between the FBI and CIA is over whether the Russians' specific goal was to get Donald Trump elected, not as the lawmaker says over who is behind the cyber attack.
Given Trump's tweet, this seems to be today's talking point.
posted by zachlipton at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


My feeling is that there are two layer to what's going on - there's what actually happened and there's people's strategies.

To me, what has actually happened is that because we have a non-robust system, various attacks on the process acted together to throw the election. Our system is sick - I mean, sicker than normal. That's why Comey was emboldened to act; that's why the Russian efforts worked and grew. Our system is sick for economic reasons and for racial reasons - people are poorer, and the poison stream of racism that flows from genocide and slavery has always meant that we do not have strong working class institutions or strong government to speak for working people. Between global economic changes and our underlying sickness, we have become vulnerable to Comey, Russia, the alt-right, etc. And because our system is sick, we ended up with two candidates who were, for various reasons, extremely unpopular with large swathes of the population.

Russia interfered; it's difficult for me to believe that Trump, his family and his advisors could have such close connections to Putin with the absolute absence of collaboration.

Look at the CIA playbook - do you think there was no collaboration when the CIA helped overthrow, say, the Allende regime? As the years have gone by, we've learned that US actors did collaborate directly with murderous right wing regimes in El Salvador, Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, Indonesia. That's how you do it. And Trump et al didn't even need secret communication channels - they're actually buddies with these people.

So, I think that's what happened.

And then there's a factional struggle on top of it. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are united about this. They're all working all the angles, and if people are running with the "It's Trump's fault" narrative, it's because they think that they can win that way, and win the kind of victory they want. My bet is that Democratic elites are running with this story because they think it's the one most likely to play well among people who vote, and it's the one that offers some face saving to any Republican who wants to come over. It's also the one that weakens the narrative about the Democratic party least, and least involves naming the sick system that got us into this mess.

So yeah, of course Democratic operatives are working all the angles on it. Just because it's a useful narrative for the Democrats doesn't mean it isn't broadly true. If it was true but not useful, we'd never hear of it again. Truth isn't the issue here.

For me personally, a weak, divided Trump administration is the best thing I can hope for. Right now, my interests align with the Democratic faction which is pushing this story and I think it's a true story.

Again, we've got a series of really bad choices.

One thing I've learned about myself during this: I do not believe that this is a revolutionary moment, and I am not holding my breath for revolution's arrival. I do not want to see the entire New Deal package swept away because I do not believe that we will be able to replace it in, say, the next twenty to thirty years. The world will have to change dramatically before there will be another truly small-d democratic moment like the end of the thirties/early forties, and there will probably have to be a war or the equivalent of a war. Wars are the engines of revolution - history shows us that. So I'm not eager to smash what we've got now - I think it's all we're getting for a good long while.

And for that reason, my interests align with the Democrats' around Trump and Putin and I hope they make some gains.
posted by Frowner at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2016 [33 favorites]


Have the people here who are skeptical about Russia's involvement read the early reporting from security firms like CrowdStrike, Fidelis and Secureworks? I keep seeing people on Mefi and elsewhere arguing that we shouldn't just take the word of every US intelligence agency, but multiple well-regarded security firms published their evidence and reasoning pointing to Russian intelligence months ago, and I feel like most of this reporting has been ignored or forgotten.
posted by skymt at 11:01 AM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


On the Trump family corruption creep front, the charity auction to "Enjoy Coffee with Ivanka Trump in NYC or DC" reached over $72K before it was scrubbed without comment from the Trump Organizaiton (Google cache).

Meanwhike, Trump spokesblonde Kellyanne Conway confirmed to a journalist that it's "a fair assessment" to say that Ivanka and her husband are the most likely family members to take part in the administration.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:02 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the charge is that a foreign government has used underhanded methods to influence and sabotage our elections and politics. I don't really understand why something this unusual should not be at least properly and carefully looked at.

It should certainly be properly and carefully looked at, but the notion that it's "this unusual" is either disingenuous or naive. What do you think agencies like the CIA and FIS are for if not this sort of thing?

The three unusual aspects are that (i) perhaps it was a lot more successful meddling this time, possibly because (ii) there might have been in-America cooperation from a campaign, though it's hard to measure that because (iii) the autopsy is not usually done in public. I have never seen the CIA get right up to the media like this before and speak so directly about things that usually happen in the shadows. (Item (ii) is the one worth serious investigating, in my opinion, anyway.)

But if the US and Russia have not both at least attempted to meddle in each and every election in the other nation over the past fifty years (and hundreds of others, worldwide), then I'd be shocked.
posted by rokusan at 11:02 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


South and Latin America is laughing it's socks off at that remark.

We were born in countries with similar politics. Donald Trump merely adopted it.
posted by FJT at 11:02 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I know the CIA and the FBI disagree as to who the hackers are.

I'm so glad that CNN immediately called that out as a straight-up lie by the congressman.
posted by diogenes at 11:03 AM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


The United States being a Neoliberal Hegemon that has done bad things does not excuse a Russian autocrat manipulating our electoral system to help get his preferred candidate elected

I mean, both things are worth combating

I mean, combating the second makes it easier to combat the first
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:06 AM on December 16, 2016 [17 favorites]


I think this China thing is a big deal. Am I the only one? Thoughts? Anyone?
posted by staggering termagant at 11:06 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I realize there are federalism concerns, but why can't we do the same thing with election boards we do when police departments or school districts utterly fail at civil rights and place them under supervision? I mean, at some point some group of grown-ups should be able to come in and get a court order saying "you clearly cannot run an election properly, so these people who know what they're doing are going to monitor everything and you're going to make sure you budget at least this much for elections so the job can be done right."

We could call it the "Voting Rights Act"
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:06 AM on December 16, 2016 [86 favorites]


via Facebook:

You know what would be really smart? If there was a televised "freedom concert" with huge celebrities like: Beyoncé and Jay Z, Madonna, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Gaga, etc. that aired at the same time as the inauguration!!

Imagine how mad his tiny fingers would be!! He would totally lose all the ratings. And what if all the proceeds of the concert went to: the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, NAACP, CAIR, IRAP, SPLC, Environmental Defense Fund, etc.

I would add that Alec Baldwin should MC the event playing Trump as he does on SNL. How great would that be?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2016 [118 favorites]


Clinton chose a strange time to make a statement. Maybe she's had advance warning on Obama's message today? Because otherwise staying silent another 24 hours would have made a lot more sense, no?

Or, I suppose, she could be trying to steer his narrative.

Interesting, anyway.
posted by rokusan at 11:08 AM on December 16, 2016


That's brilliant, 317, but no Baldwin: it would be much more fun for us to watch, and more infuriating for Trump, if he was never mentioned or acknowledged in any way. On the day of his crowning, he would not exist.

Imagine how much he'd hate that.
posted by rokusan at 11:09 AM on December 16, 2016 [35 favorites]


As I recall, the emails were an "above the fold" story for the NYT (website) for the entire period between Comey's two communications.

My memory is that every day from the second letter through and including the morning of the election, the lead story on the NYTimes website included "Emails" in the headline.
posted by stopgap at 11:09 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've done "NOT HOW I EXPECTED TO LOSE THE COLD WAR"

Sciatrix, I ate lunch with the Texas delegation, they were voted by slate and the Texas electors, if I recall correctly, were also put in place by the Cruz slate. Despite Cruz going over, a lot of those people weren't happy about it. Any sign hoping to actually flip an elector's vote should probably be like your one above, or maaaaaaybe a "Vote Your Conscience" or "Obey god's Law, Not Man's" or even "Vote McMullin" (these would have worked better before Cruz's craven flip but still) - you basically want them to think you're a Republican.
posted by corb at 11:10 AM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]




Alec could just play Alec, with the winky winky.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:10 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the charge is that a foreign government has used underhanded methods to influence and sabotage our elections and politics. I don't really understand why something this unusual should not be at least properly and carefully looked at.

On the Right, because it might cause trouble for their president, and political power is the only thing that matters.

On the Left, it's because that would involve a lot of people having to admit they were patsies for Russia. They'd have to look at their last year of statements about Clinton, the DNC and Wikileaks, and realize they were used. No one is going to be willing to accept the embarrassment and loss of influence that would entail.

So for example, Greenwald is going to be insisting up through 2024 that Wikileaks is totally going to start releasing dirt on Trump and the Republicans. Aaaaaaany day now....
posted by happyroach at 11:11 AM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


"QUEER SCIENTIST ASKING WHY MY COUNTRY ABANDONED ME,"

Queer Science was an underappreciated sequel to 1985's Weird Science, in which two high-school nerds try to create a beautiful woman from scratch with their computer.

Allan Cumming looked better in the red dress, too.
posted by rokusan at 11:12 AM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Greenwald is going to be insisting up through 2024 that Wikileaks is totally going to start releasing dirt on Trump and the Republicans. Aaaaaaany day now....

The exact moment Trump stops being useful. Putin wants chaos more than he specifically wants Trump.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 11:13 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


One thing I've learned about myself during this: I do not believe that this is a revolutionary moment, and I am not holding my breath for revolution's arrival. I do not want to see the entire New Deal package swept away because I do not believe that we will be able to replace it in, say, the next twenty to thirty years. The world will have to change dramatically before there will be another truly small-d democratic moment like the end of the thirties/early forties, and there will probably have to be a war or the equivalent of a war. Wars are the engines of revolution - history shows us that. So I'm not eager to smash what we've got now - I think it's all we're getting for a good long while.

Cosigned. And another thing I've learned about myself, both through this and just through the history I've read and taken in:

I think there are more things to be lost here than there are to be gained by overthrowing anyone. No matter what we the people do, the things that give us political stability versus a series of dictators are going to be badly shaken and destabilized. I am being careful about what I do in the hopes of saving whatever crumbling remains of that system we have so that it can be potentially repaired, or we're on course for a political track that is terrifying for me on a number of levels.

I have found myself advocating for changes or for people to act that in any other circumstance I would feel destabilized the system too badly and put ourselves at too much risk of autocracies or losing what democracy we have--but I think the changes Trump is saying he will put in place are worse, so I am looking to see where I can shove at our crumbling system that will both mitigate his effectiveness but also not break too much of it before we can restore some of it.

At the same time, the crumbling, sick, infrastructure that Frowner mentions is so badly run-down that it would not take much to destroy it completely, and if it is destroyed... I think that no matter who takes power after that, no matter what pretenses they say, if they are not a person of incredible integrity and patriotism and the first thing they do is not to establish newer forms of that infrastructure with teeth and a plan for keeping it well repaired, then we're on track for a nasty dictatorship. Full stop.

So the calls for revolution and the hungry red-masked anarchists I see calling for bringing down the government over this election, because the election was illegitimate? They scare me nearly as much as the thought of pausing and standing down and "learning to live with" Trump. I am trying to thread the line between Scylla and Charybdis, and while I'm doing everything I can to keep Scylla away, well, I'd rather be swept into her baying curs than into Charybdis' hungry void. I can fight Scylla, even though I think I will take great losses. If instead we unmake the entire infrastructure of the country, I fear that we'll all be lost to the void whatever we do.
posted by sciatrix at 11:13 AM on December 16, 2016 [21 favorites]




I think this China thing is a big deal. Am I the only one? Thoughts? Anyone?


Reminds me of the Hainan Island Incident early in the Bush administration. Though China may just be hinting to the U.S. at their abilities in detecting and intercepting U.S. sea drones.
posted by drezdn at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think this China thing is a big deal. Am I the only one? Thoughts? Anyone?

Yep -- it's a BFD. On the small scale, I'm sure there's some captured technology, not unlike when the Chinese got their hands on a US spy plane and returned it in a lot of crates. Not good.

On the big, substantive scale, it looks like a reaction to Trump's push on Taiwan. China is clearly stating that this is their turf, and they are Not Fucking Around So Back Off. I would not expect the new administration to heed that message, which can only lead to escalation on both sides.

Not good.

Edit: Dammit, dredzn!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:15 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Craig "the fake news guy" Silverman has a new investigation out on a fake news network responsible for the "Pope endorses Trump" story and many "[Celebrity X] is moving to [your improbable town]" stories.
posted by zachlipton at 11:15 AM on December 16, 2016


Sciatrix, I ate lunch with the Texas delegation

Those have pretty well been my tactics! And my thought processes. When I met with the Texas ACLU some weeks later, the sign I chose was something more like "Georgia invested $32,000 into my education; Texas has invested more like $80,000 into training its scientists; Trump is throwing that money into the drain and destroying my future." I have worn a hat in American flag colors to every march I've done, and am looking faintly into picking up a Captain America t-shirt as another visible sign that I love my country too, dammit. I won't play to stereotypes, and haven't.

Patriotism isn't only for Republicans. Nor is scorched-earth tactics; nor is love for family or a desire to serve one's country, although I am in no way suited for the military. I will build empathy any way I can, keeping in mind people like my grandmother as the audience I play to, and I swear to god I will trade that empathy as dearly as I can for progress.
posted by sciatrix at 11:18 AM on December 16, 2016 [39 favorites]




Sweden's preparing for war. Sweden.

Everything's fine.
posted by lydhre at 11:20 AM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


Sweden is always preparing for war. Consider the neighborhood.
posted by rokusan at 11:22 AM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


The debate is about proof of motive and whether or not Putin personally orchestrated the release of information.

Another even more important question is whether there was active collaboration and coordination between Russian intelligence services and one or more members of Trump's campaign team, or even Trump personally. A lot of analysts have been noting (according to a guy on an NPR panel) that some of the targeted attacks on state level democratic campaigns seemed to show a more sophisticated understanding of the innerworkings of our political processes and an awareness of the timing of key events in those state level campaigns. It's been suggested the circumstantial evidence points to some coordination with political operatives in the US.

If that were the case and were proven, we'd be talking treason here, wouldn't we?
posted by saulgoodman at 11:22 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Live stream of Obama's press conference on whitehouse.gov.

"You Might Also Like:
Meet President Obama's Supreme Court Nominee"

*sigh*
posted by jedicus at 11:24 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


I would also like that. I would like very much if they were one and the same.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:25 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


No matter how involved Russia was in hacking the Democrats, Hillary won the popular vote by at least two million votes but lost the electoral college. Not the Comey release, not Russian hacking, not racism, not anti-immigrant feelings alter the fact that the electoral college and not the popular vote won the election for Trump
posted by Postroad at 11:25 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


2016 metaphor alert: The deer caught in the middle of the political feud between DeBlasio and Cuomo has died awaiting transport to an upstate habitat.
posted by lalex at 11:25 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


That reminds me: the other thing I've done a lot of is use a lot of very emotionally laden rhetoric. I have found several previously-conservative people who were going "oh you don't mean that, you're just trying to shame me out of my views", and I suspect that's partly because of the liberal cultural tendency to rely on truth and evidence and "what will work" to make arguments.

Well, that's all true, and I value those things, but I also believe the things I'm saying in my deepest heart of hearts. And I fear the future for very specific reasons. I have found that it helps to make my point and develop consensus if I weaponize my emotions and my stories and make myself into a person that conservatives might know. I say "My wife is an immigrant!" and add that she's from Canada, she moved here to be with me, she went through all the legal process but boy was it hard, and she wanted to be here badly and believed this would be a good place to raise children with me, but now she's so hurt she won't seek citizenship here because the country has told her that prospective Americans aren't welcome here, and how can you make me justify that to my wife?

That sort of thing. I choose what I'm emphasizing, and I leave out a few details, like the bit where my partner IDs as nonbinary; I am careful with the language I choose to use, so that I draw on positive images and the story of the things I'm talking about. I set up my story to hit the same knee-jerk talking points Trump does about immigrants, say, and then I just as quickly sidestep and set it on its side ("my wife's an immigrant/my wife's from Canada") and talk about how the Trumpian ideals hurt "good" people that aren't in the imagined target group, too. I humanize myself as hard as I can, and I never lie. I am honest about my emotions and I carry them with me. I listen to what people tell me back and then I tell them the costs or the places they've been lied to, and I don't engage with anyone who doesn't signal clearly that they are willing to listen to me, because my energy is so limited right now.

It seems to work, at least a little. And by god, I am so very afraid that I need to keep trying.
posted by sciatrix at 11:26 AM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]


i'm thinking we're gonna have to ban trump until we figure out what's going on.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:27 AM on December 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


Washington Post breaking news: FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election
posted by Superplin at 11:27 AM on December 16, 2016 [32 favorites]


WashPost: FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election
posted by stopgap at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2016


Comey is trying to paper over his betrayal for the history books.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]




As CNN has reported, the disagreement between the FBI and CIA is over whether the Russians' specific goal was to get Donald Trump elected, not as the lawmaker says over who is behind the cyber attack.

According to the Washington Post just now, this disagreement is also over now too. FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election
“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John O. Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.

“The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI,” Brennan’s message read.
...
“In recent days, I have had several conversations with members of Congress, providing an update on the status of the review as well as the considerations that need to be taken into account as we proceed,” Brennan wrote. “Many – but unfortunately not all – members understand and appreciate the importance and the gravity of the issue, and they are very supportive of the process that is underway.”
posted by zachlipton at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


i'm thinking we're gonna have to ban trump until we figure out what's going on.

Like, from MetaFilter?

Did his $5 check even clear?
posted by rokusan at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


omfg
posted by lalex at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thorzdad: I think she should have taken the high road and simply responded as this being an issue for the government to sort out.

Clinton has been taking the high road for ages, and it's done sweet fuckall for her. If she feels like responding this way now, I say more power to her.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2016 [64 favorites]


Can I blame Russian hackers for this press conference starting late
posted by beerperson at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is the live stream just not working for me or is not starting on time?
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:30 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


These things never start on time.
posted by stopgap at 11:30 AM on December 16, 2016


The Hainan Island Incident was an accident where both parties could save face, but this seems like an intentional-as-fuck and unprecedented move from China. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster -- I think there will be a shitload of strutting.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:31 AM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


late
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:31 AM on December 16, 2016


I was wondering why nobody was saying anything about the press conference yet!
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:31 AM on December 16, 2016


Guys I kind of need to pee but I'm afraid to leave my desk.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:31 AM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Headline-softening paragraph omitted by your ellipsis, zacklipton:
"CIA and FBI officials don’t think Russia had a “single purpose” by intervening during the presidential campaign. In addition to helping Trump, intelligence officials have told lawmakers that Moscow’s other goal included undermining confidence in the U.S. electoral system."
Since some of the hacks occurred even before either Clinton or Trump was nominated (though I suppose Clinton was a foregone conclusion), I think this is important. And that second overall goal is consistent with what's been discussed for many many years as an open secret.
posted by rokusan at 11:32 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


In addition to helping Trump, intelligence officials have told lawmakers that Moscow’s other goal included undermining confidence in the U.S. electoral system."

Potayto, potahto
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:32 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Guys I kind of need to pee but I'm afraid to leave my desk.

What, no Hillary catheter? I thought you were a Democrat!

Joke. It's a joke. We all laugh or we all die. Perhaps both.
posted by rokusan at 11:32 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, there goes my plan to get the Electoral College to all vote for a Harlem Deer/Dying Kid Santa ticket. Thanks 2016.
posted by zachlipton at 11:32 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


but this seems like an intentional-as-fuck and unprecedented move from China.

They do stuff like this from time to time. From 2007: Chinese subs show up in U.S. Naval Exercise.
posted by drezdn at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


So much tension for "have a great holiday, see you in January"
posted by Yowser at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Guess I'm wearing a black armband on January 20th.
posted by ocschwar at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


oh god I'm about to go into my yearly performance review and I am not very focused because PRESS CONFERENCE.
posted by emjaybee at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


No armbands, please. No armbands at all. Too close to home.
posted by rokusan at 11:34 AM on December 16, 2016


Is the live stream just not working for me or is not starting on time?

CNN is showing talking heads and an empty podium.
posted by zrail at 11:34 AM on December 16, 2016


FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election

welp

Guys I kind of need to pee but I'm afraid to leave my desk.

Might wanna go ahead and do it
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:35 AM on December 16, 2016


Headline-softening paragraph omitted by your ellipsis, zacklipton:

Fair point. I wasn't trying to hide anything so much as just copy/paste the couple of leaked memo bits rather than the entire news article, for the sake of everyone's cell phones. I'm sure there were multiple motives involved, and I also don't think the motive matters a whole lot. Whether the goal was to get Trump elected or just screw with us or a little of both, the actions and actors matter far more than the intent.
posted by zachlipton at 11:35 AM on December 16, 2016


Is the live stream just not working for me or is not starting on time?

Obama is master of dramatic tension.
posted by rokusan at 11:35 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I need to make an armband to wear to the College on Monday. Maybe Sunday, too; there's two events in my city. I bet there's some for all of you if you need a place to stand alongside other people who care, too.
posted by sciatrix at 11:36 AM on December 16, 2016


I love Obama but I do not fucking think I can take any more goddamn dramatic tension THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
posted by emjaybee at 11:36 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


The "no single purpose" line doesn't soften the headline at all. They were hacking both to elect trump and to cause chaos. That's worse than just trying to elect Trump.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:37 AM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Not to make this a pee derail (peerail?) but I just went and I'm back. So they can start the press conference any time now.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:37 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Guys I kind of need to pee but I'm afraid to leave my desk.

According to CNN, Obama is expected to take questions for "at least an hour." Pee now.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:37 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Clinton has been taking the high road for ages, and it's done sweet fuckall for her. I

As usual, this is one of those "Whatever she does, it won't be seen as the right thing to do" situation.

Which is yet another reason why I think it's going to be another 32 years before we see another woman on the Democratic presidential ticket. It took about a generation and a half for the memory to fade of how the last one was treated, and I don't see anything changing now.
posted by happyroach at 11:37 AM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Would he need to take questions for an hour if he were just wishing everyone happy holidays before peacing out to Hawaii?
posted by lydhre at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of course it does, your Holiness. The headline cites one motive, and only deeper down does it clarify that that motive was only part of the whole goal.

If the headline was "Carrots cause cancer" and the ninth paragraph said that it was actually carrots and cinnamon, that would be, you know, softening the headline.

I agree it's twice as bad as the headline, if that is your concern. But the headline reads as if that was the only goal, which I think is dishonest and untrue of the WaPo.

Headlines often are, of course.
posted by rokusan at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2016


LIVE
posted by sciatrix at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2016


My god the stream on whitehouse.gov has started and I cannot tell the difference between real world and an SNL cold open. I mean look at it!
posted by rokusan at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


You guys, I think it's a Christmas quartet vocal performance.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


On the contrary, you could just as easily say LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T ELECT THE QUALIFIED WOMEN, PEOPLE. LOOK. WHAT. HAPPENS.
posted by emjaybee at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


And here we go. 2 minutes.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2016


wait false alarm, no one is actually talking yet, just sort of waiting
posted by sciatrix at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2016


Greenwald is going to be insisting up through 2024 that Wikileaks is totally going to start releasing dirt on Trump and the Republicans. Aaaaaaany day now....

The exact moment Trump stops being useful. Putin wants chaos more than he specifically wants Trump.


I don't think leaked dirt on Trump would hurt him at all. It hasn't hurt him thus far. If Reagan was the teflon president, Trump is like the NeverWet president - you know, that spray that you put on clothes which makes paint and shit roll right off it?

Should this scenario happen, Putin would just be one more person who thought he could control Trump but learned too late that Trump can't be controlled - no, he can't be controlled anymore than that disorder which makes you feel hungry no matter how much you eat can be controlled.

I think the only thing that can stop Trump is sunlight or Van Helsing or maybe running water, depending on your beliefs about lich kings.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


If the headline was "Carrots cause cancer" and the ninth paragraph said that it was actually a combination of carrots and cinnamon, that would be, you know, softening the headline.

That's a bad analogy, since the reality is a single cause having multiple bad outcomes and your analogy uses multiple causes leading to a single outcome. The better analogy would be that carrots cause cancer, and also multiple sclerosis.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:41 AM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Here he goes...
posted by XtinaS at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2016


"this is the most wonderful press conference of the year" -- I don't think its anything serious.
posted by anastasiav at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Can't talk now. Obama on. Trump bad. Putin bad. Carrots bad. All friends here. Shhhh.
posted by rokusan at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Super goddamn quiet.
posted by Imperfect at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2016


I'm getting flashbacks to outgoing Kentucky governor Steve Beshear singing the praises of Kynect right before Bevin dismantled it.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2016


I think if there was going to be anything new about Russia/Trump/the election would've led with that.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Shhh. Santa Obama is telling us how much coal we're gonna get.
posted by sciatrix at 11:43 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


He's currently reviewing the ways in which the US has improved while he's been in office. Income gains, stock market numbers, Obamacare, unemployment rate, deficit cuts, &c.
posted by XtinaS at 11:43 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Obama is going to drop his version of "One Last Time" that was cruelly cut from the Hamilton Mixtape.
posted by drezdn at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2016 [19 favorites]


'anyway, so the economy is doing well, which brings me to World War III'
posted by beerperson at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2016 [41 favorites]


Aside from re-animating Osama Bin Laden, I'm pretty sure Trump can and will reverse all of these things.
posted by bootlegpop at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah he would have led with big news about Russia. There's nothing. He's going to wish a happy holidays, take questions about Russia, say "we're looking into it" and peace out.
posted by windbox at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Patriotism isn't only for Republicans.

If I could favor this a thousand times, I would.

Russia is not allowed to intervene in our election not because we haven't done it elsewhere nor because we are pristine but because this country is *mine*, and any attempt to hem and haw around the issue misses how much fucking damage it's done. There's no "we had it coming" here.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


Holy crap, I'm going to miss him.
posted by MaritaCov at 11:45 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


you laugh, drezdn, but if he does I will legitimately cry at my desk for like twenty reasons all at once
posted by sciatrix at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


'anyway, so the economy is doing well, which brings me to World War III'

Hey man, fake tags please for those of us who can't watch/listen.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Given the open, i'm not expecting anything ground-breaking to come from this conference.
posted by XtinaS at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


forever asking that if you're going to liveblog something with comments in the thread, you give a little context for people who aren't watching
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:47 AM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


The kerning is bad on the White House emblem behind him and it's bugging me.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


He's conversating on Aleppo now, stating that it's a tragedy, that the US is going to keep pushing for providing aid, and so forth. "The Assad regime cannot slaughter its way to legitimacy." (direct quote)
posted by XtinaS at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


He's talking Russia blocking the US trying to bring humanitarian aid to Aleppo now in the UN.
posted by sciatrix at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Speech over, no big news, taking questions.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:49 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, they leaked the "FBI agrees with the CIA" story to hit right before the press conference. They knew what they were doing here. It's kind of going to come up.
posted by zachlipton at 11:49 AM on December 16, 2016


"That's why we will continue to press for a transition to a more representative government" [in Syria].

Hahahaha, lolsob.

"The world should not be fooled. And the world will not forget." Direct quotes, albeit about Syria rather than home.
posted by sciatrix at 11:49 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


So, nothing. Jesus.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:49 AM on December 16, 2016


Well so much for the big reveal.
posted by vrakatar at 11:49 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]




> The kerning is bad on the White House emblem behind him and it's bugging me

You mean the White H o u se emblem.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:50 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Putin is the first question.
posted by sciatrix at 11:50 AM on December 16, 2016


The disagreement isn't on if Russia hacked, but if their intent was specifically to elect Trump or just to disrupt our democracy.

If a not horrible Republican had been elected, say Jeb, Russia would have dribbed and drabbed provocative content from the RNC hack out to maximize outrage.

With Trump, they don't have to do that.
posted by zippy at 11:51 AM on December 16, 2016


Damn, Mark Knoller needs a haircut and a shave.
posted by zachlipton at 11:51 AM on December 16, 2016


I don't think leaked dirt on Trump would hurt him at all.

If they have anything to leak on other Republicans from the RNC hacks I'm sure they'll release it and any dirt on Trump when divisions between Trump and Congress would suit them. Get Trump's people in to soften sanctions on Russia, wait a while, then cause a bunch of infighting that may lead to impeachment and they can extract what they want and then throw American leadership into even more disarray for the rest of the term and America is playing catch-up after 2020.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:51 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, Obama. Oh, honey, no.
posted by sciatrix at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


talk about how the Trumpian ideals hurt "good" people that aren't in the imagined target group, too. I humanize myself as hard as I can, and I never lie.

This shit actually works! It's how I killed a really bad anti-immigrant plank in the platform - by being like "let me tell you about my family's view of the American dream and our hard work and military service and how much I love America." Humanizing like that is the only way I've made headway against that stuff.
posted by corb at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]


No reveal, no surprise.
posted by Imperfect at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2016


First question: someone is asking about Putin, whether Obama is going to state anything about his interference, whether there's anything to the rumors of not helping with a smooth transition. He says he's committed to a smooth transition, and that everyone should want foreign people to stay out of our elections. There's probably more, but it's so... boring. I can't find the right word.
posted by XtinaS at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2016


The bad keming isn't the only problem with that sign.
posted by stopgap at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


"My hope is that the President-elect is going to similarly be concerned."

Really? What gives you the slightest bit of hope.

He's now doing a timeline on events going back to the beginning of the summer. He said he ordered agencies to brief the victims of the hacking (not wanting to be thrown under the bus for the FBI's voicemail nonsense) and bipartisan Congressional leaders.
posted by zachlipton at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


More indirect interferance? This time from UK.
The UK’s biggest energy company, Centrica, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to a Texas-based climate denial think tank strongly linked to Donald Trump’s new energy secretary Rick Perry.
posted by adamvasco at 11:54 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


The disagreement isn't on if Russia hacked, but if their intent was specifically to elect Trump or just to disrupt our democracy.

Just on the timeline, seems obvious: it started as the latter, same as ever, and probably switched gears to emphasize the former late in the fall.
posted by rokusan at 11:54 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


oh shit obama now grabbing the mic and singing 'No alarms and no surprises' and his Thom Yorke falsetto is pretty good
posted by beerperson at 11:54 AM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Damn. Just a nothingbagel.
posted by rokusan at 11:54 AM on December 16, 2016


Obama should pull the sign down after the conference and take it home as a souvenir.

I mean, the new one is going to be gold foil and diamonds, anyway.
posted by rokusan at 11:55 AM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


He's trying to basically block accusations that the allegations are politically motivated. He's going high at just the wrong moment. Fuck.

He's saying his highest priority was to not damage the integrity of the election or do anything that would be seen through a partisan lens. He's trying to be unimpeachable in his actions, but we need--we need him to take a stand.
posted by sciatrix at 11:55 AM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


Oh hey, that's the feeling of hopes I didn't even know I had being dashed.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:56 AM on December 16, 2016 [41 favorites]


> He's saying his highest priority was to not damage the integrity of the election or do anything that would be seen through a partisan lens

What's wrong with being partisan during an election, anyway?
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:56 AM on December 16, 2016


And somehow, somehow!, in this shit year of 20fucking16, I still manage to feel disappointment.
posted by lydhre at 11:57 AM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Taking the high road and being the calm adult isn't going to help a damn thing.

This is just so fucked up right now.

Seconding "that's the feeling of hopes I didn't even know I had being dashed."
posted by erratic meatsack at 11:57 AM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


This is like Everything Frustrating About Obama in a nutshell. He's so hyper-controlled that he can't even get mad when he should. Clinton too.
posted by emjaybee at 11:57 AM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Now he's attacking the press for writing about Podesta's emails.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:57 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


"You guys wrote about it every day!"
posted by Fleebnork at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


WHAT DID YOU FIND, SIR.

WHAT IS YOUR CONSENSUS. WHAT DID YOU FIND.

WHAT DO YOU THINK, SIR, THE NATION IS HANGING ON YOUR EVERY WORD

SIR. HISTORY'S EYES ARE ON YOU.
posted by sciatrix at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Now he's giving the press some shit for covering the Podesta emails so heavily.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2016


Whoa, this is the "as your father, I am so disappointed in you" talk to the media, not a warning to Trump.

Weird choice????
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


He's talking a little shit to the press just now about obsessing about Clinton's nothing scandals and the Podesta leaks in the face of everything else going on. Doing it in Dad Voice still, though.
posted by cortex at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2016


SIR, WHAT WILL YOU FALL FOR
posted by sciatrix at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


"You guys wrote about it every day!"

Context: He just snarled at the press for making front page headlines out of each drip-drip-drip of leaked e-mails... but he snarled through a smile.
posted by rokusan at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Blaming the media and public for not "figuring it out on their own" basically from the hints they dropped. Thanks.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Dear press: why were you obsessing over Clinton's emails? Golly!" [paraphrase]
posted by XtinaS at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nothing we know about Obama suggested he was going to do anything else. He's first and foremost an institutionalist. It's not clear he even realizes that the institutions are crumbling around him.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2016 [31 favorites]


Obama playing the long game when maybe the short game is all that matters?
posted by glhaynes at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


We're back on this point, which remains important: "Everybody's suddenly acting surprised that it looked like this was disadvantaging Hillary Clinton because you guys wrote about it every day, every single leak, about every little tidbit of political gossip, including John Podesta's risotto recipe. This was an obsession that dominated the news coverage ... How is is that a Presidential election of such importance with so many big issues at stake and such a contrast between the candidates came to be dominated by a bunch of these leaks. What is it about our political system that made us vulnerable?"
posted by zachlipton at 12:00 PM on December 16, 2016 [17 favorites]


This year has given me emotional whiplash. My soul can't handle going from 0 to white hot rage and right back to 0 so many times in one week.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 12:00 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Pretty sure this is 14th-dimensional chess and Obama is setting up a huge power coup that'll hit right in the middle of his third term
posted by beerperson at 12:00 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nothing we know about Obama suggested he was going to do anything else.

Absolutely, but it's still frustrating because if anything could've flapped him it'd be this...
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think Obama is playing the only game available to him if he wants to prevent a constitutional crisis and/or civil war.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


Nothing we know about Obama suggested he was going to do anything else. He's first and foremost an institutionalist. It's not clear he even realizes that the institutions are crumbling around him.

It's like he's constitutionally incapable of comprehending that the Republicans are not playing the game anymore and are cutting hunks off the gaming table with axes. This was a problem from the start, and I thought he'd wised up after his first term. Guess not.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [45 favorites]


The set has collapsed around him and yet he keeps declaiming amidst the rubble.
posted by bootlegpop at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Dear press: why were you obsessing over Clinton's emails? Golly!" [paraphrase]

He said much the same thing in his Daily Show interview. I think the real "golly" for him is that they put out a massively unprecedented statement in October blaming the Russians for the hacked emails and, for various crazypants reasons and institutional failures, this didn't really become a story until early December.
posted by zachlipton at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Obama in middle of 20-minute answer to first question.
posted by klarck at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Just as I told Russia to stoppit--" (Context: He's been talking about this to other foreign leaders.)

Idk why, but that "stoppit" in 100% Dad Voice cracked me right up.
posted by XtinaS at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think Obama is playing the only game available to him if he wants to prevent a constitutional crisis and/or civil war.

I don't know why he would want to prevent that, at this hour.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think Obama is playing the only game available to him if he wants to prevent a constitutional crisis and/or civil war.

Or he doesn't want to sell his soul to play the same scorched earth game as the Republicans. Republicans can quite happily threaten to burn everything down and their constituents don't give a shit because that only stops the USG from spending money on black people.
posted by Talez at 12:04 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


He doesn't want to do anything else other than hand over power to the guy who just got elected. He said that on day one.
posted by Coda Tronca at 12:04 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Watching this, I can't really deal with the fact that future press conferences won't have, like, sentences in them.
posted by erratic meatsack at 12:05 PM on December 16, 2016 [52 favorites]


You don't know why someone might want to prevent a violent uprising? Mkay.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:05 PM on December 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


I think we are too far along the constitutional crisis path already. What he doesn't ever seem to understand is that the other side is willing to set everything on fire to spite him/anyone who likes him.

I have no idea why he can't understand that. He's not a dumb man.
posted by emjaybee at 12:05 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


"Obama just lied: Russia's hacking of our election systems continued even past election day. His talk w/Putin failed." --@AndreaChalupa. Citing Reuters today: U.S. election agency breached by hackers after November vote.

I'm not sure we have enough evidence to outright call it a lie though--it's unclear that the Russian government is responsible for the Election Assistance Commission hack or that US intelligence believes that to be the case.
posted by zachlipton at 12:05 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Watching this, I can't really deal with the fact that future press conferences won't have, like, sentences in them.

Nonsense! Trump has beautiful flowing sentences! The press just mangles them because they're biased and targeting him!
posted by Talez at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


So he's essentially saying that they didn't disclose more because they wanted We the People to accept the outcome of the election?

Ugh.
posted by R a c h e l at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Because, perhaps, the Civil War was one of the bloodiest in American history, and wars have so many casualties, and I think he hope he can prevent out and out civil war from bringing our institutions to the ground. In that metaphor I made upthread, he's keeping a clear, safe distance from Charybdis... and hewing ever closer to Scylla. I think he's closer than he needs to be, but I'm afraid of civil war and whether the nation can recover from it, too.

Fucking hell.
posted by sciatrix at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


from the previous thread...
In that time, the hackers seized the computer credentials of Dempsey and hundreds of other senior officers -- the passwords and electronic signatures they used to sign on to the network. The only way to stop the attack was to take the network down.

This is a pretty common outcome - to short circuit data theft, execute a self-imposed massive system-wide DOS attack. It's a win-win for the attacker.
posted by j_curiouser at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2016


Asked if Clinton didn't win because of hacking, he replied... I look forward to reading a book about it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:07 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


So he's essentially saying that they didn't disclose more because they wanted We the People to accept the outcome of the election?

No he's saying that he didn't disclose more because he didn't want it to be a parisan election issue that would be forgotten about instead of taken seriously by the remaining Congressional Republicans with a spine.
posted by Talez at 12:07 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


We're doomed.
posted by SansPoint at 12:07 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


"I don't think [Clinton] was treated fairly during the election."

Still chewing out the media.
posted by sciatrix at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


"The coverage of her [Sec. Clinton] was troubling."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2016


I have no idea why he can't understand that. He's not a dumb man.

The solution to someone threatening to burn it all down isn't to coat the house in gasoline and say "I double-dog dare you!"
posted by Talez at 12:08 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Obama: "How do we make sure that we are showing up in places where I think Dem policies are needed and helping and making a difference, but people feel are thinking they are not being heard and Democrats are being characterized as coastal liberal latte sipping politically correct out of touch folks. We have to be in those communities. And I've seen that when we we are in those communities it makes a difference. That's how I became President."
posted by zachlipton at 12:10 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Hey guys just a gentle request if you're liveblogging please use [fake] for even what seems obvious sarcasm? With 2016 I never know if it's real or not with some of this.
posted by corb at 12:10 PM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


This is off topic but it always makes me chuckle how every time Obama moves his arms or gesticulates at all, the Camera shutters start flapping. I'm not sure I'd have the restraint to not try and direct them like they were an orchestra.
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


The other way of looking at it is that when someone is actively burning your house down, you don't put on your Dad Voice to chide them from the patio.

The GOP cheats, is continuing too, with nothing and no one standing up to stop them. They now have all three arms of government under their control. GG.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Or he doesn't want to sell his soul to play the same scorched earth game as the Republicans. Republicans can quite happily threaten to burn everything down and their constituents don't give a shit because that only stops the USG from spending money on black people.

THEY'RE ALREADY BURNING THE HOUSE DOWN. The rules are over. The Democrats' continued insistence on ignoring that fact will produce nothing pleasant or useful.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:12 PM on December 16, 2016 [25 favorites]




will the South China Sea be the new Gulf of Tonkin?

uhhh....we had to escalate...they stole another drone...that's my story and i'm stickin to it...
posted by j_curiouser at 12:13 PM on December 16, 2016


via my brother: "His first 2012 debate was a better performance than this."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:13 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the thing scaring me most is that he is trying to normalize this because he is afraid we will crumble if he doesn't. He's trying to shore up the faith in institutions as badly as he can because he is afraid of what will happen if they break.

But this is not normal and in many ways those institutions have snapped. The question to ask of ourselves now is.... what are we the people going to do about it? What do we triage? What do we fix, and what can we fix right now before Trump gets the chance to try juggling chainsaws in the institution room?
posted by sciatrix at 12:14 PM on December 16, 2016 [19 favorites]


Welp, if this is his final press conference and the guy coming after wants to watch the US burn, well done, I guess. Jeez. I mean, I guess I wanted something more but I am also not surprised to be disappointed.
posted by Kitteh at 12:14 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


DynamiteToast: "This is off topic but it always makes me chuckle how every time Obama moves his arms or gesticulates at all, the Camera shutters start flapping. I'm not sure I'd have the restraint to not try and direct them like they were an orchestra."

it should have been bernie
posted by Rhaomi at 12:14 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


The best he can say is that Trump has "listened" as he's made suggestions to preserve institutions and the dignity of the office.
posted by zachlipton at 12:14 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't know why he would want to prevent that, at this hour.

If you think for a few minutes about what a second American Civil War would entail, you shouldn't have much trouble coming up with some reasons.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 12:15 PM on December 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


he clearly wants to deligitimate trump without calling the election itself into question which is an impossible needle to thread
posted by murphy slaw at 12:15 PM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Anyways I'll always love Obama, but I guess he's fine with Trump taking over and Ulysses S. Granting his legacy while driving the country into the ground and that really shouldn't surprised me.
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:16 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mean he won't even criticize the FBI. The agency that obsessed over Hillary's emails while not bothering to drive over to the DNC to sound the alarm that they were under attack. What the fuck is wrong with him?
posted by zachlipton at 12:16 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


There’s no sense in being precise when you don’t even know what you’re talking about
John von Neumann
posted by robbyrobs at 12:16 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


He basically just dodged the Comey question. Pathetic.
posted by homunculus at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2016


I sure hope Putin has learned his lesson from all this...
posted by Candleman at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Obama: "How do we make sure that we are showing up in places where I think Dem policies are needed and helping and making a difference, but people feel are thinking they are not being heard and Democrats are being characterized as coastal liberal latte sipping politically correct out of touch folks. We have to be in those communities. And I've seen that when we we are in those communities it makes a difference. That's how I became President."

he continued...
"I then tried the opposite, reversing Howard Dean's 50-state strategy- that served my campaigns so well- by gutting the DNC and local party system and moving all the organizing to a non-profit called Organizing for Action. The last three years of elections have shown that was a colossal failure with Republicans winning everywhere and culminating with the election of Donald Trump as President. Anyone have any other ideas?"
posted by gus at 12:17 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well I guess I don't have *less* hope than I did the day after the election so I'll probably be ok.
posted by emjaybee at 12:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


THEY'RE ALREADY BURNING THE HOUSE DOWN. The rules are over. The Democrats' continued insistence on ignoring that fact will produce nothing pleasant or useful.

I mean he won't even criticize the FBI. The agency that obsessed over Hillary's emails while not bothering to drive over to the DNC to sound the alarm that they were under attack. What the fuck is wrong with him?

If the Democrats start playing with the independence and legitimacy of the institutions like the Republicans do the Republic is truly over. There will still be a country but it will be a sectarian battle not a representative* democracy.

* Yes you can make the joke that it's not representative now. Well done.
posted by Talez at 12:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


I think the thing scaring me most is that he is trying to normalize this because he is afraid we will crumble if he doesn't. He's trying to shore up the faith in institutions as badly as he can because he is afraid of what will happen if they break.

Remember the situation when Obama first took office? The economy had completely broken, institutions had snapped, actual cornerstone banks were collapsing. He did pretty much the same thing to keep the country running on the (illusion) of stability, he didn't blame anyone, and it worked.

I imagine he's thinking the same way now, which must take some serious willpower, given the weight oppressing him.
posted by rokusan at 12:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


I gotta say, the 'shoulda been bernie' quarterbacking drives me bugfuck nuts, and the more I think about it the more it demoralizes my initial belief that I can get where I want to based on actual competence. I mean, I wear a bra in the morning, so fuck knows I'm always gonna be less likeable than any dude who shares my traits. Goddamn.

I don't have time to watch that youtube link, Rhaomi, because I am listening carefully to a man make the wrong fucking choices through all our fear. So I acknowledge that I could be levying an undeserved salvo based on the gotcha you think is implicit in the linked context absent from your actual words. But jesus fucking christ.
posted by sciatrix at 12:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [60 favorites]


Well I guess I don't have *less* hope than I did the day after the election so I'll probably be ok.

Given what the president elect has done since the election, i have much, much much much much less hope.
posted by localhuman at 12:19 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


During this press conference, the Governor of North Carolina signed the bill stripping powers from the new Governor.

"As this is happening, President Obama is on TV right now speaking proudly about how Dems play by the rules in politics"

I'm so done with "we go high." What happened to no fucks Obama? He doesn't even have a word of mild criticism for the FBI or Comey right now?
posted by zachlipton at 12:20 PM on December 16, 2016 [46 favorites]


We're not in a perfect place now. Fine.

What do we do going forward?!?
posted by sciatrix at 12:20 PM on December 16, 2016


* Yes you can make the joke that it's not representative now. Well done.

But it's not a joke...
posted by meese at 12:20 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Maybe he's just trying to proactively tarnish his own legacy so we don't get too sad about how far we're falling.
posted by witchen at 12:21 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


For Christsakes, get Biden to the podium to drop some f-bombs about this shit.
posted by klarck at 12:21 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


We need to tell prospective Trump electors that they may be voting for the Antichrist. Do I believe Trump is the Antichrist? I believe if there is an Antichrist, it is him.

Grandmother's family name: Christ. (grandson of Christ) Wants to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, an end days type of thing. MAGA sounds a lot like Magog. Joining with Russia (who is Magog in the standard fundamentalist interpretations.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:21 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Somebody passed out.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:21 PM on December 16, 2016


Somebody in the press corps is not feeling good.
posted by glhaynes at 12:21 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Somebody needs a medical evacuation now, too.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2016


Whoever is falling ill in the back of this press conference speaks for me.
posted by SansPoint at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [32 favorites]


Someone is having a fucking heart attack or puking or something offscreen. Not fake.
posted by sciatrix at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel like he's trying to gaslight us with this shit. We heard him say what he truly thought about Trump before the election. And now he's all "oh no, it will be fine, Trump's just like any other PEOTUS" (not real quote). Stop trying to gaslight us into ignoring our fear.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


we resist. but without support from the administration or the deep state it will necessarily be reactive.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I guess I expected something between this tepid response and him standing on a tank like Yeltsin.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


I sure hope Putin has learned his lesson from all this...

Hmph. I hear Obama telling Putin to stop it and I hear exactly the same sort of weak sauce that Clinton unveiled by telling corrupt Wall Street to cut it out. It's disappointing, to be sure.

(And yeah, I am sure there is a Clinton hot sauce joke here somewhere but I feel strangely unmotivated to put in the mental effort to find something funny right now. Not an encouraging day so far.)
posted by rokusan at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


he continued...
"I then tried the opposite, reversing Howard Dean's 50-state strategy- that served my campaigns so well- by gutting the DNC and local party system and moving all the organizing to a non-profit called Organizing for Action. The last three years of elections have shown that was a colossal failure with Republicans winning everywhere and culminating with the election of Donald Trump as President. Anyone have any other ideas?"


That quote is [fake], though the spirit is not wrong. However, he did go on to acknowledge that he failed to do this in the midterms and for downballot candidates as President and generally seemed to regret this. I can only transcribe a paragraph or so at a time and he started speaking quickly, so I didn't get that part.

Now someone in the briefing room has taken ill and some chaos has ensued.
posted by zachlipton at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


They're holding up the conference for someone needing to go to the doctor, which seems weird. Carry on. No need to film someone having to leave.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2016


obama calling for his own doctor
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Someone passed out in the back of the room and they're waiting for a doctor? [real]

Obama literally giving directions to the doctor's office. [surreal]
posted by rokusan at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


This presser is a shitshow but Obama giving directions is pretty charming.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:24 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I know how you feel, Person who Passed Out. I know how you feel.
posted by emjaybee at 12:24 PM on December 16, 2016 [23 favorites]


I'd honestly be fine with the standing on a tank one, at this point. I feel like I'm watching our democracy -burn-, and the guy who's the guardian of it doesn't seem aware of it.
posted by Archelaus at 12:24 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I quit watching after he ducked the Comey question. I'm done. So disappointing.
posted by Fleebnork at 12:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I am so fucking sick of being held hostage by people who are eager, willing, and in fact promising to burn down the house I live in.
posted by erratic meatsack at 12:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


They're holding up the conference for someone needing to go to the doctor, which seems weird. Carry on. No need to film someone having to leave.

That someone appears to have become suddenly and seriously ill; it's not like you're in school and you have to leave an hour early for a dentist appointment.
posted by zachlipton at 12:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


What do we triage? What do we fix, and what can we fix right now before Trump gets the chance to try juggling chainsaws in the institution room?

So for now, my triage list of questions goes:

1. How likely is this to be undermined in a Trump presidency?
(a) How likely to be passed by House/Senate/Departmental means?
(b) How likely to be impacted by extralegal actors?

2. How likely are people to be harmed by this?
(a) Permanently and tangibly?
(b) Short term?
(c) Affecting the character of our society?

3. How likely am I to be able to impact this?
(a) Alone?
(b) With my family and friends?
(c) Within my community?
posted by corb at 12:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


sciatrix: "So I acknowledge that I could be levying an undeserved salvo based on the gotcha you think is implicit in the linked context absent from your actual words."

It was gallows humor link to a Full Frontal clip of Sanders waving his hands at a debate set to orchestra music.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Obama is a constitutional prof with an even keel disposition. He's not a bomb thrower. 1/
For eight years progressives have clamored for him to get angry, to get dirty. It's not how he operates. This is a lecture. 2/
I'm not saying he's right, but it's what's happening. As any professor, he wants us to learn for ourselves. Not what people want 3/3
--@JYSexton
posted by zachlipton at 12:26 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


I mean, I don't think a series of sick burns are in order here, but seriously? He's talking like he's handing over the reins to Romney. As others have noted, at least an acknowledgment that this is not normal would be nice. And I don't think the possibility of a civil war hangs in the balance.

I really want to believe that he's playing it cool now because the gloves are coming off later. But his track record doesn't leave me too hopeful in that regard.

Also, Jesus fuck, is a doctor really that far away from POTUS at any given time?
posted by Rykey at 12:26 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


There really isn't anything else an outgoing President could do.

Comey caving makes me more optimistic than anything Obama could do with 30 days left.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:26 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am deeply saddened that (for at least 4 years), like his answers or not, this is the last time we will have an actual adult able to field questions in a thoughtful and eloquent manner standing in front of that seal and taking questions from reporters.
posted by Justinian at 12:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [26 favorites]


I skimmed down to here, so my apology if this is a repeat.

Here's the really scary thought:

The Russians hacked the RNC and the DNC. They only gave the DNC information to wikileaks. What does that mean that they have on the RNC? How much blackmail material on current senators, representatives and people on Trump's team do they have? Maybe they released the DNC email stuff because it wasn't juicy enough to blackmail anyone over.
posted by Hactar at 12:28 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


> That someone appears to have become suddenly and seriously ill; it's not like you're in school and you have to leave an hour early for a dentist appointment

True, I withdraw my irritation. And it's an interesting moment. Obama telling people how to get to his doctor's office, as if they'll be allowed to wander the hallways looking for it and as if there aren't people right there with radios to call in help. Maybe it's an example of Obama remaining very calm at a time when other people would cause a scene.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:28 PM on December 16, 2016


There really isn't anything else an outgoing President could do.

This. Challenging the peaceful transition of power is not a Pandora's Box we want to open when it's Trump that's going to have to hand over power in 4/8 years.
posted by Talez at 12:28 PM on December 16, 2016 [22 favorites]


Meanwhile, the North Carolina GOP has completed its repeal of democracy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:29 PM on December 16, 2016 [30 favorites]


"I can assure the public that there was not the kind of tampering with the voting process that was their concern... the votes that were cast were counted, they were counted appropriately, and we have not seen evidence of machines being tampered with." [real]

(The word "appropriately" made me flinch, but I don't think he was being clever.)
posted by rokusan at 12:30 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't have time to watch that youtube link, Rhaomi, because I am listening carefully to a man make the wrong fucking choices through all our fear. So I acknowledge that I could be levying an undeserved salvo based on the gotcha you think is implicit in the linked context absent from your actual words. But jesus fucking christ.

It was gallows humor link to a Full Frontal clip of Sanders waving his hands at a debate set to orchestra music.

I share the terror and fear, but if you don't have time to watch the link then please don't rip another community member for pulling a "gotcha" that they didn't pull. It was pretty clear Rhaomi was responding to a comment about Obama waving his hands.
posted by lalex at 12:30 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


We have not seen evidence of machines being tampered with? With recounts being shut down before they've finished happening?

Oh, Obama, no.
posted by sciatrix at 12:30 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


@JoyAnnReid: Obama didn't really answer the "free and fair" election question. His answer was limited to the voting machines being hacked.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:31 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


You don't need to tamper with vote counts when you can manipulate who casts the votes.
posted by Justinian at 12:32 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]




They're wrapping up a damn coup in North Carolina and the President of the United States and most trusted Democrat in the country thinks we want another lecture right now.

He says there's a lot of information they aren't going to declassify. "This is one of those situations where unless the American people genuinely think the professionals in the CIA, FBI, our entire intelligence infrastructure...[many are Republicans] are less trustworthy than the Russians, then people should pay attention to what our intelligence agencies say." Sounds like the theme is "trust us."
posted by zachlipton at 12:33 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


We need to tell prospective Trump electors that they may be voting for the Antichrist. Do I believe Trump is the Antichrist? I believe if there is an Antichrist, it is him.

This is not a negative to them. They want the Antichrist to get here so we can get on with the rapture.
posted by dilaudid at 12:33 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


The first time I ever saw President Obama, it was roughly 2006 and I was in middle school. It was my first exposure to real in-the-flesh politicians, and in sharp contrast to a different speaker's combative response to a disruption from the crowd, then-Senator Obama held up his speech by several minutes to ensure that someone who fell down the bleachers had medical attention before anything resumed.

There's no moral to the story, just that this incident in the press room just reminded me of that. I still remember part of what he said in that speech (despite the fact that to this day I'm a horrible auditory learner) and I still remember shaking his hand on the way out. Regardless of whether he's doing everything that others want him to, I'm so proud that same man is my president today and the fact that someone like him is in power, well, I have faith that empowered Americans can still do the right thing again in the future.
posted by R a c h e l at 12:35 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


I don't know if this has been previously posted in any of the election megathreads but Trump and Putin have been known about since July when Josh Marshall had one of his greatest viewed posts on TPM
Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing
To my mind it just goes further to show how completely in the bubble and out of touch the leadership of your Democratic party is. You can blame whoever you like if it makes you feel better but the the sad and horrible truth is that you have been screwed over badly by your own blind arrogant and corrupt political leadership.


Yes, it was posted in those threads, multiple times. I am not really sure what you're accusing the leadership of--are you claiming they weren't paying attention? Because they tried, but the media and public largely ignored all the facts in favor of Trump scandals and EEE-MAAAALEZZZZ.


Blaming the media and public for not "figuring it out on their own" basically from the hints they dropped. Thanks.

What. The. Fuck.

I remember reading the articles and releases about the hacking. I remember talking about the story with others. And I remember being called a Clinton-apologist and conspiracy theorist by both sides of the aisle for daring to pay attention to the evidence. Trump people were Trumpists, obviously, but from the left it was person after person saying it was all an irrelevant distraction from the DNC's Great Corruption and The Wronging Of Bernie and Horrible Hillary. That happened on this site.

This was all out there, and the administration, investigative journalists, and the Clinton campaign tried to bring it up, and all shut down by the rivers of bullshit being rained on their heads by the media and public who were more interested in confirming their biases than listening to anyone else. It has been driving me fucking crazy since the puzzle pieces started falling together during the primaries.

It is deeply, deeply frustrating to read all this blame and snark aimed at Obama/Clinton/Democrats for not bringing this up, because they fucking tried and you didn't care.

I'm glad he chewed out the media. They need chewing out. Right now, the bulk of media figures are either turning out thinkpieces about white people or pointing fingers at fake news on Facebook instead of engaging in an iota of reflection on their own practices.
posted by schroedinger at 12:35 PM on December 16, 2016 [110 favorites]


This. Challenging the peaceful transition of power is not a Pandora's Box we want to open when it's Trump that's going to have to hand over power in 4/8 years.

This is also why lobbying electors really scares me. If that ever becomes normalized, the actual public election itself and its hundred million votes will no longer ever matter again: the only election that would matter would be the direct lobbying of the 1076 before, and the 538 thereafter.

I mean, you think it wouldn't happen every single time hereafter?
posted by rokusan at 12:35 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


"Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave" is gonna piss off exactly the right people.
posted by Justinian at 12:35 PM on December 16, 2016 [36 favorites]


He's now calling out Republicans who have previously been pro-Russia for not calling Trump on Russian ties; also calling out people for supporting anti-American politics just because the GOP candidate is doing so. Huh. Had to be dragged kicking and screaming, though.

"Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave." Direct quote.
posted by sciatrix at 12:36 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave." — POTUS, regarding Republican approval of Putin, a former KGB agent, because he helps them relative to Democrats
posted by glhaynes at 12:36 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]




You're right schroedinger. We had essentially the same information we have now back in October. And nobody wanted to face the truth then. And I get that, it was scary and vague and hard to know what to do with that information, just as it is now. And it was wrapped up in a partisan fight. But if we spent 2% of the time we spent talking about Clinton emails on the fact that intelligence agencies dropped a bombshell in the middle of this, we might be in a better place.
posted by zachlipton at 12:38 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


We need to tell prospective Trump electors that they may be voting for the Antichrist.

You misunderstand the religious crazies.

The Antichrist is not something you fight, oppose, or delay. You also don't bring it about yourself. You are a witness, not an actor. The coming of the Antichrist is something you observe and celebrate, because it means the glorious End Times are near.
posted by rokusan at 12:38 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


god IF ONLY they'd all be raptured away
posted by poffin boffin at 12:40 PM on December 16, 2016 [46 favorites]


i will break the seals MYSELF
posted by poffin boffin at 12:40 PM on December 16, 2016 [73 favorites]


I mean, you think it wouldn't happen every single time hereafter?

You think it won't anyway? You think that the party that has gerrymandered beyond the legal limits, that is right now playing this game in North Carolina, that has sold itself to people who are sending death threats and epilepsy triggers to journalists, isn't going to try this the next time they come close in the EC regardless of whether the Dems do it now?
posted by Etrigan at 12:40 PM on December 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


I mean, you think it wouldn't happen every single time hereafter?

I think it works be the end of the electoral college, and that would be okay with me.
posted by meese at 12:40 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


The coming of the Antichrist is something you observe and celebrate, because it means the glorious End Times are near.

Just a stray thought: it's interesting how the Republican party (specifically, Evangelical Republicans, but it might as well be all of 'em) are motivated by this, and so is ISIS. The worst people in the world are also the ones who get the biggest boners for death and destruction. What can we even do in the face of that?
posted by witchen at 12:41 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


If lobbying electors becomes a problem, we can get rid of the electoral college. It's a shitty system and I don't care anything about preserving it.

We know that the EC does not do what's it's supposed to--keep unfit people out of office. In this case, quite the opposite. Shut it down.
posted by emjaybee at 12:42 PM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


Martha Raddatz asks him if he can finger Putin specifically and brings up Iraq WMD as a counterexample. He won't go there, says he's waiting for the report to come out, but he has "great confidence" it was Russia and says that the evidence has been provided to bipartisan members of Congress and some of them have taken it seriously.

Most he'll say on blaming Putin specifically is: "Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin" and that "this happened at the highest levels of the Russian government" and you can ask yourself if "high level Russian officials go off rogue and decide to tamper with the US election."
posted by zachlipton at 12:42 PM on December 16, 2016


Why Didn't Obama Do More About Russian Election Hack?
The Obama administration didn't respond more forcefully to Russian hacking before the presidential election because they didn't want to appear to be interfering in the election and they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win and a potential cyber war with Russia wasn't worth it, multiple high-level government officials told NBC News.

"They thought she was going to win, so they were willing to kick the can down the road," said one U.S official familiar with the level of Russian hacking.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:43 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


What can we even do in the face of that?

we must begin construction of the thunderdome
posted by poffin boffin at 12:43 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Obama, is Putin threatening to nuke us if Trump doesn't take office? Blink twice if yes.
posted by SansPoint at 12:44 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]




Kick The Can Down The Road: A History Of The Human Race
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:45 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Okay, Obama's argument that extreme partisanship is at the root of our vulnerability to misinformation and outside disruption is reasonable. I still hate it.
posted by klarck at 12:46 PM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


So how many more national security agencies have to get in on agreeing the Russian hack criminally tainted the election results before anything gets done about it? Homeland Security too? Security Service? The FDA? Does the Supreme Court have to make a ruling? What's the tipping point required for "this is bullshit, we're throwing it out and starting over"?

What is even happening if all we get is the FBI and CIA going "Welp, we agree that some shady criminal shit and some probably treasonous shit went down, but OH WELL, WHATCHA GONNA DO, MOVING ON!"
posted by nicebookrack at 12:47 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


klarck: "Okay, Obama's argument that extreme partisanship is at the root of our vulnerability to misinformation and outside disruption is reasonable. I still hate it."

The people who need to hear and internalize that message are not going to be persuaded by anything coming out of Obama's mouth.
posted by erratic meatsack at 12:47 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


Obama Continues to Treat Americans as Adults [notOnion]
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:47 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." [or electors?]

Matthew 24: 24, KJV
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:48 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


who is this super-depressing depressed guy and does anyone know what happened to the dude who ran for president eight years ago
posted by beerperson at 12:48 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


who are these super-depressing depressed people and does anyone know what happened to the people who elected this enthusiastic guy full of hope eight years ago?
posted by zachlipton at 12:49 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


he looks so very tired and I can't blame him
posted by murphy slaw at 12:50 PM on December 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


If I were Obama and knew the stuff he must know, I don't know how I'd even get out of bed in the morning.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


what happened to this voter was 6 years of congressional obstruction and constant racist attempts to deligitimize the first african american president
posted by murphy slaw at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2016 [37 favorites]


I know it's unpleasant and uncomfortable to think about, erratic meatsack, but extreme partisanship leads to blinders and echo chambers on both sides of the political landscape. Are they equally distorting or harmful? Almost certainly not, but they do exist.

Democratic blinders and echo chambers and the squishing of dissent, at the very least, lead to a whole lot of overconfidence this election, for example, and we cannot dig in into this position where it's only the other guys who must learn and change. It's self-defeating.
posted by rokusan at 12:54 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


So how many more national security agencies have to get in on agreeing the Russian hack criminally tainted the election results before anything gets done about it?

Nothing is going to get done about it. Millionaire Sex Predator Donald Trump will be president. The best we can hope for is that the intel report the Obama admin is producing, combined with massive resistance from centrists, liberals and the left based on the illegitimacy of a Trump administration makes him a lame duck from day one.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:54 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


If the Democrats start playing with the independence and legitimacy of the institutions like the Republicans do the Republic is truly over.

But wait, doesn't it even matter if it's not "playing" but actual reality? If someone in Trump's campaign actively fed info to Russian intelligence services even just to try to help them swing the election, that's already a complete breakdown in our democratic institutions and system. In reality, not as a political play. Doesn't anybody in power even want to be sure that's not what happened?!?
posted by saulgoodman at 12:57 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


[time-travel *POOF*]

2016 PBO: Hey
2012 PBO: what the hell is it now
2016 PBO: I just wanted to let you know that we had a little daydream about Mitt Romney being semi-unconstitutionally handed the office of the presidency and it was just the most wonderful, comforting thing to imagine
2012 PBO: stop visiting me, you are the fucking worst. I hope you get sucked into a god damned wormhole on your return trip
2016 PBO: oh believe me so do I
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:59 PM on December 16, 2016 [118 favorites]


"So how many more national security agencies have to get in on agreeing the Russian hack criminally tainted the election results before anything gets done about it?"

Hacking the DNC (not sure whether the reports are about the 2015 hack or the 2016 hack) and hacking Podesta's email now counts as tainting the actual election results?

I think every major election should be investigated and double-checked (especially when they use voting machines that have been proven to be easily hackable) but I don't think that the intelligence agencies said anything about the literal hacking of the election (as in changing the votes and such). The disagreements between the intelligence agencies lie on whether the DNC and Podesta hacks were just intelligence gathering or whether they were done to introduce doubt into the electoral process or whether they were done specifically to get Trump elected.

Also, is it now official that the RNC was hacked as well? Because when I heard the claim months ago, it was later said to not be accurate. Is it official now though?
posted by I-baLL at 12:59 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


You don't need to tamper with vote counts when you can manipulate who casts the votes.

You might think so, but again, in Michigan we found that the vote counts had been tampered with in something like 60% of the precincts that got checked.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


Prize Bull Octorok ... or President Barack Obama????
posted by ChuraChura at 1:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]


But wait, doesn't it even matter if it's not "playing" but actual reality? If someone in Trump's campaign actively fed info to Russian intelligence services even just to try to help them swing the election, that's already a complete breakdown in our democratic institutions and system. In reality, not as a political play. Doesn't anybody even want to be sure that's not what happened?!?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that being able to fix this shit in the long term we're going to need a party that hasn't sold itself out and can be the party of respect and decency. There's currently one obvious choice. If it becomes zero there will need to be a massive upheaval in the political party status quo and the process becomes orders of magnitude harder and longer.
posted by Talez at 1:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Today @ 2:20pm FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election

Comey’s support for the CIA’s conclusion — and officials say that he never changed his position — suggests that the leaders of the three agencies are in agreement on Russian intentions, contrary to suggestions by some lawmakers that the FBI disagreed with the CIA.

“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.

“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.

A separate House intelligence briefing by a senior FBI counterintelligence official last week left some Republican and Democratic lawmakers with the impression that the bureau wasn’t on the same page as the CIA, according to officials present.

“The truth is they were never all that different in the first place,” an official said of the FBI and CIA positions.

posted by futz at 1:03 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


"How do we get to a point where some voters see Michelle Obama's healthy eating initiative as a greater threat than the administration threatening the press over a story they don't like." [real]
posted by Superplin at 1:06 PM on December 16, 2016 [26 favorites]


Thank you President Obama. So long and thanks for all the fish.
posted by Justinian at 1:07 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Well, that was depressing.
posted by diogenes at 1:08 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


"How do we get to a point where some voters see Michelle Obama's healthy eating initiative as a greater threat than the administration threatening the press over a story they don't like." [real]

With a very, very, very long pause after the "as a greater threat than..." while he came up with an example.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:08 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Xeni Jardin on Twitter:
Maybe Obama is subtweeting us this thought bubble with code blinks

* WHAT EXACTLY
WOULD YOU HAVE ME DO *

posted by The corpse in the library at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


What was that he said at the very end? I didn't catch it.
posted by sperose at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2016


Obama: "Mele Kalikimaka!"

@realDonaldTrump in about five minutes: "This immigrant problem is out of control. When I'm President, we'll build a wall to keep Hawaiians out, and they'll pay for it!"
posted by tonycpsu at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Obama said goodbye by saying a Hawaiian Mele Kalikimaka! to the press. [real]

Which you know is about to be all over your Facebook feed as the "mysterious coded Arabic message" Obama sent his secret supporters.
posted by rokusan at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Prize Bull Octorok ... or President Barack Obama?

My god, they've been the same person all along. It was right there in front of us.
posted by rokusan at 1:10 PM on December 16, 2016 [15 favorites]


Well, you can't say he's not staying true to himself to the end, but his seemingly unyielding faith in institutions amid an enormous number of people who demonstrably do not care and actively want to destroy said institutions (see also: North Carolina right this moment) is hard to swallow.

I do think there's some possible truth to the theory that this press conference was about modeling to a singular audience--Trump, that institutions matter, but the idea that said audience cares enough to watch, manages to take away a message that's not printed on the front of a hat, or is even physically capable of paying attention for that long is one I really can't get behind.
posted by zachlipton at 1:11 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


it's interesting how the Republican party (specifically, Evangelical Republicans, but it might as well be all of 'em) are motivated by this

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
posted by tel3path at 1:12 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


* WHAT EXACTLY
WOULD YOU HAVE ME DO *


throw back his head and cackle maniacally after informing us that even now, drones are reducing Trump Tower to rubble while an enormous Shepard Fairey banner unfurls behind him

sigh
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:13 PM on December 16, 2016 [25 favorites]


https://www.facebook.com/newsandobserver/videos/1444351518911116/

citizens demanding entry to the NC general assembly.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:14 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


The best we can hope for is that the intel report the Obama admin is producing, combined with massive resistance from centrists, liberals and the left based on the illegitimacy of a Trump administration makes him a lame duck from day one.

That's a pretty grim "best we can hope for", though. Trump is a horrifically incompetent piece of shit who isn't fit to run a salad bar, much less a country, for sure, but even if the rest of us agree to just ignore everything he says for the next four years we still have a government packed with Republicans (quite a few of whom were not provably elected!) who are looking forward to doing as much evil as possible with no executive branch to stand in their way. I mean, just look at what's happening right this moment in North Carolina. Honestly, even if Trump got hurled into the sun and we all just decided there wasn't going to be a President at all until the next election things would still be all fucked up. We need a very serious shifting of the population in Congress.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:15 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


I hope GOP media attack him for saying mele kalikimaka. Maybe he should have said "happy holidays" instead?
posted by melissasaurus at 1:15 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


throw back his head and cackle maniacally after informing us that even now, drones are reducing Trump Tower to rubble while an enormous Shepard Fairey banner unfurls behind him

Yes. Because if there's one thing that's associated with stable, liberal democracies it's violent coups to keep a leader in power.
posted by Talez at 1:15 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


rokusan: "I know it's unpleasant and uncomfortable to think about, erratic meatsack, but extreme partisanship leads to blinders and echo chambers on both sides of the political landscape. Are they equally distorting or harmful? Almost certainly not, but they do exist.

Democratic blinders and echo chambers and the squishing of dissent, at the very least, lead to a whole lot of overconfidence this election, for example, and we cannot dig in into this position where it's only the other guys who must learn and change. It's self-defeating.
"

Fair warning, I'm really angry about goddamn everything and this isn't meant to be a rant towards you personally. The only reason it's "unpleasant and uncomfortable think about," for me, is because only one side seems to believe in actual democracy at this point. And already the amount of pushing and pulling happening to "accommodate" and "work together with" and "reach across the aisle" towards the racist shitbags the other party has embraced has been making me physically sick.

And yes, it feels like the decent and moral thing to do is to be the adult in the room and sigh and say "Well no we clearly need to escape our own echo chamber". Except... when only one of the two parties embraces actual diversity, it's real difficult to take this attitude seriously.

No, I do not have blinders to take off. I am far less secluded than the people who surrounded themselves with their equally white, equally straight, equally gender-conforming, equally Real American nonsense.
posted by erratic meatsack at 1:16 PM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


when they go low, they win — @netw3rk

When they go low, we surrender.
or
When they go low, we roll over and play dead.

We knew President Obama wasn't going to save us from the impending disaster that will be a Trump administration. Just as Clinton won't. Or Sanders. Or the Electoral College. But if that was a harbinger of how the Democrats will fail to stand up and resist Trump and the GOP for next two years, we're all deeply fucked.
posted by zarq at 1:17 PM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]


Show me a bridge that bipartisanship built during the Obama era, a job that it saved, or a pipeline that it stopped from being built. Partisanship is the only responsible strategy when one party's ideology does not believe in government at all. If it weren't for Wall Street kicking their asses, they would have defaulted on our debt. How do you negotiate with an opposition party that's willing to don a suicide vest to stop routine legislation that keeps the country afloat?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:19 PM on December 16, 2016 [17 favorites]


My concern is that there's not going to be enough of a public intel report and it will just be reduced to yet another matter of opinion: every intelligence agency and Democrats+Lindsay Graham/John McCain say it was Russia, Trump and Russia and teaparty folks say "who knows? could have been anyone?" and it will become like climate change or any other issue that's been pushed into this realm of doubt and uncertainty that can be used as an excuse for inaction.
posted by zachlipton at 1:19 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yes. Because if there's one thing that's associated with stable, liberal democracies it's violent coups to keep a leader in power.

is it really a coup if he's not in office yet

asking for a friend
posted by poffin boffin at 1:21 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Now Jonah Goldberg claims that "Never Trump" was really just "not until he got elected Trump," because the word "never" need not have any meaning.
posted by zachlipton at 1:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


is it really a coup if he's not in office yet

It's kind of moot because violently disposing of an opposition leader is also not a hallmark of a stable, liberal democracy.
posted by Talez at 1:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


What's that old rhyme about "the best among us lacking conviction," or something something...?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


> Patriotism isn't only for Republicans.

If I could favor this a thousand times, I would.

Russia is not allowed to intervene in our election not because we haven't done it elsewhere nor because we are pristine but because this country is *mine*, and any attempt to hem and haw around the issue misses how much fucking damage it's done. There's no "we had it coming" here.


Terrorism Analyst Malcolm Nance on Brian Williams: A Crisis of Patriotism
posted by homunculus at 1:24 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


"who knows? could have been anyone?"

Don't forget the president elect's favorite possibility: a fat guy.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:24 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Stop, Trump is going to be sworn in next month. The way to deal with this is to push for impeachment if you think it is deserved.
posted by Justinian at 1:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


No offense taken, meatsack. I understand completely. It's all pretty damn awful.

I don't know what we have to change, but we have to change something. We can't just blame everyone else and while raging that they have to change, just because that demonstrably does not help in the long run.
posted by rokusan at 1:25 PM on December 16, 2016


> The Russians hacked the RNC and the DNC. They only gave the DNC information to wikileaks. What does that mean that they have on the RNC? How much blackmail material on current senators, representatives and people on Trump's team do they have? Maybe they released the DNC email stuff because it wasn't juicy enough to blackmail anyone over.

How Russian Hackers Can Blackmail Donald Trump—and the GOP: If it is true that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee as well as the DNC, then their power over POTUS potentially knows few bounds.
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not carrying any more of the "but DEMOCRATS" baggage. Republicans are acting traitorously by allowing (and in Trump's case, possibly colluding with) interference by a hostile foreign power. There is NO equivalent on the Dem side. NONE.

This is not a dispute over manners at an ice-cream social. The Republican party has been taken over by traitorous (in the Russian but also the Confederacy-loving) sense blowhards, who were in turn weaponized by an elite that sought to break down any barriers to their ability to exploit and oppress anyone who got in their way. And now they have the entire government at their beck and call. We are way past any useful critiques of Democratic Party politics. We are at Oh Fuck We're Losing Our Democracy.
posted by emjaybee at 1:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [75 favorites]


it will become like climate change or any other issue that's been pushed into this realm of doubt and uncertainty that can be used as an excuse for inaction.

Yep, and creating that sort of paralyzing confusion is SOP for tradecraft, which to me seems likely deliberate, too... Ugh.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Comey’s support for the CIA’s conclusion — and officials say that he never changed his position

That's Comey and his allies desperately trying to cover the FBI's ass. I would bet my life on it that the initial reports of how the FBI did not support the CIA's conclusions of Russia's responsibility are 100% accurate.
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nothing is going to get done about it. Millionaire Sex Predator Donald Trump will be president. The best we can hope for is that the intel report the Obama admin is producing, combined with massive resistance from centrists, liberals and the left based on the illegitimacy of a Trump administration makes him a lame duck from day one.

Agreed. All the fantasies about a do-over election, or the faithless elector installation of Clinton, or a Romney or McMullin or Ryan or whatever are just that: a comforting story that conjures a world where Trump just quietly goes away. The fascists aren't about to say "ok you're right, election invalidated, we'll just go play golf now." The facists have tasted power and are not about to give that up without a fight.

I'm not saying I don't think Trump needs to be opposed at every step. I do. But I am saying Democrats need to seriously prepare for things to, unfathomably, get even uglier. The chances of a coup being civil and bloodless are slim to none. So you either start talking about mobilizing against preventing a Trump presidency from accomplishing anything, and going hardline at every step and even push for impeachment, or you prepare to overturn the election and spark massive uprisings and violence.
posted by joechip at 1:28 PM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


Obama being Obama, I believe he's convinced that any serious moves have to be made by the Republicans for any action against Trump to be seen as legitimate. It's clear that if Trump and the Republicans spin it as us vs them 50% of the country will flat out ignore every bit of evidence no matter how concrete just like we're seeing now. Flipping the Republican base's view of Putin to favorable took no time at all, no amount of evidence will outweigh "lol fuck you liberals". Obama could publicly burn every intelligence source on this and lay every piece of evidence on the table and the same people who don't believe it now will find a way to disbelieve it then and whether it's because of political pressure, opportunism or true belief, the Republican Congress will go along with it. This dynamic can change if this becomes an internal fight among Republicans and if the first major punch is thrown by a Graham or McCain with incontrovertible evidence, though. It's an "only Nixon could go to China" situation, and it sounds exactly like the kind of solution Obama would try because he has that weird combination of a realistic view of the situation and, somehow, still, an optimistic faith in institutions and norms that have failed him before. If that's the game Obama is playing, I am very nervous because he's been burned by putting faith in the Republicans more times than any of us can count. I just hope that his strategy involves helping Graham and McCain hit the ground running before the broader Republican machine can respond, because they're the best hope at that point.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:31 PM on December 16, 2016 [47 favorites]


But I am saying Democrats need to seriously prepare for things to, unfathomably, get even uglier.

i think the speed with which ugly gross hateful shit started happening immediately after the election, with gleeful viciousness and a strong feeling of invincibility, will continue apace at the same or greater speeds, which is why i'm having trouble caring very much about midterm elections.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:35 PM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Like I said, it's the Republicans in my family--in particular those who have served on Capitol Hill--I am pushing hardest right now to take a side against American sovereignty or for it. And I'm with you, jason; I just hope that there are still Republicans that exist who do care more about the nation than their personal power.

Ahahahahaha, I'm trying not to sob through the hysterical laughter rising now
posted by sciatrix at 1:35 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


via kos: dems have shitty, spineless, business-as-usual senate leadership

#schumerReallyWTFwereYouThinking #fuckingSchumer #replaceThisAsshat
posted by j_curiouser at 1:37 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ugh, how do you look at GOP leadership getting together when Obama was elected and vowing to oppose everything regardless of what it was, look at the current state of affairs, and say "we'll work with him," seriously, how?
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:40 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't know nothin' 'bout politics er nothin', but I know a good insult when I hear one and the best one for Donald is mangled apricot hellbeast.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:41 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I am very nervous because he's been burned by putting faith in the Republicans more times than any of us can count.

He doesn't put faith in the Republicans, he puts it in the American people. That's all there is in a democracy. Without that faith there can be no going forward in any way that is meaningful. So, yeah, it isn't up to Obama, he's doing what needs to be done for all Americans. It's up to the rest of us to do what needs to be done to ensure his example can be followed in future years. Electors need to do what they deem best for the nation, which Obama didn't contradict, and if that doesn't satisfy, then the rest of us need to hold our elected officials to task and make sure President Trump works for the betterment of America or faces impeachment and the peaceful transfer of power to his successor and so on. If that doesn't work, then we're already at the brink of the end of the American experiment and whatever happens after that would represent a new chapter in this land's legacy, one likely not to be connected to the old ways of the constitution, which Obama is acting in faith of. It's on us, not him or any hero or savior to swoop in and settle everything for us so we can go on without thought over what it means to live in a democracy or be an American.

Maybe that isn't enough, but I'm not sure what else he could do that wouldn't proceed directly to that end stage where the constitution and the entirety of our system of government would no longer matter.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:43 PM on December 16, 2016 [40 favorites]


In case you're sad that we've gone multiple minutes without a prominent Republican effort to overturn an election result on the basis that they they would prefer dictatorship so fuck you, Maine Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to implement a minimum wage hike passed via referendum. (H/T to The Whelk via Twitter)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:45 PM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


Maybe that isn't enough, but I'm not sure what else he could do that wouldn't proceed directly to that end stage where the constitution and the entirety of our system of government would no longer matter.

+1. I just deleted a long comment because yours is much better stated.
posted by chris24 at 1:46 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


i mean real talk by 2018 i expect the ny metro area will be the new pale of settlement.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:48 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


...which is why i'm having trouble caring very much about midterm elections.

Those are reasons to care about the midterms. If the mangled apricot hellbeast gets into office, he will be screwing the American public so hard fulltime that it will create an opportunity to end the nightmare after only two years.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:50 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


And just to put it out there, if Obama took action with emergency powers or whatever there are a whole lot of registered Democrats in red states or red areas of purple states like me who would have a scarily high chance of a good ending for the weekend meaning we're just under armed guard in some shitty high school gymnasium and not something worse. So, y'know, as frustrated as I am with the stasis we're in right now, I'd like to sincerely say "thanks, Obama."
posted by jason_steakums at 1:50 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


We are way past any useful critiques of Democratic Party politics. We are at Oh Fuck We're Losing Our Democracy.

I think there may be a misunderstanding of what some of us are talking about when we say that everyone needs to work on crossing aisles and fighting partisanship in our daily lives.

I, at least, am doing it because I think the potential of civil war is fairly high, and increased visible partisanship is one of the key markers that usually predates civil war. I mean I genuinely think this is a real possibility within the next eight years enough that I am letting it shape my future.

Building those bridges mean when the MAGA militia rolls through, maybe my neighbors won't say "the immigrant rabble rouser family is over there."
posted by corb at 1:52 PM on December 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


It's frustrating we don't have any common sense mechanisms for investigating and verifying the integrity of election results with any uniformity. We're always in such a rush to declare a winner, we're busy declaring one before the polls even close. We should strive to make elections a much more scientific, rigorous, and uniform process in general. But why is there no mechanism to even investigate the possibility of real treasonable acts and spy plots? It's just such a glaring area of vulnerability.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:52 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


i mean real talk by 2018 i expect the ny metro area will be the new pale of settlement.

Or the DMZ.
posted by Gaz Errant at 1:53 PM on December 16, 2016


Those are reasons to care about the midterms.

the reason i am having trouble caring is not that i think the elections won't make a difference, it's because i am not at all certain that i, a naturalized citizen and a jew, will still be allowed to vote.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:54 PM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


The chances of a coup being civil and bloodless are slim to none.

The coup already happened: the election. The Republicans (and the Russians, apparently) stopped paying even lip service to the idea of democracy and stole the election in a way that wasn't even subtle. This shit happening in NC and Maine is a direct result of that working. They're done pretending to give a shit about what the electorate thinks, because they're not living in a democracy anymore.

Now we have to decide if we're okay with that. It's worth noting that even if the fraudulent votes they created represented real people, we know we outnumber them significantly.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:55 PM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


During this press conference, the Governor of North Carolina signed the bill stripping powers from the new Governor.

I don't understand how there is no organized effort to send bananas to the NC GOP/legislature.
posted by dilettante at 1:55 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yep, and creating that sort of paralyzing confusion is SOP for tradecraft, which to me seems likely deliberate, too... Ugh.

Exactly. The best description I've seen of this comes from Richard "Dr Evil" Berman, who has led these campaigns on behalf of the tobacco, oil, and fast food industries, among many others. A couple years ago, he succinctly summarized his philosophy:
You want to get people to say, one of my north stars is to get people to say, "You know, I never thought of it that way before."

Because, if you can get people to say that, here's what you get: instead of getting the 'he said, she said debate,' what you will get with the factual debate, often times, you're going to get into people get overwhelmed by the science and 'I don't know who to believe.' But, if you get enough on your side you get people into a position of paralysis about the issue.

We're not experts and so you don't want them trying to be experts. But if you put enough information out there and say, "Well, it could go to $10.10 but ou could also lose a lot of jobs, the Congressional Budget Office says you can lose a lot of jobs." And again, we got a lot of ads on this thing.

You get in people's minds a tie. They don't know who is right. And you get all ties because the tie basically ensures the status quo.

People are not prepared to get aggressive and in moving one way or another. I'll take a tie any day if I'm trying to preserve the status quo.
And the thing is that the GOP has mastered this technique in a way that really suits their interests, because their entire philosophy has been about stopping everything, and one of the primary mechanisms of our democracy is that we provide a lot of hooks where people can stop something and preserve the status quo whether that's what the people want or not. Ties break for the conservative party every time, and our entire system is setup to produce ties and gridlock if you elevate partisan winning above the nation.

If you want to pass some new program or new law, you actually have to convince people that it's a good thing. If you want to be like the GOP and just stop things or roll them back, you don't have to do that hard work; you just have to convince people that the issue is complicated, fill their minds with doubt, and then go do whatever you want while the left is busy with their Vox explainers and fact checks. Fact checks assume that the goal is truth, when the actual goal is just to create uncertainty and confusion, let the media cover the issue as a "one side says A, one side says B: a land of contrasts" story, and then use the resulting paralysis to avoid action.
posted by zachlipton at 1:59 PM on December 16, 2016 [60 favorites]


Building those bridges mean when the MAGA militia rolls through, maybe my neighbors won't say "the immigrant rabble rouser family is over there."

Pointing is so last world war. They'll nail you with big data algorithms and GPS.

And if you are counting on your neighbors standing up for you, well, we already have the data on that one.
posted by srboisvert at 2:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


I just hope that his strategy involves helping Graham and McCain hit the ground running before the broader Republican machine can respond, because they're the best hope at that point.

Those two schmucks had their chance to speak up, do the honorable thing and try to save the American republic from the likes of Trump months ago.

They're not gonna start now.
posted by zarq at 2:06 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Pointing is so last world war. They'll nail you with big data algorithms and GPS.

It would look like Aleppo on bath salts
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:06 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Those two schmucks had their chance to speak up, do the honorable thing and try to save the American republic from the likes of Trump months ago.

Graham, anyway, never endorsed Trump, as far as I can remember.

McCain was utterly spineless, however. He should've fulgurated with righteous outrage after Trump mocked his time as a POW. Everybody would've liked it.

Thats the thing about the Democrats this year that drive me nuts. Outrage works, the people feel it, they want you to feel it back and reflect it for them. Anger is justified and it would've won.
posted by dis_integration at 2:11 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Or Grandees with JDAMS
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:12 PM on December 16, 2016


A really disheartening thing to think about is that any executive option Obama takes right now, unless it decisively takes Trump out of power and discredits Trumpism with the electorate which is ridiculously improbable, will be almost certainly be used by the Republicans in revenge in 2020.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:12 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


They're not gonna start now.

They might start now, because they won their elections and are not vulnerable (for a while at least) to primary challenges from the right.

Also, the alternative to Trump during the election was Hillary Clinton. Now the alternative is Mike Pence (or just barely possibly Romney or someone.) That's a lot better from McCain and Graham's POV. The tricky part for them is how to do it without making the party look bad. We have to hope they can find a way.
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:16 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]




He doesn't put faith in the Republicans, he puts it in the American people. That's all there is in a democracy. Without that faith there can be no going forward in any way that is meaningful. So, yeah, it isn't up to Obama, he's doing what needs to be done for all Americans. It's up to the rest of us to do what needs to be done to ensure his example can be followed in future years.

You are absolutely right, and there are places over his term where all of us have failed to fight: "If we're REALLY being honest, we've always asked POTUS to fight harder for us than we ever have for him."

But I do think one of the regrets of his Presidency has been a failure, on his part but also on the part of other Democrats, to organize and lead that fight. The dismantling of OFA and the lack of leadership at times has allowed that fight to be disorganized and for many of us to lose interest or faith, to think that we've got our guy in the White House and the job was done. And the President regrets that too it sounds like. Thanks to the transcript, I now have the second half of the quote I wasn't able to transcribe live:
And so the question is, how do we rebuild that party as a whole, so that there's not a county in any state -- I don't care how red -- where we don't have a presence and we're not making the argument, because I think we have a better argument. But that requires a lot of work. You know, it's been something that I've been able to do successfully in my own campaigns.

It is not something I've been able to transfer to candidates in mid-terms and sort of build a sustaining organization around. That's something I would have liked to have done more of, but it's kind of hard to do when you're also dealing with a whole bunch of issues here in the White House. And that doesn't mean, though, that it can't be done, and I think there are gonna be a lot of talented folks out there, a lot of progressives who share my values, who are gonna be leading the charge in the years to come.
One of the reason's this press conference felt like almost a slap in the face, despite it being utterly consistent with the President's longstanding traditions and views, is that we're dying for leadership right now. We want and need someone to tell us where to go, what to do. The election has been hacked by a foreign power and we want someone to take a stand and tell us how to fix it, not quietly express vague notions of confidence the next President will somehow do the right thing despite all evidence to the contrary. We don't want a law professor patiently explaining his faith in institutions that Republicans are actively smashing at this very moment as he hopes that now we'll all collectively grasp the message that voters have just (grumble, grumble, popular vote, etc....) rejected.

And look, I get it, the President is done, he's off to vacation, and it's not his job to lead that fight now, nor should it be. And I'm actually excited that Ellison or Perez will be good choices to put that into place. Because I do think that, as much as we've failed Obama, we haven't been organized in a way that makes us effective, and I think people were, reasonably enough, applying wishful thinking in hoping that the President was magically going to start doing that this afternoon. But no; it's on all of us now.
posted by zachlipton at 2:17 PM on December 16, 2016 [34 favorites]


mangled apricot hellbeast

That's not a mangled apricot hellbeast. This is a mangled apricot hellbeast.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:21 PM on December 16, 2016


folks, when corb presents her real fears in here maybe we cold have a response other than "*scoff* you're {hyperbolic statement of how fucked she is}"
posted by murphy slaw at 2:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [55 favorites]


A really disheartening thing to think about is that any executive option Obama takes right now, unless it decisively takes Trump out of power and discredits Trumpism with the electorate which is ridiculously improbable, will be almost certainly be used by the Republicans in revenge in 2020.

Then it's our job to lead the crusade: anyone whose politics prize their own power above the American legal system and the wellbeing of the nation's institutions is a traitorous thief of power, no better than any Nazi or Stalinist bootlicker, and should be absolutely be ripped from power where possible according to those institutions. Republicans who don't pull this crap can be spared, but we need to fight these assholes on their own ground and rip them out, root and branch.

I have not been subtle when addressing Republican leadership: the existence of Republicans who act fast and act now to stem this shit is literally the only thing that might convince me that the party isn't so rotten it's not worth saving. I have fifty or sixty years ahead of me as a voter and I haven't missed an election since 2010, and I am loud as shit and have completely lost all remaining fucks in my enraged terror. They can save their worthless asses by acting now and finding some pit of respect for my poor tattered nation's infrastructure, or I swear by everything I have in me that I will mobilize every single person I can to ruin the name of the Republican party for a full generation.

Like I said, I told that in as many words to my own damned grandmother, and I said it to my elected officials in about three different modes this month, and I will keep saying it until I'm either hauled away out of the country by my wife--who is waiting to flee the country as soon as I graduate, assuming there's anything still to graduate in two years--or I'm hauled away by armed guards. If I didn't have a family here, well, the hell with my own skin--the only way I see to keep myself safe is by fanning the flames of public opinion anyway, because the moment people stop caring about this I'm fucked. So I'm about to get a whole lot louder in any way I can, as soon as I can work out what is sustainable and what will leave me dead on my feet.

(And if Tay hauls me away first, I swear to god I will do what I can via absentee ballots and social media. I'm a stubborn bastard and they took away my whole future and my country and I am spitting mad, and I never did like to put up with liars and bullies.)
posted by sciatrix at 2:28 PM on December 16, 2016 [25 favorites]


This stuff is getting worse by the day. And the thing that makes it even harder for me is the fact that we have NO LEADER right now. I mean, for fucks sake, millions of people in this country are floundering and terrified and strong Democratic leadership is totally MIA. We're gathering any hope we can get from people like Evan McMullin and Justin Amash. Think about that. Democrats. Turning their eyes and hopes to diehard Republicans. If that doesn't show a vacuum of leadership I don't know what does.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:28 PM on December 16, 2016 [32 favorites]


I'm amazed at the people here who actively want a civil war. It's like they haven't actually ever fucking paid AND attention to Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Spain...and none of those countries had nukes. Maybe they just think it'll be singing some songs and then the Big Daddy wish figure the Left keeps hoping for will save us all.

The reality is, if you think a civil war is a reasonable outcome, then look around, and tell me how many of your loved ones you're willing to see dead. Then round that figure up to the nearest million. Or maybe people could step back and actuality think about what they're saying.
posted by happyroach at 2:31 PM on December 16, 2016 [126 favorites]




I regret that I do not have more favorites to give to happyroach right now.
posted by sciatrix at 2:32 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


I certainly don't want a civil war but I still think we're heading in that direction.
posted by Gaz Errant at 2:32 PM on December 16, 2016


If you want to pass some new program or new law, you actually have to convince people that it's a good thing. If you want to be like the GOP and just stop things or roll them back, you don't have to do that hard work; you just have to convince people that the issue is complicated, fill their minds with doubt, and then go do whatever you want while the left is busy with their Vox explainers and fact checks. Fact checks assume that the goal is truth, when the actual goal is just to create uncertainty and confusion, let the media cover the issue as a "one side says A, one side says B: a land of contrasts" story, and then use the resulting paralysis to avoid action.

Here's the thing, though. The left and Dems are now in the position of trying to maintain the status quo. The GOP wants to change things by undoing all the programs that we already have. So all we have to do is say no and get to that tie and maintain what we have, the rights and benefits we have.

Normally, of course, we want to be Progressive and make progress, but with the GOP controlling all branches of government we know THAT'S not happening. Our job is now to keep hold of all the progress we have made and not let them undo it. The momentum of inaction is now on OUR side.
posted by threeturtles at 2:32 PM on December 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


Graham, anyway, never endorsed Trump, as far as I can remember.

That bar is set about a half a centimeter above floor level.
posted by zarq at 2:37 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


So, everyone's (ie, all branches of govt) are just going to let what's happening in NC and Maine stand? Why even have a federal government?
posted by maxwelton at 2:37 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


It turns out when you live in a society which venerates the rich, and being rich, more than any other thing--more than whatever religion or beliefs people give mouth service to, more than whatever humanitarian instincts people might have (very few, it turns out), more than competence or knowledge or any other actual valuable trait a person might have--you will inevitably end up with Trump and the GoP.

I'm 50 and am damn glad I'll be dead in 30 years, at the outside. I am sick and fucking tired of humans.
posted by maxwelton at 2:45 PM on December 16, 2016 [25 favorites]


I guess the thing that hits me about lack of leadership... it's that-- why do we need leaders to spur us to action? Why do we need someone to tell us that the shit has hit the fan? We are passing around all manner of "things that might help," from protests to calling officials to showing up to town halls to registering people to vote to donating to professional nonprofits like the ACLU. It's not like there aren't plenty of ideas about what a worried liberal might do to hold the line in these dark years.

Get up and do something small. Hell, go out and talk to someone about your politics and what you're feeling about. Check out the "what I'm doing" thread for ideas. Run for dogcatcher. Pick a little thing and do it, consistently. Scream into the fucking void if you want--not armchair muttering or prognosticating, but outright insistence that this is not normal, this is not okay.

Because all the snarky remarks about the bar or the CIA or how they're gonna target us for the camps or whatever, those might make you laugh and feel better, but they ain't going to do jack all to keep us all safe. Going out and talking to each other, showing up for your elected officials, registering as a voting registrar--that shit, that might. I keep looking around at people who are afraid, and because they are afraid they're trying to tell themselves this might be business as normal.

It ain't. Get up and do something about it. Please.

I'm with corb--I'm mobilizing because I am desperately afraid that if I don't, my family and my profession will become direct targets. But I'm one 26-year-old person with a $24,000 salary which is about to get cut and a very time-intensive job. No one person here can stem this tide, but if we all do small things and don't let this go "oh, those Republicans again, bein' all corrupt"--if we expect better and we put boots on the ground and show up to demand it--well, maybe we got a chance. And if that's the national mood, maybe if he does something truly horrifying, enough of us will stand up and disrupt it to head it off before it has a chance to send anyone off to camps as "unAmerican" enough.
posted by sciatrix at 2:48 PM on December 16, 2016 [37 favorites]


The reality is, if you think a civil war is a reasonable outcome, then look around, and tell me how many of your loved ones you're willing to see dead. Then round that figure up to the nearest million. Or maybe people could step back and actuality think about what they're saying.

Yeah, if you weren't willing to run from your desk, grab a butcher knife from your kitchen, and then go through your neighborhood murdering every Republican of fighting age before they could get organized, then you weren't actually ready for Obama to declare that Trump was under arrest and that he was going to be president for a third term.

2% of the US population died during the Civil War, which would be about 7 million people today. And that was in a time before planes, nukes, Tomahawk missiles, etc.
posted by sideshow at 2:50 PM on December 16, 2016 [17 favorites]


Also, the alternative to Trump during the election was Hillary Clinton. Now the alternative is Mike Pence (or just barely possibly Romney or someone.) That's a lot better from McCain and Graham's POV. The tricky part for them is how to do it without making the party look bad. We have to hope they can find a way.

This is where we have to pick up the ball and start running it before we worry about who will be in charge of the DNC because that election is a long ways off and even then the whole organization won't turn on a dime. Dems in areas with Republican representatives need to be vocal about their policies and work to amplify moderate Republican voices and narratives in their backyards. Representatives who have moved on over to the right to court the Tea Party have a vulnerable left flank that moderates can attack just as easily as Dems, so work to make these Republicans think they're going to have to divvy up their war chest between a protracted Republican primary and a strong Dem challenger in the general with a potential big orange weight around their necks. I know I keep bringing it up, but look to the Save Kansas Coalition for a blueprint. If you're fighting insanity your allies are the sane, and it's not like you have to stop fighting for your own progressive principles at the same time as you create common cause with honest allies you have disagreements with. Work both angles. Don't just paint a picture of a new Democratic party, but also have a hand in cultivating an opposition you wouldn't feel bone-deep dread losing to. Don't just call your representatives, pass on press releases and editorials to your local media that amplify an anti-Trump narrative - the silver lining to the overworked, understaffed, corporate owned local news outlets is that if you can serve a story up on a platter they'll be grateful for your legwork, that's how modern PR works. And Trump fights sell papers and get eyes on screens.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:52 PM on December 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


It's so cute how so many people liveblogging the press conference still assumed that there will be future press conferences in the new administration. /returns to weeping
posted by TwoStride at 2:53 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


As much as I hate that Obama didn't bring a deus ex machina to the press conference, sideshow is right. How does anyone here think Putin is still Russia's head of state after exhausting his original term of office?
posted by tel3path at 2:53 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eric Lipton (no relation) at the Times is trying to get the Trump camp to respond as to why Eric won't just donate the money to St. Jude himself after he made a whole big stink that canceling the coffee auction would hurt "the children of St. Jude". They won't answer.
posted by zachlipton at 2:57 PM on December 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


Was just informed I'll be moderating a panel discussion on "President Trump and the First Amendment" at the end of January.

Now I need to decide the pros and cons of showing up for that after a few tequilas. I suppose that would just increase the likelihood I'll sob into the microphone for an hour, right?
posted by Superplin at 2:57 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


Because all the snarky remarks about the bar or the CIA or how they're gonna target us for the camps or whatever, those might make you laugh and feel better, but they ain't going to do jack all to keep us all safe. Going out and talking to each other, showing up for your elected officials, registering as a voting registrar--that shit, that might. I keep looking around at people who are afraid, and because they are afraid they're trying to tell themselves this might be business as normal.

Some of us are already doing this. And exploring our options. I ranted about this a bit in the last thread.

Being angry (to be clear, not snarky, but angry) about what is going on is a reasonable reaction. And I daresay it's not going away any time soon.
posted by zarq at 3:00 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Now I need to decide the pros and cons of showing up for that after a few tequilas. I suppose that would just increase the likelihood I'll sob into the microphone for an hour, right?

Depends on how good the tequila is.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, everyone's (ie, all branches of govt) are just going to let what's happening in NC and Maine stand? Why even have a federal government?


The will of the voters are being ignored. This is government without representation. But ther are protests in NC. Without strong leadership opposing our lack of representation, ordinary people must become the leaders. We must find new founding mothers and fathers among ourselves. I am going to try to follow the example of sciatrix and talk with passion with my relatives and representatives about how I don't want to see the basic protections of our nation taken away from its people. She leads by example just by letting us know how she's speaking out.

We must all lead by example. Then we can find those that we traditionally look to as leaders: those that will take some of the everyday burden of leadership by being its public face and organizing as a whole. But right now we must organize our own thoughts, avoid paralysis, and start speaking out. With grief and anger.

For my part, I've started talking about politics with my wife, and soon my relatives. I feel slow to start since I am ordinarily quite reserved about such things. But this election is like a gut punch and I'd rather stand back up and maybe take a few more gut punches than lay down in despair. I'm also hoping to attend my first Citizen's Climate Lobby meeting soon, among other things.

The hardest thing I've had to come to grips with is maybe not making it to 2018 or 2020...or in the case of global warming 2060. But the alternative to doing nothing just means its that much more likely. We're Americans, aren't we? We don't sit down for this shit. Sometimes it's okay to listen to your gut and just start doing.
posted by Mister Cheese at 3:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


remind people that he was not chosen by the American people, Clinton was.

In reality she was chosen by the Californian people. Remove the 4 million vote margin Clinton had in California, and Trump leads the popular vote by 1.5 million.

I'm proud of my home state, but that kind of influence of a large state is why we ended up with the screwy electoral college.
posted by Edward L at 3:04 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Remove the 4 million vote margin Clinton had in California, and Trump leads the popular vote by 1.5 million.

That may well be, but have you considered what happens if you pretend other giant swaths of the electorate don't exist?
posted by contraption at 3:08 PM on December 16, 2016 [93 favorites]


WaPo has an article out comparing Trump's win to Moneyball. It goes into how the Trump campaign may have been completely ignoring the popular vote to take advantage of EC numbers.
posted by corb at 3:10 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Every campaign ignores the popular vote.
posted by Yowser at 3:12 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


It goes into how the Trump campaign may have been completely ignoring the popular vote to take advantage of EC numbers.

Actually, the Trump campaign was ignoring all of the numbers, because they knew that how people voted wasn't going to affect the election.
posted by IAmUnaware at 3:12 PM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


WaPo has an article out comparing Trump's win to Moneyball.

They're not the first to draw that comparison, either.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:12 PM on December 16, 2016


In reality she was chosen by the Californian people. Remove the 4 million vote margin Clinton had in California, and Trump leads the popular vote by 1.5 million.

Fuck that, she was chosen by 65 million people. Take Texas from Trump then. Take the Old South. What fucking asinine thing to say.
posted by chris24 at 3:13 PM on December 16, 2016 [98 favorites]


Every campaign ignores the popular vote.

As it should. EC is the game. Playing the game for popular vote is like playing Chess by the rules for Checkers. You can argue that the EC is good or bad, but whatever it is the game we have and if you are politicking you have to keep your eye on that goal, because it's what matters when the chips are counted.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:16 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


The status quo isn't good enough for many of us; the status quo was already killing us. My (naive) hope is that, now that we have a majority of anti-fact fascists and bigots who explicitly want to dismantle democracy and social services in the US with genuine hatred for minorities pushing to legislate our real and tangible deaths, these things will make leftist voices organize and shake off their sleep. The US has not had anything resembling a viable leftist option at a national level at any point in my lifetime. Democrats are center-right at best, okay with incremental progress when it's politically convenient, but otherwise perfectly content to shrug off oppression and inequality not affecting cishet upper-middle class white people. With actual far right fascists ascendant, I have been seeing many people express dissatisfaction with a continuation of the status quo, and there is some hope of leftists getting organized enough to be politically viable. It is looking like it'll have to be either that or fascism. The center-right is no longer free of risk. Leftist politics reaching across racial, class and gender lines desperately need to be built.

But I'm not really preparing for that to go anywhere. I'm preparing for things to go from being bad to getting worse, and trying to get myself and people I care about to safety, while asking myself what I, realistically, can do to help get through what is going to be a rough time even if a Trump administration and Republican majority follow a status quo figurehead term, which looks very unlikely. The next four+ years look like they are going to be about staying as safe as possible, preserving every scrap of functional society that can be saved and huddling together for on the ground support while institutions fail us.

Even so, I will be as loud as I can be about it. It's just a bad habit I can't seem to break.
posted by byanyothername at 3:16 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


Playing the game for popular vote is like playing Chess by the rules for Checkers.

Yeah, we know. The King stay the King.
posted by rokusan at 3:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't even know what to think about this:
Donald Trump's campaign struck a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group during the campaign to try and secure better media coverage, his son-in-law Jared Kushner told business executives Friday in Manhattan.

Kushner said the agreement with Sinclair, which owns television stations across the country in many swing states and often packages news for their affiliates to run, gave them more access to Trump and the campaign, according to six people who heard his remarks.

In exchange, Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said. Kushner highlighted that Sinclair, in states like Ohio, reaches a much wider audience — around 250,000 listeners — than networks like CNN, which reach somewhere around 30,000.[...]

Scott Livingston, vice president of news at Sinclair, said the offer for extended interviews with local anchors was made to both candidates. Trump did a handful of interviews, while Sen. Tim Kaine did a few as well, though Hillary Clinton did not.
posted by lalex at 3:20 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


... I'll be moderating a panel discussion on "President Trump and the First Amendment" at the end of January. Now I need to decide the pros and cons of showing up for that after a few tequilas.

Before, during, and after, my friend.

Before, during, and after.
posted by rokusan at 3:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Before, during, and after, my friend.

A very good quality light tequila is indistinguishable from water in that glass you will surely have to sip from during the discussion. Or you could always go for cheap vodka, which is just as effective.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:29 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]




In reality she was chosen by the Californian people. Remove the 4 million vote margin Clinton had in California, and Trump leads the popular vote by 1.5 million.

Coming back to this because it pissed me off so much. Took a second to find an old tweet. Take away the Race Belt and Trump gets slaughtered.

@Nate_Cohn
The E.C.-popular vote split isn't really about California, Trump won Appalachafornia just as much--AL/MS/LA/AR/OK/TN/KY/WV. [chart]
posted by chris24 at 3:30 PM on December 16, 2016 [26 favorites]


Fuck that, she was chosen by 65 million people. Take Texas from Trump then. Take the Old South. What fucking asinine thing to say.

Agreed. I've been pushing back on Reddit against this very thing. Are Californians no longer American? Every vote should count the same. This is a national office. The only one we have which is selected by the public voting.

Though if we're going to subtract states, let's subtract those which have overly restrictive voting policies. Or at least put them in the votes column with the asterisk of shame. Here's how Clinton did with Americans who were allowed to freely show up at the polls, here's how she did with Americans who had restricted access.

This is how we'd report and think about elections in some corrupt hellhole.
posted by honestcoyote at 3:31 PM on December 16, 2016 [37 favorites]


Did you guys know that if you remove all the states Clinton won, Trump won 100% of states?
posted by Justinian at 3:35 PM on December 16, 2016 [58 favorites]


Guys, we gotta face the inevitable. Our next reality check comes on Dec 19 when nothing will change the current trajectory of Trump. I think cribbing the rethuglican/Tea Party rule book is a great 1st step to survival.
posted by yoga at 3:39 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


In reality she was chosen by the Californian people. Remove the 4 million vote margin Clinton had in California, and Trump leads the popular vote by 1.5 million.

I don't know why declaring that Californians aren't Real Americans has become popular this year, but I didn't somehow become less patriotic or more brainwashed by moving here. Was I more worthy of democracy in Pennsylvania?
posted by jetlagaddict at 3:44 PM on December 16, 2016 [36 favorites]


What if we remove all the states Clinton won, put some ramjets on them and get the hell out of dodge.
posted by ian1977 at 3:44 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


If you're still making proclamations about how the election was lost then you're probably in a pretty privileged place compared to many who are staring at a flaming garbage truck looming into view and don't have the luxury of dwelling on what-ifs.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:49 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


@HeerJeet
1. Obama is not going to rescue you from Trump.
2. Hillary Clinton is not going to rescue you from Trump.
3. The Electoral College is not going to rescue you from Trump.
4 The Republican Party and Never Trump people are not going to rescue you from Trump.
5. The Deep State is not going to rescue you from Trump (at best they can slightly hamper him on specific policies).
6. The Democratic Party as it exists is not going to rescue you from Trump.
7. The media is not going to rescue you from Trump.
8. The only thing that will rescue you from Trump is organizing politically, pushing the Democrats into opposition mode, & winning elections
posted by chris24 at 3:51 PM on December 16, 2016 [67 favorites]


I think it is an important thing to observe here, that politics is a game.

It is of course much more than that for a hell of a lot of people, but in reality, it is still a game.

I paid off my house playing games in casinos. When playing a game you need to understand the rules, the conditions for winning, and you need to be willing to do what is necessary to win. You also need to know when to walk away because the game is rigged -- an option we generally don't have in the game of politics.

Politics is partly a metagame because the rules allow those in the lead to alter the rules. There has been a long-standing unwritten rule about not abusing that but unwritten rules aren't rules, a fact the Republicans have decided to wholly endorse lately. See North Carolina.

The Presidential game is about the EC. That's not ideal, it might not even be "right," but those are the current rules for the game and if you don't play by them, you lose. The House game is in large part about redistricting and gerrymandering as a strategy, and the Republicans have doubled down on that strategy in a way that has really worked. See also North Carolina.

It is a basic principle not just of politics but of law that the rules are ascendant, whether they seem "right" or "wrong" because "rightness" and "wrongness" are subjective but rules are something all of us can agree exist and are the same for everybody. This is why (some of us at least) consider it better that a guilty man go free than that an innocent man be convicted of a crime based on improperly collected evidence. This is an example of rules being ascendant. Allowing the EC to determine the Presidency is exactly the same to an infinite number of decimal places. It's the rule, it's the current game.

Now, it can be shown mathematically that the US version of the politics game is very flawed. First past the post, redistricting, the EC -- all big problems. Historically though, how big those rules seem to be as problems seems very directly related to how badly you are getting hosed by them in the scoring. And in our system the winners, who are not getting hosed by the rules, get to decide whether the rules should be changed. No wonder it's been stable for so long.

But in the end, there are only two choices -- play the game, or upend the table. I really don't think there is much appetite in the US for upending the table of our status quo. That could change though; repealing Obamacare could be a big trigger. Many studies suggest that a poor oppressed population is stable, but a population that has ascended to something like the middle class and then had the rug pulled from under them is ripe for revolt.

Upending the table in the US will be unlike anything the world has ever seen. Our citizens have a metric fuckload of weapons but our government also has the largest military in the world, and in an existential crisis I have no doubt whatsoever that military will be directed inward if the ruling powers consider it necessary. In the 1950's Robert Heinlein envisioned a future dystopic America willing to nuke its own cities to put down a resistance, and I wouldn't even put that out of consideration. Especially with the antigovernment Trump seems to be assembling.

But we got here by playing a game and playing it badly. We got here by playing Checkers when the game was Chess, by trusting our opponent to observe the unwritten rules just because everyone else always had since the game began, and by not complaining when there was obvious cheating. Because of the metagame the rules are now being rewritten so we might never be able to win again. And that isn't on our opponents who were smart and shrewd. It's on us for not realizing what was going on until it was too late.

Politics isn't, and never was, about idealism. It is a game. It is a game our side played badly and lost. And it is a game we will continue to lose, even if it remains possible for us to ever win it again, if we keep doing the same goddamn thing.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


Team Trump and the RNC being as awful as expected.

@GlennThrush
When asked about Russia hacking @seanspicer just said 'blame the DNC tech department' -- he said that. Really. No kidding.

To which John Weaver, senior Kasich strategist replied:

@JWGOP
@GlennThrush @seanspicer pathetic

John also had this to say about events of the day:

@JWGOP
What the hell is wrong with these Republican legislators in North Carolina? Banana Republic behavior all around.

Even Bill Kristol got in on the sane Republican act today:

@BillKristol
I guess I missed the memo to conservatives explaining that because we dislike Obama and Clinton, we have to become Putin apologists.
posted by chris24 at 4:05 PM on December 16, 2016 [36 favorites]


I think part of why California has been getting more of the "not real Americans" noise than usual from the right is that pretty much the entire apparatus of government at both the state and local levels has been vocal about their opposition to Trumpism and its policies. I'm sure you can find some exceptions to this, but we've had it from the governor, the legislature, our Congressional delegation, and the mayors, county supervisors, and city councilors of many of the state's largest areas.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:06 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, the questions/answers and reviews are perhaps not going as the boot "designer" hoped.
posted by Wordshore at 4:06 PM on December 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


If politics is a game, it is only true insofar as life overall is a game, at which point the term ceases to have meaning. This isn't abstract, and if I lose I am not convinced I'm going to walk away and play another day.

It is perhaps as correct to say: politics is people, and if you can leverage public opinion then you can certainly use that to achieve political ends. And what I have noticed with respect to people is that I see the language of games used when someone wants me to take something I care about less seriously, to emphasize that it is an abstraction. I'm not saying you're doing this here, but that is something I've observed happening frequently with that metaphor.

Nonsense. Just as people are important, so is politics. And just as people pay closer attention to someone who is talking about something that they make clear they value very much; well, so goes politics. Liberals have this problem of wanting to be right or at least accurate, so that it becomes tempting to model politics as a game, in order to better understand it. But like all models, doing so omits key aspects of reality: and one of those aspects is motivation.

Emotions motivate people, sir. Framing this as life and death--because to many of us it is--motivates people. Reducing this to a game the Republicans just play better is all very comforting and easy to break down, but it carries a crucial trap: the comfortable move less. And right now, the very last thing we should be doing is moving less.
posted by sciatrix at 4:07 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think part of why California has been getting more of the "not real Americans" noise than usual from the right is that pretty much the entire apparatus of government at both the state and local levels has been vocal about their opposition to Trumpism and its policies.

I disagree. I think it's because we aren't all white people.
posted by Justinian at 4:09 PM on December 16, 2016 [50 favorites]


I'm certain that's another part of it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2016


I mentioned this in the last thread, but I just wanted to point again to Daily Action Alerts for those who might need a little boost to start calling their reps. emjaybee had pointed them out, and I am finding the service very helpful.

They are also on Facebook.

Oh, and in case anyone hasn't seen the re:act newsletter (I'm sorry, I don't remember who first pointed that out in these threads) I am also finding it provides me with the direction I need - you can find that here.

It seems in these threads that a lot of people don't need as much hand-holding as I do, which is fantastic - but if you need some assistance finding ways to get active about Our Current Nightmare, these may be helpful to you as well.
posted by hilaryjade at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


I think this document might have already been posted, but it's been popping up all over my twitter feed today: Indivisible: A practical guide for resisting the Trump Agenda
posted by dinty_moore at 4:14 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Emotions motivate people, sir. Framing this as life and death--because to many of us it is--motivates people.

This is true, and you do need motivation to prevail in any game. But in the end, what you have to motivate people to do is play the goddamn game, because if you don't play it by the rules and with skill, it doesn't matter how motivated you are; you will still lose.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:15 PM on December 16, 2016


Jonathan Chait, New York: Charles Schumer Is Leading Democrats to Their Doom, Continued
Obviously Schumer is not providing candid accounts of his political strategy to the public. But a series of reports from Democrats who have spoken with him paints a consistent account of a leader who thinks his party’s best chance of survival lies in working with Trump.
Scott Lemieux, LGM: No.
Senate Dems don’t need to shut down the government and shouldn’t engage in debt ceiling brinksmanship. But, otherwise, the political calculus is very straightforward: say no. Stop as much stop from passing as possible and give no support to what does pass. There might be some extreme case where the policy benefits justify taking the political hit, but given how unlikely it is with Ryan and McConnell in charge that something you can deal with if it happens. The default is no. Making Trump as unpopular as possible is by far the most important thing Democrats have to do going forward, far more important than any campaign tactic. It just isn’t complicated, and it’s amazing if watching McConnell for this many years hasn’t caused Schumer to realize this.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [27 favorites]


I disagree. I think it's because we aren't all white people.

Not just that. Texas is just as hispanic as California is and is seen as a part of "real" America. The difference is that California's minorities vote. If the Hispanics voted in Texas at the rates they do in California there wouldn't be a Republican president ever again.
posted by Talez at 4:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


@Nate_Cohn
The E.C.-popular vote split isn't really about California, Trump won Appalachafornia just as much--AL/MS/LA/AR/OK/TN/KY/WV.
(chart)

Those states together have 60 EVs, and California has 55.

David K ‏@HarlemCavalier
@Nate_Cohn Same exercise with New York and West York (AK/ID/IA/KS/MT/NE/ND/SD/UT/WY): similar margins, Trump +13 in electoral college. (chart)

New York has 29 EVs and those states together have slightly less population, but 42 EVs.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh man I just checked the mail and I didn't know that you get to literally be a card-carrying member of the ACLU, like they send you an actual card. Rad.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2016 [37 favorites]


The difference is that California's minorities vote.

moonlight in vermont made this comment in another thread which I think is exactly right:

[...] they are beginning to have a heightened awareness of California as a majority-minority state and are angry that all those Latinos have voting rights, because they think it should be illegal for people like that to be able to vote in US elections.
posted by lalex at 4:30 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Texas is just as hispanic as California is and is seen as a part of "real" America. The difference is that California's minorities vote. If the Hispanics voted in Texas at the rates they do in California there wouldn't be a Republican president ever again.

Eennnnh. Kinda.

Latino voters in California also vote at much lower rates than their white counterparts. But those white counterparts are less likely to vote Republican in California than in Texas. And Latino voters in CA do vote at modestly higher rates than in TX but not any great shakes.

So the goal needs to be to get Hispanic turnout up to white/black turnout rates, not just to push TX turnout up to CA turnout levels. I don't think that would be enough to overcome the heavily Republican white vote in TX.
posted by Justinian at 4:37 PM on December 16, 2016


[A few comments removed, cool it.]
posted by cortex at 4:38 PM on December 16, 2016


I don't know why declaring that Californians aren't Real Americans has become popular this year, but I didn't somehow become less patriotic or more brainwashed by moving here. Was I more worthy of democracy in Pennsylvania?

I think it's important, before I try to explain the decent-human perspective on this, to acknowledge that there exist a lot of shitty-human perspectives on this too. Like, I have no doubt that there exist a lot of people who do think that California is a majority-minority state and as such shouldn't have as big a say as it does. If there is one thing this election has taught me, it's that humans are terrible.

But there does exist a principled reason to support that one state shouldn't be able, even if it does have an enormous population, to dominate all the other states, and it's essentially the idea that states have inherent character - that we are in essence a nation of states, not a single nation. That there exist fundamental differences between the interests of Vermont and Texas, or Nebraska and Louisiana. Kind of like how when we go to the UN, we vote by nation, and kind of by power of nation, but not by "who has the biggest population". And this is kind of a thing we've built our country around - see the Senate.

So I am genuinely sorry for the assholes who are like "lol like California is part of America" - those people fundamentally misunderstand this democratic republic of ours. But I do want to stress that not everyone who is saying the popular vote should not be the thing we go by is that asshole.

And remember - it is fate that this time, the populist fascist lost the popular vote but won the electoral college. It could so easily have gone the other way. Reshaping our democracy - like the well intentioned laws that prohibit delegates and electors from exercising their judgment- too often negatively impacts the robust immune system we need to that crap.
posted by corb at 4:39 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Google, Apple, and Uber said they would not help build a Muslim registry. Meanwhile, Oracle declined to comment.

"Oracle declined to respond to the same questions about a Muslim registry. It also declined to say whether the National Security Agency is still an Oracle customer. Oracle’s refusal to comment comes one day after CEO Safra Catz announced that she would join the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump, while remaining at Oracle."
posted by chris24 at 4:39 PM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]


I would like the aliens in "The Women Men Don't See" to take us away with the other opossums.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:42 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


For comparison's sake, white voters in California gave Clinton something like a +5 margin. White voters in Texas gave Trump something like a +40(!) margin. You can see why simply increasing Hispanic turnout in Texas to match that in CA might not be enough.

Also this is another reason I am proud to be a Californian. Even the white people here rejected Trump, even if by a shitty margin.
posted by Justinian at 4:43 PM on December 16, 2016 [17 favorites]


Fact Check: Vanity Fair’s Numbers Are Not “Way Down, Big Trouble, Dead!”
Vanity Fair’s new subscriptions increased 100 fold after the president-elect tweeted without evidence that the magazine is failing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:44 PM on December 16, 2016 [22 favorites]


"Oracle’s refusal to comment comes one day after CEO Safra Catz announced that she would join the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump, while remaining at Oracle."

Welp, time to sell that stock.
posted by sutureselves at 4:44 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm going to link The Diversifying Electorate—Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections) from census.gov again, even though I linked it in (two?) other threads. It really is the best single source I've ever found on this topic, and the geographical color-coded maps comparing demographic turnout illustrates things in a clear and interesting way that I have never seen anywhere else. Even if you don't have time / want to read the thing it's worth scrolling halfway down to look at the pretty maps.
posted by Justinian at 4:46 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think this document might have already been posted, but it's been popping up all over my twitter feed today: Indivisible: A practical guide for resisting the Trump Agenda

One really important point from this document is the idea than as groups band together to resist, they shouldn't get distracted by "the policy details we want to enact later when we win", because that way lies infighting and schism, and it's totally irrelevant in the near term.
As discussed in the second chapter, we strongly recommend focusing on defense against the Trump agenda rather than developing an entire alternative policy agenda. This is time-intensive, divisive, and, quite frankly, a distraction, since there is zero chance that we as progressives will get to put our agenda into action at the federal level in the next four years.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 4:46 PM on December 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


Fact Check: Vanity Fair’s Numbers Are Not “Way Down, Big Trouble, Dead!”

@Scott_Gilmore
Vanity Fair circulation numbers
1992: 997,000 (when Graydon Carter took over)
2016: 1,200,000
Compare that to the rest of the print media
posted by chris24 at 4:49 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


@JoyAnnReid What Team Trump is texting right now:

Its a Flash Sale! The Authentic MAGA Cap Christmas Ornament is on sale. 2 for $79.00 or 3+ for $59.00 I thought these things were a spoof ad the first time I saw them advertised for $250.00 each-- they are hideous. They are no less hideous at 75% off.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:52 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


And thanks for posting that Gravy. Reminded me to subscribe.
posted by chris24 at 4:53 PM on December 16, 2016


@PhilipRucker Tonight in Orlando, outdoor Trump rally. Lotsa energy. Balmy. Folks eager to see PEOTUS. 16 Xmas trees on stage. Plenty of "Lock her up!"

Hoo Boy Nothing gets me in the mood for Christmas like a good ole hatefest. I have to wonder how long these rallies are going to go on and how long the "Lock Her Up" chants will continue? After a couple of years maybe the "Her" invoked will no longer mean a particular person but become a stand in for all pushy women.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:58 PM on December 16, 2016 [30 favorites]


Ugh. Russia's winning Syria and going full steam on bombing civilians and there's nothing anybody can do. Isn't it possible the recent surprise swings to the right all across Europe, too, are related to Russian interference? By their own admission, they've stepped up their covert operations against the U.S. and it's allies to higher levels than even during the Cold War. This isn't just about Trump. It's about American sovereignty, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 4:58 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Thanks for that link, Justinian! I'm really interested to learn more about what the Democrats have and haven't done to try and increase Hispanic turnout, and why they can't seem to really crack it in a big way. My gut feeling is that what Hispanic votes there are are treated like a given and there's a serious lack of effective outreach and engagement at the local level and lackluster identification and support of leaders in Hispanic communities. I've seen plenty of local businesses and nonprofits in Midwestern areas with significant Hispanic populations going basically "ehh I don't speak Spanish, it's too hard" and treating the issue as if it's a problem of Hispanic communities being insular without even trying to get to know those communities, and I can absolutely see lower level politicians doing the same outside of super bare minimum gestures like translated campaign materials at best. I don't trust my gut feeling though, I'd like to get a better picture of the reality because it seems like a huge problem that white Democrats never really try hard enough to solve.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:00 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Google, Apple, and Uber said they would not help build a Muslim registry. Meanwhile, Oracle declined to comment.

Yup. That's Oracle.

Welp, time to sell that stock.

Oracle's been evil since.... well, since ever. It's right up there with big banks and oil companies, in terms of glowingly-toxic unethical investments.
posted by rokusan at 5:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


After a couple of years maybe the "Her" invoked will no longer mean a particular person but become a stand in for all pushy women.

When liberals and feminists looked at Hillary Clinton as a model for a woman who believes women can be strong leaders, we didn't realize the extent to which conservatives and reactionaries were looking at her in just the same way.

An archetype: either celebrated, or loathed.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:03 PM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]


You know what? I miss the USSR. I was reading some Guardian article about how a big percentage of Russians feel like they were better off under communism and miss the Soviet Union, and I was like, "You and me both, buddy". Maybe we can defuse at least some international tension by organizing some kind of "let's all skype Russia so we can drink vodka and cry" movement.

(The Guardian spun this as "oh the Russians and their authoritarianism, which is garbage. The Russians have authoritarianism. It's very clearly the Russians and their having-a-job-ism, the Russians and their having-access-to-medical-care-ism, the Russians and their I-used-to-be-sure-I-could-retire-and-still-have-somewhere-to-live-ism.

I feel like, fuck this, let's have a Bring Back Low Quality Really Existing Communism Because At Least It's Better Than Trump And Putin movement.
posted by Frowner at 5:07 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


Hoo Boy Nothing gets me in the mood for Christmas like a good ole hatefest. I have to wonder how long these rallies are going to go on and how long the "Lock Her Up" chants will continue? After a couple of years maybe the "Her" invoked will no longer mean a particular person but become a stand in for all pushy women.

Christmas is about goodwill toward men. Women are apparently fair game.
posted by Talez at 5:09 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'd like to get a better picture of the reality because it seems like a huge problem that white Democrats never really try hard enough to solve.

And just to clarify because the phrasing is bugging me, the problem is a failure among white Democrats to really get to know and understand Hispanic communities and advocate for their ideas on how to increase turnout and amplify Hispanic voices in the party, not some "lol guess us white Dems just need to get involved and our presence'll fix it" thing - my phrasing seemed a little ambiguous to me upon review.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:10 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Brookings Institution: The Emoluments Clause: Its text, meaning, and application to Donald J. Trump
Foreign interference in the American political system was among the gravest dangers feared by the Founders of our nation and the framers of our Constitution. The United States was a new government, and one that was vulnerable to manipulation by the great and wealthy world powers (which then, as now, included Russia). One common tactic that foreign sovereigns, and their agents, used to influence our officials was to give them gifts, money, and other things of value. In response to this practice, and the self-evident threat it represents, the framers included in the Constitution the Emoluments Clause of Article I, Section 9. It prohibits any “Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States]” from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” Only explicit congressional consent validates such exchanges.
...
In the attached brief [PDF], we examine the Emoluments Clause in detail and conclude that Donald Trump’s diverse dealings violate both the spirit and the letter of this critical piece of the U.S. Constitution.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm convinced Oracle would sell a despotic government the licenses to register all Oracle employees on the "evil intelligentsia" list they were compiling. There has never been a clearer illustration of Lenin's bit about capitalists being willing to sell you the rope you use to hang them.
posted by Justinian at 5:29 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Top spy office: Intel agencies will not brief Electoral College members on alleged Russian interference
Spy agencies will not brief members of the Electoral College on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race before the Dec. 19 vote, despite pleas from 70 electors, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence indicated today.
...
President Barack Obama has ordered a "deep dive" on that alleged Russian interference that will be completed before he leaves office on Jan. 20.
Why the fuck didn't he order a shallower dive that could've been released today, before the electors vote? Trump will pay just as much attention to the "deep dive" as Bush did to the Rudman-Hart Commission's January 2001 warning that "Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers," as a result of terrorist attacks.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:35 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


WTF Friday: These Islands In The Pacific Are Blocking People From Creating TRU.MP Websites
The Northern Marianas Islands, which voted to become a U.S. commonwealth in 1975, control any site ending in .MP. Internet activists who tried this month to regster domains such as Tru.mp or ResistTru.mp found all of their attempts blocked. Anything, it appeared, that ended in Tru.mp couldn’t be purchased, no matter how long a string of random letters or numbers came before it.
I believe the most likely explanation is that it's a shady registrar (thanks ICANN) that realized they're sitting on a profit opportunity and is trying to figure out how to exploit it, but it's still pretty messed up.
posted by zachlipton at 5:37 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why are we back to self-criticism? This loss most likely wasn't the Dems fault entirely. The other side cheated and possibly collaborated with another nation's intelligence services to win, regardless of whether the outside interference made the difference or not. That's the whole point of this issue. The Dems aren't losing under normal rules of competition. They're losing because the other side is willing to destroy the integrity of the whole system to win. The Dems have screwed up here, royally, sure, but the other side may have handed the Republic over to a foreign power, and at the very least, their dirty political trickery, hatred, and manipulations are eroding our society's ability to function and trust in each other. This is much bigger than the "game" of our election process. This is exactly our problem: we're dissociative as a culture. We actually do literally believe this is just a game now. The original idea behind our legislative process was that it would be deliberative and cooperative; the point of the process wasn't just to win, it was to use reasoned debate to get at the best possible solutions because the enlightenment era belief was that you got at the truth through a ďialectic process of arguing. Our system really wasn't meant to be a game, it just turned into one once parties got introduced into the process (as George Washington worried it would if we ever allowed parties to form).

The competitive aspect in our system was supposed to be reasoned, gentlemanly intellectual debate, not a constant, bloody battle to the death for control and power.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:39 PM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


After a couple of years maybe the "Her" invoked will no longer mean a particular person but become a stand in for all pushy women.

This has already happened in Alberta where people at an anti-carbon tax rally chanted it about Rachel Notley, the premier of the province.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:40 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'd like to get a better picture of the reality because it seems like a huge problem that white Democrats never really try hard enough to solve.

This is the question that has caused me a lot of sleepless nights over the last few months, what with the reality of my entire fucking Nicaraguan-American extended family gleefully voting for Trump this year.

Mind you, there's a lot of variance even within the Hispanic community, and these are only a few reasons, but my current guess/anecdata - which has definitely shifted from time to time - is that rightly or wrongly, the perception is among my niche demographic that Democrats think of Hispanics as only poor, illegal immigrants- not as business owners, property owners, people trying to save money for important events. They think that Dems think they are suckers, unimportant people. And they don't want to be unimportant people who rely only on charity-they want to be respected members of the community.

They also intersect a lot with Dem-created regulations meant for the best, but that cause them personal grief in self-starter business models. Things like running a restaurant out of their kitchen, a hair salon out of their front parlor, an illegal taxi service, an unauthorized ice cream truck. They see the regulations as discriminatory- that they're meant to keep the little guy from rising up. I know they're not - that it's about worker stuff and health stuff and a bunch of other stuff - but that's how it's perceived.

I don't know how to fix that, though. I don't know how you can make it easier for people starting up not to have to worry about that stuff, while still ensuring the rules bind larger companies. I don't know if you'd even want to, or if that niche demographic is worth it vote wise. But there you have it.
posted by corb at 5:42 PM on December 16, 2016 [43 favorites]


Holy fuck, Trump, at his Florida event, just said 'Evan McMuffin.'
posted by box at 5:43 PM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Holy fuck, Trump, at his Florida event, just said 'Evan McMuffin.'

Does he sincerely think that's Egg's name? Or did he appear to be in on the joke?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 5:45 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Evan McMullin appears to be a principled guy with whom I disagree on so many things. Wouldn't it be nice if he was the type of person who ran the Republican party?
posted by Justinian at 5:48 PM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]


WTF!
@SopanDeb Multiple people are in the press pen here at the Trump rally wearing pro-Trump shirts and openly cheering the speech.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:50 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'd say in on the joke.

I mean, making fun of someone's name is a very easy joke.
posted by box at 5:50 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Per @SopanDeb: "!!! In Orlando, Trump just repeated someone calling @Evan_McMullin "Evan McMuffin." I am not kidding. Still won't say his real name."

He also says:
"Multiple people are in the press pen here at the Trump rally wearing pro-Trump shirts and openly cheering the speech.
One of them, unclear if he has a credential or not, just yelled that Hillary Clinton should be waterboarded. In the press pen."
posted by zachlipton at 5:51 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Hey, DCCC?

I super wish I could throw more donations your way to help the Dems with 2018, and I will when I can, and I know a lot of newly-energized people are in the same boat, but ffs it's the holidays and people only have so much they can donate and you haven't even done the bare minimum to convince us you have your shit together on resisting fascism and putting a damn plan together, so maybe don't make all your fundraising emails sound like you're scolding us right now? Cause people are going to jump ship if you do that

Ok sorry, just had to get that off my chest.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:52 PM on December 16, 2016 [27 favorites]


> Trump will pay just as much attention to the "deep dive" as Bush did to the Rudman-Hart Commission's January 2001 warning that "Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers," as a result of terrorist attacks.

Jake Tapper, Sep 12, 2001: “We predicted it.” A bipartisan commission warned the White House and Congress that a bloody attack on U.S. soil could be imminent. Why didn't anyone listen?
posted by homunculus at 5:53 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ooh, yes Donald, get good and mad at our Egg and give him the same profile bump you gave Vanity Fair, please. Have a good long fight with him, you'll wear out before he does. That shit where we unintentionally legitimized you by arguing with you cuts both ways.

Also, that story about pro-Trump people in the press pen: this is a guy who hired actors to fill the audience for his campaign announcement event. I'm skeptical that they're really press.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:02 PM on December 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


Looks like the Trump supporters in the press pen are from "Conservative" radio

@SopanDeb Guy on the left - Christopher Hart, hosts a show called "American Adversaries" in Orlando on AM660. [link goes to video]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:03 PM on December 16, 2016


Christopher Hart is waving a sign saying "Make Christmas Great Again." I really want someone to explain to me what is wrong with Christmas now. Other than it being too commercial-- but that has been a complaint since the Puritans were in charge. Not enough mangers? I see manger scenes everywhere including on Main Street in my town. Not enough people in church? Black Santas? Undecorated Starbucks cups? Too few angels? What? What is it that is driving this narrative?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:12 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


A bipartisan commission warned the White House and Congress that a bloody attack on U.S. soil could be imminent. Why didn't anyone listen?

It's OK. That was the last time an incoming Republican president that lost the popular vote blew off the warnings of the outgoing, more popular Democratic president.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:17 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm really interested to learn more about what the Democrats have and haven't done to try and increase Hispanic turnout, and why they can't seem to really crack it in a big way.

In Texas at least there is 1)a lack of funding and outreach from the national party and 2)draconian voter registration laws and a history of political persecution on organizations seeking to increase minority turnout. See Texas Voter Registration Laws are Straight Out of the Jim Crow Playbook.
posted by threeturtles at 6:19 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Christopher Hart is waving a sign saying "Make Christmas Great Again." I really want someone to explain to me what is wrong with Christmas now.

It's just shorthand for all the usual narrow bullshit: Real Americans say "Merry Christmas." Real Americans celebrate Christmas. Real Americans know this is a Christian nation. Real Americans are Christians and believe in Jesus. Real Americans are not politically correct, diversity-loving pinko atheist liberals.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:19 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Why the fuck didn't he order a shallower dive that could've been released today, before the electors vote?

I dunno if it matters anyway. After all, only a single Republican elector asked to be briefed. Can't imagine the rest are likely to be swayed with a detailed accounting of IP addresses and such, and would find some excuse to disregard the evidence. (Also, the impracticality of clearing hundreds of people, the likelihood of leaks, etc.)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:19 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also an electoral college vote that depends on classified information is ... troubling.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


This Time, Obama's Calm in a Crisis Isn't Helping He’s right to be exasperated, but at this late date, absolute Republican bad faith should be assumed in all Democratic decision making.

He never learned the lesson that was obvious from the beginning. Republicans don't believe in democracy. They're working to end it and install themselves as the permanent sole legal party of the 1000 year American Reich.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [33 favorites]




What? What is it that is driving this narrative?

The fact that people acknowledge the existence of other holidays.

Christmas will be "great again" when other holidays are abolished.

Man. I am SO PISSED at my Republican friends and family who actually believe this stuff right now. Not feeling in the mood to give them any benefit of the doubt. Can barely talk to my mom. Desperately hoping for McCain and Graham etc to restore some amount of faith in the other half of my country.

My Republican Facebook friends have gone silent since the election. I kind of don't think they really expected to win. They aren't feeling like defending Trump. I have shared just a constant barrage of Russia/conflicts of interest/alt-right crap since the election, though. Not sure if they're embarrassed or have just all unfollowed me.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:26 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


I disagree. I think it's because we aren't all white people.

I mean, also because SF and LA have a reputation for tolerance of queer people. The amount of rhetoric I've seen about "degenerates" lately is pretty alarming.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


"A Trump supporter just came to the press pen, tossed a water bottle at @JDiamond1, called him trash, and then walked away."

So that's how they'll stifle coverage. Credential rabid AM hate radio hosts and put them right next to legitimate reporters to physically intimidate them or worse.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:28 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


DCCC?... maybe don't make all your fundraising emails sound like you're scolding us right now?

I'm really unimpressed with how nothing is the party's fault, nothing is the campaign's fault, yadda yadda. It's everyone else's fault the Democrats lost. Yes, yes, there were outside factors, and this time some of them were pretty weird outside factors, but for fuck's sake take some responsibility. Some. Any. Soon?

The next step after blaming everyone else, is doing the same thing you always did, because, hey, it wasn't your fault. It's everything-is-fine-ism writ large.

I don't have a lot of faith in current leadership (such as it is) even trying to make anything better.
posted by rokusan at 6:34 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


He’s right to be exasperated, but at this late date, absolute Republican bad faith should be assumed in all Democratic decision making.

He's not acting as a Democrat, he's acting as the president. He can't be partisan in his constitutional role. Otherwise he destroys the democracy we all want to save without Trump even having to. Unless you're fine with a benevolent dictatorship and/or civil war, he needs to maintain the system's survival and we need to fight to regain the power in it.
posted by chris24 at 6:36 PM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


Why are we back to self-criticism? This loss most likely wasn't the Dems fault entirely.

Because Democratic leadership and center-Left pundits appear to be seizing upon a couple of factors out of their control to build upon a narrative for themselves in which the loss was entirely not their fault, and I don't buy that.

(yeah what rokusan said)
posted by atoxyl at 6:40 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


Or he could have called on congress to go into some kind of emergency investigative process and pass an emergency resolution to make it possible to investigate further before confirming the results. There have to be democratic mechanisms for protecting the mechanisms of democracy, or of course foreign powers hostile to U.S. interests and democracy will do whatever they can to gain control of our system. Especially nations led by former spies from a failed empire our own nation's policies deliberately destroyed just a couple of decades ago.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:42 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


I don't have a lot of faith in current leadership (such as it is) even trying to make anything better.

Well, right now the loudest voices for "Do something different!" seem to also be the voices saying "Start a civil war!" So I'm not thinking the Democratic Party is not exactly getting good advice in any direction.
posted by happyroach at 6:47 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Obama may be the last actual President we ever have. Bob help us.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:48 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Rokusan - if you haven't seen it yet, I'd suggest watching the Keith Ellison speech from Wednesday (here, Keith starts about 25 minutes in). It's one of the few things I've seen since the election that has given me any real hope for the democratic party.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:48 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


"Rebellions are built on hope."

Saw Rogue One tonight and it was just what I needed at the moment. It couldn't have been more topical if someone had said "stronger together." (Which means Trumpski should definitely start a fight with Star Wars.)

I feel for Obama tonight. Rarely has a President been so fucked if he did and fucked if he didn't. Say too little and you're the President who let a Russian stooge become the most powerful man on Earth; say too much and you're the President who called into question the legitimacy of the US government and possibly incited a second civil war. Merry fucking Christmas, O.

Politics isn't, and never was, about idealism. It is a game. It is a game our side played badly and lost.

Appealingly cynical tho this is, it's at least half untrue. Politics is a game; it's also about idealism. You can't win if you can't play the game ruthlessly, but you can't govern (or can't govern wisely and beneficially) if you aren't idealistic. (This is implicit in Rogue One.)

You know what? I miss the USSR

I can't honestly say that I miss the USSR and I'm betting that a lot of Germans, Baltic, and East Europeans don't either, but I do miss Mikhail Gorbachev. He looked like he had a real future there for a moment. I'll bet a lot of people on the American right still hate him as much as they like Putin.

So Trumpski's giving the NEA to Sly Stallone? Bet he thinks he can connect him with Ivan Drago.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:51 PM on December 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


Obama may be the last actual President we ever have. Bob help us.

Kinda makes Zach Galifinakis' question when Obama did Between Two Ferns take on a whole new meaning: "How does it feel to be the last black President?"
posted by Justinian at 6:53 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


He can't be partisan in his constitutional role.

It's never stopped Mitch McConnell. Which is why they were able to steal a Supreme Court seat.

This the farce phase of Obama's 8 year failure to recognize that the Republicans were flipping over the chess board and lighting it on fire while also shitting on the floor, while he continued to offer them Grand Bargains, compromise candidates and now tacit acceptance of foreign undermining of democracy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:53 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


Here's the transcript of the McMuffin moment. Lesson: call Trump a "lightweight" on every possible opportunity. He doesn't like that.
posted by zachlipton at 6:54 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


If it's really at the point where civil war would be the only counter response from Trump supporters to even investigating into covert operations to manipulate our elections with possible collision from one of the candidates or his campaign, then Russia has already won here, just as surely as civilians in Syria will keep being massacred with impunity
posted by saulgoodman at 6:54 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


The State of the Union will be interesting this year, eh?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:59 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know you're living in bizarro world when you'd actually prefer the state of the union address in Idiocracy.
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's never stopped Mitch McConnell. Which is why they were able to steal a Supreme Court seat.

Mitch isn't president. He isn't a constitutional officer. You can say Obama should've been more partisan in the past in legislative battles, but doing so in his constitutional duties in facilitating a peaceful transfer of power just does Putin's work for him.
posted by chris24 at 7:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


trump thinks the CIA is out to get him, and they really should be.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:04 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


Majority Leader of the Senate isn't a constitutional position? He's an elected member of the legislature, tasked with all kinds of shit under the constitution, including deciding that "advice and consent" doesn't mean either advise or consent.

It's the same thing, we're debating the rules of the boardgame that's on fire, while they're laughing about the house burning down and that we haven't even noticed the shit smeared on our faces.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:07 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


if you haven't seen it yet, I'd suggest watching the Keith Ellison speech from Wednesday (here, Keith starts about 25 minutes in). It's one of the few things I've seen since the election that has given me any real hope for the democratic party.

That wasn't bad, dinty_moore, thanks. Sanders was probably more focused-and-angry than Ellison, even. (I dunno where he gets the energy or heart after all this, but he's still fighting, so that's nice, because there's really nobody else stepping up yet.)

Overall, both of them still sounded a little heavy on "Trump is bad, amirite?" rhetoric, and not as forward-looking and forward-planning as I'd like to see, but it's definitely refreshing to hear anyone say we have to move into acceptance so we can start fighting what comes next instead of complaining about what has passed over and over and over again.

I don't know the other DNC candidates much, but I like what I've seen of Ellison.
posted by rokusan at 7:09 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


You know there's something about political victories that the winning side did not expect to win, like Trump and Brexit. There are a lot of anti-establishment people out there who don't really believe the establishment can evr actually be taken down. They're cynical about democracy and disenfranchised and they think voting is at best a futile and symbolic guesture. They are shocked, maybe, to learn that the establishment was a lot more vulnerable than they thought, and that they really do live in a democracy. Accelerationists and rapture-ready types take note...Be careful what you wish for.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:09 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]




Majority Leader of the Senate isn't a constitutional position?

"The posts of majority and minority leader are not included in the Constitution, as are the president of the Senate (the vice president of the United States) and the president pro tempore. Instead, party floor leadership evolved out of necessity. During the nineteenth century, floor leadership was exercised by the chair of the party conference and the chairs of the most powerful standing committees...

Although party floor leadership posts carry great responsibility, they provide few specific powers. Instead, floor leaders have largely had to depend on their individual skill, intelligence, and personality. Majority leaders seek to balance the needs of senators of both parties to express their views fully on a bill with the pressures to move the bill as quickly as possible toward enactment. These conflicting demands have required majority leaders to develop skills in compromise, accommodation, and diplomacy. Lyndon Johnson, who held the post in the 1950s, once said that the greatest power of the majority leader was "the power of persuasion."
posted by chris24 at 7:13 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I hope just one performer agrees to perform and then at the last minute they sing edelweiss.
posted by ian1977 at 7:15 PM on December 16, 2016 [57 favorites]


Brookings Institution: The Emoluments Clause: Its text, meaning, and application to Donald J. Trump

Since the GOP House will obviously be disinclined to impeach on these grounds, can outside groups file any useful lawsuits related to this?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Because Democratic leadership and center-Left pundits appear to be seizing upon a couple of factors out of their control to build upon a narrative for themselves in which the loss was entirely not their fault,

I goddamn warned you. Bernie and Linc, not even actual Democrats, sharing the stage with lesser Third Way lights and Hillary. Bernie getting a fuckton of first-time voters to the polls, and that's where a lot of her popular vote lead comes from. Bernie getting rat-fucked every inch of the way, and he still took how many states? As a septuagenarian Socialist?

Bernie was so clearly not the way forward, but it was too late. The decks were cleared, the decks were stacked, 30 years worth of highly effective disinformation were no-uh-uh-uh-thing to worry about, MEANWHILE!

White men in the rust-belt have been dying in droves, in numbers not seen since the early days of Aids. And not the kinds of white men certain segments of left-leaning voters would prefer to die. The ones who voted for Obama by double digits were absent. It's a wasteland of despair, no wonder only the religious zealots showed up. Michael Moore told you straight up why Trump was going to win, and you laughed at him.

Hillary's plan to save the Rust Belt? Did she have one? Did she promote it or was she trying to humiliate her opponent for being crude?

Do you know how little money Trump and the few SuperPacs willing to risk it actually spent on his campaign compared to Hillary?

Next time, let's not anoint a champion and put the DNC's thumb on the scales. I mean, Dubbya beat the christfuck out of McCaine... McCaine was the anointed successor, as was Hillary, and Obama beat them both.

Trump thrashed the best and brightest the GOP could bring to bear, and now he will be president.

I mean, it's awful we have to put social justice behind economic justice, but WE CANNOT HAVE SOCIAL JUSTICE WITHOUT THE WHITE VOTE. The current and actual demographics are against you. Republican voter suppression is against you. You will win or lose depending on how good of a deal you can cut with suburban white voters. If they buy into your plans to make their lives easier and cheaper and more prosperous, watch how angry they will be when they feel their prosperity will be taken away because cops kill minorities at will. Hell, watch them go all super-saiyan pissed when you tell them, as a white person, if you are killed by someone you don't know? Gonna be a cop who killed you. Plus this shit is making you struggle and be poor?

All in all, in making mainstream white Americans the enemy in every Social Justice story, you put them either in the enemy's MASSIVE voter block, or you convince them that this isn't their story or fight, so they'll stay home.

I do not like Ellison as DNC head. He thinks he can play demographic games. The GOP has seen that coming, and will suppress the fuck out of that action. I like Dean, because he can learn a lesson, and he will contest every election with the lessons learned in every state, in every county, in every city, in every precinct, with lawyers and recounts.

Why the fuck shouldn't we take Montana?
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:19 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


can outside groups file any useful lawsuits related to this?

I believe you'd have the case tossed out on multiple grounds. Standing, possibly sovereign immunity, and so on.
posted by Justinian at 7:19 PM on December 16, 2016


The inaugurational ceremony will be a nonstop 24 hour Kanye West concert on the National Mall.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:20 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


another great piece from Sarah Kendzior, We’re heading into dark times. This is how to be your own light in the Age of Trump
None of us deserves what’s coming

Write your biography, write down your memories. Because if you do not do it now, you may forget.

Write a list of things you would never do. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will do them.

Write a list of things you would never believe. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will either believe them or be forced to say you believe them.

You can look to the president-elect himself for a vision of what is to come. He has told you his plans all along, though most chose to downplay or deny them. You can even look back to before his candidacy, when in February 2014, he went on Fox News to defend Russia. Why a reality TV host was on Fox News defending Russia is its own story, but Listen to what Trump said already back in 2014. here is what he said about his desired outcome for the United States:

“You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [chuckles], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.”,
posted by localhuman at 7:21 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


Another WTF

Trump says his supporters were 'violent'

Trump made the admission Friday night during a rally here on the Florida leg of his "Thank You" tour. During the campaign, he repeatedly downplayed violent outbursts his supporters displayed at times toward protesters and insisted that paid activists were instead responsible for inciting violence at his rallies.

"You people were vicious, violent, screaming, 'Where's the wall? We want the wall!' Screaming, 'Prison! Prison! Lock her up!' I mean you are going crazy. I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right?" Trump said Friday. "But now, you're mellow and you're cool and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right?"

posted by futz at 7:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]


trump thinks the CIA is out to get him, and they really should be.

Not sure if you are being serious or joking, burhanistan, but nope. The FBI sabotaging the Dems is bad enough. We do not want dueling secret police organizations fighting it out for outright control of the Presidency.

We should be out to get him. And, the rest of the GOP. 2018 is coming soon, I hope.
posted by Gotanda at 7:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


See! he wasn't being literal. He just wanted to win and this fired up the base. Come January 21, it'll be like Ford was back in the White House.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:25 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


"But now, you're mellow and you're cool and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right?"

It's like for him words are just things that get thrown around in deals, not to be taken seriously unless they're ornamenting something Serious, in which case they're yugely important, otherwise they're just the things people say with the things
posted by Rykey at 7:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


"You people were vicious, violent, screaming, 'Where's the wall? We want the wall!' Screaming, 'Prison! Prison! Lock her up!' I mean you are going crazy. I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right?" Trump said Friday. "But now, you're mellow and you're cool and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right?"

I was just watching this video of children at a hospital in Aleppo (seriously, don't watch it. You won't make it that long) and I'm wondering if tonight's speech in Orlando is going to be considered the "good old days."

I'm so incredibly angered by the president's press conference today. It just seems to me, and maybe I'm an alarmist, that his government is the one thing standing between us and this truly terrible fate.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


I do not like Ellison as DNC head. He thinks he can play demographic games.

I really don't get that impression from him. He's all about empowering people to fight with a progressive message in counties where the old DNC wouldn't give anyone resources. He's explicitly talking about pursuing Obama/Obama/Trump rust belt votes without throwing POC under the bus. And he's so totally behind the Howard Dean model that he wants to take it to the next level.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:33 PM on December 16, 2016 [12 favorites]






But now, you're mellow and you're cool and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right?"

Hello, #MAGA hypnosis tape loop.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:41 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


RE: North Carolina legislative coup...

@cflav
The people who said Obama couldn't fill a SCOTUS seat in his last year, b/c it would thwart the will of voters, must be furious about this.
posted by chris24 at 7:42 PM on December 16, 2016 [37 favorites]


This Is What the Resistance Sounds Like
Governor Jerry Brown of California got Twitter-verse attention for saying two days ago that if Donald Trump actually shuts down satellite collection of climate data, “California will launch its own damn satellites.”

I’ve now seen the short speech from which that line was taken, thanks to a tip from reader CS. It’s remarkable enough to be worth your time. It’s a genuine fighting speech, with a tone that is resolute but positive, rather than resentful or doomed.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:44 PM on December 16, 2016 [38 favorites]


Well, right now the loudest voices for "Do something different!" seem to also be the voices saying "Start a civil war!" So I'm not thinking the Democratic Party is not exactly getting good advice in any direction.

Oh that's definitely not where I'm coming from and I think e.g. Electoral College hopes are a fantasy and/or probably a very bad idea. Nor am I in favor of:

- war with Russia (?)
- "obviously America is hungry for a respectable third way I like to call myself a radical centrist"
- "obviously America is hungry for more Trump we should be more like Trump but you know, we can still call ourself Democrats"
- "what no that went great except they cheated we'll get them next time *loses downballot everything again*"
- "fucking kids and their identity politics get off my lawn"

Hoping for something more like "inclusive and authentically populist coalition built from the bottom up, rallying behind exciting and charismatic candidates." Didn't say mine wasn't a fantasy too (especially the last part). But I think some of that "tea party of the Left" stuff may suggest some places to start.
posted by atoxyl at 7:49 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


another great piece from Sarah Kendzior, We’re heading into dark times. This is how to be your own light in the Age of Trump

I feel like this kind of thing is maybe... not so helpful? I mean, if the future described in the article does come to pass, we're screwed anyway, so if we pre-terrorize ourselves about it, we're doing the authoritarians' work for them.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:55 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


In the meantime... the Northeast needs to coalesce. Maine and Mass and NJ will be non-starters for the next two years, but we need to start building the scaffolding. Separate states, singular goals, economies of scale work. From VA up to the Canadian border needs to act like its own nation for a while, as the actual Federal Government eats itself alive. We will need to plan a shared single-payer healthcare system. We will need to build a new post-secondary education system. We will need to make the Trumpists sore and sorry for even dabbling a pinky-toe into our business. Hellfire, we'll send up our own satellites, too.

But we need to start organizing and co-operating now, and plan on MA and ME and NJ coming onboard with enthusiasm once the voters see what we're doing to resist and build. We need to convince our local politicians that they can be even bigger wheels once we're all acting together. Doable. Let's do it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:57 PM on December 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


It doesn't even matter to anybody strategizing here that there's a real possibility it won't matter how much we organize or campaign or otherwise persuade and do politics in the future if our campaign and election processes have been captured by Russian hackers and spies?

Without knowing or even trying to make a serious effort at investigating the possibility, we might never know if any future elections are truly legitimate. That sits okay with some of you way more than it ever could me.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:05 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Maine and Mass and NJ will be non-starters for the next two years,

NJ governor race is 2017. As is VA.
posted by chris24 at 8:05 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Evan McMuffin is trending on the Twitter. :D
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:05 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]




Having seen the Martini I can't imagine what the steaks are like. The horror... the horror...
posted by Justinian at 8:07 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


He does like his well done, so...
posted by chris24 at 8:08 PM on December 16, 2016


Gotta say, one of the things I like about Evan McMullin is his normal human ability to have a sense of humor about the Egg McMuffin thing. It's refreshing in the age of Trump.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:08 PM on December 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


the Northeast needs to coalesce

Lumping Virginia in with that plan is not going to happen, Virginia is only slightly less gerrymandered than North Carolina and the Republicans have an overwhelming near supermajority in the General Assembly, and a 1 seat hold on the State Senate. Democrats only control the statewide offices on the strength of huge turnout in Arlington and Fairfax, with some help from Richmond and parts of Norfolk, the rest of the state is basically Alabama.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:09 PM on December 16, 2016


Trump is all about power, and not in the sophisticated sort of way, but in the high school bully/mean girls sort of way. We should be trying, from the poster on the net to the national politician, to get under his skin, so we can have as many "no-puppet, no-puppet" moments as possible.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:11 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


I just...look, I would never vote Republican, except if Egg primaries Trump I might switch party affiliations. And that is weird, man. I'd infinitely rather have a Democrat, but at least Egg has a moral framework.
posted by Frowner at 8:13 PM on December 16, 2016 [23 favorites]


Yes, she did. But you and the media weren't listening.

I'm skeptical of a lot of the takes that blame the media but I think the media did fail to convey in a positive and straightforward way what Hillary Clinton offered. I dunno, maybe my media intake tends to be negative. Maybe I've just made myself a friend of Vox! Negative commentary about Trump (of which there was lots) alone didn't cut it because a.) his whole message was pretty negative, and saying "fuck you" to the establishment part of it, and b.) he had his own network of truly enthusiastic supporters to tell his story for him. So all that coverage just meant more visibility for his favorite brand name.

(Still not absolving the Clinton campaign here. Stuff like "America is already great" are you fucking kidding me?)
posted by atoxyl at 8:14 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump Has a Plan to Break Up the EU

No, that's a longstanding Russi--- oh.
posted by rokusan at 8:16 PM on December 16, 2016 [34 favorites]


We should be trying, from the poster on the net to the national politician, to get under his skin, so we can have as many "no-puppet, no-puppet" moments as possible.

Yep, Evan McMullin has goaded Trump into saying his (nick)name by calling him out repeatedly on twitter. (Trump had made several previous rally references where he referred to McMullin as "some guy in Utah".) And now he's trending.

Vanity Fair? Same thing. Hilarious restaurant takedown --> tweet --> massive subscription boost.

Best thing Keith Ellison could do if he gets the DNC Chair gig is work to recruit House candidates who will *thrive* on that sort of thing for 2018. Like, regardless of their particular policies, they need the right sort of cheerfully pugnacious personality to go with it. Find the people who will bust out in a huge grin when their staffers tell them that Trump tweeted @ them personally.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [21 favorites]




He isn't wrong.
posted by Justinian at 8:22 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


It doesn't even matter to anybody strategizing here that there's a real possibility it won't matter how much we organize or campaign or otherwise persuade and do politics in the future if our campaign and election processes have been captured by Russian hackers and spies?

I think it should be thoroughly investigated. I'd want to make sure there was not e.g. a full-on hack of voting though I'm not that confident we'd ever find out if there was. I would like to know, as somebody who has had opinions about their contents, if any of the DNC emails were doctored - I believe there is evidence that at least some are authentic. I am still not feeling like "Russian dudes spear-phished John Podesta" rises to the level of "the electoral process was captured by hackers and spies."
posted by atoxyl at 8:23 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Keith Ellison Just Made North Carolina Politics A Democratic Party Fight: Ellison says the DNC has a responsibility to take on Republican lawmakers in the state.

Well thank fucking God. The fact that every Dem leader isn't out there screaming bloody murder about this is enraging.

*searches for Chuck+Schumer+North+Carolina*
posted by lalex at 8:24 PM on December 16, 2016 [28 favorites]


What's most embarrassing is that American action movies spent 35 years talking about how much ass we'd kick if Russia ever fucked with us. What actually happened was Republicans were in the crowd cheering on Ivan Drago while he beat Apollo Creed to death.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:26 PM on December 16, 2016 [56 favorites]


Perez also made a statement about NC.

@TomPerez:
I'm angry, and you should be too. We can't stand for this denigration of our democracy. My statement
posted by chris24 at 8:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


There's more evidence than just the leaks: Russia also had squads of hackers manipulating comment boards to troll people, evidence of at least attempts to hack some elections systems, and weird disagreements between exit polling and final results in some key states. A lot of our voting systems are still purely electronic, without even the possibility of manual hand recounts, and the voting software is known to security experts to be vulnerable and has been hacked in demonstrations many times. If Russia's covert operations against the U.S. really have been stepped up to higher levels than the Cold War, if that energy was largely directed at outright stealing our elections, they could have gone to those lengths. But you're right, atoxyl: we couldn't prove the election rigging, specifically, because there's not enough accountability built into our polling and elections processes.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:32 PM on December 16, 2016 [13 favorites]




Trump finds an unlikely partner: Chuck Schumer
Oh great. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is working with Trump
Schumer and Pelosi Have a Plan to Make Trump Popular


Let's make the best possible assumption here: they are floating this as a trial balloon to see how much the Democratic electorate pushes back and supports them in resisting. So call your Democratic Senators and Representatives and say: "Are you idiots out of your damned minds!?"
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:38 PM on December 16, 2016 [24 favorites]


Yeah and Schumer also spent probably $7 million on ads for himself in a state where he was leading by 40 POINTS. I'm honestly pissed that he just won reelection because I have some energy I'd like to channel into a primary opponent.
posted by lalex at 8:38 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Complaining about professional commenters on message boards is a slippery slope when the Clinton campaign also hired and paid those, remember.

Exit polling also differed widely in many states during both primaries, long before the general election's disparities, especially in electronic-only districts. It's one of the things that the more suspicious Sanders supporters were very upset about.

I'm not saying these are nothing issues, but I think it's better to take shots from outside glass houses, you know?

Focus should be on the integrity of the voting and collating machines, possible hacks thereof, and on the systemic voter suppression, purges and gerrymandering. Those are things that have to be fixed systemically for the future to even work, and that nobody on the Dem side (I hope) has taken much part in, making them much firmer moral grounds.
posted by rokusan at 8:39 PM on December 16, 2016


Clinton didn't hire poor Macedonians at a pittance to build hundreds of fake news websites did she? Have Democrats been doing that and I just hadn't heard about it because of my personal online media bubble? Reality bubbles suck. We should discourage them.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:45 PM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ron Wyden is speaking out more forcefully: new statement today.

Wyden summarizing these concerns earlier today on Twitter: "Our democracy, and its independence from foreign interference, is at stake."

Wyden rang the bell on mass surveillance and secret legal interpretations of the Patriot Act before these issues got mainstream traction. When he says that our democracy is at stake, I take him seriously.
posted by compartment at 8:48 PM on December 16, 2016 [26 favorites]


No, of course not, the Clinton campaign paid much better, I am sure, but that wasn't really my point. The fact that the Correct the Record troops even exist(ed) makes it the wrong thing to complain about re Republicans, no matter who's footing the bill. The Dems participated in the astroturf fake-comment war, so they can't act outraged that it hurt them.

It's all way too I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
posted by rokusan at 8:51 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


"it is critical that the public discussion be informed by facts and the best analysis of the Intelligence Community and the FBI."

I like Wayden's letter because it's concise and calls to action, but that line there... is that a slap? Since when is the FBI not part of the Intelligence Community?
posted by rokusan at 8:54 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


The fact that the Correct the Record troops even exist(ed) makes it the wrong thing to complain about re Republicans

I wouldn't be so annoyed if the Republicans had been doing it on their own behalf; it was the fact that the Russians were doing it.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:54 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


You're not wrong, BJE. I just mean with so many battles to fight, why not pick the ones where the ground is firmest and you're least susceptible to cries of hypocrisy or that whole "everyone was doing it" deflection?
posted by rokusan at 9:00 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Since when is the FBI not part of the Intelligence Community?

Yeah, I noticed that too. I don't think it's intended as a slight. I saw today that the FBI evidently now agrees with the CIA/everybody-else assessment, and I think that Wyden is trying to point out that all intelligence agencies are now in agreement on motive.
posted by compartment at 9:01 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, it's been a long week chez Devonian and not just in the madness of politics. I'm looking forward to the Christmas break, just to gather my thoughts (and dissipate them in excess, but that's part of the process).

Meanwhile, potted comments:

1. I wish people would stop saying 'the popular vote' and just call it 'the vote'. Tautology irks me.

2. I've met the Oracle suits, formally and informally, They are truly evil, in that they know what they're doing and what they're doing is exactly as bad as the haters say. They told me this to my face, knowing I was a journalist and that nothing I could write would make any difference. In that, they are the perfect match to Trump. Pay attention. And, if you are an amoral fuck, buy the stock.

3. NC will go one of two ways - it will ignite an effective opposition to all things Trump, or it will be the template for red states over the next four years. Pray.

4. Don't blame Obama/Clinton/the Left/whoevs. Learn from what happened, but any atom of anger you have to spare needs to be directed forwards, not back. Discipline, y'all.

5. It's going to be a long fight. Do what you need to do for the next month, but come Jan 20th it's game on.
posted by Devonian at 9:09 PM on December 16, 2016 [54 favorites]


I never saw a Correct The Record trooper positively confirmed in the wild through that whole election season. I did get accused of being one, though
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:12 PM on December 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Last 10 Weeks Of 2016 Campaign Stops In One Handy Gif

This is neat! (and depressing.)
posted by lalex at 9:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


God damn where was McMullin in May or April? I voted for him, but only after I was tired of hearing about having two choices and checking out who else was on my ballot.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is neat! (and depressing.)

That is depressing
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:38 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


*shrugs*

If you want to put social justice behind economic justice, be my guest.

Largely because for a good deal of minority voters those two are entwined. Separate them if you can.

I know in my case I do not necessarily get moved by economic justice, given my heretical leanings in favor of liberal economics, but I am willing to compromise those in favor of social justice concerns.

If those social justice concerns are ignored, there is nothing tying me to the Democratic party.
posted by qcubed at 9:51 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


The fact that the Correct the Record troops even exist(ed) makes it the wrong thing to complain about re Republicans, no matter who's footing the bill.

Correct the Record wasn't paid commenters, though. It was just a website people could go to for fact-checking. It's even more innocuous than Bernie, who's PR company ran and populated his subreddit.

Though like everything else about Clinton, I suppose it's not so much the truth that matters as whether it fits into people's preconceptions.
posted by schroedinger at 10:32 PM on December 16, 2016 [27 favorites]


Obama's betting on institutions and constitution. I hope it's enough.
posted by mazola at 10:35 PM on December 16, 2016


Obama has been betting on institutions for his entire career. He apparently hasn't noticed that he's lost nearly every bet since he became President (except his own re-election). If institutions were enough, ACORN would still be in business.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:43 PM on December 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Another day in whackadoodle conspiracy land.

Trump's Newest National Security Staffer Once Suggested Obama Lied About Being Black -- Meet Monica Crowley.


Based on her public statements, Crowley will fit right in with Flynn and Trump. In June 2008, while guest-hosting Laura Ingraham's radio show, Crowley cited a bizarre online "genealogy" (which she acknowledged she couldn't "verify") purporting to demonstrate that Obama is "not black African, he is Arab African." She added: "And yet, this guy is campaigning as black and painting anybody who dares to criticize him as a racist. I mean that is—it is the biggest con I think I've ever seen."
posted by futz at 10:45 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Obama is betting on institutions to resist facsism, when facisism bends institutions slowly to serve it. Case in point: A Sinclair journalist relayed to me during campaign they were told by corporate what questions to ask Trump

Of the signs of democratic weakening, the US is exhibiting nearly every one:

1. Media intimidation and restrictions
2. Identification of crises or political paralysis to justify emergency measures
3. Attacks on minorities; scapegoating foreigners
4. Closing of space for civil society (especially funding restrictions, legal cases, raids
and arrests, etc.)
5. Rhetorical rejection of current political system; discourse shift
6. Expanding the size of courts or other bodies to stack it with partisan judges/officials
7. Modifying rules to impose or eliminate term limits on officials, esp. election officials
8. Weakening of the legislature / intimidation of legislators
9. Silencing of political opposition
10. Significant increase in the internal security forces

posted by T.D. Strange at 10:53 PM on December 16, 2016 [54 favorites]


my heretical leanings in favor of liberal economics

I'm curious what you mean by this.
posted by great_radio at 11:17 PM on December 16, 2016


Weird still to think that - barring the even stranger - in five weeks time Donald Trump will be starting his first full day as President of the United States of America.
posted by Wordshore at 11:30 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


And he'll inherit the fallout from Obama's counter-cyber against Putie poot, but maybe he can have Barron fix that.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:32 PM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was hoping this press conference was going to be something. The hoping was the mistake.
posted by schroedinger at 11:37 PM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yes, hope is now a mistake. If you don't hope, you can't be disappointed.
posted by Justinian at 11:38 PM on December 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Remember the adage that if you throw enough mud/things at the wall something will stick? Yeah, everything seems to be extra sticky these days when thrown by a trumpmski supporter (or those looking to profit off of perpetuating Trumpscovite Propaganda). The Alt-Reich is free to say whatever they want and their minions lap it up.

You cannot imo, win this fight by being measured, reasonable, and factual. That shit as a strategy went out the window almost a decade ago. We are fucked unless we can get dirty too but trying to convince a ton of people who respect science, facts, working together, reality, fairness to get down and dirty is a monster of an obstacle.

I hope that the Obama that we saw today was the Obama who didn't let on (at the The White House Correspondents Dinner) that as he was yukking it up an operation was underway to take out Bin Laden. I hope (that pesky word again) that there are some machinations behind the scenes to stir something up. Maybe not...who knows.
posted by futz at 11:41 PM on December 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Considering that the Oracle RDBMS was developed as a Department of Defense project, is it surprising that the company is heavily intertwined with those 3-letter agencies? Not excusing, just observing.
posted by Altomentis at 12:08 AM on December 17, 2016


[Earlier dumb "superior to Real Americans" derail deleted. Discussions in text form are difficult enough at the best of time; please don't clutter the thread with useless noise.]
posted by taz at 12:16 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not sure which company I'd less rather see working on Trump's Registry of Not Real Americans: Oracle, which has been successfully evil for decades, or Palantir, which is only 12 years old, valued at one-tenth of Oracle, and part-owned by Peter Theil... considering Trump's own business record, I wish Pebble Watch had stayed in business a little longer just so it could get that contract before folding.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:22 AM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


If I had a dollar to spare I might buy Oracle and then funnel the money somewhere useful, like Planned Parenthood or the ACLU...
posted by en forme de poire at 3:33 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


as someone who has used software developed by Oracle that was not their SQL database

Oracle is the best possible company to build tools for the Trump administration, because they will not work.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:25 AM on December 17, 2016 [48 favorites]


A marriage made in heaven - they also won't get paid.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:35 AM on December 17, 2016 [15 favorites]


Putin will pay them.
posted by ian1977 at 4:46 AM on December 17, 2016


Larry Ellison makes Trump look like chump change.
posted by adamvasco at 5:22 AM on December 17, 2016


Watching "Good Morning America" review the evidence that shows Russia's involvement and list options for how we should respond, and discuss "How long can the president elect continue to deny this?" is so amazing to me.

During the election it was so surreal to me that mainstream sources weren't talking about this. Finally. Finally. Finally.

I think this is a good sign that Republicans are acknowledging what has happened (now that they have won the election.) It seems like a sign that they are not going to go along with Trump's alternate reality. In our deeply polarized country, congressional Republicans are really the only ones who can save us. Half the country won't trust anything a Democrat says unless Republican leaders sign on. Good Morning America probably wouldn't report it as fact if the Republican party as a whole were disputing it. I mean, Good Morning America. I used to watch that with my Kanas Republican farmer Grandpa. I think that's a very good sign that Republicans and Republican leaders are going to agree this is a problem. Finally.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:25 AM on December 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


If only Trump could be unpresidented.

@realDonaldTrump:
China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters - rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.
posted by chris24 at 5:41 AM on December 17, 2016 [34 favorites]


unpresidented?????? Freudian slip? one hopes.
posted by ian1977 at 5:43 AM on December 17, 2016 [16 favorites]


There's a good chance he's enough of a moron to nuke someplace in January.
posted by odinsdream at 5:53 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


If that guy has any sort of terminal condition while he is in office we are screwed. No way king baby is dying without taking the world with him.
posted by ian1977 at 5:57 AM on December 17, 2016


Now deleted and replaced with correct spelling by someone not using Android.
posted by chris24 at 6:12 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


IS ARE KIDS LERNIN?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:14 AM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm gonna guess Trump doesn't use spellcheck because he can't stand anyone telling him he's wrong. Even a program.
posted by chris24 at 6:15 AM on December 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm more fascinated by his retweet of @EazyMF_E, "Decorated Veteran of the Great Meme War". Trump retweeted a guy named Eazy Motherfucking-E.
posted by dis_integration at 6:16 AM on December 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Hey, Eazy kicked it with the Republicans.
posted by box at 6:27 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bernie Sanders In A Candid Conversation With Sarah Silverman talk election aftermath at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California on November 29, 2016 (YouTube approx 1 hr).

Also Jamin "Jamie" Raskin is going to be a bright light in the House. He said in his incoming interview (CSPAN video 9min23sec) he is best friends with John Sarbanes. Sarbanes is already a power house, these two could be a real dynamic duo. Maryland always seems to send really good fighters to Congress.
posted by phoque at 6:29 AM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


The spelling is less an issue for me except that (a) this is a diplomatic message (b) it took 87 minutes for unknown hands to correct it (c) there is no process
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:36 AM on December 17, 2016 [23 favorites]


Hillary Clinton on Thursday night attributed her defeat to a convergence of two “unprecedented” events: the release of a letter by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, shortly before the election, and what she called an “attack against our country” by the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.

Obama's low-key, I'm not-angry-I'm-disappointed press conference would have sat with me a lot better if he'd announced Comey's firing or at least resignation.

Comey's intervention was unprecedented and must be punished. Fire him.
posted by Gelatin at 6:42 AM on December 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


The spelling error is a reminder that in addition to being a craven evil greedy piece of shit, our President Elect really is just an abysmally stupid person. "Unprecedented" is not an obscure word by any means, and people have been using it to refer to him and his actions on a daily basis. Is he hearing "unpresidented" when someone says it on CNN? What does he think it means?
posted by contraption at 6:49 AM on December 17, 2016 [34 favorites]


He's, like, a smart person.
posted by EarBucket at 6:55 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


he really does have the best words
posted by localhuman at 6:57 AM on December 17, 2016 [17 favorites]


Now deleted and replaced with correct spelling by someone not using Android.

Fortunately for future historians, the original utterances are preserved on @RealRealDonaldTrump.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:00 AM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


As a knotted rope tossed from above to help us climb out of the pit of despair, let's remember that 2016 was also the year of a second Donald, the yang reflection of the yin of Donald J. Trump: the multitalented Donald Glover, whose series Atlanta is climbing to the top of 2016 "best of" lists; who as Childish Gambino has inspired us with the brilliant album Awaken, My Love (SLYT), recently appearing live on Fallon; who's the author of lyrics --"Little hands, little feet/Tiny heart, tiny beat"--which my brain incorrectly processes as a sly reference to Trump; and who, for the maraschino cherry on top, was cast a few months ago as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars.
posted by Gordion Knott at 7:00 AM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm more fascinated by his retweet of @EazyMF_E, "Decorated Veteran of the Great Meme War."

Eazy Motherfucking E is a punk-ass chump. I'm a decorated veteran of a thousand Psychic Wars.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Guardian is also keeping track.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:08 AM on December 17, 2016


Trump retweeted a guy named Eazy Motherfucking-E.

The problem is that every time he raises hell and gets caught he makes bail.
posted by Talez at 7:10 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


On Friday, in a press conference at the White House, Barack Obama had cautioned Trump against allowing relations with China to slip into “full conflict mode”.

Politest way ever to say "Shut the fuck up, n00b."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:11 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


245 new comments (I give up. I mean, good stuff, but I'm running out of time.)
posted by pjmoy at 7:13 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Eazy Motherfucking E is a punk-ass chump.

Child, disrespecting members of NWA who are curb-stomping LAPD in heaven is no way to go through life.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:23 AM on December 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


(I mean, I know you were speaking of the twitter account owner, not the actual Mr. E, but I'm pretty sure disrespect is transitive)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:24 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The spelling error is a reminder that in addition to being a craven evil greedy piece of shit, our President Elect really is just an abysmally stupid person. "Unprecedented" is not an obscure word by any means, and people have been using it to refer to him and his actions on a daily basis.

It's not even this, it's not just a typo. Having an error like that in what is now official presidential communications tells us he's still doing these things alone, without vetting through his own advisors, much less in consultation with any part of the security state. Not State, Defense, NSA, no one. He's just popping off at a nuclear power completely on his own.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:26 AM on December 17, 2016 [67 favorites]


Dear America, Why Did You Let Us Down? I have embarrassment of grief for a government that is not mine and for a country that does not belong to me. It feels as if we’re mourning the death of an idea called America.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:37 AM on December 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


Vox House conservatives will try to kill Michelle Obama’s surprisingly successful anti-obesity campaign

I'm embarrassed that in addition to working with public school lunchrooms, planting a White House Garden, and improving nutritional labels, I did not know she also did this:
The Partnership for a Healthier America, which launched in conjunction with (but independent from) the Let’s Move campaign, helped get food companies — such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and General Mills — to commit to cutting calories from the food supply. At the latest count in April, it had already removed 6.4 trillion calories (or 78 calories per person) by reformulating products and shrinking serving sizes.
But naturally the Freedom Caucus wants to make sure that American companies are free to stuff their sugary, fat-laden food into the public schools so that American children will be free to be American-sized.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2016 [20 favorites]


Politico ‘It Was My Primal Scream’

I could not even finish reading this because it is so enraging. It profiles a long time Democrat who chose to vote for DJT because Bernie did not win the primary so therefore the DNC had to be punished.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:54 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bernie, who's PR company ran and populated his subreddit.

Where can I read more about Bernie's PR company and the campaign they put together for him?
posted by Coventry at 8:02 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whatever good Bernie did by talking about economic issues was offset by the damage caused by his own personality cult.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:05 AM on December 17, 2016 [26 favorites]


I could not even finish reading this because it is so enraging. It profiles a long time Democrat who chose to vote for DJT because Bernie did not win the primary so therefore the DNC had to be punished.

Oh my god, read to the end:
Cohen is sickened, too, by the hate-mongering she has seen surrounding the Trump campaign, but she doubts things will get much worse than they are already for people of color just because Trump is in the White House. Her biggest concern remains: How will her party reclaim its liberal mission?

“I hope I never have to vote for a Republican ever again,” Cohen said.
Hang on, I feel a scream of rage coming myself.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:08 AM on December 17, 2016 [42 favorites]


Politico ‘It Was My Primal Scream’

From the article: "She is among the 10 percent of liberals, 8 percent of blacks and 42 percent of women who voted for Trump."

You know what? According to the same New York Times exit poll data for 2012, 11% of liberals, 6% of blacks and 44% of women voted for Romney. So other than not doing quite as well as the first black president with blacks, Clinton outperformed Obama with these demographics. But sure, go find someone to support your agenda Politico. You can always find someone who voted seemingly bizarrely if you look. But let's make drastic policy decisions as a party based on anecdata.
posted by chris24 at 8:12 AM on December 17, 2016 [45 favorites]


Atlantic Newt Gingrich Tries to Explain How Trump Will Remake America

In which Newt speaks to a crowd at a Heritage Foundation event. My favorite pull quote:
“I expect Trump to do what he says he’s gonna do … to make America great again,” Small chimed in. “If I have to tell somebody what that is, they don’t even know what I’m talking about.”
DJT really did an amazing job with that MAGA slogan because it can be interpreted any way you like, even if you can't explain it. I'm sure for the WWC voter in Wisconsin, the Oil man in Texas, and the farmer in Iowa MAGA means different things but no one will ever pin them down or force them to vocalize what exactly the slogan means to them.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:15 AM on December 17, 2016 [11 favorites]


It profiles a long time Democrat who chose to vote for DJT because Bernie did not win the primary

She threw a tantrum and she got President Tantrum. She got just what she wanted.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:19 AM on December 17, 2016 [27 favorites]


During Clinton’s campaign this year, Cohen was angrily reminded of a comment from the former first lady in 1996, when she called young black criminals “super predators.”

Remember when Trump took out full page ads in multiple papers calling for the execution of the Central Park 5? And then said in October he still thought they were guilty and he didn't regret that even though they'd been cleared by DNA evidence? Good times.
posted by chris24 at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2016 [27 favorites]


This headline from WaPo is so apt: "toddler tries to calm his ‘vicious, violent, screaming’ supporters"
posted by Dashy at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


(I have the Firefox extension that places the term 'toddler' where it is appropriate)
posted by Dashy at 8:40 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Remember when Trump took out full page ads in multiple papers calling for the execution of the Central Park 5? And then said in October he still thought they were guilty and he didn't regret that even though they'd been cleared by DNA evidence? Good times.

I had forgotten that (even thought I commented on it at the time! There's just so much bad!) and just got hit by another wave of grief.
posted by lalex at 8:40 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Rise of the Alt-Center
posted by adamvasco at 8:42 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Look, maybe we've been overthinking it and diplomatic missives never needed more than 140 characters, and maybe a meme
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Look, maybe we've been overthinking it and diplomatic missives never needed more than 140 characters, and maybe a meme

Welp, we're definitely about to find out if this theory is true.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:57 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


> You know what? According to the same New York Times exit poll data for 2012, 11% of liberals, 6% of blacks and 44% of women voted for Romney.

Sure, but Romney was manifestly more qualified than Trump for the office, so one would hope that Trump's vote share among those groups, particularly self-described liberals, would be a small fraction of Romney's. Of course Politico is cherry-picking for yet another click-baity "Democrats in disarray" story, but that doesn't mean there aren't lessons that can be learned.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:59 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Khrushchev's telegram to Kennedy should have been a tweetstorm ending with a mushrrom gif.
posted by Coventry at 9:03 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


@HeerJeet
If USA becomes embroiled in a conflict with China, Russia would have an ideal time to push for hegemony in Eastern Europe. Just saying.
posted by chris24 at 9:05 AM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Sure, but Romney was manifestly more qualified than Trump for the office

Only in traditional ways. If you want a racist demagogue, or someone to blow it all up to start again, not unheard of on the left, Trump is the better candidate.
posted by chris24 at 9:06 AM on December 17, 2016


I think that Eric Garland tweet storm is mostly ridiculous too, but come on, Slate:
The “leaked” CIA concerns over Russian meddling were quite clearly leaked deliberately by the CIA itself, an organization not exactly famed for its commitment to the truth; they’re the conclusions of an investigation that hasn’t even happened yet and on which there’s no consensus even among the gang of petty Caligulas that calls itself the intelligence community.
His bullshit doesn't justify yours. The upcoming investigation(s) are built on existing investigations for which, yes, there is consensus in the intelligence community, even ratfucking Comey got on board. This is garbage, you're spewing garbage.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:06 AM on December 17, 2016 [16 favorites]


> Only in traditional ways. If you want a racist demagogue, or someone to blow it all up to start again, not unheard of on the left, Trump is the better candidate.

Yeah, but wasn't the latter (blow it all up) precisely the point of the Politico piece?
Cohen doesn't regret her radical act of defiance. She feels that by helping take the Democrats to rock bottom, they’ve been “given a gift” to rebuild their party.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:08 AM on December 17, 2016


Politico is once again living up to their Tiger Beat on the Potomac moniker.
posted by hydropsyche at 9:09 AM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, but wasn't the latter (blow it all up) precisely the point of the Politico piece?

Yes, she got what she wanted. My point is that there are people like this in every election. There's nothing magical about Clinton, Trump and this year. When you're talking 8% and 10% of a demographic, there's always some wackos. Hell, those numbers are way below the 27% crazification factor
posted by chris24 at 9:11 AM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


The 27% crazification factor is a fun concept, but it's not really a thing. "Politico is nutpicking" and "Democrats lost a lot of very gettable votes in a close election because of some combination of Clinton's negatives, the perception of a corrupt DNC, Bernie's refusal to gracefully concede after he'd lost, etc." can both be true.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:18 AM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


We are actually at the point apparently where I am having nightmares about living imprisoned in camps with other people under vaguely Nazi-ish authority. My only comfort is even in the dreams I am trying to resist.

It occurs to me to remind that if anyone wants to brainstorm ways to peel Republicans away from the New Fascism of Trump, my memail is always open. Because fuck this bullshit.
posted by corb at 9:20 AM on December 17, 2016 [21 favorites]




The "blow it all up and rebuild" caucus has never made any sense. Where's the historical example where that worked? Where a right wing demagogue took power, only to be swiftly toppled and social democracy arise in his wake? Nazi Germany? Well, even setting aside the, let's call it, "collateral social costs", it took an invading army to execute the "blow it all up" portion after the dictator gained power. And there's no force on earth that can repeat that sequence of events against the US.

Dictators don't just get power, and everyone suddenly decide, "you know what, this is wrong, let's do liberal utopia instead" and the tyrant slinks away in disgrace.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:29 AM on December 17, 2016 [40 favorites]


I know it's not a thing, just a reference we use here. And I agree that there's votes that were lost for a variety of reasons that would be great to know. But when you're dealing with such small percentages of pretty small demographics in notoriously inaccurate exit polls, saying Trump should've gotten say 1 in 12 liberals instead of 1 in 10 liberals since he was worse than Romney seems to be underestimating the margins of error and the reality that within such small subgroups, it's hard to say what elements makes a person go one way or another. He probably did do worse with some types of liberals, and better with others. All the things you listed could've made liberals go against Clinton. Or it could've been misogyny, Trump's authoritarianism, his racism, accelerationism, etc. all things that definitely exist in some corners of the left. Anyway, to make a long story longer, all I'm saying is that saying Trump should've done worse with some subgroups ignores that it's really hard to tell why people do things and pretty easy to make up that small of group.
posted by chris24 at 9:30 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, a lot of the great welfare state policies in European nations were passed after WWII. Of course, a lot of that was because large portions of the European right wing had either been killed fighting for the Nazis or jailed for siding with them...
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oracle's been evil since.... well, since ever. It's right up there with big banks and oil companies, in terms of glowingly-toxic unethical investments.

I held a minimal stake to receive shareholder documents and other information in an effort to keep tabs ever since Ellison began flying his helo over my (once upon a time) neighborhood at all hours of the day and night. Even that doesn't feel okay any more. But thanks for the scolding!
posted by sutureselves at 9:36 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


It feels as if we’re mourning the death of an idea called America.

We ARE.
posted by yoga at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


Agh, this dumb-ass on my FB feed, this guy who is the "morning DJ" on a conservative FM radio station here in Athens, GA, just wrote that Obama said in his press conference that he wants to take away Wyoming's senators. All of his Trump-supporting followers are freaking out about it. "Oh no," they are saying, "Obama wants to take away Wyoming's senators!"

Obama's point was obviously that a populous state like California should not have the same number of senators as a sparsely populated state like Wyoming. But, whatever, radio man.

Obama: "Now, some of that is just the nature of our system, and geography. As long as Wyoming gets the same number of senators as California, there’s going to be some tilt towards Republicans when it comes to congressional races. The fact that a lot of Democratic voters are bunched up in big cities, and a lot of Republican voters are spread out across geography gives them an advantage when it comes to congressional races."
posted by staggering termagant at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think this is a good sign that Republicans are acknowledging what has happened (now that they have won the election.) It seems like a sign that they are not going to go along with Trump's alternate reality. In our deeply polarized country, congressional Republicans are really the only ones who can save us. Half the country won't trust anything a Democrat says unless Republican leaders sign on.

I'm coming off the tail end of two 1.25hr phone conversations with family members about why I'm acting so afraid, and... well, while I agree with you that congressional Republicans are the only ones who can save us, those conversations have primarily left me even more sure that those Republicans are going to hope everything is going to work out for the best and leave all the rest of us to hang in the goddamn wind.

So be it. Like I said the other day, like I have said to every Republican who might listen to me for five minutes, the things the Republican Party chooses to do now will write the way we remember them for the next fifty years. I'm so tired, but the responses I'm getting tell me that Republican partisans are--even the ones who trumpeted "honorable opposition" so hard in previous years--racing to lick the boots of the new boss in the hopes that if they try hard enough, the situation will magically become normal enough to keep us all alive. That's fine, I guess; if they want to become the party of traitors, by god I'll scream that into their faces for all the good it will do me. I keep asking "What do you stand for?" and I get uncomfortable backpedaling; well, if they're guilty, all the better.

I don't give a shit if I'm imprecise with my language right now. I have stopped caring about "just as bad." I have stopped caring about perfect arguments. All I think will work is a loud and purely driven scream of outrage, with no second-guessing or quiet well actuallys. I appreciate a good pedant as well as the next woman, but pedantry will only serve to derail us now. We need to move, and if we don't go in the most perfect of all directions, at least we'll have gotten somewhere.
posted by sciatrix at 10:01 AM on December 17, 2016 [33 favorites]




And by everything I hold dear, I will cloak myself in the colors of the American flag--not the flag itself, I know my goddamn flag code unlike too many of these assholes--and every bit of the faith I was raised with and cherished about the ideals I thought my country stood for to do it. Because that's why we're worth fucking fighting for. Like Blue Jello Elf said upthread--we need people who will see Trump wail and grin, because they're not afraid of a fight. That's the spirit I'm trying to foster in the people around me who are scared. As long as there are enough of us who say "Oh yeah? Well fuck you too, pal," it's harder for Trump and his thugs to pick us off one by one. But there have to be enough of us supporting that spirit to normalize it, and we have to throw ourselves behind it.

Millions for war, not one red cent for tribute, right? Well, then, if it's a war these fascists want it's a war they'll get--as long as they rely on our institutions for the legitimacy required to run the nation, they can be attacked using those institutions. If they try to bend the institutions to give them legitimacy for evil, we can watch them and take action to penalize them. Stubbornness and patriotism are for all of us, and this is my home, I won't be ashamed of it when it's being threatened.
posted by sciatrix at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2016 [53 favorites]


I wish I could compose a "fuck yeah sciatrix" song.
posted by corb at 10:16 AM on December 17, 2016 [15 favorites]


I'm going to go watch the first Captain America movie again now. That's the kind of American I want to be; that's what I stand for. And I need the reminder that that's still a symbol I can celebrate.
posted by sciatrix at 10:21 AM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


China has agreed to return the drone. I assume Trump will claim credit on account of his unpresidented tweet?
posted by zachlipton at 10:23 AM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Whatever good Bernie did by talking about economic issues was offset by the damage caused by his own personality cult.

A. there was never a good personality cult
B. if the Democrats (the left, progressives, whatever) manage to revitalize in a potent way by, at least in part, working from aspects of Bernie's playbook, that will mitigate a lot.
posted by philip-random at 10:28 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hamilton Nolan, The Concourse (Deadspin): The Government Is Out Of The Equality Business
Yesterday, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released its annual economic report, showcasing the administration’s economic achievements over the past eight years. The chapter titled “Progress Reducing Inequality” notes that if our level of inequality was the same as it was 40 years ago, the average American household would be earning $9,000 more per year. (If the average American household earned $9,000 more per year, Donald Trump would not be president, I wager.)

This report is a political document, but it contains inarguable facts: Obamacare has given health insurance to 20 million new people; his tax policies have taken 9% out of the incomes of the top 0.1%, and slightly raised the after-tax incomes of the poorest fifth of Americans; and the minimum wage increases that Obama advocates would help also, if he could ever get them through Congress. Still, the modest nature of our current administration’s accomplishments in stemming the ever-increasing flow of wealth to the richest Americans is well summed up by this: “From the business cycle peak in 1979 to the business cycle peak in 2007, the after-tax income share of the top 1 percent more than doubled. Changes in tax policy and the coverage provisions of the ACA have rolled back one-third of the decline in the share of after-tax income accruing to the bottom quintile of households over this period and one-tenth of the increase in the share accruing to the top 1 percent of households.”

Obama, in other words, has pushed the enormous boulder a few feet up the hill. What can we expect from our president-elect on this front? We can expect the exact opposite.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:29 AM on December 17, 2016 [24 favorites]


I have embarrassment of grief for a government that is not mine and for a country that does not belong to me. It feels as if we’re mourning the death of an idea called America.

get in line. I've been doing that since at least 1972 when Richard Nixon got re-elected with one of the biggest majorities ever. I would've been thirteen at the time.
posted by philip-random at 10:31 AM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


That's the spirit I'm trying to foster in the people around me who are scared. As long as there are enough of us who say "Oh yeah? Well fuck you too, pal," it's harder for Trump and his thugs to pick us off one by one.

This is why I think things like SNL political sketches are going to be incredibly important over the next few years. Witnessing other people resist, whether that means fighting politically or lampooning on a sketch show, is going to be critical to reducing regular people's fear. And if he's tweeting @ everyone, his MAGA squad can't focus their attacks.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:41 AM on December 17, 2016 [15 favorites]


Obama, in other words, has pushed the enormous boulder a few feet up the hill. What can we expect from our president-elect on this front? We can expect the exact opposite.

The exact opposite would be a few feet back. PEOTUS is going to let go of the boulder completely.
posted by Gaz Errant at 10:43 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Commenting from outside the US here, I've been appalled at seeing the normalisation of profoundly unacceptable language and concepts throughout the campaign, and am fearful for the whole world as a result of the outcome. I'm hanging on these threads, because it is hard to find a well moderated voice of reasonableness anywhere, and MF is really coming through. I find the language of bipartisanship to be failing though. The US was founded on the assumption that there would be two major parties, roughly evenly matched, with no particular moral difference. The differences were meant to be technical, no matter how passionate. That has not been the case at least since the snarling venom of the attempt to impeach Clinton, and the spread of "conservative" talk radio pundits.

Given that it is broken, the framing of political discourse as R vs D, as conservatives vs liberals, seems to pretend that things are as they used to be. Of course they aren't, and that ain't coming back. From over here, it looks like decency itself is broken, so identifying the side that insists on decency as the "liberals" or the "democrats" doesn't help. I don't know how you change that framing without complete change of the institutional basis.
posted by stonepharisee at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Correct the Record wasn't paid commenters, though. It was just a website people could go to for fact-checking.

You're kidding, right? I don't want to digress way over the line of re-litigating anything, but CTR used/uses its budget to influence social media websites. That means astroturfing, and it's not robots doing it, it's commenters on social media websites.

There's a bushel of information on this in the The Google, including stories from all manner of mainstream reports, so there should be a source or two anyone can trust. Heck, almost all my print and web media is left-leaning unless I make a specific effort to go outside of that once and awhile, and during the campaign it was almost impossible to not read about their efforts, which go way beyond just a passive "website for fact-checking."

(I didn't realize this was actually debatable/denied. Yes, the Clinton campaign had/has its own army of commenters/trolls/correctors... whatever. I don't even necessarily think this is a bad thing, really, in that it's a necessary evil these days -- many/most big corporations do it, too, after all, and I'm confident we will never again see a campaign without them, from anyone. But to deny they even exist? What's the point of that? I only brought it up to say that if we choose to attack Trump or Republicans for having paid trolls, we'd best be very ready for blowback, so it's probably wiser to pick another topic to be outraged about. There are so many, after all.)
posted by rokusan at 11:09 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Obama, in other words, has pushed the enormous boulder a few feet up the hill...

PEOTUS is going to let go of the boulder completely.


There's an easy joke here about hand-size, if anyone's feeling cheap today.
posted by rokusan at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


rokusan, I'd actually love to see any reputable source confirming that CTR employees were paid to pose as "normal" commenters and astroturf websites.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 11:16 AM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Correct The Record wasn't even ran by Clinton.
posted by Yowser at 11:18 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump Supporter and [black] Man He Sucker Punched at a Rally Embraced in a Forgiving Hug

The assailant's non-apology is despicable. His victim is more forgiving than I would be.
posted by Coventry at 11:23 AM on December 17, 2016


In silly resistance news, the dictionary is making fun of "unpresidented".
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 11:26 AM on December 17, 2016 [14 favorites]


The US was founded on the assumption that there would be two major parties, roughly evenly matched, with no particular moral difference.

That's not really accurate. The Federalists and anti-Federalist Democratic-Republicans evolved out of the debate over the framing and ratification of the Constitution; there was no widespread assumption in the initial move for independence or founding of the nation that parties ("factions," as Washington disapprovingly called them), whether two or five or twelve of them, would be part of the deal, necessarily.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:31 AM on December 17, 2016 [16 favorites]


> I never saw a Correct The Record trooper positively confirmed in the wild through that whole election season. I did get accused of being one, though

They were fairly easy to spot because hundreds of them would pop up repeating identical talking points within a couple hours of each other. We didn't see much of that here, because we have really good human moderators, but they were all over the place on poorly moderated sites like Daily Kos.

Their main focus seemed to be trying to drive progressive and working-class Democrats out of the Party through constant harassment and telling them they were not welcome in the Party, and trying to discredit progressive policies. Their anti-progressive talking points were often very much at odds with Hilary Clinton's actual policy positions and track record.

I don't think there's any doubt about the existence Correct The Record's internet warriors. They publicly recruited volunteers and later bragged about their success. Coordinated attacks using the same talking points are easy to recognize. That doesn't mean they were paid internet warriors, though. I think they were mostly volunteers. This doesn't have any bearing on how we should feel about the Russian government engaging in similar tactics to support Trump. We need to think about how combat this type of thing, since it's going to a part of any political campaign that attracts a lot of attention, whether or not foreign actors are involved.
posted by nangar at 11:36 AM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm sure there'll be no shortage of books about the online astroturf wars in six months or so. In addition to the Russian troll factories and David Brooks's army of nerd virgins, I imagine there are a half-dozen other groups we don't already know about, really. It's new-normal.

Again, not admonishing Clinton or her campaign or her PACs for this, only saying we probably shouldn't pretend that only those other guys do it. It's like complaining that they take big-money donations from Wall Street: true, but makes no strategic sense. It's now very common and probably outright necessary, in an arms-race sort of way, to employ astroturfing trolls, robots and other trickery. You can't unilaterally disarm, or you lose.

Heck, just watching the internet the last couple of decades (and I remember the breakthrough when this weird web thing started up, not to mention the first time a video moved!), it definitely seems the number of real people has stayed about the same over the years, only to be drowned in a sea of new "users", bots and software-assisted agents. The actual people won't even be needed for much longer: I imagine it all ends with half of the robots arguing with the other half, forever.
posted by rokusan at 11:36 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


In CTR's own words:
Lessons learned from online engagement with Bernie Bros during the Democratic Primary will be applied to the rest of the primary season and general electionresponding quickly and forcefully to negative attacks and false narratives. Additionally, as the general election approaches, the task force will begin to push out information to Sanders supporters online, encouraging them to support Hillary Clinton.

The task force currently combats online political harassment, having already addressed more than 5,000 individuals who have personally attacked Secretary Clinton on Twitter.
posted by Coventry at 11:39 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Their main focus seemed to be trying to drive progressive and working-class Democrats out of the Party through constant harassment and telling them they were not welcome in the Party, and trying to discredit progressive policies. Their anti-progressive talking points were often very much at odds with Hilary Clinton's actual policy positions and track record.

Can you cite some evidence for this claim and that it was Correct The Record? I'm not defending them, but it seems like the kind of thing that should have some evidence attached.
posted by zachlipton at 11:42 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Correct The Record wasn't even ran by Clinton.

Maybe not, but when it came to online astroturfing they thought they could coordinate.
SuperPACs aren’t supposed to coordinate with candidates. The whole reasoning behind (Supreme Court decision) Citizens United rests on (PACs) being independent, but Correct the Record claims it can coordinate,” Watson told The Daily Beast. “It’s not totally clear what their reasoning is, but it seems to be that material posted on the Internet for free—like, blogs—doesn’t count as an ‘independent expenditure.’”
posted by Coventry at 11:43 AM on December 17, 2016


Sady Doyle on Ivanka Trump:
And Ivanka Trump—blond, pretty, well-mannered, given massive amounts of power over the citizenry thanks to nothing but her genetic makeup—is the closest thing we'll get to a princess. Which is how we'll all get to find out: Princesses are terrifying.

[...] The goal of Trumpism is not to benefit women. The goal is to benefit one woman, Ivanka, or the one type of woman she represents. She provides her father with a human credential and downplays his sexism; in exchange, she gains an invaluable boost for her aspirational lifestyle brand (only $10,800 for the bracelet Ivanka wore on 60 Minutes!) and the opportunity to charge strangers $50,000 for a "coffee chat," thus proving that women really can succeed after all. We're not meant to benefit from her; we're meant to look at her, and think about how we can be more like her. We're meant to blame ourselves for falling short, as we have with every other Exceptional Woman to date. Ivanka is the Disney princess; we're the peasant chorus members who watch, and serve, and sigh at her pretty hair. Hell, maybe we'll even pitch in some background vocals on a few of the big musical numbers. Peasants always do, in those movies, even though they're probably all starving.
posted by lalex at 11:45 AM on December 17, 2016 [27 favorites]


That's kind of brilliant.

It's the same as how 'Trumpism' doesn't benefit all men, only Donald and his type.
posted by rokusan at 11:47 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't know how I feel about that, because I do think that Ivanka is probably the only person who can influence Trump, and I don't think her policy ideas are nearly as horrible. So at this point, if it takes a princess to save us, I'm not going to complain that loud.
posted by corb at 11:48 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


That Sady Doyle piece is in Elle, by the way. Women's magazines have doing some of the absolute best political reporting and commentary this cycle.
posted by lalex at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2016 [27 favorites]


I also have a hard time hating on Ivanka yet, because she does seem to be the adult in the room a lot of the time -- and how funny is that? -- but it's soooo easy to imagine her upbringing leading us to our own let them eat cake moment, that I worry anytime she's near a microphone.
posted by rokusan at 11:51 AM on December 17, 2016


Ivanka's superpower is some how making people think she's not as bad as her dad and brothers.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:52 AM on December 17, 2016 [54 favorites]


What evidence has Ivanka offered that suggests she's going to lift a finger to save us? Aside from Sheryl Sanberg-level feminism, has she ever expressed an ideological commitment to anything, like, ever?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:54 AM on December 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


Probably true, Ray. Probably true. I suppose that'll make her the most dangerous in Act 3.
posted by rokusan at 11:54 AM on December 17, 2016


The US was founded on the assumption that there would be two major parties, roughly evenly matched, with no particular moral difference.

No, this is completely untrue. It was founded on the assumption there would be *no* parties and that we'd all be motivated to work together to perfect the union in line with enlightenment ideals.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:56 AM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


What evidence has Ivanka offered that suggests she's going to lift a finger to save us? Aside from Sheryl Sanberg-level feminism, has she ever expressed an ideological commitment to anything, like, ever?

I say this not in defense of Ivanka, since I have little faith in her being all that different than the others of her family, but she is alleged to be the one who had Gore and, heh, DiCaprio meet with Trump on global warming issues, and has at least made some show of concern over LGBTQ and women's rights in some limited areas in addition to having been at least a nominal Democrat for a while, so I won't completely rule out some mitigating influence from her in some areas, which would be a plus, but as I say, I won't count on it either.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:00 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


It was founded on the assumption there would be *no* parties and that we'd all be motivated to work together to perfect the union in line with enlightenment ideals.
Because land-owning white males were the only human beings capable of enlightenment ideals.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:01 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


My favorite line from the Sadie Doyle essay was, "The overall effect is both soothing and dystopian, like watching a ladies' yogurt ad directed by Leni Riefenstahl."
posted by ChuraChura at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2016 [32 favorites]


The US was founded on the assumption that there would be two major parties, roughly evenly matched

Dude, no. You may not enter Election Thread before seeing Hamilton.

It's like Rule One of Thread.
posted by rokusan at 12:02 PM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


Ivanka doesn't even offer parental leave to her employees.

She steals designs from other companies.

She outsources manufacturing to China despite full-throated support of a campaign to bring manufacturing jobs to America.

You think she gives a shit about anyone but herself? Who are you going to believe, her or your lying eyes?
posted by Yowser at 12:03 PM on December 17, 2016 [49 favorites]


I like the disclosure at the end of the Elle article: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Hearst Magazines
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:05 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


You may not enter Election Thread before seeing Hamilton.

Speaking of privileges afforded largely* to wealthy white people....

Oh, you mean *listened* to Hamilton? Carry on, then.

* As with early suffrage, some exceptions apply.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 12:09 PM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Zadie Smith On Optimism and Despair: On November 10 The New York Times reported that nearly seven in ten Republicans prefer America as it was in the 1950s, a nostalgia of course entirely unavailable to a person like me, for in that period I could not vote, marry my husband, have my children, work in the university I work in, or live in my neighborhood. Time travel is a discretionary art: a pleasure trip for some and a horror story for others. Meanwhile some on the left have time travel fancies of their own, imagining that the same rigid ideological principles once applied to the matters of workers’ rights, welfare, and trade can be applied unchanged to a globalized world of fluid capital.
posted by TwoStride at 12:09 PM on December 17, 2016 [17 favorites]


Dude, no. You may not enter Election Thread before seeing Hamilton

That's expensive and thousands of miles away from many Mefites. Listening to the album is free, however.

Anyway, the nation was not founded on having a two party system, but it's a fairly inevitable consequence of the Constitution structure.
posted by zachlipton at 12:17 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I say this not in defense of Ivanka, since I have little faith in her being all that different than the others of her family, but she is alleged to be the one who had Gore and, heh, DiCaprio meet with Trump on global warming issues, and has at least made some show of concern over LGBTQ and women's rights

The cynic in me believes she is making a show of being a liberal woman because of her line of clothing and jewelry-- she doesn't want to taint her own brand.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:21 PM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


I guess I am cranky today but I am perfectly capable of understanding, and sometimes contributing to, the election thread while only having listened to Hamilton once halfheartedly. I read the Federalist Papers long before Hamilton was a thing and am a little tired of treating a musical as some sort of standard for political discourse.
posted by ferret branca at 12:23 PM on December 17, 2016 [26 favorites]


nearly seven in ten Republicans prefer America as it was in the 1950s
This is highly tangential relative to Smith's moving and incisive commentary here, but I am frequently comforted these days by reminders such as this one that Republicans are old.
posted by marlys at 12:24 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess I am cranky today but I am perfectly capable of understanding, and sometimes contributing to, the election thread while only having listened to Hamilton once halfheartedly. I read the Federalist Papers long before Hamilton was a thing and am a little tired of treating a musical as some sort of standard for political discourse.

I don't think that seeing Hamilton is any entry to discourse, but it has certainly opened a lot of discourse for many people who have never encountered the Federalist Papers before now, and many of those people are low-income kids of color. So it's not so easy to draw a line.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:26 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Fair enough, roomthreeseventeen. I don't deny that it's benefited many people tremendously, but I don't think that's the same thing as even jokingly saying that someone has to have seen it to participate in political conversation.
posted by ferret branca at 12:28 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


You think she gives a shit about anyone but herself? Who are you going to believe, her or your lying eyes?

I don't have to believe anyone really. A question was asked, and I answered with the minimal evidence there is.

As far as I'm concerned, the best strategy for dealing with a Trump presidency is still to primarily focus on distrust between Trump and his advisers as Trump himself has claimed as a motto not to trust anyone, and he's shown no conviction at all about virtually any other ideals he's claimed on the campaign trail, constantly contradicting his own statements whenever it would look better to do so than to hold to them. (Other than perhaps in policy surrounding Putin, China, and Muslims.)

His campaign was indeed based on hate, so it isn't a suggestion to rest easy on any aspect, but the hate was largely pliable, able to be shifted to whatever target was most convenient. Which suggests he may be more susceptible to maneuvering that could create some distance between himself and his advisers if there was felt to be a choice between taking the pressure himself or putting it on a scapegoat within his administration. If the opposition can rile up people enough to focus on specific areas of discontent, Trump may be able to be moved in ways that facilitate discontent within the administration and within the planned dismantlement of our social welfare networks by GOP leadership.

If that can happen, which is a big if no doubt, then Trump would start to feel more isolated and the only people who he'll be able to completely rely on would be his family and particularly Ivanka and her husband. If those two show any moderating influence at all on the otherwise awful policies being discussed, then, it would be a win, if they don't go in that direction, fine, they too then ride with Trump as a part of his inner circle and will face whatever we and the actions of his presidency can show as harms to the US and world systems of government. The GOP won't stand with Trump and his family if things get ugly, so working to try and create divisions seems one of the best options going forward.

The Democrats need to oppose Trump on everything barring any miraculous positive efforts on global warming, civil rights or in the need for continuation of government function. Those are necessities that are continually needed, so for the protection of all they need to be defended any way they can. More likely, Trump won't offer any positive efforts in those areas, so in that case constant opposition would be the best plan.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:32 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's been commented on before, that this is an unusually close family. To the point of eating lunch together every day into their 30s.

Your "plan" is pure fabulousness.
posted by Yowser at 12:35 PM on December 17, 2016


To be fair, though, a basic study of American history reveals really quickly that no one has ever designed a political party a priori that then took off without some significant other factors happening. I had pretty decent US history teachers in high school, which was really not too long ago for me, and I was well aware of some of the interpersonal issues among the Founding Fathers. I.... don't think it's unreasonable to check stuff before making basic claims about why they chose to do certain things.

And I also think that it's not unreasonable to say "wow, that is not how politics/early US history works" in this discussion--particularly when we really have just had a wildly successful album/musical detailing the story of that history in a very accessible way. I'm pretty firmly of the belief that history is incredibly important to understanding where we are now, and US history in particular. If you're sort of hazy and confused about how US history has gone down, lemme know and I bet I can help find some good stuff tailored to your specific interests that will refresh things and put them in context.

(That's a general you, not a specific you. I enjoy American history and in particular civil rights history/the history of industrialization/queer history, but my family includes people who really have a huge hard-on for the Founding Fathers, among other things, and--oh, my point is just that I bet I can help think of some pretty good books about that stuff, if you need and want a refresher. Goodness knows I could use one myself; I had to fact-check that millions for defense quote right before I used it, because I needed to make sure the context hit the right notes no matter how much you knew about it going in. And that period of US history, encompassing the Federalist party's quick ascendence and even-faster collapse into ignominy, is not my wheelhouse.)
posted by sciatrix at 12:37 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


You may not enter Election Thread before seeing Hamilton.

Speaking of privileges afforded largely* to wealthy white people.... Oh, you mean *listened* to Hamilton? Carry on, then.


Meh. Verb-ado, verb-atto.

There's no shortage of video out there, too, but sure, listening is also strongly encouraged. Basically find any way you wish to learn enough about Hamilton to remember that someone from France came along to resist him, and pissed him off until we had a two-party system.

(In other words, maybe you haven't met him yet, but you had the chance.)
posted by rokusan at 12:38 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I guess I am cranky today but I am perfectly capable of understanding, and sometimes contributing to, the election thread while only having listened to Hamilton once halfheartedly.

Just a joke, Ferret. I love you.
posted by rokusan at 12:40 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


we're the peasant chorus members who watch, and serve, and sigh at her pretty hair. Hell, maybe we'll even pitch in some background vocals on a few of the big musical numbers. Peasants always do, in those movies, even though they're probably all starving.

This does not really happen in Disney Princess movies. The Disney princesses are a pretty progressive group, actually. I just watched Aladdin and had forgotten how awesomely feminist Jasmine is. She runs away from the castle and marries a peasant, in fact. Cinderella is herself a floor-scrubbing peasant, Belle is the daughter of the village eccentric, and Tiana is a waitress.

What I'm saying is, I know Disney Princesses. And Ivanka, you, madam, are no Disney Princess.

Okay, carry on.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:41 PM on December 17, 2016 [14 favorites]


ugh maybe for context I should try and bring up more of those little pockets of US history here, like that fpp I did on the Mississippi Chinese a while back... we could talk about the Choctaw's donation to the Irish Famine, maybe, or Jane Addams and Hull House, or the St Patrick's Battalion, or....

....probably that should go to metatalk.
posted by sciatrix at 12:43 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Anyway, the nation was not founded on having a two party system, but it's a fairly inevitable consequence of the Constitution structure.
Ever since my 7th grade Civics class (the year of Nixon's first election, taught by an also-football-coach whose lectures were more like political pep talks, motivating me to seek out better sources of information), I have considered the election of a Cartoon Supervillain as President as a distinctly possible consequence if we didn't eliminate the Electoral College AND the Senate in favor of something actually small-d democratic (and since then, I considered the DC comics arc with President Lex Luthor not nearly extreme enough... I expected more of a Fake Wrestling Heel, and, well, it turns out I was right - the continued existence of Fake Wrestling as 'popular entertainment' is another sign of our societal moral bankruptcy, along with its direct offspring: Fake Reality TV).
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:44 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


But basically, history's got all this delicious context for what's worked in resistance before, lessons about successful politics, and also things you can absolutely use as political arguments. As an Irish-American, for example, I wish I'd remembered about the Choctaw donation and been more effective at using it to remind other Irish-Americans about the debt we owe them, and about how we should maybe channel repaying some of that debt into repaying Standing Rock. That kind of thing.
posted by sciatrix at 12:45 PM on December 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


History lessons on surviving the present while also better-equipping your side to fight better in future battles would be very welcome and on-topic, sciatrix!
posted by rokusan at 12:58 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


she is alleged to be the one who had Gore and, heh, DiCaprio meet with Trump on global warming issues,

She's the shiny object to distract us - oh look, Ivanka cares and will make him care- while Trump nominates someone who doesn't believe climate change is manmade. Which is exactly what happened.
posted by chris24 at 1:03 PM on December 17, 2016 [29 favorites]


Just got back from vacation. So! All that little "President" Trump mess sorted out yet? Who's getting sworn in?
posted by petebest at 1:05 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


petebest, they're not pulling anything from the Sorting Hat until Monday... unfortunately the Sorting Hat looks like a red trucker's cap.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:14 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Dude, no. You may not enter Election Thread before seeing Hamilton.

It's like Rule One of Thread.


Haven't seen it, read a few lyrics and listened to the first ten minutes of it then had the sudden urge to listen to some Eminem (sort of) instead and did that. So I've broken "Rule One of Thread". Still doing election thread posts, though.
posted by Wordshore at 1:17 PM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's okay if you're a foreigner, Wordshore.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:21 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


chris24: She's the shiny object to distract us - oh look, Ivanka cares and will make him care- while Trump nominates someone who doesn't believe climate change is manmade. Which is exactly what happened.

We underestimate her at our own peril. I keep saying in these threads and I'll repeat it here - I think there's a good chance Ivanka runs in 2020. Autocrats like to keep power in the family, plus Donald will probably be sick of pretending to work by then, plus she'll have built up international relations "experience" by sitting in on meetings, plus Donald (and by extension his followers) will get to steal the prize of being the first female President from Hillary Clinton and give it to his favorite daughter. Look at how she's the one moving to DC, not her dad. Like the expensive item on a menu, Donald's brashness will serve to anchor her as the sane, calm one that held the country together (in the eyes of moderates and fence-sitters.) All packaged in the young, blonde good looks that Fox News viewers have been trained to see as the only acceptable way for a woman to look.
posted by bluecore at 1:23 PM on December 17, 2016 [37 favorites]


Justfor comparison, for a keepsake, and to keep those fires of indignation fuelled - here's another unpresidented thing that happened in July.

When everything implodes in an enormous inferno of burning shit, it'll be good to say "We chose someone like that. Your arguments are invalid".
posted by Devonian at 1:23 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


We underestimate her at our own peril.

Oh I'm not underestimating. I think she's as evil as the rest. But being female and pretty lets her get away with it for many. My point wasn't to diminish her, but to highlight one destructive role she's currently playing.
posted by chris24 at 1:29 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's okay if you're a foreigner, Wordshore.

Several of my American friends say I'm more American than them, which is utterly ridiculous and completely wrong.
posted by Wordshore at 1:29 PM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


bluecore, I'm afraid that you're completely right.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:32 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


It comes to something when you can't work out whether the director of the FBI was just working on behalf of a presidential candidate or taking his orders straight from the Kremlin.
posted by Grangousier at 1:32 PM on December 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


zachlipton: China has agreed to return the drone. I assume Trump will claim credit on account of his unpresidented tweet?

Aaaaand they did:

Jason Miller [Trump's spokeperson]
@realdonaldtrump gets it done: "China says it will return US drone it seized


Christ, these dipshits.
posted by bluecore at 1:33 PM on December 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's okay if you're a foreigner, Wordshore.

Oh, good. That's my excuse.
posted by Coventry at 1:36 PM on December 17, 2016


No doubt the Obama administration got our drone back, but there definitely has to be some Chinese officials who saw the "unpresidented" tweet and felt incredibly embarrassed for us.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:38 PM on December 17, 2016 [20 favorites]


localhuman: “None of us deserves what’s coming”
This piece was excellent. Thank you, localhuman. I don't fear that I won't survive what is to come, but rather that I'll blanch when the time comes and not face the firing squad with dignity.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:40 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Heh, sorry, we thought this was our drone being pulled behind your ship."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:41 PM on December 17, 2016


"But our drone has a racing stripe! Easy mistake."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:46 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


“War Culture, Militarism and Racist Violence Under Trump,” Henry Giroux, Truthout, 14 December 2016
posted by ob1quixote at 1:48 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


What I'm saying is, I know Disney Princesses. And Ivanka, you, madam, are no Disney Princess.

posted by OnceUponATime at 12:41 PM on December 17 [8 favorites +] [!]


Eponysterical.
posted by TwoStride at 1:48 PM on December 17, 2016 [11 favorites]


It's okay if you're a foreigner, Wordshore.

For now.
posted by rokusan at 1:52 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's okay if you're a foreigner, Wordshore.
For now.


For US.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:55 PM on December 17, 2016


This does not really happen in Disney Princess movies. The Disney princesses are a pretty progressive group, actually. I just watched Aladdin and had forgotten how awesomely feminist Jasmine is.

Middle of the pack, by most measures.

Many such lists exist, though I expect most need to be updated drastically for Moana, who must be the new number one, right? I mean, forget Bechdel, the Moana movie doesn't even have a romantic subplot. I was impressed.

BBC, bless them, wonders out loud what a Disney princess will look like post-Moana, and post-Trump.
posted by rokusan at 2:00 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Because land-owning white males were the only human beings capable of enlightenment ideals.

Well, sure, I didn't say the founders weren't deluded hypocrites, but if you read their letters to each other, it's obvious they really did believe they were trying to build a system in accordance with those ideals. They were just as deluded by the cultural background of their time as anyone is. Point is, it wasn't engineered to be an adversarial system, as it's broadly perceived today. They at least honestly seemed to believe debating and using rational argument would lead to the best ideas about policy. And there was the idea the goal of the process was to collaboratively figure out the best policies, not just fighting endlessly for control of the steering wheel.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:01 PM on December 17, 2016 [7 favorites]




Bernie, who's PR company ran and populated his subreddit.

Where can I read more about Bernie's PR company and the campaign they put together for him?


I assume the reference was to Revolution Messaging which was formed by former Obama For America folks in 2009, without at the time any connection to Sanders as far as I know, but was central to the Sanders campaign.
posted by dis_integration at 2:20 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


“I will never forget the people who turned their backs on me when all I was trying to do was help the black community." -- Omarosa Manigault

Well, she's got the whole Enemies List thing figured out already.
posted by rokusan at 2:26 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


That full quote should say "“I will never forget the people who turned their backs on me when all I was trying to do was help the black community by deciding everything for them."

The Black Woman Bitch was always a phony stereotype... but The Apprentice always cast its "contestants" with phony stereotypes... it was a conscious (and slightly desperate) attempt to make The Donald look more like a Real Person.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:38 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


CSPAN scheduling on Twitter ... has been delivering interesting juxtapositions today.

1-*President-Elect Donald Trump Victory Ral.. | 2-[The Word Detective] | 3-Protecting America's Historical Documents

1-*President-Elect Donald Trump Victory .. | 2-[Thank You for Being Late] | 3-[When General Grant Expelled the Jews]

1-U.S.-Afghanistan Relations in the Trump Administration | 2-Alcuin Books | 3-[The World at War]

1-Trump Administration National Security a.. | 2-After Words with Steve Coll | 3-American Resistance in Nazi Germany

1-Homeland Security Policy | 2-[Troubled Refuge] | 3-The FBI and a Nazi Spy Ring

1-*Open Phones | 2-Presidential Transition | 3-Physician Assisted Deaths

posted by phoque at 2:44 PM on December 17, 2016 [14 favorites]


ariel dorfman drawing the obvious parallels (spanish language).
posted by andrewcooke at 3:03 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


And there was the idea the goal of the process was to collaboratively figure out the best policies, not just fighting endlessly for control of the steering wheel.

Right, and this was an idea that took root among a narrow colonial elite which had broadly similar cultural perspectives and a shared class interest (although they of course wouldn't have articulated things in that way).

I'm going to go ahead and retrospectively diagnose at least Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin with an early variant of Engineer's Disease. Visionaries for their time, to be sure: but the founders set up a system that's shown itself to be unwieldy, and loaded with racist and classist assumptions. They basically adopted a progressive version of 18th-century Whig political ideals, replacing the hereditary monarch with an elected, term-limited president -- which is not too bad for the time -- but in their hubris they so set the system in stone that there has to be a violent upheaval (1860-1876) or a major judicial reinterpretation (1933-1938; 1954-1968) of the Constitution to achieve democratic reform.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:11 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


What I mean is: rational argument is great, but it assumes equal standing among genders, classes and races. And it's easy for wealthy straight white male elites to set up a system where their voices get amplified and everyone else's is hushed or silenced.

That is the America which the Founding Fathers gave to us.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:17 PM on December 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


ariel dorfman drawing the obvious parallels (spanish language).

The English version is at: Now, America, You Know How Chileans Felt.

Interestingly, it's a pretty close translation, but not super-exact in some places, though that may be a product of one version having gone through a different editing process. For example, the final paragraph of the Spanish version invokes the country of Lincoln, while the English one does not:
If ever there was a time for America to look at itself in the mirror, if ever there was a time of reckoning and accountability, it is now.

¿Qué mejor ocasión para que América se mire en el espejo, qué mejor momento que este para que el país de Abraham Lincoln enfrente su propia y auténtica responsabilidad?
posted by zachlipton at 3:21 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Holy fuck, Trump, at his Florida event, just said 'Evan McMuffin.'

He's now been downgraded back to "that guy" status.

And Josh Marshall responds: "Lord, thin skin is like the thermal exhaust port of the Trump Death Star"
posted by zachlipton at 3:23 PM on December 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


@frankrichny
By holding back RNC emails, Putin didn't just help install Trump in White House but has means to blackmail GOP to do his bidding post-1/20.
posted by chris24 at 3:29 PM on December 17, 2016 [11 favorites]


Ironically, a year or so ago, the notion that foreign powers had nearly-free access to Clinton's private State Dept e-mail server led a lot of people to suggest that those powers were holding near-unlimited potential to blackmail her later, should she win office. Assuming they contained more than risotto or yoga-related info, anyway.

Now it's the RNC info that will be used to blackmail Trump's office.

Sun comes up; world still spins.
posted by rokusan at 3:39 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


I get all that, tivalasvegas, and agree, but my point is there's this misconception that's taken hold that our system has always been about competition. The Randians helped spread a lot of misinformation during the Cold War as an inoculation against the spread of communist sentiment in the U.S. and that was one of their main lines of BS. In reality, we started out with a schism between those elites who embraced a more egalitarian democratic vision and viewed the French Revolution and peasant uprisings elsewhere as a sort of natural progression from their own revolutionary cause versus a sort of counter-revolutionary movement that was too horrified by the thought of peasants killing elites to go along with that. America's was the model for the other socialist revolutions around the world, but started dividing early into factions over how far to go in the direction of democracy and egalitarianism. So really, we've always had this split in our national character.
posted by saulgoodman at 3:43 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I agree with you that they weren't envisioning a partisan system -- but that goes to the deeper critique of engineer's disease-ism: not only did they not think that the legislature would become dominated by factions, they couldn't envision the possibility of class warfare happening in the US because they couldn't even conceive of the underclasses of North America (i.e., blacks and Native Americans) having the political power to rebel against them.

Sure, Thomas Jefferson was pro-French and committed to Republican ideals -- but that's because he saw himself as a leader of the revolution against the elites, not as a local elite himself.

My intuition is that it's anachronistic to call the Revolutionary-era leaders of the US as anything like a proto-socialist movement. Certainly they were aware of the tension between 'republicanism' and egalitarian 'democracy', but I think they came down pretty solidly on the side of 'republicanism' -- and even their conception of democracy, of course, was highly exclusionary at best. The sublime tragedy of the soaring prose of the American founding documents: "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"-- is that they speak far louder than the man who put quill to parchment imagined.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:05 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Josh Marshall responds: "Lord, thin skin is like the thermal exhaust port of the Trump Death Star"

Spoilers, people! SPOILERS!
posted by rokusan at 4:13 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


[I can't believe I'm saying this, but enough with the Hamilton derail.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:15 PM on December 17, 2016 [20 favorites]


Spoilers, people! SPOILERS!

Dude, Lord Vader and the Chocolate Factory came out in 1977. Everyone knows how it ends.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:16 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Talk less?)
posted by rokusan at 4:16 PM on December 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Dude, Lord Vader and the Chocolate Factory came out in 1977. Everyone knows how it ends.

Yeah, but then they re-released it and changed a key scene so an Oompa Loompa shoots first instead, and all the fans have been arguing about it ever since.
posted by zachlipton at 4:23 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


He's now been downgraded back to "that guy" status.

@Evan_McMullin Retweeted Sopan Deb
Come now, Donald. Every madman needs a nemesis. Someday we'll laugh about this. @realDonaldTrump
posted by chris24 at 4:35 PM on December 17, 2016 [19 favorites]




but then they re-released it and changed a key scene so an Oompa Loompa shoots first instead

IF THERE IS A HELL George Lucas will spend it on the top floor of the San Francisco Armory watching the Oompa Loompa shoot Harrison Ford over and over with his eyelids taped open like Malcolm McDowell's in A Clockwork Orange while Peter Ackworth's people do, well, that stuff they do around him.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:50 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


That article seems to be a month old, EarBucket.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:54 PM on December 17, 2016


Doesn't make it wrong.
posted by porpoise at 4:56 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it! -@realDonaldTrump

Seriously, WTF?
posted by Gaz Errant at 5:02 PM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


the deeper critique of engineer's disease-ism: not only did they not think that the legislature would become dominated by factions, they couldn't envision the possibility of class warfare happening in the US because they couldn't even conceive of the underclasses of North America (i.e., blacks and Native Americans) having the political power to rebel against them

I don't want to continue the derail, but I would be curious to read more about this critique.
posted by Coventry at 5:02 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's not wrong, porpoise, but I wasn't suggesting that it was. What I was suggesting is that it's not noteworthy in any meaningful fashion.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:04 PM on December 17, 2016


Seriously, WTF?

Petulant toddler is petulant.
posted by Talez at 5:04 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


>He basically just dodged the Comey question. Pathetic.

What else could he say but "Sorry. I fucked up. I knew he was a Republican but I trusted him anyway."
Obama should have listened to Trump's parable. He knew Comey was a snake when he brought him in.

>He [Obama] doesn't put faith in the Republicans, he puts it in the American people.

He put his faith in Republican Comey and look where it got him. Trump is going to be President and Obamacare is going to disappear.

What the last eight years should have taught Obama is that there is no such thing as reasonable, moderate Republicans. They will all stab you in the back at the first opportunity. Obama made the mistake of thinking that Comey would put country above party, but he should have known that Republicans make no such distinction. To them, what is good for the party is good for the country.
posted by JackFlash at 5:05 PM on December 17, 2016 [26 favorites]


We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!

I'm not sure what's worse, the completely incoherent diplomatic strategy or the hyphen immediately following the period
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:12 PM on December 17, 2016 [27 favorites]


Every “Unified Republican Government” Ever Has Led to a Financial Crash

And the three worst in US history. The Panic of 1907, the Great Depression and the Great Recession.
posted by chris24 at 5:13 PM on December 17, 2016 [43 favorites]


> And Josh Marshall responds: "Lord, thin skin is like the thermal exhaust port of the Trump Death Star"

Perfect.
posted by homunculus at 5:16 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


He apparently wrote the tweet in the car on his way back to Mar-a-Lago, which in a sane world ought to shut up everybody who thinks he has some great master plan and is getting all kinds of good advice instead of publicly posting random ramblings to the leaders of nuclear-armed nations.
posted by zachlipton at 5:25 PM on December 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


White men in the rust-belt have been dying in droves, in numbers not seen since the early days of Aids. And not the kinds of white men certain segments of left-leaning voters would prefer to die. The ones who voted for Obama by double digits were absent.

I'm not sure what alternate universe you are from but they've been absent for a long time. Obama lost the white male vote by 27 points in 2012. White men haven't voted majority for Democrats since the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. They picked their side a long time ago. You aren't going to win them over by pandering to their prejudices.
posted by JackFlash at 5:33 PM on December 17, 2016 [14 favorites]


Here's a thought. Someday Trump will figure out how to do Twitter polls
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:35 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


About those white men and what they want and why. Not saying it's necessarily right, just an interesting point.
posted by dilettante at 5:39 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


White men haven't voted majority for Democrats since the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. They picked their side a long time ago. You aren't going to win them over by pandering to their prejudices.

White male in the South here. For the record, we did not vote for Trump, we voted Clinton if I'm representative. But then, I've acknowledged having mental illness, a formerly fluid sexual identity, and an addiction in public, so I'm probably more of what the alt-Right would call a "degenerate."
posted by saulgoodman at 5:48 PM on December 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


Re: Keep it

@ChuBailiang:
Go back to the U.S. EP-3 spy plane standoff with China in 2001, imagine it happens again, and factor in this kind of rhetoric.
posted by chris24 at 5:50 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just finished watching The Mask with Jim Carrey. Maybe it's because every villain reminds me of Trump lately, but I was wondering whether Dorian Tyrell was based on Trump. Same initials, ran a casino, big league ego. Mike Werb, the screenplay writer seems to still be in the biz if someone can contact him for comment.

Dorian Tyrell plus the mask equals Donald Trump plus the presidency.

Looking things up, I found this villain was created for the '94 movie, so he was not from the comic book. Here's something that compares Tyrell to Rick Perry.

I read Biff from Back to the Future was based on Trump, so it's not unprecedented.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:00 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


There was a weird conspiracy-theory narrative on /r/the_donald yesterday about the 2001 spy plane, the airborne drone stolen by Iran, and the submarine drone the Chinese just took all having been given up as some kind of self-destructive reverse espionage.
posted by Coventry at 6:03 PM on December 17, 2016


@ChuBailiang:
Go back to the U.S. EP-3 spy plane standoff with China in 2001, imagine it happens again, and factor in this kind of rhetoric.
Jesus Christ. The Chinese ambassador could not be recalled fast enough.
posted by Talez at 6:04 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


White male in the South here. For the record, we did not vote for Trump, we voted Clinton if I'm representative.

Unfortunately you aren't representative, hence the reason I used the word majority in the comment above. The trend has been steady -- Democrats lost white men by 20% in 2008, then 27% in 2012 and then 32% in 2016. In fact there is no other single demographic more solidly Republican except for white evangelicals.
posted by JackFlash at 6:07 PM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


And Josh Marshall responds: "Lord, thin skin is like the thermal exhaust port of the Trump Death Star"
comic relief
posted by j_curiouser at 6:14 PM on December 17, 2016


I keep thinking about this. I think the problem is not, as some Democrats would have it, "Republicans are evil," so much it is "Republicans are convinced that Democrats are evil."

They think all their desperate measures (North Carolina, Supreme Court, etc) are justified because we are evil. They think they are doing what is necessary to save their country from baby-killing, Christian-hating, orgy-having, one-world-government-planning villains, sneering from our ivory towers as we sip our lattes and plan how to steal the money of hard earned small business owner and give it to immigrants to buy their votes so that we elites can stay in power.

I mean, that sounds like a parody, but I know a lot of people who would agree with all of those descriptions with a straight face.

Because they think we're evil, they'll do anything to stop us. Because they think we're evil, they'll vote for whoever promises to oppose us in the strongest terms and refuses to come to any accommodation with us... Which would, again, be an accommodation with evil, in their minds. This is how Trump won, by using those strongest terms. This is why even the "sane" Republicans can't be seen to compromise, lest they lose their seats.

Because they think we're evil, they'll believe any terrible story they hear about us, which makes them very susceptible to fake news.

And of course many Democrats think all Republicans are evil too (especially now, in the age of Trump. 'Cause he really is evil, and they elected him to be their evil bastard -- though he's not. Theirs I mean.)

But in general and up until now, I'd say there's a lot more benefit of the doubt given by Democrats to Republicans. A lot more assumption of good faith. But that's not rewarded, because they think we're evil and they'll do ANYTHING to stop us.

How can we make them believe that we sincerely disagree, but we don't hate them or sneer at them, and we don't hate Christians or babies or stay at home moms or America? What will it take for them to believe us that we share the same goals as them (a prosperous and peaceful country) and just disagree on the best means for achieving that, so that we can debate policy again instead of just calling each other names? (Their policy repertoire has become so impoverished by this whole "If a Democrat is for it, it must be evil" paradigm. Every time we suggest an approach to solving our problems it comes off the list of acceptable approaches for Republicans. We should start suggesting terrible ideas just so they'll say "NUH UH" and do the opposite instead.)

How did this happen? I mean, I know... Phyllis Schafly and Barry Goldwater and Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy and Reagan's "Welfare Queens" and Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and fake news.

And all Fred Clark's stuff about political "fantasy role playing" and how satisfying it is to defeat the "satanic baby killers" and good Jackie and all that.

And Ta Nahesi Coates and how "white" became an identity because it was a passport out of the lowest class...

And how abortion replaced segregation as the unifying issue for white people because it allowed them to feel they had regained the moral high ground.

And Jonathan Haidt and the differing moral "tastebuds" that attract people to conservatism (a taste for "authority" and "sanctity" and "in-group loyalty")... And about the Just World Fallacy.

Actually, I feel like I know a lot about how it happened. Because I've been kind of obsessed with trying to understand it ever since I wrenchingly abandoned both my faith and my Republican politics as a young adult, leaving my whole family behind in that world, mourning for me.

I guess my question isn't really "How did this happen..." I guess it's "how can we fix it?" How can we "humanize ourselves" as Corb said? How can we convince them we're not devils when they don't believe anything we say, because devils lie?

Democracy cannot work without some basic assumption of good faith on both sides. We can't deliberate and then accept the decision of the majority without that. But Republicans grant us NO benefit of the doubt, NO assumption of good faith, EVER. Whatever we say is instantly assumed to be false because we are the ones who said it, so what can we possibly say that will matter?

Is there any way out of this trap? I'm starting to, depressingly, believe that there is nothing we as Democrats can do about it... except try very hard not to get caught sneering. But that won't fix it, it just won't make it worse. Is there anything that will?
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:16 PM on December 17, 2016 [95 favorites]


I guess my question isn't really "How did this happen..." I guess it's "how can we fix it?" How can we "humanize ourselves" as Corb said? How can we convince them we're not devils when they don't believe anything we say, because devils lie?

I mean, I dunno? It seems like Black people have been trying to prove their humanity for centuries. Gay people have been doing it for decades, and we're still not liked because of our "perversions". Even Shakespeare pointed out the Jewish villain was human (even before he loses and becomes Christian), for all the good that did. You could slot in pretty much any minority and find that no matter what we do our humanity is always going to be questioned by the majority.

If you figure out how, I suppose it's gonna be a moral requirement for you to share it. I'm thinking everyone else is at a loss.
posted by qcubed at 6:25 PM on December 17, 2016 [11 favorites]


The article which discusses every Republican controlled Congress/President for four years leading to a major recession or depression says that the Republicans were in control two years in 1953 to 1955. Not really. The Republicans had control 48 to 47 with one independent at the start of 1953. The next two years included nine deaths, one resignation and several reversals.

Following Morse's defection [to Independent], Republicans had a 48–47 majority; the deaths of nine other senators, and the resignation of another, caused many reversals in control of the Senate during that session. [Wikipedia]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:28 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


About those white men and what they want and why. Not saying it's necessarily right, just an interesting point.

That author may have spent too long talking to Trump supporters online, and not enough time talking to them in real life. You see that kind of mentality a lot on, say, /r/the_donald, but not in people you meet canvassing.
posted by Coventry at 6:31 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


WaPo: In the Chappaqua woods, a search for Hillary Clinton. Come for the last two sentences.
posted by zachlipton at 6:36 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


That author may have spent too long talking to Trump supporters online, and not enough time talking to them in real life.

This whole election year, I've noticed the gaping differences between between online versions of all camps, and people who subscribe to the same camps in the actual world.

I can think of experiences among camps Republican, Trumpian, Clinton-Democrat, Sanders-Democrat, Green, and Libertarian. The online voices of each group were so different in both number and tenor than what I encountered in regular life. (In almost every case, the online versions were so much more rude and just generally worse, too.)

I don't know what this means. But it wasn't limited to any party or faction, in my experience.
posted by rokusan at 6:42 PM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


The women carried on deeper into the woods, bending back twigs, heading up a slope they called “Secret Service Hill” after a time years ago when the path was frozen and they had helped the Clintons’ agents, who were wearing loafers, navigate the incline.

Sounds like the USSS needs to spend a little more time in the Winter Boots Thread.
posted by rokusan at 6:47 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure what alternate universe you are from but they've been absent for a long time. Obama lost the white male vote by 27 points in 2012. White men haven't voted majority for Democrats since the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. They picked their side a long time ago. You aren't going to win them over by pandering to their prejudices

I don't think he meant to imply that a majority of white men voted for Obama nationally - he meant to imply that some of those votes, in places of electoral significance, are gettable. And not just through Trump-alike racial pandering.
posted by atoxyl at 6:48 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


In Hell’s Angels Hunter S Thompson wrote about left-behind people motivated only by “an ethic of total retaliation.” Sound familiar?
posted by adamvasco at 6:49 PM on December 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


(Also that the system is set up so that some of them have to be gotten to win.)
posted by atoxyl at 6:49 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Obligatory: Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory
posted by petebest at 6:52 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


the deeper critique of engineer's disease-ism: not only did they not think that the legislature would become dominated by factions, they couldn't envision the possibility of class warfare happening in the US because they couldn't even conceive of the underclasses of North America (i.e., blacks and Native Americans) having the political power to rebel against them
I don't want to continue the derail, but I would be curious to read more about this critique.

I meant that it's interesting to me that people like Thomas Jefferson seem to have seen themselves as Republican allies of the French revolutionaries -- while there are of course ideological connections, it seems to me (not an expert in this era by any means) that the French Revolution was much more genuinely a modern, ideological and class-driven civil war than the American Revolution, which I understand as essentially a war between the local colonial elites and the metropolitan (British) government.

Even by the late 18th century, as I understand it, class difference had been mapped onto race in British North America so that the structure of American society was quite different to European society -- and so although there wasn't a strong tradition of hereditary nobility here, in another way people like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were feudal lords of vast estates who controlled the bodies of the people who provided their labor: hardly the kind of people one would expect to support a revolutionary, anti-feudal state. But they were able to make this move because they rendered their black and native serfs politically 'invisible'.

To re-rail, my point is that from the very beginning, American political culture has cloaked a feudalist body with republican clothing, and the Emperor's clothes are (once again) coming off.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:08 PM on December 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


He never learned the lesson that was obvious from the beginning. Republicans don't believe in democracy.

The way I've come to think of it is, Democrats are interested in governance, and Republicans are interested in power.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:12 PM on December 17, 2016 [28 favorites]


Democrats are interested in governance

Completely agree with that. And it's an almost fatal flaw in the years when they're in the minority. Wanting to govern leads to terrible compromises and playing the game badly. As opposed to the naked demand for dominance, which leads to Republicans being fine with getting 0% of their goals, when they're in the minority, so long as they can block everything.
posted by honestcoyote at 7:19 PM on December 17, 2016 [14 favorites]


WaPo: In the Chappaqua woods, a search for Hillary Clinton. Come for the last two sentences.

That article keeps using the word Chappaquaian when everyone knows it's Chappaquack.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:21 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the Founding generation would probably be astounded that so little change has been made to American governance, and that the model of their republic is used as a platonic ideal that prevents necessary changes being made through a sort of originalist fetish.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:24 PM on December 17, 2016 [45 favorites]


I just came across this quote from Truman's memoirs:
It was perfectly clear to us that if we told the Japanese to lay down their arms immediately and march to the seaboard, the entire country would be taken over by the Communists. We therefore had to take the unusual step of using the enemy as a garrison until we could airlift Chinese National troops to South China and send [U.S.] Marines to guard the seaports.
So not only did we directly intervene in the Chinese Civil War, we actually used the Imperial Japanese troops who had been invading and occupying the country for the preceding decade and a half and testing out biological and chemical weapons on the population and all sorts of other stuff, to carry out that intervention.

And then we granted the guy who coordinated the weapons testing on the populace an immunity from prosecution at the Tokyo war crimes tribunals so our military could bring him to the U.S. and benefit from the expertise he'd gained. And when our side didn't win the war in China we leveraged our military power and nuclear threat to set up Taiwan as a consolation prize for the Nationalists.

Somebody more conversant in 20th-century Chinese history or geopolitics can perhaps correct me, but it seems to me that a key function of the One China Policy is to allow the PRC the doublethink to pretend that the civil war ended in the last century, when in fact the war is simply paused like on the Korean peninsula. I mean, all of the oldest people in China were actually around for these events.

Trump appears to be doing exactly what you'd do if you wanted to re-ignite the Chinese Civil War, which we were already on the losing side of, except that the imminent victors now literally have a thousand times the GDP from the point when we hit pause. And also nuclear weapons.

If he's tired of winning he has definitely picked the right geopolitical circumstance to poke with a stick.
posted by XMLicious at 7:25 PM on December 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


So not only did we directly intervene in the Chinese Civil War, we actually used the Imperial Japanese troops who had been invading and occupying the country for the preceding decade and a half and testing out biological and chemical weapons on the population and all sorts of other stuff, to carry out that intervention.

The same thing was done throughout Asia. There are examples of Western military forces cooperating with Japanese soldiers in combating the Viet Minh in the immediate aftermath of the war.

Operation Beleaguer
Operation Masterdom
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:37 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


None of which is relevant to anything here, but is just nifty I guess
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:42 PM on December 17, 2016


Trump appears to be doing exactly what you'd do if you wanted to re-ignite the Chinese Civil War, which we were already on the losing side of, except that the imminent victors now literally have a thousand times the GDP from the point when we hit pause. And also nuclear weapons.

If he's tired of winning he has definitely picked the right geopolitical circumstance to poke with a stick.


Except that on this issue (as on many foreign policy issues), he's just a dumbass who inherited a lot of money, fell into the Oval Office due to a series of highly unfortunate events, and then had someone wind him up and set him tottering in the direction of the Strait of Taiwan.

This is not normal, this is not okay.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:44 PM on December 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


he's just a dumbass who inherited a lot of money, fell into the Oval Office due to a series of highly unfortunate events, and then had someone wind him up and set him tottering in the direction of the Strait of Taiwan.

What if you got a coked up Orangutan and put them in the driver seat of a bus
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:50 PM on December 17, 2016 [12 favorites]


Can someone explain that Chappaqua Quaker sign to me? What are those figures... doing?
posted by rokusan at 7:59 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Even by the late 18th century, as I understand it, class difference had been mapped onto race in British North America so that the structure of American society was quite different to European society

Oh, this is really complicated, but yes, sort of. Think of the Glorious Revolution as a triumph of Whiggism: mercantile interests, newish money, social mobility (within a very very narrow range). A vulgar but not that inaccurate way to assess the British Americans who rebel is that cheap land and slavery lets them think like Whigs but live like old Tories. (Hence the barbed attack of Samuel Johnson's "Taxation No Tyranny", which in passing blames "European intelligence" -- the French -- for inciting the rebellion.)
posted by holgate at 8:14 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't get the Trump as role model thing. Even if I ignore the politics somehow, he's too fake, too rude, has awful taste and style, complains too much...

Then again, I am a failure as a straight white male.
posted by rokusan at 8:20 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


He's a role model for arseholes. And there are a lot of arseholes among us.
posted by holgate at 8:26 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump SNL tweet incoming
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:36 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump SNL tweet incoming

Alec Baldwin is starring in a movie called "The Boss Baby" this spring, as the CGI baby. It looks terrible (to be fair, I assume that I am not the target audience), but I hope they have him host SNL to promote it, just so they can do a Trump-as-baby mashup sketch.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:39 PM on December 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway deletes tweet: "More hyper-partisan trolls coming out to play on twitter. I can't wait for you bitches to get over it."
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:54 PM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


That Last Xmas with Obama song was goooood.
posted by ian1977 at 8:55 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kellyanne Conway deletes tweet:

The amount of projection is fucking astounding with these people. What 'triggered' her to post that? How quickly was it deleted? Lol.
posted by futz at 9:13 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway deletes tweet: "More hyper-partisan trolls coming out to play on twitter. I can't wait for you bitches to get over it."

Is there any evidence that's real? It's super easy to fake a tweet now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:16 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


That was my next question. Real or fake? Because that is out of character for her character.
posted by futz at 9:18 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it! -@realDonaldTrump

Seriously, WTF?


On a lighter note, after browsing his twitter thanks to your comment above, it occurred to me that rump needs a specific URL shortener

big.ly
posted by sylvanshine at 9:18 PM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'd never thought about how that saying that "the power in the relationship goes to whoever cares less" really applies here. The republicans just don't care about shutting down the government, about a possible Manchurian candidate and therefore get whatever they want.
posted by Brainy at 9:21 PM on December 17, 2016 [17 favorites]




Re Conway's odd tweet, she is claiming it was a fake tweet: Conway. I can't tell, but as others have said, it's becoming fairly easy to fake one, even with the verified symbol, for the purposes of posting on the internet. Shrug.
posted by Silverstone at 9:25 PM on December 17, 2016


lol Colin Jost on Weekend Update (from memory): "Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson has been given the Order of Friendship from Russia. The only higher honor you can get from Russia is President of the United States."
posted by lalex at 9:32 PM on December 17, 2016 [48 favorites]


Make her deny it.
posted by holgate at 9:34 PM on December 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


Washington Post has created a Chrome extension that adds commentary to Trump's tweets: Now you can fact-check Trump’s tweets — in the tweets themselves.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:38 PM on December 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Unfortunately Johnny Wallflower, no one who needs extension will ever install it. It's a nice idea with no legs in this political climate.

Although, if I had trumpski supporters in reach over the holidays I might be inclined to install the extension on the DL...maybe. Also a huge swath of people never even peek at twitter and could give a shit about it at all beyond reading a headline about a twitter comment. SAD but true.
posted by futz at 9:53 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nobody reads the failing Twitter anyway! No credibility! Sad! #ThankYouTwitter
posted by rokusan at 9:59 PM on December 17, 2016


@DepressedDarth:
We should tell the Rebel Alliance that we don't want the Death Star plans they stole back.- let them keep them!
posted by chris24 at 9:59 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


"In Hell’s Angels Hunter S Thompson wrote about left-behind people motivated only by “an ethic of total retaliation.”

Misread as left-handed people. Everything seemed extra-sinister for a moment there.
posted by rokusan at 10:01 PM on December 17, 2016 [19 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?

That's way too pointed to be Trump. Who's manning his Twitter today?
posted by rokusan at 10:07 PM on December 17, 2016


rokusan: Misread as left-handed people. Everything seemed extra-sinister for a moment there.

ಠ_ಠ
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:09 PM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


That's way too pointed to be Trump.

It came from his phone, but you're right—it's much more coherent than usual.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:14 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


lol Colin Jost on Weekend Update (from memory): "Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson has been given the Order of Friendship from Russia. The only higher honor you can get from Russia is President of the United States."

That name sounds familiar. Something about blaming sexual minorities for the Democrats losing, I think?
posted by qcubed at 10:23 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yes, that's the same Colin Jost.
posted by lalex at 10:25 PM on December 17, 2016


Two days until Trump officially becomes the President-Elect. It's not too late for Giant Meteor to make a surprise comeback victory.
posted by Justinian at 11:57 PM on December 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


I've heard that State are pulling for Giant Meteor as it's less likely to directly insult other countries.
posted by jaduncan at 12:22 AM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


I laugh, because otherwise I'd cry.
posted by jaduncan at 12:27 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]




@lisang A Nazi newspaper in the US publishes a call to "take action" against Jews in a Montana town. Names are named.

Missoulian White supremacist website calls for action in Montana
The story[published on the website The Daily Stormer] claims the "vicious, evil race" has harmed the Whitefish business of Richard Spencer's mother. It quotes a story from the British newspaper Daily Mail that said Sherry Spencer "said she is being forced to sell a building she owns in the small town because residents are rebelling against her son."

The site posted phone numbers, email addresses, and Twitter handles for the Whitefish residents it alleges are harassing Sherry Spencer, along with a disclaimer that it opposes violence.[...]

Some of those targeted by Thursday's post are involved in Love Lives Here, a group that fights discrimination – racial, ethnic, religious and gender – in the Flathead. It was founded in 2009 in response to screenings of pro-Hitler films by a white separatist group called Kalispell Pioneer Little Europe. Daily Stormer calls Love Lives Here a "Jew terrorist group."[...]The Stormer posted pictures of several Whitefish residents, including a child, with a yellow Star of David with the word "Jude" – German for Jew – added to each photo.
When these guys watch WWII movies do they root for the Nazis to win? I can't understand how this can be happening in America today. All of those American boys who died fighting the Nazis deserve better than this; it is too bad we cannot revive the dead and have them sit down for a heart to heart with Americans imitating German Stormtroopers.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:23 AM on December 18, 2016 [35 favorites]


WaPo A new poll shows an astonishing 52% of Republicans incorrectly think Trump won the popular vote
Respondents’ correct understanding of the popular vote depended a great deal on partisanship. A large fraction of Republicans — 52 percent — said Trump won the popular vote, compared with only 7 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents. Among Republicans without any college education, the share was even larger: 60 percent, compared with 37 percent of Republicans with a college degree.

This same pattern of partisan bias didn’t emerge on other factual questions in our survey. For example, we asked respondents to estimate the size of the country’s African American and Latino populations. As is typical, people tended to overestimate the size of these groups: On average, respondents think 27 percent of Americans are black and 28 percent are Latino. (The correct answers as of 2015 are 13.3 percent and 17.6 percent.)

But these numbers do not vary by party affiliation. Democrats and Republicans make similar guesses, on average.
This reminds me of the graph floating around a few days ago comparing countries in which citizens were asked "What percent of the population is Muslim?" The US and France had wildly discrepant numbers.

What is really lacking in our nation today is a source trusted by everyone, a Walter Cronkite figure who could make pronouncements that were a) believed and b) widely disseminated.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:46 AM on December 18, 2016 [22 favorites]


Agreed. But we are in such a sorry state that a trusted source would be untrusted as soon as they said anything that disagreed with their worldview.
posted by ian1977 at 6:56 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Dan Rather and Dick Cavett both auditioned for that part. They didn't get it.
posted by box at 7:16 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]




MTP: "Up next, how Democrats lost to Trump the working class -- a visit to West Virginia".

chyron: "CHUCK TODD VISITS WEST VIRGINIA".

stock footage: *heavy machinery pushing piles of coal around.*

sigh
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:41 AM on December 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


So one time I remember reading a decade or so ago that there was enough coal to power America for hundreds of years.

Was I fooled by right-wing propaganda?
posted by Yowser at 7:48 AM on December 18, 2016


If Democrats were smart, they wouldn't just push policies that discourage coal, they would push for massive subsidies for coal worker communities to help them transition to a new way of making a dignified living. We wouldn't just force down disruptions to people's ability to care for themselves and their families. But Republican pols are too stingy and sink or swim obsessed to make that politically practical.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:49 AM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


WaPo A new poll shows an astonishing 52% of Republicans incorrectly think Trump won the popular vote

I do wonder with this sort of partisan effect how much is really people mis-knowing things because cognitive bias or whatever and how much is just people offering the answer that is partisan-ly useful. I mean, what I actually think about Putin and Turmp is that Trump is just a useful idiot [mostly because he's not smart or reliable enough to be tapped as an actual conspirator], but if you poll me I will absolutely pick "Trump is an intentional and willing participant in selling out the US" if that option is available, even though I don't believe that, just because it's not utterly implausible and is more damaging. The perverse association with education gives me pause.

You couldn't do it with this specific question, but in some areas where partisan effects are common, like the state of the economy, it might be possible to check whether partisans' economic decisions backed up their survey responses, or at least whether the observable patterns lined up with how that would aggregate. Like, if the effect is real, you should be able to see a deflection in how Ds and Rs choose retirement investments or levels of consumer spending right around the 2008 and 2016 elections or inaugurations that matches their changing predictions about the economy. People may well have done this; I don't follow the public opinion literature.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:55 AM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


If Democrats were smart, they wouldn't just push policies that discourage coal, they would push for massive subsidies for coal worker communities to help them transition to a new way of making a dignified living.

We can quibble endlessly about what constitutes "massive" but help for coal communities to transition was one of the gazillion things that was in the Clinton plan and that she raised in public at least once but that the media didn't pick up on because email bullshit.

Also the people in the coal areas didn't give a shit because the other guy was promising to put America's boot on the necks of all the queers and @RACIALEPITHET.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:02 AM on December 18, 2016 [55 favorites]


Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asserted over the weekend that “every single thing” President-elect Donald Trump has done “has been factual”

What does this even mean? Yeah, Trump, he sure did do those things he did!
posted by dinty_moore at 8:08 AM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


I do wonder with this sort of partisan effect how much is really people mis-knowing things because cognitive bias or whatever and how much is just people offering the answer that is partisan-ly useful.

Read the fifth tweet in this chain and realize that it explains 90% of the fact-claims the Republicans make and have made for years.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:08 AM on December 18, 2016 [19 favorites]


Donald Trump: Master Negotiator - Can't negotiate a truce with Saturday Night Live. And he's fucking with goddamn China.

Just a few, brief years from now parents will want their children to grow up knowing that at one time, humanity was optimistic for itself. So they'll have their toddlers watch They Live, where it was imagined that tent cities would merely be trampled by cops rather than bombarded with sound-cannons, mace, and rubber bullets. And Robocop, the fantasy where Detroit, Michigan has functioning street lights, a police force with a robot budget, and manufacturing jobs. There's even a cocaine factory employing dozens of people that's central to the plot! And they'll be showing the kids Idiocracy, for sure. "Mommy, read us some more Margaret Atwood!" the kids will beg. "I'm tired of Lord of the Flies."
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:31 AM on December 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


@katewillett:
Donald Trump is such a Russian toy that I'm starting to wonder if inside of him is a series of progressively smaller white nationalists
posted by chris24 at 8:38 AM on December 18, 2016 [68 favorites]


I think Donald Trump is more likely to be an inverted matryoshka, and opening him up will reveal a neverending series of progressively huger monstrosities.
posted by dng at 8:46 AM on December 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


No matter which version of a matryoshka he is, he's certainly full of himself.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:48 AM on December 18, 2016 [45 favorites]


And the two worse popular votes were when the Electoral College made backroom deals, not when the person had earned the electors votes. They were also 140 and 192 years ago.

@markmobility:
Massive landslide? No way.
Electoral College: 46th out of 58
Popular Vote: 47th out of 49
http://nyti.ms/2hV2tNN [chart]
posted by chris24 at 8:50 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


o one time I remember reading a decade or so ago that there was enough coal to power America for hundreds of years.

Was I fooled by right-wing propaganda?


Coal is just like oil, there's the easy stuff in plain sight, pretty easy stuff in the mountain, more if you level the entire damn mountain or strip mine, still some more if you dig deep into the bed rock, and probably some more if you start strip mining everything in sight. "enough coal left" is not equal to "easily extracted coal that can remain competitive with natural gas and decreasing costs of renewable energy". Which is the kind needed for blue collar coal jobs. And estimates of "total reserves" include just that, estimates, including extrapolation to what's called "undiscovered resources". They're counting all the coal that could potentially be mined, including that which would require undeveloped technology or is not current profitable, and assuming that there's more out there to find that we haven't discovered yet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:02 AM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy: “WaPo A new poll shows an astonishing 52% of Republicans incorrectly think Trump won the popular vote”
Trump’s lying about the popular vote has dangerous real-world consequences— David Frum (@davidfrum) December 18, 2016, etc.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:07 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just a few, brief years from now parents will want their children to grow up knowing that at one time, humanity was optimistic for itself.

And Brazil, where at least the government apologizes for torturing the wrong suspected terrorist. Or Dr. Strangelove, where there are only a couple of crazy generals trying to destroy the world.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:11 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Voting Against the Grandkids: My dad is a white Trump supporter. My husband is black. This is what I know about race and power in this country.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:12 AM on December 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


We can quibble endlessly about what constitutes "massive" but help for coal communities to transition was one of the gazillion things that was in the Clinton plan

Sure but what happens all too often is that part of the policy gets negotiated away in the process, and we're so used to seeing that, we just expect it now.

Also, the aid needs to be excessive, direct transfers--outright bribes, practically--a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down, not the bare minimum of aid that might help 20 years from now if we can count on state and local officials to administer the programs competently or fairly, I think...
posted by saulgoodman at 9:12 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Coal is just like oil, there's the easy stuff in plain sight, pretty easy stuff in the mountain, more if you level the entire damn mountain or strip mine, still some more if you dig deep into the bed rock, and probably some more if you start strip mining everything in sight.

This sounds familiar to me. Oh, goddammit. *boots up Minecraft to do some coal mining*

an astonishing 52% of Republicans incorrectly think Trump won the popular vote

We have crossed the Rubicon of partisan thinking. Does anyone think there's a way to actually reverse this trend? I'm not hopeful.
posted by Gaz Errant at 9:14 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


So one time I remember reading a decade or so ago that there was enough coal to power America for hundreds of years.

Was I fooled by right-wing propaganda?


There's a distinction between the amount of coal in the ground and the amount that can be extracted economically. The remaining coal is getting harder to mine because much of it is in thinner seams. Extracting it required cutting through a lot of rock, which kicks up more deadly silica dust.

Ironically, part of the reason that the coal industry is in decline is that oil and gas are now easier and cheaper to extract due to fracking. Coal can't compete any more.
posted by Surely This at 9:16 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


"enough coal left" is not equal to "easily extracted coal that can remain competitive with natural gas and decreasing costs of renewable energy".

Also, the coal that is left is progressively lower quality that has more impurities, which means less efficient burning and more pollution.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 9:36 AM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


So one time I remember reading a decade or so ago that there was enough coal to power America for hundreds of years. Was I fooled by right-wing propaganda?

Yes you were, in a way. There is no shortage of coal in the U.S. But the economics have changed reducing the number of jobs related to coal mining.

If you look at this graph, you will see that the largest number of coal mining jobs were lost under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, not Obama. This was due to strip mining mechanization which replaced tunnel mining. Like the biggest coal shovels in the world.

And then you see a smaller decline during the Obama years. This is mainly due to the introduction of fracking to produce natural gas that is cheaper than coal.

So yeah, you may have been fooled by Republican propaganda. There is plenty of coal left but mechanization took away most of those jobs during the Reagan administration and Republican fracking took away most of the rest.
posted by JackFlash at 9:48 AM on December 18, 2016 [14 favorites]


A new poll shows an astonishing 52% of Republicans incorrectly think Trump won the popular vote

We have crossed the Rubicon of partisan thinking. Does anyone think there's a way to actually reverse this trend? I'm not hopeful.

Well, actually....
Another possibility, highlighted in this paper, is that differences in survey responses arise because surveys offer partisans low-cost opportunities to express their partisan affinities.
Definitely worth a read. (Beware: contains data.)
posted by perspicio at 9:53 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


the aid needs to be excessive, direct transfers--outright bribes, practically--a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down

But we're told again and again that their dignity demands something else: they have to feel useful, have a sense of honour and tradition in their work. (Which I partially buy, but not quite.) I wasn't exactly joking when I talked about a kind of Rust Belt theme park where you pay people to dig up coal and another group to bury it, or get one group to assemble widgets on a production line and another group to take them to bits again. And arguably, that's what's going to happen, though it won't be acknowledged as such.

Coal country Republicans don't support explicit transition funding for those communities because it's more politically potent for them to campaign on bringing back the past than delivering the future.
posted by holgate at 9:58 AM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


What kills me is that you could easily do both for your constituents? Try to bring back jobs but also help ease transitions when they happen. I think that's the main reason for the deficit hawks, because it creates a false situation where they have to choose only one.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 10:04 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


...surveys offer partisans low-cost opportunities to express their partisan affinities

That's interesting (eponysterical?, Perspicio. I've never had a political survey call or poll or visit in my life, but I most certainly do lie on feedback forms and other ephemeral surveys all the time.*

Usually with the idea that "this isn't quite true, but maybe it'll shift the data a bit, in the hope I might encourage this company to actually resolving this decade-old problem" or "(A) is true, but I sure don't want to encourage it, so I'll pick (B) instead, which is another interesting idea."

I wonder if this kind of reflex system-gaming happens in political surveys.

* Yes, okay, I'm part of the problem, then. Rassenfrassen data purists.
posted by rokusan at 10:08 AM on December 18, 2016


What kills me is that you could easily do both for your constituents? Try to bring back jobs but also help ease transitions when they happen. I think that's the main reason for the deficit hawks, because it creates a false situation where they have to choose only one.

Ah, but "the Democrats are destroying your jobs!" keeps 'em voting for you for decades!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:08 AM on December 18, 2016


Pretty sure it's "the Democrats are giving your jobs away to gay Mexicans!", but I suppose the effect is similar.
posted by rokusan at 10:14 AM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


That is a great paper, perspicio.
posted by Coventry at 10:16 AM on December 18, 2016




No, no. Leaks are supposed to only hurt establishment Democrats! Didn't they get the memo?

Oh well. What's good for the goose is good for the гусак.
posted by rokusan at 10:30 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. corb I know you mean well but I think starting things off with "prove to me why you all don't think the jerk things I hereby attribute to you" is just a recipe for a really dumb fight. And unrelatedly, general PSA, please don't use the edit function to change content.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:30 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wasn't exactly joking when I talked about a kind of Rust Belt theme park where you pay people to dig up coal and another group to bury it, or get one group to assemble widgets on a production line and another group to take them to bits again. And arguably, that's what's going to happen, though it won't be acknowledged as such.

And that puts me in mind of lazy ants. Specifically the reserve labor force theory.

And that, in turn, makes me think...suppose we (a) reframed "the unemployed" as "the reserve workforce" (instead of stigmatizing them as society's losers), (b) ungrudgingly provided low-level stipends for the unemployed, (c) game-ified job training for them in manners suggested by holgate's them park idea, and (d) tied additional incentives such as supplementary stipends to skilled gamemanship?

It might seem a bit too Brave New World-y to contemplate at first blush, but seriously...generally speaking, most people enjoy games, including the unemployed, right? So a dignity-positive system that leverages human nature to keep skills polished and even retraining those who have cycled out of the work force? Seems like an idea that could be worth examining. Beats sitting at home feeling resentful and playing FPSs, doesn't it?
posted by perspicio at 10:35 AM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


How can we make them believe that we sincerely disagree, but we don't hate them or sneer at them, and we don't hate Christians or babies or stay at home moms or America?

I think the best way to do this is to work on sincerely developing empathy for people who have beliefs or ideas you don't agree with.

Have you ever heard of the Ideological Turing Test? It started off as a fight between intellectuals, but the basic concept is that the goal is to be able to model your opponent's beliefs so convincingly that a neutral observer would believe you were sincere.

It's really hard - the natural inclination of course is to focus on the elements of opponent's views you're most disturbed by - but I think trying to understand people as they are has a lot of value, and is a necessary starting point for any such agreement.
posted by corb at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


(regarding my game-ifying unemployment comment...actually, the Brave New World solution would just be to recycle "extra" people, so that wasn't a very apt comparison.)
posted by perspicio at 10:41 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Guardian: Leak reveals Rex Tillerson is director of Bahamas-based US-Russian oil company

At this point it'd be more efficient to skip the middle man and start appointing members of the Duma to cabinet posts.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:46 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the best way to do this is to work on sincerely developing empathy for people who have beliefs or ideas you don't agree with.

The problem here is that's not nearly sufficient when the opposing ideas are "citizens like you don't deserve rights".
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:47 AM on December 18, 2016 [33 favorites]


trying to understand people as they are has a lot of value, and is a necessary starting point for any such agreement.

Please tell me how the Republican platform has done this for Muslims, the LGBTQ community, or poor people of color.
posted by TwoStride at 10:50 AM on December 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


>I think the best way to do this is to work on sincerely developing empathy for people who have beliefs or ideas you don't agree with.

The problem here is that's not nearly sufficient when the opposing ideas are "citizens like you don't deserve rights".


Well, you don't have to start with the *Klan's* talking points. And rounding up everyone we disagree with to the worst-possible-exemplar of beliefs we disagree with is exactly the problem.

How about starting with something like this, which agrees on desired outcomes, but suggests a fundamental re-evaluation of how to achieve them: The Misplaced Fear of ‘Normalization': The battle over norms is lost—but thankfully, the battle over outcomes remains.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:54 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The problem here is that's not nearly sufficient when the opposing ideas are "citizens like you don't deserve rights".

Well, you don't have to start with the *Klan's* talking points. And rounding up everyone we disagree with to the worst-possible-exemplar of beliefs we disagree with is exactly the problem.


HB2 is not a Klan talking point. Gutting the VRA (it's got "Rights" right there in the name, recall) isn't rounding up anyone. Deporting birthright citizens with their parents was a major plank of the President-Elect.
posted by Etrigan at 11:00 AM on December 18, 2016 [19 favorites]


I think a good question to ask isn't "how do we appease racists" but more along the lines of "how can we match Obama's share of the vote in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan a mere four years ago?"
posted by lalex at 11:04 AM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thanks for the reply, Corb. Personally I've got family who do all of the things you mention (homeschooling, large families, military service) so I personally don't have disdain for any of that, really. I love these people and know their stories. But I think you're right that some Democrats do get judgmental about choices like those. Then again I think a lot of my Republican family have some disdain for me as a career woman and working mom, disdain for women who don't choose to have kids, and deep disapproval of my gay and lesbian friends. So being judgmental of each other's lifestyles goes both ways. I think humans will probably always judge each other and disapprove of each other to some degree, though. I'm not sure how that mundane human cultural cliquishness (like the jocks' table and the AV club table at middle school) metastized into this deep political polarization.

But I think there is a real issue here too about not just juding each other's personal choices, but about what kind of society we want to live in.

Type 1) A society organized around extended families, where people have duties primarily to family, receive support primarily from family, and fit into social roles depending on their place in the family structure... A society where old people are cared for by their adult daughters or daughters in law, and children are cared for by grandmothers when their mothers are busy, and wealth is passed parent to child along with family businesses or farms.

Type 2) A society organized around individuals instead of families. This society has daycare centers and nursing homes, so young women can have jobs other than "caregiver," but children and old people can't count on being cared for by their own relatives. Young adults move away from home instead of taking over a family business. They get support from government and institutions rather than from their family, and owe duties to the government and those institutions. For most women and minorities (who stand to inherit a lot less familial wealth) this kind of culture offers a lot more freedom, more roles they can choose to play. But that does come with a cost. Relationships are more tenuous. People get support from strangers and give support to strangers, and they marry later or not at all, and have fewer children, have less help raising those children, and rely strangers to take care of them when they are sick or old in their turn, too.

Do you think it's possible for one society to accommodate both of these ways of organizing? I'm not sure it is, completely. Because a lot of the people who end up as caregivers and people from poor families who would otherwise end up doing the low-prestige work in the type 1 society won't do it if they have the options that the type 2 society gives them, and without the labor of those people, the type 1 society falls apart.

I don't mind if other people want to live in the type 1 society. I can see the appeal. But I personally don't want to, and I feel like people who do want to live in that society want to undermine the institutions that give me other options, and if they succeed in making it hard to go to college, hard to get health insurance, hard to get birth control etc, then I won't have much choice but to be a stay at home mom and caregiver for my elderly relatives.

This is the real substance of the dispute between liberals and conservatives, I think. I'm not sure it's possible for us to both get exactly the type of society we want. But surely SOME kind of compromise is possible? And I don't see why we need to demonize each other...
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:04 AM on December 18, 2016 [61 favorites]


Did you guys see this?

Trump tweets a lie about NYT circulation numbers and the NYT tweets a fact check. I'm confused. I thought their job was just to report what people were saying and let their readers decide? Why this sudden interest in telling the boring, simple truth?
posted by great_radio at 11:08 AM on December 18, 2016 [17 favorites]


HB2 is not a Klan talking point. Gutting the VRA (it's got "Rights" right there in the name, recall) isn't rounding up anyone. Deporting birthright citizens with their parents was a major plank of the President-Elect.

Racial gerrymandering. Transphobia bathroom bills. Defunding Planned Parenthood. TRAP regulations. Overturning Roe v. Wade. Religious objection laws. All core planks of the Republican party platform designed to specially attack rights of women, POC or just liberals generally, that will almost certainly be implemented or expanded in the next 4 years.

That's before we get to the deportation squads and directing local police to enforce deportation, which is actually "rounding people up".
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:09 AM on December 18, 2016 [19 favorites]


> HB2 is not a Klan talking point. Gutting the VRA (it's got "Rights" right there in the name, recall) isn't rounding up anyone. Deporting birthright citizens with their parents was a major plank of the President-Elect.

> Racial gerrymandering. Transphobia bathroom bills. Defunding Planned Parenthood. TRAP regulations. Overturning Roe v. Wade. Religious objection laws. All core planks of the Republican party platform designed to specially attack rights of women, POC or just liberals generally, that will almost certainly be implemented or expanded in the next 4 years.

Right. Mainstream GOP voters don't all support all of these things, but they are for the most part quite comfortable letting the most extreme among them drive the party's agenda as long as they feel it advances their own interests. It's not just Trump's election that proves that -- just look at the governors and state legislatures that are passing and signing these awful policies into law. Once again, it's outcomes that matter, not intent. Meeting these voters where they are doesn't mean engaging with way they respond to opinion polls or the way they talk when you have a private conversation with them, it means engaging with the way they are voting.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:13 AM on December 18, 2016 [14 favorites]


OnceUponATime's distinction is useful here, because it taps into the last half-century of social mobility, and how the "stuff of the 50s" -- interstates, tract suburbs, the profusion of household consumer goods -- set up a trajectory where there's a division between those who liked its first incarnation and those who prefer its second- and third-order consequences. The trajectory's different in the UK, but it still feels like a story that maps to my parents' lives.

It wasn't that long ago that James Howard Kunstler was arguing how "peak oil" would end this kind of taut, attenuated connectedness over great distance -- that we'd have to live smaller and closer together, within a smaller radius, and that it was time to reinvest in small cities that would serve that way of life. A lot of that felt crankish at the outset, and increasingly so after years of cheap oil, but I'm not so sure now.
posted by holgate at 11:25 AM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


Highly independent lifestyles also come with massive energy and environmental resource costs and other externalities. If everyone in America went solo lifestyle overnight, we'd see global warming worsen dramatically overnight, so I personally don't view that sort of independent living as a desirable outcome on any major scale, even though I'm sympathetic to people who choose it for personal reasons.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:26 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Originally, the cultural forces that were most invested in promoting the ideal of the independent lifestyle were Cold Warriors trying to resist the "effeminizing" influence of prosocial leftist politics, so again, this kind of goes back to deliberate campaigns to influence our attitudes toward specific political goals.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:32 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Kunstler is a crank, but he happens to be a crank who is right about the built environment, peak oil (fracking is only postponing the inevitable), and little else.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:33 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


White House faces exodus of foreign policy experts ahead of Trump's arrival

...The rest of the 400 NSC staff are career civil servants on secondment from other departments. An unusual number of these more junior officials are now looking to depart.

...“Career people are looking get out and go back to their agencies and pressure is being put on them to get them to stay. There is concern there will be a half-empty NSC by the time the new administration arrives, which no one wants,” said one official.

“Career people are looking get out and go back to their agencies and pressure is being put on them to get them to stay. There is concern there will be a half-empty NSC by the time the new administration arrives, which no one wants,” said one official.

The official added that the “landing team” sent to the NSC – Trump representatives who are supposed to prepare for the handover to Trump appointees – have been focused on issues of process, how the office functions, rather than issues of substance involving an explanation of current national security threats and the state of the world the new administration will inherit.

...“Most of the folks I have talked to at the three agencies: DoD (department of defence), state and White House, claim they have little or no interaction with these teams to date,” Julianne Smith, a former deputy national security adviser to vice-president Joe Biden, said.

“There are very important substantive hand-offs that need to be occurring, that are in fact not happening. That is creating added concern about the career civil servants who are in these agencies, wondering what they are in for.”

posted by futz at 11:34 AM on December 18, 2016 [15 favorites]


Trump tweets a lie about NYT circulation numbers and the NYT tweets a fact check.

Lugenpresse, naturally.
posted by Rykey at 11:36 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Podesta is now explicitly saying that he thinks there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The intelligence agencies really need to let us know whether or not there is any evidence of that. I guess that's what the upcoming report is for, but damn, it seems like the collusion claim needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
posted by diogenes at 11:38 AM on December 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


Do you think it's possible for one society to accommodate both of these ways of organizing? I'm not sure it is, completely. Because a lot of the people who end up as caregivers and people from poor families who would otherwise end up doing the low-prestige work in the type 1 society won't do it if they have the options that the type 2 society gives them, and without the labor of those people, the type 1 society falls apart.

I want to say that I think your entire comment above is one of the most insightful comments I've read in a good while, and I think you're entirely correct in the vision of how you see those two idealized societies. And I agree that it's extremely difficult to compromise on those societies - I think a lot of the struggle we're seeing now is the attempt to find a middle ground between those two societies, which winds up satisfying neither.

The only way I think one society can accomodate both of those ways of organizing is if funding and programs and laws are entirely local - this way people who believe primary loyalty to the family can move to a place where that will be accomodated, and people who believe primary loyalty is to the state/institutions can move to a place where that will be accomodated. But I acknowledge even that is an imperfect solution - because as you said, people who don't feel they get enough return on that work (I would argue it's only low-prestige because of the way society is shifting, but that is a different, lengthy, discussion probably best for memail) will travel to the areas where they can be more independent, and even in the state/government-loyalty areas, if someone wanted to move out of them into the family-loyalty areas, they would be doing so without the extended family structure that makes it possible in the first place.

I don't mind if other people want to live in the type 1 society. I can see the appeal. But I personally don't want to, and I feel like people who do want to live in that society want to undermine the institutions that give me other options.


I think this is, by nature of living in a society, a thing that cuts both ways. I'm not talking about which way is fair or moral or right here, just noting how law works. For example, taxes and modern family law help provide for some of those institutions that allow single people to be independent - but they signficantly cut the ability to amass familial wealth - as does the way that the state works inheritance law in many cases. And this is kind of what you're talking about - how do we make it, or is it, possible for everyone to have the life they want?
posted by corb at 11:42 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


What time does the EC vote tomorrow? Should I even commute into Downtown DC?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 11:49 AM on December 18, 2016


Choosing to live in a "type 1" society arrangement is not precluded by the existence of institutions to support the people who choose the "type 2" path. Government social supports benefit both choices.

The "type 1" adherents are attempting to tear down those support institutions, so their choice is the only one available to anyone.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:50 AM on December 18, 2016 [22 favorites]



What would it take? Believe that their way of life is a perfectly fine way of life for them to have, even if you don't want to be a part of it. Or if you already believe it, tell me. Tell me why you believe it. I want to hear you. I want desperately to hear you, to believe you. I am as primed as anyone can ever be.


corb, what you're describing is condescension and patronizing. Of which there is a great deal in liberal circles. I ought to know, as I live in the belly of the beast.

What you don't hear is active malice.

But form the Republican side, in this day and age, there is active malice a-plenty.

For example, sanctuary cities. I live next to one. A friend of mine lives right in it. Years ago, the city was in the clutches of a vicious, murderous gang, the MS-13. They had set up shop on the same block where my friend owned his house, and was living with his wife and daughter in it. He had the lovely experience of a plainclothes cop visiting his home to set up cooperation with the neighborhood. One of the things the cop said was "don't let them see you make the call. Leave the scene, get out of sight, then call."

Imagine what it's like. You're in your house, with your spouse and sprog, and a cop. A COP, sitting in your living room, says the words "don't let them see you make the call."

That's why Somerville became a sanctuary city. Because it was a matter of life and death to establish to everyone there that they should not be afraid to call 911.

Now, we have an actively malicious political party interfering in a way guaranteed to make life more dangerous in a city right next to mine. This will get people killed. The MS-13 is much weaker, but is still there. Visa overstayers are still there. And if they're afraid to make the call, innocent people will die as a result.

There are worse things in life than being patronized. The party you worked for is doing things out of active malice that are making things actively dangerous for some of us.
posted by ocschwar at 11:51 AM on December 18, 2016 [27 favorites]


For example, taxes and modern family law help provide for some of those institutions that allow single people to be independent - but they signficantly cut the ability to amass familial wealth - as does the way that the state works inheritance law in many cases.

You need to provide some support for this claim. It is typical Republican propaganda. In other words, bullshit.
posted by JackFlash at 11:51 AM on December 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


What time does the EC vote tomorrow? Should I even commute into Downtown DC?

Electors vote in their respective state capitals, IIRC. Though I imagine that there will be protests in DC all day and know of one starting at 8:30.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:51 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well I was thinking of it being more of a riot, that a protest. Maybe that's Tuesday, then.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 11:53 AM on December 18, 2016


I thought we wouldn't know results until January 6th.
posted by asteria at 12:02 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just realized today that I lived in Annapolis in 1996 and Raleigh in 2000, but it never even occurred to me before this year that I could go watch the EC vote. My friends and I will be joining the protests tomorrow morning in Atlanta, and then I want to go inside at noon and watch the vote. No faithless electors are expected in Georgia, but I just want to be there to witness.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:02 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


The existence of a federal government is an acknowledgement that families, municipalities, and even states operating independently with their own rules and practices is insufficient for the kind of country our founders wanted America to be. The combination of the Taxing and Spending Clause and the Supremacy Clause leaves no doubt as to where the power to decide wealth distribution lies, and the Sixteenth Amendment further extended this power to be decoupled from and superior to any state / local / familial interests. Those who do not accept the validity of these portions of the Constitution are free to expatriate and found their own republic with rules that give less power to the federal government.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:03 PM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


You need to provide some support for this claim. It is typical Republican propaganda.

When we are politicizing things like "inheritance law affects the collection of family wealth", we are in a place where we are letting partisan feeling prevent us from taking neutral assessments.

Here's de Tocqueville on inheritance, writing from a time before there were Republicans or Democrats, as a foreigner, and with an entirely positive view of its effects:
When the equal partition of property is established by law, the intimate connection is destroyed between family feeling and the preservation of the paternal estate; the property ceases to represent the family; for, as it must inevitably be divided after one or two generations, it has evidently a constant tendency to diminish and must in the end be completely dispersed. The sons of the great landed proprietor, if they are few in number, or if fortune befriends them, may indeed entertain the hope of being as wealthy as their father, but not of possessing the same property that he did; their riches must be composed of other elements than his....

I do not mean that there is any lack of wealthy individuals in the United States; I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken stronger hold on the affections of men and where a profounder contempt is expressed for the theory of the permanent equality of property. But wealth circulates with inconceivable rapidity, and experience shows that it is rare to find two succeeding generations in the full enjoyment of it.
posted by corb at 12:07 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


A bunch of my friends grew up in Europe in the 60s and 70s, and I've always been jealous that it seemed that their society's safety nets made their families stronger, where I think the lack of one tore my family apart, and that was even at the peak of the American safety net.
posted by maggiemaggie at 12:11 PM on December 18, 2016 [28 favorites]


Three leading professors of psychiatry have written to Barack Obama to express their “grave concern” over Donald Trump’s mental stability.

“Nevertheless, his widely reported symptoms of mental instability — including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality — lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office.”
posted by futz at 12:16 PM on December 18, 2016 [11 favorites]


corb: “The only way I think one society can accomodate both of those ways of organizing is if funding and programs and laws are entirely local - this way people who believe primary loyalty to the family can move to a place where that will be accomodated, and people who believe primary loyalty is to the state/institutions can move to a place where that will be accomodated.”
We fought a war over this once. Another isn't going to fix it. I want a society where people with no family to support them don't have to work their fingers to the bone and still have their children go hungry because it's a better place for me to live, not over some misguided allegiance to "the state."
posted by ob1quixote at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2016 [36 favorites]


Somehow I don't think inheritance law is the driving force behind Trump voters.

But I've been wrong a lot in 2016, so what do I know. I'm sure "lock her up" and "build a wall" and all the discriminatory policies cited above really refer to repeal of the estate tax.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:20 PM on December 18, 2016 [23 favorites]


When the equal partition of property is established by law, the intimate connection is destroyed between family feeling and the preservation of the paternal estate; the property ceases to represent the family; for, as it must inevitably be divided after one or two generations, it has evidently a constant tendency to diminish and must in the end be completely dispersed. The sons of the great landed proprietor, if they are few in number, or if fortune befriends them, may indeed entertain the hope of being as wealthy as their father, but not of possessing the same property that he did; their riches must be composed of other elements than his....

That's not a bug, it's a feature.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:21 PM on December 18, 2016 [14 favorites]


experience shows that it is rare to find two succeeding generations in the full enjoyment of it.

Ivanka daughter of Donald son of Frederick seems to be enjoying the fuck out of it.
posted by Etrigan at 12:21 PM on December 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


Donald Trump is the best argument for making the inheritance tax 100% of the estate.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:30 PM on December 18, 2016 [23 favorites]


Here's de Tocqueville on inheritance, writing from a time before there were Republicans or Democrats, as a foreigner, and with an entirely positive view of its effects:

But as Jefferson noted, the earth belongs to the living and not the dead, as do systems of government and constitutions.
posted by holgate at 12:32 PM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


“The only way I think one society can accomodate both of those ways of organizing is if funding and programs and laws are entirely local - this way people who believe primary loyalty to the family can move to a place where that will be accomodated, and people who believe primary loyalty is to the state/institutions can move to a place where that will be accomodated.”

What does this actually mean though? Surely one can feel deep loyalty to ones family and express that loyalty by wanting to make sure said family has safety and health care and food and clean air and water and wants the state to help guarantee some level of those things even if they lose their job or become disabled or their son is gay or they adhere to a minority religion (or no religion) or etc... Why can't we fight for a safety net not because we believe in institutions over family, but because the safety net protects our families most of all?
posted by zachlipton at 12:33 PM on December 18, 2016 [30 favorites]


Somehow I don't think inheritance law is the driving force behind Trump voters.

Not the details, perhaps, but part of it is "what I have is mine to possess and pass on to others, earned entirely by the toil of my ancestors and why are you talking about FHA loans?"
posted by holgate at 12:35 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


But corb, America has a very strong hereditary class/wealth system. We tax very little compared to other wealthy industrial countries and it is in fact easy to pass along family wealth - that's one of the reasons we don't have a lot of class mobility. The perception that we have an onerous estate tax is one of those things that mobilizes people who will never, ever have to pay estate tax. Estate tax is levied on only about .2 percent of estates in the US, and applies only to estates valued at more than five million.
posted by Frowner at 12:36 PM on December 18, 2016 [47 favorites]


I'm a little torn on whether to share this; the pointless "Racism or Classism? Choose One" derail is blessedly, finally chilled out in this iteration of electionthreads and I don't want to poke that particular wasps' nest. But I found this to be a good piece and I see people are still asking how to reach out to potential allies across racial and class lines, so.

To Other Working Americans:
The true, long-term interests of white workers lie with the fate of all other workers, no matter what their race. All workers, of all races, are exploited. We are exploited because we put in the lion's share of the work, skill, and experience, and we bear the scars and lifelong pain from working class life, but we never actually get ahead enough to breathe free. We work multiple jobs to barely meet our needs, while bosses and the people in charge profit from that labor. We are born where we're at, and we die where we're at while rich politicians and white collar business owners live in the lap of luxury. Who are these rich people? Who are these politicians? The truth is that 95% of them are white. They are also mostly male. Almost all of them are English speaking. They are also mostly Christian (or at least pretend to be so). And yet, in spite of having so many superficial things in common with one another, our lives are completely separate. When we stay up late at the kitchen table with a stack of bills, trying to figure out how the budge is going to work, they're eating at restaurants where they'll never even look at the amount on their bill. Tonight, when we finally go to bed in our noisy apartments, our modest houses, or our crowded trailers, they will go to bed in luxury and comfort, with no worries at all. Tomorrow morning, they'll wake up hours after we do, and they won't have to rush through getting their kids to school, or pray that their car starts so that they won't be late for work again. They might look like us, but they don't actually know us at all.
posted by byanyothername at 12:42 PM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


As much as genuine solidarity and confraternity among Americans would be ideal, I think we are beyond the point where that's enough. Democrats may have to just say "we've got people for that" and leave it to professionals to relate to target groups and handle relating between target groups.

I think all of the arguments are there to appeal to nearly every sort of American but it might just be more than a single person can marshal, and we have to accomodate the marketing-slash-propaganda-driven, unlimited-money-in-politics, acceptance-of-surveillance corner our society has painted itself into, anyways.

This year was the first time I've volunteered for a campaign and I don't know about anyone else, but I was extremely creeped out by the Big Data aspects. I'd been aware of all of that from discussion in the press of the techniques that made Obama's campaigns successful, but as I glanced over a person's name, gender, age, and party affiliation in the course of priming myself to make a phone call or knock on a door I had the uncomfortable awareness that I was the fingertip of a surveillance organization.

My understanding is that so far this information has been used to more effectively and efficiently target what are still essentialy 20th-century campaign techniques. But I'm thinking (probably mostly due to seeing the phrase "Ideological Turing Test" in corb's comment above) that the campaign of the next Clinton-like candidate will need to be able to not only generate an interlocking, cross-referenced set of white papers and policy papers and accompanying messaging, but also a software artifact incorporating all of that: something you could ask "Siri, what would our candidate say to a 45 year-old white accounting executive from rural Ohio while she's waiting to pick up her luggage at the airport after returning home from a business trip?" and have it select or tailor an advertisement based upon the "answer", which would be some sort of weighted version of the campaign's overall messaging, possibly also "translated" into the interlocutor's predicted language and predicted framework for viewing the world. Maybe with some further tailoring based on every Google search the target has ever made concerning the subject of the advertisement.

I guess this would basically be a version of a recommender system? A difference being that the "item" being recommended isn't necessarily drawn from a discrete set of options, but may also be customizable to a complicated degree... it's basically recommending something like a tailored decision tree for advertising / customized avatar of the candidate / customized version of reality?

If you think 2016 has been a big year for politically-motivated hacking, you ain't seen nothin' yet: just wait until you can hack into a candidate's surrogate brain. All of their surrogate brains, one being devoted to each voter.
posted by XMLicious at 12:42 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Corb, Wikipedia says that "only the largest 0.2% of estates in the US will have to pay any estate tax". Consequently, even if every one of those estates had, generously, ten beneficiaries other than the spouse, US estate taxes would potentially harm 2% of the population. And it wouldn't even harm most of them, because money that goes to taxes goes to the services that the 2% use, and particularly to things like the civil law and defense which let the .2% accumulate their wealth in the first place.

So the estate tax thing is a total red herring. Unless your circumstances are very different than you have indicated, there is no real prospect of you ever being materially harmed by it. Do you know the bit near the beginning of Animal Farm where they're talking about a revolution, where some animals say “Mr. Jones [the farmer] feeds us. If he were gone, we should starve to death.” That's what the US dialogue over estate taxes sounds like. It's such shallow thinking that I'm frankly embarrassed to read it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:43 PM on December 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


lying about tax burdens in the united states is an honorable republican tradition, and trump took it to new levels during his campaign.

he repeatedly claimed that we're the highest-taxed nation in the world, when in fact we're well behind other industrialized nations.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:44 PM on December 18, 2016 [19 favorites]


Three leading professors of psychiatry have written to Barack Obama to express their “grave concern” over Donald Trump’s mental stability.

If Obama's press conference the other day is any indication, my guess is his response to this will be something along the lines of:

"Ah, a jocular ribbing of the right honorable fellow who'll be stepping into my shoes come January. Love it, love it. Look forward not backward, am I right? Mele Kalikimaka!"
posted by Rykey at 12:45 PM on December 18, 2016


History of the Estate Tax (pdf from the IRS) for some actual facts, rather than conservative panic.


That's what the US dialogue over estate taxes sounds like. It's such shallow thinking that I'm frankly embarrassed to read it.

Temporarily Embarrassed Millionaires.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:48 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Er, isn't corb's de Tocqueville quote saying something about primogeniture rather than anything to do with inheritance tax?
posted by XMLicious at 12:48 PM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think it's more than just taxes and inheritance. I think we do have "type 1" areas (small towns) and "type 2" areas (cities)... and young people have been pouring out of the latter and into the former, leaving small towns with shrinking populations and suffering economies and increasingly elderly residents feeling angry and abandoned.

Just as health insurance plans can't survive without young, healthy people in their risk pools (hence the individual mandate) small towns can't survive without young, healthy people in their labor pools. I think making it harder to get SNAP and Pell grants and so on functions like a "mandate" on young people to stay in their small communities (because that's the only place they'll get any kind of support ) propping up the local economy and supporting the younger and older generations.

It seems to me that when people get to pick between type 1 and type 2, enough young people pick type 2 that type 1 has a hard time surviving, which is why conservatives feel (accurately) that their way of life is threatened. But is it really fair to compel young people to stay in those type 1 communities if they want to leave? Keep in mind that overall tax money flows FROM blue states TO red states on average, and FROM cities TO small towns. It's not tax money that these Pell grants and food stamps cost small towns... right now "type 1" get more back in government subsidies and investments than they spend. It's people, not money, that these programs really cost them. But those people are absolutely necessary to their continued existence.

This does make it hard to compromise. But what if we found better ways to subsidize people to stay in their communities and start families and businesses if they want? A marriage bonus? Grants and low interest loans for start up businesses in small towns? A new Homestead act -- perhaps literally giving away land in Appalachia. I think some of this might really help keep those "type 1" communities viable for those who really want to live there, without closing down other options for those who don't?
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:53 PM on December 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


If there is one thing that this election cycle has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt it is that the mass of the Republican electorate doesn't know or care about this sort of ideological policy-driven debate over the estate tax or other Paul Ryan-esque budgetary crap. None of this stuff has anything to do with why most of those folks turned out to vote.
posted by Justinian at 12:54 PM on December 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


> Just as health insurance plans can't survive without young, healthy people in their risk pools (hence the individual mandate) small towns can't survive without young, healthy people in their labor pools.

American small towns don't have a shortage of young, healthy workers, they have a shortage of jobs for those workers. Aside from jobs that depend on specific tracts of land (farming, resource extraction, etc.) it turns out that it's easier to sustain a business that employs people in higher-density areas, because the infrastructure that supports those jobs (roads, transit, office/retail space, etc.) is less expensive than in areas where the population is more spread out.

Historically, the US has tilted in favor of subsidies to address this imbalance, whether it was a postal service that delivered for the same price to anyone regardless of how remote they are, or development patterns that build major roads to places where very few people live, expecting those roads to encourage people to move there, which they did. This isn't a bad idea, but it has its limits, and when it becomes clear that coal mining in West Virginia isn't economically competitive with natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale, we don't owe the people in West Virginia coal mining jobs, we owe them the standard of living that came with those jobs -- hopefully via another job they can be trained for, but if not, then through cash transfer, assistance with moves toward higher-density areas where the jobs are, etc.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:00 PM on December 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


the mass of the Republican electorate doesn't know or care about this sort of ideological policy-driven debate

No, they just know their small towns are dying, and that it's somehow the Democrats' fault. But if their small towns weren't dying, maybe they wouldn't be so angry at Democrats?
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:00 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


But if their small towns weren't dying, maybe they wouldn't be so angry at Democrats?

How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)

Small towns suck (for many people) regardless of the job situation. Cities are the future and nothing we do will change that.
posted by Justinian at 1:02 PM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


I feel like most suburban wealthy Republicans, while they did vote for Trump, would've been happier with Romney?
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:04 PM on December 18, 2016


the mass of the Republican electorate doesn't know or care about this sort of ideological policy-driven debate over the estate tax or other Paul Ryan-esque budgetary crap

As a point of anecdata, the estate tax was a talking point that resonated with my elderly parents, who despite having made it big and have a net worth of somewhere just north of a million dollars in retirement, will never, ever come close to the ~$5.5 million minimum to have to worry about it. The very wealthy have done a good job of confusing the issue to the point that many people incorrectly think the money they want to pass onto their children will be taken away, and I suspect that was part of what swayed some of the famed upper middle class white voters towards Trump.
posted by Candleman at 1:07 PM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


I lived in a tiny town in an economically depressed region for about a year, and enjoyed it a lot. It wouldn't have worked without fast internet, though.
posted by Coventry at 1:07 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Conservatives are afraid liberals will condescend to them. Liberals are afraid conservatives will kill them.
posted by supercrayon at 1:08 PM on December 18, 2016 [95 favorites]


If there is one thing that this election cycle has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt it is that the mass of the Republican electorate doesn't know or care about this sort of ideological policy-driven debate over the estate tax or other Paul Ryan-esque budgetary crap.

I feel like this is true on a policy level, but we have to be careful not to make the assumption that this means voter motivation isn't driven by material, structural concerns. Engineering the economic and social structures we live with in order to promote better individual and community outcomes is difficult, but seems easier to me than forcing people to just be "better" at navigating modern, industrial society.

Actually modern, post-industrial really.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:09 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's really not just about inheritance. There's a lot of ongoing debate among experts still about whether or not urban living really does work out better for energy and resource consumption. There's some evidence the nature of dense population urban living actively increases personal resource consumption rates. And it is true that currently, it's estimated that 80% of greenhouse gas emissions are from large urban centers. Basic economics would argue we should all be living with one or more people if possible, because pooling resources among individuals leads to more efficient consumption patterns and energy use, generally. Two people sharing a single living space and other basic life resources reduce their individual carbon footprints over what two individuals living and maintaining two separate households can achieve, generally. It's less efficient to cool and heat and otherwise maintain more lodging structures for the same number of people, so living completely alone is more of a burden on the commonwealth, just from a strict resource use efficiency point of view. People living alone are more likely to slip into poverty when facing unexpected life events and emergencies, too, so from a certain point of view, it's a choice that everybody else has to help subsidize somehow, whether from inheritance taxation or other smoothing mechanisms. Obviously, we still have to be willing to do that, though, because not everyone has the benefit of even the option to cohabitate full-time (like me right now, for instance).
posted by saulgoodman at 1:09 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Oops. Meant to cite this, though there may be better sources...)
posted by saulgoodman at 1:13 PM on December 18, 2016


This year was the first time I've volunteered for a campaign and I don't know about anyone else, but I was extremely creeped out by the Big Data aspects.

The thing is, none of that shit worked. The Democrats were so busy with big data entry that they didn't listen when traditional on the ground leaders were begging them to spend more effort in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Meanwhile Trump ran pretty much a standard campaign. Except he outsourced most of his ad budget to 24/7 free media coverage.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:13 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I feel like this is true on a policy level, but we have to be careful not to make the assumption that this means voter motivation isn't driven by material, structural concerns. 

Republicans' Economic Outlook Improves Substantially - "After Trump won last week's election, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now have a much more optimistic view of the U.S. economy's outlook than they did before the election. "

1. I'm still waiting to hear a good "economic anxiety" explanation of why working-class whites voted overwhelmingly for McCain in '08.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:16 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


So the estate tax thing is a total red herring. Unless your circumstances are very different than you have indicated, there is no real prospect of you ever being materially harmed by it.

When I said that the way the state works inheritance law lowers the ability to amass familial wealth, you - and others - assumed I was talking specifically about the estate tax. And you have an answer for that - the argument strikes you as one that is one that's being talked about by the major political parties, and so that's where everyone went with it.

But I wasn't actually talking about that at all - or at least, not mostly. I was talking specifically about how our complex system of laws make it difficult to consolidate wealth within a single family while preventing the wealth from escaping that family. How difficult it is to leave, for example, property that can't be easily sold outside of the family. How property taxes act on the assessed value of the property, not the income-producing nature of the property, thus lowering the value of leaving large pieces of property to people without the ability to produce a large income. How property is divided between spouses and children, thus shrinking the property and "family land". How nursing homes shrink inheritances.

And where I think this impacts people is actually kind of abstract. I don't think people are consciously voting specifically over this difference. But I think that in many ways, the underlying cultural values that were created when these systems were very different still exist and are transmitted, while the systems that would allow these values to survive don't exist. So there's a disconnect between cultural feelings about Family And How It Works, and the reality of land transfer and income and inheritance and expectations in the United States, and I think that those differences contribute strongly to the increasing sense of economic anxiety.

So for just one example - it's much easier to take in 'spare' family members when you have the ability to build additions onto your property cheaply and easily so that they don't have to double-up rooms, and where doing such a thing won't be forbidden by code or increase your property tax. In turn, having those 'spare' family members present and contributing decreases the cost of living for everyone. It decreases childcare costs, it decreases capital expenditures, it allows you to take advantage of the economies in scale in food-buying and household-good buying, for example. It's entirely economically feasible, especially when you have a family business that the people involved might be extra hands for.

But when you have to hire an expensive contractor to do those additions, and the cost of everything has gone up because of all the above named factors, you're less likely to build an addition onto your house - you're more likely to have Uncle Joe sleeping on the couch - which in turn, lowers how Uncle Joe - and probably you - feel about the matter. Instead of feeling expansive and with good family feeling, you feel cramped and resentful. And Uncle Joe doesn't know why he feels resentful - he doesn't know that a multiplicity of rules and changes over time have culminated in him feeling worthless. All he knows is he's prepared "to contribute" but feels like a chump.

Add a few other factors onto that, and now Uncle Joe votes for Trump, because he doesn't exactly know why he's not doing as well as his great-great-uncle Joseph did, but he knows that he's not, and he's working just as hard as great-great-uncle Joseph. He doesn't know exactly what rules and regulations he wants repealed - he just knows he wants things to go back to where this wouldn't be happening to him.
posted by corb at 1:21 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


The thing is, none of that shit worked.

There was probably some magical thinking involved there... a lot of effort on organization despite sharply reduced activist support compared to Obama's campaign, because of a confused and somewhat dispiriting message, and arrogance about Trump's prospects. On the other hand, good organization and data tracking probably is very helpful, as long as you've got the people to use it.

Meanwhile Trump ran pretty much a standard campaign. Except he outsourced most of his ad budget to 24/7 free media coverage.

Who knows what they actually did, since they lie a lot, but the Trump campaign claims to have made extensive use of personal data for fairly Orwellian targeted facebook advertisements.
posted by Coventry at 1:27 PM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Texas Begins $350M in Medicaid Cuts; Disabled Children Affected

HO HO HO MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy Fucking New Year
posted by futz at 1:30 PM on December 18, 2016 [17 favorites]


Regarding Corb's comment about the estate tax:

So, right now the exemption for the estate tax is $5.45M. Married couples who plan this kind of thing can get their taxes assessed as if they are two different people who each have $5.45M in wealth, so the exemption for almost all estates is effectively $10.9M.

That's an awfully big number and it only applies to about 0.2% of estates, as said earlier.

What can you do with $1M? Well, the S&P500 has gotten about an 8% return since the end of WW2, so excluding inflation you can probably expect about 6-7% or so, so it would be quite easy to get a return of about 5%. That's $50,000, which is a little bit above the median income in America.

In other words as the law stands now, if a married couple dies with a $10.9M estate, ELEVEN heirs could each receive $1M and immediately retire to a living standard higher than half the country without a cent in tax.

The places where these heirs live tend to be more expensive of course, but an heir could live anywhere in America as they don't have to work again for the rest of their lives. Of course most heirs don't retire because they've gotten really good educations and have very higher-paying jobs: but this is just an argument in favor of a lower exemption isn't it? Since these heirs are doing just fine on their own?

Income taxes, capital gains taxes, dividend taxes, sales taxes all have philosophical arguments against them: working, investing, and spending all help the economy, and we get less of each of those things when we tax them. But the estate tax, that is the most justifiable tax of all. It's already grotesque how much a parent's wealth determines a kid's lot in life, and the estate tax is about the most direct way of addressing that.

ON PREVIEW: Corb: you keep abstracting how high the exemption on the estate tax is. It's $10.9M, enough money for 11 children and grandchildren to never know another day of labor for the rest of their lives and still get a higher income than 50% of the country (and leave quite a bit for their children and grandchildren as well). Even under HRC's plan the exemption was still $10.9M, with the max rate above that going from the current 40% to 65%. Who are these economically anxious heirs of parents worth $10.9M?
posted by Luminiferous Ether at 1:34 PM on December 18, 2016 [39 favorites]


I was talking specifically about how our complex system of laws make it difficult to consolidate wealth within a single family while preventing the wealth from escaping that family.

Yes, that is called "taxes", and it is what allows us to have what is known as "civilization".

To speak to your so-called example, yes, it's expensive to build and most people can't just do it themselves. That is called "regulation", and its opposite is not "freedom", it's "Triangle Shirtwaist Factory."
posted by Etrigan at 1:36 PM on December 18, 2016 [58 favorites]


Very few adults in the United States want to have their parents, siblings, or grown children living with them, even if there are significant cost savings and economies of scale. We're seeing more people having to do it out of economic necessity in the wake of the Great Recession, but the cultural changes that made us want to have our nuclear family live independently from other nuclear families within our extended families are not driven primarily by economics. It's just a part of The American Dream. Maybe that dream was never realistic without keeping large segments of the population out of the workforce and denying them their fair share of the proceeds from America's post-war economic boom, or maybe we just need to find other ways to help distribute resources and align our economy to ensure that everyone's needs are met. But it wasn't contractors getting healthcare that caused people to move away from multi-family housing, it was how most of us chose to live.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:36 PM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


So for just one example - it's much easier to take in 'spare' family members when you have the ability to build additions onto your property cheaply and easily so that they don't have to double-up rooms, and where doing such a thing won't be forbidden by code or increase your property tax.

The funny thing is that you advocate for far more local control and governance as the solution to these problems, but the federal government doesn't give a darn about whether you build an extra bedroom onto your home; that fight is pretty much entirely with your city, county, and/or HOA.

And I'm not convinced that most Americans want to keep adding bedrooms onto their house until they've built a giant compound for their entire extended family. Some do, and some find a way to make that kind of arrangement work, but the fact that Thanksgiving travel is such a large industry is a clue that this isn't a lifestyle everyone has sought out.
posted by zachlipton at 1:45 PM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


So there's a disconnect between cultural feelings about Family And How It Works

There's also a cultural argument about what is a family as well. Conservatives still idealize the nuclear family with a working dad, stay at home mom, and the 2.5 kids, but that leaves out same-sex marriages and single parent households.

likely to build an addition onto your house - you're more likely to have Uncle Joe sleeping on the couch

The US a long time ago also decided that a national labor market was a good thing. The idea is basically if Joe can't find work close to family, then he picks up and moves elsewhere. Yes, that does cause Joe to be away from family, but to keep Uncle Joe both employed and living with the family is going to require more than just some tax adjustments. It requires at least attracting jobs to where Joe lives, or a shift in the American attitude that a national mobile labor market is always a good thing?
posted by FJT at 1:51 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


corb, in de Tocqueville's Old World Uncle Joe probably wouldn't get his own room with a couch to sleep on unless he were from an unusually well-to-do family, would he?

I don't understand what you're saying these things have to do with "the way that the state works inheritance law" somehow cutting the ability to amass familial wealth. Primogeniture resulted in amassing of familial wealth by (from our perspective) taking it away from most of the family and giving it to one family member, not by refraining from taxing wealth in general or anything like that as far as I know.

If a family wanted to obtain the supposed benefits of primogeniture, couldn't everyone other than the eldest sibling disclaim their inheritance, if indeed primogeniture prevents wealth from escaping the family somehow?
posted by XMLicious at 1:52 PM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]



I dunno if I'm reading it wrong but the idea that there is two ways of organizing a society and that it's behind this political divide because it's being taken by one group that the other is against organizing around families vs organizing around the 'state' (individuals) makes me so beyond mad that I can barely think straight. I'm literally spitting with rage here.

It is one of the most offensive notions that I have ever heard. Maybe it's because I'm not American and have grown up in a what is appearing to be more and more a different culture at it's roots, one where the idea that there is some sort of difference or competition between the two is barely imaginable. Like wtf?

But if this really is the case and what a huge swath of Americans think about people who support safety nets (that they're not chosing family) then...I just don't know. The political divide and worldviews is way, way worse then I thought. If this group views 'the state' and safety nets as some sort of either or, one for the family and the other not...I'm at a loss of how to even approach it because it seems so utterly ridiculous and stupid.

And yeah I know I'm supposed to be empathetic and listen and maybe eventually I'll get over the absolute insult of it to do so but holy cow if this really is a major state of the political divide in the US right I'm not sure how it's fixable. It's just so, so wrong on so many levels.
posted by Jalliah at 1:59 PM on December 18, 2016 [38 favorites]


it's much easier to take in 'spare' family members when you have the ability to build additions onto your property cheaply and easily so that they don't have to double-up rooms, and where doing such a thing won't be forbidden by code or increase your property tax.

1) What happens when I buy your house and the roof in your cheap-ass, not-up-to-code addition starts leaking?

2) If you put on addition, your house is worth more. Why wouldn't your property tax go up as your property value increases?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:10 PM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


If this group views 'the state' and safety nets as some sort of either or, one for the family and the other not...I'm at a loss of how to even approach it because it seems so utterly ridiculous and stupid.

They would respond that churches and private charity can make up for everything the safety net does. Really.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:12 PM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


corb: Are there any polls or related social science research which demonstrate that a large fraction of Americans are acutely concerned with accumulating property within their families across multiple generations?
posted by Coventry at 2:13 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


"When the equal partition of property is established by law, the intimate connection is destroyed between family feeling and the preservation of the paternal estate."

What the hell are you even talking about? There is never been a law established in the U.S. prescribing the distribution of inherited wealth. You and your spouse can distribute $10.9 million in cash or property absolutely tax free to anyone you want -- your many children, a single child, your next door neighbor or even your dog. The law doesn't tell you how to do that. Partition your wealth any way you want. The government doesn't care. That Tocqueville quote makes no sense.

And state inheritance taxes have similar exemptions. For example, Washington state exempts the first $4.2 million for a couple and has generous exemptions for family farms and family small businesses.

And then you go on and shift the goalposts, complaining about property taxes. Yet you live in a state that has no income tax, thereby relying on a regressive property and sales tax. Don't you realize that you are getting screwed by state Republicans who insist the wealthy pay no income tax while the middle class pays burdensome sales and property taxes to make up for it?

The idea that the government is preventing you from accumulating and passing on wealth is just Republican bullshit.
posted by JackFlash at 2:14 PM on December 18, 2016 [34 favorites]


And then you go on and shift the goalposts, complaining about property taxes. Yet you live in a state that has no income tax, thereby relying on a regressive property and sales tax.

It's almost as if this distinction between "state-focused" and "family-focused" outlooks is a convenient deflection away from what is really the usual "fuck you, got mine" attitude of those who think taxes are somehow an imposition on them because lord forbid they might have to pay money that helps a non-blood-relative.

Weird, huh?
posted by tocts at 2:21 PM on December 18, 2016 [14 favorites]


They would respond that churches and private charity can make up for everything the safety net does. Really.

Yes I know that. That isn't what is hitting my rage button. It's more foundational then that it's the idea that people that support type two are for the 'individual' and the 'state' as an organizing principle, that it's this either or between that and supporting 'the family' as an organizing principle. It's one, wrong and two not the way that it even works in reality.

But then again maybe it's because this idea is so utterly 'foreign' in it's cultural context. It's just more of an indication of how two cultures can be so close in so many ways and so utterly different at the same time.
posted by Jalliah at 2:21 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


ZOMG STOP: @realDonaldTrump: If my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned & called terrible names!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:27 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


We should be sure to acknowledge that there are all sorts of practices and phenomena existing in our society designed to prevent both families and individuals from amassing wealth, like student loans extracting wealth from people by inducing them to borrow against their own futures, payday lending at usurious rates most popes in history would excommunicate people over, and reverse mortgages on the other end to drain down wealth before it can be passed on.

But unrestrained rapacious exploitation on the part of the people benefiting from those things is usually what conservatives promote, not what they oppose, as far as I've ever known.
posted by XMLicious at 2:28 PM on December 18, 2016 [13 favorites]



" Donald I don't care if your people scorn me or call me names. So there! *sticks out tongue* nyah nyah."


Swear that's the level this guy's brain is at. It's like listening to 12 year olds in the school yard.
posted by Jalliah at 2:30 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: If my many supporters acted and threatened people

Didn't come from his phone. One of the Grasshoppers on his staff has snatched the pebble.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:31 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


The tweet is certainly his and not a staff person. I think he's just tweeting from his computer now, as well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:35 PM on December 18, 2016


Responding privately to folk so this doesn't just become an enormous derail.
posted by corb at 2:36 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


He doesn't use a computer but does dictate some tweets to staff per a Times article earlier in the campaign that I can't find right now.
posted by chris24 at 2:40 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The problem with the go-to Conservative answer for any problem (Sort it Out Locally!) which corb threw out above is all those people who are trapped in their local area and can't afford to move or don't wish to.

The problem is that as a nation we have determined that some things are Wrong and should not be allowed in our country. Murder is wrong, and if Texas decided to make murder legal, there are a lot of us who would hope that the federal government would step in an say "No, murder is still illegal, you can't just do that."

A lot of us are protected at a very basic level only by the federal government. Gender discrimination, racial discrimination, the right to have public education, integration, the right to marry who we choose, the right to make health decisions for our own bodies etc, etc. The problem with local control is that absent the federal government and the constitution a lot of local areas would pass laws that would make them look decidedly UnAmerican. And there would be no recourse for anyone who found their rights taken away. Those of us who live in Red States rely HEAVILY on the federal government for our continued freedom to exist. And I don't mean handouts. I mean the federal government is the only thing protecting our rights.

So when I hear conservatives talk about reducing the power of the federal government, even when they are reasonable sounding conservatives that I otherwise respect, my blood runs cold. America is a country with certain principles. Freedom, equality, fairness, the pursuit of happiness. Obviously we are constantly struggling to live up to those principles. I deeply feel that absent the oversight of the federal government, you'd see a lot of localities that quickly had none of the principles of our Founding Fathers. Local government is good at some things. Land zoning, managing city services, organizing education and local tax rates. But there has to be common standards for our whole nation. If there's no oversight then the water in Flint is perfectly fine. Then a state legislature could make murder legal. They are trying right now to take away my rights to healthcare and the rights of my friends to marry. There are some things that HAVE to be Wrong and not allowable in America. Or what good is having a nation at all?
posted by threeturtles at 2:51 PM on December 18, 2016 [45 favorites]


now Uncle Joe votes for Trump, because he doesn't exactly know why he's not doing as well as his great-great-uncle Joseph did, but he knows that he's not, and he's working just as hard as great-great-uncle Joseph. He doesn't know exactly what rules and regulations he wants repealed - he just knows he wants things to go back to where this wouldn't be happening to him.

Which makes good ol' Uncle Joe a LOW INFORMATION VOTER and so fucking what? Pandering to the Uncle Joes of the US with blatant lies may very well have been what won Trump the election, but it's not much of an argument for "understanding" them or for changing course in future Dem campaigns or for governing according to how the Uncle Joes of the world think things should work.

This is what drives me to teeth-grinding every time you bring up this "understand the other side" thing, corb - WE DO. We understand that Uncle Joe can't be arsed to turn off Rush Limbaugh telling him it's "rules and regulations" that cost him his good paycheck and bother to figure out why he really doesn't live as well as his great-great-uncle, which info is not exactly hard to find if you bother to look (HINT: de-regulation and other conservative economic policies.) We understand that hey, of course Uncle Joe wouldn't consider himself a racist, hell no, he's proudly worked alongside plenty of black fellas, but, only, y'know, you see these young guys doing nothin' all day with their saggy pants and that rap shit they listen to, well. . . . . We understand that good ol' Uncle Joe's got nothin' against the queers, really, only he just doesn't think they should be making a big deal about it in public, kissing each other and having special parades and stuff, they don't need to shove it in his face. We understand that Uncle Joe thinks that of course women should be able to have a job (although it's a damn shame that so many have to work, these days) but really staying at home and raising kids is what women were built for, and that Hillary woman running for President just doesn't seem right.

We understand them, corb. We just think they're fucking wrong.

And unlike Trump and most Republican politicians and the whole right-wing media and punditry and think-tank apparatus, we're not lying to them.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:57 PM on December 18, 2016 [47 favorites]


[Folks, it feels like things are kind of getting pretty far down the track of specifically responding to corb's personal views, and that may not be the most edifying way to go. Consider this a friendly nudge away from the everybody-focus-on-corb's-specific-views track, and back toward more general post-election topics.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:02 PM on December 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


But when you have to hire an expensive contractor to do those additions, and the cost of everything has gone up because of all the above named factors, you're less likely to build an addition onto your house

Property tax isn't really my area, but I do an awful lot of zoning and building permit applications. Pretty much every jurisdiction has looser and less expensive requirements for homeowners than for commercial projects, and the more rural the jurisdiction (and the more likely to actually have the space for serious family farmhouse-style additions) the less onerous the permitting.

The last family farmhouse that I could reasonably be said to have a stake in was lost to arson some years back (and nobody was living there at the time, there being no jobs anyone wanted nearby.) It was pretty awesome seeing the additions that had left interior windows and that sort of thing; it's a shame it's gone, but more because of nostalgia than actual family need. All that remained on my last visit was some bricks from the chimney and foundation posts; I'm not sure even those are left now.

(And this is such a derail but it's just so much more pleasant to think about than topics more directly Trump-related, sorry.)
posted by asperity at 3:02 PM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


"So for just one example - it's much easier to take in 'spare' family members when you have the ability to build additions onto your property cheaply and easily so that they don't have to double-up rooms, and where doing such a thing won't be forbidden by code or increase your property tax."

Interestingly, we have a natural test case for this claim in Indiana, where there is something called a log cabin exemption where if you own the land and do the work yourself, you may build anything you want onto your house, not subject to ANY building codes (except, beginning just a couple years ago, they may require you have either septic or sewer and not dump your sewage in the yard what with the cholera). Indiana also has low property tax rates, significantly lower than surrounding states, and very loose zoning codes in most places (where they exist at all) and, as noted, you can exempt yourself from them by building yourself. So if this is the case, we should see Indiana significantly leading surrounding states in home building and additions.

In fact, however, Indiana significantly lags the region (and the US as a whole) in new home construction and home additions, and hardly anyone takes advantage of the "log cabin" exemption; most people in this red state, even when given the choice to exempt themselves from building codes, prefer to use contractors, or, if building themselves, undergo city inspections.

Which is a semi-common thing with Republican economic arguments -- they're theories that aren't actually backed by empirical evidence; indeed, the empirical evidence very often contradicts the theory (as with trickle-down economics, or the Kansas catastrophe, etc.).

I'm not sure I buy the argument that "building and zoning codes are impoverishing the American family and pissing off GOP voters" (indeed, you want strict-ass zoning, find yourself a conservative suburb of a major city) is a GOP claim. But if it is, the data contradicts the claim. Given the option, people don't actually want to do this.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:10 PM on December 18, 2016 [43 favorites]




Poll: 55% of Americans bothered by Russian election hacking. This has the potential to be Trump's equivalent to Obama's birtherism problem. Except, you know, plausible.
posted by Coventry at 3:46 PM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


you want strict-ass zoning, find yourself a conservative suburb of a major city

Can confirm this is true and also a reason their telecommunications infrastructure tends to be upgraded with, uh, less than all possible haste. I suppose it's possible this plays into the low-information-voter phenomenon as well.

It'd be nice to see massive telecommunications projects like KentuckyWired improving rural (and not-so-rural) access to information in every state. I'm hopeful that KY will be so successful with this that other states will give it a try.
posted by asperity at 3:46 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


How are only 55% of people concerned about it? This is a huge violation of our sovereignty, an unprecedented act of sabotage. I can't believe after all the people killed, all the nasty cold war plots and intrigues, whole nations' futures derailed in service to protecting the U.S. from the threat of communism and Soviet aggression, now we all just collectively roll over and say, oh, ah, oops! No big deal after all. It's surreal how fractured and powerless we seem now.
posted by saulgoodman at 4:31 PM on December 18, 2016 [33 favorites]


saulgoodman, when I saw those numbers earlier, all I could think is that the 45% not concerned either don't believe it happened or are Trump voters who benefited from it. Had it gone the other way, that Russia intervened to help Clinton, you'd better believe that 45% would believe it happened because Breitbart and Stormfront said so, but also would protest because they were harmed by the intervention.

I firmly believe that the wish to be uninformed as voters plays a part in this.
posted by Silverstone at 4:44 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Regarding the Type 1 vs. Type 2 family structures in society, there are very strong elements of both in Japan (I've lived here for about 10 yrs). The cultural framework that created this balance may not be directly transferrable (unless you want to incorporate ancestor worship into Christianity), but there is still plenty to be gained by looking at the social fabric here.

Basically nuclear families usually live with or near grandparents, and grandparents are much more involved in child care. And this is despite, or in addition to, the national preschool and daycare enrollment fees determined by family income. Grandmothers often pick up the children in the afternoon allowing mothers to work a little later whenever needed. We live with my wife's mother who does a lot of the family cooking, which is a huge help for our work schedules.

Japan also does suffer from the effect of younger generations moving away from small towns for the jobs of big cities. Although I don't think they're doing this to get away from family obligations. It's probably a common factor but secondary to simply more jobs. In response to this trend, the national government passed a law enabling anyone (but aimed at city dwellers) to allocate much of their local taxes to any other remote local area (more info). This was originally with the thought that people would support their hometown communities, but it warped into a strange trend where small towns offer gifts to outside tax payers and prefectures with more popular gifts get disproportionate tax revenue. Overall I think the system has helped in countering the population vacuum, but could probably be improved a lot.

All this said, family structure here has downsides too which may or may not apply to other countries/cultures. One point that I consider a downside is that most college students commute from home. This may be more about the lack of undergrad scholarships, and the convenience of public transportation, but many people live with parents until marriage. I think the lack of "campus towns" also means a lack of culture and intellectual hubs that inspire creative thinking and help bridge the urban and rural culture gaps. So these hubs are instead limited to large cities, which exacerbates the problem of young people leaving small towns.

When families and communities are more tightly-knit, there are also issues of privacy or pressure to live up to expectations of those around you. In the US I could see this being the biggest turn-off for the freedom junkies, but Japan does have coping mechanisms like Love Hotels, or more subtle examples like private table rooms in restaurants.


I love the universal healthcare, daycare, senior care, all of which thrive alongside tight local communities and family life, which sounds like the best of both worlds but does create problematic side effects along the way. But even with Japan's problems, the US should really be looking here and at most other first world countries for inspiration and national discussion about what may work to improve the American system. But all I usually hear is "That would never work in America because America is [...]."
posted by p3t3 at 4:49 PM on December 18, 2016 [24 favorites]


The thing is, none of that shit worked. The Democrats were so busy with big data entry that they didn't listen when traditional on the ground leaders were begging them to spend more effort in Michigan and Wisconsin.

But Strange, in the run up to an election, how do you know who is right? Pretty much every possible position is staked out by someone somewhere and then after the election some of them turn out to have been correct. Is there any way to separate the wheat from the chaff without actually having the election? Without data what do you have but a bunch of people's opinions?
posted by great_radio at 4:50 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Democrats were so busy with big data entry that they didn't listen when traditional on the ground leaders were begging them to spend more effort in Michigan and Wisconsin.
---
But Strange, in the run up to an election, how do you know who is right?


And it wasn't just their big data program. Every pollster and aggregator had it the same way. They were up by an average of 5+ points in the last 30+ polls in both WI and MI. The polls in swing states Trump won ended up being 5-6% off. They ran the campaign and evaluated requests for resources based on the data they had.
posted by chris24 at 4:54 PM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


How are only 55% of people concerned about it?

Because it benefited their guy.

It's to the point now where nothing Putin could do would be as bad as having Hilary as President for 45% of the country. He's not the enemy anymore, Democrats are.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:01 PM on December 18, 2016 [17 favorites]


Then Putin already won. And in hindsight, I'm wondering just how much of a hand he's had in stoking the divisions here, given that's been the stated aim of the Russian intelligence services all along and we really don't know just how extensive their operations have been. Jesus what a shit show.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:08 PM on December 18, 2016 [17 favorites]


Trump finds budget director to carry out tax cuts for big business, funding cuts for everything else. There’s a hawk in the henhouse now.
After his expected nomination was reported, Mulvaney told reporters that “the Trump administration will restore budgetary and fiscal sanity back in Washington after eight years of an out-of-control, tax and spend financial agenda, and will work with Congress to create policies that will be friendly to American workers and businesses.”
When I first read that I seriously thought he was describing what they were planning to do in 2024 just before leaving office.
posted by XMLicious at 5:11 PM on December 18, 2016


Then Putin already won.

I think that's almost inarguable. We're just waiting around to see the terms of our peaceful(?) transition to a Russian client state. He won, the US is ruled by a puppet government or at best useful idiots, we just don't know exactly what we're giving up yet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:15 PM on December 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


How are only 55% of people concerned about it? This is a huge violation of our sovereignty, an unprecedented act of sabotage.

I've been texting back and forth with a friend who voted for Trump and every bad thing I point out about the incoming administration is countered with his glee about tax breaks for the rich and the dismantling of the regulatory system for banks, wall street, etc. This is a guy who works for one of the big financial companies and is in debt up to his eyeballs. He was house flipper in the late 2000's and ended having to file for bankruptcy in 2009. I've tried reasoning with him and he acts like I'm harshing his fucking buzz. I decided tonight to not waste my time and he can get fucked.

So with that said, I'm asking just want in the fuck can I do? It was mentioned up thread that there's those of us that are sick and feel hopeless and we're looking for something to rally around to take action. Where the fuck is the democratic party? Where are the progressive leaders? Someone, somewhere tell me what I can do besides reading these goddamned election threads and feeling hopeless.

(and just so you know, I've started donating to the ACLU monthly as a start)
posted by photoslob at 5:16 PM on December 18, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'm wondering just how much of a hand he's had in stoking the divisions here,

Oh, I'm starting to wonder how many of the commentators on Facebook are paid stooges. And how many groups were egged on by them.

The problem with aggregation is that it becomes so much easier to hack a system. When there were tiny clusters of social media -- with Livejournal, say, or blogs in general-- a troll could only do so much damage. Now, it feels way less restrained.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:25 PM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]




When are the results from the EC vote due tomorrow?
posted by Coventry at 5:36 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


photoslob:

-yeah, monthly donations to anyone you can afford (ACLU, NAACP, Plannet Parenthood, Common Cause). Bonus is that not only do you help the cause, they keep you updated on where they're taking action. You should probably also subscribe to one of the big newspapers (New York Times or Washington Post) to support independent media.

-Sign up for one of the national daily/weekly action reminders: Rebecca Solnit's FB has one; there are others called tell all your friends and a wall of us; there's also a text message based service that I absurdly can't find the name of even though I'm currently subscribed. These will largely involve tasking you to call your Senators and congressmen (which you can also do on your own!) but also include things like signing petitions, and every so often doing something in person (protesting the Electoral College vote at your statehouse tomorrow, for example.)

-Join a locally based anti-Trump political action group on Facebook - Pantsuit Nation spun off into lots of local chapters when the national group became a non-profit, so you could start there, but there are lots of options. You're looking for a group that will keep you updated when something goes down in your state that doesn't make the national groups - for example, my local PN group is where I found out about the Voter ID laws the legislature was trying to force through in a lame duck session.

-Ideally, this group will be a place where you can connect with people who are looking to get involved in a way that's somewhat more in-depth than just making phone calls, etc. That might be working to drag the local Democratic party to the left, but it also might mean starting an in-person, independent political action group to dig in its heels and fight Trump tea-party style, as outlined in this document, here.

-Finally, if you can afford it, come to the January 20th/January 21st protests. You're going to be angry that day - you might as well be surrounded by people who feel your pain.

I'm sorry that your friend is being so intransigent. One of the things that's been so hard for a lot of us over the past month is that we've seen an ugly side of people we thought we knew. But it's not our job to be the voice of reason and persuasion anymore. Now we fight.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 5:37 PM on December 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


There are some things that HAVE to be Wrong and not allowable in America. Or what good is having a nation at all?

I know after Trump's sworn in people are going to die unnecessarily and loot is going to go to places I don't like, but have you read what's happening in Syria? A fucked up theocratic kleptocracy is still better than barons, warlords and bandit chefs competing to decide who dies and where the loot goes using such tools as assassination, ambushes and battles. Not to mention they all have a tendency to rape, pillage and burn on the way to commit mass murders

It been 150 years since the recent unpleasantness, and here in the Missouri Ozarks, we're still talking about how the local State Guard fought skirmishes with the Confederate Army, the Federal Army, Bushwhackers, Jayhawkers and non-aligned bandits. That's a five way war in just 3 years for a group nominal loyal to the appointed state government and the Union.

Right now we've got white and latin street gangs and opposing 1%er MCs recruiting locally since the DEA created a power vacuum in the drug business, then left town. Ask me how much help I expect Trump's DHS to be.
posted by ridgerunner at 5:39 PM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


The real eye-opener in that poll: 71% of Republicans are just fine with state-sponsored interference in our democratic process. Fuck that party and fuck anyone who supports it. This is beyond the pale.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:42 PM on December 18, 2016 [37 favorites]


Wait why did the State Guard fight with the Federal Army?
posted by Apocryphon at 5:48 PM on December 18, 2016


Pot meet Kettle

Duterte painkiller use draws concern in Philippines

Duterte on Monday revealed that he used to take fentanyl, often prescribed for cancer pain and other chronic ailments, because of a spinal injury from previous motorcycle accidents.

He however said his doctor made him stop using it on learning he was "abusing the drug" by using more than the prescribed patches.

The firebrand leader has attracted controversy over his war against suspected users of illegal drugs, which has claimed thousands of lives, and his incendiary language against the United States and the United Nations.


A drug abuser is encourages people to kill other drug users? Projection much? Is this the Year of the Sociopath?
posted by futz at 5:49 PM on December 18, 2016 [38 favorites]


Are there ANY people who support the death penalty for "illegal drug abuse" who HAVEN'T abused "legal drugs"? It's just a symptom of jealousy based on the belief that the illegal drugs are cheaper and the pushers have customer service.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:52 PM on December 18, 2016


I am quite looking forward to the attempts to cast supine acceptance of foreign political interference in your own elections as some sort of national myth of truly heroic patriotism.
posted by dng at 5:53 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


71% of Republicans are just fine with state-sponsored interference in our democratic process. Fuck that party and fuck anyone who supports it.

Seriously, and here on Metafilter we're having a long debate about about the merits of the conservative worldview. The conservative worldview is tied to the Republican party, and the Republican party literally doesn't care about preserving our current form of government. So fuck that party and I'm not interested in parsing their feelings on the estate tax.
posted by diogenes at 5:56 PM on December 18, 2016 [30 favorites]


the Republican party literally doesn't care about preserving our current form of government.
The Republican party LOVES our current form of government for its ability to give them far greater power than they otherwise would have and prevent expanding the electorate to include people who may not like them.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:09 PM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


The thing is, none of that shit worked. The Democrats were so busy with big data entry that they didn't listen when traditional on the ground leaders were begging them to spend more effort in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Can't you basically declare any approach that was used to not work using this logic? Maybe campaigning in English is what doesn't work and Clinton should have been giving stump speeches in Russian.

If big data and other forms of surveillance really are useless I'd love for the Democrats and Republicans and pollsters and SuperPACs galore to stop tracking me and calling me and sending me junk mail year after year, but I suspect that isn't going to happen.

(Okay, if we get to the point that giving stump speeches in Russian is effective there will be no need for any of that except the tracking, I guess.)
posted by XMLicious at 6:15 PM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


When are the results from the EC vote due tomorrow?

January 6th. The EC ballots are cast tomorrow, but not actually counted by Congress until the 6th.
posted by un petit cadeau at 6:22 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]




Sad!

Great idea!

second link goes to a Robert Reich FB thing, someone who does FB help me out, assuming that link is no good.
posted by vrakatar at 6:43 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wait why did the State Guard fight with the Federal Army?

Technically, it was about the amount of grain the Army was requisitioning, but there was already hard feelings over General Thomas Ewing (USA) using Kansas Redlegs to depopulate several Missouri counties along the Kansas border in October '63. Western and southern Missouri was just a mass of seething hatred and retaliatory warfare for years.
posted by ridgerunner at 6:49 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wired: Is the Opioid Crisis Partly to Blame for President Trump?
There’s a correlation between those affected and support for Trump. But the causation is still unclear.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:55 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


not actually counted by Congress until the 6th.

Well, the good news is, there's no way hell will break loose until after Christmas.

Say, do the electors cast paper ballots?

Unless Russia does something. Or China. Or -- hell, the EU.

We're fucked, aren't we?

posted by steady-state strawberry at 6:55 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The EC ballots are cast tomorrow, but not actually counted by Congress until the 6th.

Thank you.
posted by Coventry at 6:57 PM on December 18, 2016


Myesh you can see how it would take a few weeks to count 538 votes. Wtf?
posted by ian1977 at 6:58 PM on December 18, 2016


Say, do the electors cast paper ballots?

Basically, yeah.
posted by un petit cadeau at 7:02 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think "certified" is probably a better verb to use -- the rules assume that the EC vote is basically a formality, which is true.

Again, for the nth time, these electoral college wankdreams are not going to solve our underlying problem: which is that the US elected a fascist president. We have to face this reality.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:06 PM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


Why this sudden interest in telling the boring, simple truth?

It's just for show. Fwiw, Liz Spayd was relieved that the boring truth wasn't dredged from a reporter's ability to discern objectivity. Dodged the ol' bullet with that one.
posted by petebest at 7:10 PM on December 18, 2016


(except, beginning just a couple years ago, they may require you have either septic or sewer and not dump your sewage in the yard what with the cholera).

Fucking fascists!!
posted by great_radio at 7:21 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


House GOP quietly closes Flint, Mich. water investigation
“The committee found significant problems at Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality and unacceptable delays in the Environmental Protection Agency’s response to the crisis,” wrote Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “The committee also found that the federal regulatory framework is so outdated that it sets up states to fail.”
And gutting the EPA is just what we need to vastly improve their response time in the future.
posted by p3t3 at 7:42 PM on December 18, 2016 [24 favorites]


Trump holds off record session with reporters

President-elect Donald Trump held an off-the-record conversation with reporters on Sunday evening.

While the topics of conversation were not reported, the meeting was confirmed in a presidential pool report. It's been more than 140 days since Trump has held a press conference.

The gathering at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., where the Trump family is spending the holidays, lasted about 30 minutes.

Melania Trump, chief of staff Reince Priebus, top advisers Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Miller and Jason Miller were present, according to the pool report.


That is the whole article other that a sentence about where he went to dinner and a vomit inducing photo (for me) of him in his terribad awful, gaudy, nouveau dictator-chic florida residence. As of now I saw only 3 websites reporting this including Sputnik International.
posted by futz at 7:43 PM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


At a time when neo-Nazis are posting photos of Jewish children with yellow stars pasted over their clothing, and calling them a "vicious, evil race", Brendan O'Neill helpfully reminds us about what he calls "the most dehumanising insult of our times".

Yes, you know what it is. "White male".
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:57 PM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


The gathering at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.,

Man, imagine how nice the Trump Tire Swing is!
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:59 PM on December 18, 2016


President-elect Donald Trump held an off-the-record conversation with reporters on Sunday evening.

In some ways that's unfortunately preferable. Can't let the press talk. Not that it helped anyway.

Chuck Todd, get back to kicking yourself in the nards right now! Ass.
posted by petebest at 8:03 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Brendan O'Neill helpfully reminds us about what he calls "the most dehumanising insult of our times".
Let’s call it Jenkins’ Law: the fury that greets anyone who says old white men have become hate figures proves that old white men have become hate figures.
Well, there's another thing a man took from a woman and claimed credit for.
posted by Etrigan at 8:03 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump holds off record session with reporters

May every so-called journalist in this picture rot for this. The man won't have a press conference in in over four months and you folks grant him an off-the-record chat?
posted by zachlipton at 8:06 PM on December 18, 2016 [15 favorites]


Yes, you know what it is. 'White male'.

I blame Foreigner.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:08 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain what makes attending an off-record session so traitorous for a member of the press?
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 8:12 PM on December 18, 2016


the agony and the irony: they're killin' me (whoa)
posted by petebest at 8:13 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


May every so-called journalist in this picture rot for this.

What, you thought they'd be confrontational? They care about access, not fact checking or accountability or truth or accuracy or democracy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:14 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


A new Homestead act -- perhaps literally giving away land in Appalachia.

I'm not averse to a bit of socialist land reform where needed, but in practice that plan would mean carving up the national forests -- the forests currently used for growing weed on the sly -- instead of reclaiming and replanting bankrupt acreage from natural resource companies. And as I've noted, home ownership rates are already high, so it's wouldn't be a case of converting renters into property owners, even if you could justify it as equitable and not just showering special snowflakes with gold.

Can someone explain what makes attending an off-record session so traitorous for a member of the press?

It's Mike Allen, who pioneered a particular form of payola at Bullshitico, and is now pitching a new insiders-insiders product in exchange for a $10k subscription.
posted by holgate at 8:17 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Can someone explain what makes attending an off-record session so traitorous for a member of the press?

It depends on what you consider the job of the press to be. If you think the press should act as a check on power, to report truthfully the government's actions and critically explain the implications to the public, then attending an event where no transparency, recordings or questioning is allowed is not compatible with that idea. Any setting where the government interacts with the press watchdogs must be open and recorded.

On the other hand, if the press is there to dutifully repeat whatever the government says, who cares? Party on, the press releases will publish themselves in the morning, and any opportunity for Chuck Todd to build rapport with the President Elect is that much better for Chuck Todd's next contract negotiation.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:19 PM on December 18, 2016 [17 favorites]


I do realize such off-the-record sessions aren't new with Trump, but we're talking about reporters here. Their basic function is to collect information and report on it. If they agree that everything is off-the-record, they are agreeing from the start that they won't actually report on what they've learned, which means they are fundamentally not doing their jobs.

I believe off-the-record interviews have their place in many situations, and they may be the only way to report certain stories, but what's the point of them when we're talking about the President (or President-elect)? This isn't a situation where you're talking to employees not authorized to talk to the press or working on a national security story involving classified information. This is a man who frequently lies when he's on the record with cameras in his face. What has he possibly done to earn the right to speak off the record? What purpose does this serve than the gratification of egos and demonstrate to Trump that the press would jump through a flaming hoop on his command as long as he sweetens the deal with a glass of Trump-branded wine first?
posted by zachlipton at 8:24 PM on December 18, 2016 [38 favorites]


Can someone explain what makes attending an off-record session so traitorous for a member of the press?

N O R M A L I Z A T I O N
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:25 PM on December 18, 2016 [26 favorites]


Very regrettably, Obama used off-record press briefings a lot. I didn't like it when he did it, but you know, he did real press interviews too. It's just that our ability to protest the corrupting influence of the Trump organisation is lessened when they can truthfully say that Obama did it too.

2017: See also: warrantless surveillance, imprisonment without trial, assassination.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:30 PM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's also remarkable that they immediately granted such deference to Trump, after he spent the last 140-some days since his last press conference stoking rallies full of Trumpkins against the press, personally, and overtly threatening to curtail the first amendment and use the federal government to retaliate against individual journalists and media outlets owned by what he considers threats or rivals (Bezos and the WaPo).

This is another moment of, "I didn't believe leopards would eat MY face". He's been saying for months, "I'm going to make the leopards eat your fucking faces as soon as I get control of the leashes", and the press tonight decided, "Well, let's go to a party with the leopard guy and not ask any questions, I'm sure he wasn't serious about the face eating stuff."
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:30 PM on December 18, 2016 [29 favorites]


The man is a fascist who's encouraged violence and hatred not only against minorities, but also against the press. But fuck it, he asked us to join him for drinks so what the hell. So craven they'll not only sell us out, they'll sell themselves out.
posted by chris24 at 8:31 PM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]




It's also remarkable that they immediately granted such deference to Trump, after he spent the last 140-some days since his last press conference stoking rallies full of Trumpkins against the press, personally, and overtly threatening to curtail the first amendment and use the federal government to retaliate against individual journalists and media outlets owned by what he considers threats or rivals (Bezos and the WaPo).

I think these are two sides of the same coin, Trump seeing which of the journalists will kowtow and which won't. It's the same power-trip dominance game he's been doing with all the big-wigs he summons to Trump tower.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:34 PM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


Judd Legum expresses it pretty well here: "This photo illustrates an important structural imbalance that Trump is exploiting right now. Trump is behaving differently than every other president. No press conferences. No tax returns. No explanation for massive conflicts. Many folks in the media, however, continue to treat Trump just like everyone else. There has not been any adjustment."

I didn't like that President Obama did off-the-record sessions either, but he also has apparently done five press conferences since Trump won, while Trump has held 0 since July and done a handful of handpicked interviews since Election Day. If the press can't grow some kind of a spine with a man who routinely threatens free speech and sics hateful mobs on individual reporters, what's the point of the entire enterprise of political journalism?
posted by zachlipton at 8:40 PM on December 18, 2016 [34 favorites]


I think these are two sides of the same coin, Trump seeing which of the journalists will kowtow and which won't

For sure, and it's a clear signal of which journalists see their job as being a check; and which ones are angling to be the anchor on Trump TV.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:42 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


So what publications do those journalists work for?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:45 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


One of the interesting things about that photo of the journalists at the off-the-record meeting is how few widely recognizable faces there are. I'm on the fence as to whether I can identify anyone accurately and I feel like I'm pretty plugged into this stuff. Maybe it's just the terrible lighting.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:47 PM on December 18, 2016


every so-called journalist in this picture

Proof once again that having your picture taken with Trump reveals your soul. Look at the eyeshine: everybody in that picture except Trump is a replicant. And not even Nexus 6 models! They're probably Note 7s.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:51 PM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


what's the point of the entire enterprise of political journalism?

A nice house, smooth ride, retire at 55? What is the point, indeed.

Those journalists are a smiley bunch. Maybe Twimp pumped in NO2?
posted by petebest at 9:01 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain what makes attending an off-record session so traitorous for a member of the press?

I agree with everyone else's answers plus after all no press conferences for months they appear to have lapped up the crumbs that trumpski offered them. They sold their soul for 30 minutes of trumpski either basking in his own graciousness for deeming to speak to them or 30 minutes of trumpski admonishing them about well they better treat him or they won't have another opportunity like this again.

I am sure that there was very little, if any back and forth. This was trump at the last minute deciding that maybe those people who follow him around needed a dose of verbal diarrhea. Who the fuck knows but it is not a good look for the lapdog media.
posted by futz at 9:09 PM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


and

N O R M A L I Z A T I O N

As rightly mentioned above.
posted by futz at 9:19 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


This year's White House Press Correspondents' Dinner is going to be as boring as a mid-season episode of The Apprentice.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:25 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Whatever they did talk about in there, I know what didn't happen:
Mr. Trump, can you say right now whether you will ban Muslims from entering the country?
Mr. Trump, there are more than one million young people eligible for DACA for whom this country is their only home. What action will you take with regard to them?
Mr. Trump, you and your staff have offered one excuse after another for delays in releasing your tax returns. Where are they and why won't you commit to a date to release them?
etc...
Followed by the transmission of whatever he said to the public, thus informing them on the views and actions of one of our country's leaders.
posted by zachlipton at 9:26 PM on December 18, 2016 [11 favorites]


I see your points about the off-the-record briefing.

However I could also see a journalist arguing that attending this briefing is just a stepping stone toward building a more fruitful relationship with Trump. Is that genuinely unbelievable? I'm not sure I believe it myself, but I could also see making the argument and making the attempt.
posted by samthemander at 9:31 PM on December 18, 2016


It's believable, but that's not the kind of relationship journalists are supposed to build with the people in power they are charged with reporting on.
posted by Superplin at 9:34 PM on December 18, 2016 [15 favorites]


"However I could also see a journalist arguing that attending this briefing is just a stepping stone toward building a more fruitful relationship with Trump. Is that genuinely unbelievable? "

Typically it would go the other way, a journalist would spend a lot of time reporting on a public figure and they would develop a working relationship and the public figure would come to see the journalist as a fair reporter and a truth teller, and the journalist would come to see the public figure as a purveyor of reliable information and someone who only refused to answer questions for fairly good reasons, and THEN the journalist might sometimes have an off-the-record chat with the public figure to get some idea of the public figure's stance on the issues and maybe some direction for his journalistic snooping. (Another point is that the public figure has to trust the journalist will actually keep things off the record and not rat them out; that requires a relationship.)

STARTING off-the-record is almost always bad. Off-the-record is a place you achieve, not a place you start.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:50 PM on December 18, 2016 [51 favorites]


Trump’s Extremist Israel Ambassador Pick Is a Bankruptcy Lawyer Who Helped Him Pull One of His Greatest Scams

It turns out David Friedman isn't just a bankruptcy lawyer, he was Trump's bankruptcy lawyer during the Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts debacle, in which Trump took the company public, sucked it dry for himself, and left investors, employees, and vendors with pennies on the dollar.
posted by zachlipton at 9:52 PM on December 18, 2016 [30 favorites]


It turns out David Friedman isn't just a bankruptcy lawyer, he was Trump's bankruptcy lawyer during the Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts debacle, in which Trump took the company public, sucked it dry for himself, and left investors, employees, and vendors with pennies on the dollar.

Cool, sounds like it'll lead to some fuuuun confirmation hearings then!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:01 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I could also see a journalist arguing that attending this briefing is just a stepping stone toward building a more fruitful relationship with Trump. Is that genuinely unbelievable?

The thing to understand is that any non-adversarial relationship with Trump, fruitful or no, is poison. This is not exaggeration, not hyperbole. He is a monster.
posted by perspicio at 10:19 PM on December 18, 2016 [21 favorites]


I just feel I need to elaborate a bit.

What makes a monster? It's really simple. It's human in form, but morally unrecognizable as human.

Short of certain physiological deformation, damage, or other abnormality of the parts of the brain responsible for moral reasoning, nobody truly knows whether a human creature's moral reasoning that is so thoroughly thwarted as the entirely of the record on Trump reveals his to be is actually beyond redemption. But nobody has figured out how to do it with any reliability. The very best that those who have dedicated their lives to such matters have been able to come up with is heavily stacking incentives against monstrous behavior, while removing most or all opportunities for it.

So for all intents and purposes, a monster he is and will remain. And certainly so while he is unfettered and empowered.

None of this implies blame. It generally takes genetic defect, brain damage, or spending one's formative years in a deeply toxic environment to produce a result like this. Such a person does deserve to be understood. And we owe it to ourselves and to our aspirations of a just society not to behave bestially toward him even when he loses the upper hand. (Think Gadaffi and Saddam.) That he is horrific does not absolve us of responsibility to be better than our own worst impulses.
posted by perspicio at 10:37 PM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Cool, sounds like it'll lead to some fuuuun confirmation hearings then!

Trump himself is massively compromised and underqualified; all that just slid off him. Unless the Republicans are planning on impeaching him, I expect that they'll use procedural tricks to minimise criticism, and anything else will be reported as "critics say that Baalzebub roasts and eats the souls of the damned, but Republicans say that he's a no-nonsense businessman who is tough on crime."
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:38 PM on December 18, 2016 [21 favorites]


Makes sense, Eyebrows.
posted by samthemander at 10:59 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Martin Freeman on The Late Show from a couple of Fridays ago (discussing Sherlock, in which Freeman plays Dr. Watson):
Stephen Colbert: There was a little criticism for one of the seasons because it implied that the Royal Family was being blackmailed by a dominatrix, or something like that.
Martin Freeman: Yeah.
Stephen Colbert: They're a little bit "You can't say that about the royal family!" Do you care about that? Or "they're just folks down the road?"
Martin Freeman: Obviously the answer is I don't care about it...
Stephen Colbert: Why is that obvious? You're... a subject. 😼 ( laughter ).
Martin Freeman: Listen, that's nothing compared to what you're going to be in January.
Apologies for likely geo-locked CBS content.
posted by XMLicious at 11:34 PM on December 18, 2016 [18 favorites]


The hardest part, news-wise, about living in a very different time zone is waking up and reading the news.
I desperately hope that tomorrow morning I wake up to hear that the election has been thrown to the house.
And then, that Obama is coming back from his holiday and sharpening his political knives and doing something concrete to insure Trump loses in the House. If Trump had a plan I didn't agree with, as well as a passel of ideas I find morally and ethically repugnant, I could maybe live with the idea of his paroxysmal Presidency. I don't think the guy really does have a plan though. I mean, maybe he does and I just haven't been able to see it but I don't see this turning out well. God I wish I thought I wasn't in the minority thinking this.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:46 PM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


He has a plan. It's really quite simple.

You won't really like it when it rolls out to greet you.
posted by perspicio at 11:51 PM on December 18, 2016


However I could also see a journalist arguing that attending this briefing is just a stepping stone toward building a more fruitful relationship with Trump.

And they'll be right, in the sense the organizations there people represent and likely these people themselves will be getting the "exclusive" interviews Trump will give in lieu of press conferences as this kind of event shows who is willing to play ball by his rules.

I'd guess he'll also use these kinds of events to set "context" for his actions, which acts as a way to shape the dialogue about what he's doing and control the conversations. Getting "privileged" info is a great way to stoke reporters egos, so they are more likely to use that info as a background for what they write. Basically we shouldn't really trust anyone who goes to these functions to report without bias.

As mentioned, there are times where off the record meetings can be reasonably defended, for example, when there are major events affecting national security interests where what info is shared publicly might make a difference as would providing some level of confidence over handling that can't be directly reported, or when just discussing how an administration will be handling press briefings and information, talking to the press about the press essentially. These sorts of situations though should be rare and provided without favor to recognized press outlets and should not be used to divulge privileged information to a select few or to otherwise attempt to obscure actions from the public or control access and press conduct.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:34 AM on December 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


So are MeFites going to these protests today?

Haven't noticed anyone discussing them here or in the media, but thanks to whatever mailing lists I got myself on, I hear a lot about them in my email.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:09 AM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yep. Headed to downtown Atlanta in a bit. If this is it for our country, I at least want to be there.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:38 AM on December 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have to work, but I'm following the coverage.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:45 AM on December 19, 2016


Yes. In fact, here's what I posted to my Facebook last night:

I'll be here tomorrow. If you don't see me, that's why. And if you have any time today to come by the Capitol between 9am and 2pm tomorrow, let me know!

I don't know that it will change things. But it's really important to me to remind our Electors that I'm a Texan, too. It's important to me to remind the Grand Old Party that I am watching the choices the party makes during these times of Russian corruption to ignore the allegations made by our security officials, and that I am young, and I vote.

Whatever happens tomorrow, I will watch, and I will remember.


I got a friend to come, too. In a few minutes I'll be getting up and putting together my signs, and then it's downtown to the Capitol for us.
posted by sciatrix at 4:26 AM on December 19, 2016 [14 favorites]


May every so-called journalist in this picture rot for this. The man won't have a press conference in in over four months and you folks grant him an off-the-record chat?

Clearly, the members of the press still don't understand how to deal with Trump - a reflexive liar, an arch manipulator, a bully, a fraud, and, in sum, the worst example of a pathological narcissist ever to reach higher office. In James Fallows series on journalism under the coming Trump administration, he highlighted a reader's comments, which are more insightful than any member of the press I've seen:
Nobody seems to realize that normal rules do not apply when you are interviewing a narcissist. You can’t go about this in the way you were trained, because he is an expert at manipulating the very rules you learned. It’s clear to me that reporters (and anyone else) who will deal with DT directly need to take a crash course in handling someone displaying these behaviors.

The Times got in trouble by trying to make sense of his words. It’s an easy mistake for people in a word-saturated medium to make, but anyone who’s dealt with a narcissist knows you never, ever believe what they say—because they will say whatever the person they are talking to wants to hear. DT is a master at phrasing things vaguely enough that multiple listeners will be able to hear exactly what they want. It isn’t word salad; it’s overt deception, which is much more pernicious.

But the Times fell for it. I’m watching the same mistake get made over and over again, but I don’t know how to help journalists get out of the trap. If we are going to survive the days ahead, someone needs to teach reporters the difference between naming narcissism—[JF note: which, to emphasize, there is no point doing]— vs. dealing effectively with a narcissist.
Emphases added because this was written three weeks ago, and in the interim the media hasn't taken in this lesson in the slightest bit.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:04 AM on December 19, 2016 [40 favorites]


"However I could also see a journalist arguing that attending this briefing is just a stepping stone toward building a more fruitful relationship with Trump. Is that genuinely unbelievable? "

It's unbelievable that any credulous reporter would expect anything except a buffet of bullshit at all times. Trump has no answers, and they have no questions.

So either they're well-meaning but naïve set-up pawns (the huge grins in the photo arguably supports that), or they're naked opportunists who will paper over Trumps outrages for a stale sandwich.

See Also: Cheney/Bush Rampage, 2000-2008.
posted by petebest at 5:14 AM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


the media hasn't taken in this lesson in the slightest bit.

If only there were a way to monetize it for the 24-hour news cycle.
posted by petebest at 5:19 AM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ivanka Trump and Kushner will make history next month as the first members of a presidential family who are practicing Modern Orthodox Jews. They observe the Sabbath, walk to synagogue regularly and attend services on the High Holidays. The eldest of their young children, who is 6, is expected to attend a Jewish day school, according to a source close to the incoming first daughter.

The question now gripping the Washington Jewish community is where the Kushner-Trump family will build out the community necessary to live a traditional Jewish life, as the family decamps from its Trump-branded building in Manhattan to serve as West Wing advisers.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:22 AM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


None Dare Call it Treason
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:46 AM on December 19, 2016 [11 favorites]


From the link above:

Beware of Donald Trump. Witlessly or willfully, he’s doing the Kremlin’s bidding. Anyone who enables him — on his payroll or in the press, by sucking up or by silence, out of good will or cowardice — is Vladimir Putin’s useful idiot. This is a national emergency, and treating it like normal is criminally negligent of our duty to American democracy.

Amen!
posted by diogenes at 5:53 AM on December 19, 2016 [12 favorites]




The president-elect continues to employ a battalion of retired cops and FBI agents to protect him and clamp down on protesters.

Clearly they need to identify themselves in some consistent way. Shirts in a low-key earth tone might do the trick.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:05 AM on December 19, 2016 [31 favorites]


Oh good. For a nanosecond I almost would have expected a pivot.
posted by petebest at 6:07 AM on December 19, 2016


Trump private security force ‘playing with fire’: The president-elect continues to employ a battalion of retired cops and FBI agents to protect him and clamp down on protesters.

I don't think impeachment is going to happen because I don't believe the GOP has the spine to do it, but if it were to occur and Trump claimed the charges against him are a coup by the CIA, these are the guys that would try to keep him office, right? His own Praetorian Guard loyal only to him and not the rule of law?
posted by bluecore at 6:13 AM on December 19, 2016 [12 favorites]


Once he gets in office he'll have almost unlimited resources to expand his private security force. Expect to see the USSS gradually replaced by Blackwater.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:33 AM on December 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Expect to see the USSS gradually replaced by Blackwater.

Well his Secretary of Education is Erik Prince's sister...
posted by zombieflanders at 6:45 AM on December 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


Indeed.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:57 AM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Expect to see the USSS gradually replaced by Blackwater.

Expect to see the press tut-tut in a stern, almost believable, fashion. Seriously, we've got TOP MEN on the case! Top Men! Matt Lauer, Chuck Todd, and that guy who loves The Real Housewives but doesn't think Steve Bannon is a racist.

Yes the full might of American Journalism® will be bought to bear on these and other see-it-coming-a-mile-away crises. But first, John Hopper learns why some kids love the Internet!

(Coming out? Okay . .) Ha ha! Great, thanks John. We'll be right back after these messages.
posted by petebest at 7:03 AM on December 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was listening to my favorite non-political podcast, 99% Invisible, to an episode called Ten Letters to the President. Currently POTUS receives tens of thousands of letters, packages, and emails every day. As you can imagine the staff who is responsible for reading all of this is considerable: 45 paid staffers, 35 interns and 300 volunteers. President Obama reads 10 letters and/or emails every day he occupies the White House. By his request these letters are chosen by his staff to reflect different topics and different viewpoints and he has claimed that this material has done more to shape his policy than anything else because it is the unfiltered voice of the American public.

So my obvious questions are:
1) Will DJT read any letters?
2) Will he instruct his staff to give him letters that offer different viewpoints?
3) Will he take to twitter to mock or berate letter writers who write things he disagrees with?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:27 AM on December 19, 2016 [9 favorites]


1) No
2) No
3) Yes

God. This is no fun at all.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:34 AM on December 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


He doesn't read, so letters are out. Presumably any pictures of hot women/girls will go through.

He will keep fighting with teenagers on Twitter instead.
posted by TwoStride at 7:35 AM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


After thinking about it a bit more I think that he will outsource the letters to whomever is interested, Ivanka maybe. He will claim he is too busy and people can give him a 2 minute summary if they think it is really necessary.


Politico Trump advisers spar over new political arm
The issue came to a head last Wednesday, in a glass-walled conference room on the 14th floor of Trump Tower, where about a dozen members of Trump’s inner circle gathered to plot the future of the still-unformed nonprofit.

At the head of the table sat Brad Parscale, Trump’s digital director, and Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, with top aides scattered all around, among them Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen, Trump’s deputy campaign manager David Bossie, senior Trump communications adviser Jason Miller, Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s senior adviser Marc Short, and Rebekah Mercer, the most influential donor in Trump’s orbit.[...]But while everyone present agreed the nonprofit would be vital to enact the president-elect’s political agenda, they disagreed on who exactly would control it,
Nice bit of insider gossip about the struggle of shaping this non-profit propaganda unit. Who will head it (possibly Parscale but Conway will definitely have a part) and what data and analytics provider will they use (probably not Rebekah Mercer's company.) Outside donors will fund it and because DJT has clearly signaled that he rewards monetary donations with administration jobs, the donor list will be robust.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:46 AM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Isn't that wrong though?
posted by petebest at 7:53 AM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Morally or factually?

(j/k neither matters anymore)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:00 AM on December 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


After thinking about it a bit more I think that he will outsource the letters to whomever is interested, Ivanka maybe. He will claim he is too busy and people can give him a 2 minute summary if they think it is really necessary.

If I was trying to think like a Trump, I would turn the Office of Presidential Correspondence into a profit center for the Trump Organization. Every letter that comes in and every presidential greeting request contains data valuable to marketers as people are sending in intimate details about their lives, families, and career situations. Ask the president for help in finding a job and your info will be sold to MLM companies promising to help you get rich quick.
posted by peeedro at 8:08 AM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


1) No
2) No
3) Yes

God. This is no fun at all.


Well, ok, we could play this one:

1) What will be the form of the crisis that provides DJT with an excuse to impose martial law?
2) Will he suspend habeas corpus?
3) Will congress positively affirm this imposition, tacitly accept it, or actively oppose it?
4) What is the most likely event that could derail this outcome?
5) What is the most feasible strategy of collective and individual actions available to bring about this event?

I don't even want to say what my answer to #1 is. #2 and #3 are obvious. Barring a highly unexpected result from today's major event, my answer to #4 is that the current president beats him to the punch. That would require a damned powerful #5 though. Just spitballing, something like a 50-state turnout of (Occupy + BLM) x 10.

Hate to say it, but I don't think the left is spirited enough to do that until after it's far too late.

This is looking more and more like goodbye, Republic.

I've never wanted to be wrong so badly in my life.
posted by perspicio at 8:08 AM on December 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


His own Praetorian Guard loyal only to him and not the rule of law?

I kind of hope so. The Praetorian Guard was the leading cause of death among Roman Emperors.
posted by VTX at 8:11 AM on December 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


Forgive my naivete here, but the mountain of "Surely this" moves by Trump that has been piling up since the primaries keeps raising a question in my mind that I hope someone can answer.

I can't imagine that amidst all the public-facing condemnations of Trump inside his own party since early 2016, there haven't been (many?) behind-the-scenes, no-holds-barred screaming fits thrown at Trump directly. I'm talking straight-up "GODDAMN IT TRUMP YOU'RE FUCKING EVERYTHING UP AND IF YOU DON'T BACK DOWN NOW YOU'LL BE RUN OUT OF THIS TOWN ON A RAIL" conversations.

Seems like politicians—most of whom are wealthy white male attorneys and businesspeople—would be no stranger to behavior like this type of behavior; in fact, we have documentation of it in other cases. It also seems like Trump wouldn't be able to resist the chance to call such behavior out publicly.

So... my layperson's guesses as to why we haven't heard about this kind of thing:

1. That's not really how these people communicate, even when they're super pissed at each other. And even if they did, the opportunities (e.g., Paul Ryan directly calling Trump) are not as abundant as we think.
2. Even if these screaming fits took place, some Elite Gentlemen's Agreement keeps them strictly behind closed doors, and nobody but nobody ever breathes a word about them.
3. Professional politicians are too, um, politically savvy to burn bridges (or at least the Trump Bridge) in this way, lest they come back to threaten their own tenuous grasp on power down the road. They'd rather politic around the problem than to address it head on.
4. The screaming did happen, but Trump basically shrugged and said "Fuck you," but wasn't motivated to tweet about it (explicitly, anyhow).
5. Plenty of people wanted somebody to do the screaming, but they didn't want it to be them.
6. The politer public condemnations were an accurate reflection of the extent of Trump's adversaries' feelings on the matter, so there weren't even any harsher feelings to be expressed.
7. The screaming happened, and it's well-known among insiders, but the media never got wind of it, or didn't care.

Which (if any) of these is most likely? My question is apropos of nothing specific in recent posts to this thread—as somebody with bascially zero familiarity with Washington culture, I'm just really curious about something that seems so likely, and we're fortunate enough to have people here on MeFi who can respond based on firsthand experience or extra-reliable information.
posted by Rykey at 8:17 AM on December 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


His own Praetorian Guard loyal only to him and not the rule of law?

Silver lining: that history/classics double minor is finally paying off!
posted by corb at 8:22 AM on December 19, 2016 [12 favorites]


Maine elector David Bright will cast his vote for Bernie Sanders.
posted by lalex at 8:23 AM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Josh Marshall, TPM: No Sackcloth and Ashes
The consequences of the 2016 election are devastating. But it is important to distinguish causes and outcomes. The mechanics are not the same. I've already discussed that not only does the Democrats' economic messaging need work but their policies do. Messaging is important. Policies drive messaging. Just as much, there is a failure of political organizing at the state level and local level. Some of that atrophy at the local level is a recurrent pattern that afflicts the party that holds the presidency for two terms in a highly partisan era (see what happened to Republicans in 2005-2009). But it is also the product of Democrats' fixation on the presidential contest and a misplaced belief that demography is a sufficient driver of election wins. It is not. If 2016 teaches us anything it is that singular message.

There is a huge amount of work for Democrats to do. But a key part of that work is resisting the demand from the supercilious center that Democrats don sackcloth and ashes and repent of their ideals and even of themselves. Demography and ideology are critical. But require a politics and relentless organizing to give them force. That is where Democrats should be focusing their attention.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:23 AM on December 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


Id put my money on #5. Everyone sitting around waiting for someone else to be the hero.
posted by ian1977 at 8:24 AM on December 19, 2016 [11 favorites]


Which (if any) of these is most likely? My question is apropos of nothing specific in recent posts to this thread—as somebody with bascially zero familiarity with Washington culture, I'm just really curious about something that seems so likely, and we're fortunate enough to have people here on MeFi who can respond based on firsthand experience or extra-reliable information.

Within high level public dealing social structures like exist in Washington, one doesn't need to scream at another at the same level since that can cause harm to one's own standing, they work as much by signalling through secondhand releases of damaging information, snubbing from "important" social events and other more plausibly deniable forms of rejection. People in Washington know all too well how quickly someone in power can be out and someone out will be in so you don't burn bridges lightly, you just suggest you could in hopes of cowing, and then bare your neck if you lose the bet to let the new guy in charge know you'll follow his lead for a while, until the next opportunity comes to better your relative positions. That's always been my read on it anyway. They yell more at those they perceive as beneath their station.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:34 AM on December 19, 2016


Some links worth sharing:

How Will They Change their Minds?
Reality is persistent, and propaganda that explains it away has to keep changing. Eventually people catch on, even if they don’t begin each day with The New York Times and end it with PBS Newshour. You don’t have to believe the “liberal media” when the news is happening to you and the people you love.
[I think this is an excellent analysis and it gives me real hope.]

And via the same blog:

Charlie Sykes on Where the Right Went Wrong:
When it became clear that I was going to remain #NeverTrump, conservatives I had known and worked with for more than two decades organized boycotts of my show. One prominent G.O.P. activist sent out an email blast calling me a “Judas goat,” and calling for postelection retribution. As the summer turned to fall, I knew that I was losing listeners and said so publicly.

And then, there was social media. Unless you have experienced it, it’s difficult to describe the virulence of the Twitter storms that were unleashed on Trump skeptics. In my timelines, I found myself called a “cuckservative,” a favorite gibe of white nationalists; and someone Photoshopped my face into a gas chamber. Under the withering fire of the trolls, one conservative commentator and Republican political leader after another fell in line.
But also, some reason to hope that Sykes is wrong when he says "Don't expect any profiles in courage" from Congressional Republicans...

Why the GOP Congress Will Stop Trump From Going Too Far:
Many vocal Trump critics, including McCain, Murkowski, Portman, and Lee, along with Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, just won reelection. All of these members now have six years of relative electoral freedom to challenge Trump without facing the electoral consequences. Members of the House Freedom Caucus already show no reticence to do so. If we see scandals arise from the commingling of the public’s business with Trump’s enterprises, or a foreign policy disaster, expect other House Republicans to jump ship rather than face the electoral consequences. GOP Trump critics will also likely enjoy the behind-the-scenes support of the large swath of the donor and corporate class horrified by the potential chaos of a Trump presidency. The fact that Trump enters office as the least popular president-elect in modern history will lower the bar for Republican defiance—presuming his ratings stay low.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:35 AM on December 19, 2016 [9 favorites]


Which (if any) of these is most likely?

Well the shape of my best guess/understanding is roughly that there are three classes of people involved. In descending quantitative order:

A) critically compromised people (almost all of whom can be easily tipped, if they aren't already, into an endless cascade of immoral behaviors to stay one step ahead of punishment for any/all of them)
B) monsters (amoral creatures who love power)
C) people of integrity -- can be subdivided into (i) those who recognize that DJT is in category B, and (ii) those who do not

So to answer your question:

Group A: 2, 3, 4 (motivated by fear, not principle) and 5
Group B: 1, 3
Group C(i): 1, 3
Group C(ii): 1, 2, 3, 4
posted by perspicio at 8:36 AM on December 19, 2016


Al Jazeera: BREAKING: Russian ambassador shot in Turkey's capital Ankara

@chrislhayes While this situation plays out, can someone maybe take you-know-who's phone away? At least, for like, the day?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:37 AM on December 19, 2016 [12 favorites]


> Many vocal Trump critics, including McCain, Murkowski, Portman, and Lee, along with Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, just won reelection. All of these members now have six years of relative electoral freedom to challenge Trump without facing the electoral consequences.

And every one of them aligns with Trump ideologically on a vast majority of issues. If there's a betting pool, I want in on this action, and will take even odds that not a single one of these named "vocal Trump critics" is part of a decisive voting faction that stops Trump from getting something he wants.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:39 AM on December 19, 2016 [9 favorites]


Makes sense,gusottertrout. I guess my next question would be why they didn't see Trump as beneath their station during the primaries, though. (Clearly I'd make a terrible member of the ruling class.)
posted by Rykey at 8:40 AM on December 19, 2016


At best, I think the congressional Republicans will only fight Trump when his public support has dropped significantly and/or has done something so terrible that his polling numbers finally drop where they belong.



The above article talks about how donors very quickly got to Rubio after he slightly signaled some Tillerson opposition. I don't think the big money donors are that wary of Trump anymore now that he's almost in office and signaling how much work he's going to do for them.

Well, I clearly don't know how to do links, but the Washington Post has two articles about it a few days ago.
posted by not that mimi at 8:44 AM on December 19, 2016


Maine elector David Bright will cast his vote for Bernie Sanders.

If he followed the state's popular vote, his vote would have went towards Clinton.
posted by drezdn at 8:44 AM on December 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh, many of them surely did, but they couldn't risk alienating his fans, who they also don't much care for, but who they need to support them should they gain power. The challenge is to harm your competition as much as you can without seeming to actually be doing much of it yourself. That Trump somewhat ignored that last part threw off his competitors for a while as it doesn't fit the usual model of business. That's what got Trump the nomination, but it isn't as easy to duplicate as it might seem for others since their brands aren't as strong and aren't built on the same image as Trump's. They have to feign more integrity and care than he does, emphasis on feign of course.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:45 AM on December 19, 2016


If he followed the state's popular vote, his vote would have went towards Clinton.

Yes, in the article he said if there was any chance for Clinton to win he would have voted for her, he's doing it to encourage the young folks who got involved this year. I don't really know what I think about that, just thought it was interesting.

Electoral college-related: Democrats point fingers as Trump Electoral College win nears: Anti-Trump electors say Clinton camp silence doomed plan to block Donald Trump.
posted by lalex at 8:51 AM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Really want to recommend the How Will They Change Their Minds? essay posted by OnceUponATime above. It's been a while since I read something that