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December 23, 2016 10:00 AM   Subscribe

As Rogue One plays, the US Electoral College, despite possible rebellions and protests, votes: 304 for Donald Trump, 227 for Hillary Clinton, 3 for Colin Powell, and 1 each for Faith Spotted Eagle, Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul and John Kasich. On the squawk mortar, the former obsessive green ink letter writer tussles with POTUS #42 and gets nuclear (more), while the current POTUS restricts offshore drilling and stays a figure of hope. With the inauguration and ball less than a month away, the stage is being built while performers are still being negotiated. Retrospections and speculations on what the wounded Democratic Party and liberals do next, and who leads, abounds. Meanwhile, liberals are arming, Pence is interpreting, Estonians are worried, North Carolina is undemocratic and funding signs are ominous.

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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
Where it's at.
* Why Teen Vogue is killing it. (additional)
* I may love this red clay land, but it doesn't always love me.
* Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.
* "California will launch its own damn satellite."
* Distributional National Accounts: Trading Places.

Elsewhere, a singer is found for the inauguration, protestors have a plan, Sam and Glenn wear sweaters, and the adventures of Sunny and Bo.

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For questions to be answered.
* Anti-fascist tactics reading list?
* How to fill a trump piñata?
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For less talk, more action: threeturtles runs "a secret FB group (with a good number of Mefi members) that is hopefully laser focused on actions and not chat, debate, or feel-good stories."

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* On the Responsibilities of White American Women.
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The post title denotes the margin of people - as opposed to Electoral College - votes which Hillary exceeded Donald's total by (as mentioned in).
posted by Wordshore (3597 comments total) 99 users marked this as a favorite
 
When asked if these are his actual comments in @artvoice article, @CarlPaladino says, "Of course they are." [trigger warning, extreme racism and transphobic comments made by Carl Paladino, the New York co-chair of Trump's campaign.]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:04 AM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump tweets:

> The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes

Man is he pathetic.

Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. Great clown Trump is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says, "But doctor...I am Trump. SAD."
posted by waninggibbon at 10:05 AM on December 23, 2016 [75 favorites]


The various newspapers didn't have to print Carl Paladino's comments, but they chose to.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:06 AM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


[Comment removed, let's skip quoting some racist fucker's racist fuckery in-thread.]
posted by cortex at 10:06 AM on December 23, 2016 [56 favorites]


The scuffle over finding someone (anyone!) to play at the inauguration is kind of amusing at this point. Of course, until it gets nasty, which it's about to.

Last night it was announced the Radio City Rockettes would perform, whereupon one of the Rockettes posted an angry rant about the situation. The dancers' union is saying there's no problem, the show goes on.

So now we'll have Trump vs the Rockettes on Twitter for the next 24 hours. If it keeps him from making the nuclear arms situation any worse, I guess that's a good thing?
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:07 AM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Hopefully the tweets about nuclear arms aren't distractions from inauguration tweets.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:10 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would like to plainly state that this country has officially broken my heart but not my spirit to survive because being black in america is what you do, the principles of this country are on plain display and it really doesn't include me unless I submit to them, which I refuse. The gaslighting on display are inherent to american culture and it really is disappointing, however, I no longer feel paranoia, just sad that it's all true.
posted by reedcourtneyj at 10:10 AM on December 23, 2016 [77 favorites]


I called the Rockettes' dancer's union this morning to complain about the lack of support for dancers who don't want to perform; you can contact them at 212-675-1003. I called the NYC office, but I imagine you could contact the California one as well. And you can email the Radio City leadership specifically at feedbackradiocity@MSG.com. No one ought to be forced to dance for this asshole unless they want to, especially if they're worried about their careers--dancing being, of course, a fairly precarious position as I understand it.
posted by sciatrix at 10:10 AM on December 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


let's skip quoting some racist fucker's racist fuckery

cortex, he's the president-elect
posted by Greg Nog at 10:10 AM on December 23, 2016 [244 favorites]


hoyoooo
posted by cortex at 10:12 AM on December 23, 2016 [60 favorites]


i have refrained from commenting in these threads

let me just say

doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM doom doom DOOM
posted by lalochezia at 10:14 AM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


It looks like the inauguration is going to be voluntary for the Rockettes...

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Updated-Madison-Square-Garden-Responds-to-Rockettes-Inauguration-Performance-Now-Voluntary-20161223


"The Radio City Rockettes are proud to participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural," read the statement emailed to BroadwayWorld shortly after noon EST. "For a Rockette to be considered for an event, they must voluntarily sign up and are never told they have to perform at a particular event, including the inaugural. It is always their choice. In fact, for the coming inauguration, we had more Rockettes request to participate than we have slots available. We eagerly await the inaugural celebrations."
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 10:14 AM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


The "The so-called "A" list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!" Tweet is just such a perfect example of what a child he is.

Dear Donald-- which celebrities wanted tickets but you refused?

**crickets**
posted by Static Vagabond at 10:15 AM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


It looks like the inauguration is going to be voluntary for the Rockettes...

Only some of them:
The email concluded in bolded, underlined font: "If you are not full time, you do not have to sign up to do this work. If you are full time, you are obligated.
posted by mordax at 10:17 AM on December 23, 2016 [39 favorites]


The scuffle over finding someone (anyone!) to play at the inauguration is kind of amusing at this point.

I think it's just stupid, as is the whole pie-in-the-sky dreaming about a "freedom concert" (part of a long list of other pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams this election season).

It's the Presidential Inauguration. Give it the respect that it deserves, and let the Trump team worry about trying to attract star talent. Every time a "liberal" sneers at Trump like this ("he's so unpopular, no big name star wants to perform for him") it isn't just an insult to Trump (an insult Trump rightfully deserves), it's an insult to the people who voted for him. Which is fine, I guess. But politics should be about somehow building bridges, not blowing them up.
posted by My Dad at 10:20 AM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Meanwhile, here in west Michigan representative Bill Huizenga (R-Galt's Gulch) deliberately delayed taking his kid to the hospital so he could score some points with the anti-Obamacare crowd.

In effect, he says that in order to protect the profit margins of health-care providers, people should self-diagnose their illnesses and injuries, and only go to the hospital if they REALLY need to.
posted by JohnFromGR at 10:21 AM on December 23, 2016 [32 favorites]


The union initially said that all full-time Rockettes would have to perform if their employer required it. Later, the employer (Radio City) said they could bow out if they wished.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:21 AM on December 23, 2016


Dear Donald-- which celebrities wanted tickets but you refused?

I'm sure we'll find out right after he holds a press conference, discloses his tax returns, and admits that he really lost the popular vote.
posted by localhuman at 10:21 AM on December 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


I was only seven when the USSR dissolved, so I never really got to feel the constant existential terror that comes with a looming-yet-uncertain threat of nuclear Armageddon. It's so nice of the PEOTUS to let me have the same experience my parents did!

(Bright side: I work comfortably within the DC blast radius, so it'll be over quick.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:21 AM on December 23, 2016 [34 favorites]


Well, I guess if anyone was looking to get presidential approval of copyright reform, right after the all kazoo band inauguration will probably be the best time to try it.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:23 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's the Presidential Inauguration. Give it the respect that it deserves, and let the Trump team worry about trying to attract star talent. Every time a "liberal" sneers at Trump like this ("he's so unpopular, no big name star wants to perform for him") it isn't just an insult to Trump (an insult Trump rightfully deserves), it's an insult to the people who voted for him. Which is fine, I guess. But politics should be about somehow building bridges, not blowing them up.

Name three bridges that Trump, his supporters, or his team has built to his opponents. No, name one.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:24 AM on December 23, 2016 [156 favorites]


He appears to be teaming up with Russia so they can have an arms race? Is that what I am seeing?
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I don't know about you all, but in the past 24 hours or so, I've been telling all the people I care about that I love them. Probably a good thing to do at any time, but now I'm genuinely worried that if I don't do it now I'll never get the chance.
posted by holborne at 10:26 AM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


But politics should be about somehow building bridges, not blowing them up.

Tell that to them.
posted by chris24 at 10:26 AM on December 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


But politics should be about somehow building bridges, not blowing them up.

My strategy is going to be to relentlessly mock them at every turn over the next 4 years. We shouldn't insult them? C'mon, their very presence in the White House is an insult.
Also, trolls hate being laughed at. So it's really the least we can do.
posted by monospace at 10:27 AM on December 23, 2016 [70 favorites]


I know it's linked in the body of the post, but sometimes folks skim over the latter-half stuff and I believe it is important to double mention the Moral MetaFilter post over in MetaTalk by sciatrix. I'm still working on a codex of actions that I can take and can share with others and this thread has been very, very helpful.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:27 AM on December 23, 2016 [27 favorites]


Every time a "liberal" sneers at Trump like this ("he's so unpopular, no big name star wants to perform for him") it isn't just an insult to Trump (an insult Trump rightfully deserves), it's an insult to the people who voted for him.

We shouldn't be calling republican voters inbred tobacco-chewin-and-spittoon-pingin' rednecks, true. The common and casual use of that kind of language helped alienate his electorate from us and helped him win. But this discussion isn't directed at Trump voters specifically; it more points out how distanced the entirety of the performing arts is from the incoming administration. That's worth noting.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:28 AM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


The only positive thing I can say about Trump voters is that they will most likely suffer as much as us.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on December 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


Welcome to The 21st Century Nuclear Crusades!
posted by valkane at 10:29 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


> It's the Presidential Inauguration. Give it the respect that it deserves

You're exactly right. I, for one, plan to give Trump all of the respect he showed to Obama.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:32 AM on December 23, 2016 [76 favorites]


I mean, I personally find it really difficult to look at someone who voted for him and hold back the urge to ask if they gave one iota of thought about all the people that would be negatively affected by everything he's done and said and the truly deplorable groups that supports him.
posted by numaner at 10:32 AM on December 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


It's the Presidential Inauguration. Give it the respect that it deserves

Probably best to ignore it as much as possible.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on December 23, 2016 [29 favorites]


I mean, I personally find it really difficult to look at someone who voted for him and hold back the urge to ask if they gave one iota of thought about all the people that would be negatively affected by everything he's done and said and the truly deplorable groups that supports him.

The only positive thing I can say about Trump voters is that they will most likely suffer as much as us.

I understand and often feel the same way. But Trump voters and non-voters comprise over 70% of my neighbors and a large portion of them are either culture-bound to oppose the "establishment" or have been failed by education and mass-media tremendously. I know them and like them and have hope for many of them. Definitely an element of cognitive dissonance here but I really strongly feel that permanently dismissing every person who voted for Trump is a terrible mistake.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:37 AM on December 23, 2016 [30 favorites]


Not one iota of respect, legitimacy, politeness, or decency will I yield Trump or any Republican who backs him. Not one inch of ideological ground will I concede to those who destroy American democracy and freedom to line their own pockets; not one moment of respect for those who erode our institutions and sell our elections to foreign nations for their own gain.

Not. one. iota.

I don't actually care so much about the Freedom concert, but I will in no way yield to him the legitimacy of calling his inauguration respectful. After all, it's not as if Trump and his supporters give half a wet shit about respect for the actual values and institutions that hold up America. Why the hell should I concede to him the legitimacy of his stolen office?
posted by sciatrix at 10:38 AM on December 23, 2016 [155 favorites]


When I look at someone who voted for him I never forget that the ones who "aren't" racists/fascists/misogynists/traitors ignored all that and voted to put me, my family, and the entire planet at risk so the 1% could pay a couple percent less in the highest tax bracket.

So fuck them.
posted by chris24 at 10:39 AM on December 23, 2016 [156 favorites]


Entertainers boycotting Donald Trump is not a winning strategy -- yet another suspect elite lining up against real America.

But Tom Hanks running for President as a Democrat in 2020 probably is a winning strategy -- universally beloved celebrity beats continuum-between-hated-and-sort-of-admired celebrity.

It's confusing.
posted by MattD at 10:39 AM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Also we must, must start making a distinction between Trump voters and vigorous Trump supporters. The latter is a significantly smaller group then the former and deserves much different regard and treatment.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:40 AM on December 23, 2016 [27 favorites]


Ugh, my son's high-school's marching band is playing the inaugural parade. Reason 1001 why I'm happy we moved away from that hellish western PA suburb and into the city.
posted by octothorpe at 10:41 AM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump Aide Partnered With Firm Run by Man With Alleged KGB Ties:

Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, partnered this year with a controversial technology company co-run by a man once convicted of trying to sell stolen biotech material to the Russian KGB espionage agency.

But wait, there's more...

Flynn tested the product himself, Ika said. He put on the helmet-like headpiece fitted with sensors, which is said to read a subject’s brainwaves in an attempt to detect information.

“He found it very convincing,” Ika said.

Flynn’s activities with the company continued after he began receiving classified intelligence briefings in mid-August as part of Trump’s campaign. In late September, Ika said, he and Flynn pitched Brainwave to officials from the Bangladeshi defense forces during a meeting at Flynn’s offices.


Everything's fine.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:41 AM on December 23, 2016 [26 favorites]


Also we must, must start making a distinction between Trump voters and vigorous Trump supporters. The latter is a significantly smaller group then the former and deserves much different regard and treatment.

Nope.
posted by joyceanmachine at 10:42 AM on December 23, 2016 [72 favorites]


It's the Presidential Inauguration. Give it the respect that it deserves,

if I do they'll arrest me, unless public-defecation laws in DC have changed recently
posted by Greg Nog at 10:42 AM on December 23, 2016 [105 favorites]


I work in DC, and my office is still deciding whether we will be off (as apparently we have for the last three or four inaugurations), WFH, or just Mad Maxing it. On the one hand, I hope that this is the least attended inauguration ever, to minimize the strain put on DC's strained infrastructure. On the other hand, loud protests drowning out the sound of democracy dying has a certain appeal.
posted by X-Himy at 10:45 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, to that Rust Moranis. I'm a card-carrying-Noam-Chomsky-style-Leftist-Democrat-straight-White-Dude-working-in-Capitalist-Republican-Circles so I get to bite my tongue a lot.

But, from a realistic 'let's all be civil' standpoint, embracing outrage is usually the first step to losing any sort of important discussion.
posted by mrdaneri at 10:45 AM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


As a DC MeFite, I can do without the lecturing of a Canadian about how to act in my own backyard. It's going to be a white supremacist gathering in a city known for PoC fleeing decades of both domestic and international oppression; there's no need to do defer to them in any way.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:47 AM on December 23, 2016 [77 favorites]


embracing outrage is usually the first step to losing any sort of important discussion.

Counterpoint: the last 8 years.
posted by chris24 at 10:48 AM on December 23, 2016 [80 favorites]


the ones who "aren't" racists/fascists/misogynists/traitors ignored all that and voted to put me, my family, and the entire planet at risk so the 1% could pay a couple percent less in the highest tax bracket.

So fuck them.


Some of them did it because they had no decent education or enough opportunities for eye-opening life experience and didn't want to feel like the only person they know in their entire family and town and county (that they have no plausible way to leave), who voted for the person that everybody they loved said was the devil. You can say fuck them but I wouldn't.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:49 AM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Entertainers boycotting Donald Trump is not a winning strategy -- yet another suspect elite lining up against real America.

But Tom Hanks running for President as a Democrat in 2020 probably is a winning strategy -- universally beloved celebrity beats continuum-between-hated-and-sort-of-admired celebrity.

It's confusing.


It's not that confusing. The Trumpists are always going to criticize the Hollywood elite lapdog latte-sipping homosexual blah blah blah. It's not like they're going to suddenly stop just because a couple A-listers took one for the team and sang at the Inauguration.

What boycotting the Inauguration does is to send a message to the broad center of America -- the people that really don't care about politics because they don't realize how much they're about to suffer, who tune in for a few weeks before elections and maybe for the SOTU. Those are the people who need to see that this is not normal, and some ridiculous amateur-hour performance from like the Duck Dynasty guys or whatever may plant or reinforce the idea that this election was not normal, this presidency is not normal, this country is not okay. They need to see the norms unraveling -- for us, we are paying attention and we see all the ways that, say, tweeting about restarting the nuclear arms race is horrifying -- but they don't.

It works to delegitimize Trump at a time when people who don't typically pay attention may be, and that's important.

Also, let's not with the weird "celeb actor for 2020" thing. The Presidency actually isn't just a job that any famous person off the street can do.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:49 AM on December 23, 2016 [44 favorites]


Give it the respect that it deserves

Yes, as history shows us, time and again, the best way to fight fascism, bigotry, and nationalism is to be very polite and respectful with hugs and unicorns and flowered bridges all around.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:50 AM on December 23, 2016 [157 favorites]


It's the Presidential Inauguration. Give it the respect that it deserves

The GOP has spent the last 8 years shitting so hard on the notion of "respect the office, not the man" that you would need a team of backhoes and dump trucks to unearth it. This kind of thinking is at this point at best outdated, and at worst actively harmful to ever undoing the damage they are doing. They do not give the tiniest shit about respect or protocol unless in the moment it is advantageous for them to pretend to do so.

Worrying about showing appropriate respect for a man (or party) that is basically advocating for the dehumanization of large parts of the population and attempting to turn back time to a 1950s that never existed (complete with prioritized white male supremacy) is a loser's game. Fuck. That.

No respect. None.
posted by tocts at 10:51 AM on December 23, 2016 [129 favorites]


Yes, as history shows us, time and again, the best way to fight fascism, bigotry, and nationalism is to be very polite and respectful with hugs and unicorns and flowered bridges all around.

That isn't the same as deciding every single person who voted for trump is shitty so fuck them forever. I'm fine with telling everyday Trump voters that they made a terrible mistake that we will all pay for. But that involves telling them that and not just deciding they are all monsters who we cannot live in the same country with. Unless you're ready to fight a civil war right now then you're going to want to accept the humanity of some of those who either voted for trump or did not vote.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:52 AM on December 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


But politics should be about somehow building bridges, not blowing them up.

Tell that to the people who voted for the guy who promised to blow up all the bridges, I guess?
posted by klanawa at 10:53 AM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


But Tom Hanks running for President as a Democrat in 2020 probably is a winning strategy -- universally beloved celebrity beats continuum-between-hated-and-sort-of-admired celebrity.

Not being offered (yet) by any of the UK bookies, though Leonardo DiCaprio is 80/1 at two of them to win the presidency in 2020. I placed a small bet on Amy Klobuchar at 33/1 earlier today.
posted by Wordshore at 10:53 AM on December 23, 2016


That isn't the same as deciding every single person who voted for trump is shitty so fuck them forever.

Personally, I don't know anyone who voted for Trump for anything other than the shittiest reasons.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:55 AM on December 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


Also we must, must start making a distinction between Trump voters and vigorous Trump supporters.

I think that's part of how we got here - by giving people a pass for Dubya and the like. A lot of people are under the impression that politics is academic. It's 'over there.' Like, plenty of people who voted for Trump didn't believe it would have any real world consequences for anybody they actually knew and cared about.

It's important that we express to *all* Trump voters that this is their fault. They didn't pay attention, they didn't educate themselves, and they got played. It's not Hillary Clinton's fault for being so darn unlikable*. It's not even entirely the media's fault for being spineless fucking quislings. It's the job of every American to have the slightest clue who their vote is going toward, and it's time we held people to that very loose and generous minimal standard.

Does that mean actually attacking them? Not always. But yeah, it means actually holding them accountable for their decision. It does mean snubbing. It does mean rubbing their noses in them losing their healthcare. It means doing whatever is most effective to make them connect 'life sucks' with 'they personally fucked this up for themselves.'

(* I like Hillary Clinton.)

Unless you're ready to fight a civil war right now then you're going to want to accept the humanity of some of those who either voted for trump or did not vote.

Sorry, that takes two. They're already at 'do not accept our basic humanity' and 'willing to commit horrifying acts of violence because of that.' If it comes to that, it's not on us, it's entirely on them. Anything else is victim blaming.
posted by mordax at 10:58 AM on December 23, 2016 [93 favorites]


Definitely an element of cognitive dissonance here but I really strongly feel that permanently dismissing every person who voted for Trump is a terrible mistake.

If even strident Trump supporters experience a genuine change of heart and decide to switch teams, I'm all for it, and certainly we should also be hoping to convince people who just blindly voted for the R on the ticket that they have made a mistake and should get on the side of decency.

I think the mistake on our part is to assume that being non-confrontational or worse, pandering to their shitty ideas and acting like this is a "reasonable people can disagree" situation is going to get them there. They've collectively made a massive, history-altering error and need to rightly get their feelings hurt over it, and to feel real social and emotional consequences from the people they've effectively thrown to the wolves. I won't dismiss them if they decide to see reason, but I'm for damn sure not going to coddle them, and I'm not going to offer a shred of respect for their decisions to date or for the vile piece of shit they've put in charge of my country.
posted by contraption at 10:58 AM on December 23, 2016 [54 favorites]


The issue over the Rockettes bothers me. Isn't saying they should be allowed to skip a performance similar to a pharmacist saying they should be able to refuse to dispense birth control?

Obviously entertainment and health are far resolved in importance, but if you're a professional, you do your job. Or find another that doesn't force you to make those compromises. And I don't think the dancers should be blamed for participating.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:59 AM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


we must, must start making a distinction between Trump voters and vigorous Trump supporters.

Trump voters are Trump supporters, by definition.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:00 AM on December 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


You can say fuck them but I wouldn't.

I'm a straight white cis male who grew up poor and Republican in South Dakota. I've tried for years to convince family and friends who are like you describe. Didn't work. So now I think I need to be someone who calls them out on their BS because they sure as shit aren't listening to PoC or LGBT. They'll sit comfortable in and ignorant of their privilege unless someone in that privilege circle educates them, or barring that, shames them into better behavior.
posted by chris24 at 11:00 AM on December 23, 2016 [51 favorites]


Re: the Rockettes, you can email Radio City that you don't support the decision.
Email: feedbackradiocity@MSG.com
Make sure you express that if a Rockette does not wish to perform, she shouldn't have to, and there should not be repercussions. Not wanting to perform at the inauguration of an avowed sexual assaulter is not a "political" statement, it's human rights.

Re: empathizing with red America, again, many of us do, which is why many of us know it ain't that simple. The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America.

In effect, he says that in order to protect the profit margins of health-care providers, people should self-diagnose their illnesses and injuries, and only go to the hospital if they REALLY need to.

Guess who that would disproportionally affect? Yes! You guessed right: WOMEN. No one bothers to teach us about things that can go wrong outside of baby-having, like, say burst ovarian cysts. Did you know that some women get ovarian cysts that keep growing? I didn't. I definitely wouldn't have gone to a US hospital, because I couldn't afford it and I was pretty sure the searing pain was temporary. It would have been temporary, yes, as in I would have died from the internal bleeding the burst ovarian cyst had caused. Boy! Good thing I didn't entirely trust my self-diagnosis 20 years ago + there was affordable healthcare where I was at the time (Helsinki), or else I wouldn't be here to write this comment.
posted by fraula at 11:01 AM on December 23, 2016 [58 favorites]


The issue over the Rockettes bothers me. Isn't saying they should be allowed to skip a performance similar to a pharmacist saying they should be able to refuse to dispense birth control?

Is this comment supposed to be some kind of a joke?
posted by jokeefe at 11:04 AM on December 23, 2016 [82 favorites]


So I have made this point enough to now promise not to make it again, but the VAST majority of people who voted for Donald Trump did so for the same reason(s) they voted for Mitt Romney, John McCain, George Bush, etc., and would have voted for Ted Cruz or John Kasich if they were on the ballot instead: one or more of lower taxes, lower regulations, Second Amendment, tougher on crime/terrorism, flyover-vs-coastal-elites, pro-life judges, Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays, etc. Don't confuse the (admittedly important) marginal changes for the bulk of the story.
posted by MattD at 11:04 AM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'd expect the horrible consequences of winning to shift a few people, especially the confused types vaguely concerned about something to do with emails, but lets face it - the hardships they face as a result of victory are just as likely to be blamed on us and used as justification for further disastrous policies. Bridge building seems really unlikely.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Personally, I don't know anyone who voted for Trump for anything other than the shittiest reasons.

For sure. But some of those shitty reasons are in many cases (maybe not a majority but many) not based in racism/xenophobia/misogyny but real, deep, cultural norms: Guns are a religion in many places, for example, as is conceptual opposition to the federal government. A lot of folks I know voted for shitty reasons that are culture-bound and without necessary hatred for the other side, and if they had had more contact with the other side might have actually got the information needed to inform their vote.

We should be outraged and we should confront them at every opportunity. Some of them will appreciate it in the long run. But we can't label Trump voters (even strong supporters) as rednecks and hicks and poor hillbillies with bad taste, that alienates them all from us. And we can't call individual Trump supporters racist until they tell you in their own way that they are (and they will).
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:05 AM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


the VAST majority of people who voted for Donald Trump did so for the same reason(s) they voted for Mitt Romney, John McCain, George Bush, etc.

Not really hearing a lot from them about the cabinet full of crooks, conspiracy theorists and Nazis and the likely implications of that though, are we? Just "ha ha ha, liberal tears".

I hope a liberal tears mug doubles up as healthcare.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on December 23, 2016 [59 favorites]


It's not a binary where either one says fuck all Trump voters or one stands with open arms ready to hug it out and say no biggie. I've been doing my best to straddle the middle and not fundamentally dismiss folks who voted R-for-Trump while also refusing to discard or dismiss the reality that they made that particular terrible choice. It was a terrible choice, at best defensible as uninformed and misguided. The spirit of trying to understand and move forward with life because life goes on doesn't require, and shouldn't involve, pretending otherwise.

But for Trump himself and his carnival of shitheelry, I'm right where I've been since the first post-election calls to respect the office started rolling out on Nov 9th: I can muster exactly as much respect for Trump's presidency as he has, and that's none. We are inaugurating a blustering, venal, narcissistic bigot, a man who has fundamentally rejected basically all of the things we expect from someone holding the highest office in the country, and has done so with a wink and a shit-eating grin. His candidacy is an ugly joke that, instead of being whispered over the water cooler after a nervous glance, saddled him with responsibilities and complexities that he continues daily to mock, disregard, or hand off to one or another odious loyalist.

I can understand, in a strained way and without necessarily agreeing, why folks in e.g. Obama's position feel compelled to make the effort to treat things with a degree of politic and normalizing respect in hopes of reducing the short-term and long-term damage to a system that will in principle outlive Trump's tenure. But very few of us are in that particular bind, and I feel no compulsion to pretend that Trump et al are anything other than an embarrassment and a disaster for this country.
posted by cortex at 11:06 AM on December 23, 2016 [175 favorites]


who voted for Donald Trump did so for the same reason(s) they voted for Mitt Romney, John McCain, George Bush, etc., and would have voted for Ted Cruz or John Kasich if they were on the ballot

Yep, but to make that typical Republican vote they ignored the overt racism, fascism, insanity and ineptitude that Trump brought that the others didn't. So really not the same typical Republican vote.
posted by chris24 at 11:07 AM on December 23, 2016 [36 favorites]


Isn't saying they should be allowed to skip a performance similar to a pharmacist saying they should be able to refuse to dispense birth control?

No? How do you figure? The former is an entertainer deciding to turn down a gig. The latter is a medical professional refusing medical service to a specific class of people, a protected class.

It's also not the same as people refusing to make cakes for gay couples either, because they are also a protected class that may not be legally discriminated against by a business.
posted by maxsparber at 11:08 AM on December 23, 2016 [32 favorites]


who voted for Donald Trump did so for the same reason(s) they voted for Mitt Romney, John McCain, George Bush, etc., and would have voted for Ted Cruz or John Kasich if they were on the ballot

Which is exactly why a clear link must be made between what they thought they were voting for - tax cuts. And what they actually voted for - a nuclear madman who will end democracy.

It really is Republican's fault. All of it.

Yes, even the nice normal ones. They voted for him, they, personally, in their every day lives, own every single last thing he does, including when the missiles start flying. We should never, ever let them disclaim individual responsibility.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:12 AM on December 23, 2016 [83 favorites]


I know it doesn't mean much to anyone but me and my family, but I am sad that I won't be going home, barring a serious family emergency, for four years. I have never been the rah rah patriotism type and I am not giving up on the amazing people who will be on the ground making a damn difference, but a lot of days it's hard to think about, how this happened, how we got here, and how it's not a shock to anyone who isn't white or cis. Right now I'm working on my dual citizenship application so I can do more of my part to prevent this disease from taking too strong a hold here in Canada.

All of you who are gonna kick ass and take names until 2020? You are my heroes.
posted by Kitteh at 11:12 AM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Just to be clear, the Rockettes have not been expected by MSG Entertainment to perform at every inauguration. They last performed in 2001 and 2005 but did not in 2009 and 2013. Discovering the difference between these particular inaugurations is left for a fun Friday exercise for the reader.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:12 AM on December 23, 2016 [114 favorites]


The issue over the Rockettes bothers me. Isn't saying they should be allowed to skip a performance similar to a pharmacist saying they should be able to refuse to dispense birth control?

No, because the Rockettes never hung out a shingle and opened their door and said "Next," and because filling a medically valid prescription is not expression.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:12 AM on December 23, 2016 [37 favorites]


Name three bridges that Trump, his supporters, or his team has built to his opponents. No, name one.

Sure, but it's still no reason to focus on moronic and childish insults like "Elton John won't even play at your inauguration, nyah nyah, boo boo!" It's so idiotic.

There are about a million other things you could talk about: conflicts of interest being one of them. Repealing ACA. But, nooooo, we have to have a "freedom concert". The election was fought and lost on culture, by the way.
posted by My Dad at 11:14 AM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


so I can do more of my part to prevent this disease from taking too strong a hold here in Canada.

TBH, Wynne needs to figure out a way to halve Hydro rates. That's the single-biggest thing that can be done in Ontario to combat this disease.
posted by My Dad at 11:15 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Look, Rust, most of us in red states have been dealing with this shit for decades, so back off a little. I have had many heartfelt conversations that went nowhere. Nice doesn't work on a lot of these folks. They just see it as weakness.

Now that doesn't mean abandoning compassion. If my Trump voting family showed up on my doorstep I'd take them in and help them.

But otherwise, they are not people I have time for. Too many innocents need my time and help now.
posted by emjaybee at 11:15 AM on December 23, 2016 [60 favorites]


But we can't call Trump voters (even strong supporters) as rednecks and hicks and poor hillbillies with bad taste, that alienates them all from us.

We shouldn't rely on lazy stereotyping, no. But the thing is, acting like this is no big deal signals to them that it's not.

When a conservative is mad about something, they get up in arms. They get *emotional* - threats, planning, grudges. I mean, that's what we're seeing, isn't it? We're somehow 'against their values' just by existing, and they're going to knock over civilization itself in a fit of pique over it.

That's how they understand the world. That's how shit works.

When we react in a neutral way, that codes to them as 'this is not important to us.' It says 'these are not sincerely held beliefs.' It doesn't communicate with them effectively. We need to be angry so they see this is actually important.

Much as I want to punish them, my statements aren't even about that, they come from all this empathy I was told I needed to have. I have it, and it says 'demonstrate anger.'
posted by mordax at 11:15 AM on December 23, 2016 [54 favorites]


The election was fought and lost on culture, by the way.

Yep, white ethno-nationlist culture.
posted by chris24 at 11:16 AM on December 23, 2016 [29 favorites]


It was fought and lost on voter suppression and emails, mate. It was probably lost before a vote was cast.
posted by Artw at 11:16 AM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


There are about a million other things you could talk about: conflicts of interest being one of them. Repealing ACA. But, nooooo, we have to have a "freedom concert". The election was fought and lost on culture, by the way.

My God we've been talking about these things for more than a year.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:16 AM on December 23, 2016 [29 favorites]


Anecdote time about Trump voters:

My partner's family is exurban Rust Belt, formerly unionized ex-auto plant worker dad, service industry mom, mechanic son. Partner was the first in family to go the college. They voted R for every president since forever. Dad's pretty goddamned racist and loved Reagan and hates Obama. Thinks Hillary is literally the actual devil. They didn't like Trump particularly much but Hillary is symbolic of true evil to them.

Mom and Dad voted for Kasich for president this year and brother voted Johnson. They should by every demographic metric and calculus have voted Trump. I think there's no other explanation than that my partner was talking earnestly in their ear every week for months about just how awful and unacceptable he was as a candidate.

That's why we need to refrain from making automatic enemies out of Trump voters: many, many of them are like the family above but without exposure to any information other than fox news on TV and their FB feeds. They might have been dumb enough to be terribly misled but they're not all our enemy.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:18 AM on December 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


I mean, people get that looking at the popular vote versus the electoral college map, right? There's always been a margin of fuckery for the democrats to suppase due to republican efforts to rig things, but here we hit the point where it is literally unsurpassable.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


"My Dad", please inform us precisely what percent of comments we're allowed to devote to the inauguration snubs, so that we can make the most of them. Thanks much.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:18 AM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


ASL for DJT
posted by chavenet at 11:19 AM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Have they tried to get Ted Nugent? I gotta think ol' Ted would jump at the chance.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:20 AM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I love the post title so goddamned much, at the same time that I feel whip-lashed by it. Thank you for the post, thank you fellow MetaFites, and thank you mods all of you for your hard work; all y'alls thinkyness.
posted by one teak forest at 11:20 AM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


The election was fought and lost on culture, by the way.

And if you want to argue it was bathrooms and the GOP's definition of culture wars, then explain to me how McCrory lost in NC when Trump and Burr won the state by 4-6 points.
posted by chris24 at 11:21 AM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Don't mind me, just over here in the corner dreading 2017 and remembering the relative years of sanity that was Bush II.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:24 AM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


And if you want to argue it was bathrooms and the GOP's definition of culture wars, then explain to me how McCrory lost in NC when Trump and Burr won the state by 4-6 points.

Because it's easy to say "I don't care if my state loses billions in investment" and much harder to actually watch it happen.
posted by Talez at 11:25 AM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


But we can't call Trump voters (even strong supporters) as rednecks and hicks and poor hillbillies with bad taste, that alienates them all from us.

How about "crackers"?
Just kidding, I have hillbilly kin.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:26 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Look, Rust, most of us in red states have been dealing with this shit for decades, so back off a little. I have had many heartfelt conversations that went nowhere. Nice doesn't work on a lot of these folks. They just see it as weakness.

I know and I'm not trying to come on too strongly on an issue that's already been tread pretty heavily and is personally painful to many. I just want to point out again that there are many regional and cultural factions within the Trump-voting sphere and some are much more reachable and forgivable than others.

Anyway I'm done, will stop pushing.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:27 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh great, now my Facebook is blowing up with a fake poster/ad for the "Freedom Concert" on inauguration day and everyone's reposting it like it's real.
posted by dnash at 11:28 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


But we can't call Trump voters (even strong supporters) as rednecks and hicks and poor hillbillies with bad taste, that alienates them all from us.

And, it's inaccurate as hell. I can point you to some highly wealthy, upscale suburbs of Indianapolis that went for Trump without hesitation.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:29 AM on December 23, 2016 [30 favorites]


The fuckery in NC is also not ending any time soon.
posted by Melismata at 11:30 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think my response to Trump voters is to treat them like people who voted in favor of white nationalism and see if shame has any effect on them.

If not, well, there's 80 percent of the country that didn't actively vote for white supremacy. Maybe they can be reasoned with.
posted by maxsparber at 11:30 AM on December 23, 2016 [26 favorites]


Maybe he'll pivot.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaargh. /dies
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


But we can't call Trump voters (even strong supporters) as rednecks and hicks and poor hillbillies with bad taste, that alienates them all from us.

And, it's inaccurate as hell. I can point you to some highly wealthy, upscale suburbs of Indianapolis that went for Trump without hesitation.


Yep, here's an electoral map that shows how whites with degrees voted. It's pretty fucking red.
posted by chris24 at 11:31 AM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


I work for a small org in the federal government, one foot in EOP, one foot in an agency that conservatives despise. If you want to "look for the helpers" as the man once said, look no further than the thousands of career employees who will continue to do the people's business through the insanity of the transition and beyond. And at my agency, a great many of them are women of color. I take no small amount of daily inspiration from their work our behalf, doing the millions of small things that collaboratively make the USA go.

On the EOP side, boy howdy. Days filled with Sorkin-esque walk-and-talks, shaking papers and saying things like "This isn't what I signed up for!" It'd be funny if there weren't so many lives in the balance. Not deaths, mind you, but lives: we the people have enormous resources at our disposal, and distributing them among those of us who really need them in specific moments is among the better things that we do. This is a process by which dignity can be resurrected and nurtured, through which lives can be built and rebuilt. The talk I've heard about ending all things Great, Fair, and New and replacing them with various Contracts is ...disheartening.

Been a rough month. Jan 23rd, it really is a new world.
posted by milquetoast at 11:33 AM on December 23, 2016 [33 favorites]


Dear Prudence: I'm a Trump voter and how do I argue with people who think I'm a racist bigot for it?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:33 AM on December 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


Maybe he'll pivot.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaargh. /dies


But he has, he's gone from "let's bring back jobs and eliminate government corruption" to "let's stack the cabinet with connected billionaires and blow up the world!" Or is that what you meant by "/dies"?
posted by contraption at 11:36 AM on December 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


I think my response to Trump voters is to treat them like people who voted in favor of white nationalism and see if shame has any effect on them.

That's fine and might work as long as long as you accompany the shaming by respectfully presenting information or framed emotional appeals to counter the fed narrative. Of course that won't work if they are in fact a knowingly racist garbage person (again, ~50% of his voters). In that case you probably shouldn't be interacting them at all unless it's to no-platform them.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:37 AM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dear Prudence: I'm a Trump voter and how do I argue with people who think I'm a racist bigot for it?

A better attempt at an answer than many of us would give, certainly.

Also I note that the asker is a libertarian. Those still exist? Would have thought Trump blew the lid off of that entire stupid pretense of a political philosophy.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


That's fine and might work as long as long as you accompany the shaming by respectfully presenting information or framed emotional appeals to counter the fed narrative.

Maybe my point wasn't clear: I don't care if it works. I've written off every single one of them. There are a lot of people who actually need help and support in this country, and I am putting my efforts toward them. They represent the majority, and I am tired of being told that the result of this election is that I have to start being extra supportive because there are some Trump supporters who aren't all the way racist.

Fuck them. Every one of them. If they want someone to reach across the aisles, they get to go first.
posted by maxsparber at 11:41 AM on December 23, 2016 [86 favorites]


These folks believe we are vampires whose heads should be cut off, and whose neck stumps should be packed with garlic to prevent us arising from the dead. But yes, we must by all means take a respectful tone of voice with them, to demonstrate to them that we are among the Good Vampires. Doing so will pay off in countless unspecified dividends at some unspecified future time.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:42 AM on December 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


So I was thinking, someone should start a thing demanding that Trump release all the files on the government's chemtrail mind-control program. If it catches on with the truther crowd, it may help associate Trump supporters with extremist/fringe people, in the public's mind, and it may also sow some discord in the enemy's camp.
posted by thelonius at 11:42 AM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Libertarian" is code for prioritizing a business's right to discriminate against black people .
posted by X-Himy at 11:42 AM on December 23, 2016 [54 favorites]


If they want someone to reach across the aisles, they get to go first.

Wow, that really takes me back to the days when my kids were 8 and 10. Thanks!
posted by rocket88 at 11:43 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sure, but it's still no reason to focus on moronic and childish insults like "Elton John won't even play at your inauguration, nyah nyah, boo boo!" It's so idiotic.

I'm a lot more worried about the large number of Trump supporters who said "Who'd want that faggot at an inauguration anyway?" when Elton John said he was incorrectly listed as a performer than I am anybody who might be offended because we're pointing out all the reasons why nobody wants to perform at the event.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:44 AM on December 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Wow, that really takes me back to the days when my kids were 8 and 10. Thanks!

This analogy only works if one of your children is a racist who is actively kicking the other one and making sure the neighbors are hungry or die without healthcare.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:45 AM on December 23, 2016 [98 favorites]


"Libertarian" is code for prioritizing a business's right to discriminate against black people .

Also gays. I have had a gay libertarian friend look me in the eye and argue for the right of a business to discriminate against him.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 11:46 AM on December 23, 2016 [26 favorites]


That's fine and might work as long as long as you accompany the shaming by respectfully presenting information or framed emotional appeals to counter the fed narrative.

I think most of us are just so tired and done with trying to do this. I can't tell you how many times I've presented people with actual evidence refuting some lie about Hillary and they reply with literally "Well, I feel like it's something Hillary would do anyway."

Also I'm sick of kowtowing to the white identity hegemony. While we lost this election, we are not the minority here trying to get our views held by the majority. We are the majority, just look at the post title of this very thread.

We don't need these fucks and it's on them if they want to try and be better. But I'm done wasting my time to try and convince them and will instead focus my efforts on helping people that need it, building up a better community, and tearing down the institutions and laws that enable these fucks to continuously steal power.
posted by mayonnaises at 11:48 AM on December 23, 2016 [30 favorites]


Wow, that really takes me back to the days when my kids were 8 and 10. Thanks!

I am going to go ahead and assume you have not been getting photos of your face put onto Holocaust victims.
posted by maxsparber at 11:49 AM on December 23, 2016 [94 favorites]


I thought libertarian was code for I don't want to pay for someone to take out my trash, but I'm too lazy to take out my own trash so I'll try to manipulate some poor person into taking it out for me for free (and/or, I'll just let the trash pile up because I have the right to have huge piles of trash on my property).
posted by Melismata at 11:49 AM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Fuck them. Every one of them.

To lump the uneducated and culture-bound in with those actually motivated by an actual desire to harm you is a mistake.

I'm a left-wing Jew who is curating my family's Holocaust-era correspondence. I understand what's happening, the threat of the moment and the dire probabilities of the future. I'm also surrounded by people who might have voted H in '32 in another time and place. They're good neighbors and some of them are friends, and until it's too dangerous for me to do so I am going to keep being friendly and open with them unless they are strong supporters (of which there aren't that many).
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:50 AM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


re: trump voters & "You can say fuck them but I wouldnt"

Fuck. Them. brownshirts are gonna rise out of that population, my dear.
reaching out, empathy etc? no. Fuck no.
posted by The_Auditor at 11:50 AM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Even the Smithsonian has learned to love the Giant Meteor: Sure, Earth Could Get Hit by a Deadly Asteroid—But There’s an Upside
The threats posed by so-called Near Earth Objects (NEO) range from localized injuries—as in the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor impact in Russia that injured 1,500 people—to mass extinctions like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. Yet these threats also present an unusual opportunity for nations to band together to protect all Earthlings from imminent danger. After all, an asteroid impact could potentially be a global disaster, says Brent Barbee, an aerospace engineer with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

“Asteroids certainly don’t discriminate between nations, and an impact can occur on anyone’s territory,” says Barbee.

There’s another factor that makes the threat of asteroid impacts a unique opportunity for global unity. Unlike some more localized natural hazards, like volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, these kinds of impacts are theoretically preventable. “It’s the only natural disaster that we really have the ability to—at least in principle—prevent,” says Barbee. “That creates a certain type of international collaboration that is very unique.”
We're reduced to embracing sci-fi tropes now, it seems.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:51 AM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


C'est la D.C. and Melismata, you are both. The awfulness of libertarianism contains multitudes.
posted by X-Himy at 11:51 AM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


In the electoral map of white college-educated voters which Chris24 linked to, Hillary won Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Montana, and Arizona.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:51 AM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


They're good neighbors and some of them are friends, and until it's too dangerous for me to do so I am going to keep being friendly and open with them unless they are strong supporters (of which there aren't that many).

That's fine for you. It doesn't work for me, and so it is an approach I will not be pursuing.
posted by maxsparber at 11:52 AM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


That's fine for you. It doesn't work for me, and so it is an approach I will not be pursuing.

If I had a choice I wouldn't either. Location makes a difference and every sane person moving out of red states is not a great strategy for now.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:53 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


To lump the uneducated and culture-bound in with those actually motivated by an actual desire to harm you is a mistake.

Racism, transphobia and misogyny are a valid culture now? In my mind, not caring what happens to low-income trans people because of your vote is akin to actually hating them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:54 AM on December 23, 2016 [32 favorites]


Fuck. Them. brownshirts are gonna rise out of that population, my dear.

The brownshirts are already rising and they're coming out of the people who love trump, not the people who voted for him for cultural or ignorance-related reasons.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:54 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


But it doesn't matter why people voted for Trump. You know what you were getting.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:56 AM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Racism, transphobia and misogyny are a valid culture now? In my mind, not caring what happens to low-income trans people because of your vote is akin to actually hating them.

They're not. But in some parts of the country, if you're not highly educated you will vote for whichever candidate looks less like The Government. You just will. The effects are awful but it's not because they all specifically want to victimize.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:56 AM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Location makes a difference and every sane person moving out of red states is not a great strategy for now.

I haven't crunched the numbers, but let's see. 80 percent of the country leaves. The remaining 20 percent are increasingly dependent on subsidies from the federal government to survive. Trump decides it's a waste of money. Trump is indicted on more than 30,000 crimes as president. The next president offers a modern version of the New Deal. People go crazy for liberalism, which has literally saved their life ...

I think a plan is starting to come together.

I just left Nebraska, by the way, for Minnesota. Worked for me!
posted by maxsparber at 11:58 AM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


But it doesn't matter why people voted for Trump. You know what you were getting.


Not if you have poor education, few mind-opening early life experiences, and no ability to tell good information from bad.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:58 AM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Does this picture confuse you??
than read this
posted by robbyrobs at 12:00 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


All the sane people leaving the red states basically looks like right now.
posted by Artw at 12:00 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Wow, that really takes me back to the days when my kids were 8 and 10. Thanks!

Look. I have been reaching across the aisles pretty much since I developed my independent political point of view, age... oh, probably fifteen or so. I have been trying to find common cause for things like "can you stop with the microaggressions" with my family and the conservative areas I grew up around, often at the expense of my own confidence in my own opinions, viewpoints, and experiences. I have only now developed the confidence to outright tell conservatives that no, they are wrong, completely and utterly in the last two to three years.

Frankly, politeness doesn't work. Neutral emotions do not fucking work. "Let's all meet in the middle" does not work, it just gives people more leeway to gaslight you out of your reality and push at you until you shut up about the things you watch happening all around you. It lets people who have defensive

And if you still have the energy and patience to try it with actual conservative loved ones, more power to you, but quit fucking lecturing those of us who don't. I am reaching out and being louder about politics now than I have ever been, and part of that is because I am now so afraid for my family and so angry that it has come to this that I no longer give any fucks remaining about the feelings of conservatives. If they enabled this sequence of events, they should feel ashamed. Having done a shitty, horrific thing doesn't mean that they are irredeemable people, no, but acting as if saying "no quarter, no legitimacy, you're for democracy or against it and whatever you choose, you need to act in line with it" is the same thing as making an unforgiveable personal insult is half the reason that we are here today.

I am talking more to conservative people in my networks than I have ever done before, because my anger is giving me the confidence to insist that you had better hear me now and that you had better know the consequences I face in this new America. Not less. I am getting listened to more, and getting less in the way of defensive attempts to shut me down and slimy exhortations to think of the white men, because I am speaking with total conviction and using the emotions flowing through me to shape my rhetoric. My rage and my insistence that if conservatives want their party to be remembered as anything but Nazis, Round II, they ought to get moving and do something about it has made me more effective as a speaker and as a liberal person with principles, not less. My demand to conservatives who claim to love me that they back those claims up with action to protect me, their daughter and granddaughter and niece... well, that secured several votes for Hillary that I don't think would have happened otherwise.

So kindly quit lecturing me and people who feel like I do. It's quislings who try to reason with the unreasonable who have gotten us in this mess. I've had eight years of watching what happens when you try to reason with the Republican Party and act politely, and it's brought us here.

No quarter. No inch of ground will I yield. No iota of legitimacy will I concede before I fight for it. If democracy is to be killed, by all the gods I will make the Republican Party bleed for it in the minds of the people I speak to.
posted by sciatrix at 12:01 PM on December 23, 2016 [214 favorites]


Now that they've devolved into fights between the "understand, embrace, and convert" minority and the "fuck 'em all" mob, I think it's safe to day these so-called election threads have run their course.
I mean really, what's the point of this post being on the front page of Metafilter?

(I know..."take it to MeTa", but if this comment is a derail what is the actual fucking topic?)
posted by rocket88 at 12:02 PM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Not if you have poor education, few mind-opening early life experiences, and no ability to tell good information from bad

I just… don't sympathize with that opinion right now, as the PEOTUS is talking about an arms race. I do not think there's a consequential difference between people who voted because they like his policies, and people who voted for him because why not.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:03 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's going to be "really interesting" watching our president-elect juggle the virulent anti-Semites and rabidly pro-Netanyahu supporters over the next few years of setting policy in the Middle East.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:05 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


The brownshirts are already rising and they're coming out of the people who love trump, not the people who voted for him for cultural or ignorance-related reasons.

They'll come outta those guys too. Your friends? Your neighbors? They'll turn on you too.

I hear a lot of 'they're just misunderstood.' You know who else is 'just misunderstood' and 'have a lot of good days?' This is the language of abusive relationships. This is the language of victim blaming, excuse-making and normalization. That's what people say about wife-beaters. (And hey, that's practically a requirement in this administration.)

A vote for Trump was always a vote for 'ps Mexicans are rapists.' It was always a vote for 'Obama is a seekrit Muslim Kenyan and should get no help.' Even poor ignorant FOX News guys who just want to jack off with their guns heard all that. They're not children. They knew this much.

Take whatever actions you need to take to stay safe in your very Red, very dangerous area. Schmooze. Hide. Your life matters, and you are responsible for the risks you do or do not take and why. Not everyone is in a position where they can take chances.

Just don't kid yourself and think that some of these fucks wouldn't put you on a train. They might feel bad about it, but off you'd go. If you know history, you know that all those reasonable, misunderstood, gentle anti-Semites went along for the ride.

Here's something I was looking at yesterday: Evangelicals defending Hitler back when. Sound familiar? There's your neighbors. Don't imagine anything else is going on, and especially don't try to talk the rest of us into it.

Upon preview:
Frankly, politeness doesn't work. Neutral emotions do not fucking work. "Let's all meet in the middle" does not work, it just gives people more leeway to gaslight you out of your reality and push at you until you shut up about the things you watch happening all around you. It lets people who have defensive

And if you still have the energy and patience to try it with actual conservative loved ones, more power to you, but quit fucking lecturing those of us who don't.


A-fucking-men.
posted by mordax at 12:05 PM on December 23, 2016 [90 favorites]


Rocket - The problem is: Trump's shenanigans continue to be norm-breaking and discussionworthy, but not so discussionworthy as to dominate the actual discussion.
posted by Archelaus at 12:05 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


All the sane people leaving the red states basically looks like right now.

As a MeFite in a red state who is tied here for the next two years minimum, or else risk losing the five years I've invested in my career entirely... well, cool, thanks for advocating that every ally I can find abandon me. Awesome. Thanks also for abandoning everyone here who can't move, who doesn't have the financial wherewithal to do so, or who relies on support from people who are also stuck here. We red liberals salute you; thanks for leaving us to die in the mud.

I have more sympathy for people who are gearing up to flee the nation than anyone who flees from a red state to a blue one, right now. And I have zero sympathy for anyone advocating that my state secede from the nation, which is a point I have been literally belaboring here for years. All of America is threatened now; if you're staying in America, fucking help those of us who are less comfortable than you are now.
posted by sciatrix at 12:06 PM on December 23, 2016 [34 favorites]



No? How do you figure? The former is an entertainer deciding to turn down a gig. The latter is a medical professional refusing medical service to a specific class of people, a protected class.

No. The Rockettes are members of a professional organization. Elton John is an entertainer who can turn down a gig. Individual dancers are bound by contact to perform where their management directs.

Perhaps a better analogy would be a football player whose team is scheduled to play in North Carolina, but who wished to boycott the state. It seems perilously close to the "my conscience is the ultimate guide and I should be free from consequences" POV that the conservatives use.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 12:08 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I have more sympathy for people who are gearing up to flee the nation than anyone who flees from a red state to a blue one,

Listen, if you can't leave because of your career or whatever, fine. But this is happening and if people have to go, they need to be able to.
posted by maxsparber at 12:08 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Had my family Xmas party this past weekend. While talking with my 79 year old Fox News Republican mom, she said something to the effect that "liberals only voted for Obama because they couldn't resist the spectacle of an educated black man in public office." I called her a racist to her face, and demanded that she specifically and in depth tell me how Trump would "make America great again?" She mumbled something about the Mexican wall, and I called bullshit. Then she said "Well, it will be an interesting four years."

It's important that, in conversation with any Trump supporter at all, they be held to the absolutely highest standard of integrity and knowledge. Hammer them about "make America great again." Hammer them about Trump's misogyny. Hammer them about the Anti-science fascists he is bringing into his cabinet. SHAME THEM for their ignorance and lack of education.
posted by JohnFromGR at 12:09 PM on December 23, 2016 [70 favorites]


Individual dancers are bound by contact to perform where their management directs.

That's still not the same thing. They would be breaking a contract, not refusing service to a protected class.
posted by maxsparber at 12:12 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Perhaps a better analogy would be a football player whose team is scheduled to play in North Carolina, but who wished to boycott the state.

A better analogy still, given the lack of some overarching league-wide high-kick superstructure, would probably be the Harlem Globetrotters management booking a gig for a racist and Curly Neal saying "nah, maybe let's not play funny basketball for that racist, maybe fuck that".

"Don't bail on a gig" may be a perfectly decent bit of biz philosophy but it's got even less to do with providing medical care than it has to do with a disaster like Trump throwing a party for himself. This is a silly line of argument.
posted by cortex at 12:13 PM on December 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


Listen, if you can't leave because of your career or whatever, fine. But this is happening and if people have to go, they need to be able to.

This shitheel (Spencer) is in my backyard. A couple towns over. His open supporters are few for now and I along with a lot of my fellow Montanans are going to keep it that way. I am not leaving until it is too dangerous. I am staying and fighting. I'm doing that because I know the risk of leaving now and leaving my still reachable neighbors to his influence. This is the peril of dismissing all trump supporters: someone even worse will get to them if you don't.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:13 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


I replied to a comment on a friend's FB post-- you know the kind, all "give him a chance" and "let's see what his team can do!"-- and, curious about the person I'd just responded to, clicked over to his timeline. And there I found this, which I bring by way of example. This is how (at least some of) the evangelicals voted for T., and this is what you cannot reason them out of. Because it's voodoo.
He will be the first pro-Israel president to rule during the fifth decade (50 years) of the taking of the Temple Mount and the wailing wall in Jerusalem. He would be the first president to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the annexation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
5 decades of the conquest of Mount
7 Decades of Trump's Life
7 months since last birthday
7 days
5777 current Hebrew year.
To win Trump would be the # 45 president.
Isaiah 45 = Jehovah calls the king Cyrus the anointed one.
King Cyrus of Persia authorizes Ezra and Nehemiah to rebuild the WALLS and CITIES in Jerusalem. King Cyrus allows the Israelites to build the second temple. King Cyrus saved the people of God from dying at the hands of Haman after hearing the request of Queen Esther.
Keywords: WALL, CITY, TEMPLE
The three pillars of Trump's political platform:
1. Build a WALL
2. Rehabilitate the CITIES
3. Restore RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Chance or prophecy? Judge for yourself.
posted by jokeefe at 12:15 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


SHAME THEM for their ignorance and lack of education

People don't like being shamed and they resist it with everything they've got.

Expose them to their ignorance without judgement and they'll feel their own sufficient shame. Hammer them and they'll just grab a shield and get a hammer of their own.
posted by rocket88 at 12:16 PM on December 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


I am staying and fighting.

Well, again, that may be a good policy for you, but I am going to prioritize not getting murdered by an antisemite over trying to influence less-racist Trump supporters. I think that's a fair thing for me to do, as enough Sparbers were murdered by antisemites in the last century for it to be reasonable to ask for more of them to be murdered in this one.
posted by maxsparber at 12:17 PM on December 23, 2016 [21 favorites]




if people have to go, they need to be able to.

I agree. If you think that's the best thing or the only thing for you or your family, awesome. But I need allies too, and I really resent presenting leaving as the only good and right thing that people can do. And I'm angry and guilty and upset because my partner wants to leave ASAP and honestly, frankly, I want to stay and fight tooth and nail for my neighbors and all the people I know and love here, in this place. My city here is angry and trying to do its best to fight for America, with not only a state arrayed against it but also now the federal government. Seeing my fellow liberals advocate to abandon us--and all the other liberal pockets in this purple country trying to do their fucking best by the nation--that hurts in a really fucking sore spot right now.

If you have to go, go, and godspeed. But if you don't, well, we need you here as badly as anyone else; if you think you're not in immediate danger, help us fight to protect people who aren't strong and wealthy enough to pick up and flee. Help us.

Please help us.
posted by sciatrix at 12:20 PM on December 23, 2016 [34 favorites]


Well, again, that may be a good policy for you, but I am going to prioritize not getting murdered by an antisemite over trying to influence less-racist Trump supporters. I

Run from nazis when they're too few and too cowardly to put their Reichsmarks where their mouths are and you set a terrible precedent. My neighbors voted for a nazi-backed candidate but they don't think they did and if I nope out now then someone will keep whispering in their ear until they think it's perfectly ok to vote for a nazi.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


But in some parts of the country, if you're not highly educated you will vote for whichever candidate looks less like The Government.

In general, that's only true if you're white.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:22 PM on December 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


All the sane people leaving the red states basically looks like right now.

sciatrix, I thought that was a criticism of the idea, saying that liberals moving out of red states is how those states managed to elect Trump.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:24 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


The United States has so far spent 240 years coddling racists. How much longer should we continue before they can be expected to hug back?

Nah. Conservatives looove to preach individual responsibility and that actions have consequences. So here's the consequences: now you don't get a free ride. You get called on your bullshit. So take some damn responsibility for it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:24 PM on December 23, 2016 [78 favorites]


In general, that's only true if you're white

And in those parts of the country, almost everybody's white. Racism/white resentment/white fragility might indeed be at the heart of a majority of trump voters' motivations but even this has some manifestations that are less consciously or intentionally hateful and more reachable.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:25 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


So here's the consequences: now you don't get a free ride. You get called on your bullshit. So take some damn responsibility for it.

You know, of course, they'll figure a way to blame Obama for anything bad happening over the next four years.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:27 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I agree that the inauguration doesn't deserve knee-jerk deference; it's a protest of the incoming administration, not the people. Treating Trump as if he's a normal, qualified legitimate leader is not the way to go. Every instance that we can resist him, we are obligated to resist.

Individual dancers are bound by contact to perform where their management directs.

That's still not the same thing. They would be breaking a contract, not refusing service to a protected class.


Yes; dancers have not taken a hippocratic oath or at least an ethical stance on providing equal opportunity to healthcare. They signed on to kick high and twirl around.

To tack onto what other people said, I don't think building bridges is the way to go in dealing with republicans. Their method of success was obstruction, obstruction and more obstruction. It's about time we follow their lead. It seems even Obama is reconsidering his "give him a chance" tactic by pushing through legislation that will hopefully block his efforts to destroy the environment.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 12:30 PM on December 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


I really resent presenting leaving as the only good and right thing that people can do.

I don't think it's the only good and right thing to do, but you have to understand that for Jews, in particular, it's not the court of last resort. The reason so many died in Europe is because people were entrenched and didn't believe things could get worse.

I don't know. I don't know what is possible now. Aleppo is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, and, prior to the Syrian Civil War, was a modern, international city. Look at it now.

I can't trust that anyplace is safe from being Aleppo just now. Maybe in a little while, when things settle, I'll be more confident. But I do not share many people's belief that America is unique enough that terrible things can't happen here, and we have a massive rise in the same sort of ultra-nationalistic rhetoric that has been happening in Europe, coupled with a sociopathic leader who is more than willing to encourage white nationalism while at the same time blithely starting arms races with Russia and trade wars with China on Twitter -- before ever being sworn into office.

I guess, for me, the lesson of the Holocaust was that when you feel that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, when things start getting topsy turvy and people start casting about for who to make the next victim, if you get the feeling that maybe it's time to hit the road, well, it's time to hit the road. Find the places where you have a support network. For me, it is here in Minneapolis.
posted by maxsparber at 12:30 PM on December 23, 2016 [34 favorites]


Name three bridges that Trump, his supporters, or his team has built to his opponents. No, name one.

Maybe this hits me harder because it's Christmas, but: I refuse to let my morals or my tactics be dictated by the standards of MAGAshirts. I believe in building bridges. It's who I am. I believe we must build bridges if we are to survive as a people. You can't just kill half the country. You have to persuade them.

So I'm going to keep doing this admittedly heartbreaking and difficult work. Because it needs doing, and I'm someone with the spoons currently to do it.
posted by corb at 12:30 PM on December 23, 2016 [39 favorites]


Hammer them and they'll just grab a shield and get a hammer of their own.

Sorry if you've been too privileged and out of touch to notice, but they are already actually holding like five hammers and a butcher knife and a golf club and they've been beating the hell out of a good portion of the country for a while now. At this point they're holding a lit grenade and the left is finally tired of standing by and watching them hurt us and people we love. Yeah, I'm picking up that fucking hammer. I'm done. I'm fighting back.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 12:31 PM on December 23, 2016 [51 favorites]


I feel like I'm going to be repeating some variation on "omg pay attention to what Moral Mondays is really doing" a lot in the coming years but seriously, people in North Carolina are already dealing with things that the rest of us are just fearing, and there's incredible work being done there that can turn it around, and is turning it around - indeed most of what they're facing is the reaction of Southern Strategy Republicans seeing their house of cards about to tumble because of what Moral Mondays has done, because of how effective their threat is, because they're bringing poor whites out of the narrative the Republicans want them stuck in. They're explicitly pursuing a fusion politics strategy that both fights for social justice for all and brings Republican voters on board, no progressives are compromising their values. Seeing majority white NAACP chapters in Appalachia is like seeing a damn unicorn in the flesh but it's real, it's happening, there is a framework for an effective plan that transcends this "should I handle Trumpists with kid gloves" thing and all it needs is attention and support. Just please, if you feel like the whole fight is overwhelming and choosing any path drives wedges deeper, think of this and look really hard at what Moral Mondays really is and how it works beyond just the surface level "protest group" thing. It has the potential to change the world for the better and Rev. Barber and the people working with him are basically handing us the whole framework on a platter. It's the real deal kind of movement that's usually relegated to history or fiction and it's right there, but I think people only see "protest group" and move on until you can convince them to really look at it.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:32 PM on December 23, 2016 [113 favorites]


I guess, for me, the lesson of the Holocaust was that when you feel that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, when things start getting topsy turvy and people start casting about for who to make the next victim, if you get the feeling that maybe it's time to hit the road, well, it's time to hit the road. Find the places where you have a support network. For me, it is here in Minneapolis.

If I thought a level of threat of racial violence similar to that of the nazis was comparably close to happening in Nebraska I would not stop as far as Minnesota but would either leave the country or start actively preparing for civil war and the collapse of civilization. If they're gonna load me onto a cattle car in my neighborhood it will be after a few years of worsening circumstances. That's when it's time to consider getting out of dodge. For now this is my home and a few redhats will not drive me out.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:36 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I do like this presumption that shame doesn't work. Boy howdy, it sure does. Every change I have made in my life has been because I have been mortified at myself. And that moment didn't happen because somebody took me by the hand and led me gently to a woke state. It's because people unequivocally told me I was being awful.
posted by maxsparber at 12:37 PM on December 23, 2016 [46 favorites]


Chance or prophecy? Judge for yourself.

man wait til they hear about BILL GATES = 666
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:38 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's when it's time to consider getting out of dodge.

Maybe you have read the history of the Holocaust differently than I have. From everything I have read, the people who waited until what was happening was undeniable were the people who waited too long.
posted by maxsparber at 12:39 PM on December 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


We have to stop blaming people for not knowing things. They need to know things, and just like a teacher doesn't accomplish anything by blaming ill-prepared students, new approaches are needed. Get out there and start explaining, carefully, using every single tool you have.

This applies doubly to politicians. It's a very challenging problem. Get on it.
posted by amtho at 12:40 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Anyway, people shouldn't have to wait for the cattlecars. If they think they will be subject to any sort of threat, or any sort of harassment, that's a good enough reason in my book to leave.
posted by maxsparber at 12:41 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's the only good and right thing to do, but you have to understand that for Jews, in particular, it's not the court of last resort. The reason so many died in Europe is because people were entrenched and didn't believe things could get worse.

I think this overlooks the reality that a lot of people didn't have the resources to leave.
posted by hoyland at 12:41 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


We have to stop blaming people for not knowing things.

Who do you need to explain to that people of color are people?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:41 PM on December 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


I believe we must build bridges if we are to survive as a people. You can't just kill half the country. You have to persuade them.

Nope, you have to beat them. We have been building bridges for decades and Republicans have been blowing them up with us on them. They are only 25% of the electorate. 11 million more people voted against Trump than for him. 80 million people didn't vote at all. They are a minority who has constantly rejected facts and equality in favor of hate and bigotry. Not to say the Democratic Party platform should be 'fuck you', but it should continue to be focused on a multi-cultural, liberal future, not pandering to fickle white probable racists.
posted by chris24 at 12:42 PM on December 23, 2016 [30 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I've waited too long to leave, but there's nowhere that's going to take me and I couldn't afford to get there anyway, and I can't leave my old mom either. The best I can do is limit myself to blue states where I have healthcare without the ACA and access to public accommodations (so far like 9 of 50? I haven't checked lately.)

So I should hope that those of you not directly under attack by the Republicans might accept the humanity and agency of Republicans and work your asses off to reach out, educate, criticize, and protest.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:43 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


who voted for Donald Trump did so for the same reason(s) they voted for Mitt Romney, John McCain, George Bush, etc

Yes, because racism.
posted by spitbull at 12:44 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.


We're getting kicked out?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:46 PM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Maybe you have read the history of the Holocaust differently than I have. From everything I have read, the people who waited until what was happening was undeniable were the people who waited too long.

If you're right, it's 1932 Germany right now. It became progressively more difficult to emigrate but didn't become practically impossible until the outbreak of the war in 1939. I'm staying as long as possible, even if I have means having to leave my property, belongings, money and community behind as the later emigres did.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:46 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm not quite sure how my request that we not judge people who choose not to stay in red states has started to turn into a defense of those who do choose to stay. Nobody is saying you have to leave.

Just understand that, for some people, they do have to leave.
posted by maxsparber at 12:47 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.

We're getting kicked out?


The US abstained on the UN vote on Israel today, so the Security Council resolution calling for the end of Israeli settlements passed.
posted by chris24 at 12:49 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


[I feel like we're in a loop here on stay vs. go and I kind of doubt that continuing to scrimmage the football back and forth on the Weimar Timeline is going to resolve that; maybe let's leave it at having said your respective pieces and move on at this point.]
posted by cortex at 12:49 PM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Just understand that, for some people, they do have to leave.

Point taken. I can't help but encourage people to stay and fight for those who need defending, if they are able.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:49 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


move on at this point

I DID MOVE CORTEX THAT'S MY WHOLE POINT JEEZ

Minneapolis gets fucking cold, by the way.
posted by maxsparber at 12:51 PM on December 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


And that moment didn't happen because somebody took me by the hand and led me gently to a woke state.

I've been informed by a black linguist that white people aren't allowed to use the word "woke" because of its roots in AAVE, which we continue to disparage. We may refer to ourselves as "awake."
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:51 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fair enough. I defer to the linguist.
posted by maxsparber at 12:52 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


linguist

good luck to him, but controlling how words spread isn't really a thing that works, usually
posted by thelonius at 12:57 PM on December 23, 2016 [26 favorites]


Maxsparber, I hear you. And I'm watching closely to the same narratives you are. I am afraid, because my groups were targeted too--less than yours, especially given I'm female, but then I'm not--I'm not good at being quiet and forcibly going along with the gendered aspect of this shit and I remember what they wanted out of women and the more I dwell on that possibility, the more I become filled with white-eyed terror, so I'm going to stop there. I like my terror to be productive, enabling me to either fight or flee; freezing seems to be the worst case response for this scenario.

I don't think we are at the same place. I think we are on the road to that future, and I am thinking of the places in Europe that mitigated that future, and the worst places in China that didn't even get the credit of public international remembrance and a national ethos of atonement or even punishment for war criminals over the local genocides that happened there. I am thinking of what I know about genocide and what I know about targets thereof, and I am thinking that the best way for me to leverage any weapon I have against it is to get loud and cling to my allies and fellow threatened Americans and build as much social support for us, so that we all can scream together. I think we are on the road to that future, all being herded along by mass inertia and the cattle prods of a self-enriching evil subset, but I also think we are not so close to the gates that gritting our teeth, wheeling, and using any weapon we can to push the crowd to turn around, turn around, or at least stop will do nothing.

A Muslim registry, to me for example, says: "well, that's not directly attacking me, but I might be next. I'd better the fuck stop that poem at "first they came for the Muslims" before it gets to me, and show up at the mosques and use my white face and bare head to shame my sisters, my mother, my kin and people who look like my kin into rescinding support." That's one step down the path to the gates of that terrible future, and while we're so near that it terrifies me to think of it, I can make them bleed and cut me down and expose their horror for what it is rather than let the cattlemen prod the rest of the nation down that rough path. And because I am not the target of the Muslim registry, perhaps the crowd will listen to me. Perhaps if they try to register queers next and paint us as perverts or monsters, Muslims and Jews and people of color and other women and disabled folk will stand with us.

The cattleherds pushing us towards that dark future will attack whomever among us they think is weakest and least beloved by critical majorities of people. So it is our job, we who see the threats and feel them in our bones, to scream at the shambling masses who are convinced that it has no come to this, plead with them, reason, but above all else use any weapons we can to make them look down the road and see where it is that we are going. Especially those who love us and know us, because they are the people most likely to awaken when we beg them to stop because we are afraid.

I know in my bones that it could happen here. That's why I'm staying for now, and that's why I'm screaming. I am watching carefully for particular signs that it will get worse, but I have never trusted a state legislature to protect me; after all, I've never lived anywhere where the state government didn't actively wallow in delight over its hatred of me. I am devising an escape plan. I just am hoping that I can save some of the people being carried along by the crowd, the people who are tied to other members of the crowd, and the people who will blindly follow the crowd wherever it goes, before I become too afraid to stay and turn to run.

And if I misjudge badly and am killed, well, I have made my peace with that. We are all responsible for our own decisions.
posted by sciatrix at 12:58 PM on December 23, 2016 [29 favorites]


(Oh, hell, cortex, thread moved on before I finished typing that massive thing. I'm kind of hoping it can stay anyway, but I feel the desire to not wind up in a massive fight here too.)
posted by sciatrix at 12:59 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Who do you need to explain to that people of color are people?

There are unreachable people there who believe that, absolutely. But there are also reachable people who have bought into the myth that pits poor whites against a scapegoated POC and can be shown that they were mislead. This is still the same very old fight that we haven't finished, but we are making headway. Again, to continue being a broken record: Rev. Barber/Moral Mondays/Third Reconstruction, this hard and slow work is being done effectively right now, and needs a helping hand.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:59 PM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


I've noticed that the majority of "I'll never again for all eternity make non-scowly faces at anyone who voted for Trump!!!!" performative huffs I see are from white people. As a generalization, I've noticed that people of color tend to understand much better that systems of oppression are complex and deep; that none of these problems were magically born on November 8, 2016; and that ultimately whatever happens we're all consigned to live on this chunk of earth together and figure out a way to make it work. Anger can be an incredibly important tool for change but I think it's exigent on people, especially people who in various ways may have more privilege, to be reflective about whether they're really using anger as a tool or whether they're just throwing a tantrum. Tantrums have their place too, but as a private outlet for self-care.
posted by zokni at 1:00 PM on December 23, 2016 [14 favorites]




apropos of a few comments in the other thread. A pet peeve of mine: Vlad is not, in fact, short for Vladimir. It's short for Vladislav. The diminutive for Vladimir is Vova. This has been an important service announcement.
posted by Justinian at 1:04 PM on December 23, 2016 [71 favorites]


I've noticed that the majority of "I'll never again for all eternity make non-scowly faces at anyone who voted for Trump!!!!" performative huffs I see are from white people.

Funny, because it seems to me that the majority of the "We've got to be understanding and empathetic and give everyone the benefit of the doubt" lectures I've seen are from white people, and often relatively privileged white people at that. Communities who are actually afraid for their safety and survival seem to be a lot less empathetic with the lot that's working to persecute them.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 1:07 PM on December 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.

We're getting kicked out?


Hell, it's always been a wet dream of the right to leave the UN altogether, so who knows what the coming trainwreck has in mind.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:07 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've noticed that the majority of "I'll never again for all eternity make non-scowly faces at anyone who voted for Trump!!!!" performative huffs I see are from white people

Gosh, what a shitty way of phrasing that. I expect that was intentional.

Just out of curiosity, do you expect me to interact with the same amount or lesser shittiness when I am expected to talk with Trump supporters?
posted by maxsparber at 1:09 PM on December 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


Funny, because it seems to me that the majority of the "We've got to be understanding and empathetic and give everyone the benefit of the doubt" lectures I've seen are from white people, and often relatively privileged white people at that.

Hmm, it seems quite possible that both are true, as the statements don't have any particular relation to one another and there are a lot of white people around to say things!
posted by zokni at 1:09 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, liberals are arming,

I'm relieved to hear this. I know progressives already know the lesson that social ties and a properly functioning accountable government are a better source of strength than individualism and weapons, and I'm glad the emphasis is on organizing and reaching out.

But if it comes down to it, weapons and social ties are better. And might be necessary if Trump stands behind some of his more feverish and fascist rhetoric.
posted by wildblueyonder at 1:10 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I feel like most of the all-or-nothing on both the "I will never talk to or acknowledge the existence of a Trump voter ever again without spitting right between their eyes" and "we have to understand eeeeeveryone and listen to their concerns and reach out and reach out and reach out until we finally make peace" sides of the fence are from relatively unaffected white people, actually. Most of the people who I see who are bone-deep terrified, wherever they're coming from, are trying to use whatever weapons they can lay hands on to achieve change--even if they disagree about the most effective weapons out there, and even if they emphasize one or the other in rhetoric.
posted by sciatrix at 1:10 PM on December 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


China has tried to stay positive with Trump. But it calls his trade chief pick ‘no laughing matter.

"Mr Trump, we are going to place a trillion dollars in treasuries on the open market. Have a nice rest of your life."
posted by Talez at 1:12 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


All my tolerance is being expended on a person in my life who was a Sanders supporter and voted third party in PA. Every single fucking day I want to tell her that she's a fucking idiot, and every single fucking day I don't, because she's a member of the family and non-excludable.

But really the notion of my just like INSERTING that knowledge into her head that she was a real fucking idiot makes my mouth water.
posted by angrycat at 1:13 PM on December 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


good luck to him

Her.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:15 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Her. Thank you. I was wrong to presume gender. Should have said them.
posted by maxsparber at 1:18 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Wait. That wasn't me.

APOLOGY RESCINDED!
posted by maxsparber at 1:18 PM on December 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


*snickers* it is good to know I am not the only person who tends to apologize for things that aren't my fault

or, in times of stress, apologize for inanimate objects
posted by sciatrix at 1:20 PM on December 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump [real, wtf]
The terrorist who killed so many people in Germany said just before crime, "by God's will we will slaughter you pigs, I swear, we will......
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've noticed that the majority of "I'll never again for all eternity make non-scowly faces at anyone who voted for Trump!!!!" performative huffs I see are from white people. As a generalization, I've noticed that people of color tend to understand much better that systems of oppression are complex and deep; that none of these problems were magically born on November 8, 2016

I'm guessing that this is at least in part directed at me since one of my recent comments specified I was white. I'll let you read all my "performative huffs" over the last 18 months and judge if I'm throwing a tantrum. Or if my donations, volunteering, work projects, and hours, days, months and years of trying to use my privilege to convince family, friends and others that my PoC and LGBT loved ones are worthy of equality, hell of living are just tantrums as well born on November 8.

I mean yeah, things are complex and deep. But not too complex or deep as to reduce a recent comment into a history of "performative huffs" huh?
posted by chris24 at 1:22 PM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


How does he know the terrorist said that?
posted by asteria at 1:24 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


You missed the rest...

@realDonaldTrump
... slaughter you. This is a purely religious threat, which turned into reality. Such hatred! When will the U.S., and all countries, fight back?

posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:25 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


> How does he know the terrorist said that?

Check out snuff tape.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:25 PM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


I have no idea how he knows that, but I think he genuinely wants to start a religious war. From my imperfectly informed perspective, that would be playing right into the hands of ISIS and other radical groups.

Second tweet in the series: "slaughter you. This is a purely religious threat, which turned into reality. Such hatred! When will the U.S., and all countries, fight back?"
posted by Leslie Knope at 1:25 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


His saying the terrorist said that means the terrorist said that. He's our leader, after all, are you gonna believe some dead terrorist's word over his?
posted by contraption at 1:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


We may refer to ourselves as "awake."

Wouldn't it be 'awoken' or 'awakened?'
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Racism, transphobia and misogyny are a valid culture now?

If this election has taught me anything it's that these cultures have more supporters than I ever expected. It doesn't make them valid, but I think it makes them all too real.
posted by bendy at 1:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


or, in times of stress, apologize for inanimate objects

But do you apologize to inanimate objects when you bump into them? Because that is the mark of a true Upper Midwesterner or a Canadian
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:28 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


for what it's worth, my personal definition of the performative huffs leans toward people who are like "oh no the apocalypse has come, there is nothing I can do, I will just lie here forever and make snide comments about how the country is being consumed by rednecks, and by the way I voted third party/didn't vote at all because it's not like one vote ever made a difference!"

And I have seen some people doing this. It drives me fucknuts. I assumed zokni was referring to those people rather than specifically to anyone here, although I do see why their comment hit a bit of a nerve.
posted by sciatrix at 1:28 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


But do you apologize to inanimate objects when you bump into them? Because that is the mark of a true Upper Midwesterner or a Canadian

I'm so Minnesotan that not only do I apologize to furniture I bump into, but I then go into the next room and, just loud enough to be heard, say "It would be nice if somebody were to apologize back to me."
posted by maxsparber at 1:29 PM on December 23, 2016 [47 favorites]


Racism, transphobia and misogyny are a valid culture now?

That's a different sense of the word 'culture' (although maybe that was the point here).
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:30 PM on December 23, 2016


[Couple comments removed, let's cool it on the whole "tantrum" thing in general and definitely on the back-and-forth stuff spinning off of that.]
posted by cortex at 1:30 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sounds like Trump has been listening to Mike Flynn, probably the most dangerous person in the administration. This is bad.
posted by theodolite at 1:31 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


But do you apologize to inanimate objects when you bump into them? Because that is the mark of a true Upper Midwesterner or a Canadian

Look, I am in a relationship with a Canadian and a nice British lady and I reflexively apologize more than either of them. Of course I apologize to inanimate objects!

there, there, fridge, sorry I left the door open long enough for you to beep

it's going to be okay
posted by sciatrix at 1:31 PM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


I personally feel a new-to-me level of anger toward Trump based on his inflammatory actions, and I am a deeply nonviolent pacifist. With this insight, I am growing increasingly afraid that a more action/violence-oriented leftie will physically attack Trump and succeed. What will happen?

I'm interested in reading about the political ramifications of Kennedy's assassination so as to be prepared for this on my time. Any recommendations?
posted by samthemander at 1:31 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Telling people who are actually terrified that they're just acting huffy to get attention is straight out the abuser's playbook. I know this because I grew up in an emotionally and physically violent and abusive home, and that's exactly how my abusive mother would describe her children when we were actually upset about being abused.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 1:31 PM on December 23, 2016 [55 favorites]


Sounds like Trump has been listening to Mike Flynn, probably the most dangerous person in the administration. This is bad.

Either that, or he's leaking his security briefings, right?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:32 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm so Minnesotan that not only do I apologize to furniture I bump into, but I then go into the next room and, just loud enough to be heard, say "It would be nice if somebody were to apologize back to me."

Well, now you're giving me flashbacks to when I used to come home from school to see the vacuum cleaner lurking innocently in the corner of the living room.

I would always ignore it, brash young lad that I was, but eventually grandma cleared her throat and mentioned that the carpet was a bit dirty. And then there was really no choice.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:34 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


[Please don't quote that Paladino shit in the thread, see above.]
posted by cortex at 1:35 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


That very nice letter from Putin that Trump is so proud of? Almost identical to the card sent to Obama on July 4th.

@mashagessen
Was asked by CNN about "extraordinary" Putin letter. Which in fact repeats Putin's July 4 card to Obama, virtually word4word #Trumpiandrift
posted by chris24 at 1:35 PM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


I assumed zokni was referring to those people rather than specifically to anyone here, although I do see why their comment hit a bit of a nerve.

Yes. I was referring to the general discourse out in the world. I haven't read many recent election threads here and am not familiar with a number of folks who felt my comment was directed at them.
posted by zokni at 1:36 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


If your sole connection to rust belt people is your in-laws I really don't give a fuck about your patronizing explanations about how we should feel about them.

It's incredibly creepy to noble savage people who ARE RIGHT HERE and can speak for their own communities thank you very much.
posted by winna at 1:36 PM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Oh boy, The Beach Boys are considering playing the inauguration — except that Brian Wilson and Al Jardine won't be involved, so I guess that makes it just Mike Love considering being Mike Love.
posted by mubba at 1:37 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh god, that tweet. This is my cold-hollow-sensation-filling-body moment for the day.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:37 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


cortex, sincere apologies. i missed that earlier and had zero idea who he is. yikes.
posted by futz at 1:39 PM on December 23, 2016


I personally feel a new-to-me level of anger toward Trump based on his inflammatory actions, and I am a deeply nonviolent pacifist. With this insight, I am growing increasingly afraid that a more action/violence-oriented leftie will physically attack Trump and succeed. What will happen?

Oh cool I needed another paranoid worry, and now I just had a think on who would benefit from that dark road vs a long drawn-out impeachment that sets their own base against them.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:39 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


If your sole connection to rust belt people is your in-laws I really don't give a fuck about your patronizing explanations about how we should feel about them.

It's incredibly creepy to noble savage people who ARE RIGHT HERE and can speak for their own communities thank you very much.


I lived there for seven years and have a lot of connections there still apart from my in-laws but I apologize for the creepy noble savaging if that's how it came across.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:42 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jason, now you're adding to my fears
posted by samthemander at 1:47 PM on December 23, 2016


Atrios has a good one today, how we deserve and should get Nice Things:
...thanks to that glorious bankruptcy bill, once you get into a hole you're probably trapped there. Bipartisany goodness to make David Broder swoon. 74-25 in the Senate, 302-126 in the House. But the Dems are the good guys! Yah, well, not enough of them and not consistently enough. Vote for Dems and the share of them voting for horrible things will shrink slightly!

And it isn't complicated. Thinking that it is complicated is the problem. There are better and worse ways to achieve things, and the wonks can fight it out, but the point is to achieve them. And, really, given how small the nice things budget is who cares?
posted by j_curiouser at 1:49 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


The brownshirts are already rising and they're coming out of the people who love trump, not the people who voted for him for cultural or ignorance-related reasons.

I know this got slapped down pretty quickly, but I really want to reiterate how extremely wrong it is. The people who voted for Trump for cultural or ignorance-related reasons are absolutely the core of groups like Stormfront. The people who love Trump will be the leaders, and the ignorant (you say the people voting for "tax cuts", but in reality they're voting for "don't you dare use my money to help anyone I disagree with" with a side of "and that includes anyone who's brown") will be the foot soldiers. This is how it has always been.

The true believers are scary, and they'll do everything in their power to make the world worse because they get off on it, but the "cultural or ignorance-related reasons" people are the ones who are actually going to be committing most of the violence, physical or otherwise.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:49 PM on December 23, 2016 [27 favorites]


The Mike Love 'Beach Boys' are... yeah, well, everything seems like a metaphor these days.
posted by box at 1:50 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


The true believers are scary, and they'll do everything in their power to make the world worse because they get off on it, but the "cultural or ignorance-related reasons" people are the ones who are actually going to be committing most of the violence, physical or otherwise.

You might be right. If you are right, it's a good ways off from happening in that way. In that scenario my neighbors (who all know me as an liberal Jew from out of state), will cut me off socially, start to threaten me, and eventually commit acts of violence on myself or my property/loved ones. None of that has happened or shows any signs of happening yet. They're all still mostly nice people who did a stupid thing for a variety of reasons. I'll let you know once they start marching down the dirt road wearing the red hat: don't think I'm not watching for it.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:55 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]




re Atrios:
Give people nice things, and make it easy. Provide things that it is generally understood that government should provide. Education, health care, roads, sidewalks, supertrains.
I'm not sure how "generally understood" those provisions are in the US. Perhaps there's an online overrepresentation of people who think local government should be paying cops (though not firefighters) and that's it, or that wanting more than $2.35/hr plus tips is communism, but as Noah Smith said, the FYIGM glibertarian fringe has a presence that skews the overall debate.

The other problem, once again, is that states and districts have their own economic interests that clash with the broader national interest, so even Dem senators will vote for a bankruptcy bill because their states have concentrated financial service industries, or corn alcohol subsidies because their state grows corn, or near-perpetual copyright because their state is California. The spiral of perceived insecurity and doubling-down on narrow self-interest is a hard one to arrest.
posted by holgate at 2:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


The US abstained on the UN vote on Israel today, so the Security Council resolution calling for the end of Israeli settlements passed.

This is new/was unexpected, right? What does this mean? Is this another Obama attempt to sideswipe Trump?
posted by corb at 2:21 PM on December 23, 2016


This is new/was unexpected, right? What does this mean? Is this another Obama attempt to sideswipe Trump?

More like Obama flipping Bibi the bird with both hands on the way out.
posted by Talez at 2:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [26 favorites]


And I'm sure Diamond Joe had something to do with it too.
posted by Talez at 2:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also we must, must start making a distinction between Trump voters and vigorous Trump supporters.

I think that's part of how we got here - by giving people a pass for Dubya and the like. A lot of people are under the impression that politics is academic. It's 'over there.' Like, plenty of people who voted for Trump didn't believe it would have any real world consequences for anybody they actually knew and cared about.

It's important that we express to *all* Trump voters that this is their fault. They didn't pay attention, they didn't educate themselves, and they got played. It's not Hillary Clinton's fault for being so darn unlikable*. It's not even entirely the media's fault for being spineless fucking quislings. It's the job of every American to have the slightest clue who their vote is going toward, and it's time we held people to that very loose and generous minimal standard.

Does that mean actually attacking them? Not always. But yeah, it means actually holding them accountable for their decision. It does mean snubbing. It does mean rubbing their noses in them losing their healthcare. It means doing whatever is most effective to make them connect 'life sucks' with 'they personally fucked this up for themselves.'

(* I like Hillary Clinton.)

Unless you're ready to fight a civil war right now then you're going to want to accept the humanity of some of those who either voted for trump or did not vote.

Sorry, that takes two. They're already at 'do not accept our basic humanity' and 'willing to commit horrifying acts of violence because of that.' If it comes to that, it's not on us, it's entirely on them. Anything else is victim blaming.
************
Damn straight! Hillary was badly slandered. A lot of these people who voted for Trump can't even tell you what the Hell they've got against Hillary anyway.

Meanwhile, I am older, I am disabled and there are rumors of things like SNAP benefits being block granted.
I live in HUD housing. What is going to happen to HUD? Suddenly saving up for a good Winter-ready tent doesn't feel like a frivolous purchase.
Seriously, people who did not vote for Trump are going to hurt. People who have No Idea about how to survive a long term crisis, and people who really can't survive a long term crisis due to poor health are going to die.
I'll shame and snub who I please about it. They threw in their lot with him without doing ANY damn research.
I have seen a lot of elections. I remember watching the Kennedy- Nixon debates.
I've watched damn near every Convention since 1960, both parties, and every Innauguaration since 1960.
I've never lived through anything like this.
I won't be watching this one. My TV will be off.
I am so thankful my mother didn't live to see this. She always feared a fascist takeover.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:27 PM on December 23, 2016 [31 favorites]


Hell, it's always been a wet dream of the right to leave the UN altogether, so who knows what the coming trainwreck has in mind.

I think you can get a preview by reading @realDonaldTrump's last three tweets.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:28 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hate guns, but am thinking about it, just because I don't want the right-wing thugs to win unopposed.

1) What the fuck is happening?
2) Will Mr. Manly Man gun-shop owner sell me one if I tell him I'm a "lib" who's taking out insurance?
posted by maxwelton at 2:28 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why do you have to tell him why you're getting a gun?
posted by asteria at 2:33 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Will Mr. Manly Man gun-shop owner sell me one if I tell him I'm a "lib" who's taking out insurance?

Probably. But let me know if he doesn't and I will find you a gun shop or a private owner that (legally) will. That offer extends to anyone worried about the MAGAshirts.
posted by corb at 2:34 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


If they ask, just say home defense. It'd be an accurate statement.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:34 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Will Mr. Manly Man gun-shop owner sell me one if I tell him I'm a "lib" who's taking out insurance?

Well, gun shops did basically win the right to discriminate against anyone they want to last year, even on grounds that would otherwise violate the Civil Rights Act.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:36 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Give people nice things, and make it easy. Provide things that it is generally understood that government should provide. Education, health care, roads, sidewalks, supertrains.
Support for the welfare state among White America started dropping when POC began to benefit from it.

Some people will eschew "nice things" if it means they also won't be given to those deemed undeserving.
posted by schroedinger at 2:39 PM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


im just gonna practice my genji damage deflection and hope for the best
posted by poffin boffin at 2:43 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


i think atrios' point is that - as lefties - we could come up with a consistent list of nice things. then fight like hell for them. as an alternative to what Democrats typically do, which is aspire to be slightly less horrible than Rs.
posted by j_curiouser at 2:45 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm with all those who say that building bridges and trying to meet halfway is over. How the hell do you meet halfway over bigotry and misogyny anyhow? My efforts are now aimed towards supporting organizations that will combat the negative effects already happening. I will make personal sacrifices of time and money to do that. I no longer have any time for anyone in my personal life who supports Trump. Period.
posted by LilithSilver at 2:46 PM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


i think atrios' point is that - as lefties - we could come up with a consistent list of nice things. then fight like hell for them. as an alternative to what Democrats typically do, which is aspire to be slightly less horrible than Rs.

Except if you ask 1000 different lefties what they want you'll get 1000 different answers.

Republicans on the other hand defer to the most powerful person in the room and then run headlong into the abyss if necessary.
posted by Talez at 2:47 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


If I were a Rockette (there is a mental image!) I'd show up and just be way out of sync. Then I would I would flat out insist that I wasn't and that everyone else was including the canned music. Then I would threaten to sue anyone said otherwise. If there were any consequences I would complained that I was fired for being just like the President.
posted by srboisvert at 2:48 PM on December 23, 2016 [34 favorites]


The Katy Perry Left Shark of the inauguration. I like it.
posted by chris24 at 2:51 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


On the Israel UN vote, while Israel is upset and Trump trumpy, it's actually just a reconfirmation of US policy since 1967. Every US president since LBJ has been against expanded settlements. The huge freak out is as much a reflection of the current polarized environment as the abstention.
posted by chris24 at 2:55 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


We came up with a list of nice things: higher minimum wage, more affordable child care, more affordable college, more affordable health care. That stuff, according to the remnants of a system designed to protect the institution of slavery, lost, and the winners are trying to tear out as much as possible, including longstanding institutions not on that list like Medicare and Social Security.

We have to keep pushing for these things, of course, but we literally just finished an election about all of this and "burn it down" (or perhaps "screw those people") won over "nice things."
posted by zachlipton at 2:55 PM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


With regards to building / burning bridges, it's December 23rd. I think a lot of us are proxy fighting to justify the conversations we're going to (not) have this weekend.

The United States has so far spent 240 years coddling racists.

220-ish. However imperfect they were, I feel like the Civil War and Reconstruction ought to get some acknowledgement.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 3:00 PM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


My dearest wish is that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir open with the Ugandan villagers' chorus from The Book Of Mormon, replacing the word "God" with "Trump".

The Rockettes' contribution could be to spell out the lyrics with signal flags.
posted by tel3path at 3:04 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


concur, Talez. maybe we begin with a Top Three. i dunno: healthcare, public schools, labor? I almost think it almost doesn't matter, as long as the Top Three are in almost everyone's Top Fifty. something like, "first, stop digging"?
posted by j_curiouser at 3:04 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Food for thought from Ars Technica: Facebook already has a Muslim registry—and it should be deleted "Facebook stands alone in the breadth and depth of personal data it collects."
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:05 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


My dearest wish is that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir open with the Ugandan villagers' chorus from The Book Of Mormon, replacing the word "God" with "Trump".

Or, sing "You're Making Things Up Again, Donald"
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:07 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]



I took small hiatus from most media and went lite on places like Metafilter for a couple of weeks in order to regroup a bit and recharge. It's only the past couple of days I've felt I can engage again. And although this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the election with the news that's just come out about Carrie Fisher (not dead but doesn't look good) I seriously don't think I can handle this year anymore. This is the worst fucking year ever.

I think I'm going to say my greetings and hope for the best for all here now no matter what or how one celebrates in case this is it for me for another while at least.

Take care all.
posted by Jalliah at 3:09 PM on December 23, 2016 [32 favorites]


Why "or" when you can "and".
posted by tel3path at 3:10 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


just based upon my family, friends, and peripheral acquaintances... many liberals own guns. that is not something i really want to entertain as a possibility, but. that's one thing i'm not worried about.
posted by waitangi at 3:16 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


healthcare, public schools, labor

This is a list of topics we're expecting the Left to be able to get uniformly behind concrete proposals for? Um, I wish I shared your optimism.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:18 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]




Meanwhile, liberals are arming ...

Yes, I recently retreived a few guns that my dad had left to me. My opinions on the desirability of a very lightly armed society haven't changed, but the society I have to live in seems to. "You know what a careful guy I am," I thought to myself as I tossed an old 1911 into my bag.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:23 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


A pet peeve of mine: Vlad is not, in fact, short for Vladimir.

TIL that JCPL also stands for Justinian's Current Peevishness Level.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:24 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


My dearest wish is that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir open with the Ugandan villagers' chorus from The Book Of Mormon, replacing the word "God" with "Trump".

I'm actually wondering if there will be some subtle "bless your heart"ing with regards to the song choices.
posted by corb at 3:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope that every musical act tosses out the setlist and just plays "You Can't Always Get What You Want" over and over until removed from the stage.
posted by contraption at 3:31 PM on December 23, 2016 [29 favorites]


re: optimism...

put 100 options in a survey, give each registered dem 100 pts to allocate however they like. pick the top three. it's a beginning.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:32 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


oh god, we'll just start arguing about voting systems then
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:33 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


"Mr Trump, we are going to place a trillion dollars in treasuries on the open market. Have a nice rest of your life."

This risk, combined with the temptation to mint the trillion-dollar coin when he can't get his way in congress, makes it worth thinking about what the world is going to look like if the US Dollar loses its reserve currency status in the next few years. Inflation seems like a good bet, even if that doesn't happen.
posted by Coventry at 3:36 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Salon: Sam Brownback urges Donald Trump to replicate his Kansas disaster on a national scale
When recently asked what was the matter with Kansas, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback ignored the steaming pile of economic wreckage that his supply-side experiment has caused in the state, and suggested that President-elect Donald Trump should take the Kansas model nationwide.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Friday, America’s least popular governor urged Trump to mimic the massive spending and tax cuts he implemented in Kansas — which have led to growing budget gaps, missed growth projections and two credit downgrades for the state.
The Daily Beast: In the Trump World Order, Everybody Bows Down
Welcome to Trumpworld, where unwilling Rockettes are forced to high kick in short skirts for the president’s pleasure while a creepy band of accused domestic abusers looks on and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings solemn hymns in the background. Over in the VIP tent, a crew of gleaming Wall Street bankers and corporate raiders do Veuve Clicquot toasts to their plans to sell Yellowstone Park to capped-teeth mining magnates while finally freeing themselves from “social insurance and healthcare for the poor.”[...]

Let’s not forget the rumpled white nationalist gurgling in the president’s ear about never forgetting Euro-Christian civilization and our white-haired national preacher V.P. tut-tutting working women to embrace motherhood and let the men do the jobbing as his friends in Congress place their birth control on the high shelf. Meanwhile, the First Lady will be silently glimmering on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily, while the president’s wife shuts down Saks Fifth Avenue in New York for a jaunty day of dress shopping, and her lawyers sue “unhelpful” bloggers into the dust.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:44 PM on December 23, 2016 [25 favorites]


I'm interested in reading about the political ramifications of Kennedy's assassination so as to be prepared for this on my time. Any recommendations?

samthemander: Page 92 onwards of McNamara's In Retrospect. McNamara was his Secretary of Defense.
posted by Coventry at 3:48 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's what I've gathered from the Trump voters I know.

Some of them are your standard "Obama is a traitor!" Tea Partyites who would vote Republican whoever ran because they hate and distrust liberals that much.

Some of them genuinely hate what they see as government elites on both sides, mixed with contempt for Big Government and people who they think haven't earned what they get. A lot of them have barely concealed racism, usually aimed at Muslims and undocumented immigrants.

Others sincerely think Hillary was incompetent, vastly more corrupt, and more of a warmonger than Trump. There's a lot of mud in the water, and there are a lot of misconceptions floating around her that were stoked for years and years.

Then there are the people who think Trump is a bad candidate, and are willing to admit he said and did bad things, but Hillary was just as corrupt and awful and gross because Project Insight/Lena Dunham/"Both sides do it!".

As for me, I'm growing increasingly frustrated with my friends who are still convinced "SJWs" and liberals are being alarmists and Hillary would have been every bit as bad as Trump had she been elected. I'm fully willing to admit the tumblr model of leftism has serious flaws, but there is no way they are anywhere near as bad as Trump and Friends.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 3:53 PM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


That isn't the same as deciding every single person who voted for trump is shitty so fuck them forever.

Actually every single person who has an income of less than six figures and voted for Trump has proven themselves to be either racist , misogynistic or both.

Or is just plain masochistic.
posted by notreally at 3:55 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


This risk, combined with the temptation to mint the trillion-dollar coin when he can't get his way in congress, makes it worth thinking about what the world is going to look like if the US Dollar loses its reserve currency status in the next few years. Inflation seems like a good bet, even if that doesn't happen.

Yep. There's $3.2 trillion in the system since 2008 that's not had a major effect on the US economy because it's been almost entirely used to put an extra zero on the bank balances of the 1%. The US could quickly find itself in massive stagflation without the consistent support of the entire world to absorb these dollars if they flood onto the open market. Trump might convince a few of the more powerful nations that unhitching their horses from the USD wagon might be the most prudent course of action and that should be fucking terrifying.

The US has had an economic free over the past 60 years. Only a fucking idiot would want to rock that boat yet here we are.
posted by Talez at 3:57 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Others sincerely think Hillary was incompetent, vastly more corrupt, and more of a warmonger than Trump. There's a lot of mud in the water, and there are a lot of misconceptions floating around her that were stoked for years and years.

That's a big chunk of the Trump electorate and one of the the most reachable ones.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:57 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Well, that's unfortunately how things have been going for us on the left, as far as muddied waters go thedarksideofprocyon.

RIGHTSIDEPERSON: You guys lost because you guys suck.
ME: 'Well, there's several inherent structural factor-' (begins textured explaination)
RIGHTSIDEPERSON: cuck.
posted by mrdaneri at 3:58 PM on December 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


Nutjobs gonna nut.

@TomCottonAR
Time for complete review of our UN policy, not just funding. Open question whether US should remain member & allow UN to disgrace our soil.
posted by chris24 at 4:05 PM on December 23, 2016


Nutjobs gonna nut.

It's a good thing this nutjob won't be let anywhere near the levels of pow...

What? He's a sitting US Senator? I'm just going to go shoot myself now.
posted by Talez at 4:06 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's also not the same as people refusing to make cakes for gay couples either, because they are also a protected class that may not be legally discriminated against by a business.

Come next year, Democrats and progressives have very little say in who's a protected class. The gov't just might require you to bake some MAGA cakes you don't wanna bake, who knows...

The Rockettes thing being journalised as "The union ordered them to perform" seems very off? Am I somehow incorrect in thinking it's more like "The union advised them the contract they signed requires them to perform."?
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:09 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Don't you know unions are the devil
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:10 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


The most confusing thing I've seen from my perspective is leftists who defected because of bad encounters with tumblr. I've seen it happen to a friend - she went from a liberal to someone who sincerely thinks leftism has been consumed by authoritarianism and is pro-censorship, anti-male, and anti-white.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 4:13 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, yes, our fine senator from Arkansas, the state #22nd most dependent on Federal tax receipts, for which the people receive a #41 in education, and #49 in healthcare. No doubt the good senator should be focusing his time on twitter outreach campaigns.
posted by mrdaneri at 4:17 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I don't know that it's so confusing, speaking as someone who has had enough bad runs with the toxic side of Tumblr that I left it altogether for the sake of my mental health after sustained harassment there left me with a degree of trauma. To a certain kind of person, I can see encountering some of that and having a bad enough emotional reaction to disavow anything associated with "the enemy" (a mindset the space often encouraged when I was there) and completely flip philosophies, especially if they never had a particularly tight personal understanding of why they were a liberal and why their philosophy mattered to start with.

Which is not to say they're remotely right or even that this is a reasonable reaction. But I might be able to understand it.
posted by sciatrix at 4:19 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Since we're delving back into "let's be nice and try to understand Trump supporters" territory, here's a question; where are all the thinkpieces about understanding non-Trump voters?

I could personally connect any journalist who wanted with a bunch of people who voted against Trump, and stand to suffer great losses under Trump's policies. My friend who our entire social circle is convinced is trans, but is only taking very tentative steps toward coming out, in part because being a black trans woman is already hard and will only get harder in the coming administration. My friend the nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood, who worries both for her patients' safety and her own employment. The very large chunk of my friends and acquaintances who get their health insurance through the ACA exchanges or the state. The gay and trans folks who grew up with religious conservative parents who would not have hesitated to send their kids to conversion therapy.

Ask me or most of these people, and we could speak at length about why we vote how we do. I would love it if more people made a huge effort to understand our political choices. But since we're not white men in rust belt states, no one feels this deep need to understand our psyches and cater policies to us. Funny how that works.
posted by ActionPopulated at 4:19 PM on December 23, 2016 [69 favorites]


That's a big chunk of the Trump electorate and one of the the most reachable ones.

Possibly the horrible reality of the situation is sinking in for them and they're actually going to want to pull up from this. Or maybe they're going to double the fuck down, adopt Info Wars as their only source of information (like the president!) and get real bitter at the liberals who are clearly undermining what would otherwise have been a successful set of economic and political decisions and in no way the insane blundering of an angry baby surrounded by Nazi advisors.
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Rockettes thing being journalised as "The union ordered them to perform" seems very off? Am I somehow incorrect in thinking it's more like "The union advised them the contract they signed requires them to perform."?

You're right. The union can protect them (in theory) from stuff that violates their contracts, but that's all. However, the bit where the union implies that they should stop whining and dance is uncalled-for editorializing: "It is a job, and all of you should consider it an honor, no matter who is being sworn in." They don't get to lecture their membership about how they're supposed to feel.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Possibly the horrible reality of the situation is sinking in for them and they're actually going to want to pull up from this. Or maybe they're going to double the fuck down

Probably a mix of both but that still leaves us with a net increase in real allies and I think those are worth fighting for (if one has the stomach for it).
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:23 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nothing like the president-elect taking sides with Putin against the opposition party.

@realDonaldTrump
Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: "In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity." So true!
posted by chris24 at 4:25 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


One time, I was with a group of Trump supporters I know (all of them older white men) who were complaining about Obamacare.

So I thought that I could help them see things from my point of view, as a recent college student who relies on my parents' insurance under Obamacare and who would suffer if it was taken away. They knew me, so my logic was it would help if they saw a familiar and friendly face who needed healthcare.

They just said they didn't care and didn't think they should have to pay for my health insurance. I had to bite my tongue to keep from calling them all selfish assholes.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 4:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Since we're delving back into "let's be nice and try to understand Trump supporters" territory, here's a question; where are all the thinkpieces about understanding non-Trump voters?

This is the same argument I hear about multiculturalism..."Why should we accept or adapt to their cultural practices when we wouldn't be similarly accepted in their countries? Why should we do what they won't?"
I'll leave you to find an answer that satisfies both scenarios.
posted by rocket88 at 4:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is a list of topics we're expecting the Left to be able to get uniformly behind concrete proposals for?

The Left lined up pretty solidly behind Sanders' proposals, modulo the Greens and the radical Socialists. Yes, I know Clinton made many of the same proposals, but it's not enough to just make them, you have to be a credible advocate for them. It's clear at this point that we shouldn't argue about Clinton's credibility here, or other Sanders/Clinton controversies, but it's also clear that there is a platform the Left can align on.
posted by Coventry at 4:28 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


>But it doesn't matter why people voted for Trump. You know what you were getting.

>Not if you have poor education, few mind-opening early life experiences, and no ability to tell good information from bad.


So you are saying Trump supporters are too ignorant to be responsible for their own decisions? And your complaint is that other people are being disrespectful and condescending to Trump supporters?
posted by JackFlash at 4:28 PM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Nothing like the president-elect taking sides with Putin against the opposition party.

You know, I've tried to refrain from making comments about Trump and Putin being part of a snuggle bunny slumber party club together because it's both stupid and too conspiratorial for my liking.

But then he comes out with shit like this and it's like "well if they're not in bed together it'd be a surprise".
posted by Talez at 4:28 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


The Left lined up pretty solidly behind Sanders' proposals, modulo the Greens and the radical Socialists. Yes, I know Clinton made many of the same proposals, but it's not enough to just make them, you have to be a credible advocate for them. It's clear at this point that we shouldn't argue about Clinton's credibility here, or other Sanders/Clinton controversies, but it's also clear that there is a platform the Left can align on.

The Democrats veered hard to the left c/o Bernie and the left just stood there going "it doesn't excite us we're taking our ball and going home".

For the left, some mythical stature is just as important as policy and it's annoying as hell.
posted by Talez at 4:29 PM on December 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


Let me get this straight. If a Putin/Russia operation was succesful, it's illegitemate to call for investigation of it? Because you're a "sore loser"?
posted by thelonius at 4:30 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


They just said they didn't care and didn't think they should have to pay for my health insurance. I had to bite my tongue to keep from calling them all selfish assholes.

I have found that judiciously pointing out that someone is being a selfish asshole or asking them to extend their reasoning to admitting that they think you should have to try to grit out a toothache by squinting salt water into the sore spot or fix a cut foot by sewing it up yourself as a young person who can't afford health insurance, rather than pay a couple of extra tax dollars.

I am so angry they treated you like that. And they deserved to be told they were being assholes. Sometimes that line of questioning, if you can deliver it with anger and confidence backing it up, shocks dicks like that into thinking about their beliefs.
posted by sciatrix at 4:33 PM on December 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


And your complaint is that other people are being disrespectful and condescending to Trump supporters?

I think it's more disrespectful to call 70-ish million people irredeemable assholes undeserving of any communication than to say that some portion of them were misled by an unparalleled misinformation campaign due to less education and less use of critical thinking.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:33 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Democrats veered hard to the left c/o Bernie and the left just stood there going "it doesn't excite us we're taking our ball and going home".

That wasn't the childish reaction you seem to imply. There were excellent historical and ideological reasons to be extremely skeptical of those commitments. (Being vague here to avoid a fight.)
posted by Coventry at 4:36 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


wait
was that in that extremely bigly letter that Trump received from Putin?
the one that some reporter figured out was a word-for-word repeat of greetings to Obama July 4?
posted by angrycat at 4:38 PM on December 23, 2016


Let me get this straight. If a Putin/Russia operation was succesful, it's illegitemate to call for investigation of it? Because you're a "sore loser"?

Is there news on this front?
posted by Coventry at 4:38 PM on December 23, 2016


That wasn't the childish reaction you seem to imply. There were excellent historical and ideological reasons to be extremely skeptical of those commitments. (Being vague here to avoid a fight.)

I'm sure there were but there's only two practical choices available so it has the same effect either way.
posted by Talez at 4:38 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why should we accept or adapt to their cultural practices when we wouldn't be similarly accepted in their countries?

Is that the best argument they can muster? It sounds completely ignorant of the last 500 years of history, at best. At worst, it's an awful conveniently timed tantrum, since a lot countries (some of which were former colonies), are just beginning to get good at adapting and playing the game that the West set up the rules for.
posted by FJT at 4:38 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is there news on this front?

Putin's yearly press conference and Trump's tweet, only
posted by thelonius at 4:40 PM on December 23, 2016


Thanks.
posted by Coventry at 4:41 PM on December 23, 2016


(Being vague here to avoid a fight.)


As a veteran of mefi election threads (remember those salad days when Nate said Trump could never get the nomination?) I assure you that there's no way to avoid this particular fight besides not bringing it up at all.
posted by dis_integration at 4:44 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Are we going to accomplish anything by having the 50,000th round of this particular fight?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:47 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


all right, I'll say it: Elton John won't even play at your inauguration, nyah nyah, boo boo!
posted by mannequito at 4:58 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think the right has managed to stoke a great deal of the both-sidesism. They have a lot more to gain if people distrust the government and what they're told by the news, and the Democrats are thought of as the party of Big Government.

(I meant to ask, what is Project Insight, anyway? I've heard about it from conservative friends on social media, but don't know the details and don't want to give them the pageviews.)
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:05 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Inroads, shminroads. We Mefites grump at people for not reading all the comments in a thread before writing their own. The principle is that you should take in and assimilate existing information from the conversation before chiming in.

In this case, there's lots of documentation that we have had this fight umpty-ump times, and having it yet again is both fruitless and aggravating. We get it, we who are angry at Trumpsters are whining and all we need to do is try a little tenderness. Duly noted. Let's move on.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:05 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


[Primary discussions are really really unproductive at this point. Please let that topic drop. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:07 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Jesus, this is the first thing I've read since the election that actually sent a chill up my spine: A Trump Christmas Carol (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:15 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


You're a mean one, Mr. Trump.
You really are a heel,
You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel, Mr. Trump,
You're a bad banana with a greasy orange peel!
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:20 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


On the other hand, this is the sort of staple beanplating that keeps me coming back to metafilter. Although, I am sure to only use metafilter intermittently, and then, only at the direction of a licensed healthcare professional.
posted by mrdaneri at 5:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


This, in a nutshell, is why Democrats lost. We're sitting here in echo chambers fucking whining instead of making inroads with people who disagree with us.

Hey, don't let me keep you here if you have more important business elsewhere organizing the masses.

Anyway, Clinton lost the election for many reasons, some of which she stands to blame, some of which she doesn't. But I can assure you that people venting on an internet forum had absolutely fuck-all to do with it.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [24 favorites]


I hope that every musical act tosses out the setlist and just plays "You Can't Always Get What You Want" over and over until removed from the stage.
posted by contraption at 3:31 PM on December 23
[8 favorites +] [!]

That's hysterical because a very anthemy version of that song was played at the convention repeatedly.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:22 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cracked is kind of killing it lately. "And that's why blaming Trump's victory on "out-of-touch Democrats and Republicans not reaching out to the working class" is like blaming your roommate for letting you stick your tit in a blender. The working class and rural America should fucking know better than to vote for Trump. But just as the media failed us, so too did mainstream politics cause people to roll the dice on this shuffling troll burger. And while I totally get that he is supposed to be an "outsider" bringing "change" the same way Obama did eight years ago ... Obama was still qualified for the damn job. He was a political science major specializing in international relations who went on to be an honor student at Harvard Law. He was a freaking senator. So I don't care how shitty mainstream politics are; rejecting "experts" and "elitists" (even if it's Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton) for an inexperienced corporate demagogue is like the sheep hiring a drunk hyena to stave off the wolves. It's like having Russell Crowe host a meditative wellness seminar.

This is why the worst thing that conservative and liberal experts can do is blame themselves for not reaching out. If a meteorologist tells you it's going to rain exploding turds, they shouldn't be blamed when soon-to-be-shit-covered people rally against "weather elitists who aren't always 100 percent accurate.""

[Link]
posted by supercrayon at 5:23 PM on December 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


Food for thought from Ars Technica: Facebook already has a Muslim registry—and it should be deleted.

Oh, it's worse than that. The phone companies (and by extension the NSA) can do a very simple query: for each mosque at location M, return all users who stopped at location M for more than 30 minutes.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:23 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


The WaPo Christmas Carol parody is chilling, yes, but this part made me laugh out loud:

“What do you want with me?” Trump asked. “Nice chain, by the way.”

Cohn merely scowled in answer. “You have a chain of your own, Donald,” he said. “You have forged it link by link. It is even longer and heavier than mine.”

Trump beamed.

“That’s bad,” Cohn whispered.

“Oh,” Trump said.

posted by bibliowench at 5:23 PM on December 23, 2016 [33 favorites]


Rust Moranis: I think it's more disrespectful to call 70-ish million people irredeemable assholes undeserving of any communication than to say that some portion of them were misled by an unparalleled misinformation campaign due to less education and less use of critical thinking.

I couldn't give one actual fuck about disrespecting Trump voters at this point, no matter their reasons or lack of reasons for voting for him. None of them deserve my respect for anything. Respect is earned. I hope they suffer for it every single day of his administration, and I don't give a shit who knows it. We don't have the time or the numbers to sit down and have a nice chat with every "possibly reachable" Trump voter; advocating that is like advocating spitting in the sea to make it less salty.

Everyone except rich white Christians are about to suffer, and suffer badly. I fervently and unrepentanty hope that the people who voted for Trump, no matter their reasons or level of education or sources of information, suffer more. I hope they choke on it every day.
posted by tzikeh at 5:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [46 favorites]


This, in a nutshell, is why Democrats lost.

Democrats lost the White House because it turns out that enough anglos are grade-a dirtbags who wouldn't turn out for normal Republicans like Romney but were excited to vote for a flaming bag of dogshit that was overtly racist enough.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:29 PM on December 23, 2016 [53 favorites]


But Tom Hanks running for President as a Democrat in 2020 probably is a winning strategy -- universally beloved celebrity beats continuum-between-hated-and-sort-of-admired celebrity.


Can he please do it in character as "David S. Pumpkins"?
posted by mmoncur at 5:33 PM on December 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


You could argue that a lot of that is a Bernie effect or leftists.

You could. It seems hard to nail down either way with the information I've been able to find, though.
posted by Coventry at 5:35 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


So I have a finite amount of compassion/energy in me. I am choosing to spend it on the people who will suffer the most under Trump, and that's not clueless white people--although they will suffer too--it's people of color, LGBTQ, immigrants and so on. They suffer first, so they get the bulk of whatever time/attention/compassion I have to spare. Then come organizations working hard to preserve any scrap of democracy or justice, on the principle that this will help the most people.

After that, if I happen to be in the place to have a dialogue with a Trump voter who is thinking maybe they made a mistake, sure.

What putting it this way points out for me is how much calls for compassion are really calls for the status quo; the hurts, needs, and cares of conservative white people must remain a priority, even when they are the ones who cause the problem. We are still expected to put them first.

And I'm not. I'm not kicking anybody in the face who isn't attacking me, you understand, but I'm not going out of my way to fuss over suffering Trump voters.
posted by emjaybee at 5:37 PM on December 23, 2016 [49 favorites]


On the subject of dealing with pro-Trump people in our lives, I'm starting to give serious thought about what to do with my conservative friends on social media.

I don't plan to stop being political online any time soon and I'm in a place in my life where I don't need both-sidesism and pro-Republican stuff on my dash. I get enough of it in real life and in bad circumstances that I can't avoid. So I'm considering unfriending/unfollowing them, under the logic that a falling out will happen later and probably in an even uglier way.

But at the same time I can never bring myself to hit the block or unfollow button, because these people have been there for me in bad times and know very personal things about me. And they would probably tell me that I'm being a coward or immature for not being able to deal with opposing views on my dash. And the worst part is, I'm not completely sure they're wrong.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:40 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I strongly oppose actively wishing for anyone to suffer hunger, health issues or homelessness based on a carelessly-cast vote that they may soon consider a mistake.

I understand the impulse, but I just can't.
posted by samthemander at 5:40 PM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


And yeah, I'm not offering pity, just not going to wish Bad Things on other people.
posted by samthemander at 5:41 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can he please do it in character as "David S. Pumpkins"?

I'm sorry, but if we're going to run a Hollywood actor in character I'm going to have to insist that it be Terry Crews as Camacho.
posted by contraption at 5:41 PM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


This, in a nutshell, is why Democrats lost. We're sitting here in echo chambers fucking whining instead of making inroads with people who disagree with us.

First of all, "sitting here in echo chambers fucking whining" is the primary occupation of almost all of the Right, who you're claiming "won", so it turns out to be a winning strategy according to your own logic. Maybe think for two seconds before taking potshots at the people who aren't actively doing evil and make sure your argument is at least internally logically consistent.

Second, the reason, in a nutshell, that the Democrats "lost" is that there wasn't an election. The reason that the Republican party is so dead set against any recounts occurring is that a lot of the Trump ballots actually physically don't exist, as we found out here in Michigan when we started our recount (before it got illegitimately shut down). We outnumber the Republicans badly enough that they couldn't win the election and they knew it, so they just routed around the problem.

The fact that Trump wasn't actually elected, of course, does not mean that the people who DID vote for him are any less of a problem, and even though there are a lot fewer of them than there are of us, there are still a lot of them by any objective measure. They're going to try to burn the country down with themselves inside because that's how much they want to watch us suffer. Yeah, it would be great to help those people understand why it's not a good idea to burn the country down. That would be ideal. But if we can't figure out how to do that, and for the record it is looking like they are VERY resistant to it, we still have to stop them.
posted by IAmUnaware at 5:42 PM on December 23, 2016 [31 favorites]


I'm not kicking anybody in the face who isn't attacking me, you understand, but I'm not going out of my way to fuss over suffering Trump voters.
But if you don't go out of your way to comfort them, they WILL attack. That's centuries of accumulated White and/or Male Privilege in action.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:44 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Terry Crews as Camacho is looking less as less like 'throwaway Internet Comedy' and 'Viable 2020 DNC Gold' in my book. Find the right 'other half' of that ticket, and I smell a landslide.
posted by mrdaneri at 5:49 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


There are a few positive and constructive things that can be done in response to Trump's victory and upcoming regime.

For one, people who are able must help those who will be hurt worst by these policies. Mitigate the damage by acting at the grass roots level however you can.

Second, organize targeted campaigns to convince Republican Congress critters that supporting Trump is a career limiting move. His approval rate is the lowest of any incoming president and it will only get lower. Work on this to make impeachment more likely.

Third, boycott all businesses that support him. We know who they are, and your spending dollar is the most powerful tool you have.

Lastly, start working on the next election. 2018 might not have much chance of changing anything at the national level, but 2020 will. The time to start planning strategy is now.

Notice that nowhere on this list is shaming, punishing, or hating people who voted for Trump. Whether they support him wholeheartedly or just fell for his lies about bringing jobs and prosperity back, attacking them, disparaging them, and treating them like your arch enemy doesn't help anybody. It doesn't lessen the impact of a Trump presidency and it doesn't prevent more like him. It doesn't help. It just makes you feel...I'm not sure...Better? I honestly don't know because I don't feel it. I just know it doesn't help anything real. And we need all the real help we can muster right now.
posted by rocket88 at 5:50 PM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


WaP from Dec 14: Democratic senators press Trump’s education pick Betsy DeVos to pay years-old $5.3 million fine
A group of Senate Democrats is urging President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, to pay $5.3 million in fines imposed on her political action committee for campaign finance violations in Ohio eight years ago.

“As secretary of education, Betsy DeVos would be responsible for overseeing the nation’s student loan program, including ensuring that students repay their loans, so it’s troubling that she has blatantly ignored her own PAC’s debt to the people of Ohio,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.). “When a student borrower defaults, it has serious ramifications that haunt that student for years — yet when DeVos’s PAC defaulted on its fine for violating the law, they just walked away.”
I don't remember hearing about this even though the article is from a week ago. Sounds pretty cut and dried to me-- I don't think you should be able to work for the government if you have an outstanding fine you have ignored. Her defense is that the fine was levied against her PAC and the PAC shut down.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:51 PM on December 23, 2016 [25 favorites]


Part of the problem with the enemy being a businessman surrounding himself with a regular Legion of Doom full of other businessmen is that some of their businesses are near-omnipresent.

For example, I can't drive my own car, so I have no choice but to use Uber to travel around my town, whose CEO is advising Trump. And PayPal, run by Peter "Human Vampire" Thiel, is near-unavoidable - I had to use it just to join MF. And as a rule all the big oil companies are pretty sleazy.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:55 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Carrie Fisher is stable, just checked. You can't have her, 2016!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:01 PM on December 23, 2016 [40 favorites]


But the VAST majority of people who voted for Donald Trump did so for the same reason(s) they voted for Mitt Romney, John McCain, George Bush, etc., and would have voted for Ted Cruz or John Kasich if they were on the ballot instead: one or more of lower taxes, lower regulations, Second Amendment, tougher on crime/terrorism, flyover-vs-coastal-elites, pro-life judges, Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays, etc.

You are undermining your own argument by saying these people are the unredeemables who will always vote Republican for always shitty reasons. So why should lefties waste their time on them. As you say, they are unredeemable. And as Max Planck said, they will only be won over one funeral at a time.

Better to work on convincing people who are amenable to persuasion and without the permanently locked in prejudices such as millennials and stay-home Democrats.
posted by JackFlash at 6:01 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't plan to stop being political online any time soon and I'm in a place in my life where I don't need both-sidesism and pro-Republican stuff on my dash. I get enough of it in real life and in bad circumstances that I can't avoid. So I'm considering unfriending/unfollowing them, under the logic that a falling out will happen later and probably in an even uglier way.

But at the same time I can never bring myself to hit the block or unfollow button, because these people have been there for me in bad times and know very personal things about me. And they would probably tell me that I'm being a coward or immature for not being able to deal with opposing views on my dash. And the worst part is, I'm not completely sure they're wrong.


I also have conservative friends who voted for Trump on my FB feed, and aside from politics, we get along great.

I set down the following 'house rules' on my FB wall, where 99.9% of my posts are FLocked:

1. I am personally anti-Trump, and I post a lot of anti-Trump material. If you, Conservative Person, get offended by it, it's your responsibility to unfollow/unfriend me, not bully me into posting less politics.
2. Because of 1, my wall is not a place to defend Trump. You have your own wall to do that on.
3. Because of 1 and 2, my wall is not a place to play 'debate'. My politics are mine, and are not up for discussion, debate, or devil's advocacy. So, please do not try to do these on my wall. Since the vast majority know that my politics flow from Leftism to outright Anarchism, they see this as the losing proposition that it is, and don't bother. The ones that don't heed this warning, depending on the amount of caffeine I've consumed and/or the content posted, get either a stern talking-to, or, ah, more harsh words.
4. On the flip side, I will not discuss politics on their walls, unless explicitly invited to, especially on their FLocked posts.

This leads to a bit of peace around on FB.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:06 PM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


The Dems lost because the VRA was gutted/too many Republican governors, because Americans are stupid and think change is in and of itself a virtue and because of the combined efforts of Comey and Putin.

Those are the main three and of that the first we can change, the third probably won't happen again, but the second we just have to live with.
posted by asteria at 6:06 PM on December 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


Trump: Putin says I'm a catch. [Fake?]
posted by drezdn at 6:10 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


But if you don't go out of your way to comfort them, they WILL attack. That's centuries of accumulated White and/or Male Privilege in action.

No, that's what abusers say. "I wouldn't have to hit you if you didn't make me so mad." But we should all know better by now that abusers abuse because they want to, not because of anything their victims do.

It is not the responsibility of the victim to reform or persuade their abusers. It is not the responsibility of the oppressed to pander to their oppressors.

And appeasement doesn't work. It just tells them you'll lie down to their abuse and encourages them to step it up. It has been tried. It has failed.

Look, I'm in a fairly privileged position; I don't rely on my racist relatives to support me, my workplace is fairly egalitarian, and I'm white; I'm not the most vulnerable. And that means I must resist, because there are many others that can't. That have to pander or stay in the closet just to survive.

If people like me aren't brave enough to call out our racist sexist fellow citizens, who will?
posted by emjaybee at 6:11 PM on December 23, 2016 [44 favorites]


This set of tweets about bullies seems timely. (There's a transcript below the images.)
posted by XtinaS at 6:16 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


'Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. This is an ancient and eternal law'

(SEE ALSO: 'How come when I confronted that dude on his racist, bigoted behavior he just got more and more upset?)
posted by mrdaneri at 6:17 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think, maybe, there's a bit of miscommunication in the whole "bridge building" thing or at least multiple sides to it? Because to me, what it means is not to coddle every bigoted dipshit but to (and even I'm getting sick of myself beating this drum and I'll try to keep it in check...) look to fusion politics models that don't require compromising progressive values, the good guys got that right during Reconstruction and again during the 60s and they're getting it right today. There's a lot of fight left to go in NC and yeah, they didn't stop Trump from winning the state, but there's a realistic and reachable goal to build a state government that can unfuck the gerrymandering and voter suppression, oppose Trump and Ryan and McConnell policies that hurt people in the state, and build a state level Democratic bench... and a hell of a lot of it is built on effective outreach and bridge building to Republican voters, by sidestepping the party lines and going back to basic principles and morals, and showing Southern Strategy tactics as a scam. This isn't incompatible or even dissimilar to the kind of work Keith Ellison wants to do, or the kind of work that the Save Kansas Coalition did, or what Bernie did (inelegantly spoken as he is about social issues sometimes...), or what Elizabeth Warren does, or what Jason Kander did, and groups expressly pushing for social justice are at the heart of it, and it doesn't require treating Trump voters with kid gloves or ditching your principles (drawing a real hard line on progressive principles is a big important part of this), but it is bridge building with the reachable voters. And our anger absolutely does not need to be toned down to do it, in fact it all seems a little insincere if you're advocating for this kind of thing and not pissed off. So yeah, I think there might be some misunderstanding here, maybe along the divide of like, advocating a movement-based approach vs asking people as individuals to be doormats for Trump voters... because yeah, fuck the latter.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:17 PM on December 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


And as Max Planck said, they will only be won over one funeral at a time.

As nice as it is to think that everyone's racist aunt/uncle/grandpa/grandma is going to die any day now I find it really frightening to ignore the fact that the new wave of horrible racist bile is being groomed right now. It's been on the fringes for years and has, for a long time, thoroughly infested reddit. Gamergate, The Red Pill, PUA, most recently with The_Donald.

Like, honestly this new wave terrifies me. Their most ingrained belief, whether they'll admit it or not, is that empathy is the ultimate sign of weakness. You show it and they'll play along just to slide the knife in as close as they possibly can.

It's like, can you build a bridge to them? Do you have to burn down all of theirs down because invariably they'll send a fluffy sweater filled with razor blades? Or is this simply how it's always been, just in a new set of paint?
posted by Neronomius at 6:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [49 favorites]


The reason that the Republican party is so dead set against any recounts occurring is that a lot of the Trump ballots actually physically don't exist, as we found out here in Michigan when we started our recount

Äre voter rolls public in MI? If so, is there an effort underway to verify this theory against the voter records? And does it need help?
posted by Coventry at 6:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


These two things have me twisted up:

I have more sympathy for people who are gearing up to flee the nation
I want to stay and fight tooth and nail


I didn’t exactly flee (middle aged, white male so not under much threat), but I left the US a long time ago for positive reasons about where I wanted to live and work, but also because of not really wanting to live in the US. Mrs Gotanda and I used to discuss returning there at some point, but that became less and less likely over the past few years and just not possible now.

Here’s the thing though. I perversely almost wish I was back. There is this incredible frustration over just how little I can do to fight--to help. I’ve donated money to orgs and candidates and will donate more. I voted and will vote again, but as an overseas voter I am locked into one of the bluest of blue districts in California so it doesn’t count for much. I’ve become more outspoken politically (not that I was too shy about it before). I know a couple of Trump voters here in Japan but there really isn’t any reason for me to talk with them again. I tried some gentle persuasion before the election. I made a brief, weak, pointless attempt at a protest at the US Embassy on the eve of the electoral college vote, but even in the moment I knew it was really just posturing rather than accomplishing anything. But I felt like I had to do something, anything besides just go home after work. So, in my life I am happy I “fled” but also regret that that means there is now very little I can do to be directly helpful.
posted by Gotanda at 6:26 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I find it really frightening to ignore the fact that the new wave of horrible racist bile is being groomed right now. It's been on the fringes for years and has, for a long time, thoroughly infested reddit. Gamergate, The Red Pill, PUA, most recently with The_Donald.

That's one of the things which scares me about white nationalism/Neo-Nazism on a demographic level, that a lot of its recruits are young and incredibly vicious.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:32 PM on December 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


Gotanda, what are you skilled at?
posted by Coventry at 6:33 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also have conservative friends who voted for Trump on my FB feed, and aside from politics, we get along great

With all due respect... when so many people's basic human rights are on the line, is getting along on Facebook really the top priority?
posted by the turtle's teeth at 6:34 PM on December 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


Well how else are you supposed to bridge build and change minds one person at a time?

[wankmotion]
posted by qcubed at 6:36 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


And our anger absolutely does not need to be toned down to do it, in fact it all seems a little insincere if you're advocating for this kind of thing and not pissed off.

This is super important. I've mentioned it before, and it bears repetition: we like to frame arguments in a way that makes sense to *us*. We like to break out a spreadsheet or a policy brief or statistics.

Well, a lot of people base their decisions on emotional appeals, not that. If you're talking to these people, it's important to meet them in a place they understand. *Show* your emotions. Let them see you're sincere.

I know at least some of the subcultures that went Trump. My extended family has a lot of rednecks, all really fucking happy about our impending doom. I'm not ready to talk to them about this yet, but when I do, I'm going to keep it to how I feel, not numbers, because it's what they *trust*. It's not because they're stupid. My brother in law's a civil engineer. He may be better at math than I am. It's just not how they come to conclusions about what to do - feelings and sincerity are king.

On a... I'm no longer shaking with rage and can address this stuff note:

It doesn't help. It just makes you feel...I'm not sure...Better? I honestly don't know because I don't feel it. I just know it doesn't help anything real. And we need all the real help we can muster right now.

Being angry, even hating people is a natural reaction to being attacked. It isn't your place to tell people how they should grieve or otherwise cope with what's coming. It is, in fact, incredibly disrespectful to engage in that. So, you know, don't.
posted by mordax at 6:37 PM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


With all due respect... when so many people's basic human rights are on the line, is getting along on Facebook really the top priority?

Partially, yes. Because I'm also out as trans on my FB page, and they get to read my trials and tribulations regarding this. It may give them pause when anti-trans legislation comes down the pike, as now they can't say that they don't know any trans people, and are thus ignorant to what trans people go through. Or, at least me. (And I don't speak for all trans people, certainly.)
posted by spinifex23 at 6:38 PM on December 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


Reuters Exclusive: Trump team seeks names of officials working to counter violent extremism: The requests to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security involve a set of programs that seek to prevent violence by extremists of any stripe, including recruitment by militant Islamist groups within the United States and abroad.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:38 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Which, I think, although I already namechecked him once in this thread, he's worth two in these confusing times for his clarity, thedarksideofprocyon, is where Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent can be helpful. It specifically clairfies the role of media entities in the democratic process, and how they interact with different populations to achieve certain ends.

That they have encouraged both racism and viciousness in large numbers of young men is sadly, neither unexpected, nor particularly novel in the history of democracies. It's basically Step One before 'Feed Population Into Meat Grinder of War Machine For Profit.'
posted by mrdaneri at 6:40 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry, spinifex23. You're totally right and I'm a jackass. I'm gonna stop drunkposting now.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 6:40 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's totally cool, the turtle's teeth. It was a good thing to reflect on, on my part. Especially because so many of my friends are going the opposite tack on social media, and demanding/threatening those who voted for Trump, etc. to defriend, sever, etc.

Instead, I have an Evangelical member of the WI Republican Party baking me Christmas Krumkake. It may not be totally 'building bridges', but she can at least read what I go through, and maybe use that info to talk to her friends about it, etc. Plus, she makes a mean krumkake.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:44 PM on December 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


Part of my own problem, and one I've been working on, is that I tend to be very cowardly when I feel or am verbally attacked. I don't stand up for myself or my beliefs well. My natural instinct is to run from an argument (partly because of worsening anxiety). However, now I feel I can no longer stay quiet in good conscience and am working on being more open about my beliefs online, and that has started to cause some conflict with my conservative friends. *

* That, and they've crossed lines I feel uncomfortable about and which went beyond criticizing tumblr bullying, which I could get behind - things like making fun of college students for getting therapy after a campus visit from Milo Yiannopoulos, and saying things will be okay for LGBTQ+ people because Peter Thiel is a gay Trump supporter and said so.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:46 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


The story going around that the letter that trump rec'd from putin is the same as a July 4th letter to Obama...

I can't find any news story about this. It's fake, correct?
posted by futz at 6:52 PM on December 23, 2016


Notice that nowhere on this list is shaming, punishing, or hating people who voted for Trump. Whether they support him wholeheartedly or just fell for his lies about bringing jobs and prosperity back, attacking them, disparaging them, and treating them like your arch enemy doesn't help anybody.

Moral qualms about this kind of behavior aside, it has been politically effective, not to mention financially lucrative, for a rather large fraction of the right for the last 30 years. So "don't do this because it doesn't help anybody" isn't a good argument. It has helped a lot of people; indeed, it is just this kind of behavior which helped put Donald Trump in office.

But as other comments point out, there's online venting and there's campaigning for office. There's dealing with racist strangers and dealing with racist family and dealing with the possibly genuinely suckered. And a wide variety of rhetorical strategies for all the many different requirements of political communication. None of it is either-or.

And to be honest, the people #NeverTrumpers need to reach isn't Trump voters, who voted for him in small enough numbers, but the larger percentage of Americans who didn't vote at all in the last election, who cared neither for Trump or Clinton. It remains to be seen if trying to make Trump, Trumpism, and Trumpkins as popular as sexually transmitted diseases is "ineffective" or not.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:55 PM on December 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Reuters Exclusive: Trump team seeks names of officials working to counter violent extremism

Okay seriously, wtf? First the people working on climate change, then the people working on gender equality and now this? Are these normal or reasonable requests for an incoming administration? Is there any explanation for why this is not REALLY alarming? Because I am really alarmed.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:00 PM on December 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


And to be honest, the people #NeverTrumpers need to reach isn't Trump voters, who voted for him in small enough numbers, but the larger percentage of Americans who didn't vote at all in the last election, who cared neither for Trump or Clinton

I agree. Voter apathy and both sides-ism are huge problems, one the right has helped create (our voters tend to sit elections out more than theirs) and one we'll need to overcome to win. We'll need to get our side to the polls in 2018 without relying on Trump's stupidity to do it for us. How is the issue.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 7:00 PM on December 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Activism is important. Donating money to effective organizations is important. Not silencing ourselves is essential. One of the weaknesses of liberals is also one of their strengths: The ability to see the other side of the question and to acknowledge their role in a problem.

I grew up in the 50s and early 60s. Silence, the unwillingness to speak up, the obsession with being nice and confirming, and the fear of being shouted at, meant that if you held liberal views you mostly shut your mouth. What changed things was civil disobedience, firm and resolute nonviolence, the willingness to be hurt, and things like "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

It is essential to contradict falsehood, to stand up for what is good, and to speak truth to power. It is a good thing to do. Our various (and not necessarily shared by all) values got hijacked by the right partly because we didn't feel we could own them ourselves. But things like patriotism, responsibility, hard work, ethics, and morality do not belong to the right wing. It is our responsibility to say that, loud and clear.
posted by Peach at 7:01 PM on December 23, 2016 [52 favorites]


Coventry, thank you. That is the right way of thinking of it. I wrote a longer response, but in order to stop my whining, I'll have to just carry on doing the stuff that I think makes a net positive in this world and hope it spreads.
posted by Gotanda at 7:05 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


No problem. Didn't intend to shut you up, just thought someone here might be able to connect you with a worthwhile group.
posted by Coventry at 7:11 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


It isn't your place to tell people how they should grieve or otherwise cope with what's coming. It is, in fact, incredibly disrespectful to engage in that. So, you know, don't

No. Fuck no. Isn't my place?

Expressing my opinion is *not* telling others what to do. I'm interested in a solution and expressed my views on what will and won't contribute to that solution. Look, people interested in having a fight can fight all they want and hate all they want, and I'll disagree with that approach all I want, and none of that means I'm telling them what to think or do or say. Hate away, just try not to get in the way of folks looking for more than a fight.
I believe the chief cause of Trumpism is ignorance. I also believe the only solution to ignorance is education. And I'm going to say so. Please don't think you have the right to tell me to stop. Because you don't.
posted by rocket88 at 7:14 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Notice that nowhere on this list is shaming, punishing, or hating people who voted for Trump. Whether they support him wholeheartedly or just fell for his lies about bringing jobs and prosperity back, attacking them, disparaging them, and treating them like your arch enemy doesn't help anybody. It doesn't lessen the impact of a Trump presidency and it doesn't prevent more like him. It doesn't help. It just makes you feel...I'm not sure...Better? I honestly don't know because I don't feel it. I just know it doesn't help anything real. And we need all the real help we can muster right now.

Shaming, punishing, hating on Trump voters seems to be more helpful than not if it starts to undo the polite fiction that we should give people the benefit of the doubt when considering why they voted for Trump. Making people feel uncomfortable about their decision to vote for Trump seems to be better than pretending that there's nothing about voting for Trump that should inspire people to be SO pissed off.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:15 PM on December 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


Rocket88: No one said: stop. What was said is: telling people how to cope is disrespectful. If you wanna continue being disrespectuful to people who are not willing or able to engage with the "other side" by empathy, that's on your account. Just understand that those of us who have worn out the empathy option will not be sympathetic to it, nor will we be much inclined to be told we "have to" do it that way, for reasons that should be obvious, if you were using that empathy you suggest for Trump supporters on -the rest of us-.
posted by Archelaus at 7:19 PM on December 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


The story going around that the letter that trump rec'd from putin is the same as a July 4th letter to Obama...

I can't find any news story about this. It's fake, correct?


Not fake, pretty damn similar.

Vladimir Putin writes Independence Day message to Obama

"The history of Russian-American relations shows that when we act as equal partners and respect each other's lawful interests, we are able to successfully resolve the most complex international issues for the benefit of both countries' peoples and all of humanity," Putin wrote, according to the Russian readout.

The Kremlin said Putin suggested past work between the two countries would "help to set the dialogue between Russia and the United States back on a constructive track" to address global concerns."
posted by chris24 at 7:20 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


tl;dr: give us back Eastern Europe.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:32 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Okay seriously, wtf? First the people working on climate change, then the people working on gender equality and now this? Are these normal or reasonable requests for an incoming administration? Is there any explanation for why this is not REALLY alarming? Because I am really alarmed.

Who knows? It could be a "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool, fuck you".

He could be out to get the climate people but want the gender equality people for Ivanka. Regardless, it feels like a witch hunt. Hopefully someone leaks something and we can gain more insight.
posted by futz at 7:32 PM on December 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


@LockheedMartin
LM CEO just had a good conversation with @RealDonaldTrump… she personally committed to drive down the cost of the F-35!


I'd love to be a fly on the wall during the contract renegotiation meetings with the 11 partner nations...
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:35 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


That is some weird kabuki. LM shareholders derive no benefit from the CEO publicly reporting that news.
posted by Coventry at 7:48 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not fake, pretty damn similar.

Thanks. I kept seeing that it was "word for word" the same letter and it is not. Also I can't find out if the letter to Obama was also addressed to His Excellency.
posted by futz at 7:49 PM on December 23, 2016


Now that they've devolved into fights between the "understand, embrace, and convert" minority and the "fuck 'em all" mob, I think it's safe to day these so-called election threads have run their course. I mean really, what's the point of this post being on the front page of Metafilter?

As always, skipping the thread is an option. Don't tell me what I should and shouldn't talk about.
posted by Lyme Drop at 7:52 PM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


>LM CEO just had a good conversation with @RealDonaldTrump… she personally committed to drive down the cost of the F-35!

"Make me look like a brilliant negotiator and we'll getcha some a' them no-bid contracts later on."
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:52 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]




Push button for short speech by Donald Trump.

uh, no thanks. don't care if it a stupid joke or whatever.
posted by futz at 7:58 PM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


No problem. Didn't intend to shut you up, just thought someone here might be able to connect you with a worthwhile group.
posted by Coventry at 4:11 on December 24


I don't feel at all "shut up". And, this on MetaTalk gives me a reason to go use Facebook even if I don't like it all that much. I guess that's where we reach people who are reachable.
posted by Gotanda at 7:59 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


uh, no thanks.

No worries, it's a guerilla 'art' piece. Thesis: Donald is brief noisy hot air.
posted by porpoise at 8:00 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I kept seeing that it was "word for word" the same letter and it is not.

It's actually pretty much word for word in parts and some of the differences are because the July 4th letter wasn't released, we just got a Kremlin statement on it, so there is no exact text for it. It's seems clear that while not exact in wording, it's pretty much the same in intent.

From the Trump letter: "serious global and regional challenges, which our countries have had to face in recent years, show that relations between Russia and the US remain an important factor in ensuring stability and security of the modern world."

From the Kremlin statement about the July 4th letter: ""The Russian president noted that despite the differences between the two countries, Russian-American relations remain the most important factor of international stability and security."
posted by chris24 at 8:03 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Seeing the noble captains of industry repeatedly prostrate themselves before the king-elect is completely nauseating. These are the same shitstains who tell us about the danger of big government, and here they are submitting like so many beaten dogs. What ever happened to the fiduciary responsibility to shareholders?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:05 PM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


I hope they [people who voted for Trump] suffer for it every single day of his administration, and I don't give a shit who knows it.

Personally, I guess what I find irksome about this line of thinking is that I feel it lacks perspective. Like, did you vote for President Obama? I'm sure there are parents in Pakistan or Yemen who would love to be able to see their child again, and might well want Obama voters to "suffer for it every single day". I think most people would counter this with But Reasons, and, like...yeah, precisely.
posted by zokni at 8:09 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also, the 4th of July letter sent this year to Obama? Pretty much the same as one sent in 2015. There is nothing special about Putin writing Trump.

The message was similar to a note sent by the Russian leader to Obama last Fourth of July.
posted by chris24 at 8:10 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Conservative elites always suck up to the fascists in the mistaken belief that they can control and/or profit from them.

It's as close to an iron-clad historical law as we have.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:10 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Personally, I guess what I find irksome about this line of thinking is that I feel it lacks perspective. Like, did you vote for President Obama? I'm sure there are parents in Pakistan or Yemen who would love to be able to see their child again, and might well want Obama voters to "suffer for it every single day". I think most people would counter this with But Reasons, and, like...yeah, precisely.

I never voted for Obama in large part as a protest against things like this.

I did vote for Hillary, and happily so: because the killing of civilians by drone is nothing compared to nuclear war. You only have to look at the last 24 hours of tweets from our President-Elect to gain some... perspective on this.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:15 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm sure there are parents in Pakistan or Yemen who would love to be able to see their child again, and might well want Obama voters to "suffer for it every single day"

This is NOT an okay thing to trot out in response to that comment. At ALL.
posted by Ashen at 8:15 PM on December 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


And I missed that the USA Today article with the matching text from Putin is from 2015. So Putin has written very similar letters to Obama as he did to Trump in 2016, 2015, and 2014.
posted by chris24 at 8:15 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Personally, I guess what I find irksome about this line of thinking is that I feel it lacks perspective. Like, did you vote for President Obama?

Because #bothsidesdoit and they are all the same, like, there is just no reason to think that voting for Trump is worse than voting for Obama, etc etc?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 8:16 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


.....I think it's safe to day these so-called election threads have run their course. I mean really, what's the point of this post being on the front page of Metafilter?

Containing political discussion so that it doesn't infiltrate every post
posted by thelonius at 8:18 PM on December 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


Conservative elites always suck up to the fascists in the mistaken belief that they can control and/or profit from them.

And in many cases they can and have done. Donald is also a narcissist and one of ways of dealing with them is playing along with what they're after. Feed the ego. As I've said before I expect were going to see and hear about what on the surface seems like a lot of people kissing his ass and prostrating. This isn't even a sort of tactic that's special for Donald. It's quite literally tactics and strategies that you learn about in negotiation 101 for people and groups that value what he values.

It's big time annoying though, not just to see it happening but also having to play that sort strategy to either get what you want or need, or in other cases protect yourself from something.
posted by Jalliah at 8:19 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Like, did you vote for President Obama? I'm sure there are parents in Pakistan or Yemen who would love to be able to see their child again, and might well want Obama voters to "suffer for it every single day".

If someone wants me to suffer for my votes because of how Obama advocated using drones to kill people, I'm not sure I can really fault them for that. Not really sure that they don't deserve to hate me for my vote.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:21 PM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


bro, when you come into the thread bitching about "performative huffing" of scowly faces at a point which reads very clearly like it's about people here, and that you're assuming they're all white folk, and then admit that you didn't even read the threads before deciding to muck up the waters with shit that's been slung around a lot before...
posted by qcubed at 8:24 PM on December 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


zonki, like, buttoned.
posted by futz at 8:26 PM on December 23, 2016


...he's gonna have a bad time.

That's the end of the meme, really, I guess.
posted by qcubed at 8:28 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Seeing the noble captains of industry repeatedly prostrate themselves before the king-elect is completely nauseating.

I suspect they are just treating him as the 5-year-old child he is. They say some soothing words, expect him to shortly turn his interest to next shiny toy and keep on doing business as usual. These military contracts are locked up in thousands of pages of legal documents that stretch over the next decade or more. What some CEO says today to placate the petulant child has zero impact on their business.
posted by JackFlash at 8:29 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I actually don't hope for the suffering of anyone (and I've said as much on several occasions in these threads), but I do see a very big difference between the policies of Obama / Clinton / McCain / Romney on the one hand -- call it neo-liberalism of various flavors, or whatever -- and the fascism of Donald Trump on the other.

You're the one who's not putting things into perspective here. Trump is an existential threat to the US, and to the world, in a way that no other American politician actually, no other single human being has ever been.

Can you not see that?
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:31 PM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


There are a significant number of Trump voters who never expected him to win, and were probably only slightly less surprised than the average Clinton voter about the way the election went.

Given the seeming (and widely-reported) inevitability of Clinton's win, voting for Trump probably seemed like a pretty safe way to give the whole election cycle the finger one final time. In a lot of states, it wasn't even wrong: someone who voted for Trump in, say, California or New York didn't contribute in any way to the outcome of the election—they knew going into the voting booth that the worst they could do to Clinton was a basically-powerless protest vote to "deny the mandate" in some infinitesimal way.

Lots of voters who actually did swing the election, largely in the "Blue Wall" states, might reasonably have expected the same thing too—when not even most Dem campaign strategists seemed to think that their votes were going to matter, it's hard to fault an individual voter for thinking that they were just throwing their vote away. I mean, hell, lots of Pennsylvania voters weren't born yet the last time an R vote in a Presidential election was anything but a tiny, private middle finger to the person who actually ended up winning.

More suspect are Trump voters in states where they reasonably should have known that their vote was going to be meaningful, whether or not it ended up actually being so. Those are the people who, presumably, didn't just dislike Clinton enough to want to send a tiny protest vote her way, but liked what Trump was selling and wanted it in the White House.

If you are interested in trying to converse with, much less win over, Trump voters, for whatever reason or end, figuring out whether they voted because they actually are in ideological agreement (in which case "run, hide, fight" might be in order), or were merely voting for him because it was easier than writing in "Deez Nuts" as a way to signify frustration with the options on offer coming out of the primaries, might be an important consideration.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:45 PM on December 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


There are a significant number of Trump voters who never expected him to win, and were probably only slightly less surprised than the average Clinton voter about the way the election went.

As with so many things in the election, hello Brexit 2.0.
posted by jaduncan at 8:53 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I saw a fairly clarifying (but horrifying) tweet this evening, noting that what Putin does is essentially conservatism without any institutional restraint, implying that the GOP diehards are going to end up as Putinists because what they want is conservatism without any checks. Perhaps that won't extend as far as the plausibly-deniable deaths of journalists and political opponents, but the essence of Putinism is the GOP fantasy scenario.
posted by holgate at 8:57 PM on December 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


seemed like a pretty safe way to give the whole election cycle the finger one final time.

We should just pass an amendment requiring that in every federal election the first question on the ballot should be:

"Do you want to give the finger to the government? []Yes []No"
posted by FJT at 8:57 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I don't know that we can assign existential threat to the presidential elect just yet. Not that I am sympathetic to him in any way, but merely that the scope of his accomplishments are too shallow.

As others have sagely noted, being the GOP equivalent of 'DEEZNUTZ' isn't much.
posted by mrdaneri at 8:59 PM on December 23, 2016


A semi-related point is that US media basically needs to import foreign journalists, or at least take some crash courses in how journalism works when you're extrapolating policy and intent from a pit filled with impulse and narcissism and grift. Old rules aren't going to work any more. It's going to be (semi-literal) Kremlinology.
posted by holgate at 9:01 PM on December 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


The amount of evidence-free hypotheticals people will make to excuse white people voting for an overt racist fascist who's clearly incompetent and corrupt and probably insane is really amazing to me. Even if they did just want to give the system or Clinton the finger, why the hell would we want to build a strategy around or spend time going after such a fickle voter who had enough affinity for Trump and his beliefs that they didn't go third party with that middle finger.
posted by chris24 at 9:03 PM on December 23, 2016 [30 favorites]


I don't know that we can assign existential threat to the presidential elect just yet. Not that I am sympathetic to him in any way, but merely that the scope of his accomplishments are too shallow.

As others have sagely noted, being the GOP equivalent of 'DEEZNUTZ' isn't much.


Sorry, let me amend my previous comment to include the last 48 hours of the tweet history of the President-Elect, since I'd forgotten that it has been almost two full days since he publicly announced:

"The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes".

I'm pretty comfortable assigning an "existential threat" level to a person who in fewer than thirty days will have direct and almost completely autonomous control over a weapons arsenal that can destroy the entire planet many, many times over, and who sees no danger whatsoever in tossing out offhand comments like this.

The scope of his accomplishments to date is quite horrifying enough, thanks. I don't need to wait until Donald Trump actually takes command of the strongest military in the history of the world to start doing a comparative analysis of the relative flaws between him and President Obama.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:16 PM on December 23, 2016 [36 favorites]


I don't take the nuclear posturing itself too seriously. He had to say something about some government pork because there was a negative reaction to Gingrich's trial balloon about not Draining the Swamp. So he talked about cutting costs on the F-35, but now he looks weak to some on foreign policy and preserving US military strength, so he throws in a bit of red meat about beefing up nuclear weapons. As long as his coalition lets him slide on it, I doubt he'll actually want to do anything like that.

Of course, if all of that's true it's still terrible and a terrible omen that he's making commitments on the basis of such reasoning.
posted by Coventry at 9:33 PM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm with tivalasvegas here: there's sufficient evidence that the White House resident-elect gets a sufficient thrill out of the idea of using nuclear weapons -- and has fantasised about doing so, dating back decades -- that we should assume that he's going to ask about nuking Raqqa -- just a little nuke, y'know -- as soon as he has the codes. We should also assume that the chain of command isn't going to intervene, even if it ought to.

A narcissist will treat all powers granted to him as powers available to him.
posted by holgate at 9:39 PM on December 23, 2016 [37 favorites]


He's a narcissistic sociopath obsessed with dominance. Of course the most powerful weapon in the world under solely his control is a toy he's going to want to play with.
posted by chris24 at 9:43 PM on December 23, 2016 [37 favorites]


No. Fuck no. Isn't my place?

So, this place is special. Everybody - or almost everybody - is going to presume good faith on your part. We're going to take for granted that you're one of us, you mean well, you believe what you say.

We're easy mode on persuasion. Even under these conditions, you failed badly. I think you don't know what you're talking about, and I am disinclined to accept your arguments. I was briefly tempted to yell at you. That's as far as you got with 'persuade me your argument is better than mine.'

I'm going to assume everything you said was in good faith, and I'm going to be helpful for a moment instead of foaming with rage. I'm not making a point with this, I'm just going to engage you in good faith a moment because that's what this place is for.

There are at least two key problems with your approach. The first is that you're dismissing potential help out of hand:

Hate away, just try not to get in the way of folks looking for more than a fight.

After one heated exchange with me, I'm out. You just ceded that I can't help you, right there, because I was critical of you. If you want to do productive work building coalitions, you will need to weather arguments you feel are unfair with significantly more grace.

And then there's the failure of empathy, which is why I was so angry with you to start. Look here:

It doesn't help. It just makes you feel...I'm not sure...Better? I honestly don't know because I don't feel it.

That's what raised my hackles. It's a shit thing to say. The fact you can't see why concerns me. In general, 'I don't know why you would feel the things you do and it isn't important because I don't share it' is probably the literal furthest you could be from empathy. I mean, *literally* literally, not literally-figuratively-literally: empathy is about understanding what people feel and why, and you are ceding that you can't do that, even for a moment.

A lot of the people you want to reach - people who will vote in 2018 or 2020 or not - are feeling angry and hateful and terrified right now. You can't effectively communicate your ideas without acknowledging and defusing that, which you seem ill-equipped to do.

Anyway, that's where I'm coming from, it's why I basically told you to shut up. I hope that makes sense, and I hope that feedback will aid you in improving your own approach to these matters.

I would also entreat you to remember that people who are foaming at the mouth angrily aren't usually doing it because they *haven't* thought stuff through. If you examine this thread, I think you'll find that I actually have a coherent framework for why 'yell at conservatives' is the right thing to do in many cases, and why I believe 'talk sober and calm' will fail. Other people are going to have a lot of other reasons for voting wrong or not voting at all, and you'll need to get past initial resistance and understand those reasons before you can begin to move people where you want them.

Anyway, outta spoons. Take it or leave it - if you can work with that, godspeed in your work. If you feel moved to use the word fuck again, do us both a favor and never, ever address me again.
posted by mordax at 9:46 PM on December 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


Way, way back (Sorry I was at work but just had to insert this), on reaching out to Trump voters: Bernie Sanders Talks to Trump Voters Ignore the whole "destroys" caption; that wasn't his intent. The important takeaway is that some people will probably always vote republican even if they think liberal/progressive. They just cannot see the contradiction. One guy goes so far as to call Trump's campaign lies "starting a dialogue", as opposed to just straight up bullshit.

Sanders' expression in the freeze-frame really nails the exasperation that any of us have had in talking with someone like this. I gave up with family members like this.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 9:47 PM on December 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


By the way, I've always been a big proponent of trying to reach out; I'm a peacemaker by nature. But what Pakman says about the futility of changing minds is probably, sadly true. Our only hope seems to be in energizing our base by taking strong stances.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:02 PM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


That whole town-hall is a masterpiece. Highly recommended.
posted by Coventry at 10:04 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


So he talked about cutting costs on the F-35, but now he looks weak to some on foreign policy and preserving US military strength, so he throws in a bit of red meat about beefing up nuclear weapons.

My conspiratorial thought was this: Putin is looking for ways to saber-rattle and beef up his nationalist image, and strengthening Russia's nuclear arsenal is an attractive way to do this. If he, by way of surrogates like Manafort or Flynn, managed to encourage Trump to tweet about increasing the US nuclear arsenal, then he gets the cover he needs to move forward while the blowback hits Trump. "Hey, Russia also would like to modernize and strengthen its nuclear capabilities."
posted by Existential Dread at 10:06 PM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why Did Planned Parenthood Supporters Vote Trump? (Slate)

This leads to an obvious question: If these women think defunding Planned Parenthood is a deal-breaker, why did they vote for a candidate who promised to do exactly that? After all, in a September letter addressed to “Pro-Life Leaders,” Trump pledged to strip Planned Parenthood’s federal funding unless it stops performing abortions. But many of the people in the focus groups didn’t know he’d made this assurance, and those who did didn’t take it seriously. It seemed as if Trump’s lasciviousness, which Clinton hoped would disqualify Trump with women, actually worked in his favor. The focus group participants couldn’t imagine that Trump would enact a religious right agenda. “He’s probably paid for a few abortions himself,” said the 58-year-old in Phoenix, eliciting a roomful of laughs.

posted by Brian B. at 10:10 PM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


My conspiratorial thought was this: Putin is looking for ways to saber-rattle and beef up his nationalist image, and strengthening Russia's nuclear arsenal is an attractive way to do this.

Killing the viability of the F35 would be a lovely gift, of course.
posted by jaduncan at 12:19 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Re: Bad encounters with Tumblr. Here's the thing about the worst parts of fandom: it's primarly driven by teen and 20-something girls. Which means you get all kinds of mean girl behavior. The fact that the latest wave of intra-fandom wars has been fought over social justice issues doesn't make the people involved any less obnoxious than when it was over who should be sleeping with the sexy character.

I was kicked out of a forum for being racist because I said I thought some people in a fandom were overreacting over a thing. This was a forum that I'd been a very active member of for years. That seriously messed me up emotionally and yeah, I have a chip on my shoulder over it.

I joined Tumblr AFTER that to try to connect with people and I only lasted about 3 months before I had to leave because of the levels of rage the fandom people there caused me. It's truly toxic and there is a crusading mindset that makes it people's DUTY to harass anyone who disagrees with them. But now I'm an old school fandom queen. I go back to the days of Listserv and was around Livejournal in it's heyday. I survived the Harry Potter and Doctor Who ship wars. I've seen my share of death threats. Nothing new under the sun.

So I'm not at all surprised to find that someone got their feelings seriously hurt. And I think there's a real conversation to be had about tactics and whether using the same tactics as gamergaters in the pursuit of liberal ideals is the right thing. But, yanno, it's people on the internet who devote a lot of time to fringe interests and live in very isolated little bubbles of obsession. Shit be weird in those waters, yo.
posted by threeturtles at 12:25 AM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


“He’s probably paid for a few abortions himself,” said the 58-year-old in Phoenix, eliciting a roomful of laughs.
...which allowed the Forced Childbirth gang to blackmail him into not standing in their way...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:27 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I survived the Harry Potter and Doctor Who ship wars. I've seen my share of death threats. Nothing new under the sun.

What does this mean? Translation please.
posted by futz at 12:52 AM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tumblr and LJ were the reasons I never doubted that there were Russian bots all over Twitter and Reddit. Anyone who has spent enough time at the former places, especially LJ which Putin hates, knows about that little quirk of Russian social media.
posted by asteria at 1:26 AM on December 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


What does this mean? Translation please.

In case this is the missing piece: "to ship" evidently means to write fan fiction depicting (or maybe even just to discuss or imagine?) a romantic relationship between two characters who are not depicted as having such a relationship in the canonical work of fiction the writing is based on.

According to that MeFi FPP and thread, people evidently argue the merits of different ships with great enthusiasm and conviction, so presumably threeturtles is describing online disagreements among fans that escalated to death threats.
posted by XMLicious at 1:52 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


WaPo: Why the white working class votes against themselves.

This says it all. White "economic anxiety" voters know that they are getting jobbed by Trump and that their lives will be worse under his administration. They don't want to survive it, they just want to be better than you at dying from it. They thrill that their pain might be judged better than your pain.
posted by SakuraK at 2:30 AM on December 24, 2016 [21 favorites]


Thinking of fandom factionalism and enmity in sports fandom (a Classics professor told me that fans of the chariot racing teams of the Roman Colosseum would, beyond just making threats, actually murder each other with some frequency over whose favorite team was better) along with the political tribalism we seem to have developed in conjunction with ideological polarization in the U.S., has made me remember a Wikipedia article I came across entitled Australian Aboriginal kinship, which says
While membership in skin groups is ideally based on blood relations, Australian Aboriginal subsection systems are classificatory, meaning that even people who are not actual blood relations are assigned to a subsection. They are also universal, meaning that every member of the society is assigned a position in the system.
I have difficulty understanding the article in its entirety and who knows whether it's legit, but it seems like it could be describing a system of interpersonal obligations and allegiance that can be orthogonal to blood relations and maybe work to counterbalance inter-familial tensions and rivalry.

So maybe we need something along the same lines... a fictive kinship system to overlay and counterbalance the hostility deriving from shifting political fronts. (I suppose this is what normal USian kinship relationships should do, but it doesn't seem to be working.)

We need to preach the gospel of The Great Enspousening to the wider world.
posted by XMLicious at 3:12 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Give it the respect that it deserves

Yes, as history shows us, time and again, the best way to fight fascism, bigotry, and nationalism is to be very polite and respectful with hugs and unicorns and flowered bridges all around.


I think you're both right. I generally aim for "respect the office, not necessarily the behaviour." So when it comes to Malcolm Turnbull (I'm an Aussie), I can simultaneously respect him and his position because he is actually PM, and also urge a more humane solution to the issues with Nauru and Manus Island. That's not to say he's a bad PM - I think quite the opposite (and I think the US refugee deal is a great step in the right direction). But I won't ever suspend criticism, because I want him to be better. That's always, universally OK. Dictatorships may suppress criticism but that happens against the leaders' own best interest. And Trump might not appreciate public criticism, but various people I've met who seem to have similar personality traits really appreciate private criticism, especially if it's phrased in the right way and accompanied with a solution that lets them save face and look good. And do you know what? If getting some positive results from the Trump administration means that Trump gets to take credit for things he didn't do and crow about them - that's great, no sarcasm, and I'll go out of my way (or would if I was living in the US) to make that happen.

Anywho. If I was living in the US for the next 4 years and wanted to do some good, I'd probably start reading up about historical figures who managed to exert a really positive influence on a resistant or apathetic government. Wilberforce comes to mind. (Suggest away!)

Also, corb:

Maybe this hits me harder because it's Christmas, but: I refuse to let my morals or my tactics be dictated by the standards of MAGAshirts. I believe in building bridges. It's who I am. I believe we must build bridges if we are to survive as a people. You can't just kill half the country. You have to persuade them.

So I'm going to keep doing this admittedly heartbreaking and difficult work. Because it needs doing, and I'm someone with the spoons currently to do it.


I love that. QFawesomeness.
posted by iffthen at 3:31 AM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


That leads me to a concrete suggestion. If you can bear the Twitterverse and somehow end up tweeting @realDonaldTrump, maybe... don't. Send a DM instead. That way if your idea is good you might sow a seed. (No idea about Don's Twitter blocks or anything, but since I'm not in the US making my abstract ideas actionable is the least I can offer.)
posted by iffthen at 3:38 AM on December 24, 2016


WaPo: Why the white working class votes against themselves.

I really hate sloppy propaganda. She is shaking her finger at the WWC and using direct payment to farmers as a talking point, while the article she links to says:

"While the majority of American farmers receive no government money at all, at least 23 current members of congress or their families have received government money for their farms"

Neither article mentions small farmers can't afford to grow corn because subsidized corporate farms make their profits off of government money per acre, pushing the price of corn below the cost to produce. And who do you think takes the profits after buying that cheap corn?

A whole bunch of the farm bill cash makes a not very roundabout way into the bank accounts of companies located in cities. Maybe a better meme would be "Farmers laundering government money for big business."
posted by ridgerunner at 3:44 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Personally, I don't know anyone who voted for Trump for anything other than the shittiest reasons.

I had a surprising conversation with someone about that. He's not a US citizen, so he didn't actually vote for Trump, but he would have. He and his wife are the loveliest people you could imagine: ex-hippies, always helping others out. He said that the USA used to believe in itself. It's done a huge amount of good (I didn't start adding caveats, this is what he said) with famine relief and schools and assistance across the world, and it's an example to other nations. Under Obama and his predecessors, he said, the US has lost that pride in itself that made it want to be an example. He thought Trump would restore that pride and make the USA a force for good again.

I didn't feel like arguing with him about how loathsome Trump actually is, and the bad things the USA has also done, but it was a different perspective.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:47 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just can't help but automatically translate "pride in itself" to "white people didn't feel humiliated by a slight shift in status."

I mean, what did Obama do that made the country lose pride in itself? What will Trump do to restore that pride? Trump's only concrete promises involved white nationalism. When people hear that and translate it to "American pride," I can't believe that they mean pride for everyone.
posted by maxsparber at 4:28 AM on December 24, 2016 [43 favorites]


Under Obama and his predecessors, he said, the US has lost that pride in itself that made it want to be an example. He thought Trump would restore that pride and make the USA a force for good again.

I am so painfully bitter about your friend's viewpoint, Joe, as a young American who did have a certain level of quiet pride in at least the ideals and foundations of her nation, if not always the actions. I thought we were doing better.

I wonder what your friend's reaction would be to hearing just how significantly this election has wounded the belief that many Americans had in their fellow Americans. And, you know, as someone who just fielded her Canadian spouse, who handles Trump voters on a daily basis at work, snarling "Look, I hate this country now; I am never going to believe it can be saved; help me get out" through tears as I wept back and tried to muster any response through my shared fear...

...well. You tell your friend that patriotism isn't Donald's. That's all I'm saying.
posted by sciatrix at 4:36 AM on December 24, 2016 [33 favorites]


I wonder what your friend's reaction would be to hearing just how significantly this election has wounded the belief that many Americans had in their fellow Americans. And, you know, as someone who just fielded her Canadian spouse, who handles Trump voters on a daily basis at work, snarling "Look, I hate this country now; I am never going to believe it can be saved; help me get out" through tears as I wept back and tried to muster any response through my shared fear...

Sciatrix, I totally agree with you, and I can only hope that if he was a high-information sort of person (or at least an American or in the USA) he'd have a different opinion. But you know, it's a different perspective, and even though he's wrong about Trump being the one to make the USA a moral example, there are lots of things that US Presidents could do both to set an example and to encourage other countries to do the same.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:46 AM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Joe in Australia: Under Obama and his predecessors, he said, the US has lost that pride in itself that made it want to be an example.

From another outsider: Under Obama, the US looked [almost] sensible, more of an example than it had been for a long time, and more than ever something to be proud of.

'Pride in itself' sounds like bullshit to me. It sounds like pride for the sake of pride. There needs to be something there to be proud of, otherwise it's meaningless.

Also I don't see why the US needs to be an example of anything. It could be a country, existing in the world together with other countries, doing no harm, and as much good as possible. That might be something to strive for. But an example? I'm not sure the world needs those.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:49 AM on December 24, 2016 [20 favorites]


I agree. I was optimistic about Clinton, even, although I was and am in no way thrilled with her foreign policy. I just trusted her to listen to the people.

I just wanted to tell your friend that he had hit me in a fucking sore spot, in part because I actually held my patriotism and my faith in institutions pretty close to my heart. And now that faith is bleeding badly and I, like many people around me, am wrestling with a kind of trauma to my soul. If you see your friend, tell me what he thinks of that. I am genuinely interested to know.
posted by sciatrix at 4:50 AM on December 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


Under Obama and his predecessors, he said, the US has lost that pride in itself that made it want to be an example. He thought Trump would restore that pride and make the USA a force for good again.

Surprising to me that a non-American would feel this way. Obama, and Clinton as well, are viewed much more favorably by Europe and Asia than Bush was or Trump is. And Clinton would win election over Trump in every country polled except... wait for it... Russia.

And anecdotally having lived in Hong Kong in 2012 and 2013 with a lot of ex-pat friends from other countries and traveling abroad a lot for my job, I honestly don't know if I've met or talked to hardly anyone who disliked Obama or, more recently, liked Trump.
posted by chris24 at 5:14 AM on December 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


The US abstained on the UN vote on Israel today, so the Security Council resolution calling for the end of Israeli settlements passed.

This is new/was unexpected, right? What does this mean? Is this another Obama attempt to sideswipe Trump?


It was and wasn't unexpected. Obama had vetoed all previous anti-Israel resolutions during his terms in office, but Israeli blogs and media have been fretting for months that Obama would use his lame duck period for something like this.

As to what it means, basically it's Obama being a dick. The motion was originally put forward by Egypt, who reportedly dropped it after your President Elect gave Sisi a phone call. It was then picked up by those stalwart friends of human rights, Malaysia and Venezuela - and New Zealand, for what that's worth. The US refused to let Israel know what it was planning to do, and then gave a speech saying that it was a reiteration of the existing US position. That's not what Israel thinks at all, and having read the text of the resolution I can see why: for instance, it describes the Israeli presence in "East Jerusalem" (i.e., the bits that you or I think of when we say "Jerusalem") as "a flagrant violation under international law"; that's a radical break from US policy and the very peace accords that the USA spent years putting together.

Anyway, I expect Trump to leverage this to the utmost, and to make it a lot harder for Jewish Democratic politicians to build coalitions. It's also very likely going to stymie Keith Ellison's hopes of becoming DNC chair, but maybe Obama considers that a bonus. So no, not a sideswipe to Trump at all.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:20 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Personally, I don't know anyone who voted for Trump for anything other than the shittiest reasons.

People voted for Trump because they wanted him to be the President of the United States. Or, they preferred him to HRC.

That's shitty enough. The rest is icing on the turd.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:49 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


that's a radical break from US policy and the very peace accords that the USA spent years putting together.

Haaretz disagrees:
Is this the first time an American president declines to veto a UNSC resolution on Israel-Palestine?

No. Since 1967, all U.S. presidents have allowed the adoption of Security Council resolutions. To this day, 47 resolutions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been adopted by the UNSC, all during the presidencies of presidents other than Obama. President George H. W. Bush allowed nine resolutions to pass during his presidency. During President Bill Clinton's presidency three resolutions were adopted by the UNSC. In fact, this is the first time Obama refrained from using the U.S. veto in the Security Council when it came to Israel since he entered the White House eight years ago. Last time a resolution on Israel was brought to a vote at the Security Council in February 2011, a resolution also concerning the Israeli settlements, Obama vetoed it.

Did Obama break a decades-long tradition according to which presidents don't make policy changes in the interim between administrations?

No. Quite a few presidents have used the interim period between the election of a new president and his inauguration in which they are freed from political constraints to carry out far reaching foreign policy changes, including with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. For example, President Ronald Reagan used this interim period in 1988 to begin a dialog with the PLO. President Clinton used this period to present the "Clinton Parameters" in which he guidelines for the solving of key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Does the resolution change the legal status of the settlements, which are already illegal under international law?

No. The Fourth Geneva Convention bans nations from the moving of populations into and the establishing of settlements in the territory of another nation won in war. An overwhelming number of countries have sided for years with the position that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal and constitute a violation of international law.
So no, not a sideswipe to Trump at all.

Well, he's not really going to be able to do anything about it, despite his bluster about what happens after Jan 20. What might happen if every other major power on the UNSC is compromised by leaders influenced by Dominionists (who would put Jews who don't convert to death if Israel becomes the Kingdom of God that they hope will happen) and/or Bannon-esque advisors, that's another story.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:57 AM on December 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


Also, let's not forget that immediately after his own election, as well as Trump's, Netanyahu (and several of his allies in the Knesset), broke his word on settlement expansion. No one should be putting any trust into what he says, least of all on the US.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:02 AM on December 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


Has someone told Trump that Jewish Americans voted overwhelmingly for Clinton?
posted by PenDevil at 6:04 AM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


every other major power on the UNSC is compromised by leaders influenced by Dominionists ...and/or Bannon-esque advisors

Well, OK, Brexit happened and we may get LePen. But, China and Russia?
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:04 AM on December 24, 2016


Has someone told Trump that Jewish Americans voted overwhelmingly for Clinton?

As alluded to above, Israel policy isn't just about Jewish voters. For example, promising to move the embassy to Jerusalem is a policy intended to please eschatological Christian voters.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:08 AM on December 24, 2016 [18 favorites]


And yeah, that's like totally crazy when you think about it but what else is new
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:09 AM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


For example, promising to move the embassy to Jerusalem is a policy intended to please eschatological Christian voters.

Sure, but I would hope Trumps ultra Likud stance would become less enthusiastic when he knows he's putting on an act for some pentecostal megachurches.
posted by PenDevil at 6:11 AM on December 24, 2016


Has someone told Trump that Jewish Americans voted overwhelmingly for Clinton?

No. As snuffleupagus points out, conservative policy is much more in line with the evangelicals and Dominionists (and right-wing Jewish allies). Jewish Americans are actually less likely than evangelicals (often much more so) to believe in stuff like Israel being granted to the Jewish people by God.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:13 AM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I feel depressingly certain we already know Trump's relative enthusiasm for "putting on a show" versus 'engaging in actual politics.'
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:13 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yes, we should absolutely take him seriously when he says, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” and “Let it be an arms race.”

And so should the Senate. Remember, Trump wants to put RICK FUCKING PERRY in charge of nuclear weapons development and safety as Secretary of Energy. Perry should be opposed by every Senator with a conscience, and face thorough, brutal questioning on how exactly he is going to lead the weapons program and keep us all safe while the President tweets like a drunk Curtis LeMay.

To be effective in the next few months, the Left doesn't need to coalesce around any goals besides preventing disasters like giving the nukes to Mr. Oops, and opposing rollbacks of all the hard-won progress we've already achieved.
posted by mubba at 6:15 AM on December 24, 2016 [25 favorites]


Perry should be opposed by every Senator with a conscience, and face thorough, brutal questioning on how exactly he is going to lead the weapons program and keep us all safe while the President tweets like a drunk Curtis LeMay.

I think they are actually going to have the chutzpah to tell us that everything is actually going to be run by everyone's second in command, etc., from the Oval Office down to the lowliest appointments under the direct control of the executive. The apointees are there to provide CEO style leadership and Make Their Departments Great Again.

It's a neat trick: if you stop teaching history effectively in public schools, it'll take most people a while to figure it out when you openly reinstate the Spoils System.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:21 AM on December 24, 2016 [24 favorites]


Zombieflanders, the fact that he didn't veto the resolution isn't a break with US policy. It's the text of the resolution itself that's a problem. It's a horrible resolution and there was simply no need for Obama to break with his eight-year practice and (which is worse) give Trump a cost-free opportunity to show that he can use those "negotiating skills" of his in international diplomacy. And it's a non-binding resolution, too; it's just stupid posturing and a chance to give Netanyahu the finger.

I can think of lots of things that Obama could have done - could still do! - before he leaves office. He could pardon some more deserving people. He could start prosecuting some others. He could release Trump's tax returns. Hell, he could release the intel on ties between Putin and Trump. But this is what he spends his time on? He's damn lucky he got the Nobel Prize at the start of his terms, not the end.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:25 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think it is salient to inject the idea gaining currency of 'Neoliberalism doesn't work.' The usual line of reasoning presented is the parallel between 'Trump:: US, Brexit' as a populist referendum against Neoliberalist policies.

This would seem as a direct challenge to the 'propaganda' model of media, which would never permit such a thing in a democracy, as all institutions are presumed to be 'neoliberal' in their economic outlook.

From my own perspective, the term 'neoliberal' is so widely used as to be nearly without currency: I can think of recent pieces in the the Economist using it to describe both Thatcher-era England and Obama-era Chinese trade policies. Which are both globalist, but radically different. So my own take is the phrase 'neoliberalism doesn't work' has different gradients of meaning, depending on 'what do you mean by neoliberalism?'
posted by mrdaneri at 6:35 AM on December 24, 2016


can you expand on why thatcher and obama are different? (i'm just curious - what you said surprised me, but i don't know a lot about this).
posted by andrewcooke at 6:41 AM on December 24, 2016


'what do you mean by neoliberalism?'

I think it's become "anything a millimeter to the right of me that I don't like." And a cudgel to be used against political opponents. If liberal is a insult from Republicans, neoliberal is an insult from leftists.
posted by chris24 at 6:44 AM on December 24, 2016 [25 favorites]


Thatcher was, again, just my reading of historical economic narratives, much more protectionist, anti-union, in a a weakly classic sense of 'neoliberal.'

I'm thinking of British Steel. ('Let's all make some plans for, Nigel!')

You can make some criticisms of Obama's Economic policies, but for my taste, he's been much more centrist, pro-Union, and pro-globalist.
posted by mrdaneri at 6:46 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Conservatives are happy to shit on 'neoliberals,' too. Especially the libertarian subset. They do it when they try to cloak their isolationism in a hastily-constructed imitation of post-colonialism.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:47 AM on December 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Thanks also for abandoning everyone here who can't move,

This a million times. I'm a trans woman stuck in Texas because of a custody case with my ex-wife that may boil down to "stay here for my kids, or abandon them because dan Patrick is about outlaw my existence?" What do I do? I can't even begin to explain how fucked up my situation is right now, follow my twitter if you want details but the short form is I am in some deep legal bullshit down here right now and things are not looking good.

To all the cis, white, straight and christian folks reading this: you really fucking need to understand what caring means now. It means be angry and scared and fighting tooth and nail for people like myself, who could all disappear tomorrow and the world would scarcely notice outside a handful of broken hearts.

This spring is going to be a national onslaught against people like me. I need you to not be patient and understanding right now. We're the canaries in your coal mine. Pay attention.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:01 AM on December 24, 2016 [89 favorites]


Maybe the abstention is a response to Israel failing to back the resolution condemning the Crimea invasion.

It probably doesn't matter anyway, since it looks like the plan going forward is to mothball the UN and go with Bannon's idea of forming Judeo-Christian Nuclear Voltron.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:12 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


If anyone wants to move, consider moving to one of the states that had smallish margins of defeat. And not just WI, MI, PA, OH, or FL, either. AZ and GA have 27 electoral votes between them, and even (as Annika Cicada mentioned) Texas, that eternal liberal bugaboo, and the no-longer-a-democracy NC deserves more and better representation. Really, anywhere where there's a significant base of left-leaning people that could be encouraged to vote enough to win both national and state elections.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:17 AM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


So my thought about that article that ZeusHumms linked above about Facebook's Muslim registry -- Facebook obviously isn't going to throw out their data, but people certainly can disrupt it -- all those people who swore to sign up for a registry if one was begun could add Muslim to their Facebook "Religious Views" right now. CheeseDigestsAll has a good point, of course, that there are more accurate ways to get data on Muslims, but I don't think it would hurt to do a simple thing to make an already-existing list useless.

How to do it: click on your own Facebook profile/wall, click About, and click Contact and Basic Info -- there's a section called Religious Views, type Muslim in there.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:22 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


the u.n. doesn't matter, we'll be out. nato doesn't matter, it'll dissolve as soon as putin crosses into belarus or whatever former client state of his choosing. neoliberalism vs liberalism doesn't matter, we'll all be enemies of the state. expanding our nuclear capability doesn't matter, we already have enough nukes to get the party started. there's in fact a lot that wont matter in the coming years.

the only thing of concern is to take care of those around you and express to anyone who will listen that you do not assent to this, and to act as such. those are a few of the things that cannot be taken away and that will still matter.
posted by localhuman at 7:23 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


On the note of supporting differently identified genders and orientations, I would hope that its assumed that most readers of Metafilter would. I do this directly with my local political engagement, and privately with my diversity choices in hiring and talent selection.

Beyond that, I can't say that fears are overwrought or unjustified-- far right organizations have a long history of rolling back progressive accomplishments through incremental measures. Otherwise, I cannot comment, as it is outside the scope of both my personal experience and study.

As to what the next four years have in store for anybody, I literally am expectationless this point as we are so deep in 'Theater of the Absurd, George Saunders Novella' turf, who knows.
posted by mrdaneri at 7:25 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


> I can think of lots of things that Obama could have done - could still do! - before he leaves office. He could pardon some more deserving people. He could start prosecuting some others. He could release Trump's tax returns. Hell, he could release the intel on ties between Putin and Trump. But this is what he spends his time on?

This is a silly argument. How much time do you think Obama spends writing the text of UN Resolutions? He has people for that. Hell, Samantha Power has people for that, and not people who can just be reassigned for going over pardon applications, releasing tax returns, or declassifying intelligence.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:30 AM on December 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Texas is trying. Right now, people I follow are trying to figure out how the hell we make up for the DNC allocating no money at all to rural Texas in particular, or really anywhere we can try to turn Texas Blue outside maybe Austin. That's insane, especially since Texas has nearly as many electoral votes as California and there are scared Texans reaching out to each other from all over the state in my feeds. Much of Texas is feeling like I am: like the federal government was our only protection against a hostile state, and now that fragile protection is arrayed against us a thousandfold.

Texas has produced powerful liberal opposition reliably before and will again, if we can get the support and traction to do so. So has the rest of the South; just look at Rev. Barber. We have good reason to believe that Texans can effect grassroots political change in our state, but we need help. We need support. And all the running away narratives in the world won't change that.

Seriously, I feel people who can't move to a red state or who are terrified to stay in one. I feel that very hard, and I'm making my own hard choices. But if you can't donate feet, money would be real helpful to supporting local change in these embattled states in particular. Money and the will to help us help you. I wish more people outside of these states would help pound that drum instead of championing secession narratives.
posted by sciatrix at 7:31 AM on December 24, 2016 [39 favorites]


apropos of a few comments in the other thread. A pet peeve of mine: Vlad is not, in fact, short for Vladimir. It's short for Vladislav. The diminutive for Vladimir is Vova. This has been an important service announcement.
posted by Justinian at 1:04 PM on December 23

Maybe if you are a Russian speaker. The Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian speakers I know use Vlad as a nick-name for both those names.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:32 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Besides, "Vova the Impaler" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:35 AM on December 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


I have a coworker from Serbia named Vladimir who goes by Vlad.
posted by octothorpe at 7:45 AM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


#notallvlads
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:51 AM on December 24, 2016 [33 favorites]


If anyone wants to move, consider moving to one of the states that had smallish margins of defeat.

Probably unrealistic, but I'd like to see Idaho drawn into the PNW orbit. Boise as an alternative to Portland and Seattle.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:52 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


@matthewjdowd
Between Nixon, Reagan, Bush41, Bush43, they allowed 51 UN resolutions to pass condemning Israel. Just a bit of perspective.
posted by chris24 at 8:00 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]



Probably unrealistic, but I'd like to see Idaho drawn into the PNW orbit. Boise as an alternative to Portland and Seattle.


Montana'd probably be a better bet as a theoretical inland PNW pickup. 43% voted for a non-Trump candidate this election compared to 33% in Idaho.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:00 AM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


On the numbers, yeah. But Boise is kind of sitting there around 46 degrees North, on the same side of the Rockies, and with enough new arrivals could be a better fit than Montana (Billings? Bozeman?) for people who would otherwise like to live in Seattle, Portland, maybe even SF.

Victory in 2020, brought to you by Zillow.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:06 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


But Boise is kind of sitting there around 46 degrees North, on the same side of the Rockies, and with enough new arrivals could be a better fit than Montana (Billings? Bozeman?) for people who would otherwise like to live in Seattle, Portland, maybe even SF.

Missoula and Bozeman are culturally way closer to Portland and Seattle than the eastern MT cities and have already had some of that migration. In my opinion Boise's a tougher sell but anybody moving to Idaho to improve the political situation is definitely doing the lord's work. It's rough out there.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:13 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, it's another morning in America, and I am having my usual bargaining over a cup of coffee. Today it was:
*(calming voice)Look, as soon as there's a national emergency a la Sandy or Katrina, people are going to see Trump is incompetent. They will turn on him when they realize the federal government--*
*(completely fucking panicked voice) HE'S GOING TO NUKE THE MIDDLE EAST TO DISTRACT US FROM HIS FAILURE*

And each day I'm like *usually, in my life, the calm voice is correct--*
*(completely fucking panicked voice) NOT THIS TIME BITCHES SHIT IS REALLY FALLING APART NO I WON'T CALM DOWN OKAY IS IT TIME TO SEE STAR WARS FINE*
posted by angrycat at 8:14 AM on December 24, 2016 [35 favorites]


Rick Perry is a dumbass, however anyone Trump appointed to that position would be unfit. And Perry is really in there to promote oil interests...I don't think he has any desire to unleash the nukes. Sadly, he might be the best bad choice. If Trump replaced him it might be with someone who did crave Armageddon.
posted by emjaybee at 8:15 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Missoula and Bozeman are culturally way closer to Portland and Seattle than the eastern cities and have already had some of that migration.

I'm sure you're right. I'm pretty much just fantasizing, and Boise's character sheet looks nice. In between SF and Portland in latitude, attractive civic amenities (like the greenbelt), lots of forest, mountain, desert access, decent housing opportunities.

Noticeably missing from all that is any knowledge of the culture OR the job market so yeah.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:18 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


On the subject of how change for the sake of change isn't always good, I always think of this fable by Aesop, which I believe is sadly relevant.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:28 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, it's another morning in America,

Here I was thinking the morning has been and gone and we're about to enter four years of pitch black.
posted by Talez at 8:28 AM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Perry is really in there to promote oil interests...I don't think he has any desire to unleash the nukes.

It's the President and the military who get to unleash the nukes. The DoE is only responsible for their design and maintenance. However, if anyone doesn't think that design and maintenance is a big part of keeping us safe, please read this recent New Yorker article that I don't think has been linked here yet: World War Three, By Mistake.

Of course, yes, even the Nobel-prize-winning previous SoE Steven Chu probably had little to do with the actual weapons work. The point is that the political position should reflect the seriousness of the mission, and we should be able to make political hay out of a non-serious nominee.

And if we cave in to the nomination of every joker because there might be someone worse the next time? We've lost.
posted by mubba at 8:38 AM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


For all we know Trump is like Dick Cheney, living more years than his lifestyle and age would usually give him off of his ego and sheer hatred.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:40 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


[Morgan Freeman voice] Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

This is where we live now.

To paraphrase the late great Molly Ivins, if America was one election away from being irrevocably destroyed, it wasn't much of an America to start with. And it remains true however you interpret it. America is neither the Shining City On A Leave-It-To-Beaver Christian Hill that right-wing True Believers think it is, nor the Woke Juggernaut of Acceptance and Tolerance and Coexistance that we'd hoped it was becoming. It is a land of contrasts. It is a land of pockets of thought in oceans of apathy. And it is a land where people just don't care unless you give them a good reason why they should care.

Most Americans do not vote unless something smacks them across the face and says "look, dumbass, this affects you or your wallet or your family or your close friends or your neighbors DIRECTLY." This is your task. Free your friends and family from Two Minutes Hate Facebook walls of 'news' and teach them how to really look at their world. Point out to them when they're being screwed. Let them realize that this really ISN'T a clash between Good God-Fearing American Patriots and Greedy Lazy Drug-Addicted Welfare Cheats -- and that they have a lot more in common with Those People than with the politicians whom they just voted for. And let them know that the attitude of "I'll do without X as long as Those People don't get X either" is completely unacceptable.

This election was inclusion -- racially, sexually, religiously, economically -- versus exclusion, the notion that Only The Privileged Should Count. Exclusion won. But that does not mean that there are fewer of us than there are of them. It means that the Republican mantra -- Government is the problem, government is never the solution, government is always the problem -- resonated louder than what the Dems brought to the table this year. We are all part of changing that.
posted by delfin at 8:40 AM on December 24, 2016 [47 favorites]


If people aren't worried about Rick Perry at DOE, then they should read up about the 2014 incident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and imagine what could be in store for us under a Republican government that likes to cut corners.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 8:47 AM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


The most horrifying thing is that I fear no amount of incompetence, disasters, buffoonery, or blatant bigotry could turn a significant part of the country away from Trump, and even fewer to the Democrats.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:51 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Since Clinton's vote count in part of the title, I think it is important to expand on the results. Here is Cook's Political Report spreadsheet (Google Docs). Bottom line is that 5.7% voted third party in a winner-take-all election. This act is not psychologically neutral, and is functionally the same as being undecided, but having made the decision to vote. Voting third party will never change our system into multi-parties, it will simply produce a spoiled election. In theory, these ballots should have only two candidates, and a clear majority of voters, but run-offs are expensive and parties like that power. The point is that we are stuck with a certain process and need to make strategic moves forward. The easiest change is to eliminate the incentive to have third parties try to raise money by reaching 5% on a federal ballot. The government has no business running an election spoiler operation. Perhaps Obama should issue his last executive order to highlight the issue, by arranging the ballot itself to donate treasury election funds, to listed parties directly (as currently done on a tax return), and not indirectly by wasting a vote.
posted by Brian B. at 8:59 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


As I see it, a significant part of the country is already anti Trump and even pro Democrat. Remember, if you look at the map by counties and even by proportions, we aren't a red nation with blue coasts. We are a purple nation. And you never know where you'll find an ally if you listen, drum up the emotional reminders to step up and find enthusiasm, and point out where the morality of history lies.

If you have working class white folks who are scared of fat cat government... Hm. Do you know if any of them have heard of Utah Phillips? Several of his live album recordings have bits at the beginning that might appeal to a lot of folks who are motivated by ignorance and fear rather than outright hatred.

And you don't get too much more democratic than a goddamn Wobbly. But it's been long enough that I figure, well... He's an old white dude who had ideas about how to make America great. It's worth a shot.
posted by sciatrix at 9:01 AM on December 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


It's not that I'm ok with Perry it's that I don't think we have anyone better on offer. Is there any possible Trump appointee that wouldn't be a shitshow?
posted by emjaybee at 9:03 AM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


If people aren't worried about Rick Perry at DOE, then they should read up about the 2014 incident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and imagine what could be in store for us under a Republican government that likes to cut corners.

Or the West Fertilizer Company explosion.
"The fire and explosion at West Fertilizer was preventable. It should never have occurred. It resulted from the failure of a company to take the necessary steps to avert a preventable fire and explosion and from the inability of federal, state and local regulatory agencies to identify a serious hazard and correct it."
Oops.
posted by Candleman at 9:05 AM on December 24, 2016 [13 favorites]




Don't worry, the Obama administration has just put out a new rule requiring better risk management plans (RMPs) at industrial facilities to prevent disasters like the West explosion in the future! Everything is....ah, hell.

(Paywalled link but the headline is enough.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:19 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


The final report on the explosion is chilling.

(Family Owned Business, Run down storage area constructed in the 1960's, jury-rigged PVC ammonia nitrate distribution system, 160t of ammonia nitrate onsite, multiple citations, multiple employee complaints about cleanliness, damning onsite photography predating the explosion)

If so many innocent people didn't die horrible, unjust deaths in service of someone else's greed and sheer laziness, one could almost grimace at the inevitability of it all. Stunned emptiness will have to suffice.
posted by mrdaneri at 9:25 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


so many innocent people didn't die horrible, unjust deaths in service of someone else's greed and sheer laziness

That's just market correction, dude

(it's joke or cry, sorry)
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:29 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


When I was younger, I never understood why a lot of businessmen so consistently opposed regulations that protected their employees and customers. I thought it was obviously in their interest that their customers and workers wouldn't get sick or die or suffer, because that would affect their business.

Then I realized that they don't care about people, only how much money they provide, and they know a lot of people have no choice but to buy from and work for them no matter what they do.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:41 AM on December 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'm looking forwards to the revelation in 2019 that Jimmy Johns' and Chipolte both have been using pork products sourced from some sort of stem-cell-line cloned porcine horror grown in vast oinking, squealing sheds of horror in the midwest somewhere. It will be revealed to be some sort of well, known trade secret since about 1993.

'Oh, we harvests the lil' squeakers with a pitchfork, 'fore the eyes grows out!' a salt-of-the-earth farmer will say on a TED talk.
posted by mrdaneri at 9:46 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


My perspective on supporting religious schools comes in part from an experience years back. Although we grew up poor, after my father died our family received Social Security survivor benefits to attend a private Christian high school. During his time there, he converted to Mormonism. They wanted to kick him out of the school because Mormonism was not Christianity. My brother was called into a meeting with the principal and he was certain he could defend his new faith. I came along for moral support, but on his request waited outside. While waiting the volleyball coach came up to me and asked about my faith. I told her Catholic. She was convinced that if she didn't convert me before I left, I stood a good chance of going to hell.

My brother was kicked out.

These are the sorts of people who are going to get taxpayer dollars. We are subsidizing religious intolerance.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:54 AM on December 24, 2016 [35 favorites]


Josh Marshall, TPM: Thoughts on The UN Resolution
But the whole drama confirms what I believe is the overriding reality of the current situation, which is that America's hyper-support of Israel and (by default) the Israeli settlement project has made the US into a dangerous enabler of Israel's own self-destructive behavior. There is no longterm solution to the conflict other than some form of partition of the land. This is dictated by an iron grip of demography and ideology. You can either have partition, a binational state or a state in which Jews and a portion of the Arab population (those who are currently citizens of Israel) have political rights and the majority of Arabs (those who now live in the territories) do not. You can call that last option anything you want. But the countries of the world will never and should never accept it. [...]

The US's hyper-protection, not only from genuine threats (which I strongly support) but even from symbolic criticism, has simply enabled Israel's self-destructive behavior, allowed the Israeli political nation to ignore these realities and pretend that somehow they'll go away. [...]

Friends tell friends the truth. Friends don't enable self-destructive behavior. Even if you put morality and values entirely to the side, the current trajectory of West Bank settlement has no good outcome for Israel.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:56 AM on December 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


Vlad vs. Vova is the new Sitting vs. Standing
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:56 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


On an earlier note from thread: it looks like the Rockettes are no longer being threatened with firing if they don't perform for Trump.
posted by Archelaus at 9:57 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


...it looks like the Rockettes are no longer being threatened with firing if they don't perform for Trump.

The last I heard, that was only true for the part-time dancers. Have they extended it to the full-time crew?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:01 AM on December 24, 2016


On an earlier note from thread: it looks like the Rockettes are no longer being threatened with firing if they don't perform for Trump.

That is a meaningless statement. Their individual contracts are renewed annually. Nobody would get fired. They simply could be blacklisted and never hired again.

On another note Jamil Smith suggests that the Rockettes perform in pantsuits.
posted by JackFlash at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


I was just thinking:

Donald Trump.
Carl Paladino.
Robert Durst is the third least psychotic New York real estate billionaire.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:05 AM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Have they extended it to the full-time crew?

They have. But as JackFlash points out, the real danger now is blacklisting.
posted by chris24 at 10:06 AM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Y'know, I was hoping to have brought -good- news that was an improvement on things with that, but okay, sure. Blacklisting. Great.

Link for updated news

There's what I was pulling from. It looks a lot more optimistic to me than you guys are going with, but I get the need. Carry on.
posted by Archelaus at 10:08 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dammit, that first link is broken. Here's where that was meant to go. Story about how working folks ought to figure out who to be angry at and everything.

I gotta say, I do think it's optimistic that the union who pushed the full-time dancers to perform so openly got so much damn blowback. It makes me think we're mobilizing and that people are channeling their anger into actually doing things.
posted by sciatrix at 10:09 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


apropos of a few comments in the other thread. A pet peeve of mine: Vlad is not, in fact, short for Vladimir. It's short for Vladislav. The diminutive for Vladimir is Vova. This has been an important service announcement.
posted by Justinian at 1:04 PM on December 23

Maybe if you are a Russian speaker. The Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian speakers I know use Vlad as a nick-name for both those names.

Also Vlad is a full name in it's own right, 'Vlad Tepeš' ( that's 'Vlad The Impaler' )
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:23 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. If folks want to answer specifically about Obama vs Thatcher on global trade with China, ok, but getting into an overall thing about whether they're different is really taking us pretty far afield and into weird seems-like-misunderstanding-to-make-a-point territory, and then into a metadiscussion about whether it's plausible to really ask, etc, which is all a derail we can do without.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:24 AM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]






US begins asking foreign travelers for social media accounts upon entry: Border Security started asking travelers coming into the country on Tuesday to voluntarily provide their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts, Politico first reported. When individuals apply for visa waivers, they’re prompted with the option to include their accounts on the aforementioned platforms and Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:34 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]




Trump is dissolving the Trump Foundation.

Why go small when you have the US Treasury to loot.
posted by chris24 at 10:44 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm going to wfh on Inauguration Day. There's no way the Metro can handle the crowds to begin with and while I work 19 and L and not _too_ close to the White House, it's close enough.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 10:48 AM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is the FBI trolling Trump?

@FBI:
Happy holidays from the #FBI
[image]
posted by chris24 at 10:48 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Trump is dissolving the Trump Foundation.

That's what I read on Twitter, but I think we need a new verb tense to describe things aides say Trump said he is definitely probably planning to do without verification.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:53 AM on December 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


Oh I'm sure it's trumpening. I mean happening.

* Not sure at all. Very doubtful in fact.
posted by chris24 at 10:54 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


So the official 58th Inauguration Committee's twitter account tweeted something... interesting. Mike, are you trying to tell us something?

@TrumpInaugural:
When President Harrison passed, Vice President John Tyler declared himself president. #TrumpInaugural #MAGA [image]
posted by chris24 at 11:01 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]




And yesterday's tweet.

@TrumpInaugural:
Our ninth president, William Henry Harrison served the shortest presidential term in history at just 32 days. #MAGA #TrumpInaugural [image]
posted by chris24 at 11:05 AM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Here is an example of a white woman harassing two Latina women in a Kentucky shopping mall... and a community rallying together to take a stand about what is acceptable within its borders, to provide restitution for the victims of a racist rant, and to enforce a tangible consequence for the woman who felt entitled to attack other people.

This is laudable. It's regrettable that the white woman felt emboldened to vomit bigotry at other people in her community. It is heartening that the other members of Louisville chose to take action and demonstrate what the community stands for and whose rights to move freely about their community should be protected. It's good to remember that actions matter.
posted by sciatrix at 11:05 AM on December 24, 2016 [41 favorites]


That Inauguration Twitter account is tweeting one Presidential fact per day, and there's dick-all else you can say about Harrison's tenure.
posted by Etrigan at 11:17 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


They have 35 more presidents after Harrison and only 27 days until inauguration. Seems odd to spend two days on Harrison, given his situation.
posted by chris24 at 11:23 AM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


The WaPo Christmas Carol parody is chilling

I still think comparing Trump to Scrooge is unfair to Scrooge. Even ignoring Scrooge's change of heart, Dickens also tells us that he was at least honest.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:31 AM on December 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


Trump is dissolving the Trump Foundation.

That's impossible! How the kleptocrat maintain control without the bureaucracy?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:40 AM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd love to be a fly on the wall during the contract renegotiation meetings with the 11 partner nations...

Why be a fly when you can be a russian hacker instead?
posted by srboisvert at 11:51 AM on December 24, 2016


From NY AG spokesperson @amyspitalnick:
.@Fahrenthold @realDonaldTrump Foundation still under investigation by @AGSchneiderman, cannot legally dissolve until investigation complete

posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:53 AM on December 24, 2016 [32 favorites]


So it's dissolving not because it's a conflict of interest and both legally and ethically the right thing to do, but instead to avoid investigation and penalty.

It's the firehose of scandal approach -- there's so much that you can't fixate on any one thing, so you just feel like giving up.
posted by mochapickle at 12:03 PM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh I gave up a long time ago.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:09 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's the firehose of scandal approach -- there's so much that you can't fixate on any one thing, so you just feel like giving up.

I wish it weren't such an effective strategy.
posted by Superplin at 12:10 PM on December 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


The zebra stripes of infamy.
posted by Coventry at 12:20 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


On the subject of both sides-ism, I had a recent, bitter conversation with one of my moderate friends who believes Hillary would have been as bad as Trump as far as enriching herself and vindictiveness. She said that Hillary set the IRS on someone because she didn't like them. I hadn't heard this story before - is it right-wing propaganda?
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:34 PM on December 24, 2016


To clarify, I suspect it is, but it isn't a story I've encountered in the news or anywhere else, and there's enough controversy around Hillary even now that it was hard to find and debunk every rumor and false story around her that the right stirred up.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:48 PM on December 24, 2016


without referencing anything, or even googling it i can definitively say that yes, it is right wing propaganda.
posted by localhuman at 12:48 PM on December 24, 2016 [18 favorites]


She said that Hillary set the IRS on someone because she didn't like them. I hadn't heard this story before - is it right-wing propaganda?

It's propaganda. Hills usually just personally murders her enemies.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:03 PM on December 24, 2016 [33 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
.@NBCNews purposely left out this part of my nuclear qoute: "until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." Dishonest!

BUT THAT'S THE PART WHERE NO ONE KNOWS WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:03 PM on December 24, 2016 [21 favorites]


Doesn't the President have an official Twitter? I'm not even sure whether Trump will use his or the official POTUS one post-inauguration.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:05 PM on December 24, 2016


Also it's good to know that Trump celebrates Christmas Eve like I did as a kid, by attacking media coverage of my cryptic potentially-civilization-ending outbursts
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:06 PM on December 24, 2016 [18 favorites]


It's effing Christmas Eve and the PEOTUS is still tweeting about nuclear weapons. Okay.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:06 PM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Childproof lock added to White House nuclear launch button [fake but should be real]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:08 PM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


If this all turns out to be some fucked up viral campaign for Weird Al's Christmas at Ground Zero.
posted by Talez at 1:09 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's propaganda.

I hope we have a better way to combat misinformation and propaganda like this when we pick a 2020 candidate, but no matter who we choose I suspect they'll be able to "dig up" a story about how they totally ate a baby that one time, honest.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:09 PM on December 24, 2016


Doesn't the President have an official Twitter? I'm not even sure whether Trump will use his or the official POTUS one post-inauguration.

Obama has an official @POTUS account that will transfer to Trump on Jan 20th, although who knows if he'll actually use it.
posted by photo guy at 1:16 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


What better a platform to freak out at SNL from and threaten to nuke the coasts?
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Look, until the world comes to its senses regarding nuclear proliferation, we're gonna need a shit-ton more nukes
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:27 PM on December 24, 2016 [16 favorites]


I am stunned way beyond freaking out at this point. So I built an igloo in my yard. And just pretended it was 2014. This is utter insanity.
posted by odinsdream at 1:31 PM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Like, for no particular reason, I just went and scrolled through @realdonaldtrump's timeline of tweets. It's absolutely insane this person is going to be inaugurated.
posted by odinsdream at 1:33 PM on December 24, 2016 [31 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
.@NBCNews purposely left out this part of my nuclear qoute: "until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." Dishonest!


Third sentence of said article:
Trump stunned nuclear experts Thursday by proclaiming in a tweet that "the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."
I guess reading past the headline was too much for Donnie.
posted by chris24 at 1:40 PM on December 24, 2016 [16 favorites]


Y kant Doni read
posted by kirkaracha at 1:53 PM on December 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


qoute

Or spel.
posted by chris24 at 1:57 PM on December 24, 2016


So, catching up on a few things after 2k comments. Firstly, our Vladimir, bless his shirtless heartless self, went from being a KGB operative to being the wealthiest man on earth by stripping communist resources away from the people and state and selling them to himself and his buddies. Of fucking course the republicans love him. Geezuz, that's what they masturbate to while they suck the cocks of the vampire squid helming the Goldman Trump takeover.

A snide aside, I cannot help but look at the trumps and think, "Do you even rich, bro?" Because what the fuck, coach class on JetBlue, shopping at Saks, eating cold chicken takeout, wearing trimmings from the dog groomer as hair, I mean, what the ever living fuck? A charter flight would cost insignificant amounts more than four coach tickets, who the fuck buys off the rack if you have a billion dollars and you live in the garment and design capitol of the US, and why has nobody rescued that poor Pomeranian.

Re Texas and the Dems, my rural district voted for Clinton by almost 500 votes, iirc. The dems didn't even have any candidates opposing important elections. Choices were republicans, teahadists, and bugfuck crazies.

Re, end of the world, damn I fucking hope not. A ray of hope, in the neighborhood next to ours, where a lot of Mexican families live, there was a fire that damaged a couple of houses. Within hours of the fires going out, there was a constant parade of cars of townsfolk coming from all over to offer places to stay, and bring presents for the kids. I called the fire station to ask if they knew what the family needed, and they said the family was so overwhelmed with assistance that they were sending things to the food pantry and churches to be distributed to other families in need. Keep in mind, this is an area that was devastated by tornadoes and storms this spring. Most of the town, myself included, are still rebuilding. But pretty much as soon as people heard the fire was bad, a big chunk of people tried to help.

It's hard to believe, but there are helpers. Thank you, my metafilter friends and family, for being here, for being my helper, my shoulder, my shouting wall, my loadbearer when I lost hope. To borrow a Christmas phrase, gods bless us, every one.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:07 PM on December 24, 2016 [57 favorites]


Y kant Doni read

Flagged for ruining an already shitty memory.
posted by Etrigan at 2:17 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump's ties to Putin actually make me miss the foreign policy acumen of Sarah Palin.
posted by stet at 2:18 PM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Annika Cicada there are a lot of Texans sticking around and willing to fight for you. I'm stuck in Texas for economic reasons (I own property that isn't worth much but gives me a place to live mortgage and rent free.) But I also love my home state, and think it's worth fighting for. I think a lot of Texans who have been waiting for demographics to change our state politics have woken up and are willing to do the work at the local and state level. Pantsuit Republic candidates have already won seats since the election on school boards and city councils. I have hope.
posted by threeturtles at 2:21 PM on December 24, 2016 [19 favorites]


Trump's ties to Putin actually make me miss the foreign policy acumen of Sarah Palin.

I thought she was supposed to be protecting us from the rising head of Putin! What happened?
posted by SisterHavana at 2:35 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Breaking news: Trump aide Jason Miller says he won't go into White House 2 days after being announced as comms director: “After spending this past week with my family, the most amount of time I have been able to spend with them since March 2015, it is clear they need to be my top priority right now and this is not the right time to start a new job as demanding as White House communications director,” Miller said. "My wife and I are also excited about the arrival of our second daughter in January, and I need to put them in front of my career."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:00 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


All I have to say is that the thought of the Republican Party allying itself with Russia only a little after the Cold War is bitterly ironic. And they like to play themselves off as the patriotic party.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 3:01 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I apologize if this isn't the most appropriate place to post this, but it echoes so many of the most dire predictions and concerns I've seen brought up in these threads, and I'm incredibly disturbed right now. The guy who publishes The Daily Stormer announced he's bringing together 200 armed neo-Nazis for an open carry "march against Jews" who are protesting Richard Spencer's residence/family in Montana.

‘We can march through town carrying high-powered rifles’: Neo-Nazi plans march against Montana Jews

Ramping up their attacks on the a Montana town where white supremacist Richard Spencer lives part of the year, neo-Nazis are planning an armed march down main street in January, reports Fox-Montana.

The small town of Whitefish has become a hub of turmoil with the rise of Spencer whose mother owns a business in the downtown district. While Sherry Spencer doesn’t share his son’s white separatist beliefs, she has been taking heat and facing financial setbacks from locals because she allows him to use her address as the headquarters for his deceptively named National Policy Institute.

Previously Neo-Nazis fans of Spencer have limited their threats to the people of Whitefish by using social media, however Andrew Anglin, who runs The Daily Stormer website now says he plans to lead a march in the town aimed at Jews in the community.

“We are planning an armed protest in Whitefish,” Anglin wrote. “Montana has extremely liberal open carry laws, so my lawyer is telling me we can easily march through the center of the town carrying high-powered rifles. I myself am planning on being there to lead the protest, which has been dubbed ‘March on Whitefish.’”

According to Anglin, he claims he will be busing in “skinheads from the Bay Area,” adding, “Currently, my guys say we are going to be able to put together about 200 people to participate in the march, which will be against Jews, Jewish businesses and everyone who supports either.”

“We have to stand up to these people, and we have to force an apology,” The Forward reports Anglin wrote. “This will be an absolutely massive victory for our cause. We have never done this before.”

According to local police, they have received no information on the march which is tentatively scheduled for the second week in January.

Prior to the 2016 presidential election, Anglin claimed that “Virtually every alt-right Nazi I know is volunteering for the Trump campaign.”

posted by prosopagnosia at 3:03 PM on December 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


Meanwhile, Trump wishes us a Happy Hanukkah [real]
posted by box at 3:06 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


‘We can march through town carrying high-powered rifles’: Neo-Nazi plans march against Montana Jews'

It's not yet clear how serious these claims are: Anglin's almost as much of a troll as he is a Nazi. In any case, I'm one of maybe 100-200 Jews in the sparsely-populated corner of Montana that they're targeting. Nobody's sent me a photo of my relatives in a gas chamber yet but it won't surprise me when it happens. What would surprise me is if they succeed in terrorizing the populace. And if they step up the level of violence from their current one (only harassing phone calls and social media so far) I think they'll be surprised at the type and intensity of resistance that they are going to face from locals.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:12 PM on December 24, 2016 [26 favorites]


Obama signed the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act into law yesterday. Over the long haul, the most effective counter would probably be for the US itself to abandon the dissemination of propaganda and disinformation, but I don't think that's what they mean.
posted by Coventry at 3:20 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dear god that's horrible, prosopagnosia. Let's hope that the townspeople get support from the entire country so that the Nazis are shamed into retreating. I think the vast majority of Americans are horrified by anti Semitic behavior and it is only a tiny group of jerks emboldened by Trump's election who are being so nasty. Let us hope they get shut down quickly and thoroughly.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:21 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


On the subject of how change for the sake of change isn't always good, I always think of this fable by Aesop, which I believe is sadly relevant.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:28 AM on December 24 [has favorites +] [!]


From the Wikipedia entry you linked:

A democratic people have elected
King Log, King Stork, King Log, King Stork again.

Because I like a wide and silent pond
I voted Log. That party was defeated.

-- James K. Baxter

<sob>
posted by GrammarMoses at 3:32 PM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


the most effective counter would probably be for the US itself to abandon the dissemination of propaganda and disinformation

Unfortunately, it's in the interests of the people currently in power to continue the dissemination of propaganda and disinformation - Fox alone has turned itself into a Trump propaganda network very quickly. The only thing I can think of to counter it is fact-checking, but that didn't help this year, and I'm not really sure what could counter a campaign like the one the Republicans put in place.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 3:37 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump aide Jason Miller says he won't go into White House 2 days after being announced as comms director

I guess it's nice that Trump's administration is at least honoring the long tradition of citing family as a reason to leave politics.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact Miller realized after the nuke tweets that he'd spend the next four years with Trump contradicting everything he said.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 3:38 PM on December 24, 2016 [12 favorites]




I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact Miller realized after the nuke tweets that he'd spend the next four years with Trump contradicting everything he said.

In my imagination he finally got home and someone in is family was all 'wtf are you doing? No. Just no. Stop. Or consequences buddy.
posted by Jalliah at 3:49 PM on December 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


Unfortunately, there's a reason why the Gish Gallop is such a successful technique among creationists and their ilk - telling a lie, or a lot of lies, requires less work than telling the truth and no respect for for fairness or research.

I'm thinking of people like my friends, who believe what they're told because they simply "know" both candidates were bad. They can't be budged. I've tried, multiple times, and they just say they won't change their minds.

I'm very ashamed to say that, while I voted for Hillary proudly, I was unable to convince many of my friends to, and part of why was because they were able to produce stories and pseudofacts that I couldn't debunk and because they just "didn't trust her".

(The reason I asked after that particular story was because I was looking for a source to debunk it - my friend didn't give a name and it had the stink of a malicious rumor. I didn't mean to imply I believed it in any way - I didn't, and I apologize if it came off as if I did.)
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 3:49 PM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]




Never mind:
Update: December 19, 2016

This post has been updated to reflect the fact that IBM has said it will not participate in the creation of a national Muslim registry.
posted by Coventry at 4:04 PM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


One would hope they learned from the first time.
posted by thelonius at 4:09 PM on December 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


(Background: IBM and the Holocaust [wiki])
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:11 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Unfortunately, there's a reason why the Gish Gallop is such a successful technique among creationists and their ilk - telling a lie, or a lot of lies, requires less work than telling the truth and no respect for for fairness or research.

I think you have to put the burden of proof back on people (if it's in a facebook or other online context) by asking direct but gentle, non-confrontational questions like "Is this true?" or "Can you provide a link for this?" Typically people will either try to change the topic, in which case you can gently redirect ("OK, but you still haven't provided any proof for this story/claim") or they will give you a couple links to Breitbart or some other horrible rightwing cesspool and it's usually pretty easy to click through, look at the article and come back to the thread with a quick explanation of how/why the thing is fake or doesn't actually prove the headline assertion, etc.

Of course once in a while things or stories that look like RW bullshit turn out to be maybe true and it's okay to acknowledge that, too while expressing the hope that everyone does their part to make sure they're not spreading false media items.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:12 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


One would hope they learned from the first time.

There's an interesting claim in the comments that the famous IBM and the Holocaust failed to prove complicity. I haven't read it.
posted by Coventry at 4:13 PM on December 24, 2016


I think you have to put the burden of proof back on people

"Why do you believe that?" is a good one. I also like "Where can I read more about that?" but I am almost always genuinely interested anyway.
posted by Coventry at 4:17 PM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Obama signed the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act into law yesterday.

Ok, so looking this over it appears to be creating a Ministry of Information for Trump to use. Great. I'd have to read it more carefully (which will wait until after Christmas), but it looks like there's nothing in the bill to stop the Trump Administration from using this to shape the narrative as they see fit.
posted by Gaz Errant at 4:41 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


it looks like there's nothing in the bill to stop the Trump Administration from using this to shape the narrative as they see fit.

No we just have to wait for SCOTUS to rule on what is a "fact" and what is "disinformation"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:16 PM on December 24, 2016


There's an interesting claim in the comments that the famous IBM and the Holocaust failed to prove complicity. I

Well. I don't think IBM, or anyone, knew, in 1933, that there was going to be a genocide within a decade. But persecution of Jews was already starting, and it wouldn't have taken much imagination to see that ethnic registration was going to contribute to that. And now, that is kind of the point - refuse to help with anything that could be an early step in persecution or any kind of ethnoic cleansing.
posted by thelonius at 5:17 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fake News Causes Pakistan to threaten Israel with Nuclear War

Happy Holidays, everyone!
posted by Mchelly at 5:25 PM on December 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


My God.
posted by odinsdream at 5:37 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


According to Anglin, he claims he will be busing in “skinheads from the Bay Area,” adding, “Currently, my guys say we are going to be able to put together about 200 people to participate in the march, which will be against Jews, Jewish businesses and everyone who supports either.”

“We have to stand up to these people, and we have to force an apology,” The Forward reports Anglin wrote. “This will be an absolutely massive victory for our cause. We have never done this before.”


My wife and immediate in-laws are Jewish so I'm just having a mini panic attack here.
posted by Talez at 5:44 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh my God. It's still horrifying to think that nuclear war is coming back as a serious threat.

Religious angle and fuzzy animals aside, this cartoon became ever more terrifying and ever more relevant, and I'm horrified that since the Cold War, which even he lived through, the Donald is too arrogant and stupid to realize how devastating a nuclear war could be.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:53 PM on December 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


My wife and immediate in-laws are Jewish so I'm just having a mini panic attack here.

There's an excellent chance that Anglin is to some degree full of shit about this event. He's never organized a physical group nearly that large or moved them nearly that far. Either way a panic attack is exactly what he wants you to have. Outrage and active resistance is more warranted now and there's a lot of that already coming together locally.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:54 PM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


I've often thought that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists made a mistake in starting the hands of the Doomsday Clock at seven minutes to midnight; it means that there's basically no meaningful way to indicate how very much riskier our lives are now shown to be. Seven minutes, three minutes (the current figure IIRC), one minute; there's not much apparent difference. In reality, though, we're probably at more risk now than we have been since JFK.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:57 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Why do you believe that?" is a good one. I also like "Where can I read more about that?"

I can understand why people want to try this approach but it will almost always be a one way street. The other side is entrenched and incurious. Forget reasoning and logic. We are dealing with a cult mentality. I know that that sounds extreme but I believe it to be true. Actual facts do not matter to these people.We need to rethink building bridges and conventional modes of outreach are out the window.

Mefite Pater Aletheias said it best and I agree with him wholeheartedly:

(I am pretty sure that) He was responding to this comment: see for example the WaPo story about the fake news org from last week where the guy claims that they tried to run a fake news site targeting liberals and it just didn't get the clicks.

Pater Aletheias's reply:

I've seen several people respond to that with suspicion ("He's just saying that to get liberals to share it! Brilliant!") but I believe it. I hardly ever see a liberal version of the conservative fake news and email forwards that I literally see multiple times a day. Plus, as the mandated annoying fact-checker among my Facebook friends, when I do see some fake news with a liberal bias, here's what happens:

Liberal friend: *posts fake news*
Me: Actually, no. See this link.
Liberal friend: Ugh, my bad! I'll take it down and post a correction.

On the other hand,

Conservative friend: *posts fake news*
Me: Actually, no. See this link.
Conservative friend: I can't believe you trust the freaking Main Stream Media on this! They are completely in the tank for Hillary! www.antimuslimpatriotreport.com has been all over this important development since day one!

Every. Single. Time.

I mean, the fact that some liberals are suspicious about an article that makes nice claims about them shows how far they will bend over to fact-check.

(bolded text mine)
posted by futz at 6:06 PM on December 24, 2016 [51 favorites]


I see people post stuff from US Uncut, Occupy Democrats, RT (ew, and not rly "liberal" as much as just anti-US) and other outlets pretty commonly actually. It's exhausting trying to fact check some of the things from those sites.
posted by gucci mane at 6:12 PM on December 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


The other side is entrenched and incurious. Forget reasoning and logic. We are dealing with a cult mentality. I know that that sounds extreme but I believe it to be true. Actual facts do not matter to these people.

With a lot of them, this is true.

On the other hand, I think there is a distinction between entrenched conservatives/Trumpites and moderates or genuinely misinformed people who I think we can get onto our side, and we need all the allies we can get in the coming years.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:16 PM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think I'll have to buy a t-shirt from the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership even if they do make me look a little wishy-washy in my support for the 2nd amendment.

Somehow I don't believe Anglin even knows what a "high powered rifle" is. Seriously, he sounds like someone who believes elk hunters would be impressed with an AR15.
posted by ridgerunner at 6:17 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I see people post stuff from US Uncut...

I assume, since you didn't say, that you mean liberals? I see some of that too but that is peeing into the ocean when compared to the alt-reich/hardcore conservatives.
posted by futz at 6:18 PM on December 24, 2016


My wife and immediate in-laws are Jewish so I'm just having a mini panic attack here.

Whitefish, Montana is an interesting place. It is located in Flathead County which is one of the most red places in Montana and a refuge for white nationalist neo-nazis. The county voted more than 2 to 1 for Trump. But Whitefish is a small lakeside town of 6000 that is a summer boating and winter ski resort. It is populated by a lot of more liberal retirees from Washington, Oregon and California. Whitefish is the only town in Flathead County that voted, just barely for Clinton. It's not the sort of place that would be very receptive to white nationalists. For that you have to go to the county seat of Kalispell.
posted by JackFlash at 6:24 PM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's not the sort of place that would be very receptive to white nationalists. For that you have to go to the county seat of Kalispell.

Even in Kalispell open white nationalists of the Anglin/Spencer sort are not welcome, though "softer" anti-muslim and anti-immigrant organizations like ACT do have a lot more traction in Kalispell. Sadly. The Kalispell PLE ("Pioneer Little Europe") is the main 100%-swastika-tattoo-Nazi faction there and they are shamed into secrecy and are only a few dozen in number. Another factor worth mentioning is the Native American community, which has significant if still underrepresented political power, and is a sizable part of the population (about 10% of the overall area but comprising up to half or more of some towns).
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:30 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


So instead of doing the million things on my list today, I got sucked into binge watching Occupied on Netflix, a Norwegian political thriller re a slow-motion Russian invasion/occupation of Norway. One of the reasons the Russians get away with it is because the US has withdrawn from NATO and basically doesn't give a fuck. Feels oddly relevant for some reason. It's also worth watching if you're a fan of modernist design and of actors moving seamlessly between at least three languages.
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:36 PM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Please don't edit for content. It is for minor corrections such as spelling errors.
posted by futz at 6:40 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]




Another factor worth mentioning is the Native American community, which has significant if still underrepresented political power, and is a sizable part of the population (about 10% of the overall area but comprising up to half or more of some towns).

Flathead county, where Whitefish is located, is only about 1% Native American. It is one of the whitest counties in the country at about 96%. The Flathead Indian Reservation is not in Flathead County, but is in Lake County directly south of Flathead County.
posted by JackFlash at 6:55 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


if [the Neo-Nazis harassing Jews in Montana] step up the level of violence from their current one (only harassing phone calls and social media so far) I think they'll be surprised at the type and intensity of resistance that they are going to face from locals.

Maybe. But you know, a lot of Bavarians didn't care for Hitler's thugs either. It took less than a decade before they were lining the streets, cheering him. I don't think most Americans can really understand how bad things can get and how quickly it can all happen. I mean, a few election threads ago I was surprised to see a couple of MeFites (very liberal, very nice, very serious people) say that they didn't think antisemitism was still a thing, that it was just a tool used by Zionists to crush criticism of Israel.

Antisemitism has very deep roots in Western culture. Apparently people are immersed in it, like fish in water, and it's only when you have armed Nazis literally marching in the streets that they say say "hey! look! antisemitism!" Until we reach that point there are an infinite number of excuses that can be made for it, and once you reach that point it's pretty much too late - because you just can't rely on the good guys being more numerous than the bad ones.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:57 PM on December 24, 2016 [23 favorites]


The Flathead Indian Reservation in not in Flathead County, but is in Lake County to directly south of Flathead County.

Correct. However it really doesn't make sense to only say that the area impacted only concerns Flathead County, since people are mobile, families are dispersed and commutes will involve multiple counties daily. The towns of Polson/Pablo/Ronan/Charlo, for example, are definitely within the greater sphere of Kalispell-Whitefish, and they are part of the Reservation and have much higher Native representation.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:00 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


you just can't rely on the good guys being more numerous than the bad ones
Because, contrary to all the misleading "one good man against the world" books/movies, you often need good guys A LOT more numerous than the bad ones.

Ain't that America?
Because in the Real World Donald Trump with his narcissism, dishonesty and stupidity, is EXTREMELY representative of the American people... at least the ones with any power in the current American society.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:07 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Joe in Australia, you're right on all counts. I've been waiting for this to happen in America since childhood. But even if it's going to go to hell within a few years, I'm here shouting from the rooftops now and later fighting them in the streets if I'm able. It's not underplaying the threat to say that we shouldn't be terrified of them now, as long as we're standing up to them. The brownshirts can still be smashed while they're relatively small and feeble.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:10 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh my God. It's still horrifying to think that nuclear war is coming back as a serious threat.

Someone said upthread that they didn't take Trump's talk about nukes seriously; I don't think he does. Well, maybe on Tuesdays he does, Thursdays not so much. In one interview he's said "The biggest problem in the world, to me, is nuclear and proliferation" (yes he said "and"). I really do believe he's tweaking on Fen-Phen the way he is all over the map. He can start shit just because he cannot shut his orange ass up.

I was so baffled by that tweet: What is this "such time" that the world will come to its senses? We will have brought about disarmament through arms races and proliferation? Just random explosions? What is this "such time"?

And Kellyanne Conway almost sounds like she could be retroactively crafting policy just based on damage control. "Maybe he means modernization and upgrades". Maybe that. That sounds good. Ok. I have a feeling that this is how it's going to go in many areas; he shoots off his mouth, his lackeys dress it up to make it sound less insane and that's how we may get policy because Donny will save face by saying "yeah, that's totally what I meant" because even he doesn't know what he fucking means.


Here's Scott Baio waxing prophetic*:
"I want him, as any one person can do, to just go into Washington and blow it up".

(*pardon the gallows humor, it's my coping mechanism)
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 7:10 PM on December 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Also meant to say that this what everyone who was sane predicted and it's happening now. Not even in office yet.

I know that's the obvious but I'm just in such utter disbelief. He's really outdone himself.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 7:14 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


fuck, sorry for repeat posts but I forgot my main point: It's not about us taking his nuclear talk seriously, it's about the rest of the world's perception of his crazy talk.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 7:16 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ryan proposes fines, ethics moves on grandstanding House members

Under the proposed new rules package, which was seen by Bloomberg News, members could face a $500 fine through deductions to their paychecks for a first offense of using electronic photography or audio or visual recording, as well as for broadcasting from the chamber’s floor. A $2,500 fine would be leveled for the next such offense and each subsequent violation.
posted by futz at 7:41 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact Miller realized after the nuke tweets that he'd spend the next four years with Trump contradicting everything he said.
---
In my imagination he finally got home and someone in is family was all 'wtf are you doing? No. Just no. Stop. Or consequences buddy.


Well, someone in his family - like his wife - did say wtf and probably much worse.

@yashar:
Trump camp in meltdown. Miller resigns after AJ Delgado posts cryptic tweets re Miller being dad to her child.
posted by chris24 at 7:43 PM on December 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


Remember the story of a few Trump staffers going to a strip club in Vegas with a few reporters before a debate? Two of the three Trumpsters partying were Miller and Delgado.

What happens in Vegas, stays in the womb for about 9 months.
posted by chris24 at 7:58 PM on December 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


Well, someone in his family - like his wife - did say wtf and probably much worse.

@yashar:
Trump camp in meltdown. Miller resigns after AJ Delgado posts cryptic tweets re Miller being dad to her child.


Well that took me a bit to sort out what the upset may be about.
I really shouldn't laugh but I did and am.
posted by Jalliah at 7:58 PM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Even if you don't take him seriously, do people actually just not understand that literally he alone is in charge of launching nuclear attacks? Like, no really. There's no other set of controls.

We are going to rely on one or more of:
1. Him just never deciding to launch them
2. A valid order being disobeyed
2A. Some insane physical fighting with Trump personally and/or a military coup

...until he's no longer physically able to order launches.

That's all.
posted by odinsdream at 7:59 PM on December 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


It's not about us taking his nuclear talk seriously, it's about the rest of the world's perception of his crazy talk.

Does anyone think that any world leader doesn't see through him already? He's gonna get played harder than the guy at the poker table who picked up a copy of Super System at the airport on his way to Vegas.
posted by Etrigan at 8:03 PM on December 24, 2016 [22 favorites]


literally he alone is in charge of launching nuclear attacks

SecDef has to approve as well.
posted by Etrigan at 8:04 PM on December 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


2. A valid order being disobeyed
2A. Some insane physical fighting with Trump personally and/or a military coup


Sec. Defense (Mattis) would have to consent to a nuclear strike. Mattis is bad news for a lot of reasons but I think he probably wouldn't allow Trump to assure on a whim that his was the last tweet of all time ("Sad!"). Probably. How's that for the thinnest and most tepid dollop of comfort?

edit: you got there first Etrigan.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:05 PM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


And to conclude this Christmas Eve regarding the first of many probable resignations in disgrace from the Trump administration, the tweets from Delgado:

"AJ Delgado, a senior advisor in Trump’s transition team, posted several tweets hinting that Miller was at the center of a sex scandal.

“Congratulations to the baby-daddy on being named WH Comms Director!” she wrote in one now-deleted tweet.

“The 2016 version of John Edwards,” she wrote in another, referring to the disgraced ex-Democratic senator who fathered a child with his mistress."
posted by chris24 at 8:10 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I do not think miss Delgado s tweets refer to +her+ pregnancy, for I do not believe she is now, or recently has been gravid. I think she's probably in the know about another affair, rather than think she's intentionally outed herself as the pregnant mistress.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:20 PM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Delgado is fairly well know for being purposely child-free. I don't believe she's pregnant.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:22 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wait how does a sex scandal get you turfed from a Trump administration
posted by jason_steakums at 8:25 PM on December 24, 2016 [26 favorites]


Hmm, the third Trump staffer at the strip club was Jessica Ditto, deputy communications director. Miller was her boss.
posted by chris24 at 8:25 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe? Who knows at this point. She was mad enough at him to lash out in a very public way. Is it personal? We'll see.
posted by futz at 8:26 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait how does a sex scandal get you turfed from a Trump administration

There can only be one President, after all.
posted by Rykey at 8:27 PM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm not particularly interested in the apparent scandal/drama, other than that it suggests nobody in that campaign believed in late October that they'd be extending that work into long-term jobs after early November.
posted by holgate at 8:31 PM on December 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


For real though this resignation is yet another thing that makes me think we might actually be fighting a Pence administration with a big orange distraction out front, I can't see Trump giving a shit about a staff sex scandal other than to take it as another opportunity to destroy a political norm.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:37 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]



If it's not Delgado then that makes me laugh even more because that means that whatever is going on pissed her off enough to 'spill the beans' which I expect means she may have decided she's had enough and is on her way out as well. Which is just another notch in the whole this team is one messed up and incompetent bunch belt.

If Miller had an affair, whatever. I'm just glad he's gone and that Donald has to deal with losing a pretty important part of his close team as well whatever the PR will be around a possible sex scandal.
"HAPPY HOLIDAYS Donald and minions. Thumbs up. Yer doing a right spiffy job there."
posted by Jalliah at 8:38 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm interested in any Trump administration scandals simply because if they're in disarray and dealing with fallout, it hopefully takes time and focus away from harming people. I'll take incompetent and immoral over focused and evil.
posted by chris24 at 8:41 PM on December 24, 2016 [26 favorites]


For real though this resignation is yet another thing that makes me think we might actually be fighting a Pence administration with a big orange distraction out front, I can't see Trump giving a shit about a staff sex scandal other than to take it as another opportunity to destroy a political norm.

It may not Donald that forced him to resign but his 'family' or wife as Chris24 suggested. I don't think it matters who really. The consequences are the same no matter who decided he should.

And ditto chris24. Much rather Donald having time in his brain taken up by stuff like this. Just means that much less time for his brain to ponder destroying the world.
posted by Jalliah at 8:44 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Chris24, if Trump has his finger on the button you'll have the worst of both worlds: a lunatic stirring up trouble abroad, and cold-hearted fascists chipping away at society at home.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:47 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Russian military plane 'disappears from radar': A Russian military aircraft has disappeared from radars shortly after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian media says.

The Tu-154 plane, which was on its way to Latakia in Syria, was carrying 82 passengers and 10 crew members, RT broadcaster reported.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:07 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


A Tu-154 is an airliner, so I guess my military plane they mean as used by the military?

(The other fact I know about them is their terrible safety record, but that probably doesn't make things any less scary if one went down.)
posted by Artw at 9:14 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Great, now the Obama administration needs to prove that this was not the "time and place of our choosing."
posted by Coventry at 9:17 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


SecDef has to approve as well.

Nope. That is a common misunderstanding. Legally, the Secretary of Defense has no opinion in the matter of launching a nuclear attack. Secretary of Defense's job is just to confirm that it an order from the president, whether he agrees or not. If the Secretary of Defense is not able to confirm, then next in command confirms. The decision is the president's and the president's alone. That is deliberately the way it was set up.
posted by JackFlash at 9:43 PM on December 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


There seem to be a lot of people thinking this way at the moment. If you type "us proc" into google it autocompletes to "us procedure for launching nuclear weapons".
posted by Coventry at 9:45 PM on December 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh dear. I'll be getting back to staring at fallout projection maps then.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:48 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you type "us proc" into google it autocompletes to "us procedure for launching nuclear weapons".

That's just you, probably because you typed it in at some point in the past. (I haven't, and get "us process services".)
posted by holgate at 10:07 PM on December 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Thanks. It seems to be tied to my IP address. I verified it in a different browser, but it changes if I go through a proxy.
posted by Coventry at 10:24 PM on December 24, 2016


The decision is the president's and the president's alone.

This is correct, the only check on the president's authority to use nuclear weapons happens on a Tuesday in November every four years.
posted by peeedro at 10:27 PM on December 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


The decision is the president's and the president's alone.

Well in theory, yeah. Unless Drumpf is actually in the silo with a partner at the other key, there is plenty of friction. I don't think most in the military would be cool with a first strike on some second tier country when it actually comes down to it.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:20 PM on December 24, 2016 [3 favorites]




literally he alone is in charge of launching nuclear attacks
SecDef has to approve as well.
posted by Etrigan


Well in theory, yeah. Unless Drumpf is actually in the silo with a partner at the other key, there is plenty of friction. I don't think most in the military would be cool with a first strike on some second tier country when it actually comes down to it.
posted by Meatbomb


First off, I can't believe that I am having this discussion in the 2010's BUT if we are going to have a conversation about nukes can we please start with the basic facts? Correct me if I am wrong.

The above claims that the Secretary of Defense can stop a direct order from the President is FALSE.. They can object but that objection holds no legal weight. As it stands right now the President can do whatever he/she wants regardless of any opposition.

The SecDef save & the key save are movie tropes. The President has unbridled power in this arena. There is no official built in mechanism that requires careful thought or agreement amongst several "leaders". This is stand your ground on steroids. It leaves the door wide open for insanity with zero checks and balances.
posted by futz at 12:38 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well in theory, yeah.

I don't think it's just in theory, is it? I would think this particular system is designed to preclude so far as is humanly possible each link in the chain having any latitude to debate "Have I received this order because the President is currently doing something stupid or because the President having done something stupid in the past has created circumstances where this order is necessary?"

Would anyone beyond the first step or two actually be in a position to know with certainty whether it's a first strike or not? Does that information accompany the order?
posted by XMLicious at 12:39 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


my browser tab keeps telling me there are [2,864,974 new comments] and I think oh dear the time is come what has happened

merry christmas, mefites, it's an odd time for me to contribute my third ever comment in the election2016 threads but here I am waiting for santa and vince guaraldi has been playing his charlie brown album for about five hours now and I wish I had eggnog, or a life

[public broadcaster voiceover:] discussion of US nuclear launch policy on christmas eve now continues
posted by sylvanshine at 12:49 AM on December 25, 2016 [18 favorites]


I don't think it's just in theory, is it? I would think this particular system is designed to preclude so far as is humanly possible each link in the chain having any latitude to debate "Have I received this order because the President is currently doing something stupid or because the President having done something stupid in the past has created circumstances where this order is necessary?"

Pretty much. Here's a lovely article in the WaPo from a nuclear weapons historian on this exact topic, and the accompanying post on his blog. I'll quote the relevant bits:

When Trump takes office in January, he will have sole authority over more than 7,000 warheads. There is no failsafe. The whole point of U.S. nuclear weapons control is to make sure that the president — and only the president — can use them if and whenever he decides to do so. The one sure way to keep President Trump from launching a nuclear attack, under the system we’ve had in place since the early Cold War, would have been to elect someone else. [...]

That the president would be the only person competent to use nuclear weapons was never challenged. Even asking the question would throw the entire system into disarray, as Maj. Harold Hering learned in 1973. Hering was a 21-year Air Force veteran who was decorated for his flying in Vietnam before being sent for training as a nuclear missile squadron commander. He had been taught that officers had an obligation to disobey illegal orders. So when he was told how to launch a nuclear attack, he asked what seemed like a simple question: How could he be sure that an order to launch his missiles was lawful? How could he be sure, for example, that the president wasn’t insane? Instead of an answer, he got the boot: an aborted promotion and an administrative discharge for “failure to demonstrate acceptable qualities of leadership” and for indicating “a defective mental attitude towards his duties.”


Merry Christmas, everyone!
posted by un petit cadeau at 12:54 AM on December 25, 2016 [33 favorites]


2,864,974 is the title of this post. It is the number of votes that HRC won the popular vote by!
posted by futz at 12:57 AM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Hey the national enquirer just had a front page story on how cool trump's family is so he should be fine with the keys to end humanity right
posted by benzenedream at 12:59 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


And we should remind everyone of that number as often as possible. NO mandate for the thin skinned PEOTUS.
posted by futz at 1:01 AM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Would anyone beyond the first step or two actually be in a position to know with certainty whether it's a first strike or not? Does that information accompany the order?

The 'order' is basically an Emergency Action Message, so it seems highly doubtful (to me at least) that the missile and sub crews would be getting that information to go along with the order.
posted by un petit cadeau at 1:05 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, it's true that only the President has the authority to launch a nuclear strike, he does require the Secretary of Defense's concurrence in order to do so. If the Secretary of Defense refuses to concur, he could be asked to step aside at the discretion of the President and his next in line would then be asked for concurrence and so on if that person refused, until, theoretically, someone did accept the responsibility and issued a concurring order.

There is also the possibility of the President being declared unfit by the Vice President and a majority of cabinet heads or congress.

In practice one would assume a much trickier situation would occur should there be considerable disagreement over a launch. For example, if, instead of Nixon resigning he had decided to say fuck it and launch missiles, he almost certainly would have been halted from doing so by concerted effort from many quarters until he could be declared unfit for office in a constitutional manner. In Trump's case, should his Secretary of Defense refuse the order, then there would likely be some largely extra-constitutional battle behind the scenes as the standing of that Secretary was placed in direct conflict with the standing of the President in a clash over purpose and value. Each additional officer would be caught up in weighing the decision based on the disagreement that had come before, which increasingly would make launching less likely as it would continue to escalate towards either finding the president unfit or finding a willing participant to accept the order.

That isn't to suggest the latter wouldn't happen, it surely could, but the situation would have a much larger standing than is suggested simply by the command structure alone. Trump reading a mean tweet about China and deciding to launch on whim would have some real difficulty in succeeding due to the known consequences of such an action and people's reasonable desire not to be suicidal. A launch against Yemen, on the other hand, would face less direct consequence and therefore would be more likely even if the Secretary of Defense refused to concur with the order. There are all sorts of possibilities one could pursue along these lines, and in most the threat of launch is either extreme or "just" highly likely, but in any first strike hardly an absolute done deal even were the constitution followed to the letter. So there's always at least some remore hope, not much maybe, but some.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:27 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


There is also the possibility of the President being declared unfit by the Vice President and a majority of cabinet heads or congress.

If I'm reading the 25th Amendment properly the "or" should be an "and"—to permanently declare the President unfit requires the cooperation of the Vice President, a majority of cabinet heads, and Congress.

Though it looks like on their own, assuming a hostile Congress, the VP + cabinet majority can get the VP in charge for however long it takes for Congress to assemble in session and confirm the President as fit, so maybe that's enough time to avert a nuclear attack and dissuade the President from his intent?
posted by XMLicious at 3:15 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Q: The door of the truck is open and the engine is running. How do I stop my toddler driving it away?
A: The door of the truck is probably too high for your toddler to reach.

Q: Actually, I lifted my toddler up and put him in the seat. How do I stop him driving it away?
A: Well, it's unlikely that your toddler can release the handbrake.

Q: I never use the handbrake. How do I stop him driving it away?
A: OK, well starting the truck would require that he depress the clutch and -

Q: My truck is an automatic.
A: Even so, he'd have to -
Q: And he asked me to put it in gear, so I did.
A: GODDAMMIT AMERICA
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:26 AM on December 25, 2016 [113 favorites]


Secretary of Defense's job is just to confirm that it an order from the president, whether he agrees or not.

That's the official reason. Operationally, how often do you think someone outside the decision chain is procedurally required to confirm the validity of the issuer of an order in military operations?

It's approval in all but name.
posted by Etrigan at 4:39 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


2014

@realDonaldTrump:
The global warming we should be worried about is the global warming caused by NUCLEAR WEAPONS in the hands of crazy or incompetent leaders!

Why yes Donald, we are.
posted by chris24 at 5:24 AM on December 25, 2016 [32 favorites]


chris24: @realDonaldTrump: The global warming we should be worried about is the global warming caused by NUCLEAR WEAPONS in the hands of crazy or incompetent leaders!

Sometimes I think Trump is in a 12 Monkeys time loop and he's trying to warn himself about himself.
posted by bluecore at 5:51 AM on December 25, 2016 [70 favorites]


NYTimes Editorial Board: The Stolen Supreme Court Seat: No matter how it plays out, Americans must remember one thing above all: The person who gets confirmed will sit in a stolen seat.

It was stolen from Barack Obama, a twice-elected president who fulfilled his constitutional duty more than nine months ago by nominating Merrick Garland, a highly qualified and widely respected federal appellate judge.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:53 AM on December 25, 2016 [75 favorites]


He is actually incapable to the point of being medically classifiable as such, isn't he? And those around him know it and are pretending otherwise?

There may be a better explanation for his behaviour, but I can't see it. No snark.
posted by Devonian at 5:58 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


WaPo No survivors found after Russian military plane with 92 on board crashes en route to Syria
The Defense Ministry published on its website a list of passengers, who included members of the famed Alexandrov ensemble, better known internationally as the Red Army Choir, heading to Syria to entertain troops for the coming New Year holiday. Among those who were aboard the plane, according to the lists, was artistic director Valery Khalilov. Nine Russian journalists were also among the passengers.
65 members of the choir were killed.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:00 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


For those interested in the systems of thermonuclear monarchy, I'd recommend Elaine Scarry's work. See my previous post, The Age of Anxiety
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:01 AM on December 25, 2016


Also, I don't know who Jason Miller's mistress might be but his wife is expecting a baby in January.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:03 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Republican Party's entire "majority party" status was stolen over the past eight years. What's one more Supreme Court seat (that was previously held by the dishonestly 'conservative' jurist who is the model for every future nominee)?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:05 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




That's an absurdly tiny fist.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:35 AM on December 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


That photo's so weird. He looks...deflated? Lost? Confused? He looks like a shitty tattoo of himself.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:37 AM on December 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


Hey the national enquirer just had a front page story on how cool trump's family is so he should be fine with the keys to end humanity right

I happened to glance at a National Enquirer while at a checkout. In addition to the cover full of pro-Trump stories, tucked in the corner there was a headline infroming us that Bill Clinton has cancer.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:31 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The owner of the National Enquirer is a friend of Trump. Trump has asked why they didn't win a Pulitzer Prize (for getting one story correct).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:06 AM on December 25, 2016


Also terrifyingly, putting aside the whole ritual and law shit, launching nukes is basically two guys with keys and a code which hopefully has been changed from all zeros. The rest of the stuff is pageant and targeting.
posted by odinsdream at 8:07 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


XMLicious: If I'm reading the 25th Amendment properly the "or" should be an "and"—to permanently declare the President unfit requires the cooperation of the Vice President, a majority of cabinet heads, and Congress.

That's incorrect. The or is supposed to be an or. The language states (emphasis added) "Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."

It takes the VP + a majority of cabinet heads or the VP + majority of congress (or some other body congress designates).
posted by Arbac at 8:28 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Bill Clinton has cancer

The National Enquirer apologizes for the misprint -- the intended headline was 'Bill Clinton Is Cancer.'
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:28 AM on December 25, 2016


Well, it's true that only the President has the authority to launch a nuclear strike, he does require the Secretary of Defense's concurrence in order to do so.

No, the concurrence (agreement) of the Secretary of Defense is not required. The legal requirement of the Secretary of Defense is to execute the order whether he agrees or not. That is his sworn duty. You are suggesting that the Secretary of Defense might defy an order but that is quite different than saying that he must concur. Unless you have reason to believe otherwise, you should expect the Secretary of Defense to dutifully execute an order, the same as everyone else in the chain of command. And anyone who refuses would be instantly dismissed and replaced. In the military, concurrence with orders is not required.
posted by JackFlash at 8:29 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


snide aside, I cannot help but look at the trumps and think, "Do you even rich, bro?" Because what the fuck, coach class on JetBlue, shopping at Saks, eating cold chicken takeout, wearing trimmings from the dog groomer as hair, I mean, what the ever living fuck?

Indeed, what the fuck? One reason for this imposed parsimoniousness among the Trump rugrats might lie with their grandfather, a notorious penny-pincher who, it's claimed, would pick up unused nails lying on the floor of the incomplete apartment buildings he'd visit in his Caddy. Another might be that, as some have pointed out, the family's broke. Not "broke" broke in the sense of lacking funds for the next McDonald's happy meal, but up to their eyelashes in debt to the point at which living a billionaire lifestyle on the 24/7 is no longer feasible. The burlap-bag Trump suits and neckties whose ends are attached with scotch tape are probably lazy lifestyle choices by the patriarch, but you'd think that the zygotes would travel in Gulfstreams or Cessnas or some other mini-me version of dad's Boeing 757. They may be living on scraps tossed from the windows of the castle.
posted by Gordion Knott at 8:32 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


That's incorrect. The or is supposed to be an or.

Section 4 of the 25th Am. has never been invoked. It's really meant to address succession in situations of incapacity or vacancy the Constitution previously didn't, not incompetence or unpopularity. The GOP would be crossing a serious Constitutional rubicon if they used it to boot Trump and install Pence.

And although fantastical under normal circumstances, I wonder if that's part of the reason for the bizzaro-world Cabinet picks.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:34 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


One reason for this imposed parsimoniousness among the Trump rugrats might lie with their grandfather

The obvious reason is that it plays well with Trump's base, just like Sanders's penchant for flying coach did with his.
posted by Coventry at 8:40 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is re a deleted tweet, so who actually knows, but it's grimly amusing - "Trump almost never deletes tweets but his 2012 election night fulminations, when he mistakenly thought O lost the pop vote, are gone."
posted by Devonian at 8:46 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]




So basically we're going to have at least a limited nuclear exchange some time in the next eight years, right? This is a thing? Because we can't really expect Trump not to use nuclear weapons for all eight years. He's just going to decide to nuke Tehran in a fit of pique, and that's if we're lucky enough that he doesn't decide to nuke Beijing, at which point we literally all die. The good option is that he uses a small nuclear weapon on an enemy state and kills hundreds of thousands of people because he's mad at their government, isn't it? And if we're lucky, he'll bomb someone who can't bomb us back, so there won't be any real escalation?

Like, basically within the next decade we can confidently expect that several city regions worldwide will be destroyed by nuclear weapons, pretty much? (This is a plot point in Jo Walton's My Real Children, if anyone is looking for a less depressing version.)

I just can't even get my head around this. The last time nuclear war was a real threat, I was too little to have more than a generalized worry about it.

Would pulling a "all major film-makers produce anti-nuclear war material for like four years until the president realizes that nuclear war is a bad idea" thing like with Reagan work at all? I mean, Trump is actually worse than Reagan.
posted by Frowner at 8:56 AM on December 25, 2016 [16 favorites]


I've not looked up the recent count, but last I saw, the US has something like 2k+ nukes. This is absurd, and has always been absurd. A modest number of destroy everything bombs is more than sufficient, even if I prefer none at all.

Seriously, how much in manentenance per year are we talking?
posted by Strange_Robinson at 8:59 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is re a deleted tweet, so who actually knows, but it's grimly amusing - "Trump almost never deletes tweets but his 2012 election night fulminations, when he mistakenly thought O lost the pop vote, are gone."

Oh, I saw those tweets in real time. They were hilarious at the time.

Now just one more thing that's going to drive him to murder us all, I guess.
posted by Artw at 9:00 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


For those who wish to be terrified by nuke maintenance anecdotes and wonder how we survived so far I thoroughly recommend the book "Command and Control" by Eric Schlosser.
posted by Artw at 9:02 AM on December 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


The good option is that he uses a small nuclear weapon on an enemy state and kills hundreds of thousands of people because he's mad at their government, isn't it? And if we're lucky, he'll bomb someone who can't bomb us back, so there won't be any real escalation?

I think that if he does push the button, the best case scenario would be something like detonating one off the coast of North Korea as a dumb display of strength, maybe in response to saber rattling. That impulse-nuke scenario also has the best chance of having no interference from anyone in the chain of command since it doesn't necessary end in a full nuclear exchange. That's not particularly good for "the good option," though.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:03 AM on December 25, 2016


Also that Priebus statement is extremely theologically unsound and actually really offends me as someone who was raised Christian. Even if Trump were a wonderful human being, comparing him to Christ would be grotesque and offensive. Saying that a mere temporal ruler is equivalent to the son of god is actually blasphemy and so fucking stupid that I can't even, and I've been an atheist these twenty five years. Either Christianity means something about the eternal or it's nothing at all - you can't run your garbage mouth saying that Trump is literal Jesus.

Anyway, we should all be really scared if Christians really think the Second Coming has sprung. That actually really, really scares me a lot.
posted by Frowner at 9:04 AM on December 25, 2016 [36 favorites]


He's pissed at Scotland for not removing a windfarm next to his golf course, so we're pretty sure we're on the list to receive one of Edward Teller's buckets of sunshine.
posted by Devonian at 9:05 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


If you'd told me even seven years ago that we'd all be living at the mercy of of Donald Fucking Trump, he of kitsch TV shows and stupid hair, and that he would be at the head of a rabble of assembled white supremacists, greedy billionaires, and warmongers as frightening as he is, I wouldn't have believed you.

I've seen a lot of psychoanalyses of Trump, but I think what's wrong with him is much simpler than that. It isn't being rich, although the money enables him. He's a brat who never grew up and is used to screaming and crying to get his way, probably spoiled by his parents the way he spoiled his adult children and will spoil his grandchildren. I feel sorry for them for that reason. Him not so much - he's a 70-year-old man with the life experience and time to learn better if he chose or wanted to. And for whatever reason - the pervasive idea that the rich had to earn their money or had to be good or smart people to make it, the snowball of celebrity, his status as America's id - the world caves to him and gives him whatever he wants.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:05 AM on December 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


up to their eyelashes in debt to the point at which living a billionaire lifestyle on the 24/7 is no longer feasible

Up to their eyelashes in debt? Yep.

This from August 2016:
But an investigation by The New York Times into the financial maze of Mr. Trump’s real estate holdings in the United States reveals that companies he owns have at least $650 million in debt — twice the amount than can be gleaned from public filings he has made as part of his bid for the White House. The Times’s inquiry also found that Mr. Trump’s fortunes depend deeply on a wide array of financial backers, including one he has cited in attacks during his campaign. (Bold, my emphasis)
That 650 million is just on the holdings in the US. Then there's all the rest of the world.
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:08 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


So basically we're going to have at least a limited nuclear exchange some time in the next eight years, right?

There's no evidence that such a thing as a "limited" nuclear exchange is even possible, no evidence that any situation would not escalate to a complete exchange.

Oh, and Merry Christmas, all!
posted by indubitable at 9:12 AM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


The thing is, right now I am so worried that I am not even talking to my family or close friends about it, because I feel like the world is so dark and there's so little that we can do about it that there's no sense in ruining the last good times for them. If we all die in a nuclear war, or of a pandemic that could have been contained, or we're all massacred by right wing troops, or even if we're all just unemployed and/or sick and disabled and homeless after Trump wrecks the universities and crashes the economy, or god forbid if we're all tortured by Jesus nutters who think the world has ended and they're personally entitled to lake-of-fire us (which is a new worry, I have to say!), what's the point of ruining the last few months? All last night all I could think of was god knows where we'll all be in a year or two, maybe dead.
posted by Frowner at 9:13 AM on December 25, 2016 [16 favorites]


I suffer depression with frequent suicidal ideation. I know shit is bad because the thought of global thermonuclear war mashes the suicidal part of my brain positively giddy. Like "stop thinking about killing yourself it will happen soon anyways! Hurray!" This is a whole new and unexpected psychological development and one that scares the poop out of me.

On the other hand, the alternative to global destruction - specifically USA under the current Republican agenda - is horrifying to contemplate so the thing in fighting against is that the certainty of radioactive holocaust might make me complacent as they gut civil rights and everything good about America.

So my Christmas wish is that we all stay active to protect who and what we can and push for a better world no matter what. I can't stop the bombs but I can fight to protect our lives and freedoms.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:20 AM on December 25, 2016 [30 favorites]


what's the point of ruining the last few months? All last night all I could think of was god knows where we'll all be in a year or two, maybe dead

For me, a good middle ground between "scream to them right now that we're all about to die" and "allow them to enjoy safety and food and survivable temperatures while these things exist" is to wait to engage with them until he gets into power and starts acting in an official capacity on his inclination to destroy the country and world. The end-state of all the (very plausible) catastrophic scenarios you listed would not likely come immediately. In that period there are still chances to prevent or reduce human suffering and they are worth remembering.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:25 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


We should really have a pool for the first country to be hit by a nuclear weapon after Trump's inauguration. My moneys on North Korea.

Oh, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.
posted by Justinian at 9:33 AM on December 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


The thing is, right now I am so worried that I am not even talking to my family or close friends about it, because I feel like the world is so dark and there's so little that we can do about it that there's no sense in ruining the last good times for them

I've been thinking about this a lot this Christmas season and I keep thinking of the prologue in Things To Come: the last Christmas before the Great War. (Cf. the last lovely summer of 1914.)

On the other hand, I firmly believe that it's important not just for my mental health, but politically, also, not to let myself become paralyzed by catastrophic fears. That way lies madness and worse, passivity. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil therof" is my mantra. (Well, that and "The Force is one. I am one with the Force.")
posted by octobersurprise at 9:43 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I suffer depression with frequent suicidal ideation.

This is my first year alone on Christmas since my marriage and family collapsed, and I'll admit, I'm locked in a wrestling match with that big ugly bear myself this year, and one of the things I'm most grateful for this year is that I never bought a gun for home protection because the impulse to die is pretty damn hard to shake once it sets in, but remember, Trump and his supporters think it's funny to make liberals miserable, so don't give in! There will be another day and the fight will go on. With a little luck, Trump's impulsivity and lack of self discipline will undo him sooner than later. Realistically, there are still many losing years ahead, politically, in the U.S. The lock Republicans have achieved on the state houses and redistricting processes is just too deeply entrenched to undo without many years of concerted effort and grass roots campaigning. My guess is Global Warming feedback effects are going to catch up with us and steal the momentum from whatever political narrative either party might want to craft. World war seems like an objective for some right now, and I suspect some of our elites are eagerly looking forward to those developments as opportunities to make the kinds of natural resources (fossil fuels) and the forms of power they control (military muscle) valuable and relevant to the future again. That's the kind of greatness our orange tinted leader seems to have in mind: military might and the various obsessions with physical perfection and in taking forceful, decisive actions that have always characterized the authoritarian mindset.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:43 AM on December 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


If I'm reading the 25th Amendment properly the "or" should be an "and"—to permanently declare the President unfit requires the cooperation of the Vice President, a majority of cabinet heads, and Congress.

Looking at the second paragraph of Section 4, it appears that if the President contests the declaration of unfitness then Congress is the ultimate arbiter. So yes, it could require either 1) the VP and Congress (from the start); 2) or the VP and the Cabinet at first and then Congress. So it could be an "and" instead of an "or".

Full text of Section 4:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:50 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




It's not about us taking his nuclear talk seriously, it's about the rest of the world's perception of his crazy talk.

Does anyone think that any world leader doesn't see through him already?


You'd think, and for the most part yeah. But Pakistan didn't even bother to fact-check a fucking fake news story before making a threat to Israel on Twitter. (So now these talks are happening on fucking Twitter?)
I'm also concerned about North Korea.

And for the record, yes, Trump's willingness to launch also scares the living crap out of me. I do take that very seriously; I was just referencing someone else's comment about not being able to take him seriously. I think the business about not taking him seriously is denial.

I wish to God that tweet had happened before the Electoral College voted; maybe (in my dreams) they would've really thought again.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:02 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


RNC Declares Trump "New King" In Creepy Christmas Message

“Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.
posted by futz at 10:17 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Schoolhouse Rock - No More Kings (there's also a nifty Pavement cover)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:23 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


you have to twist that statement pretty damn hard to conclude they are declaring trump the king. it's a bog standard christian trope. please stop being silly.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:24 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's a bog standard Christian trope that butts up pretty conspicuously against the founding language and philosophy of the nation he's been elected to lead. I don't think most folks think most folks think he's being coronated, but it's an audacious bit of phrasing from folks nominally inclined toward small government and deserves some eye-popping mockery.
posted by cortex at 10:26 AM on December 25, 2016 [41 favorites]


No, the concurrence (agreement) of the Secretary of Defense is not required. The legal requirement of the Secretary of Defense is to execute the order whether he agrees or not. That is his sworn duty. You are suggesting that the Secretary of Defense might defy an order but that is quite different than saying that he must concur. Unless you have reason to believe otherwise, you should expect the Secretary of Defense to dutifully execute an order, the same as everyone else in the chain of command. And anyone who refuses would be instantly dismissed and replaced. In the military, concurrence with orders is not required.

Eh, I'm not going to haggle over terms here since it works out about the same, the President requires a second, if the Secretary, however one determines his legal requirement, refuses, then someone else must be found to take his place.

Once you reach a situation where a Secretary of Defense refuses the order to launch you are pretty much automatically in a situation beyond legality as the debate between his role as a safety and as an automatic actor will be unlikely to ever be adjudicated due to, you know, nuclear war.

Requiring a second carries the implicit possibility of refusal, so that is always a possibility and is arguably a feature built in as a guard against a rogue president, but as a refusal would likely end up with either the President removed from office or dead or the Secretary the same, the debate is mooted by the choices of the others involved who would choose a side. That would likely end in a launch, but not as an absolute certainty since the President himself cannot launch without a second. (With assholes like Michael Flynn around, finding one won't be hard of course, but that's a different thing entirely.)
posted by gusottertrout at 10:31 AM on December 25, 2016


twist that much further and you're going to break it cortex.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:31 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


God rest ye, merry gentleman.
posted by cortex at 10:32 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I also see no reason to assume that the "new king" that's being referred to in the statement is Trump and not, you know, the newborn baby whom Christians consider to be the King of Kings and whose natal feast day is today.

It has nothing to do with politics at all (aside from the the fact that conservative politicians typically feel a need to assert their conservative Christian bonafides). I can see how the interpretation is theoretically there, but it's a leap that I am pretty confident was not intended.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:35 AM on December 25, 2016


Whatever the RNC's intention with the regal verbage, I can't help but notice they herald "salvation to all mankind" but left out the "peace on earth and good will" part.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:43 AM on December 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


Probably a stupid question, but is the GOP officially a Christian party now?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:44 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's not a stupid question, but now the answer...
posted by Bringer Tom at 10:45 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


See, to me phrasing something so that it compares Trump to Jesus (which you cannot convince me is unintentional) is what's offensive, and frankly would have flown with about zero of the Christians I knew growing up, and they were by no means all liberal Christians. Not even because Trump is Trump, but because God is all-knowing and all-compassionate beyond what any human could achieve ever, and to presume to say that a human can see and judge in the way that God sees and judges is...I mean, it's one of the worst, most un-Christian things you can say. At the very least, it did not used to be typical of Christian political discourse, even conservative discourse.
posted by Frowner at 10:52 AM on December 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


Christians worship God because God is all-knowing and all-compassionate, etc. God isn't just powerful but good, and saying that a temporal ruler is God-like is - or used to be, at least - disgusting and offensive.
posted by Frowner at 10:54 AM on December 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


Man that RP tweet is like some weird Dark Tower reference, where you're reading one of SK's books and the protagonist has some slight connection to Roland's fate and it's like CRIMSON KING oh not the Dark Tower again.
posted by angrycat at 10:57 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


The king phrasing reads to me as someone without a religious background but a lifetime of experience with the GOP as another of their attempts to set up either a 'lol pissed off the libs!' sort of thing or yet another attempt to fight the fake war on Christmas. Honestly and sadly, sincerity is way down the list of potential explanations.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:00 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


RNC Declares Trump "New King" In Creepy Christmas Message

Good thing you're not selling out your immortal soul for temporal power or anything.
posted by Talez at 11:00 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I agree with all that, Frowner, except for your assumption that the RNC meant at all to issue anything other than a standard Christmas greeting.

I mean, the offending sentence: "Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King" could just as easily be rewritten to be an Easter message: "Just as the women did on that morning, this Easter heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a risen Lord". It wouldn't be a veiled reference to Trump even if, say, he happened to be experiencing a bounce in the polls at the moment.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:04 AM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Probably a stupid question, but is the GOP officially a Christian party now?

During one of the pre-RNC events I worked this summer, obvious anagram Reince Preibus stood up in front of a bunch of delegates and said (paraphrasing), "We have been called by God to undertake a great mission to restore this nation."

So, yeah, at least in private they make no bones about considering themselves the "real" Christian party.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:06 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


Trump protesters plan to open 'movement house' in Washington DC

A group of millennial activists from across the country plan to open a “movement house” in Washington DC next month, which will serve as a permanent base to protest Donald Trump’s presidency.

The organizers are mostly women of color, many of whom campaigned for Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary.

posted by futz at 11:07 AM on December 25, 2016 [24 favorites]


I mean, I guess I didn't realize that their God was quite so explicitly a Christian God, no other religions need apply. But I guess they're no longer even gesturing to inclusivity.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:09 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


phrasing something so that it compares Trump to Jesus is what's offensive

Aren't you supposed to see Christ in the least of God's chlidren or something?
posted by Coventry at 11:15 AM on December 25, 2016


Gotta say, all this baby Jesus talk is making me feel way more warm 'n' fuzzy about the little statue of Baphomet my partner got me for Christmas. It is now sitting in pride of place among the patrons of democracy saint candles we made for the eve of the election, flanked by the two additional candles I got from assorted affectionate friends featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Charles Darwin. (We also have St. Jude, Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams, and Thaddeus Stevens; and I need to make the Barbara Jordan one back from where the cats knocked it down and broke it.) In a few hours we will have a strays' holiday meal, open to anyone in our circle of friends or friends-of-friends who needs a place to eat for the evening, in accordance with our household dedication to the tenet of compassion.

If I need to rely on my own organized religion for support, having tangible markers of that faith in compassion, justice, bodily integrity, freedom, science, human error, and reason makes me feel just that little bit safer about my ability to do so. I am, for all my laughter, absolutely and unerringly sincere in my faith in those tenets of humanity. And if I don't need it--as I hope I won't--well, it's good to have reminders that I stand for something, to help me choose what is right in hard times.

If the Republican Party wants to promote its status as the party of sincere adherents to one faith, well. Two can certainly play at that game.
posted by sciatrix at 11:19 AM on December 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


Probably a stupid question, but is the GOP officially a Christian party now?

Dozens Of Members Of Congress Met With Religious Right Pastors To Drive Satan Out Of Power In The Capitol

Kistler revealed that U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black preached to participants and reportedly prophesied that a revival is about to sweep America and “it will commence … in the halls of Congress” and Walker concurred.

Kistler also revealed that in addition to praying in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Capitol, pastors were given access to the U.S. Senate chamber by Rep. Louie Gohmert. In the senate chamber, he said, “we got on our knees … and it sounded almost like a labor room as people were crying out to God for the revival that Chaplain Black believes is coming and that we believe is coming.”


Soooooo yeah.
posted by futz at 11:19 AM on December 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


I keep reading that as "the promise of salivation." Pavlov, is that you?
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:19 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


In some ways total nuclear war is the least of my worries because we are in the "incinerated immediately" zone and so if it happens there is no planning to do or steps to take. It's like planning for the Yellowstone Caldera to go. Not a damn thing to be done.

At some point I got past the visceral terror I felt Nov. 8 and am on to "do what I can/acceptance." Not apathy. Not despair. Just doing what I can, as though there were a hope of pulling out of this for my country/the world. Faith, false optimism, stubbornness, whatever you want to call it. I fully acknowledge I could be wrong.

But if this is my last few years on earth, I won't regret spending them doing that. If it's not and I can do some good, then my life will definitely have had meaning and so I won't regret that either.

I really hope it's the second one.
posted by emjaybee at 11:24 AM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


I guess I didn't realize that their God was quite so explicitly a Christian God, no other religions need apply. But I guess they're no longer even gesturing to inclusivity.

They also welcome conservative Jews and agnostics/atheists that are willing to keep quiet in order to gain economically from their policies. It will be interesting (for perhaps Chinese definitions of interesting) to see if they start to align with conservative Hindus. Politically they line up fairly well but I don't know if openly embracing a polytheistic religion would alienate the conservative Christian base to the point they won't risk it.
posted by Candleman at 11:26 AM on December 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


Probably a stupid question, but is the GOP officially a Christian party now?

White evangelical Christian party, but they've been that way since at least Reagan.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:36 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wait, Lin-Manuel Miranda has his own candle?!

Okay, one happy distraction moment there.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:36 AM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, it's definitely instructive to compare the Christmas message (which includes the theological claim that Jesus is King) with the Hanukkah message:
“As our Jewish friends and family around the country gather to light the first candle, we hope they will enjoy a special time of closeness and joy this Hanukkah season. These eight nights serve as a reminder of how the Maccabees never gave up hope amidst danger and uncertainty, and each year the Festival of Lights is a time to reflect on the power of faith and perseverance.
Which implies that "we" (i.e., the RNC and Republicans generally) accept Christian theological claims and merely "have Jewish friends and family". It's implicitly saying that it may be okay for people of other faiths (or no faith) to be a part of "our party" -- which they then equate to being a real American, of course -- but that in order to be accepted, you have to acknowledge the public status of Christian theological claims. "Jesus is Lord" goes in the bin of mandatory Republican orthodoxies* right along with "Lower taxes always good" and "socialism is bad".

*note, of course, that this is borrowed from religious vocabulary
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:36 AM on December 25, 2016 [14 favorites]


Directly from the 2016 Republican platform (PDF link):
We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage and further affirm the rights of religious students to engage in voluntary prayer at public school events and to have equal access to school facilities.

We support the rights of conscience of military chaplains of all faiths to practice their faith free from political interference. We reject attempts by the Obama Administration to censure and silence them, particularly Christians and Christian chaplains. We support an increase in the size of the Chaplain Corps. A Republican commander-in- chief will protect the religious freedom of all military members, especially chaplains, and will not tolerate attempts to ban Bibles or religious symbols from military facilities.

Defending International Religious Freedom
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an initiative of Congressional Republicans, has been neglected by the current Administration at a time when its voice more than ever needs to be heard. Religious minorities across the Middle East have been driven from their ancient homelands, and thousands, there and in Africa, have been slaughtered for their faith in what the State Department has, belatedly, labeled genocide. The United States must stand with leaders, like President Sisi of Egypt who has bravely protected the rights of Coptic Christians in Egypt, and call on other leaders across the region to ensure that all religious minorities, whether Yazidi, Bahai, Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant Christians, are free to practice their religion without fear of persecution. At a time when China has renewed its destruction of churches, Christian home-schooling parents are jailed in parts of Europe, and even Canada threatens pastors for their preaching, a Republican administration will return the advocacy of religious liberty to a central place in its diplomacy,
I mean, I think that's about as close as you can come to openly stating "WE ARE CHRISTIANS" without actually starting to debate dogma or doctrine.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:43 AM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


It is a fact that Muslim delegates to the RNC ( yes there were a few...) felt unsafe on the floor and only came out for votes.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:48 AM on December 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


WaPo No survivors found after Russian military plane with 92 on board crashes en route to Syria
The Defense Ministry published on its website a list of passengers, who included members of the famed Alexandrov ensemble, better known internationally as the Red Army Choir, heading to Syria to entertain troops for the coming New Year holiday. Among those who were aboard the plane, according to the lists, was artistic director Valery Khalilov. Nine Russian journalists were also among the passengers.
65 members of the choir were killed.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:00 AM on December 25

Sramota! I love the Red Army Chorus!! :(
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:50 AM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


feel way more warm 'n' fuzzy about the little statue of Baphomet

i love you
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 11:51 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wait, Lin-Manuel Miranda has his own candle?!

The one my friend got me came out of a local Austin outfit called Illuminidol. It's perhaps worth noting that it wasn't so much intended as a gift for me specifically as "it turned up at a white elephant hosted by a friend, and despite being easily the most contested item in the party I successfully won it for myself."

I regret nothing.
posted by sciatrix at 12:02 PM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


That is one sweet fucking candle! (And the idea of the candles in general is also cool.) Thanks!
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:14 PM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I also see no reason to assume that the "new king" that's being referred to in the statement is Trump and not, you know, the newborn baby whom Christians consider to be the King of Kings and whose natal feast day is today

Now nothing says Christmas day like drinking mimosas and arguing if a spokesman for one of America's governing parties really means to compare his party's President-Elect to the Son of God or not, but IME, Christians may refer to Jesus as "the King," but they much less commonly refer to him as "a new king." Jesus is not "a new king" because (like Elvis) he has always been the King.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:15 PM on December 25, 2016 [17 favorites]


Of course, Sean Spicer has already declared the whole controversy "an attack on Christ."
It's sad that @BuzzFeedBen condones this attack on Christ on such a holy day for Christians. @BuzzFeed must apologize
So maybe we should stop here before we're all branded heretics and the 1st Twitter Crusade begins.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:35 PM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


IME, Christians may refer to Jesus as "the King," but they much less commonly refer to him as "a new king." Jesus is not "a new king" because (like Elvis) he has always been the King.

but... today, specifically, Jesus is the new[born] King. It is pretty typical in the Christian tradition to use the present tense when referring to events which happened in the past but are commemorated on this day.

Again, I do see how people are reading this sentence differently but I am pretty sure that this isn't the meaning that was intended, even obliquely or as some sort of mean-spirited dogwhistle, and as octobersurprise notes it's already just getting sucked into the whole "democrats hate Jesus" War on Christmas black hole.

The big problem I have with that message is not that it's equating Jesus with Trump -- which, even if it were intended to do so, there's a very plausible alternate innocent explanation -- but that it's putting a supposedly secular, non-sectarian party in a legally secular country on record as taking a religious, sectarian position on a theological issue.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:52 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


(To clarify, I would have a big problem if I thought it was equating Jesus with Trump -- my point is that even if that was the intent, there's no way to prove that unless some RNC official were to say "yeah, that's totally what we were going for with that.")
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:54 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


So maybe we should stop here before we're all branded heretics and the 1st Twitter Crusade begins.

Oh fucking. Bring. It.

They didn't want to be accused of idolatry? Don't emphasize the time difference between when the magi celebrated their king and whatever the hell you're doing now. Learn either biblical history or fucking English, and enjoy one of the last celebrations that won't require a fucking geiger counter before you indulge.
posted by bibliowench at 12:57 PM on December 25, 2016 [17 favorites]


Did anyone else have a whole bunch of wine for lunch?
posted by bibliowench at 1:00 PM on December 25, 2016 [20 favorites]


Did anyone else have a whole bunch of wine for lunch?

Lunch was Prosecco with the cornish hens. Have now moved on to the wine. Happy Yule!
posted by Bringer Tom at 1:11 PM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Jesus is not "a new king" because (like Elvis) he has always been the King.

I agree, "a new king" sounds to me like a new pharaoh rolled into town. But they capitalized "King" indicating they are talking about Jesus. "the King, King eternal, King of Glory, King of kings" would have been better. Not that I expect or desire a theological editor for all of the RNC statements.

Hey, at least no one claimed they're more popular than Jesus, right?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:27 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


We support the public display of the Ten Commandments

Which version? Supporting a particular one is an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:48 PM on December 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


Supporting a particular one is an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

They don't care, that's one of the parts of the constitution that they regularly shit upon. They follow the actual content of the constitution the same way they follow the bible - only the parts that please them and only when it's convenient.
posted by Candleman at 2:29 PM on December 25, 2016 [16 favorites]


Holy fuck, 2016 is not finished with us yet. George Michael died at 53.
posted by chris24 at 3:12 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]




So the affair was between Delgado and Miller.

"The matter has caused turmoil within the Trump operation over the past week. After POLITICO reporters received an anonymous email about the alleged affair, Delgado disclosed details of the relationship to senior officials in emails Thursday, the people close to the transition said. The nature of their relationship had been known to people involved in the Trump campaign and transition for “a number of months,” one source said."
posted by chris24 at 4:27 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I feel like a jerk for asking this, but: were there similarly alarming opinion pieces and predictions in the weeks leading up to Reagan's first term?
posted by pxe2000 at 4:45 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The nature of their relationship had been known to people involved in the Trump campaign and transition for “a number of months,” one source said."

No one cared in October, because they knew it wouldn't matter.

No one cared in November, because they won and they were bulletproof.

No one cared in December, because it would be easy enough to bury Delgado, because no woman could stand in their path.

And then Mrs. Miller found out or was about to, and Mrs. Miller cared. Lysistrata might end up being the way to keep the world from burning.
posted by Etrigan at 5:01 PM on December 25, 2016 [18 favorites]


@HeerJeet
We should give King Herod a chance. The promise to kill all first-born male infants was probably just campaign rhetoric.
posted by chris24 at 5:21 PM on December 25, 2016 [37 favorites]


Tracking how many key positions Trump has filled so far
Of 689 key positions requiring Senate confirmation…

Awaiting announcement: 666
Nominee announced: 23
Confirmed: 0

The Senate confirmation process can begin when the newly elected 115th Congress convenes on Jan. 3, 2017 — two weeks before Trump’s inauguration. The Senate can begin holding hearings to confirm Trump’s eventual nominees during this period.

In total, the transition team may need to find appointees for 4,100 positions.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:47 PM on December 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


Kirkaracha, am I correct in my guess that the lack of nominations is unprecedented and problematic? What happens if there aren't enough nominees by the time Trump is inaugurated? Do the existing officers retain their posts, or what?
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:13 PM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Upthread somebody posted a link to an article that showed white (presumably Trump supporters) people from somewhere talking about how they should be given help but that they didn't believe their black neighbors earned or deserved it, or something along those lines. Can somebody memail it to me? Thanks.
posted by gucci mane at 6:18 PM on December 25, 2016


Wow, I had no idea he was so behind on nominations. That's more material for my "He's knows he's going to resign/be impeached" fantasies to work on. His family isn't moving into the White House... He's not firing his private security... And he's not bothering to nominate people... Because the person who replaces him can do that?

I mean, really, these don't seem like the actions of a man who plans to serve as president for four years. It's weird.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:33 PM on December 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


Kirkaracha, am I correct in my guess that the lack of nominations is unprecedented and problematic? What happens if there aren't enough nominees by the time Trump is inaugurated? Do the existing officers retain their posts, or what?

The positions go unfilled and work in the relevant departments comes to a complete standstill. The career bureaucrats depend on the secretaries to determine the best way to implement the president's policy and the secretary is ultimately accountable for the decisions in implementing that policy. The career civil servants won't and shouldn't do things without being told to and without knowing exactly how the president or the designated executive wants it done.
posted by Talez at 6:33 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


What happens if there aren't enough nominees by the time Trump is inaugurated?

There are generally career government employees that take over command of agencies in the interim. Having things fall to these staff for a long period of time is actually the best possible scenario here.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 6:36 PM on December 25, 2016 [21 favorites]


I feel like a jerk for asking this, but: were there similarly alarming opinion pieces and predictions in the weeks leading up to Reagan's first term?

I don't recall the predictions, but there certainly was a lot of fear, at least in the public, about having an actor in charge of nuclear weapons launches.

As an aside, I was thinking last night about the difference between Trump and Reagan (and Bush 2). Trump is too vain to accept a popular spokespuppet role, while Reagan & Bush seemed to shine, if you will, in that role. Trump reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode where the ventriloquist's doll rebels and starts talking back to the puppeteer, and keeps popping up from his trunk.

He 'll probably be useful up to a point, but the impossibility of controlling him will wear them down and they might just break and oust him quickly. Pence would be a nightmare as well, but the pants-shitting thought of a nuclear Donald makes him look acceptable.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 6:37 PM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Awaiting announcement: 666

must...not...quote...Revelations...
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 6:39 PM on December 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


pardon repeated posting, but what I meant to add about the Reagan years, for those too young to remember, is that there was a lot of fear about his ties to the Evangelicals and the Rapture crowd. I recall that looming pretty large.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 6:43 PM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]




I mean, really, these don't seem like the actions of a man who plans to serve as president for four years. It's weird.

OTOH, it's perfectly consistent with a man who doesn't know what the presidency involves, and never really expected to win it. He'll keep the job (barring impeachment), he just won't actually do it.
posted by mrgoat at 6:47 PM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


#itCANhappenhere
posted by uosuaq at 6:51 PM on December 25, 2016


must...not...quote...Revelations...

Even for the 2016 writers "666" is a bit on the nose.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:55 PM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


#itDIDhappenhere
posted by kirkaracha at 6:56 PM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


#itshappeninghere
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:00 PM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Of 689 key positions requiring Senate confirmation…

Awaiting announcement: 666


lol

Holy fuck, 2016 is not finished with us yet. George Michael died at 53.

fuck this fuckin year
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:02 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mean, really, these don't seem like the actions of a man who plans to serve as president for four years. It's weird.

OTOH, it's perfectly consistent with a man who doesn't know what the presidency involves, and never really expected to win it. He'll keep the job (barring impeachment), he just won't actually do it.


I guarantee you that someone (Rnc Prbs, probably) has told him that SOP is to delegate, say, Assistant Secretaries to the people who will be their bosses and has been told that the Dilettante-in-Chief-Elect wants to meet them all personally, or he needs Ivanka to look over them, or some such bullshit.
posted by Etrigan at 7:08 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Two weeks to confirm 689 nominees? Short time-frame for such a hefty number. I'm curious about the process. I suppose these hearings are basically rubber-stamping. Maybe they put 'em through in batches.
posted by valetta at 7:09 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe they put 'em through in batches.

Like the French tribunals.
posted by logicpunk at 7:22 PM on December 25, 2016


Two weeks to confirm 689 nominees?

Not all of them require confirmation but I am unsure of the number that do.
posted by futz at 7:24 PM on December 25, 2016


Two weeks to confirm 689 nominees?

Not all of them require confirmation but I am unsure of the number that do.


It's 689. Check kirkaracha's link. There are thousands more positions that are generally considered to be political enough to have to change when the party in the Oval changes that aren't Senate-confirmable, but I'm sure that the transition team has those more locked down than the important ones.
posted by Etrigan at 7:35 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh my god. Thank you for the correction.
posted by futz at 7:37 PM on December 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel like a jerk for asking this, but: were there similarly alarming opinion pieces and predictions in the weeks leading up to Reagan's first term?
posted by pxe2000 at 4:45 PM on December 25
[1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]

I was in Vancouver, Washington when Reagan won and a couple of my neighbors invited me over to watch election returns with them. I did so to acmvoid a long late night hat with my mother. I wanted the kids to be asleep when we talked. When Reagan went over the top, these neighbors were absolutely in tears.
The husband was in the Navy. They were poor enough that they were on Foid Stamps. I had gone out and voted Mondale. I felt awful too but I had to comfort my neighbors.
I was no fan of Reagan, but I can honestly say that as scared as some folks were when he got elected, it was NOTHING compared to this time.
There weren't the terrified opinion pieces.
Reagan was wrong about a LOT of stuff, but he could compromise once in awhile. He didn't do vendettas.
Of course cable wasn't so influential, and the Internet wasn't A Thing yet. People actually read newspapers and magazines then. I used to go to the public library once a week to read magazines and out of town papers. I had a newspaper subscription.
While things were polarized, no one felt like Reagan was going to get really extreme.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:40 PM on December 25, 2016 [14 favorites]


This is all getting horrifying and ridiculous in equal measure
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:42 PM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


May 2015: "I do know what to do and I would know how to bring ISIS to the table or, beyond that, defeat ISIS very quickly...there is a method of defeating them quickly and effectively and having total victory."

June 2015: "I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS, and it would be decisive and quick and it would be very beautiful. Very surgical...If I tell you right now, everyone else is going to say: 'Wow, what a great idea.'"

September 2016:
LAUER: So is the plan you’ve been hiding this whole time asking someone else for their plan?

TRUMP: No. But when I do come up with a plan that I like and that perhaps agrees with mine, or maybe doesn’t — I may love what the generals come back with. I will convene…

LAUER: But you have your own plan?

TRUMP: I have a plan.
November 2016: This triflin' fool gets elected.

December 2016: Newt Gingrich Admits Donald Trump Does Not Yet Have a Plan to Beat ISIS
“I don’t think they have a strategy,” Gingrich told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “I think that what they know, which is important, is that they are gonna need a strategy.”
posted by kirkaracha at 7:45 PM on December 25, 2016 [23 favorites]


I was 13 when Reagan got elected. I recall wearing a black armband to school, along with a friend, the next day. We were very concerned that he'd start another Vietnam War in Central America and that we'd be drafted.
posted by thelonius at 7:47 PM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


December 2016: Newt Gingrich Admits Donald Trump Does Not Yet Have a Plan to Beat ISIS

To be fair Newt has been walking back so much stuff he's about to break the Guinness World Record.
posted by Talez at 7:48 PM on December 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump to inherit more than 100 court vacancies, plans to reshape judiciary

Donald Trump is set to inherit an uncommon number of vacancies in the federal courts in addition to the open Supreme Court seat, giving the president-elect a monumental opportunity to reshape the judiciary after taking office.

The estimated 103 judicial vacancies that President Obama is expected to hand over to Trump in the Jan. 20 transition of power is nearly double the 54 openings Obama found eight years ago following George W. Bush’s presidency.

...The result is a multitude of openings throughout the federal circuit and district courts that will allow the new Republican president to quickly make a wide array of lifetime appointments.

“I’m optimistic he’ll come at this right out of the gate,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group that has opposed many of Obama’s court choices.


And this KILLS ME:

“Every president can expect to make a huge impact,” Severino added. “[Trump] is unique in having campaigned really hard on this issue — the significance of the courts, and of the Supreme Court in particular.”

That is utter fucking bullshit. None of you fuckers gave President Obama an inch. “Every president can expect to make a huge impact". I am apoplectic.
posted by futz at 7:59 PM on December 25, 2016 [48 favorites]


Two weeks to confirm 689 nominees?

Not all of them require confirmation but I am unsure of the number that do.


It's over 4,000 total but a lot of those are non-career SES or Schedule C appointees that don't require confirmation. But yeah, 689 sounds about right (there's a lot of various assistant secretaries, special envoys, commissions, boards, not to mention the 188 ambassadors we have, all requiring full Senate confirmation).

On preview, what Ertigan said.
posted by photo guy at 7:59 PM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


“I think that what they know, which is important, is that they are gonna need a strategy.”

Please, Mr. Gingrich, tell us what it's like to be literally the only person in the world who thinks a particular thing. That's gotta be lonely.
posted by Etrigan at 7:59 PM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


On preview, what Ertigan said.

I thanked him for correcting me. I didn't realize that the number was that high. Silly me.
posted by futz at 8:02 PM on December 25, 2016


“I think that what they know, which is important, is that they are gonna need a strategy.”

So the next guy I see at the bus stop is about as prepared to fight ISIS as the next POTUS. That's comforting.
posted by Rykey at 8:43 PM on December 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I always thought evangelicals' embrace of Trump was incredibly ironic, since even leaving aside that he's as un-Jesus-like as possible he's pretty much the physical embodiment of every one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:55 PM on December 25, 2016 [14 favorites]


I always thought evangelicals' embrace of Trump was incredibly ironic, since even leaving aside that he's as un-Jesus-like as possible he's pretty much the physical embodiment of every one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

....but liberals hate him
posted by thelonius at 9:02 PM on December 25, 2016 [18 favorites]


Hate the sin, elect the sinner.
posted by srboisvert at 9:03 PM on December 25, 2016 [34 favorites]


I feel like a jerk for asking this, but: were there similarly alarming opinion pieces and predictions in the weeks leading up to Reagan's first term?

I'm just a tad young to have caught much before Reagan started his first term, but during his first term people were definitely worried about his ties with the religious right, about his saber-rattling against Soviet Russia, about him getting us into another Vietnam somewhere in Central America, about whether he was an amiable idiot puppet. People like Harlan Ellison who had lived through his tenure as governor of California wrote some pieces attempting to warn the rest of the country.

But as others have said, without the internet and the cable-driven 24/7/365 news cycle, a lot of the negative pieces didn't get very widely circulated. And on top of that Reagan was so unflappably cheerful that a lot of people liked him personally even if they weren't thrilled with the job he was doing. Plus the Dems controlled the House for his entire term, and the Senate for some of his term.

So, yeah, despite the fact that we can look back with 20/20 hindsight and see that Reagan had a lot to do with starting to put us in the position we're in now, there was really nothing like the reaction we're seeing to Trump.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:03 PM on December 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Newt Gingrich Admits Donald Trump Does Not Yet Have a Plan to Beat ISIS

Based on history the best strategy for hurting ISIS is for Donald to partner with them to build and run a casino.
posted by srboisvert at 9:06 PM on December 25, 2016 [54 favorites]


I feel like a jerk for asking this, but: were there similarly alarming opinion pieces and predictions in the weeks leading up to Reagan's first term?

I have no idea what was in the media at the time. I was in elementary school in Canada when he first became President. What I can say for certain is that with whatever was going on and with whatever was filtering down to us kids I and others were absolutely terrified that the American president person was going to do nuclear war with the country called Russia. I remember being scared of this person called President. I remember hiding in the school bathroom balling after some sort of current affairs talk we had in class about something to do with the US and some sort of military thing.
I still remember the nightmares about mushroom clouds and heaps of American planes and Russian planes flying over my house and fighting. Reagan = nuclear bombs and potential big time death in my kid brain. I feel so so bad for kids that are that same age now because Donald is way worse. This nuclear talk is gonna filter like it did back then.

Horrible.
posted by Jalliah at 9:16 PM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm starting to think ending the Electoral College might be the only way to pull the Republicans back to the center. If they have to play for the coasts, they have to start moderating their positions. Not to mention the Liberterians and Egg McMuffins of the world would be real competition when the only thing that matters is the popular vote.
posted by asteria at 9:31 PM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


They are never going to care about the coasts ever again, except as a place to extract money from to prop up their states.
posted by Artw at 10:04 PM on December 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


ending the Electoral College

At the risk of rehashing previous threads, pursuing a constitutional convention after the outcome of this election would be an incredibly foolish thing for the Dems to do.

Constitutional conventions, once underway, are not confined to any particular issue that might have been campaigned on to build support for them. They can do anything that 38 states are willing to ratify.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:05 PM on December 25, 2016 [16 favorites]


Well then, Giant Meteor 2017 ?
posted by y2karl at 10:25 PM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


On reflection, I think I shouldn't have put that so strongly. It's not clear that a convention could be limited to the subject matter it was called to address, if enough states decided to do more. But that's enough to be very, vary careful about cooperating in convening one.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:53 PM on December 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


@DavidNir:
48 senators in Dem caucus in 115th Congress received 78.4 million votes. 52 GOP senators: 54.9 million votes http://dkel.ec/2hzFwvx
posted by chris24 at 2:01 AM on December 26, 2016 [51 favorites]


When Reagan was first elected there was a lot of concern over his competence and his stronger stance against the Soviets made some fear he'd be a loose cannon and might provoke a war. The rise of the "Moral Majority" though was at least as big an issue on the left as it was perceived as something of a new threat from the religious right intended to strip away constitutional freedoms, so while Reagan himself caused worry, the religious right inserting themselves so strongly into politics might have been the larger concern.

Both things though were shaped by the Carter presidency which, by its end, was deeply unpopular. So while the left was largely aghast at Reagan, most of the country seemed to just want to be done with Carter and the Iran hostage situation most particularly. Carter's own religious background also may have minimized any trepidation people might have potentially felt about the religious right, as Carter wasn't shy about talking religion, even as he didn't use it as the right would. But, Carter presidency was unpopular for many reasons, a lot of it beyond his direct control, so Reagan seemed a positive alternative to many and the media seemed to split the difference, questioning Reagan's fitness and Carter's aptitude mostly, with publications on the right and left being more vehement of course.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:49 AM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I should add that even on the left Carter wasn't all that popular, the coverage I remember was more anti-Reagan than pro-Carter. There was a considerable Ted Kennedy faction splitting the left, along with Carter's own failings making the coverage of the election more about Reagan's potential failings than a celebration of their own candidate.

The right, however, was much more gung ho about Reagan once he won the nomination. If I remember correctly, some still had doubts about him in the primaries, too California, an actor and former Democrat, but once he won, they rallied around him and were able to better sell both a positive message about Reagan while being relentlessly negative about Carter.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:57 AM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, man, I almost forgot perhaps the biggest debate point among those talking about the election, aside from Iran, was Reagan's economic policies. Which were seen as both horrible on the left, and revolutionary, on part of the right. The US economy suffered greatly under Nixon and was believed to be stagnant up through at least part of Carter's admin, so Reagan's tax cutting plan sparked more debate than virtually anything else, even in the primaries. (Sorry for three posts in a row, but leaving that out wouldn't make any sense.)
posted by gusottertrout at 4:08 AM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


On reflection, I think I shouldn't have put that so strongly.

No, don't waver! It would be an insanely dangerous thing to risk, at this time.
posted by thelonius at 4:11 AM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


At the risk of rehashing previous threads, pursuing a constitutional convention after the outcome of this election would be an incredibly foolish thing for the Dems to do.

You don't need to do a convention to get rid of the electoral college? Only propose an amendment to really kill it (which is totally unviable until a Republican loses because of it) or work around it with statute law?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:16 AM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


During the Iran hostage crisis the school would ring a bell once a day and we'd observe a moment of science for the hostages. It was a pretty big deal. There's a theory that Reagan conspired with Iran to delay the release until after the election (though Reagan did actually win by a landslide) and then later we discovered Iran-Contra. We looked forward, not backward, in spite of Ollie and Fawn's document-shredding. We were already trying to overthrow Saddam. And Reagan told the Soviets they were an Evil Empire and would one day discover God, and the same year the Soviets almost accidentally destroyed the world.

But we had video games and synth music, so good times.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:21 AM on December 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


You don't need to do a convention to get rid of the electoral college? Only propose an amendment to really kill it

Yes, an Amendment could be passed by Congress, then ratified by the States.We created a little confusion, I giess; there are people who are advocating that an "Article 5 Convention" - the other way that amendments can be proposed - should be called.
posted by thelonius at 5:25 AM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


If enough states pass the National Popular Vote Compact then no change to the constitution is necessary. Only 105 more electoral college votes needed until it takes effect. Another reason to focus on state-level organizing. There are solid blue states that haven't passed it yet (CT, OR, etc).
posted by melissasaurus at 5:50 AM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I just had a terrifying conversation with my parents. There was a local new story on tv about the Jason Miller standing down and I pointed out that it was in part because he was caught in an affair and, surprise, they weren't reporting that.

And my parents' response was "well, why does that matter? Trump did the same thing."

This is what normalization looks like.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 6:43 AM on December 26, 2016 [45 favorites]


If enough states pass the National Popular Vote Compact then no change to the constitution is necessary.

But can we trust States to stick by that, if their legislature is controlled by a party whose candidate lost the popular vote?
posted by thelonius at 6:53 AM on December 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


C'est la D.C. - amen! I was just composing a post:

Is it just me, or do others feel like we have by and large descended into quasi-acceptance of the utterly absurd state of affairs regarding Trump? I mean, I understand that a large percentage of people are outraged. And I understand that people are taking action to varying degrees in their individual lives. But when I look at what's going on across the nation as a whole, I mainly feel like I'm watching an endless cycle of outrageous action followed by outraged reaction. But the only real purpose of the reaction is to cope, not to affect anything. Which is dangerous, because it's how normalization occurs.
posted by perspicio at 6:59 AM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I actually think that politicians having affairs is pretty much business as usual, and I don't care about it. Every other thing about the Trump administration is where the normalization problem is happening.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:05 AM on December 26, 2016 [13 favorites]


Normalization? The man is going to be fucking inaugurated. That's "normalization".
posted by thelonius at 7:08 AM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


But when I look at what's going on across the nation as a whole, I mainly feel like I'm watching an endless cycle of outrageous action followed by outraged reaction. But the only real purpose of the reaction is to cope, not to affect anything. Which is dangerous, because it's how normalization occurs.

I think this is true, but also there's not a lot of concrete things that can be pushed back against right now, since the new Administration hasn't actually taken over yet. The initial shock, rage and fear that got people out into the streets in the days after the election has faded; people have started to organize around specific issues; but committee hearings won't start until the new Congress convenes and the President-Elect won't be able to start doing horrible things via executive order until 1/20.

It's kind of the deep breath before the plunge, this moment.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:08 AM on December 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


Thelonius: I think (kind of agreeing with you) that after the behavior from the Dems this year, the National Popular Vote law is, effectively, DOA -- there's no way to trust it will be adhered to by the electors of the states who signed onto it. They'll appeal to the need for a greater good of some sort, and, given that we can't keep our own caucus in line (I'm certain that Faith Spotted Eagle is a wonderful person, but she was neither on the ballot nor even a nationally recognized political figure -- and that's not to mention the votes for Warren and others), it'd be easy to call us out on our hypocracy for expecting the other side to do the same.

Even if their behavior matters and ours doesn't. Especially if their behavior matters.

I think it's a Constitutional Amendment or nothing.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 7:19 AM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I am with tivalasvegas. It's holidays. People are taking a deep breath of intake, but much of the nation is stopped for a moment because holiday season is sucking up a lot of time, energy, and attention.

On the other hand, I also see people reaching out to build community and group activity through the holidays; many people in my networks who met me (or each other!) in the past two months are wishing each other well and keeping in contact with one another so the relationships are strong when we need them for action; people are volunteering to help with things like SURJ's holiday hotline and I can tell you, politics and direct action certainly came up last night over my holiday meal.

I think people are conserving energy and planning to mobilize with the new year and the inauguration.
posted by sciatrix at 7:20 AM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


I mainly feel like I'm watching an endless cycle of outrageous action followed by outraged reaction.

Trump and cohorts' actions are like a DDOS attack on our collective legal, democratic, and behavioral norms. Throw enough malicious traffic at our minds and we all respond with a 500 internal server error.
posted by localhuman at 7:22 AM on December 26, 2016 [36 favorites]


Tracking how many key positions Trump has filled so far

According to the comments on that article, his lack of nominations is not incompetence but in fact part of his genius strategy to drain the swamp of unneeded bureaucrats.
posted by octothorpe at 7:24 AM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The National Popular Vote Compact is not going to work because it reduces the electoral value of any battleground state which signs onto it. Plus, it reduces the number of EVs the dominant party gets in safe states.
posted by Coventry at 7:26 AM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I actually think that politicians having affairs is pretty much business as usual, and I don't care about it. Every other thing about the Trump administration is where the normalization problem is happening.

I don't care about it, either, and never have. But this is an area where the hypocrisy/double standard/IOKIYAR/whatever you want to call it is just disgustingly egregious. Hillary was constantly up for criticism for "enabling" whatever her husband did (I'm no expert, but I don't think that's a thing?), and meanwhile Newt can do whatever godawful things Newt is into, and the president-elect himself has been credibly accused of sexual assault and cheated on his wife and etc etc etc ETC, with no consequences. And just a couple of months after the election, people are already accepting it. Hillary would have probably been shot or poisoned for lesser crimes, and Donald is rewarded with amazing power and no accountability.

I hope I develop some way to cope with this, because it will keep getting worse. Every time I think of it all my energy is drained to the RAGE RESERVOIR and that's probably not productive long-term.
posted by witchen at 7:27 AM on December 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


The Week: Donald Trump will be president because James Comey and Loretta Lynch were scared

Both sides in American politics tend to believe that their opponents are less principled and more ruthless than they themselves are, willing to do anything in furtherance of their nefarious goals. We might disagree about which side is right on that score, but there's no doubt about who's more effective in the strategic deployment of a critical political tool: outrage. Republicans have honed it to a fine art, and there's no better evidence than the fear right-wing outrage inspires in Democrats, the media, and even Republicans themselves.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:51 AM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Don't blame this on Loretta Lynch. While nominally Comey's boss, she really wasn't because Comey was a presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate. Only the president could fire him.

As to ordering Comey, to what effect? Comey had already declared his intention to defy department policy after being sternly advised not to. He would just do what he intended no matter what. Firing him a week before the election would have created an even bigger media shit storm and the story would have come out anyway.

No, this is Comey's doing alone. He is the Republican who decided to abuse the power of the investigators to make sure Trump would become president.
posted by JackFlash at 8:06 AM on December 26, 2016 [36 favorites]


The National Popular Vote Compact is not going to work because it reduces the electoral value of any battleground state which signs onto it

It has a much better chance of happening than a constitutional amendment. It will be an uphill battle, but we HAVE to do something about the electoral college. I agree that we're unlikely to see it pass in Ohio or Florida. But it passed the GOP-controlled AZ House earlier this year, and Democrats could push for it in CT, OR, NC, MN, etc. Or we could do nothing and just hope that Ohio decides to be less racist next time. If we're lobbying our state legislatures for progressive changes anyway, why not add it to the list?
posted by melissasaurus at 8:37 AM on December 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


Don't blame this on Loretta Lynch. While nominally Comey's boss, she really wasn't because Comey was a presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate. Only the president could fire him.

Eh, we'll just add her to the list of women we're gonna go ahead and blame the 2016 election on.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:41 AM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Firing him a week before the election would have created an even bigger media shit storm and the story would have come out anyway.

Meh, Trump wound up winning the election anyway, so I'm ok with thinking some things should have been done differently. At worst, we still end up with the same shitty President.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:51 AM on December 26, 2016


Actually, re: the idea that folks' outraged reactions are being directed primarily at coping, not at sustained reaction... well, I just logged onto Facebook for the morning, and first on my feed is the big local group that used to be the Pantsuit Nation Texas chapter, and which immediately abandoned that name and pivoted toward local action when the PSN folks decided they cared more about heartwarming stories than political change.

Four hours ago, someone went "I am feeling really restless; I'm sick of waiting, and I want to hit the ground running to turn Texas blue or at least purple! Time is passing; let's get going!" in that group. In those four hours, 37 local Texans for change have liked or tagged the post to remember it. More importantly, a long conversation has broken out among people about how to best target folks' rural or conservative Texan counties for change, how to reach out to Hispanic communities effectively, how to frame arguments to best appeal to and mobilize folks who feel abandoned by the political process, and how those of us in bluer parts of Texas can most helpfully support and encourage folks in redder parts to make sustained change. (Helpful, by the way, is remembering that we have liberal allies everywhere, even in red parts of the state, and that listening to them will help us target our rhetoric to achieve the best result for our effort.)

This is not the only such post. It's just the most recent. Yesterday someone wrote about attending an interfaith "Jews and Muslims Eating (Sharing?) Chinese Food on Christmas" lunch and event that she'd enjoyed, and accidentally started up a chain reaction of folks in other cities going "oh my god that sounds wonderful, I need to set that up here!" And she was talking about having felt right at home because a couple of older ladies there were offering to set her up with a nice Muslim PhD boy, and that's what her family always did--because families are the same everywhere. That's just a holiday meal, sure, but it's also an occasion that gets folks out reaching past the inertia of their social networks and making connections that we can use for coalition building and change, and by posting about it she got several other folks to do similar things.

Another woman wrote an article about education funding in Texas for her local newspaper, publicizing the sneaky ways that Texan legislators use charter schools to take money away from our children's education and underfund the system. She pitched it at both conservative and liberal voters, because it's easy to say you don't care about education if your kids aren't the ones getting shafted in schools and undercut relative to richer kids. That's change geared at winning hearts and minds--and at getting folks more involved in local politics and education.

A third woman posted a link to Annie's List, explaining what the organization does--get women into elected positions across Texas--and encouraging folks to run for office. She also publicized an upcoming event and webinar intended to help folks who are either new or returning after a hiatus to political activism figure out what's effective, sort out the tactics that work for them, and begin to make sustained local change.

There's more, but those are just the past three days' worth--and that, like I said, during a time when many of us are being distracted by the demands of a very popular, fraught, and busy holiday.
posted by sciatrix at 8:52 AM on December 26, 2016 [27 favorites]


(And I should note: that first conversation is being driven by people in very conservative, rural Texan counties talking about how they can best reach out to folks in those counties. Not by liberals out of Austin or Houston enclaves. Not even by folks in San Antonia or the DFW areas. People who have direct experience with the communities on the ground, people who hail from those communities, trying to figure out how to best reach out. The rest of us, well, it's our job to support them.)
posted by sciatrix at 9:03 AM on December 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Julian Assange gives guarded praise of Trump and blasts Clinton in interview
Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities.”

He added: “They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better.”
First, I just love the idea that Trump's collection of billionaires don't constitute an existing power structure. We're very fortunate to have someone with such an advanced understanding of American politics making decisions about what leaks deserve to see the light of day.

And then there's the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ approach to political change in the US. "Hey, things could get better, or they could get worse. Let's roll the dice -- it's not like lives are hanging in the balance!" Well, not lives that matter to Julian Assange, at least.

Let's see if he has any other countries we can look to as models of transparency:
Assange, who briefly hosted his own talkshow on the state-owned television network Russia Today, has long had a close relationship with the Putin regime. In his interview with la Repubblica, he said there was no need for WikiLeaks to undertake a whistleblowing role in Russia because of the open and competitive debate he claimed exists there.

“In Russia, there are many vibrant publications, online blogs and Kremlin critics, such as [Alexey] Navalny, are part of that spectrum,” he said. “There are also newspapers like Novaya Gazeta, in which different parts of society in Moscow are permitted to critique each other and it is tolerated, generally, because it isn’t a big TV channel that might have a mass popular effect, its audience is educated people in Moscow. So my interpretation is that in Russia there are competitors to WikiLeaks.”
Yes, and I wonder how things are going for those competitors?

Alexey Navalny faces a Russian crackdown
This week, the system struck back. Mr. Navalny was accused of embezzlement, a crime that carries a sentence of up to 10 years, based on an old investigation that was closed without charges three years ago in a Russian region. Mr. Navalny denies the charges. It appears to be trumped-up retaliation for his anti-corruption activity and his role in the opposition.
OK, so maybe Navalny just happened to get himself in trouble with the law. What about Novaya Gazeta, which is "tolerated, generally" according to Assange?

Novaya Gazeta: Journalism, murder and reporting the truth on Russia's bravest newspaper
The newspaper landscape is more diverse. There are a number of more or less independent newspapers, such as Vedomosti, Kommersant and Novaya Gazeta. The latter is the main opposition platform for the moment. It may be the reason why four of the 19 journalists killed were journalists from "Novaya Gazeta" staff, says Harding.
Yeah, nothing suspicious going on there that would justify diverting Wikileaks resources away from finding the perfect risotto recipe. I wonder if Assange sees murdered journalists as incidental or essential to Russia's more competitive media landscape.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:04 AM on December 26, 2016 [51 favorites]


Trump wound up winning the election anyway, so I'm ok with thinking some things should have been done differently

The thing is, hardly anyone anticipated that. Almost everyone thought Clinton had it in the bag until the evening of Nov 8. Had the real risk been known, a lot of the responses to it would have made Comey's revelation irrelevant, starting with a heavier campaign focus on battleground states.
posted by Coventry at 9:04 AM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


At worst, we still end up with the same shitty President.

Then you are lacking in imagination. Imagine the front pages of every newspaper and TV chyron blasting "President fires FBI director in massive Democrat coverup" a week before the election. Then look at all the down ticket races. You would be looking at a filibuster-proof Senate which could rubber stamp every Trump appointee to the courts and repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank on day one. With literally no restrictions at all, the country and the world would change for the worse at a breathtaking pace.

No, firing Comey a week before the election simply wasn't an option.
posted by JackFlash at 9:05 AM on December 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


First, I just love the idea that Trump's collection of billionaires don't constitute an existing power structure. We're very fortunate to have someone with such an advanced understanding of American politics making decisions about what leaks deserve to see the light of day.

In the weird white male Libertarian mindset, wealth isn't power. Somehow.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:05 AM on December 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


Israel has evidence that U.S. President Obama's administration is behind Friday's Security Council resolution, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer told CNN on Monday.

"We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels. If they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it," Dermer told CNN.
I think they are warming up to the "new administration" quite well.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:07 AM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Speaking of helping out with local change if you live somewhere very blue, by the way, our group coordinator just linked the Sister District project, which is working on pairing each Congressional District with a sister district across the nation to help direct efforts to places which are maximally useful. They're still matching districts and collecting information to help work out where the most obvious national pairs will be, but this looks like a great opportunity to help reach across regional divides and find out where your work can do the most good.
posted by sciatrix at 9:08 AM on December 26, 2016 [16 favorites]


Trump and cohorts' actions are like a DDOS attack on our collective legal, democratic, and behavioral norms. Throw enough malicious traffic at our minds and we all respond with a 500 internal server error.

Right now it feels more like port scanning.

They are floating all kinds of shit and back tracking when they get called out. They are probing for the holes in people's vigilance.
posted by srboisvert at 9:09 AM on December 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


The thing is, hardly anyone anticipated that. Almost everyone thought Clinton had it in the bag until the evening of Nov 8. Had the real risk been known, a lot of the responses to it would have made Comey's revelation irrelevant, starting with a heavier campaign focus on battleground states.


There was massive focus on Pennsylvania, which she still lost. Ohio could have gotten more but she lost by like double digits.

There really wasn't much that could be done with a few ads by the Clinton campaign in the last 10 days. Comey (abetted by an idiotic press, including the NYT & NPR) took over the narrative.
posted by mark k at 9:10 AM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


There was also massive focus on historically Republican states like AZ, which would have been redirected to places like PA had the risk been understood. And there's more to campaigning than advertising on TV. There weren't enough people getting out the vote.
posted by Coventry at 9:16 AM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


In the weird white male Libertarian mindset, wealth isn't power. Somehow.

Unless you're talking about Jews. Then absolutely their wealth is linked to power.
posted by Talez at 9:23 AM on December 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Israel has evidence...

So a foreign government was spying on the current administration and is going to present that to the incoming president in case he wants to do something with it. Sure, sounds legit.

I'm almost glad I'm going to be a country pretty much without internet for the next 5 days. I need a fucking break from this insanity.
posted by chris24 at 9:23 AM on December 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


So a foreign government was spying on the current president and is going to present that to the incoming president in case he wants to do something with it. Sure, sounds legit.

A foreign government with whom the NSA has shared raw no-strings-attached SIGINT in the past. What could go wrong?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:28 AM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Here's one more stab at explaining why so many Trump supporters voted for his pseudo-populism and against their own interests in normal governance:

Populism and the Return of the "Paranoid Style": Some Evidence and a Simple Model of Demand for Incompetence as Insurance against Elite Betrayal: "adding the assumption that people are worse off when they experience low income as a result of leader betrayal (than when it is the result of bad luck) to a simple voter choice model yields a preference for incompetent leaders. These deliver worse material outcomes in general, but they reduce the feelings of betrayal during bad times. {…} on average, subjects primed with the importance of competence in policymaking decrease their support for Trump, the candidate who scores lower on competence in our survey. But two groups respond to the treatment with a large (between 5 and 7 percentage points) increase in their support for Donald Trump: those living in rural areas and those that are low educated, white and living in urban and suburban areas."

Since Fox News and the Tea Baggers spent the past eight years bombarding their demographic with the double-barreled message that Obama was an illegitimate president and the government was intent on preserving the status quo at their expense, this betrayal narrative would arguably have worked precisely in Trump's favor over not only Clinton, but also the establishment GOP nominee candidates.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:03 AM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Chinese carrier enters South China Sea amid renewed tension [real]

Donald Trump reported to say "we don't want those international waters back. tell china they can keep it" [/fake].
posted by dis_integration at 10:22 AM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's one more stab at explaining why so many Trump supporters voted for his pseudo-populism

It's hard to take this paper seriously when it itself disses its only empirical evidence:
Given the fact that there is little monetary consequence to answering one way or the other, and the fact that the “treatment” consists of simply reading something so short and non-controversial, we consider the evidence gathered as “minimal”.
Plus, they admit to doing post-hoc analysis:
There is no average effect of the “minimal treatment” on vote intentions. However, when we allow for effects that are specific to the sub-samples that have been singled out as receptive to populist rhetoric, the average effect on the rest of the sample is negative and significant in a Trump regression.
They can't reasonably claim statistical significance unless they state how many regressions they tried before they found this one.

This paper is exemplary of a trend in institutional groupthink which is contributing to the very paranoia it claims to be studying.
posted by Coventry at 10:41 AM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


@Coventry: Pennsylvania was basically maxed out in resource expenditures. You can't do much more by moving more resources there. There are diminishing returns once you've let each voter see 10 ads a day. Getting one more ad in front of them doesn't help.

I admit in an election this close you or I can pick almost any factor and plausibly argue changing it might have helped, but the post-Comey week seemed to be a 2-3 point swing in the polls at least, whereas perfect tactical execution and allocation of resources would be a few fractions of a point.
posted by mark k at 10:44 AM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Like I said, there's more to campaigning than TV advertising.
posted by Coventry at 10:55 AM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Assange sees murdered journalists as incidental or essential to Russia's more competitive media landscape.

Until now I thought Assange was merely a useful idiot driven by personal grudges. I won't be giving him that benefit of the doubt any longer.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:56 AM on December 26, 2016 [15 favorites]




@jimsciutto says that Israel is suspending "working ties" (sounds like diplomatic ties) with Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:22 PM on December 26, 2016


Well that should work out well for them.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:27 PM on December 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


Oh man, I was really hoping to make it to new years without Armageddon.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:32 PM on December 26, 2016


I think part of the problem is that people connect criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.
posted by xyzzy at 12:33 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why isn't the US on that list? ;)
posted by futz at 12:34 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why isn't the US on that list? ;)

Because we only threw them under the bus. We weren't driving said bus like the countries now in Israel's doghouse.
posted by Talez at 12:36 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


@jimsciutto says that Israel is suspending "working ties"

This news fails one of the smoke tests in the "How to Spot Fake News" essay Mr Sciutto linked a couple of tweets down:
Does the news source appear to employ editors?
posted by Coventry at 12:39 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Suspending diplomatic ties" would mean things like sending ambassadors back home and closing embassies. "Working ties" just means things like inter-government meetings and so forth, IIRC. It's still pretty serious, of course. Netanyahu is reportedly concerned that Obama is planning another UN resolution that would be even worse for Israel, so he's pulling out all the stops.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:40 PM on December 26, 2016


Vote Loki.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:42 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


WaPo's Jennifer Rubin (who's been putting out lots of good stuff lately): Media resolutions for 2017

If there has been a worse year for media — mainstream, liberal, conservative — than 2016, it is hard to recall. (Perhaps 1798, the year the Alien Sedition Act was passed.) The president-elect berated, threatened and bullied the media throughout the year. The public’s trust in the media is at an all-time low. In September, a Gallup poll reported: “Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media ‘to report the news fully, accurately and fairly’ has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:43 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


We weren't driving said bus like the countries now in Israel's doghouse.

According to their US Ambassador, Obama was driving it (again via CNN). Guess we'll see if any of this becomes "actionable" or if it is just media ops.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:48 PM on December 26, 2016


It's not like they ever gave a damn what anybody else said or ever did anything helpfulvor useful anyway.
posted by Artw at 12:49 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Unless you have reason to believe otherwise, you should expect the Secretary of Defense to dutifully execute an order, the same as everyone else in the chain of command. And anyone who refuses would be instantly dismissed and replaced. In the military, concurrence with orders is not required

I, and Etrigan, do have reason to believe otherwise. Between us, I believe you are looking at nearly two decades of experience. What you are talking about is a stereotype, not the actual way the military works.

If Mattis is confirmed SecDef, he is not going to cooperate in burning the world. He has no family that can be threatened. All he has is the country he loves and the honor of the military service. And in a fight between Mattis and Trump for the hearts and minds of the US military, Mattis will win every time.
posted by corb at 1:02 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Netanyahu is reportedly concerned that Obama is planning another UN resolution that would be even worse for Israel, so he's pulling out all the stops.

The only thing that Obama could do that would be "worse" for Bibi would be a resolution to admit Palestine to the UN as a full member.
posted by Talez at 1:06 PM on December 26, 2016


Doesn't the nuclear football cut Mattis out of the chain of command, though?
posted by Coventry at 1:06 PM on December 26, 2016


well corb, I genuinely hope you are right!

Personally, I think anything we rescue of our democracy out of the foreseeable future will be because of people like the scientists copying their data before they are ordered to destroy it, like someone doing as you say and refusing to do something terrible, in those risking their lives/careers to leak things, or putting in delays and monkey wrenches to slow them. But all those things are tentative and dangerous and likely to cause retribution and therefore not much to cling to.

Being far outside any government agency, I won't be the one having those choices, but I wish courage and moral strength to those that will have to make them.
posted by emjaybee at 1:08 PM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


"If Trump tries to go too nuts there will be a military coup" is less reassuring than maybe you intend it to be, corb.
posted by Justinian at 1:09 PM on December 26, 2016 [28 favorites]


There is a wide gap between "military coup" and "Mister President, I don't think you really want to fire an ICBM at Mexico City. How about we take a step back for a minute?"
posted by Etrigan at 1:12 PM on December 26, 2016 [13 favorites]


Chats with my Trump voting ex-Navy brother in law over Christmas made it fully clear that the US military is utterly loaded with whack jobs and conspiracy theorists and any hope in them for some kind of sake response to Trump is as misplaced as hoping for, say, the electoral voters or the 2nd amendment to save us from tyranny.
posted by Artw at 1:12 PM on December 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Plus let's face it, Michael Flynn is Trumps favorite, and that guy has zero anchors to sanity except maybe a desire to get paid by Russia.
posted by Artw at 1:14 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Little did I anticipate a year ago that "Corb says that Donald Trump's appointee Mattis will have enough clout with the military to [do something, possibly threaten a coup] so that we don't have a nuclear war at 2am when Trump has been anger-tweeting" would be one of the most reassuring statements on the internet.
posted by Frowner at 1:14 PM on December 26, 2016 [41 favorites]


It's really childish that they're treating a vote that condemns their slow, permanent occupation of the West Bank as tantamount to an international crime of genocidal intent. I'm really afraid that we're going to see them embrace open genocide in the coming decade or two. Once the rabid orthodox factions control the government through a demographic democratic deadlock, they'll just ethnically cleanse the whole place and threaten us with the Samson option while the world watches. And then we'll have a modern precedent for a western-style democracy-turned-autocracy committing genocide, and the Trumpists and Faragists and Pennists will froth for their own domestic "re-modeling".

I'm very afraid of the synergy present in these cross-western fascist movements. They're all going to share notes and look the other way on eachother's actions, and the world will be so worse for it. Genocide is one of the scariest ones for me. I really think that the fringes in their movements are itching to normalize that crime. Think of our pal here in Trump's cabinet who thinks, on some level, that the west is at war with all of Islam. If that's what he says in public, I'm afraid to learn what his proposed solutions are in private.
posted by constantinescharity at 1:15 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


So I'm watching a documentary on the history of world trade, and the guy makes a point that the coming Trumpocracy may be similar to the East Indian Company: A government run by a company to maximise its profits.
posted by stonepharisee at 1:18 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


One thing that might actually be a little hopeful, though: when Trump takes power, he and his people will actually have to govern. They can just sit around tweeting and having affairs and stuff now, and they'll certainly do a terrible job when they're actually in office, but they will be on the hook for some unavoidable things and that contact with reality may get them to the "let's not have a nuclear war OR a trade war" place eventually.

Also, I think we have to keep our eyes on the ball. Trump and his ilk - to the extent that they're cunning enough - are probably relying on people thinking "whew, we're not going to have a nuclear war, I guess that's the best we can expect even if Social Security was abolished". In some ways, I'm less worried about nuclear war (because I think a lot of people both here and in China - especially in China) may posture but they aren't stupid than I am about Medicare, Social Security, deportations and prisons.
posted by Frowner at 1:18 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I am not putting my hope in any one man to save us. Not Obama, not Mattis, no one.
posted by asteria at 1:23 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Doesn't the nuclear football cut Mattis out of the chain of command, though?

I can't find anything authoritative on this, but it seems that most people believe Mattis would need to verify any that nuclear attack order actually came from Trump before it could be executed.
posted by Coventry at 1:28 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Israel associating itself with neofascism is just fucking weird. I mean, all of this is fucking weird. I guess at some point we'll be screaming and rending our garments but at this point I'm just like WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I DON'T UNDERSTAND
posted by angrycat at 1:31 PM on December 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


when Trump takes power, he and his people will actually have to govern.

Unfounded speculation.
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on December 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


Assange has been begging for asylum from Russia for some time now. I'd bet he gets it in the first 6 months of next year.
posted by benzenedream at 1:33 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


and Michael Brown did a heckuva job
posted by angrycat at 1:33 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Could Trump help unleash nuclear catastrophe with a single tweet? (WaPo)

Arms control experts I spoke with suggested that Trump’s willingness to Tweet about nuclear weapons raises the possibility of Trump doing the same as president — and more to the point, the possibility of him doing so amid some species of international crisis or escalation.

Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear non-proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, points out that in peacetime, any belligerent Trump Tweet about nuclear weapons might not appear as alarming, simply because “confirmation bias” might lead key actors not to interpret it in its most frightening light at that moment. Amid rising international tensions, though, that confirmation bias might work in the other direction, he says.

“Imagine we’re in a crisis — if he recklessly Tweets, people could read these things in the worst possible light,” Lewis tells me. “The North Koreans have a plan to use nuclear weapons very early in a conflict. They’re not going to wait around. If they think we are going, they’re going to use nuclear weapons against South Korea and Japan.”


Happy Boxing Day.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:37 PM on December 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


If Mattis is confirmed SecDef, he is not going to cooperate in burning the world. He has no family that can be threatened. All he has is the country he loves and the honor of the military service. And in a fight between Mattis and Trump for the hearts and minds of the US military, Mattis will win every time.

I would like to think Mattis will stand up for what's right, his history seems to say so, but then if that's the case I have to wonder why Trump chose him - it's not really in character for Trump to pick someone who would tell him no. I have to assume Mattis is either fooling Trump and the transition team, or fooling us.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:41 PM on December 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Luckily Trump doesn't have impulse-control problems.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:42 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


New Google algorithm removes Holocaust denial sites from search results

Earlier this week, we reported that the first result for a query in the U.K. on whether the Holocaust happened claimed it did not — and that the result was returned from a white supremacist website. Now, Google has changed its algorithm to remove that result (and other denial sites) altogether.

This is an improvement over a previous fix, which simply bumped the search result down a bit in popularity. Now, it appears to be completely gone. Of course, it’s unclear how lasting a fix this is, and this certainly won’t be the only problematic query (with even more problematic search results) Google will have to reckon with.

posted by futz at 1:43 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Trump chose Mattis because of the "Mad Dog" nickname. Seriously.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:43 PM on December 26, 2016 [17 favorites]


Great, so the existence of Twitter will get us all nuked!
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:44 PM on December 26, 2016


It's really childish that they're treating a vote that condemns their slow, permanent occupation of the West Bank as tantamount to an international crime of genocidal intent.

Constantinescharity, the resolution doesn't say what you think it says. You know the Western Wall and the Old City, the places more associated with Jewish life and history than anywhere else in the world? The resolution describes those as "occupied" by Israel, and calls Israel's presence there a "flagrant violation of international law". The resolution describes the Jews who moved back to Jerusalem after their expulsion by Jordan as "occupiers," and it calls for legalised discrimination against them. You may think that the resolution is really talking about some vague places where Jews had no recent historical presence and uprooting them is no hard burden, but words mean what they mean, and the people who wrote the resolution want them in the most literal sense.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:45 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


And international law holds that the Temple Mount / Dome of the Rock complex is in East Jerusalem which is legally occupied territory since 1967. You know this as well as I.

This is incredibly explosive stuff and needs to be negotiated carefully, with attention both to the facts on the ground and to the historical claims of all the involved communities. I believe in a strong and secure state of Israel, as well as a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land, and I think most people around here would agree on those goals. But I don't believe the Netanyahu government's expansionist policies in the West Bank are furthering that process, and the international community is recognizing that and demanding that they pull back from the brink.

You do have to start with some shared facts and boundaries from which to proceed with negotiations, and the Green Line is the most likely possibility. The current government of Israel are recklessly pushing forward with settlements and in the long run, they're killing any chance for a peaceful and democratic Jewish state in the Holy Land. That is the goal of Zionism, no?
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:57 PM on December 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


I can't find anything authoritative on this, but it seems that most people believe Mattis would need to verify any that nuclear attack order actually came from Trump before it could be executed.

Trump could just find someone else in the chain of command to verify the order. You don't think that they simply postpone a nuclear response because Mattis happens to be out playing golf that day.
posted by JackFlash at 2:00 PM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


You don't think that they simply postpone a nuclear response because Mattis happens to be out playing golf that day.
posted by JackFlash at 4:00 PM on December 26 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Well, there's my most depressing favorite to date, may I never have to favorite a bleaker comment in future.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:03 PM on December 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


And in a fight between Mattis and Trump for the hearts and minds of the US military, Mattis will win every time.

Thank you for illustrating precisely why Mattis should not be Secretary of Defense. When the Defense Department was created in 1947, Congress specifically put in the law the requirement that the Secretary of Defense come from the civilian side, not the military, given their recent experience with the fascist militaristic regimes in Germany and Japan.

When we have a neo-fascist about to enter the White House is precisely the wrong time to start bending rules designed to restrict fascist tendencies.
posted by JackFlash at 2:05 PM on December 26, 2016 [24 favorites]


then if that's the case I have to wonder why Trump chose him -

Like Johnny Wallflower, I think Trump chose him for his "politically incorrect" image, not realizing he's actuallly chosen a man who models himself on Marcus Aurelius to be a check on the man who is actually Commodus.
posted by corb at 2:06 PM on December 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Joe in Australia: the resolution doesn't say what you think it says

Here is the resolution, and here are its references to Jerusalem:
The Security Council, ... Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,

Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;
angrycat: Israel associating itself with neofascism is just fucking weird.

Herzl understood early on that establishing a Jewish nation would involve colonialism, so it doesn't seem that weird to me, especially since the Jewish colonization of Palestine happened so late that explicitly wiping out the native population was no longer an ethical option. The existing power structures in Australia, the US or Canada would be just as hostile to any indigenous population wielding as much power as the Palestinians do.
posted by Coventry at 2:11 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is incredibly explosive stuff and needs to be negotiated carefully, with attention both to the facts on the ground and to the historical claims of all the involved communities.

Which is why a "fsck you" act from Obama in the final three weeks of his administration is a bad idea. Even if the reolution had just been "we deplore Israeli settlements", it would have been unhelpful; this particular resolution is infinitely worse. The fact that this been a bonus for Trump and the Republican Party is just icing on the cake.

Here's Simon Tisdall's take on it, in The Guardian; it looks as though he reads the resolution the same way I do: Obama’s passing shot at Netanyahu is a futile gesture
[...] In a sense, these are symbolic actions in response to a symbolic vote. Resolution 2334 is unenforceable. Nobody, least of all the Americans, will attempt to evict the 430,000 Jewish settlers currently living in the West Bank or the 200,000 in east Jerusalem.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:15 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


a man who models himself on Marcus Aurelius to be a check on the man who is actually Commodus.

If we must have an Emperor in these decadent days, then I'd sooner have a Hadrian or Marcus Aurelius than a Nero (tweeting while Rome burns) or Commodus, of course, but if we're actually counting on a military coup (or a threat thereof) to save us from the nuclear fire, then shit is bleak.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:19 PM on December 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Trump's tweets today are straight up delusional. Saying that he would have beaten Obama if Obama had been running again, and that the UN "is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time."

1. Doesn't he have any family to spend time with over the holidays?
2. He's still trying to prove that he's unfit for office. Who does he have to talk to to get fired?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:22 PM on December 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


shit is bleak

yep.
posted by dis_integration at 2:25 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


The really depressing thing is I'm very sure not enough people in the position to do something will stand up to Trump enough to stop him or even get in his way much. There aren't enough Democrats to block him for long and not enough Republicans will stand up to him (although I have respect for people like McMullin who've been consistently opposed to him). I'm still stunned no one in the position to do so has truly hammered him over the Russian hacking or those horrible cabinet choices, and no concerted resistance appears to exist when it's needed most. (Yet - I have some hope that one will come, the question will be how much we can do.)

But I still want to try my best to resist from the limited position I'm in, because if we're going to go down I want to do some good and to have the knowledge that I opposed Trump as best I could. Bullies need to be stood up to, and we can send a message to Trump (moreso the Republicans and even the wider world, because I doubt he listens to anyone but himself) that there are people in America who do not stand for him or what he represents and will let them know it.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 2:27 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


there are people in America who do not stand for him or what he represents and will let them know it.

I've been planning an In-Hog-Uration party at which I'm thinking of running High Noon and Red Dawn in the background.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:35 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why do you think Tisdall sees it your way, Joe in Australia? How do you reconcile his conclusion?
Like Netanyahu, [Obama's 2009 promise of a “new beginning” for the Middle East] went unfulfilled. And it is fitting that his final days in office should be marked by petulance and impotence. Obama did not push nearly hard enough for peace when the regional climate might have allowed it. In 2011, he vetoed a similar UN resolution, arguing US-brokered talks would find a way forward. Obama, senior partner in a dysfunctional relationship, allowed Netanyahu to beard him repeatedly, not least in the latter’s self-justificatory 2015 address to Congress. Cautious to the end, even Obama’s UN demarche on Friday was half-hearted. If he really believes settlements are undermining peace, why abstain? Why not go the whole hog and vote to condemn them? And why wait seven years?

What happens next, in the dawning Trump era, is deeply worrying. A continuing, polarising stalemate over Palestinian statehood looks probable. So, too, do expanding settlements on occupied land and possibly annexations, as mooted by Netanyahu’s rightwing allies. How long before the Palestinian response grows violent once again? And how long before Netanyahu induces an impulsive, know-nothing Trump to take joint action against the bigger target, Iran?
Edit: Added dropped last paragraph of conclusion.
posted by Coventry at 2:39 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


the UN "is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time."

He holds a grudge against them from way back when they spurned his offer to renovate the U.N. building and put in "beautiful large marble slabs".
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:40 PM on December 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Israel associating itself with neofascism is just fucking weird. I mean, all of this is fucking weird. I guess at some point we'll be screaming and rending our garments but at this point I'm just like WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I DON'T UNDERSTAND

History has a sick sense of humor
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:45 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why do you think Tisdall sees it your way,

He recognises that the resolution calls for the expulsion of Jews. He also recognises that it's unhelpful and stupid, a flailing shot from a lame-duck President whose legacy is Donald Trump.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:48 PM on December 26, 2016


a lame-duck President whose legacy is Donald Trump.

Does Australia use the word legacy differently than the US?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:12 PM on December 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


Like I said, there's more to campaigning than TV advertising.

But diminishing returns applies to all of it. Rallies, neighborhood canvassing, fliers, and so on. I've seen some believable arguments that the Clinton org. didn't do in person outreach to true undecideds until too late in the cycle. But an argument that the Clinton campaign should have shifted tactics within a state does not support an argument that they should have shifted resources between states.

In any event, the Trump campaign was by all accounts a complete mess. Clinton didn't underperform Trump in the campaign organizing logistics; she could have done better but it's not the key thing IMHO to focus on.
posted by mark k at 3:13 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


He recognises that the resolution calls for the expulsion of Jews.

you can't just drop a turd like this on the carpet without an explanation.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:16 PM on December 26, 2016 [13 favorites]


So just to be clear, right now the biggest issue in US politics is a UN resolution that the United States abstained from against the behavior of a country that has ignored all of the previous UN resolutions on this very topic.
posted by srboisvert at 3:29 PM on December 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's certainly a bigger deal than the slaughter in Syria, the impending invasion of Europe, the south China sea situation which may lead to another invasion and/or nuclear exchange, etc...
posted by Artw at 3:34 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump

The world was gloomy before I won - there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:39 PM on December 26, 2016


In any event, the Trump campaign was by all accounts a complete mess. Clinton didn't underperform Trump in the campaign organizing logistics; she could have done better but it's not the key thing IMHO to focus on.

What still shocks me even after analysis of why it happened is how Trump managed to have the success he did while thumbing his nose at the establishment candidates of both sides and most of the world, running an utterly ramshackle excuse for a campaign, and demonstrating multiple times that he knows absolutely nothing about politics and how it works (and, even more damning, can't even admit to being wrong).

I guess the old saying about the devil's children having the devil's luck is true.

On a constructive note, I kind of like the idea of adopting some of the Tea Party's tactics to become a loud, persistent thorn in Trump's side without emulating the Tea Party's ugliness - the only problem I can see is that the Tea Party had big, rich, and powerful allies under their grassroots cover and we have less resources (although we do have numbers - I'm interested if more online opposition bases form along the lines of OWS and BLM to unify Trump opponents).
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 3:39 PM on December 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


[Let's not veer off into debating the particular UN resolution, which seems like a ticket to argue-endlessly-about-Israel/Palestine-issues town.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:39 PM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


I don't think Trump has the slightest interest in governing in a conventional sense. I suspect he actually will operate by taking briefings and doing functions when he's in the mood and tweeting his bon mots without bothering to ask anybody else if they might be problematical.

I have been thinking about this for several weeks and have come to believe this basically means the Executive Branch will be headless during Trump's administration. The agencies headed by the hundreds of vacant spaces he doesn't bother to fill will be run by administrators. They might not have the authority they will need to do their jobs but they won't have anybody with more authority to tell them not to. The agencies headed by the antigovernment stooges Trump is appointing will also probably more or less run on in idle, mostly ignoring the "leaders" who don't know how the agency works anyway.

Since Trump has already shown his hand with regard to nuclear matters, I suspect the grownups at the Pentagon are already building a plan to keep him contained. Those men have spent their lives building and protecting our position in the current world order and they're not going to just let it dissolve because Trump said to nuke North Korea.

This is an incalculably dangerous time. The "good news" if it is true would effectively mean that the incoming administration will be ignored by the people they are supposed to be leading. It means that both the military and civilian bureaucracies will basically be running on their own. It will be a breakdown of governance such as our country has never seen.

The thing is, while I don't think any of the grownups will let Trump start WWIII, the larger question is whether these entities will submit to executive control again when Trump exits and an actual adult retakes his seat. People who have had a taste of independence tend to be loathe to give it up. I think a lot of people will agree that Mattis should have his hand on Trump's wrist if Trump reaches for the nuclear football, but the much larger and more bothersome question is whether a more competent future president will have control of it at all.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:43 PM on December 26, 2016 [18 favorites]


I would like to think Mattis will stand up for what's right, his history seems to say so, but then if that's the case I have to wonder why Trump chose him...

It could be as simple as the belief Obama wanted him out and Fynn didn't want him back in.

but if we're actually counting on a military coup (or a threat thereof) to save us from the nuclear fire, then shit is bleak.

Shit is bleak anyway.
There is a spectrum of responses to the president, obey lawful orders, refuse unlawful orders, mutiny all come before coup d'etat.

What I find weird is normally Gen. Neller as Commandant of the Marine Corps would be the high profile Marine, now we're talking about Kelly as Sec DHS, Mattis as SecDef and Dunford as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff. That is just a lot of Marines.
posted by ridgerunner at 3:55 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Historically the ranch of the armed forces that exists to shoot mutineers.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Bringer Tom: The thing is, while I don't think any of the grownups will let Trump start WWIII

The problem is there is no legal or procedural mechanism to stop him. His launch order only needs to be authenticated that it's coming from him, not that there's a real threat, that it's an ethical decision, or that he hasn't had some kind of psychotic break. If the Sec of Defense refuses to authenticate that the order came from the President, he can be fired at the President's discretion and the another ranking officer in the situation room can authenticate it is actually the President giving the order. There is no formal debate built into the launch chain. The only way to stop it would be a military coup.

I don't actually fear Trump starting World War III with another nuclear power. I fear him using a single nuke as a show of force, like, say, taking Tehran out because hardliners are whispering in his ear about them being close to getting the bomb.
posted by bluecore at 4:07 PM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Or he provokes a nuclear exchange between others and things escalate from there.
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


The only way to stop it would be a military coup.

And if Trump orders a nuclear strike I think that's exactly what will happen, although it may be a low key, behind the scenes coup that probably leaves Trump in office and bloviating as usual. And let's face it, it will be a welcome coup if it saves the world. I don't think there is any such thing as "just nuking Teheran" as a show of force. Any act like that will quickly escalate to WWIII within a matter of weeks. Nobody is going to be willing to let it rest after they or one of their allies is nuked.

We've already been saved from nuclear holocaust at least twice by people not following orders. But that's why I said the bigger worry is whether the executive ever regains control. It's a dangerous precedent to tell the military it's OK to ignore the President, even when it's a spectacularly good idea in the case of a particular incident.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:25 PM on December 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Into the Armageddon-fear stewpot I'd like to toss in: a Petrov-style computer glitch happens in one of any number of possible countries but because of the overall heightened fear, tension, and chaos, this boo-boo isn't averted.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:27 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


A Russia that knows America isn't going to do shit would be much more likely to use nukes in one of its engagements. The threat of that in turn could make some of the remaining NATO countries that are under threat of invasion much more likely to use their own.
posted by Artw at 4:30 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


f the Sec of Defense refuses to authenticate that the order came from the President, he can be fired at the President's discretion and the another ranking officer in the situation room can authenticate it is actually the President giving the order.

The National Command Authority is not composed of the President of the United States and whoever is standing next to him in a uniform. The Secretary of Defense has Assistant Secretaries and Undersecretaries and generally a chain of continuity. They're civilians pretty far down that list of people who become the Acting Secretary in turn, not "another ranking officer in the situation room".
posted by Etrigan at 4:33 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


things escalate from there.

It's called The Security Dilemma: in a chaotic, irrational time, rational actions taken by states in the interest of their own perceived security contribute to the gradual increase of global tensions, provoking similar actions by other entities, and so on and so forth.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:33 PM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


The scenario to worry about is one in which there's enough rationale for a launch that Mattis and other defense figures aren't inclined to stop it, in a crisis brought on by ineptitude in the political sphere that they have no control over.

Not one in which Trump wants to launch because he thought @AwYeahTollah was an official account.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:35 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd like to toss in: a Petrov-style computer glitch

I am actually less worried about this than I have ever been in my life because the right people have proven to be pretty suspicious of those warnings. The much bigger problem IMO is a hothead glitch, as Trump and Putin both seem to be the kind of people who might push the button in a fit of pique to show their trumanliness.

The thing is, Trump has already shown he will be an unstable and untrustworthy custodian of the nuclear football, and I suspect the people who have spent their lives studying Nash equilibria and sharing the math with our enemies to make sure they understand our strategy are probably already forming a strategy to deal with him. They will never, ever admit to this if we luck out and they don't need that strategy, but they're not the kind of men to watch this situation develop without agreeing among themselves that they have to have a way to deal with it if things turn pear-shaped.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:36 PM on December 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also: Generally it is assumed that the president does not want major US population centers nuked in retaliation. This cannot be assumed of Trump. If China vaporized the West coast he probably couldn't be happier.
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on December 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


although it may be a low key, behind the scenes coup that probably leaves Trump in office and bloviating as usual.

How would this work? This isn't how any of this works. When people get in Trump's way he makes a lot of noise. And if he's learned anything of the course of the campaign, he does pretty damn well when he's making a big fuss about his enemies. I don't believe for a second that he'll allow anyone to defy him so directly as to countermand his orders. The president doesn't bloviate, he commands and people who disobey Trump's commands, or disagree with him directly, will be removed, with great public fanfare, probably marched in front of the TV as traitors, or they'll have to do a real coup, the kind where the president is illegally imprisoned and removed from the chain of command.
posted by dis_integration at 4:39 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


How would this work?

Mr. Trump, I have three letters for you to consider: J, F, and K. Now, what were you saying again?
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:40 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


President Obama says he could have beaten Trump — Trump says ‘NO WAY!’

Now that is some presidential-grade trolling! I'm gonna miss President Obama.
posted by TedW at 4:43 PM on December 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


If China vaporized the West coast he probably couldn't be happier.

NYC is a more likely target though, under just about any scenario. It's a bit longer reach than Los Angeles but China has missiles that can get there.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:44 PM on December 26, 2016


No superpower just hits a handful of cities in a nuclear exchange with a rival. Can we leave this sort of morbid can-kicking to the threads about fallout maps and etc?
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:46 PM on December 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


There are a lot of Chinese in NYC, and in California. The PRC, if it came to it, would be better off to nuke Duluth, Kansas City, or similar.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:47 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


No superpower just hits a handful of cities
The PRC, if it came to it, would be better off to nuke Duluth, Kansas City, or similar.

China has pursued a very cost-effective nuclear strategy. They know you don't need ten thousand H-bombs to seriously ruin your opponent's day, so they didn't waste the money to build that many. Instead they built a few hundred, knowing that twenty or so in key places would mean the end of either Russia or the US as a superpower. And if they launch, that's what they will launch. Since there is no effective defense it means all the largest population centers will be hit, massively disrupting everything even if they only directly kill ten or fifteen percent of the total population. Sure what we send back to China would be massively worse, but that really doesn't matter on this scale of conflict.

And this is why I think the serious people won't let things develop to that point. After the crazy people were ejected from SAC in the 1960's those who followed have devoted their lives to keeping this genie in its bottle. And I don't think they will drop that ball just because Orange Julius asks them to.

But I do worry that once they establish who is really running things, that will become a situation that doesn't really change.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:58 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


a lame-duck President whose legacy is Donald Trump.

Yep, a racist backlash to the first black president is clearly his fault. Just like Jim Crow after Reconstruction was clearly the legacy of the southern blacks who tried to participate in democracy post Civil War.
posted by chris24 at 5:06 PM on December 26, 2016 [55 favorites]


I wonder if Assange sees murdered journalists as incidental or essential to Russia's more competitive media landscape.

That's the subtext, in the context of the idea of media oppositional to the gov't:

Novaya Gazeta etc. get persecuted by the Kremlin.
Wikileaks and associates get persecuted by the USG & allies.
Where's the Western media sufficiently threatening their governments to merit persecution?
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:07 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


And this is why I think the serious people won't let things develop to that point. After the crazy people were ejected from SAC in the 1960's those who followed have devoted their lives to keeping this genie in its bottle. And I don't think they will drop that ball just because Orange Julius asks them to.

The problem is that the irrationality of the political sphere -- specifically of Trump -- could create possibilities for perfectly rational escalation in the military and international sphere, at least as perceived by the ranks of functionaries in nuclear armed countries.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:07 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


These "serious people" do not exist.
posted by Artw at 5:08 PM on December 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


...there is no legal or procedural mechanism to stop him. His launch order only needs to be authenticated that it's coming from him, not that there's a real threat, that it's an ethical decision, or that he hasn't had some kind of psychotic break.

Another thing is—even if there's more latitude for insubordination within the system connecting the President to the ability to launch nuclear weapons than is believed, more than appears within any documentation of that system, then whoever has that latitude contemplating its future use as a consequence of Trump constantly saying stupid things about nuclear weapons, is prying fractures in the system wider open just at what may be the height of Russia and other powers trying to interfere in our internal affairs.

Even if the efforts of the entire country and political establishment can counteract and stabilize a President who can be provoked with a tweet, if just having his volatility at the helm makes it possible to pry loose someone lower in the military or political food chain, against whom an opponent can bring to bear much more forceful provocation—think of the Claire Underwood FLOTUS-slash-UN-ambassador character in the US House of Cards deceived by a Russian diplomat appearing to sacrifice his own career to give her information, or maybe more plausibly an earlier-in-his-career General Flynn equivalent having exactly the conspiracy theory he wants to believe dangled in front of his face by hackers or other intrigue planting false information—as in so many other ways, having Trump in charge of things makes it so that Trump by himself isn't the primary problem at some point, but the discord he sows on all sides.
posted by XMLicious at 5:10 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


twenty or so [H-bombs] in key places would mean the end of either Russia or the US as a superpower
I’ve been spending too much time lately thinking about VSauce3’s video about nuclear winter, which has become terrifyingly relevant. It turns out that even a small-scale nuclear war—if such a thing is possible—renders the planet nigh-uninhabitable. So, basically, hope for quick and painless death is my opinion. (Sources are cited in the video’s description.)
posted by reluctant early bird at 5:10 PM on December 26, 2016


Etrigan: The National Command Authority is not composed of the President of the United States and whoever is standing next to him in a uniform. The Secretary of Defense has Assistant Secretaries and Undersecretaries and generally a chain of continuity. They're civilians pretty far down that list of people who become the Acting Secretary in turn, not "another ranking officer in the situation room".

Except the Command Authority is for continuity of government should we sustain losses. There is no legal way in the moment a Sec of Defense can challenge the President's launch order. The current protocol, as far as we know, is that he just confirms that it's an authentic order from the President, which in theory could be confirmed in the room by a lower military official. But even that protocol isn't enshrined in the Constitution -- it can be changed by Trump as well. We've never had a situation where the Sec. of Defense disobeyed a launch order, so we don't know what will happen. We've had situations where the Sec of Defense said "uh, come to me first if he gives a launch order" (Nixon) but we've never crossed the rubicon on this.
posted by bluecore at 5:15 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


> Where's the Western media sufficiently threatening their governments to merit persecution?

This begs the question by presuming a level of wrongdoing at the scope and scale of Putin's that would make Putin-like reprisals of the media necessary, and also that going after journalists isn't itself part of that wrongdoing. I would not expect a mainstream outlet exposing wrongdoing in the USG to be treated well by the USG, but I would also not expect journalists to be disappearing under suspicious circumstances. There's no factual basis for assuming that all ideologies, systems, and regimes are equally horrible.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:20 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The world was gloomy before I won - there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!

Yep, my definition of the clouds being lifted for sure.
posted by Rykey at 5:21 PM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


...my definition of the clouds being lifted for sure.

The sky is the color of $1000 bills...
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:29 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


it is bleak

a) yep
b) yglisias (i know) thinks it is a wrap for american democracy
c) hoping we have more petrovs than we know of
d) sub-hoping somebody disobeys and goes to jail rather than end earth for humans
e) fucking comey
posted by j_curiouser at 5:35 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I posted above about Google changing their algorithm so that it removes holocaust denial sites. Well, I just tried it and the website discussed in the linked article is the first hit on the 2nd Google results page.

I searched for "did the holocaust happen". Is this something that takes awhile to filter out or is this bunk news? Anyone in the know here that has some insight?
posted by futz at 5:48 PM on December 26, 2016


Well, I just tried it and the website discussed in the linked article is the first hit on the 2nd Google results page.

There's a second Google results page?
posted by Etrigan at 5:54 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's a second Google results page?

It's Google results pages all the way down.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:06 PM on December 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


No, firing Comey a week before the election simply wasn't an option.

I can see that, but in all honesty, why the hell isn't it an option now? And, why hasn't Obama taken that option like yesterday? I find it really hard to understand why he is still Director. What can Obabma possibly have to gain by keeping him in place?
posted by Gotanda at 6:23 PM on December 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


The problem is there is no legal or procedural mechanism to stop him. His launch order only needs to be authenticated that it's coming from him, not that there's a real threat, that it's an ethical decision, or that he hasn't had some kind of psychotic break.

I'm starting to see some flaws inherent in the system.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:28 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I find it really hard to understand why he is still Director. What can Obabma possibly have to gain by keeping him in place?

Causing a controversy now would harm Democratic politicians' chances in the 2018 elections. Once those are out of the way, you just wait and see.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:28 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


What can Obabma possibly have to gain by keeping him in place?

Trump would pick someone worse.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:28 PM on December 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


Obergruppenfuhrer Comey is not a man to be trifled with.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:29 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Where's the Western media sufficiently threatening their governments to merit persecution?

Ha ha. The Russian media is freer and more competitive because journalists live in fear of being killed and persecuted! Western journalists should be so lucky!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:32 PM on December 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


journalism works best in a hobbesian kill or be killed marketplace of ideas!
posted by localhuman at 7:22 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]




The current protocol, as far as we know, is that he just confirms that it's an authentic order from the President, which in theory could be confirmed in the room by a lower military official.

Yes, it could be. And thatis why you have to ask yourself Why isn't that the protocol? Corollary to that, ask yourself Why is this the only instance that actual military servicepersons can think of that carries this "a specific person must confirm the authenticity" protocol despite there also being other protocols in place (e.g., the "football") to confirm the authenticity of the order?

It's because despite the "legal" (or "technical" or however you want to frame it) protocol being that the President of the United States can, all by his lonesome, order a nuclear strike for any reason down to and including none whatsoever, that's not really how everyone involved understands it.

Yes, Trump could absolutely change it. And it's absolutely possible that Secretary Mattis will go along with dropping one on Tehran just because. But there are things that are far more likely to happen that should occupy more of our worrying time and effort.
posted by Etrigan at 8:41 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


One thing to understand is, Trump is a career criminal with international connections. Another is, Trump wants to reign supreme. And while he can't do that as president, because of constitutional law, he can use his position as president to assist in getting to that goal. So the question is, what would he need to do in order to suspend constitutional law with martial law?

My biggest fear is that Trump would use his international criminal connections to bring about a major attack on at least one US city, something more heinous than 9/11. Say, a dirty bomb in San Francisco. In so doing, he would remove a major bastion of opposition as well as, possibly, one of his most formidable political opponents. And with plausible deniability that he was involved in some way, his use of martial law to leap to the "defense" of the coastal liberals would also effectively disrupt the rest of the opposition as deeply unpatriotic...even treasonous.

Remember this famous excerpt from Ron Suskind's 2004 article in which he relates a conversation he had with an unnamed individual who was later identified as Karl Rove?
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
This dynamic - which effectively describes exploitation of the OODA loop - also describes what the Trump campaign has done all along, and what it continues to do. And I think we need to stop kneejerking around in reactive mode and assert our own ability to shape events. Stop traffic. Sut down business as usual. Overflow the jails. (Occupy + BLM) x 10. Before the inauguration. Furnish the remaining functional apparatus of the establishment a real reason to fear the people more than Trump.
posted by perspicio at 9:04 PM on December 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


But, Joe in Australia, "Causing a controversy now would harm Democratic politicians' chances in the 2018 elections." I think we could take this the other way. By definition, anything Obama has done has been a controversy to the opposition. NOT causing a controversy is one way to make it harder to get Dems to turn out in 2018. And, "Once those are out of the way, you just wait and see." You mean after an uphill senate campaign where many Dems are defending and we still have a Trump/Pence/or whoever gets named Veep if/when DJT is deposed?

Kirkaracha, "Трамп would pick someone worse."
Not much upside there. Can't DJT just do that anyway? But make it his pick that the GOP is responsible for. Don't just let GOP Comey remain in place through inertia and they can blame it all on Obama for the reason that Obama left him there. Didn't remove him, so there must not be any fire behind that smoke, etc. (As opposed to just blaming everything on Obama because Obama.)
posted by Gotanda at 9:05 PM on December 26, 2016


(Gotanda: I do believe Joe in Australia was engaging in some dry sarcasm.)
posted by perspicio at 9:06 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I guessctaking 2018 elections as a given should have been the tip off.
posted by Artw at 9:29 PM on December 26, 2016


Thank you, perspicio, all of my meters have been burnt out lately. The scary thing is that it's a little too close to how some Dems seem to think....
posted by Gotanda at 9:30 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Etrigan: It's because despite the "legal" (or "technical" or however you want to frame it) protocol being that the President of the United States can, all by his lonesome, order a nuclear strike for any reason down to and including none whatsoever, that's not really how everyone involved understands it.

You're going to need to show me a source that proves Trump understands this or even cares.

Yes, Trump could absolutely change it. And it's absolutely possible that Secretary Mattis will go along with dropping one on Tehran just because. But there are things that are far more likely to happen that should occupy more of our worrying time and effort.

We've elected a man who many consider to have a malignant personality disorder, who most likely doesn't experience empathy the way you and I experience empathy, who openly talked about being willing to using nukes during debates, who surrounds himself with advisors who view all Muslims as a threat and talk about the Japanese-American internment camps as a good blueprint, and who views the ideas of norms and rules as things for lesser people, challenges to be broken. Well, our nuclear launch system is made of norms, not laws, built for immediacy in an emergency instead of thoughtful debate, and we've just put Donald Trump at the very top of the decision chain with the ability to override the orders of everyone below him because he's the Supreme Commander of the entire US military.

Yes, I'm worried. All it takes is the right hardliners to get in his ear. "The Iranians are close to getting the bomb! Their facility is hardened against traditional bunker busters! And an invasion would kill too many American soldiers, Mr. President. No, a tactical nuke is the only way. It's humane when you think about it. Besides, it's a matter of self-preservation, us vs. them." Yeah, I hope Mattis is as honorable as Corb says, because Trump's impatience, erratic behavior under pressure, need to dominate at all costs, and his seeming lack of empathy for any other human being terrifies me.
posted by bluecore at 9:30 PM on December 26, 2016 [30 favorites]


>
guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out.
Not super buying into that these guys are super-dooper smart or something, but rather just exploiting the populace education degradation since the 70s, the rise of Fox News (Faux News), and now cesspits like infowars and breitbart. CNN lost any respect I had for them around the time that Fox News started grabbing ground and they were trying to play catch-up or something.

Was there any mainstream network news circa Fox's inception that actually leant left? CNN used to be 'centrist' and 'fact based.'

The inability of the American public (and every other public; but this is a recent high-profile case-in-point) to discern reality from fiction is insanely frightening.
posted by porpoise at 9:41 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I do believe Joe in Australia was engaging in some dry sarcasm.

Sorry. It's self-excoriation in a way, because I used that argument back in 2009 or so (as I recall) to justify why Obama hadn't yet closed down Guantanamo. But in the USA there are always elections on the horizon, and at some point you have to decide where your values really are. It's easy to be wise after the event, but in retrospect every bit of compromise and temporising just strengthened the hand of the Republican party, and made them less willing to compromise.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:50 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Not super buying into that these guys are super-dooper smart or something,

They weren't. Rove was describing exactly the philosophy which resulted in 9/11, the Iraq invasion, Abu Ghraib, the housing crisis, the global financial crisis, and the repurposing of the Ba'athist intelligence apparatus to what became ISIS. It let the Republicans stay one-up on their political opponents for a while, but it caused an enormous amount of long term damage.
posted by Coventry at 10:08 PM on December 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


...there are things [other than Trump using nukes] that are far more likely to happen that should occupy more of our worrying time and effort.

Among my relatives who supported Trump, before the election, bringing up his statements involving nuclear weapons made them the most hesitant. So when the suggestion that it's impossible comes up I think it's worth debunking.
posted by XMLicious at 10:24 PM on December 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Coventry, "an enormous amount of long term damage", yes, but damage to a lot of things either not so relevant to the Republican Party, or actually supporting its ascent to its current status of dominating almost 3/4 of America's state legislatures, both houses of Congress and the White House. Yes, they are ruling a damaged nation in a damaged world, but they are still ruling.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:30 PM on December 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Trump Photo is Best Photo
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:33 AM on December 27, 2016


This dynamic - which effectively describes exploitation of the OODA loop - also describes what the Trump campaign has done all along, and what it continues to do. And I think we need to stop kneejerking around in reactive mode and assert our own ability to shape events. Stop traffic. Sut down business as usual. Overflow the jails. (Occupy + BLM) x 10. Before the inauguration. Furnish the remaining functional apparatus of the establishment a real reason to fear the people more than Trump.

Stopping traffic or shutting down business as usual for anyone that most Americans can identify with is not going to do a thing except give people a target for the increasing amount of free-floating ill-considered resentment going around that fuels Trumpers and BothSidsers.

You want to get inside an OODA loop, you have to jump what the opposition is expecting. Protests are expected. They'd have to be *huge* to have any effect.

Occupy-sized crowds scheduling in-person appointments with staff congressional offices with coherent talking points about what institution-preserving actions they expect (and weekly follow up)? Probably not expected.

Quietly finding ways to reach and connect members of the military who are not insane, sophisticated enough to understand the good in the American system we've had and dedicated to preserving it, willing to resist at the right moment, and thoughtful enough to understand when that might be? Probably not expected. And to be clear, I'm not recommending an insurgency just because Trump is inaugurated, but the thing about the critical moment to know when mass refusal is the right answer is that when it comes, you have to know who agrees with you about what "a bridge too far" is and that they will have your back if it comes down to it and the people who are in that boat need to find each other pronto (and Etrigan and corb and others with experience inside military organizations and culture, when it comes to your ideas about this, I'm all ears).

Insert your own ideas about what people haven't done before.
posted by wildblueyonder at 12:43 AM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Artw: the impending invasion of Europe

You seem to know something that we don't. Can you shoot me a text when they're almost here, whoever they are, so I can put the kettle on?
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:52 AM on December 27, 2016 [9 favorites]



A blogger in Russia has just been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for criticizing Russian air strikes in Syria.


The guy running the canteen at Cumhuriyet, the only opposition paper left in Turkey, has been arrested after a building security guard reported to the police that he'd said he'd refuse to serve Erdoğan tea.

This is not normal.
posted by progosk at 1:06 AM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


re: trump photo

politico subtitle: "He is shining a light on how much of the American political system is encoded in custom and how little is based in the law."

yep. my take: capitalism is not prescribed by the constitution
posted by j_curiouser at 1:22 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I wonder if it's ever occured to him that Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars because people know in their bones this will be the last Christmas.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:38 AM on December 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


'Alt-right' groups will 'revolt' if Trump shuns white supremacy, leaders say

Some tidbits:

Activists who recently gave Nazi salutes and shouted “hail Trump” at a gathering in Washington will revolt when the new US president fails to meet their expectations, the leaders told the Guardian.

...Jared Taylor, a white supremacist who runs the self-termed “race-realist” magazine American Renaissance, said the president-elect had already backpedalled on several pledges that had fired up the far-right. “At first he promised to send back every illegal immigrant. Now he is waffling on that.”

...In an email interview Peter Brimelow, founder of the webzine Vdare.com, which alleges Mexican plots to remake the US, said Trump’s failure to deliver “important bones” could trigger a backlash. “I think the right of the right is absolutely prepared to revolt. It’s what they do.”

...Taylor said some on the far-right fell, as did liberals, for what he termed media distortions. “Donald Trump was never a racial dissident of the sort that I am. He was never one of us. He’s an American nationalist. The left was wrong to think that he was dancing to the tune of people like myself.”

Taylor said the far right would need patience. “Racial nationalism has not triumphed in America. It will some day. But to think it has done so (already) is delusive.”

posted by futz at 4:19 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure that makes much of a difference. They're already quite revolting.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:59 AM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


During breakfast this morning the TV ran an Emergency Alert System drill but when I heard the tone I swear to god my first thought was "What the fuck did Trump tweet now?"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:05 AM on December 27, 2016 [17 favorites]


Netanyahu is reportedly concerned that Obama is planning another UN resolution that would be even worse for Israel, so he's pulling out all the stops.

Or possibly, he's on a tear because he's going to be under investigation for bribery and fraud. If those reports are true, then he would be simply copying Trump's playbook of chutzpah-based misdirection in the face of scandal/legal problems.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:32 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


The biggest US police union is pressing Amazon to follow Walmart and remove from third-party sale a shirt that seeks profit in relation to the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

The issue was relevant, he said, because of the “amount of violence demonstrated at Black Lives Matter marches and the fact that eight police officers had been assassinated while protecting Black Lives Matter protests”.

Canterbury said he was referring to officers who were shot in separate incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge last summer.

The gunmen in those shootings were not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement. In Dallas, a gunman shot dead five officers during an anti-violence protest. In Baton Rouge, three officers were killed in an ambush.

Canterbury told the Guardian he believed nonetheless that anti-police rhetoric in the name of the protest group “had inspired people of feeble minds to strike out at police officers”.

“It happened as a result of the rhetoric of different BLM groups,” he said.


Well, there ya go, only a couple weeks or so until BLM is labeled a terrorist organization, instead of the Police Union labeled a hate group which seems the more accurate at the moment, and I say that as someone who has frequently interacted with the police with positive results.


2016 may go down as one of the worst years for drunk-driving deaths


In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes, an increase of nearly 300 from the year before. 2016 could be even deadlier.

“If you’re drinking, don’t drive,” advises National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Mark Rosekind. “We’re seeing these increases that we have not seen in 50 years. It’s tragic.”


Just another example of there being something seriously wrong in the US right now. That people chose Trump as a way to signal their displeasure is one thing, but where Trump will take it from here is another. I can't help but imagine things are going to get much worse since it seems apparent people aren't even sure what it is that they're reacting against, they're just feeling anger and are going to take that anger out on anyone who isn't "enough" like them, and quite likely take themselves down along with those "others".
posted by gusottertrout at 5:39 AM on December 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


There's the old concept that whatever the USA does, Britain will snobbily look down on it, declare "How vulgar!" to the world in some kind of misguided notion that Britain holds the highest standards - but then (in the typically British hypocritical manner) quietly copy it or integrate it into national culture. And lo, we have the right-wing government of the UK starting to introduce pilots and various measures to check voters at the polling station, despite the lack of evidence of voter fraud and the chances of hitting those most marginalised (who by a staggering coincidence are least likely to vote for a right-wing government).

The argument that "everyone has the necessary ID" is total bullshit, an utter lie. From experience working in a foodbank there are many, not a few but many, who live on the edges and don't have and can't get a permanent address, or a bank account. They will be either dissuaded from voting (the fear, shame or embarrassment of being told at the polling station that they can't vote), or will try and not be able to. Voter suppression, British style.
posted by Wordshore at 5:42 AM on December 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


You want to get inside an OODA loop, you have to jump what the opposition is expecting. Protests are expected. They'd have to be *huge* to have any effect.

wildblueyonder, I appreciate your thoughts on this. And I think brainstorming new ways of taking action is a good idea. One passing thought I've had was targeting one specific senator over a given time period for all purposes for which calling one's senator is the call to action, in order to shut down business as usual at their offices. I haven't evaluated the idea's merits, but that's brainstorming.

But I do want to say that it's more important to keep Trump from disrupting our OODA loop than it is to get inside anybody else's. Collective action is a simple instrument, and it works, since the instrument is also the object of governance. Let's not overcomplicate this. Go to core principles.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness
Demonstrating that consent has been withdrawn is the most effective tool in the box.
posted by perspicio at 5:47 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]




When the Navy guys say things are exciting, the Army and Marines know to get behind something heavy.
posted by Etrigan at 6:13 AM on December 27, 2016 [19 favorites]



Donald Trump will continue to tweet as president, according to incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who predicted that Trump’s engagement with supporters via social media will be “a really exciting part of the job.”


Not surprising. He's addicted to it. He won't be able to function without his 'fix'.
posted by Jalliah at 6:14 AM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


M'yeah, it's the way that "engagement" goes down with Trump's non-supporters—basically the entire world minus 25% of the US population—that's going to be... not so exciting.
posted by Rykey at 6:16 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Not surprising. He's addicted to it. He won't be able to function without his 'fix'.

And to be fair to Trump, tweeting is pretty much the only thing he brought to the job so far, so keeping it does seem kinda necessary for him to live up to his supporters expectations.
posted by gusottertrout at 6:17 AM on December 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Lord help the rest of us though.
posted by gusottertrout at 6:17 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


There's the old concept that whatever the USA does, Britain will snobbily look down on it, declare "How vulgar!" to the world in some kind of misguided notion that Britain holds the highest standards - but then (in the typically British hypocritical manner) quietly copy it or integrate it into national culture. And lo, we have the right-wing government of the UK starting to introduce pilots and various measures to check voters at the polling station, despite the lack of evidence of voter fraud and the chances of hitting those most marginalised (who by a staggering coincidence are least likely to vote for a right-wing government).

That article does say
Northern Ireland already requires voters to show ID before casting their vote.
so perhaps the Irish can be blamed this time.
posted by XMLicious at 6:19 AM on December 27, 2016


2016 may go down as one of the worst years for drunk-driving deaths

In Wisconsin, traffic deaths have went up ever since the R-led state government raised the speed limit to 70.
posted by drezdn at 6:19 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can't help but wonder how long until "engagement with supporters" means "calls to violence that don't quite break incitement laws." Ah, who am I kidding: we've already been there a while, haven't we?
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:22 AM on December 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


“a really exciting part of the job.”

This reminds me of that OKCupid question that asks 'under a certain light, would nuclear war be exciting?' He seems like the kind of guy who looks at that and goes 'what do you mean, certain light?'
posted by Neronomius at 6:23 AM on December 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


2016 may go down as one of the worst years for drunk-driving deaths

In Wisconsin, traffic deaths have went up ever since the R-led state government raised the speed limit to 70.


I won't even bother telling you what happened after Michigan repealed motorcycle helmet laws in the early years of the Tea Party insurgency.
posted by Etrigan at 6:24 AM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


A president engaging in comment about virtually any day to day issue or news story will be unprecedented and, eventually I hope, lead to an unpresidented response. Trump is going to be placing his office into every single controversial event and plenty of not so controversial before he tweeted events too. It'll be like the worst kind of Facebook feed, but coming straight from the Oval Office. I don't think we really have any good idea of how that will play out, I mean, we can guess, but I'm not sure even with that we can see how this will play out even just in domestic terms.
posted by gusottertrout at 6:29 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I won't even bother telling you what happened after Michigan repealed motorcycle helmet laws in the early years of the Tea Party insurgency.

Let me guess. "No gubermint is going to take away mah freedom! My head will be free! I'm a big awesome man/woman" *vroom, vroom*......***squish***
posted by Jalliah at 6:29 AM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


I won't even bother telling you what happened after Michigan repealed motorcycle helmet laws in the early years of the Tea Party insurgency.

Let me guess. "No gubermint is going to take away mah freedom! My head will be free! I'm a big awesome man/woman" *vroom, vroom*......***squish***


I remember when this happened in Florida. We don't need no stinkin' helmets, they said! People actually argued that they were safer without helmets. I can only assume that the increased number of head injuries is the primary cause of Trump's FL victory.
posted by dis_integration at 6:43 AM on December 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


This reminds me of that OKCupid question that asks 'under a certain light, would nuclear war be exciting?' He seems like the kind of guy who looks at that and goes 'what do you mean, certain light?'

I think it turns on the definition of exciting. I mean, the flash and the double blast certainly wouldn't exactly be tedious as an experience.
posted by jaduncan at 6:49 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, theoretically there could be less crashes but more fatalities without helmets if those who made the claim were right, which I suspect, of course, they weren't, but still...
posted by gusottertrout at 6:49 AM on December 27, 2016


Trump Photo is Best Photo

That's going on every denomination of US currency.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:54 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Quietly finding ways to reach and connect members of the military who are not insane...

Well, somebody's going to need a damned good understanding of the concept of mutiny and how the parts of the UCMJ dealing with it have been interpreted. And with duties regarding illegal orders. People can get shitcanned, lose their clearance or end up in the brig just for talking about it if they aren't careful about what they say or listen to.
posted by ridgerunner at 6:55 AM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


WaPo: A professor called Trump’s election an ‘act of terrorism.’ Then she became the victim of terror. : Cox, a psychology professor who teaches a class on human sexuality, referred to Vice President-elect Mike Pence as “one of the most anti-gay humans in the country.” She also told her students that the nation is as divided now as it was “in Civil War times.”

She noted that she was “relieved that we live in California.”

Cox’s comments were recorded by a conservative student in her class who found her statements offensive and decided to share the video with the Orange Coast College Republicans, according to Joshua Recalde-Martinez, a political science major and president of the campus Republican group.

The video went viral, and within days, the beloved professor — who is largely unknown beyond the campus where she has taught for more than two decades — was under fierce attack. Her inbox and voice mail were filled with hundreds of threatening messages that referred to her as “libtard,” “Marxist,” “nutcase,” “vile leftist filth” and a “satanic cult member.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:05 AM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


I think this Vox article is worth sharing...
Trump’s popularity matters a great deal. Congress has considerable constitutional authority to limit Trump’s damage — but only if its members choose to use that power. If Trump is popular, most Republicans and even some Democrats in Congress will fear challenging him, worried that even a single tweet attack could hurt their reelection prospects. If Trump’s popularity sinks, however, more congressional Republicans will suddenly find the courage to challenge him.

This why the good PR Trump got from the Carrier stunt should give serious heartburn to anybody concerned about the existential damage Trump could do to our democracy. If Carrier is a preview of what’s to come, Trump could turn out to be very popular.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:20 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Nah. Obama is a popular president and Congress has the approval rating of week-old flounder, yet the GOP keeps on keepin' on. The vast majority of legislators only care about their popularity rating with primary voters.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:27 AM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


The vast majority of legislators only care about their popularity rating with primary voters.

This. They're not in danger of losing their seats. They're all gerrymandered to require an unheard of level of extreme Democratic swing to unseat them. They just don't want to be Cantored.
posted by Talez at 7:30 AM on December 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Trump seems to be fairly adept - whether through incompetence or malfeasance - at distracting us from evil bullshit via trivial bullshit.

What world be useful is of we had done sort of mechanism to alert people "don't look at that tweet - look at this nomination/legislation/action" to counteract his bread and circus tweets. Like maybe a group that continuously focuses on what Congress is currently doing instead of on what blather is blathering out of the blatherer in chief (BOTUS).
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:34 AM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]




If I wanted to get elected in a red district I'd do what Republicans are starting to do in California, just stick a D in front of your name instead. You peel away some Democrats. You pick up all the remaining Republicans. You win the election.

Seriously. I'm starting to think Democrats need to register as Republicans and fight hard in primaries there. When they get accused of not voting with Republicans come back with "I am not beholden to the establishment, I will vote as is best for my district". When they question the lack of conservative values, call them "common sense measures for progress".

Trump has shown that Democrats have no monopoly on the working man. Rhetoric works well enough on these idiots. Just get them pissed off and say you'll fix it. If you don't blame someone else.
posted by Talez at 7:38 AM on December 27, 2016 [32 favorites]


@mattyglesias:
Bibi going all-in on the US political faction that includes the neo-Nazis rather than the one Jews vote for sums it all up nicely.
posted by chris24 at 7:39 AM on December 27, 2016 [23 favorites]


Defense Minister @AvigdorLiberman: This is the time to tell French Jews: France is not your country or your land and it's time to leave.

I love how all of the replies assume it's the French defense minister saying that when it's actually the Israeli one. The French minister is Jean-Yves Le Drian.
posted by Talez at 7:40 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]




Talez, I've thought something similar. Example, no Dem is likely to get elected out where I am, but a liberal 'republican' might, especially given the sheer volume of teahadists running as independent. For years, I've thought, I can't run for office, there's video of me at burning man and rainbow gatherings doing heroic amounts of hallucinogenics, and juggling fire, and running around the country with jugglers and other malcontents. But, I mean, I've never crossed the consent line, I've never robbed or cheated a contractor or anyone who has ever reported to me, and hell most voters are so uninformed my glorious trip through the 80s and 90s mighty just go unnoticed.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:50 AM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


For years, I've thought, I can't run for office, there's video of me at burning man and rainbow gatherings doing heroic amounts of hallucinogenics, and juggling fire, and running around the country with jugglers and other malcontents

From my time running for delegate, let me tell you it is literally shocking how few Republicans Google someone before voting for them.
posted by corb at 7:57 AM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


how few Republicans Google someone before voting for them.

But.. but... Ron Paul?!
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:59 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


The video went viral, and within days, the beloved professor — who is largely unknown beyond the campus where she has taught for more than two decades — was under fierce attack.

I'd like to see more of these kinds of stories framed not as "beloved professor under attack" but as "politically correct punks can't handle the truth."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:13 AM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


I am shocked and disappointed that no one has asked the incoming Trump administration where their email server will be stored.

Ok, not that shocked, but STILL.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


"[…] out of the blatherer in chief (BOTUS)."

or BLOTUS.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:14 AM on December 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Her inbox and voice mail were filled with hundreds of threatening messages that referred to her as “libtard,” “Marxist,” “nutcase,” “vile leftist filth” and a “satanic cult member.”

"Satanic cult member"? The rest at least make some sort of sense, but that last one sounds more like a copy editor having a bit of fun. Which is just fine in this case!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Seriously. I'm starting to think Democrats need to register as Republicans and fight hard in primaries there. When they get accused of not voting with Republicans come back with "I am not beholden to the establishment, I will vote as is best for my district". When they question the lack of conservative values, call them "common sense measures for progress".

I'm also thinking we need to be learning from things like the hostile conservative takeovers of the Southern Baptist Convention and the NRA.
posted by odinsdream at 8:18 AM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


"Satanic cult member"? The rest at least make some sort of sense, but that last one sounds more like a copy editor having a bit of fun. Which is just fine in this case!

Pizzagate, Spirit Cooking. The Satanic Panic has roared back into the mainstream in the last 2 months.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:22 AM on December 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


The Satanic Panic has roared back into the mainstream in the last 2 months.

Well, you can't go from zero to blood libel overnight.
posted by contraption at 8:26 AM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


I wonder who Trumpski has in mind for Witchfinder General?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:26 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


People can get shitcanned, lose their clearance or end up in the brig just for talking about it if they aren't careful about what they say or listen to.
I'm guessing there are a lot of JAG officers being sported at the club or on the links for some on-the-dl impressions.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:27 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]



I wonder who Trumpski has in mind for Witchfinder General?


The Witch-king of Angmar
posted by drezdn at 8:27 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Doesn't Ted Cruz leap to mind for any zealous persecution post like WF General? He's pretty effing zealous.
posted by puddledork at 8:32 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Satanic Panic has roared back into the mainstream in the last 2 months.

you youngsters who think this is a joke, or hyperbolic rhetoric, look into the McMartin Preschool Trials. this mass delusion is possible, realistic, and repeatable. lives were ruined. over. nothing.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:37 AM on December 27, 2016 [27 favorites]


Trump Photo is Best Photo

That picture isn't very flattering.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:43 AM on December 27, 2016


As a European who's sat and watched the idea of Trump ever getting elected being pooh-poohed, and members of Trump's own party denounce him, and at every stage people pinning their hopes on the next pipe-dream of stopping him while others explain that stopping him isn't allowed and would never happen if it were,

And having listened to Trump saying he doesn't understand why America doesn't use its nuclear weapons, and watching him provoke other nations and emphasize what a threat he poses, and knowing for all these months that Trump has access to and sole authority to trigger the nuclear codes, and that nobody is allowed to say no to him,

And knowing he is 70 years old now, almost certainly has no interest in the state of the world after his death, and most likely does not care about anyone other than himself, so really has no incentive not to launch a nuclear attack even if he understood what the consequences would be, which he probably doesn't,

I think it's fairly likely this is the last Christmas any of us will ever see. American voters, American government had and have no power to avert the disaster at any point. And if they have it, they won't use it because (like Trump's 5-and-under-yr-old grandchildren, according to those same American voters) they benefit from the system (okay, #notallamericans).

Probably the last words I will ever read will be in some continuation of this thread, and those words will be ever-weakening arguments that the worst probably won't happen and there's some theoretical hope that someone might stop him.

Well, nothing left to do but watch it happen, I guess. It has been a privilege to play for you all tonight.
posted by tel3path at 8:47 AM on December 27, 2016 [18 favorites]


Yeah, I'm going to nth here that claims of satanism are not surprising, and I don't think that was made up by a copy editor. People took that shit really seriously in the '80s -- like, would-willingly-repeat-the-Salem-Witch-Trials seriously.

I have zero doubt that there's a lot of Trump supporters who believe that liberals are literally in league with the devil.
posted by tocts at 8:49 AM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


kirkaracha: That picture isn't very flattering.

Perfect for some noseflags though.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:57 AM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


The chance of Trump causing Nuclear war is not nil but it's also no higher than Obamas. Currently, Trump is in the "freak everyone out!" phase of his negotiating strategy. That is, sow chaos then wade in and take what you want. His nuclear war threats are part of that.
He'll get slapped pretty hard in the wrist for it, and will pretend that he doesn't give a shit, but when push comes to shove it'll be like threatening to 'Lock her up!' it was fun during the election but now, who cares?

Of course, like most prognosticators, I've only been wrong when it comes to Trump... but this time I really think I'm on to something
posted by From Bklyn at 9:15 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Currently, Trump is in the "freak everyone out!" phase of his negotiating strategy. That is, sow chaos then wade in and take what you want. His nuclear war threats are part of that.

I just fundamentally disagree with the idea that this is all part of some extremely clever 10-dimensional chess strategy. He's not Obama. He's an unhinged narcissist. That is who he is. He doesn't know what he's doing.
posted by lalex at 9:19 AM on December 27, 2016 [55 favorites]


I don't think Trump will blow us up because then there will be no one left to bilk or to worship him.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:25 AM on December 27, 2016


And knowing he is 70 years old now, almost certainly has no interest in the state of the world after his death, and most likely does not care about anyone other than himself

I think he does truly care for his family, or more specifically his children, and cares about the continuation of the family name as a brand. I think little would please him more to show up the upper class people that snubbed him than setting up dynastic power and I think that will keep him constrained. He's a showman and he likes riling up people that don't like him. He knows pushing buttons with things like nukes encourage his base while causing fear in liberals, so it's a win-win to him.

These threads do some good but they're also an echo chamber that whips up the fear in some of the readers beyond reason. Worry about voting rights suppression, because that's going to happen under his watch, rather than nuclear war.
posted by Candleman at 9:28 AM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


The chance of Trump causing Nuclear war is not nil but it's also no higher than Obamas

How the fuck is this level of false equivalency still kicking around, after all we've experienced in the past year?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 9:28 AM on December 27, 2016 [32 favorites]


I don't think Trump will blow us up because then there will be no one left to bilk or to worship him.

Donald is not capable of looking that far ahead. This would involve more complex thought as well as a level of self awareness that he keeps showing us he does not have.
posted by Jalliah at 9:29 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


lalex is right; Trump isn't tactically making use of Machiavelli (and Nixon)'s crazed "Madman Theory". He's actually a crazed madman.
posted by Justinian at 9:29 AM on December 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


In the first place, Idi Amin used to order the assassination of someone he was mad at, then later on try to summon them to see him. It would have to be explained to him that that person couldn't come to see him, they were dead. He would pout in incomprehension, but never learn.

Besides, other countries have nukes too and he enjoys provoking them. The first strike doesn't have to come from him.
posted by tel3path at 9:30 AM on December 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


Economic;
Global Capitalism: Trump's Plans for Jobs, Taxes, Trade with Richard Wolff (YouTube 1hr31min).
This is an interesting talk on the real world impact of Trumps seeming erratically espoused "plans". And Wolff sees commonalities around a trade war and the idea that trade wars can become shooting wars. There is also some thought given to campaign messaging and how it played with voters. This also appears to be just one talk from an on going series with Wolff's main goal of arguing for the establishment of worker co-ops but I haven't listened to all the other videos yet.

Psychology;
Not wholly relevant but I just read "Ordinary Men; Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland" (298page pdf (but there is about 70 pages of rebuttal and defense and another 30 of footnotes)) so it is a pretty quick read but can not be unread!
via Joe Rogan interview Jordan Peterson (YouTube 2hr50min) a psychology professor from University of Toronto (previously taught at Harvard) who mentioned it. He is embroiled in controversy with the university over gendered pronouns and has an seemingly irrational fear of the women studies department. His thoughts on a religious truth explained with Harry Potter references was neat. The guy is very passionate about trying to understand and explain human behaviours. I wasn't going to watch it because I disagree with some of his stances but found it more interesting than I imagined.

Satire;
The Orwell Lecture 2016: Ian Hislop (YouTube approx 1hrs) Ian Hislop works for the British magazine "Private Eye" and is quite funny. He ties both British and American political events to Orwell's ideas but mainly gives a lot of amusing observations.

A couple rays of hope;
Mitch McConnell did an interview with a local Kentucky TV station and said point blank he didn't expect Republicans to retain the Senate and had not the faintest hope they would get the Presidency. Neither of these wins seemed to bring McConnell much joy. In fact the interviewer had to ask him point blank if the presidential win wasn't a joyous event. McConnell said they might get a few things signed but was quick to remind the interviewer that he only had 52 votes and that most business requires 60, so basically his hands were tied. Trump would get his cabinet (because "the Democrats nuked the filibuster for appointments" ... lots of context left out naturally) but beyond that he basically wants the Democrats to block Trump for him.

The other was an interview with Cheney where he mentioned being rebuffed at one point for being "out of his lane". Again a reminder of power structures and guarded territory that is ripe for local conflict that can stymie larger ambitions.
posted by phoque at 9:31 AM on December 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


The only hope is that there are people around him who actually do understand what is at stake, how the real world works and will babysit him. His need for a babysitter is actually a reason that having Ivanka around and involved as much as it looks like she is, MAY do something to outweigh all of the negatives of her doing so. I do know how absolutely bad that sounds but I do think it's a reality of the situation. Dude HAS to have a babysitter in some shape or form.
posted by Jalliah at 9:34 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


McConnell said they might get a few things signed but was quick to remind the interviewer that he only had 52 votes and that most business requires 60, so basically his hands were tied

I think this more or less confirms what I thought; McConnell is not going to nuke the filibuster. He'll let the Democrats use it to stop Trump's most crazed non-budgetary crap like a border wall and then use those filibusters to campaign against Democrats in the future.
posted by Justinian at 9:35 AM on December 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


Economic;
Global Capitalism: Trump's Plans for Jobs, Taxes, Trade with Richard Wolff (YouTube 1hr31min).
This is an interesting talk on the real world impact of Trumps seeming erratically espoused "plans". And Wolff sees commonalities around a trade war and the idea that trade wars can become shooting wars. There is also some thought given to campaign messaging and how it played with voters. This also appears to be just one talk from an on going series with Wolff's main goal of arguing for the establishment of worker co-ops but I haven't listened to all the other videos yet.


The essential problem with globalism (that the people who were hurt by it the most don't even realize) is that service wages didn't keep up with the manufacturing wages being lost. There were no unions, no wage pressure, everyone was being forced out of semi-skilled union manufacturing into just above minimum wage service positions.

If you could make $15/hr stocking Walmart shelves we'd probably be in a better position among the minds of the current anti-globalists. When people can't feed their families on full time work there's going to be massive blowback among the middle class, no matter the color. America also sadly has the race factor compounding this mother of all fuckups of a transition from manufacturing to service economy and it does act as a red herring while the 1% continue to loot the nation's wealth at ever increasing percentages.
posted by Talez at 9:37 AM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Besides, other countries have nukes too and he enjoys provoking them. The first strike doesn't have to come from him.

"We'll meet again
Don't know where, don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day"

posted by kirkaracha at 9:38 AM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh hey we were discussing the possibility of our own Stanislav Petrov saving the day? Maybe not so much. Can't say I'm actually too surprised that this kind of job results in terrible mental outcomes.
posted by odinsdream at 9:40 AM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Currently, Trump is in the "freak everyone out!" phase of his negotiating strategy. That is, sow chaos then wade in and take what you want. His nuclear war threats are part of that.

Here's the thing, though -- he doesn't really have a "negotiating strategy". That implies that he developed his mien rather than just stumbling into it and having it work out for him. Remember, he inherited the Trump Organization, so I'm betting that he had this structure already in place, full of people whose livelihood depended on ameliorating his excesses and managing him from below. So when he freaked people out, rather than consciously thinking Okay, I'm going to freak everyone out, and then I'll send in one of my VPs to smooth things over and be the good guy, he just started ranting and his VPs etc. knew Well, fuck, if I don't want this company to go under, I better go smooth things over.

It's not really a strategy so much as it's a forty-year series of accidents that worked out for him.
posted by Etrigan at 9:43 AM on December 27, 2016 [19 favorites]


Not 10-dimensional chess, not even three dimensional, but a strategy none-the-less. Put people on edge, uncertain about your goals and or methods so as to have an advantage.
This style of negotiation is by no means necessarily the best way to approach the various relationships he wants to reshape, in fact it's probably the stupidest (cf China) way to go about it. But then again, you know I'm in the Trump is a moron camp, too.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:43 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh hey we were discussing the possibility of our own Stanislav Petrov saving the day? Maybe not so much.

Wait, singing lead in a Beatles cover band in a Mexican restaurant in Moscow is on my bucket list!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:49 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's so far worked for him in business, if by "worked" you mean "actually managed to lose money on a casino".

Like many people, I do not believe that business strategies necessarily generalize to nuclear strategy.
posted by tel3path at 9:50 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


But then again, you know I'm in the Trump is a moron camp, too.

He's a moron. He thinks, like many other in this world, that having to deal with climate change is part of negotiation and a choice. Anyone that thinks this way is an utter moron.

Negotiating about how to deal with it sure but you can't negotiate with the ocean Donald. It will continue to flood Florida no matter how often you tweet at it.
posted by Jalliah at 9:51 AM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Some of it's stupidity (the people who genuinely think we can ignore it and it'll go away/not be so bad), but not all. There's also the evil ones who know exactly how bad it's likely to be and don't care because they'll be dead before it gets severe enough that they can't use money or privilege to keep themselves safe.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:59 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, Carrie Fisher has passed away, so there should be no doubt we're in the terrible timeline.
posted by bluecore at 10:03 AM on December 27, 2016 [19 favorites]


God fucking damn it.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:06 AM on December 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


"We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when
But I'm sure we'll meet again some sunny day"


My birthday's a week and a half before inauguration. I'm thinking now that I'm going to have a "possible futures" movie marathon with Dr. Strangelove, Brazil, and Idiocracy (with Idiocracy serving as our "best-case" scenario).
posted by Gaz Errant at 10:07 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Shit.

I mean, I know she was in cardiac arrest for at least 15 minutes; which is to say, clinically dead; which can be quite bad for you.

But I was hoping against hope.
posted by tel3path at 10:09 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm betting that he had this structure already in place, full of people whose livelihood depended on ameliorating his excesses and managing him from below.

The operating model's also self-evident, and it's based on the fact that companies can move but governments can't. Go into a place, wave around money and give a sales spiel, extract all you can in tax breaks and concessions, and if it doesn't work out take the loss against your taxes and move on to the next one. In the meantime, keep sloshing money from one LLC to another to keep the appearance of liquidity.

Those tactics don't work when you are the government. That's why charades like the Carrier thing grate: they were just another subsidy presented as some kind of arm-twisting. If state and local governments had treated the Family Business the way that he's promising to behave towards publicly-traded companies, the Family Business would no longer exist.
posted by holgate at 10:22 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Carrie Fisher has passed away

Fuck.

You couldn't go without taking someone else, 2016?

You know, I would say I'm glad to see 2016 go if I didn't feel that 2017 will be even worse.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 10:22 AM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


I've noticed that the media is back to the use of the word "bold" to describe any crazy-ass thing Trump and the Republicans propose.

This was the fashion when G.W. Bush took office back in the early 2000s. Blow off the Clinton nuclear agreement with North Korea. Bold. Invade the middle east. Bold. Sabre-rattling about Iran. Bold. Turn the first budget surplus in decades into tax cuts for the rich. Bold. Privatize Social Security. Bold. A new Medicare drug benefit that is a windfall for insurers. Bold.

The sycophant media used headlines such as: A bold vision. A bold agenda. A bold decision. A bold policy. A bold action. A bold mission. A bold plan. Bold leadership.

Bold is back. And as crazy as ever.
posted by JackFlash at 10:26 AM on December 27, 2016 [23 favorites]


Just awful.

Carrie Fisher obituary thread.
posted by lalex at 10:26 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


At this point the only way 2016 can atone is by taking Trump
posted by Ber at 10:34 AM on December 27, 2016 [22 favorites]


Let's not send him off alone. Mike Pence can keep him company.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:38 AM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]




If Trump is popular, most Republicans and even some Democrats in Congress will fear challenging him, worried that even a single tweet attack could hurt their reelection prospects.

Trump’s unpopularity threatens to hobble his presidency
While Trump has received a boost in public opinion after his victory, he still badly lags past presidents-elect when it comes to personal favorability. Currently, his average favorable rating stands at 43 percent, according to HuffPost Pollster, while a 49-percent plurality views him unfavorably. More respondents viewed Trump unfavorably than favorably in the most recent batch of public polls from NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Suffolk University/USA Today, Fox News,CBS News and POLITICO/Morning Consult, all conducted in early- or mid-December.

Compare that with President Barack Obama, who entered 2009 with a 68-percent favorable rating – and only a 21-percent unfavorable rating.

Trump’s persistent and deep unpopularity – combined with the fact that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million ballots – means he lacks the potent argument that the will of the people are behind his agenda.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:00 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


"We didn't want any stars at the inauguration anyway."
[FAKE words, REAL sentiment]
“You know, this is not Woodstock. It’s not Summer Jam. It’s not a concert. It’s not about celebrities. As Donald Trump tweeted himself, it’s about the people. That’s what we’re concentrated on.”
This follows the same pattern as the convention: brag up front about how many stars would be there, then say you didn't want them when they refuse to show up.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:03 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fox, meet grapes.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:04 AM on December 27, 2016


What do you mean, it's not Woodstock? I mean, it's not exactly Woodstock, but it's pretty close.

But with Trump, instead of Limp Bizkit.
posted by box at 11:11 AM on December 27, 2016


It must be Woodstock. And I must've eaten the brown acid.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:16 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


What do you mean, it's not Woodstock? I mean, it's not exactly Woodstock, but it's pretty close.

It's Altamont.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:16 AM on December 27, 2016 [32 favorites]




Example, no Dem is likely to get elected out where I am, but a liberal 'republican' might

Wouldn't they get primaried out as a RINO?
posted by Coventry at 11:24 AM on December 27, 2016


Reports: Trump Team Asks For Names Of Staffers Working To Combat Extremism

Donald Trump's transition team has asked for the names of staffers at the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security who work on programs to counter violent extremism, Reuters reported Friday.

"Please indicate names of people serving in those roles and status (political or career)," the Trump team said in an email to the State Department obtained by Reuters, asking to identify staffers working on programs to counter extremism.

posted by futz at 11:29 AM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump’s persistent and deep unpopularity – combined with the fact that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million ballots – means he lacks the potent argument that the will of the people are behind his agenda.

Sadly, I don't think that will stop him or Congress at all, unless there really is a political third rail and they step right on it.
posted by drezdn at 11:30 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trump May Well Try to Clamp Down on Anti-Trump Humor; Can He?
Trump won’t be the first federal chief executive who thinks he deserves a “safe space” from mockery and criticism. Though we consider it one of our God-given rights as Americans to make fun of the president, our history shows that it’s a right that was hard-won and not always well-respected.I can't wait for Trump's anti-Obama zingers at the next White House Correspondents Dinner.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:35 AM on December 27, 2016


Trump’s persistent and deep unpopularity – combined with the fact that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million ballots – means he lacks the potent argument that the will of the people are behind his agenda.

While the GOP dominance of both houses of Congress plus the White House looks damn impenetrable on paper, there are a number of cracks that Democrats can try to exploit and widen:

--Libertarianism vs. authoritarianism: while I expect that most conservative House members are going to fold up their "Don't Tread On Me" flags the second they get what they actually wanted all along (a white conservative back in the White House), there are a handful who genuinely believe in limited government and can stand with Dems to oppose the creeping authoritarianism that this administration is going to try to implement.

--Foreign policy: as the Politico article notes, some GOP leaders are Russia hawks and could be allies in the struggle against Putinist exploitation of this new world order in which American leadership is going to be at least confused, if not dangerously erratic.

--Single-issue coalitions: any of the major reforms that Paul Ryan wants to push through are going to face opposition from an array of interest groups, some of which are not particularly progressive but which have a stake in the status quo. For instance, ACA repeal and entitlement reforms are going to be opposed not just by consumer advocate groups and traditionally left-of-center groups like AARP but also by medical and insurance industry advocates, and they can threaten to hit lawmakers right where it hurts: in the reelection fund.

I think Trump intuits (no, he's not a strategist, but he's brilliantly canny in a given moment) the danger to him, uniquely among politicians, of losing the legitimacy conferred by "the popular will", since he has no real natural base in Congress. He's riding high now on his fluke electoral victory, but even his own party's leaders are at best distrustful of him and he correctly senses that they will turn on him in a moment if they believe he is dragging them down or obstructing their agenda.

For example, I can imagine an "Obamacare replacement" proposal, maybe put forward by some moderate Republican like Olympia Snowe, that basically leaves the system intact, maybe whittles away at some of the essential health benefits or other regulations on qualified health plans in the Marketplace, maybe even ups the subsidies a bit.

Trump wouldn't care about the details, he just liked the bludgeon that opposing the ACA gave him and I expect that within about six minutes of a big health reform palaver he would anyway get bored and wander out of the conference room. He'd just want a deal -- any deal -- that would let him announce that he "fixed Obamacare". Of course, this would infuriate the Ryanists who want to use this opportunity to dismantle the entire medical and retirement safety net if they can.

Obstruct, exploit, divide and conquer the GOP coalition -- that's what House and Senate Dems need to do now, and outside the legislature ordinary liberals have to keep up the drumbeat of non-normalcy and de-legitimization. That's what works, as the Tea Party so horrifically demonstrated.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:38 AM on December 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


> Wouldn't they get primaried out as a RINO?

Just lie your face off, just like a real republican.
posted by porpoise at 11:47 AM on December 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


“You know, this is not Woodstock. It’s not Summer Jam. It’s not a concert. It’s not about celebrities. As Donald Trump tweeted himself, it’s about the people me. That’s what we’re concentrated on.”
posted by philip-random at 12:04 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Global Capitalism: Trump's Plans for Jobs, Taxes, Trade with Richard Wolff (YouTube 1hr31min).
This is an interesting talk on the real world impact of Trumps seeming erratically espoused "plans".


The actual talk starts at about 32m. It's very good.
posted by Coventry at 12:07 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for Trump's anti-Obama zingers at the next White House Correspondents Dinner.

At this point, with no press conference since July 27 2016, and it also looks like daily press briefings are on their way out, the White House Correspondents Dinner should really be cancelled. I'll actually be angry if it isn't.
posted by localhuman at 12:12 PM on December 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


It's not really a strategy so much as it's a forty-year series of accidents that worked out for him.

I don't like Trump any more than you do, but that is classic cognitive dissonance.

"It's not really gravity so much as every time anyone's ever dropped something it's accelerated towards the center of the Earth."
posted by Coventry at 12:22 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]




I don't like Trump any more than you do, but that is classic cognitive dissonance.

"It's not really gravity so much as every time anyone's ever dropped something it's accelerated towards the center of the Earth."


But when you start off with a few hundred million dollars, you've got a long way to fall before you hit the ground.

No one's saying that he's totally without talent or money-making ability. He's a promoter/huckster who started out with a big wad of cash and schemed his way to the top(ish). For every Donald Trump there's a thousand more scions of moderately wealthy businessmen who blew dad's money up their nose. It's just that Trump's addiction is money, fame and power and he started out with plenty of the one, leveraged that into the second and then that into the third.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:38 PM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Wouldn't they get primaried out as a RINO?

The other half is Democrats participating in the R primary stage.
posted by Talez at 12:39 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


OK, I'm ready for Andy Kaufman to rip of the Trump mask and let us in on the joke.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:40 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


The other half is Democrats participating in the R primary stage.

I remember there was a scandal in one county I was working in because the chair of the local Dem party had voted in the last Republican primary. To me it made total sense as the way to make your vote count as much as possible, given the county's demography, in an open-primary state.
posted by Coventry at 12:43 PM on December 27, 2016


He's a promoter/huckster who started out with a big wad of cash and schemed his way to the top(ish).
His main talent seems to be having more lawyers than the other guy and not being afraid of being sued. This has allowed him to screw over as many people as possible every step of the way.


Jeremy W. Peters of the NYTimes posts this: Progressives who insist racism is why Trump won are guilty of the same villainization they decry when others do it.

with a link to this NYTimes op ed:
Sorry, Liberals. Bigotry Didn’t Elect Donald Trump by David Paul Kuhn.

Does not go over well with the twitterverse.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:45 PM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well it doesn't go over well on twitter because it's poorly argued, ignores lots of evidence to just repeat the hotly desired conclusion that folks aren't really racist, racism had little to do with the election and thus it's not important to try to address bigotry in society.
posted by R343L at 12:50 PM on December 27, 2016 [18 favorites]


"It's not really gravity so much as every time anyone's ever dropped something it's accelerated towards the center of the Earth."

"To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable." -- Edgar Bronfman (who knew something about inheriting a shitload of money and making a little bit more)

You've seen the stories about how Trump would be richer (than most independent estimates put his actual worth at) if he'd just sunk his inheritance into an index fund, right? The dropped thing seems to be flying in a rather incorrect direction.
posted by Etrigan at 12:59 PM on December 27, 2016 [18 favorites]


Racism and other forms of bigotry are symptoms of stupidity, but so is the tendency to admire assholish bullies like Donald Trump. As they say, correlation is not causation, but they make it easier to make a general profile.

And as I like to point out, that "liberal media" entity, the New York Times, was essentially promoting Donald Trump the Real Estate Developer and 'Colorful Character' long before they were cheerleading the case for WMDs in Iraq.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:02 PM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sorry, Liberals. Bigotry Didn’t Elect Donald Trump by David Paul Kuhn.

I guess the double edged sword to having a charismatic person like Barack Obama be president is that he's now being used as every American's black friend.
posted by FJT at 1:05 PM on December 27, 2016 [14 favorites]


Sorry, Liberals. Bigotry Didn’t Elect Donald Trump by David Paul Kuhn.


You mean all the KKK and Nazi endorsements weren't a signal? The antisemetic and racist cyberbullying? The anti-immigrant and sexist rhetoric? The people across America who'll swear up and down they aren't racist but hate Obama and think he's a traitor and were thoroughly convinced he was a Muslim from Kenya because Sheriff Joe and Trump said so?
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:12 PM on December 27, 2016 [33 favorites]


Outrage drives clicks. NYT is just trying to compete in this exciting new media landscape!
posted by Existential Dread at 1:16 PM on December 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


The last sentence of the Kuhn article is the most important: "We can look for the worst in our opponents, but that doesn’t always explain how they got the best of us."

The part that's responsive to people's reactions here is
This argument [i.e., "It was the economy, stupid"] does not ignore bigotry. Racism appeared more concentrated among Trump voters. One poll found that four in 10 Trump supporters said blacks were more “lazy” than whites, compared with one-quarter of Clinton or John Kasich supporters.

But traits are not motives and don’t necessarily decide votes. Consider that four in 10 liberal Democrats, the largest share of any group, said in 2011 that they would hold a Mormon candidate’s faith against him or her. It would be silly to argue that, therefore, liberals voted for Mr. Obama because Mitt Romney was Mormon.
posted by Coventry at 1:24 PM on December 27, 2016


I appreciated this blog post on the bigot issue/editorial by longtime blogger Rafe Colburn
everything about Trump’s campaign signalled that his administration would maintain and even expand white privilege as a force in America. Trump himself is the personfication of white privilege — he’s a rich white guy who set out every day to show that he didn’t care about the norms established for Presidential candidates. He made it perfectly clear that the ethical standards applied to past candidates were irrelevant to him. He doesn’t think it is important for one prove they are qualified to hold a job in order to get it. If black people have to be twice as good to be recognized as successful at work, Donald Trump is living proof that there is no floor on how bad you can be as long as you can speak in bro code in a way that appeals to white people.
posted by jessamyn at 1:31 PM on December 27, 2016 [37 favorites]


But traits are not motives and don’t necessarily decide votes.

As if bigotry were simply, oh, a personality trait like extroversion or a predilection for puns.

A more accurate title would have been "Yes, Liberals, Bigotry Enabled the Election of Trump." Bigotry includes the voter suppression and gerrymandering that helped carry those few key counties that tipped a couple swing states and the sheer volume of vitriol directed at the appearance of scandal for a woman as opposed to the evidence for a man. It describes why we have to pander to a few rust belt white males and ignore an overwhelming popular vote victory on the strength of the coastal populations. That title, engineered to get clicks from both the right and left, is bigotry itself, because it implicitly argues that 'white working class' issues are simply more important than issues of race, gender equality, sexual assault, and more.

Yes, it would in theory be easier for Dems to pander to the white working class next election rather than roll back the Republican undermining of our voting system. But I don't think that is the correct course of action to take; it may be easier, but there's no justice in it.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:32 PM on December 27, 2016 [21 favorites]


> It would be silly to argue that, therefore, liberals voted for Mr. Obama because Mitt Romney was Mormon.

This is ludicrous. Obama did not make an issue of Romney's religion at all, while Trump specifically campaigned on racism, and amped up the appeals to racial animus as he saw that it was helping him in the polls. Fuck this guy and his desperate attempt at false equivalence.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:33 PM on December 27, 2016 [25 favorites]


Consider that four in 10 liberal Democrats, the largest share of any group, said in 2011 that they would hold a Mormon candidate’s faith against him or her.

Hmm, the quote you shared caused me to zoom in on the term "liberal Democrats". Why them? There are a lot of moderate and conservative Dems. And let's not forget, plenty of religious Democrats, particularly among minority groups. Sounds like a cherry picked gotcha statistic to me.
posted by FJT at 1:34 PM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Consider that four in 10 liberal Democrats, the largest share of any group, said in 2011 that they would hold a Mormon candidate’s faith against him or her. It would be silly to argue that, therefore, liberals voted for Mr. Obama because Mitt Romney was Mormon.

If Obama had campaigned on an anti-Mormon platform it would have been 100% fair to say that he had been elected because of anti-Mormon bigotry. Trump's racism and sexism were defining features of his campaign; of course that's why he was elected.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:37 PM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


FJT: It's a strange segment to pick, but the term is taken directly from a Pew Research Center Report which is not making this argument.
Politically, more Democrats than Republicans say they would be less likely to support a Mormon candidate. Liberal Democrats stand out, with 41% saying they would be less likely to support a Mormon candidate. Only about a quarter or fewer in other groups say this.
posted by Coventry at 1:40 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Trump's racism and sexism were defining features of his campaign; of course that's why he was elected.

He was elected because people voted for him. To vote for him, people had to be bigots. But Kuhn's argument is that that doesn't mean their votes were motivated by bigotry.
posted by Coventry at 1:41 PM on December 27, 2016


Also, I don't think the point of the Mormon story is to say "Look, Democrats are bigots, too!" It's just a reductio ad absurdum to show the fallacy of assuming Trump voters were motivated by bigotry because they were bigots.

Edit: Was in response to "This is ludicrous. Obama did not make an issue of Romney's religion at all."
posted by Coventry at 1:46 PM on December 27, 2016


I think any article with a title that begins "Sorry, Liberals, But..." is something you can just pass right on by.

Also see: "Sorry, Feminists, But..." You can just ignore those too.
posted by emjaybee at 1:47 PM on December 27, 2016 [46 favorites]


But Kuhn's argument is that that doesn't mean their votes were motivated by bigotry.

We have a president elect that got into the national political spotlight by whipping a racist conspiracy that a sitting African-American president wasn't born in this country. A claim doubly offensive to racial minorities and immigrants. A president-elect who ran as an outsider, true, but who's PRIMARY method of signaling his "outsider-ness" is with blunt racist and xenophobic statements, like the one he kicked off his campaign with about Mexican immigrants.

And let's get another thing straight. Donald Trump's campaign may be about "economic anxiety", but the cause of economic anxiety, meaning the enemy of hard working Americans just happen to be Mexicans and Chinese?
posted by FJT at 1:47 PM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's just a reductio ad absurdum to show the fallacy of assuming Trump voters were motivated by bigotry because they were bigots.

You don't need to be a bigot to be motivated by bigotry.
posted by FJT at 1:53 PM on December 27, 2016


> But Kuhn's argument is that that doesn't mean their votes were motivated by bigotry.

It's a terrible argument, and several people have already explained why. You're doing it no favors by trying to explain away its many weaknesses.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:54 PM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


And let's get another thing straight. Donald Trump's campaign may be about "economic anxiety", but the cause of economic anxiety, meaning the enemy of hard working Americans just happen to be Mexicans and Chinese?

Trump exploited the fact that there are many people who prefer easy answers and a vulnerable target to blame over complex issues which are largely inevitable, such as employers turning to machines over human labor in manufacturing. Bigotry did play a role in why they blamed immigration rather than the people (and corporations) who are actually responsible for these issues.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:56 PM on December 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


tonycpsu: I don't think anyone's explained why it's a terrible argument. Everything said so far supports the idea that you had to be a bigot to vote for Trump, but not that bigotry was the primary motive for voting for him.
posted by Coventry at 1:57 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can never know what their actual motives were. I do know they voted for a bigot whose platform was bigotry, and, whatever they thought they were doing, that's what counts.
posted by maxsparber at 1:58 PM on December 27, 2016 [23 favorites]


It doesn't have to be the primary motive to be a deciding factor. For some, bigotry was necessary but not sufficient.
posted by GrammarMoses at 2:00 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Press pool reports that Trump Tower is currently being evacuated. [Trump himself is in Florida.] (via Twitter)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:00 PM on December 27, 2016


maxsparber: That's what counts as far as marking the act of voting for him as unethical, maybe. But that doesn't mean that bigotry won him the election.

ETA: To be clear, I do think voting for him was unethical, for this and many other reasons.
posted by Coventry at 2:01 PM on December 27, 2016


[reminder: edit window is for typos. Please don't edit your comments for content. Add a second comment if you have to add more content. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 2:05 PM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


> but not that bigotry was the primary motive for voting for him.

It's been said many times in these threads, but once more, with feeling: In an election that hinged on ~100k voters across three states out of hundreds of millions of votes cast in 50 states, there are no arguments to be made about any single decisive thing that swung the election that can be supported with conclusive data.

But that's not the argument that Kuhn is countering -- it may be what he says in the headline, but throughout that piece, he's not only trying to say that bigotry wasn't decisive, but also trying to undermine the entire case that there is a connection between bigotry and voting for Trump. It gives him cover, because apologists like yourself can say "see? he does acknowledge that they're bigots!" But of course nobody believes that they only voted for Trump because they're bigots, and most understand that there's no hard data to show that the bigotry was the prime reason for most of them. What many of us do believe, and what Kuhn is trying to fight, is the belief that a large number of them did respond to the bigotry, that the candidate did run on that bigotry, and that it could have been decisive.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:07 PM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states, and lost.The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! [real, sad, bored, has nothing to do]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:12 PM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


(Trump Tower is being evacuated right now, due to a suspicious device. D: ) [real]
posted by XtinaS at 2:12 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


trying to undermine the entire case that there is a connection between bigotry and voting for Trump

Where does he do that?
posted by Coventry at 2:13 PM on December 27, 2016


(Trump Tower is being evacuated right now, due to a suspicious device. D: )

a) I hope the alert is not a reaction to an actual threat;
b) I hope that Trump realises that these alerts are an inevitable consequence of his new position, and consequently either divests, or drops his plan of living outside the White House.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:16 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, apparently it was a false alarm. Good.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:17 PM on December 27, 2016


Right now Trump supporters are having a big old argument about whether or not they can do Nazi salutes at the inauguration, so I'm not so sold on this "not bigots" theory.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on December 27, 2016 [18 favorites]


You don't need to be a bigot to be motivated by bigotry.

That is some masterful hair-splitting there.

What strange world are we in where the meaning of "bigot" is not "person motivated by bigotry"? What else, I ask, might a bigot be?

Are you suggesting that no matter what people do to hurt people of color, if, in their inmost souls, they really believe that they don't hate those people they just hurt, they cannot be bigots? A No True Bigots sort of argument?
posted by emjaybee at 2:18 PM on December 27, 2016 [23 favorites]


Trump exploited the fact that there are many people who prefer easy answers and a vulnerable target to blame over complex issues which are largely inevitable, such as employers turning to machines over human labor in manufacturing.

Maybe this is one of the things SO obvious, that I overlooked it. But, maybe just like how America's perception of Trump as a "maverick businessman" was slowly built up by years of portrayal in popular media (The Apprentice and news coverage), America's perception of China, Mexico, and the Middle East as serious existential threats is also heavily influenced by their portrayals in the media.
posted by FJT at 2:20 PM on December 27, 2016


Trump will never realize anything. I hope that NYC government-types realize that this will be a not-uncommon event.
posted by XtinaS at 2:20 PM on December 27, 2016


I'm not so sold on this "not bigots" theory.

No one's making that case.
posted by Coventry at 2:21 PM on December 27, 2016


> The biggest US police union is pressing Amazon to follow Walmart and remove from third-party sale a shirt that seeks profit in relation to the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

"Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."
posted by homunculus at 2:21 PM on December 27, 2016


no matter what people do to hurt people of color, if, in their inmost souls, they really believe that they don't hate those people they just hurt, they cannot be bigots?

Right, this is exactly what racists believe.
posted by zutalors! at 2:23 PM on December 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


You don't need to be a bigot to be motivated by bigotry.

That is some masterful hair-splitting there.


I think there's an important distinction to draw between conscious and unconscious bias. The most well meaning anti-racists can be affected and thus "motivated" in a sense by unconscious biases that, if they were conscious and explicit, would disgust them. So in that sense you can be motivated by bigotry without being a bigot. The determining factor here is whether you try and watch yourself for your susceptibility to unconscious bias and whether you try and correct yourself when you find it working its insidious way on you.
posted by dis_integration at 2:25 PM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


The most horrifying thing about a lot of police and police unions siding with Trump is that, if protests happen, they'll be the ones enforcing Trump's will in dealing with protesters, and he has no qualms about letting violence happen to his opponents or deploring it with one side while allowing and enabling it on the other.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 2:26 PM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Hillary made the "mistake" of copping to unconscious prejudice, and people were all HOW DARE YOU IMPLY I'M A RACIST
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:30 PM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Doing postgake of Hillary's performance is largely worthless but boy do I wish she'd just flat out said "neo Nazi shitheads" instead of some cutesy shit about baskets. She might have still lost it at least we'd have it out there.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on December 27, 2016 [19 favorites]


A No True Bigots sort of argument?

I think I was just trying to sidestep the whole "are they really bigots?" argument, because those tend to become arguments about whether you can see someone's "inner self" and "Oh, but they voted for Obama". For me, it was an easier to prove that in aggregate they were motivated or influenced by bigotry, because of all this external evidence we have lying around the crime scene.
posted by FJT at 2:38 PM on December 27, 2016


I think I was just trying to sidestep the whole "are they really bigots?" argument

Yeah, I don't want to get into that either. It would have been clearer if I'd said that a vote for Trump is clearly a bigoted act, even if it's not motivated by bigotry. Just like walking on if you saw skinheads beating up a PoC would be bigoted, even if the main reason you chose to ignore it was that you were late for work and on thin ice with your boss.
posted by Coventry at 2:43 PM on December 27, 2016


Now that is what you call "analogy fail".
posted by JackFlash at 2:48 PM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


I wish people wouldn't bring in racist violence in such a casual way.
posted by zutalors! at 2:49 PM on December 27, 2016 [9 favorites]


A vote for Trump is a vote for racist violence, no?
posted by Coventry at 2:51 PM on December 27, 2016



A vote for Trump is a vote for racist violence, no?


that seems to be deflecting the fact that you just casually mentioned skinheads beating up a PoC in your comment, and also just assumed everyone posting here is white.

Like if you can't understand political harm to PoC without bringing up skinhead violence, that's an issue.
posted by zutalors! at 2:55 PM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's getting difficult to tell which of your statements are being offered in good faith, Coventry.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:56 PM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


A vote for Trump is a vote for racist violence, no?

Not necessarily no. And even though Trump and his ilk are terrible for various reasons, bringing up a hypothetical violent act is still bringing a violent act into the discussion, and one that is racist at that.

Which is some sort of a complex thing to think about but it's like talking about sexual violence. The world of women is full of real and threatnened sexual violence and so having people casually talk about examples of it (which i am not doing here) is actually bringing more sexual violence into the discussion even if the point is to make a point about how crappy sexual violence is.

And it's clear, often but not always, what people mean by it, but

1. sometimes it's not clear what people mean by bringing it up
2. to the people who live in a world full of this sort of violence, it's an ungood way to have a discussion in mixed company

So, no, I don't think it's a great way to move the conversation forward, personally, for those very specific reasons. Not everyone looks at that scenario and sees themselves as just the bystander.
posted by jessamyn at 2:57 PM on December 27, 2016 [21 favorites]


OK, that's just fucking trolling right there, Coventry.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:58 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just really wish I could share what I'm smoking.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:59 PM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


You know, if someone says 'Ouch', you could just get off their toes.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:59 PM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


[Hey, Coventry, you've made your point, it's time to let it go and let the conversation move on from your point.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:01 PM on December 27, 2016


Talez: “When people can't feed their families on full time work there's going to be massive blowback among the middle class, no matter the color.”
That's what riles me up most when these assholes say things like, "If you’re a single mom, and you’ve two kids in the city of Richmond, you can almost make $50,000 a year on the public dole," and then Politifact rates that "Mostly True." The analysis admits up front that the woman in this scenario works 40 hours a week for minimum wage, then goes on to say its costs $35,360 more than she makes for her family to be "self-sufficent."
posted by ob1quixote at 3:15 PM on December 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


The one skill Trump has worked to master is the con. He did that when he was young and he's been running with it ever since, since it's been working for him.

One of the big elements of Trump's style, which has been noticed by a number of folks, is misdirection. He will tweet something outrageous to distract our attention from something more serious. He has been doing this for his entire career; it's how he gets people to invest in his losing ventures, like the Atlantic City casino empire that was already upside-down when he took it public. He has always used his name and his last flashy deed to deflect attention from his failures and inadequacies.

It is now clear Trump doesn't want the job or its responsibilities. With a month left to go it's hard to see where the cracks are but for one thing, I don't see the Secret Service putting up with Trump's armed private security goons being in the picture. They have already spent a fortune and inconvenienced thousands of people trying to secure Trump Tower, and I suspect a line will be drawn in the sand before he takes office.

As for his capacity to drop a nuke on someone, there are a lot of moving parts between Trump's finger and the mushroom cloud many of which have to be set in motion by human beings. Every one of those people has been trained for their whole career with an expectation of how that order will arrive, and since 1965 or so "first strike" hasn't been that expectation. I personally find it hard to believe the whole awkward Rube Goldberg apparatus of nuclear command and control will function perfectly when President WHAAAAA orders it to to bomb Pongyang.

But it is true that at some point the system's failure to heel to der TrumpenFuhrer will amount to a coup. As I've said upthread, my biggest worry isn't so much that the world will end and we won't see another Christmas, as that the inevitable and necessary coup against this idiot manchild will be permanent instead of temporary, and that the people who take power for goddamn good reasons will fail to give it up for much less good reasons.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:17 PM on December 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


I think Graydon Carter should consider himself lucky you can't send someone a nuke via fax
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:29 PM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."

Other sizes are available. As was the case with Walmart, Amazon isn't selling the shirts directly but they're available from third parties.

Police union asks Amazon to pull pro-Black Lives Matter shirt
The country's biggest police union wants Amazon to stop selling what it calls an offensive shirt supporting Black Lives Matter.
...
The Fraternal Order of Police said it wasn't opposed to the shirt because it's pro-Black Lives Matter, but took issue with the word "bulletproof."

The group's executive director told CNN, "The bulletproof thing goes to the new assertiveness of some violence prone individuals to take action directly against police."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:36 PM on December 27, 2016


I think Graydon Carter should consider himself lucky you can't send someone a nuke via fax

No, but Fox News can try to starve children because of an infinitesimal amount of fraud.
posted by zachlipton at 3:37 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think Graydon Carter should consider himself lucky you can't send someone a nuke via fax

That guy needs to get himself a taster before Pompeo or whatever deplorable Trumpist appointee gets their claws on the CIA director's chair.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:37 PM on December 27, 2016


No, but Fox News can try to starve children because of an infinitesimal amount of fraud.

GOP 2016: literally the party of taking food from the mouths of babies.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:39 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


ohhhhhh man. How Analytical Models Failed Clinton:
The Clin­ton team was so con­fid­ent in its ana­lyt­ic­al mod­els that it op­ted not to con­duct track­ing polls in a num­ber of states dur­ing the last month of the cam­paign. As a con­sequence, de­teri­or­at­ing sup­port in states such as Michigan and Wis­con­sin fell be­low the radar screen, slip­page that that tra­di­tion­al track­ing polls would have cer­tainly caught.

Ac­cord­ing to Kantar Me­dia/CMAG data, the Clin­ton cam­paign did not go on the air with tele­vi­sion ads in Wis­con­sin un­til the weeks of Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, spend­ing in the end just $2.6 mil­lion. Su­per PACs back­ing Clin­ton didn’t air ads in Wis­con­sin un­til the last week of the cam­paign. In Michigan, aside from a tiny $16,000 buy by the cam­paign and a party com­mit­tee the week of Oct. 25, the Clin­ton cam­paign and its al­lied groups didn’t con­duct a con­cer­ted ad­vert­ising ef­fort un­til a week be­fore the elec­tion.

In fact, the Clin­ton cam­paign spent more money on tele­vi­sion ad­vert­ising in Ari­zona, Geor­gia, and the Omaha, Neb­raska mar­kets than in Michigan and Wis­con­sin com­bined. It was Michigan and Wis­con­sin, along with Pennsylvania (the Clin­ton cam­paign and al­lied groups did spend $42 mil­lion on tele­vi­sion in the Key­stone State), that ef­fect­ively cost Demo­crats the pres­id­ency.
posted by lalex at 3:42 PM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


When people can't feed their families on full time work there's going to be massive blowback among the middle class, no matter the color.

White non-college educated middle class voted plus 40 points for Trump while middle-class African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians were just the opposite extreme for Clinton. Strange to say "no matter the color". Color seemed to matter immensely. The hypothetical blowback seems to have an obvious racial element to it.
posted by JackFlash at 3:47 PM on December 27, 2016 [24 favorites]


The Fraternal Order of Police said it wasn't opposed to the shirt because it's pro-Black Lives Matter, but took issue with the word "bulletproof."

Nothing wrong with this shirt though. Or this one.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:48 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I went to Fox News so you don't have to:
According to the USDA, $70 million of taxpayer money was wasted in 2016 due to food stamp fraud.

On "Fox & Friends" Tuesday, Abby Huntsman discussed the issue with New York City Councilman Joe Borelli and 2008 Clinton campaign adviser Jehmu Greene.

"The SNAP program...has been ripe with problems almost since its inception," said Borelli, who argued that the program's costs are out of control.
Oh noes $70 million dollars of fraud, on a budget of $70.789 billion dollars! Program is a failure, kill it with fire!

Or we could just not pay a million dollars a day to keep Barron and Melania in NYC.

Bonus question: which borough is Councilman Borelli from? You get one guess.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:49 PM on December 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


Those were absolutely tactical errors, but as the article notes, the campaign poured a ton of resources into Pennsylvania and it didn't get them over the top there. It's amusing to point and stare at the hubris of the Clinton campaign in hindsight, but the actual analysis comes down to playing a what if game over pulling resources from AZ and GA and such so that they could still lose PA.
posted by zachlipton at 3:52 PM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think to agree with that analysis I'd have to believe that Wisconsin and Michigan, states Obama won by 10 and 7 percent, were lost causes, and I'm not sure I do. It feels very much like the Clinton campaign was looking for a blowout and lost sight of actually just winning the most electoral votes.
posted by lalex at 3:59 PM on December 27, 2016


Bringer Tom: As for his capacity to drop a nuke on someone, there are a lot of moving parts between Trump's finger and the mushroom cloud many of which have to be set in motion by human beings.

There aren't. I keep saying this, not sure why you don't believe me. The President gives the order. The order is authenticated as a valid order coming from the President (not legal or ethical but just that the President is actually giving the order) and the chosen war plan is sent by encrypted computer message to the launch crews. Five sets of two man crews control a squadron of fifty missiles. Only two sets of the five crews have to turn their keys for the launch of the entire squadron to continue. It's five minutes from the President giving the launch order to missiles leaving the silos. A little longer for a sub to reach launch depth, but it's not like the sub is monitoring twitter while doing so to see the President is having a social media fight with Pyongyang. Their entire training is to turn the key when ordered.

Sure, it could be stopped if the conflict ramps up slowly enough where the 25th could be invoked, or if someone like Mattis is in the situation room and it leads to a coup, but like you said a military coup is almost as big an existential threat to our nation as a nuclear war. When every single institution and norm has failed us regarding Trump this year, I'm not going to suddenly put my trust in them now.
posted by bluecore at 4:04 PM on December 27, 2016 [32 favorites]


That Fox News article sounds ripe with problems. /languagesnobbery
posted by uosuaq at 4:14 PM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I keep saying this, not sure why you don't believe me.
I for one was shocked when I watched the 60 Minutes story on the nuclear football. They interviewed the guy who takes the order and asked him if he would have a discussion with the President if the order were given. The upshot of his answer? It is his duty to follow the President's orders.
posted by xyzzy at 4:21 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


OK, thanks bluecore...I think. I will now go open another bottle of Jack Daniel's.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:21 PM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Though it's unclear how many - if any - of the new journalists will be scrutinising the new administration and congress, some slightly surprising news (if it's not spin) that a 'profitable' Washington Post is adding more than five dozen journalists.
posted by Wordshore at 4:22 PM on December 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Marie Claire: A Rockette Speaks Out
"She felt she was being forced to perform for this monster," Mary told MarieClaire.com in an exclusive interview. "I wouldn't feel comfortable standing near a man like that in our costumes," said another dancer in an email to her colleagues.
...
Performing on this newly politicized stage has been "unbearable," Mary reveals. "When I was a child, I remember seeing the Rockettes and thinking they were the most powerful women ever. You don't really think you can be one of them." Now that she is, she carries the full, fraught weight of that responsibility. "We're representing every little girl's dream."
posted by zachlipton at 4:24 PM on December 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


I keep saying this, not sure why you don't believe me.

I for one was shocked when I watched the 60 Minutes story on the nuclear football. They interviewed the guy who takes the order and asked him if he would have a discussion with the President if the order were given. The upshot of his answer? It is his duty to follow the President's orders.


But this came up constantly during the campaign. I'm shocked people are shocked.
posted by zutalors! at 4:24 PM on December 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


> I think to agree with that analysis I'd have to believe that Wisconsin and Michigan, states Obama won by 10 and 7 percent, were lost causes, and I'm not sure I do.

The razor thin margins in those states (0.3% and 0.8%) demonstrate that they were not lost causes. Still, flipping them only gets her to 258. Ohio was a much larger margin, and PA wasn't nearly as closer either despite how hard they tried. It's also not clear that reassigning resources from CO (won by just 3%) or VA (4%) wouldn't have put those EVs at risk. You can't just focus on the missed opportunities without noting where the resources would come from, and contrary to the narrative, the campaign hardly devoted any resources to AZ and TX -- just enough to make a showing there, try to energize Democrats in states that could be trending blue, and maybe put Trump's team on the defensive. It didn't work, but that doesn't mean a different strategy would have done any better.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:26 PM on December 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


But this came up constantly during the campaign. I'm shocked people are shocked.

I think our brains just keep refusing to believe that it's true that Donald fucking Trump is going to have that much unchecked power to destroy the planet in... 25 days now. It's just such an overwhelmingly absurd and panic-inducing notion that we keep mentally dancing around it, like the man in the gorilla suit who walks through the basketball game in that one meme/psychology demonstration.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:29 PM on December 27, 2016 [27 favorites]


I think there are a lot of things that people simply took for granted before this election about how the President was supposed to work, and we're finding out how much was dependent on those assumptions (such as a President with a bare minimum of competency and ability to work with others).
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 4:32 PM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Re food stamp fraud, it's funny how much we keep hearing about the costs of military aircraft, and not once has anyone suggested we should shut down the Air Force.
posted by zachlipton at 4:35 PM on December 27, 2016 [27 favorites]


the campaign hardly devoted any resources to AZ and TX

TV ad spend in the week of Oct 25 for the Clinton campaign was $127,298 for AZ, $170,504 for TX.
posted by Coventry at 4:40 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sorry, $170,504 for PA. TX was $0.
posted by Coventry at 4:41 PM on December 27, 2016


Yes, for a half a billion dollar campaign.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:42 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


This tweet has been up for 22 hours and still not spell-checked.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:44 PM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


As mentioned in Jessamyn's TILTY #27 - which if you don't get automatically is worth considering subscribing to - Seattle Public Library have some after the 2016 election resources.
posted by Wordshore at 4:47 PM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


But this came up constantly during the campaign.

But emails! And who could guess which candidate was more likely to destroy the world?
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:07 PM on December 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


Re food stamp fraud, it's funny how much we keep hearing about the costs of military aircraft, and not once has anyone suggested we should shut down the Air Force.

Or waste at the Pentagon, even. $70 million sounds quaint once you look into that.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:08 PM on December 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


slip­page that that tra­di­tion­al track­ing polls would have cer­tainly caught.

The third debate was on October 20th. Nobody was on the air in Michigan in the week of the 25th. Hardly anybody went on the air in Michigan until the end. Too much of this after-the-fact analysis seems to exist in a vacuum.
posted by holgate at 5:13 PM on December 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


All this woulda, shoulda, coulda seems like a waste of time to me. The election was a black swan event, and was so close that we'll never know for sure which factor or set of factors would have made a difference.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:45 PM on December 27, 2016 [22 favorites]


One of the big elements of Trump's style, which has been noticed by a number of folks, is misdirection. He will tweet something outrageous to distract our attention from something more serious.

I keep hearing this claim, but I don't think his behavior is that calculated or considered. He seems to be ruled by his impulses, motivated by a bottomless need for attention, and settling scores. His impulsiveness is indeed distracting, and he's a master bullshitter, but he can't help himself. His problems with focus and attention span are legendary and go back decades, and since he first signed up on Twitter years ago, he's always been tweeting without a filter.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:52 PM on December 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


All this woulda, shoulda, coulda seems like a waste of time to me.

certainly if it's in aid of blaming someone else for the loss (ie: Bernie supporters, women haters, Julian Assange, Vlad Putin, white men in general, white women in general, bigots, slackers, freemasons, whoever) ... but I'm still looking forward to a sort of mea culpa moment where everybody on the so-called progressive side of things owns up to how they personally blew it ... because it wasn't any single BIG issue that gave Trump the presidency, it was a whole lotta small ones ...
posted by philip-random at 5:55 PM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hey. This Bossert thing makes me very nervous.

Homeland Security Advisor is reverting to being a cabinet level post independent of the National Security Advisor and the NSC, as it was after 9-11, and it's retaining responsbility for cybersecurity.

Reuters:
As assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, Bossert will concentrate on domestic security issues and help craft the administration's cyber security policies, the transition team said.
...
In a departure from the current administration, Bossert will report directly to Trump and will have his own staff that is not under the National Security Council, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said.


This is how it worked under Dubya, when Bossert was a deputy, which is being used to softball the reporting. But maybe this is how Trump gets his Stasi.

Washington Post:
Doug Wilson, a former assistant secretary of defense for public affairs in the Obama administration, said Bossert's challenges will include “fostering much more effective cooperation between government and the private sector.”

“The latter is key,” Wilson said. “Cyberthreats don’t respect silos; they cut across them. Bossert has been given elevated status in a Trump White House. If he uses this to butt heads and break china to achieve the kind of public-private sector cooperation on cybersecurity that has eluded us so far, he’ll be doing everyone a service.”


Given what's been disclosed or leaked already, I'm reluctant to imagine what extra-legal assistance has"eluded" the White House so far and what Trump's newly cloistered domestic security apparatus might do with it if granted.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:57 PM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm with Krinklyfig. There's always a controversy and his tweets are always outrageous.
posted by Brainy at 5:58 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The election was a black swan event, and was so close that we'll never know for sure which factor or set of factors would have made a difference.

Whoa, I really disagree. That term has gotten a bit abused over the years (even by Taleb himself, IMO).
posted by lalex at 6:06 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Calling Trump's win of the election a Black Swan event is ignoring Brexit, Le Pen, and the rest of recent events across the Western Democracies these past few years. Liberalism is failing. The Enlightenment is over.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:07 PM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


Liberalism is failing. The Enlightenment is over.

I don't think so. Trump didn't win the popular vote and he only won the electoral college by 1-2% in four key states that put him over the edge. That's not failing, that's a margin of error.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:15 PM on December 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


The Enlightenment is over.

The Enlightenment began to end with the first chlorine gas attack in the Great War. Auschwitz finished it off. It's been advanced technological barbarism for about a century now. We only managed to escape the 20th century without a nuclear apocalypse through pure luck. Let's hope there's some luck left.
posted by dis_integration at 6:19 PM on December 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: This tweet has been up for 22 hours and still not spell-checked.


I before E except after losing the popular vote.
posted by emelenjr at 6:23 PM on December 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


This tweet has been up for 22 hours and still not spell-checked.

I know, who spells "fuck-all" as just "all"?
posted by Rykey at 6:27 PM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Looking over the Celebrity Death Toll for 2016, I can't think of any of the victims who would have been Trump supporters. I'm fairly certain the Emperor Elect hasn't made a respectful commemorative tweet for any of them.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:29 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


That term has gotten a bit abused over the years

Yes, "Black Swan" is usually just code for "My model can't reasonably explain these observations."
posted by Coventry at 6:32 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whoa, I really disagree. That term has gotten a bit abused over the years (even by Taleb himself, IMO).

Is Taleb defining it wrong here?
First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme 'impact'. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.
Or am I using it wrong? Because it seems to me that:

1) Almost no one, including Trump, expected him to win.
2) It will have an extreme impact.
3) We're trying to explain it after the fact.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:38 PM on December 27, 2016 [12 favorites]


"Deploraball" Descends into Chaos over Nazi Salutes. Apparently some of the alt-right now think the Nazi thing might be too Nazi.
posted by Mchelly at 6:49 PM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Is Taleb defining it wrong here?

I don't think he's doing it wrong there. I think that the idea that, given our current level of political polarization, the strength of our two political parties, and (as someone else pointed out) the recent success of nationalist/populist movements across Western Europe, the idea that "populist Republican nominee wins Presidency" is not at all outside of the realm of regular expectations.

Nate Silver, who I'm guessing is the most famous political statistician out there, gave Trump about a 30% chance of winning the presidency? Thats non-trivial! If I told you there was a 30% chance of a hurricane hitting your house, you'd probably go ahead and board up your windows.

Was Trump winning the presidency unlikely? Sure. But of course unlikely things happen all the time.
posted by lalex at 6:52 PM on December 27, 2016 [2 favorites]