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January 7, 2017 7:42 AM   Subscribe

A day after the release of the declassified report on Russian hacking during the 2016 election, the New York Times is reporting this morning on the business deals of Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. In Washington, Congressional Republicans seem to be supporting Trump's campaign promise to build a border wall between the US and Mexico, even though it seems that American taxpayers will be the ones fronting the money to pay for it. Mr. Trump, with 13 days to go before he assumes the presidency, is tweeting about the "stupid" people, or fools, would think that [having a good relationship with Russia] is bad! He will purportedly give a press conference this week, on January 11, following President Obama's Farewell Address, on January 10. A number of confirmation hearings will also take place on the 11th.

Mother Jones is reporting on "The Brutal (and Fact-Checked) Numbers on Killing Obamacare": "More than 23 million people could lose coverage. And the superrich will get a $197,000 tax cut."

CNN: In their own words: The story of covering Election Night 2016: "Conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who voted for Trump, thought he voted for the loser. "I didn't see it coming. Anybody who says they did, I think they're lying," he said."

Rachel Maddow: "Donald Trump lied to us about what the intelligence report on Russia says" (video)

NYT Opinion: Giving Mr. Trump’s Nominees a Pass: So far, the only nominees known to have filed complete 278s and signed ethics agreement letters are Senator Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trump’s choice for attorney general, whose hearing is set for Tuesday; Rex Tillerson, the Exxon chief picked as secretary of state, whose hearing is scheduled for Wednesday; and Mike Pompeo, the nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose hearing is also set for Wednesday. Most of the rest have filed incomplete disclosures, have not yet signed ethics agreement letters or have submitted nothing at all.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (3998 comments total) 123 users marked this as a favorite

 
Happy times are here again! Make America Grate!
posted by Postroad at 7:44 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Has there ever been a President so attached to the 24hr cable news shows? If his tweets are indicative of anything, his moods are driven entirely by what's on CNN. Imagine if they all made a pact and said nothing about him for a day. What would happen? Too bad Fox would never get on board.
posted by dis_integration at 7:53 AM on January 7 [14 favorites]


Thank you roomthreeseventeen!

A question for folks - now that they've named nominees, can they arbitrarily take them back? I'm thinking of how Mattis keeps rejecting transition team attempts to name appointments inside his department.
posted by corb at 7:56 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]


Has there ever been a President so...

A question starting with these words in the context of the president-elect can be presumed to have an answer of "no."
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:56 AM on January 7 [38 favorites]


I wish I had something more substantive to say than "I hate this man"
posted by crush-onastick at 7:57 AM on January 7 [144 favorites]


> If his tweets are indicative of anything, his moods are driven entirely by what's on CNN.

When someone is trying to manipulate you, it is unwise to assume his words correlate with his real beliefs. The fact that his words correlate with the 24 hour news cycle only means his manipulation strategy is plucking at a baseline of emotions that a mass of people are plugged into. CNN is nothing more than a shared narrative one can use to build consensus.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:57 AM on January 7 [43 favorites]


Probable cost of wall: $20 billion
Amount of money sent to Mexico from the US annually: $23 billion

This could take a while.
posted by Bee'sWing at 7:58 AM on January 7 [4 favorites]


his manipulation strategy is using the 24 hour news cycle as a source of baseline emotions which a mass of people are plugged into

His entire business strategy -- what he undoubtably thinks of as his "genius" -- has been based on identifying the current or next hot thing and getting a piece of it as early as possible. He's not as good at it as he obviously thinks he is, but I'm sure he has been a media junkie his entire life.
posted by Bringer Tom at 8:02 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


A modest suggestion: just like you append the phrase "in bed" to the end of your fortune cookie fortune, when Trump tweets about Russia add "NO PUPPET!" to the end of it.
posted by peeedro at 8:02 AM on January 7 [41 favorites]


So anyone taking bets on how many days it'll be after the inauguration before tanks start rolling?
posted by Artw at 8:05 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]


In foreign countries or US cities, Artw?
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:07 AM on January 7 [30 favorites]


So anyone taking bets on how many days it'll be after the inauguration before tanks start rolling?

Negative 14 days.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:08 AM on January 7 [24 favorites]


Probable cost of wall: $20 billion
Amount of money sent to Mexico from the US annually: $23 billion

This could take a while.


Isn't that the basis of the threat though? Cut off that money flow unless Mexico agrees to send a percentage of it back to the US? At least in AZ a lot of people are worried about how that could play out.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:09 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


So anyone taking bets on how many days it'll be after the inauguration before tanks start rolling?

Unpossible. I've been assured by my further-left-than-thou friends that Clinton was th' real war hawk and we'll be safer with Don President.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:10 AM on January 7 [67 favorites]


Was rather thinking of the Russian tanks. US tanks are for show only.
posted by Artw at 8:10 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


I don't know about the US, but the UK cable infrastructure isn't the most robust thing in the world. Vandalism to pavement distribution boxes can and does knock out people's cable feeds for a while - and that's without thinking about how well-secured the systems are to digital attacks. So I wonder if we'll see some naughty people having a go at things like that. I daresay that if things get to significant civil unrest, we'll find out.

Meanwhile, the No Money For The Right protest movement in Germany seems to be going well in its bid to get German companies to pull advertising from Breitbart, and I hope that the latest hate propaganda ('fake news' is nowhere near accurate enough) pushes that forward. How well will they have to do before being condemned in a Trumptweet?
posted by Devonian at 8:10 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]


The title of this post is a tautology...
posted by steeringwheel at 8:12 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]




Unpossible. I've been assured by my further-left-than-thou friends that Clinton was th' real war hawk and we'll be safer with Don President.

Well, it's pretty clear that Don's boss is going to have him sit on his hands whilevwhstever Russian expansionism happens goes on, possibly bleating some RT approved lines about how those countries wanted to be Russian anyway, so in a *sense* they are right. What happens if there's pushback and escalation despite America holding back is another question.
posted by Artw at 8:14 AM on January 7 [9 favorites]


An open question to MeFites more knowledgeable than I:

Has it gone well, historically, for chief executives who fight with their intelligence agencies?
posted by schadenfrau at 8:15 AM on January 7 [16 favorites]


Isn't that the basis of the threat though? Cut off that money flow unless Mexico agrees to send a percentage of it back to the US?

I'm assuming that Trump means to tax the transfers. It would take a long time if the tax was low enough that people would continue doing it that way.
posted by Bee'sWing at 8:17 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Among the many things this country doesn't need is a president with the mind of a twelve-year-old boy.
posted by tommasz at 8:17 AM on January 7 [18 favorites]


The first scenario I can think of involves a purge of various intelligence agencies, leaving a lot of skilled free agents around to be plucked up by whoever has the money to hire them, and a lot of craptacular yes-men ideologues left doing actual defense work.

That seems terrible for everybody.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:17 AM on January 7 [9 favorites]


I wish I had something more substantive to say than "I hate this man"

How about "I hate this, man"?
posted by sexyrobot at 8:17 AM on January 7 [55 favorites]


schadenfrau, I suspect there are two answers to your question: one for chief executives who feud with the existing intelligence infrastructure but more or less keep it in place, and another for chief executives who completely remake their country's intelligence framework to more effectively root out political enemies.
posted by duffell at 8:18 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


How about "I hate this, man"?

FEELS BAD, MAN
posted by pxe2000 at 8:19 AM on January 7 [17 favorites]


This is all making me nauseous :
What is directly evident, right on the surface is bad enough - Trump has told us he will try to reverse everything the Obama administration accomplished. Even taking into account that Obama has not been fantastically perfectly perfect at all - he's been a great president.
What freaks me out is whatever I don't know, but which pops its head up every now and then. Trump's pissing on the intelligence community (can that in anyway have anodyne results? Why, aside from the somewhat obvious 'because they have the goods on you,' would Trump possibly poke that bear?) Then Obama's vaguely frantic re-shuffeling of troops to back up NATO forces. Possibly reorganizing the protocol for nuclear launches... They give the impression that measures (vaguely frantic and desperate) need to be taken to maintain the stability of the world...

It's messing with my sleep
posted by From Bklyn at 8:20 AM on January 7 [9 favorites]


So here's a tantalizing tidbit that hasn't gotten much attention yet. When the NYT first published their story on the DNI report it read quite differently than it does now, even changing the headline. After about 20 minutes it got a nearly complete rewrite & deleted something quite interesting: in 2015 GCHQ detected the DNC breach & altered the US (presumably NSA). Here's how NewsDiff saw it go down.

Also the British tabloid the Mirror is somewhat connecting the dots between the DNC hack & a failed Russian hack of servers for the British Home Office, Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence. It's not conclusive about that but it's quite suggestive.
posted by scalefree at 8:21 AM on January 7 [30 favorites]


How sad is it that I initially did a double take thinking it meant a party about the country being over.

@Evan_McMullin:
Country over party!
posted by chris24 at 8:23 AM on January 7 [95 favorites]


Our main hope is that the various Breitbart and Nazi goons won't know what levers to pull and what to do with them, making the purge ineffective, and that the absence of real intelligence does not allow too much hostile action by terrorists/hostile powers/etc... etc...

Worst case is they fuck up security entirely, America suffers a big attack of some kind, and they use that to kick off a really big purge.
posted by Artw at 8:24 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]


Oh & also here's a report on the Gmail/Podesta attacks by SecureWorks, a security consulting arm of Dell, that's quite relevant.
posted by scalefree at 8:24 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Man I really do think it's time for a spontaneous Country-Over Party conclusion to this film, a la 80s Rodney Dangerfield films. Evan will be our Rodney.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:25 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Putin's strategy of vote interference with Brexit and Trump seems to be a pattern to cut off the US and UK from Europe, for a near-term invasion goal, before his older military equipment decays anymore perhaps. The CIA is responsible for alerting others and preventing this from happening, so neutralizing them now would be a major priority.
posted by Brian B. at 8:27 AM on January 7 [22 favorites]


FEELS BAD, MAN


Game over man.
posted by iamck at 8:27 AM on January 7 [7 favorites]


Man I really do think it's time for a spontaneous Country-Over Party conclusion to this film, a la 80s Rodney Dangerfield films. Evan will be our Rodney.

yeah, the buttoned-up CIA guy is a great stand-in for the slobs in this slobs vs. snobs comedy
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:28 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Not Exactly a Gish Gallop -- Maybe We Should Call it a Trump Tropt
Still, that's a lot of bamboozlement in eight minutes. Should we call this a Gish Gallop? [...]

The difference here is that many of Trump's points have some truth to them -- the China hack really happened; the FBI did say that the DNC refused to give the Bureau access to its servers (but only after the DNC said the FBI never asked for access); and Donna Brazile did inform the Clinton campaign about debate questions (though this happened during the primaries, long before Clinton was running against Trump). However, none of this is relevant to the question of whether the Russians did serious damage to electoral democracy in the U.S. It's like trying to get out of a speeding ticket by saying your next-door neighbor is a drunk and your cousin is having an affair. Even if both assertions are true, you were still speeding.

So this isn't exactly a Gish Gallop. Let's call it the Trump Trot instead. Trump lies incessantly, as we know, but he's deceitful even when he's not lying. He bombards the media with truths and half-truths that are irrelevant and meant to confuse. And he's going to keep doing this for the next four years.

posted by tonycpsu at 8:29 AM on January 7 [25 favorites]


Thumbing your nose at the deep state before you even take office is a recipe for disaster.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:29 AM on January 7 [21 favorites]


At least some small pleasures are left: Watching Jon Chait and David Frum get owned for their feckless stupidity over and over again on Twitter, for instance.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:32 AM on January 7 [14 favorites]


Yeah, even if the next administration starts using the Armageddon Rule to clean house at the intel agencies, I'm betting some thumb drives with a lot of, er, "metadata" on one Donald J. Trump are going to be leaving the building along with the sacked spooks.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:33 AM on January 7 [15 favorites]


Putin's strategy of vote interference with Brexit and Trump seems to be a pattern to cut off the US and UK from Europe

He's planning on much more than that. His ultimate objective seems to be to splinter the US in much the same way as happened to the USSR, using secession movements in California & Texas.
posted by scalefree at 8:34 AM on January 7 [15 favorites]


FBI did say that the DNC refused to give the Bureau access to its servers (but only after the DNC said the FBI never asked for access)

Given the anti-Clinton fervor of the New York FBI Field Office I can understand why DNC didn't invite them over for tea & forensics.
posted by scalefree at 8:39 AM on January 7 [21 favorites]


now that they've named nominees, can they arbitrarily take them back?

Yup
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:40 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Deep state took out Nixon. Sad that we're reduced to them as probably our best institutional hope, but here we are.
posted by chris24 at 8:40 AM on January 7 [23 favorites]


I largely checked out of the last few election threads for mental health issues. The degree of hopelessness was crippling and I just had to walk away for awhile. I've started re-engaging in this shit-show by calling my new rep and long-time senator to show support. With that said, the hopelessness is still with me because I can't believe the country is steadily walking towards a future where a man-child elected by 47% of the electorate with the documented help of a foreign country's intelligence agencies will be installed in just two short weeks. This is a fucking nightmare. How is this still happening with everything we now know?
posted by photoslob at 8:40 AM on January 7 [93 favorites]


Worst case is they fuck up security entirely, America suffers a big attack of some kind, and they use that to kick off a really big purge.

A major attack is practically inevitable. The chance is always there, but with Trump and his cabinet calling for a war with Islam, antagonizing major powers across the globe, and the chaos he is introducing to US intelligence institutions (institutions I am by no means in love with, but still), the odds are extremely fucking high of a major attack.

The challenge for our elected officials will be to resist calls for unity behind the crackdown on civil liberties that will follow. They need to hit Trump HARD when this inevitably happens, because it will be 100% his fucking fault. The challenge to us is to hold our own elected officials accountable for naming Trump and his cabinet as the responsible parties.
posted by duffell at 8:41 AM on January 7 [92 favorites]


A major attack is practically inevitable.

Especially since there's now a shit ton of unsecured targets around the world with the president's name all over them.
posted by chris24 at 8:43 AM on January 7 [74 favorites]


Despite all available evidence I am hoping Democrats will not match themselves into the gaschambers post whatever big attack occurs in the name of "unity", possibly because it will be done in a blatant and hamfisted way.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on January 7 [12 favorites]


Yeah, even if the next administration starts using the Armageddon Rule to clean house at the intel agencies,

Just so we're clear, the Holman Rule allows Representatives to attach amendments that target the salaries of individual Federal employees to bills (which bills+amendments must then be passed into law in the usual manner). It does not give the "next administration" the power to do so.
posted by notyou at 8:46 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Yeah, even if the next administration starts using the Armageddon Rule to clean house at the intel agencies

Intel agency employees generally don't get civil service protections and can be fired at will by the President, so the "Armageddon rule" is largely irrelevant.
posted by grobstein at 8:46 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


the odds are extremely fucking high of a major attack

Especially since terrorists understand that a self-destructive overreaction will be all but guaranteed.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:47 AM on January 7 [77 favorites]


It's probably wrong to think this, but I can't stop thinking about it: pissing off the intelligence community is probably a good way to get shot. Either someone makes it look like an accident, or they look the other way on some intelligence. It is not in his best interest not to at least pretend to listen to, like, the CIA, also known as "the people the US uses to overthrow the governments of other countries clandestinely, who are in charge of the President's personal security." I mean, probably nothing will happen, but it's seems like an obvious thing to not fuck around with.
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:48 AM on January 7 [11 favorites]


I have a policy of avoiding political threads in the interest of serenity; That said, I'll just add to the discussion the severe economic malaise. I have been paying keen attention to reporting in this area, and Trump et. al are clearly being narratively positioned as 'fall guys.'

As a Democrat, I personally think, 'hey that's great.' Except as a human being, for all the suffering that puts in the pipeline for all the rest of us.

As to whether or not the US 'Intelligence Community' (a term that I find absolutely vile-- These people are our spies, our torturers, our intelligence analysts, etc. and by and large, they have done a lousy job. They are not a homespun group of pals sitting around a BBQ having fundraisers for orphans a la 'A Community.') will be complicit in constructing this next narrative chapter, I vote 'Yes, of course.'
posted by mrdaneri at 8:49 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


It's probably wrong to think this, but I can't stop thinking about it: pissing off the intelligence community is probably a good way to get shot.

TBH that sort of thing is just an elaborate version of "NeverTrump will stop him!"
posted by Artw at 8:49 AM on January 7 [13 favorites]


Ignoring the intelligence community worked out super-good for Dubya.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:50 AM on January 7 [12 favorites]


Intel agency employees generally don't get civil service protections and can be fired at will by the President, so the "Armageddon rule" is largely irrelevant.

I think this is more aimed at the lists of climate change researchers & women's health workers they've been trying to compile. Most of them probably are protected civil servants.
posted by scalefree at 8:50 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Yeah, it's not going to come to anything. It's another rule that this guy gets to break, for some reason.
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:50 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


I wish the media would stop reprinting that man's stupid Tweets. Press conference, interview, or no coverage.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:51 AM on January 7 [54 favorites]



An open question to MeFites more knowledgeable than I:

Has it gone well, historically, for chief executives who fight with their intelligence agencies?


This is a question that needs more clarification. "Has it gone well, historically for chief executives who fight with their intelligence agencies with the public actually knowing that a fight is going on

Hard to answer because spats usually don't have a public face or the public face of it is very obscured. Tend to learn, like Nixon, that something went down after the fact. This one is so glaringly obvious that something is happening that it's a bit of anomoly.
posted by Jalliah at 8:51 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


I wish the media would stop reprinting that man's stupid Tweets. Press conference, interview, or no coverage.

The problem is that Trump does seem to be, so far, conducting policy on Twitter. Like the time he pissed China off. These are news-worthy things because other countries are going to react to his shit.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:54 AM on January 7 [11 favorites]


Has it gone well, historically, for chief executives who fight with their intelligence agencies?

The two examples I can think of are Eisenhower, who famously invented the phrase "military industrial complex," & JFK. One went better than the other. Ike said his bit on his way out the door though, so not much value in going after him.
posted by scalefree at 8:56 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


From the Kushner article: Such is his influence in the geopolitical realm that transition officials have told the Obama White House that foreign policy matters that need to be brought to Mr. Trump’s attention should be relayed through his son-in-law, according to a person close to the transition and a government official with direct knowledge of the arrangemen
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:57 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]




> It does not give the "next administration" the power to do so.

If you think there's going to be a dime's worth of difference between what Trump wants to do and what the GOP-controlled Congress is spoon-feeding him, well, I see no reason for such optimism, but okay.

> Intel agency employees generally don't get civil service protections and can be fired at will by the President, so the "Armageddon rule" is largely irrelevant.

This is untrue. They still retain some some protections with excepted service status, just not the same level of protection as other civil servants. They can still appeal firing decisions after a probationary period. Whether in practice this amounts to a rubber stamp likely depends on how the board who reviews those appeals is staffed in the Trump administration, though, so...
posted by tonycpsu at 8:58 AM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Politico: Donald Trump and the top editors of Condé Nast's magazines talked about everything from abortion to Russia in a meeting at the company's headquarters at 1 World Trade Center in New York on Friday.

Sources who were either present at the meeting or briefed on it described the questions from editors as tough but said there were no fireworks. According to one participant who requested anonymity because the meeting was off-the-record, the "questions were sharp" covering race, hate crimes, Russia, Putin, climate change, women, feminism and abortion, but it "wasn't personal."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:59 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


I hope whoever at Condé Nast had the power to record and release these meetings never has a good night's sleep again. Same goes for all the other off-the-record discussions he's had with the press lately instead of press conferences.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:02 AM on January 7 [46 favorites]


> the meeting was off-the-record

Doing It Wrong, Journalism Edition
posted by tonycpsu at 9:03 AM on January 7 [83 favorites]


Among the many things this country doesn't need is a president with the mind of a twelve-year-old boy

This is incredibly rude to 12 year old boys. I tried to think of another living organism I would rather compare him to but I couldn't think of anything I dislike enough.
posted by billiebee at 9:04 AM on January 7 [28 favorites]


Good job scheduling his first press conference in months on the same day as the confirmation hearing-a-thon. We'll all be talking about how mean he was to the reporters while all the horrible orc generals get rubber stamped by the eunuchs.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:08 AM on January 7 [15 favorites]


I wish the media would stop reprinting that man's stupid Tweets.

Ruth Marcus, WaPo: The huge challenge of covering Trump fairly

Trump critics have also argued for disregarding — or at least, not constantly responding to — his tweets, on the theory that his goal is often as much to distract as it is to inform or, more likely, inflame. Here, again, deducing motive seems awfully subjective — and ignoring presidential commentary unwise, in whatever format it is delivered.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:09 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Ruth Marcus, WaPo: The huge challenge of covering Trump fairly

AKA "holy god this fucker is so awful how on earth do we spin him to look good to give the appearance of 'balance'"

AKA not by doing anything any moral person could sleep at night after doing.
posted by Artw at 9:13 AM on January 7 [18 favorites]


If you think there's going to be a dime's worth of difference between what Trump wants to do and what the GOP-controlled Congress is spoon-feeding him, well, I see no reason for such optimism, but okay.

I do think there will be fissures between Congress and the White House and places where cooperation breaks down. But that's irrelevant to my clarification. The Holman Rule, as awful as it is, applies to Congress, and it features the usual cumbersome legislative hurdles. It's important to keep the details straight and to remain optimistic, both as observers, and as potential supporters of efforts to defend targeted employees.
posted by notyou at 9:14 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


now that they've named nominees, can they arbitrarily take them back?

Given the advanced ages of many of them I expect some will die before even taking office.
posted by srboisvert at 9:14 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


It's not covering the tweets that's the problem, it's when they're only covering the tweets at the expense of what's going on behind the curtain. The tweets are news, especially the outrageous ones -- but it shouldn't be "Trump tweeted this" it should be "The Trump administration did the following horrible things..." and then "in what could be viewed as an attempt to change the subject from these horrible things, Donald Trump got into a Twitter beef with a mediocre movie star and disgraced ex-Governor of California."
posted by tonycpsu at 9:16 AM on January 7 [90 favorites]


I do wonder how many of the nominees of the parasitic oligarch sort are actually going to want to put in the work of oppressing us. Of course leaving those positions essentially empty may be harmful in its own way too.
posted by Artw at 9:18 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


New Scientist (free reg req) on the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, which basically turn off evidence-based policy.

The US Congress is back in session, and it seems they have had enough of experts, too. The new Republican-led House of Representatives votes this week on two bills that would effectively toss out evidence-based reasoning from the process of deciding which regulations to enforce. If passed, the bills could undermine everything from rules about clean water to the Endangered Species Act.

“It’s replacing a science-based process with a political process,” says Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Supporters of the bills are talking about cutting through bureaucracy and increasing transparency, but the provisions could effectively give Congress licence to shut down or ignore research around regulations.
.

Lots more detail in the article, if you can bear it.
posted by Devonian at 9:21 AM on January 7 [46 favorites]


How much do Trumpsuckers think that illegal immigrants from the south cost this country? More than $20 Billion? Seems like the wall would cost more than it's worth , even if you were dumb enough to think it was a good idea.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:22 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


The abandonment of science is what our descendants (if there be any) will curse us for above all else.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:22 AM on January 7 [44 favorites]


As the totality of Trump's eradication of Obama's legacy comes into focus I've been wondering more about what might possibly come next. Assume that the overall system does survive and we continue into future elections with the same general structure. We're basically now looking at every party swap coming with a total ground up reformat and reinstall of the government. Look at it this way: Trump's doing it now, so that means that even if the "good guys" win next time around, they'll have to do it in turn to eliminate all of his work, at which point we're well into "both sides do it!" territory. Programs with decades-plus time horizons have already been a bit of a joke but now it seems like we can basically forget everything which won't be completed or irrevocably begun within the context of a single party's administration. The only way I can see this not happening is if it goes so badly that the general population is forced to consider it in truth, and even then...
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:23 AM on January 7 [25 favorites]


NYT Jared Kushner, a Trump In-Law and Adviser, Chases a Chinese Deal
Indeed, despite a lack of foreign policy experience, Mr. Kushner is emerging as an important figure at a crucial moment for some of America’s most complicated diplomatic relationships. Such is his influence in the geopolitical realm that transition officials have told the Obama White House that foreign policy matters that need to be brought to Mr. Trump’s attention should be relayed through his son-in-law, according to a person close to the transition and a government official with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

So when the Chinese ambassador to the United States called the White House in early December to express what one official called China’s “deep displeasure” at Mr. Trump’s break with longstanding diplomatic tradition by speaking by phone with the president of Taiwan, the White House did not call the president-elect’s national security team. Instead, it relayed that information through Mr. Kushner, whose company was not only in the midst of discussions with Anbang but also has Chinese investors.
posted by zachlipton at 9:27 AM on January 7 [14 favorites]


> How much do Trumpsuckers think that illegal immigrants from the south cost this country? More than $20 Billion? Seems like the wall would cost more than it's worth , even if you were dumb enough to think it was a good idea.

PISSING OFF LIBTARDS - PRICELESS
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:31 AM on January 7 [17 favorites]


How much do Trumpsuckers think that illegal immigrants from the south cost this country? More than $20 Billion?

Undocumented immigrants pay $13 billion each year to Social Security and only take out $1 billion in benefits. So they don't cost us anything, they benefit us.
posted by chris24 at 9:36 AM on January 7 [61 favorites]


Most of the rest have filed incomplete disclosures, have not yet signed ethics agreement letters or have submitted nothing at all.

More on this: Senate Confirmation Hearings to Begin Without All Background Checks

You can read the letter from the head of the Office of Government Ethics (of newfound Twitter fame): "I am not aware of any ocassion in the four decades since OGE was established when the Senate held a confirmation hearing before the nominee had completed the ethics review process"
posted by zachlipton at 9:36 AM on January 7 [38 favorites]


I personally cannot wait until someone explains to the Trump economic team that Mexico is one of our largest trading partners (~531B bidirectional) and we currently have a (-58.7B deficit) in their favor.

So, just in economic terms, the US taxpayer is on the hook for the wall. Three times over. Just to balance the books to 'even.'

I'm out for my weekend breakfast burrito, doubtlessly prepared by hardworking migrants who will remit 60% of their takehome pay to N. Mexican agricultural provinces decimated by a half-century of US foreign relations. Maybe I'll skip the sour cream.
posted by mrdaneri at 9:37 AM on January 7 [14 favorites]


What some economic commentators in foreign news sources (broadcast in the US) tend to notice about Trump is that his arguments are stuck in the 1980's or 90's. He never updated his information and he often rambles about Chinese currency and Japan imports, which aren't relevant. His 1980's supply-side great wall idea stupidly assumes that people shouldn't be verified for employment over networks, for example. He believes that cheap money should be borrowed in good economic times to goose the economy, rather than taxed. He basically sees the middle-class as his enemy because he only needs the working class and the wealthy class to achieve his goals.
posted by Brian B. at 9:37 AM on January 7 [38 favorites]


What some economic commentators in foreign news sources (broadcast in the US) tend to notice about Trump is that his arguments are stuck in the 1980's or 90's

He is unable to accept his own physical decline and mortality and therefore his world is forever the world in which he feels he had the greatest intersection of power and physical personal appearance. About 1987?
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:40 AM on January 7 [27 favorites]


He hires the best people.

Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book

"Conservative author and television personality Monica Crowley, whom Donald Trump has tapped for a top national security communications role, plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book, a CNN KFile review has found.

The review of Crowley’s June 2012 book, "What The (Bleep) Just Happened," found upwards of 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including the copying with minor changes of news articles, other columnists, think tanks, and Wikipedia. The New York Times bestseller, published by the HarperCollins imprint Broadside Books, contains no notes or bibliography."
posted by chris24 at 9:42 AM on January 7 [27 favorites]


Mr. Wu and Mr. Kushner — who is married to Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and is one of his closest advisers — were nearing agreement on a joint venture in Manhattan: the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue

So we're dealing with a mashup of The Manchurian Candidate and Rosemary's Baby here?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:43 AM on January 7 [38 favorites]


Among the many things this country doesn't need is a president with the mind of a twelve-year-old boy

This is incredibly rude to 12 year old boys.


yeah, by the time I was eleven, I was reading adult books. I'm thinking we're dealing with a ten year old mind at best.
posted by philip-random at 9:44 AM on January 7 [13 favorites]


My seven and a half year old nephew has more compassion in his little finger than Donald Trump has in his body. Which I think is a good quality in a president.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:49 AM on January 7 [13 favorites]


He is unable to accept his own decline and mortality and therefore his world is forever the world in which he feels he had the greatest intersection of power and physical personal appearance. About 1987?

Something like that I'm sure there's some sort of psychology going on. And it's not like people like this are somehow uncommon. I know a lot of older people who just seem like they're stuck in a certain time period of their lives. One set of my Grandparents were like this. They never seemed to get past the world of their 40s and 50s. My other Grandparents weren't like this.
It's seems that certain types of people get to some point in their life cycle and just stop learning and assimilating current information.
posted by Jalliah at 9:50 AM on January 7 [18 favorites]


What some economic commentators in foreign news sources (broadcast in the US) tend to notice about Trump is that his arguments are stuck in the 1980's or 90's. He never updated his information and he often rambles about Chinese currency and Japan imports, which aren't relevant. His 1980's supply-side great wall idea stupidly assumes that people shouldn't be verified for employment over networks, for example. He believes that cheap money should be borrowed in good economic times to goose the economy, rather than taxed. He basically sees the middle-class as his enemy because he only needs the working class and the wealthy class to achieve his goals.

This is bang on. Would also add: between 2009 and 2014 there was a net migration of 140,000 people FROM the United States TO Mexico, so the migration trends of the 80s, 90s and early 00s no longer apply. Because it's the PRESENT DAY.

But Trump's weird 80s callbacks leave me wondering if Robin Leach is going to emerge from retirement to profile the first family.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:51 AM on January 7 [26 favorites]


Russia spreading fake news and forged docs in Sweden: report (The Local.se)


In the study, which is published in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Kragh argues that over the past few years, Russia has increasingly been returning to what the KGB historically referred to as “active measures” to impact public opinion in Sweden.

According the report, “active measures” are designed “to hamper the target country’s ability to generate public support in pursuing its policies”.

Such measures have included the Russian government deploying troll armies on Swedish Twitter, launching its own Swedish language news site Sputnik, and spreading fake documents, 26 of which Kragh has identified.

posted by Devonian at 9:52 AM on January 7 [15 favorites]


The problem with Donald a Trump isn't that he has a child's mind and temperament. It's that sadly he has an adult mind and temperament.
posted by dng at 9:54 AM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Undocumented immigrants pay $13 billion each year to Social Security and only take out $1 billion in benefits. So they don't cost us anything, they benefit us ...because we collectively steal their wages and then call them criminals and lawbreakers.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:55 AM on January 7 [35 favorites]


He has an adult pathological narcissist mind and temperament, which comes off as child like because children go through stages of types of narcissism as they are developing and the majority mature out of it. So aspects of it seem familiar.
posted by Jalliah at 9:59 AM on January 7 [47 favorites]


Fight hard. Drink more. Stash money. Always know where the nearest exits are wherever you go. Keep your loved ones close. Plan for the worst case scenarios. Keep the real American spirit alive until it's buried, aflame or underwater. And when it all goes to shit, line up with your fellow reality-based citizens in one last WE FUCKING TOLD YOU so from sea to surging sea.
posted by delfin at 10:01 AM on January 7 [60 favorites]


He basically sees the middle-class as his enemy because he only needs the working class and the wealthy class to achieve his goals.

The labor of the working class, votes from the middle class, benefits to the wealthy class. Trumpism is Republicanism, stripped of its veneer.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:01 AM on January 7 [27 favorites]


So, uh, could Roberts just decide not to administer the Oath of Office?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:08 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Never Trump!
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Mandolin Conspiracy Just to back this up with anecdote; I have seen this in my 'business life.'

I just finished up my third gig cycle in the SV-- for the first time I was approached by Mexican firms in TJ, Monterrey, and Mexico City. That had literally never happened before. My Español is roughly at the level of a 'bright and friendly' three year old.

I have 'heard it through the grapevine' that TJ is popping, from a startup perspective, cartels and governmental wobbles be damned.
posted by mrdaneri at 10:11 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


fuse theorem: "Isn't that the basis of the threat though? Cut off that money flow unless Mexico agrees to send a percentage of it back to the US?"

The version I saw during the campaign was threaten to impose ID requirements on wire transfers, and "Mexico" will gladly pay a one-time cost for a wall. And I put "Mexico" in quotes because Mexico is not a homogeneous unit. If you acknowledge the plan is to make the Mexican government pay for something by threatening individual residents of Mexico, then you can't just go, "Oh, well this number is bigger."

And that's not even mentioning the question of what percentage of wire transfers would really be cut off by imposing ID requirements, which they just kind of hand-wave and say "a lot of them." But there's also probably a lot of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who would be capable of meeting these ID requirements who have legitimate business with Mexican residents. And a lot of people who can't meet those ID requirements would find some other means of sending money to Mexican residents.

On the other hand, I could be doing a bunch of fact-checking on what Hannah Arendt would point out is only a declaration of intent, with no factual content. Their stated intention is to build a wall, and possibly to impose ID requirements on wire transfers. The fact that the claimed rationale for imposing ID requirements doesn't hold up to examination could just mean they don't want to say aloud their real reasons for that intention.
posted by RobotHero at 10:14 AM on January 7 [14 favorites]


Not to derail but if you need a palate cleanser after the latest round of "Well, here's more disturbing reportage on the Trump family," if you follow Devonian's link to the Russian documents story on the local.se site above you'll find it also contains an update on the mouse restaurant in Malmö, the subject of this previous FPP.

Aw.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled horrorshow.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:16 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]


I see no downsides to creating a massive clandestine crossborder money trade.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on January 7 [12 favorites]




So, uh, could Roberts just decide not to administer the Oath of Office?

I believe that any federal judge can administer the Oath if necessary. Still, it would be a nod to anti-normalization that I would welcome if some random circuit judge had to be dragged out of somewhere to do the formalities.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:19 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Where is Ghost of Scalia when you need him?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:21 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I don't know why anyone would think Roberts would give up the chance to place a capstone on his life's work of ensuring only conservative white Christian men can vote or hold office.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:22 AM on January 7 [31 favorites]



Vicente Fox on Twitter [real]:

TRUMP, when will you understand that I am not paying for that fucken wall. Be clear with US tax payers. They will pay for it.


The one that came after this is a much better troll.

Sr Trump,the intelligence report is devastating.Losing election by more than 3M votes and in addition this.Are you a legitimate president?

At least three extremely pressure sensitive buttons pressed in that one. Not bad for 140 character limit. Would have been almost perfect if he had used "Sr Donald"
posted by Jalliah at 10:24 AM on January 7 [95 favorites]


Agreed, Jalliah. The missing 'Sr. Donald' is the only thing that could have made that literally the most optimum use of bandwidth.
posted by mrdaneri at 10:25 AM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Most of the rest have filed incomplete disclosures, have not yet signed ethics agreement letters or have submitted nothing at all.

From yesterday's Friday-newscycle-friendly FOIA dump from the Office of Government Ethics:

Ethics Office Couldn't Contact Top Trump Aides After Election (Politico) "The federal government's ethics watchdog had difficulty reaching top aides to President-elect Donald Trump for ten days or more after the November election, according to government records released Friday. Email traffic shows that Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub had various discussions with Trump's transition planners prior to the Nov. 8 vote, but could not contact Trump lawyer Don McGahn during a period in mid-November."

U.S. Ethics Office Struggled to Gain Access to Trump Team, Emails Show (NBC) "While the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request sought materials about Trump's potential divestment from his company, that topic rarely arose in the materials, which included some redacted email. Bradley Moss, a federal employment lawyer who oversaw the FOIA request, said that absence was concerning. 'Conspicuously absent is any evidence of the preparations allegedly being undertaken by President-Elect Trump to resolve potential conflicts of interest through some manner of divestment,' Moss said. 'If the President-Elect's lawyers and compliance officers are not coordinating with OGE, who, if anyone, within the government are they coordinating on these matters?' he asked."

Whether this is an instance of stonewalling or incompetence, failing to perform basic preparations for governing is clearly a hallmark of the Trump administration.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:29 AM on January 7 [35 favorites]


The challenge for our elected officials will be to resist calls for unity behind the crackdown on civil liberties that will follow. They need to hit Trump HARD when this inevitably happens, because it will be 100% his fucking fault. The challenge to us is to hold our own elected officials accountable for naming Trump and his cabinet as the responsible parties.

To borrow a line from Arrow, if/when the time comes, I want to see front pages of newspapers with Trump's photo on them paired with the headline YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:38 AM on January 7 [15 favorites]


At the risk of being flippant in the face of unfolding horror, I'm beginning to wonder if Trump's approach to Russia is somehow a spectacular attempt at real-life retcon fanfic: an effort to ensure that the setting of Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium future history actually comes to pass.

(There may actually be something to this. I do wonder if, in fact, Trump's approach is simply to treat global geopolitics as a business issue where he gets USA Inc to form a cartel with Russia Inc by which they carve up their respective business empires and agree to jointly crush all the competition.)
posted by Major Clanger at 10:51 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Whether this is an instance of stonewalling or incompetence

Es los dos. ES LOS DOS, DAMNIT!
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:51 AM on January 7 [13 favorites]


Servo5678 Or, will it be like the late Weimar Republic with joyous crowds in St. Louis standing outside a recently opened Raytheon AIM-9x assembly factory?

Headlines of 'YOU SAVED THIS CITY!'?
posted by mrdaneri at 10:52 AM on January 7


What I am very interested in know is if there are any aggressive people at our intelligence agencies. What I'm saying is, Trump is going to need something more than a report that says "Attack by [ISIS/Skeletor/Whoever] imminent]" in his daily/monthly briefing, because god knows he isn't a reader. We need someone to call his ass, or Tweet it, every 10 minutes. And then call Mattis, or whoever.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:56 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Make it look like a DM from Alex Jones.
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on January 7 [13 favorites]


Make it look like a DM from Alex Jones.

The scary thing is that since (per somewhere in the last thread) Trump apparently just goes ahead and answers his personal cell phone with no verification about whom he's actually speaking to, anyone with access to that number could conceivably impersonate someone. And I'm sure he could easily get sucked into some kind of phishing attack... except that I have the feeling he doesn't use email at all.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:05 AM on January 7 [12 favorites]


Does Joe Biden make funny voice crank calls? Because I have a feeling he does.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:07 AM on January 7 [32 favorites]


Trump is going to need something more than a report that says "Attack by [ISIS/Skeletor/Whoever] imminent]" in his daily/monthly briefing, because god knows he isn't a reader.

The Bush administration ignored such messages prior to 9/11 for what amount to ideological reasons. Essentially they thought remnants of the Clinton administration's counter-terrorism apparatus were crying wolf in order to gain influence and resources. They really believed the whole counter-terrorism thing was a boondoggle.

In a situation like that creative/aggressive messaging can't amount to much, because the key issues are trust and incompatible worldviews.
posted by Coventry at 11:11 AM on January 7 [13 favorites]


Trumpism is Republicanism, stripped of its veneer.

That's why I distrust continued efforts to court wayward conservatives. Sure there's scattered Never Trumpers out there, but I view them more as craven opportunists (see: Beck, Glenn) rather than "good" Republicans - whose representatives are y'know, still deep down free-market, warhawk, anti-choice ghouls.

When it mattered Republicans overwhelmingly fell in line, and the vast majority will continue to do so. Because Trump is a Republican. He's a coarser, more unhinged one, to be sure, and he's a serial liar on a grander scale than the most lying liar who ever lied for the GOP before. But he was telling the truth about one thing - he could shoot somebody in the street and it wouldn't affect his support. He can admit to sexual assault, or being a crook. Dems can make a million more memes of Trump kissing Putin, and it won't sway Republicans (or galvanize Democrats) because Trump is pure Republican ideals, and Republicans support Republicans. That's the advantage of an authoritarian party who has found their autocrat.
posted by joechip at 11:14 AM on January 7 [76 favorites]


Was rather thinking of the Russian tanks. US tanks are for show only.

My own totally amateur hot take on this is that I won't be surprised to see tanks in the Ukraine as early as this spring. I don't have any evidence for that, but striking while Donnie's mancrush is hot and the Congress is occupied by sweeping away the remnants of the 20th century would be an ideal time to do something that Putin has never denied wanting to do. As for the rest of Europe, I expect that Russia will prefer the dividends paid by tractable governments and economic domination over the costs of actual military and political domination. Maybe "treaties of friendship" will be insisted on. Remarkably, a pan-European "Finlandization" is exactly the scenario US conservatives used to warn about when US conservatives cared about Europe.

an effort to ensure that the setting of Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium future history actually comes to pass

I was just thinking about that the other day. I have no idea what Pournelle is up to these days or if he's Trumpista and I'm a little alarmed to go look and see.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:26 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


This is incredibly rude to 12 year old boys.
I agree. I think 14-year-old is closer (male or female). That's when kids decide to read Ayn Rand and think they know better than everyone, and get high on mouthing off and making wisecracks. The thing is, 14-year-olds can function pretty well, well enough that they don't have to give up their hobbyhorses as adults. I'm thinking Paul Ryan, for example.

Just came back from a Washington March meeting. As someone of a certain age and had thought I was safe retiring, I agree with what a speaker said, which was, "Here we go again."
posted by Peach at 11:27 AM on January 7 [11 favorites]


The version I saw during the campaign was threaten to impose ID requirements on wire transfers

Oh goodness golly that sounds like it would be totally impossible to get around by having the gringo boss or some other honkey make those transfers instead yes indeedydoody.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:28 AM on January 7 [11 favorites]


The scary thing is that since (per somewhere in the last thread) Trump apparently just goes ahead and answers his personal cell phone with no verification about whom he's actually speaking to, anyone with access to that number could conceivably impersonate someone.

There's no possible way Trump will have access to his mobile post-inauguration, right? Obama couldn't use anything except an NSA-constructed phone once he was in office (and wasn't that how Clinton ended up starting her own email server when she couldn't have one too?)
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:29 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


it won't sway Republicans (or galvanize Democrats)

We lost in part because we didn't get enough of our people to the voting booths*. That's another problem, because their people do, and we can't necessarily count on Trump's incompetence and broken promises to turn people against him. We'll need to find a way to galvanize our base, unify, and fight as one the way they do, because they're consistently better than us at that. A distressing number of liberal-leaning voters I met (albeit mostly white) were apathetic at best about Hillary. The Indivisible document I've seen being passed around looks like a good start. To have a hope in hell of winning again, we have to galvanize Democrats the way Republicans have galvanized themselves.

* I'm also aware that voter suppression targeting minorities in R states and R gerrymandering contributed to this situation, will probably worsen under Donald, and that's harder to fight directly.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:30 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]


Oh goodness golly that sounds like it would be totally impossible to get around by having the gringo boss or some other honkey make those transfers instead yes indeedydoody.

And when said gringo or honky gets pulled in on conspiracy to commit money laundering charges?

I'm pretty sure the current Congress and Administration are not beyond being that petty.
posted by Talez at 11:35 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Remarkably, a pan-European "Finlandization" is exactly the scenario US conservatives used to warn about when US conservatives cared about Europe.

These other countries aren't facing the disparity that Finland faced; Germany or France alone could put together a military (if they wanted to) that could crush conventional Russian forces and Poland could put one together that could easily resist any credible Russian attack.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:36 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book

I have seen with my own eyes wingnut email "FWD: Fwd: FWD:" chains that were passed on by Monica Crowley. As you can imagine, I am not surprised by her attitude towards sourcing.
posted by holgate at 11:36 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]




Just so we're clear, the Holman Rule allows Representatives to attach amendments that target the salaries of individual Federal employees to bills (which bills+amendments must then be passed into law in the usual manner). It does not give the "next administration" the power to do so.

...and the last time they actually tried to use it, in the 1940s, they were promptly told they couldn't do that because the prohibition against bills of attainder is still a thing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:39 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Does Joe Biden make funny voice crank calls? Because I have a feeling he does.

I actually would hope that someone with this information didn't give it to some shock jock who's going to ask Trump if his refrigerator is running, and instead to someone who would draw him into a deeply embarrassing and emasculating conversation, that would somehow (how, I don't know) break this cult of personality that he's developed and open up space for the adults to take back the conversation.

Actually, and I cannot fully believe I am saying this, this might be a job for Howard Stern.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:40 AM on January 7 [16 favorites]


There's no possible way Trump will have access to his mobile post-inauguration, right? Obama couldn't use anything except an NSA-constructed phone once he was in office (and wasn't that how Clinton ended up starting her own email server when she couldn't have one too?)

Trump will refuse to hand his over and will probably win the ensuing fight.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:41 AM on January 7 [27 favorites]


...and the last time they actually tried to use it, in the 1940s, they were promptly told they couldn't do that because the prohibition against bills of attainder is still a thing.

It more and more feels like we're going back, not to the 1950s or to the 1870s, but to the 1500s.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:42 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


So, uh, could Roberts just decide not to administer the Oath of Office?

There is no legal specification as to who is to administer the oath of office. That it is done by the Chief Justice is tradition, not legal requirement. Trump could be sworn in by Scott Baio, if he wanted.

(When LBJ took the oath aboard Air Force One following Kennedy's assassination, it was administered by Federal District Judge Sarah T. Hughes.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:43 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


One of the most confusing, frustrating, and appalling things about Trump is how he keeps winning these battles, even before the election, and so many people consistently give him what he wants or step out of his way without much of a fight. It just emboldens him.

The only explanation I can think of is that the devil looks after his own.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:46 AM on January 7 [27 favorites]


Trump could be sworn in by Scott Baio, if he wanted.

So you're saying Charles really could be in charge?
posted by zachlipton at 11:49 AM on January 7 [27 favorites]


thedarksideofprocyon The only real philosophic stance with any real dignity left is stoicism, but I was recently informed that too, has become tainted by the alt-right. I give up on everything.
posted by mrdaneri at 11:50 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


There's no possible way Trump will have access to his mobile post-inauguration, right?

Who's gonna stop him? Ultimately the restrictions Obama faced were ones that he voluntarily abided by because not doing so would violate some rule or law, or even just he would be a colossal dick for not abiding by them. It's not like someone was going to physically stop him from walking to *looks it up* the CVS on G Street and buying a prepaid burner.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:52 AM on January 7 [14 favorites]


this might be a job for Howard Stern.
Except that Stern has made most of his business decisions based on advice from Trump and has not realized there's anything wrong with that.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:53 AM on January 7


Say what you will about him, Stern at least produces a product people want to buy. That's a hard criteria for Trump to pass.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:58 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know
John Kenneth Galbraith
posted by robbyrobs at 12:00 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


re: Jerry Pournelle

ugh [April 2016] (and it goesn't get any better)
posted by porpoise at 12:01 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


These other countries aren't facing the disparity that Finland faced; Germany or France alone could put together a military (if they wanted to) that could crush conventional Russian forces and Poland could put one together that could easily resist any credible Russian attack.

This is true. Which is why I'm sure Putin would prefer a non-NATO, disunited Europe run by Russia-friendly/Russia-neutral governments that could be dominated economically. Which isn't to say, of course, that he'll get any of this, even if the US does abandon Europe.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:04 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


The only real philosophic stance with any real dignity left is stoicism, but I was recently informed that too, has become tainted by the alt-right

The alt-right really is like a disease, and like any disease it is unfortunately effective at what it does - corruption, spreading, and getting its slimy tentacles anywhere it can. Corrupting people, corrupting social media, corrupting discourse, using the environment around it to suit its own ends.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:04 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]



Scenario: He keeps his phone cause he's The Donald and the Donald wants too. Donald keeps on just answering it like this article says he does.

How many times is that number going to be leaked? So often I'd expect that they'd constantly have to change the number and all the headaches that come from informing the people you want to have the number. Rinse and repeat times eleventy.

Donald may want it and fight for it but in practice it will likely be barely workable and make his phone pretty much useless and annoying.
posted by Jalliah at 12:05 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Eternal phone number changes, constantly missing important personal calls and getting a new phone, and constant crank calls to DJT: oh my god yes

Can you even imagine how annoyed that will make him? It's a small silver lining.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:13 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Which is why I'm sure Putin would prefer a non-NATO, disunited Europe run by Russia-friendly/Russia-neutral governments that could be dominated economically.

That may be what he's thinking, but it still seems stupid in anything but the shortest term. First, how is he going to dominate Germany or France economically? They have way bigger economies on their own. Second, breaking up NATO just seems like a recipe for a really big, nuclearized Bundeswehr. Even if not in response to a Russia, in response to Polish or French expansion out of mistrust of Germany.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:17 PM on January 7


OK, new plan: irritate him into resigning.

Operation Under the Thin Skin: initiated. Prepare the twitter-bots!
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:19 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


The real way for him to get rattled is if he gets booed at enough in his sycophantic rallies after several rounds of back and forth with the audience that the Secret Service whisks him away.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:21 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


>Can you even imagine how annoyed that will make him? It's a small silver lining.

The silver lining is that the guy with the nuclear codes and no impulse control will be constantly annoyed?

There might be a glowy cloud, but I'm pretty sure it won't be because of the silver lining.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:21 PM on January 7 [13 favorites]


I've seen no evidence that his tweets or other statements are carefully crafted or otherwise designed to "manipulate". He's just not that smart, clever, or subtle. He's an ignorant, wealthy man who does not know his own limitations, and he unconsciously surrounds himself with people who refuse to tell him. He is governed by his insecurities.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:22 PM on January 7 [42 favorites]


(Presumably he still wants to fly around and have rallies.)
posted by Burhanistan at 12:22 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Trump is pretty insistent that Mexico pay for the wall.

Vicente Fox just insulted MangoMan.

US tanks are for show only.

Trump'll show HIM!
posted by BlueHorse at 12:23 PM on January 7


That may be what he's thinking, but it still seems stupid in anything but the shortest term. First, how is he going to dominate Germany or France economically? They have way bigger economies on their own. Second, breaking up NATO just seems like a recipe for a really big, nuclearized Bundeswehr. Even if not in response to a Russia, in response to Polish or French expansion out of mistrust of Germany.

Right now, though, Germany and France have economies that are basically fully integrated with each other and with the rest of Europe. And while the EU is on the one hand reeling from Brexit and a wave of anti-unification sentiment across the continent, if it can withstand the next few elections, it could be on a path to greater integration since the UK will either be out in the cold and unable to do its usual brake-applying, or (if it fails to invoke Article 50) will have to come crawling back to Brussels and won't be in a position to resist further centralization.

A strong and united EU is probably the greatest threat to Russia's ambitions now that the US is effectively neutralized for the next 4-8 years as a competent wielder of force and diplomacy in the world.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:25 PM on January 7 [31 favorites]


Comments a short way above segue to a question I've had re: twitler. The social media situation is so "unpresidented," both twitler's unhinged ranting, but also that he is doing it in a way anyone can respond instantly.

So I've started to wonder, when people snark back at him online: 1) Do you think the RedHat brownshirts are taking names (for future butt-kickings), and 2) What parameters are being set by his legit security (the Secret Svce.) as to when a sharp snark crosses over from 1st Amendment into a threat?

(I guess this goes for potential phone calls too.)
posted by NorthernLite at 12:30 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Trump's image won't be on Inauguration transit card, but Trump team has an alternative

An image of President-elect Donald Trump won’t be on a commemorative Inauguration Day transit card but will appear on a free sleeve that protects the card, officials said Saturday.

The joint announcement by the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Committee and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority appears to settle the political flap about Trump’s face not being on the commemorative, hard-plastic card, considering President Obama’s was for his 2008 and 2012 inaugurations.

...The transit agency, which runs the country’s second-busiest rapid-transit system, said in December that Trump’s image could not be on the card because “Metro requested permission to use a photo, but received no response from the campaign.”


The photo is ridiculous. It is his tough guy imitation. Or constipated guy. SAD!
posted by futz at 12:33 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


The photo is ridiculous.

That's the face he makes when he stares at the hidden security camera feeds in Miss Universe dressing rooms.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:36 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


the US is effectively neutralized for the next 4-8 years

Is anyone tracking vote counts for potential impeachment? I assume every Democrat would be on board. How many Republicans have said they want to throw stones? It wouldn't take many to reach 2/3rds. And I assume his tax audit is going to provide plenty of grounds for it.

Do you think the RedHat brownshirts are taking names

Of course they are.
posted by Coventry at 12:36 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


They already have been taking names.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:37 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Watching Jon Chait and David Frum get owned for their feckless stupidity over and over again on Twitter, for instance.

Can someone flesh this out a bit? I'm not sure what is going on here.
posted by futz at 12:38 PM on January 7


The photo is ridiculous. It is his tough guy imitation. Or constipated guy. SAD!

And we also now know that it's also partly his this is my 'I'm super sensitive about getting my picture taken with a double chin so I hide it by doing this' pose.
posted by Jalliah at 12:39 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


So I've started to wonder, when people snark back at him online: 1) Do you think the RedHat brownshirts are taking names (for future butt-kickings), and 2) What parameters are being set by his legit security (the Secret Svce.) as to when a sharp snark crosses over from 1st Amendment into a threat?

You'd be surprised what qualifies.

Back when I was in college, Bill Clinton was elected Preznit for the first time. A fellow student who happened to be conservative was unimpressed by this, and posted twelve words on Usenet that were remarkable for their candor and wit: FUCK CLINTON, FUCK CLINTON, FUCK CLINTON, KILL CLINTON, KILL CLINTON, KILL CLINTON. Not very pleasant in tone, but hardly a meaningful threat.

The next day, I went to my part-time job in the Engineering department, which ran the campus computer network and Internet feeds. Two Men in Black were having a little chat with the administrator, who promptly summoned the student in question for a longer chat. That was his last statement about Mr. Clinton online for a long, long time.
posted by delfin at 12:40 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Is anyone tracking vote counts for potential impeachment? I assume every Democrat would be on board. How many Republicans have said they want to throw stones? It wouldn't take many to reach 2/3rds. And I assume his tax audit is going to provide plenty of grounds for it.

(emphasis mine) I'm going to need to see some more evidence for this assertion.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:40 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


tivalasvegas: I'm mostly assuming that based on the financial sections I've read of The Making of Donald Trump, which is admittedly authored by someone who's spent decades honing his contempt for Trump.
posted by Coventry at 12:44 PM on January 7


That a significant number of Republican House members are going to vote to impeach the Republican President over a tax filing? Seems... somewhat less evidence-based than, say, the assertion that Russia may have hacked the DNC.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:47 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


You know what? Sorry, Coventry. I'm being a jerk for no good reason. I apologize.

Anyway, I don't think it's likely that House Repubs will impeach Trump unless something truly crazy happens. Like, possibly if he launches an unprovoked nuclear attack.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:52 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


The GOP would stick a knife in Donald's back precisely three nanoseconds after he pisses off enough blocs of supporters. Maybe two.
posted by Devonian at 12:56 PM on January 7 [10 favorites]


That's very kind of you, tivalasvegas. Thank you.

I believe Republicans may want to impeach him because his goals for health care and fiscal stimulus don't align with theirs. Tax improprieties (or whatever) would merely be the pretext, just like Clinton's perjury and obstruction and of justice charges.
posted by Coventry at 12:57 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


It's absolutely possible that enough Republicans might cross the aisle to impeach Trump, but if and when they do it won't be on principle. The current crop of Republicans act primarily out of prejudice and self-interest. If Trump should happen to (willfully or accidentally) position himself in opposition to their self-interest, they'll turn on him in a heartbeat. Likewise if his image can be tarnished in some way that diminishes them by their association or support of him, but that's an awfully tall order given that he's a wealthy white professedly-Christian male in America. (The allegations of child rape might have done it if they hadn't already been swept under the table; I can't think of anything else that would really do it.)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:59 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Ah. I'm with you there -- if you're saying that they're more likely to impeach him from the right when he compromises on Paul Ryan's Deader Way? But in that case his actions on any particular day ending in -y will suffice for fairly legitimate high crimes & misdemeanors charges.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:00 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I believe Republicans may want to impeach him because his goals for health care and fiscal stimulus don't align with theirs.

I believe Trump will sign anything and everything they put in front of him.
posted by Justinian at 1:01 PM on January 7 [21 favorites]


After being threatened with legal action, the National Park Service started releasing permits to allow protests during the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on January 20...

For one of the groups that will be protesting during the inauguration, this announcement comes too late.

"It makes it very difficult to organize, to tell people that we have a permit, to make the necessary logistical preparations when we only have a permit in hand two weeks before the event," said Ben Becker of the ANSWER Coalition.

Immediately after the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund threatened the National Park Service with legal action, the NPS started releasing permits.

The ANSWER Coalition was the first group to get one. Permits for around 25 other organizations are now being granted.

"Basically, what the Park Service did is, it delegated discretion to Trump's presidential inaugural committee to decide if when or whether people were going to be able to protest Trump," said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. "Now that, we believe, is fundamentally unconstitutional."


Angry
posted by futz at 1:02 PM on January 7 [24 favorites]


I believe Trump will sign anything and everything they put in front of him.

I'm not so sure, Justinian. I think last week showed that Trump will go up against the GOP Congress if he thinks that it'll improve his own reputation, or if he thinks that signing Bill X will be wildly unpopular and will lead to people being mean to him. His intense need for adoration, and his fear -- loathing, even -- of the possibility of rejection are some of the few levers we have against him now.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:06 PM on January 7 [14 favorites]


delfin, I think the situation today is quite different from the 90's, mostly because of the tremendously increased volume of statements expressing hate for political figures. The Secret Service might track some of it, but even they can't take everything said online seriously these days, or they'd be doing nothing else.

As for Trump, I'm one-hundred-percent certain he'll do something qualifying him for impeachment in four years (a better bet is how long it will be before that happens), but I'm not at all certain the Republicans would go through with it.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:06 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


The photo is ridiculous. It is his tough guy imitation. Or constipated guy. SAD

#MakeAmericaPoopAgain.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:06 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


I fear we're going to need to somehow organize and take shifts with ANGER because if we all try to be ANGRY all the time, we're all going to end up exhausted by September of this year. Maybe one month shifts, so let's all be truly ANGRY during the month of our birth and then have just simmering anger for the other 11 months, to avoid fatigue and maintain a full boil ANGER brigade during any given week/month.
posted by hippybear at 1:06 PM on January 7 [52 favorites]


#MakeAmericaPoopAgain

You mean, #MakeAmericaGapeAgain.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:07 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I believe Trump will sign anything and everything they put in front of him.

If he does that, he's a one-term president.
posted by Coventry at 1:08 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


let's all be truly ANGRY during the month of our birth and then have just simmering anger for the other 11 months, to avoid fatigue

Aww, I'm April which means I only get 30 days. Not fair!
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:08 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


#MakeAmericaGoatseAgain
posted by hippybear at 1:08 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the Republican plan to gut Medicare and Medicaid will be massively unpopular--particularly with a lot of Trump supporters. People seem to be okay with him lying, but that attitude is likely to change fast if/when his deception hits them where it hurts.

The Republicans might seem to be very strong right now--and of course in some ways they are--but their position is also precarious and fraught with potential pitfalls. Just see the scrambling and infighting that's already been happening with Obamacare.
posted by overglow at 1:15 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


I believe Trump will sign anything and everything they put in front of him.

No, the veto is one of his powers, and he'll want to use it, just for the rush.
posted by thelonius at 1:15 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


No, the veto is one of his powers, and he'll want to use it, just for the rush.

Also for things like 'This congressperson said something about me I didn't like. Now guess what I'm gonna do?"

Veto.

Or 'CNN did report that said I liked Putin and they used that picture I told them not to use. I'm mad. I need to do something. Oh look something on my desk to sign..."

Ha ha ha "veto!'
posted by Jalliah at 1:22 PM on January 7 [12 favorites]


The Trump supporters aren't going to be angry at Trump for impoverishing them and cutting them off from healthcare, that would take self awareness. They're going to be angry at whatever internal enemy he blames that on, and that's when they'll start murder squads.
posted by Artw at 1:22 PM on January 7 [32 favorites]


"The Trump supporters" are not all the Trump voters, or the voters he'll need to be re-elected (even with further Republican ratfucking the election system). It's going to be a lot more complicated than that. We're at a time when the political game IS "eleven-level chess" and even if I was never convinced that Obama was playing it (or coming anywhere close to winning at it), Trump is incapable of playing a game more complex than Chutes and Ladders.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:30 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


His intense need for adoration, and his fear -- loathing, even -- of the possibility of rejection are some of the few levers we have against him now.

With the lack of political experience, need for approval, and need to be seen as a populist "man of the people" he's going to have a hard time not getting mired in extremely small-scale retail politics - stuff like the Carrier thing, going around and focusing on the small scale. I've found that bosses I've had who were Trump-like were the same way, for instance the TV general manager I worked under who would make departments prioritize appeasing a single complaint from a viewer no matter how little that complaint represented the viewership as a whole or if addressing that complaint would actually be detrimental to the viewership as a whole. And I always thought, if anyone ever wanted to run that TV station into the ground, overwhelming the GM with viewer complaints would be the way to go, sending him into a frenzy of trying to address every one and directing station resources in chaotic fashion to do so. If there's a way to get past Trump gatekeepers with "oh please Mr. Trump, you're the only one who can fix this!" requests that he thinks would make good PR you could probably bog him down the same way, or watch him twist into entirely new policy positions that conflict with all the others he espouses because he doesn't have an ideological center.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:32 PM on January 7 [45 favorites]


His intense need for adoration, and his fear -- loathing, even -- of the possibility of rejection are some of the few levers we have against him now.

Imagine a world in which everyone unfollows him on twitter.
posted by hippybear at 1:33 PM on January 7 [15 favorites]


Eleven dimension chess is as easy for fascists as any other game - if it looks like the other player might touch the board you smash their hands with a hammer.
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on January 7 [38 favorites]


We're at a time when the political game IS "eleven-level chess" and even if I was never convinced that Obama was playing it (or coming anywhere close to winning at it), Trump is incapable of playing a game more complex than Chutes and Ladders.

The worry is, you don't need to be good at strategy if you're willing to cheat and/or knock over the game board.

Put differently, I don't think Trump can govern successfully and hold on to power through persuasion and coalition building. So I think he might resort to blackmail, extortion, and threats. Horseheads in beds, etc. We already saw some of this in the Republican primary, up to and including the delegate intimidation that Corb witnessed (and that Roger Stone was terrifyingly public about.)

If he is willing to resort to those tactics, his skill or lack thereof matters a lot less.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:37 PM on January 7 [13 favorites]


re: his phone

the press is morally obligated to relabel and reframe it as: "trump's private mobile device."

the first time he deletes or modifies a tweet, he needs to get sued for a records act violation. would an arbitrary citizen have standing?
posted by j_curiouser at 1:40 PM on January 7 [41 favorites]


Can someone flesh this out a bit? I'm not sure what is going on here.

Jon Chait is a supposedly liberal columnist who never stops whining about college kids and their safe spaces. He full-throatedly supported the Iraq War, which killed hundreds of thousands of people. He urged liberals to give Bush a chance.

David Frum is a senior editor of The Atlantic. During the Bush administration, he wrote speeches for the president. He coined the phrase "Axis of Evil" and was, unsurprisingly, a great booster of the Iraq War, which killed hundreds of thousands of people.

The people in those tweets are making fun of both men for supporting the war and Frum for working for George W. Bush, whose death can't come soon enough. For some reason, both men insist that Trump's brand of conservatism is an alien and uniquely loathsome incursion into American politics.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:41 PM on January 7 [32 favorites]


Hillary Clinton's e-mail server was set up entirely because she wanted to continue to use her own phone while in office as Secretary of State. It will be pretty damn ironic if Trump continues using his.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:42 PM on January 7 [19 favorites]


I think you're totally right, OnceUponATime, and pointing to the way Republican politics are very much dominance games... And also there's a cost to that strategy, which is that your "allies" don't actually like you and will increasingly resent you. And likely look for both subtle ways to hurt and weaken you and also big opportunities to reverse the power dynamics.

Governing by grudge goes both ways, in other words.
posted by overglow at 1:44 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


I feel a massive headache coming on. Think I'll have it for the next 4 years.
posted by Soliloquy at 1:45 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


I feel a massive headache coming on. Think I'll have it for the next 4 years.

PSA: Remember to alternate your drinks with water!
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:46 PM on January 7 [20 favorites]


Governing by grudge turns your administration into something that operates like the mafia, or a drug cartel. Displays of loyalty and dominance punctuated by violent power struggles. That's what I'm expecting from the Trump administration.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:46 PM on January 7 [17 favorites]


As long as Trump is useful the Republicans will bend over backwards to ignore any of his behavior.

Republicans are in politics for one reason and one reason only.

To funnel U.S. tax dollars to their benefactors. That's it. They could dismantle every part of the federal government but one thing would keep working.

The collection of and distribution of our tax dollars.

We are entering an era of inherent lawlessness at the highest levels of power in one of our two major political parties. Nothing they do has legitimacy.

How much longer are you willing to "consent to be governed" by this ethically and morally bankrupt party?
posted by Max Power at 1:47 PM on January 7 [34 favorites]


Imagine a world in which everyone unfollows him on twitter.

I do wonder how many of his current 19 million followers are bots.
posted by wondermouse at 1:48 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


PSA: Remember to alternate your drinks with water!

and vice versa, it goes without saying.
posted by philip-random at 1:49 PM on January 7 [17 favorites]


What's the Democratic agenda for 2017-2021 besides (mostly futile) "no"? Democrats did No Child Left Behind under George W. Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act under George H.W. Bush, the Immigration Reform Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 under Reagan, and a huge raft of environmental lawmaking under Nixon (Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, creation of the EPA, among others).
posted by MattD at 1:52 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Is anyone tracking vote counts for potential impeachment? I assume every Democrat would be on board.

No, they won't. He'll have to actually do something substantial while in office to get the majority Democrats on board with impeachment. There's enough Obama style rule of law Democrats that will want to play the game as close to proper as possible that there will not be a consensus the way the Republicans worked to impeach Clinton. Unless he does something overt like launching an unprovoked military action (which despite the fears here I think is pretty unlikely), they're going to give him a pass on things like the DC hotel.

I assume his tax audit is going to provide plenty of grounds for it.

I'm quite certain that this will never see the light of day for the next four years and probably never. If there are findings of impropriety, the fines will be paid and the issue will be made to go away.
posted by Candleman at 1:53 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Imagine a world in which everyone unfollows him on twitter.

I like to imagine a world where Twitter decides 'too much' and bans him.

More realistic though is a world where Twitter finally throws in the towel and shuts down. More likely is some other company will take it over as it circles the toilet though.
posted by Jalliah at 1:54 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


I wish the media would stop reprinting that man's stupid Tweets...

Fight hard. Drink more. Stash money.


This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a tweet.

So, uh, could Roberts just decide not to administer the Oath of Office?

I genuinely wonder whether Trump is capable of repeating the words of the oath, some of which have several syllables. I imagine he's been practising.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 1:56 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


"I, Donald J Trump, do take this oath, which is the best oath. I mean, people are saying, this oath I am taking, it is truly the best oath. I can't say, really, about whether it is the best, but it is huge, this moment, this moment is huge. It is truly the hugest moment, and I cannot express how huge this is."
posted by hippybear at 2:01 PM on January 7 [32 favorites]


I'm quite certain that this will never see the light of day for the next four years and probably never.

An IRS employee leaked Nixon's tax returns. That seems like a predictable outcome, if Trump tries to shut down the audit.
posted by Coventry at 2:09 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


What's the Democratic agenda for 2017-2021 besides (mostly futile) "no"?

Legislatively, you should address that question to the majority party. If the GOP wants to do anything other than return the country to the 18th century, then I, for one, wouldn't object to bipartisan legislation. But if, as it appears now, the Republican agenda is to raze the country and salt the ground, then standing athwart history and yelling "Stop!" is our patriotic duty.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:12 PM on January 7 [11 favorites]


They're going to be angry at whatever internal enemy he blames that on, and that's when they'll start murder squads.

How would this rhetoric go? "Sorry, but $GROUP_X left me no choice but to sign Ryan's healthcare bill and end your medicare... go get 'em"?

The Nazis got people angry about things you couldn't pin on the Nazis: banks exacerbating the German depression by calling in loans, the WWI surrender, the Treaty of Versailles, France invading the Ruhr to extract resources in lieu of unpaid reparations. What's an example of leaders rousing death squads in the name of problems for which the leaders themselves have clearly documented responsibility?
posted by Coventry at 2:24 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


>An IRS employee leaked Nixon's tax returns. That seems like a predictable outcome, if Trump tries to shut down the audit.

So then what? I'm seriously asking. He's already acknowledged that he pays no taxes, to mass approval. Everybody who matters knows that the very idea of taxation is a grievous and unjustifiable injury perpetrated upon The Marlboro Men by The Libtards. So an audit finds that Donald Trump cheated on his taxes. His supporters approve. We bitch about it in here. What else happens?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:26 PM on January 7 [22 favorites]


>How would this rhetoric go? "Sorry, but $GROUP_X left me no choice but to sign Ryan's healthcare bill and end your medicare... go get 'em"?

That is exactly how it would go. "We can't afford these programs because we ran out of money because Obamacare and Obama Everything ruined the economy." The people who support these guys already believe it and won't even have to be told.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:27 PM on January 7 [22 favorites]


It's grounds for impeachment.
posted by Coventry at 2:27 PM on January 7


>It's grounds for impeachment.

Impeachment by whom? His own party, for the gigantic PR victory that that would bring them? I mean, I'd love to see it, I just need to know whether I should stop holding my breath for it before or after my face turns blue.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:30 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


> I wish I had something more substantive to say than "I hate this man"

I think Benedict Cumberbatch summarizes my thoughts quite effectively.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 2:35 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Democrats did No Child Left Behind under George W. Bush

Yeah, no. No Child Left Behind was proposed by Bush himself, and authored by both Republican and Democratic representatives. He had a history of imposing mandatory testing in Texas prior to becoming president and the people involved in those policies rolled over nationally. I know because I worked on research studies in education while he was governor of Texas and my boss worked pretty closely with him and Laura and later got invites to the White House, etc. Bush was actually a "compassionate conservative" by modern standards, in that he believed things like public education should exist. It may have gotten bipartisan support, but it was his bandwagon.

(To be clear, NCLB is clearly a failed program, and neither myself or my boss had anything to do with that specifically. Around that time she was advocating for universal pre-K and generally we did early childhood education stuff, headstart reform, etc.)
posted by threeturtles at 2:36 PM on January 7 [19 favorites]




if Trump tries to shut down the audit.

The audit will go on. There will be just this side of legal pressure to make most of the problems go away and what fines are levied will be paid. Audits are private, he's not under any legal obligation to disclose them, he only said he would after the audit was done.

An IRS employee leaked Nixon's tax returns.

Maybe it'll happen again. But it didn't happen during the election and Trump will have some level of control over the NSA who have vast insight into much of the internet and he is known to be vastly more spiteful and vindictive than even Nixon. And ultimately the outcome of Nixon's leaked taxes was that he was hit with a fine.
posted by Candleman at 2:41 PM on January 7


Legislatively, you should address that question to the majority party.

Except we already know what the Republican agenda is because they've spent the past eight years very publicly rehearsing their agenda with votes (that were killed in the Senate / vetoed), press conferences, and repeated promises to pass legislation. Even though they were obviously in the minority, they never acted as such.

Democrats need to follow suit. Democrats need to get started on their progressive agenda now so that in two years the party is unified and ready to act the minute they're elected. We can't afford another Lieberman Surprise where some important party member threatens to fillibuster major legislation at the last minute because he's a whiny jerk. We need a party that has spent their time in the wilderness lining up votes, dotting i's and crossing t's so come election time they can make a sincere promise to voters that "We will accomplish X" and then actually accomplish X in short order.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 2:41 PM on January 7 [25 favorites]


I think last week showed that Trump will go up against the GOP Congress if he thinks that it'll improve his own reputation, or if he thinks that signing Bill X will be wildly unpopular and will lead to people being mean to him.

He explicitly said that it was bad timing, not a bad idea. And the other stuff that was kept in the bill is a lot worse than defanging a Congressional ethics board.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:49 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Michele dressed up as Ruth Bader Ginsburg for super heroes day at her school. And she got a personal note from Justice Ginsburg days later.

I try to counteract the conservatives I know who are openly rooting for Justice Ginsberg's death by drinking to her health and hoping that she lives through this. She's old, yes, but she's tough and a fighter and the fewer Supreme Court seats the Donald gets his tiny hands on the better.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 2:50 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Facebook suspends ‘God’ for questioning military spending: A popular religious satire page, God, has been suspended after posting a status update that suggested the US “stop making your military so damn huge and give people medicine."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:54 PM on January 7 [25 favorites]


We can't afford another Lieberman Surprise where some important party member threatens to fillibuster major legislation at the last minute because he's a whiny jerk.

I don't think we will.

The Senate Republicans, on the other hand, already have Graham, McCain, Collins, and Murkowski, who have already (meaningfully) indicated that they will not vote in lockstep with their party, and are basically unassailable in their home jurisdictions.

Things don't look so great in the house, but Trump seems to have actually scared a few Republican senators back to being "moderates."
posted by schmod at 2:56 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Thank you Rustic Etruscan for the Chait/Frum explainer.
posted by futz at 2:57 PM on January 7


Also, what's the over/under on Graham dropping his party affiliation altogether? I'm kind of surprised that hasn't happened already...
posted by schmod at 2:57 PM on January 7


An image of President-elect Donald Trump ... will appear on a free sleeve that protects the card, officials said Saturday.
Please tell me someone is collecting these to slip over the tips of a giant army of dildos to be lain like a memorial to democracy outside the WH grounds on inauguration day.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 2:57 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


I don't think we will.

Manchin is already releasing joint press releases with the Trump team gushing over his EPA pick. It's far more likely he'll defect than any Republican.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:00 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


"I, Donald J Trump, do take this oath, which is the best oath. I mean, people are saying, this oath I am taking, it is truly the best oath. I can't say, really, about whether it is the best, but it is huge, this moment, this moment is huge. It is truly the hugest moment, and I cannot express how huge this is."

hippybear has just outed himself as the writer of The New Yorker cartoon punchlines.
posted by peeedro at 3:00 PM on January 7 [11 favorites]


We can't afford another Lieberman Surprise where some important party member threatens to fillibuster major legislation at the last minute because it hurts his ego.

Lieberman was no surprise. He lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont in 2006, but won the general election as an independent by getting most of the Republican vote and a small portion of Democrats. He held a grudge against the Democratic Party for failing to support him against the Democratic primary winner Lamont.

He campaigned for McCain and Palin in 2008 against Barrack Obama. So it was certainly no surprise that he was a complete jerk filibustering Obamacare in 2010. He had already made clear that he was a turncoat.

Thanks to Lieberman there is no public option in Obamacare. Lieberman also vetoed a buy-in option to Medicare for those over the age of 55.

It wasn't for lack of trying by Democrats to get a better senator. They defeated Lieberman in the 2006 primary, but he came back via a ton of Republican votes.
posted by JackFlash at 3:01 PM on January 7 [35 favorites]


I imagine he's been practising.

Unfortunately donnie boy is not one who practices. He thinks he is perfect. Perhaps an aide will just tweet his responses for him.
posted by futz at 3:09 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: How is this still happening with everything we now know?
posted by petebest at 3:11 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Also, what's the over/under on Graham dropping his party affiliation altogether?

Unlikely, I think. Despite his occasional independence from the pack and despite his fondness for appearing independent, he's on board with most of the rest of the GOP's social and economic platform. Keep an eye on Graham, tho. His re-election may rely on a coalition of SC Dems/Repubs who are afraid of getting anyone more Trumpist. I don't expect him to ever do a Lieberman, but he very much likes seeing himself as Mr. Independent and what he does to a Trump administration if he feels even less reliance on GOP voters (SC has cross party primaries) might be interesting.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:11 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


It wasn't for lack of trying by Democrats to get a better senator. They defeated Lieberman in the 2006 primary, but he came back via a ton of Republican votes.

Democrats sure, but the Democratic Party still let him keep his seniority and committee chairs as if nothing had happened.

Manchin is already releasing joint press releases with the Trump team gushing over his EPA pick. It's far more likely he'll defect than any Republican.

Ugh. Don't get me started on Manchin. I have a family member who's on a fairly standard medication that suddenly jumped in price ala the Epipen. I will not support a Democratic Party that accommodates jerks like him. I honestly hope he does defect. It would make 2018 far easier.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:18 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


So an audit finds that Donald Trump cheated on his taxes... What else happens?

There's some earlier context to the conversation you may not have caught up on.
posted by Coventry at 3:21 PM on January 7


Democrats sure, but the Democratic Party still let him keep his seniority and committee chairs as if nothing had happened.

That was a tough call but Lieberman had the Democrats over a barrel as the 60th vote. Sure they could have punished him by stripping him of his positions, but then you wouldn't have had any Obamacare at all. What would you have done differently?
posted by JackFlash at 3:23 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


If you want to blame anyone for Lieberman, blame the 10% of Democratic voters in Connecticut who crossed over to vote with the Republicans.
posted by JackFlash at 3:26 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


I will not support a Democratic Party that accommodates jerks like him. I honestly hope he does defect. It would make 2018 far easier.

This is why Republicans control so much of the country!
posted by Justinian at 3:36 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


This is why Republicans control so much of the country!

Because Democrats keep propping up compromised incumbents like Manchin who have personally alienated a large fraction of voters?

He's already at risk in 2018. What harm would there be in encouraging someone to primary him?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:42 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Winning the primary isn't the problem, it's winning the general. What does the country gain by another Republican Senator from West Virginia?
posted by Justinian at 3:51 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


She's old, yes, but she's tough and a fighter

RBG is tough as nails, but the weight on her shoulders has got to be oppressive. Three months ago, she had every reason to believe it would be okay for her to die -- and now she knows what the consequences would be if she did.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 3:56 PM on January 7 [20 favorites]


Regarding Trump's phone, I read this article about his head of security, Keith Schiller, a while back.

The associates say Schiller provides more than just security. Trump has been known to ask Schiller’s opinion on all manner of subjects. When people want to reach Trump, they often call Schiller’s cellphone and he decides who gets through to the boss.


Then there was this article, about how Australia's prime minister could only reach Donald Trump by asking Greg Norman for his phone number.

And a third, from June of 2016, that says Donald Trump doesn't use or carry a cell phone.

Trump did tell CNN's Anderson Cooper that he "writes" his own tweets.

"During the day, I'm in the office, I just shout it out to one of the young ladies who are tremendous," he told Cooper. "I have tremendous office staff. And Meredith and some of the people that work for me. And I'll just shout it out, and they'll do it. But during the evenings, after 7 o'clock or so, I will always do it by myself."

I'm appreciating the SNL skits even more now, because they seem so accurate, in light of the above.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:58 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Planned Parenthood Volunteers Blocked From Delivering 87,000 Petitions to Paul Ryan

On Friday afternoon, a crowd of Planned Parenthood Action Fund supporters lined the halls of the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C. to hand-deliver over 87,000 #StandWithPP petitions to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s office [snip snip] Ryan reportedly sent six security guards to block the delivery of the petitions by the pink-T-shirt-clad Planned Parenthood volunteers, who waited in the halls to make their delivery of the petitions, which ask Ryan to protect funding for Planned Parenthood through Medicaid and Title X. The security guards ultimately blocked the volunteers from being able to deliver their petitions, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood told Teen Vogue. (And now, of course, there's a #PaulRyanSoScared hashtag going around on Twitter.)
posted by futz at 4:06 PM on January 7 [17 favorites]


Here's my vagina dentata wheelchair hubcap before application of shiny colorful shit. I'm no artist so I'm going for a very simple thing. LOOK AT HOW PERFECTLY THE CARDBOARD IS SIZED for my wheels.

As I never do this kinda thing, I called up the one crafty person I know, my SO's ex-wife, a darling person. As I was describing what a vagina dentata was, 'cause she was all *wut* and asking for different shades of pink and red paints I got really flustered, because normally I don't talk about vagina colors and most definitely not with an SO's ex. I forgot her fiancee's name, which was really embarrassing because I was counting on him to bring me the vagina paint from her house and yeah nothing like trying to act normal in that situation.
posted by angrycat at 4:15 PM on January 7 [53 favorites]


I forgot to add, Trump just appointed Keith Schiller as assistant and director of Oval Office Operations.

Schiller will also bring some legal baggage with him to the White House — Schiller and four of his subordinates in the Trump security operation are the subjects of an ongoing lawsuit winding its way through New York State courts accusing them of assaulting a handful of protesters during a raucous protest outside the campaign’s Manhattan headquarters in September 2015.

posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:30 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


ok, so there have been a lot of unexpected situations as a result of *all this bullshit* but awkwardness over forgetting one's partner's ex's fiancee's name while also relying on them to procure properly vagina-colored paints for one's wheelchair accessories is... probably taking the cake so far! Congrats angrycat!

Bad news: it's only day 7 of the new year, you might not be able to hold that cake for long. Eat it while you got it.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:31 PM on January 7 [21 favorites]


What does the country gain by another Republican Senator from West Virginia?

Nothing. I'm not going to cut off my nose off to spite my face.

It's just....prescription drug costs are a very important/scary issue for me, and although I understand that keeping Joe Manchin in office is a net benefit, I don't want to give him a pass on this particular issue because I'm deeply suspicious that he will compromise or stop any future attempt to fix it as compensation for keeping the seat blue.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:35 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Jay Rosen's PressThink on "The Monica Crowley Situation" aka "Trump's National Security Plagiarist" or "What the (Bleep) Happened to “What The (Bleep) Just Happened”?" (Rosen has gone from 'interesting viewpoint' to 'indispensable resource' in the last few weeks)

I think "having legal problems" is becoming not a problem for Trump appointees, but rather a job requirement, as in "of course, I can make your legal issues go away... as long as you're working for me"
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:35 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


Clinton released decades of tax returns that indicated no improprieties, and yet people still claimed she was more corrupt than Trump. I don't think tax returns have anything to do with perceptions of how corrupt or not corrupt someone is.

As for Trump, I'm one-hundred-percent certain he'll do something qualifying him for impeachment in four years (a better bet is how long it will be before that happens), but I'm not at all certain the Republicans would go through with it.

I agree with this. Throughout the whole campaign Trump said and did things that horrified the Republican leadership and ran in complete odds to their goals. As long as he drew crowds they supported him anyway.

Not to mention Trump supports literally whomever he's last talked to--remember how he was for keeping Obamacare after he spoke with Obama? And now is back to being against it? They just need to ensure the Republican in the room sufficiently flatters him while they wait for his signature. If the people don't like it, who cares? Trump will rail against the bill, lie about signing it, call it completely illegal, claim he didn't know about it, and then it will all slip from the public's memory as soon as the media moves onto the next scandal. We lack the media environment and appreciation for factual evidence that would ensure he'd be held accountable for anything he actually does or says.
posted by schroedinger at 4:36 PM on January 7 [27 favorites]


Here's my vagina dentata wheelchair hubcap before application of shiny colorful shit.

For some unknown reason I thought you were making a vagina dentata breastplate.
posted by futz at 4:41 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Because Democrats keep propping up compromised incumbents like Manchin who have personally alienated a large fraction of voters? He's already at risk in 2018. What harm would there be in encouraging someone to primary him?

Did you not read the history about Lieberman above? If you try to take him down, you better be damned sure you succeed. Otherwise you have one pissed off senator to screw the Democrats. And Connecticut was a blue state. What do you think your changes are in West Virginia?
posted by JackFlash at 4:41 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


If DJT continues to hold rallies here is what I would like to see: passive resistance. Have as many anti-Trumpers as possible show up and blend in (that means NO Black Lives Matter T-shirts.) Then all through the rally remain completely silent. No yelling, no cheering, no laughing, no booing. Just impassive. With enough people this could really deflate Trump and his supporters.

I think the same thing could work at the inauguration but it is a little late to co-ordinate that. But imagine if the parade route was filled with completely passive people who were emotionless, just watchful eyes recording everything. They could not be dismissed as "libtards raining on DJT's parade" because there would be no yelling and anger. Really overall I would like to see less ranting and raving among protesters but that's just me.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:42 PM on January 7 [26 favorites]


"Trump in" is an anagram for "Mr. Putin."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:45 PM on January 7 [24 favorites]


We lack the media environment and appreciation for factual evidence that would ensure he'd be held accountable for anything he actually does or says.
Quoted for ABSOLUTE TRUTH (as if being true counts anymore).
A problem that began with the Reagan Administration, and has been growing slowly until now we have the conditions that make a President Trump not just possible but inevitable. I'm just thankful it's not a more competent asshole at the end of this historical intestine.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:46 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


I think "in Trump" might be more accurate.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:46 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Now I'm starting to wonder what Kellyann Conway would do if she was interviewed by someone who neither agreed nor disagreed with anything she said. Just said "Huh." every once in awhile with raised eyebrows. It might not work, she might be able to just run off at the mouth with all of her confabulations but still I think it would be interesting to try. Very few people have interviewed her to great effect-- most people who have fought her just allow her to make points for her team and allowed her to spin the news the way she wants. The liberals hear what they want to hear and the Trumpkins hear what they want to hear. What I would like to see is Conway get flustered and say things she ought not to say.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:49 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Oh my God

I mean VFQ's no prize either, but he's gotta be right some of the time, and this is one of those times.
posted by tel3path at 4:53 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


(Gentle request that people not use the word 'libtard' here. It's about two thirds of an ableist slur. Yeah, I know they say it, and I don't need to be reminded. And yeah, safe spaces, P.C., etc., I am also aware of those arguments.)
posted by box at 4:59 PM on January 7 [48 favorites]


If you try to take him down, you better be damned sure you succeed.

This.

If this election has proven anything, it's that the only thing anyone who considers themselves to be liberal should care about is flipping seats. The "$PERSON is corrupt and terrible!" rhetoric all but guarantees that, if they aren't successfully primaried, you'll have discouraged the Democrats enough to lose the seat.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:17 PM on January 7 [15 favorites]


'Mad Dog' Mattis Isn't Going to Yield. Will Trump? The president-elect might be regretting his choice for Secretary of Defense.

As I expected, Mattis is the only thing I have any faith in in new appointees.
"Mattis has rejected all of the names the Trump team has offered to be the top intelligence official in the department, another transition source said. Mattis is also unlikely to accept Trump's top Pentagon transition landing team official, Mira Ricardel, as a top official. She was rumored to be in line to be undersecretary of defense for policy, a hugely influential job."
posted by corb at 5:29 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


US press accused of ignoring the most obvious problem with Donald Trump - his approval rating

It may seem there is a never-ending barrage of negative stories about Donald Trump, but a leading commentator has accused the US press of ignoring the most glaringly obvious problem with the President-elect – his abysmal approval ratings.

Eric Boehlert, who wrote “Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled over for Bush”, claims the media is doing the same for Mr Trump as he says they did with George W Bush and giving him an easy ride by focusing on personality politics – particularly his tweets.

Mr Boehlert, a senior fellow at US research centre, Media Matters, claims: “There’s a glaring Trump transition story hiding in plain sight: He’s historically unpopular. The press ought to start telling that tale on a daily basis.”

posted by futz at 5:30 PM on January 7 [52 favorites]


Also, has anyone yet linked to this nightmarish 2017 scenario by MeFi's cstross?

The only comfort I can give you is that it totally goes off the rails by October.

OTOH, Stross didn't cover the celebrity death count, which will only make 2017 worse.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:32 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


As I expected, Mattis is the only thing I have any faith in in new appointees.

As I expected, Mattis is the thing I fear most about the new appointees. Contrary to law and precedent, we have military instead of civilian control of the Defense Department, and a Defense Secretary putting in place military officials that are personally loyal to him.
posted by JackFlash at 5:38 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


I don't think we have any evidence, nor do I think its true, that Mattis is putting in military officials that are personally loyal to him. Rather, I suspect from the appointments the transition team has already tried to make, that they're incredibly unqualified, and he's rejecting them on those grounds.
posted by corb at 5:42 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


The fact that we're supposed to somehow trust a guy who wants to glass Iran so much other Pentagon officials are uncomfortable, and doesn't seem to know the difference between Shi'a and Sunni (or the centuries of animosity between them) is scary enough, thank you very much.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:49 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


This is the only named person I read of Mattis rejecting:

"Mira Ricardel spent the first two years of the George W. Bush administration as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Eurasia before spending two more years as acting assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. She then left for industry, primarily for a nine-year stint at Boeing, including seven years as vice president of business development for strategic missile and defense systems and two as vice president for international business development related to network and space systems; her Linkedin profile says she left Boeing in 2015 for consulting firm Federal Budget IQ, although the Trump team says she was most recently self employed."

Here's some astroturfing she got into The Hill.

Anybody got a list of who he's pushing.
posted by ridgerunner at 5:55 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Christ, the transition team's statement in the update to the WaPo story on Trump/Mattis tensions:
“We are ahead of schedule with assembling the most qualified cabinet and administration in history. Any implication contrary to that is completely false and from sources who do not have any knowledge of our transition efforts.”
It reads just like an official statement from the DPRK.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:04 PM on January 7 [65 favorites]


Remember, citizens: any statement other than our (current, possibly changing on a moment by moment basis) official statement on any matter is merely filthy lies by the enemies of the republic!
posted by tocts at 6:07 PM on January 7 [15 favorites]


Oh wow, that updated article.
"Mattis is also pushing for the Trump transition team to allow "NeverTrump" Republicans to serve in the Pentagon, but so far the Trump team is refusing."
So, the spoils process is confirmed.
posted by corb at 6:09 PM on January 7 [23 favorites]


...also I just realized how, if you look at Trump as North Korea, the Republicans map eerily well to China, the press to the US, and all the rest of us seem to be trying to go about our lives in Seoul.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:10 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You? How an 89-year-old cold warrior became America’s nuclear conscience.

The Cuban Missile Crisis recounting is one of the dramatic peaks in “My Journey on the Nuclear Brink,” the memoir Perry published last fall. It is a book laced with other close calls—like November 9, 1979, when Perry was awakened in the middle of the night by a watch officer at the North American Aerospace and Defense Command (NORAD) reporting that his computers showed 200 Soviet missiles in flight toward the United States. For a frozen moment, Perry thought: This is it—This is how it ends.

The watch officer soon set him at ease. It was a computer error, and he was calling to see whether Perry, the technology expert, had any explanation. It took a couple days to discover the low-tech answer: Someone had carelessly left a crisis-simulation training tape in the computer. All was well. But what if this blunder had happened in the middle of a real crisis, with leaders in Washington and Moscow already on high alert? The inescapable conclusion was the same as it was in 1962: The world skirting nuclear Armageddon as much by good luck as by skilled crisis management.


Published yesterday, Perry talks about current events, refers to himself as "the prophet of doom", and tries to connect with redditors who sometimes confuse him with William “The Refrigerator” Perry. Fantastic read.
posted by futz at 6:14 PM on January 7 [13 favorites]


I'm not sure about your analogy. Trump doesn't have a Seoul.
posted by uosuaq at 6:14 PM on January 7 [20 favorites]


Did you not read the history about Lieberman above? If you try to take him down, you better be damned sure you succeed. Otherwise you have one pissed off senator to screw the Democrats.

Manchin was already threatening to switch parties to save his skin, when it looked like Clinton would win and win the Senate. You think you're going to get a more progressive candidate in West Virginia? Trump won by 45. Old West Virginia that voted for Bill Clinton is dead, it's effectively Alabama or Mississippi. Manchin is the best on tap. Primarying him makes no sense when he could still offer a Dem vote on things like nominations.

If this election has proven anything, it's that the only thing anyone who considers themselves to be liberal should care about is flipping seats. The "$PERSON is corrupt and terrible!" rhetoric all but guarantees that, if they aren't successfully primaried, you'll have discouraged the Democrats enough to lose the seat.

If only people cared about results, instead of performative outrage contest on Facebook. From all evidence, the later is the driving force.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:17 PM on January 7 [10 favorites]


You know those nightmares where something frightening is happening and you try to scream but because you're asleep you can't and so in the dream you're straining and shouting as loud as you can but nothing comes out except the tiniest, faintest squeaking and no one around you hears and the horror keeps coming closer?

That's how I feel whenever I read these threads or the news in general.
posted by Scattercat at 6:20 PM on January 7 [40 favorites]


The problem I always had with internecine fighting among leftists/liberals/Democrats is that we're so busy fighting ourselves that we all-too-often forget about fighting the enemy (or even that the enemy's dangerous) until they have us surrounded.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:30 PM on January 7 [10 favorites]


This is all my fault for rooting for the Russians on The Americans.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:35 PM on January 7 [16 favorites]


“We are ahead of schedule with assembling the most qualified cabinet and administration in history. Any implication contrary to that is completely false and from sources who do not have any knowledge of our transition efforts.”
So the Trumpinistas have gone full "This Is Fine Dog" (still pre-inauguration, so I'd say panel 2 or 3)
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:36 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


This is all my fault for rooting for the Russians on The Americans.

The other option on that show is the FBI. So.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:38 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


I want to laugh at their incompetence, but then I remember how horrible these people are, all the blind support they have, and that they'll run the show for the foreseeable future.

And then I just feel sick.

To use a metaphor, Republicans are kind of like the vampires in old folk stories who can't hurt you unless you let them into your house, so they try and trick you. America just let the vampires into our house. And we don't have any garlic.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:45 PM on January 7 [14 favorites]


T.D. Strange Manchin is the best on tap. Primarying him makes no sense when he could still offer a Dem vote on things like nominations.

Except he won't help us on nominations, he's already signaling that with his glowing approval of Trump's picks. He'll be one of the (I hope) tiny handful who will sell out the party to give the coveted stamp of "bipartisanship" to Trump and his choices.

He won't vote to sustain any filibuster, we already know that.

Really, he's effectively a Republican.

If, if, he displays a willingness to actually be useful I could see possibly sparing him. But the Tea Party taught us a valuable lesson, if only we've got the courage to learn it: losing seats is sometimes preferable to harboring traitors.

It's long, **LONG**, past time we made up enemy lists and started gearing up to primary any Democrat who dares to make one single vote, one single public statement, that helps Trump. This is line in the sand time: you're either with Trump or you're with us. No middle ground, no waffling, and no mercy for defectors.

His every nominee must be stopped, his every bill filibustered, his every proposal shuffled to death in endless committee hearings. It's time to revoke unanimous consent and bog down the Senate in a morass of endless procedural votes. Shut the whole damn thing down to keep them from doing more harm. I don't want Trump to be able to take a shit without being filibustered.

And that means a spine infusion for DINO's. One easy way forward on that is the threat of a primary, and we need to do that early and often.

I say, at best, slime like Manchin are on probation. They set one single toe out of line and we need to end their political careers no matter what the cost.
posted by sotonohito at 6:47 PM on January 7 [13 favorites]


Because that worked so well this time.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:53 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


“We are ahead of schedule with assembling the most qualified cabinet and administration in history. Any implication contrary to that is completely false and from sources who do not have any knowledge of our transition efforts.”

as always, water remains dry and grass remains blue.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:56 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


Apropos of absolutely nothing, this has been amusing me as of late.

NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO CRITICIZE THE GALAXY NOTE 7

(Note - I realize the title makes it appear I've pasted this in the wrong thread, please trust me when I say it is indeed related to the outcome of the election. And forgive me if it has already been posted and I just didn't see it!)
posted by hilaryjade at 6:58 PM on January 7 [27 favorites]


I can't help but think we're normalizing Trump by reacting in traditionally political ways to his impending cabinet of horrors. Short of a military coup, I'm not sure there's anything that can happen that will stop (and this is no hyperbole) their evil plans. We're used to a lot of comforts in our lives that we're very likely going to lose forever (like health care and the concept of retirement and maybe non-irradiated air) and the best we can do is hope cowardly men who stands to benefit in the short term from a global nightmare will hold the fucking door for us.

Some of you have been critical of Obama trying to maintain a smooth transition of power but we're kind of doing the same thing here by talking about 2018 and signing petitions and critiquing less than stellar allies. I don't think any of that is going to work. I don't know that anything we can do inside the system can work anymore and remaining in the system is what the fascists are counting on.

As much as it terrifies me too write this, the best thing our side can do is shut the system down. Don't vote for anything ever. Do all the things the Republicans did under Obama and more and take it further. The only non-violent tool they've left is total unyielding resistance.

This sucks but the alternative is an ever accelerating loss of everything that allows us to afford food and not be murdered.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:05 PM on January 7 [20 favorites]


I say, at best, slime like Manchin are on probation. They set one single toe out of line and we need to end their political careers no matter what the cost.

This would take far more message discipline than Democrats have ever had. A coalition party cannot act this way, especially when the "cost" you're throwing to the wind is quite literally the lives and freedom of many of the people you would need to commit to the sacrifice vote. "Primary Joe Manchin and lose your health insurance anyway, but you'll make me feel better about your suffering" isn't the quite winning message you think.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:08 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]




I'm an optimist, while my husband has been kind of the opposite. At every stage I've said "Well surely THIS won't happen because X", and I've been wrong. You'd think I'd learn, but I still hang on to some hope that the Republican party will not stand by and let Trump get away with too much shit, surely there are still good people with consciences? What are the chances that the party can reign him in? Or drop him and just vote against him? Can it happen? Surely they aren't really going along with him?
posted by Hazelsmrf at 7:14 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


The Republican party is as much a problem as Trump. I suspect we'll be in "worst of both worlds" territory.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:16 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


Trump just gave them all the power. No.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:21 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


I live in Maine, and have experienced our Tea Party Governor doing what he wants, and they did try to impeach him, a year ago, but there was a toady GOP who kept interrupting the Dems speeches at every turn, and the guy who was presiding let him do it, and in the end, it was not happening, then they had to haul a bunch of citizens who were in the gallery shouting, "do your job!" out of the state house. It was ugly, but here we are, still saddled with this blowhard who has just been on the news threatening that more jobs will be lost due to (?) and he knows who the company's are and he signed the law for marijuana but under duress, apparently, because his daughter got hired by Trump and he has said he'll talk to him about it. I can only imagine that he is jealous that Trump gets all the press and he doesn't, so he has to think up ways to get himself in the limelight, as Chris Christie was his bestie, but frankly, we don't think much of him here, so good luck with that, Paulie.

What I mean to say is, we have had a microcosm here in Maine, which has been tempered by our legislature, and they did try to get rid of him, to ill effect, so be careful what you wish for, because I don't trust them to impeach Trump at all. We've had to endure this sort of thing for years, but not on such a grand scale as is presented to the rest of you. All I can say is, Good Luck and Good Night.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:23 PM on January 7 [24 favorites]


So what's the best case scenario at this point? I mean the worst case scenarios are obvious but I'm not sure what I should be wishing for at this point, it all seems kind of shitty?
posted by Hazelsmrf at 7:23 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


My best case scenario is no nuclear holocaust. But I'm an optimist.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:24 PM on January 7 [29 favorites]


But the Tea Party taught us a valuable lesson, if only we've got the courage to learn it: losing seats is sometimes preferable to harboring traitors.

The Democrats gained a majority in the House of Representatives in 2006 for the first time in 16 years. It included a bunch of conservative Democrat blue dogs. Nancy Pelosi was able to wrangle enough of those blue dog "traitors" to pass Obamacare. But in the next election every one of those blue dog seats were turned over to Republicans. Republicans have held the majority ever since and controlled the agenda with speakers Boehner and Ryan.

Obamacare is about to be repealed. How's that "losing seats" strategy working out for you?

(By the way, never forget. Pelosi is the real hero of Obamacare. She kept fighting when Rahm Emanuel and Obama had given up.)
posted by JackFlash at 7:24 PM on January 7 [35 favorites]


Trump is so immature that I can't believe he will go 100 days without doing something so stupid that someone will do something about it, whether impeachment or a military coup. Which it is depends a lot on what the stupid is and that could be anything, because Trump.

If the something results in impeachment, hello President Pence. He's almost worse in some ways but at least not a fucking unpredictable child. We know how bad he is.

If it's the military, probably because he orders a nuclear strike because those are the best bombs you know, then it's hard to say how it resolves. If Mattis is in charge I tend to think it revolves back to President Pence, but nothing like that has ever happened before. But unlike before I also think the guys with the nuclear codes are probably preparing, and have been since the election, to figure out how they will react to whatever tantrum the manchild in chief might direct their way. These are career guys who truly believe in duty. That means they will follow their POTUS up to a certain point, but I also think it means there is a point beyond which he is no longer their POTUS, politics be damned. And I would bet they have already gamed that out and identified that point and agreed among themselves about exactly where it is.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:29 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


Trump’s Dangerous Anti-C.I.A. Crusade Op-Ed by Michael J Morell (deputy director and twice acting director of the CIA between 2010 and 2013)

...The president-elect’s rhetoric will undermine the effectiveness of the C.I.A. in two key ways. First, expect a wave of resignations. Attrition at the C.I.A., which has been remarkably low since Sept. 11, 2001, will skyrocket. The primary motivator for some of our smartest minds to go to work at the C.I.A. is to make a difference to national security, to play a role in keeping the country safe. All of the sacrifices — from the long hours, polygraph tests, unfair media criticism, not to mention the real dangers to life and limb — are worth it, if you are making a difference.

If the president rejects out of hand the C.I.A.’s work, or introduces uncertainty by praising it one day only to lambaste it on Twitter that afternoon, many officers will vote with their feet. These officers cannot be easily replaced. It takes years of training and, more important, on-the-job experience to create a highly capable case officer, analyst, scientist, engineer or support officer. It would take at least a decade to recover from a surge in resignations.

There is precedent for this. When President Jimmy Carter’s C.I.A. director, Stansfield Turner, made it clear that, in his view, technology was making human intelligence obsolete, hundreds of officers departed. He then fired hundreds of others who questioned his approach; it took years for the agency to return to its pre-Turner strength. The Trump resignations could make the Turner departures pale by comparison.


"He then fired hundreds of others who questioned his approach; it took years for the agency to return to its pre-Turner strength. The Trump resignations could make the Turner departures pale by comparison."

I will google (what I bolded) this but does anyone know if this is true or hyperbole?
posted by futz at 7:30 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


But the Tea Party taught us a valuable lesson, if only we've got the courage to learn it: losing seats is sometimes preferable to harboring traitors.

I am with Ghostride the Whip and T.D. Strange: I think there are lessons to be learned from the success of the Tea Party, but "Ideological Purity Above All" is not one of them. "Ideological Purity Above All" only works when your ideology has a fundamental underpinning of racial/ethnic bigotry. Anything else leads to in-fighting--which is one of the reasons we ended up with Trump in the first place.
posted by schroedinger at 7:30 PM on January 7 [12 favorites]


My goals for the coming years are 1) try not to die 2) help those in more danger than myself until goal 1 is in jeopardy, 3) engage vigorously in local and state level politics until it becomes too dangerous or until those political entities become meaningless or non-existent.

Probably some very bad shit is going to happen. Bad shit that we're not even speculating about here yet. When those things happen, big chunks of the country will respond with mass outrage. Either this outrage will help matters or it won't, and if it doesn't then it'll be time to focus on doing whatever we can to prevent human suffering because there will be no shortage of it. We're living in real big-deal historic times now, and we have to start planning for or at least expecting the instability and uncertainty of those times.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:31 PM on January 7 [22 favorites]


Well JFK wanted to burn the CIA to the ground, look how well that worked out for him.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:32 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You?

It might be time for headline writers to abandon this particular cliche
posted by theodolite at 7:32 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: 1) try not to die
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:33 PM on January 7 [21 favorites]


Trump is a walking Karma Houdini. Over his years of racism, scamming, cheating, tax evasions, and sexual assaults, he hasn't seen a day in jail or more than a slap on the wrist. He flaunts the law, conventional authority, and basic morals with every breath or Tweet. He has the values of a Captain Planet villain come to life. In a fair world he would have gone to jail years ago.

He is a walking example of the fact that the laws apply very differently to the rich and the privileged.

That kind of brutish behavior, rather than being seen as repulsive and vile, appeals to a lot of people, including a many very powerful ones (as well as people who want to be like Trump if they had the money and the legal clout). Even if they don't want to admit it.

So it goes.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 7:35 PM on January 7 [32 favorites]


I would like not to die, and I would like for my nieces and nephews, who are mostly under the age of 8, to forgive us.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:36 PM on January 7 [15 favorites]


Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You?

It might be time for headline writers to abandon this particular cliche


I am okay with it. You are probably not the audience that this article needs to reach.
posted by futz at 7:38 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I would like for my nieces and nephews, who are mostly under the age of 8, to forgive us.

I think that boat has done sailed. Whatever "we" have done, for any value of "we," our generation has left them a hell of a mess and they may not survive it. If I was their age I would be hella pissed off.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:39 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


I will google (what I bolded) this but does anyone know if this is true or hyperbole?

Yes. It's called the Halloween massacre and was 800-something people.
posted by Talez at 7:42 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


Does anyone listen to My Favorite Murder podcast?

Stay sexy, don't get murdered
posted by waitangi at 7:42 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


I think that boat has done sailed. Whatever "we" have done, for any value of "we," our generation has left them a hell of a mess and they may not survive it. If I was their age I would be hella pissed off.

This isn't helpful at all imo.
posted by futz at 7:43 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


So what's the best case scenario at this point?

1) Trump somehow doesn't start a nuclear war.
2) Republicans figure out health care is hard, and can't agree on an Obamacare replacement/repeal. Some number of GOP senators from Medicaid expansion states actually refuse to vote for straight repeal. Events progress, and repeal does not happen.
3) Paul Ryan comes after Medicare. Democrats repeat 2005 and successfully marshal public opinion to stop it.
4) 2018 rolls around and they lose the House after attacking Medicare. And possibly compounded by economic turmoil. The Rust Belt realizes they were conned, and Trump is never reopening their factories or steel mills.
5) Dems minimize 2018 Senate losses and somehow retain 45-46 seats, with "traitors" like Manchin and McKaskell surviving again.
6) Someone other than Chuck Schumer, Corey Booker, or Andrew Cuomo win the 2020 primary. Bernie Sanders doesn't run and his personality cult fades.

At this point we're back to almost normal, notwithstanding whatever other damage to policy and democracy Republicans manage to inflict. This is the best case, unicornland, it's going to actually be way fucking worse, pollyanna scenario.

Other factors that need to happen -
- Europe rejects Le Pen and rightwing / Russian-back parties in Germany, France and Italy.
- The EU doesn't break up
- Russia doesn't decide to invade Europe anyway
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:46 PM on January 7 [34 favorites]


What would have to happen for Trump to have the shortest presidency ever? I mean legally, obviously I don't mean violence or whatever, but are there any checks in place to remove bad presidents? I keep hearing "Oh he'll be impeached" but I'm having trouble understanding what that would look like, or if it's even likely?
posted by Hazelsmrf at 7:52 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


...does anyone know if this is true or hyperbole?

This is revisionist. From Legacy of Ashes:
The morals of the Carter administration were not good for morale at CIA headquarters. Admiral Turner tried to hew to Carter's pledge about never lying to the American people. This was a dilemma for the chief of a secret intelligence service, whose operators depended on deceit to succeed. What little confidence Turner had in the clandestine service was constantly chiseled away by acts of subversion.

...

Turner was a Christian Scientist who drank hot water with lemon instead of coffee or tea. The old boys preferred whisky in their water. They scorned Turner in word and deed. Turner wrote years later that his enemies within the clandestine service tried to discredit him with disinformation campaigns—"one of their basic skills." Chief among these was a story that has persisted for a quarter century: that Turner was singlehandedly responsible for the gutting of the clandestine service in the 1970s. The first deep cuts had been ordered by Nixon. One thousand covert operators had been let go by James Schlesinger. George Bush, under Ford, had chosen to ignore a recommendation from his own covertaction chief that 2,000 more should depart. Turner wound up cutting precisely 825, starting with the bottom 5 percent on the performance charts. He had the president's support. "We were aware that some of the unqualified and incompetent personnel whom he discharged were deeply resentful, but I fully approved," Jimmy Carter said in a letter to the author.
posted by Coventry at 7:52 PM on January 7 [14 favorites]


Talez, TY, I have heard the phrase before but not anything else. Several people in these mefi posts have recommended books on the CIA and I have added them all to my reading list.
posted by futz at 7:53 PM on January 7


What would have to happen for Trump to have the shortest presidency ever?

Since William Henry Harrison was President for only 31 days that would take some doing.
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on January 7 [12 favorites]


(I was honestly thinking that it shouldn't take that long for a lot of supporters to realize that America is not any greater and that they were played, but those are the same people that somehow think the past 8 years have been the most horrible awful dark period imaginable).
posted by Hazelsmrf at 7:54 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


- Europe rejects Le Pen and rightwing / Russian-back parties in Germany, France and Italy.

The left in France is doing everything they can to try and fuck this up. Instead of going through the socialist primary and uniting behind a single candidate, En Marche and La France Insoumise are making sure the left is split three ways while the right is split only two ways (Les Républicains and Front National). At this point in time the runoff election is going to come down to Thatcherism vs Trumpism.
posted by Talez at 7:55 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


What would have to happen for Trump to have the shortest presidency ever? I mean legally, obviously I don't mean violence or whatever, but are there any checks in place to remove bad presidents? I keep hearing "Oh he'll be impeached" but I'm having trouble understanding what that would look like, or if it's even likely?

The extended forecast for the 20th says 50ish degrees, and his inaguration speech will only be 140 characters. So I doubt he's going to beat William Henry Harrison.

Stop thinking about him being impeached. It won't happen. Ever. Under any circumstances. It's worse than fan fiction. Republicans Do. Not. Give. Two. Fucks. As. Long. As. They. Get. Tax. Cuts.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:55 PM on January 7 [38 favorites]


This isn't helpful at all imo.

I think we are past the point where "helpful" is a gauge. Our world is going to change in massive ways. Our civilization may not survive, considering the number of critical manufacturing facilities that exist on floodplains because of the transportation options that were available when they were built. The skilled people who know how it all works are at minimal levels with no redundancy and a big disaster could wipe out entire areas of engineering knowledge, much of which is still secret or "disclosed" via patent in ways that make it impossible to really duplicate the original work. Huge populations are soon going to be displaced, and if I'm unfortunate enough to live long enough I will almost certainly be among them. But I did my part you know, I voted for Hillary.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:56 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


The left in France is doing everything they can to try and fuck this up. Instead of going through the socialist primary and uniting behind a single candidate, En Marche and La France Insoumise are making sure the left is split three ways while the right is split only two ways (Les Républicains and Front National). At this point in time the runoff election is going to come down to Thatcherism vs Trumpism.

I know, and I don't know whether to cry or take solace that the permanent circular firing squad is everywhere and not just here.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:57 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Anyone interested in the Kennedy assassination and its relationship to the CIA would do well to read A Cruel and Shocking Act by Philip Shenon. It is primarily based on a combination of interviews with Arlen Spector (who was an aide to the Warren Commission, and approached Shenon about the writing a book on the Commission because he was so impressed by his book on the 9/11 Commission), and government documents which were declassified earlier this decade.
posted by Coventry at 7:57 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Stop thinking about him being impeached. It won't happen. Ever. Under any circumstances. It's worse than fan fiction. Republicans Do. Not. Give. Two. Fucks. As. Long. As. They. Get. Tax. Cuts.

Thank you! I'm in Canada so I'm trying to understand the political system and what checks it has to protect itself against bad presidents, but I'm finding so much opinion, and sites that are supposed to be fact-based contradict each other, so I'm lost.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 7:59 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Thank you! I'm in Canada so I'm trying to understand the political system and what checks it has to protect itself against bad presidents, but I'm finding so much opinion, and sites that are supposed to be fact-based contradict each other, so I'm lost.

The only checks reside in Congress. And Republicans will never, ever, exercise them against their own Fuhrer.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:02 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Hazelsmrf: I'm in Canada so I'm trying to understand the political system and what checks it has to protect itself against bad presidents, but I'm finding so much opinion, and sites that are supposed to be fact-based contradict each other, so I'm lost.
Don't worry, we Americans are, too.
posted by ragtag at 8:03 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder what the best strategies for stripping those other right-wing parties of recruits or voters would be, or if it'll more be a matter of enough left-wingers coming out to vote. While there is a hard-right neofascist heart who won't and can't be reasoned with, these people wouldn't win elections only with the help of their army of diehard fanatics.

At this point survival means diverting as much of their popular support as possible to non-fascist alternatives, even if they aren't the best people, either.

(Not that that worked for us, but on the other hand Trump didn't have any serious conservative competition after the primaries.)
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:05 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


The left in France is doing everything they can to try and fuck this up. Instead of going through the socialist primary and uniting behind a single candidate, En Marche and La France Insoumise are making sure the left is split three ways while the right is split only two ways

For fuck's sake, do they not see what happened when we tried that?!

Then again, the US didn't learn from Brexit, so why should anyone learn from us?
posted by schroedinger at 8:14 PM on January 7 [13 favorites]


I agree with Joey Michaels that if we get through a Trump presidency without nuclear warfare I think it will be a success.
posted by schroedinger at 8:17 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Thank you! I'm in Canada so I'm trying to understand the political system and what checks it has to protect itself against bad presidents

The other two branches are checks against a bad President. Sadly, we also have a bad Congress and soon a bad Supreme Court. So....
posted by Justinian at 8:18 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Bringer Tom, my point was that it is not helpful to terrify 8 year old children. You said that If I was their age I would be hella pissed off.

I doubt that children fully grok the magnitude of what is going on and that they have the capability to be "hella pissed" about it. And yes, I understand that kids pick up on adult fears etc etc but at 8 years we do not need to armageddon-terrify them. Thats all.
posted by futz at 8:18 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


futz: And yes, I understand that kids pick up on adult fears etc etc but at 8 years we do not need to armageddon-terrify them.
I don't think Bringer Tom was saying that we should intentionally terrorize children: simply that once they realize what's being done to their generation, they'll be furious.

You know, kinda like a lot of people in my generation (Millenials) are.
posted by ragtag at 8:25 PM on January 7 [17 favorites]


For fuck's sake, do they not see what happened when we tried that?!

It's a rock and a hard place thing. Macron doesn't want Hollande's stink all over him (PS is polling about the same favorability as foot fungus right now) and the PS as an institution doesn't have the capability to respond to this situation. Meanwhile Jean-Luc Mélenchon just wants to be the bomb thrower but just ends up being a left-wing version of Nigel Farage. He has the support of the radical left who think they know better than everyone but nobody else. But when has political reality ever meant anything to the radical left?
posted by Talez at 8:28 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


thedarksideofprocyon, I believe it will come down to tapping the vast pool of people who did not vote in this election rather than hoping to convert Republican voters from this election. They voted the way they did for their own reasons, in spite of the vast amount of journalism which spelled out exactly what Trump was as a person, even though that same journalism also concentrated a lot of energy on "but...but emails."

Economically, the majority of his voters voted against their self interest. Only they can say why they did that, but their economic situations will likely not improve under Trump, many of them will lose their health insurance if Congress repeals the ACA without an affordable, viable replacement, the promised coal and manufacturing jobs will not have returned and what we do have is a stupidly conceived wall worth billions to pay for. So, a net loss all the way around, but it won't be characterized as Trump's fault or Congress' fault,. It will be spun as removing Democratic legacies and these people will remain in line because voting Republican is filling some other need in them beyond the practical needs.

Our only hope is motivating the non-voting people to genuinely research the candidates so they can make reasoned decisions all the way down the ballot and hopefully have enough Democratic candidates who inspire them to actually vote next time. That is going to be a big job to locate and inspire largely anonymous people--a little bit less than half of the eligible voting public. Oh, and put a stop to voter suppression efforts. And hope there is an election in 2020.
posted by Silverstone at 8:29 PM on January 7 [17 favorites]


I don't understand what's so bad about 8-year-olds being pissed that the USA elected Trump. Everyone should be pissed, and that's likely the first president they can remember being elected.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:30 PM on January 7 [13 favorites]


I think every entertainer, athlete, and celebrity needs to double down on being anti Trumpism. From country to pop to rock to football to baseball to basketball to actors and general famous people. Leave no quarter for youngish fair weather trump voters to still feel cool and with it and part of the in crowd.
posted by ian1977 at 8:32 PM on January 7 [30 favorites]


I doubt that children fully grok the magnitude of what is going on and that they have the capability to be "hella pissed" about it. And yes, I understand that kids pick up on adult fears etc etc but at 8 years we do not need to armageddon-terrify them. Thats all.

I don't think he meant telling them directly or anything.
Regardless and this is the sad part 8 year olds will know and they will be terrified. Maybe not detailed understanding of what or why but they will know.

I still remember being 8 and being terrified to the point that every airplane noise I heard in the sky made me flinch and listen closely in case it was a nuclear bomb. And this was the 70-80s in Canada and with a relatively limited sphere of information compared to what today's kids live in.

Kids will have this now plus all of talk about climate change. I've already heard 7 year olds talk about the tornado that wrecked part of their town because of climate changing. And thunderstorms and floods getting them because the climate is going to get them. I've heard kids talk about food being hard in the future and how it's gonna suck. They may not understand the sheer level of suck but they know it's not good.
I've also heard 10 year olds talk about what they're doing activist wise with at least part of the context being 'because adults aren't doing it good enough'.
I've heard my 12 year nephew and his friend making matter of fact comments while playing X-Box about adults being so stupid and killing the world so maybe there is no point but to just play X-Box and have some fun.

They know.
posted by Jalliah at 8:32 PM on January 7 [53 favorites]


I'm 32. We knew about climate change in 5th grade. Remember Earth Day? That was 1994-5. We talked about how much it would suck in 20 years because no one was doing anything about it.

And here we are. Kids aren't stupid.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:40 PM on January 7 [54 favorites]


but on the other hand Trump didn't have any serious conservative competition after the primaries.)

"Serious conservative" is relative.

But then, dear God, McMullen sounds like a dream right now. (This, my friends, is the fucking Overton window. And then the left will complain we've abandoned our principles.)

ut when has political reality ever meant anything to the radical left?

Something-something REVOLUTION. Because fuck the system, right?

So what's the best case scenario at this point?

Trump waves his hands and shouts "psych!" and then HRC emerges behind a curtain, takes a bow, and gets sworn in by RBG.

Or do you mean reality?
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:40 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]



My best case scenario as a Canadian is:

No flying nukes.
Not screwing with trade agreements in a way that tanks our economy so people here will bitch about the Trudeau wrecking it and how much we need Trumpism to fix it (we have dingbats here too).
Someone somehow convincing the admin and Donald that the US really should get on board with the whole climate change thing. Ironically the most likely candidate to do this is Putin (and yes I know how ridiculous that sounds but I think he is one of the only people in the world that Donald would actually listen to about this and Putin is showing signs that it's in Russia's strategic (selfish) interests to do something. And yes it will be just about furthering Russian interests in the changes that are going to happen but something is better then nothing at this point)
posted by Jalliah at 8:48 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


I doubt that children fully grok the magnitude of what is going on and that they have the capability to be "hella pissed" about it.

My daughter reacted strongly to the Trump win. She is 10 though, not 8. She has both American citizenship and Canadian so she was interested in the election. She was upset that morning when she woke up and realized Trump won. I didn't realize that she had been following things so closely, and for sure she didn't have a very large grasp on what was going on (neither do I really), but what she knew was that "the bad man won". In her eyes it was quite simple. There was a man that was saying not-nice things, and he won. She understood more than people expected her to, so I do think some kids will have the capability of being "hella pissed" about it.

My son is autistic, he's 7. He also has dual citizenship. He's not your typical 7 year old, he views the world in ways that I can't imagine. And he absorbs absolutely everything that is said in front of him. We let them stay up for new years. At midnight he started crying. It took a while to understand why he was crying. He fully expected that at midnight, a bomb would go off, the world would explode. He had been hearing people talking about how 2017 was going to be bad, and that's how he understood it. He also didn't have a perfect understanding of what was going on, but kids are perceptive, they feel. They might not know why they have the emotions that they do, but they have them nonetheless.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 8:50 PM on January 7 [35 favorites]


Oh goodness guys. I was a cold war kid. I get it. Apologies for the derail.
posted by futz at 9:10 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


I was thinking more about hypothetical ways to stop Le Pen and her ilk in France/Germany/Italy. They're scary people and they're riding high right now, but they aren't invincible. There has to be a way to stop them, counter them, or at least drain their support enough to stand a chance.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:10 PM on January 7


I'm sorry, darksideofprocyon. On re-reading, I can see now that you meant other countries' elections. I can only plead that I'm still suffering tunnel vision from the results of the U. S. election.
posted by Silverstone at 9:17 PM on January 7


If you're greedy, ambitions, and immoral and want to make lots of money, it's time to move to the Washington D.C. area, assuming you're not already there. The looting is going to start on day one.
posted by cell divide at 9:19 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


I think the best approach to the Manchins in the party is to keep them as long as we need them but pump some serious money and effort into organizing activists and running candidates in downballot races in their states to get us to a point a few years from now when we don't need them. And hell, at that point Manchin himself would probably change his tune if he had the political space to do it. You can primary Manchin out of ideological purity concerns and when that gets a Republican elected in his place, the best case scenario for the next Democratic Senator from WV will be yet another Manchin, unless you plant the seeds of a better crop.

My biggest concern for future elections is still the as-yet-uncrackable nut of trust in journalism. Because until that shit's fixed, this is our life from now on: best case scenario someday we get an Obama 2.0 with a better hand to play in Congress whose work still gets undone next time around because the media drops the fucking ball again. Just picture the media trying to navigate a future when the Republicans realize that they can take the middle and get more votes by "softening" on social issues and still going full throttle on everything else, doubling down on the Lee Atwater approach - the media can't even deal with in-your-face bigoted authoritarianism, how would they ever cope with a candidate that's truly devious? Think of a more believable and charismatic Paul Ryan who talks like our Egg, running on a platform of "healing the nation" and "unity". A more skilled Marco Rubio. In the current media climate, that candidate would be put up on a pedestal so high it would require supplemental oxygen.

And at the moment, this journalism issue is a war on two fronts, because Trump's such an outlier. We've got to figure out how to deal with the problem of covering Trump in the media, which is totally its own thing and absolutely imperative, BUT: say the news media figures that one out, and, oh my god, impeachment! We did it! ...and then we wake up the next morning and remember that we still haven't figured out how to cover the fucking Pences of the world. Despite the opportunity we had during Obama's presidency to figure that out in relative peace without the Sword of Damocles over our heads and make facts stick to Boehner, Ryan, McConnell, et al. Dump Trump and then after the champagne is popped and we all breathe a sigh of relief and recover from one hell of a celebratory hangover, aaaallllll the bog-standard normal Republican evils are suddenly "reasonable" in comparison and we still don't know how to cover that and get ~50% of the country to believe it.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:25 PM on January 7 [33 favorites]


Hundreds rally in sub-zero temps to show love, not hate, defines Whitefish

Bitterly cold weather Saturday morning did not deter hundreds of people from showing up next to Depot Park to remind the rest of the world that Whitefish is more than a town that, these days, is often identified with a leader of the white nationalist movement.

Speakers spoke, singers sang, dancers danced and children and adults painted signs promoting harmony among the human race at a two-hour event organized by two local women who decided they “needed to do something” in the wake of media coverage that focused on the politics of part-time Whitefish resident Richard Spencer and the so-called alt-right.

posted by futz at 10:10 PM on January 7 [38 favorites]


It has to be stressed how big a deal it is to get hundreds of people together anywhere near Whitefish, particularly in the middle of winter. My Montana's a fine state and this isn't the last you'll be seeing about local resistance here.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:18 PM on January 7 [52 favorites]


Doonesbury Vs. Trump '17
(of course they've been at it a long time)
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:03 PM on January 7 [19 favorites]


One of my thoughts on the issue of where this stuff finds support from previously reasonable people is that alt-rightism/fascism feeds off a very specific power fantasy common to but not limited to insecure young white men - strength, being the Big Man, or having a Big Man to protect you from "SJWs" or The Scary Other. People like Milo feed into this fantasy, and I think it's very seductive to a certain kind of person. They make arguments that sound very soothing and comforting to those people - not us, we aren't fooled for a moment, but they present a very different face to us. They see us as targets, not potential recruits, and they change their tune depending on who they're talking to.

These people are professional weasels who can make very bad shit sound good. They also know how to frame liberals as The Real Bad Guys, which is a tactic we should be wary of and will probably see employed in the future.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:52 PM on January 7 [14 favorites]


let me try my hand at this:
jan. 2017: trump, in thrall to putin, who has both personally damaging information on him as well as unreleased hacked info from the RNC, refuses to accept US intel on the election hack. after the inauguration, trump lobotomizes US intel agencies to stop the internal criticism and potential for leaks, firing or demoralizing hundreds of agents.

august 2017: a major terror attack happens, taking advantage of the disarray in US intel.

november 2017: trump initiates internment and watchlists against undesirables, and martial law in certain cities. riots break out across the US.

december 2017: Putin giggles.
posted by wibari at 11:58 PM on January 7 [10 favorites]


That's good wibari, but you forgot the part where the republicans blame Obama, and take the opportunity to move the entire social security fund to their private numbered accounts at Goldman Sachs. You know, for safekeeping in these troubling times.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:04 AM on January 8 [13 favorites]


And the part when Trump declares war on and tries to nuke a country which he thought he could pick on and look good (i.e, Iran, North Korea).
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:11 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


(By the way, never forget. Pelosi is the real hero of Obamacare. She kept fighting when Rahm Emanuel and Obama had given up.)

I favorited that comment but just want to point out that this sentence in particular is what I was favoriting. Pelosi is fantastic.
posted by great_radio at 12:35 AM on January 8 [27 favorites]


I remember hearing that she's concerning a 2020 run, or her name's being floated. Is that true?
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:38 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Nah, she will be 80 in 2020.
posted by great_radio at 12:55 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Nancy Pelosi is 76 years old; part of the Democrats' Old Guard (with emphasis on old). If she was going to try for the Presidency, she should've tried before now, but she was one of the many who unwisely yielded so Hillary could have her day in the sun. Still, IMO, she would've been more worthy to be the First Woman President, but maybe that's just the Californian me talkin'.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:56 AM on January 8 [10 favorites]


Why the white working class votes against itself

Butthurt rural whites elected their Donald president. Butthurt rural whites can PALIN it.
posted by SakuraK at 2:21 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


To further get a grip on the Russia angle it is worth considering The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia see wiki and Reddit thread
posted by adamvasco at 2:46 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Why the white working class votes against itself

That article takes far too many words to say "Because if you can't punch the rich people who fucked you, you can at least punch down at poor people like the rich people do to you".
posted by Talez at 4:23 AM on January 8 [34 favorites]


For MeFites old enough to remember, if we were having this discussion in January 1981 with the pending Reagan inauguration, would there be less anxiety?

I was pretty anxious. Reagan as governor had brought the national guard onto the streets of Berkeley and had them drop tear gas from helicopters. There's a lot I blame the Reagan administration for, but it didn't result in the global nuclear annihilation that I might have feared.
posted by Edward L at 4:35 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


They also know how to frame liberals as The Real Bad Guys, which is a tactic we should be wary of and will probably see employed in the future.

They've been doing this for decades, actually.

I do remember when Reagan was elected, and it was pretty scary, and he was a lot more popular then than Trump is now.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:11 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Reagan at least had the veneer of competence. I was a child, but remember he was very popular. Society has gotten far more liberal since then.
posted by rainydayfilms at 5:49 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I'd be perfectly happy if we didn't have to actually primary anyone. But we need to get making lists now, and we need to let the DINO scum know they're on those lists. "Hi Senator, I'm with [insert catchy group name here] and our members are prepared to donate $5 to a fund a primary challenger for you every single time you vote for a Trump nominee or vote to end a Democratic filibuster." That'd make them sit up and take notice.

If we can get the job done, and that job is total and relentless obstruction and resistance to every single thing Trump wants, with nothing but threats I'm very happy.

My objective here is not ideological purity, but survival. We won't live through the next four years without unified Democratic obstruction. I've got friends and family who are in the crosshairs of the Trumpers and I do not want, when they've been murdered or sent off to the concentration camps, to say "well, I would have tried harder but then I might have endangered a DINO's reelection chances".

This isn't Reagan or even Junior, this is Fascism looming and we must win.

If we can win by keeping all the DINO's, I say we must keep the DINO's. If we can win by purging the DINO's, I say we must purge the DINO's. My objective is survival followed by victory.

I don't see how we can manage that without terrifying the wavering scum into voting the right way, and the threat of primary challengers is pretty much the only thing they fear. Appeals to their better natures are doomed to fail as they have none. Only fear will motivate a Manchin to vote properly, so we must make them fear or they'll be betray us.

T.D. Strange This would take far more message discipline than Democrats have ever had.

Agree completely. They need a lot more message discipline if we're going to survive these next four years, and that **STARTS** with getting the DINO's to stop betraying us on every single vote that matters.

Yes, they vote with us 80% of the time or whatever. Guess what? That 80% is for mindless unimportant bullshit that the Republicans also vote with us on, all the bills praising X, or resolving that Y is great, or establishing that the Chuck Wagon is our National Food Vehicle. No one gives a shit about that.

The question is: will they vote with us on the stuff that matters? Will they betray us and vote to end critical filibusters?

If no, then fine, keep them. They aren't hurting us.

If yes, then the fact that they have a "D" in front of their names doesn't actually benefit us in the slightest.

Serious question: what, exactly, is the difference between a "Democrat", like Manchin, who votes with the Republicans on all the essential votes, and an actual Republican? Why, exactly, is it superior to have a Democrat be the 60th vote against a filibuster rather than a Republican? What in particular makes it better for one of the votes for Trump's evil lineup of appointees to be a nominal Democrat instead of an open Republican?

I seem to be missing something critical here, because people like you keep telling me that it's better to have a guy who votes 100% with the Republicans on all the important things, but calls himself a Democrat, than it is to have an open and honest Republican. And I don't see how that's better at all.

We have them there for their votes, not for their party name, right? So if they vote Republican why should it matter if they lie and call themselves Democrats? To me that seems worse because then the Republicans can claim that those traitor scum made their evil bipartisan, and in America that word still holds a lot of sway (for reasons that totally baffle me, but that's a different argument).

A coalition party cannot act this way, especially when the "cost" you're throwing to the wind is quite literally the lives and freedom of many of the people you would need to commit to the sacrifice vote. "Primary Joe Manchin and lose your health insurance anyway, but you'll make me feel better about your suffering" isn't the quite winning message you think.


The R's are as much a coalition party as we are, and they manage it just fine.

More to the point though, I disagree with your premise, the people are going to lose **BECAUSE** the Manchins are going to vote to hurt them.

"Vote Democratic, we're so craven we keep the scumbags who voted to hurt you!" isn't really the winning message you seem to think it is.

Another serious question: at what point do you think giving up Manchin and his vile ilk is a good idea? Is it a vote percentage? How many times do they have to betray us and vote to support Trump's evil before you say "hmmm, perhaps spending millions to keep electing these people isn't a good idea?"

If Manchin voted with Trump 100% of the time would you still think keeping him around is a good idea? If so, why? To me having an honest enemy seems superior to having a false friend. At least then we can say "see, it would have been different if we had more Democrats", but with the Manchins we have to say "oh well, our guys voted for the stuff to fuck you sideways too, so I guess we're equally bad".

It seems to me that you're being too tribal, too strongly identifying with the mere label and forgetting the purpose of having a party is to win not just to say we had a lot of guys on our team.

As I said, and as the people who keep sneering "ideological purity" at me keep missing: I'm making my like of primaries conditional on their voting. If they vote for us but badmouth us, well, ok. That's not ideal but I'll tolerate it. If they vote against us, well, how is that different from having a Republican?

JackFlash Obamacare is about to be repealed. How's that "losing seats" strategy working out for you?

I'd ask you the same. No one votes Democratic because the Democrats stand boldly for... nothing. "Hi, I'm a Democrat but don't worry I'll vote against you every chance I get and fully support the Republican agenda. And the party is A-OK with that! Vote for me so I can vote against you!" That's not a winning message.

You want someone to blame for the loss of the House, blame the traitor DINO's who killed the 50 State Plan. Don't blame me for later saying "gee, why are we keeping so many Republicans in our party?"

This isn't ideological purtiy, it's survival. They vote like Republicans so what difference does it make if they call themselves Democrats?

I seem to be missing some giant part of your thought process. Why do you think losing critical votes because some "Democrats" betrayed us and voted Republican is better than losing that critical vote because there were more open Republicans?
posted by sotonohito at 5:57 AM on January 8 [16 favorites]


As for Reagan, I'm too young to remember very well, but it seemed a lot less fearful. He was going to be bad, everyone knew that, but it didn't seem quite like such an existential threat.

Maybe because the Cold War and the existential threat it represented was so huge that Reagan seemed small in comparison?

Also, Reagan had a split Congress to work with, though the Democrats there were still dealing with the great Southern Flip Flop and watching their numbers dwindle and the Southern "Democrats" turn into honest Republicans (don't forget, Phil Gramm was a "Democrat" during the first years of Reagan before he realized the new home for racists was the Republicans and he switched parties). So while Reagan was bad, there were checks on his power.

I think also, Reagan didn't come into power explicitly on a white supremacist agenda and threatening Fascism. He kept his white supremacy more to dogwhistles.

I do think it feels a lot more fearful today, and justifiably so.
posted by sotonohito at 6:04 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Mark Hamill's reading of Trump's New Year's Eve tweet.
posted by octothorpe at 6:15 AM on January 8 [58 favorites]


That Hamill tweet is so preposterously perfect - I hope he does more
posted by From Bklyn at 6:33 AM on January 8 [9 favorites]


I don't know about Reagan's inauguration but in 1983 or 4, after the whole family had watched The Day After, I went to go poop and my mom, who never did this sort of thing but I think she thought I was having some sort of breakdown in the bathroom, burst in and said "HONEY ARE YOU OKAY?"

I was 13/14, so of course I snotted at her that I was FINE could she GET OUT, and then she was silently pissed for a bit. I didn't get it all at the time, because closing the bathroom door was respected in the house, but now I do. She was all *we're all gonna die and my daughter is worried about me seeing her poop we're all fucked*
posted by angrycat at 6:44 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Then again, the US didn't learn from Brexit

What *are* the lessons of Brexit?

Unless there are agreed-upon "lessons" (scare quotes explained below), here's an Interbits Skimmer's Summary.

1) Don't believe polling.
polls showed the chance of a Brexit loss at over 85 – and in some cases 90 – percent. "In the case of Brexit, it was mainly a failure to capture unlikely voters and, in particular, older working-class voters who had not been responding to the polls,” Goodwin says. “So we saw around 2 to 2-and-a-half million extra voters that we didn't see at the previous general elections of the seven last polls during that campaign. Only one had Brexit ahead."

Don't believe polls is a weird "lesson" though, unless these lessons are more like passwords to a more complex game level. We can't really use that information exactly. Yeah, do better polls, I guess.

2) Bullshit works because the press won't fix it.
One of the most notorious misrepresentations was the claim by Leave campaigners, emblazoned across buses throughout the country, that “We send the E.U. £350 million every week. Let’s fund our NHS instead.” During a televised debate, Remain campaigner and Labour MP Angela Eagle called the slogan a “lie.”
. . . What is not disputed is that the number stuck in voters’ minds. A week before the referendum, polling firm Ipsos MORI found that 47 percent of the public believed the £350m claim was true.


Bullshit works because the press are shite at informing the electorate. Got it.

Better training in dealing with facts and figures—including polling data—seems essential. Most journalists come from a liberal arts background, which can leave them feeling ill-equipped to deal with competing truth claims in areas like science, economics, or polling.

Snap!

During the Brexit debate, one producer worried that campaigners were using stopwatches to check that both the Leave and Remain advocates received equal airtime. Another BBC journalist was concerned about a package on the science community’s attitude toward Brexit, as he could not find any prominent scientists in favor of leaving the E.U. But due to BBC guidelines, both sides had to be represented.

3) Showing people they're wrong and/or stupid doesn't help.
In the Brexit referendum, Outers were often branded as reckless advocates of a blind leap into the unknown.This was true – and counterproductive as a strategy for countering them. First, because calling them dangerous did not amount to an answer to the grievances driving substantial numbers of voters in the direction of the demagogues.
Second, telling a voter that something is a risk only works if that voter thinks they have a meaningful stake in society as it is and many clearly don’t.
Third, branding the insurgents as rogues burnished their appeal for many aggrieved with the status quo.


Again, not sure how useful this "lesson" is. Use force next time? I dunno. So, to recap: The Lessons of Brexit are:

1) Polling fails
2) Bullshit works because the press suck
3) Informing the electorate doesn't work because one can't fix stupid. ?

Okay not sure about that last one, but if anyone has a better list of lessons, please post them.
posted by petebest at 6:47 AM on January 8 [25 favorites]


Reagan at least had the veneer of competence.

What we didn't really appreciate is that Reagan was a competent, trained actor. And in his role as President he knew who he was working for. They were mostly evil selfish people but they weren't stupid and they didn't want to burn the world down.

W wasn't competent at anything, but he was in thrall to a group of people who like the Cylons had a Plan. It was an evil stupid plan and it did a lot of damage but like the people Reagan was working for their Plan wasn't to burn the world down, and so there were some parameters observed.

Trump doesn't listen to anybody and he has proven willing and even eager to burn things down when they're not working out for him.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:48 AM on January 8 [29 favorites]


What *are* the lessons of Brexit?

1) Don't believe polling.
polls showed the chance of a Brexit loss at over 85 – and in some cases 90 – percent.


Not sure where the link is getting the 85-90% number, but that seems off. The polls at the end were 45.8 Remain, 45.3 Leave, and 9% undecided. And as recently before the vote as 4 days, Leave was ahead. In fact, Leave polled better from June 6th - June 19th and then was just tenths of a percent behind with large undecideds the last few days.

@NateSilver538
Repeating myself, but the Brexit polls weren't bad. Showed a toss-up. Question is why so few people believed them. [chart]
posted by chris24 at 7:02 AM on January 8 [9 favorites]


I'm 32. We knew about climate change in 5th grade

I'm 42. We knew about climate change in 5th grade. The greenhouse effect and melting polar ice caps were topics in my school science book. We discussed it in class. This has been a Known Thing for a long time.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:04 AM on January 8 [24 favorites]


I'm 42. We know about climate change before my parents were born.

What we know about the greenhouse effect hasn't substantively changed since G. S. Callendar published about it in 1938.
posted by ocschwar at 7:07 AM on January 8 [12 favorites]


The major Brexit-Trump axis of evil lesson I'm prepared to argue for is that both were the result of decades of focused propaganda never taken seriously enough until too late. With Brexit, it was the eurosceptic press lying continually about the EU and turning it into the perfect scapegoat for the harm that domestic policy did; in the US it was the relentless misrepresentation of Democratic policies and personalities by your own media, who kept the focus away from the obstructionalism which prevented advance. In both cases, the media found supporters in pockets of disaffected, low-information voters whom our respective electoral systems have anointed with outsize influence. Which made the left too nervous to go on the attack with sufficient confidence, and dragged the right of the establishment ever further wingnutwards.

The corollary to this is Scotland, which has very similar demographics to the parts of England filled with the disaffected but where a combination of a centrist party with a strong message and no fucks given in calling out extremism, and a list system for the parliament, has taken much the same ingredients and become a place where liberal values are actually held as a source of pride by most of the population. It's not that simple, of course, because nationalism is also part of the mix - crucially, a non-toxic and non-fundamentalist nationalism - one that people actually think about, and think about the consequences thereof, and one that blunts the force of the relentlessly Anglo-centric media. Nonetheless it is possible to hold the fort and even advance the cause in the face of all the factors that other countries see as some unstoppable act of nature.

Which doesn't help undo what's happened in the US or Brexit (although the Brexit cards are yet to play), but does show how things might work in the future, if you start now.

And if not now, then when?
posted by Devonian at 7:12 AM on January 8 [27 favorites]


Five reasons the Intel community believes Russia interfered in the election

1) Attacks came from Russia servers
2) Attacks 'dovetail' with other Russia attacks
3) It was a huge operation
4) Used Russian infrastructure
5) Putin has motive
posted by petebest at 7:12 AM on January 8 [18 favorites]


Trump doesn't listen to anybody

This certainly seems to be how he acts, but maybe there's a power behind the throne that we're not seeing? A Cheney or Rove to his Bush? I keep mentally circling around this question.

Jared Kushner? Roger Ailes? Roger Stone certainly seems to have had Trump's ear throughout the campaign, but I'm not sure he's smart enough to be the Cheney. (Maybe it would explain a lot if Trump's puppet master was also an idiot, though.) Unfortunately "Vladimir Putin" seems like the most plausible answer. Putin doesn't exactly want to burn the world either, I think -- just to loot it.

This is probably true of most of the other plausible candidates for "Trump puppeteer" as well. They are mostly kleptocrats who are more interested in funneling resources to themselves and their cronies than with any kind of policy agenda one way or another. But maybe kleptocrats want to keep the government-goose alive so that it can keep laying golden eggs for them?

That's the best case scenario, I guess. Worst case is that Trump is not a puppet at all, just (like Nixon, apparently) an unhinged free agent, who thinks he's a lot smarter than he is. I can't decide if that is more likely than the "puppet" thing or not.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:18 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Don't forget Bannon. He's my best bet for neo-Cheney.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:19 AM on January 8 [18 favorites]



Five reasons the Intel community believes Russia interfered in the election


Which boils down to one reason: evidence.

The politicians and people have, unfortunately, abandoned evidence as a reason, and reason in general. So this may not be as helpful as it would seem. However, evidential reasoning is still in place in the judiciary, so I suggest this is where some effort be expended in applying pressure. It's worked in the past. (Yes, politicisation of the judiciary - but that's a much slower process, and much may yet be done.)
posted by Devonian at 7:21 AM on January 8 [8 favorites]


I'm 52. When I was eight years old climate change wasn't really on the popular radar, but something else was. It was 1972. Vietnam.

Every day on the news I saw young men, who had been just like me not all that long ago, coming home in body bags. And I lived in terror. I was terrified that when I turned 18 my birthday would pop out of that stupid lottery and I would be sent about as far as you can get from everything familiar and safe without becoming an astronaut, and I would be told to murder people who would just as enthusiastically be trying to murder me. And being a nerdy not very physical kid I was pretty sure I wouldn't be winning the murder game.

You do not have to deliberately terrify your eight year old. Eight year olds are quite capable of terrifying themselves. They have no distractions and they take in everything. They may not show the body bags coming back from the Middle East like they did when they were coming from southeast Asia, but they sure do show the weather porn when some place takes it on the chin because [insert weather phenomenon] has gotten fucked up.

It may not be helpful for eight year olds to be terrified, but that doesn't mean they aren't. And as I said upthread, if I was eight years old today I'd be pretty pissed off about things.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:24 AM on January 8 [15 favorites]


I still hang on to some hope that the Republican party will not stand by and let Trump get away with too much shit, surely there are still good people with consciences? What are the chances that the party can reign him in? Or drop him and just vote against him? Can it happen? Surely they aren't really going along with him?

I still think this is true, but I think that Republicans and Democrats, and even individual Republicans, strongly disagree on what exactly "too much shit" is. And I think - it's actually a really hard thing, harder than it appears, to figure out where precisely the line you hold is. That's one of the reasons I think it's important that everyone figure that out now - what the line between mild resistance and strong resistance and all-out-no-holds-barred resistance.

And if you figure it out wrong, by the time you resist, it's too late. It's another reason why I'm worried about tactics that focus on trying to convince people to resist 'everything'. It's easy to resist calls against 'everything'. Because Trump right now appears like a buffoon, and the siren call of 'come on, this vote doesn't really matter' looms large. And when you position the choices as between "resist everything" and "?" people are usually going to choose the latter option. It's really hard to throw your career, political connections, etc, away. Trust me.

However, while I think that some mitigation will happen, I don't think that Trump would be impeached unless he became massively more unpopular than he already is. Republicans don't want to be primaried, some for cowardly reasons, some for good reasons. In a time like this, every moderate Republican owes it to the country to hold on so they can be a moderating force. However, a lot of people just like being Congressmen and Senators, that's also real. I don't know which holds sway over any particular legislator at any particular time. It's probably a mixture of both. And right now, if the Republicans impeached Trump, they would be dealing with a massive revolt of various forms. No one wants to risk that if it's not necessary. And thus far, it's hard to say if it's necessary or not for a lot of people.
posted by corb at 7:27 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Still, y'know, you can't stop the public believing what they want to believe. If those who were opposed to Trump didn't care enough to bother voting, if voter suppression kept many of those who would've voted against Trump from voting and the nation as a whole is content with this (clearly it went well since the UK is about to require photo id at polling stations too) and people are generally unworried about Putin becoming their de facto ruler and/or Trump causing massive destruction one way or another... why not conclude that this is the way it is?

Stupidity, misinformation and general incapacity for critical thinking aren't new. People believe what they want to believe, always ave. If the active majority are fascists who will cut off their nose to spite their face, then, I guess they've got the world they wanted and protesting otherwise is like telling waves not to crash against the shore.
posted by tel3path at 7:28 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Worst case is that Trump is not a puppet at all, just (like Nixon, apparently) an unhinged free agent, who thinks he's a lot smarter than he is.

And I think this is exactly the case. W looked up to Cheney because W knew he was not the sharpest tack on the bulletin board himself. Reagan knew he was an actor doing a job, from the day he first ran for political office. Trump really thinks he is the smartest person in the room no matter who else is in the room. He has made that abundantly clear, and the difficulty his handlers had controlling his outbursts during the election makes it kind of obvious.

There are would-be influencers, but they aren't puppeteers and their influence isn't continuous or reliable; it does seem to be the case that whoever has had Trump's ear most recently has some pull, no matter who that is. So I expect the would-be puppeteers to spend a lot of energy on access control. Problem is, Trump seems to resist all efforts to really control him, and probably will not allow himself to be sealed off from his favored pastimes, including Twitter. So it's kind of a crap shoot what will be influencing him, other than his own outsized ego.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:29 AM on January 8 [23 favorites]


The R's are as much a coalition party as we are, and they manage it just fine.

They're really not. They're an alliance of sub-cults (dominionist religion, free market, big dick foreign policy, kick the poor, white supremacy) organized under one overarching cult principal, tax cuts fix everything, always. They're much more committed to their cult beliefs than Democrats have ever been to anything. They have cult media enforcing dicipline and driving turnout nationwide. If you want the Democrats to engage in the same purity tactics, a) its not going to work and b) its on you to show how the numbers are there for it to work.

You want someone to blame for the loss of the House, blame the traitor DINO's who killed the 50 State Plan. Don't blame me for later saying "gee, why are we keeping so many Republicans in our party?"

This isn't ideological purtiy, it's survival. They vote like Republicans so what difference does it make if they call themselves Democrats?

I seem to be missing some giant part of your thought process.


Lieberman voted for Dodd Frank. So did Blanche Lincoln. Manchin voted for against the Obamacare repeal package already and probably won't help with a bogus "replacement". Some votes for Democratic legislation is better than the replacement, which, again, will be another Tom Cotton or Ted Cruz. This really, really, isn't as difficult as you're insisting on making it. There's more to the Democratic coalition than "Bernie Sanders" and "traitors".
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:29 AM on January 8 [20 favorites]


Don't forget Bannon. He's my best bet for neo-Cheney.

Speaking of the éminence grasse, what's he been up to lately? I can't remember the last time he was in the news.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:33 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Republican leaders don't actually believe that tax cuts fix things. They just want tax cuts and don't care if things get fixed.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:33 AM on January 8 [35 favorites]


If it's Bannon, that's really bad. Because Bannon says his goal is to "destroy the state".

Ideologues are probably more dangerous than kleptocrats...
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:34 AM on January 8 [11 favorites]


Speaking of the éminence grasse, what's he been up to lately?

Spreading Russian propaganda against Angela Merkel. Our biggest NATO ally.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:35 AM on January 8 [12 favorites]


what's he been up to lately? I can't remember the last time he was in the news.

Exactly: that's the way he wants it. He's esconced himself in one of Trump's deeper folds and is merging their bloodstreams as we speak. You're going to be hearing and seeing as little of Bannon as possible while he destroys the country.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:35 AM on January 8 [16 favorites]


> Why the white working class votes against itself

That article takes far too many words to say "Because if you can't punch the rich people who fucked you, you can at least punch down at poor people like the rich people do to you".


Of course, this is no new information for those who have been paying attention:
...the theory of race was supplemented by a carefully planned and slowly evolved method, which drove such a wedge between the white and black workers that there probably are not today in the world two groups of workers with practically identical interests who hate and fear each other so deeply and persistently and who are kept so far apart that neither sees anything of common interest.

It must be remembered that the white group of laborers, while they received a low wage, were compensated in part by a sort of public and psychological wage. They were given public deference and titles of courtesy because they were white. They were admitted freely with all classes of white people to public functions, public parks, and the best schools. The police were drawn from their ranks, and the courts, dependent upon their votes, treated them with such leniency as to encourage lawlessness....
(W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880, first published 1935.)
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:38 AM on January 8 [48 favorites]


I would send out for assistance but there's someone on the signal wire
And the corporation logo is flashing on and off in the sky
They're putting all your names in the forbidden book
I know what they're doing but I don't want to look
You think they're so dumb, you think they're so funny
Wait until they've got you running to the night rally

posted by davebush at 7:40 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I'd probably take all of Trump's shitty noms just to get rid of Bannon. He's smart and evil. And he knows how to work Trump. Get rid of him and Trump is still unhinged and dangerous, but less focused and capable.

I'll take incompetent kleptocrats over driven Nazis.
posted by chris24 at 7:46 AM on January 8 [17 favorites]


I'll take incompetent kleptocrats over driven Nazis.

To risk the use of D&D Alignment terminology, the appointees so far are largely neutral evil or chaotic evil, with low intelligence. Bannon's lawful evil and high intelligence. Everybody else might fuck things up in awful and spectacular ways, but Bannon's the one who has the greatest shot of getting exactly what he wants.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:52 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


I don't think it's that simple. For instance, I think pretty much anybody would have offered up Sessions, given that even moderate Republicans believe the voter fraud myth and the Lost Cause "history" of the Confederacy.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:56 AM on January 8


Sessions was a backbencher and crank as recently as a year ago. He had minimal influence in the GOP conference, and was pretty much written off as The Racist Alabama Granddad even in his own party. There's a reason he was the only Senator to endorse Trump in the primary.

I highly doubt Jeb or Romney would've put him anywhere important. But that's Earth B at this point.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:00 AM on January 8 [17 favorites]


even moderate Republicans believe the voter fraud myth and the Lost Cause "history" of the Confederacy.

Regarding the prevalence of Lost-Cause-ism among "moderate" Republicans, I have to push back a little. Among Republicans in general, the most horrifying evidence of this that I've seen in polling was 38% of South Carolinians who voted for Trump in the primaries saying that the south should have won. Now again, that's horrifying, but that's not national election GOP Trump voters, it's primary voters in South Carolina who voted for him. While I would say that Lost Cause rhetoric is very common among Tea Partiers/Trumpists, and probably the norm among them in some areas, I don't see the evidence for it being the norm among all GOP voters.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:09 AM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Lost-Cause-ism isn't just about thinking the Confederacy should have won. It includes denial that slavery was the main cause of the war, and that it was a "states' rights" issue anyway, and that the South had an inherently better and more "honorable" moral character.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:15 AM on January 8 [14 favorites]


Yeah, and I agree that there are degrees of lost cause theology. But if you believe in it enough doesn't it all just boil down to "the south should have won?"
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:18 AM on January 8


Putin is the puppeteer and it is so obvious it is hard to believe.

The thing is, issues that are irrelevant to Russian interests, Trump can manage on his own. It gives him and sense of power, and hey, it's irrelevant. So there we see lunatic behavior.
posted by mumimor at 8:18 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


I still think this is true, but I think that Republicans and Democrats, and even individual Republicans, strongly disagree on what exactly "too much shit" is. And I think - it's actually a really hard thing, harder than it appears, to figure out where precisely the line you hold is. That's one of the reasons I think it's important that everyone figure that out now - what the line between mild resistance and strong resistance and all-out-no-holds-barred resistance.

Is there anyone out there trying to draw this line? Trying to point out which specific things are attacks on American democracy, on the constitution, etc.? Things like not putting nominees through ethics review, violating the emoluments clause, bringing your business-running children to international and domestic meetings, violating international rules against torture, etc. The kind of stuff that anyone should be able to say, Republican or Democrat, "If you don't stand up against this you are violating your oath to uphold and defend the constitution."

I know that, for instance, Evan McMullin is tweeting a lot about this but having a simple site/message with a lot of voices behind it might break through the noise to reach some of these Republicans.
posted by galaxy rise at 8:18 AM on January 8 [12 favorites]




Has anyone an idea whether DT can read, and how well? Could it be that he literally can't take in intelligence reports or other written matter of moderate complexity? His avoidance of emails, his illiteracy and incompetence in tweeting, suggest to me that he might well be functionally illiterate. Perhaps the green ink letters represent his intellectual peak, and that's a while ago.
posted by stonepharisee at 8:24 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


The Old Man and the (na)Zis
posted by chris24 at 8:26 AM on January 8 [11 favorites]


It seems a lot more plausible that he's just an incurious fucko than that he literally cannot read. Not least because Trump's never shown much capability to be coy about his points of defensiveness.
posted by cortex at 8:28 AM on January 8 [19 favorites]


the most horrifying evidence of this that I've seen in polling was 38% of South Carolinians who voted for Trump in the primaries saying that the south should have won

BTW, the PPP poll that your link sourced from is interesting once you take into account the "not sures" from all SC GOP primary voters on questions that really should be cut-and-dry. For instance, once you add in "not sure" to the question of who should have won the Civil War, it shoots up to 64%, and keeping the Stars and Bars flying over the Capitol gets 68%. And they're also "unsure" about basic 1st and 14th Amendment rights: preventing Muslims from entering the US gets a whopping 77% (including 60% who support it), support for a Muslim database also gets 64%, shutting down mosques gets 54%, and outlawing Islam outright gets 47%.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:30 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]


if he couldn't read he'd never shut the fuck up about how he is the best reader and how lots of great, great people are telling him how he can make the letters say the words.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:30 AM on January 8 [14 favorites]


Hemingway?. How long has it been since anyone called anyone the Hemingway of anything?

I bet if you ask him who the current President of the USA is, he'd say 'Carter'.
posted by Devonian at 8:30 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]


For instance, once you add in "not sure" to the question of who should have won the Civil War, it shoots up to 64%, and keeping the Stars and Bars flying over the Capitol gets 54%

Oh for sure the SC GOP primary vote in general looks really monstrous. However it's still the South Carolina GOP primary vote, so if you want the absolute worst case scenario for awful american politics that's the place to go.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:31 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Martin Luther King Day With Trump: Next year, Donald Trump will preside over a holiday dedicated to a man whose principles he scarcely seems to comprehend. In a speech that King delivered in 1967, in Atlanta, he condemned the Vietnam War and warned against what he called “the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism.” All three figured prominently in Trump’s Presidential campaign. Moreover, in 1973 the Department of Justice sued Trump Management, of which Trump was the president, for refusing to rent apartments to African-Americans. Specifically, the government charged that the company had violated the Fair Housing Act—a landmark piece of legislation passed in 1968, partly in tribute to King’s desegregation work. Now Trump, instead of calming the racial fires that he stoked during the campaign, has opted for private meetings with B-listers of black life: Don King, Ray Lewis, Jim Brown—a coalition of the compromised.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:37 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Has anyone an idea whether DT can read, and how well?

He does seem to be a heavy user of voicemail.

And I think there was a link toward the end of the last thread that said he dictates a lot of his tweets to the "girls" in his office. (My internet is flaky right now, and it's hard to search that massive thread about Trump for "girls" and "tweets". I'll re-post it when I find it.)

And of course, the ghostwriters for his books have claimed he did almost none of the writing. And he seems to get most of his news from cable. And he said that even though he had a book of Hitler's speeches by his bed, he never read it.

And he had quite a bit of trouble with teleprompters.

I am sure he learned to read and was once capable of doing do relatively proficiently, but I really think he has some attention issues now that make it hard for him to read or write anything longer than a tweet.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:40 AM on January 8 [8 favorites]


I assume we're not going to get a SOTU for four years.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:43 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


toward the end of the last thread that said he dictates a lot of his tweets to the "girls" in his office.

Oh, it's in this thread:
Trump did tell CNN's Anderson Cooper that he "writes" his own tweets.

"During the day, I'm in the office, I just shout it out to one of the young ladies who are tremendous," he told Cooper. "I have tremendous office staff. And Meredith and some of the people that work for me. And I'll just shout it out, and they'll do it. But during the evenings, after 7 o'clock or so, I will always do it by myself."
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:43 AM on January 8


It'll just be an hour long transmission of dumpsterfire.gif on loop.
posted by Devonian at 8:44 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


WaPo: Gun silencers are hard to buy. Donald Trump Jr. and silencer makers want to change that.

Because difficulty in purchasing silencers is one of the most pressing firearms issues ◔_◔. The whole meretricious Trump clan is intent on maximizing harm.

Gun owners such as Trump Jr. can’t understand why people like Rand don’t get it. In the video, after he’s shown shooting several guns with silencers, Trump Jr. says they can help with getting "little kids into the game."

THEY'RE GREAT FOR KIDS!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:46 AM on January 8 [23 favorites]


cell divide: "If you're greedy, ambitions, and immoral and want to make lots of money, it's time to move to the Washington D.C. area, assuming you're not already there. The looting is going to start on day one."

Can we please not with this? I'm tired of having my home labeled as a swamp and cesspool, when it is nothing of the sort. I've never lived in another place that has so many talented people who are earnestly trying to make the world a better place (often at a significant personal opportunity cost). The lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, and their lackeys only make up a tiiiny portion of our population – the "real" DC is full of civil servants, NGOs, human-rights advocates, and scientists.

Though far from perfect, The District itself also arguably leads the nation in civil rights, LGBT issues, and has historically given a damn about addressing homelessness. Even our corruption tends to funnel money into the pockets of the district's least-fortunate. * I'm not defending that last part, but it's a somewhat unique footnote in the context of American politics...

While considerably less liberal than the District itself, our suburbs are considerably more liberal (and secular!) than any other major US metropolitan area that I know about. Even Loudoun County is reliably Democratic these days. The DC metropolitan area is considerably more progressive and liberal than whatever the hell it is that California pats itself on the back for.

So.... yeah. PLEASE STOP playing into Trump's hand by denigrating my home and my neighbors.
posted by schmod at 8:46 AM on January 8 [52 favorites]


Jeff Sessions should have been a tough sell in the Senate, but he’s too nice

Come for the what-the-fuckery of the headline, stay for the explode-your-head-like-in-Scanners of a NeverTrumper introducing him for nomination and a Democrat (Coons-DE) saying he might vote for him.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:49 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]


chris24: “For Trump, his online dominance is a source of pride.
I reported him for hate speech and blocked him. Useless, but felt good.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:51 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Even Loudoun County is reliably Democratic these days.

RepreSENT! We even managed to kick born-again asshole Eugene Delgaudio off the Board of Supervisors.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:52 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Samantha Bee on 31 October 2016... "People are saying Trump can't read!!!???".
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:53 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]


the "real" DC is full of civil servants, NGOs, human-rights advocates, and scientists.

And these are the people Trump is talking about when he says "drain the swamp". Not the lobbiests and billionaires he's stacking his cabinet with. He's coming after competent and dedicated public servants because "liberal reality" doesn't sell on FOX News.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:56 AM on January 8 [33 favorites]


Samantha Bee on 31 October 2016... "People are saying the rich asshole can't read!!!???".

Neither this Bee hilarity nor I think he's completely illiterate, but considering all of his issues with reading anything (admits he has not read a book in his adult life (!), well-documented proof he struggles with teleprompters, reading documents in deposition, etc.), functionally illiterate or 2nd-grade level reading skills almost assuredly not hyperbole.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:04 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


And these are the people Trump is talking about when he says "drain the swamp".

There's been a lot of gentrification going on in DC and I've been worried about what that's going to do to the character of the area as current residents keep getting pushed out into the surrounding metro area.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 9:04 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


If we assume that reading is not something he does well, or with facility, then his decisions arise from spoken interactions and the TV. The voice influences and cajoles in ways foreign to those of us who read. And his whisperers are uniformly appalling.
posted by stonepharisee at 9:07 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Because difficulty in purchasing silencers is one of the most pressing firearms issues ◔_◔. The whole meretricious Trump clan is intent on maximizing harm.

So actually, the silencer issue is really interesting, so much so that if Trump is focusing on silencers, I think he has to be being led by someone more competent. Silencers in particular are kind of this funny thing where the place they hold in public consciousness and the place they hold for gun owners are so radically different, that it's like a freebie for the things Trump likes doing, with little cost.

So gun owners exist along a spectrum, right? There's hardliners on one end, and Democrats who like shooting sometimes on the other end. We've seen through polls that there exist a lot of gun control measures that some gun owners support. But the silencer issue is not really one of them - they haven't been used in any high profile crimes or shootings (they are really, really hard to get, I can attest), none of the major gun control groups have been pushing for more regulations because they're already pretty stringent.

So in that issue we combine:

1) A way for gun owners leery of Trump to get behind him, one of the more 'easy' things people have been asking for for a while
2) No serious legislative opposition, because silencers just haven't had the time or focus to be a big thing
3) Outrage among pro-gun control people for whom it sounds really extreme (The critical 'liberal tears' component without which Trump can't get out of bed in the morning)

Honestly this strikes me as a huge wedge attempt, where he's trying to pick off more 'Blue Dog' Democrat voters.
posted by corb at 9:16 AM on January 8 [13 favorites]


Wtf Mtp? This is stating it like it's a fact rather than her bullshit statement. Gee, wonder why Trump retweeted it?

@MeetThePress:
Watch our interview with @KellyannePolls: Russia "did not succeed" in attempts to sway election http://nbcnews.to/2i5hKXT #MTP
posted by chris24 at 9:17 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


they haven't been used in any high profile crimes or shootings (they are really, really hard to get, I can attest)

There's Christopher Dorner whose weapons cache included 10 silencers and whose manifesto explained how easy they were to procure:
In his Facebook manifesto, Dorner wrote that he had bought the silencers legally without a background check by creating a trust account using Quicken's Willmaker software and paying a notary $10 to make it legal. This loophole has become a common ploy to evade background checks, and it enabled Dorner to obtain the silencer quickly, with the help of a friendly Nevada firearms dealer who ignored the fact that Dorner lived in a state where silencers are banned.
posted by peeedro at 9:33 AM on January 8 [12 favorites]


Why do they write things like that? You could add "Claims" or "Argues" before "Russia" and still stay under 140.
posted by schroedinger at 9:34 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


For those who like to run and live somewhere between NYC and DC, some women I know are running from Harlem to the National Mall starting on MLK, Jr. Day and arriving on inauguration day (and then participating in the women's march). They're looking for fellow runners to join them for any leg of the route, if that's your thing. They're hoping to raise at least $44K for Planned Parenthood (in honor of our 44th president). Here's a NYMag article about it (the details of the route and timeslots for joining, as well as donating, are on the GoFundMe page linked within the article).
posted by melissasaurus at 9:34 AM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Mr. Trump and Kellyanne are currently having a Twitter fight with NBC News over Conway's Meet the Press interview.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:54 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Anyone still harping out the "white working class" narrative is a classist and can frankly go join the other bigots at this point. I have tried to be gentle and civil in pointing this out, but white people across class lines - and particularly upper middle class white people - voted Trump into power. If you'd like to discuss ways of reaching people across class and racial lines, good; I'm with you. If you think the Electoral College is a weird and broken system, good; I'm with you. If you'd like to express contempt for poor people (and oh boy does this site love to; as a bonus, contempt for poor white people also generally hurts poor people of color and poor LGBT people the most, but who cares, right?), then you are buying into what is a half-truth at best as a way of absolving other upper middle class white people of any responsibility in systemic racism, which is infuriating. Go and join the racists, misogynists and homophobes; open classism is not any more okay.
posted by byanyothername at 9:58 AM on January 8 [53 favorites]


How Many Divisions Does Jennifer Lawrence Have?
Look, I don't think we're going to bottle up Trump because celebrities are shaking their fists at him. The words and gestures of celebrities don't have that much political power.

But that's just the point. Celebrities aren't going to overthrow Trump -- and yet, while the right-wing press always attacks anti-Republican celebrities, there's the likelihood of a significant increase in such attacks once Trump is president.

The reason is simple: Republicans will control everything in Washington, but they don't want to take ownership of anything bad that happens to America. So they'll try to persuade their base that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have all the power. Or the "liberal media." Or left-leaning professors and college students. Or celebrities.

Republicans will be in control, but they'll continue to insist that they're the rebels, they're the outsiders, they're the guerrillas fighting to retake America from the power structure. Pay no attention to the fact that they are the power structure.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:17 AM on January 8 [34 favorites]


byanyothername I'm with you 100% on the importance of not buying into the narrative about the 'white working class.'

The point I would highlight is the 'contempt for the poor.' I haven't seen that here on metafilter, especially. I'm not sure I buy into that. I'm with you completely in the need, at this particular moment, in forming constructive political alliances, if US liberalism is to have any chance at all at a go-forwards-plan with any political coherence.

Yet--I've had several discussions where I've been called out as a rightist, tech-bro Republican (or worse-Libertarian), when I am in fact, a lifelong Democrat (by the skin of my teeth, where Socialist/post-structuralist is probably a closer fit), who most recently, had over 200 hours of volunteer service with the homeless community in my neck of the woods. The fact such liberal [credentialization/authorization] checking is required to avoid instant sniping, is however, quite weirdly distinctive of left-of-center discussion sites. I wouldn't paint metafilter as highly unusual in that regard.

I'd also add that a sign saying 'Go Away Bigots! Go away Racists! Go away homophobes!' is literally the worst message one would want to send to an 'undecided' voter trying to sort out their own position on complex social issues in a postmodern society.

It's literally the imposition of ideological orthodoxy-- which is orthogonal to the humanist ideals underlying the the liberal position, right? Regardless of whether a given assertion could be said to be 'true' vis a vis a certain locus of privilege, factual truth, and assorted network effects.
posted by mrdaneri at 10:18 AM on January 8 [11 favorites]


byanothername - I totally agree with you. But the other day I heard a radio interview with two life-long Democrats who had voted for Trump, and it made me think about it differently.
Sadly, it is not surprising that the white middle class voted R, regardless of who was on the ticket. They are firmly in the "I've got mine"- electorate and their only concerns are tax-breaks and tough on crime. They are not interested in whatever happens to the other people or in international politics.
It is actually surprising that the white working class voted so heavily against their own interests. Specially when you learn (as I did through that interview) that they are well aware that they might get screwed over. Yes, they are racist and ignorant, but they are not that ignorant. The men I heard expressed sentiments a lot like those on the radical left, one of them even voted for Sanders in the primaries: they distrust politicians and politics to the extent that they are ready to dismantle democracy for change. I am not sympathetic, I'm scared. But I learned that it is relevant to examine that sentiment.
posted by mumimor at 10:22 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


This is important. Not just because it's something actually good for the globe re climate change but it's more indication of Chinese long-term geopolitical strategy of using it to exert more power and influence. China is very good with soft power. I don't think that Donald is capable of understanding what soft power is let alone the nuances of how it functions at this level. He's a hard power guy who love hard power people.

Here in Canada issues around trade with China have always been a thing. Talk about free trade deal with China has been in the air for years but has never gone very far. Right now we're finishing up our EU trade deal. I recently heard some commentary by trade specialists and one said that in light of the US election results some of the reaction has been thank goodness we have this deal pretty much done it's more timely and important now.
We've also started the first official steps of a free trade deal with China and though not done because of the election it's been moved up the priority list. Donald is providing types of motivation that I don't think he and his lackies can see or understand let alone how what they're doing (and not doing) will play out in the longer term.



China Is Going All In On Clean Energy As The U.S. Waffles. How Is That Making America Great Again?

For months, the clean energy discussion in the U.S. has been dominated by two questions: First, will the new administration really turn its back on the climate and clean energy policies that have helped create a burgeoning American industry? And if it does, how serious a blow will that be for the sector—and the global transition to clean energy?

China just answered the second question. On January 5, Reuters reported that China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) had announced in the next three years alone, China will invest $361 billion in renewable power generation. The spending comes as the cost of building large-scale solar plants has dropped by as much as 40 percent since 2010. While the Trump administration talks about renewing an outdated love affair with coal and oil, China’s investment is poised to generate over 13 million jobs in the clean energy sector.


----------


China, India, the European Union, Canada and others have strong incentives to embrace cleaner technologies, with or without the U.S. Yes there’s the health of the planet, but there’s also economic self-interest to take into account. According to a U.S. Department of Energy report, clean energy costs are tumbling. The cost of land-based wind power, utility and distributed photovoltaic (PV) solar power, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and electric vehicles (EVs) has fallen by 41% to as high as 94% since 2008.

China’s huge new investment into clean energy is further proof that it has no plans to change course on climate. In fact, the Chinese leadership is emboldened by the news coming out of America. Senior Chinese climate change official, Zou Ji, underscored that if Trump abdicates U.S. leadership on the Paris Agreement, “China’s influence and voice are likely to increase […] which will then spill over into other areas of global governance and increase China’s global standing, power and leadership.

posted by Jalliah at 10:34 AM on January 8 [18 favorites]


Major Christian group condemns Trump’s cabinet picks, policy agenda
The National Council of Churches (NCC)—which represents 38 denominations and faith communities, or roughly 45 million people—unveiled the statement on Friday afternoon. Co-signed by the Conference of National Black Churches, the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, the letter implores the former businessman not to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or slash funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — better known as food stamps — saying such programs protect the poor.

“We have grave concerns about a proposed policy agenda that, if enacted, would put the most vulnerable among us in jeopardy,” the statement reads. “Throughout Christian scriptures we are instructed to care for the poor and the most vulnerable…While working to improve the ACA will benefit all Americans, repealing it without simultaneously offering a replacement is reckless and unnecessarily endangers the health of millions of people. This is certainly no way to make America great.”

Signers also blasted Trump’s controversial cabinet picks. “Stephen Bannon, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and Michael Flynn epitomize extremist, racist and fringe world views that we believe are morally inconsistent with Christian principles of loving neighbor and antithetical to American values of ‘liberty and justice for all,’” the statement reads.

“These objectionable nominees represent a bygone era of hatred that we have denounced and worked tirelessly to eradicate,” it continues. “Their corrupted credentials, which include condoning and purporting racist, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, xenophobic and anti-Muslim ideologies, are not only unacceptable but they should disqualify them for service as public officials. We urge the President-Elect to protect the integrity of our nation by replacing these nominees with candidates who represent shared American values for the common good.”
Some of the bigger denominations represented are United Methodists, the Presbyterian Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Episcopalians.

Amazing how when you get away from rightwing evangelicals you get a lot more Christ in Christian.
posted by chris24 at 10:46 AM on January 8 [81 favorites]


And for those who think that the Trump transitional tone is akin to the DPRK, that's not right - or at least, not the best parallel. They are operating like a corporation, with the same absolute rules about communication, loyalty and the taboo of dissent imposed not just on the Trump administration but on the country. It's the only way he knows how to operate. Think of it like Apple, only instead of selling iPhones through Apple stores to eager customers he'll be spraying poisonous ordure throughout the land like an incontinent airborne hippo, and blaming everyone else for being covered in malodorous shit.
posted by Devonian at 11:00 AM on January 8 [9 favorites]


Once money became speech, it was only a matter of time before money became ethics: Reince Priebus: 'There's No Reason' To Do Background Checks On Trump's Cabinet Picks
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:07 AM on January 8 [25 favorites]


The people who haven't finished taking care of the confict of interest paperwork include Gen. Mattis, the only nominee I actually respect.


Apparently the paperwork is expensive to prepare and the potential salary cut can be pretty noticeable.


link

I don't like linking to 'The Washington Examiner' but there's an article there which lays out the costs of the disclosure process.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:12 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]



I was 13/14, so of course I snotted at her that I was FINE could she GET OUT, and then she was silently pissed for a bit. I didn't get it all at the time, because closing the bathroom door was respected in the house, but now I do. She was all *we're all gonna die and my daughter is worried about me seeing her poop we're all fucked*


Armageddon is no excuse for not closing the bathroom door
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:14 AM on January 8 [13 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump: Before I, or anyone, saw the classified and/or highly confidential hacking intelligence report, it was leaked out to @NBCNews. So serious!

SO many things wrong.

a) or anyone? So it was read and leaked by what, dinosaurs? robots?
b) Classified and/or highly confidential. LOL
c) Serious in what sense, sir?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:20 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Ach, dupe.
posted by Devonian at 11:22 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


They have to get moving. I mean, they have to move faster. And they have all the information. These are people that have been highly successful in their lives. They need to move quicker.

When people start to die because of these cabinet appointments I do hope we'll remember Priebus here and never let him forget.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:24 AM on January 8 [9 favorites]


People should not let volunteered information on exit polls reliably inform them on how much a particular voter makes. Trump himself inflates his income by a huge factor. Clinton downplayed hers. That's who they represent. The average Trump voter is very insecure about their income and will readily inflate it after admitting they voted for Trump; because they can, and are expected to, and because they don't want to look insane. They might even believe it themselves.
posted by Brian B. at 11:25 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


L Has anyone an idea whether DT can read, and how well? Could it be that he literally can't take in intelligence reports or other written matter of moderate complexity? His avoidance of emails, his illiteracy and incompetence in tweeting, suggest to me that he might well be functionally illiterate. Perhaps the green ink letters represent his intellectual peak, and that's a while ago.
posted by stonepharisee at 8:24 AM on January 8
[+] [!]


I think he could have dyslexia, or have issues with his vision, or even both.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:29 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]




More on this: Senate Confirmation Hearings to Begin Without All Background Checks

Thanks for the link, zachlipton, although this quote in particular makes me see red:
Republicans are indignant. “Holding up confirmations just for delay’s sake is irresponsible and it is dangerous,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. He added, “This is a dangerous world we are living in, and why in the world would we want to make it even more dangerous just to let our colleagues delay for delay’s sake President-elect Trump getting to fill his cabinet, particularly these important national security offices?”
This is such transparent fearmongering in an effort to get us to overlook corruption, ethics violations, and the constitutional responsibilities of the Senate. It's textbook authoritarianism. He doesn't even say what the dangers are - terrorism? hackers? foreign governments? - just that we should be afraid, very afraid.

Maybe because he knows what the real danger is: people like John Cornyn who'd have us trade liberty for security.
posted by galaxy rise at 11:41 AM on January 8 [33 favorites]


I hope that someone takes that same letter and sends it back to McConnell. Nothing will come of it but...
posted by futz at 11:43 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Republicans forfeited all claims to outrage over delay/obstruction tactics. Democrats should delay everything to the maximum extent possible. Never again should they ever consent to waiving any procedural steps. No voice votes. No unanimous consent. No timing accommodations or waiver of disclosure, although the minority has no say really in committee. Not on nominees, not on naming a Post Office. Preferably they should filibuster every single bill, up to and including disaster relief. Just to stop Republicans from governing.

Republicans started the total obstruction, that's the new normal. Trump should receive in turn what they gave to Obama. No consent. No agreement. No comity. Nothing moves forward without 60 votes. Total resistance against an illegitimate puppet and gerrymandered rule by the minority.

If there's a NeverTrump faction (there isn't), Democrats should be ready to accept their assistance with groundwork already laid for resistance.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:52 AM on January 8 [49 favorites]


Am I correct in assessing that background checks not being done hasn't been a big issue in other transitions because they would have been occuring before the usual practice is to have your main people lined up before the election is finished so these these are either in progress or ready to go nearer to day one?

If so then this is all just more cover-up and Repubs trying to fix the mess created by the incompetence of their Great Leader and team. Correct?
posted by Jalliah at 11:58 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]




Trump himself inflates his income by a huge factor. Clinton downplayed hers.

What kind of both-sides horseshit is this. Clinton has publicly released every one of her tax returns for the past 30-some years. It's there for everyone to see. Trump has released exactly zero tax returns.

The Clinton's had very modest incomes for most of their careers as public servants. When Bill left office in 2001 they had several million dollars of debt from legal fees defending against the Republican jihad.

Since then they have been very fortunate to make millions in speaking fees, every dollar of which was disclosed in their tax returns. Hillary has acknowledged her good fortune in many speeches, saying that people like her need to pay higher taxes.

If by downplaying, you are referring to Clinton's statement "We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt." But that was a completely truthful statement. It wasn't downplaying anything.

But she said "I regret it. It was inartful. It was accurate. But, we are so successful and we are so blessed by the success we've had. And my husband has worked incredibly hard."

Enough of the false equivalency.
posted by JackFlash at 12:02 PM on January 8 [77 favorites]


T.D. Strange I hear what you're saying, but does that not play into the narrative from history?

E.g. That happens.

The very next act is a wildly popular counter-revolution with a anti-Populist strongman saying stuff like, 'Aren't you tired of the gridlock? Aren't we ready as a people to take the next step for America? Let's streamline the process!'

The crypto-fascists behind the levers of power finally feel good enough to drop the 'crypto' prefix.
posted by mrdaneri at 12:03 PM on January 8


Am I correct in assessing that background checks not being done hasn't been a big issue in other transitions because they would have been occuring before the usual practice is to have your main people lined up before the election is finished?

Remember what seems like a few ages ago, where I was talking about how competent Republican organizers are just kind of checking out of the process and not making themselves available to the Trump team? (Who apparently are resistant to hiring anyone not loyal to Dear Leader anyway). I think this kind of stuff is absolutely the holes that result from having very few just competent operators working on this stuff - the low-level folk who would make everything roll smoothly, who would focus on checking in with the nominees and ensuring they do stuff and everything could be done on time. And yeah, having people lined up before 'whims of the president elect' take place.

Elected GOP officials may not be familiar with what this means, because they're not used to having to see this stuff - it all usually takes place in the background. It may seem like bizarre procedural complaints they've never seen before. But I'm sure that's what it is.
posted by corb at 12:05 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


The very next act is a wildly popular counter-revolution with a anti-Populist strongman saying stuff like, 'Aren't you tired of the gridlock? Aren't we ready as a people to take the next step for America? Let's streamline the process!'

This is what already happened. The strong man is in power. The only choice is resistance, or working to pass their fascist agenda anyway. Democrats have to keep making the case that the Ryan agenda (which is what's coming, not Trump's) is bad for everyone, and show they're resisting it as hard as Republicans resisted Obama's. The lesson we were just taught is obstruction is rewarded, not punished.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:08 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


Even born-again Putin ally Sean Hannity is having trouble separating the faithful from the trolls.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:12 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


L Has anyone an idea whether DT can read, and how well? Could it be that he literally can't take in intelligence reports or other written matter of moderate complexity? His avoidance of emails, his illiteracy and incompetence in tweeting, suggest to me that he might well be functionally illiterate. Perhaps the green ink letters represent his intellectual peak, and that's a while ago.
posted by stonepharisee at 8:24 AM on January 8
[+] [!]

I think he could have dyslexia, or have issues with his vision, or even both.


I'm totally game for theories that Trump is mentally unstable, but the dude does have a BS, and no matter how rich and well connected you are, it requires a remarkable amount of cheating and accommodation by professors to graduate from college and still be completely incapable of reading. I'm pretty sure he is capable of reading. After all, that's how he knows what people are writing about him in magazines. I think though that ever since he first got written up in the NYT or the Post oh so many years ago, he just doesn't have any interest in reading anything that isn't about him.
posted by dis_integration at 12:14 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Hillary has acknowledged her good fortune in many speeches, saying that people like her need to pay higher taxes.

Yes, by giving paid speeches behind closed doors to wealthy people and saying it, but not saying it during debates and campaign speeches, that would be downplaying it. Especially since it was used against her during the primary, leaked by others.

Enough of the false equivalency.

I made a direct contrast in their approaches.
posted by Brian B. at 12:17 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]



Remember what seems like a few ages ago, where I was talking about how competent Republican organizers are just kind of checking out of the process and not making themselves available to the Trump team? (Who apparently are resistant to hiring anyone not loyal to Dear Leader anyway). I think this kind of stuff is absolutely the holes that result from having very few just competent operators working on this stuff - the low-level folk who would make everything roll smoothly, who would focus on checking in with the nominees and ensuring they do stuff and everything could be done on time. And yeah, having people lined up before 'whims of the president elect' take place.

Elected GOP officials may not be familiar with what this means, because they're not used to having to see this stuff - it all usually takes place in the background. It may seem like bizarre procedural complaints they've never seen before. But I'm sure that's what it is.


On the outset my first thoughts were that it was about something more nefarious and then I recalled times at work when someone, someone dropped the ball on some paperwork and the higher ups had to scramble and BS in order to smooth it over and try to fix it.
Not excusing what the Repubs are saying and doing to BS it but I'm leaning towards this being more a covering Donalds et al's asses because they don't know what the hell they're doing when it comes to the details of governing.
posted by Jalliah at 12:17 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Mitch McConnell tells Democrats hoping to delay Cabinet confirmations to "grow up"

-- “All of these little procedural complaints are related to their frustration at having not only lost the White House but having lost the Senate,” McConnell told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I understand that but we need to sort of grow up here and get past that.”

-- And on the intelligence community’s report on Russian hacking activities relating to the U.S. election and Mr. Trump’s comments on the issue, McConnell said he understands a new president’s hope to get along with Russia -- but said those hopes will “be dashed pretty quickly” once Mr. Trump takes office.

-- McConnell added that he believes Russia intervened in the election, but said it ultimately “made no difference” in the results.

“There’s no evidence whatsoever that it changed the outcome of the election,” he said.

posted by futz at 12:20 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Mitch McConnell tells Democrats hoping to delay Cabinet confirmations to "grow up"

Remember when Republicans "grew up" and lived with Obama's election. We should grow up exactly like they did. With total and complete obstruction.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:24 PM on January 8 [51 favorites]


I'm pretty sure he is capable of reading.

There is actually video evidence of him reading at a high-school level. Google "trump reading 'the snake'" if you want to see it, though it's a little troubling.

Also, when he makes prepared remarks his fluency is above average, as long as he sticks to the script and doesn't get excited. See his testimony to the Senate on the renovation of the UN Building.
posted by Coventry at 12:25 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


The journalists talking to McConnell should be quoting his own words after Obama'a election back at him. Grrrr.
posted by R343L at 12:25 PM on January 8 [22 favorites]


MetaFilterDonald Trump: an incontinent airborne hippo
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:27 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


The Post has a nice little scheduling guide to upcoming hearings: Everything you want to know about the Trump Cabinet confirmation hearings
posted by zachlipton at 12:30 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


The journalists talking to McConnell should be quoting his own words after Obama'a election back at him. Grrrr.

That would require them to like, work and stuff
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:35 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


>There is actually video evidence of him reading at a high-school level. Google "trump reading 'the snake'" if you want to see it, though it's a little troubling.

If anything, that reaffirms my suspicion that he is illiterate. That poem does not have the syntactic complexity of an intelligence report, a briefing, or a brief. Having watched too much of him during his deposition today, I saw nothing to suggest that he could read even an editorial.
posted by stonepharisee at 12:38 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Since then they have been very fortunate to make millions in speaking fees, every dollar of which was disclosed in their tax returns.

I couldn't find my comment in an earlier thread, but if you add up their book royalties they get to about $200 million.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:40 PM on January 8


Reading comprehension has two parts. Physically mouthing the words on the page, and the comprehension part.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:50 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Having watched too much of him during his deposition today

I'm sorry what? You were present? Or am I missing something? Any fireworks?
posted by prefpara at 12:51 PM on January 8




I'd ask you the same. No one votes Democratic because the Democrats stand boldly for... nothing.

Note that the majority of voters usually vote for Democratic candidates in House and Senate races, and a majority or plurality have voted for the Democratic candidates for President in 6 of the last 7 national elections. So "no one" must be code for "most people".
posted by Justinian at 1:00 PM on January 8 [43 favorites]


Mitch McConnell tells Democrats hoping to delay Cabinet confirmations to "grow up"

I wish they'd reply "No, you grow up!" If Mitchie wants to run the government like an eight year old, then he should get his wish.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:04 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


The Senate just named a supporter of the Dakota pipeline to head its Indian Affairs committee

Though he hardly tries for any groups, among all others I think Trump makes the least effort to mask his loathing for Native Americans. Some goes for the rest of his GOP fans: the speakers we'd see before him at his rallies making Pocahontas jokes about Warren, laughing over war-whoops. Trump and his ilk wouldn't (quite) be brazen enough to call her Aunt Jemima or Hymie Goldstein but when it comes to straight-up 19th-century-style-racism against native people then it's so accepted that even Democrats can hardly be bothered to notice it, or so it seems.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:09 PM on January 8 [15 favorites]


My bad. Deposition was in June and is on YT. I watched it today. Is that second order hermeneutics, I wonder.
posted by stonepharisee at 1:10 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I haven't taken the "shut up and support the president" argument from Republicans seriously since what happened to the Dixie Chicks, and that went down when I was still a minor.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:10 PM on January 8 [17 favorites]


Though he hardly tries for any groups, among all others I think Trump makes the least effort to mask his loathing for Native Americans.

Probably due to their direct competition to him in the casino business.
posted by PenDevil at 1:14 PM on January 8 [13 favorites]


Another example of Trump's Mirror. From 2013.

@realDonaldTrump
I wonder how much our "leaders" have promised, or given, Russia in order for them to behave and not make the U.S. look even worse?
posted by chris24 at 1:20 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


That particular argument conveniently only is used by Republicans when they are in power, and they forget all about "Patriotism!" and "Support the President no matter what" when they're not. They certainly didn't treat Obama with the respect they wanted us to give Bush and now Trump.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:21 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


Hillary had a very sizeable majority of the popular vote. If the Democrats are at all worried about the legitimacy of running maximum interference to temper the power of a basically-illegitimate administration, they should not be.

I'm normally very cautious about using the letter of the law to subvert its greater purpose, because I believe our democratic structures deserve respect even if they're being used by people whose purpose I don't subscribe to, but seeing how badly the Republicans have damaged those structures in the past and how much further damage they're clearly prepared to inflict now, I look at my normal nuanced big-picture historically-informed sense of diffidence and respect and think... fuck it, if that's the battle, then so be it.

Full ninja. Full guerilla. Total war.

Go get 'em.
posted by Devonian at 1:31 PM on January 8 [43 favorites]


Hillary Clinton Receives Ovation at ‘The Color Purple’: Mrs. Clinton received a sustained standing ovation from the sold-out crowd, a response far warmer than the scattered booing and clapping that greeted the arrival of Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he attended “Hamilton,” just one block north, on Nov. 18. Mrs. Clinton was accompanied by her husband, Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:36 PM on January 8 [18 favorites]


An article in Salon about Masha Gessen, Pussy Riot, and Hunter Heaney, who founded the Voice Project to help endangered artists. Here's the last paragraph:
“A Trump presidency is definitely going to give organizations like ours more clients,” said Hunter Heaney. “I take no joy in it. We’re already having to adapt our playbook from other countries. I never thought stuff I learned in the Congo could apply here.”
posted by kingless at 1:40 PM on January 8 [12 favorites]


T.D. Strange Remember when Republicans "grew up" and lived with Obama's election. We should grow up exactly like they did. With total and complete obstruction.

Aim higher! We're smarter, better educated, and morally superior to Republicans, I'm sure we can do better than merely doing exactly what they did. I hope we can obstruct those motherfuckers at least twice as hard as they obstructed Obama.

I wanna see the filibuster record they racked up during the Obama years be broken in the first year of Trump's presidency!

If Donald Trump can fart without being filibustered I'll be severely disappointed.

We're better at the Republicans and we've had eight years to study their techniques, if we can't do more and worse to Trump than he did to Obama we're just not trying hard enough.

And most important, we don't rely on the Senate Dems to do it for us, go to https://www.indivisibleguide.com/web, we can hit a lot of the little fuckers where it hurts locally.

If you live in a Republican district, or near one, show up to every single meeting the Rep calls, organize with friends, ask questions designed specifically to hurt them for their base, have your friends seeded through the audience express support and cheer you when you ask, make them sweat, make them look bad to their voters.

Use similar techniques to bolster the spine of your Democrats.

Hit the local elections hard, we need every single local office from dog catcher on up to be solid, deep indigo, Democratic. They can't cheat nearly as easily when we control county offices, city offices, school boards, etc.

We win the big fight in 2020 by winning tiny fights in 2017, bigger fights in 2018, and the tiny ones again in 2019.

And in the meantime, every single win we get, like the one on ethics rules, should be plastered everywhere. I don't care if it looks low class, we've got to brag on ourselves and our elected Democrats.

Don't let a single fuck up by Trump pass without as many "you know, Obama would have handled that so much better, remember how good he was?" jabs as you can get in. Never let an opportunity to tear them down or build up Democrats pass untaken. We win by demoralizing their side, energizing ours, and constant work.

And every win we get locally helps the Senate Dems force the scumbag DINO's not to break ranks. Like all cowards they'll back what they see as the stronger side, so we need to look strong to keep them and their votes with us.
posted by sotonohito at 1:59 PM on January 8 [40 favorites]




I think what is going to happen is this: Soon after Trump is sworn in, he'll modify our alliances in Syria to align with Russia's. France will, too, probably, if Le Pen is elected.

This will throw at least our European allies into more chaos and confusion, and further weaken NATO.

The result of this will be a major terrorist attack in the US, and also, Russia will invade the Baltics.

With the US on the brink of several shooting wars, a last-ditch band of plucky politicians will attempt to stop Trump by doing...something. What? I don't know. And after that, I don't know, either.
posted by staggering termagant at 2:09 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


@SaraQDavid: how many women do you think @WaPoExpress has on its edit team?

[ ] 0
[ ] 1 who is srsly overworked
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:10 PM on January 8 [18 favorites]


Hemingway?. How long has it been since anyone called anyone the Hemingway of anything?

I just know that if I ever compared someone to Hemingway, it would NOT be a fucking compliment.
posted by threeturtles at 2:17 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


I know the old saying about malice and stupidity, but I'm at the point where I don't believe the Washington Post cover was an honest mistake. I think someone responsible for the cover wanted to appease the white males who would be offended by a feminist-pandering cover, or to district from the message of the intended Women's March by creating a stupid, easily reported and digested controversy - much like Trump's MO.

I no longer can assume good faith with the people who direct the content mainstream media: owners and maybe editors, not reporters. They're in the same position as the Republican congress. They may not agree with Trump's policy - many of them are probably horrified by how goddamn stupid he is - but they know if they play along then they get to strengthen that white male privilege that has been (very) slowly and minutely eroding since the Civil Rights era.
posted by bibliowench at 2:33 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


I'd love for democrats to freak out and filibuster and act like this is the fucking emergency it is, but will they?
posted by Brainy at 2:34 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


if I ever compared someone to Hemingway, it would NOT be a fucking compliment.

For all of Hem's flaws and problems, he was always a pretty reliable left-liberal (for his day). His built in shock-proof shit detector would've taken the measure of Trumpski in a heart-beat. Famously, Hem wrote Joe McCarthy, inviting him to Key West because his boys needed the boxing practice. One wonders to what he would've invited Trump.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:36 PM on January 8 [21 favorites]


A Jewish Couple Say They Received A Racist Note After Hanging A Black Lives Matter Flag: Police are investigating the alleged note — which contained a hand-drawn, yellow Star of David and the word “Jude” — but said they were unsure what the symbols signified.

FFS.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:39 PM on January 8 [29 favorites]


Trump's actions silence Chinese American supporters in Southern California

For Trump’s Chinese American supporters, many of whom are first-generation immigrants from mainland China, the president-elect’s aggressive posturing toward China has come as a surprise and injected a degree of uncertainty about the candidate whom they rallied around during the campaign.

“Being Chinese American, you are always in the awkward position of deciding who you are loyal to,” said Wang.


No, it's not being in an "awkward position". You just got screwed with your pants on, Mr. Wang.

And people are "surprised" at this? Really? Where the heck have you been in the last two years?
posted by FJT at 2:39 PM on January 8 [17 favorites]


I'd love for democrats to freak out and filibuster and act like this is the fucking emergency it is, but will they?

It's kind of the 25th hour for that, isn't it?

The only thing that would have averted utter catastrophe would have been massive, shut-down-business-as-usual protests before the inauguration. The resistance is not spirited enough for that. We will all suffer as a result.
posted by perspicio at 2:42 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Inaugural parade announcer since 1957 not invited back for Trump's big day

They're looking to call Brotman, who's been doing this since Eisenhower in '57, "Announcer Chairman Emeritus" and replace him with Steve Ray, who was a Trump supporter.
posted by zachlipton at 2:49 PM on January 8


@fscottfitzgld I knew Ernest Hemingway, and you sir, are no Ernest Hemingway.
posted by localhuman at 2:52 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


New Senator from California can't explain why she didn't prosecute Trump's Treasury pick when she was AG
Kamala Harris was just sworn in as a senator from California, but her last gig was as California's Attorney General, and in that role, she decided not to prosecute Trump Treasury Secretary pick Steve Mnuchin, whom her office had identified as presiding over "widespread misconduct" in foreclosing on Californians -- that is, stealing their houses.

Harris's campaign received large donations from Mnuchin and from shareholders in Onewest, the crooked bank that Mnuchin ran.

After a leaked memo from Harris's office showed that her staff believed there was "widespread misconduct," The Hill asked Harris why she didn't take action. She had no explanation, apart from, "It’s a decision my office made" and "We pursued it just like any other case. We go and we take a case wherever the facts lead us."

Mnuchin's bank ordered its contractors not to comply with California subpoenas about its foreclosure mills.

Note that Harris is a Democrat.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:59 PM on January 8 [16 favorites]


I really don't get the love fest for Kamala Harris. She is a prosecutor. Prosecutors are mostly terrible.
posted by Justinian at 3:01 PM on January 8 [22 favorites]




I'd love for democrats to freak out and filibuster and act like this is the fucking emergency it is, but will they?

Chuck Schumer is minority leader. So no.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:26 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


On Trump and reading: I am pretty sure Trump can read even complex things adequately. I am also pretty sure it is painful for him and he doesn't like doing it.

About twenty years ago I had a conversation with a coworker, who was at the time the comptroller of our small company. She was quite competent and successful, and had no trouble dealing with the documents she had to evaluate. But in our casual conversations, one day she revealed that she hated reading, because it was such a chore. She was in her early forties at that time and she said that she had to consciously evaluate every word to determine its meaning and then string them together to figure out what a sentence meant.

When I told her that for me reading was like effortlessly hearing a narrator's voice in my head -- it is literally impossible for me to glance at text and not have this happen -- she was astonished and bewildered. I think she really didn't believe me. And I found it a bit hard to understand how she got that way. But when I hear that Trump has never read a novel and has avoided reading as much as possible even though it seems he's capable of doing it when necessary, it's R I think of and her capable but painful reading style.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:28 PM on January 8 [32 favorites]


Harris was a big part of the multistate subprime settlement, which was a huge sop to the banks. She's better on other issues, but don't confuse her with Warren.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:34 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


The ultimate kick to liberals would be for Sessions to come in and prosecute bank executives after the next inevitable crash. Reelection assured.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:43 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


My bet's on Schumer playing a "You break it, you bought it" hand, and Republicans saying, "Yes, that's exactly what we did."
posted by perspicio at 4:01 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the Senate Democrats needed to replace Harry "the coward" Reid, which is great because that dude was born kneeling, and they had a huge field of fighters to pick from. So instead they picked Chuck Schumer.

And, well, he's not awful. Even as much of a wild eyed far left capital "L" Liberal won't say he's awful. But he's not the guy you call to help out in a street fight, and that's what we need right now.

He's also completely, 100%, a creature of the banks and Wall Street, but if the man could fight I'd put that complaint aside. But he can't. And he's got the same urge to fuck shit up in the Middle East that the Republicans do, so he'll certainly never help us stop Trump's invasion of [insert random Muslim nation here, probably Iran].

Of all the stuff that makes me fear the D's will fold, and fold, and fold, when facing the Republicans I put Chuck Schumer and his submissive attitude towards Republicans even higher on the list than the blatant DINO types. He's nominally on our side, but not really in a lot of key areas, and he doesn't have the soul of a knife fighter. That's what we need right now, a knife fighter.
posted by sotonohito at 4:05 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


As far as Trump and reading goes, I'm standing by my prediction that he's in the early stages of some form of dementia, maybe Alzheimer's, maybe something else. Seriously, look at him from his videos and interviews back in the 1990's. He was a jerkass, sure, a guy who might as well have a sign that says "narcissist ego maniac", but he was capable of forming coherent sentences.

Today he isn't.

I really, truly, no snark, do think the Republicans have done it again and elected a president who is suffering from the early stages of dementia. First Reagan, now Trump.

Like Reagan, I'm sure Trump was plenty stupid before he started suffering age related mental degradation, and that might help hide his decline. But just wait, a few years after he's out of office it'll be leaked that he's been suffering from some sort of dementia for years.
posted by sotonohito at 4:09 PM on January 8 [18 favorites]


This all kind of smacks of the "Hillary has Parkinson's!" nonsense from before the election. No one here is the man's doctor or capable of diagnosing him via television.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 4:11 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Even if you're right, sotonohito, reading is one of those things not generally affected by dementia until it gets very, very bad. Skills and memories you acquire early in life are the last ones you lose. So if Trump is 70 and it's a painful chore for him to read, it's been a painful chore for him to read his entire life. And really, if you look at how he's comported himself, it's pretty obvious that reading is a thing he's never done unless absolutely necessary.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:15 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Trump hires an anti-birth control policy adviser
posted by adamvasco at 4:19 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I quoted this from a blog post earlier:

Republicans will be in control, but they'll continue to insist that they're the rebels, they're the outsiders

And now: you've got to be shitting me, NYT. (via)

Just kill me now.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:24 PM on January 8 [13 favorites]


When I told her that for me reading was like effortlessly hearing a narrator's voice in my head -- it is literally impossible for me to glance at text and not have this happen -- she was astonished and bewildered. I think she really didn't believe me. And I found it a bit hard to understand how she got that way.

What do you mean "got that way"? That implies agency or accident. What you've described is a disability, something that was impossible for your coworker to deliberately acquire or avoid.

That's the only thing that opens up one shred of possibility of sympathy for Trump. He clearly displays problems in processing language and maintaining attention. Has he had these problems his whole life? If so, I can't imagine Fred Trump was at all sympathetic to any of his son's struggles—though Fred's wealth and Donald's grift have provided ample insulation from consequences.

Or should we see his inattention and inability to express coherent thoughts as signs of cognitive decline?

Either way, he's a monstrosity and a catastrophe. See you in DC on the 21st!
posted by dogrose at 4:47 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


I agree that Trump probably has cognitive issues and is deeply incurious about reading, but I also think it's more than possible that he has poor eyesight -- not at all unlikely in a person his age -- and is much too vain to wear glasses.

That's why he has trouble with the teleprompter -- because he has to squint at it. Look at his default expression, which is with his eyes all squeezed up. That's what I do when I'm trying to focus on something and don't have my specs on.
posted by vickyverky at 4:51 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Ted Cruz meets Taiwan president and fires his own broadside at China

Texas senator Ted Cruz and governor Greg Abbott said they met Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday, while she was passing through Texas on her way to diplomatic stops in Central America.

Cruz said China’s consulate had asked, in “a curious letter”, that the Houston congressional delegation “uphold the ‘One-China policy’” and not meet the Taiwanese leader.

...“The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves,” Cruz said in a statement on Sunday.

“This is not about the PRC. This is about the US relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend. The Chinese do not give us veto power over those with whom they meet. We will continue to meet with anyone, including the Taiwanese, as we see fit.”


wtf cruz.
posted by futz at 4:52 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Doesn't the president have to, at some point, be examined by a doctor at Walter Reed? I don't know if there is anything that would disqualify him.
posted by SillyShepherd at 4:53 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Can you say "low-information voter"?

Oh god, that link is schadenfreudetastic. Made my evening!!
posted by great_radio at 4:55 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]



“This is not about the PRC. This is about the US relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend.


What does this mean?
posted by Jalliah at 4:57 PM on January 8


What does this mean?

Taiwan Relations Act
posted by FJT at 5:00 PM on January 8


Someone should tell Cruz that the Taiwan Relations Act is only for self defense not deliberately pissing off and goading the Chinese.
posted by Talez at 5:01 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


What does this mean?

It means those guys are deliberately trying to give me mushroom-cloud themed nightmares. I mean, I get that some people are really hyped to meet their god, but I've never understood the impulse to bring a crowd. Doesn't that just mean there'll be a line?
posted by mordax at 5:03 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


“This is not about the PRC. This is about the US relationship with Taiwan
Good grief. I kind of hope that they don't respond until after Donald is sworn in, but then I kinda hope not since someone competent can deal with it. But who am I kidding, the incoming mess is going to keep antagonizing China.

Don't poke at the pandas. Sure, they look kind of ridiculous but they can mess you up! They just haven't felt the need to, yet.
posted by porpoise at 5:03 PM on January 8


No one here is the man's doctor or capable of diagnosing him via television.

Well, it's a matter of degree, isn't it? I remember seeing late term Reagan on TV and I was still just a teenager, and it was clear to me that he was not right in his mind. Of course only after the fact, when he was already out of the White House, did they admit to his ongoing mental degeneration. (of course, he was always sharp as a tack while in office!)

We all have life experience, and have met people fully compos mentis as well as those in some state of losing it, be it Alzheimer's or dementia or whatever. It's true that we cannot give an accurate clinical diagnosis, but let's not pretend that we don't see what we see. The guy is losing it.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:07 PM on January 8 [25 favorites]


It's true that we cannot give an accurate clinical diagnosis, but let's not pretend that we don't see what we see. The guy is losing it.

Also, Hillary Clinton released a full physical. Donald Trump released a hastily scrawled note from a doctor who is probably his drug dealer, proclaiming him to be basically Captain America.

We have no basis to offer Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt about his health or mental acuity. On the contrary, all the evidence we do have shows that he used to be sharper than he is now: he spoke in sentences and everything, and now he doesn't. Being worried about it is prudent, not conspiratorial.
posted by mordax at 5:17 PM on January 8 [57 favorites]



Welp I'm thinking that it's probably a good time to revisit the course in Mandarin I took years ago. Looking like it's going to be a lot more useful in this new future we're in for.
posted by Jalliah at 5:18 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


Here's what I see when I try to armchair diagnose him. I see my mother, who has for her entire life had an untreated personality disorder in the same axis as Narcissistic and Borderline. As she entered late middle age, a lot of the more overt abusive behavior (screaming, physical abuse, skilled gaslighting and manipulation) kind of faded away, and her intellect and overall capacity have progressively dulled. She still lacks empathy and still attempts to manipulate as before but she has less focus and less intensity. Less agency, really.

This is something I've heard anecdotally in other cases: that older people with certain personality disorders will often have a sort of decline in apparent cognition and a dulled affect, without really qualifying for dementia. Older people with similar disorders are often considered to become less harmful to other people they have relationships with, if they reach an old enough age without self-destructing.

I don't know if the "less harmful" part applies to presidents as much as it does to parents, though. Probably not. Wouldn't want my mom's finger on the button.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:19 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


It's generally bad form to publicly diagnose people because their health is none of your business; it's for them and their family; if you're personally affected you may have a quiet word with them or others to shield yourself from the effects, but there's no reason to raise the issue publicly.

That reasoning doesn't apply here: we all (even me!) are affected by the health of the POTUS; we have no way to quietly communicate with him or have reason to think he would listen; raising the issue publicly is the only thing that can be done.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:21 PM on January 8 [29 favorites]


Donald's mental health - there's a reason that ethical medical professionals are not making on-record statements regarding their assessment of the PEOTUS's health has roots in The Goldwater rule.

Non professionals can make all the inferences they want, but it's not a thing to do as a professional.
posted by porpoise at 5:23 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


The thing is, if he's an empty shell that struggles to read a teleprompter, that leaves Steve Bannon as the real power behind the "Donald Trump" persona. How do we know it's really Trump with the Android phone, and if at some point "Donald Trump" becomes Steve Bannon, or essentially a Trump shaped vessel for Bannon's words...well, we've got President Steve Bannon.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:23 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Regarding T. Rump's decline, I go back to his 2000 op-ed in the New York Times about his flirtation with the Reform Party (which, to be fair, was likely part-ghost-written), which contains such passages as:

I also saw the underside of the Reform Party. The fringe element that wanted to repeal the federal income tax, believed that the country was being run by the Trilateral Commission…

When I held a reception for Reform Party leaders in California, the room was crowded with Elvis look-alikes, resplendent in various campaign buttons and anxious to give me a pamphlet explaining the Swiss-Zionist conspiracy to control America.

Although I am totally comfortable with the people in the New York Independence Party, I leave the Reform Party to David Duke, Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani. That is not company I wish to keep.


So what happened in the intervening 15 years? Did he just become more racist/crazy? Was he always this racist/crazy, but does he now have fewer filters telling him that such things are unacceptable? Or was he always this racist/crazy, and does he now feel that the climate is more ripe for it?
posted by dhens at 5:25 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


if he's an empty shell

That was always ever the case. Puppeteered by Putin or Bannon - it'll be interesting when they start pulling in different directions.

My sincerest wish, now, is that Doland has enough self awareness to acknowledge (to himself) that he's a puppet ("you're the PUPPET!") and truly a fake who was helped by the skullduggery of someone he already owes a huge debt to.
posted by porpoise at 5:28 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


indian affairs...

welp. that did it. i was hanging on up until that little gem broke my brain. bizarre and ugly stuff going on...
posted by j_curiouser at 5:28 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Nothing in my above comment should be seen as minimizing his long record of abusiveness toward women and some of his other terrible behaviors, which long predate 2000.
posted by dhens at 5:29 PM on January 8


The thing is, if he's an empty shell that struggles to read a teleprompter, that leaves Steve Bannon as the real power behind the "Donald Trump" persona. How do we know it's really Trump with the Android phone, and if at some point "Donald Trump" becomes Steve Bannon, or essentially a Trump shaped vessel for Bannon's words...well, we've got President Steve Bannon.

edited I need to rewrite this post because it keeps getting all messed up.....
posted by Jalliah at 5:35 PM on January 8


I was watching a live feed when he gave his first constructed "globalist conspiracy" speech to some small select crowd in the South somewhere. A few minutes before it was scheduled to begin I saw Bannon run out from behind the curtain and then back a moment later. It was definitely him and he was on a mission; doing that head-forward running walk that Riker did on ST:TNG, papers in his hand, a confident little smile on his face.

Dude was running the show. Any time you hear Trump give a speech with complete sentences that sounds like Hitler wrote it, you are listening to Bannon.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:39 PM on January 8 [24 favorites]


So what happened in the intervening 15 years? Did he just become more racist/crazy?

ya gotta go to where the voters are.

well, 25.5% of them at least.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 5:40 PM on January 8




(So sorry. I don't know what happened when I was writing this and couldn't get it fixed inside the edit window.)


The thing is, if he's an empty shell that struggles to read a teleprompter, that leaves Steve Bannon as the real power behind the "Donald Trump" persona. How do we know it's really Trump with the Android phone, and if at some point "Donald Trump" becomes Steve Bannon, or essentially a Trump shaped vessel for Bannon's words...well, we've got President Steve Bannon.

I'm surprised that this isn't already a conclusion and a something to even speculate about. You do. At least partially. Compare his teleprompter speeches pre and post Bannon. It's obvious. He also got more and more 'Bannon' near the end of the election. His speeches sounded like things Bannon has said before. Remember that bizzare ad that talked about international bankers and flashed pictures of banking elites (all Jewish) basically full of anti-semetic dogwhistles? That was most definitely Bannon.

With Trump it will be figuring out who he's going with because he has shown how easily he changes his tune depending of who he's recently spent time with. Or it will be some combination mashup because Donald recently spent time listening to them all arguing about something.

It's going to be 'so is this President Bannon, Kushner, Priebus, Flynn or I Trump talking right now?" Or is it some globbed together mess from the different Presidents? I think that's why some of his answers on issues seem so incoherent at times, he's literally just mushing together different points of debate his people have tried to convince him of and even if they've come to some decision at the end of what it's going to be he can't keep it straight. Then they and people like Conway swoop in to 'clarify' what he was supposed to say and tell us how we're just to stupid to understand him so here is the dumbed down version for all of the plebs.
posted by Jalliah at 5:42 PM on January 8 [25 favorites]


It really is going to be a combination of Kremlinlogy and gerontology from hereon in, isn't it?
posted by Devonian at 6:03 PM on January 8 [15 favorites]


gremlintology
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:07 PM on January 8 [34 favorites]


I assume we're not going to get a SOTU for four years.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;
Just sayin'.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:13 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


So basically we're fighting a Flynn-Bannon-Putin-Priebus-Kushner-Trump hydra. That's a different prospect than fighting just Trump.

I'd say, small as it is, our best chance is if the "heads" develop different priorities or goals at some point and argue with each other about what is best for the whole, or other infighting gets in their way.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:15 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]




Republicans forfeited all claims to outrage over delay/obstruction tactics.

Huh? It's politics. Claim all the outrage you want, the idiot media will report it without comment. I wish the Democrats were better at claiming outrage.

I feel like at the end of the day, Democrats' problem is that they want to be liked. Republicans just want to get shit done -- and it's not generally stuff that you or I want to have happen.
posted by Slothrup at 6:25 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Hugh Laurie, everyone:
"Thank you first to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this amazing honor. I suppose it’s made more amazing by the fact that I’ll be able to say I won this at the last ever Golden Globes…I don’t mean to be gloomy, it’s just that it has the words Hollywood, Foreign and Press in the title."

He also noted that “to some Republicans, even the word association is slightly sketchy.”

Laurie then accepted the award “on behalf of psychopathic billionaires everywhere.”
posted by zachlipton at 6:30 PM on January 8 [65 favorites]


To be honest, I'm still struggling to understand the appeal to ordinary people of the kind of neofascism that's cropping up in Europe and as represented by Trump here.

Fascism is an incredibly ugly form of government with historically ugly results for the countries and people who've adopted it. France was occupied by Nazi Germany less than a hundred years ago. Fascism literally tore Germany apart. This is probably naivete but I sincerely don't understand why anyone would look at fascism and think it's a perfectly good form of government that needs another run-around.

And these people wouldn't win without the help of ordinary people in their countries. Their core army of supporters wouldn't be enough. Something they're doing is appealing to people off the street. If we're going to stop it, we need to educate people about what they're really voting for and counteract misinformation about immigrants (I've seen seemingly reasonable people cite the "mass rapes by refugees" meme to me).

We had fascist sympathizers of our own in the first rise of fascism (Lindbergh, Coughlin) but they failed. So why are they being successful now?
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:38 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times sounded a warning to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday only hours after Taiwan's president transited Houston, saying that China would seek to "take revenge" should Trump renege on the one-China policy.

-- The Global Times said Beijing did not need to feel grateful to Trump for not meeting Tsai, but added: "If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining."

-- The Global Times, whose stance does not equate with government policy, also targeted Tsai in the editorial, saying that the mainland would likely impose further military pressure on Taiwan, warning that "Tsai needs to face the consequences for every provocative step she takes".

"The mainland should mobilize all possible measures to squeeze Taiwan's diplomacy as well as deal a heavy blow to Taiwan's economy," it said.

"It should also impose military pressure on Taiwan and push it to the edge of being reunified by force, so as to effectively affect the approval rating of the Tsai administration."


Donnie, take notice, these are not idle threats.
posted by futz at 6:40 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


If Trump were just garden variety kleptocrat following the standard Republican playbook I'd feel more comfortable.

The reality is that the modern Republican party isn't particularly beholden to any set of principles. Sure it's opposed to budget deficits under a Democratic President but second a Republican gets into the office it's Tax Cuts + Government spending. It's just that their supporters want different forms of government spending than the Democrats.

Tax cuts
Regulatory Capture
Steering Government contracts to friends and family
Punitive approaches to Minorities and Women

That's pretty much the entire Republican playbook and honestly most of the social regressive stuff is primarily in there to rally the base voter.

Trump looks to be even more focused on kleptocracy that Dubya and Cheney (who clearly was not a true believer in Social Conservatism despite all the attempts to look that way). The problem is more that he seems completely unstable and largely incapable of serving out a four year term (for health or other reason) and the guys behind him in line (Pence and Ryan) appear to actually be true believers.

The Republican domestic agenda is largely going to be focused on passing tax cuts. Keep in mind that the primary reason Republicans want to repeal ACA is because doing so is an effective tax cut for the 1%. If they can fuck with liberals they'll try that as well.

Trump and foreign affairs seems to be the biggest wildcard.

I wouldn't be shocked about Putin trying to annex the Baltic states basically as a way to show that the US under Trump is unable/unwilling to intervene to protect European security and that the EU is incapable of defending it's Eastern European member states. Showing the world that the EU and the US are weak makes Russia look strong (even though they aren't) and that helps Putin out.

Iran would obviously be the other big candidate for a flashpoint. Various US allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia would like the influence of Iran to be constrained. Other petrostates like Russia would also arguably benefit from increased prices due to Iran's production being impacted. Companies like Exxon would no doubt like to negotiate with a new Iranian regime. In general it's something various players will no doubt push for but it's really unclear whether the US electorate would actually support it without some sort of lame justification.

Trump of course seems like a Bull in a China shop so his ability to actually manage a complicated foreign policy stance seems nonexistent. Is there really any question as to why the Kremlin vastly preferred the Donald over Hillary.
posted by vuron at 6:41 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


So why are they being successful now?

those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it
posted by entropicamericana at 6:43 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


Also ignorance: most Americans don't know how to recognize fascism, so they don't realize that's what this is.
posted by Superplin at 6:47 PM on January 8 [17 favorites]


Journalist Says Steve Bannon Had A 'Years-Long Plan' To Take Down Hillary Clinton

The journalists talking to McConnell should be quoting his own words after Obama'a election back at him. suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!

Why would I regularly turn to a major news outlet again?
posted by petebest at 6:47 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]




Fascism is an incredibly ugly form of government with historically ugly results for the countries and people who've adopted it. France was occupied by Nazi Germany less than a hundred years ago. Fascism literally tore Germany apart. This is probably naivete but I sincerely don't understand why anyone would look at fascism and think it's a perfectly good form of government that needs another run-around.


Because many people don't see it as fascism or see the fascism. That's why you get people that will say of course fascism and people like Nazi are bad but this (policy, words, way of thinking) is not fascism it's just common sense or the right thing to do based on facts!

It's not recognized and label as fascism.
posted by Jalliah at 6:50 PM on January 8 [18 favorites]


Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, personally assured skittish acquaintances the President-elect didn't really believe some of the more outrageous claims he was making, according to a new New York magazine profile.

"Back when Trump was spinning birther conspiracy theories, which were lapped up by gullible Republicans, one person who talked to Kushner says he offered assurances that his father-in-law didn't really believe that stuff," the report says.

..."People say (Trump) is unhinged," Kushner told an associate, per the report. "I think he unhinged everyone else."

posted by futz at 6:57 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


Fascism rises it's ugly head in response to periods of profound socio-economic upheaval.

Yes what we've experienced over the last decade is nothing in comparison the great depression but large percentages of the US and European electorates seem to be uncomfortable with the status quo of the post-war neo-liberal consensus especially in light of what appears to be the first wave of massive population migrations related to the impacts of global warming.

People are uncertain of the future and their place in it and fascism promises easy answers. Just give loyalty to the leader and everything will be alright. Of course it's pure nonsense but easy answers even false answers are often preferred to difficult answers.

The rise of nationalist far-right forces in Europe seem to be largely built around fears that people's current standard of living in Western Europe will plummet under a big influx of immigrants. The EU is seen as being pro-immigrant and thus you have the desire to undo the super-national forces driving the EU. The interesting this is of course these fascist nationalist parties have a "friend" in the form of the Kremlin because a weak EU strengthens the Russian position in world affairs.

The US far right is also motivated by nationalist sentiment and scapegoating of minorities but instead of fueling the rise of new parties it simply seems to be strengthening the "conservative" branch of the ruling duopoly. I guess that's also happening in the UK in that Labour seems completely incapable of effectively challenging the Tories just like the Democrats seem largely incapable of stopping the Republican agenda.
posted by vuron at 6:59 PM on January 8 [16 favorites]


How would we go about counteracting this in Europe, though? I mean, defeatism is very tempting right now, and things do look bleak, but these neofascists are neither invincible nor unstoppable. Le Pen isn't elected yet. There's still some hope.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 7:07 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Mark It Down: GOPers Claim No One Will Lose Coverage With O'care Replacement
As Republicans gear up to repeal Obamacare, a few top leaders have laid down a marker that will almost certainly be impossible to achieve: They claims their Obamacare replacement plan will cover everyone Obamacare currently covers.

It's an ambitious promise to make and one they may come to regret.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


Because fascism mutates to what it can feed off, it's also not that much of a stretch to suggest large parts of the United States had fascistic state governments until they were (somewhat) liberated by the federal government in the post-war decades. What's the ongoing ideal of the dixieflaggers if it's not a Herrenvolk political settlement?
posted by holgate at 7:21 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


Trumpcare covers everyone, but it turns out we can't afford it because OBAMA lied about deficit - sad!

THANKS OBAMA!
posted by benzenedream at 7:22 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Cheri Jacobus tweeted today that her email was hacked before a story a Trump story. The kicker: "the universe of ppl who knew the article was coming was very small. After team Trump was informed, I was hacked, BEFORE it was published."

Tweets don't seem to link sensibly, so here they are in order:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
posted by StrawberryPie at 7:22 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Christ. Granted, I didn't think too much of Politico before now, but now I'm furious that they ratted on Jacobs to Trump's people like that. What they did to Farenthold is evidence enough that they're incredibly vicious to journalists who criticize them, and they put her in danger.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 7:27 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Well the European left seems unwilling to put aside differences between the center-left and the far left in the common good much like some of the far left in the US have decided that they can no longer support the Democrats. Purity is perceived as better than pragmatism by some on the left. Perhaps they are tired of being taken for granted and the accelerationist viewpoint is correct in the belief that there will be a resurgence of of the left after the fascists fuck shit up for a few years.

I think the other force at play is that the "working class" sees the parties on the left as being hostile to their interests. Pro-immigration center-left parties are seen as favoring immigrants that "take the jobs" of the deserving working class. Thus right-wing parties are able to masquerade as being pro-worker even though most of their economic and social policy would be incredibly regressive if actually implemented.

The right has been able to portray themselves as being pro-labor and many of the parties on the left have been largely unwilling to challenge that claim in the US and in Europe. This seems to translate into weakness within center-left parties and a fracturing of the alliances that are sometimes possible when the center-left and the left are willing to cooperate.

The rise of the nationalist parties in Western Europe seem to be fueled by distrust of both the center left and the center right parties at least in the nations without first past the post elections. Of course they can't really govern for shit but the major policy goal of these parties isn't so much to govern as to undo the push towards a greater European hegemony under the EU. To a certain degree it also seems to be pushback against the strength of the German position as the dominant force in the EU. The complaints against faceless bureaucrats in Brussels seems to reflect a feeling that the EU is fundamentally setup in a way that reinforces German dominance in European affairs.
posted by vuron at 7:30 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Christ. Granted, I didn't think too much of Politico before now, but now I'm furious that they ratted on Jacobs to Trump's people like that. What they did to Farenthold is evidence enough that they're incredibly vicious to journalists who criticize them, and they put her in danger.

They need to wake up to the new rules and do some serious digital security upgrades and training for all their people.
posted by Jalliah at 7:31 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


It's pretty weird how some people in here are all, "we must oppose and attack Russia at all costs!" but when China comes up, suddenly everyone is very circumspect and talking about how we must respect their wishes in all matters. Both are major nuclear powers, both have aggressive extraterritorial claims, both have a history of state-sponsored hacking against the US, but inexplicably different reactions in the comments.
posted by indubitable at 7:38 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


I will very be surprised if all of the Baltic states make it through 2017 un-annexed.

yes, of course i'm watching Occupied and its freakin me out, man.
posted by localhuman at 7:40 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


It's pretty weird how some people in here are all, "we must oppose and attack Russia at all costs!" but when China comes up, suddenly everyone is very circumspect

Maybe because China didn't just install an insane fascist dictator as the president of our country.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:41 PM on January 8 [50 favorites]


Did Politico "rat" on Jacobus or just notify them a story was coming that talked about Trump and/or the campaign to ask for comment? The latter is pretty normal.
posted by R343L at 7:41 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Here's the video of Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes tonight: "So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if we kick them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts."

Then she really lets loose, speaking movingly about Trump's mocking of Serge Kovaleski: "Disrespect invites disrespect; violence incites violence."
posted by zachlipton at 7:50 PM on January 8 [31 favorites]


Circumspect, you say?
posted by mrdaneri at 7:50 PM on January 8



It's pretty weird how some people in here are all, "we must oppose and attack Russia at all costs!" but when China comes up, suddenly everyone is very circumspect and talking about how we must respect their wishes in all matters. Both are major nuclear powers, both have aggressive extraterritorial claims, both have a history of state-sponsored hacking against the US, but inexplicably different reactions in the comments.

It's not 'oppose and attack Russia at all costs'. It's Russia has helped put a person in the most powerful position in the world because they want him there. And that likely having this person beholden to Russia to some extent is really not a good thing for the US or the rest of the world.

And yes China has nukes and does all those things which is the exact point. They are not a country that you screw around with willy nilly, especially with regards to one of the main trigger points (Taiwan). Trump and the next admin isn't even in power ffs and he's setting the US (and the world ) up for a major conflict with one of the other nuclear superpowers. And to what end? Because of some idea that it's about bowing down 'respecting wishes'. That has nothing to do with what's going on.
posted by Jalliah at 7:52 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


Yes China has some aggressive territorial claims but for the most part they focused on economic and diplomatic power to assert their hegemony over various parts of the world.

In contrast Putin seems more or less determined to restore the territorial boundaries of the USSR and also happy to use military force to achieve those goals.

I think part of this is due to the massive differences in the relative economic standing of China and Russia. Yes China is still very poor in many places but it has massive economic standing in the world. In contrast Russia is basically a petro-state at the current time.

Russia under Putin seems to be particularly aggressive in regards to territorial claims when low commodity prices weaken his position domestically. So sending a small number of Russian divisions to reclaim the Baltic states while oil prices are relatively low could be seen as a positive move for a variety of reasons.

I don't think anyone wants a hot war with Russia but if Putin pushes into the Baltic states it will require a NATO/EU response and that could be really bad. Putin seems to think that the US under Trump will be willing to back down.

Long term of course if it looks like the US will no longer be willing to guarantee the security of NATO and Europe then the likely scenario would be the rearming of various Western European nation states like Germany which the entire post WWII neo-liberal world order has been about avoiding because European nationalism and big armies has been a bad combination.
posted by vuron at 7:53 PM on January 8 [15 favorites]


install an insane fascist dictator as the president of our country.

It's fucked up that the US didn't get a chance to vote on that
posted by Greg Nog at 7:53 PM on January 8 [17 favorites]


It's pretty weird how some people in here are all, "we must oppose and attack Russia at all costs!" but when China comes up, suddenly everyone is very circumspect and talking about how we must respect their wishes in all matters.

Yea, this is disingenuous. The prevailing sentiment here has been more like, 'Trump is a moron for provoking China for no reason, what is he doing, they have nukes'. No one is suggesting that we "must respect their wishes in all matters". Only that upsetting the status quo with respect to Taiwan because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ seems stupid.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:57 PM on January 8 [37 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Dishonest media says Mexico won't be paying for the wall if they pay a little later so the wall can be built more quickly. Media is fake!


...goodnight everbody.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:07 PM on January 8 [10 favorites]


It's pretty weird how some people in here are all, "we must oppose and attack Russia at all costs!" but when China comes up, suddenly everyone is very circumspect

According to Pew in 2015, Republicans are more critical of China on most issues than Democrats. The only issue Democrats are more critical of than Republicans for China is the environment, and I think now that's probably improved slightly since China's made promises to curb climate change and invest in renewables.
posted by FJT at 8:12 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Yes China has some aggressive territorial claims but for the most part they focused on economic and diplomatic power to assert their hegemony over various parts of the world.

The working assumption is that China's leadership feels like true superpower status in the 21st century is its rightful (and withheld) inheritance, and would rather gently ease into it than take custodianship of a burning shell of a planet. Whether that's likely is another matter.
posted by holgate at 8:15 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Republicans are more critical of China on most issues than Democrats

If China had defeated Hilary, Republicans would be changing their minds rapidly on them too. Their real enemy is Democrats, everything else in the world is a very distant afterthought.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:20 PM on January 8 [33 favorites]


I'd say, small as it is, our best chance is if the "heads" develop different priorities or goals at some point and argue with each other about what is best for the whole, or other infighting gets in their way.

Ah, the Sir Robin vs. the Three-Headed Giant strategy.
posted by emjaybee at 9:09 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Here's the video of Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes tonight

Holy shit. I already knew she was awesome but dang.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:23 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


Yup, Meryl just fucking killed it tonight. There were a few Trump jokes, little asides, but that speech cut to the bone. I'm sure Trump will be expressing his Twitter outrage at three am again, while astride his porcelain throne.
posted by Ber at 9:52 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


And just like that, a million deplorables who just elected a politically opinionated celebrity president took to twitter as one to decry celebrities having political opinions.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:54 PM on January 8 [44 favorites]


Also I think we need a phrase to counter "liberal elite." In Grand Metafilter tradition, I propose "conservative overlords" or "conservative masters."
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:03 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


(Though I don't welcome them)
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:04 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Go Meryl Streep. She owned it.

I know it won't change their minds, but every person who stands up to Trump, celebrities included, is a reminder of their hypocrisy about the First Amendment.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 10:04 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


Non professionals can make all the inferences they want, but it's not a thing to do as a professional.

This is why I have been saying for over a year that I strongly feel as a FORMER mental health professional, that Donald Trump is experiencing symptoms of dementia. It's both a gut feeling based on listening to him speak and based on the evidence in public view. I have also lived with someone with dementia and watched my grandmother (who was already mentally ill) slowly succumb to it, so I consider I have a good deal of experience. And I can't stop my gut just SCREAMING dementia at me.

I also have a LOT of professional and some personal experience of people with personality disorders, so Trump just sets off a million alarm bells in my head and basically I avoid watching him at all these days because it's so distressing from a professional point of view. Like I have actually had the thought "Someone get that poor, confused, old man away from that microphone."
posted by threeturtles at 10:09 PM on January 8 [29 favorites]


holgate:

While I do find Trump's undiplomatic approach towards them unsettling, I do think that people need to more seriously consider China as a threat in its imminent assumption of superpower status.

As a political entity China's monoethnicity terrifies me. More than Russia, more than America, more than any other large, powerful political entity, they have the cultural will to declare themselves as arbiters and guardians of a single internationally distributed demographic. If they gain the confidence, they may begin asserting themselves wherever large Chinese populations lay, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc. I'm very afraid of the sort of genocide they could get away with. This is a practice that is not historically unfamiliar to Chinese administrations (there's a reason many Hmong came to live in Vietnam). I don't think it's unlikely that they'd take a disturbingly Imperial Japanese approach to hemispheric ascendancy.
posted by constantinescharity at 10:11 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Trump took the time late at night to attack back at Meryl Streep despite claiming he didn't watch. Good to know he'll always pick up the phone for important matters like this as he dodges press conferences.

I do have to ask though, why the article is framed as Trump's response, rather than putting Streep's comments first where they belong. It's a political story, sure, and the breaking news part is his response, I get that, but the focus should be on her words, with his late-night musings second.
posted by zachlipton at 10:19 PM on January 8 [25 favorites]


We all knew this, but the man cannot take even the slightest hint of a joke at his expense.

Which is both incredibly hypocritical considering how happy he is to mock, impersonate, attack, and jeer at people he doesn't like (far more viciously than Ms. Streep did), and a bad trait for a President.

I say we cheer on and support people who make fun of Trump any way we can. Mocking him seems to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to get his attention and on his nerves.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 10:34 PM on January 8 [23 favorites]


RE: Mentioned above US tanks arrive in Germany to help Nato defences

-- The largest shipment of US brigades since the fall of the Soviet Union is arriving in northern Germany.
-- The new forces will gather first in Poland, then fan out across seven countries from Estonia to Bulgaria, while a headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany.
-- Other Nato members are also increasing their presence in eastern Europe, with Britain sending fighter jets to the Black Sea area, while a battalion of troops, tanks and light armour will deploy to Estonia in the spring, backed by French and Danish troops. Germany also plans to send troops and tanks to Lithuania.

I hope (and think that he has some more surprises up his sleeve) that President Obama continues to make more moves like this. If comrade trumpski decides to undo Obama's orders he will do so under the watchful eye of the world and there will be outrage. trumpski really has no clue what he is facing. A thin skinned fragile egotistical narcisstist does not take kindly to being mocked or challanged in their own living room let alone the world stage. It will be interesting to see how he deals with situations like this.
posted by futz at 10:47 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


...and what did they say about living in interesting times?
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:54 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


They said may you live in them.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:59 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Wikipedia entry for the Committee to Protect Journalists, which Meryl Streep urged her audience to support at the end of her speech.
posted by XMLicious at 11:17 PM on January 8 [12 favorites]


On the subject of Trump mockery, I was thinking about how "Ding, Dong, The Witch Is Dead" became A Thing after Margaret Thatcher died, and the tradition of using popular music to ridicule political and public figures.

If I had to pick a catchy, recognizable song to make fun of Trump, I'd possibly choose "The Phony King of England" from Robin Hood, because man, oh man, some of the existing lyrics do remind me of Donald.

He sits alone on a giant throne
Pretendin' he's the king
A little tyke who's rather like
A puppet on a string
And he throws an angry tantrum
if he cannot have his way
And then he calls for Mum while he's suckin' his thumb
You see, he doesn't want to play.

posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:28 PM on January 8 [30 favorites]


Too late to be known as Trump the first, he's sure to be known as Trump the worst! A pox on the phony President of DC! Oodelally!
posted by supercrayon at 11:48 PM on January 8 [19 favorites]


I think I'd make an excellent court fool for our new monarch in the "tell him exactly what you think because you're a fool and can get away with it" tradition. I wonder if that position is filled.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:58 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]




I'd prefer Drumpf's theme song become Pigs (Three Different Ones). Donald seems to like 70s rock!

Big man, pig man
Ha, ha, charade you are
You well heeled big wheel
Ha, ha, charade you are
And when your hand is on your heart
You're nearly a good laugh
Almost a joker
With your head down in the pig bin
Saying 'Keep on digging'
Pig stain on your fat chin
What do you hope to find
Down in the pig mine?
You're nearly a laugh
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry

posted by Meatbomb at 12:54 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


All this talk about Russia and cstross reminds me of a prior discussion about another one of his gloomy prognostications. If we're going to characterize Putin as a Bond villain, then we might as well grant him a Bond villain justification- his backing of Trump not only brings America to Russia's side, but it's a personal vendetta against the Bushes and the Clintons for giving the former USSR states the ol' neoliberal IMF shock therapy. This is the ultimate blowback: by adding to the misery of Russia in the '90s, the U.S. sowed the seeds of hatred and animosity that caused plots to be hatched against it.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:38 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


Trump has crawled out of bed early today to tweet about how great Murdoch is followed by this crap:

Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a.....

(8 minute pause)

Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never "mocked" a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him.......

(7 minute pause)

"groveling" when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!
posted by pixie at 3:47 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


It's not that you mocked a disabled reporter, Donald, it's that you mocked a disabled reporter's disability.

Get woke you sadistic fuck.
posted by Yowser at 4:20 AM on January 9 [38 favorites]


Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama
- Cornel West


The reign of Obama did not produce the nightmare of Donald Trump – but it did contribute to it. And those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility. . . .

What a sad legacy for our hope and change candidate – even as we warriors go down swinging in the fading names of truth and justice.

posted by petebest at 4:26 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Republicans Think Capitol Hill’s Rules Are for Suckers "What’s extraordinary is the insouciance with which Republicans are embracing procedurally extreme tactics they never would have tolerated from Democrats."

Republicans hate Democracy. That's it in a nutshell.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:54 AM on January 9 [20 favorites]


He actually fucking replied to it. My god, we are doomed.
posted by odinsdream at 5:00 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama
- Cornel West


Bernie Sanders gallantly tried to generate a leftwing populism but he was crushed by Clinton and Obama in the unfair Democratic party primaries.

1) This is just trolling 2) This is trolling by repeating Trump/Putin talking points 3) This is trolling which will have the effect of dividing the opposition to Trump against itself, whether or not that is the intended effect 4) Okay armchair quarterback, I'd like to see you do better. In the real world the president is not all powerful, and in particular cannot just crush Wall Street or the military industrial complex (which are powerful in their own right, and also are more complicated than movie bad guys) with the stroke of a pen. Especially when ~46% of the population and their representatives who make up the majority of congress are on the side of the bankers and weapons dealers. Let's see you do it, without destroying the whole system.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:01 AM on January 9 [32 favorites]


Man fuck Cornel West. The fact that members of the left have been basically calling Obama a Uncle Tom and a sellout since 2009 didn't exactly help Obama.

That Obama achieved anything in the wake of 6 years of obstruction by Republicans is frankly amazing.

It's not like Obama was ever anything but the center left. It's just that a lot of people on the left seemed to expect that he'd ignore political reality.

But it's really easy for academics like Cornel West to stake out a position of ideological purity and scold from the sidelines.

Moves to split the left resulted in Trump winning the election and all the fascist policies inherent in complete Republican dominance of the government. Good to see West continuing to split the left.
posted by vuron at 5:01 AM on January 9 [44 favorites]


(And if you destroy the system, it will be the vulnerable, not the bankers and weapons dealers, who suffer most.)
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:02 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


To start off this week on Capitol Hill, here's an astute analysis of the GOP tactics that, for all its obviousness, hasn't really been discussed in the media:

Republicans Plan To Overwhelm You So You Don’t Know What’s Going On. And It’s Going To Work. To recap, this week the Senate will hold confirmation hearings on Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general, Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA director, Betsy DeVos for secretary of education, John Kelly for secretary of homeland security, Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, and Elaine Chao for secretary of transportation—despite the incompleteness of many of their disclosures—AND Trump has scheduled his first press conference since July of last year AND there will be a vote on the so-called 'Obamacare repeal resolution" in the 2017 budget during a vote-a-rama of amendments.

While low-information voters won't notice anything (as usual), anyone trying to stay on top of the news is going to be overloaded quickly. This all feels like something out of a post-modern propagandist playbook.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:04 AM on January 9 [33 favorites]


Times of Trump's Meryl tweets:

6:27am
6:36am (9 minutes later)
6:43am (7 minutes later)

Dude, what are you even doing?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:05 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Given the man's personal Tardis is marooned in a time loop thirty years ago, I suspect getting the 'phoney' tag into currency may be rather effective. He is wedded to his Android, after all.
posted by Devonian at 5:12 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I mean. He tried to call Meryl Streep "over-rated"?? That is just so damn third grade "I'm rubber you're glue," "I know you are but what am I."
posted by dnash at 5:19 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


And if you destroy the system, it will be the vulnerable, not the bankers and weapons dealers, who suffer most.

Surely there's some middle ground between destroying the banking system and virtually no accountability for anyone responsible for very nearly destroying the system such that those same people don't end up running things as part of the next administration?
posted by Candleman at 5:21 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Dude, what are you even doing?

that's how long it takes him to write each tweet in crayon for his assistant to spellcheck and type up
posted by billiebee at 5:26 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Surely there's some middle ground between destroying the banking system and virtually no accountability for anyone responsible for very nearly destroying the system such that those same people don't end up running things as part of the next administration?

There was. We did it during the savings and loan crisis. People went to jail.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:28 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Lauren Duca (of Teen Vogue) took a screen shot of her inbox: Kellyanne Conway is right. We should be wary of those "inciting people's worst instincts."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:36 AM on January 9 [28 favorites]


Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in London is tweeting this sort of thing...
posted by Devonian at 5:40 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Who knew all it took to win the Second Cold War was a frog meme.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:44 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


Oh fuck you, crappy theocratic hellhole conservative newspaper (Colorado Springs Gazette).

Headline: "Golden Globes sing for record-breaking 'La La Land,' but Trump has spotlight"
Trump mentions: 5 in a 25 paragraph article

But of course, this sort of headline-grabbing attention is exactly what Trump wants, with no indication at all that "spotlight"= famous people calling him an asshole.
posted by bibliowench at 6:07 AM on January 9


OMG, that Pepe meme. This is my worst nightmare. The worst trolls on the internet are taking over the world.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:07 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Overrated is Trump's go-to insult. Because he has the maturity, vocabulary and creativity of a pre-pubescent box of rocks.
posted by chris24 at 6:19 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


The Russian government is at best in league with fascists.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:20 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Is nobody safe???
posted by ominous_paws at 6:23 AM on January 9




The idea that there's a difference between what you say and do and who you are is noxious and asinine.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:29 AM on January 9 [29 favorites]


someone should maybe give Kellyanne the heads-up that that bit of rhetorical softshoe is only effective if the public thinks a politician is actually LESS evil in his heart
posted by Greg Nog at 6:31 AM on January 9 [40 favorites]


I'm assuming that #CatsJudgingKellyanne has been linked somewhere already but just in case...
posted by billiebee at 6:38 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


If it's not improper for me to ask for reasonable speculation upon this particular question, any people who are veteran D.C. residents and/or participants in marches in D.C., what's the over/under of this thing getting hairy? My mother is worrying that I'll be stampeded to death, even though I'm trying to explain the wheelchair is sort of a deterrent to that sort of death.

The other thing our family pod is wondering is how safe it would be for a seven-year-old. I mean, my take on it is it would be fine, but her mom doesn't like cursing, and well, it will hard for me to avoid lustily joining a cheer full of f-bombs.

And we're not all gonna get tear gassed. Right? Right?
posted by angrycat at 7:04 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


The idea that there's a difference between what you say and do and who you are is noxious and asinine.

Yes. Particularly when Trump consistently and furiously disagrees with anyone - including his own people - who say there's anything to him other than what he says.
posted by The World Famous at 7:04 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


And we're not all gonna get tear gassed. Right? Right?

I have friends who are going to the march. I don't want to honestly answer this question.
posted by odinsdream at 7:10 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway on @NewDay: "Do you always want to go by what’s come out of [Trump's] mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart?"

"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies."
posted by jedicus at 7:13 AM on January 9 [39 favorites]


Matthew 12:34-37
"You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil."


Should have known he was a snake before you let him in, as the gentleman himself says.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:17 AM on January 9 [19 favorites]


I dunno if Bible quotes are gonna change hearts and minds. After all, if the White Christian Evangelicals who broke for Trump had ears, they would have heard. Had they been good soil...
posted by qcubed at 7:18 AM on January 9 [15 favorites]


The end justifies the means. It doesn't matter if you have to throw out every principle Jesus actually stood for. So long as Leviticus is the eventual law of the land.
posted by Talez at 7:21 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Oh, you mean like the Caliphate. Never thought about it like that before!
posted by tel3path at 7:22 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


And we're not all gonna get tear gassed. Right? Right?


MeFites March on Washington Discussion

posted by armacy at 7:24 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]




I think we should get some whited sepulchres made up for the inauguration.
posted by Devonian at 7:26 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


If I had to pick a catchy, recognizable song to make fun of Trump, I'd possibly choose "The Phony King of England" from Robin Hood

I'd prefer Drumpf's theme song become Pigs (Three Different Ones).


I think Minor Threat cuts to the chase pretty well in this regard.
posted by Rykey at 7:26 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Oh, you mean like the Caliphate. Never thought about it like that before!

And circle gets the square.
posted by Talez at 7:27 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


What do you mean by that, Talez? Are you implying that because I'm a Christian who would probably measure as evangelical by the standards of polls we've seen, that I voted for Trump despite not being eligible to vote in the US at all?

Or are you just congratulating me on figuring out the obvious? Because if it were that obvious I probably would have seen someone else comment on it somewhere else, and more than once, too.

I'm not being sarcastic btw, I'm trying to figure out what you mean.
posted by tel3path at 7:34 AM on January 9


Surely Trump's theme song should be Randy Newman's

"Big Hat, No Cattle"

Since I was a child
I've tried to be what I am not
I've lied and I've enjoyed it all my life
I lied to my dear mother
To my sisters and my brother
And now I'm lying to my children and my wife

Big Hat, no cattle
Big head, no brain
Big snake, no rattle
I forever remain
Big hat, no cattle
I knew from the start
Big boat, no paddle
Big belly, no heart

Can't remember why I do it
Oh, maybe I can
An honest man these days is hard to find
I only know we're living in an unforgiving land
And a little lie can buy some real big peace of mind
Oftimes I have wondered what might I have become
Had I but buckled down and really tried
But when it came down to the wire
I called my family to my side
Stood up straight, threw my head back, and I lied, lied, lied

Big hat, no cattle
Big shoes, well you know
Big horse, no saddle
He goes wherever I go
Big hat, no cattle
Right from the start
Big guns, no battle
Big belly, no heart

When it came down to the wire
I called my little family to my side
Stood up straight, threw my head back, and I lied, lied, lied
Lied, lied, lied

Big hat, no cattle
Big head, no brain
Big snake, no rattle
I forever remain
Big hat, no cattle
I knew from the start
Big boat, no paddle
Big belly, no heart
Big boat, no paddle
Big belly, no heart
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:36 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Here's an infuriating Montana Nazi tidbit to ruin your morning: an inexplicably fawning article about Richard Spencer in a regional paper that I used to have some respect for.

Fuck this. It's the people of Montana who are standing up to Spencer. The media of this state and nation will continue to fail spectacularly and won't realize it until they're no longer allowed to resist. Plenty of people are pissed off at the Missoulian and informing them of it right now; we'll see if there's a retraction or apology or some shit tomorrow. It won't be enough.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:38 AM on January 9 [12 favorites]


I'm not being sarcastic btw, I'm trying to figure out what you mean.

It's a playful/facetious way of saying "congrats you cracked the code!".

There's a certain eyeroll that liberals do whenever an evangelical gets their goat about Sharia law knowing full well they'd implement a Christian theocracy if given the chance without even blinking.
posted by Talez at 7:40 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Oh, I apologize for implementing a Christian theocracy, I'll try to make sure it never happens again.
posted by tel3path at 7:41 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


@annetdonahue

imagine you were such a fuck up that meryl streep used a lifetime achievement speech to tell the world how shitty you are


In fairness, she gives a lot of award speeches. Eventually, it'll just be "Thank you so much for this... um... hey, remember Orange Julius? Those were really good. Are they still around?"
posted by Etrigan at 7:43 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


An interesting tweetstorm (everybody's favorite literary form!) on Trump and how his fealty to Putin may be because he laundered money for Russia through his casinos. Some fascinating links and articles attached to it. It starts here.

@Khanoisseur
1. A thread on something that's been bothering me:
How on earth was Trump losing money on his casinos while competitors were making bank?


TL:DR - Trump's casinos lost shit-tons when everybody else was making shit-tons. Suddenly the only people willing to invest are Russian. Investors later sue him for $250m claiming he's laundering Russian money. He settles to avoid any disclosure. Later, the US Treasury fines Trump's casinos $10 million for "significant, long standing anti-money laundering violations", the largest fine in history against a casino.
posted by chris24 at 7:49 AM on January 9 [43 favorites]




I want to share this Vox op-ed because I agree with every word.
In this context, challenging Trump primarily on “normal politics” — legislative fights over safety net programs and taxes — is like ignoring a cancer diagnosis and instead devoting all your time to going to your chiropractor because in the past, he’s succeeded at getting rid of your sore back.

Defending basic democratic norms and maintaining a strong focus on corruption is the right strategy. Not only is it more likely to work but it is likely to leave our politics in a better place in the end.

First, making the fight about entitlements and taxes is only going to reinforce existing partisan divides, at a time when Democrats and Republicans need to figure out how to build alliances to minimize the damage Trump can do to basic norms, rather than reinforcing the divide that Trump exploited in the general election.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:57 AM on January 9 [16 favorites]




Here's the agency press release about the Trump Taj Mahal money laundering fine.

It makes awful reading about the extent and duration of the misdeeds, and one wonders exactly how bad you have to be to get a criminal prosecution in that game.

But the most pertinent thing is that the press release is dated March 2015 - it's that recent. How the hell didn't that come up during the campaign?
posted by Devonian at 8:02 AM on January 9 [26 favorites]


Are you implying that because I'm a Christian who would probably measure as evangelical by the standards of polls we've seen, that I voted for Trump despite not being eligible to vote in the US at all? ... I'm not being sarcastic btw, I'm trying to figure out what you mean.

I'm sorry, but it sounds like you're manufacturing offense here and in your subsequent posts. Your initial question quoted above is obviously ludicrous.

No one is implying that the Venn diagram of circle for all evangelicals is entirely inside that of Trump voters. But it is well established that polls showed that 80% of the people identified themselves as evangelicals who voted went for Trump despite the loud contradictions of his practices/promises and their professed beliefs and that a significant portion of them want government supported religion as long as it's their religion. And that many of them are focused on a few things prohibited in Leviticus while ignoring the larger message of the rest of the Old and New Testaments.
posted by Candleman at 8:06 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


Disabled people absolutely were pushed around at Trump rallies.

A wheelchair is no protection.
posted by Yowser at 8:09 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


And by disabled people, I mean disabled Trump supporters.

They didn't meet Aryan standards of purity, I guess.
posted by Yowser at 8:10 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Right, and I was agreeing that Trump-voting Evangelicals were focusing on things prohibited in Leviticus while ignoring the larger message of the rest of the Old and New Testament, and when I remarked that there was a certain parallel between that kind of extremism and what is commonly referred to as Islamic extremism, I was surprised to receive a response that may or may not have been mocking me for being a slow-witted Evangelical who finally connected the dots.
posted by tel3path at 8:12 AM on January 9


How the hell didn't that come up during the campaign?

Seems like attention was being diverted elsewhere, during the campaign.
posted by tel3path at 8:17 AM on January 9


But the most pertinent thing is that the press release is dated March 2015 - it's that recent. How the hell didn't that come up during the campaign?

The Donald Trump Story You’re Not Hearing About from Bill Moyers & Co raised the issue, and Ted Cruz tried to hit Trump on his suspected mob ties. Trump's unintentional strategy of producing a constant stream of scandals and uncloseted skeletons apparently managed to distract the media's attention from this (to say nothing of their lack of institutional memory). As for the actual charges, Trump settled, as he prefers, since merely admitted willful violation of reporting and record-keeping requirements attracts less notice than being found guilty after a court battle.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:18 AM on January 9 [10 favorites]


This all feels like something out of a post-modern propagandist playbook

The Republican Party has become a full-on fifth column for Russia.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:19 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


How the hell didn't that come up during the campaign?

emails emails emails emails hey how come we live under an obscene fascist dictatorship now
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:21 AM on January 9 [41 favorites]


The Republican Party has become a full-on fifth column for Russia.

I think it would be more accurate to say that the Republican Party has gone full-on white nationalist, and is all too happy to give Putin friendship in exchange for his continued support of white nationalist parties across the West.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:22 AM on January 9 [23 favorites]


PoTAYto, poTAHto
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:25 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


What I mean is that the GOP gives no shits for Russia. They just love patriarchy, white supremacy, homophobia, and iron-fisted power, and Putin is all too happy to play ball with Westerners on those grounds. We should be careful to distinguish between Russia and Putin et al.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:26 AM on January 9 [14 favorites]


I think it's more than that. It occurred to me last night that the reason your average Republican likes Russia is because it is, in their eyes, an almost exclusively white international power. They're afraid of the Chinese due to what is likely 19th century attitudes about Chinese "alienness" in physical appearance and culture. They're so blinded by vintage racism that they will gladly bend over for anyone who is blond or blue eyed.

I'm terribly amused by alt-right and general white-nationalist attitudes towards international cooperation. They think that Putin adores them because they are white. Putin adores them because they serve his interests. Russians are pro-Russian first, and white supremist second. They would gladly put every last western white nationalist in work camps if they got the opportunity to turn Europe or America into their dominion.
posted by constantinescharity at 8:32 AM on January 9 [15 favorites]


Pope Guilty has it. After a certain amount of gibbering "but, but don't they understand that [Putin + espionage/child rape/harassment and assault/money laundering/fraud/bad hair]...?" you have to accept that the people in power aren't the ones who were fooled and Trump supporters weren't fooled either. Demonstrably, these are the values they stand for.
posted by tel3path at 8:33 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Be fair, constantinescharity, they'd probably exile the dissidents first. Then get to the white nationalists when the supply of dissidents ran out.

But hey, on the bright side, work camps! At least they'd finally have a manufacturing industry and bootstrap themselves out of being a mere petrostate!

another two halves of a joke adding up to a chimera of one whole joke
posted by tel3path at 8:39 AM on January 9




Yeah, Revelations and demontrations of despicable behaviour and loathsome priorities in leadership and alliances are actual plus points to the GOP supporters right now. Which is not to say they should be ignored or go un-noted by the rest of us - let's build plenty of space in the dovecot for when those pigeons do come home to roost - but we shouldn't expect then to cause scales to fall from people's eyes (my, this is quite the biblical thread).

I reiterate - while the fight must go on on all fronts, the primary place where damage may be actually done is in the courts, where evidence and rules still count for something. The bastards are going to think themselves untouchable and will over-reach, and absolute alertness and unrelenting will to make that hurt is going to be rewarded.
posted by Devonian at 8:42 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


The courts will only work so long though, until Trump has had enough opportunity to pack them with Trumpublican apparatchiks like Roberts, Alito and Thomas. If he gets another SCOTUS seat, or wins reelection, that's over too.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:45 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Should have known he was a snake before you let him in, as the gentleman himself says.

"WE KNOW YOU'RE A SNAKE" would not be a bad sign to hold at the march.
posted by contraption at 8:48 AM on January 9 [12 favorites]


The ‘Keepin’ It 1600’ Guys Launch Crooked Media to Counter Trump Looking back at the podcast’s initial run, Favreau says, “One thing we wished we had done slightly differently—in addition to political analysis and punditry and all that good stuff—we wish we had done a little more advocacy, encouraged more participation and activism and used it as a platform to lift up all of the young progressives’ voices that are out there.”
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:58 AM on January 9 [17 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway on @NewDay: "Do you always want to go by what’s come out of [Trump's] mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart?"

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:06 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


I'm really interested in the "Trump was possibly laundering money for the Russian mafia through Bayrock 'investments' in money-losing casinos" story. I mean, it seems like there might be something there. But I have only seen this story in that tweet storm and in some Facebook comment threads, which are not high on my "credible sources" lists. Has anyone done any investigative reporting on this? Can we get Farenthold on it? I want to know if this is a thing. I want everyone to know, if this is a thing.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:07 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Thread on Trump's Fiat tweets: "@brycecovert talked with the parent company of Fiat, who confirmed that this Trump tweet is complete BS". From the ThinkProgress article, in which a Fiat spokesperson is interviewed:
“This plan was in the works back in 2015,” Jodi Tinson, a spokeswoman for FCA, told ThinkProgress. “This announcement…was just final confirmation.”

When asked directly if it was true that politics and the election had no influence on the announcement, she said, “Correct.”
The only thing new here is that they reannounced it and Trump took the credit.
posted by zachlipton at 9:11 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Right now the bulk of the reporting on that issue is being done by @Khanoisseur. He has a go fund me page for supporting his work here.
posted by localhuman at 9:14 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


The most encouraging thing to me is that there are plenty of people in all positions willing to call Donald on his shit and stand up to his pack of cyberbullies. There is strength and safety in numbers.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:17 AM on January 9 [13 favorites]


McConnell Not Following Confirmation Process He Demanded From Reid In '09
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants Democrats concerned about the incomplete ethics vetting of some of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to “grow up,” but he asked for a similarly thorough review of Barack Obama’s nominees back in 2009.

In a letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), McConnell requested that nominees' FBI background checks, Office of Government Ethics reviews and financial disclosure statements be complete “prior to a hearing being noticed.”
posted by kirkaracha at 9:22 AM on January 9 [20 favorites]


WaPo Donald Trump says D.C.’s dress shops are sold out of inauguration gowns. Wrong!
Definitely not, said Martha Slagle, vice president and general manager of the Neiman Marcus in Friendship Heights. If a ball attendee were to walk in today, “you have more than a thousand evening gowns to choose from,” she said, noting that the store stocks up every four years in anticipation of inauguration demand.

Classic black? Got ’em. Colorful garments? Yep, those, too — plus furs and wraps and evening coats for the notoriously chilly January nights, she said.

Slagle actually laughed when we mentioned Trump’s claim about the status of Washington’s dress options. “I’m stuffed with beautiful gowns,” she said.
And now that poor Neiman Marcus manager is surely about to be attacked and harassed.
posted by zachlipton at 9:23 AM on January 9 [24 favorites]




Let's not forget that Strom Thurmond thought Sessions was too racist to be a judge.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:32 AM on January 9 [60 favorites]


Donald's lie about the availability of dresses is both petty as hell and also just one more really concerning sign. Not that it's a surprise, but this guy literally will lie about anything, anytime, unprovoked and unplanned, if it's going to help him stroke his own ego. He can't just refute someone, he always has to then make up support for his own position.

I don't know that there's a word for the diplomatic incidents he's going to cause (is already causing?).
posted by tocts at 9:33 AM on January 9 [12 favorites]


I don't know that there's a word for the diplomatic incidents he's going to cause

Armageddon?
posted by chris24 at 9:35 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Even if some report came out highlighting concrete evidence of mob ties it would not make a damn difference to his supporters - Hillary Clinton is a criminal warlord anyway, Vince Foster, etc. They would deride it all as "fake news", a term that has been co-opted and changed from "false/inflammatory clickbait" to "information I disagree with". The left are the *real* hypocrites, you see, for obsessing over Trump's record when the *actual* criminals have been Democrats running amok in Washington all along. Why no MSM reporting on THAT, hmmmmmm? Could it have to do with this George Soros conspiracy I read about on this alt-right message board somewhere? CNN and MSNBC would report on it for like, a day, by bringing "both sides" to the table and life would go on. Trump saying he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and not lose a voter is probably the most true and accurate thing he's ever said.
posted by windbox at 9:35 AM on January 9 [15 favorites]


Even if some report came out highlighting concrete evidence of mob ties it would not make a damn difference to his supporters - Hillary Clinton is a criminal warlord anyway, Vince Foster, etc.

They're going to be defending Trump with, "but Hilary got the debate questions" for 4 years.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:37 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


He could probably reveal himself to be an tentacled alien monstrosity bent on assimilating and bending all humanity to his will and he would still have supporters.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:38 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Elizabeth Wydra: Bad Law: A look at the terrible things Jeff Sessions did as attorney general of Alabama.
As detailed in this new examination of archived news reports and original source documents, at least twice during his mere two years in office, Sessions produced legally flawed opinions that were favorable to Alabama Gov. Fob James that also, conveniently, aligned with the interests of one of Alabama’s most politically powerful and deep-pocketed organizations. That organization also happened to have spent substantial sums on, and taken credit for, electing James and Sessions to office.

Years later, Sessions’ legal reasoning in these opinions was overruled by broad majorities of the Alabama Supreme Court—including in one ruling written by a Republican justice.

Sessions’ brief, troubling record doesn’t end there. As a state attorney general, he also cleared the way for a politically connected insurance company’s planned no-bid coverage of state road work; urged the Alabama Ethics Commission to approve corporate-funded junkets for state employees; fought successfully against seating the first black intermediate appellate court judges in Alabama’s history; and, no joke, provided formal support for a local sheriff’s use of actual chain gangs.
Ari Berman: Jeff Sessions Could Return Criminal Justice to the Jim Crow Era
More than any nominee for attorney general in modern American history, Sessions would be an unapologetic defender of the old Confederacy and has refused to criticize policies that stem directly from Jim Crow. For example, Alabama’s 1901 Constitution still includes language authorizing a poll tax and segregated schools. Referendums to remove such language—which Sessions failed to support—were defeated by voters in 2004 and 2012. Interracial marriage was illegal in the state until 2000. When Sessions was state attorney general, there were still officially segregated proms in the state.

Last year, after the massacre of nine African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley removed the Confederate flag from the grounds of the Alabama statehouse. When he was asked about it, Sessions, who is named after a Confederate general, said “I’m not going to criticize the governor,” but defended Confederate history. “This is a huge part of who we are and the left is continually seeking, in a host of different ways, it seems to me, I don’t want to be too paranoid about this, but they seek to delegitimize the fabulous accomplishments of our country.”
Keep all of this in mind when seeing who questions him and and on what, and watch how Senators vote, especially the "Never"Trumpers and Manchin.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:42 AM on January 9 [27 favorites]


So I have a n00b question about US election procedure, but I really am not clear about this: once Trump decided to run for office, was anyone in the Republican Party empowered to stop him? Could anyone have said "no, we don't like you as a candidate, you can't run for office as a Republican?"

Or was it a matter of, he decides to run for office, he keeps getting enough votes, and nobody in the Republican Party can remove him from the process because it's not their decision?
posted by tel3path at 9:43 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Oh and hey look at this :(
Just as with Obama’s soon-to-be-removed international envoys, Trump has ordered Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and his deputy, Madelyn Creedon—both Obama appointees—to leave their posts, even if it means no one is in charge of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons. (Note: emphasis mine)
The source later added, “I’m more and more coming around to the idea that we’re so very, very fucked.”
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:43 AM on January 9 [53 favorites]


These people can always find ways to make it sound like they're the good guys and we're the bad, especially to sympathetic people and their supporters.

It's kind of similar to the "But SJWs are the REAL bullies and Milo/Gamergate's just giving them back what they deserve!" apologism I run into online sometimes. It's wrong, both self-serving and wrong, but they genuinely believe it and it's near-impossible to dislodge them from it.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:48 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]




Imagine if Hilary won and named Chelsea's husband "Senior Adviser" on the White House payroll.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:54 AM on January 9 [36 favorites]


These people can always find ways to make it sound like they're the good guys and we're the bad, especially to sympathetic people and their supporters.

Sociopaths always go for the pity play.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:54 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


In the coming era, I think that "Kushner vs. Bannon" is going to be a go-to theory for those inclined to speculate about which members of the Small Council are fighting each other at the moment for the chance to get at Joffrey's ear.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:56 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Gersh Kuntzman, NY Daily News: Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech isn’t going to do anything to stop Trump now
So, sure, we need Meryl Streep's voice, but what we really need is political leaders who will stop the worst excesses. I'd like to think that someone exists in the loyal opposition to put the brakes on Trump's agenda, but this weekend, I looked around and Sen. Chuck Schumer — the minority leader in the Senate! — was having another Sunday press conference about a train derailment instead of racing around the country trying to stop Wednesday's confirmation steamroller.

When Trump starts locking up Muslims, I fully anticipate Chuck Schumer doing what he does best: holding a press conference about a new bike lane in the Rockaways. (Update: Tonight in Brooklyn, hundreds will rally in front of Schumer's Prospect Park West apartment demanding that he do something already. This one protest will do more than 10 Meryl Streep speeches if the sight of hundreds of people shivering in the cold help Schumer grow even a tiny pair already.)
posted by monospace at 9:57 AM on January 9 [19 favorites]


Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will be named Senior Adviser to the President, senior transition official confirms to NBC News

But Hillary! Clinton dynasty! Nepotism!

(/s, bitter, broken laughter)
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:59 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


That's the only thing that opens up one shred of possibility of sympathy for Trump. He clearly displays problems in processing language and maintaining attention.

Nah, fuck 'im.
posted by notsnot at 10:02 AM on January 9 [14 favorites]


How is Kushner assuming that position not expressly illegal? I really thought it was. Did someone not post an article many threads ago explaining exactly that such is the case?
posted by constantinescharity at 10:10 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Just as with Obama’s soon-to-be-removed international envoys, Trump has ordered Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and his deputy, Madelyn Creedon—both Obama appointees—to leave their posts, even if it means no one is in charge of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons.

It's like they all got out of civics class around 1872. "Slavery's over, the blacks are happy, the spoils system is still in effect, and it doesn't really matter if a desk is unoccupied for a couple of months."
posted by Etrigan at 10:11 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


How is Kushner assuming that position not expressly illegal?

It turns out that anything the president does is de facto legal. Surprised you didn't learn this in school
posted by beerperson at 10:14 AM on January 9 [13 favorites]


it's like the conflict of interest. he thinks the law is on his side. "president can't have COI" is understood to mean the thing is impossible, not that the thing is prohibited.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:21 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


It's not illegal if nobody stops you.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:22 AM on January 9 [29 favorites]




it's like the conflict of interest. he thinks the law is on his side. "president can't have COI" is understood to mean the thing is impossible, not that the thing is prohibited.

Well the king is infallible...
posted by Talez at 10:23 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


It turns out that anything the president does is de facto legal.

We don't even need to play silly games like this. It is literally about force.

See. What makes something illegal or criminal? Well, I mean, of course you would say there's a law against it, or whatever. But no, it's more than that. It's that somehow, somewhere, you're going to be punished by the state for an infraction of it. With force. Violence.

The corollary is that if such force is absent, it's not necessarily that it makes the infraction legal but it renders the whole question moot.

Marginalized folk are quite familiar with this scenario. E.g., your city has a non-discrimination ordinance that prevents businesses from kicking trans people out for being trans. Well, shit lot of good that does you if nobody is willing to enforce that. This is a real example.

What the more privileged of our society are about to learn, are learning, and will continue to stare at with increasing anxiety, is how much of our civil structure of laws and regulations is similarly toothless. With no one willing to, or even able, to enforce what we've taken for granted as civil norms.

It's going to get real. Real. Ugly.
posted by odinsdream at 10:24 AM on January 9 [59 favorites]




Every day's a test of our camaraderie and bravery.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:27 AM on January 9 [26 favorites]


Wait a second. So Conway was waging a PR campaign to try to get her kids into DC private school, while her 12 year old was running an online petition to stop the family from moving to Washington? And she views this story as a cute anecdote instead of a fairly serious sign? This family is, uh, something.
posted by zachlipton at 10:29 AM on January 9 [25 favorites]




See. What makes something illegal or criminal? Well, I mean, of course you would say there's a law against it, or whatever. But no, it's more than that. It's that somehow, somewhere, you're going to be punished by the state for an infraction of it. With force. Violence.

Everything in the American legal system is subject to prosecutorial discretion. Weed is only legal because Obama's DOJ choose not to prosecute it federally. No one went to jail for the mortgage crisis because Obama's DOJ declined to bring cases. The Lewinski scandal was a thing because the Republican Congress created a kangaroo special prosecutor and told him to find something to charge Bill Clinton with.

Jeff Sessions is about to be the nation's chief prosecutor in charge of deciding what laws to enforce. And the Republicans also control Congress. Laws on the books mean nothing without enforcement.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:30 AM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Even if some report came out highlighting concrete evidence of mob ties it would not make a damn difference to his supporters

This is true about his supporters, but it is not a reason to conclude that it's futile to continue digging up and publicizing damning evidence of Trump's malfeasance and criminality. Sure he has a sizable base of people for whom being a mobbed-up rich guy mouthing off to everyone and sticking it to the US government is their version of the American Dream, and that says nothing good about our country, but they are and will remain a minority.

The people we need to reach are the people who didn't vote for anybody, and a constant barrage of news stories about what an utterly loathsome person we elected is a crucial part of getting those people to start paying attention and muster the energy to drag their asses to the polls. Fascism wins when it can mobilize a bloodthirsty minority against an apathetic or fearful majority. Right now it's still mostly apathy, and apathy strikes me as easier to overcome than fear of death squads.
posted by contraption at 10:32 AM on January 9 [29 favorites]


Are there any reporters interviewing nonvoters and trying to understand them, or are we still focused with laser precision on developing compassion for the Trump voters?
posted by prefpara at 10:33 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


Just stopping by to encourage you all to please call your senator about opposing Trump's nominations. You can find your senator here.

I called this morning and spoke to a staffer for Sen Bill Nelson (after being placed on hold for nearly 3 min's due to the influx of calls) and he politely took my info and said he'd pass my message along that Sessions is unacceptable.

Wall-of-Us has a great script for organizing your thoughts and giving you the courage to get on the horn and give'm hell!
posted by photoslob at 10:37 AM on January 9 [22 favorites]


The GOP is making the Congressional Black Congress testify last at Sessions confirmation

So what you're saying is that the GOP sent the black people to the back of the confirmation hearing?
posted by Talez at 10:39 AM on January 9 [21 favorites]


Every day's a test of our camaraderie and bravery.

FREEDOM IS
IN PERIL


DEFEND IT
WITH ALL
YOUR MIGHT

posted by Doktor Zed at 10:40 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Some discussion of the nepotism law w/r/t Kushner from mid-November: Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner, Tests Legal Path to White House Job.

The nut of it:
Ethics lawyers in both parties said that such an arrangement would violate a federal statute designed to prevent family ties from influencing the functioning of the United States government. Under a 1967 law enacted after John F. Kennedy installed his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, as attorney general, no public official can hire a family member — including one related by marriage — to an agency or office over which he has authority. A separate statute also makes it a crime, punishable by a fine and up to two years of prison time, for government employees to accept voluntary services that are not authorized by law, except in emergency situations

The anti-nepotism law “would seem to block out Kushner flatly,” said Norman L. Eisen, who served as Mr. Obama’s ethics counsel during his transition and at the White House. If Mr. Trump were to try to skirt it by having Mr. Kushner advise him in a volunteer capacity, he added, he “would be treading upon very serious statutory and constitutional grounds.”

“When push comes to shove, on the very hardest calls that confront a president, you want the president’s adviser to remember that their oath or affirmation to the Constitution comes first, before family ties,” Mr. Eisen said. “You need to be able to say no. You need to be able to hold the line. You need to be able to threaten to resign, and you need to be able to actually resign. You can’t resign from being somebody’s son-in-law.”

Mr. Trump could try to circumvent the law, the lawyers said, by arguing that he has broad executive authority as president to choose his advisers. But that move would probably invite a legal challenge, forcing a court to decide whether the president’s executive authority to choose his advisers takes precedent over a law passed by Congress that bans nepotism in the government.
The argument Trumpco is going with today is, from what I've seen, that Kushner will not be put in charge of an "agency or office" (he'd serve as a Senior Adviser), and so the law doesn't apply.

-----
*Jeebus, the NY Times is making sharing hard. They've somehow gummed up the site such that you can't copy from the served page for copy/pastes. I had to grab all the above from the page source and strip out the html before pasting here. Any workarounds?
posted by notyou at 10:46 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Bomb threats today against Jewish community centers across the South: Nashville, Miami Beach, Jacksonville, Columbia, SC, and Rockville, MD.

More economic anxiety I'm sure.

Update: if you scroll down, there are at least two more.
posted by zachlipton at 10:49 AM on January 9 [14 favorites]


notyou, have you tried opening the url in archive.is? maybe that would work?
posted by futz at 10:49 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


*Jeebus, the NY Times is making sharing hard. They've somehow gummed up the site such that you can't copy from the served page for copy/pastes. I had to grab all the above from the page source and strip out the html before pasting here. Any workarounds?

Turning off Javascript (temporarily) should do the trick.

posted by monospace at 10:50 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


*Jeebus, the NY Times is making sharing hard. They've somehow gummed up the site such that you can't copy from the served page for copy/pastes. I had to grab all the above from the page source and strip out the html before pasting here. Any workarounds?

As with most idiocy, turn off their right to javascript.
posted by jaduncan at 10:50 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Bomb threats against Jewish community centers?

Totally obviously way clearly economic anxiety.
posted by From Bklyn at 10:55 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


The NYT should keep this quote from that article handy:

If Mr. Trump were to try to (insert daily news here), he “would be treading upon very serious statutory and constitutional grounds.”

posted by diogenes at 10:59 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Bomb threats today against Jewish community centers across the South: Nashville, Miami Beach, Jacksonville, Columbia, SC, and Rockville, MD.

There was a similar threat made against a Jewish pre-school where my mom teaches last week.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:00 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I had to grab all the above from the page source and strip out the html before pasting here. Any workarounds?

I don't have that problem in chromimum or firefox on ubuntu trusty.
posted by Coventry at 11:00 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Just posting this again from the previous thread in case anyone missed it and has time to phone bank today/this evening, there's a special election tomorrow in Virginia, that could give control of the VA Senate to Democrats. The Democratic candidate, Ryant Washington, is running in a conservative district, but there are two GOP candidates that will be splitting the GOP vote and special elections always have low turnout, so there is a potential for a Democratic pickup if enough pissed off Dems/liberals show up.

Here's the link to the virtual phone bank if you can spare some time today.
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:04 AM on January 9 [14 favorites]


Puppeteered by Putin or Bannon - it'll be interesting when they start pulling in different directions.

Which one is the Obertrumpenführer?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:13 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]




Why would Putin and Bannon pull in different directions? They share mostly the same ideology. Both are anti-democracy and pro-white-nationalism. Bannon runs "The platform for the alt right." And the Russian embassy tweets Pepe memes. They have nothing but love for each other.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:18 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Also Bannon, like Putin, wants to bring down the American government. (Or as he puts it to "destroy the state.")
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:19 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I have one of those "Freedom is In Peril" posters hanging up in my cubicle.
posted by asteria at 11:20 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I really am not clear about this: once Trump decided to run for office, was anyone in the Republican Party empowered to stop him? Could anyone have said "no, we don't like you as a candidate, you can't run for office as a Republican?"

The real answer will be an absolute confusion of state ballot access laws and precedents, state party rules, national regulation, and RNC procedures.

But the short, good-enough answer is that no, they can't.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:20 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Someone created a satire account that envisions Trump as a mature individual. Almost surreal.

PresidentialTrump
posted by Surely This at 11:27 AM on January 9 [24 favorites]


President Obama has continued his academic publishing streak, publishing in Science, "The irreversible momentum of clean energy."
posted by zachlipton at 11:27 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


But the short, good-enough answer is that no, they can't.

Besides, they thought he had no chance.

Y'know, once Trump became the Republican nominee, I thought he had a real chance of winning. But I am still more confused about how he became the Republican nominee.

I know MeFi will say "because Republicans are racist, duh," and yes, I'm sure that is a big part of it. But it still doesn't make sense to me. Why didn't Newt Gingrich do better as a presidential candidate then? Or Pat Buchanan? "Because Obama enraged them." Yes, he did, but seriously, there were 16 other candidates who also hated Obama and "political correctness", why Trump?

I keep thinking about how Roger Stone threatened Republican delegates. And I can't help but wonder if some of the candidates got threats too. Blackmail or violence... They folded so easily and so completely, even the ones who initially hated him, and it doesn't make sense to me, still.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:31 AM on January 9 [13 favorites]




Yes, he did, but seriously, there were 16 other candidates who also hated Obama and 'political correctness', why Trump?

He was the hatin'est.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:34 AM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Yes, he did, but seriously, there were 16 other candidates who also hated Obama and "political correctness", why Trump?

Because he was utterly untainted by "politics", having never held an elected or appointed office; and he said what so many other people were thinking -- "It's not your fault, it's theirs. You're a good, hardworking real American, not one of those other people who are at least not two of those things. All we need to do is kick some ass, rather than take a long deep look at ourselves and the society we've built."
posted by Etrigan at 11:35 AM on January 9 [21 favorites]


Yes, he did, but seriously, there were 16 other candidates who also hated Obama and "political correctness", why Trump?

He said the quiet parts loud. They were tired of veiled racism, they've been wanting the real thing for decades.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:37 AM on January 9 [16 favorites]


why Trump?

He wasn't any more racist but he was more open about it and unafraid to embrace it. He was also better at being funny (for a Horrible Person definition of funny). He had no dog whistles, just whistles. And people who had felt "oppressed" by having to hide their horrible thoughts to themselves were suddenly given permission to shout them. They went from being told "ok yeah you're racist and that's great but keep it quiet" to being told "You're the best people in America and you're right to be racist and deserve to be heard!"

I can completely understand how he won, once he got into the primary.

I attribute the failure of the Republican party to kneecap him early as a sign of their hollowness. They've tossed reason, facts and science (and the people in the party who believed in them) over the side in their mania to make wealth the only value they cherish or promote. There was no one left to sound the alarm/mobilize to take out someone like Trump.
posted by emjaybee at 11:41 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


But his quiet parts weren't really louder than Gingrich's or Buchanan's. He didn't actually say "I hate black people and Mexicans and Muslims." He still coded it in terms of "crime" and "illegals" and "terrorists," just like those predecessors.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:41 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Trump was almost always the front runner from about mid-December (maybe earlier), but the Republican establishment believed that his ceiling was only 30-35% and the other candidates crowded the "mainstream" Republican lane, splitting the vote of the anti-Trump majority. So one by one, each of the candidates had a moment of glory, then crashed and burned, until only Trump and Cruz (who had consolidated the Christian right vote) were left. And ultimately Cruz was loathed enough by both the establishment and the non-theocratic primary voters that they threw their support behind Trump.

If Rubio, Bush, Kasich and Christie had gotten together -- as late as early February, I think -- and decided that stopping Trump was more important than any one of their individual political ambitions, I think they could have done it. But ultimately they each underestimated the fascist impulse behind much of the GOP base, and overestimated their own political ability. They put career before country, and as a result they destroyed both.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:41 AM on January 9 [19 favorites]


Here I was thinking that "DC isn't really out of evening gowns" would be the weird fact check of the day, but AP just had to top that with FACT CHECK: Streep overrated? Trump picks a decorated star

The article mostly takes a couple paragraphs to say she's earned a massive amount of awards, while acknowledging that "overrated" is an opinion and thus throwing significant doubt on the purpose of the article. But it does have time for some serious shade in the kicker that makes it all worthwhile:
Trump and Streep, who spoke on behalf of Hillary Clinton at last year's Democratic National Convention, are far apart on politics and have found themselves on opposite ends in Hollywood when it comes to honors. He has two Emmy nominations — no wins — for best outstanding reality competition. But he beat her to one award — a Golden Raspberry. He won a worst supporting actor trophy in 1989, appearing opposite Bo Derek in the crime comedy "Ghosts Can't Do It."
posted by zachlipton at 11:43 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


The appeal of Trump stemmed directly from the fact that he could flout every law and norm with impunity. The fantasy is that he'd blow away the cobwebs of the decrepit, effete republic and rule as king. Every time he pissed off politicians or scientists or journalists or women with no consequences was more proof that he was the One.
posted by theodolite at 11:44 AM on January 9 [19 favorites]


The reason I asked the question is this: if there was effectively no way to stop Trump from running as a Republican presidential candidate - either in the first place, or at any point during the election - in the sense that if I were a qualifying US citizen I could also have run for office as a Republican and (IT'S A THOUGHT EXPERIMENT OKAY) the entire Republican party would have had no choice but to watch, mouths agape and sputtering with horror, as I gathered votes like The Blob -

well, that tells me that at least some of the Never Trumpians were sincere at the time.

Whereas, if there *had* been a way to intervene before he won the entire election, then I'd know for a fact that every last one of them is nothing but a white supremacist in their evil little hearts, and they were merely using Trump in a myrmidon function for their own beliefs that they themselves were rightfully too ashamed to own up to.

And if the latter, that would 100% explain the lack of resistance now.

But if as you say, he literally could not have been stopped, and if there's no reason to doubt that at least some of the NeverTrumpians were fully sincere, there is *probably* something more going on behind the scenes that explains why they're so compliant now.

And I would guess it's because of whatever was in the RNC servers that was hacked but not (so far) actually leaked. Or else some other form of threat or intimidation that we aren't paying attention to because Donnie is such a lightning rod for scandal that all our eyes are on him.
posted by tel3path at 11:45 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


"The irreversible momentum of clean energy."

There's going to be red-hats turning up in coal-rollers to smash solar panels before all this is over.
posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on January 9 [19 favorites]


seriously, there were 16 other candidates who also hated Obama and "political correctness", why Trump?

I started to write a lengthy metaphor about 17 candidates for Chief Dessert Maker, where the 17th wants to shit on a plate and make your enemies eat it, but then I was overwhelmed with despair. Suffice it to say I agree with tivalasvegas.
posted by corb at 11:46 AM on January 9 [10 favorites]


That makes me wonder - what's so special about Trump that made him so untouchable by the law? He wasn't the richest of the rich or the brightest of the bright in business (whatever he wanted people to think). I can only assume it was a combination of greasing the right palms, knowing the right people, and the devil's luck.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:49 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Rubio, Bush, Kasich and Christie

His name is Reek.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:49 AM on January 9 [24 favorites]


Whereas, if there *had* been a way to intervene before he won the entire election, then I'd know for a fact that every last one of them is nothing but a white supremacist in their evil little hearts, and they were merely using Trump in a myrmidon function for their own beliefs that they themselves were rightfully too ashamed to own up to.

There was a way even after he won the primary, they could've endorsed Clinton to stop him and save democracy and America. They didn't.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:50 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


But if as you say, he literally could not have been stopped, and if there's no reason to doubt that at least some of the NeverTrumpians were fully sincere, there is *probably* something more going on behind the scenes that explains why they're so compliant now.

He won, and he's a narcissistic idiot. That means that as long as you look like you're supporting him, you have a pretty good chance to grab your own piece of the (ideological) pie.
posted by Etrigan at 11:50 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]




His name is Reek.

In fairness to Theon Greyjoy, he did eventually take his identity back and successfully escaped Ramsay's control.

Christie, as far as I can tell, hasn't.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:55 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


That means that as long as you look like you're supporting him, you have a pretty good chance to grab your own piece of the (ideological) pie.

Not to mention the actual pie-as-metaphor-for-cash.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:56 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


But if as you say, he literally could not have been stopped, and if there's no reason to doubt that at least some of the NeverTrumpians were fully sincere, there is *probably* something more going on behind the scenes that explains why they're so compliant now.

It's not as black and white as fully-deplorable vs. never-trump. I think the majority of Republican elected officials were opposed to Trump for a combination of "we think he's a racist, fascist, misogynistic, incompetent asshole" [CORRECT REASON, if you're counting], "we don't trust his conservative credentials" [TBD], and "we think he can't win and will destroy the party" [understandable, unfortunately not borne out by subsequent events].

As the Trump juggernaut advanced and sucked up the more craven of the party leaders (e.g., Chris Christie and Ben Carson), the calculus for the last reason shifted to "OK, if we oppose this guy who's clearly the grassroots choice, that will destroy the party", and weakened the second reason "OK, we're not going to be able to influence politics at all if we destroy the GOP and hand over the White House and Senate (and possibly even the House) to the Democrats.

So their choice became clear. Would they take a stand against fascism even if it meant losing power, maybe all power, for another four or eight years? It was the final test of whether a formally anti-racist, anti-fascist American conservatism would possibly endure.

They failed that test.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:57 AM on January 9 [40 favorites]


HISTORIC: Sec. John Kerry Issues Formal Apology To LGBT State Department Staffers For Past Discrimination

@PaulCastilloJD: Where is StateDept change to discrim binary-only policy & apology to @LambdaLegal #intersex client Dana Zzyym for refusal to issue passport?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:59 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I started to write a lengthy metaphor... but then I was overwhelmed with despair.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:01 PM on January 9 [19 favorites]


I keep thinking about how Roger Stone threatened Republican delegates. And I can't help but wonder if some of the candidates got threats too. Blackmail or violence... They folded so easily and so completely, even the ones who initially hated him, and it doesn't make sense to me, still

Remember the RNC was hacked as well. I suspect their emails were juicier than the 'politically correct' liberals.
posted by srboisvert at 12:03 PM on January 9 [20 favorites]


This is a crisis for the United States not because of regressive policy or diplomatic mayhem or the president-elect's feckless stupidity, paranoia, and narcissism (though those are all real bad) but because the ruling party, with the support of millions of citizens, has no respect for the basic principles of consensual democracy and the rule of law, and potentially limitless power is about to be invested in a megalomaniac doesn't know or care what that even means.
posted by theodolite at 12:05 PM on January 9 [34 favorites]


First, making the fight about entitlements and taxes is only going to reinforce existing partisan divides
...
If the only lesson of this episode is that Medicare is popular, that won't do much to shore up the foundations of liberal democracy.


Holy fucking christ this stupidity is peak Vox - "don't worry about medical care for poor people!" entreats the publication that doesn't worry about poor people.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:06 PM on January 9 [19 favorites]


If Rubio, Bush, Kasich and Christie had gotten together -- as late as early February, I think -- and decided that stopping Trump was more important than any one of their individual political ambitions, I think they could have done it.

It's also worth remembering the overarching differences in how the RNC and the DNC assigned delegates -- while the DNC's superdelegates have been much maligned, having a small overhead of non-pledged delegates was one potential check on a Trump-like candidate, and one way of avoiding multi-candidate spoiler effects, that was not available in the Republican primary due to rules changes meant to address issues that arose in earlier primaries. So while it's true that there was 'nothing in the rules' to stop Trump from running as a Republican, 'the rules' are substantially the rules of the Republican Party and are subject to change, for good or for ill, by the Party itself.

I think this is worth remembering, because thinking ahead to future elections one lesson we should be taking away from this is the that the primary process can be changed, for the sake of favoring certain outcomes, as the DNC is doing by reducing the number of unpledged delegates heading into the 2020 primaries. Changing the rules of the game change the individual calculus of the contenders, about whether to stay in or bow out, and when.

The chances, sadly, that the RNC is going to change their rules to make a future Trump or Trump-analogue -- whatever that might mean -- harder seem, at this point in time, slim, so we're probably better off, in terms of actionability, looking to the state and federal laws that govern the general election, rather than the party rules that govern the primaries; and secondarily to the media coverage of the primaries and the ways in which people engage with them.
posted by cjelli at 12:07 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Remember the RNC was hacked as well. I suspect their emails were juicier than the 'politically correct' liberals.

It's an interesting theory, but (to me, at least) it doesn't pass Occam's razor. I don't need to posit blackmail (either directly from Putin or indirectly from Trump's team using Russian-leaked documents) in order to believe that politicians (particularly GOP politicians) are typically (not always!) craven careerists who will get on board with whatever vehicle they believe will get them to power.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:08 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Remember the RNC was hacked as well. I suspect their emails were juicier than the 'politically correct' liberals.

Also, they weren't as motivated to poke around RNC emails as that wasn't the goal. I have no reason to believe this was an equal-opportunity hacking.
posted by armacy at 12:11 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


In a previously-undisclosed letter obtained by POLITICO, McConnell wrote to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in February 2009, asking for both the FBI and the OGE process to be finished before committee chairmen scheduled a hearing.

Chuck Schumer has made some edits and returned the letter to McConnell.
posted by zachlipton at 12:13 PM on January 9 [59 favorites]


Okay... when I realized there was going to be the Brexit referendum I had a horrible feeling that the Brexiteers were going to win, by a narrow margin. And they did.

Once Trump's Presidential campaign gathered momentum I also thought that he was probably going to win by a narrow margin, for exactly the same reasons. And he did.

This was based on nothing more than intuition, and hearing the way people talk over my lifetime, and knowing that a lot of people are just xenophobic arseholes, plus some more that are not so mean spirited but just aren't very smart either.

But once his campaign was under way I don't know how anyone could think it was not a real possibility that he could win, given the de facto two-party system. I could understand people thinking Jill Stein wouldn't win, but not him.
posted by tel3path at 12:13 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Chuck Schumer has made some edits and returned the letter to McConnell.

This may be the first time I've ever truly really liked my Senator.
posted by chris24 at 12:16 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


We were ethics lawyers for Bush and Obama. Trump's cabinet hearings must be delayed

[Betsy] DeVos likely has potential conflicts of interest with respect to education. She reportedly invested in K12 Inc, which manages public for-profit online charter schools, and indirectly invested in an online student lending firm. In 2011, the New York Times chronicled the failings of one of the schools managed by K12 Inc, which had nearly 60% of its students behind grade level in math and 50% behind in reading. Whether and to what extent DeVos and/or her husband still invests in these companies is significant for conflicts of interest purposes.

However, there is no public disclosure of these or other any investments in the information included in her Senate nomination paperwork that has been made publicly available. To the contrary, in the public portion of her Senate paperwork, she did not provide detailed information in response to a request for information regarding business relationships, dealings or financial transactions that would constitute a potential conflict of interest.


Here’s Betsy DeVos’s financial disclosure form. Read what Trump’s billionaire education nominee included — and left out.
posted by futz at 12:17 PM on January 9 [30 favorites]


One of the things I'm going to be looking out for, given that Trump will be making a lot of enemies, is journalists and investigators in other countries havng a look at his business dealings. There is zero chance that he is not a repeat offender under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and evidence for things like bribing officials tends to come out as part of other investigations - especially if you're alert for it. And it's something that, say, China could well find expeditious to concentrate on, domestically and internationally.

For reasons explored already, there's a long way between evidence and prosecution especially when the DOJ and AG are run by fellow lizard people. But nonetheless, it will be coming and it will be damaging.
posted by Devonian at 12:22 PM on January 9 [11 favorites]


The Republican Party has become a full-on fifth column for Russia.

I think it would be more accurate to say that the Republican Party has gone full-on white nationalist, and is all too happy to give Putin friendship in exchange for his continued support of white nationalist parties across the West.


I think both are part of a much bigger problem of a re-establishment of a trans-national aristocracy.
posted by srboisvert at 12:28 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


It's also worth remembering the overarching differences in how the RNC and the DNC assigned delegates

The Republicans also allocated more delegates by winner-take-all, which let Trump get delegates by winning a plurality of votes in some states. For instance, in the early primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, Trump got 80 delegates (62%) by winning 32.7% of the popular vote. On Super Tuesday, he got 255 delegates (49%) by winning 34.4% of the popular vote. He didn't get above 50% of the popular vote until he won the Northern Mariana Islands on Super Tuesday II (March 15).

After that it was a three-person race between Trump, Cruz, and Kasich. Trump won New York on April 16 with 59% of the popular vote and won the popular vote majority in the remaining primaries. Overall Trump won 69.8% of the delegates by winning 44.95% of the popular vote.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:31 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


He couldn't win a majority of the popular vote in the Republican primaries or the general election.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:33 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


And I could buy the "craven careerism" explanation as the simplest one, if a) Trump were an ordinary politician, however corrupt, which he very clearly is not (ordinary that is), and b) if we didn't know the RNC had also been hacked and the findings not released.

I mean, imagine I were a low-information voter, would I believe the news saying Trump is a criminal and a failed businessman when there he is on The Apprentice, and not in jail? Heck, Martha Stewart went to jail.

And actually, why? Why has he gotten to this point while everyone agrees that he should be stopped, and yet nobody stops him? "His cabinet hearings must be delayed" - well we all know they won't be. Nothing so far that must happen, has actually happened. Laws only have meaning if they're enforced. Why is this guy so golden? Why him?

Nobody with any sense of self-preservation would want him in charge unless there were some other more immediate threat keeping them in line.
posted by tel3path at 12:34 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Nobody with any sense of self-preservation would want him in charge unless there were some other more immediate threat keeping them in line.

Congresspersons, more than anyone (especially after the last six years), know how little actual power the President of the United States holds if the rest of the government simply doesn't allow him to hold it. They don't think that he's going to start World War III, so everything else he thinks he wants to do will either be to their benefit (e.g., the wide swaths of the Republican platform that he has agreed with throughout the campaign, such as lower taxes and repealing everything Obama managed to do) or can be stopped if they really want to.

He's not an existential threat to Republicans. At least, not yet.
posted by Etrigan at 12:39 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


In so much as the Republicans are humans, he's an existential threat to them. They just don't realize that their bones will glow as brightly as everyone else's. At least, not yet.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:40 PM on January 9 [22 favorites]


Just as with Obama’s soon-to-be-removed international envoys, Trump has ordered Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and his deputy, Madelyn Creedon—both Obama appointees—to leave their posts, even if it means no one is in charge of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons.

Interesting fact: the NNSA is also responsible for nuclear forensics. What is nuclear forensics, you ask? From the NNSA themselves:
The Office of National Technical Nuclear Forensics manages the NNSA's technical nuclear forensics assets and capabilities that support pre-detonation device and post detonation nuclear forensics. The office provides the overall program management and the organizational structure in support of technical nuclear forensics for the personnel, equipment, and activities that make up the program. The office is responsible for developing and maintaining nuclear forensics operational capabilities for improvised nuclear devices and radiological dispersal devices in support of the FBI.
In laypeople's terms, this means they're responsible for detecting and analyzing nuclear materials and determining the location and intensity of nuclear detonations, including potential terror attacks. Given the situations in countries like Iran and N. Korea and the disturbing aggressiveness of his potential Secretary of Defense (among others), fucking around with NNSA is shady as hell, to say the least.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:44 PM on January 9 [32 favorites]


The Republicans also allocated more delegates by winner-take-all, which let Trump get delegates by winning a plurality of votes in some states.

Another key difference, yes; and the possibility of Cruz or Kasich (or etc) managing to snag a state's delegates by winning a small plurality, and thereby closing the gap, was (I think, although this is certainly debatable) an important factor in keeping candidates in the race, because the RNC's rules made it easier to (in theory, at least) stage a victory late in the campaign than would have been possible if the 2016 RNC race was run under 2016 DNC rules.

(Of course, had Cruz or Kasich actually managed to win despite Trump's early lead, you could argue, in that parallel universe, that the RNC rules are exactly what stopped Trump where the DNC's rules would not have; it's hard to untangle the actual cause-and-effect of so complicated an event.)
posted by cjelli at 12:44 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I don't know how anyone could think it was not a real possibility that he could win,

I really really wanted to believe the pollsters who kept saying it was unlikely, and assumed, in my heart, that Clinton would win largely based on how easily-distracted, stupid, and scandal-filled Trump was.

But! I thought Clinton's likely success would be almost entirely due to Trump's ineptness rather than a compelling vision of a hopeful future from Clinton's camp, and I thought that a Republican candidate would emerge in 2020 who would easily win after four more years of increasing national dissatisfaction with the Democrats. If you search my comments for "2020," that's most of it - a lot of cocksure doomsaying about how Clinton was likely to get wrecked in four years:

Even if he gets utterly crushed, it doesn't matter: 2020 is likely going to be a fucking hell-nightmare of an election. Given the level of support Trump has touting a basically-fascist platform, even with every single fuckup he's committed, all it's gonna take is someone just as authoritarian but slightly-less-dim (like just BARELY more capable!) to swoop in and re-energize the same field of people. Assuming Clinton wins: four years from now, we're gonna look back at 2016 with longing for such a frazzled, easily-unbalanced little shit

I didn't think it was going to happen this year only because Trump was absolutely the least competent Presidential candidate I've ever seen - just a convenient quasifascist that happened to fall into a pre-readied ideological desire. (my wording back in July was: a deranged, barely-together pinball that somehow got lucky enough to bounce into the hole marked "2016: RISE OF AMERICAN FASCISM")

Basically: I assumed a Trumplike would happen very very soon. I just thought the candidate would have to be slightly less poisonous to himself than Trump was: a Republican who would take all Trump's balls-to-the-wall authoritarian talking points and package them in a less-sloppy candidate who doesn't get caught on camera bragging about sexual assault, or have a documented history of breaking contracts to pay people, or spend entire debates squinting and wheezing. Someone who'd be functionally identical, just not a total messy-ass shitshow.

I was 100% wrong about the level of Total Messy-Ass Shitshow americans are willing to overlook.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:47 PM on January 9 [28 favorites]


He couldn't win a majority of the popular vote in the Republican primaries or the general election.

And yet we don't live in a world where this matters one bit. Our racist legacy institutions are still doing their intended job, making rule by the white minority all but inevitable in perpetuity.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:50 PM on January 9 [17 favorites]


Given the situations in countries like Iran and N. Korea and the disturbing aggressiveness of his potential Secretary of Defense (among others), fucking around with NNSA is shady as hell, to say the least.

It's not shady, it's just stupid. The Trumpists aren't trying to screw over the NNSA any more than they're trying to screw over every other agency where they've told all the political appointees to fuck off as of 5 p.m. on January 19th.
posted by Etrigan at 12:58 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Greg Nog I thought Clinton would win because that's what all the pollsters said and I trusted to their education and skill. Obviously things can go wrong, and a prediction is just that. Also, I think Comey's November Surprise had a big effect. In retrospect that's obvious, but I remember us here on MeFi generally in agreement (me too!) that the public was sick of the emails story and wouldn't care. Turns out we were wrong about that.

Comey's last minute ratfuckery and 35 years of endless Republican smears did in Clinton's run, and at that it only worked because of the archaic evil of the electoral college. But it counts so we're stuck with Trump until we can vote him out in 2020, and please, please let us regain at least one house in Congress come 2018.

But I've got low expectations for 2018, gerrymandering is against us in the House, and the Senators up for reelection are against us in the Senate.

Unless Trump manages to make things much worse very quickly we may scrambling just to hold the status quo in Congress (especially the Senate).

Still, all we can do is fight. Take the next step, and the one after that, and so on until either we die or win.
posted by sotonohito at 1:00 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


I wonder if part of the reason for pushing out all of the political appointees so quickly is to make it necessary to streamline the new appointees.
posted by drezdn at 1:04 PM on January 9 [23 favorites]


I had the same thought. Quick rubber-stamping of nominees becomes necessary to address a "crisis" of vacant ambassadorships/national security posts/etc. and it makes enough intuitive sense that those posts become vacant when a new administration takes over that the This Is Not Normal refrain can't take hold.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:06 PM on January 9 [15 favorites]


And yet we don't live in a world where this matters one bit. Our racist legacy institutions are still doing their intended job, making rule by the white minority all but inevitable in perpetuity.

And if you want those institutions changed, the first step is making it clear that this doesn't matter, by talking about how Trump lost the popular vote -- a fact that he still has not accepted, and has repeatedly lied about.
posted by cjelli at 1:06 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


My thought is that by kicking out so many appointees, and not filling them he can claim government reduction as some poor lackey tries to do the job of 4 or 5 people to no avail.
Something stupid will eventually happen, but depending on how long it takes, it would look good for government reduction.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:09 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Well you know how, on the green, people will occasionally pop up with a question like "My line manager comes up to me and bites the heads off live rats and spits them across the room and goes 'your children will be next'. I'm pretty sure he's taking credit for my work and maybe trying to get me fired. What should I do?"

And the answer is usually "keep your dignity and stay drama free. People will easily see what kind of person he is."

So what!

From personal experience, someone can be deeply unpopular and universally recognized for the person he is, but he'll still get his way regardless that everyone agrees he's lying and should probably be behind bars. There are only 3 possible explanations for this:

1. everyone is spineless and will let the rat head biter get his way simply because he wants it;
2. everyone shares the rat head biter's values, secretly or openly, and they're content to let him be the bad cop;
3. everyone is afraid of the rat head biter and is just glad it's you and not them.
posted by tel3path at 1:09 PM on January 9 [32 favorites]


We'd like to thank you, Jimmy Comey, for really showing us the way. You dirty rat, you bureaucrat, you got us where we are today!

/s
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:09 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


The democratic system of the US allowed Trump to become president. I do not believe any more that that system will survive until elections as normal in 2020. The question seems rather to be how much will it change? There will be many pockets of administrative resistance, and with those, power shifts (as noted above). I don't think you can predict the outcome. But I do think that the series of academic articles stemming from BO are much more important than any thought of it as the scribblings of an absurdly diligent scholar. They are political statements, made with great care. They reflect an attempt to put down something that will withstand politics,.
posted by stonepharisee at 1:11 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


>PresidentialTrump

One of the simplest and most incisive criticisms of the man I've seen yet. Brilliant, thanks for sharing.
posted by Rykey at 1:13 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


U.S. to Blacklist 5 Russians, a Close Putin Aide Among Them

The Obama administration plans to blacklist five Russians, including the government’s chief public investigator who is a close aide to President Vladimir V. Putin, for human rights abuses, throwing down a gauntlet to President-elect Donald J. Trump nearly two weeks before he takes office with a promise to thaw relations with Russia.
posted by futz at 1:18 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


And if you want those institutions changed, the first step is making it clear that this doesn't matter, by talking about how Trump lost the popular vote -- a fact that he still has not accepted, and has repeatedly lied about.

There's no incentive for Republican controlled states to ever agree to change the EC. They're the permanent beneficiaries. Twice in 16 years the EC has awarded them illegitimate presidents. And the forces that resulted in that outcome, Democratic votes wasted by being compressed and concentrated into relatively small urban areas, will only get worse. Further the same trend will block any attempt to change it absent a miracle ruling by SCOTUS against partisan gerrymandering.

Assuming the US survives, the President winning the EC while losing the popular vote is more likely to become a permanent fixture of the political landscape than changing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:18 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Update to my Montana Nazi newspaper article ragestorm from earlier today:

The Missoulian published an editorial response just a minute ago due to the spontaneous explosion of outrage at yesterday's failure of journalism. While still a weak-sauce non-retraction non-apology, it's somewhat encouraging that they're responding quickly to this criticism and with at least a little thoughtfulness.

If they keep getting push-back for their fuckups on this matter they might eventually learn something. However from the tone of the editorial they do not yet understand the scale and immediacy of the threat. They're still living in the world from before the man went down the escalator.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:20 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


So, the Republicans get their way and cut a ton of government programs putting thousands of people out of work and adding them to the ranks of the unemployed.

With less money going into health care as people opt to not take care or are forced to take care of elderly relatives themselves, there will be fewer jobs in that field,.

In the next bunch of years, we're going to see more things like this, where companies replace employees with A.I.. In that case, its insurance workers, but lawyers, doctors and other white collar workers are facing some worrisome disruption.

Population is growing. Work opportunities are shrinking. This will happen no matter who is in the White House, but Don President is uniquely unqualified to handle this.

One solution here is a massive pre-emptive WPA type project, but I think the very rich wouldn't want to pay into this (even though, in the long run, it might be the only way to save themselves and their families from the guillotines should starvation and rioting kick in in our post-jobs economy).

I feel like I need to be stocking up on cat food and diabetes medication before things start to get really bad. I wonder where I can safely store 15 years worth of cat food where starving humans won't find it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:21 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


There's no incentive for Republican controlled states to ever agree to change the EC. Twice in 16 years the EC has awarded them illegitimate presidents. ...Further the same trend will block any attempt to change it absent a miracle ruling by SCOTUS against partisan gerrymandering.

Or a sufficiently large wave election by voters disenchanted by the process. No, there's no incentive for the states to do anything. Which makes it all the more important to make sure that actual individual voters actually understand that the system works the way it does -- that Trump actually did lose the popular vote. If you think Trump won the popular vote, as some people do, then the system seems to be working fine.


It only looks like Trump is 'illegitimate' if you acknowledge the reality of the popular vote outcome. Which is why it's worth talking about: because the entire argument you're making here is only understandable if we agree that Trump did lose the popular vote. What you're talking about is why it's worth talking about, not why she should ignore it. Not that we can't also talk about specific changes, like gerrymandering, at the same time.
posted by cjelli at 1:25 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


The main argument I've heard conservatives give against replacing or getting rid of the EC is that it would give cities and the West Coast too much weight over rural areas, and the way things are is more "fair".
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:27 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


And as we have seen that fairness works out as being a massive security risk and super gameable.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


That's idiotic as Texas, North Carolina, and Florida are in the top six most populous states.
posted by asteria at 1:30 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


That's idiotic as Texas, North Carolina, and Florida are in the top six most populous states.

I also think it's super convenient that "fair" is only "fair" when the EC works for them. I doubt they'd use that argument if the popular/electoral situation was reversed. "The People wanted Trump! It's the elites' fault!"
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:34 PM on January 9 [21 favorites]


In laypeople's terms, this means they're responsible for detecting and analyzing nuclear materials and determining the location and intensity of nuclear detonations, including potential terror attacks. Given the situations in countries like Iran and N. Korea and the disturbing aggressiveness of his potential Secretary of Defense (among others), fucking around with NNSA is shady as hell, to say the least.

Nuclear Forensics sound like a lot of liberal hoopla

A-bombs go off, radiation comes out, you can't explain that
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:35 PM on January 9 [11 favorites]


Vagina dentata wheelchair hubcap painted and affixed.

Plus a confused and possibly judgmental pussy in the background.

Gonna tweet it at DJT and tell him he's inspiring Great Art.
posted by angrycat at 1:43 PM on January 9 [39 favorites]


The main argument I've heard conservatives give against replacing or getting rid of the EC is that it would give cities and the West Coast too much weight over rural areas, and the way things are is more "fair".

The Senate and House gerrymandering already massively over value rural votes, the Presidency slightly weighted in the other direction would actually work to counterbalance the legislature which is largely controlled by land area rather than actual humans.

But Republicans have to have every single card stacked in their favor, so the argument is a non-starter.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:44 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


it might be the only way to save themselves and their families from the guillotines should starvation and rioting kick in in

surveillance and urban pacification technology has come a long way since 1793
posted by entropicamericana at 1:46 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


It's also not clear why tyranny of the rural over cities is preferable to the opposite situation, when cities account for a vast majority of economic output.

Other than that's how it was set up to begin with to appease slave holding states, and currently benefits the actual and intellectual descendants of slave owners.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:47 PM on January 9 [15 favorites]


getting rid of the EC is that it would give cities and the West Coast too much weight over rural areas,

I recently heard it put as " an alliance of city states and their vassal territories"
posted by ridgerunner at 1:49 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


The cities pay for the existence of the rural areas, and in their gratitude the rural areas ruthlessly abuse the cities and declare those within to be subhuman traitors. It's equitable, really.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:49 PM on January 9 [64 favorites]


That's idiotic as Texas, North Carolina, and Florida are in the top six most populous states.

If there wasn't a +2 bonus to all states Hillary would have had to flip PA and MI versus PA, MI, and WI for the current electoral college. The bonus for small states most certainly favors Republicans in aggregate.
posted by Talez at 1:50 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


whoa the PEOTUS has blocked me on twitter! I feel so proud /wipes away tear.
posted by angrycat at 1:50 PM on January 9 [112 favorites]


Yeah I'm not counting on guillotines but on them not knowing what to do when their service staff is all dead and no one can make them mojitos by the pool or steer their yachts. They'll die when the food runs out, or possibly when they just start killing each other or setting themselves on fire by accident. Or they'll die with the rest of us when the nukes go off.

I mean, I'll be dead by then so I won't get to see it but a girl can dream.
posted by emjaybee at 1:51 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]




I feel like I need to be stocking up on cat food and diabetes medication before things start to get really bad. I wonder where I can safely store 15 years worth of cat food where starving humans won't find it.

First, 15 years is too big. A couple years is enough. Coupled with this, learn to grow vegetables.

Secondly, don't hide it in all the same places. This is the not all eggs in the same basket principle.

Third, don't tell anyone. Maybe your spouse if they are trustworthy.

Fourth, learn from criminals. When you live in the up-side down, criminals are heroes and visa-versa.
posted by Strange_Robinson at 1:55 PM on January 9 [13 favorites]


ExxonMobil and Iran did business under Secretary of State nominee Tillerson, despite sanctions.

What's the R logic twist going to be on this one? "Iran isn't so bad. They worship the same god as us, do it devoutly, and the women aren't allowed to be whores. We've had it so wrong!"
posted by Talez at 1:57 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Oh, god, please no bullshit about urban areas "ruling" over rural areas. It's objectively wrong, and if it had even the barest whiff of being true, Democrats would have permanent legislative majorities and the Presidency at the federal level, with essentially the same system in the majority of states. The actual situation is almost the exact reverse.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:57 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


i just said I heard it already. It's the Repubs preemptive sound bite.
posted by ridgerunner at 2:00 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Also, at a policy level, there is simply no contest that rural areas hold the most power.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:00 PM on January 9


Rudy Giuliani apparently has a consulting firm that has 'chosen' Blackberry phones as being safe from the cyber. Or some shit.

Seriously, I was just curious where The Rude had gone and poof looks like he's out of the gang but Don's gonna grift a lotta pork his way for doing the cyber now.

And cyber crime is becoming a larger part of Giuliani Partner’s consulting businesses. “A lot of consulting has involved cyber.”

cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber MUSHroom MUSHroom cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber . . .
posted by petebest at 2:01 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


What's the R logic twist going to be on this one?
Just another item to be swept under the rug. As McConnell said, the rest of us just "need to sort of grow up" about what's happening.
posted by StrawberryPie at 2:02 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


What's the R logic twist going to be on this one? "Iran isn't so bad. They worship the same god as us, do it devoutly, and the women aren't allowed to be whores. We've had it so wrong!"

"Russia is friends with Iran, they can't be all that bad"
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:02 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


i just said I heard it already. It's the Repubs preemptive sound bite.

It's their way to get people on their side when they inevitably ask to reinstate slave labor.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:02 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Oh this is just too perfect: Changing His Tune? Trump Praised 'Excellent' Meryl Streep In 2015
“Julia Roberts is terrific, and many others," he told THR. "Meryl Streep is excellent; she’s a fine person, too. The problem is I’ll name three or four or five [actresses] and then the hundred that I know will be insulted, and I don’t mean to insult them.”
Less than a year and a half to go from "excellent" and "fine person" to "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood."
posted by zachlipton at 2:07 PM on January 9 [22 favorites]


inevitably ask to reinstate slave labor.

Slave labor is still legal, its why vagrancy is a crime.
posted by ridgerunner at 2:07 PM on January 9 [13 favorites]


Just as with Obama’s soon-to-be-removed international envoys, Trump has ordered Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and his deputy, Madelyn Creedon—both Obama appointees—to leave their posts, even if it means no one is in charge of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons. posted by Unicorn on the cob

I wonder if part of the reason for pushing out all of the political appointees so quickly is to make it necessary to streamline the new appointees. posted by drezdn

I had the same thought. Quick rubber-stamping of nominees becomes necessary to address a "crisis" of vacant ambassadorships/national security posts/etc. and it makes enough intuitive sense that those posts become vacant when a new administration takes over that the This Is Not Normal refrain can't take hold. posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish

Sooo... this is Donald's "business model" for getting things done at Capitol Hill? Leave the nukes unattended indefinitely until his handpicked cabinet is okayed?
Yeah, I've seen this tough guy business model.
My children tried this until "have a screaming fit in the store until I get my way" was severely discouraged. Hopefully there are enough parents in the confirmation hearings to know how this works.
posted by TrishaU at 2:09 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


Which makes it all the more important to make sure that actual individual voters actually understand that the system works the way it does -- that Trump actually did lose the popular vote. If you think Trump won the popular vote, as some people do, then the system seems to be working fine.

I mean, if they're Trump voters or Trump leaning, I don't think they even care? I can't see the republican base suddenly getting huffy about the Electoral College's unfairness if only they knew about the popular vote thing. Lord knows if Clinton had won the College but lost the popular vote, I'd be shrugging about it and thanking my lucky stars we'd avoided President Trump.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:09 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Long before this election, the massive rural over representation baked into the Senate and increasingly enmeshed in the House thanks to gerrymandering, has had me worried for the long term survival of the USA.

We are becoming increasingly urban, most of the money comes from the cities, and most of the population lives in cities.

The abuse from rural areas won't be tolerated forever, and I don't see any actual solution other than dissolving the USA. The rural empowered governments won't give up their illegitimate power voluntarily.

Is there really no other way out of this mess?

Assuming Trump doesn't declare himself President for Life, because then we've got the much more urgent problem of civil war to contend with, I'm not really seeing a legislative path forward here. Even getting more Democrats elected locally won't actually solve the problem because I don't really see an Iowa Democratic politician voting to cut Iowa's influence back down to match its population. We can't even get the Party to agree to reschedule primaries.

So what can be done?
posted by sotonohito at 2:14 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


Member him?

How Donald Trump totally destroyed Chris Christie


Christie made a giant gamble when he decided to endorse Trump way back in February 2016. And he doubled/tripled/quadrupled down on that bet for the next nine months, essentially abandoning New Jersey — where his poll numbers plummeted — in search of a plum job within Trump's inner circle and/or Cabinet. . . .

Christie's miscalculation came in assuming that absolute fealty and submission to Trump's views was what the businessman wanted. Trump, in fact, seems to revel in creating discord and disagreement within his advisers — and even himself. . . .

That Trump has now hired someone who was cast aside by Christie amid the controversy that hobbled his own presidential bid feels like the cherry on top of a rancid sundae that Christie has been choking down for the last year.

posted by petebest at 2:21 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


> How Donald Trump totally destroyed Chris Christie

*plays "Born to Run" on the world's tiniest violin*
posted by tonycpsu at 2:22 PM on January 9 [19 favorites]


Dr. Emmett Brown: Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 2017?
Marty McFly: Donald Trump.
Dr. Emmett Brown: Donald Trump? The short-fingered vulgarian?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:28 PM on January 9 [14 favorites]


If you still have any respect left for (NeverTrumper) Condalezza Rice, I've got some bad news for you.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:28 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


So Back to the Future did come true after all.

Except instead of the cool future with hoverboards and Jaws 19, we're stuck in the bad one ruled by Biff Tannen.

Go figure.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 2:31 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I mean, she was involved in approving the use of torture and repeatedly blurred the lines between Iraq and 9/11 to mislead the American people, so no, not a lot of respect left for Rice.

Meanwhile, Mother Jones has an interesting story: Jeff Sessions Has a History of Blocking Black Judges.
posted by zachlipton at 2:36 PM on January 9 [20 favorites]


So Back to the Future did come true after all.

Except instead of the cool future with hoverboards and Jaws 19, we're stuck in the bad one ruled by Biff Tannen.


All too true. ‘Back to the Future’ Writer: Biff Tannen Is Based on Donald Trump
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:38 PM on January 9 [20 favorites]


The main argument I've heard conservatives give against replacing or getting rid of the EC is that it would give cities and the West Coast too much weight over rural areas, and the way things are is more "fair".

Democracy was based on the idea of one person one vote, not on square footage. Why are sparsely populated rural whites the aggrieved group that needs extra votes. Why not actual oppressed minorities? Why don't we give Native Americans, or African Americans, or Hispanics the extra votes? Why just rural whites?

I think the answer is rather obvious.
posted by JackFlash at 2:42 PM on January 9 [56 favorites]




Sen. McConnell sent Sen. Reid a letter on nominations in 2009. We updated the dates and names and sent it back.

Unlikely to have any effect on the utterly shameless, but nicely done anyhow.
posted by Artw at 2:58 PM on January 9 [11 favorites]


More Betsy DeVos.

Here’s what Elizabeth Warren wants to know from Trump’s education pick

Warren's 16 page letter to Devos.

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.”

posted by futz at 3:05 PM on January 9 [21 favorites]




I wonder where I can safely store 15 years worth of cat food where starving humans won't find it

libraries? public schools? you know, abandoned places.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:11 PM on January 9 [16 favorites]


When I have my library job, they'll take it over my dead body.

(Considers stashing and openly recommending books that the Trump regime would probably like to go Fahrenheit 451 on.)
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 3:15 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


White nationalism normalized: Politico co-founder (and Axios founder) Mike Allen offers effusive praise for Breitbart "Axios’ first morning newsletter, authored by Allen and published on Monday, contains lots of praise for Trump, who he describes as having “done more than any POTUS-elect ever.”"

So Mike Allen is going full Trumpist shill. Noted for future reference as a collaborator.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:20 PM on January 9 [19 favorites]


And there goes the last drop of respect I had for Politico.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 3:21 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]




Trump, who he describes as having “done more than any POTUS-elect ever.”

Well, it's kind of true... there aren't too many presidents-elect who managed to piss off one major nuclear power, toady up to the other and throw the viability of NATO into question, while also of course taking time out from fucking with global geopolitics to get cussed out by a former Mexican president on Twitter and to call Meryl Streep 'overrated', all in the few short months between their election and inauguration.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:28 PM on January 9 [25 favorites]


So, I'm guessing many/most of the repubs are shocked at all they've gotten away with, and just get more brazen as no charges are brought and no consequences are felt. So, I see the (good) people posting their very reasonable outrage, but unless some folks who have some power left actually create consequences, I don't see anything - appeals to reason or decency among the things - making a whit of difference. Totally willing (hoping) to hear that this isn't true, by the way.
posted by Glinn at 3:37 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Mike Allen was one of those present at the December Mar-a-Lago "off the record" press event, so this outcome is unsurprising.
posted by Superplin at 3:37 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


It's also not clear why tyranny of the rural over cities is preferable to the opposite situation, when cities account for a vast majority of economic output.

We have a similar situation in Australia (probably copied from the USA) and so does Europe.

The people who designed the US's federal system were racist elitists, at least by our standards, and many of them did own slaves; but the fundamental logic of rural over-weighting is hard to argue with: it is a necessary compromise to persuade rural areas to join a federation. Urban and rural citizens' interests will often diverge, and rural votes will tend to be negated unless their interests are over-represented. That's unfair to urban areas, but it's balanced by the financial, structural, and strategic benefits that come from incorporating the rural areas. You talk about the economic output of the cities, but that output relies on the resources (food, minerals, energy, clean air), geographic continuity, and defensibility of the contiguous United States.

The argument used by the USA's founders was that it would form a "commonwealth"; that is, a federation in which all the constituent states are enriched. We've heard a lot about the very real medical and financial problems of rural areas in the USA: I think it's a tragedy that Republican state governments seem to have purposefully immiserated their citizens. I half wonder if this is a purposeful strategy, both to enrage them and to discourage immigration. Perversely, this strategy may negate the logic of over-weighting rural areas' votes: what's the point, if it doesn't actually serve the rural voters' interests?

Trump's victory in the Electoral College was exaggerated by the winner-takes-all system used by most States. Without it, his victory would have more closely reflected the true national sentiment, which was actually pretty evenly split. I'm amazed that nearly half USAns voted for the yammering yam, but there it is. That's the real problem, not the relatively-small boost given by rural over-weighting.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:37 PM on January 9 [23 favorites]


Hey, here's an idea for what to call him that might satisfy everyone. How about if we refer to him as President At Donald Trump?
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:45 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I know that the gown/dress lie has already been mentioned but I had to post this.

Not only, it seems, are dresses in stock, but people aren’t flocking to the stores to pick them up, either.

“We have not gotten a huge influx of traffic specifically related to shopping for inaugural dresses,” Anastasia Thomas, an employee at Betsy Fisher, a D.C. women’s wear shop, said.

In fact, Peter Marx, owner of Saks Jandel, a D.C. area boutique, told PEOPLE that there have been fewer people seeking inaugural gowns.

“There’s never been less demand for inaugural ballgowns in my 38 years,” Marx told PEOPLE.

“Never ever has it been less for the inaugural.”

posted by futz at 3:53 PM on January 9 [21 favorites]


but I like calling him Toupee Fiasco
posted by pxe2000 at 3:55 PM on January 9 [17 favorites]


needs more shitgibbon
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 3:59 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I was lying in bed last night, reading this rather innocuous book, written by a man who'd spent his youth working at a resort on the Maine coast, to help pay for his college education.

At one point, he served a wealthy man from Away, and asked the more seasoned, older employee about him.

"He's in politics," she replied. "That's what rich men do, of course, to protect their money."
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:05 PM on January 9 [11 favorites]


You talk about the economic output of the cities, but that output relies on the resources (food, minerals, energy, clean air), geographic continuity, and defensibility of the contiguous United States.

And heavily compensates the rural tyrants for their suffering and outsized influence.

It's clear who got the better end of the deal, 300 year later.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:06 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


The thing is that at the time the US was founded, the vast majority of Americans did live in the countryside -- almost 95% at the 1790 census. In a nation of 3.8 million people, the largest city was the thriving metropolis of New York, whose population had now swollen to 33,191 (though it looks like Philadelphia might have been bigger when counting areas that weren't formally incorporated into the city proper at that time).

The partisan divide between urban and rural didn't happen until later, and even if it had -- cities were tiny!

I think the better explanation is that basing representation on a census count, apportioned by total state population, makes it easier to inflate slave-state representation by counting the almost 700,000 slaves, even if they only count for 3/5....
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:09 PM on January 9 [19 favorites]


so I had a convo with the SO about DJT blocking me that went something like

AC: Wanna hear something funny? Trump blocked me on twitter!
SO: Why?
AC: (thinking) I dunno, I guess, well, I've been really angry on twitter
SO: (the silence of a man who is wondering when the USSS will be knocking on the door)

I explained the worst had been the vagina dentata thing, and it hadn't been phrased like "my vagina teeth will eat you, Sr Donald" or anything like that.

But it got me thinking: I've been tweeting articles, from the NYT and other pieces mostly from this thread, and I've been hash tagging them with #theResistance/womensmarch/whyImarch

So either somebody is taking some time a) blocking everybody who has tweeted a link to a critical article or b) using the hashtags to make a block list

Which is shudder-inducing. I mean, I'm still all come and get me bro, but it's like--how many appointments do they have to fill? How many vetting things need to be done? But somebody has prioritized the making of a fucking stupid fucking twitter blacklist and taking the time to go block-block-block-block.

How fucking banality of evil can you get.
posted by angrycat at 4:24 PM on January 9 [41 favorites]


Oh, don't feel bad Angrycat, I cursed him with all of my Scottish ancestors. Not blocked, because I am no one, but I did lay on a curse. And for Bannon also. He was a special curse, separate from the original one, and I don't talk about it. I just did it, and let the chips fall where they may.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:28 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


i've been telling him to fuck himself for a month. maybe i'm using words that are too big?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:40 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Angrycat, do you know if Twitter has some sort of automated blocking service, or has someone literally been going "blockblockblock" on Trump's account. Because if it's the latter, it would be really hilarious though sad.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:41 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I'm amazed that nearly half USAns voted for the yammering yam, but there it is. That's the real problem, not the relatively-small boost given by rural over-weighting.

They didn't, though. Trump got 62,979,636 votes (still a horrifyingly large number, I'll grant you) out of a pool of eligible voters numbering 231,556,622. That's not nearly half. That's barely a quarter, and pretending it's more gives him a veneer of legitimacy he does not deserve.
posted by contraption at 4:44 PM on January 9 [31 favorites]


If you didn't vote you tacitly supported the winner. Barring disenfranchisement or Republican suppression shenanigans. But most of those non-voters didn't vote simply because they couldn't be bothered.
posted by Justinian at 4:47 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I dunno if there is an automated feature
Also of note: I am absolutely nobody. It's gotta be either the hashtags or the articles (written by noticeable people) that I'm tweeting.
posted by angrycat at 4:52 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Nearly half the eligible population doesn't vote. That's the problem, Trump is the symptom. If they were "tacitly voting for the winner" that sounds like good news to me, since every major news outlet had Clinton as a shoe-in and they tacitly "meant" to vote for her. I'm hopeful that Trump's election will shock some significant subset of the Apathy Bloc into action, and personally I feel like our only real hope is behaving as though that's the case and doing everything possible to get disaffected people to engage, at least as far as casting a vote.
posted by contraption at 4:55 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


And my understanding is that, statistics-wise, our voters tend to sit elections out more than theirs do.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 4:58 PM on January 9




I've been arguing with some of my apathetic/Both-Sides-ist friends until my voice cracks, and they're almost as hard to budge as the Republicans are. I'm not sure what led to things getting this bad or how to fix it, but it is an issue and a serious one.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:07 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


If you didn't vote you tacitly supported the winner. Barring disenfranchisement or Republican suppression shenanigans. But most of those non-voters didn't vote simply because they couldn't be bothered.

Fuck yes, I voted! I voted early! What's your point?
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:09 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


That's 27.19% of the eligible population voted for Trump.

And yeah, protest votes from the Apathy Bloc in the UK supposedly had a big effect on Brexit. Since people have been conditioned BY LIVED EXPERIENCE to learned helplessness, how were they to know that the government would take the outcome of the vote, WHICH WAS ONLY ADVISORY AND NOT LEGALLY BINDING, and go "oh well, we have to go through with it! democracy in action!"

I mean why suddenly make democracy so important at the exact moment when we least expected it?

Then of course, there was another petition to have another referendum, because of the numbers the government had to consider it, and they said "nope". Not that they should have agreed to it, you can't move goalposts like that, but the point is, they then went right back to responding to every single bit of activism the way they always do. Which is to say "nope, nanny knows best".

Investigatory Powers Bill, or whatever they're calling it now, that I've protested every time? They finally manage to sneak it through, and of course the answer from my MP is "don't be silly this is a totally reasonable and fair thing to do and not draconian surveillance at all". He didn't go "oh one of my constituents is concerned! democracy in action!"

Because no of course not, they only go DEMOCRACY IN ACTION when it's time to fuck things up from hell to breakfast.

The only consolation I have is that they want to go through with Brexit even less than the rest of us do. So I guess... the government learned their lesson? Democracy is bad news. Just say no.

::headdesk::
posted by tel3path at 5:10 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


thedarksideofprocyon: They probably aren't going to budge until the suffering starts. The real bad stuff. Then they might listen. That doesn't mean you should stop doing what you're doing now, though. You might still convince a few and even if you don't, you'll keep those muscles exercised and practiced for when they'll really be useful.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:11 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


If there's ever a nuclear strike on Britain, presumably it will be Trump's doing. In memory of me, I ask that you approach your friend and tell them you knew someone who died in the blast and she has this message: "You're a jerk, Dent. A complete asshole."

Or words to the effect that I personally and individually blame them for causing me to die a horrible death.

Also tell them that if I live, I'm going to spend the rest of my life determinedly shambling towards them, like It Follows. I will prolong my life as long as necessary in order to achieve this.
posted by tel3path at 5:16 PM on January 9 [14 favorites]


but the fundamental logic of rural over-weighting is hard to argue with: it is a necessary compromise to persuade rural areas to join a federation. Urban and rural citizens' interests will often diverge, and rural votes will tend to be negated unless their interests are over-represented.

if you're talking about making sure their voices are heard on issues such as agricultural supports, water rights, things that rural people are naturally concerned with, you might have a point

but that's not what's going on here - instead they're trying to dictate to us on issues such as abortion, sex education, trans* rights, immigration, even the right of people to vote

these aren't RURAL issues - so why should rural people get a disproportionate voice in them? - expecially when you consider that the outlines of american states are a random combination of straight lines and river boundaries that were done with no consideration of demographics after the first 20 or so, simply because the demographics hadn't happened yet

people can go on about minority rights all they want to justify this system, but the simple truth is this system is disenfranchising the majority from having the government they want

that's not going to last - period - and rural areas are going to have to learn that
posted by pyramid termite at 5:19 PM on January 9 [60 favorites]


If You're in the Fight, Get Ready to Do the Work

There is no need to reinvent the wheel, there have been folks who have been fiercely organizing all along—join them.
posted by mostly vowels at 5:52 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


You talk about the economic output of the cities, but that output relies on the resources (food, minerals, energy, clean air), geographic continuity, and defensibility of the contiguous United States.

ah yes, that agrarian democracy embodied by cargil, alcoa, and lockheed martin
posted by entropicamericana at 5:56 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Another "Freedom is in Peril" graphic, this one based on a fire alarm. Public domain, available in svg, png, wmf (for MS/Libre Office) and pdf formats.
posted by valetta at 5:59 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Protests Erupt in Kentucky After GOP Supermajority Passes Extreme Anti-Choice, Anti-Union Bills

In Kentucky, hundreds of demonstrators packed into the Capitol building Saturday to protest the state Legislature’s passage of a slew of controversial bills, including an anti-union "right-to-work" law and extreme anti-choice legislation that bans abortions after 20 weeks and requires a woman to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. The surprise emergency legislative session Saturday came after Republicans seized a supermajority in the House of Representatives, giving the Republicans control of the House, the Senate and the governorship for the first time in Kentucky state history. On Saturday, the Legislature also repealed a law that had guaranteed higher wages for workers on publicly financed construction projects.
posted by futz at 6:03 PM on January 9 [16 favorites]


More from the article that I just posted.

AMY GOODMAN: Americans for Prosperity stayed in the room, Richard Becker, this weekend. Can you explain what happened?

RICHARD BECKER: So, actually, last Wednesday—so the day after new members were sworn in—the House Economic Development Committee held its meeting, at which they were to be discussing right-to-work and the repeal of prevailing wage. I was with several hundred union members in the halls of the Capitol Annex for the hours leading up to when the meeting was supposed to take place. And five minutes before the meeting was supposed to start, we were told that the room was full. None of us had been able to make it in. We later found out that that’s because Americans for Prosperity had reserved the committee room for a breakfast that morning, and come time for the committee to meet, they all just remained in their seats. So, when the committee meeting started, union members were shut out of the committee room, and the doors were shut, and state troopers stood in front of the doors to keep union members from attending the committee hearing.


Shit like THIS is why the Dems need to get dirty. Really dirty.
posted by futz at 6:28 PM on January 9 [56 favorites]


As much as I prefer fair play, it's become clear that sometimes all taking the high ground does is give them the chance to slash your guts open.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:29 PM on January 9 [20 favorites]


I'm basically repeating myself from a lot of these threads, but yeah, seriously: fair play is over. There is nothing the GOP will not do to win. There is nothing you can prevent them from doing by graciously not taking advantage of a situation. They will whine and drag their feet and do everything they can to convince you that it's so unseemly and against tradition, right up until the moment it's convenient for them to do the very thing they're complaining about -- at which point they'll happily do it themselves.

Fuck tradition. Fuck sportsmanship. They're going to fight tooth and nail for every goddamn inch; if you want any chance of undoing the damage, you're going to have to too.
posted by tocts at 6:33 PM on January 9 [28 favorites]


It's worth noting that Kentucky's new rape bill, which forces people seeking abortions to first submit to vaginal penetration by an ultrasound machine, was passed exactly two days after a large peaceful protest at the capital by Planned Parenthood and various other women's health organizations.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:35 PM on January 9 [22 favorites]


I prefer fair play too but it is killing us at this point. It is political suicide.
posted by futz at 6:37 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


somebody has prioritized the making of a fucking stupid fucking twitter blacklist and taking the time to go block-block-block-block.

Isn't there automation for this?

i've been telling him to fuck himself for a month. maybe i'm using words that are too big?

Given the sophistication of their FB campaign, they probably have a model for you and your tweets which suggests that your tweets are helping him somehow.
posted by Coventry at 6:45 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


How to mobilize a non-voting bloc;

Hey, the Rublicans want to jail you/kill you. The Democrats want to keep you alive; they just want you to have safer habits like methadone, or if you're really committed, safer drugs like pharmaceutically certified heroin. Anyway, if you want to work and work through a terrible addiction, the state should be there to help you if only for its own interest.

Of course, voting ID reform has to happen.

I can forsee the spittle flying from repubs, but this kind of harm reduction is cheaper to implement. It's just that crony "addiction counceling" and "private prisons" don't get as big of a cut of public moneys than they have been.
posted by porpoise at 7:01 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I just want to say that the picture of angrycat with the Vagina Dentata sign, in a Hamilton shirt, with a cat and books in the background, is the Most Metafilter Thing That Has Ever Happened.

Who knew it was still possible for me to get a scrap of joy from an "election" thread.
posted by gerstle at 7:07 PM on January 9 [31 favorites]


Booker to testify against fellow senator Sessions in unprecedented move
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker is set to testify against Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions Wednesday in an unprecedented move during his attorney general confirmation.

This would be the first time in Senate history that a sitting senator will testify against another sitting senator for a Cabinet post during a confirmation.

"I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague," Booker said. "But the immense powers of the attorney general combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience."
posted by chris24 at 7:23 PM on January 9 [85 favorites]


The problem is that a huge percentage of the American electorate has been conditioned to not care based upon the stupidity of our electoral system.

A primary system which disproportionately favors white agrarian states. A presidential election system where the number of actually competitive states is about a half dozen. A Senate system which favors white agrarian states. A system of electing representatives that is not truly proportional and so heavily gerrymandered as to make the majority of districts non competitive. Elections where the scheduling is clearly meant to disadvantage urban working class voters. Elections where an increasing percentage of voters are being unfairly disenfranchised.

The success of Trump was due to a variety of factors but most noticeably it reflects a shift in how largely white voters in communities centered around light industry and resource exploitation in the midwest have apparently decided that the race to the bottom strategies of Republicans is somehow or another going to make America great again.

In truth it's reflective of the increasing racial resentment held by rural and small town whites about the supposed government largesse directed towards undeserving urban minority communities. White voters will apparently support deprivation and regressive policies as long as those policies disproportionately target racial and ethnic minorities.

Of course the end result will be further hollowing out of small town America as economic development is increasingly a function of the various urban metropolis and the dismantling of the social safety net will make living in Red State America more and more untenable for many Americans. Migration to the urbanized megacities will no doubt speed up which will leave large swathes of middle america greying out and with dire economic futures.
posted by vuron at 7:26 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


A Troll Outside Trump Tower Is Helping To Pick Your Next Government

An internet troll, who was once called “the most hated man on the internet” and is banned from Twitter, is recommending candidates to serve in the Trump administration.

Charles “Chuck” Johnson, a controversial blogger and conservative online personality, has been pushing for various political appointees to serve under Donald Trump, according to multiple sources close to the President-elect’s transition team. While Johnson does not have a formal position, FORBES has learned that he is working behind the scenes with members of the transition team’s executive committee, including billionaire Trump donor Peter Thiel, to recommend, vet and give something of a seal of approval to potential nominees from the so-called "alt-right."

The proximity to power is something new for Johnson, a self-described “journalist, author and debunker of frauds,” who has made a name for himself by peddling false information and right-wing conspiracy theories online. In the months leading up to the election, Johnson, 28, used social media and his website GotNews.com to stump for the President-elect while also publishing misinformation on Trump’s detractors. Now, Johnson is helping to pick some of the leaders who may run the country for the next four years.

FORBES verified Johnson’s involvement with multiple people close to the transition team who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly...


This is insane if true.

I thought that this had already been posted here but I ctrl f'd the hell out of it and didn't see it.
posted by futz at 7:27 PM on January 9 [16 favorites]


The protest will have more and bigger stars than the inauguration.

@kylegriffin1
Women's March on Washington announces celeb line-up, includes America Ferrera, Cher, Julianne Moore, Uzo Aduba, Scarlett Johansson and more: [announcement]
posted by chris24 at 7:33 PM on January 9 [15 favorites]


I'm basically repeating myself from a lot of these threads, but yeah, seriously: fair play is over. There is nothing the GOP will not do to win. There is nothing you can prevent them from doing by graciously not taking advantage of a situation. They will whine and drag their feet and do everything they can to convince you that it's so unseemly and against tradition, right up until the moment it's convenient for them to do the very thing they're complaining about -- at which point they'll happily do it themselves.

Fuck tradition. Fuck sportsmanship. They're going to fight tooth and nail for every goddamn inch; if you want any chance of undoing the damage, you're going to have to too.


Bullshit.

That is exactly the speech I heard over and over again when I went to work for a major Republican committee staff in 97, just after they had regained the majority. But it was about the Democrats, used to justify dirty tricks from on the R side. It was bullshit coming from them then and it's bullshit coming from Democrats now. You want the moral high ground? Then take the high road. The lesson of 2016 should not be "fuck it, let's just be like the bad guys."
posted by The World Famous at 7:34 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Charles “Chuck” Johnson, a controversial blogger and conservative online personality [...]

Just a reminder that Charles Chuck Johnson is not the same person as Charles Johnson, blogger who owns Little Green Footballs. I always get confused, myself.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:41 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I'm amazed that nearly half USAns voted for the yammering yam, but there it is. That's the real problem, not the relatively-small boost given by rural over-weighting.

Relatively-small boost? Relative to what? 3 million votes doesn't seem a "small boost" to me, especially considering the actual outcome depended on less than 100,000 votes. That's more than 2% of the votes, more than the margin in 11 presidential elections.

And 6 million votes, a 4% boost, in the Senate certainly doesn't look small. The Republicans got 4% fewer votes and 8% more Senators. Is that relatively small?
posted by JackFlash at 7:41 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


It's looking like the DeVos confirmation hearings have been delayed until the 17th. Unclear whether this has anything to do with her completely non-responsive answers on conflicts of interest or what's up.
posted by zachlipton at 7:42 PM on January 9 [11 favorites]


You want the moral high ground? Then take the high road. The lesson of 2016 should not be "fuck it, let's just be like the bad guys."

Our moral high ground isn't because we don't use every parliamentary and legal maneuver available, it because we have moral beliefs and policies and appeal to what's right, rather than bigotry and hate. If keeping that morality alive in our society means resisting by pushing every legal avenue, I'm fine with it.
posted by chris24 at 7:45 PM on January 9 [34 favorites]


Scary thought of the night:

Chris Dashiell ‏@cdashiell

These people are acting like there will never be another election.
posted by bluecore at 7:47 PM on January 9 [20 favorites]


Well, no shit.

I've given up on trying to convince people of that, though.
posted by perspicio at 7:53 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I think it's unlikely but not actually impossible that there will never be another election. Trump is very, very unpopular; his people are very, very unpopular. This means that they have to govern with extreme brutality because they can't rely on a wave of popular support to get their policies in places. They're going to do things that are going to make many Americans materially worse off very fast if they succeed in gutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. There is obviously going to be some kind of enormous food safety, infrastructure or environmental disaster on their watch because they're damn fools - god help us if there's a pandemic.

Even the Republicans understand that they are about to do things which will make them very unpopular; they've decided that personal enrichment is more important than pleasing the base. My feeling is that they are either going to get to the point where they can't hold an election because they will lose or else that they are governing on the assumption that they will never have to face elections again.

It's difficult for me to see how Republications expect to enact their agenda without basically rendering the country ungovernable on normal terms - people are going to be poorer, sicker, less housed, less able to access clean water, etc, all across the country, where once they expected to be able to have stable housing, clean drinking water and so on. It's going to happen on a scale which will make 2008 look minor, because all the fall-backs that kept people sort of housed and fed in the past are being taken away. I don't see how you plan to govern this way unless you plan to keep yourself in power by force of arms.
posted by Frowner at 7:59 PM on January 9 [21 favorites]


I also expect the irony that Trump and his lackeys are acting in exactly the autocratic way they accused Obama of to be utterly lost on a lot of the base.

Or, more likely, autocrats are suddenly okay when they're Republican autocrats. Duh.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:03 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Obamacare Repeal Might Have Just Died Tonight

Huh, healthcare policy is hard. Especially when your own rube goldberg solution to avoid the easiest and obvious answer, single payer healthcare, is already the law. Who knew?
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:03 PM on January 9 [18 favorites]



Obamacare Repeal Might Have Just Died Tonight

please please please
posted by lalochezia at 8:08 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


I think the headline is overly optimistic, but it's a good sign that 4-5 GOP Senators are not willing to go along with "repeal and delay". There's not actually a viable "replacement" plan that can achieve the same coverage in either scope or quality...because Obamacare IS ALREADY the Republican solution to the pre-2008 healthcare wasteland. If they could replace it, they would've come up with another plan in the last 7 years. They can't.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:11 PM on January 9 [21 favorites]


It's difficult for me to see how Republications expect to enact their agenda without basically rendering the country ungovernable on normal terms - people are going to be poorer, sicker, less housed, less able to access clean water, etc, all across the country, where once they expected to be able to have stable housing, clean drinking water and so on. It's going to happen on a scale which will make 2008 look minor, because all the fall-backs that kept people sort of housed and fed in the past are being taken away. I don't see how you plan to govern this way unless you plan to keep yourself in power by force of arms.
I've written a bit in some of the previous threads about having had a bit of experience with a malignant narcissist in the workplace. I remain terrified by many of the behaviors I see in Trump, which mirror the highly successful but completely self-centered and destructive manipulation I saw in my workplace during that time.

And the thing which frightens me most? It's that the one skill that the narcissist I had to deal with had in spades was blame-shifting. Every promise he made went unfulfilled but there was always, always, always somebody else to blame, and the only way to guarantee success the next time was to give him more authority. Those of us who saw through this individual were utterly unprepared to deal with this -- we believed in a system based on merit and having consequences for success and failure, a belief that was turned completely upside-down time and time again by this person's skillful manipulations. Every broken promise, every failed project that we expected would be the end of his credibility and his support from leadership instead became a reason it was vital to concentrate even more power in his hands.

Do NOT count on failure to deliver on his promises to automatically discredit Trump in the eyes of those who voted for him, especially if they are getting at least something that they want out of the deal. It is entirely, terrifyingly possible that failure will only strengthen him, as crazy as that sounds.
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:17 PM on January 9 [56 favorites]


Our moral high ground isn't because we don't use every parliamentary and legal maneuver available, it because we have moral beliefs and policies and appeal to what's right, rather than bigotry and hate. If keeping that morality alive in our society means resisting by pushing every legal avenue, I'm fine with it.

This. I'm sick of people handcuffing themselves because they care about tactics rather than about results. We went high when they went low. We lost. Next time, when they go low, we go lower.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:20 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Repeal and delay is even worse than immediate repeal because it basically destroys the individual coverage market in it's entirety. Basically unless you have employer provided insurance you would be up a creek.

This would be unbelievably unpopular among constituents across the US. It's also really unpopular among a lot of important lobbying groups like doctors, insurers, hospitals, etc.

The reality is the Republican chance to strangle ACA in the crib has already long passed. Any Republican attempt at sneaking in a repeal now is catastrophic for the reelection of numerous Republicans. If McConnell had 56 Senators he might tough it out but replace and repeal would basically be burning through any political capital he has.

The Republicans might still try to push something through reconciliation but it would be a phyrric victory at best.
posted by vuron at 8:20 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Defense Secretary nominee General "Mad Dog" Mattis has received over $1 million in compensation currently serving on the board of defense contractor General Dynamics. He was also on the board of startup Theranos and pushed the military to adopt their discredited blood testing technology. Hey, new rules, no conflicts of interest there. And the troops lurv him.
posted by JackFlash at 8:23 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


If You're in the Fight, Get Ready to Do the Work

Hell yes. Get in or get out.

Do NOT count on failure to deliver on his promises to automatically discredit Trump in the eyes of those who voted for him, especially if they are getting at least something that they want out of the deal. It is entirely, terrifyingly possible that failure will only strengthen him, as crazy as that sounds.

Goddamn right. Enemies, opponents, and obstacles abound. But if you think the thing to do is wait for this to play itself out, then your inertia, and the words you mumble from within it, is your very own demon to overcome.
posted by perspicio at 8:27 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Rand Paul, of all people, has demanded that Congress repeal Obamacare at the same time it passes a plan to replace it.

Welp, looks like it's time to thank my senator and suggest a fancy socialist single-payer plan to his office
posted by Greg Nog at 8:30 PM on January 9 [18 favorites]


"You're gonna need Congressional approval and you don't have the votes."
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:31 PM on January 9 [20 favorites]


Our moral high ground isn't because we don't use every parliamentary and legal maneuver available, it because we have moral beliefs and policies and appeal to what's right, rather than bigotry and hate. If keeping that morality alive in our society means resisting by pushing every legal avenue, I'm fine with it.


Yes, they said this a lot, too. It is also bullshit.
posted by The World Famous at 8:31 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


It was bullshit coming from them then and it's bullshit coming from Democrats now.

No, it wasn't. In point of fact, they currently have control of two branches of government, and soon they're gonna make three via these same tactics. It wasn't bullshit: it was the strategy that succeeded.

The lesson of 2016 should not be "fuck it, let's just be like the bad guys."

The difference is, and will always remain, that we are not trying to imprison, disenfranchise or just outright murder their voting base or leadership*.

We're not going to do those things. Those aren't our endgame. Those options are not being discussed.

Moreover, letting them get away with all that in the name of fair play isn't the moral high ground: that's letting many vulnerable people die so that privileged people can sleep at night, and I'm pretty sure that has another name.

(* Except actual criminals.)
posted by mordax at 8:32 PM on January 9 [38 favorites]


Interesting detail in the "Repeal Might Have Died" story: Bob Corker explicitly asking for Trump to "very clearly tweet" guidance on healthcare policy.

This might point to another way to turn the tweeting habit into a double-edged sword, to make a big deal about the absence of an unambiguous tweet on a particular subject. He's already set the high bar of being willing to start a global arms race with a tweet. So, it should be prominently pointed out that refraining from tweeting clearly on a subject signifies cowardice and weakness.
posted by XMLicious at 8:34 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


Montana Nazi Resistance Update: here's a beautiful fire-spitting piece from one of my comrades about Montana, Spencer, Anglin, the Missoulian's gobsmackingly-irresponsible article and their half-assed editorial response. God damn am I glad to have strong and brave neighbors to fight this shit with.

"So hey Missoulian, maybe come listen to the Jewish and Native American combat veterans who are beyond upset Spencer and his Neo Nazi allies are allowed to get away with this. Because we are coming to Whitefish just like we went to Standing Rock, unarmed and ready to face off against injustice. We are going there to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Montana is the last best place because it is our last best place. We will stand up to keep it that way and we will stand up for anyone else who joins us."
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:34 PM on January 9 [23 favorites]


It wasn't bullshit: it was the strategy that succeeded

Then failed, then succeeded again, then failed again, etc. it was ever thus.

The ends don't justify the means. You don't get moral get out of jail free cards because your cause is just. Fuck that and fuck anyone in any political party who subscribes to it.
posted by The World Famous at 8:35 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]




XMLicious: Interesting detail in the "Repeal Might Have Died" story: Bob Corker explicitly asking for Trump to "very clearly tweet" guidance on healthcare policy.

That part struck me as well. I suspect Twitter is going to play a larger than expected role in policy and legislation, and we are going to have to learn to weaponize it effectively to our advantage.
posted by Superplin at 8:37 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


You want the moral high ground? Then take the high road.

I guess I can't speak for all democrats, but I truly do not give a shit about the "moral high ground"; I want people to not die of preventable diseases or get shot by police or be locked up in cinderblock fortresses or starve to death. I'm less interested in "going high" than I am in not watching my fellow-citizens die.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:38 PM on January 9 [64 favorites]


The ends don't justify the means. You don't get moral get out of jail free cards because your cause is just. Fuck that and fuck anyone in any political party who subscribes to it.

I mean, this is a discussion that's been done before, over and over again. I'm fine with ends justifying means because with how the Democrats have repeatedly taken the high road and lost so much ground, I've come to the conclusion that the promised land, so to speak, is not a place I will ever see.

So if that means I have to get dirty for some future children to have clean hands, so be it.

And I'm not sure what kind of fucking you're hoping that I'm going to get for that mindset, but I'm fairly sure I'm getting fucked in multiple ways by the current situation, not all of them pleasant.
posted by qcubed at 8:40 PM on January 9 [18 favorites]


Rand Paul, of all people, has demanded that Congress repeal Obamacare at the same time it passes a plan to replace it.

Yea...but he introduced a "replacement" plan that basically just allows everyone to buy a useless catastrophic policy that covers nothing instead. They're going to try all kinds of slight of hand and bullshit chinancery to insist they have a "replacement". Like selling across state lines, "tort reform" and all manner of "insurance" that's not. Fact is, there's no replacement that achieves the same goals. Obamacare was structured the way it was because that's literally the only way to make the whole thing work at all. It could be made better sure, but only by spending more money in the form of greater subsidies, or broader medicaid enrollment, or reviving the public option, or medicare buy in, or full blown single payer. It can't really be changed otherwise without breaking it entirely, or at a minimum taking away coverage from a shit ton of people.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:40 PM on January 9 [11 favorites]



You don't need to go low. There is lots of room in between high and low. Somewhere around medium will do.
posted by Jalliah at 8:42 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Playing by the rules is not about morality. It's about ethics. And while it is ethical to do so when all players have respect for the rules, it is simply foolhardy when they do not.
posted by perspicio at 8:45 PM on January 9 [24 favorites]


The ends don't justify the means.

Even if we feel like granting that - and that's a complicated discussion - who decides what means are okay? On what basis?

From where I'm sitting, you are rudely demanding that people roll over and die for your sense of decorum because you insist shit will all work out in the end anyway, and that our sins are worse than our deaths.

Given that? I don't think the person deciding what tactics are or are not acceptable should be *you*.
posted by mordax at 8:47 PM on January 9 [18 favorites]



Also the only way that staying high and working the high ground is if the other group you're fighting has a limit to what they will morally allow in their actions. Keeping the high ground morally does not work when they other guy and the other guys power base is okay with bashing your head in(physically or metaphorically). If this is the case you die. It's that basic.
posted by Jalliah at 8:47 PM on January 9 [14 favorites]


Because playing by the rules and diplomacy have worked so well in stopping fascism before.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:48 PM on January 9 [28 favorites]


Ooh it could be bad for them come election time if they have to put up a replacement sooner rather than later. "Repeal and Delay" is very obviously a plan to coast through 2018 on the repeal alone while people are still safely on the ACA during the delay, and implement some shitty policy as close as possible to the 2020 elections to run on the hype of it, before its effects can be felt. Likely they'd have it kick in in time for open enrollment in November 2020 which would put the first major voter disillusionment and insurance industry death spiral safely after the votes are counted.

If they have to put up a plan soon, there's a lot of time for people to experience the kind of plan their best and brightest have in mind. They don't actually want this. I don't want it either, real pain is coming to my life and the lives of those around me under their plan, but they cannot hide from the reaction anywhere near as easily if they can't delay.

"I’ll give him this: his financial healthcare system is a work of genius. I couldn’t undo it if I tried... and I tried."
posted by jason_steakums at 8:48 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


RobotHero: "Someone doesn't realize Obamacare and ACA are the same thing."

Which, I'm Canadian, but this shouldn't be just an opportunity to point and laugh at the dumb person, but a reminder to double-check with anyone you know who would be inclined to oppose the Obamacare, whether they really understand what it would mean to repeal the Obamacare/ACA.
posted by RobotHero at 8:51 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


You don't get moral get out of jail free cards because your cause is just.

Parliamentary and legal maneuvering isn't immoral. Protesting isn't immoral. Erecting every roadblock and hurdle you can isn't immoral. Being difficult isn't immoral. We're not working to disenfranchise people to win elections. We're not appealing to racism to enact our agenda. We're not implementing fascism to control the country. We're using the tools built into the system.
posted by chris24 at 8:51 PM on January 9 [46 favorites]


Say what you will about the Cleveland Browns, those guys take the high road
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:53 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


The reality is the Republican chance to strangle ACA in the crib has already long passed. Any Republican attempt at sneaking in a repeal now is catastrophic for the reelection of numerous Republicans. If McConnell had 56 Senators he might tough it out but replace and repeal would basically be burning through any political capital he has.

That would be more believable if the R constituency thought they were repealing the ACA instead of Obamacare.
posted by Talez at 8:53 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


They were actually talking about the "delay" part running all the way through 2020. I'm not kidding. But the individual marketplaces are already shaky and spiraling due to Republican inflicted damage, failing to expand Medicaid hurt the projected enrollment badly, and any repeal and delay plan could easily push insurers to abandon the exchanges entirely or sky rocket premiums.

It's nakedly partisan and has nothing, less than zero to do with healthcare policy. Obamacare would've worked if Republicans hadn't broken it, or been willing to touch up and expand it. And healthcare is largely a solved problem in nearly every other developed nation.

But the solution involves the government spending money. And Republicans cannot abide the thought that government can ever solve any problem faced by its citizens, especially if the solution involves spending even a single dime so someone doesn't bleed out on the street.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:56 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Look -- I agree that the Democrats have to stop being pushovers for Republican dirty tricks, but there are lines which you really don't want to cross.

What the Republicans are doing currently is tremendously destructive to the institutions of democracy, so much so that there are people openly wondering whether their end game is to prevent further free and fair elections from ever taking place. I don't believe (or maybe I don't want to believe) that we're at that point yet, but it's certainly a lot closer than I ever remember it being in my lifetime.

Before you commit to a policy of playing just as dirty, think about the implications of what that would mean -- not solely in terms of immediate policy goals but in what you would have to do in order to sustain it. Our current system of government is dependent on the consent of the governed for its legitimacy. If you are truly willing to imperil that in the service of short-term goals, the only alternative I can see is a replacement of consent of the governed with the threat of deadly force on a mass scale.
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:57 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


hey Missoulian, maybe come listen to the Jewish and Native American combat veterans who are beyond upset Spencer and his Neo Nazi allies are allowed to get away with this.
Whitefish's rabbi requests, with advice of the ADL and SPLC, that a counterprotest not be held. Recommendations on alternative action here

posted by Theiform at 9:04 PM on January 9


Our current system of government is dependent on the consent of the governed for its legitimacy.

Twice in 16 years they've governed as a punitive occupying force without obtaining consent, much less engaging in good faith deliberation or governing for the good of the country. Our system is based on a historical farce of legitimacy that's stretched to its breaking point.

Something will change.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:05 PM on January 9 [29 favorites]


Nerd of the North: As I see it, withdrawing consent sends a very clear message, brings us all onto the same, level playing field, and it is all that's being discussed.

Call it constructive disruption.
posted by perspicio at 9:06 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Then take the high road.

Mr. Obama tried this strategy for the last 8 years. Where did that get us?
posted by futz at 9:09 PM on January 9 [14 favorites]


Mr. Obama tried this strategy for the last 8 years. Where did that get us?

They can play dirty tricks better than us. The second a Democrat gives an inkling that they could even remotely want the country to burn it'll be all we hear about. This is the thing. The R base sees shutting down the government as a feature, not a bug. They think it means the government can't give billions to black people. The electorate won't punish them. I mean why on earth would they vote for Republican Lite when they can have real Republican with all the cryptoracist flavor?

This is why they can get away with "dirty tricks". A Democrat says they won't pass reconcilliation over PP defunding and is willing to see the government shut down over it and the shit will hit the fan because the D base knows this will fuck them and they will punish the Ds for it.
posted by Talez at 9:14 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Before you commit to a policy of playing just as dirty, think about the implications of what that would mean -- not solely in terms of immediate policy goals but in what you would have to do in order to sustain it. Our current system of government is dependent on the consent of the governed for its legitimacy. If you are truly willing to imperil that in the service of short-term goals, the only alternative I can see is a replacement of consent of the governed with the threat of deadly force on a mass scale.

There's a vast array of options before getting to deadly force on a mass scale.
posted by qcubed at 9:21 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Talez: Yes, but they're outnumbered. And when we're energized, they're drastically outnumbered.

We don't throw the monkey wrench in the gears until there is no alternative but an existential threat. At that point, subversion becomes virtue.

The problem is, it takes a goddamned awful lot for people who believe in civilization to correct their belief by realizing that it's aspirational, not just the way things are...and to truly recognize that it's under direct threat right fucking now. And only then can the passion to take these risks ignite.

Whereas the passion of tribalist hordes is always alight.

Now is not a good time for confusion. Now is a good time for discernment, decision, and determination.
posted by perspicio at 9:25 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Mr. Obama tried this strategy for the last 8 years. Where did that get us?

You have got to be kidding me.
posted by The World Famous at 9:30 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


If you are truly willing to imperil that in the service of short-term goals,

Here's my "short term" (we need 35 state legislatures) goal: a Constitutional amendment giving a positive right to vote for all of-age citizens. Here's another: elimination of the Electoral College. And another: an end to gerrymandering, and maybe implementing instant runoff voting.

I would be willing to pull pretty much any technically legal move to get those things, because, without those things, our democracy is increasingly broken.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 9:31 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


... what evidence suggests to you that people are kidding about this? Obama's big -deal- for much of his time in office was an attempt to work across the aisle, and that did not exactly go swimmingly.

History suggests they're no more likely to be amenable now that they're a majority in both houses, with a Republican president.

That you continue to advocate people remain wedded to an approach that -has not worked- in recent history, out of high minded principle is nice in theory, but those of us whose lives, livings, and so on are in -actual jeopardy- due to the policies of these incoming yahoos are not feeling real charitable to principle over results.

Not sure how to state that clearer. Certainly not kidding.
posted by Archelaus at 9:34 PM on January 9 [26 favorites]


You have got to be kidding me.

I wasn't kidding. Would you are to expand?
posted by futz at 9:37 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I actually agree with how Obama conducted himself. He extended every olive branch, removed every reasonable cause for obstructionism, and thereby revealed the obstructionists as completely unhinged.

But now that chapter is ended, and a new one is beginning.
posted by perspicio at 9:37 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


hey guys remember when we were all morally outraged and horrified that Dick Cheney accidentally show someone on a hunting trip?

sometimes these threads make me worry for people with suicidal ideation tendencies

I'm trying to remain calm but it's getting harder knowing 2 weeks from now the thing that gave me nonstop panic attacks and no sleep for 3 days straight is really, really fucking real y'all

fuck
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:37 PM on January 9 [11 favorites]


And the problem I have with the "the base will punish them for it" is that the base punishing them for their misdeeds (assuming it ever happens) happens -later-.

You know, after the consequences of their actions start affecting those of us on the bottom of the ol' social strata.

It doesn't skip folks just because we didn't vote for this nonsense, so any tactic that requires us to suffer because folks would rather take the high road leaves me -cold-.
posted by Archelaus at 9:38 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


I wasn't kidding. Would you are to expand?


It seemed preposterous that someone on Metafilter would suggest that Obama accomplished nothing in 8 years and ask for some recitation of anything that his approach to government got us. That's all. Maybe you really do believe his entire presidency was for nothing. I respectfully but forcefully disagree, notwithstanding my strong pessimism about the next phase in US federal government.
posted by The World Famous at 9:44 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


I agree with that comment 100%, The World Famous.

And as I look at the new phase I say, politics is not politesse. Dissent is a party-crasher. Protest does not defer to authority. You can be decent and still be tough as nails. You can fight with everything you've got for what's right. That's enough high road for me.
posted by perspicio at 9:50 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


I don't think the suggestion was that his presidency accomplished nothing, but rather that despite his efforts, partisanship has become even more entrenched and Republicans even more radicalized.
posted by Superplin at 9:51 PM on January 9 [30 favorites]


And everything he achieved is about to be rolled back or worse. There's a very good chance that by 2020 there will be nothing left at all of Obamas entire presidency.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:56 PM on January 9 [14 favorites]


It seemed preposterous that someone on Metafilter would suggest that Obama accomplished nothing in 8 years and ask for some recitation of anything that his approach to government got us.

Talk about reading my comment in bad faith. All I meant is that the high road did not work with this current republican situation. I am honestly dumbfounded that you inferred all that from my comment.
posted by futz at 9:57 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


(Not sure it was bad faith so much as honest misunderstanding. I think for the most part we are violently agreeing.)
posted by perspicio at 10:18 PM on January 9


11 Democratic women who could run for president in 2020, ranked
The New Yorker's Amy Davidson has a terrific piece up listing 13 women — 11 Democrats, two Republicans — who she argues should consider running for president against Donald Trump in 2020.

I took Davidson's premise slightly further below, offering my rankings — in terms of the likelihood they run and the chances they could win the Democratic nomination — of the 11 Democratic women Davidson highlights. (As of today, a Republican primary challenge to Trump seems too unlikely to delve too deep into who might do it.)
posted by kirkaracha at 10:21 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


There's a very good chance that by 2020 there will be nothing left at all of Obamas entire presidency.

Other than the people who lived through it and benefitted from it, and learn to carry their memories of it like weapons, which is not nothing.
posted by holgate at 10:59 PM on January 9 [27 favorites]


There's a very good chance that by 2020 there will be nothing left at all of Obamas entire presidency.

I really doubt this. I can't get on board with everyone saying these kinds of things. If I am wrong no one will ever know *KABOOM*.
posted by futz at 11:07 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


History is written by the victors. And unfortunately, Obama's legacy is being scoured and delegitimized. ACA will be known as the first feeble "attempt" at health care across the board for most Americans.
The current government will move forward saying that they are creating the only true, right and proper universal health care act, sanctioned by the majority of voters in the U.S. That is what they want to see in the history books.

It doesn't matter to them how close in form the two programs are, as long as women's health care is gutted. Maybe they will keep the "no pre-conditions" clause. But all the sneering about Obamacare will end when they have their own new-and-improved version to roll out.
The question is how long they will make Americans wait, and suffer, before sending it in to a "grateful" nation. And be sure, they will expect fawning gratitude.
posted by TrishaU at 11:21 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


The thing that is most upsetting to me is that after berating people in the thread about taking the high road, my comment was not given the same consideration. Instead of asking me to clarify I was instead subjected to the worst low road reading of my comment possible. It would be nice if people would practice what they preach.
posted by futz at 11:29 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


It doesn't matter to them how close in form the two programs are, as long as women's health care is gutted.

Not quite. Their plan would absolutely include outright misogyny, yes, but it also must discriminate against the poor. It needn't be overtly racist as long as it does this.

If they can't deny poor people coverage outright, and too many people are paying attention for them to make it prohibitively expensive, then they will privatize now and at the earliest convenience they will lament the market forces that put it out of poor people's reach, but what can anybody do?

But I object to your initial statement framing them as the victors. Battle's not over and I'm still fighting.
posted by perspicio at 11:30 PM on January 9


There's a very good chance that by 2020 there will be nothing left at all of Obamas entire presidency.

So it's starting to look like reality is reasserting itself & that may not be entirely true. One of Obama's biggest signature accomplishments that Trump ran his campaign on killing, Obamacare, may yet survive. A growing list of GOP Senators (eight & counting: Rand Paul, Lamar Alexander, Rob Portman, Bob Corker, Tom Cotton, Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy & Lisa Murkowski) are saying no to repeal without replace. We only need three of them to stick to their guns & not fold under pressure. And we all know there's no replacement plan that's both workable & palatable to Republicans. So the center might hold after all.
posted by scalefree at 11:35 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Tea leaves: Ivanka Trump Won’t Take WH Role, Will Leave Trump Organization
... an unnamed transition official told the Associated Press on Monday.

posted by Joe in Australia at 11:43 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Ivanka Trump Won’t Take WH Role, Will Leave Trump Organization

She's leaving Dad in the lurch completely? That's gonna leave a mark. Assuming it's true, which who knows with these people. One leaks, another denies. It's higgildy piggildy in the Tower.
posted by scalefree at 11:51 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


"Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka will not take a formal position in her father’s administration, an unnamed transition official told the Associated Press on Monday."
A small but important difference. Surely she'll just take an informal role, one would assume, whilst being married to someone with a formal role and the one woman the President appears to truly respect/only occasionally want to bang/want to talk to about women's issues.

The issue of nepotism and influence doesn't really go away just because she happens to not want to take the salary (and, indeed, if you're truly being cynical about motivations then not having a formal role is excellent for her - there's also no formal conflicts of interest to deal with if cashing in).

That's assuming this isn't a power struggle leak.
posted by jaduncan at 11:52 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


futz, I take The World Famous's core concern to be as originally stated: The lesson of 2016 should not be "fuck it, let's just be like the bad guys." Which is a legitimate point of concern. And while I don't think that's what anybody was suggesting, I believe that's the lens through which your and others' comments were (mis)perceived.

I actually think the essence of the difference in viewpoints stems from the fact that The World Famous believes equivalent tactics amounts to moral equivalency.

I mean, she/he can speak for her/himself. But that's how it looks to me.

Personally, I strongly disagree with this idea. Motives matter. Results matter. If you thwart a cabal of sociopaths to prevent harm using the same tactics that they used to prevent good, that is not moral equivalence.
posted by perspicio at 11:52 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


She's prepping for her inevitable congress/senate run.
posted by PenDevil at 11:53 PM on January 9 [13 favorites]


It would be nice if people would practice what they preach.

Yeah. I've noticed more than one post *demanding* civility toward Republicans, throwing around the word 'fuck,' full of contempt for us. You know, people who think manners are only the responsibility of the oppressed.

I don't care what motivates it: I'm done presuming good faith out of those people.
posted by mordax at 11:56 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


perspicio, let's drop it eh? and let other's speak for themselves.
posted by futz at 11:58 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


[Folks, maybe we can drop then tedious cranky squabbling about amorphous, slippery "high road," "low road," "fair play," unspecified concepts. If there's a specific concrete action or proposal that people would like to weigh in on, fine, discuss that and let the thread breath a bit.]
posted by taz at 12:03 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Things are not looking up for the Donald in the lead up to his coronation.
Daily Kos summarizes a series of Financial Times pieces that tie huge infusions of cash from Russian drug lords to him, implicate him in a massive Russian money laundering operation & expose his connection to a very shady character from the Fatherland. Perfectly timed for Wednesday's press conference on his conflicts of interest.
posted by scalefree at 12:05 AM on January 10 [28 favorites]


Ivanka Trump Won’t Take WH Role, Will Leave Trump Organization

Yeah, I'm going with this is a behavioral lie. A fig leaf of a story for an indolent and solicitous press to repeat to the public to create a vague impression of legitimacy. And anyway, formality, no formality, what's the difference? Who cares what lie you have to tell to do whatever you wanted to in the first place.
posted by perspicio at 12:06 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


There is no way that First Daughter is out of the loop. She is going to get her Cersei Lannister persona ready for prime time behind the curtain and in the shadows.

dun dun dun...
posted by futz at 12:26 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


the Fatherland

That should read Mother Russia I guess. Germany's the Fatherland, no? My bad.
posted by scalefree at 12:32 AM on January 10


The Empire will probably also do.
posted by christopherious at 1:22 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I don't want to say Ivanka's a rat (I don't know the first thing about her) or that her father's whole existence is a sinking ship (though of course one can hope) but that's sure what it reads like to me. And good for her.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:28 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


My read, for what it's worth, is that she's positioning herself to not be formally responsible for anything She's unique in that she doesn't need an official position, so why take the risk of being tied to a sinking ship? This way she can continue to influence her father and ameliorate his image, but if things go south she won't be blamed for anything.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:04 AM on January 10 [15 favorites]


Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone: President Obama's Last Stand
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:05 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Thanks, Joe in Australia. That was great.
posted by kingless at 2:22 AM on January 10


The appointments of Kushner and Ivanka are attempts to dodge the vetting process. By taking "unpaid" and "unofficial" jobs, they're not required to undergo investigations for potential conflicts. Whoever advised them (presumably Bannon) is using all the tricks and loopholes he can to basically sneak an entire second inner circle into the White House.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:43 AM on January 10 [23 favorites]


That Daily Kos summary of the Financial Times stories is great! I have a good feeling that this is just going to continue to develop and Trump will become such a liability to the Republicans that they will have to impeach him.

Especially if they fail to repeal Obamacare, making them look bad to their base-- they can blame him! (He supposedly said in private that he doesn't want to repeal, without replacing it.)

Of course, then we will have to deal with Pence and the rest of the rogues' gallery. Constant vigilance will still be require. And constant vigilance is exhausting. But if "political pressure" (ie "voters") can indeed force them to dump Trump, that will suggest that at least constant vigilance can work. Let's push hard on this story.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:41 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


The Taibbi Rolling Stone article is indeed really great. Lifted my spirits and gave me hope.
posted by StrawberryPie at 3:59 AM on January 10


The Dems can play this however they like, with one proviso. Don't lie. The Reptiles are fundamentally, intensely, compulsively dishonest. They lie about their motives, they lie about their promises, they lie about their methods, they lie about their results.

Either you believe that honesty counts or you don't. to yourself and to the majority of the people.

Make your choice, stick to it, and go to war.

As I said above, the foreign dealings are a great place to start. The politicians and lawyers can assemble the case and present it to the people, the propagandists can make the posters, build the themes, have fun with it. What does Trump stand for? Take rubles, make policy. The Russians Must Pay. Totally reckless under Mr Putin. Make pictures of the inhuman centipede, with Trump's mouth sewn to Putin's dollar-spewing arse. That sort of thing.

Dirty? Yes. Dishonest? No. And the Left has far, far better propagandists than the others.
posted by Devonian at 4:18 AM on January 10 [23 favorites]


Democrats need to keep using all the Trump + Putin + Drug lords to push for a special prosecutor or the NY AG needs to make it his full time job. The Republicans might control Congress but if the act in too partisan a manner to protect a corrupt figure it will drag them down in 2018 and 2020.
posted by vuron at 4:29 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


There's not a lot of evidence yet, and we shouldn't claim that there is. What we should do is point out how consistently Trump's agenda has been "whatever Russia wants" and how clear the evidence is that they wanted him as president, and then demand investigations into WHY. These Financial Times stories detail what needs to be investigated.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:38 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I'm curious to see if the bailouts from Russia line up well with Trump's political transition from "democrat" to republican stooge.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 4:42 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


And everything he achieved is about to be rolled back or worse. There's a very good chance that by 2020 there will be nothing left at all of Obamas entire presidency.

This is fear-mongering. For example: marriage equality. It is not going away. Even if, IF, somehow, Trump gets to nominate another Supreme Court member after replacing Scalia, SCOTUS has always been reluctant to overturn brand new decisions, and there's no evidence that Alito and company would vote to do so. Additionally, even if they DID, that would not invalidate the couples who were married while marriage equality was the law of the land.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:59 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


The Democrats won't run a woman in 2020. They probably won't run one in 2024 / 28 / 32, either. Too much of a risk.

And the Greens will accuse us of being sexist cowards, fuck them all.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:00 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


There's plenty of circumstantial evidence and it would be easy - trivial even - for Trump to provide refutation for the allegations. If he had any. But not only does he not have any, he's transparently hiding stuff like his tax returns and corporate books wherein, one must assume, lie the smoking guns (if you can use that cliche to describe a scene that probably resembles the Kursk salient)..

You don't need court-grade evidence for propaganda. You need a grain of truth. There's an entire silo.
posted by Devonian at 5:03 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Yeah, but for me propaganda isn't the point. I want real investigations. Not just Benghazi-like "investigations." I want to kick him out because he really is dirty, not just because we can make him look that way.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:08 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I think one aspect that the Republicans tend to ignore to their detriment is that to a large degree they have inherited championing the cause of rural small town America from the old southern Democrats.

For the most part they are able to act in punitive ways because laws and things like sentencing guidelines can disproportionately target minorities. Thus white racial hegemony is maintained.

However when you get into the social safety net it becomes clear how dangerous dismantling of social programs is going to hurt red state America.

SS benefits the elderly who tend to be disproportionately clustered in Rural and suburban areas as young people are generally drawn to the cities. Same with medicare.

SSDI is heavily clustered in rural red state areas. Medicaid is more evenly clustered but major changes to it would likely cripple rural hospitals and doctors.

Repeal ACA and medicare goes right back to a stupid burn rate.

Dealing with any of these programs is like trying to play a game of Jenga with a really tall tower that is precarious in it's foundations. You want to make changes but any changes are quite possibly going to cause the whole system to collapse and inevitably lead to things like single payer.

Some Republicans seem to know this and are backing away from the ledge. It was convenient to do charades if repeal votes when Obama was in office but with Trump there is no longer a convenient veto.

Trump in particular seems unlikely to get out and champion replace and delay. After all it will no doubt make profiting from his position more difficult.
posted by vuron at 5:10 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


Yeah, but for me propaganda isn't the point. I want real investigations.

You do both. The grown-ups do the proper investigations, the rest of us stir the pot.

Meanwhile, Ted Malloch - arch-Brexiteer and noted C memory management command - is said to be the pick for the US Ambassador to the EU, at Farage's suggestion.

He was on the television the other night predicting the collapse of the EU by the end of the year. Trump is teating the EU like the enemy just as much as he's treating Russia like a bosom ally.

(Not gonna link to story - it's in the Mail)
posted by Devonian at 5:13 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


11 Democratic women who could run for president in 2020, ranked

Tulsi Gabbard is not a valid choice for president. Her BJP links are toxic.
posted by Talez at 5:18 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. John Lewis to Testify Against Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

Booker will be the first sitting Senator to testify against another in US history. The visuals and soundbites will almost assuredly be used for his 2020 campaign.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:21 AM on January 10 [29 favorites]


Elsewhere on the Sessions front: Jeff Sessions's Unqualified Praise for a 1924 Immigration Law
The 1924 immigration law, known as the Johnson-Reed Act, drastically limited immigration and made permanent restrictions designed to keep out Southern and Eastern Europeans, particularly Italians and Jews, Africans, and Middle Easterners, barring Asian immigration entirely.

Asked about the interview, Sessions’s spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores wrote in an email “As Attorney General, Sessions will prioritize curtailing the threats that rising crime and addiction rates pose to the health and safety of our country and that includes enforcing our existing immigration laws.”
[...]
Sessions’s praise for the 1924 law highlights the difficulty of making the case for immigration restriction, which often relies on popular antagonism toward particular immigrant groups rather than the benefits of restriction per se. The centerpieces of Donald Trump’s immigration policies have been a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

“I don’t know any historian who would tell you the 1920s law wasn’t a racist law. That was what it was all about, they didn’t try to hide that,” said David Reimes, a professor of history at New York University. The national origin restrictions in the 1924 law were not fully lifted until the passage of the 1965 Nationality and Immigration Act.
Note that Flores' assertion about "rising crime" is a lie that has often been used by Trump and his followers (and a fair number of non-Trumpist voters) to portray PoC as inherently violent.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:29 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile, Ted Malloch - arch-Brexiteer and noted C memory management command - is said to be the pick for the US Ambassador to the EU, at Farage's suggestion.

What the everloving fuck? It is good that I've never believed in karma, because the continued ability of Farage to walk around without a seriously terrible thing happening once or twice an hour would otherwise confuse me.
posted by jaduncan at 5:38 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Bomb Threats Reported at 16 Jewish Centers in Nine U.S. States

D.C. Area Jewish Family Targeted With anti-Semitic Threats After Voicing Support for Black Lives Matter

The second article has this bit of jaw-dropping police incompetence/malfeasance (emphasis mine):
The Franklins informed the police about the incident on Sunday, and while the police arrived and examined the letter, the couple was disappointed when the initial police reaction was to say that "there's nothing in there that is anti-Semitic" and that it's unknown what the word "Jude" means. A local police spokesman added that the letter was most likely written by kids. On Monday, however, the police announced it was treating the event as a hate crime, and that it was committed to providing "the highest levels of police services" to all residents.
What's worrying is that the officer(s) that responded saw a yellow Star of David and the word "Jude" in a specific type of lettering and saw nothing wrong. Either our schools have failed or there's anti-Semitic police officers just running around trying to cover up hate crimes.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:07 AM on January 10 [28 favorites]


The Democrats won't run a woman in 2020. They probably won't run one in 2024 / 28 / 32, either. Too much of a risk.
And the Greens will accuse us of being sexist cowards, fuck them all.


I mean, I'm not a Green, but yes, it would indeed be sexist cowardice to refrain from running a woman just because she's a woman.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:15 AM on January 10 [34 favorites]


You don't need court-grade evidence for propaganda. You need a grain of truth. There's an entire silo.

A whole pyramid, full of truth!
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:26 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Either our schools have failed or there's anti-Semitic police officers just running around trying to cover up hate crimes.

why_not_both.gif
posted by entropicamericana at 6:30 AM on January 10 [23 favorites]


Why do you think police officers are so overpaid compared to their qualifications?

They're there to keep Anglo-Saxon people in orderly power.
posted by Yowser at 6:31 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


The Sessions confirmation hearing is scheduled to start soon:

Zoe Tillman from Buzzfeed is liveblogging on Twitter (I'm sure others will be too, this is the first one that popped up on my feed)

CSPAN link; they also have a feed outside the hearing
posted by melissasaurus at 6:32 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]




Timothy Shenk in The New Republic: Dead Center: Jonathan Chait's new book shows the failure of "grown up" liberalism.
Chait has also discarded Schlesinger’s faith in political activism, replacing it with a vision of Americans too busy with their own lives to bother with politics. Ignorant of the stakes in policy disputes, they become averse to partisan conflict, assuming that the truth must fall between the two sides. Having removed voters from the picture, policy-making becomes a battle between conservative activists and liberal technocrats, with the business community often serving as tiebreaker. Chait sees the interplay between radicals and policymakers as a burden foisted on Republicans, while Democrats merely have to fend off demands from an ineffectual left.

Schlesinger had different aspirations. Despite the gloom that hung over The Vital Center’s view of its time, his account was fundamentally optimistic. He was confident that the United States had set out on a road that would lead it to social democracy. Future economic downturns would lead to more New Deals and “capitalist suicide.” His only fear was that liberals would fail to meet the craving for a deeper purpose than transactional wheeling and dealing. Chait doesn’t share this anxiety. Schlesinger’s radical democracy has become Chait’s chastened technocracy, with all Schlesinger’s self-righteousness intact. With that in mind, his claim that Obama’s distinctive genius lay in his ability to “make technocracy lyrical” becomes high praise. Today, it could hardly be more damning.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:41 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Chait does not owe his success to his politics, which are conventional enough. What distinguishes him from other commentators is his knack for distilling the complicated arguments of his opponents into a few essential premises, and then, with inexorable logic, taking these streamlined arguments to absurd conclusions. He does not aim for sympathetic reconstructions that capture the intricacies of rival positions. Instead, he wants to expose the rickety foundations that high-flown rhetoric can obscure. When done poorly, this is straw manning; when done well, it has the elegance of a geometric proof.

Interesting; I'd love to see Chait try to do it well sometime!
posted by Greg Nog at 6:48 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I mean, I'm not a Green, but yes, it would indeed be sexist cowardice to refrain from running a woman just because she's a woman.

If a woman can't win, then it harms all women to run a woman as the Democratic nominee. Because if she can't win, it guarantees the Republican nominee will, and the Republican platform is harmful to women. Symbolic gains are nice (I was one of those women who was very excited to tell my daughters they could be anything, even president), but probably not worth sacrificing the health and career of millions of people for.

On the other hand, that's a pretty big "if." Presumably some woman could win, even if Hillary Clinton couldn't. Some magical special unicorn who has enough of a record to be qualified but not enough of one to be an "insider." Someone attractive but not too sexy to be taken seriously. Someone feminine but still tough on crime and national security. Someone who has succeeded at both family and career...

Unfortunately I think a woman probably can't be elected unless she's twice as electable as the next best man in line. And so, if the Democrats can find such a super-electable woman, I think they should nomiate her. And if they can't they shouldn't, for the sake of all American women. They have an obligation to run a candidate who can win.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:04 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


It'd be the wrong lesson that 'no woman can win'. Clinton couldn't, yes, against the worst opponent to ever run for president in American history, but she was a uniquely flawed candidate herself. No other candidate will ever again run with her combination of 30 years of a Republican and media hate campaign already having been run against her, hardened public opinion against her, foreign interference on behalf of the Republican opponent, betrayal by the FBI breaking the law to campaign against her, running essentially as a 3rd term incumbent, a media desperately eager to magnify her "scandals" while ignoring any scrutiny of her opponent, AND ALSO being a woman.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:11 AM on January 10 [21 favorites]


Just came in to say fuck Jonathon Chait and the Iraq War he rode in on.
posted by notyou at 7:12 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


Looks like Sessions has some of his cute grandkids in the front row. No word on whether they'll be Special Advisors to the President.

Protestors being removed yelling "no KKK".
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:16 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Shout out to the protestors getting thrown out every minute or so.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:17 AM on January 10 [34 favorites]


Gosh I wonder why Sessions would have cute kids around him.
posted by Yowser at 7:21 AM on January 10


For example: marriage equality. It is not going away. Even if, IF, somehow, Trump gets to nominate another Supreme Court member after replacing Scalia, SCOTUS has always been reluctant to overturn brand new decisions, and there's no evidence that Alito and company would vote to do so. Additionally, even if they DID, that would not invalidate the couples who were married while marriage equality was the law of the land

I keep hearing this, usually with said rationales.

Here's the thing. An outright repeal/overturning is not what I'm worried about. Because yes, that's not going to happen, at least not in the near future.

What I am worried about is, to take that example, an erosion of marriage equality similar to the sustained attack on the right to choose we've seen for the past several decades. The Rightists will get more and more clever, finding ways to etch away at it with bald-faced lies that obfuscate but not really the actual discrimination. They'll do it at the state level, using ALEC or some one else to blanket states where they dominate the legislature, trying different ways to hobble equality. And eventually, they'll try to restrict it enough to where it really does become just a piece of paper.

Who needs to overturn the ruling when you can hollow it out with the law?

But of course, don't mind me. All of us who are concerned are worried about an unlikely, flashy attention-grabber, not the insidious stuff in the background. Thanks for telling me not to worry about that unlikely, flashy thing.
posted by qcubed at 7:21 AM on January 10 [31 favorites]


I'm following the live-tweeting of the Sessions appointment and it's amazing at the gulf between Democrats and even the Republicans. Here's some examples of Dianne Feinstein's questioning:
@AdamSerwer: Feinstein, referring to Trump's threats toward HRC, says an AG does not investigate or prosecute on the direction of the president., Feinstein cites Sessions statement on hate crimes bill in which he said he didn't think hate crimes against women and LGBT were happening

@TalalNAnsari: Sen. Feinstein: "Most importantly his job will be to enforce federal law equally, equally, for all Americans"

@KatyTurNBC: Sen Feinstein -unlike Grassley- expresses "deep concern" going thru his ultra conservative voting record - dream act, torture, hate crimes +, Feinstein bringing up recent votes to undercut the argument that Sen Sessions controversies (like racism charges) are well int he past.

@ZoeTillman
Feinstein: job of attorney general is to enforce civil rights and constitutional freedoms, including a woman's right to choose
And here's Susan Collins:
@KatyTurNBC: "The vast majority of you have already served w Sessions and you know him well." - Sen Collins, "I have every confidence [Sessions] will execute the office go AG honestly faithfully and fully in the pursuit of justice."

@AdamSerwer: Collins says Sessions worked on reducing the crack/powder disparity. (Sessions supported *reducing* it; opposed eliminating it entirely), There is no reason for treating them differently under the law, Collins says Sessions can't be racist because he's hired black people
Remember, Collins is a NeverTrumper. If this is their response to possibly the worst of Trump's nominees, it's absolutely pathetic.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:21 AM on January 10 [50 favorites]


Sessions is on bended knee worshipping law enforcers right now.

I'm no judge, but I'm pretty sure that that's now how this works.
posted by Yowser at 7:25 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


It'd be the wrong lesson that 'no woman can win'.

Yeah I am super-pragmatic about presidential politics - my support and primary vote goes to the most left-leaning candidate that I think can win the general, not the one that perfectly matches my liberal beliefs - and there are plenty of Democratic women I'd have happily supported in 2016 and will happily support in 2020.

I read an opinion somewhere that if you'd replaced either HRC or Trump with literally any generic D or R, the generic candidate would have destroyed the opposition. I think that's exactly right.
posted by lalex at 7:25 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


Collins isn't never anything. Collins is and has always been AlwaysCollins and will never be one whit better than that utterly craven minimum.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:26 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


More from Serwer: Sessions links public criticism of policing to literal murder of police officers

This man is vile and should never have been allowed to be a judge or Senator, let alone nominated to be among the highest legal authorities in the country.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:28 AM on January 10 [26 favorites]


What I am worried about is, to take that example, an erosion of marriage equality similar to the sustained attack on the right to choose we've seen for the past several decades.

"You can still marry whoever you want! But of course religious exemptions will be provided for people who decide that bigotry is part of their religion; So if your doctor decides your marriage is invalid, you'll no longer have visiting rights. If a loan officer decides your marriage doesn't count, they can decide not to give you a mortgage. This way EVERYONE will be free to be as bigoted as they wish!"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:29 AM on January 10 [18 favorites]


Gosh I wonder why Sessions would have cute kids around him.

Never watched The Dead Zone, I take it?
posted by entropicamericana at 7:30 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Did he just suggest that the DOJ would prosecute "welfare fraud?" Am I reading that wrong? Christ on a cracker.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:31 AM on January 10 [15 favorites]


I have the sound off on the livestream and just see Sessions' little invertebrate mouth silently moving around. Can only assume that he's cheerily going on about how the country is going to be able to torture innocent people to death with impunity again.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:32 AM on January 10


It'd be the wrong lesson that 'no woman can win'.

Being female is a liability. Between four years of slander and gerrymandering and a piss-poor press, any candidate in 2020 will need every advantage they can get.

And one of those advantages is to be a WASP man.

It sucks, but (I say this as a Millenial woman) we can't afford to look weak.

Had HRC won, the entire playing field would look different. But it doesn't. And the "I'm not sexist, I'm voting for a woman!" asshats with double standards contributed to this mess.

That said, people who are writing off politicians due to one or two policy stances are missing the point. The most conservative Democrat right now would be far better than anyone else. Ideological purity is something we simply can't afford anymore.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 7:34 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


It's OK, now he's just promising to take racist voter suppression national, no biggie.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:35 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Collins isn't never anything. Collins is and has always been AlwaysCollins and will never be one whit better than that utterly craven minimum.

So, yeah. Collins is one of my Senators.

She's a weird mix of things. I firmly believe she is supporting Sessions simply because she personally knows him and likes him. But she's also demonstrating quite a bit of backbone on the ACA/Medicare thing, and I suspect she's a big part of why the Devos hearing was postponed. She's beholden to the very very blue Southern Maine voters if she wants to stay in office.

I think so long as Maine Dems keep up the pressure (including maybe thanking her for her vote with the Ds on the Medicare thing yesterday), she'll do the right thing about 65% of the time. Which, honestly, is better than 0% of the time.

Don't count on her, but don't write her off either.
posted by anastasiav at 7:35 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Sessions was advocating for total law enforcement control(in political language, naturally), so yes, torture is on the table.
posted by Yowser at 7:36 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


That said, people who are writing off politicians due to one or two policy stances are missing the point. The most conservative Democrat right now would be far better than anyone else. Ideological purity is something we simply can't afford anymore.

This is dumb as fuck though
posted by Greg Nog at 7:37 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


It's OK, now he's just promising to take racist voter suppression national, no biggie.'

This is the only reason he was nominated. Everything else is secondary to the new Jim Crow. Republicans are determined to negate any Democratic demographic advantage through brutal vote suppression. They don't intend to allow free elections ever again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:38 AM on January 10 [14 favorites]




That said, people who are writing off politicians due to one or two policy stances are missing the point. The most conservative Democrat right now would be far better than anyone else. Ideological purity is something we simply can't afford anymore.

dems are gonna look themselves in the mirror, take a deep breath and tell themselves 'we gotta get more racist'
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:40 AM on January 10 [14 favorites]


GOP Senator: ‘Yeah,’ Trump’s Cabinet Picks Should Be Treated Differently

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) was asked by the Huffington Post if Trump’s Cabinet picks should be asked to disclose income from foreign sources, as he and 25 other senators asked of President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, back in 2013.

Infohe said no.

“So it’s different now because it’s Trump?” HuffPost asked.

“That’s just right,” the Oklahoma senator replied.
posted by diogenes at 7:42 AM on January 10 [23 favorites]


Sessions said just now that it's "unacceptable situations" he would say no to the President on, which he contrasted with "grey areas". Unsurprisingly, he didn't say anything about holding the line against Trump in the grey areas.
posted by XMLicious at 7:45 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Clinton couldn't, yes, against the worst opponent to ever run for president in American history, but she was a uniquely flawed candidate herself.

Two things:
1. Trump may horribly unqualified, but he did somehow succeed at getting enough votes to win from the primary to the general election. It's easy to to dismiss him since he "should" have lost, but there's clearly some base of support for his message and we can't assume that any other candidate would have done better in an actual race.

2. Clinton's flaw with voters was primarily that she was a woman. I'm done with saying she was flawed. She had a boatload of experience and ran on a very progressive platform. Every candidate is "uniquely flawed." If you want a candidate that you think doesn't have flaws, you need to run for office yourself, and then never compromise. Looking past Clinton, there is no woman waiting in the wings with anywhere close to a comparable record. I think experience is probably overrated given an appropriate temperament — Obama demonstrated this — but any woman will need an extensive resume just to get in the door and there simply isn't anyone else qualified to step up next. After Hillary we may need to wait another 15 years for the next shot.
posted by stopgap at 7:46 AM on January 10 [34 favorites]


Chuck Grassley is being a shitheel. Not only is he rehabilitating Sessions' "LOCK HER UP" bullshit (which should instantly disqualify anyone from attorney general) he's still campaigning for Trump against Clinton.
posted by Talez at 7:47 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


the difference between "unacceptable situations" and "grey areas" will be between the electric fences around the camps delivering lethal shocks versus just painful ones.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:48 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I'm done with saying she was flawed

Well, that makes one of us
posted by Greg Nog at 7:49 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


The clearly-rehearsed nature of this Grassley-Sessions exchange on Clinton makes me think they really are planning to open a criminal case against her.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:49 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


The most conservative Democrat right now would be far better than anyone else. Ideological purity is something we simply can't afford anymore.

Timid attempts to compromise and run as Republican Lite are exactly the sort of weak-willed shit that keeps people home. Did you not notice the part where a fucking AVOWED SOCIALIST gave the establishment Dem a real run for her money in the primary and polled quite favorably against the Republican? Not having an ideological voice and playing to focus groups and likely voter screens to select the most inoffensive possible candidate is not a clever strategy, it is a cowardly posture that will get us steamrolled, especially against a demagogue like Trump.
posted by contraption at 7:50 AM on January 10 [28 favorites]


The clearly-rehearsed nature of this Grassley-Sessions exchange on Clinton makes me think they really are planning to open a criminal case against her.

What, and let her defend herself?
posted by Etrigan at 7:51 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


Well. If Feinstein is setting D tone it looks like we're going to have AG Jeff Sessions and it's business as usual.
posted by Talez at 7:52 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Yeah, normally the idea that the AG would support the president in legal grey areas (like, defending a statute that can perhaps be interpreted two different ways, but its a good faith argument by the government) - that is fine and completely expected. The problem is that I don't know what Sessions considers a "legal grey area." I'm guessing it's more like, "are [X group] actually people?" as opposed to normal legal issues that are debated in courtrooms across the country daily.
posted by gatorae at 7:52 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


It's going to be tough to watch his shit eating grin for the next few years.
posted by Talez at 7:53 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


I'm done with saying she was flawed. She had a boatload of experience and ran on a very progressive platform. Every candidate is "uniquely flawed." If you want a candidate that you think doesn't have flaws, you need to run for office yourself, and then never compromise. Looking past Clinton, there is no woman waiting in the wings with anywhere close to a comparable record.

Fine, she had a great platform. No one cared. They didn't even read it. The media didn't even look at it. She couldn't get on TV when she talked about it. They cared about the 30 years of media attacks and constant Republican campaign against the Clintons since 1992. That was her unique flaw that no one else in the national conscious has or will have again. It was obvious from the moment she ran in 2008, carried over to 2016, and easily avoidable that entire time.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:54 AM on January 10 [15 favorites]


I'm done with saying she was flawed

Well, that makes one of us

Make it two, then, because what I saw the closer I looked at Clinton's career is that her "flaws" were largely the result of trying to adapt to decades of unrepenting public ire, shame, and slime that looks suspiciously fucking misogynist in origin. I'm fucking done. You think that there is perfection in politics? Find me someone immune to the kind of mistakes Clinton made, or the kind of public propaganda and mudslinging she survived, and do me one better and find a woman. Elizabeth Warren ain't it; Warren has not been as high profile as Clinton or, frankly, as scrutinized for nearly as long. I couldn't do it, myself, and I work fucking hard at my ethics and my choices.

Make it fucking two. And let's get the fuck on with this fight, because it's going to be a long damn road we're holding the line, and navel-gazing self-criticism is only going to make the fascists' job easier. We need to hold the fucking line.
posted by sciatrix at 7:54 AM on January 10 [68 favorites]


Timid attempts to compromise and run as Republican Lite are exactly the sort of weak-willed shit that keeps people home.

We need the socialists AND the Republican Lites. We need everyone who believes in democracy. The country will be looted and our system of government destroyed, otherwise. It's all hands on deck, here. Anyone who stays home needs to accept they are partly to blame if our democracy dies. Everyone get out, vote against the looters, and then we can go back to fighting amongst ourselves about policy.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:56 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Is anyone live tweeting actual quotes from Sessions?
posted by corb at 7:57 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Being female is a liability.

Fuck THAT.
posted by agregoli at 7:57 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


Sessions is saying exactly what he needs to in order to try and dodge the Roe v Wade requirement.
posted by Talez at 7:58 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


oh wow feinstein an incredible disappointment this is my surprised face
posted by entropicamericana at 7:58 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


Is anyone live tweeting actual quotes from Sessions?

Emily Flitter (@FlitterOnFraud) is doing a decent job of livetweeting quotes.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:59 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


They cared about the 30 years of media attacks and constant Republican campaign against the Clintons since 1992. That was her unique flaw that no one else in the national conscious has or will have again.

John Kerry got three Purple Hearts and the Silver Star, and they were turned into a weakness. Every Democratic nominee will have a "unique flaw", because the other side has gotten very fucking good at finding and/or making them up.
posted by Etrigan at 7:59 AM on January 10 [42 favorites]


Fuck you Sessions you shitheel. You must have a lot of chutzpah to say you aren't a racist. The only reason you didn't join the KKK was because they smoked pot.
posted by Talez at 8:00 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


> What I saw the closer I looked at Clinton's career is that her "flaws" were largely the result of trying to adapt to decades of unrepenting public ire, shame, and slime that looks suspiciously fucking misogynist in origin. I'm fucking done.

Yeah me too. She'd have made a fine president, and instead we have a vulgar short-fingered talking yam to deal with. So let's deal with that.

(I missed you, post-Election thread. Even though I know you didn't miss me.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:00 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


Is anyone live tweeting actual quotes from Sessions?

I don't know why it matters, really. He's mostly just giving seemingly-coached answers that are in direct contradiction to his words and deeds of the last several decades.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:02 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


diogenes "So it’s different now because it’s Trump?” HuffPost asked.

“That’s just right,” the Oklahoma senator replied.


Well of **COURSE** its different. See, Obama made a horrible mistake, he nominated people who were merely experts in their field with years of experience and sometimes Nobel Prizes. You know, unimportant peasants. Such people simply can't be trusted and must be examined very carefully to make sure they aren't stealing small change or pocketing the silver. You can't expect to put Those People into positions of power without an extremely through examination.

Trump, very thoughtfully and properly, has nominated important people. Rich people. People who, like him, don't pay taxes. And those people simply won't stand for being treated like peasants. They're unaccustomed to pathetic little nobodies who aren't worth even a single million dollars trying to pry into their affairs. Quite properly they've refused to even acknowledge the pathetic requests for information. You have all the information you need: they're rich. That anyone would even dream of asking a member of the aristocracy for the details of their affairs is a shocking impropriety.
posted by sotonohito at 8:03 AM on January 10 [21 favorites]


Orrin Hatch, currently wearing chastity belt, broaches the very relevant and pressing issue of America's epidemic of pornography.
posted by dis_integration at 8:04 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I cannot wait for Greatest Living American John Lewis to start questioning.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:04 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


They cared about the 30 years of media attacks and constant Republican campaign against the Clintons since 1992. That was her unique flaw that no one else in the national conscious has or will have again.

But those 30 years of attacks, starting as First Lady of Arkansas, all boil down to putting an uppity woman in her place. If this was a flaw, you'll find that every successful woman has it. That's why I'm done calling it a flaw.

Yes, it was obvious that she would have this baggage. I didn't support her in the primaries in 2008 or 2016 because I'm opposed to the idea of political dynasties. But when she nevertheless became the candidate, the time for hand-wringing because people would attack her for being a woman was over.
posted by stopgap at 8:05 AM on January 10 [11 favorites]


Orrin Hatch looks like a slightly older Jeff Sessions. This side-by-side view is bumming me out. It's like a hateful doublemint gum commercial.
posted by birdheist at 8:05 AM on January 10 [14 favorites]


Sessions is considering setting up a task force explicitly for "adult obscenity cases." Welcome back, Comstock Laws!
posted by zombieflanders at 8:05 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


And in even worse news on the "not having millions of people die" front, Trump just met with RFK Jr. "to discuss vaccines."
posted by zachlipton at 8:06 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


So Orrin Hatch is angling to head up the Ministry of Sex?
posted by valkane at 8:06 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


> sometimes these threads make me worry for people with suicidal ideation tendencies

I'm trying to remain calm but it's getting harder knowing 2 weeks from now the thing that gave me nonstop panic attacks and no sleep for 3 days straight is really, really fucking real y'all

fuck


Me too, Unicorn. Me too. Especially because I'm one of those folks who--I don't do suicidal ideation normally, me, but I've always held the comfortable truth that come the zombie apocalypse I'm shooting myself in the head and letting everyone else scrabble over the scraps of humanity. If I don't have hope, if I don't see a path forward, even if that path is "turn and run from my country; you can grieve when you your body and family are safe", I don't see the point of going on. I'm an optimistic nihilist at heart; I don't think there's a meaning to being here except the one that I create with my own hands and my own words and my own heart. And if I don't think those things can survive.... well, why go on?

The truth that is helping me, and the truth I am trying to tell the folks around me who are scared, is this:

We need you. We need your voices, we need your calls, we need your hands. Even if all you can contribute is one small thing--a form email, or a dollar to someone who needs it, or a knit hat, or a vote--even if all you can contribute is one small thing, we need you. And the farther we go along this dark road, the more we need you alive to help us. One bright firebrand cannot save us against this darkness; they present too easy targets for the fascists and the enemies of freedom and democracy to attack.

The only thing that can save us is many millions of people doing small things to change public opinion, to refuse to be governed, to resist in whatever small way they can spare. And if you can spare nothing--as many of us cannot--if you are clinging to life with quick-bitten fingernails, because your circumstances are that shitty, well. Maybe they might not be one day. We will need you anyway.

We need you. You are valued. The contributions you make, well, all is not lost; we still have a chance to re-establish our institutions and fix this, but only if we all stand together. And there will be so many battles in the next two years. We need you so much to do small things and keep yourself alive. Please stay and help us here. If you can light a match in the darkness, if many of us light a single match--well, that will keep the lights on better than relying on any one hero or heroine might.

We need you. And I value you, no matter what you bring to the table. Please, stay.
posted by sciatrix at 8:07 AM on January 10 [56 favorites]


We need the socialists AND the Republican Lites. We need everyone who believes in democracy. The country will be looted and our system of government destroyed, otherwise. It's all hands on deck, here. Anyone who stays home needs to accept they are partly to blame if our democracy dies. Everyone get out, vote against the looters, and then we can go back to fighting amongst ourselves about policy.

"Anyone who stays home needs to accept they are partly to blame if our democracy dies" isn't a good way to get people off the couch if the democracy to be saved would enact a grand compromise to turn Medicare into block grants and begin a national campaign to break the teachers' unions, but rescue the ACA without a public option. It's important to decide who exactly will be in charge once Trump and his cronies are gone.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:09 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


"Religious freedom will be a very high priority of mine."
posted by gatorae at 8:10 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


So Orrin Hatch is angling to head up the Ministry of Sex?

Except that they just had an entire discussion of the problems caused by bottlenecks and delays in processing DNA evidence without either of them speaking the phrase "rape kit", unless I missed it.
posted by XMLicious at 8:11 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


No, I disagree, Rustic. It's actually not important at all. And it's not important at all because having a plan in place means that people can criticize that plan, and the enemy can find weaknesses in it to exploit. Calling people to stand against a threat is easier because not that is easier to win agreement for than yes this.

Why the hell do you think Republicans campaign against an enemy instead of for a policy position? They know this works to energize their supporters. So too should we.
posted by sciatrix at 8:11 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Sessions is considering setting up a task force explicitly for "adult obscenity cases." Welcome back, Comstock Laws!

Under President "check out sex tape" who owns the Miss Universe pageant.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:12 AM on January 10 [27 favorites]


Oh here we go. Leahy has a spine.
posted by Talez at 8:13 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


if the democracy to be saved would enact a grand compromise to turn Medicare into block grants and enact a national campaign to break the teachers' unions, but rescue the ACA without a public option. It's important to decide who exactly will be in charge once Trump and his cronies are gone.

No it's not. Because the ACA can be passed again, Medicare can be fixed and expanded, teachers unions can be rebuilt, but only if we have a democracy to do it with. Once we are an oligarchy there is no guarantee we will ever get our democracy back. We will have no voice. But bad policy in a democracy can be UNDONE. That's the whole point of democracy.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:13 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


"Religious freedom will be a very high priority of mine."

Here I'm sure he thinks he's telling the absolute truth. He just doesn't view any religion other than Christianity (and the right kinds of Christianity at that) as a religion. The others are merely demon inspired cults and certainly our Founding Fathers didn't mean those to be protected!
posted by sotonohito at 8:14 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


"Religious freedom will be a very high priority of mine."

Remember, despite what their defenders say, "religious freedom" in the current environment is basically a way for conservatives to get away discrimination.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:15 AM on January 10 [30 favorites]


"Religious freedom will be a very high priority of mine."*

*By which I mean the right to hide behind religion in order to refuse services to people I don't like.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:16 AM on January 10 [13 favorites]


Religious freedom is code for "fire or refuse services to the gays, and to anyone who looks like they might be the gays, and probably to anyone who deviates from the most mainstream cis/het normative gender presentation".
posted by Frowner at 8:17 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


"Religious freedom will be a very high priority of mine."*

*By which I mean the right to hide behind religion in order to refuse services to people I don't like.


** Or to pay taxes, or whatever the fuck else we come up with next month.
posted by Etrigan at 8:17 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Calling people to stand against a threat is easier because not that is easier to win agreement for than yes this.

No, this is not a recipe for winning; we saw both Kerry and Clinton lose after campaigns centered around "at least I'm not that awful guy". The dems keep losing downballot power while the Tea Party keeps ascending. We need to be bold about exactly what we want and why we want it in order to get people to vote. Failing that, they'll stay home again, just as they did this year, when like half the country just kind of shrugged in lieu of voting for "not a threat".
posted by Greg Nog at 8:18 AM on January 10 [24 favorites]




Basically, if you as a woman - for instance - want to be employable without long hair, without makeup and with pockets, you do not want religious freedom exemptions, because they're basically the slippery slope back to the 1960s in terms of how women are expected to dress and act in public.
posted by Frowner at 8:18 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


Well, the Satanic Temple is smiling at all those calls for "religious freedom". That reminds me; I ought to find some time to invest in our local chapter somewhere; they're seeing surges in membership and are trying to use that panicked interest to direct it to local charitable work, so that they have community standing if they need it. It would be nice to see some of the powerful Christian faiths throw themselves behind using the golden tool of "religious freedom" to keep people safe a little more publicly, but--actually, you know what? The sanctuary church movements are genius. Mobilize around morality, folks, in whatever faith you like best. Doesn't have to have a god in it, so long as it counts.

They are handing us tools, you fuckers. If you're going to prize religious freedom over freedom, full stop, or over kindness and morality and doing your goddamn job, then two of us can play at that game. Does your religion prioritize morality? Because I'm going to be shoving my Catholic family to ask themselves what morality is and what defines a "good work" pretty damn hard, and religious MeFites, this is something you can do too.
posted by sciatrix at 8:19 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


Sessions: "That does not sound like something I said or intended to say."
Leahy: "Well you did say it."
posted by uncleozzy at 8:19 AM on January 10 [45 favorites]


I am getting the sinking feeling that we're going to get the whole way through this without anyone asking, "The President can't use instances from previous centuries of rounding people up based on their ethnicity and putting them in camps as justification for doing anything similar today, despite having claimed that he can, right? Right?"

Oh, Patrick Leahy asking about Muslim bans now, so there's a spark of hope.
posted by XMLicious at 8:21 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


No it's not. Because the ACA can be passed again, Medicare can be fixed and expanded, teachers unions can be rebuilt, but only if we have a democracy to do it with. Once we are an oligarchy there is no guarantee we will ever get our democracy back. We will have no voice. But bad policy in a democracy can be UNDONE. That's the whole point of democracy.

I think you misunderstand. What I meant is that if we Save Democracy by replacing Trump with conservative Democrats who believe the only way to stay in power is to compromise with the Right and, for instance, break unions and social programs, then democracy would be saved but the reason to save it would be gone.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:21 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


"You have the right to attend the Baptist church of your choice!"

Someone, and I can't remember where I saw this but it was a brilliant realization and I wish I could credit the person, noted that conservatives have a fundamentally different view of what freedom means than liberals to. I'll paraphrase the core of the argument:

To a conservative freedom means the freedom to pick any activity you want from the approved list. You can go bowling, or hunting, or skiing, or white water rafting, so many choices! But if what you want doesn't fit into a Norman Rockwell painting, if it isn't on the approved list of things you can chose, they see that not as you exercising freedom but as you tearing down society and all that is right and good in the world.

And I think the person who came up with that was right.

Yes, Sessions and his compatriots also think that religious freedom is great cover for abusing minorities. But also, deep in their minds, they really do think of religious freedom as the choice between any of the approved churches and faiths.

Islam is not on the approved list, so being a Muslim is, to them, not a matter of religious freedom but an anarchist effort to destroy the very foundation of America. I'm sure they'd be horrified if you suggested they were violating anyone's religious freedom, and by their definitions they're not.

Because when they say freedom they don't mean what we do.
posted by sotonohito at 8:22 AM on January 10 [47 favorites]


Sessions: "Many people do have religious views that are inimical to the United States."
posted by uncleozzy at 8:23 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Chuck Grassley is so out of touch he can't even pronounce transgender.
posted by Talez at 8:24 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


So he's cool with a ban on Muslims in everything but name. Cool, cool.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:24 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Sessions: "Many people do have religious views that are inimical to the United States."

well we can agree on that, if not the specifics
posted by entropicamericana at 8:24 AM on January 10 [32 favorites]


The dems keep losing downballot power while the Tea Party keeps ascending. We need to be bold about exactly what we want and why we want it in order to get people to vote.

I mean fine, okay, and I'll vote for Bernie or Elizabeth Warren or Keith Ellison or even frickin' Jill Stein if the Democrats ran her...

But let's be clear. The Tea Party has not succeeded by offering a clear vision of what they want to do. They win by saying "at least I'm not that awful guy". And by "awful guy" they mean the BABY-KILLER who wants to STEAL YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY and BAN YOUR RELIGION and put you in a FEMA CAMP and TAKE OVER TEXAS.

The Tea Party absolutely wins by running as "not a threat" and "vote against the other guy." They do this by lying. A lot.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:25 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


Why are we talking about college football now?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:25 AM on January 10


Thanks Lindsey Graham. 10 minutes and you talk about college football. Fuck you.
posted by Talez at 8:25 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Lindsey Graham is now using this opportunity to hold forth on college football.
posted by zachlipton at 8:25 AM on January 10


Sessions: "Many people do have religious views that are inimical to the United States."

I couldn't agree more! Oh, you meant...
posted by gatorae at 8:25 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


And by "awful guy" they mean the BABY-KILLER who wants to STEAL YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY and BAN YOUR RELIGION and put you in a FEMA CAMP and TAKE OVER TEXAS.

The Tea Party absolutely wins by running as "not a threat" and "vote against the other guy."


"Ban abortion" and "lower taxes" and "stop letting all those Muslims do their Musliming" are actual things, though.
posted by Etrigan at 8:26 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


And now that Graham is talking about justice, he's on to a really hardhitting first question: "many people think the only way to get justice in the world is for the Federal Government to administer it. Have you heard such thoughts?"
posted by zachlipton at 8:27 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Jesus, this is fucking embarrassing.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:27 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Sessions said he would not support a broad-based Muslim ban, but said he would support a process that involved probing people on their religious beliefs to see if they included killing Americans.
posted by zachlipton at 8:28 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Never-Trumper Lindsey Graham, folks.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:28 AM on January 10 [18 favorites]


Graham: would you support a law that says Muslims are prohibited from entering the country?
Sessions: no.
Graham: what about a law that says Muslims who are asked what they believe and they say my religion says I have to kill everyone.. can they be banned?
Sessions: that sounds prudent.

Nice strawman. Jesus christ.
posted by gatorae at 8:29 AM on January 10 [19 favorites]


Wait what? How are religious views something the US can even worry about.

Freedom of Religion swings both ways, it's not just a principle that evangelicals call pull out in order to refuse service to gays but also a principle that should protect Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc.

I mean we all know that there are a variety of people on the Religious Right that would prefer their branch of protestantism to the be official state religion but this right-wing talking point that Islam is incompatible with democracy is such utter bullshit. It's frankly depressing that we have people like Sessions and Flynn who clearly believe it though.
posted by vuron at 8:29 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


And by "awful guy" they mean the BABY-KILLER who wants to STEAL YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY

If Democrats said things like this about Republican policy proposals and desires they wouldn't be lying.
posted by Jalliah at 8:29 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


Sessions said he would not support a broad-based Muslim ban, but said he would support a process that involved probing people on their religious beliefs to see if they included killing Americans.

Which Americans?
posted by valkane at 8:30 AM on January 10 [7 favorites]


I keep getting the feeling like Graham is trying to do something clever but for the life of me I can't figure out what.
posted by corb at 8:31 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Yeah Sessions. Fuck the rule of law. Detain them at the President's pleasure.
posted by Talez at 8:31 AM on January 10


"Ban abortion" and "lower taxes" and "stop letting all those Muslims do their Musliming" are actual things, though.

I didn't say they weren't. The Tea Party is running against imaginary threats. We're running against real ones.

I am saying we all need to vote for whoever is not going to destroy our democracy. It's a moral duty.

And I don't think that's a weak message that can't win. "Save our country" mobilizes Republicans pretty well against an imaginary threat, so I would hope it could mobilize Democrats against a real one, even if those Democrats don't like each other.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:31 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Sessions looks like a cleaned up Gollum sitting there
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:32 AM on January 10 [10 favorites]


"Some of my best friends are FBI."

LOL.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:33 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Sessions just said he has not looked into the Russian hacking other than whats in the media. what.
posted by gatorae at 8:33 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


Graham isn't trying to do anything clever. As Joy Ann Reid just put it:

We'll now be treated to the spectacle of two southern good old boys pontificating on one another's congeniality.
Because for the panel of rather elderly white gentlemen assembled today, the point is not "civil rights" (that old canard)... it's civility.
Am I the only one who who feels like I've gone through the wayback machine, to around 1950?
posted by zachlipton at 8:33 AM on January 10 [39 favorites]




Graham's smirking good-old-boy thing is really fucking irritating.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:34 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


"Save our country" mobilizes Republicans pretty well against an imaginary threat, so I would hope it could mobilize Democrats against a real one, even if those Democrats don't like each other.

DID YOU WATCH THE 2016 ELECTION AT ALL?
posted by Talez at 8:34 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


How would a law that allows authorities to question people about their religious beliefs in order to get a visa ever pass judicial scrutiny? Is patently unconstitutional and even the most biased jurists would be hard pressed to come up with a rationale to find it constitutional.

I guess it's more grist for the "activist judges" malarkey. Keep passing laws that a clearly unconstitutional (but popular among the base) and you have a built in campaign ad.
posted by vuron at 8:35 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Oh shit! You magnificent bastard. Graham is sticking it to him on Russian hacking the election, like five seconds after his bizarre softballing. "Do you think you can get briefed on that anytime soon?" Unfortunately he took up too much time on goddamn football and jokes so it's only there for a minute.
posted by corb at 8:35 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Jeez, Graham. If you don't want to be called a racist stop being racist. It's not hard.
posted by Talez at 8:35 AM on January 10 [8 favorites]


Graham asks another hardhitting question: how does it make you feel when people call you a bigot or a racist? The answer: "It does not feel good" [protesters]
posted by zachlipton at 8:36 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Graham: "Meanies call us good ol' boys racists. It sure doesn't feel good, does it? Can you elaborate on how mean people are?"
posted by uncleozzy at 8:36 AM on January 10 [9 favorites]


"Ban abortion" and "lower taxes" and "stop letting all those Muslims do their Musliming" are actual things, though.

I didn't say they weren't. The Tea Party is running against imaginary threats. We're running against real ones.


Right, but they don't only run as "at least I'm not that other guy" (as some think that Clinton and Kerry did against Trump and Bush). They clearly have an articulated policy agenda beyond "I'm not a Democrat or a RINO".
posted by Etrigan at 8:37 AM on January 10


Want to quit being called a racist? Quit doing racist shit
posted by vuron at 8:37 AM on January 10 [16 favorites]


Interesting new discussion on Slate's Trumpcast with Adam Schiff, Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on "why he has been so vocal about the Russian hacks, what journalism could look like going forward, and what a Democratic resistance looks like."
posted by Rykey at 8:39 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


They clearly have an articulated policy agenda beyond "I'm not a Democrat or a RINO".

No they don't. I mean, okay "Cut taxes," I'll give you that, but I wouldn't call that an articulated policy agenda.

DID YOU WATCH THE 2016 ELECTION AT ALL?

I heard a lot of "he can't possibly win" during the 2016 election. Hopefully everyone now sees that's wrong. Hopefully we now all believe the threat is real.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:39 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Purposefully running down the clock and throwing not-even-shade-really is not "magnificent bastard" territory. It's "ha ha just a wee bit of a jab old chum" wankery.
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