The Penultimate Week
January 14, 2017 5:22 AM   Subscribe

In seven days, Donald J. Trump is due to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. What happens next?

As Inauguration Day approaches, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSIC) gears up to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and more information regarding the FBI's investigation and the reaction of Democratic lawmakers comes to light.

Rex Tillerson's confirmation highlights links between Rosneft, Exxon and Qatar, which is also looking to get involved with Trump's domestic infrastructure deals. Meanwhile, a top Rosneft exec turns up dead in his car.

Back at the ranch, while the Trump Team now admit that Gen. Flynn spoke to the Russian Ambassador to the US the day the recent sanctions were announced, Trump himself is already signaling his readiness to lift them "after a period of time."

In the wake of Trump's first press conference in months, Alexi Kovalev sends "A Message to My Doomed Colleagues in the American Media."

Barack Obama bids us farewell, with dignity, grace and a warning reminiscent of Eisenhower's.

Trump remains quite impressed with himself, and the Trump faithful are stubbornly unconcerned.

In response, the Women's March on Washington is planned for Saturday, Jan 21st in DC, with sister marches in other cities.
posted by snuffleupagus (3272 comments total) 108 users marked this as a favorite
 
Links mostly harvested from the end of the previous Election Thread, looks like there's more reporting coming out this morning.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:25 AM on January 14 [12 favorites]


L.L. Bean, Don's Johns, Kata Sarka.
posted by box at 5:39 AM on January 14


My typical response to most news stories in the last two months.
posted by octothorpe at 5:44 AM on January 14 [74 favorites]


Yes, John Lewis, civil rights hero, is all talk, no action or results. (And how in the world does it take him 17 minutes to write the second half.)

@realDonaldTrump:
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......

@realDonaldTrump:
mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!


@Evan_McMullin:
While you avoided the draft, John Lewis risked his life for equality in America. You'll never even dream of such selfless patriotism, Donald
posted by chris24 at 5:46 AM on January 14 [193 favorites]


Did we talk about this shitbird in the previous thread?
posted by ian1977 at 5:46 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]




In German social media there are hints that the videos of Trump's frolic are to be had ... somewhere ... is this? I 'm not going to go look for them as much out of fear that I'll find them as to have that kind of query polluting Google's/NSA's view of my internet habits.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:52 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


@howiewolf:
John Lewis did more to make America great in one day on the Edmund Pettus Bridge than Donald Trump ever will. [image]
posted by chris24 at 5:54 AM on January 14 [88 favorites]


In German social media there are hints that the videos of Trump's frolic are to be had ... somewhere

The most credible mentions of video (that I've seen) so far have come from the Beeb:

Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele in hiding after Trump dossier [BBC]
Mr Steele has been widely named as the author of a series of memos - which have been published as a dossier in some US media - containing extensive allegations about Mr Trump's personal life and his campaign's relationship with the Russian state.

Among the allegations are that Moscow has a video recording of Mr Trump with prostitutes and damaging information about his business activities.

posted by snuffleupagus at 5:55 AM on January 14


Pee & Steele
posted by ian1977 at 5:58 AM on January 14 [15 favorites]


Don's Jons pota-potty vendor displeased at its name being covered on inaugural facilities.

Of all the things he doesn't want to endorse...
posted by condour75 at 6:01 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


(The sequel to 'The Clothes Have No Emperor' is going to be amazing.)
posted by box at 6:01 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


The evening Buzzfeed released the document, someone in the previous thread suggested the Democrats should start wearing yellow ties as a protest. I love that idea; I don't know if it's going to be a Thing for anyone else, but I've decided to adopt it personally. So on Inauguration Day, and every Friday for as long as he is in office, I'm planning to wear a yellow or gold tie. Possibly some other item on Fridays I'm not working.

Petty and trivial, yes, but personally satisfying and it's the kind of symbol that will help me personally keep my focus on the more substantive work that needs to happen.
posted by nickmark at 6:02 AM on January 14 [24 favorites]


I think it's telling that he denies allegations against him by quoting other people. "Totally fake! That guy says so."
posted by davebush at 6:05 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Maybe protestors could bring mattresses to the inauguration and label them Donald's Port-A-Potties.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:06 AM on January 14 [25 favorites]


In German social media there are hints that the videos of Trump's frolic are to be had ...

I'm sure that when RT replaces C-SPAN on 12:01 on the 20th, it'll be the lead item, just before Pence annoucnes Donnie has been taken sadly ill and is recuperating in a secure hospital overseas where the best attention - the best! - can be provided, and the UN building has been annexed to the Russian embassy in return for services rendered. All citizens are to remain calm and in their homes and enjoy the following show - Sasha and Ivan Go Phishing.

(Joking. 100 percent. Almost.)
posted by Devonian at 6:06 AM on January 14 [8 favorites]


Too on the nose?
posted by ian1977 at 6:06 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


On Jan 20th he will be president and he is still wet behind the ears.
posted by ian1977 at 6:07 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


(not to mention crime infested)

Because most of TrumP's audience needed to be reminded that John Lewis is black.
posted by Etrigan at 6:08 AM on January 14 [39 favorites]


Thank you, snuflleupagus!

If Putin's plan was to divide the Dems it would explain the worst of the Bernie Bros. It's one thing to say the ones who flipped from Bernie to Trumpo were "just" misogynists who hated HRC but that never really explained why such hateful people would have ever aligned themselves with the Dems or worse, a Socialist. I think the genuine haters were Trump supporters all along. That's not to say that they were all hand-picked double agents, but I can see the idea spreading amongst groups of assholes.

Also, I know it's a bad time to be a journalist but I think the photo editors are secretly having a ball.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:09 AM on January 14 [16 favorites]


Penthouse is only offering $1 million for video proof? Man I think you could get a lot more than that.
posted by ian1977 at 6:11 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


If we're going to clutter up the new thread with piss jokes, could they at least be original? Not the most obvious possible puns, that have already been made over and over?

this is why we can't have nice things
posted by thelonius at 6:12 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


I Will Survive
posted by chavenet at 6:17 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


All citizens are to remain calm and in their homes and enjoy the following show

Sounds like the time is ripe for a remake of Amerika.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:18 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Every day, Trump is looking more and more like the spiritual successor of Papa Duc Duvalier:

- elected on a wave of populism and racially-based nationalism
- staffing the government with his cronies, regardless of actual fitness for the position
- giving important positions to his family members

He even has his own Tonton Macoute. He calls it a "private security force", but still...

He hasn't noticeable started to practice Vodoun yet, but his Twitter feed might be a rough parallel.
posted by JohnFromGR at 6:18 AM on January 14 [41 favorites]


Hey can we talk about how the coming Democratic Purity Tests™ will hand Republicans a larger majority in 2 years and a Trump re-election in 4 years? Or is that a different thread?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:20 AM on January 14 [40 favorites]


You know what, it doesn't matter what happens. There's nothing that can be (legally) done about it as long as the GOP controls Congress. It's depressing as hell but our government wasn't built with the expectation of single party rule and much of what we've always called "checks and balances" are predicated on the assumption that there wouldn't be one party controlling both houses and the White House at the same time.
posted by tommasz at 6:20 AM on January 14 [13 favorites]




Nice protest sign.
posted by Coventry at 6:22 AM on January 14 [57 favorites]


there wouldn't be one party controlling both houses and the White House at the same time

And a majority of state houses and governorships. And the Supreme Court.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:22 AM on January 14 [13 favorites]


much of what we've always called "checks and balances" are predicated on the assumption that there wouldn't be one party controlling both houses and the White House at the same time.

It wasn't even founded on the assumption of the existence of parties, let alone the all but lockstep voting patterns of the present.
posted by jaduncan at 6:22 AM on January 14 [16 favorites]


If there is lurid evidence of trumps pee shenanigans I hope that it gets saved for midterms. Make the evidence public, then make it known that republicans sat on it. Use disgust to keep republicans home that day.
posted by ian1977 at 6:23 AM on January 14


One of the more apt memes I've seen recently (can't find the link anymore) went:

"This mailbox is more fit to serve as President than Donald Trump. It has selflessly served the American People for years."
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 6:23 AM on January 14 [26 favorites]


Most/all of his appointees are confirmed, including Scalia's replacement. Most/all of Obama's controversial executives orders, recent regulations and sub-regulatory agency guidance are repealed and a raft of older regulations are set on fast track for repeal. The legislative agenda moves forward at breakneck speed. Republicans and swing voters pay ever-less attention to the mainstream media.
posted by MattD at 6:25 AM on January 14


Use disgust to keep republicans home that day.

Republicans and Evangelicals made peace with the Access Hollywood tape, so they're sort of on board with whatever now. He just needs to have Jerry Falwell Jr. or whoever go on CNN and talk about how that was years ago and he's a changed man now.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:25 AM on January 14 [34 favorites]


Barack Obama bids us farewell, with dignity, grace and a warning reminiscent of Eisenhower's.

Time is running low for him to come and take everyone's guns.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:27 AM on January 14 [42 favorites]


Maybe. But I think there is a limit. The bully bush tape was roundly dismissed by Joe schmoes as locker room talk. Trump getting peed on will be beyond the pale for a lot of the same people. (Assuming there is such video and that is in it)
posted by ian1977 at 6:27 AM on January 14


If there is lurid evidence of trumps pee shenanigans I hope that it gets saved for midterms. Make the evidence public, then make it known that republicans sat on it. Use disgust to keep republicans home that day.
posted by ian1977 at 14:23 on January 14 [+] [!]

I couldn't care if Trump wants someone to urinate in his eyes and call him Nancy, it's about the fact that he appears to be in a situation where a foreign power has leverage over him. He implicitly suggests that it's true through his actions, but does not acknowledge the possibility in any way. The investigation has to happen now, because the US, NATO, allies and friends have serious geopolitical interests at stake.

It actually isn't a party thing, and is somewhat separate from the fact that Trump is in general presenting himself as an authoritarian lunatic who picks people with no discernable skill or aptitude to government positions and appears relatively corrupt.
posted by jaduncan at 6:27 AM on January 14 [80 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......

And Lewis represents some of the nicest, richest areas of Atlanta.

@fordvox:
Uh, @repjohnlewis's district is the economic engine of Georgia, includes downtown, Buckhead, @ATLairport, @GeorgiaTech, @EmoryUniversity
posted by chris24 at 6:28 AM on January 14 [64 favorites]


"That's just bed (locker) room video."
posted by valkane at 6:29 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Maybe. But I think there is a limit. The bully bush tape was roundly dismissed by Joe schmoes as locker room talk. Trump getting peed on will be beyond the pale for a lot of the same people. (Assuming there is such video and that is in it)

Nah, we'll get a replay of the "lots of guys like to watch their buddies screw!" scene from Repo Man, all over the US.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:29 AM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Republicans and Evangelicals made peace with the Access Hollywood tape, so they're sort of on board with whatever now. He just needs to have Jerry Falwell Jr. or whoever go on CNN and talk about how that was years ago and he's a changed man now.

He might well just dispute the allegation on the basis that it isn't really him on tape, and/or state something like FAKE NEWS WITCH HUNT FROM DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, PUTIN SAYS IT ISN'T TRUE ANYWAY. SAD!
posted by jaduncan at 6:30 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump, the Dunning-Kruger President

The original study's title, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments", is practically the ideal description of Trump.

"During the campaign, Trump made a number of statements that didn’t seem well-considered," the eponymous Prof. David Dunning says. "It seemed, especially in contrast with Hillary Clinton, that this was one of the least prepared candidates in my lifetime, but also the most confident candidate. It seemed like the most public example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, or something that looked like the Dunning-Kruger effect, that I’d ever seen." (He also calls the election's all-around surprise results "a collective Dunning-Kruger event".)

The added complication to Trump's unawareness of his incompetence is that he's always been rich enough to walk away from his failures without suffering real consequences, much less learning from them. Unfortunately for both him and everyone else, that's harder to do with the US presidency.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:30 AM on January 14 [99 favorites]


Trump getting peed on will be beyond the pale for a lot of the same people.

He'll claim that it's not him, it's digitally altered, it's Hollywood CGI stuff, the CIA made it to take him down, etc.

Where are you people getting your optimism that Republicans care one iota about any of this shit?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:31 AM on January 14 [104 favorites]


Last year, just a block from here, some taxi drivers ambushed an Uber driver. I still shudder when I walk past that spot. Extreme cowardice... Anyhow I thought bitterly that at this point, it would take the fundamental collapse of industrial civilisation to prevent the inevitability of the driverless car taking all of their jobs. I would say so with more certainty, but Trump.

The whole incident reminded me of how stupid people can get when they think someone's taking their job. And if they do that to other people, what do you think they're going to do to a driverless car? I know what Donald would do to quell their anger. He'd guarantee their jobs by putting them in the driverless cars. He'd give them fake jobs, pretending to drive them.

How do I know this? Of the few boasts of his that doesn't ring hollow, it is true he had a successful TV show. On this TV show, he gave people fake jobs. I don't think he ever stopped. He just gave his son-in-law a fake job.

As an aside, how fucked in the head is it that he's paying his son for his advice? In my experience close families share advice whether it's asked for or not. And this isn't 'a penny for your thoughts, kid', it's a full time fake job in the white house!

This all makes sense when you reflect that Donald doesn't see any difference between a real job and a fake job. He can't even tell the difference between real news and fake news. He thinks being president is exactly the same as being one of those fake drivers. Because it is becoming glaringly obvious that he expects the white house to drive itself.
posted by adept256 at 6:33 AM on January 14 [18 favorites]


maybe. But I think a lot of prudish people will be waaaaaay turned off. True believers? Yeah sure they will find a way to get on board. But that's not the bulk of them.
posted by ian1977 at 6:34 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "Where are you people getting your optimism that Republicans care one iota about any of this shit?"

Indeed, as if "water sports" were somehow a wholly lefty pursuit.
posted by chavenet at 6:35 AM on January 14


He just gave his son-in-law a fake job.

By most accounts Kushner was central to winning an election that nobody thought could be won; he was in charge of a lot of the Facebook marketing and microtargetting. He's someone close and trusted, I can see exactly why Donald wants him on staff.
posted by jaduncan at 6:36 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


Thanks for that link, Doktor Zed. I have been saying for months that Trump is the walking embodiment of Dunning-Kruger syndrome, and now I know that Dunning himself agrees.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:41 AM on January 14 [28 favorites]


It's not the sexual acts that matter, it's that solid proof he is Putin's puppet means there is proof of treason. Then it really doesn't matter what his supporters think, he will have to be convicted. I mean, it's clear to me Russia has some hold over him, but perhaps people don't believe it because he isn't even trying to cover it up? I mean, he quotes Russian sources when attacking Americans. I can only hold out hope there is an adult somewhere to make the case and make it stick. I know congress needs to want to impeach, but is there a process for removing a president who has committed treason?
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:44 AM on January 14 [44 favorites]


NPR Website Goes Down At Office Of Government Ethics Amid Political Storm
the site failure came as a result of the usually sleepy office's website receiving 1 million visitors in just the last three days.

Normally, it gets about 300,000 — in an entire year.
The attacks on the OGE by Republicans is one of those side stories that's really important but isn't getting a whole lot of traction because there is so much going on right now. Another Republican dirty tricks tip: when your leader is attacked on his ethics, attack the ethics of the accuser even if it is the Office of Ethics.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:44 AM on January 14 [75 favorites]


It's not that the Republicans control everything - these things happen sometimes in democracies, no matter what the system - but that they do so despite losing the popular vote in the general election.

I don't know any other democratic country where on a single national vote for a single outcome, the loser of the popular vote gets to win. Parliamentary elections, sure, but that's multiple votes for multiple outcomes.

This is the fault line.
posted by Devonian at 6:45 AM on January 14 [54 favorites]


I know congress needs to want to impeach, but is there a process for removing a president who has committed treason?

Impeachment is the process for that:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
posted by thelonius at 6:46 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


I just want to back up to the, almost certain, repeal of the ACA and coverage of pre-existing conditions. Like Ghidorah commented in the previous thread, I didn't / don't have plans to return to the USA. But before the ACA came into existence it would have equated to fairly certain significant physical disability and a slow form of medicated suicide. The ACA meant that at least I'd have a chance at coverage for my chronic condition (AS with complications) including the ~$30-50k annual medications costs (not even looking at all the procedures and specialists) if circumstances required I move back.

It looks likely that that's gone.
posted by michswiss at 6:46 AM on January 14 [14 favorites]


Every country in Europe and the EU itself are pushing the alarm buttons. Here in Denmark, this includes outing politicians and pundits as Putin Quislings, even if they are necessary government allies. People are really, really scared.
posted by mumimor (previous thread)

Here in Italy actually no-one seems to be registering the enormity of what's going on. General consensus seems to be oh, looks like Trump's not going to last long, but none of the ominous failure of the political process has really made an impression in general media and casual discourse.

(Incidentally: the fact that Italy's top retail bank, Intesa, was the main advisor in that dossiered Rosneft sale to the Swiss and Qataris, hasn't got much media traction here, but there are those who note how it was specifically Qatar not following through with taking a stake in MPS in early January that caused it to become the main quake in the current Italian bank crisis (previously) that many see as foreshadowing the next great systemic shock to the EU...)
posted by progosk at 6:47 AM on January 14 [11 favorites]


Thanks thelonius. So, I guess that means we need to rely on some principled Republicans. Sigh.
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:48 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I'm a bit dense, so please walk me through this. Why would Republicans want to impeach Donald Trump, thus enraging his supporters that they rely on? Right now the Republicans are watching the Democrats attack each other over the purity of their ideals; with a weakened opposition party and control at all levels of state and federal government, why on earth would they do anything to fuck up the amazing thing they have going?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:50 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


[One deleted. Please don't get into hopes and wishes for the deaths and/or pain of other people, and generally folks, while we're at it, let's avoid super grimdark imaginings, the super dark gallows humor stuff, the "we're all DOOOMED," stuff etc., which while for some people is just a way to vent and doesn't mean that much, can be pretty awful for a lot of others who may want to be able to read the thread to keep up with news, but don't want to be triggered or sent further into spiralling depression. We can manage to discuss the news without harming each other in the process, so let's do that, please. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 6:50 AM on January 14 [127 favorites]


At what point does conspiracy in treason become treason? Is there even a dividing line? It might help arouse the slumbering sense of patriotism and national responsibility in some people's hearts if they start to suspect that, even if they pull off the trick of keeping Trump's arse from the fire this time around, the crime of the century will come to trial at some point in the future and they'll be up there in the dock with him.

Then they'll have to decide what they believe - that this will never happen, because they'll never lose power, or that it might, and they might cop it. Fear, uncertainty and doubt are pretty good tools for calling people to righteousness.
posted by Devonian at 6:53 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Why would Republicans want to impeach Donald Trump...?

They will only do it if there is a groundswell of popular outrage that threatens their ability to retain power in Congress.
posted by thelonius at 6:56 AM on January 14 [24 favorites]


I'm a bit dense, so please walk me through this. Why would Republicans want to impeach Donald Trump, thus enraging his supporters that they rely on? Right now the Republicans are watching the Democrats attack each other over the purity of their ideals; with a weakened opposition party and control at all levels of state and federal government, why on earth would they do anything to fuck up the amazing thing they have going?

If there is undeniable evidence of treason, how can they ignore it? I feel painfully naive based on what has happened so far (they have ignored all of the "surely this!" moments) but there is a point when they either care about the country enough or worry that they will be ousted at the next election, right?
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:57 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


At what point does conspiracy in treason become treason? Is there even a dividing line? It might help arouse the slumbering sense of patriotism and national responsibility in some people's hearts if they start to suspect that, even if they pull off the trick of keeping Trump's arse from the fire this time around, the crime of the century will come to trial at some point in the future and they'll be up there in the dock with him.

Conspiracy to commit treason is treason and it's one of the few crimes actually defined in the constitution.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
So you would need witnesses to an overt act.

Right now we have circumstantial evidence to alleged treason.
posted by Talez at 7:01 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


If there is undeniable evidence of treason, how can they ignore it?

Define "undeniable." Trump will claim that it's been doctored. Fake news. A grand conspiracy by the intelligence community to remove an elected President from office. If Republicans help to impeach, then they are now part of the conspiracy, and the "throw the bums out" voters will turn on them. Trump tried to drain the swamp, and the powers that be were just too powerful.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:01 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Look, I know it'sounds a lot to ask, but new Yorkers and californians - your going to all have to move to Mississippi, Alabama, Wyoming, and Kansas (and anywhere else possible) en masse in three years... but, if you can do it collectively and stomach it for just one year - oh the political redirection you can make!
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:01 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


Look, I know it'sounds a lot to ask, but new Yorkers and californians - your going to all have to move to Mississippi, Alabama, Wyoming, and Kansas (and anywhere else possible) en masse in three years... but, if you can do it collectively and stomach it for just one year - oh the political redirection you can make!

If we did that I can guarantee you that the electoral votes would be chosen by the statehouse that election.
posted by Talez at 7:02 AM on January 14 [13 favorites]


Until recently, I've always feared the rise of a leader who could stand at a podium and articulate a coldly calculated, point-by-point agenda designed to fuck shit up. That's what I once thought would be a sign of dangerous times. I guess it still could be.

But never did I imagine word-salad would send a real chill down my spine. Cartoonish, rambling incoherence was how other countries were talked into submission.

That press conference, together with the barrage of confirmation hearings and non-stop misinformation . . . how do you gain ground against it all? One horrible thing would hurt them. Fifty, they get a pass because nobody can focus on anything long enough to make it stick.

And doesn't the whole "used foundation money to buy portrait" seem almost quaint? Like anybody who would even consider voting for Trump would give a shit.

See? Now they've made me a rambling fool. That's how they get you.
posted by Caxton1476 at 7:03 AM on January 14 [54 favorites]


What happens next?

For those in the Federal government, the same thing that's been going on since he was elected: how will we be downsized, will a hiring freeze be put into effect, and how do we continue to serve the people?

Our office is already seeing the effects of a potential freeze so hm.
posted by datawrangler at 7:03 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


Another example of a "side story" that is bugging the shit out of me

The Oregonian: Republicans no longer defensive about 'fake news,' redefine it to their advantage: News analysis
During Senate confirmation hearings Thursday, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson if he could guarantee that, under his watch, Housing and Urban Development funds "will not end up in the president-elect's pockets."

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown -- like Warren, a Democrat -- pointed out that President-elect Donald Trump holds an interest in "at least one subsidized housing project."

Sen. Thom Tillis had had enough. The North Carolina Republican suggested such questioning of Trump's HUD-secretary nominee was inappropriate and would cause a "fake-news cycle."
This isn't new, of course, for a few weeks now we have been seeing that Republicans defended Breitbart and FOX by calling any media outlet they didn't like as fake news. What struck me about Tillis' remark is that he used the term so widely as to preemptively label any information coming out about Trump's possible conflict of interest as fake.
Republicans are increasingly taking the "fake-news" term and turning it to their own purposes.

For them, it no longer refers to dubious conservative news outlets but instead to any news report that questions Republican orthodoxy or criticizes Trump.
One thing that this election has done for me is solidify my dislike and distrust of the Republican leadership. I knew that there were a lot of bad apples but I used to think that being a Republican didn't necessarily mean they were terrible people-- it just meant I did not agree with their approach toward government. This election clearly shows I was wrong. The Republicans running this country are terrible people that will use any trick, do anything to keep power for themselves so they can destroy Government for the People and make it Government for the 1%. Taking medical coverage away from millions of Americans just so they can prove that "Government does not work," is staggeringly evil.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:09 AM on January 14 [142 favorites]


Two witnesses.

This novel's a real page turner, isn't it?
posted by Devonian at 7:10 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


I have spent all morning wondering whether there is some way we could bait the Donald into using the phrase "yellow journalism" because, well, piss jokes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:10 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


I don't know any other democratic country where on a single national vote for a single outcome, the loser of the popular vote gets to win. Parliamentary elections, sure, but that's multiple votes for multiple outcomes.

Why would you say parliamentary elections are any different? Not trying to argue, I've just sat here for a bit and can't figure it out - the fundamental issue seems the same: where representation is scaled to land areas rather than populace?

I've lived in both Malaysia and Australia and it's not unheard of for the winner of the election to sometimes lose the popular vote.

In 1998 John Howard won 80-67 to form government but lost the popular vote 49% to 51%

In 2013 Najib won 133-89 to form government but lost the popular vote 47% to 51%
posted by xdvesper at 7:10 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Going after John Lewis?

What
posted by Kitteh at 7:13 AM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Trump stumbled over the truth on free trade, the issue which I believe swung the rust belt states in his favor, though not all would agree, nor do I care to debate it, but aside from renegotiating trade deals, and giving American workers a fighting chance, Trump is going to govern as a statist. He'll toss bones to evangelicals, but his primary focus will be undoing as many restraints on corporate excess as he can get away with.
posted by Beholder at 7:14 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


Fear not, there is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
posted by davebush at 7:16 AM on January 14 [37 favorites]


If Putin's plan was to divide the Dems it would explain the worst of the Bernie Bros. It's one thing to say the ones who flipped from Bernie to Trumpo were "just" misogynists who hated HRC but that never really explained why such hateful people would have ever aligned themselves with the Dems or worse, a Socialist. I think the genuine haters were Trump supporters all along. That's not to say that they were all hand-picked double agents, but I can see the idea spreading amongst groups of assholes

As ever, the problem isn't the handful of theoretical plants or fifth columnists or however you want to explain away certain behavior. The problem is that there were enough people on the left who were eager to buy what they were selling.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:16 AM on January 14 [43 favorites]


I think parliamentary elections are different, because the leader of the parliament's not directly elected, and their party will often replace them. Off the top of my head, about half the time in the UK, the prime minister changes without an election.
posted by ambrosen at 7:17 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Room 641-A, if you're going to make inflammatory claims like that on MetaFilter, you need to provide some evidence that a substantial number of Bernie supporters voted for Trump. There were a lot of polls conducted during the campaign, some of the polls conducted after the conventions broke out at former Sanders supporters as a subgroup. To the best of my recollection, they showed that an overwhelming majority of them were voting for Clinton, which matches my experience. And, no, couple anonymous commenters on the internet claiming to have a friend who supported Sanders and switched to Trump doesn't count as evidence.

Without that, your claim sounds like an extension of David Brock's efforts to drive progressives Democrats out of the Party. I can imagine some them getting discouraged by all the harassment we faced during the campaign and giving up on the Democratic Party – that was idea, after all – but I can't imagine a single progressive Democrat who supported Sanders voting for Trump.
posted by nangar at 7:18 AM on January 14 [25 favorites]


That's not statism, Beholder. That's crony capitalism. From a more principaled President, you could call it laissez-faire capitalism. From Trump, it's just oligarchy.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:19 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
INTELLIGENCE INSIDERS NOW CLAIM THE TRUMP DOSSIER IS "A COMPLETE FRAUD!" @OANN


Today I learned that "One America News Network" is more reliable than all non-FSB intelligence agencies.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:20 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


Recently we had a FPP on the US Transgender Survey. Our community already face extremely high rates of attempted/completed suicide; endemic poverty, unemployment, and instability; extraordinary levels of harassment and discrimination; and the list never really stops.

Here's something I'd really like you to think about. On page 48 of the full report, there is a graph of years since people transitioned. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of respondents transitioned in the last 6 years. Thirteen percent (13%) transitioned 6-9 years ago, while 18% transitioned 10+ years ago.

Basically, the vast majority of people who responded to the survey came out in the Obama Administration, while less than 1-in-5 transitioned during the Bush Administration. This survey suggests that most trans people who are out, came out once an Administration would go to bat for us. How many of us won't feel safe to truly be ourselves because of this disaster?

Please read this article (Obama Opened a Window: We're Terrified [that man] will shut it). Little kids have their identities recognized now in a way I could only dream of as a child. I had hoped they would never know a President who held them in such contempt.

I knew what I was getting into when I came out, and the start of the Obama administration was really a breath of fresh air. Things really seemed to be improving. Now, though...

I am begging you: Please, please, please stand up for your trans friends and relatives. We are few, but willful. Please stand with us. Please don't let them kill more of us. We just want to live our lives.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 7:20 AM on January 14 [191 favorites]


If Putin's plan was to divide the Dems it would explain the worst of the Bernie Bros. It's one thing to say the ones who flipped from Bernie to Trumpo were "just" misogynists who hated HRC but that never really explained why such hateful people would have ever aligned themselves with the Dems or worse, a Socialist. I think the genuine haters were Trump supporters all along. That's not to say that they were all hand-picked double agents, but I can see the idea spreading amongst groups of assholes

Left-wing misogyny is widespread and has been as long as there's been a left, so much so that there's even a word for it: "brocialism". Lefty dudes being misogynist douches doesn't require conspiracies or foreign collaborators- there's plenty of them out there already.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:20 AM on January 14 [42 favorites]


In Parliamentary elections you get to vote for a local representative in the national parliament, and those representatives get to choose who leads the country - as you say (and as I said), this can lead to the majority of voters voting for a party but that party not getting a majority of seats - or indeed being in government at all.

But you don't vote for a national leader directly. Even if you vote for the winning party, it's possible (although unlikely) that the leader at the time of voting isn't the person who becomes prime minister; they can certainly be replaced by someone else, someone potentially not even on the ballot during the general election, during the course of the parliament, without triggering new elections.

In the US, there's a single national vote for a single outcome. That's the difference. I don't know of any other country with a single national vote for a single outcome where the minority can win. (I am, however, ignorant of most countrys' democratic processes, so there's that...)
posted by Devonian at 7:21 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


If a small subset Bernie supporters did anything harmful on November 8, it was to just stay home. They did not vote for Trump on any more than an anecdotal level.

I am not a huge fan of the Bernie wing of the party, but come on.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:22 AM on January 14 [13 favorites]


Here's my rebuttal to folks who think that the Republicans in the House and Senate are all of a sudden going to take a principled stand and move to oust Trump: John McCain, the guy who ACTUALLY SENT THE INTELLIGENCE DOSSIER TO THE FBI refused to campaign against Trump during the election and, whenever asked, claimed that he supported "the Republican nominee for President."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:22 AM on January 14 [78 favorites]


The media has to stop feeding the beast. John Garfield's On the Media has a great interview with Nathan Robinson from Current Affairs on this that is super smart. Do we really need journalists to chase down whether Trump's claim about the number of dresses available in D.C. is a lie or not? NO - we need to know about lies that affect people's lies and hammer on those. I wish I could get the entire news corp to listen to this.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:26 AM on January 14 [19 favorites]


As to the "principled Republicans" myth, I'll just quote from this article:

"The reason Trump doesn’t need to release his tax returns, or resolve the financial conflicts of interest inherent in his ownership of the Trump Organization, or explain his thinking about Russia clearly is that Republicans haven’t made him.

Congressional Republicans know how to play hardball if they want to.

* It would have been trivially easy for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to refuse to schedule confirmation hearings with Rex Tillerson until its members got to have a chat with the president-elect about Russia.
* House Government Affairs Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz has been fanatical about Hillary Clinton email investigations but simply chooses not to hold hearings on Trump’s conflicts of interest.
* Congress could amend the statute governing executive branch conflicts of interest to extend coverage to the president.

Nothing along these lines has happened for two reasons. First, congressional Republicans seem to have uniformly reached the conclusion that the political costs of fighting with Trump exceed the political risk that they will end up being dragged down by his corruption when scandal erupts. Second, congressional Republicans seem to have universally reached the moral judgment that preventing the wholesale corruption of the federal government isn’t particularly important in the grand scheme of things. "
posted by bitmage at 7:26 AM on January 14 [114 favorites]


Today on Facebook, I saw someone on Facebook defending Russia, saying that we were being "gaslighted." A friend of mine (possessed of saintly patience) asked him to explain what he meant by "gaslighting." He said it meant believing whatever the government authorities tell you. So there's another useful term that has been stolen by the Alt Right and mangled beyond usefulness in public discourse.
posted by BrashTech at 7:27 AM on January 14 [43 favorites]


Anyway, the only way the left is going to do anything useful is to lower the bar for inclusion into the activist and governing spaces. If you can show up and wave a sign and write a letter and cast a vote, you're on my side enough for me to stand beside you and do the work together.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:28 AM on January 14 [20 favorites]


In Chicago we have a porta-potty company called Oui-Oui Enterprises. Just sayin'.
posted by lagomorphius at 7:29 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


They will only do it if there is a groundswell of popular outrage that threatens their ability to retain power in Congress.

They may be completely fucked once there's another election, but there's a chance that means there just won't be more elections. That's what who double down will be counting on.
posted by Artw at 7:29 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I don't know any other democratic country where on a single national vote for a single outcome, the loser of the popular vote gets to win.

This is what I woke up thinking this morning. It isn't just that Hillary lost by a tiny, tiny fraction of the votes in the wrong places, it is that we have gone from hope in a progressive future and a Government that protects us and helps us in need, to a very nasty 180 degree turn into bleakness and despair. Things we will lose: ACA, MediCare, MediCaid, Social Security, Battle against Global Warming, Voting Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Women's Reproductive Rights, Big Business Regulations, Minimum wage, NATO, UN, Public Education. Things we will gain: freedom to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. (Which we have always had.) It's absurd. It's beyond belief. Lots of Americans are going to be finding out in the next 4 years how much their government has done for them in the past and they just took it for granted.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:30 AM on January 14 [112 favorites]


Things we will gain: freedom to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. (Which we have always had.)

Economic mobility depends on a robust social safety net and all of those things that, historically, actually created economic mobility. The Republicans are adamantly opposed to those things, because they are opposed to economic mobility.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:33 AM on January 14 [30 favorites]


"let's avoid super grimdark imaginings"

I posted a meta a couple of weeks ago that asked if the site planned to make any changes in policy or moderation with the new administration, this is an example of one of the things I feared might happen.

Taz, I understand your desire to protect folks that may be already struggling, I know you have people's best interest in mind and I respect that, but I'm concerned that asking us to avoid and not mention our deepest fears and speculations allows some very possible realities to never be discussed when, perhaps, they SHOULD be voiced and talked about.

Honestly, ALL of my "imaginings" are pretty "grimdark" right now...since I can't voice them here, I guess it's back to that dark, cold basement corner for me.
posted by HuronBob at 7:35 AM on January 14 [99 favorites]


Republican senator.

@BenSasse Retweeted Donald J. Trump
John Lewis and his "talk" have changed the world. [image]
posted by chris24 at 7:35 AM on January 14 [25 favorites]


Urban Dictionary Word of the Day: Banana Republican
posted by fuse theorem at 7:38 AM on January 14 [17 favorites]


When Comey started addressing the group, he told them he was “tone deaf to politics.

This is like racists who declare they don't see color. Comey has his head so far up his ass that, like racists ignoring race, his pretending to ignore the political ramifications of his actions is quite political.
posted by JackFlash at 7:39 AM on January 14 [45 favorites]


Why would Republicans want to impeach Donald Trump...?

Republicans will want to stay in power in four years. So here are their choices:

1. Keep Trump. He is already planning his next run. He has proven himself electable and has overcome huge scandals already.
2. Impeach Trump and run Pence. Pence is not a nationally appealing candidate, he is too extreme in his Christian views and too bland. Very doubtful he could get elected.
3. Impeach Trump and run someone else. That would be a better option than Pence but if Trump is impeached that would be such a blow to the idea of a Republican Presidency it is pretty much guaranteeing a Democrat takes the WH.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:40 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


If a small subset Bernie supporters did anything harmful on November 8

It wasn't November 8 that I care about. It was the relentless ongoing noise starting before the convention. I know people who, after months of being anti-Clinton, finally voted for her -- but that was after months of being anti-Clinton with all of their friends and family and generally creating a hostile environment for those of us who did like her and/or appreciated the stakes.

As for progressives leaving the party -- honestly, I got sick of putting in the emotional labor to rope in vascillating supporters months ago. We're going to be retrenching, and I don't think any of them understand just how defensive we'll be. Roe v Wade is dead. So are any appreciable limits to global warming. And the idealists* who leave are people who don't understand the stakes.

* I'm progressive. I wouldn't leave because I am pragmatic as all fuck.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 7:40 AM on January 14 [58 favorites]


Of course, Sasse yesterday tried to get Lewis to abandon his principles and attend the inauguration of a racist traitor, so...

@BenSasse
To John Lewis, one of my heroes:

Please come to the Inauguration. It isn't about a man. It is a celebration of peaceful transfer of power.
posted by chris24 at 7:40 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Focusing on this latest tweet from Trump is an example of what Nathan Robinson is talking about on On the Media. Now there will be news stories on John Lewis' district when the focus should be on the Russians and the GOP and what their policies will do to real people, the people who voted for him. This is NOT to say that John Lewis shouldn't be defended - he is an American hero - but Trump's tweets should not be the story.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:41 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


Whether or not the dossier leads to any congressional action, the most important thing is that it is derailing his attempt to make himself more popular in the run-up to and early days of his presidency. If the conversation wasn't taken up with this or something equally scandalous, we'd be seeing a whole lot more of him "saving" a few hundred jobs by slashing corporate taxes or about how he's gonna Drain the Swamp somewhere as he appoints oligarchs. Instead, right now Trump = Corruption, Treason, Outrage (and Piss).

Fact is, compared to every other incoming president since indoor plumbing, Trump is despised and the system of democratic apartheid that allows him and the GOP to stay in power does not have popular support. Fascist demagogues are a lot more successful when they are actually popular. 20% of the country allowing him to do absolutely anything is hugely different than 50%, and it's crucial to keep that number as low as possible now, while the country is cementing its opinion. Because he will do anything. The fouler he and his associates smell to the average american early in their regime, the greater the chances become of building an effective resistance when shit gets realer.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:43 AM on January 14 [49 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump:
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......

@realDonaldTrump:
mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!


...So said the man who was sued by the Department of Justice for racial discrimination at his housing projects.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:44 AM on January 14 [22 favorites]


I'm trans and gay and have basically no hope. There is zero chance that things will improve for me and a very good chance they will get significantly worse. Send me a memail if you're an EU citizen, especially Scandinavian, and want to get married. I like cold weather and I know how to load the dishwasher properly.
posted by AFABulous at 7:45 AM on January 14 [32 favorites]


As an Atlanta resident who will be marching with Rep Lewis on Monday in the annual march in memory of Dr. King, these tweets are a pretty big deal here. He is insulting our congressman, the Civil Rights Movement, and our entire city and, obviously, being really fucking racist.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:45 AM on January 14 [102 favorites]


But what's the alternative, bluesky43? Should the world's press just ignore the John Lewis story as the President-elect attacks a civil rights hero and majority-black neighborhoods on MLK weekend? I agree it shouldn't be the only story, and there are a lot of balls to keep in the air at once, but this stuff is real too, not just a distraction.
posted by zachlipton at 7:45 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


Re: the treason angle:
...or in adhering to their Enemies...

Who gets to define Russia as an enemy? Trump has repeatedly indicated he wants friendly relations with Russia. If Russia is a friend of the United States, then there can be no treason.

Don't suggest that Russia can't be a friend because friends don't conduct espionage operations, not when the United States and Canada (for example) routinely conduct espionage operations against each other. You'd have a better chance of impeaching Obama for treason with respect to his actions with Cuba than you would with Trump and Russia.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:45 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Whether or not the dossier leads to any congressional action, the most important thing is that it is derailing his attempt to make himself more popular in the run-up to and early days of his presidency.

Yep. All this Putin stuff and assorted craziness is killing his already record low popularity. He lost 13 points with independents in the last month. His net favorability is not just the lowest ever, it's 44 points lower than any PEOTUS polled before.
posted by chris24 at 7:45 AM on January 14 [23 favorites]


I have spent all morning wondering whether there is some way we could bait the Donald into using the phrase "yellow journalism"

Someone would have to put it on the teleprompter, because sincerely I don't believe he knows the term. He probably doesn't know the name William Randolph Hearst (to identify him, at least). Or P.T. Barnum. Or McCarthy.
posted by datawrangler at 7:45 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


there wouldn't be one party controlling both houses and the White House at the same time

There were no checks and balances against party organization of any kind in the design. They didn't expect parties at all and as Washington argued, weren't all convinced the system could survive the introduction of parties. The process by design was supposed to be academic and deliberative, with all parties assumed to be making their best faith efforts to think through problems and policy solutions without regard for any loyalties outside personal loyalty to the Republic and the public interest. There are literally no checks and balances designed to account for party competition because many in the revolutionary elite, like Washington, expressly didn't expect or want permanent parties to form at all.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:46 AM on January 14 [19 favorites]


Why would Republicans want to impeach Donald Trump, thus enraging his supporters that they rely on?

Right now, you're not hearing from a single senator who says he's willing to impeach Trump. There's not a critical mass, so no one is mentioning anything. Even if there exist senators who want to, they're not risking their political capital by saying they want to - what if they need it for something later?

GOP senators aren't the only ones susceptible to this disease. In confirmation hearings for Mattis, Elizabeth Warren spoke glowingly and said "we're counting on you". But she still voted against the waiver - the measurable thing everyone can check quickly to test her purity. She keeps her political capital as the outsider who fights every battle; rather than vote for someone who could be an actual check on the Trump administration.

I don't know how to fix this problem, except to be more generous to our representatives on a wide scale, and I don't know if that's possible right now.
posted by corb at 7:46 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Republican senator.

@BenSasse Retweeted Donald J. Trump
John Lewis and his "talk" have changed the world.


I wouldn't be too quick to praise Ben Sasse.

@BenSasse To John Lewis, one of my heroes: Please come to the Inauguration. It isn't about a man. It is a celebration of peaceful transfer of power.

The idea that this Nebraskan Senator would try to "whitesplain" to John Lewis on the pros and cons of protesting is pretty mindboggling.

Oh! Pipped to the post by Chris 24. Oh well I'll leave my comment.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:48 AM on January 14 [17 favorites]


Trump voters have no idea who John Lewis is. They will look at him, see one of those "people from Chicago who are taking our hard-earned money" blah, blah, blah, racist-dogwhistle-cakes, and they'll side with Trump in their feud. I live in Iowa, and I'm frequently staggered by the ignorance about anything related to the civil rights movement that I encounter here, even among people who consider themselves educated progressives. Like, a bunch of my friends were very surprised to learn that a bunch of school districts in Virginia shut down the public schools in the '60s rather than integrate, because it sounded so crazy, plus they didn't think that Virginia was really the South South, the way Alabama and Mississippi are. People here aren't educated about that vitally important part of American history, because people here really believe that it has nothing to do with them.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:48 AM on January 14 [59 favorites]


Has any country in the modern era recovered from being run by fascists to a government made up of actual adults without a tremendous amount of violence being involved? Are there any examples that we can look at to gain insight into how we might get our country back from the people who have stolen it?

The last time the fascists rose up in such force (and here I'm referring not just to the situation in the US with the Republicans, but also in Europe with UKIP and Le Pen) the reasonable people of the world tried to be reasonable and tried to talk and tried to deal and the price for those actions numbers in the many millions of lives. We have a responsibility to everyone on Earth to try to resolve this faster and more decisively. I hope that doesn't mean violence, but frankly I'd rather fight the monsters now than wait until they kill a few million innocents and then end up fighting them anyway.
posted by IAmUnaware at 7:50 AM on January 14 [14 favorites]


Fascist demagogues are a lot more successful when they are actually popular.

I would add: when they are actually smart.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:51 AM on January 14 [15 favorites]


The only way Republicans will take action against the (present) POTUS-elect is if he steps on their rights. Anything that diminishes their power, prestige, and/or income is likely to get their attention. But for now, it will be quiet because abused people know that when you draw attention to yourself it's likely to be bad attention, and you don't want the verbal smack that goes with it. So elected officials: stay quiet, until things get desperate, or you decide that defending someone else is something you can't help but do. Ultimately, you'll have to love something more than yourself.
posted by datawrangler at 7:51 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


Repealing the ACA is going to be a massive economic clusterfuck, and that could conceivably get the Republicans' attention. I don't think they give a flying fuck that it's going to kill people, but it's also going to be a disaster for insurance companies and the entire medical industry, and that may be an issue for them. Interestingly, though, the impetus for that is coming from the Republican establishment, not from Trump. They may find it advantageous to blame Trump anyway.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:54 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


Has any country in the modern era recovered from being run by fascists to a government made up of actual adults without a tremendous amount of violence being involved?

Spain and Portugal.
posted by thelonius at 7:54 AM on January 14 [42 favorites]


Of course, Sasse yesterday tried to get Lewis to abandon his principles and attend the inauguration of a racist traitor, so...
The man broke ranks when he praised John Lewis. That wouldn't have been remarkable if he hadn't been standing with his party previously.
posted by billjings at 7:57 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Right now, you're not hearing from a single senator who says he's willing to impeach

I mean, at least wait til the 21st, give the guy a few inches of rope...
posted by sammyo at 7:57 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Philippe Reines played Trump in debate prep for Hillary Clinton. Politico has a deep dive on that process that's well worth reading, but this detail stands out (h/t Sopan Deb):
Hoping to fully become the character he had been cast to play, Reines briefly went off his meds (he declined to say which, or if he has since resumed them).
posted by zachlipton at 7:58 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


Trump voters have no idea who John Lewis is. They will look at him, see one of those "people from Chicago who are taking our hard-earned money" blah, blah, blah,

This so much this. People, the era of decency is gone and my fear is that any focus on progressive principles is going to have to be sidelined by just trying to maintain a democracy. I am not typically a highly reactive person but things are happening so fast and the media is so willing to be sucked into the Trump tweet vortex of disinformation and distraction, I fear for the future of my country.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:01 AM on January 14 [14 favorites]


If someone would wake me up when this shitshow is over, that would be great!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


> Without that, your claim sounds like an extension of David Brock's efforts to drive progressives Democrats out of the Party. I can imagine some them getting discouraged by all the harassment we faced during the campaign and giving up on the Democratic Party – that was idea, after all – but I can't imagine a single progressive Democrat who supported Sanders voting for Trump.

I'm not sure if we just misunderstand each other, but that was my point, that there was -- at least in part -- a deliberate misinformation or disruption campaign designed to divide Democrats. Are you saying that after Bernie lost you never heard of (alleged) Bernie supporters who were (allegedly) going to vote for Trump and who would never vote for HRC? It certainly makes more sense to me that it was outsiders who harassed HRC supporters on Twitter, or left those awful voice mails for that delegate. It never made sense to me that a true supporter of Bernie (and by default, whichever D was nominated) would act that way.

I was a very vocal Bernie supporter here (and volunteer IRL.) Why would I want to run progressives out of the party?
posted by Room 641-A at 8:03 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


Has any country in the modern era recovered from being run by fascists to a government made up of actual adults without a tremendous amount of violence being involved?

Spain and Portugal.


Apart from the whole Spanish Civil War thing.
posted by billiebee at 8:04 AM on January 14 [12 favorites]


abused people know that when you draw attention to yourself it's likely to be bad attention, and you don't want the verbal smack that goes with it.

You know, this is a really interesting (and I think apt) analogy. When living with an abuser, you know you'll have to stand up on some things, but you know there will be a huge cost when you do. So you try to save your energy only for the important stuff. But every time something happens, you have to consider: is this the worst that will happen for a while? Is it worth standing up now and taking the lumps, or is there maybe going to be something worse coming?

With Trump, no one is ever sure what worse thing is coming.
posted by corb at 8:04 AM on January 14 [74 favorites]


Adjusted for inflation, what's a higher price, 19.5% of Rosneft or 60 guilders of beads and trinkets?

Seems to me Trump isn't that good a deal-maker, considering the price.
posted by mahorn at 8:05 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


Trump voters have no idea who John Lewis is. They will look at him, see one of those "people from Chicago who are taking our hard-earned money" blah, blah, blah,

But again, maybe we don't need to care about winning over Trump voters. Maybe we need to deliver a one-two punch of depressing and embarrassing them so much they quiet down, lose energy, and stay home (Pee scandals!) and firing up and energizing and empowering the Democrats, especially disillusioned minority voters, who stayed home in the last election. So in that scenario, Democrats stepping up and passionately defending John Lewis, the hero of a civil rights movement, against Trump's attacks seems like a decent strategy to me.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:05 AM on January 14 [44 favorites]


Apart from the whole Spanish Civil War thing.

That's probably the fascism being recovering from, since that's how fascists came to power in Spain, so ease off the gas a little. Everyone is stressed out, no need to light matches.

Franco was in power in Spain until the 70s.

First rule of being snarky and pedantic is to double check so you don't... well, do this.
posted by absalom at 8:08 AM on January 14 [28 favorites]


Apart from the whole Spanish Civil War thing.

The Spanish Civil War ended with the fascists coming into power. When Franco died in the 1970s, the transition out of fascism was peaceful.
posted by tiger tiger at 8:10 AM on January 14 [36 favorites]


(The sequel to 'The Clothes Have No Emperor' is going to be amazing.)

Through the magic of Dunning-Kruger time travel, it already exists! It's called Idiocracy.
posted by Bringer Tom at 8:10 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Here in Italy actually no-one seems to be registering the enormity of what's going on. General consensus seems to be oh, looks like Trump's not going to last long, but none of the ominous failure of the political process has really made an impression in general media and casual discourse.

Because it's more par-for-the-course from America than new and different. Since 1968 America has only had three Presidents who have even glanced at the left side of its political spectrum, and a handful of seriously dangerous conservative figureheads.

Trump is dangerous but Trump is the symptom of the prion disease, not the disease itself. His primary danger is in being a rubber stamp for a movement, a distraction from power as much as a wielder of it. If Trump goes on TV on the 22nd and shrieks "IT'S ALL TRUE, I AM A RUSSIAN PUPPET, RED DAWN BEGINS IN SEVEN DAYS, THESE ARE THE BILLIONS I RECEIVED FROM PUTIN, PEE ON ME MOMMY I'M A BAD LITTLE BOY," all that will change is that President Pence will intone solemnly about Leading America Forward and Overcoming Our Mistakes and A Need For Unity and get a free pass for a while, while rubber-stamping the same toxic sludge coming from Congress and putting the same toxic ideology into positions of power that Trump has.

We are fucked, but America is periodically fucked. It's in our blood. We have regressive undercurrents of racism, of sexism, of fuck-you-got-mine-ism, of exceptionalism, of caste-ism, of no-law-but-God's-ism, and they've been there throughout our history and bubble up at intervals like a badly mounted piece of wallpaper. If you check your browser and portions of America aren't poisoning the environment, poisoning its citizens, pointing guns at some other nation, thumping Bibles, dehumanizing minorities and shrieking SOCIALIST! at anyone who wants to fix any of that, hit F5.

Trump's ascent is horrific, yes. But is he really THAT different from Dubya or, arguably, from Reagan? He is there to smile, to wave, and to tell the followers what they want to hear while the machine behind him pumps raw sewage everywhere. The rest of the world can be surprised, as we were, at the choice of figurehead but they no longer feel a need to act shocked at the direction.
posted by delfin at 8:11 AM on January 14 [85 favorites]


Hoping to fully become the character he had been cast to play, Reines briefly went off his meds

Stay on your meds, people. Drink good water. Nap. We need hydrated, well-rested people.

We live in unprecedented times. Things happen fast, so take care of yourself and be happy whenever possible. We're going to get through this.

Stay away from TweetFace, move away from the news you may have as "background" and tell the people you love that you love them. Or the people you like why you like them. (Not on TweetFace!) That's your "make it better" ask for today. So goodday.
posted by petebest at 8:11 AM on January 14 [14 favorites]


I completely agree Pretentiousilliterate - Lewis should be defended - but a strategy of outrage at Donald Trump followed by a focus on his stupid lies will just distract from Russia and the ACA. Trump voters and the GOP don't care that he lies and insults people but they might care when a historical foe of the US - Russia - is found to have messed around in the election. And they might care when TrumpCare (or RyanCare) doesn't make health insurance cheaper or better and they can no longer get covered for pre-existing conditions except via a very expensive high risk insurance pool (see Ryan's "town hall" yesterday). Focusing on Lewis is exactly what Trump wants. The media has to learn not to give Trump what he wants even if that means drops in ratings.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:12 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I'm also not sure why it's inflammatory to suggest that the worst of the Bernie Bros weren't really Bernie supporters or Democrats.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:12 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


His primary danger is in being a rubber stamp for a movement, a distraction from power as much as a wielder of it

Trump's ascent is horrific, yes. But is he really THAT different from Dubya or, arguably, from Reagan? He is there to smile, to wave, and to tell the followers what they want to hear while the machine behind him pumps raw sewage everywhere.


2017 will have a higher probability of billions of people dying in a nuclear war than any year since 1983 and possibly any year since ever.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:13 AM on January 14 [20 favorites]


Repealing the ACA is going to be a massive economic clusterfuck, and that could conceivably get the Republicans' attention.

Nope, it'll be Obama's fault, and further proof that we need to destroy every aspect of the government that restrains the 1% from burning and looting the world.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:14 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


Trump's ascent is horrific, yes. But is he really THAT different from Dubya or, arguably, from Reagan

Oh yes, Trump is much worse. I lived through both of those decades. I would like to enumerate why this is so but fundamentally Trump is a demagogue, and neither Reagan nor Bush were. I did not agree philosophically or ideologically with either Reagan or Bush but neither came close to the shitstorm that is Trump.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:16 AM on January 14 [89 favorites]


Trump's ascent is horrific, yes. But is he really THAT different from Dubya or, arguably, from Reagan?

Yes sweet Jesus the answer is yes and I have seen friends literally die in the war Bush started. Yes this is so much goddamn worse I don't even have words for how fucked we may be.
posted by corb at 8:16 AM on January 14 [161 favorites]


Trump's ascent is horrific, yes. But is he really THAT different from Dubya or, arguably, from Reagan?

Yes. Next question.

(You know what I find singularly unhelpful in trying to mobilize a critical mass of people who've never before engaged in activism and civil disobedience but now find they're considering it? Being told that this all just normal and the system working as intended, nothing different to see here, move along sheeple.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:18 AM on January 14 [76 favorites]


Nope, it'll be Obama's fault

Only if we let it. They'll try, and their base will believe it. But again, their base isn't enough. Even with Comey and Russia and misogyny and racism, he lost by 2.9 million votes. We need to fight to win the PR war among non-Trumpsters, which is a bigger slice of America.
posted by chris24 at 8:18 AM on January 14 [29 favorites]


Adjusted for inflation, what's a higher price, 19.5% of Rosneft or 60 guilders of beads and trinkets?


The Steele memo said that the deal was for the brokerage of the Rosneft stake, so the actual cash will be some fraction of the deal price - that's how it works, and why so many big deals that make no business sense go through, everyone in the chain has agreed to give each other a slice of the pie. (see also: where are the yachts of our clients?).

So the actual figure isn't known. Ditto what kickbacks and sweetheart deals are in the Qatari ten billion dollar infrastructure investment - that's going to go through who knows how many layers of indirection before the bank accounts of the unrighteous receive their final benediction.

I can't do the sums across two millennia, so can't say what the ROI on this is compared to forty pieces of silver.
posted by Devonian at 8:19 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


With Trump, no one is ever sure what worse thing is coming.

True. For what it's worth, his playbook seems to be most of the Art of War, and his moral philosophy, such as it is, is prosperity gospel.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:21 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


All the punditry and speculation is sort of a reminder of the stuff prior to the elections, most if not all of it, dead wrong.
We do know what the GOP and Trump want domestically. We now see the health program getting defunded. We know Trump against public unions in DC. We know the GOP will put one and possibly two people on the Supreme Court. We suspect education, V.A. hospitals, etc. will go partially private rather than govt run programs.
We do not know for sure what will happen in foreign affairs. We do know he is friendly (!) toward Russia and though he badmouths China and our companies there, he and his daughter own a lot there and in Russia, but we will not know in full because he will still not show in tax returns. The Am embassy will be moved to Jerusalem. The Arab nations will protest. No two state solution forthcoming.
There will be many demonstations, protests, but we have already seen the Dems doing questionable things:
1. Booker, an up and coming possible important guy votes with the GOP to make sure expensive drugs must be bought here.
2. Ellison, a Muslim and a nice guy, is offsetting to many Americans because our nation is anti Muslim.
3. Bernie hinting he might run again is not exactly a spring chicken and not really a socialist and not really a hot item for the popular vote.
We do not see:
1. anything being done about the Panama Papers, which contains the name "Trump" in 4 thousand (40000) accounts; or the name "Clinton," for big donors to her charity.
2. there is nothing that will be done to close the growing gap in wealth that has been destroying the middle class, and which will become worse with more automation and robotics.
the cable news MSNBC now hires a woman from Fox (Gretta), and seems to downgrade Joy; and Williams, a spokesman for Truth, tells us Trump often tells lies. Rachel will continue to smirk and be histrionic.
And, finally, good news: I will continue to babble here.
posted by Postroad at 8:21 AM on January 14 [14 favorites]


Where are you people getting your optimism that Republicans care one iota about any of this shit?"

I just want to come back to this and remind people of David Vitter, in Louisiana? With the prostitutes-and-diaper fetish? Who was re-elected after all that. Republicans will not give one good goddamn about any "weird" kink or fetish, even if performed in a way that, you know, compromised national security, as long as a Republican did it and promises to ban abortion and "stop killing all those poor babies." There is no sex scandal or national treason great enough to outweight the ignorant and rabid focus on abortion for the right-wingers.
posted by TwoStride at 8:21 AM on January 14 [58 favorites]


Only if we let it. They'll try, and their base will believe it. But again, their base isn't enough. Even with Comey and Russia and misogyny and racism, he lost by 2.9 million votes. We need to fight to win the PR war among non-Trumpsters, which is a bigger slice of America.

They've gerrymandered the US to the point where it is enough, and that's only going to get worse with the GOP in charge of the entire US government. They're also going to enact even more heinous voting restrictions to make it even worse. The Republicans are committed, long-term, to stealing the government and cheating in every election. I don't know how to overcome that, but pretending that it's otherwise- that the GOP is literally anything at this point other than a criminal conspiracy to steal the United States government- is the opposite of helpful.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:23 AM on January 14 [45 favorites]


(You know what I find singularly unhelpful in trying to mobilize a critical mass of people who've never before engaged in activism and civil disobedience but now find they're considering it? Being told that this all just normal and the system working as intended, nothing different to see here, move along sheeple.)

Which is absolutely not at all what I said. Regressive troglodytes controlling the United States of America is 120% NOT NORMAL and 120% NOT WORKING AS INTENDED. It is horrifying and disturbing and even more so that Americans have smiled and nodded and acted like nothing was wrong through most of my life. (I was born during Nixon's first term.)

We are about fifty years overdue for people waking up and screaming, no, this is NOT normal and this is NOT acceptable. But it is not a new phenomenon. What is different about Trump is the acuteness of the disorder, but removing Trump himself solves very little when they still control every other branch of government.
posted by delfin at 8:24 AM on January 14 [13 favorites]


2. Ellison, a Muslim and a nice guy, is offsetting to many Americans because our nation is anti Muslim.

A failure to participate in religious bigotry does not belong on a list of Democrats doing questionable things.
posted by zachlipton at 8:24 AM on January 14 [43 favorites]


but pretending that it's otherwise- that the GOP is literally anything at this point other than a criminal conspiracy to steal the United States government- is the opposite of helpful.

Not sure how saying we need to fight to not let Republicans define the coming chaos as Obama's fault is pretending the Republicans aren't awful.
posted by chris24 at 8:26 AM on January 14


Trump's ascent is horrific, yes. But is he really THAT different from Dubya or, arguably, from Reagan?

A thousand times: yes.

Trump actually is all of the left-wing fever-dream fantasies of the worst possible imagined things Bush or Reagan or Romney could have been.
posted by tocts at 8:27 AM on January 14 [32 favorites]


With Trump, no one is ever sure what worse thing is coming.

True. For what it's worth, his playbook seems to be most of the Art of War, and his moral philosophy, such as it is, is prosperity gospel.

Yes, this. The closest I've lived through that echos any of this is Richard Nixon - I came home from high school every day and watched the Watergate hearings. But this is a totally different era where the divisions are so wide in the country and our elected officials are so willing to exploit those divisions and attack in ways that defy common decency. The main difference I see is that the lack of decency doesn't seem to matter to people anymore - this seems like a breakdown in society in a way that is unlike anything I have seen. Honestly, in the past I would look to the media as an arbiter of what's true but that is no longer possible.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:28 AM on January 14 [14 favorites]


GOP senators aren't the only ones susceptible to this disease. In confirmation hearings for Mattis, Elizabeth Warren spoke glowingly and said "we're counting on you". But she still voted against the waiver - the measurable thing everyone can check quickly to test her purity. She keeps her political capital as the outsider who fights every battle; rather than vote for someone who could be an actual check on the Trump administration.

How do you keep coming up with this both-sides bullshit? Warren did not "speak glowingly". She was very polite and professional but she wasn't glowing. She asked hard questions and demanded that "if you are confirmed" you keep your promises to stand up to Trump. By refusing to vote for the waiver, she was taking a principled stand for civilian oversight of the military.

I know you have a heart-on for Mattis, but your insistence that somehow Warren opposing Mattis is equivalent to Republicans who won't stand up to Trump is asinine.
posted by JackFlash at 8:29 AM on January 14 [38 favorites]


But is he really THAT different from Dubya or, arguably, from Reagan?

Yes.

But also he (and we) live in a mediated environment neither of them did. Under early Reagan we had between four and twenty TV channels, and no 24-hour news cycle. Under Dubz we still had an incipient Napster and IE 6.0. (No, nobody used it, but that's where we were.)

President Turdfungus arrives afloat on a TWO hour news cycle, a fractally-infinite set of "channels", both pro-and-con as well as woo. Live streaming available for anyone on Earth at anytime (see system requirements, ask that nerd in your group who does this stuff how it works).

It's really that different, but it's not really that predictable. We're rubber-banding a bit between the two.
posted by petebest at 8:30 AM on January 14 [16 favorites]


For those coming to the Women's March (see you there!), my graphic-designer partner and her hand-lettering collaborator made downloadable protest signs. [nsfw language]
posted by milquetoast at 8:31 AM on January 14 [46 favorites]


Here is the bullshit I got from my repeal-voting Rep today. Note that though she asks questions, this is not a poll so she just tells you what the answers are. I have included the links she gave with it. I'm about to email her back to point out that the Gallup poll she links overwhelmingly says "keep and fix" ACA not "repeal and replace."

The federal government’s approach to fixing our nation’s health insurance system – Obamacare – has failed. Prices have gone up and choices have gone down. If this poorly-designed law is kept in place, things will only get worse and more families will face difficult situations.

Dear Friend,

Below are four questions I want to ask about your health insurance:

1. Are you paying more for your health insurance today than before Obamacare?

2. Do you know someone, including yourself, who lost your health insurance coverage since Obamacare was implemented?

3. Have you have found the bureaucracy, rules and restrictions of health insurance more difficult?

4. Do you remember President Obama and Speaker Pelosi promising that you could keep your doctor and coverage, costs would go down, and that health insurance would be simpler under Obamacare?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. I hear from constituents every day who have lost their insurance plans and seen their costs go up. According to Gallup, eight out of ten Americans want to significantly change the law or replace it altogether.

Fortunately, we have a plan.

The new Congress and Administration are going to repeal this harmful law and transition to a better insurance system that is personal and centers around you – the patient. We have already started working on this with the passage of yesterday's budget vote, and I will keep you informed as we unveil our legislation for a 21st century health insurance system this year.


Sincerely,



Kay Granger

posted by emjaybee at 8:34 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


> "Fortunately, we have a plan."

That's what the Cylons kept telling us. They were lying, too.
posted by kyrademon at 8:41 AM on January 14 [62 favorites]


Fortunately, we have a plan.

5. Did you watch Battlestar Galactica? No? Good.
posted by Artw at 8:41 AM on January 14 [29 favorites]


I disagree with the folks who say that the John Lewis fracas is a distraction from the Russia issue.

It's just the opposite: John Lewis is at the center of the Russia issue. That is the reason he said that Trump was not legitimately elected.

Stick up for Lewis not just because of who he is, but also because of why he said what he said.
posted by billjings at 8:41 AM on January 14 [81 favorites]


@ZeddRebel
Needed a week to denounce David Duke's support, needed mere hours to denounce John Lewis's opposition. That sums Trump up perfectly.
posted by chris24 at 8:43 AM on January 14 [94 favorites]


Billjings - I completely agree! Lewis should be defended. But to focus on Trump's attack of an American hero distracts from attention on what Rep. Lewis was focusing on. This is the two hour news cycle that was described above. Trump has no decency and his playbook is attack attack and attack to distract. This is Trump's strategy and it is brilliant in it's simplicity and terrifying in its effectiveness.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:45 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


When people actually do or say something that helps us, maybe piling on them isn't the best plan?
posted by thelonius at 8:46 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


About that principled Republican Senate opposition to Trump...

@bsfarrington
At @FloridaGOP annual meeting, @marcorubio says the effort to re-elect @realDonaldTrump begins now.
posted by chris24 at 8:46 AM on January 14 [17 favorites]


TheWrap (which has been all over the inauguration performer story) Jennifer Holliday Pulls Out of Trump Inauguration, Apologizes to LGBT Community (Exclusive)

The story includes an open letter from Holliday "to my beloved LGBT community": "I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans...Thank you for communicating with me, I had no idea that I still meant so much to all of you."
posted by zachlipton at 8:50 AM on January 14 [38 favorites]


The Republicans running this country are terrible people that will use any trick, do anything to keep power for themselves so they can destroy Government for the People and make it Government for the 1%.

I'm glad this idea is finally starting to sink in. Having seen a lot of how party politics plays out in practice, in its effects on state government, I reached the same conclusion a long time ago, but at this point, not to be apocalyptic or hopeless about it, I think short of something really unexpected happening, liberals are still underestimating how far down the path we are now to not having a system that can be influenced by democratic activism. That's their end goal, remember: immunity from democratic pressure to do business however they want without hassles.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:55 AM on January 14 [18 favorites]


If Spain is the example of peaceful transition from fascism to a progressive modern state, then one valuable step is to, erm, join the EU.

(Also, restore the former royal dynasty as constitutional monarchs.)
posted by Segundus at 8:55 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Has any country in the modern era recovered from being run by fascists to a government made up of actual adults without a tremendous amount of violence being involved? Are there any examples that we can look at to gain insight into how we might get our country back from the people who have stolen it?

I asked a similar question of my history major son, except I said authoritarian instead of fascist. He thought for a moment and then said: "The US after FDR". I thought that was pretty insightful and it gave me some hope. Please no rejoinders about how actually, Trump and FDR are in no way comparable, we know that.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:58 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Trump actually is all of the left-wing fever-dream fantasies of the worst possible imagined things Bush or Reagan or Romney could have been.

Let me clarify because while I agree with this in part, I see it a bit differently.

Trump is dangerous because he is manifestly unqualified for the job because of zero meaningful experience, a mercurial temper and a willingness to say anything that his followers want to hear. Dubya was dangerous because he was manifestly unqualified for the job because of zero meaningful experience, a general state of befuddlement and a willingness to say anything that his followers wanted to hear. Reagan was dangerous because he was manifestly unqualified for the job because of a terrifying track record as Governor of California, mental infirmity, and willful blindness to anything the machine behind him was doing. All three of them are/were capable of ending the world in a series of white flashes, and Reagan came as close to that as anyone else so far.

Yes, Trump has the mirror universe media machine behind him now, the social media swamps and the fake-news newspapers and TV networks and pundits and such. Trump is dangerous because anyone unqualified in that position of power is supremely dangerous. But the authoritarian wave that put Trump there as its figurehead _will not go away_ if Trump resigns or is impeached. What Trump stands for to them -- an authority figure willing to demonize everyone they hate -- is more important than the man himself. Someone who is both competent AND authoritarian in that office is my worst nightmare. That is probably not Pence, but he is arguably a step in that direction.

President Trump is like a six-year-old holding a live hand grenade in a crowd. He could kill lots of people at any moment by lashing out, but he's not capable of doing so out of reasoned intent or logic. If someone tells him "throw it," he may throw it, and those someones are who scare me most. But if Trump is disgraced -- and lord knows I have no idea what kind of scandal would stick to Trump if what we've seen so far hasn't -- the authoritarians will keep screaming and keep attacking and put someone else just as unqualified into power.
posted by delfin at 8:59 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


along with Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood and other entertainers, in a Jan. 19 event at the Lincoln Memorial called the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.”

I'm pretty sure this occult ritual was already described in one of Dan Brown's books.
posted by petebest at 8:59 AM on January 14 [16 favorites]


President Trump is like a six-year-old holding a live hand grenade in a crowd.

Again, that live hand grenade can kill billions of people (probably including you and me) and set civilization back 5,000 years.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:01 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


That's their end goal, remember: immunity from democratic pressure to do business however they want without hassles.

see also; fascism
posted by petebest at 9:02 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


The biggest story right now, judging from google news front page, is a defense of Rep. Lewis. Little about what he said other than the illegitimate quote or why he said Trump is an illegitimate president, just the defense. along with various links to Trump 'blasting' Lewis' remarks. This is the two hour news cycle and when it wanes, Trump will be back with something else to distract attention away from things that matter. Don't misunderstand, Lewis should be defended - he is an American hero - but the attention span of the media (and apparently a lot of America) is limited to one thing. And the one thing right now is Trump's blast of lies followed by defense of the focus of those lies. Trump is brilliant in his manipulation of the media.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:05 AM on January 14


This is the two hour news cycle and when it wanes, Trump will be back with something else to distract attention away from things that matter.

That assumes there are zero new Russia/dossier developments (to which this is still tangentially related). You could still be right and the media might drop the ball and fail stupendously again, but as of now there's zero reason to think the other stories are dead just because Lewis is in the news for this 2 hour cycle.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:09 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Again, that live hand grenade can kill billions of people (probably including you and me) and set civilization back 5,000 years.

And that is a danger no matter who is President. But looking over the clown car of Allegedly Serious Candidates that Trump defeated, how many of them would you trust with the nuclear codes? Which among them was ready to say "no, Islam is not a war-worthy threat in and of itself" or "no, we are not going to impose our will across the globe" and somehow remain even remotely acceptable to the Republican base?
posted by delfin at 9:12 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


One thing I didn't realize about the announced Senate investigation into Trump's Russia ties. Joy Reid retweeted it but I haven't seen this elsewhere. Can anyone confirm?

@laseptiemewilay
As of this evening, the Trump campaign is under a preservation order--i.e., destruction of any material/email/memo/text etc is a felony
posted by chris24 at 9:14 AM on January 14 [36 favorites]


But looking over the clown car of Allegedly Serious Candidates that Trump defeated, how many of them would you trust with the nuclear codes?

Every single one of them a thousand times more than Trump.
posted by chris24 at 9:15 AM on January 14 [34 favorites]


"No, your tower is a shithole full of criminals" is the only appropriate reply.
posted by holgate at 9:15 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


And that is a danger no matter who is President. But looking over the clown car of Allegedly Serious Candidates that Trump defeated, how many of them would you trust with the nuclear codes?

I think that Ted Cruz understands that there are other people in the world than himself and that he is mortal. I am not confident that Trump does.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:16 AM on January 14 [32 favorites]


So at this point, if someone in the Trump campaign deletes a tweet, does that run afoul of the preservation order?
posted by tocts at 9:17 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I think that Ted Cruz understands that there are other people in the world than himself

No matter how furious that makes him.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:18 AM on January 14 [23 favorites]


I have more fear of Cruz saying "I received a message from God this morning, it is time to cleanse the Earth of the evil unbelievers" than of Trump.

This is not to suggest that I have no fear of Trump saying "I received a message from Steve Bannon this morning..."
posted by delfin at 9:19 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


@mattdpearce
Rep. John Lewis knows what he's doing, has known all his life. Resistance is spectacle.
posted by chris24 at 9:21 AM on January 14 [30 favorites]


We're up to 11 Democrats boycotting the inauguration.

Hopefully Lewis' stand inspires more. Call your rep to ask if they stand with him. 202 224 3121
posted by chris24 at 9:23 AM on January 14 [18 favorites]


So, is it irrational to be a tad terrified about the head of the DC National Guard being relieved of command the minute Trump is sworn in? I mean it's not like he'll replace him with someone who'll gleefully order the violent putdown of protestors or anything right?

Because Scwartz was appointed by Bush and not Obama makes me think it's not an anti-previous administration theatric.

Head of D.C. National Guard to be removed from post in middle of inauguration
posted by M Edward at 9:24 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


So, is it irrational to be a tad terrified about the head of the DC National Guard being relieved of command the minute Trump is sworn in?

As a DC resident, I consider that one of my more rational fears about the coming week.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:27 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


The Rubberbandits on Post Truth
posted by stonepharisee at 9:29 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


As of this evening, the Trump campaign is under a preservation order--i.e., destruction of any material/email/memo/text etc is a felony

Trump scans the headlines regarding Comey and his Cabinet confirmations, then a list of Republicans in Congress. "Fire up the shredders, boys!"
posted by Rykey at 9:30 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


This is my Congressman. I hope he will actually stand with Lewis and refuse to go on Friday, and I have told him so.

@RepJerryNadler
.@realDonaldTrump stands with V. Putin. I stand with @repjohnlewis.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:30 AM on January 14 [48 favorites]


As of this evening, the Trump campaign is under a preservation order--i.e., destruction of any material/email/memo/text etc is a felony

This is not that but as close as I can get for now.
posted by datawrangler at 9:31 AM on January 14


The masking tape over Don's Johns was so symbolic I got a bit carried away on Facebook yesterday. TLDR: I now call Trump "Don Quixote de la Porquería". Now, if you wanted to keep the Mancha similarity you could go for a much more straightforward "de la mierda", but as the man likes to portray himself as being someone who gets into it and stuff, I thought the shit and muck created in a pigsty more appropriate. It also means "bullshit."

The TL:
Guy who uses cheap coverups of embarrassments that eventually fall apart, requiring yet more cheap coverup attempts, puts cheapest possible coverup over an embarrassment. Cheapest possible coverup (masking tape) will predictably fall off, thus causing yet more embarrassment.

You could say it's a paeon to our times.
It will be the inauguration of an era of the masked johns of Don.
They'll tilt at ecological windmills and preach to goatherds about the golden age of when America was great.
Don Quixote de la Porquería
posted by fraula at 9:32 AM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Why would Republicans want to impeach Donald Trump, thus enraging his supporters that they rely on?

Because they don't want to die in a nuclear conflagration? Because Trump isn't a Republican and doesn't really care about their priorities, and Pence would be a much more reliable partner? Because there are still some principled people left in the party, and they hate Trump's lies and treasons?

I'm not saying it's likely. But it's definitely possible. If Pence signals to the right people that he would back them and justify the action to the American people if impeachment succeeds, they might decide it's worth it. Trump is monumentally, historically unpopular. I'd even say from the point of view of pure GOP self-interest that the sooner they get him out and get the unflappable, steady Pence in, the sooner they end the damage to their party and start to rebuild. A video of unusual activities with prostitutes, if it exists, could easily be the catalyst to get a majority of GOP representatives and senators to pull the trigger.

Now, as a liberal, Pence's policies are abhorrent. But I'd love to stop worrying about a loose canon getting us embroiled in a war and focus completely on protesting evil legislation. I'd welcome the change.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:34 AM on January 14 [31 favorites]


So, is it irrational to be a tad terrified about the head of the DC National Guard being relieved of command the minute Trump is sworn in?

Maybe this will make you feel better. (I posted this in a previous thread, hope it's OK to re-post here). It's not just the DC National Guard...
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition staff has issued a blanket edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day, according to several American diplomats familiar with the plan, breaking with decades of precedent by declining to provide even the briefest of grace periods.

The mandate — issued “without exceptions,” according to a terse State Department cable sent on Dec. 23, diplomats who saw it said — threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain. In the past, administrations of both parties have often granted extensions on a case-by-case basis to allow a handful of ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.
(Emphasis mine.)

More at the NYT
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:36 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


@BillKristol...

When did I slip into the dimension where "Never Right" Bill Kristol is the voice of reason?
posted by mikelieman at 9:36 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


I'd love to stop worrying about a loose canon getting us embroiled in a war // posted by Pater Aletheias

Ah, some eponysterical relief.

Politicians have egos, and they want their names on public buildings and historic plaques. They do not want their children disowning them, changing their last names for deniability, and leaving them to die alone.
posted by holgate at 9:38 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


This story is not simply about Rep. John Lewis. It's also about the fact that the President-elect just attacked a good chunk of a major American city, a district home to nearly 700,000 people, roughly 60% of them black, as "in horrible shape" and "falling apart." He did so not based on any personal knowledge or study of Atlanta, its successes, and its challenges, and not because he has any hope or solutions to offer the area, but because he wanted to retaliate against its elected representative, in an attack dripping with racist implications on MLK weekend.

That's significant in and of itself, not merely as a distraction from Russia.
posted by zachlipton at 9:40 AM on January 14 [141 favorites]


TheWrap (which has been all over the inauguration performer story) Jennifer Holliday Pulls Out of Trump Inauguration, Apologizes to LGBT Community (Exclusive)

And if I were awake when I posted that here, I would have, of course, titled it: "And I Am Telling You She's Not Going." We regret the delay.
posted by zachlipton at 9:44 AM on January 14 [16 favorites]


Apparently Brig. Gen. William J. Walker will be replacing Schwartz as head of the DC National Guard on inauguration day (cite). I don't know anything about Walker, but it's a little comforting after I was up all night panicking about (possibly?) outlandish questions like "Could Trump commission anyone he wants and put them in charge right away? Do Democratic politicians and WaPo journalists need to worry about getting out of town before the inauguration?"

Still freaking out about it, just a tiny bit less so as long as the replacement is already in place. Now to find out more about him.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:56 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


We're up to 11 Democrats boycotting the inauguration.

I have high hopes for my Rep, Ted Lieu. I just left a message saying he was doing a great job filling Henry Waxman's shoes and I hope he announces his boycott soon!
posted by Room 641-A at 9:57 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]




@Jjbouie: Notice how, again, Trump conflates majority black places with chaos and ruin, shouting ideas of black dysfunction into the mainstream.
posted by windbox at 10:09 AM on January 14 [69 favorites]


All this monkey business with the DC National Guard reminds me of the Replacement Army and Operation Valkyrie after the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944. Coup coup ca choup.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:09 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


For all the wishful thinking that Trump may not really be in bed with hardcore bigots and organized white nationalism (despite all the direct evidence to the contrary), whatever the case, it's definitely having a terrifying impact on the culture: this week my son got hit by an anti-Semitic slur at school. A kid who only knew him by reputation (presumably, because he knew my son's name) called him a "n__r-loving jew."

I was raised in the deep South after I was kidnapped to the U.S., in a tiny rural Florida backwater named "Bayou George" and other than on South Park, I can't remember ever having heard any kids use an anti-Semitic slur. Hell, I remember having to explain what Jewish people even were to a few kids.

As far as I know, we're not even Jewish, although possibly we had some Jewish ancestry going back before the WWII diaspora based on some amateur genealogy research my family and I have done. It illustrates how these slurs are used against anybody who doesn't conform, like bullshit, with no one even really caring what's true, only caring about achieving the intended chilling effects.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:10 AM on January 14 [52 favorites]


Don Quijote de la Mierda! I love it. It just rolls off the tongue. I will tell my coworkers, definitely. Maybe not my students.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:10 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump paid for an ad in the New York Times calling for the execution of five Black teenagers. Who were innocent. He is that bad.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:12 AM on January 14 [70 favorites]


I was raised in the deep South after I was kidnapped to the U.S., in a tiny rural Florida backwater named "Bayou George" and other than on South Park, I can't remember ever having heard any kids use an anti-Semitic slur.

I was raised in the North, and it wasn't until I went to college in the South that 1) I actually heard people quoting Cartman from South Park, and 2) I realized that some people found him the hero of the show, the kid most worth emulating, ie, they were quoting him in all seriousness, not as a way to mock that way of thought.

I was never able to invite my Jewish friends to visit me in college because I never knew who might say something indelicate in front of them and I didn't want their visiting me to be tainted by an anti-Semitic slur.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:13 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


Donald Trump paid for an ad in the New York Times calling for the execution of five Black teenagers. Who were innocent. He is that bad.

And when asked about it in October - after DNA evidence had cleared them decades ago - refused to retract his earlier statements and beliefs regarding it.
posted by chris24 at 10:14 AM on January 14 [25 favorites]


Donald Trump paid for an ad in the New York Times calling for the execution of five Black teenagers. Who were innocent. He is that bad.

He also, long after their exoneration and the conviction of the real rapist, insists on their guilt.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:15 AM on January 14 [19 favorites]


I've been spreading Indivisible around everywhere. In particular for the following paragraphs:
We know this because we’ve seen it before. The authors of this guide are former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party. We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own MoCs to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism— and they won.

We believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda — but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness. Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional majorities. If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump. (emphasis added and paragraph mark fixed)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:15 AM on January 14 [33 favorites]


When I was young some kids on the bus grabbed my head to feel for horns. I'm 30. Anti-semitism is hardly new.
posted by cyphill at 10:15 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


With the Inauguration so close I've been thinking a lot about how worried I am for DC. Not DC as a synecdoche for the federal government, although that's part of it, but the actual city and its residents who are real, living people many of whom don't really have much to do with the government or have tangentially related jobs like people who work at non-profits.

DC is a progressive, largely-minority coastal city with, all due respect to Eleanor Holmes Norton who is great, no meaningful congressional representation and, despite this, Congress is able to meddle more directly in our affairs than anywhere else. I worry that we as a city are in line for punishment from this racist, reactionary government. On top of that, if lots of government jobs are eliminated, , or stop giving grants, or stop contracting with affiliated organizations or major defense contracts, I think the economy around here could get very bad very fast. We're also, despite having less say than most Americans about how the federal government is run, near the top of the list for an attack. I've had multiple conversations with friends and colleagues (in fairness, most but not all initiated by me) about what we'll do if we hear of an incoming nuclear attack and the consensus seems to be "at least we'll die immediately". I think about how I'm going to get to daycare from work if I hear that missiles have been launched and I realize I'm not going to get there to be with my daughter one final time. We all know the odds are low but they're a lot higher than they were and we're all living with an extra weight of fear.

I know that things are going to be very, very bad for so many people both here and around the world and I also worry specifically about this city which is right here just full of liberals and minorities waiting to be targeted by her own government and basically defenseless. I'm afraid a lot of terrible people are going to get a lot of enjoyment out of making this city suffer.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:19 AM on January 14 [64 favorites]


It's social sadism as a political philosophy, basically. That's all it amounts to, at bottom.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:30 AM on January 14 [22 favorites]


6 Things Juggalo Culture Teaches Us About Trump (Nathan Rabin, for Cracked)
posted by box at 10:32 AM on January 14 [8 favorites]


Mrs. Pterodactyl, that's where I am too. A lot of the base seems to picture DC as a synecdoche for big government and everything that's wrong with America, and an alarming number of people value the jobs of low-skilled air-conditioning factory workers over those of high-skilled federal employees.

We've been in a boom the whole time I've lived here, and in a way I wouldn't be sad to see some of the gentrification slow down. But I'm pretty apprehensive about what comes with it.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:40 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


There are some interesting connectivity graphs made by people trying to make sense of the money trail (interesting thread/author, too)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:41 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


> I am begging you: Please, please, please stand up for your trans friends and relatives. We are few, but willful. Please stand with us. Please don't let them kill more of us. We just want to live our lives.

I hear you. I stand with you, always. I am fighting for you in Texas, by trying to spread public opinion to favor you and by supporting state legislators who fight on your side, and harassing legislators who fight against you. I am fighting for you by trying to mobilize people and share the same message to cis straight folks in my networks; and I am fighting for you by screaming to everyone who will listen that this is not normal, we need to protect our own. I am fighting for you by telling thoughtless and ignorant, if well-meaning, idiots that these bathroom bills matter and that they bring consequences to real human beings like you, like me, like other folks in this room who have done nothing to hurt anyone else. I am fighting for you by taking attacks on your freedom and your safety and your medical care and publicizing them to be the bigoted and senseless attacks on the marginalized that they are.

And if I lose the fights I am trying to bring, I will draw a new line in the sand and I will fight to protect you and yours again. I will try with everything I have to keep you and yours safe from violence. I will trumpet the attacks on you to undecided people and I will insist angrily that they are a national and a statewide shame, a stain on the honor of the country that will not fade until we make restitution.

I hear you. I stand with you. I am saying this here not because I need to remind myself or galvanize myself for action--I am already taking action in every way I have the energy to do--but because I believe there is value in openly making these pledges. And I think there's value in hearing other people say "I stand for you and yours." I will carry you in my heart when I march this week, and more importantly I will share your fears with marchers around me, whether or not I know them; because I intend to be speaking to people throughout the day. I swear I will stand with you publicly, openly, and not remain silent in my angry assertion that people like you are people and deserve our support.

Keep safe, and take care of yourself as best you can. We still need your hands and voice, too, and we need you alive. We need you, and we ought to fight to protect you as best we can.
posted by sciatrix at 10:42 AM on January 14 [58 favorites]


Human Rights Watch lists Trump as threat to human rights
Human Rights Watch is listing President-elect Donald Trump as a threat to human rights, calling his campaign a “vivid illustration of the politics of intolerance.”

“Donald Trump’s election as US president after a campaign fomenting hatred and intolerance, and the rising influence of political parties in Europe that reject universal rights, have put the postwar human rights system at risk,” the group said in a Friday statement announcing a new report.

The 687-page World Report analyzes Trump’s campaign, pointing to his rhetoric as a cause for worry over human rights violations.

“(Trump’s) campaign floated proposals that would harm millions of people, including plans to engage in massive deportations of immigrants, to curtail women’s rights and media freedoms, and to use torture,” the report says, quoting Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth.

“Unless Trump repudiates these proposals, his administration risks committing massive rights violations in the US and shirking a longstanding, bipartisan belief, however imperfectly applied, in a rights-based foreign policy agenda.”
posted by chris24 at 10:49 AM on January 14 [30 favorites]


I'm really glad to see South Park being ID'd – IMO, accurately and justly – as the locus classicus of the anti-Semitism that's become renormalized in American mass culture these past twenty years. It's Exhibit A for me in the "ironic racism is still racism" file, as it is for the notion that significant percentages of the audience are not equipped to, and do not, perceive whatever irony the creators may have intended.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:51 AM on January 14 [123 favorites]


Can we have a Mulligan?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:52 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


Trump is not really interested in being POTUS. Trump is interested in things that can put money in his pocket or take it out. That is why there are two distinctly different Cabinets:

The Heckuva Job Brownie Cabinet, by far the largest, is populated top to bottom with party sycophants, wingnuts, whack jobs and loose cannons. They will be largely unsupervised because they, their departments and their missions don't interest Trump in the slightest. They will help keep his supporters and the RNC happy and draw most of the media attention and public ire.

The smaller Scrooge McDuck Money Bin Cabinet on the other hand, is nothing but CEO's, Wall Street and/or billionaires all the way down. This will be where the competent fleecing and big money action will quietly occur for the next four years out of the public eye...
posted by jim in austin at 11:04 AM on January 14 [69 favorites]


Huron Bob said: I'm concerned that asking us to avoid and not mention our deepest fears and speculations allows some very possible realities to never be discussed when, perhaps, they SHOULD be voiced and talked about.

Honestly, ALL of my "imaginings" are pretty "grimdark" right now...since I can't voice them here, I guess it's back to that dark, cold basement corner for me.


I was thinking of asking in MeTa for an ongoing thread, I don't know where we'd put it, that could be a sort of virtual group help.

A structured thread not just on the political aspect of the horror show, but how to cope on a personal level, addressing our emotional/ mental health needs, perhaps trying to offer concrete advice as well on issues we're facing (isolation, financial woes, discrimination, etc.).

How/ where could we set this up?
posted by NorthernLite at 11:08 AM on January 14 [13 favorites]


sciatrix: Thank you for listening- Your post is very heartening :'). I wish I had better words to thank you. I've been struggling to keep my head above water in the past 60 days, in part because people outside the trans community--some close to me--aren't particularly alarmed. I feel slightly better and more energized. You're a star.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:21 AM on January 14 [14 favorites]




Is Trump, like Carter, a disjunctive President?

This is thought-provoking and hopeful, in its way.
posted by chavenet at 11:29 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


I swear I am correcting this everywhere. Someone up thread mentioned somehow that Booker (and other dems) voted to keep expensive drugs, which is just wrong. What went down is this:

Democrats and others offered amendments to the possible budget reconciliation bill the Senate would eventually consider. None of these amendments if passed would modify the actual law. Instead they were all suggestions that the chair of the budget committee would consider. This is the text of the one that is supposedly the "bill that democrats voted against that would have bought cheap drugs from canada":
The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to lowering prescription drug prices, including through the importation of safe and affordable prescription drugs by American pharmacists, wholesalers, and individuals with a valid prescription from a provider licensed to practice in the United States, by the amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes, provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2017 through 2021 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2017 through 2026.
Note that "may". This is an amendment to say the chair may do something that the chair could already consider. He was never going to consider that anyway (given his history and that he voted against this amendment). So everyone is completely misreading what went on. The entire point of all the amendments the democrats were offering was to get Republicans on record as opposing existing law that is part of the ACA -- existing law that is very popular when talked about in plain terms like "not allowing insurance companies to refuse health care to people with pre-existing conditions". The budget reconciliation process is confusing and hard to talk about. These amendments weren't "bills" in any sense. They weren't even normal amendments where if one had passed it would have definitely been in the final law.

This was all political theater. This particular amendment everyone is up and arms about was attempting to make new policy when everyone who cares about health care should have been focused only on pointing out that the Republicans were destroying health care for many people. Instead we got these shenanigans where a bunch of headlines are about how some democrats don't care about health care too, "both sides are against health care" nonsense and so on. All because of a stupid amendment that had no chance of passing and that isn't a good one even if you think drug importation is a good policy.
posted by R343L at 11:37 AM on January 14 [21 favorites]


Buzzfeed has a story on systemic attempts to target Angela Merkel online, including an explosion of fake news, with pro-Trump Twitter accounts shifting their attentions to anti-Merkel tweets.
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 AM on January 14 [11 favorites]


A touch of levity for these grim times.

Life Accordion To Trump
posted by Surely This at 11:41 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]


I swear I am correcting this everywhere. Someone up thread mentioned somehow that Booker (and other dems) voted to keep expensive drugs, which is just wrong.

I've seen (anecdotally) a ton of anti-Booker posts on a variety of social media platforms by posters who are either (1) totally new with no post history, or (2) have an extensive pro-Trump history. Which (anecdotally) makes me think that Booker might be being singled out because of his opposition to Jeff Sessions in his confirmation hearing, and because of the potential that Booker might run for the presidency in 2020. The sheer volume of it makes it feel like it's organized, but that's obviously hard to prove.
posted by cjelli at 11:45 AM on January 14 [24 favorites]


had no idea John Lewis had an award-winning graphic novel.

It's a trilogy and it's f'ing incredible. A great gift for young folks that will teach them important history they try not to teach in what's left of our schools.

Congressman Lewis is one of my great heroes. I am certain he is trying to bait Trump into just the sort of response he elicited. I believe Lewis first coined the expression "Come at me, bro."
posted by spitbull at 11:45 AM on January 14 [32 favorites]


cjelli: Unfortunately I've been seeing it from long time friends. I knew they were liberal-progressive and all. Many are quite reasonable. I think this is just a case of a couple popular progressive media voices (like Robert Reich) who spread the idea that Booker and some Democrats were voting against a bill that had any chance of passing or being part of the law without any acknowledgement of the politics going on that have nothing to do with whether importing drugs from Canada is or isn't good policy. And since they trust those voices, they pass it on.
posted by R343L at 11:47 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Americans are more concerned than they were before the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign began about the potential threat Russia poses to the country, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday.

The Jan. 9-12 survey found that 82 percent of American adults, including 84 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans, described Russia as a general "threat" to the United States. That's up from 76 percent in March 2015 when the same questions were asked.
posted by futz at 11:51 AM on January 14 [27 favorites]


I've encouraged my congresspeople (Mass., so barring federal retribution not too much to lose?) to boycott. It's so hard for me to read what messaging will actually survive the news cycle, but I hope I'm right that if other representatives join Lewis, Lee, Takano, Clark, et. al. it might get noticed.
posted by alexandermatheson at 12:02 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Apologies for it being Facebook, but Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station posted an explanation on the relief of Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz of the D.C. National Guard [Caution: Facebook]. According to Wright, Schwartz wasn't fired. He resigned as per normal procedure.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:04 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


I've seen (anecdotally) a ton of anti-Booker posts on a variety of social media platforms by posters who are either (1) totally new with no post history, or (2) have an extensive pro-Trump history. Which (anecdotally) makes me think that Booker might be being singled out because of his opposition to Jeff Sessions in his confirmation hearing, and because of the potential that Booker might run for the presidency in 2020. The sheer volume of it makes it feel like it's organized, but that's obviously hard to prove.

It's organized. Have no doubt about this. It's people in a crowd following the leaders of that crowd. Who the leaders are and their motivations are the questions but the organized part of it is simply people following the lead (and all the while thinking they are acting freely and independently).
It's a basic human social group function that is able to form virtually through the system of social media. The ability to be 'anyone' on the internet allows the harnessing of this human tendency to be much easier to manipulate and use then it is when physical presence is required because the social checks and balances that are present in physically based 'crowds' don't exist.
posted by Jalliah at 12:04 PM on January 14 [13 favorites]


Yeah, I've been struggling too, which is why I thought you might like an explicit response. It's fucking hard and it's all scary, and sometimes it feels like it's on you to tackle every single thing or one of the thousands of threats around you will slip through and then you'll be fucked. And it feels good to actually see someone say they'll have your back, yeah? Well, it feels good to say it, too. Even if the world around us is shit, even if these times are dark, we can still publicly proclaim that we stand together against that darkness.

I do want you to know, people in my local activist groups are pissed about SB 6 here--I swear there is a new call of rage at the Lt. Governor lying about the number of Texans supporting it or another state senator claiming it has legs every day or two, and when it happens it gets a hundred favorites and a whole bunch of people checking in to say they've called or brainstorming new ways to challenge it. My state senator responded back immediately when asked about it saying he opposed the bill and he was going to make damn sure he fought it and anything discriminatory. Other folks are harrying their own senators and trying to push them to vote against the bill. We're doing our best to have your backs, collectively, and it's something folks here are taking really, really seriously.

We might fail, mind. It's not a done deal. But there are people out there who are trying to keep you guys safe. There's a lot of people. We're all trying to hold the line as best we can.
posted by sciatrix at 12:06 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]


My rep, Katherine Clark, is not attending the inauguration. I want to send her a bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:12 PM on January 14 [31 favorites]


Protests derail UC Davis event with Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos, ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli

University officials said in a statement that the Republican student group canceled it after consulting with campus police and student affairs officials.

“A large number of protesters blocked access to the venue,” according to the statement, “and it was determined that it was no longer feasible to continue with the event safely.”

The Davis College Republicans later announced on its Facebook page that members, along with Yiannopoulos, will gather back on campus at 1 p.m. Pacific time Saturday.

“We will not stand for the regressive left perpetuating violence, censoring speech, and spreading hate,” the student organization wrote on its Facebook page.

posted by futz at 12:20 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


I think fear of Democratic infighting and the dismissal of any criticism from the left of Cory Booker as Russian Psy-Ops is misguided and dangerous both to the future of the party and to mounting any meaningful resistance going forward. Putin, by all accounts, funds a wide variety of groups, often including his own opposition as a means to sow confusion and distrust on all sides and I wouldn't be surprised to see Bannon pull out a similar playbook. But the mainstream Democratic consensus that any interest in soul-searching or rebuilding the party from the bottom up is being a "useful idiot" for mysterious foreign powers smacks of nothing more than professional ass-covering and disinterest in owning any mistakes, swaddled in (occasionally) sincerely bizarre bouts of xenophobia.

I'm as stressed and worried about the next four years as anybody, but please, everyone, keep your head on your shoulders.
posted by StopMakingSense at 12:21 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


I disagree, StopMakingSense, and the reason I disagree is this:

We've been soul searching, from my perspective, for decades. Soul searching means you're looking inward, right? Well, looking inward--closing your eyes while you think about yourself, navel-gazing, whatever you want to call it--looking inward means you are not moving forward. It's the reason perfectionists who are thinking real hard about how best to do the thing they want to do often don't get anything done. Shit is so bad right now that I feel like we need to move forward fast and hard or we're going to be hamstrung.

And holy shit, do I not want to build the party again from the bottom up. Absolutely fucking not. We are outnumbered as it is; why the hell do you think we should be making ourselves an easy target while we take our infrastructure apart and restructure it at the same time that Republicans try to fucking gut us and murder our most vulnerable?! When we have members who are scared enough to be getting on their knees and fucking begging fellow leftists to protect them and keep them safe, you want to fucking sit there and think about all the reasons we aren't perfect and do better next time?

The best way to do better next time is to move forward. The things you are proposing are the fucking polar opposite of that. I am too damn scared to stop and fret about the state of my immortal soul or my party's perfection when there's a dozen fucking bills on state and national levels that are going to hurt people I know directly and care about! Why the shit do you think we should pause and rethink right as we're gathering some actual momentum?
posted by sciatrix at 12:27 PM on January 14 [76 favorites]


Mark Hamill is saving the galaxy again with more Orange Joker audio clips.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:36 PM on January 14 [14 favorites]


For the inauguration, I wonder which historic bible they'll pick out to make his tiny, grasping hands look large.
No, don't look that up, it's a rhetorical question. The answer is one that doesn't smolder when he touches it.
posted by Catblack at 12:36 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Cory Booker voted with the GOP to prohibit cheaper drugs from being available from Canada. Cory Booker is from New Jersey. New Brunswick, New Jersey, is headquarters for Johnson and Johnson, the very big pharm company
posted by Postroad at 12:37 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


achieving the intended chilling effects.
posted by infini at 12:39 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]




Postroad, do you read threads that you comment in?
posted by lazaruslong at 12:42 PM on January 14 [37 favorites]


is that a requirement now?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:44 PM on January 14 [17 favorites]


I must admit, I've taken to only checking the last 50 or so.
posted by Coventry at 12:47 PM on January 14


I wasn't aware anyone read the comments down here. I sure don't.
posted by petebest at 12:47 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I read 97.65% of the thread.
posted by infini at 12:48 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


sincerely bizarre bouts of xenophobia.

Have regular Russians or Russian Americans been assaulted and harassed in the US? Are Russian immigrants getting threatened with deportation?

We have a candidate and a party that wants to deport all undocumented immigrants, prohibit refugees from seeking a home here, accuses China, Japan, Korea, and Mexico of cheating the US, and is supported by white nationalists.

And the Democrats are being xenophobic.
posted by FJT at 1:04 PM on January 14 [25 favorites]


[Ivanka] Trump to host fundraiser for Booker

"Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Republican real estate mogul Donald Trump, will host a fundraiser for Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s Senate bid next Wednesday, a campaign source familiar with the event said.

The event, with a suggested contribution of $5,200 per person, will be held at Ivanka Trump’s home on Park Avenue in Manhattan.

She and her husband, Jared Kushner, had bundled $41,000 for Booker’s Senate campaign as of May. Booker has raised raised $6.5 million so far this year."


Um... what is going on?
posted by knapah at 1:05 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


That story is from 2013, is what's going on.

They are without conviction.
posted by Yowser at 1:10 PM on January 14 [27 favorites]


Um... what is going on?

adepts and hangarounds of the 1% are gonna be .. yeah, systemically, we're all still fighting over the proverbial scraps from the table and the last eight years TPTB seem to think we overstretched when we tried to get a whole loaf.

but with booker? what with politicians and oppurtunism was misunderstood? they're gonna go wherever the wind blows.
posted by xcasex at 1:10 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Um... what is going on?

Really, a scene from Lars von Trier's Antichrist comes to mind.
posted by mordax at 1:11 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Team Sciatrix all the way.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:22 PM on January 14 [19 favorites]


Amazon sells out of Rep. John Lewis’ biography after Trump attacks him.

Walking with the Wind: A memoir of the movement, which was published 16 years ago, is completely sold out on the bookseller’s website and now has a wait list of a month or more. (It’s unclear how many copies Amazon had to begin with.) March, Lewis’ series of graphic novels about his time in the civil rights movement, is currently still available there, as is Lewis’ other book Across That Bridge.
posted by futz at 1:25 PM on January 14 [38 favorites]


Residents of John Lewis's district would like to show Donald Trump some pictures of the urban hellscapes in which they reside.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:26 PM on January 14 [44 favorites]


Ooh there's a healthcare rally at Steve King's local office tomorrow. There's also a huge ice storm that might come through the area, so we'll see how it goes... but it's something!
posted by jason_steakums at 1:27 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


It's a trilogy and it's f'ing incredible. A great gift for young folks that will teach them important history they try not to teach in what's left of our schools.

And he cosplayed himself at Comic Con in 2015 to re-enact the march with attendees, wearing the same coat he wore at Selma. Living history. Still living history.

I want to send her a bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers.

Send her a card, tell her you've donated the money for flowers to a civil rights group.
posted by holgate at 1:42 PM on January 14 [41 favorites]


Right now, the most important meme that needs to be spread - and repeated every time it falls off the "two-hour news cycle" - is the efforts by O'Keefe and other Big Liars to disrupt the Inauguration and next-day march and put the blame on "those evil left-wingers". We need to amplify that message SO MUCH that the blame for any disruption is put directly at the feet of the Alt-Right-Neo-Fascists (even if any of the incidents actually are the acts of stupid asshole leftists).
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:44 PM on January 14 [22 favorites]


sciatrix - Where I think we can agree is the need to stay on the offensive, show some actual spine, take serious steps to distinguish the Democratic Party as standing for something in particular and not get overly worried about playing dirty or being necessarily vicious. I think we both agree that it's important to remember who the real enemy is. I think we would both love nothing more for Donald Trump to be undone by his own shady business and political connections both here and abroad. Maybe he'll even go down for treason! If not, I would settle for taking back Congress in the midterms and to see him ousted unceremoniously in 2020.

I think we might disagree on whether this requires strategic and political re-alignment to be in any way effective, long-term.

I think we might disagree on whether anyone is asking anyone else to be "perfect." I, for one, would just like to win. I think we might disagree about what it will take to win.

I think we might disagree, irreconcilably, about what is or is not "movement" in this case.

Which is to say is that these disagreements, to me, are the opposite of navel-gazing and are instead indicative of renewed passion, interest and opportunity to push forward.

FJT- If you need me to tell you that the Republican Party has long been a grotesque mishmash of racist nationalism as a qualifier to the fact that a lot of people who I agree with on so much politically are acting VERY ODDLY at the moment, then I'm happy to. The Republican party has been happily neo-fascist since Reagan and I think he, both Bushes and Trump are all ghouls.

When I say xenophobia, I don't mean that it's worse or more serious than on the Right or anything (though this is a hopelessly low bar), it's just...worrying and slightly shortsighted as a tack to take. Like, the liberal commentariat at the moment seems super primed for a war with Russia, people talking about burning Russian flags and accusing people who disagree with them of being dupes for Russia which is all just like...what? What the hell? What are we even talking about all of a sudden? It's unsettling feel as though my party is slightly losing its mind when it needs to be thinking clearly now more than ever.
posted by StopMakingSense at 1:49 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


> The answer is one that doesn't smolder when he touches it.

The Wicked Bible seems likely to fit the bill
posted by BungaDunga at 1:51 PM on January 14


Do you think the focus on Russia might be something to do with, like, all the shit that Russia has been doing?
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on January 14 [52 favorites]


Postroad, do you read threads that you comment in?

Are you saying when you come back to a thread and it says "384 new comments, show", you don't occasionally cheat a little? No skimming?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:58 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Okay, then what on earth do you define as movement? Because as far as I can tell, the gist of your response both to me and to FJT is "not that." What do you want to do? What do you think people should be doing? Not "sitting and thinking", but going out and focusing on?
posted by sciatrix at 2:00 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Wait a second. Are some of you implying that Bernie introduced a bill that was for political theater and then when some Democrats didn't vote for it, a coordinated group of social media stars took Booker in an alley with deliberate zeal, preemptively taking out his legs for future office? Almost as a warning shot to other Democrats that the Purity Tests are coming and everyone is fair game?

I am scandalized.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:06 PM on January 14 [24 favorites]


When I say xenophobia, I don't mean that it's worse or more serious than on the Right or anything (though this is a hopelessly low bar), it's just...worrying and slightly shortsighted as a tack to take. Like, the liberal commentariat at the moment seems super primed for a war with Russia, people talking about burning Russian flags and accusing people who disagree with them of being dupes for Russia which is all just like...what? What the hell? What are we even talking about all of a sudden? It's unsettling feel as though my party is slightly losing its mind when it needs to be thinking clearly now more than ever.

Hate to break it to you but you are at war with Russia. Cold War 2.0 - Digital Edition. I'm sure someone can come up with a better name but Russia is fucking the US around right now as well as multiple other countries. This includes using this brave new world of digital connection where it's possible for people with a computer to get right in there and 'dupe' people. This isn't paranoia, it's happening and people know it's happening. It's super tough to deal with because online people can be anybody. I don't know what the solution is but when you know this shyte is happening, being suspicious is a natural defensive reaction.
posted by Jalliah at 2:06 PM on January 14 [37 favorites]


I don't want a hot war with Russia! I don't want a war with anyone. What I'd much prefer is for Russia to stop cyber and psy ops in this here country (and all the others it's doing the same thing in right now).
posted by soren_lorensen at 2:12 PM on January 14 [14 favorites]


I am asking because the anger at Russia that I have, personally, been seeing is based on a couple of things.

1) Russia interfered in our fucking election. There are precedents for this, sometimes precedents that are set by us interfering with other people's elections, and those went down really fucking badly for folks living in the interfered-with country. Our democratic process is badly injured and no one in power seems willing to do a goddamned thing about it. That is legitimately scary, and it is easier to be angry than afraid.

2) Russia's own policies towards its own people are terrifying. This is particularly vivid if you, like me, are queer and have been listening to the way that Russia has been targeting its queer citizens. But Russia has a hundred years of treating its citizens horrifyingly and in ways that cause massive death tolls, and everything I hear from recent Russian immigrants tells me that I do not fucking want to live anywhere controlled by Russia. See here "easier to be angry."

3) Quite a few of us are desperate because Russia is having its jackboots licked clean by the Republican party in exchange for at least temporary and local power, and the Republican party seems to principally agree with Russia on only one thing: persecuting whichever groups of American citizens it doesn't self-identify with or like. This state of affairs is particularly galling because the Republican party has traditionally (in my lifetime and my parents') been the party of warmongering and hawkish aggression in the service of patriotism and American strength. The hypocrisy salts the road rash wounds caused by the loss of the election and the future that many of us saw, and it is very good at creating anger.

4) Framing this administration as an effective Russian takeover lets American voters who might be undecided or less informed save face as they come to our banner. It's easier to get people over here to at least talk to us or listen to us when we hit things like their patriotism and their desire for national sovereignty. So targeting Russia is an effective tactic when it comes to getting people to pay attention to the way the Republican party is fucking us all eight ways to Sunday at home, apart from the emotions that are currently driving many of our responses to Russia on the left.

That helpful? I'm thinking, as I move, for god's sake; I'm just more willing to make a mistake in haste to act quickly than I am to take one more hit to a crumbling and fragile belief in democracy I might not be able to recover from.
posted by sciatrix at 2:13 PM on January 14 [89 favorites]


For the record, I don't think the "let's trash Booker on this pointless show amendment vote" is coordinated. I think it's just usual purity politics by influential voices with ridiculous headlines that misinform people about what they were actually voting on and why the amendments were put up how they were.
posted by R343L at 2:16 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


I admit, I'm very confused about the Booker thing, and because of the speed of politics this week I have not had the bandwidth to follow up on it--too busy explaining to friends that their health care isn't immediately gone yet, even with the Republicans' craven partisan politicking making things look bad. I suspect a lot of folks like me are confused and playing telephone, too, and I rather think R343L has the right of it.
posted by sciatrix at 2:19 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Booker is one of the Democrats people have mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. A coordinated thirty year smear campaign has to start somewhere.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:21 PM on January 14 [51 favorites]


I wrote a blog post on whom Donald Trump called racist. He made 24 tweets calling individuals racist. 18 were directed against black people, 5 against Jews, and one against Elizabeth Warren. White (non-Jewish) males are not racist.

What can we call the equivalent of Trump's Razor that says, whenever you suspect it might be racism, it is racism?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:22 PM on January 14 [42 favorites]


That story is from 2013, is what's going on.

Ah, that'll explain it. I normally catch that kind of thing.
posted by knapah at 2:23 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


There are quite a few folks in my Facebook sphere who are active progressives who spent much of their week calling the offices of Booker and Casey and encouraging others to do so, to register anger for their vote on prescription drugs. Purging the party of all traces of moderates is more important than fighting Trump, I guess.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:24 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


I really, really get the hate for Russia. Not least because I live a nuclear stone's throw from Russia.
But: In this particular case, the blame should be on the Manchurian candidate, not Russia. It's not as if whichever president of the US was elected, Russia would be in charge. Nope, not at all. The thing is that now we have an American president elect who is obviously beholden to Russian interests. Yes, the Russians are the bad guys and this is bad. But this would not have happened with any other candidate, Republican or Democratic.

One can not relativize this. It is catastrophic on a level we can't deal with.
posted by mumimor at 2:26 PM on January 14 [16 favorites]


Canada has the second highest medication costs in the world.

We don't want to be tied for highest, k thanx bye American arbitragers.
posted by Yowser at 2:27 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Importing prescription drugs from Canada won't be good for Canadians in general. It may create shortages, and Pfizer has already made threats about cutting off supplies if Canadian pharmaceutical sales cut into its profits from the US.
posted by LindsayIrene at 2:28 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


I have mixed feelings about Hammil's Trumpster recordings, given that Republicans have little shame in acting like cartoon villains.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:33 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Booker is one of the Democrats people have mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. A coordinated thirty year smear campaign has to start somewhere.

I've been confused by hearing vague slandering about Booker for a while now. What happened to Clinton makes it much more clear.
posted by bongo_x at 2:36 PM on January 14 [20 favorites]


If anyone needs a hilarious break please go read the responses to Laura Ingraham's ridiculous tweet of the cleanest city street in the world: "This is Mayor DeBlasio's New York. Trash everywhere. Homelessness on the rise."
posted by lalex at 2:42 PM on January 14 [19 favorites]


I really, really get the hate for Russia. Not least because I live a nuclear stone's throw from Russia.
But: In this particular case, the blame should be on the Manchurian candidate, not Russia. It's not as if whichever president of the US was elected, Russia would be in charge. Nope, not at all. The thing is that now we have an American president elect who is obviously beholden to Russian interests. Yes, the Russians are the bad guys and this is bad. But this would not have happened with any other candidate, Republican or Democratic.

One can not relativize this. It is catastrophic on a level we can't deal with.


It's not just about the President. It's as much about what Russia has been doing to churn the waters of the sentiment that has led to him being elected. It's has become more clear in the past months about the co-ordinated psy-ops that has been occurring, online in place that have become bastions of pushing Alt-Right and White Nationalist sentiment. It's about things like wikileaks and the pushing of Russia based propaganda through social media. And while it's mostly happening in right wing spheres it appears to have also been happening in areas of the far left as well. #Calexit is one in particular.

It's now happening in France and Germany in support of their right wing facists. People have also tracked accounts that pretty much as soon as they election was over moved on from being fervent "Trump' to being all about Turkey.

It's really more then just about "Russia" it's about the fostering of right wing facism and general liberal and social democratic discord that serves Russia's geopolitical interests.
posted by Jalliah at 2:48 PM on January 14 [31 favorites]


I generally think Booker et al.'s vote was largely bullshit. If Republicans can go through with 60 protest votes to take away healthcare form millions of Americans, then Democrats can show some unity over a meaningless symbolic protest vote for lower prescription drug prices, no matter how much it upsets their pharma donors.

But this also isn't a purity contest. It was a bad vote on a meaningless amendment that had no chance of influencing policy. That doesn't change the fact that Booker largely wants many of the same things I want and will help fight the worst of what is happening right now.
posted by zachlipton at 2:48 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]


North Dakota Bill Would Protect Drivers Who ‘Accidentally’ Hit And Kill Protesters - It’s aimed at Dakota Access protesters, and it doesn’t bode well.

A bill that state GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced would exempt drivers from liability if they accidentally hit a pedestrian, according to the Bismarck Tribune. House Bill 1203 was written up in direct response to groups of protesters blocking roadways, Kempenich told the paper. He claims protesters were seen jumping out in front of vehicles.

“It’s shifting the burden of proof from the motor vehicle driver to the pedestrian,” Kempenich said. “They’re intentionally putting themselves in danger.”

He admits that the law might be used in cases that don’t involve protests. But a few casualties of justice are apparently worth it; his bill would mitigate instances when panicked drivers might have accidentally “punched the accelerator rather than the brakes” as protesters blocked the roads


JFC
posted by futz at 2:49 PM on January 14 [70 favorites]


zachlipton: Yet if you're trying to keep the minority caucus unified, it's smarter to not introduce amendments that aren't focused on preserving actual features of the ACA. If this had already been a feature of the ACA, then Booker voting against it would be upsetting, just as it would be if he'd voted against the pre-existing conditions amendment or any of the others like it. But even with this stupid amendment, it would also be smart for progressives, especially ones with influence, to not exaggerate the meaning of such a vote. The headlines on this have been disappointing.
posted by R343L at 2:54 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]




Rep. Kempenich from that horrible North Dakota proposal happens to own a trucking company -- Box K Trucking. For anyone keeping a Whom to Boycott tally. Thanks, futz, for pointing out that small-fry evil man.
posted by mahorn at 2:58 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


artw Yeah, but my entire original point here was what I thought a pretty tepid plea to be like, "Hey, not everyone who disagrees with you is a Kremlin operative and that line of thinking is both unhelpful and kind of insane?"

Like, "It's only disunity when the people I disagree with do it," you know?

sciatrix I think it would bog stuff down here a lot to get too into it, but mostly what I would define as movement at this moment in time is making the party better equipped, internally, to get candidates elected vis a vis tapping into the enormous mass of people who don't vote and to me, some dude at a computer somewhere, that looks like pushing hard against what the failures of the party have been, allowing room for new voices and ideas to take power and having a coherent, intersectional ideology to fight Trump with.

If the Democrats literally change nothing between now and the midterms and somehow sweep into power, I'll be genuinely, happily wrong.

In the meantime, you know, the usual standbys. Resist! Protest! Hit the streets! Volunteer! All that good stuff.

Framing this administration as an effective Russian takeover lets American voters who might be undecided or less informed save face as they come to our banner.

I think this is at the core of a lot of the rhetoric I've seen lately, and you might be right, but I'm skeptical. I just wonder where it leaves us after all is said and done, even if it is effective. A party bound together by having a common foreign enemy? The Democrats have always been firmly anti-Putin, and I don't think anything about that has changed, but sometimes it does seem like it's veering from "Putin is awful and stands opposed to our view of what is right and just in the world, and the Trump administration's relationship with him is both worrying and possibly treasonous" and slightly into "the Ruskies, our hated enemies, are trying to take our precious bodily fluids."

It's really more then just about "Russia" it's about the fostering of right wing fascism and general liberal and social democratic discord that serves Russia's geopolitical interests.

This, I agree with completely.
posted by StopMakingSense at 3:00 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Trumps first visit overseas will be to Russia

Well, generally, when you start a new job you're expected to check in with your new boss.
posted by valkane at 3:01 PM on January 14 [87 favorites]


Trumps first visit overseas will be to Russia, according to British Offcials in the the Sunday Times

Small correction: it will be WITH Russia, but IN Iceland. But, yeah. He's not even really trying to hide anything, is he?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:06 PM on January 14 [18 favorites]


I'm just going to reiterate that it takes a special kind of coward to fucking insult Rep. John Lewis. On MLK weekend.

Goddamn.
posted by lydhre at 3:06 PM on January 14 [37 favorites]


Framing this administration as an effective Russian takeover lets American voters who might be undecided or less informed save face as they come to our banner.

This isn't going to work when elected Republicans and Republican voters are openly celebrating Putin's victory as much as Trump's. There's a reason Democrats are the only ones concerned about Russia beyond just Hilary's loss - Republicans agree with everything Putin's Russia stands for. Putin created a White Nationalist Christian Theocracy with himself as the Daddy Figure. That's exactly what Republicans have been trying to turn America into for 70 years.

They're natural allies. Putin himself would've won the election if he could've got on the ballot.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:08 PM on January 14 [31 favorites]


Trumps first visit overseas will be to Russia, according to British Offcials in the the Sunday Times

youvegottobefuckingkiddingme

Seriously, can I wake up now and it be Nov 9th and Hillary has been elected and this has just been a bad dream?
posted by photoslob at 3:11 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


Small correction: it will be WITH Russia, but IN Iceland. But, yeah. He's not even really trying to hide anything, is he?

Among everything else I also read this as "Fuck you all for trying to tell me what I should or shouldn't be doing. You don't like me and Russia? Screw you. No one is going to tell me what to do"
(except maybe Russia of course)
posted by Jalliah at 3:16 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Quoted for Truth: Anyway, the only way the left is going to do anything useful is to lower the bar for inclusion into the activist and governing spaces. If you can show up and wave a sign and write a letter and cast a vote, you're on my side enough for me to stand beside you and do the work together.

I keep preaching this to the people around me in activist spaces. Take All Comers. There is room for everyone, regardless of who they are or what they are able to do. Yes, it can be frustrating when someone is ignorant of basics like how government works or what protests are likely to be at all effective. But if someone shows up and is really passionate about making noise about Ivanka Trump's clothing brand. . . well I might not think that is the best use of time, but that's what THAT PERSON wants to do. It contributes. And if we ridicule them and chase them out of our playhouse then they aren't going to be around when we need bodies to march or people to make calls. These newcomers to activism are only going to get more informed and more dedicated as they participate, unless we chase them away at the outset.
posted by threeturtles at 3:16 PM on January 14 [47 favorites]


Trumps first visit overseas will be to Russia, according to British Offcials in the the Sunday Times

A sit-down with the Don, near the Volga.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:17 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I am too damn scared to stop and fret about the state of my immortal soul or my party's perfection when there's a dozen fucking bills on state and national levels that are going to hurt people I know directly and care about! Why the shit do you think we should pause and rethink right as we're gathering some actual momentum?

I'm just going to gently caution you that this is basically me two years ago. Sometimes it's important to soulsearch even when you're moving and winning, because otherwise this is the crap you end up with while you weren't paying attention.
posted by corb at 3:18 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


[Guys, if you want to have a conversation about the appropriate doom-and-gloom apocalypse-prediction levels for MetaFilter, that's a discussion we need to have in MetaTalk and not in-thread. We've been getting increasing quantities of e-mail from people who are having a lot of trouble dealing with the doomsaying, and we've covered that ground really thoroughly in general. If someone wants to put together a well-constructed MetaTalk, that would be fine and we can have that discussion -- after the holiday weekend, so we have enough mods around for it.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:21 PM on January 14 [19 favorites]


A sit-down with the Don, near the Volga.

Putin tells Trump he's an honorary cossack, Trump confusedly begins dressing like a foot-stool
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:24 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


[Eyebrows, can I ask why you never use the staff tag (that I've seen)?]
posted by uosuaq at 3:28 PM on January 14


Gently, though, corb, I... would want to point out that two years ago the Republican party had full control of half the legislative branch, had previously taken control of all of Congress, had recently ground the government to a standstill and was gearing up to do it again, and generally were not in the situation that liberals currently face. I would also like to gently ask whether Republicans two years ago were literally looking at rollback of thirty year old civil protections that personally applied to them and their families or new and exciting bills targeting their friends for harassment.

I hear you on fear, and like I said I am thinking as I act. But it seems to me that the actual incentives to be afraid are a little different, unless I am missing something big about your own context. Elaborate?
posted by sciatrix at 3:29 PM on January 14 [21 favorites]


mods don't use "staff" on the blue.
posted by futz at 3:30 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Staff tag only works in MetaTalk. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:30 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Also, I'm pretty sure the pertinent bit of your phrase there is moving and winning. Absolutely I can take time to soul search and consider the ramifications of my tactics when I'm not looking at a situation where people who hate every aspect of my identity except my whiteness have full control over two branches of federal government, half control of a third, and also control all branches of my state government outright. It's going to fucking be a while before I feel like we're winning.
posted by sciatrix at 3:33 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]


Comedy Central: "3 Doors Down will perform at the Trump inauguration, which can only mean Hoobastank said no."
posted by numaner at 3:35 PM on January 14 [13 favorites]




I don't know how to tell you guys this, but a lot of democratic voters consider Clinton a candidate we settled on. When Booker's vote makes him look like another progressive who fails the smell test, those voters are going to question both whether he deserves their vote and whether he can win the White House. This is not the doing of Vladimir Putin. Sorry.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:38 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


I can't wait for candidate after candidate to "fail the smell test" until 2019 rolls around and the only candidate with the progressive chops to run will be... Bernie Sanders! What do you know!

I will, in the parlance of our day, lol.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:42 PM on January 14 [38 favorites]


That's at least 12 now!

I have high hopes for my Rep, Ted Lieu. I just left a message saying he was doing a great job filling Henry Waxman's shoes and I hope he announces his boycott soon!
posted by Room 641-A at 9:57 AM on January 14


Ted Lieu @tedlieu: My statement on why I am not attending the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. I stand with John Lewis. (link: https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/congressman-lieu-statement-his-decision-not-attend-inauguration) lieu.house.gov/media-center/p…
2:09 PM · Jan 14, 2017
posted by Room 641-A at 3:43 PM on January 14 [22 favorites]


March is an incredible trilogy and I can't recommend it enough. Twitter link (video, no captions): Accepting National Book Award, Rep. John Lewis emotionally recounts being denied a library card as a black child who loved to read.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 3:43 PM on January 14 [22 favorites]


I'm not crazy about Booker, either, but boy does starting the fight over the 2020 primary seem grotesquely beside the point right now.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:44 PM on January 14 [70 favorites]


[Trump's first visit overseas] will be WITH Russia, but IN Iceland. But, yeah. He's not even really trying to hide anything, is he?

Been thinking about this a bit.

In this era of non-open war, it seems to me that enemy and ally are getting very close to terms we can redefine at will. Especially when the biggest enemies are now stateless actors like ISIL and others soon to be discovered/invented.

I expect the new-normal spin that this will receive, eventually, is that Russia is one of our biggest, strongest allies in the world, so why wouldn't be meet with them ASAP? Nobody would complain if he met with the leaders of Great Britain, Canada or any of our other allies, would they?

The "positive" result will be that in the near future, it's a US-Russian alliance that will rule the planet, and if any other nations want to capitulate and join in, sure, they're welcome to the scraps.

Containing China is the only real obstacle, and a united USA-Russia might be able to do just that.
posted by rokusan at 3:44 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


That's very likely what will happen, Hall and Oates. What you just described is the democratic primary. We didn't have much of one in 2016, and you see where that got us.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:46 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Oh, for fuck's sake, kittens. If your Democratic voters value their allegiance to Sanders over helping the rest of us save their worthless hides, I gotta question the strength of theirs progressive values.
posted by sciatrix at 3:50 PM on January 14 [55 favorites]


"Fortunately, we have a plan."

Did you watch Battlestar Galactica?


Seriously, how did they fuck that up? It was basically the show's mission statement.

It's like winter never coming on Game of Thrones, or Star Trek forgetting to travel anywhere.
posted by rokusan at 3:52 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


I voted for Hillary. Didn't want to. Would I rather vote for someone more progressive? Of course I would. Why start compromising now? If Booker is nominated, I would vote for him over Trump. I would vote for almost anyone over Trump. While we're shopping, though, why make excuses?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:54 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


I can't wait for candidate after candidate to "fail the smell test" until 2019 rolls around and the only candidate with the progressive chops to run will be... Bernie Sanders!

I like to think we'll get an improved candidate that builds on Sanders, but isn't actually Sanders himself... however, to be fair, Clinton was the candidate chosen at least four (and more like eight) years in advance, so at least there'd be precedent.

(I am not even sure how much I'm joking at this point. Irony is armor.)
posted by rokusan at 3:54 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


White House Sends 'Strongest Signal Yet' That Chelsea Manning Will Be Freed

At a White House press conference on Friday, press secretary Josh Earnest broke silence around the Chelsea Manning's plea for clemency, sending what some advocates believe to be a signal that the president may soon decide in Manning's favor. When asked by a reporter about Manning's and Edward Snowden's clemency requests, Earnest spoke at length about their cases, which is in itself unusual.

Earnest carefully and clearly distinguished between the two cases in a way that appears the White House may favor Manning's request to be set free. "The Department of Justice and the president will consider individual clemency applications on their merits," Earnest explained. He went on to "illustrate the pretty stark difference between Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden,"...

posted by futz at 3:56 PM on January 14 [29 favorites]


I for one am not shopping for anything, and all this goddamn focus on either a primary that ended six months ago or one that won't happen for nearly four more years is a waste of fucking time. Worry about the primaries in two years, when we've seen if the terror driving massive mobilization now can be harnessed and converted into turnout. We have bigger fish to fry.
posted by sciatrix at 4:02 PM on January 14 [42 favorites]




Protests derail UC Davis event with Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos, ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli

A little more background on this. Student groups repeatedly asked the administration to cancel the event, arguing that a forum featuring hate-spewing, violence-inciting Yiannopoulous and he-who-has-no-moral-core Shkreli would inherently violate the university's "Principles of Community." (Which, if you can believe it, are taken very seriously. Violating the Principles of Community, in an egregious enough way, I guess, is grounds for expulsion or termination.)

Ralph Hexter, the interim Chancellor -- the one who replaced perennial bad-choice-maker Linda Katehi -- sent an email to all faculty/staff/students yesterday afternoon saying he understood and heard and agreed with the concerns, but that freedom of expression is freedom of expression: "Any public university must do everything it can to make sure that all members of its community are free to express their views—both because free expression is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution and enshrined in University of California policy, and because it is an essential ingredient of excellence in higher-education teaching and research.... To this, let me add my personal belief that a university is at its best, is most true to itself, and makes proper use of its unique intellectual resources when it listens to and critically engages opposing views, especially ones that many of us find upsetting or even offensive."

Hexter is an openly gay man, a professor of the Humanities. He sent a holiday message to that list of 70,000 faculty/staff/students that mentioned his partner (or husband -- don't know whether they're married) by name. [Which, to me, was just amazing. I was talking with another gay professor about it, who was equally touched, and all he could say was "In my 60 years, I just...." and he teared up, couldn't finish the sentence.] The day after the election, Hexter sent an email stating that undocumented students would be safe, would not lose financial aid or be kicked out of school, and that the campus police department would refuse to do anything to enforce deportation orders. He also acknowledged that many on campus were experiencing "considerable consernation" and felt raw, and included the full list of counseling resources on campus.

He's one of the good guys, and he made the call that the Breitbart-ish event would go on as planned. Which had to have been so, so difficult for him personally, as someone who has been the target of the kind of hatred that Milo/Martin and their fans breathe life into.

Compare Hexter -- who took a moral stance on something, even though it was repugnant and detrimental to him personally, because he believed it to be the right thing to do -- with Trump insulting John Lewis. I mean, my god, the gulf is wider than I ever thought it could be, and it makes me very sad.

(I'm really glad, by the way, that students took things into their own hands and protested the event out of existence so that Yiannopoulous and Shkreli were denied the forum. I'm also glad I don't have to walk around campus this coming week wondering which students had been emboldened by it.)
posted by mudpuppie at 4:05 PM on January 14 [65 favorites]


I for one am not shopping for anything, and all this goddamn focus on either a primary that ended six months ago or one that won't happen for nearly four more is a waste of fucking time. Worry about the primaries in two years, when we've seen if the terror driving massive mobilization now can be harnessed and converted into turnout. We have bigger fish to fry.

I would also suggest, unfortunately, that the context of what 2 years from now is going to be very, very different and people that theoretically may seem make sense now are not going to make sense then. Echoing the that it's a waste of time. Donald's admin is going to bring people to the forefront that have been barely heard of now. This is just what happens when things go sideways.
posted by Jalliah at 4:11 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


President-elect Donald Trump is expected to visit the National Museum of African American History in observance of Martin Luther King Day

Your link's bad -- the tweet is here.

It's nice to know in advance what the shitshow of the moment will be sometime in the vicinity of Monday afternoon, I suppose.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:14 PM on January 14


2020 is an aeon away. Every week until then will be uncharted territory. If we're going to go into this new era with open eyes, we need to focus on working to have a recognizable country in six months before we start planning for four endless years from now.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:14 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


[Crank it down approximately three notches and speak to each other with respect, please.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:15 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]




Booker can simultaneously be a strong voice against Sessions and pander to one of his state's big industries -- big pharma. I've followed him fairly closely, and am wholly unsurprised by his vote.
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 4:15 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]


I feel like people who ask if Trump is really that different when compared to Bush or Reagan either don't remember Bush and Reagan or aren't paying attention to Trump. I know that's likely not true but it's how I feel.
posted by Justinian at 4:15 PM on January 14 [25 favorites]


I apologize for contributing to the Booker derail. But here's the deal. It is insanity for Dem/Progressive leaders to introduce bullshit amendments that they KNOW won't go through, and then loudly condemn/attack their Dem partners who don't vote for it. Honestly, what is the fucking point of it? And why did Bernie introduce it if he wasn't sure that his Dem partners were also on board? Because he didn't care about it passing, he cared about shaming Dems who don't toe his line.

Dems need real leaders to rally them through this coming dark time. Anybody who is interested in showboating and cutting down allies is, well. Let's say he's not my cup of tea.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:16 PM on January 14 [58 favorites]


Is there an exhibit on Selma at the Museum? Maybe John Lewis could stand, Madame Tussaud's style, in that room and just wait for Trump to come in....
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:16 PM on January 14 [74 favorites]


How tone freaking deaf can trumpski be (don't bother answering) deciding to go to the National Museum of African American History after everything today? I wonder if this was planned before or after? And what a day to protest to drive home a point that will never penetrate donnie's greyish matter.

thanks for providing the correct link tivalasvegas.
posted by futz at 4:17 PM on January 14



Is there an exhibit on Selma at the Museum? Maybe John Lewis could stand, wax-museum style, in that room and just wait for Trump to come in....


You just made me choke on my hot chocolate.
posted by Jalliah at 4:18 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


How tone freaking deaf can trumpski be (don't bother answering) deciding to go to the National Museum of African American History after everything today?

Is it too much to hope that something will strike a chord with him, and he'll learn something? Maybe he can go with Barron or Ivanka or Tiffany.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:19 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I'd like to think that sometime in the future there will be a documentary that will juxtapose the horror of the Trump years to those who showed up at his inauguration ball. A bit like The Sorrow and the Pity.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:19 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Normally, a Head of State asking you to perform would be a command performance? Like, except under very unusual circumstances, a Brit can't refuse an invitation from the Queen because the invitation is a command.

It's not, like, totally unreasonable and there are exceptions, like, if she invites an actor and that actor is filming, the entire cast and crew's filming schedule does not have to be thrown into disarray because Queenie-poos demands it.

Absent a major reason like massive inconvenience and cost to loads of people, though, you are REALLY supposed to show up if the Queen invites you to stuff.

I mean isn't it the same with being invited to the Inauguration? Or invited to anything else by the President?

So Steve Harvey saying, oh I'd go to the inauguration but my wife has plans for my 60th birthday, WOW that is putting Trump in his place. I assume he is the douchecopter everyone says he is, but CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE.
posted by tel3path at 4:21 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


It is insanity for Dem/Progressive leaders to introduce bullshit amendments that they KNOW won't go through, and then loudly condemn/attack their Dem partners who don't vote for it.

Exactly Arsenio etc. Exactly thank you.
posted by R343L at 4:22 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I guess the question I keep coming back to is: what do the Republicans actually want? They seem to be a party consisting primarily of power-hungry ideologues who don't actually want to make the country better, and what's worse, know that a plurality of voters don't agree with them and so use all sort of shady and morally corrupt methods to win and hold onto power.

I can't seriously believe that any politician that was a member of an actual functioning party (functioning defined as a party genuinely interested in serving its citizens) would allow someone like Trump to be the head of government.

Is Trump really just the culmination of every horrible deal with the devil the Republicans have made over the past 40 years? How have the American people been so thoroughly snowed by the Republicans that they think what they're doing is okay?
posted by Automocar at 4:24 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!


Starting to think this Trump guy might be some kind of jerk
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:25 PM on January 14 [50 favorites]




I'd like to think that sometime in the future there will be a documentary that will juxtapose the horror of the Trump years to those who showed up at his inauguration ball. A bit like The Sorrow and the Pity.

I've been thinking almost nonstop about that film, and contemplated watching it this weekend, but I thought the wallowing would be hazardous to my health.
posted by GrammarMoses at 4:27 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Jesus Fucking Christ he just can't let it go.
posted by Talez at 4:27 PM on January 14


What the hell. STOP TWEETING. DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT. HIRE AN ANGER TRANSLATOR.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:27 PM on January 14 [13 favorites]


Normally, a Head of State asking you to perform would be a command performance? Like, except under very unusual circumstances, a Brit can't refuse an invitation from the Queen because the invitation is a command.

[...]

I mean isn't it the same with being invited to the Inauguration? Or invited to anything else by the President?


No, it isn't, this is a republic. For at least six more days.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:28 PM on January 14 [17 favorites]


How tone freaking deaf can trumpski be (don't bother answering) deciding to go to the National Museum of African American History after everything today? I wonder if this was planned before or after?

Back in September when it first opened he could not remember the name of it. He called it "Smithsonian national museum of American history, African-American art.''

I recall his team wanted to tour the NC Civil Rights museum back in October but they wanted the museum shut down for 5 hours. The museum politely declined. Now I guess they can force the museum to shut down during his visit.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:28 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Maybe John Lewis could stand, Madame Tussaud's style, in that room and just wait for Trump to come in....
There were a bunch of fabulous pictures circulating earlier this year of John Lewis at Comic-Con, cosplaying his 25-year-old self. (He was there to accept an award for his graphic-novel autobiography.) I bet he would be game.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:29 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


It is insanity for Dem/Progressive leaders to introduce bullshit amendments that they KNOW won't go through, and then loudly condemn/attack their Dem partners who don't vote for it.

The latter is more of an issue than the former. Part of the game of congressional politics involves launching a lot of trial balloons that don't have a prayer of passing just to say, "we tried that." But the other part of the game is shooting them down, so it's not good to use your trial balloons as an argument regarding party purity.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:30 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Yes, for those who haven't followed the saga of Linda Katehi since she led a brutal crackdown on student OWS demonstrators -- a crisis she weathered despite her venal, horrid conduct --- she went on to get busted for egregious levels of fiscal corruption managing her own expense accounts and university funds and was forced to resign, at last, just last year.

Pepper spraying your own students sitting in a roadway is one thing. Billing the school for your first class hotel room on a vacation junket with your husband is something else again!

I predict she winds up as head of the NEH under Trump once Hulk Hogan's confirmation runs into trouble.
posted by spitbull at 4:31 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]


What the hell. STOP TWEETING. DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT. HIRE AN ANGER TRANSLATOR.

You know he does this repeatedly but every time I'm still like 'wot? seriously? Can you not learn anything? Like ever?"

I suppose that it's good to know that the pushback is getting through though. Still astounding.
posted by Jalliah at 4:31 PM on January 14


I mean isn't it the same with being invited to the Inauguration?

We aren't a monarchy and our leaders are not regals. This was a decision made by none other than George Washington himself, who could have if he had wanted become our first king. There is no such thing as a command performance in the United States, at least since 1865. You can be invited, you can be paid or volunteer, you can accept or decline, but you cannot be forced* to do anything.

* Does not apply if your employer commands you to do something on pain of termination.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:32 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


But it seems to me that the actual incentives to be afraid are a little different, unless I am missing something big about your own context. Elaborate?

You're already doing the right thing! I more meant in general when talking to others. The exigency of the situation can't mean throwing people under the bus, or using immoral tactics, for example. Which you are currently not doing so A+++.
posted by corb at 4:33 PM on January 14


Well, field sobriety tests.
posted by spitbull at 4:33 PM on January 14


That is disgusting. One moment he disrespects and insults real civil rights leaders like John Lewis and the community of Atlanta and the next moment he's visiting the Civil Rights Museum in a completely empty gesture that's an insult to everything Lewis and other civil rights activists fought for.

Two-faced doesn't even begin to cover it.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 4:34 PM on January 14 [23 favorites]


I guess the question I keep coming back to is: what do the Republicans actually want?

Revenge. They want to inflict as much pain as possible on every person or group not rich, white, Christian male. It's not complicated.

And tax cuts, of course.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:35 PM on January 14 [29 favorites]


I like the part where he thinks John Lewis is "all talk and no action."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:35 PM on January 14 [21 favorites]


burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S.

He's like that guy in the Oliver Sacks vignette who had a brain tumor that stopped him making new memories after the late 1960s, and Sacks took him to a Rolling Stones reunion concert and he was super-confused by the stuff they were playing from the early '70s.

Except that guy didn't get elected President.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:36 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


If I remember right, Tagore rejected royal honors as protest against UK imperialism. Generally "command performance" is something of an anachronism since jailing artists for not wanting to participate your state event is a political nightmare.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:37 PM on January 14


Why start compromising now? If Booker is nominated, I would vote for him over Trump. I would vote for almost anyone over Trump. While we're shopping, though, why make excuses?

So you didn't see the election? Whew, you've got a lot to catch up on.
posted by bongo_x at 4:37 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I like the part where he thinks John Lewis is "all talk and no action."

Yeah, the man arrested 45 times fighting for civil rights and beaten and spit on numerous times.
posted by chris24 at 4:37 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


Normally, a Head of State asking you to perform would be a command performance?

I used to love reading Miss Manners books-- I collected all of them-- and I remember one of her rules was that you do not refuse an invitation to the White House unless you are on your deathbed. I don't think the lady could have imagined a Trump White House. In fact since he got elected I have from time to time imagined how ghastly Dinner at the White House will become. Can you imagine given his taste in food and people? Conversation with Laura Ingraham, Steve Bannon, Kellyann Conway, and Sean Hannity over iceberg lettuce, well-done steak and Trump water.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:39 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]


Is it too much to hope that something will strike a chord with him, and he'll learn something? Maybe he can go with Barron or Ivanka or Tiffany.

I have no reason to believe Ivanka cares about anything other than enriching herself.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:39 PM on January 14 [23 favorites]


Why not accept the invitation, then protest once you have the stage?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:39 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Well, I wasn't suggesting jailing would be the consequence. Only that it would be hugely disrespectful and a breach of protocol to say no. Nobody is suggesting that you'd be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure if you refused to perform on command. Only that refusing it is not like saying "nah I don't think so, there's good telly on that night."

Similarly, Steve Harvey saying, no I can't go to the inauguration cuz my wife has plans for my 60th birthday, well, that is highly respectful to his wife and his marriage, and highly disrespectful to Trump. GOOD.
posted by tel3path at 4:41 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Why not accept the invitation, then protest once you have the stage?

The blacklash from your own fans once you are announced is huge. So then you'd have to deal with not being able to tell them what you were going to do. It's be cool if someone offered to perform at the inauguration on like, the 19th or something, and just keep the secret for the night. "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" from Cabaret would be a good suggestion.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:42 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I wonder if somewhere in the Miss Manners archive there is a question about receiving an invitation from your head of state and your head of state is Hitler, what do you do then? Eh? Eh?

Because I'm sure her answer would be incisive and correct.

To such a hypothetical question. [sob]
posted by tel3path at 4:43 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


I don't think the lady could have imagined a Trump White House.
She's apparently still around. You could probably ask her.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:44 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


The brilliant illustrator Robert Sikoryak, who among other feats illustrated the entire iTunes terms and conditions in the style of famous comic book artists, is now creating comic book covers from Trump campaign quotes (including Trump as the Ice King in "Adversary Time").
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 4:44 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]




I do hope Trump learns something at the Museum, but I honestly feel he'd better serve the American people (hah!) right now with a damn walking tour around Atlanta, to see that it's not literally "burning," as that's apparently all he can imagine when he thinks of a place black people might be living.
posted by zachlipton at 4:47 PM on January 14 [15 favorites]


Ivanka will not stop him. Ivanka will not save us. Ivanka is not a good person. Ivanka stood up there at the RNC and lied about her father's record with women, tried to convince people he isn't what he manifestly is. Ivanka attacked a Cosmo reporter for asking questions about her and her father's maternity leave program. Ivanka used the campaign to push her clothes line. Ivanka is a Trump through and through.

Thinking she's really some closeted decent person pulling strings for good seemingly simply because she's an attractive blonde is just as sexist as hating her for being a woman.
posted by chris24 at 4:47 PM on January 14 [134 favorites]


Why start compromising now? If Booker is nominated, I would vote for him over Trump. I would vote for almost anyone over Trump. While we're shopping, though, why make excuses?

So much this. It's been made clear that general elections are existential crises at this point, and it is no longer possibly to ethically vote Republican for any office. Policy decisions and candidate selections are made at the primary level. And at that level, I'd prefer to have the candidate who did not value the profits of his corporate masters over the ability of sick people to afford their meds. I don't think I need to be a Russian or Republican plant to think this.
posted by kafziel at 4:47 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]


I'm trying to picture an "anger translator" for Trump...isn't that just called a delay pedal?
posted by uosuaq at 4:51 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


How tone freaking deaf can trumpski be (don't bother answering) deciding to go to the National Museum of African American History after everything today?

Is it too much to hope that something will strike a chord with him, and he'll learn something?


I'm guessing that chord will be nostalgia.
posted by JackFlash at 4:52 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


Maybe if Trump goes to the museum he'll find out who John Lewis is. (Trump will never find out who Trump is.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:52 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Jennifer Rubin at WaPo: Other Democrats could learn a lot from John Lewis: To recap, on MLK weekend Trump attacked a revered civil rights figure who received grave physical injuries in pursuit of freedom and equality by in essence labeling his district a crime-ridden ghetto. One can say Trump is impulsive and ignorant (does he even know who Lewis is?), but alas, he also makes negative, inaccurate generalizations about minorities. Yes, he talks like a racist. And more people know that now, thanks to Lewis — who once again prompted the press (Right Turn included) to recount his participation in the civil rights movement.
posted by TwoStride at 4:53 PM on January 14 [27 favorites]


re: Jennifer Holliday accepts, then cancels, inauguration gig

zachliption has a good explainer above about this.
posted by futz at 4:54 PM on January 14


I do hope Trump learns something at the Museum, but I honestly feel he'd better serve the American people (hah!) right now with a damn walking tour around Atlanta, to see that it's not literally "burning," as that's apparently all he can imagine when he thinks of a place black people might be living.
posted by zachlipton at 7:47 PM on January 14 [−] Favorite added! [!]

This, so much! I'm starting to think he was given a Boxed Set of The Wire and bingewatched it but I know that's not really true. He is stuck in the 70's when NY really was crime-infested. He is 70 years old and his ideas about Black Culture and Black lifestyles are probably not going to change. This museum visit is just a photo-op so he can pretend to himself and his fan base that he is not a racist.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:55 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


DJT will come away with absolutely nothing from his visit to the NMAAHC except further reassurance that he's glad he was born rich and white and learned well from his eugenicist father.
posted by TwoStride at 4:55 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


The bizarro world we live in now where Jennifer freakin' Rubin is frequently not only right, but on the right side of history.
posted by chris24 at 4:55 PM on January 14 [18 favorites]


DJT will come away with absolutely nothing from his visit to the NMAAHC except further reassurance that he's glad he was born rich and white and learned well from his eugenicist father.

There's a 99% chance this is true but I'll hope for that 1% chance that it just utterly breaks him. (And/or that John Lewis comes at him when he least expects it.)
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:58 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Indeed. When Rubin AND Bill Kristol are making occasional sense, it's time to check on whether your planet is cube-shaped.
posted by delfin at 4:59 PM on January 14 [18 favorites]


Biased, overrated museum wants us to believe whites are to blame for slavery! So dishonest. SAD!
posted by uosuaq at 5:01 PM on January 14 [24 favorites]


Assuming he even actually shows up at the museum--I wouldn't rule out some kind of "emergency briefing" that gets him out of it when he tantrums about having to go see a history about people he doesn't like--how long do we think we'll stay? 10 minutes for a photo op?
posted by TwoStride at 5:02 PM on January 14


The blacklash from your own fans once you are announced is huge.

A few of the musicians on that list will be hearing from me as an ex-listener. Some have gone back on performing, so it's worth a try.

When I was just starting out in learning about the Trump circle, I was especially disgusted by people like Thiel and Milo who are in marginalized groups themselves, but are in privileged positions and use those positions to hurt minorities and other vulnerable groups. I now know that there's a bad history within elements of the community of marginalizing bi and trans* people, among others, so I'm not as shocked that such people exist as I was back then, but I hold a special contempt for Milo and Thiel for their benefiting from the struggles and suffering of LGBT activists while actively working to take the gains those activists fought for away.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:02 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]




The level of response by Donald supporters about the pushback on his Lewis tweets is quite literally (meaning I've seen the exact words used over and over) is 'Lewis started it' and "He has the right to defend himself'.

This is why a certain percentage of the people are never going to be able to see what Donald says and does as being a problem, they only understand Donald at the level of 'well they are being mean to me'.
posted by Jalliah at 5:08 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]


I'm not from California, so I don't have as much insight here. I know Thiel has bottomless pockets and corrupt friends, so that's an issue for any opponent if he runs, but is he well-liked or popular enough to win the governorship of a solidly blue state like California? (I know Arnold won, but he was a bigger celebrity and from my understanding - correct me if I'm wrong - he wasn't as radically conservative as Thiel.)
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:09 PM on January 14


These threads get really long quickly and there are already quite a few double links. Perhaps a gentle reminder to ctrl+f the thread first? I am guilty of this too. I am always hesitant to broach things like this because I am not a mod. :/
posted by futz at 5:13 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


People said Trump couldn't win. Thiel can absolutely win. We can't ever write anyone off ever again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:13 PM on January 14 [27 favorites]


I want to say he's universally disliked and would be blowing a stack of cash, but boy has the world gotten weird lately.
posted by Artw at 5:13 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


The blacklash from your own fans once you are announced is huge.

Springsteen cover band promises to cancel Trump inauguration concert if ‘the Boss’ asks

The New York Times reported Friday that members of the band B Street played at the inauguration of Pres. Barack Obama in 2009 and were such a hit that they were asked back in 2013. They agreed to play the 2017 inauguration before the election and are now bearing the brunt of people’s dissatisfaction with the incoming administration.

“I never saw this coming — this part coming,” said B Street keyboardist and founder Willie Forte in an interview with the Times. “Are you asking me if, you know, if I would’ve reconsidered if I could go back in the beginning and I knew this was going to happen? Sure
.”
posted by Room 641-A at 5:16 PM on January 14 [19 favorites]


This is why a certain percentage of the people is never going to be able to see what Donald says and does as being a problem, they only understand Donald at the level of 'well they are being mean to me'.

Exactly, Jalliah, but the thing is that Trump could actually defend himself by attempting to make the case that he is legitimate (as Joy-Ann Reid wrote this morning) instead of lashing out not just at Rep. Lewis, but also at the 700,000 people who live in Georgia's 5th congressional district. He could have tried to make the case that he will be President of the entire country by attempting to learn about regions and cities (instead of just traveling to the states he won), not portray them in racist attacks as burning hellscapes. He could have acknowledged that he lost the popular vote and showed an ounce of humility over that, instead of glorifying the size of his mandate. He could have tried to make the case that he was serious about Russia and hacking instead of going into full-on puppet mode.

A real response would be to prove his legitimacy, not attack the speaker, and certainly not to demean an entire city. Step #1 in that process would be to be the bigger person and realize that, as President, you can simply ignore most attacks as not worthy of your attention, instead of lashing out over every slight. But he's incapable of that. Everyone knows that. We knew he was a snake when we took him in.
posted by zachlipton at 5:20 PM on January 14 [24 favorites]


Biased, overrated museum wants us to believe whites are to blame for slavery! So dishonest. SAD!

Lots of stuff about slaves, nothing about masters. Unfair!
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:24 PM on January 14 [20 favorites]


@Rschooley:
Trump visit to Smithsonian African American History Museum on MLK day is canceled. Can't imagine why. [image of John Lewis exhibit at museum]
posted by chris24 at 5:26 PM on January 14 [35 favorites]


And he's still blatting on about John Lewis! At least his latest tweet ends 'I need all the help I can get!' which may be the truest thing he's said in two years...
posted by Devonian at 5:28 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!

@justinamash:
Dude, just stop.


That's Tea Party leader Justin Amash.
posted by chris24 at 5:29 PM on January 14 [68 favorites]


I'm still disappointed about the 3 Doors Down thing, probably because they're the only band on that list I had any knowledge of and had a song I liked. Some of my friends who like their music more than me also expressed disappointment. I'm guessing that hoping they cancel the performance is a stretch, but I'll be happy to contribute to the social-media backlash. I already kicked them off my playlist in favor of Richard Thompson.

At the very least cutting them out has let me explore new and better music, so there's that.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:29 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


He is 70 years old and his ideas about Black Culture and Black lifestyles are probably not going to change.

WHY CAN'T THEY ALL BE LIKE HUGGY BEAR?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:30 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


A real response would be to prove his legitimacy, not attack the speaker, and certainly not to demean an entire city. Step #1 in that process would be to be the bigger person and realize that, as President, you can simply ignore most attacks as not worthy of your attention, instead of lashing out over every slight. But he's incapable of that. Everyone knows that. We knew he was a snake when we took him in.

Yep. For some reason tonight I felt like going elsewhere and having 'chats' with people saying things and have said these exact sort of things. Do you not see that the problem is what he said and not that he said anything? I've been engaging and have so far not been able to pierce the 'Lewis said something mean' worldview one bit. Whether willfully or not it's just 'Donald was just getting back at Lewis who started it and now people are in tears about it. That's all the seem to matter or that they can see.
posted by Jalliah at 5:33 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to let everyone going to a protest (or just anywhere, really) about the ACLU Mobile Justice app. One of the features allows you to record an incident and have it automatically sent to the ACLU for review. This is handy if phones are confiscated or footage "accidentally" erased. There is a DC-specific version but I believe any version will work regardless of your location.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:36 PM on January 14 [24 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!

So I think that he either saw or somebody showed him the responses from Atlanta (among other responses) and tried to explain to him that it was a problem and this is his take back.

Translation: Okay fine, not Atlanta then, all of the other cities then!!

And he's all proud of himself for figuring out how to be 'tricky'.
posted by Jalliah at 5:39 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


People said Trump couldn't win. Thiel can absolutely win. We can't ever write anyone off ever again.

I understand this, but I also feel like Jerry Brown's current popularity + anti-Trump backlash make it extremely unlikely that Thiel or anyone like him could be elected.

That could be the last shreds of my naïveté showing.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:40 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


...make it extremely unlikely that Thiel or anyone like him could be elected IN CALIFORNIA, meant to say.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:41 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


I understand this, but I also feel like Jerry Brown's current popularity + anti-Trump backlash make it extremely unlikely that Thiel or anyone like him could be elected.

He'll just put a D in front of his name. Worked for Ro Khanna.
posted by Talez at 5:42 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


This museum visit is just a photo-op so he can pretend to himself and his fan base that he is not a racist.

This reminds me of the picture that was circulating during the election of Trump squeamishly holding an LGBTQ pride flag like it was a soiled diaper. There were comments under it to the effect of "See! The dems are going to lose it!"

I envision Debord with a rictus grin that is growing daily.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:42 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


the ACLU Mobile Justice app.

Now THIS is the kind of thing I hope liberal/left orgs with the biggest reach keep doing.
posted by Rykey at 5:44 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


I kinda wonder if anybody has mentioned to Trump that saying "hey black guy, what about the black people?!" is wrong ten ways from Sunday. Considering he's already pulled this one before, my assumption is that he knows and doesn't care.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:47 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


But "hey black guy, what about the black people??" plays fantastically well with the racist fucks who voted for him, so.
posted by lydhre at 5:51 PM on January 14 [25 favorites]


Well, he's always been nakedly racist and too stupid/brash to conceal it. He also doesn't care that he's doing the Twitter equivalent of showing his bare butt to the entire world.

*reaches for brain bleach at the image*
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:52 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Well, he's always been nakedly racist and too stupid/brash to conceal it. He also doesn't care that he's doing the Twitter equivalent of showing his bare butt to the entire world.

*reaches for brain bleach at the image*


I hate you.
posted by Jalliah at 5:55 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


*reaches for brain bleach at the image*

There's a significant chance that we will see any and all nooks and crannies of his anatomy in grainy night-vision video at some point in the near future. Best not to bleach that image. We have to prepare ourselves.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:55 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Inauguration Day is turning out to be even bigger than expected. January 20th, Washington D.C. Have fun!


Oh the banality.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:00 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


Jesus Fucking Christ he just can't let it go.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I was looking at all the awesome Atlanta tweets trending under the hashtag #defendthe5th because I used to live in and still love that city, and I suddenly remembered how many times I walked past the empty lot with the development sign for Trump Towers Atlanta. Which never got off the ground - probably in part because of the recession. But the whole property was foreclosed on, and so the razed lot and TRUMP signs just sat there, for years. It's been bought and is being developed by someone else now, and it's in a great location. Tons of development in Midtown and beyond over the past 5 years; driving down Ponce last month on my way to the airport, the city seemed more vibrant than ever.

Anyway, no reason to discount racism as the primary reason for all the shitting on Lewis & Atlanta, but I bet the fact that his plan to get money for putting his name on two bright monstrous buildings in the middle of the city still bothers our thin-skinned little PEOTUS.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:00 PM on January 14 [27 favorites]


Chatting on Facebook about how unreal and pulp thriller-ish this all seems, I found myself saying "I haven't felt this way since 9/11."

And in saying that, I remembered the way I was glued to the news after that, thinking "This is some Tom Clancy bullshit. This can't be real..." the way I argued on the internet in my naive American confusion and hurt. The fear, the feeling that anything could happen. When all the flights were grounded indefinitely and the president was in an undisclosed location and phone lines were jammed and it seemed like... is this the end of the world?

Later, feeling unsafe at every airport and landmark, in every crowd. The anthrax threats. The endless talk of weapons of mass destruction. I was 21 in 2001, and I watched the news on Sept 11 all day on the big screens in the big lecture rooms of the community college where I had a summer job. I had to help hook up the TV feeds to those projectors myelf because the job was in the AV dept, and they canceled all the classes and just let everyone watch CNN, and I remember seeing on the crawl (which was new then) that then PENTAGON has been hit, and thinking "What??? Why aren't they TALKING about that?"

I felt so confused and scared and vulnerable in 2001. I felt like maybe that was just the opening salvo of a war that would actually be fought on American soil, and they'd already hit the Pentagon itself, so maybe we would lose.

There was no solid ground under my feet for a while there. Impossible things were happening, so anything could happen.

It really does feel exactly the same.

The only difference is, back then (in spite of the elections less than a year earlier when a moron who had lost the popular vote took office in a process with dubious legitimacy...) it felt like the rest of America was right there with me, scared and confused.

This time it's worse, because half the country, and my own family, seems to be on the side of the bad guys. I can't even imagine how I'll remember all this in 15 years.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:01 PM on January 14 [62 favorites]


Atlanta leaders celebrate 30 percent drop in crime in city since 2009

Not that facts matter unduly, but I retain a certain fondness for them.
posted by Devonian at 6:01 PM on January 14 [47 favorites]


Oh God what the fuck I came here to post a happy thing and Peter Thiel ughhhhghghghg

ANYWAY, re: the John Lewis thing, Shaun King responded on Facebook by asking people to buy copies of the March trilogy (Lewis's graphic novels about the civil rights movement, for which he won the National Book Award last year) as a show of support; cause them to sell out.
posted by sunset in snow country at 6:05 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


OnceUponATime, the 9/11 parallel is very good. I was living in a college dorm at the time and I remember screaming in the showers because I was so terrified and overwhelmed. But you're right, we were unified then in a way we're not now.
posted by AFABulous at 6:16 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Not that facts matter unduly, but I retain a certain fondness for them.

OH, Devonian, you old-fashioned rascal, you.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:16 PM on January 14 [13 favorites]


When he does this - to the Khans, Alicia Machado, Chuck Jones, now Representative Lewis - it actually seems to hurt him politically, at least temporarily. To the point that, allegedly, Russia thought about writing him off while he was going off on the Khans. It's a hard but effective tactic that can be capitalized on: upstanding people publicly making themselves his enemies. It's also a good way to turn that distraction tactic back on him. He usually distracts us with his tweets, but this clearly distracts him.

And it's going to keep happening - just wait, he'll lash out at the first person with a chronic and/or terminal illness who gets a lot of media as a face of the fighting for the upcoming ACA clusterfuck. Really, on any topic, he will engage the personalities that pop up to oppose him, his whole thing is getting down in the mud and going head on against individuals and he can't seem to help himself. And when people see themselves or qualities they admire in those individuals, it does seem to cut into his support.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:16 PM on January 14 [37 favorites]


So his first foreign trip as president is going to be checking in with the boss? At what point does Putin say to his boy "fucking hell mate, show some subtlety."
posted by Artw at 6:17 PM on January 14 [17 favorites]


The only difference is, back then (in spite of the elections less than a year earlier when a moron who had lost the popular vote took office in a process with dubious legitimacy...) it felt like the rest of America was right there with me, scared and confused.

This time it's worse, because half the country, and my own family, seems to be on the side of the bad guys. I can't even imagine how I'll remember all this in 15 years.


The upside is, that unity gave Bush a mandate that he leveraged for all the awfulness that came after. Trump can not play that card.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:19 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


The upside is, that unity gave Bush a mandate that he leveraged for all the awfulness that came after. Trump can not play that card.

Absolutely. The wars, the torture, the nascent surveillance state, the 2004 Election even, all would not have been possible without the country unifying in large part behind W after 9/11. He had an approval rating in the 80s in 2002. No terrorist attack of any size could make the country unify that much behind Trump unless it's by aliens and even then maybe not.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:22 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


It's a hard but effective tactic that can be capitalized on: upstanding people publicly making themselves his enemies.

They don't even have to do it on purpose, they just need to exist and say things, like a normal thing that upstanding people do.
posted by Jalliah at 6:23 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


'We Waited for Decades': Polish Govt Welcomes US Troops

The ceremony in the western Polish town of Zagan comes some 23 years after the last Soviet troops left Poland. It marks a new historic moment — the first time Western forces are being deployed on a continuous basis to NATO's eastern flank. The move has infuriated Moscow.

"We have waited for you for a very long time," Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz told the troops as snow fell. "We waited for decades, sometimes feeling we had been left alone, sometimes almost losing hope, sometimes feeling that we were the only one who protected civilization from aggression that came from the east."


That comment almost made me tear up. man.
posted by futz at 6:24 PM on January 14 [28 favorites]


The bizarro world we live in now where Jennifer freakin' Rubin is frequently not only right, but on the right side of history.

Seriously. I keep seeing her name pop up and just now finally googled to see if there were actually two people with the same name. But no, it's all her somehow.

I do however have to note that she's still managed to twist the narrative to "this is what democrats are doing wrong". Couldn't Republicans also learn something from Lewis? Hmm?
posted by great_radio at 6:29 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Oh god, that DID make me tear up.
posted by corb at 6:34 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


No terrorist attack of any size could make the country unify that much behind Trump unless it's by aliens and even then maybe not.

Josh Lyman: No, you got to go outside, turn around three times and curse.
Toby Ziegler: Spit.
Josh Lyman: Spit and curse.
Toby Ziegler: Do everything. Go!
posted by jason_steakums at 6:34 PM on January 14 [12 favorites]


I do however have to note that she's still managed to twist the narrative to "this is what democrats are doing wrong". Couldn't Republicans also learn something from Lewis? Hmm?

Yes but even this isn't wrong.
posted by Jalliah at 6:35 PM on January 14


It's a little sad that the best defense of John Lewis is 50 years old. Surely he's done some great things since then, right? Surely he hasn't been part and parcel of the business-as-usual neoliberal war-mongering, Wall St.-enabling, spineless Democratic establishment, right?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:37 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I mean, Trump went after "war hero" John McCain, something that never seemed possible. And it didn't even hurt him. I wonder why? Maybe because a lot of people didn't love McCain, maybe because he can be a "war hero" and a terrible scumbag politician.

I'm not equating Lewis with McCain, just to be clear. But if the best response we have to Trump's attacks is that certain people are simply beyond reproach, well, we shouldn't be too surprised when we fucking lose.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:40 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Well he's certainly more than earned enough respect to rest on his laurels, but have you not paid attention to his leading the gun-control sit-in last year, or when he was one of a dozen votes against the "super-predator" bill in 1994, or, hell, you could educate yourself about his record here.
posted by TwoStride at 6:42 PM on January 14 [58 favorites]


Seriously; that's a bizarrely ignorant take on Lewis, Joseph Gurl.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:45 PM on January 14 [46 favorites]


Surely he hasn't been part and parcel of the business-as-usual neoliberal war-mongering, Wall St.-enabling, spineless Democratic establishment, right?

I mean, sure he risked his life and freedom standing up against racism, faced down murderous white supremacists, faced dogs, faced the hoses, faced beatings and lynchings, and did so with grace and equanimity but what has he done for us lately?
posted by Justinian at 6:45 PM on January 14 [81 favorites]


It's a little sad that the best defense of John Lewis is 50 years old. Surely he's done some great things since then, right? Surely he hasn't been part and parcel of the business-as-usual neoliberal war-mongering, Wall St.-enabling, spineless Democratic establishment, right?

Hey, I get it, John Lewis doesn't quite live up to your standards. Let us know who your candidates are, they must be awesome. I can't wait until all those perfect people are elected, assuming they pass the tests.
posted by bongo_x at 6:47 PM on January 14 [39 favorites]


My order for the March Trilogy is placed.
After leaving SNCC in 1966, Lewis worked with community organizations and was named community affairs director for the National Consumer Co-op Bank in Atlanta.

Before being elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1981, Lewis faced "years of criticism as a holier-than-thou publicity seeker who challenged city leaders on ethical matters."
...
After his unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1977, Lewis was without a job and in debt from his campaign. He accepted a position with the Carter administration as associate director of ACTION, responsible for running the VISTA program, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, and the Foster Grandparent Program. He held that job for two and a half years, resigning as the 1980 election approached.[13] In 1981, Lewis was elected to the Atlanta City Council.
...
John Lewis has been reelected 14 times. He has dropped below 70 percent of the vote only once. In 1994, he defeated Republican Dale Dixon by a 38-point margin, 69%–31%.[19] He even ran unopposed in 1996 and from 2004 to 2008."
...
In March 2003, Lewis spoke to a crowd of 30,000 in Oregon during an anti-war protest before the start of the Iraq War.[39] He was arrested in 2006[40] and 2009 and outside the Sudan embassy in protest against the genocide in Darfur.[41] He was one of eight U.S. Representatives, from six states, arrested while holding a sit-in near the west side of the U.S. Capitol building, to advocate for illegal immigration reform. The lawmakers' participation and subsequent arrest in the protest occurred despite the fact that the 2013 government shutdown was going on at the time.[42] Lewis also led the 2016 House Democrats sit-in demanding that the House take action on gun control in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting and the failure of the United States Senate to act.[43]
If John Lewis doesn't pass your purity test, you should rethink your purity test.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:47 PM on January 14 [89 favorites]


Remember in one of the debates, when Trump unleashed this idea that seemingly he thought was a knock-down argument: Clinton has been in power all these years (as a First Lady? Senator? Sec. of State?) - so why didn't she personally close all the tax loopholes he exploited, if she thinks he shouldn't use them? He said it like three times - "So why didn't you stop me?".

He probably thinks that way, about Lewis: he's a Congressman, so why hasn't he single-handedly resolved all the social and economic issues that (to Trump) black politicians are responsible for fixing? How come there aren't Druid Hills manors in Vine City yet, Lewis? Huh?
posted by thelonius at 6:48 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


I'm not criticizing Lewis. As TwoStride correctly surmised, I'm not super informed. But as I read the news and Op-Eds, the only response I'm seeing is gasping and breathless hand-wringing that anyone would even criticize him. His record looks great to me, so why aren't the Dems defending that? (Maybe because he votes far, far to the left of the party?).
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:49 PM on January 14


I'm not equating Lewis with McCain, just to be clear. But if the best response we have to Trump's attacks is that certain people are simply beyond reproach, well, we shouldn't be too surprised when we fucking lose.

This isn't what is happening. Donald, went straight up racist because Lewis is black. Lewis is a civil rights hero and icon. This is about a race base attack against against Lewis and African Americans as a whole because his insult was based on racial stereotyping of an entire group of people in the US.

This is not about Lewis's entire record or that he may or may not have done other good or bad things.
posted by Jalliah at 6:49 PM on January 14 [26 favorites]


I mean, I guess John Lewis should be grateful that he hasn't been almost killed again in the last 50 years. But as for his recent accomplishments, the sit-in on the floor of Congress after the Pulse massacre was pretty important, for me.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:50 PM on January 14 [23 favorites]


I'm not super informed.

Lemme stop you right there, friend.
posted by TwoStride at 6:50 PM on January 14 [56 favorites]


the only response I'm seeing is gasping and breathless hand-wringing that anyone would even criticize him.

This is really the only appropriate response when someone [cretins especially] criticizes a man who was literally willing to give up his life for his beliefs.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:54 PM on January 14 [25 favorites]


And to clarify, I didn't mean that Lewis is a martyr. I meant that he was willing to die so that Black people could vote.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:55 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


A man well known to be a chickenshit badmouthed a man with an established record for putting himself in physical danger for greater good.

#notthefirsttime
posted by ocschwar at 6:55 PM on January 14 [16 favorites]


Your question didn't even make sense. You want Democrats to be saying: "How dare Trump attack someone with such a solid progressive record?"
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:55 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


John Lewis doesn't even know if he has bone spurs.
posted by jaduncan at 6:57 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


You didn't ask about his record. You implied he is a neo-liberal warmonger. Or something. Your original comment is strange and doesn't really square with your later comments.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:57 PM on January 14 [22 favorites]


John Lewis doesn't even know if he has bone spurs.

John Lewis probably has terrible bone spurs... and marched anyway.
posted by TwoStride at 6:59 PM on January 14 [20 favorites]


On one hand, you say you're not super informed about Rep. Lewis, and on the other hand, you call him out as an establishment hack coasting on his Civil Rights accomplishments as if that's rooted in anything remotely like fact. That is why people are upset with you, just so you know. It's not some inexplicable and unfair liberal- or Metafilter-specific insular culture reaction, you just trashed a personal hero of many here for something totally made up and acted like your accusations were the root of some problem with liberal politics, while admitting that you're uninformed about the very things you said.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:01 PM on January 14 [62 favorites]


Hey guys, I know Trump's response to criticism from an elected member of the house was so racist and defying of all knowledge of the man or the region he represents that it baffles belief, but the important thing here is that the left isn't good enough for me. I just want to be clear on that. We need to focus on why the left is no good, OK?
posted by tocts at 7:03 PM on January 14 [33 favorites]


it will be WITH Russia, but IN Iceland. But, yeah. He's not even really trying to hide anything, is he?

For those not closely following the money trail stories, Iceland is home to FL Group, the partner of Bayrock (Russian Mafia ties and staff who've been tried/convicted for economic shenanigans) in the Trump SoHo project.

Here's another long confusing but well-researched article from the necon journal The American Interest of all places, attempting to connect more of the dots in the financial ties: The Curious World of Donald Trump's Russian Connections, which includes a detailed section on the Icelandic FL Group.

With all the various countries and shell companies involved, it's really hard to follow all of this, but it does seem to provide a lot of answers if true. I wonder if the intelligence community actually already knew most of this but didn't want to intervene because they thought it could be a net positive in terms of where the money ended up and the changing balance of foreign relations, at least until they realized what a train wreck Donald Trump actually is.
posted by p3t3 at 7:07 PM on January 14 [17 favorites]


John Lewis probably has terrible bone spurs... and marched anyway.
posted by TwoStride at 2:59 on 1/15


Eponysterical.
posted by jaduncan at 7:09 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


Yeah. I like to think I'm treating the suggestion that Lewis isn't worthy with all the seriousness it warrants.

The man's a genuine American hero, and has frankly approached the people of his state with far more forgiveness than I think I could muster. He's also faced down much more imposing racists than Donald, who frankly wasn't even well informed enough to craft a decent insult.
posted by jaduncan at 7:12 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


Oh hey, so if you, like me, have been wondering where the hell Keepin' It 1600 has been for a few weeks, I guess they started a new podcast? I had no idea until I just stumbled across it.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:13 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]



Obama has extended Russian Sanctions

Notice -- Continuation of National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine

I can't find any US based news about this. It's being reported in what looks like Russia and some European media but mostly Russian. So I posted it straight from the White House.

I have very little understanding of how it all works but from what I have read in comments it means that Donald will have to do more work if he wants to get rid of the sanctions. They were set to expire and this sets them up for another year starting in March. So he will have to actually roll them back rather then let them lapse and apparently it opens up the opportunity for Congress to do something with a Veto.

He's also extend sanctions with Iran and a few others.
posted by Jalliah at 7:15 PM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Who knew Spencer's was still around? Fuck them.
posted by bongo_x at 7:23 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


More like Richard Spencer's, am I right
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:28 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I usually like wacky novelty stores like Spencer's. I saw those shitty Trump shirts in the last one I went in, turned around and walked out and ain't going in one again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:36 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


Who knew Spencer's was still around? Fuck them.

I swear to god, I ever see someone wearing that "Grab Them by the Pussy" T-Shirt and I will perform my first ever full-on tackling of another human being, and I will be going for the balls. Repeatedly and mercilessly.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:37 PM on January 14 [36 favorites]


Regarding the UC Davis protests: apparently our pal Martin Shkreli caught a face full of dog shit from the protesters, which does my bitter old heart some good. This execrable display is coming to my place of employment later this week, and I'm hoping to see protests of this intensity, although I might not be able to join in.

The Davis College Republicans were pretty gross and ugly when I was there over a decade ago, too. My last year they held one of those revolting 'Affirmative Action Bake Sales,' where they would sell cookies to white people for $2.00 and black people for $0.50. A couple shave-headed jerkoffs in sunglass, fatigues, and combat boots marched around bellowing at the top of their lungs, while everyone else crowded around and heckled them. Sad to see they haven't improved any.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:39 PM on January 14 [29 favorites]


Well hey, the last lingering speck of guilt I had about shoplifting from Spencer's so much as a teenager is gone!
posted by jason_steakums at 7:41 PM on January 14 [14 favorites]


This blog post nicely lays out the math on how Paul Ryan's health care plan (to the extent he has one) is all about lowering premiums for the majority by shoving everyone with a pre-existing condition into a massively underfunded high risk pool so they can fuck off and die, or at least go without coverage.

This isn't some kind of secret either. He literally said to the cancer patient at the town hall:
Let's just directly fix that so that EVERYBODY ELSE can get more competitive rates and they don't have to pay for insurance to try to cover for THOSE KINDS OF REALLY EXPENSIVE PEOPLE."
His plan then divides the country up into "really expensive people" and "everybody else" and sets aside just a small fraction of what it would take to insure said "really expensive people" (hint: they are, by definition, really expensive).
posted by zachlipton at 7:41 PM on January 14 [36 favorites]


The point is that on Monday the US celebrates* a holiday that had to be fought for tooth and nail, one that commemorates someone murdered nearly 50 years ago. But this is not a holiday about the past; there are still people who stood by his side and fought his fight and fight his fight, calibrated to the present. The people who bought John Lewis's books today need to make sure they're read before they're put on the shelf.

* Offer not valid in certain dixieflag states unless combined with a dixieflager.
posted by holgate at 7:42 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


His plan then divides the country up into "really expensive people" and "everybody else" and sets aside just a small fraction of what it would take to insure said "really expensive people" (hint: they are, by definition, really expensive).

Right, that's the Republican plan; hope that the majority of Americans will be glad that they are paying less at the cost of a few million people dying / living in sickness.

The sad part is that their calculation may be correct. Sometimes the right thing to do is politically unpopular and sometimes the wrong thing is politically popular.
posted by Justinian at 7:50 PM on January 14 [17 favorites]


Thing is unless you die suddenly and young, you are a really expensive person
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:53 PM on January 14 [37 favorites]


Here's another long confusing but well-researched article from the necon journal The American Interest of all places, attempting to connect more of the dots in the financial ties: The Curious World of Donald Trump's Russian Connections, which includes a detailed section on the Icelandic FL Group.

I like that this article, being written from a right-wing perspective, goes after the "mainstream media" in the opening ("From public records, using his renowned analytical skills, Henry shows what the mainstream news media in the United States have failed to report in any meaningful way") and I hope this and other pieces on Trump's corruption that are coming from the right are being shared with a lot of "What the Mainstream Media WON'T Tell You About Trump and Russia!" clickbaity titles. It's a hook that could work for some people.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:53 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Let's just directly fix that so that EVERYBODY ELSE can get more competitive rates and they don't have to pay for insurance to try to cover for THOSE KINDS OF REALLY EXPENSIVE PEOPLE."

So, in other words, Death Panels.
posted by bongo_x at 7:54 PM on January 14 [77 favorites]


Protests derail UC Davis event with Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos, ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli

More Yiannopoulos protests: 160 Children's Books Authors And Illustrators Protest Milo Yiannopoulos' Book Deal
posted by Room 641-A at 7:55 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Adding to zachlipton"s post just above mine. Link goes to archive.is b/c I can't get around their adblocker

Here are the lies Paul Ryan told about Obamacare during his town hall meeting

Here is the la times link
posted by futz at 7:56 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


Are you saying when you come back to a thread and it says "384 new comments, show", you don't occasionally cheat a little? No skimming?

Nope. Except for that one time I was on vacation and skipped ahead because it was too much like I'm missing it.
posted by petebest at 8:01 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


as of now we are up to 18!

18 House Democrats to skip Trump’s inauguration

Surely this is what "unpresidented" means.
posted by futz at 8:03 PM on January 14 [38 favorites]


My rep. is on the new list! Thank you, sir.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:07 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


What I'd like to see - and it's grim, and it does make me uncomfortable considering that the person I've been with for the past 8 1/2 years has had a slow-progressing brain cancer for more than half that time and has been unable to work and reliant on the ACA - is that EVERYONE who votes for the GOP healthcare bullshit is mailed copies of every diagnosis, every bill, and every obituary for those that they are choosing to kill with this. And in the cases of obituaries, keep resending them as often as you can afterwards. Flood their offices with this, their DC offices and every local office. Put faces and names to it. Make them hide from their victims. Bundle these messages up and stand outside their doors with stacks of them just to see them cower like Ryan did with the Planned Parenthood petitions.

And then when we finally wrest this country back from them and put something in place to help these people, I want to see a memorial to the names of the people we lost, another big black scar in the earth like the Vietnam memorial. Chisel their names into stone for the future to remember.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:09 PM on January 14 [92 favorites]


This will surprise no one here, but from Esquire tonight: The Trump Administration May Evict the Press from the White House
According to three senior officials on the transition team, a plan to evict the press corps from the White House is under serious consideration by the incoming Trump Administration. If the plan goes through, one of the officials said, the media will be removed from the cozy confines of the White House press room, where it has worked for several decades. Members of the press will be relocated to the White House Conference Center—near Lafayette Square—or to a space in the Old Executive Office Building, next door to the White House.

"They are the opposition party," a senior official says. "I want 'em out of the building. We are taking back the press room."
posted by gatorae at 8:13 PM on January 14 [15 favorites]


I sent off my polite but firm note to my rep about my low opinion of the vague assurances in the "replace" PDFs she so helpfully linked in her letter to me. Closed by telling her about my dad's death bankrupting my mom, and also asking her, as a Christian, what Christ would think of her increasing the suffering and death of her constituents.

I don't think she'll be swayed by my eloquence, but I feel better letting her know I'm not buying the BS.
posted by emjaybee at 8:15 PM on January 14 [71 favorites]


"They are the opposition party," a senior official says. "I want 'em out of the building. We are taking back the press room."

"Taking back the press room."...for whom, pray tell? Kushner's stenographers? Propagandists like Breitbart? You won't shut them or us up, fuckers.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:16 PM on January 14 [24 favorites]


hope that the majority of Americans will be glad that they are paying less at the cost of a few million people dying / living in sickness.

I have a feeling this won't work. Most people know someone who ends up being in the very expensive list. Even if we assume Medicare / Medicaid will still pay out the big bucks for seniors in end of life care, we all still know someone who got cancer at 26, or almost died in a car accident at 19, or had kidney failure at 34, or a heart attack at 44. Many of us, even Trump voters, were that person at some point.

Stories about an insanely cute 6 yr old girl with a treatable cancer, who had coverage under the ACA and now has nearly nothing under the new GOP plan, will make the rounds of Facebook so quickly that it'll leave a stereotypical trail of fire in its wake. The campaign ads and human interest stories on national media will write themselves.

People don't deal well when a service was available and now no longer is. Even nominal Republicans and Trump voters will rethink their vote when they, or someone they love, are sacrificed for ideology.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:16 PM on January 14 [18 favorites]


Bannon hates competition.
posted by Yowser at 8:16 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


So does Kershner.
posted by Yowser at 8:16 PM on January 14


Here's my first election thread post ever:

I live in John Lewis's Fifth District. When I moved two mile to be in it in 2008, I told people that voting for Rep. Lewis was one of the best things about my new house. I still feel that way. Meeting him, Andrew Jackson, C.T Vivian, and Rev. Joseph Lowery have been highlights in my adult life, and humbling experiences.

Trump's message communicates precisely to its intended audience, and that's not me or anyone else in the 5th. It's the people outside my city who lock their doors when they come Intown because of 'crime.' It's people in the rest of the state who depend on the city's economy and decry its existence. It's people who sympathize with Ted McIver, a local attorney whose excuse for shooting his wife is fear of 'Black Lives Matter.'

Don't pretend he's talking to us. He knows exactly who his audience is, and he's speaking very effectively.
posted by rock swoon has no past at 8:18 PM on January 14 [87 favorites]


This really is amazing. Fuck celebrating the peaceful transfer of power. The Power has turned toxic and is not to be celebrated. I love seeing the spines emerge and multiply.
posted by futz at 8:19 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]


Republican Ben Ferguson: I can't imagine the fallout if a Republican were to ever say Obama wasn't a legitimate president

CNN anchor: Umm
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:21 PM on January 14 [53 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!


America? Could I see you in my office for a second?

Hi, great thank you listen - ummm, I think we should talk about the PEOTUS' mental health. I know, I know we don't do that here and we definitely need to be careful and considerate but honestly I . . . I'm starting to think quasar the smockfish has a valid point from upthread - he seems genuinely afflicted.

I grant you he's eccentric to some extent, and probably had a hard time with his alcoholic dad and everything . . . well, and he's racist, misogynistic, a serial sexual predator, a fraud, xenophobic, narcissistic, and plagued by omnipresent terrible, terrible germs but. Still - he really does seem to be kind of batshit, and I was wondering if we could sort of look into how we can safely move him into a less harmful environment for plants and other living things? Mmmkay?

Really. It's more than just - everything he says and does and it's even more than the Russia thing. I was putting it down to mostly beng an enormous flatulent verbal turd factory on the campaign trail way too long but . . . he just seems unwell in a fundamental and very important way.
posted by petebest at 8:23 PM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Oh god I watched that roomthreeseventeen. More accurately, I heard it from the kitchen while my parents were watching a room away yelling at the TV and telling Ben "fuckface republican" to fuck off. My dad proclaimed (not for the first time) that there will be no CNN in the house any longer for giving these pro-trump assholes equal airtime. I love my parents.
posted by futz at 8:27 PM on January 14 [27 favorites]


I'm a little out of it right now, but until a few moments ago I thought people were writing PEOTUS because of the pee stories. I was surprised that it was so widespread, and wondered why it didn't have 2 EE's.

I'm just going to keep thinking that.
posted by bongo_x at 8:27 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]


Thing is unless you die suddenly and young, you are a really expensive person

Old people get Medicare.
posted by Justinian at 8:27 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


You can look at Lewis' Legislative record (as well as anyone else's) at the Library of Congress. For those to lazy to click, or factcheck before they tweet as PEOTUS, he's introduced 296 Bills as a sponsor and 9 in the latest session of Congress.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:29 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]


Old people get Medicare.
For now they do, but it's entirely possible that Ryan has plans to do something about that.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:30 PM on January 14 [26 favorites]


I thought people were writing PEOTUS because of the pee stories.

Just wait until he is impeeched!
posted by gatorae at 8:33 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Oh no. SNL is talking about the pee. My parents watch SNL.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:34 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]


Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are still in the crosshairs. If it helps someone not them, these fuckers hate it.
posted by emjaybee at 8:35 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Don't pretend he's talking to us. He knows exactly who his audience is, and he's speaking very effectively.

There is that, yes. But a side effect of that is that nobody was talking about how great things are in Lewis' district before Trump opened his mouth. A 30% reduction in crime since 2009, that's awesome and I had no idea about it before today and I'm sure a lot of others didn't, too! And this is part of how Trump gets himself in trouble pulling this shit, he lashes out at fundamentally good targets and then we all hear their stories, when it's likely we wouldn't have before. His core supporters think he's knocking it out of the park but he's cutting away at support from swing voters and people who voted for him despite being lukewarm on him. And if we can effectively tie him to the rest of the Republicans, which they help do themselves by leaping to his defense, he's cutting away at their support, too.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:36 PM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Trump transition team says it asked D.C. National Guard general to stay

Schwartz said he was asked to stay a couple of days after the inauguration as a result of the public and media attention to the situation, but he declined "because, by then, he had begun packing up his office and notified his staff. He said he believes the offer came only as a result of the negative attention his departure attracted."
posted by zachlipton at 8:38 PM on January 14 [45 favorites]


Oh no. SNL is talking about the pee. My parents watch SNL

My dad is already doing freestyle piss fanfic. He wants to tweet it and I am trying to convince him not to use his real name. He is a retired prof of linguistics and medieval literature as well as old man yells at cloud guy. I will shut up about my family now.
posted by futz at 8:40 PM on January 14 [56 favorites]


"They are the opposition party," a senior official says. "I want 'em out of the building. We are taking back the press room."

So they just openly declared all media they do not own their enemies? I mean, we knew that, but wow.
posted by Artw at 8:42 PM on January 14 [33 favorites]


futz but you have a wonderful family and I kind of want them to adopt me.
posted by emjaybee at 8:42 PM on January 14 [17 favorites]


I keep coming back to this, which seems like such a pie-in-the-sky thing but at the same time, with vigilance and persistence and being loud as hell about what's going on, if the Republican brand gets tarnished an independent affiliation could start looking real good to the few vulnerable Republican senators... if you asked me a week ago I'd say it's a crazy daydream that would never happen. This week has me hedging that bet, just a bit. Not much, but a bit, and that's something.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:42 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I will shut up about my family now.

They sound great, don't worry about it.
posted by Artw at 8:42 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


We're basically going to be seeing epistemic closure as official state doctrine and fuck knows what happens when reality collides with that.
posted by Artw at 8:44 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


Totalitarianism.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:47 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


My dad is already doing freestyle piss fanfic. He wants to tweet it and I am trying to convince him not to use his real name. He is a retired prof of linguistics and medieval literature as well

This sounds awesome. Let it flow!
posted by nubs at 8:47 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


The Hill, August 3rd, 2016: Better brush up on the 25th Amendment if Trump wins

Article II Section IV reads: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967, as a clarification to Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the U.S. Constitution. The 25th Amendment deals with the succession of the Presidency, especially at a time when the sitting President becomes unable, incapable or unfit to perform the duties of his or her office. It also establishes procedures to fill a vacancy left by the Vice President. It is essentially a safeguard against a president who runs amuck, or who goes insane, or who cannot fulfill his or her duties as commander and chief and leader of the union of 50 states.

posted by petebest at 8:47 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


that EVERYONE who votes for the GOP healthcare bullshit is mailed copies of every diagnosis, every bill, and every obituary for those that they are choosing to kill with this.

It will take John Lewis levels of courage to do this, so this is not a request, but there needs to be a concerted effort to not pay medical bills, and send them to your GOP electeds. Send the collections letters to them. If you're going to be ruined by a 20-year payment plan, just stop paying. Because the only way to make the GOP squeal is if health providers and health insurers squeal, and the only way they'll squeal is if people stop paying them. Basic decency has been tried and found wanting. The plan shouldn't be GoFundMe for medical bills, it's ComeGuardMyHome against the fucking bailiffs.
posted by holgate at 8:51 PM on January 14 [25 favorites]


"We are taking back the press room."

Presumably this is part of the grand plan to restore the White House's old indoor swimming pool.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:51 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


he just seems unwell in a fundamental and very important way.

flat out mentally ill. glaringly so.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:52 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


He is a retired prof of linguistics and medieval literature

Please, please repost the tweets here. I can't stand pee jokes (the last few days have been difficult), but I'd make an exception for what a linguistics & medieval lit guy would come up with.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:54 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


Trump transition team says it asked D.C. National Guard general to stay

Schwartz said he was asked to stay a couple of days after the inauguration as a result of the public and media attention to the situation, but he declined "because, by then, he had begun packing up his office and notified his staff. He said he believes the offer came only as a result of the negative attention his departure attracted."


You know, I'm continually surprised at some of the things that seemingly little negative attention gets Trump to fold on. The DC National Guard thing freaked me out, sure, and it still does because I can't trust anything the Trump team does, but the media reaction was basically "Huh. Weird." and *poof!* they offer to keep Schwartz on. Just like Trump walked himself back from a lot of the shit he spouted at rallies. He's surprisingly weak on some things. Don't get me wrong, I don't want him to stick to those things, but it's interesting. I have to wonder if maybe loud criticism that makes him look foolish gets you boorish defensive Trump who won't back down, whereas with quieter criticism he goes all "Ooh, let's consider the optics on this thing, we should develop a strategy to mitigate it, I'm a fuckin' marketing genius..." and pats himself on the back for his deft maneuvering. Which, if that's the case, that's a big huge opening for anyone to manipulate him.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:54 PM on January 14 [22 favorites]



So lets say they do ban the press from the press room. I understand that it's because of their desire to control the press. Isn't this something that could end up being not so great for them in real practice?
posted by Jalliah at 8:55 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


EVERYONE who votes for the GOP healthcare bullshit is mailed copies of every diagnosis, every bill, and every obituary for those that they are choosing to kill with this.
Stories about an insanely cute 6 yr old girl with a treatable cancer, who had coverage under the ACA and now has nearly nothing under the new GOP plan, will make the rounds of Facebook so quickly that it'll leave a stereotypical trail of fire in its wake.


These are excellent ideas and people should be doing them. Like I said: keep track of the death tolls that come from spite and "But my taxes!"
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:55 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


It's becoming increasingly difficult to deal with the right-wingers in my life without becoming very, very angry. I'm considering cutting all the ones I can out and being done with it.

I know they would say it's the coward's way out and that I'm dehumanizing them for their views, but they support and defend people who dehumanize minorities and just threw me and millions of other Americans under the bus. So no, I don't think it's equivalent at all.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:56 PM on January 14 [18 favorites]


I know they would say it's the coward's way out and that I'm dehumanizing them for their views, but they support and defend people who dehumanize minorities and just threw me and millions of other Americans under the bus. So no, I don't think it's equivalent at all.

The burden isn't on you for them making parts of your life shitty, if you cut 'em out, hold your head high.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:58 PM on January 14 [27 favorites]


(Sorry. Accidentally posted before I finished my comment above. Fading out here... Also meant to add I think that's where epistemic closure as philosophy of government leads, and it is like a collective mental illness: a compulsion to control and plot to control more that spreads into a movement using bullshit, in the technical sense.)

I think you're onto something there, jason_steakums. The trick with a narcissist like Trump is to get him to think he might have a chance to make the deal. He's a sucker for that. If he thinks you won't even bargain in good faith, he won't know how to screw you because his game relies on everybody else at the table being more honorable than him to work. So he'll come back with the attack dog act.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:59 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]



China: No negotiation on 'One China' policy despite Trump remarks

Washington (CNN)China's Foreign Ministry firmly pushed back Saturday against President-elect Donald Trump's suggestion that the "One China" policy on Taiwan is negotiable, calling it the "political foundation" of the relationship between the US and China.

China views Taiwan as a renegade province and, since 1979, the US has acknowledged Beijing's claim that Taiwan is part of China, with US-China relations governed by a set of protocols known as the "One China" policy.
"The 'One China' principle is the political foundation of Sino-US relations and it is non-negotiable. We urge the relevant side in the US to recognize the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and abide by the pledges by successive US administrations from both parties," spokesman Lu Kang said.

posted by Jalliah at 8:59 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


To go with the "ban the press from the press room" story, Page Six has an item that one of the rejected press secretary candidates proposed mandatory drug tests for the press corps back in November. That this would come out now is surely just a coincidence, right?

What is it with these people and urine?
posted by zachlipton at 9:02 PM on January 14 [18 favorites]


So they just openly declared all media they do not own their enemies? I mean, we knew that, but wow.

Why bother with dog-whistles?
posted by mikelieman at 9:02 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


And this is part of how Trump gets himself in trouble pulling this shit

I want to believe, jason_steakums, but what trouble has he ever gotten in? We who care about facts, governance, and decency are 'outraged' - which he wants - and the conservatives are proven right, yet again. He's set up a situation where every loss is a win. The fact that the real problem in Georgia's 5th isn't urban decay as much as rising values forcing people out doesn't even register, it's so (relatively) minor a lie.

It's straight up pro wrestling, carny huckstering.
posted by rock swoon has no past at 9:03 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]


flat out mentally ill. glaringly so.

There is a family medical history of dementia, and he's pretty old...
posted by mikelieman at 9:04 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


mandatory drug tests for the press corps

so literally yellow journalism
posted by gatorae at 9:04 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


His plan then divides the country up into "really expensive people" and "everybody else" and sets aside just a small fraction of what it would take to insure said "really expensive people" (hint: they are, by definition, really expensive).

And as soon as you get sick, you move to the "Fuck Off and Die" group? So basically insurance companies never have to cover any really expensive procedures or treatments? Gee, I wonder who wrote his plan?

So here are two types of fire insurance: those for people whose homes are not on fire and those for people whose homes ARE on fire. Congratulations, if your home is not on fire, the plan is really cheap. But unfortunately if your home DOES catch fire your cost is going to go up a bit. To about the cost of replacing your entire home and all your belongings. But it's going to be AWESOME for those of us with concrete homes.
posted by threeturtles at 9:05 PM on January 14 [26 favorites]


I have no doubt Paul Ryan would like to screw up Medicare. He can't do that without nuking the filibuster. Which they won't do.
posted by Justinian at 9:06 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


So lets say they do ban the press from the press room. I understand that it's because of their desire to control the press. Isn't this something that could end up being not so great for them in real practice?

Yeah, because the press room is basically where the executive goes to present their case to the people via the press corp. Cutting the press corp out won't make them stop reporting; it'll just remove your ability to spin the things they're reporting on. Which is another example of these dipshits trying to be tough and shooting themselves in the foot.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:07 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]



Trump Twitfit scheduled for Thursday.

Michael Moore to host star-studded protest outside Trump's NYC hotel


Filmmaker Michael Moore announced Saturday evening that he would be holding a "massive rally" Thursday outside Trump’s New York City International Hotel with a pair of actors.

“Mark Ruffalo, Alec Baldwin & myself will be holding a massive rally in NYC in front of Trump International Hotel this Thursday, 6pm! Come!” Moore tweeted.

posted by Jalliah at 9:07 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


@realDonaldTrumpInauguration Day is turning out to be even bigger than expected. January 20th, Washington D.C. Have fun!

So my dad texted me today to say that he got me and KidRuki tickets to the Inauguration. I replied by threatening to egg his house, but when I got home from the market and saw the link he tagged me in on Facebook, I got the joke. You can, on January 15th, go to Trump's website and request Inauguration tickets. Last time around, Mister Ruki stayed home because my Congressman could only provide two tickets due to overwhelming demand. It's a ray of hope for me that more people are going to the Women's March than the Inauguration.
posted by Ruki at 9:11 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


I want to believe, jason_steakums, but what trouble has he ever gotten in? We who care about facts, governance, and decency are 'outraged' - which he wants - and the conservatives are proven right, yet again. He's set up a situation where every loss is a win. The fact that the real problem in Georgia's 5th isn't urban decay as much as rising values forcing people out doesn't even register, it's so (relatively) minor a lie.

It's straight up pro wrestling, carny huckstering.


Just remember that his election was a perfect storm of things lining up for him just right in one little window. If we had our election a week or two or three earlier, or later, totally different story. I'd bet that Hillary would have won in substantially more hypothetical elections held each week for a few months before the election and up to now. He does take hits from these stupid self-inflicted fights and tantrums, but time is a factor, there's a window where a big hit from the immediate effect of one of these situations can hurt him, and as time goes on and the weight of these things really starts to accumulate (I mean, how many in the past six months alone?), that will also have an effect.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:11 PM on January 14 [11 favorites]


Yeah, because the press room is basically where the executive goes to present their case to the people via the press corp. Cutting the press corp out won't make them stop reporting; it'll just remove your ability to spin the things they're reporting on. Which is another example of these dipshits trying to be tough and shooting themselves in the foot.

That's what I was thinking. I wonder if it's based more on how they imagine the press room works since it doesn't seem like his inner team has any real practical experience with it's every day workings. Like they're there for admin's benefit and ease of access as much as the media's.
posted by Jalliah at 9:12 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


Speaking as someone who would certainly be a member of the "Fuck Off and Die" group, I would like to say this:

Fuck you, Paul Ryan. Fuck you and your selfishness and greed and general lack of empathy. I'd call you a reptile, but I've met reptiles more human than you. I will dedicate every waking moment of my life to fighting you, your cohorts, and what you've done to the US. So fuck you, Paul Ryan.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:14 PM on January 14 [48 favorites]


You can, on January 15th, go to Trump's website and request Inauguration tickets.

I had the same thought but that's not what this is. It's a "commemorative" paper ticket that you get after handing off your contact data. It is not required for admission and has nothing to do with the actual ceremony. It's not a real ticket to the inauguration ceremony.You still need tickets to get into the swearing-in seats, and those are still restricted to pre-registered through your congresspersons' offices. The rest of the inauguration activities are free to watch (from a distance), so Trump is offering tickets that no one needs for anything, that have no value, and serve only to collect data.

I happen to have 2 inauguration tickets that I requested when I thought it would be Hillary. My congressman's office has sent a couple of "are you DEFINITELY using these?" messages, all of which I have replied "yes!" to. I am using them. I am using them to create two vacant seats.
posted by Miko at 9:17 PM on January 14 [143 favorites]


It's becoming increasingly difficult to deal with the right-wingers in my life without becoming very, very angry. I'm considering cutting all the ones I can out and being done with it.

I don't really know any Right Wingers well enough to cut them off, but this subject has been coming up a lot lately. Many people I know are doing just that. Everyone seems to feel that this goes beyond politics and they just can't associate with people who support Trump.
posted by bongo_x at 9:25 PM on January 14 [17 favorites]


> What is it with these people and urine?
Something something Communist conspiracy something something precious bodily fluids.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 9:29 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


While I like my earlier phrasing of "Fuck Off and Die" group, I'm going to have to go with Death Pools.

Paul Ryan's plan is to stick everyone who gets sick into comically underfunded Death Pools.
posted by threeturtles at 9:29 PM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Washington (CNN)China's Foreign Ministry firmly pushed back Saturday against President-elect Donald Trump's suggestion that the "One China" policy on Taiwan is negotiable, calling it the "political foundation" of the relationship between the US and China.

This shit is what scares me the most. Some things in international relations are not negotiable. There are NO DEALS to be struck. If you push on them, the result is not that the other side gives in, but that they GO TO WAR.
posted by dis_integration at 9:31 PM on January 14 [21 favorites]


You know, Pope Francis really needs to have a word with whoever Ryan's priest is, and maybe a direct chat with Ryan himself. Paul Ryan is an embarrassment to Catholic ideals.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:31 PM on January 14 [41 favorites]


When I read about Shkreli getting pooped I went to Twitter to check his account & see what he had to say about it & then I remembered he got kicked off it & now I'm happy.
posted by scalefree at 9:32 PM on January 14 [28 favorites]


Paul Ryan is an embarrassment to Catholic ideals.

i'd like to dominus his vobiscum. and then et cum spirii tu tuo his ass.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:44 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


SNL Cold Open

I probably shouldn't have enjoyed Baldwin say 'pee pee' as much as I did.
posted by Jalliah at 9:44 PM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Watching that and laughing at it made me realize I have to pee.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:57 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Putin holding the 'pee pee tape' Is what did it for me.
posted by ian1977 at 9:59 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


You know, I hadn't thought about this before, but as I'm slowly working my way through p3t3's link to the excellent "The Curious World of Donald Trump's Private Russian Connections" it just hit me that, with the money game being zero-sum as it is, any cash Donnie and pals have coming their way is cash someone else wants to see in their own pockets - from rival oligarchs in Putin's orbit to Russian mob figures to any number of middlemen who are so close to the money they can taste it, I have to imagine there is a lot of incentive to sing to intelligence agencies investigating this.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:02 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


This is one of the best ways I've heard gerrymandering explained.

I wish we could go back to the time when voters chose their legislators, instead of the legislators choosing their voters

Zach Galifianakis Created a Gerrymandering Documentary Named ‘Democracy for Sale’ – Watch Clip

Zach Galifianakis’ documentary, “Democracy For Sale,” looks at how bad gerrymandering has gotten in his home state of North Carolina. The film was originally part of EPIX’s original docuseries “America Divided,” produced by Common, Norman Lear and Shonda Rhimes, which premiered back in September. Now, according to the News Observer, the doc will be screened across North Carolina in January and February.

---
posted by Jalliah at 10:05 PM on January 14 [35 favorites]


I want to believe, jason_steakums, but what trouble has he ever gotten in? We who care about facts, governance, and decency are 'outraged' - which he wants - and the conservatives are proven right, yet again.

Something I noticed during the debates was that Trump as a candidate had the privilege of passing the buck for all the hard problems right back onto Clinton as Secretary of State or Senator.

Now, I don't think he can. Reagan could, but Reagan was the figurehead in front of Tricky Dick's political machine and a career man himself. Unfortunately, I think that what will ultimately stick to Trump will be human lives.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:08 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Something I noticed during the debates was that Trump as a candidate had the privilege of passing the buck for all the hard problems right back onto Clinton as Secretary of State or Senator.

Now, I don't think he can. Reagan could, but Reagan was the figurehead in front of Tricky Dick's political machine and a career man himself. Unfortunately, I think that what will ultimately stick to Trump will be human lives.


Or: Winning is easy, old man. Governing's harder.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:10 PM on January 14 [26 favorites]


jason_steakums: The trick with a narcissist like Trump is to get him to think he might have a chance to make the deal. He's a sucker for that. If he thinks you won't even bargain in good faith, he won't know how to screw you because his game relies on everybody else at the table being more honorable than him to work. So he'll come back with the attack dog act.

I had the great misfortune to have a client very much like Trump (so much so that just the language in Trump's tweets are (whatever the word for a dread shudder caused by negative nostalgia is)). The attack dog response was not only the cornered response, but also the first default for any complaint (we would point out that the invoice terms were 30 days, not weeks... he would immediately find a million complaints with the work, etc.). If you are able to use it, it's a tactic that almost always works: people back down, they compromise, accommodate, they do the right thing.

I did reach the point (18 months work unpaid) where I tried being manipulative: I didn't go as far as actually lying, but I did step back and play to his ego, making it the killer deal. And it worked (not particularly well, the guy had bankrupted his own company living it large, but it worked a bit).

The other thing that seems to work is superior authority, I think Erich Fromm rather nailed it about petty narcissistic authoritarians shitting on everyone they consider below them, but positively worshiping those they consider their betters. [c.f. Trump <3 Putin].

Not sure how things work out when you make someone like that the most powerful person in the world, and they finally internalise that there is no one above them.
posted by Buntix at 10:28 PM on January 14 [19 favorites]


As to whom Trump (and the Republican Congress) will be passing the buck to, they've already started: President Obama will take a large share of their blame, then spread some to prior Democratic laws enacted in better times, and go all the way back to FDR getting Social Security enacted.

They already blame the ACA for perceived shortfalls in MediCare; that seems to have gone down well with their base--at least until those folks figure out that a lot of them may lose their only health insurance.
posted by Silverstone at 10:30 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


>>> "Fortunately, we have a plan."

>> Did you watch Battlestar Galactica?

> Seriously, how did they fuck that up? It was basically the show's mission statement.

> It's like winter never coming on Game of Thrones, or Star Trek forgetting to travel anywhere.
Their plan seems to have been pandering and spectacle, the better to keep the core audience returning and growing. Which seems to be how political parties work.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:33 PM on January 14


The other thing that seems to work is superior authority, I think Erich Fromm rather nailed it about petty narcissistic authoritarians shitting on everyone they consider below them, but positively worshiping those they consider their betters. [c.f. Trump <3 Putin].

What about the billionaires in NYC and the US in general? Did Trump ever consider them his betters?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:36 PM on January 14



Putin holding the 'pee pee tape' Is what did it for me.


I'm wondering if Donald is going to manage to not tweetfit about this one. Maybe someone will be proactive and take his phone away. I expect he must want too.
posted by Jalliah at 10:38 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Crap, posted too soon. Re who will Trump and others blame for their shortcomings, in terms of what happens on their watch, primarily foreign policy matters, I'm sure any failures track right back to Secretaries Clinton and Kerry and any security incidents will be on the intelligence services that President Obama will be blamed for ruining. It's really all very simple if you don't watch their hands moving the shells in their shell game.
posted by Silverstone at 10:41 PM on January 14


The burden isn't on you for them making parts of your life shitty, if you cut 'em out, hold your head high.

Yeah - one of my other New Year's Resolutions is to cut stressful people out of my life when I can, which is easier said than done. But I've changed and many of them have changed and I think it would probably be healthier for both sides if I ended it.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 10:47 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


What about the billionaires in NYC and the US in general? Did Trump ever consider them his betters?

Possibly some. But it's more about power/strength/authority and the perception/display of than just money.

You could be the occasionally richest man in the world; but if your main use of said wealth is waging war against the culicidae then you probably aren't earning much respect in the locker rooms of birth-privileged cat-grabbing community.
posted by Buntix at 10:51 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Doonesbury has gotten into the TrumpTwitter biz, via an account for its own "fake newsman".
BTW, Twitter is NOT "fake news", people. Tweeting = gossip's first draft, so definitely on reporting spectrum.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:04 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]




Putin holding the 'pee pee tape' Is what did it for me.

I'm wondering if Donald is going to manage to not tweetfit about this one. Maybe someone will be proactive and take his phone away. I expect he must want too.
posted by Jalliah at 10:38 PM on January 14
[1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Of course he wants to. This is like 'the (cyber) porn' talking back to him in weird and confusing ways. He NEEDS to talk back. The 'world' is (cyber)porn and the world is talking BACK TO HIM!!!!!!
posted by ian1977 at 11:17 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


America left the tracks after the 2014 election gave both houses of Congress and most of the State houses to the Republican Criminal Cabal. Trump winning the Presidency was our going over the cliff; his inauguration should be the first bounce on the rocks (and not the last). Honestly, this Constitution was never really meant to last this long...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:20 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


We need a fifth district mefi Meetup!! All the rest of y'all can come and experience what a fine place this is....
posted by pearlybob at 11:43 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


There is not much I can do directly to protest the Trump inauguration considering where I live (of course phone calls, contributing money to PP, ACLU), but I plan to wear black, as in mourning, on the day. I thought about wearing a mourning band on my arm, but I think it might not be the best course. I am currently working at a school (K-12) so I don't think it would be really appropriate to make a very overt political statement. School politics can be so touchy. No one would really be bothered by me wearing all black; it wouldn't be seen as the same kind of statement that the band would, but for the people of the same opinion it might mean something.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 12:43 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]


If you push on them, the result is not that the other side gives in, but that they GO TO WAR.

Or they just start dumping T-bills and imposing tariffs on exports to the US, while dumping Chinese owned, US-based real estate investments, and tank our economy.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:02 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Please, please repost the tweets here. I can't stand pee jokes

Well, you're in for a treat, there are all sorts of comedy whiz kids dying for your ear at the moment
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:15 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


To go with the "ban the press from the press room" story, Page Six has an item that one of the rejected press secretary candidates proposed mandatory drug tests for the press corps back in November. That this would come out now is surely just a coincidence, right?

Just to back up to this for a second, our government is clearly about to be run by reasonably epic trolls, yet they have such thin skin about being trolled back in any way.
posted by zachlipton at 1:17 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]


NYTimes: Women Who Voted for Trump, in Their Own Words.

I tried, but I can't understand the viewpoint of any of these voters and I don't see how they could be swayed by reason. Certainly not the one who cited Vince Foster! We're definitely going to need to tap into the pool of non-voters after the new administration introduces the Two Minutes Hate against the next opponent.
posted by stopgap at 1:59 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]


Much obliged to jason_steakums for the link to Pod Save America. I was hoping the Keepin' It 1600 people would keep on keepin' on.
posted by valetta at 2:00 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


If you push on them, the result is not that the other side gives in, but that they GO TO WAR.

Or they just start dumping T-bills and imposing tariffs on exports to the US, while dumping Chinese owned, US-based real estate investments, and tank our economy.
posted by krinklyfig 44 minutes ago [1 favorite +] [!]


Among the more plausible nightmare scenarios that float around, this is the one I fear most. I don't believe Trump is stupid, I think he's capable of making and closing a deal (not necessarily running things after) but I don't think he has a good feel/understanding for the real ramifications of much of what he says. Talking about it with a friend, who reminded me that Trump is, after all, not much more than a Mobbed-up construction guy from New York (by which his soul is not all that different from Tony Soprano's). He has a certain world-view and stepping outside of that, the shock could be enormous.

One amazing/terrifying thing about his dalliance with Putin is that he's siding with an ebbing economy at the expense of strengthening ties with the largest and growing economy, chEYE-NA. One could pretend to see the logic behind jabbing at the One-China policy as a prelude to re-opening negotiations, softening them up, like. Except for the fact that US' position is only the most barely barely barely a position of strength. Pretending trade ties with Russia will make up for, or even provide the strength necessary to overcome China is - laughable...

None of it adds up. So I'm voting #1 quidnunc kid! There's still hope! Vote at your local corner-store/liquor mart!
posted by From Bklyn at 2:03 AM on January 15 [11 favorites]


Ok, that Boston Globe piece ArtW posted nearly gave me a panic attack. Just fair warning. Just the way it lays out how BUGFUCK INSANE everything currently is... *twitch, twitch*
posted by threeturtles at 2:09 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


NYTimes: Women Who Voted for Trump, in Their Own Words.

I tried, and only got through the first. Is the answer to all the rest of them "very obvious racism" too?
posted by ominous_paws at 2:11 AM on January 15 [18 favorites]


One of them was also actually "... but her emails!"
posted by Archelaus at 2:18 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


They were all some combination of racism and idiocy, ominous_paws.
posted by Justinian at 2:19 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Is the answer to all the rest of them "very obvious racism" too?

More or less, with a liberally applied sauce of anti-Islamic xenophobia. It was a repellent group of people.
posted by frumiousb at 2:20 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Among the more plausible nightmare scenarios that float around, this is the one I fear most.

Me too. China is not going to start a war with the US over trade, mostly because of M.A.D. They're not suicidal. But they are a state-controlled economic powerhouse willing to endure economic difficulties of their own in order to survive, if they can sufficiently punish an adversary that is attempting to weaken their position.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:22 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


It was a repellent group of people.

Well, they were Trump voters.
posted by Justinian at 2:24 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


So the New York Times is going to go full on "let's find random Trump voters and print whatever they've got to say no matter how racist or stupid" and never challenge any of their assumptions or just plain falsehoods for the next four+ years, while largely ignoring, say, the voices of cancer patients terrified of losing their insurance? Great.
posted by zachlipton at 2:29 AM on January 15 [44 favorites]


Indeed. I'm honestly having a very difficult time controlling my rage at the lot of them these days.
posted by frumiousb at 2:30 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Amusing coincidence: that Boston Globe article was written by Michael Cohen, who has the same name as the person who reportedly went to negotiate with the Russian hacking team on Trump's behalf.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:36 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Ringling Brothers ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ announces closure same week we welcome Trump administration.

Bread and circuses, people. Now with less circus.
posted by hal9k at 3:04 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Sharing that link someone posted earlier about the effect of Russian propaganda on the Brexit vote made me think about what is going on here more from the Russian perspective. From that point of view it makes more sense.

It seems to me that the invention of the internet is like the invention of airplanes. Imagine one side in a war had airplanes and the other side were still using cavalry. Russia is able to use the internet to bypass our defenses and get disinformation into Western countries the same way an airplane can bypass any ground-based defenses and hit any target it wants. Western countries are particularly vulnerable to disinformation because we are democracies. The press has always had an important role in our systems, sending feedback to voters about how the government is doing. If you can screw with that process so that the message voters are getting is "terrible terrible your government is terrible your alliances are terrible your trading relationships are terrible your other ethnic groups and political parties are terrible" you can get voters to tear down the government and alliances and economy from within, and start fighting amongst themselves.

Publishing used to have "gatekeepers," editors who had names and citizenships and reputations. But on the internet, disinformation can fly right over those gates. And you can target your message directly to people who already believe the government is terrible and weaponize their outrage, and mix enough kernals of truth about weaknesses discovered via espionage with the lies that you want to plant that you sound credible. You can take internal ethnic and political conflicts and bring them to a boil that verges on civil war, weakening the country and its alliances to the point of powerlessness.

That is what Russia has figured out. From their point of view this all makes sense. Democracy has this inherent weakness and they are just exploiting that. They have struck first with a new kind of weapon. Now we need to scramble to find some defense against it.

We were in this historical moment anyway where newspapers were going bankrupt and cable and the internet were fracturing the video news market into tiny ideological slivers. We were already struggling to deal with "bubbles" and "echo chambers." With no gate keepers deciding what is verifiable and what is not, demanding fact checking and second sources, we are left just believing whatever sounds plausible to us based in our pre-existing theories about how the world works, whatever plays to the prejudices and biases we already have... That's what sounds believable to us, so that's what we believe, because we have no other yardstick for measuring credibility anymore.

Russia didn't create that situation. But they sure as hell seem to have figured out how to exploit it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:54 AM on January 15 [134 favorites]


This NYT op-ed from last August, I guess, kind of lays out Putin's likely POV on this whole operation:
Fifteen years ago, a few months into his presidency, Vladimir V. Putin told Larry King on CNN that his previous job as a K.G.B. officer had been like that of a journalist. “They have the same purpose of gathering information, synthesizing it and presenting it for the consumption of decision makers,” he said. Since then, he has excelled at using the media to consolidate power inside Russia and, increasingly, to wage an information war against the West.

So the apparent hacking by Russian security services of the Democratic National Committee emails, followed by their publication by WikiLeaks, should come as no great surprise to Americans. It is only the latest example of how Mr. Putin uses information as a weapon.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:14 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


God, now I'm wondering how much of the right-wing crap that's circulated on the internet for years might have come from Russia, as opposed to from our own internal would-be masters of disinformation.

The stuff about "Jade Helm"? Any chance that rumor was started by Putin? The Birther Lie? We know that was promoted by Putin's puppet... We know Russian propaganda was spewing "Obama founded ISIS," so is there a chance they also came up with "Obama is coming for your guns"? FEMA camps? How long has Putin been doing this stuff?
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:31 AM on January 15 [11 favorites]


I'm inclined to believe that the seeds of the major american conspiracy theories are native to the USA. They've always been a big part of our culture (The Paranoid Style in American Politics, etc). We were obsessed with Catholic Papist plots for a lot of the 18th and 19th centuries, and Freemasons and so on, all before even the fear of communism. I don't think Jade Helm had to be fed to Alex Jones. That's not to say that Putin won't boost any nascent or latent conspiracy theory he can.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:39 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Um.... How many of these conspiracy theories have come from Alex Jones specifically? I mean, in this light "Infowars" seems a little on-the-nose...

We've always had paranoia and conspiracy theorists for sure, and I don't think the John Birch society, for instance, was working with Russia... but it does seem to have become more intense in the last 15 years. I know there must be plenty of home grown conspiracy theories too, but it does seem plausible to me that some fraction were seeded into that hot house from outside.

Gah, now I have a conspiracy theory ABOUT Alex Jones! The irony is gonna kill me.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:48 AM on January 15 [14 favorites]


Or they just start dumping T-bills and imposing tariffs on exports to the US, while dumping Chinese owned, US-based real estate investments, and tank our economy.

China has already been selling piles of T-bills and USD to defend the yuan. Japan is the #1 holder of US debt and it's been switching back and forth over the past year and a bit.
posted by Talez at 4:50 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Cops: Greenwich Republican Insulted Town Worker, Then Pinched Her Groin
He allegedly replied: "I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct," according to the warrant.

As she walked by, he allegedly pinched her in the groin area, according to the warrant. She threatened to punch him if he ever did that again, the warrant said.

She said he "looked back with a really evil look in his eyes and said, 'it would be your word against mine and nobody will believe you,'" according to the warrant.

She declined to speak about the complaint, prompting him to say, "Was this about the little pinch I gave?" and further adding it was a joke and that he couldn't believe the 57-year-old woman could be offended, the warrant said.
Oh and the dumbest part?
Police said video footage from a surveillance camera on the day of the incident is consistent with the sequence of events described by the complainant.
Yeah, asshole. "Your word against mine", hey? But yeah, fuck Trump. Republican asshole truly thinks he can grab women by the pussy now that Trump is cockhead in chief.
posted by Talez at 4:55 AM on January 15 [91 favorites]


Um.... How many of these conspiracy theories have come from Alex Jones specifically? I mean, in this light "Infowars" seems a little on-the-nose...

There's a whole lot of debate about how much Jones is a (1) conman and rational actor or (2) an uncontrolled lunatic, or (3) something in between. I've tried to parse it myself and am still at a loss. Were he a Russian asset, it'd be a hell of a risk for Russia unless he's firmly in the (1) category. And if he is shown to have contacts with Russian intelligence it might not look great for Trump himself: he does, after all, do live interviews with him...
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:59 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


It seems like it's entirely possible that Russia manipulates Jones without his knowledge. This fits in more in with the M.O. of Putin. Plant the ideas with no way to trace their source. Putin has an army of Gríma Wormtongues. I don't think the Russians go around with wads of money telling people to do specific things.
posted by ThreeCatsBob at 5:29 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


I just looked Jones up on Wikipedia and one of the links took me to this story from 2014.

That is Jones repeating what was originally RT propaganda about the Malaysian Airlines flight that was shot down by Russia over Ukraine in 2014.

According to RT and Alex Jones, it was actually shot down by Ukraine... because the aircraft supposedly resembled Putin's and was flying a similar route, making the crash an assassination attempt on Putin... so... yeah.

Now I guess I'm wondering "useful idiot or knowing agent" about Jones as well as Trump. "Useful idiot" would indeed be a less risky strategy. If he's willing to just take RT's word for stuff then you really don't need to let him see behind the curtain in order to use him to spread disinformation.

But it does seem like at least some of his disinformation originates as Russian propaganda, whether Jones realizes that's what it is or not.

Maybe Putin has been successfully doing this for some time, and Trump is both his greatest success and the idiot who exposes the whole operation. I guess that's the risk of making a big move like that. You attract more attention.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:30 AM on January 15 [10 favorites]


There's a whole lot of debate about how much Jones is a (1) conman and rational actor or (2) an uncontrolled lunatic, or (3) something in between. I've tried to parse it myself and am still at a loss. Were he a Russian asset, it'd be a hell of a risk for Russia unless he's firmly in the (1) category. And if he is shown to have contacts with Russian intelligence it might not look great for Trump himself: he does, after all, do live interviews with him...

It's about the comment sections and discussion forums. Really. It's about boosting and spreading what is already in the wind. There is no need for Russia to direct someone like Jones. It's about 'yeah Alex you're so right on!', talking about it, posting about and hitting the share button. It's simple strategy really. You don't need to be the guy but you can support the guy and then more people join in when they see how much support the idea gets. Propaganda by 'upvote'. Also more then likely using digital tools like bots.
posted by Jalliah at 5:33 AM on January 15 [12 favorites]


I guess it doesn't matter whether he's a rational actor or not if Jones is accepting disinformation as if he's a useful idiot crazy person and not a knowing asset. I admit I do wonder a lot about what it's like inside Jones's head and what the ratio of crazy/stupid/evil really is.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:36 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


"In the past, her stance on abortion was more the way I feel, just for the first trimester, then she did a 360."

made you dizzy, did it?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:37 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


I'll just leave this here.
posted by HuronBob at 5:37 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


You know if Russian propaganda really had been decisive in the Brexit vote, we wouldn't have had such distinctive differences between regions, with Wales being all Leave and Scotland being all Remain and (minority-white British, super multicultural) London being all Remain.

The Brexit campaign was sold on xenophobia, even if some Leavers did have well thought out reasons for wanting to Leave (yes I actually believe that position was possible for a reasonable person to hold, it's just that that's not why the majority did it).

I'd point out that in my region, we had a banana factory advertising jobs with fluent Polish as a requirement, because he thought he could get the cheapest labour that way at the expense of local workers. He got stamped out pretty quickly, but you know what kind of message that sends.

Then you have UKIP advertising 350 million for the NHS if Brexit, then the day after Brexit Nigel Farage literally goes "ha ha we lied" but people believed it just long enough to vote, so hey.

Take all that stuff, combine it with the fact that a depressingly large number of people are just plain xenophobic arseholes, and we don't need Russia to explain Brexit. The whole thing is daft enough that Leavers didn't really need Russian help.

I mean, we don't want to get into a situation where we are checking under our sofa cushions for Russian agents. Reds Under The Bed all over again. Saying, but Brexit and Russia! Eh? Eh? That's difficult to disprove. Real conspiracies tend to be provable, even if long after the fact.

A propos of this, The X Files came on Amazon Prime and I watched one episode last week and it was so damn depressing. I liked it at first, but Mouldy and Sulky running around finding nebulous connections between OMG Stuff! and OMG Other Stuff! and never ever having a valid script because conspiracy, it got tedious after the first nine years or so.
posted by tel3path at 5:41 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


On places like Reddit for instance and I think there are some people that have been actually tracking it there has been a notable uptick on Trump support comments on anti-Trump threads during the Russian day time. So much so that there's a in joke 'Well breakfast time in Russia. Prepare for incoming'. And people have followed accounts that regularly posted in places like R_the Donald or by looking at comment history who after the election moved on to posting about Germany or Turkey.
It's why now there is a lot of response to Pro Trump commenters calling them comrade and jibs about bad English and grammar.
Twitter is another place for reasons that should be obvious.
posted by Jalliah at 5:44 AM on January 15 [43 favorites]




Unfortunately, we played into their hands, too. The misinformation campaign that places like Breitbart and Infowars rely on was unfortunately successful. It reminds me of the old adage that a lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:45 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Like I'm not saying it wasn't necessarily for want of TRYING about Brexit, but people are so impenetrably dumb I'm certain any propaganda just glanced right off them.

Whereas, something like Hillary being the subject of an FBI investigation twice within days of the election - well, if you just go off your impressions and emotions anyway, it's easy to see how that could be decisive. Trump has yet to be the focus of any investigation that's anywhere near that definitive.
posted by tel3path at 5:51 AM on January 15


Whereas, something like Hillary being the subject of an FBI investigation twice within days of the election - well, if you just go off your impressions and emotions anyway, it's easy to see how that could be decisive. Trump has yet to be the focus of any investigation that's anywhere near that definitive.

I know it was an uphill battle trying to convince even my moderate friends that Hillary wasn't "the lesser of two evils", she wasn't a second head of Bill, and that a lot of the stories about her were propaganda. They "just didn't trust her" or thought she was "incompetent".

I'm honestly sick of the "Whoever wins, we lose" attitude. Hillary wasn't a perfect candidate, but she had experience and has a history of listening to people, and I would have trusted her in the President position more than any of the Republicans but Trump most of all. Democracy relies on people participating and working to inform themselves, and the apathy going around, a lot of which could be traced to rumors about Benghazi and the emails, has become a serious problem.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:01 AM on January 15 [42 favorites]


Take all that stuff, combine it with the fact that a depressingly large number of people are just plain xenophobic arseholes, and we don't need Russia to explain Brexit.

We don't need Russia to explain Trump either. There are plenty of American xenophobes and racists too, with regional variations in their distribution that happen to be electorally unfortunate.

The idea is that Putin might take these pre-existing movements and try to give them a 3% or 1% popularity boost, and fire them up a bit, via propaganda. If as a result his preferred side wins an election, great. If not, what has he lost? He's still causing internal strife that weakens his rivals.

Here's another article on the Russian role in Brexit in particular:
The propaganda is even more blatant among the recent op-eds on RT and Sputnik. Among them are articles claiming that the EU was the creation of the CIA and two RT pieces decrying EU “brainwashing.” The leader of Britain’s U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), who was instrumental in forcing Cameron into calling the EU referendum, is also a regular guest on RT.

“One of the main lines in Russian propaganda is that Europe is in decay, in chaos, that it is divided, becoming increasingly irrelevant, and obviously a decision by the British to exit the Union would feed that line of argument enormously,” said Joerg Forbrig, from the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
It's a message the "leave" faction would have been pre-disposed to accept, so why not amplify it, drive up turnout by a bit if you can, if you're Putin?

I mean, it seems like there is no question that he was trying to. The question is how successful he was. Most likely, as with Trump, we'll never know how much different that stuff made. But, I mean, it probably wasn't zero difference. Was it bigger than the vote margin? No way to tell.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:02 AM on January 15 [21 favorites]


The issue is not whether Russia sways all the electorate (in Britain, the US, and now in Germany and France), it's whether Russia sways a decisive minority of the electorate.

The fake news campaigns are targeted specifically to create enough background noise and chaos that the voters who are already predisposed to listen to racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic nonsense do so AND spread it to their immediate surroundings.

Putin is getting pretty fucking good at it, by the look of things.
posted by lydhre at 6:24 AM on January 15 [30 favorites]




At least Trump is finally growing as a person. He didn't tweet about SNL being fake news.
posted by Talez at 6:33 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


America, I love you.
A dossier says that Trump has hundreds of millions in shady dealings with Russia. Ho-hum.
Trump is being blackmailed by Russia. Whatever.
He hired hookers to pee on a bed. Hey! Now you're going to far.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:34 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


That Colorado Town Hall was brilliant, and will bear repetition.

They used the best of the chants that arose during the campaign: "Show me what democracy looks like" "This is what democracy looks like". It's slightly syncopated rhythm makes it very effective. It is catchy, it stands out from the plodding competition, and it is fun to chant (and dance to).
posted by stonepharisee at 6:37 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]


Reading that women who voted Trump article gave me that weird feeling where I almost feel like a jerk, because the most honest thing I can think of to say is "If you understood the way anything works, and you've been paying THE LEAST BIT OF GODDAMN attention to what Trump says or does, we'd at least be in 'Well, I guess that's your opinion' territory."
posted by Rykey at 6:39 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]




Ha ha. It's only "political" when it's politics they don't like.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:42 AM on January 15 [26 favorites]


For future reference: "that person is becoming extremely political" = "that person is about to be the target of political persecution"

Fascists tell the lies that are necessary to do the things they are about to do. It's a statement of intent.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:43 AM on January 15 [82 favorites]


"aught"?
posted by petebest at 6:46 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Roland B. Hedley Jr.
@RealRBHJr
Jan 10
Sessions, on whether grabbing a woman's genitals = sexual assault: “It’s not clear… how that would occur.” So sweet, different generation.

posted by petebest at 6:49 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Alec Baldwin, who plays Donald Trump on SNL, is also playing Trump in a biographical documentary this year.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:55 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Today is actually Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. If you have the ability to, check out this song that was written by a music teacher named Barbara Ames, and performed last year on video by Lin-Manuel Miranda and other graduates of his school.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:56 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure it's monocle-pop-worthy to consider information manipulation a thing Russia worked out.

It was US that developed it, weaponized it, deployed it with abandon in the Reagan era and went total war with it during Dubz FunHouse years.

A gentleman named Norm McChompsky has written extensively about it, such as in the made-for-tv movie "Manufacturing the Consense"
posted by petebest at 7:00 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Hillary wasn't a perfect candidate, but...

Honestly, after this election, I'm done ceding even this rhetorical ground. Hillary was the most qualified candidate on the ballot. Full stop. And I am no longer going to talk myself in circles about other Democrats either. They aren't the ones trying to destroy this country.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 7:08 AM on January 15 [102 favorites]


The tab on top of my browser cuts off the title of this post calling it "The Penultimate Wee".
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:09 AM on January 15 [45 favorites]


You know with Vince McMahon a fan of Trump, maybe he could do the announcing at the inauguration. "Ladies and gentleman, the P-resident of the United States."

Okay, I p-romise I'm done for a while.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:13 AM on January 15




Supreme Court Update: President-Elect Trump Has Started Interviewing SCOTUS Candidates: On Saturday afternoon, here in cold and snowy New York, President-elect Donald Trump interviewed Judge William Pryor of the Eleventh Circuit for the open sea.t on the U.S. Supreme Court…. Judge Pryor, more than any other potential Trump nominee, triggers strong opposition from liberal interest groups — civil rights groups, LGBT groups, and especially pro-abortion groups, who loathe his comments about Roe v. Wade (“worst abomination in the history of constitutional law”). But Jeff Sessions similarly entered his hearings as a hardline conservative with a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk of baggage, including accusations of racism that kept him off the federal bench in 1986.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:26 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Re the CO town hall that wasn't: nicely done all around. Our Republican senator hasn't had a town hall since 2013 and hasn't had any such event in the state's largest city ever. I'm itching to get my one R elected representative in the hot seat so I can yell at him but he's such a well known coward, pretty sure it will never happen. Tuesdays With Toomey is definitely making the very existence of his cowardice a public event, though.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:33 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


I just want to say that in this current world of utter chaos, reading this thread has a strangely calming effect. I think it's because you all are awesome.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:39 AM on January 15 [23 favorites]



lol? *cries*

Trump involved in ‘every detail’ of upcoming inaugural festivities


Donald Trump may be the future president, but that doesn’t mean he’s above choosing the place settings and tablecloth fabrics for this week’s inaugural festivities.

“He’s into every detail of everything,” Presidential Inaugural Committee Chair Tom Barrack told The Post. “I beg him all the time to go back to running the free world and let me focus on setting the tables.”

posted by Jalliah at 7:42 AM on January 15 [18 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "Rep. Pocan (WA-02) announces he isn't going. 22 names."

I need to call my rep Mike Doyle to urge him to boycott. Should I just leave a message or wait until Tuesday when the offices are open?
posted by octothorpe at 7:43 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


octothorpe, I sent an e-mail and a tweet yesterday to my representative, who announced later that night that he would not attend. They listen on weekends.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:46 AM on January 15


Octothorpe - the Indivisble playbook says that most effective is to call and to speak to someone.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:48 AM on January 15


Ha ha. It's only "political" when it's politics they don't like.

Yeah, that son of a bitch Cornyn has been emailing back people who demand that he not confirm Jeff Sessions with a butter-wouldn't-melt-in-his-mouth plea to not let politics get in the way of a qualified candidate.

We have been coordinating responses along the lines of "I take it you plan to confirm Merrick Garland now, then?"
posted by sciatrix at 7:48 AM on January 15 [26 favorites]


Sessions, on whether grabbing a woman's genitals = sexual assault: “It’s not clear… how that would occur.”

At that point, some female senator should have gone down there and grabbed his balls. And twisted, for good measure.
posted by bibliowench at 7:49 AM on January 15 [13 favorites]


Rep. Pocan ([WI]-02) announces he isn't going. 22 names.

YAY! But Mark Pocan is my representative in Wisconsin, not Washington.
posted by BrashTech at 7:50 AM on January 15


Also I gotta call Lloyd Doggett and ask him to boycott. I actually trust him to potentially listen.

I wonder if it might be worth popping into one of his offices when I'm in DC to leave him a message thanking him for his work.
posted by sciatrix at 7:50 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


octothorpe, I sent an e-mail and a tweet yesterday to my representative, who announced later that night that he would not attend. They listen on weekends.

And I left a phone message for my rep, who announced his boycott a few hours later. He probably would have done it anyway, though.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:51 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


I'll get something out to Doyle over the weekend but might follow up with a call once the offices are open again. Belt and braces.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:54 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


I sent a message to my congress rep applauding her decision (Clark, MA 5th - I think she was the first), and asking her to escalate.

Congressmen are expected to participate in a lot of flag waving pageantry all around the calendar, and a lot of it is an implicit affirmation that all is right with the republic. All is NOT right, so it's time to withdraw from it. That's what I'm asking from her.
posted by ocschwar at 7:56 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Yep, I just tweeted Doggett but will call on my way to Houston (where I'll leave from for DC) on Tuesday.
posted by sciatrix at 7:57 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


I wonder if it might be worth popping into one of his offices when I'm in DC to leave him a message thanking him for his work.

Considering how passionate you are, a million times yes!
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:58 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]




Anyone hear names for Ag Secretary yet? Last one without a nomination, I think.

No surprise that boring stuff like farms and food aren't exactly top of mind for Trump, and anyway someone with a pocket to be lined will just whisper a Big Ag name in his ear and done deal, right?
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:05 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Sunday Herald (Scotland) TV section

My mouth dropped open. Holy heck batman that's hilarious on so many levels.
What sort of paper is the Sunday Herald?
posted by Jalliah at 8:19 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


The Sunday Herald is a perfect;y respectable Scottish newspaper (within the bounds of what that means), and most probably the sanest of the bunch. You'd expect the TV guide - one of the reasons people still read papers in the UK - to be straightforward, informative and at the most lightly witty.

So yes, this is a proper Glasgie piss-take.
posted by Devonian at 8:23 AM on January 15 [19 favorites]


The 25th Amendment deals with the succession of the Presidency, especially at a time when the sitting President becomes unable, incapable or unfit to perform the duties of his or her office.

Ahem. "Becomes." He's got you there.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:27 AM on January 15 [25 favorites]



So Andrea Bocelli has also backed out of the Inauguration. The official line is that his fans said they wouldn't listen to him anymore but right wing media is going with reporting that the real reason is he got death threats. Not linking those sites here.
posted by Jalliah at 8:27 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


They used the best of the chants that arose during the campaign: "Show me what democracy looks like" "This is what democracy looks like".

I feel I am obliged to point out this is not a new chant that arose during the campaign, but I'm glad you like it at least.
posted by corb at 8:29 AM on January 15 [11 favorites]


Ah, sending death threats. Remind me who normally sends them, and to whom? And remind me who's actually been caught trying to incite violence among left-wing protesters to discredit them?

On the balance of probabilities, and if death threats have actually been sent to inauguration performers, I would suspect it wasn't by anti-Trumpers.
posted by Devonian at 8:37 AM on January 15 [10 favorites]


NYT: Without Obamacare, I Will Get Sicker, Faster, Until I Die: But a little more than a year ago, something changed. I had trouble paying attention; my short-term memory worsened. I went to see a neurologist who noticed a slight tremor in one of my fingers. His words changed my life for a second time: “I think you have Parkinson’s disease.” I was 44.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:44 AM on January 15 [10 favorites]


> not a new chant
They rarely are.
posted by stonepharisee at 8:51 AM on January 15


@megh_wright My dad starts chemo Monday. Here's just ONE prescription he needs. It's really very simple: without Obamacare, within 8 months he'd be dead.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:52 AM on January 15 [13 favorites]




New private Texas detention center for transgender migrants raises concerns
Christina Fialho is the co-executive director of CIVIC, an organization that monitors the conditions of about 40 detention centers across the nation. She says the Santa Ana transgender unit was created in response to problems LGBT migrant detainees were facing while in confinement. In 2011, 13 asylum-seekers from across the country filed a complaint that stated detainees suffered from sexual assault, long-term solitary confinement and denial of adequate medical care while detained with the general population (PDF).

But the problems, Fialho says, continued in California’s transgender pod. She says Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not protect trans women in confinement.
I don't want to worsen anyone else's anxiety by raising the topic[s], but it is the creeping normalcy of things like this coupled with the already-starting erosion of civil rights and social services that has me personally feeling terrified for the future. With no large-scale opposition and Republicans just going wild with socially destructive policies, I am not optimistic for the short or middle term future (and long term, we kill our planet out of belligerent negligence). I fear there are too many people who simply don't care about things like this; on the face of it, it looks like a good thing to house trans migrants separately, but in reality will mean primarily abuse and torture, and the detention center itself is a symptom of deeper problems besides. People who are comfortable within their privilege likely won't step up en masse to stop rights, safety and dignity being taken from others. And it's a total waste of everyone's time to ask what could possibly change Republican voters' minds about Trump, Sessions, Bannon, et al because they demonstrably don't care. "Fake news" has done its damage and the rape allegations, the plausible Russian ties, the conflicts of interest, the concerns over civil rights erosion or anything else will be bluntly disbelieved by the Republican base. Imagining that lurid pee play will sway people is just more needlessly convoluted magical thinking.

Sorry for the doom and gloom. I want to step away from all of this, but it feels dangerous to look away. I think hope is foolish, right now. I'd love to look back on that thought in a year or two and see it as melodramatic or overreacting, but this is just where the world is right now.
posted by byanyothername at 9:04 AM on January 15 [21 favorites]


A friend just posted this on FB. I hope it's OK to share:

Reposting: A friend called Senator Warren's office to find to what she could do to speak up against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This is what Warren's staffers told her:

"What would help the most would be to call the five Republican senators who have broken away from the GOP to demand a slow down of the repeal. Tell them how much you appreciate their efforts to stop the train wreck and share your story."

They are:

Senator Bob Corker - (202) 224-3344
Senator Lisa Murkowski - (202) 224-6665
Senator Rob Portman - (202) 224-3353
Senator Susan Collins - (202) 224-2523
Senator Bill Cassidy - (202) 224-5824
posted by staggering termagant at 9:21 AM on January 15 [77 favorites]


Filed under I went there so you don't have too:
(I'm purposing leaving out specific detailed names that can be searched. Ff people want the details they can be found in their subs on places like Reddit.

Not nice but it's good to keep tabs on these folks and in a dark way this is sorta good news. The Alt-Right movement who started fighting with each other near the end of the election is experiencing a fairly major shake-up right now. They're doxxing each other, one major website is down because of it, another main one that people use is in question. And the integrity of another main one The is up in the air. From what I gather the main upset is that one of their well known figures and media people, who was the founder of the website with started the ((( ))) anti-Jewish meme a while back has been exposed. He has a Jewish wife. They're arguing about the purity of the movement and the defacto leaders (cause some knew about it) is being questioned yadda yadda. Chaos.

The result which is good for the rest of the world is that the bickering is hampering their ability to get organized more then they have been. They're even arguing about the bickering.
posted by Jalliah at 9:27 AM on January 15 [19 favorites]


Counterpoint: calling congresspeople/senators outside of your district wastes everyone's time because they ignore those calls in their tallies. That's why they ask for your address when you call them, so they know you're a constituent. Someone pointed out that of course staffers are going to tell you to call someone else so they don't have to answer those calls. Here is someone specifically rebutting what you just shared.
posted by winna at 9:29 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Counterpoint: calling congresspeople/senators outside of your district wastes everyone's time because they ignore those calls in their tallies. That's why they ask for your address when you call them, so they know you're a constituent.

Soooooo . . . lie about it, then?
posted by CommonSense at 9:30 AM on January 15


Lying is a terrible idea. What, you're going to give a random address in their district?

There's enough real stuff to do without that.
posted by winna at 9:32 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Jalliah: just looked into the alt-right shakeup and holy moly, is this satisfying. On the message board I'm looking at, the pro [redacted shitheel] faction that's arguing for unity is saying the reason the Left is so strong is that they never turn on their own over ideological purity. Amazing.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:36 AM on January 15 [39 favorites]


I will say that neither Jeff Flake's nor John McCain's office has ever asked for my address.
On the other hand, I was only able to get through to a McCain staffer once, shortly after the election. It's always been a busy signal since then.

Rep. Gallego's office hasn't asked, either. Maybe Arizonans are more laissez-faire about the whole thing, I dunno. I'm always surprised to read about the level of verification that seems to go on when others make calls.
posted by Superplin at 9:40 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


I'd think if Warren's staffers are telling concerned people to do it, it might not be a complete waste of time?
posted by danapiper at 9:41 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


If you know anyone in Tennessee, Alaska, Maine, Ohio or Louisiana, you could contact them and ask them to call their senator. I don't think I actually do know anyone in any of those states, but it's a thought.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:41 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


George Takei has retweeted the Sunday Herald story on all hailing frequencies. I calculate the following probabilities, Captain.

Karroty Klingon sees tweet - 100 percent
UK trade deal going through - 0.01 percent
Glasgow being smoking glazed crater by 12:30 on 20th Jan - 99.99 percent

Putting donottauntthedynamitemonkey.gif on main screen.
posted by Devonian at 9:44 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Jalliah: just looked into the alt-right shakeup and holy moly, is this satisfying. On the message board I'm looking at, the pro [redacted shitheel] faction that's arguing for unity is saying the reason the Left is so strong is that they never turn on their own over ideological purity. Amazing.

Yeah stuff like that (dark humor) made wading through it bearable. And yeah it is satisfying but holy hell those people are awful. If it was just them arguing on their discussion boards that's one thing but it looks like it's taking out major pieces of their media and propaganda eco-system. This is a good thing.
posted by Jalliah at 9:44 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


If you need some Louisiana addresses memail me. I have plenty of Republican family you can pretend to be!
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:44 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


I'd think if Warren's staffers are telling concerned people to do it, it might not be a complete waste of time?

I know it's not as effective but I tweeted to everyone on the list to tank them for slowing the process down. It's the most I can do on a Sunday before a holiday.
posted by photoslob at 9:54 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Counterpoint: calling congresspeople/senators outside of your district wastes everyone's time because they ignore those calls in their tallies. That's why they ask for your address when you call them, so they know you're a constituent. Someone pointed out that of course staffers are going to tell you to call someone else so they don't have to answer those calls. Here is someone specifically rebutting what you just shared.

So, one of the things quoted in that rebuttal is: "Who represents you. American citizens that reside in one of the 50 states have three individuals elected to represent their interests in Congress: one Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and two U.S. Senators. Because of their limited resources, most Members of Congress only accept communications from those they represent."

That could be a pressure point - they're set up for weeding out the occasional letter from out of their district, but an overwhelming number of letters from across the US could have an effect. Getting the single biggest flood of letters they've ever had says something and still takes staff time and effort to sort through. Now, it looks like it would cost someone $137.71 in stamps to send a letter to every Republican in Congress, and that's not counting printing, paper and envelope costs, which is a big ask for a single person and probably beyond the means of most grassroots activists for a single action, but it could be divided up in a coordinated letter writing campaign.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:56 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


/health care stuff

When I transitioned off of my employers cadillac insurance COBRA to Medicare, I was taking IV antibiotics to combat a MRSA infection that had almost turned into sepsis and had gotten all the way to my bones, whatever fancy word for MRSA bone infection is.

When I transitioned to Medicare NYU was all, well, Medicare won't pay for IV antibiotics at home so off to a nursing home with you.

I'd never spent any time at a not so great nursing home. My Grams, prior to her hospice care, was in a very nice assisted living facility. My Gramps died a couple years after a series of strokes that left him unable to get out of bed without an expensive fancy sling thing. He died at home, as per their wishes.

Gramps was a retired bank prez, and had set up things so they could spend their last days in comfort.

When I went into the nursing home that took in people who had Medicare and not any supplementary insurance, it was like entering the halls of the damned. People screaming in terror because they were demented and they were terrified and they were left alone, isolated. I need catheters in order to pee and waited I think ten hours for the nursing home to get catheters so I wouldn't die, which is indeed what happens if you don't pee.

I mean I could give a lot of examples, but it was that experience that, I kid you not, has led me to define the contours of my living will thusly:
a) Get terminal diagnosis
b) Read, smoke weed, and do magic mushrooms until I'm too sick for that to be fun
c) Do some heroin for fun.
d) Do some heroin for dying purposes.

I am 100% serious about this, and my worry is that I'll end up in the ER through a fall/collapse/whatever and the SO will be LET HER GO SHE WANTS HER SHROOMS AND HEROIN and the med staff will be all, no that's cruel and inhumane, we have to warehouse her until her brains are pudding and she wakes up each morning crying because she hasn't died in her sleep.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's not like Ryan is all *brand new idea sick people EW*. We've been sick people neglecting for--well, eternity, it's just that some countries have evolved past us.
posted by angrycat at 10:03 AM on January 15 [88 favorites]


Buzzfeed are collating a database of Trump's companies and connections
posted by stonepharisee at 10:40 AM on January 15 [22 favorites]


I know it's a dumb gesture and no one will know about it but me, but I've wanted the March trilogy for a while and as I have to spend money on Friday anyway for reasons (meaning I can't participate in a no-spending protest), I may as well give myself the gift of buying something that day that will always remind me of the importance of resistance.

Also it puts a small amount of money in a great man's pocket and would deeply offend a certain someone with baby hands, so.
posted by palomar at 10:41 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Cali's single payer just made it out of committee.

It's a purely public bill. No private option. Insurance companies would cease to exist in California.

It'll be interesting to see how the GOP reacts.
posted by Talez at 10:42 AM on January 15 [110 favorites]


And people have followed accounts that regularly posted in places like R_the Donald or by looking at comment history who after the election moved on to posting about Germany or Turkey.

Yeah the dots are connecting now - even during the election season, I was always kind of stunned by the fact that r/the_donald had a whopping 300k subscribers (compared to Bernie's 200k and Clinton's 30k).

I always thought the bulk of reddit was a shithole in the "most liberal dude in the frat house" sense, a bunch of faux-progressive/libertarian atheist LOGIC-THINKER STEM-bro types dictating the wider discourse on the site. So their love affair with Ron Paul and eventually Bernie Sanders made sense. But the mass support for Trump seemed so out of left field even for them...I mean we're talking about a bunch of self-proclaimed RATIONAL THINKERS and intellectuals praising and subscribing and upvoting the most idiotic and irrational candidate we've ever seen in our lifetime. Now it's obvious why.
posted by windbox at 10:43 AM on January 15 [15 favorites]


I swear we're going to have "The Autonomous Region of the Pacific Northwest" and "The Autonomous Region of New England" by 2020 at this rate.
posted by Talez at 10:44 AM on January 15 [17 favorites]


Who would have figured that when Republicans were screaming about death panels, it was the word panel that was freaking them out.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:45 AM on January 15 [26 favorites]


We've been on vacation in CA for the past week or so. Someone please let me know if this single-payer bill is actually going to become a thing so I can cancel our return flight and have the in-laws bring our pets out to us.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:46 AM on January 15 [16 favorites]


After some long chats with a close, very smart and well-informed friend last night, I offer to my friends here the only semi-optimistic scenario for next week that I've been able to ascertain, in the hope that it will at least lessen the weight of our impending reality just a bit, even if I'm completely being stupid with this. But: there is a whole lot of activity that appears to be a concerted effort to get proof and nail Trump before the inauguration, and there is some indication that it might be successful.

My own antennae were pinged by two very unusual bits of information last week, both actions by President Obama (I know, 'unusual' in our current context is meaningless, but I mean to say, unusual for the players involved whom we know to be reliable). First was the comment that Biden reported, from the initial briefing on "the dossier" that he and Obama had around 10 days ago, when Obama was told about the golden shower video: "what does this have to do with anything?" This puzzled me because, at the time, it seemed like this might be a concrete link, a demonstrable reason of why Trump is compromised, and I was surprised that Obama would be uninterested in what he apparently saw as a salacious bit of info that was not relevant. NOT RELEVANT??? HOW?

And second, the executive order he signed last week (12333, opening access to NSA's raw signals intelligence) just really gave me fundamental pause, because (as best as I can read this action) either the mask is being ripped off during the last few days of his presidency, and we all are well and truly fucked because the world government conspiracy is starting to reveal itself; or he had a very, very compelling and immediate reason to get information from one agency to another. The only way that made sense is if that information is so important--right now--that it's an acceptable sacrifice to broaden the surveillance state fairly massively in order to achieve whatever short-term goal is being pursued. (Obama has spoken openly about how, often, being President means making the best choice from among unacceptable options.)

Lastly, in the past two weeks, I've suddenly started feeling something long absent: respect for American journalism. This whole meta-story, about Russia, their hugely successful propaganda/disinfo/hyperreality work, Trump, all of it, is emerging in a coherent way through distributed reporting in multiple outlets, and this whole chain of events that has even raised a faint hope that we might be able to avoid President Trump was started by a tenacious investigative journalist who put that dossier in the right hands. In the reporting on this, it is clear that an intentional narrative is emerging, that is being told to the American people (and the world) consistently, clearly, and always connected to evidence. (The Boston Globe editorial linked above is a perfect example of this--today and tomorrow, if you pay attention, you will see a bunch of editorials and articles all coalescing on this set of facts and narrative.)

Other salient pieces that I see, in list form for concision (ha!):

1. Trump is obviously completely compromised, and hard evidence exists (though we may not have it yet--Biden is meeting with Ukraine's president today, maybe connected?)

2. The key person for actually proving collusion/treason/etc. is Flynn, and those five calls to the Russian ambassador. If there is response to actual criminal actions, it will focus on Flynn.

3. The FBI is compromised, and may be in process of trying to expose that and purge itself (story here is the Giuliani/Comey R faction, mainly in NY FBI office, are the traitors); or, other intelligence agencies are moving to do the same--Clapper vs. Comey, hope that Clapper will prevail.

4. As has been discussed, Russia did not have specific strategic aims here, but rather have a tactic that is wildly successful, as their disinfo/propaganda/hyperreality-leveraging intelligence work is utterly pervasive. We know about Brexit and the Trump election, but also take a look at the Calexit movement (popped up right after the election, led by a Californian who lives in Russia--fellow Californians, know this now: Calexit is a Russian attempt to leverage hyperreality to further destabilize the U.S.); the Green Party appears to be comprised, remember that weird December 2015 photo from the Russia Today banquet, showing that Flynn and Putin were sitting by each other and laughing? and everybody went, wait, why the fuck is Jill Stein sitting at that table too? I now think that Stein is compromised, and has been paid to be looney and ensure that the American Green Party never, ever grows into a substantial political party (remember that recount, and how it actually ended up working in Trump's favor? or how nobody could understand why Dr. Stein is an anti-vaxxer? She's not serious because she's likely paid well not to be). Paranoid? Sure, and I am not a paranoid person, but the Russians have been very savvy about this, and we simply cannot trust anything about any public actors or dialogue or etc. unless it is clearly supported by consistent patterns of behavior. I am at the point where I don't trust that anything is real, or true, or actually happening, unless I experience it in some way empirically. Me now: "You say there is a Calexit movement?? I haven't heard a single person express this sentiment in real life, ever, and I've lived here for almost two decades so fuck off." I also now think that a large chunk of the white nationalist bullshit is part of this (we've had some concerns on my state university campus, but when we examined our own, unfortunate homegrown "alt-right" org, there is no there, there--it's just a bunch of inferiority-complex suffering, amateur propagandists). This has been a surprisingly easy change in my thinking, though I detest defensive personal postures generally, because I long ago learned how to spot trolls pretty well online, and learned not to engage. This is the collective skill we now must practice in the real world: do not feed the trolls. And speaking of keeping an American Green party from ever truly emerging...

5. It's not about Russia per se. Putin and his power circle are patriots, I think, but more than that, they're the fucking mob. Putin is less a president than the most successful mob boss that has ever existed, and the business of the Russian mob is oil. On a geo-political level, this is about OIL and energy and global hegemony. Transneft is the state-owned monopoly, and if you want to know where the real power struggle is, what the game actually is, it's among Transneft, Exxon-Mobil, and everybody else--this is why the Chinese are really the only country reacting proportionally to the imminent threats to geo-political stability and their own security, they are the most vulnerable in this regard. (It doesn't seem coincidental that this year is the first time a Chinese leader is attending the Davos WEF.) Pay attention to Rex Tillerson, and to how Russia responds to what he says.

Look. I know that this rambly, likely-not-nearly-as-connected-as-I-imagine-it-to-be comment, and my larger sense of narrative here, is driven first by my faint, desperate hope that Trump's inauguration may yet be prevented, and only second by information, facts, reason, logic, and so forth. But as I look, and look, and try to make sense of nonsense, it's pretty clear to me that Trump is just one (horrifically fascinating) actor in this play, and is really more useful idiot than major player. I know that this useful idiot will be doing things, and allowing others to do things, that will be tremendously destructive and harmful to many people, and I am terrified and will do all I can to fight, protect, aid, anything for my fellow human beings and our collective welfare. I do not mean to minimize any of the specific horrors we're (mostly) all really scared about right now. But as I look, I see that what's really going on is not just about the United States, and not only about how what happens in the U.S. affects the world, but is about the whole world and who will have power and influence for the next few decades at least, and perhaps even how we will all know what is true and factual and real.

By luck or by skill and intention, or all of the above, the Russians have disrupted the state-based, geopolitical status quo in a fundamental way, and all major players are now scrambling to respond, defend themselves, and/or take advantage. Nobody expected the U.S. to just collapse internally like this, and while we're scrambling to save ourselves and our society, others are taking advantage of the simple fact that the U.S. is no longer minding the till. Trump is a buffoon, and that useful idiot allowed his voracious need to feed his narcissism to put our entire country right in the middle of it, to make us all a fucking useful idiot for Russia. Every Republican who supported him has proven themselves craven and self-serving traitors (yes, at this point if you are an official of the United States government and support Donald Trump, you are very likely a literal traitor to your country), and at this point the Republican party has two options: you're either all-in with the useful idiot, who will be proven to be a Russian asset sooner or later, and you will share his fate; or you lead the reckoning. One hopes that there are at least a few leaders in that party who see that there is a future only in the latter option.

So. I hope you've enjoyed my The World Still Makes Sense (Though Definitely Crazy) and Justice May Yet Prevail fanfic, and thanks for letting me share all of this. Trying to make sense of nonsense is the only catharsis I've found. Stay strong, cherish what is sacred and beautiful to you today, and remember how amazing it is that you're here to experience that. And call your reps, seriously.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:50 AM on January 15 [110 favorites]


Ok, so I work at a university, and the student government just called on students to, as a gesture of solidarity against hate, wear school colors on inauguration day. Which is sort of brilliant, because approximately 75% of all students wear school colors every day. We're going to look like we have so much solidarity against hate!

But not me. I don't wear the school colors, because they're ridiculously hideous on me. Maybe I'll just wear my pussyhat all day.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:51 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


There's nothing that can prevent his inauguration at this point. The 12333 expansion was in the works for month, it didn't just happen because they need to prove Trump is a traitor right now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:55 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


I swear we're going to have "The Autonomous Region of the Pacific Northwest" and "The Autonomous Region of New England" by 2020 at this rate.

This is what we have to fight. One of Russia's wet dream scenarios is actual dissolution of the United States. As I keep reminding my friends and family, we did not choose this. Americans did not elect Donald Trump, we (collectively) chose Hillary Clinton. Through gerrymandering, manipulation of proportional representation checks and balances, and so forth, the Republican party has grabbed power against the expressed wishes of the American people, as demonstrated by actual, raw votes. Their regressive actions cannot be allowed to undermine the integrity of the United States as a nation. It is vitally important, for our collective, future material and physical well-being, that we are not persuaded to further otherize internally.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:56 AM on January 15 [52 favorites]


Trump has yet to be the focus of any investigation that's anywhere near that definitive.

You mean like the credible allegations he raped a 13 year old girl?
posted by mikelieman at 11:01 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Thank you, LooseFilter, for your thoughtful contribution. I find it connected and easy to follow, and well constructed. Worth thinking about.
posted by Altomentis at 11:01 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]



Gramps was a retired bank prez, and had set up things so they could spend their last days in comfort.


My mother in law is a retired nurse (and semi-retired union organizer--I married into the right family) who is several years younger than my father in law (so, high probability that she will live longer based both on age and sex). Because she knows the system from the inside, for the entire time I've known them, my father in law's Christmas present to her every year is paying the premium on a long term care supplementary insurance policy. To go with this gift so it's a tad more festive, he enlists my husband to produce a large single-panel cartoon depicting what might happen to her without this insurance. They have several years of these framed and hung in the hallway of their condo. Just a whole wall of extreme gallows humor depictions of our fucked up health care system.

I've been meaning to look into what age I should take out similar policies for myself and my husband. Because yeah.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:03 AM on January 15 [22 favorites]


Calexit, etc, leave everyone else here, and much poorer and weaker.

And honestly, Calexit would mean, eventually, rule by tech bros - I'm not sure I'd sign up for that if I were you. They may seem sorta liberal now when they don't have absolute power, but most of them would be Thiels in a minute if they really saw the chance for absolute power, drinking the blood of the young for immortality, etc.

And - you'll have refugee problems like whoa, and you'll have a border wall - and the politics to match. Without the coasts, this country will be one long scream. All of them/us (Minnesota is in a funny place - still relatively liberal, still economically strong, not quite like the coasts but not typical of the Midwest) will be headed your way, looking for jobs, freedom and healthcare. And while you individually may think that's grand, your leaders and most of your neighbors won't, and you'll end up militarized.

You think you'll be small and rich and left, but (and that's if there weren't a war - I think there'd be military occupation before the coasts were allowed to take their money and walk) you're forgetting that you're not an island.
posted by Frowner at 11:04 AM on January 15 [32 favorites]



Thanks Loosefilter. Your comment is awesome.
posted by Jalliah at 11:10 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Cali's single payer just made it out of committee.

While this is a good idea, the financial logistics are problematic. Right now Californians with incomes over $250,000 are paying a federal tax to support Obamacare. There are other federal taxes as well. There is no way for Californian to opt out of the federal taxes in order to fund their own state system with state income taxes. Until they get that figured out, Californian's would be double taxed -- for a federal system they don't use and state system they do use. This would never fly. The double taxation would be huge.

So it isn't just a matter of California creating their own single payer insurance system. They would also need the cooperation of Congress to allow them to opt out of the federal system. It is unlikely that Republicans would cooperate since California is a cash cow for the poor red states.
posted by JackFlash at 11:10 AM on January 15 [11 favorites]


I often find the writings of Will Durant chillingly prescient. This was written 1930:

"The day of democracy as Rousseau conceived it and Jefferson practiced it began to end when great cities and great industries arrived. In America, political democracy was based on economic democracy, on an approximate equality of economic goods and power. When land was free for the taking, when almost every family lived in isolated sovereignty, growing its own food, hunting its own meat, weaving its own clothing, then men looked each other in the eye as literally "free and equal," and dared to elect to the Presidency heretics and rebels like Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.

For the economic bases of democracy -- free land, free competition, skilled labor, simplicity of tools, the economic self-sufficiency of the individual homestead -- have disappeared. In their place have come abandoned farms, crowded factories, congested cities, monopolies and mergers, centralized financial control, costly tools purchasable only by rich corporations, and masses of population easily manipulated by interesting misinformation.

The complexity of industry; the geographical expansion of America; the development of intricate foreign relations; the possibility of war; the replacement of political problems by economic problems, arising by hundreds every day before officials, elected not for economic knowledge but for political skill; the consequent diversion of power from elected incompetents to appointed experts and boards -- all these factors have cooperated to make the "free and equal" vote a delusion, and democracy unreal, a pretty window dressing for the rule of machines adept in herding votes, distributing favors, utilizing crime and barring the road to office for all but the subservient and corrupt."
posted by Altomentis at 11:11 AM on January 15 [18 favorites]


Women's March expecting 100,000, Atlanta sister march hoping for 10,000. Over 200 other demonstrations planned across the country.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:11 AM on January 15 [11 favorites]


My own antennae were pinged by two very unusual bits of information last week, both actions by President Obama

I saw some of the same things as you but I'm inclined to believe it's a case of apophenia, the ability to see patterns in complex or random information that aren't real. In Obama's case it's expressed as "he's playing 11 dimensional chess" which generally turns out not to be true.
posted by scalefree at 11:14 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]


Thank you Loosefilter. Your comment is the first salient comment I've read in a while that wraps a lot of this insanity up and actually gives me a bit of hope. It's likely misguided hope but I'll take it.
posted by photoslob at 11:14 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


*shakes head* As Frowner says, Calexit is nothing less than an outright betrayal of those of us left in the rest of the country. It means leaving the rest of us to die unless we can escape, and hey: California would then be the only place accessible for escape for much of the Midwest and West Coast. Calexit could be more accurately written Calabandon, as far as I'm concerned.

California leaving us would break my heart to the point that I would lie down and abandon the things I am doing to try to lay groundwork to restore democracy to the nation. I would not be able to seriously believe in a liberal or safe future without the support of the most powerful single liberal state in the nation. This fight would be unwinnable, and would consign the rest of us to death.

I cannot say it more clearly than that. California leaving the Union would be an act of unconscionable betrayal to every American who is trying right now. Every one of us.
posted by sciatrix at 11:17 AM on January 15 [29 favorites]


Cali's single payer just made it out of committee.
Unfortunately, SB 810 was introduced in 2011, and killed in 2012. This news isn't current.
posted by books for weapons at 11:17 AM on January 15 [15 favorites]


I saw some of the same things as you but I'm inclined to believe it's a case of apophenia, the ability to see patterns in complex or random information that aren't real. In Obama's case it's expressed as "he's playing 11 dimensional chess" which generally turns out not to be true.

The 11 dimensional chess thing needs to die. What's happening and what Obama and other people have done/do is just boring basic chess. It's how you 'do' politics in any system large or small. It's just that in a larger system it can seem more spectacular and 'wow' and we get this idea that it is the most amazing thing that only an utter genius can pull off.

Obama and many others are quite skilled at it and a lot of politicians aren't so good. But really this all just doing politics and being good at finding leverage and power points in whatever social and political system you find yourself in.

It's just chess goshdurnit!
posted by Jalliah at 11:21 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Who would have figured that when Republicans were screaming about death panels, it was the word panel that was freaking them out.

they were just worried that the government was going to take death panels out of the hands of private industry, that's all
posted by entropicamericana at 11:22 AM on January 15 [24 favorites]


Unfortunately, SB 810 was introduced in 2011, and killed in 2012. This news isn't current.

Damn. I thought it was today. There was a dateline up top.
posted by Talez at 11:23 AM on January 15


Regarding calling representatives who don't actually represent me, it'll take me 30 minutes and can't hurt. It won't keep me from calling the people who do represent me. So, as Donald says, what the hell do I have to lose?
posted by staggering termagant at 11:23 AM on January 15


There is no way for Californian to opt out of the federal taxes in order to fund their own state system with state income taxes.

While the relevant bill is dead, "single payer" in that context is just shorthand. They wouldn't mean actually totally severing healthcare in California from the federal healthcare systems. Whatever the next proposals are will almost certainly mean that there is one insurance company in California, and it's the state of California or a parastatal set up by California. Assuming FPOA that Obamacare continues, it wouldn't be instead of Obamacare -- it would just be the Obamacare plan that's on offer. And it wouldn't be instead of Medicaid, it would be how California administers Medicaid. And people with Medicare would keep on using Medicare, but presumably the only Part C plan available would be the state's.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:28 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]


A key point to keep in mind is that it is likely and increasingly obvious that Trump is badly compromised, but while exposing and disgracing him goes in the right direction _it does not fix the problem or end the threat_. A huge chunk of America and the party it supports are compromised -- just not all by Russian moneyed interests. There are plenty of domestic bad actors also in need of dismantling.
posted by delfin at 11:30 AM on January 15 [12 favorites]


Re 11 dimensional chess: No one will save us except ourselves. Politicians are humans with exactly the same cognitive and energetic resources that you or I or any other human has, no more and no less.

There's a song, Matches, I've had on repeat for weeks now that says it as well as anyone else if you need a reminder:

There are no stories told in a vacuum
There is no prophecy lighting our way
There is just a lot of darkness to be afraid of
So it's a good thing we are not afraid!

There is no Superman in that phone booth
There is no rewarding our faith
There is no one who can save us
So it's a good thing we don't need to be saved!

There are no starships in low earth orbit
No aliens to save us from ourselves
There is no voice willing to speak for us
So it's a good thing we know how to yell!

There is no chosen one, no destiny, no fate
There is no such thing as magic
There is no light at the end of this tunnel
So it's a good thing we brought matches!

posted by sciatrix at 11:34 AM on January 15 [14 favorites]


CIA boss John Brennan says Donald Trump ‘doesn't understand Russia’ in scathing attack on President-elect

...Mr Brennan told Fox News Sunday that Mr Trump had indeed been briefed about the allegations before they were reported by CNN, despite the President-elect’s advisers saying he was not aware of them.

“What I do find outrageous is equating intelligence community with Nazi Germany,” Mr Brennan said. “I do take great umbrage at that.

“There is no basis for Mr Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for ‘leaking’ information that was already available publicly,” he added.

posted by futz at 11:46 AM on January 15 [33 favorites]


Regarding calling representatives who don't actually represent me, it'll take me 30 minutes and can't hurt. It won't keep me from calling the people who do represent me. So, as Donald says, what the hell do I have to lose?

Because while you're tying up the line people who actually live there can't get through and it gives the staff the excuse to ignore all complaints as being noise from out of district.

I couldn't get through to call my senator the other day because his line was busy for hours. I don't understand why this is a difficult concept.
posted by winna at 11:47 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Yes, right after I posted my "what's the harm" comment I thought about tying up phone lines. Maybe I'll just mail them a postcard of support instead.
posted by staggering termagant at 11:50 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Loosefilter. I don't see the possibility of an imminent action that swoops in before inauguration, but I do think there are protections being put in place to try and (somehow) preserve a giant national security investigation of Trump's Russia ties that's obviously ongoing.

We know:
- A number of people associated with Trump (Flynn, Carter Page, Manafort, Burnett), and Trump himself, are tied politically and/or financially to figures tied to Putin.
- The FISA Court has issued at least one warrant related to an investigation into two Russian banks' communications (rumored to be with Trump's camp).
- The same night this (nascent?) investigation was reported (October 31), along with another story about "pinging" between Russian banks and the Trump campaign, FBI sources gave incorrect information to the NYT (that there was no real investigation), and that information was reliable enough for the NYT to base an extremely dismissive article around it.
- Someone feels comfortable enough to leak General Flynn's contacts with Russia's Ambassador to the press, and the White House says these contacts were not cleared with them.
- Comey personally briefed Trump on the Russia dossier because the other IC heads picked Comey to do that.
- Obama did not dismiss and replace Comey throughout this apparent godforsaken mess.
- Something about the full House and Senate briefings was serious enough to keep an inveterate pack of leakers from leaking much of substance.
- Senate Intelligence Committee (including GOP members) reversed itself in the span of 24 hours about whether to conduct an investigation.
- Members of the House were furious at Comey for not giving good answers about the Clinton letters and refusing to confirm or deny the existence of a Russia/Trump investigation.
- Someone is warning U.S. allies to be careful what they share with Trump.
- Intelligence agencies around the world have investigations into this issue.
- Comey's achilles heel before this fall was not a lack of patriotism, or a connection to dirty money, or a tendency to try and play with politics, but rather an overconfidence that his instincts for doing the right thing for the country was the right way, procedures and rules and other people be damned.
(good source for a lot of this)

We talked pre-election here about the problems with the NY FBI office, and how apart and different it was from other FBI offices. I still cannot for the life of me understand why Comey released the Clinton letters, but it makes sense to me that some other part of the FBI has been investigating this Russia issue all along without the NY office's knowledge or input and Comey hasn't commented because this is an extremely sensitive ongoing national security matter. Not that he's going to emerge from this chapter the hero of the piece, but it feels more like he's working hard on something serious than abandoning the issue.

I've been so checked out of the threads because the volume of news lately has been an immense firehose of "WTF?" but hope all my election buds are doing well. Can't wait for the March.
posted by sallybrown at 11:51 AM on January 15 [53 favorites]




My new favourite Trump name is 'Comrade Twitler.' I barely ever use nicknames, it's either Donald (mostly) or Trump. It makes me wish I did because this one is just so tragically darkly humorous.
posted by Jalliah at 11:52 AM on January 15 [10 favorites]


Priebus to Obama: ‘Step up’ and quiet Democrats who question Trump’s legitimacy

Vice President-elect Mike Pence separately criticized Lewis on Sunday for questioning Trump’s legitimacy in interviews on Fox and CBS, calling his remarks “deeply disappointing.” He also defended Trump’s recent tweets attacking Lewis, saying Trump “has the right to defend himself.”
posted by futz at 11:57 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Sallybrown Great summary.

Would also add that we have been told that other countries intelligence agencies are doing their own investigations including one 'major ally'. Possibly Five Eyes as well. Estonia has even been named as having done surveillance. Info that has come from 'unamed US intelligence sources'. Which translated means somebody wants this info out there.
posted by Jalliah at 12:00 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know what the official style for a Tyrant is?

Is it 'the Tyrant Putin,' or 'Putin, the Tyrant,' or perhaps 'Tyrant Vladimir Putin?' Is he addressed directly as 'Your horror?'
posted by getting_back_on_track at 12:07 PM on January 15 [14 favorites]


The remaining question I have is, what protections exist or can be put in place to preserve a national security investigation into a sitting President? I don't see how our country could allow the IC to shield any investigation (or any detail of any investigation) from the President. (Like…I like Scandal as much as the next gal but that isn't real life.) I could perhaps see some rule saying the President is not able to block the IC from investigating something, but I don't know of any actual rule like this that exists.

Because the Senate Intelligence Committee opened an investigation, I would assume there are document preservation requirements that now kick in. Is the IC just prepping and preserving as much information as they can to share with Five Eyes / other intel entities and the Committee when the time comes?

For fans of hail mary passes, Obama's last press conference in office will be Wednesday.
posted by sallybrown at 12:11 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: An immense firehose of "WTF?"
posted by kirkaracha at 12:12 PM on January 15 [11 favorites]


While this is a good idea, the financial logistics are problematic. Right now Californians with incomes over $250,000 are paying a federal tax to support Obamacare. There are other federal taxes as well. There is no way for Californian to opt out of the federal taxes in order to fund their own state system with state income taxes.
As far as I understand the Affordable Care Act, this is true but not at all relevant. Under Section 1332 [42 U.S.C. 18052] Waiver For State Innovation (the exit strategy, if you remember that round of BS from when the ACA was fresh) a state may opt-out of the specific provisions of the Affordable Care Act, provided that they meet four requirements (excuse my very fuzzy and likely grossly misleading paraphrasing)
  1. Meet or exceed the definition of a Qualified Health Plan (easy target, given the purpose of a single payer system),
  2. affordably (including by use of federal grants, the same grants as would be disbursed under an exchange as described by the ACA)
  3. to at least as many citizens as would be covered by the ACA (again, that's the purpose)
  4. and without increasing the federal deficit.
So a state might set up any sort of health care system it likes, provided the replacement meets those requirements. Funds already disbursed to all states through grants by the federal government would not (necessarily) decrease, as it is expected and required that states obtaining waivers will still provide healthcare to their citizens. (Who knows what dirty pool Congress might play with the next year's budget should any state be so bold as to murder its parasitic health insurers however...)

On preview, ditto what ROU_Xenophobe said.
posted by books for weapons at 12:13 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]


Without getting too specific, the landlord of one of the two stores I own is someone who works in the Executive Office of the President. Because of his/her VERY high-up position, I have never once, in the over six years we've been a tenant in their property, spoken, emailed, or texted with this person, nor have I met them face-to-face. I've only interacted with this individual's spouse, who's been my sole contact in all these years.

The aforementioned spouse, however, is incredibly cool, down-to-earth, and easygoing, and will casually say they've been to the White House and met Obama tons of times, and met tons of foreign dignitaries, etc. the same way you and I might meet up with friends after work for a drink.

These people have a secure communications room in their home, like something out of House of Cards. The member of the couple I have contact with says they have no idea what a lot of their spouse's work has to do with, since so much of it is extremely classified. It's really quite wild.

I'm so tempted to send a quick text to this person along the lines of, "I know you don't know a lot about [spouse]'s work, and even if you did, you couldn't tell me. But just out of curiosity, has [spouse] been really busy lately, and been working at the White House longer hours than usual?" Because I want some kind of sign, something to cling to, that suggests that maybe we can all breathe a little easier, that the White House and intelligence agencies are on this, and that something's being done behind the scenes (preferably in time for Friday).

It's tempting, and this person would probably tell what little they know, but . . . I won't. Part of me is scared of hearing back, "no, [spouse] has actually been winding down and has had lots of time off lately, since their job with this administration is about to end. And boy, are we looking forward to the time off!"
posted by CommonSense at 12:15 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


LooseFilter: great commentary. Point number 5 is on target, makes me really wish The Oil Drum did not stop their regular posts (looks like some of the commentators are actively posting on their individual pages though).

I still have a bit of hope that despite this election cycle being out of fucks and evens it might still have some twists and turns left.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:28 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


The remaining question I have is, what protections exist or can be put in place to preserve a national security investigation into a sitting President? I don't see how our country could allow the IC to shield any investigation (or any detail of any investigation) from the President. (Like…I like Scandal as much as the next gal but that isn't real life.) I could perhaps see some rule saying the President is not able to block the IC from investigating something, but I don't know of any actual rule like this that exists.

I don't know about official protections or rules but would suggest that in IC world there is what is official and what is unofficial. Which is one of the reasons that the accountability of IC world has been a question and concern since they've existed and has history has shown in many cases entirely warranted. There have been numerous instances of conflict between admins of a state and their respective intelligence communities as well as factional conflicts within those entities.

I guess my point is as the viewing public we have no idea whether what may happen 'unofficialy' or whether anything will happen. Nature of the beast.
posted by Jalliah at 12:31 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


in the past two weeks, I've suddenly started feeling something long absent: respect for American journalism.

I'd respect them a lot more if they hadn't false-equivalencied us into this situation in the first place. Sure, there's a lot of yeoman work being done by individual journalists (Fahrenthold deserves, like, all the props in the world), but if journalism, as an institution, had not been spinning daily stories out of absolutely insubstantial Clinton psedoscandals...

It's a bit late in the day for them to be suddenly the good guys, is all.
posted by jackbishop at 12:33 PM on January 15 [41 favorites]


- Someone is warning U.S. allies to be careful what they share with Trump.

And we're back in the Cold War hall of mirrors. Take the UK-USA intelligence pact, which has been in place under different names and in different ways since the Sinkov mission in 1941; the two nations' agencies are deeply intertwined and very effective together. Who benefits most from creating mistrust and uncertainty there?
posted by Devonian at 12:37 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


I'd respect them a lot more if they hadn't false-equivalencied us into this situation in the first place.

This. CNN especially, and even MSNBC with Joe Scarborough, essentially acted as an official arm of the Trump campaign throughout the entire election cycle.

If it didn't so terribly effect all the rest of us, their downfall at the hands of the candidate they championed would be richly deserved.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:40 PM on January 15 [18 favorites]


I'd respect them a lot more if they hadn't false-equivalencied us into this situation in the first place.

The press is at least a decade too late. I believe climate change would be undisputed fact right now if they hadn't given corporate shills (both in and out of government) and various as assorted wackos a credible platform with which to poison the well.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:48 PM on January 15 [17 favorites]


For anyone keeping track, Berlusconi has decided to run again.

That'll be a whole other barrel of laughs for Europe. Sob.
posted by lydhre at 1:00 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Maybe a visit from Polonius Monk.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:02 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Should it matter that the next two years contain the centennial anniversaries of the October Revolution, Russian Civil War, and the deployment of American soldiers in Siberia?
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:06 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


It's a bit late in the day for them to be suddenly the good guys, is all.

This is all true. I'm not certain though that consistently slotting everything into a good guy, bad guy type binary is useful at times like this. The US is going full bore into situation not normal. Heck the world is. In order to 'fix it' so to speak it's going to take a lot of flexibility in not only understanding what is going on so one can resist it but flexibility in those methods of resistance.

When you're fighting a really, really bad guy with a hell of a lot of power it's important to try to recognize the spectrum that this resistance can take. So if the media is finally getting a bit of clue then take it and don't immediately discount it because it acted wrong before so they don't deserve kudos. If someone realizes, 'oh shit made a mistake, lets fight' then take it. If someone or something is 80% okay and the 20% not okay is something that doesn't really hamper dealing with the big problem then maybe take it and not base the decision on the context that was 2 years ago.

This doesn't mean celebrating and handing our cookies, or that you don't forget what they may or may have done. No, not all, but look more in the context of what is the now. Difficult because while it's possible to see how it happened and even why it happened, it's has happened.

In a not normal situation normal the usual ways of looking at it don't necessarily work like they may have before.
posted by Jalliah at 1:13 PM on January 15 [27 favorites]


One of the reasons for the "n-dimensional chess" thing goes back to Obama's first term where LGBTQ activists were told by some Democratic partisans to back off on DADT and marriage equality because there was some plan involving intangible political capital. This argument tended to ignore the fact that Obama openly endorsed LGBTQ activism on those issues, so that activism was apparently part of the plan.

Granted, we're fond of overthinking the plate of beans here, but we need to be thinking less of chess and plans, and more in terms of total war. Or ok, maybe in game theory we're playing amateur Bridge. Finesse may get you an extra point, but we can't rely on finessing every hand, and we need to make use of every card we have available.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:21 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Another Russian move? [NYT] Serbia and Kosovo have an uneasy co-existence. Serbia doesn't recognise Kosovo, and nor does Russia, but everyone else does. Now the Serbs show up at the border with a train decked out with Orthodox Regalia and the slogan "Kosovo is Serbian". Kosovo cries foul. Serbia speaks immediately of war, defending its territory, etc.
posted by stonepharisee at 1:22 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Please, like a war would ever start over something that happens in Serbia.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:24 PM on January 15 [43 favorites]


Dear Whoever,

Please just say "sexually assaulted." This usage is not cute or appropriate and demeans the victim.

Thanks,
Goddamn It Everything Sucks
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:25 PM on January 15 [16 favorites]




And I think Chess is a bad metaphor for politics anyway. It comes from an age where capturing the king and holing him for ransom was a big deal. In the famous Opera Game, Morphy sacrificed nearly everything except what's essential to force checkmate. Chess play is dominated by two extremes, patzers like me recognize familiar tactical blunders and punish them aggressively to a lopsided victory. Grandmasters jockey for positional stalemates that may or may not break to highly technical winning endgames.

I don't know that any of that is applicable to our present political situation.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:43 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


No board game analogy fits when the opponent's favorite "strategy" is to flip the board. And the only reason Obama LOOKED like he was playing "11-dimension" was how he sat quietly while getting the board flipped 10 times...
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:47 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]




Now that I know what kinds of forces were trying to tear it apart, I think Obama really deserves that Nobel Peace Prize for holding the country together for 8 years.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:50 PM on January 15 [33 favorites]


Here's how the Serb figure argues:

“My suggestion now is only to talk in Brussels when this train is allowed to pass,” he said. “If there is no freedom of movement, what kind of Western civilization are we talking about then?”

Expect some support for Serbia stet.
posted by stonepharisee at 1:51 PM on January 15


“Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Myth of Free Markets,” Ian Bruff, Roar, 18 December 2016
posted by ob1quixote at 1:52 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Cough-in at Trump Hotel this afternoon.

Love it.
posted by Jalliah at 1:55 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


I love how they turned the coughs into a chant

*a-cough a-cough; a-cough a-cough cough*
posted by angrycat at 2:01 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Metaphor.
posted by Wordshore at 2:12 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


This morning on Fox News
WALLACE: Does the intelligence community have any information — I’m not talking about rumors, information — about contacts between the Trump camp and associates of the Kremlin about discussions during the campaign about hacking the Democrats?

BRENNAN: The intelligence community collects foreign intelligence on foreign parties, entities or people. If in the course of our intelligence collection, we pick up information related to U.S. persons or officials, which we refer to as incidental collection, we share that information with the appropriate authorities. In most instances, that’s the FBI.
And so, if we did come into contact with that type of information, it would have been shared with the FBI, and we would make sure that our intelligence committees then were aware of it as well.

WALLACE: So, is there such information?

BRENNAN: As I said, if we came into — if we had that type of information, we would share it with the FBI.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:15 PM on January 15 [16 favorites]


I shouldn't laugh but I did.

BRENNAN: As I said, if we came into — if we had that type of information, we would share it with the FBI.

Don't make me keep repeating myself Wallace. FBI, FBI. Come on you can get it.
posted by Jalliah at 2:20 PM on January 15 [16 favorites]


"I have always been deeply interested in and sympathetic with the total work of the Planned Parenthood Federation." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. [PDF]
posted by kirkaracha at 2:20 PM on January 15 [11 favorites]


Good name for a band...or could be the butcher's section in a fancy grocery store...

FOX: 'Bikers for Trump' to Form 'Wall of Meat' If Inauguration Protests Get Out of Hand

Anybody else thinking "Altamont"?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:21 PM on January 15 [17 favorites]


FOX: 'Bikers for Trump' to Form 'Wall of Meat' If Inauguration Protests Get Out of Hand

Anybody else thinking "Altamont"?


I was thinking "Trumpabteilung" myself.
posted by kafziel at 2:23 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


It's a bit late in the day for them to be suddenly the good guys, is all.

When the metaphorical Judas comes running up to the hypothetical Golgotha and is all like ZOMG we gotta get him down, I'm - it's - no. Number one, fuck you. Number two, no shit. There is no number three.

heh. Number one.
posted by petebest at 2:27 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Five bucks says Bikers for Trump is just Gathering of Eagles under a rebrand.
posted by corb at 2:28 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


It'll be interesting to see how the GOP reacts. Well if it gets to the SCOTUS, it'll be struck down as bad for business.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 2:28 PM on January 15


First was the comment that Biden reported, from the initial briefing on "the dossier" that he and Obama had around 10 days ago, when Obama was told about the golden shower video: "what does this have to do with anything?"

LooseFilter, I'm confused about what you are making of this. Could you explain? It seems like a really weird response and I'm finding it hard to figure out the significance one way or another.

I also find it so hard to believe that that briefing was the first Obama knew of the dossier. How is this possible when the FBI had had it since summer (and following), and it seems that all the major news orgs not to mention half of Congress had seen it as well. (Exaggeration there--but it definitely seems like it was fairly widely spread about.)

I've been so checked out of the threads because the volume of news lately has been an immense firehose of "WTF?" but hope all my election buds are doing well.


Wow, same here, sallybrown. Also I've been so depressed since the election I've barely had the energy to look at metafilter.
posted by torticat at 2:30 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


The bikers thing is Putin-adoration. I doubt there's anything there. 200,000 members? Inflation is running amok.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:31 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Vice: An Incredibly Upsetting List of All the New Republican Congress Members
Rep. Roger Marshall (Kansas 1st District)
This guy right here is the freshman congressman who grounded his son for dabbing next to Paul Ryan at the congressional swearing-in ceremony. Marshall's apparent authoritarian tendencies extend to his policy platform as well.

Even though he's an OB/GYN, he is staunchly anti-abortion and is open about how he has convinced his patients to carry non-viable miscarriages. On his website, he proudly displays a testimony from a woman who he convinced to continue carrying a non-viable pregnancy: "12 years ago, before politics were even on his mind, I was in the middle of a miscarriage. After the ultrasound, it was discovered that the baby's heart was still beating," the woman wrote. "I'll never forget what Dr. Marshall said to me: 'I will not take a living baby.'" She had a miscarriage a few days later.
Be wary. Reading this list of white men (and 2 white women) who are far Right wingers that rode Trump's coattails into congress will make you gnash your teeth and want to hit the bottle. Each one of them deplorable in their own way.

And would someone kindly explain this: Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona 5th District, "also voted for harsh abortion restrictions in the state—which included a provision that would have mandated doctors to tell women they could "reverse" a medical abortion using an unproven procedure" What the hell is that?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:33 PM on January 15 [15 favorites]


I mean, would you want to be the one to have to tell the President of the United States about the entirely unconfirmed piss dossier making the rounds in Washington? Does that sound like an enjoyable conversation? Wouldn't it be easier for everyone to simply not tell him? Repeat that process for a few months.
posted by zachlipton at 2:33 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


'Bikers for Trump' to Form 'Wall of Meat' If Inauguration Protests Get Out of Hand

I wonder how tricky it would be to fill water balloons with A-1 sauce.

Don't actually do this, please.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:35 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Given the timing of the wikileaks releases and the GOP platform release on Ukraine I think it's very plausible there was a quid pro quo. But I don't know what could possibly come of it even if it were true.
posted by Justinian at 2:38 PM on January 15


Bikers for Trump was a thing during the campaign for sure. I attended a Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida and a bunch of them showed up. They were basically there as sort of Biker Cheerleaders, getting the crowd to do The Wave and whatnot.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:39 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


For the economic bases of democracy -- free land, free competition, skilled labor, simplicity of tools, the economic self-sufficiency of the individual homestead -- have disappeared. In their place have come abandoned farms, crowded factories, congested cities, monopolies and mergers, centralized financial control, costly tools purchasable only by rich corporations, and masses of population easily manipulated by interesting misinformation.

Cool story. But it skips two crucial steps that undermine its moral arc. 1) the land wasn't free for the taking, it required a state-sponsored genocide to "empty" it of its owners (so yeah the narrative of yeoman farmer equality is a cover story for that) and b) In between the rough equality of settler colonial small agriculture and the industrial cities and unions and bankers was a little few-centuries-long mode of production called "plantation slavery," without which the US would not have become an economic and military powerhouse and the descendants of the victims of which remain a permanent criminalized subproletariat.

There is no golden age of American democracy, except if you skip those parts of the story.
posted by spitbull at 2:40 PM on January 15 [34 favorites]


So there's an almost certainly fake video in the wild of Trump and some ladies engaging in watersports. Sure doesn't look like the Ritz and the video quality is terrible and extremely suspect, but just as a warning, this is probably the Next Thing.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 2:40 PM on January 15


Another Russian move?...Serbia and Kosovo have an uneasy co-existence.

If true, this seems like a miscalculation. Trying to re-fight the Kosovo conflict would probably galvanize NATO. It's a less fraught scenario than the Baltics, or Ukraine/Crimea.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:41 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


The Orange One's tweet from this afternoon made me snort. It is unbelievably childish and above all purposeless: For many years our country has been divided, angry and untrusting. Many say it will never change, the hatred is too deep. IT WILL CHANGE!!!!

I mean, what is that? Is it a threat? Is it a promise? Does he honestly think we are going to fall in love with him and everything will be sweetness and light?

So there's an almost certainly fake video in the wild of Trump and some ladies engaging in watersports. Sure doesn't look like the Ritz and the video quality is terrible and extremely suspect, but just as a warning, this is probably the Next Thing.


Is this the Tom Arnold video that he has been promising?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:43 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


NATO is not in good shape right now.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:43 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


So there's an almost certainly fake video in the wild of Trump and some ladies engaging in watersports. Sure doesn't look like the Ritz and the video quality is terrible and extremely suspect, but just as a warning, this is probably the Next Thing.

If the GOP's efforts to preserve a Trump administration is how we get kink acceptance, I'm going to go live in a fucking cave.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:44 PM on January 15 [12 favorites]


One of the reasons for the "n-dimensional chess" thing goes back to Obama's first term

THE GAME IS POKER, ALRIGHT? Chess is a game of perfect information. Bridge is a bit closer, but it is poker that best describes the game Obama has been playing, where you don't know what your opponent has and he doesn't know what you have, though you may have hints of strength or weakness. And bluffing is a major component of play.

Poker is the game that John von Neumann obsessed over, the strategy to which John Nash (of A Beautiful Mind fame) sharpened, resulting in MiniMax and the Cold War strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction. Poker turns out to be an almost perfect distillation of such geopolitical games, so much so that when Nash developed the Nash Equilibrium, we shared the math with the Soviets so they would understand our strategy.

And throughout Obama's term, it has turned out that Republicans fucking suck at poker, which is how we got the ACA and gay marriage and multiple other things. Libraries have been written about poker strategy, just in the form where you're playing with 52 cards. Obama has spent eight years playing poker with his political opponents here and our rivals overseas and, given the crappy hand he was dealt when he was elected, pretty much rocking it.
posted by Bringer Tom at 2:45 PM on January 15 [41 favorites]


NATO is not in good shape right now.

Yeah, I agree. Which is why Kosovo is a weird fight to pick, if you want to keep it that way.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:46 PM on January 15


The leader/organizer of the bikers is Lawnmower Guy. Remember the dude that was arrested for mowing the National Mall? I think it was the Mall...
posted by futz at 2:47 PM on January 15


Is this the Tom Arnold video that he has been promising?

My constant twitter refreshing has led me to this part of the internet. I must say that Tom Arnold is being surprisingly confident but also funny and charming.
posted by Brainy at 2:48 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


CIA boss John Brennan says Donald Trump ‘doesn't understand Russia’ in scathing attack on President-elect

Definitely, I think the most significant thing in that interview was Brennan's confirmation that Trump HAD been briefed. This question has been the substance of all of Kellyanne Conway's attempts at redirection and muddying the waters. Was he briefed? Did the 2-page appendix even exist? Even if it did, was Trump orally briefed on it, and if not, why not, if it was so important? If there was an appendix, did he get to KEEP it, or did the intelligence people take it away after the briefing? I mean she managed to waste like 24 minutes of Anderson Cooper's time arguing about shit like this instead of talking about anything of any substance.

So much bullshit--it is great that Brennan just came out and said yes, he was briefed.

I find the Trump Team's reaction to the news of the past week more damning than anything else regarding the Steele memo(s). Redirect, stonewall, redirect, redirect. They really are not acting like the memo is a completely unfounded made-up piece of garbage; they are acting like there is a shitload of stuff they really don't want to talk about.
posted by torticat at 2:48 PM on January 15 [13 favorites]


An obviously fake video would seem like a good way to distract attention from more serious issues around collusion.

Speaking of which, it seems like Trump finally got around to watching the SNL tape.
posted by zachlipton at 2:51 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


tweets incoming zachlipton?
posted by futz at 2:52 PM on January 15


You know, I must hate Trump with the power of ten thousand blazing suns, because normally I would look at the protests and be like *stay away from the crowds of people* instead of telling myself that while filling balloons with A-1 sauce is clever snuffleupaugas has warned me not to do it can I please NO calm down okay.
posted by angrycat at 2:53 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


I'm pro pee tape. I hope it exists and all the suburban Trumpists have to see it.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:55 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]



tweets incoming zachlipton?


He needs some new material.

.@NBCNews is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!
posted by Jalliah at 2:56 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


LooseFilter, I'm confused about what you are making of this.

The dossier was apparently floating around for months, but had never been treated officially, with any regard by the intelligence community. When the President and Vice President (and subsequently, the President-Elect) were briefed last week, it was the first official presentation of that information (which matters). I was confused by Obama's reaction ('what's this have to do with anything') because I was assuming he already knew everything that was in there, and because I thought the pee video was part of what was the emerging story ('Trump is compromised because of old fashioned blackmail'). It's looking like it's much worse than that, and my sense is that Obama knew that at the time, and didn't understand why they'd waste his time talking about vice-based blackmail when there are much larger ways and reasons that Trump is compromised.

Also, about the press: please do not otherize. There is no 'them,' journalists are not a single entity, acting in concert. When you say "fuck them" but "the individual journalists doing great work right now should not be included in that, they're OK," you're just saying that they're OK because they're one of the good ones, and I don't think I need to draw out the analogy further for you to see how odious the otherizing in the characterization of an entire, multi-faceted field of professional endeavor as "THEM" is. Otherizing is the weapon that empowers our enemies.

Also also: what's today, Day 3 of absolutely no Kelly-Anne Conway? She had those two big gaffes and BOOM vanished....
posted by LooseFilter at 2:57 PM on January 15 [15 favorites]


Yeah this is going to be his Sunday job-- criticizing SNL-- because god knows the Dept. of Ag can go fuck itself.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:58 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Yup, nothing too exciting. Just the usual complaining about mean dumb SNL being mean and dumb. Sad!
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:58 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!

SNL or Trump's last press conference?
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:58 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


He really is not a very good TV critic. On the bright side, every other show on NBC can now advertise themselves as "not the worst of NBC -- The President of the United States."
posted by zachlipton at 2:59 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


an obviously fake video

Yeah tread carefully. My social media are awash in fake news posted by naive "liberal" friends ("friends" perhaps), there's obviously a huge amount of chaff in the air, some of it misdirection to obviously over the top claims that this or that bombshell is about to explode as soon as the Croatian hooker's story is vetted by the Mossad or whatever. A lot of this Booker frenzy has been stoked by fake news sites too, trying to get liberals back to arguing about the primaries as a way to counter the solidifying anti-trump majority.

Strange times. I'm doubting every single piece of news I see.
posted by spitbull at 3:00 PM on January 15 [13 favorites]


I'm telling you, Agriculture is going to go to whoever most envisions Silent Running as a vision of a utopian future of terraformed planet earth.
posted by Yowser at 3:01 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


BTW, how many of those 600 some posts are still empty?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:01 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Yes, it is the mostly way the Trump-team are acting which is damning them, when seen from outside. But the frightful thing is that most people just don't follow the news that closely.
Most people I know are really scared of the Trump-precidency, and worry about what will happen. But they haven't even heard of this whole Russia-connection, or maybe what they have heard is only about the kompromat. I was just at a dinner party, and no one at the table had heard about the economic ties, or Flynn's phone-calls.
On my facebook, plenty of people both left and right quote "news" and "analysis" from Russian propaganda sources. I don't expect them to believe anything from US intelligence. (Though actually, weirdly, they might trust the Israelis — I think that even while most of my Russia-loving FB-friends despise Israel, they somehow respect them).
posted by mumimor at 3:02 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Also also: what's today, Day 3 of absolutely no Kelly-Anne Conway? She had those two big gaffes and BOOM vanished....

She tweeted yesterday: "the pen is ready."

I have a few unprintable suggestions regarding the positioning and utilization of said pen.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:02 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


I mean, would you want to be the one to have to tell the President of the United States about the entirely unconfirmed piss dossier making the rounds in Washington? Does that sound like an enjoyable conversation? Wouldn't it be easier for everyone to simply not tell him?

What? Why? McCain put it straight in the hands of the FBI and Reid as much as referenced it in his letter to Comey. Why wouldn't someone want to be the one to tell the President? Are you suggesting Obama is squeamish? I just find this response weird.

Also the seamy parts of the dossier are almost all in the first couple/few pages. There really isn't much of it. The rest is MUCH more interesting stuff about quid pro quo activities during the campaign, Putin's goals and motivations, dissent among higher-ups in the Kremlin about their meddling, and so on.
posted by torticat at 3:03 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]



Donald is very happy with Bob Woodward, he garnered two thank you tweets.
But at the same time he also gave even more verification that he did indeed lie at his presser and that Kellyanne's spin was all lies so that's mildly amusing.

Trump thanks Bob Woodward, blasts intelligence community over dossier

President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to again blast the intelligence community and the media, after it was reported last week that he had been briefed on an unverified dossier alleging Russia had compromising information on him.

“Thank you to Bob Woodward who said, ‘That is a garbage document...it never should have been presented...Trump’s right to be upset (angry)...” the president-elect tweeted Sunday afternoon, name-checking the famed Washington Post journalist who helped break the Watergate story.

Earlier, on “Fox News Sunday," Woodward called the dossier a “garbage document” that “never should have been presented as part of an intelligence briefing.”

posted by Jalliah at 3:04 PM on January 15


BTW, how many of those 600 some posts are still empty?

Let's go check the tracker...

Of 690 Senate-confirmable positions: 663 awaiting announcement, 27 announced. Sounds like it's going great.
posted by zachlipton at 3:07 PM on January 15 [13 favorites]


BTW, how many of those 600 some posts are still empty?

I dunno, how many cabinet positions can you leave unfilled before you trigger Article 25? Good to know though that I can skate by with the bare minimum effort and use the transition team's performance as the bar to clear.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:07 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Added Woodward, with immense self-regard, "there's a big difference between getting your information from a garbage bin and a parking garage." [fake but holy shit am I tired of Bob]
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:09 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Just the usual complaining about mean dumb SNL being mean and dumb.

I'm hoping this means that he is much too preoccupied playing defense on all fronts.

I'm doubting every single piece of news I see.

Also, every comment online written by a person whom I don't know in real life. Redditors are finally seeing how utterly infested that site is, and I've even noticed a couple of newer users here, when their comments did not seem to be in good faith, and consistently tried to derail, obfuscate, or confuse conversations. Given Metafilter's moderation style, and very strong community self-policing, I think it's much less susceptible to this exploitation, though.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:09 PM on January 15 [13 favorites]



Is there anyway to know how this number compares to the same time with other admins?
posted by Jalliah at 3:10 PM on January 15


I hope Trump chooses a vengeance on the IC which avoids disrupting US counter-terrorism programs, or it's going to be 9/11 all over again.
posted by Coventry at 3:11 PM on January 15


> But the frightful thing is that most people just don't follow the news that closely.

We are so awash with news that even us news junkies can't keep up. Not only are there two sides of everything there is just too much going on every day. Good example: I listened to Primary Concerns and Adam Serwer, Senior Ed. for the Atlantic was discussing Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing. I learned a lot about Sessions and I was surprised at how much I didn't know-- even though I had been following that story fairly closely.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:14 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


I'm telling you, Agriculture is going to go to whoever most envisions Silent Running as a vision of a utopian future of terraformed planet earth.

Maybe they're just waiting to get SCOTUS up and running again so they can just appoint the Cargill corporation itself.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:14 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Trump Calls NATO Obsolete and Dismisses EU in German Interview

We are so fucked, and so is anyone who has ever relied on America as a military or intelligence ally.
posted by Artw at 3:16 PM on January 15 [32 favorites]


We might be about to see if time travel is possible.
posted by bongo_x at 3:18 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


The FT reports on the DNI report.... I understand from a reporter there that two more stories on the same subject are still in the process of finalization and are likely to appear soon
posted by Coventry at 3:19 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


You know what's fun? Going back through old right wing blog posts where they were pushing the "No, Clinton is the one with too many Russia connections!" before they pivoted to "Russia is our ally!" Remarkable how prescient they are, in a way:

Red State: "How Deep Does Vladimir Putin’s FSB Have Their Hooks Into Hillary Clinton?"
August 25, 2016

"One thing you can bet on with mathematical certainty is that the Russian FSB has compromised Hillary Clinton and her inner circle to such an extent that you can bet that US policy will be subordinated to the Kremlin’s strategy."

...as Trump bad mouths NATO and plans his first trip to meet Putin.
posted by bluecore at 3:19 PM on January 15 [34 favorites]


We are so fucked, and so is anyone who has ever relied on America as a military or intelligence ally.

FTA:

Quoted in German from a conversation held in English, Trump predicted Britain’s exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade. For that reason, Trump said, he’s fairly indifferent whether the EU breaks up or stays together, according to Bild.

mega omg.
posted by futz at 3:20 PM on January 15 [17 favorites]


I saw a guy wearing a Bikers for Trump shirt at a bar this summer. It featured a crude illustration of naked ladies drinking in another bar.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:20 PM on January 15


Trump thanks Bob Woodward, blasts intelligence community over dossier

Which I find pretty amusing because it was Carl Bernstein who helped break the Trump-Russia blackmail scandal and is credited on the CNN story.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:20 PM on January 15 [11 favorites]


For CNN no less.
posted by spitbull at 3:22 PM on January 15


For what it's worth, I just filled in a rudimentary healthcare.gov application based on expected unemployment benefits, my wife's employer's FUCK YOU NOT SUBSIDIZING SPOUSES policy, and other info. The cheapest plan available after subsidy is about $2750/year for $40/primary visit and everything else subject to a $7K deductable.

The penalty for non-enrollment would be about $1125. I'm starting to see why some people who Know They'll Never Get Sick and Know They Can Dodge All Oncoming Trucks go that route. Luckily, I have a much better grasp on reality, mathematics and probability.

And the point remains, quite strongly: I have _the opportunity_ to sign up for this plan. Should healthcare.gov go tits-up, I have absolutely no idea where I would look should I remain out of work. And I am far from alone in that.
posted by delfin at 3:22 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Apologies if already posted (?).

Trump has been interviewed by sycophantic opportuno-Brexiteer Michael Gove for The (London) Times. If you don't have a subscription, that's okay because someone *cough* may be able to MeMail you the text if you'd like.

Brexit highlights, since that's what interests me:
But no Republican, indeed no president, has come to office facing anything like the level of scorn and condescension from British politicians and commentators as Mr Trump. When we talked last Friday, however, he had nothing but kind words and generous sentiments for a nation he believes will be his strongest ally.

I was invited to see the president-elect, along with my colleague Kai Diekmann, from the German newspaper Bild, because Mr Trump wanted to chat about Britain, Brexit, Europe and the world. The Trump team knew that Kai was close to German chancellors, from Kohl to Merkel, and was aware of my role as a campaigner for Brexit. We chatted, on and off the record, for an hour in his corner office in Trump Tower, surrounded by mementoes of his past successes, commercial and political.

British politicians tend to hide photographs, cartoons and front pages that chronicle their careers in the loo to appear self-deprecating. With Mr Trump, everything is on display in his glitzy, golden man cave, from admiring profiles in magazines to Christmas cards from world leaders.

And, ultra-competitive as he is, the president-elect was particularly keen to remind me that, almost alone among international figures, he had had the natural good judgment to foresee our departure from the EU.

“I sort of, as you know, predicted it. I was in Turnberry [his Scottish golf course] and was doing a ribbon cutting because I bought Turnberry, which is doing unbelievably, and I’ll tell you, the fact that your pound sterling has gone down? Great. Because business is unbelievable in a lot of parts in the UK, as you know. I think Brexit is going to end up being a great thing.”

And would he, as our government hoped, move quickly to seal a new trade deal with the UK? “Absolutely, very quickly. I’m a big fan of the UK, we’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides. I will be meeting with [Theresa May] — in fact if you want you can see the letter, wherever the letter is, she just sent it. She’s requesting a meeting and we’ll have a meeting right after I get into the White House and . . . we’re gonna get something done very quickly.”

The president-elect is much less sanguine about the future of the EU itself. A combination of economic woes and the migrant crisis will, he believes, lead to other countries leaving. “People, countries, want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity. But, I do believe this, if they hadn’t been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many, with all the problems that it . . . entails, I think that you wouldn’t have a Brexit. This was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. . . I believe others will leave. I do think keeping it together is not gonna be as easy as a lot of people think. And I think this, if refugees keep pouring into different parts of Europe . . . I think it’s gonna be very hard to keep it together because people are angry about it.”
Really makes you feel for transcribers.

The Guardian and Beeb have summaries.
posted by Quagkapi at 3:22 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


For what it's worth, a German national I know describes Bild as much more Daily Mail than Washington Post. Your mileage may vary on that. Then again, who's to say who's reputable any more in this post-reality reality?
posted by delfin at 3:25 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


The universe can provide me with evidence I'm being overly pessimistic on the whole collapse of western democracy thing any time, I tell you. Any time.
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on January 15 [10 favorites]


Trump has invited Australia's foremost racist politican to the Inauguration.

Pauline Hanson is a leader of the minor party One Nation, a bunch of reactionary racists who recent added anti-science types, climate denalists, libertarian morons and garden variety idiots to the Senate.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:30 PM on January 15 [12 favorites]


I know this has been said before but we are never going to be trusted by any country ever again. Why would we be? We are obviously schizophrenic. Every four years we have the possibility of swinging from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde and if you sign a treaty with us, who knows how long it will last?

I am especially pissed that he can so radically change our foreign policy before he is even sworn in.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:30 PM on January 15 [27 favorites]


In fairness, every other country may descend into fascism or be invaded by Russia by the time his term is out, so it may not be relevant.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, a German national I know describes Bild as much more Daily Mail than Washington Post. Your mileage may vary on that. Then again, who's to say who's reputable any more in this post-reality reality?

With Teen Vogue being at the forefront of critical journalism, everything is open
posted by mumimor at 3:32 PM on January 15 [15 favorites]


Holy shit, I've actually made it to the end and read every comment. My eyes may start to bleed but my soul is taking great comfort in all of your voices.

So much of this is an unprecedented horror show out of the twilight zone -- so much so that the most succinct slogan I can think of writing on my sign for the upcoming protest is just: WTF?! Everything else is a novel about the nature of evil.
posted by ohyouknow at 3:32 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Best part about the cough-in is that they walked out/got kicked out before getting the check.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:33 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


From the Bloomberg article linked by Artw
In line with his threats against other automakers, Trump said Bayerische Motoren Werke AG would face a 35 percent import duty for foreign-built BMW cars sold in the U.S.
He really thinks he can just slap a 35% tariff on BMWs and nobody is going to try and stop him? Just wait til the dentists of America hear about this!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:34 PM on January 15 [27 favorites]


Well, everyone knew Trump was an anti-dentite before the election anyway...
posted by stopgap at 3:37 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


For what it's worth, a German national I know describes Bild as much more Daily Mail than Washington Post.

I agree that it is super good to be wary but the interview was videotaped so in this instance I am ok with the quote. From what I have seen of the video, the write-ups didn't quite quote trumpski accurately. What trumpski actually said is a bit worse than what they reported.
posted by futz at 3:37 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


In line with his threats against other automakers, Trump said Bayerische Motoren Werke AG would face a 35 percent import duty for foreign-built BMW cars sold in the U.S.

Welp, that looks like the start of a trade war.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:37 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Seconding praise for p3t3's link to The Curious World of Donald Trump’s Private Russian Connections.
It brings up something I've been angry about for 20+ years: we in the West created the kleptocracy in Russia, by forcing extreme libertarian policies on the the broken and demoralized Russian society. Yet another catastrophe we created for ourselves.
posted by mumimor at 3:39 PM on January 15 [15 favorites]


I'm ok with keeping BMWs out until they install turn signals in them.
posted by spitbull at 3:39 PM on January 15 [33 favorites]


Has anyone tracked down who makes all his cabinet secretaries' cars?
posted by zachlipton at 3:39 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Welp, that looks like the start of a trade war.

Yeah I was being jokey but that's the big news in all this. He always made claims about a 35% tariff on imports from China but I never thought congress would allow that to happen-- too much stuff in WalMart comes from China and the ensuing tariff wars would be insane. But I guess he is serious or pretending to be "tough negotiator" serious anyway. What happens if BMW does not build their plant in the US? Will he honestly go through with his threat or will he just pretend it never happened?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:43 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Adding inflation to my Domesday prediction scenario.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:44 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


"But the frightful thing is that most people just don't follow the news that closely."

>We are so awash with news that even us news junkies can't keep up.


I disagree with both because; most people follow information sources closely - it just tends more to the entertainment/sports/consumer/"non-political" worlds which still provides political context but at synapse-jarring levels of crap.

And being awash in news would be great if there was higher signal-to-noise; by the time we process openings, ads, teasers, recaps, gish gallops, ads, teasers, ads, pop-up subscription windows, ads, boilerplate transliteration i.e. "The State Department today said . . .", banner ads, non-functioning tweety links, Twitler suprises, ads, and the sub-political inauguration preparation stories, it - oh, and ads - it isn't that much actual news.

But it could be.

And it could be useful and draw more people away from CSI reruns or whatever. At the risk of otherizing good reporters, make-up artists, post production technicians, that intern that gets the good sandwiches, the remote van drivers, etc., I wish to point out this is not ad science, it - okay it is ad science, but it can also be simple; present facts clearly as if one were speaking to an intelligent adult. Let's start there.

This comment brought to you by Brainify - the app that helps you think outside of the head box. Brainify. It's all so clear now.®
posted by petebest at 3:50 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Adding inflation to my Domesday prediction scenario.

I see a trillon-dollar coin in our future, the first time Trump can't get funding for his programs through congress.
posted by Coventry at 3:53 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Yeah it's a weird time to be a stoner:

STONED: like, whoa, dude, this is some extreme shit. this is like, history, man. like, isn't it fucking heavy that *all this* is really happening? when there's probably a mirror universe where HRC is prez and meaningful steps are taken on climate change? A reality where most likely nobody is going launch a nuke in the next four years? Our first female president? Where Western Democracy is still still seen a strong, viable alternative to all other forms of government?

NOT STONED: All that stuff I was thinking during the time I was stoned--I dunno, maybe should cut back. Getting like my 9/11 Truther acquaintance. *reads news* FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

It's like my stoned self would be better in the apocalypse, because there would only be these statements about how heavy everything is, where as my sober self would either be in denial or running around shrieking
posted by angrycat at 3:54 PM on January 15 [20 favorites]


I do some ESL tutoring and a student asked me about the word "compromise." Unbidden, a sentence leapt to mind: "President Obama tried to govern by compromise, but being compromised will govern President Trump."

(I rejected that in favour of a less opaque explanation, btw.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:55 PM on January 15 [14 favorites]


I'm telling you, Agriculture is going to go to whoever most envisions Silent Running as a vision of a utopian future of terraformed planet earth.

I'm sure Trump has men -- TOP men -- scouring the US for the real Old MacDonald.

He has a farm, you know.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:06 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


From the Guardian article linked above:
The president-elect – who will be inaugurated on Friday – also spoke of his belief that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, had made an error when she opened Germany’s doors to migrants. “I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals,” he said.
That's a very interesting use of the word "illegals." He is referring to Syrian refugees that were invited into Germany but in his mind they have the same status as any person entering America without the proper visas. It shows how he clearly has no real grasp of world affairs or of nuances.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:07 PM on January 15 [74 favorites]


Many weeks ago, I commented that a lot of Trump could be understood by understanding the construction industry, and just the other day I was reminded of that. I was at a semi-public meeting, where people who have spent the last 12 years trying to bankrupt and take over my company were making a last ditch attempt at voiding the deal we have actually made now to prevent this from happening. Their idea was a to create a public outrage over our demands. This is complicated, so no details, but I made a speech explaining to the audience how not abiding with the law could have very serious consequences, up to jail time. Most people were appropriately silenced by this. But one guy, after hearing all the arguments, asked my main opponent: why didn't you just stiff her? When I don't want to pay someone, I just don't, and after a while they give up because they can't afford the lawyers. Seriously, it was like listening to Trump. And it was just a normal small building entrepreneur who thought he was saying something obvious to all. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of these guys and their wives out there, and they really can't see the problem with Trump. For this guy, with his recently acquired mail-order bride, a pee-video would not make any difference. Foreign affairs are boring and complicated, ignorance is more trustworthy than knowledge and threatening immigrants is a necessary element of keeping them down, so they don't make any demands (because obvs he hires plenty). If anything, the election of Trump and Brexit has emboldened these guys. He wouldn't have said something like this in public 6 months ago, but now, a woman who knows about boring legal stuff is fair game.
posted by mumimor at 4:08 PM on January 15 [54 favorites]


That's a very interesting use of the word "illegals."

"Illegal" as a noun has come to mean "a nonwhite human being you think you can get away with deporting." Actual immigration status, country of origin, and even citizenship are not important in this definition.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:09 PM on January 15 [47 favorites]


"Illegal" as a noun has come to mean "a nonwhite human being you think you can get away with deporting

Or shooting in the back.
posted by valkane at 4:11 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


It is so profoundly frustrating that we're just about to walk away from NATO not because of a war or something, the kind of thing that actually tests an alliance, but just out of general apathy (and the culmination of a decades-long effort by Russia to divide it).
posted by zachlipton at 4:19 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Yes, that's my point. Trump thinks Germany's attitude toward their Syrian refugees must be exactly the same as his attitude towards illegal immigrants. Smoking hot babes you want to marry is one thing but "illegals" taken as a class is simply an easy tool to rouse the masses. I doubt he has ever met a Syrian refugee or spoken to any German people about their feelings towards Syrians (although he probably has gotten an earful from Nigel Farage) much less talked to the German Chancellor.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:20 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]



And we're back in the Cold War hall of mirrors. Take the UK-USA intelligence pact, which has been in place under different names and in different ways since the Sinkov mission in 1941; the two nations' agencies are deeply intertwined and very effective together. Who benefits most from creating mistrust and uncertainty there?


DO bear in mind that DC has been a notoriously leaky place for decades, because leaks are the currency by which aspiring DC apparatchiks advance their interests before the press.

US allies have always thought twice before disclosing anything to agencies in the US. It's just that now things are much worse.

And yes, a separation of MI6 and the CIA for the next 4 years is better than MI6's secrets winding up in Putin's hands. For all involved.
posted by ocschwar at 4:24 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Trump has invited Australia's foremost racist politican to the Inauguration.

Well they sure know how to get a rise from us liberals. Maybe they can invite Geert Wilders next and introduce him as "The next Prime Minister of Holland".

Yes I know it's The Netherlands. THATSTHEJOKE.JPG
posted by Talez at 4:26 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


If you, like me, are unsure of Trump's path to legally imposing tariffs on imports, I found this CNN Money article helpful. Unfortunately it looks like it would be pretty easy and does not require Congress.
Trump could invoke the "Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917" to hit Mexico and China with tariffs as high as he wants. Under the law, the president can restrict all types of trade "during time of war." That definition is very loose though.

America doesn't have to be at war with China or Mexico -- it just has to be "at war" somewhere in the world in order to apply tariffs against China or Mexico.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:28 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


The Orange One's tweet from this afternoon made me snort. It is unbelievably childish and above all purposeless: For many years our country has been divided, angry and untrusting. Many say it will never change, the hatred is too deep. IT WILL CHANGE!!!!

I mean, what is that? Is it a threat? Is it a promise? Does he honestly think we are going to fall in love with him and everything will be sweetness and light?


Trump's a narcissist, so it's possible he does think that.

But I think it's equally probable that this is very similar to I've been watching how the conservatives in my circle use "divided" and it's totally authoritarian. There's not really thought about compromise or other forms of studied resolution to legitimate difference behind it. They mean that they're offended by people who disagree with them, and believe the fault is with those people, and if we just got those troublemakers to shut up, we'd finally be able to enjoy our great country in peace.
posted by wildblueyonder at 4:30 PM on January 15 [30 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
.@FoxNews "Outgoing CIA Chief, John Brennan, blasts Pres-Elect Trump on Russia threat. Does not fully understand." Oh really, couldn't do...much worse - just look at Syria (red line), Crimea, Ukraine and the build-up of Russian nukes. Not good! Was this the leaker of Fake News?


He's not letting it go. 14 minutes between parts 1 and 2. Also....phrasing at the end.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:30 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Illegals has come to mean Latinos and Middle-Easterners.

This is the (Oxford dictionary) definition of "anchor baby": noun. offensive. Used to refer to a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country which has birthright citizenship, especially when viewed as providing an advantage to family members seeking to secure citizenship or legal residency.

Excluding the "especially" part, by this standard, the three children of Ivana Trump (Donald, Ivanka, and Eric) and the one child of Melania Trump (Barron) were anchor babies. Both mothers became citizens after their children's births.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:33 PM on January 15 [14 favorites]


With his latest tweets, really brilliant media strategy to take a Sunday show interview from a departing official that not a ton of people noticed and broadcast it out to millions more.
posted by zachlipton at 4:36 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


muminor: But one guy, after hearing all the arguments, asked my main opponent: why didn't you just stiff her? When I don't want to pay someone, I just don't, and after a while they give up because they can't afford the lawyers.

Having done a lot of reading due to above mentioned reasons, it's amazing how stacked the system is in favour of people who think like that. There's even pre-pack administration (English law) where a company can declare bankruptcy, stiff all its debtors, and then buy back the company assets at cost from the liquidator and continue trading under another name. The trend towards the gig economy where everyone is a freelancer empowers them even more as they can use the same tactics to default on payment for people who in the past would have been employees with protection from labour law and unions.

Trump really does seem to be the canonical example of this.
posted by Buntix at 4:41 PM on January 15 [13 favorites]


I originally thought the Trump plan to remove all the current federal staff regardless of whether there are replacements ready was just a partisan power move or an attempt to further delegitimize Obama, but seeing the intelligence battle heat up and Trump's recent statements, it's looking more like they did this to make it harder to remove Trump by prepping the clusterfuck that would remain.
posted by p3t3 at 4:44 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


There's even pre-pack administration (English law) where a company can declare bankruptcy, stiff all its debtors, and then buy back the company assets at cost from the liquidator and continue trading under another name.

Pro tip for contractors: If you start to see strange people "taking inventory", get your invoices paid and run.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:45 PM on January 15 [14 favorites]




Another pro-tip: my opponent basically admitted publicly that a huge part of this whole thing was a game of chicken. And I thought to myself, for the first time in all 12 years, I had been allowed by my board to not blink, and it worked like magic. Message to the Democratic Party in the US, to Merkel, and to all the others being threatened now: don't blink. You have nothing to loose and everything to win.
posted by mumimor at 4:56 PM on January 15 [38 favorites]


Excluding the "especially" part, by this standard, the three children of Ivana Trump (Donald, Ivanka, and Eric) and the one child of Melania Trump (Barron) were anchor babies. Both mothers became citizens after their children's births.

And in Melania's case, that's questionable. If you work illegally on a tourist visa, then commit fraud on your green-card app by lying about it, is the citizenship subsequently attained invalid due to the illegal and fraudulent acts?

Does she have to self-deport, go to the back of the line, and follow the law, or what?
posted by mikelieman at 4:57 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Re Loosefilter's post, just wondering:

Is there any difference in the legal ramifications if (presumably) treason charges are brought against Trump after he becomes president rather than as president-erect? (Chess aside, Obama does presumably know his constitutional law).

Would Pence really take over in that situation, surely if Trump is proven to be compromised then his whole coterie should be considered to be also, unless unequivocally proven otherwise. To make a (admittedly flawed) analogy: if someone hacks the root account on your server you don't just lock it out and start using toor instead, you reformat any only re-import any data that can be proven good...
posted by Buntix at 4:59 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Trump meets with Princeton physicist who says global warming is good for us

-- Yes, Donald Trump met with Al Gore. But on Friday, according to the Trump transition team, the president-elect also met with William Happer, a Princeton professor of physics who has been a prominent voice in questioning whether we should be concerned about human-caused climate change.

-- “All trees, and many other plants, wheat, rice, soybeans, cotton, etc., are handicapped because, by historical standards, there currently is too little, not too much, CO2 in the atmosphere,” read a slide contained in Happer’s testimony.

-- In a 2011 essay in the journal First Things, Happer further argued that “the ‘climate crusade’ is one characterized by true believers, opportunists, cynics, money-hungry governments, manipulators of various types — even children’s crusades — all based on contested science and dubious claims.”

If you want to read more about Happer and his "science" & publications:

Trump meets with Princeton PhD scientist who called ‘global warming’ fears ‘pure belief disguised as science’
posted by futz at 5:00 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]




Another pro-tip: my opponent basically admitted publicly that a huge part of this whole thing was a game of chicken.

Seconded, especially if you can give the impression that you're a bit nuts and think a head on collision could actually be kinda fun. Another thing is to essentially think of them as a child (remarkably easy in Trump's case) and calmly and clearly (NPOV style) explain to them what they are doing, that it isn't as big or clever as they think, and what the consequences will be. [Hope Merkel et al are taking notes here... :D ]
posted by Buntix at 5:07 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Okay, I've been piecing this together.
Ivana Zelníčková. First Austria.
Melanija Knavs. Later, the Balkans.
Then Trump makes a deal with Russia.
And then?
It's a God-win-win situation.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:08 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Bread and circuses, people. Now with less circus.

If Republicans get their way and destroy SNAP, there'll be less bread too.
posted by zachlipton at 5:10 PM on January 15 [10 favorites]


[Happer] also ripped the EPA’s climate policies in 2016, declaring: “The EPA is just completely bonkers, CO2 will benefit the Earth.”

Yep! However...
posted by delfin at 5:11 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Add a trillion dollar coin

Surely to be known as the "Golden Shower" among numismatists.
posted by spitbull at 5:24 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


A corollary to the playing-chicken thing may also have some explanatory power as to why Trump is so thin skinned and twitterly incontinent when it comes to criticism. When someone who uses said bullying tactic to game the system are faced with an opponent who doesn't blink, or otherwise fails to follow the script, it does throw them for a loop.

Surely to be known as the "Golden Shower" among numismatists.

Raising "spending a penny" to a whole 'nother level.
posted by Buntix at 5:26 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Happer is a real physicist who deserves to be at Princeton based on his work on the magnetic properties of individual atoms and of vapors. But he's not a climate scientist. Same with Dyson... a good nuclear physicist, a good writer, not a climate scientist.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:27 PM on January 15 [22 favorites]


Right, it's like Ben Carson. By all accounts a superb brain surgeon. But I sure wouldn't want him, say, setting government policy for urban developme... oh. oh shit.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on January 15 [45 favorites]


Well to be fair Linus Pauling fooled the whole world into thinking he was a nutritionist and now millions of people believe vitamin C cures the common cold.
posted by spitbull at 5:32 PM on January 15 [16 favorites]


There's not really thought about compromise or other forms of studied resolution to legitimate difference behind it. They mean that they're offended by people who disagree with them, and believe the fault is with those people, and if we just got those troublemakers to shut up, we'd finally be able to enjoy our great country in peace.

Unfortunately this seems to be a bipartisan position. I'm getting increasingly creeped out by some of my lefty war vet friends who are starting to get to the stage of actually hoping people die - not politicians, citizens - to sort this all out. It's really uncomfortable and I don't know what to say or how we move on from here.
posted by corb at 5:32 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Head of MI6 used information from Trump dossier in first public speech (Speech was in Dec. 2016)

Sir Alex Younger’s briefing notes for his first public speech as head of the Secret Intelligence Service contained some of the material supplied by Mr Steele, according to security sources. Drawing on the alleged hacking carried out by Moscow in the US presidential campaign, he warned of the danger facing Britain and Western European allies, and especially to elections due to be held next year.

Security sources stress that MI6 had extensive information, British and international, on the Russian threat apart from that of Mr Steele. But they pointed out that he is held in high regard and the contribution he provided was valuable.


Not really anything new here other than another exclamation point on the trust they have in the intel.
posted by futz at 5:32 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]



Happer is a real physicist who deserves to be at Princeton based on his work on the magnetic properties of individual atoms and of vapors. But he's not a climate scientist


He's also not much of a biologist if he thinks CO2 is a Liebig Minimum for any common crop.
posted by ocschwar at 5:33 PM on January 15 [10 favorites]


Princeton based on his work on the magnetic properties of individual atoms

So is he the guy who knows how magnets work? couldn't resist.

Ben Carson is a great comparison. Happer should really shut the fuck up about climate science.
posted by futz at 5:35 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


> Yes, that's my point. Trump thinks Germany's attitude toward their Syrian refugees must be exactly the same as his attitude towards illegal immigrants.

He was ranting about Syrian refugees for much of 2016. The BBC reports from the interview:
he said he believes the West should have built safe zones in Syria - paid for by the Gulf - to limit the surge.
Trump:
"Countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity, but I do think if they hadn't been forced to take in all of the refugees than you wouldn't have a Brexit."
(Bizarrely contradicting his own insistence that Brexit is a good thing.)

There is a perception in Europe that Syrian refugees were not adequately planned for, and this is what Nigel Farage was exploiting with his abhorrent "Breaking Point" poster, what Merkel will have to defend against later this year, and surely what Le Pen will invoke in France as well. Trump swallowed that message whole, spun with his own terrorism fearmongering. Uncertainty leads to fear and thence to racist hate.

The international community must do a better job sharing and handling and transparently planning for refugees, and we must all be ready to contribute and pay for this with tax. Countries collapse almost regularly. Even if this were handled well aleady (it isn't), this perception of a planning vacuum has allowed xenophobes and racists to flourish.
posted by Quagkapi at 5:37 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


No no no, don't you all see that when you become educated and talented at a niche bit of knowledge this automatically makes you an expert in all areas of knowledge? This is why I was able to successfully parlay my nursing degree into automobile engineering and design, based on my extensive research via watching The Flintstones. Because I know how to read cardiac rhythms I also automatically know how combustion engines work! With feet!
posted by supercrayon at 5:42 PM on January 15 [16 favorites]


Trump:
"Countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity,
This is blatantly and openly racist - and it clearly shows that "brown" is about as granular as Donnie can understand.
posted by porpoise at 5:46 PM on January 15 [21 favorites]


Trump vows ‘insurance for everybody’ in Obamacare replacement plan

The story is that Trump claims to be on the verge of announcing his own healthcare plan (but only after Price is confirmed, and they haven't scheduled a hearing for that yet), he won't say what it is, but he'll demand that drug companies negotiate directly with Medicare and Medicaid and reiterated his claims that he'll cover everybody, somehow.

Then a bunch of gibberish on tax cuts, claiming a 35% tax on "cars or other products" made overseas.

My sense is that middle class families will not appreciate a tax cut as much if everything sold at Wal-Mart suddenly costs 35% more.
posted by zachlipton at 5:48 PM on January 15 [10 favorites]


I was just going to go watch some TV and then this happened:

WaPo Trump vows ‘insurance for everybody’ in Obamacare replacement plan

It's a magic plan with no details but guess what everyone will be talking about tomorrow.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:49 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Watta scoop!
posted by petebest at 5:51 PM on January 15


Rand Paul previews Obamacare replacement plan

IE make sure there are a lot of "cheap " plans available.
posted by ThreeCatsBob at 5:51 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


1) He says he will force BigPharma to sell us cheaper drugs just like he forced Lockheed to make cheaper F-35s.

2) He says he will not cut MediCare.

3.) He says the insurance will be cheaper and "better."

4.) And it will pass congress even though they have their own plan "I think we will get approval. I won’t tell you how, but we will get approval."

Oh and he is building that wall immediately and ramming through a massive tax cut. So that deficit should be blowing up right about now.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:54 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


It's a magic plan with no details but guess what everyone will be talking about tomorrow.

Kind of like the republican plan Ryan has been touting. I actually took the time to look at the PDF today and half the doc is devoted to the "failure of Obamacare." The other half is lots of promises with very little details on how republicans will pull it off. I honestly wonder if 3 months from now when millions are being dropped from their ACA plans if that's about the point folks in the rust belt will wake up and realize they've been had. I know, stupid question, not going to happen.

Once again, we are so fucked.
posted by photoslob at 5:55 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


ThreeCatsBob, that link is not working.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:55 PM on January 15


Just out of curiosity, has any politician with a Secret Plan ever delivered on it? Has one ever worked?

(not counting actual military operations)
posted by Etrigan at 5:55 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


I can't wait for Kellyann Conway and Reince Priebus to go on air and give us two completely different versions of what's on offer.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:57 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Unfortunately this seems to be a bipartisan position. I'm getting increasingly creeped out by some of my lefty war vet friends who are starting to get to the stage of actually hoping people die - not politicians, citizens - to sort this all out. It's really uncomfortable and I don't know what to say or how we move on from here.

I don't want anyone to die, but I do want many people to suffer major hardships. But there's a very good reason for that.

Even in a best-case election we can't get 2/3 of eligible voters to come out. In this cataclysmic clusterfuck we just went through, 40% who were eligible stayed home. Millions and millions who didn't think Trump was worth filling in an oval for or against. Midterm elections, local elections, that sort of thing? Even worse. And that is because lots of people couldn't give a wet shit about politics unless something slaps them HARD across the face. They, their wallets, their families, their close friends and neighbors, their businesses, their livelihoods have to be personally affected. And even then, some are happy to do without what helps them as long as THOSE PEOPLE don't get help either. They have to be kicked in the head by government action to a point where they simply can't rationalize it away easily.

There are some true believers who could be targeted by the Donald Trump Personally Wants Insert Your Name Here To Die Act and still believe that it's all Obama's fault and gay marriage is to blame. But lots of people vote the way they do because they are being consistently misled by what they read, what they watch, what they hear, what their friends and family post on Facebook. My father, for instance, is a reasonably rational person in most things and I catch him repeating provably-false-by-a-single-Google right wing bullshit several times a week.

We cannot fix this by telling them the truth because they simply do not believe it. It's Mainstream Media Lying Again, it's Fake News, it's Libtard Propaganda. We have to hope that enough of them get reality-checked by the coming Austerity World Tour 2016 to realize that, hey, we put these people completely in power AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED. That's the only chance we have to get enough of them back. (Also, it would be nice if what remains of the Democrats are offering alternative plans loudly and often at that point. Also I would like a pony.)
posted by delfin at 5:58 PM on January 15 [11 favorites]


Fixed link to Rand Paul previews Obamacare replacement: Link
posted by birdheist at 5:59 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Thanks Secret Life Of Gravy, Birdheist.
posted by ThreeCatsBob at 6:03 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon joined Trump six months ago.

I was wondering who's been with Trump the longest - not counting immediate family and Meredith. Because at the height of Pussygate, he only had two people willing to publicly go to bat, and for one of them, that was her job.

Rude Guiliani was the other. He desperately wanted the SoS job, but was hustled out and given a posthumous "Cyberczar" award or something. Yeah probably the Russian FBI thing but still - Hole got the boot months earlier for his Bridgegate liability, and he was as critical as anyone in hoisting _rump into office.

So outside of Ivanka are we to see a procession of outcasts from Trumpland as everyone gets stiffed, presumably for doing bad work?

Between that and flipping off the spooks - well, its something else that doesn't bode well.
posted by petebest at 6:03 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Does my last comment make me a callous, unfeeling asshole? Nope. I was one already.

People I know, people I love, people who are a part of my life are going to suffer. People I have never met are going to suffer. I do not any of that to happen, but it will. The way of life we are used to is going away and our only comfort is that we -- thinking human beings -- are not the ones who shat this into motion.

I am not doom-and-glooming because much of this IS salvageable. I wish there was another way to do it. But we, as Americans, are past the tipping point where it can be done without eggs being broken. We will catch as many falling eggs as we can.
posted by delfin at 6:04 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


OK so Rand Paul's plan is just Rand Paul's plan...and boy is it Randian. Basically you get to live if you are rich or healthy because if you are poor and sick, you are screwed.

So we now have 3 plans! An embarrassment of riches if you will.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:04 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


The question is why the hell is this being reported as "Trump vows ‘insurance for everybody’ in Obamacare replacement plan?" He doesn't have a plan. He promised he'll have one. Which is the same promise he's been making for at least a year now. He's promised it will be the best plan, that it will cover everyone, that it will be cheaper, that the deductibles and co-pays will be lower, that it will provide unicorns to every sick child. But he hasn't actually delivered one.

Why is the headline not "Trump claims to have healthcare plan, refuses to share any details?" Or "After year of stonewalling, Trump still making excuses for lack of healthcare plan?" Or "Trump still claiming to have the best healthcare plan, won't say what's in it?" Because that's the story here.
posted by zachlipton at 6:06 PM on January 15 [69 favorites]


So outside of Ivanka are we to see a procession of outcasts from Trumpland as everyone gets stiffed

That's the thing; there is a world of people who hate Trump, and practically no one in the world who is loyal to him. I wouldn't even count on his family. It seems nearly impossible that he won't get screwed over. I will try not to cackle too loudly.
posted by bongo_x at 6:08 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Why is the headline not "Trump claims to have healthcare plan, refuses to share any details?" Or "After year of stonewalling, Trump still making excuses for lack of healthcare plan?" Or "Trump still claiming to have the best healthcare plan, won't say what's in it?" Because that's the story here.

Why indeed.
posted by petebest at 6:13 PM on January 15 [14 favorites]


I know the media love to cover Trump in a breathless bread and circuses way, but I would love to see them pivot towards covering the entire administration as bumbling incompetents because that's what they are. Three different replacement plans? One of which is secret, and the other two rely entirely on people never getting sick or not being extremely wealthy? So...no plan then.

Also aside from the catastrophic loss of health care coverage, and the corresponding skyrocketing number of preventable hospital admissions, medical bankruptcies, etc. (like that's not enough right?), what about the loss of jobs? It's being predicted that 3 million people will lose their jobs. Why is this not being hammered on as well? Trump "saved" 1000 Carrier jobs? What about the millions of hardworking nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, respiratory techs, etc that will be put out of work? And then, because the ACA will be gone, I guess also lose their health insurance?
posted by supercrayon at 6:15 PM on January 15 [36 favorites]


Why is the headline not "Trump claims to have healthcare plan, refuses to share any details?" Or "After year of stonewalling, Trump still making excuses for lack of healthcare plan?" Or "Trump still claiming to have the best healthcare plan, won't say what's in it?" Because that's the story here.

FUCK YES. I'm starting to think that in addition to phoning our representatives we need to start ringing our media outlets all the damn time too. Cut the damn crap and tell the truth. Trump HAS NO PLAN. I doubt he could even give a two sentence definition of the ACA let alone understand it enough to craft a replacement. His "plan" is the same plan he's had since forever, to lie and bluster and count on never being accountable because history has shown that this works for him.
posted by supercrayon at 6:19 PM on January 15 [39 favorites]


Not good! Was this the leaker of Fake News?

My god. CIA chief goes on Fox and says he "takes umbrage" at Nazi comparisons and accusations that the IC did the leaking... and Trump responds by questioning whether CIA chief himself was the leaker?

wtf?? I don't know why I continue to be shocked, especially after the Lewis tweets, but I continue to be shocked. He is off the rails, and maybe even scarier, no one close to him seems to be able to keep him inside any boundaries whatsoever.
posted by torticat at 6:19 PM on January 15 [48 favorites]


Kind of like the republican plan Ryan has been touting. I actually took the time to look at the PDF today and half the doc is devoted to the "failure of Obamacare." The other half is lots of promises with very little details on how republicans will pull it off.

I spent I don't know how many wasted minutes trying to wrap my head around the concept of the high risk pool. It still makes zero, ZERO, sense. So his bright idea is you take out the costliest patients from the general population coverage and put them in their own special pool. Since you use the healthy individuals to help pay for the neediest individuals, if you remove those who need the most costly coverage, your left with only healthy people and naturally their rates fall. But now you have this pool of really expensive people who need a lot of coverage and what is the government's plan for them? Is the government going to cover their costs? Then why not just leave them in the general pool to begin with? Is the government not going to cover their cost? Then as was pointed out days ago on this very website you have 6 year olds dying of cancer and no way for their parents to pay the hospital bill.

I just can't tell if there is some advantage I am missing or if this is Ryan's attempt to camouflage how terrible his replacement ideas are. "High Risk Pool" is certainly a phrase and it is a phrase in English but it makes no sense from an Insurance point of view.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:22 PM on January 15 [14 favorites]


Excluding the "especially" part, by this standard, the three children of Ivana Trump (Donald, Ivanka, and Eric) and the one child of Melania Trump (Barron) were anchor babies.

No, they weren't, because there are no anchor babies in the US. US citizens cannot sponsor their families for residency or citizenship until they are 18 or 21 (can't remember which). If you're not here legally and have a US citizen kid, ICE will happily give you the choice of putting the kid in the US foster system when you're deported or taking the kid with you when you're deported. But you're getting deported.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:24 PM on January 15 [10 favorites]


I am a bit surprised to see that Evan McMullin seems to have been pretty serious. So there's at least 1 conservative who hasn't kissed the ring yet.
posted by bongo_x at 6:24 PM on January 15 [20 favorites]


Is there any difference in the legal ramifications if (presumably) treason charges are brought against Trump after he becomes president rather than as president-erect?
...Would Pence really take over in that situation


I have been wondering about this also--or rather, I've been wondering about the opposite, what happens if charges are brought before the inauguration? Is there any precedent or provision for this? I don't think there is; would it trigger a constitutional crisis?

After the election, presumably Pence would take over. Unless he also were impeached (and it certainly seems like there could be grounds)--but that doesn't seem like something Republicans would pursue. In any case, I'd rather have a constitutional crisis than have power handed seamlessly to Pence, so I'm still hoping something will blow up this week.

(Funny typo up there, btw!)
posted by torticat at 6:31 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Three different replacement plans? One of which is secret, and the other two rely entirely on people never getting sick or not being extremely wealthy? So...no plan then.

Supercrayon, you hit the nail on the head. ObamaCare took 16 months to craft and a lot of work went into figuring out what to do and how to get it passed by a lot of smart policy wonks. The Republicans have been passing legislation to repeal it almost from the day it passed and have been promising a replacement almost as long. They Have Had YEARS to work out a good plan. Donald Trump has been campaigning on repeal/replace since he entered the race in June of 2015 so he too Has Had YEARS. And they all are trying to scurry around and cobble together some piece of shit nonsense and pass it off as better because...whoops...people really do need insurance and have gotten used to having insurance so better give them something.

Hey, maybe electing a jackass who had no real policy wasn't such a terrific idea after all.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:31 PM on January 15 [25 favorites]


Well here's some sunshine for that corporate media rainshower!

Corey Lewandowski Is Now A Cable News Pundit for One America News Network. Oooooh CNN slam!, et tu USA Today?? (dailybeast link)

Where did i hear OANN mentioned before? Hm.

Also, he's representing Puerto Rico, for some scammy-sounding reason.

The newly elected governor of Puerto Rico is in discussions to hire Lewandowski’s lobbying firm, at a time when the island’s creditors are hoping that the incoming Trump administration will be more sympathetic to them than the Obama administration has been. Such a shift would add to concerns that the new administration’s tight ties to banks and investment funds could tilt its policies in favor of Wall Street.
posted by petebest at 6:38 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


The stupid thing is that you don't need high risk pools if your actual goal is to lower premiums for healthy people by subsidizing care for sick people (as opposed to Ryan's actual goal, which is really a tax cut masquerading as a healthcare plan, but insofar as it involves health policy it's to lower premiums for healthy people by fully pricing sick people out of the market, dressing that up with "high risk pools" so it sounds like he's giving them a real option for coverage). You just pay insurance companies directly to take care of sick people. Which isn't very crazy at all; its basically what all the ACA risk corridor stuff did anyway, not to mention the ACA's lower out of pocket costs for lower income families. The government can just tell insurance companies on the exchanges it will pick up the tab for expensive care under certain circumstances, and use that subsidy to force premiums down for everyone, no need to put the sick people in any kind of special pool.
posted by zachlipton at 6:40 PM on January 15 [12 favorites]


I was so beside myself when I read that shitty 'Trump vows ‘insurance for everybody’ in Obamacare replacement plan' article that I emailed the author. I have pasted my email below, please feel free to email the author as well if you agree. I intend to begin writing versions of this email every single time I see mealy mouthed bullshit from WaPo. Also zachlipton I borrowed your alternative headlines as I thought they were perfect, I hope that's alright with you.

I am a subscriber to the Washington Post, and I enjoyed this article, which I thought was well-balanced and informative. However I take issue with the headline. Given that there's overwhelming evidence that many (possibly most) people only ever read the headline of an article and never even bother to read the text, I think it's incumbent upon our media to reflect on how they portray the people in power.

Why was the headline not "Trump claims to have healthcare plan, refuses to share any details?" Or "After year of stonewalling, Trump still making excuses for lack of healthcare plan?" Or "Trump still claiming to have the best healthcare plan, won't say what's in it?"

Because frankly, Trump does not have a plan. This is obvious. The incoming administration is demonstrably the least qualified in history. Trump himself is ill suited temperamentally to the office he is about to assume - one only need look at his twitter feed to see that. He has no mandate, lost the popular vote, has never released his taxes, is the most unpopular candidate to ever assume office, and is attempting to staff his cabinet with unqualified people openly hostile to the mission of the department they are about to head. He is very possibly compromised by Moscow. And he has shown himself over and over again to be a liar. Not a bullshitter, not someone who is playing politics or engaging in spin. An outright, blatant, outrageous liar.

We will be relying more than ever on our institutions to protect us from the coming administration, and that includes our fourth estate. I understand the impulse to remain neutral, to report and let your readers decide, to borrow a phrase. However there are times when neutrality itself is taking a political position, and I would suggest that this is one of those times. The repeal of the ACA is incredibly unpopular, and our fellow citizens health, wellbeing, and in fact very lives in some instances are at risk if it is repealed. These are the stakes. The GOP is willing to wager the lives of Americans to satisfy their extremist political ideology, and we desperately need brave journalists willing to stand up and look the incoming administration in the face and tell the truth.

Please be brave for us. We're all counting on you.
posted by supercrayon at 6:45 PM on January 15 [68 favorites]


For what it's worth, a German national I know describes Bild as much more Daily Mail than Washington Post.

A few comments later....

Wapo headline: Trump vows ‘insurance for everybody’ in Obamacare replacement plan

Honestly I've gotten to a point where I will read the Daily Mail and feel no shame. But I will not click through on Wapo or NYT ever again. At least with the DM, I know it's shit, you know it's shit and even they themselves know it's shit. The other two, despite poisoning the the discourse for decades with Clinton derangement syndrome, lazy headlines, and non-stop "both sides do it"-ism, still somehow have a reputation as reliable. And because of that they do far, far more damage than a rag like the Daily Mail will ever do.
posted by great_radio at 6:46 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


I'm serious: I can respect someone embracing accelerationism but only if they adjust their lives accordingly.

Accelerationism is a terrible idea, a form of theory gone hopelessly disconnected from reality. Most revolutions in history were led by middle class or political elites who were comfortable and privileged enough to have the luxury of time and resources for plotting. Even those that branded themselves as populist uprisings were mostly initiated by frustrated elites who still had some degree of power and influence. When things get really tough for people, they're too busy trying to survive and feeling like worthless dirt to entertain elaborate ideas about fighting the system and establishing universal justice. Injured people just lash out in pain at whoever's closest and easiest at hand to lash out at, generally. They don't suddenly become fluent in Marxist theory and start taking poli-sci seriously. It's an idea that seems to completely ignore human psychology and practical reality. We don't live in an age where angry peasants with farming tools for weapons can mount any kind of serious threat to anybody with wealth and political power on their side short of staggering consensus and solidarity. We can't seem to make and sustain that kind of momentum and unity long enough or deeply enough to even keep existing gains for much longer. Making life worse for everybody as a way to make life better for everybody has a nasty Orwellian doublespeak quality to it, doesn't it?
posted by saulgoodman at 6:46 PM on January 15 [38 favorites]


Hi kids! It's time for Uncle Xenophobe's Periodic Guide to How Amazingly Hard It Is To Get A Treason Conviction In The US!

Treason is one of those things that suffers because the real-world common-sense definition of treason is SOO MUUCH wider than the definition of treason in the Constitution, so there's a huge list of things that are obviously treason in the normal sense of the word that aren't formal, punishable treason against the US.

You can only be convicted of formal treason for two things:

(1) Making war against the US
(2) Giving aid and comfort to "the enemy," which doesn't mean "countries we aren't getting along with" or "countries we have broadly adversarial relations with." It's been previously defined to mean only "countries we're at war with."

And you can only be convicted with multiple witnesses to the same overt act or by confessing in the courtroom.

We are not at war with Russia and until we are, there is nothing Trump can do in Russia's favor, no matter how traitorous, that would constitute formal treason.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:47 PM on January 15 [23 favorites]


The fact Russia currently poses a direct hostile military threat to US NATO allies we're treaty bound to defend doesn't qualify? We justified much worse for less during the Cold War.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:53 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Accelerationism is indeed a terrible thing. But there is a difference between seeing a tidal wave coming your way and cheering it on.

It doesn't take Cassandra to see that hard times are coming. I wish they weren't; I voted against them. But if they are coming, and I don't see how they're avoidable in the short term, let some good come of them and let many misled people start seeing more clearly.
posted by delfin at 6:53 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


I just worry some are still really underestimating how hard to escape psychological manipulation systems like totalitarianism are and how effective just keeping everybody feeling confused about what's actually happening and how much it matters can be...
posted by saulgoodman at 6:56 PM on January 15 [10 favorites]


"High Risk Pool" is certainly a phrase and it is a phrase in English but it makes no sense from an Insurance point of view.

If Ryan wanted to be more accurate he would rename the High Risk Pools to These People Can Fuck Off And Die Pools. That's what they are under his plan. No, the government is not going to pay for them. No-one is going to pay for them. They are in the Fuck Off And Die Pools.
posted by Justinian at 7:01 PM on January 15 [19 favorites]


The fact Russia currently poses a direct hostile military threat to US NATO allies we're treaty bound to defend doesn't qualify?

Correct.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:01 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


I just worry some are still really underestimating how hard to escape psychological manipulation systems like totalitarianism are and how effective just keeping everybody feeling confused about what's actually happening and how much it matters can be...

If it was at all easy to stop this, we'd have done it. It's not like the Republicans were perfectly rational and normal until Trump came along and then WHAM fascism. This crisis has been decades in the making.
posted by delfin at 7:05 PM on January 15 [20 favorites]


New GOP branding: No to Death Panels, Yes to Death Pools.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:06 PM on January 15 [30 favorites]


He is off the rails, and maybe even scarier, no one close to him seems to be able to keep him inside any boundaries whatsoever.

Given the people that he has chosen to surround himself with there will be no keeping him in check. They are probably pissed that he hasn't wreaked more havoc. They are probably chomping at the bit for him to go further to the right (alt reich), demolish the fourth estate, and destroy everything that doesn't directly benefit them or their causes. Boogie men and monsters do exist. They hate us (for many reasons but...) because we see through them and they cannot control us.
posted by futz at 7:08 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Yeah but ROU_Xenophobe, the bar for impeachment isn't that high. What about "bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors"?

Clinton was impeached for perjury for god's sake. You don't think if the claims in the Steele report were verified, the charges against Trump would reach that level? They sure as hell would.
posted by torticat at 7:09 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]




Yeah but ROU_Xenophobe, the bar for impeachment isn't that high

The bar for impeachment is nonexistent. The House can impeach, and the Senate convict, for whatever it wants to.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:16 PM on January 15 [16 favorites]


Seems to me that if Putin or other Russian state actors colluded with the Trump crew to help him win the election, we have a case of espionage. As president Trump would be privy to state secrets. That was the usual Cold War charge, as I recall.
posted by spitbull at 7:22 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


"High Risk Pool" is certainly a phrase and it is a phrase in English but it makes no sense from an Insurance point of view.

Call them Death Pools. Because premiums will be so high that no sick person can afford them.

Branding is important.
posted by JackFlash at 7:26 PM on January 15 [21 favorites]


The House can impeach, and the Senate convict, for whatever it wants to.

Okay, fine, the bar for conviction. I'm questioning why Uncle Xenophobe's Periodic Guide is relevant when a charge of treason is not necessary for Trump's removal from office.
posted by torticat at 7:28 PM on January 15


Because people kept talking about Trump being tried for treason?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:30 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


The bar for impeachment is nonexistent.

Also I don't really see this. The grounds for impeachment ARE laid out in the constitution. It's true it doesn't say "if and only if," but certainly Congress has historically treated the grounds laid out as restrictive guidelines.
posted by torticat at 7:34 PM on January 15


White House Correspondents balk at Trump team's talk of moving the press briefing room.

wow. Balking. Man, that's . . . terrible. What an uproar.

STOP! WeaselTime!

"I know that some of the folks in the press are uptight about this, and I understand," Priebus said. "The only thing that's been discussed is whether or not the initial press conferences are going to be in that small press ... the press room that people see on TV is very, very tiny."

"So no one is moving out of the White House. That is the White House, where you can fit four times the number of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more coverage from all over the country ... That's what we're talking about."

Such a move would mark a potential change in access for reporters as the current briefing room is only steps from the Oval Office. The White House Conference Center had been used as a temporary press room during the George W. Bush administration.


So it's the across-the-street-White-House then? Fun fact: There was a washingtonexamner link that said the press found it "inacceptable", but when I went back to get it it was gone . . .
posted by petebest at 7:34 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Also I don't really see this.

There's no appeal from impeachment trials. So if the House impeached Trump for shitty hair, and the Senate convicted, he's still removed from office even though shitty hair remains legal.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:36 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


If the US were to declare pro-forma war on the Russian Federation this week, would that provide sufficient grounds to charge Trump for treason? Asking for a friend...
posted by Coventry at 7:37 PM on January 15


The secret health care plan cannot be shared yet because it would ruin the element of surprise and the terrorists might then gain American health care coverage.
posted by p3t3 at 7:37 PM on January 15 [61 favorites]


I have to say though, that any plan centered around "high risk pools" should be, if Schumer and co. somehow don't screw it up (of which I have almost zero faith), a dream to fight publicly. Why the hell wants to be told "oh, if you have a pre-existing condition, we'll just move you on over here to the high risk pool?" High risk pools sound like something you'd find on a cockamamie game show: "well Mike, you could take the money and go home, but you can double that if you just complete a physical challenge here in the *audience shouts in unison* HIGH RISK POOL." People do not like being shoved into pools.

Of all the Obamacare polling, one consistent factor has been that people really, really, really do not like the phrase "pre-existing condition" and are glad it is gone and banished from the lexicon. Any plan that leads with "and don't worry all y'all with pre-existing conditions; have we got a special treat for you" is fightable simply on the grounds that it re-introduces that dreaded concept.

The problem, of course, is that it won't be a fight between what we have now and the Ryan plan. It will be a fight between "repeal everything and go screw yourselves" and the Ryan plan. And we'll all be stuck because the only choice will be "we're going back to 2008 one way or another. Would you like a tax cut with that?"

Anyway, speaking of secret plans that never seem to materialize, whatever happened to Trump's secret plan to fight ISIS?
posted by zachlipton at 7:41 PM on January 15 [25 favorites]


It consists of letting Putin genocide Syria, I believe. It got underway shortly after the election, and I'd be disappointed at the lack of pushback except it's not clear what actually can be done.
posted by Artw at 7:46 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


"I have a secret plan I can't reveal until Tom Price is confirmed" sounds an awful lot like "I hope Tom Price has a plan when he gets in"
posted by jason_steakums at 7:50 PM on January 15 [12 favorites]


Of all the Obamacare polling, one consistent factor has been that people really, really, really do not like the phrase "pre-existing condition" and are glad it is gone and banished from the lexicon.

People who had for years concealed things from doctors for fear of becoming uninsurable, or made sure that doctors didn't write down speculation about diagnoses, now have a bunch of pre-existing conditions on record. Not every pre-existing condition has a large charitable and lobbying org associated with it, but there are plenty that do, and which are quite good at mobilising nice polite small-c conservative people.
posted by holgate at 7:54 PM on January 15 [39 favorites]


bongo_x: I am a bit surprised to see that Evan McMullin seems to have been pretty serious. So there's at least 1 conservative who hasn't kissed the ring yet.

While I find many of McMullin's policy proposals to be unacceptable, his recent statements on Twitter are fantastic. He and Mindy Finn have even laid into Chaffetz a bit for threatening the director of the Office of Governmental Ethics. I hope he will continue to fight the radical--they lost any claim to the term 'conservative'--Trumpist right-wing.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 7:56 PM on January 15 [19 favorites]


Ooh I didn't know that McMullin floated the possibility of running against Orrin Hatch in the Senate in 2018. Yes, please. If we've still got Trump by then, that's where McMullin would be most effective.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:03 PM on January 15 [22 favorites]


While I find many of McMullin's policy proposals to be unacceptable, his recent statements on Twitter are fantastic.

His tweets are better and tougher than anything from the "liberal" media.
posted by bongo_x at 8:10 PM on January 15 [47 favorites]


His tweets are better and tougher than anything from the "liberal" media.

Yeah, I wish they'd ask McMullin to write the headlines and ledes.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:17 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


whatever happened to Trump's secret plan to fight ISIS?

Um, hello, it's a SECRET!

Meanwhile, here's my crazy fantasy: I thought that the Democrats could have worked a lot harder on the whole "Congress has better healthcare than most; shouldn't the people have the same health benefits as Congress?" angle. To that end, I really want the next move by Dems to demand that all of Congress has to join the Death Pool. I bet that's one way to make the plan popular with the people!
posted by TwoStride at 8:29 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]




Well, I mean, he'd just have to switch back three months later.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:30 PM on January 15 [25 favorites]


Kelly O'Donnell: Transition sources tell me @realDonaldTrump intends to keep using his own account as president, not switching to @POTUS himself

This is actually good news.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:30 PM on January 15 [36 favorites]


Someone please make a Twitter bot that responds to every Trump tweet with variations on "Stop tweeting and get back to work, you ridiculous bloviating asshole".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:31 PM on January 15 [22 favorites]



I glad I'm not going to have to read Donald tweets with an @POTUS address. Whatever, let him do his ego thing. The concerns over Presidential recording keeping is mostly a non-issue because his tweet history is going to be saved and tracked to the point that his twitter history will likely be the largest 'recorded' collection of copies of a Presidential record in history.
posted by Jalliah at 8:38 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


I was thinking it would be great if everyone responded to his tweets with a simple "Fuck You", no matter what the topic.

A "Fuck You" postcard campaign would be good too. Going postcard shopping.
posted by bongo_x at 8:39 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]




Oh man, I just realized that trump has officially taken all the fun out of pissing on his grave when he goes. Someone should have told Thatcher about watersports.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:41 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Someone please make a Twitter bot that responds to every Trump tweet with variations on "Stop tweeting and get back to work, you ridiculous bloviating asshole".

I'm serious about this, BTW. Does anyone know how to make a twitter bot?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:41 PM on January 15


i could probably whip something up in the morning.
posted by localhuman at 8:44 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


People are going to start tweeting how happy they are that trumpie isn't using @potus that he will start using it out of spite or change it to @TRUMP_POTUS because it is all about the branding with him. yuck.
posted by futz at 8:45 PM on January 15


Clapper vs. Comey, hope that Clapper will prevail.

Hell fucking yes. One of these men has kept his head down and gotten the job done; the other has interfered in the processes of democracy, at best can't seem to run his own bureau competently and at worst is a Russian mole. (Might be worth watching Clapper and NSA Director Rogers testifying the other week. See what you think of Clapper's public behaviour vs. Comey's, last year.)

Sorry for the doom and gloom. I want to step away from all of this, but it feels dangerous to look away. I think hope is foolish, right now. I'd love to look back on that thought in a year or two and see it as melodramatic or overreacting, but this is just where the world is right now.

That's actually what I showed up to talk about. Probably the least fun thread on Metafilter in the past year was the day-after election post-mortem. Why: It's highly obvious Metafilter leans left politically. I don't, but I love this place because a) even our super-lefties are usually humane and brilliant b) almost everybody here values the truth, the high standard of discourse, above all else, and consequently they're willing to acknowledge good ideas even if they come from people with few shared political views. And, all you lovely people have been being fantastic citizens for the most part. The number of people who went out door-knocking when that clearly wasn't really your cup of tea was heartening to behold, because you all were fulfilling the office of citizen extremely well. So Trump's victory was particularly disheartening.

I think the Metafilter community has learned a particular lesson from that. The feeling seems to be one of disillusionment that the world is darker than we thought, that the forces of ignorance and stupidity have run roughshod over the Right Thing happening and society becoming healthier. That despite our best efforts the forces of Wrong have prevailed.

I want to suggest that's the wrong lesson to learn.

It's become increasingly clear the level of Russian meddling in the election is more severe that most people realised. That makes a marked difference, because it means that society is healthier than you think. It's taken an unusually high degree of malice from outside interests to help bring about the current result. So you need to factor that in: America is X% healthier than it looks, where X is a function of what 20 or 30 intelligence agencies (globally) figure out in the coming weeks.

Keep your chins up, everyone. (And if you need a pick-me-up today, check out this thread, originally about knife-cleaning, but eventually an eiptome of why Metafilter is great and yall are some fantastic motherfuckers.)
posted by iffthen at 8:47 PM on January 15 [69 favorites]




i could probably whip something up in the morning.

My hero. How can I help? I can provide various insults.

Stop tweeting and get back to work, you:
- ridiculous bloviating asshole
- gibbering shitweasel
- cream-faced babbling fool
- obnoxious festering canker
- asinine ragemonger
- moronic lying shitgoblin
- idiotic cantankerous toad
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:53 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Seen at a Mexican souvenir stand

Holy shit! It's the shirt I wished for. Sometimes dreams do come true.
posted by bongo_x at 9:08 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


I just searched DDG for "fuck trump tshirt" and it came back "including results for 'fuck donald trump'"

Duck.Duck.Go.
posted by bongo_x at 9:11 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Presumably including "donald" excludes all the queef results (the literal fuck trump).
posted by Buntix at 9:15 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


I am a bit surprised to see that Evan McMullin seems to have been pretty serious. So there's at least 1 conservative who hasn't kissed the ring yet.

John Kasich. Probably the most prominent GOP politician who has yet to give into Trump in any way. Even Ben Sasse and Justin Amash have been warmer to Trump than Kasich has been. It has cost him politically and influence-wise and he still won't give in. (And yes, I know about his bad policy ideas.)
posted by sallybrown at 9:31 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Oh man, I just realized that trump has officially taken all the fun out of pissing on his grave when he goes. Someone should have told Thatcher about watersports.

what if I told you

you should take a dump on it instead
posted by Existential Dread at 9:33 PM on January 15 [19 favorites]


what if I told you

you should take a dump on it instead


Did we just become best friends?
posted by supercrayon at 9:37 PM on January 15 [15 favorites]


China threatens to 'take off the gloves' if Trump rips up status quo on Taiwan

China has stepped up its rhetoric against Donald Trump, with a Communist party-controlled newspaper declaring Beijing will have no choice but to “take off the gloves” if the incoming president insists on tearing open a Pandora’s box over Taiwan.

Taiwan’s assertive president, Tsai Ing-wen, meanwhile declared her country’s determination to “walk on the international stage” after two stopovers in the US that angered Beijing.

The China Daily warned on Monday that Beijing needed to ready itself for a “costly” battle with the property tycoon after he takes office on 20 January. An editorial said Trump’s repeated threats to abandon the “one China” policy could no longer be dismissed as “bluster or miscalculation” but instead appeared to be a deliberate and intolerable ploy designed to extract concessions from Beijing.

“If Trump is determined to use this gambit on taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves,” warned the China Daily, which the Chinese government uses as an international mouthpiece for its views.

The editorial was accompanied by a cartoon of Trump brandishing a hand grenade labelled “Trump’s China Policy”.


This is actually very serious. Does donnie recognize that? Does he care?
posted by futz at 9:38 PM on January 15 [36 favorites]


Oh man, I just realized that trump has officially taken all the fun out of pissing on his grave when he goes.

Maybe it's just my social scientist side talking, but this seems like a hypothesis that will need high-N empirical verification when the time comes.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:40 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


The word "costly" used by China could mean a lot of things but is probably related to the Trillion+ US Bonds that they own. Quite the expert business move there donnie.
posted by futz at 9:49 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


Oh man, I just realized that trump has officially taken all the fun out of pissing on his grave when he goes.

Actually, since the reason he (allegedly) hired the prostitutes to urinate on the bed was to defile it (and thereby Obama), then it seems very likely that he would consider having his grave pissed on the gravest of insults.

This is further bolstered by his apparent disgust when Hilary went to the bathroom during one of the debates : "saying her use of the restroom at the last Democratic debate was "too disgusting" to talk about".

The evidence suggests that he finds urination (possibly in particular female urination), abhorrent. If it happened, any titillation he found from the golden showers incident was presumably from the domination and defilement than the urination in of itself.

Revised null hypothesis suggestion: Zombie Donald Trump is equally upset by males urinating on his grave than he is by females.
posted by Buntix at 9:56 PM on January 15 [22 favorites]


The urine thing is a non issue.

His money (or lack therof) is.
posted by porpoise at 9:59 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


So, regular pissings at Trump Tower and all hotels them?
posted by bongo_x at 9:59 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


I guess I kept thinking of Donnie's idiot saber rattling with China as some kind of singular stupidity separate from the Russia concerns, but then I remembered that a weakened EU and China dumping t-bills and engaging in trade wars with a flailing US could make the future look bright for the SCO. So now I'm thinking this China stuff could probably be at the behest of Putin too, with Donnie thinking he's getting a Russo-American alliance against China out of it and Putin laughing all the way to the bank.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:03 PM on January 15 [12 favorites]


Yep. I think that's the deal.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:08 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


China's also moving big on renewable investments, and Russia is oil country.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:10 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


So, regular pissings at Trump Tower and all hotels them?

And, en masse at his golf-course, could make a festival of it... P-in-the-park...

Can't see the course's neighbours objecting. Probably even get Gov't approval since even the Tory leader up here called him "clay-brained guts, a knotty-pated fool."
posted by Buntix at 10:11 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Turns out, he hasn't invited the Australian PM.

To be fair Turnbull was shitting on him a little during the election. Shorten was shitting on him harder but I don't expect Trump to realize the difference between them being a complete fucking idiot.
posted by Talez at 10:16 PM on January 15


"China's also moving big on renewable investments, and Russia is oil country."

It's driving me crazy that Trump's putting in all these irrelevant dinosaurs whose time has passed who are acting like it's the 80s or even the 60s, while meanwhile we're down to the wire on global warming and EVEN IF THEY DON'T BELIEVE IN THAT, it's pretty freaking clear that renewables is a huge growth sector. And they're all like, "No, no, since my attitudes towards the world remain in 1982 and I refuse to conform my beliefs to reality, I'm going to ensure that not only do we all die from global warming, but I'm going to permanently hobble my country commercially and let the Chinese get way, way ahead of us in manufacturing and commercially-important technology."

Like, the Bushies did a bunch of stupid shit, but they at least had an eye on the main chance w/r/t money-making and commercial advantage (even while they talked a 1950s game to the electorate, they were pushing 2000s commercial policy in legislation and on Wall Street). The Trumpistas not only want to set on the world on fire, but they appear to ACTUALLY BELIEVE the shit they say about turning the economic clock back to 1950. I want to go shake the GOP and be like, "AREN'T YOU THE PARTY OF BUSINESS INTERESTS? DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENS IF WE LET CHINA AND EUROPE GET FOUR YEARS AHEAD OF US IN RENEWABLES WHILE WE FUCK AROUND WITH COAL SUBSIDIES AND DUMB CAR MANUFACTURING?"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:28 PM on January 15 [73 favorites]


Yep. I think that's the deal.

If that's what the game is, Russia and China have a great hand to play. India and Pakistan are on their way to joining the SCO, India is a huge get and could make the SCO into major economic competition against a disarrayed west. Russia wants Iran in as well, and China's been making a lot of relationships in Africa.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:32 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]



Stop tweeting and get back to work PERIOD.
posted by mikelieman at 10:34 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


W/r/t China in Africa, I dunno, I sorta see them repeating the same goddamn mistakes as the Europeans, with the same eventual outcome.
posted by aramaic at 10:36 PM on January 15


Oh totally. But as was the case with Europe, the hangover is tomorrow's problem.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:38 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Stop tweeting and get back to work PERIOD.
Considering Donald's proven business judgement, I'd say KEEP TWEETING!! TWEET ALL THE TIME!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:38 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]


W/r/t China in Africa, I dunno, I sorta see them repeating the same goddamn mistakes as the Europeans, with the same eventual outcome.

Slight tangent, but China used to have great trading relations with Africa, apparently, and they did so fairly (unlike the Europeans): http://newafricanmagazine.com/chinas-long-history-africa/. Admiral Zheng He as previously on MeFi
posted by Buntix at 10:41 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


So it appears the fine for public urination in NYC is $50. Just throwing that out there.
posted by bongo_x at 10:54 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


It's driving me crazy that Trump's putting in all these irrelevant dinosaurs whose time has passed who are acting like it's the 80s or even the 60s, while meanwhile we're down to the wire on global warming and EVEN IF THEY DON'T BELIEVE IN THAT, it's pretty freaking clear that renewables is a huge growth sector.

Oh, it is so fricking weird!!! Everyone knows the money to be made is the future money, especially if you're an America Uber Alles type, you must be for the future money. All of America's past money, except for the slavery money, has been betting on the future money. Industry money, war money, consumer money, finance money, all of it future money. During the election, the more future money money was all for Hillary, and it lost. Today, post election, future money is sidelined, yesterday money is ascendant, and everybody knows we've made the wrong choice, but we're going with old money over new because those are the rules. Shrug. Even yesterday money advocates recognize this! It is so maddening. Can we not punch ourselves in the face when it comes to money, too? Can we get Capitalism right?

No we cannot. Feh.
posted by notyou at 11:04 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]


The Rules for Democrats Begin to Take Shape, and They're as Bad as You'd Expect
Oh, this feud is ushering in hyper-partisanship? Because it wasn't already happening? You mean -- just to take some examples from this week -- there was no hyper-partisanship in Senate Republicans' decision to hold an Obamacare destruction vote in the middle of the night, followed by a House vote to begin the dismantling in earnest, both of which were strictly along party lines? There was no hyper-partisanship in House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz's vow to continue investigating Hillary Clinton's emails, or in the president-elect's tweet describing Clinton as "guilty as hell"?

Oh, right, I forgot: There's no hyper-partisanship when Republicans portray Democrats as people unfit to live in decent society and Democratic policies as willfully destructive -- it's only hyper-partisanship when, as Lewis did, Democrats push back, or otherwise assert themselves.

[...]

I agree that Democrats should stay on offense. I agree that they should attack Trump on issues. But is Martin seriously suggesting that it was a mistake to stick up for Lewis? Is Martin saying that it was strategically unwise to defend a fellow Democrat, and express outrage that a man of Lewis's bravery and moral standing was maligned? [...]

Regrettably, that's where we stand right now. Defending John Lewis is playing into Trump's hands. Attacking Trump on his Russia ties reeks of partisanship if it's done by Democrats. And partisanship truly begins only when Democrats fight back.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:18 PM on January 15 [37 favorites]


Stop tweeting and get back to work PERIOD.

The big problem is he doesn't think he works for us. He sees being POTUS as a purely leadership role where he gets to wield as much power as he wants doing whatever he wants. He is now the king and we are merely his subjects; he does not answer to us, we answer to him. If we are lucky he may throw us a bone or two but he will spend most of his time and effort on building himself and his fortunes up.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:24 PM on January 15 [13 favorites]


I was thinking it would be great if everyone responded to his tweets with a simple "Fuck You", no matter what the topic.
A "Fuck You" postcard campaign would be good too. Going postcard shopping.


Trump lives in anger, traffics in anger, wallows in anger. Anger energizes him. Anger doesn't work.

Apparently, what works is laughter and mockery. When you're angry at someone, there's a tacit acknowledgement that they wield some kind of power to harm you. But when you're laughing at someone, you're unafraid of them, at least momentarily. I mean, the guy genuinely can't help himself from lashing out on Twitter every time Alec Baldwin appears on SNL. Remember the footage of the White House Correspondents Dinner from five or six years ago, where Obama tears him several new assholes from the podium while the entire room laughs? And the camera pans over to Trump, and he's just sitting hunched over at his table, stone-faced, immobilized, simmering with rage? That's his psychic kryptonite -- to know that the whole room thinks he is an absurd, inconsequential little creature.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 11:41 PM on January 15 [52 favorites]


The reply to Trumps tweets should be, "BORING! NEXT!"
posted by From Bklyn at 11:43 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]


Apparently, what works is laughter and mockery.

I do harbour a secret hope that one of the bands at the inauguration plays this (preferably as mid-song segue from Hail to the Chief).
posted by Buntix at 11:51 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Also, about the press: please do not otherize. There is no 'them,' journalists are not a single entity, acting in concert. When you say "fuck them" but "the individual journalists doing great work right now should not be included in that, they're OK,"


There are journalists, there are the editors, then there are the owners. Don't pretend like we don't live in a class based society and don't pretend like newspapers aren't hierarchical, authoritarian organizations.

reporters don't make all the decisions within a press workplace, it's ok to hate their bosses for their editorial positions and the positions on which stories are covered and which are not covered, regardless of the quality of the job the journalist does.
posted by eustatic at 12:02 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


fwiw, i found this month-old speech by newt gingrich 'explaining trumpism' interesting in the 'how they see themselves' vein (vs. how we paint them) -- (gnostic)* saviors of course, whether it's comprehensive or not :P count the military references (granted it's at the national defense university ;) and hunting metaphors! establishing security and acquiring provisions justifies all kinds of (primitive)† behavior from 'tribal chiefs' and also highlights the (shameless!) accuse-them-of-what-you're-doing aspect of their politicking. like in the Q&A at the end, i thought this was telling:
If you look at why is Haiti not developed? More than enough money has gone into Haiti to develop Haiti. You can't develop Haiti right now because the elites don't want it developed. It'll break their control. Why is it, in Africa there are countries that do not go to modern telecommunications? Well, because there are powerful local families making money off of highly rationed, inadequate communication system. I went to the World Bank, and I said, why is this going on? They said, well, because the local folks don't want change. I would say, we want to be in the business of really effective implementation. We want State and AID to be a part of a coordinated national strategy.
so elites in defense of an ancient régimes?

which brings me to...
What Vladimir Putin really wants from Donald Trump - "The Kremlin craves a world in which national interests replace international rules..." (multicultural cosmopolitanism is a thread to transnational fascism, cf. 'brexit saviours')

alongside this you have, as the grinch would have it: "the third great effort to break free from Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal system that has dominated American government for more than 80 years." (to fully turn back the 'third revolution' of progressive gov't)

> It seems to me that the invention of the internet is like the invention of airplanes. Imagine one side in a war had airplanes and the other side were still using cavalry. Russia is able to use the internet to bypass our defenses and get disinformation into Western countries the same way an airplane can bypass any ground-based defenses and hit any target it wants.
The Germans have swept through Poland. They've swept through France. It's the summer of 1940. George Marshall is Chief of Staff, calls in the Head of Cavalry, and says, "You've seen all this happening, what are you going to do about it?" And the Chief of Cavalry says, "Yes, we've studied it very carefully. We understand what the Germans did, and we understand why Polish cavalry failed. We believe this requires the development of trucks that can carry horses close to the edge of the battlefield so they will be fresh, and we think that's the key" and Marshall says, "Really? That's fascinating. This has been a most helpful meeting." The guy leaves, he calls in Beetle Smith, who was the Secretary at the time. He says, "I want you to retire him as of noon, and abolish the post of Commandant of Cavalry". We forget, one of the reason we fought World War II so well. Marshall was cutting out people ruthlessly, particularly if they were intellectuals but idiots...

The other candidates are all buying TV ads. He's showing up at a mass rally, which is covered live on television. He then has 20,000 people with smartphones who take his picture. They all send it out on Facebook and Instagram. If you figure 40 people per person, a 20,000 person rally, is an 800,000 person system, about twice the size of MSNBC. For free. There's no exchange rate you can create that makes sense. It's like trying to compare Polish cavalry and the Wehrmacht in 1939. These are totally different exchange rates.

Trump also understands that you have to be on permanent offense. If you look at the Wehrmacht, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the Israeli Army, they all have the same doctrine. If you are surprised, one third of your forces go into defense, two thirds go on counterattack. You never give up the initiative. That's Trump. Trump's core model is, you hit me, I hit back, and I hit harder than you hit. He learned it in the New York media when he was a business man. He's on permanent offense. He gets up in the morning figuring out, how am I going to stay on offense? He understands that the media has to chase rabbits, so he gives them rabbits to chase, because if he doesn't give them rabbits to chase, they'll invent a rabbit.

If you were to go back, for the last two weeks, and look at how many stories there were about Mitt Romney, and say to yourself, do you think Trump minded that the media was fascinated by whether or not Mitt Romney would be Secretary of State? He bought two weeks of non coverage because he gave them junk they could talk about, and the media has to talk about something. The simpler and more stupid it is, the easier it is for them to do it. He doesn't try to give them lectures that are complicated, because they can't cover it. He just releases a rabbit, often by tweet, and the media goes trotting after it happily.
so with media saturation (monopolizing attention) and kompromat on the other: "We have no models currently, for winning the fight over social media..."

oh and re: china/taiwan
I think the fact that Trump went for Tillerson to be Secretary of State tells you something. The fact that he went for General Mattis tells you something. He's going to have very sophisticated people around him. He's also sending a signal to the Chinese, which I think is very fair. I was actually swapping emails with a friend of mine who really understands China much better than I do. He was reminding me, once again, that in Beijing this whole problem of One China is central to their identity.

I wrote back a very simple message, which is also something Trump has said. You want to collaborate, or you want to compete? If you're going to build islands with no one else's approval, and you're going to set up air security zones over contested islands, with no one else's approval, and you're going to devalue the Yuan with nobody else's approval, don't come and tell us what we're allowed to do. If we happen to hit one of your hotspots, fine. You think they're going to go to war over Taiwan? They might, if Taiwan declared its independence. They won't if Trump just accepts a phone call. Plus, Trump's other point. We sell billions of dollars of weapons to Taiwan while refusing to take a phone call. Well, which is it?

I am absolutely for defending the territorial integrity of Taiwan as a free country, as long as we also remind the Taiwanese every morning, they can't declare independence. That's the balancing act. I think the Chinese need to understand, when the Director of National Intelligence staff said this year that the Chinese last year, stole 460 billion dollars in intellectual property, that the DNI's estimate, I think the Chinese are going to face some very tough negotiations, and they ought to get used to it. I think we're not going to tolerate being run over, and we're not going to tolerate being lied to and cheated. If that makes some people unhappy, fine. I think a certain amount of reassertion of American interest is legitimate.
that's the mindset (or newt's) at least; i'd be more like, 'steal' all the 'IP' you want :D esp photovoltaic technology; more power to you! but i'm guessing this is some kind of balance of power/global realignment plan that pits russia/US vs. china or something, back to replacing international rules with national interests.

---
† viz. "Our mental processes — our expectations, instincts, biases, heuristics — have formed over tens of thousands of years to handle a short, joyless life. We are coded to survive, not to choose, indulge and frolic."
posted by kliuless at 12:21 AM on January 16 [9 favorites]


It's going to be the Axis v the Allies all over again, just with a few small adjustments to team make-up and a wholesale swap of ideologies. Except Russia.
posted by Devonian at 1:03 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Or as Simon Schama puts it:

American Isolationism, Little Englandism and appeasement - the three moral pigmies of history now do their grim little smirking dance again

Courage, mes braves.
posted by Devonian at 1:15 AM on January 16 [18 favorites]


I'm mostly writing this comment as part of a process of thinking this whole thing through.

I think I mostly get Trump, himself, and why he's doing this. Alluded to up thread, he's basically a construction guy - and as big as the Trump Org is, it's basically just a juiced up family construction firm that's grown some tentacles. Mix that with serious narcissism, an aggressively confident but fundamentally not very bright mind, an ego the size of Manhattan, and possibly some dementia, and you can basically explain most of his behaviour.

What I don't get is the Republicans who have been kissing the ring, especially this week. I mean, if the Russian stuff is true (and it sure looks like it may be) then we're talking treason that will echo through history, here. We're talking the word Trump becoming synonymous with Benedict Arnold, kind of treason. We're talking, like, Judas.

The heat from that firestorm would surely destroy the careers of anybody contaminated by association, and would very likely destroy the Republican party.

That's the risk. Maybe it's not true - but if I were a Republican, I'd want to be damn sure. Even if it had a 10% chance of blowing up, the consequences of the explosion would be so dire I'd want to be certain.

So what are they thinking? I can only see a few options. They may simply buy the party line that it's trumped up bullshit like the Hilary emails and will eventually blow over. They may worry that it's true, but be confident that a smoking gun will never see the light of day. Maybe the think that even if there is a smoking gun, the American public won't care.

I guess I still don't understand why you wouldn't put some daylight between yourself and Trump, as even the slightest chance of Trump treason has massive consequences. Just in case.

If I were a Republican, I'd be very nervous this week. It looks like the IC is winding up for one solid punch before Friday. I'd be wondering what they have.
posted by generichuman at 1:45 AM on January 16 [13 favorites]


The Republican leadership think they can get away with it, and they're probably right. Their calculus is: if it's not true, then we benefit from closer relations with the WH and excitement from the base. If Trump did collude with Russians, then we can all put on our shocked faces for a week or month, and then get back to repealing Obamacare. Only this time it will be with Pence.

There will be no shortage of Democrats available for bipartisan news conferences and investigations, if the worst is true. The feckless Republicans will use them for cover. "Who coulda ever suspected?!? We all acted as soon as we knew and we'll go forward, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans to restore our nation's future." You can easily imagine Schumer and McConnell at the podium together. Looking oh so serious & solemn.

This all hinges on Trump being found out shortly. Before any real damage is done. Once Trump dissolves NATO, encourages the Russian forces burning Kiev, and secretly transfers all the gold in Ft. Knox into Russian hands, then the above calculus and cover probably won't save the GOP leadership.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:38 AM on January 16 [17 favorites]


"So no one is moving out of the White House. That is the White House, where you can fit four times the number of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more coverage from all over the country ... That's what we're talking about."

They probably want a bigger room so that they can hold press briefings (not press conferences) like Putin's annual ones. More room for journalists from Better Homes & Gardens and Sports Illustrated.
posted by rory at 2:55 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


That's the risk. Maybe it's not true - but if I were a Republican, I'd want to be damn sure. ... They may worry that it's true, but be confident that a smoking gun will never see the light of day.

Hello there, and welcome to the 21st century!

The words "true" and "not true" don't mean what you think they mean anymore, and they are certainly not as important.
posted by sour cream at 4:17 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


The words "true" and "not true" don't mean what you think they mean anymore, and they are certainly not as important.

I should have said more accurately, I'd want to be sure that there wasn't a media-friendly narratival smoking gun. Like a piss-tape. Or actual footage of, like, Conway taking a briefcase full of money from a Russian gangster.

In Obama's farewell address, he reminded us all that reality has a way of catching up. That can be taken a encouragement to you and me, but just as much as a threat to the Republicans. In that spinning chamber of the Russian roulette pistol they're playing with, there miiiiight just be a bullet.
posted by generichuman at 4:26 AM on January 16 [12 favorites]


Apparently, what works is laughter and mockery.

See also: Mel Brooks' Springtime for Hitler
posted by mikelieman at 4:57 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]




What makes you think Trump, the GOP-controlled Congress and Theresa May will give a shit what the EC says? If you want the EU to fall apart, ignoring the EC is a decent way to light a match.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:11 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


I don't know.
posted by tel3path at 5:11 AM on January 16


the EC says UK can't negotiate any trade deals with the US until after Brexit.

Not to derail, but what if they do negotiate anyway? Does the EU have any means to stop them? What could they do to stop them?

And to bring this back on track, sometimes I think that Trump has a better handle on reality than many of his critics. He realizes that what is or is not "allowed" does not necessarily coincide with what is or is not possible.
posted by sour cream at 5:12 AM on January 16 [12 favorites]


I know that, and in fact have always known that. I'm just trying to figure out what, as a UK citizen, to do next, and I guess I was hoping someone might have some constructive suggestions, other than sneering at my naiveté and reminding me of the total depravity of everyone with any influence at all over either of our respective governments.

Of course that would've been too much to hope for even under the best of conditions, which do not currently apply.
posted by tel3path at 5:16 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


@AFP: Merkel says Europe's fate is "in our own hands"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:17 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Stop tweeting and get back to work PERIOD.

I opened a Twitter account just to talk back to him. It's been amazingly cathartic.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:17 AM on January 16 [11 favorites]


if I were a Republican, I'd want to be damn sure. Even if it had a 10% chance of blowing up, the consequences of the explosion would be so dire I'd want to be certain.

So what are they thinking?


Honestly I think most Republicans are just trying to keep their heads down until after the inauguration. He was JUST elected. He's still popular with their constituents. Most of them endorsed him (and I still suspect some of them may have been threatened/bribed/extorted into doing so).

If they publicly turn on him now, they look like idiots. They enrage the constituents who elected them, and him. Besides, they can't remove him before he is inaugurated.

They are waiting for him to become toxicly unpopular. Then and only then can they impeach him without destroying their own careers.

I do believe that most of them are rooting for that to happen sooner rather than later.

Ryan is too prominent to hide. He is walking a tightrope right now.

...Why they decided to start moving on Obamacare right NOW under those circumstances is what I really don't understand. It seems like it can't end well for them, politicly. They don't have a better plan. Because the problems with Obamacare deep problems with the healthcare sector, actually, not trivial flaws in the plan. The more serious Republicans must know this, and know that their constituents are not going to be satisfied with the realistic outcomes of "repeal and replace."

And unless they nuke the filibuster, they can't really put a new plan into place anyway. All they can do is blow up the current system and screw everybody, including big insurance companies, who must be lobbying them hard not to do that.

So... What is in it politically for them to move this fast? Why not ignore the reconciliation option, propose a straightforward repeal, let the Dems filibuster their bills... and then blame Democratic obstruction when nothing changes? That seems like the better political move.

I'm wondering if they are trying to go fast so they can blame whatever disaster happens on Trump, before they dump Trump. Maybe?
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:19 AM on January 16 [11 favorites]


In order to know what is 'possible' requires judgement and I'm not convinced Trump has that. C.f. his goading China with Taiwan. Without doing a little reading, a little studying how can you be sure you know all the wrinkles? He might have a tight sense of how to win the room, but that doesn't mean what he has brought to the room is the smartest/best deal possible.
Sadly I think the best explanation for what guides his behavior is pressure from Russia.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:25 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


They had a WaPo correspondent on Ontario Morning half an hour ago to talk about the impending inauguration. She was saying that obviously everything is ready but the mood of the capital towards this one is not very celebratory, which makes for a weird atmosphere. Then she launched into the musical acts the Trump admin were able to book, saying "...3 Doors Down, which I had to google."

TL;DR: ain't no one excited
posted by Kitteh at 5:27 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


This is actually very serious. Does donnie recognize that? Does he care?

While Trump's Dr. Lebowski is away grooving to the sounds his new air conditioner is laying down, perhaps there's some way we could discuss the idea that the guy who's going to crash everything into the nearest tree on Friday is not very sane?

Mental health discussions, here as in other places, are very delicate and our T-rump discussions are not, so it's a bit of a sticky wicket but it seems like we should be talking more about that.

If for no other reason than to transmute the infinite lack of evens into more nuanced takes of his ever-bizarre actions.
posted by petebest at 5:34 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


TL;DR: ain't no one excited

Everyone I know in DC is either protesting or getting the hell out of the city for the weekend.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 5:36 AM on January 16 [19 favorites]


Well? In my unqualified opinion, he probably has a personality disorder, but it's not clear whether a personality disorder counts as a mental illness:

The British Journal of Psychiatry Feb 2002, 180 (2) 110-115; DOI: 10.1192/bjp.180.2.110

And not to be cynical, but I would expect that certain personality disorders predispose some people to run for political office, so where do you draw the line? Can you see how problematic it could be to prevent certain people from taking office on the basis of a personality disorder diagnosis?

I mean, I agree that Trump is overtly unfit for office, but unless he were displaying signs of actual psychosis then it seems to be a matter of taste what degree of personality dysfunction is acceptable, and enough of the voting public have made their tastes sufficiently clear. Short of proving direct tampering with actual voting mechanisms, it would seem that their votes stand. (No, the UK doesn't have proportional representation either.)

Short of proving that Trump is having hallucinations or whatever, I doubt there's any way of disqualifying him now on grounds of mental incapacity.
posted by tel3path at 5:45 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


I also don't know why Republicans are blindly supporting Trump. He is already toxic and unpopular. The only reason he was elected is a combo of Russia/Comey and that Kellyanne kept him away from Twitter for the two weeks prior to the election. His moderate supporters have created a fantasy Trump and don't seem excited by the real (unhinged) one.

My only theory is that GOP lawmakers think they can get away with repealing ACA in the wake of the election and did not expect the amount of pushback they are getting from the press, democrats and people. I had never called a senator or congressman/woman before this election and now I have them on speed dial and call almost every day. I am definitely not alone. These people are not used to having us pay attention and don't really know what to do with it. Our republican senator is doing a good job ignoring his constituents, but also getting quite a bit of bad press about it. My hope is that there are more of us and at some point they have to listen to us.
posted by rainydayfilms at 5:45 AM on January 16 [46 favorites]


Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer spoke with Tamron Hall and Willie Geist of the NBC TODAY Show Monday, and briefly used the platform to rail against the cold open from this past weekend’s Saturday Night Live.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:51 AM on January 16 [6 favorites]


The reason why Republicans are supporting Trump is because, like, they want to hold on to their jobs? Sure, only 35-40% of voters currently have a favorable opinion of Trump. But those people are Republicans. Who elect Republican politicians. Who need Republican support to stay in office.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:52 AM on January 16 [6 favorites]


I also don't know why Republicans are blindly supporting Trump. He is already toxic and unpopular.

Some combination of:
1) Pure human denial and groupthink. Thinking they'll somehow come out of this clean as long as they behave like everyone else.
2) Authoritarianism is a prime predictor of conservative ideology and they're cowering before the silverback.
3) They didn't expect him to win in the first place, planning instead to spend another 4 years being shitty obstructionists, without a backup plan, and are screaming behind quietly sad eyes.
4) Actual preference for Nero With Nukes as long as he's racist enough and opposed enough to human rights.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:55 AM on January 16 [31 favorites]


I opened a Twitter account just to talk back to him. It's been amazingly cathartic.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:17 AM on January 16


This. Although I haven't been sassing back at Trump so much as I have been praising my state senators for standing up to him (and encouraging them to boycott the inauguration) as well as sending my awful rep data on why the ACA works.

I also like sending Ryan data on the ACA and use Twitter to amplify my district and state Indivisible group.

I am still calling my rep and my senators regularly- tweeting doesn't replace that -but it feels good to do a little public pushback.

Oh and my other Twitter account I use for sending advertisers screenshots of their ads on Breitbart as part of Sleeping Giants - that also feels good because they are having success.
posted by hilaryjade at 5:57 AM on January 16 [14 favorites]


The reason why Republicans are supporting Trump is because, like, they want to hold on to their jobs? Sure, only 35-40% of voters currently have a favorable opinion of Trump. But those people are Republicans.

Yes, but those numbers are not guaranteed forever. How many Republicans had a good opinion of Nixon, or even George W., by the end of their presidencies? Smart Republicans should be able to see that Trump's approval numbers have nowhere to go but down. Do they want to go down with him?

(This is all assuming our political system stays basically intact and that none of them have been waking up with horseheads in their beds, though...)

I forget which prominent Republican said that all they needed out of a president was someone who could work a pen, to sign their bills into law. I kind of think that's what Reagan and W were. But while it worked out for the party with Reagan, W shows how it can backfire. With Trump, it is likely to backfire spectacularly.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:02 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


With Trump, it is likely to backfire spectacularly.

I am impressed by your optimism, and wonder where it comes from.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:05 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Was hoping Buntix's link would go here.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:06 AM on January 16


Well, because the Republican majority will have a President who won't do what they want.
posted by tel3path at 6:08 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Some combination of: ...

I'd add

5) They expect the worst result will be a return to the status quo (in a slightly reduced position).

Taking UK politics as an illustrative microcosm: recently 2 of the longest running political parties in history have been torn apart by the centripetal forces of their willingness to forgo all historical principles in the pursuit of power [particularly north of the wall].

The dead pool odds for the Republican party really aren't good (for them) at this point. But it's kinda even between them and all-of-us who survives to poll another day.
posted by Buntix at 6:10 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Well, because the Republican majority will have a President who won't do what they want.

Depends what they want, really. They are not like us, they are not driven by the same things. there may be a lot more than we despise they are willing to give up if they feel the right people are being hurt.
posted by Artw at 6:14 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Congressional GOP are not moving against Trump yet because they are still waiting to see to what degree he will 1) sign off on legislation they want to pass and 2) not push programs that are wildly unpopular that will make the GOP lose seats in 2018.

I really believe they won't move against him until it is politically expedient to do so. His approval is gobsmackingly low, but it was gobsmackingly low before the election and the GOP did OK. They know this.

That is why it is very important to keep calling your MoCs and to recruit other people to do so. Let your elected officials know that we are out there, we are pissed, we are growing, and we are ready to vote them the hell out.
posted by Tevin at 6:16 AM on January 16 [22 favorites]


Also quite a few elected Republicans are dumber than a sack of hammers (Gohmert, for one) and haven't learned to do anything but yelp the right catchphrases on cue.
posted by emjaybee at 6:18 AM on January 16 [31 favorites]


Yes, I understand that Republican politicians do not have the same values as me. That had not escaped my awareness.

I also understand that THEY know what side their bread's buttered on. Trump does too, but it's not the same loaf of bread, and his fellow Republicans are not high on his priority list.

It may not be inevitable that Trump's party will turn on him. But it is absolutely inevitable that Trump will turn on his party. Do you see what I mean?
posted by tel3path at 6:24 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Goodness, Trump actually tweeted something I have no reservations about.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for. Honor him for being the great man that he was!
For a moment I thought I was reading @MatureTrumpTwts!
posted by Coventry at 6:25 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]


Did someone already link this story about a Dem/Bernie rally? It's good stuff.

Democrats and labor organizers spent Sunday at dozens of rallies across the country, pledging to fight in Congress against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and any attempt to change Medicare or Medicaid. The party’s leaders faced crowds ranging in size from dozens to thousands of people, urging them to call Republicans and protest the push for repeal.

“Nobody’s gonna shut us up! Nobody’s gonna turn us around!” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the Democrats’ 2016 vice-presidential candidate, at a rally in Richmond that drew a crowd of at least 1,000. “We’re standing in the breach and battling for tens of millions of Americans!”

“Our First Stand,” the catchall theme for the protests, represents one of the earliest protests by an opposition party against an incoming president. Brainstormed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Democratic leaders in Congress, each rally introduced crowds to men and women who had faced death or bankruptcy before the ACA went into effect, then challenged Republicans to listen to their stories.

posted by emjaybee at 6:26 AM on January 16 [26 favorites]


I am baffled by the faith in "good Republicans" on display. From here in the heart of let's-outlaw-trans-women-and-also-abortion land, Republican support for Trumpism requires exactly zero convoluted theorizing to understand. I had thought we had already hit that point on a national level, but I guess not.

I suppose I'll keep posting these kinds of things, then, until it sinks in. The status quo is a sunk ship. This is "normal" now.

New Bill Aims To Make Abortion a Felony in Texas
Previously, as with HB 2, GOP lawmakers have hidden behind the thin veil of “women’s health” when making laws that limit access to abortion in the state. But the new proposal is clear in its motive and comes after the Republican Party of Texas declared “abolishing abortion by enacting legislation to stop the murder of unborn children” as a priority for the legislative session.

The bill, which directs state officials to ignore “any conflicting federal” laws, would criminalize abortion except when a mother’s life is at risk due to pregnancy complications. The bill classifies a fetus as a “living human child” from the moment of conception, and it argues that a fetus has the same privileges and rights as “any other human child.”
posted by byanyothername at 6:29 AM on January 16 [30 favorites]


FWIW there are barricades up in DC as of yesterday (including the Library of Congress) and military folk in uniform walking around on the streets (more than is usual). The mood on Capitol Hill is not celebratory at all. It is the sort of nervousness that accompanies a forecast of confirmed, imminent bad weather.
posted by datawrangler at 6:31 AM on January 16 [26 favorites]


It's been amazingly cathartic.

Indeed it has.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:36 AM on January 16 [12 favorites]


Anyone know of a reliable list of current Breitbart advertisers? That seems like an easy fix -- targeted boycotts to take down the ones most vulnerable to controversy and consumer choice, scare the others away. It's worked well for reducing the power and reach of Rush Limbaugh, albeit helped by his reliance on a dying medium (and dying audience).

There are no good republicans. There are only republicans who act out of ignorance and ideological brittleness and fear more than malice. I know a few of them. Of course their ignorance is malicious in effect. And a lot of "nice" republicans are covering up a private level of (usually racist) malice.
posted by spitbull at 6:37 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Speaking of the new normal, today while driving into a large, liberal, metropolitan city, I saw a swastika.
posted by corb at 6:38 AM on January 16 [11 favorites]


When did I say anything about good Republicans? I said Trump was inevitably going to turn on the Republicans. To be clear, all I meant that to imply was self-interested Republicans.
posted by tel3path at 6:39 AM on January 16


To be fair, in our liberal, modern, cosmopolitan city you and I, corb, are contributing our very high taxes to the expensive protection of a fascist demagogue, and he lives in midtown.

Not to Godwin or anything but wtf Trump Godwined us all .... Berlin was a liberal, modern, cosmopolitan city in 1933.
posted by spitbull at 6:40 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


"High Risk Pool" is certainly a phrase and it is a phrase in English but it makes no sense from an Insurance point of view.


I worked for a year as a Personal Lines Insurance analyst in Ontario. Ontario has a 'high risk pool' for automobile insurance (we are a no fault insurance province). It works by putting all of the drivers that are high risk from all of the insurance companies into one large pool that is run independently of all of the insurance companies and jointly funded by them based on their percentage of the market share. It's basically a small tax on all insurance companies working within the market.

It has to exist because everyone who drives is required by law to have insurance, even the truly terrible drivers. If a customer tries to sign up with an insurance company that company HAS TO INSURE THEM. They get no choice - in fact they were considered to be insured from the moment of contact before they even pay anything or sign anything. So companies dump the customers that they don't think will be profitable into the risk pool.

The funny thing is ...the year I worked as analyst the risk pool was actually profitable and beat some of the regular car insurance books because regression to the mean can sometimes bite your ass hard.

It's pretty unlikely to work that way with health care though since getting really sick is usually a one way street, a lot less random than driving accidents and with fewer alternative treatment options.
posted by srboisvert at 6:41 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


Anyone know of a reliable list of current Breitbart advertisers?

Spitbull, check out Sleeping Giants--people are tweeting snapshots of advertising and encouraging companies to stop.
posted by armacy at 6:42 AM on January 16 [22 favorites]


Thanks armacy.
posted by spitbull at 6:44 AM on January 16


I am baffled by the faith in "good Republicans" on display.

Yeah, some Republicans may, individually, be decent and honorable people who want what they think is best for the country (I've been surprisingly impressed by Evan McMullin, recently, for instance); but the Republican Party as a collective is morally and ideologically bankrupt; their platform is an ugly mishmash of bigotry ("religious freedom to discriminate" laws, persecution of trans people, etc), spite ("I don't want my tax dollars going to those people"; this is the animating force behind things like Social Security and welfare cuts and ACA repeal), ignorance ("climate change is a hoax!"), misogyny, and authoritarianism ("blue lives matter!", willingness to spend a fuckton of $$$ on the military, the police, and prisons even if they're gutting everything else). And if you vote Republican, you're enabling all this. Republican officeholders are by and large endorsing it by virtue of that "R" next to their names. Pretending that there's any good faith there seems kind of foolish.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 6:44 AM on January 16 [16 favorites]


It continues to amaze me that it really can get worse every single day. The fact that Trump is going to actively work to break up the EU kind of crept up on me. I mean the writing was on the wall, but I'd been too focused on other horrors to really stop and think about this particular disaster.
posted by diogenes at 6:44 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


"Just wait until [authoritarian x] does something really crazy -- then you'll see his party turn on him!" -- a thing said in history, what, a billion times?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:45 AM on January 16 [32 favorites]


byanyothername, this is not new, and is of course going to be challenged assuming it passes. It's an attempt to take down Roe v. Wade, one in a long line of attempts. Given the situation on the Court, of course, there's a chance it might work, but even then it's going to take some time and the prochoice side is veterans in fighting this kind of thing.

I'm not minimizing it; I've definitely learned this year not to assume the stupidest/least Constitutional/worst-case thing CAN'T happen. But we're past panic and on to strategy.

Abortion remains a constant problem largely because, as Fred Clark at Slacktivist so brilliantly explained, once segregation became unacceptable, it was a fallback moral "high ground" that gives cover to other, less palatable Republican positions. In other words, if you can call someone "baby killer" you make it harder for them to criticize your kowtowing to the very rich and dismantling civil rights and infrastructure.

It's a sort of nutshell example of the Democratic problem: an issue that is nothing but moral grays and requires nuance and some scientific understanding and also respect for women. The Republican argument tosses all that messiness out, appeals to misogyny, and thus remains powerful for their base.
posted by emjaybee at 6:46 AM on January 16 [13 favorites]


All right then, Trump is never going to turn against the Republicans. Saying he is, is just an expression of my contemptibly naive belief in virtuous Republicans. Got it.

I'll just sit here and wait for whatever happens next to us here in the isolated UK. Thanks for your support, friends.
posted by tel3path at 6:47 AM on January 16


There are no good republicans. There are only republicans who act out of ignorance and ideological brittleness and fear more than malice. I know a few of them. Of course their ignorance is malicious in effect. And a lot of "nice" republicans are covering up a private level of (usually racist) malice.

Up here in Canada if I'm really interested in finding out what a 'nice' or 'good' person is like deeper down I'll bring up something to do with First Nations. It barely ever fails as a litmus test. With other groups there seems to be an understanding that you can only talk freely with people you know feel the same so it doesn't always work.
posted by Jalliah at 6:49 AM on January 16 [27 favorites]


This is all assuming our political system stays basically intact

sssssOooooh, bad news there.

I would expect that certain personality disorders predispose some people to run for political office, so where do you draw the line?

I'd sayyyy . . . Inability to complete a sentence or elucidate a complex thought?
A manic need to lie or steadfast inability to answer direct questions?
An exclusive reliance on Fox news and twitter for intelligence briefing (admittedly a difficult one to define)?
A definite and predictable pattern of insults and misinformed judgements as sole communication with our global partners and governmental agencies?
Continued and flagrant lack of respect to the office, the government, federal law, his immediate direct reports?
Permanent inability to learn complex concepts such as economics, diplomacy, world affairs, or basic empathy?
An inability to accept criticism at any time in any form?
An immediate rush to lash out when criticized in any way?
Violent comments against genders, groups, or nations as standard fare?

Y'know, like that.
posted by petebest at 6:49 AM on January 16 [6 favorites]


Trump is already advocating positions that go against Republican orthodoxy. Your mistake is thinking that Trump will not turn against Republicans, but that's backwards. It's Republicans who will find ways to excuse Trump's behavior and then, slowly, adopt them.

Denigrating NATO -- not currently a GOP position, but give it a few months.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:49 AM on January 16 [18 favorites]


Seconding byanyothername's comment on the centrality of abortion to many Republicans' adherence to Trump, and to Trump's likelihood of being re-elected.

There are HUGE numbers of people out there for whom "progress" on this issue - measured by the overturn of Roe v. Wade - would be sufficient reason to vote for Trump, either again or for the first time.

Every other setback in their own lives, and in the life of their community, can be plausibly blamed on Democrats generally and Obama specifically, especially on the time scale of a mere four years. Take away their healthcare, tweet us into wars (trade and real), rig the tax code for the rich, make life miserable for any minority you care to name, force us to think about whatever scandal you think will matter. None of that will make one microspeck of difference. He saved unborn children. Let's reward him and the senators/representatives who stood grinning with him while he did it.
posted by Caxton1476 at 6:50 AM on January 16 [19 favorites]


what if they do negotiate anyway? Does the EU have any means to stop them? What could they do to stop them?

Trade sanctions come to mind.
posted by Coventry at 6:50 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


*looks out from blanket fort*

"Is it over yet?!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


"With Trump, it is likely to backfire spectacularly."

I am impressed by your optimism, and wonder where it comes from.


Oh, that's pessimism. I'm saying he's likely to screw up badly, hurt the country, to be a terrible and deeply unpopular president. Even the most thoroughly conned mark eventually realizes they've been conned.

If we still have a democracy, then association with Trump will come back to bite Republicans in the ass, assuming you pessimisticly believe he will totally screw everything up.

Of course there's still a question as to whether our democratic system will survive. If not, the opinion of the people won't matter. On that question I am starting to become more optimistic, because of the size of the backlash we're seeing, and the momentum of the scandals barreling down on him. But it's still a very cautious optimism. The threat to democracy is still very real.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:54 AM on January 16


I don't know if you're referring to me, but when you say

Your mistake is thinking that Trump will not turn against Republicans

that is not in fact my mistake, because what I said was

it is absolutely inevitable that Trump will turn on his party.

But whatever, like I said, the UK government just made a Chamberlain-style agreement with this guy and not only am I completely alone in trying to figure out how to deal with this, but I'm already getting my arguments mischaracterized here as not-left-enough or whatever.

But then, you guys appear to be in much more immediate danger, for now, and there's nothing whatsoever that I or anyone can do to help you, so I'll have to figure out on my own if there's anything I can do to help my fellow UK citizens here.
posted by tel3path at 6:56 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Speaking of the new normal, today while driving into a large, liberal, metropolitan city, I saw a swastika.

In sort of fairness, in large, liberal metropolitan cities that isn't something that only racist skinheads do. It's also something that especially clueless young white doofuses do in the guise of "reclaiming the symbol" or similar twaddle. So very brave.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:56 AM on January 16


Yeah, the abortion thing is kind of this impossible third rail, that I keep hoping advances in technology will make unnecessary. Like that maybe someday pregnancy tests will be advanced enough they would alert when fetuses could be removed at just handful of cells, which could be removed and preserved for anybody who wanted to adopt them. Or as I call it, the SciFi Will Save Us solution.
posted by corb at 7:03 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


My comment was inartful, tel3path. I meant to say that you're not wrong in thinking that Trump will upend GOP thinking and, at times, take positions oppositional to conservative ideology and his own party. My argument is that it won't matter, because elected Republicans will offer little, if any, pushback. That's at least been the story so far. One just needs to look at all of his rivals who have so quickly and cowardly fallen in line. If that trajectory changes, I'll be happy for it, but I just don't see it.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:04 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


That would count as birth control, which they are also against.
posted by Artw at 7:05 AM on January 16 [13 favorites]


I'll just sit here and wait for whatever happens next to us here in the isolated UK. Thanks for your support, friends.

Well it may not mean much but last I heard Canada isn't abandoning you regardless of what happens.

Canada is finding itself in a very disorienting position in all this. It's like we're sitting here, being really quite normal, with no major threats to social progress we've made, relatively minor issue with immigrant inspired animosity and we're watching the world we closely tied to go sideways.
WTF do we do?

FFS sake I overheard a conversation of our local McDonalds senior coffee klatch debating about who we should side with now since the US is going Russian.
posted by Jalliah at 7:05 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


Or as I call it, the SciFi Will Save Us solution.

Or as pro-choice advocates call it, permanent criminalization of a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:05 AM on January 16 [23 favorites]


I am also Canadian.

I am about to renew my passport, not out of panic but as a matter of routine. Feels like being caught between a rock and a hard place though.
posted by tel3path at 7:07 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


This is quite interesting: A machine-learning competition for the identification of fake news.
posted by Coventry at 7:08 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


A machine-learning competition for the identification of fake news.

Great, now instead of A/B testing and focus groups the disinformation vendors can just test their stories against an algorithm.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:11 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


I was raised Catholic. At 13, I realized that my local church was pressuring us to vote Republican in elections based on the abortion issue and demonized abortion providers, portraying them as callous monsters who didn't care about children or their patients, which clashed with my own research on the issue. So I rejected both the propaganda and the demonization as soon as I knew that was what they were doing, and I was honestly off-put even then that they were trying to influence our political views at such a young age. There are many reasons I ultimately rejected my church (LGBT+ rights and women being unable to become priests other major ones), but that was a big one.

But a lot of my peers didn't do research to get the other side of the story. I'm willing to bet a lot of them are reliable GOP voters now.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 7:11 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


uh, I'm not allowed to show you because it's classified -- Trump attempts to leak classified intel, poorly.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:13 AM on January 16


Like that maybe someday pregnancy tests will be advanced enough they would alert when fetuses could be removed at just handful of cells, which could be removed and preserved for anybody who wanted to adopt them.

I would take abortion and a prison term over the terrible violence that would do to my moral system, which is pretty rudimentary all things considered but, I am proud to say, does still exist. If I don't have a child there is no one to whom I am infinitely responsible and thus nothing to be guilty of, but knowing that I made the raw materials for a child and put them in the human equivalent of a take-a-penny, leave-a-penny jar for any pro-life woman-hater to pick up and pocket and make miserable all their days? no, I will take the home surgery and the septic shock and the public shaming if I survive, first. the products of my body deserve better than to be given out like lollipops at the dentist's office to any fucker who wants them.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:13 AM on January 16 [48 favorites]


"We are sorry to inform you that robot Bleep Bloop Max 2000™ did not detect your pregnancy within the first four days of fertilization. However, since your fetus is now nearly the size of a poppy seed, termination is outlawed per the Every Baby A Miracle Act of 2017. Any harm that comes to your baby will be punishable in accordance with your state's laws regarding unlawful death. Thank you for visiting your local Uber Health Clinic! If you've enjoyed your experience, will you please let us know? And as always, tips are appreciated!"
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:13 AM on January 16 [44 favorites]


In sort of fairness, in large, liberal metropolitan cities that isn't something that only racist skinheads do. It's also something that especially clueless young white doofuses do in the guise of "reclaiming the symbol" or similar twaddle. So very brave.

"Are you telling me I can't do something because of the color of my skin? You're the racist! I'm taking it back, you watch!" /s
posted by Talez at 7:14 AM on January 16



This makes me feel better (and proud) but I'm also realistic enough to know that Justin and Canadian officials are more then likely going to have to play some 'kiss-ass' Trump diplomacy so we don't get utterly kicked in the teeth over trade deals. Even though I know this is why it's still going to be hard to watch.

Asked about Trump, Trudeau promises to stand for feminism and diversity

During a town hall forum in Belleville, Ont., Trudeau was asked about how a Trump presidency would impact Canada's relations with the United States. Trudeau joked that everyone in the audience leaned forward when the question was asked.

As he has in the past, Trudeau focused first on the economic ties between the two countries. He said the Liberal government emphasized those links in their initial discussions with the new administration.

"Canadians expect their government to have a constructive working relationship with the incoming American administration, and that's exactly what we're going to do," he said.

"We're going to make sure that we are fighting for Canadian jobs, Canadian economic growth, for opportunities for Canadians as it regards both our relations with the United States and indeed with the world."

But Trudeau also enumerated his own principles.

"At the same time, Canada is a separate country from the United States and there are things that we hold dear that the Americans haven't prioritized," he said.

'Immigration is a source of strength'

"And I'm never going to shy away from standing up for what I believe in — whether it's proclaiming loudly to the world that I am a feminist, whether it's understanding that immigration is a source of strength for us and Muslim Canadians are an essential part of the success of our country today and into the future."

The audience applauded.

posted by Jalliah at 7:16 AM on January 16 [28 favorites]


(not trying to derail things into my favorite abortion discussion just wanted to affirm that this shit is not new)

(carry on)
posted by emjaybee at 7:17 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


From Martin Luther King's Nobel Lecture in December 1964, a month after Goldwater was crushed in the presidential election. Sad that America was able to live up to MLK's ideals 50 years ago, but not today.
Another indication that progress is being made was found in the recent presidential election in the United States. The American people revealed great maturity by overwhelmingly rejecting a presidential candidate who had become identified with extremism, racism, and retrogression. The voters of our nation rendered a telling blow to the radical right. They defeated those elements in our society which seek to pit white against Negro and lead the nation down a dangerous Fascist path.
posted by chris24 at 7:17 AM on January 16 [24 favorites]


finished up the get back to work twitter bot. account is here:
https://twitter.com/you_work_for_me


Heres the source on github if you'd like to fork, or suggest some insults to add:
https://github.com/localhuman/backtowork
I'm still working on some documentation so it can easily be setup by others.

The bot selects a random insult from a list, and then selects a random emoji from a list to append to the end. It does this since twitter doesn't like tweets that are the same.

It runs on a cron every 5 minutes to check for new tweets and reply to them if the bot hasn't already done so.

It hasn't yet replied in real time, since our dear leader to be hasn't tweeted since i finished the setup, but we'll see what happens the next time he does.
posted by localhuman at 7:22 AM on January 16 [67 favorites]


The main objection I have to the MLK Day tweet is that Trump has demonstrated through his actions, right back to calling for the executions of the Central Park Five, that he has no respect for what MLK and others fought for in innumerable ways already. It's a completely empty, hollow gesture.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 7:22 AM on January 16 [16 favorites]


uh, I'm not allowed to show you because it's classified -- Trump attempts to leak classified intel, poorly.

What is he even trying to talk about? Holy hell.

"I looked at something uh, I'm not allowed to show because it's classified - but I just looked at Afghanistan and you look at the Taliban - and you take a look at every, every year and it's more, more, more, you know they have the different colors - an you say, you know - what's going on?
posted by Jalliah at 7:25 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Does breaking up the EU jive with any strain of traditional conservative thought, or is it pure Putin?
posted by diogenes at 7:28 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


What is he even trying to talk about? Holy hell.
Trump-speak is typically off-the-cuff, unconsidered, contradictory, strongly expressed, and essentially transitory. It mixes long-held beliefs and prejudices with barely-grasped facts and dawning realities. It’s like a bloke talking loudly in the pub who “just read this stuff in the paper”.
A guide to Trump-speak (grauniad)
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:30 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


Well there is the evangelical belief that the EU is part of the Antichrist's gang during the End Times and therefore bad.
posted by emjaybee at 7:30 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


What is he even trying to talk about? Holy hell.

Yes. That.

Now when he starts talking back to voices only he can hear, what do we do?
posted by petebest at 7:32 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


I never thought I'd see a U.S. President who was more inarticulate and ill-informed than GWB, but here we are...for the time being, at least.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:33 AM on January 16 [13 favorites]


I looked at something uh, I'm not allowed to show because it's classified - but I just looked at Afghanistan and you look at the Taliban - and you take a look at every, every year and it's more, more, more, you know they have the different colors - an you say, you know - what's going on?

I guess he saw a map showing that the Taliban has been gaining territory in Afghanistan, but he's not clear on how the colors on the map convey that. Like he saw a map, and someone told him something, but he can't quite wrap his head around the relationship between the two.
posted by diogenes at 7:33 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


"I looked at something uh, I'm not allowed to show because it's classified - but I just looked at Afghanistan and you look at the Taliban - and you take a look at every, every year and it's more, more, more, you know they have the different colors - an you say, you know - what's going on?

His standard catch phrases of "what is going on?" and "something is going on" aren't going to work in a week. It's his job to know or find out, "what is going on" and fix it, or take the blame for "what's going on."

Or at least that's how government has historically worked. Now that nothing matters and we live in a post-truth, post-facts society, I guess who knows. Maybe he can rule by constantly having no answers and asking "what is going on?" at every public appearance. Rust Belt voters haven't cared yet, and there's no evidence they ever will.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:34 AM on January 16 [16 favorites]


@softreeds:
Trump says it's impossible Russia has anything on him because he's too careful
Trump confessed to sexual assault while wearing a lapel mic
posted by chris24 at 7:37 AM on January 16 [82 favorites]


Great, now instead of A/B testing and focus groups the disinformation vendors can just test their stories against an algorithm.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:11 on 1/16


I wish there was a phrase we could use when the name and the comment match...
posted by qcubed at 7:38 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


"What's going on?" will become "I think you all know what's going on *wink wink*" whenever he'll need a scapegoat or a distraction.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:39 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Reading his wordsalad tea-leaves can't work. Other than as morbid entertainment.

He can either figure out how to communicate as a sane adult PEOTUS, or we can begin the (additionally) long, terrifying process of removing him for his "inability to discharge the duties of his (sic) office".
posted by petebest at 7:39 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Where/how can citizens of various localities be apprised of threat levels and suggested actions/precautions this week?
posted by slipthought at 7:39 AM on January 16


His standard catch phrases of "what is going on?" and "something is going on" aren't going to work in a week.

He's going to switch to saying "Hey, Wha' Happened?"
posted by diogenes at 7:39 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


I would take abortion and a prison term over the terrible violence that would do to my moral system, which is pretty rudimentary all things considered but, I am proud to say, does still exist. If I don't have a child there is no one to whom I am infinitely responsible and thus nothing to be guilty of, but knowing that I made the raw materials for a child and put them in the human equivalent of a take-a-penny, leave-a-penny jar for any pro-life woman-hater to pick up and pocket and make miserable all their days? no, I will take the home surgery and the septic shock and the public shaming if I survive, first. the products of my body deserve better than to be given out like lollipops at the dentist's office to any fucker who wants them.

I was just logging in to say the same thing! If I don't feel that I am ready to have my child, I'm sure as fuck not going to give the little winn-child to random unknown people who want one. The HELL with that.
posted by winna at 7:40 AM on January 16 [13 favorites]


I guess he saw a map showing that the Taliban has been gaining territory in Afghanistan, but he's not clear on how the colors on the map convey that. Like he saw a map, and someone told him something, but he can't quite wrap his head around the relationship between the two.

Someone suggested elsewhere something similar, he's speaking about a map with the colors representing different factions, so lots of colors.
It makes me think that it really isn't going to matter a whole lot in the end if he does get regular intelligence briefings because if you can't process the info properly then that causes it's own problems. Plus the fact that he basically just said 'Oh here is something classified that I saw' which really it looks like the only thing stopping him from actually divulging it was because he didn't really understand it.
This isn't someone trying to speak about something they saw in nuance that's for sure.
posted by Jalliah at 7:41 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


Look, if Trump has not had a psychotic break by the age of 70 (no, he hasn't) then he's not likely to have one now.

He may be stupid and pathologically narcissistic, but neither of those things counts as mental incompetence for any official purpose as far as I can see.
posted by tel3path at 7:42 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


finished up the get back to work twitter bot. account is here:
https://twitter.com/you_work_for_me


you're doing god's work, son
posted by entropicamericana at 7:42 AM on January 16 [22 favorites]



I'm wondering if there is going to end up being two sets of briefings, one that IC writes for their own records and one where somebody takes that and dumbs it down for Donald and crew to increase the possibility that he might actually be able to understand it.
posted by Jalliah at 7:46 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


I think it's unlikely they'll give him any "classified" information that they don't want to fall into enemy hands.
posted by tel3path at 7:47 AM on January 16 [14 favorites]


Would it be legal/ethical for the folks giving him briefings to provide information to him in such a way that they would know if he leaked it another source? Similar to how moles are smoked out in spy movies? Or is that only a spy movie trope?

Because I think Trump is dumb enough to fall for it.
posted by Tevin at 7:52 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]


Well, but then what? As pointed out, Russia is not actually an enemy of the US because the US is not currently at war with Russia.
posted by tel3path at 7:56 AM on January 16


The Rosenbergs were still executed.
posted by Artw at 8:03 AM on January 16 [17 favorites]


Given that the evidence does seem to suggest that Russia is, y'know, attempting to influence our elections to elect suggestible asshats in bad toupees, I think we can dispense pretty readily with the idea that they want to be -friends-.
posted by Archelaus at 8:05 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]



Would it be legal/ethical for the folks giving him briefings to provide information to him in such a way that they would know if he leaked it another source? Similar to how moles are smoked out in spy movies? Or is that only a spy movie trope?

Because I think Trump is dumb enough to fall for it.


It's not a trope. I've successfully used this tactic during a political battle when I was at University.
It's a pretty basic sort of maneuver in a corporate world as well.
posted by Jalliah at 8:06 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


As pointed out, Russia is not actually an enemy of the US because the US is not currently at war with Russia.

Espionage != treason.
posted by Etrigan at 8:08 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]


I am not saying Russia are friends, I am saying they aren't legally US enemies for the purpose of indicting Trump for treason if he gives classified information to them, because the US is not currently at war with Russia.

Presumably the President of the US has some discretion in what he's allowed to say. I don't know what his legal status would be if he gave away classified information.
posted by tel3path at 8:08 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


But he's no puppet. If it's as warm as forecast on Friday, how will Donny be able to wear a coat big enough to hide Putin.

@SkyNewsBreak:
Russian government spokesman says Russia agrees with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that NATO is obsolete
posted by chris24 at 8:09 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


The funny thing is ...the year I worked as analyst the risk pool was actually profitable and beat some of the regular car insurance books because regression to the mean can sometimes bite your ass hard.

I can speak to this. I did IT for a chain of P&C brokers ( and finance agency ) specializing in financing assigned-risk policies ( didn't quite get the third piece of the integration in place, selling our own insurance policy )

They printed money. Progressive bought us to see if storefronts were a good idea. They decided to sell us to a bunch of fucking amateurs. That's about when I bailed.
posted by mikelieman at 8:12 AM on January 16


Look, if Trump has not had a psychotic break by the age of 70 (no, he hasn't) then he's not likely to have one now.

I suggest that his statements and actions make a good case for the hereditary dementia that his father suffered from.
posted by mikelieman at 8:13 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


Look, that doesn't matter. There were plenty of people who argued that Reagan had Alzheimer's during his term of office, it didn't change anything then and it won't now.

As for giving away information to Russia, if he does that, it's already been explained that that doesn't count as treason.

Trump will NEVER be affected on legal grounds as long as there is ANY possible argument to excuse him. And, as pointed out, most likely no matter how good a legal case there is. I don't know what it would take to make a legal move against him, but whatever it is, we apparently still don't have it.

His conflicts of interests will NEVER be held against him, that much is clear.
posted by tel3path at 8:18 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


I'm wondering if there is going to end up being two sets of briefings, one that IC writes for their own records and one where somebody takes that and dumbs it down for Donald and crew to increase the possibility that he might actually be able to understand it.

Well, this sort of thing is always done, for a variety of reasons, from "We don't need to tell the President something he might accidentally reveal" to "We don't need to bog down the President with a discussion of how this collection system works" to "We get one hour on his schedule and we have two hours worth of stuff, so let's gloss over this part quickly and if he wants to know more, you can answer follow-up questions."
posted by Etrigan at 8:18 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Honestly, in terms of mental health, Trump just proves that money and privilege are two protective factors to serious negative consequences.

He may not have psychosis , but I think I can safety say he is delusional.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:21 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Flynn will do the actual passing of the information on to Russia, so what he sees is possibly more important.
posted by Artw at 8:21 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Well, I may have to consider a BMW in a few years, and just install my own turn signals. Jalopnik: BMW Commits To Mexican 3 Series Plant Despite Trump Tariff Threats
posted by spitbull at 8:22 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]


No, he just believes whatever is convenient for him to believe. That's not psychotic, it's normal. That's why it doesn't seem odd to major sections of the population.
posted by tel3path at 8:24 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]



Just thought to add if the tactic of planting false information to see where it goes is ever used it likely wouldn't be just something done to catch Donald. I expect that whatever Russian connection that exists doesn't just happen through him. It's also through the people around him, maybe even more so.
This is also why in the future don't be surprised if it looks like his flackies are being hammered with things seemingly unrelated. Sometimes to get to the guy at the top you go after the underlings in the hierarchy. Donald with all of his connections is actually extremely vulnerable to these sorts of strategies.
posted by Jalliah at 8:25 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


The Rosenbergs are a great example now of the double standards we hold less powerful people to. We executed Ethel when no one even seriously believed she was actively complicit, too.

Whether or not Trump could be charged with treason depends very much on whether you consider a major cyberwarfare campaign an act of war. If so, and Trump's team colluded with Russia, treason would be exactly the right charge, because he effectively came into office through a calculated act of war.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:27 AM on January 16 [9 favorites]


An analysis of Donald Trump’s election win and the prospects for his presidency

Some of the most cogent writing I've seen on the topic (sorry)
posted by piyushnz at 8:28 AM on January 16 [8 favorites]


Well, so far, only John McCain has used the words "act of war"... :D
posted by tel3path at 8:29 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


It is useless to discuss Trump in terms of mental health. He is the physical embodiment of the fact that if corporations were humans they would be psychotic.

It is to his benefit to be an amoral creature with a flexible sense of what is true and what isn't. He's everything American business is. This is what it looks like when we follow through on that "treat America like a business" nonsense. We get someone who, were he not a millionaire businessman, would suffer for profoundly antisocial behavior, but because he is, and because that's the sort of business America supports, it works for him.

But government is not supposed to be business. It's supposed to be where we govern, not rule, and we are supposed to govern at the consent of the people and with their interests in mind. He isn't capable of that.

It's not a good sign that what would be insane for everyone else is perfectly sane, and in fact reasonable, for a millionaire businessman. It's a worse sign that that's now what we get for a president.
posted by maxsparber at 8:29 AM on January 16 [49 favorites]


There are some good quotes there piyushnz.

My favorite:

"Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck."

I think that really gets to the problem in a way I had not been able to articulate before. Good read.
posted by Tevin at 8:31 AM on January 16 [11 favorites]


I'm not arguing whether or not Trump is diagnosable as psychotic or not - I'm arguing he is unfit to discharge the duties of his office.* That does matter, it's not normal, and there is provision in the Constitution to address it.

* More specifically, I'm arguing we should be able to discuss his mental condition in terms of fitness for office. If we can't discuss it here, there's no way the country can discuss it at all.
posted by petebest at 8:34 AM on January 16 [9 favorites]


We still don't agree on when cyberwar is war. It sounds like hacking the DNC (at least before it became "critical infrastructure") might not qualify.

It could still be a felony if collusion was proven.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:35 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


As for giving away information to Russia, if he does that, it's already been explained that that doesn't count as treason.

It wouldn't be formal treason. Lots of stuff that isn't formal treason will still see you receiving a lethal injection.

The semi-interesting question for presidents is whether their revelation of classified material is a crime or whether that revelation only declassifies the information.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:36 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


fuck fuck fuck fuck

Sometimes putting the subtext into text is important.
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on January 16 [9 favorites]


If the NSA or CIA had evidence of substantive Russian involvement such that it would constitute an act of war, then surely they'd be doing more. Their entire purpose is ostensibly to defend the USA from foreign powers.

Thus, it's probably not as significant as many seem to desire. I mean it would literally be a coup.
posted by knapah at 8:37 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


FFS sake I overheard a conversation of our local McDonalds senior coffee klatch debating about who [Canada] should side with now since the US is going Russian.

Australia, too, could soon have to choose between the crucial economic relationship it has cultivated with China over the past 30 years and its 70-year-plus history of following the US into every military engagement going.
posted by rory at 8:38 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


Well, so far, only John McCain has used the words "act of war"... :D

Keep in mind this is the same John McCain who has called for the bombing almost all non-Western countries at one time or another.
posted by srboisvert at 8:39 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


I'm arguing he is unfit to discharge the duties of his office

Oh, he's not fit to hold office. You won't get any argument from me on that.

At best -- AT BEST, he's a compulsive liar and white collar criminal who lucked into a position of leadership he has no background in thanks to a weird historic collusion of racist vote suppression and media overreach that managed to net him a few thousand votes that only count in the electoral college and put him over the most popular presidential candidate since Obama.

At worst his a career criminal whose money has come, in part, from laundering money for foreign governments, who has been compromised by one of the governments, and whose win is, in part, based on the collusion of that government, the candidate, and an intelligence official who deliberately sabotaged the other candidate despite knowing this one might be compromised.

Either way, he's the human embodiment of a Twitter egg account, a self-confessed sexual assaulter, a miserable businessman whose only trick is to bust out his businesses gangster style and personally benefit from their losses, and not only should be nowhere near the presidency, there should probably just be a blanket protection order preventing him from coming within 500 feet of any other human.
posted by maxsparber at 8:42 AM on January 16 [37 favorites]


Australia, too, could soon have to choose between the crucial economic relationship it has cultivated with China over the past 30 years and its 70-year-plus history of following the US into every military engagement going.

They'll get us expats in the internment camps by asking "is it a trunk or a boot?"
posted by Talez at 8:44 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


> FFS sake I overheard a conversation of our local McDonalds senior coffee klatch debating about who [Canada] should side with now since the US is going Russian.

If Russia and the US decide they want to carve Canada up it won't matter who we side with.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:46 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Most of the talk about the ethical concerns about Donald's business connections are about the corruption of him being able to use them to enrich himself and his family, which is just more then likely to happen. There is less talk about the massive and unprecedented security risk it posses to the US in general because it opens up gaping avenues for pretty much anyone in the world to play tricky skullfuckery with the President of the US.

No one with a brain believes that his sons are gonna just skip around the world making their 'deals' and not talk to Dad about it. It's like they now have big flashing signs on their heads saying "Manipulate me, screw with me' and the more Donald tells the rest of the World to 'Fuck off' the more motivation he provides to do it. Many people seem to assume that it's just about greedy people making deals with greedy people and yes that's true and will happen. But take a country like China for instance. Do you really think they're not looking at how to get to him through his businesses and his family? It's just an blatantly obvious avenue to use.

It's a perfect example of something where what a person considers their greatest strength is also their biggest weakness and vulnerability.
posted by Jalliah at 8:49 AM on January 16 [14 favorites]


GOP County Official In Georgia Calls John Lewis A 'Racist Pig'

Hunter later said in a Facebook message to the Journal-Constitution that calling Lewis a "racist pig" was "probably an overreaction out of aggravation.”

“While I am grateful for what the Congressman did in Selma and other times during the civil rights movement, you get respect by showing respect,” Hunter said. “He is using his fame as a way to continually divide the races and in this case standing on the very much unsubstantiated claim that the guy I voted for [Trump] is racist and only won because of Russians hacking the election—which, of course, we all know didn't occur.”


Screenshots of the Facepals posts are choice.
posted by petebest at 8:49 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]


>If Russia and the US decide they want to carve Canada up it won't matter who we side with.

Hold your horses there, friend. [SL Wikipedia]
posted by Tevin at 8:49 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Canada is finding itself in a very disorienting position in all this. It's like we're sitting here, being really quite normal, with no major threats to social progress we've made, relatively minor issue with immigrant inspired animosity and we're watching the world we closely tied to go sideways.

Let's not kid ourselves; we have threats. The current Conservative leadership race is exhibiting some of the same levels of wonkiness that got into the Republican Party between Kellie "Canadian Values" Leitch and Kevin "Senate Seats are a Profit Centre" O'Leary. My in-laws and I were mocking them over the weekend, but I also pointed out that I mocked the heck out of Trump when he started his run, and look where we are now. I live in Alberta, which (strangeness abounds) has the only NDP government in the country at the moment, but that seems to be inspiring a new level of political gamesmanship on the right.

The world does appear to be going sideways; we are not immune and we should not be complacent. This rise of right-wing authoritarianism - or whatever label - that is happening in the US and in Europe can spread here quite easily; "sunny ways" isn't enough. We have to stay vigilant and engaged.
posted by nubs at 8:52 AM on January 16 [14 favorites]


If Russia and the US decide they want to carve Canada up it won't matter who we side with.


Wonder what the Canadian version of "Wolverines!' would be.


'Mooooooose!'

'Poooooutiiiiiiine!'
posted by Jalliah at 8:54 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Most of the talk about the ethical concerns about Donald's business connections are about the corruption of him being able to use them to enrich himself and his family, which is just more then likely. There is less talk about the massive and unprecedented security risk it posses to the US in general because it opens up gaping avenues for pretty much anyone in the world to play tricky skullfuckery with the President of the US.

And for the rest of the world, it looks like we're going to get Trump attempting to destablise our currencies to maximise his companies profits: "Over the weekend, Trump said business at Turnberry, which he bought for £34m in 2014, was doing “unbelievably” thanks to Brexit because “your pound sterling has gone down”.

"When Trump officially reopened the resort the day after the EU referendum in June, he said: “If the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry. I think it could very well turn out to be a positive.”"
posted by dng at 8:55 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


'Mooooooose!'

Do not mess with the moose.
posted by nubs at 8:55 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


Wonder what the Canadian version of "Wolverines!' would be.

Uh, Wolverine is the Canadian version of Wolverines.
posted by maxsparber at 8:56 AM on January 16 [19 favorites]


Hamilton Creator Pens West Wing Ode to President Bartlet & Co. — WATCH

Lin-Manuel Miranda teamed up with the podcast The West Wing Weekly (Joshua Malina and Hrishikesh Hirway) on this video, "What's Next?," to pay tribute to The West Wing.

This is highly effective pandering to my interests and the interests of many on this thread. It's also LMM's birthday today, so go join the gif party and wish him a happy birthday on Twitter.
posted by zachlipton at 8:57 AM on January 16 [16 favorites]


It looks like the IC is winding up for one solid punch before Friday. I'd be wondering what they have.

generichuman, what makes you think this? I would love to believe it's true but what is the evidence?
posted by torticat at 8:59 AM on January 16


Let's not kid ourselves; we have threats. The current Conservative leadership race is exhibiting some of the same levels of wonkiness that got into the Republican Party between Kellie "Canadian Values" Leitch and Kevin "Senate Seats are a Profit Centre" O'Leary. My in-laws and I were mocking them over the weekend, but I also pointed out that I mocked the heck out of Trump when he started his run, and look where we are now. I also live in Alberta, which (strangeness abounds) has the only NDP government in the country at the moment, but that seems to be inspiring a new level of political gamesmanship on the right.

The world does appear to be going sideways; we are not immune and we should not be complacent. This rise of right-wing authoritarianism - or whatever label - that is happening in the US and in Europe can spread here quite easily; "sunny ways" isn't enough. We have to stay vigilant and engaged.


I'm well aware and have already spent time fighting 'Leitch think' in my own riding. This is why I couched my comment in relative terms. Ironically I can see the largest defense against it growing more is Donald himself. The more he screws around the harder it is for people to listen to Canadian trumpers touting how awesome he is.
That same coffee klatch just a few weeks ago would have been discussing Trump and the US in more 'well we need to wait and see' 'Trump not so bad' terms. I know I heard them. Very different tone now.
posted by Jalliah at 9:00 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


Uh, Wolverine is the Canadian version of Wolverines.

Nah, Logan would say all that hub-bub wasn't worth the trub, bub, and just go get drunk.
posted by cortex at 9:00 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


Uh, Wolverine is the Canadian version of Wolverines.

Come on we can't copy everything. Our resistance should have it's own unique identity. Though I suppose we could use it 'ironically' but maybe that's too hipster.
posted by Jalliah at 9:03 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


If the NSA or CIA had evidence of substantive Russian involvement such that it would constitute an act of war, then surely they'd be doing more. Their entire purpose is ostensibly to defend the USA from foreign powers.

Thus, it's probably not as significant as many seem to desire. I mean it would literally be a coup.


I think it's unlikely that they have evidence that is concrete enough to warrant a coup, but if they did, January 20th is the real deadline for taking visible action.
posted by diogenes at 9:03 AM on January 16


The world does appear to be going sideways; we are not immune and we should not be complacent. This rise of right-wing authoritarianism - or whatever label - that is happening in the US and in Europe can spread here quite easily; "sunny ways" isn't enough. We have to stay vigilant and engaged.

The election of Trump prompted me to immediately begin my citizenship process here in Canada so I can do a lot more on my part to make sure this doesn't happen here. Canada can upon occasion seem smug to outsiders, and while we have a lot of problems of our own, I'll be damned if I let that shit infect the country I've come to love.
posted by Kitteh at 9:04 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]


Come on we can't copy everything. Our resistance should have it's own unique identity.

How about "Martens!!"

Another mustelid like wolverines, but more adaptable and wily; also native to your area.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:06 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Uh, Wolverine is the Canadian version of Wolverines.

Aaaaaannnnnnd I just realized how slow I am today.

Oh wait Wolverine, X-Men

vs

Wolverines - Red Dawn

Pop culture can be tricky.
posted by Jalliah at 9:09 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Nah, Logan would say all that hub-bub wasn't worth the trub, bub, and just go get drunk.

You trying to throw down punk,
I got the low-down, punk
On Logan spitting out slogans
Don't you give me that junk
Punk
Enemy of the state yo
Compiled 2008 yo
Logan bands with the hand
To do as they planned
Working for Hydra
My my my ha
Spreading terror through the land
Yo
You gonna rap battle with me
On Logan? Seriously?
How did the series end
Friend
With its curves and wends,
friend
A moment of clarity
From Wolverine
A rarity
And what was the plan
from the band of the Hand?

To assassinate the president
Of the motherfucking
US of A
Bae.
posted by maxsparber at 9:15 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


The election of Trump prompted me to immediately begin my citizenship process here in Canada so I can do a lot more on my part to make sure this doesn't happen here. Canada can upon occasion seem smug to outsiders, and while we have a lot of problems of our own, I'll be damned if I let that shit infect the country I've come to love.

That's funny. The election of Trump prompted me to immediately suspend my citizenship process here in the United States. I live in a liberal part of MA, my vote won't affect a D turnaround, and if push comes to shove with the whole overt fascism rather than cryptofascism, I would rather be kicked out as a foreigner than be forced to live behind Trump's wall as a citizen.
posted by Talez at 9:16 AM on January 16


Well, I'm not planning on going home to the US for four years, barring family emergencies. I've opted to become a citizen of someplace else and I am content with the decision (it was going to happen anyway, truthfully, but I can be incredibly lazy).
posted by Kitteh at 9:18 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


as of now we are up to 18!

18 House Democrats to skip Trump’s inauguration


25 now: No Thanks! These Democrats Plan To Skip Donald Trump's Inauguration
posted by indubitable at 9:22 AM on January 16 [16 favorites]




25 now: No Thanks! These Democrats Plan To Skip Donald Trump's Inauguration

Is the normal to expect Congress to show up and if you don't it's noticed? I know it's not normal to announce your not going which makes this great because it's a need political statement. Just wondering if in other years if members just quietly didn't go for one reason or another and no one really cared.
Did all of the Repub members attend Obama's?
posted by Jalliah at 9:28 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump is Highly Unpopular

...when it comes to opposing Trump I say let more or less every flower bloom — policy attacks and character attacks from every point on the left spectrum. Who knows what shiny object will attract the media? Hell, twice in 16 years the GOP has gotten presidential elections close enough to steal over fake quotes and email server management. Who knows what will resonate? See what sticks. Hit him on the ACA. Hit him on everything Ryan is trying to do. Hit him on his ongoing corruption. Hit him on his alleged sexual trysts in Moscow. Try everything that might work.
posted by emjaybee at 9:32 AM on January 16 [36 favorites]


What I don't get is the Republicans who have been kissing the ring, especially this week. I mean, if the Russian stuff is true (and it sure looks like it may be) then we're talking treason that will echo through history, here. We're talking the word Trump becoming synonymous with Benedict Arnold, kind of treason. We're talking, like, Judas.

The problem is, we immediately think of Benedict Arnold, Judas... but not Jefferson Davis. Because an uncomfortably large portion of this country is fine with what he did.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:33 AM on January 16 [23 favorites]


From The Times interview transcript, as summarized by me.

Q: Do you have any models, heroes, people you look up to from the past?
Trump: "Well I don't like heroes." I learned things from my father, but some of that stuff are natural traits anyway. Did I mention how great I am and how impressive it was that I won? I'm a natural at this stuff. Oh yeah, I learned a lot from my father.
posted by zachlipton at 9:33 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


I live in a liberal part of MA, my vote won't affect a D turnaround

You have more credibility as an organizer/contributor if you're a citizen, though.
posted by Coventry at 9:35 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]




It's not a real ticket to the inauguration ceremony.You still need tickets to get into the swearing-in seats, and those are still restricted to pre-registered through your congresspersons' offices. The rest of the inauguration activities are free to watch (from a distance), so Trump is offering tickets that no one needs for anything, that have no value, and serve only to collect data.

Still... It occurs to me that Jake and Elwood probably don't have anything better to do that day, so I'd better sign them up.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:37 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]


You have more credibility as an organizer/contributor if you're a citizen, though.

Not really. When I was working on the HRC campaign in NH people didn't ask it and I didn't volunteer it.
posted by Talez at 9:38 AM on January 16


Not nice but it's good to keep tabs on these folks and in a dark way this is sorta good news. The Alt-Right movement who started fighting with each other near the end of the election is experiencing a fairly major shake-up right now.

That's some very nice reporting Jalliah; thanks for sharing it. This story has started to hit the press:

Raw Story: Neo-Nazi media outlet collapses after fellow racists discover the founder’s wife is Jewish
Salon: The alt-right eats its own: Neo-Nazi podcaster “Mike Enoch” quits after doxxers reveal his wife is Jewish.

This is one of the more appalling details:
Peinovich’s wife appears to have been aware of the entire situation. She even appeared on “The Daily Shoah” several times, including a special holiday-season segment in 2015 where she read a neo-Nazi parody of “The Night Before Christmas.” Introducing the clip, which can be found online, Peinovich said his wife was “very proud of it.”
posted by zachlipton at 9:40 AM on January 16 [15 favorites]


Sanders on whether Trump is a legitimate president: "Well, I think he's going to be inaugurated" (video)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:44 AM on January 16 [10 favorites]


My parents, who live on the Canadian side of the border, are pretty apathetic about politics and had no idea what I was on about when I recently told them my wife and I will almost certainly not be visiting the U.S. for the immediate future for any reason whatsoever (the hardest part will be forgoing visits to Chicken In The Rough). They don't think much of Trump, but as far as they're concerned this is just another election with a winner and a loser and things will be back to business as usual after Trump takes office.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:47 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


...when it comes to opposing Trump I say let more or less every flower bloom — policy attacks and character attacks from every point on the left spectrum. Who knows what shiny object will attract the media? Hell, twice in 16 years the GOP has gotten presidential elections close enough to steal over fake quotes and email server management. Who knows what will resonate? See what sticks. Hit him on the ACA. Hit him on everything Ryan is trying to do. Hit him on his ongoing corruption. Hit him on his alleged sexual trysts in Moscow. Try everything that might work.

A thousand times this. You keep the pressure on a wide and diverse range of fronts, and then when some of those bear fruit you start to coalesce around them, and if they don't pan out you go right back to the default of throwing everything at him with new lessons learned. I think what makes it feel so disorganized is that it's not top-down, in this model new leaders will emerge from the bottom up, and existing leaders will glom on to what's hitting him the hardest in the moment where they've got political capital to burn, which makes you feel leaderless. This kind of schismatic Schumer tactics vs Bernie tactics vs Warren tactics vs Pelosi tactics vs etc... thing isn't leadership, partly because it really shouldn't be where we look for full-party leadership. They're leaders of coalitions, not Democrats as a whole. We need people to speak for the movement who can stand above the coalitions and promote their shared values instead of falling into "Pelosi/Warren/Lewis/Bernie/Schumer/Booker/whoever is going about this wrong and my way is the only way forward" crap. Call out people in the party who actively work against those shared goals, absolutely, but there's a difference between that and a power struggle for a one-way future in the Democratic party. This is what Obama was good at, it's what Ellison seems to want to do, it's what Rev. Barber is doing absolutely next-level work on, so it seems pretty clear to me that what you need in a party like the Democrats is top-tier community organizers out front.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:02 AM on January 16 [31 favorites]


I'm getting impatient for my first Canadian passport to arrive. Once that gets here, I start on my son's citizenship certificate paperwork. I left Canada when I was three years old, but have felt for a long time that I have much more Canadian than American values. Which I definitely did not learn from my Canadian father, who is an Objectivist (yes, Virginia, Canadian Objectivists etc).
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:04 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


I just got back from MLK Parade. Which has multiple layers of issues in terms of coalition-building vs. community as a white person representing a majority white congregation.

Anyway, I think this sort of reveals the dysfunction in American culture. While my city is majority black, it isn't 90% black like the parade audience. So we have a problem where my white neighbors don't bother to show up for MLK Day, but will for Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Saint Patrick's day, which is a local celebration. My view on Trump observing it is that it's part of his fucking job as POTUS to show up and deliver the right ceremonial motions on National holidays. Rituals, religious or secular, are part of what holds a culture together.

I wasn't going to post about this until I saw the comment above about "racial division." To paraphrase MLK, we are divided. Civil rights advocates just make that division impossible to ignore. On the other side, someone last week on Daily Kos accused identity politics of being "transactional." Criticism of capitalism and the need for economic reform was baked into the American Civil Rights movement, Feminism, and Queer Liberation from their birth. Its just that people take MLK and now Barber for granted when they talk about economics.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:06 AM on January 16 [10 favorites]


We need people to speak for the movement who can stand above the coalitions and promote their shared values ...

"Perhaps that is how we need to begin to understand ourselves: Not as the already conscious leaders waiting for the deluded dreamers to awaken, but as one community of resistance, struggling to stay awake and aware ourselves, one community of resistance to the hate and the violence, ready to partner with other communities of resistance—climate activists showing up at Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and Black Lives Matter banners marching in pride parades—communities of resistance willing to build a more embracing dream together.

Because resistance is what love looks like in the face of hate. Resistance is what love looks like in the face of violence."

-The Rev. William G Sinkford
posted by diogenes at 10:09 AM on January 16 [27 favorites]


When I was working on the HRC campaign in NH people didn't ask it and I didn't volunteer it.

I have a noticeable accent, and I was asked about my immigration status quite often. One person was quite threatening about it.

I never worked off a targeted list of doors to knock, though.
posted by Coventry at 10:10 AM on January 16


As an example of how it's not transactional, every LGBTQ activist I follow has been campaigning for ACA, not out of a quid pro quo, but because health care access is a queer issue.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:13 AM on January 16 [11 favorites]




I'm well aware and have already spent time fighting 'Leitch think' in my own riding.

Sorry, Jalliah, I wasn't meaning to imply you weren't. That comment was just meant as a general reminder that we Canadians aren't immune, because I know I sometimes slide into some complacent thinking myself and have to confront it with my own family. My mother told me at one point not to worry, because "the system won't let Trump just do whatever he wants". Which, yeah, how's that working out so far, Mom? At the same time, I'm kind of glad because my Mom is pretty much on the right side of the political spectrum so to see her at least a little worried about what he plans is heartening.
posted by nubs at 10:25 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


The Guardian: Germany hits back at Trump criticism of refugee policy and BMW tariff threat
“The US car industry would have a bad awakening if all the supply parts that aren’t being built in the US were to suddenly come with a 35% tariff. I believe it would make the US car industry weaker, worse and above all more expensive. I would wait and see what the Congress has to say about that, which is mostly full of people who want the opposite of Trump.”

[...]

Asked what Trump could do to make sure German customers bought more American cars, Gabriel said: “Build better cars.”
lol
posted by jason_steakums at 10:27 AM on January 16 [36 favorites]