Demoralizing and disheartening times.
February 9, 2017 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Almost three weeks into his presidency, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, has allegedly been telling senators that comments that attack judges are "demoralizing" and "disheartening." This morning, the president "[told] airline CEOs they—& govt.—are using “obsolete” equipment “the airports give you.” Trump says his pilot, “a smart guy,” told him." This evening, the Senate will vote on Trump's nomination for HHS Secretary, Tom Price.

All eyes remain on the 9th Circuit, where a decision is expected on whether or not to a end the temporary restraining order to President Trump's travel ban. Teen Vogue explains why Kellyanne Conway's statement to "go buy Ivanka's stuff" on television this morning may violate federal law. A complaint has already been filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Press Secretary Sean Spicer today said that Conway has been "counseled" on the matter.

Tomorrow, the president and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe will hold a press conference at 1pm Eastern, and then will head to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit the White House on Monday. Alec Baldwin hosts Saturday Night Live.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (2940 comments total) 100 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's aging me but I can't stop watching these Spicer pressers.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:29 AM on February 9 [19 favorites]




I can only watch them by reading comments in these threads.
posted by kingless at 11:30 AM on February 9 [62 favorites]


The "demoralizing and disheartening" quote from Gorsuch is pretty clearly just a head fake by the Trump people, and probably Gorsuch himself is in on it, to make him look "independent."
posted by jackbrown at 11:30 AM on February 9 [36 favorites]


I continue to be grateful that other people can watch Showdowns with Spicy and report back, as I lack the intestinal fortitude.
posted by lydhre at 11:30 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


These politics threads fill up more quickly election threads. Back before the shit hit the fan, we were going 1-2 weeks before a new thread. Now it's like 3-5 days. Or so it seems.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:31 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]




Any educators here? Would it be appropriate or welcome to donate a few subscriptions to Teen Vogue to local schools?
posted by ezust at 11:31 AM on February 9 [15 favorites]


WH Press Corps did a stunning job today pressing Spicer on the comments of Gorsuch and the senators that Gorsuch talked to. One reporter asked the question so many times that Spicer got frustrated, and said, "What are you…" (as if to say, stupid, maybe?), but then didn't say the last word of his sentence.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:31 AM on February 9 [26 favorites]


The first one starts with a bold and totally not obvious pronouncement: "It shall be the policy of the executive branch to reduce crime in America."

By hiring the worst criminals.
posted by Etrigan at 11:33 AM on February 9 [22 favorites]


For Room 641-A: So, one reporter asked about a Conway comment(? tweet? not sure), where she said that Trump didn't have time to tweet about everything - for example, he had time to tweet about Nordstrom dropping Ivanka's line but didn't tweet about the Quebec City attack. Spicy jumped on the reporter claiming that he offered the president's condolences in a briefing the following day. Reporter persisted re: why wasn't it important enough to tweet? At which point, Spicy seems appalled that the reporter would consider tweeting to be more important than the briefings Spicy provides.
posted by meowf at 11:33 AM on February 9 [25 favorites]


Good grief. We have never - and I mean NEVER - had this degree of pathological lying coming from the President and his entourage. Have other Presidents lied? Yes. Have other White House staff lied? Yes. But it has NEVER been like this. This is through-the-looking-glass levels of bald-faced lying and reality fabrication here.

I am seriously concerned that this marks a real turning point in American government, where surrealism, absurdism and postmodernism finally overwhelm our federal government and we are left with a country where facts and truth are completely irrelevant.

Could any country sustain intact after this happens?
posted by darkstar at 11:33 AM on February 9 [117 favorites]


The first one starts with a bold and totally not obvious pronouncement: "It shall be the policy of the executive branch to reduce crime in America."

For every new crime they're going to eliminate two old ones.
posted by dng at 11:34 AM on February 9 [147 favorites]


At some point, maybe a year from now, we will look back and find that Trump's EOs accomplished basically nothing. We're totally right to be upset about the policies they reflect, and some of them do have a real world effect (like the Muslim ban), but mostly they are pure nothing meant to signal to the base and that's it. Like today's task force EO. Having a task force = so what? I will protest in the streets in support of Black Lives Matter and against the bs tough on crime nonsense until they run out of signs, but when we get closer to 2018, we also need to find a way to tell the story that they are repugnant and ALSO ineffectual garbage statements with no content and no effect on the world except making non-racists feel miserable.
posted by prefpara at 11:35 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


The first one starts with a bold and totally not obvious pronouncement: "It shall be the policy of the executive branch to reduce crime in America."

Sadly, I'm sure it doesn't make the obvious follow-on that, therefore, Trump is resigning immediately.
posted by Gelatin at 11:35 AM on February 9 [11 favorites]


The briefing ended with Spicer coming back out to explain that Prime Minister Abe would be Trump's guest at Mar-a-Lago (i.e. Trump is paying for it)

Does anyone believe the U.S. government won't be billed for the room?

(oops, wrong thread)
posted by Etrigan at 11:36 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Chaffetz briefly woke up from his slumber: ". @jasoninthehouse on Conway: “That was wrong, wrong, wrong. It is wholly unacceptable – no if, ands or buts about it" via @AlexNBCNews"

I'm sure he won't, you know, do anything, but Conway's hawking of products was so egregious even Chaffetz couldn't pretend it didn't happen.
posted by zachlipton at 11:36 AM on February 9 [36 favorites]


These EOs are maybe a step above declaring crime to be illegal.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:36 AM on February 9 [23 favorites]


Alec Baldwin hosts Saturday Night Live.

Isn't he almost considered a member of the current cast now? I hope they also keep Melissa McCarthy for weekly updates. Comedians have power against the current administration:
Melissa McCarthy's frustrated, unhinged parody of White House press secretary Sean Spicer on last weekend's SNL unsettled the White House and bothered Trump, and her performance was seen as potentially hurting Spicer's longevity in the job, Politico reported, citing people close to the president.
(Chicago Tribute, Feb. 8, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:37 AM on February 9 [35 favorites]



The first one starts with a bold and totally not obvious pronouncement: "It shall be the policy of the executive branch to reduce crime in America."


That's simple: make things uncrimes. Henceforth, it will be legal for banks to do subprime mortgages, public officials to endorse specific brands, and for the state to promote religion. Crime plummets!

But crimes not done by Trump's base will still be crimes.
posted by MrGuilt at 11:37 AM on February 9 [12 favorites]


Ari Fleisher was a better and more frequent liar than Spicer could ever dream of.
posted by Yowser at 11:37 AM on February 9 [28 favorites]


They might just throw Conway to the wolves because a) she's a woman and b) she's actually becoming less effective at spinning their shit and c) she's a woman.
posted by lydhre at 11:38 AM on February 9 [114 favorites]


The first and third new EOs don't seem to do much other than say that they're going to fight crime so hard, the most crime, you'll get sick of how much crime they're fighting. But the second one is full on Blue Lives Matter and I'm nervous about what an "executive branch strategy to prevent violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers" could mean.
posted by theodolite at 11:38 AM on February 9 [27 favorites]


The Office of Government ethics is kind of suggesting they'd prefer if you stopped calling and emailing them, since they don't have the authority to investigate stuff.
posted by zachlipton at 11:39 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Presidential Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers

This one seeks to "define new federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing federal crimes, in order to prevent violence" against state and federal police.

This wording is particularly worrisome. They will try to make all kinds of actions that are non-violent (e.g., protesting, criticizing police, filming police) criminal activities, with the rationale that doing so will "prevent" violence against state and federal police.

Guess what happens when you make criticizing the police a felony? You make it legal for police to use deadly force against anybody who is critical of police.
posted by AceRock at 11:40 AM on February 9 [147 favorites]


zachlipton: Presidential Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers

Huh, they actually included Tribal entities throughout that one, even if would have been an easy copy and paste. I have no comment on the rest of the content, my head isn't in it at the moment.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I went back to transcribe what they were saying to justify the EOs.

Spicer: "Law enforcement officials have been vocal about the lack of support they received under the past administration. This lack of support demoralized many officers and in some cases led to their discouraging engagement with local communities, only causing further harm and deterioration."

So all the problems people have been having with police, really, are Obama's fault.

Fucking shameless.
posted by rewil at 11:41 AM on February 9 [85 favorites]


Copying over from the last thread, The Slot (Gawker Media): What Is Happening to Sean Spicer's Face? It's taken on a certain tint ...
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:41 AM on February 9 [9 favorites]


You all keep pointing to the bad things about the Trump administration! Nobody's giving him credit for all the good things he's brought us!

In so many ways, President Trump continues to enrich our culture by inspiring the creativity of our artists, writers, and Pennsylvania state senators.


It's because of Donald Trump, we now have the practically Shakespearian insult, Fascist, Loofa-faced shit-gibbon!
posted by Naberius at 11:42 AM on February 9 [15 favorites]


I have neither the appetite or talent to do this, but some sort of website that racks up lies per day and compares Spicer to Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf with some sort of real-time counter would be awesome; start it at Inauguration Day vs. al-Sahhaf's first press briefing and let the counter go up from there.
posted by Shepherd at 11:42 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I'm sure he won't, you know, do anything, but Conway's hawking of products was so egregious even Chaffetz couldn't pretend it didn't happen.

I spoke too soon: "Chaffetz tells @AlexNBCNews he spoke w/ Cummings & they are going to send a joint letter to WH & OGE for a referral regarding Conway remarks"

Could just wind up with a memo saying "don't do that," but lydhre's theory sounds like exactly what could happen.
posted by zachlipton at 11:43 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


They will try to make all kinds of actions that are non-violent (e.g., protesting, criticizing police, filming police) criminal activities, with the rationale that doing so will "prevent" violence against state and federal police.

Yup.

Huh, they actually included Tribal entities throughout that one, even if would have been an easy copy and paste

Pretty sure that won't mean anything. I don't believe there's a lot of worry in the GOP about the safety of Tribal police. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't think tribes should have police because they don't think tribes should have sovereign status.
posted by suelac at 11:43 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


So with the Gorsuch hearings coming up, I emailed my Senators thusly:
Dear Senator,

I am writing to request that you ask Judge Gorsuch the following questions during his confirmation hearings:

1. Regarding your writing in 2005 for the National Review, do you believe equal protection under the law is a liberal political issue, and specifically, do you support equal protection under the law for same-sex couples seeking to marry?

2. You are known as a champion of religious freedom. However, your ruling in Hobby Lobby nullifies the religious freedom and equal treatment under the law of those women who choose to use birth control, and especially those who use such medications for reasons other than birth control - many birth control medications are prescribed for other medical uses unrelated to birth control. What response do you have to women whose religious beliefs are overridden by their employer's?

3. Looking at your record, many Americans fear that, if you serve on the Supreme Court, they will lose rights that the courts have previously recognized. This is especially true for women who may seek an abortion and same-sex couples who may wish to marry. What would you say to those citizens?

4. Have you, personally, ever lost a right previously recognized by a court due to a later ruling?

5. In 2002, you criticized the Senate's process for judicial confirmations, praising Merrick Garland long before President Obama nominated him to the Supreme Court. Do you believe the Senate's refusal to act on that Supreme Court nomination inflicted an injustice on the American people, and if so, do you believe they have any recourse?

I would greatly appreciate a quick response from your staff letting me know if these questions have been passed on to the Senator.

Thank you!
I bet the smart and engaged MeFites here have lots of good, thoughtful questions for Judge Gorsuch. If you have some, please share them with your senators so we can all hear the answers.

Also, TIL that Judge Gorsuch's mother was the first head of a US federal agency to be charged with contempt of Congress.
posted by kristi at 11:44 AM on February 9 [119 favorites]


So this may be really old news to people here, but I've been thinking a lot about the less apparent consequences of the Forced Birth Movement's never-ending quest to restrict access to family planning services and abortion, and I really want to spell it out in case someone, like me, has missed this twisted forest for the trees.

First, the drive characterize abortion as "murder" would automatically make a felon of anyone who performs one (and is convicted). By defining this medical procedure as "murder", then not only could the doctor become a convicted felon quiet easily, the door would be wide open for accessory to murder charges for:

* Women seeking abortions (already happening)
* Women who miscarry (already happening)
* Anyone who helps to transport woman to obtain this medical procedure
* Anyone who aids a woman in the literal planning of seeking an abortion

Second, if abortion is characterized as "murder" then anyone even talking about abortion might be subject to "incitement to violence charges".

If such a crime is classified as a felony, like abortion, it would lead to my last point. With these new classes of "felony", guess who would all of sudden be disenfranchised from voting for decades upon conviction? Disproportionately, it would be women.

In conclusion, the Heirs of Jefferson Davis, not only want to control our bodies and ruin our health, but they also want to make sure that they can get around that pesky 19th amendment and take away our franchise because we exercise control over our bodies, aid another person in exercising their bodily autonomy, or even talked about doing so.

The Forced Birth movement so frequently says that they don't want to punish women for having sex, but their actions always indicate that that is, in fact, their method and goal.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:44 AM on February 9 [116 favorites]


she's actually becoming less effective at spinning their shit

She's doing the best she can, but it's like watching someone running an ultramarathon; eventually, after days and days of such a grueling pace, you're going to trip. I'd be stunned if the Trump admin can find someone else so adept at so much quick-thinking vile mendacious casuistry for such an over-the-top shitshow. It wouldn't shock me if she gets canned in a fit of pique, but man, if she does get replaced, I think it's going to become apparent VERY quickly how good she was at such an impossible job.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:44 AM on February 9 [70 favorites]


These EOs are maybe a step above declaring crime to be illegal.

IANAL, but right? They do have some stuff about improving data gathering, which could be awful, depending, and some stuff about suggesting legislation to achieve each EO's goals, which also stands a good chance of being awful, but otherwise they feel like more Trump grandstanding -- ie, just another day in the Oval Office.
posted by notyou at 11:44 AM on February 9


Spicer got frustrated, and said, "What are you…" (as if to say, stupid, maybe?), but then didn't say the last word of his sentence.

Here's a clip
posted by zachlipton at 11:45 AM on February 9 [10 favorites]


I think they're emphasizing the word "tribal" to dogwhistle that they're going to use force against the water protectors. Worrying.
posted by Emily's Fist at 11:45 AM on February 9 [34 favorites]


Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada? You betcha!

Sorry. Can you guys fuck off?

Thanks.

Sorry.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:46 AM on February 9 [96 favorites]


We have never - and I mean NEVER - had this degree of pathological lying coming from the President and his entourage.

We probably have, the point is that they were good at telling lies. They didn't try to pretend that Americans were stupid and would believe anything they were told.

I'm going to blame the birther movement for this one. They figured if people could so foolishly believe that, they might believe other outrageously stupid shit.
posted by INFJ at 11:46 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


This wording is particularly worrisome. They will try to make all kinds of actions that are non-violent (e.g., protesting, criticizing police, filming police) criminal activities, with the rationale that doing so will "prevent" violence against state and federal police.

Not only non-violent, but also protected by the First Amendment. Trump seems to be banking hard on Gorsuch being on his side, but I wonder if even this "new Scalia" will stomach such blatant up-is-down-ism. And if he does, whether Kennedy will.
posted by Gelatin at 11:48 AM on February 9 [11 favorites]


So I actually have gone to the White House to protest during my lunch break the past couple of days, and I'm planning to go at least through next Tuesday (I need to take my baby to get vaccinated Wednesday so that protest is up in the air). It's a pain to get there and back and it's literally just me walking back and forth in front of the Treasury Department with a sign (they still have a lot of Pennsylvania Ave closed off with Inauguration stuff being disassembled which is bullshit but I'll move to directly in front of the White House when I can).

It feels kind of silly and pointless because if it's just me there for half an hour a day it doesn't feel like it's accomplishing a whole lot and to be honest I feel so awkward and weird just walking there by myself with a sign but then this horrifying administration does literally anything and I feel like I have to do whatever I can to push back.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:50 AM on February 9 [190 favorites]




I'm nervous about what an "executive branch strategy to prevent violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers" could mean.

Yes, that does seem to be the most sinister part. Stepping up FBI harassment of BLM seems like one obvious form for this to take, but I'm sure that'll only be the start of it.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:51 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


They might just throw Conway to the wolves because a) she's a woman and b) she's actually becoming less effective at spinning their shit and c) she's a woman.

I think b more than a/c. Conway was a meme for the Right for a while after the election--the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign ("What was no one congratulating her?"). She's also the only prominent woman in the Trump administration not named Ivanka.

She may, at some point, call it quits on her own. She keeps having to tie herself in knots to keep up with her boss's latest tweet. I wouldn't blame her to give it up, and make pancakes while listening to "Walking on Sunshine."
posted by MrGuilt at 11:51 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Sessions's first comments as AG:
We have a crime problem... I wish the blip — I wish the rise that we’re seeing in crime in America today were some sort of aberration or a blip. My best judgment, having been involved in criminal law enforcement for many years, is that this is a dangerous permanent trend that places the health and safety of the American people at risk.
This is just a massive blow for anyone who cares about civil liberties, or people being extrajudicially executed in the street, or the carceral state, or reality, or the actual safety of the people in our most vulnerable communities.
posted by AceRock at 11:52 AM on February 9 [119 favorites]


Also, TIL that Judge Gorsuch's mother was the first head of a US federal agency to be charged with contempt of Congress.

A useful reminder that the whole "put someone in charge of an agency who has contempt for said agency's core mission" thing didn't originate with Trump by a long shot. (Does anyone remember James "the Beach Boys attract an undesirable element" Watt?)
posted by Gelatin at 11:52 AM on February 9 [17 favorites]


Everyone. I, just. WHY HAVEN'T THEY WATCHED WEST WING? IT'S JUST SITTING THERE ON NETFLIX WAITING TO BE WATCHED.

I realize it's not a show about their team or ideas but goddamn, don't tell me they couldn't learn useful shit from our fictional friends CJ Cregg and Leo McGarry.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:52 AM on February 9 [12 favorites]


I wish the general strike were better thought out. The point of a general strike is for everyone to be able to do it. With no planning and almost no lead time, it's just impossible.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:53 AM on February 9 [101 favorites]


Sorry, what about the West Wing is at all relevant (or was ever relevant) to actual political reality?
posted by dilaudid at 11:54 AM on February 9 [11 favorites]


I see my paranoia increasing in this whole Gorsuch thing. It's really remarkable how quickly I concluded that Trump's camp deliberately manufactured the kerfuffle, telling Gorsuch to use those words to create an illusion of independence.

Everything about the Administrations is so gratuitous that it's hard to avoid conspiracy thinking. HELP!
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 11:55 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]


You folks remember how Trump spent most of the primaries yelling at Rubio about amnesty for being part of the Gang of Eight immigration reform deal? Turns out Manchin is going around saying that Trump told Senators he would be open to the deal now.

This strikes me as another example of Trump telling everyone what he thinks they want to hear more than an actual statement of policy though.
posted by zachlipton at 11:55 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


compares Spicer to Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf

Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf had flair. He had verve. He had confidence.

Spicer is no Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:56 AM on February 9 [18 favorites]


Yeah, a general stroke needs buy in from the big unions, at the very least. Calling for but not preparing for a general stroke basically just guts the expectations around such actions. Which sucks.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:56 AM on February 9 [35 favorites]


The point of a general strike is for everyone to be able to do it. With no planning and almost no lead time, it's just impossible.

Plus, you want enough lead time for the powers at be to shit themselves, and invest enough time and resources into preparing for it that even if a general strike doesn't really happen, it's still a drag on business. Sorta like Y2K.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:57 AM on February 9 [10 favorites]


I wish the general strike were better thought out. The point of a general strike is for everyone to be able to do it. With no planning and almost no lead time, it's just impossible.

It's my understanding that the plan is for this to be the first and smallest of multiple strikes this year. Gotta start somewhere.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:57 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Sorry, what about the West Wing is at all relevant (or was ever relevant) to actual political reality?

If I may...I think what fluffy battle kitten is getting at is that even a mere simulacrum, kabuki or pantomime of the act of governing by this administration would be comforting at this point all things considered.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:58 AM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Yeah, a general stroke

the preferred term is "circle jerk"
posted by Greg Nog at 11:58 AM on February 9 [47 favorites]


In 2005, as the Bush Administration finally starts to collapse, Bush would watch The West Wing religiously. I would give anything to know what was going through his head at the time, but it didn't seem to help the White House very much as they lurched from blunder to blunder.
posted by honestcoyote at 12:00 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


One of these days soon, I'm sure to have a general stroke over these guys.
posted by waitingtoderail at 12:02 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


1. George W. Bush lied about WMDs to chivvy the country into a war in Iraq.

2. Trump is a more pathological, narcissistic liar than Bush Jr. was, and is advised by arguably just as venal (or more so) staffers and cabinet members.

Ergo...

3. We could be very likely looking at another significant war in the next four years, based in whole or in part on Trump's deceit.

I sincerely believe this is not a hyperbolic fear. This seems to be a very real possibility.
posted by darkstar at 12:02 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


Kallien Conway "Go Buy Ivanka's Stuff!"
posted by mannequito at 12:02 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Oh hell with the hate on general strikes. Yeah the first time is gonna suck. We'll get better at it.
posted by saysthis at 12:03 PM on February 9 [49 favorites]


I completely expect a significant war in the next four months. It's the only way he can shore up support for the REALLY antidemocratic stuff we haven't seen yet.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 12:05 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Yeah I'll be shocked if there isn't a push to put boots on the ground somewhere within the year, much less four.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:06 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


On a general strike, from Jacobin: You Can't Fake It

A general strike could transform American politics. But we’re nowhere near being able to call one.

Moreover, even moderately effective general strikes don’t emerge, willy-nilly, like miraculous interventions into national life. They are intensifications and radicalizations of already existing patterns of resistance by the working class. This demand for a general strike looks less like that intensification and more like an attempt to leapfrog all the hard, long-term political work that goes before.
posted by zabuni at 12:06 PM on February 9 [55 favorites]


I think it's more that strikes are not, like, some mystical, unheard of, never-tried-before tactic. They have a long history, we know what makes them work and what makes them fail, and this last-minute campaign with no union support looks a lot like the latter.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:06 PM on February 9 [37 favorites]


Shit, y'all are optimistic, I'm expecting war any fucking day.
posted by Gaz Errant at 12:06 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


The only way to get public support for a war is to let a major attack happen on American soil. So, that will happen. And then war.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:07 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


It will take more time and political changes to get big union buy-in - let's remember that big unions (and I say this as a union member) are actually pretty conservative a lot of the time. Recent SEIU stuff, etc, is the exception. The post-WWII history of American unions is about getting rid of radicals and cutting deals with the Democratic party.

Now, I will stand up for unions in most things, and I think they're capable of getting on board with a general strike, but I bet it will be down the road. A number of people in my union voted for Trump (don't ask me, I don't know) and it's a touchy subject. I bet a number of people in bigger, older, whiter, more male unions also voted for Trump.

I think the best thing to do is for those who can to make any general strike that happens on the 17th as much of a thing as possible, so we can do more later. It's not like we're going to run out of opportunity.
posted by Frowner at 12:07 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


It doesn't have to be on US soil. Trump seems like the type who would go to war over something like the USS Cole attack.
posted by drezdn at 12:09 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Unions have been VERY cozy with Trump (SEIU being an exception, I suspect because they are a service employees union and very heavily female and black). Do not expect them to get on board with intense resistance just yet.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:09 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


I mean, this whole "but general strikes take work" thing - that's true. But part of the work is having events and getting publicity. Movements build on small events. We look back at general strikes and movement stuff of the past and we see the big events and the inflection points and don't see all the little events, meh events, things that were too soon or too late, etc.

If there's going to be general strike related events, I'd say we strike to the extent we have available.
posted by Frowner at 12:09 PM on February 9 [20 favorites]


The "demoralizing and disheartening" quote from Gorsuch is pretty clearly just a head fake by the Trump people, and probably Gorsuch himself is in on it, to make him look "independent."

No. They're not geniuses playing n-dimensional chess. They don't have to be. The problem isn't that Trump and Bannon are brilliantly snatching power, the problem is that we live in an era where buffoons can obtain and hold power without even being fucking competent. That's the scary thing, not some "head fake" bogeyman.
posted by howfar at 12:11 PM on February 9 [112 favorites]


The only way to get public support for a war is to let a major attack happen on American soil. So, that will happen. And then war.

I wonder, though. Bush the Lesser managed to avoid having his obvious incompetence pointed out by the media in the immediate wake of 9/11, despite the fact that Condoleeza Rice had to modify "no warning" to "no specific warning," but the media has been doing nothing but since Trump took office. Trump's incompetence is part of the narrative, and I suspect that it'd become part of the narrative in any attack they let happen. Which is not to say Bannon wouldn't want to try it anyway, but they might be unpleasantly surprised -- yet again -- if things don't turn out according to whatever half-baked plan they have.
posted by Gelatin at 12:11 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Umm. I've been wrong about Trump getting elected. And I've just messed up my kitchen like I was four, just making pizza. So I am no authority on anything. But I do feel that the actual real existing events are catastrophic enough and that speculating about wars are a distraction. Even as I think there may be wars.
posted by mumimor at 12:13 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Heck, I know a bunch of people in my union that voted trump. And I'm in New York. And it's a state job. That exclusively supports teachers. A general strike would take quite a lot.
posted by mrgoat at 12:14 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Spicer: "Law enforcement officials have been vocal about the lack of support they received under the past administration. This lack of support demoralized many officers and in some cases led to their discouraging engagement with local communities, only causing further harm and deterioration."

So, lack of support from the chief executive is discouraging and demoralizing. Which is a problem when you're talking about cops, but not judges.
posted by nickmark at 12:14 PM on February 9 [23 favorites]


We have never - and I mean NEVER - had this degree of pathological lying coming from the President and his entourage.

Not sure what you mean... seems like nothing has yet risen to the degree of secretly bombing the shit out of Cambodia and then denying it.
posted by Coventry at 12:15 PM on February 9 [20 favorites]


Also, also: part of what I'm hearing a lot from the Jacobin end of the spectrum is "your resistance isn't good enough because it's too bourgeois, too oriented to aesthetics and/or a useless waste of time [and you should join a platformist socialist organization because we know how to do this with our awesome American track record, which is right off over there]".

Everyone is acting like they have a blueprint for what to do next and how to defeat Trump, or at least like they're sure other people's ideas are terrible. Even if we were in some kind of genuinely textbook situation, we would not have that. This is a weird and fluid time and things have not crystallized yet. And what's more, the moment you start to examine any successful liberation movement closely, you realize that it wasn't just people moving in lockstep with a well-defined socialist legislative agenda and pre-printed signs. Successful movements take real, boring, careful work, but they are also weird and quirky, and leaving space for the unexpected is important.

The other thing is, it's easy for every one of us to think "aha, if people would just listen to my blueprint idea, then we'd win" - the problem is that people aren't anarchists, or aren't sufficiently feminist, or don't understand how class is implicated, or whatever our particular hobby horses are. I'm seeing a lot of that - everyone thinks that the reason things went off the rails is the exact thing that they were complaining about before the election. I guarantee that this is not the case for any of us, and the interaction of issues is more complex than any of us are likely to be able to articulate on the fly.

We a lot of people doing a lot of stuff so that things that work can be developed - we need a laboratory for techniques. This is easily the weirdest, scariest political situation of my entire life - I doubt very much that any of our previous plans are the magic answer to the times.
posted by Frowner at 12:19 PM on February 9 [108 favorites]



They've even lost the Clinton Cash guy on this one.

White House says Conway has been ‘counseled’ after touting Ivanka Trump’s products

Said Peter Schweizer, who has worked closely with Trump aide Stephen K. Bannon and wrote the book “Clinton Cash,” which was critical of donations to the Clinton Foundation: “They’ve crossed a very, very important bright line, and it’s not good. To encourage Americans to buy goods from companies owned by the first family is totally out of bounds and needs to stop.

“Clearly, the Trumps feel some of this is related to politics. But whether that’s true or not, these marketing battles need to be fought by Ivanka and her company. They cannot and should not be fought by government employees and the White House,” Schweizer said. “It’s time to move beyond the mind-set and the role of a businessman and assume the mantle of commander of chief.”

posted by Jalliah at 12:19 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


KellyAnne Conway and her dead, soulless eyes are loyal only to kelleyanne Conway. She had no problem hitching her wagon to Trump after tearing him down weeks earlier when she worked for Cruz. If they dump her I don't think she would would hesitate to open her trap and spill secrets to the highest bidder.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:20 PM on February 9 [43 favorites]


We are going to need to use every single blueprint , all the time, all at once.

There's no One True Way
posted by The Whelk at 12:21 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]




“It’s time to move beyond the mind-set and the role of a businessman and assume the mantle of commander of chief.”

actually no please keep fighting with Nordstrom and not Iran thank you
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:22 PM on February 9 [83 favorites]


We have never - and I mean NEVER - had this degree of pathological lying coming from the President and his entourage.

Not sure what you mean... seems like nothing has yet risen to the degree of secretly bombing the shit out of Cambodia and then denying it.


I mean, that was highly fucked up, but that seems to me like regular old immoral intentional lying, as opposed to compulsive pathological lying for absolutely no reason other than that you want to give whoever you're talking to the answer that you think they want to hear
posted by saturday_morning at 12:24 PM on February 9 [33 favorites]


Who is the bearded reporter griefing Spicy?

Pretty sure it was Jared Rizzi, of SiriusXM radio.
posted by zachlipton at 12:25 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I am SO MAD!! All this tough on crime shit with these Executive Actions is racist dogwhistling. Crime rates have dropped across America! Prescription Drugs are killing our communities! The fucker talking about "crime lords and gangs" while ceasing to monitor white supremacists!

Yes, I'm channeling the anger into productive activities.
posted by frecklefaerie at 12:26 PM on February 9 [50 favorites]


The Hot New Corporate PR Strategy? Giving Trump Credit for Stuff He Didn’t Do.
This appears to be the hot new survival strategy in corporate America, at least according to the Financial Times. Fearful that they might become the target of an angry tweet, corporate chieftains are being told to give Trump news he can brag about instead, such as new factory openings or hiring—whether or not the White House actually had anything to do with it
posted by zachlipton at 12:28 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


I mean, that was highly fucked up, but that seems to me like regular old immoral intentional lying, as opposed to compulsive pathological lying for absolutely no reason other than that you want to give whoever you're talking to the answer that you think they want to hear

Good point. Everything they've lied about so far has been inane and inconsequential, because that's all they've had time to spin up. No one has actually asked him any questions about the administration's actions on anything of consequence. Rest assured, though, that by the time his first month is up, Trump will definitely have his press-weasels lying about war crimes.
posted by Mayor West at 12:30 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Great, fluffing Trump to keep valuations up.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:30 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Whatever happened to the Russia scandal?

The only related news I've heard recently is that Russian security firms are no longer cooperating with US firms (e.g. sharing malware intel) as enthusiastically, because they're scared by the recent treason allegations.
posted by Coventry at 12:33 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Copying over from the last thread, The Slot (Gawker Media): What Is Happening to Sean Spicer's Face? It's taken on a certain tint ..

I need to know if anyone else in that administration is going for Trump's weird white-eyes thing. Because JESUS that's a creepy fucking escalation up the Cartoon Super Villain track
posted by Slackermagee at 12:33 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


This appears to be the hot new survival strategy in corporate America, at least according to the Financial Times. Fearful that they might become the target of an angry tweet, corporate chieftains are being told to give Trump news he can brag about instead, such as new factory openings or hiring—whether or not the White House actually had anything to do with it
Given what happened with Nordstrom, they may want to revisit this hot new strategy
posted by saturday_morning at 12:34 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


I hate to say anything in defense of Trump but he might have the right idea about "the wrong equipment" at airports. I'm wondering if he's talking about NextGen, the long and painful process of upgrading air traffic control systems. There's 20+ years of failures here and the current system being implemented is not great.

But NextGen will work, and it will be an improvement. And that 20+ years of difficulty has a history. It's not like everyone at FAA is stupid or corrupt, they're doing a hard job as well as they can. And that agency has a particularly difficult role because safety is absolutely paramount. I wince to hear Trump blather about "regulations" here; what, do you want the airplanes you fly on to not be regulated? The truth is American aviation has an amazingly good safety record thanks in a significant part to those regulations.

I also have zero faith that Trump's band of incompetents would do anything better at the FAA.
posted by Nelson at 12:36 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


I was extremely heartened by what sure looked like press coordination on the issue of the "so-called judge" remarks. Even if they can't succeed in forcing Spicey to give a credible answer, they can make it obvious that the answers he's giving are not going to cut it, with bonus points for getting him to blow an SNL-worthy gasket.
posted by HotToddy at 12:36 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Having found no ready pro bono opportunities I'm now in the midst of establishing a paired 501(c)3 and 501(c)4. Any thread junkies who have done this before and don't mind passing on wisdom would be more than welcome to memail me.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:36 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Great, fluffing Trump to keep valuations up.

"Please don't wish me into this bowl of tasty cornflakes, part of a healthy breakfast."
posted by maudlin at 12:37 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Hey guys, I think we may really want to do a close read on those executive orders.
including, if warranted, legislation defining new crimes of violence and establishing new mandatory minimum sentences for existing crimes of violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers, as well as for related crimes;
posted by corb at 12:37 PM on February 9 [46 favorites]


corb, I agree, but it's so tiresome keeping up with them.
posted by Coventry at 12:39 PM on February 9


Copying over from the last thread, The Slot (Gawker Media): What Is Happening to Sean Spicer's Face? It's taken on a certain tint ..

I need to know if anyone else in that administration is going for Trump's weird white-eyes thing. Because JESUS that's a creepy fucking escalation up the Cartoon Super Villain track


I think it might be more simple than that:

one dire consequence of persecuting homosexuals is there isn't a mary among Trump's team to help them apply bronzer
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:39 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


That Jacobin article almost doesn't sound like a google translate of something Sartre would drool into his pillow after too much absinthe... What I'm trying to say is, I agree with a bunch of it, except the petulant marxist undertone, and I guess leaving that out would render it unpublishable at J.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 12:40 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Presidential Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers

Another insidious piece of the EO is this part:
thoroughly evaluate all grant funding programs currently administered by the Department to determine the extent to which its grant funding supports and protects Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers
The $23 million that went to funding body cameras for police in 2015? Gone. Any funding of research into police accountability? Kiss it goodbye. Doesn't support LEOs enough.
posted by AceRock at 12:40 PM on February 9 [43 favorites]


Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada...

Suddenly, millions of Canadians stopped laughing and became very quiet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:40 PM on February 9 [74 favorites]


SEIU also unionizes social workers which is a rarity, and a vocal, dedicated and liberal bunch.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:41 PM on February 9


Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada...

Suddenly, millions of Canadians stopped laughing and became very quiet.


It won't do any good. We tried doing that here, too, but she kept finding cameras.
posted by Etrigan at 12:42 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada...

As a friend of mine said about that - look, she doesn't know where the capital of Canada is. Someone just tell her some random town in the Yukon and she'll go there.
posted by dnash at 12:42 PM on February 9 [82 favorites]


I agree with everyone here re general strike. I think this particular trial balloon is likely going to fizzle. I'm not upset over it. Things happen here and there, we learn, we move forward, it's no skin off anyone's nose if someone's direct action is not the platonic ideal of game-changing moments upon which history pivots.

I also am annoyed at Jacobin, brocialists, et al who mainly seem to just be telling everyone how they are doin it rong.

Throw everything at this wall, see what sticks, and don't get upset if your thing that you love is not the thing that sticks.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:42 PM on February 9 [20 favorites]




Good point. Everything they've lied about so far has been inane and inconsequential, because that's all they've had time to spin up. No one has actually asked him any questions about the administration's actions on anything of consequence. Rest assured, though, that by the time his first month is up, Trump will definitely have his press-weasels lying about war crimes.

Yeah, absolutely, and then the fact that that's all that's even had time to happen yet. We have yet to see the first crisis that Trump hasn't cooked up his own damn self... I feel like the next shit-fan collision is coming awfully soon, as soon as something bad happens to Trump's reign that didn't start on Twitter -- the first mass shooting, the first post-police-killing-protests, the first disease epidemic, and I'm not even willing to say "the first war" yet because then I won't be able to get anything done today.
posted by saturday_morning at 12:43 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Suddenly, millions of Canadians stopped laughing and became very quiet.

Except for some random outbreaks of gallows chuckles, we stopped laughing months ago.
posted by maudlin at 12:43 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada? You betcha!

I'm fine with this.

I think the sheer comedic value of Sarah Palin living in Ottawa would be a great boost for the Canadian smugness manufacturing sector.
posted by srboisvert at 12:44 PM on February 9 [36 favorites]


My thoughts on a general strike are that the greatest effect would be to have the most people possible not fly, nor buy gas. those two things will have enough economic impact to show up on the radar. having privileged folk not show up for work is going to be laughable. there just isn't enough history in this country on what a GS can achieve, nor the type of anger it would take to have people overcome income anxiety in order to actually strike.
Perhaps this is a case where the first one is a trial run and if it has any traction then build upon it, but yeah, labor is going to have to get really pissed to get behind this and even then labor in this country might not carry enough weight.
I'm down with this one, but I can afford to be. I am not hearing much about it outside of here and a few mentions on FB, and my daily feed is chock full of lefty anti=trump, pantsuit nation stuff.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:44 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


the first disease epidemic

Welp, Zika never went away, but all of our efforts to prepare the CDC to fight it did. This summer is gonna be ugly.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:45 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


Say what you will about the General Strike but I think scheduling it on a Friday before a long weekend is brilliant since a lot of people are going to take the day off anyway.
posted by I-baLL at 12:45 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Meghan McCain: "Trump has never served. My father can't bend one of his knees or lift one of his arms above his head. I am done with this today. DONE."
posted by zachlipton at 12:47 PM on February 9 [94 favorites]


As a friend of mine said about that - look, she doesn't know where the capital of Canada is. Someone just tell her some random town in the Yukon and she'll go there.

Everyone knows it's Toronto. Go to Toronto, Sarah. Here is the embassy. Have fun.
posted by saturday_morning at 12:49 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


Trump and his folks have insulted, rough estimate, 75% of the population on a regular basis for the last year, but they go after a family member and it's suddenly too far. Meghan McCain is the GOP in a fucking nutshell.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:50 PM on February 9 [152 favorites]


Whatever happened to the Russia scandal?
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:22 PM on February 9 [10 favorites +] [!]


This is a stark reminder of what happened before the Iraq war. In real life, there was plenty of information showing that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and was in no position to develop or deploy such weapons.
There were plenty believable leaks and international allies indicating that the Bush administration were at best wrong, and maybe lying. The UN questioned the intelligence provided by the US government.
There were dozens of experts testifying that an Iraq war would have the exact consequences it eventually had.

What's happening now is a gross caricature of what happened then, and some people would claim that was a crime. I have no idea what to say about the current situation in that perspective.
posted by mumimor at 12:52 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


Trump and his folks have insulted, rough estimate, 75% of the population on a regular basis for the last year, but they go after a family member and it's suddenly too far. Meghan McCain is the GOP in a fucking nutshell.

Trump has personally been insulting McCain for the last year and a half, and he and Meghan have each had these brief spasms of "I am DONE" before sitting right the fuck back down and bowing to the throne.
posted by Etrigan at 12:52 PM on February 9 [92 favorites]


If there are going to be strikes, then I'd expect to see them declared on short notice in southwestern cities with large service-sector populations as a direct response to ICE and local cops. In other news, Phoenix is hosting the Final Four in early April.
posted by holgate at 12:52 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


yes we could be experiencing the madness of king Trump
posted by robbyrobs at 12:54 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


> The Hot New Corporate PR Strategy? Giving Trump Credit for Stuff He Didn’t Do.

I mean, say what you will about Donald Trump, but shit...he's pretty damn good at bullying.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:56 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]




Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada? You betcha!

Enh, soon enough she'll get bored of work, bored of the lack of attention, and quit. It'll happen even quicker if we only speak French to her.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:00 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


Suddenly, millions of Canadians stopped laughing and became very quiet.

Believe me, most of us have not been laughing for quite a while now. I'm seeing people change vacation plans to avoid the US and we're starting to watch our own Conservative politics get Trumpified.
posted by nubs at 1:00 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


AP: For Trump, a solitary start to life in the White House: The president's advisers have tried to curb his cable news consumption during the workday. But there are no limits when the president returns to the residence. During another recent telephone conversation, Trump briefly put down the phone so he could turn up the volume on a CNN report. When he returned to the call, he was complaining about "fake news."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:00 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


Poster Project Update. Snow day today, so I am able to catch up on printing (at least until the ink runs out). Thank you very much to those that bought wooden posters - your support means I have A LOT of paper posters to mail out! Wave 2 went out on Tuesday and if FedEx makes it through the nor'easter with my mailers, Wave 3 should go out tomorrow.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:08 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


Law enforcement officials have been vocal about the lack of support they received under the past administration.

Police are safer under Obama than they have been in decades

posted by PenDevil at 1:08 PM on February 9 [50 favorites]


From the AP article on Trump's miserable lonely existence:
During a recent interview with Fox News, Trump said he was walking into the main entrance of the White House one day and said to himself, "This is sort of amazing."

"It's like a surreal experience, in a certain way," Trump said. "But you have to get over it."
YES A SURREAL EXPERIENCE IS EXACTLY HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE ALL OF THIS. THAT IS HOW THE REST OF US FEEL ABOUT YOU ALL THE TIME.
posted by informavore at 1:09 PM on February 9 [68 favorites]


Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada

Why not Russia? She could do it from her house.
posted by JackFlash at 1:12 PM on February 9 [31 favorites]


As a stoner who is aware of Sessions's hatred of weed, the fact that the EO doesn't address weed makes me edgy. It smacks of smartness. It smacks of, "target SSI but not SSDI." Affluent white people, people who voted for Trump, like their weed.

Instead they go after protests against police. And the affluent white Trump supporter who likes his weed is saying things like *why are they protesting NOW* and *ALL lives matter, obvi!*

Now, don't get me wrong, weed is important to me. I'd be a drooling opiate addict without it. Weed is how I function while experiencing excruciating pain.

Still, that they're not directly going after weed makes me hella uneasy, like I'm being appeased while the DAPL protestors are going to be facing some Extreme Shit, 2017 version.
posted by angrycat at 1:20 PM on February 9 [26 favorites]


>seems like nothing has yet risen to the degree of secretly bombing the shit out of Cambodia and then denying it.

I kind of feel like if Trump was doing something like this he would be unable to restrain himself from crowing about it. He wants so badly to be important, and he enjoys infuriating people so much, and he's so incapable of passing up bait, that it seems like in a case like that, he would have to lie about whether or not it was a good idea, rather than lying about whether or not he was doing it. Maybe there is a glimmering of hope in the idea that he will be as bad at lying as he is at everything else...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:20 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Unfortunately, the new EOs seem to be following Karl Rove's advice to proceed with Trump's entirely (to Rove) reasonable agenda in a more orderly way. First a report, then establishing consensus with Congress, then procedures and guidelines for the relevant agencies, and along the way hopefully you put the enemies of your agenda to sleep.
posted by Coventry at 1:21 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


hell with the hate on general strikes. Yeah the first time is gonna suck. We'll get better at it.
posted by saysthis


THIS.


It is hard enough to get 2 people to decide where to go for dinner, much less 6 people from the office to decide where to go for lunch or what movie to see. Imagine getting XX million people to agree on what day to strike.

No time like the present lest we get cold and complacent.
posted by yoga at 1:22 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


Trump paused a call with Putin to make an aide explain a nuclear arms treaty

The headline is actually the least scary thing about the article.
posted by piyushnz at 1:25 PM on February 9 [32 favorites]


Not sure what you mean... seems like nothing has yet risen to the degree of secretly bombing the shit out of Cambodia and then denying it

It's normal (if morally reprehensible) to lie about important things. Lying about having broken the law when talking to a LEO is a normal human reaction. Lying about tiny, insignificant things for NO GOOD GODDAMN REASON is a narcissist thing. Lying for the power it gives you over the lied-to. Lying to see how much control you have over the lied-to. Lying to influence the lied-to's beliefs over the long term (aka gaslighting.)

Yes, Presidents have lied in the past, in some really heinous and destructive ways. But there's never been such a deluge of obvious, petty lies on a near-constant basis. When you are lied to for a long period of time, at first your mind and rationality fights back. But eventually you start to become acclimated to the lies, start to accept some of them, stop fighting as hard and eventually stop fighting at all. We are in the very first stages of this. We have to fight to keep fighting, keep refuting, keep reminding people that these are lies.
posted by threeturtles at 1:25 PM on February 9 [32 favorites]


As a stoner who is aware of Sessions's hatred of weed, the fact that the EO doesn't address weed makes me edgy.

Or maybe weed is still Schedule 1 and there's nothing stopping the Sessions DOJ from going after it whenever they want, no EO required.
posted by theodolite at 1:25 PM on February 9 [23 favorites]


Police are safer under Obama than they have been in decades

Just as the Muslim ban has zero to do with national security, so too does the Blues Lives Matter executive order have zero to do with a "war on cops" (because there isn't one). These are people who are fabricating thinly veiled excuses to callously punish and hurt specific groups of people who are already among the most marginalized in our society. It is hard to think of any other motivation for them and their supporters than resentment and spite.
posted by AceRock at 1:27 PM on February 9 [34 favorites]


They might just throw Conway to the wolves

I hope they do. Treating the people who've been carrying your water like shit is going to be so attractive to every political operative who's thinking of hitching their wagon to the Trump train. Get abused by friends and foes alike for a year and then get kicked out into the cold with a black mark on your record? Woo, sign me up!
posted by jackbishop at 1:27 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Not sure what you mean... seems like nothing has yet risen to the degree of secretly bombing the shit out of Cambodia and then denying it

Thanks for the explanations about this, everyone. I understand, now.
posted by Coventry at 1:27 PM on February 9


Serious question: with this recent action regarding Nordstrom (nice NYT op-ed here) by our so-called president, what does it take to get legal action to happen? I mean ... is the country really this powerless against anything that a president wants to do?
posted by StrawberryPie at 1:28 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Or maybe weed is still Schedule 1 and there's nothing stopping the Sessions DOJ from going after it whenever they want, no EO required.

Selectively, of course.
posted by saturday_morning at 1:31 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


It's takes Republican members of the congress and administration doing their jobs.

Which will never happen. Because they like tax cuts far better than functioning democracy.

So yes, the rest of us really are powerless to enforce the law.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:32 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


I don't think Trump can lie us into another Iraq. GWB pulled it off in no small part because there was a large enough contingent of folks who didn't credit him with enough audacity to straight-up lie to them. If Trump says the sky is blue, half the American people are going to go outside to check. If Congress is onboard in spite of lies, we're fucked and it doesn't matter if he lies, but he's certainly not going to fool anyone the way Bush did (yes, I am aware, there were plenty of people who knew Bush was lying, but there were also a lot who didn't).
posted by jackbishop at 1:32 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


is the country really this powerless against anything that a president wants to do?

Technically no (see the stay issued against the immigration EO). Much of the check on the president breaking the law relies on the damned House of Representatives doing their damned jobs and impeaching that motherfucker. Legal actions can, will, and are being taken by states, the ACLU, and others. I'll let law-talking folks weigh in on whether Nordstrom might have standing to sue the president for targeting them specifically. But the courts take a long time. The House has enough evidence to impeach, but they don't have the political will to do so.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:33 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


It fully depends on how many terrorist attacks in the US he can incite, jackbishop
posted by flatluigi at 1:33 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


From the previous thread - it took me all day to edit and rewrite this down.
Hillary was right. Most of the Republicans are deplorable and more importantly irredeemable. . . . .Democrats don't need them. They need to persuade the 35 million registered Democrats who didn't vote to show up. There's another 35 million or so who have never registered to vote, many are young people, who you have a better chance of reaching than life-long Republicans or "moderate" unicorns.

Forget Republicans. Let them stew in their own sewage.
posted by JackFlash at 9:17 AM on February 9 [21 favorites +] [!]


It isn't just Republicans, people....it's the right wing Christian White Supremacists that have taken over and control much or most of the Republican party.  Very openly in some cases but mostly covertly (scary to think it's even bigger and goes even deeper than you thought - think about armed forces, CBP, FBI).

I lived this through the late 80's and early 90's.  I marched for Gay Rights and Women's Rights in the streets of Central Florida against the KKK and NeoNazi Skinheads and the Christian Coalition and the American Family Association.  I showed up with the youth group a friend and I had started at the Gay Community Center in Orlando, FL, at NOW marches in Tampa, at AIDS awareness demonstrations and gay right's demonstrations in Central Florida.  We all went to a meeting of the Christian Coalition in Seminole County (at the public library - where the Librarian told the CC they could not have a closed meeting in a public library - God Bless Librarians!) where David Caton was the guest speaker promoting his documentary The Gay Agenda (he left the meeting early, noticeably disturbed by the presence of so many gays and lesbians who by their presence and nature disproved the point of his movie).  I got the gay recovering community to march in Orlando's Newish and small Gay Pride Parade for the first time and to have a booth at the Gay Fair later that year (1992? 1993??).  I came to personal terms with ACTUP and its methods and learned to respect and honor them, even though I despised its founder, I wholeheartedly defended them publicly.  Their methods worked, much like Occupy. 

In the mid 1990's, the Christian Coalition and the American Family Association were telling their members in Florida and around the country to become political - to run for local and county and state level positions.  To take over school boards, and town councils and county governments, that that would be how they would take over....I have watched it happen in the Republican Party over the past 25 years, mostly in the South, but also in Indiana, Kansas, and other states.  When I woke up this morning and read the post of the results of the school board elections in New Mexico it lightened my heart considerably. This is one front we need to push against and they started in New Mexico!

Even if #45 leaves or is forced out - there is still an Executive Branch controlled by the Christian White Supremacists with a Senate and a House that are controlled by the Christian White Supremacists.  This battle is truly just beginning (continuing, actually, but we are newly awakened to it) and it will take long term daily efforts by millions of people to push against it and to keep pushing against it on every front possible – EVERY FRONT POSSIBLE! No push is too small. 

We can argue ideology (I love arguing Ideology, I love arguing!) but personally, I have had to practice keeping my arguments to myself and channeling that energy towards constructive actions (whether I feel like it or not is irrelevant - what I DO is what impacts the world in an immediate fashion).  So I have been calling, e-mailing and faxing my elected officials.  I have been demonstrating in front of their offices (they are Illinois/Chicago Democrats - it irks me to no end that we need to keep on their asses to vote the correct way - but I keep on their asses along with thousands of others!)  I have been disbursing information to my sphere of influence, being a cheerleader for those who are new to resistance.  Sending them information they can use, congratulating them on their actions, encouraging them to face their fears and to take the actions they want to take but are afraid of taking.  And this is not a local thing - my friends across the country are hearing from me and I am encouraging them. And what happens is they end up encouraging me, their stories of personal triumph over their fears, their relief at being able to DO something to push back. It is amazing.

If you want 35 million registered voters to show up and vote, who normally don't vote or vote occasionally, you gotta give them something to vote for - and the Democratic Party has failed in that category most of the time the past 20 years, with the exception of Obama.  Personally, I am sick of the Dems message boiling down to "Vote against them, vote FOR us!"  Obama's first run invigorated me and a large circle of people around me to get off our asses and get involved again.  My friends and I campaigned in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana....we drove to Michigan and Indiana numerous times.  We donated and spent out of pocket thousands of dollars and gave thousands of hours of time to get HOPE and CHANGE WE COULD BELIEVE IN into the White House.  Not much changed, HOPE eroded slowly (quickly after Rahm called Progressive's Fucking Retards while at the White House).  But what I am experiencing now, in the streets, is truly awesome. Never, ever, ever in the 1990's or 2000's would I have thought I could be (except in a fictionl Utopian World) standing outside of the Federal Building in downtown Chicago, standing shoulder to shoulder with black people and white people and people every shade of brown, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Sikhs, Native Americans, young people, old people, men, women, children, so many children, some people different from me in nearly every aspect, but United in our Humanity, listening to a State Senator yelling the first half of a chant “When they come for the Queers, what do we do?” and shouting back in unison “Stand UP! FIGHT BACK!” Really? In my lifetime? In the 1990's most of those “other people” didn't care about gay rights, some of them were actually against gay rights. But today, we are United.

We are in the midst of scary times, but from the perspective of a 50 year old gay white man raised Catholic in a small backwoods town in rural Michigan, who got the Fuck out after a degree from Michigan State and found life in Orlando, then Miami, then Chicago, working and fighting for equality along the way, we have come a long way baby and our Resistance has grown and matured over the past 25 years (I'd be lighting a Virginia Slim if I hadn't quit smoking already....).

I believe the Democratic Party needs to catch up with the population they purport to represent – or they will find themselves without the base they like to think they have – the people I am meeting in the streets of Chicago don't particularly enjoy having to demonstrate TO our elected Democrats to vote FOR OUR FUTURE. Our time, energy, money and our emotions could be put to much more productive use in the resistance. Obama's HOPE and CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN have survived against strong odds - they do not look they way I thought they would look, they do not sound the way I thought they would sound, and they are being repeated from communities that I never would have thought to hear them from....but they are here and they are good!
posted by W Grant at 1:33 PM on February 9 [131 favorites]




Should House Democrats write off rural congressional districts?
What [Representative Patrick Maloney]’s found, so far, in his independent autopsy of the House Democrats’ disappointing performance in the 2016 elections is a mix of optimistic and depressing news. “We can win where we used to struggle and we’re struggling a bit where we used to win,” Maloney said in an hour-long interview here at the Democratic policy retreat, on the eve of a 90-minute presentation he made Thursday afternoon.

He means that there are House districts that Democrats have competed in, or even represented for a long time, that have moved so sharply away from Democrats that they need to reassess whether to compete there ever again. Yet there is also an emerging set of districts that have long been held by Republicans that are now bending toward Democrats faster than even the most optimistic strategists envisioned.
posted by Coventry at 1:34 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


PenDevil Police are safer under Obama than they have been in decades


Sure, but that's not what they mean by "support". In a very real sense the Police Unions, spokespeople, and even a lot of individual cops, care a **LOT** more about people kowtowing to their authoritah than they care about officer safety, for all that officer safety is their ritual utterance to justify any and all evils done by the police.

What Obama didn't do was get out there and say that BLM was a bunch of uppity terrorists who should all be rounded up and shot, and to the cops that matters a lot more than police work getting safer.
posted by sotonohito at 1:35 PM on February 9 [18 favorites]


Trump paused a call with Putin to make an aide explain a nuclear arms treaty

The headline is actually the least scary thing about the article.


I look forward to the inevitable Trump administration press release trumpeting their extension of the ANUSTART treaty.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:35 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is introducing the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act. You know what to do.
posted by carmicha at 1:35 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


Let' See How Good They Are at Manufacturing Consent
I wandered over to Breitbart just now and discovered this:
Conservative grassroots leaders are planning a series of massive pro-President Donald Trump rallies nationwide, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

On Feb. 27 and March 4, the rallies -- dubbed the Spirit of America Rallies -- will spring up nationwide in cities and towns across America.
The resistance movement clearly has these folks scared -- the president's job approval rating is underwater in most polls, the news coverage of the president is deservedly awful, and opponents are getting pretty good press. I don't know if the pro-Trumpers can really put big crowds together -- I have my doubts, especially about February 27, which is a Monday, but we'll see. In any case, there's clearly a fear out there that the Trumpers have lost control of the narrative. They can write a lot of executive orders, they can get all their Cabinet picks approved on party-line votes, but we've got them on the defensive. I like that.
The rally website is here for anyone who wants to follow along and maybe show up with a few thousand friends to engage in a friendly conversation with these authoritarian-worshipers.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:40 PM on February 9 [32 favorites]


shots fired: "Democrat moves to force House debate on Trump’s alleged business conflicts and Russia ties"
posted by xcasex at 1:43 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


maybe show up with a few thousand friends to engage in a friendly conversation with these authoritarian-worshipers.

Nah, because they'd 1) show photos of the crowds and claim anti-Trump protesters among their numbers to show how big and influential they are, and/or 2) there will be some kind of violence or window-breaking by the Trumpists, and guess who will get the blame and bad publicity.

I think it'd be best to ignore and privately mock them.
posted by witchen at 1:47 PM on February 9 [23 favorites]


1) show photos of the crowds and claim anti-Trump protesters among their numbers to show how big and influential they are

Good thing there's a shitload of pink hats waiting to be broken out again
posted by Existential Dread at 1:48 PM on February 9 [43 favorites]


from the "a solitary start" AP article:
For Trump, life in the White House residence is so far a largely solitary existence. With his wife and youngest son living in New York, and his grown children busy with their young families, Trump's first evenings have been spent largely alone, tethered to the outside world only by his phone and his television. The dramatic change of scenery has left the 70-year-old president, a known creature of habit, a little adrift in the evenings, according to one person who spoke with him recently.
He's Alan Partridge, isn't he? And Kellyanne's his Lynn.
While Trump has marveled at the history and beauty of his new home, "it's still government housing," said Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax and a friend of the president's.
Oh FFS.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:53 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


Vox.com: GOP senator: Elizabeth Warren shouldn’t criticize Sessions, because “think of his wife"
Orrin Hatch suggested that a woman senator, quoting a woman civil rights leader, should stop talking because she insulted another woman’s husband.
Thanks for the objectification.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:56 PM on February 9 [59 favorites]


Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is introducing the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act. You know what to do.

Actually, it seems to be a Republican taking an action I respect in 2017, so I literally have no idea what to do since there's no precedent and I'm just running on sense memory these days.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:56 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


Conservative grassroots leaders are planning a series of massive pro-President Donald Trump rallies nationwide

If they're anything like the "grassroots" leaders who kicked off the Tea Party, it's pure astroturf. This is why the right has been hammering the whole "paid protester" meme hard, because they can't get people to show up for their own rallies without seeding the crowd with shills.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:56 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


They don't seem to have much of a clue about how to organize a rally. "Email this person" is bad marketing.
posted by Coventry at 1:58 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


from the "a solitary start" AP article:

Historians have described Domitian as "crazy and unbalanced". He suffered from social inadequacy and preferred solitude to the company of people. He had a distrustful nature and was constant in fear of conspiracies; the pillars of his palace were made of white reflective marble, so that he could see what was going on behind him. Like Caligula, Domitian was very sensitive of his baldness and official portraits continued to show him with flowing locks of hair. Domitian was also notorious for his cruelty. He is supposed to have invented a new method of torture: burning the sexual organs of his victims. Domitian was capable of inviting an erring official to supper, dismissing him in such a way that the man retired happy and carefree. Nevertheless, the next day he was executed. Domitian also enjoyed asking senators to dinner-parties at which all the equipment was black, so that the guests were numb with fright. Like Vespasian, Domitian persecuted Stoic philosophers and Jews. He had all Jews, who claimed descent from King David, tracked down and killed. Very peculiar was Domitian's pleasure in catching flies, stabbing them with the point of a pen and tearing their wings out.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:59 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


Vox.com: GOP senator: Elizabeth Warren shouldn’t criticize Sessions, because “think of his wife"

How many members of Trump's cabinet have been accused of domestic assault again?
posted by dinty_moore at 2:01 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


How many members of Trump's cabinet have been accused of domestic assault again?

"How unfair to the wives that you insult their husbands by bringing up the fact that their husbands abuse them."
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:03 PM on February 9 [23 favorites]




Conservative grassroots leaders are planning a series of massive pro-President Donald Trump rallies nationwide, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

Oh give me a break. Most of the Breitbart shitlords never leave their sofas, let alone march outside with other people.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:08 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


They don't seem to have much of a clue about how to organize a rally. "Email this person" is bad marketing.

Also their bot-guard is a simple subtraction problem. Gee I wonder if I can't put that solution in the script that I'm totally not at all going to write that overwhelms their contact form.
posted by dis_integration at 2:08 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


I wish the rise that we’re seeing in crime in America today were some sort of aberration or a blip.

Crime has been on a long downward trajectory for decades. Jesus, I'm more qualified to be attorney general than Sessions, and I'm not an attorney or a general.
Unless he knows better and he's lying?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:08 PM on February 9 [27 favorites]


Yet there is also an emerging set of districts that have long been held by Republicans that are now bending toward Democrats faster than even the most optimistic strategists envisioned.

I've mentioned before how I live in a deep red rural county. It went ~68% for Chickpea. Which seems insurmountable, but look, Hillary outperformed Obama 08 (-74%) and 12(-72%) here. That's not nothing.

Also, my ballot had 4 unopposed republicans. I wrote in my dog's name, but still, there's no telling how the theoretical democrat might have done, because they don't run here. Dems need to start running in marginal races - if for no other reason to give the Republicans something to expend effort on.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:10 PM on February 9 [26 favorites]


I'm totally not at all going to write that overwhelms their contact form.

Maybe we should have an argument about whether it would have been OK to spam Nazi's, if WWII and the internet had coexisted.
posted by Coventry at 2:10 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Secrecy surrounds White House cybersecurity staff shakeup
It's thought he was either fired or asked to resign last Thursday evening, and he was escorted out from his office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across the street from the West Wing.

[...]

However, one source said it's because the remaining staff have "targets on their back" and are afraid of speaking out, calling the actions a "witch hunt" for former Obama appointees. Accusations of poor management were said to be reasons or excuses for his forced departure amid what was described as a "toxic" working environment.
Interesting.... I wonder if this will turn out to be leak related, or about Dampnut's damned phone and twitter account...
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:11 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Come onnnnn, 9th Circuit. This is a watershed moment, please do this right.
posted by lydhre at 2:11 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


> "it seems to be a Republican taking an action I respect in 2017, so I literally have no idea what to do"

If it makes you feel any better, Rohrabacher (R-CA) has been a big proponent for marijuana legalization for a while now. If she hasn't already profited handsomely already, I'm certain she stands to benefit financially for continued Cannabis legalization in CA.
posted by porpoise at 2:13 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Trump is more of a personality cult than a political movement. When the big boy himself isn't making a physical appearance the turnout tends to look like this.
posted by theodolite at 2:13 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


No, he tipped his hand, he's almost certainly lying. He knows damn well it is just a blip in the stats for the past year and the long-term trend is way down. His full quote was (emphasis mine)

“We have a crime problem,” he said. “I wish the blip — I wish the rise that we’re seeing in crime in America today were some sort of aberration or a blip. My best judgment, having been involved in criminal law enforcement for many years, is that this is a dangerous permanent trend that places the health and safety of the American people at risk.”
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:13 PM on February 9 [25 favorites]


Hard to be a warlord when no one wants to play war.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:15 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Maybe we should have an argument about whether it would have been OK to spam Nazi's, if WWII and the internet had coexisted.

Spam is older than the internet:

Radio Londres: Broadcasts would begin with "Before we begin, please listen to some personal messages." It was clear to nearly everyone that they were coded messages, often amusing, and completely without context. Representative messages include "Jean has a long mustache" and "There is a fire at the insurance agency," each one having some meaning to a certain resistance group.[1] They were used primarily to provide messages to the resistance, but also to thank their agents or simply to give the enemy the impression that something was being prepared. Because of the flood of messages and the limited number of Germans available to work to decipher them, the Nazis were not able to keep up.
posted by nubs at 2:19 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


Dana Rohrabacher is a man

He also just suggested that Macedonia is not a country and should be divided up into other neighboring states. A State Department spokesperson confirmed that Macedonia is a country. Rohrabacher has a ton of weird Russia stuff going on too.

Which is not to say that that the feds shouldn't leave California the hell alone when it comes to weed.
posted by zachlipton at 2:22 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


they need to reassess whether to compete there ever again.

No, they need to reassess how they compete there. "Compete" doesn't have to mean "throw money at them", but it should mean "back whoever is willing to run, as long as they're not a nutjob, and see what happens." Every position, every district.
posted by holgate at 2:24 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Rohrabacher is terrible in almost every respect but this is where the "almost" comes in.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:25 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


A State Department spokesperson confirmed that Macedonia is a country.

Phew
posted by theodolite at 2:25 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


Conservative grassroots leaders are planning a series of massive pro-President Donald Trump rallies nationwide, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

No they fucking aren't. Shut your fucking face, Breitbart.

...my patience stores may be nearly empty right now.
posted by corb at 2:29 PM on February 9 [27 favorites]


shots fired: "Democrat moves to force House debate on Trump’s alleged business conflicts and Russia ties"

So, I've been getting disappointed with the Countable app lately, mostly for the way they frame issues and also some stupid usability stuff (oh hi its me countable i randomly log you out now isn't that fun), but I think their impeachment sensationalizing on this particular move of Nadler's might be the reason I uninstall it, the alert I just got is basically ZOMG THE FIRST STEP TO IMPEACHMENT and blowing it out of proportion, which ends in fanning partisan flames and people on the right acting like this is crossing a huge line.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:30 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


A State Department spokesperson confirmed that Macedonia is a country.

Phew


You know, while we're there, can we just ask them to give us a list of every place the current administration thinks is a country? I feel like we need to get some of this shit in writing sooner rather than later.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:31 PM on February 9 [26 favorites]


What Is Happening to Sean Spicer's Face? It's taken on a certain tint ...

This would make a good horror story. First Trump's staff starts to change to that color. Then his cabinet. Then Republican members of congress. Then your Republican coworkers and neighbors. And, finally... you!
posted by diogenes at 2:32 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]




Conservative grassroots leaders are planning a series of massive humiliatingly small (FTFY) pro-President Donald Trump rallies nationwide, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
I wonder if enough people are going to show to fill the vacant job positions in the White House. Not likely, but if you always wanted a gig as a professional bootlicker, it's the place to be.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:34 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


This is a derail, if it is in fact possible to derail this thread, but yesterday I started thinking about how Americans have voted for some terrible Republican Presidents over the last 50 years. Nixon, Reagan, Bush 2 and now Trump. I'm trying to think of who our (Canada) worst Prime Minister was during the same period and there's no comparison. Canada and the US are pretty similar so why do you guys consistently elect such terrible leaders?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:34 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Chaffetz and Cummings' letter to the Office of Government Ethics re Conway's sales pitch.

It's interesting, since yesterday Chaffetz showed zero interest in so much as waking up to read Trump's Nordstrom tweet, but now we're on full on "throw Kellyanne under the bus" mode.

Chaffetz has surely seen this chart about how his district voted though. In 2012, it went for Romney 78-20. In 2016, it only went for Trump 47-23. That's a huge number going third party (thanks Egg!). Chaffetz just won with 73% of the vote, so I'm sure he's not worried, but he knows where his bread is buttered, and it's not Trump.
posted by zachlipton at 2:35 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


we have 350 million people and a lot of them are bad
posted by poffin boffin at 2:36 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


Conor Sen in Bloomberg View: The Democrats' New Base: Romney Voters
There's a paradox within the Democratic Party right now as leaders plot their path forward. On the one hand, they want to get back to their labor roots. On the other hand, electoral trends will pull them in the other direction: In 2016, the group that most swung toward Democrats was wealthy Mitt Romney voters, who will represent the key to Democrats making electoral gains in 2018.

Democrats would be forgiven for thinking "make labor great again" should be their electoral approach right now. In times of confusion and uncertainty, it's human nature to go with what you know. Even after losing many working-class white voters to the Republican Party, labor roots in the Democratic Party remain deep. On paper, focusing on those labor roots would please the labor interests within the party, and perhaps would win back some of those straying Trump voters.
The New Republic's Sarah Jones responds:
i for one am very surprised that a "portfolio manager for New River Investments" wrote this

Clinton explicitly courted these voters in 2016; they voted Republican anyway.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:37 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


> I'm trying to think of who our (Canada) worst Prime Minister was during the same period and there's no comparison.

Harper is the obvious answer, but as bad as he was he was a) intelligent, and b) sane, which automatically vaults him ahead of that crew.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:38 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I'm no fan of coal, but this is bad staff work.

(That's the former head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy, in the office of Kevin de Leόn, who leads the California State Senate, explaining there's no war on coal while sitting in front of a "coal sucks" poster.)
posted by zachlipton at 2:40 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I'm still catching up on this thread, but I don't believe this has been posted yet:
What Each State Googled More Frequently Than Any Other State Since the Election
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 2:47 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


The chief competitor to Kellyanne Conway's husband for the job of Solicitor General just withdrew from consideration. I'd bet money this is the payoff for Kellyanne to accept her firing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:47 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


You know, while we're there, can we just ask them to give us a list of every place the current administration thinks is a country?

Where Countries Stand With Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet
posted by kirkaracha at 2:48 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Obviously if Kellyanne Conway leaves the White House she will join CNN as a full time analyst.
posted by shothotbot at 2:50 PM on February 9 [27 favorites]


In defense of Mississippi's search term on the map at Fish, fish's link, 3 Doors Down is a band from here and I guess one of them recently died. Once we forget about that, we will be back to searching about things equally inane, but more explicable.
posted by thebrokedown at 2:53 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Patrick Strickland for al-Jazeera: More Americans joining socialist groups under Trump
Connor Southard had never been involved in political organising and had never been a member of a political organisation - until the election of the far-right US President, Donald Trump.

After that he joined the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
[...]
David Duhalde, the DSA's deputy director, explains that the organisation's membership has soared to 16,000, more than doubling since May 2016. In the last two weeks alone, more than 2,000 new members have registered.

"We're taking advantage of the rising energy around socialism and the popular feeling that capitalism is not working for the majority of people," he told Al Jazeera, adding that around 50 new chapters have been founded in communities and on campuses in recent months.

DSA members have participated in mass protests against Trump's inauguration, supported the Women's March, and called for the release of immigrants detained at airports owing to the new president's ban on travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:57 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


> What Each State Googled More Frequently Than Any Other State Since the Election

I can't even tell if that's parody or real any more. It's hysterical, either way.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:57 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Chaffetz and Cummings' letter to the Office of Government Ethics re Conway's sales pitch.

It's interesting, since yesterday Chaffetz showed zero interest in so much as waking up to read Trump's Nordstrom tweet, but now we're on full on "throw Kellyanne under the bus" mode.


The Chaffetz "my bum" article from a few days ago had this bit:
Chaffetz said Trump was supportive of him conducting vigorous oversight during their Philadelphia chat.

"He was the one who said proactively, feel free to investigate anything you want. That’s your job, that’s your role," he said. "He is not going to put a heavy hand in one direction nor the other. We have a job to do and we’re going to do it."
...well, if you say so Mr. President!

Though personally I think this is Chaffetz laying groundwork for "see? I totally investigate my own team, how dare you suggest otherwise!" as cover when he eventually ducks out of investigating Trump directly for anything. Lots of peripheral people in the Trump circle they can sacrifice to keep up appearances but that investigative backbone won't be there when it's really needed.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:59 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Oh man:
TENNESSEE: Who punched Richard Spencer? / Donald Trump pee pee / How tall is James Comey? / Pray for Trump / What is critical thinking?
My whole family is from Tennessee, and has been for several generations. Had it not been for my dad's work taking him far afield, I'd be from Tennessee myself. I love my family and most of the Tennessee people I meet, but god damn it.
posted by mochapickle at 3:01 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


This complicates the effort to throw Conway under the bus though:

Cooper withdraws from solicitor general consideration
Chuck Cooper, the conservative Supreme Court litigator, is withdrawing his name from consideration to be the next solicitor general, opening the door for the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to be appointed to the role.
...
Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George T. Conway, has been reported as the other finalist being considered for the role. The White House has yet to announce a nominee and a spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Conway, a partner at the New York City law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, is perhaps best known for the behind-the-scenes role he played in the Paula Jones saga during Bill Clinton’s presidency – it was Conway who, along with a small cadre of elite lawyers, wrote Jones’ successful appeal to the Supreme Court, which set the legal precedent allowing a sitting president to be sued in civil court.
posted by zachlipton at 3:02 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I'm no fan of coal, but this is bad staff work.

(That's the former head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy, in the office of Kevin de Leόn, who leads the California State Senate, explaining there's no war on coal while sitting in front of a "coal sucks" poster.)


But coal does suck. A LOT. Unregulated coal mining destroys ecosystems, ruins landscapes, and eats workers like a stoner with a can of Pringles. Personally, I think it's a good idea for someone who's job was to protect the environment for future generations to have a poster laying around her office that says the truth. Coal sucks the life out of a region and leaves nothing in return.
posted by teleri025 at 3:04 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


I'm totally unsurprised that "3 Doors Down" and "Who is Frederick Douglass?" are neighbors.
posted by TwoStride at 3:05 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I'm still catching up on this thread, but I don't believe this has been posted yet:
What Each State Googled More Frequently Than Any Other State Since the Election
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 4:47 PM on February 9 [2 favorites +] [!]


Iowa: Russian Prostitutes

To be fair, that's what my fellow Iowans were googling most frequently before the election, too.
posted by Caxton1476 at 3:06 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


As far as I can tell those Estately.com maps are assembled by typing wacky stuff into Google Trends and then assigning it to the #1 state on the list you get when you click on America.
posted by theodolite at 3:06 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


While it is very good news that Chuck Cooper is out (Cooper went after people with AIDS in the 1980s, defended Prop 8, etc.) I would not be totally surprised to see Kellyanne Conway disappear from the White House if her husband gets the solicitor general position.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:11 PM on February 9




9th Circuit ruled against Trump; stay remains in place!!!

(edited because i wrote that weird/wrong)
posted by melissasaurus at 3:13 PM on February 9 [77 favorites]


If you know of young progressives in Virginia - no Dem candidates for many Representative races (tweet).
posted by shothotbot at 3:14 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Hooo boy. Thank you, 9th Circuit.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:14 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Oh, he's gonna be pissed.
posted by yhbc at 3:15 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


9th Circuit ruled against Trump; ban remains in place!!!
Clarification: the order blocking the ban remains in place.
posted by EmGeeJay at 3:15 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Uh, Melissasaurus? You and your link are saying opposite things there.
posted by Archelaus at 3:15 PM on February 9


the ban on the ban remains in place, to be clear

unanimous!
posted by prefpara at 3:16 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Woah, it's unanimous. I was betting on a 2-1 ruling against Trump.
posted by zachlipton at 3:16 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


(I edited my comment b/c I wrote it wrong; reload pls!)
posted by melissasaurus at 3:17 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Here's the order.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:19 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


My brother just texted me: 'Turns out it was an Easy D'
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:20 PM on February 9 [24 favorites]


mellissasaurus, how did you get the order so fast?
posted by Coventry at 3:20 PM on February 9


mellissasaurus, how did you get the order so fast?

I follow a lot of lawyers on twitter.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:22 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


So, doesn't this mean they're just going to appeal up to the Supreme Court next? What's the most likely outcome there?
posted by mhum at 3:23 PM on February 9


A tie at the Supreme Court means this decision remains in force. So we just need four to agree.
posted by prefpara at 3:24 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


What Each State Googled More Frequently Than Any Other State Since the Election

These are poems! With a bit of license, but yeah, poems!

CALIFORNIA:
What did Trump do now?

Definition of lie
Will the world end in 2017?
Twitter feud
Are we going to die?

What did Trump do now?
Donald Trump Russian prostitutes

D.A.C.A. news
Trump D.A.C.A. news

deportation force
Trump ISIS plan
Is it a Muslim ban?

immigrant rights
immigration attorney near me
How to emigrate to Australia

What did Trump do now?

How much would it cost to build a wall?

What did Trump do now?

How does a filibuster work?
California secession petition

What did Trump do now?
Is Donald Trump a sociopath?
posted by nubs at 3:24 PM on February 9 [22 favorites]


My brother just texted me: 'Turns out it was an Easy D'

Heh. I just tweeted something like that and now I feel like I'm down with the Zeitgeist.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:24 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


"Courts are not powerless to review the political branches’ actions” with respect to matters of national security."

That's direct.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:24 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


Fake "ruling" by "so-called" judges! "Sad"!
posted by saysthis at 3:25 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


How long until Easy D tweets about it?
posted by drezdn at 3:26 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Remember when Trump said he'd win so much we'd all be sick of winning? Are you folks sick of winning?
posted by zachlipton at 3:26 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


A tie at the Supreme Court means this decision remains in force. So we just need four to agree.

SCOTUS could also, I believe, simply decline to hear the case, letting the 9th circuit ruling stand without comment. Which might, actually, be the best way for them to go at this point.
posted by anastasiav at 3:26 PM on February 9 [20 favorites]



I'm in class right now sitting beside the uber defensive American that I've spoken about before. I sooooo want to cheer and announce the ruling. I'm holding my tongue though for the sake of getting the project done that we have to work on together.

I'll cheer here. Woooooooo!
posted by Jalliah at 3:26 PM on February 9 [23 favorites]


Intel gives Trump credit for $7bn US factory it announced under Obama

Intel’s CEO said the Arizona plant was a response to Trump’s business-friendly policies, but the company announced it in 2011 – and Obama gave a speech there
posted by futz at 3:26 PM on February 9 [32 favorites]


3-0 decision, the Republican guy explicitly joined in rejecting the government's argument.
posted by Justinian at 3:28 PM on February 9 [22 favorites]


It's also interesting that they did this as a per curiam opinion (it comes in the name of the court rather than identifying a specific author with others who have signed on to it. I read it as a pretty clear statement of "if you want to come after someone, you're coming after all three of us."
posted by zachlipton at 3:30 PM on February 9 [83 favorites]


Next step is to try to get the whole court to take the appeal, right?
posted by notyou at 3:30 PM on February 9


From the text of the order:

The Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States. Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the Executive Order, the Government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all. We disagree, as explained above.
posted by piyushnz at 3:30 PM on February 9 [53 favorites]


Nevertheless, we hold that the Government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay.

[gavel explodes into a million fragments, crowd goes insane]
posted by theodolite at 3:31 PM on February 9 [18 favorites]


Maybe we can look forward to Trump angerly "tweeting at some guy named Per Curiam" though.
posted by zachlipton at 3:31 PM on February 9 [25 favorites]


Next step is to try to get the whole court to take the appeal, right?

From the Order: SCOTUS "repeatedly and explicitly rejected the notion that the political branches have unreviewable authority over immigration"
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:33 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


From the opinion:
Instead, the Government has taken the position that the President’s decisions about immigration policy, particularly when motivated by national security concerns, are unreviewable, even if those actions potentially contravene constitutional rights and protections. The Government indeed asserts that it violates separation of powers for the judiciary to entertain a constitutional challenge to executive actions such as this one.

There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:33 PM on February 9 [69 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump So many bad judges making so many poor decisions why do judges seem to have such poor decision making? Sad! [fake]
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:33 PM on February 9


Some more text from the order (Google indexes so fast these days):

In short, although courts owe considerable deference to
the President’s policy determinations with respect to
immigration and national security, it is beyond question that
the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate
constitutional challenges to executive action.


Forget it Donnie, you're out of your element.
posted by zabuni at 3:34 PM on February 9 [22 favorites]


i like it when the bad man feels sad
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:34 PM on February 9 [47 favorites]


Maybe we can look forward to Trump angrily "tweeting at some guy named Per Curiam" though.

Sounds Swedish. European socialism. Bad judge!
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:34 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump

SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!


[real]

sweet Jesus fuck.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:37 PM on February 9 [76 favorites]


lordy
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:37 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Very Presidential.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 3:38 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Sent from Android.
posted by zachlipton at 3:38 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


WE WILL SEE YOU IN COURT. LOL.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:39 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


@9th

Saw you today, motherfucker (fake)
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:39 PM on February 9 [45 favorites]


Sent from Android.

No shit. I know exactly the stubby little fascist fingers that pounded out that tweet.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:39 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


@9th

Easy D (fake)
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 3:40 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


I mean, we did see you in court. Is he living backwards like Merlin?
posted by selfnoise at 3:40 PM on February 9 [53 favorites]


So hes going to see The Court in Court ? Will this be at the Court that he sees them in Court ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:41 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


So, is it against the law to send them flowers or something? A thank you note? I mean, its the least we can do, while we're sending postcards, right?
posted by anastasiav at 3:41 PM on February 9


I wonder if he thinks constitutional law works like corporate law, where the person with the most money to continue and delay ultimately wins.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:42 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


Who responds to a court ruling with "SEE YOU IN COURT?" We're literally already in court. Court is precisely why you're so angry you're tweeting in all caps.

It's like a trash-talker who's losing badly in a 1-on-1 basketball game who says "oh yeah. we'll just see how well you can play on the court." You're already on the court playing the damn game and the answer is "not very well."
posted by zachlipton at 3:42 PM on February 9 [88 favorites]


I mean, we did see you in court. Is he living backwards like Merlin?

Did he get Benjamin-Buttoned!?!
posted by drezdn at 3:42 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Well, which court is next here?
posted by notyou at 3:43 PM on February 9


I know Trump is probably just Trumping as usual, but he's going to look like a god damn genius if there actually is a terrorist attack which can be traced back to someone whose entry would have been prevented by the EO.
posted by Coventry at 3:43 PM on February 9


This is clearly moving toward a Space Jam sequel, y'all.
posted by Etrigan at 3:43 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


This will probably quickly get lost in news about the 9th District denying the stay, but I think it's perhaps notable. On 1/31, the Department of Defense notified Paul Ryan of a $70 million arms sale to South Korea. Arms made by Raytheon. In which Donald Trump owns stock.

Okay, carry on!
posted by mudpuppie at 3:44 PM on February 9 [35 favorites]


Trump claimed he sold that stock, though I believe he doesn't actually have to file new disclosure paperwork for quite some time.
posted by zachlipton at 3:46 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I wonder if he thinks constitutional law works like corporate law, where the person with the most money to continue and delay ultimately wins.

I am sure this is exactly what he thinks. He has spent his whole adult life in court and probably thinks he's an expert because he knows just how to steamroll his way to victory, and he has no idea that these courts do not operate the same way that the civil courts he's used to do. He also does not seem to realize that it really pisses off judges to impugn them in this way he loves. No matter how Republican a judge is or how sympathetic they might be to some of Trump's arguments, he is really raising the bar he has to clear just by running his twatter.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:46 PM on February 9 [63 favorites]


Well, which court is next here?

I am extremely a layman here, mostly copying what I've read elsewhere, but I believe this is just ruling that the temporary restraining order preventing the order from being enforced will stand until a ruling on its actual merits is made, and I believe there are several suits already underway there, so the fight moves to those for now.
posted by Copronymus at 3:46 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


in another thread: "There are 118 open federal judgeships (including one in the Supreme Court) thanks to Republican obstructionism." I can hardly wait for Trump to get to work filling those seats, with certain Litmus Tests for nominees (#1: is America's security at stake (yes); #2: should judges be allowed to deny EOs (no); #3: does your wife wear Ivanka Brand clothes (yes)) The good news - this should take almost as long as building the Wall.

he's going to look like a god damn genius if there actually is a terrorist attack which can be traced back to someone whose entry would have been prevented by the EO.
They're working on a False Flag attack right now. (probable quote by Bannon: "come on, Bush did it; how difficult can it be?")
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:49 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


That Donald Tweet only makes sense when read out loud in your best Lionel Hutz, Attorney at Law voice.
posted by merocet at 3:50 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


A 29 page document that boils down to "No. It's silly."

I am actually grinning right now
posted by tel3path at 3:50 PM on February 9 [20 favorites]


It's a good decision, Brent.
posted by Mavri at 3:51 PM on February 9 [50 favorites]


Canada and the US are pretty similar so why do you guys consistently elect such terrible leaders?

I don't want to say that USA racism is worse than other places, but it certainly is different. It's hard to understate the lasting legacy of slavery.

also there's a constitutional difference that's pretty key: "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" vs. "Peace, order, and good government."

Also Canada has one tenth the population, less people than California, and a smaller proportion of minority groups

also the US has a particularly intense form of evangelical Christianity that's related to history from the 17 and 1800's and I don't know how much of that extends to Canada

so I don't think they're that similar tbh.

but mostly it's the racism.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 3:52 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Does Trump HIMSELF have a history of false flag stunts? I'm curious, because even though he's a man of very questionable morality, I can't think of any instances where he's done that. I'm not putting it past him, just wondering if anyone knows if he has a history of that.
posted by saysthis at 3:53 PM on February 9


Politico is reporting on some leaked internal documents about the future of NASA. There's some head scratching stuff, calling for NASA to be "refocused on the large-scale economic development of space" and a vision in which we will "see private American astronauts, on private space ships, circling the Moon by 2020; and private lunar landers staking out de facto 'property rights' for American on the Moon, by 2020 as well".
posted by peeedro at 3:53 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


He's trying to bully the judicial system on twitter...What the actual fuck?
posted by Shutter at 3:54 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine had an observation re: that tweet.

He sounds like fucking Bowser. You defeat him and he just runs off with the princess and says, "see you in the next level!"
posted by uncleozzy at 3:54 PM on February 9 [35 favorites]


Somebody tweet back: "u mad bro?" That's about his level of discourse.
posted by Justinian at 3:54 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


a history of false flag stunts?

Does pretending to closthesline Vince McMahon count?
posted by vrakatar at 3:55 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Does Trump HIMSELF have a history of false flag stunts?

Just false steaks.
posted by zachlipton at 3:56 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]




Politico is reporting on some leaked internal documents about the future of NASA. There's some head scratching stuff, calling for NASA to be "refocused on the large-scale economic development of space" and a vision in which we will "see private American astronauts, on private space ships, circling the Moon by 2020; and private lunar landers staking out de facto 'property rights' for American on the Moon, by 2020 as well".

AP (Washington, DC) - Today marks the one year anniversary since the failed "Moon Trump" initiative was shelved. While the giant laser managed to carve a "T," "R," and "U" on the moon, a miscalculation in the Moon's size vis a vis the size of the writing meant the "M" and "P" could never be completed.

"Pretend those letters are on dark side" 45 tweeted. [fake]
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:58 PM on February 9 [15 favorites]


I thought there was an international treaty stating that no country can claim any shit off planet?

Oh. Private American corporations. I see.
posted by lydhre at 3:58 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


CHA
posted by saturday_morning at 3:59 PM on February 9 [28 favorites]


Judges should copy this line into Notepad for easy pasting into future decisions:

There is no precedent to support (insert Trump idea here), which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.
posted by diogenes at 3:59 PM on February 9 [31 favorites]


Canada and the US are pretty similar so why do you guys consistently elect such terrible leaders?

Presidentialism, basically. Much has changed since Bryce wrote The American Commonwealth, but some things stick:
A second defect is that the presidential election, occurring once in four years, throws the country for several months into a state of turmoil, for which there may be no occasion. Perhaps there are no serious party issues to be decided, perhaps the best thing would be that the existing administration should pursue the even tenor of its way. The Constitution, however, requires an election to be held, so the whole costly and complicated machinery of agitation is put in motion; and if issues do not exist, they have to be created...

Should manifest unfairness coincide with popular excitement over a really important issue, the self-control of the people, which in 1877, when no such issue was involved, held in check the party passions of their leaders, might prove unequal to the strain of such a crisis.
posted by holgate at 4:00 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


I thought there was an international treaty stating that no country can claim any shit off planet?

There is one but the U.S. didn't sign it.
posted by drezdn at 4:00 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Oh. Private American corporations. I see.

But they wouldn't have US law to protect their property. Which means one thing: SPACE PIRATES.
posted by melissasaurus at 4:00 PM on February 9 [30 favorites]


There is no Trump side of the moon really
posted by kirkaracha at 4:01 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


"Per curiam", the Latin for "safety in numbers".
posted by holgate at 4:01 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Docket watchers will be pleased to know that the 9th Circuit denied without comment the motion of this random guy to intervene in the case, who is angry because he has filed various tort claims against the State of Washington for $70 billion dollars and is upset that this case is getting attention while his nonsense has been ignored as "un'newz'-worthy." He also stamped the motion with his Professional Engineer stamp, for some reason or another. Anyway, I hope this guy takes the news better than the President.
posted by zachlipton at 4:02 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


That Donald Tweet only makes sense when read out loud in your best Lionel Hutz, Attorney at Law voice.

Zapp Brannigan: *pounding fist on courtroom table* THE SECURITY OF OUR PLANET IS AT STAKE! I'LL SEE YOU IN COURT!
Kif: *sigh*
posted by saturday_morning at 4:03 PM on February 9 [50 favorites]


By 2020 will there be new Congressional districts on the moon? I bet that's his plan to win in 2020.
posted by saysthis at 4:03 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


There is one but the U.S. didn't sign it.

And if the U.S. had, Trump would unsign it in an EO signing ceremony.
posted by notyou at 4:03 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I'll see you judges in court! Where you spend quite a lot of time, I imagine! What's a judge anyway?
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 4:03 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]






"Per curiam", the Latin for "safety in numbers".

Quite literally in this case. CNN reported (per Joy Reid) that "one of the judges" had to get increased security due to threats (gee, I wonder if it was the woman).
posted by melissasaurus at 4:05 PM on February 9 [35 favorites]


Y'know what's just occurred to me: 2020 will be the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th Amendment:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
and 2018 the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment, which contains the Citizenship Clause, the Privileges or Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause, and the Equal Protection Clause.
posted by XMLicious at 4:08 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


It occurs to me that the name of this case, Washington v. Trump is really emblematic of what is at stake. The Best of American Tradition vs The One Who Would Destroy It.
posted by dis_integration at 4:09 PM on February 9 [18 favorites]


I hope SNL does not waste Rosie O'Donnell on playing Bannon. If you want him to explode, have her play his dad in a flashback.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:09 PM on February 9 [71 favorites]


And yeah, "COURT" to the White House occupant is "that thing you threaten people with."
posted by holgate at 4:10 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Also it's hard to write in all caps on an Android phone. You've got to hit that thingy that turns caps lock on and it's really fickle, or hit shift before every letter. Trump must've been real real mad.
posted by dis_integration at 4:10 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


That Politico article on proposed changes to NASA gives me a headache. Does anyone have insight on what economic activity could take place on the moon that would provide enough of an ROI to investors to make these privatization proposals even remotely attractive? I thought Musk and Bezos were fixated on getting to Mars.

Also why do Republicans always so confidently assert that private corporations will take risks where government will not? Isn't that the opposite of true? Corporations are beholden to shareholders, who want to see a guaranteed return which should make them relatively risk averse, right? Or are they assuming a rogue billionaire scenario, like Drax in Moonraker?
posted by aiglet at 4:10 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


My order of U.S. Constitution for Dummies was delivered to the White House on Tuesday and I still haven't gotten a Thank You email! Or Tweet! Sad!
I also haven't been disappeared to Gitmo yet, so that's a plus.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:11 PM on February 9 [36 favorites]


The court wasn't on teevee, so it can't be a real court, also no Judge Judy.
posted by holgate at 4:12 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I hope SNL does not waste Rosie O'Donnell on playing Bannon. If you want him to explode, have her play his dad in a flashback.

If SNL wants to go full psychological warfare, then they should have Rosie play Trump Sr. and have Trump Sr. say something like, "I don't care if you're the president, you're still a loser and you're my least favorite child." Cruel? Yes. Worth it? Probably.
posted by yasaman at 4:13 PM on February 9 [80 favorites]


Canada and the US are pretty similar ...

We are and we aren't, Michael Adams of polling firm Environics did a pretty exhaustive study of the difference in values between the two countries in his book "Fire and Ice" (a long excerpt but quite worth the read) in 2003.

Our founding ideas, our institutions, and then the experience of building our two nations have been very different: one by conquest, the other by compromise. ... America honours traditionally masculine qualities; Canada honours qualities that are more traditionally feminine. America honours the lone warrior fighting for truth and justice, the father who is master of his lonely house on the prairie, and a few good men planting the Stars and Stripes on a distant planet. Canada honours compromise, harmony, and equality. Americans go where no man has gone before; Canadians follow hoping to make that new place livable.

I believe that America can find it's way back, having such an obvious, lying, mercenary fascist in power has ignited the base the way the slow burn of secret treaties and gentler chipping away of civil liberties never would.
posted by saucysault at 4:14 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


That Politico article on proposed changes to NASA gives me a headache

I'm also concerned that the "risk-taking" attitude of private investors includes taking risks with the lives of astronauts. Space is fucking dangerous.
posted by suelac at 4:14 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


WHY HAVEN'T THEY WATCHED WEST WING?

i suspect part of our problem is liberals swallowed the west wing hook, line and sinker.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:14 PM on February 9 [32 favorites]


Here's scorchers from the 9th Circuit Court:
The Government contends that the district court lacked authority to enjoin enforcement of the Executive Order because the President has “unreviewable authority to suspend the admission of any class of aliens.” The Government does not merely argue that courts owe substantial deference to the immigration and national security policy determinations of the political branches—an uncontroversial principle that is well-grounded in our jurisprudence.[...] There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamentals of our constitutional democracy. See Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 765 (2008) (rejecting the idea that, even by congressional statute, Congress and the Executive could eliminate federal court habeas jurisdiction over enemy combatants, because the “political branches” lack “the power to switch the Constitution on or off at will”).
They are not screwing around.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:16 PM on February 9 [57 favorites]


An interesting comparison here to the Lukumi Babalu Aye (Santeria) case, cited in the order, which was another one where they might have gotten away with it if they didn't so transparently telegraph their intentions to discriminate against a religion. The President and his team can legally rant about banning Muslims or issue orders banning people from the country, but a court's going to notice when you do both at the same time.

Moral: if you want to practice religious discrimination, shut the hell up.
posted by zachlipton at 4:17 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


it's hard to write in all caps on an Android phone.

NAH IT'S REALLY EASY.

HTML is truly painful though.

— sent from my android phone.
posted by Coventry at 4:17 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Politico is reporting on some leaked internal documents about the future of NASA. There's some head scratching stuff, calling for NASA to be "refocused on the large-scale economic development of space" and a vision in which we will "see private American astronauts, on private space ships, circling the Moon by 2020; and private lunar landers staking out de facto 'property rights' for American on the Moon, by 2020 as well".

I mean, if they can do that in 4 years, hell, I'll vote for his reelection. I hope they know that it'll probably require spending government money though. Not sure all the details have been worked through.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:18 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


And yeah, "COURT" to the White House occupant is "that thing you threaten people with."

@realDonaldTrump I find horrible the idea that one could do to me, that which I do to others. #Durand-Durand #Barbarella [fake]
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:20 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!

@ACLU: We have been saying this for a while.
posted by effbot at 4:21 PM on February 9 [118 favorites]


i suspect part of our problem is liberals swallowed the west wing hook, line and sinker.

My original understanding of the West Wing at the time was as a parallel universe, painted in crudely sunny pastels, that empathetic people would escape into in order to forget about their real president who was running secret torture prisons and leaving New Orleans a flooded pit of mold and corpses. Hard to say what more good it could do these days.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:21 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


I mean, if they can do that in 4 years, hell, I'll vote for his reelection. I hope they know that it'll probably require spending government money though. Not sure all the details have been worked through.

Well the people who invented practical rocket technology found slave labor to provide useful economic benefits.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:22 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


It gets worse. They made up a quick "see you in court" graphic to post on Instagram.

There's an actual government employee, I presume, who has to take his all caps rantings on Twitter and transcribe them into other forms of social media. How sad.
posted by zachlipton at 4:24 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


After calling him a 'S**t Gibbon,' Pa. senator goes next-level troll, asking Trump for campaign money

Now Donald, I know you have the huuuuuugest bank account of any president ever. So I'm asking if you can click here to make a bigly contribution so that we can continue to #RESIST your disastrous policies.

Some of my friends tell me you aren't likely to use your totally normal-sized hands to click the link above and make a contribution. SAD! But those are the people who follow FAKE NEWS, so I'm not going to pay any attention to them.

To everyone else who may be reading this, who may be worried that @realDonaldTrump won't be contributing to help us fight him, I hope you'll consider clicking here to make a $3 contribution so we can keep up the fight.

Thanks for always being there! #MAGA
Daylin


Hoo boy! Love this guy.
posted by futz at 4:24 PM on February 9 [75 favorites]


I mean, if they can do that in 4 years, hell, I'll vote for his reelection.

Don't say that. It is entirely feasible.
posted by Coventry at 4:25 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Quite literally in this case. CNN reported (per Joy Reid) that "one of the judges" had to get increased security due to threats (gee, I wonder if it was the woman).

In one of Trump's complaints about the judges, he said, "I listened to a panel of judges and I'll comment on th- I will not comment on the statements made by [pause] certainly one judge, but I have to be honest, if these judges wanted to, in my opinion, help the court in terms of respect for the court, they'd do what they should be doing."

I thought, gee, one of the judges must be a woman. So I checked, and sure enough, certainly one judge is a woman.
posted by peeedro at 4:26 PM on February 9 [28 favorites]


The People v. Donald J. Trump: American Crime Story
posted by guiseroom at 4:26 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


"SEE YOU IN COURT" reminds me of a guy who started something at a party I held and found himself flat on his back with my friend sitting on top of him. He repeatedly screamed "LET ME UP SO I CAN KICK YOUR ASS!" Ahahaha! Ok, dude.
posted by thebrokedown at 4:27 PM on February 9 [25 favorites]


Don't say that. It is entirely feasible.

With Trump Co managing the project? A trip to the 7-Eleven is out of our reach.
posted by notyou at 4:28 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


G O D

i just. he's so dumb that reading his dumb words is making me feel more dumb. watching this grown man express himself like a constipated toddler is making me feel like i too only have the mental capacity of an equally constipated toddler. STOP IT BAD MAN YOU ARE BAD.

i hate him i hope he dies doing a poop
posted by poffin boffin at 4:29 PM on February 9 [81 favorites]


i hate him i hope he dies doing a poop

I only agree with this because the Howard Stern interview suggests that's something he hates. However, to me, that sounds like an ideal death condition.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:30 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


i hate him i hope he dies doing a poop

And someone nabs his phone and tweets 'poopin' before it happens.
posted by holgate at 4:32 PM on February 9 [24 favorites]


like it's honestly not that difficult to express yourself intelligently, cogently, forcefully, memorably, etc, while only using 140 characters. you literally just have to consider your words for more than the brief frenzied time it takes your stubby little orange fingers to pound them furiously out on your phone.

people defending him say shit like oh well twitter is so limited blah blah NO SHUT UP IT IS YOU WHO ARE LIMITED. listen to the fool speak with his mouth! the words! they are the same! they are so bad! there is nothing but badness in all the ways he chooses to express himself!
posted by poffin boffin at 4:32 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!

YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!
posted by Servo5678 at 4:33 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


He's trying to bully the judicial system on twitter...What the actual fuck?

He has NPD.
posted by Brak at 4:33 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


What is the HORRENDOUS font on that Instagram copy of his tweet??? Makes Comic Sans look good by comparison.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:34 PM on February 9


Anyone know how Kennedy might eventually rule on the merits? Is it possible that even if they seat Gorsuch in time to hear the eventual merits case, that they might still lose Kennedy's vote (so 5-3)? He ruled against the Bush admin in Hamdi.
posted by melissasaurus at 4:34 PM on February 9




The hilarious thing about this TRUMP... IN... SPAAAAACE!!! leak is that it makes it sound like (and may actually be the case that) Putin has convinced Mr. Super-Negotiator to trade acceptance of Russia's Ukrainian encroachment, and perhaps future Russian Imperial revanchism, in exchange for real estate on the Moon. Putin will probably throw in some magic beans for free.
posted by XMLicious at 4:35 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


What is the HORRENDOUS font on that Instagram copy of his tweet???

Comic Sans Aesthetics

[fake]
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:36 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]




It gets worse. They made up a quick 'see you in court' graphic to post on Instagram.

Drop the comma. Reduce the font size on "THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE" so "SEE YOU IN COURT" is on one line. Try not using all caps. #MTGA
Make typography great again!
posted by kirkaracha at 4:38 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


It would have been less embarrassing if he just tweeted "I'll get you next time, Gadget! NEXT TIME!!!"
posted by zachlipton at 4:39 PM on February 9 [36 favorites]


AND YOUR LITTLE DOG, TOO!!
posted by kirkaracha at 4:40 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


He's full-on Scooby-Doo villain, all, "I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids courts!"
posted by TwoStride at 4:41 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


I missed this one this morning. Another entry in the ridiculously transparent "everything is under control. Situation normal. Had a slight weapons malfunction. But uh, everything is perfectly alright now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?" PR campaign. Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus Want You to Know They Are Friends
For about 25 minutes, talking into Walsh’s cell phone on speaker mode, Bannon and Priebus performed a buddy comedy, finishing each other’s sentences and swearing up and down that they are good friends who work together well — and constantly.

“I’m quite aggressive, and Reince is a calming influence on hey — bang bang bang, here’s how we ought to think about doing that,” Bannon said, explaining how their personal styles complement each other.

“We talk a lot, pretty much all day long,” Priebus said. “And then we communicate at night —” “Until we fall asleep,” Bannon interjected with a laugh. Priebus cut in, “Until somebody falls asleep … You fell asleep last night.” “I did,” Bannon said. “I think, like, a quarter to 11,” Priebus added. “I did,” Bannon said. “He became unresponsive,” Priebus laughed.

Claims to the contrary, Priebus said, are upsetting to both of them. “It bothers us because it’s not true, and we actually like and care about each other a lot. So it’s sort of like, if we were just sort of colleagues that kind of tolerate each other every day, maybe it wouldn’t bother us. But because it’s the total opposite — and we’re sitting here, and we’re friends and we’ve kind of been to hell and back ten times together and we like each other — so then we see these things, yeah, it bothers us because it sort of hurts our friendship, and it’s not truthful.”
The entire article is amazing. These people are such snowflakes.
posted by zachlipton at 4:43 PM on February 9 [34 favorites]


“We talk a lot, pretty much all day long,” Priebus said. “And then we communicate at night —” “Until we fall asleep,” Bannon interjected with a laugh. Priebus cut in, “Until somebody falls asleep … You fell asleep last night.” “I did,” Bannon said. “I think, like, a quarter to 11,” Priebus added. “I did,” Bannon said. “He became unresponsive,” Priebus laughed.

What the fuck
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:45 PM on February 9 [77 favorites]


I hope he goes full caps-lock from now on. It how I hear his tweets anyway.
posted by octothorpe at 4:46 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


“We talk a lot, pretty much all day long,” Priebus said. “And then we communicate at night —” “Until we fall asleep,” Bannon interjected with a laugh. Priebus cut in, “Until somebody falls asleep … You fell asleep last night.” “I did,” Bannon said. “I think, like, a quarter to 11,” Priebus added. “I did,” Bannon said. “He became unresponsive,” Priebus laughed.

Pounded in the Butt by the Alt-Right?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:47 PM on February 9 [36 favorites]


What the fuck

this is one of the worst fanfics i've ever read and that is saying a lot
posted by poffin boffin at 4:47 PM on February 9 [127 favorites]


If you read to the end (spoiler alert!), Nuzzi tells us that some people, unclear exactly who, have taken to nicknaming Priebus "Rancid, the creature of the swamp they thought they were going to drain."
posted by zachlipton at 4:48 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


That whole bunch can't get enough of seeing themselves in print or on TV.

Hey knuckleheads? How about running the executive branch for a change. (Well, don't really. How about resigning, and being pals somewhere far away like maybe the moon?)
posted by notyou at 4:48 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Is there a plugin that will let you read Trump's tweets, but they'll always be in comic sans?
posted by drezdn at 4:48 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


My head is spinning. This is warfare. Psychological warfare, ideological warfare, information warfare, I'm not sure there's a term for it yet, because it's like something we've never seen before. It's still a war though. People are going to die.

It used to be a leading cause of death, giving birth. Those days are coming back. We wised up and found ways to save those lives. You have to read about that in a history textbook though, because we've had it so good for so long, no-one remembers when a pregnancy went wrong no-one knew what to do about it. They'll start dying again.

It's like how there are few people who remember polio and the death and misery it caused. So they begin to question vaccines because they never experienced it.

Or how some of these nazis like the power and infamy but never actually saw Europe in flames, the cities destroyed, the piles of bodies. The nazis themselves utterly and completely destroyed. These people are even proud of that slavery flag, the one on dukes of hazard. Don't they realise they lost that war too?

And now this war. Help me understand it. What is happening? Lies are being boldly spoken and asserted as the only truth. Truth is ignored. I think, maybe this kind of battle... is ignorance the battle plan? Is this using ignorance as a way of gaining power?
posted by adept256 at 4:49 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


“We talk a lot, pretty much all day long,” Priebus said. “And then we communicate at night —” “Until we fall asleep,” Bannon interjected with a laugh. Priebus cut in, “Until somebody falls asleep … You fell asleep last night.” “I did,” Bannon said. “I think, like, a quarter to 11,” Priebus added. “I did,” Bannon said. “He became unresponsive,” Priebus laughed.

Ok, I love you.

I love you, too.

I love you, schmoopie.

No, you're schmoopie.

Ok, good night.

Good night, schmoopie.

Are you still there?

Yeah.

I love you.

I love you, too.

I'm hanging up now. I love you.

Ok, I love you.

Did you hang up?

No. Did you?

No. I love you.

Ok, I'm hanging up now. I love you.

Ok. I love you.

. . .

Are you still there?

Yeah. I love you, Reince.

I love you, Steve.

. . .

Did you hang up?

No. I love you.

. . .

Are you still there?

. . .
posted by The World Famous at 4:52 PM on February 9 [60 favorites]


You fell asleep last night.” “I did,” Bannon said. “I think, like, a quarter to 11,” Priebus added. “I did,” Bannon said. “He became unresponsive,” Priebus laughed.

Holy shit this got dark quickly.
posted by dis_integration at 4:54 PM on February 9 [41 favorites]


Of all the terrible things I thought I might learn today, not included was Priebus and Bannon claiming to the world's media that they have a weird fascist ASMR fetish club. Priebus whispering sweet white nationalist nothings into Bannon's ear until he drifts into unresponsiveness.

I'm really having a problem with this, guys.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:55 PM on February 9 [35 favorites]


If only they spent that time together doing something constructive, like braiding each others' hair and talking about which boys at school they like.
posted by ckape at 4:56 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Bannon and Priebus sittin' in a tree
F-A-S-C-I-S-T

posted by Atom Eyes at 4:56 PM on February 9 [161 favorites]


SEE YOU AT PRIDE.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:57 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


>@HillaryClinton: 3-0

Oh my god I miss you come back to ussssss ;_;
posted by lydhre at 5:00 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


Breitbart did a Facebook live with Sean Spicer reacting to the 9th Circuit decision and it's, er, something. Skip to 1:38 if you want to see the world's worst camerawork.
posted by zachlipton at 5:01 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


I feel like somehow the Bannon/Priebus phonehate sounds like a chapter of "Hermione Granger and the Tiny-Handed President."
posted by corb at 5:05 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


Think about Reince Priebus's lips right up next to your ear, and he's whispering so soft and sweet about destroying the social safety net, and as you lie there in your fresh and clean jam-jams, feeling yourself becoming unresponsive, and as the blessed darkness envelops you, you reflect once more on your glorious trajectory from Seinfeld producer to Biosphere-Project-fucker-upper to most powerful human being in the world. And pray that in the darkness there are no dreams.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:05 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


So Sean Spicer is getting interviewed by High School news crews now? Breitbart you say? Lol.
posted by drezdn at 5:06 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Be sure to tune in for the next Facebook Live video, which will be shot live inside of Charlie Spiering's nose.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:06 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Breitbart's White House correspondent is a visibly nervous teenager.
posted by vathek at 5:10 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


Five New England Patriots plan to skip White House visit

Defensive end Chris Long and running back LeGarette Blount of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots said Thursday they won’t visit the White House with the team, joining three other teammates in boycotting the celebration.

"I will not be going to the White House," Blount said on the Rich Eisen show. "I don't feel welcome in that house. I'll leave it at that."

Long responded to an open letter from the New York Daily News’ Chuck Modiano, which called for Long to show solidarity with teammates Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower by skipping the White House visit with President Donald Trump.

“Oh Chuck. Planned on skipping, hadn't been asked. Don't need an open letter explaining my own words to me. Not *joining* anyone. My call,” Long tweeted.

posted by futz at 5:10 PM on February 9 [33 favorites]


Be sure to tune in for the next Facebook Live video, which will be shot live inside of Charlie Spiering's nose.

"Oh! Is it snowing in DC?"

"Um. Not the Weather Channel. This is inside his nose."

"Oh. Makes sense."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:11 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


> Breitbart did a Facebook live with Sean Spicer reacting to the 9th Circuit decision

Hands up everyone who did a better "news" playing with their parent's camcorder at the age of 9.
posted by Westringia F. at 5:11 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


Could someone with some knowledge of the court system please weigh in with the chances that SCOTUS would actually choose to hear this case? I mean, to me (admittedly as much of a non-expert as you could get), it doesn't seem like there's much ambiguity or room for interpretation on banning entry to people based on religion.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:15 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Breitbart did a Facebook live with Sean Spicer reacting to the 9th Circuit decision

This is confusing... It sounded like Spicer was under the impression that the ruling had gone his way.
posted by Coventry at 5:17 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


There's no ambiguity on whether you can refuse entry based on religion; the ambiguity lies in who would have standing to bring the suit and, secondarily, whether this ban is a religious test.

The Supreme Court will absolutely and without question hear a case about this issue. Whether it will be this case or a different one I don't know.
posted by Justinian at 5:17 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Politico is reporting on some leaked internal documents about the future of NASA. There's some head scratching stuff, calling for NASA to be "refocused on the large-scale economic development of space" and a vision in which we will "see private American astronauts, on private space ships, circling the Moon by 2020; and private lunar landers staking out de facto 'property rights' for American on the Moon, by 2020 as well".

Prediction: asteroid mining startups are going to have their moment in the sun. It's a pity not much has IPOed, I'd be tempted to take a pre-announcement position.
posted by jaduncan at 5:18 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


@HillaryClinton: 3-0

Okay, that's the third time today that I've been reminded just how much we 're actually missing. The last few weeks/months I've been mentally comparing to generic competent republican, but the what could have been gulf is much much wider.
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:20 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


Well, a mining laser is fairly cheap but it's not much for fending off Thargoids.
posted by delfin at 5:21 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


IANAL, but I'm pretty sure the Supreme Court can't and won't hear this specific case, which is requesting a stay on a TRO on the effects of an executive order. That particular issue will be moot long before the Supreme Court could even begin to consider it.

The case on the merits of the EO itself, well, that might go a long way. Could be years before it wends its way through the system though.

Based on this blistering slapdown, I'd venture that the 9th Circuit is not going to be kind to the case on the merits either, though. But the standard of proof there is going to be higher.
posted by jackbishop at 5:21 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Just heard that Cosecha is looking for a mechanical engineer with laser cutting skills to make some gifts for donors. MeMail me if you can help.
posted by Coventry at 5:22 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Are my ears deceiving me, or did Spicer say "Thanks Rod" at the end, after the Breitbart kid had introduced himself as Charlie?
posted by Westringia F. at 5:22 PM on February 9


For outside world, Middle East, this is an exceptional American story to cover, where one judge, one court can override President
--@Joyce_Karam (Al-Hayat, Arab News)

The more Trump tests the strength of our institutions, the more we get to show them off.
posted by zachlipton at 5:24 PM on February 9 [72 favorites]


Seriously, soon the Nazis and the right-wingers are only going to have Bible stories by candlelight in their bunkers for fun: in addition to boycotting Budweiser, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and whatever other companies have offended Citrus Hitler of late, now they are cancelling their Netflix subscriptions to protest the new series Dear White People because it's "reverse racist" and hurts their fee-fees.
posted by TwoStride at 5:26 PM on February 9 [24 favorites]




Are my ears deceiving me, or did Spicer say "Thanks Rod" at the end, after the Breitbart kid had introduced himself as Charlie?


Spicer is thanking the inanimate Carbon Rod.
posted by drezdn at 5:26 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!
posted by Servo5678 at 4:33 PM
Servo, I maked a thing for you.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:27 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


@seanhannity
Sadly the democrats and unaccountable judges are willing to gamble with the lives of the American people. This will not stand.


Just reminding everybody that Sean Hannity is also sad.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:27 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


In not so good news, there are reports of immigration sweeps across LA, with 100 people being held.
posted by zachlipton at 5:27 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Just reminding everybody that Sean Hannity is also sad.

Because no one calls him anymore.
posted by drezdn at 5:31 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Are my ears deceiving me, or did Spicer say "Thanks Rod" at the end, after the Breitbart kid had introduced himself as Charlie?

That was some Crispin Glover level of weird.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:32 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


EXCLUSIVE-Trump border 'wall' to cost $21.6 bln, take 3.5 years to build - internal report

So with the most optimistic schedule, the wall is going to get done right around the time of the 2020 general election. More likely it'll overrun, and its completion will be a key issue in Trump's reelection.
posted by Coventry at 5:33 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Well, a mining laser is fairly cheap but it's not much for fending off Thargoids.

I do hereby sentence to you search for the term "Kzinti lesson."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:34 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I guess building a very long wall can be massively parallelized, so for $30B they might get it done in 1 year?
posted by Coventry at 5:35 PM on February 9


if they spend a trillion it can be done tomorrow!
posted by murphy slaw at 5:38 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Amid growing newsroom discontent over his perceived resistance to critical coverage of Donald Trump, Wall Street Journal editor in chief Gerry Baker will host a town hall meeting next week where he is expected to address the paper’s reporting on the new administration and answer questions from his staff.

While other major news outlets, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, have covered Trump aggressively throughout the campaign, the transition and the early days of the 45th presidency, repeatedly stoking the ire of Trump and his aides, the Journal has taken an arguably more circumspect, if not softer approach.

Baker has been hesitant to allow Journal reporters to characterize Trump’s false assertions as lies and has suggested that media “elites” are out to get Trump. During the campaign, reporters say, some of his editorial decisions tended to downplay Trump’s transgressions while he urged his staff to be tougher on Hillary Clinton.
posted by Coventry at 5:38 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


Listening to it again, Spicer says "Thanks, Charlie." He's just all mumbly about it.
posted by EarBucket at 5:39 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


well, we can't expect a spokesman to be able to speak.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:40 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Which means one thing: SPACE PIRATES.

WHERE DO I SIGN UP???!!!!!
posted by soundguy99 at 5:41 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Police are safer under Obama than they have been in decades

Bro never let a fact get in the way of a good feeling.

Gavin Newsom (California's lieutenant governor) is killing it on twitter oh my word.

In response to Trump's allcap tweet:
@realDonaldTrump: SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
@GavinNewsom: LE'GOOOOOOOO 👏🏻

about the 9th circuit:
The 9th Circuit ruling was a victory over hate. A victory for our Constitution. A victory for an America that doesn't cower behind walls or fear those fleeing oppression.

and from yesterday's silencing of Elizabeth Warren:
The right side of history:
Coretta Scott King
- or -
Mitch McConnell.

#ByeMitch 👋

I fucking die. Can we make #ByeMitch happen?
posted by supercrayon at 5:41 PM on February 9 [28 favorites]


That video is like the sweded version of The West Wing.
posted by EarBucket at 5:42 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Suddenly, millions of Canadians stopped laughing and became very quiet.

Let me assure you that no, no they did not. Although eyes have been rolled.
posted by GuyZero at 5:45 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Rosie O'Donnell updated her Twitter avatar.
posted by monospace at 5:52 PM on February 9 [93 favorites]


The Huffpost headline writers do it again: "How Do You Like Them Appelates?"
posted by mcdoublewide at 5:55 PM on February 9 [27 favorites]


I thought I was watching This is Spinal Tap for a moment. Maybe Rod is his secret porn name?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:56 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


@RoguePOTUSStaff is morose tonight, claiming that they might be found out, and that Spicer is burning out.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:56 PM on February 9


Rosie O'Donnell updated her Twitter avatar.

Hahaha holy shit
posted by triggerfinger at 5:56 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


@RoguePOTUSStaff is morose tonight, claiming that they might be found out, and that Spicer is burning out.

Still don't know the legitimacy of this account, but if it's real, this tweet seems bad, on Day 19 of 1440.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:01 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


So Caltrain (commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose (and sometimes Gilroy)) had a train catch fire during the evening commute tonight and the snark is intense:

"Anyone have some Federal funding for some new trains? Anyone, @SecElaineChao? Sorta urgent."

Republicans are now trying to hold up Caltrain's electrification project and the federal funds to go forward just as it was to start construction as part of an effort to mess with high speed rail (the two projects are only somewhat linked, and Caltrain needs the modernization regardless).
posted by zachlipton at 6:06 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


EXCLUSIVE-Trump border 'wall' to cost $21.6 bln, take 3.5 years to build - internal
report


That schedule is ludicrous. That's not enough time to get the design finished, especially given all the soil sampling and other necessary engineering work completed, the environmental impact statement addressing several alternative routes and its review process (which they will try to waive, prompting a lawsuit) and not nearly enough time to manage all the condemnation it will take to get site control, not to mention the lawsuits that will spawn. You can't build a stadium or an airport or an interstate in that time period... when a community wants it.
posted by carmicha at 6:06 PM on February 9 [59 favorites]


That RoguePOTUSStaff account is clearly full of shit.
posted by Coventry at 6:07 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


You can't build a stadium or an airport or an interstate in that time period... when a community wants it.

Remember they're also going to start colonizing the moon in the same amount of time. MAKE THE MOON GREAT AGAIN
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:08 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


That RoguePOTUSStaff account is clearly full of shit.

yeah I don't know how anyone buys it.
posted by Justinian at 6:08 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Remember they're also going to start colonizing the moon in the same amount of time. MAKE THE MOON GREAT AGAIN
Who the hell wrote "the moon rules, no. 1" in the side of my car with a key!?
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:11 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


That RoguePOTUSStaff account is clearly full of shit.

I want to believe! Let me have this OK?
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:11 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Someone remind me why they wouldn't just wait until they got their Supreme Court pick in, and then push all the things to the Supreme Court? Also, do we expect that to take quite a while?
posted by Glinn at 6:12 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


That schedule is ludicrous

Yeah no kidding. They act like Eminent Domain is a done deal when they haven't even started and some of that, a lot of that border actually, is tribal land. How does that work? Can the government take them to court and sue? My guess is that it would take years to finalize just that part of it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:12 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Rosie O'Donnell updated her Twitter avatar.

I embarrassingly LOL'd in public at that.
posted by Coventry at 6:12 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Rep. Chaffetz is holding a town hall in his district. It's filled to capacity inside, hundreds more outside. And it seems to be going extremely poorly.
posted by zachlipton at 6:13 PM on February 9 [39 favorites]


On a general strike, from Jacobin: You Can't Fake It

A (kinda) response: General Strike: How the Working Class Takes Control
Gourevitch has the elements of a good argument there, but this kind of naysaying about general strikes misses the point. Of course the workers in the U.S., after decades of setbacks, can’t carry off the kinds of strikes that are difficult even with high levels of organization. ...

What socialists can advocate, which Gourevitch does not, is just how powerful the strike weapon can be, and how to get from the big protests we can expect on February 17 and March 8 to an actual shutdown of U.S. capitalism, starting with a true holiday from all work on May Day. To see that, we have to look outside the U.S. and have an international view of the workers’ movement that is lacking in the Jacobin article. Because the kind of action that we are now talking about — a massive political protest launching into a strike wave — is exactly how the worker’s movement usually revives itself, most recently in the protests to bring down the dictatorship in Egypt.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:14 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Someone remind me why they wouldn't just wait until they got their Supreme Court pick in, and then push all the things to the Supreme Court? Also, do we expect that to take quite a while?

Unless otherwise provided by law, a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a judgment in any case, civil or criminal, entered by a state court of last resort or a United States court of appeals (including the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces) is timely when it is filed with the Clerk of this Court within 90 days after entry of the judgment. (cite)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:15 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Let me have this OK?

I have no articulable basis for my skepticism, anyway, so maybe I'm full of shit.
posted by Coventry at 6:15 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Could someone with some knowledge of the court system please weigh in with the chances that SCOTUS would actually choose to hear this case? I mean, to me (admittedly as much of a non-expert as you could get), it doesn't seem like there's much ambiguity or room for interpretation on banning entry to people based on religion.
Posted by triggerfinger


(Not a lawyer) While anything is possible, I don't think the SC would be inclined to grant cert on this case right now, seeing that the lower courts seem to have it in hand nicely and are proceeding from a point of letting it work through district court first and go through normal processes. They'd need four judges to hear the case and my guess is that they wouldn't do so yet until this case had worked through the proper channels.
posted by azpenguin at 6:15 PM on February 9


Gavin's been pretty great. He had this one about Jake Tapper today:

Can confirm. @jaketapper's favorite Sunday brunch treat is the chizza.
#TapperDirtFile
posted by waitangi at 6:16 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Spicer, today, complained about: “the idea that you can’t have a conversation without that information getting out”

I wonder if he's tried Podesta's risotto.
posted by Dashy at 6:17 PM on February 9 [32 favorites]


For outside world, Middle East, this is an exceptional American story to cover, where one judge, one court can override President
--@Joyce_Karam (Al-Hayat, Arab News)
The more Trump tests the strength of our institutions, the more we get to show them off.

Eh, just wait until we have a real emergency or are involved in a war. Then we'll see how powerful the executive can be. This is Trump's real stupidity: he thought he just got to be dictator because he's such a smart guy who understands things very well, (better than anyone, probably), but he didn't understand the first rule of seizing power: wait until you've got a nice catastrophe and turn it into a wonderful shining opportunity. My only hope here is that when that moment of decision comes, Trump will be too incompetent again to know how to properly make good on it.
posted by dis_integration at 6:19 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


Okay, that's the third time today that I've been reminded just how much we 're actually missing. The last few weeks/months I've been mentally comparing to generic competent republican, but the what could have been gulf is much much wider.

There's an article I read years ago in which Al Gore (sometime post-Katrina, maybe) starts *raging* about the mess the Bush administration got us into. "What happened to competency?" he asked the interviewer.

When I think of where we could be, my heart breaks.

(I'm thinking of writing a perfectly mundane, boring slice-of-life novel set in 2018 America. I'm going to call it science fiction.)
posted by steady-state strawberry at 6:19 PM on February 9 [35 favorites]


Holy shit there is a huge crowd shouting "You work for us!" outside Chaffetz's townhall hahahaha. I have a fb friend who is live.
posted by supercrayon at 6:19 PM on February 9 [66 favorites]


Also, do we expect that to take quite a while?

It'll take at least a few weeks to get to a vote. Gorsuch has to make the traditional rounds around the Senate, then get through committee, then hearings on the full floor, and finally the vote and hopefully filibuster. That'll take probably 3 weeks, minimum, if they rush it. Roberts took 3 weeks, and that was warp speed because SCOTUS was without a Chief Justice after Reinquest died. Alito took 3 months, Kagan and Sotomayor each took about 4 months.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:20 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


It is my fever dream that for the remainder of this trash fire of an administration, SNL will have every white man in the administration played by a woman. Janeane Garafolo as Mnuchin, Lily Tomlin as Tillerson, Maria Bamford as Priebus, Sarah Silverman as Kushner. I mean, whatever, just...ALL WOMEN.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:20 PM on February 9 [46 favorites]






Coventry: "I have no articulable basis for my skepticism, anyway, so maybe I'm full of shit."

I would point to this set of recent tweets: [1] [2] [3] as fueling some of my skepticism. Talking about "counter-ops", "mimicking", "stealing followers", etc... is the kind of talk you expect from the kind of people who are trying to achieve social media fame (I've heard/seen similar patterns among YouTubers and Instagrammers) not, say, White House staffers -- not that there couldn't be some overlap there.

I would treat the account more like fan-fiction than a reliable view into the White House.
posted by mhum at 6:23 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Maddow reporting new PPP poll:

Approval rating 43%
Favorable opinion of DJT 45%
Refugee ban support 45%
Was ban executed well? 27% yes
Intent of EO was to ban Muslims? 48% yes
Support banning Muslims - 65% oppose
53% support judges to make these decisions more than Trump
65% do not want an ACA repeal
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:23 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


SNL will have every white man in the administration played by a woman

ivanka can be played by one of those wire monkey moms
posted by poffin boffin at 6:24 PM on February 9 [36 favorites]


Maddow reporting new PPP poll:

I like to think that stands for pew pew pew!
posted by Lyn Never at 6:25 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


Apparently about 2k people at the Chaffetz townhall. This is what democracy looks like. ❤️🇺🇸❤️
posted by supercrayon at 6:26 PM on February 9 [42 favorites]


The front page of The Economist...wow.

I guess the question to ask is did the "Resign, Rumsfeld" cover have any impact?

OTOH this might in all seriousness bother Trump and/or Putin more than images of tortured human beings bothered Donald Rumsfeld, so there's that.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:27 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


There's another town hall going poorly in Murfreesboro, TN apparently. (Was that already covered? I skipped ahead.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:27 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Is there a plugin that will let you read Trump's tweets, but they'll always be in comic sans?

Preview: "Trump's Twitter account makes more sense in Comic Sans."
posted by lalex at 6:27 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Apparently about 2k people at the Chaffetz townhall.

Well, there goes any chance at all of getting my local GOP Rep to attend a town hall.
posted by Etrigan at 6:28 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


The front page of The Economist...wow.

I guess the question to ask is...



...did anyone say "Oh, yay, this clearly solves everything!"?
posted by Etrigan at 6:29 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I guess the question to ask is did the "Resign, Rumsfeld" cover have any impact?

Yes, but The Economist isn't a 'liberal rag', and it's read all over the US by middle to high brow audiences, we have to hope some of the college educated white people who voted for Trump in say Wisconsin are reading things like this and having regrets. Every voice against is needed.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:30 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


Did Chaffetz open the kimono yet
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:31 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, the current Mexican government tries really really hard to be even more spineless and appeasing than usual:

Mexican FM helped Jared Kushner re-write Trump border wall speech

Jebus, we had to have the worst possible president at the worst possible time.
posted by Omon Ra at 6:33 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Flagged for eweeewww
posted by Dashy at 6:33 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Here's a longer video of the Chaffetz town hall. It's pretty awesome.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:34 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Trump: 0. Democrats: 0. The People: 1.

FDR was handed defeat after defeat by the courts, yet managed to turn their intransigence—which was arrayed against what a clear majority of the nation wanted—into a symbol of the old regime that needed to be gutted and into a source of even greater power for him and his party.

That’s a little hard to do when:
a) you were put into office by a minority of the electorate;
b) your policies are unpopular;
c) you and your voters belong to the party that is both creator and custodian of that old regime; and
d) your proposals are being struck down by judges appointed by your party.

posted by T.D. Strange at 6:34 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


If the GOP stops holding town halls does that help them? Hurt them?
posted by shothotbot at 6:35 PM on February 9


I didn't really didn't know much about Chaffetz before I saw the clip a few days ago where the spat broke out in the committee meeting and I was NOT impressed, so this live tweeting of his townhall is very exciting! Thanks for the link zachlipton!
posted by maggiemaggie at 6:37 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The front page of The Economist...wow.

Also, "China's transgender Oprah"? That sounds awesome, and terrifying to conservatives.
posted by XMLicious at 6:41 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


The only thing you need to know about Caffetz is that he exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to investigate Democrats for anything and everything that he can possibly investigate them for. Usually multiple times. Note that investigating Republicans is not on the agenda.
posted by Justinian at 6:41 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]




Jeffery Lord advocating a full blown Constitutional crisis on CNN right now, says Trump should ignore a SCOTUS ruling against the immigration EO.

I mean. They're just saying it openly. On national TV.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:41 PM on February 9 [29 favorites]




I peeked at freep just now (rather than taunt a cousin) and ignoring the court(s) or doing violence to judges is a rather popular idea right now.
posted by vrakatar at 6:48 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


gosh, what a shock that the only branch of government not fundamentally subject to mob rule is not popular with unruly mobs
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:50 PM on February 9 [74 favorites]


If the GOP stops holding town halls does that help them? Hurt them?

It probably keeps them in the local headlines longer than showing up would do, especially if people start protesting outside district offices or posting up "MISSING" flyers.
posted by holgate at 6:58 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]






Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton
3-0

Kellyanne Conway @KellyannePolls
PA, WI, MI.


endless vomit is the true threat to my environment.
posted by prefpara at 7:02 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


well well well.

National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

...Flynn on Wednesday denied that he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Asked in an interview whether he had ever done so, he twice said, “No.”

On Thursday, Flynn, through his spokesman, backed away from the denial. The spokesman said Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”


Not looking good for Fake News Flynn in this article. boo hoo.
posted by futz at 7:03 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Me:Trump's wrath will be terrible, his retribution swift.
[checks twitter]
Trump: SEE YOU IN COURT
Me: ...
posted by gatorae at 7:04 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Someone tell Kellyanne Conway to take every damn seat sis, I think there are a few thousand left over from the inauguration.
posted by supercrayon at 7:04 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


I mean, he knows judges like work in the court right? Like, it doesn't scare them.
posted by shothotbot at 7:07 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Man, that looks bad for Flynn, I bet he's really worried about his job security and support from Congress
posted by saturday_morning at 7:08 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


today was a good day.
posted by localhuman at 7:08 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


Five New England Patriots plan to skip White House visit

What's this I'm feeling? Is it... could it be... a modicum of respect for the New England Patriots?

Truly, the world is upside down.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:13 PM on February 9 [25 favorites]


did anyone post the live feed of the Chaffetz town hall? It's really worth watching.
posted by lalex at 7:16 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


(As a Houston local, I'm just glad we got our Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction again.)
posted by Burhanistan at 7:18 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Watching Chaffetz sweat and wriggle before a jeering mob of thousands of angry americans really was a fine cap on the evening. Now I'm ready for Priebus to tell me my bedtime story.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:19 PM on February 9 [30 favorites]


I did. I'm still cackling. Got him shook. Good.
posted by supercrayon at 7:19 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I've been watching that Chaffetz FB feed and it's a sea of angry emojis flying by. ..literally, no emoji except angry ones, forever. Never seen that on FB live before.
posted by gatorae at 7:19 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Will he escape out the damn back door though? "Bring him out!" hahahaha
posted by supercrayon at 7:20 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Jumped on that Chaffetz stream just in time to watch him leave the stage drowned out by boos. This is your life now, Chaffetz. It's only been two weeks.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:21 PM on February 9 [29 favorites]


today was a good day.

It feels so weird
posted by theodolite at 7:23 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


From the feed, great stuff:

"TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!"

"THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!"
posted by Coventry at 7:23 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


I'm also seeing on twitter that Chaffetz cut his townhall an hour short. Squirm little weasel.
posted by supercrayon at 7:25 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


People Are Finding It Hard to Focus on Work Right Now

Making America Great Again, one distracting tweet, scandal, EO and court case at a time.
posted by Coventry at 7:25 PM on February 9 [30 favorites]


Jebus, we had to have the worst possible president at the worst possible time.

I think there's a world wide competition going on. We're winning. USA!
posted by bongo_x at 7:26 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Our shockingly disrespectful treatment of Chaffetz will no doubt result in nationalist fainting couches being filled by delicate offended Senatorial tulips through the weekend at least.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:27 PM on February 9 [46 favorites]


I mean, I know my productivity has gone down the drain. But I'm the smallest cog on the smallest gear. I don't doubt that the mere fact of Trump's continuing distraction is going to be a drain on the economy, no matter what else he does.
posted by mollweide at 7:27 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Msnbc keeps showing clips of the disastrous Chaffetz townhall. This is liberal political porn.
posted by gatorae at 7:29 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


Remember, don't boo... vote.

Ok, boo AND vote. But the voting part is necessary!
posted by Justinian at 7:35 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


I wish people had started chanting "McMullin" or "Stand Up Republic" during the town hall, that could seriously mess with a Utah Republican right now.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:35 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Let me tell you, this is a distracting time to be writing a dissertation.
posted by codacorolla at 7:36 PM on February 9 [51 favorites]


People Are Finding It Hard to Focus on Work Right Now

Politics and Fire Emblem Heroes, I don't know how anything gets done.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:38 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


“Until somebody falls asleep … You fell asleep last night.” “I did,” Bannon said. “I think, like, a quarter to 11,” Priebus added. “I did,” Bannon said. “He became unresponsive,” Priebus laughed."

Bannon admitting that he's an alcoholic.

And a pretty shitty one at that. Shit, you don't let the fucking clock dictate when you want to be fucking drunk.

/revoking Bannon's 'Functional Alcoholics Club' membership
posted by porpoise at 7:38 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


We're not meant to like liveblog things so a summary of the Chaffetz townhall, although it's really worth watching in its entirety.

Okay so 2-3k people showed up at Jason Chaffetz's townhall, so many that most had to stay outside. They proceeded to yell "You work for us" and "this is what democracy looks like" outside. Inside he was getting booed left and right, and asked questions about the ACA, why Trump wasn't being scrutinized to the same level as HRC, and "what is your line in the sand for impeachment?" Another choice question: "do you believe in science? Because I do." asked by a little girl.

Chaffetz, feeling shook, and obviously a bit fragile outside his safe-space, ended his townhall a full 40 minutes early. The crowd outside roared "BRING HIM OUT". RIP my emotions, I am out of them.

Let me tell you, this is a distracting time to be writing a dissertation.

Omg, are you me? Guess how many words I've written for my thesis since the election. Did you guess ZERO? I guess RIP my academic career as well?
posted by supercrayon at 7:39 PM on February 9 [80 favorites]


Whoa, codacorolla, glad I finished mine in the halcyon days of the Obama years. Good luck.
posted by mollweide at 7:41 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I mean, I know my productivity has gone down the drain. But I'm the smallest cog on the smallest gear. I don't doubt that the mere fact of Trump's continuing distraction is going to be a drain on the economy, no matter what else he does.

Yeah, I've been worthless at work for like a year now. Keeping up with these threads. Midday panic attacks. Thinking about how worthless doing something for a paycheck is when the world explodes. I can't be the only one. Seeing the economy swiftly tank under Trump (and praying he gets his rightful blame) is my one bit of hope in all the madness.
posted by downtohisturtles at 7:42 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Watch this question from a woman at a GOP Obamacare town hall in Tennessee. It's amazing. There is no district we shouldn't be fighting in.
posted by zachlipton at 7:44 PM on February 9 [96 favorites]


If you commit a crime in Toronto we will SEE YOU IN COURT.

(Does not apply to Toronto mayors.)

posted by maudlin at 7:44 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Watch this question from a woman at a GOP Obamacare town hall in Tennessee. It's amazing. There is no district we shouldn't be fighting in.

Oh my God. That's the accent I grew up hearing. It is amazing to hear it used for this.
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:47 PM on February 9 [32 favorites]


Jumped on that Chaffetz stream just in time to watch him leave the stage drowned out by boos. This is your life now, Chaffetz. It's only been two weeks.

I wonder how much of this sort of thing it'll take before it finally strikes the political higher-ups that all this protesting and angry tweeting and so on isn't just a small group of professional protesters and twitter bots, etc. Like, these are real people. Lots of people are legitimately very angry... at THEM.
posted by wondermouse at 7:47 PM on February 9 [43 favorites]


Bannon admitting that he's an alcoholic.

So was the namesake of Breitbart, and that served him well.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:48 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I'm having a hard time believing those Gavin Newsom tweets. The man's smart, yes, but he's not... good at people. Just not good at basic human connections. It's hard to believe he's that particular kind of witty -- I'm guessing that's his social media intern.
posted by suelac at 7:53 PM on February 9


welp, here's the NYT with a piece on our new non-relationship with China:
When the White House announced this week that President Trump had sent President Xi Jinping of China a letter wishing him a happy Chinese New Year, it did not disclose a major reason for the friendly gesture: Mr. Xi has not gotten on the phone with Mr. Trump.

Stung by Mr. Trump’s unorthodox telephone call with the president of Taiwan and his subsequent assertion that the United States might no longer abide by the “One China” policy, Mr. Xi has notspoken to Mr. Trump since Nov. 14, the week after he was elected. Administration officials say they believe he will only do so after Mr. Trump publicly commits to recognizing a single Chinese government in Beijing.
posted by lalex at 7:54 PM on February 9 [36 favorites]


WaPo on Flynn: "Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. All of those officials said ­Flynn’s references to the election-related sanctions were explicit."

Nine. That's not a leak, that's a golden shower. And the national security adviser apparently did not expect his conversations with Russian diplomats to be snooped by the TLAs. Holy actual fuck.
posted by holgate at 7:55 PM on February 9 [129 favorites]


I've also been useless at work since at least the summer. I'm going to need to install some blockers at work because it's getting untenable. I'm so behind and it's starting to get obvious. My annual review is late spring/early summer so I'm going to need a couple months of nose on the grindstone to have that be fresh in my boss's mind rather than these past six months of not a whole lot getting done.

All the people I work with and for are sympatico politically (50% of the department was represented at the DC women's march) and I have no idea how they are managing to compartmentalize enough to stay productive.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:55 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


I wonder how much of this sort of thing it'll take before it finally strikes the political higher-ups that all this protesting and angry tweeting and so on isn't just a small group of professional protesters and twitter bots, etc. Like, these are real people. Lots of people are legitimately very angry... at THEM.

I'm not understanding if these Republicans are that self deluded or just pretending. I mean, protesting wasn't just invented. Did they see this much going on last year, 10 years ago? Was Soros still saving up the money?
posted by bongo_x at 7:55 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I wonder how much of this sort of thing it'll take before it finally strikes the political higher-ups that all this protesting and angry tweeting and so on isn't just a small group of professional protesters and twitter bots, etc. Like, these are real people. Lots of people are legitimately very angry... at THEM.

Chaffetz won his primary challenge by 57 points and his general by 47 points. He's not going anywhere. 2000 people came to his town hall? He won his primary by 34,000 votes. The general is even worse with the D losing by 133K votes. So long as they punish sluts and stop abortion, Utah would vote for Hitler if there was an R next to his name.
posted by Talez at 7:56 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Agreed holgate. This is actually HUGE.
posted by futz at 7:56 PM on February 9


aaaaaand whoa, right on cue: "BREAKING: Trump speaks with President Xi of China for first time, says he will respect the longstanding 'One China' policy - Financial Times"
posted by lalex at 8:01 PM on February 9 [18 favorites]


Administration officials say they believe he will only do so after Mr. Trump publicly commits to recognizing a single Chinese government in Beijing.

I wish I'd bookmarked the thing, but there was an article about presidential telephone calls before the election that was fascinating.

Basically, Obama would need to recite chapter and verse, starting with "we believe in one China," before the Chinese government will speak to him.

Trump is going to have to go farther than that.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:02 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]




Trump is going to have to go farther than that.

Now I am wildly curious about what happened on that phone call, but I'm sure it'll be leaked by a dozen administration officials by tomorrow night. Patience!
posted by lalex at 8:05 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I just changed the channel to Fox News for about 40 seconds and before turning it off to avoid my head exploding I got to hear Lou Dobbs say, For [Trump] to be frustrated in any way by his party would be, I believe, criminal.

In context he meant something like "political malpractice", but man are American conservatives good at sounding like Nazis.
posted by XMLicious at 8:06 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


Tell me people, how do you celebrate a spineless chucklehead like Jason Chaffetz getting rolled at his own townhall? I celebrate by listening to Wu Tang, drinking chocolate milk, and faxing him at (202) 225-5629 DC and (801) 851-2509 UT. I'm thinking a 140pt "COWARD" in all caps is in order for ending his town-hall early. Maybe followed by a "YOU WORK FOR US".
posted by supercrayon at 8:08 PM on February 9 [30 favorites]


aaaaaand whoa, right on cue: "BREAKING: Trump speaks with President Xi of China for first time, says he will respect the longstanding 'One China' policy - Financial Times"

Holy shit. How fucking dumb does he think Xi is?

The deeper story on this one is that Trump sent Flynn and a flunkie, hat in hand, to go beg the Chinese for forgiveness.
posted by Talez at 8:10 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


[he] is going to have to go farther than that.

The formal rubric is along the lines of "The United States government's policy is one China, based upon the three communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. We oppose any unilateral decision to change the status quo by either side." Maybe the letter was sent in lieu of him having to read it aloud?
posted by holgate at 8:12 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The Flynn thing is huge. What is realistically going to happen now though? Some GOP huff a little and then?
posted by Jalliah at 8:12 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Well Flynn was doing some dodgy shit but managed to avoid completely sticking his foot in his mouth with some direct quid-pro-quo which makes it much easier for Spicy and Conway to spin. And they will spin it like Dead or Alive.
posted by Talez at 8:14 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


What is realistically going to happen now though? Some GOP huff a little and then?

The three-letter agencies have essentially shoved handwritten notes under the doors of the White House and Congress saying "WE HAVE THE TAPES."
posted by holgate at 8:15 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


Maybe the letter was sent in lieu of him having to read it aloud?

Was the letter released? I can't keep up with this sustained pace of increasing derangement. Honestly y'all, I feel like I'm developing some kind of severe mental whiplash.
posted by lalex at 8:17 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


The call with Xi Jinping was not on the schedule, while most of the foreign leader calls have been. How quickly did they throw this together? Did they know the NYT story was coming and arranged this to try to hit it off at the pass?
posted by zachlipton at 8:18 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Did they know the NYT story was coming and arranged this to try to hit it off at the pass?

Many people are saying that he did this to distract from the Flynn story, but many people don't fully comprehend that he's just a deranged loon who has no idea what he's doing.
posted by lalex at 8:21 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Did they know the NYT story was coming and arranged this to try to hit it off at the pass?

Probably not. If Xi calls you can't exactly get Pence to say he's in the shower and Xi is not going to be doing Donald any solids anytime soon.
posted by Talez at 8:21 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


There is no Trump side of the moon really

matter of fact it's all trump

(sad piano fades off into distance)
posted by Sebmojo at 8:24 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


Some GOP huff a little and then?

But will they even huff a little? We'll see. I thought you were going to say Dems and I thought "I hope they do more than that!" but who knows. We are in the Upside Down after all & Flynn is one of Trumpski's chosen ones; his little Mishka.
posted by futz at 8:24 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


So just to recap:

- Trump lost in the 9th Circuit
- He lost to China (in the sense that he was previously refusing to acknowledge the One China™ Policy unless he got a trade deal or something else in return)
- His National Security Advisor lied about his contacts with the Russian Ambassador
- Congress has requested an investigation into one of his senior aides for hawking his daughter's products on TV
- There's a DHS memo floating around that says the wall will cost several times what he claimed it would cost in the campaign
- He sent a bunch of dumbass whiny tweets

"We're going to win so much. You're going to get tired of winning. you’re going to say, ‘Please Mr. President, I have a headache. Please, don't win so much. This is getting terrible.’ And I'm going to say, ‘No, we have to make America great again.’ You're gonna say, ‘Please.’ I said, ‘Nope, nope. We're gonna keep winning.’"
posted by zachlipton at 8:26 PM on February 9 [64 favorites]


Oh god, it's one of those "I step away from my computer for a few measly hours, come back, and see there are like 950 new comments" days.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:27 PM on February 9 [38 favorites]


The three-letter agencies have essentially shoved handwritten notes under the doors of the White House and Congress saying "WE HAVE THE TAPES."

Oh yeah. Ha. Been so focused on judges and the House I forgot about IC. So much going on its hard to keep track of it all.
posted by Jalliah at 8:28 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


That's *every* day, no?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:29 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Well, yeah, but some days I don't step away from my computer, so it's less tsunami-esque.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:29 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


- the K-Con Shopping Channel forced Chaffetz to do some basic oversight, then Chaffetz got roasted at his own town hall
- Spicy lost his shit again

Busy day.
posted by holgate at 8:30 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


"We're going to win so much. You're going to get tired of winning. you’re going to say, ‘Please Mr. President, I have a headache. Please, don't win so much. This is getting terrible.’ And I'm going to say, ‘No, we have to make America great again.’ You're gonna say, ‘Please.’ I said, ‘Nope, nope. We're gonna keep winning.’"

McConnell: Liberals didn't win shit in the election!
Trump: Hold my beer!
posted by Talez at 8:30 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


But will they even huff a little? We'll see. I thought you were going to say Dems and I thought "I hope they do more than that!" but who knows. We are in the Upside Down after all & Flynn is one of Trumpski's chosen ones; his little Mishka.

I figure the Dems will try to do something more then huff. It's just that they have so little power unless some GOP do more then huff
posted by Jalliah at 8:31 PM on February 9


So just to recap:

It's Day 19.

We're less than 3 weeks in.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:34 PM on February 9 [22 favorites]


I was hoping the Deep State would take down Trump, but I'll settle for Flynn as the appetizer.
posted by chris24 at 8:35 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


3 weeks is longer than I thought we'd make it, so it's all gravy from here on in.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:37 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Political people on my twitter are saying this is so bad that if Flynn isn't fired over it things will get really bad. My thoughts "it can get way worse?" What more can do people think can happen? Like GOP actually stops ignoring it all and does something? Cause that's all I can think of. Well maybe more major IC leaks.
posted by Jalliah at 8:37 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Pence is backing away from Flynn, saying his comments were based on what Flynn told him. I think he's toast.

@gregpmiller:
Just adding admin comment on Pence/Flynn: "An administration official stressed that VP Pence based his comments on his convo with Gen Flynn"
posted by chris24 at 8:39 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


It's so bad that if Flynn isn't fired nothing will happen.
posted by Justinian at 8:39 PM on February 9 [33 favorites]


"In like Flynn" fell out of popular favor today.
posted by perhapses at 8:44 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


It's just that they have so little power unless some GOP do more then huff

This brings me to something that I have been wondering for awhile. It has probably been discussed many times here and I have missed it somehow. How did the Tea Party do so much damage when they were a minority? I don't want to derail this thread so if anyone is up for memailing me a link I would really appreciate it. The whole TP thing is a blind spot for me. My recollection is that they were a minority that somehow managed to obstruct everything. I know more than that of course but i am looking for something that explains how the democrats situation now compares to the TP then.
posted by futz at 8:45 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Doing that over an insecure comms link suggests that he shouldn't be NSA on the basis of his palpable lack of understanding of either signals intelligence or basic tradecraft.
posted by jaduncan at 8:46 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


Is someone supposed to say "surely this" now? Is it my turn?
posted by rouftop at 8:47 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


I see no reason to think that they'll do anything at all about Flynn. The only solution left is to give me the powers of The Spectre so I can rain nightmarish vengeance on all their heads. Because that's as likely a thing to happen as any accountability for Flynn.

Prove me wrong, 45! SEE YOU ON TWITTER.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:48 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Pence has plausible deniability because he spent the campaign doing plausible deniability and may well be doing plausible deniability even now.

And it needs reiterating: these are all self-inflicted crises. There hasn't been a Thing to deal with that hasn't stemmed from administration decisions or personnel.

How did the Tea Party do so much damage when they were a minority?

Showed up to town halls with guns, which scared the shit out of the GOP and Blue Dog Dems. Showed up to protests in cosplay and got lots of media. Got millions of dollars in astroturf funding from wingnut welfare.
posted by holgate at 8:48 PM on February 9 [31 favorites]


Political people on my twitter are saying this is so bad that if Flynn isn't fired over it things will get really bad. My thoughts "it can get way worse?" What more can do people think can happen?

Yes. Yes it can. Russia is angling to annex Belarus and the rest of Ukraine, and ultimately the Baltics, if not all of Europe. Flynn is spreading their propaganda from the NSC. It could get way worse, by redeploying US and NATO operational forces away from countering Russian aggression. So far there's been no evidence of a change in US operational posture, yet. But that's not going to hold for four years.

There's quite literally foreign controlled assets in charge of the US security state. It can get, way, way fucking worse.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:49 PM on February 9 [59 favorites]


Doing that over an insecure comms link suggests that he shouldn't be NSA even purely on the basis of his palpable lack of understanding of either SIGINT or basic tradecraft.

Wonder why nobody wants to work for him?
Flynn is still hiring his staff. He said about 85 percent of his roughly 230 employees are assigned from other agencies, with about 60 of those positions unfilled. That may reflect wariness at the State Department and CIA, where many career officials are reluctant to work for Trump.
posted by holgate at 8:50 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


I wonder why these officials are spilling the beans now.
posted by Jalliah at 8:54 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


How did the Tea Party do so much damage when they were a minority?

The "Indivisible" document that was floating around a couple months ago is "cribbed" from the Tea Party playbook, and the linked piece talks a little about their situation compared to the Democrats' now.
posted by lalex at 8:54 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Well, which court is next here?

Keep in mind that this was just a preliminary injunction. So most likely this is tossed back to Judge Robart in Washington state for actual trial. That means the next step is discovery, which means the Washington Attorney General can suponea witnesses. Like asking Rudi Guliani what advice he gave to make a constitutionally illegal ban on Muslims look like it wasn't unconstitutional. (I don't think Guliani would have client-attorney protection since he was not a designated attorney for the Trump administration).
posted by JackFlash at 8:55 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


I wonder why these officials are spilling the beans now.

Because the proper channels have likely been tried and nothing was happening is my (uninformed) bet.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:55 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Got millions of dollars in astroturf funding from wingnut welfare.
That explains the "paid protesters" charge; because the Tea Party was built on 100% astroturf, they can't believe any political action can happen that isn't.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:56 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


Could it also be possible that this is just the tip of the Russian iceberg and they have enough to feel confident in starting to release the dirt? Or am I wishful thinking here.
posted by Jalliah at 8:57 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


nobody in the gop wants to be the first one to admit that their "useful" idiot is just the regular kind
posted by murphy slaw at 8:58 PM on February 9 [31 favorites]


I wonder why these officials are spilling the beans now.

Because the POTUS is a goddamn incompetent deranged narcissistic lunatic, and the fate of the whole country depends on his insane decisionmaking? We've never seen leaks like this before because there's always been a sane and serious person in charge, backed by sane and serious advisers who knew who the world and government worked. There's not now. There's no one with a fucking clue about anything in charge, and the most influential person, Bannon, is a death cultist.

Career people are fucking terrified, that's why they're leaking.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:00 PM on February 9 [93 favorites]


god, can you imagine sitting in on a cabinet meeting and realizing that steve goddamn bannon is the smartest guy in the room
posted by murphy slaw at 9:03 PM on February 9 [25 favorites]




I KNOW that's why they are leaking. My question was about the specific timing is all.
posted by Jalliah at 9:04 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


i imagine the timing just means that this was the fastest they could put together an ironclad case against flynn. less than three weeks is crazy fast
posted by murphy slaw at 9:07 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


So is there any chance we can redo the election? Seems like the only fair thing to do at this point.
posted by saysthis at 9:11 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


How specific do you want specific to be?

Perhaps it's because Jefferson Beauregard (whose staff somehow, yet mysteriously, were associated with bringing in Carter Page) is now in charge of the DoJ?
posted by holgate at 9:11 PM on February 9


So is there any chance we can redo the election?

No there isn't.
posted by Justinian at 9:13 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


This administration has been a fountain of leaks from day 1, was today somehow different? The Bat Signal has been on since Obama flew away in the helicopter, I don't see that today was full of more, or greater, leaks than the last 18?
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:14 PM on February 9


I doubt very much that this was put together in three weeks. The fact that the phone call was listened to suggests that the normal counterintelligence work had (as, frankly, one would hope for both R and D candidates) already started on Flynn and the Trump team at an earlier stage.
posted by jaduncan at 9:14 PM on February 9


So is there any chance we can redo the election? Seems like the only fair thing to do at this point.

No? I mean, there's a tissue-thin scenario whereby Congress and the states bang through Amendment XXVIII where in cases of impeachment, X will serve as acting president and new elections will be held within Y days, but the US constitution has no recourse for oh fuck they're all fuckers.
posted by holgate at 9:15 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


I wonder if we'll hear a tape from Flynn's call by the end of this. I mean, literally everyone, even people who live in actual caves, not named Michael T. Flynn, knew we were bugging the Russian Ambassador's telephone, so it's not exactly protecting sources and methods to release proof if necessary. I know that's not how the intelligence community works, but there just shouldn't be a secret to protect here.
posted by zachlipton at 9:15 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


So is there any chance we can redo the election?

No there isn't.


BRB, gonna go drink myself into a stupor over President Pence.
posted by saysthis at 9:15 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


And so it begins: Christine Baranski is offering to play Betsy DeVos on SNL

*rubs hands together*
posted by triggerfinger at 9:15 PM on February 9 [28 favorites]


Trump has to know the 3.5 year schedule to build the wall is bullshit; per Wikipedia, Trump Tower took four years to complete.
posted by carmicha at 9:16 PM on February 9


To be fair, the contract to build the Tower was probably written by the mob.
posted by holgate at 9:18 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


the mob can build the wall in half the time by constructing it from recycled cement overshoes
posted by murphy slaw at 9:22 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Here's someone else with the same question I have had: how did Bannon et al. get security clearances for White House work? Or did they at all?
posted by suelac at 9:25 PM on February 9 [31 favorites]


So, how happy do you think Spicer is that there's no briefing tomorrow?
posted by zachlipton at 9:28 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


the mob can build the wall in half the time by constructing it from recycled cement overshoes

The mob wants guaranteed overtime. Not that the workers will get paid it.

And as we've discussed here before, the lack of an "oh fuck they're all fuckers" clause is a tell that the US constitution is stuck in the 18th century, where the assumption was that if the elected monarch was a bad king, the Congress would do its job and the Veep would be a better king, because Congress (Article I) is first among equals. "How do you get rid of a bad king without tearing up the nation?" is more the stuff of Shakespeare tragedies.
posted by holgate at 9:30 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


the real tragedy of the constitution is that it assumes that all three branches of government agree that having a country is an okay idea
posted by murphy slaw at 9:35 PM on February 9 [47 favorites]


Is someone supposed to say "surely this" now? Is it my turn?

There are few things more sobering in these threads than posting about some glimmer of hope and getting a favorite from Surely This
posted by jason_steakums at 9:43 PM on February 9 [12 favorites]


where the assumption was that if the elected monarch was a bad king, the Congress would do its job and the Veep would be a better king

I never thought I'd disagree with the 12th amendment, but right now having Hilary as VP in waiting for Trumps impeachment looks like amazeballs.

I don't think the founders envisioned a scenario where both the president and Vice President were totally in hock to a foreign power, or both complicit in treason.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:46 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


I know Washington was against parties, but I'm not sure he could have ever imagined politicians would put party ahead of country, even in the case where one of their own might have committed treason.

To me, that's even more maddening than Trump et al committing treason in the first place.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:54 PM on February 9 [27 favorites]


I mean, literally everyone, even people who live in actual caves, not named Michael T. Flynn, knew we were bugging the Russian Ambassador's telephone, so it's not exactly protecting sources and methods to release proof if necessary.

And "Flynn-facts" Flynn was in military intelligence for 33 years.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:58 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


How the fuck did the Russian Ambassador let this conversation take place on an insecure channel, actually?
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:59 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Here's someone else with the same question I have had: how did Bannon et al. get security clearances for White House work? Or did they at all?

And Ivanka et. al. regularly attend parties with the mobster Jimmy "No Socks" Cinque.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:02 PM on February 9


I don't think the founders envisioned a scenario where both the president and Vice President were totally in hock to a foreign power

They envisioned a scenario where the electoral college or Congress would do their job to disqualify such people. They expected the impeachment clause to be used if necessary. And if all else failed, write a new damn constitution. They were not squeamish about it.
posted by holgate at 10:02 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


He's Alan Partridge, isn't he?

I see where you're going, but I keep coming back to Nicholas Van Orton.
posted by rhizome at 10:03 PM on February 9


How the fuck did the Russian Ambassador let this conversation take place on an insecure channel, actually?

Because the ambassador only controls one of the two weakest points in system. Whatever good security measures the ambassador might take, carelessness on the other end can undermine those efforts.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:03 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


The NYT version of the Flynn story: "Federal officials who have read the transcript of the call were surprised by Mr. Flynn’s comments, since he would have known that American eavesdroppers closely monitor such calls."

As a few people have said, the mark of a totalitarian state is not that the innocent are punished but that the guilty walk free. Impunity is the order of the day. Let's see how that works out.
posted by holgate at 10:05 PM on February 9 [48 favorites]


"Federal officials who have read the transcript of the call were surprised by Mr. Flynn’s comments, since he would have known that American eavesdroppers closely monitor such calls."

Indeed. Adding to the sigint/tradecraft issues in that, it's also striking that Flynn thinks that he has a rapport with the GRU head. For a man who is in charge of giving advice on gathering intelligence and possible grooming of assets, that's quite a recent record.
posted by jaduncan at 10:11 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Chuck Cooper, the conservative Supreme Court litigator, is withdrawing his name from consideration to be the next solicitor general, opening the door for the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to be appointed to the role.

Not that I want Conway or her family to be at all employed by anyone ever, but thank heaven Chuck Cooper won't get the gig, because he is right up there with Torture Yoo on the list of truly hideous terrible people. I'm sure Trump will find someone equally awful or even more so, just to match the rest of his appointments.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:12 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]




i have decided i would like to see alaska thunderfuck or sharon needles play kellyanne on snl
posted by poffin boffin at 10:18 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


if they aren't available maybe we can get a howling portal to the plane of negative energy to take a stab at it
posted by murphy slaw at 10:20 PM on February 9 [19 favorites]


i'd like to see anyone or anything named alaska thunderfuck in general
posted by flatluigi at 10:34 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]




It's six million, you idiotic Central Michigan republicans.
posted by mochapickle at 10:46 PM on February 9 [20 favorites]


Hitler-themed

Nah, a Hitler-themed card would have a little cartoon and a silly joke about blitzkrieging into your heart. That there is a jew-burning themed card. Shut them down.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:50 PM on February 9 [67 favorites]


You think the 6,000 was a mistake?

Apparently hate speech is free speech in America.
posted by Yowser at 10:51 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


"Matanuska Thunderfuck" is a kind of Alaskan marijuana grown in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. What connection this has with Trump being a nightmare is not totally clear to me.
posted by kerf at 10:54 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


"Matanuska Thunderfuck" is a kind of Alaskan marijuana grown in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. What connection this has with Trump being a nightmare is not totally clear to me.

This is the Alaska Thunderfuck that was mentioned upthread.
posted by palomar at 11:12 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


The Senate has confirmed Tom Price for HHS. The vote was 52-47.
posted by zachlipton at 11:15 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


How the fuck did the Russian Ambassador let this conversation take place on an insecure channel, actually?

No need to assume that anything was intercepted—here's a press release about extracting audio from videos of potato chip bags and the leaves of houseplants vibrating. Who knows what the state of the art in targeted military surveillance is.

These guys
were using wi-fi antennae to construct a radar-like picture of the area around the router, maybe they can extrapolate sound from that; or a million other approaches.
posted by XMLicious at 11:19 PM on February 9 [9 favorites]


I have decided that I am never gonna run out of "evens", nor am I going to stop being outraged. I refuse to accept the new normal. I mean, just imagine if one of Obama's National Security Advisors had had a similar conversation. The Republican outrage would have been immense. But now that it is one of their own, it is a case of "meh, not so much". This ain't right, it is not O.K. Flynn has lied. He has endangered the national interest. Treason is a serious, serious accusation. If not now, when?

[edit:spelling]
posted by vac2003 at 11:23 PM on February 9 [16 favorites]


Central Michigan student organization sorry for Hitler-themed Valentine's card

The students' "apology" is a bunch of weasel-worded subjunctive statements: "a very inappropriate card was placed into a bag ... a bag was then given away ..." If they were serious, it would be along the lines of "Neville McNazi created a Nazi-themed card and put it into one of the bags that we handed out." They go on to say that they "do not tolerate this sort of behavior", which is a gross lie: they are the ones who did it.

This sort of slipperiness is only to be expected from college Republicans, but compare the Statement issued by Central Michigan University President George E. Ross.:
We are deeply disappointed by last night's situation with a Valentine card containing an inappropriate sentiment that was produced during a student organization meeting. This is not who we are as a campus community.
Same subjunctive statements, same denial of the facts. And he warns that "threatening others as a result of such an incident can have legal consequences." Threatening Jews doesn't have consequences; he specifically says that it's protected by the First Amendment; it's threatening Nazis that's a problem. And then he finishes with:
At Central Michigan University, we stand up against hate, protect the safety of all, and build bridges of understanding that bring people together.
There's no reason to think that any of this is true; on the contrary: he has actually warned his students not to stand up against hate; he has given no evidence that anyone (other than Nazis) is to be protected; and the statements have been carefully crafted to obscure the information that might create understanding. Just great.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:31 PM on February 9 [61 favorites]


I never thought I'd disagree with the 12th amendment, but right now having Hilary as VP in waiting for Trumps impeachment looks like amazeballs.

I don't think the founders envisioned a scenario where both the president and Vice President were totally in hock to a foreign power, or both complicit in treason.


Dunno. Seems plausible to me that if you could survey the founding fathers, a couple of them would object to the 12th amendment for reasons along those lines. They pretty much all thought political parties were poisonous, and I can't imagine they'd have thought that replacing an impeached president with his (her? sigh.) hand picked confederate would be a good idea.

I don't suppose this ever came up in the Federalist Papers? Anybody around who's read through them a few times?

Of course, under present circumstances, that's all of purely academic interest only.
posted by dirge at 11:36 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


So if Pence knew about Flynn, and Trump is loopy and doomed anyway, does that mean we're in for President Ryan???
posted by saysthis at 11:39 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


You guys really think this is going to amount to anything? I must have been made too cynical by the last 6 months because I think there could be a video of Trump and Flynn urinating on the American flag while getting USSR tattoos on their lower backs and all that would happen is Paul Ryan coming out with a statement saying, "While I very much do not agree with the President's policy of urinating on the American Flag I look forward to working with him in the future to implement a policy of major tax cuts, spending reductions, and deregulation."
posted by Justinian at 11:44 PM on February 9 [82 favorites]


Only if they remove both Pence and Trump. Otherwise it's whomever Pence selects as a VP.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:45 PM on February 9


Justinian, I was confident Clinton was going to win. I am just aso confident nothing wI'll happen to Flynn. Let's hope I'm equally wrong now.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:46 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Btw, the Price vote was a party line vote. The discrepancy is because McCaskill was absent.

The Senate also invoked cloture on Mnchin for Treasury, by a 53-46 vote, with a confirmation vote expected Monday. Sounds like Manchin flipped again.
posted by zachlipton at 11:59 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Yeah. If a Nazi snuck into my club and started using it to disseminate pro-Hitler material (assuming I believe that they were really so shocked by all this, which I really don't), I wouldn't be all "we are deeply disappointed." That's what you say when somebody has brought an anatomically correct cake to an inappropriate occasion. I'd say something more like "a goddamn Nazi snuck into my club and got their horrible Naziness all over it, and it made me physically ill that somebody would do that in my name, so I punched the Nazi now I'm going to commit the College Republicans to fighting Nazis, because rallying to take away people's health insurance is way less important than not going to school with Nazis."
posted by zachlipton at 12:04 AM on February 10 [23 favorites]


Justinian, You guys really think this is going to amount to anything?

I understand and agree that, probably, nothing will come of Flynn's most egregious lying. I understand the dynamic of power, of the powerful. But I refuse to accept Flynn's lying for anything other than what it is, treason. Victor Frankl's seminal work, Man's Search For Meaning has been referenced a few times in these voluminous election threads. His central message is that we possess the ultimate freedom to choose how we react to circumstances. We may not have liberty, has he did not in the Nazi camps, but we do have the freedom, the freedom to choose our responses to external stimuli. I believe that impulse lay at the heart of Obama's last injunction, "We Are the Change We Seek". We will continue to suffer much in the coming months and years. But we must, we must, retain that ultimate freedom - the freedom to choose our response.

My response to Flynn's lying remains the same: outrage.
posted by vac2003 at 12:05 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


That Central Michigan thing was not what my blood pressure needed this morning.
posted by mikelieman at 12:14 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


So is there any chance we can redo the election? Seems like the only fair thing to do at this point.
I think the only way that plays out is via military coup which is, you know, bad.

Well, I suppose the GOP could collectively grow both a spine and a conscience but I think that is less likely than the Obama bitten by a radioactive spider scenario.
Nine. That's not a leak, that's a golden shower.
So close! Two more and it would not even be funny.
posted by fullerine at 12:27 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


President Ryan

Is this the dimension where that's the guy who once helped steal a nuclear sub, or the one where it's Senator Ryan from Illinois, ( elected in 2004 ) and his wife Jeri?
posted by mikelieman at 12:31 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Senator Ryan from Illinois, ( elected in 2004 ) and his wife Jeri?

When does the sex scandal break? First or second term?
posted by PenDevil at 1:16 AM on February 10


New York Review of Books throwing some shade.
posted by PenDevil at 1:34 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


How the fuck did the Russian Ambassador let this conversation take place on an insecure channel, actually?

I don't believe the Russians care if they make a short term deal with trump. The game they are thinking is long-term. They want as much disruption and distrust of US/democratic institutions that is possible. They want America weak, and trump/Flynn played right along with their game plan.
posted by saucysault at 3:35 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


Literally tweeting party over country.

@GOP:
We stand with @POTUS. Do you? #9thcircuit
posted by chris24 at 3:40 AM on February 10 [21 favorites]


@GOP:
We stand with @POTUS. Do you? #9thcircuit

No, the rule of law still seems more desirable.
posted by jaduncan at 3:41 AM on February 10 [100 favorites]


As I believe I've mentioned here, I fled Twitter like Steve McQueen burning rubber in a '68 Mustang fastback when I got to a point where I could no longer fool myself about its utter toxicity as an expressive medium.

In over two years, nothing has ever made me regret that decision. It still feels right, both as an act of self-care and in terms of getting on the right side of history. I will confess, though, that the opportunity Twitter affords its users to vent their rage directly at fascist nonentities like Flynn and Conway and Pence is something I've had cause to envy lately.

How delicious that must feel, to just unload on them to the maximum extent afforded by 140 characters of the English language, and know there's a decent chance they'll actually see it.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:51 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


@CNN:
WA state AG responds to Pres. Trump's "SEE YOU IN COURT" tweet: "We have seen him in court twice, and we're 2 for 2" http://snpy.tv/2ksw1Qg
posted by chris24 at 3:57 AM on February 10 [90 favorites]


David Rothkopf (CEO/Editor of Foreign Policy): Flynn is toast. He broke law & lied about it. But before he exits, Congress should ask: Did Trump authorize what he said to Russians
posted by PenDevil at 4:20 AM on February 10 [33 favorites]


Just to show that the racist fascist doesn't fall far from the racist tree, here's a test ad for Fred Trump's aborted 1968 mayoral campaign against John Lindsey.

Dope Man
posted by chris24 at 4:28 AM on February 10 [14 favorites]


I don't understand, didn't Reagan do the same thing with Iran? Convinced them not to release the hostages until he took office?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:33 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


chris24: "Just to show that the racist fascist doesn't fall far from the racist tree, here's a test ad for Fred Trump's aborted 1968 mayoral campaign against John Lindsey.

Dope Man
"

Republicans have been running a variation of that ad forever. "Vote Republican or black men will come for your white women."
posted by octothorpe at 4:36 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


I don't understand, didn't Nixon to the same thing with North Vietnam? Convinced them not to cooperate at the Paris peace talks until he took office?
posted by klarck at 4:36 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I don't understand, didn't...

It's a Republican tradition. But Nixon and Reagan were smart enough to not be kissing Vietnam and Iran's ass throughout the campaign and aides were smart enough to not be caught on tape.
posted by chris24 at 4:39 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


@GOP:
We stand with @POTUS. Do you? #9thcircuit


they've gone rogue, fetch your elephant guns
posted by murphy slaw at 5:00 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


@GOP:
We stand with @POTUS. Do you? #9thcircuit


I just tweeted them the Schoolhouse Rock Checks and Balances video.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:03 AM on February 10 [79 favorites]


Yes, nothing will happen to Flynn, but remember that Hillary lost in large part because of an a atmosphere of scandal and unreliability around her campaign - and she was the best candidate, not some fuck-up. The more scandal-ridden the Trump administration is, the more missteps they'll make, the more time they spend putting out fires, the more nervous people are about working with them, the more motivated people will be to vote against them, etc. The more people see that you can be dishonest and stupid and stay in the Trump administration, the more the administration is discredited. Remember how long it took to bring down Nixon, also.

If Bannon can't incite a terrorist attack or sit on intelligence that allows one to happen, we actually have a tiny chance now.
posted by Frowner at 5:13 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


I'd just like to point out that there is no question about who should play Kellyanne on SNL.
posted by jferg at 5:16 AM on February 10 [38 favorites]


People are lining up to mock the Trump administration on SNL. Christine Baranski offers to play DeVos.
posted by chris24 at 5:22 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


It seems Morning Joe was the TV show of choice this morning.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:28 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


The more people see that you can be dishonest and stupid and stay in the Trump administration, the more the administration is discredited. Remember how long it took to bring down Nixon, also.

I feel like IOKYAR is too strong these days. I mean, Iran-Contra wasn't enough to bring down Reagan or even seriously harm his reputation. It wasn't even enough to stop Ollie North from getting a goddamned talk show. The only thing a Republican can do to spark a scandal that sticks is to be a Democrat.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:28 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


I'd just like to point out that there is no question about who should play Kellyanne on SNL.

My head says yes but my heart says no.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:30 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


CNN had a Republican House Rep on and whassisname the early morning guy was asking him about all the recent scandals. The Rep had no problem with Trump not releasing his taxes, no problem with Flynn's interactions, no problem with Trump's judge tweets, and no problem with Conway's statements about Ivanka's clothing lines.

There was literally nothing the Trump administration could do that he would criticize in any way. That's what we're dealing with.
posted by Justinian at 5:32 AM on February 10 [57 favorites]


I don't understand, didn't Reagan do the same thing with Iran? Convinced them not to release the hostages until he took office?

Yes, and that too was illegal verging on treasonous, and went unpunished and even rewarded.

I don't understand, didn't Nixon to the same thing with North Vietnam? Convinced them not to cooperate at the Paris peace talks until he took office?

See above.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:32 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Yes, nothing will happen to Flynn, but remember that Hillary lost in large part because of an a atmosphere of scandal and unreliability around her campaign - and she was the best candidate, not some fuck-up.

The "Crooked Hillary" thing was only ever a figleaf for the misogyny people wouldn't otherwise have had a way of expressing. Scandal will do nothing to tar this Administration.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:36 AM on February 10 [34 favorites]


Report: Trump upset at Spicer for saying Conway was 'counseled'

I think I can hear the Moon Door creaking open.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:36 AM on February 10 [28 favorites]


It seems Morning Joe was the TV show of choice this morning.

Oh man, the article he's citing is critical of the decision, but ultimately says it was correct. And also refers to the "incompetent malice" of the EO. He didn't even RTFA before he tweeted about it, just took it straight from Morning Joe.
posted by Mavri at 5:42 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Today's reminder that, yes, Bannon is an Actual Fascist, unapologetically and in so many words.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:44 AM on February 10 [41 favorites]


It seems Morning Joe was the TV show of choice this morning.
The ad rates for “Morning Joe” have more than doubled post-election, according to one veteran media buyer. Trump, who reportedly watches the show most mornings, has a close relationship with “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, and they talk regularly.
TV networks hiking ad rates for shows Trump watches
posted by Mister Bijou at 5:44 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


During the campaign a (ex?) Congressman was asked by Chris Hayes if he would still support Trump if he explicitly admitted that he enjoys raping women. He stumbled around with a nonanswer. These people will never impeach him. Not unless it's politically beneficial to do so, and the high support numbers by Republicans show it never will be. Party and personal power over country. The mask is off, if it was ever on to begin with.
posted by gatorae at 5:47 AM on February 10 [16 favorites]


Report: Trump upset at Spicer for saying Conway was 'counseled'

Sounds like we're gearing up for COMMUNODOME! Two press flacks enter, one press flack leaves!

I do hope they televise the ritual combat.
posted by jackbishop at 5:47 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


We're going to get nationwide TV ad buys specifically to make sure Trump sees them, aren't we. That's going to be fascinating.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:49 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


We're going to get nationwide TV ad buys specifically to make sure Trump sees them, aren't we

Can we rescind the ban on cigarette ads for a couple of years? I'm imagining wall-to-wall ads of people smoking and eating tubs of Crisco with a spoon during Morning Joe.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:51 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]




Public Policy Polling: "By a 51/23 margin Trump supporters say the Bowling Green Massacre shows why Trump's immigration policy is needed."

WTF?
posted by bluecore at 6:18 AM on February 10 [42 favorites]


We're going to get nationwide TV ad buys specifically to make sure Trump sees them, aren't we

i wonder what the rate would be to get a bunch of three-second interstitials that are just a black screen with HE NEVER LOVED YOU in enormous block letters
posted by murphy slaw at 6:19 AM on February 10 [25 favorites]


"By a 51/23 margin Trump supporters say the Bowling Green Massacre shows why Trump's immigration policy is needed."

the line between incompetence and malice has been completely erased. incompetence works just as well as malice and i honestly can't tell the difference anymore.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:21 AM on February 10 [52 favorites]


WTF?

Confirmation that the disinformation campaign is working, and that you can't fight lies with facts.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:21 AM on February 10 [16 favorites]


I dunno, in re Clinton and scandal: I think that the fact that undecided (!!!) voters swung after the Comey thing broke suggests that the atmosphere of scandal wasn't just a fig leaf for misogyny - there was plenty of misogyny, sure, but there were a lot of other things too. Absent the atmosphere of scandal, misogyny alone would not have thrown the election. It wasn't inevitable.

That's what I think we have to keep our eye on: Trump will probably not be impeached, but if he is, it will be because of a slow erosion, probably followed by one enormous fuck-up. Every stupid, corrupt, not-our-class-darling thing he does weakens his ties to other Republicans and makes it harder for things to get done.

Trump is a monster, Bannon's a monster, they have terrible plans, but they are not omnipotent. Everything that goes against them weakens them. Why does the state always want to crush even the most trivial dissent? (If you've been around protests, you know that this is true.) It's because even a tiny victory against the state can start something big. It doesn't mean that your little march about policing is going to lead directly to storming the Bastille - it means that your little march can lead to bigger marches, voting, court victories, physical resistance, cultural changes, etc.

This is one of the reasons why the DAPL victory was such a big deal, and why Bannon et al are so determined to undo it. DAPL showed that, under the Obama administration, a very large number of uncooperative people could gain sympathy and stop the work of the wealthy and connected. If they could do that in the case of the pipeline, what else might they accomplish? On a "the state is omnipotent" level, why didn't the state just go in and clear everyone out by force, using the army, heedless of violence? The state could have done that (and may yet). But because state legitimacy and citizen cooperation are important, they didn't.

Every time Trump is forced to concede that legitimacy is important, he's weaker. Everything he wants to do is dumb and hateful and corrupt and unpopular - the only way to do all of it is to say "fuck legitimacy". If we can actually have midterms and Bannon can't create a terrorist attack on American soil, we can push a lot of this stuff back - and the slower, more incompetent and more unpopular Trump is, the more likely we are to get there.

Cancelling elections, for instance, requires popularity. Putin's popular, hugely popular - he can be an enormous fascist monster and get away with it because people like him. Trump is not. If Trump/Bannon cancel elections, or if it comes out that Bannon sat on intelligence and allowed a terrorist attack on US soil (and if he's unpopular, the likelihood of leaks goes up), they will not enjoy popular support. Make them super unpopular, weaken their connections to existing Republicans, and they are less likely to take those risks.

I think that the middle has dropped out of a lot of political projects - we're playing for Not Going Full Fascist and for a radicalized Democratic party/real grassroots new party stuff. We've lost the "let's have an average middling-bad administration" game. "Trump is widely seen as corrupt and incompetent" is a win on the Not Going Full Fascist side, and indirectly a win on the radicalized progressivism side because it makes us less likely to be crushed.
posted by Frowner at 6:21 AM on February 10 [62 favorites]


Aaron Loeb at Medium: The National Divorce

Well… it is true that everyone I know is in terrible pain about this election and now the actions of our 45th President. And it is true, judging from opinion polls, that the 40–45% of the people who support the President support him just as strongly today as they did two weeks ago — despite the travel ban, despite the DeVos nomination, despite the multiple threats issued to our allies, and despite the first, botched military operation out-Benghazi’ing Benghazi. (Many of us fear they support him not despite these things but because of them.)

I can live within a framework of such a profound difference of worldview — I’ve lived through it before. This time, however, it is different. Every comment I see made by those of us terrified by our new President and what he means for the country is met by an equal and opposite comment from those enthralled by the current White House occupant. Those equal and opposite responses take joy in the pain of those on the left. Our national dialogue could now be summed up by Lisa Simpson saying, “I am desperately unhappy,” and Nelson Muntz pointing and laughing.

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:24 AM on February 10 [38 favorites]


And in yet another measure of the terrible economic anxiety gripping Trump voters though, 46% of them think there should be a White History Month to 36% opposed to that concept.

Oh, PPP, never change.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:26 AM on February 10 [48 favorites]


"By a 51/23 margin Trump supporters say the Bowling Green Massacre shows why Trump's immigration policy is needed."

Fox & Friends works!
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:29 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


We don't need to win over all the idiots, we need to activate the cynical and the excluded (and the cynical excluded, for that matter). Let the terrible 27% of the country go - we need to educate and motivate the other people (by offering real goals and real ideas) and help the excluded get ready to vote. Things don't have to be terrible. This country may have pretty hard limits on how good things can be, but we know that there is room in this country for leftward movement.
posted by Frowner at 6:29 AM on February 10 [29 favorites]


ICE is stopping people in Austin, TX. Not sure specifics, justifications, etc. Will post more details as more is known.
posted by avalonian at 6:31 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


And it is true, judging from opinion polls, that the 40–45% of the people who support the President support him just as strongly today as they did two weeks ago — despite the travel ban, despite the DeVos nomination, despite the multiple threats issued to our allies, and despite the first, botched military operation out-Benghazi’ing Benghazi. (Many of us fear they support him not despite these things but because of them.)

Yeah, but how many of those 45% are paying any attention at all to the news after the election?

Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

Remember, these were Trump supporters. He loves the under-educated for a reason.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:31 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


I mean, look at the Tea Party, if we're going to look at stuff like that. They didn't spend their time wringing their hand about the parts of the country that weren't, like, greedy white nationalist woman-hating homophobes; they worked to move the middle of their party rightward.
posted by Frowner at 6:31 AM on February 10 [31 favorites]


i honestly don't know how you have a democracy when 27% of people would vote to have their own babies eaten if they thought it would make liberals cry
posted by murphy slaw at 6:31 AM on February 10 [28 favorites]


It's not like we're the first country to have assholes, murphy slaw. You're always going to have a 27% crazification factor.

Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

The point is they're in the minority.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:33 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


This is perhaps the most liberal thought I've ever had in a lifetime (mostly) of being a liberal, but I feel like we need to have some sort of outreach program. Like, have any of these people ever met a liberal? Can I just go set up in the town square with a big sign that says "ASK A LIBERAL"?
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:35 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


yeah, i know. it's an important reminder that when you have a quarter of the population that would vote for Literal Adolf Hitler with no hesitation, you have to constantly work to make sure that the other 3/4ths would not vote for Hitler under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:36 AM on February 10 [22 favorites]


Tell me people, how do you celebrate a spineless chucklehead like Jason Chaffetz getting rolled at his own townhall? I celebrate by listening to Wu Tang, drinking chocolate milk, and faxing him at (202) 225-5629

Don't you mean (917) 16049311?
posted by iffthen at 6:39 AM on February 10




Also from that PPP data: 41% of women oppose impeachment and 9% aren't sure. I think those 9% are in reach and it's just 3 weeks in.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:42 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


51% oppose checks and balances.

i now understand how Moses felt after coming down the mountain after talking to the Lord and finding the entire israelite camp worshipping a golden calf AGAIN
posted by murphy slaw at 6:42 AM on February 10 [139 favorites]


This is perhaps the most liberal thought I've ever had in a lifetime (mostly) of being a liberal, but I feel like we need to have some sort of outreach program. Like, have any of these people ever met a liberal? Can I just go set up in the town square with a big sign that says "ASK A LIBERAL"?

That's actually kind of a neat idea. I'd maybe pair it with an "ASK A CONSERVATIVE" booth to minimize heckling.

Problem is, where would you put it? Outside the local church? The most conservative areas usually have low population density and a lack of shared community spaces.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:43 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Like, have any of these people ever met a liberal? Can I just go set up in the town square with a big sign that says "ASK A LIBERAL"?

I would be into things like this, although I am not a liberal. You could partner with socialists and Chomskyist anarchists, and do a pan-left-of-center thing, maybe? That's not very radical or anarchist or whatever on the face of it, but I think it's actually radical in the sense of "let's try to actually reason together, interrogate one another's premises based on understanding them, etc". We're at a point where "let's talk about what we know and how we know it" is a radical gesture.

I think that if everything isn't destroyed, we're going to have an opportunity to educate people and move this country leftward. I have my own little dreams (as a Chomskyist anarchist) but I would settle for "effective social democracy that isn't racist". I think that as the Trump administration goes on and we get further into imaginary numbers, government by Twitter, etc, there's going to be more of a constituency for mere information - what do various political formations actually believe? Where does policy come from? Who are these people?

At the national level, sure, everything is bananas. I think it's easy to be scared by statistics about how awful people are. But try thinking about the people you actually know who are either politically engaged or on the cusp of being so. Naturally, we all find some folks idiots and/or annoying, but they're idiots and/or annoying in ordinary ways, not in bananas ways. We can't let ourselves get scared by abstractions and infinities. 27% of the country is bananas-evil, but that still leaves a potential 73% who are not bananas-evil.
posted by Frowner at 6:43 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


i now understand how Moses felt after coming down the mountain after talking to the Lord and finding the entire israelite camp worshipping a golden calf AGAIN

I mean, if you're going purely on color and general girth ...they're not really all that far off.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:44 AM on February 10 [28 favorites]


Central Michigan student organization sorry for Hitler-themed Valentine's card.

Cherries, Betsy DeVos, campus Nazi assholes . . . here in the Wolverine State, we have all the really great tourist attractions! ♫ Yes, Michigan, the feeling's forever. ♫
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:45 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Like I said previously, the Bowling Green Massacre isn't a stumble, it's a deliberate lie. They don't care how many times they are corrected, their base will never ever ever believe the correction. In fact, the notion that someone might challenge the very existence of the fake massacre cements their belief in it.

It's fascism 101. It fractures the country into us vs them but along a very very dangerous fault line: protectors of the country vs saboteurs. That basis of unwavering support is how you create the groundwork for, SURPRISE SURPRISE, superseding the judiciary.
posted by lydhre at 6:46 AM on February 10 [33 favorites]


Another surprise from PPP: only 23% say the USA is an "unsafe country" which is pretty goddamned shocking given how much of the campaign was literally just shouting "DEATH, DESTRUCTION, TERRORISM AND WEAKNESS" and "you walk down the street, you get shot! american carnage!"
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:46 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


I was hoping the Deep State would take down Trump, but I'll settle for Flynn as the appetizer.

Unlike most, I don't read "deep state" with negative connotations. You mean those scary, competent motherfuckers in the IC apparatus who actually care about their country and serve as one of the last remaining bulwarks against the current stupidity in Washington DC? Yeah, I'm kinda happy they're there doing what they do. Or, you know, it's fine that the man controlling half the world's nukes is distracted from IC briefs by beefs with Nordstrom, and his national security adviser is basically a Russian contractor.

(So while the office of President should perhaps be respected, Flynn can GTFO, yes)
posted by iffthen at 6:47 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


It does occur to me that "ASK A LIBERAL" would have to be accompanied by a strong 4G connection for looking up actual facts rather than alternative facts.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:48 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


This magic trick works if you think "white USA" when you read USA!
posted by Yowser at 6:48 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


ICE is stopping people in Austin, TX. Not sure specifics, justifications, etc. Will post more details as more is known.

Austin is outside the 100 mile zone.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:48 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


That PPP poll says some discouraging stuff about Trump supporters... But some encouraging stuff about the rest of us. Keep up the pressure. Stay fired up.
posted by notyou at 6:48 AM on February 10


The fun thing about this weekend is that if Trump tweets AT ALL, it'll be while he is hosting the Prime Minister of Japan.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:49 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


> Is this the dimension where that's the guy who once helped steal a nuclear sub, or the one where it's Senator Ryan from Illinois, ( elected in 2004 ) and his wife Jeri?

Is this a Hunt For Red October reference? Because ever since the election I've had this scene running through my head whenever I think about how this is all going to play out.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:51 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


The fun thing about this weekend is that if Trump tweets AT ALL, it'll be while he is hosting the Prime Minister of Japan.

Guaranteed he tweets about Abe being impressed with the sushi at Mar-a-Lago. You can bet on it.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:52 AM on February 10 [22 favorites]


Trump: The failing @nytimes does major FAKE NEWS China story saying "Mr.Xi has not spoken to Mr. Trump since Nov.14." We spoke at length yesterday!

NYT's Mark Landler, who RTs Trump here: "We reported accurately that Xi wouldn't talk to POTUS without One China pledge. Updated story when he did just that"
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:56 AM on February 10 [14 favorites]




In 2017 one feels great relief from a poll saying only 50% of republicans think millions voted illegally.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:57 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]



Like I said previously, the Bowling Green Massacre isn't a stumble, it's a deliberate lie.


It's also apparently Moldbug/Dark Enlightenment stuff - getting people to "believe" a lie that they know is a lie as a gesture of political faith. They don't believe it they way they believe that the sun rises in the morning, but they mimic belief, and this creates a kind of poison solidarity and breaks down their inhibitions and personality structures.

Honestly, I'm sure that "let's just make stuff up" is coming from Bannon. It chimes with everything else that Trump does, of course, but the scale has to be intentional.
posted by Frowner at 6:59 AM on February 10 [53 favorites]


Frowner, absolutely. Not every lie coming out of the WH is deliberate, obviously most of it is raw incompetence, but the ones like Bowling Green? That's strategy.
posted by lydhre at 7:04 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


@GOP:
We stand with @POTUS. Do you? #9thcircuit


Oh my, the replies are largely a joy to read at the moment. I think @GOP may not have anticipated receiving 5 zillion bits of "fuck no, you cowards" verbal abuse. Must not have watched the Chaffetz town hall video before tweeting.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:05 AM on February 10 [19 favorites]


So it's scary/darkly amusing that PPP included "the Bowling Green Massacre" in their poll and got those results, but it's just plain scary that media and pollsters forget that simply repeating a lie, even if the intent to mock, can transform it into truth for low-info voters. /despair
posted by maudlin at 7:05 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


One more PPP morsel.

Not sure if Frederick Douglass is alive or dead:

D 25%
I 28%
R 50%
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:06 AM on February 10 [39 favorites]


Is there a dress code for the press when they go to the Spicey briefings, because if there isn't they should all show up wearing this shirt.
posted by get off of my cloud at 7:08 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I'm certainly glad that Frederick Douglass is alive. Had he not exercised his 2nd Amendment rights at the Bowling Green Massacre, it might've been far worse.
posted by delfin at 7:16 AM on February 10 [17 favorites]


Guaranteed he tweets about Abe being impressed with the sushi at Mar-a-Lago. You can bet on it.

I'll put an additional $5 on Trump making "special arrangements" to have the sushi served off of naked ladies, because he heard that's how powerful, super-classy Japanese leaders do that sort of thing.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:18 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]



Not sure if Frederick Douglass is alive or dead:

D 25%
I 28%
R 50%


OMG. Would like a follow up question about the percentage who had some vague sense of who FD was before all this, though. (And I will admit, I received a pretty crappy Northern education (at a good school, but super right wing) and I'm not sure I knew who Frederick Douglas was before I took a class with David "Wages of Whiteness" Roediger in college.)
posted by Frowner at 7:18 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


"By a 51/23 margin Trump supporters say the Bowling Green Massacre shows why Trump's immigration policy is needed."

In other news, it turns out Santa Claus is real and living in the North Pole. Questions to the White House about whether or not he'll be turned away at the border or shot down this coming Christmas went unanswered.
posted by juiceCake at 7:18 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Do they mean THE Frederick Douglass or A Frederick Douglass. It's a trick question.
posted by notyou at 7:19 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


A passing reference by Mr. Bannon to an esoteric Italian philosopher has gone little noticed, except perhaps by scholars and followers of the deeply taboo, Nazi-affiliated thinker, Julius Evola.
Banning is scum
posted by adamvasco at 7:20 AM on February 10 [16 favorites]


Do they mean THE Frederick Douglass or A Frederick Douglass.

I fully support the cloning of Frederick Douglasses.
posted by Etrigan at 7:20 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Trying to catch up upthread, but about that wall...

For nearly 700 miles along the border between the United States and Mexico, a wall already exists. We visited both sides. NYT link
posted by yoga at 7:21 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Revealed: FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists
The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists.

The Guardian has established that multiple officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock “water protector” movement in North Dakota.

The purpose of the officers’ inquiries into Standing Rock, and scope of the task force’s work, remains unknown. Agency officials declined to comment. But the fact that the officers have even tried to communicate with activists is alarming to free-speech experts who argue that anti-terrorism agents have no business scrutinizing protesters.

“The idea that the government would attempt to construe this indigenous-led non-violent movement into some kind of domestic terrorism investigation is unfathomable to me,” said Lauren Regan, a civil rights attorney who has provided legal support to demonstrators who were contacted by representatives of the FBI. “It’s outrageous, it’s unwarranted … and it’s unconstitutional.”
Last stand: 'water protectors' return to Standing Rock as drilling set to begin
Rowland – who arrived at Standing Rock last August, but went home in January – is one of a number of Native Americans who rushed back this week to the camps in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to fight the $3.7bn pipeline. The activists, who call themselves “water protectors”, are now planning demonstrations, prayer walks and other resistance effortsa day after the US army corps of engineers announced it was approving the final phase of construction of the pipeline.

On Wednesday, the army corps formally granted Dakota Access the final permit it requires to drill under the Missouri river. “We plan to begin drilling immediately,” a spokeswoman for the company said.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:21 AM on February 10 [18 favorites]


The bowling green massacre numbers are troubling. I'm not sure that all if those numbers are just people who believe it. Im visiting some people right now who don't pay attention to news much. I asked a similar question to the poll. 2 people said that they didn't like the ban but that things like this massacre make them wary. I questioned them about the massacre. They admitted they'd never heard of it before but assumed it must be something bad or else I wouldn't have asked about it. One ended up saying she just went along with it because she didn't want to look dumb for not knowing about it.
posted by Jalliah at 7:23 AM on February 10 [40 favorites]


I fully support the cloning of Frederick Douglasses.

Sure. Then one of those clones tries to vote and they all get deported.
posted by delfin at 7:23 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Although I'm glad the media has become less prissy about using the word "lie" and its variants to describe the many untruths perpetrated by Trump and his circle, it's time to start using two other terms as appropriate: propaganda and disinformation.
posted by carmicha at 7:24 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


I questioned them about the massacre. They admitted they'd never heard of it before but assumed it must be something bad or else I wouldn't have asked about it. One ended up saying she just went along with it because she didn't want to look dumb for not knowing about it.

Quoted for fucking truthiness.
posted by maudlin at 7:25 AM on February 10 [74 favorites]


Anybody who has ever watched Ken Burn's The Civil War should know who Frederick Douglas is.
posted by ThreeCatsBob at 7:26 AM on February 10


Anybody who has ever watched Ken Burn's The Civil War should know who Frederick Douglas is.

There are dozens of us! Dozens!
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:28 AM on February 10 [58 favorites]


The bowling green massacre numbers are troubling. I'm not sure that all if those numbers are just people who believe it. Im visiting some people right now who don't pay attention to news much. I asked a similar question to the poll. 2 people said that they didn't like the ban but that things like this massacre make them wary. I questioned them about the massacre. They admitted they'd never heard of it before but assumed it must be something bad or else I wouldn't have asked about it. One ended up saying she just went along with it because she didn't want to look dumb for not knowing about it.
posted by Jalliah at 11:23 PM on February 10 [1 favorite +] [!]



I told someone in a Trumpish venue that Frederick Douglass committed the Bowling Green Massacre and didn't get corrected.

The same venue refused to believe I was on George Soros' payroll, which was kind of insulting.
posted by saysthis at 7:34 AM on February 10 [24 favorites]


Oh my, the replies are largely a joy to read at the moment. I think @GOP may not have anticipated receiving 5 zillion bits of "fuck no, you cowards" verbal abuse.

If you prefer to lose your faith in Twitter instead, search for "9th Circuit" and admire zillions of people declaring them responsible for every drop of blood in every terrorist act forevermore, guilty of sedition and treason, basing every decision on feelings and emotions, and worthy of execution. (I've reported a few of the latter.)
posted by delfin at 7:34 AM on February 10




Hey I just want to drop this in here because I think a lof of denizens in this thread (including myself) have had recent Asks about tech tools for organizing. One of the guys I've been working with on Tuesdays With Toomey discovered Action Network and I think it's going to be a big improvement for us. It does most of the things that people have been asking about when it comes to mailing list management, event registration etc.... It's on a freemium model.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:41 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


Very confusing: Does every Vice President get an office on the House side of the Capitol?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:44 AM on February 10


I asked a similar question to the poll. 2 people said that they didn't like the ban but that things like this massacre make them wary. I questioned them about the massacre. They admitted they'd never heard of it before but assumed it must be something bad or else I wouldn't have asked about it

I'm not at all surprised; leading questions have a huge impact on people and I think the PPP question is a great way of demonstrating how easy it is for a lie to get embedded in the public consciousness. I'm willing to bet that a great many of the poll respondents hadn't heard about the "Bowling Green Massacre" until that questions, but went with it, just like your friends.
posted by nubs at 7:48 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Very confusing: Does every Vice President get an office on the House side of the Capitol?

Could be The Vice President's Room?

Not sure which side of the Capitol that is on.
posted by dis_integration at 7:50 AM on February 10


Actually, as S-214, it's on the Senate side. Guess Pence needs lots of places to cool his heels.
posted by dis_integration at 7:51 AM on February 10


Very confusing: Does every Vice President get an office on the House side of the Capitol?

Every Vice President since the 1850s has had an office in the Capitol, because they serve as the President of the Senate. I don't know where it's physically located, though.
posted by cjelli at 7:51 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Not the most important thing going on today, but the headlines for the China phone call make Trump look pathetic and weak:

WaPo: Backing down from fight, Trump to honor one-China policy
President Trump acceded to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s request to endorse the one-China principle in a phone call described as “extremely cordial” by the White House. It wasn’t clear if Trump got concessions for accepting a policy that he said earlier was open to negotiation.

NYT: Trump, Changing Course on Taiwan, Gives China an Upper Hand

I wonder how the master negotiator will react to this very public humiliation - stand by for ALL CAPS tweets!
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:51 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


If you prefer to lose your faith in Twitter instead, search for "9th Circuit" and admire zillions of people declaring them responsible for every drop of blood in every terrorist act forevermore, guilty of sedition and treason, basing every decision on feelings and emotions, and worthy of execution. (I've reported a few of the latter.)

Nope, staying right here in my momentary "at least not everyone is irredeemably stupid and devoid of ethics or critical thinking" bubble, thanks. No reason to wade into the torrent of sewage except when it's unavoidable.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:55 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Stephen Colbert suggests that the President should represent himself at SCOTUS.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:59 AM on February 10 [26 favorites]


Not the most important thing going on today, but the headlines for the China phone call make Trump look pathetic and weak:

Yeah, I think we'll be seeing a lot of that. Braggarts generally aren't known for being strong men. Trump's a bully, and bullies are cowards who back down when challenged.

Every humiliation will now happily be spread far and wide by the media he's constantly insulted.

Chickens, roost, etc.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:59 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Trump vexed by challenges, scale of government

So much subtle, glorious shade. It would be hilarious if it weren't about the President of the United States.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:59 AM on February 10 [31 favorites]


Apropos of the growing discontent among WSJ reporters over the orders from above to soft-pedal their coverage of Trump, Tiger Beat on the Potomac is under no such editorial constraints. They're free to portray Trump accurately as a clown-cum-conman utterly out of his depth in office: Trump Vexed by Challenges, Scale of Government—The new president’s allies say he has been surprised that government can’t be run like his business:
Trump often asks simple questions about policies, proposals and personnel. And, when discussions get bogged down in details, the president has been known to quickly change the subject — to "seem in control at all times," one senior government official said — or direct questions about details to his chief strategist Steve Bannon, his son-in-law Jared Kushner or House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump has privately expressed disbelief over the ability of judges, bureaucrats or lawmakers to delay — or even stop — him from filling positions and implementing policies.
And:
Trump aides joke that they wish their boss would spend more time at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., where they say the president appears more relaxed and at ease. {...} Most of those interviewed for this story requested anonymity to describe the inner workings of a White House where they say the tension has been intensified by the president’s propensity for knee-jerk micromanaging when faced with disappointment, and jockeying among aides to avoid blame or claim credit when possible.
Inheriting Nixon's paranoia, Carter's micromanaging, and Reagon's senescence, Trump is bringing a blustering incompetence all his own to his ill-conceived administration.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:59 AM on February 10 [62 favorites]


Stephen Colbert suggests that the President should represent himself at SCOTUS.

Oh yes, please.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:59 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


So, aside from the obvious (China is huge and hugely important to the US economy and moneymen), is there any evidence of more direct leverage applied to Trump to get him to back down on One China so meekly? The Chinese have been selling off US debt for some time. Maybe that's accelerated over the past few months? Kinda sorta.
posted by notyou at 8:02 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Every Vice President since the 1850s has had an office in the Capitol, because they serve as the President of the Senate.

Per the Wikipedia article and comments above, that's S-214. And yes, it seems entirely appropriate for the VP to have an office in the capitol, as President of the Senate.

But Ryan's tweet claims that the VP's "office on the House side of the Capitol" is ready, and is accompanied by a picture of a door to a room clearly labeled H142. Not clear why Pence would need an office on the House side, since he has no formal role in the House, plus he already has an office in the Capitol.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:02 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Trump vexed by challenges, scale of government

I have no idea what I'm doing.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:04 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


> Trump vexed by challenges, scale of government

You guys didn't quote the best part!

The interviews paint a picture of a powder-keg of a workplace where job duties are unclear, morale among some is low, factionalism is rampant and exhaustion is running high. Two visitors to the White House last week said they were struck by how tired the staff looks.

Three weeks, guys. 21 days. Out of 730, minimum, that we have to hunker down and survive.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:06 AM on February 10 [23 favorites]




Two visitors to the White House last week said they were struck by how tired the staff looks.

Just. Six. Words.
posted by Etrigan at 8:09 AM on February 10 [35 favorites]


Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada

Plus side: it is one of the countries she could find on a map.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:09 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


But Ryan's tweet claims that the VP's "office on the House side of the Capitol" is ready, and is accompanied by a picture of a door to a room clearly labeled H142. Not clear why Pence would need an office on the House side, since he has no formal role in the House, plus he already has an office in the Capitol.

The Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last vestiges of the old Republic are being swept away.
posted by nubs at 8:09 AM on February 10 [18 favorites]


I have no idea what I'm doing.

OH GOD HOW DID THIS GET HERE I AM NOT GOOD WITH GOVERNMENT
posted by Servo5678 at 8:09 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


DeVos encountered protestors at a DC school this morning. She turned around and left.

From someone used to serenely floating about on a pillow of money, she's in for a rude awakening.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:09 AM on February 10 [73 favorites]


Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada

Plus side: it is one of the countries she could find on a map.


She might even be able to see us from her house.
posted by nubs at 8:10 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


It looks like devos is really enjoying her job.
posted by valkane at 8:10 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


The ABC station says she eventually got in through another door.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:11 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


He dispensed hugs and kisses to female guests attending a Red Cross ball at the estate last week.

Ugh. Is that implying what I think it is?
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:13 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


The ABC station says she eventually got in through another door.

This is the picture in my head and I won't accept anything different.
posted by nubs at 8:13 AM on February 10 [31 favorites]


> It looks like devos is really enjoying her job.

Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place? The how, I understand: it was return on her investment. And the end goal is clear, too: make even more money. But why go through the trouble of actually taking the job and rubbing elbows with the nasty ungrateful peons? I don't get it.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:14 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]




Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place?

She thinks she's on a [highly remunerative] mission from god.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:15 AM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Revealed: FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists

who could have ever predicted that the definition of terrorism would expand so broadly
posted by entropicamericana at 8:17 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place?

Betsy DeVos doesn't need money, want more money, or even have any particular idea of what money is. She's never lacked money in any way whatsoever. She wants the public schools to be crippled to the point that the "right" kids get educations. She is one of the few true believers in the Administration, which is why she's even more dangerous than the grifters.
posted by Etrigan at 8:18 AM on February 10 [60 favorites]


Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place? The how, I understand: it was return on her investment. And the end goal is clear, too: make even more money. But why go through the trouble of actually taking the job and rubbing elbows with the nasty ungrateful peons? I don't get it.

Power. Prestige. And the fact that, generally speaking, she won't HAVE to touch peons -- she has functionaries for that. It's more like "I'll sit here and make decisions about education and change it back to How The World Should Be, and they'll have to abide by them."
posted by delfin at 8:18 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]



He dispensed hugs and kisses to female guests attending a Red Cross ball at the estate last week.

Ugh. Is that implying what I think it is?


yeah and making it an implication instead of stating it as the fact you know it is is what makes Politico the very special Politico it is. they can be cute, but they can't be brave.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:18 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place?

She's in reality what everyone accuses the millennials of being, someone who's every little brain fart has been applauded and called genius (mostly by folks who want to get their hands on her foundation grants). As a result, she has never been plagued by thoughts of doubt regarding her competence.

She's Dunning-Kruger personified. I have no doubt she thought she'd swoop in and transform education for the "better".
posted by leotrotsky at 8:19 AM on February 10 [59 favorites]


I wonder if devos is a Game of Thrones fan?
posted by valkane at 8:20 AM on February 10


During the campaign a (ex?) Congressman was asked by Chris Hayes if he would still support Trump if he explicitly admitted that he enjoys raping women. He stumbled around with a nonanswer.

Amateur. The correctly-gambled response would have been "Of course not, that's reprehensible and I'd unequivocally denounce the President if he ever said something like that!" Then if Trump ever does say something like that, you issue a mild condemnation and carry on per usual, voting with Trump all the way down the line.
posted by Rykey at 8:22 AM on February 10 [21 favorites]


Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place?

I'm going with "great way to spend less time with Dick DeVos," and you really can't argue with that.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:22 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


David Frum says Flynn gives Trump a get out of jail free card on the Russia scandals if they just pin it all on Flynn.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:22 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Also she's a religious whackadoodle.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:22 AM on February 10 [17 favorites]


Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place? The how, I understand: it was return on her investment. And the end goal is clear, too: make even more money. But why go through the trouble of actually taking the job and rubbing elbows with the nasty ungrateful peons? I don't get it.

Right? It seems like she'd have more power outside the system making the money spigot conditional on policies she wants - outside the system Trump and Congressional scumbags answer to her if they want the money and she's untouchable, inside the system she isn't.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:26 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I wonder if devos is a Game of Thrones fan?

Oh, can we send her some quotes:

"Any fool with a bit of luck can find himself born into power." -Varys

"I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one." - Robert Baratheon
posted by nubs at 8:28 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


She's rich and bored. She wants to play government.
posted by ian1977 at 8:28 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


She's Dunning-Kruger personified.


This really is the Dunning-Kruger administration, top to bottom.
posted by darkstar at 8:32 AM on February 10 [14 favorites]


Two visitors to the White House last week said they were struck by how tired the staff looks.

Just. Six. Words.


[Doctor Who Reference, First Christmas Special ]
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:34 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


From the "Trump vexed" article upthread: nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing, from congressional delays over his cabinet nominations and legal fights holding up his aggressive initiatives to staff in-fighting and leaks.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:34 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


So if Trump watches Morning Joe, and Morning Joe has a piece on furries, then Trump knows about furries?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:35 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


David Frum says Flynn gives Trump a get out of jail free card on the Russia scandals if they just pin it all on Flynn.

Yeah, pinning Watergate on a series of patsies worked to innoculate Nixon, too.
posted by notyou at 8:35 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


If she is outside the system, she is but one of many people jousting for position and giving money. If she is Secretary of Education, she can do it herself and save a lot of dough. More to the point, she is now Important. She has Undeniable Social Stature. She can go to her dinner parties and be addressed as Madame Secretary and none of her friends can.

It's kind of like how Linda McMahon has more money than she can count, but felt the need to run for the Senate and then for this Small Business Administration position. Having your money coming from... promoting WRESTLING... is so gauche. It's kind of like having it come from Amway. New Money always wants a way into the seats of power traditionally held by Old Money.
posted by delfin at 8:36 AM on February 10 [36 favorites]


Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place?

She's an anti-labor, fundamentalist Christian ideologue who wants the power to guide education policy as she sees fit. If you want something done, you do it yourself. Just because she lost her nerve in front of some protestors doesn't make her motives a mystery.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:37 AM on February 10 [30 favorites]


She wants to conquer American children for Christ. She sees "school choice" as a way of sending more kids to religious schools to be indoctrinated.

The fact that there's money to be made is secondary and really anyone making money just proves that they are among God's Elect, so it's win-win all around.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:40 AM on February 10 [22 favorites]


I like the shame dude in the Devos video. Can we deploy him to Central Michigan U next?
posted by TwoStride at 8:41 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I'll chip in to get him a bell.
posted by cmfletcher at 8:42 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


He's awesome but also we should all be the Shame Dudes we want to see in the world.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:43 AM on February 10 [48 favorites]


So if Trump watches Morning Joe, and Morning Joe has a piece on furries yt , then Trump knows about furries?

Knows about them? He's practically a living mascot suit himself.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:43 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Knows about them? He's practically a living mascot suit himself.

"Welcome to the Con! Say, er, what are you performing? For the sign-in."

"Isn't it clear? Loofah-faced Shit-Gibbon."
posted by notyou at 8:47 AM on February 10 [21 favorites]


Apologies for quoting in full, but to airline CEOs:

"And I can tell you that a lot of the new equipment that’s ordered is obsolete the day they order it. And that’s according to people that know, including my pilot. I have a pilot who’s a real expert, and he said, ‘Sir, the equipment they’re putting on is just the wrong stuff.’ We’ll talk about that. Because if we’re going to modernize our systems, we should be using the right equipment. And I know Mr. Tilden is nodding. You know what I mean. And it’s one thing to order equipment, but let’s order the right equipment. Probably the wrong equipment costs more. Probably buy the right equipment for less money. So we want to talk about that. Because my pilot, he’s a smart guy, and he knows what’s going on, said, ‘The government is using the wrong equipment and instituting a massive multi-billion-dollar project, but they’re using the wrong type of equipment.’ So let’s find out about that.”

Equipment.
posted by holgate at 8:47 AM on February 10 [28 favorites]


Problem is, where would you put it? Outside the local church? The most conservative areas usually have low population density and a lack of shared community spaces.

Town and county fairs.

Regarding heckling, I canvassed for Bernie in some very red and rural areas. There was some hostility, but not much. The fact that I am male, Anglo, fairly tall, and fairly confident, may have played a role in that, though.

I wouldn't set up a booth, I would just carry a sign around. That way you don't need the fair's permission if it's on public property, and you could ditch any hecklers who latched on to you.

You would definitely get people who just want to argue with you because it's fun, so it would help to enjoy that yourself.
posted by Coventry at 8:47 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


How is 45 submitting to China's demands on the One-China policy playing out on the_donald, Breitbart, and amongst others on the alt-right? Their alpha male master negotiator was just publicly made to look like the weaker man, that's got to drive them crazy. I can't check since I don't want that traffic associated with my work machine, but I'm curious what the reaction is, if any. Has anyone had the stomach to go take a look?
posted by friendlyjuan at 8:49 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]




Trump Vexed by Challenges, Scale of Government.

Being told "No" must be quite a shock when you hear it for the first time.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:50 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Being told "No" must be quite a shock when you hear it for the first time.

He's certainly been told "No" plenty of times. But yes, this might be the first time he is actually hearing it.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:51 AM on February 10 [26 favorites]


The Chinese press -- which expresses the party line through the relevant organs -- is praising Boss Xi's temperance and willingness to take on a role of stable global leadership. And has also said pleasant things about Approved Daughter.
posted by holgate at 8:52 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


As for DeVos, I'm pretty sure she actually does know a little bit about education, and that's what makes her dangerous.

Disclosure, I'm a former public school teacher, my partner is a former public school teacher, my mother is a current public school teacher, my brother is a current public (charter) school teacher, my father was a private school teacher, and my sister taught at a private school for several years.

One of the first things you notice on any casual examination of schools, and school outcomes, is that around 50% of the student body not only doesn't want to be there but after years of heartbreaking effort keeping them there you'll be lucky if that 50% graduates mostly literate [1], vaguely numerate, and sort of aware of a bit of general knowledge stuff.

You'll learn this after observing classrooms for a few hours and taking a casual look at graduation stats.

DeVos isn't about "improving schools", she's about cutting costs.

And to her the easiest, simplest, most obvious cost to cut is the bottom 50% of students. They take up the vast majority of the teacher's time, consume the most resources, and your return on investment is low. This is the whole point of "vouchers", its to leech money away from public schools so the whole system can be shut down, the top students routed to for profit schools, and the bottom students stuck in glorified daycare until they can be put into for profit prisons.

They know automation is coming, they know the menial jobs are going away and they simply won't need very many peons in the future, so they figure why waste money elevating the peon destined part of the population above the level of utter and absolute ignorance?

To teachers, to anyone who believes in democracy and civil society, this is monstrous. Yes, the outcome of spending tremendous amounts of time and effort educating the bottom 50% of the student body is "minimal".

But the difference between kind of literate and truly illiterate, the difference between someone with absolutely no understanding of the world and someone who at least retained bit of stuff they learned in school is the difference between a society of equals, and a society divided into aristocrats and serfs.

Teachers don't work with that bottom 50% because we foolishly believe they'll turn into top tier engineers or whatever. We work with them because we know that we're what makes them **CITIZENS** instead of peasants. We work with them because we know that while in pure numbers it may not look like much, but the difference between a kid who can read (however slowly and painfully) and one who cannot is the biggest thing in the world.

I'm inclined to assume malice rather than incompetence or simple happenstance. Yes, it'll save money to simply discard the bottom 50% of students but I really do think her goal, the goal of the Republican party, is to produce a world based on aristocracy rather than equality. They reject Enlightenment goals and would rather rule over a nation of peons than be co-equals in a nation of citizens.

Why does Betsy DeVos want this job? Simple: she wants to steal the future from your kids.

[1] As in, able to read simple instructions, they'll never read for pleasure or read more than they absolutely must.
posted by sotonohito at 8:53 AM on February 10 [262 favorites]


I am loving the "AGREE" and "DISAGREE" signs at the Chaffetz town hall, btw. Let us all do that. (I shall use my postcards, which my email tells me have shipped!)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:54 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


I have a pilot who’s a real expert,

Is he friends with Tom Friedman's Taxi Driver ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:54 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Flagged as fantastic, sotonohito. That's what's at stake. And if she can find a way to shift the bottom kids into for-profit charters paid for by the government, she'll enrich herself and her friends at the same time as giving them nothing.
posted by Mchelly at 8:59 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]




Responding to something from way up-thread because I am a big nerd:

"Americans go where no man has gone before; Canadians follow hoping to make that new place livable."

American culture has a lot in common with Klingon culture, don't you think? I mean the whole hyper masculine honorable warrior thing?

I'd like to think Canada is full of Vulcans.

I think this makes Europe the hapless humans, pulled toward both extremes and trying to find a balance.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:03 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Next PPP poll question: Do you support refugees with Ebola entering the United States?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:03 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Yeah, not to be a dick, but any pilot with a knowledge of aeronautics, tech, and business worthy of citing to an audience of airline CEOs would surely have leveraged that knowledge toward being something a bit more lucrative than a pilot.
posted by Rykey at 9:03 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


who could have ever predicted that the definition of terrorism would expand so broadly

It's not that radical. In the Bush II era, the FBI was treating animal rights groups as terrorists. In the Obama era, it was environmental groups.
posted by Coventry at 9:06 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]




It's really interesting that Brinkema is the judge hearing this case, what with her Moussaoui and Guantanamo background. She must think sometimes, "You know, I could have been a small-town judge, doing adoptions, DUIs, and divorces."
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:09 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


It's not that radical. In the Bush II era, the FBI was treating animal rights groups as terrorists.

Not for nothing, but there was a lot of property damage and violence associated with them. (new link because that old one expired).

Not that the DAPL have done that - in fact, they've shown remarkable restraint and discipline. But, yeah, setting fire to a lot full of hummers doesn't a passive resistance make.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:12 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


It's not that radical. In the Bush II era, the FBI was treating animal rights groups as terrorists. In the Obama era, it was environmental groups.

Eh, animal rights groups I think often do cross the line into terrorism, at least the "anti-vivisectionist" variety that dox scientists. And environmental groups engage in property damage, which I can at least understand classifying as terrorism even though it really isn't. (I say this as someone who nevertheless supports a lot of environmentalist groups who engage in monkey-wrenching and also thinks that the disproportionate FBI attention paid to them over white supremacist and anti-abortionist groups is an obscene failure of justice.)

That being said, the investigation of Standing Rock and BLM as terrorist groups when they haven't done anything even remotely close to any non-"alternative" definition of terrorism is absolutely absurd. Toss it on the pile of evidence that policing in American needs to be completely dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:16 AM on February 10 [17 favorites]


It's really interesting that Brinkema is the judge hearing this case

I'm waiting for Trump to attack her on twitter, because picking a fight with the judge who put away a 9/11 conspirator makes for good optics.
posted by peeedro at 9:17 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


@David Corn: This is a fair reading: Flynn conspired w/ Putin regime that attacked US democracy to help it cope w/ sanctions imposed as punishment.

When you put it that way, it sounds kind of bad.
posted by diogenes at 9:17 AM on February 10 [21 favorites]


Can we please stop equating the destruction of property with actual violence against living people?
posted by AceRock at 9:18 AM on February 10 [36 favorites]


I'd like to think Canada is full of Vulcans.

Please don't. We're a hodgepodge mix of a lot of different things, none of them easily mappable to SF tropes, and while our history may not have as much violence as US history, we've still done plenty of horrible, dishonorable things to a lot of groups, some of which continue to this day (e.g., our treatment of First Nations people).

I sense a certain growing smugness in my country, and I fear it and I don't like seeing things that I think encourage it. We're not Klingons or Vulcans or Andorians; we're the same humans as you, flawed but trying, capable of both grace and gracelessness, horror and honor.
posted by nubs at 9:20 AM on February 10 [55 favorites]


The UK government is trying to limit formal embarrassment while hosting the White House occupant by scheduling it while parliament is in recess, and by keeping him away from places where protests could easily gather.
posted by holgate at 9:23 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


I apologize for the FBI/terrorism derail. It would be a shame if we got distracted by that.
posted by Coventry at 9:23 AM on February 10


Full Frontal With Samantha Bee goes to Scotland to talk to the original Trump haters. [NSFW]
posted by Room 641-A at 9:24 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


DeVos isn't about "improving schools", she's about cutting costs.

And to her the easiest, simplest, most obvious cost to cut is the bottom 50% of students. They take up the vast majority of the teacher's time, consume the most resources, and your return on investment is low. This is the whole point of "vouchers", its to leech money away from public schools so the whole system can be shut down, the top students routed to for profit schools, and the bottom students stuck in glorified daycare until they can be put into for profit prisons.


So I think I mostly agree with you in a lot of ways. I think you're absolutely right that Betsy DeVos wants to cut the bottom 50% of students, the ones who don't want to be there, take up the most time, consume the most resources, and return on investment is low. But I think your (justified) anger at the very idea of that is blinding you to her actual motivation.

I've been kind of frustrated at a lot of the ideas being thrown around - that DeVos is just an idiot, or wants a shiny Secretary crown, or just wants to milk money from the system. As someone said above, she is not in need of money. If she wanted to sit home and have moneyfights, she could absolutely do so. And I don't think she wants Earthly glory, for lack of a better term.

DeVos strikes me, and has always struck me, as a True Believer. I believe she truly does want to do good, as she sees it. And I believe she looks not at the bottom 50% who can be drug along to bare competency, but at the top 50%, who could be doing much better with enrichment. I think she truly, truly, wants to help those students and genuinely wants to improve those schools. I think that she believes God wants her to help those students, that it's a holy calling to do so.

And so I don't think that she has an Evil Plan for the bottom 50% of the students. I don't think she's trying to undereducate them so that they go to prison and then prisons make profits. I think - and this is more damning in some ways - that she simply doesn't care what happens to them. They are, to her, trivial collateral damage.

You say that she wants to rule as an aristocracy over peons, rather than a nation of citizens. I don't think that's true. I think she - and others like her - would rather be with a nation of citizens. But I don't think they think they do. I don't think they're trying to create some evil plan. I think they already see the world as containing a lot of peons, and are just kind of bewildered on why we keep trying to make peons into citizens.

It's really important to know your enemies as they are, not as you think they are - not just for high ideals, but because it matters for tactics. If DeVos is a true believer, then it doesn't matter what accountability anyone might have over her. She will believe, wholeheartedly, in the 'Deus Vult' that the alt-right only apes. If you want to change her mind - and I'm assuming you do - then you will need religious and moral arguments against her, not fear of consequences, or tactics against a plan she doesn't hold.
posted by corb at 9:25 AM on February 10 [80 favorites]


ThreeCatsBob: "Anybody who has ever watched Ken Burn's The Civil War should know who Frederick Douglas is."

A project funded by the NEH. Which is probably why they want to defund that agency to prevent any more factual programming from being produced.
posted by octothorpe at 9:26 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


If you want to change her mind - and I'm assuming you do

I'm not interested in changing her mind. I'm interested in replacing our current government with a government that wouldn't put someone like her in that position.
posted by diogenes at 9:28 AM on February 10 [79 favorites]


Town and county fairs.

I firmly believe that one of the reasons Trump won district 2 in Maine is that the local Rs had a very visible presence at every single fair we went to last fall, while the Ds had zero.

ZERO.
posted by anastasiav at 9:32 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


And I believe she looks not at the bottom 50% who can be drug along to bare competency, but at the top 50%, who could be doing much better with enrichment. I think she truly, truly, wants to help those students and genuinely wants to improve those schools.

I have no doubt that you are right about this. But you cannot be the Secretary of Education for half of the country, you have to truly want to help even the bottom 50%. If she is satisfied with ignoring them, and her plan does nothing to help them, I'm sorry but that is an "Evil Plan", whether she believes it is or not.
posted by AceRock at 9:32 AM on February 10 [25 favorites]


they'll never read for pleasure or read more than they absolutely must.

Which apparently holds you back less than you might think, judging by the fact that we have a functionally illiterate president.

Then again, inheriting tons of money helps.
posted by jackbishop at 9:33 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


I think - and this is more damning in some ways - that she simply doesn't care what happens to them. They are, to her, trivial collateral damage.

Again, it's that she wants more nice schools for nice people.

Like most "school reformers" (whether a DeVos or a Zuckerberg) she's never been in a rough school where you can't focus on work because someone threatened to beat the shit out of you once the bell rings. She's never had kids in an underfunded school where all the textbooks have been scrawled over and all the scrawls have been scrawled over. She's never had an oh-shit moment when the college loans come due. But she thinks she's nice, and she knows a lot of nice people. The moral argument here is that she shouldn't be there, and that finite energy resources should be spent on resistance and obstruction, not conversion.
posted by holgate at 9:33 AM on February 10 [22 favorites]


There comes a point at where fanatical dedication to a bankrupt ideology is indistinguishable from evil intent. If DeVos' casual lack of regard for millions of students who will be harmed if she gets her way leads to people thinking she's motivated by evil, that's on her. When it comes to public policy, outcomes matter -- intent really doesn't.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:34 AM on February 10 [54 favorites]


Andrew Sullivan: The Madness of King Donald: Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him? If you showed up at a neighbor’s, say, and your host showed you his newly painted living room, which was a deep blue, and then insisted repeatedly — manically — that it was a lovely shade of scarlet, what would your reaction be? If he then dragged out a member of his family and insisted she repeat this obvious untruth in front of you, how would you respond? If the next time you dropped by, he was still raving about his gorgeous new red walls, what would you think? Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional. If he kept this up, at some point you’d excuse yourself and edge slowly out of the room and the house and never return. You’d warn your other neighbors. You’d keep your distance. If you saw him, you’d be polite but keep your distance.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:35 AM on February 10 [30 favorites]




>Yeah, not to be a dick, but any pilot with a knowledge of aeronautics, tech, and business worthy of citing to an audience of airline CEOs would surely have leveraged that knowledge toward being something a bit more lucrative than a pilot.

What's wrong with being a pilot? Its harder than it looks, and we can't all be blowhard business men jockeying for the most lucrative position possible like our current President. Maybe he likes flying planes. It actually pays pretty well too.

It's also not wrong. Wired had an article one year ago about our aging air traffic control systems and the government procurement process impeding progress.

That's not to say deregulation of the FAA is a remotely good idea, or that Trump's Incompetents wouldn't run the FAA into the ground trying to steal every penny they can, but, like, can we not insult people's intelligence or wisdom for having the jobs they have?
posted by fragmede at 9:38 AM on February 10 [17 favorites]


Dope Man video has been pulled. Friend of mine found it on Vimeo but it has subsequently been pulled as well.
posted by juiceCake at 9:39 AM on February 10


Trump nixes Elliott Abrams for State Department job: President Donald Trump met with Abrams and the sources said that the meeting went well but when the President learned that Abrams had criticized him during the campaign, the President nixed Abrams as Deputy Secretary of State, according to the sources.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to convince Trump to offer the job to Abrams despite the criticism because he felt he needed Abrams' experience

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:40 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


If your defense of DeVos essentially boils down to "Intent! It's Fucking Magic!" then (1) it's not really a defense, and (2) there's a whole lot of context around that intent that absolutely needs to be explored without making excuses.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:43 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


Dope Man video has been pulled.

Damn, I didn't expect that. Time to start taking local copies of everything interesting.
posted by Coventry at 9:44 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


The moral argument here is that she shouldn't be there, and that finite energy resources should be spent on resistance and obstruction, not conversion.

That's a completely reasonable argument! But I think this is a place where diversity of tactics would be really helpful - and that even if resistance and obstruction is going on, some people's limited resources might be better spent on conversion - as a personal choice.

So for example - there's a lot of overlap between the Christian Conservative communities who tend to either adopt or bring to term special-needs children, and the homeschooling/school choice communities. So I think it would be really effective if someone wanted to mobilize those communities - some of which already have contacts and access to DeVos - to, using common language, push back on, say, accomodations for disabilities.
posted by corb at 9:44 AM on February 10 [14 favorites]


Yea, I want smart people flying my plane, sorry. Also, anecdotally, one of the smartest people I've ever met is a commercial pilot. Kid I grew up with, 1600 on his SAT, 800s on multiple SAT2s, went to MIT on I assume a full ride scholarship and dropped out after a year to go to pilot school. He works for Delta now. He just really likes planes.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:44 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]




Dope Man ad on YouTube
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:45 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Thank you!
posted by Coventry at 9:46 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I believe she truly does want to do good, as she sees it. And I believe she looks not at the bottom 50% who can be drug along to bare competency, but at the top 50%, who could be doing much better with enrichment. I think she truly, truly, wants to help those students and genuinely wants to improve those schools.

I suspect that her definitions of "enrichment" and "improve" include "by bringing them closer to my angry dominionist / prosperity-gospel / queer-hating / American-exceptionalist God" much louder than "by providing them with a diversity of opinions such that they can make up their own minds about things."
posted by Etrigan at 9:47 AM on February 10 [16 favorites]


corb I agree with you that ultimately she doesn't care what happens to those she discards. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference, and I'm sure she's supremely indifferent. I mentioned prison no because she has any particular love of prison or any financial stake in it, but because that's the most likely outcome and where many of her allies are coming from.

I disagree about ultimate motives. Conservatism is rooted, ultimately, in aristocracy it has been ever since Burke founded the ideology back in the 1700's. Burke's conservatism was explicitly aristocratic, modern conservatism is a bit less open and a bit less devoted to the idea of a genetically superior aristocracy. But you've noted yourself that when seeing inequity conservatives picture themselves as one day occupying the superior position rather than wishing to eliminate the superior position.

More important, to a very large extent intent doesn't matter. The outcome of her policies will be an end to a society of equal citizens and the foundation of a society of aristocrats (by money, not birth) and peons. Whether she actively wants this, is deluding herself into thinking it won't happen, or simply doesn't care is mostly irrelevant to me and everyone she's hurting.

As for reaching her, I have absolutely no chance to ever reach her, all I can do is oppose her.
posted by sotonohito at 9:47 AM on February 10 [39 favorites]


As for reaching her, I have absolutely no chance to ever reach her, all I can do is oppose her.

Amen!
posted by diogenes at 9:49 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]




Laura Olin on what to do if your congresscritter isn't holding a town hall during the recess: hold one yourself, invite them, invite the local press, express disappointment if Rep. X doesn't show up. "Make it as painful as possible for them to keep ignoring you. Make sure they know it comes at a price."
posted by holgate at 9:54 AM on February 10 [51 favorites]




I firmly believe that one of the reasons Trump won district 2 in Maine is that the local Rs had a very visible presence at every single fair we went to last fall, while the Ds had zero.

This is a really good hypothesis, actually. In areas of low population density, showing up in a place where people are coming from all over the county for a special event counts for a lot in terms of making yourself and your party visible to the voters. If nothing else, it'll make the other party members and sympathetic people there (and they're definitely there, even in red-as-fuck Washington Country you still had ~40% of people voting for Clinton) feel less alone.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:55 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


How to Use McConnell’s Playbook

CTRL-F "shame": 0 results

Seems to be missing a key piece.
posted by Etrigan at 9:55 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


The "Dope Man" thing is mentioned in an upcoming Sidney Blumenthal piece in the London Review of Books, which may legitimize it somewhat.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:56 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]



Laura Olin on what to do if your congresscritter isn't holding a town hall during the recess: hold one yourself, invite them, invite the local press, express disappointment if Rep. X doesn't show up. "Make it as painful as possible for them to keep ignoring you. Make sure they know it comes at a price."

Ha I was just on a conference call with some organizers last night discussing the long term plans for this (long term meaning beyond the next couple of weeks). We wondered out loud where we could get a blown-up cut-out of Pat Toomey to put behind the podium.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:56 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


Hi-res Uncle Sam/Big Lebowski mashup poster for your protesting needs.

"Shut the fuck up, Donny. You're out of your element."

(lo-res)
posted by chris24 at 9:57 AM on February 10 [31 favorites]


Honestly, I doubt anyone spending their time and resources on DeVos is worth it at this point. I do applaud any Christians who feel called to try to bring their fellows around to a more humane, rational worldview than that represented by DeVos, but quite frankly this is a huge task; anti-Enlightenment, anti-secular, politically active fundamentalism is a tradition deeply rooted within American Christianity. The work of people like the Moral Mondays movement in opposing this from a faith-based standpoint is fantastic, and I hope they will succeed. But for those of us who are politically liberal, non-religious, and committed to Enlightenment values, I fear people like DeVos simply have no framework for hearing what we have to say.
posted by biogeo at 9:58 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Trump nixes Elliott Abrams for State Department job

Good. The fewer Bush-era neocons worming their way back into government, the better. After Iraq, that guy should never serve in government again.
posted by indubitable at 9:58 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


VoteVets will be airing the great ad they made earlier this week right before SNL's cold open tomorrow so that Trump will be sure to see it.
posted by chris24 at 10:04 AM on February 10 [39 favorites]




Dope Man fake. Sorry Sidney.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:04 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


"The very famous White House..."
posted by cman at 10:10 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


room, that's horrifying but regrettably not surprising. Of course Breitbart is now being treated as if it were an actual news agency rather than the veil of respectability for Stormfront or the Klan.

Real President Bannon is working diligently to normalize racism, sexism, and all of his other favorite bigotries, giving Breitbart the appearance of being a real news organization rather than just a font for all the hate speech in America is a key part of his agenda. Also, of course, his own personal interest, since he was Mr. Breitbart for a while. Corruption is an essential part of the Bannon presidency after all.
posted by sotonohito at 10:10 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Dope Man fake. Sorry Sidney.

Yeah, the political disclaimer rules have changed over time, the fake ads use our modern "paid for by..." at the end of the ad, but ads from that time had a "Political Announcement" or "Political Broadcast" disclaimer at the beginning.
posted by peeedro at 10:12 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Trump and Abe in the Oval Office for photo op. Japanese photographer says something Trump doesn't understand.

Trump (while trying to do the jerky, dominant handshake tug, and Abe having none of it): "What did he say?"

Abe: "'Look at me.'"

Trump: "Oh, okay." *looks at Abe*

Watch.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:13 AM on February 10 [112 favorites]


"I'd like to think Canada is full of Vulcans."
Please don't. We're a hodgepodge mix of a lot of different things, none of them easily mappable to SF tropes


Fair enough, and that was over simplistic (though no more so, I think, than the "U.S. goes where no man has gone before, Canada follows" quote I was responding too.)

I think the Klingons on Star Trek were kind of a metaphor for the id, and the Vulcans for the superego. (I recognize that those terms of Freud's aren't really current scientific concepts, but they do serve as pretty useful descriptions of how it feels to be a human a lot of times -- the emotional part of ourselves in conflict with the rational part.)

Obviously we as individual humans have both aspects, so of course all societies have both aspects as well. There are no literal Vulcans or Klingons.

But in terms of the state of world politics right now, I feel pretty confident saying the id is currently ascendant in the US, the superego is currently ascendant in Canada... and Europe, with elections in Germany and France coming up and the hard right a major player, with the UK at odds with itself internally over Brexit, is really torn between these aspects of human nature. Which will win? It's kind of a global-politics scale macrocosm of the struggles we all experience internally in microcosm.

I thought my cheesy SF metaphor, triggered by the in-my-mind misplaced "Where no man has gone before" line, would express that briefly and amusingly, but clearly it just came off as stereotyping. I apologize.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:14 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I didn't know Lord Dampnut was actually able to read from a script.
posted by jferg at 10:15 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


From that Sullivan piece, which I think is a reflection of his own time rediscovering life beyond the demands of political blogging:
A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago. It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father...
I've read about the toll of living under authoritarianism on just doing normal stuff, and now it's less theoretical. It's palpable. It recalls in a bodily way the experience of trying to learn while being bullied, of trying to work while dealing with illness.
posted by holgate at 10:15 AM on February 10 [35 favorites]


Ha I was just on a conference call with some organizers last night discussing the long term plans for this (long term meaning beyond the next couple of weeks). We wondered out loud where we could get a blown-up cut-out of Pat Toomey to put behind the podium.

A cutout sounds cute, but I'd like a propped up sign that spells out "Sen. Toomey (R), was absent." Because that's the graphic I'd like to see on the evening news when they cover the story. Give the sign a red border.
posted by puddledork at 10:17 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Is Lord Dampnut related to Lord Farquaad?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:17 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


If you want to change her mind - and I'm assuming you do

I'm not interested in changing her mind. I'm interested in replacing our current government with a government that wouldn't put someone like her in that position.


I think that's missing the point corb is making. She's saying that if we frame one of our many arguments in a slightly different manner, we'll find allies in surprising places.

Trump and the Republican Party in its current inclination is profoundly anti-christian. They're literally the embodiment of Mammon. Honestly I don't think there is a current political movement in existence that is more antithetical to the fundamental principles of the Abrahamic religions.

One of the ways we need to make our arguments for charity to the stranger, compassion for the downtrodden, is to use the powerful language of the Gospels and of the Torah, and even of the Koran, because in doing so we will reach and touch people who otherwise tune us out. Pope Benedict, for example, stands as a powerful counter voice to Trump because of his reliance upon that moral tradition. It's a influential tool, and we shouldn't be ignoring or minimizing it.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:18 AM on February 10 [51 favorites]


*looks at Abe*

Hahaha. Watching that made me laugh harder than I have in a week. It belongs in the dictionary under clueless.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:18 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]




Is Lord Dampnut related to Lord Farquaad?

No, it's the new cute nickname that will VERY DEFINITELY bring down the Trump administration once and for all, just like how everybody referring to GWB as "Shrub" caused him to resign and turn the office over to John Kerry.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:20 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


I swear at around :29 seconds in that clip, Abe turns around and rolls his eyes. Also, DJT was trying to do that "tug his hand closer" dominance display, and it doesn't really work when both shakers are seated in chairs.
posted by gladly at 10:21 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Good. The fewer Bush-era neocons worming their way back into government, the better. After Iraq, that guy should never serve in government again.

Alternatively, after being convicted of lying to Congress about Iran-Contra, he should never have served in government again, but it remains shockingly hard to keep Republicans who have provably committed malfeasance out of the government, so I'll take what I can get.
posted by Copronymus at 10:21 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]




Abe: "'Look at me.'"

Trump: "Oh, okay." *looks at Abe*


Trump's expression and mannerisms for the duration of that video just scream "dementia," do they not? He is so clearly confused about what is going on around him, just in terms of processing sensory input and using it to build a model of his immediate environment. A close relative of mine has Alzheimer's and it looks so familiar I will confess I felt a brief pang of sympathy for the repulsive old fuck.
posted by contraption at 10:21 AM on February 10 [36 favorites]




Also, DJT was trying to do that "tug his hand closer" dominance display, and it doesn't really work when both shakers are seated in chairs.

I think Abe was tugging back. And at the very end of the clip, Trump admiringly says to him, "You have strong hands."
posted by mudpuppie at 10:22 AM on February 10 [23 favorites]


A cutout sounds cute, but I'd like a propped up sign that spells out "Sen. Toomey (R), was absent." Because that's the graphic I'd like to see on the evening news when they cover the story

There was a period of time where I live, which is a largely Conservative area, that the Conversative MP or MLA just wouldn't bother showing up for candidate forums or similar events during election campaigns. Somebody took to putting potted plants in their seat. I'm not sure how effective it was, but it was always amusing.
posted by nubs at 10:24 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Trump admiringly says to him, "You have strong hands."

please remember your real and fake tags folks, now more than ever, thank you
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:25 AM on February 10 [37 favorites]


*looks at Abe*

As a photographer and someone who worked in front of the camera before that, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt; sometimes a person will tell you the effect of the direction the person gave rather than the exact words. I.E. "(He said to) look at me [Abe]." vs "Look at me [photog]." But Donny keeps staring at Abe even after Abe clarifies by pointing at the photographer.

And then of course talks about Abe's strong hands because Abe didn't put up with his dominance handshake bullshit.
posted by chris24 at 10:25 AM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place? The how, I understand: it was return on her investment. And the end goal is clear, too: make even more money. But why go through the trouble of actually taking the job and rubbing elbows with the nasty ungrateful peons? I don't get it.

then you don't know who she is. she is a west michigan dutch christian reformed - one of 'God's Elect' whose mission is to usher in His Kingdom, and ensure the hellbound general riffraff suffer, as is God's Holy Will.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:29 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Inheriting Nixon's paranoia, Carter's micromanaging, and Reagon's senescence, Trump is bringing a blustering incompetence all his own to his ill-conceived administration.

Don't forget inheriting W.'s administration being run by an evil Bond-movie villain.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:30 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


No, it's the new cute nickname that will VERY DEFINITELY bring down the Trump administration once and for all, just like how everybody referring to GWB as "Shrub" caused him to resign and turn the office over to John Kerry.

Definitely worked on Tony Bliar and David Camoron.
posted by mushhushshu at 10:31 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Don't forget inheriting W.'s administration being run by an evil Bond-movie villain.

Bannon's more of a John Carpenter movie monster IMO
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:33 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


It's really interesting that Brinkema is the judge hearing this case, what with her Moussaoui and Guantanamo background. She must think sometimes, "You know, I could have been a small-town judge, doing adoptions, DUIs, and divorces."

Instead, with decisions involving Scientology, al-Qaeda, 9/11, Guantanamo, shady mortgage practices, and now Trump. she's like the much smarter Forrest Gump of the late 20th/early 21st century.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:33 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Trump tries to end press conference and Abe says "Wait, lemme take one more"
posted by cman at 10:34 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Trump's expression and mannerisms for the duration of that video just scream "dementia," do they not?

A healthy mind does not use the word "tremendous" at anything like the rate I heard as I was walking past the TV at work just now.
posted by diogenes at 10:34 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


If Mike Flynn gets fired, who will Putin have inside the national security apparatus to push Russian propaganda of Polish incursions in Belarus?
posted by gucci mane at 10:35 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


NYMag: Watching Donald Trump Try to Puzzle Out What ‘Asset Forfeiture’ Means Is Deeply Discomfiting.

Reading the transcript and seeing him go from (1) being completely ignorant of the issue to (2) being easily and purposefully misled about why it is problematic to (3) displaying no ability to scrutinize or question the way the issue is being framed for him to (4) immediately forming a strong and wrongheaded opinion on it to (5) making a rash decision based on that... I think I need to step outside.
posted by AceRock at 10:36 AM on February 10 [76 favorites]


If Mike Flynn gets fired, who will Putin have inside the national security apparatus to push Russian propaganda of Polish incursions in Belarus?

Trump?
posted by drezdn at 10:36 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


At the Trump/Abe press conference, a Japanese reporter is asking a hardball question about China. Trump responds by talking about what a disaster Obamacare is.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:37 AM on February 10 [12 favorites]


As much as I love "Lord Dampnut" as a moniker, I think the idea of referring to 45 always and only as "The Republican Administration" has much merit.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:37 AM on February 10 [51 favorites]


Update on WA case against the ban: State of Washington filed a letter stating that the hearing for the preliminary injunction is no longer needed (b/c the 9th Circuit treated the TRO as a PI); Judge Robart has given the DOJ until Sunday night to respond.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:38 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


> Reading the transcript and seeing him go from (1) being completely ignorant of the issue to (2) being easily and purposefully misled about why it is problematic to (3) displaying no ability to scrutinize or question the way the issue is being framed for him to (4) immediately forming a strong and wrongheaded opinion on it to (5) making a rash decision based on that... I think I need to step outside.

To give thanks for this wonderful meritocracy we live in?

/ hamburger
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:40 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Pope Benedict, for example, stands as a powerful counter voice to Trump because of his reliance upon that moral tradition

You mean Pope Francis, I think. Did anyone else see this NPR story?

Steve Bannon Aligns With Vatican Hard-Liners Who Oppose Pope Francis
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:40 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Steve Bannon Aligns With Vatican Hard-Liners Who Oppose Pope Francis

Somebody call Dan Brown.

Or don't. Maybe don't.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:41 AM on February 10 [16 favorites]


As much as I love "Lord Dampnut" as a moniker, I think the idea of referring to 45 always and only as "The Republican Administration" has much merit.

I'm not big on snarky nicknames, but they are inevitable, and Lord Dampnut is the best of the bunch.
posted by diogenes at 10:42 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


I bet that if Steve Bannon ever watched that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns said "Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun!" he nodded, suddenly deep in thought, instead of laughing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:42 AM on February 10 [16 favorites]


Steve Bannon Aligns With Vatican Hard-Liners Who Oppose Pope Francis

It is kind of a hoot that he of all people is looking at a monarch enthroned in gold and saying that it's not fair that the monarch isn't considering his views.
posted by Copronymus at 10:45 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


I don't think his arguments against Francis have anything to do with fairness. That's not one of the principles he typically argues from. He's saying Francis's generosity toward other faiths is dangerous.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:46 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Oh man its going to be a long weekend for Abe.
posted by H. Roark at 10:54 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


NBC: Trump Administration Rewriting Immigration Executive Order: According to an unnamed senior administration official, NBC reported, work on a new order began several days before an appeals court maintained a lower court’s temporary suspension of Trump’s order Thursday evening.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:56 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


hey wait this is the guy who dressed up as Super Mario at the Olympics right

if we can get him and Mitch McConnell in the same room is there a chance his instincts will kick in and he'll jump on McConnell's head, defeating him?
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:57 AM on February 10 [40 favorites]


There's something bigger going on with Flynn that appears to include both Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions.

Guardian Reporter (and former MP) Louise Mensch is apparently getting fed some pretty juicy tidbits about ongoing FBI Counterintelligence Investigation. She's consistently been calling these stories right before they break elsewhere. Worth a Twitter follow.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:58 AM on February 10 [38 favorites]


if we can get him and Mitch McConnell in the same room is there a chance his instincts will kick in and he'll jump on McConnell's head, defeating him?

Which will cause McConnell to slide rapidly across the floor, knocking Trump off a cliff!
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:58 AM on February 10 [25 favorites]


if we can get him and Mitch McConnell in the same room is there a chance his instincts will kick in and he'll jump on McConnell's head, defeating him?

But then what if McConnell hits a pipe and bounces back at him? It would be an international incident!
posted by drezdn at 10:59 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]




Gif of the Trump/Abe handshake. The look on that man's face after.
posted by zachlipton at 11:03 AM on February 10 [59 favorites]




hey wait this is the guy who dressed up as Super Mario at the Olympics right

if we can get him and Mitch McConnell in the same room is there a chance his instincts will kick in and he'll jump on McConnell's head, defeating him?


I always thought Trump looked and acted a lot like Bowser. He lives in a ridiculous, tacky castle, behaves horribly towards princesses (and other women), and has a passel of awful children who need to be defeated mini-boss style.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:04 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


I finally completed my spreadsheet that keeps track of my Congressional contacts to gamify my activism and keep me motivated--got the structures and formulae filled in. Just adding up my contact to federal legislators, I have 122 contacts (by phone, email, and fax) since January 24th.

...I think the spreadsheet may be working.

If there's a good way to post a modified version it for people who want to track their contacts, I'd be open to doing that. (Criteria -- No Facebook, No Twitter, preferably does not require me to sign up, or reveal personal information).
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:05 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


The look on that man's face after.

Aren't politicians supposed to have better poker faces than that?
posted by Mavri at 11:06 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Trump vexed by challenges, scale of government

In that story, it says that Spicer wanted to make a joke about the SNL sketch, maybe bring along a squirt gun, which would be the appropriate response to acknowledge that you've seen it, found it funny (even if you really didn't), and are ready to move on, but Trump vetoed the idea.
posted by zachlipton at 11:07 AM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Aren't politicians supposed to have better poker faces than that?

Politicians aren't generally expected to arm wrestle foreign leaders for dominance.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:08 AM on February 10 [76 favorites]


Gif of the Trump/Abe handshake. The look on that man's face after.

Best reply: "Abe is going to vomit on Trump. Revenge for 1992."
posted by Talez at 11:10 AM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Guardian Reporter (and former MP) Louise Mensch is apparently getting fed some pretty juicy tidbits about ongoing FBI Counterintelligence Investigation. She's consistently been calling these stories right before they break elsewhere. Worth a Twitter follow.

Mensch doesn't work for the Guardian. She's a Murdoch stooge. Take her tweets with caution.

Apart from, er, the link in her Twitter bio, obviously. But that's part of the Graun's tiresome desire to troll its readership under the guise of providing commentary from a variety of political stances. Anyway, she's definitely one of Murdoch's.
posted by mushhushshu at 11:10 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


Just to show that the racist fascist doesn't fall far from the racist tree, here's a test ad for Fred Trump's aborted 1968 mayoral campaign against John Lindsey.

For the record, the ads in question appear to be fake. Worse yet, spreading this seems to be yet another thing we can blame goddamn Sidney Blumenthal for.
posted by zachlipton at 11:10 AM on February 10 [15 favorites]


Yeah, Mensch is probably full of crap, as are most of those reddit links. There's a lot to get worked up about, but nothing there.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:11 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Aren't politicians supposed to have better poker faces than that?

They for sure do, but it's a measure of the depths of revulsion and disbelief Abe is trying to conceal.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:11 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


If there's a good way to post a modified version it for people who want to track their contacts, I'd be open to doing that.

You can upload it to Google Sheets and share a read-only version for other people. If I recall correctly there's a simple way for people to then make a personal one-time copy for themselves. You need a gmail account and that's it.
posted by phearlez at 11:12 AM on February 10


FYI for NYC folks - there are two immigrants' rights things tonight (Fri 2/10) at 5pm:

--Immigration "Know Your Rights" Forum on 125th st - with Rep. Espaillat, NY AG Schneiderman, and a legal panel
--Immigrant Accompaniment Training at NYU Furman Hall, Room 212 - with NYU Law RISE, the NYU National Lawyers Guild, and the Immigrant Rights Project
posted by melissasaurus at 11:14 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Mensch is probably full of crap, as are most of those reddit links. There's a lot to get worked up about, but nothing there.

Damn it, you guys, I was just sitting here thinking "surely this"

fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu
posted by Fleebnork at 11:15 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Guardian Reporter Louise Mensch

That's kind of a big whiff...
posted by diogenes at 11:15 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Breitbart reporter is seated in the front row with major networks for the Abe/Trump press conference.

It gets worse: Soon after news broke that a federal appeals court ruled against reinstating President Trump’s travel ban, Breitbart’s White House correspondent landed an exclusive interview with press secretary Sean Spicer to discuss the post-mortem. The interview, which was recorded and shared on Facebook Live, is honest-to-god the most gloriously awkward two and a half minutes I have ever witnessed. (Link, with video, goes to Death and Taxes, not Breitbart.)
posted by Room 641-A at 11:16 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]




The Intercept's most recent podcast episode is worth a listen. Starts with an incredible impression of Trump doing the Apocalypse Now opening and ends with this amazing Kimya Dawson resistance song. (And the interviews in the middle are damn good, too.)
Sometimes it seems like we’ve reached the end of the road
We’ve seen cops and judges sleep together wearing long white robes
And they put their white hoods up Try to take the black hoods down
And they don’t plan on stopping til we’re all in the ground
Til we’re dead in the ground or we’re incarcerated
‘Cause prison’s a big business form of enslavement
Plantations that profit on black folks in cages
They’ll break our backs and keep the wages
It’s outrageous that there’s no place we can feel safe in this nation
Not in our cars Not at the park Not in subway stations
Not at church The pool The store Not asking for help
Not walking down the street So we’ve gotta scream and yell

Hands up Don’t shoot I can’t breathe
BLACK LIVES MATTER No justice No Peace
I know that we can overcome because I had a dream
A dream we tore this racist broken system apart at the seams

posted by AceRock at 11:18 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Yeah, Mensch is probably full of crap, as are most of those reddit links. There's a lot to get worked up about, but nothing there.

Thing about her is that it sounds like she's full of crap and then she ends up being right about things she's insisted on. This Flynn thing being one of them.
posted by Jalliah at 11:19 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Dear Sean Spicer, ProTip: Someone with skill at interviewing, being interviewed, or filming interviews should be involved in every interview.
posted by ruetheday at 11:20 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Thing about her is that it sounds like she's full of crap and then she ends up being right about things she's insisted on.

I mean, that's fine, but you need receipts.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:21 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


So, is this tweet from Mensch is completely false?
I cannot say it any louder or longer. @Democrats and patriots of all parties.
The Attorney General is a suspect in Russia's hack.
LAWYER UP.
It was pinned much earlier today.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:23 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Have liberals found their combative new leader in … Keith Olbermann?

If the answer is "yes", we're all fucked.
posted by AceRock at 11:27 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


This is incredibly petty, but I really hope 45 tries that stupid handshake trick on like a SOCOM operator or somebody else with extensive martial arts training who flips him across the room on sheer reflex.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:28 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


I mean, that's fine, but you need receipts.

I don't understand what this means.
posted by Jalliah at 11:29 AM on February 10


I'd also accept someone laughing right in his pathetic face, but I feel a judo throw would be much more cathartic.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:29 AM on February 10


yes! we need to arrange for the president to meet Jason Bourne! he'd go for that, right?
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:29 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


but I really hope 45 tries that stupid handshake trick on [...] somebody else with extensive martial arts training

I'm pretty sure you just saw the result of that with PM Abe.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:29 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


I don't understand what this means.

I mean her tweets sound like Trump's. No evidence, wild conjecture.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:30 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


This is incredibly petty, but I really hope 45 tries that stupid handshake trick on like a SOCOM operator or somebody else with extensive martial arts training who flips him across the room on sheer reflex.

Trudeau coming up Monday. We can hope.
posted by mazola at 11:30 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure you just saw the result of that with PM Abe.

Yeah, he was ready. He had his left foot well planted.
posted by diogenes at 11:30 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


I mean, that's fine, but you need receipts.

I don't understand what this means.


Saying things and later being proven correct is less compelling than having proof when you say stuff in the first place. See also "a stopped clock is right twice a day".
posted by Etrigan at 11:31 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Trudeau coming up Monday. We can hope.

I can't stop watching the Abe handshake video. I hadn't even thought about what a Trudeau handshake would look like. Wonder if Justin is preparing for it.
posted by Jalliah at 11:34 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


NYMag: Watching Donald Trump Try to Puzzle Out What ‘Asset Forfeiture’ Means Is Deeply Discomfiting.

For all the horrors of Trump in that link, the truly terrifying thing is that you already have a system that not only allows towns to have a criminal police force out robbing and looting entirely innocent passersby, but one which actively incentivises you to do so.
posted by dng at 11:35 AM on February 10 [21 favorites]


Actually, the best possible result would be if he tried it on QE2 and she threw him down a flight of stairs and then a big pile of corgi manure fell on him. Fingers crossed.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:35 AM on February 10 [17 favorites]


Guardian Reporter (and former MP) Louise Mensch is apparently getting fed some pretty juicy tidbits about ongoing FBI Counterintelligence Investigation. She's consistently been calling these stories right before they break elsewhere. Worth a Twitter follow.

With respect, Louise Mensch is easily one of the dumbest public figures on Twitter. Some highlights:
2. Last year she attempted to demonstrate the ‘sewer that is Jeremy Corbyn’s support’ by pointing out that Twitter’s autocomplete function showed that the most common search words to appear by Liz Kendall’s name were ‘Nazi’, ‘Zionist’ and ‘Jews’. However, as each suggestion appeared next to an ‘x’, this means that the words were her own search history rather than the work of an evil Corbynista.

3. In 2014, she suggested that Theodor Herzl — the father of modern Zionism and author of The Jewish State — was an anti-Semite, who she would block from her timeline.

4. In January after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, Mensch tweeted that Charlie Hebdo was a person. Charlie Hebdo is the name of the magazine the victims worked for.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:37 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


>Do they mean THE Frederick Douglass or A Frederick Douglass.

I fully support the cloning of Frederick Douglasses.
posted by Etrigan at 9:20 AM


Oh come on now, you've been around here long enough to know how this works.

Fredericks Douglass
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:37 AM on February 10 [75 favorites]


So, is this tweet from Mensch is completely false?

I dunno, is all the wackadoo bullshit posted by Twitter randos categorically true or false? Do you want people to comb through InfoWars for little nuggets of truth, too? Maybe we could spend 100 comments arguing over the truth of something Kellyanne Conway says based on the grammatical structure of one of her sentences.
posted by indubitable at 11:39 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Actually, the best possible result would be if he tried it on QE2 and she threw him down a flight of stairs and then a big pile of corgi manure fell on him. Fingers crossed.

Bonus points if Liz zips away on an improvised skateboard made from the bottom half of the Buckingham Palace tea cart.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:40 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


How pathetic is it that this is a 70-year-old man who has won the most powerful job in the world, yet he's reduced to dominance handshake maneuvers (see also: this ridiculous one) like he's the area sales manager for an outboard motor supplier and he's gunning for the regional promotion.
posted by zachlipton at 11:42 AM on February 10 [60 favorites]


the best possible result would be if he tried it on QE2

... How about if he tries the shoulder-rub trick that W did on Angela Merkel, and she elbows him in the sack...

(this is turning into a derail, so I'll quit now...)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:42 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


ok, sorry, my last comment is really cranky, I'm just exasperated that people are seriously weighing whether some person's wild accusations offered with zero evidence are true or not when the current administration's MO is to just throw these out as fast as they can and hope to baffle us with the sheer volume of it all.
posted by indubitable at 11:43 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]




Actually, the best possible result would be if he tried it on QE2 and she threw him down a flight of stairs and then a big pile of corgi manure fell on him. Fingers crossed.

Elizabeth Windsor, we should recall, actually enlisted in her country's military despite being very eligible for deferral.
posted by Etrigan at 11:44 AM on February 10 [23 favorites]


You know, with all the Wingnut Welfare money rolling around at Breitbart, you'd think they could have hired someone more skilled at interviewing. Like, maybe, any random local TV news reporter from the tiniest of small towns?

Maybe the guy sitting there fidgeting in an ill fitting suit is pretty good at writing bigoted invective, I dunno since I don't read Breitbart, but wow was that ever the most amateur attempt at an interview I've ever seen.

Hell, I've seen actual children do better interviews on Youtube than this guy did. Seriously, look at these kids interviewing a Nameless Ghoul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPy5jMJk7a8 They're doing better than the Breitbart guy did and they're not even 13 yet!
posted by sotonohito at 11:45 AM on February 10


ok, sorry, my last comment is really cranky, I'm just exasperated that people are seriously weighing whether some person's wild accusations offered with zero evidence are true or not when the current administration's MO is to just throw these out as fast as they can and hope to baffle us with the sheer volume of it all.

It is irritating that we had to go through the Mensh excercise. We need to be better than the other side at identifying valid sources.
posted by diogenes at 11:45 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


he's reduced to dominance handshake maneuvers ... like he's the area sales manager for an outboard motor supplier

And if he hadn't been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he would be lucky to have achieved even that level of business success.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:47 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


There are middle school morning announcements, reading the lunch menu, with better production values than that interview.
posted by zachlipton at 11:48 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Fredericks Douglass
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:37 PM on February 10 [+] [!]


Aw, I was going to say that this morning but thought the thread had moved on too far!
posted by yhbc at 11:50 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


uhhh, the official @POTUS account just tweeted the Abe handshake video where the President looks the wrong way. The same video everybody's been mocking all this time. Yeah.
posted by zachlipton at 11:50 AM on February 10 [29 favorites]


The official @POTUS account included the eyeroll part of the video in their tweet.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:51 AM on February 10 [23 favorites]


(jinx, sorry)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:52 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


This is gross:

On Thursday, during a meeting with 10 senators that was billed as a listening session about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch... Trump referred to Warren several times as “Pocahontas,” the moniker he gave her during his campaign, and told the Democrats present he is glad Warren is becoming the face of “your party.”
posted by diogenes at 11:52 AM on February 10 [40 favorites]


Donald Trump's Backers at the Border Patrol A physics student at McGill, who was travelling to attend the Women’s March in Washington last month, was also turned back at the border by a C.B.P. officer. The student told CBC that “The first thing he asked us, point-blank, is, ‘Are you anti- or pro-Trump?’
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:52 AM on February 10 [37 favorites]


I know it was said here that Obama has the "Not my circus, not my monkeys" smile but I would really appreciate his take as a fellow member of the audience any day now.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:53 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Mensch is an idiot who has a few bees in her bonnet, and yet seems to have some little birdies chirping from high places. The Sessions connection is to Carter Page, international man of mystery. As I breezily speculated last night, the precise timing of the Flynn leaks this week might be either a shot across the bow from the IC to the new AG, or an insurance policy.
posted by holgate at 11:54 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


>> Fredericks Douglass
> Aw, I was going to say that this morning but thought the thread had moved on too far!

Hey, no one's suggested Frederick Douglii yet...
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:55 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Feds, Trump attorneys wrangle over president’s D.C. hotel lease. Seems like they should have done this, you know, before he became President.
Federal officials have held private talks in recent days with attorneys for President Trump’s real estate company to address a potential violation of Trump’s lease with the government for his new luxury hotel near the White House, but the two sides have so far failed to reach a resolution, according to documents and people familiar with the discussions.
This is gross:

Also in that story, he brought up vote fraud again with the Senators during the Gorsuch meeting, saying Ayotte would have won NH "if not for the “thousands” people who were “brought in on buses” from neighboring Massachusetts to “illegally” vote in New Hampshire." He just can't quit.
posted by zachlipton at 11:55 AM on February 10 [20 favorites]


That Mensch seems to have shifted - even if only contextually - to chaotic neutral, must be one of the weirder parts of this whole unpleasant business.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:57 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


ICE raids happening in North Austin. Potentially due to Austin's position as a "sanctuary city".
posted by avalonian at 11:57 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


On Thursday, during a meeting with 10 senators that was billed as a listening session about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch... Trump referred to Warren several times as “Pocahontas,” the moniker he gave her during his campaign, and told the Democrats present he is glad Warren is becoming the face of “your party.”

Sometimes it seems like Native Americans are the only ethnicity that can be openly mocked with absolute impunity in this country. This is truer with Republicans, but not limited to them. I'll bet no Democrats present had any visible/audible reaction to this, and I think there at least would have been some shocked gasps if he had called her Aunt Jemima or Hymie Goldstein.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:59 AM on February 10 [21 favorites]


Hey, no one's suggested Frederick Douglii yet...

it's Frederices Douglassim actually
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:59 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Just an update on the TrumpCheck: he's said 19 false things in the past five days, giving a total of 57 falsehoods (lies, exaggerations and deceptions) in his public statements in the last three weeks.
posted by zachlipton at 11:59 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Hillary Clinton narrowly won New Hampshire’s four electoral votes over Trump by nearly 3,000 votes. Ayotte’s margin of defeat was even slimmer: 743 votes.
...
Trump also teased Ayotte, who distanced herself from him last summer after he attacked the parents of a Muslim Gold Star soldier for criticizing him during the Democratic Convention. “He told her, ‘You’d have won if you’d been on my train,’” one participant said.


Math, how does it work?
posted by phearlez at 12:01 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


ICE raids happening in North Austin. Potentially due to Austin's position as a "sanctuary city".

I also heard of raids in Los Angeles, which is also a sanctuary city, so I'm quite certain this is the case. Look for other raids in other sanctuaries in the future.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:01 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Frederick Douglae, surely.
posted by skycrashesdown at 12:01 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Although I hope to never have the misfortune of having to shake that miserable tangerine's hand, if for some godforsaken reason I do, I actually hope he pulls that dominant arm pull stunt on me so I can freak out, shove him the chest and scream "What the FUCK is THAT shit?", all the while being broadcast live on Fox News. If I die under a pile of Secret Service agents, at least I'll know I'll die as a martyr for the cause.
posted by vverse23 at 12:01 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


All the Frederick Doug-lads and Doug-lasses?
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:04 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I know it was said here that Obama has the "Not my circus, not my monkeys" smile but I would really appreciate his take as a fellow member of the audience any day now.

My impression of Obama is that (maybe to a fault) he wants to follow the rules and norms of democracy, and one of the big ones is that former presidents don't comment on the current president's actions directly. Especially not so close to the exchange of power. I can't speak for him, obviously, but that's my impression given his 8 years in office.

If that is the case, then I don't agree with it. This isn't a normal transfer of power, and as a widely respected former leader, I think it's his duty to actively join the resistance against trump.
posted by codacorolla at 12:05 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


In this era of flash mobs, surely it would be possible to organize rapid responses to ICE raids? They can't arrest people if they're surrounded by thousands of people who simply peacefully stand between them and their victims.
posted by sotonohito at 12:05 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Trump and Abe in the Oval Office for photo op. Japanese photographer says something Trump doesn't understand.

Holy cow. Somebody coached Abe on DJT's handshake game, and it's a total tug of war. At the end, Trump even complements Abe on his handshake work: "Strong hands. I mean, ziip."
posted by notyou at 12:07 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Sometimes it seems like Native Americans are the only ethnicity that can be openly mocked with absolute impunity in this country.

NDN and hillbilly, still Warren should ask if Trump ever met Wilma Mankiller.
posted by ridgerunner at 12:07 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


They can, but having to arrest all the other people who show up will at least make the raids more expensive.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:07 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Frederixen Douglass?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:07 PM on February 10


Pretty strong words from Senator Durbin. (Sorry for the link to a tweet of a picture. I can't find the original press release.)

a chilling new piece of the sinister puzzle of the President's dealings with a hostile foreign power.
posted by diogenes at 12:08 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


trump strongly telegraphed that he'd be personally involved with some kind of CBP or ICE force that would be inclined to shoot on sight during his nutballs RNC acceptance speech. And he will kill people this way.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:09 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


My impression of Obama is that (maybe to a fault) he wants to follow the rules and norms of democracy, and one of the big ones is that former presidents don't comment on the current president's actions directly. Especially not so close to the exchange of power. I can't speak for him, obviously, but that's my impression given his 8 years in office.

Obama spent his presidency acting as a lightning rod for every grievance the right could throw at him. While he's out of play, the hate isn't focused, but it could quite easily become so were he to re-engage soon.

IMO his best play is to work behind the scenes. Maybe he already is.
posted by mushhushshu at 12:09 PM on February 10 [23 favorites]


I agree with mushhushshu -- I think Obama would too easily become a lightning rod. I think he has a decent shot of making a difference (without inciting the mob) through the redistricting project.
posted by janell at 12:12 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Tim Ryan of Ohio has joined the "Flynn should resign" band.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:14 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Obama might very well show back up. I was getting irritated at him gallivanting around with Richard Branson the other day and then realized it has been three weeks. Three weeks ago he was still President. That's not a very long vacation after eight years of the bullshit he's had to deal with.
posted by something something at 12:14 PM on February 10 [43 favorites]


Maybe he already is

I was having this conversation with Mr. archimago last night. I want to believe that there are herds of civil rights lawyers and others rallying behind the scenes and gathering their ammo. Surely someone is going after the Russia connections, right? And just leaving it out of the news while they gather the evidence?


posted by archimago at 12:15 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


didn't we learn earlier this week that Flynn is Trump's #1 3am how-do-I-president phone-a-friend? he's not going anywhere lol
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:15 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Quite literally in this case. CNN reported (per Joy Reid) that "one of the judges" had to get increased security due to threats (gee, I wonder if it was the woman).

More than one now: Threats against judges in immigration ban cases leads to increased security
Threats against more than one judge involved in legal challenges to President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration have prompted federal and local law enforcement agencies to temporarily increase security protection for some of them, according to law enforcement officials.

CNN did not learn how specific the threats were, but law enforcement agencies treated them seriously and out of an abundance of caution, the US Marshals Service and local police increased patrols and protective officers to provide security for some of the judges, the officials said.
Oh, and also:
On Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked whether Trump regrets his criticism.

"He has no regrets," Spicer said.
Of course, he doesn't.
posted by zakur at 12:16 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


I always thought Trump looked and acted a lot like Bowser. He lives in a ridiculous, tacky castle, behaves horribly towards princesses (and other women), and has a passel of awful children who need to be defeated mini-boss style.

At least Bowser really loves his kids.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:17 PM on February 10 [19 favorites]


he's not going anywhere lol

This is a little cavalier and incorrect. He's definitely going to be thrown under the bus if he lands on the front page of every newspaper every day for the next however many weeks.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:18 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Surely someone is going after the Russia connections, right?

The Senate has two active investigations going. It's less clear what is happening in the intelligence community.
posted by diogenes at 12:19 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


So, the proper way to defeat him is to jump, shuffle and throw fireballs. I'm down.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:19 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Flynn will probably be out within a week or less.
posted by futz at 12:21 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


This is a little cavalier and incorrect. He's definitely going to be thrown under the bus if he lands on the front page of every newspaper every day for the next however many weeks.

this is the sort of thing that would have been screamingly obvious in the before-time but I'm not sure I believe it now
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:21 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


herds of civil rights lawyers

I'm now basically picturing a posse of angry centaurs storming courthouses across the land
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:21 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


Flynn at least wouldn't be on the premises reminding trump every 30 minutes that we need to nuke all of the middle east in order for murrica to murrica on.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:22 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


He's definitely going to be thrown under the bus if he lands on the front page of every newspaper every day for the next however many weeks.

Particularly if it's for treasony activities caught on tape and lying about said treasony activities.
posted by diogenes at 12:22 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]




Maybe we should give the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform a little attention, regarding the PVL-Flynn-Sessions-Pence-Page-Russia connection. The message system, unlike many others, does not seem to have long silences. You will be prompted to press 1 to leave a message about the PVL.

Phone: (202) 225-5074
Fax: (202) 225-3974

Talking points

* Since the Oversight Committee so fervently investigated Secretary Clinton's email server in the interests of national security, they will certainly be eager to conduct a full investigation into:

* The executive's personal, business, and financial ties to Russia.
* The executive's use of a very old, very insecure Android phone and the risk that action imparts to national security.
* The role of Michael Flynn in contacting Russia before the inauguration to promise the lifting of sanctions and possible violations of the Logan Act.
* The role of Michael Pence in Flynn's alleged contact with Russian agents before the inauguration.
* The relationship of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Carter Page, their personal, business, and financial ties to Russia, and the extent to which they have been involved with possible Russian hacking/electoral interference.
* Substantial evidence exists to justify such an inquiry, so the Committee should begin post haste.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 12:22 PM on February 10 [38 favorites]


In related news, the increasingly absurdist landscapes of my imagination are becoming a real source of consolation.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:23 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Please let Obama relax.
posted by INFJ at 12:24 PM on February 10 [24 favorites]


Is the Sessions/Page link coming from anywhere besides Mensch and Reddit?
posted by diogenes at 12:25 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Please let Obama relax.

Absolutely not. When you are president and hand off the executive powers that you failed to curtail to an insane fascist dictator, you do not get to then have a prolonged period of superchill relaxation as your country is destroyed. Sorry not sorry. He's had his vacation and now it's time for him to not recline happily while we live in literal day-to-day danger of horrific nuclear death.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:28 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Obama is our daddy, I have realized this finally. It's time for us to leave the nest or something and not expect to lean on him.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:28 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


tivalasvegas I'm now basically picturing a posse of angry centaurs storming courthouses across the land

I think you meant a posse comitatus of briefcase bearing centaurs.
posted by sotonohito at 12:29 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


I have no faith that Flynn will be removed, but out of curiosity I wonder what's the shortest amount of time between appointment to a cabinet level position of a President to being removed from that position?
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:30 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Flynn, Bannon and Sessions make up the Four Horseman with Lord Dampnut, so getting rid of any (and hopefully all sometime) of them greatly improves our chances of surviving and limiting the damage done. Dems need to press this with all they got to get Flynn. And hope it spreads.
posted by chris24 at 12:30 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


None of these calls for Flynn's ouster mean anything given they are from Democrats. It's only once elected Republicans start joining the chorus that any pressure actually exists.
posted by Justinian at 12:32 PM on February 10 [21 favorites]


Multiple outlets are reporting that Trump stood there during the press conference without an earpiece, acting like he was listening and nodding along, pretending to understand Japanese. (he did use an earpiece a bit when he was specifically addressed, but not during Abe's remarks)

OMG @PeterAlexander of @NBCNews just asked the WH if Trump speaks Japanese.
....WH response: "To the best our knowledge, no."

posted by zachlipton at 12:32 PM on February 10 [48 favorites]


I'm waffling between wanting Flynn gone ASAP because holy fucking shit and wanting him tethered to this current administration like the biggest Russian albatross.

If they remove him, the narrative is going to switch to the WH denouncing Flynn and divesting themselves of any involvement whatsoever. Don't fucking let them.
posted by lydhre at 12:33 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Is the Sessions/Page link coming from anywhere besides Mensch and Reddit?

Sessions assembled (or was given credit for assembling) the foreign policy advisory team, including Page, back in March 2016. Julia Ioffe's Politico piece on Page, written in September, contained more denials and evasions from Sessions' staff than any clarification of why he ended up on the list.
posted by holgate at 12:35 PM on February 10 [13 favorites]


IMO (Obama's) best play is to work behind the scenes. Maybe he already is
https://twitter.com/mikerunderwood/status/826267846988677121
Sally Yates' house.
*Knock at the door.*
It's Barack Obama. W/an eye patch.
Obama: I'm here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative.
whenever I hear speculation that Obama is working behind the scenes, I keep thinking of this scene and while I am totally on the "We are the Cavalry that We've Been Waiting For" Train, there's still a small part of me that would just be totally amused if this actually were happening in the background.
posted by bl1nk at 12:35 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


I'm waffling between wanting Flynn gone ASAP because holy fucking shit and wanting him tethered to this current administration like the biggest Russian albatross.

I'm in favor of every possible albatross being jettisoned post-haste if those albatrosses are going to get us all fucking killed.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:35 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


The Anti-Democracy Movement Influencing the Right.

Not sure what to make of this:
Apparently there's a big underground movement of right-wing bodybuilders -- thousands. Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April, in a choreographed flash demo on the Mall. They'll be totally nude, but wearing MAGA hats. Goal is to intimidate Congress with pure masculine show of youth, energy. Trump is said to know, will coordinate with powerful EOs…
posted by AceRock at 12:36 PM on February 10 [27 favorites]


When you are president and hand off the executive powers that you failed to curtail to an insane fascist dictator, you do not get to then have a prolonged period of superchill relaxation as your country is destroyed.

He's not president any longer.
He didn't choose his successor.
He was never in the position to curtail the power of EO's.
He gave eight years of his life and was scrutinized for it each and every day.
He's effectively unemployed now.

Light fires under the people who are in position to actually do something. Let Obama be. If he never makes another public statement, that's his choice. He already gave us his leadership when we demanded it of him. Now we need to demand our current leaders to do their jobs.
posted by INFJ at 12:37 PM on February 10 [70 favorites]


This is a little cavalier and incorrect. He's definitely going to be thrown under the bus if he lands on the front page of every newspaper every day for the next however many weeks.

I'm with prize bull octoroc on this one. That's the old thinking and we're fully through the looking glass now. Zoe Baird is throwing chardonnay glasses at the tv and screaming what do you mean he's not withdrawing from the position??? The republican party continues to lionize Ronnie but have decided to approve of Putin to the tune of like 91%. Trump says on camera that his buddies have a hard time getting loans and he's gonna make it easier for them. The Old Post Office lease is in breach and they're still having idle chit-chat about it. The Onion is right - Carter had to sell his peanut farm, but now? Whatevs.

I'd be super happy to be wrong on this but I see no reason to think it goes anywhere.
posted by phearlez at 12:38 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Sessions assembled (or was given credit for assembling) the foreign policy advisory team, including Page, back in March 2016.

Ah, that's interesting alright. Page came out of nowhere, so Session's involvement in plucking him out of the ether is non-trivial.
posted by diogenes at 12:39 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Another vote in favor of getting Michael "Islam Is A Cancer" Flynn out of the White House before the next San Bernardino even if it means screwing up the ~narrative~
posted by theodolite at 12:39 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Apparently there's a big underground movement of right-wing bodybuilders -- thousands. Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April, in a choreographed flash demo on the Mall. They'll be totally nude, but wearing MAGA hats. Goal is to intimidate Congress with pure masculine show of youth, energy. Trump is said to know, will coordinate with powerful EOs…

I'm sure they will choose a song like 'Macho Man" to signal their strength and power.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:39 PM on February 10 [24 favorites]


Apparently there's a big underground movement of right-wing bodybuilders -- thousands. Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April

Like cicadas?!

(Not the Onion WTF)
posted by futz at 12:39 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Rust Moranis, I hear you.

The press (and the public) has such a tendency to want closure, though, that once Flynn is gone so is the entire Russian connection, which is patently bullshit. It wasn't just Flynn, it's the whole damn lot of them. I don't want to give them that cover.

Now, if I trusted the press or (lol) Congress to actually dig deeper, well...
posted by lydhre at 12:40 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's gonna happen without unambiguous audio/video evidence, though.
posted by theodolite at 12:40 PM on February 10


Apparently there's a big underground movement of right-wing bodybuilders -- thousands. Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April

Like cicadas?!


I'm thinking it looks more like the beginning of Thriller.
posted by diogenes at 12:41 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Like cicadas?!
Like muscle-y, right-wing, nude, red, mad cicadas
posted by AceRock at 12:42 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I don't think it's gonna happen without unambiguous audio/video evidence, though.

We seem to have transcripts.
posted by diogenes at 12:42 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Not sure what to make of this:

That dude is trolling, as NRx dorks are fond of doing.

When Phil Sandifer's "Neoreaction a Basilisk" comes out for public purchase I suspect it'll be a popular intro to NRx horseshit; until then there's not really a good, in-depth explanation outside of their own writings.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:43 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


From the super duper weird body builder article.

“No,” said Nick Steves, the pseudonym used by one NRxer well-known within the movement. “It will only lend false credence to the misleading facts and outright errors you will inevitably print irrespective of my involvement.”

Asked what he thought I would print, Steves explained that “115 IQ people are not generally well equipped to summarize 160 IQ people” and that only one journalist, Vox’s Dylan Matthews, had “come close to permitting NRx to speak for itself.”

“You DO understand that, by the NRx view, journos occupy a major seat of power, viz. manufacturers of consent, in the current structure,” Steves said. “Thus you see why you are the enemy. No hard feelings of course. I'm sure you're a very nice person. But politics is war by other means, and war is, by definition, existential.”


There is much more WTFness going on. These people are insane. They are Upside Down & Inside Out. Creepy.
posted by futz at 12:46 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


PSA: Elizabeth Warren is selling "official" She Persisted shirts to fund her reelection campaign.
posted by lydhre at 12:46 PM on February 10 [43 favorites]


Light fires under the people who are in position to actually do something. Let Obama be. If he never makes another public statement, that's his choice. He already gave us his leadership when we demanded it of him. Now we need to demand our current leaders to do their jobs.

Obama being allowed to relax versus not relax is going to be judged in hindsight. If things are about to get super duper bad in the country/world, and nobody did quite enough to stop it, would that alter your opinion?

If you knew future history books (presuming a future) would say "As the Trump Regime finalized its grip on power and Bannon began formulating the terrible thing that history now judges all Americans for allowing to happen, former president Obama spent months at Rancho Relaxo. Here's a photo of him happily windsurfing next to a photo of the piles of corpses in 2021," would you want him to be relaxing right now? That's why I don't want Obama on permanent vacation.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:46 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Apparently there's a big underground movement of right-wing bodybuilders -- thousands. Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April


I've seen this video, and cannot un-see it, so I'll just inflict this mental image on you:

Two dozen naked bodybuilders at the Nudes-a-Poppin' festival, dancing as directed by choreographer Ron Jeremy.

It happened at some point in the 80's.
posted by ocschwar at 12:49 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I adore Obama, but he's not our president anymore. If he were to try and step in, it would look really bad. Yeah, I can just see Fox News frothing at the mouth right now. So much for a peaceful transition of power!
posted by PearlRose at 12:51 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


Obama is our daddy, I have realized this finally. It's time for us to leave the nest or something and not expect to lean on him

Hamilton fans will recognize this as what One Last Time is about: Hamilton wants (but doesn't explicitly admit that) he wants his father figure to stay in power, and Washington thinks that the nation (and, implicitly, Hamilton) will grow without him.

Spoiler: Hamilton's life goes to shit shortly thereafter
posted by Jpfed at 12:52 PM on February 10 [23 favorites]


I adore Obama, but he's not our president anymore. If he were to try and step in, it would look really bad.

I could not disagree more with this. I think Obama giving Donald a call and asking him if he needs any help adjusting would be a huge service to the country. And I think Donald might be happy to talk to him.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:52 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]




Apparently there's a big underground movement of right-wing bodybuilders -- thousands. Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April, in a choreographed flash demo on the Mall. They'll be totally nude, but wearing MAGA hats. Goal is to intimidate Congress with pure masculine show of youth, energy [...]

...and tiny, steroid-shriveled penises?

Go right on ahead, Nazi muscleheads, we promise not to laugh too loud.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:53 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I adore Obama, but he's not our president anymore. If he were to try and step in, it would look really bad. Yeah, I can just see Fox News frothing at the mouth right now. So much for a peaceful transition of power!

Yeah it would be a shame if Fox News decided to start attacking Obama and the Democratic party. It would look terrible for us.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:53 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Asked what he thought I would print, Steves explained that “115 IQ people are not generally well equipped to summarize 160 IQ people

I wonder how many times he had to take that online IQ "test" to get to 160....
posted by Frowner at 12:53 PM on February 10 [16 favorites]


My theory about Obama's current actions is that he's trying to make "not-being-the-President" look as fun and thrilling to Trump as possible, in hopes of convincing Donald to resign.
posted by drezdn at 12:53 PM on February 10 [58 favorites]


You folks know Obama put out a statement about the travel ban and the protests less than two weeks ago, right? 10 days is how long he could stand it before Trump did something so egregious that he had to say at least something.

Anyway, I don't ask for a lot, but is a picture of Obama resting under a vine and fig tree really too much to ask for?
posted by zachlipton at 12:55 PM on February 10 [27 favorites]




I think it's more that Obama has carried the torch to the best of his ability, for the causes he believed in, for over a decade. It is time to let him retire to his farm for a little while. He'll be there when we need him.
posted by corb at 12:56 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


The whole world right now is really fucking with the political/philosophical compass I was installed with as the daughter of Objectivists. (Which I have long recognized the fallacies inherent in, but had always kind of accepted a version of mainstream conservative thought.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:56 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Daytime TV’s New Star? Sean Spicer
The soap opera at the White House is outscoring actual soaps like “General Hospital” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” which typically air around the same time. Mr. Spicer’s ratings are on par with prime-time entertainment like “MasterChef Junior” on Fox and the ABC sitcom “Dr. Ken,” which draw around four million viewers each.
He can't beat The Young and the Restless though.
posted by zachlipton at 12:57 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


I wonder how many times he had to take that online IQ "test" to get to 160.

He rolled his stats at home.
posted by notyou at 12:57 PM on February 10 [38 favorites]




I wonder how many times he had to take that online IQ "test" to get to 160....

Twice.
First attempt = 82
Second attempt = 78
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:59 PM on February 10 [22 favorites]


Look folks, I know remembering things can be hard at times like this, but it hasn't been that long since the Obamas announced they were taking a month or so vacation and then would be back to work. And the former president specifically saying he would not hesitate to speak out about the new administration if necessary. So maybe chill on the keyboard call outs.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:00 PM on February 10 [19 favorites]


Asked what he thought I would print, Steves explained that “115 IQ people are not generally well equipped to summarize 160 IQ people”

Good Lord. Did he whip out his Mensa membership card?
posted by thelonius at 1:01 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Trump is much more likely to take advice from one of the Bush's. Or any of the hundreds of other people who've been lifelong politicians and knows how the thing works. (Note they'd tell him he's doing it wrong and he'd slam the phone on them because they say he wasn't doing things perfectly)

And history books wouldn't mention what Obama did after Trump. Even if Trump burns the world to the ground.

What, exactly, do you expect him to do? Show up at the front door of the White House and kick Trump out?

At best he'll be a headline in the news. "Obama says the wall is the wrong way to handle illegal immigration. Leaks from the WH say that The President now believes things Obama tells him." (fake)

Maybe a big enough headline to draw attention away from Lord Dampnut. Imagine how well a former president overshadowing our current one would fly with Trump.

I sincerely understand (and share!) the "please help us" place you're coming from, Rust. But Obama can't save us.
posted by INFJ at 1:01 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


The Obamas have just announced that they've signed with an agency to arrange speaking engagements and have appointed lawyers to negotiate a pair of book deals, so I suspect we'll be hearing more from them, at least if you can afford one of their speeches.
posted by zachlipton at 1:03 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


They'll be totally nude, but wearing MAGA hats. Goal is to intimidate Congress with pure masculine show of youth, energy. Trump is said to know, will coordinate with powerful EOs

I don't...what...powerful EOs? Trump is going to order the Mall to be a strip club?

What?
posted by nubs at 1:06 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


EOs = essential oils?
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:08 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Trump is going to order the Mall to be a strip club?

All that roided up toxic masculinity and the possibility of touching dicks? It's far more likely to end in a homophobic riot.
posted by Talez at 1:09 PM on February 10


Two dozen naked bodybuilders at the Nudes-a-Poppin' festival, dancing as directed by choreographer Ron Jeremy.

Done
posted by archimago at 1:10 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


EOs= Executive Orders.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:10 PM on February 10


The soap opera at the White House is outscoring actual soaps like “General Hospital” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” which typically air around the same time. Mr. Spicer’s ratings are on par with prime-time entertainment like “MasterChef Junior” on Fox and the ABC sitcom “Dr. Ken,” which draw around four million viewers each.

Oh good, I'm glad it's not just me. Sadly, this week I didn't get a chance to see ♫ It's the Spicey Show ♫ at all because there weren't episodes on the days when I was free at that time. Curses! I really need to start DVRing it. It was fun (for certain deeply masochistic embittered values of "fun") last week when we met up here for the midday MeFi Spicey viewing.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:10 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Re: Flynn: "Sources tell @CBSNews investigators learned of convos thru electronic surveillance of Russian officials, suspected intel operatives in U.S." (cite)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:13 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I'm also relieved to hear I'm not the only one fascinated by (dear) Sean Spicer.
posted by ruetheday at 1:14 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April, in a choreographed flash demo on the Mall. They'll be totally nude, but wearing MAGA hats. Goal is to intimidate Congress with pure masculine show of youth, energy

And despite the odds, the plan will actually appear to work at first, until Charlie shows up as Green Man in a fit of over-enthusiasm and ruins the whole event.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 1:14 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


They'll be totally nude, but wearing MAGA hats. Goal is to intimidate Congress with pure masculine show of youth, energy. Trump is said to know, will coordinate with powerful EOs

I don't...what...powerful EOs? Trump is going to order the Mall to be a strip club?


That thing where you're in Recent Activity but have to load the whole thread because clearly you missed something important.
posted by antinomia at 1:14 PM on February 10 [59 favorites]


a version of mainstream conservative thought

The fact that Rand's weird and extreme hyper-individualistic philosophy of selfishness as the ultimate moral good and laissez-faire capitalism as the best basis for economics ever became "mainstream conservative thought" is a large part of what's wrong with American politics in general and the Republican Party in particular. In my experience if someone tells you how profoundly affected they were by reading Ayn Rand it's a good sign that they're very probably an asshole.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:14 PM on February 10 [24 favorites]


And despite the odds, the plan will actually appear to work at first, until Charlie shows up as Green Man in a fit of over-enthusiasm and ruins the whole event.
    The Gang
  Poses Nude at
The Washington Mall
posted by Talez at 1:16 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


I don't know about y'all, but I've never been intimidated by a bodybuilder. They're usually too busy hardboiling eggs, worrying about their protein intake, and checking themselves out in a mirror to do anything physically intimidating. Wake me if it turns out to be a bunch of MMA fighters.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:18 PM on February 10 [15 favorites]


> This is incredibly petty, but I really hope 45 tries that stupid handshake trick on like a SOCOM operator or somebody else with extensive martial arts training who flips him across the room on sheer reflex.

I hope somebody goes into full "crush the bones in your hand into dust" mode on Trump and forces him to his knees in tears.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:20 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]




In my experience if someone tells you how profoundly affected they were by reading Ayn Rand it's a good sign that they're very probably an asshole.

To my shame, I was once just such an asshole. At some point before I was out of my teens, though, I talked to an aunt who was a nurse (a NICU nurse, in fact)...

"Everyone should be self sufficient" is fine as an ethic for healthy adults, especially healthy adult white upper-middle class men. But babies and elderly people and sick people don't have that choice. And we were all babies once, and we'll all be old and sick if we live long enough.

I have to assume grown-up Ayn Rand fans who haven't had this realization yet are just in deep denial about their own mortality. Even Ayn Rand herself went on Medicare in her later years.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:23 PM on February 10 [38 favorites]




Congressman is righteously booed after dodging a young girl’s simple question about science. Chaffetz is owned by a 10 year old asking him if he believes in science.

Moving on on this two-for-one-link-friday... Funny, the same thing happened to Twitter. Shia LaBeouf's anti-Trump livestream has devolved into a neo-Nazi broadcast network. In case you want to know why the neo-Nazis are chugging milk, that's apparently a thing, not just because milk is white, but because of weird pseudoscience about lactose intolerance. The more you wish you didn't know.
posted by zachlipton at 1:27 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


5th Canadian denied entry to U.S. after facing questions about Moroccan roots: Yassine Aber, 19, was on his way to an athletic competition in Boston
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:27 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


I sincerely understand (and share!) the "please help us" place you're coming from, Rust. But Obama can't save us.

No, but he does have a pretty unique opportunity for his post-Presidential career. Clearly he's not going to be used by this administration like an uber-diplomat like Carter became, but there's no real rules or model on what his life has to look like now. Clinton decided to more or less cash in and live it up (although yes, did a lot of good non-profit work with his fundraising powers too). Both Bushes basically faded from public life, one because he was just old, and one in disgrace. Reagan was pretty much an invalid by the end anyway.

Obama could stay engaged. He could become a voice of the organized rebuild of the Democratic party through any number of roles, and if he's really going to be involved in the redistricting efforts, that's a great start. He could run for the Senate again. He could set out to earn as many speaking fees as humanly possible like Clinton. He could check out and write memoirs and legal articles for the rest of his life. Maybe if there's ever another Democratic administration, he could be a Judge like Taft.

I hope he has a role still, but I think it's still too early for him to come out and say what he wants that to be if he does. Or if he's even figured it out yet. He's probably just enjoying life for a few weeks, and that's fine. All this shit will still be fucked up when he's done windsurfing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:27 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


In my experience if someone tells you how profoundly affected they were by reading Ayn Rand it's a good sign that they're very probably an asshole.

In my 42 years of actual daily experience with Objectivists, it's sometimes more complicated than that.

But the political compass I was referring to is more just standard left/right what-the-other-side-says-about-the-other.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:28 PM on February 10


They're usually too busy hardboiling eggs, worrying about their protein intake, and checking themselves out in a mirror to do anything physically intimidating.

also they never ever do any cardio so you can just jog away at a middling speed and watch them try to catch up on their spindly little "who needs leg day" legs
posted by poffin boffin at 1:29 PM on February 10 [38 favorites]


> In my experience if someone tells you how profoundly affected they were by reading Ayn Rand it's a good sign that they're very probably an asshole.

To my shame, I was once just such an asshole. At some point before I was out of my teens, though, I talked to an aunt who was a nurse (a NICU nurse, in fact)...

Lots of teenagers find Ayn Rand persuasive. Even President Obama has spoken about it. It's only shameful if you don't grow out of it.
posted by shponglespore at 1:32 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


In my 42 years of actual daily experience with Objectivists, it's sometimes more complicated than that.

Sorry for being harsh, but if you subscribe to a philosophy that says self-interest is the highest moral good and altruism is always wrong then you are an asshole (or a sociopath), whatever other personal qualities you may possess.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:36 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


T.D. Strange Republicans in Idaho tried to design a better plan than Obamacare — and failed

Jesus fucking Christ. Those assholes at the end, I have never before wanted to smack an 81 year old man and scream "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!" so much before in my life. I know it'd be counterproductive, you can't smack and scream your way to a better world, but seriously what the fuck is wrong with them?
posted by sotonohito at 1:36 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Obama has said he's going to work on redistricting/gerrymandering. I am all for him doing whatever the fuck he wants. It's been three weeks...I have full faith we haven't seen the last of good works by the Obamas.

It's not Obama's job to comment on the current white house - current white house is doing an A+ job fucking themselves anyhow.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:37 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Can we get the neo-Nazis to, like, try the cinnamon challenge or something? To prove they're tougher than the inferior brown spices or whatever dumb racist excuse will motivate them to do it. It won't help, I just think it'd be funny.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:37 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


you can't smack and scream your way to a better world

you just have to believe in yourself
posted by poffin boffin at 1:38 PM on February 10 [35 favorites]


I'm sure the totally straight dude organising that (obviously fake) bodybuilder flash mob also assigned himself the title of Chief Baby Oil Applicator.
posted by PenDevil at 1:40 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


In another Republican profile in courage, Senator Johnson (Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee) wouldn't answer any of Jake Tapper's questions about Flynn because he "hadn't been briefed yet."

(The gym would be so much more relaxing if CNN wasn't playing on every wall.)
posted by diogenes at 1:40 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Jesus fucking Christ. Those assholes at the end, I have never before wanted to smack an 81 year old man and scream "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!" so much before in my life. I know it'd be counterproductive, you can't smack and scream your way to a better world, but seriously what the fuck is wrong with them?

Especially when that one guy was like "if I couldn't afford it, my parents didn't let me have it!" as if that were an open-and-shut case. But I'm guessing he wasn't able to afford things like...a new pair of shoes, or a gun. Not basic necessities to remain alive.

But of course nobody would point that out or ask him to clarify, because [brb screaming]
posted by witchen at 1:41 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Chief Baby Oil Applicator.

lubrication engineer
posted by poffin boffin at 1:43 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]




if any of you ever manage to be in a position where trump's shaking your hand please PLEASE take a dive and make it look like he yanked you to the floor
posted by flatluigi at 1:50 PM on February 10 [21 favorites]


Republicans in Idaho tried to design a better plan than Obamacare — and failed

I'm sorry, but I just have to point out their Governor's name is "Butch" Otter


Also RAGE
One senator lobbed the idea of offering the working poor tax incentives if they use a life coach to motivate them to get higher-paying jobs.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:50 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


I keep hoping somebody will pull the Frank Catton (Bernie Mac) handshake move from Ocean's Eleven and squeeze the shit out of Trump's hand and then question him about what he uses to moisturize.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:51 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


i guarantee that senator's nephew is coincidentally just starting a life coach business.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:51 PM on February 10 [27 favorites]


Government subsidized life coaching, this is such a great idea! As middle class jobs are automated away we can just devote more and more resources to coaching each other on how to better enjoy our lives of post-scarcity leisure! It's UBI through the back door!
posted by contraption at 1:54 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Jesus fucking Christ. Those assholes at the end, I have never before wanted to smack an 81 year old man and scream "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!" so much before in my life.

Amen, Brother Ben.
posted by Justinian at 1:56 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?

I actually have someone in my family who is mentally ill in this way. And for a good period of time I didn't realize it. He comes off as slightly weird, but rational. And he very clearly states things that when I was a teenager I believed. He told me he was secretly married. He told me he had been in a band. He told me things about my grandfather who I'd never known, things that in retrospect were highly improbable. Finally, at my graduation dinner, he told me, in front of about 20 members of my family, that HE had gone to my alma mater. The entire table nearly choked on their food. He had never gone to college, of any kind. He was claiming he was a student at very prestigious and difficult to get into university. It was so blatantly untrue that I'm surprised my frail, elderly grandmother didn't collapse. And no one said anything at the time, though we still talk about how astonished we were.

Later I heard him telling my younger cousins the same kinds of lies, and watched them buy them also. I think the thing that always astonished me was that no one ever contradicted him, including his mother who was nearly always right there when he was lying.

I don't know what condition my relative suffers from. I don't think he's ever received a diagnosis or professional help of any kind. No one in the family actually knows where he is now, and last I heard he was homeless (he's never, to my knowledge, been able to hold a steady job).

All of this is just to say that yes, when you see this happen in front of you it's shocking and really difficult to know how to behave. And it's clearly a sign of mental illness.
posted by threeturtles at 1:57 PM on February 10 [13 favorites]


GQ made a video of Donald shaking hands.

Hypothesis 1: Trump believes in asserting dominance through the use of the DEATHGRIP HANDSHAKE OF BEING A JERK WHO LITERALLY JERKS PEOPLE'S ARMS AROUND (and he's bad at it).
Hypothesis 2: Trump literally does not actually know how to shake hands.
posted by cjelli at 1:57 PM on February 10 [20 favorites]


It's definitely #1.
posted by diogenes at 1:58 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


GQ made a video of Donald shaking hands.

I don't care if its not a thing anymore, but if I ever meet him in person and he goes for a handshake, I'm definitely going to dab on him.
posted by AceRock at 1:59 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


if any of you ever manage to be in a position where trump's shaking your hand please PLEASE take a dive and make it look like he yanked you to the floor

Headbutt him in the dick on your way down. As distasteful as that would be, think of the service you'd be doing to the world.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:00 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I thought the bit in the Idaho ACA article about life coaching to coach you into a higher paying job was bullshit, but its no bullshit - as in "yes that actually happened," because of course the idea is bullshit.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:00 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


First Flynn and now this. Deep State is getting busy.

US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier
For the first time, US investigators say they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, multiple current and former US law enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN. As CNN first reported, then-President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existence of the dossier prior to Trump's inauguration.

None of the newly learned information relates to the salacious allegations in the dossier. Rather it relates to conversations between foreign nationals. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals. Sources would not confirm which specific conversations were intercepted or the content of those discussions due to the classified nature of US intelligence collection programs.

But the intercepts do confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier, according to the officials. CNN has not confirmed whether any content relates to then-candidate Trump.

The corroboration, based on intercepted communications, has given US intelligence and law enforcement "greater confidence" in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier as they continue to actively investigate its contents, these sources say.
posted by chris24 at 2:01 PM on February 10 [65 favorites]


Yup, caught the very end of that CNN story live but since I missed most of it I didn't feel confident in posting about it. But they did say that some parts of the Pee Dossier had been corroborated.
posted by Justinian at 2:02 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


The you-know-what is hitting the fan.

US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier.
posted by waitingtoderail at 2:02 PM on February 10 [13 favorites]


GQ made a video of Donald shaking hands.

I noticed that he also does it to Arianne Zucker when the Access Hollywood tape came out. I thought it was a creepy molester move to pull her into his personal space, so in a way it's better that he does it to everybody.
posted by peeedro at 2:04 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


GQ made a video of Donald shaking hands.

I hadn't seen that Rex Tillerson shake yet. They look like they're trying to saw down a redwood together.
posted by dis_integration at 2:05 PM on February 10 [13 favorites]


The look on that man's face after.

We are all Abe.
posted by artdrectr at 2:06 PM on February 10 [31 favorites]


But the intercepts do confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier, according to the officials. CNN has not confirmed whether any content relates to then-candidate Trump.

I'm sure all of the alleged conversations involving people in Trump's campaign will prove to be fictional outliers though (sarcasm).
posted by diogenes at 2:07 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?

I have day dreams about somehow Congress demanding _rump undergo medical tests for dementia from a real doctor instead of that bizarre quack who claims to be his doctor. I'd seriously be interested in seeing some legit medical records on this guy.
posted by dnash at 2:07 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]



The you-know-what is hitting the fan.

US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier.


Yay. Flynn leak may have been the tip of the iceberg and they're finally ready to bean spill. I've been holding on to this hope since last night.
posted by Jalliah at 2:07 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


The Anti-Democracy Movement Influencing the Right.

They honestly think that they will be taking over? And they use "The Enemy" in casual conversation with their declared enemy? They are like a live grenade. Not actively harming anyone but make sure the pin is still present (and maybe do a two minute Run/Hide/Fight refresher) if you are to meet them in person.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:08 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Wait, what if he meets with Arnie and they actually do that Predator arm wrestle hand shake thing. He'd have to hide the wadded remains of his tiny hand lest Spicer tries to snack on it.
posted by lucidium at 2:08 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Check out this bit of insanity from a Washington Post interview with Flynn:

PRIEST: Why would you go on RT, they’re state run?

FLYNN: Well, what’s CNN?

PRIEST: Well, it’s not run by the state. You’re rolling your eyes.

posted by diogenes at 2:08 PM on February 10 [73 favorites]


Jesus Christ, I cannot get over that NRx is a thing, let alone a growing thing still.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:09 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier.

So....are they doing to DO anything with it, like penalize anyone or what?
posted by yoga at 2:10 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Headbutt him in the dick on your way down. As distasteful as that would be, think of the service you'd be doing to the world.

Pretty tough with that small of a target.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:10 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier.
Reached for comment this afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting."

Spicer later called back and said, "This is more fake news. It is about time CNN focused on the success the President has had bringing back jobs, protecting the nation, and strengthening relationships with Japan and other nations. The President won the election because of his vision and message for the nation."
Oh Spicey. Why are you so sad?
posted by zachlipton at 2:13 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


if any of you ever manage to be in a position where trump's shaking your hand please PLEASE take a dive and make it look like he yanked you to the floor

Also lick your hand first.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:14 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


So he called it fake news, hung up, and then called back to call it fake news again.

When is the next daily brief? I am gonna make popcorn.
posted by Justinian at 2:14 PM on February 10 [25 favorites]


The President won the election because of his vision and message for the nation

10 minutes later, CNN is like, The President won the election because Russia.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:15 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


And I think Donald might be happy to talk to him.

Sadly, this is as delusional as #45 pretending that he understands Japanese. Remember that the Yemen raid was greenlit because #45 wanted to do something that Obama didn't. Short of fanfic imaginings of the kind of reverse psychology that works on 4 year-olds, there's not much Obama could possibly do that anyone yanking #45's strings would hear.

I find the Obama callouts really annoying. How about turning all of that ire against the Republicans who still have their jobs, particularly the so-called #NeverTrumpers? This is THEIR mess to fix.
posted by TwoStride at 2:16 PM on February 10 [31 favorites]


Besides, if I'd been president and a coalition of racist/ignorant/kleptocratic fuckwads had conspired to elect one of the worst people on earth as my successor, I too would want to make sure I at least got in my dream of kite-surfing or whatever before the fuckwads got us all nuked.
posted by TwoStride at 2:18 PM on February 10 [24 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that what each President did about their health was up to them, and that most usually did what the one before them did.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:21 PM on February 10


The leaking continues. New Yorker: Kellyanne Conway's Battle for Trump's Favor

It's interesting how much the "Priebus and Bannon are best buds who fall asleep chatting late at night" PR campaign seems to be explicitly designed to freeze out Conway, generally by not mentioning her at all or reducing her to a minor player. This story is clearly a strike back against that faction.

In quite worrying news for the future of our nation, Kellyanne Conway is getting top secret security clearance because Trump has been asking why she's not in certain meetings.
posted by zachlipton at 2:25 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier

Someone please convince me that this isn't going to end badly? Like protestors dying and the economy cratering and rule of law being thrown out the window bad. Please?
posted by photoslob at 2:26 PM on February 10


Reached for comment this afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting."

Spicer later called back and said, "This is more fake news..."


I thought maybe that was just missing a [fake] tag, but nope, that is literally what happened. Somehow he manages to keep sinking below any expectations.
posted by parallellines at 2:27 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


He will not, in fact, be seeing them in court.

CNN and NBC are both reporting that they will not take the travel ban to the Supreme Court right now and will instead defend it on its merits at the district court level. There are also reports going around that they're working on a new EO to sign instead.
posted by zachlipton at 2:28 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Someone please convince me that this isn't going to end badly? Like protestors dying and the economy cratering and rule of law being thrown out the window bad. Please?

I mean those are all pretty likely to happen in the next few years no matter what, independent of any Russia/Flynn stuff. I don't think these particular scandals are going to bring about the end times any more than living in a general end-timey-time will.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:30 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]




It's interesting how much the "Priebus and Bannon are best buds who fall asleep chatting late at night" PR campaign seems to be explicitly designed to freeze out Conway, generally by not mentioning her at all or reducing her to a minor player. This story is clearly a strike back against that faction.

I don't know. When the Priebus-Bannon friendship is magic story dropped, wasn't there a parallel leak that WH people have nicknamed Priebus "Rancid?" I think we have a case of competing monologues.
posted by rhizome at 2:31 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


@ProfAishaAhmad This is now the FIFTH Canadian Muslim, NOT from a banned country, who has been denied entry to the US this week. http://www.cbc.ca/1.3976230
tl;dr: Canadian-born track-and-field athlete questioned for 5 hours, phone searched, fingerprinted, denied. Because Muslim.
posted by furtive at 2:33 PM on February 10 [29 favorites]


if any of you ever manage to be in a position where trump's shaking your hand please PLEASE take a dive and make it look like he yanked you to the floor

Unfortunately, that would merely achieve Trump's desired effect.

To many Trump supporters, it's a positive that Abe winced after the handshake/wrestling match.
posted by Coventry at 2:34 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


A close relative of mine has Alzheimer's and it looks so familiar I will confess I felt a brief pang of sympathy for the repulsive old fuck.

YUP. Been saying this for over a year. When I watch him I often start feeling bad for the very confused old man who doesn't have anyone who cares about him enough to keep him away from cameras and microphones. I've lived with two people with dementia, I saw very sad cases professionally, I know the totally vague look in the eyes of someone who doesn't know what is happening, but doesn't want to say anything.
posted by threeturtles at 2:34 PM on February 10 [16 favorites]


Is there a working theory for why she wanted the job in the first place?

My theory is that DeVos is a Christian psycho from a Christian psycho family and with a murderously Christian psycho brother, who wants to destroy the separation of church and state.
posted by rhizome at 2:35 PM on February 10 [39 favorites]


Someone please convince me that this isn't going to end badly?

That depends, really? If various intelligence and law enforcement agencies manage to corroborate some of the other claims in the dossier (such as the bit about Trump being offered a 19% stake in Rosneft, 19.5% of which coincidentally changed hands very recently), then we're looking at impeachment and President Pence, which will be awful in many ways but isn't as likely to end in war with China or something similar. (In some respects Pence would probably be worse than Trump because he has some experience of government and would presumably be much more competent; a Pence administration would still be very bad, domestically, but probably more stable w/r/t foreign policy.)
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 2:35 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


President Pence will be harder to beat in 2020, but on the upside, there might be a 2020.
posted by schmod at 2:40 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


While skimming this thread, I was certainly confused when there was all this talk of Abe. I was imagining some guy in an Abe Lincoln costume getting the handshake business in the Oval Office, not the Prime Minister of Japan.
posted by toddforbid at 2:41 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


I wonder if Pence might also be slightly less likely to induce a Worcester v. Georgia scenario, too. Honestly, Pence is an evil fuck, but I feel like we as a society are much better prepared to fight Pence's brand of evil than Trump's nascent fascism.

Slightly lower chance of dying in nuclear hellfire is also a mark in Pence's column.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:42 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Can any Mefites from Indiana explain how he got elected? Pence seems like he has negative charisma if not a sort of repellant forcefield emanating from him at all times.
posted by TwoStride at 2:44 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


The President claimed to be unaware of the WaPo report on Flynn's lies when asked about it by reporters on Air Force One: "I don't know about that. I haven't seen it. What report is that? I haven't seen it. I'll look into that."

Great staff work letting him talk to the press without preparing him for the most obvious question ever.
posted by zachlipton at 2:45 PM on February 10 [44 favorites]


Can any Mefites from Indiana explain how he got elected? Pence seems like he has negative charisma if not a sort of repellant forcefield emanating from him at all times.

I lived in Indianapolis for a while. Indiana is full of racism and ignorance. Chock full.
posted by Justinian at 2:46 PM on February 10 [13 favorites]


Not that it will stick, but there would also at least be a chance of hanging so much (wholly accurate) public "YOU DID THIS! YOU!" wrath and shaming on the Republicans that 2018 might not go so well for them. Or at least not as well as it otherwise would. And Pence would be at least moderately tainted by association with the shitshow.

But no one ever went broke overestimating the selective amnesia ability and apathy of the dunderhead populace, so probably not.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:47 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


C'mon, they can't run Morning Joe 24/7 just to keep the president briefed, cut the old man some slack.
posted by valkane at 2:48 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


It seems clear that ICE blatantly lied to the press about the existence of immigration raids:
Immigration officials on Friday confirmed approximately 160 immigrants were arrested in raids conducted in six Southern California counties.
...
Rumors of the raids and checkpoints at traffic lights sent a wave of fear across the Southland. ICE officials initially denied any targeted operation were taking place and said reports that 100 immigrants were detained were exaggerated.
posted by zachlipton at 2:48 PM on February 10 [19 favorites]


It should be remembered that Pence is also a media figure who spent a bunch of time bloviating on a right wing radio program. He and Trump are birds of a feather.

Ugly, beat up feathers that look like they were partially chewed on by droolly cats.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:49 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]




Pence got elected in Indiana because Indiana is 98% rural areas, there are tons of shitty hateful assholes here, and because he plays himself off to be a good little Christian boy.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:54 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


I don't kid myself that the Republicans in general would go down in flames in 2018, but some of these particular incumbent Republicans might. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Paul "Renfield" Ryan.)
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:56 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


While skimming this thread, I was certainly confused when there was all this talk of Abe. I was imagining some guy in an Abe Lincoln costume getting the handshake business in the Oval Office, not the Prime Minister of Japan.

Prime Minister Abe made an Abe Lincoln joke at the press conference today. He said it's not so bad when Americans mispronounce his name because even in Japan they learn about the great president who rose from from being son of a farmer 150 years ago when the Japanese still under the shogunate rule.

Now you know more about what Abe said today than Donald Trump, who was pretending to listen to a speech in Japanese.
posted by peeedro at 2:57 PM on February 10 [80 favorites]




I'm late to the Abe handshake reactions but holy shit Abe's eyes rolled so hard I'm surprised his optic nerve didn't sever.
posted by PenDevil at 2:58 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


Josh Marshal: Trump's Day of Living Cuckorously
There's always something new in the never-ending, hyperventilating Trump drama. Over the last day or so, however, we're seeing something a bit new: Trump caving or getting rolled on numerous fronts all at once. Just in the last 24 hours he appears to have been rolled so many times that one imagines his rough edges might start to be worn down until he becomes something more like a clumpy and perhaps oblong ball.
posted by kingless at 3:03 PM on February 10 [15 favorites]


The 9th Circuit, on its own initiative, has called for a vote on whether to rehear the case en banc. Any single judge may request such a vote.
posted by zachlipton at 3:04 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Someone please convince me that this isn't going to end badly? Like protestors dying and the economy cratering and rule of law being thrown out the window bad.

We still aren't even approaching Nixonian levels of malfeasance and hostility/neglect towards/of US citizens. Only a few protestors died back then and the rule of law stayed mostly intact. It was pretty bleak economically, though, and that recovery took over a decade. Also, I don't think US government legitimacy has ever fully recovered.

Also, Trump probably will surpass Nixon's bad behavior, but I don't think this Flynn thing by itself will trigger him to do so.
posted by Coventry at 3:04 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


So proud of my county: Protests, walkouts over Trump administration’s policies at several Loudoun County high schools

More than 600 Loudoun County Public Schools students engaged in school walkouts Friday afternoon to protest President Donald Trump, his executive order on immigration and travel and the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the nation's education secretary.

Muslim students at several local schools organized the demonstrations to show their dissatisfaction with the new administration, and pupils at all but two of LCPS' 15 high schools participated.

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:06 PM on February 10 [28 favorites]


Consider this scenario... What if the intelligence community had some evidence right before the election of Trump's involvement with Putin's plot.

What if they had released it then? Wouldn't the majority of Trump's supporters have refused to believe such an outlandish accusation, have accused the Obama administration of making it up to tamper with the election? Especially if the evidence was anything less than completely bullet proof?

If Clinton had won under those circumstances, would she have been able to govern? Or might there be a large, armed faction of the US who believed her election was illegitimate and she had no legal authority over them? Might the tensions of election season have escalated to violence under those circumstances?

How about if they didn't get evidence until right after the election? Same problem but even worse, right? To take Trump down after he won but before he could take office would have been seen as a kind of coup by people who didn't believe the unbelievable allegations.

But if you leak the evidence a little bit at a time, after he's taken office and fucked up a bunch of stuff right off the bat, against a background of protests and terrible opinion polls... with Republican leaders reluctantly agreeing to investigate... People have a chance to get used to this shocking idea which otherwise sounds so ridiculous that they reflexively disbelieve it. And there is a constitutional template which will allow him to be removed from office once he has taken office, by his own party, without starting a civil war.

This would be the responsible, grown up way to handle the matter if you turned up evidence of Russian collusion right around the time of the election, and I keep hoping that's what is going on.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:06 PM on February 10 [65 favorites]




Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April, in a choreographed flash demo on the Mall. They'll be totally nude, but wearing MAGA hats. Goal is to intimidate Congress with pure masculine show of youth, energy.

They recruited each other with dick flyers.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:09 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Russia Eyes Sending Snowden to U.S. as ‘Gift’ to Trump: Official
U.S. intelligence has collected information that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a "gift" to President Donald Trump — who has called the NSA leaker a "spy" and a "traitor" who deserves to be executed.

That's according to a senior U.S. official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports detailing Russian deliberations and who says a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to "curry favor" with Trump. A second source in the intelligence community confirms the intelligence about the Russian conversations and notes it has been gathered since the inauguration.
Shit.
posted by zachlipton at 3:09 PM on February 10 [29 favorites]


I thought maybe that was just missing a [fake] tag, but nope, that is literally what happened. Somehow he manages to keep sinking below any expectations

Maybe the long goal is to sink so low they emerge on the other side of the world in China (totally not in the middle of the ocean or anything) and catch them by surprise.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 3:11 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


"in return for the extradition of this very dangerous traitor and definitely not for any other reason, I've agreed to drop sanctions against Russia"
posted by theodolite at 3:14 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


Can any Mefites from Indiana explain how he got elected? Pence seems like he has negative charisma if not a sort of repellant forcefield emanating from him at all times.

It pays to remember that the worst Indiana governor was head of the KKK and removed from office after he bit a woman to death while raping her over the course of several days.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:16 PM on February 10 [23 favorites]




The NRx thing leaves me oddly pleased that talk.bizarre has this kind of lasting influence on the world.

Though if I'd picked which denizen would influence the Oval Office, it would've been Jeff "Scorched Earth Party" Vogel. Or at least Carasso.
posted by delfin at 3:17 PM on February 10


@jamiesont
This season's must haves -
ELLE: Heels
MARIE CLAIRE: Tuxedo jacket
TEEN VOGUE: A hatred of Nazis & a working knowledge of the constitution
posted by chris24 at 3:18 PM on February 10 [110 favorites]


Can any Mefites from Indiana explain how he got elected? Pence seems like he has negative charisma if not a sort of repellant forcefield emanating from him at all times.

I lived in Indianapolis for a while. Indiana is full of racism and ignorance. Chock full.


Also, Pence's opponent in 2012, John Gregg, ran a pretty pathetic campaign. I remember a lot of Gregg's commercials showing him interacting with older, small-town and rural people — not exactly the Democrats' traditional base. I remember wondering, while watching one of his commercials, if Gregg even knew anyone under the age of 50. Even then, Pence barely won.

(Democrats nominated Gregg for governor again in 2016. Guess how that turned out.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:18 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


This would be the responsible, grown up way to handle the matter if you turned up evidence of Russian collusion right around the time of the election, and I keep hoping that's what is going on.

I have no idea how you can keep up this kind of optimism, but I'm glad someone can.
posted by dis_integration at 3:18 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


My wife and I are visiting my parents in Sarnia later this month. When I spoke with my mom tonight she said "bring your passports so we can go over the river for dinner," like she usually does. We've decided we're not going to the U.S. for any reason for the foreseeable future, so I'd kind of been dreading having this conversation. My folks are fairly apolitical and while I didn't think she'd get mad I did think she'd try to talk me out of it or tell me I was overreacting. Well, nope. Her immediate reaction was "That's fine, of course, I totally understand."
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:20 PM on February 10 [44 favorites]


Trump already said he'd be willing to drop sanctions if Russia helps them fight 'terrorists'. Considering that everyone who Russia bombs in Syria is labelled a terrorist whether it is actually ISIS, a secular rebel or civilian I'd say Putin reckons his end of the bargain is complete.
posted by PenDevil at 3:20 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


It pays to remember that the worst Indiana governor was head of the KKK and removed from office after he bit a woman to death while raping her over the course of several days.

Psst, read the first Wikipedia article you linked a little more carefully. Not that Indiana didn't have a governor who was also a Klan member, but Stephenson was never governor.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:26 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


chris24: I think Teen Vogue's response to that tweet is even more worth reading.
posted by teraflop at 3:26 PM on February 10 [94 favorites]


BREAKING: Minutes after one White House official said the Trump administration would not appeal a 9th Circuit ruling upholding a temporary stay of the travel ban, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the White House is “reviewing all of our options in the court system,” including possibly going to the Supreme Court.

Maybe before the next legal round, whatever that may be, they'll get around to deleting the Muslim Ban still on his website.
posted by chris24 at 3:28 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


From T.D. Strange's Trump's Backers at the Border Patrol link: the rank-and-file security forces are among the rare official groups (apart from the Republican majority in Congress) who have been reliable supporters of Trump

This reminds me of Jeff Sharlet's books on how warmongering, anti-gay, pro-forced-birth Christian types had increased in numbers and influence at all levels of politics and the American military rank-and-file, too, and they were bold in conflating American government practices and principles with their divine Right of True Believers to inflict Manifest Destiny all over the US government and the globe.

The rank-and-file military people are what's been on my mind as I consider CBP choosing , with impunity, to ignore court orders, and the Bannon Administration's rhetoric delegitimizing the judiciary. How would one enforce consequences upon armed security people flouting court orders? With military? What proportion of military personnel consider themselves, as the CBP apparently does, beholden to Trump/ the far right Christian Holy Mission, and not the country?
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:29 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


To many Trump supporters, it's a positive that Abe winced after the handshake/wrestling match.

What!? That wasn't a wince. That was a "Christ, what an asshole" eye roll.
posted by diogenes at 3:31 PM on February 10 [38 favorites]


Dear President Trump: The future of healthcare SLYT
I'm so proud of these people!
posted by SyraCarol at 3:31 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


What!? That wasn't a wince

You have your facts, they have theirs.
posted by contraption at 3:32 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Statement of [FEC] Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub
Regarding Allegations by the President of the United States of Widespread Voter Fraud in New Hampshire

According to widespread news reports circulating today, President Trump has alleged an astonishing voter-fraud scheme that he claims denied him and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte victory in the state of New Hampshire in the 2016 elections.

...

I therefore call upon President Trump to immediately share his evidence with the public and with the appropriate law-enforcement authorities so that his allegations may be investigated promptly and thoroughly.
posted by Coventry at 3:33 PM on February 10 [65 favorites]


I think Teen Vogue's response to that tweet is even more worth reading.

That is fantastic. I was hoping it would be along those lines but it went above and beyond. I was actually going to defend Marie Claire but Teen Vogue said it better.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:34 PM on February 10 [26 favorites]


I just saw this on the tee vee. Donnie says to Abe:

"I welcome you to the very famous White House"

He is such a cringey MoFo. Blerg.
posted by futz at 3:35 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


My wife and I are visiting my parents in Sarnia later this month. When I spoke with my mom tonight she said "bring your passports so we can go over the river for dinner," like she usually does.

What's so good about dining in Port Huron, he asks sincerely?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:35 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


chris24: I think Teen Vogue's response to that tweet is even more worth reading.

christ yes. Every once in a while somebody posts a totally unremarkable long piece from Elle or somewhere on Metafilter and people put on a whole long wearying show about how they couldn't believe it was published there but it seems like actual journalism! Even though people got over affecting shock at learning that Playboy used to publish real literature at least a few decades ago, they never get over it with women's mags. and even though Marie Claire and the like have rarely been as vapid as Esquire or GQ even on their worst days. & I haven't seriously read any of these magazines since I was a teen furtively leafing through them on newstands, and well back in those days they had a couple long foreign-affairs/political interest pieces per issue. so whatever one thinks of their level of quality, they have been publishing the occasional piece that presupposes their audience can read and think for a good long while now.
posted by queenofbithynia at 3:37 PM on February 10 [37 favorites]


Josh Marshal: Trump's Day of Living Cuckorously

I'd rather that the left didn't adopt the "cuck" usage, even ironically.
posted by diogenes at 3:39 PM on February 10 [38 favorites]


Russia Eyes Sending Snowden to U.S. as ‘Gift’ to Trump: Official

This is terrible if actually true. Really terrible.

The Russian government is a nest of snakes. There's a kind of "but but Russia has legitimate interests in its security" line that gets trotted out on parts of the left lately to justify Assad and so on, and I've always been really dubious that people who are so critical of American empire are so credulous about Russian empire. What shitty people. What garbage.
posted by Frowner at 3:40 PM on February 10 [23 favorites]


Holy fuck, why does he smile like a bad actor auditioning for a second rate Batman villain?

@realDonaldTrump
Heading to Joint Base Andrews on #MarineOne with Prime Minister Shinzō earlier today. [pic]
posted by chris24 at 3:40 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


The rank-and-file military people are what's been on my mind as I consider CBP choosing , with impunity, to ignore court orders, and the Bannon Administration's rhetoric delegitimizing the judiciary.

Yes, I'm worried about this as well. We keep hearing stories of travelers detained, questioned, and turned away from the border by CBP officers even though they aren't included in the travel ban EO (which they've been ordered to stop enforcing anyway). I wouldn't be surprised to learn that these officers acting on their own initiative rather than on directives from above. The actual legality of the EO doesn't matter, it's already done its job signaling to all the most racist fucks in CBP that the boss man condones whatever they decide to do.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see this pattern play out in other issues. A sweeping EO gets passed which gets officially blocked by the courts, but the officers responsible for enforcing it continue to enforce the "spirit" of the EO regardless.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:41 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Trump adviser who claimed to be an expert witness in Boston bombing trial never actually testified

OOPS.

One of the Trump White House’s newest hires is Sebastian Gorka, a self-proclaimed expert on radical Islam and frequent Breitbart contributor. For years, he’s also presented himself as an “expert witness” for the government in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. But according to an official in the office of the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts, Gorka never testified at the trial and prosecutors didn’t rely on his expertise in preparing or presenting their case.

...That claim is repeated in his biography on the website for the Washington Speakers Bureau, where he’s available for paid speeches on security issues: “Gorka served as an expert witness in the Boston Marathon bombing trial.” The same claim is made in numerous other official bios.

...“He was certainly on the list of potential witnesses,” an official with the U.S. Attorney’s office said. “But he was never called, nothing he gave us was ever used.”
posted by futz at 3:41 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


"I welcome you to the very famous White House"

Everyone knows the Famous Original White House has the best pizza.
posted by mmoncur at 3:42 PM on February 10 [26 favorites]


What's so good about dining in Port Huron, he asks sincerely?

It makes a real statement.

he answers facetiously
posted by tclark at 3:44 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


What's so good about dining in Port Huron, he asks sincerely?

Chicken in the Rough?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:48 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


The 9th Circuit, on its own initiative, has called for a vote on whether to rehear the case en banc. Any single judge may request such a vote.

If, like me, you need a translation, here's what I came up with. (IANAL)

One of the 29 judges on the 9th circuit requested that they vote on whether to rehear the case with all of the judges instead of just the original 3.
posted by diogenes at 3:50 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


It is about time CNN focused on the success the President has had bringing back jobs

this is the most minor thing in the whole shit snowball rolling down capitol hill, but Jesus the chutzpah of taking credit for Obama's last jobs report even though neither Trump nor Congress have done any legislation or order that might conceivably move that needle in the THREE WEEKS they've had so far
posted by murphy slaw at 3:53 PM on February 10 [39 favorites]


Holy fuck, why does he smile like a bad actor auditioning for a second rate Batman villain?

Heeeeeeere's Donnie!
posted by uncleozzy at 3:54 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Trump’s Watered-Down Ethics Rules Let a Lobbyist Help Run an Agency He Lobbied
Ethics lawyers are now puzzling over what exactly that language means. That task is made more confusing because of an apparent error in the Trump executive order: It says the phrase “particular matter” has the “same meaning as set forth in section 207 of title 28, United States Code.”

That part of the U.S. code does not exist.
Great legal work here.
posted by zachlipton at 3:55 PM on February 10 [16 favorites]


What's so good about dining in Port Huron, he asks sincerely?

Oh man, FINALLY something I know about. Hey The Card Cheat, what up? Clearly the answer is simply to eat fries at Alberts under the bridge for the entire duration of your stay.

So the deal is that if Port Urine is a hole, Sarnia is a smaller hole that has less stuff partly by virtue of being in Canada. I mean, Port Huron has a Cracker Barrel for heaven's sake, which is pretty good eatin' compared to what's in Sarnia. And as a small border town, crossing the border to do stuff is a time-honoured tradition in Sarnia. In the 80's I and my friends used to cross the US-Canada border to do these very exciting activities:

- buy milk (I am not joking)
- buy spiral-sliced ham, still a rarity in Canada
- buy gas
- buy comic books
- go to a movie
- wander aimlessly through Target
- drive to fancy Detroit suburbs to buy clothes

etc. For small Canadian border towns, making it harder to get into the US is an actual real hardship. I think Americans don't really appreciate what a pinnacle of retail capitalism the US is. Port Huron is officially less than half the population of Sarnia and it somehow manages to have more retail shops and generally cost less than the same goods in Canada (subject to swings in the exchange rate). This is equally bad for Port Huron as honestly a good chunk of their retail sales are to nearby Canadians since, as I noted, Sarnia is a bigger town.
posted by GuyZero at 3:56 PM on February 10 [40 favorites]


Holy fuck, why does he smile like a bad actor auditioning for a second rate Batman villain?

It is the most terrifying of rictuses. Made all the worse by how white and straight his teeth are. Are those caps? I think he's sportin' fronts.
posted by dis_integration at 3:57 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


So let me reiterate - Trump's nonsense border policies are going to have a real, negative impact on American northern border towns that rely on Canadian cross-border shoppers.
posted by GuyZero at 3:58 PM on February 10 [25 favorites]


Can any Mefites from Indiana explain how he got elected? Pence seems like he has negative charisma if not a sort of repellant forcefield emanating from him at all times.

I almost met Pence last summer! It was right after he had (bafflingly) declared his support for Trump's campaign. I was in a play celebrating the bicentennial of Corydon (Indiana's original capital), and as part of the bicentennial celebration, Pence was supposed to come to our opening night performance, and attend a reception afterward.

Of course, I was steaming mad about Pence's shitty shitty political career, and I resolved to Make A Scene about it, in what I figured would be the most damaging way possible: by highlighting his recent decision to align himself with an unchristian charlatan guaranteed-electoral-loser like Trump. "THIS MAN," I would declare, "HAS DECIDED TO SUPPORT TRUMP. LET'S ALL REMEMBER WHERE HIS LOYALTIES LIE." Man, what an albatross around his neck that would be! What an awkward silence would ensue! Would anyone serve me hors d'oeuvres or free wine after that? Ha! Who knows?

Of course, what ended up happening was that he didn't come to the play after all (I don't blame him tbh, it was fucking atrocious), and then he agreed to be Trump's running mate (which uh I uh okay I guess he was perfectly willing to tie himself to that albatross), and then whoa Trump ended up winning the election (which was way more surprising than Pence's decision not to come to the bicentennial play).

So my big chance to be a huge embarrassment at the bicentennial reception was lost, but the reception did have some really killer little roast beef sliders

so that was something at least
posted by Greg Nog at 3:58 PM on February 10 [45 favorites]


Snowden responds: "Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they're next."
posted by lalex at 3:59 PM on February 10 [41 favorites]


Made all the worse by how white and straight his teeth are. Are those caps? I think he's sportin' fronts.

no, they're just perfectly maintained from 70 years of clean living
posted by murphy slaw at 4:00 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Jesus, Breitbart. Just saw this headline linked on Twitter: "Flooding Breaks Oroville Dam as California’s Drought Ends!"

a) Oroville dam is highest dam in country.
b) The dam is fine. Part of the spillway fell apart a couple days ago due to erosion.
c) They're close to opening up the emergency spillway because the lake level is about 3' lower than the dam.
d) It's all okay. Really.
e) Breitbart tells a flat-out untruth, alleges something happened that hasn't, and now people are saying that the thing that didn't happen was terrorism.
f) I still have evens, I guess.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:00 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


> What's so good about dining in Port Huron, he asks sincerely?

Chicken In The Rough
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:00 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


"I welcome you to the very famous White House"

He is such a cringey MoFo. Blerg.


Every day in every way, this tacky rude fuck reminds me a little more of Mason Verger, only boring and dull-witted. Too bad there's no real-world Hannibal Lecter to show him a good, funny time.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:02 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


Made all the worse by how white and straight his teeth are.
As he's lying through them it's the insides we should be worrying about.
posted by Namlit at 4:03 PM on February 10


Heading to Joint Base Andrews on #MarineOne with Prime Minister Shinzō earlier today

I am disappoint, beloved MeFites. Over twenty minutes have gone by and nobody has pointed out that HIS NAME IS ABE YOU DUNDERING STUMBLEFUCK.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:03 PM on February 10 [19 favorites]


Many Patriots Players Won’t Say If They’re Going To Meet With Trump At The White House

BuzzFeed News contacted 25 Patriots players whose contact information was accessible — through agents, open Twitter DMs, publicly available telephone numbers, or email — to ask whether they would attend the traditional celebration. Of that group, 21 did not respond to the inquiry; two players’ representatives and one player avoided a definitive answer about attending; and Cardona said he would go.
Cristina Alor, a representative for Rob Gronkowski — a tight end who is one of the team’s most popular players — told BuzzFeed News on Friday that he “doesn’t have a comment as of right now.”


Obvs it could be nothing. The date hasn't even been set yet but wouldn't it be amazing if most of them declined? It would kill the donnie.
posted by futz at 4:04 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


I don't blame him tbh, it was fucking atrocious

wait though did the trampoline thing happen, i forget
posted by poffin boffin at 4:07 PM on February 10


One of the 29 judges on the 9th circuit requested that they vote on whether to rehear the case with all of the judges instead of just the original 3.

Close, if they decide on an en banc hearing, the Ninth Circuit customarily chooses eleven judges for an en banc hearing. This is something the losing party would usually request, it is unusual but not unprecedented for the court to take this step on its own.
posted by peeedro at 4:10 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]




Made all the worse by how white and straight his teeth are. Are those caps? I think he's sportin' fronts.
posted by dis_integration at 6:57 PM on February 10

I saw a picture of him in close up with his mouth open-- maybe a week ago-- and I was struck by the fact that he has cheap looking veneers that don't cover his back teeth. You can see he has a big silver filling in his upper back left molar and the coloring in the front teeth does not match the back teeth. For a billionaire he sure cheapened out.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:11 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Heading to Joint Base Andrews on #MarineOne with Prime Minister Shinzō earlier today

I am disappoint, beloved MeFites. Over twenty minutes have gone by and nobody has pointed out that HIS NAME IS ABE YOU DUNDERING STUMBLEFUCK.


What did you expect from president The Donald. Of course he would use his first name.
posted by Pendragon at 4:11 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


What did you expect from president The Donald. Of course he would use his first name.

fortunately Japan is a really laid back country that doesn't get too hung up on protocol or "face"
posted by murphy slaw at 4:14 PM on February 10 [68 favorites]


Made all the worse by how white and straight his teeth are. Are those caps? I think he's sportin' fronts.

From way back in 2015:
“Do you know what these are?” he asked with a smirk. Then, without waiting for an answer, added: “Donald Trump’s teeth.”

The dentist said Trump would come to the office every six months or so complaining that his veneers weren’t white enough.

“I tell him that if they are too white, they won’t look real,” the dentist said, as I recall, “but he won’t listen. So he picks a shade, and I make them about one-quarter as white as the shade he selects, and he goes away happy.”
posted by peeedro at 4:14 PM on February 10 [16 favorites]


I got an official email at work today that said that because Trump had filed for re-election in 2020, some of the conditions of the Hatch Act were going into effect, and we government employees could not post anti-Trump material on social media from our government computers. Not that I'm stupid enough to post anti-Trump material from my work computer under any circumstances.
posted by acrasis at 4:15 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


wait though did the trampoline thing happen, i forget

They scrapped both the idea of having me enter by trampoline, AND the big Jackson 5 musical number, but kept me leaping off a large wooden platform while swinging a kind of club at someone's head

posted by Greg Nog at 4:15 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Holy fuck, why does he smile like a bad actor auditioning for a second rate Batman villain?

Why so serious?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:16 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Many Patriots Players Won’t Say If They’re Going To Meet With Trump At The White House

We Ain’t Gonna Play Trump City "We treat Trump's White House like Sun City. No one goes. No athletes. No championship teams. No performers. No musicians. No celebrities. ALL invitations"

And you can contact the Patriots here to express your support of boycotting Trump.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:21 PM on February 10 [29 favorites]


Never leave a key in a classified lockbag in the presence of non-cleared people.

Sweet freebasing Jesus. And this was a known, intentional, planned photo-op. Taking bets on how long it takes before someone shooting high-resolution stills inadvertently captures and publishes TS material sitting openly on his desk.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:21 PM on February 10 [21 favorites]


Police 'likely to recommend' indictment of Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges

I hope this is contagious and leaps from "leader" to "leader" via phone calls.
posted by futz at 4:22 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Over twenty minutes have gone by and nobody has pointed out that HIS NAME IS ABE YOU DUNDERING STUMBLEFUCK.

In his prepared remarks in the press conference, Abe uses "President Trump" once and then refers to him as "Donald" for remainder, maybe a half-dozen times. They appear to be comfortable operating on a first name basis.
posted by peeedro at 4:22 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


For a billionaire he sure cheapened out.

I doubt it was the money; having his teeth fixed properly would have cost Donnie around $50K in the US at full retail. Maybe $80K if he went to a top guy in an expensive market. He obviously wouldn't be getting root canals since he has all his original teeth.

The right way to do this, if you can afford it, is called "full oral rehabilitation" and it involves getting 28 caps which are sculpted to correct your bite and provide an attractive front appearance. I had this done in 2003 and my smile still looks terrific, but some of my teeth are now L-shaped to correct the problems that 40+ years of neglect and never having braces allowed to happen. (And I didn't spend that much. I had it done in Tijuana for about $8K, and got a great job by an excellent dentist.)

I suspect Donnie's problem with having it done right is the time in the chair. I spent about 24 hours in the chair over 5 visits. It involves a lot of things I'm sure would freak the Donnie out. All of your teeth have to be ground down to create appropriate posts for the new caps, a job that takes 10 to 12 hours total if you have it all done at once. (Visits 2 and 3, after Visit 1 for inspection, planning, and castings.) Then you have to wear plastic temporaries, which do not really function as teeth so you have to basically live on liquids, while your caps are made by the lab. Then you spend 6 hours or so having them cemented in (visit 4) and more hours adjusting the occlusion and other housekeeping chores (visit 5) before you're ready to go out in the wild. I suspect that Donnie's ego got in the way of him submitting to the whole process when he was told they could also just slap a veneer on it in an hour, and be done with it.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:24 PM on February 10 [23 favorites]


the officers responsible for enforcing it continue to enforce the "spirit" of the EO regardless.

I WANT TO SEE EVERY LAST ONE OF THOSE PRICKS FIRED, STRIPPED OF THEIR GOV'T PENSIONS AND PROSECUTED.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:24 PM on February 10 [41 favorites]


Heading to Joint Base Andrews on #MarineOne with Prime Minister Shinzō earlier today

I am disappoint, beloved MeFites. Over twenty minutes have gone by and nobody has pointed out that HIS NAME IS ABE YOU DUNDERING STUMBLEFUCK.


Honestly I'm just surprised he got the ō right but it's probably an iPhone tweet by someone with half a brain.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:25 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


CNN, others state that Trump and many of his staff
Pres Trump doesn’t appear to be wearing the translation earpiece during PM Abe’s remarks. Wait, does POTUS speak Japanese?
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:26 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Holy fuck, why does he smile like a bad actor auditioning for a second rate Batman villain?

Is that smug rictus that he affects even technically a smile?
posted by thelonius at 4:27 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


They appear to be comfortable operating on a first name basis.

Fine. Even so, "Prime Minister Shinzo" is a pretty gross solecism. I care less about the violation of diplomatic protocol than I do about the fact that there evidently isn't an adult in the loop to keep him from sounding like an eedjit in public.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:27 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Honestly I'm just surprised he got the ō right but it's probably an iPhone tweet by someone with half a brain.

I noticed that too. Maybe I'm being ungenerous, but it felt like a hypercorrection to me — like they knew they were going to blow some aspect of his name, actually nailed the thing that had worried them and then completely blew the more obvious and basic aspect of the sentence.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:29 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I tell him that if they are too white, they won’t look real,” the dentist said, as I recall, “but he won’t listen. So he picks a shade, and I make them about one-quarter as white as the shade he selects, and he goes away happy.

Or as my dentist explained, "you don't want them to look like chiclets." Unlike some people I know to listen to advice from professionals who know more than I do about what they are doing.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:29 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


has it been established that the POTUS speaks english?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:29 PM on February 10 [20 favorites]


Everyone does say he has the best words.
posted by contraption at 4:31 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


has it been established that the POTUS speaks english?

They do not. They speak Lawyer, which like computer languages sometimes looks like English but the words mean very different and rigidly defined things.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:32 PM on February 10


really? so when the POTUS talked about grabbing them by the pussy, it was just a reference to eminent domain?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:34 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]




so when the POTUS talked about grabbing them by the pussy, it was just a reference to eminent domain?

Of course not. It was about abducting the victim's cat and holding it hostage to coerce a contract concession.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:37 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]




Sweet freebasing Jesus. And this was a known, intentional, planned photo-op. Taking bets on how long it takes before someone shooting high-resolution stills inadvertently captures and publishes TS material sitting openly on his desk.

There was one picture he posted a few weeks back where you could almost read a handwritten telephone number on his desk.
posted by Brainy at 4:48 PM on February 10


Top Federal Reserve official resigns as bank deregulation looms

The Federal Reserve Board's top bank regulator said on Friday he would resign, giving a boost to President Donald Trump's plans to ease reforms put in place after the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Daniel Tarullo, a strong regulator who was dovish on monetary policy in his seven years on the board, said in his resignation letter to Trump he would leave the U.S. central bank on or around April 5.

With his resignation, Trump will have three positions to fill on the Fed's Board of Governors, which at full strength has seven members.


My takeaway is that if the banks are thrilled by his resignation (they are) this has got to be bad news for the average person.
posted by futz at 4:48 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


They do not. They speak Lawyer, which like computer languages sometimes looks like English but the words mean very different and rigidly defined things.

Trump's lawyer speaks Lawyer, but Trump's lawyer picks strategies that avoid Trump attending court or depositions because of his literacy and competence issues, where he'll pretend he can't read something due to not having his glasses, and push the "I sign leases, I don't read them" defence.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:49 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Very erudite and interesting prognostications on the future of global trade
So the chances of the required change in direction [of Chinese economic policy] are slim. Instead, US trade pressure on China will most likely cause Beijing to become more prickly, and still more resistant to the economic reforms that it needs. And so the world’s two largest economies are likely to inflict economic pain on one another. Other countries are unlikely to be able to remain aloof—and few should be more concerned about the fallout than the UK.
posted by Coventry at 4:50 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]




soren_lorensen, I keep thinking about The Right's favorite song that ends, "land of the free and home of the brave" yet they are all so fearful of immigrants. And then there is that whole "free" part that does not apply to women's bodies or freedom to love whom you want or freedom of speech or freedom to protest. Apparently only freedom to carry arms everywhere you go because you are so fucking cowardly. sigh
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:55 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


I was in a play celebrating the bicentennial of Corydon (Indiana's original capital)

My years of Indiana social studies compels me to mention that Vincennes was the first capital, Corydon the second.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:55 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


So let me reiterate - Trump's nonsense border policies are going to have a real, negative impact on American northern border towns that rely on Canadian cross-border shoppers.

Same down here in Arizona, which I assume is at least part of McCain's (stupid, ineffective, hot air, mostly for show) resistance.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:56 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


My impression of Obama is that (maybe to a fault) he wants to follow the rules and norms of democracy, and one of the big ones is that former presidents don't comment on the current president's actions directly. Especially not so close to the exchange of power. I can't speak for him, obviously, but that's my impression given his 8 years in office.

If that is the case, then I don't agree with it. This isn't a normal transfer of power, and as a widely respected former leader, I think it's his duty to actively join the resistance against trump.


If the shit does hit the fan, and Obama has to speak out directly to CBP or military personnel resisting officers of the court or something, than he's got more power than if he's spent weeks putting himself out as a partisan.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:56 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Trump obviously doesn't read unless he's forced to, and then only slowly and with great difficulty. A few threads ago I related how one of my coworkers (at the time in her mid 40's) was like this and one day I realized she was astonished that I read for pleasure, because to her reading was a difficult and painful chore although she could do it if she had to. I think this is where Trump is, he can read if he has to but would rather do just about anything else and he is probably always afraid of fucking it up when he tries, and his fortune gets him lots of minions to take up this no-reading slack for him.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:56 PM on February 10 [22 favorites]


If the shit does hit the fan, and Obama has to speak out directly to CBP or military personnel resisting officers of the court or something

I don't think there's any scenario where that would be Obama's role.
posted by diogenes at 4:59 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Many Patriots Players Won’t Say If They’re Going To Meet With Trump At The White House

I really hope we get a repeat of Texas Western vs. Kentucky in 1966. Let Trump shake hands with only white players for his entire time in office.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:03 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


CBS also has the story about confirming parts of the Steele dossier.

I'd been wondering if there were still active IC investigations. I've been assuming that there are, but it's been a while since we heard anything, so it's nice to see it clearly stated.

At issue is whether the Russian government gathered compromising information on the president during his years of doing business in country as a private citizen. The FBI is leading the investigation but several intelligence agencies are also involved.
posted by diogenes at 5:04 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I think this is where Trump is, he can read if he has to but would rather do just about anything else and he is probably always afraid of fucking it up when he tries, and his fortune gets him lots of minions to take up this no-reading slack for him.

He's had millions since he was of age, and in all that time he's been able to hire people to read anything difficult for him -- leases, other legal documents. He probably hasn't had to read anything that required careful parsing since he was in college (and for all I know he hired someone to do it for him then!).

So he's nearly 50 years out of practice with serious reading. Probably can't even skim anymore, much less keep his attention on something dense for more than a few minutes.
posted by suelac at 5:05 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


DHS has released a new report on recommended mitigations of GRIZZLY STEPPE. Looks at first glance like they took the criticisms from the security community seriously and the report is a great improvement.
posted by Coventry at 5:06 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Probably can't even skim anymore, much less keep his attention on something dense for more than a few minutes.

R couldn't skim, and it required difficult focused attention for her to plow through more than a few sentences. Donnie isn't used to having to apply his own focused concentration on anything in ages though; that's what minions are for. He could probably do it if he wanted to, but who's going to make him if he doesn't?
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:09 PM on February 10


DNC list of Democrats who are calling for an investigation of Flynn.

(On a side note, why do reporters link to snapshots of documents instead of linking to them? It's irritating, because I'd rather link to primary sources, but they are hard to find when they are brand new and Google hasn't indexed them yet.)
posted by diogenes at 5:11 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


It's easier for their followers to stay in app?
posted by notyou at 5:15 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


The ICE raids today look to be indiscriminate dragnet operations. "A DHS official confirmed that while immigration agents were targeting criminals, they also were taking into custody non-criminals in the vicinity who were found to be lacking documentation."

Papers please is now de facto federal policy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:18 PM on February 10 [33 favorites]


they also were taking into custody non-criminals in the vicinity who were found to be lacking documentation.

“Big cities tend to have a lot of illegal immigrants,” said one immigration official who was not authorized to speak publicly because of the sensitive nature of the operation. “They’re going to a target-rich environment.”


I don't think that's adequate probable cause for the purposes of the fourth amendment. It sounds like it's going to get very expensive for them.
posted by Coventry at 5:22 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


they also were taking into custody non-criminals in the vicinity who were found to be lacking documentation.

How does it work for children of undocumented immigrants that were born here? I know they are considered citizens, but is their birth certificate adequate documentation? (Not that that would be much consolation if their parents are deported.)
posted by diogenes at 5:25 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


fortunately Japan is a really laid back country that doesn't get too hung up on protocol or "face"

Yeah, because I'm sure this looks great too. Without Melania Trump, Mrs. Abe rolls solo in Washington

Normally the first lady is expected to play host under such circumstances, but that's not happening here.
posted by zachlipton at 5:27 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Here in Tucson, AZ we have I-19, the only highway in the United States featuring highway signs in metric. Why, you ask?

Because an enormous amount of the economy here is based on shoppers coming up from Mexico. During the holiday season in the mall parking lot, you're as likely to see license plates from Chihuahua and Sonora as you are local ones. They just broke ground on an expansion to the Spectrum mall, which caters heavily to Mexican shoppers.

Tucson is the sixth-poorest large city in the United States. This is going to hit us hard.
posted by MrVisible at 5:29 PM on February 10 [26 favorites]


He could probably do it if he wanted to, but who's going to make him if he doesn't?

Twenty years ago, sure, but now he's got some flavor of cognitive issues.
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:29 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Normally the first lady is expected to play host under such circumstances, but that's not happening here.

I think Ivanka is supposed to have assumed those duties.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:32 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Karen Pence Picks a Cause, and Art Therapists Feel Angst

But many art therapists held a different view. On social media, some art therapists argued that the policies supported by President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, Mrs. Pence’s husband, are largely at odds with the group’s principles and hurt the very people the profession treats, such as immigrants and trauma survivors.

Kate Broitman, an art therapist in Chicago, started a Facebook page called Art Therapists for Human Rights to organize with other art therapists who “felt that great harm might come to our field, our clients and our work, if the association were to enter into a dialogue with Karen Pence.”

posted by futz at 5:37 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


A bit late to the game here regarding Shakegate, but how come no one has pointed out the fucking weirdness of the way Trump pats people's hands? He did it with both Abe and Gorsuch, it looks so condescending.
posted by Bukvoed at 5:38 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


CNN is reporting that Trump was meeting with Democratic leaders and referred to Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" repeatedly.

If the Dems in that meeting had a spine they would have immediately shouted him down. Immediately.
posted by Justinian at 5:38 PM on February 10 [34 favorites]


Apparently a couple hundred people just showed up at Yertle's house in Kentucky and read the Coretta Scott King letter at him.

Or, as Redstate breathlessly puts it: "BREAKING! Mob forming outside Mitch McConnell's house!"
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:38 PM on February 10 [30 favorites]


I think Ivanka is supposed to have assumed those duties.

Isn't she observing the Sabbath? Has she been going to Mar-a-Lago on the weekends?
posted by murphy slaw at 5:39 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


referred to Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" repeatedly.

If the Dems in that meeting had a spine they would have immediately shouted him down. Immediately.


He probably meant "fauxchahontas," i.e. that her claim to Native American heritage is illegitimate. So it's intended as an attack on her character, not of Native Americans.
posted by Coventry at 5:42 PM on February 10


How does it work for children of undocumented immigrants that were born here?

This is actually part of the plan. Deport the non-citizen parents, who are forced to take their citizen kids with them or leave them to fend for themselves in the US alone. And good luck to those kids ever again proving their American birth. It's all part of the plan to reduce minority populations in the US. Explictly ethnic cleansing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:44 PM on February 10 [14 favorites]


He probably meant "fauxchahontas," i.e. that her claim to Native American heritage is illegitimate. So it's intended as an attack on her character, not of Native Americans.


Donald Trump does not do wordplay. It's Pocahontas.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:45 PM on February 10 [49 favorites]


Ivanka got on Marine One with Jared, the President, and PM Abe. She can observe the Sabbath at Mar-a-Lago if she wants, and that's pretty much irrelevant to what she'd be doing Friday morning anyway.
posted by zachlipton at 5:45 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


CNN is reporting that Trump was meeting with Democratic leaders and referred to Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" repeatedly.

If the Dems in that meeting had a spine they would have immediately shouted him down. Immediately.


Yeah, after she was just kicked off the Senate floor for "impugning" another Senator. They should have had the Capitol Police forcibly throw him out of the building.
posted by The World Famous at 5:46 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


So it's intended as an attack on her character, not of Native Americans.

Let's not kid ourselves: it's both.
posted by indubitable at 5:46 PM on February 10 [59 favorites]


but how come no one has pointed out the fucking weirdness of the way Trump pats people's hands?

Yes! I noticed that too. He does it a lot and my first thought was "that is what men do to women". He does the totally fucked up shake part, holds on for too long while holding the other person's hand in an unnatural position, and then pats it several times. It is so insultingly dismissive and condescending that my brain screams kill kill kill target locked! when I see it.
posted by futz at 5:47 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Spicey: call your office.

Exclusive: White House Has Interviewed Carl Higbie for Press Secretary

Whether it's true or not, somebody clearly wanted to get it out there that he's on the way out.
posted by zachlipton at 5:47 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


It's definitely definitely Pocahontas.

Trump has a hate on for native people that precedes his current crazy racist grandpa phase, because of casino drama from back when he was failing at that career.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:47 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Ivanka got on Marine One with Jared, the President, and PM Abe. She can observe the Sabbath at Mar-a-Lago if she wants, and that's pretty much irrelevant to what she'd be doing Friday morning anyway.


so i guess Abe's wife staying home indicates the diplomatic class isn't buying the line that Ivanka is the effective first lady.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:48 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


so i guess Abe's wife staying home indicates the diplomatic class isn't buying the line that Ivanka is the effective first lady.

Maybe she just got tired of the constant sales pitch to buy Ivanka's clothing line.
posted by The World Famous at 5:50 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


If you ask me, Mrs. Abe is getting the better deal here.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:50 PM on February 10 [40 favorites]


The intelligence community should do their briefings for Trump by dressing up to look like Joe Scarborough and standing behind an empty picture frame.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:53 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]




so i guess Abe's wife staying home indicates the diplomatic class isn't buying the line that Ivanka is the effective first lady.

No, she didn't stay at home. She was standing with Melania on the tarmac waiting to board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews when Trump and Abe arrived on Marine One.
posted by peeedro at 5:54 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


He probably meant "fauxchahontas," i.e. that her claim to Native American heritage is illegitimate. So it's intended as an attack on her character, not of Native Americans.

There was that controversy a while back with that woman who claimed to be black and was not but that wouldn't make it okay to call her a racial slur.
posted by Justinian at 5:57 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


Akie Abe has a reputation for saying what she thinks in public without getting her husband's permission first, so presumably the administration would want not want to leave her alone with Melania for long even if Melania wanted to entertain her. though I don't suppose she does.

(“I understand this is embarrassing but until I went to Rikkyo University, I always thought my husband’s opinions were right,” she writes in her book. “People around him also shared similar views. I realize now, however, that what I thought was my opinion was not actually my own. I was merely following my husband’s opinion.”)

posted by queenofbithynia at 5:58 PM on February 10 [15 favorites]


"Fauxcahontas" is what Scott Brown, Curt Schilling, and the rest of the New England right wing/tea partiers call Warren. So I'm sure Trump has heard/used both terms.
posted by TwoStride at 5:58 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


It doesn't matter how it is spelled it is racist both ways.
posted by winna at 6:02 PM on February 10 [43 favorites]


I love that he called her that in the middle of what was supposed to be a meeting to build bipartisan support for his stolen SCOTUS nominee.

If these Dems don't filibuster, fuck them. Fuck them all.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:05 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


We're all in agreement that it's racist, I think; it's just about what else it's dog-whistling when it's used by Republicans (the faux- version is both racist and plays to their favorite affirmative action fraud conspiracy theories).
posted by TwoStride at 6:05 PM on February 10


On two pre-scheduled Washington stops Friday, one to Gallaudet University and the other to attend a National Cherry Blossom Festival committee meeting at the Japanese embassy, the first lady of Japan, Akie Abe, was alone, without Mrs. Trump to guide her.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did some of his own solo touring. He laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Remains there include unknown servicemembers killed in World War II. Prime Minister Abe met with President Trump at the White House and took questions from reporters in a joint press conference.
It's a little odd that the two of them wondered around Washington, DC on their own but I'm guessing that Melania had not yet flown up from NY, Ivanka begged off and DJT was too busy watching TV. Don't expect too much graciousness from this crew, they were never trained in diplomacy and they aren't out to impress anyone with their manners-- only their possessions.

I will be mildly interested to see what happens when there is a big state visit during the week. I don't think Melania will be leaving her son to play hostess so we'll see if Ivanka is going to fulfill the traditional role or not. There is no reason she should have to except that diplomacy is part of the job her father took on.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:07 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


Ok, this is largely a pointless and fluffy "investigation" into why #45 wears his ties so long, but this kind of throwaway line is horrifyingly unsurprising: he is famously obsessed with style and appearance. He reportedly watches interviews and press conferences with the sound turned off, the better to focus on visuals.
posted by TwoStride at 6:09 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


If there’s one thing that unifies the room right now, though, it might be fatigue. Trump’s early-morning tweets and executive orders that spark weekends full of protests have made the White House a seven-day beat, to say nothing of the underlying fact that he’s a widely disliked public figure who lost the popular vote by nearly three million.

“Everybody’s just beleaguered,” the longtime cameraman said.

Still, it’s not all terrible. A presidency that creates scandal at all hours is good for the timesheet. “There’s so much overtime,” he said. “The first 100 days are going to be like Clinton-Lewinsky without the sex.
posted by Coventry at 6:10 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Regarding the "Prime Minister Shinzō" dumbfuckery, Abe is going to be delighted to be referred to that way by preznit Dipshit. His main (perhaps only) concern in this visit is being seen by China as still best buds with the U.S.
posted by entropical punch at 6:10 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


What did you expect from president The Donald. Of course he would use his first name.

The more likely answer -- that some chucklehead remembered that Japanese names are the "wrong way around," but forgot that prominent Japanese people usually have their names pre-reversed in English, and just didn't bother to ask anyone "Hey, just to make 100\% certain -- is he PM Abe or PM Shinzo?" -- somehow seems even worse to me. Like exactly the wrongest possible level of competence. If they had just been too stupid to know about Japanese names, they would have left it alone, which would have ended up being right.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:11 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


Barron's a big boy. Can't he stay over at a friend's house so Mom can go to DC for the day? Trump Tower probably has a whole closet full of nannies.
posted by Biblio at 6:11 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


“The first 100 days are going to be like Clinton-Lewinsky without the sex.”

Your mouth to God's ears. I don't want to read anything else about Trump and sex ever again. Furthermore, I'd like to believe that his children are sentient warts that popped Gremlins-like off his body when he was exposed to water and not children made the human way.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:13 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


He reportedly watches interviews and press conferences with the sound turned off, the better to focus on visuals.

100% chance he watches every cable news channel simultaneously on a big TV wall like a gross old Ozymandias
posted by theodolite at 6:14 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


I get the feeling that Melania really doesn't want much to do with Cheeto Man and is as happy as a clam in NYC. If she wanted to be in DC she would already be there.
posted by futz at 6:14 PM on February 10 [15 favorites]


I don't want to read anything else about Trump and sex ever again.

Don't click this link: Nobody Inspires Presidential Porn Like Donald J. Trump [sfw].
posted by peeedro at 6:18 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]




For someone obsessed with appearance as Trump is, one would think he'd actually put effort into it.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:18 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Not playing along with the sexist First Lady ultimate housewife bullshit is possibly the only thing I respect about Melania. Of course, the chances are non-existent that this is some kind of feminist statement. Regardless of her motivation, I can't criticize her for not doing it.
posted by Mavri at 6:20 PM on February 10 [29 favorites]


Exclusive: White House Has Interviewed Carl Higbie for Press Secretary

Hey, you leave Spicey alone, you bastards! Sure, he's a tightly wrapped toy-soldier rage monster, but he's OUR tightly wrapped toy-soldier rage monster, dammit! At least Spicey is colorful; Higbie's just a doltish whiny frat boy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:27 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]



For someone obsessed with appearance as Trump is, one would think he'd actually put effort into it.


Pretty sure he thinks he does and thinks he looks great. He dresses in what is a very common way for someone who is self conscious about their body and particularly weight. Been there done this myself. For a very long time baggy and loose bad fitting clothes looked good to me because they looked like they hid it all. I've changed that now but it took some effort to change how I saw myself in better fitting clothes. At first pants and t-shirts that fit looked super tight and in my mind they looked awful. It pretty took me just trusting my friends and one cousin and just wore things until I got used to it.
posted by Jalliah at 6:29 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


Sure, he's a tightly wrapped toy-soldier rage monster, but he's OUR tightly wrapped toy-soldier rage monster, dammit! At least Spicey is colorful; Higbie's just a doltish whiny frat boy.

The only thing that I look forward to about the Trump administration is watching a hapless procession of press secretaries being destroyed before our eyes, one by one.
posted by MrVisible at 6:33 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


What Michael Flynn did, taking classified information and discussing it with Russia, while he was not an official of the official US Government, isn't that called treason?
posted by Oyéah at 6:36 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Oh Spicer. If you didn't sling lies for monsters I'd really be looking forward to your future as the comically angry spokesman in cinnamon gum commercials.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:36 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


What Michael Flynn did, taking classified information and discussing it with Russia, while he was not an official of the official US Government, isn't that called treason?

IOKIYAR!
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:36 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


and just didn't bother to ask anyone "Hey, just to make 100\% certain -- is he PM Abe or PM Shinzo?"

So was it today? Yesterday? (God I have lost track of time.) When there was a discussion about the West Wing which became sort of "you silly Liberals buying into that fantasy." I know the morality and idealism was over the top on that show but I was always more interested in watching for the nuts and bolts of the operation. It was written with imput by former staffers from the Clinton WH so I figured it at least had that much.

Which is all a lot of prefacing to say, I don't think the Trump Administration has figured out the gig yet and due to the understaffing, inexperience, and disdain for the way things are usually run, I don't think they ever will. On the West Wing CJ Craig would never willing go out and boldly lie for her boss because her relationship with the press was very important. There was an episode where she did have to lie for some reason that escapes me and it caused major problems.

Also she had staff who would help her with background so she had plenty of prepared facts and she always knew what was in the pipeline and what questions were going to come up.

President Bartlett would have known the Prime Minister's name because there would have been lots of meetings with state department members who specialized in Japanese-American relationships. He would have known the wife's name, her favorite flowers, and what she liked to drink. There would have been lots of groundwork and tedious details memorized so that the visit could go smoothly because it would have been important to the President. Obviously our real life President does not give a shit and the people around him do not give a shit. They are too busy telling each other bedtime stories and stabbing each other in the back.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:37 PM on February 10 [25 favorites]


Why Does This Democratic Progressive Group Have Close Ties To A Pro-Trump PAC?

...Three separate sources pointed to Davies’ cousin, Matt Tunstall, who appears to be the Russian-based CEO of a company call IBid Games as director of both PACs. Tunstall’s name is not listed on documents for either PAC. According to public posts on Instagram and Facebook, he knows Robert Reyes, a listed director Liberty Action Group. (By Monday, a Facebook associated with Reyes had been taken down, he had previously blocked this reporter following a request for comment.)

Reyes is also listed as the director of another PAC, American Priority PAC. Once again, the site is identical to Liberty Action Group and has the email for Liberty Action Group as the contact on the privacy page. The group also has Henok as the treasurer. It was formed in late July and has not filed any filings on expenditures or contributions yet. It is also listed as headquarter in Austin, Texas.


This is super shady.
posted by futz at 6:38 PM on February 10 [19 favorites]


isn't that called treason?

Not if you win the election, apparently.
posted by Coventry at 6:38 PM on February 10


Well, like Trump, Carl Higbie is a whiny little baby about judges taking away his weapons, so I'm sure they get along great.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:41 PM on February 10


Well, like Trump, Carl Higbie is a whiny little baby

I figured that the important thing is he is a friend of Eric's. These guys never seem to hire any real outsiders-- everyone is a friend of either the Trumps or somebody in the inner circle.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:45 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


I actually had time to read the full 9th Circuit order after work today, and it's rougher language than I even realized. Responding to Trump's argument that the White House Counsel's "interpretation" of the Executive Order makes the entire case moot, the opinion notes that the White House Counsel doesn't have authority to modify an Executive Order, and isn't in the chain of command of any of the affected government agencies. And then the kicker: "Moreover, in light of the Government's shifting interpretations of the Executive Order, we cannot say that the current interpretation by the White House counsel, even if authoritative and binding, will persist past the immediate stage of these proceedings." [.pdf again, see pages 21-22].

That is the 9th Circuit saying they can't trust that the government's lawyers are telling them the truth, even know what they're supposed to be defending, or won't change their story about everything the moment they get out of the courtroom. It's a judicial bench slap of the first order.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:47 PM on February 10 [71 favorites]


Details on the original charges against Guadalupe García de Rayos, the 35-year-old mother of two U.S. citizens who was herself brought to the U.S. as a teenager, which led to her being seized and deported during a routine check-in with ICE, due to Trump's deportation EO, from AZCentral.com, a joint project of The Arizona Republic and KPNX: she accepted a plea deal and plead guilty to a 2008 Class 6 felony charge of criminal impersonation, for using a guy's social security number, a number which she has been stating she made up while filling out paperwork. The guy says he never suffered any negative repercussions resulting from her use of his SSN and wasn't aware of it (though his parents may have received notification.)

The immigration raid was a project of then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and then-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. García de Rayos was offered the opportunity to testify against her employer in exchange for leniency but declined. One employee of the amusement park where she worked had charges filed against them which were dropped in the course of a settlement. García de Rayos was sentenced to probation, community service, and jail time served, and in 2010 after completing all of that and paying fees she filed a petition to vacate her felony conviction, but was refused.
posted by XMLicious at 6:52 PM on February 10 [17 favorites]


T.D. Strange - It's also the 9th Circuit throwing textualism right back at the alleged textualists. You want the court to rule based on what White House Counsel says the executive order means, and not based on the text of the order? Nope.
posted by The World Famous at 6:52 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


"gross old Ozymandias" is definitely my new favorite description of Trump
posted by triggerfinger at 6:55 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


What Michael Flynn did, taking classified information and discussing it with Russia, while he was not an official of the official US Government, isn't that called treason?

No, but it IS called espionage, and guess what, there's a doozy of a punishment for it, too!
posted by corb at 6:59 PM on February 10 [22 favorites]


I'm still surprised at the amount of rage I feel over the shameless hypocrisy of the GOP's base when it comes to the First Lady. It's such a stupid thing but it guts me.

If Michelle Obama had refused to move to the White House, it would have been tantamount to treason. If she'd refused to host foreign leaders' wives she would have been excoriated. Hell, Hillary Clinton faced rabid attacks because she didn't bake.

It's not Melania I care about or the role of First Lady. Rock on doing what you're doing and let's just agree to dismantle the ceremonial role playing while we're at it. But the rage I feel is unquenchable. Those fuckers would be screaming in the streets. Fuck your smug hypocrisy, IOIYAAR assholes.
posted by lydhre at 7:02 PM on February 10 [86 favorites]


What Michael Flynn did, taking classified information and discussing it with Russia, while he was not an official of the official US Government, isn't that called treason?

It is kind of important that the Founding Fathers strictly limited the applicability of treason charges - it is the only crime defined in the Constitution, in order to limit the scope of the actual legislation against treason. The Rosenbergs didn't get treason charges, and they were executed.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:03 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]


If the shit does hit the fan, and Obama has to speak out directly to CBP or military personnel resisting officers of the court or something

What if Obama is returning to the U.S. from a foreign visit and forgets to pack his long form birth certificate?
posted by JackFlash at 7:07 PM on February 10 [16 favorites]


Andrew Sullivan: The Madness of King Donald:
One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene.

In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago. It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father, who will brook no reason, respect no counter-argument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes. This is what I mean by the idea that we are living through an emergency.
That is quite a passage. The first part (I split it into two paragraphs) describes quite succinctly the experience of being white in America. The second part just as accurately describes the experience of not being white in America, and particularly the experience of being Black in America.
posted by AceRock at 7:09 PM on February 10 [112 favorites]



I'm still surprised at the amount of rage I feel over the shameless hypocrisy of the GOP's base when it comes to the First Lady.

Plus their shameless hypocrisy when it comes to literally everything else too. I'm really really having a hard time dealing with the willful bald faced alternate reality lying on this scale. The gaslighting where we're supposed to act like we're all in Year Zero and nothing prior to November 8 was real. People, I was there! I fucking saw you assholes say on the record that if Hillary Clinton were to be elected you would not confirm a new SCOTUS justice ever.

All the Twitter eggs and random FB white dudes with walls that are nothing but shitty memes and pictures of them with their girlfriends so we all know that they have touched a boob once saying that Obama was the pathological lying narcissist out to destroy democracy and YOU GUYS I WAS THERE TOO AND THAT ISN'T WHAT HAPPENED HOLY SHIT I'M GOING TO FREAK THE HELL OUT.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:36 PM on February 10 [81 favorites]


Steady, soren! Tell the true story and fight as hard as you can. Freaketh not the hell out!
posted by vrakatar at 7:41 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


From the Politico article posted 400 years ago upthread,

On Wednesday, some of Trump’s top advisers met with James Baker, a Republican Party statesman who was chief of staff in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, and talked things over.

The Bush family fixer is meeting with them. Someone's panicking enough to call, and some Bush camp are scared enough to go there and listen. Turdcircus status: Supercritical.
posted by petebest at 7:45 PM on February 10 [40 favorites]


Supercritical Turdcircus is also my new sockpuppet.
No! I saw it first! Give it! Stop, you're smooshing it!

posted by petebest at 7:49 PM on February 10 [23 favorites]


All the Twitter eggs and random FB white dudes with walls that are nothing but shitty memes and pictures of them with their girlfriends so we all know that they have touched a boob once saying that Obama was the pathological lying narcissist out to destroy democracy and YOU GUYS I WAS THERE TOO AND THAT ISN'T WHAT HAPPENED HOLY SHIT I'M GOING TO FREAK THE HELL OUT.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:36 AM on February 11 [+] [!]


My coping mechanism has been to post outrage about other non-true thing about Obama on their walls, like how he ordered the closure of all Lutheran churches and forced the Amish to speak Arabic instead of their traditional Danish. This is a thing that can be turned against them.

Remember the victims of Bowling Green!!!!
posted by saysthis at 7:49 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


I always take these types of articles with a huge grain of salt but thought what the hell:

Donald Trump's alpha male body language tics – from the hand tap to the power shake

Archive.is link for people having trouble viewing the direct link. You'll miss the video examples but they are easily found via search engine.

It’s not for us to say whether Donald Trump is compensating for something. Yes, certain behaviour may give that impression: the erection of several self-branded towers, one of which is literally gold, for instance. Or the fact he felt the need to declare “there’s no problem” with the size of his manhood at a GOP debate last March. Or almost everything else he’s ever done.

-- When the First Lady had the temerity to reach for her husband’s hand on the tarmac, Trump squeezed it for one moment, gave it a bizarre three taps with his other hand, and then dropped it like a stone.

-- The only way this clip could be more primitive is if each man was picking a small fly from the back of the person he slaps, then eating it.
Trump wins in the game to see who gives the last slap, you will notice; and Romney never did get hired as Secretary of State.

-- [Hand shakes] It's an extreme example, but not much different from how the president shakes hands with anybody. If he can't get a yank on (as seen here with Mike Pence), there'll be the additional patronising pat (here with Hillary Clinton), mini arm wrestle (such as here with Kanye) or simply an exertion of such force that the opponent withers into submission (Theresa May, below).


Article also discusses The Looming & his weird way of doing the thumbs up gesture.
posted by futz at 7:55 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


He dresses in what is a very common way for someone who is self conscious about their body and particularly weight.

remember when the press wouldn't shut up about bill clinton's weight and mcdonald's habit?
remember when they made a big deal about reagan's weightlifting routine to show that he was taking care of himself?

somehow donald gets a pass though…
posted by murphy slaw at 7:58 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Oh. Oh no no no. I just tripped over that incredibly creeptastic "Trump with teen Ivanka" photo I thankfully avoided when the rest of the world was totally skeeved out by it last year, and now I can't unsee it [shudder]. Is it possible to buy brain bleach by the vat?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:59 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Definition of treasonous acts, and the punishment.

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
posted by Oyéah at 8:01 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Higbie cited the Japanese internment as a precedent for a Muslim register. He's also a former Navy SEAL, so expect more "you can't question him because he's a hero" bullshit the GOP does with any Navy SEAL stroke-fest. I've long thought that Hollywood enabled too much "infallible demigod" mythology building regarding SEALs in things like American Sniper, Lone Survivor, Captain Philips, etc. Policy wonks they are not.
posted by bluecore at 8:02 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


All the Twitter eggs and random FB white dudes with walls that are nothing but shitty memes and pictures of them with their girlfriends so we all know that they have touched a boob once saying that Obama was the pathological lying narcissist out to destroy democracy and YOU GUYS I WAS THERE TOO AND THAT ISN'T WHAT HAPPENED HOLY SHIT I'M GOING TO FREAK THE HELL OUT.

Yeah, for some reason some nutty Rush Limbaugh-loving Hillary hater ended up following me on Twitter a few weeks back. Every so often I look at that person's account and it's like an alternate reality, screaming that Obama is the one who shredded the Constitution, yelling at Democrats for being obstructive. Alex Jones retweets, Lou Dobbs retweets.. etc.
posted by wondermouse at 8:02 PM on February 10


Is it possible to buy brain bleach by the vat?

Watch out for the taxes on that :)
posted by futz at 8:03 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


"Trump with teen Ivanka" photo

Be warned that there are several different such creeptastic images.
posted by chris24 at 8:07 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Apparently a couple hundred people just showed up at Yertle's house in Kentucky and read the Coretta Scott King letter at him.

McConnell lives in my neighborhood. I decided to go to see Hidden Figures (fabulous movie!) instead of joining the protest this evening, but I'm interested to see what happens the rest of the weekend. Folks here seem fairly mobilized and ready to make their voices heard.
posted by chaoticgood at 8:12 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Chaffetz has one job...
posted by Oyéah at 8:19 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


The three-letter agencies are all out of evens with Flynn and his gang:
On Friday, one of Flynn’s closest deputies on the National Security Council, senior director for Africa Robin Townley, was informed that the Central Intelligence Agency had rejected his request for an elite security clearance required for service on the NSC, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation...

One of the sources said that the rejection was approved by Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo and that it infuriated Flynn and his allies.

Both sources said that the CIA did not offer much explanation for why Townley’s request for so-called “Sensitive Compartmented Information” clearance was rejected. But the sources said that Flynn and his allies believe it was motivated by Townley’s skepticism of the intelligence community’s techniques — sentiments shared by Flynn.
They're going to freeze him out and fuck him over till he's gone.
posted by holgate at 8:24 PM on February 10 [44 favorites]


I thought the Graun's cartoonists had a lock on the prizes, but Steve Brodner's "President Carnage in Charge" swept in and took them all.
posted by holgate at 8:27 PM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Ugh. Higbie cited the Japanese internment as a precedent for a Muslim register. He's also a former Navy SEAL, so expect more "you can't question him because he's a hero" bullshit the GOP does with any Navy SEAL stroke-fest. I've long thought that Hollywood enabled too much "infallible demigod" mythology building regarding SEALs in things like American Sniper, Lone Survivor, Captain Philips, etc. Policy wonks they are not.

Y'know, I've been thinking lately, as much as Republicans like to wrap themselves in the flag, progressives should start using Captain America's shield as a symbol in marches and protests. Cap's no less genuine American mythology than Uncle Sam, stands for the best in us, has a strong liberal history, symbolizes protection, and, oh yeah, defeated a secret anti-American empire led by a traitorous thinly-veiled President Nixon.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:33 PM on February 10 [32 favorites]


What's more, a whole bunch of people would love to show up to rallies in Captain America costumes.
posted by Coventry at 8:35 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


I want to offer an alternative.

1940s Superman.

Truth.

Justice.

And the American Way.
posted by MrVisible at 8:37 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


(Because the modern no-code-of-ethics, petty, vengeful, murderous Man of Steel is no Superman.)
posted by MrVisible at 8:38 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Oh Supes too, definitely.

Can you imagine a crowd of people of all races, genders, ages, religions and creeds bearing makeshift Cap shields though? Chills.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:40 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]




I hope Trudeau' handshake shows trump who's more physically fit in a visceral, highly camera friendly way.
posted by Yowser at 8:45 PM on February 10 [21 favorites]


remember when the press wouldn't shut up about bill clinton's weight and mcdonald's habit?
remember when they made a big deal about reagan's weightlifting routine to show that he was taking care of himself?

somehow donald gets a pass though…


Right at the moment Trump and his administration are presenting so many different and constantly shifting targets at the press, as well as making them a target, that I think they're straining just to cover 50% of what is happening. I give them a bit of a pass for not talking about Trump's physique and sack-like suits right at the moment.

I do wonder what percentage of the NY Times and the Washington Post's resources are now just dedicated to basic coverage of Washington madness, and what the shift is from the Obama years.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 8:48 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I hope Angela Merkel is doing grip exercises so she can break his hand some day. He'd try so hard to not show the pain so he wouldn't be humiliated. He'd fail.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:48 PM on February 10 [37 favorites]


Ug