We Are Only One Menstrual Cycle in and There Is Blood in the Water
February 16, 2017 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Here we go. Good afternoon, everyone. As you just saw, the President was honored to host a press conference just a short time ago.

Under President Trump, the White House Press Corp will return to its original, core mission: to be a propaganda arm of the administration to ensure that the president's facts are distributed fairly and impartially for all Americans. President Trump is a world-class legal mind and experienced businessman, and the President is not pleased to see that leakers have finally put the press in their place as our nation’s top administrative disseminators.

After the President's press conference, the President intends to sign up to ten bills advanced using The Congressional Review Act and these bills are dedicated to ensuring coal companies can bring jobs back to our communities, reducing wolf attacks in Wyoming, and stopping hunters from being exposed to the occupational hazards of having to shoot animals in forests instead of from planes and helicopters.
posted by Talez (2410 comments total) 119 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's gonna be awesome when the coal companies pollute our air, soil, and water and the jobs still don't come back.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:03 PM on February 16 [44 favorites]


...So 53 hours and 14 minutes between new threads. I think may be a new record.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 1:03 PM on February 16 [28 favorites]


...and an amazing title.
posted by azpenguin at 1:04 PM on February 16 [71 favorites]


...So 53 hours and 14 minutes between new threads. I think may be a new record.

Things move fast this side of Poe's Singularity.
posted by nubs at 1:04 PM on February 16 [23 favorites]




Thank you for the new thread!
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 1:05 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


I had the first face to face meeting with my therapist since the election yesterday (I'd been trying to get an appointment since November). As she usually does, at the start of the session, she asked me what I hoped to leave the session with. She's very oriented towards finding tools to help me cope with shit.

Anyhow, I told her that since the election, I've been unable to stay focused at work because Trump is a nightmare person. She said that she's heard that from a ton of her patients. She's never seen anything like it and she says other therapists she knows are reporting the same thing.

I wanted to leave with some tools to help me retain focus and get some work done. I am sharing her advice with all of you in the hopes it does some good. Keep in mind, of course, that my therapist knows me pretty well and is good at identify stuff that works for me. Your mileage may vary like crazy.

First, I'm paraphrasing here and am maybe not remembering the exact words she used, she asked me to look at my activities from a perspective of pleasure and function. I'm to rate them from 1 to 10. An activity that gives me no pleasure and has no function is not healthy for me. For example, I would rate playing WoW like at a 9 on my pleasure scale right now (and probably like a 3 on function) and would rate reading about Betsy Devos and the actions I can take to oppose her as a 2 on the pleasure scale but like a 9 on function (since I can do something about it). I derive some satisfaction from both these activities.

But reading Trump's Nordstrom tweet? 0 on pleasure, 0 on function. It just makes me a shrieking ball of electric rage.

So, the trick becomes trying to recognize when I can take action about something that makes me mad ("Call Senator Schatz's office and speak to the nice people in his office") and when its just making me mad.

When I recognize the latter, I'm supposed to do something to keep myself from reaching supernova intensity before I become useless with rage and sorrow. She had me make a list of about 9 things I can do when I start getting really worked up (for example, I like walking, so I can go for a short walk). During the press conference, I probably added 2000 steps to my count for the day and really did feel quite a bit better.

So, in summary, when you find yourself getting impotently angry at the Trumpublicans, find something you can do that gives you some satisfaction before you get incoherently angry. I mean, I'm still angry, but I'm more focused and have been getting more work done today - and have thought more about how I can fight this insanity than normal.

Hope this is of some use to some of you.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:05 PM on February 16 [435 favorites]


I apologize for having to post it but there's a one week delay on new accounts making threads and Definitely Not Sean Spicer just wasn't ready for the task. Much like his real life alter ego.
posted by Talez at 1:05 PM on February 16 [32 favorites]


Bizarre title, but thanks for the new thread.
posted by agregoli at 1:06 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I said this in the other thread, but I'll say it here too.

Remember to be kind to one another in this thread.
posted by INFJ at 1:06 PM on February 16 [47 favorites]


i like how each old thread links to the new one at the end, joining them all together just like a Human Centipede
posted by Greg Nog at 1:07 PM on February 16 [118 favorites]


Bizarre title, but thanks for the new thread.

It's a homage to Sam Bee's latest episode.
posted by Talez at 1:07 PM on February 16 [18 favorites]


"reducing wolf attacks in Wyoming"

So this is a priority. The last wolf attack in Wyoming was in 1908.

This is what happens when angry grandpa who shouts at the TV all day in his bathrobe becomes president.
posted by Kattullus at 1:08 PM on February 16 [148 favorites]


find something you can do that gives you some satisfaction before you get incoherently angry

i keep trying to hug the yard cats but they just hiss angrily at me when they realize i do not have any chicken wings for them
posted by poffin boffin at 1:08 PM on February 16 [67 favorites]


> It's gonna be awesome when the coal companies pollute our air, soil, and water and the jobs still don't come back.

that's because we aren't polluting them enough, you dirty socialist.
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 1:08 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


I don't think I'm willing to watch the press conference. Does he blurt out, "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" at any point?
posted by ckape at 1:09 PM on February 16 [19 favorites]


I am proposing to Peter Alexander of NBC News. He's my new crush. ♥♥♥♥
“Why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive as being fake when you’re providing information that’s fake?” Alexander pressed. ♥♥♥
posted by pjsky at 1:09 PM on February 16 [82 favorites]


i like how each old thread links to the new one at the end, joining them all together just like a Human Centipede

I think of it as a less fun Genital Jousting.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:10 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I want to weep but I have no tears.
posted by tommasz at 1:10 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


I can't even!
posted by pangolin party at 1:10 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


This is what happens when angry grandpa who shouts at the TV all day in his bathrobe becomes president.

I had a nuclear warhead tied to my belt, which was the style at the time,
posted by Greg Nog at 1:11 PM on February 16 [153 favorites]


Imagine Obama watching that
posted by thelonius at 1:11 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


DOUBLE
posted by lalochezia at 1:12 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Imagine Obama watching that

Imagine Obama giving a press conference like that...
posted by Talez at 1:12 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


He was batshit crazy. Like, you cannot believe that someone would get up there and say such batshit crazy things.

It worked when you were trying to fool the dipshits. Guess what, everyone else is paying attention now. You have to eventually admit that you're not perfect...but I don't think you can. Hubris will hang you, old man, and soon.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:12 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


Does he blurt out, "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" at any point?

No, that would be challenging phrasing and allusion for a significant fraction of his base.
posted by Coventry at 1:12 PM on February 16 [58 favorites]


I've barely been able to get through clips. I salute anyone who could watch the whole thing.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:12 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Imagine Obama watching that

Miss me yet?
posted by dhens at 1:12 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Cavuto on Fox News is desperately trying to identify positives that he can say are being ignored so that he can criticise the media's "lack of balance". One of which was the $7bn Intel investment, announced under Obama...

He also scrabbled around trying to explain Trump's "biggest electoral college victory since Reagan" by saying that he meant "biggest electoral college victory for a Republican". Oh, and that he made an honest mistake ("out by 4 years") as he should have said George Bush Sr.

Now when a commentator raised problems with what he said about Elijah Cummings and so on, Cavuto jumped in to change the subject and focus on the positives. My god, this is horrifying.

Ahhh, last thing, they're now saying that if the Intel announcement and so on had been announced under Obama the media would have been all over it. Argh!
posted by knapah at 1:13 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


Imagine what he's going through mentally. For decades, he lived as he wished, with scores of people around him confirming his genius and value to the planet. Suddenly, he's dealing with constant turmoil, uncertainty and antagonism. He can't be coping well.
posted by davebush at 1:14 PM on February 16 [79 favorites]


i like how each old thread links to the new one at the end, joining them all together just like a Human Centipede

At the end of all this (assuming there's an end we get to see), I'm going to be kinda tempted to dump them all into a giant PDF book called Metafilter: Posts from the Edge - The 2016 Election and Aftermath
posted by nubs at 1:14 PM on February 16 [76 favorites]


This is what happen when angry grandpa who shouts at the TV all day in his bathrobe becomes president.

But, contrary to fake news from lying media, Sean Spicer has explicitly stated Trump "definitely doesn't own {a bathrobe}". Now, who are you going to believe, the White House Press Secretary or your lying eyes?
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:14 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


> Imagine Obama watching that

What about Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and those dudes? What do you think they're thinking and doing when this shit happens? I mean, I get that Trump is just their useful idiot, but on the other hand I'm sure they probably prefer being alive to dead, and you can't starve any grannies if they're all dead, too.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:15 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


I'm available to serve on the inevitable truth and reconciliation commission.
posted by shothotbot at 1:15 PM on February 16 [28 favorites]


Unhinged, but the most consistent and focused kind of unhinged, believe me:

"One person close to Trump said [his press conference] showed an 'unusually long' attention span they hadn't seen often in the White House." [Politico]
posted by AndrewInDC at 1:16 PM on February 16 [39 favorites]


I am both fascinated and horrified by his repetitiveness:
As far as the new order, the new order is going to be very much tailored to the what I consider to be a very bad decision. But we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways, more. But we’re tailoring it now to the decision, we have some of the best lawyers in the country working on it. And the new executive order, is being tailored to the decision we got down from the court. OK?
Ummm, no. Not OK. WTF ARE U TALKING ABOUT?
posted by zakur at 1:17 PM on February 16 [45 favorites]


Telling the Jewish reporter who was asking a question about the recent rise of anti-Semitism to sit down was an especially charming touch.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:17 PM on February 16 [111 favorites]


No, that would be challenging phrasing and allusion for a significant fraction of his base.

"Look... people... I have works! Great works. They're the best works. Mighty mighty works. I'm telling you, people. Totally. I mean, you should be so sad!"
posted by knapah at 1:17 PM on February 16 [102 favorites]


I wonder how much you'd have to pay Russia to stencil the tips of their ICBMs with BUT HER EMAILS
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:17 PM on February 16 [117 favorites]


What do you think they're thinking and doing when this shit happens?

"Shit I hope he doesn't break his fingers or stroke out and forget how to sign the chicken scratch he calls a signature."
posted by Talez at 1:17 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


In an odd twist of events he's now moderately down on Russia leaving Actual Literal Nazis as the only people he will never complain about.
posted by Artw at 1:18 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


Anyhow, I told her that since the election, I've been unable to stay focused at work because Trump is a nightmare person. She said that she's heard that from a ton of her patients.

My therapist and psychiatrist both agree that my crippling anxiety and depression are thoroughly justified and rational.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:18 PM on February 16 [87 favorites]


Today's presser was fantastic cover to call my Congress Critters to support impeachment or removal from office by means of the 25th amendment.

Key phrases:

* Unhinged, irresponsible rhetoric shows him completely unfit to serve
* Clear and present danger not just to the country but to humanity itself
* Likely committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors
* Likely to have given Aid and Comfort to a hostile nation that interfered in our election

oh god i wish these points were hyperbole
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 1:18 PM on February 16 [124 favorites]


Ummm, no. Not OK. WTF ARE U TALKING ABOUT?

he's probably having a bespoke bathrobe made later today
posted by poffin boffin at 1:18 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


My therapist and psychiatrist both agree that my crippling anxiety and depression are thoroughly justified and rational.

Yeah, she said just about exactly that to me too.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:19 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


The next idiot who claims Trump is not a malignant narcissist needs to watch the replay of that anti-semitism question and answer 100 times.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:20 PM on February 16 [77 favorites]


It worked when you were trying to fool the dipshits. Guess what, everyone else is paying attention now. You have to eventually admit that you're not perfect...but I don't think you can. Hubris will hang you, old man, and soon.

Dunno. If I learned anything from the Rob Ford years, it's that the crazy shit not only doesn't matter to his supporters, it actually probably helps. Being under constant attack is a feature, not a bug.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:20 PM on February 16 [29 favorites]


While failing president Trump tries to call out Chicago in his conference, this is what we're actually doing - marching for immigrants (#chistrikesback).

I teach high school, and couldn't march today, but my fellow teachers were talking in the break room about how we as a school and a union can support future actions like the women's strike. Our student science and medical clubs are trying to organize teach ins around the science march. Some of my students self published a "Nasty Woman" 'zine the week before the women's march (and donated proceeds to PP). We have a DREAMers club, and we're organizing info sessions for our undocumented students. And this is at just one school. These kids give me so much damn hope for the future.
posted by Wulfhere at 1:20 PM on February 16 [94 favorites]


A long-time internet friend and associate of mine died yesterday, and I've been pleased -- well, not "pleased" -- impressed maybe? Impressed by the number of people who've said he had a positive impact on their lives. Which feeds back to my daily check on myself as I know I have a nasty streak that comes out when I'm frustrated or anxious: "Was that thing you did something that would increase the number of people who genuinely will miss you when you die?"

I feel sorry for Donald Trump in a way, knowing that his great-grandchildren are going to be embarrassed about his memory, not sad that he's gone. Granting that they'll be regular people and not sociopaths, which I realize may not be a sure thing given his pernicious influence.
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:20 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


Just for fun, I went back to Obama's first press conference in 2009. Here are our two most recent Presidents talking about the auto industry and jobs; see if you can figure out who said what:
A new Rasmussen poll, in fact — because the people get it — much of the media doesn’t get it. They actually get it, but they don’t write it. Let’s put it that way. But a new Rasmussen poll just came out just a very short while ago, and it has our approval rating at 55 percent and going up. The stock market has hit record numbers, as you know. And there has been a tremendous surge of optimism in the business world, which is — to me means something much different than it used to. It used to mean, “Oh, that’s good.” Now it means, “That’s good for jobs.” Very different. Plants and factories are already starting to move back into the United States, and big league — Ford, General Motors, so many of them. I’m making this presentation directly to the American people, with the media present, which is an honor to have you. This morning, because many of our nation’s reporters and folks will not tell you the truth, and will not treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect that they deserve. And I hope going forward we can be a little bit — a little bit different, and maybe get along a little bit better, if that’s possible. Maybe it’s not, and that’s OK, too.
or
The news coming out of the auto industry this week reminds us of the hardship it faces, hardship that goes far beyond individual auto companies to the countless suppliers, small businesses and communities throughout our nation who depend on a vibrant American auto industry. The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I would like to see the administration do everything it can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted. In addition, I have made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States of America.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:21 PM on February 16 [160 favorites]


Just watching those clips gave me intense flashbacks to my mom's ex-husband. I feel shaken and sad.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:21 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


> As far as the new order, the new order is going to be very much tailored to the what I consider to be a very bad decision. But we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways, more. But we’re tailoring it now to the decision, we have some of the best lawyers in the country working on it. And the new executive order, is being tailored to the decision we got down from the court. OK?

I hope whichever tailor he's going to is a spy taking his measurements and information, and then smuggling it to the resistance.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:21 PM on February 16 [24 favorites]


So last night I went to this panel discussion with Susanne Craig, David Farenthold and Daniel Dale.

Susanne Craig said something in particular that was really interesting and deeply unnerving.

She was telling the story of how, when she was investigating Trump's fleet of private planes, she called the FAA to look into their registration, and that's the point at which the FAA revoked the registration of one of them, so she was responsible for that happening. But that's where the story gets interesting because she sought comment from Trump on the story, and he called her back - three times in one afternoon - to keep talking about it. She assumed he was going to go off on her (because she was actually responsible for the plane he was actually supposed to be in at that very moment being grounded - he was in a helicopter instead), but he seemed to realize that any press was good press and consequently was pretty civil. She suggested it was almost a calculated willingness to engage, and that he knows EXACTLY what he's doing. She was heavily implying that the shitstorms and the mayhem are by design.

She went on to say something like (and this is paraphrase) that regardless of where you stand on certain issues, there's huge financial and deregulation moves coming down the pipe that will have a massive impact, and that the theatrics might be a dangerous distraction from what's going to shake out at a policy and regulatory level. She went on to say, of course, that it's their jobs as investigative journalists to document exactly what's going on so the public knows about it.

So now my blood runs even colder when something like today's press conference goes down.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:22 PM on February 16 [116 favorites]


It was all terrible and the way he spoke to people was disgusting, but I felt especially nauseous with his exchange with April Ryan (who's black) about meeting with the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus). Ryan asked why he hadn't met with them, and this happened:

“Do you want to set up the meeting?” he asked repeatedly.

“No, no, no; I’m just a reporter,” she said.

“Are they friends of yours?” he pressed.

Because, y'know, she's BLACK.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 1:22 PM on February 16 [73 favorites]


I also give my heartiest thanks to those who liveblog the press conferences and similar. I'm at work, training some new credit analysts in two hour sessions where I can't look at my phone at all, and it's terrifying to come back and see "503 new comments" and just think OH FUCK WHAT NOW. I appreciate being able to read a recap here.

But seriously I'm out of favorites and evens and it's only lunch omg
posted by skycrashesdown at 1:23 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


I hope whichever tailor he's going to is a spy taking his measurements and information, and then smuggling it to the resistance.

Then we just have to tinker with the soldier.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 1:23 PM on February 16 [29 favorites]


If I learned anything from the Rob Ford years

WILL SOMEONE PLEASE SMOKE CRACK WITH THE PRESIDENT ALREADY?
posted by murphy slaw at 1:23 PM on February 16 [49 favorites]


The President, commenting on his own performance while signing the "pollute streams with coal waste" bill: "We had an exciting news conference before and some people loved it...nobody hated it"

First, I'd like it to be clear for posterity that I, in fact, hated it.

Second, you know he must have gone back and watched all the TV networks talking about him the instant he finished.
posted by zachlipton at 1:23 PM on February 16 [41 favorites]


I was behind a vehicle this afternoon with multiple Trump stickers, just after the presser ended. The one thing I can say for the guy is, he used turn signals. Anyway: one was TRUMP: Like your gun? You can keep it! And that's the level some voters, many voters are on - they really believe that Hilary (not Obama anymore) was going to try to confiscate their guns.

Gun folks: YOU WON. The NRA has Congress locked up. The Democrats don't even ring the changes on gun control, hardly, anymore, in campaign speeches. But you believe any huckster who tells you, that's because they have a secret plan to confiscate guns. You're getting played!
posted by thelonius at 1:24 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


At the end of all this (assuming there's an end we get to see), I'm going to be kinda tempted to dump them all into a giant PDF book called Metafilter: Posts from the Edge - The 2016 Election and Aftermath

Proceed at your own risk.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:24 PM on February 16 [17 favorites]


"One person close to Trump said [his press conference] showed an 'unusually long' attention span they hadn't seen often in the White House." [Politico]

In other words, as bad as this was, he's usually worse.

Ok, fine I'm ready to get on the 25th Amendment train now.

Imagine what he's going through mentally. For decades, he lived as he wished, with scores of people around him confirming his genius and value to the planet. Suddenly, he's dealing with constant turmoil, uncertainty and antagonism. He can't be coping well.

If I can find any way to make him cope even worse, I will.

Because, y'know, she's BLACK.

I'm pretty sure he also doesn't know what a caucus is, so he thinks the Congressional Black Caucus is a lobbying group or something.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:24 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES.

RUIN THEIR PHONE LINES.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:25 PM on February 16 [33 favorites]


Suddenly, he's dealing with constant turmoil, uncertainty and antagonism. He can't be coping well.

I think today's press conference reflects that. I suspect it was a reaction to all the hostile press he's been getting, especially the new Time magazine cover.
posted by Coventry at 1:26 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


She assumed he was going to go off on her (because she was actually responsible for the plane he was actually supposed to be in at that very moment being grounded - he was in a helicopter instead), but he seemed to realize that any press was good press and consequently was pretty civil. She suggested it was almost a calculated willingness to engage, and that he knows EXACTLY what he's doing. She was heavily implying that the shitstorms and the mayhem are by design.

Possibility 1: Donald Trump is the most brilliant and talented actor of our generation
Possibility 2: Donald Trump is so out of it he had no idea why his plane was grounded or who was responsible
posted by theodolite at 1:26 PM on February 16 [76 favorites]


He is a howling void. do not analyze his mind, do not analyze his tactics, do not second-guess his behavior. Now is not the time for analysis. Now is the time for action.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:26 PM on February 16 [119 favorites]


"We had an exciting news conference before and some people loved it...nobody hated it"

I loved it because I believe it portends paralysis and inefficacy. Also, it was very, very funny.
posted by Coventry at 1:27 PM on February 16


I read it somewhere that the clothes have no emperor.

If it wasn't here, then here it is.

The Republican Congress has discovered routes around the 1st amendment and legislative balance. I guess we're in for a ride, eh?

Go ahead and call me a sore loser.
posted by mule98J at 1:28 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I"m scared, y'all.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:28 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Given that he insisted he was "Having a Great Time" but that the media would say he was "Ranting and Raving" but he wasn't, he was having a great time perhaps the headline of the papers tomorrow should be:

"Trump doesn't Rant and Rave at press conference"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:28 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Here's an annotated transcript of the conference by NPR, and here's a shorter series of pullquotes from Vox to summarize some of the, uh, 'highlights.'

Here is a dramatic recreation of journalists trying to pick a headline from this conference.
posted by flatluigi at 1:28 PM on February 16 [36 favorites]




Second, you know he must have gone back and watched all the TV networks talking about him the instant he finished.

The instant he finished? He's been caught watching them while he was on them.
posted by Etrigan at 1:29 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


I made the mistake of at a recent therapy session of going on about Sylvia Plath recently (not for any death reasons, but because somebody close to me knows like the names of the languages spoken by people at Ur and shit like that but he did not know Sylvia Plath and I got quite annoyed at my non-Sylvia-Plath knowing someone for these weird lacunae of ignorance he has.

So now my shrink is from time to time bringing up Sylvia Plath in his *let's see if there's something to be concerned about* voice. I'm like, naw man, although I understand especially the appeal of death right now, and my shrink sort of goes in again, like, *are you doing that stupid thing where you make jokes about suicide or is this real* and the sort of unspoken thing is *boy I can relate*

Actually, I made a joke about the peace of the grave at a session recently and my shrink just started laughing his head off. Hmm. Now I'm worried about him.
posted by angrycat at 1:29 PM on February 16 [28 favorites]


It's understandable that Trump is confused about who might be in the "Congressional Black Caucus". Caucasians are from the Caucuses, so what the heck are black people doing in there? Makes no sense.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:29 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


I am both fascinated and horrified by his repetitiveness

There's a reason why those who've experienced dementia up close develop a sensitivity towards declining vocabulary.
posted by holgate at 1:30 PM on February 16 [43 favorites]


like should i even bother doing my taxes this year or will we all be dead by april 15th anyway

what if i just lay on the floor eating cheese instead
posted by poffin boffin at 1:31 PM on February 16 [131 favorites]


I suspect it was a reaction to all the hostile press he's been getting, especially the new Time magazine cover.

Totally blown opportunity to hide a little piece of scotch tape behind that tie.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:31 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Presser TLDNR: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:31 PM on February 16 [39 favorites]


Smart people don't pay taxes.
posted by Mchelly at 1:31 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


what if i just lay on the floor eating cheese instead

CHEESE! C'mon, chocolate! Focus now, we don't have much time left.
posted by msalt at 1:33 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


She was heavily implying that the shitstorms and the mayhem are by design.

That's what I've been coming to believe on my own. The man is an unfocused shitgibbon and a dangerously ignorant bully and narcissist, but it's a calculated risk for him to let loose like today. His approval rates keep going down, but he's willing to take that risk because it certainly whips up his base.
posted by maudlin at 1:33 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


i have seriously considered setting my federal withholding to zero because i figure that funding for IRS enforcement will be one of the first things to go?
posted by murphy slaw at 1:33 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


cheese will kill me faster than chocolate
posted by poffin boffin at 1:34 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


what if i just lay on the floor eating cheese instead

I personally recommend purchasing a large slice of sushi-grade hamachi from a local upscale fishmonger and eating as much sashimi as you can manage. If there's one thing I don't want, it's to be vaporized in a nuclear holocaust without having eaten enough sushi. I think, in fact, that I will go out for sushi this weekend, and maybe every day from then until Trump is impeached or we all die.

Seriously, I am torn between "OMG I will lose my job and die in the street" and "OMG, society is going to implode, better eat nice things now".
posted by Frowner at 1:36 PM on February 16 [104 favorites]



Seriously, I am torn between "OMG I will lose my job and die in the street" and "OMG, society is going to implode, better eat nice things now".


whynotboth.jpg
posted by lalochezia at 1:36 PM on February 16 [39 favorites]


>like should i even bother doing my taxes this year or will we all be dead by april 15th anyway

what if i just lay on the floor eating cheese instead


You should do your taxes if you are getting money back from the federal government. If you instead have to pay money to the federal government, don't do 'em.

also change your withholdings for next year. Keep all your money and then don't pay on April 15th, 2018, if there is an April 15th, 2018.

and please do lay on the floor eating cheese. cheese tastes good. and the floor is a comfortable place to be right now.

lord. it is so disturbing how well-adapted my severe anxiety and depression are for this present moment. For people without anxiety and depression: the way you feel right now is the way we always feel.

yeah I know.

but it's possible to muddle through despite it all.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:36 PM on February 16 [73 favorites]


it's a calculated risk for him to let loose like today. His approval rates keep going down, but he's willing to take that risk because it certainly whips up his base.

I do think he may end up distracting people from more important things than this presser.
posted by Coventry at 1:36 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


This continues to feel like the meanest joke in the history of the world.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:37 PM on February 16 [38 favorites]


i have seriously considered setting my federal withholding to zero because i figure that funding for IRS enforcement will be one of the first things to go?

The only problem with your scheme is that you are (presumably) not yet organizing all your friends and family to do the same. Tax revolt now.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:37 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


OK, just need to share this here because while not directly related to Trump it was part of me realizing how horribly toxic my media intake can be for my mental health; there's been an absolutely horrific murder trial underway in my city for the past month (I'm not going to link to it because I think people have enough shit in their lives), and coverage of it combined with the Trump crazy train has been difficult at times.

Today the jury came back with a guilty verdict. It's an immense relief to have one of those over. But please, people, if it's getting too much, step away from the TV and the Twitter and the threads for a time.
posted by nubs at 1:38 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


it's a calculated risk for him to let loose like today. His approval rates keep going down, but he's willing to take that risk because it certainly whips up his base.

I know it feels like it's tanking but that's because his approval rate with Democrats can't really go any lower. His approval among Republicans is in the region of 80-something percent.

He's not universally disliked, hyper partisanism is just distorting the view and Democrats moderately outnumber Republicans.
posted by Talez at 1:39 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Does stress speed up dementia
posted by rabidsegue at 1:39 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


So I guess sometime tonight or tomorrow morning would be a good time for the Trump Administration to make an unavoidable but controversial announcement which they want the nation to mostly ignore.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:40 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Here is a dramatic recreation of journalists trying to pick a headline from this conference.

I think "Shitgibbon flings poo" is probably a good all-purpose choice.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:40 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


>I don't think I'm willing to watch the press conference.

Someone made an edit of the highlights.
posted by edeezy at 1:41 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


Trump: I think we’re setting a record or close to a record in the time of approval of a cabinet. I mean, the numbers are crazy. When I’m looking, some of them had them approved immediately.

Trump Has Fewest Cabinet Secretaries Confirmed Since George Washington
posted by zakur at 1:41 PM on February 16 [40 favorites]


"Trump shits actual gibbon."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:41 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


I just tried to read the transcript of the press conference and couldn't make it through. For work I read books that have been translated into English, and write short reports for the editors on how good of a job the translator did.

If any translator submitted a book that included "I am talking — and really talking on this very entrenched power structure, and what we’re doing is we’re talking about the power structure; we’re talking about its entrenchment. As a result, the media is going through what they have to go through too often times distort - not all the time - and some of the media is fantastic, I have to say - they’re honest and fantastic" as text, I would advise not publishing the work at all, that it was unsalvageable.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:41 PM on February 16 [67 favorites]


So I guess sometime tonight or tomorrow morning would be a good time for the Trump Administration to make an unavoidable but controversial announcement which they want the nation to mostly ignore.

my takeaway is that someone has a videotape of Acosta eating a live baby?
posted by murphy slaw at 1:41 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Washington's cabinet was four people.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:43 PM on February 16 [35 favorites]


Hubris will hang you, old man, and soon.

Is that still a thing? Because I would watch that.
posted by bongo_x at 1:43 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


if it's getting too much, step away from the TV and the Twitter and the threads for a time.

If I make any further comments in a 'potus45' thread over the next 6 months which aren't directly related to furthering political protest in some specific way, feel free to ruthlessly give me shit about it. It's been fun, but it's time I broke the cycle.
posted by Coventry at 1:43 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


> His approval among Republicans is in the region of 80-something percent.

This right here is why the U.S. is fucked even if Trump resigns tonight.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:43 PM on February 16 [89 favorites]


Apparently, DJT's people sent out an email blast with a link to a survey on "Media Accountability". I'm like 90% sure it's only being passed around to gather more email addresses, but it'd just be a damned shame if an online poll went un-fucked-with.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:44 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]




Rep. Gutierrez did some press after he and the rest of the Hispanic Caucus was asked by Paul Ryan's staff to leave the ICE meeting.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:45 PM on February 16 [31 favorites]


Are any conservatives paying attention, though? I mean voters. I would not want to parse the dark mental depths of those in Congress, but am I right in assuming most Trump voters are not paying any attention other than "woot! he's showin' 'em!" and going about their lives?

In the midst of the resignation scandal and questions about Russia, my local Fox station (which is generally fairly neutral) had a long story about a woman who got arrested for voting illegally five times (I think because she was undocumented). And I thought, that's probably what Trump voters are thinking about right now, not any of the horrors we are discussing here.
posted by emjaybee at 1:45 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


Is it sad that when I thought about, you know, if we are all going to die soon, what should I do? And the answer was basically that I need to do another Yuri on Ice rewatch and I need to stop at the Japanese place that actually serves katsudon.

It's the little things, I guess.

But I'm also going to be taking advantage of the good weather to step up from walking to starting the Couch to 5k again. I'm not really interested in trying to survive an apocalypse, but I should be doing what I can to make sure I can survive the many hardships that could fall short of that.
posted by Sequence at 1:46 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


Republicans are a lost cause. But Democrats + Independents way outnumber Republicans.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:47 PM on February 16 [25 favorites]


Are any conservatives paying attention, though? I mean voters. I would not want to parse the dark mental depths of those in Congress, but am I right in assuming most Trump voters are not paying any attention other than "woot! he's showin' 'em!" and going about their lives?

Pretty much. When everyone is fucking you, even the guy who said he wouldn't fuck you, at least liberal tears are still delicious.
posted by Talez at 1:47 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Yeah I'm thinking about putting in my garden, it's already spring here pretty much. Seems sort of pointless but why not have some pointless beauty in your life?
posted by emjaybee at 1:47 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Republicans are a lost cause. But Democrats + Independents way outnumber Republicans.

a) When they show up.
b) When they're in the right state.
posted by Talez at 1:48 PM on February 16 [30 favorites]


I missed the entire press conference, too busy submitting questions into the bland, pointless void of Pat Toomey's Stealth Telephone Town Hall.

Catching up on the national shitshow that happened during my local shitshow has not been fun. On the plus side, i came home to find the postcards I printed up from soren_lorenson's templates have arrived, so I can begin sending them out to my representatives in copious quantities. I'm excited. Or possibly infuriated. Maybe both.
posted by Stacey at 1:48 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


rabidsegue: "Does stress speed up dementia"

I don't think it speeds up the process but it makes it more clearly evident. The person with dementia has much a slower cognitive speed and can't ingest and process new information quickly so fast-moving stressful situations will easily overwhelm their ability to cope. I watched with happen with my mother as she suffered from the effects of vascular dementia. Watching Trump is giving me some real flashbacks.
posted by octothorpe at 1:48 PM on February 16 [19 favorites]


c) when they don't split the vote to nonsense candidates
posted by Justinian at 1:49 PM on February 16 [31 favorites]


Charlie Pierce: The Founders Never Imagined This
By the end of Thursday's press conference, at which the president*'s trolley left the tracks far behind, Jake Tapper of CNN was saying that he'd gotten a text from a "Republican senator" who'd observed that what the president was evincing was behavior best left to a psychiatric clinic with very soft walls. Of course, this senator remains anonymous because, contrary to Hamilton's giddy optimism, they have no interest in taking the wheel from Toonces the Driving Cat until they get their tax cuts and their deregulation and their privatization and, if the car goes plunging off the cliff altogether, it's a small price to pay.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:50 PM on February 16 [96 favorites]


how can we make him more stressed
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:50 PM on February 16 [23 favorites]


She was heavily implying that the shitstorms and the mayhem are by design.

I don't agree. I think that could have previously be the case, because he historically has been very good at -- and only good at -- self-promotion. I think we're in a different place now. The campaign, and now the presidency, have opened him up to a lot of criticism and ridicule that he's never had to face at this level. He's always been able to bully his way through a situation, and he's learning that it doesn't work in this context. And it's driving him crazy.

I don't think he's the Hey, look over there *whistles nonchalantly* guy. I think he's the losing at Monopoly so he flips the table guy who is so incensed at losing that he then berates and belittles the people he was playing with for a full 70 minutes, ranting unceasingly about how he won the game last time in the greatest Monopoly victory EVER, and he would have won this time if you hadn't rigged the game so he kept getting cards like Baltic Avenue -- like, he drew ALL Baltic Avenue cards for the ENTIRE game and he TOTALLY would have won otherwise -- then going on to tell you that you're a loser because everyone ALWAYS loves playing Monopoly with him because he's the most lovable Monopoly player to ever play and also he always wins. Bigly.

I don't think this is calculation. I think this is absolutely a person who is losing his mind, operates under a completely delusional reality, and can't be convinced that his reality isn't real. It would be sad if it wasn't so fucking scary.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:50 PM on February 16 [127 favorites]


Washington Post has this on Flynn: Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador
posted by Brainy at 1:51 PM on February 16 [33 favorites]


There's a reason why those who've experienced dementia up close develop a sensitivity towards declining vocabulary.
posted by holgate at 4:30 PM


See also: a comparison of George W Bush over 10 years.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:51 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]




Washington Post has this on Flynn: Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador

Lock him up?
posted by dis_integration at 1:52 PM on February 16 [27 favorites]


From the Washington Post article: The Jan. 24 interview potentially puts Flynn in legal jeopardy, as lying to FBI is a felony, but any decision to prosecute would ultimately lie with the Justice Department. Some officials said bringing a case could prove difficult in part because Flynn may attempt to parse the definition of sanctions.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:53 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Yeah I'm thinking about putting in my garden, it's already spring here pretty much. Seems sort of pointless but why not have some pointless beauty in your life?

we are all candide now
posted by murphy slaw at 1:53 PM on February 16 [33 favorites]


Washington Post has this on Flynn: Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador

18 U.S.C. SECTION 1001
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
YOU DON'T FUCKING LIE TO THE FBI EVER. Either he was a fucking moron for not listening to his lawyer or his lawyer was a complete fucking moron.
posted by Talez at 1:54 PM on February 16 [36 favorites]


Had to subscribe to the Washington Post. That's the 3rd paper I've subscribed to. I gotta think papers are doing well right now.
posted by bongo_x at 1:55 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


Washington Post has this on Flynn: Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador.

Which would usually make him toast (and/or provide leverage to make him rat on others), in a non-Sessions Justice Department. Should be fun to see where this goes.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:55 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]




lord. it is so disturbing how well-adapted my severe anxiety and depression are for this present moment. For people without anxiety and depression: the way you feel right now is the way we always feel.

Yup. Treatment-resistant depression plus anxiety disorders here. Spent the last 20 years being a weird paranoid survivalist, always irrationally convinced that the nazis were going to come back and that technology would poison society and ranting about how it was all a goddamned illusion and that civilization was Wile E Coyote hanging in midair, legs spinning, waiting to look down. I was aware then that this was the product of illness, that it worsened my quality of life and reduced my prospects for the future. Now I actually feel a little ahead of the curve in being able to produce more calories than I need, having secure access to drinkable water, having the ability to patch together a fallout shelter, etc.

I'm not afraid of the thing coming, because the thing has come, even if we haven't fully felt it yet. Also my chronic suicidal ideation has disappeared, which is unexpected; I guess it's a sign of adaptation? Anyway welcome to my head, guys, and make yourselves at home. Bathroom's the 2nd door on the left and make sure to hold the handle down when you flush.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:55 PM on February 16 [101 favorites]


Apparently, DJT's people sent out an email blast with a link to a survey on "Media Accountability". I'm like 90% sure it's only being passed around to gather more email addresses, but it'd just be a damned shame if an online poll went un-fucked-with.

25. Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?

What does this really men? Are they asking if they should send out more surrogates? More "press conferences" in which he berates the press? Send Stephen Miller out to the Sunday morning shows to read a teleprompter?
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:56 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Just a reminder that if you have Amazon Prime, WaPo (digital edition) is free for the first six months. Just sign up!

(And then it's 50% off after that, but still a great deal. Thanks, Bezos.)
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:56 PM on February 16 [39 favorites]


So. Two points.
First, the eerie mix of strands of reality and total reality-defiance reminds me most of all of my poor old mom who died of cancer in December and for whom I had the honor to care during her last month in life. With this experience fresh in my mind, my question would be: is it the drugs or is it the candy, but don't tell me it's nothing.
Second, re. SNL; the best thing they could do is to start with a short blurb about how they were criticized for bad casting, bad acting etc. and that they are taking the criticism seriously. Then a guy in a suit, no Trump imitation at all, just walks up and reads selections from the transcript with all the side-tracks and concentration lapses until time is up. Nothing more would be needed.
Third, what the actual I can't even
posted by Namlit at 1:56 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


before you go out gardening plz report back on yr calls to yr representatives
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:56 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Bathroom's the 2nd door on the left and make sure to hold the handle down when you flush.

Thank god you put the toilet paper the right way on the spindle.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:57 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


If Donald Trump turns out to be some sort of criminal mastermind who is cunningly acting a role as part of his Master Plan, I will eat my laptop. The bad news is that if he's just an angry, mentally ill dude he still somehow bumblefucked his way into a job as President Of The United States. I'm honestly not sure which scenario I prefer.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:57 PM on February 16 [32 favorites]


Blistering Shep Smith segment on Fox News.

why has no one mounted a commando raid to bust shep smith out of fox headquarters

his immaculately manicured eyebrows are waggling S.O.S.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:58 PM on February 16 [18 favorites]


make the sound that is in your head come out of your mouth and then make some shithead republican staffer listen to it
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:58 PM on February 16 [17 favorites]


If Donald Trump turns out to be some sort of criminal mastermind who is cunningly acting a role as part of his Master Plan, I will eat my laptop.

Spoiler alert: Nobody Knows What They're Doing.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:59 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


Just a reminder that if you have Amazon Prime, WaPo is free for the first six months. Just sign up!

Cheers: done.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:59 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Imagine what he's going through mentally. For decades, he lived as he wished, with scores of people around him confirming his genius and value to the planet. Suddenly, he's dealing with constant turmoil, uncertainty and antagonism. He can't be coping well.

This is pretty much the only thing that's allowed me to sleep at night this month. I wouldn't wish the actions of a psychologically breaking Trump on anyone, but by God does the idea of him personally suffering for his actions sit well with me.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:59 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


yesterday I was hopeful, today it's blissful gallows humor, still hopeful, though.

Really weird since I spent most of Obama's years deeply depressed but I guess trump makes me so angry I am just enjoying life out of spite.
posted by Tarumba at 1:59 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


my representative is barbara lee and if i called her she would teach me some things about being progressive but she's having a town hall on saturday and i'm going just to throw roses at her feet
posted by murphy slaw at 2:00 PM on February 16 [52 favorites]


I officially can't keep up.
posted by diogenes at 2:00 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Shep Smith, dude, you can just say "lie." Doing a find-and-replace with "untrue thing" is awkward.
posted by soren_lorensen at 2:01 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


Does he blurt out, "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" at any point?

No, that would be challenging phrasing and allusion for a significant fraction of his base.



Ummm. And maybe him also?

He is not known to be a voracious reader of.....anything? Let alone poetry.
posted by notreally at 2:02 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


>Blistering Shep Smith segment on Fox News.

"He keeps telling untrue things."

He keeps telling _ _ _ _. Four letter word, starts with L, rhymes with ties. Telling what? Language can be used to amplify the truth, or to obscure it. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that even talking heads on Fox news can't completely ignore this, but let's use the right goddamn words.

On preview, what soren_lorensen said.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:03 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


I think journalists never say "lie" because that implies knowing intent, which you can't.
posted by Brainy at 2:05 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]



Welp I'm coping with this presser by playing with Trumpies on twitter. Not the most mature thing to do but whatever, I have a headache now and I'm grumpy.
posted by Jalliah at 2:05 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


I'm still kind of shocked that Trump came out and said that what he considers fake news is anything that isn't flattering towards him in every sense of the word. "The leaks are real but the news is fake" led to a digression on CNN and how what they report might be true but it's "mean and hurtful" and "biased" so it's """"fake.""""

It's exactly what everyone thought he meant, but you'd think he wouldn't have ever outright spelled it out like that.
posted by flatluigi at 2:06 PM on February 16 [34 favorites]


@hughlaurie Will there be a separate news conference for the verbs?
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:07 PM on February 16 [100 favorites]


murphy slaw, i will be there too! tiny oakland meetup??
posted by waitangi at 2:07 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


In ten years, the collective wisdom will be that no one saw that Trump's mental acuity was in serious decline until it was too late.

People of 2027, I implore you: We noticed. We tried.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:08 PM on February 16 [109 favorites]




Second, re. SNL; the best thing they could do is to start with a short blurb about how they were criticized for bad casting, bad acting etc. and that they are taking the criticism seriously. Then a guy in a suit, no Trump imitation at all, just walks up and reads selections from the transcript with all the side-tracks and concentration lapses until time is up. Nothing more would be needed.

There's an episode of 30 Rock where a buffoonish politician hits the national scene who looks exactly like Tracy Jordan, and the writers are all champing at the bit to come up with ridiculous skits for Jordan to play him in. Then Jack Donaghy tells them that they're not allowed to write any material for the politician, because he's a Republican and Jack doesn't want to embarrass the Republicans. So, the crew decides to just have Tracy re-enact everything the politician does, verbatim and with no embellishment.

Alec Baldwin already knows exactly what needs to be done in this situation, in other words.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:08 PM on February 16 [93 favorites]


Harward asked for a couple of days to consider whether he'd replace Flynn. After today I'd be surprised if he went ahead with it.
posted by readery at 2:10 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


I think journalists never say "lie" because that implies knowing intent, which you can't.

The NPR dance-around.
posted by Artw at 2:12 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


Thanks for the favourites, everyone, but it just occurred to me that if you're looking up Werner Herzog quotes for comfort, shit has truly gone sideways.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:13 PM on February 16 [98 favorites]


Apparently, DJT's people sent out an email blast with a link to a survey on "Media Accountability". I'm like 90% sure it's only being passed around to gather more email addresses, but it'd just be a damned shame if an online poll went un-fucked-with.


I'm not convinced they're even recording the answers from this- it appears to just be a way to get you to the fundraiser on the next page.
posted by dilaudid at 2:13 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


What still feels beyond comprehension is that as rational adults here, we al have a certain expectation of how people behave.

And like Shep Smith noted, it's EXTRAORDINARY but also CONFUSING AS FUCK that EVERYTHING that comes out of his mouth is such a clear lie. There's not one single grain of, "Well yeah, he gets props for this," because every little word that flies out of his facehole is just fucking wrong. One could disagree with Reagan or Obama but they weren't pathological liars who incessantly invented stories (my crowd size! my electoral college votes!) and made everything up in their bizarro fantasyland of lunacy.

What does it take to get rid of him? The joke's gone far enough. This man is clearly not stable.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:13 PM on February 16 [52 favorites]


because that implies knowing intent, which you can't.

That's part of our problem. You totally can infer intent by synthesizing observations of a larger pattern of behavior over time, but because even the most open and shut cases of that kind of analysis don't usually produce a literal, obvious smoking gun, people act like it's not possible to draw reasonably sound conclusions about motives from a pattern of behavior. Nothing has changed with Trump's behavior. He's acting like the same power obsessed, bloviating rich legacy CEO who won't tolerate criticism or admit mistakes he's always been.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:16 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


> I'm not convinced they're even recording the answers from this- it appears to just be a way to get you to the fundraiser on the next page.

Anyone got a spare botnet? cause the appropriate response to this is a DDOS.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:17 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]




i wasn't watching the presser and there's no goddam way i will, but was he doing that sniffing thing?
posted by localhuman at 2:18 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Given that Mr. Trump said he would have told Flynn to call the Russians, isn't he just going to pardon him if the DOJ did bring charges?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:18 PM on February 16


I wonder if I could wrangle a cabinet level position if I dropped $50 on his reelection campaign. I'd enact a bunch of progressive policies that people would love and then tell him they were his ideas. Also, one of my superpowers is avoiding my bosses, so I'd likely almost never see him.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:19 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


I think journalists never say "lie" because that implies knowing intent, which you can't.

This is bullshit. The same bullshit NPR put out. It's fair to a certain degree, but when someone has been informed of the truth and they continue to repeat it, it becomes fair to call it a lie.

Also, when I wrote to NPR to protest, I told them that if they're going to stop short of calling it a lie, then they at least need to report on why he would continue to spout untruths, and I expected them to report on whether or not he was delusional, or whether his staff was intentionally keeping him misinformed or what. Because if it's not a lie, I said, you owe it to use to find out what it really is.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 2:19 PM on February 16 [40 favorites]


You know how sometimes you go to the bathroom and it seems like a normal thing but then something starts to go wrong. Maybe it's an incomplete wipe, maybe the toilet paper is cheap 1-ply, but somehow, out of nowhere, bad stuff is just EVERYWHERE. So you're trying to clean it off and it gets on your hands, and then on the seat, and then it's on your shirt and the wall for some insane reason and you clean and you clean but nothing gets any better. Then you're just standing there realizing that you are now completely and totally covered in shit and you have no idea how to fix it.

Yeah. That's how I feel about this country now.
posted by teleri025 at 2:20 PM on February 16 [20 favorites]




Then you're just standing there realizing that you are now completely and totally covered in shit and you have no idea how to fix it.

hello did you also recently have a colonoscopy
posted by poffin boffin at 2:21 PM on February 16 [20 favorites]


> Given that Mr. Trump said he would have told Flynn to call the Russians, isn't he just going to pardon him if the DOJ did bring charges?

no way. As far as failing President Donald is concerned, Flynn's a loser now. Booted out of the Cabinet. Sad!
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 2:22 PM on February 16


Given that Mr. Trump said he would have told Flynn to call the Russians, isn't he just going to pardon him if the DOJ did bring charges?
I don't think the DOJ is going to bring charges, but the charges would have to do with lying to the FBI. Who knows what President Dumbfuck would do, but I don't think it matters that he says that he would have told him to call the Russians.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:23 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


@jenstatsky: "I've never seen anyone be worse at his job & I once ordered a "screwdriver" from a bartender & he went in the back 2 look for a SCREWDRIVER"
posted by zachlipton at 2:23 PM on February 16 [89 favorites]


ok, but I'm not really feeling the title of this thread. I find it kind of insulting to women in a vague, nondescript way. I realize this is a derail, but next time something more gender neutral please. BUT SAMANTHA BEE!!!!!! I take it all back. carry on.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:23 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


i wasn't watching the presser and there's no goddam way i will, but was he doing that sniffing thing?

Coked to oblivion.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


I think journalists never say "lie" because that implies knowing intent, which you can't.

That is the stated reason, yes; it's an official policy of some news organizations, not merely the independent choice of individual journalists.

But. It is, a this point, I think clearly a bad policy, because it leaves journalists in the position of having to speak less than the truth. What do you call the act of saying something untrue -- like the exact number of Trump's electoral votes (he cited an untrue number today) and the relative size of that vote margin (he cited an untrue margin, was corrected live at today's press conference, and then made a correction that was also an untrue statement) -- when they've repeatedly made the same untrue statement, despite being corrected multiple times? What do you call it when they make that same untrue statement, unprompted, when asked an unrelated question?

It's not telling the truth; it is wrong. It is clearly wrong. He has been told it is wrong. He repeats it. At that point, he is either lying -- because he knows it is wrong -- or he is telling the truth as he sees it, which, when it comes to factual matters, means that he does not understand reality, and refuses to accept reality; or he is incredibly naive and has been misled by his close advisors. It's not about one claim, it's about a sustained and repeated pattern of saying the same untrue things over and over and over, and then finding new untrue things to say.

Lying, delusional, or naively misled. Those are the options. Either he is lying, or he is unfit to govern. There's not a situation in which he's not lying and is still fit to be President. Which is why I think it's a bad policy to avoid saying he's lying -- because if he's merely lying, then couching everything in terms of how he's repeatedly saying untruths is imprecise. It matters a lot if he's merely lying, or if he's (small-c) constitutionally unfit to be president. And not being able to interrogate the question of whether he's lying or not makes it hard for journalists to investigate or speak to competency.
posted by cjelli at 2:24 PM on February 16 [28 favorites]


My Dad: "Blistering Shep Smith segment on Fox News."

Wow. That was pretty brutal.
posted by octothorpe at 2:24 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Several White House staffers were dismissed Thursday morning after failing FBI background checks, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Well. Oiled. Machine.
posted by dis_integration at 2:25 PM on February 16 [48 favorites]


I just want to see one newspaper article that says, "LIES! ALL LIES. VERIFIABLE LIES. LIAR FROM LIARSTAN, PANTS FULLY ON FIRE. HE LIES."

BECAUSE HE IS A LYING LIAR WHO IS LYING.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:26 PM on February 16 [23 favorites]


Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador

Drip-pause-drip-pause-drip-pause. This isn't like the Wikileaks strategy, which was to keep the press chasing after nothingburgers by making events of each release. Whoever's leaking here knows that there'll be a response from the subjects of the leaks, and that each response will offer up one or two statements of fact, and the next leak will put those statements to the test.
posted by holgate at 2:26 PM on February 16 [25 favorites]


"Look... people... I have works! Great works. They're the best works. Mighty mighty works. I'm telling you, people. Totally. I mean, you should be so sad!"

SEE YOU IN COURTTM
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:27 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


"Stupid is as stupid does"
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:30 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


ICE Agents Arrest Men Leaving Alexandria Church Shelter: "Oscar Ramirez said he had just left the hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope Mission Church on Russell Road in Alexandria, Virginia, when about a dozen ICE agents surround him and other Latino men. Ramirez said the agents questioned all of them and scanned their fingers to find out if they had criminal backgrounds. Agents quickly cleared Ramirez, who has a green card, he said. But he and other witnesses told News4 that about six Latino men were arrested and taken away in two vans that pulled up to the area where they had been stopped."

(emphasis mine)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:30 PM on February 16 [38 favorites]


I'm getting the feeling that very soon, Watergate is going to seem trivial.
posted by davebush at 2:31 PM on February 16 [30 favorites]


Rep. Ted Lieu has a one sentence press release (plus an asterisk that cites it sources you should go read on the original page) on Trump's press conference: "The press conference by President Trump*** today reminded me of a fine-tuned machine."
posted by zachlipton at 2:31 PM on February 16 [20 favorites]


What does it take to get rid of him? The joke's gone far enough. This man is clearly not stable.

Option 1: Section 4 of the 25th Amendment.
Majority vote of the Cabinet + Pence and a letter to the Senate and House indicating the President is unable to perform his duties. Then 2/3rd majority vote of the House and Senate to confirm the decision should Trump challenge it.

Option 2: Impeachment
Majority vote in the House to impeach because "reasons" and then 2/3 of the Senate to remove him from office.

Option 3: Letter of Resignation
President writes a letter to Congress quitting.

Option 4: The plan proposed in the plot against FDR.
President is forced to appoint someone as a General Secretary / Prime Minister over the Cabinet and White House staff. All Presidential authority is delegated to this person.
posted by humanfont at 2:31 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


I'm getting the feeling that very soon, Watergate is going to seem trivial.
And again: this assumes the decency and fundamental patriotism of high-ranking members of the Republican party. If they don't do anything, nothing happens. What do you think are the chances they're going to do anything?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:32 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


Majority vote in the House to impeach because "reasons"

Does the China trademark thing count?
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:34 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


I'd just like to point out that this press conference led to the greatest headline I've ever seen, courtesy of TPM.
posted by rouftop at 2:34 PM on February 16 [35 favorites]


Joe Scarborough: FWIW, Republicans on the Hill were panicked behind the scenes by Trump's performance today.

Nothing, Joe. It's worth fucking nothing. Take actual action, in public. Do your fucking jobs like an independent branch of the United States Government.

Behind the scenes fretting over what you idiots have done to us all is worth less than nothing at this point.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:34 PM on February 16 [122 favorites]


I'm getting the feeling that very soon, Watergate is going to seem trivial.

During the Bush/Cheney years, there were buttons reading "I can't believe I miss Watergate," and people were saying that at least Reagan could put together a coherent sentence.
posted by Melismata at 2:35 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


> Option 3: Letter of Resignation
President writes a letter to Congress quitting.


what if an anti-bannon faction in his staff tricks him into signing a letter of resignation
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:35 PM on February 16 [18 favorites]


what if an anti-bannon faction in his staff tricks him into signing a letter of resignation
Honestly, that's as plausible scenario for the endgame here as any.

Actually, I think they should trick him into signing a letter of resignation and then stage everything so he doesn't realize he's not still president. It would take some effort to create a fake Fox News broadcast for him to watch every morning, but it could be done. I'm not sure how they clone the White House, but they can do nifty things with special effects these days, right?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:37 PM on February 16 [29 favorites]


yes, hellban him from the presidency.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:38 PM on February 16 [18 favorites]


They could just tell him that actually they've discovered he doesn't have to live at the White House anymore? He doesn't want to be there, anyway.
posted by Sequence at 2:39 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


tell him he can go back to living in trump tower. saves the expense of building a fake white house. melania would probably hate it, but everyone else would be happy.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:39 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


"President Trump, today's order is a statement to the American People regarding your resignation. It's important to all of us that our President be determined, resolute, and resigned, and this statement will formally attest to that. Sign here."
posted by contraption at 2:39 PM on February 16 [20 favorites]


You can't tip a president
posted by Namlit at 2:39 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


>Joe Scarborough: FWIW, Republicans on the Hill were panicked behind the scenes by Trump's performance today.

His Twitter account has the 'all that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" quote displayed under his name.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:42 PM on February 16 [19 favorites]


before you go out gardening plz report back on yr calls to yr representatives

Call my representatives, or stock up on [this section has been pre-redacted for Secret Service convenience]?

I am no longer even kind of kidding about the possible prospect of America becoming a radioactive hellhole.
posted by corb at 2:43 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Honestly, that's as plausible scenario for the endgame here as any.

I've mentioned this before, but I lack the imagination to invent a scenario of Trump exiting office that doesn't seem plausible. Resignation? Impeachment? Loses the 2020 election? Article 25? Arrested? Revolution? Friendly Fire Nuclear Explosion? Serves for 8 years? In order of worst outcomes.

Not a one of those would surprise me. I think all I would think is "Oh, but of course."
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:43 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


President is forced to appoint someone as a General Secretary / Prime Minister over the Cabinet and White House staff. All Presidential authority is delegated to this person.

This sounds a bit like what it was like when the end was approaching for *gag* Rob Ford. City Council voted to strip him of his powers and he became Mayor in name only, he couldn't actually do anything. By that point the council was turning their backs on him whenever he spoke.
But it seems like Trump would still have to agree to it, no? And Republicans seem like they're still in the doubling-down-on-everything denial stage anyway.

A bit off topic, but I've been wondering...I'm not a particularly smart person, but I remember from the few US History classes I didn't skip that your government is supposed to have a system of "checks and balances" or whatever. What happened to that whole deal?
posted by chococat at 2:44 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


> Call my representatives, or stock up on [this section has been pre-redacted for Secret Service convenience]?

why not both?

> You can't tip a president

I am a dangerously lazy loudmouthed erratic extremely distractible vacillating media-addicted parasite with a habit of making promises that I can't keep, and I really hate knowing that I would make a vastly better president than the guy currently occupying that office.

I'd name soren_lorensen, eyebrows mcgee, sciatrix, frowner, and corb to my cabinet and then do whatever they told me.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:45 PM on February 16 [79 favorites]


tell him he can go back to living in trump tower.

i wholeheartedly support this use of my NYC taxes actually

a small fucking price to pay for literally saving the world
posted by poffin boffin at 2:45 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


I think I will actually buy some potassium iodide to keep in my home.
posted by bq at 2:47 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I'm only sort of joking, but are we sure we're not trapped in some sort of Grant Morrison fever dream? Something out of the Invisibles where the Outer Church is trying to fine-tune a contagious insanity transmitted through language, and Trump is its patient zero? Just a couple more press conferences, a couple tweaks to the ur-language being used, we all go mad, and the Archons are free to enter our reality?

No? Just me then?

This attempt at humor brought to you by pants-shitting terror at the way things are going and vague memories of my grandmother succumbing to Alzheimer's when I was very young.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:50 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


I think it's a metaphor for the plot of 2001 A Space Odyssey. He's the lonely guy at the end. Looking back, he remembers, he was super smart, but a robot or something got in the way. But he remembers further back, to a glorious time when America was great.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:50 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I'm only sort of joking, but are we sure we're not trapped in some sort of Grant Morrison fever dream?

listen i will jack off onto any graphic novel you want me to if you promise it will get us out of here.
posted by murphy slaw at 2:52 PM on February 16 [37 favorites]


> I'm only sort of joking, but are we sure we're not trapped in some sort of Grant Morrison fever dream?

The scientists in charge of our simulation are attempting to get insight into the workings of the Great Filter.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:52 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]




New from the Post: Trump family’s elaborate lifestyle is a ‘logistical nightmare’ — at taxpayer expense.

They're terrified that in the summer, he's going to start hanging out at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., a small town with 16 police officers. When Trump spent the weekend there in November, six local officers were needed 24/7.
posted by zachlipton at 2:52 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


His [Joe Scarborough] Twitter account has the 'all that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" quote displayed under his name.

He may have been accused of being either or both of those things, but he's been acquitted due to lack of evidence.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:52 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Not a one of those would surprise me. I think all I would think is "Oh, but of course."

If he resigned of his own free will, and was proven to be of sound mind and body while doing so. I'd think something was up.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:52 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I went out to my car in the parking lot to smoke around 1:45 today. The radio came on when I turned on the car to open the windows and I heard him say this: “the greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that’s 30 miles offshore right out of the water. Everyone in this country’s going to say, ‘Oh, it’s so great.’ That’s not great. That’s not great.”

I just couldn't listen to any more of his dangerous drivel since I had to go back into work and present my mature librarian mien to the students. But what the fuck? Motherfucker seriously believes the American people want him to blow up some Russian boat? (The boat had every right to be there, according to the NYT.) Bellicose belligerent bully in chief is trying to start WWIII?
posted by mareli at 2:56 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


FT reports (copy headline into Google if you get paywalled) that Robert Harward turns down Trump’s national security offer, but they're trying to get him change his mind:
“Harward is conflicted between the call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality,” said one person with first hand knowledge of the discussions between Mr Trump and Mr Harward. The second person said Mr Trump had asked Mr Harward to return to the White House for another meeting to try to change his mind.
...
One of the people familiar with Mr Harward’s decision said he was concerned about whether the top advisers around Mr Trump would allow him to install his own staff on the NSC — particularly after suggestions that KT McFarland, Mr Flynn’s deputy, had been asked to remain. When he was offered the position, Mr Harward had told Mr Trump that he wanted some time to think over the idea.
posted by zachlipton at 2:56 PM on February 16 [26 favorites]


A bit off topic, but I've been wondering...I'm not a particularly smart person, but I remember from the few US History classes I didn't skip that your government is supposed to have a system of "checks and balances" or whatever. What happened to that whole deal?

Not sure if you're actually looking for a straight answer, but the idea behind the checks-and-balances paradigm was that each branch of government would zealously guard its power against any attempt by the other two to usurp it. So Congress wouldn't stand for a president doing flagrantly illegal things because if the president can do whatever he wants then Congress' main power -- to make the law -- becomes irrelevant. The founders didn't expect that we'd arrive at a time where elected officials prioritize their political party over the branch of government to which they belong. Republicans in Congress don't care if Congress' power is eroded because their primary loyalty is to the Republican Party, and checking a Republican president would erode the power of the party.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:56 PM on February 16 [79 favorites]


Harward turns down NSA offer

I mean, who wouldn't want to become part of such a fine-tuned machine?
posted by dis_integration at 2:56 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


Kasie Hunt confirmed Scarborough's tweet about Congressional Republicans being panicked by Trump's performance. I believe it. I also believe they will do exactly nothing about it. Tax cuts for you! Tax cuts for you! Tax cuts for everybody!
posted by Justinian at 2:56 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


I put a nuclear exchange in the same category as the Yellowstone Caldera, i.e, "Welp, That's It for Us!" No use planning for something like that unless you think eating MREs in a hole in the ground for a few decades is some kind of future worth having. And if so, cheers to you.

But anyway, I'm thinking I will trim the roses, put in some beans, and the kid has asked if we can try growing spaghetti squash and eggplants this year so that sounds good too. And some rosemary I think.

(and yes I will keep calling my various representatives and marching and all the rest).
posted by emjaybee at 2:57 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


Dammit zachlipton, and I searched to see if anyone had posted it too.
posted by dis_integration at 2:57 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I just want to urge everyone to do what I just did and reach out to all your MOCs with your feelings about that press conference. They need to hear reaction. I wrote out my feelings and emailed it to all of them. I kept it polite and as non-partisan as possible, but I pulled quotes from the transcript and talked about how scared and embarrassed they made me feel as an American. I expressed my concern that we are seeing evidence of unfitness to serve and mental decline.

I can't say it made me feel better. In fact putting it down in words made me feel quite a bit more anxious. But I think it's important.
posted by threeturtles at 2:58 PM on February 16 [18 favorites]


I can't link on mobile, but Harward has turned Trump down.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:58 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I remember how when I was like thirteen my mom got pissed at me because I was reading the autobiography of Richard Nixon. Now, mind you, I do realize that it would be better if she praised her nerdy daughter for being such a fucking nerd early on. But her loathing of Nixon was just thorough.

Now, looking back on it, my dad was called up during Vietnam, my mother's world view had been formed in the progressive ideals of the late sixties, and Nixon for her was a symbol of opposition to things in which she passionately believed.

That's how I felt about Reagan and I still am capable of saying awful shit about him. But that's because I'm a child of the eighties, like my mom was a child of the sixties.

Trump though. Trump is well and truly, as described above, the part in the colonoscopy prep where things escalate quickly and horribly. He's not an opposition to the ideals of Obama. He's a boil on the ass of humanity that has been untreated and allowed to poison the communal bloodstream.

I'm no historian, but Watergate kind of feels like a situation where the system worked; the thing is, if the system were working, we would be 25th amending this shit what like a week in.
posted by angrycat at 2:58 PM on February 16 [27 favorites]


i knew harward sounded way too competent to voluntarily join this shitshow
posted by murphy slaw at 3:00 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Now this is a picture: "Aide stops Pres Trump from leaving bill-signing ceremony because he hadn't yet signed the regulation repeal measure."
posted by zachlipton at 3:00 PM on February 16 [50 favorites]


Let's hope Hareards condition for serving is Bannon off the NSC and that's what he's holding out over.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:00 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Somebody tell the GOP reps that Mike Pence can sign tax cut bills too.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:01 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


The founders didn't expect that we'd arrive at a time where elected officials prioritize their political party over the branch of government to which they belong.
Thanks, Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish, that's exactly what I didn't understand.
posted by chococat at 3:01 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Another drawing of The Donald, rendered and posted so I don't scream too, too much today. I could only watch a minute of that presser, so bizarre and unintelligible.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 3:02 PM on February 16 [31 favorites]


The second person said Mr Trump had asked Mr Harward to return to the White House for another meeting to try to change his mind.

Yeah, spending more time with Trump is not going to make Harward feel reassured about the dysfunctionality.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:02 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


"Aide stops Pres Trump from leaving bill-signing ceremony because he hadn't yet signed the regulation repeal measure."

Let him go, kid, let him go!!
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 3:03 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Also, checks and balances are kinda working: they haven't actually done anything yet. It's not like they rolled into a new Parliament with a bunch of manifesto bills that they sailed through. No actual legislation yet.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:03 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Another drawing of The Donald, rendered and posted so I don't scream too, too much today.

I think you copied the wrong link, this is just a normal photograph
posted by theodolite at 3:04 PM on February 16 [25 favorites]


Also, checks and balances are kinda working: they haven't actually done anything yet. It's not like they rolled into a new Parliament with a bunch of manifesto bills that they sailed through. No actual legislation yet.

Well, that depends on your point of view. If it wasn't for them, we would not have had the straight-downticket red wave that we did.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:05 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


The founders didn't expect that we'd arrive at a time where elected officials prioritize their political party over the branch of government to which they belong.
I mean, forgive me for saying this, but doesn't that seem kind of naive? I feel like prioritizing political party over branch of government is the norm from what I've seen of world politics, not an unexpected aberration.
posted by peacheater at 3:05 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


okay so the resignation letter has to start with a couple of short paragraphs describing how bad america is and how great trump is. just insult the shit out of america while praising the shit out of trump.

then two very long paragraphs that get super wonky — details of the planned ACA appeal or whatever. lots of big words close together. about two thirds of the way through the second paragraph is the sentence "I resign from the office of president effective immediately." then the paragraph finishes with more wonkery.

a few more short paragraphs about how great trump is and how bad america is. lots of attention-getting words — "terrible," "carnage," "disgusting," "wall," "Mexico," "rigged."

then the signature line.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:05 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the main reason we have state legislatures is to make Congress look smart.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:06 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Harward on the Cabinet = maybe +1 vote for a 25A solution?
posted by Sauce Trough at 3:06 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


i knew harward sounded way too competent to voluntarily join this shitshow

Yeah, thats pretty much the problem. Even if Trump accidentally picked someone good and competent for a role, they would turn him down. The Cabinet is doomed to be full of people as bad as Trump, because no one else would choose to be there (even an ambitious person would probably recognize that a stint in Trump's cabinet will doom any future positions).
posted by thefoxgod at 3:06 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


The founders didn't expect that we'd arrive at a time where elected officials prioritize their political party over the branch of government to which they belong.
I mean, forgive me for saying this, but doesn't that seem kind of naive? I feel like prioritizing political party over branch of government is the norm from what I've seen of world politics, not an unexpected aberration.


I mean, George Washington fought against the ideas of political parties in general and refused to be in one until the end of his Presidency. So yes, but I think they were also hoping that political parties weren't a given.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:07 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the main reason we have state legislatures is to make Congress look smart.

Does not apply to the previous 4 years in NC.
posted by yoga at 3:07 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Harward turns down NSA offer. I mean, who wouldn't want to become part of such a fine-tuned machine?

What kind of fine-tuned machine puts out a press release before they even ask the guy if he wants the job? This is nuts.
posted by JackFlash at 3:07 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Coaly Joe Manchin in that photo there; what a man he is.

They're terrified that in the summer, he's going to start hanging out at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J.

Or the Bedford, NY house, or the Briarcliff Manor golf course. Or all of them.

Weirdo Hungaro-fascist cosplay guy Gorka was on BBC Newsnight in full Orwellian mode, saying that his boss is "fabulous on his feet" and "there is no chaos". Um.
posted by holgate at 3:08 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


> I mean, forgive me for saying this, but doesn't that seem kind of naive? I feel like prioritizing political party over branch of government is the norm from what I've seen of world politics, not an unexpected aberration.

On the one hand the drafters of the constitution were so naive. but on the other hand they didn't have any recent precedents to build on so you can forgive them a bit. but on the little-known third hand, they were a pack of slaveowning sons of bitches so you can't really forgive them for anything.

america, land of contrasts.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:08 PM on February 16 [36 favorites]


I'm not
Fucking up the country
It was like this
When I got here
Someone else
Fucked up the country
And if I did
Fuck up the country
Then it was good
And everyone was glad
That I
Fucked up the country
And if you would
JUST STOP
Saying that I
Fucked up the country
Then Definitely the country
Would not be
Fucked up
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:08 PM on February 16 [77 favorites]


President Trump Melted Down Over a Question About Anti-Semitism: Not only did he lash out, he hardly seemed to comprehend the question.
This was, in a nutshell, the entire press conference. Trump seemed unable to comprehend the most basic elements of the question asked of him. Then he lashed out at the media in another display indicating that he sees all this criticism of him, all that's demanded of him now as president, to be grossly unfair. Why can't they just cheer him on like at the rallies? (Next one is Saturday in Florida, FYI.) Why do they keep asking about all these complicated issues? Don't they know he scored 306 electoral votes, the "biggest win since Ronald Reagan" if you don't count five of the seven elections that came in between?
posted by homunculus at 3:08 PM on February 16 [59 favorites]


The Cabinet is doomed to be full of people as bad as Trump, because no one else would choose to be there (even an ambitious person would probably recognize that a stint in Trump's cabinet will doom any future positions).

"I'm just here to steal the silverware."
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:08 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


I'm no historian, but Watergate kind of feels like a situation where the system worked; the thing is, if the system were working, we would be 25th amending this shit what like a week in.

It was on the verge of working, but then Gerry Ford pardoned Nixon. Yeah, Nixon left office in total disgrace, but he didn't do time for it, and towards the end of his life, people had started seeing him to some degree as respected elder statesman, rather than the crook he was.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 3:08 PM on February 16 [26 favorites]


Motherfucker seriously believes the American people want him to blow up some Russian boat?

Yup, and the reason he isn't going to take this super popular action is that it would impede his ability to "make a deal." Whatever that means.
posted by diogenes at 3:08 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


This is my current fear. Nothing but total incompetent dangerous boot lickers will now be willing to work in this administration.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 3:09 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Nothing but total incompetent dangerous boot lickers will now be willing to work in this administration.


Well I'm pretty sure I don't want competent dangerous boot lickers...
posted by suelac at 3:10 PM on February 16 [21 favorites]


Harward on the Cabinet = maybe +1 vote for a 25A solution?

National Security Advisor isn't a Cabinet or Cabinet-rank appointment -- it's an "Aide to the President" position -- so it doesn't count among the "principal officers of the executive departments" for a 25A removal.
posted by holgate at 3:13 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Do I have to take a course on Stupid as a second language now or will government documents be bilingual?
posted by srboisvert at 3:13 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


I want to expand on the "Trump is mentally not-OK" thing because I think there's a common thread of evidence here worth considering. Today at his press conference, Trump lied, again, about the size of his Electoral College victory. He's done this before. This is one of those "WTF are you doing" kind of lies, where it's verifiably false by spending about 20 seconds on Wikipedia.

Normal people do lie from time to time. A key thing we do when we lie is to construct plausible lies for some purpose. You tell your boss you were sick on Tuesday (plausible: this happens) to cover for the fact you were at a baseball game (purpose: avoid being fired). You tell the cashier the rope is for a swingset (plausible: also a thing) instead of your kinky sex thing (purpose: avoid embarrassment).

What's completely abnormal is to lie without plausibility or purpose. You don't tell your boss that you were out on Tuesday because you were abducted by aliens. You don't bother lying to the cashier if you really are using the rope for some boring purpose.

So then...
"I put it out before the American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn't supposed to get 222. They said there's no way to get 222, 230's impossible. 270 which you need, that was laughable. We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan. In other words, the media's trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made and they're not happy about it for whatever reason."
Trump's lie about the Electoral College fails on both counts. It's implausible because it's trivially debunked. It also serves no purpose -- his argument is that everyone thought he would lose by a lot, but instead he won. You don't have to win by the biggest margin evar to make that a good argument! I mean, it's a stupid argument, but the "I beat expectations" part is actually true and you can just run with that.

You can tick off all the lies in his speeches and they almost all follow this pattern.

The murder rate isn't at historic highs (easily debunked). Even if they were, to what end? He's not yet proposing anything where this matters. Just shitting on the state of the country doesn't improve his situation at all.
The 9th circuit court isn't overturned 80% of the time. Why lie about it? You can truthfully say the 9th is widely regarded as the most liberal court in the nation.
The unemployment rate is not 40%. That's insane, you would notice if 4 out of 10 people you know were unemployed. And what can you do with this claim? In reality we are very close to full employment and the structural forces causing lowered labor force participation rates are ongoing, so he's setting himself up for failure by citing a number that can only go up.
His inauguration crowd size was not the biggest ever. Again, obvious. But who cares? Everyone knows he's not popular. He's not going to fool anyone; there are photographs.

Why? Why? Politicians lie, all the time. It's a thing. But they do so with intent and discretion. Bill Clinton lied about his affairs because it was plausible there was at least one woman he didn't sleep with, and with purpose to protect his reputation. GWB lied about Iraq because it was plausible that Hussein had WMDs, and with purpose to justify the war he wanted. Why is Trump continuously telling implausible lies that serve no purpose? He fails to manage a basic level of forethought that any normal person would have.
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:13 PM on February 16 [214 favorites]


His Twitter account has the 'all that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" quote displayed under his name.
I've witnessed good men aiding and abetting evil on multiple occasions. I myself have done things as part of a job that, in retrospect, I realized I would have done more good if I had done nothing.

Looking over the decline of American Culture during my adult life (and specifically the Republican Party), I had pretty much expected a full-fledged supervillian to be elected President in my lifetime (and to be a 'pop culture star' prior to his political career). I'm actually somewhat relieved that we've ended up with someone much closer to The Joker than Lex Luthor.

Nothing but total incompetent dangerous boot lickers will now be willing to work in this administration.
Now I'm wondering how much Alexander Acosta is regretting his decision to accept the Secretary of Labor gig. At least he might be a solid vote for the 25th Amendment Solution.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:16 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


What kind of fine-tuned machine puts out a press release before they even ask the guy if he wants the job? This is nuts.

In my head I am seeing street hockey team selection where the captains are picking kids and Donald picks a kid first and the kid says no. It's pretty satisfying to me as a Canadian.
posted by srboisvert at 3:17 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


Remember the scandal and controversy over Obama's beer summit?
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:17 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


It's worth remembering that Trump is the oldest person to ever be elected president at 70. Reagan was only 69. It's, unfortunately, very plausible we're seeing signs of his old age.
posted by flatluigi at 3:19 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


Why is Trump continuously telling implausible lies that serve no purpose? He fails to manage a basic level of forethought that any normal person would have.


Because he's using words not to convey information, but as a means of dominance. Lying and refusing to be corrected shows that he's more powerful than we are. At least, I think that's why.
posted by suelac at 3:20 PM on February 16 [56 favorites]


The Cabinet is doomed to be full of people as bad as Trump, because no one else would choose to be there (even an ambitious person would probably recognize that a stint in Trump's cabinet will doom any future positions).

I give it a couple weeks before Donnie's cabinet just becomes Fox News' official intern program, put in 6 months in the White House and then you can move on to a paid position grabbing Steve Doocy's morning coffee.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:20 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


0xFCAF: All of those examples (and a lot of other baffling Trump lies) are basically inflated numbers: it's something I've noticed (and joked about) before, that he's totally incapable of saying a number without increasing it by somewhere between 10 and 75%. I wonder if it's a holdover from his business career, when exaggerating his available cash / building heights / TV ratings / casino profits / etc actually did serve a purpose.
posted by theodolite at 3:22 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


It should be noted that there were no political parties when the constitution was written and many of the founders quite expressly were very anti parties just on principle. But a fptp electoral system kind of guarantees that that's what's going to happen.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:26 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Huh, looks like somebody told an Italian parade about the dream I have every night now.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:26 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


Before the NPR sagging goes on much longer, let me note that on Morning Edition today, Mara Eliasson tone of voice was dripping with derisive contempt when she was speaking of the Trumpster. Not the person I would have expected to show such disrespect for the dude.

And speating as one who rode.the Watergate rollercoaster daily back then, nothing is so redolent of that as this.current meltdown.
posted by y2karl at 3:26 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


> Trump's lie about the Electoral College fails on both counts. It's implausible because it's trivially debunked. It also serves no purpose -- his argument is that everyone thought he would lose by a lot, but instead he won. You don't have to win by the biggest margin evar to make that a good argument! I mean, it's a stupid argument, but the "I beat expectations" part is actually true and you can just run with that.

I was going to say "the purpose of the lies are...," but Trump is a creature that doesn't really act in terms of purpose.

So, bracketing off the question of purpose or intent — Trump is a philosophical zombie, and so it doesn't make sense to talk about him in terms of purpose or intent — the question becomes what is the function of these lies? And I think in some thread previous we determined that the function of the lies is to give his followers an opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty. If the words that come out of his mouth sound in any way like they might pertain to any reality, people might believe the lies, and then agree with him because they believe his lies. This is insufficient for the type of creature Trump is. When people follow him because they agree with him, this means that they're conditionally following him. If they stop agreeing with him, they might stop following.

If the lies are total moon-language gibberish, though, the only reason anyone would go along with them is if they're demonstrating how much they submit to Trump. Submission, unlike agreement, is understood by Trump as unconditional, and therefore trustworthy.

Again, this isn't to say that Trump plans in any way. He's a stimulus-response machine that seeks submission from those around him. All of this works on an affective rather than intellectual level. Trump likely doesn't realize what he's doing with the lies — likely he doesn't realize anything at all, because he doesn't have a brain fit for realizing anything — but he's unconsciously trained himself to lie vigorously, incoherently, and relentlessly, because that's the most reliable method for him to generate his preferred stimulus.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:27 PM on February 16 [78 favorites]


When caught in the lie about his EC victory margin, Trump's response was "That was information that was given to me."

@kurtbraunohler
"What's amazing about me is that I'm 14 feet tall!"

"Not true."

"I don't know, I was given that information."
posted by zakur at 3:28 PM on February 16 [42 favorites]


Trump inflates his numbers like ancient chroniclers do when talking about ancient battles. Thermopylae? Totally 2.5 million persians, bigly stuff.
posted by Carillon at 3:29 PM on February 16 [24 favorites]


"I only know what I read.....

...and I don't read anything..."
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:29 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


yeah I have to say his reaction to the question about anti-Semitic threats made me flash on that woman in Threads who pees her pants when she sees the ICBMs launch. It's like, he is crazy. He is motherfucking certifiable. And his supporters don't care. Starting to understand that no atheists in foxholes line.
posted by angrycat at 3:30 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


Confabulation is a sign of memory loss and senile dementia.

History of damage to the brain
Neurological deficits
Untrue stories which may be detailed or strange
Conviction in the false memory
Imagination confused with memory
True memories confused with false memories


We've got 4 out of 6 and the two unconfirmed are not false but unknown.
posted by srboisvert at 3:32 PM on February 16 [19 favorites]


While I supposed dementia is a possibility, I'm not sure speculation does much good. There is an even simpler explanation, i.e., words don't have any meaning. Trump is every skeevy used-car salesman you've ever met rolled into one. "This is the best car. My mom had one. You want to know about gas mileage, 40 mpg at least, probably more. Cylinders 12, I think."

It's all about making the sale, which as others have noted, is a form of dominance, just like the handshake thing. Higher brain function isn't very relevant when you're all id.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:40 PM on February 16 [49 favorites]


I'm visualising Chris Christie, Mitt Romney and glasses of scotch clinking.
posted by davebush at 3:41 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Well, if there's a nuclear war because the Trump administration is literally too stupid not to start one, at least none of us have to worry about the Medicare privatization, our credit card debts, etc.

My thought about this press conference was "Putin's pretty evil, but at least he's intelligent - he wouldn't start a nuclear war if he could avoid one, and might not even nuke us all in response to one battlefield nuke". Ladies and gentlemen, all that advice about writing things down at the start of the totalitarian regime - I absolutely should have taken that advice. I think and believe things I would never have expected to think and believe, and it literally has not been a month.
posted by Frowner at 3:42 PM on February 16 [52 favorites]


Everyone should go take the media survey -- the high level of paranoia in some of the questions is hilariously alarming, i.e. "Do you believe that the media purposely tries to divide Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats?"
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:43 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


I could see dementia being an issue, although it is of course impossible to know. Except, in this picture, I think I can actually SEE dementia being an issue.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:43 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Does he blurt out, "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" at any point?
He changed just one letter:

"Look on my words, ye mighty, and despair!"
posted by msalt at 3:44 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Dementia is a painful, awful and humiliating way to go, isn't it?

I fucking hope it is.

FIngers crossed for it stepping up the pace a bit.
posted by Artw at 5:37 PM on February 16 [has favorites +] [!]


Please don't do this. Some of us have wonderful non-fascist loved ones with dementia.
posted by INFJ at 3:44 PM on February 16 [52 favorites]


This photo is like The Last Supper except all the apostles are trying to convince Jesus that it's for the best if he goes to live in a nursing home.
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 3:44 PM on February 16 [40 favorites]


Serious question here about leak legality.

Who can authorize the dissemination of classified materials? Presumably media leaks are a well-honed weapon of the IC. Presumably they have a process for quietly scrubbing and approving material for release as part of an intelligence operation.

Is it possible that all these leaks are legal because they were quietly authorized by the right official? Or is there too much oversight/record keeping about declassification to keep a leak authorization like this on the DL?
posted by Sauce Trough at 3:46 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Do you believe that contrary to what the media says, raising taxes does not create jobs?


From the survey, I feel like they're missing a comma?
posted by Carillon at 3:47 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Why is Trump continuously telling implausible lies that serve no purpose? He fails to manage a basic level of forethought that any normal person would have.

I had a fun conversation with a friend talking about trying to teach her 5 year old not to lie. She was afraid she was just teaching him not to get caught lying; teaching him how to be a better plausible liar to avoid the shame and repercussions of getting caught.

Trump feels no shame, he has never faced any repercussions in his life. Getting caught in an obvious lie isn't something that has caused any setbacks for him ever. Why would he stop now?
posted by peeedro at 3:48 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


From the survey, I feel like they're missing a comma?

The comma and also the connection to reality and rational thought.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:49 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Morning Joe's Mika appears to have run out of fucks. She just tweeted: "The President needs to succeed for America but he has crossed the line too many times. This feels like a fake Presidency."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:51 PM on February 16 [34 favorites]


What does (ph) mean?
posted by unliteral at 3:52 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Just imagine how low the corporate tax rate is going to be when there's no more society to maintain!
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:52 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


This survey is hard to fill out just because I believe the media has been unfair, but not in the way they're thinking.
posted by ckape at 3:53 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]




What does (ph) mean?

It is a convention in speech annotations to indicate the sound of breath, ie, the speaker breathed audibly at that time.
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:53 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
'Trump signs bill undoing Obama coal mining rule'


[the attached Hill link includes within the tweet the text "The stream protection rule was intended to protect waterways from mining waste"]

Idiot.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:54 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


> Ladies and gentlemen, all that advice about writing things down at the start of the totalitarian regime - I absolutely should have taken that advice. I think and believe things I would never have expected to think and believe, and it literally has not been a month.

The shit of it is, so many of the new things I believe directly contradict each other. Like, I find myself simultaneously believing that
  1. democratic centralism is, despite my previous objections, a pretty good organizational structure in these troubled times, and also that
  2. direct action separate from any centralized leadership is crucial, and also that
  3. it would be a good thing if intelligence agencies threw a coup, and also that
  4. it's very important to call one's elected representatives every day, and also that
  5. stockpiling resources is a great idea.
Just a totally bananas mishmash of new, incompatible beliefs.

if you catch me selling newspapers just shoot me, okay?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:54 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


Morning Joe's Mika appears to have run out of fucks. She just tweeted: "The President needs to succeed for America but he has crossed the line too many times. This feels like a fake Presidency."

If she's truly out of fucks she should resign from that garbage fascist-coddling show on which she occasionally plays "bad cop" so they can retain some vague pretense of not being fascist-coddling Trump-enabler scum.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:55 PM on February 16 [27 favorites]


I'm getting the feeling that very soon, Watergate is going to seem trivial.

During the Bush/Cheney years, there were buttons reading "I can't believe I miss Watergate," and people were saying that at least Reagan could put together a coherent sentence.


After Reagan literally negotiating with terrorists in Iran-Contra, and Bush Jr. lying us into a trillion dollar war in Iraq, I am prepared to go on record as saying that Watergate absolutely pales to triviality compared to the behavior of subsequent Republican presidents.


I think I will buy some potassium iodide to keep in my home

Might I recommend potassium iodate instead? Just as effective at blocking radioactive iodine uptake by the thyroid, without the bitter taste.

Because we now live in a world where I'm finding that laughing off the paranoia of "Doomsday Preppers" is no longer as much fun as it once was. :-(
posted by darkstar at 3:56 PM on February 16 [21 favorites]


For the "but his base loves it" crowd.

@mckaycoppins
Remember when pundits judged Obama's success entirely by how his actions played with blacks, Latinos, & young liberals? Weird, me neither...
posted by chris24 at 3:57 PM on February 16 [52 favorites]


Morning Joe's Mika appears to have run out of fucks. She just tweeted: "The President needs to succeed for America but he has crossed the line too many times. This feels like a fake Presidency."


You can see the exact moment she ran out of them on Monday. At 1:58

Since then she dumped Kellyanne and has just been done.
posted by Jalliah at 3:59 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


After seeing the picture of Trump's aides having to stop him from wandering out of a signing ceremony before actually signing anything, I retract my previous suggestions for how to trick him into resigning. There is no need to hide the statement "I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States" in a paragraph full of wonky language. Just put a letter like Nixon's in front of him and tell him to sign.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:59 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


cnn is about to start discussing the Black Caucus/April Ryan fiasco. They also had Leon Panetta on and he is freaked out too. yikes.
posted by futz at 4:00 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Gov. Paul LePage on Trump: 'We got to tell him that the TV show's over and he's gotta move on now'

"I think he needs -- Reince Priebus and Pence, Vice President Pence, are good people and if he goes through Pence he's going to have somebody that he's very qualified, he understands the Congress, he understands how it works in Washington. He can help Donald Trump get his message out. He can be very, very helpful. I have great admiration for him. He's a great guy. I really believe that he's got the making of being a great president but he's got to have some structure in that White House."

he's losing LePage
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:00 PM on February 16 [74 favorites]


during the G.W. Bush administration, there was at least the (cold) comfort that the idiot president was being manipulated by evil men with rational (evil) motivations

this idiot president is being manipulated by people nearly as stupid as he is, with cartoon villain motivations

there is a crash-test dummy in the driver's seat and the guy in the back seat who's supposed to be driving the car via the hidden rigging is drunk and playing pokemon on his phone
posted by murphy slaw at 4:01 PM on February 16 [35 favorites]


So I called my rep, Jackie Speier, and was shocked when someone actually picked up. She's actually been tweeting out some sick burns, so I said thanks for her hard work and please, please work to hold bad behavior accountable. In the future is there other things I should be addressing with someone who I generally agree with?
posted by Carillon at 4:01 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


What does (ph) mean?

It is a convention in speech annotations to indicate the sound of breath, ie, the speaker breathed audibly at that time.


Wait, really? I thought it indicated a phonetic transcription, i.e. "we're not 100% sure what this word was supposed to be, but this is what it sounded like."
posted by teraflop at 4:02 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


There is no need to hide the statement "I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States" in a paragraph full of wonky language. Just put a letter like Nixon's in front of him and tell him to sign.

I was thinking somebody could just wake him up in a couple of days, tell him his month of "President Camp" is over, and wasn't it fun pretending to be President for a month, but it's over now, time to go home, time for another kid to get the chance.
posted by nubs at 4:02 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


he's losing LePage

for extra fun, read LePage's statement in a foghorn leghorn voice
posted by murphy slaw at 4:02 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


> this idiot president is being manipulated by people nearly as stupid as he is, with cartoon villain motivations.

Also Bush understood his own limitations and didn't try to steer the ship of state himself. Trump is congenitally incapable of seeing himself as limited in any way, and so he gets huffy and does dumb shit in order to prove that he's not a puppet.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:03 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


I was thinking somebody could just wake him up in a couple of days, tell him his month of "President Camp" is over, and wasn't it fun pretending to be President for a month, but it's over now, time to go home, time for another kid to get the chance.

I'm pretty sure Trump would throw the same tantrum over this today as he would have at age eleven.
posted by Sequence at 4:03 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]




Wait, really? I thought it indicated a phonetic transcription, i.e. "we're not 100% sure what this word was supposed to be, but this is what it sounded like."

Oh, you are correct! I was thinking of this (ph).
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:05 PM on February 16


there is a crash-test dummy in the driver's seat and the guy in the back seat who's supposed to be driving the car via the hidden rigging is drunk and playing pokemon on his phone

The car is on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel
And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
And a dark wind blows

The government is corrupt
And we're on so many drugs
With the radio on and the curtains drawn (Source)
posted by Pink Frost at 4:08 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


The anti-Semitism question, annotated.

Trump: I want to find a friendly reporter. Are you a friendly reporter?

Reporter: I'm friendly.

Trump: Watch how friendly, he is. [In the later context, Trump is saying liar before the question starts.] Go ahead.

Reporter: So, first of all, my name is Jake [inaudible] magazine and, I, despite what so many colleagues might be reporting, I haven't seen anybody in my community accuse either yourself or anyone on your staff of being anti-Semitic. [Wow. That is friendly. Says that nobody in his community has accused Trump of his staff of being anti-Semitic.] However, what we are concerned about and what we haven't really heard you address is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how in this climate you're going to take care of it. [As close as he gets to a question. Now for background narrative.] There have been reports out that 48 bomb threats have been made against Jewish centers all across the country in the last couple of weeks. There are people who are committing anti-Semitic acts or threatening to --

Trump: You know he's said that he's going to ask a very simple, easy question. [No, he didn't. He said, he's friendly.] And it's not. It's not a fair question. [It's not even a question, you stopped him. But so far it had been fair.] Sit down. [Roll-over. Fetch.] I understand the rest of your question. [I have mind-reading skills and what you are really saying is: Why does Donald Trump hate Jews?] So here's the story, folks.

Number one, I'm the least anti-Semitic person you've seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican — [ inaudible ]

Quiet, quiet, he lied about getting up asking a straight, simple question, so, you know, welcome to the world of the media. [sit down and now liar.]

Let me just tell you something, that I hate that charge. I find it repulsive. [He heard a personal insult at a register beyond human hearing.] I hate even the question because people that know me, and you heard the Prime Minister. You heard Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. Did you hear him? Bibi, he said, "I've known Donald Trump for a long time. Then he said, forget it." [Can you get a more rousing endorsement than that?]

So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question. [WTF?]

In summary:
Q. You and your staff are not anti-Semitic, bomb threats against synagogues, what...

A. How dare you call me anti-Semitic? Sit down and shut up, [media-world conspiracy] liar. Netanyahu himself told me forget it. Take that!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:09 PM on February 16 [97 favorites]


Honestly I bet he would be thrilled to sign a resignation letter without a quibble.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 4:09 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


History of damage to the brain
Neurological deficits
Untrue stories which may be detailed or strange
Conviction in the false memory
Imagination confused with memory
True memories confused with false memories


Yikes! I can't say I have been innocent of the last two... I will have to plead Old timers syndrome.
posted by y2karl at 4:10 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


What happens if Congress moves against Trump and he starts saying to his base that a cabal of special interests and D.C. insiders are mounting a coup against him and our democracy?
posted by humanfont at 4:11 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Pink Frost: The car is on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel
And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
And a dark wind blows


I'm out of favorites so I'd just like to add that we woke up one morning and fell a little further down, for sure this is the valley of death. I open up my wallet. And it's full of Trump.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:12 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


These fucking threads, jesus.

At the starting of the week
At summit talks you'll hear them speak
It's only Monday
Negotiations breaking down
See those leaders start to frown
It's sword and gun day
You could be sitting taking lunch
The news will hit you like a punch
It's only Tuesday
You never thought we'd go to war
After all the things we saw
It's April Fool's Day
You hear a whistling overhead
Are you alive or are you dead?
It's only Thursday
You feel the shaking of the ground
A million candles burn around
Is it your birthday?

Tomorrow never comes until it's too late
Think tomorrow's come I think it's too late
posted by supercrayon at 4:13 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


What happens if Congress moves against Trump and he starts saying to his base that a cabal of special interests and D.C. insiders are mounting a coup against him and our democracy?

They get really mad.
Some threaten people.
A few probably act on those threats.

Bad and painful times ensue.
posted by Jalliah at 4:14 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


> What happens if Congress moves against Trump and he starts saying to his base that a cabal of special interests and D.C. insiders are mounting a coup against him and our democracy?

Best case scenario: a clean, quick coup by the intelligence agencies. likely scenario: brutal civil war, Trumpist paramilitary gangs roving the countryside, mass starvation in many major cities. worst-case scenario: global nuclear war.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:16 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


What happens if Congress moves against Trump and

I'm going to go ahead and stop you right there.

(But seriously, if that did happen, I don't think a lot of people outside of his most loyal followers would be convinced. And if he did something egregious enough for even the spineless congressional Republicans to move against him, he would probably have lost a lot his base as well. Maybe. Hopefully.)
posted by sporkwort at 4:16 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


GQ's Natt Negrin cut this together: Donald Trump Can't Stop Talking About Hillary Clinton. He mentioned her by name 11 times today. Does he know he's not running against her anymore?
posted by zachlipton at 4:17 PM on February 16 [46 favorites]


Well, for one, there's a Russian ship like 5 miles off the coast of Long Island

"Hey, Flynnski, your Uber is here."

(stolen from someplace)
posted by Rumple at 4:20 PM on February 16 [29 favorites]


Wait, really? I thought it indicated a phonetic transcription, i.e. "we're not 100% sure what this word was supposed to be, but this is what it sounded like."

That is correct. You see it more in rush transcripts when you don't have time to go back and replay a few times and google to see if it's an acronym you don't know instead of a nonsense bigly noise. as opposed to (sp) when you don't know how to spell someone's name but likewise don't have time to look it up.

also copiously used when the transcriber doesn't want to correct something bonkers into some kind of sense but also doesn't want to be accused of bias or invention. back when I edited this junk (ph) was the safe choice and [sic] was the nuclear option. so to speak. only for the most egregious quotes where we didn't want to just report what the person said but also point and laugh.
posted by queenofbithynia at 4:21 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


He's the high school running back who 20 years later is still talking about how he ran for 4 TDs against Lincoln High.
posted by chris24 at 4:23 PM on February 16 [62 favorites]


His approval rates keep going down, but he's willing to take that risk because it certainly whips up his base.

I guess if your only concern is whipping approval from a small but vocal contingent, then great. It's not going to maintain your majorities in Congress in 2018, though. His base is a small rump population that is aging rapidly.

Same thing about the whole "who has more guns" fallacy as if Trump voters are going to rise up as an armed group and take control of liberal cities. Trump supporters are hardly a unified group (look at the intra-deplorable fighting! look at Priebus v. Bannon v. Mattis v. the IC!), hardly sizeable enough to control anything but a bunch of lightly populated counties, and they're getting old fast. They're nothing like al-Baghdadi's hardened former Iraqi military fighters.

The man sounds demented, and deeply unpredictable, but the fact of the matter is that he's accomplished very little thus far, besides riling up his political opponents. I definitely can see a successful impeachment proceedings once Congressional Rs get a whiff of the consequences as more likely than an IC coup or a civil war.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:23 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


GQ's Natt Negrin cut this together: Donald Trump Can't Stop Talking About Hillary Clinton. He mentioned her by name 11 times today. Does he know he's not running against her anymore?

She went to see Sunset Boulevard on Broadway last night and got a standing ovation. I think Donny is jealous. Actually, this is possibly why he had a press conference today.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:23 PM on February 16 [68 favorites]


I've been trying to remember who Stephen Miller reminds me of, except maybe a balloon with two black dots for eyes drawn on with a marker pen. Anyway, it's Roark Junior, the Yellow Bastard out of Sin City. Except not quite as compassionate, obvs.
posted by Grangousier at 4:25 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


1. Shouldn't it be "finely-tuned machine"?

2. The media quiz is hilariously paranoid - editorialize where you can and use fake contact info. Also, I filled it out about 20 minutes ago and just went back to look at it again and there are several new questions included.

3. Was it just me or did it sound/look like he was panting during the press conference?

4. Here's another opinion piece on four possible ways to impeach the Mango Mussolini.
posted by bendy at 4:26 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


In the meantime, we all wish he'd move on from Finding Dory to finding the door. My worry is that he won't remember how to open it, when the day is there.
posted by Namlit at 4:28 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


the greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that’s 30 miles offshore right out of the water

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that would be an act of war. That's outside the 12 nautical mile territorial waters and outside the 24 nautical mile contiguous zone. There's an exclusive economic zone out to 200 nautical miles, but:
All nations have an absolute right under international law to conduct military activities beyond the territorial sea of another nation.
...
Most nations agreed with the position advocated by the major maritime powers, that “[m]ilitary operations, exercises and activities have always been regarded as internationally lawful uses of the sea. The right to conduct such activities will continue to be enjoyed by all States in the exclusive economic zone.”
The red zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the white zone.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:29 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


1. Shouldn't it be "finely-tuned machine"?

No hyphen with adverbs.

Also no nazis should be in power, but here we are: it's mirror universe. Hyphenate the whole thing!
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:31 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


during the G.W. Bush administration, there was at least the (cold) comfort that the idiot president was being manipulated by evil men with rational (evil) motivations

And a fuckton of experience in high level government positions. Rumsfeld and Cheney were career Washington insiders and GW's dad was a president and former head of the CIA. He was pretty much backed by the Republican equivalent of a Mob family.

Trump? He has some family, some webmasters and a couple of 4channers.
posted by srboisvert at 4:31 PM on February 16 [25 favorites]


4. Here's another opinion piece on four possible ways to impeach the Mango Mussolini.

method one was "prosecute under the Logan Act" so i stopped reading
posted by murphy slaw at 4:33 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


So I did that media survey on Trumps page that someone linked above and gave it garbage contact info. When I submitted it, the site then took me to a page asking for money that said "step 2 of 3". I think this means your vote in that shitty survey only counts if you give him money. What a fucking asshole. Well I guess this assures a survey outcome that he wants.
posted by FireFountain at 4:34 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]




Is Spicer writing his resignation letter right now? After today's shitshow, he's gotta be shitting himself thinking about his next press briefing.
posted by zakur at 4:35 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


After seeing the picture of Trump's aides having to stop him from wandering out of a signing ceremony before actually signing anything,

Where can I see this?
posted by drezdn at 4:35 PM on February 16


Why? Why? Politicians lie, all the time. It's a thing. But they do so with intent and discretion. Bill Clinton lied about his affairs because it was plausible there was at least one woman he didn't sleep with, and with purpose to protect his reputation. GWB lied about Iraq because it was plausible that Hussein had WMDs, and with purpose to justify the war he wanted. Why is Trump continuously telling implausible lies that serve no purpose? He fails to manage a basic level of forethought that any normal person would have.

Fair, but what if the lies have this level of forethought?

- He makes outrageous statements because they will fill the news cycle for days.

- Meanwhile, regulations will be repealed, the work of a new administration (slowly replacing appointees at the EPA, SEC, DOJ, etc.) will continue apace.

- The media is a tool to be used. This focus on press conferences, which are always in all cases about spin under the best administration you can imagine, distracts from the real work being done in remaking government in the image Trump and his backers want to see.

- Trump says the most horrendous things that you could imagine coming out of a POTUS in 2017, but really, who's making the decisions?

Last night, when I sat in a theatre listening to David Farenthold and two of his peers speak, Farenthold made this point (and here I'm paraphrasing from my notes): Basically, what we need to do is look at all of these bizarre [not Farenthold's word] pronouncements from both Trump and his appointees/staffers/surrogates and THEN look at what actually gets enacted. Because where there's a contradiction in terms of what's actually getting enacted vs. what is said by whomever as "This is what we're gonna do" tells us who's really making decisions.

But yeah, just taking as straight up POTUS-speaking-from-the-podium-stuff, the anti-Semitism question and answer that dances_with_sneetches posted above is frightening on a stand-alone basis, along with the other stuff (outright musing about committing acts of war, for example).

Don't get me wrong - his statements aren't to be dismissed - but the fucked-up theatrics (and those theatrics in and of themselves could have far-reaching unintended consequences) going on distract from the real stuff happening.


So the real stuff
:

Mr. Trump’s belief that the United States is being destroyed by the success of Mexico, China, Japan or “radical Islam” has brought a flood of declinists to Washington: Among those who now brief the White House are the authors of Stop the Islamization of America; The Post-American Presidency; Arab Winter Comes To America; and Adios, America.

Europe’s far-right parties have been ushered into prominence – and given a better-than-usual shot in the French, German, Dutch and Italian elections this year – by a flood of bestsellers with titles such as Germany Abolishes Itself; The Last Days of Europe; After the Fall: The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent; Reflections on the Revolution in Europe; Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow-Motion Suicide; and Submission. All argue that a weakened, feminized, coddled, birth-controlled Western culture has become too soft and impassive to resist invasion and dominance by supposedly more muscular, more fertile and more aggressive Asian and Islamic cultures.

History offers two lessons here.

The first is that declinism is never really about your own decline. Living standards and equality and security have all improved in most Western countries (or, if they’ve dipped, it’s been part of a worldwide slowdown); 2017 is no more a moment of Western decline than was 1918, when The Decline of the West first became a bestseller.

Rather, it’s about things getting better for other people. Mexicans, or Chinese, or immigrants and religious minorities in Europe and the United States, are having better lives, thriving, becoming more equal. For the declinist, their success must equate to our failure.

The second is that when Western countries actually do experience decline, it’s because people have elected a declinist. Pessimistic leaders tend to respond by doing things – closing borders to trade and immigration, restricting minorities, ending international co-operation, starting wars – that end up fulfilling their prophecies of decline.

That is the basic paradox of declinism: It’s simple-minded fiction, unless you believe in it and turn it into policy. Then, in your hands, it becomes history.


To bring it around, last night the Trump-covering journalists I listened to were asked "So this has been good for your subscriptions, despite being called the 'failing New York Times", etc?"

Susanne Craig said "I guess in the same way that you might say 'war is good for the economy,' yeah."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:36 PM on February 16 [40 favorites]


Where can I see this?

Ctrl+F "last supper" in this thread.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:36 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]




Thanks for this new thread Talez. That previous one was stressin my device..
Can i ask you to add the tag "usa" to it?
posted by The_Auditor at 4:37 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Is Spicer writing his resignation letter right now?

Why? He finally got to know today why his boss is unhappy with him. He doesn't yell enough. That can be fixed, no?
posted by Namlit at 4:37 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


And today we learned that CNN's standards allow reporters to tweet the word "shit" in a journalistic context. We're learning so many important things together.
posted by zachlipton at 4:38 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Last weekend, Stephen Miller said "statements that you can't criticize a judge demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of what it means to have separate and equal branches..." [emphasis added]. Huh, hey, what? No, the equality of the (power of the) branches is not a given. Weird. Was it a Freudian slip revealing he favors rolling back Brown v. Board of Education or are they trying to claim EOs shouldn't be subject to judicial review and hoping to resurrect an old phrase & give it a new meaning?
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 4:39 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


he won't remember how to open it

The prior Idiot King trademarked that move, yo.
posted by spitbull at 4:39 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


This finely-tuned shit sandwich goes to 11.
posted by holgate at 4:39 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


Jake Tapper reports that Harward called the job offer a "shit sandwich".

If they were any good at Fascism, there would be a dozen reasons why the words "shit sandwich" would never reach our screens here.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:39 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


In all his official statements, my congressmen, Ted. Lieu, adds an asterisk after Trump's name, much as one would do with Barry Bonds or Jose Conseco. Here is his response to the press conference. In full.

“The press conference by President Trump*** today reminded me of a fine-tuned machine.”

***In addition to losing the popular vote, Trump - as of January 20, 2017 - is in violation of the Emoluments Clause set forth in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution due to massive conflicts of interests and his refusal to put his global business holdings in blind trusts. Trump also benefitted from Vladimir Putin ordering a multifaceted and brazen Russian influence and cyber hacking campaign with the goals of undermining faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrating Secretary Clinton’s electability, and helping Trump’s election chances. Trump and his press secretary also routinely make stuff up
.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:40 PM on February 16 [74 favorites]


After Joe Trudeau and Malcolm Trumble, you too can have a Spicer-ized name. Hi, I'm Christ Sorge.

Spicer-ize my name: How White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would say your name
posted by chris24 at 4:41 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


So what is the life of an SNL writer like right now? 'Cuz I'm kinda seeing them getting a draft for Trump sketches together on Tuesday, only to scrap it and start re-writing on Wednesday, and then again on Thursday, and by Friday lunchtime they are probably holding their pages and praying that Trump stops for a while. Or do you just wait for Friday afternoon anyways and pick over the week to find the best sketch possibility?
posted by nubs at 4:42 PM on February 16


Some guy named Matt we've never heard of here just put "shit sandwich" on a red hat. It works.
posted by zachlipton at 4:43 PM on February 16 [50 favorites]


during the G.W. Bush administration, there was at least the (cold) comfort that the idiot president

So, without any "time fogs the memory" stuff here, and fully aware that W. was a horrible president who actively worked to enrich the already rich at the expense of everyone else, to me, there's still one important difference between Shrub and Shitgibbon is that, is W. was walking down the street and came upon someone who'd just been in an accident and was lying on the sidewalk, bleeding, you get the feeling that, however ineffectual he'd be, he would at least try to do something, even if only to call someone else to take care of it.

With delusional grandpa, you get the feeling that he'd start yelling about how the person must be at fault, then talk about how he'd never be in an accident, because he's too smart, look at this dumb person.

I guess with Bush, there was still some veneer of civil behavior mixed in, and no matter how confused, at least an attempt to match the gravity of a situation with something approaching the demeanor it called for. Not that he succeeded, but he at least made a (C student) attempt.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:43 PM on February 16 [48 favorites]


So what is the life of an SNL writer like right now? '

The next show is March 4th, two and a half weeks from now. I believe they are hoping we'll still be alive.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:44 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


>> After seeing the picture of Trump's aides having to stop him from wandering out of a signing ceremony before actually signing anything,
> Where can I see this?

At 9:27 in this video
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 4:46 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


That gives them plenty of time to find someone to play Sean Spicer's replacement.
posted by drezdn at 4:47 PM on February 16


Oh man, I just remembered that the main character in the movie Rockers gives a speech that ends with "all of the youth shall witness the day that Babylon shall fall!"

And I'm just now realizing, holy shit I think he was right.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:52 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I really believe that he's got the making of being a great president but he's got to have some structure in that White House."

I remember being the subject of a lot of discussions like this from elementary school teachers
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:53 PM on February 16 [32 favorites]


Trumps lying is fucking insane. When I'm talking to my patients they lie all the time, but they lie about shit that you would expect.

Me: "Do you drink alcohol?"
Them: "No! Just a every once in a while." while they are legit having two bottles of wine a night.

Me: "Have you been taking all your medications? Do you ever miss any?"
Them: "I take all my medications every day!" while they have not taken any meds for like months.

Me: "Have you been coping okay at home? Do we need to get someone in to give you a hand around the house?"
Them: "I'm doing just fine!" while they are fully setting their curtains on fire and falling every other day.

I expect this to some degree and accept it. This is the kind of lying I do not expect:
Me: "Have you ever had any previous surgeries? I see you've had previous coronary artery bypass grafts?"
Them, with huge sternal scar in the middle of their chest: "No, never."

Me: "So this is your third heart attack?"
Them: "No it isn't. I've never had a heart attack."

Me: "Tell me about how you lost your eye."
Them, wearing an eye patch: "I have never lost any eye what are you talking about lol."

If Trump lied like example one I would assume it was out of self preservation. This is how most people, including most politicans, lie. Trump lies like example two, which makes me want to give him a cognitive assessment. There is something seriously wrong with him, whether in his personality or in his organic brain matter I don't know, but wow.
posted by supercrayon at 4:54 PM on February 16 [73 favorites]


What does (ph) mean?

It means "phuuuuuuuuuuuuuck."
posted by kirkaracha at 4:54 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


New episode of Pod Save America is plugging resistancerecess.com to coordinate attending a town hall during the congressional recess.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:59 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


Every network now has the "Harward turned down Trump" story. This wasn't just about turning him down; this was about doing it as loudly and publicly as possible.
posted by zachlipton at 5:04 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


Well fuck me, I guess Republicans aren't the only ones who think their constituents take marching orders from a shadowy power-broker:
Senior Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday sought to stave off town hall protests from their own party, asking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to reach out and urge activists to redirect their anger at Republicans instead of at moderate Democratic lawmakers.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 5:05 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


NPR's evening report, though it covers some of the bizzare moments, is saying Trump was at times "funny" and "charming" at today's presser.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:06 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


4. Here's another opinion piece on four possible ways to impeach the Mango Mussolini.

That MLK bust in the background of the photo looks like history staring the little man down unblinking and finding him wanting.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:06 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Trump Winery Seeks Even More Foreign Workers

The winery, owned by Eric, has petitioned the federal government to bring in 23 foreign workers, in addition to the six workers they asked for in December.

So Eric's business, bearing the family name, has asked his dad's government to approve a petition. Might be a conflict of interest there, huh?
posted by zachlipton at 5:06 PM on February 16 [42 favorites]


NPR's evening report, though it covers some of the bizzare moments, is saying Trump was at times "funny" and "charming" at today's presser.

NPR is worse than Fox News.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:12 PM on February 16 [37 favorites]


Going back to the differences between Bush and Trump... I mean, the basic, simple duties of the president, Bush got that, for the most part. Show up, be pleasant, at the very least don't antagonize large swathes of the American public and/or foreign leaders. Trump? He fails at basic, humanizing things like filling out a March Madness bracket* or taking a moment to do the responsible presidential thing and say "anti-semitism is bad". As the op-ed points out, that's a softball pitch in a home run derby, just say those simple words, and you too can be presidential, but he can't even manage that. Sure, Bush would've made an embarrassingly illegible, fumbling attempt at it, but he would have at least recognized that he had an easy, and simple way to say something to make people think he could at least fulfill minimum requirements.

*In before "there's no need to fill in a bracket to participate this year, the Madness is (Gary Oldman voice) everywhere!
posted by Ghidorah at 5:14 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Funny and charming.... for a fascist.
posted by valkane at 5:15 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


NPR's evening report, though it covers some of the bizzare moments, is saying Trump was at times "funny" and "charming" at today's presser.

I turned off NPR after election day. They drove me nuts all through the cycle with their false equivalencies and not-calling-it-what-it-is bullshit. Used to love them, but the election really killed their main news stuff for me.

In the last three days, I've tried to give them a shot. This morning they had some guy on for an interview to talk about how unfair people are to Milo Y and his followers. Free speech, have better ideas, you're-so-mean-I'm-a-conservative-now stuff (I'm only barely paraphrasing there). And then, this afternoon, I heard Mara Liasson drop that "funny and charming" line.

I shouted at my radio. Like literally, angrily shouted, startled my girlfriend sitting in the front seat. It was only three words, but that's completely out of character for me. I feel awful for it. But I'm stuck with both the self-criticism of getting upset at the radio contrasted with my disgust that NPR is still pulling this shit. It's like they've learned nothing.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:16 PM on February 16 [59 favorites]


So what is the life of an SNL writer like right now?

“What if we just…”
“No.”
“But it’s so…”
“No.”
“Lorne, come on.”
“We cannot simply play the entire press conference. Write a damn skit.”

- @jamisonfoser
posted by lalex at 5:20 PM on February 16 [31 favorites]


> Where can I see this?
At 9:27 in this video


... And, while he's sitting down to sign it; he reaches over and touches that woman's hand for no damn reason.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:21 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Historical note from The Atlantic, only relevant because, you know:

Kompromat and Politics in Washington
How one journalist’s predicament illustrates a paradoxical aspect of Washington’s relationship to tolerance
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:23 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Going back to the differences between Bush and Trump...

So I don't want anyone to think I'm a fan of Dubya. I'm not. My views on him don't diverge very far from the general feelings about him on the blue. But compared to Twitler?

At more than $5 billion a year in humanitarian aid to Africa, President Bush has given more assistance to the continent than any other president. His administration's aid was largely targeted to fight the major global health issues facing the continent, HIV/AIDS and malaria.

That's what's so shocking. Even Dubya, with his wars and corporate giveaways and right-wing bullshit, even Dubya was capable of doing some real, significant, important good in the world. I can remember him saying things I really appreciated. I can remember moments of basic humanity from him that transcended partisan politics; it's crazy to say that, looking back on his tenure, but it happened.

And yet I can't fucking imagine being able to say that about Twitler. Like even in just this sort stretch of time, he should've been able to accidentally do the right thing in some way. I should be stuck with grudgingly giving him credit for something, right?

But I can't find it. I can't find anything. He's really that awful.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:23 PM on February 16 [114 favorites]


That Politico thing about the background checks has some weirdness.

Some of the aides were "walked out of the building by security" on Wednesday after not passing the SF86, a Questionnaire for National Security Positions for security clearance.

You can't pass or fail the SF86. It's just an incredibly detailed form that is miserable to fill out. You can lie on it by not listing stuff, like say any drug use (in the last X years, depending on the clearance its being used for) or debts. You can, I suppose, just not fill the thing out which is the only way I can think that you "not pass" it. But the form is just the basis for a background investigation.

I guess they mean these people listed things that were deal-breakers. In theory that's just foreign entanglements (pause for your irony overload here if you need to) and stuff like drug use isn't necessarily disqualifying if it's not something that you can be blackmailed over. In reality that's surely never true, but depending on the position I think you could have used in the reporting period if it was long enough ago.

But "failed" doesn't really make sense.
posted by phearlez at 5:24 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


He's the high school running back who 20 years later is still talking about how he ran for 4 TDs against Lincoln High.

I'd definitely take Uncle Rico ahead of Trump, though.
posted by Rumple at 5:24 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


One could disagree with Reagan or Obama but they weren't pathological liars who incessantly invented stories (my crowd size! my electoral college votes!) and made everything up in their bizarro fantasyland of lunacy.

You are either misremembering or were mistaught Reagan. He was, I will grant, a lot more likeable. He was also a sitting, active president while his faculties declined due to dementia. He lied all the fucking time. I recognize that the discourse about the use of the word lies turns on intent. That is fucking bullshit. Ronnie was a shitgibbon too.
posted by mwhybark at 5:25 PM on February 16 [50 favorites]


Trump is a philosophical zombie, and so it doesn't make sense to talk about him in terms of purpose or intent

I didn't sign up for the Peter Watts future, just for the record.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:26 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


James Fallows had a good couple of tweets on the antisemitism question. This is stuff is supposed to be the easy part of politicking. All you have to do is denounce something, condemn it, call it un-American, etc... I mean, an actual leader would do more and talk about how he's going to address the problem or say something inspirational or quote someone significant or whatever. But at the most basic level, "what do you think about BAD_THING_THAT_HAPPENED?" is a hard question to get wrong. You have to go pretty far out of your way to do it this badly. And yet here we are.

I'm surprised we haven't heard more spin on this one. If the White House is pressed on it, my prediction is that we'll be told that the President didn't hear the question properly (probably with a side of blaming the reporter for asking it wrong somehow) and that Netanyahu said everything's fine so how dare you even ask the question.

Of course, I'm guessing there won't be a press briefing tomorrow since the President is going to the Boeing plant, so Spicey doesn't have to sweat the follow-ups.
posted by zachlipton at 5:27 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


or taking a moment to do the responsible presidential thing and say "anti-semitism is bad"

The rise in anti-semitism (and its under-reporting, and Trumps repeated failure to condemn it) is the real canary in the coal mine. I know it seems like the whole mine is on fire, but things could indeed get much worse and this is, I think, the leading and truest indicator of the darkest (and perhaps likeliest) future..
posted by Rumple at 5:28 PM on February 16 [34 favorites]


You are either misremembering or mistaught Reagan.

I stand corrected and say in my defense it was the 80's and I was a college student then a nightclub DJ so my memory may have been influenced by the excesses of that era.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:29 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


To put Melania Trump keeping Michelle Obama's garden in context:

Politico, Oct. 2016: Michelle Obama sets her garden in stone
First lady Michelle Obama is making sure that whoever inhabits the White House next doesn’t rip out her iconic vegetable garden — at least not without a big fuss.

On Wednesday afternoon, Obama unveiled a much bigger version of the garden, which uses cement, stone and steel to make it a more permanent fixture on the South Lawn. The updates are seen not just as preserving Obama’s garden — recognized globally as a symbol of local food — but also as a way to dissuade, say, a President Donald Trump from scrapping it the way Ronald Reagan tore out Jimmy Carter's solar panels after he moved into the White House.

“I think people would be really upset,” said Marta McDowell, a landscape historian who recently wrote a book on White House gardens. She called Obama’s preservation plan “brilliant,” adding, “If it were taken out, it would truly just be a political statement.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:31 PM on February 16 [27 favorites]


This is a new level of humiliation. Christie says Trump made him order the meatloaf at meal together
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says President Donald Trump made him order meatloaf when they dined together at the White House this week. Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, joined Trump at the White House on Tuesday.

The Republican governor said while guest hosting a New York sports talk radio show Thursday that Trump pointed out the menu and told people to get whatever they want. Then he said he and Christie were going to have the meatloaf.

‘‘This is what it’s like to be with Trump,’’ Christie said. ‘‘He says, ‘There’s the menu, you guys order whatever you want.’ And then he says, ‘Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.’’’
Chris, Chris, Chris. Why the hell would you tell us this story? We already knew you were pathetic. Now you're telling us you weren't even allowed to select your own dinner choice from the menu? And apparently you just took it and got the meatloaf? Trump has done the unthinkable and actually made me feel bad for Chris Christie. Over meatloaf. What has happened?
posted by zachlipton at 5:32 PM on February 16 [159 favorites]


For those of you interested in the NPR comment on being Funny and Charming, the clip is online. That quote is at around 1:20. There's no transcript, so here's my go:

"This is the Donald Trump we got to know during the campaign. He was defensive, he was frustrated, he was aggrieved, he was combative -- but he was also funny and charming, like he was with the press during all those years in New York as a fixture in the tabloids. I am told he was pretty pleased with his performance today and that he is now in high spirits."
posted by miguelcervantes at 5:32 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Jared Kushner Delivers Critique of CNN to Time Warner Executive

Kushner is now complaining both to Zucker and CNN's corporate parent about their coverage, including bashing specific panelists by name, as said corporate parent has a massive acquisition deal pending review by the federal government. This is all kinds of messed up.
posted by zachlipton at 5:37 PM on February 16 [30 favorites]


I think maybe DT doesn't have a theory of mind
posted by bq at 5:38 PM on February 16 [24 favorites]


I am told he was pretty pleased with his performance today and that he is now in high spirits.

Oh that's no good, someone has to tell him how he actually did.

Also are sure that isn't just the cocaine buzz? Is he going to be all grumpy during his comedian tomorrow? Here's hoping he has to deal with something high stress.
posted by Artw at 5:40 PM on February 16


NPR has long been consumed by Stockholm Syndrome. Useless and timid journalism that sets out not to offend anyone.
posted by spitbull at 5:41 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


“We cannot simply play the entire press conference. Write a damn skit.”

- @jamisonfoser


I liked an idea put out in one of the responses. Have Baldwin, in full Trump voice, deliver an excerpt of Obama's speeches, word for word. A crude, depressing, and strangely funny way to show how quickly and far the WH has fallen.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:41 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


I think it's worth noting that the reporter who asked the antisemitism question works for Ami Magazine and from his dress is very obviously an Orthodox Jew. Wikipedia describes Ami as
one of the three leading magazines in the New York City Orthodox community, alongside Mishpacha and Binah.
So we're not talking about something with a huge readership, even within its own community. It's surprising that their reporter would get a seat at a White House press conference, or get called on. We know that the Trump team has been trying to manipulate press conferences and the questions that get asked; here's someone who you wouldn't expect to get a question, who lobs a very respectful softballish one towards the President ... and gets blasted down.

I have a feeling that Trump just fscked up: this guy was there as a circuit breaker and to make Trump look Presidential, but Trump was too erratic and offbalance to recognise or remember that so he just unloaded all his frustrations on the poor schmoe from Brooklyn having his one moment in the limelight. It's funny and scary and sad, all at once.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:42 PM on February 16 [79 favorites]


Trump has done the unthinkable and actually made me feel bad for Chris Christie. Over meatloaf. What has happened?

His name is Reek. And we don't feel bad for him. The reason he's taking this abuse is he's dying to stay in power in this shit sandwich of an administration. If he gets in some capacity, he'll be continuing causing untold damage to real people's lives just like he's done in New Jersey.

His name is Reek, and he deserves the fucking meatloaf.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:42 PM on February 16 [64 favorites]


I think maybe DT doesn't have a theory of mind

dude i don't know if he has object permanence
posted by murphy slaw at 5:42 PM on February 16 [126 favorites]


In fairness, Christie probably appreciated that the President didn't make him order the shit sandwich. I hear it's a White House specialty now.
posted by zachlipton at 5:42 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Joe in Australia, a frum friend of mine is very familiar with the Orthodox reporter (she often publishes in Mishpacha) and is amazed at the attention being paid to this basically unknown reporter.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:44 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Also are sure that isn't just the cocaine buzz? Is he going to be all grumpy during his comedian tomorrow? Here's hoping he has to deal with something high stress.

He was experiencing a narcissitic injury episode and did what he had to do to make himself feel better and feel like he got control back. That presser was like therapy to him.

So yeah he'll feel great for a little while. At first it won't matter what people think HE DID AWESOME.

Won't last because it changed nothing. Made it all worse. So the cycle will start again.
posted by Jalliah at 5:45 PM on February 16 [19 favorites]


Betsy DeVos’s Brother Is Setting Up A Private Army For China, Sources Say

Former associates of the 47-year-old Prince told BuzzFeed News that the controversial businessman envisions using the bases to train and deploy an army of Chinese retired soldiers who can protect Chinese corporate and government strategic interests around the world, without having to involve the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

In December, Frontier Services Group, of which Prince is chairman, issued a press release that outlined plans to open “a forward operating base in China’s Yunnan province” and another in the troubled Xinjiang region, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

“He’s been working very, very hard to get China to buy into a new Blackwater,” said one former associate. “He’s hell bent on reclaiming his position as the world’s preeminent private military provider.”


Holy SHIT.
posted by futz at 5:46 PM on February 16 [64 favorites]


You are either misremembering or were mistaught Reagan. He was, I will grant, a lot more likeable. He was also a sitting, active president while his faculties declined due to dementia. He lied all the fucking time. I recognize that the discourse about the use of the word lies turns on intent. That is fucking bullshit. Ronnie was a shitgibbon too.

Every Republican President since Nixon has been a distraction, not a leader. Ronnie preened for the cameras, GHWB stumbled through continuing Reagan's legacy, Dubya bumbled amiably, Trump threatens and blusters, and all of them are cover for the wonks and true believers behind them fucking dismantling America, handing it over to the wealthy and meddling in global affairs (the last being a euphemism for killing lots of people in the name of profit).

This is why I said that Trump was not a completely new and unique phenomenon and not that different from Reagan in an election thread, and got roasted for it. It was not a compliment in any way for Trump because Reagan did more damage to America than anyone else in my lifetime. What has changed over that time is forty years of relentless deregulation of the media, howling propaganda over the airwaves, what the Internet has done to us, and a gradual normalization and acceptance of horrible tactics and behavior. What was once unthinkable is our new status quo. I'm not sure that I want to see the next stage.
posted by delfin at 5:46 PM on February 16 [34 favorites]


It's surprising that their reporter would get a seat at a White House press conference, or get called on. We know that the Trump team has been trying to manipulate press conferences and the questions that get asked; here's someone who you wouldn't expect to get a question, who lobs a very respectful softballish one towards the President ... and gets blasted down.

Immediately before that exchange, Trump mused aloud that he wanted a "friendly reporter":

"Well, let's see who is I want to find a friendly reporter. Are you a friendly reporter? Watch how friendly he is. Wait wait - watch how friendly he is. Go ahead."

He's up there, scanning the room, and as he's saying this, he lands on a guy with a big beard and yarmulke. "Watch how friendly he is." Trump considers himself a hero to Jews - he reacts the way he does because he's so shocked that this guy isn't asking him how much of a friend he'll be to Israel.
posted by theodolite at 5:47 PM on February 16 [24 favorites]


Oh that's no good, someone has to tell him how he actually did.

That Kushner got sent over to CNN to complain about their coverage suggests that someone DID tell him how he actually did.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:47 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]




TIL: Betsy DeVos is Erik Prince's sister. Now I understand how she got the job. Thanks, futz.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:53 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Have Baldwin, in full Trump voice, deliver an excerpt of Obama's speeches, word for word. A crude, depressing, and strangely funny way to show how quickly and far the WH has fallen.

This was at the core of Tina Fey's effectiveness on Sarah Palin, she often more or less just repeated Palin's erratic, rambling statements.

which now sound so coherent and persuasive
posted by Rumple at 5:53 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Donald is also really missing his people. He gets a bit of it at Mar-a-lago but he wants his cheering people. If you think about it all he's really seeing and hearing about are people coming out in big numbers against him.
Where are his people? Why aren't his people out there making noise like these Liberals and supporting me? So part of the presser really was for them. Not just so he feels like he's directly talking to them but also he wants them to show themselves. So he's playing the victim and telling them they're being victimized and it's time to fight. This weekends rally is part of that. Partly to help Trump feel good and partly to get his people to try to get off their butts and do something.
posted by Jalliah at 5:54 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


Putin's distancing message to the state media looks like a smokescreen to me.

Thanks, Metafilter, for being here so I'm sure it's not just me seeing the nature of this shitstorm.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 5:55 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Fox News isn't suddenly going after Trump because they've found journalistic scruples. They're moving because the serious Republican machine nabobs are mad at Trump and want their evangelical wunderkind in as president. That dog doesn't bark without orders from its master.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 5:57 PM on February 16 [18 favorites]


Oh yes XP.H, the ties are deep. I know that a lot of mefites don't like The Intercept but they have had the best reporting on this creep. Memail me or do a search.

More about Devos's brother, Erik Prince.

During the campaign, Prince donated $100,000 to the Trump Victory Committee, which supported both Trump’s election bid and the Republican Party. Jeremy Scahill, a journalist who has long covered Prince, recently wrote that the businessman is advising the Trump Administration.

Just four days before the election, Prince gave an interview to Breitbart radio, part of the media empire that Bannon used to run, in which Prince pushed an unfounded theory that the NYPD had been about to announce arrest warrants in the Clinton investigation but was blocked by the Justice Department, and that Hillary Clinton had been to a “sex island” with a convicted pedophile “at least six times.”

posted by futz at 5:58 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]



‘‘This is what it’s like to be with Trump,’’ Christie said. ‘‘He says, ‘There’s the menu, you guys order whatever you want.’ And then he says, ‘Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.’’’


This kind of behavior is not uncommon.

In 24/7 D/s relationships.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:58 PM on February 16 [43 favorites]


Fox News isn't suddenly going after Trump because they've found journalistic scruples. They're moving because the serious Republican machine nabobs are mad at Trump and want their evangelical wunderkind in as president. That dog doesn't bark without orders from its master.

Maybe Trump did stroke out and now can't work Norquist's proverbial pen.
posted by Talez at 5:59 PM on February 16


It's surprising that their reporter would get a seat at a White House press conference, or get called on.

I'm not sure it's that surprising he would get a seat. I believe I've seen him at press briefings before (not with a seat) and press conferences are generally open to a pretty wide pool of publications. There were a lot of reporters there. It's a small publication, but they pay for someone to cover DC politics and that person is credentialed for the White House.

That he got called on is the part where it gets ugly. As theodolite mentioned, Trump said he was outright looking for a "friendly reporter" when he called on him. The guy wearing the yarmulke. Yeah.

And frankly, it was a friendly question. It started with the premise that Trump has Jewish family and nobody in the reporter's community has accused anybody at the White House of being anti-Semitic. And Trump cut him off and ordered him to sit down before he could even finish asking it. An unfriendly question would have invoked, say, the "sheriff's star" tweet or Steve Bannon's alleged comments about his kids' school or Holocaust Remembrance Day or the international banking conspiracy speech/ad or why he and his staff keep retweeting white supremacists or why Jewish reporters keep getting pictures of gas chambers sent to them. This was as friendly and straight as it gets, and all the man had to do to slide by with a gentleman's C was to listen to the question and somehow denounce or condemn bigotry. He didn't.
posted by zachlipton at 5:59 PM on February 16 [70 favorites]


I feel like the most cutting SNL move might be to have some professional speechwriters go over Trump's word salad sputterings and edit them into cogent-sounding answers, then have Baldwin deliver them completely deadpan like a respectable and intelligent orator.
posted by contraption at 6:00 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


How much do you have to love Nazis to fuck up "is antisemitism bad"?
posted by Artw at 6:02 PM on February 16 [71 favorites]


Huh, looks like somebody told an Italian parade about the dream I have every night now.

That's only the secondmost horrible dream I've had represented in an Italian parade on YouTube. So, there's hope.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:04 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I feel like the most cutting SNL move might be to have some professional speechwriters go over Trump's word salad sputterings and edit them into cogent-sounding answers, then have Baldwin deliver them completely deadpan like a respectable and intelligent orator.

Or have an actual Orangutan stand behind the podium and have the press corps compliment each series of grunts and screeches as the most coherent thing he's said since he's been in office.
posted by OHenryPacey at 6:04 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Trump? He fails at basic, humanizing things like filling out a March Madness bracket* or taking a moment to do the responsible presidential thing and say "anti-semitism is bad".

What you have to remember about DJT is that he thinks he is a genius even though he is a moron, and the essence of what he thinks he is his genius is contrarianism, seeing what everyone else is doing and boldly doing something else. That this has often thrown him into bankruptcy doesn't faze him because he reframes that as "genius use of the bankruptcy provisions" and so on for his other failures. As long as he can find a bigger fool, and so far he always has, he doesn't have to admit to himself that he has ever made a mistake. And he believes his genius consists of a willingness to do what other people aren't doing. If you think about it those two things actually explain just about everything.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:09 PM on February 16 [21 favorites]


Buzzfeed: White House Staff Are Using A ‘Secure’ App That’s Really Not So Secure: BuzzFeed News found the phone numbers of Spicer, along with Hope Hicks, the director of strategic communications, via a feature which allows users to see friends who have already joined.

In a phone call with BuzzFeed News, Spicer confirmed that he used the app, but said that he had done so only once, when asked to do so by a reporter “months ago.” He offered to show a BuzzFeed News reporter his phone as proof.

“I downloaded it, but I’m glad to show anyone my phone and that I’ve literally sent one message on Confide,” said Spicer. “These are personal phones… I also have iTunes on my personal phone, Solitaire, and other apps. Frankly I think the idea that you guys are writing a story, the idea of what apps I use on my phone, is an invasion of my privacy.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:11 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Or have an actual Orangutan stand behind the podium

Orangutans are kind, gentle creatures. I expect you will be slandering manatees, next.
posted by My Dad at 6:15 PM on February 16 [37 favorites]


The 9th Circuit says it will hold off on considering the travel ban case en banc, pending a new executive order.
posted by zachlipton at 6:15 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


This kind of (meatloaf) behavior is not uncommon. In 24/7 D/s relationships.

The difference is that in the D/s relationship the D person is getting something out of it. I am sure Trump didn't get anything so titillating out of doing that to Christie; his thought process was something more like "I want to make sure Chris has the best meal here, and I'm having the meatloaf since it's the best meatloaf ever and I'm having it so that's that, and Chris needs to see how good the meatloaf is because he's going to be totally blown away by this meatloaf, it is such a Trump meatloaf, Chris you're having the meatloaf with me. We are totally going to manbond over this awesome meatloaf."
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:15 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


Don't worry, the Orthodox community is still team Trump all the way. Seriously, I made the mistake of reading the comments on the anti-Semitism q/a video earlier, and the defense and denial from Orthodox Jews (my people) is enraging.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews, the readers of Ami magazine et al, do not focus on the Holocaust and its lessons the way other Jews worldwide have for the past few generations. So people whose parents and/or grandparents were literally killed in Germany, Russia, and Poland, are not the anti-fascists you'd think they would be.

I have many hypotheses for this (and general conservatism, support for Trump and Trump-like figures), and the one I've been crystalizing of late is that most Orthodox Jews live in (enclaves in) liberal cities and states. They've all the advantages of tolerance and multiculturalism (yes, yes, I know it's not perfect here, but relatively), and, I think, identify as "white." Once one is not worried about being actively discriminated against, it's easy to punch down.

Of course, we aren't, and never will be, white - at least not to those who care about "whiteness."

I don't know; it's complicated. But I've heard from members of my Shul full-throated defenses of SCROTUS, Sessions, etc, that their grandparents would probably slap them over.
posted by mhz at 6:16 PM on February 16 [23 favorites]


TIL: Betsy DeVos is Erik Prince's sister. Now I understand how she got the job. Thanks, futz.

Can we not do this? She got the job entirely on her own shitty Christianist/privatizing merits, not because of who she's related to.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:17 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


That Jewish reporter was a true Trump believer as of January 20. Trump can't even hit the softest of soft balls.
posted by Yowser at 6:17 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


NPR's evening report, though it covers some of the bizzare moments, is saying Trump was at times "funny".

But not "ha ha" funny.
posted by jackbishop at 6:20 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


adamgreenfield, I don't believe that for even one second in this case. These chuckleheads are all tightly bound together in corruption. They're like the mafia. So, whenever a position needs to be filled, the only people they can find that they can trust are Vinnie, Vinnie, and Tommy Two-Shoes.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:20 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Can we not do this? She got the job entirely on her own shitty Christianist/privatizing merits, not because of who she's related to.

Why couldn't it both? I don't think it's necessarily sexist to note her personal connections -- if she were Prince's brother instead, I'd have the same suspicion.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:22 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


MeatloaFilter: This kind of behavior is not uncommon.
posted by mwhybark at 6:22 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Yes, but by your own admission, you hadn't previously been aware of her. Some of us had been.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:22 PM on February 16


Trump can't fuck up. He can't fail. He and the Republican agenda are a snowball in motion. It doesn't matter what they do or don't do...because so much of the populace is deeply entrenched in the propaganda. BROWN PEOPLE BAD. FOREIGNERS BAD. POOR PEOPLE BAD. FOREIGN RELATIONS BAD. NATIONAL SECURITY-CLOSE THE BOARDERS. Etc. and so on.

I personally believe that 9/11 was the Reichstag fire of the 21st century. It was then and that event that caused so many to LOSE THEIR FUCKING MINDS.

I was a Navy dependent living in Southern Europe during most of the 1980s and lived on installations that experienced terrorist acts. I was pretty damn close when General Dozier was kidnapped by the Red Brigade. When that shit happened, we all got "terrorism training". Even though I was a civilian teen dependent, I got training. It was all fact and science/intellectually based. It made sense and it worked.

When 9/11 happened the response was THE EXACT OPPOSITE. Nothing smart was implemented. Nothing intelligent or common sense. Immediately I knew (thought that) our leadership was weak as fuck.

The response was mostly OMG and weeping bald eagles and more OMG. Since when does the UNITED STATES all of a sudden be all "Oh, poor us! We're victims!"

The attack on the twin towers was definitely spectacular, but hardly the REAL AND ONGOING THREAT that it was made out to be.

I know I'm incoherently ranting now, but the important point is that, 9/11 created a situation that could only be resolved by having a "strong daddy"-Trump. All based on falsehoods and dismissal of reality.

That's why I'm advocating for the destruction of FOX news.

I swear there was a Twilight Zone episode that very clearly illustrated this very fucking problem.

(Maybe the one where they destroyed the computer in the cave that was guiding folks in a post apocalyptic world?)

(Sorry, yes, I am slowly losing my mind.)
posted by snsranch at 6:22 PM on February 16 [95 favorites]


She got the job entirely on her own shitty Christianist/privatizing merits, not because of who she's related to.

It can easily be both. Trump takes pride in running a family business of different entangled interests and looks for the same in his allies.
posted by Candleman at 6:22 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


The Italian parades are for carnival and the one in Viareggio is arguably the most popular. It's an art form. They are essentially an exercise in punching up (mostly. There is as usual some racist, xenophobic and sexist nonsense which is hard to swallow) and the carri are usually political satire. I remember some very raunchy ones featuring Bill Clinton from when I was a kid.

Berlusconi is a perennial laughing stock and now Trump has joined the party! Fun times. Here are some more Trump floats.
posted by lydhre at 6:23 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


Yes, and I just discovered how she's connected to this corrupt group of people. And now it makes sense to me.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:23 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Can we not do this? She got the job entirely on her own shitty Christianist/privatizing merits, not because of who she's related to.

$$$$ She gave something like $800,000 to the rupubs including many who were "deciders" at her confirmation hearing.
posted by futz at 6:25 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Steady snsranch! Freaketh not the fuck out, the fight is on so fight!
posted by vrakatar at 6:26 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


lydhre: Berlusconi is a perennial laughing stock and now Trump has joined the party! Fun times. Here are some more Trump floats.

Holy shit. Those are amazing.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:27 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]



Dammit. All the meatloaf talk made me pine for Mom's meatloaf. She makes the best meatloaf in the world. It would put your damn meatloaf to shame Donald.
I'm grateful to report that I wandered to my parents part of the house, got down on bended knee, told her the meatloaf story asked if she might be able to make hers sometime soon.

I just have to wait until dinner tomorrow!

So hey, that's something good that has come out of Trumpworld today. Taking whatever little thing I can get at this point.
posted by Jalliah at 6:28 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


I'll be over around 7 with a couple bottles of wine and this cool Pride and Prejudice game my brother got me for my birthday!
posted by Deoridhe at 6:31 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Just a reminder that the election for DNC chair is next week. If you care about the direction the Democratic Party takes from here, you should contact the DNC members and let them know your preference for chair. Keith Ellison still seems a natural choice, from my perspective. Naturally, many DNC members are elected officials, so they ought to be fairly responsive to public feedback. This purports to be a list of DNC members from last year. I am not sure about its current accuracy. If you use it to contact people and find any inaccuracies, please MeMail me, and I'll try to set up something more current.
posted by Coventry at 6:34 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Fox News isn't suddenly going after Trump because they've found journalistic scruples.

Is this a fair characterization of what's going on? Fox News going after Trump? And not just... one surprisingly harsh segment? (It may well be, I'm not arguing, I genuinely want to know!)
posted by Andrhia at 6:35 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I expect you will be slandering manatees, next.

"That's impossible! Manatees are a very, very kind and gentle animal. The most gentle, ask anyone. And some of my best friends are manatees! Here, talk to my good friend, Hugh!"

Try the veal, tip your waiter, here all week
posted by Ghidorah at 6:36 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Keith Ellison has requested that people not contact DNC members directly. I'm not saying anyone shouldn't mention it to their elected officials, but that is what his campaign is requesting right now.
posted by zachlipton at 6:40 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Coventry, who else is running for DNC chair? I know a little about Ellison, but shamefully little else about what the dems are up to on that front, and they are my party, hence shamefully. ENLIGHTEN ME!
posted by vrakatar at 6:42 PM on February 16


He was experiencing a narcissitic injury episode and did what he had to do to make himself feel better and feel like he got control back. That presser was like therapy to him.

THIS THIS THIS. This entire press conference was Trump making himself feel better by lashing out at the people he had perceived as hurting him (the press.) He feels fucking great right now. He won't understand why the intensity of the criticism against him increases (goddamn I HOPE it fucking does). In his mind, when you get treated the way he treated the press today, the correct response is submission.

Of course to those of us living in reality, he went out there and acted completely batshit and unhinged and we're thinking about what serious things we can do about it. This is what it is like being around a narcissist. The "holy crap that person just WENT OFF for no reason, maybe we should call a professional" feeling. But in their mind they were justly retaliating for whatever you did to them first when you didn't fulfill their idea of how they should be treated.

Eventually he will realize that people aren't reacting by submitting and instead are continuing to question him. There will be another wave of anger (probably at his rally on Saturday.)
posted by threeturtles at 6:43 PM on February 16 [81 favorites]


I think the time for reasonble debate, and refuting arguments and all that has been and gone in both the US and the UK. (well duh)

But maybe it's time to play the same game. Wildly irresponsible use of bots, channel jamming, message overload.
Millions of Memes about being nice to people.
Hordes of bots suggesting reasonable compromise.
Every single twitter conversation gets flooded with a bot Sealioning the notion of being a decent human being.
Jam the TV transmitters with broadcasts of 1970's open university courses on critical thinking.
Break into the daily mail print shop floor every day and replace the headlines with "Tolerance and Respect for Others Found to Cure Cancer" (And the express can run "EXCLUSIVE: Why Lady diana liked broadbase consensus policy making")
What else... Oh yeah, Spray paint every billboard with "Council Taxes pay for tidy streets and maybe a nice flowerbed on the high street"

Maybe we can get together and find some sort of barely coherant demagogue to spew a message of peace and tolerance!
"Believe me, it's gonna be great! We're going to make politics bearable again. Everyone knows that the notion of decency and tolerance is totally great, okay, totally great. The best. My opponents, who are actual people with feelings deep down , by the way probably have some good points to make, maybe great points. Okay. So I say let's have a constructive dialogue, no one does constructive dialogue like me okay, it's gonna be great"

If the GOP (and UKIP and the Tories and, well let's be honest pretty much the whole british political system) are going to replace reasonable political behaviour with populism and media manipulation I say we use media manipualtion and populism to advocate for reasonable political behaviour.
(I may have stopped making sense 299 words ago....)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:43 PM on February 16 [42 favorites]


Do you suppose that after the day is done, and everyone goes home; the mental therapeutic community goes out for drinks, and high fives over how much money they are making, due to this election and ongoing administration?
posted by Oyéah at 6:44 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Oops, I under-exaggerated.

Here’s How Much Betsy DeVos And Her Family Paid To Back GOP Senators Who Will Support Her

Big donors often get positions in government, ambassadorships or ceremonial titles, but rarely do they come as big as DeVos. Sitting Republican senators have received $115,000 from Betsy DeVos herself, and more than $950,000 from the full DeVos clan since 1980. In the past two election cycles alone, her family has donated $8.3 million to Republican Party super PACs.

And at her confirmation hearing:

Sanders: “Mrs. DeVos, there is a growing fear, I think, in this country that we are moving toward what some would call an oligarchic form of society, where a small number of very, very wealthy billionaires control, to a significant degree, our economic and political life. Would you be so kind as to tell us how much your family has contributed to the Republican Party over the years?”

DeVos: “Senator, first of all thank you for that question. I again was pleased to meet you in your office last week. I wish I could give you that number. I don’t know.”

Sanders: “I have heard the number was $200 million. Does that sound in the ballpark?”

DeVos: “Collectively? Between my entire family?”

Sanders: “Yeah, over the years.”

DeVos: “That’s possible”


So yes, she got the job due to who she was related to and the mountain of money that they threw at republicans. It is both.
posted by futz at 6:45 PM on February 16 [43 favorites]


No; they are largely just as stressed out.
posted by yhbc at 6:46 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


That was low hanging fruit, I bet they are. They are professional attention payers, and therefore it must be twice as hard on them, since they get it fifty times over.
posted by Oyéah at 6:48 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I checked out the links Coventry I got a handle on it. I like that Harrison guy, maybe next time.
posted by vrakatar at 6:49 PM on February 16


For all of you who watched the press conference (and TV news generally), thank you from the bottom of my heart for passing it along here. I just can't do it. I'm currently sitting in a waiting room with the nightly news blaring out from the TV and I want to throw a brick at it (or my head - whatever shuts it up). I don't know how you all manage.
posted by downtohisturtles at 6:51 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


vrakatar: List of DNC chair candidates.
posted by Coventry at 6:51 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


He's just running the country like a business. When you're the CEO, you get to go out and demean the employees all you want, yell, rant, lie to them, scream nonsense and they have to just take it, and applaud your every utterance, because they work for you. You pay them. They just have to take it. That's business.

Anyone that's worked for a large corporation recognizes this. But what he doesn't understand is government isn't a business, and the USA isn't a company, and we don't work for him. In fact, he's supposed to work for us.

I don't think he, or anyone who thinks the country can be run like a business will ever understand this.
posted by valkane at 6:52 PM on February 16 [34 favorites]


The competitor to Ellison is Tom Perez. Neither of them are convincing me that the DNC and the Democratic Party are serious about winning or getting Progressives on board. I wish either of them could layout a cogent strategy that does not have to be walked back as a "misspoken" item.
posted by jadepearl at 6:52 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Oops, should have hit preview.
posted by Coventry at 6:52 PM on February 16


Don't worry, the Orthodox community is still team Trump all the way.

They're loud, and they're there, but it's not actually overwhelming or even a majority. Only 39% of Orthodox Jews voted for Trump. And while I completely agree that it's mind-boggling how they can side with this man and all he clearly stands for, the ones I know all say the same thing - because of Ivanka and Jared, they still believe that Jews are in no actual danger. That they've always known about anti-semitism on the far right, it's always been there, David Duke and his cohort have been around for decades, but the growing anti-semitism coupled with anti-Israel activism on the left scares them more. FWIW.
posted by Mchelly at 6:52 PM on February 16 [20 favorites]


So people whose parents and/or grandparents were literally killed in Germany, Russia, and Poland, are not the anti-fascists you'd think they would be.

You see this in the Hispanic community, too, especially among those groups who arrived in the US middle-class (or honestly, even working class) and not as housekeepers or migrant laborers. They can be phenomenally anti-black and prone to thinking that surely if they can act white enough, they'll be welcomed. My family did this, despite not having any money to speak of, because they were fairer. Fat lot of good it did--my dad died in poverty after losing the best job he ever had to discrimination years before. But damned if he ever voted Democrat. Or accepted welfare.

It's not okay, but it's not surprising, either. The people on top have invested a lot in making sure that everybody further down the ladder expends all their energy fighting each other to prevent anybody from going after the real power. The carrot is awfully tempting, and more so when you're able to ignore that there's a stick.
posted by Sequence at 6:53 PM on February 16 [27 favorites]


No; they are largely just as stressed out.

Yeah, I've heard a few first-hand accounts of the effects on people with PTSD and other stress-accentuated mental illnesses, with clinicians in institutional / group settings requesting bans on cable news, especially as ambient background.
posted by holgate at 6:54 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


DNC: If you haven't listened to both Tom Perez and Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg (boot-edge-edge) on Pod Save America (formerly Keepin' it 1600) you should. Honestly I like what I hear from both them and Ellison, and I'm mostly glad I don't have to vote in this one :)

Interview w/ Perez

interview with Mayor Pete
posted by Wulfhere at 6:58 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


CNN chief says Trump’s attacks are boosting morale

“They wear those insults as a badge of honor, because it means they are doing their jobs,” Zucker said, referring to the network’s reporters and employees. “I would say that morale is incredibly high ... They are not being intimidated, they are not backing down, they know they have my full support and it is a very exciting time, frankly, to be a journalist at CNN.”

Added Zucker, “If there is any issue, it is because they are exhausted. The pace has been nonstop, and it has not let up.”

posted by Jalliah at 7:04 PM on February 16 [40 favorites]


Keith Ellison has requested that people not contact DNC members directly.

I can't see a good reason for following that instruction.
posted by Coventry at 7:06 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


I now have been reminded where I know Acosta's name from. I couldn't remember because every time I tried to remember him I only got Jim.

He prosecuted Jeffrey "13 months for repeatedly raping a minor" Epstein.
posted by Talez at 7:09 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Here’s How Much Betsy DeVos And Her Family Paid To Back GOP Senators Who Will Support Her

See? The key to succeeding in the largest pyramid scheme ripoff in history is to be at the top of the pyramid!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:16 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


emjaybee: I put a nuclear exchange in the same category as the Yellowstone Caldera, i.e, "Welp, That's It for Us!" No use planning for something like that unless you think eating MREs in a hole in the ground for a few decades is some kind of future worth having. And if so, cheers to you.
Okay, look, that's it. Of all the defeatist shit we have to deal with, this is the kind that pisses me off the most: that you should either want to A) gleefully die in the first fire or B) live in a bizarre Mad Max wasteland.

Look, nobody wants this kind of future. But I have a baby girl. She's eight months old. Her smiles and laughter are the only thing keeping me going right now and you better fucking believe that I will do anything—anything—to give her as long of a life as I can.

I know if it's not nukes, it'll be socioeconomic collapse, and if it's not that, it'll be climate-change-induced famine, but goddammit I'm gonna fight for every last hour I can get.

Collige, virgo, rosas, yes—but while you gather roses, sow seeds.
posted by ragtag at 7:21 PM on February 16 [65 favorites]


Survey: 73% of Voters Oppose Eliminating Public-Television Funding

A new survey conducted jointly by leading Republican and Democratic pollsters found that 73% of voters — including a majority of Republicans — oppose eliminating federal funding for public television.

Conducted by Republican firm American Viewpoint and Democratic firm Hart Research Associates, the survey also found that 66% of people who voted for President Donald Trump favor increased funding for public television, as do 86% of Hillary Clinton voters. Public television was rated as a good value for tax dollars by 72% of those surveyed.

posted by futz at 7:23 PM on February 16 [33 favorites]


DNC: If you haven't listened to both Tom Perez and Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg (boot-edge-edge) on Pod Save America (formerly Keepin' it 1600) you should. Honestly I like what I hear from both them and Ellison, and I'm mostly glad I don't have to vote in this one :)

Interview w/ Perez

interview with Mayor Pete



And an interview with Keith Ellison from Keepin it 1600

And they discussed the DNC election with DeRay McKesson at some length this week on Pod Save America.

Honestly I wound up liking Mayor Pete a lot.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:26 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


DNC: If you haven't listened to both Tom Perez and Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg (boot-edge-edge) on Pod Save America (formerly Keepin' it 1600) you should. Honestly I like what I hear from both them and Ellison, and I'm mostly glad I don't have to vote in this one :)

Can we get a triumvirate chair? Buttigieg, Ellison and Perez could actually work well to cover the coalition - Perez isn't the establishment hack he's been accused of being but he can work the establishment well and probably help pull the establishment left, Ellison has the grassroots organizing experience and Bernie backing, Buttigieg would be great guiding Dems in local and state races...
posted by jason_steakums at 7:28 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


A Florist Who Refused A Gay Couple Just Lost At The Washington State Supreme Court

Flower "lady" says she is taking it to the SCOTUS (no R).
posted by futz at 7:29 PM on February 16 [17 favorites]


I agree, jason_steakums. I think they all bring something important to the table, and whoever wins it, I hope the other two are all on WhatsApp or whatever together exchanging ideas and working their networks.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:30 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


And while I completely agree that it's mind-boggling how they can side with this man and all he clearly stands for, the ones I know all say the same thing - because of Ivanka and Jared, they still believe that Jews are in no actual danger.

Also, there's a default assumption in many (most?) ultra-Orthodox communities that most governments are more-or-less inimical or may become so at short notice. And historically, that has often been true. But, it's going to be Purim in a few weeks, which is an annual reminder of how to deal with antisemitic governments: find an opening to negotiate with the crazy guy running the show.

So, viewing this in terms of the Book of Esther, Bannon is Haman, Trump is Ahasuerus, and the luscious, doe-eyed Jared Kushner is Queen Esther. I bet a lot of people were thinking "we've been here before, we can handle this." In contrast, Clinton was portrayed as a sort of bookend for Obama's administration, and Obama was clearly uninterested in working with established Jewish powerbrokers. Each side of politics claimed that the other was antisemitic, but Trump's side fit into the well-established story of How the Jews Were Saved from Destruction. I don't think it would have been worth Hillary's time fighting this, and I'm not sure she could have done so anyway.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:32 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


You you that you just signed up to write the MetaFilter Purim spiel, Joe?
posted by zachlipton at 7:37 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


Miss Manners on Rudeness in the Age of Trump

Judith Martin is still among us and we need her more now than ever.
posted by Hypatia at 7:37 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


Some amazing shade getting thrown by NYT here...

G.O.P.’s Grand Visions for Congress Now Look Like a Mirage
Congressional Republicans, who craved unified control of the government to secure their aggressive conservative agenda, have instead found themselves on a legislative elliptical trainer, gliding toward nowhere.

After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed.

[...]

Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago — which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border — has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter.

At this point in Barack Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled Washington, Congress had passed a stimulus bill totaling nearly $1 trillion to address the financial crisis, approved a measure preventing pay discrimination, expanded a children’s health insurance program, and begun laying the groundwork for major health care and financial regulation bills. President George W. Bush came into office with a congressional blueprint for his signature education act, No Child Left Behind.
"fake news", indeed.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:39 PM on February 16 [35 favorites]


There was a time when listening to "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" on repeat for a week wasn't an appropriate and healthy activity.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:41 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


... leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter.

Is "appropriator" a job?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:42 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


The Congressional GOP has become so used to bullshit performances for the base -- and now includes so many of that base, as seen in those "abolish the entire department" stunt bills -- that it has forgotten how to legislate in ways that will actually become law, and for which it will be held accountable.
posted by holgate at 7:44 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


There was a time when listening to "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" on repeat for a week wasn't an appropriate and healthy activity.

It's not, but if you're going to do it, listen to Patti Smith's performance of it at the Nobel Ceremony last year too.
posted by zachlipton at 7:44 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


haven't seen this posted, but like some of us have pointed out, Trevor Noah explains that he just might be over the hill, and is exactly like every xenophobic grandpa we know.
posted by numaner at 7:45 PM on February 16


Do I have to take a course on Stupid as a second language now or will government documents be bilingual? Governmentese, especially with the military twist, is a language like no other. It is far too grotesque to simply describe as stupid, it has way too many other unsavory nuances, and reredundundancies.
posted by Oyéah at 7:47 PM on February 16


WILL SOMEONE PLEASE SMOKE CRACK WITH THE PRESIDENT ALREADY?

"I don't smoke crack. I'm straight up mentally ill!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:50 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Ellison as chair, Perez as his right hand man, a Buttigieg/Kander team going around supporting candidates and local/state party orgs trying to expand the map in red and purple states, and dedicated activist outreach and support teams who can tap into and help all the newly engaged activists out there who are doing great but also kind of learning on the job without much guidance in many areas without a big activist presence before this year... the DNC needs to go big or go home, the structure needs to be more nimble and able to tackle a broad range of battle conditions, and I don't believe the same old top-down structure will be as effective as we need because they'll have to work through a lot of state and local levels of the party that were effectively abandoned in the last 8 years, and inexperienced and prone to being insular fiefdoms because of it. The national DNC really needs to directly support and sometimes intervene in a lot of districts so they need experienced leaders on the ground who can put in a lot of miles doing that work, so I hope all the candidates for chair and other experienced Democrats around the country can pitch in and lead in new and interesting ways.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:51 PM on February 16 [29 favorites]


When you're the CEO, you get to go out and demean the employees all you want, yell, rant, lie to them, scream nonsense and they have to just take it, and applaud your every utterance, because they work for you. You pay them. They just have to take it.

This is true. I joke one good thing about the insanity of my office is it developed calluses to help me endure *gestures wildly at everything*.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:52 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


In Trunp's defense the White House meatloaf is amazing. It started as a family recipe from Pat Nixon and was refined by the White House chefs over the years. Here is an article from 2014 with pics.
posted by humanfont at 7:54 PM on February 16 [24 favorites]


of course it's Nixon's meatloaf.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:55 PM on February 16 [36 favorites]


So Fox News, of all outlets, has taken the Flynn story from "What did the President know, and when did he know it?" to "the President knew and he knew it all along." That's pretty damn huge.

I mean, it was always pretty unthinkable that Flynn was talking to Russia without Trump's knowledge. Trump is the kind of guy who would micromanage any conversation with the letter "P" in it, just in case Putin came up. But it's clear from this report that Pence is now working under a President who sent him out to lie on national television and did nothing about it (for the moment, I'm inclined to believe Pence didn't know).
posted by zachlipton at 7:55 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


I just received an email from "my representative" asking me to fill out some survey about what I think the priorities should be for 2017. Based on the list of suggestions, I assume this is a republican. I live in Canada. I am a Canadian. Would it be wrong for me to click the link and fill out the survey? Presumably someone with a name and email address similar to mine lives in this guy's district. Would this somehow end badly for me?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:59 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Is "appropriator" a job?

i think they mean members of the appropriations committees?

either that or there are just a bunch of guys hanging around the capitol that will make off with anything that isn't nailed down?
posted by murphy slaw at 7:59 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


If we're all saved by hard-hitting reporting from Fox News, I will just be laughing my ass off.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:00 PM on February 16 [29 favorites]


Nevermind. I just took a look at the survey. The first question is real name. Then the only real question has a list of options that are pretty much all dog whistles for yucky things and there's no option to enter an "other." So eventually this guy will say 67% of his constituents want him to do some yucky thing based on this methodological disaster of a survey.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:01 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Well, I do think Fox News will be our canary in the coalmine for when the R establishment has had it with Trump. I'm not sure this current 24 hour cycle represents that moment yet, but I'll be looking for it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:01 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Yeah, that's called a push poll, If only I had a penguin... It exists only to get people thinking positively about the yucky things, not to actually gauge opinion.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:03 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Right now foxnews.com is still just "Hannity: Today we saw a historic beatdown of alt-left media" and "FIGHTING BACK: Conservatives to mobilize amid anti-Trump protests" and "Paul Ryan: Plan for implementing Trump's agenda is on track." Not seeing the Great Fox Awakening that will save us all just yet.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:04 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


@JohnCleese:
People often ask me what makes me laugh these days.

One example : 'Running like a fine-tuned machine',when describing a headless chicken
posted by chris24 at 8:04 PM on February 16 [41 favorites]


You can't pass or fail the SF86. It's just an incredibly detailed form that is miserable to fill out. ... But the form is just the basis for a background investigation.

I'm pretty sure there are one or two things that get you automatically denied clearance -- drug use in the past year being the well-known one. There's a few "gotcha" questions I'm pretty sure you'll be bounced for if you answer incorrectly ("Have you EVER advocated for or knowingly been a part of a group which has advocated for the violent overthrow of the US government?"), but I've yet to hear of anyone who *has* done that.

Charitably, several of Trump's picks used drugs in the past year (maybe they threw a party -- who knows?).
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:05 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


I have to remember the Republican players including Pence have no bar, there is no high bar, no low bar, it is all about the money, that gives the power to a tiny slice of our society.

We are witnessing the death throes of the oil industry, then with their outrageous profits, they will monopolize the renewable energy field, turn the jobs over to robots, and corral the rest of us as undesirables, retrain us to fix industrial roombas that carry guns. While Elon Musk tries to sell our nervous systems, under patent to the previous buyers of mechanical girlfriends. To be fair there will be mechanical boyfriends too. Honey, the robot is here with the cake.

The Russian ship is here for those folks who failed their security clearances today. Or it is here to blow us all to hell, because no one is paying attention. I maintain they are misguided, because we are already in hell. Land shark. .
posted by Oyéah at 8:05 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


So Fox News, of all outlets, has taken the Flynn story from "What did the President know, and when did he know it?" to "the President knew and he knew it all along." That's pretty damn huge.

I mean, it was always pretty unthinkable that Flynn was talking to Russia without Trump's knowledge. Trump is the kind of guy who would micromanage any conversation with the letter "P" in it, just in case Putin came up. But it's clear from this report that Pence is now working under a President who sent him out to lie on national television and did nothing about it (for the moment, I'm inclined to believe Pence didn't know).


Do you know is it just that one segment where their reporter said this? Or are they talking about it more then that one time?
If it's one off, while goo,d it may be just a burp that not everyone that watches Fox will see it. If it's not one off then it looks like something could be changing due to word from the top.
Would be great, even if it's just that the power folks have decided they've had enough and are either trying to control him through the media or start the work of paving the way for Pence.
posted by Jalliah at 8:05 PM on February 16


Is that why he's so crazy? He just needs his blow? Maybe the shady people who used to share coke with him have all been scared away by the Secret Service and cameras. Just get him a few lines to take the edge off, guys!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Oh also if whoever the DNC chair is could slap the keyboards out of the hands of whoever writes the emails for the DCCC and Democratic Governors Association that would be super appreciated, I thought the DCCC was bad enough on that but lately the DGA loves to do these "surveys"... Do you want to stop Trump from doing X? Yes... And X? Yes. Etc. And you get to the end and it's like "will you donate?" and I'm already through my donation budget for the month, so a No gets you this awful "So you don't want to stop Trump?" bullshit. Bleh.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:07 PM on February 16 [17 favorites]


I'm amazed that we're right in the middle of this shitstorm and the DNC are still farting around with just picking a leader.
posted by indubitable at 8:09 PM on February 16 [38 favorites]


(maybe they threw a party -- who knows?)

I'm sure a lot of them never expected in mid-October to be applying for White House jobs.
posted by holgate at 8:10 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


If we're all saved by hard-hitting reporting from Fox News, I will just be laughing my ass off.

Maybe it will be easier to think of it as a Toronto connection. Daniel Dale didn't break the Rob Ford crack story, but he covered him like a champ, and it would be a neat bit of symmetry if JD Roberts did his bring to bring down Trump.
posted by maudlin at 8:10 PM on February 16


The Shep Smith thing linked way upthread had me questioning reality on the train this morning. An anchor or host or whatever of a program on Fox News, angrily and repeated calling out Trump for saying things that were "demonstrably untrue." I'm still really, really not sure how to process this.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:11 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


A fine-tuned machine!
posted by spitbull at 8:14 PM on February 16


Hands down weirdest Democratic fundraising-related thing I've seen this year is this card that showed up with a family wedding picture on it... I just left it on the table, assumed it was a friend of my SO. One day it catches my eye and... is that freaking Martin O'Malley? And sure enough, in tiiiny print on the back, it's from O'Malley's PAC, which neither of us to our knowledge donated to, but now we've got this weird wedding photo card of the O'Malley family with ZERO context about who they are or what it's for. So, money well spent there I guess?
posted by jason_steakums at 8:14 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


[Trigger warning for hate speech. Skip this and go to the 2nd link (Reuters) for the basic facts]

FBI arrests man in Myrtle Beach allegedly planning attack 'in the spirit of Dylann Roof' His momma doesn't want to be judged and believes he is innocent despite all the white power prison tattoos.

Reuters: South Carolina white supremacist dreamed of Roof-style attack: FBI

The arrest occurred just weeks after Reuters reported plans of U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to reorganize a government program designed to counter all violent ideologies, including white supremacist groups, to instead focus solely on Islamist extremism.

And a Thank You to Reuters for keeping it real. For those who haven't seen it yet...

Reuters says it can handle reporting in Trump’s America because of experience in Russia and Yemen

Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler told his staff Tuesday that “the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new administration” headed by President Trump, but that “we already know what to do because we do it every day and we do it all over the world.”

“To state the obvious,” Adler continued in a memo to journalists, “Reuters is a global news organization that reports independently and fairly in more than 100 countries, including many in which the media is unwelcome and frequently under attack. I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists.”

Let that sink in for a moment.

Adler stopped short of saying that reporting in Trump's America will be just like working in Russia and Yemen; he wrote later that covering the Trump administration will be “an opportunity for us to practice the skills we've learned in much tougher places.” Still, it is jarring to see the top editor of one of the world's largest news agencies warn that journalists in the United States now need the same tools as those who live under oppressive regimes.


I have sorely missed good journalism and I am still a bit wary but damn, the last few weeks have given me hope.
posted by futz at 8:14 PM on February 16 [51 favorites]


Here's an interesting tweet from a purportedly inside, leaking State Dept. source on Twitter.
"Today's Trump news conference wasn't chaos. It was the administration's first move to energize their base in creating a nationwide whip operation."
Basically, they say that this is at attempt to prevent more defections from congressional Republicans by rallying the based to scare them from the right.

Via @roguePOTUSstaff. Does anyone else follow them? Fascinating stuff that rings true to me.
posted by msalt at 8:18 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


An anchor or host or whatever of a program on Fox News, angrily and repeated calling out Trump for saying things that were "demonstrably untrue." I'm still really, really not sure how to process this.

From what I've seen (I don't watch Fox News), Shep Smith is the closest thing they have to a reasonable journalist.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:19 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Say what you want about Never Trumpers, but Ana Navarro is the bomb.

@ananavarro:
Really, Little Jared complaining about me cuz I get under President Daddy-in-Law's skin? Oh, baby boy, I'm so sorry. https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/jared-kushner-delivers-critique-of-cnn-to-time-warner-executive-1487292962
posted by chris24 at 8:20 PM on February 16 [26 favorites]


he administration's first move to energize their base

There are so many attempts to convince in that short sentence that my head's spinning. (a) First move? (b) Base? What base? It's eroding. (c) Nationwide whip operation? Cool Whip, maybe.

Stinks of desperation. Also, not great messaging to start with "it wasn't chaos!" Might as well end with: I meant to do that.
posted by Miko at 8:22 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Trump 2020 is off to a great start

Poor Mike Pence. It is bad enough that he gets his news from The Post. Pence had said that he speaks on the phone or in person to Trump every day, but it doesn’t seem as though Trump is as invested in this relationship as Pence is. Instead of telling him useful information about national security, Trump — perhaps missing Chris Christie – has been sending him to perform humiliating errands. I invite you to think of the saddest possible thing that a human being could be doing instead of being told that the national security adviser had misled him and he was looking like a fool in public. Do you have one?

Okay, here is what the Wall Street Journal said Pence has been doing: Trump told him to go see the statue of Douglas MacArthur at West Point, and so he walked out in the freezing cold to see the statue and mimed polishing its shoes. That is the act of a man who is in the loop and has lots of important things to do!

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:23 PM on February 16 [31 favorites]


The scariest thing about Eric Prince is that he is the direct link to Iraq, Blackwater, Halliburton, and Dick Cheney.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:24 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Petraeus may not take the NSC job even if offered: Former U.S. officials who had backed Harward to lead the NSC said the White House erred in letting news leak of Trump’s offer, because now the also-ran, retired Gen. David Petraeus, was unlikely to entertain taking the post after it was made clear he wasn’t the first choice. The other known candidate is Kellogg.
posted by maudlin at 8:25 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


The front page of the Washington Post right now, one after the other:

Flynn in FBI interview denied discussing sanctions with Russian ambassador
Michael Flynn, who resigned as the national security adviser this week, contradicted the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former U.S. officials said. The Jan. 24 interview potentially puts Flynn in legal jeopardy, as lying to the FBI is a felony, but any decision to prosecute would ultimately lie with the Justice Department.

Trump’s pick to replace Flynn turns down offer, people familiar with decision say
Retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward, who would have replaced Michael Flynn, couldn't get a guarantee that he could select his own staff, according to someone close to the president with knowledge of the discussions.

Trump family’s elaborate lifestyle, a ‘logistical nightmare,’ comes at unusual cost to taxpayers
Barely a month into the Trump presidency, America’s new first family is straining the Secret Service and security officials, stirring financial and logistical concerns, and costing far beyond what has been typical for past presidents.

That's before we even get to the meat of it:
In an erratic performance, Trump shows his supporters who’s boss

Or the analysis:
If Trump can’t arrange his own meeting with black lawmakers, how does he unite the country?

How long can they keep this up? More importantly, how long can we keep this up?
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:27 PM on February 16 [20 favorites]


FBI arrests man in Myrtle Beach allegedly planning attack 'in the spirit of Dylann Roof'

In the sense he wanted to murder "non-whites," so he was targeting a synagogue? (Which the Reuters link doesn't mention, oddly enough).
posted by Rumple at 8:28 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Before Hillary Clinton saw Sunset Boulevard on Broadway yesterday, she had dinner with her SNL double, Kate McKinnon.
posted by zachlipton at 8:28 PM on February 16 [63 favorites]


So, several people have mentioned polls showing a strong majority of Republicans still support Trump. But I'm confused by a few things there.

First, how do pollsters identify "Republicans" in their sample? If you aren't a Trumpite, perhaps you're less likely to self identify as a Republican right now. And if you are willing to identify as a Republican, perhaps you are embarrassed enough about that that you won't take a survey about Trump right now.

Especially given the weighting problems that showed up in polls of the election, shouldn't we be concerned there's a similar problem in opinion polls now? I dunno which way that would go here, but the problem of weighting a sample based on self-identified descriptors seems pretty big to be (and semi-unsolved as of quite recently).
posted by nat at 8:29 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


The scariest thing about Eric Prince is that he is the direct link to Iraq, Blackwater, Halliburton, and Dick Cheney.

Nah, I think the scariest thing about Erik Prince was when I heard him as a guest on the Milo Yiannopoulos Podcast advocating for a renewed Phoenix Program of torture and war crimes against radical Islam.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:29 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


I tend not to believe that the press conference was base-energizing 11th dimensional chess, for these reasons:

1. It has obviously caused serious doubts and public criticism from previously hardened supporters, including Fox. If you want to energize your base, surely you don't alienate your base's major media.

2. What good does energizing the smallest, wingnuttiest portion of your base do when it also loses you other people?

3. If you act erratic enough, no amount of energizing the nuttiest percent of your base is going to preserve relationships with business and established politicians. They may not be ready to get up there and impeach you, but they sure will slow roll all of your terrible ideas because you scare them.

Trump could certainly have gone in there and given a normal press conference but with McCarthyite elements, and if he hadn't sounded so unhinged, it would have energized everyone and lost no one. If he were actually crafty, he could easily have done it. I'm not saying that Bannon et al aren't trying to play 11th dimensional chess - maybe they are. They're just super, super bad at it. Even chaos-agent Bannon - he's making a lot of people all across the political spectrum think that the regular old rule of law really isn't that bad, and maybe we shouldn't repeal Obamacare or dismantle every aspect of our government. I'm not saying that fear of Bannon is making Republicans into Democrats - but it's sure not converting them to Bannonism and state smashing.
posted by Frowner at 8:32 PM on February 16 [48 favorites]


because now the also-ran, retired Gen. David Petraeus, was unlikely to entertain taking the post after it was made clear he wasn’t the first choice.

Dude, you're on fucking probation. You wouldn't get an interview to flip burgers.
posted by holgate at 8:32 PM on February 16 [18 favorites]


The Shep Smith thing linked way upthread had me questioning reality on the train this morning. An anchor or host or whatever of a program on Fox News, angrily and repeated calling out Trump for saying things that were "demonstrably untrue." I'm still really, really not sure how to process this.

Don't let this unnerve you too much. Fox occasionally lets Shep off the leash. Check out his reporting during Katrina. So heartfelt! You could tell he really cared! Let them cross the bridge!!! Look at my tears!!!!

In the end, of course, it means nothing and changes nothing, which is why they allow him to do it. Tomorrow he'll be back to repeating standard Fox nonsense and he'll continue to cash their checks.
posted by great_radio at 8:34 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


I've figured out Trump's strategy. He told us he has "the best words." He wants that to be true so much that he'll say so much crazy stuff that everybody else is speechless, thus leaving him the one with the best words by default.
posted by zachlipton at 8:34 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


"Today's Trump news conference wasn't chaos. It was the administration's first move to energize their base in creating a nationwide whip operation."

If he came out today, waved his dick around, took a shit on the floor and smeared it all over himself while singing "Melancholy Baby" a significant portion of his base would be "energized." And certain factions would describe that as a clever strategy.
posted by neroli at 8:37 PM on February 16 [37 favorites]


Erik Prince is a bloodthirsty killer and has no doubt personally shot hundreds of non-combatants or other poorly trained fighters that didn't need to be engaged, all from the safety of a faraway rooftop or humvee during the Iraq War heydey.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:37 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


The other known candidate is Kellogg.

IE the guy who ran Iraq the first year after George W. Bush's invasion. (Great job, Loggie!) So that's a pretty exciting resume item.
posted by msalt at 8:38 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


You can't pass or fail the SF86. It's just an incredibly detailed form that is miserable to fill out. ... But the form is just the basis for a background investigation.

My assumption on that was that "failing" meant they had lied on their form. That they filled out the form when they started work, the background check was done, and it was discovered that they lied. And today was when that all came back or report were turned in or whatever and thus they were escorted out today.

I'm partly basing this on a friend who once had a security clearance and said they were mostly concerned that you answered honestly. (Except for, I presume, the automatically disqualifying questions.) So if they ask if you've ever used drugs and you say "no" and they find out you used something five years ago, well if you had been honest they would probably have let you go but you lied so you're out.

In short, I'm assuming Trump's people are too stupid to tell the truth.
posted by threeturtles at 8:38 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


What good does energizing the smallest, wingnuttiest portion of your base do when it also loses you other people?

To paraphrase someone on my Twitter feed: "Nobody I know who voted for him watched that thing. Everybody who I know voted for him voted and went back to being white." Those people take comfort in knowing that whiteness has been restored to the presidency and don't sweat the details. I don't think there'll be a breakthrough there until there's a genuine non-self-inflicted crisis. Best hope is that there doesn't need to be one.
posted by holgate at 8:43 PM on February 16 [82 favorites]


If you want to energize your base, surely you don't alienate your base's major media.
They're just arguing that it was the INTENT... not that Trump or any of his closest advisors aren't totally incompetent. It'll fail because failing is what Trump does best... he just had 40 years of media-based promotion helping him fail upward.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:45 PM on February 16


To paraphrase someone on my Twitter feed: "Nobody I know who voted for him watched that thing. Everybody who I know voted for him voted and went back to being white." Those people take comfort in knowing that whiteness has been restored to the presidency and don't sweat the details. I don't think there'll be a breakthrough there until there's a genuine non-self-inflicted crisis. Best hope is that there doesn't need to be one.

This is the thing that's been on my mind with all the polls showing him maintaining high Republican support - it's a game to them because they can afford for it to be a game. For now.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:48 PM on February 16 [19 favorites]


@roguePOTUSstaff is bullshit. Creepy, pandering, yet at the same time undermining bullshit. They are not legitimate, and in my opinion they are actively fucking with us. Please don't listen to them.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:49 PM on February 16 [43 favorites]


"Nobody I know who voted for him watched that thing. Everybody who I know voted for him voted and went back to being white." Those people take comfort in knowing that whiteness has been restored to the presidency and don't sweat the details.

This is exactly it, this is the gross discrepancy. All those Trump voting white folks feel free to ignore the news, secure in the knowledge that they're taken care of. They're not, not really, as they will find out when they lose their health insurance and opioid addictions continue to ravage their communities and corporations keep taking and taking and taking. But for now they feel good, because there's a big strong white man in the office and he tells it like it is and he doesn't say any of that PC shit. So everything's fine.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are paying as close attention to the news as we can bear to, variously frantic and grim and horrified, because we have to pay attention. We have to know what war is coming for us, we have to know how much danger we're in. Of course, if you ever express any of this desperate fear to any of those Trump voters, or even any white people who are of that apathetic brand of citizen who didn't fucking bother to vote or pulled that "they're all equally bad" bullshit, they'll dismiss you as hysterical or overreacting. "He won't really do any of that," they'll say. Right. Sure. What the fuck about this first month suggests that to you.

I mean, personally, I'm done trying to convey any sense of urgency to people like that. They're not going to listen to it from POC or other marginalized people, and they never have. It's white supremacy all the way down for them, all the worse and more impossible to deal with because most of them aren't KKK style white supremacists or openly virulently racist.
posted by yasaman at 8:57 PM on February 16 [104 favorites]


Oh hey it just hit me that actually for real if Vermin Supreme were President we'd have better standing in the world, a brighter future, and a more productive government.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:01 PM on February 16 [21 favorites]


I saw a breakdown of some of roguepotusstaff tweets that posited it was written by a non english speaker *cough*russian*cough* because of odd misspellings like vakay instead of vacay and hitler-esk instead of hitleresque.
posted by M Edward at 9:03 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


More NYT snark: In 77 Chaotic Minutes, Trump Defends ‘Fine-Tuned Machine’
President Trump, smarting from a series of crises, moved his surrogates aside on Thursday and assigned the rescue of his month-old presidency to the only spokesman he’s ever really trusted — himself.

For days, a frustrated and simmering president fumed inside the West Wing residence about what aides said he saw as his staff’s inadequate defense and the ineffectiveness of his own tweets. Over the objections of some top advisers who wanted to steer him away from confrontation, Mr. Trump demanded to face the media, determined to reject the narrative that his administration is sinking into chaos, scandal and incompetence.
...
For his supporters, the performance was certain to be energizing. Mr. Trump turned sober questions from journalists into, at times, mesmerizing television. He attempted to reassert his command of “dishonest” journalists at a time when the news media is questioning his capacity to lead. It all made the brooding boss feel better, people close to Mr. Trump said.

The news conference, they said, was Mr. Trump’s best effort at spitting the bit out of his mouth and escaping the bridle of the West Wing, where he views his only way to communicate his side of any argument is his 140-character limited Twitter feed.

Still, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump’s 77-minute performance will divert much long-term attention from questions about his campaign’s relationship with Russia, or reassure wavering Republicans on Capitol Hill that their agenda is on track. Yet Mr. Trump’s close allies said he had met his more immediate goal of soothing himself with a sense of control over his own administration.
posted by zachlipton at 9:06 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


"Today's Trump news conference wasn't chaos. It was the administration's first move to energize their base in creating a nationwide whip operation."

When I see a capacity for strategy & acting on it in them, I'll worry about this then. Also it contradicts the leaked anecdote that he walked in this morning & said "let's hold a press conference". And yes I believe the leak, see sentence 1.
posted by scalefree at 9:06 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


@roguePOTUSstaff

Agree, not real. Remember when that fake photo appeared that looked like Trump's hand was Photoshopped to look larger? Earlier the account had tweeted that Trump was asking around for people who knew Photoshop. Sounded fake, turned out to be fake.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:10 PM on February 16


This kind of (meatloaf) behavior is not uncommon. In 24/7 D/s relationships.

i cannot fucking believe you made me read this with my own eyes

dishonor on your cow
posted by poffin boffin at 9:10 PM on February 16 [41 favorites]


Oh hey it just hit me that actually for real if Vermin Supreme were President we'd have better standing in the world, a brighter future, and a more productive government.

at least if vermin supreme was president, there wouldn't be pundits telling us that the boot on his head is actually a sign that he's fashion-forward and everyone will be wearing them in paris this year
posted by murphy slaw at 9:12 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


"Everybody who I know voted for him voted and went back to being white."

This very much describes how things seem to be here in Nebraska. They don't care what's happening in DC as long as it's in the trustworthy(?) hands of Anybody But Democrats. It's like an article of faith. Nobody seems to have even skimmed anything related to politics since shortly after the election, even though there's TVs with a news crawl all over my building, for example.

They've gone back to worrying about how to keep their teenage and college-age kids in line, and bitching about their tax bills, but even the latter without any particular attention paid to anything beyond taxes = bad. I think the primary thing that Fox achieves is telling people that things are basically normal and letting them change the channel, secure and hoping nothing more than that next year their tax bill will be smaller. (Although they're not actually going to adjust their damn withholding, so they're probably just going to be bitching again in 2018.)
posted by Sequence at 9:13 PM on February 16 [20 favorites]


I am reminded of a recent cartoon. I just want you to know, I lied to you. I am not a giraffe, I am 45 weasels in an overcoat.
posted by Oyéah at 9:13 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Google and the Treasure Trolls are reminding us all to never look at the comments, in a very cute 8-bit animation.

FUCK YOU. YOU DID THIS NOW FIX IT WITH PAID MODERATION YOU FUCKING FUCKERS! Fix it. Fix it. You broke it, fix it. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...

And in conclusion, Google Delenda Est.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:14 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Bannon is Haman

i don't care what you say i'm not going to eat his ears
posted by poffin boffin at 9:16 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


bannontaschen are short pastry with ground-up oxycontin in the middle, folded into a swastika
posted by murphy slaw at 9:21 PM on February 16 [60 favorites]


I think a lot of conservative voters are trying to blend back into the scenery or they are trying to do all sorts of rationalizations to themselves and anyone who will listen so if everything goes horribly wrong it's totally not their fault.

Congress has absolutely no intentions on passing the Trump/Bannon "build manly buildings" infrastructure program and even if it did it probably wouldn't make too much of a economic stimulus (although it would be a fucking gravy train for contractors).

The wall is effectively dead already because the potential price tag is crazy and nobody wants to pay for it and Ryan can't negotiate with the backbench lunatics in the house.

Nobody in Congress can figure out a way to repeal ACA that won't cost millions of people their insurance and while the Republicans are fundamentally good with that everyone knows that it would result in a bloodbath in 2018 which is why they wanted to postpone the impact until after 2020 but now the insurance companies who are massive political donors are making it very clear that uncertainty in the market it unacceptable. So the Republicans keep promising repeal when they know that they can't deliver.

Congress is basically unable to do anything significant, the executive branch is floundering with elements of it completely unstaffed with senior political appointees and other parts of it like DHS basically running amok because ICE and CBP are apparently staffed with right-wing assholes with basically no training.

The idea that Trump is doing some elaborate gish gallop at this point it complete nonsense that conservatives and liberals are telling themselves as a form of denial. Denial that the Trump administration is led by someone who is most likely suffering some form of organic brain disease and staffed by a bunch of incompetent sycophants.

Republicans have 2 choices at this point. Stay the course and hope that Trump doesn't cost you both houses of congress in 2018 and make it easy for generic Democrat to annihilate Trump in 2020 or start to assert independence and force Trump to back down and give him the choice of either agree to be a figurehead or be forced to resign.
posted by vuron at 9:22 PM on February 16 [47 favorites]


They don't care what's happening in DC as long as it's in the trustworthy(?) hands of Anybody But Democrats. It's like an article of faith

It is an article of faith. The GOP is a essentially a cult at this point. I mean, on some level, all politics can be because of how tribal it is. But when people start rejecting any information that doesn't support "the project" as false, you're not far from drinking the funny tasting Flavor Aid in Guyana.
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:24 PM on February 16 [17 favorites]


Nah, I think the scariest thing about Erik Prince was when I heard him as a guest on the Milo Yiannopoulos Podcast advocating for a renewed Phoenix Program of torture and war crimes against radical Islam.

Allow me to say what the ever-living actual fuck Milo. I thought the riots were justified for inciting lynch mobs, but he did THAT? My liberal tears are speechless, because I had a smidgen of sympathy, I had that little sort of "but he IS gay and MAYBE go easy on the dude because that's an actual point of oppression" but like, um, no, not anymore.
posted by saysthis at 9:24 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]




Milo is a Nazi, you should ever sympathize with him ever.
posted by Artw at 9:28 PM on February 16 [26 favorites]


The idea that Trump is doing some elaborate gish gallop at this point it complete nonsense

Yeah, it's more like a QWOP gallop at this point.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:29 PM on February 16 [43 favorites]


Oh hey it just hit me that actually for real if Vermin Supreme were President we'd have better standing in the world, a brighter future, and a more productive government.

I've met Vermin Supreme. I like Vermin Supreme. The man is quick-witted, good-hearted, gracious, and fun to be around.

None of the ass-pandas in Trump's orbit are fit to polish Vermin Supreme's boot-hat.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:30 PM on February 16 [30 favorites]


any oppression that milo may have experienced has been so completely outweighed by the pain and terror he has inflicted on others for no reason other than his own amusement that it doesn't bear considering.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:30 PM on February 16 [27 favorites]


Oh, look, they took it down. Now I am crazy. I really am, I accept it. Depression and mania in unjust proportions. I'm just not seeing-stuff-not-there crazy. I am willing to accept there may have been a tab I had opened that had refreshed itself from content I was interested in for an animated treasure troll on Google's own landing page, hiding its face and telling me not to look at the comments. But I hit command-T and saw it. I hope to christ I was being punked by an elaborate web-design hoax on the one hand, and want to toss my laptop into a barrel fire as I have no control over what my web browsers show me on the other.

If it's real, it's worse.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:33 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Something really is up at Morning Joe. Starting this week, and especially Wednesday and this morning, they both flipped from "POTUS is a friend of the show but we criticize him at times" to "YOU ARE A FAKE PRESIDENT WE ALL MUST COME TOGETHER TO STAND AGAINST THIS FAKE PRESIDENT CONGRESS MUST ACT TO GUARD AGAINST THIS FAKE PRESIDENT." It's been jarring and weird (I agree with them but why now all the sudden?).
posted by sallybrown at 9:33 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


That 20-minute or so lag before the crazy is consistent with oral administration of experimental central nervous system stimulants.

A coworker of mine posited - the day before - that Kennedy 2.0 would be a compound that induced "crazy symptoms."

I don't can't applaud laws that can be just. Not a lot of the out there; lawmakers, lets make more, eh?
posted by porpoise at 9:33 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Milo is a Nazi, you should ever sympathize with him ever.
posted by Artw at 1:28 PM on February 17 [1 favorite +] [!]

I did him the decency of just ignoring him before. I...that meaty *crack* you hear is the sound of my white privilege's neck snapping. My god. *mind blown because evil is status-blind* GROSS GET IT OUT OF ME.
posted by saysthis at 9:35 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


lol the only value milo has to the human race is if he is processed into a nutritious protein slurry and fed to livestock or plants
posted by poffin boffin at 9:36 PM on February 16 [42 favorites]


Slap*Happy can you explain what you're on about? Have you been eating the expensive candy bars?
posted by spitbull at 9:37 PM on February 16 [21 favorites]


I think Scarborough and company are doing trial balloons to see if the base will accept a change in leadership.

The reality is that Republicans are afraid of the Trump believers so they are treading lightly because part of the Trump populist message is anathema to Republican principles. If you attack the populist strongman directly you risk getting the crazies in your district wound up.

On the other hand people like Scarborough aren't elected officials anymore and are safe in secure inside of the Beltway elite so they can try out various positions that someone like Ryan or McConnell are going to be afraid of.

But if the crazies start coming around to the idea that no Trump is actually unstable then it's a good way of prepping them for an amendment 25 coup.
posted by vuron at 9:40 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Oh, look, they took it down. Now I am crazy. I really am, I accept it

Slap*Happy, I saw it too, the *don't read the comments* animation, but now I'm questioning why and where. I use duckduckgo almost exclusively and I have no recent google searches in my browser history O_O
posted by mammal at 9:44 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Oh hey it just hit me that actually for real if Vermin Supreme were President we'd have better standing in the world, a brighter future, and a more productive government.

I've met Vermin Supreme. I like Vermin Supreme. The man is quick-witted, good-hearted, gracious, and fun to be around.

None of the ass-pandas in Trump's orbit are fit to polish Vermin Supreme's boot-hat.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:30 PM on February 17 [+] [!]



Can we move him to Utah real quick? Chaffetz kinda...y'know...I mean I'll move there to vote for him, not even joking. Always been a fan, but dude needs platforming. I'm happy with boots on heads as long as they are worn willingly and aren't on slimy lizard people heads.

I'm seriously. Pirate Party this government. Third party Demtraitors etc., I know, I wouldn't where it counts, but I mean, local races, man, I would love to see a guy like that get properly put up in a position where he can do some Overton shifting.

#IOKIYNAR 4LYFE
posted by saysthis at 9:46 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Something really is up at Morning Joe. Starting this week, and especially Wednesday and this morning, they both flipped from "POTUS is a friend of the show but we criticize him at times" to "YOU ARE A FAKE PRESIDENT WE ALL MUST COME TOGETHER TO STAND AGAINST THIS FAKE PRESIDENT CONGRESS MUST ACT TO GUARD AGAINST THIS FAKE PRESIDENT." It's been jarring and weird (I agree with them but why now all the sudden?).

I don't knows about Joe, but strategically Republicans are in a pickle. They either need Trump to sober up (not going to happen) or a clean way to make a break with him. And they need to do it all at once and with a unified voice in order to prevent being taken down with him. They need a moment and a message so they can say "we had reservations before but thought he would get better. This one clear thing is what convinced all of us that he is the wrong person." Until then you'll see a lot of demurring on the big questions.

Which is to say I think a lot of people will end up switching pretty suddenly, when they switch.
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:46 PM on February 16 [12 favorites]


The reality is that Republicans are afraid of the Trump believers so they are treading lightly because part of the Trump populist message is anathema to Republican principles. If you attack the populist strongman directly you risk getting the crazies in your district wound up.

His base being angry at a candidate makes primaries unwinnable, or at least hotly contested (leaving less money for the general). His base being happy makes competitive generals much, much harder. Unfortunately for us all, because of gerrymandering, there aren't many heavily contested generals, so most of the action happens in the primary. Therefore, the utilitarian calculus is to keep the trumpists happy. However, from what I've heard, establishment republicans don't like trump because he doesn't inspire much political action beyond his own hero worship, and he's sapping donations. Conservative gamesmanship and intransigence has gotten them into an intractable situation - unfortunately it's gotten us all into that situation. I hope the men responsible have bleeding ulcers in their stomach from guilt, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that being the case.
posted by codacorolla at 9:48 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


They need a moment and a message so they can say "we had reservations before but thought he would get better. This one clear thing is what convinced all of us that he is the wrong person."

it's the piss tape's time to shine!
posted by yasaman at 9:48 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


Slap*Happy can you explain what you're on about? Have you been eating the expensive candy bars?

OK. I was cruising through my usual recipe websites, and wanted to look up kaffir lime leaves. I hit command-T which takes me to Google's landing page, where I can enter in "kaffir lime leaves" - right now, it is as it always is, a spartan page with a text box front and center, a logo in the upper left, a widget to the Googleverse in the upper right.

When I actually wanted to look up kaffir lime leaves, the new-tab-command (command-t on a Mac) brought me to the Google landing page, only beneath the text box was an 8-bit white-person-skin colored treasure-troll with reddish treasure-troll hair, covering it's eyes and uncovering them in a cutesy retro peekaboo animation. I was immediately charmed, until the 8-bit text showed up admonishing me never to look at the comments.

Kinda got angry at that point, as the record shows.

No longer there. I really hope I just accidentally fell into a parody site's landing page by mistake somehow. I hope in vain often.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:49 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


it's the piss tape's time to shine!

This is a joke, but it's probably very true. The GOP's savior would be a silver bullet that absolves them of guilt in destroying the golden boy of the extreme right, while still letting them slink back to the comparative normalcy of President Pence. I'm sure that the IC is looking for just such a thing.

However, Russia does have the hacked RNC docs. If the puppet they spent so much time and effort to install was ousted, I wonder what might be the next leak to hit...
posted by codacorolla at 9:52 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


personally, I'm done trying to convey any sense of urgency to people like that. They're not going to listen to it from POC or other marginalized people, and they never have. It's white supremacy all the way down for them,

I'm kind of getting jangled by this a lot. But it's not just Trump voters. It's white dudes of all stripes, too, who are super happy to trash on Trump, but are at the same time saying "Man I hope Trump stays so he can sink the Republican Party and My Team Can Win!" I saw it in the campaign and I'm seeing it now, even sometimes here, though blessedly infrequently.

Because seriously, who the fuck cares about this shit anymore right now? Who has the goddamned privilege to worry about whether taxes are progressive or regressive or how much tuition increases or red team/blue team or I don't even care, whatever we fucking fight about in good times, when they are coming for all of us? The country is on fire. The country is on fire and some of us may be jailed or die before we get it back.

I have a trip out of the country scheduled, and I'm considering whether it makes more sense to get a one way flight out and use a military plane to get back or whether I should see how Customs is working or what I should do. I am thinking of this like a test case, because who the fuck knows? I'm trying to figure out how you set up Underground Railroads, and at what point you announce you're willing to help people escape.

I barely have anything in common with people who are like "lol, this is so zany!"
posted by corb at 9:52 PM on February 16 [66 favorites]


a friend of mine said the other day that "it feels like we have one party that can win elections and one party that can govern effectively and you don't have a functional party unless you can do both"
posted by murphy slaw at 9:54 PM on February 16 [39 favorites]


And they need to do it all at once and with a unified voice in order to prevent being taken down with him.

This can't happen. Remember all the trouble Boehner had trying to get anything done? Most of those schmucks are still there. There are two republican parties at this point - the establishment and trumpists. They like each other just slightly more than they like democrats.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:55 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Something really is up at Morning Joe. Starting this week, and especially Wednesday and this morning, they both flipped from "POTUS is a friend of the show but we criticize him at times" to "YOU ARE A FAKE PRESIDENT WE ALL MUST COME TOGETHER TO STAND AGAINST THIS FAKE PRESIDENT CONGRESS MUST ACT TO GUARD AGAINST THIS FAKE PRESIDENT." It's been jarring and weird (I agree with them but why now all the sudden?).

It's because of what Miller said and did on the Sunday shows. I posted this up thread but here is when it happened. At 1.58 Mika is just done and Joe is done for bit and then tries to keep the friend of the show thing but he's struggling with it. Looks like it just took a couple of days for this new thing to settle in his brain.
posted by Jalliah at 9:57 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


This is a joke, but it's probably very true.

Excuse you, this is my very sincere prophecy.

Glib one-line comment aside, the reasons you outline are convincing to me. If the piss tape or something similar exists, it's only a matter of time. At this point, it's a race against time to see if it will be that or Trump unequivocally mishandling some grave national disaster. Given the options, I find myself in the horrifying position of rooting for the piss tape.
posted by yasaman at 9:57 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Slap*Happy, I saw it too, the *don't read the comments* animation, but now I'm questioning why and where. I use duckduckgo almost exclusively and I have no recent google searches in my browser history O_O

As a professional Infosec wonk, all I can say is, "Crap."

I was reaaaaaly hoping I was out of my gourd there.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:57 PM on February 16




It's not recent but this Slate article has a treasure troll graphic with a similar rollover.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:02 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


So the major narrative that they are trying to establish is that if there is malfeasance on the part of the Trump administration Pence is totes removed from the halls of power and all the collusion with Russia was happening without his knowledge.

That way if they need to dump Trump Pence has plausible deniability. It's obviously bullshit but Pence is their golden boy whereas they would happily stab Trump in the back and leave him in a ditch.
posted by vuron at 10:06 PM on February 16 [18 favorites]


@ashleyfeinberg: This passage will haunt me for as long as I live (A derail)
posted by Going To Maine at 10:07 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Chaffetz seeks charge of ex-Clinton aide in email inquiry

Way to keep your eye on the ball there, pal.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:09 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


time to stop drinking and rest up cause tomorrow's gonna be a loooong day.
posted by possibly sean spicer at 10:10 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


I don't knows about Joe, but strategically Republicans are in a pickle.

He's probably best connected to the House GOP, and there are obviously some hold-your-nose members there: the Gingrich-era radicals have somehow become the old guard. As I said in the previous thread, there comes a point where the legislative aspirations meant to be delivered on the back of the magahats run into the activist opposition the White House occupant has triggered, and the opposition is sustained by the presence of people like Stephen "Incel" Miller close to the president. The holiday recess is going to tell us a lot about how much actual spine individual House GOP members have for the fight, and local news coverage of those who dare to hold actual town hall meetings will be a good benchmark.
posted by holgate at 10:11 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Chaffetz seeks charge of ex-Clinton aide in email inquiry

What a little shit
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:11 PM on February 16 [32 favorites]


I have always bought the idea that Republicans are playing Trump and will eventually throw him under the bus, but I can't help wondering at this point if there aren't a lot more R's compromised than just him. There is a lot of frankly bizarre behavior going on.
posted by bongo_x at 10:12 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


He's keeping his eye on his own balls hoping that they (assuming he has 2) will lead him to Conservative Nirvana. I on the otherhand am hoping for DeflateGate.
posted by futz at 10:13 PM on February 16


Chaffetz seeks charge of ex-Clinton aide in email inquiry

“This man… this man snuck the beehive onto my chair! And now the bees are in me! The bees! Hurry, Jeff Sessions! Hurry! I muzt have revenge before it izzzz too late! Oh, nooooo…”
posted by Going To Maine at 10:14 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


I like bees.
posted by futz at 10:15 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Chaffetz seeks charge of ex-Clinton aide in email inquiry

Just following the orders of his boss... Vladimir...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:16 PM on February 16


man it's gonna be hard to maintain a coherent discussion around here now that drugs are cheaper than candy bars
posted by murphy slaw at 10:17 PM on February 16 [34 favorites]


It's not recent but this Slate article has a treasure troll graphic with a similar rollover.

Nope. Not it. Google was hacked, or Firefox was, or OS X, or my cheap router. Not certain which is worse. The next hack will not be so overt.

(Note to self, a Fortigate 30D is not as expensive as not having a full-fledged Fortigate upstream of my wireless router. This advice is useless for people who have not spent as much time hardening Fortigates as I have, or a discount program through your employer. I've spent more time on Checkpoint, Juniper SRX, Bluecoat(LOL!), Barracuda, Cisco ASA annnd SonicWall, tho. Yes, you want to shell out on Palo Alto gear if you have the money and lots of edges to protect, it's the new Netscreen. Fortigate is a comfy second place, very fast, and quite cheap.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:17 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


You know, I'm gonna put this here, because I think it's relevant.

I had this exchange with a FB Trumpite, and I got mad. Short of it is he called me a leftist obstructionist or something, and I was beered up enough that I just let loose (like I am now, but hey, we posted depression-as-coping-mechanism already, I think we all know where we're at).

I said, son, if you care enough to argue with me for not giving your guy a chance, get out there and GIVE him a chance. You cared enough to vote, right? Well, given the whole democracy we live in, you can also go call your MoC, donate, protest, organize, write for the press, whatever you gotta handle, you can do that. Go participate in this democracy if you're so mad we're gumming up the works. If you think we're not playing fair, go exercise the Constitutional rights you were born with, 'cause it's what they're there for. If you care, prove it. Otherwise, lay down and shut up while I trample on your right to own guns and take Soros' paychecks, because that's what you get for not using those rights. I got 'em, you got 'em, go exercise 'em so you can keep them safe from...me.

Dude didn't have much to say after that. Maybe that's how you call out the hypocrites?
posted by saysthis at 10:20 PM on February 16 [31 favorites]


Relax, Slap*Happy. Probably just a stupid A/B test by Google itself. They do them all the time.
posted by Coventry at 10:22 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Maybe that's how you call out the hypocrites?

No, it's with bees. I am tired and this seems like a great plan because fuck all of this. You hold the spray bottle full of queen pheromone in one hand, and a cardboard box full of ten thousand bees in the other. Then spray, toss, and run! Whee! IS BEST PLAN.
posted by corb at 10:29 PM on February 16 [54 favorites]


Fortigate is a comfy second place, very fast, and quite cheap

While you're talking about it, though, thoughts on Cujo, Meraki and Ubiquiti? (I know they're rather different. I use Meraki at work and Ubiquiti at home.) And is Shorewall still decent on a properly hardened box?
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:30 PM on February 16


Relax, dude. Probably just a stupid A/B test by Google itself. They do them all the time.

I'm Team Blue. We can't relax. We're either breaking access to a garden tractor enthusiast's site for the CEO or allowing the CEO's purse to be sucked out through her WiFi wholesale. The in between is we get our budget cut.

Your answer is probably correct, and at the same time horrific. I am still going to work all through my vacation and make my wife take sick time too look after our kid on winter vacation as we audit how and why I saw a goddamn treasure troll, and did anyone on our protected network see it? I'm at home, on a consumer grade firewall, much to my regret, not behind our corporate defenses. Were they redirected? What do the browser caches see? (Mine are now preserved, but I'm to ticked off to look at them without peers. I know what I'll find. Nothing. Gotta document the nothing, tho.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:33 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


man it's gonna be hard to maintain a coherent discussion around here now that drugs are cheaper than candy bars

Yeah, I was going to mention that it's getting a little loose around here. But it is after midnight and we are possibly at the end of civilization.
posted by bongo_x at 10:34 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


[Let's not go completely off-topic though, please!]
posted by restless_nomad at 10:35 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Meraki is like Netscreen after Juniper bought it. MEANINGFULL LOOK. (get... ouuuut... )

Done with the derail. Sorry. Loooong weekend ahead.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:35 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Dude didn't have much to say after that. Maybe that's how you call out the [quote left out but note for brevity, is Trumpites who argue with you on Facebook corb's comment is how to engage them, CTRL+F to find] hypocrites?

No, it's with bees. I am tired and this seems like a great plan because fuck all of this. You hold the spray bottle full of queen pheromone in one hand, and a cardboard box full of ten thousand bees in the other. Then spray, toss, and run! Whee! IS BEST PLAN.

Fair enough. I'll be cautious with that suggestion, and thanks for the headcheck, but I am, however, in agreement with fuck all this.

(and edited within the brackets for clarity to avoid threadsitting)
posted by saysthis at 10:37 PM on February 16


Either I need a lot more of whatever you guys are having or you all need a lot less, but things have gotten very weird in here tonight.
posted by zachlipton at 10:39 PM on February 16 [39 favorites]


Did anybody see Trump's press conference today? It was bonkers!
posted by mazola at 10:40 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


One hour plus of some of the best live action trolling ever produced. Very, very effective.
posted by buzzman at 10:42 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Either I need a lot more of whatever you guys are having or you all need a lot less, but things have gotten very weird in here tonight.

I am not seeing the weirdness. Weird indeed.
posted by futz at 10:43 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Some news: State Dept layoffs under Rex Tillerson being carried out

One interesting bit is that nobody from State was involved in the Netanyahu meetings, just Jared. Career State Department officials are less than thrilled that the President's son-in-law seems to be running foreign policy without so much as their presence. What could go wrong?
posted by zachlipton at 10:46 PM on February 16 [33 favorites]


I'm really glad it's not just me. You people are on serious drugs. I am sometimes on serious drugs but my back is feeling better so I am not currently. I mean, I'm not judging, see my post yesterday about the difficulty of parsing everyone's personal terms for Trump when on The Drugs.

Anyway, it hasn't been said recently, but you guys rock and let's all try to stay as sane as possible and I'm gonna go read a trashy romance novel and wait for my night meds to kick in.
posted by threeturtles at 10:51 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


Are we all striking tomorrow? I am. My son told me today that half his school was out today for day without immigrants and he wishes he had stayed home (I honestly didn't know the protest was to include students).
I did see today's event made the news as many restaurants were closed. I wonder if tomorrow's will be on the radar?
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:00 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Drugs not hugs.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:00 PM on February 16


Things HAVE gotten weird! So it's not just me! It's been a long weird day. Weird enough that I'm just gonna toss out there that I've been stressing about the term "kaffir" lime leaves for like 30 minutes.
posted by thebrokedown at 11:00 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


I made it! It's the end of the thread! I read it all, the nightmare is over!
posted by BS Artisan at 11:00 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


I work from home so Day Without Immigrants wasn't super noticiable but the SO teaches at a very immigrant heavy school and said more then half his class was missing and a lot of teachers cancelled classes.

Anyway, just stay home to,orrow.
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


You better think twice.

At least once more.
posted by mazola at 11:02 PM on February 16


BEES
posted by poffin boffin at 11:05 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


What a time to be afraid.
posted by guiseroom at 11:09 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


NPR is worse than Fox News.

Oh, please. Considering the polarization of a populace split right down the middle plus given the tightropes they walk financially, NPR and PBS are still light years ahead of the commercial networks in accuracy and depth. And courage: Morning Edition has an ongoing radio diary about a trans girl and her mother. Sure it's a tad sappy but still... who else among the big networks is doing anything like that ? This NPR bashing is the circular firing squad on steroids: God damn you NPR, who cares if you are good --.why aren't you perfect ?

I have despised Mara Eliasson for years for her snide disdain for all things liberal but now I am surprised at the scorn and contempt that bleeds through at times in her remarks about Trump. But after all, she's been eating the same sammich filling Haward was offered for sometime now. I almost feel a sort of weird sympathy for her before the schadenfreude kicks back on. Then it's Haha turtles all way down...
posted by y2karl at 11:09 PM on February 16 [13 favorites]


AP: Trump, fond of signing executive orders, awaits more pens. They're custom made, including gold plating, by Cross.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:12 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Anyway, just stay home to,orrow.

i love this, this is one of those 19th century Scottish poet things, isn't it?
posted by bongo_x at 11:13 PM on February 16 [11 favorites]


It's that feeling when you've been up for far too many hours and everything is becoming goofy and difficult and exhausting and the smallest most ridiculous ideas start seeming reasonable.

That's where we are as a country right now.
posted by downtohisturtles at 11:14 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


It's been jarring and weird (I agree with them but why now all the sudden?).

I'm starting to consider a hypothesis about people's stages of acceptance and grief and monthly cycles or something. Every trip the moon takes around the earth, expect n% of people to go, "WTF IS THIS SHIT?"
posted by mikelieman at 11:17 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


It's that feeling when you've been up for far too many hours and everything is becoming goofy and difficult and exhausting and the smallest most ridiculous ideas start seeming reasonable.

That's where we are as a country right now.
posted by downtohisturtles at 3:14 PM on February 17 [+] [!]


New election with only previous election primary candidates eligible, excluding incumbents.
posted by saysthis at 11:17 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


That press conference happened earlier today and it feels lke last week. Where is the threshhold?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:18 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I've been googling for information about the annual President's Physical Exam and not coming up with what I'm trying to find out which is, who performs it? More precisely, is this something that would get assigned to Trump's tame doctor or will there be actual medical professionals involved? And how soon can we expect it?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:20 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]




TheAtlantic: Miss Manners [Judith Martin] on Rudeness in the Age of Trump
The renowned etiquette columnist offers an alternative list of virtues for a time when the U.S. president has violated all traditional expectations of statesman‐like behavior.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:24 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]


More precisely, is this something that would get assigned to Trump's tame doctor or will there be actual medical professionals involved? And how soon can we expect it?

I was curious also, and looked up Obama's exam reports and saw it was done by the head of the White House Medical Unit, appointed by...POTUS.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:25 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Trump has chosen to use the services of the Physician to the President, not Doctor Crazyman. He's kept on Obama's doctor, a US Navy Rear Admiral, though the President is free to replace him. I'm not sure there's any particular schedule or rules to it beyond "the President has a doctor in the building and can see him," though regular physicals and a summary for the press are a tradition.
posted by zachlipton at 11:27 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I would think that they run/fly POTUS up to like Johns Hopkins' and do like a full workup like just in case?

Or are they maybe afraid that in a face to face interview with a medical professional, he might screen for some cognitive issues?

AWKWARD!
posted by mikelieman at 11:29 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


If everyone follows tradition, then there's no need for a law. It wouldn't surprise me if Trump chose not to disclose any personal medical information, nor even mention whether or not he had a physical.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:30 PM on February 16


'the hell are you people on, anyway?
posted by StrawberryPie at 11:32 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]


That press conference happened earlier today and it feels lke last week.


To quote Lenin “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”

I have to keep reminding myself the reason more stuff hasn't happened on my end is because it's only been four weeks, 28 days, the shortest month ...

Yet, even just in my own circles dear god do you know how many rallies, fundraisers, sign making parties, protests, group actions, phone call events, and LGBT socialist happy hours I've been to? Like within the last few weeks? And every time it's to bigger crowds.

Everything is happening at once, it's like I'll have to mark my life as pre and post this.
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 PM on February 16 [30 favorites]


That's where we are as a country right now.

i haven't slept more than 6h in a row since november

sometimes i just laugh hysterically for no particular reason for like 20 minutes and then fall asleep for 3h

when i wake up i don't know what day it is

it's like the 90s all over again except rent is fucking insane
posted by poffin boffin at 11:37 PM on February 16 [62 favorites]


wait i want to go to gay commie cocktail parties
posted by poffin boffin at 11:38 PM on February 16 [24 favorites]


trump is keeping the doctor appointed by Obama for now. Maybe some reporters could find out if he has had more than a handshake with him or ever will.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:39 PM on February 16


I just realized something. Hillary Clinton had dinner with Kate McKinnon. What would happen if Hillary hosted SNL? I mean, I have the sense it's the sort of thing she doesn't actually like doing and I'd certainly understand if she never gets in front of so much as an iPhone camera again in her life, but just think how much it would mess with Trump's brain to have her up there, in his old hosting slot, mocking him with Baldwin.
posted by zachlipton at 11:42 PM on February 16 [33 favorites]



wait i want to go to gay commie cocktail parties

We had our FIRST LGBT happy hour at Julius just yesterday. It was amazing, we overran the bar. I personally signed up ten people while also putting the cabaret soundtrack on the jukebox. I found out about it via the new NYC DSA site, socialists.nyc Which has a very good calendar of events.

One guy at the bar was like, an old schoool Jewish leftist was like overjoyed we all invaded the bar and was making a cell call like "Mabel ! I'm with all the socialists and they're YOUNG"
posted by The Whelk at 11:57 PM on February 16 [114 favorites]


Also I had printed up copies of Oscar Wilde's THE SOUL OF MAN UNDER SOCIALISM which is like 27 pages long and I thought would be fun to give out in a limited group session sense but then like 50 people showed up so ....no.

(Mostly it was people who were not members and were interested in the DSA from friends or Facebook so I handed out a lot of flyers (me going "let me get you some literature" all night) and did a lot of talking about NYS bills and organizing and don't we deserve better?)
posted by The Whelk at 12:03 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


So this was mentioned upthread but I wanted to emphasize this and give it some context: Alexander Acosta, when he was a prosecutor, cut Jeffrey Epstein a sweetheart deal to allow him to avoid Federal charges of child rape for his notorious sexual parties.

Federal charges would almost certainly have allowed much more in-depth investigation of those parties to occur, including investigation of the other alleged participants.

It was at one of these parties that Trump was alleged to have raped a 13 year old girl.

And now he is giving the prosecutor who made sure he wouldn't be investigated for his participation in those parties a Cabinet appointment.
posted by KathrynT at 12:06 AM on February 17 [176 favorites]


Sessions being the Attorney General presiding over prosecuting the Russian connection he is implicated in is probably the biggest legal battle to focus on.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:09 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


But fuuuuuuuck
posted by Burhanistan at 12:11 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


The only reason why I've been well adjusted about Trump is because I have spent the past week grieving and healing from a breakup. Keeping myself preoccupied emotionally is helpful with a wannabe dictator as president
posted by yueliang at 12:42 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Trump is a low-rent Zaphod Beeblebrox. He lacks the second head but he does have an interesting ecosystem thriving on his first head. Of course he's high during high profile events. Definitely not coke or else he'd be crouched under a table begging for an adult 30 minutes in. My money says he rails his Addys. That doesn't necessarily end better, but it does get him through a 70 minute press conference or a 90-minute debate, and his meltdown happens offscreen.
posted by SakuraK at 12:49 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


And now Trump's nomination of Acosta will reopen the Epstein case in the "court of public opinion" in a way that will make the media entities that previously let the story die for lack of 'sizzle' re-consider their decision. Not a smart way to keep a cover-up covered up.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:56 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


That doesn't necessarily end better, but it does get him through a 70 minute press conference or a 90-minute debate, and his meltdown happens offscreen.

He never got more than 20-30 minutes into a debate or a presser without melting down.
posted by mochapickle at 12:58 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Disappointed to see cheerleaders for dementia in this thread. I know people are tired of Going High, but FUCK DEMENTIA. Count yourself lucky you've never seen it in your life.

It wouldn't change a thing anyhow. The Sith lords would deny he has it, keep him away from the press and only have prerecorded statements. They'd probably deny him treatment too, the vile fuckers. Easier for them to ask him to sign the 'birthday card' which is really an EO.
posted by adept256 at 1:39 AM on February 17 [15 favorites]


We're going to take back the House in 18. For now, don't miss: Resistance Recess. We need to dwarf the Tea Party.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:46 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Hey Slap*Happy: the "never read the comments" bit is one of the current set of canned messages for the Firefox start page (screenshot). No need to panic.

(Discovered when I opened a new window and there it was. I was all, "so that's what all that stuff in the thread was about")
posted by zachlipton at 2:01 AM on February 17 [27 favorites]


He never got more than 20-30 minutes into a debate or a presser without melting down.

At his level of coke use, the meltdown usually involves someone trying to talk him down from nihilism while he's curled up naked underneath the kitchen table. You have a good point though. He's likely embraced the power of and, so he's railing coke and addies before he goes onstage. Coke has a horrible comedown 30 minutes in when addies are just getting their speedy selves started. That is a mental hell that lasts at least 2 hours. Plenty long enough for him to spew invective about bigly immigrant threats and past presidents who simultaneously left him a perfect economy and a mess.

A bunch of Trump voters voted out of desperation and know now that he was never going to do anything for them. There's still a fanatic declininist base of older white middle+ class inner Americans who worship Trump because they're wealthy enough to not care about his economic bloodshed and they think he can save them the shame of becoming equal to the upstart Muslims and Mexicans and unmarried women and African Americans and Latin(x)s and LGBTQAs and on and on.

In case it's not clear, it's that last declinist bunch of Trump voters that should be taken to an island and left to work out their social angst on each other. They are welcome to apply for repatriation. If their boy wins, I hope they like *extreme* vetting.
posted by SakuraK at 2:01 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


I don't know when we decided we were going to fill that guy with bees, but it cheers me to see Corb calling for bringing forth the bees.
posted by angrycat at 2:07 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


I have no intention of kicking off a gun control derail, or another debate about the ethics of violence, so fyi I'm just leaving this one comment here because I think some people who are shy like me might find it helpful: I and my sweetie went to a beginners' firearms class over the weekend. The other people in the class were a Latino family, parents and their late teens or early 20s daughter and son. When we said goodbye, the mother and I wished each other good luck. The next morning, I realized I felt a LOT less anxious. Before, I'd had a mental cloud of "If I need to defend myself against an armed white supremacist or armed dickhead of whatever stripe, and a gun came near my hand, I wouldn't have a clue about how to handle it safely and so there's a good chance I'd panic and accidentally shoot myself."

At the class, I felt 3 different kinds of guns in my hand, practiced loading them, keeping them pointing downrange (uh, this is not necessarily as easy as it sounds, when you've never handled one before and your subconscious, you eventually realize, has absorbed gun-handling visuals from, like, Charlie's Angels), aiming and firing them. I know what the recoil for a .22 vs a Glock feels like. I was shit at hitting the bullseye on the target, especially with the bigger guns, but having even this very basic level of familiarity will give me better options if I turn out to need them.

I recommend checking Yelp reviews when selecting a class. I avoided ones where reviews said, "Injected their political opinions into the class," "ignored me, the only woman," etc. Anybody in the SF Bay area, feel free to MeMail me if you want my notes on the places I looked up.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:10 AM on February 17 [24 favorites]


Sean Spicer has explicitly stated Trump "definitely doesn't own {a bathrobe}". Now, who are you going to believe, the White House Press Secretary or your lying eyes?

The tax returns would show the bathrobe was owned by the Trump Corporation.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:24 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Grandpa's awake.
posted by guiseroom at 2:54 AM on February 17


has anyone thought that maybe he assumed 100 Grand was the pricetag
posted by flatluigi at 2:55 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


Grandpa's awake.

Bloody hell, not a moment's peace. What's he want now?
posted by valetta at 3:04 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Disappointed to see cheerleaders for dementia in this thread.
Well it's more cheering for Trump to come to a sorry end than for dementia per se. I've been thinking for a while he's dementing. That article about him watching telly all night in his *debatable* bathrobe paints a pathetic picture. I mean, I can feel sorry for the monster in that there is nobody around him who cares enough about him to stop him being cynically used as a ridiculous puppet, or reassure him away from his combative paranoia (rather, I guess they stoke it) or even, apparently, check on his health.

And ever since I saw video comparing Bush's delivery in office to ten years previously I've been musing if, since Regan, dementing is the preferred state of a president, to those grey powers behind the Republican throne. Could it be a factor in who gets picked as election figurehead? Do they engineer brain damage in their successful candidates? Quite a dark screenplay for an implausible drama, if anything can be said to be implausible right now.
posted by glasseyes at 3:06 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Guys I think the last thread got hacked you should see some of the crazy shit written there about a press conference.
posted by um at 3:08 AM on February 17 [30 favorites]


> Bloody hell, not a moment's peace. What's he want now?

He said we all only have three more weeks on Earth and that fossils were just something the Jews buried in 1924.
posted by guiseroom at 3:08 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


He said we all only have three more weeks on Earth and that fossils were just something the Jews buried in 1924.

PLEASE ADD [FAKE] TAGS IF THIS IS NOT ACTUALLY TRUE.

There is, by now, literally nothing I won't believe he said. And meant it, too.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 3:24 AM on February 17 [61 favorites]


I feel like the what-is-dementia-and-can't-we/can-we-please-not-cheer-etc. derail needs to stop. If nothing else, as soon as people want to discuss the background of dementia, and the benefits or dangers involved when the US president maybe shows signs of a condition that resembles dementia, there should be trigger warnings all over the place.
Just to say that it's maybe not necessary to make a Trump thread (which is inherently not amusing as it is) positively agonizing for all those people here, who've had painful first-hand experience with dementia of friends or family. There will be a lot left to snark and joke about, it's true. It's gonna be great.
posted by Namlit at 3:30 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Sorry, PontifexPrimus, I thought the Arrested Development video linked on my period with popup would suffice.
posted by guiseroom at 3:41 AM on February 17


Anecdata:

I have family members who voted third party in PA. They're very friendly people, and they're all pro the DAPL protestors, and really these family members belong in some sort of socialist commune.

One family member is a Lyft driver and has been ferrying me around to medical appointments. I was watching the press conference unfold on my phone and the family member volunteered the info that he was a Libertarian and also wasn't really following what was going on, I mean it is hard to keep up, but ugh.

And as I've gotten older, I've gotten better at shutting out people and worse about it. In that I think *oh fuck I don't want your company* and read in their presence and give monosyllabic responses to questions. Worse about it in that I've been doing it not just to assholes but to nice people who mean well but are just ugh.

And when I heard this family member sort of proudly proclaim a) his Libertarianism and b) his ignorance of what was happening with the administration he helped usher in, I was just done. I did various shit on my phone as the nice family member ferried me around and said random shit. I should engage, should say but the benefits of federalism, should say, look man, you're a fucking Lyft driver, either educate yourself or shut up about it as you may piss off your customers.

Instead I was done. I guess a national tragedy will make me all love-thy-neighbor again, but until then, I can't stop being pissed off. Especially at people who voted for this monster and are unaware of what he's up to.
posted by angrycat at 3:47 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


This just sort of popped into my head, a take on something I'm pretty sure is up thread, about the ideal SNL cold open. Someone mentioned it should
just be the cast and writers and Baldwin watching the press conference, just stunned by the insanity of it. I like that, but my version would be Alec Baldwin, the cast, and the writers sitting, watching the tv. The camera is mounted on the tv, and the whole press conference is playing. At first, they're scribbling notes, laughing, doing impersonations. Slowly, the laughter fades. The note taking stops. People start tearing up, and turning to each other for solace. Hushed, almost inaudible whispers of shock and attempts at comfort. One by one, the get up and walk out, til it's just a couple of them, sharing a bottle. Finally, Baldwin is alone in the room, head down across crossed arms, loudly weeping. The kind of raw sobbing where you can't breathe properly, and start hyperventilating. Just the camera, pointed at his back, watching his shoulders rise and fall through the agonizing weeping.

I mean, sure, it's not funny, but neither is all this bullshit.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:54 AM on February 17 [23 favorites]


he's totally buffing about obamacare, right? even the non-addled republican legislators haven't been able to thread that needle and they kniw that rushing a repeal is a good way to get slaughtered in 2018. he's got nothing.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:02 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Talez: It's a homage to Sam Bee's latest episode .

I just watched this video before coming to Metafilter today, and I think it's worth a look for everyone. Trump is no evil genius. He's just a sad, incompetent man in way over his head, but the daily shitshow he generates does serve as a very convenient distraction for the things the Republicans are doing in your Congress and Senate. In the FPP at the top of this thread Talez mentions some of those things, and Samantha Bee talks about them in the video too. People should keep track of what the Republicans are doing, so someone can hold them accountable when the times comes.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:02 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


Oh, I'll just say that yes I have had painful first hand experience of dementia with close family. That's where my thoughts are coming from.
posted by glasseyes at 4:19 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


Mark Knoeller is reporting that the White House will hire Mike Dubke as comms director.

"Dubke and his Crossroads friends did everything they could to kill the Trump movement and failed," one loyalist said.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:24 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Mika just now, on Morning Joe: "The president needs to give a speech, and it can't have been written by a 31 year old tyrant."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:37 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


A speech for what? Pivot?
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:44 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I actually recommend taking that survey on Media Accountability. I am pretty sure that based on my answers, my contact info will not be harvested as a potential supporter, so I had fun.

I was also pretty sure that based on my answers, they would stop reading my responses halfway through, so for the last question, I did not select an answer, and instead typed the lyrics to the song "Land of Confusion" into the comment box.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:48 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


Why is Trump continuously telling implausible lies that serve no purpose? He fails to manage a basic level of forethought that any normal person would have.

He can't lie coherently. Produces lie-shaped word-salad. Logorrhoea's equivalent of soft stools. Grifter past the end of his grift — William Gibson
posted by acb at 4:52 AM on February 17 [27 favorites]


Andrew Sullivan: The White House Mole: I feel like I know Stephen Miller, the youthful Montgomery Burns who lectured the lügenpresse last Sunday morning in his charm-free Stakhanovite baritone. I feel like I know him because I used to be a little like him. He’s a classic type: a rather dour right-of-center kid whose conservatism was radicalized by lefties in the educational system. No, I’m not blaming liberals for Miller’s grim fanaticism. I am noting merely that right-of-center students are often mocked, isolated, and anathematized on campus, and their response is often, sadly, a doubling down on whatever it is that progressives hate. Before too long, they start adopting brattish and obnoxious positions — just to tick off their SJW peers and teachers. After a while, you’re not so much arguing for conservatism as against leftism, and eventually the issues fade and only the hate remains.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:54 AM on February 17 [32 favorites]


President's Day, a federal holiday, will be this Monday, February 20th. As a cruel joke it falls exactly one month into Trump's presidency.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:58 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


David Brooks: What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like
The first conclusion is obvious. This administration is more like a medieval monarchy than a modern nation-state. It’s more “The Madness of King George” than “The Missiles of October.” The key currency is not power, it’s flattery.

The corollary is that Trump is ripe to be played. Give the boy a lollipop and he won’t notice if you steal his lunch. The Japanese gave Trump a new jobs announcement he could take to the Midwest, and in return they got presidential attention and coddling that other governments would have died for.

If you want to roll the Trump administration, you’ve got to get in line. The Israelis got a possible one-state solution. The Chinese got Trump to flip-flop on the “One China” policy. The Europeans got him to do a 180 on undoing the Iran nuclear deal.
posted by octothorpe at 5:01 AM on February 17 [13 favorites]


My son told me today that half his school was out today for day without immigrants and he wishes he had stayed home (I honestly didn't know the protest was to include students).

I took my daughter out of school but then halfway through the day I called her in half-sick in a panic. It was right around the time I realized there is no mechanism for legally removing the President without Congress no matter what he does.
posted by corb at 5:02 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


all the man had to do to slide by with a gentleman's C was to listen to the question and somehow denounce or condemn bigotry.

He didn't even need to go to bigotry.

"I'm the kind of guy who'll use the bigly power of this office to get things done the failers failed at. The FBI has dominion over bomb threats and I'll be sure remind them of that, ask for a report and get that over to you. Minion! Make that so!"

(The FBI made a press announcement on the 3rd of the month how they are all over getting this sorted out.)
posted by rough ashlar at 5:10 AM on February 17




Andrew Sullivan: The White House Mole

His description of schools is fucking nonsense. It just doesn't happen that way, despite the constant assertions of the neo-Nazis formerly known as the "alt-right." It's the kind of whiny libertarian nonsense we hear from people who believe Sesame Street sets a bad example for kids because it teaches them sharing (i.e., socialism) and how to play well together, or that we talk to little about wars and too much about how bigoted the Founders and everyone since then was. Besides, what evidence we have for Miller being a douchebag started before college, and it wasn't because of "SJWs." In high school, he was already well-known for spouting the usual conservative assholery with a shit-eating grin on his face.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:22 AM on February 17 [24 favorites]


the current set of canned messages for the Firefox start page

Jeez. You'd have thought the Russians hacked Slap*Happy's (whose username has acquired a glint -- nay, a fine patina -- of eponysteria) cable router last night!

Also, check my comment history if you need proof, but I've been calling it for cocaine all along. Many years of coke (or other stimulant, maybe speed) abuse produces an addled affect
and lack of ability to regulate mood or stop talking even when the addict isn't using. It looks a lot like the early phases of dementia, which I know up close and personal too. But I know even more former cokeheads.

The president is a fucking cokehead, it's obvious. Which means he is gonna burn out like an American-made car halfway through this trip.
posted by spitbull at 5:23 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Trump's NSA pick: "General Keith Kellogg, who I have known for a long time, is very much in play for NSA - as are three others." [real]

"I have decided to let @Schwarzenegger host the final competition for the job" [fake for now]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:24 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


He's a Lyft driver

Simple tools for radicals: ask him how he plans to cover his retirement when robot cars (which already basically work) replace him?
posted by spitbull at 5:25 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


This is all still happening, isn't it.
posted by BS Artisan at 5:27 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
General Keith Kellogg, who I have known for a long time, is very much in play for NSA - as are three others.


I don't know if it's appropriate to keep doing the reality-show competition thing after the last guy you offered the job said no and called it a shit sandwich.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:37 AM on February 17 [47 favorites]


I can't help wondering at this point if there aren't a lot more R's compromised than just him

It would be interesting to have a list of every House or Senate Republican who used Wikileaks-released material in his or her 2016 campaign.

The pee tape (if it exists) will not bring Trump down. The entire country already knows he is a disgusting, immoral, depraved, pussy-grabbing, cheating, lying beast of a human.
posted by sallybrown at 5:39 AM on February 17 [18 favorites]


he's totally buffing about obamacare, right? even the non-addled republican legislators haven't been able to thread that needle and they kniw that rushing a repeal is a good way to get slaughtered in 2018. he's got nothing.

I wouldn't be so sure about that.
I think your conclusion presupposes a logical argument along the following lines:

Abolish Obamacare ==> Millions lose health insurance ==> Many people die ==> Those who gutted Obamacare are held responsible ==> Republicans lose in 2018

I think the more likely scenario is this:

Abolish Obamacare ==> Millions lose health insurance ==> Many people die ==> Obama will be held responsible ==> Democrats lose in 2018

One possible line to pin it on Obama might be "He knew that Obamacare would be repealed eventually and people will lose coverage, therefore it is all his fault. He should have thought of that when he forced Obamacare down our throats."
It doesn't make much sense, of course, but it's not any crazier than what the average American standing to lose coverage believes about Obama anyway.
posted by sour cream at 5:45 AM on February 17 [15 favorites]


His description of schools is fucking nonsense.

But ascribing the motivation of young and angry right-wingers to "I like making liberals angry" probably isn't (this is the same Andrew Sullivan who went all in on "blacks are genetically inferior" with Herrnstein and Murray's "Bell Curve" back when he was the very young editor of the "even the liberal" New Republic).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:46 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


(this is the same Andrew Sullivan who went all in on "blacks are genetically inferior" with Herrnstein and Murray's "Bell Curve" back when he was the very young editor of the "even the liberal" New Republic).

Uhh, he was still bringing this shit up a couple years ago or whenever he was last blogging before his welcome hiatus. Fuck Andrew Sullivan.
posted by chris24 at 5:48 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


Michael Gerson: Reality Will Get Its Revenge on Trump
The world of Manhattan real estate must have seemed to Trump like the big leagues. It wasn’t. And the techniques that succeeded in his little world — the taunting, the exaggerations, the bluster, the threats, the bullying — do not translate well in dealing with real professionals. . . .

But American institutions, it turns out, are pretty durable, at least so far. The checks have checked. The balances have balanced. In this scenario, it is good news that the Trump administration has been so inept, at least in conflicts with other institutions. We should be thankful that Trump is a figure much smaller than his schemes.
This op-ed goes double for Steve Bannon and the rest of the big shots who think they can come in and run the table on the civil servants of DC because they see the bureaucracy as government drones in frumpy suits. We shall see.
posted by sallybrown at 5:49 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Republicans headed for a potential defeat on their longed-for tax reform.
A handful of Ways and Means Republicans — including some with close ties to Trump — are fretting that retailers slapped with an import tax will ultimately pass the cost onto consumers. [YA THINK?] One member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), asked his chairman Wednesday to hold hearings on the proposal. . . .

A source familiar with the White House’s thinking said it’s unlikely Trump would try to push through the border-adjustment tax if key administration officials and senators are still divided over it.

“It’s fair to say there’s a lot of questions about how it would work and the assumptions on which it’s based,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). . . .

Senior House Republican sources who back him say the House has been working on tax reform for years and has already considered numerous financing mechanisms. But all of them have set off firestorms within various industries. A border adjustment tax, they say, is the best option on a limited menu.

Without it, they contend, tax reform will die.
posted by sallybrown at 5:56 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


> The pee tape (if it exists) will not bring Trump down. The entire country already knows he is a disgusting, immoral, depraved, pussy-grabbing, cheating, lying beast of a human.

A friend and I were discussing the hypothetical pee tape on our hypothetical pee tape podcast the other day and we had the thought that, if the pee tape does exist, the peeing would likely be the least offensive thing in the video. Assuming there is audio, imagine the kind of language Trump could be spouting as he instructs Russian prostitutes to urinate on the bed the Obamas—people he hates with a fiery, racist passion—once slept in. It would likely make the "grab her" video pale in comparison.
posted by guiseroom at 5:57 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Assuming there is audio, imagine the kind of language Trump could be spouting as he instructs Russian prostitutes to urinate on the bed the Obama's—people he hates with a fiery, racist passion—once slept in. It would likely make the "grab her" video pale in comparison.

But whom would this surprise? Trump supporters don't think he is some kind of paragon of virtue…they are tickled by his vices, or think "well this is just the way powerful guys are," or think "at least he's not as bad as X," or don't think his personal nature has bearing on the job he's doing, or are willing to make the tradeoff because they think he'll be effective.
posted by sallybrown at 6:03 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Huh. Chaffetz is looking into how Flynn got paid for his 2015 speeches in Russia. Direct link to his letter (pdf).
posted by peeedro at 6:05 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


But whom would this surprise? Trump supporters don't think he is some kind of paragon of virtue…they are tickled by his vices, or think "well this is just the way powerful guys are," or think "at least he's not as bad as X," or don't think his personal nature has bearing on the job he's doing, or are willing to make the tradeoff because they think he'll be effective.

They love him because he pisses off liberals. No more, no less.
posted by Talez at 6:07 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


"at least he's not as bad as X,"

I literally had someone use the "Hillary's killed like 30 people!" on me yesterday at work. Trying to continue his justification for voting for Trump.
posted by mayonnaises at 6:13 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


When I first saw this thread on the front page, it had 666 comments, which seems like all the commentary the current situation needs.
posted by Mayor West at 6:14 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Russian solution for comprehending Trump...
On Friday, Russia's most popular tabloid, Komsomolskaya Pravda, accused President Trump of making "contradictory" statements about Nato.

The paper points out: "(During the election campaign) Trump had called the Alliance obsolete and useless. Less than two months have passed since he moved into the Oval Office and he's already expressed full support for Nato.

"As the saying goes, you need to be drunk to understand the true position of America's president."
Russian media no longer dazzled by Trump (BBC)
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:17 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


> "As the saying goes, you need to be drunk to understand the true position of America's president."

Lord knows I've tried, but I guess I don't get *Russian* drunk.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:20 AM on February 17 [24 favorites]


Republicans headed for a potential defeat on their longed-for tax reform.

Yeah, large-scale tax reform is definitely not happening. They need the border adjustment to be able to afford their tax cuts, but half of the party doesn't want a border adjustment, including Koch brothers and Sen. Tom Cotton (Wal-Mart is based in his state). They want to eliminate all of the ACA taxes, but they have to cap or eliminate the exclusion for employer-provided health insurance in order to pay for that (i.e., the portion of health insurance paid for by your employer isn't considered taxable income; they want to change that) -- this would basically be a tax increase on half of the country. There is no way to satisfy both their donors and their base.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:21 AM on February 17 [13 favorites]


> But whom would this surprise? Trump supporters don't think he is some kind of paragon of virtue…they are tickled by his vices, or think "well this is just the way powerful guys are," or think "at least he's not as bad as X," or don't think his personal nature has bearing on the job he's doing, or are willing to make the tradeoff because they think he'll be effective.

Trump is capable of such vile, inhuman horror and atrocities that I genuinely believe a subset of his supporters who are decent, albeit misled and uninformed, people at their core would not be able to stomach. He has proven to be the breaking point for so many things never before thought possible in our history. Everyone has a breaking point. Right?
posted by guiseroom at 6:22 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Was listening to an 'American Republicans Abroad' woman on the radio just now, being interviewed about yesterday's.... event. Yes, I think it's safe to call it an event.

She's a Trump supporter, of course, but it's was fairly clear that she was a Republican loyalist first. She said the media was being unfair, but admitted 'there have been faults on both sides'. When pressed by the interviewer how the media should react when being told that unquestionably true things were 'fake news', she said that the media had misreported a fake Twitter account and Rolling Stone had made up a university rape story (! How much of a reach back into the past is that!) so they and Trump should 'meet half-way'.

She was clearly an intelligent woman, and also admitted to continuing to read the NYT et al, but said she was uncomfortable when CNN ran the sort of parody of Trump she'd expect from SNL.

Which is all very interesting, because while the interviewer wasn't at all hostile or aggressive - this wasn't an official representative of the GOP, just a supporter, and the story was 'how do people like that feel when they see things like this' - the bad equivalences and logical gaps in her self-defence didn't need highlighting, and I'm absolutely sure she was well aware oif them and most likely saying something completely different to her close friends than when she was on national BBC radio news. (No censure intended here, btw.)

Can she take four more years of this? I doubt it, by some margin. But I think it shows how it's important for the non-Trumpian media not to go to 'LYING LIAR LIES AGAIN' mode. I know it's nice for us to read, and really annoying for even a scintilla of refusal to say how downright bad this chap is. But every time that happens, it shores up the 'look, no wonder he's being so aggressive to these people' denial mechanism of the more aware Reps who are desperately trying not to have to betray their lifelong loyalties.

Better not to do that, I think. It'll be far more productive.
posted by Devonian at 6:25 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


It’s ridiculous to suggest that a pee tape should be any more disqualifying than all the shit he’s done already, but you can see how it would be a convenient excuse for Fox/Congress/etc to turn on him if they thought he had outlived his usefulness.

They don’t really want to bring him down over something that has been public for a while, particularly before the election, because then they would have to bluster away about all the times they defended him before. The pee tape would be a new thing they could pretend to be shocked about. Plausible deniability: obviously I wouldn’t have endorsed him if I knew about this.

And it’s not too political: they can make it all about his personal sexual misconduct and the dignity of the office without tying it too closely to the GOP brand.

It would be rank hypocrisy, but we’re not going to get rid of Trump before 2021 without the right-wing establishment turning on him, and they will want to find the most painless possible way of doing it.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 6:26 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]




There is no way to satisfy both their donors and their base.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:21 AM


errrrr.....this is one of the many universals in american politics.....
posted by lalochezia at 6:27 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


This is a fascinating interview with Mark Sanford.
posted by guiseroom at 6:30 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


The hypothetical tape has potential to be worse than what came before, not in a 'water sports are beyond the pale' kind of way, but in a 'how old were the girls?' kind of way.

But even that might not bring him down past 80% support with Republican voters who are the only ones that matter now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:31 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


I ran for president to represent the citizens of our country.
All citizens?
Obamacare is a disaster, folks. It's a disaster. You can say, oh, Obamacare -- I mean, they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder how they get there, but they're not the Republican people that our representatives are representing.
Ok, got it.
posted by zakur at 6:31 AM on February 17 [39 favorites]


I wonder if something about his repetition, and not just of adjectives, makes him somehow more quotable by the his base supporters and, in turn, facilitates a camaraderie that's not actually born out by anything approaching a deeper knowledge or understanding of issues. As in they're having a tailgate, coffee break, water cooler, or whatever discussion where they can say to each other

Person 1: "Did you hear Trump last night when he said 'something something great something big something very well', man, ain't that right?"
Person 2: "Or when he said 'thing name best something job huge' right after that?"
...
Person Z: "That's right!"
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:34 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


the bad equivalences and logical gaps in her self-defence didn't need highlighting, and I'm absolutely sure she was well aware oif them and most likely saying something completely different to her close friends than when she was on national BBC radio news

One of the news shows last night (wish I could remember which one) sent a reporter into a bar in Iowa to ask Trump supporters for reactions to the press conference. It seemed obvious that these people were still strongly behind Trump (and enjoyed chuckling about what they perceived as the media being brought down a peg) but were ready for him to actually get down to business, and were not blind to his contradictions. The reporter really pressed one guy to explain how it made sense that "the leaks are real but the news is fake." The Trump supporter's reasoning was "people are leaking real information, but there are also so many fake news stories because the media makes things up." When pressed on whether the news stories about the leaks themselves were fake, he sort of paused as if deciding how stubborn to be but then admitted the specific accusation didn't make sense. I do think there's a strong current of "even if I don't really feel this way, I love annoying liberals/the media by refusing to say a word against Trump!"
posted by sallybrown at 6:35 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Sales of anti-abortion license plates in the US are funding unregulated clinics that push medical lies: The plates are sold by local affiliates of Choose Life and proceeds are used for all sorts of things; in 18 states, a portion is used to fund adoption organizations. In Iowa, funds raised by the plates go to pay for roads and road repairs. But in others, they are used to fund crisis pregnancy centers—which reproductive health organizations say is an unconstitutional mixture of church and state. According to Guttmacher, in 15 states, a portion of the proceeds go to funding anti-choice or crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which often provide biased and medically inaccurate information to women who are seeking family planning services.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:39 AM on February 17 [17 favorites]


The Russians have got us all figured out: once or attentions move on from a threat or problem, once we've burned ourselves out thinking about a particular problem, it's super easy to redirect us into self criticism and petty social conflicts driven by insecurity about self image and paranoid ideas about personal authenticity and integrity. We spent decades waging secret wars and doing all kinds of nasty skullduggery to defend against the threat of Soviet territorial expansionism and hegemony, and now that we've got credible evidence Russian intelligence services finally succeeded in pulling off the kind of covert campaign to destabilize us socially and influence our internal affairs that they've been pursuing since at least the 50s, if not even farther back, we're too unsure of ourselves and untrusting to respond as decisively as we should.

We have a disastrous inability to care about or remember to consider important facts once we lose interest. I honestly believe our advertising and marketing culture have greatly exacerbated the effect by promoting the idea human life should or ever could be pain-free and effortless, with our personal tastes in the driver's seat, and nothing but personal truths that seem irreconcilable left in the absence of even any idea of a factual, independent reality that doesn't give one iota of a damn if we still remember or care about the past or if we have the right priorities to make wise choices. It seems to me the more rapid news cycle makes us more prone to forgetting what's important and losing interest in difficult problems and issues. There's a lot more base information workload on everybody's brains these days and that has to have big behavioral implications unless science is an idiot (which it's not).
posted by saulgoodman at 6:39 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Priebus: Russia reports are 'grossly overstated and inaccurate': Priebus, speaking on "Fox and Friends" Friday morning, said that "I don't represent the campaign," but insisted that "what I just told you is what the highest levels of the intelligence community have told me." The chief of staff then pivoted to recounting the accomplishments of the new administration, including calls with foreign leaders and a measure Trump signed to roll back coal industry regulations.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:43 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]




Politico's Donald Trump: 28 Days Later is a day-by-day recap of the story so far. Each day has a "Where things went off the rails" section and most days have a "Where things went according to plan" section.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:45 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


28 Days Later. Sounds like a horror movie.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:48 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Republicans headed for a potential defeat on their longed-for tax reform.

I don't understand the argument here. They have 2 whole years at the very least to push through whatever legislation they want, and tax "reform" is pretty much at the top of their list. Why are they going to give up in the first month after running the table on Democrats and seizing power?

A handful of Ways and Means Republicans — including some with close ties to Trump — are fretting that retailers slapped with an import tax will ultimately pass the cost onto consumers. [YA THINK?]

Is everybody going to collude on pricing?
posted by indubitable at 6:50 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Zeynep Tufekci thread on usage of "Deep State" when referring to American IC leaks:
I keep seeing "deep state"—a concept from Turkey—used a lot in the US context. Like this [nyt linked] article. It doesn't work.

Permanent bureaucracy and/or non-electoral institutions diverging with the electoral branch not that uncommon even in liberal democracies.

In the Turkey case, that's not what it means. There was a shadowy, cross-institution occasionally *armed* network conducting killings, etc.

So, if people are going to call non electoral institutions stepping up leaking stuff, fine. But it is not "deep state" like in Turkey.

Oh, look, an article that gets the "deep state" stuff right, by talking to an informed Turkey expert! [link to Atlantic article]

atm I find comparing divergence between electoral and non-electoral institutions to be called a "deep state" a la Turkey kinda... offensive

Look, if State Dept teams up with Tony Soprano to create a "terror" attack to blame the administration for.. That's deep state a la Turkey.

posted by melissasaurus at 6:54 AM on February 17 [17 favorites]


I don't understand the argument here. They have 2 whole years at the very least to push through whatever legislation they want, and tax "reform" is pretty much at the top of their list. Why are they going to give up in the first month after running the table on Democrats and seizing power?

Trump won't sign tax reform without a border tax while rank and file conservatives won't go for tax return with border taxes.
posted by Talez at 6:56 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]



President's Day, a federal holiday, will be this Monday, February 20th. As a cruel joke it falls exactly one month into Trump's presidency.


And two months before the date shared by Hitler's birthday and Marijuana Day; which seems somehow oddly apposite.
posted by acb at 6:59 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


The president is a fucking cokehead, it's obvious. Which means he is gonna burn out like an American-made car halfway through this trip.

But not before the Colombian delegation manages to get some sweet trade concessions.
posted by acb at 7:01 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Geez, Manchin, Pruitt just got slapped by a judge in OK for not being forthcoming about his contacts with the oil industry while he was OK AG and suing the EPA over regs, and that's not enough for those two extraction state Dems to vote no.
posted by notyou at 7:04 AM on February 17 [15 favorites]


A handful of Ways and Means Republicans — including some with close ties to Trump — are fretting that retailers slapped with an import tax will ultimately pass the cost onto consumers. [YA THINK?]

Is everybody going to collude on pricing?


Why would they need to collude to raise pricing when slapped with an import tax…it's the rational thing to do, no?
posted by sallybrown at 7:04 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Egg McMuffin: "For Republican leaders in Congress, there is no more room for cognitive dissonance. Instead, it is urgent that they recommit to patriotic prudence. They should demand that Attorney General Jeff Sessions appoint an independent special counsel to investigate Russia’s assault on American democracy and Mr. Trump’s possible collusion with the Kremlin. At a minimum, they must establish a bipartisan special select committee with subpoena power in the House or the Senate for the same purpose."
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:07 AM on February 17 [45 favorites]


Trump's Speech in Adjectives

Tallying Trump's adjectives is a very simple yet very telling exercise, especially since he relies on them so much to connect with his base. In the Q&A session, his favorites were "depleted" and "fantastic" (both three times), "tremendous" (four times), "strong" (five times), and "great" (eleven times). On one hand, verbal repetition is a tried-and-true sales technique, but on the other, shrinking vocabulary is one symptom of Alzheimer's.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:07 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


After Trump applauded Limbaugh for approving of his performance art piece last night, I made the questionable decision to look at Limbaugh's twitter feed (I won't link it here). Not good for my sanity. But it did reveal one interesting thing. He is using a hashtag #newtotalitarians to exploit a new list-blocking feature on twitter, so his minions only have to click once, and immediately, all undesirable twitterers disappear, and the informational bubble is cleansed of divergent opinion. This list-block thing might be another twitter disaster.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:07 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


What I'm worried about with the ACA is insurers fleeing and the program collapsing for that reason. OTOH, with luck voters will either fall into the "I understand why this happened, fuck the Republicans" camp or the "I don't understand at all but the Republicans were in charge, fuck them" camp.
posted by Frowner at 7:10 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


scaryblackdeath: That's what's so shocking. Even Dubya, with his wars and corporate giveaways and right-wing bullshit, even Dubya was capable of doing some real, significant, important good in the world.

Well, _rump has only had this job for less than a month at this point, what do you expect him to do in that time?

I'm jumping the gun a little here, but I'd like to remind everyone that during his first month in office, Barack Obama:
  • Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
  • Banned torture.
  • Signed a $787 billion stimulus bill.
  • Sent 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
  • Ended the month with a net job approval rating of +27 percent.
Donald Trump still has a few days to go, but so far he has:
  • Signed no legislation.
  • Mostly signed executive orders that are either routine (pay freezes, a halt to new regulation, reversing the Mexico City rule) or little more than PR messages to his base (cracking down on drug cartels, financial regulatory reviews, rebuilding the military, etc.).
  • Signed one executive order that was important, but rolled it out so incompetently that it caused massive chaos and was promptly overturned by the courts.
  • Sat idly by at dinner while aides discussed a North Korean missile launch and then failed to respond in any way at all.
  • Has presided over a White House so epically leak-prone and amateurish that people are already taking bets about which senior officials will get fired within the next few weeks.
  • Ended the month with a net job approval rating of about -8 percent.
(Mother Jones, Feb. 13, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:12 AM on February 17 [29 favorites]


He has signed one bill as of today. It is an end to surface water protections in coal mining.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:16 AM on February 17 [13 favorites]


AP: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

There's no story yet. But fuck.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:17 AM on February 17 [30 favorites]


While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau still exists:

Consumerist: Court: CFPB Has Authority To Request Seven Years’ Worth Of Foreclosure Documents

The case against Harbour began back in Sept. 2016 when the CFPB began looking into whether financing offered by the company and others like it — referred to as an “Agreement for Deed” — were in violation of federal leading laws. ... On Wednesday, Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled that wasn’t the case, writing that the Bureau’s authority to issue the CID was “not ‘plainly lacking.’”

Additionally, she said that there is “plausible ground to believe that [Harbour] may have information related to a violation” of the Truth in Lending Act, and other federal laws.

posted by Room 641-A at 7:18 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Why would they need to collude to raise pricing when slapped with an import tax…it's the rational thing to do, no?

They might also decide to absorb the tax in a narrower profit margin and leave prices as they are now. In which case monied corporate interests are paying new taxes. Which is, I think, the real objection here, not that consumers might pay more through raised prices. The only place where you can pass on a tax increase to consumers is if you have a lot of pricing power already or you're a regulated monopoly with a profit margin that is fixed by law (like a power company).
posted by indubitable at 7:20 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


AP: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

There's no story yet. But fuck.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:17 AM on February 17 [1 favorite +] [!]


Legitimately terrifying. God help us all.
posted by marshmallow peep at 7:20 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


cybercoitus interruptus - I'm in L.A. and a friend who is gun skilled is taking me out to the range next week because I haven't been in about 20 years and I DEFINITELY need a refresher. We may make her services available to other libs as well.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:20 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


AP: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

I hope someone points out to him how many of those troops are going to end up personally knowing undocumented immigrants. There's a reason that dictators set up and maintain their militaries and police as separate from the populace, to the point that you get second- and third-generation practically dynastic succession. The National Guard and Reserves are the exact opposite of that (though there is a ton of nepotism) -- he's going to try to mobilize people in their actual neighborhoods to enforce this stuff, which is not what any of them ever signed on for.
posted by Etrigan at 7:21 AM on February 17 [31 favorites]


AP: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

There's no story yet. But fuck.


That's the kind of thing that might actually start mass riots and/or a small insurgency.
posted by jaduncan at 7:22 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


Why are they going to give up in the first month after running the table on Democrats and seizing power?

Because their only chance to get it passed (without Dem input) is through budget reconciliation, but that process limits what they can actually do with respect to overall government revenues/expenditures (Byrd rule), and they can basically only do it once per year (and they want to spend their 2017 chance on ACA repeal). If they have any Republican Senator defections, they might not be able to pass the reconciliation bill at all and it would hurt their narrative, plus it needs to be signed by Trump (and they aren't going to risk having him veto something).

They want a "1986-style" tax code rewrite, but that required significant bipartisan effort with input from a ton of constituencies and a lot of work on the part of the Treasury Department. There were also a ton of loopholes that needed to be closed, which were a good source of revenue for the revenue reductions included in the rewrite, tax rates were much higher then, and Reagan had warned people in advance that some peoples' taxes might increase -- they weren't promising everyone a pony.

There aren't even consistent policy objectives between Republican congressional leaders and the Republican president. Largely because none of their ideas are good and you can really only finance one of them at a time. This is the problem with trying to govern on the basis of a strawman (i.e., that we have the highest taxes in the world and we need to reduce rates).
posted by melissasaurus at 7:23 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


It's one thing to send ICE as a "deportation force" - those people signed up to do that job. Sending the National Guard out into communities to break up families is going to come with a hell of a lot more resistance.
posted by sallybrown at 7:23 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


Here's the AP story:

A draft memo obtained by The Associated Press outlines a Trump administration proposal under consideration to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants. Millions of those who would be affected in 11 states live nowhere near the Mexico border.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. If the proposal is implemented, governors in the affected states would have final approval on whether troops under their control participate.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:24 AM on February 17 [38 favorites]


AP: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

There's no story yet. But fuck.


Bet his base is going to hear about this at his rally tomorrow. Bannon is such an evil fucker.
Speculation: Float today. Get wtf reactions. (Can they even do this by order? Thought NG is state and they would have to federalize it? What is the mechinism for this? Do they need the legislature at all?)
Talk tomorrow about it and look base people, just look at all of the reactions I'm getting to what is right. I'm just trying to protect and MAGA. It's time to fight people. I need you to fight.
posted by Jalliah at 7:24 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


he's going to try to mobilize people in their actual neighborhoods to enforce this stuff, which is not what any of them ever signed on for.

No, no. Step 1 is that you send the National Guard unit to a place that isn't directly where they are from.
posted by jaduncan at 7:25 AM on February 17 [26 favorites]



Thanks roomthreeseven that answers some of my questions.
posted by Jalliah at 7:25 AM on February 17


AP: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

Well, looks like it's time to dust off my "GI organizing" books again!

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
posted by corb at 7:25 AM on February 17 [21 favorites]


If the proposal is implemented, governors in the affected states would have final approval on whether troops under their control participate.

"and that was how the USA ceased to exist."
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:26 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. I know this is a tough and dispiriting time and if you're struggling with that I super feel you. Please feel 100% free to drop us a line at the contact form if you need to talk or vent or anything, any time. But let's avoid even rhetorical suggestions of self-harm in here.]
posted by cortex at 7:26 AM on February 17 [18 favorites]


Yoga, time to take a break. We are all scared and there is a lot of catastrophizing here. Chances are things aren't as bad as we fear. Even here on MeFi I have seen a ton of stuff that was terrifying and ended up being just overaction and rumours.

Go to wholesome memes on reddit! It helps me a lot to see kind people in the world. I promise you things are not as bad as they seem. And you don't have a moral duty to punish yourself keeping track of all these things, it's okay to take a break.

While I was growing up in Peru, we had terrorist attacks every other month (shining path), inequality, racism and blatant corruption (much worse than here). And we survived, and things are still a little fucked up but slowly improving. Like Obama said, we go 3 steps forward, 2 backwards, but overall we make progress.

Don't despair!
posted by Tarumba at 7:27 AM on February 17 [29 favorites]


Here are more details on the conflicting parts of the tax reform proposals, from the NYT.
posted by sallybrown at 7:28 AM on February 17


That's heinous and I hope this memo leak is somebody in the white house getting it out there so the idea is squished flat before it gets further than "another terrible idea Bannon wrote up."

Jesus fuck.
posted by notyou at 7:29 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


More alternative fucks
posted by Namlit at 7:30 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


he's going to try to mobilize people in their actual neighborhoods to enforce this stuff, which is not what any of them ever signed on for.

No, no. Step 1 is that you send the National Guard unit to a place that isn't directly where they are from.


But yeah, I'm sure a lot of them will be very unenthusiastic indeed, and some will be very enthusiastic indeed because they are white nationalists. I'd normally say that that's a drawback, but maybe it isn't if you're a believer in a forthcoming ethnic conflict that is rapidly turning against white people for demographic reasons.

It might not even be true that this is being pushed, but it's very telling indeed that nobody is sure if it is or isn't.
posted by jaduncan at 7:30 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


That's insane. Even for this administration, having already had their hands slapped on the immigration issue, that's insane. It's gotta be a false memo leaked to try to find the leaker.

It's gotta be.

I'll go inspect my AR, though, because that's where this is all headed if that's real. God dammit.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:31 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


It's gotta be a false memo leaked to try to find the leaker.
This suggests a level of niftiness that--after yesterday--I don't believe anyone has over there.
posted by Namlit at 7:33 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


Senior Assistant to Spicer says the National Guard news is "Not true." (This is not a verified account, but it was retweeted by the NYT's Maggie Haberman, who knows the White House staff well.)

A stronger denial than I remember seeing on other leaked proposals/ideas in the past from this Admin. Could also be a sign the divisions within the White House are continuing to grow (perhaps this was hidden from the Priebus faction?)
posted by sallybrown at 7:33 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


AP: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

Helpful that it leaked on a Friday morning so that people have plenty of time to plan this weekend's protests.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:34 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Yoga, here is what I think: I think that these are terrible, terrible times but there is a revolutionary opening. I think there's actually some possibility that we will look back in six years or so and see that the incompetence and evil of Trump together paved the way for the kind of real social change that most Americans actually want. (Healthcare for all, better job protections, pro-immigrant sentiment galvanized by disgust at Trump, etc). Trump is terrible and these are hugely dangerous times, but he and his people are also dumb as shit. Everything they are doing is weakening them - cutting them off from other Republicans and hardening their support down the the tiniest, craziest remainder.

There is a political ferment in this country that I have never, ever experienced, and it is led by a progressive-Democrat/left coalition. This is different from anything I've ever seen or even, in realistic moments, imagined.

I think we all ought to keep going if only because there's at least a chance that we're moving toward fully automated luxury communism for real now. There's never been a revolution that was easy or safe or risk-free, but I at least want to see what happens.
posted by Frowner at 7:34 AM on February 17 [38 favorites]


According to CNBC's Steve Kopack, a "senior administration" official says it's false, but then he also has an update that DHS Secretary Kelly drafted it, and governors would have a choice whether guard troops would participate.
posted by yasaman at 7:36 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


a "senior administration" official says it's false, but then he also has an update that DHS Secretary Kelly drafted it

2017: it's false, but also DHS Sec. drafted it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:37 AM on February 17 [74 favorites]



That's insane. Even for this administration, having already had their hands slapped on the immigration issue, that's insane. It's gotta be a false memo leaked to try to find the leaker.

It's gotta be.

I'll go inspect my AR, though, because that's where this is all headed if that's real. God dammit.


Not insane for Bannon. This is Bannon. It's textbook Bannon. The question I have is it someone leaking it because 'wtf?' or is it a float to gauge reaction or maybe provoke reaction.

Edited: See that it was the DHS secretary. Hope that's true. I'm perfectly okay with being wrong about it coming from Bannon.
posted by Jalliah at 7:37 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


I believe the technical term for this is "fucking with us." It's in the abuser's handbook, chapter 2.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:38 AM on February 17 [15 favorites]


Here's the AP story in full.

"The memo is addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.

Also dated Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized "to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States." It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

Requests to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for comment and a status report on the proposal were not answered.

The draft document has circulated among DHS staff over the last two weeks. As recently as Friday, staffers in several different offices reported discussions were underway."

posted by anastasiav at 7:38 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Here are the states that are included in the memo: California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:38 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Olivia Nuzzi also saying a senior source says it's false. Starting to look more like "we didn't know about this memo" than "this memo does not exist," imo.
posted by sallybrown at 7:39 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


The AP article states:
-the draft memo was written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly
-"The draft document has circulated among DHS staff over the last two weeks. As recently as Friday, staffers in several different offices reported discussions were underway."

So it's not surprising that the WH denies it, since there seems to be no communication between the WH and other executive branch agencies.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:39 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Remember, in 2017 "false/fake" doesn't mean "not true", it means "something that makes Trump's administration look bad". So yes, DHS really wrote it, it "leaked" (illegally, of course), and the immediate backlash against it automatically categorizes it as "fake news". No contradiction here.
posted by Roommate at 7:40 AM on February 17 [35 favorites]


According to CNBC's Steve Kopack, a "senior administration" official says it's false, but then he also has an update that DHS Secretary Kelly drafted it, and governors would have a choice whether guard troops would participate.

So a possible timeline is that Kelly wrote it, circulated it internally in the DHS, and someone more senior in the WH stepped on it as soon as they heard about it? If that was true, I guess I'd actually have a nameless WH person rise in my estimation.
posted by jaduncan at 7:41 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


The fact that a member of the military was the person drafting this makes it even sicker to me. Does he not see that's a complete abuse of the oath National Guard members take? Shame on John Kelly if he did this.
posted by sallybrown at 7:41 AM on February 17 [20 favorites]


Fine-tuned machinery.
posted by Devonian at 7:44 AM on February 17 [16 favorites]


Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal says "This discussion has been going on for a while - but the deputizing of many local cops as immigration agents is the biggest goal internally"

Effectively granting the wet dreams of all the over-militarized cops we've seen terrorize people of color the last few years. Can't see what could go wrong.
posted by sallybrown at 7:45 AM on February 17 [22 favorites]


I think that the WH doesn't realize that the entire executive branch is, like, their problem. If an agency releases something, they can't just be like "that's not a White House document" (Spicer quote). That's not how this works.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:47 AM on February 17 [25 favorites]






I'm finding myself looking more and more at the Romanian model. They filled the benches with reform judges and then, each and every time a pol from any party steps over an ethical line, they go to fucking prison. And if the wags in office don't like it and try to slow them down, they send 3-5% of the population into the street every night to remind them that, by the way, they overthrew the last crooked-ass government with a revolution and they will absolutely do it again, motherfuckers.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:47 AM on February 17 [57 favorites]


The National Guard plan doesn't make much sense, it's more of a Gestapo task than a Wehrmacht task, and ICE have that covered.
posted by Artw at 7:49 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


"I wish you guys asked before you tweeted," Spicer tells AP reporter on plane. Reporter says they asked many times for comment. (cite)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:49 AM on February 17 [26 favorites]


Something they are not thinking: Deportation is politically popular in part because it is not real to many citizens. It happens offstage, to people they never see or meet. I think that if there's anything which will generate pro-immigrant sentiment in this country, it will be cops in the streets everywhere checking papers and dragging people away in full view of citizens. If it does nothing now, it will radicalize the generation who are kids now. Bannon et al may think they're going full Nazi and everyone will be good Germans for them, but they've misjudged their moment.
posted by Frowner at 7:50 AM on February 17 [23 favorites]


If this is true, I have some words I'd like to say to Kelly.
I will give to the selfless performance of my duty and my mission the best that effort, thought, and dedication can provide.

To this end, I will not only seek continually to improve my knowledge and practice of my profession, but also I will exercise the authority entrusted to me by the President and the Congress with fairness, justice, patience, and restraint, respecting the dignity and human rights of others and devoting myself to the welfare of those placed under my command.
Remember it, fucker?
posted by corb at 7:50 AM on February 17 [73 favorites]


Wouldn't the AP be especially careful to verify the authenticity of the memo, knowing that the WH has been trying to discredit the press? I doubt very much they just like, got a leaked document from a random person and threw up a tweet and story about it without putting it through any verification (especially if they were seeking and not getting comments). Did they get burned by a good source?
posted by sallybrown at 7:53 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]




The National Guard plan doesn't make much sense, it's more of a Gestapo task than a Wehrmacht task, and ICE have that covered.

They want to massively ramp up deportations. Obama administration averaged something like 400k from 2012-2016, they want to double, or triple that number, minimum. Trump's platform is to deport all 11-13million undocumented people in the US. All of them. Believe the autocrat. They can't do that with just the 20,000 or so current ICE employees. But there's several hundred thousand Guard members that could be deputized into de facto deportation squads.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:55 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


Hm, should I start carrying my US passport around? I'm kind of brown.
posted by Tarumba at 7:56 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


A few years ago, didn't Georgia try to cut down on immigrants, and then had to pull back when crops started rotting on the vine?
posted by drezdn at 7:57 AM on February 17 [27 favorites]


Hm, should I start carrying my US passport around? I'm kind of brown.

I'm white and kind of freaked out that my green card doesn't mean shit anymore.
posted by Talez at 7:57 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


It does sound like at some point they'll be abandoning the shreds of legal process and just shoveling people into trucks if they want to go that far.
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Detention, incarceration and deportation of undesirables works a lot better if you also seize their assets and give them to your supporters.

So, I'd keep an eye out for that in a memo at some point - if it's not already available. A lot of these damn aliens have had the chutzpah to be economically successful, create valuable businesses and accumulate assets.

Sign up to the program and win bigly, citizens!
posted by Devonian at 7:58 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


I'm white and kind of freaked out that my green card doesn't mean shit anymore.

I'm dreading whatever my next trip out the country will be and TBH considering just not going anywhere for the duration - I can't afford the chance that I won't be able to get back to my wife and kids.
posted by Artw at 8:00 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


So, since I don't know anything about how this works, can somebody clarify for me?

1. President orders calling up of National Guard.
2. Governors in each requested state are required to comply.
3. Many states comply. CA (at least) does not.
4. President orders called up National Guard troops to round up immigrants in CA (at least).
5. CA (at least) authorizes it's National Guard troops to repel other state's troops from crossing its borders.
6. It's 1861 all over again.
posted by ragtag at 8:01 AM on February 17 [13 favorites]


Detention, incarceration and deportation of undesirables works a lot better if you also seize their assets and give them to your supporters.

Under police asset forfeiture rules, they might not even need to make many new laws. :(
posted by drezdn at 8:01 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


A few years ago, didn't Georgia try to cut down on immigrants, and then had to pull back when crops started rotting on the vine?

Yep. That'll happen again nation wide, but they don't care. It's not about economics at all, it's about damaging demographic growth in Democratic leaning constituencies. And delivering on promises of a new White Reich.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:02 AM on February 17 [42 favorites]


I'm kind of brown.

Fake documentation.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:02 AM on February 17


I have no words for how economically destructive all this is going to be - but actual functioning industry and economy is a blue state thing so I guess they will be happy to see that burn a little.
posted by Artw at 8:03 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Governors in each requested state are required to comply.

Technically (by which I mean by assumption that rule of law is still a thing), they're required not to comply.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:03 AM on February 17 [15 favorites]


Hm, should I start carrying my US passport around? I'm kind of brown.

I'm not sure that's going to stop us from becoming American desaparecidos, but you know, it never actually hurts.
posted by corb at 8:03 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Make America White Again/For The First Time?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:04 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I have no words for how economically destructive all this is going to be - but actual functioning industry and economy is a blue state thing so I guess they will be happy to see that burn a little.


Didn't you get the memo? It's Brexit x 100!
posted by Devonian at 8:05 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]



Yep. That'll happen again nation wide, but they don't care. It's not about economics at all, it's about damaging demographic growth in Democratic leaning constituencies. And delivering on promises of a new White Reich.


The one that do acknowledge that this could or would happen also appear to believe in magic. Sure maybe short-term burps but all will be well cause the labor market will just adjust and all will be well in the world.
posted by Jalliah at 8:05 AM on February 17


If the memo is indeed real, then how does a report on it count as "fake news"? The WH can yell "fake news" all it wants, but if the AP can prove the authenticity of the memo then that attack isn't going to land with anyone other than the deranged Trumpkins who believe anything…maybe this is just more simple stupidity from the White House.

Ben Shapiro (former Breitbart editor) says: "If the AP report is factually accurate, and WH refused comment only to reject the report later, that's on Trump, not AP."
posted by sallybrown at 8:07 AM on February 17 [28 favorites]


Just a reminder that if you have Amazon Prime, WaPo (digital edition) is free for the first six months.

Couldn't find a current link with an update from this week but Amazon last week still had not decided if it was going to pull ads from Breitbart.
posted by archimago at 8:08 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


They want to massively ramp up deportations.

Deportations take time, and on average a person stays months in detention before being flown out. I imagine even if they detain you by mistake it would take a long time before they let you go.

If I am detained, I could end up losing my job (and house, etc.) while I wait for USCIS to confirm that I have citizenship. In a less likely scenario, they could pretend I did something to invalidate my citizenship (like if they look online and find something they don't like I suppose) and that's me gone.

I can't imagine it will get more efficient under trump, he's not well known for planning.

My husband and I agreed that when they start deporting people who were legally here, it is probably time for us to self deport.

Some non-immigrant will be lucky to buy our house for cheap since we'll be in a hurry.
posted by Tarumba at 8:08 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


The National Guard plan doesn't make much sense, it's more of a Gestapo task than a Wehrmacht task, and ICE have that covered.

Actually, I really disagree. ICE don't have the numbers to fulfill this pledge to deport hundreds of thousands of people. If they are insane enough to actually try and do it, they need warm bodies. Trump said that "probably 2 million, it could even be 3 million" would be deported. Who else but the National Guard have the numbers for that? It's a properly insane level of effort just in sheer logistics, train usage and probably shipping. I feel like moving that amount of people sounds an awful lot easier than it is; the capacity of a coach tends to be 55 or 56 seats.

Let's (extremely) generously say that you don't need to secure those coaches, but you need 1 person on there to guide them.

3 million people is 54,545 coach rides. I would suggest that more than one coach ride might be needed, and that you might just possibly need more than one security guard. You also have to transfer them across the border, and to assume that Mexico(?) or Canada(?) would take people, because it turns out that many brown and even Hispanic people aren't Mexican nationals either but if you have to fly them the cost is truly, truly impressive and you have repeated planeloads of people in the air who might well not take too kindly to the transport. So maybe you have deportation ships, if you actually mean it. Cheap, but you have to get people to ports and hold up the port whilst you load and unload, meaning that import/export capacity is greatly impacted even assuming no sabotage. So you can add on cost and manpower to that.

You also need places to hold your deportees before deportation, and to deliver them to in a different country. It's hard to know how they'd have the supply chains to feed that many people, but let's say that is sorted out. You also have to ensure that the people concerned don't come back across the border.

But generously, let's say you only deport Mexicans and nobody else, and that Mexico takes them. Room to room searches are expensive, and make bad optics. The leadership might have to go hard and fast and terrify people into voluntarily leaving. Even then, "ICE now has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries." 20,000 for moving anywhere near the amount of people they have claimed is utterly, utterly insufficient. The issue with even the national guard, assuming that people even co-operate with that, is not that they aren't suited to it so much as that there also aren't enough Guards available.

Fascism in deportation, paranoia and walls, amongst other things, is really expensive. Plus you'd have so much court action and active resistance that it would be much more expensive than the mere logistics costs I've noted.

Do I think that Kelly might have written this? 2 weeks of discussions sounds like it. Do I think they could get even a Republican congress to sign off on the expense? No, call me an optimist but actually I don't think they could persuade a majority to sign off on an incredibly reputationally, morally and financially ruinous plan.

What really annoys me is that I'm only 90% sure that isn't the actual plan.
posted by jaduncan at 8:09 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


And let's not forget the existence of for-profit detention centers. People often are not just deported or "sent back" immediately - many are kept in horrific conditions, including families with children, in facilities that generate profit for large corporations owned by white men. They are often forced to work in these camps with little to no pay, and if they complain they're put in solitary.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:09 AM on February 17 [22 favorites]


If they round people up in those kinds of numbers it will be large scale detention camps, not deportations. Comparisons to WWII era concentration camps will seem overblown until they are not.
posted by Artw at 8:11 AM on February 17 [75 favorites]


A DHS official says memo was "a very early, pre decisional draft... and was never seriously considered by the Department"

I'm torn between thinking that the administration wanted this out there -- as a trial balloon for increasing deportation force, meat for the base, and maybe to distract from the press conference coverage -- and thinking it was genuinely leaked. If the draft had been kicking around for weeks, I tend to believe the former.
posted by gladly at 8:12 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


If the memo is indeed real, then how does a report on it count as "fake news"?

Words mean very little to true believers.
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Detention, incarceration and deportation of undesirables works a lot better if you also seize their assets and give them to your supporters.

It's been done, and it aint even ancient history.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:12 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


What was most striking to me about Trump's press conference/crazy time with the grown-ups, is that he seems basically incompetent.

For a while I thought Trump was maybe especially devious and clever. That he was kind of playing dumb to lure people, or else playing blustery, to put them off their game. But more and more I think it's actually that he is just plain old incompetent. He's blustery because he had one egg too many for breakfast or his coffee wasn't how he likes it or his meds were acting on him funny that day.

So when it comes to the logistical feat of mounting a coup or any kind of overthrow, I think we will be saved from his malice by his incompetence.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:13 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


What really annoys me is that I'm only 90% sure that isn't the actual plan.
posted by jaduncan at 12:09 AM on February 18 [+] [!]


You know who else had tremendous plans that didn't involve mass deaths?
posted by saysthis at 8:13 AM on February 17


> It's been done, and it aint even ancient history.

More recently than that.

(Minus deportation but still featuring stealing of all your stuff)
posted by fragmede at 8:14 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


If they round people up in those kinds of numbers it will be large scale detention camps, not deportations. Comparisons to WWII era concentration camps will seem overblown until they are not.

If you have them over the border, you don't even have to feed them afterwards.
posted by jaduncan at 8:15 AM on February 17


It's official, we have a supervillain president.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:15 AM on February 17 [27 favorites]


Some non-immigrant will be lucky to buy our house for cheap since we'll be in a hurry.

Yup. Exactly like what happened with Japanese internment. Even if they're blocked by the courts from actually deporting most of the people they want to deport, just detaining people who look like immigrants for any period of time longer than a few days will achieve most of their goals. There are lots of kinds of ethnic cleansing that don't require forcible deportation or murder camps.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:16 AM on February 17 [22 favorites]


I'm torn between thinking that the administration wanted this out there -- as a trial balloon for increasing deportation force, meat for the base, and maybe to distract from the press conference coverage -- and thinking it was genuinely leaked. If the draft had been kicking around for weeks, I tend to believe the former.

Or the leaker held off until it looked like the plan was on the short list for implementation.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:18 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


I made the mistake of eating and now feel like I'm going to throw up. I'm going to go inspect my backpacking gear in case I need to start walking north sometime in the near future, faster than I could ever have imagined two months ago.
posted by corb at 8:18 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Why let the National Guard story hit the news before commenting on it? Nate Silver, "Because then they can decry the press for reporting "fake news". White House has used this tactic several times already."

Would this be a strategy for identifying leakers? Circulate a bunch of crazy things internally to particular groups/people and see what shows up in the press?
posted by mazola at 8:19 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Fox News has Trump's approval rating at 39% today.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:19 AM on February 17 [13 favorites]


I don't want to depress you guys but if we end up being sent away at some point I really would appreciate it if someone here could take care of my cat?

Memail me if you are in Virginia.
posted by Tarumba at 8:19 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


If they round people up in those kinds of numbers it will be large scale detention camps, not deportations. Comparisons to WWII era concentration camps will seem overblown until they are not.

If you have them over the border, you don't even have to feed them afterwards.
posted by jaduncan at 12:15 AM on February 18 [+] [!]

And you don't need something so obvious as concentration camps to get the same effect.
posted by saysthis at 8:20 AM on February 17


Buzzfeed: Steve Bannon’s Gay Agenda: “I don’t think [Bannon] has very strong views on the question at all … I mean gay rights broadly,” said Williams, one of the major social conservative voices on the site. “Probably pushed to it, he would probably say I think it’s gone too far, but he never pushes it, he never vocalizes it — it’s just not on the top ten list of things that he cares about.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:23 AM on February 17


io9 (gizmodo): Congressman [David Cicilline (D-RI)] Compares Trump Administration to Stranger Things, Becomes Legend . He made a poster and spoke from the house floor.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:23 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


I mentioned this AP story to my elderly father over breakfast. He responded by saying he read yesterday about "some woman who isn't supposed to be here who voted like five times and she's going to prison and she still says she did nothing wrong."

This is why America is what it is. One bad anecdotal egg means all eggs are bad. Better to tear apart thousands of families than to let one person do wrong AND GET CAUGHT AT IT, because one who got caught means 2,999,999 others must be getting away with it.

Breakfast tasted funny.
posted by delfin at 8:25 AM on February 17 [29 favorites]


Would this be a strategy for identifying leakers? Circulate a bunch of crazy things internally to particular groups/people and see what shows up in the press?

The memo was dated 1/25 and the AP report states that "staffers in several different offices reported discussions were underway." This isn't some clever ruse by the Trump team. This is the Trump WH not understanding how stuff works. The AP can say "Trump admin proposed this" when it was a DHS proposal because that is accurate. But Trump and his WH staff have a very narrow view of the definition of "The Trump Administration" that encompasses only Trump and maybe, occasionally, his senior staff.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:25 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


Would this be a strategy for identifying leakers? Circulate a bunch of crazy things internally to particular groups/people and see what shows up in the press?

This only works if you can be sure that nobody is talking to anybody else about the contents of the memos. AP's source claims the memo was "circulating" around Kelly's office for several weeks, so presumably it was not only seen by multiple people but discussed.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:25 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I know there's surely a meta where I should be posting this, but I just want to let y'all know I appreciate all of you and your contributions to these threads so, so much. I honestly can't imagine how I'd be coping/engaging with this whole mess if Metafilter didn't exist. <3
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:26 AM on February 17 [41 favorites]


Soooooo....in the event this widely denied yet extremely plausible mobilization occurs, would posse comitatus apply? Or would that not be applicable due to national guard troops being dually state and federal units?
posted by Existential Dread at 8:26 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Nixon's Meatloaf would be a great band/blog name.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:26 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Would this be a strategy for identifying leakers? Circulate a bunch of crazy things internally to particular groups/people and see what shows up in the press?

I would like nothing more than to believe this is a barium pill, but the problem is I can't be sure even if it is, they're not still serious.
posted by corb at 8:27 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Soooooo....in the event this widely denied yet extremely plausible mobilization occurs, would posse comitatus apply? Or would that not be applicable due to national guard troops being dually state and federal units?

You can consider rule of law suspended for all non whites and immigrants regardless of status.
posted by Artw at 8:27 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


Citizenship or a greencard is not going to be any kind of barrier whatsoever.
posted by Artw at 8:28 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


A few years ago, didn't Georgia try to cut down on immigrants, and then had to pull back when crops started rotting on the vine?

I read up on this a few weeks ago. Apparently they turned to prison labor to do the work.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:28 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Is this "Mainstream Media Accountability Survey" even worth doing? I mean if they've made their collective ear available then I'd like to shout in it, but it seems unlikely that they will use the results honestly.
posted by Krulth at 8:29 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


One thing we are not going to here from the WH: that this is a bad idea or that people are bad for proposing it.
posted by Artw at 8:29 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Soooooo....in the event this widely denied yet extremely plausible mobilization occurs, would posse comitatus apply? Or would that not be applicable due to national guard troops being dually state and federal units?

I would love to hear a lawyer's opinion on this. But National Guard units have been deployed in law enforcement-like capacities before (during the civil rights era), so I assume posse comitatus does not apply to them.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:29 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


From way up thread, all of a day ago, Obama in 2009: I have made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States of America.

The new diesel Chevy Cruze gets up to 52-mpg on the highway.
posted by bonehead at 8:30 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Ashley Killough of CNN: "Trump has said nobody in his campaign has been in contact with Russian officials. Do you believe him?"

Mitch McConnell: "I have no idea."

(Sources: 1 2)

Hmmmmmmmmmmm
posted by sallybrown at 8:30 AM on February 17 [17 favorites]


Citizenship or a greencard is not going to be any kind of barrier whatsoever.
posted by Artw at 11:28 AM on February 17 [+] [!]


I agree. There are many things that could be used to invalidate your status here. For example there is a portion of the paperwork where you affirm you are not a communist, and I always thought well, according to republicans everyone on the left is! That alone would annul your status.
posted by Tarumba at 8:31 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Apparently they turned to prison labor to do the work.

Maybe that's the point of kicking out undocumented immigrants. Makes me want to read Chris Hayes' upcoming 'Colony In a Nation.'
posted by My Dad at 8:31 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Is this "Mainstream Media Accountability Survey" even worth doing?

Do you need 10 minutes of fun in your day? Then, yes, yes it is.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:31 AM on February 17


He responded by saying he read yesterday about "some woman who isn't supposed to be here who voted like five times and she's going to prison and she still says she did nothing wrong."

That was a green card holder. But your elderly father is one of the many people who thinks non-citizens aren't "supposed to be here", and that's the crack into which you jam the crowbar.
posted by holgate at 8:32 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Looking at that list of states, there are at least three that I imagine will tell him to get fucked, another two or three that will quietly pass, and the rest will (with various levels of celebratory noise) dig in.

If this is a true leak, they're setting up a Loyal States vs Traitor States bit. Note how none of the far NE states are included, they don't want all of their enemies to be able to rally around a joint issue.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:32 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


CityPages (Minneapolis) : CBC films a tired, very cold Somali refugee sneaking across the Canadian border [VIDEO]
The Canadians have a strange way of treating the refugees. They treat them like people in need, and try to find how best to resettle them without sending them somewhere to be murdered or die of starvation.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:33 AM on February 17 [45 favorites]


man, i read that Sanford interview up above, and then recalled that he's also one of the guys drafting the nasty-ass obamacare replacement bill and i remembered very viscerally that just because you're right it doesn't mean you're not an asshole
posted by murphy slaw at 8:33 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


In regard to border taxes - the margins for most consumer goods are such that neither the supplier nor the retailer would be willing or able to eat the cost of the tax unless it was very small.

Sure, a 1-5% import tax may not result in increased prices but anything other that certainly will. Grocery items tend to have the tightest margins so will be the most likely affected.
posted by nolnacs at 8:34 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


jerry brown will tell them to get fucked so loudly that he won't have to use a telephone for them to hear him at the white house
posted by murphy slaw at 8:34 AM on February 17 [51 favorites]


I'm wondering if we need to start preparing our attack strategy on the Wall. I heard a Trumpeter on the radio last night basically saying that he can do no wrong, but if he does not build that wall, then he needs to watch his back. Tapper had a piece about the wall in reality actually being a fence because it is more secure than a wall that you cannot see through, and that the recommendation from USCBP will be for the fence.

I think there is something to this -- in the vein of harassing him until he has the final meltdown. You said a wall, a fence is not a wall, a fence is a limp-dick version of a wall, etc.

However, he could ignore the recommendation completely and have his wall.
posted by archimago at 8:35 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many people the US can push into another country before the receiving country says 'No.'
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:36 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


The documentary 13th, which I would thoroughly recommend and it's right thee on Netflix ready for the veiwing, goes into the widespread use of prison Labor and also makes some speculation regarding the expansion of immigration detention. It was probably pretty chilling viewing pre-Trump, but these days even more alarming, but I would recommend it anyway.
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on February 17 [32 favorites]


He responded by saying he read yesterday about "some woman who isn't supposed to be here who voted like five times and she's going to prison and she still says she did nothing wrong."

When discussing the travel ban, DACA, and illegal immigration stuff with people who don't know much about it but are against illegal immigration in a "not fair! follow the law!" unthinking way, I've had success framing the issue as "breaking up American families." That cuts to the heart of how cruel this is. Suddenly they see deportation as the violent acts they are, inflicted on people who sit alongside us at the movies, shop alongside us in grocery stores, pray alongside us in church, send their kids alongside ours in schools, etc.
posted by sallybrown at 8:37 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


I wonder how many people the US can push into another country before the receiving country says 'No.'

That's why it will be camps. They won't even have any idea who they have on there of where they are "from".
posted by Artw at 8:37 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


TBH if you can tell anyone about the 5 year old in cuffs and they aren't freaked out then they are utterly lost as a human being anyway.
posted by Artw at 8:38 AM on February 17 [42 favorites]


If anyone feels like hitting the streets today, the National Lawyers Guild planned a bunch of #lawstrikesback rallies today as part of the #F17 general strike - the one in NYC is at 60 Centre St. at 1pm. There are also ones planned for the same time (ish) in Chicago, Boston, etc.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:40 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


They won't even have any idea who they have on there of where they are "from".

i'm pretty sure that trump doesn't even understand that the majority of hispanic immigrants in NYC aren't "mexican"
posted by murphy slaw at 8:40 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina becomes the first GOP Rep to join the call for an independent commission into the Russian connection. And joins as cosponsor of the bill! Smart move, my friend.
posted by sallybrown at 8:42 AM on February 17 [68 favorites]




TBH if you can tell anyone about the 5 year old in cuffs and they aren't freaked out then they are utterly lost as a human being anyway.

I wasted hours in an online argument with my cousin over this. The grim punchline to that particular exchange is that my cousin is one of those "cool" nondenominational youth pastors who combines a shitload of tattoos with a tendency to randomly and loudly shout praise, unprompted. He lectured me that I was a hateful person who wasn't tolerant of other people's opinions. He suggested I learn how to open my heart to other viewpoints, such as his viewpoint that Muslims are prone to use children as suicide bombers and the 5 year-old was a major security risk.

I can't even wrap my head around a worldview that says I have to open my heart and mind with enough love to learn to hate and fear Muslim five year-olds.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:44 AM on February 17 [94 favorites]


sorry, i used "trump" and "understand" in the same sentence. won't happen again.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:45 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


In terms of mobilizing the national guard, let's not forget that it would step on a lot of gubernatorial toes and end up being very expensive. Even a conservative governor is not necessarily going to be into it. Here's the deal:

Let's say that you mobilize the guard. Any blue area of your state will go up like a flare. In CA and OR minimum, you are looking at the kind of mass protests that easily turn into riots. What happens then? What happens if the guard shoots someone? It's easy to say "ah ha Bannon will just declare martial law", but you have to ask - with what troops? Using riots as a pretext for a crackdown is all very well in a small heavily policed nation, but that's not what we have.

If MN were on the list (and I know it's not, but we're relatively representative) and I were the governor, I would be thinking "oh shit", because I would be thinking, "There will be massive, massive protests that will be very expensive to police and will eat up all our police hours, there will be small and possibly dangerous confrontations over specific deportations and there may very well be real, it's-going-down riots. If the Guard shoots someone during a confrontation, there really will be riots, possibly riots on a scale we've never seen before.". And that's leaving aside the economic hit to the state.

One of the things Trump is stupid about is not realizing that when he tells the states to do something difficult and expensive that also has lots of drawbacks for them, they are not necessarily going to be obedient. He keeps wanting all these things, like killing the Medicaid expansion, that will be a huge clusterfuck at the state level and be bad for state R's, and he expects that they'll be good little flunkies. None of his people have any skill at actual governing, or any kind of experience that would be transferrable.
posted by Frowner at 8:46 AM on February 17 [48 favorites]


This is all still happening, isn't it.

Don't worry, you're actually in a coma
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:46 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


You guys, Comrade Doll and I are going to see Mavis Staples sing tonight at the Chicago Symphony Center and it may just save my sanity. I hereby promise you that when she sings to keep your eyes on the prize, I hope you can see it from where you are, too. And when she sings that she'll take us there, in my heart I'll be bringing you with me.

If doctors issued prescriptions for concerts, I am positive we'd all need a dose of Mavis Staples right now.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:47 AM on February 17 [31 favorites]


Goddamn nazis need to go open their own hearts with rusty hacksaw blades.
posted by Artw at 8:48 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


You can't pass or fail the SF86. It's just an incredibly detailed form that is miserable to fill out. ... But the form is just the basis for a background investigation.

I'm pretty sure there are one or two things that get you automatically denied clearance -- drug use in the past year being the well-known one. There's a few "gotcha" questions I'm pretty sure you'll be bounced for if you answer incorrectly ("Have you EVER advocated for or knowingly been a part of a group which has advocated for the violent overthrow of the US government?"), but I've yet to hear of anyone who *has* done that.


I wonder if they will be dropping the question about nazi party affiliation for the green cards / visas now.
posted by srboisvert at 8:49 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]




If they round people up in those kinds of numbers it will be large scale detention camps, not deportations.

Only if they're in the US. If the camps are in Mexico, they'll be refugee camps, like in Jordon or the West Bank. Which I think is the model they're aiming for.
posted by bonehead at 8:49 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


If you need a little cheer, turn to Rep. Walter Jones's Wikipedia page:
Jones has sided with the Democrats on economic issues such as raising the minimum wage. He is an animal lover and has said he would like a memorial created on the National Mall for war dogs. . . . In an annual survey conducted by Washingtonian magazine, Congressional staffers voted Jones the kindest member of the House.
oops he also led the effort to rename "french fries" "freedom fries"
posted by sallybrown at 8:51 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


I can't even wrap my head around a worldview that says I have to open my heart and mind with enough love to learn to hate and fear Muslim five year-olds.

It's a perfect example of how so many people with this worldview consider themselves as the victims of some sort of nebulous, intangible persecution. But that's unfortunately as far as my understanding goes. I.e. it's unclear to me how people like your cousin are victims of anything.
posted by Brak at 8:52 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Not that it needed an extra wrinkle of horrible, but the other fun fact about the picture of the five year-old in cuffs is that the child in question is a kindergartener from Maryland and a goddamned US citizen.

The other other fun fact is that after he was released, after being detained for five hours as a security risk, when he was reunited with his mother, she sang "Happy Birthday" to him, because it was his motherfucking birthday.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:55 AM on February 17 [167 favorites]


This is all still happening, isn't it.

Don't worry, you're actually in a coma


Sweet relief. If one of you would be a dear and up my pentobarbitol, it's getting seriously unpleasant in here.
posted by BS Artisan at 8:58 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


oops he also led the effort to rename "french fries" "freedom fries"

Now there's an old chestnut. Mrs. Mosley and I actually stopped at a restaurant in Greenville, Mississippi several years ago and noticed their menus still listed fries by that name. I figure it was an oversight or just a bunch of people who can't let a silly grudge go. I tend to think the later.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:58 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]




You guys I hate gardening I really hope they don't send me to a labor camp.
posted by Tarumba at 8:59 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


People who whine on about citizenship and legality as regards to immigrants absolutely do not give a shit about either of those things.

You know when Trump casually started referring to all refugees as "illegals"? Exactly like that. He is their hideous avatar.
posted by Artw at 8:59 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Using riots as a pretext for a crackdown is all very well in a small heavily policed nation, but that's not what we have.

One of the few times when our fucked-up, oversightless system of lots of completely independent municipal police departments actually seems like a good idea.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:00 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


io9 (gizmodo): Congressman [David Cicilline (D-RI)] Compares Trump Administration to Stranger Things, Becomes Legend . He made a poster and spoke from the house floor.

David Harbour of Stranger Things did it first.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:01 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Alonzo, you stopped at Sherman's and they're sweet folks but I can barely stand to go because there's nowhere there that I can sit without looking at Fox News. Anyway, carry on
posted by Countess Elena at 9:02 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


The cynic in me says that one of the many Trump corporations will rent out space to ICE to house detainees.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:03 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


So I listened to this press conference yesterday in its entirety, with transcript (provided by The Failing NYT) and I was kind of horrified. President Trump sounded a bit off-the-rails to me, talking about crap nobody cares about anymore (Hillary got debate questions ahead of time!!! I won with MANY ELECTORAL VOTES, SO MANY!!!) and seeming not to grasp that "high approval numbers" do not mean "doing a good job" or "being right". Approval numbers do not actually determine what the truth is, Mr. President. Also, are you ... campaigning? Do you realize that the election is over and you have won? We now need you to get to the governing part, sir. The GOVERNING part. The winning part is over.

So, horrifying to me that this person has the nuclear codes and seems unhinged and also unable to select people who can train him to read a teleprompter and stay on message.

Then brother-the-younger, usually a fairly sensible human being I've known for forty-odd years, posts the following on his facebook feed: I watched all of Trump's press conference, uncut, on youtube. The media coverage and characterization of it was so disconnected from reality that I have no idea what they watched. Trump is 100% right to go around the media and go directly to the public. The media will stop at nothing to destroy him. I've never seen anything like this hatred in my life.

Clearly, he's been replaced with one of the pod people. I can't even...
posted by which_chick at 9:04 AM on February 17 [25 favorites]


I've never seen anything like this hatred in my life.

What charmed fucking lives these people live.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:05 AM on February 17 [71 favorites]


sorry, guys I thought the 5yr old in cuffs really was fake news??

the 5 yr old Syrian girls father confirmed she was not handcuffed and I haven't seen any evidence for the child who was (definitely detained ) but cuffed?
posted by Wilder at 9:05 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


So, horrifying to me that this person has the nuclear codes and seems unhinged and also unable to select people who can train him to read a teleprompter and stay on message.

hey so if Trump is actually suffering from early stage dementia what are the odds that he actually remembers the nuclear codes, or how to go about ordering a launch in the first place
posted by Existential Dread at 9:05 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]




Also, are you ... campaigning?

Actually, yes. He's already declared the 2020 campaign, and the event this weekend in Florida is a "campaign rally."
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:07 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Office the DNI wrote a cool Medium essay about how George Washington was a master spymaster. I prefer to read this as one long subtweet of Trump:
One of the most famous myths about Washington is that of the cherry tree. Nearly all Americans know it: as a child he cut down his father’s prized cherry tree with a hatchet. When confronted, he respond, with a phrase any grade schooler can recite: “Father, I cannot tell a lie.” The tale speaks to Washington’s inherent virtue, and further entrenches him in legend as the ideal for an American leader, a worthy “father” of our country. Children rarely learn that our honorable and honest founding father won the war for independence largely not only because of his military prowess, but also because of his ability to deceive. George Washington was many things during his life: farmer, dog lover, athlete, surveyor, soldier, President… the list seems endless. But many forget or never learn he was also a master spy. . . . “The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent,” wrote Washington in a letter in 1777. "…For upon secrecy, success depends in most enterprises of the kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated.”
(It's a cool and interesting piece.)
posted by sallybrown at 9:07 AM on February 17 [13 favorites]


> I Went to a Pro-Islamophobia Rally Hosted by Canada's Breitbart in My Hijab by Sarah Hagi

That article made me sick to my stomach. That'll be Canada's next election. I guess that's pretty much *every* election these days; Bannon and his ilk are going to get their clash of civilizations, and if and when our society goes up in flames it'll be in large part because so many white people were angry that it was no longer socially acceptable to be openly racist.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:10 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


I'm just hearing about (being reminded of, perhaps) a general strike that was scheduled for today. Does fucking around on Metafilter and YouTube all day count as a work slowdown?
posted by tobascodagama at 9:11 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


Ryan Teague Beckwith of Time links to the actual DHS memo: (tweet) (memo)
posted by sallybrown at 9:11 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


hey so if Trump is actually suffering from early stage dementia what are the odds that he actually remembers the nuclear codes, or how to go about ordering a launch in the first place

I think that, if we make it through this without a nuclear strike, history will eventually learn that we owe our survival to some American Stanislav Petrov, who delayed just long enough.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:12 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


Fake real!
posted by Artw at 9:13 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Existential Dread: hey so if Trump is actually suffering from early stage dementia what are the odds that he actually remembers the nuclear codes, or how to go about ordering a launch in the first place

He doesn't have to. Rick who carries the nuclear football will help him.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:13 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Governors of Arkansas and Utah already out expressing reservations about the DHS idea:
The Huffington Post reached out to the governors of the 11 states listed in the memo. Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and Utah said they had not heard from the Trump administration on the issue. But the GOP governors of both Arkansas and Utah expressed deep reservations about the idea.

“I would have concerns about the utilization of National Guard resources for immigration enforcement with the current deployment responsibilities our guardsmen have overseas,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison (R) said. “During my time at Homeland Security, we utilized National Guard partnerships for specific responsibilities along the border, so the concept is fine, but it’s a matter of resources. In Arkansas, I believe it would be too much of a strain on our National Guard personnel.”

Hutchison served as undersecretary for border and transportation security when the Department of Homeland Security was formed under President George W. Bush.

“While we cannot speculate as to what may be requested via official channels in the future, we have serious constitutional concerns about activating the National Guard to provide the mentioned services and the potential financial impacts of doing so,” the office of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said.
posted by sallybrown at 9:15 AM on February 17 [16 favorites]


During the Bush 1 presidency, there was a joke floating around that, in the eventuality of Bush becoming incapacitated, the Secret Service had orders to shoot Vice President Dan Quayle, saving the country from being ruled by an incompetent. Perhaps there are similar orders to do with the nuclear football in the event of a particularly aggressive Twitter rant?
posted by acb at 9:15 AM on February 17


Vox.com : President Trump’s combative, freewheeling, “fake news” press conference, explained
But the larger strategic goal of the presser became clear with one theme Trump repeatedly returned to — the alleged “dishonesty” of the media, an institution that, it is now clear, Trump has decided to fully elevate as his most important foe.

...

Trump seems to feel that he’s at his best when he’s fighting, but it wasn’t clear who his main opponent was now that he’s the most powerful man in the world.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:16 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


the 5 yr old Syrian girls father confirmed she was not handcuffed and I haven't seen any evidence for the child who was (definitely detained ) but cuffed?

The five year-old Iranian-American boy in handcuffs is real and was even confirmed by Sean Spicer during a press conference. Spicer said the child "could have been a security threat."

Here's a link which has video of that, along with verification of some of the other stuff, including that the child was a US citizen and about his mom singing "Happy Birthday."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:17 AM on February 17 [40 favorites]


he 5 yr old Syrian girls father confirmed she was not handcuffed and I haven't seen any evidence for the child who was (definitely detained ) but cuffed?

The five year old was detained for hours and kept from his mother, but I have not heard anything about him being handcuffed. (I know someone who was with his mother at the airport, so that is pretty safe from the source.)

I think people are conflating that five year old with the images of a three year old who was handcuffed alongside his family by CBP. I can't find the images right now.

However, there WAS fake news that used an image of a small handcuffed boy and claimed it was the five year old at Dulles, but it was from another event entirely.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:20 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I am terrified that they have zero problems admitting they held a US citizen who was a child, which the order didn't even fucking authorize them to do. Somebody needs to be in some fucking handcuffs, for sure.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:22 AM on February 17 [27 favorites]


the 5 yr old Syrian girls father confirmed she was not handcuffed

I would absolutely lie and say everything is fine, she was given candy! if I were in his situation, though. You are terrified and you have run away from hell, you don't want to antagonize powerful people.

I work in refugee resettlement and most refugees do that. They say yes to everything you say even when they don't understand what you are saying just because they want to please you and avoid confrontation. 100x more so with authority figures (people wearing uniforms, for example)
posted by Tarumba at 9:22 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]






Can we please stop linking Snopes? They are very often incorrect.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:24 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


The video clip above has Spicer confirming the handcuffed/detained child.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:24 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Please don't contribute to the normalization of the term "fake news," especially now that it's been fully co-opted by the Trump administration to mean 'news that isn't flattering towards them'

use any other phrase: later-disproven, mistaken conflation, anything like that
posted by flatluigi at 9:25 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


I mean, I know Spicer lies a lot, but I don't see the angle in falsely claiming to have handcuffed a kindergartener.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:25 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


the claim debunked by snopes is that that particular photograph is a picture of the handcuffed five year old, not that the event didn't happen
posted by murphy slaw at 9:26 AM on February 17 [18 favorites]


video: Reporter: "Why not hold up [Scott Pruitt's] vote until the emails are released?" McConnell: "Because I choose not to."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:26 AM on February 17 [16 favorites]


Spicer wasn't at the airport. He was reacting to inaccurate news stories. The people who were at the airport found plenty to be outraged about, but that particular child being handcuffed does not appear to have been one of them.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:27 AM on February 17


Can we please stop linking Snopes? They are very often incorrect.

They are? The worst I've seen is "unproven" for things that seem obviously true but can't be well sourced. What's something snopes got wrong?
posted by dis_integration at 9:27 AM on February 17 [47 favorites]


DHS announces The Affordable Wall is actually going to be a really long coil of razor wire and a 100 meter wide minefield. [fake, but I'm calling it].
posted by Rumple at 9:27 AM on February 17


I've never seen Snopes to be outright incorrect. People are fond of linking to the website and not reading their full article on a subject, but I've never seen them to say something's true/untrue when evidence points otherwise.
posted by flatluigi at 9:27 AM on February 17 [25 favorites]


k I'm ready to go live in San Junipero now
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:28 AM on February 17 [13 favorites]


Yeah, I'd also like a cite for the claim that Snopes is "often incorrect."
posted by neroli at 9:30 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


They are? The worst I've seen is "unproven" for things that seem obviously true but can't be well sourced. What's something snopes got wrong?

I know of at least one thing they have as false because they were not permitted access to (it was a private Facebook post that had proof of the thing occurring, which I myself had knowledge of). They made an executive decision to call it false. So I don't trust anything they post.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:30 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Now that the DHS memo is out, the initial reaction from Spicer calling it "fake news" and "100% wrong" looks flat-out dumb. These people are stupid and messy, not savvy.
posted by sallybrown at 9:30 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


What was their response when you gave them the evidence that they had no access to otherwise?
posted by flatluigi at 9:31 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


What was their response when you gave them the evidence that they had no access to otherwise?

I wasn't involved in the thing. Just a bystander. I'm sorry I can't talk about it here.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:32 AM on February 17


There is a political ferment in this country that I have never, ever experienced, and it is led by a progressive-Democrat/left coalition. This is different from anything I've ever seen or even, in realistic moments, imagined.

I think this hit me when I was in a beer hall meeting with the local socialist group like oh shit this is actually happening this is literally the stuff I spent my 20s reading about
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on February 17 [21 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: huge citation needed on that claim about Snopes. Nobody is perfect but they have a multi-decade reputation for doing research and citing sources. That claim is commonly made by right-wing extremists, conspiracy theorists, etc. but that's not company anyone would want to keep.
posted by adamsc at 9:33 AM on February 17 [53 favorites]


These people are stupid and messy, not savvy.

I think the word that applies here is "brazen."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:33 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


"Why not hold up [Scott Pruitt's] vote until the emails are released?" McConnell: "Because I choose not to."

It would be awesome if that smug McConnell response went viral. The whole thing is gold.
posted by Coventry at 9:34 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


It's fine, I'll drop the Snopes derail since I can't give the details.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:34 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I think the word that applies here is "brazen."

in the sense of "the brazen head of roger bacon"
posted by murphy slaw at 9:34 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I think "brazen" would have been - "We discuss many ideas. That was just one of them. And if we decide to do that, we'll let you know."

Instead it was "oh shit one of those things we decided was a bad idea after a weekend of airport protests leaked out…uhhhhh…do they have the memo? Did someone actually leak it? We have no way of knowing because we have no control over our people! Let's just call it fake news and hold on to our butts!"
posted by sallybrown at 9:36 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Right now I'm reading Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. It's kind of hard to stay in the story whenever I run into the gangster named "Spicer." (no other name)

Here's Sean Spicer (played by Sean Spicer), Spicer in the 1947 movie version of Brighton Rock (played by Wylie Watson), and Spicer from the 2010 movie version (played by Phil Davis).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:38 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Buzzfeed: Helping You See Outside Your Bubble: A new feature on some of our most widely shared articles. : The Outside Your Bubble feature will appear as a module at the bottom of some widely-shared news articles, and will pull in what people are saying about the piece on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, the web, and other platforms. It’s a response to the reality that often the same story will have two or three distinct and siloed conversations taking place around it on social media, where people talk to the like-minded without even being aware of other perspectives on the same reporting.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:40 AM on February 17 [17 favorites]


Rick who carries the nuclear football will help him.

I hope this Rick fellow's last name isn't Grimes.
posted by juiceCake at 9:40 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Instead of Snopes I use Urban Dictionary.
posted by My Dad at 9:45 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]




Buzzfeed: Helping You See Outside Your Bubble

I mean, I guess that's nice, but I still reject the framing that people who are well-informed about issues, making an effort to engage with reality, and involved with discussions that include a variety of people from diverse (across race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.) backgrounds are the ones living in a bubble.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:47 AM on February 17 [71 favorites]


the republican party must be destroyed.

this has been obvious for a long time, but at several points i thought that they would face consequences for their actions

now i'm afraid that the party will survive until the country itself is destroyed
posted by murphy slaw at 9:48 AM on February 17 [20 favorites]


I think we're all bummed out, let's be kinder to each other.
posted by Tarumba at 9:48 AM on February 17 [18 favorites]


Suspect in North Korea killing 'thought she was taking part in TV prank'
Tito Karnavian told reporters in Indonesia’s Aceh province that Siti Aisyah, 25, was paid to be involved in pranks.

He said she and another woman performed stunts which involved convincing men to close their eyes and then spraying them with water.

“Such an action was done three or four times and they were given a few dollars for it, and with the last target, Kim Jong-nam, allegedly there were dangerous materials in the sprayer,” Karnavian said. “She was not aware that it was an assassination attempt by alleged foreign agents.”
This, the actual existence of "bee-like pollinator drones", and the fact that the POTUS is a cartoon character is all the proof I need to conclude that we are all living in a Black Mirror season now.
posted by AceRock at 9:50 AM on February 17 [62 favorites]


we are all living in a Black Mirror season now

black mirror was never this on-the-nose
posted by murphy slaw at 9:51 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


I mean, I guess that's nice, but I still reject the framing that people who are well-informed about issues, making an effort to engage with reality, and involved with discussions that include a variety of people from diverse (across race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.) backgrounds are the ones living in a bubble.

Oh, there are definitely liberal bubbles. I live in one. I know people who are baffled as to why everyone can't shop at Whole Foods.
posted by Melismata at 9:53 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


Washington’s earliest experience with spycraft during his service as a young officer in the French and Indian War.

Actually he bungled one of his first missions and--whoopsie!--basically started the French and Indian War.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I mean, I guess that's nice, but I still reject the framing that people who are well-informed about issues, making an effort to engage with reality, and involved with discussions that include a variety of people from diverse (across race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.) backgrounds are the ones living in a bubble.

Happily, the silent subtext might well be that it's important to reach Trump voters who are getting the constant feedback that all of Buzzfeed is fake news. That would be a way to back them off the ledge, no?
posted by jaduncan at 9:56 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I mean, I guess that's nice, but I still reject the framing that people who are well-informed about issues, making an effort to engage with reality, and involved with discussions that include a variety of people from diverse (across race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.) backgrounds are the ones living in a bubble.

I really do see "the bubble" such as it is to be more about world view than information.

Do I know a lot of Rs that are ill-informed -- yes I do. But I also know quite a few who simply look at the same exact facts (today's National Guard thing is a good example) from a very different point of view. I do think its valuable (or at least educational) to read and hear their comments on why they would support these kinds of things.
posted by anastasiav at 9:56 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


If I wanted to know what an angry racist old folks home thinks about things I'd read Facebook comments on local news sites.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM on February 17 [26 favorites]


exact facts (today's National Guard thing is a good example) from a very different point of view.

but that point of view is based on foundational "facts" (falsehoods) like "immigrants are responsible for crime and terrorism and take jobs away from white people"
posted by murphy slaw at 10:00 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


It would be impossible to deport millions of people without some form of military units. Even with them, it would be impossible to locate, transport, house, and care for all of these people. Which doesn't mean it can't happen, only that as soon as it begins people will start dying. They'll "Resist arrest", or not receive food and medical care, or catch a disease in a poorly constructed camp, and so on and so forth.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:01 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Happily, the silent subtext might well be that it's important to reach Trump voters who are getting the constant feedback that all of Buzzfeed is fake news. That would be a way to back them off the ledge, no?

Well, but how well do you convey that by directing people toward random comments on /r/The_Donald? All that will likely achieve is convincing T_D's denizens to start brigading Buzzfeed's comments section.

The framing is complete bullshit, and I don't think it'll really achieve much of anything in terms of popping bubbles.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:03 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


You can watch the Senate debate and vote on Scott Pruitt live right now here.

I find it amazing that Wyoming has such a problem with the EPA, but I guess they'll find out why it was important soon enough.
posted by anastasiav at 10:03 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I really do see "the bubble" such as it is to be more about world view than information.

Yep.

I do think its valuable (or at least educational) to read and hear their comments on why they would support these kinds of things.

Not really. You cannot reach these people. It's only useful in terms of strategy and tactics. They are to be defeated as an enemy. And frankly, all Buzzfeed is going to accomplish by showing off the "bubble" is hardening that divide.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:05 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Ok, the DPRK spies must all be snorting the meth the regime sells abroad because that assassination plot is just bonkers.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:06 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


The framing is complete bullshit, and I don't think it'll really achieve much of anything in terms of popping bubbles.

Fair. My cynical hat would also question if Buzzfeed thinks that conflict in the comments will drive engagement, because Buzzfeed.
posted by jaduncan at 10:06 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I venture outside the liberal bubble pretty often: I check in on r/the_donald, I read newspaper comments, hell, I've only blocked one conservative Facebook friend and only after he called Betsey DeVos "perhaps the most qualified person in America" to be Secretary of Education. I find being exposed to what people actually think to be an impediment to empathy and understanding, I'm much empathetic to hypothetical people than to the people I actually find in these places.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:06 AM on February 17 [48 favorites]


It would be impossible to deport millions of people without some form of military units

ICE regularly deported 400,000 people a year under Obama so I am guessing they could get to a million if they put their minds to it and didn't care who they removed.
posted by shothotbot at 10:10 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


and didn't care who they removed

welp
posted by murphy slaw at 10:13 AM on February 17


The problem with doing your due diligence on the current prevailing thoughts in conservative circles is that those particular right-wing sandcastles don't give you long to look them over when the tide of facts and logic starts to come in.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:14 AM on February 17


I'm finding myself looking more and more at the Romanian model. They filled the benches with reform judges and then, each and every time a pol from any party steps over an ethical line, they go to fucking prison. And if the wags in office don't like it and try to slow them down, they send 3-5% of the population into the street every night to remind them that, by the way, they overthrew the last crooked-ass government with a revolution and they will absolutely do it again, motherfuckers.

It's mostly the Federal judiciary that matters here, and Congress kept Obama's appointees off the bench.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:14 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Trump falls below 40% approval in Gallup: 38-56. Boom.
posted by sallybrown at 10:15 AM on February 17 [23 favorites]


Vox.com: Zero-sum Trump - What you learn from reading 12 of Donald Trump's books
The division of the world into those who win and those who lose is of paramount philosophical importance to him, the clearest reflection of his deep, abiding faith that the world is a zero-sum game and you can only gain if someone else is failing.

...

Whether he’s discussing real estate in New York, or his ’00s reality TV career, or his views on immigration and trade, he consistently views life as a succession of deals. Those deals are best thought of as fights over who gets what share of a fixed pot of resources. The idea of collaborating for mutual benefit rarely arises. Life is dealmaking, and dealmaking is about crushing your enemies.

...

Trump, the author, lays out a vision of the world based on his own limited and blinkered experience of the business world, one that mistakes the absolute worst, most dysfunctional parts of the American economy for the way the entire world works.
Those parts would be the Manhattan Real Estate market, where a handful of entities dominate the scene, making money from rents and deals.

NYTimes: What Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand About ‘the Deal’
[Trump] is not just a rent-seeker himself; his whole worldview is based on a rent-seeking vision of the economy, in which there’s a fixed amount of wealth that can only be redistributed, never grow. It is a world­view that makes perfect sense for the son of a New York real estate tycoon who grew up to be one, too. Everything he has gotten — as he proudly brags — came from cutting deals.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:15 AM on February 17 [31 favorites]


I believe they just approved Pruitt and have moved on to Ross.
posted by anastasiav at 10:18 AM on February 17


I'm much empathetic to hypothetical people than to the people I actually find in these places.

Yes. I have read T_D on occasion. To be honest, it ironically makes me hate people. I caught myself rather gently picking apart one of the wilder sides of someone's claim to avoid a banning and realised that I was implicitly not challenging the central extremely explicitly racist thrust.

At some point even engaging with open anti-semites and racists with anything more than open contempt just suggests that they might have the validity to debate. Slipping into that for a moment made me feel dirty and cheapened, and spending any time around all of that was like looking into the abyss. There's nothing of intellectual value there, and participation was just legitimising some Potemkin village of apologism for fascism mixed with ironic/"joke"/open Nazism*.

In short, fuck them.

*you can tell, because they have swastikas but don't mean it unless you agree.
posted by jaduncan at 10:19 AM on February 17 [17 favorites]


Pruitt confirmed.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:19 AM on February 17


It would be awesome if that smug McConnell response went viral. The whole thing is gold.

As far as I'm concerned, McConnell owns every horrible thing that this administration does. I want to see him dragged out into the streets by his own enraged constituents. I'd put him under the "always punch a Nazi in the face when you see one" umbrella, but I'd be afraid that my hand would just be absorbed into the undulating, gelatinous mass that takes up the space where most of us have jawbones and skulls.
posted by Mayor West at 10:20 AM on February 17 [20 favorites]


Make America White Again/For The First Time?

Liberal Redneck: Make America White Again?
"Make America White Again"? When was America white? When white people first came to this country they had to kill most of the red people just to make room for the black people they were planning on subjugating. This country ain't never been all white.
And by the time the English established Jamestown in 1607 the Spanish had been in St. Augustine, Florida since 1565 and settled Santa Fe de Nuevo México province in 1598.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:21 AM on February 17 [19 favorites]


Pruitt confirmed despite those wretched fuckers knowing a bunch of new evidence about him just was released. It's really time to burn the GOP dead.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:21 AM on February 17 [41 favorites]


i am having a hell of a time reconciling that stoicism is the best approach to this situation as far as my brain chemistry is concerned with the desire that my white hot boiling rage becomes strong enough to make the west wing spontaneously combust
posted by murphy slaw at 10:23 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Not "just released," ordered by the court to be released on Tuesday. Not sure whether I'm madder at the Republicans for pushing him through before the documentation comes out or the parties/judges in the case for moving slowly enough to give them that window.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:23 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Liberal Redneck: Make America White Again?
"Make America White Again"? When was America white? When white people first came to this country they had to kill most of the red people just to make room for the black people they were planning on subjugating. This country ain't never been all white.
It's not about white people inhabiting the country. It's about white people holding all of the power and being first class citizens while everyone else is second.
posted by Talez at 10:27 AM on February 17 [21 favorites]


I wonder how many people the US can push into another country before the receiving country says 'No.'

Maybe that's how we get Mexico to build the wall.

haha sob
posted by emjaybee at 10:29 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


"Make America White Again"? When was America white? When white people first came to this country they had to kill most of the red people just to make room for the black people they were planning on subjugating. This country ain't never been all white.

Or as George Carlin put it:
"This country was founded by a group of slave owners who wanted to be free! So they killed a lot of white English people in order to continue owning their black African people, so they could wipe out the rest of the red Indian people, in order to move west and steal the rest of the land from the brown Mexican people, giving them a place to take off and drop their nuclear weapons on the yellow Japanese people. You know what the motto for this country ought to be? 'You give us a color, we'll wipe it out.'"
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:29 AM on February 17 [77 favorites]


Maybe that's how we get Mexico to build the wall.

I'm beginning to suspect that in this timeline you do it by interning border crossers and deportees and forcing their labor. Because, Nazis.

The wretched alt-right anklebiter legal foundation that has recently set itself up is shopping around the original briefs from Korematsu with barely disguised glee.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:35 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Trump falls below 40% approval in Gallup: 38-56. Boom.

Note that Obama never once fell below 40% in Gallup's tracking. Not a month in and dude's already more hated than 44 ever was. Although I guess it was white people hating Obama so maybe they're weighted heavier in the final analysis.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:40 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Trump: "What can look so beautiful at thirty? An Airplane!"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:41 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


And once again I hope for business interests to be Trump's undoing: The first casualties of Trump's trade wars are Texas cattle ranchers.
Texas doesn't remotely fit the mold of Trump's enfeebled America that is losing jobs to competitors overseas. Texas is the largest exporter among the 50 states with nearly $280 billion in exports, according to state data. The top destinations: Mexico, followed by Canada, Brazil and China, three of which are now embroiled in trade disputes with Washington even as Texas exports oil, coal, petrochemicals, heavy machinery and transportation equipment. That means Texas is home to some of the nation's busiest ports, such as Laredo, El Paso, Houston and Galveston. More Texans work in trade than in oil and gas. Nearly a half-million work for foreign-owned companies, which have pumped more than $20 billion annually into the economy.

Now all that is at varying forms of risk.
posted by threeturtles at 10:42 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Why would they need to collude to raise pricing when slapped with an import tax…it's the rational thing to do, no?

They might also decide to absorb the tax in a narrower profit margin and leave prices as they are now.


Pull my other leg, that one's long enough already.

There's a lot of Republican voodoo on economic issues but they're dead right on the assertion that increasing costs on materials means increased prices on products. It's flat-out astonishing to see this Republican embrace of tariffs (which is what they are; "border adjustment" is just hair-splitting) in any non-negligible percentage.

If you really need proof that businesses aren't going to just cut their own margins out the goodness of their hearts you need look no farther than the rapid rise in CEO pay over the last decades. They didn't opt to lower product prices rather than pay those. Why would they do it for tariffs?
posted by phearlez at 10:44 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


Assuming there is audio, imagine the kind of language Trump could be spouting as he instructs Russian prostitutes to urinate on the bed the Obamas—people he hates with a fiery, racist passion—once slept in. It would likely make the "grab her" video pale in comparison.

And it would probably strengthen his approval rating with his core supporters.

I have been half-listening to NPR's call-in show Indivisible these days in the evenings; I say "half-listening" because it's mainly just background noise. During last night's episode they were asking people to weigh in on the notion of the "cultural elite".

And one caller phoned in and in basically went off on this whole thing that sounded like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for a couple minutes before the shocked host just sort of stopped him and moved on.

Trump is the uncovered rock and the worms are coming out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:46 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


(also it took until November 19 2005 for George W Bush to sink to 38% approval)
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:46 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Trump: "What can look so beautiful at thirty? An Airplane!"

wow, incoherence, ageism, and sexism in nine words
posted by murphy slaw at 10:46 AM on February 17 [57 favorites]


i guess i'm glad he didn't say "ivanka"?
posted by murphy slaw at 10:46 AM on February 17 [17 favorites]




So, maybe there's some damning stuff in Pruitt's emails that will force a resignation. And, members in the GOP already know it stinks but will proceed anyway knowing that the usual ensuing circus and resignation will only further derail trump and keep the spotlight on him while they go back to having fun driving their little bobcat dozers all over inside the Capitol building for as long as possible until the proof on trump's dirt becomes impossible to ignore. If or when? Fuck me.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:50 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Krugman: "The point is that you can’t understand the mess we’re in without appreciating not just the potential corruption of the president, but the unmistakable corruption of his party — a party so intent on cutting taxes for the wealthy, deregulating banks and polluters and dismantling social programs that accepting foreign subversion is, apparently, a small price to pay."
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:51 AM on February 17 [72 favorites]


And once again I hope for business interests to be Trump's undoing: The first casualties of Trump's trade wars are Texas cattle ranchers.

Of course HRC, and Bernie Sanders were against the TPP as well, so at least some of those problems were inevitable. But if enough castle ranchers read the Dallas paper, maybe there will be some pushback.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:51 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I think that if there's anything which will generate pro-immigrant sentiment in this country, it will be cops in the streets everywhere checking papers and dragging people away in full view of citizens.

Just to be clear, this is happening right now. Today I saw a photo of border patrol pulling cars over. And white, middle-class soccer moms are almost in tears about it. The big flaw in the plans of the fascists is that they can't imagine people are really going to be upset about this. I mean, yes, I know there is historical precedent for people not caring. But I also think some of these people underestimate the extent to which communities, especially in border states, are blended ethnically. You know, Mexicans aren't some weird other down here. They are our neighbors and our coworkers and our church members and our friends. And it's ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY. I know places like Iowa don't get that.
posted by threeturtles at 10:52 AM on February 17 [81 favorites]


There's a bit in Sara Jeong's latest airport cases newsletter (which you should go subscribe to, because it's awesome snark-filled legal analysis of everything that's going on with the travel ban cases) that I thought I'd share, because it's one of the few things I've seen lately that contains a touch of hope. She's been a US Permanent Resident, and like so many other people, sent in the paperwork to become a citizen as soon as she could after the election. She's at the immigration office waiting for her fingerprinting appointment:
As I sat waiting, I noticed that the walls were adorned with framed posters of generic symbols of America. A bald eagle. The statue of liberty. The pledge of allegiance. There was no portrait of the president—perhaps it hadn't arrived yet. It was probably for the best—I couldn't imagine this room full of tense immigrants forced to sit patiently beneath his smirking gaze.

When the immigration official was done taking my fingerprints, he handed me a civics study guide for my upcoming naturalization test. It's here, sitting on my desk right now.

It would be nice if all of us were asked to study up on this pamphlet (although, honestly, I only really have one particular citizen in mind). The naturalization test guide describes a country that ought to exist, one that may or may not have ever existed, and to summon it into being by describing it to its newest citizens. The airport cases do that too—they're trying to litigate into being an America we thought we lived in.

Perhaps that's why I feel compelled to write the Airport Cases newsletter. That, I guess, and also I need to practice my English writing skills in preparation for my upcoming exam, where I am required to prove that I am literate.

[picture of one of the exam questions: "what is 'the rule of law?'
* Everyone must follow the law
* Leaders must obey the law
* Government must obey the law
* No one is above the law"]
posted by zachlipton at 10:59 AM on February 17 [26 favorites]


at this point the republican party is a coalition between

people who will literally let the world burn as long as they can use racial slurs without feeling bad about it

and

people who will literally let the world burn for their 30 pieces of silver


burn it down. burn it all down.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:59 AM on February 17 [28 favorites]




No links as yet, but a friend is protesting at the Charleston SC Boeing plant where Trump is currently speaking, and reports about 25 #MAGA chuds versus hundreds of protestors.

In South Carolina.

Flip the goddamn House 2018
posted by Existential Dread at 11:02 AM on February 17 [88 favorites]


If you work for Boeing then Trump has literally endangered your livelihood on multiple occasions now, at least once just for the hell of it. I can see them being cool on him.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]



i am having a hell of a time reconciling that stoicism is the best approach to this situation as far as my brain chemistry is concerned with the desire that my white hot boiling rage becomes strong enough to make the west wing spontaneously combust


Somewhere I picked up the maybe wrong idea that the old idea of stoicism was not that one is silent but that one comments on the action w/ an idea that we are all fate's fools. Thus, Kent in the stocks in Lear; Kent is such a smart ass, just has to say it how it is, to Lear, Gonereil, everybody.

And then he gets put in the stocks and is all *do do do, I'm in the stocks until the wheel of fortune turns again*

Maybe relatedly, yesterday I had this intense fantasy about DJT in the stocks and he was crying and I was basically laughing and nodding at this vision of torture.
posted by angrycat at 11:08 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Here's a take from a Trump fan. The American Spectator reporting from a parallel universe to which I have no access. I continue to find it incredibly disturbing that we are not operating in a consensus reality with millions of other Americans.
posted by prefpara at 11:09 AM on February 17 [26 favorites]


Small bit of good news: Kansas legislature just voted to increase taxes and roll back most of Brownback's horrible tax policies. So at least some Republicans have learned something (half of the yes votes in the state senate were from freshman senators just elected in Nov).
posted by melissasaurus at 11:10 AM on February 17 [77 favorites]


As just one example from the comments:

President Trump also spoke without the aid of teleprompters, leaving out Barry's support words such as "uuuh, aand, let me be clear, uummm, I'll say this about that, I,Me, My."

This is a comment made by a human being who believes Trump to be more articulate than Obama.

I genuinely have no idea what to do with that.
posted by prefpara at 11:11 AM on February 17 [88 favorites]


Leader of GOP anti-Trump faction John McCain voted for Pruitt. I guess standing up to the president is less important than voting to murder Earth's biosphere.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:12 AM on February 17 [32 favorites]


Theory that John McCain is a vetebrate still unsupported, much like his big talk.
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on February 17 [22 favorites]


>This is a comment made by a human being who believes Trump to be more articulate than Obama.

Yeah, well, sometimes Obama would pause to think about what he was saying for a second.

You'll never see Trump do that.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:14 AM on February 17 [54 favorites]


Lt. Calley was just following Geo. Washington's example:

... in 1779 George Washington sent 5,000 American troops under the command of General John Sullivan to destroy the villages of the Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca as punishment for aid which they had supposedly given to the British. Washington’s orders are for
“the total destruction and devastation of [the Indian] settlements and capture as many prisoners as possible.”
The American forces made no distinction between those who had been American allies and those who had aided the British. The Americans destroyed 40 villages and 160,000 bushels of corn.


A few years ago, didn't Georgia try to cut down on immigrants, and then had to pull back when crops started rotting on the vine?

And missed out on a chance to provide "those liberal college students" with a "valuable real world work experience."

...keeping them [guns] pointing downrange

If you're going to pick up a gun, this is the most important and hardest safety rule to follow. A pellet pistol and a cardboard box filled with wadded up newspaper is a cheap and effective way to practice until it becomes a conditioned reflex.
posted by ridgerunner at 11:14 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


I bet John McCain furrowed his brow sternly as he voted to ensure that his grandkids' skulls have cameo appearances in The Road.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:16 AM on February 17 [44 favorites]


Here's a take from a Trump fan.

"Trump’s effectiveness in punishing the Democrat press"

And I'm out. These 27%ers are unreachable and unredeemable. Fuck them. They are enemies and should be treated as such.

The only people worth caring about are Obama-Obama-Trump voters who were fooled for whatever reason into voting for the "change" canidate once again, and people who didn't vote at all.

Enthusiastic Trump voters will always be around, but are never worth caring about what they think or say.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:17 AM on February 17 [41 favorites]


No public humiliation for Trump. No public anything for Trump. When we beat him he must be denied all public everything.

I had a truly wonderful dream this morning. the first good dream involving the fucker that I've ever had. It was about a late night talk show -- my point of view kept switching, so sometimes I was in the audience, sometimes I was the host. and sometimes I was a member of the crew. Trump was the second guest on the show. It started out with me as a member of the crew talking to him in the green room, which my literal-minded dream brain presented as a green screen room, with every wall bright green and with the only furniture being an overly ornate Trumpish chair. The first guest was running over, and Trump was FURIOUS, shouting and screaming and spitting. I was very calm, though, and kept telling him he would be on shortly. He sat down in his chair and grumped and played with his phone.

The next scene that I can remember, I was watching from the audience. The host introduced him as the former star of The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice. My POV switched to the host's, and as the host I said that I had been a big fan of Survivor and asked him what it was like to work with Mark Burnett. Trump was confused, but Trumped out a few words about Burnett being a tremendous guy. My POV switched back to the audience and I saw a member of the crew making a "wrap it up" gesture. The host said "that's all the time we have for now! Next up, Jack Hanna!"

Last scene I remember is watching from the audience as a member of the crew helped Trump up from the couch and took him backstage. Trump seemed deflated, and very, very old.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:20 AM on February 17 [7 favorites]


If you work for Boeing then Trump has literally endangered your livelihood on multiple occasions now, at least once just for the hell of it. I can see them being cool on him.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on February 17 [2 favorites +] [!]


Yeah but the SC plant just voted to remain 'right to work' rather than join Boeing's rather powerful labor union(s). So there's that.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:20 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Goddamn nazis need to go open their own hearts with rusty hacksaw blades.

They might need help.
posted by bongo_x at 11:22 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


Welp, good luck to them. If they all get fired without notice we should chip in and sent them a crate of Liberal Tears mugs.
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on February 17 [13 favorites]


Trump seemed deflated, and very, very old.

I know that this is petty, but it is somewhat consoling to consider that this is going to happen, and relatively soon, pretty much no matter what. He's not a young 70.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:22 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Leader of GOP anti-Trump faction John McCain voted for Pruitt.

McCain was not present for the vote. He's flying to Germany for a security conference.
posted by Etrigan at 11:24 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


And one caller phoned in and in basically went off on this whole thing that sounded like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for a couple minutes before the shocked host just sort of stopped him and moved on.

The same thing happened on the NPR show 1A a couple weeks ago. I was out driving around and had the radio on--the show itself seems kind of bland in a very NPR way and they take call-ins which I hate, but I just wanted the background noise. So, the first call they take and this dude is all "I'M A NATIONALIST, THESE PEOPLE DON'T BELONG HERE, AMERICA FIRST!!" and I was like holy fuckballs what is even happening?! In my entire life up to this point I never thought I would hear the words "I am a nationalist" said proudly on an NPR call-in show.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:25 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


.@POTUS at Boeing: "In the old days when I made a speech like this, I used to get paid a lot money. Now I get nothing...not a good deal."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:28 AM on February 17 [23 favorites]


Of course, Pat "I'm not a rubber stamp" Toomey keeps his perfect 100% agreement with Trump streak going.
posted by cmfletcher at 11:29 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


A lot of anti-Trump people I meet seem caught up or confused about moralizing immigration. They have a weird sympathy about the ICE raids and people being kicked out of the country and families being torn apart, but there's almost always an asterisk attached to their sympathies, with statements such as "I feel bad for those people, but imagine the people who had to wait and work for years to be legal immigrants." What's the deal with this thought process? It's like because people had to go through an excruciating process to be "legal" they're more worthy of sympathy, as if coming into the country illegally is such a breeze.
posted by gucci mane at 11:30 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


John McCain at the German security conference (as quoted by former Conservative Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt): "Will the West survive?".
posted by kariebookish at 11:31 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]



Of course, Pat "I'm not a rubber stamp" Toomey keeps his perfect 100% agreement with Trump streak going.

I quoted that "rubber stamp" business back at him on this week's postcard.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:31 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


I've never seen Snopes to be outright incorrect. People are fond of linking to the website and not reading their full article on a subject, but I've never seen them to say something's true/untrue when evidence points otherwise.

The thing I've seen Snopes do a few times is:

CLAIM

VERDICT: FALSE

EXPLANATION THAT NOBODY READS: The claim is actually true but we're misunderstanding the claim in some way, or there is some irrelevant aspect of it that happens to be false.

The most obvious example is

CLAIM: JILL STEIN IS AN ANTIVAXXER
VERDICT: FALSE
EXPLANATION: An "antivaxxer" is *description of cartoon antivaxxer that doesn't exist*. While Stein has *lots of activities that real antivaxxers do*, she hasn't *activities that someone's idea of an antivaxxer would do but that real antivaxxers don't do*. Therefore, she is not an antivaxxer.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:31 AM on February 17 [38 favorites]


Vox: Report: Trump transition ordered government economists to cook up rosy growth forecasts
Deep into his story about Trump budget hijinks (Wall Street Journal's Nick) Timiraos reveals that “what’s unusual about the administration’s forecasts isn’t just their relative optimism but also the process by which they were derived.” Specifically, what’s unusual about them is that they weren’t derived by any process at all. Instead of letting economists build a forecast, Trump’s budget was put together with “transition officials telling the CEA staff the growth targets that their budget would produce and asking them to backfill other estimates off those figures.”
Staff has been ordered to project that inflation-adjusted growth will average between 3 and 3.5 percent over the next decade, eventually settling at around 3.2 percent.
posted by rewil at 11:31 AM on February 17 [60 favorites]


What's the deal with this thought process? It's like because people had to go through an excruciating process to be "legal" they're more worthy of sympathy, as if coming into the country illegally is such a breeze.

It's not that complex a thought process. They're putting a premium on rewarding those who follow rules over those who cut in line.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:32 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


"Now I get nothing...not a good deal."

Fuck you, buddy.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on February 17 [33 favorites]


What's the deal with this thought process? It's like because people had to go through an excruciating process to be "legal" they're more worthy of sympathy, as if coming into the country illegally is such a breeze.

The deal is it's bullshit cover for something else (I ain't gonna say it) because those same people are often the same people who are cheering the Muslim Ban -- which targets people who have gone through the process and done it legally.
posted by notyou at 11:32 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


There's defintely a much thinner veneer over the musilm ban than DACA stuff.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:34 AM on February 17


They're putting a premium on rewarding those who follow rules over those who cut in line.

And are unwilling to examine whether those rules are good in and of themselves.
posted by Etrigan at 11:34 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


It's not that complex a thought process. They're putting a premium on rewarding those who follow rules over those who cut in line.

And if the rules change or just get ignored, not their problem.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


A fascist will always claim to care about rules but doesn't in the slightest.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


Staff has been ordered to project that inflation-adjusted growth will average between 3 and 3.5 percent over the next decade, eventually settling at around 3.2 percent.

huh, i think there's a word for that. oh yeah, "command economy". now if i could just remember the name of the last superpower that tried it…
posted by murphy slaw at 11:35 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


This is the speech McCain gave this morning in Munich: Don't Count America Out
Our predecessors did not believe in the end of history — or that it bends, inevitably, toward justice. That is up to us. That requires our persistent, painstaking effort. And that is why we come to Munich, year after year after year.

What would von Kleist’s generation say if they saw our world today? I fear that much about it would be all-too-familiar to them, and they would be alarmed by it.

They would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.

They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see toward immigrants, and refugees, and minority groups, especially Muslims.

They would be alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies.
posted by sallybrown at 11:36 AM on February 17 [22 favorites]


"Now I get nothing...not a good deal."

Here's an offer: Resign and go back to making money giving speeches.

Sounds like the deal of the century to me.
posted by notyou at 11:36 AM on February 17 [37 favorites]


Nixon's Meatloaf

"I Would Do Anything For Power (Including That)"
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:37 AM on February 17 [49 favorites]


Chait has a pretty informative explainer about the problems Republicans are having with tax cuts. Basically, they want them to be permanent this time, to avoid them ever expiring automatically like the Bush cuts did. But doing that is actually pretty difficult, because of math.

Paul Ryan’s Dream of Tax Cuts for the Rich Will Not Be Denied Republicans hope to avoid such a fate for the Trump tax cuts. Their hope is to design tax cuts that technically do not lose any revenue, which would allow them to be permanent, and force Democrats to gain control of the House, Senate, and presidency in order to overturn them.

How do you design a huge tax cut for rich people without losing a lot of revenue? Republicans are looking at three pots of money to offset the cost: Dynamic scoring, Obamacare taxes, and a border-adjustment tax.
...
So where does that leave them? Probably in the same place they were in 2001. They could scale back on the tax cuts for the rich, but that would run counter to every impulse within the Republican Party. You will pry the tax cuts for the rich from Paul Ryan’s cold, dead hands.

posted by T.D. Strange at 11:37 AM on February 17 [9 favorites]


Sounds like the deal of the century to me.

Hell, we'll fucking save money doing that.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:37 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I would contribute to a GoFundMe to get him to resign.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:38 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Kinda getting bored with McCain saying the right things and following up by doing none of them.
posted by notyou at 11:39 AM on February 17 [126 favorites]


This is the speech McCain gave this morning in Munich: Don't Count America Out

Stop favoring for Trumps bullshit you #NeverSpine coward.
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Kinda getting bored with McCain saying the right things and following up by doing none of them.

I'm more amazed how he gets around with giant brass balls but no spine.
posted by Talez at 11:40 AM on February 17 [25 favorites]


> "Now I get nothing...not a good deal."

It's not too late to quit and go back to your old job.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:40 AM on February 17 [6 favorites]


And if the rules change or just get ignored, not their problem.

Even more, they're willing/eager to change the rules on the fly, and you'd better follow those too, if you want to remain one of the "good ones." The poor families of the "bad ones" get sanctimonious pity, but they musn't be rewarded, because of "unfairness" in resource allocation and "moral hazard" etc.

It's deeply cruel and mostly cynical.

A fascist will always claim to care about rules but doesn't in the slightest.

I feel like maybe there's a divide here between the fascists making the rules and the followers who delight in forcing their rectitude on others. But I'm no expert.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:40 AM on February 17


DeVos doubles down on guns and grizzly bears in latest interview

DeVos still isn’t sure if the federal government should be involved in education, acknowledging that “there have been important inflection points” for government intervention but that she “can’t think of any now.”

She thinks her infamous example of using guns in schools to protect students from grizzly bears was a “valid illustration.”

DeVos now says she “absolutely” supports the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which at her confirmation hearing she said was a matter “best left to the states.”


Here is the longer source article.

What Betsy DeVos wishes she said at her confirmation hearing
posted by futz at 11:41 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Is fascism inherently zero-sum, or are they independent concepts?
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:42 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Isn't it interesting that McCain doesn't get on TV and give that speech in fucking America? The place where he has some power? The place he's talking about? Cowardly larva.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:42 AM on February 17 [48 favorites]


>Kinda getting bored with McCain saying the right things and following up by doing none of them.

If by "bored" you mean "furious" then yes, I am also getting bored with McCain being a craven bootlicker striving to sound like the brave and reasoned resistance.

Fuck him. We are the brave and reasoned resistance. He can get in line or shut the hell up.
posted by lydhre at 11:43 AM on February 17 [35 favorites]


re: deVos

jesus christ lady, you got the job. why keep shooting at the bullet holes in your own feet?
posted by murphy slaw at 11:43 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


Liberal Redneck:

Yay! Trey Crowder is a treasure. My wife went to see him and an opener friend in Raleigh a while back and they took audience questions at the end with a mix of funny and serious answers. Someone asked "Why do rednecks hate Hilary so much?" and he instantly said "Coz she's a woman." Having grown up in the south myself and alternately love/hating it I really appreciate his voice and the fact that he's preaching to other southern white men in a no-bullshit way that calls them on their hypocrisy. I would wager he's changed more than a few minds.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:44 AM on February 17 [36 favorites]


jesus christ lady, you got the job. why keep shooting at the bullet holes in your own feet?

It is a little weird that Trump, and every level of bootlicker he's surrounded himself by, just. can't. stop. campaigning. It's almost like they're all afflicted with the same malignant narcissistic personality disorder stemming from years of over-privileged fuckwittery.
posted by Mayor West at 11:46 AM on February 17 [26 favorites]


Hey guys imagine if every Trump month is like this Trump month

What if instead of this presidency aging him, it ages us
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:47 AM on February 17 [14 favorites]


I certainly hope nobody in German believes a word McCain says, will be embarrassing when the T-90s are rolling down the strasse and he's all shruggo.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


It is a little weird that Trump, and every level of bootlicker he's surrounded himself by, just. can't. stop. campaigning.

He's nothing without an enemy to rail against. He can't ever gain unless someone loses. And, in lieu of a foreign or political adversary, he rails against the media.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:49 AM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve His obligation was to earn the trust of the 60 percent of Americans who told exit pollsters on Election Day that they viewed him unfavorably. Instead, he has ratified their fears, and then some.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:50 AM on February 17 [11 favorites]


What if instead of this presidency aging him, it ages us.

Worst Portrait of Dorian Grey Fan-Fiction. Ever.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:50 AM on February 17 [25 favorites]


So can I call Chuck Schumer about Manchin? I am not a constituent of his but Schumer is Minority Leader and doesn't that count for something?

Someone needs to get that asshole to vote with the party or GTFO of the party.
posted by lydhre at 11:51 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


What if instead of this presidency aging him, it ages us

oh god he must have a picture of the DNC in his attic, which just keeps getting older
posted by Mayor West at 11:51 AM on February 17 [3 favorites]


jesus christ lady, you got the job. why keep shooting at the bullet holes in your own feet?

THOSE HOLES COULD BE FILLED WITH BEARS!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:52 AM on February 17 [31 favorites]


Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve

And this was published the day before yesterday's nightmare.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:52 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


The thing I've seen Snopes do a few times is:

CLAIM
VERDICT: FALSE
EXPLANATION THAT NOBODY READS


Blaming Snopes for other people not reading past the headline is, I mean, yes, people are awful at reading critically. But I'm not sure why that's a problem with Snopes; people not reading the links in a post here before commenting doesn't mean that Metafilter has an accuracy problem, does it?
posted by cjelli at 11:54 AM on February 17 [18 favorites]


McCain: "I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries."

Not said: "but I absolutely will vote in line with that as and when required."
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on February 17 [10 favorites]


Tweet thread from Jeremy Konyndyk Former Director of US Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID under Obama:

"Lot of speculation these days about how #Trump Admin will manage a REAL crisis, given its high level of baseline chaos. Let's dive in. 1/" ...Trump is undermining every crisis mgmt tool USG has in its arsenal...So as an emergency manager, welcome to my nightmare."
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:57 AM on February 17 [42 favorites]


Fascism is both an inefficient industrial policy---nationalized kleptocracy---and an inefficient labour policy---by stigmatizing and excluding scapegoat minorities, typically those that are successful.

So it's lose (to corruption), lose (to a shrinking labour and talent pool).

It's not zero-sum, it's negative-sum.
posted by bonehead at 11:59 AM on February 17 [12 favorites]


Outdoor Retailer is a twice-yearly show for the outdoor industry in Utah. It's a huge industry event bringing an estimated $45 million dollars a year to the state. After brands such as Patagonia, The North Face and others decided to boycot the show due to the anti-conservation stance of the GOP in the state, the show itself has announced it is leaving the state after 20 years. This is really big news for the state.
“It is clear that the governor indeed has a different perspective on the protections of public lands from that of our members and the majority of Western state voters, both Republicans and Democrats — that’s bad for our American heritage, and it’s bad for our businesses,” said a statement by the Outdoor Industry Association. “We are therefore continuing our search for a new home as soon as possible.”
posted by misterpatrick at 12:00 PM on February 17 [101 favorites]


Comey has been briefing the Senate Intelligence Committee for "About 2 hours now." Schumer is also in the meeting. Hmmm.
posted by sallybrown at 12:02 PM on February 17 [18 favorites]


Swell, now the ex USAID guy has exposed us all to the Trump Epidemic Nightmare.
posted by notyou at 12:03 PM on February 17


Hey guys imagine if every Trump month is like this Trump month. What if instead of this presidency aging him, it ages us

Hey, a few years off our lives to sow four years of particularly toxic salt on Republican branding and ideology? Sounds like it might be a decent deal, if it worked that way.
posted by Coventry at 12:07 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


And are unwilling to examine whether those rules are good in and of themselves.

Ay, there's the rub.

I feel sometimes that maybe half of the country still believes in Divine Right. Except instead of believing that the Divine Right flows from God to a King, in America it flows from God to the laws themselves. You know, and maybe God changes his mind sometimes and a new law succeeds one that came before it, but that doesn't change the fact that whatever laws we currently have are Just and Good (until it is changed) and that anyone who breaks the laws are sinning against God.

This is part of why I don't like to say "illegal immigrant", even though it's technically correct and not as blatantly offensive as using "illegal" like it's a noun. Because about half the people you talk to won't be able to see past the fact that a Law has been Violated to identify with the people who break these laws. And if they can't identify with the people who are breaking an unjust law, they can never understand why the law is unjust.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:08 PM on February 17 [14 favorites]


Because I am a sap, I still hold my breath hoping in his old age McCain will rise up and display the kind of moral courage he did in his youth. Somehow I'd love McCain to (metaphorically) slay the Donald and stand over him shouting "I like Presidents who aren't traitors!"

Of course, you could also argue his elevation of Sarah Palin to the VP slot paved the way for the Great Trumpening...
posted by sallybrown at 12:09 PM on February 17 [11 favorites]


U.S. top court to set guidelines for Trump treatment of non-citizens

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide three cases in coming months that could help or hinder President Donald Trump's efforts to ramp up border security and accelerate deportations of those in the country illegally. The three cases, which reached the court before Democratic President Barack Obama left office, all deal broadly with the degree to which non-citizens can assert rights under the U.S. Constitution.
posted by argonauta at 12:10 PM on February 17 [9 favorites]


Aw, look, we've got Toomey on the run.

("lease is expiring," my fucking foot. "shit-scared and probably asked to leave by building management because his current office is housed in a regular ol' office building that is not equipped to have 150 angry people yelling while someone makes speeches on a bullhorn every week").
posted by joyceanmachine at 12:11 PM on February 17 [22 favorites]


Of course, you could also argue his elevation of Sarah Palin to the VP slot paved the way for the Great Trumpening...

Unfortunately, I believe this could be true. Like a test balloon: how much dingdongwahwah can voters take and still smile?
It's kind of uncanny how we felt back in the Palin days that it couldn't get much worse.
posted by Namlit at 12:14 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Jamie Dupree seems to be waiting on Senators getting out of the FBI meeting, if you want to follow the "no comments".
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:14 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I'm going to open a business where you pay me $79.95 and I take you into a soundproof room where you put on a protective worksuit and a face shield and I hand you an aluminum bat. Then I project the day's tv news onto a wall-sized tv screen. You get to scream your head off and bash the shit out of an orange mannequin with a combover for fifteen minutes. For $129.95, I fill the mannequin with calf guts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:15 PM on February 17 [35 favorites]



And are unwilling to examine whether those rules are good in and of themselves.

My mom is like this. She's got a law orientation that really is hard to pierce. Don't break the law, ever, even if it's a stupid or unjust law. And if you ever did break the law then, welp, you get what's coming. She used to do fraud investigation so she saw a lot of people breaking a lot of laws first-hand, and she's unwilling to consider that not all laws are created equal. I did something harmless and mildly dumb in college that got me arrested, a nigh in jail, and fined. I have never told my parents about this because what for most parents would be "ha ha young and dumb amirite?" to my mom would be "I don't even know who you are anymore."

She's never been put in a situation where she had to choose between breaking the law and, like, survival. She likes to think that she'd still be a good rule-follower but she will never have to actually confront that for realsies and deep down she knows it.



Aw, look, we've got Toomey on the run.

His Pittsburgh office is moving as well, somewhere downtown, likely to some place a lot harder to protest in front of.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:15 PM on February 17 [21 favorites]


Swell, now the ex USAID guy has exposed us all to the Trump Epidemic Nightmare.

Not just USAID either, every agency is rudderless right now. It's halfway through February and he's only nominated 1 Deputy or lower level Senate confirmed position. That's good from the stand point of their ability to actually implement their horrible agenda, but really, really bad from the standpoint of the government's ability to respond to any kind of crisis, natural, biological, military, anything.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:16 PM on February 17 [10 favorites]


An an Arizonan, I cannot even form a sentence in English that could describe how over John McCain and his vacuous "maverick" act I am.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:16 PM on February 17 [37 favorites]


"Don't worry everybody, the person who elevated Sarah Palin to the national political stage will stand up for reason and competency!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:18 PM on February 17 [56 favorites]


An an Arizonan, I cannot even form a sentence in English that could describe how over John McCain and his vacuous "maverick" act I am.

All you need is a hashtag: #nevertrump
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:19 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


I find being exposed to what people actually think to be an impediment to empathy and understanding, I'm much empathetic to hypothetical people than to the people I actually find in these places.

So I've been somewhat engaging with my Republican House rep on facebook over the last few weeks. He does his own social media (and blocks people and deletes our comments sometimes). But we have had some fairly civil discussion threads about immigration and the muslim ban (which he supports wholeheartedly.)

But I got word that he had RT'd an alt-right fake news article about something horrible a Muslim refugee did in France. So I wrote a whole email about that to him and then went looking for his actual tweet. And I read his twitter feed.

OMG THE MAN IS AN IDIOT WHO ONLY CITES EXTREMELY RIGHT WING FAKE NEWS SOURCES.

Like, I am truly shocked at how much credit I was willing to give him, even as a Texas Republican who I disagree with on pretty much every issue. But because he's a freaking Congressman I kinda assumed he wasn't a total idiot. GUYS I WAS WRONG.

Yeah I'm WAY more willing to give people the benefit of the doubt when I don't have to actually see the kinds of things they are saying.
posted by threeturtles at 12:19 PM on February 17 [29 favorites]


Comey's briefing of the Senate Intel Committee is being held in a SCIF.

If you follow the tweets on Katie Bo Williams' twitter (she's a national security reporter for The Hill), reporters did not appear to be aware this was on the calendar or know much of anything about it. Senators seemed to leave (to vote on Pruitt I guess?) and then come back. They are still in there.
posted by sallybrown at 12:20 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


He's been a sell out tool for the party since W. and Rove broke his spirit with push polls in the 2000 primary. The McCain you're looking for died nearly 20 years ago.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:20 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


#nevertrump? #bunchachumps!
posted by nubs at 12:22 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


Comey's briefing of the Senate Intel Committee is being held in a SCIF.

Are there enough tables in the Mar-a-Lago dining room?
posted by Etrigan at 12:22 PM on February 17 [14 favorites]


Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve

He didn't run for President to 'serve' anybody or anything. He's there to RULE. And there are no minimum requirements for that, besides a loyal guard large enough to dispel the angry mobs.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:22 PM on February 17 [10 favorites]


Not to be a downer or anything, but if it's not the Trump Epidemic Nightmare, it's the Trump Terrorist Attack Nightmare or the Trump Mass Shooting Nightmare or the Trump Global Crisis Nightmare. There's going to be some national tragedy/crisis/disaster, because there always is, and the current administration is going to be woefully unprepared to meet it. This is just the knife edge we're balanced on. It's only a question of what mess we're getting shoved off that edge into.

Props to all of us who can continue to function like everything is Fine, because honestly, the prospect of whatever this upcoming crisis will be has me unable to plan or imagine any further than the next week or so. Like, when the news of that horrifying National Guard to round up undocumented people tweet went out, and before I read that it was just a memo that wasn't going to be implemented (yet), in the space of seconds I thought, "well, time to adjust my life plan to account for taking to the barricades and/or civil war!"
posted by yasaman at 12:22 PM on February 17 [17 favorites]


via The Hill's Jordain Carney: Closed-door meeting (w/ FBI Director James Comey?) appears to have accomplished the impossible: Silent senators
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:24 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


He didn't run for President to 'serve' anybody or anything. He's there to RULE.

He's not doing much of a job of ruling. At least not yet. The grift is going good, though.
posted by notyou at 12:24 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


If you find yourself in a car driven by someone who refers to immigrants as "illegals," please scream bloody murder at them if they violate any traffic law. Demand that they pull over if they're so much as a fraction of a mile per hour over the speed limit, regardless of what the speed of traffic is. Threaten to call the cops. Do not back down.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:25 PM on February 17 [50 favorites]


SCIF is an abbreviation for Cone of Silence.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:28 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


The first I ever heard of John McCain was the Lincoln Savings/Keating Five scandal in 1989, where the owner of a bankrupt bank had compromised five Senators with campaign contributions... McCain was the only one of the five who was a Republican (John F'ing Glenn was one of the Democrats!!!), probably because Keating assumed most Republicans would support his fraud just "out of principle". Haven't trusted McCain in the 28 years since.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:28 PM on February 17 [10 favorites]


I'm going to open a business where you pay me $79.95 and I take you into a soundproof room where you put on a protective worksuit and a face shield and I hand you an aluminum bat. Then I project the day's tv news onto a wall-sized tv screen. You get to scream your head off and bash the shit out of an orange mannequin with a combover for fifteen minutes. For $129.95, I fill the mannequin with calf guts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:15 PM


This exists in Houston, no mention of tvs but you could get them to print out the headlines and put them in frames or something. $30 for the first 5 minutes and $15 for every 5 after.
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:28 PM on February 17 [6 favorites]


this whining that is such a trademark of Trump.

Once I had this truly bizarro experience where I whizzed down a ramp in a my wheelchair, to have this young woman behind me go, "You're so lucky in a wheelchair. I hate walking! No offense!"

And I wasn't offended, it was more like, jeezum crow what is wrong with you lady. That is not a good look.

And I feel the same way about Trump. And I read that American Spectator piece and am like *if he actually literally starts reaching into his underwear and throwing his feces at reporters, will the neofacists be all well done sir jolly good show or however they drool out their expressions of approval*

and with the whining, it's like, he has no idea what real human being experience. That's how he was like dumbfuck wheelchair envy lady
posted by angrycat at 12:31 PM on February 17 [58 favorites]


Trump proposes including Chinese visitors in social media checks: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are proposing to ask Chinese visitors to disclose their social media "handles" or other identifiers on common social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The question would be asked online as part of an electronic system Chinese holders of long-term U.S. business and visitor visas use to advise of upcoming travel.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:32 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


I'm going to open a business where you pay me $79.95 and I take you into a soundproof room where you put on a protective worksuit and a face shield and I hand you an aluminum bat. Then I project the day's tv news onto a wall-sized tv screen. You get to scream your head off and bash the shit out of an orange mannequin with a combover for fifteen minutes. For $129.95, I fill the mannequin with calf guts.
This could be the soundtrack.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:33 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Unhinged, but the most consistent and focused kind of unhinged, believe me

That was my big takeaway as well. He seemed (at times) more at ease in his nonsense and in the presidency. Troubling times ahead.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:37 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


WTF IS THIS? IT IS AWFUL STUFF.

Trump NSC Official's Apocalyptic Anti-Islam Fetish Revealed On Men's Style Message Board

and why it's important for everyone in a society to look the same and share the same background:

The homogenous ones have higher trust levels, greater levels of cross family cooperation, more public spiritedness, higher levels of volunteering, charity donations, etc. They are also more able and more willing to support safety nets — formal and informal — that benefit non-family members.

posted by futz at 12:38 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Why every sane person in Republican national security circles has a duty to serve this shit sandwich administration if asked: unconfirmed reporting that the replacement for Adm. Harwick as National Security Advisor may be John Bolton.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:41 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Senators seemed to leave (to vote on Pruitt I guess?) and then come back. They are still in there.

Guess that pee tape goes on for a while
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:41 PM on February 17 [18 favorites]


Bolton? Nah. Remember when Trump didn't like his mustache?

That seems so long ago.
posted by box at 12:45 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


The homogenous ones have higher trust levels, greater levels of cross family cooperation, more public spiritedness, higher levels of volunteering, charity donations, etc. They are also more able and more willing to support safety nets — formal and informal — that benefit non-family members.

So instead of just directly supporting the end goals:
- trust
- cooperation
- public spirit
- volunteering
- donating to charity
- supporting family members
- benefiting others

...he joins and supports a regime that is diametrically opposed to all of those things?!??

The levels of stupidity shown in that comment are just staggering.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:47 PM on February 17 [21 favorites]


I wonder how many people the US can push into another country before the receiving country says 'No.'

At some point Mexico could simply say they will not allow any bus to cross the border or any airplane to unload unless the U.S. can provide documents proving these are Mexican citizens. I doubt most of them are carrying around a Mexican passport or birth certificate.

This would be a difficult call on Mexico's part because they would be sentencing presumably their citizens to interment in concentration camps in the U.S. But it might be a worthwhile showdown to see if U.S. citizens can stomach and pay for concentration camps for 3 million people. Trump is already at 39% approval.
posted by JackFlash at 12:49 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


> I look at the world and I see a whole movement of people who want to kill me, destroy my country, and end my civilization.

That's funny, that's what the rest of the world sees when they look at the U.S. these days. Looks like Trump's Mirror isn't just a Trump thing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:49 PM on February 17 [14 favorites]


"Tweet thread from Jeremy Konyndyk Former Director of US Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID under Obama"

Storified for your convenience.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:52 PM on February 17 [10 favorites]


I am not even kidding: Milo Yiannopoulos bathes in pig's blood at pro-Trump art show. Read all the way through to the end.

Also, I strongly recommend Male Fantasies: Women, Bodies, Floods, History. Yiannopoulos is a sort of upside-down freikorps type.
posted by Frowner at 12:52 PM on February 17 [14 favorites]


That's funny, that's what the rest of the world sees when they look at the U.S. these days. Looks like Trump's Mirror isn't just a Trump thing.

I'm sure this has been noted here before, but what we call Trump's Mirror is just a perfected form of standard right-wing projection and paranoia. These people always assume the worst of others because that is what is in their own hearts.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:53 PM on February 17 [22 favorites]


The homogenous ones have higher trust levels, greater levels of cross family cooperation, more public spiritedness, higher levels of volunteering, charity donations, etc. They are also more able and more willing to support safety nets — formal and informal — that benefit non-family members.

They always want to make us like them instead of just killing themselves.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:56 PM on February 17


Also, you know what is suuuuuuper creepy? Yiannopoulos's and Thiel's blood obsession. Should we survive, there are a thousand dissertations waiting to be written.
posted by Frowner at 12:57 PM on February 17 [12 favorites]


Predictable, but this Eli Lake piece for Bloomberg confirms Flynn has retained a lawyer.
posted by sallybrown at 12:57 PM on February 17


Milo Yiannopoulos bathes in pig's blood at pro-Trump art show.

G_d, please please please let him have contracted impetigo like the guys in Watain regularly did.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:57 PM on February 17 [13 favorites]


These people always assume the worst of others because that is what is in their own hearts.

This.

And also, they are cowards. Anyone who has ever read a history book or watched the news knows that whoever you are, there is probably some faction somewhere out there who wants to kill you. We're a violent species. But we live in an enormous, populous country that is in fact very difficult to get into and move around in that has a security and law enforcement apparatus that is, generally and in the grand scheme, fairly effective. Buck the fuck up.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:58 PM on February 17 [24 favorites]


I am not even kidding: Milo Yiannopoulos bathes in pig's blood at pro-Trump art show. Read all the way through to the end.

So, I'm extremely anti-"just ignore him" when it comes to appearances at college campuses and stuff. But when he's doing a stupid stunt for attention while surrounded by a bunch of fellow travelers, I don't see the point of talking about it.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:00 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]


So a little antidote here:

A pastor in the Bible Belt opened his church to refugees.

This is not just the bible belt, but Pantego, Texas, which is a small suburb swallowed up by Arlington, mostly known when I was growing up to be so cheap about taxes that when you drove through it, you went from good road (Arlington) to three blocks of shitty two-lane road (Pantego) back to good road. It was a very white, very conservative, place. It hosted at least one Christian school that was the place people sent their kids who kept getting suspended from public school.

Arlington meanwhile has had a lot of immigrants since the 70s. South Asian, African, Pakistani, many others. And that is a big source of tension in that area, which still votes very red.

This article heartens me because it shows someone taking their Christian principles as something more than a club to beat the oppressed with, even in a place where no one would expect him to.
posted by emjaybee at 1:01 PM on February 17 [37 favorites]


I know that this is petty, but it is somewhat consoling to consider that this is going to happen, and relatively soon, pretty much no matter what. He's not a young 70.

It's all right, SNL already went there. In the most recent "Weekend Update" segment, Michael Che joked, “The pace of this presidency is exhausting. I never thought I'd say this, but I’m starting to feel bad for Donald Trump. In just the span of one day, he was in a losing battle with three federal judges, a decorated war hero, and a department store. Dude, pace yourself. Donald Trump can't keep this up, not with that old, bloated Kentucky Fried Chicken body. {...} It's sad, man, I hope he quits. I mean, Donald, is this really how you want to spend the last two years of your life?”

Now just imagine what Saturday's is going to be like after this week...
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:02 PM on February 17 [10 favorites]


4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump
Trump, in other words, is a way of owning and celebrating being taken advantage of.
Trump embodies buying the losing bet that will never be placed.

He is both despair and cruel arrogant dismissal, the fantasy of winning and the pain of losing mingled into one potion.

For this reason, the left should stop expecting Trump’s supporters to be upset when he doesn’t fulfill his promises.

Support for Trump is an acknowledgement that the promise is empty.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 1:04 PM on February 17 [18 favorites]


I just assumed everyone skipped Weekend Update.
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Please MeMail me if you'd like to work on a simple website (blog and calendar) for Mike Connolly, MA State Rep, former Occupy activist, and Our Revolution candidate.
posted by Coventry at 1:04 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]




Comey has been briefing the Senate Intelligence Committee for "About 2 hours now."

That seems like a long time to explain that the accusations are "grossly overstated and inaccurate" (as Preibus claims he was told).
posted by diogenes at 1:06 PM on February 17 [9 favorites]


Side note: Frowner, I just want to say that I think your posts in these threads have been awesome. Every single one* is intelligent, thought provoking, and very well sourced. It's almost as if your MeFi account was some bot experiment intended to see how many favorites you could harvest. (I keed). Seriously - thank you!

* Every single one that I can recall, anyway.
posted by mosk at 1:06 PM on February 17 [59 favorites]


This would be a difficult call on Mexico's part because they would be sentencing presumably their citizens to interment in concentration camps in the U.S. But it might be a worthwhile showdown to see if U.S. citizens can stomach and pay for concentration camps for 3 million people. Trump is already at 39% approval

But they'd blame it on Obama, since he's the one who 'let them in' in the first place.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 1:07 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


This is part of why I don't like to say "illegal immigrant", even though it's technically correct and not as blatantly offensive as using "illegal" like it's a noun. Because about half the people you talk to won't be able to see past the fact that a Law has been Violated to identify with the people who break these laws. And if they can't identify with the people who are breaking an unjust law

As someone who is in favor of allowing more immigration to the U.S. albeit from a more consequentialist perspective, what exactly do you find to be unjust about current U.S. immigration law?

Is it the number of immigrants per year?

The process by which immigrants are selected from those who apply?

The lack of a path for current unauthorized residents to gain a legal right to remain?

I am not trolling. I am actually curious what restrictions, if any, would be considered just and appropriate.
posted by nolnacs at 1:07 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump

(There's already a separate thread discussing that piece, FYI)
posted by cjelli at 1:08 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I have thought it would be simpler (and far more time-efficient) to replace my reading of these threads with a Frowner-favoriting bot.
posted by Jpfed at 1:08 PM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Predictable, but this Eli Lake piece for Bloomberg confirms Flynn has retained a lawyer.

Somebody who isn't an idiot would have done that before lying to the FBI, particularly since he was interviewed weeks after people were asking questions about violations of law from the Logan Act to treason.

Frankly, that level of stupidity ought to be more disqualifying than lying to Pence.
posted by zachlipton at 1:08 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


So, news from the Federal Register.

#1, the one that's maddening but not scary: The Army has withdrawn its plans to conduct an environmental impact study on the DAPL being constructed to cross Lake Oahe in ND, which is the fourth-largest reservoir in the US. Why? Basically, "the president told us we could, so we no longer need to evaluate the impact." Uh, a massive oil pipeline crossing a lake miiiiight just have some environmental impact, no?

#2, which is freaking me out a little bit: Two DoD working groups, the "Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st Century’s Multi-Polar, Multi-Threat Strategic Environment" task force and the "Countering Anti-access Systems with Longer Range and Standoff Capabilities" task force both had 2-day, closed-door meetings this week that they did not announce in accordance with open meeting Sunshine laws. The bulletins in the Federal Register are to say that the task forces met this week but, "due to circumstances beyond [their] control," they weren't able to provide the required public notice. These were also summer 2017 working groups, so the fact that they're meeting in February -- like, doesn't that seem like a bad thing?

I'm only up to 'D' in the alphabetical listing of notices published just today.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:09 PM on February 17 [18 favorites]


I still reject the framing that people who are well-informed about issues, making an effort to engage with reality, and involved with discussions that include a variety of people from diverse (across race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.) backgrounds are the ones living in a bubble.

Yes. So true. I've tried to get outside the "bubble" but the furthest right I can go is American Conservative (but I can't get through a Pat Buchanan column) or National Review (which, for a while, anyway, threw itself behind Donald Trump).

I've tried actually engaging in conversation with Trumpists such as James Carafano, who turns out to be a pompous, ignorant ass half the time, and a raving Islamaphobe the other part of the time.

I had a friend who is a Trumpist, but he turned out to be a deeply racist, deeply misogynist, deeply twisted sociopathic jerk.

Perhaps (?) there are some good ideas to be found (???) on the Trump side of the bubble, but the attitude is "we won, you lost, fuck you, shut up."
posted by My Dad at 1:12 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


They are also more able and more willing to support safety nets — formal and informal — that benefit non-family members.

"white people can only make themselves care about other white people" yes thanks we're aware
posted by poffin boffin at 1:12 PM on February 17 [17 favorites]


Adding to my previous comment: Yes, no EIR for the DAPL is "scary," it's just not scary-scary right this very minute.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:12 PM on February 17


There are an awful lot of zero-sum, black and white thinking people in the world.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:17 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


2014. Pretty much everything you need to rip Donny can be found in his own tweets.

@realDonaldTrump
If you read my last number of tweets, only one opinion can be formed - that our President, and therefore "leader," is grossly incompetent!
posted by chris24 at 1:19 PM on February 17 [22 favorites]


There are an awful lot of zero-sum, black and white thinking people in the world.

Trapped in adolescence, never maturing to abstract thought
posted by Existential Dread at 1:19 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]




Vox: Report: Trump transition ordered government economists to cook up rosy growth forecasts

...Trump’s budget was put together with “transition officials telling the CEA staff the growth targets that their budget would produce and asking them to backfill other estimates off those figures.”

Staff has been ordered to project that inflation-adjusted growth will average between 3 and 3.5 percent over the next decade, eventually settling at around 3.2 percent.

See? He is running government like a business!
posted by Gelatin at 1:20 PM on February 17 [15 favorites]


did they find the pee tape? please tell me they found the pee tape
posted by localhuman at 1:22 PM on February 17 [12 favorites]


Trump's 2014 tweets are like Time Travel is discovered sometime in the next few months and 2017 Trump goes back to 2014 just to troll us.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 1:25 PM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Media Matters has a summary of the reaction by anti-Semites to the press conference: Anti-Semites Praise Trump For Berating Jewish Reporter And Refusing To Condemn Anti-Semitism In Press Conference [contains hate speech, as that's kind of the point]. While I don't like quoting hate speech in any context, I think it's especially important to do so here, because it shows how the President's actions directly embolden white supremacists, who are hanging on his every word.

As one of the tamer examples, David Duke tweeted screenshots of Haaretz articles about Trump's words conference with comments like "Are we tired of winning yet, folks?" Another prominent white supremacist figure writes: "He blasted the media, the Jews, Mexicans, Obama -- all of his/our enemies."

This is the inevitable consequences of the President of the United States repeatedly refusing to condemn hate. And it's just going to get worse until more people are dead.
posted by zachlipton at 1:25 PM on February 17 [50 favorites]


that empty, dead look in the eyes of a senator who has just seen the trump pee tape
posted by murphy slaw at 1:25 PM on February 17 [16 favorites]


The Trump era to date has the same level of WTFishness as Charlie Sheen circa 2011 - only with less humor and more nukes.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 1:25 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Trump's 2014 tweets are like Time Travel is discovered sometime in the next few months and 2017 Trump goes back to 2014 just to troll us.

They should be retweeted back at him, without attribution, to see how he reacts.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:26 PM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Whatever it is, no one could come up with anything remotely safe to say as a deflection. So it's either going to be huge ... or buried deeper than a South African gold mine.
posted by BS Artisan at 1:26 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Trump's 2014 tweets are like Time Travel is discovered sometime in the next few months and 2017 Trump goes back to 2014 just to troll us.

Or as Sam Wang tweeted earlier today: Nostradonald.
posted by chris24 at 1:30 PM on February 17 [22 favorites]


that empty, dead look in the eyes of a senator who has just seen the trump pee tape

Or perhaps incontrovertible evidence of the President being a Russian asset. PLEASE G-d, let it be something like, "Shit, we have a Constitutional Crisis..." rather than, "I can't eat dinner after watching that shit..."
posted by mikelieman at 1:33 PM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Is there a bot that just retweets on Trump tweets from 3 years ago that condemn whatever it is he is doing wrong today? I'd follow.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:34 PM on February 17 [9 favorites]


man i'm hoping but if there's anything that the last 18 months have taught me, it's that hope is a sucker's game
posted by murphy slaw at 1:34 PM on February 17 [9 favorites]


Exclusive Flynn Pressured U.N. on Israel Vote Before Taking Office: In the end, the president-elect’s team was unable to persuade a single country to change their vote, including Britain, Egypt, and Russia, three countries that have gone out of their way to cultivate better ties with the new American leader.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:34 PM on February 17 [6 favorites]


Man this machine is tuned real finely: More White House Chaos Over Anti-Immigrant Policy Draft
A senior White House official told me it wasn’t true that they were considering deploying the National Guard as the AP described. Asked where the story came from, the official said, via text message, “Check what we said—I think it was early draft in november…I will double check.” Asked if that meant the White House had included a provision, like the one the AP reported, in a November document, the official said, “no,” then directed me to DHS and became unresponsive.

Meanwhile, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, was talking to the press pool on Marine One. “That is 100 percent not true, it is false, it is irresponsible to be saying this,” he said. “There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.” He added, “I wish you guys had asked before you tweeted.” (DHS told me they weren’t “aware” of having been asked for comment.)

The pool report noted that “Spicer couldn’t categorically state that this was never a subject of discussion somewhere in the administration.” He said, “I don’t know what could potentially be out there, but I know that there is no effort to do what is potentially suggested.” He later tweeted, “This is not true. DHS also confirms it is 100% false.”

But contrary to Spicer’s claim, DHS confirmed the existence of the memo — a version of which was circulated by Time and Vox. David Lapan, the department’s spokesman, emailed me to say, “the story is inaccurate,” but he admitted the memo was very real. . . .

When President Trump signed a border-security executive order on January 25, Lapan said, the department was tasked with figuring out how to implement it — something he said required a lot of brainstorming and back and forth, which is done through the drafting of memos. He said it wasn’t as casual as spitballing, but it was a conversation that went, “Okay, here’s the president’s order. Here’s what he wants us to do. How do we put that into action? What are the types of things that we can do to implement the president’s executive order?”

“If people portray it in a way that makes it sound like the White House somehow drafted this, that’s not accurate,” Lapan said.

But asked if he could say for certain that the memo wasn’t written at the direction of, or with input from, the White House, he was at a loss. “I don’t know,” he said.

He could say for certain, however, that the White House and DHS communicated this morning as the story broke to figure out, “What are you guys saying, what are we saying?”

He added that the conversation included a question from the White House: “Is this true?”
posted by sallybrown at 1:36 PM on February 17 [9 favorites]


Trump just tweeted and very quickly deleted: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK! (screenshot)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:37 PM on February 17 [16 favorites]


> PLEASE G-d, let it be something like, "Shit, we have a Constitutional Crisis..."

Something something darkest timeline...
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:38 PM on February 17


Trump's 2014 tweets are like Time Travel is discovered sometime in the next few months and 2017 Trump goes back to 2014 just to troll us.

Election-Era Trump starts to make sense if you think of him less as one single person and more as a series of unrelated Trumps sent back from the future, unsure of what year they are in.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:38 PM on February 17 [19 favorites]


I am not trolling. I am actually curious what restrictions, if any, would be considered just and appropriate.

Then I will take the opposite extreme. My ancestors were Nordic folks and Irish folks who came over before immigration laws even existed. The first US immigration law was explicitly racist. They made no bones about it. It was explicitly called the "Chinese Exclusion Act."

Now laws have changed over the years to limit and exclude more and more groups, but is there even a point where you can say people took the racism out of it? If it started as racism, and there was never a point where people took a hard look at the laws to make sure they weren't racist, then doesn't it stand to reason that the laws are still motivated by racism?

Let me ask you, have you ever encountered an argument for immigration controls (not border controls) that were factually based rather than based on theory and anecdote? Because I have not.

As a person who believes that the government should not be restricting anyone's individual freedoms without solid, factual reasons, my current opinion is that the starting point should be absolutely no restriction on immigration, with subsequent restrictions to be added based on factual, statistical evidence of harm to the country, which do not take into either explicitly or implicitly.account race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin. Heck, we're not even a socialist country, and there isn't much of a safety net that new immigrants could take advantage of.

To reiterate my point, immigration laws have never been based on factual national interest. All political arguments just seem to assume they should exist because they have existed for a long time without bothering a justification. But they started as blatant racism, so why should anyone who is not racism have cause to support them in any form?

That last question again, is not trolling or rhetorical. I would be very interested to know what a serious and unbiased economic study would say about the effect of immigration without restriction.

Just to be entirely clear, I'm not talking about border controls - who we should trust to let in - but immigration controls - how long people are allowed to stay once they've been deemed safe enough to allow into the country.
posted by Zalzidrax at 1:38 PM on February 17 [56 favorites]


Side note: Frowner, I just want to say that I think your posts in these threads have been awesome.
Frowners posts are always good like that. I'm a big fan, too...


I still reject the framing that people who are well-informed about issues, making an effort to engage with reality, and involved with discussions that include a variety of people from diverse (across race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.) backgrounds are the ones living in a bubble.

The mindset of deliberately living in a personal reality bubble is definitely not limited to the old right or the so-called alt right. In general, it does seem like more of an issue on the right. But there are follower-types who don't think very critically or deeply but who imitate the politics of their closest politically engaged social influencers on the left, too, and there are times they go so deeply into their bubbles, it becomes contradictory--like some hardcore atheists I've known who reject nuance on certain scientific subjects defensively in favor of certain older scientific models that make their case stronger. There are some subjects on which specific liberals and leftists can be ideological and dogmatic to a point it occasionally runs afoul of commonsense, too, but it seems like a more idiosyncratic and less unified phenomena than the way that same dynamic plays out on the left. On the right, you get lots of people sharing reality bubbles without realizing it; on the left you sometimes find people who deliberately and knowingly choose to live in reality bubbles as some strange extension of personal expression. I've literally known people who argued in defense of living in fantasy bubbles as a form of self empowerment on the left. It's a different kind of dynamic, but we're all to some extent or another being coaxed toward personal bubbles by the way personalized marketing and online content presentation/filtering works and the larger trends toward targeted, niche lifestyle marketing strategies.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:40 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Trump just tweeted and very quickly deleted: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK! (screenshot)

show of hands, how many of us are gonna actually watch the pee tape

should we set up a fanfare post to liveblog it
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:41 PM on February 17 [38 favorites]


He could say for certain, however, that the White House and DHS communicated this morning as the story broke to figure out, “What are you guys saying, what are we saying?”

dear askme i would like some help, how do i stop screaming
posted by poffin boffin at 1:41 PM on February 17 [19 favorites]


Election-Era Trump starts to make sense if you think of him less as one single person and more as a series of unrelated Trumps sent back from the future, unsure of what year they are in.

Worst Terminator sequel ever.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:41 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Welp, apparently Comey is in on Team Trump. See Cornyn's latest tweet.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:41 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Minor oddity: I'm on the E.P.A. press release email mailing list, and you can read prior press releases here - they're nothing exciting for the most part, unless you like to see who got recognized for excellence or charged with a violation.

But they don't have the newest one up yet, so I'll copy it from my email and upload it here.

tl;dr: titled Scott Pruitt Confirmed and Sworn in as EPA Administrator, it's just glowing accolades for "a dedicated civil servant, [who] created policies that serve the people. He strongly believes environmental law, policy, and progress are all based on cooperation among the states, cooperation between the states and EPA, and cooperation between regulators and the public."
posted by filthy light thief at 1:42 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Trump just tweeted and very quickly deleted: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK! (screenshot)

I've been realistic on impeachment chances, but my hopes of a full-on breakdown and resignation/25th amendment solution are rising.
posted by chris24 at 1:42 PM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Trump just tweeted and very quickly deleted: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!

i have a feeling that the person who made the tweet and the person who deleted it are not the same.

he's losing it.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:42 PM on February 17 [22 favorites]




show of hands, how many of us are gonna actually watch the pee tape

dude, this is a historical document. I'm just doing primary research
posted by Existential Dread at 1:43 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


"Leaking classified info is a crime that endangers American lives too"

"Except when it's about pizzagate, that was totally real, and the best leak ever" [FAKE]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:44 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Comey has kompromat on all of them, obviously.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:45 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Can someone clarify? Is it true, and classified, or fake and classified? Do we classify fake things?
posted by mikelieman at 1:46 PM on February 17 [8 favorites]


If I never hear the term "fake news" ever again as long as I live I will die happy.

Jesus. Out of all this horrifying shit, I find this the most grating. Words have meanings, dipshits!
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:46 PM on February 17 [24 favorites]


Sen. John Cornyn (member of Senate Intel Committee) just now:

"Shocking how much allegedly classified info is reported by gullible reporters who are manipulated in the process of reporting fake news."

"Leaking classified info is a crime that endangers American lives too"


jerkoffmotion.gif
posted by Existential Dread at 1:47 PM on February 17 [6 favorites]


Deluded optimist take: media found out what happened at Senate Intel Committee hearing and called the White House and Sen. Cornyn for comment before publishing, angering up the blood!
posted by sallybrown at 1:47 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Man this machine is tuned real finely: More White House Chaos Over Anti-Immigrant Policy Draft

At Spcier's next briefing, somebody needs to outright ask why Spicer has a job and why the White House Press Office even exists if it's going to refuse to respond to requests for comment, provide false information, provide information that conflicts with that given by other government agencies, and then blame the press for reporting things the White House wouldn't comment on. Just, why does this communications operation exist if it's providing net-negative informational value?
posted by zachlipton at 1:48 PM on February 17 [9 favorites]


If I never hear the term "fake news" ever again as long as I live I will die happy.

Gosh I hope you have other conditions for dying happy because we're stuck with fake news now until the icbms leave orbit.
posted by dis_integration at 1:48 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


Trump just tweeted and very quickly deleted: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK! (screenshot)

This is why I go to @RealRealDonaldTrump, a Twitter bot that re-tweets everything from Trump's personal Android phone and screens out all the ones from his staff's iPhones. (I can't believe they still haven't closed that loophole.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:49 PM on February 17 [15 favorites]


@KatyTurNBC: .
@RepJeffries says Steve Bannon is not welcome at any CBC/Trump meeting because he is a "stone cold racist" http://snpy.tv/2kxH6DE
posted by chris24 at 1:49 PM on February 17 [46 favorites]


Enemy of the people tweet is back, without the word sick.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:49 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Or perhaps incontrovertible evidence of the President being a Russian asset. PLEASE G-d, let it be something like, "Shit, we have a Constitutional Crisis..." rather than, "I can't eat dinner after watching that shit..."

whynotboth.gif
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:50 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


um, of all the problems with that tweet, "SICK!" was really the least of them.
posted by zachlipton at 1:50 PM on February 17 [29 favorites]


How is it possible that every major news outlet is fake news except fox? Also is leaving out PBS just because they're not as rich or are they real news?
posted by dis_integration at 1:50 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


compromise, or was he just in a hurry to hit "send" after wresting the phone back?
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:51 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Oh, Trump deleted his earlier tweet because he wanted to add ABC and CBS to the mix.
posted by sallybrown at 1:51 PM on February 17 [11 favorites]


Also is leaving out PBS just because they're not as rich or are they real news?

At his press conference yesterday he called on a reporter from PBS and asked her to repeat where she was from, so maybe he has no clue what PBS is (good).
posted by sallybrown at 1:52 PM on February 17 [20 favorites]


could... could he not remember the letters ABC

is that what happened
posted by poffin boffin at 1:53 PM on February 17 [32 favorites]


That was my take, too, sallybrown. Straight-out declaring the press to be an Enemy of the People is some serious escalation, I'm tempted to infer a comparable off-stage narcissistic injury.

But maybe he just has gas or something.
posted by BS Artisan at 1:53 PM on February 17 [8 favorites]


But maybe he just has gas or something.

Preemptive strike for what the senators heard about?
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:55 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


could... could he not remember the letters ABC

Is that perhaps because of the fact that

he has no clue what PBS is

???

*insert sad hi-hat cymbal crash here*
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:56 PM on February 17 [8 favorites]


I think Trump's strategy is pretty clear at this point. He's realized he can only coast on attacking Hillary Clinton for so long, as even he can't make an emails-sized scandal out of walking in the woods, eating dinner, and seeing a Broadway show. But he needs a new villain to rail against. Attacking judges will only get you so far, and attacking Democrats just elevates the opposition and is pretty stupid since Democrats haven't really done much to him yet. So that leaves the press moving into the #1 spot.
posted by zachlipton at 1:56 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]


You're giving him WAY too much credit, zachlipton. He's just acting narcissistic and crazy, nothing more.
posted by Melismata at 1:58 PM on February 17 [18 favorites]


Soooo...are those outlets about to put out explosive stories, or is this just a generic declaration of war against the free press?
posted by yasaman at 1:59 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


NATO amd the EU will have to wait, Russia is off the table again, Nazis obviously totally off limits. So yeah, press or immigrants.
posted by Artw at 1:59 PM on February 17


I don't recall him ever calling out ABC or CBS by name before, that feels like a whole new thing.
posted by Brainy at 2:00 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


"Leaking classified info is a crime that endangers American lives too"

Flynn in danger of a polonium breakfast?
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Given the hyperpartisanism in regards to SCROTUS the intent might be to further fracture the gulf between Trumpania and reality. If 40% of Americans are loyal to Herr Twitler (which appears to be the case) we have a huge problem.
posted by Talez at 2:01 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


That 38% approval rating today must have hurt. You know how he loves his ratings.
posted by sallybrown at 2:01 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


You're giving him WAY too much credit, zachlipton. He's just acting narcissistic and crazy, nothing more.

for him personally, agreed, but i think it would be naive to assume that any number of his various cronies aren't aware of the value of silencing or delegitmizing a free press.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:01 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Fox News putting him in the 30s must have especially stung, too; no way he missed that.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:02 PM on February 17 [16 favorites]


Well I guess the second wave of anger against the press I predicted yesterday is here, and earlier than I thought. Guess he watched the news.
posted by threeturtles at 2:02 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]



That 38% approval rating today must have hurt. You know how he loves his ratings.


It's #fakenews. He is convinced 70% of Americans love him.
posted by COD at 2:02 PM on February 17


Delegitimizing the press is pretty much fascism 101, isn't it?
posted by diogenes at 2:03 PM on February 17 [33 favorites]


BTW if he's cycling through injury/lashing out/feeling better faster and faster....that's both a bad sign and possibly a good sign if we're hoping he'll become so unhinged Republicans are forced to do something.
posted by threeturtles at 2:03 PM on February 17 [8 favorites]


Perhaps he left out PBS because he's planning to gut it and turn it into a state-run propaganda factory to combat the pernicious influence of every traditional media institution in the country, who he is now openly calling out as enemies of the state.
posted by contraption at 2:03 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


You know how when a doomsday cult sets a specific date for the end of the world, and the world doesn't end, the hardcore cultists double down and come up with increasingly elaborate and deranged theories for why they're still right and everything else is wrong?
posted by theodolite at 2:04 PM on February 17 [13 favorites]


Delegitimizing the press is pretty much fascism 101, isn't it?

102. 101 is blaming everything on scapegoats.
posted by Talez at 2:04 PM on February 17 [7 favorites]


Man, the White House Correspondents Dinner is going to be BRUTAL. And/or empty.
posted by argonauta at 2:04 PM on February 17 [6 favorites]


You're giving him WAY too much credit, zachlipton. He's just acting narcissistic and crazy, nothing more.

I don't think that's giving him a lot of credit. It's not a claim he's playing 11th dimensional chess, just that he knows it's useful to have "an enemy" and he can whip up his base going after the media. Maybe he also has thought that de-legitimizing all media helps to insulate him from bad reporting, or perhaps he's just lashing out because pretty much everyone has called out his bullshit at this point.

But that's not ascribing any real genius to him, just acknowledging that he has some basic competency in whipping up a certain segment of society. Even pre-pubescent children can figure out the value of a scapegoat.
posted by phearlez at 2:05 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Trump just tweeted and very quickly deleted: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK! (screenshot)

"You got the CBS/ and the ABC/ You got Time and Newsweek/ They're the same to me"
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:05 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Leaking classified info is a crime that endangers American lives too

Those Cornyn tweets suggest, to me, that they're just about to double down on "the leaks are the problem" as talking point. I hope I'm wrong and that he's just, you know, sittin' around ponderin', not representing a larger messaging strategy or any official take.
posted by witchen at 2:05 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


To reiterate my point, immigration laws have never been based on factual national interest. All political arguments just seem to assume they should exist because they have existed for a long time without bothering a justification. But they started as blatant racism, so why should anyone who is not racism have cause to support them in any form?

That last question again, is not trolling or rhetorical. I would be very interested to know what a serious and unbiased economic study would say about the effect of immigration without restriction


I don't believe that I have see any studies on an open border policy but I agree that it would be interesting to see the results of it.

My belief that there is a possible level of immigration that would overwhelm the existing infrastructure/housing supply in the short term so there may be a justification for throttling the amount down from unlimited. For instance, currently the US gets about 1 million new immigrants a year. Could we handle 20 million in a year? That would be a pretty massive increase in the population in a very short time.

But overall, I do have to agree with your point that immigration laws were highly motivated by racist beliefs.
posted by nolnacs at 2:06 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


You know how when a doomsday cult sets a specific date for the end of the world, and when the world doesn't end, the hardcore cultists double down and come up with increasingly elaborate and deranged theories for why they're still right and everything else is wrong?

Reminds me of this dude. Aw Harold we all laughed at you but you weren't so far off!
posted by sallybrown at 2:06 PM on February 17


Man, the White House Correspondents Dinner is going to be BRUTAL. And/or empty.

Good. It's an embarrassment.
posted by phearlez at 2:06 PM on February 17 [5 favorites]


Cornyn is using the same weird combination: the info is fake! And it's dangerous to leak it!

If it's fake...it's not dangerous. And if it's dangerous...it ain't fake.
posted by emjaybee at 2:08 PM on February 17 [17 favorites]


Betting on empty oronly traitors.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on February 17


Goddamn I miss being governed by grownups who had some degree of impulse control.
posted by mosk at 2:09 PM on February 17 [