The Russian Thread Reset
February 19, 2017 3:00 PM   Subscribe

With the White House insisting that Air Force One won't be a prop, Trump pulled up to his airport hangar rally in Air Force One with the Air Force One theme playing in the background.

After 48 hours of props, feelgood rallies, stories about Stephen Miller, and solidarity with Sweden (which turned out to be just a Fox News story), Sunday looked to be a lazy day with not much able to go wrong for the administration.

To begin with, Chris Wallace, an anchor of Trump's stalwart media ally Fox News, took human anagram, Reince Priebus, to task about Trump's slightly fascist comments about the media. If that wasn't bad enough for a Sunday, the New York Times broke its Russian back channel story involving close advisers to Trump including campaign manager Paul Manafort and Michael "sez who?" Cohen.
posted by Talez (1685 comments total) 99 users marked this as a favorite
 
Save us, Rick.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:02 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


Only 1351 days until the next presidential election ...
posted by Pendragon at 3:02 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


These threads just keep coming faster and faster, huh.
posted by flatluigi at 3:08 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]




These threads just keep coming faster and faster, huh.

I'm starting to embrace it. The singularity is starting to look like the best option of them all, actually.
posted by mikelieman at 3:10 PM on February 19 [18 favorites]


I ran out of my free WaPo reads last week.
Is this a plot to get me to subscribe?
posted by MtDewd at 3:10 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


If you have an Amazon Prime sub you get 6 months free then 50% off.
posted by Talez at 3:12 PM on February 19 [18 favorites]


...Hopefully enough to get you through this administration.
posted by condour75 at 3:12 PM on February 19 [68 favorites]


Continuing the Sater discussion from the last thread, here are a bunch of names we could be seeing in the news soon if the investigations keep pulling at this thread. Trump's like three degrees of separation from Semion Mogilevich, the alleged "boss of bosses" of Russian mafia syndicates throughout the world, through some of these people in his orbit.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:14 PM on February 19 [16 favorites]


These threads just keep coming faster and faster, huh.
I've still got 900 comments to go on the last one.
This is turning into a full-time job.
Props to the mods.
posted by MtDewd at 3:15 PM on February 19 [77 favorites]


it's struck me recently that one of the ways that Lear like cuts your heart into little pieces is that it restores order for a hot second when Cordelia and France arrive on the scene. Of course, then things go to shit.

I was thinking this because I was thinking about HRC in the Cordelia role, only she'd not come in with France but I don't know, it's a fantasy, I don't care, Joe Biden, a tiger, whatever.

But one of the awful truths in Lear is that once the existing order is torn down, it can't be easily or instantaneously restored. My former Shakespeare instructor argued there is no alleviation of the misery presented in the play, that when Lear and Cordelia are imprisoned and he's restored to sanity and he's consoling her about God's spies and shit that this is not a moment of redemption but more a failed attempt to fight an overpowering evil.

I'm writing this and thinking this because, as Trump's complicity with a Russian agenda becomes more clear, it is so tempting to think that *now* the adults will step in. How could they not?

But--and I don't want to make things darker than they are--I need to keep reminding myself that the GOP is what it is, and it's going to be a long haul, I mean maybe if the pee-pee tape surfaces but honestly I don't think even that would do it.
posted by angrycat at 3:17 PM on February 19 [53 favorites]


Now we just need Harrison Ford to show up on Air Force One, tell Trump "Get off my plane!", and punch him in the face.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:17 PM on February 19 [112 favorites]




These threads just keep coming faster and faster, huh.

Part of it's Talez picking up the slack and making a new one before the old one gets unwieldy, for which I am grateful.
posted by Coventry at 3:18 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


Is this a plot to get me to subscribe?

I mean, giving money to reliable media outlets isn't exactly the worst idea right now.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:19 PM on February 19 [48 favorites]


Part of it's Talez picking up the slack and making a new one before the old one gets unwieldy, for which I am grateful.

Yes. That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm not whoring for easy internet points favourites at all.
posted by Talez at 3:20 PM on February 19 [80 favorites]


I could not exactly follow James Kunstler's view on all of this Russian business. At first he blames the Dems for all the "Russian Paranoia" than he writes " Now, it may be the case that President Donald Trump is batshit crazy, but cooking up fake hostilities with the world’s second-leading nuclear super-power is a strange way to run a coup d’état against the White House."
Give it a read
posted by robbyrobs at 3:21 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


The Sweden thing is just delicious. "Do you see what happens in a tolerant society with a social contract that accepts immigrants? Terrorism, that's right. Terrorism that isn't reported on by the fake media."

It's like he's running the oldest play in the Fascist playbook without realizing this is the Internet age and even the laziest slob among us is able to question what he's saying.

Anyway, we are all Swedes now. 🇸🇪
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:24 PM on February 19 [65 favorites]


I don't know what to do with this information, so I'm just going to leave it here.

So Brian Mulroney has been singing for Trump?

I guess it's a reprise of this:

Mulroney and Reagan sing 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling'
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:25 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


On the last thread in MeFi politics

- Putin's goal seems to be to push for a "deal" in which the US drops sanctions on Russia and Russia agrees to enter into a "peace" with Ukraine, in which Russia gets to keep Crimea. As the article notes, Ukraine's current government will not agree to this plan, because it's not so much a peace deal as it is Ukraine ceding Crimea to Russia for the foreseeable future. To get Ukraine in a more agreeable mood, Putin's people in Ukraine are going to "expose" "corruption" in the current Ukrainian government. This deal is essentially Russia getting everything it wants, Ukraine shooting itself in the foot, and the US going along because ??? why?

19.5% of Rosneft, Russia's state oil company, was recently sold to undisclosed buyers.
posted by cmfletcher at 3:25 PM on February 19 [43 favorites]


He just needs to have a stroke or something. Please.

Sadly, Hippie Noonian Soong promised us that Trump would be the healthiest person to ever be president.

is this it is this the new thread

I'd like to think so but I'm biased.
posted by Talez at 3:26 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


I could not exactly follow James Kunstler's view on all of this Russian business.

That's because he's spewing bullshit to reach conclusions he wants to be true.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:28 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


If you have a .edu, .gov, or .mil email address you can get a free digital subscription to the Washington Post. Though giving them money isn't a bad idea either.
posted by a car full of lions at 3:31 PM on February 19 [27 favorites]


Only 1351 days until the next presidential election ...

Quick, off the top of your head, say the name the first comes up when you think the politician voicing the opposition to Trump. For me , that name is John McCain. Guess what folks, that's not good enough.

The Trump administration has been at least, if not more, in disarray and incompetent than many would have predicted after the election and the Dems have had since Nov 8th to get their shit together and mount a coherent opposition. Most of what I (a relatively well informed citizen, at least I hope so) hear from them is crickets. They should have been ready with a damn plan, delivered by someone in a leadership position, to oppose Trump and his policies and propose their own. Corey Booker sticking his neck out a few times and being left flailing in the wind won't help. Bernie throwing out a few tweets to his (already convinced) followers is not reaching out beyond the Dems own echo chamber. The Dems seem to feel that letting Trump and his minions spout bullshit and flail incompetently will somehow lead to his own implosion. It didn't work during the election and it sure won't work now, either, because Trump's true believers are eating his shit up.

I am mad. Snark from late night talk show hosts and SNL is not an opposition. The grassroots movements have been great but don't offer candidates to beat Trump. You have to give alternatives. You have to give the opposition a face that they can rally behind, someone willing to take some risks. The number that I think of isn't the 1351 days left in a Trump administration, it's the 104 days that the Dems have wasted since Trump was elected that the Dems have wasted by not learning their lessons and the 2892 days left in a Trump administration if they don't get it together.

Sorry for the cursing and the rant, as I mentioned, I am really furious at the Dems incompetence.
posted by roquetuen at 3:31 PM on February 19 [172 favorites]


God damn it, Mulroney.
posted by Yowser at 3:32 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


The way he's been flying his own planes, Inwant Harrison Ford grounded too.
posted by spitbull at 3:33 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


The man is just... So... Incredibly... Pathetic.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:34 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Sorry for the cursing

I've cursed more in the months since this motherfucker was elected than I have in the past twenty years.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:34 PM on February 19 [38 favorites]


The Trump Administration’s Lies About Voter Fraud Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression: Twenty-one states are now considering new laws to make it harder to vote.

This is why the Democratic Party MUST MUST MUST make their #1 priority a multi-phase Get Out The Vote campaign that includes (1) making sure all of their voter registrations are legally bulletproof, (2) helping voters get IDs that conform to the worst laws (and paying the fees for them if necessary), (3) physically transporting people to their voting places (that bogus rumor about 'busing in' voters? why wasn't it true? you can use buses to transport multiple people 20 blocks to their Authorized But Badly Located voting location.) What lost 2016, the Presidency as well as enough Senate and House seats to take control, was the failure to do these things. Phone calls and reminders are TOTALLY NOT ENOUGH. They can totally overcome the most heinous anti-voter laws by working and spending money, NOT by running more advertising in any form.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:37 PM on February 19 [103 favorites]


Michael "Sez Who" Cohen is on Twitter reading and responding to Louise Mensch's conspiracy-theorist tweets about whether he did or didn't go to Prague.

I'm not a big fan of Mensch's twitter feed, but if she's giving Michael Cohen heartburn and wasting his time, that's a point in her favor.
posted by diogenes at 3:37 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


Even better, she's locking him into written answers to open, important questions and he's own-goaling himself rather than yawning and ignoring her.
posted by sallybrown at 3:39 PM on February 19 [28 favorites]


Quick, off the top of your head, say the name the first comes up when you think the politician voicing the opposition to Trump. For me , that name is John McCain. Guess what folks, that's not good enough.

John Kasich, who (I think?) is the single remaining GOP politician who has never capitulated to Trump in any manner. He has no power to oust Trump from the Presidency in the way that McCain and Graham do, but he is positioning himself to challenge the current GOP order. Not sure what his play is, though. Try for 2020 depending on whether Trump is still in office? Try to step in if Trump is out and Pence takes over?
posted by sallybrown at 3:46 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


Trump pulled up to his airport hangar rally in Air Force One with the Air Force One theme playing in the background.

Doesn't the film Air Force One revolve around a White House mole betraying American interests to a foreign power? Is Trump trolling us down to his soundtrack choices?
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:46 PM on February 19 [43 favorites]


Doesn't the film Air Force One revolve around a White House mole betraying American interests to a foreign power? Is Trump trolling us down to his soundtrack choices?

Well, you can't always get what you want.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 3:48 PM on February 19 [63 favorites]


This is the thread that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started posting it, well-knowing what it was, and we'll continue commenting forever just because...This is the thread that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends...

I find these threads very therapeutic...
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:51 PM on February 19 [33 favorites]


So I'm looking once more at the story that supposedly was behind what happened last night in Sweden.
NYT link: "In that story, the Fox News correspondent Tucker Carlson interviewed Ami Horowitz, a filmmaker who asserts that migrants in Sweden have been associated with a crime wave. “They often times try to cover up some of these crimes,” Mr. Horowitz said, arguing that those who try to tell the truth about the situation are shouted down as racists and xenophobes."

Apparently statistics don't show a crime wave, let's say that right away, even though there have been occasional incidents with migrants in Sweden over the last 1 1/2 years, yes. Those were reported extensively about in the Swedish media, as a matter of fact--just as a rather larger number of incidents with right-wing activists.
Anyway. Why does it seem to Ami Horowitz, apparently, that "they" often times try to cover up some [uh. "often times, some." Say "I'm making this up" why don't you] of these crimes? Well, simple: the crimes are reported about in Sweden, using the Swedish language, and all that. Very efficient cover-up, to write in a tiny-country-margin-language, right? Look at the Swedish chef, nobody understands him; or is he talking Swiss? I am confused.

Whatever: Sweden is a country where not much happens--too few people, I guess; everyone stays indoors during the winter; many people are peaceful, they often lack fantasy and their driving isn't getting worse at a newsworthy pace either. The newspapers are simply dying for material. Our own faithful Borås Tidning's web edition has a column "what happened during the night" every morning where every fender bender in a radius of two-hours' of a drive gets covered; I suppose a loud midnight fart on the main square would get a headline. Nobody in their right mind would consider "covering up" a juicy story of national importance. All this has been utter and complete nonsense even before Trump entered the picture.
posted by Namlit at 3:52 PM on February 19 [85 favorites]


Reminder that this week is Constituent Work Week. A bunch of shitty GOP congresspeople have decided to go ahead and skip townhalls, despite call from their constituents to hold one:

For the first two months of the new Congress, the 292 Republicans have scheduled just 88 in-person town hall events — and 35 of those sessions are for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, according to a tabulation conducted by Legistorm. In the first two months of the previous Congress in 2015, by contrast, Republicans held 222 in-person town hall events.

You can check here if your congressperson is holding a townhall.

Tonight at 8pm ET, Indivisible and MoveOn.org are having a Resistance Recess call, which you can livestream here.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:52 PM on February 19 [18 favorites]




Doesn't the film Air Force One revolve around a White House mole betraying American interests to a foreign power? Is Trump trolling us down to his soundtrack choices?

Generally, Air Force One is about the betrayal of American interests to foreign terrorists. It goes awry in large part because the President in the movie is an American hero, and not a real-estate mogul.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:57 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


From a Facebook post:

I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election:
1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to google.
3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They're holding signs and marching every week.
4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone's forgotten he's kind of a jerk.
5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.
6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of anti-depressants.
7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.
8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.
9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust and cognitive dissonance.
10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than they did last year.
11. Everyone knows more about legislation, branches of power and how checks and balances work.
12. Marginalized groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.
13. White people in record numbers have just learned that racism is not dead. (See #6)
14. White people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.
15. Stephen Colbert's "Late Night" finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows, and Seth Meyers is finding his footing as today's Jon Stewart.
16. "Mike Pence" has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since Nov. 9th.
17. Trump has succeeded where thousands of history teachers failed - now everybody knows who Frederick Douglass was.
18. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.
19. Travel ban protesters put $24 million into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.
20. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.
21. Live streaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.
22. Massive cleanup of facebook friend lists.
23. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell's "1984" increased by 10,000% after the inauguration. (Yes, that is true. 10,000%. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)
24. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.
25. Now, more than anytime in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:59 PM on February 19 [294 favorites]




Doesn't the film Air Force One revolve around a White House mole betraying American interests to a foreign power?

Russian Ultra-Nationalists, yeah
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:02 PM on February 19 [10 favorites]


But honestly the first name that comes to mind is McMullin.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:02 PM on February 19 [38 favorites]


Trump's like three degrees of separation from Semion Mogilevich, the alleged "boss of bosses" of Russian mafia syndicates throughout the world, through some of these people in his orbit.

Surely he has closer connections to NYC mafia through construction interests.
posted by rhizome at 4:04 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


so, when does the little dog pull over the curtain so we can see the man behind it?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:05 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


Went to a monthly neighborhood brunch/booze-up this afternoon, the first one since the inauguration, realized that there's just nothing else to talk about. Every conversation turns into either a political commiseration or a political argument.
posted by octothorpe at 4:05 PM on February 19 [10 favorites]


Fake dog! Illegal curtain pulling!
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on February 19 [46 favorites]


I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again.

But it's going to take a lot of hard work from all those newly activated activated people, over a lot of years, to keep America away from the trajectories of the 30s or the 70s.
posted by Coventry at 4:06 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


But honestly the first name that comes to mind is McMullin.

I can tell he's steadily gone up in the estimation of everyone. The Egg has hatched to reveal the full McMullin inside.
posted by jaduncan at 4:08 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


i am going to laugh my ass off if Roger Stone's irresistable compulsion to claim credit for ratfuckery helps bring the administration down.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:10 PM on February 19 [23 favorites]


it's going to take a lot of hard work from all those newly activated activated people
...and they need to act locally A LOT to put firewalls between the people and the Trumpster Fire.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:10 PM on February 19


Made a Fanfare thread for Air Force One (1997)
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:13 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]




Serious question: is there a point when the GOP actually can't just say, nah, he's our guy? How much worse does it have to get?
posted by BS Artisan at 4:16 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


They are bonded for life now.
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


is there a point when the GOP actually can't just say, nah, he's our guy? How much worse does it have to get?

When they reach an impasse over his populist agenda vs their drown-it-in-the-bathtub agenda.
posted by Coventry at 4:18 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Not until they get their tax cuts and fuck up the safety net, no. There's no such point.
posted by zachlipton at 4:19 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


also i feel super weird referring to "the trump administration" because it's been less than thirty days and it's just, like, a couple of guys? calling it an "administration" seems florid.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:19 PM on February 19 [102 favorites]


Russian Ultra-Nationalists, yeah

Ah, yes. I remember that brief moment in the late 90s when Hollywood was trying to figure out if they could recycle some of their Cold War era villains with a different paint job on. Turns out, they were right about Russian ultra-nationalists being a good villain, they were just 20 years too early for it to make sense.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:19 PM on February 19 [17 favorites]


When they reach an impasse over his populist agenda vs their drown-it-in-the-bathtub agenda.

he doesn't have a populist agenda, he has a populist stump speech and an enrich donald trump agenda
posted by murphy slaw at 4:20 PM on February 19 [81 favorites]


Serious question: is there a point when the GOP actually can't just say, nah, he's our guy? How much worse does it have to get?

If the Senate investigation turns up a smoking gun, it's leaked to every major news outlet, and every polling outfit confirms that the majority of Republican voters would still support them and Pence if Trump were impeached... maybe then. Maybe.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:21 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


Speaking of acting locally - this thread is excellently timed, because I went to a two-hour Indivisible meeting today and emerged as the coordinator for an action subgroup that's taken on the task of pushing our Democratic Congresswoman to take the lead on investigating Russian interference in the election.

Tomorrow, we're doing a thank-you call: she, along with all the other Democrats in the House, co-sponsored the "Protecting Our Democracy Act," which calls for the formation of a bipartisan committee to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election. Here's our script, in case you want to call your own rep:

"Hi, my name is _________ I'm a constituent; I live in Ann Arbor. I'm also a member of an Indivisible Action Group that's focusing on Russian interference in our elections. I'm calling to thank the Congresswoman for co-sponsoring bill HR 356, "Protecting Our Democracy Act," that would create a bipartisan committee to look into foreign interference in the 2016 election. Especially in Michigan, where the vote was so close, and we already know there are serious problems with election integrity, I think it's crucial that we investigate the extent to which Russia may have affected the election results.This is an issue that's really important to me, and I'm grateful to Congresswoman Dingell for taking the lead on it. I'm looking forward to seeing her at her Town Hall this week. Thanks!"

By Wednesday, we're going to try and come up with a specific action item - a public statement? some kind of protest vote/boycott? - that we can push her to undertake. We're still in research mode, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd be thrilled to hear them.

Then, on Saturday, we'll be at her town hall, all dressed in red and wearing fur hats and signs with the R's spelled backwards, trying to get our faces on TV and our questions asked in the town hall.

This is exciting and a bit scary and I feel energized but also over my head, so seriously, any ideas you guys have for targeted local action and talking points would be really, really appreciated.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 4:22 PM on February 19 [99 favorites]


also i feel super weird referring to "the trump administration" because it's been less than thirty days and it's just, like, a couple of guys? calling it an "administration" seems florid.

"Regime" works for me.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:22 PM on February 19 [20 favorites]


I want to point out that Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28) has been doing some pretty good work calling out The Human Shrug on his protofascist behavior.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:23 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


Putin's goal seems to be to push for a "deal" in which the US drops sanctions on Russia and Russia agrees to enter into a "peace" with Ukraine, in which Russia gets to keep Crimea. As the article notes, Ukraine's current government will not agree to this plan, because it's not so much a peace deal as it is Ukraine ceding Crimea to Russia for the foreseeable future. To get Ukraine in a more agreeable mood, Putin's people in Ukraine are going to "expose" "corruption" in the current Ukrainian government. This deal is essentially Russia getting everything it wants, Ukraine shooting itself in the foot, and the US going along because ??? why?

Peace in our time?
posted by HiroProtagonist at 4:24 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Bowling Green County has a town called Sweeden. Maybe that's what Trump meant.
posted by Coventry at 4:24 PM on February 19 [28 favorites]


I near had a brain seizure the other day. I was at the supermarket and saw an issue of the National Inquirer with a story on how Trump is going to bring "Grace" back to the White House.

Forget politics. Forget immigration, taxes, Russia, Minority rights, abortion access and the fate of the human race. Forget it ALL.

Who in the living fuck can honestly look back on the presidency of Obama, then shift their attention to the new guy and legitimately claim he possesses more... ANY... grace?
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:28 PM on February 19 [64 favorites]


Rolling Stone reporter Tim Dickinson pointed out on Twitter that Felix Saper was an FBI informant to the NY office. He links to this document (PDF), a petition for a writ of cert that seems to be from victims of some financial crime of Sater's and includes as an appendix a transcript from Sater's sentencing in which his lawyer says
"He has worked with several F.B.I. agents over the years. Four of those agents are here in court today, and I understand, if the court permits, at least one of them will address the court. The government also says that Mr. Slater’s cooperation was above and beyond what could be expected of a cooperating defendant. If it is, that’s an understatement, but Mr. Slater is somebody who cooperated for ten years, your Honor. . . . We understand that to ask for a sentence of no jail term and no probation is extraordinary, but we think it is warranted in this case where Mr. Slater really has been under a sort of defacto probation for the last ten years. As he has worked very closely with the F.B.I. agents, the government has not seen it necessary to impose any kind of restrictions or conditions on Mr. Slater over the last ten years. He has been traveling freely and does travel to Russia in connection with the real estate business he’s involved in, and the government has not imposed any reporting requirement on him over those last ten years."
These are weird times.
posted by sallybrown at 4:29 PM on February 19 [17 favorites]


Regarding getting rid of undocumented migrant workers, we've talked about the issues Alabama and Georgia had with their strict immigration laws and how millions of dollars worth of crops rotted in the fields because Americans didn't want those jobs.

Well, NC had a program designed specifically to give unemployed North Carolinians jobs in agricultural labor. Yet, despite there being at least 130,000 unemployed North Carolinians (and as many as 489,095) from 1998 - 2012, no more than 268 ever took advantage. Yep, they never had more than .09% want to participate, despite the fact that the program provided a job to 97% of referrals.

Even more interesting, of the small percentage that did participate, they didn't last. The year that 268 applied and 245 were hired, "only 163 (66.5 percent) of the hired applicants actually showed up to the first day of work. Worse, only seven lasted to the end of the growing season." For comparison, 90% of the Mexicans hired made it through the season.
posted by chris24 at 4:30 PM on February 19 [103 favorites]


AlonzoMosleyFBI Re National Inquirer, I suspect they meant to say bring "White" back to White House,
posted by vac2003 at 4:30 PM on February 19 [17 favorites]


WaPo: Five myths about treason
posted by triggerfinger at 4:32 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


I'm a huge fan of Congressman Ted Lieu and if I lived in California I would be doing what I could to get him to primary Fienstein. He is outspoken and clever and funny and he has been pushing back hard on Trump.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:32 PM on February 19 [28 favorites]


Yep. Sater was involved in defrauding people out of millions and he skated with essentially no punishment and paid no restitution. Whatever he was up to with the feds, it was serious business.
posted by zachlipton at 4:33 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


again The Madness of King Trump
posted by robbyrobs at 4:33 PM on February 19


"hey washington post, what's goin' on"

WaPo: Five myths about treason

"why do you bring that up?"

WaPo: uhh, no reason
posted by murphy slaw at 4:34 PM on February 19 [33 favorites]


i am going to laugh my ass off if Roger Stone's irresistable compulsion to claim credit for ratfuckery helps bring the administration down.

I love that a local news channel delivered this scoop! Making local news great again!
posted by sallybrown at 4:34 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Pretty shocked to see Felix Sater's name showing up in the NYT Russian sanction piece. The fact that Trump is dumb enough to keep Sater this involved after all the heat on their Russian ties can only mean good things for taking them all down. It can't come soon enough.
posted by p3t3 at 4:35 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]




are Slater/Sater/Saper the same person?
posted by angrycat at 4:42 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


Gillibrand voted against the whole cabinet.

Yeah. She's liberalized more as she's gotten older. I will work day and night to make this woman present if she decides to run.
posted by Talez at 4:44 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]




WaPo Trump used to have a slightly different opinion of presidents playing golf
Trump was adamant that his predecessor, Barack Obama, spent too much time on vacation while president. He tweeted his objections 38 times from 2011 to 2014.[...]

On the campaign trail, Trump mostly hammered the frequency with which Obama played golf. According to a tally compiled by CBS News’s Mark Knoller, Obama played 333 rounds over his eight years, or about once every 8.8 days.

If Trump plays this weekend, it will be his third week in a row traveling to the club near Mar-a-Lago. His rate of play? Once every 9.7 days. Far better. (Update: After this weekend, it’s once every 7.8 days. Not better.)[...]

“We will cancel every illegal Obama executive order. Just boom-boom-boom,” he said on Nov. 7 in New Hampshire. “He goes out and plays golf so much that he doesn’t have time to convince Congress to go and — let’s do it the way it’s supposed to be done, right? I mean he’s played more golf than most people on the PGA Tour, this guy. What is it, over 300 rounds? Hey, look, it’s good. Golf is fine. But always play with leaders of countries and people that can help us! Don’t play with your friends all the time.”
All of this previous criticism is probably why he doesn't want the media taking pictures of him playing golf. He is very secretive about how much golf he is playing and with whom.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:45 PM on February 19 [37 favorites]


This from Roquetuen upthread: I completely agree. I am so fed up with the 'wanna get re-elected only Dems'. The people are totally out in front and trying to generate appetite for new candidates but it's gonna be hard. Kamala Harris anyone?

The number that I think of isn't the 1351 days left in a Trump administration, it's the 104 days that the Dems have wasted since Trump was elected that the Dems have wasted by not learning their lessons and the 2892 days left in a Trump administration if they don't get it together.

Sorry for the cursing and the rant, as I mentioned, I am really furious at the Dems incompetence.

posted by bluesky43 at 4:45 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


triggerfinger: That sounds a lot like the reasoning Davros used on the Doctor that stopped him preventing the rise of the Daleks, and we all know how that turned out.
posted by pompomtom at 4:46 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Two good reads on the Trump/Sater stuff that were linked in the last thread:

A Big Shoe Just Dropped: good explanation of why the NYT story is so important

Donald Trump Settled a Real Estate Lawsuit, and a Criminal Case was Closed: "Besides the fraud accusations, a separate lawsuit claimed that Trump SoHo was developed with the undisclosed involvement of convicted felons and financing from questionable sources in Russia and Kazakhstan. . . . In a deposition, Mr. Trump said that the two had discussed “numerous deals all over the world” and that Mr. Arif had brought potential Russian investors to Mr. Trump’s office to meet him. . . . Mr. Lauria brokered a $50 million investment in Trump SoHo and three other Bayrock projects by an Icelandic firm preferred by wealthy Russians “in favor with” President Vladimir V. Putin, according to a lawsuit against Bayrock by one of its former executives. . . . Mr. Kriss’s lawsuit was filled with unflattering details of how Bayrock operated, including allegations that it had occasionally received unexplained infusions of cash from accounts in Kazakhstan and Russia.
posted by sallybrown at 4:46 PM on February 19 [21 favorites]


are Slater/Sater/Saper the same person?

Yes, Saper was just my error. What's weird is that court transcript does refer to Felix Sater as "Felix Slater" repeatedly, I'm not sure why.
posted by sallybrown at 4:49 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Every generation must decide by ballot or bullet what world they will live in and give to the next generation. An electoral coalition between status quo independents, left leaning Democrats and radical progressives aided by intelligence agencies and mainstream media *hopefully* can succeed in preventing a Trump cult of personality authoritarian regime from holding onto power; themes of incompetence, Kompromised by foreign power and corrupt conflicts of interest can have broad appeal, even though some % of people will never open their hearts and minds.

I like to celebrate the battles won (bye bye Flinn; court orders, one China capitulation) even while knowing the fight is long, we will lose a lot even if we ultimately win, and nothing is inevitable. That war must be fought now while we still have the most resources and the old norms still have some sway. We must also battle with the Paul Ryan mainstream republican ideology of corporate welfare and human austerity; and battle the state legislature/ALEC war on women's rights, civil rights, native rights etc.

so we fight a thousand battles and then a thousand more against the myriad evils that have always threatened us and were never that deeply hidden. but we fight for just a few precious things: political equality; economic security, environmental sustainability, and peaceful coexistence within and between nations.

Win or lose, those R fuckers don't get to dictate the future without a fight!
[edit for typos & linebreaks]
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 4:50 PM on February 19 [23 favorites]


What a tool.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:51 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]



From a Facebook post:

I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election:


1-25 is NOTHING without 26.
26. SAMANTHA BEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by bluesky43 at 4:52 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


well, for my part re: local action, i'm circulating petitions for our current attorney general, who is awesome, trying to keep him on the ballot for this special election this year. there's a governor race, and i'm lobbying pretty hard to get onboard that once it takes off, if only because that's what i know how to do and was pretty good at last year. even in my part of virginia, which is a blue bubble in a sea of red, there are a bunch of actions my local invisible group is putting on, and i'm keeping half an eye on that, but mostly i'm just harassing people with a clipboard again.

what concerns me is these new voter suppression bills. virginia's hb 1598 in my particular case, which would require a birth certificate or a passport in order to register to vote in anything other than a federal election. that sort of thing would completely kill any of the on the ground voter registration drives that were a huge focus of my time on the campaign last year. it's enraging and disheartening, even if i know our current governor will veto that thing if it crosses his desk.

(also the clipboard thing is very odd for me, because it's so similar to what i was doing last year, but i don't get to go back to an office and say 'hey guys, you'll never believe what happened this time while i was out!' being a lone voice in the wilderness makes me feel a little like a crazy person. these threads do help, as always.)
posted by dogheart at 4:54 PM on February 19 [19 favorites]


If the accelerationists are right I'm going to be mad.

Ok, they aren't right even if there is a liberal awakening as very real harm is and will be done to people under this regime. But still.
posted by Justinian at 4:57 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


angrycat, I have a half-baked opinion piece in my head about Trump as inverse Lear. Instead of being a narcissist who loses his kingdom through foolishness in a desire to have an easy life, he gains one, at equal cost to his peace of mind. In the background are the greedy, manipulative children, with Ivanka as the anti-Cordelia.

Needs more work but one day, if we're lucky to live that long, someone will write a great tragedy out of President Trump.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:59 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


Salvatore Lauria, one of Trump's partners on Trump Soho described in the NYT story I linked above, wrote a book called The Scorpion and the Frog:
Salvatore Lauria was always a driven man. He wanted his share of the American Dream. During the get-rich-quick era of the 90s and the biggest bull market in history, Wall Street proved to be the ideal venue to demonstrate his many talents and to reveal some profound weaknesses. He learned his skills at reputable brokerage houses but his greed and ambition propelled him head-on into Wall Street's nests of Scorpions - shady traders, parasitic short-sellers, Italian and Russian Mafiosi - a world of stock manipulation, boiler rooms, fraud, racketeering, money laundering and violence. His quick but ill-gotten wealth admitted him into social circles that he could only dream about before his successes on the Street. He rented expensive offices, bought luxury apartments and homes, drove fast cars and enjoyed a highlife of parties and exotic travel. He found a world of sex, drugs and rock and roll that accompanied many "respected" business and political leaders. His business partners introduced him to the new Russia with its rich crime lord and "brat-pack" children. Lauria lost all sense of vulnerability and exposed himself and his family to betrayal, danger and harm. He was stung repeatedly by the Scorpions as he fought to keep his business and his wealth. Eventually, and reluctantly, he realized that his moral and ethical lapses had made him an inviting target, a kept man in the sinister world of Wall Street corruption. As he tried to fend off the Scorpions, he learned that law enforcement was already planning the demise of the mob on Wall Street.
There was apparently a Miami Herald article about the book that describes it as telling the story of how Lauria and Sater worked to help the CIA track down black market Stinger missiles in Russia. (The Herald article is described in other news sources.)
posted by sallybrown at 5:09 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


King Leer.
posted by spitbull at 5:11 PM on February 19 [70 favorites]


NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued an alert Wednesday amid increasing reports of scam artists posing as ICE agents and demanding money from immigrants. "The Attorney General’s office has received a number of reports of unsolicited calls or in-person inquiries from fake immigration officials. For example, one immigrant living in Queens was approached by four men dressed as ICE agents. The purported ICE 'agents' told the man that he was going to be detained unless he gave them all of his money."
posted by J.K. Seazer at 5:14 PM on February 19 [26 favorites]


How do we know these are not just ICE agents?
posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on February 19 [87 favorites]


Good point.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 5:16 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


giving money to reliable media outlets isn't exactly the worst idea right now.

Plus, when you give money to places, that gives you the right to *complain* when they fail at something.

Which reminds me: I need to buy more stamps for my hand-written letters of complaint.

What lost 2016, the Presidency as well as enough Senate and House seats to take control, was the failure to (take people to the polls). Phone calls and reminders are TOTALLY NOT ENOUGH. They can totally overcome the most heinous anti-voter laws by working and spending money, NOT by running more advertising in any form.

No, we can't. Missouri has (in theory) only day-of voting, which means the lines are hideous. There is literally nothing that the party can do to prevent that, provided that the state is run by Republicans. Wisconsin had case after case of people who did everything right, only to be denied a "proper" voter ID.

And the requirements for a strict voter ID keep escalating. Five years ago, when this mess started, people were required to show a photo identification. Now, they're supposed to prove citizenship. (I suspect the next argument will be that a birth certificate isn't enough and that everyone should have a passport card or some nonsense.)

"What lost 2016" was a ton of different factors, but just preventing voter suppression isn't going to be enough.

OTOH, I was told at our Women's Political Caucus meeting this week that the League of Women Voters is now dedicating itself to preventing voter suppression (both by making sure everyone has state-issued ID and by suing the state), so I may want to go join it.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:17 PM on February 19 [22 favorites]


MtDewd: "I ran out of my free WaPo reads last week.
Is this a plot to get me to subscribe?
"

Just kick your browser into Private Browser/Incognito mode.
posted by Samizdata at 5:20 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


If voter suppression could actually for real be 100% prevented the republican part would never again win any election ever, but I suspect that is not what you mean.
posted by Artw at 5:20 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Maybe sanctuary cities and states could use these reports to have local cops stop, detain and question anybody wearing an ICE uniform.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:20 PM on February 19 [29 favorites]


Regarding the National Enquirer, The Original Fake News Medium, I noted in a previous thread:
The Enquirer and its lying publisher has been a cheerleader for The Donald since before any of the current staff at Breitbart learned to read. And the Big Story (I saw): Obama’s Plot To Impeach Donald Trump (quoting from their website so you don't have to go there:) "a left-leaning whistleblower has told The National ENQUIRER that the attack on Flynn is just the start of a plot that's being masterminded by Barack Obama, as the puppet master pulls the strings on a coordinated conspiracy across multiple federal agencies. The top-ranked source claims the goal is to sabotage the Trump administration, and ultimately impeach the President!" Apparently Obama's TREASONOUS (a word on the front page) plan's endgame is to change the Constitution so he can get a third term in 2020 after kicking out wonderful Mr. Trump.

This is what sits in the background while most of America waits in line to pay for our groceries.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:27 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure where I came across this link, it could have been posted in an earlier thread, but Medium created Trump's Russian Connections, A Handy Timeline which dates back to 1987*. With numerous links. 2002 is when Felix Sater (aka Satter) / Bayrock/Trump Soho pop up (links to a Forbes Oct 2016 article). Trump goes on record to claim he barely knows the guy. The guy who has a business card that says he's a Senior Advisor to Donald Trump.

*Seated next to Russian Ambassador at a social event. The dumpf is strong with this one.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:37 PM on February 19 [33 favorites]


Regarding the National Enquirer, The Original Fake News Medium, I noted in a previous thread:

They've always had a weird right wing bent to them. Even back in the 80s and 90s when it was all Elvis and JFK sightings and Batboy.

I feel like the weirdos who used to advertise "Learn the Secrets of Illuminiati, send SASE with 12 bucks to..." in the back of Omni or whatever have actually gone mainstream. It sort of feels like we're a couple weeks away from Spectral Evidence and Witch Trials.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:40 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]




Elvis and JFK sightings and Batboy

That was the Weekly World News, actually.

Interestingly, back in 1990 or so, the WWN had a great article that the Rapture had already happened and we were all left here in hell. Seems legit.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:54 PM on February 19 [20 favorites]


Quick, off the top of your head, say the name the first comes up when you think the politician voicing the opposition to Trump. For me , that name is John McCain. Guess what folks, that's not good enough.

Elizabeth Warren?
posted by warriorqueen at 5:55 PM on February 19 [40 favorites]


President Trump attended a private Mar-a-Lago event Saturday night — without telling the media:
Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the media about Trump’s appearance at the event during a brief press availability Sunday. More than 800 people attended the event, reporters were told, with Trump talking to “quite a few” of them. One reporter asked if Mar-a-Lago guests had special access to the president, prompting Sanders to reply that “the president is extremely accessible to most of America” and is the “most accessible president that [she’s] ever seen.”
Yeah he let's you help with north korean missile crises or with cabinet appointees, just gotta be a member.
posted by dis_integration at 5:57 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


McCain is the first to pop in to my kind of you say "old man yells at cloud", so there's that.
posted by Artw at 5:57 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


Don't worry folks, I heard Tom Perez is gonna save us all. 🙄
posted by anarch at 5:58 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


> I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election [...]
I guess they don't call him God Emperor for nuthin'.
posted by glonous keming at 6:02 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


According to Katie Pavlich
this is what is happening in Sweden.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:03 PM on February 19




Wow. Wow. That Russia timeline is UNBELIEVABLE.

Even having followed this obsessively for months and having seen most of the stories since 2015 when they came out, it is shocking seeing them all together like that. This HAS to blow up soon.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:03 PM on February 19 [70 favorites]




Agreed on that Russia Timeline. Wow.
posted by spitbull at 6:07 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the media about Trump’s appearance at the event during a brief press availability Sunday.

Something about that name confuses the hell out of me. Why can't there be new names for new minor political characters and not unholy chimeras? It's like history has stopped giving a shit.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:08 PM on February 19 [37 favorites]


I guess Trump's complaint about the Clinton Foundation wasn't that he thought they were selling access, but that they weren't clear on the pricing.
posted by ckape at 6:13 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


That Alfa Bank server is comin' back. For a literal spam machine it's kind of unsavory.
posted by petebest at 6:15 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]




I ran out of my free WaPo reads last week.
Is this a plot to get me to subscribe?


Maybe it's a plot to pay journalists while we still can. Maybe it's time to turn off the adblockers and subscribe. WaPo and NYT are certainly flawed, but we've got fucking wormtongue from breitbart whispering into the POTUS ear.
posted by adept256 at 6:16 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


Is this the Miami herald article, sally?

Journalist Laura Rozen tracked down what appears to be the Miami Herald article here.
posted by sallybrown at 6:19 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]




Just in case you've thought to yourself "hey, this whole Russia thing is nothing, I'll be able to sleep well tonight!" Has There Been a "Nuclear Incident" in the Arctic?
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:26 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


This is what sits in the background while most of America waits in line to pay for our groceries.


I've already complained to the manager at my local CVS about this.

It might be time for a surge of complaints asking CVS to remove the Enquirer.
CVS does strive to be considered respectable.
posted by ocschwar at 6:29 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


Look at what happened last night in Sweden! You won't believe it!

He's right, I won't believe it. But that's because of the cover up. I've been tricked, I'm the fool. Keep living in your media bubble, Adept256, you're doing exactly what they want!

Bullshit misinformation like this will fuel conspiracy wingnuts for a generation.
posted by adept256 at 6:34 PM on February 19




Just in case you've thought to yourself "hey, this whole Russia thing is nothing, I'll be able to sleep well tonight!" Has There Been a "Nuclear Incident" in the Arctic?


Really, why are you freaking people out like this? Maybe since it sounds scary don't bury the lede on on this one. It's likely some sort of fueling or material storage accident or possibly some minor sort of material research. No seismic data anywhere makes any sort of weapons testing or major accident unlikely. The conclusion of the article matches up with what I've seen concluded on Finnish and Norweigian twitter with the exception of the most conspiracy minded people.
posted by Jalliah at 6:35 PM on February 19 [27 favorites]


In an Open Letter, 2,943 Fellow Duke Alumni Ask Trump Senior Adviser Stephen Miller How He Became Such a Horrible Person
posted by J.K. Seazer at 6:25 PM on February 19
[2 favorites +] [!]


If this even came close to describing the school I went to, I'd say append my name to it. I guess there really were two Dukes. Which is why I've never donated to the damn school. (And if you ever want a script for getting stricken off of the contact list for donor requests at your alma mater, let me know.)

Instead, I'll just say this to Miller: Dude, you're a friggin asshat. Knock it off. Sincerely- a fellow alum. Or I'd just punch him in the face.
posted by susiswimmer at 6:41 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


The article doesn't really live up to the hype, but I did learn that Russia has nuclear lighthouses.
posted by um at 6:43 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


I'm only partway through that timeline, but I'm at the part where it mentions the (memorable) NYT Putin op-ed, which apparently DJT had a lot of praise for. Here's the FPP.

Also, apropros of nothing, I've long had a fascination with the Russian oligarchs and the murky worlds they move in. I did an FPP about Putin foe Boris Berezovsky a few years back when he was found dead. And I just found out that Berezkovsky once owned a place in Trump Tower. As reported here by Jared Kushner's Observer in 2008.

That thread includes a few links on the Cypriot bank crisis, which, according to the Medium timeline: Summer 2014 - Wilbur Ross, now Trump’s Commerce Secretary, partners with Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian billionaire oligarch and Putin friend in a takeover of the Bank of Cyprus.

I think I'm going to have to make myself some kind of an evidence board to keep these connections straight.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:43 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


When will someone/some people begin throwing their shoes at Trump?
posted by robbyrobs at 6:44 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


That timeline has a typo - it says the first (most recent) New Yorker piece is from February 2018. I know that that's not actually from the future, especially since the link works, but the extra hit of surreality just broke my brain a bit. All my Real? Fake? Satire? detectors have all gone haywire. I know this is what everyone warned us about, but the cognitive dissonance is really hard to wade through.
posted by Mchelly at 6:50 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


It's like he's running the oldest play in the Fascist playbook without realizing this is the Internet age and even the laziest slob among us is able to question what he's saying.

Among us, yes. The laziest non-Trump supporter can question what he's saying. But the 63 million who voted for him? They're not questioning what he's saying, they still believe it absolutely, and are even more confirmed that he's "winning" and making America great again and fighting against the crooked Washington insiders and the treasonous fake media. They are happy. They believe every asinine story he comes up with. It's terrible that good man Flynn got forced out, that those activist judges have made the border less secure by letting in all those unchecked terrorist Muslim refugees, that the news isn't reporting about what happened in Sweden with all the migrant rapes.

None of it has had any effect on them yet. This has not changed them; it's excited them. Finally there's a President doing what they elected him to do, and that level of support is going to carry him through a lot of the crap he's going to do. Be prepared, because it is going to get worse.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:55 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


In response to that stupid NYT Op-Ed, a twitter thread from @cmclymer https://twitter.com/cmclymer/status/833461853607043072

It's the "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore" response.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:56 PM on February 19 [23 favorites]


When will someone/some people begin throwing their shoes at Trump?

The shoes appear to be being dropped rather than thrown :-P
posted by sallybrown at 6:58 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo tweeted that Trump himself was an FBI informant. Did we know this? What in the...

He just said he will have another post coming later so...
posted by sallybrown at 7:00 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


I find the obsessive RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA to be disappointing for so many reasons.

1) Find a fall guy, let them fall, and the problem goes away for him. I just don't see this being something he's impeached for, would love to be wrong, but I bet I'm not.

2) It turns Democrats into red-baiting assholes towards journalists like Greenwald or anyone else who insists on, y'know, a normal standard of proof for anything.

3) It gives the DNC a lot of breathing room to not make any material changes to their platform, approach, or leadership, which sets us up for more electoral failure in '18 and '20. Remember: these people lost over 1000 state level seats, 10 senate seats, 63 house seats, 12 governorships; all in just 8 years. Why the hell do the people in charge of that kind of failure get a pass at RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA being a winning tactic?

Also, Evan McMullin would gladly outlaw any form of abortion, he's no hero, he's just one more ineffectual, slightly-less-hateful GOP loser, who stood by and did nothing while the agency he worked for tortured the shit out of taxi drivers and shepherds.
posted by turntraitor at 7:00 PM on February 19 [26 favorites]



Uh maybe because whatever is going on with RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA is you know kind of a really big fucking deal?

But sure lets all just ignore it and focus on the important stuff.
posted by Jalliah at 7:06 PM on February 19 [76 favorites]


I think I'm going to have to make myself some kind of an evidence board to keep these connections straight.

Basically how I live now
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:08 PM on February 19 [18 favorites]


NYT: Pool sends final note for the night, noting it was a 14-hour day "without ever actually eyeing the subject of interest."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:09 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


turntraitor: I find the obsessive RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA to be disappointing for so many reasons.

Eponymous?

Anyway, we'd all better hope there's room for more than one tactic at present.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:10 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo tweeted that Trump himself was an FBI informant. Did we know this? What in the...

Perhaps every person who speaks to the FBI in the course of an investigation is an informant, or every potential witness who tries to make a deal with them? I mean, apparently some ridiculously high proportion of East Germans had an official or unofficial relationship with the Stasi; it seems to be the way that secret police work. Given what we've heard of NY construction, I bet Trump's spoken to the FBI many times.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:10 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]



I think I'm going to have to make myself some kind of an evidence board to keep these connections straight.

Basically how I live now


That's a visual representation of what I must sound like when someone asks me 'So I've heard this thing about Trump. I don't really follow US politics much. Can you explain it to me?'
It know it must sound utterly batshit to people who start from near zero on this stuff.
posted by Jalliah at 7:12 PM on February 19 [28 favorites]


Greenwald has extremely variable standards of truth depending on what narrative he happens to be pushing at the time - one of the hazards of being as much activist as journalist.
posted by Artw at 7:12 PM on February 19 [27 favorites]


Uh maybe because whatever is going on with RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA is you know kind of a really big fucking deal?


It might be, might not be, I'm just saying the odds of it getting you what you want are slim to none, and that the efforts would probably be better applied elsewhere. Would love to be wrong, but I don't think I am.

If RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA turns out to be nothing you can capitalize by '18, then what good will the efforts yield?

The rust belt voters who turned out for Obama in '08 and '12 and then Trump in '16 don't care about Russia. The politically unengaged non-voters that make up the majority of this country don't care about Russia.

If you want to win in 2020, go out with a charismatic candidate with little to no baggage and a simple message:
1) Free College for All
2) Medicare for All
3) Jobs for All

No means testing, no hedging, no "we'll look at the options." Say those three things. Emphasize that All Americans means All Trans Americans, All Black Americans, All Muslim Americans, All Jewish Americans, All Christian Americans, All White Americans, All Gay Americans, All Straight Americans, All Southeast Asian Americans, All Americans, period, no exceptions. Maybe run John Cena, I dunno. But they have to be believable, they can't have baggage, and they have to make no exceptions, no hedges, and nothing that can be interpreted as anything but say what they mean/mean what they say.
posted by turntraitor at 7:13 PM on February 19 [31 favorites]


Greenwald has extremely variable standards of truth

That's a pretty serious accusation to make about a journalist, I'm sure you've got documentation that backs it up.
posted by turntraitor at 7:14 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


I've been reading The Handmaid's Tale. I'm late to it, I know.

I'm up to the part where she goes to buy some smokes and her card is declined. She remarks that it must have been just a few keystrokes to disable every account with an F on it.

So much about this novel seems implausible, but not that part. Look at Turkey turning off social media in a snap. Egypt turning off the internet entirely. I have no doubt that the NSA, with it's amazing systems, when given the order could shut down the media, which has already been openly declared the enemy by the Commander in Chief.

Commander in Chief. How revolting that position sounds now after getting halfway through The Handmaid's Tale.

Maybe I should get a hard copy while I can and stash it away.

I haven't finished so *fingers in ears* lalalalalalala I can't hear you lalalalalalala
posted by adept256 at 7:15 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


If you want to win in 2020, go out with a charismatic candidate with little to no baggage and a simple message:

So Bernie?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:15 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


It might be, might not be, I'm just saying the odds of it getting you what you want are slim to none, and that the efforts would probably be better applied elsewhere.

You think my interest in Russia's attack on our democratic process and Trump's relationship with the Kremlin is based on strategy for 2018? I'm concerned about those things outside of how it plays in the next election cycle.
posted by diogenes at 7:17 PM on February 19 [43 favorites]


So Bernie?

I wouldn't be opposed, but I'd love someone younger and maybe a political outsider. I want somebody who polls well, who gets high marks for "seems honest" and "seems like they mean what they say."

I am not particular; I stan for policies, not politicians.
posted by turntraitor at 7:17 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Find a fall guy, let them fall, and the problem goes away for him.

You mean like, oh, I dunno, Flynn? Does that seem to be going away for him so far?
posted by Archelaus at 7:18 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


I find the obsessive RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA to be disappointing for so many reasons ... It turns Democrats into red-baiting assholes.

Maybe you missed that whole 1989 thing, but it's not red-baiting if the country in question is no longer red.

You would more accurately call it corrupt violent oligarchy baiting which seems justified, not assholish at all.
posted by JackFlash at 7:18 PM on February 19 [77 favorites]


It turns Democrats into red-baiting assholes

There haven't been any "reds" in power in Russia for a long time. The whole point about RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA is that the post-Soviet era turned over power to a bunch of people who got sweetheart deals when public assets were flogged off, and those people have been using their dirty power and dirty money ever since. (If Marx were resurrected today, he'd say Russia was ripe for proletarian revolution. Then someone would whisper in his ear.) At the same time, the -stans of Central Asia were taken over by old communist party chiefs who reinvented themselves as nationalists and used the veneer of national greatness to sell off the state to the highest bidders.

That ring any bells?
posted by holgate at 7:19 PM on February 19 [60 favorites]


I think it's startlingly naive to assume anyone in DC pushing this angle thinks about it from any perspective except electoral politics.

I have no idea what you're on about.
posted by diogenes at 7:19 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


The rust belt voters who turned out for Obama in '08 and '12 and then Trump in '16 don't care about Russia.

I admit this is anecdotal, but I know plenty of Trump voters, living in a rural rust belt area. I don't know a single one who voted for Obama in '08 or '12.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:20 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


White House Grants Press Credentials to a Pro-Trump Blog: The Gateway Pundit, a provocative conservative blog, gained notice last year for its fervent pro-Trump coverage and its penchant for promoting false rumors about voter fraud and Hillary Clinton’s health that rocketed around right-wing websites.

Now the site will report on politics from a prominent perch: the White House.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:21 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


You mean like, oh, I dunno, Flynn?

It's not going away so far, but give it time. Until there's a smoking gun, and that's unlikely considering that half of the documentation of all of this exists within the control of a nation we're all speculating is actively working to keep Trump in power, I just don't see it really being used to bring him down until his usefulness is exceeded by his political baggage. The GOP are terrified of their base, and right now, the base is in utter fucking love with this guy.

Those nimrod lanyard-swingers who preach lower taxes for the wealthy and deregulation never knew a damn thing about the base, and Trump proved it. He has the party over a barrel. But without the party cooperating, how do you intend to get rid of him short of a coup?
posted by turntraitor at 7:21 PM on February 19


This reddit thread about Felix Sater (linked by sallybrown) has a lot of good links to old and new news/documentaries about all the players.

This comment in particular is chock full of links:

I have some new stuff to add as of today so this might be getting updated. But here we go.
My Subreddit - /r/TrumpInvestigation
My Google doc - (Quite long)
posted by futz at 7:22 PM on February 19 [21 favorites]


adept256 - I read The Handmaid's Tale when it first came out. My whole adult life I have been creeped out whenever I am supposed to identify my gender on a form.
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 7:22 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


It might be, might not be, I'm just saying the odds of it getting you what you want are slim to none, and that the efforts would probably be better applied elsewhere. Would love to be wrong, but I don't think I am.

If RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA turns out to be nothing you can capitalize by '18, then what good will the efforts yield?


So we should just ignore and situation that could lead to the reshaping of geo-political alliances around the world, the dismantling of 70 years worth of international relations and alliances, the dismantling or weakening Europe and who know what else those colluding folks have cooked up for us because it might not go anywhere?

What good will it do? I dunno maybe lead to the good portion of the Western world and the foundations of liberal democracy not going to complete and utter shit? This is the level of serious that we're dealing with here. It's not just about some dude we don't like being President. The ramifications of this RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA are staggering at the level that hasn't been seen since WWII.

Sorry for the snark and sarcasm but not expending effort on this because it might fail and be a waste of time is criminal.
posted by Jalliah at 7:24 PM on February 19 [88 favorites]


The rust belt voters who turned out for Obama in '08 and '12 and then Trump in '16 don't care about Russia.

Your concern is noted. A bunch of 'em will be dead by 2020 even if we're all not dead by then. More importantly, underlying the RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA stuff is the assumption that at very least voter suppression will be official White House policy by '18, and perhaps a much broader white nationalist platform, which makes any kind of meat-and-potatoes strategising somewhat beside the point.
posted by holgate at 7:24 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


That's a pretty serious accusation to make about a journalist, I'm sure you've got documentation that backs it up.

Oh boo hoo.

When the dude is hung ho for something, like the evils of the NSA or his Save Anwar campaign, there are no two strands he won't pull together so long as it suits his narative. But if something doesn't fit, like Russian meddling and aggression, then all of a sudden no standard of proof is good enough.

Dude is about two steps away from being Wikileaks.
posted by Artw at 7:25 PM on February 19 [23 favorites]


So we should just ignore and situation that could lead to the reshaping of geo-political alliances around the world

No, but you shouldn't make more of it than it is, and focus just as much on really examining how badly the democrats fucked up their electoral efforts the past eight years, because leaving the same drunks at the wheel will just drive us into a ditch, again.

If we live in a democracy, and we're not willing to limit the first amendment, then there's no curing the issues that brought us here short of politics; Trump voters have been given license from the top to disregard anything that doesn't comport with their beliefs as fake news.

That's all this is to them. Fake news.

Only politics can save us. Which sucks, because the Democratic party is pretty shitty at politics lately.
posted by turntraitor at 7:29 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


If you want to win in 2020, go out with a charismatic candidate with little to no baggage and a simple message:

So Bernie?


Bernie starting running for office in 1971, and first took political office in 1981. He entered Congress in 1991 and and the Senate in 2007. He began his career as a socialist, even if that's more or less fallen away in any real sense. He has a habit of stepping in it with putting class analysis ahead of everything else. I like Bernie and voted for him (uselessly) in CA's primary, but that's not "no baggage."

I like Jason Kander, but the Dems really need lot of new people. No one person is going to do the trick.

We need people we haven't heard of yet.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:30 PM on February 19 [29 favorites]


We are not going to make it as a country to 2020 going at the pace we are going at right now. We need to worry about right now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:31 PM on February 19 [23 favorites]


We need people we haven't heard of yet.

Yeah, the shallowness of the DNC's bench is yet another data point in the constellation of electoral mismanagement they have undertaken.
posted by turntraitor at 7:33 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Artw: When the dude is hung ho for something, like the evils of the NSA or his Save Anwar campaign, there are no two strands he won't pull together so long as it suits his narative. But if something doesn't fit, like Russian meddling and aggression, then all of a sudden no standard of proof is good enough.

Exactly. Well said.
posted by futz at 7:33 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


We are not going to make it as a country to 2020 going at the pace we are going at right now. We need to worry about right now.

I believe this is giving Trump & co. way too much credit. We'll still be a country, it'll just be shittier. Momentum of a ship this large is a powerful thing. The end will be long and painful, and we're possibly past the point of no return already--the sixteen years of imperial presidencies we had prior to this very well might have put the bow on it.

But that's no excuse to stop trying. All I'm saying is: demand more of the Dems. If you don't, all the Russia in the world won't get you more than President Pence and some fetal heartbeat laws.
posted by turntraitor at 7:35 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]




No, but you shouldn't make more of it than it is, and focus just as much on really examining how badly the democrats fucked up their electoral efforts the past eight years, because leaving the same drunks at the wheel will just drive us into a ditch, again.

If we live in a democracy, and we're not willing to limit the first amendment, then there's no curing the issues that brought us here short of politics; Trump voters have been given license from the top to disregard anything that doesn't comport with their beliefs as fake news.

That's all this is to them. Fake news.

Only politics can save us. Which sucks, because the Democratic party is pretty shitty at politics lately.


Here's the thing. While I happen to be interested in what Dems should or shouldn't do. Which if you have been paying attention to these threads has been a main topic of discussion, Metafilter is not just a 'discuss what the Dems do' organizing site.

People can focus and discuss more then one thing at a time. And Dems out there in the wild can do more then one thing as well.
posted by Jalliah at 7:36 PM on February 19 [19 favorites]




CSPAN video from a speech by Rep. Jamie Raskin ‏@RepRaskin re: while we're all distracted by Trump's antics, what is happening in Congress (spolier: moar bullshit)
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:37 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


We are not going to make it as a country to 2020 going at the pace we are going at right now.

Pakistan has nuclear weapons and a dysfunctional government, and it's still *basically* existing as a country. At 182 million people, it's also in the same cohort as the United States, in terms of population and complexity.

So... lie back and think of Pakistan!
posted by My Dad at 7:38 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


I saw the word Geo-political in this thread and being an avid reader of history I recommend the book 1946 to gain an overview of how we got where we are in regard to Geo Polotics Its a very good history lesson and an easy read!
Victor Sebestyen reveals the events of 1946 by chronologically framing what was taking place in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, with seminal decisions made by heads of state that would profoundly change the old order forever.
Side note: Stalin was once lovingly called Uncle Joe by the US government
posted by robbyrobs at 7:38 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]



But that's no excuse to stop trying. All I'm saying is: demand more of the Dems. If you don't, all the Russia in the world won't get you more than President Pence and some fetal heartbeat laws.

I'm going to give some benefit of the doubt here. Have you been following all these threads? Talking about what the Dems are and aren't doing plus talking about demands is like 75% of the content.

What you're telling people to do is already happening.
posted by Jalliah at 7:40 PM on February 19 [31 favorites]


turntraitor, I also have this fear in the back of my mind that the Democrats will just run "not Trump" and get dunked on again because they've pulled stupid moves like that before but the Russia investigation isn't somehow taking efforts away from other things. It wasn't like, woah, Dems, pump the brakes on the immigration orders, eye on the Russian ball - we can do both. Unfortunately the DNC election was already slated to take its sweet time and things won't really start rolling electorally until that's done and they build out their strategy, and while that sucks it's got nothing to do with Russia, and they've already got a jump on identifying battlegrounds and putting resources in place there.

Personally, I think it would be highly premature to start rallying around a 2020 candidate right now, nobody knows how the ground will shift between now and then and we could be tying ourselves to an ineffective candidate even if they seem good right this moment. What needs to happen now is coordinating efforts to tackle priority battleground states, field candidates up and down the ballot everywhere, and give the newly engaged activists targeted outlets for their energy to keep them motivated by building from success to success. None of that is effected by the Russia investigations. Hell, the stupid everyday drudgery of daily fundraising call time that members of Congress get stuck doing wastes vastly more effort than the Russian investigation that only a handful of Senators are really deep in. Other MOCs speaking out about Russia to keep it in the media is barely a blip.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:42 PM on February 19 [37 favorites]


It's proposing that Trump could avoid military conflict which is giving him too much credit.

Also btw you should look up where the term "imperial presidency" comes from if you think there's only been sixteen years of it.
posted by XMLicious at 7:43 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Surely he has closer connections to NYC mafia through construction interests.

Does posing on stage with one on New Year's Eve count?
posted by scalefree at 7:43 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


2020 is a billion years away and it is nowhere near certain that the USA will have the same borders by then, much less a presidential election.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:44 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


while we're all distracted by Trump's antics, what is happening in Congress

just FYI he doesn't actually say what's going on in Congress, just spends two minutes repeating that it's all sleight of hand
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:44 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Have you been following all these threads?

Yeah, I have. I'm just trying to advocate against what I see is a false hope, which then leads to disappointment, which leads to disengagement.

Not to mention the whole problem of opening up the idea that it's cool if we have a president brought down by an intelligence service, which I see plenty of. It sounds great now, but then again, so did drone strikes (to a lot of people) when Obama was carrying them out against American citizens; we accept the battlefield is global, because both Bush and Obama gave imprimatur to that idea, so now we have the very real possibility that it'd be legal to drone an American on American soil. How'd we get here? I dunno, ask me again in 15 years when we're screaming because it looks like the CIA is trying to end a Democratic presidency.
posted by turntraitor at 7:45 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


No, but you shouldn't make more of it than it is, and focus just as much on really examining how badly the democrats fucked up their electoral efforts the past eight years, because leaving the same drunks at the wheel will just drive us into a ditch, again.

Dems losses in Congress and governorships under Obama are basically at the post-WWII averages for a 2 term party. Every president other than Reagan has had big losses.
posted by chris24 at 7:45 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


Have you been following all these threads?

I'd like to know the answer to this too because it doesn't sound like it.
posted by futz at 7:46 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


There are 3 additional videos in the thread where he mentions specifics and further in the thread lists the things passed/repealed.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:48 PM on February 19


You know I'd actually be curious to know how many people secretly do follow these threads. It always seems like the zeitgeist here is a few days ahead of the national curve. Are we, dare I say the word, influencers? I get the sneaking suspicion we might be.
posted by saysthis at 7:49 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


. None of that is effected by the Russia investigations.

I agreed with most of your post except this, j-steaks. The Russia Investigation is an article of faith now. I think people can look at it as this black box they hope produces the right result. It's interesting, but if nothing comes of it, we had hearings, we had interviews on TV, we had lots of effort expended and then what? What comes of it if nothing comes of it? All the time that could've been spent talking on TV about medicare for all, all the time that could've been spent on actual politics. Russia is only "politics" if it works. If it doesn't work, it was a waste of time and effort.

There are only so many hours in the day, and even fewer on any given episode of Meet The Press. Every sentence discussing Russia is a sentence not saying things that gets voters really interested in voting for something.

All Russia does is repeats the same shit that flunked in the general: vote against this because...

It wasn't a winning strategy then, and I don't think it will be this time.
posted by turntraitor at 7:50 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


turntraitor, maybe get your own blog?

I'm going to bed, but this doesn't give me warm fuzzies for the breadth of debate we usually see here on the blue.
posted by turntraitor at 7:51 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


I read pretty much every single word in these threads and I'm trying to recall anyone here suggesting that it's cool that the Intelligence Community may bring a president down. Mostly what I recall are actual discussions about how it's not actually cool and a symptom of political disfunction and some people people being okay with whoever doing what they have to do because the situation is so beyond bad.
posted by Jalliah at 7:51 PM on February 19 [42 favorites]


From Roomthreeseventeen's link:
In a telephone interview from the West Wing, Mr. Wintrich, 28, said he would “be reporting far more fairly than a lot of the very left-wing outlets that are currently occupying the briefing room.” He added, “We will be doing a little trolling of the media in general here.”
Oh, FFS. Currently. Occupying. Trolling.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:52 PM on February 19 [27 favorites]


Not to mention the whole problem of opening up the idea that it's cool if we have a president brought down by an intelligence service

So you have a problem with Nixon going down? Because the Deep State did that. Sorry, but if the intelligence services leak criminal or treasonous actions by a president that the executive branch is covering up or hindering investigation of, that's a service to the country, not a bad thing.
posted by chris24 at 7:52 PM on February 19 [60 favorites]


turntraitor, being disappointed that an obvious scandal failed to connect is such a common trope on MetaFilter that we coined "surely this" as a shorthand method of referencing it. This is not a new experience for us.
posted by um at 7:56 PM on February 19 [47 favorites]


So you have a problem with Nixon going down?

I would've much preferred actual investigations by the other branches, rather than a guy pissed off because he didn't get the job he wanted. Deep Throat was a right-wing reactionary who worshipped Hoover, as disgusting a racist head of secret police as any oppressive regime ever had. There were no heroes in that story, besides maybe Woodward and Bernstein, one of whom has now lived long enough to do a heel turn and join the villains.

What we're seeing now is internecine warfare between factions within the FBI, and other three letter agencies.

My (only somewhat grounded) conspiracy theory is that their motivations don't have shit to do with what kind of person Trump is, but whether or not we're going to keep protecting KSA, and which oil oligarchies we prop up.
posted by turntraitor at 7:57 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


I followed all these threads and all I got was a hole in my soul. And a tshirt. Did you get one? They're pretty cool, but we're not supposed to post pics because the Cabal will poison leakers.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:57 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


My (only somewhat grounded) conspiracy theory is that their motivations don't have shit to do with what kind of person Trump is, but whether or not we're going to keep protecting KSA, and which oil oligarchies we prop up.

Maybe they don't want their children to die of radiation poisoning.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:59 PM on February 19 [16 favorites]


I see the Russia thing differently. The Russia thing isn't distracting, it's buying time. Everyone I know is organizing in some way, little or big, right now. If Trump is on the hop because of Russia and the Republicans are disorganized and uncertain as a result, they aren't passing laws. Remember that Trump actually hasn't gotten much done give that it's been - oh god - a month. The choice isn't between successfully fighting a full-frontal anti-Medicare campaign and the Russia scandal; it's between Republicans who are organized and unified and not worried about Russia and Republicans who are...not.

I think it's absolutely true that the Democrats have to evolve something to vote for, but I think a lot of that is going to come from the real grassroots - I think that people are fucking furious and real demands are starting to crystallize. Given another couple of months, there may well be something to vote for that comes from the actual voters.

I also think that we have two choices right now - agitate to protect Trump from the intelligence services, or hope that they take him down. I can't bring myself to do the former. You?

In terms of the CIA taking down a Democratic president later on....on the one hand, yeah, sow the wind. OTOH, I would certainly hope that the next Democratic president isn't in bed with Russia, and I think that this situation is going to change a lot of stuff about how the presidency works and how presidential candidates work, should we survive Trump.
posted by Frowner at 8:00 PM on February 19 [87 favorites]


Our intelligence agencies are run by people who swear an oath to defend against enemies foreign and domestic, and their loyalty is to the Constitution before the President. Obviously they've fucked that one up before but the IC investigating this isn't a sign of some coup, it's one of the few institutions that seems to be doing its job.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:01 PM on February 19 [85 favorites]


Are we, dare I say the word, influencers?

No, we just have a few people here like zachlipton and sallybrown, who pay really close attention and post anything which looks like it has legs here.
posted by Coventry at 8:02 PM on February 19 [28 favorites]


Not to mention the whole problem of opening up the idea that it's cool if we have a president brought down by an intelligence service, which I see plenty of.

I think there is a very good chance this scenario will occur, I'm just still not sure whether the intelligence service will be domestic or foreign.
posted by Kabanos at 8:03 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Frankly if the intelligence community wasn't going after the Russia stuff I'd be air-gapping my entire life from the internet and living off the grid like some end times prepper because holy shit that would be a sign of things being a million times worse.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:05 PM on February 19 [36 favorites]


[Hey, turntraitor, take a chill-pill and don't serially respond to everything. You've made your points, let them stand.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:06 PM on February 19 [21 favorites]


So you have a problem with Nixon going down?

I would've much preferred actual investigations by the other branches, rather than a guy pissed off because he didn't get the job he wanted.


It's pretty damn clear we'd all prefer 45 to go down after actual investigations and it's also clear the Republicans are not going to let that happen. So what's the alternative, in your eyes, to the intelligence leaks, under the circumstances (not the imaginary ones where there are actually investigations)?
posted by Mavri at 8:06 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


I think it's startlingly naive to assume anyone in DC pushing this angle thinks about it from any perspective except electoral politics. Politics is about getting and wielding power. Everything else is just myth and showmanship to prop those two things up.

I promise I am not trying to pile on, but please keep in mind that the biggest chunk of people working on this Russian connection stuff are not politicians at all, but civil servants and bureaucrats on one side and journalists on the other. As far as I'm aware of I don't know anyone directly working on these particular investigations but I know people who work in some of the relevant agencies and they are some of the most honest, earnest people I know and they do those jobs because they want to serve and protect their country. It has absolutely ZIP to do with electoral politics.
posted by sallybrown at 8:09 PM on February 19 [31 favorites]


If you want to win in 2020, go out with a charismatic candidate with little to no baggage and a simple message:
1) Free College for All
2) Medicare for All
3) Jobs for All

I want to add a yea vote for this. As terrible as Trump and Russia and everything else is, what's the alternative we're fighting for? Is it not this? And we get to add patriotism, national security, environmental protection, and anti-corruption to our platform The things we're for are pretty simple and pretty boring. It's complicated because Republican propaganda puts reality into a Rube Goldberg machine that spits out crap outcomes.

If you repeat something enough it becomes true, right? That works even better when you're telling the truth, right?

So let's run someone who won't mince words, and let's make the message patriotism and economic justice, but for real this time, without the clown horror show or cognitive dissonance. And in the meantime, let's get ready to take on every damn dirty trick in the book, because the Republicans aren't gonna hold back at all next time.

The rest is details, which means we all have different/multiple jobs to do.
posted by saysthis at 8:10 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


We also don't necessarily know that the US intelligence community is where the whistleblowing is coming from, entirely. Remember, that Newsweek Europe article posted (by JoeinAustralia, I think) last week indicated that "certain European nations that shall go nameless" have also been intercepting communications and gathering intelligence on Trump people and Russia since last August. They could be the source of a goodly amount of the info.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:10 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


Agree with Frowner: I think 'RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA,' if nothing else, has the same stalling power as 'CABINET CABINET CABINET' - the only member of the cabinet we brought down with all our efforts was Puzder, but that ain't nothing, and it's way more important that we stalled the overall agenda and the rest of them are back on their heels. It's aggressive defense as much as anything else.

So far, the RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA thing has brought down Flynn, and how many more might topple before it runs out of steam? It's not like by yelling about Russia I think I'm going to get a re-do and end up with President Clinton and any other outcome will leave me with crushed hopes; it's that I know that this is how you hobble Presidents, and every once in a while, impeach them. And plus, yeah, the patriotic bones buried deep in my body are actually furious about the likelihood of Russian interference - it matters if this happened! I wouldn't stay quiet about it even if I knew it would never have an effect, because it's wrong.

Which, in a way, sort of proves the larger point: I am a voter. What matters to me matters to the country. I don't have to sacrifice what I'm passionate about in the hopes of appealing to some imaginary Rust Belt voter - I advocate for the things that matter to me, and as a voter, electoral integrity matters just as much to me as free college, ACA, and Medicare.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:10 PM on February 19 [72 favorites]


Are we, dare I say the word, influencers?

No, we just have a few people here like zachlipton and sallybrown, who pay really close attention and post anything which looks like it has legs here.


I was so excited during the election when I thought we coined the Egg McMuffin joke and then I realized…no, it's just an extremely obvious joke. Heh.
posted by sallybrown at 8:12 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


In an Open Letter, 2,943 Fellow Duke Alumni Ask Trump Senior Adviser Stephen Miller How He Became Such a Horrible Person

I share my alma mater and class year with Sean Spicer. We also had 1000 alumni sign an "open letter" to him. I made a few efforts which I hoped were valiant to shift them off the ever-so-Milennial and trendy "Open Letter" format to more of an objective statement about the disparity between his conduct and the school's rather demanding Honor Code, but nobody cared. I'm a little bummed, because the "open letter" turned it into a personal, intra-campus discussion instead of something a real media outlet might have picked up. As it is, the only reason it saw print is that the college paper printed it. it had to.

Are we, dare I say the word, influencers? I get the sneaking suspicion we might be.

It's not so much that MeFi is an influencer of the zeitgeist directly, as that a number of MeFites are also engaged in their personal and professional lives in other organizations into which the discussion here carries over. Here at MeFi, you get some ideas surfaced that end up working as leads or proofs-of-concept for reporters, analysts, editors, writers, media-makers, etc. it's not their only source but it's one really good place to take the temperature and find angles that are not emerging elsewhere, which then can be investigated and/or amplified elsewhere. It happens much more often than I think we suspect, and the active agents are both users whose names we recognize and lurkers and nonmembers who just read. But yeah, there is a fair bit of crossover between MeFi and the mediaverse.
posted by Miko at 8:15 PM on February 19 [23 favorites]


It's a little to early for to to start blaming Democrats for an ineffective opposition to Trump, especially since they don't have the numbers to do much other than token efforts like voting across party lines against his Swamp Cabinet, which they've mostly done. The DNC race isn't providing much in the way of good news, though, I'll admit, and this is where they have to come up with the goods. Unless Democrats can take back the State Houses and legislatures, the Red State/Blue State divide will remain as it is, and Democrats can only hope for larger but still minority shares in the House and Senate, and wheedling center-right Republican colleagues for some legislative crumbs. Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy didn't get us Obama, but it was still a better effort than having a celebrity candidate, because that cuts both ways.

Still, other than talk, John McCain's done nothing to be proud of in pretty much his entire political life, so please, if you're liberal, stop holding him up as some kind of paragon of maverick action. He isn't, never will be, he should have been voted out long ago.
posted by lipservant at 8:17 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


I can't stop thinking about the government employees working on these investigations from the beginning, during the election, having to get out of bed every morning and put in killer hours at the office uncovering a potentially horrific nightmare story while watching election-saturated media coverage and not being able to talk about it. And then watching Trump win. I'm pretty good at keeping secrets but whoa!
posted by sallybrown at 8:17 PM on February 19 [32 favorites]


Are we, dare I say the word, influencers? I get the sneaking suspicion we might be.

Sorry, but no.
posted by futz at 8:21 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Note for way up high: it is never ever time to turn off your adblocker. Sincerely, your local friendly infosec wonk.
posted by XtinaS at 8:21 PM on February 19 [38 favorites]


I'm out of a lot of patience for the whole "the Democrats should do this or do that" stuff. Here's my response: You ARE "the Democrats." If you're not involved with your town or county committee, if you're not running for a seat or working for someone who is, if you're not donating to a D candidate or the party in general, if you're not communicating with your D reps and discussing your hopes and offering your support - then it's your fault that they aren't doing what you wish they'd do. Stop acting like an outsider. The Democratic Party is who's in it. We are the ones we've been waiting for. Get active.
posted by Miko at 8:23 PM on February 19 [129 favorites]


I was so excited during the election when I thought we coined the Egg McMuffin joke and then I realized…no, it's just an extremely obvious joke. Heh.

It actually did start here, near as I could tell by Googling after it took off here (I Google my dumb jokes sometimes after SNL unintentionally swiped my username for a cut Chris Pratt sketch because finding simultaneous unintentional invention is neat!). We were joking in the thread about McMullin's candidacy about how nobody knows who this Evan McMullin guy is, lots of jokes about ridiculous things that sound like the name of this (at the time) nobody guy running for president. I think I actually made the first reference to Egg McMuffins but I didn't call him Egg McMuffin directly so I just missed it by a hair. When I googled it I didn't even see Twitter jokes predating it, so it's a MeFi original.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:24 PM on February 19 [17 favorites]


I dunno, ask me again in 15 years when we're screaming because it looks like the CIA is trying to end a Democratic presidency.

Personally, if 15 years from now a Democratic President appears to be selling out the country to geopolitical adversaries, I'll be perfectly okay with the CIA doing their job and exposing that.
posted by HighLife at 8:26 PM on February 19 [82 favorites]


adept256: I've been reading The Handmaid's Tale. I'm late to it, I know.

Me, too! I'm glad I'm not the only one.
I find it just as disturbing as I'd feared. It makes me think a lot more about Pence than I'd like, too. (Granted, my optimum Pence-thinking level is zero, so.)
posted by Superplin at 8:28 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


It's pretty damn clear we'd all prefer 45 to go down after actual investigations

Gee, if "actual investigations" were all it took, we could've put Trump in a cell next to Bernie Madoff years before he ever declared his candidacy. The failures of our investigators at all levels has been one of America's Biggest Shames that put us in the mess we are today. (The other one is the Fake Reality Culture that Trump emerged from, thanks NBC.) "Actual investigations" could have ended the Reagan Administration in its first year, but that's not how America works anymore (and it barely worked from Watergate).
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:30 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


The earliest direct reference to Egg McMuffin as a nickname for Evan McMullin and not just a "sounds similar to his name" joke that I could find online was either Cookiebastard on August 9 or stolyarova on August 10 depending on my reading of Cookiebastard's comment. I could be Googling poorly, and it's a fine line between "sounds like Egg McMuffin" and a nickname, but yeah.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:33 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Personally, if 15 years from now a Democratic President appears to be selling out the country to geopolitical adversaries, I'll be perfectly okay with the CIA doing their job and exposing that.

It would never get to that point because the GOP would have impeached that president over farting in public.

Zeynep Tufekci is right to point out that this isn't yet Deep State stuff in the Turkish sense, where state power operates on a parallel level that's impermeable to democratic processes. It clearly has the potential to become so, but right now we're still at a point where the capacity of co-equal branches to exert power exists but is being withheld for shitty reasons, and every leak is in reference to a job that Jason Chaffetz and Devin Nunes aren't doing.
posted by holgate at 8:38 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


turntraitor, I, too, am concerned that some of the opinion pieces on Russian influence in the election that have been linked on the blue or that I've seen on Facebook rely on nationalist fears of outsiders rather than making more nuanced arguments. Yet there is still an issue with who has what level of electoral power* in US elections. In the context of widespread measures (primarily by Republican-controlled state legislatures) restricting the voting rights of both citizens and permanent/long-term residents (documented or un-), not worrying about Russian government influence in the election amounts to allowing similar or greater levels of political power in the election to other non-residents or government bodies. As well, an organization like the Russian state has far greater resources and ability to influence the election than individual voters. I think that's problematic to a similar degree as the Citizens United ruling that effectively equates money with voting power and enables a very small economic elite within the US to wield similar levels of electoral influence, or the Electoral College system which gives greater voting power to some citizens over others based on historic issues around disenfranchising former slaves and their descendants. Both of those other issues are fundamental challenges to democracy; just because Russian influence in the election is not the only such challenge doesn't make it serious.

There are a two different (though related, via Trump) Russia stories, however. In addition to the story about potential hacking or illegal influence on the election, there is the story of Trump's financial ties with Russia, which is one piece of his overall financial conflicts of interest. In the case of Trump's financial ties with Russia, it looks like there is likely clear evidence of Trump and his regime profiting in exchange for making certain policy decisions. That's a very, very big problem in a democracy. And it's the job of national-level law enforcement agencies like the FBI to investigate exactly such potential or alleged crimes, so characterizing such an investigation as the Intelligence Community trying to bring the president down is not entirely accurate or honest (regardless of other political issues with the FBI and its past political behavior).

Neither of these Russia stories relate to the 2020 election, nor even to the 2018 midterm elections. They have the potential to de-legitimize or bring down the Trump regime in the short term, this year. There are some structural challenges that decrease the likelihood of that outcome (Republican control of Congress and their willingness to go along with all of the really terrible things that Trump, Bannon, et. al. do if it gets them tax cuts for the rich and decreased regulations on everything except women's bodies). Which means that we'll all have to work harder at the grassroots level. Getting Trump impeached, and ousting most of his cronies along with him, is important quite aside from Democratic electoral strategy. Real people are experiencing real harm as a result of his attacks on Muslims, ICE raids, and so on. We can't wait until 2018 or 2020 to fight back.

Furthermore, the sort of movement-building that fighting Trump in the short term requires will have a positive side effect of making organizing for an electoral victory in 2018 or 2020 significantly easier. Even from a purely electoral standpoint, we're not going to get the sort of candidate you want as an outcome of a purely electoral strategy. Truly progressive politics doesn't work like that - all truly progressive electoral reform has been wrested from the fundamentally at least small-c conservative structures of state organization by the force of widespread civil unrest.

Meanwhile, berating people for focusing on what you think is the wrong issue does as much or more to discourage and demoralize folks as you fear that a loss in this one particular battle would do. We can do more than one thing at a time. And all movements lose battles - usually most of them, initially. Strong, sustainable movements build solidarity in the process of struggle, to support each other despite loss. Not trying to do something about one problem for fear of not succeeding is the same sort of risk-averse decision-making that you claim to oppose in the Democratic establishment.


*Voting power or political power is a complicated thing to define and study, but mathematicians who study voting systems are working on it. Here's a paper I found on quick google that may be readable, or help at least give a general sense of the subject. This book is highly readable, but of course longer and not freely available online in the same sense. I'll keep looking for more links.
posted by eviemath at 8:38 PM on February 19 [43 favorites]


I dunno, ask me again in 15 years when we're screaming because it looks like the CIA is trying to end a Democratic presidency.

Totally agree with HighLife here. This position, not unique to you, has been chapping my ass for weeks now. The IC isn't trying to end his presidency by leaking his browser history or recordings of his phone calls to his mistresses. If he or members of his administration are somehow under the influence of the Russian government, that is hugely fucking important and needs to be investigated.
posted by great_radio at 8:38 PM on February 19 [46 favorites]


The earliest direct reference to Egg McMuffin as a nickname for Evan McMullin and not just a "sounds similar to his name" joke that I could find online was either Cookiebastard on August 9 or stolyarova on August 10 depending on my reading of Cookiebastard's comment.

August 8.
posted by Coventry at 8:38 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Are we, dare I say the word, influencers?

It's thinkfluencer.

Washington Post: Trump supporters see a successful president — and are frustrated with critics who don’t

posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:41 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Who wants to hear more about GOP tax plan dysfunction?? I do! More Senate Brickbats for House Tax Plan (sorry, it's WSJ so subscription needed):
Lindsey Graham: "The House is talking about a tax plan that won't get 10 votes in the Senate."

Tom Cotton: "some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them [good insult BRO] . . . This [border adjustment proposal] is a theory wrapped in speculation inside a guess."
posted by sallybrown at 8:44 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


There's a big difference between a leaks and a coup. If elements within the deep state bring information to light that causes the downfall of this regime through legitimate means, I would celebrate it. If the regime were removed by force, I would be extremely concerned, and I'd condemn it.
posted by sanedragon at 8:46 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


August 8.

Aw dang! Curse you, random Crooks and Liars commenter!

In the context of widespread measures (primarily by Republican-controlled state legislatures) restricting the voting rights of both citizens and permanent/long-term residents (documented or un-), not worrying about Russian government influence in the election amounts to allowing similar or greater levels of political power in the election to other non-residents or government bodies. As well, an organization like the Russian state has far greater resources and ability to influence the election than individual voters. I think that's problematic to a similar degree as the Citizens United ruling that effectively equates money with voting power and enables a very small economic elite within the US to wield similar levels of electoral influence, or the Electoral College system which gives greater voting power to some citizens over others based on historic issues around disenfranchising former slaves and their descendants. Both of those other issues are fundamental challenges to democracy; just because Russian influence in the election is not the only such challenge doesn't make it serious.

Yes, this! Not only is the Russian stuff leverage to use against Trump and a potential danger that must be investigated, but if there's fire under all this smoke and it's uncovered, it could bring a lot of political capital to fights against corruption and money in politics that directly impact voters. Mandating the release of tax returns for candidates would be possible. Maybe even serious independent background checks to get the backing of a political party (which could be done as an agreement between the Dem and Republican parties, and in their own best interests). Pie in the sky, maybe out-of-district contributions could be curtailed in some way to make a representative more beholden to interests in their own district, that's as much an issue as Citizens United - see all the points made lately about Chaffetz' donations from out of state while he was making up conspiracy theories about out-of-state attendees at his town hall. Not all of those things are probable but if there is significant meat on these old Russian bones they become a bit more possible, and they're a direct good to voters.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:54 PM on February 19 [33 favorites]


hoo boy, i guess i understand why harward noped the fuck out when it was revealed that k.t. mcfarland as deputy NSA was non-negotiable:

The Empty-Headedness of K.T. McFarland
Question: Advice for Trump about Syria?

Boy, that’s a really tough one. Well, first of all I think I wouldn’t want to say in a public forum what kind of advice I would give to President-elect Trump. But Syria and what it represents in a greater sense [as] a failed state is going to be one of the greatest challenges. You know, throughout history, you worry about countries that get too rich and too powerful and then come to take a piece out of you. In this case, failed states present one of the greatest challenges, and, as you said, Jake, failed states potentially—or as you said, Jake, people who get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, fissile materials—so, the advice I would give is not specifically about that, but about the understanding that failed states (or) weak states which have historically never been a threat to great nations—we are in a new era where failed states, the weakest states in the world community, or even sub-national groups, now can present the greatest threat to world peace and to their neighborhood. Thank you.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:01 PM on February 19 [28 favorites]




Slarty Bartfast: "The Sweden thing is just delicious. "Do you see what happens in a tolerant society with a social contract that accepts immigrants? Terrorism, that's right. Terrorism that isn't reported on by the fake media."

It's like he's running the oldest play in the Fascist playbook without realizing this is the Internet age and even the laziest slob among us is able to question what he's saying.

Anyway, we are all Swedes now. 🇸🇪
"

Okay, but I get dibs on ALL the Blodplättar.
posted by Samizdata at 9:09 PM on February 19


No, we just have a few people here like zachlipton and sallybrown, who pay really close attention and post anything which looks like it has legs here.

Thank you! Mad props to everyone who've been posting great links. I'd also like to single out, off the top of my head, roomthreeseventeen, chris24, and futz, who've brought me so many great things to read.
posted by zachlipton at 9:11 PM on February 19 [23 favorites]



hoo boy, i guess i understand why harward noped the fuck out when it was revealed that k.t. mcfarland as deputy NSA was non-negotiable:


That sounded like a comedy skit.

By the time I finished reading that the voice in my head was stereotype comedy valley girl mixed with Palin and chomping on gum.
Like yah know, Syria, right? Like it's so bad and failed. *chomp* F.A.I.L.E.D faaaailed.

Oh wait what was the question again?
posted by Jalliah at 9:12 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


It just occurred to me: if the legislative branch is supposed to eliminate two regulations for every one it passes, can we start with the restrictions on abortion?
posted by KathrynT at 9:13 PM on February 19 [18 favorites]


Dozens Fired After Joining “Day Without Immigrants” Protests

Yeah, totally predictable. And this is pretty much why lefties need to move on from the notion of the "general strike." That's a model that serves the interests of the privileged by leveraging the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable. It's such a startlingly regressive tactic that I have been somewhere between skeptical and repulsed that it's still being offered as a viable resistance effort.

Really, we need to evolve forms of protest that not only allow and invite the most economically precarious people to participate without jeopardizing their employment and safety, but in fact, are driven by their own perceptions of where the impact needs to be placed. Instead, I see the interests of mostly moneyed white lefties who don't have to worry about getting fired telling everyone else to strike, without any regard as to whether it is a political effort with any strategic impact at all on the parties who deserve to be targeted.
posted by Miko at 9:15 PM on February 19 [87 favorites]


Well, what it tells me is that the opposition to Trump needs to organise. Maybe moneyed lefties could contribute to a strike fund?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:17 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


Maybe moneyed lefties could contribute to a strike fund?

I do not see this as better than a job. I simply do not think that in this day and age, basing political action that has only a tangential relationship to employment should target employment, employees, and employers. A handout from a strike fund is definitely not better than a job with OSHA, labor protection, perhaps benefits, and a guaranteed income as long as you fulfill your work agreement.
posted by Miko at 9:19 PM on February 19 [18 favorites]


Also, when have "moneyed lefties" ever actually come through for anyone? How about "moneyed lefties" come up with a strategy that isn't built on the backs of the laboring class.
posted by Miko at 9:20 PM on February 19 [25 favorites]


If RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA turns out to be nothing you can capitalize by '18, then what good will the efforts yield?

If you want to win in 2020, go out with a charismatic candidate with little to no baggage and a simple message:
1) Free College for All
2) Medicare for All
3) Jobs for All


So we should ignore the fact that the President and other members of the government may have been manipulated and installed by a hostile foreign power because that's not really important except as a talking point for the next election and you don't see that many people caring about it.

But if we just ignore all that and concentrate on the Brocialist fantasy message everything will be OK, because everyone agrees with that being the most important thing in the world.

That's quite a plan. I block those people on twitter.
posted by bongo_x at 9:25 PM on February 19 [51 favorites]


And this is pretty much why lefties need to move on from the notion of the "general strike." That's a model that serves the interests of the privileged by leveraging the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable.

To deal with this, there could be an organized PTO day or a sick-out, for those who have that kind of benefit.
posted by rhizome at 9:27 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: "moneyed lefties"
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:28 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


Maybe moneyed lefties could contribute to a strike fund?

Maybe George Soros? :P
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:28 PM on February 19 [14 favorites]


Really, we need to evolve forms of protest that not only allow and invite the most economically precarious people to participate without jeopardizing their employment and safety, but in fact, are driven by their own perceptions of where the impact needs to be placed.

"Hey Boss, the dishwasher is broken, and you need to call the guy to fix it... again..."

"Hey Boss, this drain is clogged, and you need to call the plumber... again..."

Lather, Rinse, Repeat...
posted by mikelieman at 9:29 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


I'm also not sure I agree that "free college for all" is where we want to be in an era that's slowly beginning to recognize that a 4-year academic program is not the optimal career preparation path for everyone, and that we need to build a skilled workforce in the technical and information trades. And also not sure that "jobs for all" makes sense in an age in which we're starting to prepare for mass automation. I think we need to be able to totally rethink jobs, instead of promising private-market employment for everyone - especially with all the dealing and private-industry handouts that would entail.
posted by Miko at 9:29 PM on February 19 [61 favorites]


Relevant to the discussion on the strategic value of the Russia scandal, from Weiner's One Man Against The World:
Under the delusion that he had contained the political consequences of Watergate, Nixon returned to his great passion: destroying his enemies at home and abroad.
posted by Coventry at 9:29 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


If you took some of the activist energy out there on the left and used it to help build up economic opportunity for immigrants locally, it could do more good for everyone and be more politically powerful, especially on the local level, to have newly empowered immigrants with a greater degree of financial freedom than it would to have the kinds of strikes we no longer have the large union infrastructure to really organize in this country. The left should make vulnerable people stronger, not ask vulnerable people to put themselves in even more precarious situations.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:29 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


To deal with this, there could be an organized PTO day or a sick-out, for those who have that kind of benefit.

In some places, you might be able to get a state holiday onto the calendar. They're not uniform.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:31 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Lather, Rinse, Repeat...

That's known as passive resistance, but again, forms of resistance have essentially no meaning unless they are connected to their intended impact. In the context of a single employer refusing worker concessions, it makes total sense. In the context of a nationwide resistance that is nonspecific to industry, it's just an uncooperative worker- who then bears the brunt of poor performance. It's just not strategic, and it's unfair and perpetuates inequality.
posted by Miko at 9:31 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


we need to evolve forms of protest that not only allow and invite the most economically precarious people to participate without jeopardizing their employment and safety

That's not going to happen unless and until protest manifests itself as "shut down Twitter and Facebook", and even then probably not. Capitalism is organised mostly with arseholes in charge, because capitalism promotes arseholes to positions of power and capitalism protects arseholes in positions of power. If an arsehole gap exists, an arsehole will be found to fill it.

Given the inevitability of arseholes, what "the moneyed left" needs to do is whatever they personally consider their economic vulnerability, the biggest sacrifice they personally are willing to make.
posted by holgate at 9:33 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


what "the moneyed left" needs to do is whatever they personally consider their economic vulnerability, the biggest sacrifice they personally are willing to make

Exactly, meaning they should keep their effing hands and ideas off what they expect low-wage, PT, no-benefits-having, and/or undocumented people to do, and should stop expecting some idea of a "strike" that is institutionally indistinguishable from a paid PTO day, holiday or vacation day to make some kind of political point even though politicians will never be aware of it.

Yes, ask yourself what you're willing to do to halt the wheels, and where you can withdraw your own support, whether that's your time, your money, your vacation, your house, your family, your benefits, your vehicle, your organizations.
posted by Miko at 9:37 PM on February 19 [17 favorites]


I listened to the Ready to Resist teleforum hosted by MoveOn earlier this evening. They asked listeners what they wanted to ask their representative at this week's town halls, fully half want investigations on Russia, the other half were split evenly between various topics (ACA, Muslim ban, deportations, I think). This Russia thing is foremost on people's minds right now.
posted by mllm at 9:37 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


a state holiday

Which is, of course, not the same thing as a strike day -- but it is the participating states deciding they're going to have one less day to do business to enable immigrants to engage in civics, and might produce interesting results in enabling coordinated large nationwide demos like the Women's March if the states participating look like the electoral map.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:39 PM on February 19


100% that when someone is talking about a candidate with "charisma" or "no baggage" they're talking about a man.

I hope that by the time 2018 rolls around we will know better.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:50 PM on February 19 [58 favorites]


Nikki Haley: Loving The Americans! (twitter)

LOL
posted by sallybrown at 9:51 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


1) Free College for All
2) Medicare for All
3) Jobs for All

yes, the changes manifesting themselves may make 1 and 3 either impossible or irrelevant, which the 'neo-liberals' were absolutely NOT prepared for before. One of the "silver linings" to the current shitstorm may be if the currently empowered 'neo-fascists' take MOST of the blame for the inevitable economic pain in ADDITION to all of the intentional blame they are causing. The "moneyed lefties" as well as a lot of "moneyed righties" don't want an oppressive anti-immigrant policy to hurt their sources of cheap labor (of course the 'cheap labor' themselves will be the first and worst hurt). I have little optimism that we can stop the shit from storming, but some that we can end it before the flood of shit is high enough to drown us all. (What an analogy!!!)

MetaFilter: "moneyed lefties"???
If many of us are like me, it's more like "indebted lefties".
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:52 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]




I'm also not sure I agree that "free college for all" is where we want to be in an era that's slowly beginning to recognize that a 4-year academic program is not the optimal career preparation path for everyone, and that we need to build a skilled workforce in the technical and information trades. And also not sure that "jobs for all" makes sense in an age in which we're starting to prepare for mass automation. I think we need to be able to totally rethink jobs, instead of promising private-market employment for everyone - especially with all the dealing and private-industry handouts that would entail.
posted by Miko at 1:29 PM on February 20 [+] [!]


Easy. "College" expanded to mean apprenticeships, "jobs" expanded to mean "job training" and "rebuilding infrastructure" and "helping train robots" and "finding new things for robots to do" and "learning how to repair and manage and manufacture robots", oh and "alternative labor arrangements" and "technology communes" where we run nationally funded community-based lifestyle labs in which we take all that time the robots give us and figure out how else to put it to good use, how to use 3D printers.

HAHAHA you silly hippie functional humane contemporary policies are for Scandinavia BACK TO WORK SLAVE.
posted by saysthis at 10:00 PM on February 19 [18 favorites]


I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election:
1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
...
25. Now, more than anytime in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.


You know, this kinda bothered me.

25? No. I don't actually believe that anyone can be president. I think it's substantially easier for a mediocre white man to be the American president. I think it's fundamentally impossible for a mediocre non-white not-man to be the American president.

Seriously, it's not anyone, it's any mediocre white dude can be president.
posted by qcubed at 10:05 PM on February 19 [136 favorites]


Oh and while I'm taking a moistening break from licking Elon Musk's babyskin boots clean for a moment maybe some sort of international volunteer corps to spread American technology and methods to impoverished countries and God forbid the impoverished areas of our own country. Oh and when we melt down all the guns, we'll have all this metal to sculpt. And then like, y'know, we could stand to quintuple the amount of teachers and childcare workers and stuff.

We could also legalize and tax certain recreational drugs, which might cut down on some of the boredom.

Okay, tongue's wet, back to lickin'.
posted by saysthis at 10:08 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


it's not anyone, it's any mediocre white dude can be president.
That means I'm back in the running!!!
ONESWELLFOOP 2020
MAKE AMERICA SWELL (FOR ONCE)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:12 PM on February 19 [27 favorites]


*takes away Viagra and meth from oneswellfoop*
posted by futz at 10:15 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


It is Presidents Day. It would be a shame if some unpresidented protests occurred.
posted by futz at 10:21 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


It's from the end of December, and I haven't read even half of all the links yet, but this is a pretty comprehensive article: What to read to understand 2017. It has link-heavy summaries on the following topics:

America
Russia
Poland and Europe
China
Arms Race
Religious Fundamentalists
Democracy
Demographics
Cyber Warfare
Refugees and Migration
The Age of Doubt
Brexit
Climate Change
posted by triggerfinger at 10:24 PM on February 19 [30 favorites]


Seriously, it's not anyone, it's any mediocre white dude can be president.

Mediocre is a rather generous way to describe Trump's abilities., I feel.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 10:25 PM on February 19 [22 favorites]


Seriously, it's not anyone, it's any mediocre white dude can be president.

Mediocre is a rather generous way to describe Trump's abilities., I feel.


Yeah, I have yet to see any evidence that he rises to the level of mediocre. That's an insult to the idea of mediocre.

An exceptional Black man in the job was so hated just for daring to be there that it made a significant portion of the population lose their minds, and one of the most qualified people to ever run wasn't even given the chance because she was a woman.

Any old jackass as long as it's a White man.
posted by bongo_x at 10:33 PM on February 19 [59 favorites]


the point remains that #25 is a lie. then again, it was written by a well-meaning white woman who probably doesn't realize that "anyone" means anyone, not just anyone who's white.
posted by qcubed at 10:38 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Welp, just got done deep-diving into that Russia timeline that was linked upthread. It's straight-up conspiracy theory stuff but it is alarmingly convincing. My natural tendency is to be really skeptical about this kind of thing, but I can't help thinking that all the threads of this Trumpian clusterfuck lead back to Vladimir Putin.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 11:08 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


A data point in all of this. One of my roles is to be a trustee/director of our company's superannuation fund - think 401K for US folk. Once a quarter our investment advisors give us a presentation on the economic/investment outlook for our fund's various investments. (While I often think tarot card readers would be as accurate in their forecasts, these presentations nonetheless provide a useful insight into how the professional investor community views the world.) In today's quarterly briefing there were two basic points: the first was the view that there are lots of upside in the deregulation currently taking place in America. The fund manager said, paraphrasing, "Let's be honest, in the last few years of Obama we were kinda stuck with inertia. Trump provides a circuit breaker. It remains to be seen if he is however a system breaker." Basically he was suggesting we get on board the gravy train because if we are underweight in global, i.e. US, equities then our members may miss out on the potential gains.

However our investment advisors also noted that there were risks of more "extreme outlier developments" in the current environment as, to use their exact phrase, monetary “experts” cede direction to fiscal “amateurs”.

Make of that what you will.
posted by vac2003 at 11:18 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Well ain't this interesting! Sez Who is backtracking:
The Washington Post published a follow-up to the Times story about an hour ago. Most of it tracks with the Times reporting. But Cohen changed his story from what he'd told the Times. He told the Times that he received the 'peace plan' from Sater and the Ukrainian parliamentarian in a sealed envelope and delivered it to the White House. Now he claims that he received the envelope with the 'peace plan' but accepted it only as a courtesy and never did anything with it. The meeting, he now claims, lasted a mere 15 minutes. . . .

The Times confirmed to the Post that it sticks by its story. “Mr. Cohen told The Times in no uncertain terms that he delivered the Ukraine proposal to Michael Flynn’s office at the White House. Mr. Sater told the Times that Mr. Cohen had told him the same thing,” Matt Purdy of the Times told the Post.
posted by sallybrown at 11:19 PM on February 19 [36 favorites]


Cohen does nothing but backtrack, blatantly and often. He was poking holes in his own alibi for the alleged Prague trip earlier today on Twitter. Cohen and Sater are just the kind of third-string lackeys that are begging to be brought up for testimony under oath in the Senate investigation, and I can only imagine Cohen will have yet another version of the tale if that happens.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:34 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


So here's one interesting question: why do the Times and the Post know about any of this? This is detailed reporting on particular meetings and events. Where did it come from? The obvious answer is the FBI and/or an intelligence agency, but an even darker possibility is that it comes from the other side. The stories seem to scrupulously avoid any even the vaguest of sourcing claims, not even language like "officials familiar with the matter."

The Post story frankly makes Cohen sound like a sap, and while I acknowledge this is complete and total idly speculation, I wonder if this is a setup. Cohen is already implicated in the dossier and the world's stupidest fight over whether he went to Prague (if you recall, that's the time he presented a picture of the cover of his passport to somehow magically prove he's never been to Prague). He clearly has poor judgement and talks himself into circles trying to justify his actions. Could someone have seen that and decided he looked like the perfect sucker for a setup? Use Sater to get him to the hotel, give him the proposal, and leak it to the press. Even if the plan started as a serious effort to get the proposal to Flynn, it's telling that we're only hearing about this after Flynn got fired. Did someone decide to burn Cohen, and by extension, Trump, after everything with Flynn went south?

Again, total random speculation, but everything about this story, especially the fact that we're reading it, is deeply weird, and I think the sourcing here deserves more examination.
posted by zachlipton at 12:39 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Zachlipton, you seem to assume that the leaks against Cohen must have come from the US or the Russians, but according to Newsweek at least some of the leaks against Flynn came from European sources. This may explain how Flynn was caught: maybe he was out of the USA and he thought he was safe? Similar explanations could apply to Cohen on his not-trip to Prague.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:02 AM on February 20 [13 favorites]


Sez who is backtracking

Who is 'Sez who'? Or are you saying that someone is backtracking, and your link will say who?

It'd be great if people could prioritize communicating what they are talking about over, what was that, a joke?
posted by thelonius at 1:34 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


Michael Cohen (lawyer to the Trump Organization, who's the guy involved with getting this Ukraine peace plan to Flynn) is backtracking on his involvement. He's jokingly known as "sez who" because of the time he appeared on CNN and kept saying "says who?" when asked about why the Trump campaign was down in the polls.
posted by zachlipton at 1:40 AM on February 20 [13 favorites]


It turns Democrats into red-baiting assholes towards journalists like Greenwald

I lol'ed. Even calling Greenwald a "journalist" sticks in my craw.
posted by spitbull at 1:48 AM on February 20 [17 favorites]


"Let's be honest, in the last few years of Obama we were kinda stuck with inertia. Trump provides a circuit breaker. It remains to be seen if he is however a system breaker."

A kleptocracy, if you can keep it.
posted by condour75 at 2:14 AM on February 20 [18 favorites]


While I often think tarot card readers would be as accurate in their forecasts, these [investment company] presentations nonetheless provide a useful insight into how the professional investor community views the world.

Thank you for this: it is an amazingly compact summary of how the modern "Services" economy has taken hold of so much supposed economic activity and bound up all the new wealth. Which is to say, I am giving some sylvanshine presentations that provide useful insight into how the professional sylvanshine community views the world. While sylvanshine's services are as valuable as those of a tarot card reader, it is surely important that other card shufflers know how sylvanshine is shuffling cards.

And people wonder why a diseased populism is taking hold, one that rejects borderline-nonsensical edifices of subjective expertise where institutions start seeing great opportunities to invoice each other lest they be left out in the cold from the next set of acronyms by the next acronymed professional association. The lower classes are the one paying those invoices, always, at the end of the day.
posted by sylvanshine at 2:14 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


"Let's be honest, in the last few years of Obama we were kinda stuck with inertia.

Oh to be spared the horror of eight years of perpetual steady growth. If only someone could get in there and just...ya know...mix it up. Get crazy with it.
posted by ian1977 at 2:36 AM on February 20 [82 favorites]




turns Democrats into red-baiting assholes

Russia hasn't been a Communist country for a very long time now (a quarter of a century, or so). Talking about "red-baiting" in this context is weird and anachronistic. And Greenwald's argument ("the 'deep state' seeking to undermine the president is undemocratic!") is prima facie absurd, because as far as I can tell, intelligence agencies seeking to uncover evidence of collusion by said president with a foreign power to influence the outcome of an election in return for some quid pro quo like lifting sanctions (potentially also involving some degree of bribery/financial incentive) is nothing more than those agencies doing their job--which is to act in the interest of American national security; if Trump indeed colluded with a foreign power and is to some degree compromised and blackmailable over those actions? it's pretty clearly a serious threat to national security. And in terms of criminal actions by US presidents it's worse than Nixon, worse than Iran-Contra, worse than pretty much anything you can find to compare it to.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 3:02 AM on February 20 [88 favorites]


The supposed "peace plan" for Ukraine gives Ukrainian voters the classic old-style Soviet options, though: "we will withdraw Russian forces in the east and you have the excellent choice to "lease" illegally annexed Crimea back to Russia... for either 50 or 100 years, tovarish."

This whole scheme is wrongly being described as a "peace plan," when it's a plan to legitimize Russian domination. It adds a great deal of fuel to the fire.
posted by spitbull at 3:23 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Shorter me: go Deep State, go!
posted by spitbull at 3:26 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Running down my list of potential successful candidates. Anybody know The Rock's political stance? He can take direction, certainly. (I confess I just like the mental image of current pres trying his bully-boy stage intimidation theatrics and beingutterly quelled by The People's Eyebrow.) He'd have to give up his Canadian dual citizenship. Maybe Betty White as VP?
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 3:28 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


The Rock is a registered Republican.
posted by flatluigi at 4:28 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Misinforming your electorate and general population is ancient. Attempting to use random geographies to do so, in the internet world, without turning off your population's internet access, is the height of stupidity.

if there were nuclear things in teh Arctic, I think others might have noticed.
posted by infini at 4:36 AM on February 20


I was super curious about that "Trump was an FBI informant" tweet, so I googled, but the closest thing I could find was this story about how he had a working relationship with an FBI informant (who informed on his mob connections) and his FBI agent handler. (This story also features Trump being abusive to illegal immigrants he hired to work on a demolition project so he could pay less than union rates, by the way.)

That would appear to be separate from Trump's connection to the New York FBI office through Rudy Giuliani, who "spent decades of his life as a federal prosecutor and then mayor working closely with the FBI, and especially its New York office. One of Giuliani’s security firms employed a former head of the New York FBI office, and other alumni of it. [...] his former law firm, then called Bracewell Giuliani, has long been general counsel to the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), which represents 13,000 former and current agents. The group [was] born in the New York FBI office in the early ’80s..."

Something definitely fishy about the relationship between the New York FBI office, the mobsters they were investigating, and Trump/Giuliani.

Also reading in that last link about how Guiliani claimed Comey was pressured into sending The Letter by the New York FBI office (where Giuliani had friends who were telling him this) makes me want to give Comey credit for trying to do the right thing after all. It really does sound like the New York FBI (or Giuliani himself!) would have leaked directly to the media if he hadn't written his letter to Congress. It sounds like the New York office was absolutely furious with Comey for clearing Clinton in the first place. (Wonder what her interaction with them was like as Senator from New York???)

We might never see behind this part of the curtain. Leaking about any kind of corruption within the FBI is crossing a different kind of line than leaking about Trump's Russia ties.

My guess is that these cop/informant relationships can be messy, that some FBI agents had personal friendships with their informants... and that this made it easier for them to occasionally look the other way when Guiliani (who seems to have been a huge advocate for them) would make some questionable prosecutorial decisions? Which maybe protected the investments of certain people?

That Trump, doing construction in NYC in the early '80s, would be caught up in this stuff seems very realistic.

That he would start out getting mixed up with the American mob and end up getting mixed up with the Russian mob also seems very plausible. Once you have a reputation as a guy who isn't going to look too closely at what's going on with the financing on your projects, or be too scrupulous about following the rules as long as you get paid, that reputation is going to get around.

The most shocking thing to me is that it's taking us so long to figure all this out. Surely what reporters could put together for that timeline has to have been put together by the Intelligence Community a long time ago? I mean, it's not like it's subtle, once you know to look... Why didn't some of this stuff leak back in primary season? Maybe "powerful friends in the New York FBI office" has something to do with that? Or maybe the IC, like the rest of us, just assumed Hillary would win, and this mess could be cleaned uo quietly and with no embarrassment later on...
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:39 AM on February 20 [34 favorites]


Or maybe the IC, like the rest of us, just assumed Hillary would win, and this mess could be cleaned uo quietly and with no embarrassment later on...

IMO, that's probably it
posted by mumimor at 4:47 AM on February 20 [25 favorites]


When the dude is hung ho for something, like the evils of the NSA or his Save Anwar campaign, there are no two strands he won't pull together so long as it suits his narative.

The NSA is, in fact, evil, and Anwar al-Awlaki, his son Abdulrahman, and now his eight-year-old daughter Nawar are all dead at the US government's hands. There was no saving any of them. Even the father, loathsome as he was, should have had due process as an American citizen. As far as causes go, these are pretty good ones.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:49 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


the point remains that #25 is a lie. then again, it was written by a well-meaning white woman who probably doesn't realize that "anyone" means anyone, not just anyone who's white.

1. Dude. It's a fucking joke.
2. We have had a non-white president. We have not had (and, put me on record: we will not have within my lifetime) a female president.

It is *clearly* possible to have a president of color. We have proof of this. Women (see the Warren link above) get attacked by the left for seeking power.

There are times when intersectionality doesn't go the direction you expect it to. This is one of them. "Anyone" here might mean "anyone who is white and male," but it sure as FUCK doesn't mean anyone who is white.

But white women suck, right? So it's totally okay to accuse her of being blind to race when the past year has shown us women that WOMEN CANNOT BE ELECTED PRESIDENT.

**

Also, speaking of privilege, fuck Glen Greenwald. Dude was duped, and instead of admitting it, he's still screaming about the deep state. As if anyone except a white man believes the real risk to people online comes from the government.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 4:59 AM on February 20 [71 favorites]


It really does sound like the New York FBI (or Giuliani himself!) would have leaked directly to the media if he hadn't written his letter to Congress. I

Then Comey should have let them, then purged his office. Hiring qualified people is a pain, and clearance processes these days take forever, but anyone who will leak sensitive information to the press to influence an election isn't a person who should be employed by the FBI.

Nope. Dude's kids could have been held at gun point and he still should have known to say no.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:03 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


My guess is that these cop/informant relationships can be messy

Brothers from another mother. Where dishonorable thieves and dishonorable cops overlap, throughout history, is in the informant relationship. It's like a classic sociopathic love story.

I think the weirdest thing about this Russia story is how little most Americans seem to be capable of tapping a basic dislike for sellouts and traitors (in the colloquial sense of the latter) in general. Like, leave aside Russia as a historical adversary, and even then what made "red baiting" effective was a strong sense of threat and commensurate patriotic unity.

Now all the Lee Greenwood fans are shrugging their shoulders at their guy obviously being in deep with a Russian autocrat and his overt attempts to attack the US political system.

IOKIYAR doesn't begin to cover it. It has to be pure denial.
posted by spitbull at 5:08 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Then Comey should have let them, then purged his office.

This might have actually done more harm to Clinton's campaign, though. Comey's letter wouldn't have been public if Chaffez hadn't leaked it, and it was pretty carefully phrased with "it might be nothing" caveats.

Whereas a direct leak to the press might have insinuated a lot more and hinted at some kind of big cover up. She almost recovered from the Comey letter by election day. He might have thought she'd have a better chance of recovering from that than from a direct leak to the press story.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:12 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Russia hasn't been a Communist country for a very long time now (a quarter of a century, or so).

Not strictly on point, but it's worth realising that Trump is basically Boris Yeltsin, so look out for Putins waiting in the wings.
posted by ambrosen at 5:13 AM on February 20 [22 favorites]


But white women suck, right?

Yeah, at minimum can we at least all appreciate the fact that everyone rankles at a gut level at being you-people'ed? (This is the human condition across the board, not a unique fragility on any group's or individual's part.) I have a lot of other thoughts about that but not today.
posted by blue suede stockings at 5:13 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Also it's been said before but Josh Marshall and TPM deserve a heck of a shit-ton of credit for calling the Russia story early and sticking with it hard. I wish he'd get more TV pundit face time.
posted by spitbull at 5:14 AM on February 20 [41 favorites]


thread-reminder to be kind to one another!

(not insinuating anything, I am mildly lost because I disconnected successfully this weekend. I highly suggest it, if you can. Only that you come back to these threads confused, trying to figure out what happened in your absence.)
posted by INFJ at 5:24 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


So I finally got down to reading this Vox piece someone linked to: Trump says American allies should spend more on defense. Here's why he's wrong.
Go read, if you can. It is completely right. When Trump said Europe needs to pay more for defense, everyone in Europe lined in, and many countries are looking at their defense budgets — win for Trump, you might think — nopes. The next thing (as in less than one week later) was that people started thinking that if everyone in Europe pay the same for defense as the US, Europe will be a superpower. And that maybe a Trump US is not a reliable ally.
Right now, politics within the EU are really shaky and no one knows where things are heading, but there is a significant change in attitude, even from from former EU skeptics.
posted by mumimor at 5:26 AM on February 20 [20 favorites]


Notorious Twitter irritant offers to reimburse "any journalist claiming Sweden is safe" their travel costs and accommodation "to stay in crime ridden migrant suburbs of Malmo": hilarity ensues.
posted by rory at 5:26 AM on February 20 [28 favorites]


Patrick Blanchfield in The Baffler: New Praetorianism
But the New Praetorianism runs even deeper, and is baked into bipartisan dogma of American exceptionalism. It manifests in David Brooks’s arguing for America as the fulfillment of human destiny and freedom like a half-pint Hegel praising Hohenzollern Prussia as God’s gift to man. But it is also revealed in ugly statements that, formally speaking, leave ostensibly #woke liberals looking indistinguishable from unreconstructed reactionary racists. Gasbag-at-large Keith Olbermann rails that “the military apparatus of this country is about to be handed over to scum who are beholden to scum, Russian scum,” “anti-racist educator” Tim Wise pronounces that “when your contribution to the world is Faberge eggs, autocracy and pogroms, no one should much care what you think,” and MSNBC’s Joy Reid invokes the threat of “Comrade Vladimir” and marvels that “for most Americans it’s shocking to see an American presidential candidate openly touting authoritarian, communist Russia” a word-salad, history-free composite of scary ideologies as coherent as any Tea Partier’s jeremiad against “Islamo-Fascism.” If such idiocy is meant to steer us away from Trump’s supposed threat to international peace, we might as well just throw a switch and go to DEFCON 1 already. After all, CNN breathlessly reports, there is a Russian ship “lurking” off the coast of Connecticut right now.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:28 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


And here's how I view the Greenwaldian ethical conundrum as a solved problem: if the Deep State is capable of arresting a slide of the US into outright racist nationalist patriarchal nature-hating science-denying fascism in the interests of preserving the neoliberal world order for another generation or two while we work out this global warming and income inequality and racism shit, then I will rethink my hitherto knee-jerk lefty attitude toward the state apparatus. Better surveilled than Trump, in short. Because if they are that powerful, then we are just seeing that confirmed for us anyway, under that scenario. Better the devil you know.

But if there is no organized effort to weaken Trump-Putin and cut him off at the knees at every turn emerging from any sort of entity worth calling a fucking "Deep State," then we are in for it because the only other power base in the country is military and police forces. Under executive authority.

It's like the old theodicy dilemma in the atheism debates: if there's an all powerful and just god, why does S/He permit suffering? Or does S/He not being able or willing to stop human suffering mean S/He isn't really that powerful? Lather, rinse, repeat.

So if the Deep State asserts itself and doesn't throw up a Putin figure or a military coup or both but restores some semblance of the prior state of democratic governance (hard at the moment to imagine as long as Trump keeps his hardcore support above say 30%, maybe even lower than that), ok we have a confirmation of Deep State power, and some means to address it. If not, was it ever really the unified monster so feared by the left? Or is it that, but also bound to particular partisan and industrial interests?

So I'm left with Go, Deep State, Go.
posted by spitbull at 5:33 AM on February 20 [26 favorites]



Notorious Twitter irritant offers to reimburse "any journalist claiming Sweden is safe" their travel costs and accommodation "to stay in crime ridden migrant suburbs of Malmo": hilarity ensues.


This almost made me sign up for twitter - I could do it really cheap and visit my friend who moved to Malmö because rents are insane here in Copenhagen. LOL
posted by mumimor at 5:35 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Russia Compiles Psychological Dossier on Trump for Putin. This story screams "our plan is going awry!" But the tone is kind of weird, and the fact that a former Russia diplomat is openly telling NBC News this suggests to me that he had permission to share this information.
The issue of Russia "is now a kind of banana skin for Trump — that's why we should avoid any kind of step that could damage Trump," said Fedorov. "Trump cannot come to a meeting with Putin as a loser — he must sort out his domestic problems first."

Fedorov added that Trump's "constant battle with the mass media" was "worrying us."
posted by sallybrown at 5:35 AM on February 20 [16 favorites]


The next thing (as in less than one week later) was that people started thinking that if everyone in Europe pay the same for defense as the US, Europe will be a superpower. And that maybe a Trump US is not a reliable ally.
Right now, politics within the EU are really shaky and no one knows where things are heading, but there is a significant change in attitude, even from from former EU skeptics.


But there's that thing where they actually respect democracy. And USians with passports can still move there. Hell, Mercon was all, "Get over here US scientists." I'm actually kinda feeling it. And as an expat with no ties, y'know...I'm thinkin' it.

Edited to add this line - THEY HAVE HEALTHCARE.
posted by saysthis at 5:46 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


This almost made me sign up for twitter - I could do it really cheap and visit my friend who moved to Malmö because rents are insane here in Copenhagen. LOL

Even better, his current pinned tweet reads "Dear virtue signalling celebrities, it's time to put up or shut the f**k up". So when he finds he can't pay up, he's surely promising to shut up. Oh good.
posted by rory at 5:56 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


But white women suck, right? So it's totally okay to accuse her of being blind to race when the past year has shown us women that WOMEN CANNOT BE ELECTED PRESIDENT.


Wish I could favorite this twice. That was some serious bullshit.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:05 AM on February 20 [21 favorites]


[Folks, I'm not sure we need to latch on to every alt right troll and waste a ton of comments / space / free promotion on them here? Perhaps they can go with the Yiannopoulos-fest over here if they seem pretty important. Likewise let's not make this thread all about Greenwald in a general sense? Maybe there isn't that much happening this very minute with potus/administration related news, but there has to be interesting links or commentary that doesn't provide so much frustration for people coming here to get updates on the post topic. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 6:05 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Fedorov added that Trump's "constant battle with the mass media" was "worrying us."

"Why doesn't he just have them roughed up a bit?"
posted by PenDevil at 6:06 AM on February 20


A good overview from Foreign Policy: President Trump’s Terrible One-Month Report Card
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:06 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


I will rethink my hitherto knee-jerk lefty attitude toward the state apparatus. Better surveilled than Trump, in short.

Fucking sick of this god-emperor, what we should do is replace the god-emperor with a BETTER god-emperor
posted by Greg Nog at 6:10 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


By my argument, that God-Emperor was already there.
posted by spitbull at 6:18 AM on February 20


Fedorov added that Trump's "constant battle with the mass media" was "worrying us."

Mister Bijou added that Trump's primary source of intel is "Fox News" was "worrying him".
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:20 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


But white women suck, right? So it's totally okay to accuse her of being blind to race when the past year has shown us women that WOMEN CANNOT BE ELECTED PRESIDENT.

I wasted an hour trying to put together a thoughtful comment about how I have all these really messy fears about the Dems running someone like Elizabeth Warren in 2020 because Republicans have figured out that this is how they shatter our alliance: people fucking hate well-meaning white women, on both sides of the aisle. But I couldn't figure out how to write about it in a way that didn't seem like I was just reinventing the concept of intersectionality. Plus, it's such an explosive subject that it didn't seem right to toss it into the all-purpose politics thread.

That said, this is something I'd like to continue thinking about and reading about on my own time, so if you have resources about it, I'd be grateful if you Memailed me. The kind of article I'm looking for would not be about how Bernie bros/mainstream Dems/the world at large is sexist (though it is) or about how white feminism is insufficiently intersectional (though it is); it'd have to be a thoughtful exploration about the way those two threads intertwined in 2016 and might come together in 2020...ideally, it'd also have some thoughtful analysis of how leftist misogyny would mutate & respond if a woman of color ran in 2020. Thanks!
posted by pretentious illiterate at 6:23 AM on February 20 [30 favorites]


What I keep reminding myself is that we don't have a lot of really good options at the "deal with Trump as fast as possible" level. We're going to do what we can, which is keep fighting him on every level and working toward elections. And if the IC takes him down and then proves willing to take down good politicians, we'll fight them too.

What we need, both on the individual level and on the pan-progressive united front level is a vision of the society we want, maybe a sort of sliding scale from "this would be pretty good and we could all get behind it" to "this would be our utopian fully automated luxury communism but we won't let it be the enemy of the pretty-good". When we have a vision to work towards, it helps organize our thinking - we may hope that the IC will take down Trump, but we won't be fooled that this is a good democratic outcome.

In this sense, people are absolutely right about what's gone wrong with the Democratic Party - except in isolated moments, it does not articulate a vision, and I think that's down to the fact that most of the Democratic Party at the national level are wealthy people who are basically rebranded moderate Republicans. We need government not by rich people, and we need a better way to balance the need for career politicians who know how to do things with the need for not having a political class who can barely, like, buy their own groceries because they're used to having flunkies.

Something else I was thinking: there's a pretty solid history of awful tyrannical authoritarians in Central and South America, many put in place by the US at least in the first round. Most of those people ruled for a while and eventually it was possible to organize and vote them out, despite all their efforts. Mostly, they didn't install themselves as presidents for life. Pinochet came in by an extremely aggressive military takeover, he's an exception. But even Chavez, who was genuinely popular and genuinely improved life for many Venezuelans, couldn't put through a change to the constitution to do that. We can get rid of Trump.
posted by Frowner at 6:24 AM on February 20 [42 favorites]




If I was an editor at Fox, I'd be watching out for people taking short positions when they know a negative story about a company is going to run. It doesn't have to be based on anything. Just have Hannity complain about costs on a product produced by company x and be aware that Trump might mention it the day after.
posted by jaduncan at 6:27 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Because I persist in seeing everything through the l lens of domestic/racist violence these days, I assume the reason OMG WTF RUSSIA is not (yet) winning the day is because Trump is perceived as the abuser and his opponents (including but not only Democrats) are perceived as the abused. And at the beginning of every story of abuse, most people deal with their discomfort by doubting/blaming the abused and siding with the abuser. No matter what he did, he must have had a good reason! And some people can be brought around from that, some can't.

Our job is to keep the drumbeat of Russia/Treason/Danger to the U.S. going, but also locally, My Congressperson Won't Talk to Their Constituents, and Hey They're Going to Sell Off the Park We Vacation At to some Rich Foreign Asshole and Hey The Flint Water Problem Might Be Coming to Your Town Thanks to Republicans.

And also talk about GOTV and Dem strategy in general.

We can do all of these.
posted by emjaybee at 6:29 AM on February 20 [20 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump: Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!

1. Remember when NOT was funny?
2. Why does he insist on baiting Sweden? I very much look forward to them shutting him down again.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:31 AM on February 20 [16 favorites]


From the Independent:
Paul Joseph Watson might look like a Millet's in Runcorn is missing a shelf stacker,
which is very dismissive in an utterly heinous class-based way.

But then, look at the fellow's stubble! Talk about intellectual credentials. Bless.
posted by glasseyes at 6:33 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


As I said in a previous thread, I was sceptical of the claims that Cohen was doing any kind of plotting in Prague, mainly because all signs point to him being pretty fucking thick. Of course, he may be more than a bagman and an attack dog and just putting on an excellent act, but it'll take a subpoena and a deposition to test that out.

In this sense, people are absolutely right about what's gone wrong with the Democratic Party - except in isolated moments, it does not articulate a vision, and I think that's down to the fact that most of the Democratic Party at the national level are wealthy people who are basically rebranded moderate Republicans.

I think it's more that politics is currently resembles an abusive relationship. The GOP's prevailing ideology is "whatever personally pisses off as many liberals as possible", and the Dems' approach has been more along the lines of "whatever doesn't personally piss off moderates and the corporate interests required to get policies enacted."
posted by holgate at 6:35 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


I will pay fifty American dollars out of my own pocket to any member of the White House press corps who shouts "President Firefly...I mean, Trump!" at the next press conference.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:35 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump: Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!

Oh, man, if I had a nickel for every time my ex-spouse tried this rhetorical trick on me...
"You should take the trash out."
"It's your turn."
"I'm checking the news about that terror attack in Sweden last night!"
"There wasn't a terror attack in Sweden last night."
"Oh, so you're saying there's never been a terror attack in Sweden?"
"No, I'm not saying that at all."
"And I suppose you also think that Sweden is in the Southern Hemisphere!"
"I... no, I... what?"
"So you agree, Sweden isn't in the Southern Hemisphere?"
"Well, yes..."
"So you were wrong about that."
"I never--"
"So you admit you were wrong about the terror attack too."
"Wait..."
"Apology accepted. Go take out the trash."
posted by Etrigan at 6:40 AM on February 20 [29 favorites]



So I'm left with Go, Deep State, Go.

Isn't this situation, like, the ideal use case for a Deep State?

Though, as noted above, we're kind of playing fast and loose with the term "Deep State" in these discussions.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:41 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]



turns Democrats into red-baiting assholes

It would be one thing if all the collusion and double dealing had anything to do with a principled political stance. The old timey reds at least had an ethos. It is my guess that Trump is covering up for money he lost when the real estate bubble popped. He's in hock to the Russians and it isn't even money that's coming to him, just money that was keeping him still appearing to be rich so he could continue being a TV billionaire. For a company that is based on real estate holdings, usually over leveraged, he came thru the recession unscathed?
posted by readery at 6:43 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Yeah, at minimum can we at least all appreciate the fact that everyone rankles at a gut level at being you-people'ed?

I would actually really rather not, because this is an unfair distraction from and reframing of the real issue and offense. Anybody who wants to complain about white people can do that all day every day and twice on Sundays and whether I agree with every word or not, it will not "rankle" me. also, I probably will agree with every word. What is unacceptable is trotting out comfortable misogynist tropes about dim women, Nice Ladies, and getting away with it just as long as you remember to append "white" at the beginning so that we all understand it's not all women to whom traditional misogynist slurs are being rightfully applied, just the dumb bitches. This isn't intersectionality or sophisticated analysis; it's one step up from a Blonde Joke.

I would respectfully ask those who feel the urge to criticize white women for group qualities or group behaviors to consider whether or not these offensive qualities or behaviors are connected to their sex, to their race, or to both. Very, very few are genuinely contingent on both. Even intra-feminist racism is substantially motivated by the perpetrators being white, not by them being women.

and in fact, much of the shock over white women's voting patterns came from an expectation that they would vote like other women instead of like other white people. (Which they do, to a degree, just not nearly enough.) so I ask those people who could more accurately say "white people" are responsible for something, or that they have a characteristic habit of thought, why they don't instinctively say that instead of restricting it to women. also, please start doing that. Feminism being the radical notion that women are, et cetera.
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:44 AM on February 20 [66 favorites]


As I said in a previous thread, I was sceptical of the claims that Cohen was doing any kind of plotting in Prague, mainly because all signs point to him being pretty fucking thick.


In my head, I keep hearing Toby Esterhase from Le Carre's George Smiley novels:

"This guy is just terrible, George! It's embarrassing!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:44 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Useful reading (though there is no mention of DJT in the book) on Putin and his murderous machinery is Mafia State, written by the Guardian's ex Moscow correspondent, Luke Harding.

The word has been used here already, and imo it's absolutely correct: kleptocracy. Given the "business" he's in and the realities of modern capitalism, there is no way that Trump's empire would NOT have been influenced by the FSB and the billionaire coterie buzzing around the Kremlin like flies on shit.
posted by Myeral at 6:49 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


and in fact, much of the shock over white women's voting patterns came from an expectation that they would vote like other women instead of like other white people.

I was listening to a podcast and someone made a "Thanks a lot, white women!" joke about the election, and the white guy on the podcast said, very ironically, "White men are totally without blame, though!" which made me really look back and take notice of how often I'd heard sniping at white women since the election, without mention of white men. The comeback on the podcast, of course, was "No one expected anything better from you guys!" which is both true, and yet not a reason to put all the voting sanity in the US on the shoulders of women only. White people overall need to do better and singling out white women for this whole mess without checking one's internalized preconceptions about women's roles is not great.
posted by Squeak Attack at 6:54 AM on February 20 [72 favorites]


So I finally got down to reading this Vox piece someone linked to: Trump says American allies should spend more on defense. Here's why he's wrong.

Go read, if you can. It is completely right. When Trump said Europe needs to pay more for defense, everyone in Europe lined in, and many countries are looking at their defense budgets — win for Trump, you might think — nopes. The next thing (as in less than one week later) was that people started thinking that if everyone in Europe pay the same for defense as the US, Europe will be a superpower. And that maybe a Trump US is not a reliable ally.


From the article in question:
At first glance, a more muscular Europe might seem to be exactly what Trump wants. But such decoupling from the US sets in motion a new great-power politics, opening up possibility of new combinations of middle-sized powers that could eventually challenge the American preponderance of power.
I'm of two -- well, 1.5 minds on this argument. Charitable reading first: OK, I can see the point that a multi-polar world is trickier and more prone to the sort of entangling alliances that led to 1914, etc.

/charitablereading

But mostly, I'm rolling my eyes at the parochial nature of the self-regarding, oh-so-modern-minded purportedly-internationalist Vox-ists types.

Come on. Which god died and made the US the dominant superpower? This whole discourse is such a sad tale of the poor Americans, onto whose reluctant shoulders was thrust the mantle of setting up military bases across the world and maintaining a nuclear arsenal that can blow up said world multiple times over, and... you know, we need an addendum to Foxe's Book of Martyrs here.

I'm not saying Trump is smart, or wise. (Perish the thought!) If NATO needs to be rebalanced, he's doing it exactly the wrong way, for the wrong reasons, and with probably a host of shitty results. But even among American liberals, there's this weird sense of "oh, well, we're nobly protecting the freeloaders in the Rest of the West and that's why they can have nice things anyway" when -- um, no, they just aren't stupid enough to spend ridiculous sums of money on boats, planes and bombs when they could spend that money instead on things that actually do good for people.

I for one welcome our new European counterbalancing overlords (equallords?). If they can keep their union together, that is.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:55 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


He doesn't want a stronger Europe, he wants to cut and run and let Russia take over.
posted by Artw at 7:00 AM on February 20 [26 favorites]


In looking into Sater's connections to Russian figures, I came across this analysis on LinkedIn tying Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Felix Sater to Russian mob boss Semion Mogilevich. It is very long and detailed and links to underlying news sources for its factual assertions (so it's not just some dude blogging fantasy about Russia).
posted by sallybrown at 7:04 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Make America Хорошо Again!
posted by spitbull at 7:06 AM on February 20 [21 favorites]


Come on. Which god died and made the US the dominant superpower?

The USSR. (In that narrative.)

Alternative answer: Christ. (What an asshole.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:07 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Make America Хорошо Again!

I think we're already at the horror-show stage.
posted by mushhushshu at 7:08 AM on February 20 [22 favorites]


More interesting reading on Donald Trump, the FBI, and the Mob (with special guest star Felix Sater.)

About the author...
David Cay Johnston won a Pulitzer Prize for his New York Times reporting on the American tax system. Since 2009 he has taught the business, property and tax law of the ancient world at Syracuse University’s law and graduate business schools.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:13 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


538: Why Polls Differ on Trump's Popularity

What’s the real story? The differences between the polls aren’t random, or at least they don’t appear to be based on the relatively limited amount of data we have so far. Instead, Trump’s approval ratings are systematically higher in polls of voters — either registered voters or likely voters — than they are in polls of all adults.
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:14 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Trump’s approval ratings are systematically higher in polls of voters — either registered voters or likely voters

fuck you so much nonvoters
posted by prefpara at 7:15 AM on February 20 [26 favorites]


Not every nonvoter wants to be a nonvoter.
posted by Artw at 7:20 AM on February 20 [86 favorites]


Oh, man, if I had a nickel for every time my ex-spouse tried this rhetorical trick on me...

You know, I had a beautiful debate with the ex-roommate (ex by several months dude came by to get stuff) today about whether gaslighting was real. We agreed it wasn't, but only because gas doesn't emit light except when it's on fire. And if gas is on fire, it evaporates, which makes it already a gas, therefor gaslighting is fake news, and nobody likes gaslighters anyway, because lighting farts is not the American way, and the American way is also a lie, because it burns.

I wish he'd move back in.
posted by saysthis at 7:21 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Using the relative political success of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to make race v. gender arguments is not really helpful or explanatory. If a few butterflies had flapped their wings differently, Clinton would've been nominated by the Democrats in '08 and I think she would have won as well.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:22 AM on February 20 [17 favorites]


White people overall need to do better and singling out white women for this whole mess without checking one's internalized preconceptions about women's roles is not great.

Yeah, honestly, one of the things that's become clear to me since the election is how often the "well-meaning white women" are sent out in front as a kind of shield to absorb and deflect the hate and rage that white men in power have earned.

White men do large-scale wrong (fight wars, gut the social safety net) and then white women, driven by empathy, show up and try to mop up the mess and mitigate some of the harm. Ironically, not only does this directly serve the interests of the men who remain in power - we end up essentially serving as the inadvertent PR team for whiteness - it also means that because the white ladies are the ones out in front, they're the ones making all the interpersonal errors and fucking up and committing the microaggressions that are easier to talk about than often invisible systemic oppression.

So, like, with the Women's March, there were a lot of tough conversations about the failures of white feminism, and ways that women could be better allies, and that was good and important work, but it also kind of killed me to see all these white women who'd gone out and fought for Hillary, and then were showing up and trying to push back against Trump, engaging in genuinely difficult self-analysis and struggle and apologizing for all the ways they'd failed their allies, and trying to be better, while the white men who checked out in 2016 and were relitigating the primaries during the inauguration gawked from the sidelines. "Well-meaning white women" can be infuriating and wrong, absolutely, but they're at least doing some part of the work to try and fix this mess we're in. It's the white men who are quietly going about their business who will bring this country down.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 7:23 AM on February 20 [163 favorites]


I'd rather take the compassion I'm being urged to expend on Trump voters and instead use it on nonvoters. How can we help nonvoters vote? How can we remove systemic barriers, how can we make disenfranchised people feel more invested in the system, etc...? That sounds like a way better use of my time than "but how can we make these racists feel better about themselves?"
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:23 AM on February 20 [87 favorites]


Remember those halcyon days when Trump & Co were using information gleaned from Russian state media Sputnik in their campaign? Seems the bloom has come off the rose (whether actually or just an act.) And you really need to see the GIF they used to accompany the tweet.

@SputnikInt
US historian predicts #Trump presidency will be second #shortest in country's history http://sptnkne.ws/d9FW
[GIF]
posted by chris24 at 7:24 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


That use of "systematically" by 538 stuck out at me, so here's a bit more of the expository:

Trump’s approval ratings are systematically higher in polls of voters — either registered voters or likely voters — than they are in polls of all adults. And they’re systematically higher in polls conducted online or by automated script than they are in polls conducted by live-telephone interviewers.
...
[T]he more important difference, as I mentioned, is that the average varies based on the sample population and the type of survey
...
Traditionally, approval rating polls are conducted among all adults, so those are probably better for making historical comparisons. And there’s something to be said for inclusivity if your goal is to assess the extent to which Trump has a mandate with the public...[b]ut for forward-looking, predictive purposes — to assess the effect that Trump will have on the midterms, for instance — the voter-based polls are probably more useful.

While there can be good reasons for using polls of voters as opposed to those of all adults, however, I’d be wary of making too much about the difference between registered-voter and likely-voter polls. At this early stage, it’s hard to predict what the likely voter electorate will look like in 2018.

...
There’s a relationship between how a poll is conducted and who its surveying. For whatever reason, most live-caller approval ratings polls survey all adults, while most automated or online polls survey registered or likely voters. Thus, there’s some cross-contamination between the problems I’ve mentioned here, and it will take more data to sort it out completely...[B]e on alert for selective citation of polls that are used to advance a narrative. In his press conference last week, for instance, Trump cited a Rasmussen Reports poll showing him with a 55 percent approval rating — neglecting to mention that no other recent poll shows him above 49 percent approval. But I’ve seen at least as much cherry-picking from liberal and mainstream reporters. In my Twitter feed last week, for instance, a Pew poll that had Trump at 39 percent approval got a lot more attention than a Fox News survey which had him at 48 percent instead.

The article concludes by suggesting that this is similar to the overemphasis on the polls favoring Hillary before the election, that Obama's numbers were similarly low for much of his time in office, and that Trump would likely win reelection in a contest held today. However, it also notes that Trump will probably keep damaging himself, so his numbers will probably get worse yet.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:26 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole: Trump ally Roger Stone: Americans can now choose 'alternative' truths' (Guardian)

"Truth is what we say it is" is not a new concept with these people, even without invoking Goebbels.
posted by delfin at 7:26 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]




Trump is either going to push through his awful policies (get rid of ACA with no meaningful replacement, cut a lot of jobs by cutting government, cut Medicare, cut Social Security, etc) or he's going to flail and not get much done. I don't see how either of these things are going to make him more popular with voters. The economy is going to get worse, both because Republicans in general tend to make things worse and because he in particular is a walking disaster.

Honestly, I think GOTV and GOTV-related lawsuits are going to be one of the biggest deals in the midterms and 2020. Contemporary Republican policies are extremely unpopular and if actually enacted will become even more so. They mobilize the 27% of the country who'd rather be miserable themselves as long as POC and women have it worse, but that's their natural limit once they're actually enacted rather than just rallying cries.
posted by Frowner at 7:31 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Sad to see qcubed go :-(
posted by Jpfed at 7:31 AM on February 20 [18 favorites]


Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is taking questions from constituents (link is to a picture on Twitter) this morning at a health care protest on Warren Harding's porch.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:37 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Joining Vicente Fox as a former world leader I'm now a big fan of is former Sweden PM Carl Bildt. (He of "what's he been smoking" yesterday.)

@carlbildt
Last year there were app 50% more murders only in Orlando/Orange in Florida, where Trump spoke the other day, than in all of Sweden. Bad.

EDIT:

and a new tweet:

@carlbildt
Just a piece of friendly advice: when you are in a hole, stop digging.
posted by chris24 at 7:40 AM on February 20 [42 favorites]


Trump is either going to push through his awful policies (get rid of ACA with no meaningful replacement, cut a lot of jobs by cutting government, cut Medicare, cut Social Security, etc) or he's going to flail and not get much done. I don't see how either of these things are going to make him more popular with voters. The economy is going to get worse, both because Republicans in general tend to make things worse and because he in particular is a walking disaster.

You are assuming that Republican voters live in the same universe as we do. If Trump does all those things, Breitbart and Fox will claim victory and blame all the bad stuff on the Democrats for not allowing Trump to do it the way he wanted to do. Or some other crazy nonsense that I can't imagine. But the point is Trump = Good and Democrats = Evil to a solid 35-40% of the country no matter what.

The real question about Trump and polls is how this insanity changes the voter composition for 2018 and 2020. I can't imagine that 2018 turns out to be a normal midterm election like 2010 or 2014. There are going to be way way more voters. Trump is energizing his base and energizing the resistance at the same time. But we will really only know who wins this escalation on election day 2018. Who is allowed to register and vote, who stays home, and who stands in line all day will make the biggest difference.
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:46 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]




[Couple comments removed. Folks, I know it can be a bummery thing but people need to be able to choose to take a break from the site without it automatically being A Thing.]
posted by cortex at 7:48 AM on February 20 [19 favorites]


Populist correctness: the new PC culture of Trump's America and Brexit Britain

Lakoff's taxonomy needs an update: the Abusive Parent, who accuses you of everything they are actually doing.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:50 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Make America Хорошо Again!

horrorshow!
posted by thelonius at 7:51 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I completely agree that the critical issue for 2018 and 2020 is voter suppression. Support the ACLU, the LCCRUL, the NAACP LDF, and every other national and local organization that litigates voting rights and ballot access. Pressure your state reps to enact measures that make it easier to vote, such as early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, etc. Figure out what's going on in your state and who's helping and support them. We can't win if we can't vote.
posted by prefpara at 7:53 AM on February 20 [15 favorites]


Quick, off the top of your head, say the name the first comes up when you think the politician voicing the opposition to Trump. For me , that name is John McCain.

Normally I'd say, "big deal," but sadly Trump is such a terrible president that even voicing opposition is something, anyway. But didn't we stop being fooled by McCain's "maverick" act back in the administration of Bush the Lesser? If McCain is going to vote in lockstep with the worst Republican Senators -- and so far, he has been -- than his "voicing opposition" may get him on TV but it isn't really worth a bucket of warm spit. His one vote could have stopped DeVos, for example -- and he just go re-elected, so what does he have to lose? Being primaried in six years?
posted by Gelatin at 7:54 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


WaPo: How bad will Trump’s mass deportations get? Here’s a big thing to watch for.: The worry arises from a line in one of the newly leaked memos stating that “all existing” Homeland Security “memoranda or field guidance” regarding enforcement “are hereby immediately rescinded,” with a few exceptions. What this means is that the Obama DHS memos implementing his enforcement priorities — in which longtime residents and low-level offenders were deprioritized for removal, focusing enforcement resources on criminals and recent border-crossers — are getting scrapped. This is in keeping with Trump’s recently released executive order doing the same and is the basis for the belief that a much bigger pool of undocumented immigrants will now be targeted for removal, meaning mass deportations are coming.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:54 AM on February 20 [23 favorites]


dumb question - since one of the most popular ways to suppress the vote is voter ID laws, are there any groups out there helping people to get valid identification? things like helping folks without driver's licenses apply for state ID cards or passports?

or is this hopelessly naïve and voter ID laws are just fig leaves for turning POC away at the polls regardless of documentation?
posted by murphy slaw at 7:57 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


The pullquote roomthreeseventeen chose isn't even the worst part from that WaPo article:
But this line could also mean something else: If all previous Obama DHS memos are rescinded, this would theoretically include another Obama-era memo, one that protects undocumented immigrants in places such as schools and churches. That memo is known as the “sensitive locations memo,” and it establishes that enforcement actions will not take place in “sensitive locations” such as schools, hospitals and places of worship, without express consent from agency supervisors, and must be exercised with excessive care. It was most recently affirmed under Obama in a 2016 version, and advocates say this is necessary to ensure a fundamental humanitarian commitment: that undocumented immigrants can attend school or places of worship or seek needed medical care.

“The new memo raises the question of whether DHS will abandon or narrow the sensitive locations policy,” Joanne Lin, senior legislative counsel with the ACLU, tells me. “For decades, immigration enforcement has refrained from conducting actions at certain community sites, recognizing that they are sacrosanct and must be kept open to all people.”

“A rollback of this policy would make immigrants think twice about seeking medical care and make parents doubt whether they should send their kids to school,” adds Kamal Essaheb, director of policy and advocacy at the National Immigration Law Center. “It would destabilize day-to-day life for communities.”

Asked for comment, Gillian Christensen, a spokesperson for DHS, emailed: “The sensitive locations memo will remain in place.”

But advocates insist this is not yet a firm enough commitment, for several reasons. DHS will soon release the final version of its deportation guidance memos, and David Nakamura reports that the newly leaked draft memos are currently being reviewed by White House counsel for potential changes. If the final versions rescind all previous memos and do not make an exception for sensitive locations — as is the case with the current drafts — the commitment to defending sensitive locations will remain ambiguous. The final version needs to explicitly exempt the sensitive locations memo.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:58 AM on February 20 [19 favorites]


@breznican: The "Are Liberals Helping Trump" article quotes a guy who's been in the NYTimes before - boasting he LIKED Trump's antagonism. Same writer.
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


or is this hopelessly naïve and voter ID laws are just fig leaves for turning POC away at the polls regardless of documentation?

All available evidence points to this being the reason.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:58 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


The worst thing is that if we start organizations to assist and pay for the ancillaries that come with IDs they'll just start shouting that liberals are paying to get illegals registered to vote and they'll restrict those organizations.
posted by Talez at 8:00 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Populist correctness: the new PC culture of Trump's America and Brexit Britain

The tactic mentioned in this article, of "invoking a majority consensus of opinion it doesn’t actually command", is an important tool for bullies: the social hierarchy is reinforced because when people don't explicitly stand up for the victims, it is assumed that the bullies' assertion of dominance is agreed upon by most.
posted by Jpfed at 8:01 AM on February 20 [17 favorites]


The worst thing is that if we start organizations to assist and pay for the ancillaries that come with IDs they'll just start shouting that liberals are paying to get illegals registered to vote and they'll restrict those organizations.

There's a reason destroying ACORN remains a priority for conservatives seven years after it no longer exists.
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on February 20 [46 favorites]


Ok, forgive me if this has been brought up, but is there an effort underway for Egg to primary Jason Chaffetz in 2018, or Orrin Hatch if we're feeling ambitious, and if not can we start that process?
posted by moonlight on vermont at 8:05 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Any major project or organization trying to register voters will be framed by the rightwing media and by the regime itself as dangerous Soros-backed agitators. We should probably start familiarizing ourselves with the likelihood that GOTV efforts for '18 will feature violence to dwarf the Freedom Summer.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:07 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


The tactic mentioned in this article, of "invoking a majority consensus of opinion it doesn’t actually command

Simply chart the uses of "the American people" as a subject in the language of the right, and add a silent "white" before the capital "A."
posted by spitbull at 8:07 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


That being said, there's no reason not to participate in efforts to get IDs for people in states with voter ID laws.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:07 AM on February 20 [10 favorites]


On today's Democracy Now! (at around 34:20, alt link, .torrent) an interview with George Takei (of Star Trek fame) about his own experience in the internment camps, and partly promoting his Broadway musical Allegiance on the same topic which debuted on stage in 2012. (Though IIRC they didn't really talk about the musical much.)
posted by XMLicious at 8:09 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]


I believe ultimately that this is a battle we will have to fight and win in the courts and legislatures. It's just not as simple as bussing people to the DMV. Some people don't have the documents they need to get the required ID, like their birth certificate. Some people can't afford to miss work during the 3 days a week the DMV is open. There are all kinds of logistical challenges that are very daunting and, for some, prohibitive. The rules have to change.
posted by prefpara at 8:11 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


We went and saw Mavis Staples Friday night. About midway through, she introduced "Freedom's Highway"by saying, "We've got somebody now who is trying to control us... But I'm staying on freedom's highway. You can't shut me up. I've been screaming for too long." Then, after a positively blistering version of that still very relevant Freedom Riders song, she did the song's "I won't turn around! I won't turn around!" coda. And then, in a moment that was positively transcendent, she just kept shouting it.

"I won't turn around! I won't turn around! I WON'T TURN AROUND! I WON'T TURN AROUND!" Back and forth across the stage, even after the music stopped. "I WON'T TURN AROUND! I WON'T TURN AROUND!" Full-on gospel stomping her feet. "I WON'T TURN AROUND! I WON'T TURN AROUND!" Until at last, she stopped center stage, struggling to catch her breath and just stared out at us, defiant.

And I thought to myself that if this woman, who marched with Dr. King, who sat with the Freedom Riders at lunch counters waiting to be arrested, if this amazing woman at 77 years old is ready to keep daring to fight and daring to hope, what excuse could I possibly have for not doing the very same?

I won't turn around.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:12 AM on February 20 [171 favorites]


or is this hopelessly naïve and voter ID laws are just fig leaves for turning POC away at the polls regardless of documentation?

Clearly, yes. It was cited upthread that Virginia already wants to require birth certificates or passports (hb 1598) to register to vote in state or local elections. I really can't see any reason for this other than defeating efforts to help Americans secure ID and register, while allowing federal election participation as some kind of election law hair splitting (IANAL).

This obviously doesn't address fraud ("cheating in federal elections is okay, I guess, just leave us good ol boys alone"?), just creates second class voters who aren't American, Republican, or white enough for state or local politics.

As soon as one requirement is satisfied, the goalposts will move. This has always been the case.
posted by BS Artisan at 8:13 AM on February 20 [17 favorites]


You know, we've all been saying that Trump/Bannon are going to bring the violence on a massive scale against the left. I'm not sure that's true, not because they're full of virtue but because they are unpopular and incompetent. I think that initiatives to get people legal ID so they can vote will certainly be attacked by the right, but there's a much, much stronger narrative in 2017 than in 1950ish that all Americans should be able to vote.

Remember that we're not playing for the 27%, we're playing for everyone else, and everyone else is, at the very least, warmly sentimental about the mom-and-apple-pie side of American traditions. Most Americans, for example, don't support turning away refugees and have to receive only a very biased portrayal of immigration to get them to support mass deportations. "We're all immigrants and we are all voters" is a powerful narrative. It's a liberal narrative, it's not always true, there's all kinds of flaws in it and most of us are hypocrites about large aspects of our political lives. But it's still a strong narrative and we should use it, especially when the NYT and WaPo, etc, are in a mood where they'll be mostly onside.
posted by Frowner at 8:16 AM on February 20 [20 favorites]


horrorshow

Well, we can be certain Trump doesn't know Russian, and he is bloody literal-minded as long as it doesn't require him to tell the truth. So it makes sense he would have misheard Putin's expression of satisfaction as a request to deliver a "horrorshow" upon taking office.

Sort of explains, in strange reverse, how he thought he was asking for a пива and ended up seeing a couple of Russian prostitutes urinating on the hotel bed.
posted by spitbull at 8:18 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I also think that the Trump/Bannon fans, on the whole, are generally LARPers who, if things actually got real, would much rather stay home and watch NCIS instead.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:19 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


It's that "on the whole" part that needs proving.
posted by spitbull at 8:20 AM on February 20


I mean, really, what we need to do is get out there with posters and memes, etc, that say "Why don't they want us to vote?"

Most people, even some moderate Republicans, are intrinsically repelled by the thought of winning by underhandedly keeping people from voting. Activating that sentiment, making it public, strengthening it - that is what we need to do.

"Why don't you want me to vote, Mr. Trump?" Picture that with various heart-tugging photos. "Why don't you want me to vote, Mr.[Governor]?"

This could totally sell itself if it were done the right way.
posted by Frowner at 8:21 AM on February 20 [34 favorites]


"Human anagram, Reince Priebus"

I know this isn't Reddit, but...
posted by mecran01 at 8:24 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Another member of the Twitter Trump/Russia amateur researcher fringe (I don't know how else to refer to this group? Trump/Russia truthers?) along with Louise Mensch and John Schindler is Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur), whose background is even less clear than Mensch's and Schindler's. But in comparison to those two*, he's spent the past few months sharing links to actual documents and news stories (rather than making suggestive comments), albeit in a way I find incredibly difficult to follow and understand. Anyway, his feed has a ton of source documents related to Felix Sater and the events in Ukraine.

*today Mensch is up on twitter letting us all know she stands with the #gamergate gamers, FYI.
posted by sallybrown at 8:27 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Hearing the Vice President allude to the horrors of Dauchau as he does nothing to combat racism, xenophobia, and religious discrimination in his own administration made me a special kind of sick.
posted by xyzzy at 8:28 AM on February 20 [17 favorites]


*today Mensch is up on twitter letting us all know she stands with the #gamergate gamers, FYI.

Keeping 2014 game journalism ethical.
posted by Artw at 8:29 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Does anyone know of studies/articles breaking down the nonvoting-but-could-easily-vote (i.e. not explicitly or effectively disenfranchised) population by swing states vs. Dem or GOP strongholds? Is it reasonable to guess that a lot of the people who basically just slack off on voting live in states where they think their votes don't count?
posted by sallybrown at 8:31 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


ugh, my recurring problem of the last 18 months is back - using twitter is corrosive to my sanity but it feels like i can't understand what's going on if i blackhole it on my router. :(
posted by murphy slaw at 8:32 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


The worst thing is that if we start organizations to assist and pay for the ancillaries that come with IDs they'll just start shouting that liberals are paying to get illegals registered to vote and they'll restrict those organizations.

There's a reason destroying ACORN remains a priority for conservatives seven years after it no longer exists.

Voter registration can be done (in part) through churches and other religious congregations as long as it's not obviously partisan. The right likes to promote this for their own uses, so why not hoist them on their own petard?
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:33 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Hearing the Vice President allude to the horrors of Dauchau as he does nothing to combat racism, xenophobia, and religious discrimination in his own administration made me a special kind of sick.

People like Pence don't believe in the Shoah, not really, not in their hearts. They will tell you that it happened and it's horrible but their bellies don't ache and their knees don't tremble at the thought of it, at the thought of what made it possible and, most especially, at the horror of the thought that we have done nothing, absolutely nothing, to fix the conditions that made it possible once in order to prevent it from happening again. Only the superficialities have been dealt with (we crushed the Nazis, we established a Jewish state). Not the coldness deep within us that made it possible and lays there in wait, ready to make it happen again. For so many people it's just something that happened in that bad time that was also a heroic time and we see it in movies and sometimes old people say they were there (but we can't really believe that either). Auschwitz was so radical in its horror that we can't admit it was part of this world and remains so, so it is very easy to just say: that was very bad, let's not do it again, and never recognize that we're laying the ground for it at the same time as we say that.

Ugh.
posted by dis_integration at 8:35 AM on February 20 [70 favorites]


Make America Хорошо Again!

trying to imagine how cool it would feel to be a Russian emigrant to the US and see your language and culture equated with treason
posted by beerperson at 8:37 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]




So it makes sense he would have misheard Putin's expression of satisfaction as a request to deliver a "horrorshow" upon taking office.

Maybe he was just hitting the moloko too hard.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:40 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Trump spent all day yesterday playing golf again.

Nero may not have fiddled while Rome burned but he sure as hell wasn't in Rome while it burned.
posted by Talez at 8:41 AM on February 20


beerperson, I grew up in a Russian Orthodox church, speak some Russian, and am ethnically part Russian. (Also, I sadly must report, as a result I know quite a few Russian emigres, and they are remarkably strong Trump supporters, sample biased by the fact that it is a religious community.)
posted by spitbull at 8:45 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Also, not a single Russian I've known (all of whom have been multilingual) would be offended by a clever interlinguistic paronomasia. Russians are nothing if not inveterate punsters.
posted by spitbull at 8:49 AM on February 20 [22 favorites]


The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday not only that Manafort started advising Trump again "within days" after he was let go in August (duh), but also that he explicitly discussed the Russia dossier with Trump "and in recent months he expressed interest in a potential business arrangement with a major Trump donor and fundraiser" (Thomas Barrack*) "including possibly investing in infrastructure." It also says "After Mr. Manafort's resignation, his former deputy in Ukraine, Rick Gates, continued to work with Mr. Barrack on political activities supporting Mr. Trump and on the inauguration."

(Rick Gates was responsible for Melania Trump's RNC speech, strangely enough.)

The WSJ article ends on a strange note, and I'm not quite sure what the writer is trying to imply:
Mr. Manafort declined to discuss any other plans he might have. He has an apartment in Trump Tower, and homes in Florida and the Hamptons, associates say. In recent months he has traveled overseas, including in Asia. On the night before Mr. Trump's inauguration, he, Mr. Stone and another onetime business partner, Charlie Black, sat down with all their wives for dinner. It was the first time they had gotten together in years."
*I always forget Barrack is a Trump guy, because every time I see his name I think of Obama. Talk about undeserved positive connotations...
posted by sallybrown at 8:53 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]




Russians are nothing if not inveterate punsters

Having studied the language for about a year, I can see why. It's as slippery as an eel
posted by Myeral at 8:55 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


The people I know who came over here as kids from Russia are anti-Trump.

I think it's really important to distinguish between:

1. The Putinist state, which is not some kind of eternal verity about Russia;

2. The Putinist state and the USSR - there are continuities, but Russia shouldn't be attacked or defended on the grounds that it is currently "communist";

3. Russians and/or recent Russian immigrants who are pro-Trump for whatever reason, whether that's intrinsic conservatism or some kind of "I like Putin, Trump is Putinist";

4. Russians and/or recent Russian immigrants who are anti-Trump for whatever reason, similarly.

Reagan was super popular and also a liar and a puppet and hated internationally. I think that we should cast our minds back to how we might feel in 1984 if we were Americans abroad or American immigrants to another country.

Also, I sure do miss the "the Cold War is bullshit, Americans and Russians are being kept apart by the self-serving machinations of their leaders" line that was actually pretty common in the eighties in even moderately progressive circles.
posted by Frowner at 8:58 AM on February 20 [42 favorites]


Also I have to report that I am in a subway train headed up to the big NYC protest and there is a group of Russian (or Russian speaking) young women on the train, one of whom has a sign that says "Follow the Rubles." And a Huapango group is playing for the crowd of pink hatted protestors. A great NYC moment.
posted by spitbull at 9:00 AM on February 20 [72 favorites]


Well, the man enjoyed the show, the aftermath isn't that exciting and he's already waiting for the next round. Watching him rule the White House is both entertaining and horrifying. I couldn't imagine that the U.S. leader can be so inconsistent with his values, interpretations, and beliefs.
posted by HelenShepl at 9:08 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I'm not really concerned about anti-Russia/Trump sentiment spilling over into mass anti-Russian sentiment. Russians are (in modern American racial categorisation) white, they'll be fine.

I mean, I'm not thrilled about the idea of transferring a (quite reasonable) hatred for Putin's government and their interference in other countries' politics to a (unreasonable) hatred of Russians or their language and culture, and I whole-heartedly oppose any attempts to do so, even as a "joke".

But, you know, I'm not worried about it. Yet.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:16 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Just wanted to also report from the provinces that the husband played a gig last night to benefit the veterans in North Dakota helping out the Standing Rock protesters. On Saturday, he and the kiddo went downtown in Fort Worth to protest outside a fundraiser which our Rep (Kay Granger) who has not had a town hall in years, was attending. About 300 people showed up, which is not a normal thing here in Cowtown at all. Lots of them had put their zip codes on the signs to say "hey I'm your constituent!" and demanding she talk to them.

Lots and lots of these folks are new to protest, nervous seniors, excited but confused teens, anxious middle-aged types. I'm sure some of them who were eligible didn't vote, for whatever reasons, but if we keep them engaged, they will next time. Many of the ones I see are white, too, which will hopefully help in overcoming voter restrictions--their neighborhoods won't suffer as much from lack of polling stations, they are less likely to be challenged.

I wondered about the majority-whiteness of the stuff I've been seeing around here, for a while, but then I thought, well it's time for white people to step up. Black people and at least some Hispanics are already voting Dem and protesting when they can. It's encouraging if we see this as our fight too.
posted by emjaybee at 9:17 AM on February 20 [35 favorites]


In Puerto Rico there's a joke that we came within one day of independence. Our election day is the same as the United States and if we had known that Trump was going to win, the Independistas would have won.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:17 AM on February 20 [28 favorites]


Reagan was super popular and also a liar and a puppet and hated internationally. I think that we should cast our minds back to how we might feel in 1984 if we were Americans abroad or American immigrants to another country.

As it happens, I began living abroad in 1982, although at first it was a year here, a summer there, different places, until I finally settled "permanently" in Europe. I learned very quickly to hate being noticed as American, because I would then immediately become a target for insults and angry questions that I--decidedly not a Reagan fan and for most of that time still a teenager--would stumble to answer, flushing with shame even as I usually agreed with the insulters and questioners.

I credit these incidents with honing my ability to pass as a local. They definitely sharpened the desire.
posted by Superplin at 9:21 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


as of now unrelated datapoint: Russian ambassador to UN rushed to hospital was just announced dead. funny how that works.

also, of note, seth rich's research was strangely on point.
posted by xcasex at 9:25 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


USA Today: "Men outnumber women more than 2-1 among top White House aides". By USA Today's count the ratio is the worst of the last 6 presidential terms. Even if you believe the White House's own accounting, it's still worse than all but one of them (GWB's second term).

The White House also claims that it's "nearly the same" when low level White House staff are included. Good job being a perfect illustration of the glass ceiling, idiots.
posted by jedicus at 9:29 AM on February 20 [34 favorites]


Live on the front page of WaPo: British lawmakers debate whether to withdraw Trump’s invitation to state visit

The chances of us directly spitting in the face of the only country that is big enough to give us a trade deal that matters are fairly low. The May government is going to be in remarkable amounts of trouble if they can't negotiate a good deal with the EU and then don't have an US deal waiting (or acting as an implied threat to get a better EU deal).
posted by jaduncan at 9:29 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Well, the Twitter magabots seem to think the Russian UN ambassador's death is a big deal.
posted by holgate at 9:29 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The White House also claims that it's "nearly the same" when low level White House staff are included. Good job being a perfect illustration of the glass ceiling, idiots.

The most senior woman is doing PR, because of course.
posted by jaduncan at 9:30 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The White House also claims that it's "nearly the same" when low level White House staff are included. Good job being a perfect illustration of the glass ceiling, idiots.

To be fair, I wouldn't be rushing to work in a place ruled by a pussy grabber and staffed with alt-right PUA types either.
posted by sallybrown at 9:31 AM on February 20 [18 favorites]


On one hand, a 64 year old man in a high stress job having a heart attack is not all that unbelievable.

On the other hand, someone probably killed him, right?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:32 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]



I'm not really concerned about anti-Russia/Trump sentiment spilling over into mass anti-Russian sentiment


in the sense of threats of violence/actual targeted violence, me neither, but there is a whole lot of jolly Russian-hooker talk going around that the Russian people I know are not very happy about. all the Russians I know are women, though. and to be fair, that kind of thing is not new and neither is their sensitivity to it. but current events do seem to be making it worse.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:32 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


I wonder if our UN Ambassador is still loving The Americans.
posted by sallybrown at 9:34 AM on February 20


On the other hand, someone probably killed him, right?

I mean we should probably not engage in wild conspiratorial speculation. If Putin wanted him shut up, he had a lot of options before assassinating him. He probably just had a heart attack and died. Unless you think we killed him.
posted by dis_integration at 9:35 AM on February 20


To be fair, I wouldn't be rushing to work in a place ruled by a pussy grabber and staffed with alt-right PUA types either.

That's very fair. I should amend my comment: "good job illustrating the effects of the glass ceiling and a hostile workplace, idiots."
posted by jedicus at 9:36 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


On the other hand, someone probably killed him, right?

what's "strange" is that a lot of people around yakunin and ivanov are dropping like flies.
posted by xcasex at 9:36 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]



Russia Compiles Psychological Dossier on Trump for Putin. This story screams "our plan is going awry!" But the tone is kind of weird, and the fact that a former Russia diplomat is openly telling NBC News this suggests to me that he had permission to share this information.


This is quite astounding. There is no way that that the sources for this article were not given permission or told to go talk about all of this is such detail. This Putin and his admin talking to Trump and all those around him, of this I have no doubt whatsoever. When you read the article and Fedorov's statements with this in mind it is incredible. This is Putin telling Donald he's fucking up royally and what he is doing wrong. This is also Putin letting the rest of the world know what they think of Donald.

The only doubt is around the reasons why they are doing this and their current strategy. Are they pulling back to give their guy some space and trying to get the rest of the world to think they aren't as close as evidence is suggesting more and more, or are they realizing the walls are closing in and pulling back for their own interests, are they realizing that Donald is more 'wtf?' then they thought and trying coax those around him (and him) to get back on a track that they think is better or are they 'wtfing' and telling Donald why they are and letting those around him know that whatever their understanding is, is in serious jeporady.

I suggesting that they letting those around him know because one, Donald isn't likely to read it and even if he does isn't like to understand the 'read between the lines diplomatic talk' that's contained in the statements or even the meaning behind this guy talking to the press like this in the first place. I'm assuming that someone close to him will pick this up and understand the implications and be able to explain it. Not even sure about that though.
posted by Jalliah at 9:39 AM on February 20 [18 favorites]


Liberals Are Still Angry, but Merrick Garland Has Reached Acceptance
He continued to tutor children at J. O. Wilson Elementary School in Northeast Washington, where he has volunteered for nearly 20 years and where he was the featured speaker at the fifth-grade graduation ceremony in June. Tearing up a little, as he tends to do at such moments, Judge Garland exhorted the students to work hard and to not give up.

“When you watch Steph Curry glide down the basketball court, and Beyoncé dance across the stage, it sure looks easy,” he said. “But every step is a result of hours and hours of practice, discipline and determination.” . . .

One of the frustrations of writing about Judge Garland is that no one, not even a Republican, seems to be able to find a bad thing to say about him. And that is what makes what happened to him even harder, his admirers believe.

“He did everything right — he never said a cross word, he never made a joke about it, he never politicized it,” said Tali Farhadian Weinstein, a former Garland clerk.

“The character he showed through the whole process proves how qualified he was for the job,” she added, “and it adds to the tragedy that he didn’t get it.”
posted by sallybrown at 9:39 AM on February 20 [94 favorites]


Why does he insist on baiting Sweden? I very much look forward to them shutting him down again.

I guess someone told him about that great handshake GIF and that it was made by a Swedish animator.

(Swedish humour can be dangerous, e.g. I'm convinced that this EU anthem caused Brexit, but that's for another thread.)
posted by effbot at 9:40 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]



Well fuck me. Stuff is happening way to fast. In the time it took me to write that last comment about Russia, the news come out about the Russian ambassador. I post and la di dah start reading the new comments and *record scratch*.

*sigh*
posted by Jalliah at 9:43 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]




Liberals Are Still Angry, but Merrick Garland Has Reached Acceptance

That whole article is so wearying and sad.
posted by Jpfed at 9:46 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


I know this discussion died down a bit, but we need to do all we can to:
1. Get people registered to vote
2. Get people ID to vote
3. Get people to vote

Throwing up our hands and saying nothing can be done until the law changes disenfranchises people. I have an African American friend in a blue state determined to do what she can to remedy the three issues above (hopefully in swing states).

The civil rights movement took multiple approaches, including registering people to vote. That and the ID push are things we can start right now - especially as IDs can take a while.

This is not to negate the push to overturn these laws and make other improvements. We can do both.
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 9:53 AM on February 20 [25 favorites]


The official histories of the Achaemenid Persian empire include a king who was actually a secret wizard imposter who used his magic to impersonate a member of the royal family and usurp the throne, and that only the great and true King Darius could bring him down and retake the throne as the gods intended.

If Trump continues to displease Putin to the point of worry, I wouldn't be surprised if Infowars suddenly starts a False-Wizard-Trump narrative.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:53 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]


I think that we should cast our minds back to how we might feel in 1984 if we were Americans abroad or American immigrants to another country.

There was a time I remember firsthand when American backpackers in Europe would put Canadian flags on their bags...as would Canadians eager to distinguish themselves. I think that practice comes and goes depending on who is in the White House.
posted by circumspect at 9:53 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


I think that we should cast our minds back to how we might feel in 1984 if we were Americans abroad or American immigrants to another country.

I think we're already starting to know how we would feel in 1984.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:56 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


I know this discussion died down a bit, but we need to do all we can to

Oh, hell yes. I hope my earlier response didn't discourage people - registration, ID, and GOTV are hugely important and worth effort.
posted by BS Artisan at 9:58 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


The Social Scientific Case Against A Muslim Ban (NY Times). "... the judicial and legislative branches of the government should take a look at the social science showing why Islamophobic policies pose a genuine threat to Americans of all cultural backgrounds and faiths."
posted by gudrun at 10:11 AM on February 20 [10 favorites]


Va. Democrats to challenge GOP state lawmakers in each district Clinton won: Buoyed by a wave of progressive activism that began after the election of President Trump, Virginia Democrats plan to challenge 45 GOP incumbents in the deep-red House of Delegates this November, including 17 lawmakers whose districts voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:13 AM on February 20 [82 favorites]


The Social Scientific Case Against A Muslim Ban (NY Times). "... the judicial and legislative branches of the government should take a look at the social science showing why Islamophobic policies pose a genuine threat to Americans of all cultural backgrounds and faiths."

I clicked, and read, and... yes, but: I'm so tired. It's either preaching to the converted, or screaming into the void.

Social science arguments aren't working. Nothing is working.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:22 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


I'm really starting to think it is full-scale bee time.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:22 AM on February 20 [13 favorites]


yes, the bees
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:23 AM on February 20 [13 favorites]


I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Rust Moranis.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:25 AM on February 20 [30 favorites]


When are we suppposed to harvest the willow branches for the wickerman? We don't have to wait for fall do we?
posted by humanfont at 10:27 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


I'll ask Oprah what she can do; she's already pulled through for us once recently.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 10:27 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


A flat-out 4CHAN/CPAC war to the death would be fine, TBH.
posted by Artw at 10:27 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


I'll ask Oprah what she can do; she's already pulled through for us once recently.

If we had to have a celebrity president, why couldn't it have been Oprah??? *screams at the heavens* Instead of MAGA hats we would have gotten cashmere slippers and we could be all be reading Toni Morrison together.
posted by sallybrown at 10:30 AM on February 20 [73 favorites]


I'll ask Oprah what she can do; she's already pulled through for us once recently.

You get a bee, you get a bee, bees for all the senators, bees for all the legislators except national treasure John Lewis and maybe a few others, bees for the orange people, bees for everyone, all day every day the bees
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:31 AM on February 20 [17 favorites]


BEEEEES!!!!
posted by MrFTBN at 10:33 AM on February 20 [55 favorites]


BEEEEES!!!!

*kneels*

oh thank you God for the internet
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:36 AM on February 20 [21 favorites]


Not bees. Bees are good buddies.

Wasps. Wasp time.
posted by INFJ at 10:36 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Beads?!?
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:38 AM on February 20 [20 favorites]


BEEEEES!!!!

Happy images of dogs have brought some pleasant relief of late, so... how about the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark, they shoot bees at you?
posted by wenestvedt at 10:38 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


When are we suppposed to harvest the willow branches for the wickerman? We don't have to wait for fall do we?

I'm guessing you want to harvest sooner versus later, in order to give the wood time to dry.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:42 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]




Happy images of dogs have brought some pleasant relief of late, so... how about the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark, they shoot bees at you?

Smithers, release the Robotic Richard Simmons.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:44 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


In which the NYTimes owns a White House Press Secretary staff member on Twitter who claims that the "staff doesn't know how to turn on the lights" was fake news.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:44 AM on February 20 [10 favorites]


He's gonna issue a new EO rebranding today as his day. All those other dopes who gave lip service to the constitution are fake. Sad!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:46 AM on February 20


Re all the "deep state" stuff, it's worth noting, I think, that the role of the CIA is not to monitor domestic politics for evidence of compromise by foreign powers. That is categorically, full stop, not their job.

It is supposed to be the FBI's job, and if in the course of some surveillance activity on a foreign person or while acting outside the US, the CIA believes that there's a domestic espionage angle, they are supposed to—and in the past have—involved the FBI, because they're the law enforcement agency with actual jurisdiction, and the power to do all that fun stuff like arrest people.

If—and this is a very big "if"—someone from the foreign intelligence community actually did leak the information on Flynn, then it may indicate a worrying breakdown in confidence in the FBI, which would be significant because in the past few years, whether you liked it or not, the FBI was pretty cozy with the overseas intelligence agencies. That might, if you wanted to be a little conspiratorial, be because there's a perception (or reality, but the perception is really key) of the Trump administration or Trump personally having a history with the FBI. That's worrying, because in the past the FBI has allowed itself to be used more or less as a secret police service for political ends (e.g. under Hoover, where it pursued as much a social agenda against homosexuals and civil rights campaigners as a legitimately anti-communist one). Worth keeping an eye on, at any rate.

Alternately, though, it could simply indicate that the information was known to not be enough to actually trigger a formal investigation, but someone thought it was a bad enough situation that it needed to be handled extrajudicially.

Personally my bet is on the second theory, and further on the leak having come from someone on a Congressional staff or from within Justice, and not from within an IC agency directly. The culture against press leaks runs pretty deep in that community, while in comparison I could totally see someone in Justice realizing that they had damning information that was never going to go anywhere through official channels, and after pondering the old right-ends-questionable-means dilemma, decided going outside the system was needed to prevent greater harm.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:00 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Someone's tiny handprints are all over the Vice President's most recent tweets.
posted by sallybrown at 11:03 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


The virus has spread.
posted by Artw at 11:10 AM on February 20


I don't understand the bees thing, but this seems applicable.
posted by diogenes at 11:10 AM on February 20


I don't understand the bees thing

There's not much to get beyond "fascists deserve all the bees".
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:12 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I don't understand the bees either but they understand me.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:12 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


If we had to have a celebrity president, why couldn't it have been Oprah???

I'd settle for Charle Sheen
posted by thelonius at 11:12 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Bees, Explained
posted by dhens at 11:14 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


I know he's a Republican but the Rock is so handsome and charming. Is this how Reagan happened?
posted by R.F.Simpson at 11:14 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]



Personally my bet is on the second theory, and further on the leak having come from someone on a Congressional staff or from within Justice, and not from within an IC agency directly. The culture against press leaks runs pretty deep in that community, while in comparison I could totally see someone in Justice realizing that they had damning information that was never going to go anywhere through official channels, and after pondering the old right-ends-questionable-means dilemma, decided going outside the system was needed to prevent greater harm.

What is happening now is interesting because it's not just one leaker and it doesn't appear to be just from one place. Multiple sources are being cited (WaPo article said they had 9) and some articles have indicated that other countries IC is involved.
How coordinated is it? No idea. It's hard to tell how much is the story forming organically as leakers and news media chime in with another bit or how much might be coordinated as part of a strategy.
posted by Jalliah at 11:15 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


So, per @SarahKendzior, the suddenly dead Churkin was one of two Russian officials who recruited Trump to the USSR in 1986.

She wrote a long twitter thread
(can you call a twitter thread long?) on the relationship in early January.
posted by localhuman at 11:15 AM on February 20 [60 favorites]


Major League Baseball player Dexter Fowler made some thoughtful, essentially apolitical comments about how the travel ban would affect his family. "It's huge. Especially any time you're not able to see your family, it's unfortunate." Fowler's wife Aliya is Iranian-American and Fowler noted, without mentioning the president by name or offering any political opinions of any kind, how this could make it complicated for family to visit in either direction. The bile his own team's fans directed at Fowler on Twitter and Facebook in short order was stunning. Jeff Passan writes about How 10 Facebook comments tell the story of Dexter Fowler, the Cardinals and America in 2017. Fascinating reading about the current state of America and highly recommended.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:22 AM on February 20 [59 favorites]


One thing which gives me a sinking sensation is the prospect that at some point, for some purposes, Donald Trump might have been an informant for the American intelligence services --- i.e., his rapport with Russia as a private citizen was at the explicit behest of the FBI or CIA. This seems not entirely impossible, seeing as how a handful of the Russia-connected folks around him are or have been FBI informants. And when he was just a private citizen that was no big deal, but how do you deal with that when collusion with Russia ceases to be petty real-estate bullshit which can be easily overlooked in light of useful intelligence and starts to be compromising to state security? And if he was in fact serving as an informant for our own intelligence services, does that end up protecting him from the consequences of being so compromised?
posted by jackbishop at 11:26 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]




So, per @SarahKendzior, the suddenly dead Churkin was one of two Russian officials who recruited Trump to the USSR in 1986.

She wrote a long twitter thread (can you call a twitter thread long?) on the relationship in early January.


Kinda swinging between knowing whether to laugh or cry. This whole thing is just so flippin absurd. It's crazy making. People die of heart attacks all the time. It's so normal. But then it's also a goto way that Russia gets rid of people and I'm all...fuck me, really? Now? Come the hell on.

I don't like this movie at all
posted by Jalliah at 11:28 AM on February 20 [23 favorites]


the role of the CIA is not to monitor domestic politics for evidence of compromise by foreign powers

I'm not sure that's quite true - EO 12333 2.3 specifically allows (emphasis mine):
Collection within the United States of foreign intelligence not otherwise obtainable shall be undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or, when significant foreign intelligence is sought, by other authorized elements of the Intelligence Community, provided that no foreign intelligence collection by such elements may be undertaken for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons
By my reading (and seemingly that of the CIA, whose FAQ says this - "the CIA is restricted in the collection of intelligence information directed against US citizens. Collection is allowed only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities.").

Once someone starts potentially colluding with Russia, pretty much everything they do, even inside the US, regarding Russia probably becomes in-scope for the CIA and NSA. The FBI also doesn't really have the access to properly do such investigations on its own; it requires international access and agents that the FBI just doesn't have.

If there was/is to be arrests done, it certainly should fall to the FBI at that point, but when it's just surveillance, the CIA seems to be within its limits.
posted by Candleman at 11:29 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


There's not much to get beyond "fascists deserve all the bees".

I took at as a Black Mirror reference regarding the robo-attack-bee episode. [spoilers]
posted by jaduncan at 11:33 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


> Major League Baseball player Dexter Fowler made some thoughtful, essentially apolitical comments about how the travel ban would affect his family. "It's huge."

You know, we were having a totally apolitical scientific discussion at work, talking about a paper by a smart postdoc at Cambridge, and one of the professors piped up with "Oh, so-and-so upstairs hired him as a postdoc, and he was going to start here in the fall, but his spouse is half-Iranian... " Then he kind of just trailed off. Everyone in the room looked at their shoes for a bit.

For every celebrity thing, there must be thousands of these small, non-celebrity things. And they hurt.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:35 AM on February 20 [83 favorites]


The Alt-Right poster boy MY has been disinvited from CPAC. Not because of his hideous political views, but because of something he said that can be construed as supporting pedophiia.
posted by dhens at 11:37 AM on February 20 [38 favorites]


The Milo comments on pederasty and the resulting controversy are frustrating to me because, like the Trumpgrets people, the people disillusioned are right there at the point where they should learn something important, and still not getting it. "How did someone I agree with on nearly everything end up being such an amoral, disgusting shitbag on this one thing?"

Man, I bet if you think it over real hard, you can get there. I'll help you get started: is it really just the one thing he's awful on?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:42 AM on February 20 [87 favorites]


I took at as a Black Mirror reference regarding the robo-attack-bee episode.

I had not previously considered this angle but, yes, that too.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:44 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


ALL THE BEES
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:44 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Has the White House press office’s silence become a weapon in its war on the media?: AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton provided emails from the AP’s White House reporter, Julie Pace, to Spicer seeking comment. The emails are time-stamped at 10:27 a.m. and 3:29 p.m. on Thursday, roughly 24 hours and 19 hours before AP posted its story. Pace received no reply. Easton also said the news organization also had no luck with the Department of Homeland Security. “AP had the draft, tried hard to get comment and went with its story when it seemed reasonable to assume we were being stonewalled,” she said.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:45 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


There's not much to get beyond "fascists deserve all the bees".

I guess I'm OK with this, so long as we bears of little brain get all the honey.</pooh>
posted by Coventry at 11:50 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Nope, we get bees too, and probably no honey. 2017.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:52 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


The Alt-Right poster boy MY has been disinvited from CPAC. Not because of his hideous political views, but because of something he said that can be construed as supporting pedophiia.

Can be construed? He said that people of under legal age can consent to adults in a conversation that started with a discussion of if some 13 year olds were ready for sex with adults. [Redstate via archive.is]

Lowlights (trigger warning):
Q: The whole consent thing, for me, is, it’s not this black and white thing that people try and paint it. Are there some 13-year-olds out there capable of giving informed consent to have sex with an adult? Probably. But I was also a 13-year-old. I hung around with 13-year-old guys, you know, when I was 13, and there were some of them that still thought girls were f*cking icky at 13. Like not many, but like, they were just coming out of that phase. I don’t know that I was ready at 13 to get f*cked in the *ss by a 28-year-old black drag queen is what I’m saying. So, you can’t, the reason these age of consent laws exist is because we have to set some kind of a barometer here.

[snip]

MY: Of course, of course, and I think the law is probably about right, that’s probably roughly the right age, I think it’s probably about okay, but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age, I certainly consider myself to be one of them. People who are sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way. And in many cases, actually, those relationships with older men — this is one of the reasons I hate the left, this sort of stupid, one-size-fits-all policing of culture, this sort of, this arbitrary —

[snip]

MY: This arbitrary — I’m just gonna — I’ll be quick. This arbitary and oppressive idea of consent which totally destroys, you know, the understanding that many of us have of the complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex, and actually, in the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, those kind of coming-of-age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable — a sort of a rock for when they can’t talk to their parents.

I'm not sure I'd call that 'could be construed as' so much as 'openly in favour of not having a bar on sleeping with children/young teenagers and not strictly limiting the ability to consent'.
posted by jaduncan at 11:52 AM on February 20 [33 favorites]


Remember the other day when I said reporters need to start showing their work on attempts to contact the White House and documenting the non-replies? Well: itshappening.gif
posted by zachlipton at 11:53 AM on February 20 [23 favorites]


People die of heart attacks all the time. It's so normal. But then it's also a goto way that Russia gets rid of people

Well, I didn't think this timeline could get any more terrifying, but apparently Putin has a Death Note now
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:55 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Jeff Passan writes about How 10 Facebook comments tell the story of Dexter Fowler, the Cardinals and America in 2017. Fascinating reading about the current state of America and highly recommended.

This is a fabulous article. Could be its own FPP.
posted by sallybrown at 11:56 AM on February 20 [10 favorites]


I’ll be quick. This arbitary and oppressive idea of consent which totally destroys, you know, the understanding that many of us have of the complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex, and actually, in the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men

oh FUCK THAT GUY.

I know, we already knew he was loathsome but.

Gay men are not predators. Psychologically healthy gay adult men do not fuck kids. We don't.

He's at best a pedophile-enabler if not actually a pedophile himself.

All the bees.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:57 AM on February 20 [50 favorites]


Oh, and lest it not be utterly clear:
MY: You’re misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to someone 13 years old who is sexually mature.
I'm merely going to note in passing that I'm not entirely surprised that CPAC thought better of it.
posted by jaduncan at 11:58 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


To be as self-loathing as Milo and to argue that the way to help a young gay boy discover who he is by letting an older man take advantage of them in exchange for the love their parents aren't giving him — is this because he knows, that as a conservative, the dead fucking simple solution of encouraging parents to love their gay children and working towards an accepting and loving society is going too far?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 11:58 AM on February 20 [33 favorites]


Ah yes, the "Well, 13 is a tricky age" defense. It's like the internet of 2007 has become real and is walking around in the physical world.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:59 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


MY: You’re misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to someone 13 years old who is sexually mature.

Were they born on February 29th?
posted by dinty_moore at 12:00 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


The new NSA is Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster. (Source)
posted by sallybrown at 12:02 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


[There's a thread specifically about Milo, here; and while I understand there's some natural desire to nail down context, we don't really need another in depth parsing of his gross comments here in any case.]
posted by cortex at 12:03 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]



Thanks cortex.
posted by Jalliah at 12:04 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]




Trump spent all day yesterday playing golf again.

Just to fill in a bit more here, the White House told reporters yesterday that the President played a few holes with McIlroy, but admitted today he played 18 holes. Literally just Thursday, Trump explained away his prior comments about how Presidents shouldn't waste time playing golf by saying it was ok to play golf with heads of state and Members of Congress when he's looking for their support. That policy apparently didn't survive the weekend.
posted by zachlipton at 12:05 PM on February 20 [19 favorites]


> The new NSA is Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster.

Is this just ordinary-level bad, or "We're all gonna' die screaming in a nuclear fireball"-bad?
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:05 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Well, McMaster doesn't have a "controversies" section on his Wikipedia page (yet), so that is a good start.
posted by gatorae at 12:06 PM on February 20 [18 favorites]


General McMaster is the "Army May Be Outnumbered AND Outgunned In Next War" guy from the Hamilton threads.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:06 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Well, this is at least a triple since adamvasco and jason_steakums already linked to these pre-election FT articles weeks ago, but they are newly relevant with the Cohen / Sater Ukraine thing in the news:

US election: Trump’s Russian riddle (picture of Trump with Sater in 2007 at the top)
Dirty money: Trump and the Kazakh connection

Does anyone have non-Twitter sources for the stuff Susan Simpson is screenshotting and quoting in the tweets that Kabanos linked above?
posted by mubba at 12:06 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


White men do large-scale wrong (fight wars, gut the social safety net) and then white women, driven by empathy, show up and try to mop up the mess and mitigate some of the harm. Ironically, not only does this directly serve the interests of the men who remain in power - we end up essentially serving as the inadvertent PR team for whiteness - it also means that because the white ladies are the ones out in front, they're the ones making all the interpersonal errors and fucking up and committing the microaggressions that are easier to talk about than often invisible systemic oppression.

You could substitute "Republicans" for white men in this scenario and "Democrats" for white women and the analogy still fits.
posted by Gelatin at 12:10 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Honestly McMaster looks like a good option compared to some of the other names (ahem Bolton). He is known for being a student of why Vietnam was a failure. Rumors abound that because he is actively serving, this is some sort of duty acceptance where he felt or was compelled to say yes.
posted by sallybrown at 12:10 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


Well, McMaster doesn't have a "controversies" section on his Wikipedia page (yet), so that is a good start.

So we don't yet know if they are a Russian spy or a Nazi.
posted by Artw at 12:12 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


McMaster is well respected. Dude has a Ph.D. and wrote a very good book. Knows his shit. Is a reasonable human. Interacts with the policy and academic world. This was--gasp--a good choice.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:12 PM on February 20 [41 favorites]


I'll put them down as "short timer" then.
posted by Artw at 12:14 PM on February 20 [18 favorites]


McMaster appears, from almost all angles... to be the anti-Flynn. Which should relieve a good many.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 12:15 PM on February 20


One frightening detail is that Trump says he's talking to Bolton "in a different capacity," which seems to indicate we could be seeing more of him in another job very soon.
posted by zachlipton at 12:16 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


And we just had another wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers in 10 cities.
posted by zachlipton at 12:17 PM on February 20 [21 favorites]


So, per @SarahKendzior, the suddenly dead Churkin was one of two Russian officials who recruited Trump to the USSR in 1986.

Incidentally, Churkin supposedly presented Trump with what would become his favorite spy novel, The Twentieth Day of January back in 1986 when he first visited Moscow. Its plot, which stretched credulity at the time, revolves around an American businessman who runs for President as a Republican when he's acting as a Russian agent. I'm not saying news these days feels its being cribbed from a bad thriller, only that people who enjoy them seem to be the ones in the headlines.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:18 PM on February 20 [49 favorites]


Given that Bolton was the alternative and Flynn the predecessor, the US just dodged a bullet.

-

"in a different capacity,"

On preview: apparently Trump is determined to pick up said bullet and repeatedly idiotically slam it into his temple.
posted by jaduncan at 12:18 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


And we just had another wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers in 10 cities.
Yeah but what about Sweden
posted by Namlit at 12:21 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Trump is determined to pick up said bullet and repeatedly idiotically slam it into his temple.
Seen the Terminator memes and all that, his temple will hold.
posted by Namlit at 12:22 PM on February 20


McMaster: seems sane, like Mattis, but also a general who, despite his book on Vietnam, seemed totally cool with the illegal invasion of iraq, it too based on lies. Also he accepted this job, so he must suck. All these generals in the cabinet is terrifying. I'm not at all put at ease by this.
posted by dis_integration at 12:22 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Let's cut it with the Milo stuff. He's a shit, we get it, there's a thread for that.

Re: McMasters, anyone else reminded of the Revolt of the Admirals by his remarks about over-reliance on strategic air power? It's a fair point - we haven't had to seriously think about engaging a competitive force for decades. Hell, I remember reading somewhere, years ago, that our earliest gen battlefield drones didn't bother with signals encryption.

I wonder what would happen if we lost a war? Do we know how?
posted by BS Artisan at 12:22 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


So did McMaster compromise on K. T. McFarlane?
posted by Coventry at 12:23 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I wonder what would happen if we lost a war? Do we know how?

A simple, standup war with soldiers in uniforms on both sides? It would be hard. Even the relatively underfinanced bits of the US military are, by global standards, massively well funded.
posted by jaduncan at 12:26 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


So did McMaster compromise on K. T. McFarlane?

The word on Twitter is yes, both Kellogg and McFarlane are staying.
posted by dis_integration at 12:26 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


he accepted this job, so he must suck

Three alternatives:
-- He senses post-Trumpadump career possibilities.
-- He feels that a (in his book) good person (he) in a (in his book, because how can he not) bad environment could actually help save the world.
-- He gets a whole bunch of money that he likes to have. Oh, that's what you said.
posted by Namlit at 12:28 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I don't know Lt. Gen. McMaster beyond the article he authored (linked above) and his wikipedia page. With that said, it sounds like Trump really doesn't know what he's doing. Lt. Gen. McMaster clearly knows his material, has a strong voice and opinion, and he literally wrote the book on the importance of military advisor standing up to the president and demanding clear mission objectives. I can't imagine Trump is going to enjoy that. I'm not pro-military and I don't think everything he says about growing the army should be followed blindly. But, I'm not clear that he's wrong either. We have too long assumed that should we go to war we will simply win, particularly with overwhelming air superiority. That's a frickin' dangerous assumption and it's very healthy to have someone challenging it in the conversations that matter. I've waited 30 days, but I might have just found my thing the administration did to not be freaking out about.
posted by meinvt at 12:29 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]



Does anyone know what people that are suggesting he doesn't really have choice because he's still serving mean?
posted by Jalliah at 12:29 PM on February 20


From a 2006 New Yorker article by George Packer: The Lesson of Tal Afar
The lessons that McMaster and his soldiers applied in Tal Afar were learned during the first two years of an increasingly unpopular war. “When we came to Iraq, we didn’t understand the complexity—what it meant for a society to live under a brutal dictatorship, with ethnic and sectarian divisions,” he said, in his hoarse, energetic voice. “When we first got here, we made a lot of mistakes. We were like a blind man, trying to do the right thing but breaking a lot of things.” Later, he said, “You gotta come in with your ears open. You can’t come in and start talking. You have to really listen to people.” . . .

After the [Gulf] war, McMaster earned a doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina. His dissertation, based on research in newly declassified archives, was published in 1997, with the title “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam.” The book assembled a damning case against senior military leaders for failing to speak their minds when, in the early years of the war, they disagreed with Pentagon policies. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, knowing that Johnson and McNamara wanted uncritical support rather than honest advice, and eager to protect their careers, went along with official lies and a split-the-difference strategy of gradual escalation that none of them thought could work. “Dereliction of Duty” won McMaster wide praise, and its candor inspired an ardent following among post-Vietnam officers. . . .

McMaster ordered his soldiers never to swear in front of Iraqis or call them “hajjis” in a derogatory way (this war’s version of “gook”). Some were selected to take three-week courses in Arabic language and culture; hundreds of copies of “The Modern History of Iraq,” by Phebe Marr, were shipped to Fort Carson; and McMaster drew up a counterinsurgency reading list that included classic works such as T. E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” together with “Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife,” a recent study by Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl, a veteran of the Iraq war.
As described in that article, McMaster was the thinker behind our counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, (at odds with the Rumsfeld idea not to acknowledge the insurgency in this way which would have led to failure on a grand scale and put us in a much worse place than where we are now - not to say that where we are now is good). It is way too simplistic to damn McMaster for Iraq, imo. It was not his idea to invade; instead, his leadership and strategy somewhat ameliorated a really huge failure on the part of the politicians who cooked up the war and faked intelligence. There is a ton more detail in this long article for those interested.

A number of articles from the late 2000s related to his failure to receive an expected promotion note that behind Petraeus, McMaster is the most celebrated military officer to come out of the Iraq War.
posted by sallybrown at 12:29 PM on February 20 [49 favorites]


I wonder what would happen if we lost a war? Do we know how?

Obviously, the US would nuke its opponents back to oblivion at the first glimmer of a chance of defeat.
posted by Coventry at 12:30 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Alternative four:
-- he was chosen for his name. McMaster! It's like a character from Toy Story (I). You can't trump that.
posted by Namlit at 12:30 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


MC Master in the white hizzzouse
posted by murphy slaw at 12:32 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know what people that are suggesting he doesn't really have choice because he's still serving mean?

Yeah, absolutely. He's in uniform and he was asked to do a job by the CiC. The general response to that is to do the job that was asked of you by the chain of command, and the CiC is at the top of that chain.
posted by jaduncan at 12:33 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


-- he was chosen for his name. McMaster!

Major Major Major Major?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 12:33 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


He could refuse, of course, but there's a certain sense of duty there for a lot of people.
posted by jaduncan at 12:34 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I hope McMaster has some strong intestinal fortitude and serious interpersonal ninjitsu. Trump is known far and wide to basically parrot whatever the last person he has high regard for told him. I'm really hoping this means I can wake up every morning and be slightly less concerned that the missiles will be flying by the end of the day.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:34 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


He does sound sort of sane.

When we came to Iraq, we didn’t understand the complexity—what it meant for a society to live under a brutal dictatorship, with ethnic and sectarian divisions

Experience directly relevant to Trumpmerica too!
posted by Artw at 12:35 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


McMaster is reportedly very chummy with the natsec press and the think tank gang, and he's never been quiet about speaking and writing in public. A senior NSC aide was just fired for criticizing Trump at a think tank event. This could get interesting.
posted by zachlipton at 12:35 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


I hope McMaster has some strong intestinal fortitude
Come come, meatloaf isn't that bad.
posted by Namlit at 12:35 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Just to fill in a bit more here, the White House told reporters yesterday that the President played a few holes with McIlroy, but admitted today he played 18 holes. Literally just Thursday, Trump explained away his prior comments about how Presidents shouldn't waste time playing golf by saying it was ok to play golf with heads of state and Members of Congress when he's looking for their support. That policy apparently didn't survive the weekend.

McIlroy is a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. That's like winning a reality TV show in reality so practically a king.
posted by srboisvert at 12:36 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


My #1 worry after reading the New Yorker article on Flynn over the weekend is whether we are being set up for war with Iran (which Mattis seems susceptible to). So it will be highly pertinent to know McMaster's take on that. Flynn was basically a conspiracy theorist radioactive nutjob on the subject.
posted by sallybrown at 12:36 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Alex Acosta was also an unexpectedly palatable replacement. Maybe Trump throws his hands up whenever his first choice doesn't work out and just has Reince or someone pick for him.
posted by theodolite at 12:38 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


Flynn will probably be buzzing around his ass like a fly so here's hoping he knows how to tell that guy to fuck off.

The 300lb tumor in the room is of course Bannon, who has Trumps ear more than anybody and who will effectively be McIlroy's boss.
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Alex Acosta was also an unexpectedly palatable replacement. Maybe Trump throws his hands up whenever his first choice doesn't work out and just has Reince or someone pick for him.

"listen, we tried it steve's way and it got all fucked up, i've got some golf to play, decide amongst yourselves"
posted by murphy slaw at 12:40 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has a room dedicated to the British Regency period.

My 4 year old daughter loves it, so I wound up explaining to her that a "regency" is what happens when a country has a king who's being very silly.

No reason at all why I'd be dropping this tidbit in this thread. None whatever.
posted by ocschwar at 12:40 PM on February 20 [17 favorites]


With all the talk about Trump pushing Nato-allies to spend more on defense, does anybody know why the US contributes so little to the common funded budgets and programs of the NATO? US pays less than France and Germany together. The website says that the contribution is based on gross national income, but GNI of the US is more than double the GNI of Germany and France, so it still seems strange to me that the US contribution is relatively low.
posted by blub at 12:41 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


One frightening detail is that Trump says he's talking to Bolton "in a different capacity," which seems to indicate we could be seeing more of him in another job very soon.

Let's hope it's boat anchor for a navy tugboat.
posted by Talez at 12:47 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


mustache rides for foreign diplomats
posted by murphy slaw at 12:48 PM on February 20 [23 favorites]


Hopefully McMaster explains to Trump what the hell happened in Iraq and why an unneccessary war against Iran would be a drain on this country. I'm not really holding my breath but we're due for some good karma now.
posted by azpenguin at 12:55 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


In looking into Sater's connections to Russian figures, I came across this analysis on LinkedIn tying Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Felix Sater to Russian mob boss Semion Mogilevich.

Channel 4 News' presenter Jon Snow interviewed Carter Page today and grilled him like a sausage.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:57 PM on February 20 [35 favorites]


A McMaster talk.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 12:58 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Jon Snow knows how to make Carter Page squirm.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 12:59 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Hopefully McMaster explains to Trump what the hell happened in Iraq and why an unneccessary war against Iran would be a drain on this country. I'm not really holding my breath but we're due for some good karma now.

Are we going back to pretending Trump's the decider about this stuff?
posted by phearlez at 1:00 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


McMaster on the four fallacies of war:
The first of these we might call the vampire fallacy. . . . For those familiar with the TV comedy Seinfeld, we might refer to this as the George Costanza approach to war: US forces would deliver firepower onto a transparent, hapless enemy and then ‘leave on a high note.’ . . . Today, the vampire myth once again promises victory from standoff range based on even better surveillance, information, communications, and precision strike technologies. The vampire fallacy is based in an important suite of military capabilities, but it neglects war’s political and human dimensions. It equates targeting to tactics, operations, and strategy. And this fallacy neglects war’s uncertainty based mainly on interactions with determined and elusive enemies.

We might call the second fallacy the zero-dark-thirty fallacy. The zero-dark-thirty fallacy, like the vampire fallacy, elevates an important military capability, raiding, to the level of a defense strategy. The US capability to conduct raids against networked terrorist organizations is portrayed as a substitute for rather than a compliment to conventional Joint Force capabilities. Raids, because they are operations of short duration, limited purpose and planned withdrawal, are often unable to effect the human and political drivers of armed conflict or make progress toward achieving sustainable outcomes consistent with vital interests.

Third, the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom fallacy . . . . The host for Wild Kingdom was Marlin Perkins. Marlin Perkins would introduce the topic of the show, often a dangerous animal, and provide commentary throughout. But Mr. Perkins would rarely place himself in a dangerous situation. He usually left close contact with the wildlife to his assistant, Jim Fowler. Under the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom fallacy, the US assumes the role of Marlin Perkins and relies on proxy forces in the role of Jim Fowler to do the fighting on land. While it is hard to imagine future operations that will not require US forces to operate with multiple partners, primary reliance on proxies is often problematic due to issues involving capability as well as willingness to act consistent with U.S. interests. . . .

Finally, the RSVP fallacy solves the problem of future war by opting out of armed conflict, or certain forms of armed conflict. The problem is that this fallacy does not give due consideration to enemies in wars or adversaries in between wars. As Leon Trotsky said, “you may not be interested in war but war is interested in you.” If the U.S. does not possess ready Joint Forces capable of operating in sufficient scale and ample duration to win, adversaries are likely to become emboldened and deterrence is likely to fail. As President George Washington said, “to be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”
McMasters in On War: Lessons to be Learned (PDF)
Beyond highlighting the limits of so-called transformational technologies, the principal lesson of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and southern Lebanon might be that military campaigns must be subordinate to a larger strategy that integrates political, military, diplomatic, economic and strategic communication efforts. The strategy must be grounded in social and cultural realities, focus on achieving clearly defined objectives, and call for resources adequate to achieve those objectives as well as cope with unantici- pated conditions. . . . [C]oalition plans for Iraq failed to anticipate the full extent of the collapse of the Iraqi state, the demands of post-conflict stability operations or the growth of an insurgency . . . .

The United States, the United Kingdom and their coalition partners are engaged in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq that advocates of defence transformation never considered: protracted counter-insurgency and state-building efforts that require population security, security-sector reform,
reconstruction and economic development, development of governmental capacity, and the establishment of rule of law. The disconnect between the true nature of these conflicts and pre-war visions of future war helps explain the lack of planning for the aftermath of both invasions as well as why it took so long to adapt to the shifting character of the conflicts after initial military operations quickly removed the Taliban and Ba’athist regimes from power. The disparity also helps explain why the overextension and strain on US land forces was described as a temporary ‘spike’, why senior military and defence officials resisted reinforcing forces in theatre, and why leaders repeatedly denied the need to expand the size of the army and marines despite the strain on these forces. . . .

Leaders should understand how informal relationships between and among the ‘iron triangle’ of defence contractors, military establishments and governments can undermine the ability to think clearly about future conflict. In particular, military professionals should be careful not to surrender their intellectual responsibility to think about war to contractors whose interests can easily corrupt their judgement.
posted by sallybrown at 1:01 PM on February 20 [67 favorites]


McMaster really doesn't look happy about any of this.
posted by zachlipton at 1:02 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


General H.R. Pufnstuf
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:06 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


portrayed as a substitute for rather than a compliment to conventional Joint Force capabilitie

Hopefully General McMaster knows the difference between "compliment" and "complement." I doubt his boss does.
posted by spitbull at 1:06 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


McMaster on the four fallacies of war:

Most of that was metaphors about television shows, so he's the perfect person to explain the world to the president.
posted by peeedro at 1:06 PM on February 20 [55 favorites]



McMaster really doesn't look happy about any of this.


Him not looking happy or playing like he's super into it make me feel more happy.
posted by Jalliah at 1:06 PM on February 20 [26 favorites]


Most of that was metaphors about television shows, so he's the perfect person to explain the world to the president.

Someone (I think on twitter?) suggested they tweak the format of the Presidential Daily Briefing into a fake cable tv show that Trump can watch daily.
posted by sallybrown at 1:08 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


Channel 4 News' presenter Jon Snow interviewed Carter Page today and grilled him like a sausage.

Holy crap, this is lovely. (And I pray to never, ever be one of Jon Snow's direct reports.)
posted by BS Artisan at 1:13 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Wow, Carter Page (from the link just above) is ... slipperier than slippery. At the end, though I wondered why he even bothered? He said nothing - bounced his eyebrows around a bit and smiled nervously but... that... was...

It gets to the point where you start attributing deep canniness to people who are largely just bumping around against the furniture in the dark.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:13 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Someone (I think on twitter?) suggested they tweak the format of the Presidential Daily Briefing into a fake cable tv show that Trump can watch daily.
posted by sallybrown


Reminds me of a bit about Reagan from Leon Lederman's book The God Particle; the full bit in the book is great, this newspaper article catches some of the flavor:

Leon Lederman, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who first proposed the idea in 1982, wrote in his recent book "The God Particle" that he tried three times to come up with a 10-minute video explaining the SSC to President Ronald Reagan. In the final, grossly simplified version, an actor played a judge who tours Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) outside Chicago, a forerunner to the collider. Finally the judge tells the lab's physicists: "You know, I really didn't understand most of the things you told me, but I do get a sense of your enthusiasm, of the grandeur of the quest. It somehow reminds of me of what it must have been to explore the West. . . . "

posted by the phlegmatic king at 1:13 PM on February 20 [21 favorites]


Most of that was metaphors about television shows, so he's the perfect person to explain the world to the president.

Someone (I think on twitter?) suggested they tweak the format of the Presidential Daily Briefing into a fake cable tv show that Trump can watch daily.


Hell, let's give him and his faithful 27% a fake White House. I'm sure a grateful world will go along with the gag...
posted by BS Artisan at 1:14 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


McMaster seems suspiciously smart and capable for a Trump appointee. I'd feel better if this was an example of Trump hiring a subject matter expert that knows more about his area of expertise than Trump does, but according to the president no one knows better than the president.
tl;dr: This seems more like an Obama appointment than a Trump one.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:18 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


McMaster seems suspiciously smart and capable for a Trump appointee

I mean, he was their third choice.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:21 PM on February 20 [44 favorites]


Channel 4 News' presenter Jon Snow interviewed Carter Page today and grilled him like a sausage.

The first step was mesmerizing Page with his tie.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:21 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I mean, he was their third choice.

Or he accidentally read the 'Big List of All Military Personnel in Order They Should be Considered" upside down and no one dared to point this out to him.
posted by Buntix at 1:24 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Alex Acosta was also an unexpectedly palatable replacement.

That appointment is the quid-pro-quo for getting Trump out of that "Raping kids" thing and gave Epstein a sweetheart deal, right?
posted by mikelieman at 1:30 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Another wave of bomb threats to JCCs - 10 more today. Albuquerque, Birmingham, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, St. Paul & Tampa.

FBI and DOJ are [finally] investigating possible civil rights violations in connection w/ threats

from @PeterAlexander
posted by Mchelly at 1:41 PM on February 20 [42 favorites]


Well then, Russia's ambassador to the UN passed away suddenly, at his desk today. Dang, you gotta wonder where he was in the house of cards?

Russia is psyche profiling Trump? That is like psyche profiling the interior of a balloon, if you want to keep the balloon you have to proceed with caution. It is Bannon who needs the profiling, he is the keeper of the sacred big finger.
posted by Oyéah at 1:42 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


It gets tot he point where you start attributing deep canniness to people who are largely just bumping around against the furniture in the dark.

Everything about Carter Page is weird, even by current standards of weirdness: that rambling letter to the DoJ, this interview. Why even agree to be interviewed if you're going to come across as someone who is surprised to be asked questions? Maybe (as Julia Ioffe suggested) he's just a Zelig figure, a lurker on the fringe of the grubby Russian energy sector who stumbled into rooms and didn't correct anybody who assumed he was invited. But then I think about NOCs and the sort of cover jobs they hold. But NOCs don't do interviews on news programmes, surely? Then again, how would we know?
posted by holgate at 1:46 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


FBI and DOJ are [finally] investigating possible civil rights violations in connection w/ threats

It seems weird to me that this isn't being treated as terrorism. That's what it is - a crime intended to sow terror - and it's being done across state lines; why are Federal forces only willing to deal with it on the basis that the JCC users may have had their civil rights infringed?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:47 PM on February 20 [32 favorites]


Wow, Carter Page (from the link just above) is ... slipperier than slippery. At the end, though I wondered why he even bothered?

He seems like he thinks he's fielding the Jedi-mind-trick level of misdirection that Conway was able to before the interviewers caught on to her, when in fact the performance is more like a little kid trying to repeatedly pull off "the dog ate my homework" because he didn't even do the homework of thinking up a novel excuse.
posted by XMLicious at 1:49 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


It seems weird to me that this isn't being treated as terrorism.

terrorism is acts of brown people against white people and since they don't know the color of the perpetrators, it's easier for them to see jews as not white people and drop the whole thing.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:50 PM on February 20 [17 favorites]


It's not weird so much as deliberate and awful. Basically anything that can hurt PoC is defined as terrorism whereas anything that's white guys or, god forbid, Trump's beloved white supremacists, is put to one side and it's impact minimised. We'll probably hear about how this is just a pack of lone wolves or something.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on February 20 [13 favorites]


why are Federal forces only willing to deal with it on the basis that the JCC users may have had their civil rights infringed?

Probably not even then. President Shitgibbon and his supporters are holocaust-denying anti-Semites. They're CHEERING this. I expect everything reported to them to be thrown in the garbage. Maybe it's time for Jewish Militias to AR-up, put on some tactical gear and start patrolling on our own?
posted by mikelieman at 1:51 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I got the contents page of that Russian psych report on Trump

`
1. Frogs (box, warm)
2. Screws (2 boxes, loose)
3. Marbles (absent)
3 Excreta (ape)
4 Illumination (household, unoccupied)
5. Mid-day meal, (off premises)
6. Clothing support item (headgear)

I'm thinking it must be some sort of code.
posted by Devonian at 1:56 PM on February 20 [22 favorites]


> ... this is just a pack of lone wolves

Favorited for loud snort / guffaw heard across the corridor.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:59 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]




What worries me is that this article says that some of the centers weren't evacuated - if this is a trolling / SWATing thing, I can see not wanting to give the satisfaction, but I still worry about the real possibility that it's someone methodically aiming to lull people into thinking it's nothing and then choosing a real target.
posted by Mchelly at 2:03 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Hey neighbours.
Just in case you are slogging through the endless and losing hope, Toronto's Choir!Choir!Choir! had a 1300+ person singalong protest of trump that you probably need to listen to on repeat right now.
Solidarity from Canada!
posted by chapps at 2:04 PM on February 20 [26 favorites]


McMaster seems suspiciously smart and capable for a Trump appointee

Maybe the reaction to the press conference last week was a wake-up call, and we'll see a heavier focus on optics and establishing credibility (if not actual effective governance) with establishment... for a little while.
posted by Coventry at 2:13 PM on February 20


I still worry about the real possibility that it's someone methodically aiming to lull people into thinking it's nothing and then choosing a real target.

Maybe it doesn't make sense to presume this degree of rational thinking, but wouldn't a real attacker trying to harm people (as opposed to just causing property damage) just plant their bomb and not call to warn anyone about it?
posted by contraption at 2:13 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Speaking of 1984, playing April 4 at an indy theatre near you.
posted by yoga at 2:15 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


This article on the FBI's decision to just not give a shit about Gamergate terrorism linked by OverlappingElvis upthread is fucking terrifying and probably deserving of its own FPP.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:18 PM on February 20 [39 favorites]


McMaster really doesn't look happy about any of this.

From his study of the relationship between McNamara and Johnson in Dereliction of Duty, he knows all about the ethical quandries of serving a martinet who'll shoot a messenger who insists on bearing unpalatable news.
posted by Coventry at 2:20 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


is fucking terrifying and probably deserving of its own FPP.


You should post it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:23 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


it also feels relevant in light of no on in the Federal government appearing to give a shit about ongoing bomb threats to Jewish organizations.

On preview: heh. I don't feel particularly knowledgeable about either situation, so I'd defer to people who have been following those issues more closely. But I'll see what I can do if no one else is on it
posted by schadenfrau at 2:29 PM on February 20


it also feels relevant in light of no on in the Federal government appearing to give a shit about ongoing bomb threats to Jewish organizations.

The policy of the FBI for the last decade and a half has firmly been "it's not terrorism if white people do it".
posted by Talez at 2:36 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]




Yeah, in my head that post idea quickly ballooned to be about the FBI in general, and then the weight of horror overwhelmed me for a second and I had to go cuddle my cat.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:41 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Yeah, absolutely. He's in uniform and he was asked to do a job by the CiC. The general response to that is to do the job that was asked of you by the chain of command, and the CiC is at the top of that chain.

Nor could he really object to McFarland and Bannon. I'm trying to imagine what it'll be like for a qualified, competent expert in things natsec and military to have to deal with those two boneheads, especially the rein-holding one. Ugh.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:42 PM on February 20


Is anyone feeling a sense of anxiety about what is going to happen next? The fact this thread is not moving too fast for me to keep up is actually freaking me out a little bit.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 2:43 PM on February 20 [17 favorites]


The fact this thread is not moving too fast for me

Because golf vacation. Normal shit will be back tomorrow.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:44 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


There's a report of hundreds of graves vandalized at a St. Louis Jewish cemetery. Will try to get a link to local news when they have a story up.
posted by zachlipton at 2:46 PM on February 20 [20 favorites]




Missouri Jewish cemetery vandalism.
Police would not say if they considered the vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery to be a hate crime or not. It is believed there was some organization behind the crime, meaning this was not the act of one individual.
Maybe it was one of those non-hate-crime instances of organized vandalism of a Jewish cemetery.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:50 PM on February 20 [93 favorites]


And we just had another wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers in 10 cities.

"Jake Turx is a newly minted White House correspondent for a publication that has never before had a seat in the White House press corps: Ami Magazine, an Orthodox Jewish weekly based in Brooklyn. He is a singular presence in the briefing room: a young Hasidic Jew with side curls tucked behind his ears and a skullcap embroidered with his Twitter handle. Jake Turx got to ask Trump a question. It didn’t go well."
posted by Evilspork at 2:50 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]




So bomb threats and grave desecration are how the Trump Nazis celebrate Presidents Day. Swell. I'm sure the fact that this comes just a few days after their hero's latest revolting comments on anti-semitism is totally coincidental.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:51 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


From the link by emjaybee about the US Citizen:
He was hoping to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary with a trip abroad this summer.

Now he’s having second thoughts.

“I would not leave the country without this being resolved,” he said.
Dang. You live in your country for 70 years or so and then suddenly you have to prove citizenship. Does this stuff happen all the time or is it only in DJT's America?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:54 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Think Progress Trump’s first budget would end program to help low-income Americans get lawyers
Civil court is a different bag. Working-class Americans get dragged into civil court by powerful entities frequently in very serious situations where the government has no obligation to provide them with a lawyer. If the bank claims it has the right to take your house away, for example, the complex thicket of foreclosure proceedings that follows are not covered by right-to-counsel laws for civil court.

A handful of civil actions do create an obligation for the government to appoint an attorney for parties who can’t afford their own lawyer, but they are mostly limited to family-court proceedings. In almost every other type of case — from wrongful termination to denials of service from federal programs like Medicaid or public housing — people are on their own unless a legal aid lawyer is available to help.

The LSC is not the sole source of funding for civil-court legal aid, but it is the primary channel. Trump’s reported plan to end the program would lop off roughly a third of the total resource pool currently available for getting civil representation to those who can’t afford to buy it out of pocket.
Because fuck the poor.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:01 PM on February 20 [34 favorites]




Trump didn't like the answers to his "unfair media" poll, so he put it up again at a different URL

i gotta say, i have immensely enjoyed taking that survey all three times.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 3:01 PM on February 20 [25 favorites]


The policy of the FBI for the last decade and a half has firmly been "it's not terrorism if white people do it".

Its been well longer than that - you'll note how many arrests followed the 900+ church burnings in the 90s.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:02 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


HuffPo: John Oliver Perfectly Explains Trump’s ‘Weird’ Relationship With Putin
“You’ve been objectively nicer to Vladimir Putin than you have to Meryl Streep.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:02 PM on February 20 [18 favorites]


The way those questions are worded in that survey is meant to trick and deceive to get the results he wants.
posted by INFJ at 3:03 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


>Trump didn't like the answers to his "unfair media" poll, so he put it up again at a different URL

One of the questions is, "Were you aware that a poll was released revealing that a majority of Americans actually supported President Trump's temporary restriction executive order?"

I find, "That's fake news," to be a particularly satisfying answer to that question.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:04 PM on February 20 [39 favorites]


Dang. You live in your country for 70 years or so and then suddenly you have to prove citizenship. Does this stuff happen all the time or is it only in DJT's America?

US citizens end up in kafkaesque situations with ICE with some regularity, it's just largely invisible to white US-born Americans (like most things to do with immigration). As these things go, this guy got lucky.
posted by hoyland at 3:04 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


I have to wonder how long that will last, though, now they're airing doubts.
posted by E. Whitehall at 3:05 PM on February 20


Think Progress Trump’s first budget would end program to help low-income Americans get lawyers
Civil court is a different bag. Working-class Americans get dragged into civil court by powerful entities frequently in very serious situations where the government has no obligation to provide them with a lawyer. If the bank claims it has the right to take your house away, for example, the complex thicket of foreclosure proceedings that follows are not covered by right-to-counsel laws for civil court.

A handful of civil actions do create an obligation for the government to appoint an attorney for parties who can’t afford their own lawyer, but they are mostly limited to family-court proceedings. In almost every other type of case — from wrongful termination to denials of service from federal programs like Medicaid or public housing — people are on their own unless a legal aid lawyer is available to help.

The LSC is not the sole source of funding for civil-court legal aid, but it is the primary channel. Trump’s reported plan to end the program would lop off roughly a third of the total resource pool currently available for getting civil representation to those who can’t afford to buy it out of pocket.
Because fuck the poor.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:01 AM on February 21 [+] [!]


A pithy summary of their agenda if I ever saw one. To the phones, call your MoC, make sure this one gets all the media attention it deserves, we are the BEES! we've been waiting for, etc.
posted by saysthis at 3:13 PM on February 20 [13 favorites]


Do you believe that people of faith have been unfairly characterized by the media?

Muslim people of faith have been unfairly characterized by the president.

Do you believe that if Republicans were obstructing Obama like Democrats are doing to President Trump, the mainstream media would attack Republicans?

Ask Justice Garland

Do you believe that the media uses slurs rather than facts to attack conservative stances on issues like border control, religious liberties, and ObamaCare?

No you use slurs against them because you don't like them reporting the facts
posted by kirkaracha at 3:16 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


US citizens end up in kafkaesque situations with ICE with some regularity, it's just largely invisible to white US-born Americans (like most things to do with immigration).

Yeah, I have mentioned to other Gen-xers that Cheech's Born in East LA was a thing that has happened multiple times.
posted by phearlez at 3:17 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


WaPo I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit.
To be clear, my decision had nothing to do with politics, and I would have been proud to again work under a Republican administration open to intelligence analysis. I served with conviction under President George W. Bush, some of whose policies I also found troubling, and I took part in programs that the Obama administration criticized and ended. As intelligence professionals, we’re taught to tune out politics. The river separating CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., from Washington might as well be a political moat. But this administration has flipped that dynamic on its head: The politicians are the ones tuning out the intelligence professionals.[...] What intelligence professionals want most is to know that the fruits of their labor — sometimes at the risk of life or limb — are accorded due deference in the policymaking process.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:18 PM on February 20 [54 favorites]


The LSC is not the sole source of funding for civil-court legal aid, but it is the primary channel. Trump’s reported plan to end the program would lop off roughly a third of the total resource pool currently available for getting civil representation to those who can’t afford to buy it out of pocket.

They Republicans have had it out for LSC for a long time. In 1996 they prohibited organizations that receive LSC funding from handling cases involving redistricting, challenging welfare laws, representing prisoners and some immigrants, and bringing class actions (among other things). These restrictions apply to non-LSC funding too, so even if an organization's budget is largely non-LSC, they are entirely prohibited from any of the restricted activity.
posted by Mavri at 3:24 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


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

Jesus who wrote these questions? I can't even figure out how to answer this one.
posted by jferg at 3:25 PM on February 20 [21 favorites]


FBI's 'Gamergate' file says prosecutors declined to charge men believed to have sent death threats — even when they confessed on video, and they were rewarded with free copies of all the latest game releases (with cheat codes).

It's all about ethics.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:25 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


ProPublica Trump Plans To Deport Anyone Caught Crossing Southern Border To Mexico, Regardless of Nationality
If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico. Currently, such people are detained in the U.S. and allowed to request asylum.

President Trump wants them to do so from Mexico, communicating via videoconference calls with U.S. immigration officials from facilities that Mexico would presumably be forced to build.

The new authority for immigration agents is among the dramatic, some would say untenable, tactics the Trump Administration is preparing to deploy as it upends President Obama’s policies on illegal immigration.
This is something that has been suggested before as it would "benefit DHS's budget." However, Mexico is not going to agree to this plan. Then there is is this:
The memos, for example, authorize the Border Patrol to hire 5,000 new agents, even though the force has never been able to fill the slots it has already been allotted. Some 60 percent of applicants to the Border Patrol fail the required polygraph, and those who pass take 18 months to get sent out into the field.
60% fail the polygraph! I wonder if the need for more agents will eventually lead to a softer entrance exam.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:26 PM on February 20 [16 favorites]


Polygraphs are bullshit. You could ask me if I killed Kennedy and I'd probably fail 'cause tests make me nervous.
posted by Justinian at 3:29 PM on February 20 [18 favorites]


Yes, why are polygraphs still used? They've had no credibility for decades.
posted by Coventry at 3:31 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Tomorrow DJT is back from his long weekend and he has one event scheduled, a trip to the National Museum of African American History. Wouldn't want to overtire him with too much work.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:33 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


They've had no credibility for decades.
Well neither has the Department of Security Theatre so it figures.
posted by adamvasco at 3:33 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]




I wonder if the need for more agents will eventually lead to a softer entrance exam.

I'm sure Erik Prince is suggesting the alternative: a contract with Blackwater / Xe / Academi to provide border security. Republicans outsourced a substantial part of the war, 10 years ago. Why not outsource border patrols too?
posted by honestcoyote at 3:34 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


There seemed to be many (most?) agents ignoring Judicial Orders and following #45's Executive Orders, maybe the polygraph is to weed out people that would follow the law.
posted by W Grant at 3:37 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


W Grant, I don't see how a polygraph would help you to do that.
posted by Coventry at 3:43 PM on February 20


There seemed to be many (most?) agents ignoring Judicial Orders

Speaking of which:

The Guardian: British Muslim teacher denied entry to US on school trip
Juhel Miah and a group of children and other teachers were about to take off from Iceland on 16 February on their way to the US when he was removed from the plane at Reykjavik. The previous week, on the 10 February, a US appeals court had upheld a decision to suspend Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned entry to the country from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The trip proceeded as planned but pupils and colleagues from Llangatwg comprehensive in Aberdulais were left shocked and distressed after the maths teacher, who had valid visa documentation, was escorted from the aircraft by security personnel. [...]

The teacher’s employer, Neath Port Talbot council, has written to the US embassy in London demanding an explanation and the issue is being taken up by Welsh politicians.

A council spokesman said Miah was left feeling belittled at what it described as “an unjustified act of discrimination”. The council said the teacher is a British citizen and does not have dual nationality. [my bold]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:43 PM on February 20 [70 favorites]


Yes, why are polygraphs still used? They've had no credibility for decades.

Mainly they're for tricking people into confessing.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:47 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]




Not calling it a pivot, but re: McMaster occasionally Trump might have to actually do reasonable things or pick people who will do reasonable things, because at some point even he has to throw the public a bone. Or maybe his advisors talked him into it. The general sounds pretty legit, shame that he was overshadowed by Petraeus all this time. Going to be interesting to watch his confirmation hearing either way. He must make public his views, if any, on Iran. (Even Mattis saber-rattles towards them).
posted by Apocryphon at 3:50 PM on February 20


Spicer statement on the recent threats against Jewish community centers.

Guess no one thought to maybe allocate resources to the FBI and DOJ to bring these arguably-terrorists to justice?
posted by mikelieman at 3:51 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


t. The general sounds pretty legit, shame that he was overshadowed by Petraeus all this time. Going to be interesting to watch his confirmation hearing either way. He must make public his views, if any, on Iran. (Even Mattis saber-rattles towards them).

NSA isn't confirmed.
posted by Jalliah at 3:54 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


why are polygraphs still used? They've had no credibility for decades.

Because they've been used for decades: I dug out this 2006 report on their use in various agencies under DoJ control. Institutions cling to shit like that, in part because nobody wants to be the person who lays off the polygraph staff, even if it's like having salaried graphologists or entrail-readers.
posted by holgate at 3:55 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


...So again the White House won't address the specific nature or history of crimes committed against Jewish people in our country. FFS.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 3:55 PM on February 20 [16 favorites]


Spicer statement on the recent threats against Jewish community centers.
"The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable"... but not worth giving a flying fuck about.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:55 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Or maybe his advisors talked him into it...

I'm starting to think the inner-circle of grifters and outer circle of true-believers is getting depleated. You can't look at what happened to Kellyanne and think it's going to end better for you.

I'm worried the Kool-Ade will become Flavr-ade at some point.
posted by mikelieman at 3:55 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The council said the teacher is a British citizen and does not have dual nationality. [my bold]

He has clearly been radicalised, though. It's a small step from being persuaded that maths is a valid tool for understanding life to believing in logic.
posted by Buntix at 3:56 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]




So I live in a red part of a very red state. I am surrounded day in and day out by the 27%. The only anti-trump person in my office besides me is a 60-something white guy who voted for Bush twice, Obama twice, and Hillary. He was never a fan of Trump, but was the first person to say 'we have to give him a chance' to my face. He gets all of his news from CNN/MSNBC.

I have been talking to him about Trump's Russia ties since last spring (maybe? The summer? Yesterday? Tomorrow? Who knows. Time has no meaning in trump's America. Suffice it to say it's been a while) and I can always tell how crazy I sound by how soon his eyes glaze over and he begins nodding politely at me when I bring it up.

But this morning, he comes to my desk, looks around, and whispers conspiratorially, "So this Russia thing is starting to look like it might be serious, huh?"

I could have hugged him.
posted by sporkwort at 3:57 PM on February 20 [98 favorites]




Spicer statement on the recent threats against Jewish community centers.
The President has made it abundently clear that these actions are unacceptable.
They seem to have cut the statement off early. The rest goes:
but only in private. In public, however, the President needs to appeal to his anti-semite base so he won't be jumping on Fox and directly tell them to stop threatening the Jews. [fake]
posted by Talez at 3:59 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


the appointment of McMaster is like that point in the bad relationship where you give the perpetually angry person some bad news and they amazingly utter some rational response
posted by angrycat at 3:59 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


the President needs to appeal to his anti-semite

That's perhaps the kindest take on it. I prefer.

The President is a holocaust-denying anti-Semite, and I haven't seen one single action showing otherwise.

Which, you know, would be bad enough but then there's the questions about whether he raped a 13 year old girl in 1994, and the Accosta quid-pro-quo for Trump and Epstein.

Bourbon. It comes in 1.75l bottles.
posted by mikelieman at 4:03 PM on February 20 [17 favorites]


Trump’s SoHo Project, the Mob, and Russian Intelligence by Martin Longman.

An interesting article about a couple of players in the Trump Soho project: Tevfik Arif and Tamir Sapir (nee Temur Sepiashvili).

Longman concludes with: I don’t know what else to do with this information than just throw it out there for you. It’s all highly sketchy, but I do agree with Josh Marshall that it provides the likeliest entry point for getting to the bottom of why Donald Trump acts like Vladimir Putin is holding his children hostage.... After all, you don’t get in business with the mafia and have it go badly and just walk away.
posted by great_radio at 4:07 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Spicer statement on the recent threats against Jewish community centers.

One of the things I find most unsettling about this admin is that it feels like there isn't really a president. There is just a guy, called President who says and does things and tells other people to do things. But then there are these other people who work for him who are just off saying and doing their own thing that only sorta connected to things he says, but they add their own spin or they talking about what they think he should be saying or they're just not even related to things he says at all.

You have Pence and Mattis out in Europe doing their thing. Mattis, besides his Nato pay up thing has sounded like he's working in another admin entirely. And here is Spicer just making shit up that sounds close to what a President should say. With Donald's own remarks on record it doesn't feel like it's coming from the President at all.

It's just a weird feeling. Like there is no one really in charge.
posted by Jalliah at 4:08 PM on February 20 [84 favorites]


Did everyone take the new survey? POTUS wants to know how we feel.
posted by BS Artisan at 4:09 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]




I wonder if the Trump camp just thinks the word "Jew" is a slur and they will get in trouble for uttering it.
posted by contraption at 4:11 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Have not seen this one yet, but if you're out in Massachusetts, Brianna Wu is running for 8th district because of faults in the FBI investigation into her experience with the alt-right.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 4:11 PM on February 20 [37 favorites]


I wonder if the Trump camp just thinks the word "Jew" is a slur and they will get in trouble for uttering it.

I think it's more that Bannon is a massive nazi and will flip the hell out.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


It's like this stupid fucking All Lives Matter world where Republicans can't show support for a single group (other than Christians) but they can certainly slander specific groups, so it's all "Oh it's unacceptable for any hatred" instead of something speaking specifically to the Jewish experience and the threats Jewish people face, and on the other hand it's all "MUSLIM BAD"
posted by jason_steakums at 4:15 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Everyone gets that when I say "nazi" in relation to Trump advisors I am 100% non-alegorical, right?
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM on February 20 [50 favorites]


Have not seen this one yet, but if you're out in Massachusetts, Brianna Wu is running for 8th district because of faults in the FBI investigation into her experience with the alt-right.

Is the incumbent democrat one that actually needs replacing?
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


I think the latest generation of Nazis are going to lose the right to that title among all the confusion over what and who they hate and history will just call the cesspool dwellers "Trumpists". Just not for a while...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:19 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Have not seen this one yet, but if you're out in Massachusetts, Brianna Wu is running for 8th district because of faults in the FBI investigation into her experience with the alt-right.

I'm not sure what she intends to get out of this. The incumbent isn't especially unpopular, she's pissing off the Democratic establishment by running as a straight insurgent candidate, and she's a single issue platform of cyberbullying (which isn't a wedge issue anyway) + generic D. Even a union guy with serious money backing him went down 65-35 in the primary back in 2010 when Lynch voted no on the ACA. She's just tilting at windmills.
posted by Talez at 4:19 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]



Guess it's not just me feeling like no one is really in charge today. I love what they've called it here.

Administration adopts a ‘Never-Mind-What-Trump-Said’ foreign policy

On his first full day as president, Donald Trump delivered a speech at CIA headquarters, where he lamented the fact Americans did not take Iraqi oil after the 2003 invasion. “The old expression, to the victor belong the spoils,” the new president said, adding, “We should’ve kept the oil. But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”

A few days later, in an interview with ABC News, Trump said, four times, “We should have taken the oil.” Asked about the “maybe we’ll have another chance” comment, Trump added, “[W]e’ll see what happens. I mean, we’re gonna see what happens.”

Nearly a month later, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Baghdad this morning, declaring, “We’re not in Iraq to seize anybody’s oil.”

I call this part of the “Never-Mind-What-Trump-Said’ approach to foreign policy, which follows an increasingly familiar pattern: the president makes a ridiculous comment, which creates international alarm, which leads to leading members of the Trump administration trying to reassure global observers that there’s simply no reason to take the leader of the free world’s claims seriously.

posted by Jalliah at 4:20 PM on February 20 [31 favorites]


I'm not sure what she intends to get out of this.

That's sounding like a non starter.
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on February 20


Everyone gets that when I say "nazi" in relation to Trump advisors I am 100% non-alegorical, right?

you're correct artw, the suppression of any kind of ethnic minority that the majority could be persuaded to hate was a tactic the nationalist socialist regime in Germany used frequently as an excuse for a power grab.

you're not alone in feeling horror at watching this unfold. I have watched quietly from the sidelines, scheduling myself to ask some challenging questions about her power as legislator to push for the removal of political appointees to the National Security Counsel (a bill Stephanie Murphy sponsored in response to Bannon's appointment)

McMaster's appointment today is a breath of fresh air. He won't last long. He's the next fall guy when they start to do illegal shit, the press calls them on it, and he gets canned for being the voice of reason. That's a terrible, terrible way to have a distinguished military career end.

Talez, people said similar things (not identical, but similar) things about Bernie when he announced his run. Maybe her running will get someone to really look at things like cybersecurity seriously? It's a serious issue she's running on. It might not be the most serious issue of the day, right now, but that doesn't make it not a serious thing.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 4:23 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Has anybody else noticed that Trump's signature actually looks like the output of a polygraph machine? Presumably output that indicates he's lying even when he isn't saying anything.
posted by XMLicious at 4:23 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I really hesitate to judge anyone's religious commitment or way of dealing with their beliefs (especially when I am not Jewish so cannot put myself fully in their shoes) but it is absolutely pathetic -- PATHETIC -- P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C -- that not one person in this sick family, even the supposedly devout Jared and Ivanka Kushner, will step up and say that anti-semitism (not "hate" but ANTI-SEMITISM) has no place in our country, that Jews and Judaism are a vital, wonderful, welcomed, and integral part of life in the United States and our culture and institutions, and that any person who carries out this kind of attack is lower than dirt in the estimation of the White House.

WHERE IS YOUR SELF-RESPECT, Jared and Ivanka?
posted by sallybrown at 4:25 PM on February 20 [43 favorites]


Has anybody else noticed that Trump's signature actually looks like the output of a polygraph machine? Presumably output that indicates he's lying even when he isn't saying anything.

"I don't deserve this kind of shabby treatment!"

BZZZZZZTTTTT.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:27 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


I wonder if the Trump camp just thinks the word "Jew" is a slur and they will get in trouble for uttering it.

If only there were someone Jewish in the White House that they could check with about that.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:29 PM on February 20 [19 favorites]


I believe the level of independence Jared and Ivanka have from general Trump fuckery is highly overated.
posted by Artw at 4:31 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


See also Mike "Maybe Again?" Pence and his crocodile tears Dachau visit.
posted by Artw at 4:33 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Everyone gets that when I say "nazi" in relation to Trump advisors I am 100% non-alegorical, right?

I'm pretty sure Godwin's Law has officially been suspended until further notice.
posted by uosuaq at 4:34 PM on February 20 [40 favorites]


That's sounding like a non starter.

It's a complete non-starter of a campaign. MA has a very organized political structure and there are up and coming progressive people there in districts with a decade or more of public service basically waiting for a current congresscritter to retire. For someone to show up bull in a china shop style is basically saying "I'm ready to throw my money away".

Talez, people said similar things (not identical, but similar) things about Bernie when he announced his run. Maybe her running will get someone to really look at things like cybersecurity seriously? It's a serious issue she's running on. It might not be the most serious issue of the day, right now, but that doesn't make it not a serious thing.

Bernie had decades of public service and walking the walk and like I said, cyberbullying just isn't a wedge issue. She gets up there at a primary debate and says "I think there should be stronger laws against harassing people online", Lynch says "oh yes, I agree" and then what? She's a slightly more progressive Democrat than Lynch who isn't unpopular to begin with.
posted by Talez at 4:35 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure what she intends to get out of this.

I'm reading Bernie's book right now, and he didn't win many of his initial races - but he had a message and he kept going. May women everywhere, especially those who've experienced failures of the system to protect them, sally forth with their message and run for public office. Bar armed revolution, it's the only path forward.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 4:35 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Maybe she could run against someone who actually needs replacing?
posted by Artw at 4:36 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


(I know MY derails aren't appreciated it, but in case you hadn't seen it, he's been disinvited from speaking at CPAC and lost his book deals after the pedophilia kerfluffle this weekend. Sweet comeuppance. Mefi's MY sequestration thread and further discussion are here.)
posted by saysthis at 4:37 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Everyone gets that when I say "nazi" in relation to Trump advisors I am 100% non-alegorical, right?

Great, thanks, now I'm picturing Bannon as Ralph Wiggum.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:38 PM on February 20


Maybe for her first run she doesn't mind losing to that person - to get experience for when it matters........
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 4:38 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I call this part of the “Never-Mind-What-Trump-Said’ approach to foreign policy, which follows an increasingly familiar pattern: the president makes a ridiculous comment, which creates international alarm, which leads to leading members of the Trump administration trying to reassure global observers that there’s simply no reason to take the leader of the free world’s claims seriously.

Hey, it got him elected, might as well stick with what works.

The only problem, of course, is that he means exactly what he says.
posted by ckape at 4:38 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


60% fail the polygraph! I wonder if the need for more agents will eventually lead to a softer entrance exam.

An easier test is exactly what they're asking for. From the WashPo, a quotation from Border Patrol union president Brandon Judd:
We have a polygraph failure rate that is about three times higher than most other law enforcement agencies. That’s a problem. The reason it’s a problem is the polygraphers just flat out aren’t doing their jobs right. There’s no way we can have three times the failure rate that other law enforcement agencies have unless something just isn’t being done right.
The problem isn't that they're recruiting on Breitbart or that the agency is so dysfunctional that they are only attracting bad apples, but that the polygraph examiners are too tough on their special snowflake recruits.
posted by peeedro at 4:38 PM on February 20 [30 favorites]


When I heard Pence was visiting Dachau, I got a chill down my spine. He may not see himself as a nazi, but he has certainly thrown his lot in with those who do.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:38 PM on February 20 [13 favorites]


It's very telling that they can't say the word "antisemitism" when it's so goddamn important to this administration to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism".
posted by jason_steakums at 4:39 PM on February 20 [85 favorites]


Maybe she could run against someone who actually needs replacing?

She lives in MA and none of the people in MA are really worth replacing. I actually looked into state politics myself, and while Lynch is the closest it comes to someone who needs to be more liberal, I saw no real path forward or competitive districts where somebody could have even a snowflake's chance in hell.
posted by Talez at 4:40 PM on February 20




She needs to move or get a different hobby.
posted by Artw at 4:41 PM on February 20


... since last spring (maybe? The summer? Yesterday? Tomorrow? Who knows. Time has no meaning in trump's America.

Just say 'the Before-Time' or 'the Long-Long Ago'.
posted by um at 4:43 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Movie pitch: Mr. Trump, this is the police. About those phone calls to synagogues. Don't panic, but we've traced the line: they're coming from inside your house.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:44 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


She needs to move or get a different hobby.

Well she doesn't need to do anything. She's perfectly capable of making her own choices and what she wants to spend her money on. I just honestly don't get it what she's getting out of it. Maybe it's experience like GGW pointed out.

This election coming up, if it does end up being a wave election, could see some suprise seats go to D sacrificial lambs. But MA doesn't have any seats that are sacrificial lambs for Ds that she could make a heroic effort in.
posted by Talez at 4:44 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I kind of can't believe the White House hasn't tried to blame the anti-semitic threats and attacks on Muslim immigrants. That seems like it would be their automatic convenient go-to lie.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:45 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


"It's very telling that they can't say the word "antisemitism" when it's so goddamn important to this administration to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism"."

Yeah I just don't get it. It would be so easy to lie, to divert a useless amount of funds, to say that their "prayers are with our Jewish countrymen." Just like "All Lives Matter" they have so much hatred for Jews that they can't bring themselves to even lie about being concerned or compassionate about anti-semitism.
posted by kittensofthenight at 4:49 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


I wonder what David Fahrenthold has been doing with his extra time this month…he tweeted 2 days ago asking for members of Trump clubs to contact him.
posted by sallybrown at 4:49 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I can't find it but Brianna Wu did explain and give specifics on why she was running against this particular Democrat.
posted by um at 4:50 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I kind of can't believe the White House hasn't tried to blame the anti-semitic threats and attacks on Muslim immigrants. That seems like it would be their automatic convenient go-to lie.

It's because they suck at fascism. They accomplished their soft coup, but now that they're in they're spectacularly failing Practical Fascism 101. The incompetence is the only reason I have hope that we'll be alive and out of prison in 10 years.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:50 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


I kind of can't believe the White House hasn't tried to blame the anti-semitic threats and attacks on Muslim immigrants.

Please don't give them any ideas, because they've probably got several potential sting operations ready to go.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:51 PM on February 20


"It's very telling that they can't say the word "antisemitism" when it's so goddamn important to this administration to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism"."

Yeah I just don't get it. It would be so easy to lie, to divert a useless amount of funds, to say that their "prayers are with our Jewish countrymen." Just like "All Lives Matter" they have so much hatred for Jews that they can't bring themselves to even lie about being concerned or compassionate about anti-semitism.


It says loud and clear to me it's because they don't want to put forth the message that anti-semitic behavior is something "bad" people do. If they blame it on their nonexistent radical refugees then they're saying it's wrong to be anti-semitic.
posted by sallybrown at 4:51 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Dang. You live in your country for 70 years or so and then suddenly you have to prove citizenship. Does this stuff happen all the time or is it only in DJT's America?

Probably all the time?

I mean, look at the letter State sent him. It doesn't ask him to prove anything, at least not the bits quoted. At least as quoted, State shows no sign of thinking he might not be a citizen -- they know he is a citizen, because he's renewing a passport. They want him to send his nonexistent green card to CIS because CIS fucked up.

Bureaucratic fuckups happen. When they happen to you they're scary and/or annoying. Honestly, my guesses as to what happened would be:

(1) Someone either put the letter for another person in his envelope by mistake, or reached for the wrong form letter in relation to some other issue.

(2) There's a guy with a similar enough name-and-birthdate who is an LPR to trip a flag.

(3) Same thing with SSN.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:52 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Godwin's Law has officially been suspended until further notice.

You know who else liked to officially suspend laws unts;dkfjlaILw7GBQP1j0E2EJKagXskafsXfS_UWmEF2j3ogRVc
{END OF LINE}

posted by Celsius1414 at 4:52 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]




Wait I think this was it:
“This man has been on the wrong side of every fight for over a decade,” she wrote. “He voted for the Iraq War, and never really answered for it. He voted against the Affordable Care Act. He’s crusaded against women’s reproductive health care for his entire career. He once introduced an amendment that would give people that committed hate crimes against the LGBT community a ‘get out of jail free card.’ When I think about people that do not represent the Democratic Party, I think of Stephen Lynch.”
posted by um at 4:54 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]




I kind of can't believe the White House hasn't tried to blame the anti-semitic threats and attacks on Muslim immigrants. That seems like it would be their automatic convenient go-to lie.

Trump blamed the attacks on "people on the other side" (i.e. liberals) just the other day. Give him another week or so, and he's forgotten about that and can pick a new target.
posted by effbot at 4:57 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Everyone gets that when I say "nazi" in relation to Trump advisors I am 100% non-alegorical, right?

Oh, there's room for plenty of non-Nazi evil too. Bannon and Miller are the only real Nazis in the bunch (the late, lamented Flynn was kinda Nazi-ish in his crankery). DeVos and Pence are Dominionist theocrats. Sessions is a good-ol' Unreconstructed Southern boy. The rest of them are garden-variety kleptocrats.
posted by jackbishop at 5:00 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


You know who else liked to officially suspend laws unts;dkfjlaILw7GBQP1j0E2EJKagXskafsXfS_UWmEF2j3ogRVc
{END OF LINE}


The Master Control Program?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:03 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


It's my understanding that math teacher was ACTUALLY an expert in Al Gebra.
posted by bq at 5:03 PM on February 20 [23 favorites]


Dang. You live in your country for 70 years or so and then suddenly you have to prove citizenship. Does this stuff happen all the time or is it only in DJT's America?

Probably all the time?


Pretty much. My father was signing up for medicare recently (turned 65), and he was told he wasn't a US citizen. He was born here, worked for the army for 30-something years, and both he and my mother have held top-secret clearances, so you'd think someone would have caught that. It was cleared up as a matter of routine for him, but hey, white man privilege.
posted by mrgoat at 5:04 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


um: Thank you for the Brianna Wu quote!

Telling her to get a new hobby — WTF? Even if she's running against another Democrat, we're trying to encourage more people to get involved in politics. Is the lesson we've learned really to examine every woman who is running and make sure she's doing it at the exact right time against the exact right opponent?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 5:08 PM on February 20 [93 favorites]


It's my understanding that math teacher was ACTUALLY an expert in Al Gebra.

The recent In Our Time episode on "Maths in the Early Islamic World" was REALLY cool. As was the (on-topic for this thread) Hannah Arendt episode.

posted by Celsius1414 at 5:09 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


basically waiting for a current [democrat] congresscritter to retire

How has that strategy been working out, electorally speaking ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:10 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


i gotta say, i have immensely enjoyed taking that survey all three times.

Vote early, vote often.
posted by Evilspork at 5:12 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


There are some who think that Wu is only running for office because she likes the attention. I'm not one of them but there's apparently some backstory with other anti-GGs and Wu.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:14 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


thorns have roses, I want to give your comment +100 favorites. Also thanks for sourcing it.

Is that the message we want to give to young women? That when you're threatened, you cower instead of using your intellect, your cunning, and your kindness to make a more just world for all of us?

As a culture, 992257033c, we seem to have sent the message that using public office to advance policy for the interests of your company is fair game on the right. If Brianna Wu wants to do that for the left and empower the women in my world, I'm all in.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 5:17 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


That seems rather distasteful. I mean, don't most people who run for public office like getting public attention? It's kind of inherent in the job, and while there's a few people who have made it work while staying as far out of the limelight, usually that's not how it works. I would presume a major point of her campaign is to get attention for her anti-harassment agenda, no?
posted by zachlipton at 5:18 PM on February 20 [19 favorites]


If Brianna Wu wants to do that for the left and empower the women in my world, I'm all in.


I'm trying to find the tweetstorm about this but it was a few months ago and Twitter's search is not all that great.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:19 PM on February 20


Hold on, and Donald Trump is fighting for assholes to fill the cabinet and pushing tiebreaker legislation and picking fights with reporters and doubling down on something something Sweden and Mike Pence is literally overseas kissing NATO's ass?
posted by Evilspork at 5:19 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I just got this email from CAIR:

"CAIR Offers Reward for Info on Threats Targeting Jewish Community Centers Nationwide

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/20/17) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who threatened to bomb at least 10 Jewish community centers around the nation on the President's Day holiday.

. . . 'It is the duty of American Muslims to offer support to the Jewish community and any minority group targeted in the recent spike in hate crimes nationwide,' said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. 'We hope this reward will aid in the swift apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators.'

He noted the 'tremendous level of support' offered to American Muslims by the Jewish community whenever Muslims have been targeted by hate in recent months."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:20 PM on February 20 [132 favorites]


Hold on, and Donald Trump is fighting for assholes to fill the cabinet and pushing tiebreaker legislation and picking fights with reporters and doubling down on something something Sweden and Mike Pence is literally overseas kissing NATO's ass?

Somebody has to do the regular US President things. Donald Trump is just CEO of Making America Great Again.
posted by Talez at 5:20 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Even if she's running against another Democrat, we're trying to encourage more people to get involved in politics.


No, we're attempting to unseat republicans and shitty democrats, not (worse case) unseat democrats so they can be replaced by republicans. That doesn't help anything at all.
posted by Artw at 5:24 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


No, we're attempting to unseat republicans and shitty democrats, not (worse case) unseat democrats so they can be replaced by republicans. That doesn't help anything at all.

You could run a ham sandwich and it would win as a D in MA-8.
posted by Talez at 5:25 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


I disagree Artw. If this is true then he needs to get gone.

“This man has been on the wrong side of every fight for over a decade,” she wrote. “He voted for the Iraq War, and never really answered for it. He voted against the Affordable Care Act. He’s crusaded against women’s reproductive health care for his entire career. He once introduced an amendment that would give people that committed hate crimes against the LGBT community a ‘get out of jail free card.’ When I think about people that do not represent the Democratic Party, I think of Stephen Lynch.”

If she can unseat him I am all for it.
posted by futz at 5:27 PM on February 20 [17 favorites]


"CAIR Offers Reward for Info on Threats Targeting Jewish Community Centers Nationwide

NB: CAIR does more for Jewish-Americans during this crisis than the FUCKING WHITE HOUSE.
posted by mikelieman at 5:28 PM on February 20 [53 favorites]


Joe Piscopo considering run for NJ Governor

Why can't my state actually get decent people running for governor? I mean, I know the answer to that question, but it's so disappointing to see this nonsense play out again and again.
posted by mollweide at 5:28 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


An interesting profile of Rep. Justin Amash in the WSJ, including something I didn't know - his father was a Palestinian refugee and his mother was a Syrian immigrant.
posted by sallybrown at 5:29 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


There are some who think that Wu is only running for office because she likes the attention.
Wow, someone thinks a woman is running for office only because she wants attention. Color me surprised. Fuck those people right in the ear.
posted by bq at 5:32 PM on February 20 [98 favorites]


Let me be more specific: I think we need to encourage more women who have come out the other side of targeted GamerGate harassment and are still fighting to take their fight to politics, like Wu is against Stephen Lynch.

Especially when, in this case, the incumbent Democrat in the job can't be bothered to be a reliable advocate for those most vulnerable under Trump.

On preview: yeah, exactly, bq. Maybe she wants some attention that isn't doxxing paired with rape threats. What an attention whore.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 5:33 PM on February 20 [45 favorites]


I'm honestly kind of surprised about the pushback on Brianna Wu running. For the past month in these threads, I've heard a whole lot of talk about primary DINOs from the left, so yay, a woman is committing to give a not-very-progressive Dem a fight in a primary. Places like MA are where these challenges from the left need to happen.

I am so cool with her choice to run. Even if she doesn't win, a solid primary from the progressive side might scare some leftward motion into Stephen Lynch. Similarly, her gaining more experience could open up more political options later on.

I want more women involved in public office--especially ones that understand the seriousness of the Harrassment-as-Entertainment Crowd, and how their actions reduce opportunities for women's public participation in professional, cyberspace, and political contexts.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 5:34 PM on February 20 [78 favorites]


Right, MA and CA are the kind of places we want primaries from the left. Not frikkin' West Virginia or the Dakotas.
posted by Justinian at 5:35 PM on February 20 [13 favorites]


Here are more details on Rep. Stephen Lynch's vote against the ACA. After reading this, I would encourage rather than discourage people to challenge this guy. There were members of Congress who put the nation's health over their careers, knowingly torpedoing their chances of reelection for this bill. This dude can get lost.
posted by sallybrown at 5:35 PM on February 20 [18 favorites]



I'm honestly kind of surprised about the pushback on Brianna Wu running

This is endemic to the left & centrists worldwide, decent candidates are shot down because of perceived slights or other innane methods of infighting.
Let her actions do the talking, then we decide.
posted by xcasex at 5:37 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Right, because her actions so far are unconvincing somehow?
posted by Dashy at 5:41 PM on February 20


Right, because her actions so far are unconvincing somehow?

I'm actually rooting for her and helping out :)
posted by xcasex at 5:45 PM on February 20


Coming out in favor of Brianna Wu running because wtf THEY HAVE THE DEATH THREAT DUDES ON TAPE, with a logistical question.

What if she were to run in another district that's not incumbent D? Would there be a way to orchestrate that without disrupting the hell out of her life? Or would she be willing to suffer such disruption to amplify her message? Would there be a way to move her to an unchallenged R district and document all the harassment she goes through and use it as campaign material? Obviously assuming someone sits down with her and says, "Here's the plan, and here's the party funding and support apparatus as you do this." To me it looks like we have someone courageous who is willing to stand up to the swamp dwellers. How can we help maximize her effect?
posted by saysthis at 5:45 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Putin seems to be an unlikely suspect in any possible Churkin Assasination. More likely it would have been agents of countries who have an interest in disrupting any Trump-Russia connection. I would suspect Ukraine or Eastern European NATO countries. I doubt it is part of any rouge US deep state counter-espionage action as the risks are too great. Although it is possible that someone in the US government looked the other way or winked at whoever did it.
posted by humanfont at 5:46 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Light relief - Not The Nine O'Clock News's take on Reagan's first press conference... (tl;dw - we've got through shit before)
posted by Devonian at 5:46 PM on February 20


Will Manchin be vulnerable to a challenge any time soon? Honestly, it's so dispiriting that a nominal Democrat has supported Trump's nominees.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:47 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


maybe the Times is trying to remind mcmaster what he's in for?
posted by murphy slaw at 5:47 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


She needs to move or get a different hobby.
I hope she's running because of bollocks like this.
posted by fullerine at 5:48 PM on February 20 [62 favorites]


What if she were to run in another district that's not incumbent D?

She would have to move out of state to do that. Which seems not worth it when there's a pro-life guy who supported the GOP in the Terri Schiavo mess and voted against the ACA and for the war in Iraq that she could primary from the left.
posted by sallybrown at 5:48 PM on February 20 [30 favorites]


That Standing Rock video.... what is happening at Standing Rock period. *heartbreak* What we have done to the indigenous people is just horrific.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 5:49 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


I'm honestly kind of surprised about the pushback on Brianna Wu running. For the past month in these threads, I've heard a whole lot of talk about primary DINOs from the left, so yay, a woman is committing to give a not-very-progressive Dem a fight in a primary. Places like MA are where these challenges from the left need to happen.

I am so cool with her choice to run. Even if she doesn't win, a solid primary from the progressive side might scare some leftward motion into Stephen Lynch. Similarly, her gaining more experience could open up more political options later on.


On preview, I may have just asked a stupid question.
posted by saysthis at 5:50 PM on February 20


This Leaked Email Shows The World’s Biggest Brands Want Breitbart Blacklisted

One of the world’s biggest ad buying networks, Omnicom, has instructed its staff to pull advertising from pro-Trump website Breitbart on behalf of its biggest clients.

-- BuzzFeed News has obtained an internal email from the Australian arm of Omnicom’s media buying business, OMD, which suggests global brands have been demanding their banner advertising be removed from the alt-right news source.

posted by futz at 5:51 PM on February 20 [50 favorites]


I have a friend who is a small town mayor. She's a woman, she's relatively young, she's got unconventional hair coloring (this is a rust belt post-industrial town, not Vermont), but her family has been deeply involved in the town for generations, so she got a pass on some of those things and has been a successful mayor. She talks very frankly about the level of harassment and ugliness that any woman holding elected office is inevitably subject to (her dad is still alive, lives next door to her, and is hugely esteemed in the community and that matters not one jot to the harassment and shittiness she gets). It's a lot. Brianna Wu has already gotten a PhD in "being effective despite heinous levels of harassment." I see no problem whatsoever with her running. Why would anyone?
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:52 PM on February 20 [88 favorites]


There is recent precedent for a Democrat defeating a Democrat in Massachusetts - Seth Moulton, who unseated John Tierney in 2014. But Tierney had been seriously weakened by a long-running scandal involving an offshore gambling Web site, his sister and his brother-in-law (while Moulton was an Iraq War hero). As others have noted, Lynch is by far the most conservative Democrat in the Mass. delegation, but he has no similar scandal.
posted by adamg at 5:53 PM on February 20


Will Manchin be vulnerable to a challenge any time soon?

In West Virginia? No.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:54 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]




Via this CNN article:
Sarah Sanders, a Trump spokeswoman, responded to questions about selling access Sunday by saying that Trump's visits to Mar-a-Lago make him accessible to "regular Americans," even though the membership fee is roughly four times the median family income, per the US Census Bureau.
The White House's official line: the 'regular Americans' we care about are the ones that can pay us $200k to go golfing.
posted by flatluigi at 5:58 PM on February 20 [34 favorites]


Primarying from the left has many purposes.

1) win elections
2) bring lefty issues up in debate - they won't come up in a general
3) scare other dems who think of voting as if they were repubs

I think all of these can be useful- honestly even if a few seats are lost as a result. What are they going to be lost to, moderate republicans? What are those?
posted by nat at 5:59 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


What Happens When Female Politicians Try to Stand Up to Sports Fans is a good example of the harassment women in office are subject to (in the seemingly liberal paradise of Seattle) — honestly, knowning this, I'm not sure why there aren't far more women in the Trump administration that can serve as scapegoats when things go wrong.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 5:59 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


There is recent precedent for a Democrat defeating a Democrat in Massachusetts - Seth Moulton, who unseated John Tierney in 2014. But Tierney had been seriously weakened by a long-running scandal involving an offshore gambling Web site, his sister and his brother-in-law (while Moulton was an Iraq War hero). As others have noted, Lynch is by far the most conservative Democrat in the Mass. delegation, but he has no similar scandal.

And Moulton has been an excellent gain in the House and a good younger face for the Democratic Party.
posted by sallybrown at 6:02 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Artw, you're cherrypicking among her tweets, many of which address real policy. What's your beef with her, exactly? Is Stephen Lynch a better candidate?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:02 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


I remain unconvinced.

What, is a sense of humor inappropriate for elected officials? It's a harmless topic that doesn't reflect on her political seriousness either way. She may not win, but I don't get the dismissal.
posted by mubba at 6:03 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Why can't my state actually get decent people running for governor?

I feel your pain. We have a goddamn Kennedy running here in Illinois, because nothing says progress like a call back to a 20th century political dynasty. Oh well. Maybe he won't be corrupt at least. Oh who am I fucking kidding.
posted by great_radio at 6:07 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I wonder what would happen if we lost a war? Do we know how?

By a lot of measures, we've "lost" almost every war we've entered since the Second World War. Neither Vietnam nor Korea could possibly be considered successes, and our current "we're at war with terrorism" nonsense the US has used as an excuse for the last fourteen years seems unlikely to give us a "win" in any meaningful way. The only war the US definitively "won" has been Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and that's because the goal was sufficiently narrow - get Iraq out of Kuwait.

So I think we'd do what we've done for the past several wars we've acknowledged, and the distressing number of "military operations" we've pretended weren't wars - either pretend we won with a cheery "Mission Accomplished" while hiding the bodies of everyone we murdered, and/or pretend it didn't happen. It is unlikely mainland USA ever be invaded*, and I think that would be the only way the majority of people who have gotten used to us hanging the poor people in our military forces out to dry would be brought face to face with what loss means when the boots are on your ground. In terms of undermining US Proclaimed Values, though, I think the US Military has done that more effectively than communism or terrorism ever could.


*Simply logistically. We're really far away from the people who want to invade us and only have two neighbors near enough to be a threat, neither of which seem particularly inclined.
posted by Deoridhe at 6:07 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


What, is a sense of humor inappropriate for elected officials? It's a harmless topic that doesn't reflect on her political seriousness either way. She may not win, but I don't get the dismissal.

She's a woman - running against a white dude - what else do you expect. Women running for office is always -"get a new hobby" - while men running against men is always serious business..... women and their heads full of fluff and feathers, Heavens to Murgatroyd....
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 6:07 PM on February 20 [33 favorites]


I've been turning this NYT Sater/Cohen/Flynn/Artemenko story over in my head since it popped up and it's still just so weird that Cohen, Sater and Artemenko are all like "You want us to talk on the record about this thing? Sure! Hey, wanna hear about the kompromat on Poroshenko?"

Like, how would the NYT even know about this if they weren't approached, this isn't some "current and former officials on condition of anonymity say..." thing, it's just these idiots bragging about the plan and not realizing why that's incredibly stupid.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:08 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I remain unconvinced.

I know, right? How is Darkstalkers the least popular choice there? It's the best one.

No, but seriously, I'm not actually a big fan of Wu's political stances, which sucks.
posted by byanyothername at 6:10 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Yes, why are polygraphs still used? They've had no credibility for decades.

TV.

Well?
posted by petebest at 6:11 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


What, is a sense of humor inappropriate for elected officials? It's a harmless topic that doesn't reflect on her political seriousness either way. She may not win, but I don't get the dismissal.

Also she's talking to her own Twitter followers who are far more likely to be gamers than potential constituents.

I'd love to see ten people run in the primary as Democrats everywhere. Some of them would be crazy and some would be single-issue candidates and some would be all-around awesome, and all of them would raise the level of debate and raise the level of awareness among the traditional Democratic candidate even if they all lost.

Politically, if I lived there I'd probably vote against Wu in the primary. But more candidates = better candidates.
posted by mmoncur at 6:11 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Why would you list Capcom CPS-II games and not list Marvel vs Capcom as one of the choices? Is she a monster or something?
posted by vuron at 6:13 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I've been turning this NYT Sater/Cohen/Flynn/Artemenko story over in my head since it popped up and it's still just so weird that Cohen, Sater and Artemenko are all like "You want us to talk on the record about this thing? Sure! Hey, wanna hear about the kompromat on Poroshenko?"

What's also strange to me is the emphasis on the "peace plan" (which, I wish articles would stop unqualifiedly calling it that…) being in a sealed envelope, a detail repeated multiple times. Did Cohen think that was some way to describe it that wouldn't implicate him or something?
posted by sallybrown at 6:13 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Yes, why are polygraphs still used? They've had no credibility for decades.

TV.

Well?
posted by petebest at 10:11 AM on February 21 [+] [!]


Well we have WAYS of finding out if you're LYING. Now sit down and put these electrodes on. And if that chart spikes, buddy, you're on notice. ON NOTICE.
posted by saysthis at 6:14 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see ten people run in the primary as Democrats everywhere. Some of them would be crazy and some would be single-issue candidates and some would be all-around awesome, and all of them would raise the level of debate and raise the level of awareness among the traditional Democratic candidate even if they all lost.

Yeah, that worked great for the Republicans lately.
Get someone who says dumb things on twitter and doesn't take it too seriously, you know, not a politician.
posted by bongo_x at 6:14 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


But more candidates = better candidates.

except in republican presidential primaries…
posted by murphy slaw at 6:14 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


It really does make you wonder why these people who interact with the press all the time didn't ever learn a lesson that I picked up literally in high school, which is that you don't actually have to answer a reporter's questions or talk to them. If you are, for example, the subject of a counterintelligence investigation or just helped broker a secret proposal involving the country that just interfered in our election, maybe consider just shutting the hell up for a bit?
posted by zachlipton at 6:18 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


great_radio, that's a good comparison. Overall, NJ and IL are generally blue (I understand the differences but bear with me), but the people that seem to bubble up through the machine to run for governor or the ones that circumvent the machine all seem compromised in some way.
posted by mollweide at 6:18 PM on February 20


she's a single issue platform of cyberbullying (which isn't a wedge issue anyway) + generic D.

Wu's experience with harassment informs her campaign, but her campaign doesn't seem to be single-issue.

She's been talking about her experiences campaigning on her podcast Rocket. While the podcast is focused on technology, Wu has talked about other issues such as campaign finance.
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:19 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


What's also strange to me is the emphasis on the "peace plan" (which, I wish articles would stop unqualifiedly calling it that…)

it is in the sense that ukraine conceding absolutely everything would stop russian aggression…for a while at least
posted by murphy slaw at 6:19 PM on February 20


Why would you list Capcom CPS-II games and not list Marvel vs Capcom as one of the choices? Is she a monster or something?

That's a funny way of spelling Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.
posted by Talez at 6:19 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


we've "lost" almost every war we've entered since the Second World War.

Grenada!!!
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:19 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


I wonder if the need for more agents will eventually lead to a softer entrance exam.

That's crazy talk. Why, it'd be like running low on troops in Iraq and recruiting neo-Nazis and gang members.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:20 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


maybe consider just shutting the hell up for a bit?

like especially if you're the personal lawyer of a President of the United States who has been accused of colluding with a hostile foreign leader and your name was mentioned in a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent that kicked off a 17-agency intelligence investigation…you might want to look in the mirror and practice saying "no comment, thanks" over and over.
posted by sallybrown at 6:20 PM on February 20 [23 favorites]


Or at least giving the ole tweet-finger a rest for a couple days
posted by sallybrown at 6:22 PM on February 20


you might want to look in the mirror and practice saying "no comment, thanks" over and over.

says who?
posted by murphy slaw at 6:22 PM on February 20 [19 favorites]




says who?

The real lawyers? Some of them? All of them?
posted by Talez at 6:24 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Artw did you forget about /hamburger or something? Id vote against anyone that opposed the ACA, D or not. Doesn't hur5 that she is experienced in the public eye.
posted by kittensofthenight at 6:24 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Mainly they're for tricking people into confessing.

"The machine tells the tale, son.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:25 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


As a former constituent of Stephen Lynch who has a chronic disease, I say primary that guy nine ways from Sunday.
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:25 PM on February 20 [39 favorites]


bongo_x: Get someone who says dumb things on twitter and doesn't take it too seriously, you know, not a politician.
Okay, everyone, I'm not familiar with whatever that poll is actually asking on Wu's Twitter, but if we're implying she's on the level of candidate as Trump because her Twitter feed has a couple light-hearted tweets among some really great discussions about her policies, that's going so far out of your way to dismiss a woman as a serious candidate that I'm really in shock at the level of obtuseness or outright sexism happening here. This is too disheartening for me to keep discussing, which is for the best, as I realize this is a derail (though I think it's relevant that we talk about upcoming elections and keep abreast of what up and note up and coming Democrats to keep an eye on.)
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:26 PM on February 20 [54 favorites]


"CAIR Offers Reward for Info on Threats Targeting Jewish Community Centers Nationwide

Well, that made me tear up.
posted by corb at 6:27 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


She needs to move or get a different hobby

Holy shit, that's offensive.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:28 PM on February 20 [89 favorites]


The Mystery of the Ukraine Peace Plan - Who is its reported author, Andrii Artemenko, and what does he want?

What really struck observers in Ukraine about the plan was its reported author, Andrii Artemenko, who according to the Times “sees himself as a Trump-style leader of a future Ukraine.” “That’s the thing,” said Natalia Gumenyuk, the head of the Hromadske.tv, a prominent news outlet that gained stature as the television station of the Maidan protests. “None of us had heard much about him.” What she had heard about him was that he was “marginal,” “a really obscure member of parliament from a shady political party.” She observed that “it’s interesting that it’s this kind of person who got in touch with someone over there,” in the United States.
posted by futz at 6:28 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


What's also strange to me is the emphasis on the "peace plan" (which, I wish articles would stop unqualifiedly calling it that…) being in a sealed envelope, a detail repeated multiple times. Did Cohen think that was some way to describe it that wouldn't implicate him or something?

And stuff like "It was late January when the three men associated with the proposed plan converged on the Loews Regency, a luxury hotel on Park Avenue in Manhattan where business deals are made in a lobby furnished with leather couches, over martinis at the restaurant bar and in private conference rooms on upper floors." why does the NYT even have that detail? Either the three stooges here are awful chatty or the NYT has one hell of a source but the article is written like a straight report with willing interviews, not a surprise investigative bombshell - plus Trump organization SOP when confronted with a surprise story would be go into radio silence when asked for comment. It pretty much has to be Cohen, Sater, Artemenko or someone else in the administration seeking out the NYT, right?

And then Cohen got into a Twitter fight with Louise Mensch and made his own alibi on the Prague stuff in the dossier even shakier.

How is he not out on his ass? I mean Flynn was pretty clearly doing Trump's bidding so Donnie drug his feet in the firing but Cohen and friends are bringing more scrutiny onto the money and mob connection trail by putting a spotlight on Sater.

I'd be tempted to seriously consider that this is somehow a dastardly Trump plan to get the media to bite on something for some reason, but this administration has repeatedly shown that sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from a master plan.

It's probably something incredibly fucking stupid like they all thought they were geopolitical geniuses with their little plan and figured getting some press on it would get it in front of the boss in the idiotic hyper-competitive factionalized White House climate. Like this is Cohen and Sater's big play at being little Bannons and Artemenko thinks this makes him look like a power player.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:34 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Sometimes it is difficult to know who is responding to who in these threads. If you are responding to a comment could you please copy/paste a bit of the comment that you are responding to? It makes the convo easier to follow. It gets annoying to have to constantly scroll back up to make sure that I got the commenters correct and even then you can't always tell. Thanks!
posted by futz at 6:37 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


"I don't know about you folks, but I bet if we put out a picture of the cover of Michael Cohen's passport again, that will clear everything up and the whole problem will just go away," proposes someone at tomorrow morning's senior staff meeting [fake]
posted by zachlipton at 6:37 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


but if we're implying she's on the level of candidate as Trump because her Twitter feed has a couple light-hearted tweets among some really great discussions about her policies, that's going so far out of your way to dismiss a woman as a serious candidate that I'm really in shock at the level of obtuseness or outright sexism happening here.

Honestly, I don't even know who this is, and was completely sympathetic to the discussion that people were dismissing her because she was a woman, because that's what happens. But those light hearted tweets, yeah, that makes me gun shy. I'd like to think that someday we're going to learn that "seems cool, like someone I'd like to have a beer with" is not the acid test, it's a red flag. And "not a politician" has become a big negative for me, not a positive.

Run for smaller local offices if you're serious. I'm tired of random people running for high office and winning, That's why we have the government we have.
posted by bongo_x at 6:43 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Salon: What happens to a centrist Democrat who can’t hold the Obama coalition?

Was Trump’s victory just a “black swan effect,” where he won because of the Electoral College and the distribution of Republican voters? Moreover, looking at the data this “white working-class anxiety” thesis is largely incorrect. Trump won among all groups of white voters, but the news media is obsessed with that narrative and couldn’t let it go.

Well, they’re still not letting it go. Democrats haven’t won white voters since [Lyndon] Johnson signed civil rights legislation and realigned the parties.
Where did Hillary Clinton go wrong? This electorate was actually a browner electorate in 2016 than the electorate that we had in 2012. That should have boded well for her. I got into it a couple of times in the convention with some of my colleagues who would argue that she doesn’t have to hold the Obama coalition as tight because she is certainly going to do better among white women. In the end, she didn’t do better among white women.

Race trumps gender, even with a serial misogynist who is a confessed abuser of women. Race trumps gender in this country.

posted by Glibpaxman at 6:46 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


The Mystery of the Ukraine Peace Plan - Who is its reported author, Andrii Artemenko, and what does he want?

What really struck observers in Ukraine about the plan was its reported author, Andrii Artemenko, who according to the Times “sees himself as a Trump-style leader of a future Ukraine.” “That’s the thing,” said Natalia Gumenyuk, the head of the Hromadske.tv, a prominent news outlet that gained stature as the television station of the Maidan protests. “None of us had heard much about him.” What she had heard about him was that he was “marginal,” “a really obscure member of parliament from a shady political party.” She observed that “it’s interesting that it’s this kind of person who got in touch with someone over there,” in the United States.


futz, I love that pull quote - I'm just picturing like, Steny Hoyer or someone being reached for comment about Steve King and Dana Rohrabacher meeting with Le Pen recently and being all "Steve who? Never heard of him."
posted by jason_steakums at 6:46 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


[One deleted. Let's maybe wrap up the Brianna Wu thing, it can have its own thread if it needs one; and let's way WAY not kick off a round of rancorous metadiscussion of how Sanders supporters are treated.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:47 PM on February 20 [17 favorites]


Okay, so someone please check my chain of rumors here, I'm talking basic observation mainstream media semisolid reporting, no deep stuff. It's all in the newspaper.

Donald Trump is picking fights with reporters and doubling down on something something Sweden. The CIA and anyone they know may get physical on him, not to mention anybody else who have a bone to pick.

Also, Congress is fighting for assholes to fill the cabinet and pushing tiebreaker legislation and an unpalatable at best Supreme Court pick.

The Senate's tiebreaker vote and the number two burrito has an ocean between him and them and anything happening above, to work on building relations with NATO. Also, he visited Dachau.

America's number one Marine is scouting out the Middle East and telling Iraq to take back Mosul and then go fuck off to Syria.

Reality is stealing Charlie Stross plots.
posted by Evilspork at 6:50 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


hey so what did I miss today? I heard Donald spent the day playing Mario Golf with Griffin McElroy, what's up with that?
posted by indubitable at 6:52 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


It's been quiet except for a twitter-fight with Sweden.
posted by um at 6:56 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


this is who we are now
posted by um at 6:58 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


indubitable: In a disturbing display of seeming probity and political competence, Trump nominated someone no one's freaking out about as National Security Advisor.
posted by Coventry at 7:00 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


From "What happens to a centrist Democrat who can’t hold the Obama coalition?" linked above:

In fact, one of my reports was leaked to the New York Times, saying that millennials were rejecting the binary choice of the lesser of two evils.

When you look at the exit data, you have 8 or 9 percent of younger African-Americans voting third-party. You have 6 or 7 percent of younger Latinos voting third-party.


This makes me weep! I know there's no point in talking to 3rd party voters but Clinton wasn't the lesser of two evils. She was the lesser of four.
posted by great_radio at 7:00 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


It's been quiet except for a twitter-fight with Sweden.

Don't worry, Trump is going to the National Museum of African American History and Culture tomorrow. I'm sure that will be a…graceful…moment for him.
posted by sallybrown at 7:01 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Like this is Cohen and Sater's big play at being little Bannons and Artemenko thinks this makes him look like a power player.

That's scarily plausible. It's very much "working towards the Führer" territory -- that instead of a chain of command, supporters try to turn the boss's vague pronouncements into facts on the ground, whether it's magahat CBP agents or long-time members of the Family Business -- and it fits with the sense that Cohen is both pretty fucking thick and thinks quite highly of himself.
posted by holgate at 7:01 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


2017 is going to be "The Year of the Bastards." It will take some serious heroism on the part of every, single other sort of person, to save the situation, (the situation being, everything we hold dear.)
posted by Oyéah at 7:02 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]




Hillary didn't go wrong. Republicans denied voters in North Cadolina, Wisconsin and elsewhere the opportunity to vote for the candidate they wanted by purging her voters from the rolls and engaging in other attacks on the franchise. Alll this bullsuit about what was wrong with Hillary ignores the fact that the election was stolen. The policies of the Democratic Party don't matter if the voters can't vote for our candidates anyway.
posted by humanfont at 7:07 PM on February 20 [63 favorites]


It's about time this country cracked down on gay frogs and lecherous goblins. I can't walk in my own yard without stepping in goblin vomit!
posted by guiseroom at 7:07 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Shout out to Lawrence O'Donnell for basically pleading with Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:14 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Shout out to Lawrence O'Donnell for basically pleading with Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump.

Ha. I was just coming to post the same thing. Happened to catch this when I went to talk to the folks who always watch O'Donnell. If Donald catches wind of this one he is not going to be happy at all.
posted by Jalliah at 7:17 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Apparently there is some effort to get Evan McMullin to run as a Dem against either Chaffetz or Hatch. Right now it's just some random tweets and I don't know if it will really go anywhere, but there is a lot of pushback from liberals. Why?? No way in hell any other Democrat is going to win either of those seats! Why must Democrats kill themselves like this? It's Utah, not San Francisco. Get real.
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:21 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Will Manchin be vulnerable to a challenge any time soon?

He's up for reelection in 2018. One hesitates to make any real predictions in this totally fucked up time we live in, but my initial vague guess would be that he will easily defeat any primary challenger and then go on to get his ass totally kicked in the general by someone to the right of Skeletor.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:27 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Because McMullin is not a Democrat? What good does him running as a Democrat do us? He'd be a D voting for R policies a majority of the time. He's a principled Republican, sure, and better than both those shits in Utah, but he can primary them as a Republican and godspeed.
posted by lydhre at 7:28 PM on February 20 [24 favorites]


What good does him running as a Democrat do us?

He'd be one more vote for Pelosi as Speaker giving Dems control of the House, control of committees, and control of investigations. He can vote against every single law that pops up for all I care, but taking back the House in 2018 is huge.
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:30 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Glibpaxman: He can vote against every single law that pops up for all I care, but taking back the House in 2018 is huge.

But is it really taking back the House if he opposes all Dem-backed legislation?
posted by Superplin at 7:34 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


McMullin could primary Hatch with Hatch's polling where it's at now, but I don't know how he'd fare against Huntsman if Huntsman went for it. I'd love to see McMullin primary Chaffetz or Hatch, but I'd also like to see him doing the political organizing thing and helping anti-Trump Republicans run all over the country. I'll still be fighting to make sure McMullin and any anti-Trump Repubs don't get the policies they want but that's an easier fight without an existential threat to Democracy in the way so I wish him well.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:34 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


He’s the founder of a Californian independence movement. Just don’t ask him why he lives in Russia.

Marinelli has perhaps compounded the issue by making numerous appearances on Russian state media (approximately once a week, by his own estimation), at times offering a political viewpoint that seems to line up neatly with the Kremlin's. In late December, the Russian media gave widespread coverage to Marinelli as his group opened a “Californian Embassy” in Moscow.
posted by futz at 7:37 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Bureaucratic fuckups happen. When they happen to you they're scary and/or annoying. Honestly, my guesses as to what happened would be:

(1) Someone either put the letter for another person in his envelope by mistake, or reached for the wrong form letter in relation to some other issue.

(2) There's a guy with a similar enough name-and-birthdate who is an LPR to trip a flag.

(3) Same thing with SSN.



"No- we wanted Tuttle, not Buttle."


Seriously, this community theater mash-up of Brazil and Children of Men is just terrible.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:39 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]




I would agree that race trumps gender in some parts of the the US.

Trump was able to win Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania primarily due to Trump pulling in large vote totals in rural and suburban portions of the state that Clinton's strength in urban centers wasn't able to negate. This weakness for Democrats might continue for a while as growing Democratic strength in the Southeast and Southwest (Arizona, Texas and Georgia are all looking more and more encouraging for Democrats) seems to be counterbalanced by growing weakness within the industrial midwest.

Part of the problem is that the midwest has lost jobs not just overseas but also to southern states and the migration of populations is for a variety of reasons lagging behind the migration of jobs.

Large parts of the US are basically being left behind, some of those areas like Coal producing areas across Appalachia have been left behind for generations and others are experiencing that effect more recently. This has created fertile ground for populist rhetoric but that is tempered by the deeply tribal nature of our political system. The reality is that a lot of the Trump voters flocked to his banner instead of the generic Republicans because he promised them different stuff, granted he can't deliver on his promises but populists rarely can.

What he offered was a different vision than the standard Republican to people that want change but are unwilling to actually consider the Democrat for various reasons (generally related to guns, abortion, and "the gays"). It's a bleak declinist view of the US that is designed to drive popular support for the biggest bully regardless of how inept Trump actually is at actually playing that role outside of the Apprentice. It's designed to scapegoat declining standards of living, decline of "moral society", etc on convenient scapegoats like Muslims, liberals, etc because it's easier to divide and conquer than to actually fix systemic issues especially if exploiting those systemic issues allow people to get richer.

The interesting thing of course is that the current Republican party is anything but populist so you've got this uneasy alliance between the jackasses in Congress and the jackass in the White House both hoping to get fabulously wealthy but also looking to screw over each other. I figured the honeymoon would last longer than it apparently has but the sheer incompetence of Ryan, McConnell and Trump is mind boggling.
posted by vuron at 7:44 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


indubitable: In a disturbing display of seeming probity and political competence, Trump nominated someone no one's freaking out about as National Security Advisor.

I feel so pathetically grateful for crumbs like this.
posted by bq at 7:47 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


:-/ Kasich, Trump tentatively scheduled to meet :-/

Don't eat the meatloaf John! If this turns into another soul-destroying Never-Trump defection I'm going to be sad.
posted by sallybrown at 7:47 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Holy fuck you guys. I'm two threads behind. I haven't even gotten to the Saturday rally yet on the last one. I think it's the last one. I don't know any more. We are all Tehund now. Or maybe it's just me. Either way, I'm hoping the chapter between where I left off, and where I'm leaving this bookmark, gets better. Maybe the long national nightmare is over,
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:48 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Oh man I love this, if anyone lives in a district where Rs are refusing to meet with constituents: "Someone put stickers on milk jugs of "missing" US Rep. (GOP, Calif 8th) who refuses to hold town meetings. @WhereIsPaulCook @bittersweetdb"
posted by lalex at 7:52 PM on February 20 [44 favorites]


SecretAgentSockPuppet, I have found this thread to be one of the more disheartening MetaFilter threads in a while. It seems like in a lull of the truly awful, we got a bit in-fighty, alas.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:53 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Seriously, this community theater mash-up of Brazil and Children of Men is just terrible.

I mean, biscotti and I had two fuckups with INS/USCIS when we were doing her green card(s). First there was a postal fuckup that resulted in her fingerprinting appointment letter getting bounced back to them, so naturally they rejected her application; local Rep's office fixed it. Then when she got her 10-year green card after we removed her condition, it listed her place of birth as Mexico instead of Canada. These things aren't at all unknown; more than anything else it's probably just that most citizens don't actually have many interactions-that-require-people in the federal bureaucracy.

So WEIRD LETTER INCLUDED WITH PASSPORT seems like the kind of thing that always happens at a low rate.

(By all accounts USCIS has been getting better and better since their divorce from the what-became-ICE side of INS and have certainly become much easier to deal with; the pre-infopass days truly blew goats)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:54 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


But is it really taking back the House if he opposes all Dem-backed legislation?

Yes. The party with the majority sets the legislative agenda, holds the committee chairs, sets a number of rules, and holds a number of other advantages. Congress is more than just votes.

See also: Jeffords, Jim.
posted by toxic at 7:55 PM on February 20 [16 favorites]


Oh and quit worrying about Manchin, he's a shitty Democrat but West Virginia has basically become bright, bright red and the chances of getting someone better are basically zero and the chances of getting someone significantly worse are extremely high.

I wouldn't go out of the way to throw him a lot of money but I also think there are much better targets for upgrading a milquetoast Democrat with a progressive. Keep in mind that for the most part US Senators are the result of an extended period of grooming and support. So if you want more progressive legislators in Congress look to grow more progressives in your state legislature.

Democrats squandered an opportunity to grow a dominant political force in 2008-2010 when the 50 state strategy was basically abandoned but it can still come back into play and while I would prefer the engagement be driven by a message of Hope and Change rather than Resistance I'm okay with channeling Resist into sustained progressive policies.

It already appears like Resist is beginning to open Republican eyes to the reality that repealing ACA would be fantastically bad strategy maybe it can be used to educate Republican law makers that all sorts of other things that we took for granted under Obama are really important to average Americans.
posted by vuron at 7:55 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


“Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom,” adding Trump has “made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.” This was with regard to the threats against the Jewish community, and outright vandalism. But Donald, you don't think that ICE agents and police are going to be all lovey-dovey when they drag off 10 million people because of bigotry in this nation?

How is it possible the FBI and NSA have not tracked these calls to JCCs? What?
posted by Oyéah at 7:57 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


How is it possible the FBI and NSA have not tracked these calls to JCCs?

Indeed.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:59 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]



How is it possible the FBI and NSA have not tracked these calls to JCCs? What?


Things like burner phones, public phones and other spoofing tech can make it difficult to know who was on the other end of a call, even if you know the number and where the people were when they made the calls.
posted by Jalliah at 8:02 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Maybe the long national nightmare is over,

Greetings from the future! It's incrementally more weird than it is now. Enough so that if you're coming to now from the past then the difference will constitute an increase in complexity.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:02 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


This is not three cents worth of effort on the FBI and NSA's part. Get the phone numbers which were called, track the callers. What? Which number called more than three centers separated by 100 miles. How hard it that?
posted by Oyéah at 8:03 PM on February 20



This is not three cents worth of effort on the FBI and NSA's part. Get the phone numbers which were called, track the callers. What? Which number called more than three centers separated by 100 miles. How hard it that


And if it's a burner phone's number there is very little they can do after that. That's why people use burner phones.
posted by Jalliah at 8:04 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


The FBI, NSA, MI6 , etc all have dirt. It's just Sessions is the dirty dirt overseer.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:04 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Well, voice recognition software is pretty good these days. So just find the voice, or voices, and find them again in the big net. C'mon. Bad actors have a stake in creating discord, even if the calls are just to create general discord, find them anyway. Sorry to side rail.
posted by Oyéah at 8:05 PM on February 20


I don't think there's anywhere near the broad voice database you think there is.
posted by flatluigi at 8:06 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


How is it possible the FBI and NSA have not tracked these calls to JCCs? What?

They don't use burner phones. There's things like cameras at the store, triangulation, E911. It's just flat out multiple proxies outside of US jurisdiction routed to a VOIP provider. Hacked Skype account, Gmail offers unlimited calls to the US for free, criminal VOIP provider. There's no end to the options someone has when it comes to VOIP.
posted by Talez at 8:07 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Now that McMullin tweet has me wishing our Dems were dropping punk references. "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" is begging for another moment in the sun.

Or "Ever get the feeling you've been Cheetoed?"
posted by jason_steakums at 8:07 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


So just find the voice, or voices, and find them again in the big net.

In addition to the fact that they can't practically do this, there is the little question of would you really want it to be possible.
posted by Bringer Tom at 8:09 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Mar-a-Lago: Trump's Winter White House takes over Palm Beach
Democrats and ethics watchdogs questioned how the membership fee doubled to $200,000 after Trump's election. The club could turn into a way for Trump to sell access, watchdogs say, allowing members to pay for the luxury of sharing everything from a terrace to a lobby with the President of the United States, access that most lobbyists would salivate over.

Sarah Sanders, a Trump spokeswoman, responded to questions about selling access Sunday by saying that Trump's visits to Mar-a-Lago make him accessible to "regular Americans," even though the membership fee is roughly four times the median family income, per the US Census Bureau.
They're literally handing out shit sandwiches and lying "no, it's actually Nutella".

Imagine if President Clinton tried to do this. Just fucking imagine.
posted by Talez at 8:12 PM on February 20 [43 favorites]


I mean, has anyone run this by McMullin? Why on earth would he support Pelosi for speaker? Have you seen his policy preferences? He's a Republican. He should run as one. Love the idea of him taking down Chaffetz though. That guy is a piece of shit.
posted by great_radio at 8:12 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


I've heard audio of one of the JCC bomb threats. The voice is disguised significantly, and anyway there is no publicly-known giant voiceprint matching database to the best of my knowledge.
posted by zachlipton at 8:12 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


It's just flat out multiple proxies outside of US jurisdiction routed to a VOIP provider. Hacked Skype account, Gmail offers unlimited calls to the US for free, criminal VOIP provider. There's no end to the options someone has when it comes to VOIP.

Wouldn't this mean that the whole NSA-tapping-phone business is only effective against unsophisticated targets? What is the point?
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:14 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


What is the point?

Two words: "Parallel Construction."
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:16 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


H.R. McMasters's book Dereliction of Duty (about the failures of Vietnam) is currently the #1 selling book on Amazon. This is our giant national reality show, and the whole country is glued to it.
posted by sallybrown at 8:18 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Someone should ask Sarah Huckabee Sanders whether her dad got comped a membership to Mar-a-lam-a-ding-dong.
posted by holgate at 8:21 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't this mean that the whole NSA-tapping-phone business is only effective against unsophisticated targets? What is the point?
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:14 PM on February 21 [+] [!]

Bingo.

I was in Vietnam the other day, where they have real-name registration for cell phones SIM cards. I got it, loaded up my Denmark-based VPN (note, not actually Denmark-based), then signed in to a VOIP service I use in Hong Kong for low international rates to call the taxi company over 3G. I pay for the VPN in bitcoin (note, may or may not be bitcoin).

Not saying I'm sophisticated, just saying that's why there are millions of Instagram users in China. It's Internet 101 to avoid government tracking. Which is why dragnets are dumb pretty much all the time.
posted by saysthis at 8:22 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't this mean that the whole NSA-tapping-phone business is only effective against unsophisticated targets? What is the point?

It just means that figuring out who is on the other end is a hella more complicated then 'Trace that call!' and boom, you have the person 30 seconds later.
posted by Jalliah at 8:23 PM on February 20


Wouldn't this mean that the whole NSA-tapping-phone business is only effective against unsophisticated targets? What is the point?

That's nothing. Since it's public knowledge the NSA wiretaps the entire net for metadata, ISIS operatives started to use truecrypt volumes, web servers and URL shorteners to basically bypass the NSA.
posted by Talez at 8:24 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


The Dead Kennedys responded to Evan McMullin's tweet.
posted by sallybrown at 8:26 PM on February 20 [48 favorites]




I would change one thing in the last paragraph triggerfinger linked to....

"Memo to regretful conservatives: if you dislike Trump but still believe that guns should be everywhere, women’s bodies are yours to regulate, war is the answer to everything, black people should be hyperpoliced, immigrants should be vilified, the environment is yours to plunder, healthcare is for rich people, and trickle-down economics are the answer, you need to come to terms with your own objectives and formulate your own movement...then why do you dislike Trump?
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:34 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


that's why there are millions of Instagram users in China. It's Internet 101 to avoid government tracking.

How does instagram help you avoid government tracking? Is this another social media service I'm going to have to get used to? I'm still figuring out twitter!
posted by Coventry at 8:36 PM on February 20



The Dead Kennedys responded to Evan McMullin's tweet.


This timeline does have it's positives I guess. Never thought I'd be geeking out about Evan McMullin geeking out about the Dead Kennedys.

Dead Kennedys
@Evan_McMullin did some one mention Nazi Punks? We also don't care for them either. Maybe you have heard our song ?

Daniel Fuglestad‏
Evan you have to be loving this right now.

Evan McMullin‏
Geeking out big time, but trying to stay cool.

posted by Jalliah at 8:37 PM on February 20 [42 favorites]


I mean, has anyone run this by McMullin? Why on earth would he support Pelosi for speaker? Have you seen his policy preferences? He's a Republican. He should run as one

I don't think McMullin has made any indication he's interested. But hypothetically why would he run as a Republican? His party left him behind, that's his thing. If he primaried Chaffetz and won he wouldn't get very much from it. Republicans in Congress would scorn the shit out of him. Maybe if he beat Hatch, just cause Senators have tons more power individually than Congressman. Everyone in the Senate hates Ted Cruz and he seems to be doing ok. Realistically, if he wants to send a message to Republicans about not acting so batshit crazy he should run as a Democrat or Independent and show that the Republican Party isn't worth supporting at all until they get sane again.

I just found it very frustrating that Democrats would instantly reject the idea on principle. In deep red districts we should be prepared for candidates we don't agree with. If someone who stands a good chance of winning might want to caucus with the Democrats then support them. What is there to lose?
posted by Glibpaxman at 8:40 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Regarding this timeline: maybe we needed to be here for the Dead Kennedys and a Mormon ex-CIA presidential candidate to find common cause?
posted by nolabasashi at 8:41 PM on February 20 [61 favorites]


I can understand and sympathize with why a lot of people on the left would not want to band together with Never Trumpers like McMullin who are otherwise working for policies we feel are actively harmful (anti-choice policies and many other things), but the current fact of Trump in office is so dire that I'm choosing to reach out a hand to as many anti-Trumpers as possible, whenever possible. I'm ok with some strange bedfellows for now (what happens in Trump's America stays in Trump's America - looking at you Bill Kristol).
posted by sallybrown at 8:48 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Not saying I'm sophisticated, just saying that's why there are millions of Instagram users in China. It's Internet 101 to avoid government tracking. Which is why dragnets are dumb pretty much all the time.
posted by saysthis at 12:22 PM on February 21 [+] [!]

How does instagram help you avoid government tracking? Is this another social media service I'm going to have to get used to? I'm still figuring out twitter!
posted by Coventry at 12:36 PM on February 21 [+] [!]


Just want to expand on this because it's relevant to living in the internet era, and especially to being active on the internet in Dampnut's America.

When you criss-cross or live under authoritarian regimes, very often the government's "internet security" rules feel more inconvenient than oppressive. Typical examples - I'm in Saudi Arabia and I want to get on pornhub. Or I'm in China and they've blocked gmail and Facebook. Or, more ominously, I want to research the weapons ISIS uses without worrying that some mook at my ISP will report me to the FBI. Or, I want to use Instagram in China, which blocks it.

The workarounds are honestly trivial. A basic VPN is $40 a year, and there are proxies and other free alternatives. Throwaway emails for registrations are a google search away. With Instagram, you may just be a Chinese person who wants to put filters on your pictures of your trip to Australia and see the likes and reactions once you go back to China, instead of someone who wants to avoid being tracked by the US government.

So not to derail, but the tools to defeat surveillance are par for the course out here in expatland. You walk into an Irish bar in Shanghai and I guarantee you 90% of the people in there are checking their Facebook feeds despite the fact that it's blocked. So yeah, the NSA dragnet isn't just intrusive, it's nigh on pointless against sophisticated targets. Which is why
Since it's public knowledge the NSA trawls the entire net for metadata, ISIS operatives started to use truecrypt volumes, web servers and URL shorteners to basically bypass the NSA.
posted by Talez at 12:24 PM on February 21 [+] [!]

is so important to remember. So much of our "security" is a farce, and so much of our actual safety comes from the simple fact that actual evil murderous villains just aren't that common. Much more evil is done in non-murderous ways by inconveniencing and silencing unsophisticated regime critics. It's the power of "meh, too hard" or "I don't know how" rather than outright fear.

If millions of Chinese people can do the rudimentary homework it takes to use pseudonyms and buy VPN's so they can keep in touch with people on Instagram, we on the progressive side can surely do our homework and be cautious as well.
posted by saysthis at 8:49 PM on February 20 [32 favorites]


the current fact of Trump in office is so dire that I'm choosing to reach out a hand to as many anti-Trumpers as possible, whenever possible. I'm ok with some strange bedfellows for now (what happens in Trump's America stays in Trump's America - looking at you Bill Kristol).

I said it before, it's like that scene in The Rocketeer where the FBI agents and gangsters team up to fight the Nazis. We may disagree about a lot of things, but we're Americans, dammit.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:52 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


hypothetically why would he run as a Republican?

Because if we get out of this shit alive there will still need to be -- and ought to be -- a conservative party, and it would be better for everyone that sane, non-craven conservatives be able to win elections under the banner of the conservative party than through alternative means. There are other routes -- Lisa Murkowski took that path in 2010 after narrowly losing her GOP primary -- but that's something that should be left to individual voters as opposed to the party orgs.
posted by holgate at 8:54 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


Realistically, if he wants to send a message to Republicans about not acting so batshit crazy he should run as a Democrat or Independent and show that the Republican Party isn't worth supporting at all until they get sane again.

I just found it very frustrating that Democrats would instantly reject the idea on principle. In deep red districts we should be prepared for candidates we don't agree with. If someone who stands a good chance of winning might want to caucus with the Democrats then support them. What is there to lose?


Independent makes sense to me, that would be a great way to go and he already did better than expected in Utah without the support of the Republican party. As a Dem, well... look at this list, he's clearly to the right of Manchin. Running centrists is one thing, even running Manchin types where you have to, but if you don't draw a line somewhere you end up with people to even McMullin's right forming a Dixiecrat caucus. Substantial adherence to the party platform is a good basic guideline even if you have to fudge it here and there, but I don't see how you fit McMullin in in that situation.

Also, running as a Dem would probably hurt his chances. His future is in reforming the Republican party, from the outside if he has to and from the inside if he can, running as a Dem helps neither him nor us.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:55 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


I just found it very frustrating that Democrats would instantly reject the idea on principle.

Maybe it's because McMullin's horrific beliefs are contrary to every principle of the Democratic Party:

He wants to overturn Roe v Wade.
He wants to eliminate corporate taxes.
He wants to eliminate the estate tax.
He wants to cut Social Security.
He wants to cut Medicare.
He wants to raise the retirement age.
He wants to repeal Obamacare.
He wants to appoint judges "like Scalia and Thomas" to the Supreme Court.

So exactly what is the charm other than a goofy name?
posted by JackFlash at 8:58 PM on February 20 [55 favorites]


A lot of us have been burned/disappointed at Republicans touted as breaking from their party on important issues where we could have common ground but then falling in line anyway. If a Republican politician actually does something good, I will give them credit, gladly. I'm not willing to assume the best of them beforehand, though. Our desire to reach across the aisle has been used as a bludgeon against us for too long. Trust has to be earned.
posted by emjaybee at 9:00 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


We allied with Stalin to take out Hitler. And McMullin is not nearly as bad as Stalin.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:00 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


If Mullin can take out a Trumpublican then more power to him. He's got more spine than any NeverTrumper.
posted by Artw at 9:02 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Your analogy would work perfectly if we'd made Stalin a Senator.
posted by emjaybee at 9:08 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


So exactly what is the charm other than a goofy name?

Well, so far as Republicans go, I do like the fact that he's not a fucking traitor.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:10 PM on February 20 [62 favorites]


McMullin is not nearly as bad as Stalin.

Nickname is McMuffin-->McMuffins are made of cows.-->Cows produce methane-->Methane increases global warming-->Republicans deny global warming-->Global warming sometimes produces cold-->It's cold in gulags-->Stalin sent people to gulags-->Gulags were essentially concentration camps for Russian Democrats-->Russians now run America-->Stalin's body has barely decayed-->Garage CRISPR is a thing now-->Government covered up Roswell, probably covered up CRISPR 40 years ago-->Republicans now want immigration ban & possible domestic concentration camps-->McMullin holds mostly Republican positions.

McMullin IS Stalin! Read the signs, sheeple!
posted by saysthis at 9:14 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


How is it possible the FBI and NSA have not tracked these calls to JCCs? What?
Ostensibly, the NSA does not investigate Americans for the purpose of solving crimes. Even if the NSA has a lead on these crimes, they have to use a backdoor to pass the information onto an officially domestically powered agency in a process euphemistically referred to as parallel construction.
posted by xyzzy at 9:15 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Also he seems to believe in anthropogenic climate change, and accepts Obergefell v. Hodges even though it goes against his "personal beliefs".
And even regarding Roe, he supports efforts to reduce unwanted pregnancies-- I don't know if he would specifically support provisions for government-supported long acting birth control, but it doesn't seem impossible.

In short, I disagree with him on almost every issue. But not regarding Nazis=bad, science=good, expertise=useful, democracy =good, and facts=facts.

(So dude should run as a Republican or an independent.)
posted by nat at 9:18 PM on February 20 [23 favorites]


He's got more spine than any NeverTrumper.

I thought he was a Never Trumper.
posted by bongo_x at 9:18 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


There's nevertrumpers and then there's #nevertrumpers. The solid, consistent ones get the hashtag. McMullin gets this rank. corb gets this rank. Romney almost did and then choked. McCain's willing to do the talk but not the walk. Kristol has surprised everyone by earning the rank and actually doing something honorable for once.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:23 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


On Felix Sater: a follow-up to what Kabanos linked upthread, with the hypothesis that he's Source E in the Steele dossier, which would fit with him being somewhat promiscuous in who he talks to and works for, because "he's only trying to help", and also means that whatever he knows is probably also known to the intelligence community.
posted by holgate at 9:23 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Iowa, there is a call that university professors be required to state their party affiliation so that some sort of conservative quota system can be set up.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:23 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


He's an independent. The NeverTrumpers are all the republicans in congress furiously tutting and voting in Trump candidates anyway.
posted by Artw at 9:24 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I think McMullin is way better suited to finding and helping other anti-Trump Republicans to run, as a Representative or Senator he could get some direct action if he gets decent committee spots but I don't know how likely that is, he's only got so much political capital to spend and the rest of the party could treat him as a pariah. As the head of a movement threatening pro-Trump Republicans in the primaries he'd be able to get some real concessions. If he can swing both that's ideal, but he should definitely prioritize building a bloc of elected anti-Trump R's before running himself.

It vaguely looks like that's what Stand Up Republic is, or could be? But I don't really know, there's not a lot of detail out there about it, their about page says "Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn founded Stand Up Republic to help Americans stand up in defense of the fundamental principles that have made this country the true home of liberty and a source of hope for many around the world. Stand Up Republic will build and organize a grassroots movement in defense of liberty, equality, and truth in America. Our priorities will be to uphold the Constitution and defend the democratic norms and institutions upon which the protection of our basic rights depend." which isn't really a plan.

It seems like anti-Trump Republicans are pretty thick on the ground when it comes to R's who are retired or otherwise out of the game, so there's a support base he can pull (from this WaPo story on him: "The people who drafted McMullin to be the “Never Trump” independent candidate are some of the Republican establishment’s most well-known operatives: Bill Kristol, John Kingston, Joel Searby, Rick Wilson."), the question is whether or not any electable anti-Trump up-and-comers are out there to run.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:33 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Why are we giving Trump a hard time about golfing? I want him to spend every damned day playing golf.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:34 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Iowa, there is a call that university professors be required to state their party affiliation so that some sort of conservative quota system can be set up.

Thanks for that, I didn't know about it and now it's one more thing for our Indivisible group to bring up at the legislative town hall on Saturday!
posted by jason_steakums at 9:34 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Jason Alexander, on the fact that McMaster seems to be the first National Security Advisor to quote George Costanza: "Yes, I"m so proud..... dear God :("
posted by zachlipton at 10:13 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


i was hoping it'd be the jerk store thing
posted by poffin boffin at 10:25 PM on February 20 [16 favorites]


Now I'm imagining Richard Spencer behind the counter in the Soup Nazi episode. Getting punched!
posted by Lyme Drop at 10:33 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


He would never do anything useful like make soup.
posted by Artw at 10:37 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Just a reminder that Steve Bannon made his riches producing Seinfeld and that nothing is untainted in this crooked and creaking universe.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:40 PM on February 20 [38 favorites]


> Why are we giving Trump a hard time about golfing? I want him to spend every damned day playing golf.

Because of all the grief not-yet-President Trump gave now ex-President Obama for going golfing, plus Trump cheats (huffpo msnbc).
posted by fragmede at 10:55 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


He cheats on everything. Why would golf be any different?
posted by Archelaus at 10:59 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


> I just found it very frustrating that Democrats would instantly reject the idea on principle. In deep red districts we should be prepared for candidates we don't agree with.

This isn't "we don't agree". This is "pretend to be the complete opposite of our ideals". I'm happy to fight shoulder to shoulder against Nazis with anyone, but I'm not going to pretend I'm a Republican, or even a Liberal, to do it.

One of my biggest issues with the Democrats has been how the second someone waves "centrist" under their nose they go running toward Republican rhetoric, jettisoning their claimed values on the way. I'm tired of liberals and conservatives trying to convince progressives that we should do what Republicans want. If I wanted to be a Republican, I know how to do it; I'm a progressive because I believe in it, and I won't pretend differently just because someone pretends doing so is "centrist" instead of "conciliatory".

Even now, people are equating Republicans refusing to pass budgets with Democrats rejecting people who are manifestly unqualified to head the departments #45 is handing them. That's nonsense. People are equating mass protests with acts of violence. That's also nonsense.

People are saying that if we sit down, ask nicely for what we want, then shut up we'll somehow magically get it. That is bullshit and everyone knows it - even the people trying to sell that whopper of a lie. They want us to sit down, shut up, and do what the Republican's want because they want the Republicans running things for some reason surpassing my comprehension, given how suffering increases under their rule. The thought nauseates me, and I reject it unequivocally.
posted by Deoridhe at 10:59 PM on February 20 [64 favorites]


User n2doc over on Democratic Underground posts a weekly roundup of news toons. Here's this week's batch.

Monday Toon Roundup 1 [has bees]
Monday Toon Roundup 2
Monday Toon Roundup 3
posted by valetta at 11:01 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I'd support putting Trump out to permagolf pasture if he didn't keep signing everything the Bannon wing of the regime sticks under his nose. Let's be clear, he'd still do that even if he spent his days in the office doing actual "work". But he would suffer, and he's certainly earned that.
posted by SakuraK at 11:01 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Just a reminder that Steve Bannon made his riches producing Seinfeld and that nothing is untainted in this crooked and creaking universe.

Bannon made his riches as a Goldman Sachs investment banker. Seinfeld was a lucky strike after he retired from his primary career of capitalist remora.
posted by SakuraK at 11:07 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


See also: granny foreclosure king Munchkin and Lego Batman. Rich bastards have too many opportunities just by being rich bastards, as we're all finding out.
posted by holgate at 11:09 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Richard Spencer is The Jimmy.
posted by rhizome at 11:10 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Also want to say now that it's been a month, don't forget that Obama left us some parting words about Obamacare. This is an hour-long interview with Ezra Klein on the legacy and future of the ACA. Worth a listen, if you haven't heard it.
posted by saysthis at 11:30 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


> Because if we get out of this shit alive there will still need to be -- and ought to be -- a conservative party, and it would be better for everyone that sane, non-craven conservatives be able to win elections under the banner of the conservative party than through alternative means.

One thing that Democrats and people who vote for Democrats nerd to learn from the right is that there is no reason why we should pretend as if the institutions of our political opponents should be preserved. Politics is not about abstract debate in the realm of ideas; it's about organizing to exert force. Weakening and breaking your political opponents' organizations is how you break your opponents' ability to defend their positions; it's also how you chase their ideas out of the public conversation.

The world would be a better place if the rightmost institutionally powerful political party were a social democratic party competing with democratic socialist parties to their left and anarchist formations to their sideways. If conservative and liberal parties were not powerful enough to win representation, the people who would otherwise be voting for the right would instead be voting for social democrats, and would find their views shifting to match the views of the people they vote for.

Evan McMullin is opposed to fascism, and that is excellent. That doesn't mean that the world wouldn't be better off without the Republican Party. Destroying it is unlikely - but we shouldn't pretend we wouldn't be better off if it were gone.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:54 AM on February 21 [37 favorites]


Agreed. We already have a party that is very nearly too conservative to be of use to the American people and we call them Democrats. There is certainly no reason that we need or should have to put up with the existence of the Republican party. The system shouldn't be two-party in the first place, but if it must be then the second party needs to be significantly to the left of the Democrats, not significantly to the right of Lex Luthor.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:11 AM on February 21 [13 favorites]


Our intelligence agencies are run by people who swear an oath to defend against enemies foreign and domestic, and their loyalty is to the Constitution before the President.

Naw, their loyalty is to their paychecks. Because without that paycheck they don't have a home, transport, food et al.

A couple of Trump tweets then 1 of his ramble-speeches had a reference to 'getting rid' of the intelligence agency. With one of 'em being direct enough for me to think of how well things went for John Kennedy after he made such a statement.

If you want to go ahead an claim there is some kind of voodoo magik in 'took an oath to the Constitution' - fine. But how did THAT work out for Ed, Tom, Sibel, and a whole host of others?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:14 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Naw, their loyalty is to their paychecks. Because without that paycheck they don't have a home, transport, food et al.

This is pretty gross. The people who are asked to take an oath to defend the constitution are mostly the people we expect to die in the line of duty, if necessary. Intelligence officers and military officers and law enforcement officers... They know we expect them to die rather than break their oaths, if it comes to that. And some of them do. Many of them fail much lesser tests, but some really do hold that oath more valuable than their own lives, and prove it by dying.

And the ones who are leaking stuff right now? Are actually putting their careers on the line. You think they feel threatened by Trump's threats to their funding? If they'd toe the party line, he'd likely stop threatening it. They could be useful tools to him if they were willing to be tools. And that's looking at it from an organizational standpoint. As individuals there is absolutely no upside for these leakers. If they get caught, they are out (and maybe prosecuted) regardless of the future of their agency. Really the only motive that makes sense for these leaks is that some intelligence officers do value their integrity more than they value their jobs.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:33 AM on February 21 [45 favorites]


"US Customs block Canadian man after reading his Scruff profile

. . . When he went through secondary inspection at Vancouver airport, US Customs officers didn’t even need to ask for his passwords — they were saved in their own system. But André had wiped his phone of sex apps, browser history and messages, thinking that would dispel any suggestion he was looking for sex work. Instead, the border officers took that as suspicious.

'They went through my computer. They were looking through Word documents,' André says. 'I had nude photos of myself on my phone, and they were questioning who this person was. It was really humiliating and embarrassing.'

'They said, "Next time you come through, don’t have a cleared phone," and that was it. I wasn’t let through.'"
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:03 AM on February 21 [30 favorites]


These California teachers mocked students for skipping school on immigrant boycott day: "Six high school employees in a predominantly Latino district in Southern California were placed on administrative leave after they posted social-media comments insulting students who skipped classes to participate in the “Day Without Immigrants” protest."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:07 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


But Secretary DeVos will probably give them medals...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:37 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


You know, VPN's and all that bouncing phones through various providers relies on encryption, and although implementations of Salt go a long way to making me feel comfortable, I'm still not convinced people should be trusting that the NSA can't read them in realtime.

And I think the NSA isn't going to blow this capability by sharing it with anyone else.

Which means, that yeah, COTS tools can go a long way to keep domestic law enforcement off your back, but if your VPN provider's *hardware* is phoning home to some TLA, your traffic isn't safe. And I'm not sure what's in those routers.
posted by mikelieman at 3:52 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Naw, their loyalty is to their paychecks. Because without that paycheck they don't have a home, transport, food et al.

Do you know how much most of those people make and how it compares to what they could be making in the private sector? There are still plenty of high-minded civil servants out there.
posted by Etrigan at 3:55 AM on February 21 [24 favorites]


I read another one of those "what Republican voters think about the Trump presidency so far!" stories instead of going to bed. Now I am, once again, appalled and upset.

How do you reason with unreasonable people?
posted by Justinian at 4:26 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Intelligence officials are the ones who decided upon, and carried out, the erection of a post-Patriot-Act surveillance state that spends much more time spying on Americans than anyone else. During one of the Blue Lives Matter discussions someone brought up Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers showing that lumberjacks are ten times more likely to die than cops. So I don't think automatic adoration of the nobility of soul of these oath-takers is in order.

Yeah, many of them do heroic and important things, and some regularly bear risks beyond those of mortal men, but they shouldn't get a blind assumption of being an action movie protagonist level of virtuous person more than anyone else just because they've got a uniform.
posted by XMLicious at 4:38 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


A great number of them are civilians.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:49 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action: One executive order — which the Trump administration will couch as reducing U.S. dependence on other countries for energy — will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities. It also instructs the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.

A second order will instruct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to revamp a 2015 rule, known as the Waters of the United States rule, that applies to 60 percent of the water bodies in the country. That regulation was issued under the 1972 Clean Water Act, which gives the federal government authority over not only major water bodies but also the wetlands, rivers and streams that feed into them.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:58 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


How do you reason with unreasonable people?

"Reasoning will never make a man correct an ill opinion, which by reasoning he never acquired," as Swift observed.

That said, there are methods to help people reexamine their political beliefs. For instance, the "paradoxical thinking" technique suggests confronting the other side with even more extreme versions of their political stance. Rather than debating from one's own position, which tends to make the other side double down on theirs in a heated argument, this cuts them off from adopting even more radical views and provides room for them to reexamine their positions on their own. If this technique managed to open up hard-line Israelis into rethinking their positions on Palestine, it might have benefits with even Rump Republicans.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:03 AM on February 21 [23 favorites]


I read another one of those "what Republican voters think about the Trump presidency so far!" stories instead of going to bed. Now I am, once again, appalled and upset.

@jbouie: The best part of this [interview with Ohio Republicans] is the woman who says "none of us hate Muslims" and who is followed by a guy railing about Sharia law.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:06 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


@HillaryClinton: JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:12 AM on February 21 [40 favorites]


White House delivered EU-skeptic message before Pence visit - sources: Bannon, these people said, signalled to Germany's ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis.

Three people who were briefed on the meeting spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. The German government and the ambassador, Peter Wittig, declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of the talks

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:18 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Some regularly bear risks beyond those of mortal men, but they shouldn't get a blind assumption of being an action movie protagonist level of virtuous person more than anyone else just because they've got a uniform.

They don't typically have uniforms. And, no there should be no default assumption of virtue. The torture scandal gives me chills still. Or just scroll up to see my sordid speculations about the New York FBI.

We were talking about oaths, and the significance of the fact that they are sworn to the Constitution, to our system, rather than to a person. To me, it seemed rough ashler implied that it had no significance at all, and that the people who are informing on Trump to the press right now are acting only in their own self interest.

Bu I am very sure that there are some people out there to whom it does matter very much that they swore an oath to protect our system. I cited the fact that some die in the line of duty as proof of the existence of such people. I didn't say it's everyone in those roles or even a majority. But those oaths are supposed to mean something, and for some people, at least, they do.

And that kind of constitution-focused patriotism (which does exist!) is truly the most logical explanation for the leaks we've seen, as far as I can tell.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:22 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


You walk into an Irish bar in Shanghai
And the bartender says, "what'll you have?"

Or is that the first line of a Tom Waits song?
posted by spitbull at 5:23 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


And a deep thought: the NSA's ability to match voices against a sekrit Internets database of All Human Voices is how they managed to get that Anonymous guy. Shame about T-Pain getting busted though.
posted by spitbull at 5:25 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Vienna court has approved US' extradition request, ruling against Dmitry Firtash. As mentioned above and on Maddow last night, he's a pal of Manfort's and is being held in Austria by request of Obama's FBI. He has racketeering, money laundering & bribery charges.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:33 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter 2017: We are all Tehhund now.
posted by petebest at 5:42 AM on February 21 [17 favorites]


You walk into an Irish bar in Shanghai
And the bartender says, "what'll you have?"

Or is that the first line of a Tom Waits song?
posted by spitbull at 9:23 PM on February 21 [+] [!]


Irish bars are the Olive Gardens of expatland. There's one in Da Nang, too. Conversations about which VPN you use are a good opener with expats and locals alike.

This, like healthcare and tax on global income, is another issue in which the US is a global outlier. The preponderance of Irish bars in the US is one in which we are not.

God only knows what restrictions they'll pass on voters abroad. We're mostly Democrat. We also run registration drives at...wait for it...Irish bars.
posted by saysthis at 5:44 AM on February 21 [15 favorites]


And to speak to the futility of trying to fight NSA spying, well, it's not like we're criminals. We have to worry when they start harassing people for legal activism, or god forbid criminalizing it sideways like they're doing to abortion. They very well might. In which case the answer is the same thing we're already doing - resist.
posted by saysthis at 5:48 AM on February 21


CNN is an interesting mix - while they are pushing against Trump on a number of fronts, their current top stories are, from left to right on CNN.com:
* Former Trump skeptics are now on board
* Administration set to roll out revised travel ban order
* Police: Newly paroled gang member kills veteran officer

Let's see, that's a vote for normalization, fear and uncertainty, and hey look, more fear of "Them"! Stellar work there.

My favorite quote from the first article "I'm ecstatic! It's a breath of fresh air," Judy Griffin exclaimed when I asked her about the nascent Trump presidency. "The country was going on a near-death experience collision. Political correctness was about to strangle us all."

Yes, "political correctness," AKA not being an overt asshole from the word "Go" was the cancer killing this country, you unfortunate white lady.

As Aziz Ansari said in his SNL opening monolog, “[Some] people got way too fired up over Trump for the wrong thing. I’m talking about the people, who as soon as Trump won, they’re like ‘we don’t have to pretend like we’re not racist anymore!’ no, no, if you’re one of these people: please go back to pretending! I’m so sorry we never thanked you for your service. We never realized how much effort you put into pretending.”
posted by filthy light thief at 5:53 AM on February 21 [67 favorites]


FML. Trump to roll back protections for transgender students: report: President Trump's administration on Tuesday will reportedly rescind guidance to schools that bars discrimination against transgender students.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:54 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


What is the point?
Two words: "Parallel Construction."
Ostensibly, the NSA does not investigate Americans for the purpose of solving crimes. Even if the NSA has a lead on these crimes, they have to use a backdoor to pass the information onto an officially domestically powered agency in a process euphemistically referred to as parallel construction.


To be clear, xyzzy's version of this is more accurate, while my previous, snarkier, response was to be read as suggestive of the ultimate result product of "parallel construction"; namely the incarceration of petty drug criminals. The NSA mass-wiretapping program is generally useless, for reasons previously discussed, but it sure is paying for itself in drug convictions.

So.. that is what it is for, regardless of what it says on the label.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:55 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


One Guardian writer coined a new term for it: "Populist Correctness", or how Trumpists are becoming the most sensitive snowflakes ever to shut down free speech.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:14 AM on February 21 [53 favorites]


Donald Trump owns thousands of websites with his own name, including 'Trump Fraud' and 'Trump Scam' - Many of the URLs don't actually go anywhere – but some sell strange T-shirts or offer trips around the President's new hometown

[there's an autoplay somewhere down the page so may want to be ready to hit the wee mute button on the pane tab].
Others appear calculated to stop people researching to find critical reviews that might harm Mr Trump's businesses. He owns TrumpMultiLevelMarketing.com, TrumpNetworkFraud.com, TrumpNetworkPyramidScheme.com and TrumpNetworkPonziScheme.com, for instance – all bought just before he launched the "Trump Network", a much criticised and now defunct marketing scheme, in 2009.
From: The Dept. of Not Even F*ing Pretending.
posted by Buntix at 6:15 AM on February 21 [42 favorites]


"US Customs block Canadian man after reading his Scruff profile

. . . When he went through secondary inspection at Vancouver airport, US Customs officers didn’t even need to ask for his passwords — they were saved in their own system. But André had wiped his phone of sex apps, browser history and messages, thinking that would dispel any suggestion he was looking for sex work. Instead, the border officers took that as suspicious.

'They went through my computer. They were looking through Word documents,' André says. 'I had nude photos of myself on my phone, and they were questioning who this person was. It was really humiliating and embarrassing.'

'They said, "Next time you come through, don’t have a cleared phone," and that was it. I wasn’t let through.'"


How many millions (billions?) of dollars are US Customs and Border Patrol costing the US economy in lost tourism, investment, and human capital? They're completely out of control.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:26 AM on February 21 [23 favorites]


Bannon, these people said, signalled to Germany's ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis.

As a proud citizen of the European Union (for however long UK political idiocy will allow me to remain one), my response is that there is clear evidence that the US is a flawed construct and we should conduct relations with individual American states on a bilateral basis.
posted by rory at 6:26 AM on February 21 [57 favorites]


'They said, "Next time you come through, don’t have a cleared phone," and that was it. I wasn’t let through.'"

Mental note to create an anodyne email account and just clear everything but boring_winns at yahoo dot com.
posted by winna at 6:34 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Don't worry, Trump is going to the National Museum of African American History and Culture tomorrow. I'm sure that will be a…graceful…moment for him.

Is it close enough to the inner city that he won't get confused and angry when he sees black people there?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:42 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) says he can't guarantee everyone who currently has health insurance will keep it under the GOP's ObamaCare replacement.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Monday night questioned whether Sanford could look his constituents in the eye and say, "You will be better off — I guarantee you, you're going to have care, you're going to have coverage if you have it now."

"I hate the issue of political guarantees because they're ripped apart so quickly," Sanford said in response.

Sanford went on to say that in South Carolina, healthcare premiums increased by 29 percent last year.

"We've gone from three providers down to one," he said. "And so it's in something of a mathematic spiral and you could either sit on the sidelines and say let is fail at it's own volition, leave it alone, which I think is probably politically, would be the easier thing to do," he continued.

"Or you could say, 'Hey, here's some other remedies.' And what I think what's going to happen is the two ideas are going to get melded, you're probably going to have a bit of ObamaCare and you're probably going to have a bit more of a free market."


I have another remedy for Mark Sanford that buzzes and that was nourished in its larval stage with the queen's royal jelly.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:43 AM on February 21 [25 favorites]




I started reading that draft Title IX memo and had to stop at the suggestion that rape victims who come forward should be subjected to questioning about their "relevant" sexual history with persons other than the accused rapist.

I'm in a rage blackout and I'm noping out of reality.
posted by prefpara at 6:47 AM on February 21 [88 favorites]


Texas is the Future Unlike the rest of the country, Houston Democrats had a full-scale Republican rout to celebrate. The party had swept the polls in Harris County, the vast region encompassing Houston, arguably the nation’s most diverse city (as locals never tire of repeating). With 4.5 million inhabitants, the county is more populous than half the states in America. Now Harris voters had elected a Democratic district attorney — a very powerful post in Texas law enforcement — for the first time in thirty-six years. The Democrats had also captured almost every other slot on the ballot, including the tax assessor’s office, which oversees voter registration: a crucial win in an age of Republican voter suppression.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:50 AM on February 21 [53 favorites]


Is it me, or is Trump keeping a conspicuously cluttered desk in the Oval Office, at least compared to recent presidents? Have been noticing piles of paper on the desk (no idea whether they have print on them or not). I understand that there's working space for the President adjacent to the office itself.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:51 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


I started reading that draft Title IX memo and had to stop at the suggestion that rape victims who come forward should be subjected to questioning about their "relevant" sexual history with persons other than the accused rapist.

Don't miss the part where the real problem is the disparate treatment of men and the disparate impact on men.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:51 AM on February 21 [27 favorites]


We already have a party that is very nearly too conservative to be of use to the American people and we call them Democrats.

Clinton ran on the most progressive Democratic platform ever and won the popular vote by 3 million.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:52 AM on February 21 [90 favorites]


Is it me, or is Trump keeping a conspicuously cluttered desk in the Oval Office

Nothing new for Trump. My guess is he thinks it makes him look busy.
posted by PenDevil at 6:53 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


including the tax assessor’s office, which oversees voter registration:

I am starting to wonder whether (a small) part of the problem in this country is that we don't have obvious public faces who run elections. It's mostly secretaries of state and clerks and assessors and the like, which don't sound like "Elections Commissioner" or whatever.
posted by Etrigan at 6:55 AM on February 21



Is it me, or is Trump keeping a conspicuously cluttered desk in the Oval Office, at least compared to recent presidents? Have been noticing piles of paper on the desk (no idea whether they have print on them or not). I understand that there's working space for the President adjacent to the office itself.


He likes having paper on his desk because he thinks it shows people that he's working. He's made comments about the paper on his desk to make sure we know there is paper on his desk. And if IRC one of those comments was about him having more paper on his desk then other Presidents cause he's the best President.
posted by Jalliah at 6:55 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


He likes to keep stacks of magazines with him on the cover on his desk.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:55 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


@brianstelter: "On Trump's desk in the Oval Office: stacks of newspapers and @Time mag. Looks like the Trump Person of the Year cover"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:59 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


So the cluttered desk fits the pattern of aspiring to positions of visible authority, while doing the bare minimum to justify, let alone earn them?

In that light, I find it ironic that he likes the movie Air Force One, since the fictional President was a Vietnam vet who served as a pilot and earned a Medal of Honor.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:00 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Hey black museum people, guess what: Trump knows Ben Carson
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:01 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


So the cluttered desk fits the pattern of aspiring to positions of visible authority, while doing the bare minimum to justify, let alone earn them?

He's a one-person cargo cult. "Busy people have cluttered desks, so if my desk is cluttered, that means I'm busy."
posted by Etrigan at 7:02 AM on February 21 [25 favorites]


I am starting to wonder whether (a small) part of the problem in this country is that we don't have obvious public faces who run elections. It's mostly secretaries of state and clerks and assessors and the like, which don't sound like "Elections Commissioner" or whatever.

In a sensible, mature universe this would be the most reasonable of things. Why should this be anything other than a boring and professional accounting process? Of all the things to be performative, something that is as boring and process-driven as the DMV should be the last thing we need recognizable celeb-ish folks for.
posted by phearlez at 7:05 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Unless there are 100 totally separate anti-semitic terrorist/vandals out there who each independently bought burner phones with cash and a fake moustache, activated them over Tor with another fake VoIP number, then threatened Jewish institutions - individually and without collaboration now - then it's mostly trivial for NSA to track and FBI to investigate.

They won't, because Nazis, but they can. Also, if these crimes aren't done by idiot channer/Breichbart sociopaths calling from their grandmother's basement landline, I'll be surprised.
posted by petebest at 7:05 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


The New York Times backpedals

Move Left, Democrats
The Democratic National Committee will choose its next leader on Saturday, and when it does it should choose a leader who will resist the pressure to pursue the wrong white people. Hundreds of articles have been written about the imperative of attracting more support from white working-class voters who supported Barack Obama in 2012 but then bolted to back Donald J. Trump.

The far more important — and largely untold — story of the election is that more Obama voters defected to third- and fourth-party candidates than the number who supported Mr. Trump. That is the white flight that should most concern the next D.N.C. chairman, because those voters make up a more promising way to reclaim the White House. The way to win them back is by being more progressive, not less.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 7:06 AM on February 21 [32 favorites]



I'm a cover my desk and surroundings with lots of paper and folder person. In my defence it's because I do use it all and I'm an open shelf type organizer. I'm more comfortable being able to see my things.
posted by Jalliah at 7:06 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


How many millions (billions?) of dollars are US Customs and Border Patrol costing the US economy in lost tourism, investment, and human capital?

Definitely billions.

Third of Britons deterred from US travel in ‘Trump slump’
Almost a third of Britons have been put off holidaying in the US in a so-called ‘Trump slump’.

If they stay away in such numbers, the cost to the US economy could exceed $1.5 billion.
US travel industry has lost $185 million since Trump took office
A travel company, Hopper, which analyses billions of flight searches around the world, has said demand is 10 per cent lower than it was before Trump took office.

Hopper claims demand started to dip on the day of Trump's inauguration – down 5 per cent compared to the previous two weeks – and crashed by as much as 17 per cent in the days following his controversial executive order.

Although there has been a recovery since the ban was lifted, Hopper claims searches for flights to the US at the time of writing remain 10 per cent lower than they were in the final fortnight of the Obama administration. During the same period last year, demand dipped by just 1.8 per cent, suggesting the change is not simply a seasonal effect.
As to what its economic impact could be...
The U.S. travel and tourism industry generated nearly $1.6 trillion in economic output in 2015, supporting 7.6 million U.S. jobs. Travel and tourism exports accounted for 11 percent of all U.S. exports and nearly a third (33 percent) of all U.S. services exports, positioning travel and tourism as the nation's largest services export. One out of every 18 Americans is employed, either directly or indirectly, in a travel or tourism-related industry. In 2015, U.S. travel and tourism output represented 2.6 percent of gross domestic product.

While the majority of activity in the industry is domestic, expenditures by international visitors in the United States totaled $246.2 billion in 2015, yielding a $97.9 billion trade surplus for the year.
Personally, as things stand no way would I gamble the £500 a (cheap) return flight costs when there's a chance some perfectly innocent comment I've made about something like how some naranjous persons need strapping to the mast at Up Helly Aa could get me bounced. At least not until I have built up a bunch of convincingly back-stopped sock identities.
posted by Buntix at 7:10 AM on February 21 [30 favorites]


The New York Times backpedals

That's an op-ed, written by someone who has nothing to do with the NYT.
posted by neroli at 7:14 AM on February 21 [15 favorites]


Joe Piscopo considering run for NJ Governor

Why can't my state actually get decent people running for governor? I mean, I know the answer to that question, but it's so disappointing to see this nonsense play out again and again.


I mean, dude's not winning a primary, like. He just showed up to the governor's race three months late with Starbucks.

John Wisniewski seems to be a decent person running for governor. I'm hoping the Bernie wave is still strong enough to get him in.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:14 AM on February 21


That's an op-ed, written by someone who has nothing to do with the NYT.

That doesn't change the fact that the NYT made an editorial decision to publish that piece.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 7:16 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


He's a one-person cargo cult.

The Cargo Mystic
posted by Greg Nog at 7:21 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


That doesn't change the fact that the NYT made an editorial decision to publish that piece.

....which also doesn't change the fact that by in large, it is not the Editorial section of the NYT that a lot of folks have a serious fucking problem with.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:22 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Almost a third of Britons have been put off holidaying in the US in a so-called ‘Trump slump’.

Yep, I'm a Britain going to the US this week (actually, just passing back through the US after going to Canada), and everyone I've mentioned it to acts like it's a bit unusual.
posted by ambrosen at 7:28 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


I believe w the previous dumb thing was likewise an op-ed. As was the price featuring the one dumb asshole from it previously.

Personally I think hey should give us continuous updates on the dumb asshole and his failure to get laid.
posted by Artw at 7:28 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Not sure if it's Trump or Brexit, but last year Emerald City Comccon in Seattle had a ton of Brits and this year it's zero.
posted by Artw at 7:30 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


....which also doesn't change the fact that by in large, it is not the Editorial section of the NYT that a lot of folks have a serious fucking problem with.

Be the numerous problems of the NYT what they may, it is not unreasonable to believe that a line like "Hundreds of articles have been written about the imperative of attracting more support from white working-class voters" in the first paragraph of an opinion piece three days after the widely ridiculed "Are Liberals Helping Trump" piece may constitute some amount of backpedaling.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 7:34 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


had to stop at the suggestion that rape victims who come forward should be subjected to questioning about their "relevant" sexual history with persons other than the accused rapist

Oh, so you didn't get to the part where the rapists get to cross examine the victim?

I didn't think it was possible to contain more rage but I guess I learn something new every day.
posted by corb at 7:37 AM on February 21 [66 favorites]


CNN: Trump admin outlines plan to crack down on undocumented immigrants: The department released guidance memos signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued to heads of key agencies, which describe how the government plans to implement two executive orders President Donald Trump signed last month on border security and interior enforcement.

The memos, which were obtained and reported on by CNN over the weekend, serve to expand upon the orders, which are unrelated to the controversial travel ban currently tied up in the courts and being re-written by the White House.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:39 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


There's nevertrumpers and then there's #nevertrumpers.

At the risk of cluttering the thread with a MeTa concern, I am never going to keep this straight. Let's pay attention to what actually happens when people use nevertrump in conversation: some people use it to mean McCain et al and then someone else gets confused or angry that corb or McMullin is getting tarred by that same brush. Or someone uses it to praise actual resistance and someone else has to chime in that X congressman hasn't really put their votes where their mouth is. For this reason, it's just not a very conversationally useful word. Yes, each of its meanings might be useful, but there would be less confusion if those meanings were indexed by different words, like "principled conservative" or "invertebrate" or whatever.
posted by Jpfed at 7:45 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


I think it's best to assume we are talking about the actual news and people in it and not fellow users unless we really specify it.
posted by Artw at 7:49 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


President Trump's administration on Tuesday will reportedly rescind guidance to schools that bars discrimination against transgender students.

you know, whenever there's administration action that involve a paranoid crackdown on muslims or mexicans, i see the shadowy hand of steve bannon, but whenever trump takes action to specifically and spitefully roll back something good that obama did, i suspect that's all trump
posted by murphy slaw at 7:50 AM on February 21 [23 favorites]


Not sure if it's Trump or Brexit, but last year Emerald City Comccon in Seattle had a ton of Brits and this year it's zero.

A mixture of both, I suspect: the Brexit vote made travel to/in the US significantly more expensive overnight for us, and there's now a noticeable amount of unease about going to the US compared to before the Trump win, at least in my circle.
posted by dowcrag at 7:51 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Oh, so you didn't get to the part where the rapists get to cross examine the victim?

BEE TIME
posted by KathrynT at 7:52 AM on February 21 [37 favorites]


Holy fucking Shitballs, that Title IX memo. I'm completely out of evens.

Also, I noticed we are not keeping up the with the necessary quota of fucks.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:52 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


trump takes action to specifically and spitefully roll back something good that obama did, i suspect that's all trump

I don't know, I suspect the anti-trans kids is Pence.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:52 AM on February 21 [15 favorites]


Also, I noticed we are not keeping up the with the necessary quota of fucks.

That's only because everything is completely fucked up.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:54 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


So I guess the immigration plan that was fake news last week is real this week? And still awful.
posted by Artw at 7:54 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


How many millions (billions?) of dollars are US Customs and Border Patrol costing the US economy in lost tourism, investment, and human capital? They're completely out of control.

Canada's response, for its part, has been to offer CBP officials the power to detain people on Canadian soil if they don't like the look of someone going through pre-clearance, because I guess the Liberal government is trying to commit political suicide. The man in that Daily Xtra article could have been detained IN VANCOUVER by US CUSTOMS OFFICIALS if he'd tried his first border crossing with C-23 in effect.
posted by chrominance at 7:55 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I started reading that draft Title IX memo and had to stop at the suggestion that rape victims who come forward should be subjected to questioning about their "relevant" sexual history with persons other than the accused rapist.

Compare that to the Federal Rules of Evidence, which since 1978 has had a fairly strong prohibition against introducing:
(1) evidence offered to prove that a victim engaged in other sexual behavior; or

(2) evidence offered to prove a victim’s sexual predisposition.
There are some narrow exceptions, particularly in criminal cases, but they are much narrower than "it's okay as long as it's relevant." Legally speaking, relevance is an extremely low bar. It does not mean "makes a difference in the final outcome of the case." It means "has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence"—in other words, does it move the needle even the tiniest bit.

As an attorney, as a university lecturer, and as a human being, this is infuriating.
posted by jedicus at 7:55 AM on February 21 [66 favorites]


Is there anything left of the Republicans but spite? I don't mean grieving conservatives wondering where their party went, I mean in the leadership/goals--it's all spite, right? Somebody has something good, we don't like that, let's break it. Even if it hurts us too!
posted by emjaybee at 7:57 AM on February 21 [26 favorites]


Great, after a comparatively quiet day or two, the awfulness is ramping the fuck back up again (between the Title IX memo, the transgender protections rollback, the destruction of Obama's environmental initiatives, the backchannel Bannon threats to the EU, and probably other stuff I have managed to miss already.) I do not have the stamina for this! It is only Tuesday morning!
posted by ubersturm at 7:58 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


I don't know, I suspect the anti-trans kids is Pence.

i'm not yet convinced that pence has any leverage at all within the administration
posted by murphy slaw at 7:59 AM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Also, I noticed we are not keeping up the with the necessary quota of fucks.


Fuck these fucking fuckers and their fucking evil fuckery.

Never let it be said I didn't do my part for Metafilter.
posted by corb at 7:59 AM on February 21 [68 favorites]


I'm a pretty good conservative whisperer for traditional, establishment quasi-intellectual conservatives. I do not understand anything about the current Republican leadership or their motivations. It does just seem 80% bloody-minded spite.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:59 AM on February 21 [26 favorites]


GO BACK TO GOLF, TRUMP.
posted by Artw at 8:00 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I met a British friend at the weekend in London; he's a green card holder married to a US citizen, and works at one of the more interesting small but high profile Silicon Valley outfits. They got an immigration lawyer in to talk to staff; my pal says he's never heard a top-flight legal bod be so openly horrified about the prospects of what is to come.

My guess is that just about everyone working in tech will know people like this, and the story is unremitting - it's bad now, it's going to get worse, don't plan on being able to work in the US unless you're a full citizen, and it's going to get much harder to visit. So, yeah, we hear that.

(He, like many of my friends, also risks finding himself in a situation where he can't live in the US and his partner can't live in the UK; one of the reasons he moved to the US and got his green card was to be able to be with them, as they'd previously worked and lived in the UK but got thrown out under one of Theresa May's much stricter rules of how much money you have to earn to be allowed to stay. They're a health worker, so it was outski... because obviously, our society has too many health workers prepared to work for low wages.

Stupid, cruel, harmful, pointless? Why not all of them!)
posted by Devonian at 8:02 AM on February 21 [31 favorites]


I have the say that the despair I feel over the wanton deregulation and environmental protection rollbacks is unprecedented, even in this year 2017.

They're brazenly fucking up the world to make a buck. They're rolling back protections that have existed for decades. They might as well salt the earth while they're at it.

Fuck them and fuck the assholes who voted for them and fuck the craven shits who still support them.
posted by lydhre at 8:07 AM on February 21 [52 favorites]


how the fuck, one month into your administration, do you stand on the balcony of the white house and survey the nation, and decide that the biggest problems are that trans kids aren't bullied enough and it's too difficult to get away with rape on college campuses

like, they don't even have a candidate for secretary of the navy or a budget proposal and they're pulling this shit
posted by murphy slaw at 8:09 AM on February 21 [126 favorites]


More on the immigration stuff: “With the exception of the June 15, 2012, memorandum entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children,” and the November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children and with Respect to Certain Individuals Who Are the Parents of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents,” all existing conflicting directives, memoranda, or field guidance regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws and priorities for removal are hereby immediately rescinded,” the new guidance states.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:12 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Red meat for the base
posted by ian1977 at 8:12 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Settting up the route to economic disaster, civil war and death camps is a bit more than "red meat".
posted by Artw at 8:16 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]




They're brazenly fucking up the world to make a buck. They're rolling back protections that have existed for decades. They might as well salt the earth while they're at it.

Not that it really compares to the environmental factors, but they aren't even internally consistent. Both the UK and US are governed by parties who are meant to be for business and mammon above all. Yet they seem to be in a race to see who can destroy their respective economy first and fastest.

The things they are doing now are just getting the shit-riddled snowball started before pushing it down the hill and letting its own momentum do the rest.
posted by Buntix at 8:16 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


I do not understand anything about the current Republican leadership or their motivations. It does just seem 80% bloody-minded spite.

Maybe you do understand :-(
posted by Jpfed at 8:17 AM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Settting up the route to economic disaster, civil war and death camps is a bit more than "red meat".

It certainly might come to more, but the purpose is red meat.
posted by ian1977 at 8:21 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


all existing conflicting directives, memoranda, or field guidance regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws and priorities for removal are hereby immediately rescinded,” the new guidance states

Note that this includes the "sensitive locations" memo, which means that they've now lied twice about what's going to happen. In the meantime, we can look forward to ICE agents raiding these places:
  • schools (including pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools up to and including colleges and universities, and other institutions of learning such as vocational or trade schools);
  • hospitals;
  • churches, synagogues, mosques or other institutions of worship, such as buildings rented for the purpose of religious services;
  • the site of a funeral, wedding, or other public religious ceremony; and
  • a site during the occurrence of a public demonstration, such as a march, rally or parade.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:21 AM on February 21 [37 favorites]


Both the UK and US are governed by parties who are meant to be for business and mammon above all. Yet they seem to be in a race to see who can destroy their respective economy first and fastest.

The parties are meant to be for white men above all else. When white men were exclusively the beneficiaries of business success and the primary holders of wealth, the parties were pro-business and pro-wealth-generation. But because businesses might be owned by women or POC now, pro-business policies are at odds with their core ethos of white supremacy.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:23 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


Maybe you do understand :-(

Yeah, it's that "people with a conscience constantly look for the conscience in others, even when it is absent" thing I guess. Why just do all this shit out of spite? What real pleasure can it possibly give? How does someone go to sleep at night actually feeling content that they paved the way for more kids to be bullied and more families to be ripped apart?
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:23 AM on February 21 [16 favorites]


If they stay away in such numbers, the cost to the US economy could exceed $1.5 billion.

Ha. I was predicting something like this less than two weeks ago. I'm amazed it is being measured so quickly.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:24 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


Trump: "We're going to do great things in African American communities, me and Ben" [real]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:27 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


The parties are meant to be for white men above all else. When white men were exclusively the beneficiaries of business success and the primary holders of wealth, the parties were pro-business and pro-wealth-generation. But because businesses might be owned by women or POC now, pro-business policies are at odds with their core ethos of white supremacy.

Given that this hurts them too, I end up back at my theory that white supremacy is a cult religion and that Republicans have been swallowed up by it. Because cult members are impervious to reasoned arguments and disregard inconvenient facts and realities, to the point of self-annihilation. And almost always take innocents with them when they go.
posted by emjaybee at 8:29 AM on February 21 [33 favorites]


Is there anything left of the Republicans but spite? I don't mean grieving conservatives wondering where their party went, I mean in the leadership/goals--it's all spite, right? Somebody has something good, we don't like that, let's break it. Even if it hurts us too!

Exactly this. The 8 years of Obama opposition has metastasized such that they have only 2 goals - tax cuts for billionaires and liberal tears. We're currently running a live experiment as to how long the country can be managed by liberal tears alone, there's no more pressing policy concerns in their minds, and they've quite literally lost the ability to even consider broader issues, or even that blue state and Dems in the heartland deserve representation or say. We're their acknowledged and hated enemies and they live only to punish us for disloyalty.

At some point something is going to happen that can't be answered by "fuck those liberals amirght?". But that might be months from now, and Republicans probably won't care even then as long as the rivers of liberal tears keep flowing to nourish the hate filled valleys of rural red states incubating the rise of white Christian ISIS.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:31 AM on February 21 [32 favorites]


The parties are meant to be for white men above all else. When white men were exclusively the beneficiaries of business success and the primary holders of wealth, the parties were pro-business and pro-wealth-generation. But because businesses might be owned by women or POC now, pro-business policies are at odds with their core ethos of white supremacy.

Following up on my comment, you see this also with attitudes toward credentialism. When colleges and professional associations predominantly admitted only white men, credentials/education were considered extremely important by these folks. Now that women and POC are earning more degrees than white men, having credentials is considered "elite" and a bad thing.

It's just white supremacist patriarchy all the way down.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:32 AM on February 21 [90 favorites]


At least when we're talking about the Republicans who actually set policy, they don't care about 'the economy' per se, but about their own personal wealth. Remember the thing about most of the gains post-crash going to the richest people? They like that. As long as they have more money proportionately it doesn't matter what the numbers are, because it gives them more power. They would go back to feudalism if they could.

As for rank-and-file Republican voters, they have been hammered with fifty years of targeted propaganda, and liberals have failed to do the same, to their detriment.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:33 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


With regard to the violence in Sweden, magically predicted by Trump, "The dirty dog who smelt it, dealt it."
posted by Oyéah at 8:33 AM on February 21


To the previous point I'd add that most of them know perfectly well that the environment is going to shit and that it will cause widespread food and water shortages. They're fine with that too, as long as they're the richest people when that happens. It won't affect them at all, and it'll be a great business opportunity.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:36 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


[One deleted. We've got a thread about the deportation memosnow, so let's move discussion of those over there.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:39 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


> ICE to hire 10,000 new agents immediately, plus necessary support staff and legal staff.

So, just as predicted - the "hiring freeze" was about "bad, general" hiring, not "good, targeted" hiring.
And how do the conservative Republicans feel about this vast expansion of the Federal workforce?
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:40 AM on February 21 [21 favorites]


From CheeseDigestsAll link:

A recent survey has shown that foreign interest in traveling to the US has declined by 17% in the first three weeks of the Trump presidency, with the only major exception being Russian tourists

Maybe it is because all of the Russians I know are struggling financially, but anyone else immediately thinking "...sent by Putin"?
posted by saucysault at 8:43 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


It's confusing/annoying to me to have the Trump discussion segregated across many threads this way. I want to be able to discuss here what specifically his administration is doing and how best to understand those actions and respond to them.

I just called both my senators about the sensitive locations issue and got through to both right away. Has call volume dropped off?
posted by prefpara at 8:44 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


And how do the conservative Republicans feel about this vast expansion of the Federal workforce?

same as they always do: IOKWARDI
posted by entropicamericana at 8:44 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


The deans of Harvard Law School and Yale Law School wrote an opinion piece in the Boston Globe Standing up for ‘so-called’ law. It's quite strongly worded.

(And makes me all the more ashamed for my own dean's disgraceful collaborationist op-ed supporting Puzder.)
posted by jedicus at 8:47 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


If they stay away in such numbers, the cost to the US economy could exceed $1.5 billion.

Ha. I was predicting something like this less than two weeks ago. I'm amazed it is being measured so quickly.


Speaking anecdotally, from Canada:

-my family was looking at doing a trip to the States this year to watch the eclipse. That plan has been scrapped (we should have nothing to fear - white, Canadian citizens, etc; but my wife and I don't want to attempt our first international travel with the kids in an atmosphere that is hostile & uncertain)
-my brother-in-law, who is a physics prof, sent a letter to a colleague in the US with regards to a planned conference event that he and all of his grad students/post-docs/lab techs attend every year, letting them know they would not be coming this year as some of his students are not Canadian citizens and didn't feel safe crossing the border; as such, they decided as a lab that no one would go.
-one of my wife's colleagues, who is a landed immigrant here and regularly attends a gathering of family and friends in the States has cancelled.

I don't think anyone has undertaken a serious examination here yet to see how many Canadians are scrapping or changing travel plans, but it is happening and it isn't just the exchange rate. There is a disquiet in many people about going across the US border now that I haven't ever felt in my life.
posted by nubs at 8:48 AM on February 21 [37 favorites]




Random thought on conservative folks who are happy we're in a "post-Politically Correct" society - it seems that as is the case with so many topics, it's only true as long as it's supporting the speaker. You can speak your mind, unless if it's to say "Trump is still a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic asshole," because that's 1) mean, and 2) not supporting our President.

Yes, more people feel free to say terrible things because they feel free to do so, but white people, especially white, straight, self-identified Christian men, are still fragile snowflakes and can't be criticized (I say this as a white cisgender guy). It's doubly hard for Representatives with "women in their grill" over the things they do and say as representatives.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:51 AM on February 21 [25 favorites]


"I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit." — an op-ed by Edward Price, who worked at the CIA from 2006 until this month, most recently as the spokesman for the National Security Council.
posted by jedicus at 8:58 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


This is extremely small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but my wife and I have put off visiting New York City a few times over the years, and it makes me sad that it's looking like now I never will.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:14 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Here is the guy on the right, new White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich, appearing with a swastika 5 weeks ago.

FUCK.


The twitter tide seems to be suggesting that is not him but it may be art in his apartment.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:16 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Now that this so-called administration are actively going after trans kids, now would be a good time to summarize the 2015 Trans Survey on the reported experience of trans people in educational institutions. I previously noted some more general findings in another thread.

* Overall, 77% of respondents, who were either out or perceived as trans, reported some sort of negative experience in K-12 schooling (e.g. verbal harassment, being denied the opportunity to dress appropriately, physical/sexual assault, suspension for fighting back against harassers, or straight up expulsion).

* Native American respondents reported such treatment at a rate of 92%, while trans people of Middle Eastern descent did so at a rate of 84%.

* 52% of respondents reported prohibitions against dressing in a manner appropriate to their gender.

* Nearly 1-in-4 trans students reported being physically assaulted because of their gender identity. Moreover, 38% of trans women reported being physically assaulted in school.

* 17% reported leaving K-12 education before graduation because of maltreatment at the hands of both students and staff.

* 21% of trans women reported experiencing sexual assault because of their gender identity. Overall, 13% of respondents reported this experience as well.

* 6% of respondents overall said they had been expelled. Trans women were expelled because of their gender identity at a rate of 10%.

* Even in college/vocational/post-K-12 institutions, 24% of trans people overall report verbal harassment, physical assault, or sexual assault. One of the radical right's most notorious rhetorical hitmen, outed and harassed a trans student so badly that she wrote a furious letter to the university chancellor (CW: graphic language, descriptions of harassment, description of rapist rhetoric) and left the school.

* The report shows that trans students of color, particularly people of Native American or Middle Eastern descent reported these experiences at much higher rates than other groups in the sample.

What does this raft of shitty experience do to us? What is the difference between the group that experiences such ugliness at schools and those who don't?

If you are out or otherwise perceived as trans and are mistreated in school,you are more likely than your peers who did not to:

* Attempt suicide (52% of those who did vs. 37% who did not)
* Experience homelessness (40% vs. 22%)
* Be currently experiencing serious psychological distress (37% vs. 27%)
* Have worked in underground economies (28% vs 18%)

All these anti-trans bills (e.g. HB-2 in NC) or anti-trans policies are not implemented to help trans people or to "protect" anybody. They are institutionalized discrimination with the specific intent of criminalizing or punishing trans people for having the gall to participate in public life on our own terms.

Discriminatory policies are one of the many direct causes of our community's extremely high rates of suicide, chronic instability, homelessness, poverty, and mental illness. Whether or not Jesus-warriors like Pence explicitly in their heart-of-hearts intend to, they are trying to kill us--or get us to kill ourselves--with legislation and executive policy.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:19 AM on February 21 [62 favorites]




Here is the guy on the right, new White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich, appearing with a swastika 5 weeks ago.

It's been deleted.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:20 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Is there anything left of the Republicans but spite? I don't mean grieving conservatives wondering where their party went, I mean in the leadership/goals--it's all spite, right? Somebody has something good, we don't like that, let's break it. Even if it hurts us too!

So I have a lot of anger right now about all of this and the darkest timeline we live in now, so while I want to explain this as best I understand it, I also want you to understand my mental backdrop right now is just Priebus getting repeatedly punched in the face like it was on loop.

This may seem a bit of a tangent, but I was feeling so disheartened that I wanted to watch The Lord of The Rings - where a rag tag group of heroes triumphs against evil. But as it turned out, I couldn't separate my understanding of Tolkien's anti-industrialism, and my experience of reading Kiril Eskov's The Last Ringbearer - where he posits that Mordor is a peaceful country beginning to engage in science and industry, its capital
"that amazing city of alchemists and poets, mechanics and astronomers, philosophers and physicians, the heart of the only civilization in Middle-Earth to bet on rational knowledge and bravely pitch its barely adolescent technology against ancient magic."
I think of that when I think of this and with some of the Republican leaders I'm screaming in useless horror at - that in many ways, the conflict going on is a clash of ways of life, and both sides view it as a clash of civilization-versus-the-abyss. Thus, both sides feel themselves justified in using every tool, every trick at their disposal in order to Save Civilization.

These fuckers currently in charge are deeply wrong about how to save civilization or what needs rescue. I deeply feel that civilization is not worth saving if you have to give assholes a free rape pass, for example.

But I don't think it's just spite, at least not at the top. While I didn't always believe this, I have come to believe that the people at the top using Trump correctly see this as a war of ideologies, and this is an immense first strike - that they're trying to "shock and awe" the country - to enthuse their own foot soldiers while they destroy the opposition. So they have a belief system, it's just that in my view, they're willing to sell their soul for it, which is, to me, too goddamned high a price.
posted by corb at 9:21 AM on February 21 [17 favorites]


This Title IX memo is infuriating. Is it like the memo from last week that considered mobilizing the national guard to deport immigrants, that was quickly walked back? Or is it already effective, and Universities have to recognize it?
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:24 AM on February 21


Or is it already effective,

It's unsigned, so not effective.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:25 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Is there anymore information about it? Is Trump planning to sign it?
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:26 AM on February 21


So if we want to call someone about that Title IX thing, who do we call? The white house?
posted by Frowner at 9:27 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


While I didn't always believe this, I have come to believe that the people at the top using Trump correctly see this as a war of ideologies, and this is an immense first strike - that they're trying to "shock and awe" the country - to enthuse their own foot soldiers while they destroy the opposition. So they have a belief system, it's just that in my view, they're willing to sell their soul for it, which is, to me, too goddamned high a price.

It's called fascism. Last time it nearly burned the world down.
posted by Devonian at 9:30 AM on February 21 [41 favorites]


It's very telling that they can't say the word "antisemitism" when it's so goddamn important to this administration to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism".

Steve Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, issued this statement in response to Trump’s "denouncement":
The President's sudden acknowledgement of Anti-Semitism is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Anti-Semitism that has infected his own Administration.

His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Anti-Semitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record,” Goldstein said. “Make no mistake: The Anti-Semitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration. […] When President Trump responds to Anti-Semitism proactively and in real time, and without pleas and pressure, that’s when we’ll be able to say this President has turned a corner. This is not that moment.
posted by AceRock at 9:33 AM on February 21 [42 favorites]


AEI bloviator Marc Thiessen, WaPo: The left’s hypocrisy on Trump’s ‘enemy of the American People’ comment

When President Trump tweeted that the news media “is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” the outrage on the left was palpable. That’s how dictators speak, they cried, comparing Trump to everyone from Lenin and Stalin to Mao and Mussolini. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod declared, “No other president would have described the media as ‘the enemy of the people.’ ”

No, not the media, just his Republican political opponents.


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:34 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


So if we want to call someone about that Title IX thing, who do we call? The white house?

You can call your Senators and Representative (they can pass legislation overriding the guidance, theoretically). You can also call your state/local reps about passing affirmative consent laws. You can call your alma mater and tell them you refuse to donate or participate in alumni relations things if they comply with the order. But, I'm not sure how to actually fight this though, especially because I'm not in college anymore. Mass walkouts/boycotts of campuses? Widespread student loan default/protest?
posted by melissasaurus at 9:34 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Another anecdote:
I was raised near the border and took near-weekly trips over from the mid-70s until the early 2000s. After that the frequency dropped as I had moved further away but it still was no big deal and all my kids have been over many, many times. I've actually seen more of the USA than I have of Canada (hangs head in shame)

-I've cancelled three American conferences I was to go to this year, all conference request I get I decline and politely enquire if the organisers have considered holding the conference in Mexico or Canada due to safety concerns in an unstable country

-I cancelled our week-long Disney world trip (now looking at going to Disney Tokyo)

-we will not be doing day trips obviously, and have not since last October

-my children are eligible to apply for US citizenship through their father but he (and I agree) will not apply because as dual citizens they would have LESS civil rights with US citizenship in the US. He has refused to enter the US for over a decade as we have watched civil rights be eroded so drastically.
posted by saucysault at 9:35 AM on February 21 [26 favorites]


No, not the media, just his Republican political opponents.

Huh. Usually, the Republicans are the ones insisting that the media is the same thing as Democrats. We really are in some weird mirror-universe.
posted by Etrigan at 9:36 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


I think what happened with the right wing is that they won the actual positive argument that they did stand for, and we're all pretty unequivocally market economies now. But when a political party wins its argument, what happens next? They stand for something just as strongly, regardless of whether it's justifiable.

And now the Democrats can run the economy better than them, with their regulated free market, they've just doubled down on the deregulation. Hence the kleptocracy.
posted by ambrosen at 9:36 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell's "1984" increased by 10,000% after the inauguration.

So it seems like we've all been reading quite a bit. I did a little searching on Amazon (thanks for the link, carmicha)

Origin.s of Totalitarianism - high ranking #17 on 1/27/17
1984 - high ranking #1 on 2/2/17
The Handmaid's Tale - high ranking #1 on 2/6/17
It Can't Happen Here - high ranking #4 on 1/28/17
Hope in the Dark (our current bookgroup book) high ranking #39 on 1/15/17
Freedom is a Constant Struggle - high ranking #174 on 1/26/17
The Coming of the Third Reich - high ranking #1717 on 2/11/17
posted by Sophie1 at 9:39 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Thus, both sides feel themselves justified in using every tool, every trick at their disposal in order to Save Civilization.

This is an interesting analysis, corb, and I don't want to nitpick, but it is not both sides. It should be both sides, but currently only one side is using every tool and trick to Save [or revert to] [their fucked-up vision of a Jesus-based] Civilization.
posted by witchen at 9:40 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]



Thus, both sides feel themselves justified in using every tool, every trick at their disposal in order to Save Civilization.


It's been argued by a whoooole lot of people lately that one side is most definitely not using every trick at their disposal, and by god we're going to spend the next two years arguing very sternly about whether or not that's okay. (Guess which side.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:42 AM on February 21 [20 favorites]


In other news, apparently Tuesdays With Toomey Pittsburgh has some street theater this week.

And in very local news, I just got invited to a meeting next week to start the process of doing something about our useless anti-choice, anti-immigrant, pro-cop DINO state assemblyman. I want him to get primaried SO BAD. The demographics of big parts of his district have changed a lot in the past 5 years, so I'm hopeful. Tomorrow is my Ward "meet the candidates" meeting and also an Indivisible kick-off meeting at the same time which I'm going to try to squeak into after the ward meeting. And I gave away two more pro-immigrant yard signs to neighbors this week (both of them approached me, seeing the one I have).

Just an accounting of the energizing, good things that are happening, in this vast sea of suck.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:49 AM on February 21 [21 favorites]


> It's called fascism. Last time it nearly burned the world down.

The options are socialism or barbarism, and America has, for now, chosen barbarism.

Tell me it's civilizations clashing in an all-out war when workers' councils have staged a successful general strike, seized control of the cities, expelled the police, and organized a new red army. Until then, try to keep your eye on which side is actually engaged in all-out war — the fascists — and which side is for better or for worse trying to stop that war through the pre-existing institutions that the fascists are trying to dismantle.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:12 AM on February 21 [24 favorites]


A lot of us have been burned/disappointed at Republicans touted as breaking from their party on important issues where we could have common ground but then falling in line anyway.

Thus, my definition of McCainism...


McCainism

noun

1. the act of taking an ostentatiously moral political posture independent of, or in opposition to, one's own political party, yet voting in opposition with that party's platform only when it will have little or no significant effect:

Senator Collins' vote to reject Trump's EPA pick was pitifully transparent McCainism in action.


2. the act of squandering well-deserved respect through acts of venality, cowardice, hypocrisy or poor judgment:

the ill-considered McCainism of those in the NYPD who chose to turn their backs during de Blasio's speech
posted by darkstar at 10:15 AM on February 21 [22 favorites]


From way upthread:

What we need, both on the individual level and on the pan-progressive united front level is a vision of the society we want, maybe a sort of sliding scale from "this would be pretty good and we could all get behind it" to "this would be our utopian fully automated luxury communism but we won't let it be the enemy of the pretty-good". When we have a vision to work towards, it helps organize our thinking - we may hope that the IC will take down Trump, but we won't be fooled that this is a good democratic outcome. -Frowner

I've been thinking about this a lot, and I agree. We need a new national mythos - something to replace the disparate American mythologies and ideologies now in place. My thoughts so far are partly based on non zero-sum thinking:
We collectively achieve more as a people then as a collection of individuals. No individual fortune or reputation springs forth out of nothing. They come ideally from hard work and the voluntary contributions and recognition of others. We benefit the most when we support each other, and our quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone wins when the culture respects, encourages, and nurtures the right of an individual to self-actualization and self-determination. There is no limit to these gains.
Still mulling this over.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:23 AM on February 21 [15 favorites]


Ouch. That's a good definition. A special kind of cowardice. The coward who not only knew better, but at one point did better. Like a Greek hero in hades.
posted by ian1977 at 10:25 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Huffington Post has a reminder that the WH and Congress have not yet begun actually governing.
They are just being hateful, and posing for the ignorant Trumpists. I wonder if the Republicans simply forgot how to, after 8 years of obstruction. I know none of our racist uncles will read anything from the Huffington Post, but there are some good talking points in there, specially the main comparison of Obama's infrastructure plan with Trump's.
posted by mumimor at 10:25 AM on February 21 [14 favorites]


It's been a little while, but once again, it's Spicey Time.
posted by zachlipton at 10:30 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


How John McCain did what he did as a Vietnam POW, yet become the politician he is today, baffles me.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:34 AM on February 21 [14 favorites]


The White House pool reporters talking about the cocktails they had last night is very educational. They like Maker's Mark, I guess.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:35 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Tell me it's civilizations clashing in an all-out war when workers' councils have staged a successful general strike, seized control of the cities, expelled the police, and organized a new red army.

I mean, if you want me to go down all the reasons the hard left is divided and fragmented I will, but it's just going to be depressing and you already know all of it already. So the war is not between fascism and socialism at the moment (come as that war may eventually), it's between fascism and liberalism and just because one side is not taking any lessons from previous fascism-fighting "extremists" doesn't mean the analysis is wrong.
posted by corb at 10:36 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


If I were in the WH press corps these days, I'd be fond of whatever is within reach at the end of the day.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:38 AM on February 21 [14 favorites]


Make America Хорошо Again!

...not a single Russian I've known (all of whom have been multilingual) would be offended by a clever interlinguistic paronomasia. Russians are nothing if not inveterate punsters.

After looking up paronomasia I was wondering if there's a word that specifically refers to mixing two languages together and I inadvertently ran across it: macaronic language is an umbrella term that includes multi-lingual puns among other things.

(btw: хорошо)
posted by XMLicious at 10:39 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


There seemed to be confusion about whether the CIA can its own citizens.

The answer is it doesn't matter, because multiple countries have agreements to spy on each other and share the collected data.
posted by Yowser at 10:40 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I believe maybe we should assess our institutions based on what they're doing and on what they may be useful for, rather than on their nominal "purpose" as described on paper. The "CIA spies on foreign countries, FBI spies on Americans" stuff was nonsense back when the rule of law existed. It's doubly nonsense now.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:43 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Hey, somebody told Spicer he actually has to use the words "anti-Semitic" and "Jewish."

Now Spicer is trying to explain the "enemy of the American people" tweet. Somebody should out ask Spicer whether he considers the people sitting before him to be enemies of the people.
posted by zachlipton at 10:52 AM on February 21 [16 favorites]


“We have a free press…but at some point it is incumbent upon people to get it right.” — Sean Spicer
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:54 AM on February 21




Spicer says that they are still "very confident" that they will prevail on the merits of the case of the original EO. So apparently they aren't rescinding it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:57 AM on February 21


“We have a free press…but at some point it is incumbent upon people to get it right.” — Sean Spicer

I mean, not the admin, obvs. And "right" has to be the right kind of right, can't be getting things right when it's not the right time or they're getting the wrong thing right.
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


How John McCain did what he did as a Vietnam POW, yet become the politician he is today, baffles me.

Perhaps he's only capable of that level of achievement when the personal cost of failure would be too high. Allowing himself to be taped condemning the US, while entirely understandable in the face of torture, would certainly have interfered with the political career he's ended up having. I'm reluctant to looks askance at someone who has gone through that experience, but... this is a man who barely made it out of Annapolis, then trashed three planes before getting shot down over Vietnam, then engaged in all sorts of political assholery afterwards. By every metric his heroism as a prisoner is the anomaly, not everything since then and before.
posted by phearlez at 10:59 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


Spicer says, in regards to the Anne Frank Center's comments, that Trump has been "very forceful" about [issues of hate/discrimination] and "it's ironic" that no matter how many times he says it, "it's never good enough."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:59 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Ha! "He has brought a diverse group of folks into this administration." Sean Spicer [real]

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
posted by Sophie1 at 10:59 AM on February 21 [26 favorites]


Spicer says that they are still "very confident" that they will prevail on the merits of the case of the original EO. So apparently they aren't rescinding it.

So... they are doubling up? Or there is no second one? Or he doesn't know what he is talking about?
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


We collectively achieve more as a people then as a collection of individuals. No individual fortune or reputation springs forth out of nothing. They come ideally from hard work and the voluntary contributions and recognition of others. We benefit the most when we support each other, and our quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone wins when the culture respects, encourages, and nurtures the right of an individual to self-actualization and self-determination. There is no limit to these gains.

There was some candidate last year who had some terms for this. I think it was fairly simple, like just two words, maybe? Something like "stronger together". What was her name, that woman who had all that experience, and such long boring progressive policy proposals ...
posted by Dashy at 11:00 AM on February 21 [67 favorites]


Or there is no second one?

He mentioned a second one.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:01 AM on February 21


Amazing that no one thought to even have Spicer say "and the President apologizes for telling Jake Turx to be quiet and sit down and for suggesting that his question about anti-Semitism was unfair, insulting, or repulsive." It would have been an extremely inexpensive way to add a little glimmer of sincerity to Trump's bland, rote statement about the JCC bomb threats which Spicer is calling "unbelievably forceful" and scolding people for not praising.
posted by XMLicious at 11:01 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Spicer says, in regards to the Anne Frank Center's comments, that Trump has been "very forceful" about [issues of hate/discrimination] and "it's ironic" that no matter how many times he says it, "it's never good enough."

Also, that he wished the Anne Frank Center had praised the president instead. [real]
posted by melissasaurus at 11:02 AM on February 21 [24 favorites]


"...and the President apologizes ..."

what is the matter with you trump is not a loser, only losers make mistakes.
posted by Tarumba at 11:04 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Spicer says that they are still "very confident" that they will prevail on the merits of the case of the original EO. So apparently they aren't rescinding it.

Maybe a combination of realizing they lack the skill to write something better and the fact that fighting this public court battle plays well with their racist true believers. They're morons in many ways but they're smart enough to know they're fighting both a policy and culture war. This helps them on the culture war front. If there's a major incident it's potentially a huge win for them to be able to point at this ongoing fight. "Well, we tried to keep you all safe but this isn't their fault - they stopped us in court!"

Also, that he wished the Anne Frank Center had praised the president instead. [real]

Well, Spicey, I wish I was skinny and well-muscled but I'm not exercising or dieting so I know not to cry about it.
posted by phearlez at 11:04 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


I had to pay attention to work for a bit.... What did Spicer say the President feels is an issue left up to the individual states?
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 11:10 AM on February 21


Ha! "He has brought a diverse group of folks into this administration." Sean Spicer [real]

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


well yes you see some of them hate jews while others are more focused on hating immigrants! so diverse wow
posted by poffin boffin at 11:11 AM on February 21 [61 favorites]


Spicer says "no" to the question if the goal was mass deportation. They are prioritizing those who pose a threat because of their criminal records "first and foremost."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:11 AM on February 21


CoffeeHikeNapWine, the safety of transgender kids.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:12 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


I'd like someone to ask for a definition of what "poses a threat to this country" means to the administration.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 11:13 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


What did Spicer say the President feels is an issue left up to the individual states?

Anything over a sixth-grade reading level.
posted by Etrigan at 11:14 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]


CoffeeHikeNapWine, the safety of transgender kids.

Ugh, seriously?!?!?! What the fuck? Fuuuuuuuck.

(Thank you, roomthreeseventeen)
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 11:14 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Spicer says "no" to the question if the goal was mass deportation. They are prioritizing those who pose a threat because of their criminal records "first and foremost."


That has absolutely not been the pattern whatsoever. They've been focusing on tearing parents away from children and deporting victims of domestic violence.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on February 21 [16 favorites]


Spicer says "no" to the question if the goal was mass deportation. They are prioritizing those who pose a threat because of their criminal records "first and foremost."

And then: asked if the message to those people in the country who were here without documentation but who had committed no crimes other than entering the country without documentation 'could rest easy' -- 'I think we just said clearly that we're prioritizing those who pose a threat' (to paraphrase), or, to paraphrase even more, 'no, we're not saying that at all.'
posted by cjelli at 11:17 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Spicer said "no" to mass deportation, but then like two seconds later was like "these people have to go...it's not a small group of people." Words: do they mean things?
posted by melissasaurus at 11:18 AM on February 21 [26 favorites]


i'm sure they consider women who object to domestic violence to be criminals.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:18 AM on February 21 [18 favorites]


"Prioritizing," with all the previous guidance revoked, still leaves tons of time for extracurricular ICE fuckery.
posted by zachlipton at 11:19 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


I'd like someone to ask for a definition of what "poses a threat to this country" means to the administration.

Anyone who didn't vote for Trump.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:19 AM on February 21 [19 favorites]


Today I go for my surgery consult about getting these ovaries ripped out and then starting on T. My heart literally is just bleeding reading that Title XI thing about rape victims and that the safety of transgender kids is just up to whomever. Like...I ended up coming out as trans up here in Canada because of Trump and feeling that hiding myself was cowardly when I'm a safe position to say HERE! When you talk about this stuff you are talking about ME! I don't know how else to help and the fact that there are kids out there like wee little baby queer I was who was so suicidal because I fit in nowhere and didn't even understand what trans was - the fact that I got inspiration for transitioning from folks much much younger than me - all that...I really don't know what to do...And from the outside we are all stunned that a nation as powerful and (hate to admit)aspirational as the United States to just flip so fast ... I guess I wanted to say if anyone knows how anyone can help from Canada I will..and that you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed and literally like you've gone crazy. I'm so so sorry America. I didn't mind you too much. :) I just liked the friendly Canadian rivalry.
posted by kanata at 11:19 AM on February 21 [49 favorites]


Words only mean what they tell you that they mean. Only what they tell you is the truth. Question it? Oh no how dare you question the leader of the free world who only has his your best interests at heart!
posted by INFJ at 11:20 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Spicer's description of Trump touring the African-American history museum this morning is SO. BAD. I'm sorry, I cannot give it justice.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:22 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Also, that he wished the Anne Frank Center had praised the president instead.

I wish I could run the New York City Marathon, but I can just barely run a 5K because I haven't put the required amount of work into it. Likewise, if you want to earn the praise of an internationally-known organization working to stop ethnic and racial discrimination and prejudice, maybe do some actual work on that. Starting with identifying and firing all the goddamn Nazis you have on your staff.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:23 AM on February 21 [29 favorites]


Spicey's "laws are laws" point is not well illustrated by a long digression re cheating on ones taxes. Houses. Glass. Stones.
posted by prefpara at 11:23 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Corb I keep trying to respond to your comment but I'm still trying to parse what I think about the clash of civilizations being a true thing for the leadership. Short version: maybe for Bannon, who is in my opinion genuinely deranged, possibly Flynn (same) but I don't think it applies to the rest, who appear to be cynical rich assholes, useful fools and Russian operatives.
posted by emjaybee at 11:24 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Laws are laws and apply to other people, and are subject to change at the whim of the president.
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


You wouldn't want to let someone off the hook because they only broke the law to evade taxes a little! I can't believe he literally said that.
posted by XMLicious at 11:25 AM on February 21 [10 favorites]


"Prioritizing," with all the previous guidance revoked, still leaves tons of time for extracurricular ICE fuckery.

Completely intentional. They don't have to order ICE to engage in fuckery, just remove all guidance and let them do whatever they want with impunity.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:26 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Strange Interlude, I'm running NYCM this year. I don't believe AFC is a team for them, but if there's one that you are aware of, let me know.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:26 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Yes! Someone asked if the woman deported from Arizona is a threat to the country.

Answer: We'll leave that up to ICE, don't want to comment on an individual case, dodging follow up on how he just said they were prioritizing bigger threats with word salad about not paying taxes (lol) and how we have a system of changing laws.

Also: "Sit down Glenn!"
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 11:26 AM on February 21 [20 favorites]


I kind of can't believe the White House hasn't tried to blame the anti-semitic threats and attacks on Muslim immigrants. That seems like it would be their automatic convenient go-to lie.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:45 PM on February 20


Santorum: Anti-Semitic acts coming from Muslims
posted by futz at 11:28 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]


Answer: We'll leave that up to ICE, don't want to comment on an individual case, dodging follow up on how he just said they were prioritizing bigger threats with word salad about not paying taxes (lol) and how we have a system of changing laws.

Bonus quote: we need to "take the shackles off" of ICE agents

Yes, the ones with "shackles" are the ICE agents. Word choice is not strong with this one.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:29 AM on February 21 [47 favorites]


Also: "Sit down Glenn!"

Do the reporters ever start their questions like "So Sean..." or "Tell me Donald" ..?

This use of first names smacks of disrespect to me. (I know, I know, that would require them to have some in the first place)
posted by INFJ at 11:31 AM on February 21


"The president said before...he's got a big heart." [real]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:34 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


"The president said before...he's got a big heart." [real]

What's not being said is that he's got a big heart because he's on the edge of a heart attack.
posted by Talez at 11:35 AM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Reporters pretty much always call him "Sean" in the briefing room (and have referred to other press secretaries on a first name basis as well). And it's common for the press secretary to call on reporters by their first name, full name if there's ambiguity. Reporters do not refer to the President by his first name.
posted by zachlipton at 11:36 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


"The president said before...he's got a big heart." [real]

I'll believe that when I see it on his medical records.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:36 AM on February 21 [18 favorites]


We'll see his medical records over his cold, dead body.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Harward was "so excited" to be a part of the team, but he just couldn't do it because of family and financial concerns.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:38 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Important Ken Bone Update
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
(spoiler alert: he's a republican)
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:38 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


What are his views on pederasty?
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


It looks like some vendor hired Ken Bone to stand in their booth. Which is about what happens on minute 18 out of 15.
posted by zachlipton at 11:40 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]


What are his views on pederasty?

With a mustache like that...
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:41 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Spicer finishing up by saying that when the new travel/refugee ban executive order comes out, they won't rescind the old one and will fight in court.
posted by zachlipton at 11:41 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Santorum: Anti-Semitic acts coming from Muslims

Ugh, this fucking guy. As though he didn't insult his own Jewish constituents with his 2012 Hanukkah card.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:42 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


Spicer finishing up by saying that when the new travel/refugee ban executive order comes out, they won't rescind the old one and will fight in court.

So they lied to a federal judge.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:44 AM on February 21 [10 favorites]


(spoiler alert: he's a republican)


...whaaa

no
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:44 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Spicer's description of Trump touring the African-American history museum this morning is SO. BAD. I'm sorry, I cannot give it justice.

Why? Did he mention the discrimination lawsuits?
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:46 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Bees for Bone
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:46 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


This guy sure looks Muslim.
posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Why are networks still having Santorum on? He hasn't been in office for a decade, barely cracked 1% in his 2016 primary run, and has absolutely nothing of value to contribute.
posted by zachlipton at 11:48 AM on February 21 [21 favorites]


Why are networks still having Santorum on?

From what I understand, it's tough to get Santorum off of things.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:50 AM on February 21 [92 favorites]


Once you're on the wingnut welfare rolls, there's pretty much nothing that can get you off.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:50 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Fucking CNN just hired him as a paid commentator :/
posted by futz at 11:50 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]




Fucking CNN just hired him as a paid commentator :/
I guess they really are fake news.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:52 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


good call CNN I was just thinking the other day, 'you know, I would totally watch more CNN if they had more vacuous dipshits giving commentary'
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:52 AM on February 21 [38 favorites]


I do hope that all of you are taking the opportunity to emphasize to fans of the "both parties are pretty much the same thing" argument the abundant proof we've gotten in the past 30 days about how mind-blowingly, pants-shittingly untrue that is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:53 AM on February 21 [20 favorites]


(Obviously, Ken Bone is a Republican. Any white man who says he's "undecided" is a racist asshole who's lying to sound reasonable.)
posted by tobascodagama at 11:55 AM on February 21 [84 favorites]


I kind of blew my chance to dialogue with those people after they caught wind that the fondue party I invited them all to was going to take place inside a wicker man
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:55 AM on February 21 [24 favorites]


Why are networks still having Santorum on?

It's weird, but the focus groups still start giggling every time his name gets mentioned so he must have some relevance.
posted by contraption at 11:56 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]




Here is the guy on the right, new White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich, appearing with a swastika 5 weeks ago.

FUCK.

The twitter tide seems to be suggesting that is not him but it may be art in his apartment.


"Last Saturday, at Gallery 151 in New York, photographer Lucian Wintrich put on a pro-Trump art show entitled “Daddy Will Save Us.” [...] Some kid snuck in and started putting swastika stickers on the art"
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:56 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


Oh man, you would have put a warning before linking to taki's magazine please.
posted by glasseyes at 11:59 AM on February 21 [19 favorites]


Please. Paid partisan pundits, pontificating prevaricatingly, produce painfully piss-poor political perspectives.
posted by darkstar at 11:59 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]


Maybe a combination of realizing they lack the skill to write something better and the fact that fighting this public court battle plays well with their racist true believers.

I hesitate to say they're systematically setting up for a final confrontation with the judiciary on their preferred playing field (xenophobia), which will either end with the judiciary capitulating, finding a fig-leaf for whatever the Administration wants -- or it may end with the moment at which the White House declares judicial review of the executive to be illegitimate.

(My hesitation is because I'm not sure how much of this is planned and how much of it is running the same play over and over; simply to attack and try to delegitimize any institution which is standing against them. But at some point, the intention behind the act is no longer of particular concern, once the results of the act are clear.)

In this sense, the very crudity, amateurism and laughably contradictory explanations for who is being targeted (or not) and why, that's itself a strategy (or a reality, at least). Again, like the inauguration crowd size lies -- it's so obviously flimsy that if the courts bless it, they'll basically be indicating that the Admin can do what they like. And if the courts reject it, the groundwork has already been laid for the Administration to ignore the "corrupt" and "biased" and "unelected" judges.

Either way, that is what is happening. And if either of those outcomes comes to pass, the rule of law in this country will be a dead letter.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:02 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


> Either way, that is what is happening. And if either of those outcomes comes to pass, the rule of law in this country will be a dead letter.

Wrong tense. Just because the body is still warm doesn't mean that it's not already dead.

(and, real talk, the rule of law in America has never applied to people of color. Some lucky white folks with access to money and lawyers get the rule of law; everyone else is subjected to the rule of police).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:08 PM on February 21 [25 favorites]


It was telling how quickly Spicer blew off the "so what actions are you actually going to take about anti-Semitism?" and "will you condemn anti-Muslim bigotry too?" questions.
posted by zachlipton at 12:14 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


This situation feels like waiting for the shoe to drop, but realizing it dropped in the early 2000s and we're witnessing the moments before it goes "thud." We can't catch the shoe. It has dog crap on it that will get all over the carpet. If things go well, we can clean up the carpet and then the shoes. If it goes badly, we may have to replace the carpet. If things go really badly the dog comes in and eats the crap, barfs it out, starts pissing on the rug, turns on the shoe wearer and bites them in the face. Even if we recover from the face bite, get help from our neighbors to send the dog to the pound, and start cleaning up the dog feces, there's still the pot roast in the oven we forgot about. Soon the house is on fire, burning up the neighbors, dog pound, and city hall. Firefighters attempt to model some way of fighting the fire that saves most of the town. Most of the town residents believe there is a fire, but some very wealthy people in the matches and firewood business deny it so they can sell waterproof matches and smokeless kindling. These very same wealthy people run the puppy farm you bought the dog from.
posted by Mister Cheese at 12:14 PM on February 21 [14 favorites]


Milo has resigned from Breitbart.

You ever wonder what the alt-right fascination with pedophilia comes from ? Let's just say the calls are coming from inside the movement.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:15 PM on February 21 [56 favorites]


It was telling how quickly Spicer blew off the "so what actions are you actually going to take about anti-Semitism?" and "will you condemn anti-Muslim bigotry too?" questions.

And not merely 'blew off': Asked About Anti-Muslim Hate Groups, Spicer Talks About Islamic Terrorism
“Is the message in this administration that anti-Semitism is not allowed, xenophobia is not allowed? Anti-Muslim sentiment, within the administration, has the President been forceful about that particular issue?” one reporter asked Spicer after referencing the report's findings.

“I think that the President, in terms of his desire to combat radical Islamic terrorism, he understands that people who want to express a peaceful position have every right in our Constitution,” he said. “But if you come here or want to express views that seek to do our country, or our people, harm, he is going fight it aggressively, whether it's domestic acts that are going on here or attempts through people abroad to come into this country.”

“So there is a big difference between preventing attacks and making sure that we keep this country safe, so there is no loss of life and allowing people to express themselves in accordance with our First Amendment. Those are two very, very different, different different things.”
posted by cjelli at 12:17 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I see this talk various places online about how the Democratic Party should become the new Right, and a new Leftist party should take it's place, and I don't even...

How does changing the names and focus of parties make problems disappear? All these Nazis and hard right people are going to be neutralized, like some sort of spell? "Hah, you're all Democrats now!" Hasn't this realignment happened in many other countries pretty often? If the Democrats became the new right and the Socialists became the left the political landscape of the U.S. would look exactly as it does right now, because that's where the American people are.

This all seems like some sort of fantasy world talk that I don't understand. These problems aren't going away with "one weird trick" or changing the names of things.

I'm all for the Democrats moving left, and I think that's what's going to happen. It seems like that idea makes some people mad at both ends of the horseshoe.
posted by bongo_x at 12:18 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


bongo_x, your comment made me sing this song in my head.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:20 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's worse than utopic thinking to imagine that just because the Democrats are more centrist than some prefer it automatically means that they are actually the Conservative party. If that's what you wanna name them, knock yourself out, but no current conservative is going to vote for the Democratic party regardless of what it's called because the Democratic platform is anathema to them.

They vote for the "fuck the poor and the minorities party" every time.
posted by lydhre at 12:24 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Tucker Carlson Couldn’t Debate the Anti-Trump Organizer He Wanted, So This Actor Stepped In

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson had a hard time booking Olga Lexell, the creator and co-organizer of the nationwide Not My President’s Day protests on Monday.

So, after repeated refusals, Carlson’s show instead booked Shane Saunders, a Los Angeles-based actor and casting agent, who Lexell said “was not affiliated in any way with our rallies and was not an organizer.”


In a normal world this would be a career ender.
posted by futz at 12:34 PM on February 21 [77 favorites]


The hypothesis is that liberalism (defense of the rule of law as established by representatives, defense of formal equality before the law as more important than material equality, defense of resource allocation via markets) is a doctrine that can't command a following anymore, and that some other doctrine may be more attractive. On the right they've found their doctrine: herrenvolk socialism for white men, and total subjugation and/or death for everyone else.

Right now our program is opposition -- stop fascism. Eventually, though, there will have to be a positive left vision, because the positive liberal program doesn't really appeal to anyone outside the managerial class. Because the mechanisms of electoral politics have been broken and reassembled along fascist lines, this vision will have to be one that operates outside of electoral politics.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:34 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]


Spicer said that Kasich requested to meet with the President, while Kasich's people are saying that he'll meet "at the president's repeated requests." Going to be a great meeting if they can't even agree on who called for it.
posted by zachlipton at 12:37 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


How does changing the names and focus of parties make problems disappear? All these Nazis and hard right people are going to be neutralized, like some sort of spell? "Hah, you're all Democrats now!" Hasn't this realignment happened in many other countries pretty often? If the Democrats became the new right and the Socialists became the left the political landscape of the U.S. would look exactly as it does right now, because that's where the American people are.

I think a lot of people on the left just don't understand how little of the same information Republican voters are working with. All this stuff we're yelling about in this thread - it's not that every single one of them would support it, though plenty of them would - a lot of them just plain don't know it, because none of their sources of information are telling them about it and are also telling them not to trust other sources, and because they don't care to look into it any further.

I'm not saying this is an easy problem to solve, but I think it's important to remember that effective messaging has swayed a lot of people to the right, and those people don't know what we know. They only know that they wanted someone to come in and clean house, and that's what they think is happening now, because no one has been able to reach them to tell them different.

Sure, many or most or pretty much all of them are racists. I know plenty of racist Democrats who care more about other issues and don't really give a shit about enshrining their racism in law.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:38 PM on February 21 [31 favorites]


The More Said, the More Questions Raised in Flynn Firing
[On Chuck Todd's show:] “I’m just not in the position to answer it,” Priebus said, but then he added, “Certainly we’ve talked about that issue with leadership at the FBI, but I’m not in a position to talk about that with you.”

That raises the question: What are the conflicts of interest involved with the White House talking with “FBI leadership” about whether a senior White House official “misled” or “lied” to agents? If Flynn lied to FBI agents, that could be a felony. Who from the White House, talked to whom at the FBI, about what?

Priebus went on to say, “We have talked about this. I think we’ve laid it out very clearly and now it’s up to the DOJ [Department of Justice] and the FBI to take it any further, if that’s what they do.”

What did the White House lay out “very clearly?”
@danpfeiffer
In any normal White House, such contacts with the FBI about an ongoing investigation into the White House would be absolutely forbidden.

posted by melissasaurus at 12:40 PM on February 21 [42 favorites]


Business Insider summarizes Michael Cohen's latest contortions: Trump's lawyer has told 4 different stories about the Russia-Ukraine 'peace plan' debacle

The Times story says he delivered the proposal to Flynn
Then he talks to the Post and denies delivering it or discussing it with anybody at the White House, but the Post quotes a Times editor as saying "Mr. Cohen told The Times in no uncertain terms that he delivered the Ukraine proposal to Michael Flynn’s office at the White House. Mr. Sater told the Times that Mr. Cohen had told him the same thing"
Then he tells Business Insider he didn't even know what the proposal was, but acknowledges going to the meeting
Then he tells NBC News that even if he did deliver the proposal, "So what? What's wrong with that?"

Is there truly nobody around him who can advise him to shut up?
posted by zachlipton at 12:45 PM on February 21 [22 favorites]


Let's hope not.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:46 PM on February 21 [24 favorites]


In any normal White House, such contacts with the FBI about an ongoing investigation into the White House would be absolutely forbidden.

Not without precedent, though.
posted by Coventry at 12:47 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


What a dick. @realDonaldTrump 'Americans overwhelmingly oppose sanctuary cities'
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:49 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


In Illinois presidential primaries, they print the delegates' names on the ballot, not just the candidates' names, and one is supposed to vote for all the delegates pledged to their preferred candidate if they want to provide the maximum support for said candidate. So what if some of the delegates have names that "imply they are not white?" Well, according to a new research paper: "Examining within-presidential-candidate variation in delegate vote totals in primaries from 2000–2016, we estimate that about 10 percent of voters do not vote for their preferred presidential candidate’s delegates who have names that indicate the delegates are nonwhite, indicating that a considerable share of voters act upon racially-discriminatory tastes."
posted by zachlipton at 12:53 PM on February 21 [13 favorites]


What a dick. @realDonaldTrump 'Americans overwhelmingly oppose sanctuary cities'

What's the percentage of the US population that is currently living in a sanctuary city? You have NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Seattle, Boston, and all of those are ones I know of off the top of my head.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:56 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


You ever wonder what the alt-right fascination with pedophilia comes from ? Let's just say the calls are coming from inside the movement.

A variety of people have made this point, at various moments over the past few years, but it really is astonishing how much of the right's hatred for the left is based on pure clinical projection.

They're the ones that can't be trusted to respect vulnerable people in the privacy of a bathroom. They're the ones barely able to hide their truly sickening sadism under a thin veneer of bluster and bonhomie. They're the ones who come up with euphemisms like "cheese pizza" to dissemble their interest in the rape of children. They look inside themselves and see the rot accurately enough, all right, but lack the introspection to understand that not everyone's inmost self is that way.

MY is merely the latest datapoint, and he's typical in this respect — what happened to him as a child truly does seem normal to him. He assumes everyone else feels the same way he does, but isn't "unflinchingly honest" and hardcore enough to admit it. I know it's difficult to summon any compassion for such a malicious shitbird, but what happened to him truly is tragic: he was raped as a child, and normalizing it is just the way he copes. I hope he heals from that trauma, and in time tries to make amends for the damage he's caused and continues to cause out of his pain.
posted by adamgreenfield at 12:57 PM on February 21 [53 favorites]


California is a sanctuary state and we have almost 39 million people.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:58 PM on February 21 [17 favorites]


You ever wonder what the alt-right fascination with pedophilia comes from ? Let's just say the calls are coming from inside the movement.

(Once 4chan banned GamerGate discussions and the GGers all moved to 8chan, the latter site apparently became a hotbed of child porn as well. A haven for one kind of abuser very often becomes a haven for other kinds as well.)
posted by tobascodagama at 12:59 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


I see this talk various places online about how the Democratic Party should become the new Right, and a new Leftist party should take it's place, and I don't even...

How does changing the names and focus of parties make problems disappear? All these Nazis and hard right people are going to be neutralized, like some sort of spell? "Hah, you're all Democrats now!" Hasn't this realignment happened in many other countries pretty often? If the Democrats became the new right and the Socialists became the left the political landscape of the U.S. would look exactly as it does right now, because that's where the American people are.


If anything needs to change with the parties it's splitting the Republican party so there is even the possibility of an inclusive and positive center-right, which would actually do very well in the US. But they will hold the GOP together with a death grip because they know that the party that splits loses power. If there were some way to negotiate a 4-party system that splits both GOP and Dem parties so you'd get left/center-left, center-right/center-right, and center-right/right caucusing together on some issues and not others I feel like Congress might actually start functioning again but for the life of me I can't think of a way that would happen in practice.

Really time is ripe for a centrist third party to swoop in and take the middle from both parties but it's unlikely. A third party that's basically "centrist Dem without gun control" running a pox-on-both-your-houses campaign would clean up if it could get together. As a progressive I don't find that an ideal situation but I'd put money on being able to pull a party like that further left than right.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:00 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


[If folks want to pursue the Milo stuff further, bring it over to the Milo thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:01 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


(I should also say, with respect to the above: I apologize if my repeated use of the phrase "the rape of children," or my use of similar wording elsewhere in these threads, is causing grief for anyone. I do very strongly feel that we need to be both precise and explicit about the nature of the abuse our culture tolerates, but will happily try to express myself differently if this is a problem. I don't want to make a fetish for precision at the expense of anyone's actual feelings.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:05 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


If there were some way to negotiate a 4-party system

Three-member districts (in which each voter may only vote for one candidate) would, under Duverger's Law, result in four viable parties. How to get there may vary from state to state. I only know about Wisconsin- there this would require a constitutional amendment, and I can't imagine the current statehouse being interested in it.
posted by Jpfed at 1:09 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Tucker Carlson Couldn’t Debate the Anti-Trump Organizer He Wanted, So This Actor Stepped In

...

In a normal world this would be a career ender.

I followed through to an article linked from there wherein the author refers to the show by the name Tucker Carlson Was Cheaper And Less Likely To Sue For Sexual Harassment Than Most Of The Alternative Host Options For This Slot.
posted by XMLicious at 1:09 PM on February 21 [13 favorites]


A third party that's basically "centrist Dem without gun control" running a pox-on-both-your-houses campaign would clean up if it could get together.

If that party were still pro-choice basically no Republicans would switch.

I hate to break it to you guys, but the "centrist" third party that would clean up at the polls would be "Centrist Democrat but anti-abortion."

I mean, I think 99% of the Republicans I personally know are single issue voters whose single issue is abortion. They vote against their own economic interests because they believe they are morally compelled to do so, in order to Save the Babies.

I don't (now) believe it would be moral to run on that platform just because it would be politically popular, but there was a time in my own life when I would have been so excited to vote for that. (Before, of all things, arguing on internet message boards made me rethink the assumptions underlying my "pro-life" beliefs. It was the "Are you in favor of mandatory kidney donations?" argument that did it for me, finally, BTW. )
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:10 PM on February 21 [41 favorites]


If anything needs to change with the parties it's splitting the Republican party so there is even the possibility of an inclusive and positive center-right, which would actually do very well in the US. But they will hold the GOP together with a death grip because they know that the party that splits loses power.

The irony being the Republicans are a bunch of groups with very little in common, and should be opposed in most cases, that have managed to hold it together (mostly through deception, but still). The left in this country are the majority of people who agree on 90% of issues who want to fight to the death about the other 10% and split into ideologically pure groups.

Guess who wins?

I've never understood the logic of people thinking they are only going to belong to groups that agree with them 100%, but they will also be the majority at some point. Good luck with that.
posted by bongo_x at 1:12 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]


Once you're on the wingnut welfare rolls, there's pretty much nothing that can get you off.

Are we talking about Santorum, now? Or Tucker Carlson? Either way, lord have mercy do I not want to think about what might get them off.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:12 PM on February 21


Tucker Carlson debating an actor is like the platonic ideal of Fake News right? Like none more fake. Like "we are literally faking this thing right in front of your eyes and telling you it is real". Like "if the moon landing was faked it would be exactly like this but with more people and a differently themed set".

We've lost all hope for pointing out hypocrisy being enough. They will not even try to lie to us correctly.
posted by Brainy at 1:15 PM on February 21 [15 favorites]


If that party were still pro-choice basically no Republicans would switch.

I hate to break it to you guys, but the "centrist" third party that would clean up at the polls would be "Centrist Democrat but anti-abortion."


It's the whole reason they voted Trump despite the pussy grabbing and affairs and porn shoots. He promised he'd save the babies from Clinton. That's all they ever need to hear. Say the magic words, "personhood amendment" and revive God's eternal blessing and the votes of the entire religious right, no more questions asked.

And we've already seen signs some Democrats are willing to break off women's rights to win back lost white voters. The 'it's the economic anxiety stupid' wing rising directly from the Bernie campaign. Anti-abortion Tom Perrillo running in the VA Gov primary ostensibly from the left.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:17 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]




Thinking about the leaked draft memos from the administration. Considering our resistance is a marathon, not a sprint, it might be healthier to not get sucked into unofficial documents, which are trial balloons for people other than us. It is such an energy suck to get upset, and it may not happen - remember the plan to overturn protections for LGBT government contractors?

There are plenty of things that are definitely real to get worked up about.
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 1:20 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Why I Decided To License Starship's Music To Chick-fil-A: I firmly believe that men should be able to marry men, and women women. I am passionately against anyone who would try to suppress this basic human right. So my first thought when "Check"-fil-A came to me was, “F**k no!”

But then I decided, “F**k yes.”

So that was my voice you heard on the Chick-fil-A commercial during the Grammy Awards telecast. I am donating every dime that I make from that ad to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV. Admittedly it’s not the millions that WinShape has given to organizations that define marriage as heterosexual. But instead of them replacing my song with someone else's and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to "Check"-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:22 PM on February 21 [70 favorites]


Why are networks still having Santorum on? He hasn't been in office for a decade, barely cracked 1% in his 2016 primary run, and has absolutely nothing of value to contribute.

well, he IS kinda sticky.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:28 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


> It's the whole reason they voted Trump despite the pussy grabbing and affairs and porn shoots. He promised he'd save the babies from Clinton. That's all they ever need to hear. Say the magic words, "personhood amendment" and revive God's eternal blessing and the votes of the entire religious right, no more questions asked.

Yes, denying women control of their own bodies is the current flag around which the right is rallied. But what's driving them isn't abortion, not precisely, but instead a broader misogyny coupled with a desire to defend white supremacy. The main religious belief of white protestant evangelical fundamentalists is that women should be subjects of men, and people of color should be subjects of white people. Opposition to abortion rights is simply the most socially acceptable way for them to express their misogyny, just like vocal support for police murders of people of color is the most socially acceptable way for them to express their white supremacy.

Trump was the misogynist, white supremacist candidate. This made him appealing to the right, even though he's been historically pro-choice.

(sidebar: I am not interested in changing their minds. They have made up their minds. I am instead interested in disrupting their ability to organize, in making them lost, alone and angry, instead of well-connected, powerful and angry.)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:31 PM on February 21 [68 favorites]


I mean, I think 99% of the Republicans I personally know are single issue voters whose single issue is abortion. They vote against their own economic interests because they believe they are morally compelled to do so, in order to Save the Babies.

I don't (now) believe it would be moral to run on that platform just because it would be politically popular, but there was a time in my own life when I would have been so excited to vote for that.


What about a pro-contraception platform, with the argument that it's actually more effective for preventing abortions than banning them outright?
posted by panic at 1:41 PM on February 21


What about a pro-contraception platform, with the argument that it's actually more effective for preventing abortions than banning them outright?

Depends. Can you restate this idea in misogynist terms?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:43 PM on February 21 [51 favorites]


I suspect that exposes the weakness of this line of argument - pro-lifers in no way want to make the world a better place, decrease the number of unwanted babies or do anything besides control women and make their lives shitty.
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


What about a pro-contraception platform, with the argument that it's actually more effective for preventing abortions than banning them outright?


While this would fulfill the surface goal, it would not fulfill, and in fact runs directly counter to, the underlying actual goal. It has been, is, and will be opposed on that basis.


I have a whole theory on the analytic usefulness of hypocrisy, which this comment box is too small to contain.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:44 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


I don't think preventing abortions is necessarily the point for them. I think they want to not give abortion the implicit endorsement of allowing it to be legal. That is, by trying to make it illegal, they are washing their hands of it.
posted by Jpfed at 1:45 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


The pro life group believes contraception makes women more promiscuous and we can't have that....
posted by SyraCarol at 1:47 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


They don't care about abortion. They care about woman-hating. Opposition to abortion rights is an expression of strategic priorities rather than deeply-held values.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:48 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


I don't think they care about the promiscuity so much as having an unwanted child is a punishment for said promiscuity. They're all about punishment for punishment's sake.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:48 PM on February 21


[One deleted. Hi, I know everyone's horrified and wants to emphasize how horrible some positions are, but please think twice before you go for the rape example, even to make a point.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:53 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


I think a lot of people on the left just don't understand how little of the same information Republican voters are working with.

You're not just whistling Dixie, here.

Remember that NYpost editorial a bit ago, about Obama's shadow government ? Alex Jones picked up on it, and now Obama commands an army of 30,000 Treasonous Traitors of Treachery from a secret bunker just outside the White House. Within days, his army grew to 85,000 and he's been grooming Tom Perez, a leftist so left that even George Soros is scared. The Federal Government is about to charge Obama with Treason and Sedition for teaching school kids to "kill Trump".

And that was a 15 minute jaunt through the fever swamps.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:55 PM on February 21 [32 favorites]


MetaFilter: Everyone is horrified
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 1:56 PM on February 21 [19 favorites]




"I'll sit down and shut up like Elizabeth Warren!"

Told. Him. What.
posted by Sophie1 at 2:00 PM on February 21 [16 favorites]


Remember that NYpost editorial a bit ago, about Obama's shadow government ? Alex Jones picked up on it, and now Obama commands an army of 30,000 Treasonous Traitors of Treachery from a secret bunker just outside the White House. Within days, his army grew to 85,000 and he's been grooming Tom Perez, a leftist so left that even George Soros is scared. The Federal Government is about to charge Obama with Treason and Sedition for teaching school kids to "kill Trump".

Welp, I guess we know what the next press conference will be about.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Can you restate this idea in misogynist terms?

"Universal access to birth control and abortion means she won't slam you for child support."

Terrible, and not accurate since birth control is never 100%, but would probably get the point across to the young-ish pepe-worshipping cultists and the Reddit brogressives. Might even work on some of the older misogynists as well.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:00 PM on February 21 [13 favorites]


I think all the folks who are easily persuaded by the pro-contraception argument have already moved towards voting Democrat. This isn't a brand new line of thinking, it's been around for a while, and the folks who are willing to reason their way through it have, and voted Democrat in 2016. I've got some social justice-oriented evangelicals on my FB feed, as well as some socialist Catholics, and it's a thing that is out there right now.

But remove that special sauce of misogyny and racism, and a lot of folks just aren't interested.
posted by soren_lorensen at 2:00 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Angry constituent gives Mitch McConnell the what for

that's the visage of a turtleman facing the bees
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:01 PM on February 21 [20 favorites]


I don't think preventing abortions is necessarily the point for them.

This is a massively understated truth. I don't want to go into my standard abortion metafilter rant, but I will just say that even when you can prove that prochoice policies and Democratic candidates are better for babies (less abortion because contraception, healthier babies that are chosen, etc.), and they are, many "prolife" people just don't want to give up the sick thrill of hurting women and making them suffer. Babies are just a handy cudgel.
posted by emjaybee at 2:02 PM on February 21 [44 favorites]


I have a whole theory on the analytic usefulness of hypocrisy, which this comment box is too small to contain.

IIRC the necessity of hypocrisy was something CrimethInc were big on (although {{scarily, in a discovering-Culkin-is-a-grandparent type way}} it's been well over a decade since I read their stuff).

And fair do's. The world and culture we are in now are the context we have; better to work within it to make things even just a bit better right now than throw endless petulant brick-bats through Starbucks' windows in search of a perfect society.
posted by Buntix at 2:05 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]




>> Can you restate this idea in misogynist terms?

> "Universal access to birth control and abortion means she won't slam you for child support."


This is good, and I strongly encourage anyone with access to machines that haven't been banned by reddit to spread this line there. It may begin to peel off a few of the cultists. However, I think their baseline response to this line of argumentation is that it is simpler (and has the added bonus of causing more harm to women) if instead we just destroy child support laws, or leave them unenforced.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:08 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


I hate to break it to you guys, but the "centrist" third party that would clean up at the polls would be "Centrist Democrat but anti-abortion."

This is actually kind of interesting... is there some rationale where abortion could simply be called something other than abortion, the same sort of doublethink that people on the right use all the time as in the Schrödinger’s immigrant who leeches off welfare and steals jobs at the same time?

The "pro-life" movement is so ridiculously insubstantial, where they don't even actually care at all about reducing the number of abortions or about things that should logically also matter to them like reducing the number of miscarriages, that it feels like it's just a matter of finding the right thread to pull on and it will all unravel.

I feel certain that there quite soon will be so many changes in reproductive technology that create all sorts of new ethical quandaries, which will arise and make the fact that anyone ever argued about abortion look completely absurd; and it's just a matter of ushering in that future a bit early. Womb transplantation doesn't sound like it's even on the horizon yet for AMAB people who don't have the necessary anatomical and physiological infrastructure, as it were, but you know that if it ever becomes a feasible prospect that a guy might need to "save a life" by carrying a child themselves they will trample each other running for the door of the "pro-life" movement.
posted by XMLicious at 2:10 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


we are collectively pretty bad at brainstorming ideas to convert the young people from the chans and the reddits and whatnot tbh, how about fuck those shitheads and let's build political coalitions with people who aren't garbage
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:13 PM on February 21 [83 favorites]


Business Insider summarizes Michael Cohen's latest contortions

I've returned from the future with the [fake] transcript of Michael Cohen's testimony before the investigating committee (yes, I somehow still cling to a hope of a future with an investigating committee):
Senator: So you delivered the proposal to Flynn?
Cohen: Says who?
Senator: So you took the proposal but didn't deliver it?
Cohen: Says who?
Senator: You. Most of you. Some of you.
In conclusion, Michael Cohen is a land of contrasts.
posted by zachlipton at 2:19 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


we are collectively pretty bad at brainstorming ideas to convert the young people from the chans and the reddits and whatnot tbh, how about fuck those shitheads and let's build political coalitions with people who aren't garbage

*tips fedora* Take this finely-crafted artisanal upvote, m'sir.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:21 PM on February 21 [24 favorites]


It was bad enough that they ruined the fedora. Let them keep their red trucker caps, please...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:28 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Lucian Wintrich, newly-credentialled White House correspondent for Gateway Pundit, showing off his swastika portrait. The man in the photo may or may not be Wintrich himself, but apparently he's the one posting it.

Also, according to John Aravosis, this photo of Wintrich shows him flashing an alt-right gang sign in the White House.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:29 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Remember that NYpost editorial a bit ago, about Obama's shadow government ? Alex Jones picked up on it, and now Obama commands an army of 30,000 Treasonous Traitors of Treachery from a secret bunker just outside the White House. Within days, his army grew to 85,000 and he's been grooming Tom Perez, a leftist so left that even George Soros is scared. The Federal Government is about to charge Obama with Treason and Sedition for teaching school kids to "kill Trump".

The thing that kills me isn't even that they believe this shit. It's that they'll shake their head sadly at you like you're a moron and lecture you on credible sources if you don't believe it too. They'll say something straight-up bananas like like "There's a secret tape showing that Hillary Clinton laughed at a child rape victim after she let her rapist get out of jail just for kicks, see here it is on LibtardsEatMyButthole.tumblr.com!" and I'll counter with "Here are three links from the NYTimes, The Washington Post, and The Guardian saying of course not, the tape isn't secret, here's the text of it, and that's obviously not what happened" and they're all like, "HAHA those are fake news! WAKE UP SHEEPLE!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:30 PM on February 21 [29 favorites]


This is good, and I strongly encourage anyone with access to machines that haven't been banned by reddit to spread this line there.

Pretty sure there's a tiny overlap between pro-life enthusiasts and redditors susceptible to this line of reasoning.
posted by Coventry at 2:30 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Also, according to John Aravosis, this photo of Wintrich shows him flashing an alt-right gang sign in the White House.

In the replies to that tweet there's a picture of Stephen Miller throwing up a double hand sign.
posted by waitingtoderail at 2:36 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


let's build political coalitions with people who aren't garbage

As noted myrmecophile Pete said: Solidarity!

It's a concept they lack any real ability to understand and the one that disgusts them most ("liberal tears"), as they seek to manufacture (greater) race/belief tensions, and divide and rule.

[comment truncated due to realisation that once again the homebrew chilli-ginger beer is having its soapbox inducing effect - firing up some RATM on rocksmith].
posted by Buntix at 2:42 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


can I suggest adding a few tracks by The Coup to your RATM playlist?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:46 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


is there some rationale where abortion could simply be called something other than abortion

Already happens. If you're Catholic with an ectopic pregnancy, you can have a "salpingectomy" which a procedure in which the fallopian tube (in which the embryo has impanted) is removed (along with the embryo, obviously). This is basically an abortion that dramatically reduces a woman's future fertility. And of course, if there's a second ectopic pregnancy, would leave her completely infertile.

Basically the church says "It's wrong to kill* someone, but if they're going to die anyway and someone else is going to die, too, then you can blow up the house where they live, while they're home...and if it it so happens to kill them, well, you weren't killing them, you were just blowing up their house. Oh, and if somehow they survive the explosion, blow it up again, harder. But remember, you're blowing up the house, not killing them. They just happened to die. When you blew up their house. Because you needed them to die."

*Yes, this is based on the premise that abortion is killing someone. I'm pretty sure the church would draw on that premise, which is why I'm putting that word in it's mouth.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:53 PM on February 21 [13 favorites]


I picked the wrong month to start reading The Handmaid's Tale.
posted by um at 2:56 PM on February 21 [16 favorites]




I picked the wrong month to start reading The Handmaid's Tale.

I *tried* to start it a few times in the past 6 months, and just couldn't.
posted by mikelieman at 2:59 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Ugh, this fucking guy. As though he didn't insult his own Jewish constituents with his 2012 Hanukkah card.

>set mcenroe on -y "You CAN NOT. BE SERIOUS!" else Nope

Fucking CNN just hired him as a paid commentator :/

WHARRGARBL
posted by petebest at 3:05 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Lucian Wintrich, newly-credentialled White House correspondent for Gateway Pundit, showing off his swastika portrait. The man in the photo may or may not be Wintrich himself, but apparently he's the one posting it.

"Last Saturday, at Gallery 151 in New York, photographer Lucian Wintrich put on a pro-Trump art show entitled “Daddy Will Save Us.” [...] Some kid snuck in and started putting swastika stickers on the art"

Warning: Taki Mag link
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:06 PM on February 21


This is actually kind of interesting... is there some rationale where abortion could simply be called something other than abortion

Smasmortion?
posted by phearlez at 3:10 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Back on the subject of Sweden, Prison Planet offered a free trip to journalists to visit the "crime ridden migrant suburbs" of Malmö. Matt Novak (who runs Paleofuture at Gizmodo) got very excited at the offer, but it looks like there may be some problems on the follow-through.
posted by ckape at 3:10 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]




I'm seeing this about the National Border Patrol Council 1613 San Diego tweet:

https://twitter.com/ALT_USCIS/status/833196609718599680

A quote about hunting men and other choice bits.
Then they blocked anyone who retweeted, then went private.
posted by bongo_x at 3:11 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


In the replies to that tweet there's a picture of Stephen Miller throwing up a double hand sign.

Which another reply indicates is from the occasion when Miller went on Meet The Press and said the "will not be questioned" quote. As a further tweet notes, Miller and Richard Spencer, the "Hail Victory! Hail Trump!" guy, were in the Duke Conservative Union at the same time; Miller was also a Jeff Sessions staffer.
posted by XMLicious at 3:11 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump

The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!

posted by Rust Moranis at 3:25 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


can I suggest adding a few tracks by The Coup yt to your RATM playlist?

To unparaphrase Emma (more relevant than ever):
At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause.

I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business. I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. "I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody's right to beautiful, radiant things." Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world — prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal.
Which is to say. Yes.
posted by Buntix at 3:28 PM on February 21 [13 favorites]


This Family Staged An Anti-Trump Protest With Toy Dinosaurs And People Love It

“After the election, my wife and I were talking about how to protest some of the worst parts of the Trump administration, and she suggested the dinosaurs in their garden could make a statement,” he said.

"T.Rump is no T.Rex" "Our Eggs Our Choice" "Climate Change = Extinction"
posted by futz at 3:33 PM on February 21 [31 favorites]


Charles Pierce: The Trump Princes Are Just Out Here Livin' the Dream

The accompanying photograph needs to be on a dart board.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:38 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


There's been a lot of back and forth on this today but I think I'm coming down on the side of Republicans just flat out hate everyone and everything.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


Interesting pair of tweetstorms by a former analyst at the American Enterprise Institute and NeverTrumper in the vein of McMullin. Particularly notable in that they were written in reaction to the announcement that MY would be speaking at CPAC, but before the scandal that took him down broke.
I'll be honest, if Milo had spoken at CPAC 6-7 years ago, I think I and a lot of other conservative critics probably would have cheered it. Hard truth I've come to terms with over the past few years is how I used to prop up a lot of really contemptible right-wingers. As folks like @benhowe & @sykescharlie have offered their own mea culpas, I did it bc these agitators were effective at punching the Left...

Ever notice how most (not all, let me stress) of the black right-wingers you see on Fox News are complete hucksters? Bc rather than concede we have a race problem on the Right, we dug around for the loudest opportunists who would tell us the contrary. Which is why you constantly see the likes of @sheriffclarke, @hermancain, @allenwest on Fox and talk radio. Total frauds. Because they're willing to go on the offensive, attack the Left as bigoted, and make your racist uncle think he doesn't have a problem. The same goes for Milo and the gay community...
The second thread is a plea to those on the left:
Follow both anti-Trump & Trump-skeptical conservatives on Twitter, learn what infuriates us about his administration and its policies. You won't win back the Senate in 2018. The map is brutal. But you can limit his gains. You can take back the House. We on the anti-Trump right are doing what we can to end this nightmare in 4 years; I beg you, don't give in to those who will hand him 8.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 3:47 PM on February 21 [39 favorites]


Does anyone else have more info about then title IX memo? I'm not seeing it reported anywhere else. Where did it come from?
posted by AwkwardPause at 3:47 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


School Asks Teachers To Take Down Pro-Diversity Posters, Saying They’re ‘Anti-Trump’

WASHINGTON ― School administrators in a 93 percent white Maryland county recently asked high school teachers to take down pro-diversity posters from classrooms because they perceived them as “political” and “anti-Trump,” a school spokesperson told The Huffington Post.

Teachers at Westminster High School had put up the posters, which depicted Latina, Muslim and black women and were designed by Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the “Hope” posters featuring President Barack Obama in 2008. The women are rendered in patriotic colors, with messages like “We the people are greater than fear.” The teachers put up the posters as a “show of diversity,” said Carey Gaddis, a spokeswoman for Carroll County Public Schools.


Holy Fuck.
posted by futz at 3:49 PM on February 21 [74 favorites]


I'm starting to think that the only explanation for the insane amount of bullshit going on is there is some serious calamity coming at us, like a super virus with 90% mortality escaped from a lab, is in the water supply or airborne, will start making us all sick in a few months and all this *gestures wildly at everything* is just a cover to distract us until we all start dying.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 3:55 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


A day of outrageous policy proposals from the Trump administration, and hardly any outrage. I think Trump might be learning this presidenting thing. (Or we might be getting tired.)
posted by Coventry at 3:55 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to think that the only explanation for the insane amount of bullshit going on is there is some serious calamity coming at us, like a super virus with 90% mortality escaped from a lab, is in the water supply or airborne, will start making us all sick in a few months and all this *gestures wildly at everything* is just a cover to distract us until we all start dying.

nope, it's just white / cis-male backlash
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:08 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


nope, it's just white / cis-male backlash

indistinguishable from the zombie plague tbh.
posted by yasaman at 4:10 PM on February 21 [17 favorites]


Fucking Richard "Punch Me I'm Dick" Spencer on a softball recorded-interview on Sky News here in the UK right now. I noped out at the "party atmosphere" self-description of his "Hail Trump" routine.
posted by comealongpole at 4:14 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]