It's Constituent Work Week!
February 22, 2017 4:56 PM   Subscribe

It's Constituent Work Week, a time when, traditionally, members of Congress return to their districts and hold in-person townhall meetings. This year, however, more than 200 Republicans are skipping townhalls, despite calls from their constituents to hold them. posted by triggerfinger (2594 comments total) 120 users marked this as a favorite
 
7 year old Toby at the Tom Cotton Town Hall reminded his senator that Donald Trump shouldn't get rid of PBS kids for a wall that makes people hate Mexicans.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:58 PM on February 22 [148 favorites]


The Republican Party's guiding principle has always been unconscionable cowardice.
posted by wabbittwax at 5:02 PM on February 22 [43 favorites]


oh my gosh, THANK YOU for gathering these town halls, they are giving me LIFE.
posted by lalex at 5:03 PM on February 22 [27 favorites]


The Republican Party's guiding principle has always been unconscionable cowardice.

This is unfair, neglecting its equally dedicated commitments to greed, dishonesty, ratfucking and hate.
posted by howfar at 5:06 PM on February 22 [54 favorites]


A tweet from Jackie Evancho, who sang at the inauguration: ". @realDonaldTrump u gave me the honor 2 sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender rghts ❤"

I hate to say "I told you so," but everyone did, in fact, tell her so.
posted by zachlipton at 5:07 PM on February 22 [141 favorites]


Two from The Atlantic:

‘Our Readiness for a Terrorist Attack Is Dangerously Low’
“I’ve never seen anything quite like” Trump’s approach to national security, says a former counterterrorism adviser to three presidents.

and

Taiwan and the Trumpian Uncertainty Principle
The high price of a phone call

posted by Joe in Australia at 5:07 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


From the first link: "Shivers went down the spines of many Republican communications directors on the Hill this week when a few dozen protesters confronted Sen. Steve Daines of Montana at the airport."

Thats my guy!

He hosted a tele-town-hall a few days afterwards. Announced about half an hour before it started. Only on Twitter. Most folks didn't get through, they were either disconnected, had absurd hold times, or only reached a prerecorded message.

He answered very few questions, and there is no video, recording, transcript, etc, available to the public yet, so there's no way to hear what went on unless you were listening in real time.

Here is a pretty detailed piece on how much it sucked.
posted by Grandysaur at 5:08 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


Rep Tom Emmer's (MN - Michele Bachmann's former district) town hall just started. Live link here.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:09 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


My rep is a coward.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:09 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


There's something percolating in my brain about culture and legislators' interpretation of the appropriate way to interact with legislators. It hasn't firmly coalesced, but I'm finding these responses to town halls really help to pin it down.
posted by corb at 5:18 PM on February 22 [23 favorites]


Joe in Australia, that first link (‘Our Readiness for a Terrorist Attack Is Dangerously Low’) is so infuriating because if there is going to be a terrorist attack, Trump is going to get to play hero like Dubya did even though his administration will be to blame. If we don't remember the lessons learned post 9/11 about how we're not any safer giving a shitty president broad powers, I will surrender to my growing mistrust of the American people forever and ever.

I started typing out a whole rant about that, but I just can't right now, I've reached the point where I need to take a break from the news and analysis for a couple days and recharge.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 5:19 PM on February 22 [29 favorites]


Our Republican senator, Cory Gardner (who accused us of being paid protestors), is pretty much the boy in the plastic bubble right now. I've been calling and even talked to a staffer last week asking about town halls and they supposedly put me on some list, but now he's posting these little surprise popup visits he's having in safe, controlled corporate environments. Here he is apparently fielding tough questions from...his interns?

If you're too scared to actually meet your constituents or show your face out in public, maybe take a moment to consider why that is.
posted by ernielundquist at 5:21 PM on February 22 [81 favorites]


>(‘Our Readiness for a Terrorist Attack Is Dangerously Low’) is so infuriating because if there is going to be a terrorist attack, Trump is going to get to play hero

One suspects this is precisely why our readiness is so low.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:21 PM on February 22 [48 favorites]


One suspects this is precisely why our readiness is so low.

9/11 was an inside ignoring of a job
posted by murphy slaw at 5:23 PM on February 22 [27 favorites]


Add the despicable Peter King to the Spineless Republicans List. My mom, who's 76 and has never been politically active beyond voting, expressed interest in attending a town hall. To make it as easy as possible for her from 3,000 miles away, I went online to try to get details for Rep. King. Nada. No town hall. Nothing. COWARD.
posted by Lyme Drop at 5:24 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Statement by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on the Trump administration's rescinding the Obama guidance on transgender students. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen's son is a transgender man.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:25 PM on February 22 [19 favorites]


‘Our Readiness for a Terrorist Attack Is Dangerously Low’
“I’ve never seen anything quite like” Trump’s approach to national security, says a former counterterrorism adviser to three presidents.


It's already established that the current administration is happy to make up attacks that haven't happened, paint refugees as threats, and in general gin up as much fear as possible about terrorism and foreigners.

There's no downside for people like Bannon, Miller, and Trump in letting a terror attack actually happen. It'd be their own personal key to increased authoritarian powers. What little spine and principle is left in the withered soul of the Republican party (well, beyond their utter devotion to the worship of Mammon) would crumble entirely.

Blood on their watch is almost a given.
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:25 PM on February 22 [41 favorites]


tbf king couldn't find a truck to haul his jowls around on such short notice
posted by murphy slaw at 5:25 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


this is fun, because i just came back from a town hall meeting where they literally couldn't let me in because there were too many people according to the fire code. my rep is the worst of the worst (bob goodlatte) and of course didn't show up. as far as i know, they had a cardboard cutout of the man behind the podium while a crowd harangued him.

i went around the overflow with a clipboard, taking signatures for the attorney general. we had quite a few local news crews there, and i hope the fellow that's running for delegate from the 12th got interviewed. (his name is Bryan Keele, and he is genuinely Good People.) i met a bunch of folks who had come in from all over virginia's 6th district, and a few from outside of it. i feel pretty good about this kind of momentum. overflowing crowds on a wednesday when it was raining? if we can keep this up i feel very good indeed about the governor race in virginia.

(also the number of people that i recognized, or that recognized me was-- something else. "weren't you on staff for hillary?" "for a given value of 'staff.' i wasn't getting paid, but yes. i was full-time." "thank you for what you're doing." i'm always taken a bit aback by that, but it's a good feeling nevertheless. i always feel like i'm crashing these kinds of parties.)
posted by dogheart at 5:28 PM on February 22 [99 favorites]




Check out Mitch McConnell's disgustingly smug face as he's being reminded that his evil agenda is hurting/killing innocent families. Make no mistake, these people are sociopaths.
posted by Beholder at 5:28 PM on February 22 [41 favorites]



Statement by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on the Trump administrations rescinding the Obama guidance on transgender students. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen's son is a transgender man.


Always on the right side when and only when it affects them personally.
posted by waitingtoderail at 5:28 PM on February 22 [113 favorites]


Oh also I will bet money they aren't canceling their Republican club events.
posted by corb at 5:29 PM on February 22 [13 favorites]


What many people don't get:

The Republican Party isn't attempting to destroy all opposition (the Democrats, press, universities, etc) so the GOP can laser-focus on the needs of Republican voters.

The Republican Party is attempting to destroy those things so they don't have to listen to *anyone.*

Conservatives are just as in danger as anyone if the GOP manages to get a choke-hold on our government. It's only those actually doing the choking who will win. And it's extremely likely that you're one of them, no matter how much of a rust belt rural family values iron-worker "real American" you may or may not be.
posted by chasing at 5:31 PM on February 22 [45 favorites]


dogheart my rep is the worst of the worst (bob goodlatte) and of course didn't show up. as far as i know, they had a cardboard cutout of the man behind the podium while a crowd harangued him.

Chris Hayes had footage of your townhall and, yes, Goodlatte was represented by a cardbaord cutout. Difference between a Republican member of congress and a cardboard cutout of a Republican member of congress: The cutout will at least standup to Trump.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:32 PM on February 22 [112 favorites]


Just for posterity I guess here's my local paper's coverage of our town hall, which is only one of THREE in this district organized by our Indivisible group.
posted by threeturtles at 5:39 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


What many people don't get:
The Republican Party isn't attempting to destroy all opposition (the Democrats, press, universities, etc) so the GOP can laser-focus on the needs of Republican voters.
The Republican Party is attempting to destroy those things so they don't have to listen to *anyone.*


Republicans get upset when humans show up at townhalls. Their real constituents are corporations.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:39 PM on February 22 [102 favorites]




Add the despicable Peter King to the Spineless Republicans List

Pete King is a hateful, racist shitbag who knows that 65% of his constituents are also hateful, racist shitbags who will vote for him as long as he continues to hurl invective at Muslims, no matter what else he does.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:43 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]




Download the app that turns an event into a BEEvent!

I've just spent an embarrassing number of seconds reading through the copy for that and then excitedly trying to figure out where the download button was
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:45 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


‘Our Readiness for a Terrorist Attack Is Dangerously Low’

It's usually something you're willfully ignorant of which gets you, though. Richard Clarke's pre-9/11 warnings were heroic partly because the Bush administration was actively suppressing counter-terrorism efforts and inter-agency responses to terrorist intelligence. I shared Clarke's concern initially but I think even with idiots at the top, the existing counter-terrorism framework will lurch along fairly effectively. Of course, if anything does happen it's all on the Trump administration.
posted by Coventry at 5:45 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]




There's a report here that the Kansas House just voted 85-40 in favor of expending Medicaid. In Kansas. Wow.
posted by zachlipton at 5:48 PM on February 22 [88 favorites]


There's no downside for people like Bannon, Miller, and Trump in letting a terror attack actually happen.

There's a downside they don't understand in the slightest. In 2001, the attacks were unprecedented. Most didn't knew what to do or how to react. Democrats looked to Bush for leadership just as much as Republicans. It helped that most Americans didn't realize, at the time, how much Bush's incompetence contributed to the situation. And then people watched the Bush Administration abuse this unity by pushing a nakedly partisan agenda which led to disastrous results.

The Republicans aren't going to get that a second time around. There's enough people who remembered what happened the first time. There's plenty of people who understand exactly how insanely incompetent the Trump Administration is. Trump's not going to get a free pass if something terrible happens. They're expecting a rerun of 2001 and I think they're going to be enormously surprised.

"fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." - as a not-so-great man once said.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:49 PM on February 22 [83 favorites]



I don't get it. Shouting down your elected representative instead of engaging her/him is pointless. No issues are explored; no dialogue takes place. What has happened to civility and respect?

It's nothing new..
posted by namret at 5:52 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


There's a downside they don't understand in the slightest.

that it's their allies on the far right that are as likely to commit a terrorist act?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:53 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


Man, Tom Emmer is just a master of avoiding the question. When asked about climate change, he suggested that it always turns into an argument "with 100 scientists on one side and 100 scientists on the other side" at which point he was drowned out by A CHORUS OF BOOS, despite his threats to end the town hall if people got "rowdy". Then he said "okay, 1000 scientists on one side and 1000 scientists on the other side" (lol!) More boos. Then he asked a lady who politely objected (but didn't raise her voice) "why are you so angry?" She objected again (using the same tone) and he said "well you don't have to get so angry." Then he shut the whole conversation down with an empty platitude, "I think we can all agree that we want to leave the planet a better place for our children. Next question."

Stay classy, Republicans.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:53 PM on February 22 [37 favorites]


Namret: please read triggerfinger's comment for an answer to your question.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:55 PM on February 22 [13 favorites]


In reply to a comment from the last thread:
Can we go back to that Susan Simpson Tweestorm for a minute?

It seems to me she's got evidence of perjury there. Photos of court records where Trump contradicts himself under oath about how will he knows Felix Sater. Either he's lying when he says he doesn't, or lying when he admits he does.
I ran over her tweet thread yesterday, and it looked like mostly findings that have already been pointed out in national media coverage in the past couple years: And there’s more where those came from. I guess part of the lack of response was that until November, everyone expected him to lose. I also suspect there is more difficulty in taking legal action against Trump about lying under oath, since he lies SOOO much that it’s hard to pick apart the mess of lies, mis-statements, exaggerations, etc. especially when he uses vagaries like “I don’t remember” most of the time.
posted by p3t3 at 5:59 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


Conservatives are just as in danger as anyone if the GOP manages to get a choke-hold on our government. It's only those actually doing the choking who will win. And it's extremely likely that you're one of them, no matter how much of a rust belt rural family values iron-worker "real American" you may or may not be.

Yep. It's so hard to get through to R-voters that we don't (just) oppose Trump because he's bad news for us. We oppose Trump because he's bad news for everybody.
posted by Rykey at 5:59 PM on February 22 [23 favorites]


Our Republican senator, Cory Gardner (who accused us of being paid protestors), is pretty much the boy in the plastic bubble right now. I've been calling and even talked to a staffer last week asking about town halls and they supposedly put me on some list, but now he's posting these little surprise popup visits he's having in safe, controlled corporate environments.

Senator Gardner is a fucking embarrassment. If you listen closely on a quiet night, you can hear the sound of Colorado turning into a C of Blue, and shit like this is why.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:02 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


We should encourage Trump to play as much golf as possible.
posted by humanfont at 6:03 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


> I don't get it. Shouting down your elected representative instead of engaging her/him is pointless. No issues are explored; no dialogue takes place. What has happened to civility and respect?

Nothing good has come from the wretched election of 2016, but if there were anything good about it, it's that even middle of the road liberals are beginning to acknowledge that politics is about struggle, organization, and the effective application of force to achieve aims. The "politics is about determining proper behavior through disinterested debate" frame that used to come up so often is just propaganda meant to keep us disorganized and weak.

The point, as such, is to make the representative scared; scared of bad press, scared of the angry mob organizing to remove them from office, scared of having their names and reputations dragged through the mud, and scared of the sheer size and vehemence of the crowd gathered to confront them. This is what democracy looks like.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:04 PM on February 22 [224 favorites]


There's a downside they don't understand in the slightest. In 2001, the attacks were unprecedented.

I agree with everything you said. My fear is something unprecedented WILL happen, like the destruction of an entire city. I can only hope the understanding of the incompetence or complicity will hold up in the face of another unprecedented event.
posted by milarepa at 6:05 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Exactly how civil is one supposed to be at somebody who wants to take away your health insurance? Because I've frankly seen a lot of people in that exact situation asking questions that are a heck of a lot more calm and collected than I could possibly be.
posted by zachlipton at 6:06 PM on February 22 [100 favorites]


I've been considering turning this question into an ask metafilter thing:

what are some effective ways to start getting out the vote and drumming up interest in this November's state and municipal elections?

I'm in Pennsylvania, and I'm working with a student political organization that's just getting off the ground in the election's aftermath. A few weeks ago I attended one of its organizational meetings and spoke to them about some potential plans for about 5 minutes. The only thing I mentioned that elicited an audible murmur from the audience was when I rattled through the list of all our state and local positions that will be voted on this November, including about half of the local school board. (That item in particular got a little gasp from the crowd.)

My point being, there appears to be some serious interest (finally!) in off-year elections in my corner of the country. That is VERY encouraging, but it will be meaningless if it fizzles out. Here's what I want to know: how can I work to sustain that interest, drum up more support, and push more people to the polls this November?
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 6:07 PM on February 22 [20 favorites]


Nothing good has come from the wretched election of 2016, but if there were anything good about it, it's that even middle of the road liberals are beginning to acknowledge that politics is about struggle [...]

One thing that I hope we will better appreciate, and remember, is that we're all in this together. The same people who are antisemites are racist, the people who are racist are misogynist, and the people who are misogynist want to take away your healthcare and your mother's pension. The fact that the Trump administration is evil on so many levels may be what brings people together in sympathy.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:10 PM on February 22 [22 favorites]


I am stealing this from a friend's Facebook page, which is public. You can find a lot of ways to resist:

Guy next to me in the locker room, to his friend: I think my AirBNB person might be a Caitlin Jenner.
Me to the guy on the other side of me: I think the guy next to me might be a transphobic garbage person who needs to be reported to management.
And then I did because FUCK THAT GUY

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:11 PM on February 22 [137 favorites]


There's a report here that the Kansas House just voted 85-40 in favor of expending Medicaid. In Kansas. Wow.

Mmm, smell that Brownback Backlash. Kansas caught this show in previews before the GOP went national with it, and elected more Dems than usual and lot of moderate Republicans in response and it's one of the things giving me hope right now.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:11 PM on February 22 [63 favorites]


The Kansas legislature just passed a bunch of tax increases too (including newly-elected Republicans!). Brownback said he plans to veto it but still, it's a good sign (not sure if they have the votes for an override).
posted by melissasaurus at 6:14 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


I want to know how anyone can excuse an elected rep who does not want to meet with the public. Of course, I suppose they think that only the people who are in the reps party have any right to representation...
posted by maxwelton at 6:16 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Their real constituents are corporations.

And donors. But it's an extension of what I said in the last thread: if your constituency is 700,000 people, then it might as well be nobody. You can do standard constituent service like flag and tour requests, or immigration and benefit inquiries, but ad hoc political engagement -- the town hall meeting stuff -- is mostly symbolic on both sides. In regular hours, if you want to get past the first tier of staffers, you'll typically need to be part of an interest group, whether it's something formal like the Townsville Realtors Association or a more loose collective like "Somewhere City Cancer Survivors", because somebody serving a two-year term has about 700,000 waking minutes for 700,000 constituents, and a good chunk of those minutes will be spent fundraising.

That doesn't mean the symbolism doesn't matter, because obviously it mattered in 2009-10, as so many Dems ran away from anything approximating a coherent message. But to think these events are meant for nuanced discussion as opposed to "what the fuck have you done for us lately?" misses the point.
posted by holgate at 6:16 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Regarding rowdy town halls, Josh Marshall of TPM reminds us that while everyone is comparing what's happening now to 2009 Tea Partiers, we should remember that the 2009 Tea Partiers were drawing their inspiration from 2005 when Democrats would show up at town halls to harangue politicians about George W. Bush's plan to privatize Social Security. Which, in some ways, is exactly what's happening now except with Obamacare.
posted by mhum at 6:18 PM on February 22 [40 favorites]


I know some people here were skeptical of the Kansas voter revolt, but it really did happen. And it's already putting the Governor on some uncomfortable ground. The legislature also passed a bill to overturn much of the Brownback tax cuts. Governor vetoed it. The house overturned the veto. The senate almost did but failed by one vote. I'm thinking it will pass eventually this session once the outcry from voters over further education cuts, and the $1 Billion budget deficit, hits the holdout senators.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:18 PM on February 22 [21 favorites]


Well this is depressing: Poll: Americans overwhelmingly oppose sanctuary cities
posted by triggerfinger at 6:22 PM on February 22


I suspect Americans overwhelmingly don't understand what a sanctuary city is.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:26 PM on February 22 [132 favorites]


what are these republican congressmen doing to stop democrats from ruining America? I guess we'll have to elect a different set of republicans in 2018 since these guys won't do the job. If only there was an alternative...
posted by any major dude at 6:27 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


One thing that I hope we will better appreciate, and remember, is that we're all in this together. The same people who are antisemites are racist, the people who are racist are misogynist, and the people who are misogynist want to take away your healthcare and your mother's pension. The fact that the Trump administration is evil on so many levels may be what brings people together in sympathy

In the last thread, we had MeFites dismissing Brianna Wu's run for Congress with some of the most obviously misogynist reasoning and language I've seen on this site in a while. Not all misogynists, at least, are Trumpists.

I agree we're stronger together. But that supposes we support each other rather than tear each other down. That's not just going to magically happen because we all hate the evil bastards in power. It's going to take work.

I know I sure as hell don't have the energy to fight misogyny on the right and the left while we're trying to stop a slow motion move to white supremacy. It's just too exhausting. It's the main reason I haven't gotten involved with general leftist groups, and have stuck to women's stuff--I just do not have the goddamn spoons.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:29 PM on February 22 [90 favorites]


I suspect Americans overwhelmingly don't understand what a sanctuary city is.

I agree, and it's an extension of how Americans overwhelmingly don't understand how their country's immigration system works.

Equally depressing is that Mark Penn has a job.
posted by holgate at 6:30 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


Chaffetz reportedly suspects that the tweet, which was posted in December the day after President Obama designated the more than 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, may reveal that the park officials had advanced notice.

posted by Rust Moranis at 11:49 AM on February 22 [59 favorites +] [!]


I know it was aeons ago in thread time but I just had to come here to register a WTF on this. Does Chaffetz think National Park unit designations are a secret? The president just throws a dart? NPS does their due diligence before recommending new NPS units. Chaffetz would be screaming if they hadn't. Of course other NPS units knew this was a possibility, even if they didn't know ahead of time that it was for sure happening or the timing.
posted by Preserver at 6:33 PM on February 22 [16 favorites]


Always on the right side when and only when it affects them personally.

Isn't that pretty much their core philosophy?
posted by theodolite at 6:34 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


I don't get it. Shouting down your elected representative instead of engaging her/him is pointless. No issues are explored; no dialogue takes place. What has happened to civility and respect?

In the eloquent words of bile and syntax:
Many of us, myself included, are socialized to be more outraged at breaches of etiquette than breaches of justice. Etiquette is largely about maintaining an unjust social order, where it's worse for you to tell your racist relatives to shut the fuck up at Thanksgiving than it is for them to spew their nonsense where your little cousins can hear.
These craven vicious assholes are trying to eradicate people's civil rights. They are trying to make the US a white supremacist paradise. They are trying to take away people's healthcare and Social Security and leave them to die in the dirt or be crushed by debt. These bastards and their Bastard-in-Chief on this very day just told millions of American children that they don't deserve basic human respect or dignity and went out of their way to loudly roll back a small, hopeful gesture of decency. And then the President's ragey little rat terrier sashays onstage and tells me my anger about all that and more isn't real? FUCK. POLITENESS.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:40 PM on February 22 [203 favorites]


I think constituents can be polite to one another, so that if Asshole Congressperson is answering questions, that everyone gets to hear the lies/answers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:42 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


My representative is so desperate to avoid me and my friends that he's on a junket to India during Constituent Work Week.
posted by Etrigan at 6:43 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


but her emauls
posted by um at 6:46 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


I think constituents can be polite to one another, so that if Asshole Congressperson is answering questions, that everyone gets to hear the lies/answers.

Good point. The main issue with the Cotton townhall, which was the least orderly one, seemed to be that it was humongous, so there was more random noise and momentum in that direction, and it took notably longer than at smaller ones for people to settle down and listen after a big cheer/boo -- like turning an aircraft carrier. At the smaller meetings, those waves of noise subsided a bit more quickly and the overall mood was easier to manage.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:49 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


look i'm not saying i plan to hold an intense grudge until i can exact electoral revenge but i AM knitting some names into a pussy hat RN #defargewasright
posted by prefpara at 6:50 PM on February 22 [32 favorites]


But I think too that pent-up outrage is a pretty predictable response to an administration that has just spent the last 32 consecutive days doing a non-stop series of jaw-droppingly outrageous things.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:53 PM on February 22 [19 favorites]


Last Tuesday, ElderMonster and I joined 60 fellow citizens to ask Rob Portman for a Town Hall meeting.

His staff skedaddled and he refuses to meet with us.
posted by MissySedai at 7:02 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


Sanctuary cities need to win a messaging game. If you have to stop and If about why something is good, some proportion of people will just never take that next step. And we have to convince those people too.

This doesn't mean swaying the nutsos who think cities is are lawless murder carnivals, but more at getting through to the lightly informed folks in a creative and punchy way. (and that's where I get stuck... ideas?)
posted by Wulfhere at 7:02 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


The Washington Post has a nice menu of videos of politicians being yelled at. Not all are recent and no idea how quickly it will be updated, though.
posted by dilettante at 7:02 PM on February 22


Constituent with husband with multiple pre-existing conditions to Tom Cotton: "Well, what kind of insurance do you have?"

Steve Womack (R-AR): "You guys just want to investigate everybody."
Townhall attendee: "You guys wasted a lot of money on Benghazi, waste a little on Trump!" (This tweeter, Brad Jaffy, seems to have links to a lot of these.)

Obamacare beneficiary confronts Chuck Grassley
.
posted by dhens at 7:03 PM on February 22 [34 favorites]




getting through to the lightly informed folks in a creative and punchy way.

Ooh! Uh . . what is "punching Nazis"?
posted by petebest at 7:07 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


corb: There's something percolating in my brain about culture and legislators' interpretation of the appropriate way to interact with legislators. It hasn't firmly coalesced, but I'm finding these responses to town halls really help to pin it down.

I'm eagerly awaiting your follow up on this comment because there is so much to unpack from many different political angles.

I have noticed several things in the way many of these legislators are acting in relation to constituents that ties in with the relationship between elected officials and constituents and the issue of emotional labor.

A) They seem to have forgotten that they are not our rulers but are, in fact, our employees who represent all the people in a district. Even in the reddest of red districts, 20-25% of the population usually votes Democratic. They convey the message that they only feel beholden to people who agree with them nearly all the time.

B) I see a whole bunch of mostly older white men who present as heterosexual and cisgender. I also see a bunch of very angry constituents who feel ignored. These men are, for the one of the few times in their lives, are having to do some uncomfortable emotional labor for women, people of color, progressives, and others they seem to hold in contempt.

I think they resent the shit out of it, so you get people like David "Women Up in my Grill" Brat and poor "bullied" (L.O.L.) Jason Chaffetz doing everything they can to dismiss the concerns and frustrations that people are bringing to their town halls.

C) When these (mostly) older white guys are forced to do this sort of emotional labor, they have a hard time taking it seriously and doing a good job of it because their emotional labor muscles are fairly underdeveloped. I'm actually a little embarrassed on their behalf at how badly they seem to handle this.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 7:09 PM on February 22 [101 favorites]


In NJ, constituents of Rep. Lance Leonard brought Llamas to the town hall. I don't exactly know why (Lance Leonard has two l's, so does llama?) but they are adorable and made the news.
posted by cushie at 7:10 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


Steve Womack (R-AR): "You guys just want to investigate everybody."

Just the obviously fraudulent criminal puppets of Putin, sir.
posted by petebest at 7:10 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


It's Leonard Lance in New Jersey, which, i'mma definitely use that name for a superhero or supervillain someday, but anyway. That protest actually took place at my brother's college and cancelled class.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:13 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


It's full on "show us your papers" territory now. America finally elected its id. I wish James Baldwin was still alive. Not for his sake, but mine. It's going to be a hot summer and I'm rambling from rage.
posted by milarepa at 7:20 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


and in the competion for Most Contemptable Senator, A New Challenger Approaches:

When liberals are angry, I'm satisfied. It means we are heading in the RIGHT direction.
-- Sen Chris McDaniel
posted by murphy slaw at 7:26 PM on February 22 [19 favorites]


3,000 Scientists Have Asked for Help Running for Office to Oppose Trump ~ A nonprofit organization dedicated to getting more scientists elected has been overwhelmed by the response from the scientific community.

-- At the time, 314 Action was hoping to hold a one-hour webinar to talk the potential candidates through the basics of forming a campaign organization, raising money, and communicating their platform.

-- Because of the overwhelming interest, the organization will now be holding an all-day seminar on March 14 in Washington DC featuring training sessions with experienced politicians and organizers. The group expects between 100 and 200 potential candidates to travel to DC for the event, which will be live streamed to those who can't make it.

-- "It's 3,000 scientists and STEM professionals—engineers, mathematicians, academics," 314 Action spokesperson Ted Bordelon told me. "It's a combination."


This makes me SO happy.
posted by futz at 7:27 PM on February 22 [87 favorites]


I'm in Eric Paulsen's district so I called his office. An aide actually picked up, took my last name and ZIP. I asked when he was having his town hall because I couldn't find the info on his website. I know damn well he isn't having one but it was the easiest way I could think of to politely tell him he should.

TFA says he's had two, I'll try and go if he has another. I'm currently trying to convince myself to apply for an appointment but I'm not sure I can screw up the courage for that.
posted by VTX at 7:28 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Well I mean all the scientists and teachers are going to be out of work, they might as well use their free time to run for office.
posted by emjaybee at 7:30 PM on February 22 [17 favorites]






Adding to the list, Representative John Katko (R) of NYs 24th refusal to meet with constituents is getting a lot of press in local news and on TV. Indivisible and CNY Solidarity groups keeping up the pressure. He says he won't let "a small group of people dictate how I run my business."
You work for US, sir!
posted by SyraCarol at 7:35 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


in NYC, they are setting up an ICE checkpoint right now on the 6 line at 149th and 3rd

I was explaining to my mother today at lunch that we're now in the "show us your papers" era and that she should get a passport card and carry it with her at all times. She came to New York as a child war refugee in 1946 after spending the war in Cuba without enough to eat. I told her that it was just a matter of months before they started checkpoints in NYC, because they have to punish the sanctuary cities.

She replied that she couldn't believe that was possible or legal and told me how she used to explain to her family in Europe that the US was a great country because the Constitution forbids the police from stopping you and asking for your papers.

I'm sick at heart that it took less than 12 hours for Trump to validate my fears.
posted by fuzz at 7:36 PM on February 22 [115 favorites]


At the time, 314 Action was hoping to hold a one-hour webinar to talk the potential candidates through the basics of forming a campaign organization, raising money, and communicating their platform.

Gee, if only there were another party, like republicans, but say, different - that had millions of dollars and lots of political experience - that could use those resources to help more STEM people to run for office. A democratic party perhaps, dedicated to the finest principles of democracy - some party that people who believe in the American democratic experiment could contribute their time and money to.

I wonder, if such a democratic party existed, what we might call it. Oh, well. In the meantime, I'll donate my time and effort to these more grassroots efforts. Perhaps a Democratic party of Democrats for Democracy might blossom.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:37 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


What am I missing Pogo Fuzzybutt? They are going to run as Democrats.

In January, 314 Action (named after the first three digits of the number pi) announced that it would be training scientists to run for office as Democrats at all levels of politics in hopes that these new politicians could bring a fact-based approach to crises such as climate change.

Speakers at the seminar will include Joe Trippi, who helped run Howard Dean's presidential campaign and has worked for California Gov. Jerry Brown. Other speakers include is Melissa Varga, who has previously trained new political candidates for the New Organizing Institute, a now-defunct think tank that promoted first-time progressive candidates and Andrew Zwicker, a physicist who became a New Jersey state lawmaker.
posted by futz at 7:45 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


I think of it this way: whatever you think about the history of the Democratic party, we're going to war, and they have the tanks. You can split off and fight GMOs or Zoning regulations or Term Limits later. Right now, if you want to get through this, get in the tank!
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:48 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


Re: ICE on the NY subway -- I don't see any actual photos of this checkpoint, except for one picture that has a uniformed NYPD officer but no ICE agents that I can see. It's all just retweets and links to Facebook shares of the same message.

Caution, not panic. Be vigilant, but also verify.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:49 PM on February 22 [26 favorites]


in NYC, they are setting up an ICE checkpoint right now on the 6 line at 149th and 3rd

Lots of unsubstantiated reports; there are tweets going back to early this morning, but zero reporting that I can find outside of Twitter. Brian Lehrer had a segment yesterday about this… lots of FUD, lots of "collateral" as part of targeted raids, but, as far as I can tell, still -zero- raid raids, or checkpoints, etc.

I think that it's important to find a source/proof/picture before passing on that kind of info. Especially because it could be true, but doesn't yet appear to be.
posted by mhz at 7:49 PM on February 22 [13 favorites]


A new thread already? I thought the last thread was so slow!

Poor tehund
posted by Yowser at 7:49 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


My very own DEC profiled here.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:50 PM on February 22


(I took a two-day break from MeFi politics threads and turned to my pile of books to be read. The one on top was "The Handmaid's Take" and I got a third of the way through it in two nights before I came back here.

I mean, it's nearly the same story, so I may as well be reading it with their real names. *sigh*)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:51 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]


I think that the 2 groups will get together. I also think that it is great that they are getting organized on their own I say let the best candidate win and the Dems frown on a newcomer butting in line. Not everything needs to be sanctioned by the Party. I like it so far and it is so early that we can't know what will happen.
posted by futz at 7:53 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Nothing good has come from the wretched election of 2016, but if there were anything good about it, it's that even middle of the road liberals are beginning to acknowledge that politics is about struggle, organization, and the effective application of force to achieve aims.

Politics is a tribal game of king of the hill played on a mountain of skulls from participants and innocents alike. Winner gets to wear the boot for a while!
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:54 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


The Handmaid's Take

This is like if a character from the Handmaid's Tale had Twitter
posted by dis_integration at 7:54 PM on February 22 [53 favorites]


The thing about the Susan Simpson tweetstorm (and I don't see this getting enough emphasis) is that it suggests that the dossier CONTEXT, not just the events, can be corroborated by publically available information. Pointing out who Source E seems to be doesn't give a huge amount of insight, but it really lends credibility to the report.

And this was done by an (amazingly detail-oriented) lawyer during her off-hours.

We KNOW the NYTimes had the dossier long before the election. They could easily have done this work. And they could easily have made a calculated decision to release at least some of the information based on the details Simpson has pointed to. But they didn't.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 7:55 PM on February 22 [28 favorites]


This is like if a character from the Handmaid's Tale had Twitter

I really think we should come together and work with Gilead on the stuff we agree about. This is a time for unity!
posted by tobascodagama at 7:57 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


McMaster May Reorganize Trump’s Foreign Policy Team Once Again: WASHINGTON — Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, President Trump’s new national security adviser, is considering a reorganization of the White House foreign policy team that would give him control of Homeland Security and guarantee full access to the military and intelligence agencies.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:59 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


she used to explain to her family in Europe that the US was a great country because the Constitution forbids the police from stopping you and asking for your papers

Yeah, when I was a kid the way you playacted a Nazi was to bark "Papers, please!". It was taken for granted that that sort of demand was a sign of fascism. Whether the ICE in NY story is true or false, the fact is that it might be true, that there's a legal basis for doing that in most populated parts of the USA. In fact, if the Trump administration has its way, it's going to become commonplace.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:00 PM on February 22 [52 favorites]


Politics is a tribal game of king of the hill played on a mountain of skulls from participants and innocents alike. Winner gets to wear the boot for a while!

you can always refuse to play and provide the neck, forever
posted by murphy slaw at 8:05 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


I don't get it. Shouting down your elected representative instead of engaging her/him is pointless. No issues are explored; no dialogue takes place. What has happened to civility and respect?

'Civility and respect' in the face of literal evil is what got us here in the first place.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:06 PM on February 22 [96 favorites]


TFA says he's had two, I'll try and go if he has another

Don't believe his lies. Unless he's talking about the ones he had like 7 years ago. From everything I've seen, all he's done are those bullshit telephone townhalls, where HE decides who to call. Our man Erik hasn't had a real townhall since 2010 or 2011.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:09 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


McMaster May Reorganize Trump’s Foreign Policy Team Once Again: WASHINGTON — Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, President Trump’s new national security adviser, is considering a reorganization of the White House foreign policy team that would give him control of Homeland Security and guarantee full access to the military and intelligence agencies.

I keep having these internal micro-negotiations... This level of control is a bad thing, but if McMaster is less terrible than everyone else then maybe it's not so bad, but then no one really should have that much power, well if not McMaster someone else would, etc etc.
posted by mochapickle at 8:09 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]


I'm eagerly awaiting your follow up on this comment because there is so much to unpack from many different political angles. I have noticed several things in the way many of these legislators are acting in relation to constituents that ties in with the relationship between elected officials and constituents and the issue of emotional labor.

So I've been mulling over this, in particular with how, over the last year, I've actually seen systems of power and influence work in the Republican Party. And the thing that I keep coming back to is that in order to make those systems work, you need to be presenting as completely typical for your gender roles within a stratified society.

So when I did most of my influencing work leading up to the convention itself, I was operating in a sphere that I hadn't spent a lot of time in and was not, really, native to. I watched everyone else there and presented as they did. I hid my tattoo. I wore conservative clothing. I did not wear a single pair of flats that entire year. I pretty much stopped wearing pants. I wore dresses, conservatively cut or cut in that fashionable-1960s style. I wore jewelry every time I went out to an event. Despite the fact that, as a former sergeant in the Army, I can bark with the best of them and cut a hole in a crowd with my voice, I spoke in soft tones. I used the lessons of power I learned from the traditional women in my family. I did emotional labor, as you note, with each and every person I talked to.

When I criticized legislators - and I did, as did other Republican women - I and they spoke to the largely male legislators, and I think this is key, as a traditional upbringing had taught me I was supposed to speak to my husband. It's not that they didn't get criticized or called out - they did - but they were criticized in the same way women who aren't allowed to directly argue with their husband argue with their husbands. "I know that you meant well, but..." "I was so disappointed in you.." "I've been praying for you to open your heart"

These opportunities for influence happened all the time. We saw the Republican legislators at every county meeting, at many fundraising dinners, at Republican Women's Club luncheons and District Club auctions. We saw them everywhere in social settings where it would have been considered extremely impolite to raise your voice.

And in many ways, I think they - not became used to it, exactly, but have always been used to it. That's how they receive critique at home. That's how they receive critique out in the world. There are never, for them, any real rough edges. Sure, maybe they duke it out with another man in the primary, but that's understood to be confrontational. They get to relax in their paternalistic role. They act like a traditionalist husband to the people who elected them - 'thank you for choosing me and making me the happiest of men, but now dear, you know I know what's best'.

And I think this is evidenced in how they're responding to these town halls, the 'women all up in my grill'. It's not about women, the gender. It's about women not performing femininity - who are loud, who yell, who challenge, who don't soften the blow and bat their eyes and coo 'aren't you a big strong legislator'. And I mean - it's not like the women who do that stuff aren't seething just as much - but they don't have to be exposed to it. And now they are, and they are behaving about like the Pleasantville husband asking where his dinner is.
posted by corb at 8:10 PM on February 22 [264 favorites]


the Constitution forbids the police from stopping you and asking for your papers

It doesn't really, though, does it? Aliens in the US are required to carry identification and can be jailed for not having it. In practice this means citizens will sometimes also be asked for ID, and unable to provide it.

Now, it is true that the law does not (currently) require citizens to carry identification. Thats not quite the same as saying the police are forbidden from asking for it.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:13 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Now, more than ever, I assume the police will do whatever the fuck they like.
posted by Artw at 8:15 PM on February 22 [38 favorites]


Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent

Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what’s worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.

-- He said the purpose of this bill appears to be designed to chill the First Amendment rights of people to decide to demonstrate in the first place for fear something could wrong.

-- There’s something else: By including rioting in racketeering laws, it actually permits police to arrest those who are planning events. And Kavanagh, a former police officer, said if there are organized groups, “I should certainly hope that our law enforcement people have some undercover people there.’’


PURE FUCKING EVIL.
posted by futz at 8:19 PM on February 22 [176 favorites]


I keep having these internal micro-negotiations... This level of control is a bad thing, but if McMaster is less terrible than everyone else then maybe it's not so bad, but then no one really should have that much power, well if not McMaster someone else would, etc etc.

Yeah. I think we have to be aware that trying to draw these distinctions is getting increasingly to be an expenditure of emotional energy that's better used on just a default heuristic of resistance.

Rather than trying to parse the words or history or actions or whatever of a particular Trump appointee (or Republican legislator): just assume that resistance and opposition is the best strategy unless there's some definite, clear evidence to the contrary.

tl;dr bees
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:20 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent

Freedom of Assembly, motherfuckers. You don't even need to read that far because it's right up front.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:22 PM on February 22 [98 favorites]


PURE FUCKING EVIL.

fortunately also unconstitutional on its face and likely to trigger a lawsuit that is making the entire ACLU legal team drool as i write this?
posted by murphy slaw at 8:23 PM on February 22 [59 favorites]


Re: ICE on the NY subway -- I don't see any actual photos of this checkpoint, except for one picture that has a uniformed NYPD officer but no ICE agents that I can see. It's all just retweets and links to Facebook shares of the same message.

Caution, not panic. Be vigilant, but also verify.


People were freaking out about what they thought was an ICE checkpoint on the L in Chicago recently, but it turned out to be one of those stupid VIPR pseudo-TSA bag check teams. (Which I don't think I've run into since moving to Chicago, and I only ran into a few times previously in Boston, in the half-decade post-9/11.) That isn't to say that it's not a cause for concern, of course, or that it might not be perilous for undocumented people to get stopped by a different sorta-paramilitary government agency. It's still important to verify these sorts of things, though, so that we can respond to them appropriately.
posted by ubersturm at 8:24 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Oh for real murphy slaw but JFC do these people spend every waking moment trying to out-evil each other? No need to answer.
posted by futz at 8:27 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


What am I missing Pogo Fuzzybutt? They are going to run as Democrats.

That back in 2010, when the R's were beta testing this gish gallop of bullshit in WI and KS, we had 100,000 people in the streets in 10 degree weather, and the dems did all the could to disown the whole affair. When the WI 14 denied quorum, when we occupied the capitol and when we arranged a recall, the dems worked overtime to be as embarrassed and unsupportive as possible with no spine at all.

Here we are, as the R's have perfected and weaponized the technique and the Dems have had HALF A FUCKING DECADE OR MORE of warning about how this would play out, and still, the 50 state strategy was collect money in 50 states, run 17 candidates nationwide.

The people at the top of the Dem Party hierarchy get paid whether or not their candidates win. They get paid whether or not my faggot son can get fired for his gayness, whether my MIL can get her heart medicine, whether my Colombian college classmate gets deported. DWS and all of them get paid no matter what the fuck happens my friends and my family.

So, this 314thing? It exists because the Dems aren't doing it. The dems don't care, or they'd be doing it already. They don't have to care, and probably never will care, because Robby "Shitbrain" Mook, and the people who hired him, and the people who advised him managed to do what nobody else in the history of the world has done - Lose a political campaign to walking cerebral trauma Donald J. Trump. And all of them will retire as millionaires.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:29 PM on February 22 [83 favorites]


Freedom of Assembly, motherfuckers. You don't even need to read that far because it's right up front.

The constitution says peaceful assembly. This bill explicitly goes after protests that turn violent. These people aren't stupid. It's the legislative equivalent of concern trolling.
posted by Talez at 8:29 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Now, it is true that the law does not (currently) require citizens to carry identification. Thats not quite the same as saying the police are forbidden from asking for it.

This is a really important point, because the USA has increasingly relied on convention to shield some people - the right people - from the consequences of very bad laws. So you had people imprisoned without trial, but that was outside the USA 's borders so it was OK. And you had people being arbitrarily arrested, but they weren't citizens so it was OK. And these distinctions have become finer and finer and I think most people are just now realising that everyone can potentially be treated like an illegal immigrant, that everyone can potentially be treated like a terrorist, and that rights which can only be vindicated in court aren't much protection at all. At least, I hope they're starting to realise that; we'll see.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:30 PM on February 22 [29 favorites]


And in many ways, I think they - not became used to it, exactly, but have always been used to it. That's how they receive critique at home. That's how they receive critique out in the world. There are never, for them, any real rough edges.

Being able to pick your own constituency helps a lot, I imagine: American politics leaps from smallish, relatively homogenous state legislative districts (where there's limited interaction with voters who aren't funding your campaign) to large federal districts where most of the time you can avoid your opponent or your opponent's supporters. I've been watching from afar the UK by-election campaigns (where constituencies cover a population of 60,000ish) and it reminds me how British electoral politics is much more of a toe-to-toe contest.

do these people spend every waking moment trying to out-evil each other?

I think a lot of them are just pretty fucking stupid. Arizona's been state-leg crackpotsville for a while -- Ken Silverstein described it as "dimwits, racists, and cranks" in 2010. Trouble is, the virus has spread.
posted by holgate at 8:32 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Thanks to everyone for the dose of realism on the ICE checkpoints. That kind of devotion to figuring out what's really happening is why I keep torturing myself by following these threads.
posted by fuzz at 8:32 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


Thank you for the reply Pogo_Fuzzybutt. I totally misread your comment. Whoosh! We are on the same page now and I completely agree.
posted by futz at 8:39 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


holy shit folks, the Trump white house (is now claiming?) that they fucked up the composition of the national security council on accident
While the decision to give Mr. Bannon a seat was a conscious one, Mr. Trump’s team did not intend to reduce the role of the intelligence director or Joint Chiefs chairman, officials said. In crafting their organization order, the officials said, Mr. Trump’s aides essentially cut and pasted language from Mr. Bush’s organization chart, substituting the national intelligence director for the C.I.A. director, who back then was the head of the nation’s spy agencies.

What Mr. Trump’s team did not realize, officials said, was that Mr. Obama’s organization chart made those two positions full members of the committee.

As a practical matter, Mr. Trump’s aides may not have intended a substantive change, but the political symbolism of elevating Mr. Bannon while seemingly demoting military and intelligence leaders was an immediate distraction.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:44 PM on February 22 [58 favorites]


Arizona's been state-leg crackpotsville for a while

26 years since its release, AZ has made this song relevant again.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:45 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Link murphy slaw?
posted by futz at 8:48 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


This level of control is a bad thing, but if McMaster is less terrible than everyone else then maybe it's not so bad, but then no one really should have that much power, well if not McMaster someone else would, etc etc.

The really scary thing is, the Trump administration appears to be learning to compromise and govern effectively.
posted by Coventry at 8:49 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Where is that quote from, murphy slaw? Because that was my Gasp O' the Day, and just when I thought nothing was going to surprise me.
posted by thebrokedown at 8:49 PM on February 22




They're expecting a rerun of 2001 and I think they're going to be enormously surprised.

Unlike 2001, when there was bipartisan accord on how the United States of America would wreak her vengeance, right-wing extremists are now in full control of the government, have done much to neuter the judicial branch and free press, and will be able to do as they please domestically in the name of restoring public safety, answering to no one for the excesses and abuses to come.

Even better for them would be to look the other way for an attack on a large, left-leaning city. An attack on San Francisco or Seattle, say, would deal in one swoop with a large chunk of weakly-organized opposition.

Those who think that the aftermath of a second 2001-scale attack will involve anything but the systematic enforcement of dismantling what remain of everyone's civil rights — Muslim and transgender, included — may be enormously and unpleasantly surprised.

It may look like amateur hour from the outside, but these people have a plan. Get ready for more cruelty from the party of Lincoln.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:52 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


It sounds like they were so desperate to overturn something with Obama's name on it that they failed to actually look at what they were doing.
posted by zachlipton at 8:55 PM on February 22 [19 favorites]


Those who think that the aftermath of a second 2001-scale attack will involve anything but the systematic enforcement of dismantling what remain of everyone's civil rights

The Reichstag fire works even if a nutjob lights it, not insiders (which may be what actually happened, but it seems unclear still).
posted by thelonius at 8:57 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]




everything is for the stupidest in this stupidest of all possible worlds
posted by murphy slaw at 9:00 PM on February 22 [18 favorites]


zachlipton: an evergreen statement to be sure -- you could put that into any one of these discussions about the Trump regime at any point in time and you'd have a good chance of being on-topic.
posted by flatluigi at 9:00 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


They are so bad and in oncompetent at everything they do that I hope it would not work. On the other hand: Americans worried about "emails".
posted by Artw at 9:01 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


The Reichstag fire works even if a nutjob lights it, not insiders (which may be what actually happened, but it seems unclear still).

Doesn't even have to be a human act. Can you imagine the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina under this administration? Hard to imagine less than triple digits killed in the name of "law and order."
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:01 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


omnincompetent
posted by localhuman at 9:03 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


From the Department of Who the Fuck Knows but Yes Please:

Professor who correctly predicted every US presidential election since 1984 is certain Donald Trump will be impeached ~ Academic says disciplinary action against US President is a matter of when rather than if

Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University, uses a system of measures he calls “keys” to predict political outcomes and is now so convinced Mr Trump will face impeachment that he is writing a book on it.

The text, titled “The Case for Impeachment”, will be published in April by HarperCollins. It will include Professor Lichtman’s assessment of how Mr Trump could be impeached, based on analysis showing how his actions make him “uniquely vulnerable” to disciplinary proceedings.


...“They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican.

posted by futz at 9:04 PM on February 22 [13 favorites]


Can I just say that reading all this town hall drama is cheering me up immensely?

Plus the llamas.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:10 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


It's Constituent Work Week, a time when, traditionally, members of Congress return to their districts and hold in-person townhall meetings. This year, however, more than 200 Republicans are skipping townhalls, despite calls from their constituents to hold them.

So, town halls aren't as big a part of political culture in Canada as in the USA. The closest I can think of that we have come to this sort of nonsense is during the local debates during the last couple of federal elections, Conservatives were often no-shows in what were considered safe Tory seats. (When asked, they often framed it as "being out working for Canadians rather than engaging in partisan squabbling" or the like.)

I used to figure that to the be the nadir of cowardice and entitlement. To skip a debate where you are the only one on stage is even deeper into the political sub-basement than the Tories like to go.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:15 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Hey! Great news that will (not) end well!

N.H. residents no longer need a license to carry concealed loaded guns
posted by futz at 9:19 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


It sounds like they were so desperate to overturn something with Obama's name on it that they failed to actually look at what they were doing.

Yep, they rolled back to the 2001 org chart and forgot that stuff happened after that that led to the ODNI being created. Both evil and fuckwits.
posted by holgate at 9:21 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


the Trump white house (is now claiming?) that they fucked up the composition of the national security council on accident

This does not jibe with the report that Trump was upset that Bannon had been put on without his say so.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:28 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


[Allan Lichtman] says disciplinary action against US President is a matter of when rather than if ... “They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican.

Which leads to the natural question of why they haven't already, since they'd still have the Presidency and none of Trump's liabilities.

Seems to be simple:
“They’ll play along for a while,” the unidentified friend said. “They’ll get as much as they want – tax cuts galore, deregulation, military buildup, slash all those poverty programs, and then get to work on Social Security and Medicare – and blame him. And he’s such a fool he’ll want to take credit for everything.”

And then they'll cry "throw the bums out". They'll present themselves as the familiar, normal, trustworthy Republican party, not the crazy Trumpers who took away your health insurance and devastated Social Security (and by the way, don't you want someone fiscally responsible to rebuild it?).
posted by wildblueyonder at 9:29 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


I am not sure Trump himself is cooperating with this plan.
posted by Artw at 9:31 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


I can deal with stupid. I can work with stupid. I can deal with mean--hell, I kinda LIKE mean; then I can be mean myself. But I cannot deal with stupid AND mean.
posted by thebrokedown at 9:32 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Maxine Waters Is Back and She's Not Here to Play

Is that the face of someone who came to play? No, ma'am, it is not. Rep. Waters wants you to know that she is sick of all these Russian shenanigans and she doesn't care who knows it. She showed up like real life Olivia Pope. Chris Hayes asked her for an interview and she was like "How about I give you a five minute Shonda Rhimes monologue and then pull out a list of people who are trash to me? That sound good to you?"

...This woman is Woodward and Bernstein all by her damn self. Get you a woman who can do both.

Watching her lay the place out, even I started to feel guilty. I was like "Did I collude with Russia? There's a lot of names on this list and she seems very angry. I mean, I bought gas once. Better turn myself in and beg her for mercy, just to be safe."

posted by triggerfinger at 9:32 PM on February 22 [113 favorites]


I'm waiting to see how this toxic swamp of paranoia and incompetence deals with an actual health crisis like SARS -- selling Trump brand miracle cures, claiming it's a UN plot, or telling you the vaccines cause autism?
posted by benzenedream at 9:40 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Just blame it on Obama and let people die, most likely.
posted by notyou at 9:43 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


Maxine can be extremely intimidating. It's really her thing.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:45 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


It's her superpower. I bow down to Maxine.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:52 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


Those who think that the aftermath of a second 2001-scale attack will involve anything but the systematic enforcement of dismantling what remain of everyone's civil rights — Muslim and transgender, included — may be enormously and unpleasantly surprised.

The key difference from 2001 is the support of the government by the people. And that was the point I was trying to make above. In 2001 & 2002, Bush had incredibly high ratings. He had a blank check with few yelling at him to stop.

I'm thinking the next time will be different. Sure, Trump and the GOP Congress might try for a replay of 2001: let's all hold hands, sing the national anthem, and then we'll strip away your rights. But a substantial part of the population will not play along. The administration might get their repressive state in the end anyways, but it's going to be much more difficult than they realize.

In 2001, it came as a surprise. Both the attack, and how the administration exploited it. In 2017 and onwards, the attack might be surprising but a lot of people will be anticipating the exploitation. People now know how these things play out. Sometimes, that can make all the difference.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:58 PM on February 22 [21 favorites]


"Well this is depressing: Poll: Americans overwhelmingly oppose sanctuary cities"

I think people mostly don't know what that means, and mostly don't understand how they work. In Illinois, even our jackass GOP governor is against Trump's immigration order and all the police leaders who have spoken on the record have also spoken against it -- it makes cities more dangerous (by making it hard/scary for immigrants to come forward as crime witnesses); it diverts resources from actual dangerous crime; and it opens local police forces and municipalities to massive liability from civil rights lawsuits, which the feds will definitely not shoulder.

The articles also talk about loss of tourism dollars to Chicago; loss of doctors to rural hospitals in downstate Illinois (which, as a downstater, PREACH); public schools who may end up with stranded citizen students with deported non-citizen parents; legal trade and immigration between Illinois and Mexico and the costs of losing that; and effects on other employers of a tight labor market.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:00 PM on February 22 [28 favorites]




Frustration fills town hall as Sen. Ron Johnson doesn't show up
MADISON (WKOW) -- Hundreds of Madisonians packed into the First Congregational Church downtown, holding a town hall to voice their concerns to Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI). But, he never showed up and neither did a representative from his office.

The gathering was put on by Invisible Madison after organizers say Johnson failed to set up a town hall during his February recess from Washington, D.C.

...
as a helpful reminder, "The term invertebrates is not always precise among non-biologists since it does not accurately describe a taxon in the same way that Arthropoda, Vertebrata or Manidae do."
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:18 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


> In crafting their organization order, the officials said, Mr. Trump’s aides essentially cut and pasted language from Mr. Bush’s organization chart

I'm sure many of us here have had our share of boneheaded copy-pasta errors, but I think it's pretty safe to say none of our errors have accidentally put a Nazi in a position of influence over the machinery of war. But I suppose when the guy at the top of the org chart has failed upward his whole life, it only makes sense that everyone else involved can't put in more effort than the average 4chan comment.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:26 PM on February 22 [63 favorites]


my rep is the worst of the worst (bob goodlatte) and of course didn't show up.

Hire Bob Sarlatte to show up and take his place.
posted by rhizome at 10:29 PM on February 22


Mr Bush's org chart had Turd Blossom on the NSC?
posted by notyou at 10:35 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I know I sure as hell don't have the energy to fight misogyny on the right and the left while we're trying to stop a slow motion move to white supremacy. It's just too exhausting. It's the main reason I haven't gotten involved with general leftist groups, and have stuck to women's stuff--I just do not have the goddamn spoons.

Cosigned. If you want to know why women respond with enthusiasm when there are Pantsuit activist groups and meetups but they're not attending their local socialist association, I would guess it's mostly because they don't want to put up with condescending misogynists in their off hours the same as they do at their jobs. If you have an explicitly woman-organized group a LOT of women are going to be way more likely to actually turn up.

I'll admit I'm slightly concerned about this with my local groups given that Indivisible has become a thing and the local groups are being run by men and I might be getting a VIBE off one of them, but I appear to be on a committee now, so I guess we'll see.
posted by threeturtles at 10:36 PM on February 22 [68 favorites]


Jacobin: The Great God Trump And The White Working class
What follows is skeptical interrogation of this narrative using county-level vote data to compare the 2016 presidential campaign with the 2012 campaign in older industrial regions of the Midwest and Appalachia. A number of distinct voting patterns emerge, only one of which actually conforms to the stereotype of the “Trump Democrats.” The phenomenon is real but largely limited to a score or so of troubled Rust Belt counties from Iowa to New York where a new wave of plant closure or relocation has coincided with growing immigrant and refugee populations. Election punditry has consistently conflated blue-collar votes long captured by Republican presidential candidates with the more modest and localized defection of working-class Democrats to Trump. Several hundred thousand white, blue-collar Obama voters, at most, voted for Trump’s vision of fair trade and reindustrialization, not the millions usually invoked. I’m not implying that these substantial beachheads cannot be expanded in the future by continued appeals to white identity and economic nationalism but merely that have been over-interpreted as the key to Trump’s victory.

The “miracle” of the mogul’s campaign, apart from his cunning success in manipulating negative media coverage to his advantage, was capturing the entirety of the Romney vote, without any of the major defections (college-educated Republican women, conservative Latinos, Catholics) that the polls had predicted and Clinton had counted upon.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:37 PM on February 22 [26 favorites]


Professor who correctly predicted every US presidential election since 1984

This guy. He predicted Gore would win in 2000. He claims he was correct because Gore won the popular vote even though he lost the election. He predicted Trump in 2016. He claims he was correct because Trump won the election even though he lost the popular vote.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:37 PM on February 22 [68 favorites]


Trump repeatedly blamed George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks during the campaign.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:43 PM on February 22


Way back in one of the pre-election threads, someone posted this Rachel Maddow segment digging into John Tanton, creepy eugenics dude who helped found FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies (the CIS was quoted in an anti-immigration Trump campaign TV ad).

Anyways, the CIS popped on my radar again when their director was pissing me off to no end in today's NPR On Point show about immigration reform (I sent the show a long email about normalizing extremism after), and I happened to look up John Tanton again and he's a bit more complex than Maddow let on. For example he founded local chapters of Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club (wiki), and even more interestingly, this 2011 NYT story on Tanton shows that he was specifically targeting political centrists and progressives to support anti-immigration movements. I guess it sort of worked in the climate of the 80s - 90s by appealing to the labor unions and the "OMG they're are stealing ur jobs!!!" angle. But I recommend the entire NYT story, as it's also a good refresher on how we arrived at "Build the wall," and how FAIR activists were bombarding congress in 2007 when Bush proposed a path to citizenship option:
FAIR rallied talk show hosts. The Center for Immigration Studies churned out studies of the bill’s perceived flaws. Numbers USA jammed the Capitol’s phones.

Their success became the stuff of lore. They “lit up the switchboard for weeks,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, explaining his decision to oppose the bill. “And to every one of them, I say today: ‘Your voice was heard.’ ”
posted by p3t3 at 10:49 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


I'm no good terrible at politicking. How would we go about framing these "teletown halls" as the fake town halls they are?
posted by Yowser at 11:14 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


"Staged phone interviews" seems like a more accurate description than "telephone town halls," for one thing.
posted by contraption at 11:51 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


So this is way late, but I've been racking my brain trying to think of what Trump's "when I talked about the thing in Sweden I meant the thing I saw on Fox last night" tweet reminded me of. About 20 minutes ago i finally figured it out: it was Scott Adams' "I am Scott Adams" comment right here on Metafilter. It has that same sense of "i am being forced to tell the truth and I hope to get it over with as quickly as possible."
posted by KathrynT at 11:52 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


From TD Strange's link:
"Sara told Zuniga she was given a CD with her medical records at the hospital, and instructed by doctors not to turn them over to ICE. The CD was taken from Sara upon her return to the detention center, Zuniga said."

Jesus.
posted by Yowser at 11:52 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]


> "Staged phone interviews" seems like a more accurate description than "telephone town halls," for one thing.
posted by contraption at 11:51 PM on February 22 [+] [!]


I still like the idea of figuring out where the representative running the fake telephone town hall is going to be calling from and then protesting that location in person.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:05 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


The "miracle" of this mogul's campaign was getting Russian hackers and WikiLeaks to run his campaign PR while the FBI director publicly endorsed him 10 days before the election.
posted by SakuraK at 12:05 AM on February 23 [18 favorites]




Heh. I'm glad someone finally said it!

They say in Africa the devil walks from village to village, in Sweden he drives a Volvo. Apparently in the USA he carries a Trump sign.
posted by tel3path at 12:51 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


I know I sure as hell don't have the energy to fight misogyny on the right and the left while we're trying to stop a slow motion move to white supremacy. It's just too exhausting. It's the main reason I haven't gotten involved with general leftist groups, and have stuck to women's stuff--I just do not have the goddamn spoons.

I'll be honest, that's why I've hitched my enthusiasm to Black Lives Matter. They have been stellar on intersectionality, and the woman leading our local group is fantastic in terms of opening things for discussion and building a broad consensus.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:58 AM on February 23 [36 favorites]


'Demonic activity was palpable' at Trump rally, says Florida pastor

I'm very glad the pastor posted his story. Not that I would agree with him regarding the hellish source of the crowd's frenzy, but he sounds like what a Christian pastor should be. If he's telling the truth, I admire him for protecting the protesters from the mob.

I hope his account gets forwarded to all the fundamentalist grandmas out there because he is speaking in their language: the same style found in a Baptist sermon or a testimony about answered prayer. That language might get some religious Trump voters to re-think their choices. Or at least realize Trump isn't Christian in the slightest.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:18 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


If you think of Christianity as an exclusive club of special people who are better than everyone else and not as a religion that promotes peace and caring for others, then Trump's a perfect Christian.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:42 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


On his FB page, Pastor Joel Tooley (of Joe in Australia's link, above) briefly commented on the reactions he's gotten to that post, and then shared a World Relief video, "Is Justice Worth It?" Here's part of the video voiceover: "A lot of people see justice as the most futile thing you can do with your life. . . . 'Is it even worth it?' . . . rarely comes from those who are actually tired from pursuing justice, and not just tired of the idea. It rarely comes from people who have labored for years, and have good reason to ask it, and you know why they never ask? Those type of people becomes friends with those who suffer. Family, even. Because it's one thing to wonder if someone else's freedom is worth fighting for. But when you begin to identify with that someone else, commune with them, that's when the question is no longer worth asking. That's when it becomes offensive, even. What do you mean, is it worth my time? That doesn't even deserve an answer."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:02 AM on February 23 [60 favorites]


If you want any more evidence Wikileaks might have gone to trash, here they are endorsing James O'Keefe.
posted by PenDevil at 2:15 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Here's Slate offering a few minutes from the latest Alien movie with a plate of envy for the astronauts who will unfortunately all die horribly but at least they'll be away from Trump
posted by angrycat at 2:23 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Trump may have a major creditor he has not publicly revealed, says Mother Jones: Donald Trump's Mystery $50 Million (or More) Loan.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:48 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


House republicans are trying to bury the resolution on Trump's conflicts by sending it to the House Judiciary Committee for a panel vote on the same day Trump is addressing Congress.
posted by amarynth at 4:49 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


evidence Wikileaks might have gone to trash

They've pretty much always been trash? That was abundantly evident when they decided to independently publish their cache of diplomatic cables unredacted (out of pique at the legitimate journalists they were working for going slow and making sure to redact sensitive information). When someone confronted Assange about it in an interview, saying (paraphrased) "this is going to get people killed; you're revealing the names of Iraqis and Afghans who've been working with the US/UK, of dissidents and informants" his response was "well, they're collaborators, they're informants, they deserve to die".
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:00 AM on February 23 [42 favorites]


Trump's open door Oval Office: Along with Manigault, White House officials say, the list of aides with walk-in privileges includes chief strategist Steve Bannon, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, chief of staff Reince Priebus, son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor Kellyanne Conway.

White House Counsel Don McGahn has walk-in rights, as does senior communications aide Hope Hicks, and Keith Schiller, Trump’s longtime private security aide who followed him to the White House. Trump’s new national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, is also expected to be added to the informal list, according to a White House official. Press secretary Sean Spicer, often accompanied by Priebus, is another regular visitor to the Oval Office, as is chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and deputy chief of staff for operations Joe Hagin, according to a White House aide.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:02 AM on February 23


I can't stop thinking about this lady, who was at the Cotton Town Hall last night, who has a husband at home with Alzheimer's and dementia and congestive heart failure, and dared Cotton to get them a better plan than paying $29 a month for his expenses. I feel almost stupid walking through the streets of Manhattan at a protest saying, "This is what democracy looks like." Because this lady is actually what democracy looks like.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:10 AM on February 23 [106 favorites]


If your federal representatives are scarce, you may want to look into whether your state house representatives hold townhalls.

My republican state senator holds monthly bi-partisan meetings with other senators and representatives. Last month, she dismissed people's concerns about CO possibly repealing its state health exchange as "knee jerk," and a another Republican senator dismissed people's concerns over fracking as our being too ignorant to understand how the extraction technology works.

The crowd was not pleased, and I'm looking forward to next month's meeting.
posted by audi alteram partem at 5:34 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Wikileaks vowed to doxx anyone with a verified account on Twitter for no reason other to harass them, and their first attempt targeted the wrong person. They've released personal information and private conversations from people who work for political organizations that had nothing to do with the actions of their bosses. They've targeted personal e-mails of journalists and other people who they disagree with. They've made alliances with anti-Semites, white supremacists, rapists, and violent hate groups. Greenwald is getting tired of their shit. Snowden is getting tired of their shit. When she gets out of prison and is brought up to speed, Manning will probably say she's getting tired of their shit. It's time for them to be torn down and someone else with actual morals and ethics to take their place.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:35 AM on February 23 [44 favorites]


"Constituent Work Week" means that Constituents do all the work.

That is what happened in my district, the Ohio 15th (it's super gerrymandered to pieces - check it out!). We held a town hall for our representative Steve Stivers last night. We started advertising about a week ago 400 people showed up, and we were able to get four awesome speakers. There were two TV crews and journalists. Last Friday we were literally gathered around a kitchen table wondering if we'd get even 50 people to show. It was great.

It was great because our wonderful representative likened us to an angry mob, and a bunch of unthinking partisans, and paid shills. The people were angry, rightly so. We expressed our anger, but we remained thoughtful and calm. I'm not sure how to express it, but it really fit with what our district is about. I don't think people here are opposed to a rowdy town hall, like Chaffetz got (and deserved!) in Utah. But that's not our style. So it's especially galling that our so-called Representative would call us those things when it just isn't who we are.

Because he doesn't know us. Because he only knows the people who voted for him. Because he only listens to the voices he wants to hear.

And that's fine, if he wants to roll that way. We're working and organizing every day to organize grassroots support against him for the next election. We may not win in '18 but we're sure as hell going to make him wish he'd showed up much sooner.

Also, if there any MeFites in the Ohio 15th please PM me and let me know! I would love to connect with you!
posted by Tevin at 5:47 AM on February 23 [41 favorites]


Manafort faced blackmail attempt, hacks suggest: The undated communications, which are allegedly from the iPhone of Manafort’s daughter, include a text that appears to come from a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, seeking to reach her father, in which he claims to have politically damaging information about both Manafort and Trump.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:55 AM on February 23 [19 favorites]


At this Grassley Town Hall, there was an account of a retired high school art teacher Susie Petra lambasting Grassley for supporting DeVos for Sec of Ed. Susie was my art teacher in the 1980s*! Give 'em hell Susie!

* she also gave me the lone F of my entire academic career, in a class I was taking pass/fail just to get out of study hall. We had...disagreements. Now that she's on record standing up against this shit, ALL IS FORGIVEN SUSIE. WE'RE COOL.
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:55 AM on February 23 [70 favorites]


Pat Tiberi (OH-12) refused to hold a town hall so residents scheduled one themselves and invited him. He didn't show up, but they had a cardboard cutout in his place. The town hall was very well attended and basically turned into a mini rally. I think a lot of voters were turned into activists last night. On twitter they were using #TiberiTownHall
posted by noneuclidean at 6:02 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


Just a quick reminder that the public comment period for the proposed rule on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Market Stabilization is open until March 7.

"This rule proposes changes that would help stabilize the individual and small group markets. This proposed rule would amend standards relating to special enrollment periods, guaranteed availability, and the timing of the annual open enrollment period in the individual market for the 2018 plan year; standards related to network adequacy and essential community providers for qualified health plans; and the rules around actuarial value requirements."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:03 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


So, Pat Toomey has been going around having private meetings with the various state Tuesdays With Toomey organizers (of which I am not one, I just help them with their digital organizing). Today it's Pittsburgh's turn. They wanted to take a "have a real Town Hall plz" petition with them, so last night I set up an online petition and sent an email to our mailing list telling people they had about 12 hours to sign because we're going in hot. The organizers said "I hope we get at least 250 signatures!" (We typically get 150-200 for our weekly petitions.)

Friends, this petition currently stands at 1169 signatories. (I had to change that number twice while composing this message because signatures are coming in at like 5 a minute still.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:03 AM on February 23 [74 favorites]


>Pat Tiberi (OH-12) refused to hold a town hall so residents scheduled one themselves and invited him. He didn't show up, but they had a cardboard cutout in his place.

Ohio 12th District have been doing some amazing work. I've spoken to several people who have met personally with Tiberi and he sounds like a genuinely unpleasant and vile person.

I hope I have time in '18 to phone bank and canvass against him in addition to all the other campaigns I'm going to volunteer for. It would be a pleasure to have a small part in his ousting.
posted by Tevin at 6:06 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


When someone confronted Assange about it in an interview, saying (paraphrased) "this is going to get people killed; you're revealing the names of Iraqis and Afghans who've been working with the US/UK, of dissidents and informants" his response was "well, they're collaborators, they're informants, they deserve to die".

Not to relitigate Assange: This really brought home to me how society needs to change to handle the internet in some way. Someone who is not even remotely, fractionally accountable in any way to any public has the power of life and death, and although this is the far end of the continuum of internet power, it's not totally different in kind from the power to harass someone you've never met, or to try to get someone fired over something that has nothing to do with their job. One of the reasons everything has gone skew-wiff this election is because people who are totally unaccountable in every way have great, great reach and no check on their power. I'm not sure what a good way out of this situation is, although I suspect that it's more like stronger protections for people - work protections, privacy protections, etc - rather than censorship. But it's worrying - a lie goes halfway around the world, etc.
posted by Frowner at 6:07 AM on February 23 [34 favorites]


At first the removal of gatekeepers was like Wheeee now you can be from a marginalized background and still be heard and not have to kowtow to gatekeepers! But now it's like fuck where are all these assholes coming from?!
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:12 AM on February 23 [21 favorites]


This is chilling:
Islamophobia grows louder in North Carolina: 'Can we not kill them all?'
posted by adamvasco at 6:15 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


I don't get it. Shouting down your elected representative instead of engaging her/him is pointless. No issues are explored; no dialogue takes place. What has happened to civility and respect?

Are you trolling? Rethuglicans need to be met by consistently loud, angry crowds. Because sooner or later, in the furthest corners of their glacial hearts they will begin to confront the only thing they really fear - they will have to deal with the horrifying potential of becoming unemployed in 2018 and 2020, and have to get real jobs. Like peasants.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:17 AM on February 23 [67 favorites]


and they'll splinter and begin to throw trump under the nearest bus.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:17 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


"paid shills" –king george iii, probably
posted by entropicamericana at 6:30 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


(from way up thread...)

Hey! Great news that will (not) end well!

N.H. residents no longer need a license to carry concealed loaded guns


Having been a NH resident (and CCW permit holder), I'd like to suggest to you that it's probably nothing as bad as what you're imagining.

First, neighboring VT has had permit-free CCW for ages. There has not been a problem.

Second, in NH prior to this, the permitting authority for a CCW is your town sheriff. Which, i suppose in the more populated areas near Boston might actually do some kind of background check.... maybe.... but for the rest of the state, it's basically hand over your $10 and wait a couple of days while they sign the thing... presumably if they think you're white enough. There's almost nothing stopping anyone from getting a CCW in NH as it is. (also, NH CCW permits are a joke. the official thing is a flimsy piece of paper; and there's barely any penalty for not carrying it; at worst, you'll have to go to court and show that you have the thing.)

For all practical purposes, this changes very little. In fact, it makes it somewhat harder for NH residents to carry in other states, as non-resident reciprocity generally requires a permit.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:31 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Because this lady is actually what democracy looks like.

All these town halls remind me of Norman Rockwell's Freedom of Speech painting.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:31 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Newsweek: Exclusive: Listen to Controversial White House Terrorism Adviser Sebastian Gorka’s Angry Call to a Critic

The alpha males are back... turns out they're thin skinned whiners.
posted by PenDevil at 6:32 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


EXCLUSIVE: LISTEN TO CONTROVERSIAL WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISER SEBASTIAN GORKA’S ANGRY CALL TO A CRITIC
Gorka apparently used his personal cell phone, with a northern Virgina area code, rather than making the call from his White House office or government-issued cell phone, where it would be officially logged, Smith says. The terrorism expert says he suspected Gorka “was trying to conceal the call.”
posted by Talez at 6:32 AM on February 23 [42 favorites]


Jinx, buy me a Coke Zero, Pen Devil.

What's a Coke Zero?
posted by Talez at 6:33 AM on February 23


It's time for them (Wikileaks) to be torn down and someone else with actual morals and ethics to take their place.

Let's not replace them and say we did.

The voyoristic glee of reading fights between people I despise is entertaining, but there's no way to reconcile that with the (alleged) desire in the tech world for internet privacy.

Say what you will about the government, most people have far more secrets they keep from other people than they do secrets they want to keep from the authorities. And releasing emails or other documents gives everyone access to all of that.

You can claim that you're doing it for a just cause, but causes can easily be invented -- see Gamergate's alleged desire for "ethics in game journalism."

There are things I wish someone had leaked (the dossier, say, would have exploded), but all of those things could easily have been released by a mainstream media outlet. An information dump a la Wikileaks is just unethical.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 6:34 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


My stance on Wikileaks is: this is a solved problem and it's called investigative journalism. We don't need Wikileaks, we need to backup a dump truck full of money outside of Pro Publica and similar organizations. Journalism has a code of ethics and accepted methods to at least attempt to mitigate the fall-out for innocent bystanders, and verify the information they receive.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:39 AM on February 23 [87 favorites]


If Gorka is an "alpha male" based on a couple of months in the TA then I'm a member of the SAS based on having been in Army Cadets.
posted by Artw at 6:41 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


So Alan Colmes is dead and the first thing that comes to mind is "dammit death you took the wrong one".
posted by Talez at 6:52 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


NYTimes advertisement campaign, will launch during the Oscars broadcast.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:53 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway on @womensmarch: “It turns out that a lot of women just have a problem with women in power” (video) Calling yourself a feminist is "anti-male" and pro-abortion."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:57 AM on February 23


It turns out that a lot of women just have a problem with women in power

And that's why they voted for Trump.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:02 AM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Oh, fuck off Kellyanne.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:04 AM on February 23 [66 favorites]


Going back to the "papers please", this reporter from VICE was not allowed to disembark her plane at JFK yesterday without presenting her "documents."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:06 AM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Soren - I totally signed that!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 7:07 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Kellyanne Conway really fucking reminds me of Tilda Swinton's character in Snowpiercer, desperately trying to keep the undesirable down in the back of the train in order to prop up her own precarious position serving exploitative white men.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:09 AM on February 23 [29 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway on @womensmarch: “It turns out that a lot of women just have a problem with women in power”

Yeah, that's part of why Hillary lost. What's your point?
posted by dinty_moore at 7:12 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


At least Conway is being blatant about it, as opposed to Ivanka's "see, my childcare plan aimed almost entirely at people rich enough to afford full-time domestic help means I 'm totally a feminist!" bullshit.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:17 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Speaking of Ivanka, I'd like to revisit the incident from a couple months back in which Ivanka and Jared were politely confronted by one of the passengers they were inexplicably seated next to on a commercial airliner. To all the folks who were saying how inappropriate and unseemly the passenger acted: do you still feel that way after a month of the Trump Era?
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:21 AM on February 23 [26 favorites]


EXCLUSIVE: LISTEN TO CONTROVERSIAL WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISER SEBASTIAN GORKA’S ANGRY CALL TO A CRITIC

This is the most awesome thing I have heard in a while. Smith is a total dick (questioning his mental stability, calling Gorka a charlatan). And it's awesome.
posted by My Dad at 7:40 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


So Alan Colmes is dead

How could they tell?
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:47 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


'd like to revisit the incident from a couple months back in which Ivanka and Jared were politely confronted by one of the passengers they were inexplicably seated next to on a commercial airliner. To all the folks who were saying how inappropriate and unseemly the passenger acted

To be fair, the early reporting about the incident portrayed the passenger as furiously yelling at them, not politely confronting them. Based on that initial assessment, I think a lot of folks were opposed to the Trumps getting yelled at. For my part, I stand by my initial reaction that the Trumps should be yelled at, constantly, at high volume, in every possible public venue, for all the harm they have wreaked and had promised to wreak on the republic.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:48 AM on February 23 [34 favorites]


So Alan Colmes is dead and the first thing that comes to mind is "dammit death you took the wrong one".

if the symbolism gets any more heavy-handed this year, bald eagles will start landing on national monuments en masse and dying simultaneously
posted by murphy slaw at 7:51 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


if the symbolism gets any more heavy-handed this year, bald eagles will start landing on national monuments en masse and dying simultaneously

They already tried to warn us. Not enough of us listened.
posted by cjelli at 7:53 AM on February 23 [16 favorites]


In the last thread, we had MeFites dismissing Brianna Wu's run for Congress with some of the most obviously misogynist reasoning and language I've seen on this site in a while.

Not arguing against this comment specifically because I've been having more and more trouble following these threads, and not arguing against the point generally because it's pretty obvious that there is a lot of bigotry on the left/center, but just adding a quick reminder that Wu is a libertarian-Democrat who views education as a public investment that needs to have a good ROI to be worthwhile. Her intentions are, I think, good, but that isn't a view of society I share. I would like to see more women, trans people, people of color and any other underrepresented groups running for office, but that doesn't automatically translate into politics I support.

Sorry for the derail, I'll shut up. Just wanted to elaborate since I was part of the jokey sub-convo last thread, and probably nobody brought up any context to that.
posted by byanyothername at 7:53 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


if the symbolism gets any more heavy-handed this year, bald eagles will start landing on national monuments en masse and dying simultaneously

The symbolism started immediately: Bald eagle that fell in storm drain dies, caretakers say
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:55 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


wow eagles are going to save everyone again the writers just admitted they're making up as they go along
posted by Tevin at 7:58 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


okay how about the constitution bursting into flames inside its anoxic encasement at the national archives while a troop of schoolchildren watch
posted by murphy slaw at 7:59 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Does the ICE spot check of the childrens papers happen before or after?
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


okay how about the constitution bursting into flames inside its anoxic encasement at the national archives while a troop of schoolchildren watch

Not obvious enough. I think we need for Toby Keith to be the teacher and shed a single tear.
posted by Etrigan at 8:03 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


w/r/t eagles I'll just leave this here.

the articles about this frame it in terms of small terrorist drones, but it's pretty easy to imagine this as applicable to Predators as well
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:06 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


and really I can't picture a better end to the US military drone program than "all drones destroyed by French attack eagles."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:08 AM on February 23 [18 favorites]


oh so they could have called in the eagles anytime
posted by Dr Dracator at 8:12 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


>>So Alan Colmes is dead
>How could they tell?


he stopped rolling over and showing his neck
posted by entropicamericana at 8:12 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Louie Gohmert's in the news again: GOP rep invokes Giffords shooting as reason not to hold town hall
posted by mllm at 8:15 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Not arguing against this comment specifically because I've been having more and more trouble following these threads, and not arguing against the point generally because it's pretty obvious that there is a lot of bigotry on the left/center, but just adding a quick reminder that Wu is a libertarian-Democrat who views education as a public investment that needs to have a good ROI to be worthwhile. Her intentions are, I think, good, but that isn't a view of society I share. I would like to see more women, trans people, people of color and any other underrepresented groups running for office, but that doesn't automatically translate into politics I support.

Honestly, I think the best thing that would come out of Wu running for congress is convincing other women that they can, in fact, run for congress and primary old white dudes in order to get their voices heard. We'd be at a net neutral in congress if she lost the primary and Lynch remains, but if she convinces someone else in another district that they can run and they win, it's still a gain.

I have seen a lot more diversity in people planning to run since the election - there are two trans women running for city council in Minneapolis, and both of them are friends of friends. And yeah, there are going to be women I don't agree with running. But at least there will be a choice, and I can choose not to vote for them.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:16 AM on February 23 [28 favorites]


Trump on Rex Tillerson being in Mexico: "We're getting really bad dudes out of this country." (video)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:18 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


My Congressperson is Lamar Smith. I suspect he won't hold townhall meetings because he probably thinks electricity doesn't exist or that people may ask him hard questions about science.
posted by the matching mole at 8:18 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


So Alan Colmes is dead and the first thing that comes to mind is "dammit death you took the wrong one".

if the symbolism gets any more heavy-handed this year, bald eagles will start landing on national monuments en masse and dying simultaneously


If the death of an avatar of milquetoast, ineffectual liberal opposition means that a more forceful, convincing leftism can rise in its place like Gandalf the White, I'll play along with the mythopoeic narrative.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:18 AM on February 23 [16 favorites]


The Republican Party isn't attempting to destroy all opposition (the Democrats, press, universities, etc) so the GOP can laser-focus on the needs of Republican voters.

The Republican Party is attempting to destroy those things so they don't have to listen to *anyone.*


Excepting, of course, the corporation and wealthy individuals whose bidding they do. It's fascinating how blatantly Republicans' actions reinforce the (wholly correct) perception that their agenda is not popular.
posted by Gelatin at 8:19 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Louie Gohmert's in the news again: GOP rep invokes Giffords shooting as reason not to hold town hall

So he'd be glad to support some reasonable gun control measures, then?
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:20 AM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Louie Gohmert's in the news again: GOP rep invokes Giffords shooting as reason not to hold town hall

Gohmert's right in the sweet spot of the venn diagram of "stupidest congressmen" and "most evil congressmen."
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:21 AM on February 23 [34 favorites]


Dueling op-eds in the NY Times.

Trump Voters Are Not the Enemy


The third reason is tactical: It’s hard to win over voters whom you’re insulting.

Many liberals argue that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and that the focus should be on rallying the base and fighting voter suppression efforts. Yes, but Democrats flopped in Congress, governor races and state legislatures. Republicans now control 68 percent of partisan legislative chambers in the U.S.


And from the "Like Hell They Aren't" Department

The Death of Compassion


Trump is a cancer on this country and resistance is the remedy. The Trump phenomenon is devoid of compassion, and we must be closed to compromise.

No one need try to convince me otherwise. The effort is futile; my conviction is absolute. This is a culture war in which truth is the weapon, righteousness the flag and passion the fuel.

Fight, fight, fight. And when you are finished, fight some more. Victory is the only acceptable outcome when freedom, equality and inclusion are at stake.


The only problem I have with the second article is that Fight, fight, fight. And when you are finished, fight some more. isn't really a tactic. I have no idea what he means by that. You can't really get their votes in a wrestling match. And this is usually the point where a lot of people on the left start showing a real distaste in democracy and I start seeing myself out.
posted by zabuni at 8:21 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


todo fax pictures of chickens to Louie Gohmert
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:22 AM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Gohmert's right in the sweet spot of the venn diagram of "stupidest congressmen" and "most evil congressmen."

And "most aptly named congressmen".
posted by Etrigan at 8:22 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Sebastian Gorka isn't right in the head.
posted by diogenes at 8:24 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


the tactic is not to get their votes. the tactic is to bury their votes beneath an avalanche of our votes so thoroughly that you can't even see the very top of their votes.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:24 AM on February 23 [62 favorites]


todo fax pictures of chickens to Louie Gohmert

Only if you're trying to turn him on.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:24 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


> The third reason is tactical: It’s hard to win over voters whom you’re insulting

Action should not be taken to win over Trump voters. Action should be taken to improve the morale of Trump opponents and to humiliate the Trump base, making Trumpism politically and socially radioactive, thus repulsing less hardened Trump supporters.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:25 AM on February 23 [85 favorites]


okay how much to you think we would have to pay Mark McKinney to put on the old costume and vamp in front of Gohmert's office
posted by murphy slaw at 8:26 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Trump Voters Are Not the Enemy

Jamelle Bouie's take on Twitter:
What angers me about arguments like this is they work hard to present Trump as an aberration from American politics. Kristof wants to say that there is Trump, then there are his voters, and that there's no particular relationship between the two. As such, Trump doesn't reflect anything in particular about his supporters. But this is nonsense. There is a reason that right-populist movements in the United States are inevitably racist and xenophobic. There is a reason that they all center on the same basic defense of race hierarchy and white hegemony. There is a reason that the maintenance of white hegemony is an enduring feature of all kinds of popular movements among white Americans. And it is because white hegemony is a long-standing, lower-case d democratic aspiration in the United States. Trump reflects that aspiration, which is to say he represents the stated and expressed interests of millions of his supporters. It has been fascinating, although not unexpected, to watch mainstream thinkers deny this, even as it stares them straight in the face. I keep referring to "white innocence" and that is what this is: The belief that white Americans bear no responsibility for actions that enforce race hierarchy. "Donald Trump wants to deport millions but it's important to understand that his voters are DECENT & GOOD." It is okay if your aim is to win back voters, but then just say that and spare me the special pleading and ahistorical analysis.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:27 AM on February 23 [147 favorites]


The third reason is tactical: It’s hard to win over voters whom you’re insulting

I coulda sworn that the voters who handed control of the White House and Congress to one party and aided and abetted the thievery of the Supreme Court by that party have been pretty insult-happy over the last counts on fingers let's say forty years just to be safe.
posted by Etrigan at 8:29 AM on February 23 [32 favorites]


I Was a Muslim in Trump's White House. "When President Obama left, I stayed on at the National Security Council in order to serve my country. I lasted eight days."
posted by adamg at 8:30 AM on February 23 [63 favorites]


Are eagles strong enough to carry beehives.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:30 AM on February 23 [28 favorites]


> The third reason is tactical: It’s hard to win over voters whom you’re insulting

If someone votes for/supports a racist fascist just because a liberal supposedly hurt their fee fees, then they're exactly as terrible a person as thought. And maybe the snowflake should check into safe spaces.
posted by chris24 at 8:31 AM on February 23 [33 favorites]


Gorka is a straight up comic book villain. If he weren't flesh and blood I'd think the transcripts of some of his comments had been lifted directly from Archer.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:32 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Are eagles strong enough to carry beehives.

African or European?

Just kidding, the correct answer is a California Condor.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:33 AM on February 23 [15 favorites]




Gorka is a straight up comic book villain. If he weren't flesh and blood I'd think the transcripts of some of his comments had been lifted directly from Archer.

no, it's worse than that, he's cosplaying as a comic book villian
posted by murphy slaw at 8:35 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


i mean you put sebastian gorka in a room with general zod and i don't think there is any question who is doing the kneeling if you get my drift
posted by murphy slaw at 8:36 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


I think maybe there's the potential to do to the word "snowflake" what the fascists did to the phrase "fake news." It's eminently hijackable as a concept — this because the fascists have so many fee fees that get hurt so easily — and it provides us with a way to get under their skin about it that's more effective than just saying "coward" and that, unlike most of the phrases that really bother them, doesn't deploy misogynist language.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:37 AM on February 23 [39 favorites]


no, it's worse than that, he's cosplaying as a comic book villian

I am being perfectly serious here: You take that the fuck back. Every cosplayer I've ever met is worth a hundred of this guy.
posted by Etrigan at 8:37 AM on February 23 [18 favorites]


I think maybe there's the potential to do to the word "snowflake" what the fascists did to the phrase "fake news."

why isn't #fauxnews a thing?
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:37 AM on February 23


why isn't #fauxnews a thing?

because as big and obvious and dumb as it is, it's still too sophisticated to reach anyone fooled by "fake news"
posted by murphy slaw at 8:40 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


With regard to reaching Trump voters ...

A couple days ago I was driving to an organizing meeting for a group who wants our next congressional race to be competitive. The last two elections the state party has pulled out, and our current rep won by 100K+ votes and some 30 points. Its been a massacre.

This is important because it has had an effect across the entire district. Without a large race to anchor to, the county parties have stopped running candidates. I don't have the exact figures but something 90% of the local races in my district with 12 counties had unopposed races.

So what has happened is that people in those areas just vote republican because they just vote republican because their neighbors vote republican and there are no choices but, most importantly, there are no democrats out there just talking to their neighbors.

The number one most common thing I hear when I talk to people (which I have crowed about in these threads going back to July) is "Wow I didn't know there were other Democrats!" Folks, there are people in my district who have never met a single democrat in person. EVER. They get all their news from Fox, if they listen to the news, and they vote how their more-informed friends vote because it feels safe.

President Trump is the #1 threat to the US right now, no doubt. But I am not going to give up on people who voted for him. A lot of the people who did vote for Trump did so because they are also racist, awful shitlords. Yes. But, here's something I keep coming back around to: I used to be awful. I used to be afraid of gay people. I used to think Muslims were all trying to kill me. I used to be Trump's prime target voter but I'm not anymore.

Because people took the time to talk to me. Because people in my life took the time to correct me and give me space to grow into a more caring and compassionate person.

And because the people who voted for Trump are, like me, humans capable of change I'm not going to give up on them. I'm going to talk to them. I'm going to listen to them. When they spew racist, sexist, phobic garbage I will not equivocate and play along but I'm not going to pretend like they don't exist. They exist, and they're not going anywhere. And they may never agree with me on tax policy, but maybe I can get them to believe that Steve Bannon is a Nazi and maybe we should elect leaders who don't want to be advised by Nazis. That's doable for a lot of my neighbors, I think.

So. Yeah. Compassion, empathy, have it or not. Whatever. You can try to bury them, but they're not just going to leave. They're not going to stop voting. Don't equivocate for the hate, but don't pretend like they don't exist.
posted by Tevin at 8:41 AM on February 23 [68 favorites]


Yeah, as far as the argument that Trump Is An Aberration That Does Not Reflect The GOP argument goes, one of my biggest worries is that if Trump gets impeached or resigns (maybe due to emolument stuff, maybe due to Russian connections), we're still going to have a President Pence who'll be just as interested in deporting anyone he deems insufficiently white, who'll be happy to advance the forced-birth cause, and who'll be delighted to gut any social safety nets that currently help poor people.

As far as voting blocs go, I don't think Democrats need to win over Trump voters as much as they need to mobilize and energize nonvoters. But! I do think that by consistently stressing that the Republicans are the ones who are trying to eliminate any possibly-helpful healthcare, the Dems are going to pick up some Trump voters too, and hopefully force the Republicans back to the level of "ah shit i can't say this out loud" they were at in 2007, when it became clear that Social Security Privatization wasn't gonna fly.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:41 AM on February 23 [18 favorites]


So Alan Colmes is dead

Someone needs to tell that to whoever runs his Twitter account.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:43 AM on February 23


Are eagles strong enough to carry beehives.

An average bald eagle can carry a weight of four or five pounds under somewhat sustained flight, and can lift heavier loads briefly when at speed. A full-sized artificial hive, inclusive of bees, framing, and honey, might weight in the range of forty to a hundred and fifty pounds, depending on framing material, honey production, and hive density. A natural hive will weigh significantly less, but will be less compact and less aerodynamic, and your overall bee density will be significantly lower on a per-eagle basis. A bald eagle could absolutely lift a partial hive a significant distance, although given that the wind resistance would disturb the hive you might have problems with bee retention.

But neither artificial hives nor natural hives are designed for flight, since the bees themselves are. With modern lightweight materials, good old American ingenuity, and a copious amount of honey, I have no doubt that the country that put a man on the moon could, within less than a decade from now, if it committed itself to the problem, devise a fully eagle-deliverable beehive flight system.

Although, having grown up around bees, they're generally pretty friendly and chill; from a pure eagle-efficiency standpoint, if you're looking to weaponize bees, you'd be honestly better off with wasps.
posted by cjelli at 8:44 AM on February 23 [62 favorites]


New Poll Shows Less Than 1/3 Of Pa. Voters Happy With President Trump So Far

A new Franklin and Marshall College poll shows less than one-third of all Pennsylvania voters approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing. The Franklin and Marshall College poll shows only 32 percent of those surveyed think Trump is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.


Even if you don't believe the polls any more, that looks pretty dismal.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:44 AM on February 23 [22 favorites]


Metafilter: From a pure eagle-efficiency standpoint, if you're looking to weaponize bees, you'd be honestly better off with wasps.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:46 AM on February 23 [46 favorites]


Thanks Rust Moranis, I just Slacked that to the organizers going to meet with Pat Toomey today!
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:48 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I used to be Trump's prime target voter but I'm not anymore.

Because people took the time to talk to me. Because people in my life took the time to correct me and give me space to grow into a more caring and compassionate person.


How nice of them, and how great for you! I'm all for kind, patient people who want to spend time with bigots and give them "space to grow" but right now we are in an existential struggle and as a GOTV strategy "convert the avowed bigots" looks a lot less effective than "get the apathetic off their asses."

You can try to bury them, but they're not just going to leave.

I don't expect them to leave, I expect them to die (in the gradual, demographic-attrition sense of course.)
posted by contraption at 8:49 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


A new thread already? I thought the last thread was so slow!

Poor tehund


Note: Tehhund died on the way back to his home planet
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:49 AM on February 23 [25 favorites]


Is there a kick ass PA activist slack? If so, holla at me plz?
posted by lazaruslong at 8:49 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Jamelle Bouie's take

Worth noting that he has been kicking ass on Trump since last year.
posted by spitbull at 8:53 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]




Just the Tuesdays With Toomey Pittsburgh Slack, I'm afraid. (I mean, there may actually be one, but if there is, I am not in the know.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:54 AM on February 23


I mean, the Civil War wasn't really ever finished, was it? Reconstruction was a fucking joke. The original sins of this country were always just swept under the rug.

I can't shake the feeling that we're going to have to fight those same demons again. They hate anyone who isn't white, they hate women, they hate LGBTQ people, they hate the disabled. You can't persuade hate at scale. You have to fucking bury it.

Like the hellmouth has opened. I don't see how we close it again without going to war.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:56 AM on February 23 [43 favorites]


Republicans are sure Trump wasn't serious about protecting Social Security
“My fear is that we are going to see the biggest cuts that any president has ever proposed in programs for low- and modest-income families,” said Bob Greenstein, the center’s president. “It could be the biggest Robin Hood in reverse a president has ever offered.”
Republicans now planning to put off Trumps infrastructure plan for the midterms

And then in 2018 they won't actually implement any of it.
posted by Talez at 8:57 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


>How nice of them, and how great for you! I'm all for kind, patient people who want to spend time with bigots and give them "space to grow" but right now we are in an existential struggle and as a GOTV strategy "convert the avowed bigots" looks a lot less effective than "get the apathetic off their asses."

I don't want to derail so we can PM if you want to continue this buuuuut ...

I should distinguish that "talking to people" is not a GOTV or "winning an election" strategy, but very much a civic and societal imperative. Bigots and the like are not going to die out. We can't rely on that happening, they will pass their bigotry to their children.

And also, to state it explicitly, I don't expect everyone to want to do this, either. If you are LGBTQ, POC, Muslim, etc I would never in a million years suggest that you have to engage with Trump voters on that level.
posted by Tevin at 8:57 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


you'd be honestly better off with wasps

They'll just ravage the shrimp platters and harass the staff.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:58 AM on February 23 [35 favorites]


Yeah, but if you're dropping them onto people from eagle cruising altitude they'll still make quite an impact.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:58 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]



Republicans now planning to put off Trumps infrastructure plan for the midterms


Is this actually clever? Because to me it reads like "burn all your political capital fucking up Obamacare, let your "right to work and deunionization for all" agenda blossom and then make a big, crony-ridden infrastructure ask on the theory that this will get the unions (who you've been attacking all along) on your side.

I mean, Trump's infrastructure deal, if it even happens, is obviously going to be garbage. I am not entirely sorry to have time for everyone to realize how garbage it will be. And I'm not sorry for everyone to have time to realize how much shittier the entire economy is going to be when we get rid of immigrants.
posted by Frowner at 8:59 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


How nice of them, and how great for you! I'm all for kind, patient people who want to spend time with bigots and give them "space to grow" but right now we are in an existential struggle and as a GOTV strategy "convert the avowed bigots" looks a lot less effective than "get the apathetic off their asses."

The place I eventually arrived at on the whole "Trump voter outreach" thing is that I think it's a good idea worth pursuing, and that it should be pursued by people who are willing and able to do it, but that I would never tell people that it's the only strategy we should pursue or that any specific individual or group should change their strategy to target potential Trump voter converts. Let that work be done by people in a position to do it, and let those who don't want to or can't bring themselves to do that work instead direct their energies to approaches they believe in.
posted by chrominance at 8:59 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


"This is the longest we've been since George Washington without approving a Cabinet," Ted Cruz says at CPAC.

Janet Reno waited until March 11th.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:59 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


@ddale8: Ted Cruz: "I think we'll have another Supreme Court vacancy this summer." Tittering as people try to figure out who he is going to kill

Not sure if this is Cruz playing off the Zodiac Killer meme or if he's actually got plans to assassinate someone.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:00 AM on February 23 [26 favorites]


...as a helpful reminder, "The term invertebrates is not always precise among non-biologists since it does not accurately describe a taxon in the same way that Arthropoda, Vertebrata or Manidae do."

I'm fine with using Arthropoda.
posted by MtDewd at 9:01 AM on February 23


Trump Is An Aberration That Does Not Reflect The GOP

This is one of those memes that has the potential to be a self fulfilling prophesy. That's the value it has. Maybe it's not true right now, but if we keep saying it, and Trump crashes and burns, then it offers a face-saving way for the GOP to back away from Trumpism. If he crashes hard enough they will run fast in the opposite direction and say they never supported his ideas anyway. "Build a wall" and "Deport them all" and "Bomb the shit out of them" and "Torture works" and "Take the oil" will become politically toxic ideas for a generation on BOTH sides of the aisle.

"That was never what the Republican party stood for" Republicans will say, amplifying in retrospect whatever niggling doubts they may be feeling right now. They'll quote John McCain and George W Bush in their more statesmanlike moments and say that was the REAL Republican party all along. Anyone who runs as a Trumpist will get shot down hard and early.

That's IF he crashes and burns, and IF we haven't backed them into a rhetorical corner where they can't possibly distance themselves from him.

Maybe that's not the best case scenario. Maybe the best case is we don't let them rhetorically distance themselves, and the whole party crashes and burns with him. But that's rather less likely. "Republican" is a bigger part of people's identities than "Trump voter" and they're a lot more likely to abandon the latter than the former. And if we don't let Republicans distance themselves they will be forced to prop him up to save themselves.

I'm worried that Bannon's "We are at war with radical Islam" will become a self fulfilling prophesy. I am hopeful that "Trump Is An Aberration That Does Not Reflect The GOP" will become one instead.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:01 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


Kennedy and Thomas have both been rumored to want to retire.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:02 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Is this actually clever?

At the risk of being painfully obtuse, it depends on your honest internal appraisal of how well/poorly it's likely to work out, i.e. how embarrassingly corrupt and inept. If I were part of the GOP Congressional cadre actually negotiating behind the scenes with the Trumpsters I might well want to put off that Jacksonian carnival until after midterms.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:02 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I'm just sayin', if he shaves his head and gets a barcode tattoo, be very worried.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:03 AM on February 23


Well, CPAC is trying to make out a Neo-Nazi does not represent it's views right now, which is a bit of a change from a week ago when they had one as keynote speaker. Said Neo-Nazi was pretty emphatic that they represent his views though.
posted by Artw at 9:04 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Thomas have both been rumored to want to retire.

thomas has wanted to retire since hearing his first case
posted by murphy slaw at 9:04 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


(I think mainly they didn't want Richard Spenser getting punched, then everyone thinking about it a bit, then a mass outbreak of self punching breaking out)
posted by Artw at 9:05 AM on February 23


Is that a Reboot reference or am I missing some context?
posted by Slackermagee at 9:05 AM on February 23


thomas has wanted to retire since hearing his first case

and has largely done so.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:05 AM on February 23 [34 favorites]


These threads are moving way too fast! So much interesting information and news.

Something I've considered: in this liberal if not socialist country, women are very well represented at the national and regional levels. But locally, there are almost no women. And while we don't have gerrymandering, it does mean that at the experiental level of politics, it is still old, white, and sometimes corrupt men. For many immigrants, this is the only level they are allowed to vote, and they decline from voting. Also, what happens on the local level has an effect on national voting. When a regional division of a moderately conservative party became corrupt, all their voters turned to the radical right, not only in local and regional elections, but also nationally and for the EU and it had a huge effect.

I don't know how one could engage more women to engage in local politics - including school boards and community organizations - because it would mean much more than most people think
posted by mumimor at 9:05 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Republicans now planning to put off Trumps infrastructure plan for the midterms

And then in 2018 they won't actually implement any of it.

You misunderstood. They meant midterms 2026, President Ivanka Trump
posted by Glibpaxman at 9:05 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Slackermagee: "Is that a Reboot reference or am I missing some context?"

Shaved head and barcode tattoo probably describes the titular protagonist of the Hitman video game (and movie starring Billy Zane).
posted by mhum at 9:08 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Something I've considered: in this liberal if not socialist country, women are very well represented at the national and regional levels.

Wait, what? Only 25% of state legislators and 20% in the US Congress are women.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:08 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Reconstruction was a fucking joke.

Reconstruction wasn't a joke, it heralded the birth of fusion politics and a lot of black people in major political positions getting support from poor whites, and if the Reconstruction efforts continued we'd probably be in a better world today, but it was aborted to give us fucking Rutherford B. Hayes at the expense of giving horrible racists free reign of southern governments. Republicans courting southern racists fuck it up for everyone, the story we keep reliving.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:09 AM on February 23 [55 favorites]


I don't know how one could engage more women to engage in local politics - including school boards and community organizations - because it would mean much more than most people think

Make it safe so that any woman who steps up isn't going to have her life ruined by harassment?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:11 AM on February 23 [42 favorites]


Wait, what? Only 25% of state legislators and 20% in the US Congress are women.

Mumimor lives somewhere else with better representation. They are not from the US, unless I am totally confused.
posted by Frowner at 9:11 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Holy crap, Gorka is off his rocker.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:12 AM on February 23


Reconstruction was great, but unfortunately the United States lost the guerilla phase of the Civil War and so it could never be completed.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:12 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


OnceUponATime, your comment puts me in mind of the Sun Tzu maxim, "always leave your enemies an avenue of escape." Hemming in the Republicans with Trump will just lead to more doubling-down and vicious backlash, since they will be out of options.

Instead, we should be painting the repugnant Republican ideas as Trump ideas, so that when they inevitably need to run as far from him as they can, they will also have to leave those policies behind to wipe the stink of him off of them.
posted by Freon at 9:12 AM on February 23 [27 favorites]




They hate anyone who isn't white, they hate women, they hate LGBTQ people, they hate the disabled.

They hate anyone different from them in any way.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:13 AM on February 23


My fear is something unprecedented WILL happen, like the destruction of an entire city.

We already saw that, actually, with Hurricane Katrina. And it was about then that most people (except, of course, the crazy 27% base that later rebranded itself as the "tea party) woke up to the obvious fact of George W. Bush's incompetence.
posted by Gelatin at 9:14 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Instead, we should be painting the repugnant Republican ideas as Trump ideas,

Trump isn't up for re-election in 621 days. A lot of Republicans are.
posted by Etrigan at 9:15 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


NRA to organise it's members into fascist paramilitary squads.

I guess it's time for the 2nd amendment's defence of tyranny to shine.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


russian consul andrey malanin found dead in athens. if i'm reading this right, next piece to drop is diyevkin.
posted by xcasex at 9:16 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


russian consul anrey malanin found dead in athens. if i'm reading this right, next piece to drop is diyevkin.

They sure run a tight ship. Wonder if they'll drop anyone actually in the WH?
posted by Artw at 9:17 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


russian consul andrey malanin found dead in athens.

This is dated January 9.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:17 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


> your comment puts me in mind of the Sun Tzu maxim, "always leave your enemies an avenue of escape."

An avenue of escape is too much. An avenue of surrender is fine, though.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:18 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Are they covering up the Russia side links to the Trump campaign?
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:18 AM on February 23


but it was aborted to give us fucking Rutherford B. Hayes at the expense of giving horrible racists free reign of southern governments. Republicans courting southern racists fuck it up for everyone, the story we keep reliving

Yeah, that was the part I was referring to as a joke. Sorry to be unclear. Also it wasn't so much a joke as a cowardly betrayal, but yeah, the point remains: we didn't finish the job.

And someone up above pointed out that the way to get women in politics is to make it safe for women to be in politics. I wish I could favorite that a million goddamn times. If we took terrorism against women seriously (and that's what we should ducking call it), you'd see a lot more women in the public sphere.

Oh man I'm getting angry again.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:20 AM on February 23 [24 favorites]


New Poll Shows Less Than 1/3 Of Pa. Voters Happy With President Trump So Far


Then maybe you shouldn't have voted for him last November you frick'n jagoffs.
posted by octothorpe at 9:20 AM on February 23 [41 favorites]


russian consul andrey malanin found dead in athens. if i'm reading this right, next piece to drop is diyevkin.

Deadliest job in the world: Russian diplomat.
posted by Talez at 9:21 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Then maybe you shouldn't have voted for him last November you frick'n jagoffs.

Yins, please. You have to speak their language.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:23 AM on February 23 [23 favorites]


Sent a crate of liberal tears mugs and some empathy.
posted by Artw at 9:23 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


russian consul andrey malanin found dead in athens. if i'm reading this right, next piece to drop is diyevkin.

I mean, it's weird that all these Russian diplomats have died recently, but also, not everything is a plot from a Le Carre novel. Sometimes people just die. Who knows? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

I'm curious though what your "read" on it is? Why would these diplomats be assassinated? If Russia is killing them, why not just recall them to Moscow and keep them quiet. If someone else is killing them, why?
posted by dis_integration at 9:24 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


NRA to organise it's members into fascist paramilitary squads.

no sweat we'll disarm them with a pithy tweet, bon mots are how we won the american revolution and beat the nazis after all
posted by entropicamericana at 9:24 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Excuse you, it's yinz. With a z. This is important.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:25 AM on February 23 [21 favorites]


I mean, it's weird that all these Russian diplomats have died recently, but also, not everything is a plot from a Le Carre novel. Sometimes people just die. Who knows? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

I don't think it beyond Putin And The Gang to be behind something like this but we're talking about hundreds or thousands of Russian dudes in late middle age. For health/lifestyle reasons Russian men in late middle age tend die a lot just 'cuz, so I'm inclined to need more evidence.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:27 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I'd thread the needle by saying that Republicans are abandoning all traditional conservative/Republican values and positions to embrace Trumpism because they want power more than they want to continue their commitment to their values and policy goals. They own Trump, but they can retreat to their previous status quo.
posted by prefpara at 9:30 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


So a (straight white male) friend on Facebook who studies poli sci shared that Kristof piece this morning with a "Yes. This." comment.

I responded with, "Straight white man feels overwhelmingly white group should not be held accountable for their actions. I could swear I've seen this sort of thing before. Almost like there are terms for it or something."

Naturally, I am showing I have confirmation bias and my views are stunning.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:30 AM on February 23 [43 favorites]


A new Quinnipiac poll suggests that Trump's policies are seriously unpopular with American voters:
62 - 31 percent against reducing taxes across the board, even if it increases the deficit;
51 - 38 percent against restarting the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines;
60 - 37 percent against building the wall on the Mexican border, with 65 - 33 percent against the wall if the U.S. must pay for it;
76 - 18 percent against lowering taxes on the wealthy;
50 - 43 percent against lowering taxes on businesses and corporations;
54 - 34 percent against removing regulations on businesses and corporations;
63 - 27 percent against removing specific regulations intended to combat climate change;
54 - 43 percent against repealing the Affordable Care Act.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:30 AM on February 23 [58 favorites]


favorite part of the gorka phone call:

Smith: put yourself in my shoes --
Gorka: no no PUT YOURSELF IN MY SHOES

sometimes I'm surprised that the world hasn't already been incinerated
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 9:30 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


A Florida pastor who took his 11-year-old daughter to a campaign-style rally for President Trump said he hoped the event would serve as a civics lesson — but that it turned instead into a spectacle where “demonic activity was palpable.”

Well there's a research failure right there.
posted by Artw at 9:32 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


NRA to organise it's members into fascist paramilitary squads.

I guess it's time for the 2nd amendment's defence of tyranny to shine.


In my view, it's becoming more and more important to deny these assholes their presumed monopoly on violence by ending their de facto monopoly on gun ownership. There's a reason they think they can get away with all of their intimidation and spite.

I'm tired of not scaring these people. I'm tired of them underestimating the seriousness of "never again" because I don't go to McDonalds with a pistol on my hip and a POW/MIA flag on my shitty coal-rolling dickstain-mobile.

They are getting ready to put people on trains to the east south, they are militarizing groups like the NRA that already have an unseemly relationship with the hard-right, the GOP and the government itself (as an adjunct to the ATF).

It's time to stop letting them feel so bold. Now. Not later. If they want to make this all about who has the guns, I'm ready to go there.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:33 AM on February 23 [27 favorites]


CPAC Person 1: "Who's that?"
Person 2: "Richard Spencer."
Person 3: "The neo-Nazi!"
Person 1: "Haaa he got punched in the face."
--@ddale8

You know, I think it's working!
posted by zachlipton at 9:35 AM on February 23 [44 favorites]




Republicans now planning to put off Trumps infrastructure plan for the midterms
So now the trains won't even run on time.
posted by rocket at 9:38 AM on February 23 [26 favorites]


favorite part of the gorka phone call:

Everything about it was my favourite part of the call. I've had to deal with assholes like Gorka during my time in government, and typically as a staffer I had few ways to fight back. It's always awesome when an asshole and an idiot gets called an asshole and an idiot to his face.
posted by My Dad at 9:39 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


It's time to stop letting them feel so bold. Now. Not later. If they want to make this all about who has the guns, I'm ready to go there.

They want to make this not just about about who has the guns, but who has guns and is ready to do violence with them. Whether or not things will truly come to it, that's the game they are talking about playing. If you decide to get guns to match their guns, you need to be prepared to kill them with those guns. Those are the stakes. To approach the decision to arm yourself otherwise in this context is irresponsible.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:39 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


Notably missing: any sort of self-reflection on why Richard Spencer is there in the first place or what he might be planning to do.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:41 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Has anyone asked Gorka his opinion on Zerging as tactic in the fight against terrorism?
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


They want to make this not just about about who has the guns, but who has guns and is ready to do violence with them. Whether or not things will truly come to it, that's the game they are talking about playing. If you decide to get guns to match their guns, you need to be prepared to kill them with those guns. Those are the stakes.

I agree with that, in the extreme. I'm not sure it's entirely true, though, in the context of moving the needle in politics, and from that the culture of intimidation around right-wing politics.

The NRA is unopposed because there's not enough liberal gun-owners to make an opposing organization anything to care about, and the shooting world is so dependent upon services provided by the NRA to comply with those few safety regulations we have, that are ultimately coming from the NRA's bought-and-paid-for politicians, etc.

Lets say just 20% of the Democratic voters went out and bought a gun tomorrow in response to this kind of open intimidation. The right would shit itself. The conversation around gun control would suddenly change. Kind of like how what gun control CA has came from when the Black Panthers were the ones doing open carry. This isn't an entirely new idea.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:44 AM on February 23 [27 favorites]


Notably missing: any sort of self-reflection on why Richard Spencer is there in the first place or what he might be planning to do.

Per Spencer he considered it a safe space where he could spend some time not getting punched. Presumably nowhere else qualifies as that for him anymore.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


So that O’Keefe "CNN Leaks" thing was even more of an overhyped piece of garbage than feared (and we don't even know what's been deceptively edited yet). The tapes he's got come from 2009, making them basically history: many people on the recordings don't even work there anymore. The most awful things right-wing news has apparently dug up is that an editor said climate change was not debatable, another didn't like their competitor, Fox News, and people made out the deacdes-old "aiding the afflicted and afflicting the comforted" quote to be some big conspiracy.

And for all that, Hannity, the sucker, had O'Keefe on his radio show to hype up how much he had.
posted by zachlipton at 9:44 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


It's the old "There are leaks! Something must be up!" play. To certain people the actual content of leaks is irrelevant.
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on February 23


So now the trains won't even run on time.

The improvements to the then-dilapidated Italian railway system were substantially done before Mussolini rose to power; he simply took the credit -- and then went a step further, claiming that the system worked better than it actually did, even post-overhaul. The trains did, in fact, not always run on time.

The parallels between that and, say, Trump taking credit for creating jobs that were already planned and announced before he took office is, well, there's a strong parallel; I expect that Trump will claim to have brought a bunch of jobs back and fixed unemployment, eventually, which is why his administration is unwilling to say, now, what it thinks the unemployment rate actually is.
posted by cjelli at 9:48 AM on February 23 [44 favorites]


WaPo: If abortion rights fall, LGBT rights are next: Perhaps the president simply does not understand the foundations of these constitutional law decisions. Whatever the reason for the president’s view of what is and is not settled Supreme Court precedent, the fact of the matter is that the court cannot reverse the cases guaranteeing access to safe and legal abortion and leave recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights unharmed.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:55 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


russian consul andrey malanin found dead in athens. if i'm reading this right, next piece to drop is diyevkin.

For those keeping score, there have been five reported deaths among senior Russian diplomats since Trump was elected:
Andrei Karlov, Russian Ambassador to Turkey (December, gunshot, assasination)
Petr Polshikov, senior Russian foreign ministry official for Latin America (December, gunshot, apparent suicide)
Alexander Kadakin, Russian Ambassador to India (January, heart failure)
Andrei Malanin, Russian Consul in Greece (January, natural causes/unconfirmed)
Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to UN (February, heart failure)
Throw in Oleg Erovinkin, former KGB and FSB general (December, cause of death unconfirmed), to say nothing of that random NY Russian consulate worker in November, and at the very least, John Le Carre has a lot material for his next spy thriller.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:56 AM on February 23 [79 favorites]


Per Spencer he considered it a safe space where he could spend some time not getting punched.

I really hope somebody proves him wrong.
posted by contraption at 9:57 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Well, getting kicked out is a metaphorical punch, anyway.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:59 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I know there aren't any rules governing the doings of SCOTUS spouses, but Ginni Thomas at CPAC today urging people to follow David Clarke on Twitter and denouncing the media as fake just makes me super angry.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:04 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


So yesterday Iowa Congressman David Young announced a last-minute "pop-up town hall" for this morning. The idea was apparently to announce it too late for the opposition to organize to get there. From this picture (single link twitter), it doesn't look like it worked.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:04 AM on February 23 [54 favorites]


when do we begin the burning of the effigies
posted by poffin boffin at 10:09 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


W/r/t the whole "antifascists with guns" thing, it's... interesting... how shooting ranges tend to be positively slathered in hard-right & Islamophobic bumper stickers and posters.

The NRA basically GamerGated liberals and leftists away from the spaces where people learn to shoot. And they did it decades ago.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:10 AM on February 23 [38 favorites]


Hold on now, shouldn't we want to engage the effigies in substantive debate?
posted by contraption at 10:10 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


Apologies if this has been discussed already... But are the odds websites showing odds of impeachment yet?
posted by ian1977 at 10:10 AM on February 23


it doesn't look like it worked.

Those payed liberal activists from out of state are fast!
posted by diogenes at 10:11 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


I am watching CPAC and throwing things. But yeah, I could burn some effigies. That sounds good.
posted by mochapickle at 10:12 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


The trains did, in fact, not always run on time.

I read that a lot of this train business was about attacking the civil service, who, I guess, were to the left of Mussolini. So Blackshirt gangs were targeting train drivers etc. for beatings & castor oil as part of that.
posted by thelonius at 10:12 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


when do we begin the burning of the effigies

420 smoke trees
light 'em off those effigies
erryday
posted by murphy slaw at 10:12 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Apologies if this has been discussed already... But are the odds websites showing odds of impeachment yet?

PredictIt has "impeached by end of 2017" at 17% and "still president by end of 2018" at 67%.
posted by theodolite at 10:13 AM on February 23


So a (straight white male) friend on Facebook who studies poli sci shared that Kristof piece this morning with a "Yes. This." comment

Ooooh lemme guess political philosophy?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:15 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


It's frightening that the major topics of discussion in this thread are 1) how do we appeal to the segments of the far-right that we can appeal to? and 2) literal paramilitary death squads. It's time to leave the Rs behind. They are not evil only insofar as they are craven. Not worth saving or bringing along into the new order. Defeat them with votes or fists or whatever, but they have to lose very badly.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:19 AM on February 23 [20 favorites]


Truthfully I would 100% go to a lefty-aligned gun range to learn to shoot. Are there any? Are they like franchises? How does that work?
posted by schadenfrau at 10:20 AM on February 23 [14 favorites]


They want to make this not just about about who has the guns, but who has guns and is ready to do violence with them. Whether or not things will truly come to it, that's the game they are talking about playing.

They aren't ever gonna rise up. First, have you seen most of those militia types ? They not only peaked in high school, it was also the last time they could climb a set of stairs in one go. Secondly, Obama was a UN backed Kenyan Muslim Dictator who sold the Constitution to Century 21 and used Rex84 chemtrails to Jade Helm America. Or whatever - they're always a little fuzzy on actual details.

And besides, have you seen the infighting and petty theft in most patriot groups? It's not hard to find, because they suck at opsec and their FB stuff is public. They have trouble organizing a bake sale - force projection is so far outside of their organizational capability as to not exist.

The NRA basically GamerGated liberals and leftists away from the spaces where people learn to shoot. And they did it decades ago.

There was a shooting range I used to really enjoy that was close to home. Soon after Obama was elected, the guy who ran it sold it and retired, and the new guy required everyone to sign a loyalty oath to the Constitution in addition to the usual waivers. So, I stopped going there. But yeah, they just raised the level of obnoxiousness to where I'd rather just stay home than shoot skeet.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:22 AM on February 23 [32 favorites]


So what we're all saying is that non-right-wing shooting range is a business opportunity for anyone in a blue area, right? Or even a purple one? You'd basically just need to be neutrally welcoming to all clients rather than hostile to anyone to the left of Fred Phelps.
posted by Frowner at 10:24 AM on February 23 [36 favorites]



PredictIt has "impeached by end of 2017" at 17% and "still president by end of 2018" at 67%.

Hey his impeachment chances are better than his chances of being president were a year ago so I'll take it!
posted by ian1977 at 10:24 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Obama was a UN backed Kenyan Muslim Dictator who sold the Constitution to Century 21

So that's where he got that tan jacket!
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:26 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


> Truthfully I would 100% go to a lefty-aligned gun range to learn to shoot. Are there any? Are they like franchises? How does that work?

There exists a loosely organized network called the "liberal gun club," but what I've heard is that trainers associated with them request that their clients keep quiet about the organization while at shooting ranges. Apparently the hard right types get about as violent about the idea of non-fascists learning to shoot as gamergaters get about women gaming.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:28 AM on February 23 [30 favorites]


I've said it before - the best way to get new and effective gun controls is for liberals to start tooling up with some determination.

We'd have to get permission from the Secret Obama Shadow Administration and the funding from Soros, of course.

Contact your usual SOSA channels.

(on edit - could someone build a proper SOSA website from the WH site template? Pretty please?)
posted by Devonian at 10:29 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


the best way to get new and effective gun controls is for liberals black and brown people to start tooling up with some determination.

Fixed.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:31 AM on February 23 [27 favorites]


If anyone knows how to contact this liberal gun club organization, please feel free to MeMail me.

Actually please just MeMail me. I have a lot of anger and frustration that I'd rather spend on some bullets or whatever.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:32 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]




re: the Gorka conversation

Does anybody think that Gorka's tone changed dramatically once the other dude said that he was recording the phone call?

Also: cocaine?
posted by angrycat at 10:33 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


This is amazing: Trump Clarifies To CEOs: He Is The Best Rich Golfer, Not The Richest Golfer:
“I actually said I was the best golfer of all the rich people, to be exact, and then I got a hole in one,” Trump said.
...
But the fun didn’t stop there. Trump was in the zone, surrounded by fellow businessmen, and he exchanged good natured small talk with several of them. “Good soup,” he said to Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison. When the CEO of construction equipment maker Caterpillar introduced themself, Trump said he had been driving Caterpillar vehicles “for a long time.”
posted by zachlipton at 10:34 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


the best way to get new and effective gun controls is for liberals black and brown people to start tooling up with some determination.

Arm The Homeless
posted by murphy slaw at 10:35 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Gorka is really angry that the terrorists might be spawn camping, also that the shotty has been nerfed.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I googled the phrase "liberal gun club" so if I disappear you know why.
posted by contraption at 10:35 AM on February 23 [15 favorites]


The best example of a "liberal gun club" is the Pink Pistols

Find, or start, a local chapter.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:38 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


“Good soup,” he said to Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison.

Hot take (full of creamy goodness) from Ashley Feinberg over at Jezebel: Trump Takes the Only Thing Ted Cruz Has Left: His Precious Soup
posted by zachlipton at 10:40 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


I have a lot of anger and frustration that I'd rather spend on some bullets or whatever.

Might I suggest Krav Maga. It's a great self-defense discipline that is probably the quickest to get some useful skills, is a good workout, and does wonders for burning anger and frustration.
posted by chris24 at 10:40 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


I'm curious though what your "read" on it is? Why would these diplomats be assassinated? If Russia is killing them, why not just recall them to Moscow and keep them quiet. If someone else is killing them, why?


Erovinkin, Krivov, Karlov, Melanin, Chandelon, Polshikov, Churkin. they're all tied to the steele dossier.
some of these happened on foreign soil, which is for lack of a better word, "scary".

and i'm running the info but to me it all seems connected to the rosneft/transneft/gaspromneft dealio, and on preview
posted by xcasex at 10:42 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Additionally, Krav Maga is Hebrew for "punch MAGA"
posted by theodolite at 10:42 AM on February 23 [88 favorites]


Instead, we should be painting the repugnant Republican ideas as Trump ideas, so that when they inevitably need to run as far from him as they can, they will also have to leave those policies behind to wipe the stink of him off of them.

No no no no no.

Trump's ideas are the culmination of the last forty years of the Republican agenda. Nail it to their flag and burn their ship to the bilges.
posted by winna at 10:43 AM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Truthfully I would 100% go to a lefty-aligned gun range to learn to shoot. Are there any? Are they like franchises? How does that work?

So what we're all saying is that non-right-wing shooting range is a business opportunity for anyone in a blue area, right? Or even a purple one? You'd basically just need to be neutrally welcoming to all clients rather than hostile to anyone to the left of Fred Phelps.


This is something I've been kicking around in my head, but I'd need to refresh my very rusty knowledge and safety training myself, and read up on all sorts of pertinent regulation.

The obstacle, as mentioned, is that the NRA has set itself up as the only convenient option for a lot of compliance and safety stuff and I wouldn't be surprised to encounter a lot of constant ratfuckery pushing back on that. Although that probably make it more worth doing than less.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:43 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Jaime Harrison dropped out of the DNC chair race and endorsed Perez

Well shit, if this tally was accurate and those Harrison voters all follow the endorsement it means Perez wins (he had 205 and Harrison had 27, giving him an 8 vote margin over the needed 224.) I don't hate Perez but he's definitely my least favorite of the contenders.
posted by contraption at 10:46 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Contact your usual SOSA channels.

(on edit - could someone build a proper SOSA website from the WH site template? Pretty please?)


Never have I more wanted a .ZOG tld.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:46 AM on February 23


Good Lord the older thread and the newer thread
posted by angrycat at 10:46 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


The tweets on that Obama tan suit article are hilarious.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:48 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


It's too bad that we can't mass-join the NRA and all show up at the annual meeting without providing lobbying funds for some truly terrible shit.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:48 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


This is the longest we've been since George Washington without approving a Cabinet

Of 549 key positions requiring Senate confirmation…

Awaiting nomination: 515
Awaiting confirmation: 20
Confirmed: 14
posted by kirkaracha at 10:50 AM on February 23 [26 favorites]


Additionally, Krav Maga is Hebrew for "punch MAGA"

And appropriately for our current times, Imre Lichtenfeld started developing the techniques in the 1930s to defend Jews from anti-Semitic attacks by Nazis in Europe.
posted by chris24 at 10:51 AM on February 23 [31 favorites]


that's some real meme magic right there
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:52 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


It's too bad that we can't mass-join the NRA and all show up at the annual meeting without providing lobbying funds for some truly terrible shit.

One of the suggested anti-Puppy measures for Hugo balloting was "You have to be a member for X years before you can nominate or vote", and it was shot down largely because it wasn't inclusive. The NRA would have no qualms whatsoever about inclusivity.
posted by Etrigan at 10:52 AM on February 23




MSNBC needs more than one B in it
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:57 AM on February 23 [16 favorites]


Might I suggest Krav Maga. It's a great self-defense discipline that is probably the quickest to get some useful skills, is a good workout, and does wonders for burning anger and frustration.

Krav Maga, like MMA, is one of those hobbies populated by literally the scariest kind of toxic masculinity. Like I've already looked into this in NYC, and at the time, the Krav Maga places accessible to me each had online reviews talking about sexism and gendered harassment.

If you know of a place that isn't a toxic masculinity shit show in NYC, definitely MeMail me.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:58 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


More papers, please (same flight as mentioned above): These are customs agents forcibly checking the ID of every passenger deplaning from Delta flight 1583 tonight at JFK. A domestic flight.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:58 AM on February 23 [29 favorites]


Pretty much the last thing you want, when trying to learn ways to be safer, is to have to do it in a place where you feel unsafe. It's bullshit all the way down.
posted by schadenfrau at 11:00 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


JFK recently had a security screw-up, and I wonder if there's some security over-correction going on here, but I don't have facts to make that connection.
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 11:02 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


More papers, please (same flight as mentioned above): These are customs agents forcibly checking the ID of every passenger deplaning from Delta flight 1583 tonight at JFK. A domestic flight.

Currently being discussed on the immigration thread.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:03 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


If you know of a place that isn't a toxic masculinity shit show in NYC, definitely MeMail me.

I haven't experienced that where I go here in NYC. Memail coming.
posted by chris24 at 11:03 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Bannon pulled out the Hamilton. Well that was fun while it lasted.
posted by zachlipton at 11:16 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Just watched a clip of Bannon and Priebus on stage together at CPAC. For the most part it was them saying a whole lotta nothing and groveling in sycophantic praise of Trump, but there was a brief droll moment when the host asked them to each say what they like about the other.

Priebus eyes Bannon for a second and says, "I like how many collars he wears!" to chuckles from the audience.

Then it almost immediately went back to not funny at all as Bannon reciprocated by saying that Priebus has one of the hardest jobs he's ever seen and labors every day "to make it work, to make the trains..." and trailed off to re-start with different phrasing.
posted by XMLicious at 11:26 AM on February 23 [40 favorites]


CPAC organizer denounces ‘alt-right’ as ‘left-wing fascist group’

“They hate the Constitution. They hate free markets. They hate pluralism,” Schneider said. “Fascists tend to want big government control.”

lol.
posted by futz at 11:28 AM on February 23 [36 favorites]


Priebus eyes Bannon for a second and says, "I like how many collars he wears!" to chuckles from the audience.

I said it about their bedtime ASMR thing and now I will say it now about the collar-wearing:

what the fuck
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:29 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


They absolutely do the half veiled Nazi shit deliberately. They think it's cute.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on February 23 [41 favorites]


The obstacle, as mentioned, is that the NRA has set itself up as the only convenient option for a lot of compliance and safety stuff and I wouldn't be surprised to encounter a lot of constant ratfuckery pushing back on that. Although that probably make it more worth doing than less.

Unfortunately, most of the shooting ranges my husband or I have been involved with require an NRA membership to participate. It greatly reduces their insurance and has the side effect of keeping the liberals out. On an entertaining note, I got to hear my husband dog cuss a member of the NRA who called after the election to celebrate Trump's win. So that was satisfying. Still looking for a new shooting range, though.
posted by teleri025 at 11:32 AM on February 23


Another tidbit from the article in my last comment.

As the throng of reporters moved, Spencer was stopped by JP Sheehan, a CPAC attendee wearing a black-and-gold Make America Great Again baseball cap.

“Praise kek!” said Sheehan, posing for a selfie with Spencer and repeating a meme that had been adopted by the alt-right. “He’s the coolest guy.”


so very pathetic and gross.
posted by futz at 11:32 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


That NRA ad was one of the craziest things I've ever seen. I respect people's right to hunt, sport shoot and defend their homes, but at this point joining the NRA because you like guns is like joining the Klan because you like clean sheets.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:33 AM on February 23 [71 favorites]


Sweetdefenestration: "JFK recently had a security screw-up, and I wonder if there's some security over-correction going on here, but I don't have facts to make that connection."

Yeah, but if JFK accidentally let people through their security without screening, why would they be introducing a check of passengers coming off a plane arriving in JFK from SFO? Also, according to those tweets, these were CBP agents not TSA, so who knows? Of course, nothing this government does has to make sense anymore so whatevs, I guess.
posted by mhum at 11:35 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]




I have a lot of anger and frustration that I'd rather spend on some bullets or whatever.
...
Krav Maga, like MMA, is one of those hobbies populated by literally the scariest kind of toxic masculinity.


If the goal is emotional regulation, Tai Chi with the right teacher can be effective. I studied with a student of Yang Yang, who is based in NYC, and it was helpful.
posted by Coventry at 11:41 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


This whole Trump thing has caused me to have very complicated feelings. On one hand, I don't think it's particularly productive to begin negotiations with the opposition by accusing them of being stupid, racist, classist, phobic, etc. It makes people very defensive. On the other hand, I am reminded of how the old Jewish cashier with a faded number tattooed on her arm once told me that her neighbors were utterly silent as her family was being led away to a ghetto. If there's a middle ground, I don't know what it is.
posted by xyzzy at 11:42 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Only two shows? *whines*
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:42 AM on February 23




Speaking of negotiating with the opposition, from Vox, "Conservative activists refuse to believe Trump is spending more on travel than Obama":
Still, Herstein said he doesn’t believe it’s the case that Trump is on pace to spend more on vacation and travel. He waved away a Washington Post story held up on a reporter’s phone.

“I believe that the story exists,” Herstein said. “But the facts in it can’t possibly be right. That absolutely can’t be right. How did Trump spend $10 million in one month and Obama spent $11 million in a year? It defies logic.”
Yeah. So, good luck everyone. We're all gonna need it.
posted by mhum at 11:45 AM on February 23 [79 favorites]


How did Trump spend $10 million in one month and Obama spent $11 million in a year? It defies logic.

YES THAT WOULD BE THE PROBLEM SIR.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on February 23 [98 favorites]


Logic is sooooo 2017
posted by ian1977 at 11:48 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


I checked, and the nearest gun range to me is owned and operated by the state government. Is that an option? I assume that you don't have to be an NRA member to shoot at the public gun range.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:49 AM on February 23


We are a few minutes away from Sean Spicer

Thanks I did need an excuse to get away from my computer.
posted by Namlit at 11:50 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


(Since we've got a sidebar about self-defence, I'll plug aikido. The whole point of it is to manipulate your opponent's momentum, so that in theory the techniques work equally well regardless of the physical strength of the defender. Plus, you learn techniques to minimise damage to yourself, which are useful not only in a self-defence context but also when you're, just for example, riding your bike and you get hit by an opening door and take a tumble over your handlebars.)
posted by tobascodagama at 11:52 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


An example of a local government on the US-Mexico border standing up against the wall -- City of Las Cruces just said NO to Trump’s wall (Progress Now NM, Feb. 22, 2017)
In a 6-1 vote yesterday, the City of Las Cruces sent a resounding message to President Trump: No border wall in our backyard.

Las Cruces is the county seat of Doña Ana County which shares 62 miles of its southern border with Mexico. The treaty which ended hostilities between the two countries in 1848 was signed in Mesilla, the village just west of Las Cruces and at the time, still a part of Mexico.

The resolution, introduced by Mayor pro-tem Greg Smith, states among other points, “Whereas, the economic, historic, and cultural connections between our part of the United States and just across the border in Mexico is underscored by the families whose members have been connected across this region for hundreds of years before there was a border between the modern countries of the United States and Mexico.” (PDF copy of the resolution)

The dissenting vote was cast, unsurprisingly, by perennial conservative Ceil Levatino. Levatino didn’t hold back her contempt for those speaking against the wall by making a condescending joke about such a wall “becoming a tourist destination” and by glibly referencing the Bracero program, which drew harsh murmurs from the audience and a slew of angry Twitter comments.
That comment link is a single tweet, which reads:
#LasCruces City councilor Ceil Levatino calls historically unjust, abusive, racist, bracero program “highly succesful” #nojoke #nmpol
The resolution concluded by a few "THAT" statements, including ""we stand in opposition to the construction of the proposed wall on our region's border with Mexico, specifically in Dona Ana County."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:53 AM on February 23 [30 favorites]


Is that Gorka standing up against the wall in the Spicey feed?
I'm growingly obsessed with that madman.
posted by angrycat at 11:54 AM on February 23


I checked, and the nearest gun range to me is owned and operated by the state government. Is that an option? I assume that you don't have to be an NRA member to shoot at the public gun range.

Correct. The states and the feds operate gun ranges that run the gamut from gravel pit to shelters and ranged berms. They are open to the public, though they may have operating hours or times. If you have a clay launcher and a willing volunteer, you can use practice clays at them.

There are private indoor ranges, as well as skeet/trap and sporting clay ranges. Some (most I guess) are NRA affiliated, but some exist that are not. Culture varies so it pays to visit a few and get a feel.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:56 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


On one hand, I don't think it's particularly productive to begin negotiations with the opposition by accusing them of being stupid, racist, classist, phobic, etc. It makes people very defensive. On the other hand, I am reminded of how the old Jewish cashier with a faded number tattooed on her arm once told me that her neighbors were utterly silent as her family was being led away to a ghetto. If there's a middle ground, I don't know what it is.

Others here disagree, but I really think the middle ground is "Trump Is An Aberration That Does Not Reflect The GOP."

It's like... "Well obviously YOU are not racist, but there are racists taking over your party, are you going to let them do that?"

I think a lot of white conservatives now are Schroedinger's Racists, actually. They don't exactly know how they feel about other races. A little nervous, a little uncertain. If their social environment becomes openly racist, so will they. If racism is a taboo in their social environment, they will be at pains to prove themselves as non-racist. Praise them for their lack of racism and you'll encourage them to identify that way, and do things re-inforce that identity.

From that WaPo article on Spencer getting kicked out of CPAC:

One of the first speeches at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference challenged the media to stop referring to the alt-right, a small, far-right movement that seeks a whites-only state and that strongly backed Donald Trump for president, as conservative — and not long after, a leader of the movement was kicked out of the venue.

“There is a sinister organization that is trying to warp its way into our ranks,” said Dan Schneider, the executive director of the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC. “We must not be deceived by [a] hateful, left-wing [sic!] fascist group.”


This is what we want. Make them run away from Richard Spencer! Make them decry him as not a True Conservative!

“’Donald Trump isn’t a conservative’ — that’s what they were saying a year ago,” said Spencer.

Yes! Yes! You tell 'em, Spencer. Remind them he was never one of them...

When White House strategist Steve Bannon took the stage, he joked that Breitbart News, where he had been CEO, used to hold forums with controversial speakers, under the title “The Uninvited.”

“Everybody’s a part of our conservative family,” said Schlapp.


No! Boo! Kick these guys out of the family!
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:01 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


I'd been planning to do it for a while, but I just signed up for a Women's Shooting Fundamentals class in March.

I've been to this range once before (my one and only time holding a gun) and thought I might die of testosterone poisoning, so this seems a more pleasant option.
posted by Superplin at 12:02 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Trump's theme for the speech next week will be "the renewal of the American spirit" [real]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:04 PM on February 23


When Trump said that the deportations were a "military operation", he meant they were being done with precision, not that they were a military operation.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:05 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Spicer says that when Trump described immigration operations as a "military operation," he was using it as an "adjective. It's happening with precision."
posted by zachlipton at 12:06 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


alternative adjectives
posted by Namlit at 12:06 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


"By 'concentration camp,' the President only meant that he was thinking really hard about it."
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:08 PM on February 23 [102 favorites]


When Trump said that the deportations were a "military operation", he meant they were being done with precision

Something something Yemen
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:10 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Trump's theme for the speech next week will be "the renewal of the American spirit"

I think that's probably some sort of mistranslation. The theme for Trump's next speech is actually the triumph of the American will.
posted by Justinian at 12:10 PM on February 23 [16 favorites]


Trump still believes that Caitlyn Jenner can use the women's bathroom in Trump Tower, because "state's rights."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:11 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Lol the gun range closest to me has regular Utah Permit classes offered by a guy who's website has a giant picture of 45 with the caption "Why? Because fuck you, that's why."

There aren't many gun range choices in NYC, as it turns out.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:11 PM on February 23


I checked, and the nearest gun range to me is owned and operated by the state government. Is that an option? I assume that you don't have to be an NRA member to shoot at the public gun range.

Yes. You may need a permit - out here you have to have the state 'wilderness pass', essentially, which is authorizing you to access to state lands. It's usually around 40$ and lasts a year, and the benefits you get are well worth it, especially on shooting ranges where people have to actually clean up after you.

I want to strongly emphasize these are not good places for new shooters, however, as there are generally no safety observers there, and everyone's safety relies on the understanding of a lot of gun rules new shooters may not be aware of.

However, there are also a lot of private gun ranges that I honestly and truly think are better to learn on, that don't have gross stuff all over. They are often 'X County Rifleman's Or Sporting Association' clubs, they have membership fees but nothing too expensive, and they are where the 'old fogies' go to shoot and have gone to shoot for a hundred years, so they don't have anything to prove. I find them vastly, vastly preferable.

Because this is getting sooooort of deraily - if anyone wants to learn to shoot but doesn't want to deal with gross misogyny at gun ranges or whatever, please feel free to memail me and I will try to help! (Also Pink Pistols is pretty great too.)
posted by corb at 12:12 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Richard Spencer today said "Depeche Mode is the official band of the Alt-Right." Depeche Mode responds, lol no, maybe listen to the lyrics.
posted by rewil at 12:12 PM on February 23 [25 favorites]


When Trump said that the deportations were a "military operation", he meant they were being done with precision

Gods, he's such a poser Internet tough-guy that he thinks "military" means "good".
posted by Etrigan at 12:12 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


There aren't many gun range choices in NYC, as it turns out

Everything is legal in New Jersey.


I'm so sorry, I could not resist.
posted by corb at 12:13 PM on February 23 [38 favorites]


The Trump brand GTD planner (with handsome leatherette cover and 'gold' leaf pages) will be entitled Triumph of the Willpower.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:13 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


tough-guy that he thinks "military" means "good".
He also, again, "has a big heart." And a knee-jerk-defensive Spicey in his pocket.
posted by Namlit at 12:15 PM on February 23


Always liked Las Cruces, gonna make sure I get back there to spend some money soon. Been through the La Migra checkpoints (easy for me to say) around there quite a few times, always smelled like fascism when you got close.

The border will not be fucking tamed by that damn pendejo. Not in four years, anyway. Been resisting for 300+.
posted by spitbull at 12:15 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Richard Spencer today said "Depeche Mode is the official band of the Alt-Right." Depeche Mode responds, lol no, maybe listen to the lyrics.

HOW VERY DARE RICHARD SPENCER. As if I don't have enough reasons to fucking hate that Nazi. Bless Dave Gahan for shutting that shit down.
posted by yasaman at 12:15 PM on February 23 [40 favorites]


it's funny because "military precision" verges on an oxymoron. That's why the military uses language like "surgical strikes."
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:16 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Trump still believes that Caitlyn Jenner can use the women's bathroom in Trump Tower, because "state's rights."

Next reporter: 'HRC has said this is a civil rights issue, and therefore it is not appropriately a state's right issue. Is this not a civil rights issue?'
Spicer: [Evades addressing the question], 'we are a state's rights party, I don't see why this would be any different...it feel short on a lot of stuff...it wasn't us that did this, a court injoined this last year --
Reporter: Okay, but does the PRESIDENT believe that this is a civil right?
Spicer: [Evades addressing the question]
Next Reporter: Okay, but just to follow up, does the president believe this is a civil right's issue or not?
Spicer: [EVASION INTENSIFIES]
posted by cjelli at 12:17 PM on February 23 [23 favorites]


This story is incredibly weird (and it's got hacked text messages in it, so we're back to that): Manafort faced blackmail attempt, hacks suggest:
A purported cyberhack of the daughter of political consultant Paul Manafort suggests that he was the victim of a blackmail attempt while he was serving as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman last summer.

The undated communications, which are allegedly from the iPhone of Manafort’s daughter, include a text that appears to come from a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, seeking to reach her father, in which he claims to have politically damaging information about both Manafort and Trump.

Attached to the text is a note to Paul Manafort referring to “bulletproof” evidence related to Manafort’s financial arrangement with Ukraine’s former president, the pro-Russian strongman Viktor Yanukovych, as well as an alleged 2012 meeting between Trump and a close Yanukovych associate named Serhiy Tulub.
Leshchenko denies sending the messages, and Manafort denies the 2012 meeting, but crazily, Manafort acknowledges the texts are real and says he received similar ones himself. I honestly don't know that there's anything here at all, but things are getting pretty darn weird.
posted by zachlipton at 12:17 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]




Spicer seems to believe that Title IX doesn't cover transgender children because nobody could have foreseen that there were transgender people in 1972.

I don't believe that's how it works.

Also, if you are above the 5th grade reading level, and don't understand that the travel ban is legal, you are wrong.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:18 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Spencer sees an aesthetic similarity between the group and the Alt-Right.

"There's always been a certain nostalgic synth wave vibe to the Alt-Right in terms of aesthetics," he says.


Motion to rename this motherfucker Vaporwave Horst Wessel
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:19 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


have always lived in

You ought to hear Native Americans on this point too. Oh there's a lying racist thug as president? You don't say.
posted by spitbull at 12:20 PM on February 23 [54 favorites]


Oompahwave.
posted by spitbull at 12:21 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Spicer clearly advocating mass deportation of all undocumented persons, not just criminals.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:22 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


EUGENIC
posted by theodolite at 12:23 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Spicer's getting pushed a little by the pool on recreational marijuana states, pretty clearly saying they're going to crack down on them.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:25 PM on February 23


Why doesn't Spicey explode in a giant ball of hypocrisy when he went on and on about state's rights when it came to LGBT rights but says that state legalization of recreational marijuana is in conflict with federal law. I guess things are only a state's rights issue when it's a way to screw minorities, visible or otherwise.
posted by Justinian at 12:26 PM on February 23 [63 favorites]


Spicer just equated recreational marijuana use with opioid abuse, in response to a surprisingly not-terrible Skype question. So that's probably not a good sign, no matter the equivocation in the rest of his response.
posted by cjelli at 12:26 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


but cracking down on marijuana is a way to screw minorities. it's totally coherent.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:27 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


He also came this close to telling Glenn Thrush he's not on SNL ("this isn't a TV program") and actually did say "we’re going to raise our hands like big boys and girls" when Thrush shouted a follow-up asking about what the policy would be on state-legal recreational marijuana.
posted by zachlipton at 12:28 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Spicer says that Ivanka Trump is taking meetings because she has a "lot of expertise" in the area of "helping women."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:28 PM on February 23


she has a "lot of expertise" in the area of "helping women."

…named ivanka trump
posted by murphy slaw at 12:29 PM on February 23 [46 favorites]


yeah the white folks will get their cards and smoke
PoC will have more limited access, buy their weed off the street, and get busted

and linking opioid use to marijuana use is just so stupid and wrong.
posted by angrycat at 12:29 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]



Spicer says that Ivanka Trump is taking meetings because she has a "lot of expertise" in the area of "helping women."


When asked in what capacity she was acting in -- as part of the government or as a private individual -- and what exactly her role is, Spicer answered (to paraphrase), 'her role is that she is being extraordinarily helpful.'

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by cjelli at 12:32 PM on February 23 [32 favorites]


Interesting how Spicer was so big on states' rights when it comes to bathrooms, but not when it comes to marijuana laws.

Trump is also doing a Reuters interview right now. He wants to expand the nuclear arsenal and says he supports a border tax. More to come.
posted by zachlipton at 12:32 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


god, i hope he gets his fucking tariff and chokes on it.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:34 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Skype lady in Montana is asking why we aren't building a wall with Canada.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:35 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


States' Rights is a dogwhistle for:

* Legalized discrimination, particularly in the post-bellum, pre-Civil Rights Era south.
* Legalized enslavement of Black people, in the slave-owning, seditionist rebel Confederacy.

The particularly vocal States' Rights crowd move the goalposts as to what rights States actually have, so long as it results in fucking over marginalized communities that they don't like. I have no reason to expect them to apply this doctrine logically or consistently, except to punch down on those they don't think deserve equal rights.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 12:35 PM on February 23 [54 favorites]


[real] question: There are a lot of potholes on the roads. Has the President done anything to fix them yet?

Skype question from Montana about the Canadian border ends by asking if Trump will build a wall there too, to laughter.
posted by zachlipton at 12:35 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the pothole question was real. And the guy who asked it looked like a guy playing a reporter in a high school play. Who was that?
posted by Justinian at 12:36 PM on February 23


Our latest alternative fact: Spicer is now claiming that the administration 'isn't reversing anything' about the rights of LGBTQ children in schools, because 'the order was never properly crafted in the first place' and was enjoined, 'so there's nothing to reverse' and that 'it's misleading to frame it that way.'
posted by cjelli at 12:36 PM on February 23


Thanks for embarrassing all us montanans, NBC Montana. Christ. I've never heard the many right wing crazies I know ever suggest a Canadian border wall.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:37 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I think Spicey almost made a racist comment faux pax about the Canadian Wall when he said that they were obviously more concerned about the southern border because of the different types of p.... activities they see on that border.
posted by Justinian at 12:38 PM on February 23 [19 favorites]


I curse Sean Spicer to be afflicted with tongue canker sores until the end of his days
posted by theodolite at 12:42 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Again, they let the Nazi shit slip to be cute.
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


re: trans people (yes I know this is all I talk about, end transphobia and i'll post more cat pics)

the rescinding of the directive to schools is going to lead directly to more violence just as the travel bans have led to anti-Muslim violence. It's the normalization of bigotry (not that it was fine before).

I can't say it was related, but this week, a friend of a friend was ejected from the men's room in Chicago's Union Station by (Amtrak?) security and forced to use the women's room. He has legal ID with a male name and male gender marker. Chicago has public accommodations protections based on gender identity, but in the moment, whadyagonnado?

Note: he's reluctant to report/pursue action for Reasons. Just like sexual assault victims, we need to respect this.
posted by AFABulous at 12:42 PM on February 23 [37 favorites]


Spicer says ask the state department about Syria, but the State Department isn't holding pressers
posted by angrycat at 12:43 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


This is about as clear a summary of what Bannon is doing as I've seen: "If you look at these Cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason--and that is deconstruction"

"Deconstruction" of every agency is his goal. It's that simple.
posted by zachlipton at 12:45 PM on February 23 [29 favorites]




Is there anyone even at the State Department?
posted by Artw at 12:47 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


I think the State Department is especially out of evens.
posted by Mchelly at 12:50 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


Spicer says the president would be happy to meet with Jackie Evancho (and presumably Juliet Evancho as well).
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:50 PM on February 23


A tweet from Jackie Evancho, who sang at the inauguration: ". @realDonaldTrump u gave me the honor 2 sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender rghts ❤"

Reporter from Fox 5 asks about this tweet. Spicer says Trump would meet with her.
posted by zachlipton at 12:50 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Thanks for embarrassing all us montanans, NBC Montana. Christ. I've never heard the many right wing crazies I know ever suggest a Canadian border wall.

It's an excellent question, though. A southern border wall is a dumb-ass idea that would be extremely expensive, totally ineffective, labor-intensive, and a long-term drain on the country, in addition to its impact on our relationship with the rest of the world. The only reason to do it is to satisfy the racist lust of the basest of Trump's base. So why not build a northern border wall? Because stirring up American's latent hatred of Canadians isn't even a thing. The minute proposing a northern border wall will get people at a rally chanting in Trump's support, that's exactly what he'll suggest, and not one moment earlier. So ask the question. Ask it every time. Ask it at every interview, every press conference. Why aren't you building a northern border wall, Fake President? I thought a country without a physical wall around all its borders means "we don't even have a country." Why no wall?
posted by The World Famous at 12:51 PM on February 23 [42 favorites]


This is about as clear a summary of what Bannon is doing as I've seen: "If you look at these Cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason--and that is deconstruction"

So I guess they say it out loud now? One one hand, that's a good thing. I don't think they win an open debate on the subject. On the other hand, it's a bad thing that they aren't planning to need to win any more debates.
posted by diogenes at 12:52 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]




And that concludes today's Spicey Time.
posted by zachlipton at 12:53 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I just watched the relevant question and Spicey's response, and...


Oh jesus fuck they are going to shut down all the recreational states.
posted by Gaz Errant at 12:53 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Oh jesus fuck they are going to shut down all the recreational states.

lol. as if they haven't already given California enough reasons to full on revolt. sure, add one more on to the pile. okay.
posted by yasaman at 12:55 PM on February 23 [26 favorites]


I think the State Department is especially out of evens.

I emailed my friend in the foreign service, who says no one really knows what to do at this point.
posted by mochapickle at 12:56 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


I've got to say, it's pretty rich for Priebus, the guy who suggested Trump drop out of the race after the Access Hollywood tape and was planning what he'd do after Trump lost, to be complaining that the media didn't predict a Trump win.

Anyway, here's Gabby Giffords responding to Gohmert, who invoked her shooting as a reason not to hold town halls: "Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls."
posted by zachlipton at 12:56 PM on February 23 [99 favorites]


lol. as if they haven't already given California enough reasons to full on revolt. sure, add one more on to the pile. okay.

we're gonna take our money and start our own united states with blackjack! and hookers! legal weed! and good ethnic food!
posted by entropicamericana at 12:57 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


as if they haven't already given California enough reasons to full on revolt.

Up here in the PNW as well. And from the way he phrased his response... I feel like they're going to start raids or some other action quite soon.
posted by Gaz Errant at 12:58 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


lol. as if they haven't already given California enough reasons to full on revolt. sure, add one more on to the pile. okay.

dude, i haven't smoked pot on the regular for over ten years and i am ready to roll some fat blunts and camp out in front of the local immigration office until a federal official walks within pissing range
posted by murphy slaw at 12:59 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


It's amazing to me that the federal government (even led by this administration) doesn't see the writing on the wall and want to get ahead of states on legalization. There are billions and billions of dollars in tax revenue to be made here, and the federal government should want a piece of that action. But no, they are going to resist legalization at the federal level until the field is occupied by the states, and when it finally falls they are going to have an untenable battle to fight with state taxation authorities. It's just fundamentally dumb.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:59 PM on February 23 [26 favorites]


I don't see what they hope to gain by shutting down rec pot. Is this one of those red-meat issues for evangelicals? More and more it seems like punitive measures against states that voted against him.
posted by H. Roark at 12:59 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


It's just fundamentally dumb.

i think you have discovered the skeleton key to republican policymaking
posted by murphy slaw at 1:00 PM on February 23 [47 favorites]


"Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls."
Jesus Christ. Now I'm stress-eating garlic hummus and crying.
posted by xyzzy at 1:00 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


I don't see what they hope to gain by shutting down rec pot. Is this one of those red-meat issues for evangelicals? More and more it seems like punitive measures against states that voted against him.

Sessions was having trouble getting off and needed a boost to get him over the line.
posted by Talez at 1:01 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


If they start shutting down legal recreational weed, presumably the states in question are going to expect the feds to supply millions of dollars in additional funding to make up the tax shortfalls.
posted by zachlipton at 1:02 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I don't see what they hope to gain by shutting down rec pot.

It's another dogwhistle. Expect enforcement to very, very heavily target African Americans especially and minorities in general. White people will mostly get to keep smoking, I expect.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:02 PM on February 23 [48 favorites]


The president has a cocaine and cocaine only policy.
posted by Artw at 1:03 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Now I'm imagining a fight to the death between tobacco company lobbyists and pharma (opioid) lobbyists, and that's cheering me up some.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:03 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]




Haven't watched this yet, but it looks interesting: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: International Law and the Future of Online PsyOps
This talk examines this question in the context of state and non-state actor use of online psyops to undermine other states. It examines the current state of development of these techniques, and projects future capabilities based on recent advances in artificial intelligence and quantitative social science. It then examines a set of applicable international legal frameworks, arguing that the existing body of laws and norms fail to adequately constrain the use of these techniques. Finally, it provides a set of potential interventions for exploration, considering both technical and legal approaches.
ETA: This is a discussion of a paper of the same name.
posted by Coventry at 1:03 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


IAMUnaware has it. It helps maintain a "criminal" underclass that can be abused at will.
posted by prefpara at 1:04 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


It's another dogwhistle. Expect enforcement to very, very heavily target African Americans especially and minorities in general. White people will mostly get to keep smoking, I expect.

So . . . like enforcement in non-recreational states now?
posted by dinty_moore at 1:04 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


I don't see what they hope to gain by shutting down rec pot.

The Thirteenth Amendment doesn't apply to prisoners, and the prison population has been going down lately.
posted by Etrigan at 1:05 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Jeff Sessions is still salty about those disgusting Cheechin' Chong boys
posted by theodolite at 1:06 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I don't see what they hope to gain by shutting down rec pot.

Jeff Sessions thinks that good people don't smoke marijuana.
posted by Gaz Errant at 1:06 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Politico: How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter
The trick? Making sure his media diet included a healthy dose of praise.
Highlighted by WaPo's Daily 202 column :
MANAGING UP: Six former Trump campaign staffers said that, in an effort to keep the president's Twitter habits under control, they made sure he was showered with praise and saw positive coverage about himself. Politico’s Tara Palmeri reports: “The key (according to the six campaign alums) is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk. 'If candidate Trump was upset about unfair coverage, it was productive to show him that he was getting fair coverage from outlets that were persuadable,' said former communications director Sam Nunberg. 'The same media that our base digests and prefers is going to be the base for his support. I would assume the president would like to see positive and preferential treatment from those outlets and that would help the operation overall.' Staff members had one advantage as they aimed to manage candidate Trump’s media diet: He rarely reads anything online, instead preferring print newspapers … and reading material his staff brought to his desk.”
It's a small miracle he ever got interested in Twitter in the first place.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:07 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


smoking pot is not volkish, yo
posted by murphy slaw at 1:08 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Love the tariff questions, and the steadfast refusal to comment on components/sub-components being shipped across borders. For the sake of argument, assume it passes and is handled with the competence that was showing with the first travel EO. On complex assemblies with parts made in different locations, you can see components that cross borders more than once. So how's the price on 2018 model cars looking, even if they're 'Made in the USA' ?
posted by Enturbulated at 1:13 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


These are details to be handles by all the people they've not appointed.
posted by Artw at 1:17 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Six former Trump campaign staffers said that, in an effort to keep the president's Twitter habits under control, they made sure he was showered with praise

It's good you did that, Mister Trump! It's very, very good! Don't wish us into the cornfield!
posted by Justinian at 1:19 PM on February 23 [47 favorites]


JMM really nails why this feels like a flashback for so many people. He is the Abuser-In-Chief, and half the country is either abusing along with him or enabling it. No wonder it's hard to do anything other than scream.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:19 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Thinking about intersectionality and the comments above about African Americans and Native Americans saying "welcome to the America we know" - I didn't see it noted that law enforcement already does demand papers - it is called "carding" and Trump promised to make it nationwide. I suppose white folks won't get stopped all that often though...
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 1:20 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


In honor of Richard Spencer saying Depeche Mode is "the official band of the alt-right," here he is getting punched to Just Can’t Get Enough -- @goldengateblond

REACH OUT AND PUNCH FACE
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:21 PM on February 23 [151 favorites]


your own
personal
priebus
posted by murphy slaw at 1:23 PM on February 23 [112 favorites]


Someone to hear you Hail
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:24 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


I'd make a joke about Trump and I Feel You but I think that would be in poor taste.
posted by Justinian at 1:25 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]




Stop helping them ruin good music
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:26 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Between rec pot and the border tax, he's going to lose that 7% that's kept him from only being the guru of the crazification factor crowd, and if he loses the grin-and-bear-it Rs, not enough warm bodies will make it to the poles in 2018 to keep the house. If Rs lose the house, it's going to be two straight years of investigations.
posted by eclectist at 1:27 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


“The key (according to the six campaign alums) is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk.

It is, perhaps, at least mildly concerning that the President has developed a working relationship with his staff in which he has, essentially, required them to lie to him on a near-daily basis about what people think of his actions and the state of the world and popular opinion.
posted by cjelli at 1:27 PM on February 23 [50 favorites]


Between rec pot and the border tax, he's going to lose that 7% that's kept him from only being the guru of the crazification factor crowd, and if he loses the grin-and-bear-it Rs, not enough warm bodies will make it to the poles in 2018 to keep the house. If Rs lose the house, it's going to be two straight years of investigations.

Am hoping you make it across the line before the declaration of martial law. We may all live.
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]




the pot thing probably lost him half of the /pol/ crowd but unfortunately they don't remember to register to vote so it doesn't matter
posted by murphy slaw at 1:33 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Attorney General Sessions has rescinded Obama DOJ memo on phasing out use of private prisons.

Apparently, state's rights? I dunno.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:35 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


Willie Nelson, now is your time to shine
posted by angrycat at 1:36 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Whenever there's this I don't get why they are still so opposed to legal pot stuff comes up I feel like there's a lot of commenters who don't get just how much of a puritan streak there continues to be in this country. There's a not insignificant bunch of teetotallers who would be delighted to support a return to prohibition. They don't rise to the level of the crazification factor, but there's enough of them that they make for useful idiots when it comes to existing operations pushing their protectionism.

One of the ways they've helped the established booze manufacturers is by consistently turning out against any efforts to loosen restrictions. They want to stop any drinking they can. The big manufacturers want to keep restrictions that they have already set up shop within. Within Florida, when I was a resident there, there was a decades long struggle to remove restrictions that limited beer sales to certain sizes, all imperial measurements. So if you were a manufacturer who bottled 0.5L you were shit out of luck. Never mind that the size was actually smaller than a 20oz, much less a perfectly legal 40oz. The letter of the law said those were the sizes and Anheuser-Busch and their lobbying dollars preferred not to have the microbrew competition.

Those same puritanical dickheads will happily turn out against weed and help the pharma and alcohol lobbies protect their fiefdoms. And organizations will happily adopt their language to enlist them, no matter how inane it is. Case in point, again Florida (because I was googling to find the info on the fight in the previous decade and came up with this) - there's a move to open up alcohol sales to groceries and big boxes, a la California. Here's a piece from the editorial supporting it, with the organization name redacted.
The bill's opponents, including [redacted], argue that allowing liquor sales in stores like Wal-Mart will lead to an increase in crime and underage drinking.

"If you have spirits readily available inside a Target or a Wal-Mart, it invites underage kids," executive director Rory Eggers told us. "Not to mention the employees who work in those chains — they can hire anyone 16 and up." Article here
Who said that? Alcoholics Anonymous? The American Liver Preservation society?

Nope. The Florida Independent Spirits Association, the state trade organization for independent alcohol retailers. They didn't even exist before this measure started being discussed in 2013 and they say so right up front on their website.

But they're happy to work the what about the children angle and you can be sure that they'll pull the same thing out when it comes to legal weed which might take away from their business.

Also, look at the map of how many dry or partially dry counties there are. Those laws don't hang around because there's nobody supporting them. The wiki article also points out that there's a lot of evidence that seems to indicate they're more harm than good and that they're missing out on tax revenue. Yet they persist.

And I might point out, look at where they are. A lot of overlap with the folks who support this administration.

The buckle-hats may be long gone but a lot of puritanism remains, including with regard to recreational substances. They'll fight every expansion tooth and nail and the people of power - who can always get their stuff and afford their lawyers - will throw them a bone if it keeps the votes coming.
posted by phearlez at 1:37 PM on February 23 [47 favorites]


The whole pot thing came up over at the_donald during the transition, when Sessions's appointment was announced. That was the first time (and only time IIRC), their shell cracked. The white boys were in a panic about it until the mods shut it down and forced their focus back to worshiping dear leader.

If Trump actually does anything to crack down, he's going to lose a substantial portion of the pepe vote. They don't care about the racism, the incompetence, or the proto-fascist behavior. But God forbid someone try to take away their bong.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:37 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


State's rights are another one of those things Republicans pretend to give a shit about but don't actually give a shit about, like budgets and personal responsibility.
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


woody harrelson taking a giant dump on the white house lawn, you know he's just crazy enough to do it
posted by murphy slaw at 1:37 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


The marijuana/opioid misdirect is another alternative fact, according to this tweet.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:37 PM on February 23


Dorm posters featuring fractals and dope leaves to be made illegal.
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


The irony being that one of the things we could do to curb illegal immigration and crime would be to legalize marijuana and cut off the profit of the cartels, thereby reducing crime in Mexico and the US and making it less likely people would sneak over the border. We don't care about actually doing something that'd matter though, let's just build a wall.
posted by mikesch at 1:38 PM on February 23 [21 favorites]


Effectiveness has never been a concern for Republicans in the slightest. Give them a choice where they can hurt people and a choice that achieves one of their alleged goals and they'd pick the former every time.

(It's part of why they hate any kind of measurement of success. That and their general war on objective reality as a whole.)
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on February 23 [20 favorites]


one of the things we could do to curb illegal immigration and crime would be to legalize marijuana and cut off the profit of the cartels

Don't ever forget how much money and employment there is in enforcement. A lot of the forces supporting continuing prohibition don't want there to be a reduction.
posted by phearlez at 1:42 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


smoking pot is not volkish, yo

Meth, on the other hand, is an incredibly Nazi drug.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:44 PM on February 23 [26 favorites]


The buckle-hats may be long gone but a lot of puritanism remains, including with regard to recreational substances.

If you watch the clip of Sessions I linked above, it's quite clear that he is FURIOUS at the very thought of a US Attorney not being 100% opposed to legalization. He is a true believer, and he knows that God is on his side, and that we are the wicked and the heathens who will be cast down when the Lord returneth, likely within 4 years.
posted by Gaz Errant at 1:44 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


I feel like there's a lot of commenters who don't get just how much of a puritan streak there continues to be in this country.

While I agree there is a latent puritanical streak, I feel that most of this stance against marijuana can be easily understood by just hating minorities and "hippies" (liberals, natch.)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:44 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Lots of bavarian marching powder at the top, plus a big trough of gin for Bannon to plunge his face into.
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on February 23


States' Rights: important when controlling where children and teens can use the bathroom, unimportant when controlling substances less harmful than tobacco
posted by flatluigi at 1:46 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


is this confirmation bias, or is this administration doing more work to overturn the efforts of the immediately previous administration than any other in history?

i swear that there have been more announcements of rollbacks of obama-era laws than there have been concrete policy proposals.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:49 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


While I agree there is a latent puritanical streak, I feel that most of this stance against marijuana can be easily understood by just hating minorities and "hippies" (liberals, natch.)

Most of them are old enough to be ex hippies now. Most of them are.
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on February 23


Dorm posters featuring fractals and dope leaves to be made illegal.

goddammit I'm trying to BUILD A BRAND over here
posted by cortex at 1:49 PM on February 23 [38 favorites]


nobody hates hippies more than ex-hippies.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:50 PM on February 23 [16 favorites]


Also, look at the map of how many dry or partially dry counties there are. Those laws don't hang around because there's nobody supporting them.

Absolutely. But the people who want booze will go to the nearest county to buy booze. Or if they're smart, the next county over, because there's less chance of meeting someone you know at the liquor store. Anyway, overlay that map with opioid counties.

If you think of pot in terms of 2016 being The Last Boomer Fight -- especially with Jefferson Beauregard as a noxious combination of Boomer and dixieflag -- then the reefer madness stuff falls into ugly context. It's equal parts "fuck you, hippies" and racist. Though it won't affect the white frat boys of Tuscaloosa, because it never has.
posted by holgate at 1:50 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


I think Trump will be surprised how much support the pot thing will cost them. It's not going to be a huge number, but it'll be a bleed on his numbers on the scale of a couple of percent, which could flip a lot of purple countries.

I'm not thinking of the Pepe crowd here, actually, although of course they're the part of the Trump coalition that's gonna be the most vocally pissed about it. But there are definitely folks in rural areas who were hoping that weed growing could provide a source of income or have benefitted from weed use for chronic pain.

Not saying "surely, this", but I do think that it combines with a number of other unpopular moves his administration is making to create some problems for GOP turnout in the midterms.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:51 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


murphy slaw - well, you see, they're not really capable of much of anything because they are all massively incompetent and nobody competent wants to work with them. So they are reduced to this shit.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on February 23


Does anyone know why #feedthekids is trending against DeVos? Did she say something about hot lunches?
posted by prefpara at 1:51 PM on February 23


Meet the dapper young nazis banning your pot.
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know why #feedthekids is trending against DeVos? Did she say something about hot lunches?

She said some stupid ass garbage about being the first to tell Bernie Sanders there was no such thing as a free lunch.
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


I figured it out, it seems to be because she introduced herself at CPAC as "perhaps the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there is no such thing as a free lunch." Now people are tweeting at her about how important free lunches actually are.
posted by prefpara at 1:53 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


It's okay, because those are school lunches and she's going to be getting rid of schools.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


The best way to get new and effective gun controls is for... black and brown people to start tooling up with some determination.
It worked to get Reagan on the gun-control bandwagon.
posted by MtDewd at 1:54 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


you're right betsy, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

that's why we're going to hold you by your ankles and shake you until enough change falls out to feed the poorest kids in the country for a year.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:55 PM on February 23 [28 favorites]


Scoured /r/the_donald for posts re: recreational weed states. They're downvoting/removing all of them pretty quickly. The posts I found (all under "new") were 2 confused and vaguely concerned people wanting some real information that isn't from the lamestream media, plus one other post, verbatim:

Let me unpack what Spicer said about enforcing Marijuana laws for the pacific northwest Antifa Commies and the 9th Circuit.

Keep fucking with Trump's immigration EOs and he's going to enforce laws against your legal recreational use you fucking anarchist trouble-makers.


I think this shitheel has got it right: pure revenge and spite is the motivation here.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:57 PM on February 23 [17 favorites]


I think almost standing up for trans rights then not was supposed to make her look like less of a contemptible jackass and really it's had the opposite effect. Fuck this spineless waste of space.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]



What the heck are all these US pot haters gonna do when Canada legalizes it, likely this year or next year? Go bonkers I guess?
posted by Jalliah at 1:58 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


What the heck are all these US pot haters gonna do when Canada legalizes it, likely this year or next year? Go bonkers I guess?


Build a wall on the northern border to stop all the pot smuggling from Canada, I suppose.
posted by suelac at 1:59 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


You know.. there's a lot of open land in western Canada. If they just grew huge fields of pot, and then, when the wind was right; just lit it all on fire, maybe the United States could just mellow the fuck out for a little while.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:00 PM on February 23 [80 favorites]


I bet Trudeau backtracks on that, too; you think he won't be under U.S. pressure to reverse course on that?
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:00 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


there are definitely folks in rural areas who were hoping that weed growing could provide a source of income or have benefitted from weed use for chronic pain.

I wonder what Jefferson Beauregard plans on doing to police national parks and forests for pot growers? SE Kentucky was notorious for grow-ops in the underbrush during the 00s.
posted by holgate at 2:00 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


what do you mean by "go" bonkers
posted by murphy slaw at 2:00 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


But there are definitely folks in rural areas who were hoping that weed growing could provide a source of income or have benefitted from weed use for chronic pain.

There are some small towns around here (Colorado) that might have one stop sign and one gas station and 3 dispensaries. They've been making bank, and Trump yanking that rug out is likely go over as well as putting a fracking pad next to the high school.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:05 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


> You know.. there's a lot of open land in western Canada. If they just grew huge fields of pot, and then, when the wind was right; just lit it all on fire, maybe the United States could just mellow the fuck out for a little while.

The west coast is already hella mellow, though. You've got to waft it all the way over to the midwest and south somehow.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:07 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Rubio skedaddles from demonstrator over skipping town halls

ha ha. He lied about being in Europe and thought nobody would notice.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on February 23 [29 favorites]



I bet Trudeau backtracks on that, too; you think he won't be under U.S. pressure to reverse course on that?


Oh probably. I'm expecting it to at least be put on hold (officially or unofficially) until NAFTA is sorted and am reluctantly okay with that because I know that us legalizing it could and would likely be used as a leverage. Keeping my figures cross that it won't be dropped altogether considering that the will is there right now and a lot of work has already been done on figuring out how to do it.

Be super pissed if it is dropped because of Trump and this admin of stupid evil. It's just so stupid not to legalized it. Everywhere I've been in Canada people just treat it like they due alcohol. It's everywhere already, might as well just legal it and be done.
posted by Jalliah at 2:09 PM on February 23


Re: dry counties. So when we moved out to this rural county it was "damp" meaning beer and wine were fine but not hard liquor. You could buy it in a store, just not serve it in public. But very few people who lived here knew that, because mostly people go to the larger towns in other counties to 'go out'. Then a Mexican restaurant opened that served margaritas made with real Tequila. And they had to explain to everyone ordering one that in order to be served they had to sign a paper officially joining their private club. And explained that none of the other margaritas in town actually contained Tequila but were wine or malt liquor based. And once everyone realized what the law was, and that it was pointless, it was changed within a couple years.
posted by threeturtles at 2:10 PM on February 23 [33 favorites]


And explained that none of the other margaritas in town actually contained Tequila but were wine or malt liquor based.

Now I understand why these people hate Mexico so much.
posted by theodolite at 2:11 PM on February 23 [50 favorites]


There are some small towns around here (Colorado) that might have one stop sign and one gas station and 3 dispensaries.

Colorado made $1B in marijuana sales last year. The taxes have made an incredible difference in these communities.

Funny how everything is all about states' rights until it's counter to the GOP.
posted by mochapickle at 2:12 PM on February 23 [32 favorites]



Plus my little town is set to be pot factory world, already one medical factory being set up and several more in the process. It's connected with the nuclear industry here. Big nuclear plant, excess heat, heats pot greenhouses. I find this quite hilarious because it's not two industries that you'd think would work together. Cracks me up.
posted by Jalliah at 2:13 PM on February 23 [16 favorites]


CA, OR, WA, CO, NV, AK, ME, and MA would make a pretty kickass breakaway republic.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:14 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


I'm expecting mostly selective enforcement used against 'troublemakers,' for all of the economic reasons mentioned. Legal pot is one of the obvious sources of untapped revenue and economic activity, and one of the few things it's safe to be in favor of taxing on the right.

(Plus, that's how Sessions-style good-old-boy enforcement works anyway.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:15 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


CA, OR, WA, CO, NV, AK and MA would make a pretty kickass breakaway republic.

As long as nothing happens to their precarious water-management systems.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:16 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


As long as nothing happens to their precarious water-management systems.

If you snag a little bit of ID and MT then you control the Columbia watershed. Not that I've thought about this or anything.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:18 PM on February 23 [31 favorites]


This is about as clear a summary of what Bannon is doing as I've seen: "If you look at these Cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason--and that is deconstruction"

Just so it's clear, that quote is from Bannon himself (at CPAC today). His goal, again in his own words, is the "deconstruction of the administrative state".
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:18 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


He's monologuing. Will be wearing a cape next.
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Do Republicans ever think "hang on, there are bits of the federal government that do things we need and are there for a purpose" or is that utterly beyond them now?
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


As long as nothing happens to their precarious water-management systems.

MA is self-sufficient in water. Most of the Boston area gets its water from the Quabbin Reservoir, the largest drinking-water-only reservoir in the country, and it's officially the best tasting tap water there is. The rest of the state largely depends on the fact that we have decent aquifers (glaciers for the win!) and decent rain/snowfall. Well, usually.
posted by adamg at 2:23 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


CA, OR, WA, CO, AK and MA would make a pretty kickass breakaway republic.

Secession is not now, nor was it ever, a viable answer to the country's ills.
posted by cjelli at 2:24 PM on February 23 [16 favorites]




Do Republicans ever think "hang on, there are bits of the federal government that do things we need and are there for a purpose" or is that utterly beyond them now?


Pretty much just for the military.
posted by drezdn at 2:24 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Secession is not now, nor was it ever, a viable answer to the country's ills.

Can we at least just keep all our money?
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Weed arrests will boost the prison industry nicely and also make sure that undocumented people get a criminal record so they can be deported more quickly.
posted by gladly at 2:26 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Bannon looks like the living dead. His eyes are glassed over and his pallor is that of rotting flesh. Easily one of the most unhealthy people I've ever seen. Why this person is guiding this country when he cannot maintain his own health astounds me.
posted by kuatto at 2:26 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Secession is not now, nor was it ever, a viable answer to the country's ills.

When one of two conjoined twins dies, the correct course of action is to separate them.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:26 PM on February 23 [17 favorites]


When one of two conjoined twins dies, the correct course of action is to separate them.

This metaphor only works if we imagine portions of each conjoined twin are dead and portions of each are alive and when we separate them all of one will die and all of the other will come back to life. And we like the living parts in both so we're separating them knowing we're letting parts we like die.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:30 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


I've been wondering for a while, do people overstate the extent of private prisons in the criminal justice system? A cursory search finds this from the ACLU:


According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for-profit companies were responsible for approximately 7 percent of state prisoners and 18 percent of federal prisoners in 2015 (the most recent numbers currently available). U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported that in 2016, private prisons held nearly three-quarters of federal immigration detainees.


The last part is kind of sickening. Someone is indeed going to get rich off the recently announced clampdown.
posted by thelonius at 2:30 PM on February 23 [21 favorites]


I mean if you are all for helping undocumented immigrants have a better life, I don't get the fantasies about abandoning all of us in the non progressive states.
posted by Tarumba at 2:30 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


What're you going to do with states that have partial legality (medical, decriminalization, etc)? That gets you to c. 60% of the US by population. (And now includes MT, ND, AR)
posted by nat at 2:31 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]




Abusive assholes, no matter how unhealthy, never die as fast as everyone wants them to. Still I have hopes, Bannon looks pretty bad.
posted by emjaybee at 2:32 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


No fair talking about changing borders on Terminalia. Concedo nulli.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:32 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Do Republicans ever think "hang on, there are bits of the federal government that do things we need and are there for a purpose" or is that utterly beyond them now?

Nah, it's just a death-cult now
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:33 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Why this person is guiding this country when he cannot maintain his own health astounds me.

Well, if he dies, he dies.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:34 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Weed arrests will boost the prison industry nicely

DingDingDing! Just like the only hardon that was ever there for weed was really just masking racism, keeping weed illegal actually fills multiple roles in these peoples' dystopic view of the future.

Someone is indeed going to get rich off the recently announced clampdown.

See previous. I know that the GOP used to be about a whole miasma of shitty ideals, but now it's really just 'How can we set up the shortest-lived kleptocracy and get as rich as we're going to get before it all comes crashing down, one way or another?' Which probably really burns up folks like McCain and Graham, but, y'know, it's not like those guys don't have agency over their own actions...
posted by eclectist at 2:35 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Tarumba: I mean if you are all for helping undocumented immigrants have a better life, I don't get the fantasies about abandoning all of us in the non progressive states.

I'm not calling for it now but I think that in the very long run it's something that might have to be considered if things get bad enough. I'm also in a nonprogressive state, by the way, don't intend to abandon anybody, and plan to stay and fight the tide. But if the worst starts to happen, I would prefer that there be somewhere safer to flee to for anybody threatened by the regime. If the options end up being 1) having a country that's unsafe everywhere and 2) two countries, one of which is safe and one unsafe, I will choose the latter.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:35 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


When one of two conjoined twins dies, the correct course of action is to separate them.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:26 PM on February 23 [3 favorites +] [!]


Secession only works if you think the West Coast can win the subsequent civil war. and if we do win, the United States stays together — though perhaps with the capital moved to Sacramento.

I don't think we could win the subsequent civil war.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:35 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Rush the Rockies.
posted by vbfg at 2:40 PM on February 23


I've been wondering for a while, do people overstate the extent of private prisons in the criminal justice system?

In some other thread I said we wouldn't be getting something so obvious as a 'concentration camp' because we don't need to - we already put about 1% of our population in camps and we've been doing it for decades, they're called prisons. We are so astonishingly far and away the country with the biggest prison population in the world that it's absolutely astounding, and we use those prisoners for slave labor, and pretty much everybody thinks of this as totally ok.

Per Wikipedia: While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world's population, it houses around 22 percent of the world's prisoners.

The government isn't going to put people in cattle cars, they are going to put them in prison buses and many if not most Americans won't bat an eye because that's just how we do things here.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:41 PM on February 23 [36 favorites]


The Washington Post: Altars of Madness works really well
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:41 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Does anyone really think that President Bannon wouldn't nuke San Francisco given half a chance?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:42 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


My working theory on Bannon is that he cannot die and that is why he hates us all. He's basically just one big immortal tumor in the shape of a man at this point.
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Speaking of marijuana, I actually learned quite a few things from this Adam Ruins Everything video. The John Ehrlichman quote was particularly chilling.

tl;dw = We've known marijuana isn't dangerous for nearly 80 years, but it is criminalized because people in power hated Mexicans, blacks, and people who were against Vietnam.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 2:42 PM on February 23 [41 favorites]


Take a minute to enjoy this clip of the Sports Highlight of the Day: A BLM leader doing a flying leap to take out a Confederate flag during protests against Bree Newsome at the College of Charleston. As per usual, Republicans are all, "we won, get over it!" until it comes to the Confederate flag...
posted by TwoStride at 2:45 PM on February 23 [69 favorites]


Priebus has a point about Bannon, his weird bush ranger outfit does have about six collars on it.
posted by Artw at 2:47 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Some interesting stuff here, though I'll warn you it gets into some fairly technical details of Congressional procedure: The Republican Congress Is Courting a Major Crisis (and an even more arcane technical discussion about a 10 year sunset on Twitter, if the Byrd Rule is the kind of thing that interests you).

In short, Republicans had a little plan going that tied together the Obamacare repeal and tax cuts so they could produce a (on paper) revenue neutral plan they could force through with 50 votes under reconciliation, but if they don't outright repeal Obamacare in the next couple of months, that all falls apart. If they hold off repealing the ACA in favor of a temporary (10 year) tax cut through reconciliation, they're risking an even bigger mess if they can't also get the debt limit raised this summer.
posted by zachlipton at 2:49 PM on February 23 [16 favorites]


Wall Street has been anticipating the prison thing since the election. GEO and CWX have about doubled since November.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 2:50 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


I know it's a bit off topic but the ACLU just won an immediate stop to solitary confinement of children in our county jail! So much hard work and organizing and protests went into this, so if you feel discouraged remember that things can change.
posted by SyraCarol at 2:50 PM on February 23 [74 favorites]


In short, Republicans had a little plan going that tied together the Obamacare repeal and tax cuts so they could produce a (on paper) revenue neutral plan they could force through with 50 votes under reconciliation, but if they don't outright repeal Obamacare in the next couple of months, that all falls apart. If they hold off repealing the ACA in favor of a temporary (10 year) tax cut through reconciliation, they're risking an even bigger mess if they can't also get the debt limit raised this summer.

Hmm.

Wonder if this could be their excuse to punt on it?
posted by Artw at 2:51 PM on February 23


If they do, and they would be smart to so who knows if they will, thank everybody who turned up at a town hall for putting the fear of god into them.
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]




Zachlipton, this bit of your link is sheer fantasy:
In the political climate Democrats currently inhabit—in a climate of outrage over Trump’s racism, corruption, and viciousness—it’s very hard to imagine them saying “let bygones be bygones” and bailing out the GOP with an unreciprocated debt limit increase.

posted by Joe in Australia at 3:01 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Indeed, its not hard to imagine the Democrats doing anything spineless. If a spine is not involved, a portion of the Democrats will be all in.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:03 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


True. The most likely scenario is that Democrats agree to a debt limit increase in exchange for allowing Elizabeth Warren to give a strongly worded, but not too strongly worded, speech to an empty chamber.
posted by zachlipton at 3:07 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


> Attorney General Sessions has rescinded Obama DOJ memo on phasing out use of private prisons.

Pay Attention to This Particular Part of Jeff Sessions' Private Prison Memo. The future sounds bleak.
posted by homunculus at 3:09 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Any reason to just increase the debt limit is a good reason.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:10 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Priebus has a point about Bannon, his weird bush ranger outfit does have about six collars on it.

I had to go back and look and it is SO WEIRD. It's like the normal amount of buttons and collars couldn't fully contain him. Six collars is the new fringed flag.
posted by mochapickle at 3:12 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


This dapper nazi wears all the clothes he owns simultaneously.
posted by Artw at 3:14 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Oh hey. It's been like a week since we've had a leak in the ongoing "make Ivanka and Jared less hated in Manhattan" campaign, which makes up in volume what it lacks in subtlety. Today it's the WSJ with Kushner, Ivanka Trump Pushed to Remove Words Critical of Climate Deal From Executive Order

It's still going to be two executive orders rolling back Obama's climate initiatives, and Trump has still picked Pruitt to lead the EPA, and Trump still called climate change a Chinese hoax, and Jared and Ivanka still support every bit of his administration to the extent that one of them continues to serve in it and the other one just keeps showing up in meetings randomly, but don't worry, liberal friends of Ivanka and Jared: they're totally on your side here. The totally-not-self-serving leak said so.
posted by zachlipton at 3:16 PM on February 23 [40 favorites]


If you push to do something, and you don't do something, then it's like you never did something and in fact accepted doing the opposite, so fuck those losers. Dumbass pointless hangers on to the nazi regime.
posted by Artw at 3:17 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories

White House officials had sought the help of the bureau and other agencies investigating the Russia matter to say that the reports were wrong and that there had been no contacts, the officials said.

The reports of the contacts were first published by The New York Times and CNN on February 14.
The direct communications between the White House and the FBI were unusual because of decade-old restrictions on such contacts. Such a request from the White House is a violation of procedures that limit communications with the FBI on pending investigations.

posted by futz at 3:19 PM on February 23 [56 favorites]


Pay Attention to This Particular Part of Jeff Sessions' Private Prison Memo. The future sounds bleak.

Well, the neo-Confederates and ancaps (but I repeat myself) will be happy that their boy with the name full of traitors is Making Slavery Great Again.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:21 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]




Priebus has a point about Bannon, his weird bush ranger outfit does have about six collars on it.

It's his life support system for functional alcoholism on the go. Each coat has a flask in the pocket, so as the day progresses and the booze warms him from the inside he can successively remove layers and access the next flask, keeping him comfortable and staving off the DT's.
posted by contraption at 3:25 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


If you deport all of the immigrants, the lettuce has to get picked by someone. What gives me chills is the thought of private prisons selling the labor of their inmates. As we all know, USAG Sessions has always approved of chain gangs so this is all lining up nicely for them. Selective arrests of POC for pot use (undoubtedly bumped up to charges of dealing) sent to private prison and thus we will have slavery in America whether we like it or not.

In short, Republicans had a little plan going that tied together the Obamacare repeal and tax cuts so they could produce a (on paper) revenue neutral plan they could force through with 50 votes under reconciliation, but if they don't outright repeal Obamacare in the next couple of months, that all falls apart.

The Byrd Rule means that in order to make the tax cuts permanent they have to make them revenue neutral (or pass them with a filibuster-proof majority.) There were actually three parts to making the tax cuts revenue neutral:

1. Fancy bookwork to magically make the taxes neutral
2. Repeal ACA
3. Establish border tariffs.

They can still pull off the voodoo magic with the bookkeeping-- that's just fudging the figures-- but the other two are dead in the water. They won't repeal the ACA in time and the border tariffs seem very unlikely at this point because WalMart and other major importers are crying foul. So they can still pass massive tax cuts but they will expire in 10 years just like the Bush tax cuts did under Obama and those massive tax cuts are going to mean that the deficit is going to grow not shrink as the Freedom Caucus has been demanding.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:26 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories

As Chris Hayes just noted: "This is a Big Big Big FD"

The FBI is not the White House's PR machine and doesn't exist to get them out of jams. That they would request such a thing in the middle of an active investigation is horrifying. And apparently, if you do try to use the FBI as your PR machine, they're going to leak it right back at you.
posted by zachlipton at 3:28 PM on February 23 [71 favorites]


This would never happen in Putin's Russia!
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


After Comey, it kind of surprises me that the FBI is not just saying "Hey guys, sure thing!"
posted by emjaybee at 3:30 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


My mental image of Comey is something like a spycraft Mr. Magoo
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:32 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


I like how Rolling Stone describes Spencer as:

white nationalist and unofficial Alt-Right leader whose previous connection to music was getting punched in the head repeatedly to different songs

It's really time for a whole lot of brand new Spencer-gets-punched-to-Depeche-Mode-songs videos, methinks, because lord knows ♫ I just can't get enough ♫ Nazi punching!
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:32 PM on February 23 [20 favorites]


This is a fun detail:
he White House official said that Priebus later reached out again to McCabe and to FBI Director James Comey asking for the FBI to at least talk to reporters on background to dispute the stories. A law enforcement official says McCabe didn't discuss aspects of the case but wouldn't say exactly what McCabe told Priebus.
That was the same Priebus who recently objected to anonymous sources.
posted by zachlipton at 3:32 PM on February 23 [21 favorites]




/r/the_donald is picking up more on the legal weed crackdown story and some posts are actually sticking around long enough for commenting. Maybe 25% of the discussion is "LOL lib tears" and "well, congress must first decide to reschedule, it's the law" and "good, degeneracy must be stifled." 75% of the overall tone, however, is "NOOOO! How do we tell Sessions and the God-Emperor that this is a huge mistake?!"

I really do think that he's at risk of losing many to most of his younger supporters if this goes forward.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:34 PM on February 23 [16 favorites]


Harvard scientist worries we’re ‘reverting to a pre-Enlightenment form of thinking’

Republicans have been there for a good 20 years.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


I'm in favor of banning weed specifically for anybody who has ever posted a Pepe meme.
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on February 23 [21 favorites]


The Byrd Rule means that in order to make the tax cuts permanent they have to make them revenue neutral (or pass them with a filibuster-proof majority.) There were actually three parts to making the tax cuts revenue neutral:

It looks to me, though (after extensive research into parliamentary procedure a quick perusal of "Byrd Rule") that invoking the Rule sends the portion of legislation in question to... the Presiding Officer -- a.k.a. Mike Pence or the President pro tem, who makes a ruling on whether it qualifies to be passed under reconciliation.

This decision can then be overturned only on a 60-person vote.

So, assuming there are No More Norms, what's to stop Pence from ruling however the hell he wants? Will any American who's already not anti-Trump GAF that the Byrd Rule was blatantly misused in a harrowing parliamentary caper?

I'm open to the charge that I'm being overly cynical, but...
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:38 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


also, I'd like propose a 'Bird Rule'. As you have probably imagined, it involves congresscritters, birds and bees
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:40 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Why did Spicer answer the weed question anyway? He could have easily just said: "we'll continue to enforce the law, and any specific questions about how that is done should be directed to the Department of Justice." He went out of his way to draw the distinction between medical and recreational and to link it to opioid abuse. It's weird that he chose to make a point out of it.
posted by zachlipton at 3:41 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


i'm getting kind of bored of the richard spencer getting punched videos i think someone needs to punch him on camera again to keep the meme fresh
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:42 PM on February 23 [46 favorites]


Trump still believes that Caitlyn Jenner can use the women's bathroom in Trump Tower, because "state's rights."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:11 PM on February 23

My immediate thought when I read this was that Trump has no imagination and no empathy. Sure she can use the woman's bathroom in NY but what happens if she travels to a state that doesn't allow transgendered people to use the bathroom of their choice? Caitlyn Jenner will be forced to use the men's bathroom-- no doubt to jeers and dirty looks and angry invective. I really think DJT lacks the imagination to put himself into her shoes.

Also "States Rights" are only going to go so far. When the GOP is able to overturn Roe vs. Wade and access to abortion is decided by each state, how long until the Far Right Christians are crying about the murder of sweet, sweet babies in California?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:43 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


A woman who went to the Tom Emmer townhall (that I touched on upthread) just made a great post about attending townhalls in a secret facebook group I belong to. She said it's okay to copy and share:

WHAT I LEARNED AT EMMER'S TOWNHALL:

1. Call/Email your Representatives Chief of Staff to get future townhalls scheduled (they are the gatekeepers. they set the meeting schedule with special interest groups as well as townhalls with their constituency). Be a respectful pain in their toosh and get them to set a townhall for EVERY District Work Week for EVERY Rep for this session. (see attached calendar for dates. the next one is 4/10-4/21). Remind them that your Congressional Rep represents YOU not companies, organizations, and special interests and that you are watching.

2. Know the capacity of the venue chosen for townhalls. Be sure those that get in at the front of the line are prepared to speak, prepared to listen, prepared to follow up with questions when they dodge.

3. I'm not outright claiming they planted question-ers, but they called on known people whom the congressman had previously spoken with at other events over the years to ask questions (some of which were friendly). Emmers comments suggested he had previously spoken with 4 or 5 on another occassion, which was frustrating for THIS first time townhaller.

4. Use Agree/Disagree signs vs yelling. Dont give them an excuse to close it down and run away

5. If you ask a question and they dont give a straight answer, ask it again. dont ask and then sit down or give back/walk away from a microphone. Tell them they are not answering the question to your satisfaction and ask again. and again

6. Remind them they work for US, the voting public. Companies and special interest groups are NOT the voting public

7. Arrive very early if you want to get in. Be willing to give up your spot in line if someone needs to have a their story told/question asked and you feel WE are better served allowing their voice heard over you own. Check your ego as we work towards common goals. We sang patriotic songs, we held signs, we waved flags, we were interviewed by reporters, we passed out Agree/Disagree signs, we wore name tags with our zipcodes, we had masking tape saying "censored by Tom" ready to put on our mouths if he cancelled or ended early. Visuals matter.

8. There were Trumpers (who arrived late, drunk, were annoying) and they tried to budge in front of those who had been there for 3hrs+ in line. One even hit someone I knew during the meeting! Don't engage with them. do NOT escalate. do NOT let the 'news' be that it was chaotic and violent. Support the police to keep the peace. We had 'marshals' (volunteers) wearing green vests present that formed a human line near the entrance in front of the late-comers and just stood their so the police could allow those who had been waiting in. The police were really really great in Sartell.

9.Take Action MN offered a training in St. Cloud prior to this townhall and was present helping organize the crowd. I would HIGHLY recommend every district schedule a few trainings with them for your area. Great training on how to ask questions effectively, crowd control etc. Team leads do this now.

10. Remember they work for you. you are the boss. I personally walked up to Emmer right after the meeting and gave him my hand to shake. He would've shook it and went on to the next but I didn't let go of his hand. I complimented him on hosting the event and just launched right into what I would've asked. He let me talk to him for 3-4 minutes even though there were people waiting. They are loathe to look dismissive of their constituents in front of the media. Take advantage. be respectful.

11. PLEASE show up at EVERY event your rep has scheduled during their District Work Weeks (April 10-21, May 8-12, May 30-June 2, July 3-7, the ENTIRE month of August, Sept 18-22, Oct 16-20, Nov 20-24 (plus the preceding and following weekends of these dates) SHOW UP with signs, chants, questions, be present. Talk to the aides, to the chief of staff, to the media.

12. Write letters to the editor

13. Tweet @ your rep during the events and share/tag the media

14. live stream interactions

15. Take initiative. Do what you can and don't necessarily wait for someone else to organize. This is grassroots. We will get better at the organizing and better networked but for now do what you can. We all have our own way, talents, interests, comfort zones. Be it calling, emailing, showing up with a sign, making postcards, etc. Get involved how you authentically feel comfortable. And then challenge yourself to do a tiny bit more. Pretty soon you'll be feeling more empowered and this will not all seem so foreign for us 'nice' Minnesotans (I personally printed off some of those AGREE/DISAGREE signs, cost very little, but they got used. No one told me to. I just heard the suggestion somewhere in the past weeks and did it). Take initiative.

posted by triggerfinger at 3:45 PM on February 23 [104 favorites]


Please take two minutes and watch this silent (and very, very disciplined) protest yesterday in Bangor, Maine pushing Senator Collins to hold a public town hall. (Here's a slightly different view posted on Facebook.)

if any of you are able to get this further distribution in the world, Indivisible Bangor would appreciate it.
posted by anastasiav at 3:45 PM on February 23 [56 favorites]


So, assuming there are No More Norms, what's to stop Pence from ruling however the hell he wants? Will any American who's already not anti-Trump GAF that the Byrd Rule was blatantly misused in a harrowing parliamentary caper?
I don't know, tivalasvegas. I had the same thought. Perhaps it is enshrined enough that they would risk losing the tax cuts the minute the Democrats retake the House or the Presidency?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:46 PM on February 23


Assuming continuance of democracy
posted by Artw at 3:48 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I've never seen anyone with less ability to fake his way through his job than Spicer. He is always sweaty, flailing and desperate.
posted by emjaybee at 3:50 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Harvard scientist worries we’re ‘reverting to a pre-Enlightenment form of thinking’

My dad (for those playing the home game, he's an academic as well, in a relevant field, but he's also an Objectivist, so) said this right after the election, but heavily implied it's the Left's fault. He seems to have completely missed the evolution of both political poles over the past decade, and I'm not sure how to even begin trying to explain it to him. Or if I should bother.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:51 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


i'm getting kind of bored of the richard spencer getting punched videos i think someone needs to punch him on camera again to keep the meme fresh

That's just mean, advocating violence against this guy. There are lots of other Nazis.
posted by bongo_x at 3:52 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


As much as CPAC is about the Trumpists having taken over the party, some things are sacred: CPAC has an anti-border adjustment tax snapchat filter. Paid for by the group "Americans for Affordable Products" (various retailers including Wal-Mart and Target and import-related trade organizations).
posted by zachlipton at 3:54 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Follow up on the woman in Fort Worth (well in the Alvarado detention center) who has a brain tumor.

Her attorney is still fighting and Amnesty International has gotten involved. There is quite a lot of media attention on this, let's keep it up.
posted by emjaybee at 3:55 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Have they established what kind of dangerous criminal or drug lord she is yet?
posted by Artw at 3:56 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Yeah I'm going to continue to assume that we will still have a functional Democracy after Trump. I know some here doubt this but I do think there are not enough of them to pull off a coup. Americans still, by and large, view this country as a strong Democratic Nation with a historically revered Constitution. Even if they gerrymander and do their best to keep POC from voting, we will still have elections.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:57 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


1. Fancy bookwork to magically make the taxes neutral

They're already all over this one: Mnuchin signaled that administration will count tax-cut as "revenue neutral" by using higher economic growth estimates than others accept. Just declare that tax cuts cause 25% annual economic growth and you can pay for anything with tax cuts! Who cares that it's never once worked, ever?
posted by zachlipton at 3:57 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


Update on that story about immigration agents checking IDs from passengers getting off a domestic flight: n
Federal agents ask domestic flight passengers to show IDs in search for undocumented immigrant
. CBP was looking for a specific person with a deportation order at the request of ICE, but that person was not on the flight.

This could raise some significant questions about whether passenger manifests for domestic flights will be used for immigration enforcement, as domestic air travel is currently possible, though always risky, for undocumented people. Cutting them off from domestic air travel through increased enforcement operations would be a huge problem for a lot of people.
posted by zachlipton at 4:02 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Checking in from the rally at Stonewall to support transgender kids. Very loud, lively crowd, including many of our local and Congressional leadership. Several moms of trans kids spoke, as well as many trans WoC.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:02 PM on February 23 [35 favorites]


Every time a reporter says, "Trump said" you can see Sean Spicer brace himself.
posted by ruetheday at 4:02 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]




I know some here doubt this but I do think there are not enough of them to pull off a coup.

Nor do they seem to particularly competent or organized enough to achieve their agenda.. The only reason these ICE raids and CBP horrors are happening is because ICE and CBP were itching for an excuse to get started terrorizing PoC. Everything else they've tried has been an abject failure.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:05 PM on February 23 [17 favorites]


CNN Melania and Ivanka's plastic feminism cover up Trump's misogyny
Melania and Ivanka provide good cover for Trump's misogyny because they're palatable, conventionally feminine women: They're docile and poised, they don't make demands of men, and they are above all conventionally beautiful -- white and thin.
Now, Trump is using his wife and daughter's status as American women to feign concern for women while he actively makes life worse for women around the world. And Melania and Ivanka sit passively by.

We know that Melania has always used her position for personal gain, the Trump name to sell her face creams and baubles.[...]
If Melania really wanted to be an unconventional first lady, and Ivanka a first daughter using her role for good, they could do what Trump already claims and dedicate their time to advocating for women's rights. They could talk publicly about reproductive rights and the right to live free of sexual violence.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:14 PM on February 23 [21 favorites]


He's at it again....

@realDonaldTrump Seven people shot and killed yesterday in Chicago. What is going on there - totally out of control. Chicago needs help!

Is there a large immigrant population in Chicago he has a particular hate-on for, or is this just black people?
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 4:15 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


There are lots and lots of immigrants in Chicago, but mostly it's black people. Also, Obama is from Chicago. Hating Chicago is a Thing in right-wing extremist circles.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:18 PM on February 23 [47 favorites]


Marsha Blackburn was on Anderson Cooper's show and claimed that less than a third of the people at her town hall were her constituents. One of those constituents replied on twitter: Everyone I spoke to in this town hall identified themselves as TN-7 voter. Town restricted RSVP's to locals and checked ID's.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:19 PM on February 23 [52 favorites]


NBC Trump Always Calls Out Chicago, but City Closest to Mar-a-Lago Had Comparable Crime Rate in 2015
The city of West Palm Beach, which sits just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Trump's palatial Mar-a-Lago Resort — aka the Winter White House — on exclusive Palm Beach, had a violent crime rate in 2015 that was equal to that of the Windy City, according to federal crime records.

There were 23 homicides in a city of just 104,919 residents. And the rate of violent crime, which also includes rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults, was 9 for every 1,000 residents — the same as the far bigger Chicago, records show.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:32 PM on February 23 [53 favorites]


Is there a large immigrant population in Chicago he has a particular hate-on for, or is this just black people?

Chicago showed him the door.
posted by Buntix at 4:33 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


As possibly should be expected by now ICE flat out lied in their account if the courtyard case.
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


His Chicago concern trolling is 100% about pissing where Obama slept.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:38 PM on February 23 [64 favorites]


CNN One Republican congressman's plan to deal with town hall disrupters
Rep. Matt Gaetz has a plan.
The Florida Republican, like other lawmakers around the country, is holding events in his district Thursday and is worried about protesters.
The thought has crossed Gaetz's mind that protests could completely disrupt him from being able to speak at all at his town hall. So he's created what his staffers call the "non-verbal town hall," reminiscent of a scene from the movie "Love Actually."

Gaetz has printed out part of a speech that gets some of his message across onto giant boards that he will hold up if he is unable to get a word in.
His entire speech is printed out on posters. He plans to have a lottery draw for asking questions but he does plan a no protest sign policy because he is afraid it will block the audience's view. He will be holding 9 events.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:44 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


NRA to organise it's members into fascist paramilitary squads.
I guess it's time for the 2nd amendment's defence of tyranny to shine.
In my view, it's becoming more and more important to deny these assholes their presumed monopoly.....I'm tired of not scaring these people.


Might I suggest Jews for the Presentation of Firearms? I believe the video they have will be of interest.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:46 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Bannon pulled out the Hamilton. Well that was fun while it lasted.

Update: some genius set the Confederate flag snatching to Hamilton, and it's glorious. The fun is back on.
posted by zachlipton at 4:47 PM on February 23 [25 favorites]


Secession only works if you think the West Coast can win the subsequent civil war.

Depends on who the military bases jump for. But more likely they would just let them go.
posted by corb at 4:50 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Bannon pulled out the Hamilton. Well that was fun while it lasted.

Update: some genius set the Confederate flag snatching to Hamilton, and it's glorious. The fun is back on.


I think the ultimate soundtrack here would be Kendrick Lamar's "King Kunta" but I'm way too lazy to make it real.
posted by dis_integration at 4:52 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Shit, no, California contributes way too much to the federal budget for the parasite states to allow their victim and favorite punching bag to leave.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:52 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


California is going to drag the rest of y'all into the 20th century (and then hopefully the 21st) whether you like it or not. It's just taking longer than we hoped.
posted by Justinian at 4:54 PM on February 23 [44 favorites]


My new favorite nickname for the Trumpists and Pencists is y'all qaeda.
posted by Justinian at 4:55 PM on February 23 [40 favorites]


CNN One Republican congressman's plan to deal with town hall disrupters

Recall that is the same Matt Gaetz who's a freshman representative from the most Republican district in Florida and the son of a prominent Florida politician who was arrested for a DUI in 2008 and proposed the bill to abolish the EPA. A real profile in courage, this guy.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 4:56 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Who needs a State Department when you have Twitter.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:58 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


californian in red county reporting people are universally PISSED about the MJ thing, if newspaper comments are any measure
posted by entropicamericana at 5:00 PM on February 23




the problem with the popular science scenario is it is assuming cold fusion and flying cars will be in play by 2020
posted by entropicamericana at 5:04 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Depends on who the military bases jump for.

Are there kill switches in major US military weapons?
posted by Coventry at 5:05 PM on February 23


Revisiting today's NBC Montana question to Spicer about building a wall on the Canadian border. I have a local Montanan acquaintance-nemesis who is as vile a hardcore MAGA-er as you can imagine. I watched her get radicalized over the last few years, going from a John-Birch-libertarian organizer of the original Tea Party wave to dropping N-bombs and posting links from the Daily Stormer. She's a great weathervane for the current madness. Here's what she had to say on FB after the press briefing:

KECI question 36:04 from "Lauren" Staples asked if Trump plans to "build a wall" on the Canadian border? is laughable! I wonder who handed her that question Laurel Staples KECI NBC Montana does NOT reflect the opinions and attitudes of 'Main Street' Montanans - what a joke - millions of border crossings from Canada to US at official border crossings, and BACK again, do not equate to the Southern Border illegal crossings that Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California contend with. A stupid question

So yeah, not a common sentiment among local redcaps. Apparently the anchor asking the question is the most insane right-winger in the state of Montana.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:06 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


californian in red county reporting people are universally PISSED about the MJ thing, if newspaper comments are any measure

Yeah this is a *huge* own goal. Why stir up tons of backlash you could avoid just by literally doing nothing? You spiteful monsters.
posted by dis_integration at 5:07 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Hooray for #AltRightAn80sSong. I think my fave so far is "It's Raining Bitter White Men" or "She Blinded Me Without Science."
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:07 PM on February 23 [19 favorites]


anastasiav: Please take two minutes and watch this silent (and very, very disciplined) protest yesterday yt in Bangor, Maine pushing Senator Collins to hold a public town hall. (Here's a slightly different view posted on Facebook.)

Holy hell, this protest was an act of beauty! The signs were wonderful!. The utter awkward of the silence should be replicated all over the country.

Susan Collins, truly the ultimate Vichy Republican, is a seriously contemptible person. I saw her shaking her head towards the end of that video, and it fills me with rage that a supposed "moderate" would treat her constituents in such a manner. The part where she's apparently trying to suppress phone calls to her office should sicken everyone who gives a fuck about our democratic institution.

...Okay, I'm too hungry for this thread--don't be like me: Do self-care stuff.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 5:12 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


As bad as Trump is, I'm almost more worried about Pence as president. I'm watching his CPAC speech right now and he has that aw shucks, folksy thing that people eat right up. Donald Trump is brash enough that he's turning off people who might otherwise jump on board with his toxic shit if he had the sense to dress it up and sugarcoat it. Mike Pence has no such problem. He'll grin and blush and aw shucks his way through signing horrific and cruel things that will have immense and tragic implications for millions of innocent people. And people will eat it right up and support him all the way through. Trump is stupid and incompetent enough to not even be able to give the flimsiest cover of plausible deniability to his appalling bigotry, Mike Pence isn't much smarter but at least he knows how to play the game enough where I could easily see him getting re-elected in a way that I don't see with Trump (should he even make it through his first four years).
posted by triggerfinger at 5:14 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


So yeah, not a common sentiment among local redcaps. Apparently the anchor asking the question is the most insane right-winger in the state of Montana.

I didn't interpret the question as serious suggestion from an insane right-winger, but rather as more of an attempt to contrast the measures being taken on the southern border with concerns that legal border crossings on the northern border could be impacted. Bringing up the wall ended up largely turning the question into a joke, which is a shame, because I think the actual point of it was more like "so will things be changing for our border up here?"
posted by zachlipton at 5:15 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Secession only works if you think the West Coast can win the subsequent civil war. and if we do win, the United States stays together — though perhaps with the capital moved to Sacramento.

Not secession. Dissolution. Divorce. Maybe even Collapse.

To avert the bloodshed that would eventually be necessary for Blue/Red to subjugate Red/Blue.

Give up the increasingly untenable dream of ruling one empire from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Rio Grande to the 49th parallel ... not fucking worth it.

And I think Blue would win. Eventually. How many war crimes are you willing to commit to see that through?
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:20 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Maybe they could build the wall around all the Tunp states. That way we get to keep immigrants and an economy and civilization and they get to keep whatever they have, and they'll be safe from immigrants because nobody will ever want to go there.

I'd say "they pay for it", but of course they don't have any money so we'll still be stuck with the bill.
posted by Artw at 5:27 PM on February 23






Hooray for #AltRightAn80sSong. I think my fave so far is "It's Raining Bitter White Men" or "She Blinded Me Without Science."

Bannon Lugosi's Undead.

umm, wait a min..

New Model Army don't even need edits

Christian Militia
There's a witch hunt coming, screaming out on it's rebirth
There's a crusade coming, Hellfires back here on earth
See the light in their eyes shine, listen to their words like swords
The Christian militia is marching now
There's a witch hunt coming, born out of all the American fears
There's a new purge coming, an inquisition for all of us here
Hold onto your sanity as best you can
While some Hitler claims to speak for the Son of Man
The Christian militia is marching now
Hatred makes the adrenaline flow
Stir up the fire watch it grow
Everybody loves a righteous cause
Old lives forgotten in holy wars
Everything forgotten in holy wars
(and if you enjoy their musical stylings, might I also suggest the Sleaford Mods.
posted by Buntix at 5:31 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Anyone who actually believed Trump would protect LGBT rights is an idiot. Full stop.
posted by Justinian at 5:32 PM on February 23 [67 favorites]


Fucking hell, Jenner actually emerged from her bubble of privledge? Does this mean she's not going to be propping up the orange shit stain and giving Repubs the illusion of diversity anymore?
posted by Artw at 5:33 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Interesting. Jenner's people were saying there would be no comment about the executive order not long ago, and people were pissed about the silence.
posted by zachlipton at 5:33 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


No doubt Jenner is under an NDA.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:36 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


It's probably bullshit and she'll be back on Team Nazi in no time.
posted by Artw at 5:37 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


The stonewall rally has now moved to and taken over the first floor cosmetics area of Macy's. [tweet w pic]
posted by melissasaurus at 5:41 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


If we could build a wall around Donald Trump there'd be no problem funding that
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 5:43 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Tell him his phone is in the wine cellar.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on February 23 [20 favorites]


CNN: White House effort to justify travel ban causes growing concern for some intelligence officials
The White House expectation of what the report will show has some intelligence officials within the administration taking issue with this intelligence review, sources told CNN.
First, some intelligence officials disagree with the conclusion that immigration from these countries should be temporarily banned in the name of making the US safer. CNN has learned that the Department of Homeland Security's in-house intelligence agency, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis -- called I&A within the department -- offered a report that is at odds with the Trump administration's view that blocking immigration from these seven countries strategically makes sense.
...
A second issue for many in the intelligence community is the notion of the Trump White House seeking an intelligence report to fit the policy instead of the other way around, sources tell CNN.
posted by zachlipton at 5:50 PM on February 23 [33 favorites]


Bustle: If You Marched In The Women's March, You Need To Show Up For Trans Rights: You need to do the work for and with your transgender family because they have shown up for you.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:00 PM on February 23 [65 favorites]


Mike Pence isn't much smarter but at least he knows how to play the game enough where I could easily see him getting re-elected in a way that I don't see with Trump

If he knew how to play the game well he wouldn't have had underwater approval ratings in Indiana.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:01 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


He's as compromised on Russia as Trump is now, and Trump isn't going to go without burning down the house.
posted by Artw at 6:03 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


MUST WATCH: Constituents Corner Cory Gardner - Coloradopols.com
Wild video now circulating on social media of a confrontation this morning between Sen. Cory Gardner and several constituents in a Broomfield office building–in which Gardner tries mightily to escape with a proffered business card and promises of a future “tele-town hall,” and fails miserably as his persistent constituents tail him onto an elevator.
He claimed he's had several "public" meetings, such as one yesterday that had a $200 admission.
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:03 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Some of you may enjoy this Fox News poll which offers the opportunity to rate the President's first month in office. For some reason it doesn't go any lower than 'poor', but I decided not to quibble.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:04 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Yahoo News Trumpism versus conservatism at CPAC

Hilarious over-the-top tongue-bathing by Trump sycophants starts off with Kellyanne proclaiming that CPAC will come to be known as TPAC.
Trump’s top adviser, Steve Bannon, appeared with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and the two spent their time on stage alternating between hyperbolic praise for Trump and complaining of how unfair press coverage has been.

Priebus said Trump will be “one of the greatest presidents that ever served this country” and that he has already “put in the best Cabinet in the history of Cabinets.”

Bannon, the former Breitbart News editor in chief who was considered so unpalatable to conservatives that he was not welcome at CPAC in previous years, said Trump is “probably the greatest public speaker in those large arenas since William Jennings Bryan” and that “one of the most pivotal moments in modern American history was [Trump’s] immediate withdrawal from [the Trans-Pacific Partnership].”
Are they that deluded? Do they really believe this cabinet is the best cabinet in history? Or are they high on power and drugs? Just....insane.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:04 PM on February 23 [25 favorites]


Are they that deluded? Do they really believe this cabinet is the best cabinet in history? Or are they high on power and drugs? Just....insane.

I think they really, honestly think that if they keep telling everyone how great everything is, it'll be believed. It worked well enough to get them all into the White House, so why not -- I think that's the logic being applied here.

Or it's hella cocaine.

Or both! Cocaine and delusions of grandeur do go hand in hand...
posted by palomar at 6:08 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


For the love of country, artw!
posted by entropicamericana at 6:08 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I think 'actually having people in the Cabinet' is a pretty low bar for quality considerations, but that's just me
posted by flatluigi at 6:08 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


I'm reading on CNN that the administration tried to get the FBI to tell the media that the russian connection story was less than important, like, a week and a half ago. Comey picked the wrong decade to quit drinking. Link!

That was around the time Comey briefed the senate intel com. And shady as hell.
posted by vrakatar at 6:09 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Santa Cruz leaders slam feds over immigration detentions during gang operation
Santa Cruz law enforcement leaders took the unusual step of castigating federal Department of Homeland Security officials Thursday over a joint gang bust that the city participated in, only to later learn that federal agents detained individuals based solely on their immigration status.

“This has violated the trust of our community, and we cannot tell you how disappointed we are by the betrayal of the Department of Homeland Security,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel, who was joined by the city’s mayor and his deputy chief at a news conference.

The police officials revealed in specific detail how the recent operation was conducted, and just how much local police knew, as they accused federal officials of misleading them on the full scope of the raid and said they had contacted members of Congress to investigate the matter.
posted by zachlipton at 6:15 PM on February 23 [36 favorites]


Is this the Trump administration's first "I'm not here to make friends", DeVos defiant at CPAC: ‘My job isn’t to win a popularity contest’?
posted by peeedro at 6:16 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


“one of the most pivotal moments in modern American history was [Trump’s] immediate withdrawal from [the Trans-Pacific Partnership].”

History books will more likely record the pivotal moment being when Russia installed a chaotic, divisive, clueless narcissist into the Oval Office, hastening the demise of the USA and the concurrent resurgence of Russia alongside China as the dominant global powers.

Historians will argue whether Trump was the highest placed Russian asset in history, or just the highest placed American liability.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:17 PM on February 23 [17 favorites]


Are they that deluded? Do they really believe this cabinet is the best cabinet in history? Or are they high on power and drugs?

I think we can make a reasonable guess from this:
Bannon, the former Breitbart News editor in chief who was considered so unpalatable to conservatives that he was not welcome at CPAC in previous years, said Trump is “probably the greatest public speaker in those large arenas since William Jennings Bryan”

Nobody is this stupid. Not even the most facts-aren't-real Republican could believe this. It is possibly the least true thing Steve Bannon has ever said, which makes it one of the least true things ever uttered by a human. Steve Bannon does not believe this.

So I'm thinking they must just be telling the lies they think will be beneficial for them. Bannon knows Trump is going to know what he said, so he's buttering the big idiot up (see that story from earlier about WH staffers having to manipulate Trump's mood to get him to behave like an adult). The odds that Trump knows who William Jennings Bryan is are basically zero, but he'll be able to put together from context what Bannon was pretending to mean, and then Bannon will get his pat on the head (which, I'm sure, includes a signature on whatever deeply evil EO he writes next without Trump even reading it).
posted by IAmUnaware at 6:18 PM on February 23 [36 favorites]


There is a certain level of schadenfreude involved watching all these people get angry that they may lose their gay rights and weed. Like, WTF did y'all think Republican even MEANT.

In other news, both my laptop and my car are dead and I actually came to read this thread to get my mind off my problems.
posted by threeturtles at 6:19 PM on February 23 [23 favorites]


Is this the Trump administration's first "I'm not here to make friends", DeVos defiant at CPAC: ‘My job isn’t to win a popularity contest’?

They finally did it: we're all in a reality TV show now. I didn't expect it'd be DeVos to pull the trigger though.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:20 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


>DeVos defiant at CPAC: ‘My job isn’t to win a popularity contest’?

No, popularity contests are democratic. Your job is to buy your job. Disgusting...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:22 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Her job is to make sure my kids and every other kid of their generations and the generations after no longer have access to a proper education. Damn right she isn't popular.
posted by Artw at 6:29 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Has the DOJ statement about private prisons been linked? Here it is! It also sucks.
posted by vrakatar at 6:32 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


The Travel Press is Reporting the 'Trump Slump,' a Devastating Drop in Tourism to the United States
It’s known as the “Trump Slump.” And I know of no reputable travel publication to deny it.

Thus, the prestigious Travel Weekly magazine (as close to an “official” travel publication as they come) has set the decline in foreign tourism at 6.8%. And the fall-off is not limited to Muslim travelers, but also extends to all incoming foreign tourists. Apparently, an attack on one group of tourists is regarded as an assault on all.
posted by zachlipton at 6:34 PM on February 23 [78 favorites]


Maddow just reported that McMaster told the staff at an "all hands on deck" meeting today that he does not think anyone should use the term "radical Islamic terrorism." Baby steps out of the hellhole.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:34 PM on February 23 [50 favorites]


You'd have to be insane to travel to the US versus any other country where you actually want you right now. A random chance of being detained or sent home is not a holiday draw.
posted by Artw at 6:35 PM on February 23 [27 favorites]


Maddow just reported that McMaster told the staff at an "all hands on deck" meeting today that he does not think anyone should use the term "radical Islamic terrorism." Baby steps out of the hellhole.

Plz save us mister mcmaster
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:37 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


you'd have to be insane to travel to the US versus any other country where you actually want you right now. A random chance of being detained or sent home is not a holiday draw.

i blame the bowling green massacre
posted by entropicamericana at 6:38 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Some of you may enjoy this Fox News poll


It's an online poll and thus meaningless, but still enjoyed it. Especially when the "good" rating received 26% of the vote. Only 1% away from the crazification number.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:40 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


They finally did it: we're all in a reality TV show now. I didn't expect it'd be DeVos to pull the trigger though.

Do you think she's here for the right reasons?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:41 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


I posted this in the "this is coffee" but it probably belongs here:

On the same channel is this-

It wasn't a roadmap, guys, fuck.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 6:45 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I don't understand what the problem is: 70%+ of Turdp's staff are en fuego alcoholics - a strategically deployed wired sex bomb with a bottle could win a Pulitzer and Save the World.
posted by petebest at 6:49 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Historians will argue whether Trump was the highest placed Russian asset in history, or just the highest placed American liability.

Future historians, especially the ones not yet born or who are children now, will be full of laughter about this particular period of history. The US elected someone who was completely bound to a significantly lesser power. A lesser power whose "resurgence" was more like a dead cat bounce than an empire rising from the ashes.

But the laughter and discussion will be limited to the footnotes, or opening paragraphs meant to be quickly passed over, and the meat of the work will concentrate on why the US would elect someone actively harmful to combating climate change, despite all the warning signs. This will be the grand failure of the United States in the 21st century and what the future historians, now living in domes with the rest of a diminished humanity, will spend a lot of ink analyzing and wondering how the fuck we, who once had the privilege of walking in the open air, screwed up so badly.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:50 PM on February 23 [44 favorites]


I just googled McMaster and "radical islamic terrorism" and came across a site I'm sure is tracked by the SPLC, something called "JihadWatch", where they are lamenting McMaster's appointment as being a victory for the swamp. It made me happy to see the other side pissed about a Trump administration appointment for a change.

I enjoyed some schadenfreude while reading the comments on the article I linked above, for example: This confirms my belief that TRUMPs organization has been infiltrated with people who intend to destroy him from within.

One can only hope! I also hope there's some ridiculous acronym out there that would explain why the poster of that comment wrote "TRUMPs" in all caps. "True Republican Under Massive Protest"? "Terrorists Really Upset Me, Pa"?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:51 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Are there kill switches in major US military weapons?

Uh, no. Should there be? As an infosec guy I see problems with the concept.
posted by scalefree at 6:53 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


If you think children in the future will learn what a disaster and failure Trump was, you're forgetting that Texas conservatives line edit all the textbooks.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:54 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


If you think children in the future will learn what a disaster and failure Trump was, you're forgetting that Texas conservatives line edit all the textbooks.

Texas will have difficulty editing textbooks when it's 130º in the shade on the regular.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:55 PM on February 23 [26 favorites]


You'd have to be insane to travel to the US versus any other country where you actually want you right now.

Yeah, for people who have jobs / family / etc here obviously there's still a need to try the travel roulette. But for just tourism/vacation? Go to your #2 choice now and hope things are better in a few years.

Similarly, unless France goes all-in on Le Pen, LA has no shot at the 2024 Olympics. Even if they do Paris will probably get it, as EU/Schengen obligations presumably will limit the speed which France could go Full Trump.
posted by thefoxgod at 6:55 PM on February 23


Also, I don't think the travel slump is just about the muslim ban. I'm sure the muslim ban intensified the effect, but nobody anywhere in the world thought the United States because a more attractive place to travel when Trump was elected. Even without the travel ban, the entire place feels indescribably tainted. Sorry.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:57 PM on February 23 [44 favorites]


Priebus said Trump will be “one of the greatest presidents that ever served this country” and that he has already “put in the best Cabinet in the history of Cabinets.”

Bannon, the former Breitbart News editor in chief who was considered so unpalatable to conservatives that he was not welcome at CPAC in previous years, said Trump is “probably the greatest public speaker in those large arenas since William Jennings Bryan” and that “one of the most pivotal moments in modern American history was [Trump’s] immediate withdrawal from [the Trans-Pacific Partnership].”

Priebus even led the audience in chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump.”
But the Obama cult of personality, amirite guys?
posted by J.K. Seazer at 7:00 PM on February 23 [16 favorites]




Even without the travel ban, the entire place feels indescribably tainted. Sorry.

Oh yeah, of course. The ban is more symbolic of that than anything (most people will still be able to get in).
posted by thefoxgod at 7:07 PM on February 23


Are they that deluded? Do they really believe this cabinet is the best cabinet in history? Or are they high on power and drugs? Just....insane.

You're not picturing this from their perspective. Bannon gave the game away today, their entire goal is to "dismantle the administrative state". That's why they wanted power, and why most of their base voted for them. To destroy the federal government entirely from the inside. To directly undermine the ability of the federal government to solve any problem, to help any single citizen in any aspect of life.

The Republican goal is not for any part of the government to be able to fulfill its mission. From that perspective, yes, this is the best cabinet ever nominated. Every last secretary is fully committed to destroying the mission of the agency they now lead. Preferably to abolishing the very existence of that agency. Best cabinet ever.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:07 PM on February 23 [41 favorites]


The City of Los Angeles asks ICE to stop calling themselves "police" in their city, because even the LAPD has a better reputation than ICE.
posted by zachlipton at 7:07 PM on February 23 [72 favorites]


Please take two minutes and watch this silent (and very, very disciplined) protest yesterday yt in Bangor, Maine pushing Senator Collins to hold a public town hall. (Here's a slightly different view posted on Facebook.)

if any of you are able to get this further distribution in the world, Indivisible Bangor would appreciate it.


I just saw it on the Indivisible Guide's twitter feed.

When @SenatorCollins wouldn't meet with her constituents, they silently protested. cc:@IndivisibleTeam
posted by miguelcervantes at 7:07 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Let's Compare and Contrast 2009 and 2017.
Republicans are given a pass for their ultra-conservative views, which might be a little crazy, but are still presumed to be deeply rooted and genuine. Democrats, conversely, are generally thought craven if they "give in" to their base.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:15 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


John Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Colbert, that new guy, they are really good, but none of them have the disrupted soul it takes to take on the evil plans of these governing American oligarchs. I need Hunter S. Thompson to rise...

"What we are looking at on all our TV sets is a man who finally, after 24 years of frenzied effort, became the President of the United States with a personal salary of $200,000 a year and an unlimited expense account including a fleet of private helicopters, jetliners, armored cars, personal mansions and estates on both coasts and control over a budget beyond the wildest dream of King Midas … and all the dumb bastard can show us, after five years of total freedom to do anything he wants with all this power, is a shattered national economy, disastrous defeat in a war we could have ended four years ago on far better terms than he finally came around to, and a hand-picked personal staff put together through five years of screening, whose collective criminal record will blow the minds of high-school American History students for the next 100 years."

posted by Oyéah at 7:18 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


from the "are you fucking kidding me" dept., sherriff david clarke (yes, that one) visited moscow in december 2015
posted by murphy slaw at 7:20 PM on February 23 [30 favorites]


If anyone's looking for some outrage-at-injustice music for the evening, I recommend Christy Moore's angry Irish cover of The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:28 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Digby (Salon): Trump’s strategic vision of chaos: Inventing a nonexistent crisis so he can “solve” it

Reminds me of a 4 year old, 'fixing' something so that they can get attention.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:29 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Story has been updated. 8:21 PM 2/23/17 FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories [Updated article. Original article linked below.]

The White House initially disputed that account, saying that McCabe [FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe] called Priebus early that morning and said The New York Times story vastly overstates what the FBI knows about the contacts.

But a White House official later corrected their version of events to confirm what the law enforcement official described.

The same White House official said that Priebus later reached out again to McCabe and to FBI Director James Comey asking for the FBI to at least talk to reporters on background to dispute the stories. A law enforcement official says McCabe didn't discuss aspects of the case but wouldn't say exactly what McCabe told Priebus.


Man, these are sketchy motherfuckers. Hoping that this becomes a bigger story. At the very least Priebus is on record as a confirmed liar. Drip drip drip.

6:02 PM EST CNN capture before update
posted by futz at 7:29 PM on February 23 [32 favorites]


Please take two minutes and watch this silent (and very, very disciplined) protest yesterday in Bangor, Maine pushing Senator Collins to hold a public town hall

This was fantastic!
posted by great_radio at 7:29 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Moscow invites only the world's best experts in killing your prisoners.
posted by zachlipton at 7:30 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


My favorite bit of that CNN story on Preibus and the FBI:

Sen. Angus King of Maine also declined to reveal what was discussed during the Comey briefing. In response to a question on Priebus' strong denial of the claims, King said he was "surprised" that Priebus would be "that categorical."

🎵 King knows something you don't know 🎵
posted by jason_steakums at 7:37 PM on February 23 [34 favorites]


THAT Sheriff David Clarke.
Sheriff Clarke: Trump Could Be the 'Winston Churchill of the 21st Century'

*my sides*
posted by futz at 7:40 PM on February 23


I am not caught up on this thread yet but I just got back from my Democratic congressman's town hall and I have to say that it was very frustrating and depressing. On the plus side, the place was packed, it was civil, and there were many good questions. But the answers were just so...so...hopeless--along the lines of "yes it would be great if we could fix things, but Democrats have no power, all we can do is try to work with the Republicans and blah, blah, blah." It was disheartening. I came away with the totally opposite feeling from the hope, empowerment, and camaraderie I felt after the Women's March. Ironically, seeing videos of what's been happening at Republican town halls has been much more encouraging.
posted by a fish out of water at 7:46 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


(according to Sarah Kendzior, that photo of Clarke was taken the same day as the RT dinner that Flynn and Jill Stein attended with Putin)
posted by murphy slaw at 7:51 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Is this the Trump administration's first 'I'm not here to make friends', DeVos defiant at CPAC: ‘My job isn’t to win a popularity contest’?

Well, Trump lost the popularity contest by 3 millions votes so...
posted by kirkaracha at 7:51 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Also, I don't think the travel slump is just about the muslim ban. I'm sure the muslim ban intensified the effect, but nobody anywhere in the world thought the United States because a more attractive place to travel when Trump was elected. Even without the travel ban, the entire place feels indescribably tainted. Sorry.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:57 AM on February 24 [1 favorite +] [!]


Just came in to say it goes both ways. Another Travel Ban: IRS Moves To Revoke Passports For Unpaid Taxes...I don't want to derail into tax rebellion territory (you can't have a government without them), watch this law, because it might become a lever of political harassment. The threshold is $50,000 in back taxes. Get right with the IRS and know the policies and procedures, y'all, or you might not even be able to leave.
posted by saysthis at 7:53 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Sure would be a shame if that applied to anyone on Air Force One...
posted by Mchelly at 7:55 PM on February 23 [41 favorites]


the best Cabinet in the history of Cabinets

Icantevenwtfreallybbq
posted by dis_integration at 7:56 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I am not caught up on this thread yet but I just got back from my Democratic congressman's town hall and I have to say that it was very frustrating and depressing.

It's going to be a long, long fight, with lots of losses. And the answers won't come from these elected Democrats. All the energy is coming from outside the party, while the party insiders are struggling to channel it. They don't have any better messaging or any better strategy against Trump than during the campaign. At least not yet. We're largely on our own, but alone together. Getting involved and showing up is the first step. Next comes electing more, preferably much better, Democrats to win back control. If your rep is already decent, help register voters in the nearest contested or even Republican district. But stay involved, bring people with you, inform braindead non-political people about the policies and why the Republicans are ruining everything. Educate, organize, register. For two whole years. Ready, break.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:56 PM on February 23 [20 favorites]


Sheriff Clarke: Trump Could Be the 'Winston Churchill of the 21st Century'

I very much agree with this. He could remove the racist leader of a great power without any of the war bits that Churchill had to go through. Just resign!
posted by jaduncan at 7:57 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Let's Compare and Contrast 2009 and 2017.

2017: "Weakened Democrats Bow to Voters, Opting for Total War on Trump"

"I don't have any beef with this. The Democratic base is demanding total war on Trump, and Democratic politicians have mostly gotten on board. What I do wonder, though, is whether the Times ever used language like this during the first couple of months of the Obama administration?"

2009: "Obama Woos GOPs With Attention, and Cookies"

Also, the fucking Republicans blocked Obama after he gave them cookies? They truly are history's greatest monsters.

Unless he gave them oatmeal and raisin cookies and they thought they were chocolate chip. There's no greater disappointment.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:57 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Maybe they mean the unpopular, declining, somewhat senile, refusing to resign part of Churchill's career?
posted by Artw at 7:59 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Ivanka Trump Proposes $500 Billion Child Care Plan that Only Benefits the Rich

Economist Alan Cole describes the proposal as "generous and broad," noting that "almost everyone with young children will get some benefit from it." However, he cautions, "the largest benefits will go to relatively affluent dual-income families using paid child care." In other words, the people spending most on child care, who need the least help affording it, will be the ones to benefit most.

In accordance with all her father's stances, this plan would benefit the rich and do virtually nothing for working class parents, who suffer the most under America's current child-care crisis.

...But none of this really matters, apparently. Unsurprisingly, the House GOP leaders did not mention child care in their tax-reform blueprint from June 2016, and therefore, this proposal is not a priority:

-- Ivanka Trump’s involvement in tax negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans is a signal of her influence with her father despite having no formal role in his administration.

-- Republican aides on the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee have discussed a child care tax deduction with the Trump administration. The proposal is not a priority for House GOP leaders,

-- Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, decried the child care deduction as a boon to wealthier households with nannies and insufficient to help working families. Marcelo echoed that concern, saying the plan in its current form doesn’t help families whose incomes are too low to pay taxes and thus don’t benefit from deductions.

posted by futz at 7:59 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


CNN: Underground network readies homes to hide undocumented immigrants

The religious leaders have a name for their network: the Rapid Response Team. The idea is not necessarily a new one, according to Reverend Zach Hoover, executive director of the interfaith community organization LA Voice.

Hoover, 37, wasn't an active member during the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s when US congregations across faiths resisted federal law and provided shelter for Central Americans fleeing violence in their home countries. Many congregations offered direct sanctuary, housing the undocumented immigrants, while others offered food and legal assistance.

The Rapid Response Team mirrors that structure, but goes one step further by also incorporating private homes, which offer a higher level of constitutional protection than houses of worship and an ability to make it harder for federal agents to find undocumented immigrants.

posted by triggerfinger at 8:00 PM on February 23 [23 favorites]


Sheriff Clarke: Trump Could Be the 'Winston Churchill of the 21st Century'

snatch that weave off his head and he's more than halfway there
posted by murphy slaw at 8:00 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Maybe they mean the unpopular, declining, somewhat senile, refusing to resign part of Churchill's career?

Or maybe the white-supremacist silver-spoon colonial fuckhead early part of his career.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:02 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Maybe they mean the unpopular, declining, somewhat senile, refusing to resign part of Churchill's career?

Or the early, bungling Gallipoli part?
An Eastern Mediterranean military assault based on faulty intelligence? That'll be the day.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:02 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Maybe he'll just get into a fight on a beach.
posted by Artw at 8:03 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


re: Fake News

I haven't seen a lot of the use of the term "disinformation."

Only two news-ey hits google hits for me for the term are in the lower part of the first page. One from Oct 06 2016 [politico] and Dec 26, 2016 [ZeroHedge].

The Republicans have been waging lite disinformation since the 70's and really ramped it up in the 90's.

Fake News is the result of a disinformation campaign that breaks unexpectedly in an unexpected way. I don't think that the originators of systematically dumbing down the electorate expected what we have here, and that it can be so easily trivially hijacked by tapping into racism/misogyny.
posted by porpoise at 8:16 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


He'd bald, rotund, and prone to repeating words for emphasis, I guess.
posted by contraption at 8:17 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


MUST WATCH: Constituents Corner Cory Gardner - Coloradopols.com

I don't have very much information about this but I will say that a) I got a private message last night inviting me to be with the group in this elevator and could not go due to other commitments and b) Colorado is extremely motivated to politely and legally track this man down and publicly remind him that he works for us, as many times as it takes to get him to either remember that he works for us or get him voted out of office. The details on how we found out about this meeting were very closely guarded by our group, so closely that that's literally all I know. I was actually surprised to see that this contact resulted in a real live Cory encounter and wasn't just rumor mill.

One of the local Indivisible groups raised $18,000 on GoFundMe in the past... I think it was 10 days?... to put a full page ad in the Denver Post calling the man out for not holding town halls over recess. Based on my Facebook page, he has made some nice, privileged, polite older women very, very mad in a way they've never felt before politically, especially after repeating the paid protester line on local news repeatedly.

My (unpaid, volunteer) job is to give them all the technology to self-organize more effectively, and then sit back and make some popcorn. The show's just starting.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:21 PM on February 23 [43 favorites]


Doesn't really share Churchill's concerns Re:Stalinism/willingness to go toe to toe with it.

Quite the opposite in fact.
posted by Artw at 8:22 PM on February 23


My like-Churchill money is on the secret amphetamine addiction.
posted by jaduncan at 8:22 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Presiding over a declining post-imperial power could be it.
posted by Artw at 8:23 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Having a successor who unwisely invades Egypt?
posted by jaduncan at 8:25 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


maybe like churchill, he'll put winston churchill's skeleton inside himself
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:26 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


California is going to drag the rest of y'all into the 20th century (and then hopefully the 21st) whether you like it or not.
I think California has the same problem my home state of NY has--deep blue, populous cities that sneer at the reds living in the countryside. I mean, California tried to ban gay marriage and literally just had a referendum on killing people faster by denying them due process.
posted by xyzzy at 8:27 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


deep blue, populous cities that sneer at the reds living in the countryside.

The sneering is warranted.
posted by bongo_x at 8:31 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


I will take the Churchill who led the Conservatives to a massive defeat in the 1945 election.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:33 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


How could Richard Spencer listen to any Depeche Mode and peg them as being on his team? He's deluded!

And speaking of which:

Or both! Cocaine and delusions of grandeur do go hand in hand...

This reminded me that the band at the Republican National Convention played Station To Station. At the time, I wondered if this was a coded way to let the people watching at home who get that song know about the people who are now current members of this ridiculous administration. I'll bet ol' G.E. Smith and co. saw a lot backstage! Or maybe they were just being facetious...?

A wee bit of BG: The character Bowie sings this song as, "The Thin White Duke", is a fascist who consumes large amounts of cocaine, sings of a mythic past where he soared above mountains, has no heart or empathy to speak of, and is completely deluded regarding his own nature. The whole song is this character living a lie for 10 minutes. As long-time and older Bowie fans recall, he let the character (supplemented by almost inhuman amounts of cocaine) take him over for about a year or so, and yikes!
posted by droplet at 8:33 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


wildblueyonder: "There's no downside for people like Bannon, Miller, and Trump in letting a terror attack actually happen. It'd be their own personal key to increased authoritarian powers."

I really wonder how on the ball the SS is regarding snipers; especially in a place as dense as NYC. There must be thousands of windows looking over the Trump Tower there; a risk that diverse is hard to manage. A replay of the east coast sniper terror attacks directed at politicians and there staff would provide plenty of down side.

mllm: "Louie Gohmert's in the news again: GOP rep invokes Giffords shooting as reason not to hold town hall"

Even if this is a legitimate concern (don't they apply at least the level of screening that the NFL does?) teleconferancing is a thing that makes you immune to gun shots at this sort of event.

cjelli: "Although, having grown up around bees, they're generally pretty friendly and chill; from a pure eagle-efficiency standpoint, if you're looking to weaponize bees, you'd be honestly better off with wasps."

And their nests are both lighter and more aerodynamic than bee hives.

suelac: "Build a wall on the northern border to stop all the pot smuggling from Canada, I suppose."

This presents unique challenges compared to the US/Mexico border. First off the border is vastly larger. Second many rivers cross the US/Canada border. Lots of opportunity to just float contra band across the border. With promised legal weed in Canada and illegal status in the states you could probably afford to loose 90% of your floatments and still make money.
posted by Mitheral at 8:36 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


>deep blue, populous cities that sneer at the reds living in the countryside.

>The sneering is warranted.


I live in the countryside a Red State. You are welcome to sneer in my general direction but please don't lump people together like this. We are surrounded by trumpists but there are a lot of us who aren't and we are fighting.
posted by futz at 8:40 PM on February 23 [53 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: " First, have you seen most of those militia types ? They not only peaked in high school, it was also the last time they could climb a set of stairs in one go. "

Can we please dispense with the fat/unhealthy shaming?
posted by Mitheral at 8:41 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Can we please dispense with the fat/unhealthy shaming?

Yeah, I've got to say, I'm a fairly heavy lady and I'm still pretty sure I can shoot the pants off some Nazis if it came down to it.
posted by corb at 8:45 PM on February 23 [39 favorites]


California is going to drag the rest of y'all into the 20th century (and then hopefully the 21st) whether you like it or not. It's just taking longer than we hoped.

Baltimoron/Marylander here. By all means, please do.

(Granted, we pretty much vote the same as you — in fact, Baltimore City's politics make California overall look like Oklahoma — but hey, I assume you'll take the support wherever you can get it.)
posted by CommonSense at 8:55 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


If the IRS revokes passports for unpaid taxes, does that mean Trump can't get back in, once he leaves the country?
posted by Oyéah at 8:56 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Remember what Nixon (spit) said (spit) "when the president does it, that means it is not illegal".
posted by Death and Gravity at 9:02 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


“probably the greatest public speaker in those large arenas since William Jennings Bryan”

Nobody is this stupid. Not even the most facts-aren't-real Republican could believe this. It is possibly the least true thing Steve Bannon has ever said, which makes it one of the least true things ever uttered by a human. Steve Bannon does not believe this.


It depends on what you're measuring... He might not be the most eloquent, but he just won an election nobody thought he had a chance at, based in large part on his performance in those arenas.
posted by Coventry at 9:05 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Oyéah: "If the IRS revokes passports for unpaid taxes, does that mean Trump can't get back in, once he leaves the country?"

Does air force one even go through customs when returning from overseas?
posted by Mitheral at 9:07 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Uh, no. Should there be [killswitches in major US weapons]? As an infosec guy I see problems with the concept.

Sure, but from a Federal perspective I also see problems with the concept of the Pacific seaboard commandeering military bases to defend a secession. And such switches would probably be less of a security risk than the nuclear launch codes.
posted by Coventry at 9:15 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


[Deleted a couple of comments. Please try not to be shitty about things unrelated to what you're actually talking about, thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:24 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


With a nod to our mods and their thankless job: fascism is tied to a self-aggrandising superficial mystique of superiority, a cosplay backed up by the ability of the state to enforce taking it seriously. We have to be careful about our focus, but Dick Spencer does not get to be "dapper", and self-described "patriot militia freedom warriors" do not get to appropriate any of those words.
posted by holgate at 9:36 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I live in the countryside a Red State. You are welcome to sneer in my general direction but please don't lump people together like this. We are surrounded by trumpists but there are a lot of us who aren't and we are fighting.

The sneering is at Nazis. If you're not a Nazi you weren't included in that statement no matter where you live. I'm not lumping anyone.
posted by bongo_x at 9:43 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure William Jennings Bryan never spoke in a basketball arena. But I'm no historian.
posted by The World Famous at 9:51 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Sheriff Clarke: Trump Could Be the 'Winston Churchill of the 21st Century'

Haha, does anyone really think he'd turn down the title Duke of London? Such a stupid comparison on so many levels.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:07 PM on February 23


The sneering is at Nazis. If you're not a Nazi you weren't included in that statement no matter where you live. I'm not lumping anyone.
posted by bongo_x


Hey, I am sorry if I misunderstood you but I have followed the thread backwards and all it's tangents and there was no mention of Nazi's associated with it. Sorry that I took offense but perhaps be more clear next time?
posted by futz at 10:07 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Bannon looks like the living dead. His eyes are glassed over and his pallor is that of rotting flesh. Easily one of the most unhealthy people I've ever seen. Why this person is guiding this country when he cannot maintain his own health astounds me.

Bannon==Wormtongue.

Unferth if you prefer that.
posted by jaduncan at 10:11 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Have to share. From a friend's FB post. If you saw Rachel Maddow's show recently, you might be aware that we have a Republican Senator who is ducking town hall meetings. Here's her quote for the rest of the story:
"The Desk Sargent at the Butte Silver Bow Sheriff's Office refused to allow me to file a Missing Persons Report for Senator Steve Daines. I was at first perplexed and then a little angry. However, when he reported to me that as a legal matter it was impossible at this time on the grounds that only his balls were missing and not the entire Senator I simply tipped my hat and exited the building. Wise old dogs are these Desk Sargents from Butte."
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:15 PM on February 23 [126 favorites]


I will take the Churchill who led the Conservatives to a massive defeat in the 1945 election.

Followed by the implementation of the welfare state and the National Health Service!
posted by Pink Frost at 10:20 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


And to reiterate: American independence was economically calamitous for the former colonies, and it took a brutal, bloody colonisation of a large, fertile continent to sort that part out, more or less. And yet it happened. The bonds broke. There was no inevitability about it. There were British politicians advocating a new accommodation, and a large chunk of the population of British America open to that state of affairs who didn't want war and ended up having to go into exile because they got war.

The point of reference here perhaps isn't California: it's Texas. It's a big, populous, sprawly, diverse conservative state with liberal-ish cities that is a net contributor to other states and also has Hispanic Republicans who aren't of Cuban descent. When W Bush was around, you could throw around various Texan clichés, but there was a kind of integration there of conservatism with big wide country. With east-coast fascist President Bannon in charge over his NYC-native puppet, talking about an American identity mostly defined by white people who got off a transatlantic boat, you're going to get some magahat Texans who are all for the cause, but you are also going to get brown Republicans stopped in the street and told to go back to Mexico when they can trace their ancestry back to when Tejas was Mexico.

"New Guards for their future security."
posted by holgate at 10:28 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


So I went to this town hall and it was completely fucking unhinged.

I've lived in this area all my life and I've never seen anything like this. There was so much diversity and so much unity, the likes of which I could never even dream of in this deeply red district. College kids and veterans and women and POC and nurses and firemen and republicans were yelling and booing while cheering on each critical question. Our lovely Mr. Gaetz has made abolishing the EPA his conservative cause celebre which is a huge miscalculation for an area of the country that was recently devastated by Deepwater Horizen while the EPA was there to bolster local businesses, repair our beaches for tourist season, and just fucking lift our community up on its broad, bloated big-government shoulders.

However, this district did elect Gaetz with 68 percent of the vote, and he was openly hostile throughout much of the session. He pretty much shouted "make america great again" to a seething, hostile crowd, dropped the mic, and ducked out amid unrepeatable insults.

Still, it was pretty fucking awesome. I never thought in a million years that I would see progressive activism on this level in this district.

Seriously, just watch this video! This was in the deep south!

Guys, if I didn't know better, I'd say something is happening.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 10:28 PM on February 23 [102 favorites]




You know how the ACA became Obamacare? I'd really like to rebrand the shit sandwich the GOP comes up with to replace the ACA as well. And soon. Like, well before they actually introduce anything.
So I've started calling it this:
The Care Less Plan
"With the Care Less plan, you'll get less care from people who couldn't care less."
I think the hashtag #DontBeCareLess has a nice ring to it as well.
posted by rouftop at 10:40 PM on February 23 [23 favorites]


Border-Adjustment Tax Divides Energy Sector
The API and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers have both concluded in internal reports that a border adjustment would raise gasoline prices by 20 cents a gallon or more in the short term, according to people familiar with the matter. Supporters of the border adjustment have said it would have corresponding currency impacts that would ultimately leave fuel prices relatively unchanged.
This will go over poorly.
posted by zachlipton at 10:40 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


you are also going to get brown Republicans stopped in the street and told to go back to Mexico when they can trace their ancestry back to when Tejas was Mexico

“We Didn’t Cross the Border, the Border Crossed Us”
Of course, most of these conversations also ignore the fact that Mexican (im)migration to the United States is not a new phenomenon but is a result of the end of the U.S. War on Mexico in 1848 and with the signing of both the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Protocol of Queretaro affirmed citizenship protections for Mexicans.

As such, Mexican (im)migration has continued unabated for 165 years. Thus, the old adage: “We Didn’t Cross the Border, the Border Crossed Us” perfectly describes the Mexican experience.
"I do not think there ever was a more wicked war than that waged by the United States in Mexico. I thought so at the time, when I was a youngster, only I had not moral courage enough to resign." -- Ulysses S. Grant
posted by kirkaracha at 10:45 PM on February 23 [29 favorites]


The odds that Trump knows who William Jennings Bryan is are basically zero

Pretty sure William Jennings Bryan never spoke in a basketball arena. But I'm no historian.


I have the biggest cross of gold ever! It's beautiful we've we've got a gorgeous cross you're gonna love it don't worry about the size of my cross I guarantee there's no problem. Loser WJB had cross ratings that were an absolute DISASTER. Sad!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:46 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]




The Kansas shooting story is making the rounds in India, apparently, and it's certainly going to color how they see our country now. Trump talked up his support with Indian-Americans during the campaign, but I suspect he'll just be silent about this.

It is, of course, unclear why a guy with brown skin shouting in Arabic while shooting white people is called an act of terrorism and grounds for banning entire nationalities from the country, while a guy with white skin shouting "get out of my country" while shooting people with brown skin is unworthy of the same title, but here we are.
posted by zachlipton at 10:56 PM on February 23 [59 favorites]


The order of succession is truly terrifying but I stand firm in my conviction that getting Bannon and Trump out of the West Wing is more important than waiting for a less scary Republican option than the people on that list. I mean, Bannon has stated on multiple occasions that his goal is the destruction of the state. As horrible as Pence would be for women, minorities, and poor people, it is highly doubtful that Bannon would still have a desk in the West Wing in the event of Trump's ouster.
posted by xyzzy at 10:58 PM on February 23 [26 favorites]


Actually, if secretaries must be confirmed to succeed, then a truly dedicated individual could just keep taking them out until we got a good pick. I had thought they'd be able to replace themselves from their departments. That's actually much more hopeful!*

*For some values of hope.
posted by corb at 11:02 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


The Kansas shooting story is making the rounds in India, apparently, and it's certainly going to color how they see our country now.

You could be the most pro-Modi pro-Hindutva Indian-American living in the burbs and see that and realise that a random magahat loser might murder you for being as "Middle East" a person as he ever encounters in his daily life.

It's not enough to get Bannon out of the White House. Even if booted outside, his puppet will take his calls.
posted by holgate at 11:06 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


For another value of hope, here's A Spell to Bind Donald Trump
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:17 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Personally, I'm excited the GOP is changing its traditional position on bimetallism. Free silver at 16:1!
posted by Chrysostom at 11:51 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


If you go by Wikipedia's list, acting secretaries count and #8 is still an Obama appointee.

Although I question if this means that if something were to happen to a secretary does the next person in line automatically become acting secretary, forcing you to cycle through all the senate-confirmed personnel in State before you move on to Treasury.
posted by ckape at 12:14 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Trump is secretly a little spooked by all those pagans casting spells on him. Like, I wonder if he goes on lockdown that day and just plays it safe hiding out and eating taco bowls and watching apprentice reruns
posted by ian1977 at 12:30 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Trump is secretly a little spooked by all those pagans casting spells on him.

Dude is not anywhere close to a practising Christian despite what the GOP base deludes themselves into thinking so I don't think he gives a crap.
posted by PenDevil at 12:31 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Doesn't mean he doesn't believe in magic.
posted by ian1977 at 12:43 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


I think there's a reason Pence has been increasingly distanced from the Trumpists and it's not purely political optics. If the Russia ties are fully exposed you could see any or all of them frogmarched out of office.

Even if we weren't in Hollywood scriptwriter reality then losing multiple members of the line of succession isn't wildly out of bounds.

Except for Ryan, Russians love their grannies.
posted by fullerine at 1:07 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Re:magic
A good part of the power of 'magic' is in the suggestion. There was a motorcycle racer (V.Rossi) who used to regularly hex his opponents - that is, he would make a joke in some presser about hiring a witch to make sure his opponent never crossed the finish line ahead of him ever again. And it worked.
(The fact that Rossi is/was the greatest helped, but still)
So the power of the hex is going to rely on how perceptive the witches are. What is Trump's big fear? That no one will like him? So if they hex him that he will only continue to sink in popularity, I think they have a chance.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:50 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Sheriff Clarke: Trump Could Be the 'Winston Churchill of the 21st Century'

A drunkard?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:31 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy: If you deport all of the immigrants, the lettuce has to get picked by someone. What gives me chills is the thought of private prisons selling the labor of their inmates. As we all know, USAG Sessions has always approved of chain gangs so this is all lining up nicely for them. Selective arrests of POC for pot use (undoubtedly bumped up to charges of dealing) sent to private prison and thus we will have slavery in America whether we like it or not.

Apropos: From Our Prison to Your Dinner Table (2015)
The Cañon City prison complex has numerous industries on its sprawling grounds, which are so large that from most vantage points you can’t see the prison fences. It has the country’s largest water-buffalo dairy. If you have eaten buffalo mozzarella in this country, there is a very good chance you have eaten the product of inmate labor. Supermarket chains sell tilapia raised in enormous vats on the prison’s grounds. Inmates stitch sweatbands, craft zebra-wood fishing rods, and collect honey for sale. Because the prison wants to keep its industries small and its captive labor market unnoticed — especially by private competitors and by the consumers who buy, eat, wear, or cuddle their products — their goods aren’t marked as the product of indentured labor. If you have profited from the work of a person in chains, you almost certainly don’t know about it. And by keeping the products unlabeled and unnoticed, prison labor systems all over the country have skirted uproar over whether prison labor is fair and just.
posted by syzygy at 2:58 AM on February 24 [53 favorites]


blah blah destroy FedGov

If FedGov goes away tomorrow the "uncountable" number of federal laws will still be on the books. ("Ignorance of the law is no excuse" indeed)

The only check on power will be the courts - the ONLY check on power is still not being observed and reported on.

The Libertarians can't be bothered to set such up for when they have a limited FedGov. Black Lives Matter - a group that often complains about a lack of justice can't seem to be bothered.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:00 AM on February 24


Sheriff Clarke probably meant that Trump is going to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:13 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Trump is secretly a little spooked by all those pagans casting spells on him

I wonder (given his penchant for typos and anagrams) if he checks his bath for these or maybe his bed for these?
posted by Myeral at 3:58 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Um, holy shit, today the president is tweeting about the FBI.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:54 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security "leakers" that have permeated our government for a long time. They can't even......

@realDonaldTrump
find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW


Well, between Spicer saying they didn't ask the FBI to knock the story down, just to tell the truth and now this, I think we can be assured it's true that the White House tried to interfere with a federal investigation into Trump's Russia connections.
posted by chris24 at 4:57 AM on February 24 [75 favorites]


He's absolutely right about devastating effects; these leaks could get his ass kicked out of the white house.
posted by valkane at 5:03 AM on February 24 [29 favorites]


So basically, it's Spicer: Just tell the truth. Trump: Stop telling the truth.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:10 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Well, now I'm fascinated to see what he'll say at CPAC this morning. I hope he just lets loose with the insane.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:12 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


nota bene: thanks chris24 for quoting the Trump twitter - makes everything easier by factors of many
posted by From Bklyn at 5:26 AM on February 24 [24 favorites]


My (unpaid, volunteer) job is to give them all the technology to self-organize more effectively

Deets plz? On the tech part that is.
posted by petebest at 5:41 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


My unbelievably unqualified armchair diagnosising has determined that Turdrump may not have dementia as such - the next stage we would see would include an inability to find words, and I don't think anyone expects that to happen.

He is pretty batshit though - so I'm now thinking drugs. Some exciting combination of methamphetamine, xanax, coke, claritin, lipitor, diet coke, alleve, and whatever the predominant element in McDonald's food is.
posted by petebest at 5:51 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


So, having made an enemy of the entire US intelligence service, Trump is now working on pissing off federal law enforcement. Smart plan.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:52 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Well isn't this interesting.

@RogerJStoneJr
A crackdown on legal marijuana in the states will cost thousands of jobs & bankrupt local govt- huge mistake #StatesRights @realDonaldTrump
posted by chris24 at 5:56 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


roger stone becomes a way more understandable phenomenon if you assume that he is totally baked at all times
posted by murphy slaw at 6:01 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]


Trump taking aim at "FBI leaks" is fucking hilarious since we know that the most significant "FBI leaker" is Jim Comey (and his little pal Chaffetz), and they let out stuff that helped Trump win. And now Trump's turning on him and giving him shit about it!

Comey has probably had just about enough of The Donald now anyhow, though. I mean, the FBI briefed Obama and Trump about the Flynn problem. Any non-idiot would have immediately found some way to deal with it to limit damage, but Trump just sits there and does nothing until it's a huge press circus. Jesus, the FBI is investigating and has ample evidence, there are already lots of press leaks, someone has the captured phone calls, and you somehow think this is going away and you won't get publicly caught? That's probably the point where Comey said, "Fuck you, you're too reckless and stupid to live; I'm just going to do my actual job now so I don't end up in a federal prison cell adjacent to Stephen Miller."
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:04 AM on February 24 [12 favorites]


john boehner is the happiest republican in america because this shit is not his problem anymore
Earlier in the panel discussion, Boehner said he “started laughing” when Republicans started talking about moving lightning fast on repeal and then coming up with an alternative.

"In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time agreed on what a health care proposal should look like. Not once,” Boehner said. “And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal—yeah, we'll do replace, replace—I started laughing, because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.”
posted by murphy slaw at 6:05 AM on February 24 [110 favorites]


roger stone becomes a way more understandable phenomenon if you assume that he is totally baked at all times

don't blame the weed, man
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:07 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


From the VP of the National Association of Manufacturers.

@LDempseyNAM
Looked at 2016 #trade data this am. U.S. has a surplus in #manufactured goods trade with 152 countries, including 18 of 20 FTA partners.
posted by chris24 at 6:07 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


> roger stone becomes a way more understandable phenomenon if you assume that he is totally baked at all times

Stoned, even.

(On a slightly more substantive note, yes, that Kansas shooting story has been sent around on multiple Indian community lists. It's not a good look.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 6:09 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


John Boehner really is approaching RINO status, he all but openly hates the modern form of the party.
posted by jaduncan at 6:28 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Apparently my only choices are personality disorders.

I'm wondering what the decline is called - he can't finish a sentence these days. Usually he doesn't even try.
posted by petebest at 6:31 AM on February 24


John Boehner really is approaching RINO death status. Wants forgiveness for his many many sins.
posted by petebest at 6:34 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


From the Finely-Tuned, Well-Oiled Machine:

State Department writes anti-leak memo, which promptly leaks
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:37 AM on February 24 [40 favorites]


It's certainly blindingly obvious to anyone not an active republican that it's a bad idea - both for people in general but also for republicans long term. Who knows hie much of that gets through.
posted by Artw at 6:38 AM on February 24


I sometimes wonder if he's going to end up with a Lee Atwater style tell-all conversion. But it's not the ethics that is the tell for RINO, it's the contempt for the populist right, Ryan and Trump. The barely concealed schadenfreude at various Republican self-inflicted difficulties is, IMO, extremely telling.
posted by jaduncan at 6:39 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Exclusive: Senior Trump Aide Forged Key Ties To Anti-Semitic Groups In Hungary: Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:42 AM on February 24 [29 favorites]


What a total gorka.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:45 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


I'm still hoping that at some point Trump gets up in front of the national media and says "What the hell is wrong with you? Look at the campaign. Look at this presidency. How on earth could you, the media, the craven Republican assholes, the cheering crowd of sycophants, ever think this was ok? The fact that I got to this point means our political system is fundamentally broken. Fuck you all."
posted by Talez at 6:46 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Look, Donald Trump is the least antisemitic guy with ties to antisemitic groups in Hungary that you'll ever meet. He's said this.
posted by Artw at 6:46 AM on February 24 [21 favorites]


Gorka sounds like a real piece of work. But I guess we really can't expect him to be fired or asked to resign until he inadvertently briefs the VP with incomplete information.
posted by zakur at 6:47 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Look, Donald Trump is the least antisemitic guy...

Clearly.

@realDonaldTrump
I promise you that I'm much smarter than Jonathan Leibowitz - I mean Jon Stewart @TheDailyShow. Who, by the way, is totally overrated.
posted by chris24 at 6:48 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]


What not-antisemite has ever not done that? Now, on to more pertinent things, like putting all the immigrants in camps...
posted by Artw at 6:50 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Why did that tweet make me angrier at him personally than I've been in months? Maybe the low but witting level of antisemitism. Less of a demented xenophobia stew like we mostly get now.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:51 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


why did that tweet make me angrier at him than I've been in months?

Usually his tweets are unhinged or stupid. That one is plain evil.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:52 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Jon Stewart's bit about that tweet is hilarious.
"So I start to think to myself, Oh, I think this guy is trying to let people know I’m a Jew. And I think to myself, doesn’t my face do that? Honestly, like, where have you seen this face other than a poster for Yentl? In what world are people like, Stewart, that’s a Scottish name, but there’s something about that fella that looks a little schmeary. It would be funny if it wasn’t so toxically fucking crude and horrible, but. So I decide to tweet back at him, “Many people don’t know this, but Donald Trump’s real name is Fuckface Von Clownstick. I wish you would embrace the Von Clownstick heritage.”

You remember, by the way, Lincoln used to get into this shit all the time. I swear to god this is true, the man that will more than likely, given the FBI’s preference, be our next president, then tweeted, “Amazing how the haters and losers keep tweeting the name Fuckface Von Clownstick like they are so original and like no one else is doing it.” What happened is, as it turned out, a lot of people on Twitter picked up on the name Fuckface von Clownstick and started tweeting at it. Then he tweets, “What’s funny about the name Fuckface von Clownstick? It was not coined by Jon Lebowitz, he stole it from a moron on Twitter.” So I tweet back, “We seem to have hit a Fuckface Von Nervestick.” Silence. Radio silence. Four days later, I shit you not, perhaps the next president of the greatest country in the world, at 1:30 in the morning, tweeted, “Little Jon Stewart is a pussy, and would be hopeless in a debate with me.” Vote wisely this November. "
posted by xyzzy at 6:59 AM on February 24 [83 favorites]


Predict Price for 'will trump be president at end up 2017?' is now at $0.21 for no. 19 hours ago it was at $0.17.
posted by ian1977 at 7:02 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Vote wisely this November

(we did not)
posted by Artw at 7:04 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Well, most of us did
posted by ian1977 at 7:05 AM on February 24 [41 favorites]


Good catch.
posted by Artw at 7:06 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


NBC: Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will deliver Democratic response to President Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:09 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Oh god, is Trump going to tell Congress about his electoral college win and what a great job he's doing but the media needs to let him loose on the bad hombres? You hear one stream of bullshit from that man you've heard them all.
posted by Artw at 7:11 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


NBC: Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will deliver Democratic response to President Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday.

"And now, with the Democratic response, Governor Beshear."
"..."
"Governor?"
"Are you fucking kidding me with this sh--"
[TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES SLIDE]
posted by Etrigan at 7:11 AM on February 24 [39 favorites]


Michigan GOP's tax cut fiasco may be a preview of what's coming to congress.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:12 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]


They really should have picked Maxine Waters, though.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:13 AM on February 24 [23 favorites]


Maxine Waters for house minority leader, Maxine Waters for DNC Chair, Maxine Waters for God Empress
posted by murphy slaw at 7:14 AM on February 24 [40 favorites]


Rust Moranis: State Department writes anti-leak memo, which promptly leaks
“When such information is leaked … It chills the willingness of senior government officials to seek robust and candid advice, which ultimately is to the detriment of informed policymaking and the reputation of the institution from which the leak emanated,” the memo states.
Oh, don't worry. Senior government officials get their information from other sources already.
“The Department has also benefitted [sic] from the existence of the Dissent Channel, which is itself a confidential deliberative channel that seeks to facilitate open, creative, and uncensored dialogue on substantive foreign policy issues,” the memo says.

Even before Tillerson was in place, more than 900 State Department employees used the Dissent Channel to object to President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries. The Dissent Channel cable was leaked to the media even before it was filed.
Yeah, somehow I don't think a bunch of government employee signatures is going to shift the mind of Pres Bannon and his sidekick Trump. And let's say it didn't leak, would anyone outside of the State Department know of this level of disagreement with the President's decision? Doubtful.
It makes sense that Tillerson would want to show a White House very paranoid about leaks that he runs a tight ship. But many State Department bureaucrats don’t feel that they are able to affect policy through the normal channels due to what they see as lack of communication coming from Trump’s and Tillerson’s people.
My point exactly.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:15 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Yup. Pretty sure the ONLY time they would hear robust and candid advice is if it leaked, or maybe as part of someone's "fuck you" as they head out the door.
posted by Artw at 7:18 AM on February 24


It seems like the Dissent Channel is pretty much the polite equivalent of this sort of cheeky complaint form.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


john boehner is the happiest republican in america because this shit is not his problem anymore

Although he's still an asshole for not actually saying this (Republicans will never figure out how to actually repeal and replace) while he was in fucking office.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:19 AM on February 24 [23 favorites]


The Dissent Channel. That should be the new progressive news conglomerate.
posted by ian1977 at 7:20 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


oh, please have no illusions that i think that the new RV-drivin' give-no-fucks Boehner is a good person.

It's just that all throughout his term as speaker he had this sort of resigned, constipated look on his face and it's pretty funny to watch the shit fly everywhere now that he doesn't have any skin in the game.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:22 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


why did that tweet make me angrier at him than I've been in months?

Usually his tweets are unhinged or stupid. That one is plain evil.


Yeah, evidence yet again that he's such a manifestly horrific person/politician that anyone who supports him is obviously a blathering idiot, willful ignorant or evil ideologue and not worth the effort to try to convince. Those with doubts or hesitancy who might possibly turn on him will come on their own. Any effort by Dems to expedite will just harden their commitment.
posted by chris24 at 7:22 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Those are actual Trump tweets in xyzzy's comment above? That back and forth about a mean nickname with Jon Stewart?

Jiminy Christmas.
posted by notyou at 7:26 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Trump just began speaking at CPAC.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:26 AM on February 24


Yes, notyou. The tweets are real and not yet deleted. To wit:
Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump

Amazing how the haters & losers keep tweeting the name “F**kface Von Clownstick” like they are so original & like no one else is doing it...

12:35 PM · May 3, 2013
posted by xyzzy at 7:30 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Trump just began speaking at CPAC.

"Good work, all the Nazis, keep it up!"
posted by Artw at 7:30 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Trump just began speaking at CPAC.

And I just began drinking at my desk.
posted by mikelieman at 7:30 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Trump saying he's not against the media, but that media makes up sources. (That is, sources used without being named). "Let them say it to my face," says Trump. "You sould see stories drying up like you've never seen before." Now, he's onto dissing polls.
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 7:30 AM on February 24


Straight out of the gate, shitting on Reuters.
posted by Talez at 7:31 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


It's amazing that someone wouldn't have maybe gone thru and tidied up his Twitter account like 2 years ago.
posted by ian1977 at 7:32 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Wow. CPAC is going nuts over that red meat you'd think they're obligate carnivores.
posted by Talez at 7:32 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


2017, folks. The president of the united states is addressing one of the largest gatherings of conservative "thinkers" and he can't think of anything to say besides "the media are mean to me". No vision, no direction for the party, just fucking whinging.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:33 AM on February 24 [54 favorites]


"Let them say it to my face," says Trump. "You sould see stories drying up like you've never seen before."

IIRC one of the women he said he was lying about him being a sick, degenerate pervert is saying it to his face in Federal Court. Kudos to Summer Zervos. She ain't going anywhere.
posted by mikelieman at 7:33 AM on February 24 [22 favorites]


No vision, no direction for the party, just fucking whinging.

When the entire cognitive framing of the Republi/Con party is, "We are the victims!", there's not a lot of inspiration to go with other than, "and I'll show them!"
posted by mikelieman at 7:35 AM on February 24 [14 favorites]


The president of the united states is addressing one of the largest gatherings of conservative "thinkers" and he can't think of anything to say besides "the media are mean to me". No vision, no direction for the party, just fucking whinging.

Sadly, he didn't need a vision or a direction. "The media are mean to me" was enough to get him to the Oval Office.
posted by Etrigan at 7:35 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


When the entire cognitive framing of the Republi/Con party is, "We are the victims!", there's not a lot of inspiration to go with other than, "and I'll show them!"

Sounds like those snowflakes need a safe space. /s
posted by Talez at 7:35 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Is this the longest victory lap in the history of a Presidency?

We get it Donald. You won.
posted by dis_integration at 7:35 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


if you aren't following alexandra petri on twitter, you are missing out

trump speech formula:
60% media criticism
38% reminiscing about win
2% attempts to address whatever event he is attending

posted by murphy slaw at 7:36 AM on February 24 [45 favorites]


Let them say it to my face

This is the same thing Gorka said in the recorded call from yesterday. I think they recently decided that it's a very alpha male thing to say.
posted by diogenes at 7:36 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


Welcome to the theocracy.
Why the Christian Right Is Rejoicing Under Trump's Presidency.
Get rid of Trump, get rid of Bannon, but you still have to deal with the crazy dominionist agenda.
posted by adamvasco at 7:36 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


Sounds like those snowflakes need a safe space. /s

It's always Trump's Mirror. Always.
posted by mikelieman at 7:37 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


At least he didn't bother to hire a speechwriter.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:37 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


> Is this the longest victory lap in the history of a Presidency?

How do you expect the next 47 months to go?
posted by zrail at 7:37 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


47 months? Nooooo! I have $100 on less than 10 months.
posted by ian1977 at 7:38 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


"If our presidents would have gone to the beach for fifteen years, we would be in much better shape than we are now."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:40 AM on February 24


Fuck I can't watch this speech anymore. It's just the incoherent ramblings of someone who is out of their depth.
posted by Talez at 7:40 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


"Let them say it to my face," says Trump. "You sould see stories drying up like you've never seen before."

He's right. Challenged - in his face - by NBC's Peter Alexander about his bullshit Electoral College victory claims in that last unhinged presser of his, Trump dried up real quick.
posted by zakur at 7:40 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]


he's just riffing at CPAC, isn't he.
whine
whine
lie
lie
self-aggrandization x 10
lie
whine
lie
chest thumping
posted by angrycat at 7:40 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Fuck I can't watch this speech anymore. It's just the incoherent ramblings of someone who is out of their depth mind.

posted by murphy slaw at 7:41 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


What the fuck is going to happen when something happens that actuall requires a president?

Oh right, he'll declare martial law. And fuck it up somehow.
posted by Artw at 7:41 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


vrakatar: Has the DOJ statement about private prisons been linked? Here it is! It also sucks.
The Department of Justice has rescinded guidance from August that discouraged the use of private prisons.

"This will restore (the Bureau of Prison's) flexibility to manage the federal prison inmate population based on capacity needs," the Justice Department said in a statement.

In August, then-deputy Attorney General Sally Yates directed the Bureau of Prisons to reduce its use of private prison contracts. In the August memo, she said private prisons had been used to house a prison population that had grown 800% between 1980 and 2013.

But, she said, the population is now on the decline, from 220,000 in 2013 to 195,000 in 2016.
Emphasis mine - when the president see minorities and dissenters as criminals, of course you want more places to house prisoners. Also, if they walk back on the legalization of marijuana, expect another boom in arrests, if states don't push back.

On this general topic, New Mexico is another state with budget issues, and my state re, a Republican, has a survey online, asking for input on a variety of problems, including "biggest problems," which are as Republican as you might expect (1. Crime, 2. Government regulations, 3. Lack of skilled workforce, 4. Taxes, and 5. Other), and a section on the death penalty. I'm going to reply to that "other" option by asking him to pursue saving the state millions by "re-focusing police and judicial system efforts away from non-violent drug use and immigration cases."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:41 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


It's amazing that someone wouldn't have maybe gone thru and tidied up his Twitter account like 2 years ago.

These are people who cannot hire a marginally competent press secretary. Or find light switches. Or even stop their guy from Tweeting from an insecure phone.

I mean, competence is just not their thing, you know?
posted by emjaybee at 7:42 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]




What the fuck is going to happen when something happens that actuall requires a president?

You mean like approving a special ops raid based on shaky intel?
posted by Etrigan at 7:43 AM on February 24 [11 favorites]


It's just another Trump rally in a less downmarket venue with a somewhat better-dressed audience of knuckle-draggers.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:44 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


i wonder: if you woke up trump in the middle of the night and put a podium in front of him, would he reflexively start making one of these speeches?
posted by murphy slaw at 7:46 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: At least he didn't bother to hire a speechwriter.

He's saving the American People even more money! What a guy.

(Really, how could we even tell he hired a speechwriter? Only if he stuck to what showed up on a teleprompter, and even then he's likely to ad-lib so much you would have trouble following along if you got the script in advance.)

(Which makes me really sad to realize Trump's speeches will be added to the impressive collection of the American Presidency Project - will future generations worry that they've hit a corrupted part of the website when they read Trump's words?)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:48 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Oh right, he'll declare martial law. And fuck it up somehow.

"Marshall law."

Possibly "Martial Plan." Marital? Martian!
posted by notyou at 7:49 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Penny Marshall Law
posted by ian1977 at 7:50 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


""The media are mean to me" was enough to get him to the Oval Office."

And it only works as long as your followers identify with you. The crumbling edges of support aren't reacting to his policy, but towards his constant fucking whining. The "victimized" voted for a winner. He doesn't sound like a winner and their champion when he's whining.
posted by klarck at 7:50 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


protesters or uh, over-enthusiastic supporters?:

A section of people in the back of #CPAC2017 waving Russian flags -- a staffer just came and demanded they all be handed over.


Ah, i was wondering what the air-right trolls were going to do next. Since CPAC had made it clear that Nazi imagery is verboten, I was wondering what kind of "jokes" they were going to be trolling with next.

My question now is what happens if the GOP establishment starts looking like it has a stick up is butt with regards to its image? Will there trolls turn on the establishment, or just roll over and behave in exchange for a doggy treat now and then?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:50 AM on February 24


I'm not actually convinced he ever stops giving this speech. It's just a continuous feed he taps into.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on February 24 [22 favorites]


TRUMP: This fake news article is the last straw! MARTIAL LAW!
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY: why are you calling me at 3am
posted by murphy slaw at 7:51 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]


A section of people in the back of #CPAC2017 waving Russian flags -- a staffer just came and demanded they all be handed over.

corb, did you do this?
posted by tobascodagama at 7:51 AM on February 24 [17 favorites]


it gets even better, the little russian flags say TRUMP on them

literally cannot tell epic stupidity from epic troll anymore
posted by murphy slaw at 7:52 AM on February 24 [82 favorites]


He doesn't sound like a winner and their champion when he's whining.

I wouldn't be so sure. To another aggrieved person, another person whining about the same thing they want to whine about doesn't sound like whining, it sounds like commiserating at least and since it's coming from the (supposedly) most powerful man on the planet it probably sounds a whole lot like, "He gets me! This incredibly powerful man really gets me!"
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:53 AM on February 24 [19 favorites]


Penny Marshall Law

"I've got the best schlmeil, schlemazel, I've cut a great deal with Hassenpfeffer Incorporated that will bring hundreds of jobs!"
posted by emjaybee at 7:53 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


So not only was trump absent from the situation room during the botched Yemen raid, he was actually busy tweeting. FML.
posted by localhuman at 7:55 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Starring Steve Bannon and Reince Pribus as Lenny and Squiggy.
posted by ian1977 at 7:55 AM on February 24 [24 favorites]


yeah the whining to me is as appealing as a dog's breakfast, but it's nothing new for him. some people must love the whining. it's the airing of seemingly stifled grievances
posted by angrycat at 7:56 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


literally cannot tell epic stupidity from epic troll anymore

Why are we assuming this is a troll? We should take them at absolute face value.

Republicans are now the party of anti-democracy and authoritarian dictatorship allied with Putin to overthrow the US government from within, actively engaged in and covering up their involvement with Russian intelligence operations against the US. It's not a troll, and if it started out that way, the practical effects are now no different than true belief.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:57 AM on February 24 [32 favorites]


President Festivus
posted by ian1977 at 7:57 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Daniel Dale with the ice-cold shade:
Mike Pence likened Trump to Reagan last night. This is Reagan's first speech to CPAC at president. http://reagan2020.us/speeches/remarks_at_cpac_dinner.asp
posted by murphy slaw at 7:57 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


So not only was trump absent from the situation room during the botched Yemen raid, he was actually busy tweeting. FML.

Blood on his hands.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:57 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


New PPP poll: Trump Badly Losing His Fights With Media
62% of voters nationally think Trump should keep his cable watching to less than an hour a day, and 82% think he needs to keep it under 2 hours a day. Just 6% of voters in the country think it's a good idea for Trump to spend more than 2 hours a day watching cable news.

Last week Trump declared that the news media was the 'enemy of the American people' but we find that only 35% of voters believe that, to 53% who say that isn't the case. By a 48/44 spread they say it is actually Trump who is the greater threat to the American people than the media. We asked voters who they thought had more credibility between Trump and each of the outlets he singled out for attack last week, and Trump loses out to every one of them by double digits:
Also:
-Infowars has higher credibility than Breitbart
-majority supports ACA for first time
-"We find this week that support for impeaching Trump is at 41%, with 46% of voters opposed to impeachment. 70% of voters think it should be legal to protest Trump, to 21% who think protesting Trump should be illegal. Among Trump's voters it's closer with 51% thinking protesting the President should be legal to 38% who say they think it should be illegal."

Full results PDF.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:58 AM on February 24 [26 favorites]


The most popular article on Red State the other day was about how conservatives are "behaving like liberals" in the wake of the election. In this context, acting like a liberal means judging people's moral character on the basis of their political beliefs. The thesis was that the rift between pro- and anti-Trump conservatives was causing conservatives to treat each other with the disdain that liberals treat conservatives with. "In the last few months I’ve simply come to the sad realization that the conservative movement was never a righteous movement. It was just a political one. We may have the best ideas on American exceptionalism, the economy and freedom, and we may have correctly predicted the backlash that would one day hit liberal America, but the one thing we didn’t count on while fighting this war was our own human nature," the author concludes. Even internal disagreements are perceived as victimizing. For anyone to disapprove of you or say you're gravely wrong makes you a victim. The goalposts have been moved so far that if anyone substantively disagrees with you, you're a martyr.

Trump's obsession with his own victimhood plays to crowds like CPAC because the modern conservative movement is centered on victimhood. I think Trump will maintain his popularity even as he breaks or is unable to carry out nearly every one of his campaign promises because he embraces the victim narrative more fully than any other right winger in public life. The fact that he's a magnet for criticism will continue to validate him in the eyes of the perpetually aggrieved. What seems like absurd whining to us taps into the driving emotional force of his base.
posted by vathek at 8:01 AM on February 24 [45 favorites]


I'm glad that he's losing the fight with the media in the polls, but the number of people who think it should be illegal to protest Trump makes me think well it was a good run America.
posted by angrycat at 8:03 AM on February 24 [21 favorites]


The fact that he's a magnet for criticism will continue to validate him in the eyes of the perpetually aggrieved.

"If they hate you, you're doing something right" is going to be carved on the entrance of his tomb.
posted by Etrigan at 8:04 AM on February 24


CPAC chanting "lock her up." Cool
posted by theodolite at 8:04 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


you see these are the finest minds in the intellectually rigorous conservative movement, gathered together to exchange ideas
posted by murphy slaw at 8:06 AM on February 24 [64 favorites]


Trump: "We are all equal in the eyes of almighty God... except deplorables." [fake, but basically true]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:08 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Trump's obsession with his own victimhood plays to crowds like CPAC because the modern conservative movement is centered on victimhood. I think Trump will maintain his popularity even as he breaks or is unable to carry out nearly every one of his campaign promises because he embraces the victim narrative more fully than any other right winger in public life. The fact that he's a magnet for criticism will continue to validate him in the eyes of the perpetually aggrieved. What seems like absurd whining to us taps into the driving emotional force of his base.

That seems to align with other articles advocating the importance of attacking the authoritarian's policies, rather than the authoritarian himself. It's not going to stop him from trying to equate attacks on his policies with attacks on him personally, but his working class voters are less likely to stick with him if they understand how his decisions personally affect their lives. I think this is why the outrage over the ACA is gaining so much more traction: Everyone needs healthcare.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:08 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]




Personality cults are impervious to facts, and that's what they've become now.

Ironically, this happened because they first decided "fuck facts, facts make us feel bad and question our actions, we are going to ignore them or bury them." I mean, after that, a fact-impervious bully is more likely to end up in charge.
posted by emjaybee at 8:10 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Lana Del Ray wants you to join her coven in hexxing Donald Trump tonight at the stroke of midnight

The only reason I'm not doing this is that it requires possessing an image of that asshole. Even if it gets destroyed during the ritual, I just can't stomach having that kind of vileness in my house.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:12 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


you can just peel a yam
posted by murphy slaw at 8:13 AM on February 24 [53 favorites]


Can anyone explain that gibberish about 9 sources near the start?
posted by halifix at 8:13 AM on February 24


OK - it's not so much a hex as a binding spell. Just to be clear.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:16 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]




>> State Department writes anti-leak memo, which promptly leaks
> “When such information is leaked … It chills the willingness of senior government officials to seek robust and candid advice, which ultimately is to the detriment of informed policymaking and the reputation of the institution from which the leak emanated,” the memo states.


Uhm, good? Let 'em keep screwing up the background on anything they're trying to get done. If it makes 'em work harder and take longer to get an EO or bill drafted, leaves more opportunities for challenges, makes 'em look even less competent than they do now ... then yay.

> Lana Del Ray / Hex / Binding spell

Hrm, would it be considered better for participants to do their rituals at local midnight or simultaneously?
posted by Enturbulated at 8:23 AM on February 24


The BBC breaking-news hex of today is more like "let's just quote him. It leaks--straight out of his mouth...

Addressing the Conservative Political Action Congress, he vowed to always put American citizens first and build a "great, great border wall".
He also promised to focus on "getting bad people out of this country".
Mr Trump was greeted by chants of "USA, USA, USA!" as he addressed the annual forum in Maryland.
"We're building the wall," Mr Trump said in his keynote address on Friday.
"In fact it's going to start very soon. Way ahead of schedule. It's way, way, way ahead of schedule."


I like his method of compensating for a total lack of synonyms by repetition. Apparently the crowd picked up on the technique in their "chants".
posted by Namlit at 8:24 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Let them say it to my face

He does super awesome when people call him out to his face *cough*Khan family*cough*

The only people who confront him that he can best are craven Republican politicians that have a whole political machine acting to make them fall in line.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:24 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Enturbulated - I'll do mine at eastern time midnight if that makes it stronger. I may go out and do it next to my beehive, just in case they overhear something they might take action on.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:27 AM on February 24 [30 favorites]


Listening to Sarah Kendzior on internet radio (The Rick Smith Show (via Twitter, hadn't heard of it before)) and it made me think of her Canadian Exceptionalism article in the Globe and Mail. She spoke at McGill University.
Never, as an American, had I been greeted abroad with such instinctive pity, as if I’d just returned from a funeral – for democracy, perhaps, or for national dignity ... “How do we not end up like you?” the audience politely inquired.
posted by kingless at 8:30 AM on February 24 [20 favorites]


Starring Steve Bannon and Reince Pribus as Lenny and Squiggy.

NaziNutz: These CBP officers aren't doing enough to whiten up the place!
Dumnads: Yeah but they've got to at least pretend to follow the law. What else can they do?

[Door flies open, Priebus and Bannon enter]

Priebus: Hellooooo!
posted by petebest at 8:34 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


France: "Well if you're finished with him..."

oui, on puet
posted by Buntix at 8:35 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Sophie - just general curiosity on this end rather than current planning. Granted, the day is young-ish.
posted by Enturbulated at 8:36 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


the number of people who think it should be illegal to protest Trump makes me think well it was a good run America.

was it really, though?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:39 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


62% of voters nationally think Trump should keep his cable watching to less than an hour a day, and 82% think he needs to keep it under 2 hours a day. Just 6% of voters in the country think it's a good idea for Trump to spend more than 2 hours a day watching cable news.

How about no cable news at all and read a goddamn report for a change.
posted by vverse23 at 8:41 AM on February 24 [30 favorites]


Trump’s Health-Care Nightmare Is Only Just Beginning
Republicans may not have even realized until recently how deeply their ability to make political hay on Obamacare depended on not having power. They could posture against every inconvenient aspect of an industry nobody has ever liked, and promise all things to all people, with no responsibility to fulfill their grandiose promises. Now the dynamic has reversed. Loss aversion has inspired massive, energetic protests to speak up for a law Democrats could hardly be roused to defend before, while the energy has drained away from the opposition.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:41 AM on February 24 [39 favorites]


I'm seriously squicked out by the whole recasting Laverne and Shirley with actors from the Trump Administration. Don't stop on my account, but really, I'm pretty sure all the principals would stand in opposition to the Trump Nazis.
posted by mikelieman at 8:41 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


When does Flynn speak?
posted by Artw at 8:43 AM on February 24


Never, as an American, had I been greeted abroad with such instinctive pity, as if I’d just returned from a funeral – for democracy, perhaps, or for national dignity ... “How do we not end up like you?” the audience politely inquired.

yes, I've had several Canadian friends ask me this same question

my responses were along the lines of, "unite the left, solidarity now, don't think 'it can't happen here.'"

It will depend on what happens in the Conservative leadership race and if a fascist/sympathizer manages to win.

Their danger is that the left is already split among Liberal, NDP and Bloc; if Trudeau's popularity wanes, as it looks like it may be starting to do (I know we all love him down here, but the honeymoon is looking to be ending as far as I can tell)...
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:44 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


When does Flynn speak?

When Alex Jones moves the hand up his ass.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:44 AM on February 24 [21 favorites]


corb, did you do this?

Sadly, no. But God bless the McMullin mafia, who I'm sure are involved.
posted by corb at 8:46 AM on February 24 [34 favorites]


'No anonymous sources,' Trump scolds _ after WH uses them: Donald Trump used his first presidential appearance before the nation's largest gathering of conservative activists on Friday to sharply escalate his criticism of the news media and take direct aim at the use of anonymous sources. Reporters "shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name," he declared, just hours after members of his own staff held a press briefing and refused to allow their names to be used.

"A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being, let them say it to my face," Trump told the Conservative Political Action Committee. "Let there be no more sources."

Members of Trump's White House team regularly demand anonymity when talking to reporters.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:47 AM on February 24 [52 favorites]


If Michael McKean and David Lander wanted to do SNL as Bannon and Priebus, I would wholeheartedly support them.
posted by mubba at 8:48 AM on February 24 [11 favorites]


It's amazing that someone wouldn't have maybe gone thru and tidied up his Twitter account like 2 years ago.

Gotta save them for the presidential library. Without tweets and his ghostwritten books it's gonna be pretty empty.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:51 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


@HeerJeet
"The GOP, from now on, will be ALSO, the party of the American worker."
Okay, a nationalist workers party. Can we get an acronym for that?
posted by chris24 at 8:52 AM on February 24 [44 favorites]


The most popular article on Red State the other day was about how conservatives are "behaving like liberals" in the wake of the election. In this context, acting like a liberal means judging people's moral character on the basis of their political beliefs.

I have a really hard time wrapping my head around this idea that one oughtn't evaluate someone's moral character based on their political beliefs and actions. Even if you love your children and immediate family, go to church, and are reasonably polite to strangers, at the end of the day, if you engage in political activity in order to create or reinforce oppressive power structures aimed at women, people of color, queer people, trans people, religious minorities or whomever you got a hateon for, I will to judge you negatively.

When a person's politics are a bright neon sign that screams, 'I don't even consider you fully human', why shouldn't that person be judged negatively? Why are people shocked that many other people find it objectively awful to even consider debating the humanity of entire groups? Political belief and action don't exist in a vacuum.

...And they call us 'snowflakes'.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:53 AM on February 24 [76 favorites]


MetaFilter: just the incoherent ramblings of someone who is out of their depth.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:55 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Sadly, no. But God bless the McMullin mafia, who I'm sure are involved.

I was thinking John Schindler (@20committee) and pals might be involved, he was speaking there and he's one of the loudest voices saying Trump's in bed with Russia (he's the one who tweeted about a "senior IC friend" of his saying re: Trump "he will die in jail"). I'm kind of interested to hear his talk, it was called Russia: Friend or Foe and I wonder if he toned it down for the Trumpists or not.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:58 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


@JohnWDean: I have expertise on this matter. Push back on an FBI investigation of the White House is better known as a COVER UP
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:03 AM on February 24 [125 favorites]


Oh snap, John Dean.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:05 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


it must be so fucking surreal to be john dean these days
posted by murphy slaw at 9:12 AM on February 24 [34 favorites]


I apologize for inadvertently slandering the cast of Laverne & Shirley just so I could make a joke about Hassenpfeffer Incorporated.

Though now I am forever going to see Bannon and Priebus as Lenny and Squiggy.

At any rate, I'm sure Trump wouldn't approve of two unmarried working-class chicks believing they are "makin' our dreams come true."
posted by emjaybee at 9:12 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Namlit: "We're building the wall," Mr Trump said in his keynote address on Friday. "In fact it's going to start very soon. Way ahead of schedule. It's way, way, way ahead of schedule."

A funny thing about schedules - if you don't have one, how can you be ahead of it?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]


We're gonna do it!
Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.


LOCK THEM UP! LOCK THEM UP!
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:15 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Namlit: "We're building the wall," Mr Trump said in his keynote address on Friday. "In fact it's going to start very soon. Way ahead of schedule. It's way, way, way ahead of schedule."

A funny thing about schedules - if you don't have one, how can you be ahead of it?


The 30-day plan to defeat ISIS is currently four days over.
posted by Etrigan at 9:18 AM on February 24 [51 favorites]


AP FACT CHECK: Trump considers 20 million people 'very few'

TRUMP: "Obamacare covers very few people."

THE FACTS: More than 20 million people are covered by the two major components of former President Barack Obama's health care law: expanded Medicaid and subsidized private health insurance.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:19 AM on February 24 [26 favorites]


AP FACT CHECK: Trump considers 20 million people 'very few'

TRUMP: "Obamacare covers very few people."


Trump considers very few of those 20 million to be "people".
posted by Etrigan at 9:22 AM on February 24 [80 favorites]


AP FACT CHECK: Trump considers 20 million people 'very few'

And it was designed to cover a shitload more people before the Republicans and their Supreme Court stripped out the medicaid expansion.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:22 AM on February 24 [14 favorites]


21% who think protesting Trump should be illegal

Hello, crazification factor. Haven't seen you this explicit in a while
posted by Chrysostom at 9:22 AM on February 24 [14 favorites]


I'm not actually convinced he ever stops giving this speech. It's just a continuous feed he taps into.

He just shuffles and deals.
posted by cortex at 9:24 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


Etrigan: The 30-day plan to defeat ISIS is currently four days over.

Well, weekends and golf days don't count, smartie. Even God took some time off!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:26 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


murphy slaw: Daniel Dale with the ice-cold shade:
Mike Pence likened Trump to Reagan last night. This is Reagan's first speech to CPAC at president. http://reagan2020.us/speeches/remarks_at_cpac_dinner.asp
Here's an alternate source (UCSB's American Presidency Project), if you're not keen on giving clicks to the deluded folks at Patriot Post who think Saint Ronnie represents the words of the Founding Fathers, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I wasn't initially able to follow that Reagan 2020 link (which makes me think someone's trying to literally revive the corpse of Reagan to run for president in 2020), so I went looking for an early 1980s speech from Reagan there, and found his speech from 1982, where he rails against leaks and media fads:
But Washington's fascination with passing trends and one-day headlines can sometimes cause serious problems over in the West Wing of the White House—they cause them. There's the problem of leaks. Before we even announced the giveaway of surplus cheese, the warehouse mice had hired a lobbyist. [Laughter]

And then a few weeks ago, those stories broke about the Kennedy tapes. And that caused something of a stir. Al Haig came in to brief me on his trip to Europe. I uncapped my pen, and he stopped talking. [Laughter] Up on the Hill, I understand they were saying, "You need eloquence in the State Dining Room, wit in the East Room, and sign language in the Oval Office." [Laughter] It got so bad that I found myself telling every visitor there were absolutely no tape recordings being made. And if they wanted a transcript of that remark, just mention it to the potted plant on their way out. [Laughter]
And now I think you could replace Trump with Robo-Reagan and while the message may be quite similar, at least he'd sound like a president, and not a spoiled bully who has always relied on his piles of money to get his way, not his way with words.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:32 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Here's a Picture of the Crowd Lined Up Outside CPAC to See Donald Trump Speak
A few minutes into his CPAC speech Friday, esteemed and honest president Donald J. Trump said people were so excited to hear him speak that, “There are lines that go back six blocks. I tell you that because you won’t read about it.”

In a sense, he’s right. You won’t read about it, because they don’t exist.

There are at least three entrances to the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, where the annual CPAC conference is held; a quick visual check revealed no lines or crowds waiting outside.
...
For what it’s worth, National Harbor isn’t six blocks wide or long.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:35 AM on February 24 [54 favorites]


Well the draft of not-Obamacare so far is (sort of) taxing Cadillac plans and underfunded high-risk pools.

To quote the immortal Jar Jar Binks, “Yousa thinking yousa people ganna die?”
posted by Talez at 9:37 AM on February 24 [12 favorites]


To quote the immortal Jar Jar Binks,

This is who we are now. Thanks Trump.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:40 AM on February 24 [15 favorites]


Death pools. For all the pre-existing conditions to go die in.
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Parenting Your Toddler President
Trying to govern can be extremely frustrating for toddler presidents. On the one hand, they are desperate to be independent and accepted as big kids but at the same time, most toddler presidents are easily frustrated when things don’t turn out to be fully within their control. Toddler presidents want to be respected as fully grown-up persons but generally tend to have trouble dealing with limits and setbacks. This can lead to tantrums and misbehavior. If nuclear codes are involved, it may also lead to fiery apocalyptic end times.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:42 AM on February 24 [25 favorites]


Also, instead of a tax/penalty for people who don't have insurance, they penalize people who get insurance after going uninsured for a while so the natural effect will be that people who have to choose between health insurance and groceries will drop their insurance and then can never afford to pick it up again.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:43 AM on February 24 [12 favorites]


And now I think you could replace Trump with Robo-Reagan and while the message may be quite similar, at least he'd sound like a president, and not a spoiled bully who has always relied on his piles of money to get his way, not his way with words.

reagan was no thinker, but he could stick to a goddamn speech
posted by murphy slaw at 9:46 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Well, the poor aren't really human, so its okay if they don't get healthcare.
posted by Artw at 9:46 AM on February 24


However the draft replacement plan is, IMO, unlikely to go anywhere - there's both Republican and Democratic opposition, taxing people's employer supplied healthcare is going to be deeply unpopular with the very people who tend to vote and the CBO has indicated that it would, like, halve subsidies for insurance.

Now, the Republicans might put this thing through if they could just wish and make it so, but they'll have to vote on it and be accountable to constituents. I still think repealing and replacing is going to be a pretty tough row to hoe unless Trump et al are planning to go full fascist and rule by the gun. (Fascists have someone else hoe their rows, you see. )
posted by Frowner at 9:47 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Full transcript: President Trump’s CPAC speech (Vox)

He says "Believe me" five times; "fake news" seven times; "by the way" nine times; "take a look" twelve times; "very" 22 times.

On the military:

We're also putting in a massive budget request for our beloved military. And we will be substantially upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything. Bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and hopefully we'll never have to use it, but nobody's going to mess with us, folks. Nobody. It will be one of the greatest military buildups in American history. No one will dare question, as they have been, because we're very depleted, very, very depleted sequester. Nobody will question our military might again.

On the wall:

Oh, we're going to build a wall, don't worry about it. We're building the wall. We're building the wall. In fact, it's going to start soon. Way ahead of schedule. Way ahead of schedule. Way, way, way ahead of schedule.

On the getting the "bad ones" out:

And remember, we are getting the bad ones out. These are bad dudes. We're getting the bad ones out. Okay? We're getting the bad — if you watch these people, it’s like oh, gee, that's so sad. We were getting bad people out of this country. People who shouldn't be, whether it's drugs or murder. We're getting bad ones out. They're the ones that go first. I said it from day one.

On drugs:

We'll stop it, we'll stop the drugs from pouring into our nation and poisoning our youth. Pouring in. Pouring in. We get the drugs, they get the money. We get the problems. They get the cash. No good. No good. Going to stop.

On the Keystone pipeline (and some sad executive, I think):

But can you imagine — I told this story the other day. Can you imagine the gentleman, never met him, don't even know the name of his country — I sort of know it, but I want to get it exactly correct.

Big, big company. They spend hundreds of millions on the pipeline. They got their approvals, everything in the case of Dakota, then all of a sudden they couldn't connect it because they had people protesting that never showed up before. Before with the Keystone — so they spend hundreds of millions of dollars with bloodsucker consultants, sucking the blood out of the company: Don't worry, I used them all my life, okay? Don't worry, I'm going to get it approved, I'm connected, I'm a lobbyist, don't worry.

Bottom line, Obama didn't sign it. Could be 42,000 jobs, somewhere around there. Didn't sign it. But can you imagine? He gave up. A year ago, it was dead. Now he's doing nothing, calling his wife, hello, darling, I'm a little bored, you know that pipeline project, that has killed us, that has killed our company. Knock, knock. Mr. So and so. The Keystone pipeline, sir, out of nowhere has just been approved. Can you imagine the expression? You know the sad part?

The same bloodsucking consultants that hit him for all the money and failed, they're now going to go back to him and say didn't we do a great job? We want more money. That's the way the system works — a little bit off — but that's the way the system works.

posted by zakur at 9:48 AM on February 24 [22 favorites]


A one-two punch of bad math and bad science from Team Trump, via Wired:
1. The Math Behind Trump’s Deportation Plan Makes No Sense
“If one starts with a pool of potential criminals that is identified for targeting, and then adds to this pool the set of undocumented immigrants who, on the whole, certainly have a lower crime rate, then the overall crime rate of the combined pool is smaller than the original one,” says Mark Glickman, Harvard University statistician.
...
“All of these executive orders and everything we’ve seen coming down the pike all rest on the assumption, an erroneous assumption, that immigration and crime go hand in hand,” says Charis Kubrin, a UC Irvine criminologist. “The literature shows nothing to prove that.”

Kubrin and her colleague Graham Ousey of the College of William and Mary recently analyzed more than 50 studies related to immigration and crime published between 1994 and 2014. Their findings, which will be published in the The Annual Review of Criminology, show no correlation between immigration to an area and increases in crime. Where there was any relationship at all, Kubrin says, it was a negative one— in other words, more immigration corresponded to less crime.
2. Potential Trump Science Adviser Says Climate Change Is Great
Broadly, [William Happer, a physicist from Princeton] isn’t a climate denialist per se, rather he’s a climate change enthusiast, firmly believing that further elevated CO2 levels would be beneficial for humanity. He also professes to care deeply about the scientific method. So, in this spirit, I’ll challenge these assumptions with a mind open to his viewpoint.
...
Happer’s potential appointment is in some ways more worrying than the administration’s hires to date, such as the appointee for EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who simply denies scientific consensus on climate, making his position easy to dismiss in rational debate. Happer’s background in science and his selective consideration of the data give his opinions a veneer of respectability. If he is going to champion the principles of the scientific method and rational discourse, he must be able to defend his positions in the light of the overwhelming evidence for the significant risks associated with anthropogenic climate change. And that’s a fight he can’t win.
Examples of cherry-picked to straight-up false claims from Happer are lengthier, so you'll have to go to the article to get those, sorry.

And a chaser of Big Business give-aways, also based on illogical WTF-ery: Republicans Are Trying to Let Internet Providers Sell Your Data
The current FCC rules ban internet service providers and wireless carriers from selling many types of customer data—including web browsing history, location, and health information—unless you explicitly opt in. The rules do allow providers to sell certain types of less sensitive data, such as what type of data plan subscribers have, on an opt-out basis. But these gatekeepers to the internet have long envied internet giants like Google and Facebook. These massively wealthy companies couldn’t exist without internet infrastructure to deliver their services. But they face fewer restrictions on data collection.

Now Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona plans to introduce a resolution to overturn the FCC rules, enabling internet providers and wireless companies to sell your data unless you explicitly opt out. “The FCC’s midnight regulation does nothing to protect consumer privacy,” Senator Flake said in a statement to WIRED. “It is unnecessary, confusing and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the internet.”
How does preventing internet service providers from selling users' browsing and location data stifle innovation again? Oh, they don't make as much money, which I guess could be used to fund some sort of innovations in providing high-speed, reliable internet access. Oh wait, Even though the Internet was invented in the United States, Americans pay the most in the world for broadband access. And it’s not exactly blazing fast. (PBS, April 26, 2015)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:48 AM on February 24 [34 favorites]


We'll stop it, we'll stop the drugs from pouring into our nation and poisoning our youth. Pouring in. Pouring in. We get the drugs, they get the money. We get the problems. They get the cash. No good. No good. Going to stop.

is it just me or does it sound like he's pissed mostly because he's not getting a piece of that action
posted by murphy slaw at 9:50 AM on February 24 [11 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: AP FACT CHECK: Trump considers 20 million people 'very few'

Alternate title: "Trump, Conservatives apply relative scaling to large numbers, based on their desired message"

Trump isn't alone in changing regard for numbers. Fox News was unimpressed by job growth rates under Obama, but when those numbers are similar but Trump is now president, they're positive of the results ... of the prior administration.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:52 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


"Broadly, [William Happer, a physicist from Princeton] isn’t a climate denialist per se, rather he’s a climate change enthusiast, firmly believing that further elevated CO2 levels would be beneficial for humanity."

Huh, I just realized nothing scares me anymore.
posted by Tarumba at 9:52 AM on February 24 [15 favorites]


"Broadly, [William Happer, a physicist from Princeton] isn’t a climate denialist per se, rather he’s a climate change enthusiast, firmly believing that further elevated CO2 levels would be beneficial for humanity."

In our post factual reality, the Venusian infiltrators no longer feel the need to conceal their terraforming efforts.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:58 AM on February 24 [51 favorites]


Responding to something from WAAAAAY upthread:

I'm in Pennsylvania, and I'm working with a student political organization that's just getting off the ground in the election's aftermath. A few weeks ago I attended one of its organizational meetings and spoke to them about some potential plans for about 5 minutes. [edit by EmpressCallipygos]
My point being, there appears to be some serious interest (finally!) in off-year elections in my corner of the country. That is VERY encouraging, but it will be meaningless if it fizzles out. Here's what I want to know: how can I work to sustain that interest, drum up more support, and push more people to the polls this November?


I'd suspect that a good place to start is to meet with them again, more than once and for more than just five minutes. Or, be a mentor that they can check in with for advice/ideas over email.

It sounds like this is a group that has the raw desire but not the organizing skill, and they may just need guidance and training wheels to get the structure set up. They need a Yoda, basically.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:01 AM on February 24


> We'll stop it, we'll stop the drugs from pouring into our nation and poisoning our youth. Pouring in. Pouring in. We get the drugs, they get the money. We get the problems. They get the cash. No good. No good. Going to stop.

This sounds like one of the sheriff's inner monologues in No Country For Old Men (the book), if it had been written by an eight year-old.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:01 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]


A few years ago there was a show depicting a dystopia with strong reproductive control where everyone ran around wearing masks to stave off suffocation death due to climate change. Unfortunately the show was really about disnosaurs and time travel, but I wanted to see more of that world. Now I fear that I will personally experience it.
posted by xyzzy at 10:03 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


"Broadly, [William Happer, a physicist from Princeton] isn’t a climate denialist per se, rather he’s a climate change enthusiast, firmly believing that further elevated CO2 levels would be beneficial for humanity."

When you look at it like that Russia is of course the biggest beneficiary, poised to claim the Arctic as they are, which I'm sure is a big old coincidence.

Oh and it's effectively genocide for anyone further south, which Russia may not give a shit about but people have weird expectations about that kind of thing when it comes to Americans.
posted by Artw at 10:07 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


This sounds like one of the sheriff's inner monologues in No Country For Old Men (the book), if it had been written by an eight year-old.

"it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin’ through the mountains of a night. Goin’ through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin’. Never said nothin’ goin’ by – just rode on past. Not good. Bad! And he had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down. When he rode past, I seen he was carryin’ fire in a horn the way people used to do in the good old days when guys like that, they'd have to be carried out on a stretcher, just knock the hell out of 'em folks, and I-I could see the horn from the light inside of it – about the color of the moon. CNN is fake news. And in the dream I knew that he was goin’ on ahead and he was a bad hombre, fixin’ to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and American Carnage. And I knew that whenever I got there, he’d be there. George Soros. Should have known he was a snake before I let him in. And then I woke up. No stamina. Sad!"
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:08 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]


Trump: We were getting bad people out of this country. People who shouldn't be, whether it's drugs or murder. We're getting bad ones out. They're the ones that go first. I said it from day one.

Ah, bit of a tongue-slip there eh Mr. President?

If the "bad ones" are first, who goes... second?
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:11 AM on February 24 [71 favorites]


lot to mention ICE haven't exactly been going along with this targeting of "bad ones", presumably because they know they'll be getting everyone in time.
posted by Artw at 10:14 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


I don't want to be a in a country with these horrible, horrible people.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:16 AM on February 24 [15 favorites]


A one-two punch of bad math and bad science from Team Trump, via Wired:

One thing I'd love to see come out of this shitshow is to have the courts analyze more seriously the "legitimate" part of the "legitimate government interest" (or "compelling" or whatever the standard requires for the particular issue). We saw this issue with the Whole Women's Health and other TRAP law decisions -- the 5th circuit was like "well, they said their motive is to protect women's health and we have to take them at their word" but the 7th circuit and SCOTUS were like "this actually worsens women's healthcare when we look at things like facts and science and ask actual doctors." There was pushback from the 9th circuit in the Muslim ban case as well - the gov't can't just say that this is necessary for national security, they have to prove it with real facts not alternative facts. I feel like if the courts show less deference to the government's stated motives and require them to show actual evidence it will help move media (and eventually society) toward that standard as well.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:17 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]


...the gov't can't just say that this is necessary for national security, they have to prove it with real facts not alternative facts.

But he's the Decider boss!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:19 AM on February 24


>If the "bad ones" are first, who goes... second?

Anyone he can reach with those tiny, grasping, mendacious hands of course.
posted by Catblack at 10:23 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Oh, this is a fun game.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow it's slow, you know? Everyday, believe me. Each and every. Right to the end. But look back and what do you see? Fools, Fools. Not good. I'm just saying. A Mess is what I inherited. A MESS. Let me tell you. I don't have to tell you because people are saying. Actually I heard it from someone. All the way. Someday there won't be any more days -- the nuclear, we're strong on that, but that's another thing we have to be the very very strongest at. We'll snuff it. Maybe soon, who knows?

Someone do Trump doing Tom Joad, please.
posted by notyou at 10:24 AM on February 24 [11 favorites]


Now he can be simulated do we have to listen to him anymore? Maybe the press could cover something more interesting/useful.
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


The 30-day plan to defeat ISIS is currently four days over.

Only because those pansy Joint Chiefs wouldn't let him nuke the Middle East into a contiguous field of glass.
posted by Coventry at 10:30 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


notyou: Someone do Trump doing Tom Joad, please.

Dude, no one wants that last image of Rose of Sharon Bannon nursing somebody stuck in their head.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:32 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


21% who think protesting Trump should be illegal

Hello, crazification factor. Haven't seen you this explicit in a while


Yes, how did this even become a controversy? Who are these people? I want to know how they're thinking about this.
posted by Coventry at 10:33 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


It sounds like KKK NRA leader Wayne LaPierre's speech at CPAC is also unhinged -
tweets from Daniel Dale:

-The NRA's Wayne LaPierre is accusing liberal protesters of being paid and violent. "Have we ever seen such anger in this country?"
-"You'd think for $1,500 a week, they'd at least know what they're protesting."
-This is most incite-y speech I've heard at any conservative event. LaPierre says they're facing people willing to use violence against them.
-"They're angry, they're militant, and they're willing to engage in criminal violence to get what they want."
-Oh my god. The NRA's LaPierre: What happens when terrorists tag along with an airport protest "and gas the place like they did in Tokyo?"
-LaPierre, adopting a campus-left-ish definition of violence, says judicial activism is liberal "violence against the Constitution."
posted by melissasaurus at 10:33 AM on February 24 [32 favorites]


Glenn Thrush at the NYTimes: Spicer requiring sign up for an 'expanded pool gaggle' -- w/ right to exclude reporters, after berating smaller pool this morning.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:33 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


The NRA's Wayne LaPierre is accusing liberal protesters of being paid and violent.

The irony of Wayne LaPierre accusing someone else of being paid and violent is so powerful, it might break Trump's Mirror.
posted by gladly at 10:36 AM on February 24 [35 favorites]


$1500/week? When can I start?
posted by nathan_teske at 10:36 AM on February 24 [67 favorites]


-LaPierre, adopting a campus-left-ish definition of violence, says judicial activism is liberal "violence against the Constitution."

Oof, this is the scariest quote of the bunch.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:36 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


We'll stop it, we'll stop the drugs from pouring into our nation
is it just me or does it sound like he's pissed mostly because he's not getting a piece of that action


No wonder Trump doesn't like IC or the CIA.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:36 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


It sounds like KKK NRA leader Wayne LaPierre's speech at CPAC is also unhinged

It's perfectly hinged when you think of the NRA and LaPierre as paid advertisers for the gun manufacturers: "Shit's getting real! We used to tell you to buy more guns because Obama wanted to take them away, but now we want you to buy more guns because you need them to fight the angry violent liberals!"
posted by Etrigan at 10:37 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]




Potential Trump Science Adviser Says Climate Change Is Great

I'm enjoying the phony Winter here in Boston, but dreading the Summer.
posted by Coventry at 10:38 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


It's perfectly hinged when you think of the NRA and LaPierre as paid advertisers for the gun manufacturers

Of course, this is not at all incompatible with being a violent right-wing hate group. Which they are.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:43 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Let me get this straight - the GOP is sure that this uptick in active protests is because people are paid to protest*, but they're really and truly paying someone to stand in front of a bathroom sign? This is the weirdest instance of Trump's Mirror.

* $1,500 a week sounded nice, but then I realized that's $37.50 an hour, or $78,000 per year. Yes, please tell me where I can be paid like that to defend science, democracy, and reason in the face of GOP idiots.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:44 AM on February 24 [59 favorites]




It's perfectly hinged when you think of the NRA and LaPierre as paid advertisers for the gun manufacturers

Of course, this is not at all incompatible with being a violent right-wing hate group. Which they are.


I would argue that it sheds even worse light on LaPierre et al -- they may well not be Klansmen in their hearts, but they've clearly taken on the hood because there's more money in it.
posted by Etrigan at 10:45 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Eastern KY police department emblazons cars with skull logo from Punisher, "Blue Lives Matter" because why the fuck not, everything is terrible now.
"Just cause it has ‘Blue Lives Matter’ on the hood, all lives matter. That decal represents that we will take any means necessary to keep our community safe."
Erm, doesn't that decal mean that you won't take any means necessary, if those means put your lives at risk?
posted by Etrigan at 10:47 AM on February 24 [25 favorites]


I would argue that it sheds even worse light on LaPierre et al -- they may well not be Klansmen in their hearts, but they've clearly taken on the hood because there's more money in it.

They also may well actually be klansmen in their hearts, but it doesn't matter. If we've learned no other lesson over the past couple years, it should be what Kurt said: be careful who you pretend to be, 'cause that's who you are.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:47 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


This is a picture of the crowd at Chuck Grassley's town hall earlier this week. Here's a picture from Joni Ernst's townhall, of a woman who is identified as Cleone Hermsen of Carroll, IA. The people in those pictures look like your grandma, if your grandma happens to be a white lady from Iowa. I think they're going to have a hard time convincing people that these are vicious militants just itching to use criminal violence.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:48 AM on February 24 [29 favorites]


(Reminder: Someone or some group that were Pro-DeVos were paying people one to two dollars to indicate their support for her nomination - so $1,500 a week is seriously a sweet deal, or really poor understanding of the supply side of this particular market)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:48 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


The 7th circuit heard oral arguments on Wisconsin's voter suppression laws today. You can't necessarily determine the outcome from the judges' questions, but apparently the court was "very skeptical" of the lower court ruling striking down the voter suppression laws; Easterbrook "said the plaintiffs were contending Dems can expand voting rules to help them but Rs can’t tighten them. 'That can’t be right.'" [link to tweet]

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Related essay from Rick Hasen (Race or Party, Party as Race, or Party All the Time: Three Uneasy Approaches to Conjoined Polarization in Redistricting and Voting Cases) explaining this issue here.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:48 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Breitbart, OANN, Washington Times are all in White House briefing. CNN and NY Times (and LA Times) not allowed in today. (cite, picture)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:51 AM on February 24 [28 favorites]




Eastern KY police department emblazons cars with skull logo from Punisher, "Blue Lives Matter" because why the fuck not, everything is terrible now.

I have a lot of friends who are public defenders and non-profit lawyers in Kentucky. This is very much in character.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:51 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Erm, doesn't that decal mean that you won't take any means necessary, if those means put your lives at risk?

"The racial makeup of the city was 98.16% White, 1.12% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.05% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races." Because of course it is.
posted by holgate at 10:57 AM on February 24


We get NRA literature at our place for reasons I'm bitter about and won't go into, but the latest HUGE mailer was, as per the outside of the envelope, full of letters to send to my Senators and Representatives about "the lies that are being told about us." (Bitterly, she writes) it was a huge I guess well-designed mailer, with forms that were targeted to my specific senator and rep.

It's like, you won you bitch-ass whiny sheepfuckers. Why the fuck are you crying about lies?

The fact that I can try as hard as I can to sympathize with the NRA mindset and can't even though my SO is a (reluctant) member of the NRA for reasons and is a gun owner. It's a troubling thing.

This disconnect with reality is difficult, because I just want to find a representative of this demographic and scream into his or her face that he or she is a gap-toothed yokel who shouldn't be allowed to breed. And even people who aren't angry can't adequately convey what is real because of various breeds of bullshit and the way our society is now.

So in a way I feel like why not fucking insult them, because at least I'll hurt their feelings, as opposed to a patient lecture that would achieve nothing. And that's where I'm like it's bad to hurt people but I'm starting to otherize people to the point where I'm scaring myself and terrified of what's going to happen with all this shit.
posted by angrycat at 10:58 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


I am on the email list from my Congressman, Earl Blumenauer, and this was just sent out regarding the leaked plan to replace the ACA.
posted by nanook at 11:00 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


At some point, the police are going to stop even pretending to care what the courts say. The fascist pieces of shit need to be disarmed and disbanded, immediately, if not sooner. Freedom cannot exist in America while we have these unaccountable brownshirts running around.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:02 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


AP and Time were apparently invited in, but are boycotting.
posted by zachlipton at 11:02 AM on February 24 [74 favorites]


So, they've taken physical steps against the press that isn't in bed with their administration.

Got here in less than 60 days, jesus.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:04 AM on February 24 [30 favorites]


this definitely makes the administration look strong and brave and not at all like a bunch of paranoid revenge-obsessed crybabies
posted by murphy slaw at 11:04 AM on February 24 [44 favorites]


Can we cancel the dinner yet
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:04 AM on February 24 [20 favorites]


on the other hand it's not as if refusing to listen to sean spicer does any harm whatsoever to the press's ability to report on what the administration is doing
posted by murphy slaw at 11:06 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


AP and Time were apparently invited in, but are boycotting.

Good on them. Very good on them.

Shame on anyone who did not.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on February 24 [30 favorites]


Buzzfeed News and Politico were also not allowed in.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:06 AM on February 24 [20 favorites]


This is a picture of the crowd at Chuck Grassley's town hall earlier this week. Here's a picture from Joni Ernst's townhall, of a woman who is identified as Cleone Hermsen of Carroll, IA. The people in those pictures look like your grandma, if your grandma happens to be a white lady from Iowa.

Scrolling through the Indivisible Twitter feed today, I was struck by how many women are represented in the photos of the town hall events. Women holding signs. Women asking the questions. Women meeting with their rep. Women standing on the stage, even when their rep didn't appear. I suppose I shouldn't be - women are half the population and have a long history of leading activism in this country - but it really struck me that this is truly a movement organized and let by women. And largely by women who probably vote, but otherwise might not be politically active. I hope we can sustain this, because if so it is a sea change in the way politics are conducted in this country. Before the election we toyed around with the imagery of HRC as a modern day suffragette. Now, I think we have realized that we are all the suffragettes.
posted by anastasiav at 11:06 AM on February 24 [81 favorites]


For context on that Eastern KY police thing, the Punisher is a Marvel character who murders criminals with impunity. That's his whole thing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:06 AM on February 24 [26 favorites]


Aren't we getting all our actual news from leaks now anyway?
posted by emjaybee at 11:06 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]


I don't think we knew this before: The owners of Breitbart are Solov, Andrew Breitbart's widow, and the Mercer family, with Susie Breitbart holding the largest percentage stake.

Larry Solov is trying to get press credentials for the Senate Press Gallery for Breitbart. The Senate Gallery has a certain reputation for exclusion.
posted by zachlipton at 11:07 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


The tweets referring to the press locked out of the gaggle as "crybabies" getting a time-out for being fake news make me incredibly angry.
posted by xyzzy at 11:08 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


zachlipton: AP and Time were apparently invited in, but are boycotting.

Hah!

I laugh, because what does this "access" to Spicey provide? A venue for more lies and cotton candy spinning? I understand that on the surface this is a frightening turn of events, if this administration was even remotely competent and were doing it for any reason beyond not liking all these "tough questions." Information continues to leak, the news organizations continue to see increased subscriptions, so they're not getting shuttered, they're getting shut out ... of content-empty pressers.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:08 AM on February 24 [12 favorites]


Sarah Kliff is one of the best policy writers out there, and she brings us The leaked Republican plan to replace Obamacare, explained, for a little light reading.
posted by zachlipton at 11:08 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Anyone going in to that event is collaborator plain and simple.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on February 24 [12 favorites]


For context on that Eastern KY police thing, the Punisher is a Marvel character who murders criminals with impunity. That's his whole thing.
And he frequently gets into pitched battles with the NYPD to escape arrest because, y'know, murderer. Which makes this horrifying and ironic!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:09 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


And what's the chance that by shutting out news organizations, they're actually encouraging insiders to share information through other venues (aka leaking)?

Behold, the Presidency of Unintended Consequences.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


very astute of them to realize that nothing dispels the perception that you have something to hide better than refusing to talk to the press
posted by murphy slaw at 11:12 AM on February 24 [38 favorites]


on the other hand it's not as if refusing to listen to sean spicer does any harm whatsoever to the press's ability to report on what the administration is doing

There is some utility in being able to press the administration in public on a topic on a routine basis -- they ask, he evades, and then you can report on that evasion. To take an example from yesterday, this quote from the NYTimes came out of questions at the press briefing:
On Wednesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, justified revoking the transgender school guidance by saying Mr. Trump is a “firm believer in states’ rights.” This inglorious justification has been deployed repeatedly by those on the wrong side of history in earlier civil rights battles. It was used to fight abolitionists, the women’s suffrage movement, the repeal of Jim Crow laws and, most recently, same-sex marriage.
Spicer was specifically asked whether or not the President viewed this as a civil rights issue; Spicer evaded the question. But the evasion itself is still a story, because the manner of evasion tracks so closely to so many prior denials of civil rights.

So, yes, I do think that cutting reporters out of the regular press briefings will actually do some harm to reporting on the administration; it would that much harder to get the administration to say anything on the record, even if the stuff that Spicers says on the record is often hogwash.
posted by cjelli at 11:13 AM on February 24 [31 favorites]


Note that the initial version of the schedule put out last night described today's briefing as a gaggle "on camera" in the briefing room. That was revised today to one with an "expanded pool" that would be "off camera."
posted by zachlipton at 11:14 AM on February 24


Putting the Punisher symbol on a police car is only the tiniest bit more subtle than putting a noose on it.
posted by tocts at 11:15 AM on February 24 [39 favorites]


This feels like a real-deal thing, doesn't it?
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:16 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


More context from Kentucky: Kentucky House OKs "Blue Lives Matter" hate-crime bill

Kentucky was the last of the old-line, Old Southern Democratic states left standing, and the Democrats got utterly decimated there in 2016. The Democratic House had for years been the only thing stopping Kentucky from joining in on all the right wing, hate radio, ALEC/Koch backed bills of the week passing in every other red state. Now that they're in power, the Bevin-led teabaggers are catching up by passing all of the most hateful bills of the past decade all at once. Trap laws, Blue-lives matter, bathroom bills, right to work, it's all passing in Kentucky all at once. They're working on Kansas-style tax "reform" now too, long been the Kentucky GOP's white whale.

Kentucky went from being the one bright spot left in the South, to a Republican controlled hellscape, in about 18 months.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:16 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


At what point do you as, presumably, a patriotic Secret Service officer, stop and ask, "Hans, are we the baddies?"
posted by tobascodagama at 11:16 AM on February 24 [39 favorites]


I wanted to ask how, exactly, do they think barring members of the press would go over with the general public - but I imagine they're expecting and will probably get cheers.
posted by flatluigi at 11:18 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I think those giys all got sidelined in favor of Blackwater babykiller goons.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on February 24


i'm sure it's going to play amazingly well with their base, but their base is a minority and must be shrinking as the fair-weather fans fall away?

at this rate he's going to have 100% support of 27% of the population and nothing else soon
posted by murphy slaw at 11:20 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Kentucky went from being the one bright spot left in the South, to a Republican controlled hellscape, in about 18 months.

The next time somebody tells you that the parties are the same and that the Dems need to lose to be taught a lesson, print out a large picture of Kentucky, make a Milwall brick from it, and choke them with it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:20 AM on February 24 [23 favorites]


Is anyone else getting the feeling that, for whatever reason, the GOP and this administration don't care about the next election?
posted by Slackermagee at 11:21 AM on February 24 [40 favorites]


Ugh my congressman is finally having a townhall, but of course it's in the super red end of our long district, not the blue end where I live. I'd have to drive an hour each way to be there. The crowd appears about 50/50 on the stream.
posted by gatorae at 11:21 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


At what point do you as, presumably, a patriotic Secret Service officer, stop and ask, "Hans, are we the baddies?"

"It's these constant attempts on his life by time travellers!! I mean, you kind of have to wonder!!"
posted by Etrigan at 11:22 AM on February 24 [28 favorites]


Fox News guy: Some at CNN & NYT stood w/FOX News when the Obama admin attacked us & tried 2 exclude us-a WH gaggle should be open to all credentialed orgs
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:23 AM on February 24 [22 favorites]


I mean, it's not inherently as big a deal as it seems, until it's made to be one. The White House has long held gaggles with a smaller group of reporters. I suspect we'll be hearing some version of that line a lot, along with something about how Obama didn't like Fox News. The bits that are novel here is that this was supposed to be an open on-camera event that was shifted to a limited off-camera one at the last minute, and the selection of the organizations invited to participate, which don't normally include OANN.

It also shifts the narrative away from the improper communications with the FBI and puts the focus on "media complains about access," which is never a good look, or a productive one, even when those complaints are legitimate and important.
posted by zachlipton at 11:23 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


at this rate he's going to have 100% support of 27% of the population and nothing else soon

At this rate he's going to win reelection with "100 percent" of the "vote". Because that's where this is heading.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:23 AM on February 24 [19 favorites]


I feel like the Punisher would also not approve of police killing innocent POC and would in fact think the police are the ones that need to be punished in this situation.
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:23 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


Fox News presumably isn't locked out but I think this might be so obscene that even they will make objections. And then what, will they be ejected too? Jeepers!

edit: looks like they might already have started objecting. Cheese and crackers!
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:23 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


A pastor gives Some Unsolicited Advice for Republican Congress Reps Facing Hostile Crowds: "I am a pastor and I have run into hostile angry people. In many ways, my position is similar to yours in that those of us that represent the church take the hostility that people have for the whole church, especially when the church as hurt them. "
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:23 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]




Important data for the bees tactic: Bees are trainable.
posted by Coventry at 11:26 AM on February 24 [15 favorites]


> Eastern KY police department emblazons cars with skull logo from Punisher

On top of being evil and terrifying and all that, that logo looks like a rejected proposal for a '90s-era professional roller hockey league jersey.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:26 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


I have an interview sitting around in my to-read pile that I don't want to endorse via link because I haven't actually read it yet. But the title is a pullquote: “We have at most a year to defend American democracy, perhaps less“.

It's hard to argue with the premise. Focus on the midterm elections if you like, but I'm not entirely convinced we'll have any.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:27 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Fox News guy: Some at CNN & NYT stood w/FOX News when the Obama admin attacked us & tried 2 exclude us-a WH gaggle should be open to all credentialed orgs

So, never read the comments, etc., but how the fuck do you deal with people who genuinely believe that CNN, NYT, WaPo are making up news?

I mean, other than bees.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:28 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


I'm cautiously optimistic about the midterms, but that's the last opportunity for democracy, yes.
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I suppose I shouldn't be - women are half the population and have a long history of leading activism in this country - but it really struck me that this is truly a movement organized and let by women.

Women, as most of us here know, have a long history of doing all sorts of unpaid work--moms who show up to the PTA meetings, women who do unpaid labor to make sure that churches run smoothly, childbirth, childcare, unrecognized and unpaid emotional labor, and the list goes on and on.

While volunteering 30-40 hours a week during the campaign, the majority of volunteers in all aspects of the campaign in our district were women. Women made most of the phone calls, knocked most of the doors, brought most of the food, entered most of the data, and did most of the public interaction with supporters. It was such a beautiful experience to fight fascism with so many amazing women. Strange how men hold most of the elected positions in the country, while women do so much support work.

I'm not surprised that women are taking the lead because this whole stupid situation is a gianormous slap in the face to all women. It's ground into us from childhood that we're supposed to do a bunch of stuff for the benefit of men, without compensation. Now, as we have so many times in the past, we're using our lifetimes of experience doing that sort of unpaid work for our own protection and benefit.

We're not going to be forced back into the kitchen without a massive fuckin' fight. I think it must be women/woman-presenting-people--particularly those at the intersections of varied oppressive systems--leading this movement.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:29 AM on February 24 [76 favorites]


This feels like a real-deal thing, doesn't it?

Oh, is your Proportionometer still working? Can I borrow it?
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:30 AM on February 24 [15 favorites]


I have a really hard time wrapping my head around this idea that one oughtn't evaluate someone's moral character based on their political beliefs and actions. Even if you love your children and immediate family, go to church, and are reasonably polite to strangers, at the end of the day, if you engage in political activity in order to create or reinforce oppressive power structures aimed at women, people of color, queer people, trans people, religious minorities or whomever you got a hateon for, I will to judge you negatively.

When a person's politics are a bright neon sign that screams, 'I don't even consider you fully human', why shouldn't that person be judged negatively? Why are people shocked that many other people find it objectively awful to even consider debating the humanity of entire groups? Political belief and action don't exist in a vacuum.

...And they call us 'snowflakes'.


When someone's politics represents an existential threat, you fight that threat. I 100% agree with this. The thing I've been trying to work out over the past few days, though, is what constitutes an existential threat and to whom?

The reason is because I fear we've gotten to the point now where trust has eroded so much between groups of different political stripes that EVERYTHING now seems to be an existential threat, which means that every difference of opinion is a full-throated attack on someone else's identity and must be responded to in kind. That's a road that inevitably leads us to war and death.

Don't get me wrong, though. I think if you go far enough, lots of things become existential threats to someone. I may not be directly affected by regressive tax policy that hits the working class hardest, but people at those lowest rungs could die or lose their homes. Signalling that "respect for law enforcement" is more important than limiting the use of police force is unlikely to hurt me so much as it is the black men and women who are already shot in the streets of America.

Is it just that in the past, it was easier for some of us to swaddle ourselves in privilege and assume that so many policy debates were more theoretical than real? Has it actually never been this way, that every debate has always taken place with knives out? Is this increase in polarization and the concept of total war when it comes to political ideology inevitable? I don't know anymore. I am a poor student of history so maybe much of this is obvious to others, but it's beginning to unmoor me.
posted by chrominance at 11:30 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


I just want to explain the Punisher to those Kentucky policemen, because they clearly don't really understand the character.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:31 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Someone do Trump doing Tom Joad, please.

I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look – wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there keepin' them from eatin. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there helping that cop. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready for a rich guy but not for them, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there to take all of that, too. MAGA.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:31 AM on February 24 [19 favorites]


> I think they're going to have a hard time convincing people that these are vicious militants just itching to use criminal violence.

These people can be convinced of anything they are predisposed to want to believe.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:32 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Is anyone else getting the feeling that, for whatever reason, the GOP and this administration don't care about the next election?

Historically, autocrats don't like to give up power, except to their children. This is why I believe if attempts to impeach or vote him out fail before 2020, Ivanka will be running in 2024.
posted by bluecore at 11:32 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]




Comms. Director Raj Shah apparently says the reporters who were blocked out of the presser are lying?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:34 AM on February 24


Breitbart, OANN, Washington Times are all in White House briefing.

I can't be the only one who reads that outlet's name as ONAN can I?
posted by phearlez at 11:34 AM on February 24 [23 favorites]




Next time maybe they'll go with Judge Dredd. That guy is a cop, right?
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:35 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Now that they're in power, the Bevin-led teabaggers are catching up by passing all of the most hateful bills of the past decade all at once. Trap laws, Blue-lives matter, bathroom bills, right to work, it's all passing in Kentucky all at once.

This could have happened at the National level, except Trump is so in love with himself and so unaware of how you do the job of the President, and he has no one around him who knows either, that his real show of power has been Executive Orders. Instead of planning on what to do once in power starting on November 10, he was busy preening on TV and congratulating himself. I'll credit that the polls threw everyone for a curve, but for contrast, I'll cite the Wired article on Happer: "Back when Barack Obama was elected in 2008, science adviser John Holdren was nominated a month before inauguration." (Emphasis mine)

Instead, we had months of playing "what if" and trying to get hints from anyone. Really, that's still the way information is getting out - guesses, leaks, and then sudden announcements that can even surprise the Departments that should have crafted the language (or at least been consulted) in the first place.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


It may well be that Bannon, etc, are not expecting to face any more elections - they may be imagining their own little faked-up or incited "terrorist" attack followed by martial law, or some kind of nation-wide gerrymandering process that will mean that literally no one can vote except their base. But these people are not genius tacticians, they are not ex-soldiers, they are not lawyers, they have never been in a war and they are not operating in a country with a relatively recent, shaky democratic tradition. This is not Germany in 1933. This isn't even the US in 1963.

"We just won't be having any elections because there was a terrorist attack" isn't going to fly. You can't walk back martial law if things go to shit or the army won't obey you, and once you go full fascist, you're opening yourself up to coups from within the right. These people don't command enough loyalty to go full fascist.

Bannon has ideas, yeah, but they're stupid ideas. He's a guy who reads pop poli sci books and thinks he's deep. If this were Germany in 1933, as he no doubt fantasizes at night, he might be able to parlay his deeply stupid ideas into a military takeover - but even there, I don't think he has the physical stamina or courage. The vast majority of fascist leaders have a military background; monstrous as they are, they're not soft schmoes like Trump and Bannon.

We need to work toward 2018 and 2020 on the assumption that those elections will happen. The stronger our "you will need to fight an election on your actions" narrative is, the harder it will be for Bannon et al to declare martial law and stop elections.

Even Putin comes up for election. And the thing to remember about Putin is that - for god knows what reason - he's actually popular.
posted by Frowner at 11:37 AM on February 24 [77 favorites]


When someone's politics represents an existential threat, you fight that threat. I 100% agree with this. The thing I've been trying to work out over the past few days, though, is what constitutes an existential threat and to whom?

on the right, you have white men who view loss of supremacy as an existential threat

on the left, you have ethnic, sexual and religious minorities and women viewing loss of self-determination, representation, and life as an existential threat

one of these things is not like the others.
posted by murphy slaw at 11:38 AM on February 24 [28 favorites]


Etrigan: Police chief Cameron Logan told io9 that they’ve since removed the car decals after receiving several phone calls admonishing the logo, as well as the inclusion of a Blue Lives Matter slogan on government property.

Wow - a responsive official who isn't defensive of the stupid thing that he or his staff did? Let's put him on a coin or something, so we can throw those coins at Representatives.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:38 AM on February 24 [35 favorites]


Comms. Director Raj Shah apparently says the reporters who were blocked out of the presser are lying?

I mean, I don't think Shah is technically wrong. The members of today's pool were invited, along with a bunch of right-wing outlets. That doesn't mean CNN, Politico, NYT, etc... are lying about being blocked out.
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 AM on February 24


I don't know why Trump is wasting his time with these lies about winning polls and scoring holes-in-one, etc. Why not go all out and say he was Time's Man Of The Year 20 years in a row, won the Masters four twelve times, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, Literature and Chemistry, and was given an AVN Lifetime Achievement Award?
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:40 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


@GlennThrush: ".@PressSec told hand-picked reporters in closed briefing that Trump White House 'is more accessible than probably any prior administration'"
posted by zachlipton at 11:41 AM on February 24 [42 favorites]


Wow - a responsive official who isn't defensive of the stupid thing that he or his staff did? Let's put him on a coin or something, so we can throw those coins at Representatives.

I don't think I'd give him that much credit. Even if he somehow didn't know the combination of "Blue Lives Matter" and the Punisher logo effectively said, "Fuck you, we're cops and we'll kill who we want" he could have at least have had the common sense to think that "threatening skull logo" does not represent "keeper of the peace."

He knew. They all knew. They were just testing the limits in Trump's America and went too far.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:42 AM on February 24 [38 favorites]


Eastern KY police department emblazons cars with skull logo from Punisher, "Blue Lives Matter" because why the fuck not, everything is terrible now.

Have you noticed that our caps have actually got little pictures of a skull on them? ... Hans, are we the baddies?
posted by Talez at 11:42 AM on February 24 [20 favorites]


This could have happened at the National level, except Trump is so in love with himself and so unaware of how you do the job of the President, and he has no one around him who knows either, that his real show of power has been Executive Orders.

True, his incompetence has so far saved us from a lot worse legislation. But, there's a different dynamic nationally too. This was not a good win for them, barely winning on a technicality, with tiny majorities in Congress. They're much more aware of national losses from blowback and overreach than parochial Kentucky that's been slipping slowly towards a permanent red state for years.

Is anyone else getting the feeling that, for whatever reason, the GOP and this administration don't care about the next election?

They are, and there's two theories. Either they're planning on going full fascist, no more elections ever; or they know this is their last best opportunity to destroy the Great Society and New Deal that they're ever going to get, and they have to do it now damn the long term consequences. They know they'll probably be able to stop Democrats from ever undoing the damage, if they can destroy everything first. Both bad, the first much more likely to lead to actual civil war and breakup of the US. I guess we're going to find out which one is closer to the truth over the next 2 years.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:42 AM on February 24 [11 favorites]


I don't think I'd give him that much credit.

I'll take simple incompetence from officials over malice or incompetence plus malice.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:42 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Is it just that in the past, it was easier for some of us to swaddle ourselves in privilege and assume that so many policy debates were more theoretical than real?


Yes.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:44 AM on February 24 [12 favorites]


Even Putin comes up for election. And the thing to remember about Putin is that - for god knows what reason - he's actually popular.

While Putin may actually be popular, Russia has documented cases of voter fraud. "The result was so predictable that most Russians did not bother to visit their polling station: turnout dropped to a record low of 47.8%. One reason for such apathy is the widely held belief that participating in Russian elections will not change the status quo because they are fraudulent."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:44 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]


was given an AVN Lifetime Achievement Award

"Hi, BrainBleach? Yeah, it's Etrigan. Yeah, another bottle. Yeah, MetaFilter."
posted by Etrigan at 11:44 AM on February 24 [20 favorites]


Even Putin comes up for election

Putin just had his main opposition disqualified.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:45 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


A lot of my twitter feed is press and political twitter so even unheard of things get a lot of discussion so seeing Felicia Day say this was unexpectedly chilling
When people threw around "fascism" during the election I didn't fully comprehend what that meant. Now I understand.
posted by Brainy at 11:46 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


zachlipton: @GlennThrush: ".@PressSec told hand-picked reporters in closed briefing that Trump White House 'is more accessible than probably any prior administration'"

Well, when was the last time a US President tweeted his every mean thought or angry rant to the world at large? And you can tweet back at him! Totally accessible!
posted by filthy light thief at 11:46 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


And remember, we are getting the bad ones out. These are bad dudes. We're getting the bad ones out. Okay? We're getting the bad —

SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

I'm just talking about the bad motherfuckers.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:48 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Eastern KY police department emblazons cars with skull logo from Punisher

Followed by the customary statement from the police chief: "I’m not racist or anything like that." (real)
posted by JackFlash at 11:49 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Followed by the customary statement from the police chief: "I’m not racist or anything like that."

"The Punisher skull is actually a Buddhist symbol for good luck." [fake]
posted by uncleozzy at 11:51 AM on February 24 [20 favorites]


I was hoping that Marvel would get a chance to sue for infringement.
posted by xyzzy at 11:53 AM on February 24 [14 favorites]


DirtyOldTown: They were just testing the limits in Trump's America and went too far.

Clearly they are not working closely enough with Trump, or they'd know at that point you double down. Winners don't quit, and if you're in power, you're the winner by default.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:55 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I was hoping that Marvel would get a chance to sue for infringement.

I don't think they've ever said anything on this since it started with Chris Kyle and spread through the American Sniper movie etc...
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


xyzzy: I was hoping that Marvel would get a chance to sue for infringement.

At least they could pull a Depeche Mode and issue a blanket statement, saying something like "The Punisher is a fictional character who fights fictional super-villains, and is not supported by taxes to serve and protect, as are the good officers across the country. While we understand the desire to be seen as a bold man of action like The Punisher, we feel that our men and women in blue display more reserve and caution in their complex situations when ensuring the safety of the public."
posted by filthy light thief at 12:00 PM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Oh yeah, I forgot that Punisher symbology had already been appropriated.
posted by xyzzy at 12:00 PM on February 24


NYT weighs in on the closed briefing in their usual, comically understated way.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:05 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


These rules force Internet providers to protect the data they have on you. Now the FCC wants to put those on hold.

Federal regulators on Monday will move to stop certain privacy regulations from going into effect that were designed to safeguard consumers' personal information from hackers and criminals, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

The stay by the Federal Communications Commission will release broadband companies such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T from previously approved rules requiring them to adopt "reasonable" security measures protecting Social Security numbers, Web browsing history and other information belonging to their customers. Without that portion of the rules, Internet providers will not need to implement consumer protections that prevent the unauthorized release of Americans' personal data


They are just fucking us every way that they can.
posted by futz at 12:05 PM on February 24 [21 favorites]


Fat chance, when their chief executive is friends with Trump.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:05 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Trump voters are probably Marvel's core demographic at this point, isn't the vacuous consumption of the 24th rebooted sequel to a played out franchise the epitome of 'white America culture' Trump appeals to and Bannon idealizes? I bet Marvel loves the appropriation of their IP by the authoritarian state.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:06 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


He knew. They all knew. They were just testing the limits in Trump's America and went too far.

I think it's a mixture of ignorance and incompetence. This is one dumb problem with having 18,000 separate police departments in the US, all of which get design sign-off on their logos, and mostly go for a kind of 80s "Terminator / Robocop retrofuture slant-caps with drop shadow" look they got off the internet that's very slightly different from the design of all the other city and county forces in the region. There's nobody in the room to say no.
posted by holgate at 12:07 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


i love the first amendment so much and that's why i have to kill it.
posted by localhuman at 12:07 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


They are just fucking us every way that they can.

Ajit Pai is principled in the sense that he will side with telcos over consumers every chance he gets.
posted by Jpfed at 12:11 PM on February 24


"'A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being', let them say it to my face,"

I would love to see someone buy some ad time, preferably on Fox News in the morning, and just make an ad that is person after person saying this into the camera. Maybe a choir singing it. Celebrities. Random people. His wives. Tiffany. Whoever; I don't care who.*

*well, obviously white US citizens who never plant to leave the country and try to get back in, but other than that, whoever.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:11 PM on February 24 [25 favorites]


I just saw a state government plated Dodge Ram pickup in Santa Fe, NM with a large decal across the tailgate reading "a society which chooses to wage war against its police shall be forced to make peace with its criminals". The truck had no other identifying marks (almost all state vehicles are covered with decals for which agency they are with), but I can only assume law enforcement of some sort. The attitude is all over the country.
posted by BooneTheCowboyToy at 12:14 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I would love to see someone buy some ad time, preferably on Fox News in the morning, and just make an ad that is person after person saying this into the camera

CG Putin, run it at 3am.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:15 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Just read the Whitehouse is blocking news media. What is the impact of this? Is there any precedent for this? Is this any kind of bellwether? If Republicans don't stand up to this now, is it a sign that we are truly spiraling into a totalitarian state?
posted by StrawberryPie at 12:16 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Is anyone else getting the feeling that, for whatever reason, the GOP and this administration don't care about the next election?

I'm not so sure. After reading David Frum's Atlantic article yesterday ("How to Build an Autocracy"), I've started to lose all hope that we have any power at all. Yes, there have been amazing town hall participation, but the House is gerrymandered as fuck, and I don't see these congresspeople as being worried about losing their seats so much as being uncomfortable in a room full of people calling them on their bullshit.

All Trump and his people have to do to get an idea across to their followers is say it. It doesn't matter whether the press repeatedly and definitively exposes their lies. Once an idea is articulated, it goes into public discussion and becomes a valid perspective to those who either are having their existing beliefs catered to or who want to "hear both sides."

The only people who can impeach Trump won't do so because they are getting everything they want. And the people who are supposedly on our side just seem ineffectual at best, complacent at worst.

There is no fucking accountability, just like there never has been in any in anything Trump has ever done in his miserable, coddled life. Everything I thought I knew about checks and balances turned out to be a lie. We're being held hostage by red-state racist fuckwits, and it appears that there's not a damn thing the press can do about it, and not a damn thing Congress is willing to do about it.

I know it's important not to give up. I know that the Republicans are counting on us getting overwhelmed and disheartened and just going away. I am so thankful for those of you who are fighting so hard for the rest of us. But as someone with pretty debilitating depression, I just feel like each day is one more series of events that drives home how powerless anyone with any integrity has become.
posted by bibliowench at 12:16 PM on February 24 [16 favorites]


" make peace with its criminals"

Would that really be so bad?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:17 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


The NYT statement shouldn't have been highminded remarks from Baquet about freedom and the national interest. It should have been closer to "Sean Spicer has spread falsehoods from the briefing room since the very first time he took the podium. If Spicer has concerns with our coverage, he should consider responding to our requests for comment. The Times will continue to get the real story every day by talking instead to the people who matter."
posted by zachlipton at 12:17 PM on February 24 [19 favorites]


I mean, I know shit is just going to get crazier, but I'm still stunned every day by what Asshat and his admin are doing.

Right now I'm hoping that my family can stay sane and healthy for four years.
posted by Kitteh at 12:18 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


" make peace with its criminals"

Would that really be so bad?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:17 PM on February 24 [+] [!]


Would be nice if it were meant that way
posted by BooneTheCowboyToy at 12:19 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


"Sean Spicer has spread falsehoods from the briefing room since the very first time he took the podium. If Spicer has concerns with our coverage, he should consider responding to our requests for comment."

pretty sure this will be in tomorrow's editorial.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:19 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


BooneTheCowboyToy: I just saw a state government plated Dodge Ram pickup in Santa Fe, NM with a large decal across the tailgate reading "a society which chooses to wage war against its police shall be forced to make peace with its criminals".

Also in Santa Fe, I walk by a truck every day that has a bumper sticker that says "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." At least it doesn't have Government plates.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:19 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Trump voters are probably Marvel's core demographic at this point, isn't the vacuous consumption of the 24th rebooted sequel to a played out franchise the epitome of 'white America culture' Trump appeals to and Bannon idealizes? I bet Marvel loves the appropriation of their IP by the authoritarian state.

Marvel's current state of affairs is doing absolutely horrible things to their flagship properties, but actually having interesting and critically acclaimed stories with more minor characters (Black Panther, Vision, Kate Bishop Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, the America series that's supposed to be coming out next Wednesday), Squirrel Girl)

It's been a couple years since I've really looked at the numbers for sales - not to mention comic sales figures have always seemed dodgy - but I don't think it's fair to say that they're mostly targeting the Trumpist audience. Their current selection could be better, but it's still hardly New 52 era DC.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:20 PM on February 24 [9 favorites]


" make peace with its criminals"

Would that really be so bad?


It really says something that "peace" is clearly seen as a bad outcome in and of itself, doesn't it.
posted by Etrigan at 12:20 PM on February 24 [18 favorites]


Trump specifically mentioned the NRA in his CPAC speech, and patted himself on the back for it because it wasn't in his prepared remarks*:
We will cut wasteful spending. We will promote our values. We will rebuild our inner cities. We will bring back our jobs and our dreams. So true. So true. And, by the way, we will protect our Second Amendment.

You know, Wayne and Chris are here from the NRA, and they didn't have that on the list. It's lucky I thought about it. But we will indeed. And they're great people. And, by the way, they love our country. They love our country. The NRA has been a great supporter. They love our country.
*At least, that's what I think "they didn't have that on the list" means.
posted by zakur at 12:24 PM on February 24


Eastern KY police department emblazons cars with skull logo from Punisher, "Blue Lives Matter"....

I forget who the comedian was who said this, but it went something like this:

"That 'blue lives matter' thing is bullshit, becuase it's not a blue life. It's a blue suit. Cops don't come out of the womb in uniform, it's a choice they make. Black skin is something you're born with, a blue suit is something you choose. If they don't like it they can find another job."

I'm aware that "if they don't like [insert job here] they can find another job" is a frequent canard, but it was interesting seeing it turned in this direction.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:25 PM on February 24 [30 favorites]


Eastern KY police department emblazons cars with skull logo from Punisher, "Blue Lives Matter"....

I forget who the comedian was who said this, but it went something like this:


Dave Chappelle's SNL monologue:
And I guess it’s kind of catchy because everyone else is biting it. Even the police is biting it: Blue lives matter. What, was you born a police? That is not a blue life. That’s a blue suit. If you don’t like it, take that blue suit off, find a new job, ’cause I’m going to tell you right now, if I could quit being black today, I’d be out of the game.
posted by Etrigan at 12:27 PM on February 24 [86 favorites]


Trump voters are probably Marvel's core demographic at this point, isn't the vacuous consumption of the 24th rebooted sequel to a played out franchise the epitome of 'white America culture' Trump appeals to and Bannon idealizes? I bet Marvel loves the appropriation of their IP by the authoritarian state.

I'm not going to stand in your way if you're up for a round of the ol' superhero movies are vacuous garbage argument, but I will offer this interview with Mark White, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the CUNY, breaking down how Captain America: Civil War is a fairly well-formed exploration of utilitarianism vs. deontology, government surveillance vs. oversight, and the dangers of unchecked power. It will probably only make sense to you if you've bothered to see the films you're criticizing though, and I'm going to take a wild stab and guess that you have not.

(That's all I'm putting in though, as we were pretty close to derail before I opened my mouth about this.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:28 PM on February 24 [24 favorites]


In case you needed it, April Ryan responded to Ari Fleischer's comment to "calm down."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:29 PM on February 24 [20 favorites]


ha ha ha sob sob here's the New Yorker's image riffing on the movie Independence Day
posted by angrycat at 12:32 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


you know it is 100% not the job of black congresswomen and reporters to tell vacuous administration apologists to step the fuck back, but i appreciate it
posted by murphy slaw at 12:33 PM on February 24 [24 favorites]


Waters/Ryan 2020
posted by Sophie1 at 12:37 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


on the right, you have white men who view loss of supremacy as an existential threat

on the left, you have ethnic, sexual and religious minorities and women viewing loss of self-determination, representation, and life as an existential threat

one of these things is not like the others.


Oh, yeah, I'm not saying those things aren't true. I didn't mean to give the impression that I was equating the two at all.

What I was trying to get at was simply this: I feel like it used to be that there were things reasonable people could disagree on without having to then turn the conflict into all-out war. A random example might be corporate tax policy. I feel like that used to be something that people would advocate for, but it wasn't an existential crisis the way, say, gender or race or orientation discrimination is.

But now it feels like everything requires a nuclear response. Forget for the moment about the existence of Republicans and how wrong they are when it comes to abortion, LGBT rights, policing, etc., etc., etc. Even inside what you might consider the Democrat support base, there's a war between people who think the system we had before Trump was fundamentally not bad, and people who think the system we had before was fundamentally unjust and needed to be smashed. I see that war played out in my Twitter feed every day.

I don't even really know who I think is right in those discussions, only that each side seems prepared to deny the legitimacy of the other in order to get their way. Clinton supporters are little better than Trump and actively support a rotten system designed to oppress and destroy, or socialists are out of touch and will send more people into the arms of Trump.

I'm not saying "lets have more decorum" as if that solves anything about the current situation. What I'm trying to get at is that we have ALREADY driven ourselves down this road of increasing polarization (even if we think Republicans did most of that, we all played a part), and I think it might be too late to pull back from the brink. And what that means is that a lot of people are going to die. That's the end result of all this rhetoric, right? If they hate us and we hate them, and there's roughly as many of them as there are of us, how do we not end up killing each other?
posted by chrominance at 12:39 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


xyzzy: Oh yeah, I forgot that Punisher symbology had already been appropriated.

I was going through old comics a few weeks ago, and all the Punisher issues -- regular series, short-run, old ones, even the special fold-out promo poster -- went in the trash pile because of who uses that symbol now. (Plus, also, I grew up a little since 1986.)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:39 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Funny, I looked at those images of the "Blue Lives Matter" police cars with their hideous and violent skulls, and my first thought was heck, they still look more friendly than the police cars in my quiet suburban town, which are all brand new SUVs that are 90% black with a pro-forma white-and-blue door. It actually took an entire year of living here to notice this, that our police cars -- which our son waves so adoringly to -- basically have adopted the look of Darth Vader. I can still, just barely, remember the days when I used to wonder how someone (police, SWAT, special forces, etc) could dress so ridiculously evil and not realize what they are. Those days are long gone...
posted by chortly at 12:41 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


President Trump Just Boasted About Winning Polls at CPAC. He Lost 6 Times

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:42 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


But now it feels like everything requires a nuclear response.

Because it used to be that ethnic, sexual and religious minorities and women having equal self-determination and representation was not even on the table. When the starting point for political discussions is a tacit "We all agree that those people don't deserve equal rights, now let's talk about... [marginal tax rates/trade policy/whatever]" then politics can be impersonal. Because the issue of personhood isn't addressed, it's already decided on. Once you bring granting or removing civil rights into your discussion of politics, damn skippy is there going to be some fireworks.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:46 PM on February 24 [50 favorites]


the police cars in my quiet suburban town, which are all brand new SUVs that are 90% black with a pro-forma white-and-blue door.

Man, mine don't even have the white-and-blue door, and 80 percent of the time I see one is in the speed trap at the elementary school down the block.
posted by Etrigan at 12:46 PM on February 24


Obama's back from vacation and in NYC! [tweet w/ video of crowds cheering him on 5th Ave.]
posted by melissasaurus at 12:46 PM on February 24 [20 favorites]


Even Putin comes up for election. And the thing to remember about Putin is that - for god knows what reason - he's actually popular.

More than a quarter of Russians are afraid to respond honestly to polls about the nation according to a new study by the Levada Center. Speaking of surveys in general, 49 percent of respondents expressed the view that the Russians are reluctant to respond to sociological surveys. More than half of respondents said they believe Russians fear the consequences of answering sociological surveys honestly.

Levada is considered the only major independent pollster in Russia. Last year it demonstrated a drop in support of the ruling United Russia party. Later that year Russian officials declared it a "foreign agent", a designation that hurts its credibility (all but calling it a spy) and ability to function.
posted by Kabanos at 12:46 PM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Let me see if I've got this right:

The White House has successfully changed the subject from the FBI interference and Russia to who got to waste a chunk of their live listening to Sean Spicer mispronounce words and tell them what they should be writing about. And now their base is all riled up because the "enemies of the American people" got slapped around and now they're whining about it (p.s. someone should flat out ask Spicer if he considers them to be an enemy of the people).

Because don't get me wrong, what Spicer did is a big deal and unacceptable, but it seems like he's winning this round, and it was entirely predictable.

And now, this: "Pres Trump asked Pres Kuczynski why he's getting an award from @Princeton? "For being an alumnus that did OK, I guess," said Peru's leader."
posted by zachlipton at 12:47 PM on February 24 [8 favorites]


@Hadas_Gold

WSJ says they would not have participated in gaggle had they known of the blocking of others and said they won't in future
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:48 PM on February 24 [32 favorites]


And now their base is all riled up because

Don't attribute that to any clever maneuvers by the administration. Their base has committed to Trumpism, and the Russia stuff wasn't anywhere near changing that.
posted by Etrigan at 12:50 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]




Gorka. Gorka. That's pretty much the sound a cat makes just before it horks up a big hairball.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:57 PM on February 24 [25 favorites]


not gonna lie, every time Gorka's name shows up in the press i see this
posted by murphy slaw at 12:59 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Dems invite immigrants to Trump's first address to Congress: Lawmakers typically get one guest ticket apiece for presidential addresses, as they will for Tuesday's prime-time speech, and the invites often go to family, friends or someone from back home. To send a message to Trump, Democrats have invited the Iraqi-American doctor who discovered elevated levels of lead in the blood of many children living in Flint, Michigan; a Pakistani-born doctor who delivers critical care to patients in Rhode Island and an American-born daughter of Palestinian refugees who aids people like her family in their quest to come to the United States.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:03 PM on February 24 [41 favorites]


how much do you want to bet that trump warms up the room for his congressional address by berating congress about how low their approval ratings are
posted by murphy slaw at 1:04 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


MTV News: ‘THE STAKES’: MAXINE WATERS ON GOING VIRAL IN HER 13TH TERM. I'll pull this quote because it's fun, but there's a bunch of good stuff in here, including an important part on "when are we just going to be able to be mad in public, as black folks?":
I’m excited about the fact that somehow they’ve connected with me, and they’re following me, and they’re tweeting, and retweeting. And they are calling me “Auntie Maxine.” They’re calling me “Queen of Shade,” now, and I’m saying to my grandchildren, “What’s shade?”
posted by zachlipton at 1:09 PM on February 24 [71 favorites]


I feel like the Punisher would also not approve of police killing innocent POC and would in fact think the police are the ones that need to be punished in this situation.

Yeah, Punisher has pretty strong feels about both dirty cops and shooters who take out innocents in the crossfire. I'm not sure he'd be holding the Blue Lives Matter sign.
posted by corb at 1:11 PM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Yes, there have been amazing town hall participation, but the House is gerrymandered as fuck, and I don't see these congresspeople as being worried about losing their seats so much as being uncomfortable in a room full of people calling them on their bullshit.

From bibliowench's comment: I've been wondering about this, too. But I think there's still hope on two points: 1) The conversation surrounding the Obamacare repeal has taken a TURN. It might not happen. In large part because of public outcry. and 2) the House is indeed gerrymandered as fuck, but remember the Tea Party? It's been brought up here and elsewhere, but many people are saying (heh) that the sustained opposition to Trump could bring about an even larger wave of change. We've got evil brutes in charge right now, but they're not as smart or fired-up as the 255 million+ Americans who didn't vote them in, so I'm holding out hope that there's more than just social anxiety driving Republican responses to town hall participation.
posted by witchen at 1:11 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Just read the Whitehouse is blocking news media. What is the impact of this? Is there any precedent for this? Is this any kind of bellwether? If Republicans don't stand up to this now, is it a sign that we are truly spiraling into a totalitarian state?

That's what makes a democracy a democracy instead of a dictatorship.

Link goes to a video of just post election Sean Spicer talking to Politico.
posted by zabuni at 1:14 PM on February 24 [15 favorites]


And I mean. I'm not saying you're wrong, because I'm feeling the same way. I type these things out as much to convince myself as to boost the mood in the room because I must be wrong to feel such despair, right? (...right?)
posted by witchen at 1:15 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I mean, I know shit is just going to get crazier, but I'm still stunned every day by what Asshat and his admin are doing.

They're breaking norms left and right, but by and large they've been extraordinarily ineffective at everything policy-related they've tried. They have a 31 yo jackass with no legal training attempting to set strategy for the AG's office. They have a cirrhotic fighting with a spineless party hack for the ear of a slightly demented 70 yo Fox News viewer. Gerrymandering is set to be addressed at the Supreme Court level.

Don't get discouraged. We're gonna keep working and fighting, and we're in the majority.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:20 PM on February 24 [55 favorites]


The Russian flags were handed out by two progressive activists from Americans Take Action, who bought CPAC tickets and brought close to 1,000 flags to hand out:
"I think it says a lot about Donald Trump's base and their education level," he said. "I don't want to insult anyone, but I think you should know what the Russian flag is. They are one of the world's major powers, and it's a pretty easily recognized flag."
posted by zachlipton at 1:22 PM on February 24 [86 favorites]


how much do you want to bet that trump warms up the room for his congressional address by berating congress about how low their approval ratings are

What are the odds that's the whole address? Nonzero, right?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:25 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


The Russian flags were handed out by two progressive activists from Americans Take Action, who bought CPAC tickets and brought close to 1,000 flags to hand out:
Goddamnit, people, "pranks" don't help.
posted by jferg at 1:26 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


To be fair a single red, white, and blue bar as a flag is used by many nations that also are not the US.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:26 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Goddamnit, people, "pranks" don't help.

au contraire, they help my mood enormously
posted by murphy slaw at 1:29 PM on February 24 [96 favorites]


Conning people into waving Trump Russia flags is outstanding.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:31 PM on February 24 [115 favorites]


The slate political podcast made the point this week that the really wrong thing with the administration's immigration position (and I guess maybe marijuana position also smacks of this) is you create this tremendous uncertainty. People will not know what they can and can't do. Hence (and here I'm extrapolating) you have a weird instance of the flights where the passengers were asked about their documents. Assuming for the sake of argument that it was CBP and not TSA and it was WH-initiated, all you have to do is fuck with a flight or two. People are not going to know. But if it's just a flight or two, are we going to have massive protests? Maybe not. But immigrants will be scared. And that feels very deliberate.

I realize that one way I'm responding emotionally to this is the bullying quality of it. The main goal is to make your opponents uncomfortable. Here opponents being anybody who's not in lockstep with the Trump WH
posted by angrycat at 1:31 PM on February 24 [10 favorites]


And they keep Russia on the table. By any means . . .
posted by stonepharisee at 1:31 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Goddamnit, people, "pranks" don't help.

Sure it will! As long as Trump supporters who are watching are paying attention to small details, fluent enough in flags to know the Russian flag on sight, can appreciate irony, and are willing to reconsider their positions as well as maybe...

Ah... I see.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:32 PM on February 24 [8 favorites]


The only thing that is going to result from making a Trump supporter feel stupid (or feel like progressives -think- they are stupid) is that they are going to become more entrenched in their alternative-facts based reality.
posted by jferg at 1:34 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Chicago PD hits back at Trump: We asked WH for help and never heard back

"We've made requests to the White House and the Justice Department for them to support our work — from increasing federal gun prosecution to more FBI, [Drug Enforcement Agency] and [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] agents to more funding for mentoring, job training and more. We are still waiting for the administration's response to our request."
posted by futz at 1:35 PM on February 24 [34 favorites]


The only thing that is going to result from making a Trump supporter feel stupid (or feel like progressives -think- they are stupid) is that they are going to become more entrenched in their alternative-facts based reality.

Is it at all possible that being caught being so stupid will make them question where they get their information from and lead them down a path of actual critical thinking? or nah?
posted by Sophie1 at 1:36 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


The only thing that is going to result from making a Trump supporter feel stupid (or feel like progressives -think- they are stupid) is that they are going to become more entrenched in their alternative-facts based reality.

Yeah, but at this point Trump supporters are either evil or so stupid they can't identify evil when it's wearing a bright red "I'M WITH SATAN" shirt and either way we've got better things to do than try to politely convince them to stop supporting evil.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:38 PM on February 24 [14 favorites]


This overview of Dick Tuck's long campaign against Richard Nixon seems appropriate after the Russian-flag incident.
posted by adamg at 1:39 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Is it at all possible that being caught being so stupid will make them question where they get their information from and lead them down a path of actual critical thinking? or nah?

I don't believe so. I believe that for so many of them, they are purely pro-Trump out of a feeling of oppression/not being listened to, and this kind of prank is not going to help that sentiment. I'm not sure if this blog post has been shared in one of these threads, but it's worth a read: Sam Altman: What I Heard From Trump Supporters
posted by jferg at 1:40 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


i don't think CPAC is fertile territory to find changeable minds. it is, however, redolent with the sweet scent of the imminently trollable
posted by murphy slaw at 1:40 PM on February 24 [23 favorites]


You're suggesting that we should all be more loving and sympathetic to Trump supporters like that's a brand new idea? That's all the mainstream media has been doing since Nov 9. As we have all been saying since Nov. 9, many of us grew up among people who are Trump supporters, have friends and family members who are Trump supporters, and are generally familiar with how Trump supporters think. I promise that the 89,0000th round of "be more loving and sympathetic to Trump supporters" is not going to change my mind any more than giving the CPAC assholes Russion flags is going to change their minds.
posted by hydropsyche at 1:45 PM on February 24 [27 favorites]


Goddamnit, people, "pranks" don't help.

I disagree.

The only thing that is going to result from making a Trump supporter feel stupid (or feel like progressives -think- they are stupid) is that they are going to become more entrenched in their alternative-facts based reality.

Don't care in the slightest what these people think. They're adults. I'm tired of being told we need to be gentle with the toddlers because they might throw a fit.
posted by bongo_x at 1:46 PM on February 24 [52 favorites]


No one should care about changing CPAC attendees minds. The goal is to make them social pariahs, like Richard Spencer has been made a social pariah.

Which is to say, the minds that need to be changed are the minds of the people around CPAC attendees. When someone says that they're a CPAC attendee, the people around them should be inspired to take one step back, look away, change the subject, and then immediately begin making plans to never interact with the CPAC attendee ever again, something like how people who aren't Klansmen react when they find out that they're talking to a Klansman.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:47 PM on February 24 [32 favorites]


Salt of the Earth Midwestern Trump voters who voted Trump as the lesser of two evils but are just worried about their jobs don't attend CPAC. Wealthy crazed ideologues attend CPAC. Troll at will.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:48 PM on February 24 [58 favorites]


I was intrigued by Wayne Lapierre's insistence that protesters were being paid $1500 a week so I googled "Craigslist ad $1500 protesters." There are 14 pages of entries-- all Right Wing news outlets and blogs-- all of them showing "Exhibit A" which is supposedly an ad that ran in LA, Chicago, and NY. Sometimes the claim is that the ads were run in Boston, Philadelphia, and Denver. The ads are financed by George Soros (DUH!) or Planned Parenthood or Moving ON or by left over campaign money from Clinton. The news stories about the ads started Nov. 11, 1916 although there were earlier stories about paid protesters who were being paid $15.00 an hour.

Snopes isn't very helpful, calling it "unproven" For one thing they don't seem to have the ad that all of the Right Wing news outlets are talking about which starts out Stop Trump.

I've tried to find a non-Right Wing news outlet that has looked into the claim but I'm not finding anything except one dude on Reddit who claims he clicked on the link to the ad and there was no page found. I'm starting to suspect that it was one guy who mocked up a Craigslist ad and then spread the story. All of the ads I've seen as evidence have the same ID number at the bottom that ends 802.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:49 PM on February 24 [22 favorites]


Fox News guy: Some at CNN & NYT stood w/FOX News when the Obama admin attacked us & tried 2 exclude us-a WH gaggle should be open to all credentialed orgs

This is not a thing that actually happened. Here's Talking Points Memo's take on it.
posted by scalefree at 1:51 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


I feel like the Punisher would also not approve of police killing innocent POC and would in fact think the police are the ones that need to be punished in this situation.

and yet, having never read the comics or watched the abysmal movie they made, all i know about the punisher is that every person i know who displays an interest in that character is reliably far right wing and authoritarian.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 1:52 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


AP: Homeland Security intelligence report disputes threat posed by citizens of 7 nations in Trump travel ban.

Here's the intelligence report.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:53 PM on February 24 [34 favorites]


I also strongly suspect that none of those people freaking out about that ad (if it's even legit) have encountered the many maaaaaany ads and posters that paper college campuses in the springtime. You know, the ones for various PIRGs that say "DEFEND THE ENVIRONMENT*! SUMMER EMPLOYMENT! $15/HOUR! NO FUNDRAISING!" They're freaking everywhere. It's just summer call center and public interest canvassing gigs. They do exist. No one is paying those kids to protest, they're paying them to slog around the suburbs sweating like pigs leaving lit on doors.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:54 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


People who think you can get a 1500/wk legit gig on Craigslist don't hang out on Craigslist much.
posted by emjaybee at 1:54 PM on February 24 [15 favorites]


That looks like the intelligence report CNN reported on yesterday. The leaks are coming fast and in all directions.
posted by zachlipton at 1:55 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Goddamnit, people, "pranks" don't help.
posted by jferg at 14:26


They're good pranks, jforg.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:57 PM on February 24 [82 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy: I've tried to find a non-Right Wing news outlet that has looked into the claim but I'm not finding anything except one dude on Reddit who claims he clicked on the link to the ad and there was no page found. I'm starting to suspect that it was one guy who mocked up a Craigslist ad and then spread the story. All of the ads I've seen as evidence have the same ID number at the bottom that ends 802.

Huh, fake news you say? Like a city in Michigan was the first to implement Sharia law kind of fake? Yeah, I'm not surprised this is now spreading as fact, when in fact it was some internet ass-jacket who made up something for those sweet, sweet hits.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:58 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


To me, the important part of the intelligence report isn't the conclusion. It's that the Trump folks essentially asked DHS for evidence that would back up the travel ban (requesting intelligence to satisfy pre-determined policy outcomes; sound familiar?) , and the DHS intelligence folks said "eh, here's a thing that says the opposite." And then they leaked it.
posted by zachlipton at 1:58 PM on February 24 [44 favorites]


The news stories about the ads started Nov. 11, 1916

I knew Putin was playing a long game, but I'm impressed.
posted by bongo_x at 1:59 PM on February 24 [18 favorites]


Hey, did everybody get their super-cool 2017 Democratic National Committee opinion survey in the mail today?! It has fun questions like: "Of the following 12 fucking outrageously horrific things about the upcoming Trump Presidency, which 4 concern you the most?"

"Other than just giving the hell up and sitting in a corner crying with a big-ass bottle of tequila for the next decade, which 3 of the priorities listed below do you think the DNC should focus on going forward?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:28 PM on January 18


Wow, just got another copy of the same (or possibly somewhat revised) festive DNC survey today. Which I think is a smart move because I filled my first one out pre-inauguration, and I suspect I'm not the only person whose answers have significantly shifted after the first month of the Reign of Awful. Also, I bet a lot of people just went "Oh fuck politics" and tossed their surveys on Jan 18 but think very differently now and are studiously filling it out and sending it in after decorating the envelope with colorful iterations of "Fight fight fight unto the last breath!" etc.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:01 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


No, not saying "just be nice" because I know, just like you do, that that's not productive. What I am saying is that trolling a bunch of CPAC attendees in a very public way is likely going to backfire into causing the people who aren't necessarily at CPAC but might be paying attention to it to have the anti-progressive viewpoint reaffirmed and cause them to become more entrenched in their pro-Trump mindset. Maybe I just think that trolling, while it can be funny, is generally bad regardless of who is doing it.
posted by jferg at 2:02 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Tom: I been thinking about us, too, about our people living like pigs and good rich land laying fallow. Or maybe one guy with a million acres and a hundred thousand farmers starving. And I been wondering if all our folks got together and yelled…

Ma: Oh, Tommy, they’d drag you out and cut you down just like they done to Casey.

Tom: They’d drag me anyways. Sooner or later they’d get me for one thing if not for another. Until then…


God, I can't imagine dialogue like that appearing in any major studio film these days, even though it's every bit as relevant and resonant now as it was in 1939.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 2:04 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


post-enlightenment thought? yep.

a kentucky police department co-opted 'by any means necessary' from malcolm x and the nation of islam. are they radical islamist terrorists?

the absurdity...it burns...
posted by j_curiouser at 2:07 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Democratic National Committee

The DNC mailers and emails I get are just so grotesquely pathetic I just delete them out of hand. No more surveys, no more garbage petitions, no more DNC bullshit. I'll work with my reps and support Keith Ellison for chair, but dammit I don't want any more useless freakouts.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:08 PM on February 24 [10 favorites]


The other thing about Tom Joad: Tom is a felon. Could you have that in a movie today? I bet not. Could you have a movie where a sympathetic union organizer gets murdered? Or where his brother avenges his death and still remains the hero? Nuh-uh.

Although - and here's a prediction for you - I bet there's an uptick in interest in Grapes of Wrath and at least one graphic novel or indie adaptation in the next few years. It cries out to be adapted - a guy gets out of jail, can't get work, his family tries to start over somewhere else, can't get any medical care. It would touch on race and prisons and forced migration and all kinds of stuff.
posted by Frowner at 2:11 PM on February 24 [14 favorites]


Anything I didn't request from a political group/politician that arrives goes in the trash. We have an election coming up in LA in a couple weeks and my mailbox has been getting roughly 10 mailers a day. Who in the world thinks this stuff works? Honestly, if you're dumb enough to be influenced by a political mailer, you probably shouldn't be making these decisions in the first place.
posted by downtohisturtles at 2:14 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]




NPR's All Things Considered interviewed Michael Smith about the Sebastian Gorka legal threat call, but "alpha male" Gorka did not respond to requests for comment from NPR.
posted by XMLicious at 2:20 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Man, Solidarity is going to be a hard row to hoe so long as the least difficulty leads to bourgeois Calexit bullshit
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:21 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


I throw all political stuff in the trash except surveys because surveys are fun (like crossword puzzles or What Type of Dog Are You? quizzes) and actually help me think about my priorities and reasons for them.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:22 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Man, if weak-ass NPR, who will roll over at the drop of a hat, frightens you then you must be some kind of super-alpha alpha male.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


When someone's politics represents an existential threat, you fight that threat. I 100% agree with this. The thing I've been trying to work out over the past few days, though, is what constitutes an existential threat and to whom?

The reason is because I fear we've gotten to the point now where trust has eroded so much between groups of different political stripes that EVERYTHING now seems to be an existential threat, which means that every difference of opinion is a full-throated attack on someone else's identity and must be responded to in kind. That's a road that inevitably leads us to war and death.


Climate change is potentially the greatest existential threat the human supporting ecosystem has ever faced. What's happening now with Syria is a point of extrapolation for what could happen with all of the world's population currently living between the tropics (ignoring all the other possible upsets a higher energy climate system may bring to every point on the planet). Lots of war, lots of migration, lots of starvation, lots of desperation, lots more dead families washing up on beaches, lots more stories for us to question, lots more for us to quantify and qualify in terms of the imaginary historical absolutes that make it OK for us to be us. Not good. Bad. It's gonna be bad, dudes. And soon.
posted by Buntix at 2:24 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


So as Trump has taken over the title of the GOP's most outrageous public figure, all the smaller fish who used to play in that pond in their bids for relevancy are desperately trying to up their game, and it's increasingly ridiculous:
Samson slew Philistines with the jawbone of an ass; CNN now known as "Samson Channel"--reports news with jawbone of an ass. #fakenews BAM!
--@GovMikeHuckabee

It can't be done, Mike. The only way to out-crazy Trump is to go full Alex Jones, and your face just isn't capable of getting that red in anger.

(Yes, I just played into his hand by reposting this. It's Friday; I don't care.)
posted by zachlipton at 2:24 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Samson slew Philistines with the jawbone of an ass; CNN now known as "Samson Channel"--reports news with jawbone of an ass. #fakenews BAM!

What a tryhard
posted by Existential Dread at 2:28 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


Really? "BAM!"?
posted by flatluigi at 2:28 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


book publisher Melville House has some pointed questions for sean spicer
posted by murphy slaw at 2:28 PM on February 24 [25 favorites]


Charles Pierce: Reince Priebus Needs to Leave Trump's White House. Today. He made the FBI mess even messier, and he can't clean it up.
First of all, Priebus has to go. Today. Even if there's nothing illegal in what happened—and even, as seems completely implausible, the request was made out of simple anger at inaccurate reporting instead of abject terror that accurate reporting was getting too close to where the borscht got made last year—Priebus is revealed as a guy who should not be allowed to spread butter with anything sharper than his thumb, let alone run the staff of any White House, including Camp Runamuck. This is, or ought to be, a career-ender.

Second, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III shouldn't be allowed within an area code of any investigation of the contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. (I suspect there might be several of these.) He's hopelessly compromised.

Third, come on, man. You don't go this far out on a limb because you're pissed about fake stories. Not even this White House is that stupid. You take this kind of long chance because you believe that there's something out there that's worse than being found to be using the FBI to ratfck the New York Times.
posted by homunculus at 2:28 PM on February 24 [67 favorites]


I'm going to start ending all my MeFi comments with "BAM!" now. I think it adds a certain flair. BAM!
posted by zachlipton at 2:29 PM on February 24 [26 favorites]


Who in the world thinks this stuff works?

They probably work decently well, especially for municipal and state legislature races which don't get much coverage. I throw my mailers away too, but usually read them first. In my red state, it's a good way to get a quick idea of what the local politicians (or the Koch-funded SuperPACs who send out tons of 4 color glossy cards) think will appeal to low-information voters. One conservative group's mailer told me which state supreme court justices to vote out in the recall election, and I kept that one in my wallet so I'd remember who to vote for retention.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:30 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Reince Priebus Needs to Leave Trump's White House. Today. He made the FBI mess even messier, and he can't clean it up.

This is precisely what Steve Bannon wants. I am not comfortable being on his team.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:31 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


> Anything I didn't request from a political group/politician that arrives goes in the trash. We have an election coming up in LA in a couple weeks and my mailbox has been getting roughly 10 mailers a day. Who in the world thinks this stuff works? Honestly, if you're dumb enough to be influenced by a political mailer, you probably shouldn't be making these decisions in the first place.

HEY. No. Don't. That is a totally self-destructive line of reasoning. We are busy people in a busy world, unless we're rich we have to work way too much, and because we have to work so much we have very little time for political engagement. People with little time for political engagement need to at least vote, though, and they need to vote for the leftmost viable candidate in every election. I want everyone who can be swayed from a mailer voting for the leftmost viable candidate, and I want every mailer that can sway anyone toward the leftmost viable candidate sent out.

There is no space for elitism in politics.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:32 PM on February 24 [12 favorites]




Samson slew Philistines with the jawbone of an ass; CNN now known as "Samson Channel"--reports news with jawbone of an ass. #fakenews BAM!
--@GovMikeHuckabee


The best part is that neither Trump nor Huckabee is smart enough to realize that Huckabee just called Trump a Philistine.
posted by The World Famous at 2:34 PM on February 24 [44 favorites]


The best part is that neither Trump nor Huckabee is smart enough to realize that Huckabee just called Trump a Philistine.

I am not smart enough to understand anything about that tweet. I didn't even realize it was supposed to be a joke. It seems like it's in code and I don't have the key.
posted by bongo_x at 2:37 PM on February 24 [16 favorites]


Worth noting about the gaggle: I wondered why the Washington Post wasn't barred, too, given the damage they've done, but WaPo's story on this says they didn't have anyone there today to begin with.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:39 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


I think you need to have been homeschooled to get it.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on February 24 [17 favorites]


ha ha, our political opponents are just like the biblical hero favored by god and given strength to destroy his enemies, said the evangelical right-winger, apparently without irony
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:40 PM on February 24 [47 favorites]


It's apparently a subcurrent in the more evangelical parts of fever swamps that Trump is just a clever means by the big G to get Pence installed, next stop Gilead, so maybe that's what it's meant to refer to.
posted by Drastic at 2:43 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Mike Schur (Parks & Rec, Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

And more recently The Good Place, which you should definitely check out if the news/this thread is making you crazy
posted by theodolite at 2:43 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


Although - and here's a prediction for you - I bet there's an uptick in interest in Grapes of Wrath and at least one graphic novel or indie adaptation in the next few years. It cries out to be adapted - a guy gets out of jail, can't get work, his family tries to start over somewhere else, can't get any medical care. It would touch on race and prisons and forced migration and all kinds of stuff.

In Dubious Battle, an earlier Steinbeck novel, had a film adaptation come out just last year. Here's the trailer.
posted by joedan at 2:44 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


We'll stop it, we'll stop the drugs from pouring into our nation and poisoning our youth. Pouring in. Pouring in. We get the drugs, they get the money. We get the problems. They get the cash. No good. No good. Going to stop.

Trump sounds like a broken machine gun set on repeat, but what's mysterious--almost spine-chillingly bizarre--about his speaking style is that, if you burrow far enough into history, it's plain that, in his youth, he not only spoke in complete sentences--he was also quite articulate, self-assured, poised, somewhat self-effacing, and highly fluent and organized in speech. Check out this interview at age thirty-three, from NBC.

Now compare this with today's horrendous CPAC presentation. It's almost impossible to regard this as the same human being. An independent observer from another era in history would conclude that the older Trump had acquired a brain tumor or speech impediment. Most orators polish their speaking styles into their older years, but it's as if Trump is living in reverse.

Is it shtick? Dementia? The accumulation of bad habits? Or simply laziness built up through the years, during which his wealth and family name made up for personal deficiencies?
posted by Gordion Knott at 2:44 PM on February 24 [24 favorites]


I'm going to start ending all my MeFi comments with "BAM!" now. I think it adds a certain flair. BAM!

Very popular as well at the Sunnyvale Trailer Park.
posted by juiceCake at 2:47 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Melville House, a book publisher, is 1. all out 2. of fucks 3. to give.
posted by prefpara at 2:48 PM on February 24 [50 favorites]


Someone do Trump doing Tom Joad, please.

No, but to help feed the rage, here's Bruce and Tom doing The Ghost of Tom Joad that'll angry up the blood.
posted by mikelieman at 2:48 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Is it shtick? Dementia? The accumulation of bad habits? Or simply laziness built up through the years, during which his wealth and family name made up for personal deficiencies?

I don't know what the cause of his weird (non-)delivery is, but the more I learn about his most rabid supporters, the more I'm convinced it's the most effective way to reach them. Simple words. Simple, very simple, so simple. Words. Repeated. Repeated, folks, believe me. So repeated. Simple words repeated, and way, way, way easier to digest than bigger words. So much easier.
posted by Rykey at 2:50 PM on February 24 [58 favorites]


It's obviously not a certainty, but I will say I know people who work professionally in the area who think it is likely that 45 has frontal lobe dementia.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:53 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Re: mailers. I find them useful for local races because sometimes local electoral ballots don't include party affiliation. And the mailers don't either, but let me discern the political orientation by what they advertise. Especially since they always include a picture of the candidate and the majority of people who bother to run Democrat around here are Black. So I make a note of their names for election day.
posted by threeturtles at 2:54 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


“We’re getting so many calls, and they’re saying that the Punisher logo [means] we’re out to kill people, and that’s not the meaning behind that,” Logan told io9. “That didn’t cross my mind.”

What the fucking shit else was it supposed to mean, then? Can't you at least make the effort of coming up with a convincing lie?
posted by Tarumba at 2:54 PM on February 24 [24 favorites]


the more I'm convinced it's the most effective way to reach them. Simple words. Simple, very simple, so simple. Words. Repeated. Repeated, folks, believe me. So repeated. Simple words repeated, and way, way, way easier to digest than bigger words. So much easier.

Come to think of it, I just finished reading Nurtureshock and this is pretty much what it recommends for talking to babies so they start to learn what words mean. Say the same thing in varied but simple ways. And most importantly, make sure that what you're saying is what baby is already thinking, or they won't understand (i.e. if baby is looking at a spoon, say "That's a spoon." "See the spoon?" "Take the spoon." rather than talking about something else).

Anyway, once his followers have learned to process language, I'm sure he'll move on to reasoning skills.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:55 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: AP: Homeland Security intelligence report disputes threat posed by citizens of 7 nations in Trump travel ban.

zachlipton: That looks like the intelligence report CNN reported on yesterday. The leaks are coming fast and in all directions.

filthy light thief: ... many State Department bureaucrats don’t feel that they are able to affect policy through the normal channels due to what they see as lack of communication coming from Trump’s and Tillerson’s people.

I think this is true for many government agencies now. Here's how I imagine the process going:

1. Trump or Bannon want some new EO, based on their understanding of something, which is flawed, but ask staff to look into it
2. Staff look into it, develop a report, and pass it up the chain
3. It doesn't say what Bannon/ Trump want to see, they disregard it, act as they wanted to
4. Huge backlash from all sides
5. Staff get pissed off that their work was disregarded, leak the report, everyone learns that Trump and co are full of shit

But can leaked info be used in court? I'm guessing not, but I would love to be wrong.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:57 PM on February 24 [21 favorites]


Speaking of the dementia theory: I had lunch with a friend whose mother was the live in caregiver for many years to her grandmother. (the grandmother died last fall). She has been mentioning Trump's very recognizable behaviours, including two I hadn't seen mentioned before. One is sundowning - as in when Trump hung up suddenly on the Australian Prime Minister.

The second surprising symptom - fear of stairs. Turns out depth perception deteriorates. In my friend's case, they had to put tape around the bottom of the stairs so the grandmother wouldn't go up and get stuck.

To check her theory, my friend watched a Tim Russert interview of Trump from the 90s, and then immediately watched a recent speech of Trump's. She says that in the past you could at least diagram his sentences, whereas now he seems to have trouble even finding the words.

Anyway, more validation for people who have been noticing this.
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 2:58 PM on February 24 [28 favorites]


“We’re getting so many calls, and they’re saying that the Punisher logo [means] we’re out to kill people, and that’s not the meaning behind that,” Logan told io9. “That didn’t cross my mind.”

Hey, at least he acknowledged that there could be a harmful alternate meaning that he hadn't considered, and that the harm of that meaning justifies getting rid of it. That's a much better reaction than most people make when you call them out on their Confederate flags...
posted by J.K. Seazer at 2:59 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


Speaking of the dementia theory

Both my parents died of dementia in the last few years. It presents in a variety of ways, but I will say that 45's speech patterns and fixation on perceived slights reminds me a great deal of my mother in the last several years of her life. She probably had NPD, and was really invested in placing blame on everyone around her rather than herself for everything she was unhappy with. She was also really really good at denial. Nobody better.
posted by suelac at 3:01 PM on February 24 [16 favorites]


From much earlier in the thread:
> They aren't ever gonna rise up. First, have you seen most of those militia types ? They not only peaked in high school, it was also the last time they could climb a set of stairs in one go. Secondly, Obama was a UN backed Kenyan Muslim Dictator who sold the Constitution to Century 21 and used Rex84 chemtrails to Jade Helm America. Or whatever - they're always a little fuzzy on actual details.

And besides, have you seen the infighting and petty theft in most patriot groups? It's not hard to find, because they suck at opsec and their FB stuff is public. They have trouble organizing a bake sale - force projection is so far outside of their organizational capability as to not exist.
They sound just fine for death squads. Death squads do not need combat effectiveness and typically massacre the defenseless: women, children, the old and infirm — the ugly scutwork of ethnic cleansing. You see this pattern repeated in Central America, Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, ISIS, innumerable bush wars in sub-Saharan Africa, etc. All you really need is people who aren't very bright and are willing to kill without remorse. These border militias have the former in spades, and the latter, well, I guess we'll see how much they really hate non-whites.
posted by indubitable at 3:06 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


Life comes at you fast.

@kenvogel
FLASHBACK: @seanspicer in Dec. says Trump WH won't ban specific media outlets. "That's what makes a democracy a democracy vs a dictatorship" [video]
posted by chris24 at 3:06 PM on February 24 [28 favorites]


"That's a much better reaction than most people make when you call them out on their Confederate flags..."

My thoughts were he was either testing his boundaries, or locally influential people complained.

2017 Tarumba doesn't buy into the just world fallacy anymore.
posted by Tarumba at 3:07 PM on February 24


@seanspicer in Dec. says Trump WH won't ban specific media outlets. "That's what makes a democracy a democracy vs a dictatorship"

To be fair, he's just saying you can't ban specific media outlets and stay a democracy. At the time he was presuming that he'd be working under a democracy but hey, things change.
posted by contraption at 3:13 PM on February 24 [12 favorites]




21% who think protesting Trump should be illegal
Hello, crazification factor. Haven't seen you this explicit in a while
Yes, how did this even become a controversy? Who are these people?


"They" are the same people* who felt Nixon should not be impeached while he was resigning. There are a %age of people who will approve** of something in politics no matter what.

Fine.

Ya might need that not 21% slice someday. Callin' them names isn't gonna win them over and the heat of your rhetorical barbs may deform the !21% snowflakes so they won't be part of your future avalanche.

* same-ish. %15-18% were pro Nixon at the end. And a few Trumpers were not alive for Nixon.
** just like there is a %age of people who think She-who-will-not-be-relitagated is wonderful and if you don't agree you are some kind of failure as a human.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:22 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


The bit that really hit home for me was Trump's Sweden mix-up, because it's exactly the sort of thing my grandfather with dementia did. He'd hear something on cable news, pick up on some details of it but misunderstand or not remember the context, and ended up talking about vaguely plausible yet non-existent news stories. Except this is the President of the United States and not a guy in a nursing home. It's frightening.
posted by zachlipton at 3:24 PM on February 24 [38 favorites]


LA Times "We Will Not Shut Up" T-Shirt

Interesting. ProPublica did this with a "We're Not Shutting Up" shirt earlier this year.
posted by zachlipton at 3:26 PM on February 24


John Whitman, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia: "Good job @seanspicer. Why would we let media who hate us have access to @POTUS? Time to take a stand."

The Republican party is the party of totalitarianism and anti-democracy. That's utterly undeniable. They're all in on complete authoritarianism at all levels.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:27 PM on February 24 [49 favorites]


Fox's Shepard Smith: CNN is not 'fake news'

"For the record, 'fake news' refers to stories that are created, often by entities pretending to be news organizations, solely to draw clicks and views and are based on nothing of substance," Smith said during his program.

"In short, fake news is made up nonsense delivered for financial gain. CNN’s reporting was not fake news. Its journalists followed the same standards to which other news organizations, including Fox News, adhere," he added.


Fox's Bret Baier rips White House after outlets barred from briefing
posted by futz at 3:30 PM on February 24 [59 favorites]


Madasani Jaganmohan Reddy, father of Alok Madasani, the Indian shooting victim who survived in Kansas, to the Hindustan Times:
“The situation seems to be pretty bad after Trump took over as the U.S. president,” Madasani Jaganmohan Reddy told the Hindustan Times in India. “I appeal to all the parents in India not to send their children to the U.S. in the present circumstances.”
And of course, more silence from the White House.
posted by zachlipton at 3:30 PM on February 24 [64 favorites]


The bit that really hit home for me was Trump's Sweden mix-up, because it's exactly the sort of thing my grandfather with dementia did. He'd hear something on cable news, pick up on some details of it but misunderstand or not remember the context, and ended up talking about vaguely plausible yet non-existent news stories. Except this is the President of the United States and not a guy in a nursing home. It's frightening.

I'm surprised nobody's brought up Being There (or, brought it up more often, because Google turns up only one article) yet. The way our president will say something completely nonsensical or half-baked and the way the press will run with it and try to interpret profound meaning from it, and treat it like a legitimate point and publish hot takes on what it "really" means? It's surreal. I listened to that Sweden rant and thought the same thing, and then here comes NPR with an explainer about the immigration scene in Sweden. WE DON'T NEED AN EXPLAINER. IT'S HIS IMAGINATION.
posted by witchen at 3:31 PM on February 24 [29 favorites]


We may want to take a moment to consider the implications of weaponizing the bees.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:31 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


And the thing to remember about Putin is that - for god knows what reason - he's actually popular.

Because nationalism, nationalistic pride and being part of a 'group of winners' matter.

If being part of a group was not important there would not be political parties.

Like it or not, after the CCCP fell the nation was beset with problems. Including vulture capitalists who worked to loot what they could. Putin stopped the looting by outside vulture capitalists.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:31 PM on February 24


@zachlipton, I had the same thought/reaction when I heard him mis-hear Jake Turx's anti-Semitism question, and then double-down on his error by plunging full steam into being outraged, and then channeling his outrage back into an attack on his detractors. I mean...all of that -- ALL OF THAT -- took place in his own head, from what would have been a softball question if he had just heard it correctly. FML...
posted by mosk at 3:32 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


"Brewster's Millions" + Trump does turn up some results, though, so.
posted by witchen at 3:32 PM on February 24


Can someone please explain - why wasn't today's briefing on C-SPAN? Was C-SPAN excluded along with the others?
posted by kitcat at 3:33 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


If only I had a penguin...: "Anyway, once his followers have learned to process language, I'm sure he'll move on to reasoning skills."

...and we’d finally have confirmation of the adage that “those who can’t, teach.”
posted by Riki tiki at