State of a divided union
February 28, 2017 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Does Trump know he’s president? Tonight, President Trump will address Congress; "GOP lawmakers want guidance on how to handle Obamacare and tax reform." Trump's guests for his address: Scalia's widow, a private-school success story, three people who lost someone to an illegal immigrant. This morning, an interview with the president aired on Fox & Friends, where Trump discussed the leaks coming out of the White House, slain Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, who died in the Yemen raid, and the protests around the country that he believes President Obama is behind.

Dozens of Historically Black College and University leaders met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Monday; last night, a photo taken of the event began making the rounds, showing advisor Kellyanne Conway making herself at home on the couch.

CNN: Trump tweets and the TV news stories behind them

Trump grades himself: A for achievement, C/C+ for messaging because “I or my people” 👀 haven't explained well enough
posted by roomthreeseventeen (2700 comments total) 88 users marked this as a favorite
 
At last, I've caught up with the thread.
posted by Gelatin at 7:27 AM on February 28 [72 favorites]


Thanks 317
posted by INFJ at 7:29 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Gelatin, enjoy that rare moment...
posted by DreamerFi at 7:30 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Also, AG Jeff Sessions will deliver a speech at 11am today on African American History Month
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:30 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


[Let's keep the noise/chitchat to a minimum in here, see if this thread can last a little longer without a hundred comments about "hey a new thread".]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:30 AM on February 28 [26 favorites]


He may know that he's president, but he believes that he's king.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:31 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Also, AG Jeff Sessions will deliver a speech at 11am today on African American History Month

Real and fake tags, please.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:31 AM on February 28 [23 favorites]


Also, AG Jeff Sessions will deliver a speech at 11am today on African American History Month

Pro or con?
posted by Mchelly at 7:34 AM on February 28 [50 favorites]


He may know that he's president, but he believes that he's king.

Trump's downfall is that only about 27% is willing to believe it too, and more will oppose him.
posted by Gelatin at 7:36 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I was driving to work this morning and ended up in a thick fog bank. I mean, seriously thick. Zero visibility in front of me even with headlights and foglights on. Radio reception dropped for a moment to just static and when the music came back a moment later, a different song was playing on the same station. The fog lifted. For a moment, just a moment, I thought that I'd found the inter-dimensional crossrip and worked my way into the correct timeline. I'd planned to send for the rest of you, but alas I'm still here. Maybe tomorrow.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:37 AM on February 28 [216 favorites]


1344 days until the next presidential elections.
posted by Pendragon at 7:38 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


On the subject of history months:
Since 1988, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 7:39 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


I hope Trump starts out with a joke. That will work.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:40 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


...slain Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, who died in the Yemen raid...

Whose father refuses to meet with Trump.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:41 AM on February 28 [15 favorites]


I hope Trump starts out with a joke. That will work.

"It's been a great first month, hasn't it?!"
posted by Talez at 7:41 AM on February 28 [15 favorites]


I'd hoped that I'd found the inter-dimensional crossrip and found my way into the correct timeline.

I can't find it now, but someone Sunday night tweeted that the Oscar being taken from La La Land and rightfully given to Moonlight was the universe beginning the process of course correcting from the bad timeline and fighting to get back on the right one.

Though their tweet was better said and more poignant.
posted by chris24 at 7:43 AM on February 28 [72 favorites]


Gawd. Our Canadian media makes me roll my eyes at time; the headline in the Globe & Mail this morning is: Trump looks for reset with speech to Congress. The first line: "Donald Trump gets a chance to put the rocky start to his presidency behind him on Tuesday night with a speech to the U.S. Congress here he will lay out his plans for the year..."

Really? Really, you think one good speech laying out his priorities for the year is going to undo the clusterfuck of his first few weeks? Is this his pivot moment, finally, do you think? He's going to emerge as the statesman of the new age, is he? FFS, whoever wrote that.
posted by nubs at 7:45 AM on February 28 [46 favorites]


Giving him the benefit of the doubt seems a very Canadian thing to do?
posted by INFJ at 7:47 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Remember 1812!

Here are two different Trump-Russia enthusiast-driven investigations (and link-roundup) resources.

https://www.sutori.com/story/trumputin

https://www.reddit.com/r/TrumpInvestigation/comments/5ub9c7/trump_investigation_megapost/

posted by sebastienbailard at 7:49 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Really? Really, you think one good speech laying out his priorities for the year is going to undo the clusterfuck of his first few weeks?

If they do, they aren't alone in pushing that ridiculous, normalizing story line. NPR had exactly the same angle this morning.
posted by Gelatin at 7:49 AM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Yup, that's Canadian optimism for you :)

Trump grades himself: A for achievement

Did he define what he has actually achieved, beyond immigration agents and unofficial agents of hate and fear vandalizing Jewish cemetaries and other hate-based crimes increasing daily?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:49 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Found it:

@jonnysun
THIS IS THE RESULT OF OUR PROPER TIMELINE SHINING THRU THE SEAMS OF THE ALTERNATE REALITY WE FELL INTO AS THE UNIVERSE TRIES TO SELF-CORRECT
posted by chris24 at 7:50 AM on February 28 [64 favorites]


Trump doesn't pivot. He probably doesn't reset, either.
posted by notyou at 7:50 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


The fog lifted. For a moment, just a moment, I thought that I'd found the inter-dimensional crossrip and worked my way into the correct timeline.

I came through a similar crossrip this morning! I was listening to an NPR story about how the tricameral representative bodies were seeking the Utilities Captain's advice on whether to allocate more funding to solar, wind, or fusion this year. Apparently, some of the national electorate has been upset with fusion's slowness to become feasible, but of course, it's a huge boon to the construction sector in the four pilot-program coastal states. Anyway, what's going on in this timeline? Do you guys still all drink peanut butter coffee here or what
posted by Greg Nog at 7:50 AM on February 28 [72 favorites]


Jeff Sessions: Reefer madness is back in style and the DOJ Ferguson and Chicago reports were "anecdotal, and not so scientifically based", but he didn't actually read them.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:51 AM on February 28 [17 favorites]


So, Mr. Obama is our era's Emmanuel Goldstein now.
posted by ocschwar at 7:52 AM on February 28 [17 favorites]


House Democratic women announce they will wear white to Trump's speech to Congress - reference to suffragist movement (statement attached to a tweet)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:52 AM on February 28 [42 favorites]


Every time I see Sessions I secretly suspect he's benjamin-buttoning into the world's most racist baby.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:53 AM on February 28 [75 favorites]


Yesterday, at the White House press briefing, Sean Spicer, responding to reports that he was conducting a crackdown on leaks from White House staffers, denied that there was a leak inquiry ongoing in the White House:

Q: Is there an internal leak inquiry right now?
MR. SPICER: Not that I’m aware of.


That very same day, in an interview with Fox and Friends, Trump said that he's happy with how Spicer has been conducting an internal inquiry into White House leaks:
I would have handled it differently than Sean. But Sean handles it his way and I'm OK with it...Sean Spicer is a fine human being. He's a fine person. I would have done it differently. I would have gone one-on-one with different people," Trump said when asked about a report that Spicer had communications staffers turn over their devices for a "phone check" in an attempt to find leakers.
This is certainly not the most consequential thing happening right now, but: if there is an inquiry, as Trump said, then Spicer lied to the press; or if Spicer was telling the truth, then Trump lied. And in either case, this is a bizarre thing to choose to lie about, either way, considering that the administration has been complaining about leaks for weeks -- shouldn't we presume they would be conducting an inquiry?
posted by cjelli at 7:54 AM on February 28 [43 favorites]


Trump doesn't pivot. He probably doesn't reset, either.

You can only turn him off, then back on.
And pray the 'DISK ERR' goes away
posted by eclectist at 7:54 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Why would you turn him back on?
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:57 AM on February 28 [65 favorites]


this is a bizarre thing to choose to lie about

So far this administration will just baldfaced lie about anything and everything they can no matter how sensible it actually is to lie about it all. I'm not surprised.
posted by flatluigi at 7:57 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


Spicer lies to the press literally every time he answers a question. This administration's credibility is already completely broken, it's just that their lies have yet to have catastrophic consequences.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:58 AM on February 28 [37 favorites]


So, Mr. Obama is our era's Emmanuel Goldstein now.

There is a global conspiracy to hide the fact that Mr. Obama's birth certificate _does not exist_ because _he does not exist_. He is secretly George Soros in a remarkably clever and intricate disguise.

I would provide my evidence of this, but I%*#%(!(#(@

NO CARRIER
posted by delfin at 8:00 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Spicer lies to the press literally every time he answers a question.

I was telling a coworker yesterday that the only point of press conferences anymore is to get the questions on the record.
posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM on February 28 [111 favorites]


The lies will have no consequences until Spicer denies the rivers of blood in the streets or the piles of corpses or the smoking/flooded crater that once was an american city or whatever undeniable awful thing there'll be video of on everybody's FB feeds. Even then, that'll only reduce the administration's credibility to 27-ish%.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:03 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]




I hope Trump starts out with a joke. That will work.

"So, three patriotic American Nazis walk into a bar..."
posted by darkstar at 8:04 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Trump's First Month: An Evaluation
Governing is hard, and every new president faces a learning curve and procedural hurdles. Obama, Trump’s predecessor, also swept into office with big promises and, despite majorities in Congress, took more than a year to enact health-care reform and financial regulation.

But much of Trump’s appeal was that, as a businessman and artist of The Deal, he could cut through the dithering and gridlock and partisan bickering. Instead, in his first month, Trump has mostly been the loser in his battles against entrenched institutions. Rather than bend Washington to his will, Trump has, in his first month, mainly bent his priorities to the will of Republicans in Washington.
Why Trump can’t make a deal
Trump is having trouble delivering the goods. At this point in his presidency, Barack Obama had far more nominees both named and confirmed, and he had passed the stimulus bill, the Lily Ledbetter Act, and a massive expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. As of today, Trump hasn’t signed any major legislation, and none seems close to his desk — in fact, Republicans and Democrats both tell me they’re beginning to doubt that Obamacare gets replaced or a major tax reform bill gets passed at all.

The reason the future looks bleak for Trump’s top priorities is that he seems to be doing everything he can to alienate the partners he needs — particularly Democrats, whose cooperation he needs in the Senate. His playbook has been more Breitbart than Art of the Deal.
posted by peeedro at 8:17 AM on February 28 [23 favorites]


The White House’s Politico slime job, from start to finish: "Dayspring confirms that Spicer leveled this SEAL-related accusation in the call itself. That wasn’t all: The press secretary also spoke in that call of the possibility of pitching that story to another outlet, the better to unmask Isenstadt’s alleged ridiculing of a dead Navy SEAL. Isenstadt explained he had done no such thing."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:18 AM on February 28 [25 favorites]


"This was a mission that started before I got here," the president said.

Shut the fuck up Donnie. You're out of your element.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:19 AM on February 28 [25 favorites]


Typically when caught out in a lie, a politician will backpeddle and weasle-word, but then eventually if the lie is a big enough whopper, there will be shame and an apology. Except that doesn't work when the people involved don't actually have a capability to feel shame. Our social and political norms depend on everyone agreeing on some very basic standards of human behavior. But then you get people who are antisocial in every regard and the rest of us just don't know what to do with them. They are so fundamentally different from we are, we keep trying to fit their behavior into our own familiar paradigms and it just... doesn't work. It will never work. No matter how many long thinkipieces we read or write, it's not going to work.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:19 AM on February 28 [60 favorites]


The Democrats are like, at most only 50% on board right now.
posted by Artw at 8:19 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]




In response to New York Times ad, NRA accuses the media of arson “America has stopped looking to the New York Times for the truth,” the 75-second ad declares. “Now more than ever, the times are burning, and the media elite have been caught holding the match.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:22 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Since they are basically the KKK I'm sure they believe matches should only be used for responsible purposes like burning crosses.
posted by Artw at 8:24 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


@benyc: Maxine Waters is skipping Trump's speech to Congress. Told caucus this morning that anyone who can't sit still shouldn't go, per sources.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:25 AM on February 28 [32 favorites]


You'd think with all that gun industry money, they could buy a fucking metaphor.
posted by Etrigan at 8:25 AM on February 28 [43 favorites]


I don't know about that, but I know I have an NRA card that's about to see who's holding the match when I goddamn get home.
posted by corb at 8:25 AM on February 28 [119 favorites]






@mekosoff: here's a trump adviser suggesting it's the democrats who are making bomb threats against jewish community centers

I am legit surprised that it took this long.
posted by Etrigan at 8:28 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


“Now more than ever, the times are burning, and the media elite have been caught holding the match.”

I'm not sure that parses grammatically; I'm not sure how the "times are burning" has any meaning. But the whole thing can be summed up by Billy Joel, it just needs couple of new verses.
posted by nubs at 8:30 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I'm going to reiterate my earlier suggestion: it's time to start pressing store chains to dump the National Enquirer.

They are engaged in defamation in order to coerce Obama into staying out of public life. This shit will place Obama's family in physical danger, right in time for his elder daughter to enroll in college without secret service protection.

I'd say start with CVS.
posted by ocschwar at 8:30 AM on February 28 [29 favorites]


The Boy who cried wolf.

The President who cried DEMOCRATS
posted by INFJ at 8:31 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I am legit surprised that it took this long.

Me too, Etrigan. Blaming Jews for creating our own tragedies is sort of a Western tradition.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:31 AM on February 28 [41 favorites]


His playbook has been more Breitbart than Art of the Deal.

Well, I've never seen a ventriloquist act that where the puppet didn't sound like the person with their hand up its arse making a funny voice.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:33 AM on February 28 [16 favorites]


There's a special place in hell for the people who introduced the term "false flag" into the popular conservative vocabulary.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:33 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Where in the Bill of Rights is it guaranteed that the corporations supporting the NRA have the right to use all means necessary to maximize profits off of people exercising their 2nd amendment rights?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:33 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


There's a special place in hell for the people who introduced the term "false flag" into the popular conservative vocabulary.

Alex Jones at least deserves a special recognition award.
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Where in the Bill of Rights is it guaranteed that the corporations supporting the NRA have the right to use all means necessary to maximize profits off of people exercising their 2nd amendment rights?

Pretty sure it's the Bible, duh.
posted by Etrigan at 8:35 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


@mekosoff: here's a trump adviser suggesting it's the democrats who are making bomb threats against jewish community centers

I don't fucking care who is doing it. I want it to stop and I want the people who are in charge of the government to say "this is not okay" and to commit to putting a stop to it. I have no problem as a liberal democrat saying "maybe a democratic voter is behind it." I highly doubt it, since white supremacists gotta white suprem, and based on almost all the other similar attacks where they've caught the guy, and the fact that the alt right sure seems pretty quiet about the whole thing, kind of like the call is coming from inside the house, but sure, maybe. Now can you agree it's a bad thing and fucking SPEAK OUT AGAINST IT AND DO SOMETHING about it?

Since the start of 2017, we have witnessed nearly 90 bomb threats being called into JCCs.
posted by Mchelly at 8:35 AM on February 28 [84 favorites]


I hope Trump starts out with a joke. That will work.

"It's been a great first month, hasn't it?!"


I predict a minute of blathering about Arnie's bad ratings on The Apprentice.
posted by lagomorphius at 8:36 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Alex Jones at least deserves a special recognition award.

Like an A for achievement and a C/C+ for messaging?
posted by peeedro at 8:37 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I wish there were actual real consequences for "history looks back and wonders how any of this ever happened."

Especially as it's going to be cockroaches doing the reviewing, at this rate.
posted by maxwelton at 8:38 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I am legit surprised that it took this long.

It's definitely bubbling up through the toxic swamps: "clearly it's the BDS movement and the people who supported Obama's Iran deal and not all the actual fucking white supremacists and lulznazis who were not shy about their affiliations..."
posted by holgate at 8:39 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


@mekosoff: here's a trump adviser suggesting it's the democrats who are making bomb threats against jewish community centers

That's Anthony Scaramucci, who is slightly more than a 'Trump advisor' -- he was part of Trump's transition team, and it was reported that Trump had nominated him to lead the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs (which was called the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs under Obama). Then it was reported that he had been asked to withdraw himself for consideration due to ethics irregularities, and simultaneously that he wasn't withdrawing himself (but that he wasn't going to be confirmed) until a complete review by the Office of Governmental Ethics was finished.

I'm not entirely clear where that's at, currently -- whether he's still under consideration or not. But his role (if he were to take it on) would be the position that Valerie Jarrett held in the Obama administration -- senior advisor, not merely an advisor. If he's still under consideration, I hope the OGE includes that tweet as part of their review, because geeze. 'Maybe [opposing party members] are false-flag terrorists' is not the kind of thinking that should be close to the presidency.
posted by cjelli at 8:39 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


"One" bomb threat is abnormal. Ninety bomb threats come so often that they seem normal, which is in itself abnormal.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:40 AM on February 28 [30 favorites]


I think we found our suspect.
posted by Artw at 8:40 AM on February 28


three people who lost someone to an illegal immigrant

Are you kidding me? No, I know you are not.
posted by thelonius at 8:43 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


I am legit surprised that it took this long.

Trump himself did it at the rambling mess of a press conference:
Some of the signs you'll see are not put up by the people that love or live Donald Trump. They're put up by the other side, and you think it's like playing it straight? No. But you have some of those signs, and some of that anger is caused by the other side. They'll do signs and they'll do drawings that are inappropriate. It won't be my people. It will be the people on the other side to anger people like you.
Funny how "it's probably actually liberals, who knows?" only works as a talking point as long as the bomb threats/cemetery vandalism/etc don't get investigated. There's a serious political conflict of interest there, and it sickens me.
posted by jedicus at 8:43 AM on February 28 [54 favorites]


I started listening to a new podcast, the 45th, which has come to a terrifying conclusion. Based on tweets & public statements going back years, they put forward the idea that Trump actually thinks he's going to return to Iraq and "take the oil." In his statements, he's called several times for the U.S. to seize the oil reserves of Iraq as "repayment" for overthrowing Hussein. He believes that the proceeds from this action can then be used to pay off the national debt, with the remains to be divided up among soldiers & veterans. This notion also feeds into his other inane promises:

1. Will "get rid of ISIS" by taking out what he believes to be their source of funding
2. Will force other oil-producing nations to accept totally asymmetric economic terms from the US for fear of similar retaliation
3. Will require a huge occupying military force to enact
4. Will pay for the above without raising any taxes

By the 80s movie-villain corporate-raider logic he aspires to, it seems like this may be the missing link between his incoherent promises. It also makes sense when paired with Bannon's Crusader fantasies.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:43 AM on February 28 [40 favorites]


C/C+ for messaging

Is Trump passing through immigration now?
posted by zrail at 8:45 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Q: Is there an internal leak inquiry right now?
MR. SPICER: Not that I’m aware of.


Has no one learned from classic stories of the tricksters, like leprechauns, jinn, and lawyers, who answer very specifically to the words you use in your question?

In this case, the question should not have included "right now," because the Trickster Spicer could deny knowing that there was any action happening on such a case at that exact moment in time, as he was in a press meeting at that time, and not personally interrogating anyone regarding leaks.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:45 AM on February 28 [33 favorites]


What's the over/under on the day he turns on Congress and blames them for not MAGA?
posted by archimago at 8:45 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I'm kind of surprised that they're going with the "maybe it's the democrats" when "maybe it's Islamic terrorists" is such an easy low-hanging fruit that also conveniently meets their EO needs. It's almost like once again their evil is balanced out by their incompetence. Yay?
posted by Mchelly at 8:46 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Well, if it was Islamic terrorists, they'd have to investigate it. If it's white Democrats, maybe not.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:48 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: In response to New York Times ad, NRA accuses the media of arson “America has stopped looking to the New York Times for the truth,” the 75-second ad declares. “Now more than ever, the times are burning, and the media elite have been caught holding the match.”

"And in such times, your best action is defense, and your best defense is a gun. Strike that, a room full of guns."

Time to fight fire with guns!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


For a moment, just a moment, I thought that I'd found the inter-dimensional crossrip and worked my way into the correct timeline. I'd planned to send for the rest of you, but alas I'm still here. Maybe tomorrow.

Or perhaps there's another explanation for what's been going on around here lately.
posted by Fuzzypumper at 8:50 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


But then there is this:
The GOP controls the White House
The GOP controls the Senate
The GOP controls The House
The GOP will soon control the Supreme Court
The GOP controls most of the governorships
The GOP controls most of the state legislatures.
The good news? Any and all failures can now be clearly placed upon them. No excuses from now on. No more passing the blame.
posted by Postroad at 8:51 AM on February 28 [33 favorites]


“Now more than ever, the times are burning, and the media elite have been caught holding the match.”

well i guess when the reichstag catches fire we'll know who did it?
posted by murphy slaw at 8:51 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


No excuses from now on. No more passing the blame.\

Oh, they'll find a way. The Party of Personal Responsibility will remain completely incapable of taking any responsibility for their own actions. They will be blaming Obama for the next 200 years.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:53 AM on February 28 [72 favorites]


Metafilter: leprechauns, jinn, and lawyers
posted by theodolite at 8:54 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


TPM's Josh Marshall on antisemitism and right-wing politics: Canaries in the Coal Mine.
Recent desecrations of cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia and the low-fi terror campaign of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country reminds us why in the post-Emancipation era, European Jews and subsequently American Jews, have gravitated heavily toward progressive political orientations. This is not always the case. In various times and regions, Jews have belonged to conservative parties like the UK tories or French Gaullist parties, for instance. But they are virtually absent from rightist politics. The reason is clear enough. Anti-semitism is almost inevitably and almost always part of rightist political movements. It is a natural feature. This is not always explicitly so. It is not always that way at first, but eventually it is always there.
Marshall makes a very interesting point in this piece, noting that the KKK weren't just anti-Black, but also antisemitic. It is thoroughly obvious to anyone being honest with themselves that this dramatic increase in antisemitic crimes (bomb threats, grave desecrations, and so forth) is tied with Republican party's rhetoric.

I'm going to extend his thesis a bit to discuss a related phenomenon: Anti-Catholic sentiment and revanchist politics. I am not making this point to take away from the particular, specific menace faced by the country's Jewish community. However, I do think it is worth considering how another religious group, whom many would feel is quite mainstream, has been attacked and demonized by the same group that is likely responsible for directing hate towards Jewish people (and Black people, and Muslim people, and immigrants, and LGBTQ folks......).

The KKK has an explicitly anti-Catholic history. At this point, Catholic people are not being targeted in the same was as Jewish people, but I think there's reason to be concerned that it could escalate to that. Consider the article The Ku Klux Klan and American Anti-Catholicism (CW: racist KKK quote, Conservative Catholic site, so some offensive ideas found in the links).
The list of undesirables that had to be driven from our nation’s shores now included Catholics and Jews, as well as African-Americans. This explains why so many Klan chapters were organized in urban centers north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Members feared the growing ballot-box power of immigrant Catholics and Jews. [emphasis mine]
Wikipedia has a few details on some specifically anti-Catholic crimes.

The specifics of anti-Catholic persecution often revolved around immigration from places within Europe that (some) white Protestants did not like, as well as the fear that Catholics were first and foremost loyal to the Pope. They'd burn crosses in front of churches, kill Catholic priests, and harass practitioners.

Although in the past 40 years, this anti-Catholic sentiment has reduced, it was still quite present in my life growing up, albeit in subtler forms. I grew up in the Church, and sooooo many times as a kid, I was told by Protestants how Catholic people weren't actually Christians. That's why it's been so very upsetting to see so many Catholic people fall in line with the KKK party--I think it's a matter of time before Catholics are back in the radical right's terroristic sights. Anti-Catholic sentiment--another canary in the coal mine.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:55 AM on February 28 [40 favorites]




Governing is hard, and every new president faces a learning curve and procedural hurdles. Obama, Trump’s predecessor, also swept into office with big promises and, despite majorities in Congress, took more than a year to enact health-care reform and financial regulation.

This false equivalency has been bothering me and it's been making the rounds.

It's comparing "well we have had some bumps in building the house because our electrical contractor substituted the wrong grade of wiring to pass the inspection so the guest powder room's vanity light had to be re-wired" and "we didn't know you needed tools to build a house but we haven't burned the mouldering piles of wood yet".
posted by winna at 8:55 AM on February 28 [57 favorites]


why the Jews? Götz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933, Aly shows that German anti-Semitism was―to a previously overlooked extent―driven in large part by material concerns, not racist ideology or religious animosity. As Germany made its way through the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, the difficulties of the lethargic, economically backward German majority stood in marked contrast to the social and economic success of the agile Jewish minority. This success aroused envy and fear among the Gentile population, creating fertile ground for murderous Nazi politics.
posted by robbyrobs at 8:59 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Trump doesn't pivot. He probably doesn't reset, either.

You can only turn him off, then back on.
And pray the 'DISK ERR' goes away


I just had a terrifying thought -- there's going to be an animatronic Trump in the Disney Hall of Presidents. I wonder if they will be able to make the hair and skin color look fake enough. Robo-trump might pass the the turing test... not so sure about actual Trump.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:59 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday said that members of Congress have not seen evidence yet to support reports that associates of President Donald Trump were in contact with Russian officials before the election.

// Look for evidence
Evaluate evidence
Report on evidence
posted by Rykey at 9:00 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


He said he was certain Obama loyalists were behind both those protests and White House leaks. "In terms of him being behind things, that's politics. And it will probably continue," he added.

dude if you want to get obama loyalists out of the government appoint their fucking replacements
posted by murphy slaw at 9:01 AM on February 28 [29 favorites]


He believes that the proceeds from this action can then be used to pay off the national debt, with the remains to be divided up among soldiers & veterans.

That would be amazing. That's a straight-up high-mediaeval mercenary army, right down to the tissue-thin justification. Will they get three days to loot and rape Baghdad, too?
posted by Leon at 9:02 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


Is this his pivot moment, finally, do you think?

Yeah, I was hearing some talk of this on XM as I drove to work, and just: ugh.

This is not hard: Trump is precisely as awful as he has always presented himself to be. He will not "pivot" to a more sane and nuanced style of governance, anymore than a rattlesnake can "pivot" away from being a poisonous reptile.
posted by tocts at 9:06 AM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Trump would deffo pull a Galba and stiff the legions of their customary donative
posted by theodolite at 9:06 AM on February 28 [14 favorites]


I went to a Town Hall with Jim Himes last week and he said a few things that are important to note:
According to Himes, there are quite a few Rs who are horrified at what is happening but are terrified that one tweet will ruin their careers/lives.

The resistance is working. It's not going to stop everything, but the travel ban may have gone unchallenged if it were not for the voice of the people.

According to Himes, there is a more-than-good chance that there will be a significant terrorist "event" in the US over the next two years. While he never said this was the definitive direction, he himself fears it will be the excuse for martial law, and then it's just darkness from that point forward.
posted by archimago at 9:07 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Rachel Maddow's little Russia primer functions as a nice explainer for anyone confused about some of the Russia allegations. Particularly strong is the section on the Florida house that a Russian heavy paid Trump $50 million too much for in what seems to be an attempt to get Trump out of trouble with Deutschebank, who was calling in a loan Trump couldn't pay. That Deutschebank was also conveniently laundering money for Russia is a connection that she draws quite cleanly. New to me was the information that the house is now being demolished, having been unoccupied since the sale.
posted by xyzzy at 9:07 AM on February 28 [67 favorites]


dude if you want to get obama loyalists out of the government appoint their fucking replacements

Im looking for the link, but I think just this morning he said something like he's not going to appoint lower level positions because a lot of them are "not necessary".

They really are trying to run the entire federal government out of Bannon's office.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:08 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


I grew up in the Church, and sooooo many times as a kid, I was told by Protestants how Catholic people weren't actually Christians. That's why it's been so very upsetting to see so many Catholic people fall in line with the KKK party...

I was raised Baptist and had a similar experience growing up. We had those anti-Catholic Chick tracts at our church and everything.

However, I doubt we'll see a serious resurgence of anti-Catholic sentiment. The big thing is that there used to be an ethnic component to the KKK's original anti-Catholic stance. Catholics were Irish, Irish were immigrants. But then the Irish were integrated successfully into American whiteness, and now the right is cool with Catholics as allies in the fight against gay rights and reproductive rights.

I don't see that dynamic changing any time soon.

Whereas anti-Semitism will become a more and more serious problem as the Trump presidency goes on because the position of Jews in American whiteness has always been quite tenuous even in periods when overt anti-Semitism was more muted. They're still an ethnic group apart and thus easy to demonise when a scapegoat becomes necessary.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:11 AM on February 28 [30 favorites]


They really are trying to run the entire federal government out of Bannon's office.

And into the ground.
posted by Etrigan at 9:11 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Im looking for the link, but I think just this morning he said something like he's not going to appoint lower level positions because a lot of them are "not necessary".

then he has to like, fire them, or they're going to be obama's people for the rest of his presidency.

god i want to see trump's google search history
what is a filibuster
what government agency has the uraniums
how to veto an appeals court
posted by murphy slaw at 9:12 AM on February 28 [31 favorites]


Iraq currently an ally of American and Iraqis are currently fighting side by side with Iraqis. Encouraging them to think of the Americas as a fifth column their to steal their country seems like a very bad idea.
posted by Artw at 9:12 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


From the previous thread: soren_lorensen does anyone know of a history podcast that covers Nazism and fascism and/or WWII from a political standpoint

Check out For the Record, a bi-weekly podcast produced and hosted by Dave Emory for WFMU and KFJC. Past shows also available on Spitfire.org. Dry, dense stuff but pretty comprehensive.
posted by christopherious at 9:12 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


However, I doubt we'll see a serious resurgence of anti-Catholic sentiment. ... now the right is cool with Catholics as allies in the fight against gay rights and reproductive rights.

If Francis decides to insert himself more overtly into anti-U.S.-Republican politics, look for this to turn on a dime.
posted by Etrigan at 9:12 AM on February 28 [26 favorites]


Yes, but, Artw, what if bad ideas.......were actually good?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:13 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Trump would deffo pull a Galba and stiff the legions of their customary donative

He thinks he's a Vespasian, but he's not even Galba. Probably just an Otho.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:13 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Since it is inevitable he will lie about something tonight, I can not even express how desperately I want some gutsy young democrat who doesn't mind possibly being a 1 term congressperson to yell "YOU LIE" tonight.
posted by jermsplan at 9:13 AM on February 28 [38 favorites]


What the fuck is with Pivot truthers, anyway? HE IS NOT GOING TO BECOME NORMAL.
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on February 28 [30 favorites]


I'm a pretty firm believer in the Everett interpretation being the only sensible interpretation of quantum mechanics. But I'm in this particular timeline, and so are my friends, and it sucks. I hope some other me's are having a better time (complaining about private email servers, most likely.)
posted by Dumsnill at 9:14 AM on February 28


He thinks he's a Vespasian, but he's not even Galba. Probably just an Otho.

dude he thinks probably thinks vespasian is a pepperidge farm cookie
posted by murphy slaw at 9:14 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


Well, he knows Girl Scouts are against him.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


I just had a terrifying thought -- there's going to be an animatronic Trump in the Disney Hall of Presidents.

Trump would deffo pull a Galba and stiff the legions of their customary donative


Got me thinking about how if we come out of this alive, we're likely to see a return of Damnatio Memoriae and there might eventually just be the empty spot where Animatronic Trump had been torn and chiseled out. Like the Disney version of Geta in the Severan Tondo.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:15 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Bannon is Catholic and allied with anti-Francis cardinals at the Vatican (spoiler: they're American).
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:15 AM on February 28 [33 favorites]


I just had a terrifying thought -- there's going to be an animatronic Trump in the Disney Hall of Presidents.

Some people are signaling that they don't want that to happen. Also there is a petition to at least silence the animatronic.
posted by mmascolino at 9:16 AM on February 28 [11 favorites]


What the fuck is with Pivot truthers, anyway? HE IS NOT GOING TO BECOME NORMAL.

There are a lot of people who are desperate to believe that they didn't elect a complete moron with the arm of a would-be Nazi up his ass.
posted by Etrigan at 9:17 AM on February 28 [51 favorites]


He thinks he's a Vespasian, but he's not even Galba. Probably just an Otho.

He's not even an Otho Fenlock.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:19 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I just had a terrifying thought -- there's going to be an animatronic Trump in the Disney Hall of Presidents.

I haven't been in there for years, despite literally being in Epcot just last week and walking right by it. If they add Trump, they might as well just tear it down and turn it into another random movie-focused attraction totally out of place in the midst of the World Showcase, ala the Frozen ride that took over Norway.
posted by tocts at 9:22 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


"the Frozen ride that took over Norway"

That's the animated Okkupert pavilion.
posted by chrillsicka at 9:24 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


I haven't been in there for years, despite literally being in Epcot just last week and walking right by it

The Hall of Presidents is in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. The Epcot attraction is The American Adventure, which is a different animatronic show.

Thank you for subscribing to Disney World Facts
posted by Fleebnork at 9:24 AM on February 28 [35 favorites]


Ah, an animatronic Trump taking over Norway. Things just get better.
posted by Dumsnill at 9:26 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]




He will not "pivot" to a more sane and nuanced style of governance, anymore than a rattlesnake can "pivot" away from being a poisonous reptile.

There are a couple of signs that something like that's happening, though: EO's mandating production of a report intended to establish legitimacy for an ugly policy, prior to mandating said policy, and sane appointments like General McMaster as NSA. Not developments I celebrate, because I'd prefer to see his ugly policies fail, but they do suggest he's adapting.
posted by Coventry at 9:28 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]




I went to Disney World this past December with my now Fiance', and visited the Hall of Presidents.

That was one of a few dusty rooms in the Magic Kingdom...
posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:30 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who views Trump's reticence to staff his government as an undercover purge?
posted by xyzzy at 9:31 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Bannon is Catholic and allied with anti-Francis cardinals at the Vatican (spoiler: they're American).

Catholic enough to harm, once he's not enough use to the KKK terrorists he's been stirring up. That's the problem with getting too close to those who have a history of hatred directed towards your group--once they need a new scapegoat, you're up next. Especially, if you're a leader they deem responsible for their ills.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:31 AM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Here's the link to my earlier comment about Bannon's connection to the Islamophobic faction of the Catholic Church.

But as I told my mother... Jews and Catholics in Trump's movement had better be careful. Trump's alt right/KKK/neo Nazi base will team up with them for now to target Muslims. But eventually those guys will turn on you. The people who are saying "Islam is a cancer" today will be saying "Catholicism is a cancer" tomorrow.

(Then she told me is "Islam is not a real religion, just a political ideology disguised as a religion" and "Islam is inseparable from violence" and she sent me a link from "creepingsharia.wordpress.com" and now we're not speaking again. I'm really having a hard time with this, actually. I feel like I'm grieving the loss of the mom I grew up with. I don't know this scary person.)
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:32 AM on February 28 [89 favorites]


Not developments I celebrate, because I'd prefer to see his ugly policies fail, but they do suggest he's adapting.

They suggest that Bannon's adapting. Trump's going to be all by himself at the front of the room tonight.
posted by Etrigan at 9:32 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


murphy slaw: dude he thinks probably thinks vespasian is a pepperidge farm cookie

Nah, man, they're scooters. From It'ly. He's seen the local guys in tight pants (who women still somehow are interested in) parking them outside the cafes there.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:32 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Am I the only one who views Trump's reticence to staff his government as an undercover purge?

I see it more as the federal government de-facto ceasing to exist, with no (as-yet) coherent or competent regime to actually take power in its stead.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:33 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Here are the top ten Republican accomplishments of 2017 so far:
1. Trump signs executive order on immigration, but it's so badly drafted it causes chaos around the country and is immediately put on hold by court.
2. Trump chooses crackpot as National Security Advisor, fires him three weeks after inauguration.
3. Trump tries to bully China by playing games with One China policy, is forced into humiliating retreat after realizing he's playing out of his league.
4. Paul Ryan proposes border adjustment tax to raise $1 trillion, but can't convince anyone to sign on.
5. Trump casually green-lights raid on Yemen over dinner, it turns into an epic disaster that kills a SEAL and accomplishes nothing.
6. Trump blathers about the wall and a 20 percent border tax on Mexico, causing the Mexican president to cancel a planned visit.
7. Congress goes into recess, but Republicans are embarrassingly forced to cancel town hall events because they're afraid of facing big crowds opposed to their policies.
8. Trump continues to claim that crime is skyrocketing; that he won a huge election victory; that his inauguration crowd was immense; that polls showing his unpopularity are fake; and that refugees have wreaked terror on America, despite the fact that these are all easily-checkable lies.
9. After weeks of confusion on their signature priority, Republicans finally realize that repealing Obamacare isn't all that easy and basically give up.*
10. Trump proposes spending an extra $54 billion on defense without realizing he can't do that.
* We'll see if they don't manage to screw it up in the end, though.

In addition, Trump's nominees for Labor, Army, and Navy secretaries have withdrawn, his National Security Adviser resigned, and six White House staffers were escorted out by security for failing their background checks. (In fact, nineteen White House staff and advisors have been fired or resigned in the space of only one week.)

Winning!
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:33 AM on February 28 [161 favorites]


(I'm so sorry, OnceUponATime. Internet hugs and cookies, vegan and gluten free if necessary.)
posted by xyzzy at 9:34 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Has this been noted yet?

Betsy deVos issued a letter for the HBCU visit in which she misconstrues the founding of HBCUs not as a response to Jim Crow disenfranchisement, but as some kind of grassroots free market campaign for "school choice"

Oh, and Kellyanne Conway did this in the Oval Office while the HBCU representatives were all gathered
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 9:35 AM on February 28 [30 favorites]


Samantha Schmidt: Video shows Tucson police shoving 86-year-old woman to pavement
The body camera footage of a recent protest against President Trump’s immigration policies in Tucson shows an 86-year-old woman, weighing less than 100 pounds and standing about 4 feet, 5 inches tall, approaching police officers and pointing at them as she shouted indiscernible words.

Then, a police officer appears to push her arm, causing her to fall backward and hit her head on the pavement. As a 65-year-old woman beside her reaches down to help the woman up, an officer pepper-sprays her in the face, temporarily blinding her and causing her to turn away in pain.

The video footage, released Friday by the Tucson Police Department to a local television station, illustrates the tense clashes from the Feb. 16 protest there that began peacefully but soon escalated as protesters reportedly began disrupting rush-hour traffic. Three police officers sustained minor injuries and four protesters were arrested.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said the department is investigating but told reporters that he thinks his officers handled the crowd appropriately.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:37 AM on February 28 [53 favorites]


Catholic enough to harm, once he's not enough use to the KKK terrorists he's been stirring up. That's the problem with getting too close to those who have a history of hatred directed towards your group--once they need a new scapegoat, you're up next. Especially, if you're a leader they deem responsible for their ills.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:31 on February 28 [3 favorites +] [!]


Eponyouknowthedrill
posted by Jpfed at 9:38 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Oh, and Kellyanne Conway did this in the Oval Office while the HBCU representatives were all gathered

Forrest Gump: "You Ain't got no legs, Lt. Dan!"
posted by wenestvedt at 9:38 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Someone on Reddit said that Kellyanne looks like the personification of boxed wine in that picture. I know, I know, it's classist and horrible, but I lol'ed.
posted by xyzzy at 9:38 AM on February 28 [45 favorites]


I started listening to a new podcast, the 45th, which has come to a terrifying conclusion. Based on tweets & public statements going back years, they put forward the idea that Trump actually thinks he's going to return to Iraq and "take the oil."

I don't think is a "conclusion" it's necessary to "come to" - Trump has flat-out said this is what he wants.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:39 AM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Republicans and Democrats both tell me they’re beginning to doubt that Obamacare gets replaced or a major tax reform bill gets passed at all.

Your mouth, God's ear, etc. etc.

And yeah, there are lots of anti-the-current-pope (but really not all the comfortable with Catholics in general) assholes among your evangelical types.

They're happy to take Catholic help in getting rid of women's autonomy/hating on Islam but deep down, they regard all that kneeling and saints and muttering in Latin and men-in-dresses business as Highly Suspect.
posted by emjaybee at 9:41 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


USA Today: "Trump says he will 'speak from the heart' in speech"

Yeah, there's no speech written here. He's gonna ramble for 90 minutes. Should be a blast.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:41 AM on February 28 [51 favorites]


Jake Tapper, George Stephanopoulos, Chuck Todd, and other news anchors are currently at lunch with Trump. To be a fly on that wall.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:41 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


is he making them eat the meatloaf
posted by emjaybee at 9:42 AM on February 28 [49 favorites]


I mean there isn't any question about it.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:43 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Someone on Reddit said that Kellyanne looks like the personification of boxed wine in that picture. I know, I know, it's classist and horrible, but I lol'ed.

it's like a two liter jug of white zinfandel came to life
posted by murphy slaw at 9:44 AM on February 28 [17 favorites]


Betsy deVos issued a letter for the HBCU visit in which she misconstrues the founding of HBCUs not as a response to Jim Crow disenfranchisement, but as some kind of grassroots free market campaign for "school choice"

I know she didn't go to public school, but was she educated at all?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:44 AM on February 28 [28 favorites]


They are so fundamentally different from we are, we keep trying to fit their behavior into our own familiar paradigms and it just... doesn't work. It will never work. No matter how many long thinkipieces we read or write, it's not going to work.

posted by soren_lorensen at 11:19 AM on February 28 [16 favorites +] [!]



This is exactly it. My analogy is my guardian, who viciously, horribly abused me, along with some other members of the assemblage of people I was born into. They were just at that baseline of feeling shame, because all my abusers tried to hide the fact that they hurt me, by demanding my silence, by hiding my bruises in long sleeved clothing, by playing "Happy Families" in public...

These people are doing their dirt completely in public, and openly lying their faces off to the entire world, and they're just going to repeat their lies. I don't think they expect us to believe them, I think they lie as they do to let those who are against them know they don't care what we think and that don't care if they're hurting anyone. They would have to be utter idiots to think anyone outside of their small base actually believes anything they say, including "a", "and" and "the". Do we get the picture, shut up, and go away so they can finish their dirt? And their base thinks it's marvelous. How does anyone counter such baldfaced wretchedness, greed, and spite?
posted by droplet at 9:45 AM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Am I the only one who views Trump's reticence to staff his government as an undercover purge?

I see it more as the federal government de-facto ceasing to exist, with no (as-yet) coherent or competent regime to actually take power in its stead.


It's sort of both. Most of the essential functions will still take place, because across the government career employees will be bumped up to serve in "acting" roles. Those functions are required by statute, they don't just go away, at least not due to staffing. Budget allocation will be a whole different story.

However, career employees in most cases aren't leadership. They don't have either the vision or more importantly, the authority for significant policy changes, or even response to new developments. On the one hand, a holding pattern with professional and fundamentally competent people more or less in charge maintaining the status quo is probably better than a legion of Stephen Millers coming in across the government to impose Bannon's agenda, but it's also not sustainable. The longer this goes on, the less qualified people will be available to step into senior management roles, and atrophy will set in. And when a real crisis happens, a competent response just won't happen. White House staff and cabinet level deputies exist mostly to coordinate policy across agencies, get everyone on the same page. Solve problems where two agencies have opposing views. When that's not happening, it's not realistic to expect acting career people to fill the void on top of holding the basic day to day functioning of their own agency together.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:46 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]




He thinks he's a Vespasian, but he's not even Galba. Probably just an Otho.

Otho, after a military defeat, committed suicide for the good of his country to prevent a larger civil war.

Trump is not even an Otho.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:52 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]




Samantha Schmidt: Video shows Tucson police shoving 86-year-old woman to pavement

fuck those fucking fucks and anyone who supports them actively or passively, you are fascist scum and you will burn in hell
posted by entropicamericana at 9:55 AM on February 28 [19 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. Again, please don't just re-tweet random news updates, this isn't a breaking news emporium, and filling threads with a million one-line comments is what makes them hard to load.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:56 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Am I the only one who views Trump's reticence to staff his government as an undercover purge?

My speculation is it's also an attempt to mirror the way the Trump Org is run: A small core of executives/decision-makers consisting of trusted family members and close friends with Trump at the center of it all. Trump likes familiarity, so it would make sense for him to try to remake the federal bureaucracy to be more like Trumpland.

Then there's the early possibility I thought of, where he would just use executive appointees as a kitchen cabinet. Only it's not part of his "grand plan", it's just because he has no other choice now.
posted by FJT at 9:57 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Yeah, there's no speech written here. He's gonna ramble for 90 minutes. Should be a blast.

I guess we'll know in a few hours, but I expect this speech to be reasonably well-composed, like his acceptance and inauguration speeches. The SOTU wasn't scheduled to be an ego trip, and his audience will not — or at least ought not to be — his base.
posted by Coventry at 9:57 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


WaPo: Trump faces a huge problem, and Bannon's con-artistry cannot make it disappear ( h/t ArtW )

It is perfectly possible that Trump’s speech will be well received by the American public. But the problem here runs far deeper than the need for a good sales pitch: There are no serious indications that the White House either knows or cares how unpopular his policies are thus far with the broad American mainstream.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:58 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]




I've long heard it said by people praising Reagan that part of his wily plan with SDI was to sucker the Soviets into sinking so much money into their military that their economy would falter from neglect, and thereby bring about the downfall of the communist system.

Now we have a Russian-backed President, who has been conned into cutting back social services in order to massively ramp up the American military to defeat an inflated bogeyman that cannot seriously hurt the nation, being praised by those same people.

Words truly fail.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:59 AM on February 28 [73 favorites]


The ‘Kellyanne Conway on the couch’ controversy is so incredibly dumb

It's actually not, though. After eight years of the Obamas being criticized for things like not wearing a tie, or Michelle going sleeve-less, something that's ACTUALLY rude is fine to make fun of.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:01 AM on February 28 [91 favorites]


The ‘Kellyanne Conway on the couch’ controversy is so incredibly dumb

This WashPo article is a better take:
It also means that one can safely question what the Trump administration hoped to get out of the event, and if, for a president consistently under fire for his fraught relationship with the black community, a key goal was simply to show Trump meeting those black leaders, a photo opportunity for the White House to show its outreach.

And the photo from that op that went viral? Conway.

Events like this are the lowest-hanging fruit for a politician. Come in, listen for a bit, take a photo, move on. It’s rarely the case that such events create new policy, but it’s probably even rarer that they end up creating a media firestorm.

It’s like the Trump team stepped up to the plate in a game of tee-ball, and somehow ended up spraining an ankle while hitting into a double play.
posted by peeedro at 10:03 AM on February 28 [59 favorites]


Trump's desk is clear of clutter now. Hmmm.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:06 AM on February 28


From last thread

Where do the Hispanics who voted for Trump fit in

When I read about Jose Torres being convicted in the confederate flag waving, shotgun wielding threats to a children's birthday party incident I kept coming back to the guy's name. Jose Torres? I guess that's America for you.


I guess we need to remind people that Latinos are not a unified racial group. In fact, there are efforts underway to unify Hispanic Americans into "la raza", one race, because currently Latinos don't generally think of themselves as one race. And in general, they're not fucking having it! Latin America includes a hundred different countries, covering two continents, with several hundred different languages spoken in addition to Spanish. It's a group that is larger and more diverse than the countries of Europe.

So sometimes, a slur against Mexicans won't bother someone from Puerto Rico or Venezuela because it's not about them. Sometimes a slur against Hispanics won't bother someone who thinks of themself as white Hispanic. And sometimes someone who thinks of themself as entirely white ends up with a name like Torres because of one grandfather.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 10:07 AM on February 28 [45 favorites]


The ‘Kellyanne Conway on the couch’ controversy is so incredibly dumb

From that:
Then there is the specific context of the photo above. While not captured in most of the photos that initially circulated on the Web, other snaps of the moments following the initial picture show Conway just trying to get in position to take a photo of the gathering.
This point was raised in the last thread, but to reiterate it here: why on earth was it Conway's job to take that photo? We have that photo of her taking a photo because professional news photographers took a photo of her taking that photo. Why did this situation exist? Where was the White House photographer?

It feels like amateur-hour, basically, and that's a bit disrespectful -- not to the office of the Presidency, necessarily, although this is the sort of thing that Republicans would have jumped on Obama for -- but certainly to the HBCU representatives in the room to meet with him.
posted by cjelli at 10:07 AM on February 28 [42 favorites]


While not captured in most of the photos that initially circulated on the Web, other snaps of the moments following the initial picture show Conway just trying to get in position to take a photo of the gathering.
A couple questions: 1. Is she trying to take a picture of their crotches? 'Cause, like, the camera's three feet off the ground. 2. Has she never heard of crouching? #crouchnotcouch
posted by Sys Rq at 10:08 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


robbyrobs: "Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933, Aly shows that German anti-Semitism was―to a previously overlooked extent―driven in large part by material concerns, not racist ideology or religious animosity. As Germany made its way through the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, the difficulties of the lethargic, economically backward German majority stood in marked contrast to the social and economic success of the agile Jewish minority."

This is, of course, why calls to absolve Trump voters of their racism and/or sexism by focusing on their economic anxiety are just fucked up. The WWC (Weimar working class) also felt economic anxiety and look where that ended up.
posted by mhum at 10:08 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Trump's desk is clear of clutter now. Hmmm.

I really want to joke that it was because he realized a bunch of black people were going to be in his office, but I honestly do not know whether it would be a joke.
posted by Etrigan at 10:11 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Lincoln Center Releases Statement in Support of the NEA: 'Art Anchors Communities': As previously reported, The New York Times writes that Trump has not backed down on intentions to eliminate the NEA as a way to curb government spending and balance the budget. The administration hopes to have a plan finalized by March 13.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:11 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Didn't the WWC also struggle with economic sanctions put on Germany after World War I? Did the Great Depression affect them?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:12 AM on February 28


Now we have a Russian-backed President, who has been conned into cutting back social services in order to massively ramp up the American military to defeat an inflated bogeyman that cannot seriously hurt the nation, being praised by those same people.

Yes, but cutting social services is an unalloyed good and has been their explict policy goal since Reagan did the same thing. They don't need a Russian excuse for slashing domestic spending and expanding crony defense funding, that's always been the Republican agenda.

Reagan was able to assist in bankrupting the USSR because it was already a crumbling economy putting an unsustainable percentage of its GDP into defense spending with declining population and production. The US is really none of those things (at least not yet) and its not clear that defense spending in the US has any upper limit, at least not while the USD is the world's reserve currency. Certainly not in a relatively strong economy that Obama left humming along. They're praising the reallocation from programs benefiting the poor and middle class to defense spending largely concentrated in the hands of the rich that's the eternal Republican agenda, Russia or not.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:12 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Trump's desk is clear of clutter now. Hmmm.

They do that for photos, like the Ivanka & Trudeau shot. That means there's some poor intern whose job it is to stack the clutter onto a cart and roll the mess away then bring it back in a pile it up again afterwards.
posted by peeedro at 10:13 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Der Spiegel wrote a profile on Alex Jones. The full-body-shudder-inducing final paragraphs:
It's afternoon, and Jones is walking through the studio, his adrenaline level high and his blood sugar low. He needs to get something to eat. Platters of BBQ - chicken, beef and sausages - are set out on a table in the conference room. "Good barbecue," says Jones. "You tasted it already?"

He piles up food onto a plastic plate, and then he suddenly takes off his shirt without explanation. With his bare torso, he sits there and shovels meat into his mouth, a caricature of manliness, but also a show of power to the reporter sitting in front of him. He can do as he pleases.

Then Jones gets up and holds out a sausage. "Wanna suck?" he asks.
posted by rewil at 10:14 AM on February 28 [60 favorites]


From the Chris Cillizza WaPo blogpost about Kellyanne Conway on the couch:
THE HORROR.

SHE IS DISRESPECTING THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT.

HOW COULD SHE.
Jesus Christ, Cillizza. Way to miss the point again. It's not mainly the disrespect to Office of the President that people are mad about (I mean... after all... y'know...) It's the disrespect to the roomful of HBCU leaders and representatives. Do you think she'd be all up on the couch like that if it were, say, a roomful of Ivy League deans or Fortune 500 CEOs or the damned New England Patriots?
posted by mhum at 10:16 AM on February 28 [41 favorites]


Am I right in thinking Trump's speech to Congress is the equivalent of the UK Budget speech - where the Chancellor of the Exchequer outlines to Parliament the Government's budgetary plans for the coming year?

If it's meant to be along those lines, I can't see any way that Trump will be able to stay focused on the issues for more than about five minutes. For a start, his attention span is about 30 seconds before he goes off on a tangent, talking about how great he is. Secondly, he lacks the intellectual ability to be able to talk about complex fiscal matters. And he won't read from a prepared speech, at any rate, not a speech that isn't all about him.

It'll be a shitstorm.
posted by essexjan at 10:17 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Trump's desk is clear of clutter now. Hmmm.

It's in a cardboard box in the lobby, and HR has called him down to their conference room for a meeting.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:17 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


"Wanna suck?" he asks.

I just want this to stay here.
posted by Dumsnill at 10:18 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Am I right in thinking Trump's speech to Congress is the equivalent of the UK Budget speech - where the Chancellor of the Exchequer outlines to Parliament the Government's budgetary plans for the coming year?

I don't think so. It's the equivalent of our State of the Union that the president does every year, only the first time someone does that, it isn't called that.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:19 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Business Week: Is Stephen Miller Speaking for Donald Trump? Or Vice Versa?

Washington Post ( daily digest ) highlighted the following from the BW article:
Miller’s resiliency after fumbling the refugee ban offers a lesson in how to survive the Darwinian world of Trump’s White House. To win favor, you must amplify Trump’s belief that he’s already accomplished great things; defend even his most outrageous claims as self-evidently correct; and look sharp, while projecting unshakable self-confidence.
Neither Miller nor Trump would seem to fit JFK's Profiles in Courage.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:20 AM on February 28


Probably some people skated past the video of the Tucson cop attacking those women because it sounds horrible to watch, and it is, but I really think everybody should see it just to understand what we're dealing with. The short description doesn't really do it justice.

That officer was in no danger, not from the woman or from anyone else. The woman wasn't even, as the description claims, approaching him or advancing on him; she appears to be actually stepping back slowly because the line of cops is advancing forward. The cop isn't surrounded by a pressing mass of shouting people or anything. There's no possible argument that he was acting out of fear. He intentionally shoves a small old woman down, and then aggressively advances on her while pulling his pepper spray so that he can attack anyone nearby. What gets me about this (and this is not the only thing in the last few months like this) is the brazenness. We all knew it was getting bad, but to see it laid out in video like this is something else. This guy knows he's on camera, because he knows there are body cams and he can see all the cell phone cameras, and he has no problem going on the offensive and attacking a pair of people who he knows he can hurt. And he knows that his targets aren't going to be people that racists will agree "had it coming", or that he'll be able to pretend "deserved it" in some way. It's a brutal attack in broad daylight on film against people with no defense ON PURPOSE.
posted by IAmUnaware at 10:21 AM on February 28 [85 favorites]


None of this chaos and anti-Semitism and snafus would be happening if it wasn't for all this unprecedented and treasonous Democratic obstructionism, unwillingness on the part of coastal elites to accept the will of the majority of Americans, Obama's shadow government sabotaging America, radical Swedish Islamic terrorism, and the failing New York Times and Fake News CNN. Sad!

There. Now you've heard his speech.
posted by delfin at 10:21 AM on February 28 [7 favorites]


he suddenly takes off his shirt without explanation

Makes sense -- BBQ can be messy.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:22 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


This is, of course, why calls to absolve Trump voters of their racism and/or sexism by focusing on their economic anxiety are just fucked up. The WWC (Weimar working class) also felt economic anxiety and look where that ended up.

The working class of pre-Weimar rebelled against the Kaiser and the military and immediately - like within days of the uprising - established a whole host of social and labor reforms, most of which had to be kept by the conservative wing of the SPD when the SPD took over.

During Weimar, there were many important Jewish leftists and political figures - like Rosa Luxemburg and Walter Rathenau.

Weimar was a contested period where the status of gays and lesbians, Jews, poor people, sex workers, trans people and other marginalized groups was actually improved quite a lot through activism and legislation. It took a tremendous amount of ideological work and violence to make sure that Weimar ended in Naziism.

Another thing: I'm working on a project about the establishment of the Weimar Republic right now, and two things have surprised me: First, how radical Weimar's roots really were, and second, how incredibly shitty the Social Democrats were in the first years of the Republic. I'd always heard it "ha ha yeah the KPD and the SPD, why couldn't they work together, what a circular firing squad", but right after the revolution, the SPD had the opportunity to side with working class people and regularize the workers' councils and popular governance, or side with the old aristocracy and the military. And guess who they sided with, often by violence? The person who oversaw the torture and murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht always maintained that he got the go-ahead from the SPD.

The way Weimar is narrated in the US is very, very substantially misleading - that's one of my big recent discoveries.

There was a real, small scale but violent popular revolution which brought about Weimar. Moderate forces could have sided with the left but chose not to. That's why the left didn't trust them.

But my point being - it took evil work to get from 1918 to 1933.
posted by Frowner at 10:23 AM on February 28 [83 favorites]


What gets me about this (and this is not the only thing in the last few months like this) is the brazenness. We all knew it was getting bad, but to see it laid out in video like this is something else.

first they came for the minorities but i did not speak up because i wasn't a minority
then they came for the hippies but i did not speak up because i wasn't a hippie
then they came for the little old ladies but i did not speak up because i wasn't a little old lady
then they came for me
posted by entropicamericana at 10:25 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


As with many of these stories where white pundits tell us not to pay attention to “sideshows”, the context of the couch photo is more significant and fraught than the picture implies (and it implies plenty). Republicans spent eight years implying that Obama and his family were unfit to live in the WH because they were “too casual”— he didn’t wear a tie, or he took off his suit coat, or he put his feet on the desk. It was a never-ending round of respectability politics, where nothing the Obamas did would ever be good enough, no matter how glamorous and high-minded. It was always code for "uppity", btw.

Do you think Conway would hold this pose if Trudeau was in the room? Queen Elizabeth? Any other rich white people? This is a thing white people do to signal their disrespect to PoC. It may not be intentional in every case, but it is still A Thing. The inverse of accusing PoC of being "uppity" is often refusing to treat them with any dignity or respect, even in situations and settings where they deserve it, and have a right to expect it. And people reacting to this instance of it and pointing it out is not making a big deal out of nothing. It is people reacting to yet another slap in the face, and then being told the slap didn’t happen or doesn’t matter.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:26 AM on February 28 [158 favorites]


Makes sense -- BBQ can be messy.

Have you tried BBQ in the shower?
posted by notyou at 10:26 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Pod Save America had a discussion of the SoTU (or a joint session speech, whatever) yesterday, it's traditionally a chance for the President to lay out his agenda and justify it to Congress and the nation. It's the most policy heavy speech he typically gives (although Obama gave some heavy health policy speeches in 2009 too). Trump has never really had to get in depth with policy details before. Throughout the campaign he could just make grandiose promises of "great" or "biggest" or "bigly", without saying what, how or how much. That doesn't really work now. Well, it shouldn't, if facts or truth still mattered in America. Which they don't.

It'll be pretty interesting to see how they do a 45-min policy speech without any policy. More problematic still, it's really tough to make sense or set out a coherent agenda when they don't actually have one. I expect it'll be half a poor attempt at articulating nonsense policy, and half Trump off script and slipping into his standard rally-mode speech.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:29 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


What gets me about this (and this is not the only thing in the last few months like this) is the brazenness. We all knew it was getting bad, but to see it laid out in video like this is something else.

I really do think the increased awareness of police violence and the rise of Trump are interrelated. The cops see themselves as under attack and so they strike back without concern of any professional or social reprisal. They are protected because they are The Police and how dare you defy them. The Trump voters are of the same mindset. They are Owed. They are Just. And most importantly they have been Wronged by this country and he is the only one who will right that wrong.

They don't care if you catch them on tape being assholes. They don't care if they get caught publicly lying. They give zero fucks if they misspell a name in a tweet or if you catch them with the metaphoric blood on their hands. All because they are imbued by some sort of divine right to rule over the rest of us. Cops and racists used to be ashamed of themselves when they were caught, but for decades very little happened to them other than a little bad press. Sure, Paula Deen lost a few licensing deals and that guy from Seinfeld got in trouble but over and over we've (as a society) have let the petty tyrants continue to get away with assholery and they've decided that there are no consequences to their actions.
posted by teleri025 at 10:30 AM on February 28 [29 favorites]


jason sattler, who runs the @LOLGOP twitter account, says that it's time to talk trump impeachment. this would be unremarkable coming from an admittedly partisan source, except it's running as an op-ed in USA Today
At the Constitutional Convention, James Madison imagined impeachment as a relief from a chief executive who “might lose his capacity after his appointment. He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers.”

President Trump might have won Madison’s Triple Crown — in his first few weeks.
next up, People magazine will be calling for vigorous enforcement of the emoluments clause
posted by murphy slaw at 10:32 AM on February 28 [74 favorites]


Has she never heard of crouching? #crouchnotcouch

The skirts that Kellyanne Conway wears, routinely - that are required to work in Trump's White House - are a gender performance that does not allow for a great range of motion. I am not sure she can, actually, crouch, in that skirt and those heels.

It's another reason I find myself frustrated with this "controversy". I don't care if she stripped naked and painted herself blue, nothing, nothing, can dishonor the White House more than its current occupant.
posted by corb at 10:36 AM on February 28 [57 favorites]


Have you tried BBQ in the shower?

is there a website for that or are you just happy to see us?
posted by petebest at 10:37 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


It's another reason I find myself frustrated with this "controversy".

tbh I only saw a really tightly cropped photo of the incident and I thought everybody was mad because she put her shoes on the couch
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:38 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


"The big thing is that there used to be an ethnic component to the KKK's original anti-Catholic stance. Catholics were Irish, Irish were immigrants. But then the Irish were integrated successfully into American whiteness, and now the right is cool with Catholics as allies in the fight against gay rights and reproductive rights."

The thing is, though, that the place where Catholicism is growing fastest is the South, and the reason is Latino immigration. There were tensions evident when I lived in NC 15 years ago, with Baptists etc who thought their communities were being taken over by immigrant Catholics. It's worse these days. My parents live part of the year is small town NC, where their parish is basically five "white" families and 200 immigrant Latino families, many less-than-legal, most working as migrant farm labor or in chicken processing, many with little or no English. The very evangelical town was fine with the odd little Catholic Church when it was a dozen white people; five hundred Latinos is a different story. When the anti-immigrant rhetoric ramped up during the campaign last year, my parents church was set on fire. Arson. With bonus swastika vandalism. Now, there was a lot of support from the evangelical churches in town, money to rebuild, space to have Mass, etc. However, a lot of those people also say to my parents frequently, "Why don't you come to our evangelical church and find a REAL church home? The Catholic Church doesn't seem like YOUR KIND OF church."

So I'm sure conservative white English-speaking anti-abortion Catholics will be welcome in Trump's America. (They're not prolife ... To be Catholic pro life you have to be anti death penalty, pro living wage, pro social safety net, pro immigrant, pro refugee.) I'm just not so sure the rest of us Catholics will be, and most especially my co-religionists who speak Spanish at Mass or who have brown skin.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:38 AM on February 28 [53 favorites]


it's a few days late, but the generals have delivered the secret plan to defeat ISIS to president trump!

it's obama's plan.

i'm sure this will end well
posted by murphy slaw at 10:42 AM on February 28 [15 favorites]


OK, I had to look it up - Peculation: 1. to steal or take dishonestly (money, especially public funds, or property entrusted to one's care); embezzle.
posted by achrise at 10:43 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Incoming Metaphor for Trump Presidency: "Donald J. Trump State Park sits in Westchester County, New York, and encompasses 436 acres of land originally purchased by Trump in the ’90s. He intended to develop it into a golf course, but couldn’t get permits from the towns in which the property sits, and thus turned around to donate the land to the state of New York in 2006, subsequently claiming a $100 million tax write-off. The park closed due to budget cuts in 2010, though it only had a $2,500 annual budget prior to that, and now sits mostly abandoned and entirely uncared for."

More photos of what the reporter describes as "abandoned wasteland" are on her Instagram account - come for the foul and fetid swimming pool, stay for the asbestos-tainted buildings!
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:45 AM on February 28 [47 favorites]


Peculiate me - HIIIIGHER PLEEE-EEEASE!
posted by Dumsnill at 10:46 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


My mother has also gone to the dark side, OnceUponATime. A few weeks ago she snail-mailed me "The Jihadist War Against Christianity" from the American Center for Law and Justice. (Will not link, burned the copy she sent me.) She continues to call and email and I can't find the words to respond so I've been ignoring her. Trying to reconcile this person with the mom who raised me has given me a permanent headache.
posted by ruetheday at 10:51 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


Donald Trump Blames SEAL’s Death On Military
President Donald Trump on Tuesday dodged responsibility for a botched mission he ordered in Yemen last month, placing the onus on the military and Barack Obama’s administration instead.
...
Asked about the matter during an interview with Fox News’ “Fox ‘n’ Friends,” Trump repeatedly said “they” were responsible for the outcome of the mission, in reference to the military.

“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” he said. “They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan...I can understand people saying that. I’d feel ― ‘What’s worse?’ There’s nothing worse,” he added. “This was something that they were looking at for a long time doing, and according to [Defense Secretary Jim] Mattis it was a very successful mission. They got tremendous amounts of information.”
...
Presidents have traditionally accepted responsibility for their decisions, no matter the circumstances. President Harry Truman popularized the words, “The Buck Stops Here” and kept a sign of the phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. His successors took those words to heart, accepting ultimate responsibility in the wake of some of the nation’s biggest mishaps.

“I’m the president. And I’m always responsible,” President Barack Obama said in 2012 following an attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans died.
Article subtitle: "The buck stops with 'them.'"
posted by cjelli at 10:51 AM on February 28 [75 favorites]


Bank of Cyprus - Deutsche Bank - Wilbur Ross - Dmitry Rybolovlev - are the dots joining up yet?
posted by adamvasco at 10:51 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Super excited to find out all the details of the ACA replacement, also known as...

       > > > The Care Less Plan! < < <

Less health care for everyone, courtesy republicans who couldn't care less.

(really trying to get this name to catch on...)
posted by rouftop at 10:53 AM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Let me make clear to those of you who are not part of the Jewish community what these JCC bomb threats mean: my friend's TWO YEAR OLD knows how to pronounce EVACUATION because their DAY CARE has been EVACUATED BECAUSE OF BOMB THREATS THREE TIMES.
posted by bq at 10:53 AM on February 28 [155 favorites]


Any and all failures can now be clearly placed upon them. No excuses from now on. No more passing the blame.

The Party of Personal Responsibility will remain completely incapable of taking any responsibility for their own actions. They will be blaming Obama for the next 200 years.

It's already the GOP way - all gains are ours, all failures are yours. Democrats are calling in the bomb threats, and Obama is behind the protests around the country.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


It's already the GOP way - all gains are ours, all failures are yours.

It's their policy: Privatize the profits, socialize the risks.
posted by Gelatin at 11:00 AM on February 28 [20 favorites]


> > > The Care Less Plan! < < <

I was going with the GOP's "Who Cares" plan
posted by shothotbot at 11:00 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


What gets me about this (and this is not the only thing in the last few months like this) is the brazenness. We all knew it was getting bad, but to see it laid out in video like this is something else.

Why shouldn't they be? If a cop even gets charged for shooting an unarmed man in the back, on video, we can't get a conviction. His accomplice, Clarence Habersham, who we know beyond question lied under oath, is still not charged at all. With Sessions' recent statements essentially blaming Obama for the police having a sad it's pretty clear that there will be no more civil rights prosecutions so they only have to worry about their own local justice systems. And we know that prosecutors are highly reluctant to go after cops because the cops have made it clear they'll retaliate against anyone who doesn't back them up 100%.

They are no more brazen that reality allows them to be. Probably less.
posted by phearlez at 11:01 AM on February 28 [19 favorites]


“They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe

DUDE THE PRESIDENT DOESN'T APPOINT GENERALS, THEY'RE THE SAME GENERALS OBAMA HAD
posted by murphy slaw at 11:03 AM on February 28 [82 favorites]


The bomb threats to the JCCs are especially horrifying because of their targeted and terroristic nature, but now I'm staring to wonder if my lived experience as a high school student was unusual. We had at least a dozen bomb threats a year and some actual arson and tennis ball type bombs in the boy's locker room on a couple of occasions. I seriously thought until this week that most Americans experience multiple bomb threat evacuations in their lifetimes. Is that not the case?
posted by xyzzy at 11:04 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


“They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe

DUDE THE PRESIDENT DOESN'T APPOINT GENERALS, THEY'RE THE SAME GENERALS OBAMA HAD


I am pretty sure that he believes that they're better generals now because they're "his". Just like how slapping the Trump name on someone else's real estate made the price go up.
posted by Etrigan at 11:05 AM on February 28 [27 favorites]


Found it, today on Fox and Friends (of course) - Trump says he's not behind in agency appointments; doesn't want to fill many “because they’re unnecessary”

People - media in particular - need to stop accepting these post-facto claims of intent at face value. This administration lies as easily as it breathes. They claim supporting evidence that does not exist. They insist plans are written and the next day say they're working on them and the next that someone else is in charge of that. This claim that they deliberately have not filled slots needs to go next to this current nonsense floating around that Bannon dropped the immigration stuff on a friday with the desire for their to be protest and outcry. [citation needed], unless you want to make the claims before the actions.

As it is, this is their spirit animal.
posted by phearlez at 11:07 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


I was going with the GOP's "Who Cares" plan

The "Better Pray" plan
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:07 AM on February 28


"BOMB THREATS" There was a map of where these threats have been delivered. No threats in Washington, Montana, or Idaho. I decided that the threats are coming from Northern Idaho, home of some serious white power posers. They are keeping their nest clean of the business, and sending their messages out of state. They are amateurs, thinking that if the calls come from outside a certain radius they will be unobserved. They use a burner phone and call through a transponder. That is my armchair assessment. Or else it is from Riggs, it is more of the Mahleur type group.
posted by Oyéah at 11:08 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Lucky us, we in Washington got some bomb threats this last time around.
posted by bq at 11:10 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


In Trump's defense, he made it clear during the campaign that he was going to ask the generals to deliver a plan, he was going to compare that plan to the plan in his head, and then he was going to use the best parts of both of them. Trump voters can't claim ignorance on this one.
posted by diogenes at 11:10 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]




Artw: Trump faces a huge problem, and Bannon's con-artistry cannot make it disappear
the problem Trump faces is pretty simple: The American people are largely rejecting Trump’s agenda, both in its conventional Republican and more Trumpist elements, and the policy specifics and rationales that have been put forth to flesh it out thus far range from weak sauce to outright gibberish.
But have the American people really rejected it all? The poll numbers are bad, but he doesn't have zero support for his actions so far.
Trump's personal favorability rating stands at 85 percent positive among Republicans, compared to just 34 percent positive among independents and nine percent among Democrats.

While only 30 percent of those polled overall say that Trump is off to a "great start," 63 percent of Republicans agree. A similar share of Democrats - 58 percent - say that Trump's lack of policy knowledge and his temperament demonstrate that he is not up to the job of being president.
Partisan split is very strong, and our only hope is that party affiliation on both sides is tragically low - 2017 Jan 4-8, R: 28% / I: 44% / D: 25% - if enough independents lean (as well as vote and act out) progressive/liberal, we have a hope.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:12 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


In other words, sure the ISIS "plan" is ridiculous, but it's ridiculous in the exact way that he promised it would be.
posted by diogenes at 11:13 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


The bomb threats to the JCCs are especially horrifying because of their targeted and terroristic nature, but now I'm staring to wonder if my lived experience as a high school student was unusual. We had at least a dozen bomb threats a year and some actual arson and tennis ball type bombs in the boy's locker room on a couple of occasions. I seriously thought until this week that most Americans experience multiple bomb threat evacuations in their lifetimes. Is that not the case?

In my sophomore year of high school (1997) we had daily bomb threats around 8:00am for about nine weeks without fail. Growing up on the Florida coast this meant we had to stand out a safe distance away in the marsh with the hungry mosquitoes for up to ninety minutes while officials swept the school searching for explosives.

Eventually they discovered that the calls were coming from inside the house; the school's one public payphone in the common area was being used each day to call in the threat. The culprit? A student who didn't want to go to his second period class. Fortunately, school administrators took bold steps to end the bomb threat crisis forever: they removed the pay phone.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:14 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


And he knows that his targets aren't going to be people that racists will agree "had it coming", or that he'll be able to pretend "deserved it" in some way.

The thing is that his targets ARE going to be people that (some) racists will agree "had it coming", and he'll totally be able to pretend that both women "deserved it", because racism intersects with authoritarianism. People are like thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to vocalizing nonsense like "Protests are dangerous and cops have hard jobs and sometimes mistakes happen in the heat of the moment and whatever happened to respect and it's not fair that cops are expected to just take such disrepect and these protests are going on for too long, ergo protesting is just plain wrong and protesters who disrespect cops have it coming, and deserve what they get QED".
posted by 23skidoo at 11:14 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


People are like thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to vocalizing nonsense like [basically blue lives matter]

If you're not hearing that already, count yourself lucky.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:16 AM on February 28 [11 favorites]


> There was a map of where these threats have been delivered. No threats in Washington, Montana, or Idaho

There was a bomb threat called in to a JCC in Mercer Island, near Seattle, yesterday.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:17 AM on February 28




Just to be clear here: He's blaming jews?
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on February 28 [31 favorites]


This is not The Dead Zone. Even if Trump bellow and points and blames the Jews tonight, or ever, the GOP and his base will find a way to justify it.
posted by maudlin at 11:23 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


People are like thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to vocalizing nonsense like [basically blue lives matter]
If you're not hearing that already, count yourself lucky.


One of our security guards told us that the night before he got pulled over by 4 cop cars and ordered out of his vehicle. The police had weapons drawn and demanded he step out of the car. After some verification, one cop asked him what color his car was and when he responded it was silver, they all lowered their weapons and chuckled.

Turns out they were looking for a bronze minivan not a silver one but all the winter dirt on his car made it hard to tell. They were also looking for a young African American male and our security guard is old white dude.

When we were appalled that this happened and mentioned we were worried for his safety and maybe the cops shouldn't have come out guns blazing like that, he said, and I quote, "Well, I mean. I want them to protect us and they have to do that sort of thing. If I'd come out like an aggressive asshole like some of these kids, I might have gotten shot, but it wouldn't have been the cops' fault."

When I pointed out that his car wasn't even the right color, he replied, "Yeah, it would have been a shame to be shot for the wrong color of car."

The abused can't even see the abuse it's so bad.
posted by teleri025 at 11:23 AM on February 28 [77 favorites]


Can someone connect the dots here for me? No one is saying "We've put a bomb in this JCC because of Trump." The threats are just pure anti-semitic attacks on community centers and schools. The only way this sort of action would make Trump look bad would be, say, if Trump already was aligned with groups who... oh.

I mean, I really think the logic is, it can't be us, if it was us we'd use real bombs?
posted by Mchelly at 11:24 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Here's the article from Orso:
President Donald Trump told Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro that bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers may have been from “the reverse” to try to “make others look bad,” Shapiro said today.

When a reporter asked Shapiro if he took this to mean that Trump was implying his supporters were being framed, he responded that he can’t be sure what the president meant but that “he used the word ‘reverse’ I would say two to three times in his comments.”

“I really don’t know what he means,” Shapiro said, “and I don’t know why he said that.”
That article also mentions that there were over 500 tombstones desecrated at Mount Carmel. Original reports said about 150.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:24 AM on February 28 [28 favorites]


okay but what if we sneak into the capitol building and stand in front of him holding a baby

there's a non-zero chance he will just start chowing down right
posted by murphy slaw at 11:24 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Only if it's well-done with ketchup.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:26 AM on February 28 [25 favorites]


I don't give a flying fuck what political party or religion the bomb threats and cemetery desecration is coming from. We're evacuating preschools and day schools on a regular basis now. How depraved do you have to be to spend your time speculating about which "team" is responsible instead of just wanting it to stop and directing the resources of federal law enforcement to take this seriously? This isn't a political problem, except insofar as certain politicians seem uninterested in a matter that should greatly interest everybody.
posted by zachlipton at 11:27 AM on February 28 [73 favorites]


I might have gotten shot, but it wouldn't have been the cops' fault.

Okay, that's some straight up Stockholm Syndrome shit right there.
posted by darkstar at 11:29 AM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Yep. A sane administration of either party would certainly grant either liberal leaning synagogues or far right Southern Baptist churches protection, because people deserve their government to protect them. Aside from any moral argument that might or might not appeal to Trump in the case of Jews, he'd be protecting a certain number of registered voters and/or the children of said voters.
posted by jaduncan at 11:32 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Trump's personal favorability rating stands at 85 percent positive among Republicans

I personally know two people who voted and support him and had no idea most of this stuff is happening because "we elected him and now I trust him to be the president."

You want your head to explode? Try having that conversation with someone who had no idea about the transgender EO because they don't watch the news.

There are more people like that than you realize. We need to ignore these wackjobs showing up in the dozens to his rallies and focus on people like above. She is my neighbor, and she listened to my concerns over lunch last week. I had to put aside my rage at her blanket acceptance of him and talk to her rationally and with evidence. To her credit, she listened. Is she flipped? Perhaps, but has too much pride to admit it if it happened.
posted by archimago at 11:32 AM on February 28 [31 favorites]


A good bit from Brian Beutler on where the Republicans are with Obamacare––Republicans’ Final Heinous Push for Obamacare Repeal

The Republicans are split into two camps. One won't be satisfied until they've ripped Obamacare to shreds and salted the earth so nothing grows there again. The other has realized that people are yelling at them at town halls and their constituents like having health insurance, and while they're willing to screw with it in any number of ways that will make people's lives worse, they're not on board with dropping cverage for tens of millions of people. And meanwhile we have a President stuck on "nobody knew health care could be so complicated."

And the pathetic thing is that this was a completely foreseeable situation, yet Ryan was too busy leading symbolic votes to repeal the thing 60+ times to actually start thinking about a plan his own party would accept.

The only way out of this now is to try to convince people that having health insurance isn't so hot anyway, an operation that's in motion now. Convince people that Obamacare is useless and you've got political cover for those who want to get rid of it. With that campaign underway, they're going to just push forward with a repeal bill and pray the party comes along.
posted by zachlipton at 11:32 AM on February 28 [10 favorites]


I don't give a flying fuck what political party or religion the bomb threats and cemetery desecration is coming from.

As a Jewish person, I actually do.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:32 AM on February 28 [24 favorites]


"The Reverse"
Could be he means the Upside Down, which in our case would really be the Right Side Up. So perhaps progressive counterparts in more science-friendly dimensions are pulling a Fringe for us.

Could be he was actually saying "The Reavers", which I must admit is a rather sophisticated tactic from their ranks.
posted by erisfree at 11:33 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


There's a popular flavor of Holocaust denial that says: sure, some Jews died, but there was never any coordinated campaign to wipe them out, and Jews today who keep going on about it are just whining and playing the victim and raking in those sweet Schindler's List royalties. Tied in with that is the idea that Jews are in love with their own victimhood and will harass themselves to keep the scam going.

That's why the Jew-omitting Holocaust statement was such a big deal, and where this weird response to the desecration and bomb threats is coming from. They're trying to signal their support for this theory without directly saying "Jews did it" (which is still pretty unacceptable).
posted by theodolite at 11:34 AM on February 28 [61 favorites]


But have the American people really rejected it all? The poll numbers are bad, but he doesn't have zero support for his actions so far.

Might be worth making sure we're comparing apples to apples. Those poll numbers are straight up approval rating of Trump himself. The assertion from Plum Line is that Trump's policies are unpopular. This would seem like a moronic thing to split hairs on were it not for having seen this exact dichotomy with regards to the ACA as a thing, which is not popular, versus the components of the ACA, which are.

We're seeing a lot of Trump backers stomping their feet and being angry people keep calling them racists & sexists just because they voted for a racist sexist who says racist and sexist things and outright saying that the assertions make them want to dig in harder. The idea that a lot of them are going to respond to any question of "do you approve of Trump" in the affirmative, even as he does things they don't like, is not remotely surprising.
posted by phearlez at 11:35 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Say it IS some Joshua Goldberg type. Trump has now applied blame to a whole category of people and set them up for reprisals, not just one guy. Also in all of this is that Trump basically assumes that everyone else would assume the attacks are from Trump voters, which, well, why do we all assume that?
posted by Artw at 11:35 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Also in all of this is that Trump basically assumes that everyone else would assume the attacks are from Trump voters, which, well, why do we all assume that?

Captain Trump: I'm shocked, shocked to find that anti-Semitism is going on in here! It's probably the Jews doing it, because I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your life.
posted by jaduncan at 11:37 AM on February 28 [21 favorites]


I personally know two people who voted and support him and had no idea most of this stuff is happening because "we elected him and now I trust him to be the president."

there are a lot of people for whom still going on about politics after the election is like still being mad about the Patriots winning the Super Bowl and you know all I can say about people like that is just bless their hearts, you know, bless their hearts, bless the hell out of their little hearts
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:41 AM on February 28 [43 favorites]


bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers may have been from “the reverse” to try to “make others look bad,”

I don't know what's worse. That he's sick enough to actually believe this, or that he's sick enough to say it purely for political gain.
posted by diogenes at 11:43 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


As a Jewish person, I actually do.

I mean, I do care in the sense that we have to know who's doing this, and knowing who they are is incredibly important to how we move forward from here. But what I meant is that this guy is the President of the United States, and he seems far more concerned with what the bomb threats mean for him politically, as if this is really an attack on him because people keep asking him why he won't do anything, than what they mean for the kids being rolled out of JCCs in cribs. What I meant is that any non sociopathic President would be worried about what is happening to this country and American Jews, rather than speculate that this is really all some secret effort to make him look bad. In his mind, he's once again managed to make this all about himself.
posted by zachlipton at 11:43 AM on February 28 [42 favorites]


>I don't give a flying fuck what political party or religion the bomb threats and cemetery desecration is coming from.

As a Jewish person, I actually do.


I heard that as more: the government's response to threats, harassment, and vandalism should not be contingent on the political affiliation or religious affiliation of the perpetrators. The people who did this -- who are doing this -- need to be found and charged with the crimes they've committed, regardless of who they are. That's the government's job; that's what the President, that's what the AG, that's what the FBI are supposed to be doing -- not speculating, idly, about who might have done it and why. Even if they care about what party they belong to, speculating in public about it without a shred of evidence is terrible and shouldn't be happening. Bomb threats should not be a political issue, and the government's response shouldn't be a political issue; that Trump is actively politicizing them is deeply worrying.

But, separately, if the people doing this all belong to one political party, that's certainly something voters should note, and it's pretty darn reasonable for people at large to speculate about who might be doing this and why, given that we don't yet know, and given that the perpetrators have not yet been caught.
posted by cjelli at 11:44 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


I mean, he's basically just declared that an attack on nazis is an attack on him.

Which we knew, but still shocking.
posted by Artw at 11:45 AM on February 28 [33 favorites]


I mean, I take the point. My mom teaches at a Jewish pre-school. They don't need to prepare for a bomb threat because they have had active shooter drills and other emergency plans in place for the past half-decade. Obviously, the government's response should be the same, whoever it is. But the messaging will be radically different if this is a troll.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:46 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Four DREAMers will be in the audience at tonight's address. I cannot even imagine the guts that takes.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on February 28 [45 favorites]


There's actually no such thing as an "ironic" bomb threat, FWIW. They are all bomb threats.
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM on February 28 [19 favorites]


If he tries to pull that "least anti-Semitic person in the world" bullshit, or in the unlikely event he brings up the Kansas shooting and claims that there's no connection with him, I hope somebody yells "YOU LIE!"
posted by zombieflanders at 11:48 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


I don't know what's worse. That he's sick enough to actually believe this, or that he's sick enough to say it purely for political gain.

This is the -40° of antisemitism: it's equally bad in Fahrenheit and Celsius.
posted by Freon at 11:49 AM on February 28 [51 favorites]


Also in all of this is that Trump basically assumes that everyone else would assume the attacks are from Trump voters, which, well, why do we all assume that?

Bonus facepalm points if answer includes "Lügenpresse."
posted by Sys Rq at 11:51 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Four DREAMers will be in the audience at tonight's address. I cannot even imagine the guts that takes.

Really awkward when Trump instructs ICE agents to deport them halfway through the speech.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:53 AM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Four DREAMers will be in the audience at tonight's address. I cannot even imagine the guts that takes.
Meanwhile, FLOTUS will be seated at dinner with people related to those killed by immigrants.
posted by xyzzy at 11:55 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


AG Sessions Says DOJ to ‘Pull Back’ on Police Department Civil Rights Suits:

Donald Trump's attorney general said Tuesday the Justice Department will limit its use of a tactic employed aggressively under President Obama — suing police departments for violating the civil rights of minorities.

"We need, so far as we can, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. And I'm afraid we've done some of that," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:57 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


FJT: Then there's the early possibility I thought of, where he would just use executive appointees as a kitchen cabinet. Only it's not part of his "grand plan", it's just because he has no other choice now.

There was something that kept crossing my mind back during the campaign which I couldn't (and can't) nail down in words, if you'll allow me some latitude. He'd sometimes use constructions like e.g. "When Donald Trump is President there will be a Wall with Mexico!" [fake]. Now, I loves me some cheesy "George is getting Angry!" [real] third-personism, but what niggled at me was the underlying weirdly-Arthurian suggestion that there was a Wound to the Land of America (here in the body of a Democratic/Black King) which would be instantly, perfectly healed by electing someone who chose to identify as Republican. (FWIW, I'm not daft and do imagine that previous candidates, probably including Obama, have intentionally used similar rhetoric against incumbents).

Now though, even while his unconfirmables gradually get confirmed, all I can see is what everyone said and saw all along: The grifter who Brexiteer-like sought to win by losing; the uncontrolled "Not I" railing against the judges and media (so-called); The man who without irony or understanding can say out loud he wants to run a country like a two-bit bankrupt business without knowing how floor-swallowingly, incapably naive that is for the worlds' foremost economy and democracy; Some mentally-weak mate to bullies who will "Hur-hur, hit him Mauler!" along with whatever his interlocutor suggests simply so he can tell himself that they really like him (cf. Putin, May, Abe, first of all Bannon); Someone who keeps America's friends closed out and her enemies closer; Someone so incompetent that they could be elected President of the United States of America and never be able to operate the levers of power, never even comprehend where the levers are, never understand that levers are needed, never conceive of investigating the utility that said levers provided previous Presidents.

Aargh, rant over! Even the poor, wilfully-stupid buggers who voted for him don't deserve him. I know I've left out stuff like the tolerance/courting of anti-semitism and I apologise for going easy on the man.
posted by comealongpole at 11:57 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, FLOTUS will be seated at dinner with people related to those killed by immigrants.

Why would Michelle even be at.... oh. Oh I see.
posted by zrail at 11:58 AM on February 28 [49 favorites]


"We need, so far as we can, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. And I'm afraid we've done some of that," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Get better at what?

Never mind, we know.
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


i know that people in general are bad at reasoning about large numbers, but it basically proves nothing that you can find six people harmed by immigrants in a population of ~320 million
posted by murphy slaw at 12:00 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


peeedro: It’s like the Trump team stepped up to the plate in a game of tee-ball, and somehow ended up spraining an ankle while hitting into a double play.
I never knew what was going on out in right field, I just knew I would get a free snow cone at the end of the game. I'd be out there, awww, free snow cone. "Brian, what's the score?" "Free Snowcone! Free snow cone at the end of the game, if you play they're gonna give you a free snowcone, even if you play half game you get a... you don't get a half snow cone...you get a whole snow cone for half the game... people that play whole game get a whole snow cone and the people that play half game get a whole snow cone. So it's always whole, whole snow cone. So, I'd rather play half game. I'd rather play half. Still get the whole snow cone..."
posted by filthy light thief at 12:01 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, FLOTUS will be seated at dinner with people related to those killed by immigrants.

That should be comfortable for her, given that she's an immigrant.
posted by jaduncan at 12:02 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


Meanwhile, FLOTUS will be seated at dinner with people related to those killed by immigrants.

It seems really awkward to make the immigrant do your anti-immigration baiting. Maybe it's just me.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:03 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


I mean, I can find 3 people killed by squirrels, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:03 PM on February 28 [40 favorites]


This is the -40° of antisemitism: it's equally bad in Fahrenheit and Celsius.
posted by Freon


And you would know.
posted by chris24 at 12:05 PM on February 28 [29 favorites]


Sometimes the Trump administration feels like this weird attempt to get Republicans to agree that the worst possible behavior is good, if not preferable.
posted by drezdn at 12:06 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


It seems really awkward to make the immigrant do your anti-immigration baiting. Maybe it's just me.

Yeah, it's part of his tremendous "Some Of My Best Friends Are..." policy. Jared and Ivanka are also goodwill ambassadors.
posted by Mchelly at 12:06 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


"One of the good ones".
posted by Artw at 12:09 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I think it's also part of an ongoing series of weirdly performative demonstrations that he gives zero fucks about his wife.
posted by jaduncan at 12:09 PM on February 28 [32 favorites]


I know we're post-fact, but can anyone point to any empirical study that shows any sort of causal linkage between immigration and crime? I've never seen anything definitive either way, although anecdotally I know there doesn't seem to be a connection, and if anything immigration seems to have a positive influence on crime rate.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:10 PM on February 28


I think it's also part of an ongoing series of weirdly performative demonstrations that he gives zero fucks about his wife.

I doubt it's that many.
posted by phearlez at 12:10 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


@juliehdavis, NYT White House reporter
Trump said Fri that reporters should name their sources. Now anchors who just met w him reporting immigration news from "sr admin official"
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:11 PM on February 28 [19 favorites]


ZeusHumms: Trump's desk is clear of clutter now. Hmmm.

Well, there was that casual photo that included a decent resolution of [secret code fob thing] ... help me MeFites, I'm totally failing to remember enough details to search for this. There was something on a briefcase in the background of a semi-candid photo in the oval office, and I'm failing to find the article or tweet about it.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM on February 28


Melania is white so I assure you there is no immigrant-adjacent irony whatsoever being perceived by Trump and those who adhere to Trumpism
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:12 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


jaduncan: I think it's also part of an ongoing series of weirdly performative demonstrations that he gives zero fucks about his wife.

That's assuming he actually thinks about her as a person with her own feelings and concerns. I don't know if he recognizes other people as sentient individuals with their own wants and needs, or just as beings set in a simple binary With Me / Against Me state.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:13 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


I know we're post-fact, but can anyone point to any empirical study that shows any sort of causal linkage between immigration and crime? I've never seen anything definitive either way, although anecdotally I know there doesn't seem to be a connection, and if anything immigration seems to have a positive influence on crime rate.

Regarding Robert Adelman, Lesley Williams Reid, Gail Markle, Saskia Weiss, Charles Jaret. Urban crime rates and the changing face of immigration: Evidence across four decades. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 2016; 15 (1): 52 DOI: 10.1080/15377938.2016.1261057, take it from the lead author:
"Our research shows strong and stable evidence that, on average, across U.S. metropolitan areas crime and immigration are not linked," said Robert Adelman, an associate professor of sociology at UB and the paper's lead author. "The results show that immigration does not increase assaults and, in fact, robberies, burglaries, larceny, and murder are lower in places where immigration levels are higher.
Methodology: The authors drew a sample of 200 metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and used census data and uniform crime reporting data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a 40-year period from 1970 to 2010.
posted by jaduncan at 12:13 PM on February 28 [58 favorites]


I know we're post-fact, but can anyone point to any empirical study that shows any sort of causal linkage between immigration and crime? I've never seen anything definitive either way, although anecdotally I know there doesn't seem to be a connection, and if anything immigration seems to have a positive influence on crime rate.

Contrary to Trump’s Claims, Immigrants Are Less Likely to Commit Crimes
posted by zombieflanders at 12:15 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


filthy light thief, I think you're remembering the key left in the lockbag in the presence of non-cleared visitors.
posted by rewil at 12:15 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


jaduncan: in fact, robberies, burglaries, larceny, and murder are lower in places where immigration levels are higher.

THIS A MILLION TIMES - let's look at this: either you're allowed to come into the US through a screening process, or you came in by other means - wouldn't you be more concerned about being caught for a crime, especially if you entered illegally?

Meanwhile, Bribes Bore a Hole in the U.S. Border (New York Times, Dec. 28, 2016)
A review by The New York Times of thousands of court records and internal agency documents showed that over the last 10 years almost 200 employees and contract workers of the Department of Homeland Security have taken nearly $15 million in bribes while being paid to protect the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws.
Yeah, let's beef up those borders with more people, we're sure to get the Good Ones applying, and not people who are likely to open the borders for a bribe.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:18 PM on February 28 [30 favorites]


rewil, thank you! That's it! And it's a messy desk photo! Clean desk = zero chance of sensitive material being photographed.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:19 PM on February 28


This is the -40° of antisemitism: it's equally bad in Fahrenheit and Celsius.
posted by Freon at 1:49 PM on February 28 [17 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Eponysterical!
posted by notsnot at 12:21 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]






I started listening to a new podcast, the 45th, which has come to a terrifying conclusion. Based on tweets & public statements going back years, they put forward the idea that Trump actually thinks he's going to return to Iraq and "take the oil."
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:43 AM on February 28

I also listened to this podcast and was convinced that he has intentions to carry this out. One of the hosts put together an audio clip of him saying over and over in various ways that he thinks a) we should take the oil and b) pay off the National Debt with it because "to the victor, go the spoils" which will c) defund and therefore weaken Isis.

We have talked about this idea before and how it is neither feasible nor moral but it is going to take a lot to convince Donnie that his "secret plan" to defeat Isis will not work. After listening to that clip, I'm sure he thinks that this is what will make him the greatest President of all time.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:28 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said the department is investigating but told reporters that he thinks his officers handled the crowd appropriately.

This sucks well beyond face value. Magnus famously cleaned up a racist Northern California PD, with really innovative and bold reforms. He is the cop you may have seen holding a Black Lives Matter while in uniform. He has been an advocate for sane, community service focused police reform. Losing Chris Magnus' advocacy and leadership could be like a death blow to socially responsible policing reform.
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 12:28 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


WH: Kansas shooting 'act of racially motivated hatred'

Bit surprised at that even if it took them long enough and it's super weak. Of course trump himself will never say anything.
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I don't know if he recognizes other people as sentient individuals with their own wants and needs, or just as beings set in a simple binary With Me / Against Me state.

Sometimes I wonder if he can experience emotions other than anger and not-anger.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:32 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


"Mr Warhol what do you think about Mr. Donald Trump?" ...."He's cheap"
posted by robbyrobs at 12:34 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I wonder if he can experience emotions other than anger and not-anger.

Yes. He experiences brief flashes of fear which are then quickly demolished with hubris and anger.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:35 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Vox Trump says he's boosting defense spending by $54 billion. The real number is $18 billion.
The actual increase is closer to $18 billion. Eagle-eyed defense hawks like Arizona Republican John McCain have noticed the discrepancy, and they’re not happy.

“President Trump intends to submit a defense budget that is a mere 3 percent above President Obama’s defense budget, which has left our military underfunded, undersized, and unready to confront threats to our national security,” McCain said in a statement. “With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than President Obama’s budget. We can and must do better.” [...]

For the Defense Department, $18 billion is an almost literal drop in the bucket.

Cancian said the Army alone has drafted a wish list for next year that amounts to $18 billion. Now, the service will be lucky to get even a quarter of that money.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:38 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Well I'm guessing he has had a few moments of feeling lust and greed-- but not sloth because for sloth to happen you must own a bathrobe.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:39 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


McCain, what a Maverick.
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


for sloth to happen you must own a bathrobe.

Do you put the sloth in the pockets of the bathrobe?
posted by Etrigan at 12:42 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


i wonder how many memos are circulating in washington right now, each claiming to be the trump budget proposal
posted by murphy slaw at 12:42 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


“President Trump intends to submit a defense budget that is a mere 3 percent above President Obama’s defense budget, which has left our military underfunded, undersized, and unready to confront threats to our national security,” McCain said in a statement. “With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than President Obama’s budget. We can and must do better.”

So McCain's anti-Trump outrage is focused on his over-militarization not being excessive enough. I'd gone almost a week without despising him but congrats John. Way to be the fucking worst.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:43 PM on February 28 [47 favorites]


Tampa Bay Times As Trump is learning, it's not so easy to reject the president's paycheck
He is required to get a paycheck but will be giving it back to (the) treasury or donating," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in email, adding that the staff was trying to determine the legal process to do so.

She declined to answer several inquiries into whether Trump has gotten a paycheck already, which would be about $33,333. In addition to the $400,000, a president is afforded a $50,000 expense account.

"I won't take even one dollar," Trump declared in September 2015. "I am totally giving up my salary if I become president."

He can't do that. Article II of the Constitution requires a president to be paid
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:44 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


My money on him just saying he's giving it to charity, then not.
posted by Artw at 12:47 PM on February 28 [56 favorites]


Vox Trump says he's boosting defense spending by $54 billion. The real number is $18 billion.

But of course. The military are also his contractors now.
posted by jaduncan at 12:49 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


isn't the going theory that having an actual income will completely fuck up his paying-$0-income-tax scheme
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:50 PM on February 28 [23 favorites]




He is required to get a paycheck but will be giving it back to (the) treasury or donating," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in email, adding that the staff was trying to determine the legal process to do so. She declined to answer several inquiries into whether Trump has gotten a paycheck already, which would be about $33,333. In addition to the $400,000, a president is afforded a $50,000 expense account.

This remains, as previously discussed, an issue for his tax filing, in that taking a $400,000 salary and then immediately donating it is $400,000 different than not taking $400,000 in first place; it's still 'his' money for tax purposes. That may matter if some of the suggestions about his tax avoidance schemes are correct.

If he 'donates' it to the Trump Foundation I will eat no hats, because I would be not at all surprised.
posted by cjelli at 12:51 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


He is required to get a paycheck but will be giving it back to (the) treasury or donating," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in email, adding that the staff was trying to determine the legal process to do so.

No, they'd be determining the legal process to do one of those things after he had decided on which one. He is clearly not going to do a damn thing like either of those.
posted by Etrigan at 12:54 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I figure tonight' speech is just going to be more self-aggrandizing bullshit so I have no plans to watch it. I am confident if he says anything of note, I will read about it here. Meanwhile, I will make a cash donation to every Democrat congressperson who shouts "you lie" when he lies during the speech. No limit.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:55 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]






stupid stupid person

if you imagine every action of the trump administration being carried out by a horde of stupid, stupid rat creatures it makes more sense
posted by murphy slaw at 1:06 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


French holocaust historian held up for 10 hours at immigration.

"What I know, having loved this country forever, is that the United States is no longer quite the United States."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:08 PM on February 28 [45 favorites]


@AprilDRyan: Breaking: officials on hand for Exec Order signing talked of the promise of money but there is not new money in the Exec Order for HBCU's.

Just when you thought the HBCU idiocy couldn't get any deeper.

Given Trump's business and political career thus far, nobody should ever believe anything about money until the check clears.
posted by jaduncan at 1:08 PM on February 28 [14 favorites]


Anyone who had "David Duke's Twitter feed" as the place where Trump got the idea that it's the Jews and/or Democrats behind anti-Semitic violence, come and collect your prize:

Trump echoes David Duke, suggests Jews are behind threats to Jewish schools
posted by zombieflanders at 1:10 PM on February 28 [27 favorites]


How incompetent do you have to have been to screw up the HBCU thing? It really has not been that hard for most administrations to have a photo-op that doesn't have your advisor kneeling on a couch in the middle of it and to not put out statements acting like segregation and racism wasn't a thing and to not promise money that doesn't exist. This should have been an easy little PR win, and instead they've done everything possible to turn it into a disaster.
posted by zachlipton at 1:10 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


Just to be clear here: He's blaming jews?

He can't just jump right to jews

Expect the speech to be about the "Criminal element" and "rootless cosmopolitans"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:10 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


No, he jumped right to Jews. He did say something about "reverse" though so maybe he'll move back through those?
posted by Artw at 1:12 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


it'll be about (((Globalists)))
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:12 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


He did just jump right to jews.
posted by flatluigi at 1:12 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


"globalists"
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:13 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


This should have been an easy little PR win, and instead they've done everything possible to turn it into a disaster.

Well, likewise a president should probably be able to rattle off a condemnation of bomb threats on their sleep without drifting into "maybe the victims are the real bad guys".
posted by Artw at 1:13 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


I plan to watch...with plenty of Bourbon on hand. I figure the breakdown will be:

40% I am such a great and popular leader
25% Brown people are bad. Let me count the ways
15% I have the greatest plans for a) ObamaCare replacement b) budget c) immigration
10% The fake media is lying about me.


Some of the old favorites he will be playing:

3 million people voted illegally for Clinton
I have achieved more in one month than anyone, ever
The wall has already been started
I have the smartest Cabinet ever assembled
I will make the best deals
I inherited a mess
The fake media is the true enemy of the American people
Putin thinks I'm great but I've never met the guy


A few things I will be looking for:

Obama has a secret cabal to bring me down
The paid protesters are rioting and destroying property
The Jewish attacks were carried out as a false flag
I will be adding more countries to my banned list
We must get ready for war
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:13 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


He doesn't jump to anything, guys. C'mon. I dare you to find footage of him jumping. No, he looms toward things.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:14 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Oh, but he can just jump to Jews and I called it months ago.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:14 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


It's a neat trick that he's simultaneously denying the reality of attacks on Jews whilst encouraging more of them.
posted by Artw at 1:14 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Well, likewise a president should probably be able to rattle off a condemnation of bomb threats on their sleep without drifting into "maybe the victims are the real bad guys".

His base includes people who harass the Sandy Hook parents for faking the whole thing. There are no truths or facts in their world, except one; If It's Bad, We (or Those We Support) Didn't Do It.
posted by emjaybee at 1:17 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ is about to make a comeback. Here’s what’s really driving it.
In a new interview, one of the chief architects of that ban has offered an expanded rationale for it that goes well beyond the original one. Top Trump adviser Stephen Miller says the ban isn’t just about national security; it’s also about protecting American workers from foreign competition and protecting taxpayers from the drain on public benefits that refugees represent.
Do you think the lawyers fighting the ban have a bell they ring in celebration every time these idiots open their mouths?
posted by zachlipton at 1:18 PM on February 28 [40 favorites]


The inability to distinguish "undocumented immigrants" and "legal migrants, refugees, visitors and permanent residents" is coming from inside the house.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:20 PM on February 28 [19 favorites]


i wonder how many memos are circulating in washington right now, each claiming to be the trump budget proposal

I picture a mob of Schoolhouse Rock-style sentient scrolls running down Pennsylvania Avenue and arguing amongst themselves:

"I'm the budget proposal!"

"Don't listen to that imposter, I'm the *real* proposal!"

"These fools! Look at my gilded edges, it's obvious those fakers are lying!"
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:21 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I refuse to watch Trump speak tonight.

Instead, I'm going to post this story about how the Tibet Women’s Soccer (football) team was just denied tourist visas to come play in the US after a year of preparation and $5000 (half their yearly budget) spent on visas.

I don't know if this was Trump immigration EO fuckery (although they're not even immigrants or from one of the target countries) or if it's China against Tibet fuckery that might've happened even if Obama was in office, but I'm going to donate some money to their team fund and turn off my TV, because fuck this timeline.
posted by bluecore at 1:23 PM on February 28 [53 favorites]


I love neo Nazi logic: Jews are desecrating their own cemeteries (which by the way, should be totally legal to do).
posted by PenDevil at 1:24 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]




so to draw a historical parallel, was hitler's big pivot to statesmanship the anschluss or the annexation of the sudatenland?
posted by murphy slaw at 1:25 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Ooh, spicy:
The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump’s political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement. ...

While Trump has derided the dossier as “fake news” compiled by his political opponents, the FBI’s arrangement with Steele shows that bureau investigators considered him credible and found his line of inquiry to be worthy of pursuit.
(from WaPo)
posted by un petit cadeau at 1:26 PM on February 28 [38 favorites]


It's the piss that keeps on giving.
posted by zachlipton at 1:27 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Salon: President Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, says term “radical Islamic terrorism” is unhelpful
[...] Despite protests from McMaster’s office, the controversial phrase will appear in the president’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, a senior White House aide told Politico.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:29 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


"Everything the Spicer thinks is shit is gold!"
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


so to draw a historical parallel, was hitler's big pivot to statesmanship the anschluss or the annexation of the sudatenland?

Remilitarization of the Rhineland
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:31 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


This should have been an easy little PR win, and instead they've done everything possible to turn it into a disaster.

No, I think the people they're speaking to picked up all the dog whistles loud and clear.

They want to be as racist as possible in public. Their base loves it, and then they love our horror--but because it's a dog whistle, our horror is an overreaction and just more evidence that we're completely irrational and none of our complaints should be taken seriously.

It's abuser 101.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:34 PM on February 28 [86 favorites]


I picture a mob of Schoolhouse Rock-style sentient scrolls running down Pennsylvania Avenue and arguing amongst themselves:

"I'm the budget proposal!"

"Don't listen to that imposter, I'm the *real* proposal!"

"These fools! Look at my gilded edges, it's obvious those fakers are lying!"
Spock, you must shoot all of them. It's the only way to ensure the safety of the country.
posted by ckape at 1:36 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Sen Graham says of Trump budget cutting 30% of State Dept budget: "It's dead on arrival, it's not going to happen, it would be a disaster."

Why do we even need a State Department? It's just more federal overreach. #10thAmmendent /fake.
posted by MikeKD at 1:45 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Workout. It Nearly Broke Me:'. . . “Justice Ginsburg does 10 pushups and she does not do the so-called ‘girl pushups,’” explained Georgetown Law Professor Mary Hartnett during an appearance with the justice earlier this month at the Virginia Military Institute. “She does not use her knees.10 And then she stretches back for a very brief pause and she does 10 more.” . . . Footnote 10: Johnson [Ginsburg's trainer] doesn’t call these “girl pushups” because some of his male clients do them.'

This is really entertainingly written. Don't miss the footnotes! Also, it's reassuring. RBG is doing everything she can to stay right where we need her. What an inspiration. /goes off to use my over-the-door pull-up bar that *cough* has been largely decorative since I installed it
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:45 PM on February 28 [38 favorites]




Everyone's healthier when they're in prison for non-violent, small-scale drug offenses! Thanks, Jeff!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM on February 28 [29 favorites]


"I'm not sure we're going to be a better, healthier nation if we're going to have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store," he said.

looking forward to sessions' war on junk food and gasoline if that's the metric
posted by entropicamericana at 1:48 PM on February 28 [33 favorites]


A.V. Club gets a few swings in at the Trump piñata: Obama to blame for everything, reports paranoid idiot
Donald Trump, a misspelled and poorly kerned placard who became a real boy and ran for president, says he believes the many damaging leaks coming out of his administration, as well as all the angry town hall protests currently greeting lawmakers across the country, can be blamed on President Obama.
Nothing new, but an enjoyable, snarky read, if that lifts your spirits at all.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:51 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Livestream of Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee fighting for information about Trump's financial ties with Russia.
posted by diogenes at 1:52 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Smart analysis from Helen Rosner at Eater: Actually, How Donald Trump Eats His Steak Matters*
Adults who won’t eat pink-hearted steaks might lean on any number of reasons for their position, but almost always it comes down to an aversion to risk, which is at its core an unwillingness to trust the validity and goodwill of any experiences beyond the limited sphere of one’s own. It is — and we’re talking about steak here, so don’t get huffy — a confession of a certain timidity, a defensiveness, an insecurity. It’s not just a fear of change, it’s also a bone-deep fear that the way you’ve always done something — the way that, without outside intervention, you might continue always do it — will turn out not to have been the best way for you after all. The risk of that private humiliation can easily outweigh any benefit that could come from your new, better way. It means that when presented with a risk, you make the choice not to trust.

(This is, it’s worth noting, the same lack of trust leads to thinking every contract worker is cheating you, and the same terror of being proven wrong that leads someone with no foreign policy experience to say his number one foreign policy adviser is himself. It manifests itself in other ways, too: The kind of person who traffics in loyalty rather than friendship, who considers challenges to be attacks, who twists every loss into a victory, who assesses every gesture and every act not in terms of how it will better or worsen the world overall, but how it will better or worsen the world for himself.)
* a previous version of this piece was in her newsletter and may have been posted here in that form, but I didn't find it on a quick search

One problem that I've noticed with the GOP, from stereotypical red state voters all the way up to the top, is how incurious they are. It's not just a fear of change, they literally don't want to know that things could be different than they are. So they're against immigration (don't want change to intrude on them), they don't travel (don't need to see anything new, everything we could want is right here), they're against science (scientists, people who are curious, are constantly bringing up new things to feel wrong or stupid about), they won't try new things (like, say, steak cooked medium rare), and they literally don't want to know anything about anything that disturbs their worldview. Those people see in Trump the apotheosis of themselves. He doesn't know and doesn't want to know either.
posted by fedward at 1:53 PM on February 28 [85 favorites]


The room keeps applauding their outrage (and getting yelled at by the Republican chairman).
posted by diogenes at 1:54 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]




It's a sad thing but I suspect that this weed stuff is going to be what does them in more than anything else. As shadenfrau says above, the stealth-ish racism stuff has deniability but makes their true believers happy. But if they want to hang on to the squishy middle - and they can't afford to lose anyone, including the mega-jerk wing of the Berniebros contingent - they can't piss them off with this meddling in state-level cannabis legalization. The libertarian contingent was very happy with the Obama DOJ turning away and the enforcement defunding.

Unfortunately that doesn't do any good till 2020; I'm skeptical it's enough folks to tip anything in 2018, particularly if the House and Senate keep their hands somewhat clean on this by letting it all fall on DOJ.
posted by phearlez at 1:55 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


It's said that Trump doesn't like eating out in D.C. so far. I imagine that when he eats out in NYC, he usually visits the same handful of restaurants.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:55 PM on February 28


The weird thing is all conservatives probably think of themselves as T-Bone cafe types.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Actually, How Donald Trump Eats His Steak Matters

I've seen plenty of hot takes, but only this one is at precisely 170°F and covered in ketchup.
posted by zachlipton at 1:56 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


A real president only cooks his steak to 125°F.
posted by Justinian at 1:59 PM on February 28


Adults who won’t eat pink-hearted steaks might lean on any number of reasons for their position, but almost always it comes down to an aversion to risk

Seems to be no cite for this. 538 looked at it some and found no obvious connection, although thats hardly conclusive either.

In my own life I see no connection between risktaking and how people like their steak. Believe it or not, its mostly just down to what people's taste is.

(This steak thing, or the Conway couch photo thing.... ugh. There's so much meat (heh) to focus on with Trump this stuff is annoying because its something that Trump supporters can rightly point to as ridiculous criticism).
posted by thefoxgod at 1:59 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued an open call for designs for Trump's border wall – but architects have just five days to submit their proposals.

Weird submittal requirements like this sometimes suggest they already have a specific vendor in mind.
posted by mochapickle at 2:00 PM on February 28 [22 favorites]


If he 'donates' it to the Trump Foundation I will eat no hats, because I would be not at all surprised.

To be fair, that's his legal defense fund you're talking about. It's going to need all the funding it can get.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:01 PM on February 28


"These fools! Look at my gilded edges, it's obvious those fakers are lying!"

That's how you know it's fake. It only applies to maritime law.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:02 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: WH: Kansas shooting 'act of racially motivated hatred'

“The president condemns these and any racially and religiously motivated attacks,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

Gee, it would be great if the president said this himself, and maybe in more concrete terms. Say, "extreme Christian terrorism"?
posted by filthy light thief at 2:02 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


I mean, most of my life I preferred steaks medium well.

And I've eaten raw chicken (torisashi).
posted by thefoxgod at 2:02 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Weird submittal requirements like this sometimes suggest they already have a specific vendor in mind.

Could be. But, based on precedent, I feel confident that "everyone involved in this decision from Trump's team is a staggeringly incompetent halfwit" is a very solid explanation.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:04 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders

I will never get used to seeing that name and it will always feel like something in my brain popped.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:04 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued an open call for designs for Trump's border wall – but architects have just five days to submit their proposals.

mochapickle: Weird submittal requirements like this sometimes suggest they already have a specific vendor in mind.

My first take was that major contractors had been drawing up plans since Trump won the presidency, because major contractors plan ahead like that. But your take also sounds reasonable, and lines up with what a friend of mine who works in the federal government said about job postings - if they post an opening for the minimum time possible, they already have someone in mind for the job.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:05 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


> In my own life I see no connection between risktaking and how people like their steak. Believe it or not, its mostly just down to what people's taste is.

This is fine, but do read the steak-and-ketchup article. It's kinda' thought provoking.

It also includes this, about what Trump likes to eat in New York:

"When he dines at Jean-Georges, the three-Michelin-star restaurant in the Trump International Tower in New York, he asks for a personalized order — ”the special thing you made for me,” Chris Christie recalled him requesting of a server — rather than the innovative, creatively constructed dishes on the menu. Donald Trump is not a man who likes to try new things, and that says a lot about him."

That has a statement of fact, and an opinion, but even just the factual statement is interesting. This is a Michelin-starred restaurant - why eat there if you just want the comfort food?
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:06 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


No sense letting money go into someone else's pocket.
posted by Artw at 2:07 PM on February 28


"Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933, Aly shows that German anti-Semitism was―to a previously overlooked extent―driven in large part by material concerns, not racist ideology or religious animosity. As Germany made its way through the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, the difficulties of the lethargic, economically backward German majority stood in marked contrast to the social and economic success of the agile Jewish minority."

I haven't reached the end of the thread yet, but wanted to post a comment to this before it was too far up: this is rubbish. It was conventional teaching when I was a teen, nearly 40 years ago, but since then tons of new and/or underreported documentation has shown that nope, it was the racism. Racism combined with accelerated immigration from Russia and neighbors to Russia after WW1, but beginning with pogroms at the last end of the 19th century.

It was conventional teaching when I was a teen for several reasons. First of all, the remaining European Jews wanted to reconcile with their former tormentors, so they created a narrative where there were reasons that for instance the Poles killed off even more Jews than the Germans. Then, in general, the culture after the war and up till Reagan/Thatcher was loaded with Marxist thinking, even among Conservatives. During my recent dive into old TV footage one of the things I found surprising was how even the far right embraced Marxist economic theory in their outlines for development. Just like today, "the market" is seen as a given natural force rather than a specific theoretical position, back then everyone was Bernie Sanders. So an economic theory of Holocaust seemed normal. Also, the Nazi image of scheming, cosmopolitan Jews was contradicted in everyday life by millions of extremely poor Jews — mostly refugees and immigrants in Germany itself, and impoverished peasants and peddlers in Eastern Europe. When the economic theory of Holocaust was spread after WW2, many of the people who spread it had a clear memory of the pre-war reality, and they deliberately promoted the economic understanding (of rich Jews outsmarting homey Germans) in contradiction with their own experience in order to engage and reconcile with those who had believed in Nazi and rightwing propaganda. It made sense for them.
In my view, this strategy carried the seeds of the new leftist anti-semitism of the 70's, and as a consequence that of today. Also, it never really succeeded in persuading those people it was supposed to persuade.
posted by mumimor at 2:08 PM on February 28 [26 favorites]


This is a Michelin-starred restaurant - why eat there if you just want the comfort food?

The same reason you'd have a shelf full of books with uncut pages - you want the look of class but not the actual content of class.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:09 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


My default level of pissed-off--just my normal resting state of currently percolating, available for any use latent anger--is maybe three notches higher since Trump got elected. I am low grade mad pretty much 24/7 now.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:10 PM on February 28 [36 favorites]


(This steak thing, or the Conway couch photo thing.... ugh. There's so much meat (heh) to focus on with Trump this stuff is annoying because its something that Trump supporters can rightly point to as ridiculous criticism).

Except it's not ridiculous. These people are philistines who have been part of a racist critique against the Obamas that was couched in terms of disrespect for the office. It is important to keep pointing out that they are behaving in ways that actually demonstrate disrespect instead of the fake offense of having black skin in the White House. This isn't just relitigating the Obama presidency, it's another way of saying these people who claimed superiority are frauds.
posted by fedward at 2:10 PM on February 28 [45 favorites]


Plus where else are you going to get a weird bacon clothes line?
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


and lines up with what a friend of mine who works in the federal government said about job postings - if they post an opening for the minimum time possible, they already have someone in mind for the job.

Yep... I worked briefly in DoD consulting and saw this a few times. Like, sometimes the submittal period was a matter of days, or the requirement was to have a full-time person with ABC experience already on staff, when the gov't knew full well that the only expert in the region with ABC experience worked for a specific vendor.

Sometimes it'd fall in your favor, sometimes it wouldn't.
posted by mochapickle at 2:11 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


This is fine, but do read the steak-and-ketchup article. It's kinda' thought provoking.


It only makes sense if you accept the premise that there is any connection between steak temperature and risk taking / behavior, which I don't. There is absolutely no evidence given for that idea. Or even between having a limited set of tastes and being someone who takes risks or has new experiences. Its trivial to me to find counterexamples --- people who eat the same thing every day but go on crazy adventures, are very open minded, etc. The whole article is asserting a connection between eating and behavior that goes against all my lived experience, and also presents no evidence for it.

It is important to keep pointing out that they are behaving in ways that actually demonstrate disrespect

Eating steak well done???
posted by thefoxgod at 2:17 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


>House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday said that members of Congress have not seen evidence yet to support reports that associates of President Donald Trump were in contact with Russian officials before the election.

>DUDE. YOUR GUY HAD TO FIRE HIS NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER FOR DOING JUST THAT.


To be precise, you are talking about two different things. Michael Flynn was fired for lying about his contacts with Russians, discussing Obama's sanctions after the election, not before.

Contacts with Russians before the election is a different issue related to foreign influence on the election. So far the intelligence agencies have kept what they know under wraps, at least publicly.
posted by JackFlash at 2:19 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


DirtyOldTown: Could be. But, based on precedent, I feel confident that "everyone involved in this decision from Trump's team is a staggeringly incompetent halfwit" is a very solid explanation.

Also this ... and his crazy claim that it's already "ahead of schedule" ... was there even a schedule to start?

Anyway, contractors still have to deal with geology, and more, as pointed out by the Texas Observer, including
navigate deep canyons, a national park, an ever-shifting river and a treaty with Mexico that requires binational consent before structures can be built in the river’s floodplains. In some parts of the border, the wall has aggravated flooding and resulted in diminished property values for landowners.
The Salt Lake Tribune has more on the issues facing the construction of even a partial wall.

Though the ghost of GWB could haunt us and make this new/expanded wall a reality sooner than expected, as "Experts told us that what’s now needed from Congress to build a wall are funds, not additional permission." (Politicfact, January 17th, 2017)

Fuck.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:19 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Well, there was that casual photo that included a decent resolution of [secret code fob thing] ... help me MeFites, I'm totally failing to remember enough details to search for this. There was something on a briefcase in the background of a semi-candid photo in the oval office, and I'm failing to find the article or tweet about it.

Trump left a classified lockbag on his desk with the key still in the lock and non-cleared people in the room.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:19 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Steak temperature is but one piece of data. It only takes on meaning as part of an aggregate of behavioral data.

Getting the wall started sooner could be a play to make it impossible to stop building it, once started.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:20 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


He's a man obsessed with status, yet eats like a picky brat. Probably turns his nose up at anything unfamiliar and stomps his feet if the peas touch the mashed potatoes. He's obsessed with the IDEA of fancy and hammers gold leaf onto anything but to actually expect him to act like an adult and appreciate a steak is not happening.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:21 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]




and lines up with what a friend of mine who works in the federal government said about job postings - if they post an opening for the minimum time possible, they already have someone in mind for the job.

This is so true. Protip from someone who's been at couple different federal positions and applied to countless others, if you see something that says "1 vacancy", or open for 3 days or less, that's most likely not an actual public solicitation. They've got someone hired already and just have to post it to make it official. What you're looking for are vacancies that say "few" or "many" openings, and the best of all are ones that say something like "limited to the first 200 applicants" or x number of days, whichever comes first. Those are the ones you KNOW they're actually looking to hire someone, and are going to read all 200 resumes, not pick the person they had all along and trash the 2000 others who didn't know how the game works.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:23 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


but to actually expect him to act like an adult and appreciate a steak

Wow, I can't believe people are this judgemental about what people choose to eat. This kind of analysis is ridiculous and unfounded.

IMHO it really hurts actual criticisms to talk about this stuff. Especially when there are a ton of people opposed to Trump who probably eat the same way as him (its not uncommon for Americans to be unadventurous eaters, after all).
posted by thefoxgod at 2:25 PM on February 28 [32 favorites]


Seems to be no cite for this

a connection between eating and behavior that goes against all my lived experience

Well, here's my lived experience. I was terrified of food poisoning as a kid, so I insisted on having my burgers and steaks prepared extremely well-done. I also avoided eating canned food, because I was afraid of botulism. Both quirks turned out to be early indications of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which sometimes manifests as a difficulty in coping with risk and uncertainty.

(Disclaimer: I'm not armchair-diagnosing anyone. I'm just confirming that food preferences can sometimes "come down to an aversion to risk.")
posted by Iridic at 2:29 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Wow, I can't believe people are this judgemental about what people choose to eat.

It was a well-done steak with ketchup.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:30 PM on February 28 [24 favorites]


I think the steak is fair game.

This isn't a $14.99 Golden Corral dinner, this is a steak that cost $54. And to have it prepared and eaten like a piece of shit Golden Corral dinner (with ketchup) says worlds about the kind of person Trump is.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:30 PM on February 28 [19 favorites]


And sometimes someone who thinks of themself as entirely white ends up with a name like Torres because of one grandfather.

I think it's important to note that Republicans have been using this to their advantage blatantly in areas of high Latino population. See Ted Cruz or my own rep, Bill Flores, who is about the whitest man I've ever seen. (According to Wikipedia, his ancestors came from Spain in 1725 and he considers himself white.) It's not an accident that people with these names are chosen to run by the party. It helps them win, because people tend to vote for politicians they see as part of their own community, even when they are running on policies that will harm them. This isn't limited to Latinos, of course, I know plenty of women who think always voting for a female candidate will protect them.

The Democratic party doesn't seem to entirely have understood this lesson. They tend to take minorities and women for granted as automatic D votes and keep running white men to try to lure some of the racist white vote back. And it doesn't always work out so great.

But here in Texas, all the Democrats I know realize there's only one way to ever win, and that's to get Latinos firmly on our side. All the discussions around Cruz's seat in 2018 acknowledge this (and it's why so many people are hoping Joaquin Castro will run.)

Democrats need to give up on the racist white vote and start working to win back and gain the loyalty of Latinos by supporting candidates who represent them AND supporting measures that benefit their communities.
posted by threeturtles at 2:31 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


make it impossible to stop building it, once started.

I don't think this is possible. Just getting it started is going to be a massive undertaking, both physically and politically, and the continuation of the wall construction, let alone maintenance of what you've already built, will require constant effort in terms of securing funding and buy-in. It could grind to a halt very easily and never get started back up again. You've got multiple nations, multiple states, many many pissed off constituencies, and very unfriendly geography to contend with. Plus it's a disaster from an ecological, economic, political, and environmental standpoint.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:32 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Does this new EO about helping HCBU's smack to anyone else of the firing salvo of some "separate but equal" reboot of our educational system?

I hope I'm being paranoid. I really do.
posted by princesspathos at 2:33 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


thefoxgod: It only makes sense if you accept the premise that there is any connection between steak temperature and risk taking / behavior, which I don't.

Conservative people tend to be more squeamish. Nonpolitical Images Evoke Neural Predictors of Political Ideology (2014 study)

I grew up in a household where "steak night" was steaks on the grill, cooked medium well or longer, always served with A1 steak sauce. My conservative parents have become a little more adventurous in the kitchen in post-retirement, but they generally stick to one way of doing something.

The fact that steak (and Brussels sprouts, and a whole lot of food I grew up eating but not really appreciating) could be prepared a different way was life-changing for me.
posted by emelenjr at 2:33 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Does this new EO about helping HCBU's smack to anyone else of the firing salvo of some "separate but equal" reboot of our educational system?

Reboot? We're still cranking out episodes of the original series today.
posted by zachlipton at 2:35 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


IMHO it really hurts actual criticisms to talk about this stuff.

People who wouldn't listen to actual criticisms because of something dumb like this would just find some other excuse, surely?
posted by ODiV at 2:35 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


This appears to be a divide between people who see food as fuel and others who see it as sometimes almost an art form. What Trump does is like going to a symphony and requesting the piece be changed from Brahms Symphony #4 to Buttons by the Pussycat Dolls.
posted by Justinian at 2:37 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: for sloth to happen you must own a bathrobe.
posted by petebest at 2:38 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Haven't seen this in here yet (although I may not have been paying enough attention): FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier.

New tidbits:

• FBI thought Christopher Steele was credible enough that they were planning to pay him to continue his investigation. This plan fell apart after the dossier started spreading around in the media.

• Steele was upset that the United States wasn't taking his findings seriously enough, and he was particularly upset at Comey's October announcement about the emails and the Times' October 31 story that the FBI found "no clear link" between Trump's campaign and Russia.

• Democrats have apparently reached out to Steele for more info but haven't received a response.
posted by Dr. Send at 2:38 PM on February 28 [19 favorites]


Well, paint me blue and call me a cassowary, GWB is starting to sound remarkably statesmanlike:
George W. Bush paints dark picture of America under Trump: ‘I don’t like the racism’
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:40 PM on February 28 [26 favorites]


One problem that I've noticed with the GOP, from stereotypical red state voters all the way up to the top, is how incurious they are.

Yep, and there's a study that shows it. Trump voters aren't always less intelligent or less educated, but they sure as hell are less intellectually curious. From the WaPo in the more innocent times of November 7th:

‘Low information voters’ are a crucial part of Trump’s support
Our research finds that Trump has attracted a disproportionate (and unprecedented) number of “low-information voters” to his campaign. Furthermore, these voters are more likely to respond to emotional appeals — whether about the economy, immigration, Muslims, racial relations, sexism, and even hostility to the first African American U.S. president, Barack Obama. They are the ideal constituency for a candidate like Trump.

We define low-information voters as those who do not know certain basic facts about government and lack what psychologists call a “need for cognition.” Those with a high need for cognition have a positive attitude toward tasks that require reasoning and effortful thinking and are, therefore, more likely to invest the time and resources to do so when evaluating complex issues. Those with a low need for cognition, on the other hand, find little reward in the collection and evaluation of new information when it comes to problem solving and the consideration of competing issue positions. They are more likely to rely on cognitive shortcuts, such as “experts” or other opinion leaders, for cues.
posted by chris24 at 2:42 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


Plus it's a disaster from an ecological, economic, political, and environmental standpoint.

Ecological/environmental issues won't stop it, I'm afraid. Part of the REAL ID Act that passed under GWB waives all statutes that impede building a border fence/wall, including environmental review, Clean Water Act protections, the Endangered Species Act, you name it. I was on a conference call with environmentalist opponents of the wall a few weeks ago and they said the only way to stop it will be in legislative fights because no court case has a prayer thanks to that waiver.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:43 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


We define low-information voters as those who do not know certain basic facts about government and lack what psychologists call a “need for cognition.”

I can think of shorter ways to say that.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:44 PM on February 28 [36 favorites]


I love rare steaks and I hate adding fuel to discussions of stupid bullshit, but I feel the need to say that the steak thing is emblematic of a disgust and disdain for "uncultured" people that I do think is really hurting Democrats. (Yes, it's Trump we're talking about, but if I like my well-done $14.99 Golden Corral steaks with ketchup, I'm not necessarily going to see the difference between making fun of Trump about this and making fun of me.) I don't think we're in much danger of it driving anyone away here on Metafilter, and I understand the impulse (I'm agnostic on the steak thing but the Trump Tower martini just cries out for mockery), but just throwing it out there - think about what you're saying with this stuff and where you say it.
posted by sunset in snow country at 2:44 PM on February 28 [42 favorites]


My conservative parents have become a little more adventurous in the kitchen in post-retirement, but they generally stick to one way of doing something.

My super liberal parents are the same way, so I guess our anecdotes cancel each other out. Most of the older liberals I know are very unadventurous when it comes to food.

It was a well-done steak with ketchup.

So? It's just food. You really get upset with people who eat like this? Or only because its Trump?

I suspect the latter, which is why I think its ridiculous. Tons of people eat this way, liberal and conservative.
posted by thefoxgod at 2:44 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


I can think of shorter ways to say that.

Yeah, "Republican".
posted by Justinian at 2:45 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Here's a good summary of what the Democrats are up to in the Judiciary Committee:

How Democrats Are Trying to Corner GOPers on the Trump-Russia Scandal

"With his move, Nadler was forcing Republicans to vote on whether information related to the Trump-Russia connection and the president's financial conflicts should be made available to House members."
posted by diogenes at 2:46 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Adults who won’t eat pink-hearted steaks might lean on any number of reasons for their position, but almost always it comes down to an aversion to risk

Welp, I read TFA and got socks, calculus, adultery, and fracking, but no animal rights.

It fits in with all things tRump, just also extra annoying. I mean, what, no lip service even?
posted by petebest at 2:47 PM on February 28


Considering he's a Low Information president, it pretty much stands to reason....
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:49 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


CNN is reporting that there are rumors that in Trump's latest interview he blames the generals for the loss of the soldier in the Yemen raid, and that there are gaps on Capital Hill over it. I believe they used the word "rumors" as I said, so don't quote me on Twitter.
posted by Justinian at 2:50 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Ecological/environmental issues won't stop it, I'm afraid.

True, but they'll be critical in continuing catalyzing popular resistance. The money (so much fucking money!) will really do this project in.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:50 PM on February 28


From the "haha, what?" Department:

Trump Says He’s Open to Legal Pathway for Undocumented Immigrants
posted by Rhaomi at 2:51 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Anecdata: my husband will not eat my homegrown tomatoes, likes his steak well done and for months after I got chickens, wouldn't eat the eggs. He's a flaming liberal and I got chewed out last night for being elitist when I brought up the steak thing.
posted by Sophie1 at 2:54 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


From the Judiciary Committee feed:

Republican congressman Labrador (seriously):

"The only person that we have evidence of becoming wealthy off the government are Bill and Hillary Clinton."
posted by diogenes at 2:54 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


So my prediction for tonight's speech: the bar has been set so low that Trump manages to do the minimum necessary to blindly stumble over it, quite likely throwing out some grand promises of the sort he makes to non-right wing audiences when he wants to feel magnanimous like sheltering some people from deportation or a healthcare plan that will cost pennies and come with a free unicorn for every American. Despite offering no details, having no support in Congress, having already put in motion plans that directly undermine these promises, and appointed personnel devoted to doing the opposite, these plans will be taken seriously, just as his idiotic ever-changing plans were during the campaign. He'll be praised as "Presidential" and a "uniter" and we'll be told we're seeing a "softer Donald Trump." Despite the chaos and lack of achievements of the last 40 days, he'll praise himself for having done so much already, which will largely be accepted uncritically.

Like many of his speeches, I expect a weird hybrid of Bannon/Miller and Priebus components. Watch the ratio between the two closely, but recognize that this changes on a day-to-day basis depending on who's spoken to him most recently and what audience he is addressing.
posted by zachlipton at 2:54 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


People always predict that.
posted by Artw at 2:57 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


I feel the need to say that the steak thing is emblematic of a disgust and disdain for "uncultured" people that I do think is really hurting Democrats.

You think? More of a backyard barbecuer's gripe than anything, and a direct parallel to the mock-horror at Trump's eating pizza-joint pizza with a knife and fork. It's emblematic of his being out of touch with the common people.

Also, this is a supposed billionaire who owns restaurants and once sold a line of steaks bearing his stamp of approval like he was an authority. And here he is putting ketchup on dead steak like a person who neither knows anything about steak nor particularly likes it.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:58 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Ok, it's a Fox&Friends interview. Trump says the raid wasn't his idea, that the Generals came to him and explained what "they" wanted to do, and "they" lost Ryan. (Ryan is the SEAL who was killed.)
posted by Justinian at 2:59 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


corb, any idea how Trump's interview is playing in the military?
posted by Justinian at 2:59 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


We are using up a lot of real estate here on fricking steak.
posted by futz at 3:01 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


I feel the need to say that the steak thing is emblematic of a disgust and disdain for "uncultured" people that I do think is really hurting Democrats.

Or maybe not?
posted by zombieflanders at 3:01 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


ordering a $54 steak well-done and putting ketchup on it is like getting tickets to Hamilton and spending the whole show streaming Two and a Half Men on your phone and watching that instead

I mean yeah like to each their own but come on
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:02 PM on February 28 [62 favorites]


I wonder. If I could set up some Twitter accounts, and use them to kiss the president's ass for a few weeks, can I troll him into denouncing Emannuel Goldstein by that name...
posted by ocschwar at 3:03 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


"In a new interview, one of the chief architects of that ban has offered an expanded rationale for it that goes well beyond the original one. Top Trump adviser Stephen Miller says the ban isn’t just about national security; it’s also about protecting American workers from foreign competition and protecting taxpayers from the drain on public benefits that refugees represent."

So, let me get this straight. What Miller is saying here is that this is really a combination of nationalist policies designed to protect the country combined with some seemingly socialist policies designed to protect workers from the global markets? Someone should come up with a catchy name for this type of hybrid approach combining nationalism with socialism. I mean, say what you will about the tenets of it, at least it's an ethos.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:04 PM on February 28 [29 favorites]


From the Judiciary Committee feed:

Rep. Issa: Trump not the first to ask others to manage his financial affairs. George Washington asked Martha to manage his!
posted by diogenes at 3:04 PM on February 28


Some people have to eat steak well-done when they're immunosuppressed, due to a transplant or the like. I'm kinda unhappy thinking that so many of you would have mocked and sneered at my transplant recipient family member and simply assumed he was the worst kind of philistine while he was simply a very sick man just trying to enjoy a meal.
posted by mochapickle at 3:05 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


It is important to keep pointing out that they are behaving in ways that actually demonstrate disrespect

Eating steak well done???
Yes. Disrespect for, among others, the ranchers who raised healthy cattle, the packers who butchered it safely, the buyers who trust the chain above them to get all that right, and the discretion of a chef who certainly has opinions about how best to prepare it. Fine dining isn't just fuel, it's craft. Going to a place like that but insisting "I want what I want" demonstrates at least a lack of understanding of where one is, and at worst a display of petty power. It sends signals regardless of whether you think the signals are worthy of discussion.
It's just food. You really get upset with people who eat like this?
Upset isn't the right word, but I do, well, judge people who don't just reject new experiences but expertise itself. When I encounter people like that who aren't the president I mostly feel sad for them that they are denying themselves exposure to new experiences or knowledge, but in a president that sort of behavior really stands out. How are his state dinners going to work? Is he going to serve meatloaf?

Chefs are experts (and when they're doing it right, also artists). Scientists are experts. State Department officials are experts. This isn't just about taste. With Trump there is indeed enough background to suggest that he's at least had plenty of opportunity to experience fine dining, and his rejection of that experience is significant. I won't argue it's as significant as his rejection of, say, the workings of the State Department, but it's certainly of a piece. He's a guy who doesn't understand culture, who mistakes expense for taste, and who won't take advice. That's a problem when a lot of the president's job is the basic diplomacy of a state dinner, here or abroad.
posted by fedward at 3:06 PM on February 28 [28 favorites]


I mean, there's a lot of psychological stuff to pick apart about things that conservatives see as looking down on the average Joe and Jane that they themselves were behind and/or criticized Democrats for supposedly disdaining. Y'know, things like being horrified by Nazis, or sympathy for prisoners of war, for starters.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:06 PM on February 28


Fuck the stupid fucking steak.
posted by diogenes at 3:06 PM on February 28 [56 favorites]


R. Eric Thomas takes a break from writing love letters to Rep. Maxine Waters in Elle to bring us Everyone in This Photo Is Making a Strange Life Choice
posted by zachlipton at 3:07 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Yes. Disrespect for, among others, the ranchers who raised healthy cattle, the packers who butchered it safely, the buyers who trust the chain above them to get all that right, and the discretion of a chef who certainly has opinions about how best to prepare it.

Wow. So if I don't eat food exactly as you think I should, I don't respect the entire supply chain. Thats crazy.

Ugh, whatever. I should drop this. But I'm kinda disappointed in how judgemental so many people in this thread are about a non-political issue.

Most of the liberals of my parents generation that I know eat like Trump, but are super opposed to him. I find the steak argument pretty offensive but I guess I'm not going to convince anyone.
posted by thefoxgod at 3:10 PM on February 28 [23 favorites]


[Seems like the steak argument is getting rather far afield - let's let that drop. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:14 PM on February 28 [48 favorites]


More economic anxiety at CPAC, huh? According to a HuffPo report, the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association held its meeting at the same convention center during CPAC. During their closing session, a manager for the venue came out to apologize for the behavior of CPAC attendees:
“We are aware of some interactions between NIRSA attendees and CPAC attendees that are inconsistent with NIRSA’s values, in particular Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,” said NIRSA Executive Director Pam Watts. “NIRSA views equity, diversity, and inclusion as an essential component of inspiring healthy people and healthy communities, which is what our Association strives to do.”

Posts on social media and attendees who spoke with The Huffington Post referenced comments CPAC attendees made directed at members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and people who appeared to be Muslim.
The article goes on to list a few incidents of CPAC attendees using slurs and harassing a lesbian attendee of the recreation conference.
posted by zachlipton at 3:14 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


We had a thread recently about food aversions. If you're judging Trump for the steak thing, I suggest giving it a read.
posted by downtohisturtles at 3:15 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Trump says the raid wasn't his idea, that the Generals came to him and explained what "they" wanted to do, and "they" lost Ryan

Ugh. I don't expect the President to come up with the ideas and the plans; I expect the military staff (who have the knowledge and expertise) to do that, to present them, and for the President to ask intelligent questions about the intended outcomes, the risks, the benefits, the downsides. And then make a decision on whether or not to go ahead, and then once that decision is made to fucking stand behind it and take responsibility.

The buck doesn't stop with this President, unless it's the best buck, the greatest buck, the finest buck ever made. If it's not that, he'll fucking disparage and blame everyone else.
posted by nubs at 3:18 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


> Over 120 retired generals sign letter against Trump's defense spending plan

Here's the letter: Over 120 Retired Generals, Admirals on State and USAID Budget: “Now is not the time to retreat”
posted by homunculus at 3:29 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]




I hope that someone breeds a particularly headache-inducing strain of ditch weed and calls it "Jeff Fuckface Sessions".
posted by vverse23 at 3:32 PM on February 28 [17 favorites]


In one March 2015 exchange that appears to be between the two sisters, Andrea Manafort seems to suggest that their father bore some responsibility for the deaths of protesters at the hands of police loyal to Yanukovych during a monthslong uprising that started in late 2013.

“Don't fool yourself,” Andrea Manafort wrote. “That money we have is blood money.”

In another hacked exchange a few months later with someone else, Andrea Manafort wrote that her father’s “work and payment in Ukraine is legally questionable.”

posted by futz at 3:35 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


> Also, AG Jeff Sessions will deliver a speech at 11am today on African American History Month

The Trump Administration Had One Hell of a Black History Month. Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions are doing us proud.
posted by homunculus at 3:36 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


I don't think this is possible. Just getting it started is going to be a massive undertaking, both physically and politically, and the continuation of the wall construction, let alone maintenance of what you've already built, will require constant effort in terms of securing funding and buy-in. It could grind to a halt very easily and never get started back up again. You've got multiple nations, multiple states, many many pissed off constituencies, and very unfriendly geography to contend with. Plus it's a disaster from an ecological, economic, political, and environmental standpoint.

Well the solution, at least from a SCROTUS standpoint, is to start up a GSE named Bobby Wae, give it the ability to levy border taxes on Mexican goods, and the directive to build that wall. You wouldn't be able to stop it without an act to repeal it.
posted by Talez at 3:40 PM on February 28




I'm not comfortable with the hacking of Manafort's daughter's phone and some of the reporting on it. The blackmail attempt on Manafort and/or his family is quite interesting indeed, and deserves a lot more scrutiny, but his kids concluding their father's work was, at best, morally questionable, not to mention the release of thousands of her irrelevant texts online, is not of much lower relevance.
posted by zachlipton at 3:43 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Say it with me now, "Radical Christian Terrorists, Radical Christian Terrorists, Radical Christian Terrorists!" Radical Christian Terrorists are shooting African Americans in their churches. Radical Christian Terrorists are making threats to intensify fighting in the Middle East. Radical Christian Terrorists are planning for the apocalypse. Radical Christian Terrorists are attacking Planned Parenthood Clinics. Radical Christian Terrorists are shooting brown strangers in bars.
posted by Oyéah at 3:45 PM on February 28 [55 favorites]


Well the solution, at least from a SCROTUS standpoint, is to start up a GSE named Bobby Wae, give it the ability to levy border taxes on Mexican goods, and the directive to build that wall. You wouldn't be able to stop it without an act to repeal it.

Thus kicking off a trade war with our third largest trading partner, the costs of which get passed on down to Joe and Jane SixPack.
posted by Existential Dread at 3:45 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Wow, all of these representatives wearing white looks GREAT. Are they going to sit together?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:47 PM on February 28 [33 favorites]


Wow, all of these representatives wearing white looks GREAT.

The Political-phonic Spree
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:03 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Seriously, if your commitment to not fascism is not having your feelings hurt you never were against fascism you're just looking for a license to accept the status quo and blame it on a straw man.
posted by Talez at 4:05 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


From tonight's talking points: Education is a civil rights issue, no matter what your zip code is.

[Apparently not bathrooms though.]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:10 PM on February 28


[Folks, I was not actually kidding about dropping the steak thing. Food preference fights are usually not minor here and this isn't the thread for them. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 4:12 PM on February 28 [27 favorites]


Seriously, if your commitment to not fascism is not having your feelings hurt you never were against fascism you're just looking for a license to accept the status quo and blame it on a straw man.
posted by Talez at 8:05 AM on March 1 [+] [!]


My commitment to not fascism is because if we could stop blaming the straw men, maybe we could have another Lincoln.
posted by saysthis at 4:14 PM on February 28


And once again, I feel empowered to bust out the nearly-relevant Lily Tomlin line. Because that's just who I am, dammit.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:17 PM on February 28


I live in one of the swung-for-Lord Dampnut states, am overweight, haven't seen Hamilton and didn't like any of the music I heard from it. I have an associates degree from a for-private school that the government recently killed.

Look, I think the core bit about being a Democrat, or liberal, is that you give a even a little bit of shit about people outside your close circle. What's good for the minority is good for the whole, even if you suffer a few more pennies for it. That kind of thing.

You're seeing a lot of extremes because extremism breeds extremism. We have an extremist* in oval office. It might be a case of two wrongs don't make a right, but are you going to let the one wrong get away with it while you're still trying to play the game the old way?

(*I would argue he's the more mouthpiece/signature of the extremists.)
posted by INFJ at 4:26 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Homunculus posted in the old thread:
Democracy Now: "Are You Muslim?": Muhammad Ali's Son & Former Wife on their Detention & Interrogation at FL Airport

I expect to hear many more stories like this, now that border officers feel emboldened to express their prejudices as a prudent fear of terrorism.

It just goes to show what happens when you start carving out exceptions to civil rights: you start with the position that the USA has the right "to protect itself by stopping and examining persons and property crossing into [the] country" (US v. Ramsey). Therefore, border officials have the right to perform warrantless searches. And since they may suspect people of being illegal entrants, they can detain or even deport them. And they can base their decisions on all sorts of things that should be forbidden in the USA, such as a person's race or religion. Oh, and they can also prevent people from assembling, from communicating or publishing, and pretty much every civil right imaginable. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a way for them to justify involuntary servitude, too.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:36 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Look, I think the core bit about being a Democrat, or liberal, is that you give a even a little bit of shit about people outside your close circle. What's good for the minority is good for the whole, even if you suffer a few more pennies for it. That kind of thing.

Absolutely accurate. The liberal and the conservative, all other things being equal, want good things for themselves and those that they care about.

But the liberal views prosperity as something that can be shared, a renewable resource, and wants to keep everyone from falling too low and prop up those who need help even if it means donating a bit more themselves. The conservative views prosperity as finite and zero-sum, something for the deserving to earn and take, and if someone outside their set of Deserving gets any help it's theft of resources that should be withheld for The Right People.
posted by delfin at 4:37 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a way for them to justify involuntary servitude, too.

They've called it prison, most recently.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:37 PM on February 28 [23 favorites]


He can't do that. Article II of the Constitution requires a president to be paid

Also minimum wage laws. I don't know how they've conscripted first ladies into so much unpaid work in defiance of minimum wage laws. I guess, like much labour law, there's no enforcement if the person doesn't file a complaint, but it seems like the ultimate unpaid crappy (in that it benefits the employer but not the intern) internship.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:41 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Let's check Trump's to-do list progress:

Make bitter enemies of entire US intel community? check
Piss off federal law enforcement? yup
Declare war on the free press? did it
Ensure that every living military officer hates your fucking guts? #taskcompleted
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:45 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Make bitter enemies of entire US intel community? check
Piss off federal law enforcement? yup
Declare war on the free press? did it
Ensure that every living military officer hates your fucking guts? #taskcompleted


🎵I wanna be adored🎵
posted by Existential Dread at 4:53 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Some weird speech excerpts dropping [spoiler alert, I guess?]
posted by zachlipton at 5:07 PM on February 28


For a good laugh (or cry), you can compare the excerpts provided for Trump's speech tonight with the ones that Obama provided for his first address.
posted by diogenes at 5:10 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]




A friend of mine who did PhD work with some of the folks mentioned in this article just told me that he's relieved that someone is finally reporting deeply on these chilling capabilities.
"Emma Briant, a propaganda specialist at the University of Sheffield, wrote about SCL Group in her 2015 book, Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change. Cambridge Analytica has the technological tools to effect behavioural and psychological change, she said, but it’s SCL that strategises it. It has specialised, at the highest level – for Nato, the MoD, the US state department and others – in changing the behaviour of large groups. It models mass populations and then it changes their beliefs."
posted by xyzzy at 5:13 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


> The fog lifted. For a moment, just a moment, I thought that I'd found the inter-dimensional crossrip and worked my way into the correct timeline.

This website appears to cover news from the correct timeline: President Hillary Rodham Clinton News: from the Real America, Where the Majority Rules
posted by homunculus at 5:17 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Getting the press to quote yourself anonymously as "senior administration official" is very John Barron.

It's disgraceful that everyone went along with this game.
posted by zachlipton at 5:20 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]






I don't know, I'm pretty excited about this new healthcare that's cheaper and better in every way.
posted by diogenes at 5:30 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Whoa, holy cats, the writing in those excerpts is genuinely dreadful. I'm a poor writer and I'm reading that thinking "wow, even I can tell this is terrible." Ouch ouch ouch.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:33 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


like everything else in this administration, this speech has been shat out by cynical and clumsy fascists

it's not gonna be shakespeare
posted by prefpara at 5:36 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Whoa, holy cats, the writing in those excerpts is genuinely dreadful.

It's dreadful but it's coherent sentences. Clearly Trump didn't write it.
posted by mmoncur at 5:36 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Oh, it's shakespeare, just not the fun to watch kind but the hurts to live kind.
posted by valkane at 5:37 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


It's unlikely but I can't shake the notion that the second he comes up to the podium the doors will shut and latch and "The Rains of Castermere" will start playing.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:38 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


It's dreadful but it's coherent sentences. Clearly Trump didn't write it.

Yeah, but he's got to deliver the thing.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:38 PM on February 28


I'm watching CNN. Trump is in the car with Jared and Ivanka and he seems to be practicing the speech, holding up the paper and reading from it.

Seeing the inside of the House Chamber it is really easy to pick out the female Democrats all dressed in white-- they really stand out.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:39 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


xyzzy, that is the most chilling article I have ever read. I can't even believe people are giggling about steaks and pointing out poor grammar when that's the battle we're actually fighting. My god.
posted by theraflu at 5:40 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


More speech excerpts, more unicorns promised to everybody.

See this is where if the administration had any credibility whatsoever, we could debate whether any of these promises had merit, or were at all feasible.

But since they don't, and we know none of this shit is on the actual Republican agenda, what's the fucking point. This is the speech you give to your crying two year old in the car promising them cotton candy if they shut up for the new 2 hours, it's in no way a credible policy outline from the President of the United States, even if it had anything in the way of specifics to analyze.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:40 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


President Trump's disingenuous middle-class tax cut pitch
I'm waiting for someone to say that in certain high-cost-of-living cities, one can make $3.75 million and still be middle class.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:40 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


CSPAN: McCain and Graham scuttled in together. Sanders wanders alone.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:40 PM on February 28


[Housekeeping note: please remember that not everyone is watching (or watching the same feed.) Please make your comments substantive enough, and with enough context, that people can follow the thread. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:42 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


It's unlikely but I can't shake the notion that the second he comes up to the podium the doors will shut and latch and "The Rains of Castermere" will start playing.

Unlikely, unless there's a feast you can spend 2 pages describing first.
posted by nubs at 5:44 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I love the excerpt where he talks about his deep interest in working with Democrats on affordable childcare and women's health [real, if you can fucking believe it].

Seriously, how can his nose not literally grow like 5 feet if he has the gall to say that?
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:46 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Senator Warren is not wearing white but she is wearing an ACLU blue ribbon.

I also see lots of Democrats, Senators and Congress people, wearing blue buttons but I can't read them.

CNN is making a good point-- half the crowd (more or less) will be hostile. They will boo, they will not stand, they will not applaud, which is not something he is used to. He usually gives his speeches in front of appreciative audiences. They wonder if he will be goaded into showing his anger.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:49 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


I feel like the "Friends! Whites! Countrymen!" opener is *very* reminiscent of Shakespeare, personally.
posted by uosuaq at 5:49 PM on February 28


Unlikely, unless there's a feast you can spend 2 pages describing first

Uh, how long did we talk about that steak?
posted by flatluigi at 5:50 PM on February 28 [25 favorites]


Unlikely, unless there's a feast you can spend 2 pages describing first.

Bread, salt and sponge foam cake.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:50 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I know it was a ways upthread, but as always Awesomely Luvvie has the definitive take on the couch issue: GET YOUR GAHTDAMB FEET OFF THAT GOOD COUCH, KELLYANNE. Where do you think you are?? This is the Oval Office, not your slumber party. Why are you so comfortable? This is not your house and you don’t pay rent here so what you ain’t gon do is defile the furniture by wearing your outside clothes and then putting your outside feet on top of it. I bet that couch now smells like onion rings. Just unprofessional as hell.

This is a room where everyone else is in a suit and she’s all casual like she’s at her humble abode. It’s a mess.

This woman ain’t got no home training. Not a piece of broughtupsy to be found. Does she have on shoes? That couch looks like it stains easily and I don’t know where her feet have been and what she’s trudging in. I’m just mad for whoever has to come clean. But then if she doesn’t have on shoes, why is she in the freaking Oval Office without something covering her corns? Either way you slice it, this is unacceptable.

Someone’s grandma is throwing their shoe at Kellyanne’s head as we speak. She’s the reason for plastic over furniture. She is the reason why none of us are allowed to sit in the sitting room.

posted by TwoStride at 5:52 PM on February 28 [57 favorites]


Unlikely, unless there's a feast you can spend 2 pages describing first.

I don't need to read about the honey-roasted capon's juices dripping from Lindsey Graham's chin, thanks
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:53 PM on February 28


things about the trump administration that concern me

1. creeping fascism
2. corruption
3. mendacity

...

20,051. kellyanne's goddamn feet on a goddamn couch
posted by entropicamericana at 5:55 PM on February 28 [35 favorites]


Oh God. They are making a joke about an "80 minute speech." I won't make it.

War of the Buttons: Rick Perry and Ben Carson are wearing small green buttons. But not the VP or Ryan-- so not a "Republican" button.

Also a number of the Women in White are also wearing large black flowers. At first I thought it was just one person's decoration but now I see several women wearing them.

I feel like I need some sort of guide to iconography.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:56 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


I have a Republican rep who has consistently been on Trump's side. So when Trump promises ponies to everyone I call my Rep and demand that he "Help President Trump Keep This Promise"!

Today I told him I want insurance for all and no Medicaid cuts, just like we were promised. 🤣
posted by hilaryjade at 5:57 PM on February 28 [23 favorites]


melania's in all black like she's at a funeral
in a way she is
posted by prefpara at 5:58 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Melania does not want to be here. But that's cool, we don't want her here either.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:59 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


We're all Melania now. Everyone change your facebook profile.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:59 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I'm kinda hoping that Melania inadvertently wears white since that is her favorite color.

Nope. She is wearing a belted dress of black sequins. She is getting a cheering, standing ovation from the Republicans.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:59 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I feel like I need some sort of guide to iconography

I found this handy guide yesterday.
posted by valkane at 6:00 PM on February 28


> I feel like I need some sort of guide to iconography.
99 Percent Invisible on the AIDS ribbons at the 1991 Tony Awards:
no one explained the ribbons on-air. Rumor had it that the network threatened to go to commercial break if anyone tried to talk about AIDS.

Turns out, this degree of mystery provided some incredibly good press, and the next day, newspapers were buzzing about these mysterious red ribbons and what they meant.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 6:02 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Giant fuck you to Chris Matthews for giving Nikki Haley the credit for pulling down the Confederate flag. If Bree Newsome hadn't done it first, it never would have come down.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:03 PM on February 28 [52 favorites]


Paul Ryan looks really, really nervous. He keeps shrugging his shoulders awkwardly and laughing too loudly with Pence.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:03 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Heh. The cabinet is walking in to applause and Pence is applauding, however Ryan is not applauding because he is popping a mint into his mouth.

CNN tells us that Don, Jr. and Eric are not here because they are in Vancouver opening a hotel.

I found this handy guide yesterday.
Hah! You got me.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:03 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


The ribbons are from the ACLU
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:03 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Trump now entering on CSPAN.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:04 PM on February 28


This woman ain’t got no home training. Not a piece of broughtupsy to be found.

I love the language and shows class awareness, having to constantly be aware of behaviour and constantly being under scrutiny. Growing up as a visible minority immigrant, albeit in a different country, my parents taught me good manner and etiquette by example - rigorously - as we struggled up the economic ladder.

Furniture is expensive, I'm guessing the furniture in the Oval Office is kept around longer than something from IKEA.

But classy isn't something that this gang of thieves and thugs are capable of. Showing good home training and broughtupsy is the definition of classy.
posted by porpoise at 6:05 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Guys i just got home and my BOOZE IS NOT POURED YET.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:05 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Trump now entering on CSPAN.

i'm not even watching and i felt my gorge rise
posted by murphy slaw at 6:06 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Yes, I know the blue ribbons are the ACLU but many of the Dems are wearing round blue buttons with words I can't read and some of Trump's people are wearing small green buttons. Then there are the large black rosettes worn by the Ladies in White.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:06 PM on February 28


Wow, I've never seen the inside of the Capitol so crowded. There must be like a million, million and a half people in there for this speech.
posted by peeedro at 6:06 PM on February 28 [25 favorites]


It's okay, Trump just walked in, so there's another half hour to go before he makes it to the podium.
posted by uosuaq at 6:07 PM on February 28


Guys, The Wizards are in a tight one on NBA TV if you need to watch something happening in DC that won't make you vomit.
posted by selfnoise at 6:07 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


His tie is all askew. Is he going to speak like that?
posted by zachlipton at 6:07 PM on February 28


I've got work in with in 3 hours so no booze allowed. Did Not concider when Taking a 3rd shift.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:07 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Oh god who's the designated survivor. Has anyone seen Carson?
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:08 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


VA Secretary Shulkin is the designated survivor tonight.

Apparently, nobody told Trump he was supposed to wait to be introduced either.
posted by zachlipton at 6:09 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Shulkin is designated survivor
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:09 PM on February 28


Oooh, just a great shot of John Lewis definitely NOT applauding DJT. I know it's customary, but the cheers and applause--which he so clearly craves--is absolutely disgusting to me.
posted by TwoStride at 6:09 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I put my tequila away...could become dangerous to myself or others. :(
posted by snsranch at 6:09 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I was thinking maybe our country was the designated survivor.
posted by uosuaq at 6:10 PM on February 28 [14 favorites]


Thanks again, Metafilter, for filtering, in a meta way. I couldn't handle this, booze or no booze (of course booze but still can't do it.)
posted by WordCannon at 6:10 PM on February 28 [17 favorites]


Nobody explain to me why Melania just got a standing ovation.
posted by prefpara at 6:10 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


I'm watching Game of Thrones. Less lying and backstabbing.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:10 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


I guess I'm mollified that my wife isn't making me watch this. She made me watch the debates, when there seemed like a small chance of Trump actually winning, even though I couldn't bear to watch him then. I'm thankful that, like me, she can't stomach the reality.
posted by mollweide at 6:10 PM on February 28


Oooh, just a great shot of John Lewis definitely NOT applauding DJT. I know it's customary, but the cheers and applause--which he so clearly craves--is absolutely disgusting to me.

Most of the ladies in white were most decidedly not clapping.
posted by Talez at 6:10 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


DJT actually looks pretty sharp. His hair looks good and he doesn't look orange. He is wearing a black suit that fits well and a navy/white stripped tie. He looks the best I've ever seen him. Slightly odd that Pence and Ryan standing behind him are both wearing bright blue ties. I wonder if they talked to each other because it makes them seem united.

CNN just panned to Joe Scarborough standing amidst some Democrats and he is the only one clapping.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:10 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


He just got a standing ovation 1.5 sentences in. I may not last more than another minute or so.
posted by prefpara at 6:11 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


So what happened in Kansas, Trump? Don't leave us hanging!
posted by Yowser at 6:11 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


A SECOND STANDING OVATION?

I'm out. I do not have the stomach.
posted by prefpara at 6:11 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Okay, did not see that coming. starting with addressing the racial/religious discord and violence.
posted by OHenryPacey at 6:12 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Trump honors American history of civil rights — this is where he announces that he's all in on reparations, right?
posted by klangklangston at 6:12 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


He just got a standing ovation 1.5 sentences in. I may not last more than another minute or so.

I dunno. Calling out the Jewish bomb threats, Jewish cemetery vandalism, and Kansas City hate crime as hate and bigotry deserves a standing ovation to emphasize that shit isn't unacceptable.
posted by Talez at 6:12 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


From this angle on CNN, it looks like Paul Ryan is working him like a puppet. Also, his weak statement on the JCC and cemeteries is such bullshit.
posted by Torosaurus at 6:12 PM on February 28


Hey look, it's Cruz clapping for Trump's "renewal of the American spirit." Never who, Ted?
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:13 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Vomit at the ovation, stay for the bloviation?
posted by wallabear at 6:13 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Chicago! /drink
posted by gatorae at 6:13 PM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Now that we've got hate crimes out of the way, he can get on with telling us how we're in such terrible shape.
posted by zachlipton at 6:14 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Where are the teleprompters? He can't be reciting this from memory. And he sure as hell didn't write this.
posted by Rykey at 6:14 PM on February 28


The prompters are there. He's reading from them.
posted by tomierna at 6:14 PM on February 28


This speech is pretty bad. He's better when he's improving. When he does this serious teleprompter read, he looks like he's holding in a massive shit. Also he said "anniverse".
posted by dis_integration at 6:15 PM on February 28


"A message of unity and strength" deeply from his heart, guise!

"What we are witnessing today is a renewal of the American spirit."

"I will not allow the mistakes of the past to (something something) define our future."

(Goes into a long spiel about how horrible America has become.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:15 PM on February 28


I love it. Half the room is not standing up.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:15 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


He's legitimately talking about how many votes he won by. Tens of millions of voices working to make America great again, with a little handwave to the silent majority.

He is now promising new railways. Wow.
posted by Torosaurus at 6:15 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Trump is now calling his election the "rebellion". Which sounds better than the "white supremacy", I suppose.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:15 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Ah, I see them in the wider shot. Thanks.
posted by Rykey at 6:16 PM on February 28


"dying industries will come roaring back to life" and now all of the impossible unicorn dreams are being spewed forth

*drink again for the second mention of "neglected inner cities" within two minutes!
posted by TwoStride at 6:16 PM on February 28


That.... Sounds.... Presidential....
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:16 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


The prompters are there. He's reading from them.

Proof he can read, I suppose. So that's something.
posted by zrail at 6:16 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Oh god, he's bragging about his election win again, just in slightly bigger words. And going with the same America First bs from the inaugural.

Why does anybody buy his flaming pile of horseshit about "dying industries roaring back to life"? And cool, he's going to completely halt drug sales.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:16 PM on February 28


Oh god. I me me mine.
posted by wallabear at 6:16 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Trump is now calling his election the "rebellion".

Are we not doing [fake] tags anymore?
posted by mikelieman at 6:16 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


We're trying to build a railway here in California. The Republicans just blocked the funding.
posted by zachlipton at 6:16 PM on February 28 [18 favorites]


"the chorus became an earthquake"? Is that from the Tom Friedman mixed metaphor guide?
posted by peeedro at 6:16 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


LOL he pronounced Lockheed as "Lakeed".
posted by Talez at 6:16 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Buttons say #ProtectOurCare
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:17 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


"The earth shifted in 2016" in a "quiet rebellion"..."thousands of voices" in a "chorus" and then an "earthquake" demanding "America First."

This is all straight from the Bannon/Miller phrasebook for crypto-fascists.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:17 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


This is the most focused effort at creating reality out of horseshit that he's ever endeavored. Bravo, President Bannon.
posted by Lyme Drop at 6:17 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


LOL he pronounced Lockheed as "Lakeed".

It was a very Chevy Chase moment.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:17 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


He is now promising new railways. Wow.
I feel like there is not much overlap between Trump supporters and people who want new railways? I say this as someone who wants new railways, in a state that turned down federal funds for a big new-railway project.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:17 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Oh, he has a little sippy cup of water.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:18 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Love to hear Paul Ryan's thoughts on increased funding for Amtrak.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:18 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Oh that groan when he mentioned draining the swamp.
posted by Talez at 6:18 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


I feel like there was some audible jeering when he said he "was beginnging to drain the swamp in DC"
posted by TwoStride at 6:18 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Oh boy, "Dying industries will come back to life."Coal? textiles? Silversmithing? Horseshoeing? Or maybe he is referring to textile dying.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:18 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


he's actually making sense and appearing presidential. can he keep this up for the full hour?
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:18 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Banning lobbying for a foreign government -- you sure you want to bring that up, pal?
posted by Rhaomi at 6:18 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


No way he makes it 60+ minutes without derailing. The sniffing starts within 10 minutes I bet.
posted by chris24 at 6:18 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]




I feel like there is not much overlap between Trump supporters and people who want new railways?

Maybe they forgot to find & replace all the passages they cribbed from good ol' Benito.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:19 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Oooo laughter on his line about draining the swamp. The Dems are having none of that nonsense!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:19 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Oh, he has a little sippy cup of water.

That he needed two hands to lift!
posted by Torosaurus at 6:19 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


The railways thing isn't true anyway.
posted by panic at 6:19 PM on February 28


Or maybe he is referring to textile dying

Textile dying is where people steal the shirts of people who died in the street to resell them on the interstate offramps to try and feed their families, right?
posted by Talez at 6:19 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


My cat just puked. I concur, Olive. I concur.
posted by chaoticgood at 6:19 PM on February 28 [66 favorites]


I don't know that I can finish watching this. I'm going to go play Darkest Dungeon instead.
posted by Fizz at 6:20 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I don't know, Glibpaxman, this speech reads like it was written by a roomful of sixth graders (maybe).
posted by mynameisluka at 6:20 PM on February 28


Banning the use of foreign steel -- YOU SURE YOU WANT TO BRING THAT UP, PAL?
posted by Rhaomi at 6:20 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


CNN is doing a poor job of the crowd shots tonight. Don't want to show people sitting quietly?
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:20 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


{start with the truth}
{clapping intermission}
{less truthful}
{clapping intensifies}
{lies}
{clapping intensifies}
{doubleplus lies}
{clapping intensifies}
{and maybe a little truth wants to live right here}
{less truthful}
{clapping intensifies}
posted by erisfree at 6:20 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Stop clapping Liz. Stoppit.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:21 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Shouldn't the Department of Justice already have a task force devoted to addressing violent crime? Like, isn't that kind of their thing already?
posted by zachlipton at 6:21 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Kirsten Gillibrand and Liz Warren sitting next to each other probably dissing Trump.
posted by Talez at 6:21 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Coal miners! /drink

Seriously this is a stupid stump speech cleaned up by Bannon/Miller. Nothing new here, move along.
posted by gatorae at 6:21 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


I don't know, Glibpaxman, this speech reads like it was written by a roomful of sixth graders (maybe).

Most Americans know politics at a 6th grade level. Maybe.
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:21 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Oh hey, gonna expand addiction treatment! How you like that one, Paul?
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:21 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Is the red button with the big question mark on it supposed to be for answering the Russia questions?
posted by chris24 at 6:22 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Aw man, I'm at my volunteer job and da boss just put this on. And none of us can drink.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:22 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]




I abhor hatred in all its forms.

Now here are my hateful policies, full of hatred in many forms.
posted by dis_integration at 6:23 PM on February 28 [14 favorites]


Doubling down on the "Great Great Wall"

Because it has to be better than Gyna's merely Great wall, dontcha know.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:24 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Did ISIS just surrender? Cuz he said the magic words.
posted by chris24 at 6:24 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


General McMaster, please take a drink.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:24 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


"dismantle the criminal cartels" sounds a lot like committing to a ground war in Mexico.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:24 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Wow. He just threw shade on the Federal judiciary for the ruling on the EO right in front of SCOTUS. "What would you tell the families" 'victimized by criminal immigrants? '
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:24 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Is the red button with the big question mark on it supposed to be for answering the Russia questions?

Good question.

Oh fuck me. He thinks that by "finally enforcing our immigration laws" we will be saving "billions and billions" and making our nation safer. Big applause and standing ovation. Funny though we he announced his building of the wall, Ryan gave a little chuckle like he found that highly amusing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:25 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


He is now promising new railways. Wow.

Yeah. Soon I'm going to have to abandon this thread / liveblog to jump on the slow-ass train you fucking defunded and will now never get electrified. Thanks dickwad.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 6:25 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


snuffleupagus: Doubling down on the "Great Great Wall" Because it has to be better than Gyna's merely Great wall, dontcha know.

Two greats good, one great bad.
posted by Superplin at 6:25 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Heard it, heard the first sniff.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:25 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


"Radical. Islamic. Terrorism." BINGO!
posted by gatorae at 6:25 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


He's getting agitated. Sniffing and derail imminent. Past his bedtime.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:26 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Read sentence. *wait for applause*
Read sentence. *wait for applause*
Read sentence. *wait for applause*
Read sentence. *wait for applause*
Read sentence. *wait for applause*
posted by zennie at 6:26 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


"Extinguish this vile enemy from our planet." Gotta be Bannon and/or Miller.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:27 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Seriously though his cabinet looks weird, dont they? Like constipated and disturbed and unhappy.
posted by gatorae at 6:27 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


We cannot allow our country to become a nation of extremists. [real]
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:27 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Justice Kagen just looked like she was sick when he mentioned Israel.
posted by zachlipton at 6:27 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Shot of Rubio looking grim at all this talk about immigration control.

CNN just did a pan out and it is very striking to see half the house sitting and not clapping while the other half bobs up and down from their seats while clapping.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:27 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


"Extinguish this vile enemy from our planet." Gotta be Bannon and/or Miller.

Miller. If it sounds like Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet, it's Miller.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:27 PM on February 28 [47 favorites]


The Supreme Court looks moderately terrified.

"My list of 20 judges..."

Has no one told him how many are on the Supreme Court yet?
posted by Torosaurus at 6:28 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


Mattis looks seriously like, um, wut.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:28 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


He's getting agitated. Sniffing and derail imminent. Past his bedtime.

Yeah, he nearly went off-script at "getting rid of the Bad Ones" into the usual immigration riff.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:28 PM on February 28


Such big talk on upholding the Constitution from this fuckin guy
posted by triggerfinger at 6:29 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


And now (based on the prepared text), it's time for the "America is terrible and it's probably all Obama's fault" airing of grievances.
posted by zachlipton at 6:29 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Oh fuck me. He thinks that by "finally enforcing our immigration laws" we will be saving "billions and billions" and making our nation safer. Big applause and standing ovation. Funny though we he announced his building of the wall, Ryan gave a little chuckle like he found that highly amusing.

One of the thing that really gets my goat about this is that they're trying to make 3.5 - 4 = 0. And the rubes keep thinking it's possible.

You could cut off every piece of discretionary spending and the US would still be in deficit. If you take defense spending back to 2% of GDP ($371.2b) and get rid of EVERY discretionary program you're just, by the skin of your teeth, back in surplus. But now people are dying in the street and your economy contracts again.

Anyone who says the US has a spending problem is FUCKING HIGH.
posted by Talez at 6:29 PM on February 28 [17 favorites]


Inherited a mess paragraph. Take a drink.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:30 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


[Spoiler alert: Harley-Davidson doesn't sell well around the world because chrome-plated smog-farting riding lawnmowers are not especially attractive in countries where roads have corners.]
posted by holgate at 6:30 PM on February 28 [43 favorites]


People keep saying "take a drink" like I'm not drinking continuously rn
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:30 PM on February 28 [35 favorites]


Scalia's widow is also wearing one of the small green buttons.

Jesus he can hardly get through one sentence without wild applause.

Now he is giving a bunch of statistics about what a horrible America he inherited. And "tragic foreign policies."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:32 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I mean you can just read the complete text here if you want to know how drunk you should get.

Very drunk is the answer.
posted by dis_integration at 6:32 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Gah, I can't take any more but can't stop watching at the same time.
posted by Rykey at 6:32 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


"we all bleed the same blood" Literal Nazi imagery in the closing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:32 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


I couldn't take anymore before it even started
posted by Golem XIV at 6:33 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Everytime he says Trudeau's name, we have to wash our poor PM in hot bleach.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 6:33 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


"we all bleed the same blood" Literal Nazi imagery in the closing.

He test-drove that one at CPAC.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:34 PM on February 28


If he's so concerned about the tariff rates Harley-Davidson pays to other countries, why is he pulling out of free trade agreements that would lower them?
posted by zachlipton at 6:34 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Fuck you invoking Lincoln. Fuck you, SCROTUS.
posted by Talez at 6:34 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Ryan has this look on his face like "I know I'm supposed to applaud my nephew for using the potty but really he is a fucking idiot. "
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:34 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Pence and Ryan look like a serial killers listening to someone describing his own first kill. Smug, condescending, approving.
posted by gatorae at 6:34 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Woah. The rest of the text really is a mixture of mid-Thatcher Hellblazer villany and My Legislative Pony: Funding is Magic.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:35 PM on February 28 [50 favorites]


He circles the jackwagon back around to immigration.
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:35 PM on February 28


Think he's going to close out with The Snake?
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:35 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


there's no rebuttal/response, is there?
posted by murphy slaw at 6:36 PM on February 28


THE US FUCKING DOES MAKE ALL IMMIGRANTS SIGN A PLEDGE NOT TO USE PUBLIC HELP AND ALL OF THE FUNDING OF USCIS ARE USER PAYS FEES YOU ORANGE BAG OF SHIT.

What fucking reality is this?
posted by Talez at 6:36 PM on February 28 [42 favorites]


"Speaking of outcomes that have eluded our country for decades, let's move on to how I'm going to dismantle health care reform."
posted by Rhaomi at 6:37 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]




He test-drove that one at CPAC.

I think you mean the inauguration. "Bleed the same blood" is a major theme, as is our shared destiny, in the Bannon-Miller nationalist agenda.
posted by dis_integration at 6:37 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Well that's it for the details on his big immigration plan: if we dream it, maybe it can happen. Sort of like his plan for peace in the Middle East.
posted by zachlipton at 6:37 PM on February 28


Republicans giving a standing ovation for a giant public works program.

What fucking reality is this?
posted by Talez at 6:37 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Where can I just get a feed of Al Franken and Dick Blumenthal reaction shots
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:37 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Hahahahah, camera pans the crowd. Someone was on their phone.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 6:38 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Most of Harley-Davidson's parts are made in other countries and brought here and assembled in the US! Why is this a made-in-america example?? argh.
posted by holyrood at 6:38 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


So, he's going to hold it together, stick to the script and this is going to be The Pivot, huh?
posted by goHermGO at 6:38 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Jesus. He really does speak a sentence and then wait for applause. I swear he is cuing the audience.

Say what you will about his rallies at least they were more interesting. I'm bored. His scripted shit is dull, dull, dull and his speaking style so monotonous.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:38 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


What fucking reality is this?

The whole key to Trump's rise to power is the construction of a bullshit alternate reality constructed from whole cloth out of the total ignorance of Trump and his supporters. That's not going to change.
posted by The World Famous at 6:38 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Anyone who says the US has a spending problem is FUCKING HIGH.

I mean, if you think spending on ourselves is a problem this is almost true. But not really. There's never been a debt crisis.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:39 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]




"Buy American and Hire American" -- except at properties I own.
posted by zachlipton at 6:39 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


"Bleed the same blood" is a major theme, as is our shared destiny, in the Bannon-Miller nationalist agenda.

"One People, One Empire, One Leader", amirite?
posted by mikelieman at 6:39 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Can California get some of that money for the roads? We kinda had a bunch of them fall apart in the last couple months.

Oh boy, here we go....repealing Obamacare.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 6:39 PM on February 28


You know that Donnie will watch his speech tomorrow and remember who clapped or smirked. He probably has extra cameras in there to catch all the reactions...only slightly kidding and paranoid.
posted by futz at 6:39 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


every time the camera is on Elizabeth Warren, she's talking to the person next to her and shaking her head and you just know she's saying "this guy is just so full of shit i can't even"
posted by triggerfinger at 6:39 PM on February 28 [18 favorites]


Some vigorous thumb downs from the dem side for repealing and replacing Obamacare.
posted by gatorae at 6:40 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I loved watching Ryan's smug grin die as Trump moved from "repeal and replace Obamacare" to describing the impossibly perfect provisions the replacement would definitely be containing.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:40 PM on February 28 [29 favorites]


Turtle Man (Mitch McConnel) was literally doing the evil villain hands gesture in the audience.
posted by Torosaurus at 6:40 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


What fucking reality is this?

The one where they want to deport legal immigrants because their US citizen kids got WIC or CHIP.
posted by holgate at 6:40 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


So, he's going to hold it together, stick to the script and this is going to be The Pivot, huh?

< trump takes off his suit coat, revealing a black turtleneck >

oh, and one more thing

we're annexing Grenada
posted by murphy slaw at 6:40 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


I thank everyone for their sacrifice in watching this so I don't have to.
posted by Yowser at 6:41 PM on February 28 [33 favorites]


"Access to coverage". Note that "access to coverage" just means "coverage if you can afford it". As in, fuck you if you're not rich.
posted by Justinian at 6:42 PM on February 28 [47 favorites]


You're welcome.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:42 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


It's healthcare unicorn time!

Democrats ought to hold Ryan to these bullet points, asking him how every single Republican healthcare proposal meets the President's criteria to "expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare."
posted by zachlipton at 6:42 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Trump is promising to fit an elephant into a VW Bettle.
posted by Talez at 6:43 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


"We should ensure that Americans with prexisting conditions should be covered..."

Um.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:43 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


I thank everyone for their sacrifice in watching this so I don't have to.

Agreed. I can't even hate watch this. I miss President Obama so much :(
posted by futz at 6:43 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Another dig at Obama. I need more bourbon.

OK I am back as he talks about the disaster of ObamaCare and motions to Pelosi who just sneers and shakes her head.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:43 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


There has never been a more meaningless thing to stand and applaud for than selling health insurance across state lines.
posted by zachlipton at 6:44 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


lol nobody in the white house read the GOP draft proposal before they wrote this speech
posted by murphy slaw at 6:44 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


So, repeal and replace Obamacare with...

...Obamacare?
posted by tomierna at 6:44 PM on February 28 [26 favorites]


Republicans giving a standing ovation for a giant public works program.

What fucking reality is this?


It's a fucking act. None of this means shit, they're only going to send him tax cuts, vote suppression and bathroom bills. Trump can get up there and give his stump speech, but he has no actual policy behind it, and it's Paul Ryan driving the agenda.

"Access to coverage". Note that "access to coverage" just means "coverage if you can afford it". As in, fuck you if you're not rich.

I think this is important through, yesterday they were test driving lines about how "coverage is not care", setting up an attack on even the need for coverage? Im not sure the realized that's an implict argument for the creation of an American NHS, but still, let him promise coverage for all as many times as he likes.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:44 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Purchasing across state lines. The unicorniest cost-saver of all the cost-saving unicorns.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:44 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Democrats ought to hold Ryan to these bullet points, asking him how every single Republican healthcare proposal meets the President's criteria to "expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare."
I am 100% certain that they intend to. No matter what happens next, the ads are going to write themselves.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:44 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Purchasing health care across state lines is going to make insurance worthless so quick it'll make your head spin.

Watch how quickly the unsavory insurance companies buy a red state legislature and put through the world's shittiest insurance regulations.
posted by Talez at 6:44 PM on February 28 [28 favorites]


Republicans know how weird this is, right? Right?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 6:45 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Seven unicorns in one paragraph: "My administration wants to work with members in both parties to make childcare accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents have paid family leave, to invest in women’s health, and to promote clean air and clear water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure."

He'll get credit for these platitudes even as he puts in place a cabinet devoted to undoing every one of these except for the military.
posted by zachlipton at 6:45 PM on February 28 [30 favorites]


Welp. He got the Dems to stand up for bringing down the price of prescription drugs.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:46 PM on February 28


Republicans know how weird this is, right? Right?

They're about 50/50 too dumb to know / too evil to care, I think.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:46 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Republicans know how weird this is, right? Right?

"Paid family leave"

Ok. Please execute on that.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:46 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Ryan just about snorted at "paid family leave".

Wait... clean air and water? What?
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 6:46 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


There has never been a more meaningless thing to stand and applaud for than selling health insurance across state lines.

Until we sneak off and turn it into a blue state single payer program. See ya, suckers.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:46 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


clear water

so tailings from coal mining are transparent now? what won't they think of next
posted by murphy slaw at 6:46 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


When Trump just said "invest in women's health" I swear I saw Mike Pence's frozen smile slip a little.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:47 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Trump's Infrastructure Program sounds like America Works by Frank Underwood
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:47 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Trump showing us the: "60,000 Reichsmark is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People's community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too."
posted by Talez at 6:47 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


I don't blame Trump for being Trump—he's never pretended to be anybody else (god help us). But watching these jackoffs give standing him ovations for stuff they have no fucking intention of supporting—a trillion-dollar investment in infrastructure, a better alternative to Obamacare, paid family leave?!—I just can't even.
posted by Rykey at 6:47 PM on February 28 [17 favorites]


"invest in women's health"

he didn't say invest in improving women's health
posted by murphy slaw at 6:48 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Um, Don. Probably not a smart idea to talk about "a father's love for a daughter," dude.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:48 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Wait... clean air and water? What?
I think that's code for "dismantle any agency capable of monitoring the cleanness of air and water and then tell everyone it's clean."
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:48 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


You don't need Obamacare, you just need a father well enough off to start a company to find a cure for your disease.
posted by chris24 at 6:48 PM on February 28 [17 favorites]


So basically Trump is promising free unicorns and puppies for everyone without even the faintest clue as to how to pay for them.

Wall - Billions
More Defense Appropriations - 50 some billion (not even remotely enough to cover all the manly stuff he and Bannon want)
Tax Cuts - Billions
Dirt Cheap health care - ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Whatever else stupid he's promising - who the fuck cares it's not getting paid for
posted by vuron at 6:48 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]




Trump going to let us know how Republican snowflakes are going to close public schools.
posted by Talez at 6:49 PM on February 28


Watch how quickly the unsavory insurance companies buy a red state legislature and put through the world's shittiest insurance regulations.

And watch how 49 state commissioners of insurance suddenly find their jobs shrink, because if your $5 Wyoming plan doesn't pay out, good fucking luck sending your complaint to Commissioner Anthem McCigna in Cheyenne.
posted by holgate at 6:49 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


The other civil rights issue of our time is civil rights, BTW.
posted by uosuaq at 6:49 PM on February 28 [35 favorites]


in summary, the state of the union is leaning over, getting smoke blown up its ass
posted by murphy slaw at 6:50 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


If we slash the regulations of the FDA we will..." end up with more thalidomide babies?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:50 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


"If we slash the restraints, not just at the FDA, but across our government, we'll be blessed with more miracles like Megan..."

ACT UP?

OTOH, thalidomide....
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:50 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


And watch how 49 state commissioners of insurance suddenly find their jobs shrink, because if your $5 Wyoming plan doesn't pay out, good fucking luck sending your complaint to Commissioner Anthem McCigna in Cheyenne.

And circle gets the square.
posted by Talez at 6:50 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


So we want to cut regulations across the government so more kids like Megan will be alive, but cut funding for science that actually does medical research and gut the EPA, so good luck to all the kids with the not-so-rare disease asthma.
posted by zachlipton at 6:51 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Education is the civil rights issue of our time [real]
posted by erisfree at 6:51 PM on February 28


Strap in. We're going to explore the murder rate.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:52 PM on February 28




Now entering the "blue lives matter" portion of this fascist shitshow
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:52 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Blue lives matter!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:52 PM on February 28


He's talking about VOICE now. Fuck.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:53 PM on February 28


Here comes the Immigrant Inquisition office. (VOICE.) Some Dems booing.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:53 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


That groan at "immigrants". Fucking racist shitlord push polling in a joint session of congress.
posted by Talez at 6:53 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Bloody shirts matter.
posted by holgate at 6:53 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Very negative reaction for VOICE. Good.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:53 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


There were audible gasps and sounds of disbelief and horror at his VOICE program.
posted by Justinian at 6:53 PM on February 28 [32 favorites]


Audible groans at VOICE.
posted by Rykey at 6:54 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


VOICE. There's some nazi shit.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:54 PM on February 28 [14 favorites]


Jesus Christ -- begin speech by decrying hate crimes; spend later chunk of speech fanning the flames of hate crimes.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:54 PM on February 28 [30 favorites]


We're now entering the "fuck this guy" portion of tonight's entertainment.
posted by uosuaq at 6:54 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Naked effort now to play to resentment of brown on black crime and 'blue lives' at the same time.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:54 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]




oh good fuck
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:55 PM on February 28


"THESE MEN WERE VICIOUSLY GUNNED DOWN BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:55 PM on February 28


The previously administration had a terrible, horrible, stingy policy of not providing unicorns for American girls in need. And they knew they were doing it, ripping away unicorn dreams and giving them to illegal immigrants. This happened to a very good friend of mine.

*applause*

As we all know, access to a unicorn is vital to the mental wellbeing of lovely feminine little girls, for their happiness and futures, in our society. Every little American girl deserves a unicorn.

*applause*

We are going to work together with the forest sprites to ensure that each and every little girl gets a unicorn. There will be a rainbow of unicorns across the land, an honest-to-god unicorn in every room.

*applause*

We won't let illegal immigrants steal the unicorns from our daughters anymore.
posted by zennie at 6:55 PM on February 28 [51 favorites]


Do we get to see the parents of kids shot by their siblings or by an unsecured firearm? Ah, no, that's a terrible accident and haven't they suffered enough?
posted by holgate at 6:56 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


Budget time!
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 6:57 PM on February 28



zennie, that was perfect.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:57 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


My god. As his father battles publicly with the administration, they've got Ryan Owens' widow there.
posted by zachlipton at 6:57 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


I shouldn't read these live-blogs before bed
posted by aka burlap at 6:57 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Is it me, or did those military guys look completely fucking terrified?
posted by Go Banana at 6:57 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


It's terrible to see these mourning families used in such a calculating, hateful fashion.
posted by Scram at 6:58 PM on February 28 [17 favorites]


Budget time!

"Oil for the rich and babies for the poor..."
posted by mikelieman at 6:58 PM on February 28


I wonder if Trump's new program to help victims will also be investigating the murders of seven trans women so far in 2017.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:58 PM on February 28 [25 favorites]


yo can someone say what VOICE is
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:58 PM on February 28 [14 favorites]


Wow. bunch of generals looking stony as he announces the increase in military expenditure. Maybe generals are not allowed to smile or applaud while in uniform.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:58 PM on February 28


Is this second half just Trump pointing out people he's invited to this speech?!
posted by Fizz at 6:58 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


yo can someone say what VOICE is

Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement.
posted by Talez at 6:58 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


"highly successful raid" [chug]
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:59 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Highly successful Yemen raid. Parade his grieving wife around. Totally normal.
posted by gatorae at 6:59 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Getting the press to quote yourself anonymously as "senior administration official" is very John Barron.

Maybe it would be okay for every story from an anonymous source to attribute their quotes to "Senior White House Aide John Barron"?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:59 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Oh Shit, Ryan Owen's mother trying not to cry. I'M CRYING FOR YOU!!!
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 6:59 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


He is currently using a servicemember's widow and this speech to wage a public battle between a SEAL's widow and his father over his death, on the same day he did his "the buck stops as far away from my desk as possible" routine.
posted by zachlipton at 6:59 PM on February 28 [75 favorites]


Couldn't get the father to appear because he told Trump to go fuck himself so he got the wife to come as a prop.
posted by Talez at 7:00 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


He went off-book here:

"Finally, to keep America Safe we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war and –- if they must –- to fight and to win."

becomes

"Finally, to keep America Safe we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war –- if they must –- they have to fight, and they only have to win."

Bit of a difference there
posted by choom at 7:00 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Wow. bunch of generals looking stony as he announces the increase in military expenditure. Maybe generals are not allowed to smile or applaud while in uniform.

probably because his actual budget is stiffing them, from their point of view
posted by murphy slaw at 7:00 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Using Ryan's widow like this is fucking disgusting.
posted by chaoticgood at 7:00 PM on February 28 [40 favorites]


God this poor woman
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:01 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


yo can someone say what VOICE is

From his prepared remarks: I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American Victims. The office is called VOICE –- Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.
posted by panic at 7:01 PM on February 28


Trump's loudly clapping into his own mic and not stopping. For two whole minutes.

This is fascist shit people.

Then Trump goes "As the Bible teaches us..."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:01 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Trump, fuck you for knowing what the hell her dead husband is thinking.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:01 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


Do you think they had someone clapping with a stopwatch to set that "record?"
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:01 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


It's funny that he hasn't mentioned the other American citizen killed in the raid: the 8 year old girl who died slowly after we shot her in the neck. Not much applause for her.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:02 PM on February 28 [66 favorites]


He's really milking poor Ryan.
posted by Lyme Drop at 7:02 PM on February 28


He is so incapable of transitioning between topics. He just slured from "heroes who wear the uniform" to "Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world" without a pause.
posted by zachlipton at 7:02 PM on February 28


God, the way Ivanka just stood there and clapped. You think Michelle wouldn't have been hugging her, comforting, her? Please.
posted by uosuaq at 7:02 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Looking at the text as a whole: this is as gussied-up as American fascism gets, and it's still fucking ugly. It's up to the media to recognise this and not be all pivoty reboot and shit.
posted by holgate at 7:02 PM on February 28 [18 favorites]


He also just said Ryan's super-happy to be dead because the ovation for him and his widow broke a record. [100% real]
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:02 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


Omg the fact we need an ovation for NATO support instead of it being fucking foundationally obvious.
posted by gatorae at 7:03 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


"Ryan's legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you."

Eh. a bit much. "eternity"?

Quite a long period of applause

Oh fuck. "And Ryan is looking down" "For the Bible teaches us there is no greater act of love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."

Jesus.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:03 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


"In fact, I can tell you the money is pouring in. Very nice, very nice."

Always about the money.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:04 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


reality tv star
posted by valkane at 7:04 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I'm really enjoying the democrats just not having it.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:04 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


It was a very Chevy Chase moment.

Hey! It's all ball bearings nowadays.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:05 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


The worst thing is, this is still the best speech SCROTUS has ever given.
posted by Talez at 7:05 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


VOICE is a program to propagandize attacks allegedly caused by immigrants, to stir up hatred.
posted by scalefree at 7:05 PM on February 28 [18 favorites]


If that's Joe Manchin who keeps standing on the left he should really just cross the aisle already
posted by Lyme Drop at 7:05 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


...is this paragraph about Russia?

He's talking about how nations we warred with just decades ago are now our besties.
posted by Torosaurus at 7:05 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Now would be a fine time for the Dems to leave the chamber one by one, without trying to be quiet about it.
posted by holgate at 7:05 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


America is looking for new friends. We are friends with former enemies. Ok, time for Russia!
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:06 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


"Free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people –- and America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America."

This is the end of any pretense of America being some kind of moral authority in the world. I mean, we were quite often a shitty one, but we at least aspired to some degree of being a freedom light and a beacon and all that jazz. No more. Now it's "we've got ours, and you figure out your own crap."
posted by zachlipton at 7:06 PM on February 28 [13 favorites]


I just hear sad clown music steaming through Pence's head every time I see a shot of him.
posted by erisfree at 7:06 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


UH OH THE SNIFFING
posted by Lyme Drop at 7:06 PM on February 28


Is Al Franken asleep? I can't wait for the memes that produces.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:07 PM on February 28


yo can someone say what VOICE is

The Nazis kept files and reported on crimes they alleged were committed by Jews. This is that, but just with the word "immigrants" (read: Latinos and Muslims, regardless of actual citizenship status) in its place.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:07 PM on February 28 [46 favorites]


God, the way Ivanka just stood there and clapped. You think Michelle wouldn't have been hugging her, comforting, her? Please.

Ivanka showed the courage and selflessness to touch her once or twice with her fingertips -- what more can we expect her to do for someone wearing off-the-rack?

"For the Bible teaches us there is no greater act of love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."

You know, it's one thing for this bastard to lie constantly, but cribbing dialogue from Hannibal? HOW DARE HE?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:07 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


DHS Secretary John Kelly writes: “Accordingly, I am establishing the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office within the Office of the Director of ICE, which will create a programmatic liaison between ICE and the known victims of crimes committed by removable aliens. To that end, I direct the Director of ICE to immediately reallocate any and all resources that are currently used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens to the new VOICE Office, and to immediately terminate the provision of such outreach or advocacy services to illegal aliens.”

Does ICE actually use any of its resources to advocate for unauthorized immigrants?
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:07 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


"We all are made by the same God."
posted by gatorae at 7:08 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


"And we are all made by the same God."

Again, I ask what about all those Hindus whose support he's always boasting about?
posted by zachlipton at 7:08 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


"We all have the same blood, salute the same flag, and have the same god"

not good, guys.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:08 PM on February 28 [56 favorites]


Oh boy, 'Dying industries will come back to life.' Coal? textiles? Silversmithing? Horseshoeing? Or maybe he is referring to textile dying.

Yes, I'd like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:08 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


I actually don't think we all worship the same God, sir.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:08 PM on February 28 [25 favorites]


We've gotten to the "inspiring" part of the speech and I, for one, am checked out. It all sounds like dull drivel. He is sticking to the written speech and it is neither well written nor is he an inspiring speaker. A bad speech read by a bad speaker. D-
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:08 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


And now he's cribbing from the Serenity Prayer.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:08 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Ryan just laughed at "the time for trivial fights is behind us."
posted by zachlipton at 7:08 PM on February 28


"The time for small thinking is behind us..."

Ooh a heckle
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:09 PM on February 28


Do you beLIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVE in life after love?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:09 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


The Dems are leaving
posted by Torosaurus at 7:10 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Holy shit the speech ended and the Democrats fucking bolted out.
posted by gatorae at 7:10 PM on February 28 [29 favorites]


Al Franken
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:10 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


[insert "I believe" montage from Miracle on 34th Street]
posted by Talez at 7:10 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


> God, the way Ivanka just stood there and clapped. You think Michelle wouldn't have been hugging her, comforting, her? Please.

Well, yeah, but to her credit Ivanka did lay her hand on (Kelly Ryan's?) arm for a moment and said something.
posted by christopherious at 7:10 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


It makes me physically ill that such distinguished people are saying "Thank you Mr President" to him.
posted by Talez at 7:11 PM on February 28


the look on Melania's face just then. Like, guys, you know he's full of shit, right?
posted by wallabear at 7:11 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Oh jesus, he is still talking.

His writers really did not have a clue, did they. I can only imagine how this is going to be eviscerated by Speech and Communication students for years to come.

With his final "God bless you" the dems start to leave. The Republicans are still standing and clapping.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:11 PM on February 28


Well, folks. I hate to say it, but we're stuck with this turdburglar for the term if the Russia thing doesn't pan out. That speech worked for low-information voters.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:11 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Exit the Democrats, pursued by a Russian bear....
posted by uosuaq at 7:11 PM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Such big talk on upholding the Constitution from this fuckin guy

Article XII or the Emoluments Clause?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:13 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


EIN VOLK! EIN SCHICKSAL! EIN BLUT! EIN GOTT!
VORSPRUNG MIT DER MACHT DER VERZWEIGUNG!
ERNEURN DEN GEIST VON AMERIKA!
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:13 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Trump gave Manchin a far friendlier handshake than he did McConnell. Do I laugh or cry?
posted by gatorae at 7:14 PM on February 28


Well, folks. I hate to say it, but we're stuck with this turdburglar for the term if the Russia thing doesn't pan out. That speech worked for low-information voters.

Agreed. If he can act like this whenever he gets in front of a camera I'd go from depressed to scared. But I don't think he has the self control to do it everyday.
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:14 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


I just flipped channels b/c curiosity won. I hate looking at his face. He's got some pepe the frog expressions and there is this one weird look he gives that reminds me of a dr. seuss character but I can't think of which one and it is driving me nuts. Jesus, he is spouting drivel and platitudes from his puckered orange anus mouth.

I am going to join chaoticgood's cat Olive and puke on something.
posted by futz at 7:15 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Some bootlicker just told him it was a "Reaganesque" speech. The handshake parade is so gross.
posted by gatorae at 7:15 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


That was indeed a disgusting exit. Although I'm glad CSPAN caught it all.
posted by uosuaq at 7:17 PM on February 28


did the low-information voters even watch? my conception of a low-info voter is a guy who shows up on election day with his boxers stuck in his zipper who checks off the names he recognizes from the teevee
posted by murphy slaw at 7:17 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


The moment where he discussed how happy a dead Navy SEAL is "looking down" because it set a record for applause was crazypants.

I'm curious how various news networks are starting to spin it, if anybody's heard anything worth quoting here.
posted by zachlipton at 7:17 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


dr. seuss character but I can't think of which one and it is driving me nuts

he wobbles between the grinch and Sylvester McMonkey McBean
posted by murphy slaw at 7:18 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


God, that slow clap applause for the war widow made me ill. I literally yelled at the screen that donnie should sit the fuck down because she's not going to sleep with him (trump)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:19 PM on February 28


Sylvester McMonkey McBean in a nutshell!
posted by h00py at 7:19 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I'm curious how various news networks are starting to spin it, if anybody's heard anything worth quoting here.

Just a low, broken keening.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:19 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Consensus seems to be a well-polished turd, punditry driven by "presidential" style points because he didn't shit himself. Now back to regularly-scheduled chaos and cruelty.
posted by holgate at 7:20 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


He is now promising new railways.

Oh, God, if that were the fiscal stimulus instead of the Wall, it would be so nice.
posted by Coventry at 7:20 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Al Franken is my spirit animal now
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:20 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


So, repeal and replace Obamacare with...

YoMamaCare
posted by kirkaracha at 7:20 PM on February 28 [18 favorites]


So earlier today at lunch he told the network anchors he wants a plan to give some kind of legal status to illegal immigrants. Tonight he doesn't say shit about that. Once again, telling everyone whatever the heck he thinks they want to hear, even if it's only a few hours apart.
posted by zachlipton at 7:20 PM on February 28 [27 favorites]


I often reflect on the Bible verse 'God so loved the world he sent his only son to die in a pointless raid that killed innocent people'.
posted by um at 7:21 PM on February 28 [44 favorites]


He just made a fuckload of promises they have no intention whatsoever of even attempting to keep. He can't do any of that. At some point they're either going to implement the real Republican agenda, which is wildly unpopular, or their supporters will start asking when they can expect their unicorns delivered. This speech worked for him for now, but did nothing long term.

Assuming their worst agenda item remained stalled in utter dysfunction (yes, big assumption), there's some light here for Democrats. If only they can capitalize, tie him and Republicans to everything he promised but can't deliver, and lay out a real populist agenda in opposition.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:21 PM on February 28 [25 favorites]


Beshear? Why him?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:22 PM on February 28


I was really looking forward to this speech, but by Hillary Clinton. I would've been so great to have the Sergeant at Arms say, "Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States" and have her walk in.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:22 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Pro tip: if unsure of which reality you are currently in, look at the sky. If you see dirigibles you're in an alternate reality. If you don't you're in the terrible one.
posted by um at 7:23 PM on February 28 [36 favorites]


Beshear? Why him?

He's white and Appalachian.
posted by Justinian at 7:23 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I know we don't usually like posts with a single tweet in this thread, but someone asked how the media is reacting to this and this tweet kinda sums it up perfectly:

Well, he didn't talk about his dick size or call anyone a pussy so PLEASE REMEMBER THE BAR CAN'T BE THAT LOW HE'S THE PRESIDENT.

And in case you think nobody in the media would actually lower the bar as low as that tweet implies, here's someone else quoting Wolf Blizter:

“He read that speech from the teleprompter much more effectively than he has in the past” — Wolf Blitzer, fiddling while Rome burns.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:23 PM on February 28 [31 favorites]


Transcript (slnyt)

I can't bring myself to look at the video. Was it like this or did it ramble?
posted by lalochezia at 7:24 PM on February 28


I was really looking forward to this speech, but by Hillary Clinton. I would've been so great to have the Sergeant at Arms say, "Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States" and have her walk in.


Goddammit. She would've been in all white, and I would've started crying in happiness.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:24 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]




Goddammit. She would've been in all white, and I would've started crying in happiness.

Goddammit. Crying again.

Trump is going to be hate-tweeting about this Beshear response.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:26 PM on February 28


Has no one told him how many are on the Supreme Court yet?

I just read recently that one of Roosevelt's tactics for dealing resistance to the New Deal from the conservative Supreme Court was to appoint extra judges. There is no constitutional limit on the number of judges, and changing it merely requires an act of Congress.
posted by Coventry at 7:26 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I'm liking this Beshear guy. Good choice.
posted by uosuaq at 7:26 PM on February 28


I've never heard of Beshear before tonight. His speech is pretty good so far. Railing on the GOPs determination to "rip" healthcare from millions of families. After talking about Trump rolling back all the regulations that protect us.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:26 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


He's white and Appalachian.

Yeah, but also because he delivered Medicaid expansion and a state-based exchange (that Matt Bevin is busily dismantling) and that shit's going away and eastern KY healthcare will go back to whatever opioids you can hoard and waiting for Remote Area Medical at 5am once a year.
posted by holgate at 7:27 PM on February 28 [22 favorites]


Assuming their worst agenda item remained stalled in utter dysfunction (yes, big assumption), there's some light here for Democrats. If only they can capitalize, ...

No.. There isn't.. The optics of the all-white and sitting actually sucked for anyone not already firmly in the Democratic camp. They're going to be able to easily blame all this dysfunction and failure on the Democrats not helping, and the Democrats are going to lose in 2018. Again.

Fucking bullshit, is what this is.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:28 PM on February 28


Of course it would play well with his base voters. You could say that ICE is going to stop deporting undocumented aliens and instead just execute them on the scene and plenty of Republican voters would say "America Fuck Yeah!".

Make no mistake the Republican party has 100% decided that as long as rich white donors get tax cuts they are okay with the rest of the US becoming a haven for white nationalists.

Oh of course when the tax cuts fail to spark economic growth and the ACA job losses plus public sector job cuts start increasing the unemployment rate they'll disavow but they'll get their tax cuts in place first
posted by vuron at 7:28 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


"Our system is broken because too many of our leaders think it's all about them." Oooooooooooooooooooooooo.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:29 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I'm one of those Kentuckians that didn't have health insurance before Obamacare. Beshear's replacement, Matt Bevin, mostly ran on a platform of defeating Obamacare. Then in 2016, tons of Kentuckians WHO ARE ON OBAMACARE (or expanded Medicaid that Beshear championed) voted for Trump.
posted by Miss Cellania at 7:30 PM on February 28 [21 favorites]


What holgate said. Kynect (the Kentucky incarnation of the ACA) was an incredibly successful implementation that brought care to one of our poorest (and reddest) states, and Gov. Beshear is the one that maneuvered it into being.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:30 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


The optics of the all-white and sitting actually sucked for anyone not already firmly in the Democratic camp

Are you putting forward the proposition that the Democrats should have stood and clapped for Trump's horrific policies?
posted by Justinian at 7:30 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


here's someone else quoting Wolf Blizter

(To be clear: I wasn't watching, so I don't know whether Blitzer actually said that. But it seems like something he'd say.

Of course, Deplorable Twitter is going off on him anyway for a segment he apparently did pointing out that Trump's foot-dragging on cabinet appointments could theoretically cause a situation where an Obama appointee could become President if some unlikely series of events occurred.)
posted by tobascodagama at 7:30 PM on February 28


I feel ... all dirty. And not in a good way.
posted by Chitownfats at 7:30 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


xyzzy posted this earlier and it is a really chilling read about Mercer/Trump/Farage and the development of Internet Propaganda. I'm afraid of it getting lost in the live-blog as it was posted just before that shitshow began...

a couple of good follow-up reads:
Defense against the dark arts: networked propaganda and counter-propaganda
Medium, and The Reason You Can’t Stand the News Anymore.
posted by Golem XIV at 7:31 PM on February 28 [19 favorites]


They're going to be able to easily blame all this dysfunction and failure on the Democrats not helping, and the Democrats are going to lose in 2018.

Nobody loses an election in modern America for shitting on and fucking over the party in power. Ask Mitch McConnell.
posted by holgate at 7:32 PM on February 28 [19 favorites]


They're going to be able to easily blame all this dysfunction and failure on the Democrats not helping, and the Democrats are going to lose in 2018. Again.

Which is exactly why the GOP was punished in 2016 for all the stonewalling they did under Obama, right?
posted by tobascodagama at 7:32 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


The Democratic response from Beshear is what hardcore "hey white working class, we're your party too!"-pandering could look like these next few years.
posted by windbox at 7:33 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


the proposition that the Democrats should have stood and clapped for Trump's horrific policies

Oh hell no. They really couldn't win that one. Maybe not GOING would have helped. Maybe. But I doubt it. There's no way to win against the pure infantile emotional appeal of that speech. His base is eating that shit up and the "undecideds" will swing toward it because it demonstrates power, just like Trump's whole fucking campaign.

Really, he needed to go out there and shit in his own hat, and that didn't happen.

I'm even more depressed and angry right now that I have been at any point since Nov 8th. I can't believe it.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:34 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Another plus for Steve Beshear is that this will burnish the cred of his son Andy, who is the state AG here. He is also one of few Kentucky Democrats who have been able to win on a state level and have a clear future in politics. I cannot overstate how hurting KY Dems are right now.

Thankfully, at least in Louisville, there is a serious effort to fight back.
posted by chaoticgood at 7:34 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


oh, and one more thing

we're annexing Grenada


What is this referencing? It sounds like my kind of entertainment.
posted by Coventry at 7:34 PM on February 28


"Has no one told him how many are on the Supreme Court yet?"

I really feel like that's something for the next president to decide.
posted by klangklangston at 7:35 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


The optics of the all-white and sitting actually sucked for anyone not already firmly in the Democratic camp

Which is kind of surprising, since I would have expected "all-white" to be pretty appealing to Trumpists.
posted by The World Famous at 7:37 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


So basically Trump is promising free unicorns and puppies for everyone without even the faintest clue as to how to pay for them.

Just mint a trillion-Dollar coin, and he won't need any silly Congressional budget.
posted by Coventry at 7:38 PM on February 28


I'm even more depressed and angry right now that I have been at any point since Nov 8th. I can't believe it.

Make some calls tomorrow and find people who want to make a difference. Like I said, this is the most gussied-up this turd will get. Events will start to intervene. It's either downhill for him, or downhill for everyone.
posted by holgate at 7:41 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


As long as the Democrats don't exclusively pander to the white working-class, I have no problem with things like the Kentucky Governor's response here. He had salient points and extremely relevant experience to the healthcare mess coming up. I'll be concerned if the Democrats decide old white men are their entire vision of the future, but this seemed laser focused on the ACA and tring to speak specifically to Republicans who benefit from Obamacare. I'll be watching who they put forward as time goes on, though.
posted by gatorae at 7:42 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American Victims. The office is called VOICE –- Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.

Well, that's terrifying.

The crimes committed by immigrants don't have different effects to the crimes committed by native-born citizens. You don't need a special office to help the victims; they're hurt in the same ways as any other victims of crime. This is a way of creating a special category of crime that only foreigners can be guilty of. From now on, whenever the Trump administration talks about "immigrant murders" and "immigrant theft" it will reflect on everybody who looks or sounds foreign-born. They'll be treated differently by police and the media, and the statistics (because of course there will be statistics) will be used to justify whatever terror-inducing measures the Administration comes up with.

Also, "silenced by special interests"? That means civil rights lawyers and social workers and journalists and liberal politicians as well as anyone who gives them support. Now they're not just enemies of this administration; they're enemies of the people. This is Nazi-level stuff.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:43 PM on February 28 [127 favorites]


Donald Trump is riding that soldier's corpse like
posted by Existential Dread at 7:45 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


"Silenced by special interests" means silenced by Jews. Pretty much literally or completely literally depending on the audience.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:46 PM on February 28 [28 favorites]


ACLU: The Trump Administration Is Threatening to Publicly Release the Private Data of Immigrants and Foreign Visitors

What the executive order did was exclude all of these people from receiving the protections of the Privacy Act of 1974, which limits the government’s sharing of personal information without permission. Based on recent implementation memos, it appears that some federal agencies intend to put this policy change into effect in a way that violates existing law. That is why the ACLU is sending a letter to every federal agency calling on them to halt any plans they have to implement the order...

We are also — along with Human Rights Watch — writing to European Union officials to warn them that this new policy undermines U.S.-E.U. agreements on data sharing for law enforcement and commercial purposes because the U.S. would no longer be able to guarantee protections for European citizens’ private information.

posted by futz at 7:47 PM on February 28 [52 favorites]


I still want to know how the Republican Party went from "shining city on a hill" to "America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America."
posted by zachlipton at 7:48 PM on February 28


VOICE is basically creating the anti hate crime. Instead of protecting people Republicans hate, it's protecting people killed by people Republicans hate. Of course Republicans love it. See also reverse racism.
posted by gatorae at 7:51 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]




Holder: Obama is 'ready to roll'

Barack Obama is getting closer to making his public reappearance in politics, his friend and former Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday.

Holder said he’s been talking to the former president about ways — including fundraising and interacting with state legislators — that could help the new National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which Obama asked Holder to chair last year.

“It’s coming. He’s coming,” Holder said, speaking to reporters at a briefing for the new group. “And he’s ready to roll.”

Throughout, Holder said, Obama “will be a more visible part of the effort.”

Holder also predicted that the usual pattern of the party in the White House losing state legislative seats in off-year elections would hold next year, but “I expect we’ll see that on steroids with President Trump.”

posted by futz at 7:52 PM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Enjoy a future free of tourists, America.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:54 PM on February 28 [26 favorites]


this seemed laser focused on the ACA and trying to speak specifically to Republicans who benefit from Obamacare.

Ill health does not make partisan choices. The impact of tax cuts or infrastructure bullshit or regulatory bullshit or even the persecution of immigrants is going to be unevenly distributed, but illness doesn't discriminate. I've been around a few chronic disease support groups, and I've seen older religious conservative people and young gay liberal people become friends because the day-to-day struggles of living with illness (especially in the US, where unfairness is baked into the system) erase all manner of cultural and political differences.
posted by holgate at 7:54 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


"So basically Trump is promising free unicorns and puppies for everyone without even the faintest clue as to how to pay for them."

Same way he always does: Get a loan from Russia.
posted by klangklangston at 7:54 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


If I won a trip to the USA right now I wouldn't go which is sad because there are so many of you good people over there, but man. Trump. And Trump supporters*. Plus I couldn't deal with customs. It was bad enough in 1998.

*We have them here too, same breed but different figurehead.
posted by h00py at 7:55 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


You'd have to be bat shit crazy to visit the states now. Holy fuck that VOICE thing, elimination of privacy rights for non citizens.

Just stay the fuck away!!! No matter what your skin colour is.
posted by Yowser at 7:56 PM on February 28 [46 favorites]


At this point it's not safe for people who live here to leave or people who want to visit to come.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:56 PM on February 28 [27 favorites]


"Silenced by special interests" means silenced by Jews.

Pretty much. But for fascists, "Jewish" has never just meant "having Jewish ancestry and/or identifying with or practising Judaism". It's a shorthand for anything in opposition to fascist ideology. So you have art made by Jews and you have "Jewish art"; science done by Jews and "Jewish science". Like "immigrant crime", it's a weaponised term, not a descriptive one.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:57 PM on February 28 [23 favorites]


Chuck Todd picked up on Trump's shift in language about pre-existing conditions as well. It sounds like a minor shift in tone but it isn't; Trump moving to talk about "access to health coverage" is very important. It means that all his talk during the campaign was bullshit and he'll sign Ryan's garbage sandwich.

It means that people with pre-existing conditions will, if they get their way, be in the same position they were in before the ACA. You will not be able to get coverage. Oh, maybe technically they will offer you a plan. But if you make 44k a year and they offer you a plan which costs $2800 a month and Ryan has generously offered to give you a $150 a month tax credit... have you really been given access to coverage?
posted by Justinian at 7:58 PM on February 28 [42 favorites]


because the U.S. would no longer be able to guarantee protections for European citizens’ private information.

Data protection is one of those things that the EU takes really fucking seriously at an institutional level, and the US does not. There were some very tense and detailed post-9/11 negotiations about access to things like SWIFT transfer data. Expect that to be a flashpoint going forward.
posted by holgate at 7:59 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


Can we talk about the font used by Betsy DeVos in this statement?

Does she think it looks like actual handwriting? I... just.... what? Why?
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 8:00 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


She's literally never had a job. She thinks that looks good.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:02 PM on February 28 [36 favorites]


A Rand Paul strategist making a big deal out of the fact that Trump said "tax credits" and not "refundable tax credits" for healthcare. May well be meaningless, since everything was completely lacking details, but if they push forward with that, it would mean a tax cut for those with higher incomes and nothing for everybody else.
posted by zachlipton at 8:03 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


State of the Union response: (former) Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear
Then you started rolling back rules that provide oversight of the financial industry and safeguard us against another national economic meltdown.

And you picked a Cabinet of billionaires and Wall Street insiders who want to eviscerate the protections that most Americans count on and that help level the playing field.

That’s not being our champion.

That’s being Wall Street’s champion.
I wish more Democrats would hammer on this point more often. People remember the financial crisis, and the Republicans have made another one more likely. It's on them.
posted by homunculus at 8:04 PM on February 28 [47 favorites]


> Trump moving to talk about "access to health coverage" is very important. It means that all his talk during the campaign was bullshit and he'll sign Ryan's garbage sandwich.

George Takei‏: Pay attention: "Access to healthcare" is not healthcare. I have "access" to Ryan Reynolds. But he's not covering me.
posted by homunculus at 8:05 PM on February 28 [78 favorites]


Enjoy a future free of tourists, America.

The plans for Disney World Cancun [currently fake, but perhaps only a matter of time] will probably not go down well in the White House.
posted by holgate at 8:06 PM on February 28


And it's written so poorly. "first in her family to graduate high school, college and later this May" "afford to millions" "Kids are 100 percent of our future". Gah.
posted by perhapses at 8:06 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Please stay away, not just for your own protection but to show the Trumpists that choices have consequences. Spend your money elsewhere. Tell your friends. Refuse to play Sun City.

That goes for Americans too. If you want to vacation at a Great Lake, you can find a lovely beach in Minnesota, New York, Illinois, or Canada. Please forgo the ones in Michigan until the majority electorate here comes to their fucking senses.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:07 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Enjoy a future free of tourists, America.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:54 PM on February 28 [6 favorites +] [!]


What's a tourist really? Just a dilettante immigrant I guess...
posted by Golem XIV at 8:08 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Yeah once I read that CBP deciding not to let you in/deport you back involved being SHACKLED while on the plane back, I thought "would I ever risk that happening to me or my kid?" haha fuck no. I would cancel all plans to come to a country that did that.

So yeah, tourism is fucked in this country, thanks Dampnut.
posted by emjaybee at 8:08 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


In the audience were children whose mom was just deported
posted by SyraCarol at 8:12 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Enjoy a future free of tourists, America.

Santa Monica just released its annual report.

Residents: 92,987
Visitors: 7.3 million
Sales tax: $51 million

We are fukt.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:13 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


So yeah, tourism is fucked in this country

Not just tourism: conference travel, non-essential business travel. I know people who will be having a lot more meetings in Toronto and Vancouver this year.

The Pod Save America post-show notes that this speech makes a lot of promises that the GOP in Congress has no intention of upholding. The balance of the see-saw can't hold.
posted by holgate at 8:17 PM on February 28 [14 favorites]


Trump moving to talk about "access to health coverage" is very important. It means that all his talk during the campaign was bullshit and he'll sign Ryan's garbage sandwich.

Trump didn't write his speech and I wouldn't bet money that he even understood most of it. He was always going to sign Ryan's garbage sandwich, because whoever's in the room with him will tell him whatever he needs to hear to get him to sign it, and then later he'll find out what he did and get "outraged". The only hope we have - or have ever had - is that not enough Republicans back a bill repealing it.

What Trump actually thinks or wants is practically irrelevant. He doesn't read, he isn't curious, and he's surrounded by people with agendas who have figured out how to wave the right shiny thing at the right time so he thinks it's his idea at the moment of truth.
posted by Mchelly at 8:19 PM on February 28 [34 favorites]


I have to confess, at the beginning of the speech and he was saying "as I speak...." then something about the borders and getting the bad people out that I was going to come here and Twitter and read about how ICE raids were happening *as he was speaking*.

I think expecting that, and imagining my reaction is what has me thinking "wow, that wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting".
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 8:20 PM on February 28


The business conference thing isn't even only about ethics any more. It's impossible to guarantee that everyone can turn up to a US-based conference (for instance, a UK national teacher was randomly barred from entry), so there's a business risk. Vancouver looks awfully good at that point.
posted by jaduncan at 8:21 PM on February 28 [27 favorites]


The Pod Save America post-show notes that this speech makes a lot of promises that the GOP in Congress has no intention of upholding. The balance of the see-saw can't hold.

Doesn't matter, though, at least to the Trump base. They flat-out say stuff like, "Oh, yeah, we know the coal jobs are never coming back. It doesn't matter if he tells the truth, just that he cares." To please them, he just needs to say the whole Letter to Santa set of pandering trite phrases, make life difficult for immigrants and people of color, blame shit on Democrats, and everybody's happy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:22 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Medium is charging $75 for subdomains w/o any particular guarantee of service btw. As of last week. I know that's not outrageous b/c SSL but I'm guessing their days are numbered. The spigot is off.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:25 PM on February 28


Yes but we don't have to care about the Trump base. They are unwinnable and frankly, they're flatly the enemies at this point. The only people that matter are the marginal Trump supporters who flipped from voting Obama, and those who stayed home rather than vote Clinton. There are more than enough of those to win in 2018 and 2020. Never forget we're talking about less than 100k votes across 3 states. Appealing to MAGA hats is beyond counterproductive.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:26 PM on February 28 [37 favorites]




Yeah, CBP gave some bullshit excuse that a tourist visa meant that a renowned Holocaust historian from France couldn't receive payment for speaking despite him meeting the qualifications for an exemption. Ejected.
posted by xyzzy at 8:27 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


"I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart," Trump said.

Needs more bass.
posted by perhapses at 8:29 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


@BraddJaffy:
.@kasie Q: Did Trump come off as more of a normal politician?

Tom Perez: “Oh, he read a TelePrompTer! It's like my kid ate & didn't spill.”
posted by chris24 at 8:29 PM on February 28 [29 favorites]


Between looking at destroying the tourism industry, the medical industry and a lot of the agricultural industry Trump's agenda seems guaranteed to result in a recession within the next 3-4 years.

Of course the even if the Republicans lose the House, Senate and Presidency by 2020 it's unclear whether we'll get the votes to re-establish ACA much less something more wide reaching like single payer.

Oh well I guess Hillary's emails were more important.
posted by vuron at 8:30 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


CNN instant poll of debate watchers:

57% very positive
21% somewhat positive
21% negative

69% policies will move country in right direction (was 58% pre-speech)
26% wrong direction

69% felt more optimistic
28% felt more pessimistic

For comparison, Obama's grades from his similar 2009 address:
Sixty-eight percent of speech-watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey said they had a very positive reaction, with 24 percent indicating that they had a somewhat positive response and 8 percent saying they had a negative reaction [...]

Eighty-five percent of those polled said the president's speech made them more optimistic about the direction of the country over the next few years, with 11 percent indicating the speech made them more pessimistic.

Eighty-two percent of speech-watchers said they support the economic plan Obama outlined in his prime time address, with 17 percent opposing the proposal. [...]

After Clinton's first address to Congress in February 1993, 79 percent of speech-watchers supported his policies. George W. Bush got virtually the same amount of support for his proposals after his first speech to Congress eight years ago. [...]

"Among speech-watchers, the number who thought Obama's policies will move the country in the right direction grew by 17 points after they listened to Tuesday's address," Holland added.

Eight out of 10 said the president's plans will improve the economy and 68 percent said his proposals will reduce the federal deficit.

Three out of four questioned said Obama's plan will improve health care and 82 percent said his proposals will create or save jobs across the country.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:32 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


The thing is though that if you promise people specific things, they get mad if you don't deliver. If you just promise unicorns, you can get away with pointing to just about anything and say you delivered. There's a reason that this speech, his CPAC speech, his inauguration speech, they all had an "airing of grievances" section where he talked about how the country is in such horrible shape. It's so he can offer non-existent solutions to fake problems. Then he can turn around later and give the exact opposite speech where he talks about how we're in such great shape thanks to him.
posted by zachlipton at 8:34 PM on February 28 [18 favorites]


It almost goes without saying that academic conferences are being moved to non-U.S. locations as we speak. I know this first-hand.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:35 PM on February 28 [52 favorites]


In my Boston neighborhood, about 35 people showed up at a local park around 9 p.m. with pots and ladles to spend the speech time banging on their pots in protest (you knew this was a Boston protest when somebody showed up with Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins). Towards the end, some couple parked on the other side of the park, rolled down the window and cranked up Dear Leader's speech. Alas for them, they were too far away for anybody banging on pots to hear it.
posted by adamg at 8:35 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


I hope somebody collates lists of conferences that move because of the new immigration policies.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:37 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Were it not for the potential for other grift, it would all appear impressively stupid for a man with a heavily leveraged chain of hotels.
posted by jaduncan at 8:40 PM on February 28 [13 favorites]


Not just tourism: conference travel, non-essential business travel.

Also the arts, on an international scale.

AFM: The business of independent motion picture production and distribution – a truly collaborative process – reaches its peak every year at the American Film Market. Over 8,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, seminars, networking and parties. Participants come from over 80 countries
posted by Room 641-A at 8:41 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]




Donald Trump fact check: Almost every big claim he made in his Joint Address to Congress was false.

Wouldn't it be great if Congress passed as law that every presidential address to it has to be under oath?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:47 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Trump is so dependent on his declinist viewpoint of the world that I'm not sure he could even pivot to another position.

Of course the CNN spot poll is vaguely positive, basically he said everyone gets a unicorn and instead of being asked to pay for said unicorn we are going to give you a great big tax cut (for some value of big and largely dependent on your income and investments).

He could promise anything at this point like making Anime real or turning the US back into a pastiche of Leave it to Beaver and most of the Republican base an a sizable number of independents would respond positively.

I actually don't even think it matters to some of them whether he delivers. He's telling them a story that makes them feel good about themselves. Because if you are really just concerned about border security you can't be called racist because apparently there hasn't been a history of laws with discriminatory intent in the US.
posted by vuron at 8:48 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


TPM:
U.S. officials say President Donald Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary U.S. travel ban.

Four officials say the administration's decision follows pressure from the Pentagon and State Department. They had urged the White House to reconsider Iraq's inclusion given its key role in fighting the Islamic State group.

Trump is expected to sign the new order Wednesday. It is designed to replace an earlier Trump order that was blocked by federal courts.
while this is undoubtedly a good thing for Iraqis, it certainly doesn't help the perception that the policy is arbitrary.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:51 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


Fast Facts About the South Dakota Tourism Industry:
2010 Fast Facts
  • Visitor spending: $1.059 billion.
  • In 2010, visitor spending rose $96 million, which represents an increase of 10 percent. This is the largest dollar increase since tracking began in 1985. *
  • Economic impact: $2.6 billion statewide. *
  • Visitation increased by 3 percent in 2010. **
  • Tourism-related activity generated 20 percent of all state and local tax revenue in 2010. **
  • Over 28,000 direct jobs were supported by core travel and tourism economic activity. **
  • Tourism activity generated $265 million in state and local government revenue in 2010, an increase of 4.8 percent over 2009. **
  • Without Tourism, each household would pay about $828 more in taxes. **
  • Every 434 visitors create a new job in South Dakota. **
ruh roh
posted by jason_steakums at 8:52 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


If I was in the motion picture or television industry I would be looking at transitioning as much filming to Vancouver and Toronto as I possibly could. Big international movie stars will no doubt be more or less immune to the security theatre in the US but it seems like the production of smaller movies and/or television shows is likely to be negatively impacted. Hollywood might not feel too much of a pinch but a lot of the other states with lots of TV and Film production might see potential projects move to Canada to avoid all the border drama.

If the US starts dumping EU citizen data onto the internet what exactly would prevent various EU countries from doing the same to US citizens? Is every US citizen that has business overseas going to need to be concerned that suddenly their data will be exposed?

Seems like yet another completely half-assed implementation that more or less assume nobody else will play tit for tat with the US.
posted by vuron at 8:57 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I hope somebody collates lists of conferences that move because of the new immigration policies.

The thing is, if you're running a conference, moving it out of the US isn't necessarily the obvious solution. Remember that many of the non-citizens likely to be hassled on border-crossing are already IN the US. If you move the conference elsewhere they would have to leave and then try to get back in. On the other hand, if you leave it in the US, people not already in the US might not bother trying to come or might be thwarted in their attempts. There's not really an obvious way to win this.

Fast Facts About the South Dakota Tourism Industry:

Is South Dakota really a big draw for international visitors? I'm having a hard time imagining that it is. I suspect that internal travel wouldn't be nearly as affected since it's not like traveling internally would ever take you from a place where Trump isn't president to one where he is, which is the distasteful thing international visitors are likely seeking to avoid.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:00 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


I think they're gonna have to do a lot of Skypeing in the future.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:02 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Big international movie stars will no doubt be more or less immune to the security theatre in the US

I genuinely doubt this is a given.
posted by flatluigi at 9:03 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


The obvious question about the travel ban is what they hell have they been doing for the last month? If it was really about a three month ban from certain countries for national security, surely they should be 1/3rd of the way through some kind of process to have more security by now, right? And they could point to specific things they're doing to provide more security. But of course they can't do that, because they can't even come up with grounds to justify the ban in the first place.

The fact that they've spent a month working on the supposed problem and all they could come up with is "let's ban fewer people" really doesn't give much evidence that they had a clue what they were talking about last month.
posted by zachlipton at 9:03 PM on February 28 [19 favorites]


Pro tip: if unsure of which reality you are currently in, look at the sky. If you see dirigibles you're in an alternate reality. If you don't you're in the terrible one.

"The Man in the Oh Christ I'm Not High Enough for This"
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:03 PM on February 28 [27 favorites]


The Centipede Lies Heavy
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:05 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


Also the arts, on an international scale.

Absolutely.

The obvious question about the travel ban is what they hell have they been doing for the last month?

Issuing statements that won't go down well with any judge. But also allowing individual CBP brownshirts to work towards the fuehrer in their own shitty discretionary fashion, and creating facts on the ground that way.
posted by holgate at 9:06 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Can you imagine what sort of shit some of the Florida representatives are going to get from Big Mouse if international visits to Orlando and hotel bookings start to plummet?

Ultimately some of the big tourist states like California and Florida and NY will be able to weather most aspects of a drop in tourism because the economy of those states are more diversified but there are definitely a variety of states that are heavily dependent on tourism to keep their state coffers out of the red.

It already sounds like several Red state governors have already told Trump that ACA repeal without replacement is non-viable I wonder if he'll be hearing from governors about how his policies are fucking over their economies.

I can't even imagine how fucked up things are going to get in the agriculture industry if there is a massive crackdown on farm workers in various states. Alabama and Georgia have experience with how that works and having billions of dollars worth of crops rot in the fields because there is nobody willing to harvest them isn't going to make some of those red state farmers that voted for Trump in ridiculous number thrilled.
posted by vuron at 9:08 PM on February 28 [25 favorites]


Man, the more I think about VOICE and the clear connection to same blood, same God the more frightened I become. Because we all know that this dimwit particularly refers to a Christian God, right? I wonder how much it sticks in puppet master Bannon's craw that he has to tolerate Jared in the West Wing while he Goebbels shit up at his desk. As an atheist, the best I can do is fervently hope that I won't have test my true mettle as a human being in the next 4 years. I'm afraid I won't measure up.
posted by xyzzy at 9:13 PM on February 28 [22 favorites]


Is South Dakota really a big draw for international visitors? I'm having a hard time imagining that it is. I suspect that internal travel wouldn't be nearly as affected since it's not like traveling internally would ever take you from a place where Trump isn't president to one where he is, which is the distasteful thing international visitors are likely seeking to avoid.

For international figures, in 2015 in South Dakota:
Foreign visitors accounted for about 9 percent of the total economic input tourism generated in South Dakota last year.

That came to more than $124 million dollars of spending in the state, according to the state department of tourism. That’s big money but the state would like to see more if it can, said Wanda Goodman the Department of Tourism’s deputy secretary.
That's one of many things SD can look forward to feeling this year as a direct result of Trump policy. Far from the biggest one, but it spreads to a lot of businesses. It doesn't seem all that big in the grand scheme of things but the reliably red Black Hills will feel it the worst, lots of small businesses with tight margins that rely on selling to tourists, lots of big businesses trying to hit projections by appealing to international travelers, lots of knock-on effects to other businesses because of direct tourism-related businesses taking a hit. Even without totally tanking tourism it puts pressure from a lot of reliable supporters on state and national level politicians.

---

I can't even imagine how fucked up things are going to get in the agriculture industry if there is a massive crackdown on farm workers in various states. Alabama and Georgia have experience with how that works and having billions of dollars worth of crops rot in the fields because there is nobody willing to harvest them isn't going to make some of those red state farmers that voted for Trump in ridiculous number thrilled.

Things like this, too. Look forward to more moves like that if he keeps recklessly taunting the world into trade war territory.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:13 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


surely they should be 1/3rd of the way through some kind of process to have more security by now, right?

well, trump said the policy was put in place to tighten things down until they "figure out what the hell is going on".

so i guess it's going to be around indefinitely.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:15 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Same way he always does: Get a loan from Russia.

A loan is thinking small, think of the money laundering schemes they could cook up with the federal government!
posted by jason_steakums at 9:19 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


If I was in the motion picture or television industry I would be looking at transitioning as much filming to Vancouver and Toronto as I possibly could.

The film industry as a whole is pretty darn white. TBQH. Like yeah, mostly liberal, but they're still white.

It is curious what'll happen to New York City and the independent film ... industry? It feels weird calling it an industry. But I swear like half the filmmakers I meet in NYC are on a visa and they're all getting nervous.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:21 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. Van Jones drank the flavor aid.

Trump critic Van Jones: ‘One of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period’


Jones said Trump's tribute to Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, who died in a raid in Yemen, was "one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period" and that it was the moment Trump "became President of the United States." He also said it's the kind of thing that could make Trump a two-term president.

posted by futz at 9:22 PM on February 28


A senior admin. official says the 'revised' travel ban order will be signed later in the week. They don't want to step on tonight's big win.

Strange to delay such an important national security measure for political purposes, no?
posted by zachlipton at 9:23 PM on February 28 [43 favorites]


Rainbo, I don't think you understand. White folks from Australia, Germany, and France are being denied entry to the US right now. Academics, musicians, writers. As someone said earlier, the leash is off.
posted by xyzzy at 9:23 PM on February 28 [29 favorites]


It's not even clear what sort of border adjustment tariff would actually be viable within the context of NAFTA and WTO rules.

If Trump starts trying to implement a bunch of protectionist tariffs especially in regards to bound tariffs on certain products the US is going to get into a world of hurt really quick.

Yeah we could make the choice to ignore various WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding but at a certain point in time pushing too far will cause all sorts of trade war nastiness and that would not be pretty for the US or World economy.
posted by vuron at 9:24 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


i kept imagining that random dems would just periodically, off-handedly say, "you lie." not with any attitude, just a tiny, matter-of-fact, audible comment. grown ups ruin everything.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:29 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Holy shit. Van Jones drank the flavor aid.

He came out of his pupa stage as a fully formed villager. And no we never have to listen to him again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:31 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


From the fake Jill Biden Twitter acct
Stop giving Trump credit for sounding "presidential for once." Stop lauding him for normal, average, standard behavior.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:33 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Is South Dakota really a big draw for international visitors?

Anecdotally - dude, I get to practice what German I learned in HS and College at the National parks more than anywhere else. The hike to delicate arch in Middle of Nowhere, Utah is like a UN gathering without the translator earpieces. A 10-20% decline in internation tourism is going to be great news for the lines and ..... not so great news for the people who sell things to people in the lines.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:34 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Strange to delay such an important national security measure for political purposes, no?

Is the Senior Admin named John Barron?
posted by futz at 9:35 PM on February 28


you know when someone delivers a litany of falsehoods without shifting their affect, we don't call that "normal, average, standard behavior", we call it sociopathy
posted by murphy slaw at 9:36 PM on February 28 [37 favorites]


Department of Justification: Stephen Bannon and Jeff Sessions, the new attorney general, have long shared a vision for remaking America. Now the nation’s top law-enforcement agency can serve as a tool for enacting it.
It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.
posted by homunculus at 9:37 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Van Jones is clearly pretty choked up in that moment, and I can't for the life of me understand why. It was cheap and grossly manipulative for anyone who understood the context of that raid, as Jones surely should have.

If he's saying "millions of Americans will fall for stunts like this because they don't know the details," sure, but that's not what he said. Again, he's choked up there. He's moved. He jumped up and grabbed for the first thing he could call inspiring or even normalizing. I expected much better of him and I don't know what the hell is up with him tonight.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:38 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


Kushner went to the head of CNN to complain about Van Jones a couple weeks ago.

Collaborator fucks.
posted by Yowser at 9:42 PM on February 28 [34 favorites]


Trump is performing the role of president, not doing the job. He doesn’t want to be president, he just wants to play one on TV:
Trump is no longer a novelty candidate, a branding magnate, or a B-List TV show host. He’s now the president of the United States. He’s the subject of constant, obsessive media attention. And like any overexposed celebrity, he’s getting tiresome.

If you take any one moment from the Trump Show out of context, it’s striking. But together, Trump’s antics are now banal. He says, tweets, and does weird things. He gets attention. He pisses people off while thrilling others. Tonight, he even managed to attract attention and garner praise for slightly dialing it down. But speeches are supposed to be tools to help do the work of actually being president — learning about the issues, making decisions about trade-offs, and collaborating to get things done.

Amid the nonstop and increasingly tedious theatricality, Trump is only ever performing the role of the president; he’s never doing the job.
posted by peeedro at 9:44 PM on February 28 [45 favorites]


Trump critic Van Jones: ‘One of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period’

We've had family members of service members killed in wars singled out during Presidential addresses to Congress several times before, including 2006 when we had the father, mother, and widow of a Marine killed in Fallujah, 2005 when we had the parents of a different Marine killed in killed in Fallujah, and 2002 when we had the widow of a CIA officer who was killed in Afghanistan.

The major things that were different about this moment compared to others was that:

- Nobody stopped applauding for several minutes
- This particular dead service member is in the middle of a very public fight between the SEAL's father, who's asking some serious questions about how and why he died and what intelligence was really gained in the raid, and the President. Carryn Owens was just used as a prop as part of the next round of that fight, just after the President shifted blame for what happened during the raid to anybody other than him.
- The President was overly pleased with himself for the length of the standing ovation

I mean, those facts are decidedly not ordinary, but they're not extraordinary in the sense Van Jones was using the term.
posted by zachlipton at 9:44 PM on February 28 [36 favorites]




I wonder how much it sticks in puppet master Bannon's craw that he has to tolerate Jared in the West Wing while he Goebbels shit up at his desk.

Being blunt, I should imagine that he's happy that he has someone onside who will do his best to do Jewish outreach and is somewhat insulated from accusations of anti-Semitism. They can also repeatedly say that Trump can't be anti-Semitic with a Jewish son-in-law and leave the complex justifications to Kushner.

Even more bluntly, that is never more useful than when you're a ragingly racist anti-Semite.
posted by jaduncan at 9:51 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Kushner went to the head of CNN to complain about Van Jones a couple weeks ago.

Collaborator fucks.


Gosh why would they do such a thing it's not like the president threatened to torpedo the AT&T/Time Warner merger because he's mad at CNN or anything oh wait:

"As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few," Trump said.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:54 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]




Kushner looks like Howdy Doody because he's an actual puppet. For now.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:56 PM on February 28


Eh, isn't this all still within Trump's range? We already know that during the campaign he is able to talk slower and sound more coherent when the deck has been stacked in his favor ahead of time like in highly structured public events and when the words have been written for him. And every time the media says he will pivot is after a major speech like the RNC, election night, and the inauguration. And every time he's kept up with appearances for a week, at most.

So, why would it be different this time?
posted by FJT at 10:01 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


it's ok to get a man killed if you clap for him, afterwards. this is important to know.

remember everybody was like, Trump can't really want to be president, it's a lot of hassle and for what that he doesn't already have? well, he's found his presidential niche and it's something you actually can't do in private life, usually! no more mystery, I guess.
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:01 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


"I wonder how much it sticks in puppet master Bannon's craw that he has to tolerate Jared in the West Wing while he Goebbels shit up at his desk.

Being blunt, I should imagine that he's happy that he has someone onside who will do his best to do Jewish outreach and is somewhat insulated from accusations of anti-Semitism. They can also repeatedly say that Trump can't be anti-Semitic with a Jewish son-in-law and leave the complex justifications to Kushner.
"

"You're one of the good ones."
posted by klangklangston at 10:11 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


"it's ok to get a man killed if you clap for him, afterwards. this is important to know. "

SEALs ain't Tinkerbell, Donny. They don't come back to life if you get enough people to clap for them.
posted by klangklangston at 10:13 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


So I hear the speech was a didn't-pee-his-pants success

Maybe he'll get to go on the big boy choo choo outside the K-Mart
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:25 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Eh, isn't this all still within Trump's range? We already know that during the campaign he is able to talk slower and sound more coherent when the deck has been stacked in his favor ahead of time like in highly structured public events and when the words have been written for him.

Yes, it was predictable.
posted by Coventry at 10:41 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


So if we're horrified at VOICE, who should we be calling and what is the best way to push back on this?
posted by threeturtles at 11:15 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Slate: The media are suddenly declaring Trump “presidential.” That’s absurd.
What’s remarkable is that CNN’s panel reverted to this sort of empty-headed boosterism even in response to a president who has repeatedly and strategically branded them as “fake news” in order to cover for his own bare-faced lies. It shows how deeply ingrained the old frameworks of judging a commander in chief remain and how uncomfortable the network must be with its new, unasked-for role as a truth-telling counterweight to a president whose habitual buffoonery makes it impossible to accord him the dignity of the office. By acting like a president for a night, Trump gave CNN license to act like CNN.
posted by zachlipton at 11:20 PM on February 28 [30 favorites]


futz: Feds threatening to shut down marijuana festival, Cannabis Cup, in Las Vegas

Jeff Fuckface Sessions: "I'm not sure we're going to be a better, healthier nation if we're going to have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store," he said.


entropicamericana: looking forward to sessions' war on junk food and gasoline if that's the metric

Here's the thing - he's the ATTORNEY GENERAL. That's the head of the United States Department of Justice, with no direct oversight or control over the health, which would fall under the Department of Health.

Our AG is cracking down on weed in Nevada, where it was recently legalized for recreational use, because of health concerns. And not because pot arrests are really, really racially biased. Oh no, then he'd be racist.

Hey, Jefferson, get back to work and start reading DOJ's Chicago Police Report. Leave the health concerns to healthcare professionals.

/vent
posted by filthy light thief at 11:26 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


Slate: The media are suddenly declaring Trump “presidential.” That’s absurd.

Several people here referred to him tonight as presidential or seeming presidential. I guess if t-rump appears even 1% more competent than his usual angry illiterate carrot self he can be considered *hand waviness* presidented/presidential.
posted by futz at 11:36 PM on February 28


The bar was set so low, the fact he got through the speech without calling Obama a racial epithet was enough for some to consider him worthy of re-election.
posted by PenDevil at 11:41 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


why, it's almost as though Republican politicians are held to different standards
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:46 PM on February 28 [43 favorites]


I'm trying to imaging the howling from the GOP if Valerie Jarrett was photographed with her feet on the sofa of the Oval Office.
posted by PenDevil at 11:52 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross wore $600 slippers by Palm Beach @Stubbs_Wootton, with a custom Commerce Dept logo, to Trump’s speech tonight

This reminded me of something! More slipper info in 2nd link.

Trump taps billionaire investor Ross for commerce secretary

Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor considered the "king of bankruptcy" for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits, is President-elect Donald Trump's choice for commerce secretary, a senior transition official said.

...In early 2006, the Sago coal mine owned by Ross exploded, triggering a collapse that killed a dozen miners. Federal safety inspectors in 2005 had cited the West Virginia mine with 208 violations.

Ross said afterward that he knew about the safety violations but that the mine's management had assured him that it was a "safe situation."


November 17, 2016: Donald Trump Taps Billionaire Who Owned Deadly Coal Mine For Commerce Secretary

The article details Wilbur Ross's abhorrent treatment of people/employees and also includes this little despicable anecdote.

In 2012, Ross, clad in purple velvet slippers, took the stage at a black-tie induction ceremony for the secretive Wall Street fraternity Kappa Beta Phi and sang show tunes mocking poor people, according to a reporter who sneaked into the event... Two years later, Ross declared that “the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons.”

T-rump picks the best people.
posted by futz at 11:53 PM on February 28 [45 favorites]


SCROTUS, The Moustache, Friedman Units, Tiger Beat On The Potomac, Shrub, Spicy, loser-of-the-popular-vote Donald Trump, Bees, Not-All-*, and now...(fanfare) Jeff FUCKFACE Sessions.

Since Gulf 2, the Left has really excelled at this colorful inside-baseball lexicon. #linguistAlert
posted by j_curiouser at 12:53 AM on March 1


Since Gulf 2, the Left has really excelled at this colorful inside-baseball lexicon. #linguistAlert

Tonight, for the first time, I heard the phrase, "his orange tic-tac" used to refer to Donald J. Trump's penis. I'd like to see that used more.
posted by mikelieman at 1:32 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


"his orange tic-tac" used to refer to Donald J. Tru

While we still live in a democracy, I'd like to vote for NONONONONO
posted by saysthis at 2:18 AM on March 1 [8 favorites]


I frankly don't care how much Donald's penis is used but I very much don't want to see it, thank you very much indeed.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:21 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


What I'm thinking and reading is:
--Trump a few days ago gave a ridiculous speech at CPAC where he was riffing all over the place
--When the WH said that Trump was going to "speak from the heart" and there was some other language that suggested it would be his usual word salad
--We thought it was going to be the same shit show
I'm actually nauseous thinking about this but I feel worse about Trump's America upon a really quick 5:30 am review of front pages.
--Politico, NYT, and WP front pages are talking about about things like Trump's discipline and lack of bombastic tone
--TPM and Slate are like this guy just got scarier
--Van Jones had this bit where he described what went on with the widow of the slain SEAL as more or less brilliant and how at the moment "Trump became president of the country" and with stunts like this "he could be president for eight years" (Van Jones is no Trump supporter and the subtext of his argument I think was this guy just got scarier)
--The big moment was with the grieving widow for whose grief Trump is directly to blame
--Yet somehow he was able to effectively use this woman's grief as some transcendent unifying moment
--He did this weird pivot on immigration like earlier in the day but it wasn't really in his speech (except for one line) so anybody who paying 50 to 75 percent attention might think the pivot WAS addressed in the speech and so Trump is okay now
--after reducing the widow to tears Trump ad-libbed something about how Ryan must be so happy because Congress was unifying around this moment or whatever. I just offer this as Trump being Trump, focusing on ratings.

And excuse me, I'm just really fucking angry about this, so I'm to repeat it:

The biggest success came from manipulating the emotions of a widow whose husband's death was caused by Trump's incompetence

Anyway, fuck everything, sorry if these points were covered before in great detail.
posted by angrycat at 2:43 AM on March 1 [83 favorites]


The biggest success came from manipulating the emotions of a widow whose husband's death was caused by Trump's incompetence

This marks me as old, I don't care. I remember when Survivor became a thing on TV and I kinda sorta was like, "Oh, novel concept, this might be interesting." Then it just turned out to be a bunch of emotionally manipulative mugging for the camera. And then that was reality TV forever. And then I realized lots of my friends were emotionally abusive morons who liked that flavor of koolaid, and that I would be perpetually alone amidst a sea of them.

And now we have an entire country primed for decades to respond to this like even if it's just entertainment, these theatrics are expected. I mean come on did we not just have Hunger Games? An entire very successful trilogy? Like, didn't this point get made? And isn't the thing with the father in the news?

I saw "America First, Greece Second" on Youtube the other day, and they were like, "Before you nuke Greece, remember, our capital is called Athens, and you have 23 cities called Athens in your country alone! Feel free to nuke any of those to take out your frustration about us! We approve!" There are moments I'd be okay with that, tonight was one.

Anyway, fuck everything.
posted by saysthis at 3:11 AM on March 1 [29 favorites]


Spot of good news on the international front that I missed last month: Kenya's High Court ruled that the government can't close the ¼-to-½-million-resident Dadaab refugee camp, which may be vital now that drought has been declared in Somalia and famine in South Sudan. I think I'll add aid for East Africa as a thing to mention in calls to legislators, and money for UNICEF on my roster of donations.
posted by XMLicious at 3:31 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


What low information voters are seeing this morning: (news.google.com, in order)

The Hill: Softer Trump Storms the Capitol

NYT: With Nation Watching, Widow of Fallen SEAL becomes Face of Bravery
posted by rainydayfilms at 3:47 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


So is now the time we start writing "VICHY" on pieces of paper, attaching them to bricks, and throwing them through newsroom windows?
posted by tobascodagama at 3:54 AM on March 1 [30 favorites]


Face of Bravery. For something that should never have been done and resulted in needless deaths, held up by Trump to improve his ratings. I feel sick.
posted by h00py at 4:01 AM on March 1 [19 favorites]




Funny how two weeks ago Kushner was complaining to Time Warner about Van Jones and now Van is selling out and the Time Warner/AT&T merger is going through.
posted by chris24 at 4:18 AM on March 1 [28 favorites]


This is where 24 hour news really bites us - getting everyone worried and upset again. I mean, even more worried and upset.

Trump is still a trainwreck. He is still going to be unable to deliver anything except corruption, lies and economic ruin, except to the extent that his plans are stymied. We are still where we were yesterday. Tomorrow or next week, he'll do something hideous again, or Bannon will be revealed to be six Gibbelins in a safari suit (that's why he has all those collars - Gibbelins, who, it is well known, eat nothing less good than man, don't understand collars).

Also, this speech sounds like it doesn't actually get us any forrader on repealing the ACA. Remember how Trump always does this "I promise you a pony" thing. The Republicans want to keep that pony so they can eat it raw. Trump has reminded everyone in the US that the Republicans should be giving them the pony. If he'd given a good speech about how we just have to suck it up and get rid of the ACA, we'd be much further in the soup.

Sometimes Trump will give a good speech. This will not, intrinsically, make him popular, because his policies aren't just sorta bad, they are a nightmare of terrible. Next year, when every place that gets international tourism is seeing a hit to its revenue and no improvement on the horizon, those people will sing a different tune.

He is still having trouble doing what he promises, because his ideas are bad. We need to keep working on resisting deportations, keep putting pressure on Congress, keep organizing. He will sometimes make a popular speech. Lots of presidents made good speeches.
posted by Frowner at 4:19 AM on March 1 [57 favorites]




Conway went on Lou Dobb's show and whined about the "venomous" hypocrisy of the left that "bothered my children." Also she "didn't mean to" put her feet on the sofa, she was asked to take a picture from that angle.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:50 AM on March 1


I heard an NPR story before the speech that said the markets had been rising since the election on the anticipation of deregulation, tax cuts, and infrastructure spending, which are all ways to do economic stimulus. But that those expectations were kind of priced into the market now, and if Trump didn't start doing all that, stock prices would start coming back down. Whoever they were interviewing said a lot of investors would be looking to this speech for specific policy proposals and schedules to give them some confidence that the administration was serious about implementing these measures. I wonder if they feel like they got what they were looking for? I guess we'lwe'll see if the markets keep going up.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:03 AM on March 1


steve inskeep interviewed sebastian gorka on npr this morning and i listened and now i need to dig a hole in the ground and throw all the good things in there because otherwise they will be lost
posted by localhuman at 5:07 AM on March 1 [17 favorites]


I liked the part of the Republican President's speech where he said that the man he sent to his death was looking down and smiling on his grieving widow because they gave her a two minute standing ovation in Congress for her husband's death.
posted by Reverend John at 5:27 AM on March 1 [29 favorites]


You guys, I was so upset last night by that speech that I couldn't sleep. The section with the SEAL's widow was just ...... terrifying. Scary as fuck.

This morning I got up and nearly all the news coverage of it is positive??? Life in Trump's America is like a daily sanity check I never quite pass.
posted by gerstle at 5:28 AM on March 1 [36 favorites]


Ha, I guess Erik Paulsen heard that NPR story too.

"There were many encouraging aspects in the president's speech, including a substantive outline on initiatives like infrastructure, job creation, and the economy,” said Congressman Paulsen.

In other words "please don't sell your stocks everybody," says Republican Congressman.

I wonder to what extent legislators have been talking to big investors behind the scenes. Maybe they're placing their hope in Paul Ryan rather than Trump. Seems like a successful investor should be too smart to be fooled by Trump's "pony for everyone" promises, but Paul Ryan may well deliver ponies for big investors.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:29 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Even Trump & Co can't believe how fucking stupid and craven the pundits are...

@costareports
Some sources in WH are frankly surprised at how pundits are warming to the speech. Say Trump has not changed, no big shift in policy coming.
posted by chris24 at 5:45 AM on March 1 [39 favorites]


Seems like a successful investor should be too smart to be fooled

Heaven forfend that anyone mutter the term "irrational exuberance".
posted by Mister Bijou at 5:46 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


This morning I got up and nearly all the news coverage of it is positive??? Life in Trump's America is like a daily sanity check I never quite pass.

Yeah it's pretty bizarro world out there. I saw a really bad speech, poorly delivered, full of a fusillade of lies and impossible promises, with a disgusting, fascistic-heroic interlude (that poor woman!) and a terrifying blood and soil ending. I didn't dislike the speech just because I dislike Trump. It was just a badly delivered speech! Halting and stuttering, mostly mechnical, looking directly into the teleprompter like he had definitely not bothered to practice giving it once before, etc. And then it had very bad content. But if you listen to NPR today you're going to hear about Trump's success!
posted by dis_integration at 5:47 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


If you ever wondered if fascism would win with a better messenger, this morning is your answer. It may still, but speak calmly while you attack minorities and don't attack the press and they'll applaud your win.
posted by chris24 at 5:50 AM on March 1 [20 favorites]


Republicans Think Trump Gave Them What They Wanted. They Should Think Again: GOP lawmakers might soon realize that the president has boxed them in with impossible promises

And those very same GOP lawmakers know that, and they stood and applauded when he made those promises, and they'll get re-elected because they're not the party who didn't do that. Everything is stupid, I hate you reality.
posted by Rykey at 5:53 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


Anyone patiently awaiting more information has clearly never paid any attention to Trump before.
posted by Artw at 5:58 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


it's too bad that trump kills public broadcasting it will be the affiliate npr stations that feel the pain, while the beltway-insider vichy "journalists" at npr proper will largely be insulated to the pain thanks to the kroc bequest
posted by entropicamericana at 6:02 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


@JYSexton
Last night Trump used a widow to politicize a botched raid and the media bought in. This is what's wrong with politics in a nutshell 1/

There was hardly any talk of the raid, how he blamed the generals, how it was obviously a political ploy. They praised the rhetoric. 2/

Because politics is a game now. Something you watch like a game on Sunday. You praise the maneuvers and the media has become SportsCenter 3/

The president ordered a raid that has not yielded anything yet. A SEAL died. He's moving blame in a very, very blatant way. 4/

Last night, he had a widow cry on camera in order to protect himself. That's the very definition of cowardice. It's shameful. 5/

Instead of discussing the raid, he was given points for the spectacle, the "memorable moment." Nothing about substance or intent. 6/

This isn't a game. A man died. With Trump's policies, more are going to die and their lives are going to get worse. It isn't a game. 7/7
posted by chris24 at 6:09 AM on March 1 [102 favorites]


Even the front page of the liberal-leaning Toronto Star is something like "TRUMP SOFTENS HIS TONE" this morning. If the thing with the SEAL's widow plays well with members of the military, coming as it did immediately after he threw "the generals" under the bus ("It was like that when I got here!"), then...shit, I don't know. The whole thing has been such an obvious con from day one, and yet here we are. You can go a long, long way in life if you just tell people what they want to hear, especially if you appeal to their baser instincts at the same time. And if you're a rich, white, Republican man doing these things, well, the sky's the limit.

I don't think anyone actually believes that he'll even attempt to follow through on a lot of this stuff (remember when GWB told us we we sending a mission to Mars?), but anyone expecting his base to be angry at the deserving targets when shit he causes hits the fan is in for what should not be a surprise.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:11 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Great news: President Trump did not bite any bats in half during his address to Congress! [Alexandra Petri; WaPo]
Then he directed our attention to the people he had brought along, including the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens. Trump had told “Fox and Friends” earlier Tuesday that some ominous “They” had lost Owens, but now he insisted that everything had been a great success.

And in the entire speech he didn’t use the word “bad hombres” once! It was the Gettysburg Address, by Trump standards. I was so moved that I released a dove and cried.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:17 AM on March 1 [28 favorites]


Jesus, listening to this NPR interview with Gorka is like listening to a toddler trying to catch a greased weasel.
posted by jferg at 6:22 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


in a succinct and cogent summary, a member of ABC's audience reaction pool proves that, once again, black women are immune to his particular charms
posted by murphy slaw at 6:29 AM on March 1 [27 favorites]


And in the entire speech he didn’t use the word “bad hombres” once! It was the Gettysburg Address, by Trump standards. I was so moved that I released a dove and cried.

Oh hey me too except I didn't have any doves handy so I skipped that part

my doves are all in a secret training mission, turns out they are more reliable than eagles for the specifics of the plan I'm

I've said too much

posted by tivalasvegas at 6:34 AM on March 1 [24 favorites]


That that mendacious testicle could read off a teleprompter does not excuse any other unhinged moment in this presidency. If anything it just means we should pay attention more to the things he is hiding. I feel like America needs to be covered in Memento tattoos; "Don't believe his lies."
posted by Catblack at 6:36 AM on March 1 [15 favorites]


It's kind of depressing and telling of us as a nation that vilifying immigrants and telling egregious lies is a supposed good speech.
posted by Talez at 6:40 AM on March 1 [25 favorites]


Also she "didn't mean to" put her feet on the sofa, she was asked to take a picture from that angle.

Since that actually happens to be true, and since there are a million actual human rights violations coming from this White House to be concerned about, it would be okay with me if we all moved on from how Kellyanne was sitting in what appears to be one unfortunately timed snapshot.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:41 AM on March 1 [15 favorites]


The media reaction is reminder 901384701982731092873 of just how much lower the bar is for cis white men.
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:44 AM on March 1 [40 favorites]


Daily Beast:
The White House is considering delegating more authority to the Pentagon to greenlight anti-terrorist operations like the SEAL Team 6 raid in Yemen that cost the life of a Navy SEAL, to step up the war on the so-called Islamic State, multiple U.S. officials tell The Daily Beast.

President Donald Trump has signaled that he wants his defense secretary, retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, to have a freer hand to launch time-sensitive missions quickly, ending what U.S. officials say could be a long approval process under President Barack Obama that critics claimed stalled some missions by hours or days.

In declared war zones, U.S. commanders have the authority to make such calls, but outside such war zones, in ungoverned or unstable places like Somalia, Libya, or Yemen, it can take permissions all the way up to the Oval Office to launch a drone or a special operations team.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:50 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Someday, someone will probably write a book called "Abuser in Chief" about the myriad ways in which the Orange Menace utilizes classic tactics of abuse to sieze and hold onto power.

He successfully lowered everyone's expectations so much as to make his speech seem "presidential" by being relentlessly horrible and incoherent leading up to it.

Then he shirked blame for a tragedy he oversaw by deflecting responsibility onto those he had leverage over, and successfully co-opted the pain caused by his actions to soften his image and score political points.

The end result is that his victims (America, The World) are either demoralized or apoplectic, or else buying-in out of self-preservation or to secure their own position within the hierarchy of abuse.

Fuck that. Fuck him. Fuck his enablers and collaborators and apologists.

He is an Old Man, of the Old Ways. He and his kind will be defeated by Women, and New Men.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 6:51 AM on March 1 [37 favorites]


he's an old boy
posted by murphy slaw at 6:53 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Pater Aletheias: it would be okay with me if we all moved on from how Kellyanne was sitting

Normally I'd agree, but in this case, I believe that her behaviour was disrespectful towards the guests that were present, and shows a very specific lack of respect for that very specific group of guests. That matters to me because it shows... well... a rather specific attitude.

It's not about the couch. It's about the casual racism.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:53 AM on March 1 [46 favorites]


Having blamed everyone but himself for the Yemen raid, he now wants to preemptively shift the blame for future missions that go badly to anyone but himself, is how I read that statement about 'empowering' the Pentagon.
posted by cjelli at 6:53 AM on March 1 [26 favorites]


President Donald Trump has signaled that he wants his defense secretary, retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, to have a freer hand to launch time-sensitive missions quickly, ending what U.S. officials say could be a long approval process under President Barack Obama that critics claimed stalled some missions by hours or days.

Presdentialize the successes, Pentagonize the losses.
posted by Talez at 6:53 AM on March 1 [58 favorites]


mean come on did we not just have Hunger Games? An entire very successful trilogy?

Hunger Games trades on the excitement of the murder spectacle. Even while the movie claims that it's bad for the elites to pit poor people against each other in violent conflict, we the audience root for the underdog to win, first the Hunger Games themselves, then the more "real" battle against the oppressive government. The movies position us to take pleasure in watching high-stakes battles between idiosyncratic characters, and they center violence as the only way to effect change.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:53 AM on March 1 [11 favorites]


it would be okay with me if we all moved on from how Kellyanne was sitting in what appears to be one unfortunately timed snapshot.

I'll move on from things Kellyanne does when she resigns. Until then, I will criticize any and every action she takes because she is taking those actions while being an active promoter of white supremacist patriarchy. Same thing with Trump -- he can eat his steak any way he wants, once he's no longer eating it while being a white supremacist sexual predator whose salary, housing, and security is paid for by my tax dollars.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:54 AM on March 1 [57 favorites]


I think if there's anything that Metafilter is good at, it's criticizing multiple things at once. Just because we're angry about one thing doesn't mean we're not also angry about another.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:57 AM on March 1 [21 favorites]


MetaFilter: it just turned out to be a bunch of emotionally manipulative mugging
posted by kirkaracha at 6:57 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


...ending what U.S. officials say could be a long approval process under President Barack Obama that critics claimed stalled some missions by hours or days.

Cool, remind me again which administration got Bin Laden and a metric ton of intel and didn't lose a US life despite a helicopter crashing at the start of the mission? Because that's what careful planning looks like.
posted by PenDevil at 6:59 AM on March 1 [32 favorites]


and they center violence as the only way to effect change

but if you're the good guys, it isn't terrorism
posted by murphy slaw at 7:00 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump

THANK YOU!


He's happy with the media this morning. Meanwhile NPR interviews Gorka again. Now is the time to examine the reactions of individual journalists and outlets and to decide whether or not to ever believe them or give them money again. A lot of people and companies need to be rode out of town on a rail if we ever come out of this era.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:01 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


It's grotesque to watch the media fawn all over Trump's ability to speak the occasional coherent sentence and sound within spitting distance of a grown, cognitively intact man. So many journalists and pundits want so very desperately for everything to go back to normal. That is what they are comfortable with, and that does not require them to actually do their jobs. They're much more comfortable in the inner circle than they are as opposition, and we're the ones who suffer for their comfort.
posted by supercrayon at 7:02 AM on March 1 [22 favorites]


Today's other-side story is the Democrats not standing for the entire two minutes of the ovation for the widow.
posted by Etrigan at 7:06 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


@kashanacauley:
When they go low, we lower the bar.
posted by chris24 at 7:06 AM on March 1 [35 favorites]


It's grotesque to watch the media fawn all over Trump's ability to speak the occasional coherent sentence and sound within spitting distance of a grown, cognitively intact man. So many journalists and pundits want so very desperately for everything to go back to normal.

Abusers know to bring flowers home once in a while. It helps with the gaslighting. I imagine the media's Ask MeFi question would read like "Please don't suggest DTMFA, he's actually really a great guy -- he didn't say the N word once during his speech!"
posted by melissasaurus at 7:10 AM on March 1 [11 favorites]


CBS: Jon Stewart visits the "Late Show" with a message to the media
After admitting he missed being on TV regularly and unloading some thoughts about President Donald Trump he’d been storing up, Stewart took aim at the press, addressing them like a recently dumped pal with a very NSFW appeal that made former subordinate Colbert a bit nervous.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:10 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


Some sources in WH are frankly surprised at how pundits are warming to the speech. Say Trump has not changed, no big shift in policy coming.

Some of these "pundits" are basically corks in the Twitter stream, drunkenly spiraling from one eddy to the next.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:12 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


About two months ago I met my cardiologist, a woman with a musical accent and a kind manner. She's from Pakistan and she saved my life. Then a wonderful, funny man from the Middle East installed a device in my chest to help keep me alive. No one can pronounce his name so he introduces himself as Dr. Ali. When I told him that I mistook my nearly fatal heart arrhythmia as stress over Trump he said that such a mistake was perfectly understandable, patted my hand, and gave me a comforting smile. Those brilliant and wonderful people are at risk right now and I feel helpless to do anything about it. Where's VOICE for people saved by immigrants?
posted by xyzzy at 7:14 AM on March 1 [141 favorites]


...ending what U.S. officials say could be a long approval process under President Barack Obama that critics claimed stalled some missions by hours or days.

Cool, remind me again which administration got Bin Laden and a metric ton of intel and didn't lose a US life despite a helicopter crashing at the start of the mission? Because that's what careful planning looks like.


One tearful veteran's widow, surrounded by cheering white men and a chance to slip "heaven" into the commentary, is worth a million years in careful planning.
posted by Rykey at 7:14 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


One tearful veteran's widow, surrounded by cheering white men and a chance to slip "heaven" into the commentary

Anybody else wondering if this is the moment that gives Trump the idea to start a Dubya-style hyperpatriotic war to quell internal dissent and tighten his grip on the media?
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:17 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Lots of presidents made good speeches.

Reagan's first SOTU: 1982
Reagan's Iran Contra mea culpa: 1987

Longer than I want to wait, longer than we may have, but still instructive.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:18 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


One tearful veteran's widow, surrounded by cheering white men and a chance to slip "heaven" into the commentary

Anybody else wondering if this is the moment that gives Trump the idea to start a Dubya-style hyperpatriotic war to quell internal dissent and tighten his grip on the media?


Umm, that's the plan been the Bannon's been openly promoting since he switched tracks from Seinfeld to Stasi.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:20 AM on March 1 [12 favorites]


Anybody else wondering if this is the moment that gives Trump the idea to start a Dubya-style hyperpatriotic war to quell internal dissent and tighten his grip on the media?

The moment that solidified it, maybe, but the tail's been wagging that dog all along.
posted by Etrigan at 7:21 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Umm, that's the plan been the Bannon's been openly promoting since he switched tracks from Seinfeld to Stasi.

I think "Seinfeld to Schutzstaffel" might be more appropriate.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:22 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Umm, that's the plan been the Bannon's been openly promoting since he switched tracks from Seinfeld to Stasi.

I think "Seinfeld to Schutzstaffel" might be more appropriate.


Oh great now the Soup Nazi episode is going to be impossible to laugh at. (From Soup Nazi to Real Nazi)
posted by dis_integration at 7:29 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


I wonder how much it sticks in puppet master Bannon's craw that he has to tolerate Jared in the West Wing while he Goebbels shit up at his desk.

The thing that honest to g_d terrifies me is that he's probably delighted because he has a Jewish man to blame when it all falls apart.
posted by winna at 7:29 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Anyone know if Jerry Seinfeld himself has weighed in on Bannon being a monstrous Nazi fuck? If not, then I guess Jerry is too insulated by wealth and residual privilege to realize that he's not white any more.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:31 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


From NPR this morning, in a segment titled Evaluating Steve Bannon's Influence On Trump's Speech To Congress, Steve Inskeep and Scott Detrow talked with Kurt Bardella, who used to be a consultant for Breitbart News. Bardella thought it was all the same shit from Trump, in the worst way possible. Inskeep asked "clearly you're critical, isn't there anything that impressed you last night?" Bardella offered a one word reply:

No.

He went on to elaborate, saying it's bullshit that people are congratulating Trump on showing he can exercise restraint and not call anyone who opposes him an enemy. "You're a grown man, you're the president of the United States. The fact that he's being celebrated for this is somewhat ridiculous." This made me so happy!

Especially paired well with the super slimy review of the speech from Ohio Republican Rep. Bill Johnson, which made me shout FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! A number of times at Bill in my car. The only question that made Bill pause was "was this really different from his inaugural address?" He had to think for a while to say "well, he's looking for unity." FUCK YOU, we'll unite when he quits, because he's not going to turn in the face of his majority opposition, like Pence did. He talked about the same fear of immigrants, HE WANTS TO SET UP A NEW TASK FORCE FOR VIOLENCE BY IMMIGRANTS, NOT HATE CRIMES!

Seriously, you want my applause? Turn VOICE into a task force to address white, Christian violence and threats. Recognize the value of immigrants, like Bill Johnson says he does, except he can't seem to realize that children who were brought to the US are now as American as he is, not people to be kicked out and asked to return through "the proper channels."

And I'm back to full GRAR.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:32 AM on March 1 [28 favorites]


Meanwhile NPR interviews Gorka again.

Why bother? Just pinch your anus and say in your best RP "Ahnnnnnyonnnnne who criiiiiiticiiiiiizes the maaaaaagnificent preeeeeeesident is uhhhhhhhterly riiiiiiiiiidciiiculous."
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:33 AM on March 1 [8 favorites]


Anyone know if Jerry Seinfeld himself has weighed in on Bannon being a monstrous Nazi fuck? If not, then I guess Jerry is too insulated by wealth and residual privilege to realize that he's not white any more.

I've looked some and all I've ever found is the writers weighing in on it (aghast).
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:35 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Anybody else wondering if this is the moment that gives Trump the idea to start a Dubya-style hyperpatriotic war to quell internal dissent and tighten his grip on the media?

The more Dubya-style thing I think he's hoping for is another 9/11. They're SO excited for it to happen, and SO impatient, they started making them up (Bowling Green Massacre) in hopes that it would be a big enough fear-inducer that they wouldn't even need a real attack.

An attack will absolutely come, because plenty of hard-right ISIS-et-al dudes are itching to refoment American aggression, and there's literally no benefit to the Trump admin to preventing one (aside from American lives lost that they can get publicly teary over in exchange for Gravitas Points), and it'll provide a huge upside as far as justifying an even greater expansion of presidential authority.

Remember that if this was the Bush presidency right now, the Big Terror Attack That Defines And Strengthens The Presidency doesn't even arrive until six months from now.

They have plenty of time. They'll wait, and then they'll let it happen, and then they'll say we could've stopped the attack IF ONLY the government hadn't been so hamstrung by Liberal Privacy Advocates and Journalists and Muslim Sympathizers.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:37 AM on March 1 [36 favorites]


Among the many petals on this morning's badness flower is, Trump admin has been taught that it will be rewarded for abusing the media
posted by thelonius at 7:38 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


I just found this on Vox. Keep pushing them.

"Lorraine Badoy, a doctor in the Philippine capital of Manila, remembers exactly when she began to see Rodrigo Duterte as someone she could call “my president.”

It was November 2013, three years before Duterte became the president of the Philippines, unleashed a violent crackdown on the nation’s drug dealers that has killed more than 7,000 people, boasted about personally executing suspected criminals, called then-President Barack Obama “a son of a whore,” compared himself to Hitler, picked fights with the Catholic Church, and raised serious questions about the future of one of Washington’s most important diplomatic relationships.

All of that would come later. Badoy’s realization that she could see Duterte leading her country came during the deadly and chaotic aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, which ravaged the Philippines in the waning weeks of 2013 and brought the already impoverished country to its knees. The typhoon killed an estimated 6,000 people, left more than 1,000 missing, and did $11.6 billion in property damage. Entire villages disappeared. It was a national tragedy for the Philippines on the scale of Hurricane Katrina in the US.

Badoy, who for years had gone on medical missions in the area hit hardest by the typhoon, watched the news from her home in Manila, feeling anguished and helpless.

Then she saw a news clip of Duterte, the mayor of Davao, a commercial hub in the southern island of Mindanao, who had brought an 80-person government medical team from his hometown and three helicopters lent by wealthy friends to help in the search-and-rescue operations. Duterte also brought the equivalent of $140,000 in cash to help typhoon survivors. In comments that drew enormous media coverage across the Philippines, Duterte cried as he said that “God must have been somewhere else” when the storm hit.

It was at that moment that Badoy began to wish that someone like Duterte, already known for talking tough and literally packing a pistol around Davao, would take the helm of her country. What Badoy watched touched her so deeply that it literally brought her to tears. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, there is a local official like that,’” she told me. “Here was someone who mirrored my rage and grief.”"
posted by saysthis at 7:40 AM on March 1 [15 favorites]


No amount of grasping at "balance" is going to save NPR from Trump's scythe. Listening to Mara Fucking Liasson - or as I like to spell it, "Liaison" - lob softballs and use "right, okay" as her filler words when interviewing Trump apologists is such a waste of time.
posted by Caxton1476 at 7:41 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Was in Fred Meyer the other day abscess there was an in store announcement that they had soups "from Seinfeld's Soup Guy" - ahh, normalization.
posted by Artw at 7:41 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Was in Fred Meyer the other day abscess there was

sounds about right.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:43 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


It's always been branded as Soup Guy (Soup Man?) soup, for like a decade now.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:43 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


serious question: I've seen a lot of frustration with NPR in these treads for the past many months.

I'm often left wondering why in the world everyone still listens to them. Is it that they sometimes get it right, and sometimes get it wrong and people are venting their frustrations here.. or is it something else?
posted by INFJ at 7:43 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


I'm often left wondering why in the world everyone still listens to them. Is it that they sometimes get it right, and sometimes get it wrong and people are venting their frustrations here.. or is it something else?

People don't want the nation to have descended into an insane fascist dictatorship and if NPR isn't screaming that it has, then everything must be OK.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:45 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Guys i just got home and my BOOZE IS NOT POURED YET.

I gave it up for Lent. It just occurred to me that that maybe wasn't such a hot choice.
posted by Gelatin at 7:46 AM on March 1 [9 favorites]


i don't. i stopped listening to npr after election day.

and i will never stop being angry, frustrated, and disappointed they abandoned their mission
posted by entropicamericana at 7:46 AM on March 1 [12 favorites]


I'm often left wondering why in the world everyone still listens to them. Is it that they sometimes get it right, and sometimes get it wrong and people are venting their frustrations here.. or is it something else?

It's that Democracy Now! comes on just after my commute ends, and I'm so harried in the morning that I can't be bothered to queue up a podcast, and music irritates me in the morning, and I still want to be entertained while I drive. Other radio stations in my area (AM talk, Praise 103.2, Jim 'n' Doodle in the Morning) are all obviously terrible. Plus, I want some reassurance that things are normal, or that some people seem to think things are normal enough that I can live my day calmly.
posted by witchen at 7:51 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Quartz: What Steve Bannon really wants
If there is a political vision underlying Trumpism, however, the person to ask is not Trump. It’s his éminence grise, Stephen K. Bannon, the chief strategist of the Trump administration.

...

Bannon’s political philosophy boils down to three things that a Western country, and America in particular, needs to be successful: Capitalism, nationalism, and “Judeo-Christian values.” These are all deeply related, and essential.
And they're related in ways that promote purity of purpose and a very binary way of looking at the world.
What we do know for sure, though, is that a man who has staked out a deep desire for a violent resurgence of “Western civilization” now has the power to fulfill it.
His violent delights have violent ends.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:51 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


I'm often left wondering why in the world everyone still listens to them. Is it that they sometimes get it right, and sometimes get it wrong and people are venting their frustrations here.. or is it something else?

Yes it can be awful but only if you don't compare it to right wing talk radio. It's popular not for what it is but what it isn't. Put it in that context & the reason becomes clear.
posted by scalefree at 7:53 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


I gave it up for Lent. It just occurred to me that that maybe wasn't such a hot choice.

I took 3 weeks off in October. The first three. It was supposed to be a month, but the debates and whatnot wore me down. Stay strong!
posted by lazaruslong at 7:54 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


“Judeo-Christian values.”

when you hear "judeo-christian values" these days, don't think "love thy neighbor as yourself", think "crusade to retake the holy land"
posted by murphy slaw at 7:57 AM on March 1 [34 favorites]


So pissed that the narrative has been about lauding how that man cleared a bar so low that it was buried in the ground. It's the political equivalent of the average, typical 12 year old using the toilet properly and being showered with praise like they had just completed a PhD--totally out of proportion in relation to what actually happened.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 7:58 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


Why NPR?
I listen during my commute and my only other choice is the am dial.
It's got nothing to do with wanting a cozy world view and everything to do with having a ten year old car with no Sirius or iPod jacks and no other stations that give me anything.
posted by SyraCarol at 7:58 AM on March 1 [10 favorites]


i don't. i stopped listening to npr after election day.

Same. I haven't been able to listen to NPR since election day - and I used to have it on for a good 4-6 hours every day. Now, the only time it's on is when we leave the house and turn on the radio for the dogs. Currently, the only things I can tolerate are the podcasts from Crooked Media and Stephen Colbert's Late Show segments.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:59 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


i used to leave it on for the cat but the baleful you-wont-believe-the-shit-they-said-today looks she was giving when i got home everyday made me stop last month
posted by entropicamericana at 8:03 AM on March 1 [64 favorites]


i stopped listening to npr after election day.

Same here. We'll listen if Wait, Wait is on but that's it.
Removed from my bookmarks of news sites.
posted by Dashy at 8:03 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


The State of Trump's State Department

“They really want to blow this place up,” said the mid-level State Department official. “I don’t think this administration thinks the State Department needs to exist. They think Jared [Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law] can do everything. It’s reminiscent of the developing countries where I’ve served. The family rules everything, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows nothing.”
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:07 AM on March 1 [63 favorites]


re: I don't have anything else to listen to.

May I suggest one of these? Cheap, nice sound, does fm radio, and plays sound from your phone (if you have a smartphone) and sd cards. Battery life seems pretty good too.

Don't listen to stuff that upsets you because it's your only option.
posted by INFJ at 8:07 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Redemption narratives seem to sell well in the media.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:08 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


I like NPR for my short drives because 1) there's a broad range of topics covered, 2) this includes world news coverage, 3) it's honestly my only news source outside of MetaFilter, and 4) my drive isn't that long, and I have a significant stock of CDs to blot out the ads and segments that I don't want to hear.

In terms of softballing dangerous idiots, they're far from alone, so I can't single them out.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:08 AM on March 1 [8 favorites]


Also she "didn't mean to" put her feet on the sofa, she was asked to take a picture from that angle.

Huh, I wonder what Pete Souza would have done.

Or anyone who is paid to take photographs (gosh, do you think there were any around?) and yet manages not to take of their shoes at a formal gathering in the highest office in the country.

And I can only imagine the revolt if Obama (or Hillary) had taken off their shoes and put their bare feet where people sit and touch.

Casual racism, yes, in this case literally.
posted by Dashy at 8:09 AM on March 1 [10 favorites]


“Judeo-Christian values.”

when you hear "judeo-christian values" these days, don't think "love thy neighbor as yourself", think "crusade to retake the holy land"


I don't think there's a phrase that makes me angrier, mostly because it seeks to make Jews seem complicit in this Islamaphobic, anti-Immigrant, anti-Refugee bullshit.

Like, I'd rather they blame us for our own grave desecration and terrorism than saying that it's our values that send refugees back to die. I know it's not a real choice because we currently have both, but I still feel like the second seems to be the worse insult.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:10 AM on March 1 [18 favorites]


So, one of the lesser-discussed aspects of The View From Nowhere being brought to the forefront by the Trump administration is that TVFN basically requires that its adherents are subscribe to a form of Last Thursdayism. Acknowledging that the past exists and can be known might invite bias, after all. So to be properly unbiased, one must pretend that only the present matters and the future is pregnant with all possibilities, unburdened by cause-and-effect.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:13 AM on March 1 [8 favorites]


Or anyone who is paid to take photographs (gosh, do you think there were any around?) and yet manages not to take of their shoes at a formal gathering in the highest office in the country.

I mean, it's not like they didn't have a professional photographer in the room. It's why we have a picture of Kellyanne in the first place.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:14 AM on March 1 [8 favorites]


Currently, the only things I can tolerate are the podcasts from Crooked Media

Yeah, and frankly the post-Obama mutual admiration society over there needs to be adjourned in favor of actual discussion of the implications of policies and not whose tweets about them were funniest, and also interviews with people who don't hang out at their parties.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:17 AM on March 1 [10 favorites]


“Stephen Colbert Responds to the Democrats’ Response to Trump’s Address to Congress,” Megh Wright, Splitsider, 01 March 2017
“Showing a retired politician from a darkened cafeteria reinforced the Democrats’ central message for 2017: ‘Please don’t tell them where we’re hiding!'” Colbert says. “So, people who believe that Donald Trump is an existential threat to this nation, to the experiment of democracy, to Western civilization itself, take heart, because for their powerful rebuttal, the Democrats showed a rerun of The Andy Griffith Show.”
“No, Trump’s Address to Congress Wasn’t ‘Presidential,’” Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect, 01 March 2017
The consensus forming among political observers on Donald J. Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress is that the president seemed “presidential.” Well, sure, if your idea of presidential is an authoritarian maniac who can read a teleprompter.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:18 AM on March 1 [33 favorites]


I switched from NPR to the local classical music station (which runs BBC news on the hour during morning and evening drive time). I grew up listening to Morning Edition and ATC every single day and had kind of assumed my own kid would also be raised like that so it was hard to stop. I still listen to the local NPR station on the weekends because it's really just the news I object to. And I still support my local NPR station because they do good local reporting and I don't want to throw that baby out with the bathwater.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:18 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


I don't think there's a phrase that makes me angrier, mostly because it seeks to make Jews seem complicit in this Islamaphobic, anti-Immigrant, anti-Refugee bullshit.

try not to take it too personally, it's just that we need to co-opt the old testament because that's where the kick-ass angry god lives
posted by murphy slaw at 8:19 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


I was actually kinda tickled that (if?) Bannon remembered to include the "Judeo." But yeah, thanks but no thanks.

It's pretty funny that it's lasted so long as a phrase people say, since if you know even a little about the fundamentals of both faiths, they really don't have very much in common when it comes to basic core values other than the ones that are universal to all religions (and honestly, once it gets down to the "don't kill / don't steal / be good to others" level, any non-nihilistic version of atheism as well). I mean, "For the Bible teaches us there is no greater act of love than to lay down one's life for one's friends" ? The Jewish Bible sure doesn't.
posted by Mchelly at 8:19 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Oh, they only add the "Judeo" to make it seem like they're not Christianist theocrats. "Look everyone, there's one other religion we like too! We're not the Taliban! please pay no attention to our antisemitic apocalypse fanfiction"
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:20 AM on March 1 [15 favorites]


Also I have dishes to do and rugs to vacuum and cars from the 90s, and once you start actually trying to rely on podcasts instead of NPR you quickly exhaust everything that is current, interesting and listenable in a basic sense, unless you're OK with 101 flavors of TAL/Radiolab.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:21 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


When they say Judeo-Christian, the Judeo part means that in their Christian nation it will literally not be illegal to be Jewish.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:21 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


"Judeo-Christian" has always bothered me, because it knocks Muslims out of the Abrahamic tripod quite deliberately. It's certainly descriptive in academic contexts, but in political speech it's solely exclusionary, imho.
posted by xyzzy at 8:23 AM on March 1 [20 favorites]


And I can only imagine the revolt if Obama (or Hillary) had taken off their shoes and put their bare feet where people sit and touch.

She kept her shoes on. You can see her heels digging into the couch in this picture, which for me is worse than taking them off.
I know the shoes thing is getting old for some people, so sorry to keep it going.
posted by peeedro at 8:24 AM on March 1 [11 favorites]


I mean, it's not like they didn't have a professional photographer in the room. It's why we have a picture of Kellyanne in the first place.

Okay, replying to my own comment to say - why did the photographer take this picture of Kellyanne, and why did the White House okay its release, other than to dogwhistle some disrespect?
posted by dinty_moore at 8:27 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


I listen to podcasts a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I listen while I'm running and while I'm commuting and while I'm doing housework. Shamefully, like 60% of my subscriptions right now are Trump/US politics-related. But there's plenty others that aren't and that don't follow the TAL/Radiolab format (as much as I love both those shows, come at me bros). For one, there's about umpteen thousand history podcasts. My husband is obsessed with them. There's true crime podcasts. There's scary ghost story podcasts (Lore is great). There's so much out there.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:27 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


They have plenty of time. They'll wait, and then they'll let it happen, and then they'll say we could've stopped the attack IF ONLY the government hadn't been so hamstrung by Liberal Privacy Advocates and Journalists and Muslim Sympathizers.

Yeah, for sure, but—DO they really have plenty of time? Each week brings us closer to an on-camera Incident that not even the compliant media can send to the memory hole—the President dropping a baby on its head, or erupting in explosive diarrhea in front of Wolf Blitzer, or forgetting where he is and drinking blood from the neck of his daughter.

Maybe I'm missing something, or being too rational in an irrational zeitgeist, but it seems to me that they need a Big Real Manly War ASAP.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 8:29 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile NPR interviews Gorka again.


Yup. I was listening in the car during my commute to work this morning (a 17 year old car), and when they announced his name, I actually said "Nope." out loud and turned off the radio.

I also stopped donating to NPR (was a monthly regular) a month ago and switched the gift to One-n-Ten here in Arizona, instead.

I can't express how disappointing NPR has become recently as a journalistic counterbalance to the authoritarian, nationalistic excesses of Trump and his administration. The fact that Gorka was offered a platform on NPR is frustrating.

I mean, what do they expect him to say that could provide anything enlightening and non-propagandistic? Like Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Miller, etc., Gorka's already been shown to be an unrepentant liar with an authoritarian streak. Find a Trump supporter who isn't paid to shill for Trump and ask their opinion, if they want to interview "both sides".
posted by darkstar at 8:29 AM on March 1 [15 favorites]


I'm often left wondering why in the world everyone still listens to them. Is it that they sometimes get it right, and sometimes get it wrong and people are venting their frustrations here.. or is it something else?

Their ME and ATC interviewers are deeply unsatisfying. I listen for better overall news coverage - national and international - than I can get from other local radio sources when I'm in the car. And my affiliate, Iowa Public Radio, gives air time to a decent array of programs. I suppose I just have warm memories of people like Ray Suarez holding people's feet to the fire back in the day on Talk of the Nation. (I think he's still on that one PBS program, but I never get to watch it. No idea what he's like now.)
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:31 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Okay so a VICE news report about Stephen Miller just came across my FB feed and I'll admit I didn't know that much about him except that he's awful and from California and has cold, dead eyes.

Soooo okay this administration is purely made up of people who were normal-ish until 9/11 and then all went utterly bananapants insane?

Christ, the terrorists really did win, didn't they? (And where is Dennis Miller?)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:31 AM on March 1 [10 favorites]


"Judeo-Christian" has always bothered me, because it knocks Muslims out of the Abrahamic tripod quite deliberately. It's certainly descriptive in academic contexts, but in political speech it's solely exclusionary, imho.

Indeed -- "Judeo-Christian" is a specific choice of phrasing over, say, "western monothesism." (Which is also interesting, in terms of gatekeeping the canonical sources Western civilization and science, Orientalism, etc). And in American political speech it's also linked to "biblical values" and "family values" -- they tend to be used in tandem. To make sure everyone understands whose bibles and families we're talking about.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:32 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


why did the photographer take this picture of Kellyanne, and why did the White House okay its release, other than to dogwhistle some disrespect?

I'd say there's a good chance that they just didn't even think it was disrespectful. Someone thought it was just a cute photo.
posted by Etrigan at 8:37 AM on March 1 [8 favorites]


But there's plenty others that aren't and that don't follow the TAL/Radiolab format (as much as I love both those shows, come at me bros). For one, there's about umpteen thousand history podcasts. My husband is obsessed with them. There's true crime podcasts. There's scary ghost story podcasts (Lore is great). There's so much out there.

You can actually exhaust the history and culture etc stuff if you rely on it to the exclusion of radio for long enough, to the point that you're waiting on new episodes. It took me the better part of a year, but yeah. I'll admit that I'm not much into listening to true crime podcasts (101 flavors of Serial) or ghost stories. And I'm also not much into the kind of exhaustive analysis of some fandom or pop culture niche that lends itself well to long panel shows.

I like TAL and Radiolab too, but so many shows are done in that mold that it gets terribly boring.

I guess I want someone to try and do a podcast based Air America type thing. Without all the overhead that being on the actual radio had.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:44 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


I'd say there's a good chance that they just didn't even think it was disrespectful.

To which I forgot to add: And the far, far more telling aspect of it is that the response of the White House and the Right generally wasn't "Hrm, yeah, we see how that looked pretty uncool, sorry about that", but somewhere between "Oh, did this TRIGGER you, SNOWFLAKE?" and "Obama did it too, you HYPOCRITE."
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


I guess I want someone to try and do a podcast based Air America type thing. Without all the overhead that being on the actual radio had.

Crooked Media?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:50 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


I can't be the only one who thought of that Chappelle Show skit when they saw that photo of Conway.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:53 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]




James Fallows (Carter's chief speechwriter) dives deep into Trump's speech, it's a worthwhile take on the tone, content, what was missing, and the Ryan Owens moment: Giving Trump a Clean Shave.
posted by peeedro at 8:56 AM on March 1 [15 favorites]


Holy shit, the steak and shoes on the couch discussion is making me lose my mind. See y'all in the next thread.
posted by xyzzy at 8:58 AM on March 1 [22 favorites]


It's not like she was wearing well-done steaks on her feet and tracking ketchup footprints all over the White House.
posted by peeedro at 9:03 AM on March 1 [14 favorites]


Wired: Trump's Speech to Congress Was a Peter Thiel Fever Dream
After Trump’s speech ended, TV and Twitter pundits began debating whether it bore the populist hallmarks of chief strategist Steve Bannon or the policy wonkishness of senior advisor Stephen Miller. But for those who follow the Silicon Valley billionaire and Facebook investor, notes of Thiel sounded throughout the hour-plus address.
...
Note, for example, Trump’s call for easing the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory oversight of new drug development. In the past, Thiel has railed against the safety restrictions with which pharmaceutical companies must comply. He told an audience in 2015, “You would not be able to invent the polio vaccine today.”
Counterpoint: It’s not the FDA that gets in the way of innovation — it’s the limits of our knowledge (Vox)
Trump has vowed to cut 75 to 80 percent of government regulations. “Instead of it being 9,000 pages, it’ll be 100 pages,” Trump told a group of pharmaceutical company executives in January, presumably in reference to FDA’s guidance and rules.

One of the key notions that undergirds Trump’s view of the FDA is that if the agency just got rid of some of the pesky restrictions for drug approval, we could have a golden age in drug development, not just for rare diseases, but all diseases.

To test this idea, I asked a longtime pharmaceutical scientist (and conservative), Derek Lowe, for his views. In his 28 years in the lab, Lowe has seen hundreds of thousands of compounds tested on a huge variety of drug targets. But he has never brought a drug to market.

The reason? “We don’t know how to find drugs that work,” he said.

For every 5,000 compounds discovered at this "preclinical" phase of drug development, only about five are promising enough to be tried in humans. That’s a success rate of 0.1 percent.
And more context on Thiel's polio comment, Peter Thiel has never met a regulation he didn’t hate (Fortune, Feb 10, 2015)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 AM on March 1 [20 favorites]


The cheap exploitation of a very deep and palpable grief during Trump's address was a very disturbing example of reality t.v. ratings sociopathy.

From peedro's link, the final two grafs are particularly pointed in comparing Trump's lack of leadership with his predecessors:
On the very same day in which Trump had tried to deflect blame for Ryan’s death and other problems of the Yemen raid, saying (incredibly) of military leaders “they lost Ryan”; on the very day after he said publicly that the nation’s military “doesn’t win any more” and “we don’t fight to win”—at that moment, Donald Trump thought it suitable to use a grieving widow in this way. And then to say, as the applause finally died down, that the cheers had “set a record.”

If you thought this “presidential,” fine.

For me, it was too easy.

The president I worked for, Jimmy Carter, forthrightly took personal responsibility after his administration’s most dramatic failure, the attempted rescue of American hostages from the embassy in Teheran. “It was my decision to attempt the rescue operation,” he said on national TV. “It was my decision to cancel it … The responsibility is fully my own.” The first president I remember, John F. Kennedy, took public responsibility early in his administration for the failed invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs. Our most recent president, Barack Obama, said after an intelligence failure, “Ultimately, the buck stops with me.” This is, finally, what presidents do. As George W. Bush put it, each is “the decider.” They can accept credit for success, but they must take responsibility for failures.

I am not yet aware of the latest incumbent ever taking public responsibility for a mistake or a failure. That will be the next step in becoming presidential.
posted by darkstar at 9:05 AM on March 1 [34 favorites]


I understand having a laugh about the steaks when it happened, but really? People are still talking about that?

The Kellyanne photo at least reveals a telling difference in how the Obamas are treated versus Trump's white bread inner circle. But most of the comments about it aren't talking about that, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:05 AM on March 1




Mainly I'm surprised at how the blatant antisemitism just... *poof* ...disappeared.
posted by Artw at 9:11 AM on March 1


I'm pretty much convinced Twitler is frightened of the NatSec and operational military stuff. It's why he skips the intel briefings. It's one reason why he wants to outsource it to Bannon. It's why he wants to spike defense spending when he doesn't have a SecNav or a SecArmy and can't possibly understand what he's actually spending that money on. He wants to be seen as tough and strong, but he knows he's completely out of his depth so he wants to keep it all completely vague. And it's why he's happy to wash his hands of actions in Yemen, and why that will be a pattern.

As arrogant as he is, he knows how badly he could screw up a military action or a NatSec issue. He has already done it, too, and he choked during an op when all he had to do was observe and now a serviceman has died and the whole raid was a fiasco.

He's frightened, and he doesn't want to look.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:12 AM on March 1 [23 favorites]


The section with the SEAL's widow was just ...... terrifying. Scary as fuck.

What really bugs me, tons of commentary that essentially says "exploitation of the fallen" is a common political tactic of BOTH sides.

Like - yeah guys, c'mon, we all crap on people we order off to die for us for bullshit reasons all the time and parade their corpses and make grieving families dance for the public.

But this time is wrong because Trump. And "botched raid." And reasons.

No politicians, hell, no members of the public I've read in the news, takes any personal responsibility for sending men off to their death (With, Truman aside, one recent exception).

NO ONE says "yeah, our/my bad they died for a pointless reason/political expediency."

What's the difference, particularly, about a SEAL and a regular warfighter?
The bottom line seems to be money. We lost, the narrative goes, a $70 million piece of equipment and the life of a well trained (that is, very expensive) warfighter. As opposed to the usual peons in rank and file.
It's a qualitative consideration. Some other military family loses a loved one, meh.
Oh, but THIS guy...

Granted we lose a pilot or nuclear tech or TACP things have probably gone to hell.
But Pararescue, Drill Instructors, combat medics, combat engineers, helicopter WO, (and lawyers) have huge training costs. Intelligence cadre training costs are stupifying and ongoing (like engineers, medics, lawyers, etc). All that on top of (ballpark) $350K OCS training.

And yeah, the right jerks off over the military, SF in general and SEALs in particular. But - as odious as Trump genuinely is - this particular bit of self-serving military fetishizing rhetoric is endemic to American civilian society and has been for a while.

As long as we argue the political rightness or wrongness of the casus belli and cast military service in that light, the deaths will just keep rolling on and on. Because THIS time we're killing the right bad guys.

The purpose SCPO Ryan died for was beyond whatever stakes in a specific engagement.

The fighting was not worth the life or lives? Sure, I'd wholeheartedly agree under almost any warfighting we've done in our recent past.

But that's a different argument than whether or not a servicemember died in vain. A stove explodes and kills an E-1 on kitchen detail, that death is not in vain and just as meaningful as the well trained special forces operator who dies in a combat zone.
It's about service to a principle and living a life, not just risking a life, and sacrificing - even if blood isn't spilled in an overt and spectacular way it's a sacrifice - for an ideal.

It takes courage to swear an oath and devote oneself to duty and honor whether a life is lost or lived well in service. It's never a death in vain.
What about a SEAL (or grunt) who dies in training without reaching the front line just because of an accident (some are unavoidable like traffic accidents)? That's in vain because they never reached a war zone?

No. They lived up to their obligation they swore to their principles.

Now, did the U.S. fail to live up to their end? Ah, that's a different question.

Valor is not vanity.
Someone dies in an unfulfilled cause. The honor is theirs alone.
The disgrace belongs to the people who sent them.

That's the tragedy here. That's what perpetuates the war dead.

Mattis' service was exploited just as much.

As Lincoln said (as Trump mis-referenced) the fallen are concecrated on the field of battle far above "our poor power to add or detract" but the cause they fight for can only be made worthy to those who are "dedicated to the great task remaining before us" that "these dead shall not have died in vain."

We keep laying off the guilt for failing the fallen on political enemies - rightly or wrongly. (And yeah, I'd drop this particular one right on Trump)
But there's always going to be another raid, another operation, another war.

One we accept our obligation to be as politically selfless and as faithful in working for to our principles as those who fight for them, that will end.

I know there are plenty of Americans that do that of course. But the last famous one that first comes to mind was Cicero.

...I guess that makes Trump Mark Antony and makes Putin Cleopatra.

"All honest men killed Caesar....some lacked design, some courage, some opportunity: none lacked the will." - Cicero
posted by Smedleyman at 9:13 AM on March 1 [15 favorites]


Which part of antisemitism disappeared? Because these folks in Indiana are not feeling it.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:16 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


People are still talking about that?

I am people, so, yes, apparently. Others are not required to talk about it, though. :)

Also, "still" implies a rather long time between the act and the discussion. It just happened within the last couple of days. I understand that is like, forever, when we get a new thread to dump on Trump every few days, but it's not easy to keep up, you know?

That said, and more relevant to the content of what I posted:

If one follows my link to the Bors cartoon, they will see that it's not actually raking the Donald over the coals for his steaks at all. It's making a point how the relatively mild eye-rolling that his eating habits caused is being conflated with an argument that "the man is EVIL because he has ketchup on his steaks". And then THAT becomes the straw man used to undermine the much more deeply held objections to Trump many of us have on other bases, as if it's evidence of our having a kind of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

So, the cartoon addresses a meta issue in the discourse that goes far beyond the matter of the steaks or the shoes or what his hair looks like, or whatever insignificant criticisms we might have expressed in the past. For that reason, I thought it was relevant to the discussion.

To be clear: I really don't care what the man eats.* I'm more interested in his nationalist authoritarian statements and policies, his gross incompetence, and his evident sociopathic narcissism. And I am keen to make sure that chuckling at his minor peccadilloes isn't conflated with, and thus allows the dismissal of, these much more significant concerns.


*I feel like I'd want to qualify this in a hundred ways, but to do so would be stating what I hope would be obvious and not germane to the discussion.
posted by darkstar at 9:22 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Something else about that Yemen raid that isn't getting remotely enough attention: Twitler said, very explicitly during the campaign, "We have to go after the families." And now we have fourteen dead civilians, nine of them children.

It is incredibly uncomfortable to consider that. Did our SEALs do that deliberately? Was it just one more awful aspect of a deadly fiasco? I've heard all the urban myths of how SpecOps guys are warned they might be ordered to kill civilians and that's one of the ways they screen people in early selection and training. Is it believable? I don't know. Something like that is simultaneously easy and hard to believe. It jumps right into confirming whatever world-view you have.

And that question almost doesn't matter, given how completely believable it is to have lots of accidental civilian casualties in a night raid where everything is going wrong.

But Twitler literally talked about killing families of suspected terrorists during the campaign and now we have nine dead kids.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:26 AM on March 1 [46 favorites]


And more context on Thiel's polio comment, Peter Thiel has never met a regulation he didn’t hate

Does Australia, being a country with English law, have any prohibition on bills of pains and penalties?

If not, there should be a Department of Thiel that just goes around and regulates every aspect of Thiel's life there. They can start with the Thiel Clownsuit Act.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:30 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


the sooner we as a species can stop cloaking murder, exploitation, and empire in terms like honor, valor, and duty, the better off we'll all be
posted by entropicamericana at 9:30 AM on March 1 [22 favorites]


Status Quo Bias Is a Hell of a Drug
In the wake of Bush v. Gore, Mark Tushnet wrote a short, brilliant essay about the various strategies that the legal academy would use to avoid the obvious implications of the Supreme Court lawlessly concluding a contested election along nakedly partisan lines. The felt need to see the Supreme Court as a legitimate institution, or that the public see it as such irrespective of whether this legitimacy is merited, is strong. It’s not always as naked as Larry Lessig making a bad argument as an oral advocate because if Antonin Scalia was a partisan hack rather than a Principled Jurist his whole life would be a lie, but it’s a powerful tendency.

And so it is with the presidency and the political press. Many pundits have a strong need to tell themselves that American political institutions are fundamentally OK when they very clearly aren’t OK. And, needless to say, the media was one of the institutions that completely failed and played a major role in producing a political crisis in 2016, so normalizing the Trump Show is self-serving as well.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:30 AM on March 1 [48 favorites]


When they say Judeo-Christian, the Judeo part means that in their Christian nation it will literally not be illegal to be Jewish.

It doesn't even usually mean that. It commonly means that christianity and judaism share a common origin. The word is usually used by non-jewish people who want to make it sound like they're refering to a culture that is thousands of years old, even though of course no such thing exists.

There was a Dutch politican who argued that a long time ago jewish people immigrated to the Netherlands, and now we call our culture a "judeo-christian" culture. And maybe, over time, we could have a similar process with muslim immigrants. That islam would similarly be part of our culture. That statement was immediately slammed down by our (current) prime minister, Mark Rutte, who said that of course the term "judeo-christian" had nothing to do with jewish immigrants, but with the origin of the christian faith.
posted by blub at 9:30 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


It almost goes without saying that academic conferences are being moved to non-U.S. locations as we speak. I know this first-hand.

The weird knock-on effect of this is that immigrants in the United States won't attend the foreign conferences due to uncertainty on whether they will be able to return back to the U.S. So immigrants get punished again as usual.
posted by srboisvert at 9:32 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


I guess I want someone to try and do a podcast based Air America type thing. Without all the overhead that being on the actual radio had.

Crooked Media?


See above re: Crooked Media. Pod Save the World is better, but it's once a week for 45 minutes (plus five minutes of ads for stuff Facebook is already trying to sell you). And I like Ana Marie Cox on a personality level, but it's going to get old listening to her scold the DNC for not listening to midwestern churchgoers. (I'm sure she still has awesome sources, but I don't think the plan is for her to do actual reporting.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:42 AM on March 1


The Worst Performance of Trump’s Presidency Now Belongs to the Press Corps

There is apparently less capacity for living and learning in political journalism than there is in elementary school; less object permanence than in nursery school.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:46 AM on March 1 [32 favorites]


I've got a million dollar idea for Crooked Media: they need to do a series following Democrats who are elected to or trying to get elected to small potatoes local offices. I've mentioned before that I'm friends with a small town mayor and my lunches with her are fascinating. And if folks are really looking to get more involved at a local level--and they absolutely should--they need to know this stuff. My friend has a completely different perspective on our state and federal level reps than I do, because she has to actually try to get money and resources out of them. She also gets harassed. A lot. This is great stuff for a newly energized Dem base to know about.

Call me, Lovett.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:47 AM on March 1 [34 favorites]


It commonly means that christianity and judaism share a common origin.

And Christians have always treated Jews great!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:48 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]




And if I had my ponies, I'd ride them through the longboats. Me up on my ponies in the longboats on the blue.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:52 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


folks, i have a sick feeling that if the press cannot sink someone like donald trump, they are actually incapable of sinking anyone at this point
posted by murphy slaw at 9:54 AM on March 1 [22 favorites]


I've got a million dollar idea for Crooked Media: they need to do a series following Democrats who are elected to or trying to get elected to small potatoes local offices.

Hmm, Gimlet is primed to do this. It's a political version of their StartUp podcast.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:55 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


I don't think Gimlet is activist enough for it to reach full "Hey, you guys want to do this thing? You should want to do this thing. Here's how to do the thing." potential. They'd just be like, "Here's an interesting thing. Make of it what you will. Also here are some Republicans."
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:57 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


I've come to the realization that I only like these threads if we're talking about fresh evidence of Trump's collusion with Russia. Everything else feels bleak or pointless.
posted by diogenes at 9:59 AM on March 1 [22 favorites]


I don't think Gimlet is activist enough for it to reach full "Hey, you guys want to do this thing? You should want to do this thing. Here's how to do the thing." potential. They'd just be like, "Here's an interesting thing. Make of it what you will. Also here are some Republicans."

I mean....if it's a million dollar idea (or a quarter of a million dollar idea), I feel like they could get pretty activist. But you're probably right.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:02 AM on March 1


A few threads back we mentioned Rep. Stephen Lynch and I mentioned that as a former constituent, I hoped they'd primary the hell out of him. Well,

Rep. Stephen Lynch says media has treated Trump unfairly
posted by waitingtoderail at 10:06 AM on March 1



So I take some time away for US politics and come back to the press being babies again?
What the hell happened?
posted by Jalliah at 10:09 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


What the hell happened?

MEDIA: He didn't yell at us! He likes us, he really likes us!
TRUMP: They didn't laugh at me! They like me, they really like me!
posted by murphy slaw at 10:11 AM on March 1 [27 favorites]


What the hell happened?

Bar = low.
Desire for return to status quo = high
posted by nubs at 10:13 AM on March 1 [23 favorites]




TPM: Oprah Hints That She Is Open To Running For President
During an interview with Bloomberg’s David Rubenstein published Wednesday morning, the talk show host and media mogul implied that Donald Trump’s unlikely election had dispelled her notion that she wasn’t qualified for the job.

“I never actually never thought that that was – I never considered the question even a possibility,” she said when Rubenstein asked her if she had mulled running for president. “I just thought, ‘Oh – oh!’”

“Because it’s clear that you don’t need government experience to be elected president of the United States, right?” he said.

“That’s what I said!” Winfrey replied. “I thought ‘Oh gee I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough,’ and now I’m thinking, ‘Oh – oh!’”
TPM is overhyping this a bit, even with the qualifications they've put on it; I think this is 95% throwing shade at Trump's obvious lack of qualifications and competence, and maybe 5%, at most, suggesting that she's open to running. But. That's an intriguing five percent.
posted by cjelli at 10:14 AM on March 1 [13 favorites]


Assuming their worst agenda item remained stalled in utter dysfunction (yes, big assumption), there's some light here for Democrats. If only they can capitalize, tie him and Republicans to everything he promised but can't deliver, and lay out a real populist agenda in opposition.

What's more, for all the wailing about how only Trump listened to the concerns of the White Working Class Voter™, there's much that Democrats could -- and did, and do -- propose that should appeal to the working and middle classes. They need to be more aggressive, however, in pointing out that Republicans won't let them deliver because they'd have to give up their tax cuts for the rich.
posted by Gelatin at 10:14 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


So I take some time away for US politics and come back to the press being babies again?
What the hell happened?


He spent a whole hour where he didn't vomit on his shoes.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:15 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


It's almost 3 hours old at this point, but going back to this idea that Trump and Bannon are wetting their pants in anticipation of another 9/11 so he can show how bigly presidential he is - I really don't think he can pull it off. He's really terrible at any sort of extemporaneous speaking other than jocular self-aggrandizement and mocking of the "losers" surrounding him. Only in planned speeches does he come off at all "presidential." But at times like that, you don't have 3-4 days to write a speech, 36 hours to beat it into his brain, and teleprompters everywhere for him to read it from; rather, one needs to speak from the heart, and what's in his heart is... not good.

Like, does anyone remember that time he was trying to console a friend who had suffered some kind of loss and what he ended up saying was basically "you've got a great family; I tried to bang your wife once and she totally wouldn't, so very faithful. Anyway sorry for your loss."? I don't recall the people involved so I can't search for it. But that's how I see him coming off in the event of a national tragedy. I think the vast majority of people are going to be fully disgusted.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:15 AM on March 1 [10 favorites]


I've come to the realization that I only like these threads if we're talking about fresh evidence of Trump's collusion with Russia. Everything else feels bleak or pointless.

Same. I'm desperate for something that could bail us out of this. Still hopeful? But more desperate than ever, and disappointed when there aren't any new developments.
posted by witchen at 10:15 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


>Rep. Stephen Lynch says media has treated Trump unfairly

Then Rep. Lynch needs to be scraped off the political landscape like gum on a shoe. So does anyone who parrots Trump's (well known and pattern established) false victimhood. Maybe Rep. Lynch thinks Trump was cheated when he didn't get an emmy for The Apprentice?
posted by Catblack at 10:17 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Like, does anyone remember that time he was trying to console a friend who had suffered some kind of loss

lol he's not going to be "i feel your pain america," he's gonna be "kill em all and let god sort it out and by the way imma suspend all civil rights and liberties while we 'figger this out'" and people are going to lick. it. up.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:17 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


So I take some time away for US politics and come back to the press being babies again?
What the hell happened?

He spent a whole hour where he didn't vomit on his shoes.

Well bah. *sigh* I took a brief break from this world and spent the past few days playing Dungeons and Dragons in my free time. Feel like I should just go back to that world and live there for the time being.
posted by Jalliah at 10:19 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


I do not care if Brianna Wu is not the perfect candidate, I am still glad she is primarying that fucker.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:21 AM on March 1 [18 favorites]


>lol he's not going to be...

So this draft-dodger who just today refused to accept responsibility for the SEAL who died on his orders, who has insulted military families. Yeah, we know he's waiting for another national tragedy to seize more power.

>and people are going to lick. it. up.

And those people are the real enemies to American democracy, and you shouldn't turn your backs on them for a second.
posted by Catblack at 10:24 AM on March 1 [21 favorites]


Like, does anyone remember that time he was trying to console a friend who had suffered some kind of loss and what he ended up saying was basically "you've got a great family; I tried to bang your wife once and she totally wouldn't, so very faithful. Anyway sorry for your loss."? I don't recall the people involved so I can't search for it.

It was Kelly Preston and John Travolta, after the death of their son:
The mogul expressed his condolences to Preston for her loss, but not before he mentioned the time he tried to sleep with her. According to Trump, the attempt failed.

"A long time ago, before I was married, I met Kelly Preston at a club and worked like hell to try and pick her up," he wrote on the Trump University website. "She was beautiful, personable, and definitely had allure. At the time I had no idea she was married to John Travolta."
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 10:26 AM on March 1 [15 favorites]


I do not care if Brianna Wu is not the perfect candidate, I am still glad she is primarying that fucker.

Coming around to this point of view also.
posted by Artw at 10:27 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Mainly I'm surprised at how the blatant antisemitism just... *poof* ...disappeared.

It hasn't. All these attacks & threats on Jews are just awful & (either Jews or Democrats) are awful for making them, is the current line I believe.
posted by scalefree at 10:38 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


folks, i have a sick feeling that if the press cannot sink someone like donald trump, they are actually incapable of sinking anyone at this point

I think the press wanted Donald trump around for the ratings/eyeballs, and trusted that someone else would sink him instead.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:44 AM on March 1 [9 favorites]


and trusted that someone else would sink him instead

This does seem to be the common theme of America the past few decades... "Someone else's problem"
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:47 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


Oh, in the real world it hasn't, just the media attention on what was coming out of Trump's mouth. Never happened, a President saying that would be too terrible, move along.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on March 1




Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is getting some very bad news about her favorite thing, school vouchers

Archive link for those who are blocked. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is getting some very bad news about her favorite thing, school vouchers

That’s why the latest findings, which emerge from studies of statewide programs in Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana, have left education experts stunned. In a nutshell, they find huge declines of academic achievement among students in voucher programs in those three states.

“These results are without precedent in the educational literature,” says Kevin Carey, director of the education policy program at the think tank New America. “Among the past results, none were as positive as these are negative.”


Will this educate DeVos? Nah, she won't care and academic success isn't the reason she wants these schools.
posted by futz at 11:17 AM on March 1 [67 favorites]


That’s why the latest findings, which emerge from studies of statewide programs in Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana, have left education experts stunned.

Did anyone check these "expert's" C.V.s?
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:19 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Allow me:

Kevin Carey
Director, Education Policy Program, New America, author of The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere.

Quelle surprise.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:21 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Will this educate DeVos? Nah, she won't care and academic success isn't the reason she wants these schools.

You assume in good faith that academic achievement is one of the outcomes indicating success. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell extremely cheap.
posted by Talez at 11:22 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Artw: Mainly I'm surprised at how the blatant antisemitism just... *poof* ...disappeared.

Here's the funny thing about what you say vs what you think and do - for most people*, it's easy to say the right thing, even if you're saying (and doing) the wrong thing, because you know what you say is a significant part of how people treat you.

* Except Trump isn't most people, so he's lowered the bar so far that by not blatantly saying anything anti-Semitic, he is suddenly "a decent human being," or worse, considered to actually be "presidential." I'll echo Kurt Bardella again: "You're a grown man, you're the president of the United States. The fact that he's being celebrated for this is ridiculous."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:26 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


As you might imagine, Cato institute types are blaming regulation for voucher programs' poor results. So expect to hear that from DeVos and the Worst Wing next.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:27 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


But that's how I see him coming off in the event of a national tragedy. I think the vast majority of people are going to be fully disgusted.

This is one of those points where I have to give even Dubya credit. No praise for his decisions or his ultimate results, but his moment at the rubble of Ground Zero with the bullhorn, surrounded by responders? That was an important rallying point, and it was downright tactful. Resolve without bloodlust, all without a script.

The address to Congress later, where he said explicitly that Islam was not our enemy? Look, say what you will about his (legion of) failures, but that was a good speech. It was important. It was also a missed opportunity in any number of ways, but that's my liberal mindset talking. For what it was, he did very well.

Can you imagine Cheetoh Mussolini doing that well? I can't. But I can imagine the media falling all over themselves to say whatever comes out of his mouth amid a crisis is awesome.

It's the morning after, and I'm far less disturbed by what that jerk said in his speech than I am by the headlines and the tremble in Van Jones's voice.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:30 AM on March 1 [29 favorites]


Look, those kids now know a lot about Jesus, what more do you want?
posted by Artw at 11:35 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


i used to leave it on for the cat but the baleful you-wont-believe-the-shit-they-said-today looks she was giving when i got home everyday made me stop last month

She'd probably appreciate some classic 80's better

more educational probably too
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:38 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Alex Pareene minces no words: You Cretins Are Going To Get Thousands Of People Killed
That’s why the best reviews Trump has received so far in his short, mostly disastrous presidency have come in response to the moment in last night’s joint address in which he trotted out the widow of a service member—a SEAL whose death he’d denied any responsibility for just a few hours earlier—to a sustained standing ovation and rapturous press coverage.

The praise from the media was so fulsome that the White House is a bit confused at how easily they managed to win over a class of people they have spent a month demeaning, attacking, and lying to:

You think Donald Trump noticed how the first thing he did that actually got the TV guys to like him was kill a troop?

Here are some things Donald Trump is famous for:

1) Noticing which things he does that elicit positive attention and then doing those things over and over and over again.

2) Craving the validation of the press, generally the sort of press a 70-year-old upper class New Yorker pays attention to, especially cable news.

If one dead American service member won him this much praise, just imagine how much they’ll respect him when he kills a couple hundred—or a couple thousand!
posted by Existential Dread at 11:40 AM on March 1 [75 favorites]


Today in "Why Does Chris Cillizza Have a Job?
1. So now it's a special gift to know that one shouldn't try to talk over a crying widow receiving a round of applause? What president, in the course of a major address, would have done that? What president would have tried to take the spotlight back? Barack Obama? George W. Bush? I can't imagine it. Cillizza is giving Trump an A here for doing what any other president would do out of instinct and common courtesy.

2. The more important point is that what Cillizza interpreted as grace was actually Trump endeavoring to sustain the moment for his own benefit. We know this from two things that happened, neither of which Cillizza mentions. [...]
posted by tonycpsu at 11:42 AM on March 1 [25 favorites]


Well bah. *sigh* I took a brief break from this world and spent the past few days playing Dungeons and Dragons in my free time. Feel like I should just go back to that world and live there for the time being.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out in two days, so I'm taking my vacation in Hyrule this year, although they do have their own unpopular piggish tyrant who wants to bring the whole government down and just won't go away no matter how many times he's kicked out of stolen power.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:47 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


But at times like that, you don't have 3-4 days to write a speech, 36 hours to beat it into his brain, and teleprompters everywhere for him to read it from; rather, one needs to speak from the heart, and what's in his heart is... not good.

whatever vile spittle-flecked hatred and racial slurs he'll be shouting if such an event should come to pass will be far more effective and well-received by his moronic admirers than anything sane, calming, and sensible.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:47 AM on March 1


She'd probably appreciate some classic 80's better

more educational probably too


When you come home she'll have flock of seagulls hair and big, neon bangly ear-rings
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:47 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out in two days, so I'm taking my vacation in Hyrule this year, although they do have their own unpopular piggish tyrant who wants to bring the whole government down and just won't go away no matter how many times he's kicked out of stolen power.
posted by Servo5


The eeevil wizard Bannon?
posted by ian1977 at 11:51 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Yo Pareene, I'mm'a let you finish, but
It does sound very self-indulgent and “I don’t have a TV”-ish to announce that I’m not sure if I’ll vote, but Marchman asked, and it’s the truth. It may be even more self-indulgent to cast a pointless symbolic vote, either for or against Clinton, than to not bother either way.
Sure, Cillizza's worse, but couldn't Deadspin find a writer who hadn't feasted at the trough of false equivalence at the worst possible time?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:54 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


If one dead American service member won him this much praise, just imagine how much they’ll respect him when he kills a couple hundred—or a couple thousand!

Yeah. I didn't watch last night. All this press I'm seeing today like "well gee that wasn't so bad" has me seriously scared. Because if the press is gonna be all "well, he's ok now" then I need to get the fuck out of this country.
posted by dnash at 11:54 AM on March 1 [13 favorites]


whatever vile spittle-flecked hatred and racial slurs he'll be shouting if such an event should come to pass will be far more effective and well-received by his moronic admirers than anything sane, calming, and sensible.

Mmm. But what we are worried about with the latest speech is that, per CNN et al, it is effective to Americans as a whole, not just his supporters.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on March 1


He successfully lowered everyone's expectations so much as to make his speech seem "presidential" by being relentlessly horrible and incoherent leading up to it.

Then he shirked blame for a tragedy he oversaw by deflecting responsibility onto those he had leverage over, and successfully co-opted the pain caused by his actions to soften his image and score political points.

The end result is that his victims (America, The World) are either demoralized or apoplectic, or else buying-in out of self-preservation or to secure their own position within the hierarchy of abuse.


I'm frustrated with the post-speech glow on all sides (supporters, media, administration), as I feel this mirrors a classic cycle of abuse. A co-worker/friend is going through an abusive relationship at this time too, and I feel like there are definite parallels. She talks achingly of his latest missive offering reconciliation, support, and/or distance ("whatever you want," he reassures her, despite months of escalating emotional and verbal abuse, small property destruction, paranoia, and flip-flopping on control and independence). "I know talk is cheap, it's just he's never used these words before and maybe he's learning a lesson!"

What I see after the speech is what I'm seeing with my co-worker: someone using prop words and values of basic decency that only look better because of the constant terror and stress that came before it. And people, even those victimized, wanting, aching for it to be true and responding glowingly because it's tiring to fight it off all the time. The things I feel about Trump's speech are the same as the things I've told my co-worker: that his words mean less than what he does before and after, that his conciliatory tone now does not excuse what he said and did before, because those were unacceptable and dealbreakers by themselves. And his calls for unity now ("don't you want the best for the relationship/country") don't address his violations, but call attention to the resistor as the unreasonable one. It's gaslighting all the way down.

And yeah, I'm scared. I'm a POC green card holder, and that speech wasn't speaking to me. I see sinister intentions hiding in plain sight in VOICE, limiting regulations, promoting national self-isolation. I'm doing the only thing I feel I can do right now to feel better, which is call my MOCs again to outline my concerns and signal that I'm still holding the line.
posted by orbit-3 at 11:57 AM on March 1 [56 favorites]




Cillizza is giving Trump an A here for doing what any other president would do out of instinct and common courtesy.

It doesn't take a whole lot of restraint to impress Chris "Raging bitch beer" Cillizza.
posted by phearlez at 11:59 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Today in "Why Does Chris Cillizza Have a Job?

This is literally the first thing I thought upon opening Twitter this morning.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:03 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


People want things to be ok. Desperately. This performance was aimed directly at the millions of people who have only started to see the real Trump in the last month, and have started to have some icky feelings about our country. The praise he's getting shows that it worked. The question is just how long he can exploit this cycle (do fascist shit, be generally horrible--->media shows spine--->people get worried--->appear slightly less horrible--->media removes spine--->people feel better and move on--->return to step 1).
posted by Gaz Errant at 12:04 PM on March 1 [19 favorites]


Call me a cynic but ... I have trouble seeing the SEAL-widow moment as anything besides yet-another Mark Burnett scripted "reality" show moment. Shamelessly making someone cry on TV, and then all the involved parties stare at each other for prolonged camera time, just pure emotional exploitation.

And Van Jones's fawning reaction was exactly the reaction we've all been programmed to have.

That, my friends, is how we elected Trump; our emotional responses have been programmed by Burnett, by Russia, by Mercer. It didn't take long, and here we are feckless in the face of the real hypocrisy of that moment.
posted by Dashy at 12:04 PM on March 1 [31 favorites]


TPM: Oprah Hints That She Is Open To Running For President

Please tell me she's going to bring her secret weapon*.

* warning: large gif
posted by tocts at 12:08 PM on March 1 [41 favorites]


Today in "Why Does Chris Cillizza Have a Job?

Yeah, I've subscribed to the Washington Post for, like, ever and know just to skip anything by Cillizza. His stuff is primarily online in the The Fix section so his thing is really just pumping out one-inch deep pieces three or four times a day. He's a one man Buzzfeed for politics without any of the actual humor or depth of reporting of Buzzfeed.
posted by peeedro at 12:10 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Re: Judeo-Christian values

I can't find the link now, but one of the GOP surveys soliciting topic feedback in advance of Trump's address to Congress asked a question (paraphrased) about whether Judeo-Christian values were waning in American society. They're not even hiding their intentions.
posted by orbit-3 at 12:13 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]




That, my friends, is how we elected Trump; our emotional responses have been programmed by Burnett, by Russia, by Mercer. It didn't take long, and here we are feckless in the face of the real hypocrisy of that moment.

"Is this something I'd have to have a TV to understand?"
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:18 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Immigrant detained after press conference: "Moments after an immigrant spoke out about her fears of deportation, she was detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement." ICE used to have a policy to stay away from protests and similar events.

ICE confirms 11 immigration arrests near Woodburn. They were looking for two farmworkers with criminal records of some kind, didn't find them, but grabbed 11 other people instead.
posted by zachlipton at 12:18 PM on March 1 [32 favorites]


I think it's important to note how totally empty that speech was. I went through the transcript looking for info on his ACA promises to try to hold my reps responsible to them and when you get down to it there's not much there and what is there is so vague as to be meaningless. Literally anyone listening will just have heard what they wanted to hear. Which is pretty freaking scary.
posted by threeturtles at 12:28 PM on March 1 [19 favorites]


TPM: Oprah Hints That She Is Open To Running For President

Oh, please no. Trump has put enough incompetents in office. We don't need to follow up with quacks like Dr. Oz and Deepak Chopra.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 12:33 PM on March 1 [20 favorites]


Yeah, that's my reaction as well. Just because we put someone with no qualifications in office doesn't mean that now everyone with no qualifications should run. It SHOULD show us what a terrible fucking idea that is, and get back to nominating qualified people. Should.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:35 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


Trump Administration Sets Off Alarm Bells By Pulling Nominees To Regulatory Commissions

This gets increasingly alarming if they start messing with the normal partisan balance of the FCC, FTC, FEC, SEC, FERC, etc...
posted by zachlipton at 12:36 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


get back to nominating qualified people

Fair point, I agree, but let's not conflate Oprah with Dr. Oz and Deepak Chopra like that. She's hired quacks for her show, but Oprah herself is a formidable woman and a hard worker.
posted by witchen at 12:37 PM on March 1 [17 favorites]


There cannot be enough soulless Trumpist flacks out there to fill out all these regulatory bodies, can there? I mean, he can barely staff the West Wing.

(I will never forgive Oprah for the snake oil salespeople. Most especially Cesar Milan. Fuck that guy.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:41 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


VoteVets has another leaked memo about military child care being slashed due to Trump's hiring freeze. If the freeze isn't lifted in two weeks, they're cutting even more.

The Pentagon has included child care workers on a list of positions exempt from the freeze, but that still requires approval from the Secretary of the Army to hire anybody.
posted by zachlipton at 12:45 PM on March 1 [13 favorites]



Hunger Games trades on the excitement of the murder spectacle. Even while the movie claims that it's bad for the elites to pit poor people against each other in violent conflict, we the audience root for the underdog to win, first the Hunger Games themselves, then the more "real" battle against the oppressive government.

I think it's telling you refer to movies, when the books make it more clear that yes, the rebellion is using the same reality TV tactics as the hunger games. And ultimately, the protagonist's decision is fuck all of that, the new order is the same as the old order. The moral is ultimately humans really suck especially if they get any power at all. It's not an uplifting or hopeful ending.
posted by threeturtles at 12:49 PM on March 1 [15 favorites]


let's not conflate Oprah with Dr. Oz and Deepak Chopra like that. She's hired quacks for her show, but Oprah herself is a formidable woman and a hard worker.

She's a formidable woman and a hard worker who hires quacks to be on her staff.

It's bad enough she hires them to be on her show. But presidents hire staff too. And what makes you think that she wouldn't appoint Dr. Oz as her Surgeon General?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:51 PM on March 1 [18 favorites]


Posting this article in celebration of the call I got yesterday from Passport Canada to let me know that my Canadian passport has been issued and is on its way.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:53 PM on March 1 [25 favorites]


I'd take Oprah and her cabinet of quacks all damn day over Trumpy trump and his junky bunch.
posted by ian1977 at 12:55 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


Foreign policy based on The Secret might be about comparable to what we have today tbh
posted by Existential Dread at 12:57 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


I really cannot put my head around the idea that Trump's speech could be perceived as anything but a gross insult to Owens' death, but I could not be much further removed from that world. How is it being received in military circles? If the answer is "rapturously," well...*trails off, stares into bottom of whisky tumbler*
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:58 PM on March 1 [21 favorites]


She's a formidable woman and a hard worker who hires quacks to be on her staff.

I'd take anyone who merely hires quacks over Trump, who hires quacks, but also: does not work hard, shirks every possible ounce of responsible (but passes as many literal bucks to himself as possible), and is himself at least a half-quack at best. And that's being too kind by half.

That said: it is way, way to early to be talking about 2020 in any kind of seriousness, hypothetical or not. The midterms haven't even started yet.
posted by cjelli at 12:59 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Julia Ioffe's article today in The Atlantic about the current state of the State Department is well worth reading.
“They really want to blow this place up,” said the mid-level State Department officer. “I don’t think this administration thinks the State Department needs to exist. They think Jared [Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law] can do everything. It’s reminiscent of the developing countries where I’ve served. The family rules everything, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows nothing.”
posted by rewil at 1:00 PM on March 1 [30 favorites]


What I see after the speech is what I'm seeing with my co-worker: someone using prop words and values of basic decency that only look better because of the constant terror and stress that came before it. And people, even those victimized, wanting, aching for it to be true and responding glowingly because it's tiring to fight it off all the time.

orbit-3, you just described what I've been hearing on NPR, and some understanding of why.

But it's refreshing and heartening that one group that doesn't seem to be repeating their decades of post-Reagan trauma is the Democrats. As a group, they seem to at least signal their willingness to resist Trump. I hope it's so.
posted by Gelatin at 1:06 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Please drop the Oprah thing.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:07 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


VoteVets has another leaked memo about military child care being slashed due to Trump's hiring freeze. If the freeze isn't lifted in two weeks, they're cutting even more.

The Pentagon has included child care workers on a list of positions exempt from the freeze, but that still requires approval from the Secretary of the Army to hire anybody.


Something I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere is the impact this hiring freeze is having on USG employees serving abroad (military, Foreign Service Officers, DoD Civilian employees, etc). Both DoD and State often hire accompanying family members of employees/service members locally for various jobs, which is a big deal when you consider the fact that these are folks who probably don't speak the local language and, due to visa restrictions, often are prohibited from working on the local economy anyway. Calling this a morale killer would be a massive understatement.
posted by photo guy at 1:12 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


Congrats soren_lorensen. You and every other MeFite in Canada are going to be our final hope.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:12 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Last year I went to a support group for abuse victims. I vaguely remember a circle they drew in the first class that exactly laid out what Trump is doing now. The whole cycle of abuse relies on the abuser pulling himself together just when you are about to leave or are thinking of leaving so you get fooled into not trusting your own thoughts because "surely now" they have learned and seem really really sorry for what they did. I ache for all the survivors of abuse out there as this man sends up giant red flags and I find myself almost re-traumatised seeing such abuse played out on a national level. Like I want to run to the media and through the streets handing out Cycle of Abuse pamphletes and scream Don't fall for it! Please don't fall for it!. It is bizarre seeing gaslighting become national policy.
posted by kanata at 1:16 PM on March 1 [50 favorites]


And speaking of State, I'd also suggest the Atlantic article upthread - great read and from what I've heard, definitely captures the current state of things in Foggy Bottom.
posted by photo guy at 1:17 PM on March 1


Oh, I'm not in Canada [yet]. I'm a dual citizen who just assumed I'd be in the US forever so no need for a Canadian passport. I have altered that assessment and am working to get myself and my son all the Canadian paperwork we can get because it's kind of the only thing I've got right now keeping me from a full-on 24/7 panic attack.

Also I want to visit Ottawa this summer to see La Machine and I've heard they nowadays like duals to have both passports. We'll see if they let me back into the country.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:17 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


If they cut State Department budgets, will that include security?
posted by BentFranklin at 1:19 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


prefpara: Nobody explain to me why Melania just got a standing ovation.

I don't know what happened at that moment, but I wonder if the Dems clapped? Rebecca Mead at the New Yorker noted that they didn't applaud her entrance, and wrote "that action was understandable, and deserving of its own acclaim. In times like these, the withholding of ordinary graciousness may be the very least that one can do."

The very least, indeed.

John Cassidy at the New Yorker agrees there was no pivot, but doesn't add much to what has been said and cited in this thread already. At least there's one outlet recognizing that "The soft opening quickly transitioned into a reiteration of Trump’s harsh “America First” agenda, and once he got there his language got considerably darker."

A final New Yorker link: Amy Davidson, in writing on The Shameless Expediency of President Trump’s Address to Congress, made a connection which I had not:
the problem isn’t that Trump has been oblivious but that, when he responds to questions about them, he has, more than once, said that some number of them were carried out by his political opponents to discredit him—that the attacks were not anti-Semitic but anti-Trump.
Emphasis mine - and holy crap, now I can't un-think this thought. "False flags" are really "it's not a tragedy for someone else, it's an attack on me and my values."
posted by filthy light thief at 1:19 PM on March 1 [23 favorites]


soren_lorensen - by the time it gets bad enough for me to be up there, you'll be there. I promise.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:24 PM on March 1


As a brief follow-up to the Kansas shooting, here's an NYT OpEd by Sandip Roy: Indians Used to Dream of America. No Longer.

... From the outside it feels less like a darker country than like a more sullen one — one half of it apologetic, the other half suspicious. I am almost nostalgic for the naïve innocence of that other America I knew, where pleasant middle-aged women would tell me about a Dr. Patel from Mumbai and ask if I knew him. That America came with a sense of curiosity. The America I see now is shrunken, scared of its own shadow despite its bluster.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:26 PM on March 1 [19 favorites]


Clarification - I just mean I have every intention of staying to fight through some pretty shitty stuff. It's going to have to get super bad for me to leave, but I'm really glad I'll have somewhere to go.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:28 PM on March 1


My hard line is the security of my kid. If that starts to feel iffy, I'm out.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:31 PM on March 1 [13 favorites]


I see sinister intentions hiding in plain sight in VOICE...

I also see sinister intentions, cribbed from Hitler, hiding in plain sight in VOICE. I went to sleep sickened. I woke up and was startled that this wasn't the lead headline. (OK, I didn't watch the speech, just the discussion here, so I didn't see suits and hear applause. I freaking thought the potential for persecution baked into VOICE was the important issue. What's the deal? Is our m.s. media too white? Too young? Too eager to hug the abuser and hope that the soothing part of the cycle will last this time?)
posted by puddledork at 1:36 PM on March 1 [29 favorites]


My hard line is the security of my kid. If that starts to feel iffy, I'm out.

I'm wondering if my kids are still going to have an education system.
posted by Artw at 1:36 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Given how sidelined and ignored Tillerson is, he's gotta be going through some incredible buyer's remorse. He might be talking a good game and maybe he is sincere about cutting down some of the bloat at State, but I really doubt he knew what he was getting into. How does he not wake up every morning and think, "I gave up being CEO of fucking Exxon for this?"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:39 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


C'mon up, but I fear that once he's consolidated power in the U.S., Trump will invade Canada because, aside from the looting opportunities, he and Bannon will not be able to abide living next door to a country with such different values. They'll regard us as an insult.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:40 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


sincere about cutting down some of the bloat at State

That should pay for at least a good 50 yards of the Hate Wall.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:41 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Hey, guys, remember that asshole in Iowa who wanted to make sure them librul elites don't educate college kids too hard?

Forbco Management School: sounds legit.

(I seriously love everything about this story except that it's real.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:43 PM on March 1 [16 favorites]


Remember that Iowa lawmaker who introduced a bill demanding ideological balance on the faculty of state universities, imposing a hiring freeze until there was rough balance between registered Democrats and Republicans? It turns out that if you propose something like that, people might read your bio. And see.... Iowa Pol’s Bio Changed After ‘Sizzler U’ Discrepancy Emerges
An Iowa lawmaker who is pushing a controversial bill that caps the number of Democrats that state universities can hire as professors claimed on a government web site that he got a "business degree" from the "Forbco Management school."

But State Sen. Mark Chelgren's alleged alma mater is actually a company that operated a Sizzler steak house franchise in southern California and he doesn't have a "degree," Ed Failor, a spokesman for the Iowa State Republicans, told NBC News.
It's just swell with me for somebody who didn't graduate and who once managed a Sizzler to eventually become a State Senator, but if you're going to inflate your educational qualifications, it's probably best for you not to be the one trying to screw up the state's university system.
posted by zachlipton at 1:43 PM on March 1 [24 favorites]




And now I owe soren_lorensen a soda. Meet me at the nearest Sizzler.
posted by zachlipton at 1:44 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


Do we have a list yet of which mainstream media outlets didn't fall for Dampnut's act? WaPo, New Yorker and who else?
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:44 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


The speech was terrible just on a simple rhetorical level. Yes, he managed to achieve nouns and verbs in every sentence and often in the correct order, but we should expect more from our leaders.

I listed to him speak and listen to him lie and wonder what I've wondered for months - how do we teach kids that truth and language skills are important for success when he's demonstrated that you don't need either to win an election? Lies and word salad are perfectly acceptable, even lauded.

I'm glad that most of the sites I frequent have not been hailing his speech but have been calling out the lies. Fat lot of good that does when other higher traffic sources are in full on normalization mode.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:45 PM on March 1 [8 favorites]


A million times yes to the cycle of abuse thing. Especially narcissistic abusers will keep throwing pretty much anything at their victims to try to maintain their hold. If anger and threats aren't working, it's time for the carrot.

It can get to the point of ridiculousness, like with my mother-in-law who sends emails to my husband and one week she says she has disowned him and written him out of the will for being a bad son and the next week is all sweetness and light like everything is perfectly normal, here's what I have been up to.

The only rational response after a while is no response because reaction of any kind is what a narcissist is after. Good behavior is typically a last resort after all other attempts at manipulation have failed. But if you give in and reward the good behavior, it just pulls you back into the cycle, setting you up for more abuse.
posted by threeturtles at 1:46 PM on March 1 [18 favorites]


VOICE is really the razor blade in the shit sandwich here. Just the potential for abuse is staggering. And we've seen this is an administration that will not let facts get in the way of the narrative they want to push.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:47 PM on March 1 [33 favorites]


And now I owe soren_lorensen a soda. Meet me at the nearest Sizzler.

Just let Chickenman bring you free beer. (Some things never change.)

His FB bio still makes claims about UC Riverside, and makes no mention of Community College.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:47 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


well, this is some strange shit. one of my students whose brother is Puerto Rican (I guess she may be too) just got a very official looking census form.

i was like "but the census already happened."

she said, "exactly" and showed me a picture of the form. It looked like a fucking census form, asking for place of birth.
posted by angrycat at 1:48 PM on March 1 [28 favorites]


Vox.com: A top White House aide [Gorka] was asked if Trump thought Islam was a religion. He refused to answer.

This article is an analysis of this mornings interview on NPR, and adds some context.
This morning was Gorka’s second chance at this question on NPR, and his second time skirting around the answer.
The first chance was on Feb 3, where Gorka danced around the question in the context of Michael Flynn.

More context:
Questioning whether Islam is a religion is not, in and of itself, a new idea. Dr. Hussein Rashid, a professor of religion at Barnard College, told me that it was a dynamic that began in Europe and has a “centuries-long pedigree.”

“We are seeing a particularly American manifestation of it now,” he added.

He continued, “This administration is playing into all of these themes very clearly: They are trying to say that Muslims are not human and that they are not American.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:50 PM on March 1 [24 favorites]


I listed to him speak and listen to him lie and wonder what I've wondered for months - how do we teach kids that truth and language skills are important for success when he's demonstrated that you don't need either to win an election?

I don't teach too much these days, but I take the occasional sub job. When/if 45 comes up, I routinely point out that I'd throw anyone out of my class for saying things he has said. It wouldn't even be questioned. That, and if I found out a student did the things 45 has bragged about, I'd do my best to have them expelled.

It's 2017 and I would not allow the President of the United States into my classroom under any circumstances.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:52 PM on March 1 [33 favorites]


Some census activities happen all the time. The American Community Survey is an ongoing study that replaces what used to be the "long form." That's the most likely explanation.
posted by zachlipton at 1:53 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


I've been confused as to why this has taken so long.

Surely Trump's handlers, or maybe even Trump himself, is aware that the media and a huge segment of America is desperate to pretend that he's not a cartoon supervillain, surely they noticed how, in the primaries and the general both the news was desperate to pretend that every single time he acted like an adult for even five minutes they fell all over themselves to proclaim it the long awaited pivot.

Given all that I'm stunned it took this long for Trump's handlers to get him out on stage somewhere with a prepared speech that he's been trained to read and not deviate from even slightly. They knew it'd work, they knew it'd kill the Trump criticism for a news cycle or two of the press praising him for being presidential and pivoting.

What made them wait this long?

What distresses me is that so many in the political news industry are still clinging to the blatantly false hope that somewhere, somehow, Trump will pivot. The comparison to people trapped in a cycle of abuse seems apt.
posted by sotonohito at 1:54 PM on March 1 [12 favorites]


Yep, there's a 2017 Puerto Rico Census Test, but it was supposed to be suspended? I'd be freaked out too, though.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:55 PM on March 1


How does he not wake up every morning and think, "I gave up being CEO of fucking Exxon for this?"

I think he's planning to be able to far more for Exxon shareholder value in this position.
posted by Coventry at 1:55 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


They are really, really bad at fascism.

Not sure that's comforting as such.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Today in Fascism:

Roxane Gay was asked along with all other passengers to remove their books from their carry on luggage by the TSA and put them in a separate bin.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:43 PM on March 1 [+] [!]


haha, time to order some TSA themed porn from amazon for my next trip. maybe i'll read the titles out loud as i load the bin:

"My TSA bondage lover!"
"Hot times on the conveyer belt: a TSA love story"
"Look what i confiscated to day: tales from a TSA dildo lover"
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:57 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


I am so embarrassed for this country and the world.

The cynical manipulation and lying and craven cowardice and yellow journalism is really starting to get to me now.

I started scolding a pro-lifer at the last White House protest, and had to walk away because I was reaally close to just punching him in the fucking face.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:58 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Since the website says that 2017 test was suspended, I'd note the Census Bureau offers this guidance: "To verify that a visitor to your home is a Census Bureau employee, call or e-mail the Regional Office....To verify that a caller to your home or business is a Census Bureau employee, call the National Processing Center."

It doesn't have to be a sinister Trump thing, it could be a shitty identity theft thing.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:59 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


i was like "but the census already happened." she said, "exactly" and showed me a picture of the form. It looked like a fucking census form, asking for place of birth.

The Census Bureau runs a number of surveys every year that aren't The Census, including the American Community Survey, which is basically The Census (but not really).

So there's probably a benign explanation there, but you might want to have them run through the Census Bureau's guide to confirming that you've received a legitimate form and not a scam, which is what I'd worry about more than something governmentally nefarious.
posted by cjelli at 1:59 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


What made them wait this long?

His handlers couldn't get sufficient quantities of the really good behavior control drugs until they had access to the military's facilities and stockpiles? Just a crazy guess.
posted by The World Famous at 2:04 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Apparently the TSA imaging technology can't easily visualize the contents of hollowed-out books. To the extent the TSA mission is legitimate at all, singling out books for special examination might be sensible.
posted by Coventry at 2:04 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


> Apparently the TSA imaging technology can't easily visualize the contents of hollowed-out books.

As someone trained in physics, this defies my intuition. A metal knife inside a hollowed out book is trivially seen in X-rays, unless we're talking about metal-jacketed books? Drugs or non-metallic stuff, sure. But how is that different from something stuffed inside a roll of clothes, or in a little toiletry bottle? I can see e-readers being hard to image through - just as hard as laptops and tablets - but I'm confused that books are hard.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:11 PM on March 1 [17 favorites]


Yes, I don't understand it, either.
posted by Coventry at 2:14 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Next we're going to find out that Hudson Bay is a subsidiary of TrumpCo, books will be illegal to pass through TSA and must be bought on the other side. it all fits
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:15 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Apparently the TSA imaging technology can't easily visualize the contents of hollowed-out books.

As someone trained in physics, this defies my intuition.

It's hard to detect a Quran bound inside the covers of In Trump We Trust.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:16 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Why are you carrying an analog book? You need to be carrying your easily trackable e-reader. How will we know where you've been what you're reading if you're one of us if you don't have one?
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:18 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Maybe the threat they're trying to mitigate is that someone sticks explosives in the hollowed out book, and disguises the detonator as a component of an electronic device.
posted by Coventry at 2:21 PM on March 1


Why are you carrying an analog book? You need to be carrying your easily trackable e-reader. How will we know where you've been what you're reading if you're one of us if you don't have one?

You're not unscannable are you?
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:22 PM on March 1




> Apparently the TSA imaging technology can't easily visualize the contents of hollowed-out books.

As someone trained in physics, this defies my intuition. A metal knife inside a hollowed out book is trivially seen in X-rays, unless we're talking about metal-jacketed books?


I suspect it's more an issue that it does indeed see through the book and hidey-hole, but could be confusing when packed next to something else. Assuming there's any credibility to the above Travel&Leisure article, which comments on crowded bags.

I imagine this is a problem made worse by the increased amount of crap coming through security because of airline checked baggage fees.
posted by phearlez at 2:36 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Graham: Require 2020 candidates to release tax returns
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he wants all presidential candidates to be required by law to release their tax returns, starting in 2020. The South Carolina Republican said his proposal would include Donald Trump if the president seeks reelection.

“I think that prospectively what I'll do is, any candidate running in 2020 needs to release their tax returns,” Graham told reporters. Asked how he would enforce this, he responded: “You just make it a law.” He then explained that the law would apply to Trump, “if he’s a candidate for president” in 2020.
That feels like a barn-door-lock/amazing-horse-escape type proposal, after the rejection of Democratic attempts to get Trump's current returns released to members of congress for review, but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea (it is a good idea).
posted by cjelli at 2:38 PM on March 1 [32 favorites]


Apparently the TSA imaging technology can't easily visualize the contents of hollowed-out books.

Is it "hollowed out" that's the issue, or just the density of the pages. I got stopped both flights last July cuz I had a box set of Cards Against Humanity in my carry on. I guess something about the large solid box was too much for the x-ray? Got called to bring my bag over so they could look inside. At O'Hare when the agent saw the game she seemed to have seen it before in the same situation.
posted by dnash at 2:40 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


From the first few minutes of the speech:

"Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation's path toward civil rights and the work that still remains. Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms."

Jesus Christ, this is terrifying. All he had to do is say he disavows WHAT THE NAZIS ARE DOING. But he couldn't even do that. Every word in this passage has been tuned to explicitly not offend white supremacists. Imagine how a Nazi reads it. Imagine how the head of the KKK reads it. Boil it down to subjects and predicates.

Tonight, at the end of Black History Month, we're reminded of 'civil rights,' and the work that still remains. Recent attacks remind us* that we condemn hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.

*the ATTACKS remind us???

A little while later, regarding ISIS, he said we would work "with our allies in the Muslim world" -- he expressly did NOT say those allies would themselves be Muslim -- "to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet." Again, he was talking about ISIS, but the bits I've quoted here are the only parts that will show up in the highlight reels that get traded around on whatever Pepe-branded YouTube knockoff the Neo-Nazis are using. When Trump says "vile enemy," who do they picture?

"Extinguish from our planet." For fuck's sake. I turned the TV off after that.
posted by EmGeeJay at 2:41 PM on March 1 [13 favorites]


They are swabbing the books so it sounds like they are looking for chemical substances like drugs or bomb materials.


VOICE is really the razor blade in the shit sandwich here. Just the potential for abuse is staggering. And we've seen this is an administration that will not let facts get in the way of the narrative they want to push.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 4:47 PM on March 1 [−] Favorite added!

Especially the "Immigration Crimes" label which leaves it wide open to all kinds of Immigrants-- including Green Card holders-- and all kinds of crimes-- like running a red light or not wearing a seat belt.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:43 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


And the reports to be released with identifying info about who any non-cooperative local or state LEOs released, and why they refused to comply with ICE/CBP/DHS requests. (See the enforcement EO.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:46 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Is it "hollowed out" that's the issue, or just the density of the pages. I got stopped both flights last July cuz I had a box set of Cards Against Humanity in my carry on.

I've seen a lot of anecdotal reports about people's board games, card games, and miniatures games getting searched, either as carry-on or as baggage. Cards, particularly big blocks of cards, do seem to interfere with the scanners; I would guess that's a density issue, since cardstock can be a lot heavier than book paper, but I don't know for sure.
posted by cjelli at 2:47 PM on March 1


Say the words: Goddamn Nazis Everywhere
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


A knock-on effect of fascists being in charge is that things that would make you shrug (swabbing books by the TSA, unexpected census questionnaire) now make you tense up.
posted by emjaybee at 2:55 PM on March 1 [27 favorites]


If the US starts dumping EU citizen data onto the internet what exactly would prevent various EU countries from doing the same to US citizens?

Which Americans in any position of power would give a shit?
posted by Meatbomb at 2:59 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]




Whaaaaaat
posted by agregoli at 3:02 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Goddamn Nazis Everywhere

Interesting bit from wikipedias entry on religious views of Hitler:

In Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, Alan Bullock, wrote that Hitler was a rationalist and a materialist, not only in his "dismissal of religion" but also in his "insensitivity to humanity", with no feeling for the spiritual or emotional side of human existence. He suggested that Hitler's belief in himself echoed Hegel's views that heroes were above conventional morality and the role of "world-historical individuals" as the agents by which the "Will of the World Spirit", the plan of Providence is carried out.

Hitler, wrote Bullock, came to see himself as "a man with a mission, marked out by Providence, and therefore exempt from the ordinary canons of human conduct". Bullock concluded: "It is in this sense of mission that Hitler, a man who believed neither in God nor in conscience ('a Jewish invention, a blemish like circumcision') found both justification and absolution". Following his early military successes, Hitler "abandoned himself entirely to megalomania" and the "sin of hybris", an exaggerated self-pride, believing himself to be more than a man.
posted by valkane at 3:03 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Where's VOICE for people saved by immigrants?
posted by xyzzy


You rang?

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) - Launches Saved by American Immigrants National Taskforce

SAINT.
posted by futz at 3:03 PM on March 1 [97 favorites]


House Republicans Announce Only Republicans Are Allowed to See New Health-Care Plan:
Yesterday, House Speaker Paul Ryan boasted that his party would follow a deliberate, transparent process to repeal and replace Obamacare. “This is how the legislative process is supposed to be designed,” he told the Today show. “We’re not hatching some bill in a backroom and plopping it on the American people’s front door.” Today, House Republicans made it known that they will release their plan tomorrow and that it will only be made available to House Republicans. Representative Chris Collins tells the Washington Examiner the plan “would be made available Thursday morning to Republicans in a basement room of an office building that adjoins the Capitol.”

It is not clear what distinction Ryan draws between a “backroom” and a “basement room” only members of his party may access.
posted by zachlipton at 3:06 PM on March 1 [36 favorites]


Bloomberg: Republicans Hide New Obamacare Draft Under Shroud of Secrecy
The document is being treated a bit like a top-secret surveillance intercept. It is expected to be available to members and staffers on the House and Energy Commerce panel starting Thursday, but only in a dedicated reading room, one Republican lawmaker and a committee aide said. Nobody will be given copies to take with them.

The unusual secrecy is a reflection of the sensitivity -- and the stakes -- surrounding the GOP effort to rewrite the Affordable Care Act, a top priority of President Donald Trump, who has yet to offer his own plan. [...]

Collins said the panel may try to mark up the bill next week, but it hasn’t been processed yet by the Congressional Budget Office, which will provide a "score" on its cost, as well as an estimate of how many people the plan will insure. That score is critical to the debate, because the GOP plan is expected to provide coverage for significantly fewer people than Obamacare.

“It looks like, unfortunately, based on the delays, we may be marking it up and voting on it before we have a score,” Collins said.[...]

Moving ahead without a CBO score could be a problem for some members, particularly conservatives, who are worried that leaders might end up replacing Obamacare with something of a similar cost.
I cannot get over this insanity. Here they are trying to hide from their own members how much it will actually cost. They (Ryan?) want a replacement so bad they seem to be willing to go ahead with one that is more complicated, covers fewer people, yet costs the same.

I guess we just have to wait and see how bad it is.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:08 PM on March 1 [19 favorites]


Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) - Launches Saved by American Immigrants National Taskforce

SAINT.


The only better one would be SAMARITAN but given how little current Republicans seem to have read the Bible that would probably go over their heads.
posted by emjaybee at 3:12 PM on March 1 [15 favorites]


“I think that prospectively what I'll do is, any candidate running in 2020 needs to release their tax returns,” Graham told reporters. Asked how he would enforce this, he responded: “You just make it a law.” He then explained that the law would apply to Trump, “if he’s a candidate for president” in 2020.

Oh, is that all you do? You "just make it a law?" Well, that sounds super easy! Just get it to pass both the House and the Senate, and then the President will sign it, making it a law! Yay! Who's the President again? I don't remember, but I'm sure he or she will be happy to sign it.
posted by The World Famous at 3:12 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


Republicans Hide New Obamacare Draft Under Shroud of Secrecy

Right... because hiding the legislation worked out so well for the TPP.

2018 is going to be a wave election.
posted by Coventry at 3:13 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


yikes. From zachlipton's link:

Alas, Collins also tells the Hill newspaper that the committee will vote on the bill before CBO releases its score, so exactly who will get hurt will not be known precisely. “It looks like unfortunately, based on the delays, we may be marking this up and voting on it before we have a score,” Collins said

Paul Ryan boasted that his party would follow a deliberate, transparent process to repeal and replace Obamacare. Great!

the plan “would be made available Thursday morning to Republicans in a basement room of an office building that adjoins the Capitol.” Oh really?

Jesus I hate these fuckers.
posted by futz at 3:15 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


2018 is going to be a wave election.

I hope that you're right.
posted by Talez at 3:15 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


the plan “would be made available Thursday morning to Republicans in a basement room of an office building that adjoins the Capitol.”

...in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The Leopard".
posted by christopherious at 3:20 PM on March 1 [45 favorites]


The only better one would be SAMARITAN but given how little current Republicans seem to have read the Bible that would probably go over their heads.

As a Person of Interest fan this got a chuckle out of me.
posted by Pendragon at 3:23 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


White House rebuffs ethics office recommendation to discipline Kellyanne Conway

They're claiming that Conway acted "inadvertently" when she launched into her sales pitch for Ivanka's clothing. I mean, who doesn't just inadvertently say "I'm gonna just going to give a free commercial here," thus demonstrating that she knew exactly what she was doing?
posted by zachlipton at 3:24 PM on March 1 [30 favorites]


WaPo: White House rebuffs ethics office recommendation to discipline Kellyanne Conway
The White House Counsel's Office has concluded that senior adviser Kellyanne Conway acted “inadvertently” when she endorsed Ivanka Trump's clothing line, rebuffing a recommendation by the top federal ethics official that she be disciplined for an apparent violation of federal rules.[...]

The ethics office does not have investigative powers or enforcement authority. OGE can recommend a penalty for employees who violate federal ethics rules, though its advice is nonbinding. The office can also inform the president if an agency fails discipline an employee, but Shaub noted last month that such a notification would be ineffective if the official declining to take action is the president.
So basically the OGE is toothless, which is bad news now that this shameless, unethical pirate crew are at the helm of the ship of state.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:24 PM on March 1 [13 favorites]


WI Sen Johnson just sent a cease and desist letter to constituents who want a town hall meeting

This letter is one of the most sniveling, cowardly bits of writing I've ever seen. The full text is as follows:
This Cease and Desist letter is to inform you that any further communication from you to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's office can only be done in writing. This means you are not to call or visit any of Senator Johnson's staff or any of his offices at any time.

Our office has done all that we can to assist you with your concerns. This letter acts as a written notice of our expectation for you to discontinue your unwarranted telephone calls and office visits.

If you fail to comply with this notice, then we will have no other alternative but contact the United States Capitol Police and report your non-compliance.

Sincerely,
Staff
Ron Johnson's staff
U.S. Senate
I hope this asinine letter gets the ever flaccid Johnson a whooole bunch of blowback. His constituents have a right to address the letter verbally or to his face.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 3:24 PM on March 1 [67 favorites]


One of my co-workers today, starting talking some kind of shit about commiefornia (California?) and all the lib-tards and epithets for gays and immigrants etc.

I said, "Listen you fuck. You're on your third Filipina mail-order bride and you have kids with ALL of them. You're the last motherfucker that gets to talk shit about immigrants."

There were quite a few people around and most of them are not WHITE. Haha. Now he won't talk about anything but football and the weather. Fuckhead...I'm not going to stop riding his ass either.

We're going to be hearing a lot of shit like this. So if it's not too risky for you, don't take this shit from anybody.
posted by snsranch at 3:26 PM on March 1 [85 favorites]


REPORT: White House Lied to Journalists About Trump Speech in ‘Misdirection Play’

Color me unsurprised. CNN's got a source that outright admits that Trump's promise of legal status for illegal immigrants was just a "misdirection play." They got played, badly, and have learned nothing.
posted by zachlipton at 3:26 PM on March 1 [44 favorites]


During his speech, Trump listed various ways that Obamacare can be "improved", but none of them offer any protection to the millions of Americans living below poverty. No plan for how these Americans will afford healthcare when they can barely afford rent and food.
posted by Beholder at 3:27 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


This Cease and Desist letter is to inform you that any further communication from you to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's office can only be done in writing. This means you are not to call or visit any of Senator Johnson's staff or any of his offices at any time.

The organizer should try to go get a declaratory judgment on the matter. Even if they lose, it's great publicity and an albatross for RoJo here.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:27 PM on March 1 [30 favorites]


I can imagine from time to time that Congress people must resort to cease and desist letters when they are dealing with insane people who become fixated but to send them out to his constituents who are trying to get their representative to hear their concerns is a real slap in the face. I would be stunned to be so rebuffed. I wonder if other Congress members are thinking of doing this.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:32 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Ron Johnson deserves a scathing poem, ala Ogden Nash, for this fucknuckery.
posted by emjaybee at 3:34 PM on March 1


So basically the OGE is toothless, which is bad news now that this shameless, unethical pirate crew are at the helm of the ship of state.

Ethics laws with teeth need to be a big part of the 2018 Dem platform, everybody can get behind laws making it harder for politicians to screw them.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:35 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


The weirdest part of the Ron Johnson letter is that it's literally just signed "staff." Like somebody took a pen and signed the word "staff" in the place where you would write your name.
posted by zachlipton at 3:37 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


I wonder if other Congress members are thinking of doing this.

Rubio's apparently being asked to relocate, so I think if pressed a court might very well approve the use of the C&D. But it would be good to make them force the issue.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:37 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


This letter is one of the most sniveling, cowardly bits of writing I've ever seen. The full text is as follows:

Dear Ron Johnson,

Attached is a letter that we received on March 1, 2017. I feel that you should be aware that some asshole is signing your name to stupid letters.

Regards,
Your Constituents
posted by Talez at 3:38 PM on March 1 [67 favorites]


The weirdest part of the Ron Johnson letter is that it's literally just signed "staff." Like somebody took a pen and signed the word "staff" in the place where you would write your name.

This is some weaksauce plausible deniability. Who after all tells the staff what to do?
posted by puddledork at 3:40 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


The weirdest part of the Ron Johnson letter is that it's literally just signed "staff."

His name is Johnson. Is it a nickname?
posted by peeedro at 3:40 PM on March 1 [13 favorites]


With the tsunami of leaks recently couldn't we just start saying things about the Obamacare replacement? Would anyone know the difference between our fake leaks and the real ones? Things like "death panels" might play well.
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:44 PM on March 1


Ron Johnson deserves a scathing poem, ala Ogden Nash, for this fucknuckery.

Would you settle for...

mai name is ron
an wen u cal
to axe if i
wil hold town hal

then beads of swet
roll down my head
cease and desist -
i shit the bed
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:45 PM on March 1 [68 favorites]


The Staff also seem to think the US Capitol police have some nationwide jurisdiction over all of RoJo's satellite offices, which would be news to me if true.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:45 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Serious question: How different is the Republicans' apparent strategy to push the ACA repeal bill through than the Dems' strategy was when it pushed the ACA through? Lack of transparency, a lightning-fast push to the floor vote without sufficient review time and scrutiny, etc. It stinks, to be sure. But a ton of the real problems with the ACA (not the ones Republicans complain about publicly, but the real ones that both Dems and Republicans recognize are there) are the result of that expedited process. I would assume that we'll see a lot of similar problems with whatever the Republicans shove through now, in addition to the provisions they really intend to have in there.
posted by The World Famous at 3:50 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


via NBC: 10 senior officials tell NBC News that no actionable or vital intelligence has so far been gleaned from the Yemen raid
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:53 PM on March 1 [22 favorites]


> How different is the Republicans' apparent strategy to push the ACA repeal bill through than the Dems' strategy was when it pushed the ACA through?

The PPACA was signed into law in March of 2010, after a full year of "negotiation" with the GOP. The idea that it was somehow railroaded through is absurd -- yes, when the Democrats got their 60 seat majority they did push hard, but the bill had already been debated ad nauseum.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:55 PM on March 1 [22 favorites]


Serious question: How different is the Republicans' apparent strategy to push the ACA repeal bill through than the Dems' strategy was when it pushed the ACA through? Lack of transparency, a lightning-fast push to the floor vote without sufficient review time and scrutiny, etc. It stinks, to be sure. But a ton of the real problems with the ACA (not the ones Republicans complain about publicly, but the real ones that both Dems and Republicans recognize are there) are the result of that expedited process.

Are you fucking kidding? The ACA was debated about, in public, at length, with EXPLICT outreach and BEGGING for Republican input.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:55 PM on March 1 [36 favorites]


Srsly, I bet that C&D letter from Johnson's staff has about has much legal weight as the kleenex I'm about to use to blow my nose
posted by Existential Dread at 3:57 PM on March 1 [8 favorites]


Greta Van Susteren is comparing Trump's disgusting use of Owens' widow to Reagan commemorating D-Day. Kill me. What the hell happened to the press?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:58 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


Are you fucking kidding?

I'm not fucking kidding. I'm not talking about the process before the bill that passed was pushed through.
posted by The World Famous at 4:00 PM on March 1


(But, to the extent that the major difference between PPACA's passage in final form and the current state of Republican PPACA repeal is the pre-legislation public debate and outreach, thanks for answering my question.)
posted by The World Famous at 4:02 PM on March 1


> I'm not talking about the process before the bill that passed was pushed through.

Then you're not talking about the process that led to the bill, you're talking about a narrow window of that process that advances a bogus false equivalency.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:02 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


Reuters: Exclusive: Trump administration has found only $20 million in existing funds for wall - document
The rapid start of construction, promised throughout Trump's campaign and in an executive order issued in January on border security, was to be financed, according to the White House, with "existing funds and resources" of the Department of Homeland Security.

But so far, the DHS has identified only $20 million that can be re-directed to the multi-billion-dollar project, according to a document prepared by the agency and distributed to congressional budget staff last week.

The document said the funds would be enough to cover a handful of contracts for wall prototypes, but not enough to begin construction of an actual barrier. This means that for the wall to move forward, the White House will need to convince Congress to appropriate funds.
The whole time Trump was speaking last night, I watched Paul Ryan who was smiling and clapping and I wondered what he was thinking. Was he just laughing to himself at how naive Trump is to think any of those unicorns are getting funded or was he truly enjoying the moment of a Republican President in control of himself and of Congress?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:02 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


Then you're not talking about the process that led to the bill, you're talking about a narrow window of that process that advances a bogus false equivalency.

Ok. Thanks.
posted by The World Famous at 4:05 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


How different is the Republicans' apparent strategy to push the ACA repeal bill through than the Dems' strategy was when it pushed the ACA through?


Helpful ACA passage timeline.

tl;dr: Obama convenes a "health summit" in March 2009, signs the law in March 2010. In the middle is an annum's worth of bullshit, jibber-jabber, and compromise.
posted by notyou at 4:05 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Remember the bipartisan Gang of Six put together with the sole goal of getting even one Republican to vote for the ACA? And then none of them did anyway after stringing Obama along for nearly a year? That was ramming it down their throats, in their words.

Republicans negotiated the entire ACA process in total bad faith, while Democrats were on their knees pleading for them to come to the table. Where's the same outreach from the Republican majority this time? This is what "ramming" actually looks like, it's governing as an occupying force extracting reparations.

Bad faith is all they know now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:08 PM on March 1 [54 favorites]


What the hell happened to the press?

To extend the discussion regarding that man being an abuser--a large portion of the press have been acting as an enabler of that abuse. They're like people who hear about or see abuse and rationalize it with comments like, "Oh he's so nice--I can't believe he would do that!" or the ones who say, "Well, it takes two to tango..." They're acting like the bruises all over someone's face and arms aren't there--all the while, the victim of the abuse is begging for acknowledgment and help. Then they invite the abusers friends and subordinates (CNN are particularly bad about this) into the places where the victim is.

This metaphor is not perfect because people in the press are being targeted by the regime too, but dang, there're a bunch of folks who could be doing a waaaaay better job of pushing back.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:10 PM on March 1 [22 favorites]


The convo has moved on a bit, but for Air America fans, don't know if y'all know The Majority Report is back on, with Sam Seder. I found out this time last year when I got sick and watched enough youtube that it showed up on my rec list. Apparently he wasn't not broadcasting for too many years. He's got good guests (tho some conservative health care wonk pulled out of today's episode) and a good crew. While they mostly supported Bernie, they were never BernieBros and called them out. Their Gorka bits can run a bit long, and the humor may not be up everyone's alley, but I like it. They have a paid subscription, but the episodes are also streamed live on youtube daily at noon, and then uploaded shortly after. They run 2, 2.5, sometimes 3 hours. If you listen via podcast, it seems they break out the majority, if not all, of the segments with video into individual clips on youtube.

And thanks, metafilter, for reminding folks to support good journalism! Two weeks ago I got the Amazon Prime WaPo deal (will renew for sure). Last week I got The New Yorker and Atlanta Journal-Constitution (my local paper is crap, the one covering the capitol is streets ahead - and the commenters don't seem that coocoo, either). It feels a little too Eastern Standard Tribe-ish, but that's where I am, that's where the state capitol is, where the nation's capitol is, the financial, and the media capitols, too. So that's what I got, for now.
posted by mllm at 4:14 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


A Doctor Created a New Term to Describe the Pain Syrian Children Are Experiencing

It feels insufficient to say that children from Syria are suffering from “PTSD.” The oft-orphaned survivors of a horrible ongoing humanitarian crisis are, likely, experiencing post-traumatic stress, but these children of war have experienced more trauma — physical and emotional — than the medical professionals who care for them have ever seen...

...“Human devastation syndrome” is Dr. M.K. Hamza's term for the orphaned end-result.

posted by triggerfinger at 4:17 PM on March 1 [44 favorites]




Actually, that article is blog spam derived from this more serious report.
posted by Coventry at 4:22 PM on March 1 [20 favorites]


(Scott Brown winning the MA senate seat almost scuppered the whole thing. That moved the Democrats from 60 to 59, which meant any reconciliation bill negotiated to smooth over the differences between the Senate and the House versions of the law (both were passed by December 2009) wouldn't make it through the Senate. The solution was to send the already approved Senate bill to the House and have them approve that. That happened fast once the bill was moved to the floor for a vote, but it had been three months of scrutiny and lots of angry townhalls between the December votes and the ultimate vote in March 2010.)
posted by notyou at 4:23 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


>The weirdest part of the Ron Johnson letter is that it's literally just signed "staff." Like somebody took a pen and signed the word "staff" in the place where you would write your name.

This is the Cowardly Congress for sure. The Spineless Senate, if you must, but more so than usual.
posted by Catblack at 4:24 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


NYT: Donald Trump’s Obsession With Applause: In fact, the comment offered a useful peek into the president’s psyche: When he imagines a deceased veteran gazing down from heaven at his widow, the president and the assembled Congress, he sees that veteran measuring the length of his own ovation, and patting himself on the back for breaking a record. In other words, when asked to take the perspective of someone who has “laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom,” Mr. Trump assumes that what would gratify such a person is the same thing that gratifies him: adulation.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:25 PM on March 1 [31 favorites]


Remember the bipartisan Gang of Six put together with the sole goal of getting even one Republican to vote for the ACA? And then none of them did anyway after stringing Obama along for nearly a year?

Also, as part of the extended negotiations for Obamacare, Republican Olympia Snowe did vote for the Baucus Bill though it faltered later in the process. So Democrats literally did get a single Republican vote for all their trouble.
posted by msalt at 4:28 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Pentagon officials: Trump lied in his address about the effectiveness of the Yemen raid.
The Pentagon says Navy SEALs scooped up laptops, hard drives and cell phones in last month's Yemen raid, but multiple U.S. officials told NBC News that none of the intelligence gleaned from the operation so far has proven actionable or vital — contrary to what President Trump said in his speech to Congress Tuesday.

In a dramatic moment before a joint session of Congress, Trump introduced Carryn Owens, the widow of Senior Chief William "Ryan" Owens, the SEAL who lost his life in the Jan. 29 operation. Tears streamed down the widow's face as the president praised her husband.

"I just spoke to General (James) Mattis," Trump said, referring to his defense secretary, "who reconfirmed that, and I quote, 'Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.'"
TPM: Trump's Shame
Neither Owens' heroism nor the sacrifice of his death are diminished by the success of the raid in which he died. But as I wrote earlier today, this spectacle from President Trump last night was transparently constructed in order to repurpose Owens' widow's palpable grief into a heat shield to ward any effort to question the wisdom of the raid or Investigate what happened and why.

Mattis will have to answer for himself if his public statement matches the real after action assessment. But it is noteworthy that Trump laundered his apparent deception through Mattis.

...This 'presidential' moment was the most shameless kind of exploitation and it would seem a straight up lie.
posted by darkstar at 4:28 PM on March 1 [45 favorites]




NBC Officials: Still No Actionable Intel from Yemen SEAL Raid
multiple U.S. officials told NBC News that none of the intelligence gleaned from the operation so far has proven actionable or vital — contrary to what President Trump said in his speech to Congress Tuesday. [...]

"I just spoke to General (James) Mattis," Trump said, referring to his defense secretary, "who reconfirmed that, and I quote, 'Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.'"
MORE: So far, no valuable intelligence has been produced from Yemen raid, 10 senior officials tell @NBCNightlyNews.

Chris Hayes asked: Honest q: how unusual is it to order a ground raid like the one in Yemen for the sole purpose of intelligence acquisition? and he retweeted this answer (I don't know if this guy is an authority)

the op itself, for any reason, was unusual. Only confirmed ground raids in Yemen in 15 years before had been hostage rescue.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:39 PM on March 1 [18 favorites]


Actually, that article is blog spam derived from this more serious report.

That article has a ton of holes in it. They were found guilty of "violating the spirit and intent" of the flag reg, and received administrative punishment? That sounds like "Article 15" to me, but doesn't say whether it's a summarized (verbal spanking plus maybe painting walls or whatever) or company-grade, which has real punishments.
posted by corb at 4:46 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


Also, speaking of military perspective, here's Brandon Friedman on the differences between military and civilian reactions to that speech. (Spoiler alert: soldiers unsympathetic to waving their wives around)
posted by corb at 4:50 PM on March 1 [56 favorites]


Greta Van Susteren is comparing Trump's disgusting use of Owens' widow to Reagan commemorating D-Day. Kill me. What the hell happened to the press?

Greta's dad was besties with Senator McCarthy, so she's been damaged goods from the start.
McCarthy's friend and campaign manager, attorney and judge Urban P. Van Susteren, ...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:51 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


White House staff told to preserve Russia-related materials

From the AP about an hour ago. Maybe a lil glimmer of hope? Not because I have any confidence in the integrity of this adminstration's data security or recordkeeping skill or commitment to transparency. But the investigation is back (the memo, on this MSNBC guy's Twitter) and the article suggests that calls for a special prosecutor may have influenced Burr and Nunes in this matter.
posted by witchen at 4:57 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


Ron Johnson's Staff: If you fail to comply with this notice, then we will have no other alternative but to contact the lead singer of Echo and the Bunnymen.

DEAR MISTER ECHO
posted by delfin at 5:02 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]




What a waste of a great name, "Ron Johnson from Wisconsin" sounds fun and deserves to be attached to a better person. You ruin silly lighthearted rhymes, Ron! Those belong to silly lighthearted Rons!
posted by jason_steakums at 5:12 PM on March 1 [12 favorites]


Oh my fucking...PBS NewsHour just brought on Gorka the Goon to offer his opinions on the Yemen raid.

We started the day hearing from that tool expound on NPR, and wrapped up the day with a reprise performance on PBS??

What the hell is happening???
posted by darkstar at 5:26 PM on March 1 [8 favorites]


The thing with the Ron Jonson letter is that I can fully understand somebody exceeding the bounds of political engagement to such an extent that their behavior really does constitute pretty serious harassment. I'm not saying that's happened here, but it does inevitably happen. But in such a case, especially given the implications of sending a cease and desist letter to constituents, surely you could write a better letter? One that lays out some specific examples of wrongdoing or is basically anything other than that ridiculous letter.
posted by zachlipton at 5:31 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


A lamprey-mouthed loser named Don
Succeeded in his greatest con
But found out too late
He wasn't that great
And the hustle just went on and on.
posted by uosuaq at 5:32 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


Remember that age-old question, is it in the museum because it's art, or is it art because it's in the museum? I feel like where we are with news as a culture is, for a long time, experts with something enlightening to offer were invited to speak on TV, and now... we're staring at a urinal.
posted by prefpara at 5:33 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


[placeholder for a urinalism joke]
posted by orange ball at 5:41 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


NYT: Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking
In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates.
posted by zachlipton at 5:42 PM on March 1 [37 favorites]


So this NYT article is interesting for explaining the lengths the Obama administration went to in its closing days to preserve and disseminate intelligence it had gained regarding meetings between Trump associates and various Russian officials during and after the campaign. They didn't trust that the incoming administration would not either destroy the data or cover it up, so they spread it as far as they were legally able to do so, within the US government and with foreign allies. Hopefully it will do some good.
posted by Silverstone at 5:45 PM on March 1 [26 favorites]


Sorry, zachlipton--I typed too slowly :(
posted by Silverstone at 5:46 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


It is now time that we ask the question: what do the Dutch know and when did they know it?
posted by zachlipton at 5:48 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


REPORT: White House Lied to Journalists About Trump Speech in ‘Misdirection Play’.

“Basically they fed [them] things that they thought these anchors would like, that they thought would give them positive press coverage for the next few hours. A senior administration official admitted that it was a misdirection play,” [CNN's Sara Murray] reported.
posted by scalefree at 5:51 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


On a different note, Jon Stewart noted that Trump says "Believe Me" a lot when he lies, and I wonder if he said that last night.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:52 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]




So the people accusing journalists of manufacturing and reporting fake news manufactured fake news for the journalists to report accurately, except that it was fake.

This is how Herbert Lom developed Chief Inspector Dreyfus' eye tic.
posted by delfin at 5:56 PM on March 1 [22 favorites]


On a different note, Jon Stewart noted that Trump says "Believe Me" a lot when he lies, and I wonder if he said that last night.

No, Trump stayed on the written speech on the teleprompter almost entirely last night. He only added a few of his own flourishes (very, very).

And Tim Kaine wants his joke back, believe me.
posted by peeedro at 5:56 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence.

obama's shadow government strikes again
posted by murphy slaw at 6:03 PM on March 1


MSNBC seems to have replaced tonight's episode of The Rachel Maddow Show with something entitled The Trump/Putin Power Play hosted by Brian Williams.
posted by XMLicious at 6:07 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


WaPo Breaking: Sessions spoke twice with Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential campaign, Justice officials says

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:08 PM on March 1 [93 favorites]


Sessions is fast becoming one of the worst villains in this parade of horribles.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:11 PM on March 1 [25 favorites]


drip drip drip.

begone in shame and humiliation you old racist fuck.
posted by futz at 6:12 PM on March 1 [41 favorites]


WaPo Breaking: Sessions spoke twice with Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential campaign, Justice officials says

We tasted the first blood of Flynn, and it was nourishing, but the precious bodily fluids (note to FBI, I mean resignation) of racist Gollum shall sustain me through many press cycles to come.
posted by saysthis at 6:14 PM on March 1 [45 favorites]


or a prison.
posted by futz at 6:14 PM on March 1 [10 favorites]


If Sessions doesn't recuse himself at this point... I don't know what. The Democrats will no doubt wring their hands and whine.
posted by Justinian at 6:28 PM on March 1 [14 favorites]


The Supreme Court just delivered a major victory for gerrymandering opponents

Spoiler alert: In a concurring opinion, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas also wrote that all of the districts were unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering. (!!!)
posted by un petit cadeau at 6:31 PM on March 1 [96 favorites]


I guess the Sessions is why Trump got all pissy about Russia and fake news the other day?
posted by Artw at 6:34 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Pun not intended.
posted by Artw at 6:35 PM on March 1 [8 favorites]


It's being pointed out here that Sessions met with the ambassador literally the day after Trump praised Putin at the Matt Lauer forum, yet his office claims the election never came up at all.
posted by zachlipton at 6:36 PM on March 1 [20 favorites]


Days without stepping on dick: 0
posted by chris24 at 6:37 PM on March 1 [20 favorites]


Everything they say is a lie.
posted by erisfree at 6:38 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


Remember when the warship was spying on Delaware? That was such a simpler time.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:39 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


The Supreme Court just delivered a major victory for gerrymandering opponents

Last night I was near despondent after the speech and even worse today as the media fell over itself to praise Trump. But now tonight - SCOTUS rules in our favor on gerrymadering? Sessions talked to Russian ambassador during the election? My heart can't take much more of this rollercoaster.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:40 PM on March 1 [25 favorites]


The ridiculous gushing over Trump's speech
It was good to hear Trump start his remarks with a condemnation of the rash of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as the shooting in Kansas City. It is, indeed, presidential to say, as Trump did, "We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms."

It is so presidential, it is so basic, that it should be unremarkable that he said it. But it is remarkable, because Trump has equivocated on the issue repeatedly. In fact, only hours before the speech, at a White House meeting with state attorneys general, Trump reportedly -- bafflingly -- appeared to suggest that the attacks might have been carried out "to make others look bad," according to one of the AGs in attendance, and that in terms of the threats, "the reverse can be true."

Indeed, if Trump genuinely condemns hatred, his plan to create an agency dedicated to highlighting crimes committed by undocumented immigrants is the most vile prescription imaginable for stoking prejudice and hatred. The "Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office," with the snappy acronym VOICE, is populist crowd-riling at its worst. It will likely lead to more hate crimes and vigilantism.

No wonder there was an audible gasp in the audience when he announced it. Research shows that in fact undocumented immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than the rest of the population.

What was utterly un-presidential in the speech is something that should never become acceptable, even though it is now routine in the Trump era: misstatements, manipulations of the truth, and downright falsehoods uttered by the President of the United States. For this he receives praise?
posted by homunculus at 6:42 PM on March 1 [31 favorites]


I guess the Sessions is why Trump got all pissy about Russia and fake news the other day?

Right, makes sense. We know Sessions testified to SSCI, we know they looked shocked on the way out. Must be when they confronted him with technical evidence of his calls & presumably he admitted or dodged it. Trump started his last round of "fake news!" shortly after.
posted by scalefree at 6:42 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


Well, let's not get too excited about the SC ruling. Voting rights expert Rick Hasen's take is: it's good as far as it goes, but that's not as far as it sounds.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:43 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


I would like Mr. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be exiled to the Mongolian Steppe on the Siberian side wherein he is the only white person for miles around and in Russian hands.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:46 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


@TeddyDavisCNN
Wash Post: Atty Gen Jeff Sessions spoke twice with Russian amb during Trump’s campaign, Justice officials say


NEWS IN #CNNtownhall -- >>

Sen. Lindsey Graham says: "Jeff Sessions - who is my dear friend - cannot make this decision about Trump."

posted by chris24 at 6:47 PM on March 1 [28 favorites]


Pildes disagrees with Hasen and sees this SCOTUS ruling as a very positive indication.
posted by prefpara at 6:47 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


This is true. Hasen seems like a very sharp guy, who is very concerned about voting rights, so I tend to take him on faith, not being a lawyer. That said, he could certainly be wrong here.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:51 PM on March 1


Must be weird to find out your "dear friend" is probably a traitor
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:52 PM on March 1 [8 favorites]


my endocrine system cannae take much more of this, cap'n
posted by murphy slaw at 6:53 PM on March 1 [15 favorites]


@CNNPolitics
Graham: If Jeff Sessions spoke with Russian diplomat, “then for sure you need a special prosecutor” #CNNTownHall [video]
posted by chris24 at 6:54 PM on March 1 [44 favorites]


That Times story just posted above certainly makes it seem like the intelligence community is getting restless about the Republicans' foot-dragging over the investigation. They're basically saying, "here's all the stuff we have, you just need to ask for it!"
posted by Dr. Send at 6:55 PM on March 1 [10 favorites]


Graham: "treason is mucho sad"
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:56 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


That Times story just posted above certainly makes it seem like the intelligence community is getting restless about the Republicans' foot-dragging over the investigation. They're basically saying, "here's all the stuff we have, you just need to ask for it!"


not restless per se, but AWS attacks come at an oppurtune time, when most of IC technical infrastructure is hosted on AWS.
posted by xcasex at 6:57 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Seems like somebody knew exactly what they were doing dropping this story late in the day in the middle of both CNN's Graham/McCain town hall (which otherwise has no real reason to even exist) and MSNBC's Putin-a-thon special.
posted by zachlipton at 6:58 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Graham: "treason is mucho sad"

first thing to make me lol all day
posted by triggerfinger at 6:58 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


first thing to make me lol all day

One must take one's lols wherever they might be found these days my dude
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:00 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


I so want Graham to be a good guy. He seems like he should be a good guy. But he believes such terrible things. Mucho sad.
posted by Justinian at 7:02 PM on March 1 [19 favorites]


encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general

Whoa, Attorney General nominee lying under oath to Congress? I'm pretty sure the bar association doesn't like that sort of thing. Yet another fine upstanding ethical member of the Trump administration, folks. Not that anything will come of it, but the Democrats should do their level best to make Sessions' name a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:02 PM on March 1 [46 favorites]


LIAR

At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.

“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he responded. He added: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

posted by futz at 7:03 PM on March 1 [45 favorites]


I am honestly okay with, "guy who believes wrong stuff, but is honorable." That's not my ideal, but that's the whole honorable opponent/Loyal Opposition thing that we need to have a functioning government.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:04 PM on March 1 [19 favorites]


"I did not have communications with the Russians."

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman... Miss Lewinsky."
posted by chris24 at 7:05 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


"Lying under oath is just how politics is done! Both sides do it! Who here isn't in regular contact with Russian intelligence? A certain degree of treason is normal! Etc... etc..."
posted by Artw at 7:05 PM on March 1 [14 favorites]


Seems like somebody knew exactly what they were doing dropping this story late in the day in th